He was actually quite excited about meeting these friends of his. They sounded fascinating. When they arrived, their appearance did not disappoint him.
"Whoa, Mulder! Love the mohawk! You might want to try some of that green hair dye, really bring it out, you know." Langley viewed him from several angles, while Mulder blushed and looked at Scully for reassurance.
"So, youíre actually staying here at Scullyís place and Skinner knows about this?! I might have joined the FBI if Iíd known about this kind of perk." Frohike was looking around the apartment.
"Back off, Frohike. Or weíll make sure you donít reach the height requirements at Disney World either." Byers warned him. Scully just shook her head.
He did find that he didnít really appreciate the way the little one, Frohike, kept looking at Scully; but she seemed to brush it off like it was normal. He kept glancing over at Scully, where she sat slightly apart from them, to see if they were pulling his leg. She would smile reassuringly or nod. Damn, he had an interesting life! Wish he could remember it.
Mulder was beginning to piece some of the stories together with things Scully had told him the night before. What he still couldnít get at, was what had caused him to want to go into this in the first place? He made a couple of attempts to get at the why, but Scully or Byers would change the subject. Maybe he wasnít ready for that story yet. But after what he had heard, what the hell could it have been?
Scully threw them out at ten oíclock. She could feel that Mulder was tiring, in spite of the nap heíd had that afternoon.
"Thanks for having us over, Dana. Iím sure that wasnít easy for you, opening your home to us." Byers shook her hand.
"Thatís not true, and I should have done it sooner. Youíve been very good friends, to both of us."
"Listen, if you need to run errands, or get out, please call us. We can stay here in case he needs anything, whatever. Promise youíll call."
"Thank you. Thank you all so much. I promise to take you up on that." She held the door for them.
Frohike took her hand and kissed it, "My hot Dr. Scully. Itís been an extraordinary pleasure." Mulder actually felt the hackles rise on his neck.
"Beat it, Frohike, before I throw something at you." Scully smiled and shooed the endearing little gnome out the door. She turned and caught sight of the look on Mulderís face.
"Whatís wrong? Are you in any pain? I shouldnít have let them stay so long."
"No, no, Iím fine." She wouldnít want to hear what he was thinking.
"You are not. What is it?" Scully sat beside him on the couch.
"You keep reminding me Iím not the man in your life and watching Frohike with you made me realize, I donít know who is. Am I cramping your style, being here? I guess I donít want Skinner to come after me or anything. Iím not sure I could take him right now. I mean, I am well enough to live alone, regardless of what Dr. Charles says."
"I never said you werenít the man in my life. I said we werenít lovers. . . I mean. . . Shit, I donít know what I mean. Mulder, I am not dating anyone and havenít for some time. Skinner is our boss, period, full stop. You are definitely not cramping my style. Youíre probably enhancing it with the neighbors, unless of course they just saw that trio leave."
He held her gaze until she looked away. She wasnít sure what he was looking for and she was a little afraid to find out.
"Itís been a long day, Mulder. Go on and get some rest. If youíre a good boy maybe we can go see your apartment tomorrow - if you think youíre ready."
"Yeah. I think thatís a good idea. Iíll, uh, Iíll see you in the morning."
"Mulder, are you sure youíre okay?" He didnít sound like himself.
"Iím missing most of my life, Scully. None of this brought back any memories; they were just stories that could have happened to anyone. If I were really that paranoid, maybe Iíd think this was all a hoax and you were keeping me prisoner here."
"Do you think Iíd do that?" she asked softly.
He reached out with his hand and barely brushed her cheek. "No, no I donít believe you would ever hurt me. I better go on to bed. Thanks for having those guys over for me."
"Good night, Mulder." She watched him leave the room, his shoulders slightly slumped. He had to regain his memories. He desperately needed to know who he was and why heíd become the man he had become. Sheíd had a lot of hope about this evening. Maybe his apartment tomorrow would jog something. She was running out of ideas.
His cry jolted her out of sleep. "Scully! No! Scully!"
She raced into the bedroom. He was covered in sweat and panting as though heíd been running, but at least he wasnít thrashing about.
"Mulder, wake up. Mulder, Iím here. Itís Scully, please." She was sitting on the bed, her hands on his shoulders. "Mulder?"
He opened his eyes, found her and crushed her to his chest. "Scully, oh god, Scully."
"Itís okay, Mulder. It was just a nightmare. Iím right here." Sheíd become aware that in her haste to reach him, she had neglected to grab her robe. The tank top she was wearing didnít put much between her and his bare chest. His trembling was beginning to lessen, but she noted he had begun caressing her back.
"Mulder." She tried to pull back a little, but his grip tightened. "Mulder, tell me what you dreamed."
"Iím not sure. I was on this mountaintop and I was too late. You were gone. The gondola ride was too slow. I knew I was going to be too late but I couldnít speed anything up."
She had gone very still in his arms. "What? What is it, Scully?"
"That wasnít just a dream, Mulder; that was a memory."
"Yes. That happened. I was abducted from a place like that and you tried to get to me on the gondola. Youíre remembering."
"Who abducted you?" His hand was caressing her back again.
"We donít. . . thatís still unclear."
"But you escaped."
"No, they released me. Itís a long story, Mulder and so damn complicated. Not tonight. Iíll. . . we can talk about it tomorrow. I just donít understand why you had a nightmare tonight. You havenít had one since this happened."
"Is that unusual?"
"Yes, Mulder. You have nightmares almost every night. I was hoping maybe they were gone. Did hearing all those stories with the guys. . . ?"
"I didnít take my sleeping pill tonight, Scully. I donít like the medication. I took the antibiotic, but not the sleeping pill. Iím tired of being groggy."
"Oh, Mulder, were we keeping you too medicated? Is that why you havenít. . . ?"
"Donít look so guilty. Iím a big boy. It was just time to stop some of the meds." His hand was moving again, when it came around and cupped her breast she did draw back.
"But you like it."
"Thatís not the point."
"What is the point, Scully?"
She decided there was no good answer to that. "You need to get some rest. Would you like your pill now?"
"No. I want to remember; I need to, and if it takes nightmares, then Iíll have to have nightmares. No, wait." He took her hand as she started to rise from the bed.
"Donít leave. Could you stay in here, just until I fall asleep? Iím not going to take advantage of you, Scully. I canít. . . just donít go."
"Mulder, thatís. . . " he gave her the wounded puppy dog look and she sighed. "You donít play fair."
He rewarded her with a smile and scooted over so she could lie beside him.
"No, Mulder. I can sit over there."
"That wonít be comfortable. Come on, weíve already established that Iím not capable of ravishing you. Just keep me company for awhile."
This was a mistake; she could feel it, but if it kept him calm. . . oh hell. She stretched out beside him. She should have gotten her robe; he was just wearing the boxers. It would make too much of a statement if she went to get it now. Well, she wouldnít stay long.
She woke to the feel of his arms around her. Oh no, sheíd slept through the night! Well, at least he hadnít had any more nightmares. She eased out of bed. He stirred but didnít wake.
After her shower, she made coffee and straightened up the living room from the mess she had left it in trying to get to him when he cried out.
"Morning." She hadnít heard him approach. "I slept very well the rest of the night. Thanks."
"No problem." She didnít look up, just continued plumping the pillows.
"I thought about waking you when I woke up at three, but you looked so comfortable. . . "
"Donít worry about it."
"Scully, donít be mad." He tilted her head up to look at him. After seeing her expression he added, "or embarrassed."
"Itís okay, Mulder. Thereís nothing to talk about. You ready for some coffee?"
He followed her into the kitchen and took his regular seat at the table. She was putting the pot back in the coffee maker when they heard the knock on the door. She looked over at him questioningly and he shrugged.
She looked through the peephole to see her mother waiting, obviously impatient.
"Mom! When did you get back?"
"Last night. You should be punished! Iíd ground you if I thought I could get away with it."
"What did I do?"
"Dana Katherine Scully, when you or Fox is injured I need to know! I would have come back immediately to help out. Shame on you for not calling me."
"I didnít want to. . . " she heard the cup crash to the floor and turned to see Mulder standing in her kitchen door. He was hyperventilating and was surrounded by glass and hot coffee.
"Mulder. Mulder, just relax. Come over here to the couch. Donít cut yourself. Mom, get me a paper bag. Hurry."
Her mother ducked into the kitchen and was back in seconds. Scully held the bag over his nose and mouth until he got his breathing back under control. His eyes never left her mother.
"What is it? Mulder?"
"She had the respirator removed. She took you off life support."
Scullyís eyes widened, why did these have to be the memories that were returning?
"Mulder, she was following my instructions. But I didnít die. You pulled me back, Mulder. What else do you remember?"
He just shook his head and buried his face in his hands. Mrs. Scully approached him and put her hand on his arm. He barely shuddered.
"Fox, you saved her. You had more faith in her than I did. Please look at me."
He slowly looked up at her. "Fox, do you know me?"
"Youíre Scullyís mother."
"Yes, and I love my daughter. I wouldnít hurt her for the world. But youíre like a son to me, Fox, and I wouldnít hurt you either. Iím so sorry thatís your memory of me. I knew how horrible that moment was for me, I didnít think about how it was hurting you. Please forgive me."
"You did what you thought was right, Mrs. Scully. I know you wouldnít hurt me." Scully stood to the side, watching them together.
Mrs. Scully squeezed his arm, and turned to Scully. "Dana, Iím going to give you some privacy. Is there anything you need?"
"Yeah. I have a small list of groceries - come on in the kitchen and Iíll get it for you." She paused in the doorway to gather up the largest pieces of the broken mug.
"Dana, Iím so sorry."
"Mom, thereís no way anyone could have known this would happen. And he does need to remember. Itís just unfortunate that his memories so far are so bleak. Last night he remembered my abduction. Donít stay away because of this, Mom. He needs your support too, and we havenít been able to reach his mother."
"Oh, Dana. She needs to be here."
"I know. Sheís probably on vacation. She may even have told Mulder where, but he doesnít know." She handed her mother the list.
They went back into the living room. "Fox, Iím going to get your supplies. Please take care of yourself."
He nodded and she kissed his forehead. Scully walked her to the door and hugged her. "Iím glad youíre home, Mom. He will be too, when he remembers." Mrs. Scully nodded and left.
"Mulder? Are you okay?" She sat beside him.
"There was someone else there, Scully. Melinda, no, Melissa, your sister. She was. . . " His face went pale. "Oh god, they killed her! Because of me, it was all because of me. Your abduction, when you almost died, when she did die. Oh god!" He pulled away from her, tears streaming down his face. "I donít want to remember this. I canít. . . "
"Mulder, nothing that happened was your fault. None of it! Youíve got to believe me. Please, Mulder. Iím going to get your medication. I want you to relax."
"No! No medication."
"Mulder, please. You need to calm down."
"I think Iíve got a handle on why weíve never made love. What I donít understand is why youíre bothering to keep me alive."
"Mulder. . ." She took his hand. "Mulder, look at me. The reason, the real reason, you and I arenít lovers is because I never really thought you wanted me. No, listen to me." She held her hand up when he tried to interrupt. "I thought you were fooling around, just flirting. Never serious enough to think about messing up our partnership. I guess I never thought you were really interested in me as a woman."
"What did I do to. . . "
"Nothing. I mean. . . Mulder, I never thought I was your type."
"My type? Whatís that?"
"Tall, blond, with big. . . "
"Why is that my type?" He had to interrupt her there.
"Mulder, you have an extensive video collection." He looked at her confused. "Pornography, Mulder. And from what little Iíve seen, thatís the kind of woman you seem to enjoy."
"Could it be that I purposely chose something the opposite from what I want, to feel less guilty when I watch? Maybe I canít handle fantasizing about short, gorgeous redheads." She stared at him with no idea of what to say. Was this the psychologist in him, or what he really thought? "I need some time alone."
"I donít think you should. . . "
"Scully." He met her eyes and she finally backed down. "Iíll be in the bedroom."
She finished cleaning up the coffee spill and puttered around, not able to relax herself. He startled her when he returned to the room carrying his suitcase.
"Mulder, no! You cannot leave."
"I told you I needed some time alone."
"There is no way Iím letting you leave this apartment. Mulder, weíve already survived what youíre remembering now. And we survived it because we were together."
He was searching her eyes again. This time she didnít look away, hoping he would find what he needed. He moved toward her and his lips took possession of hers. She drank from him, unable and unwilling to move away.
Suddenly he broke the kiss; "Raining sleeping bags?"
"Shut up and kiss me, G-man." And she took control. He had so many more things to remember, some of them worse than what heíd already recovered. And of course, Samantha. But theyíd gotten through it once; they would again. She knew where sheíd be sleeping tonight and every night if she had anything to say about it.