Edge of Reason
Sara B. 03/2005
Mulder sat in bed. He could hear Diana’s thoughts over the
din in his head; her proximity allowed him greater access to her thoughts. Thoughts
so disturbing and cold he couldn’t contain the shiver up his spine. Scully
had been right all those months ago. Diana was dirty. She was not his friend
and should not have been trusted. If he’d only realized that months earlier
he would not have screwed his life up so horribly.
The memory of that cold night, when he lost not only Scully but her mother and the Gunmen too, he’d even
lost Skinner to an extent, haunted him. Mulder was a man used to nightmares but
nothing prepared him for his nightly haunting. It always began the same, with
his entrance to the Gunmen’s lair. He always knew it was a dream and no
amount of persuasion would allow him to wake. He’d tried to manipulate
the dream, changing his reactions. Sometimes changing his words and other times
he followed Scully. But the smoking man’s voice would taunt him ‘that
isn’t what happened, is it Fox?’ Then the dream would begin again
and play out in its entirety. It was never until the final click of the shutting
door that he could wake up.
The images flowed over him, picking up where his nightmare always ended.
Scully left the Gunmen’s and Mulder turned to find the guys had secreted themselves away. He stood alone in the center of blinking computer screens and whirring equipment. Scully’s words “I can’t help you anymore,’ ‘personal is all I have left and
if you take that away . . . ’ and the image of her back going through the door replayed over in his mind. She hadn’t said ‘if that is taken away,’ no her words were ‘if YOU take that away.’ Had he done that? Had he taken away something
personal from her? Taken it from them?
Mulder, not knowing what else to do, went to Diana’s and
met his damnation. Providance and destiny smirked at him. He was leaving with Diana when he called Scully. His trip
with Scully saved his sorry ass, for he surly would have perished in a circle of flames had he
gone with Diana. How Diana survived was still a mystery. For a man with an insatiable thirst for information he never asked the really important questions. Questions like ‘so tell me Diana why are you still alive?’ He never asked and she never told. Maybe
he knew he wouldn’t like the truth. Truth his new ability was shoving down
Three days late they sat in Kersh’s office and he was given the best and worst news of his life. Mulder was still stinging from the confrontation at the Gunmen’s lair and hadn’t
spoken to Scully during the days between. He knew she was one of the pathologists
working on the remains and he thought the time apart would scab over the raw wounds.
God help him!
He should have known something was coming by Skinner’s quietness and Scully’s stoicism as they sat
listening to young Spender and Kersh. During the meeting Kersh sympathized, cajoled,
patronized and accused but in the end they were reassigned to the X-Files.
Mulder’s elation lasted all of thirty seconds because on second thirty-one Scully stood, placed a folder,
her identification and her weapon on Kersh’s desk and walked out: out of the office, out of the Hoover building and
out of his life. A look at Skinner proved that he knew what had been coming but
had hoped destiny would be changed. It hadn’t, Scully was gone. Once Mulder regained his sense he chased after her but he only caught a glimpse of her hair as she got
lost in the 9:00 coffee rush. Skinner caught him before he could follow and told
him to let her calm down and that they would wait to process her paperwork.
It was the last time he saw Scully. He’d
tried to locate her but Skinner forestalled his efforts through official channels, her mother refused
to speak to him and the Gunmen’s warehouse was found with the doors unlocked and the rooms empty. Not a circuit board, cable or even a finger print to know that the three misfits
had ever lived there. Only two sealed notes addressed
to him laying on the dusty floor remained. The first was written by Frohike and
told him that they’d relocated with other ‘Freedom Fighters’ and not to bother trying to find them. It also said that Scully was with them. The second was from Scully, its contents would forever be imprinted on his brain but one portion burned
into his soul ‘months ago you asked if I wanted you to choose; I didn’t. The other night I found out you’d made that choice anyway and I wasn’t it. Though I know you don’t love me I will forever love you. Be
happy but be prepared. You won’t believe this but you
now have no one to watch your back.’
Mulder’s mind returned to the present and Diana, her vile and malicious thoughts telegraphing to him. She stood half naked in the doorway. If
this had been several months ago he may have succumbed, he admitted to himself with much shame.
Diana moved in a fashion he once thought of as sexy but now knew it as perversion. She was no longer interested in him as a lover but a means to an end.
He desperately wanted to know if she had ever cared about him or had he only been an assignment ‘with privileges?’
Mulder probed deep into her mind and found her memories. Their
first meeting after he graduated the academy, their first case together, first date and so on. He also saw her recruitment
into the consortium when his interest in her was confirmed. Mulder found snippets
of meetings with consortium members and saw her eagerness to impress her superiors.
He was horrified by visions of Scully lying naked on an operating table. Unfamiliar
equipment surrounding her. Some type of probe positioned at her stomach and moments
later her belly expanded while she screamed. Next he saw a drill in her mouth
and the terror on her face.
‘God Scully I’m so sorry!’
The next image was a close up of the prone Scully, her eyes closed and body still, too still. Diana must have been standing directly over Scully. Diana
slapped her and she barely responded with a small groan. Mulder didn’t
want to see anymore and he tried to block it out. He was hit by a seizure.
Scully and the three men sat next to the speaker phone listening intently.
A.D. Skinner was telling them about Mulder’s illness. He told them
about Kritschgau’s attempts to help. Skinner confided that he was compromised
by Krycek’s hold on him.
“Dana you are still listed as Mulder’s contact and next f kin but if you don’t use it fast
they will be able to overturn it by saying you cannot be contacted. If that happens
who knows what will happen to him. I know he . . .” Skinner never finished.
“What hospital is he in, sir?”
Scully fought the emotions and memories washing over her. She called
the hospital where he was being held and established initial communication. She
needed to present her identification in person but at least she forestalled any legal maneuvers Diana might try.
The four of them boarded the plane to Washington and back to the man she never wanted to see again. During the flight memories of the last year overwhelmed her and she fought to
keep her emotions in check. Frohike was seated next to her and took her hand,
he understood. He’d become her closet friend and confidant within their
little tribe of outsiders made up of scientists, doctors, computer experts and other technical types. Many of the members were former abductees and their families and a considerable number
were former Consortium associates who provided immeasurable information of the inside workings of the organization.
The last several months had been lonely and tiring but they’d made incredible progress. Progress she knew the Consortium would kill to stop. In a
matter of months they were able to use her blood to create a vaccine. It was
still being tested for humans and quantity was limited, but she saw no reason not to have hope that they would be prepared
for distribution within three years. One of the teams in their group was developing
a plan for world wide distribution. It amazed her how quickly the work evolved
without ‘outside’ interference. Or maybe she should say ‘inside’
Scully still couldn’t believe that the Consortium was selling
out the entire human population. Well, everyone except themselves. Unknowingly, Mulder was now one of them. He’d unwittingly
joined their side when he chose to believe the deceptions; when he chose not to believe the four of them last winter.
Scully arrived at the hospital to present her credentials and identification and the necessary papers to take
control of Mulder’s medical and legal issues. The hospital administrator,
Jean Trimmon, was out making copies as Diana Fowley burst into the administrator’s
office. Ms. Trimmon had informed Scully of Agent Fowley’s repeated attempts
to take control of Mulder. Attempts that Ms. Trimmon had stopped personally,
not because she suspected anything but Fowley abused her position. The patient
wasn’t compromised and she knew Ms. Scully was on her way. If they had
done as Fowley asked and Ms. Scully didn’t approve the hospital would have been open to a lawsuit. Diana Fowley began a series of verbal attacks that Scully ignored.
When the administrator returned it was with two security guards who took charge of the situation.
Scully arranged to transport Mulder to a facility run by fellow members of the group. She had Fowley barred from contacting Mulder; in fact she only listed five other people for visitation:
Langly, Byers, Frohike, her mother and Skinner. By mutual agreement, Skinner’s
access was limited and never alone due to his compromised position.
Scully contacted Mrs. Mulder and informed her of his condition but refused her access to him, the woman may
be his mother but she was not to be trusted. Frohike arranged for armed guards
to be stationed outside Mulder’s door at all times.
With security guaranteed it was time to seek a cure. Skinner had
told them about the rubbing and the investigation Mulder had been on. He provided
them with copies of the file and the original rubbing. Byers faxed a copy of
the rubbing to an operative who was going to visit Albert Holstein. The decision
was made that a team of operatives had to secure the site where the artifact had been found and two days later eight operatives
were dispatched from six different countries.
Scully oversaw Mulder’s weaning from the drug cocktail his original doctor had given him. Within a week he was coherent and functioning if only on a diminished capacity, very diminished. She kept him on a low dosage anti depressants and pain meds. Scully
never visited him, instead monitoring his progress from his charts and interviews with the attending nurses and doctors. Mulder knew she was there and continued to demand to see her but she never relented;
she couldn’t. The memories of their last months together still burned. Besides she needed to make arrangements for his training.
Mulder lie in his room staring at the ceiling tiles. Scully was
there he could feel it. The reduction of drugs gave him more of himself back
and each day his awareness grew. He could make out the thoughts of those in his
immediate area while those outside sounded like a constant hum. He didn’t
tell anyone of his abilities because they would edit their thoughts and he needed to learn from them.
The doctors, nurses and guards didn’t provide much and Byers and Langly kept their thoughts to the basics,
but Frohike opened up to him. He let Mulder read his thoughts freely. It was like he was trying to answer all his questions before Mulder could ask.
‘Yes, Scully was with them and no he didn’t think she would be in to see him any time soon, if ever. Give her time.’
‘We have made progress and our group is on the verge of breaking the whole Consortium wide open.’ Frohike’s mind reviewed all the group’s activities: their membership,
how they were organized and their locations. The thoughts came so quickly that
they almost overwhelmed Mulder. In the center of it all was one person, a small,
beautiful redheaded dervish who somehow made it all happen. Frohike let him see
Scully in all her glory. She may have followed Mulder for all those years but
she was the organization’s undisputed leader. A leader with a crown of
glorious red hair, that Mulder was seeing for the first time. Red, what a wonderful
color. Mulder ached to see her.
‘Scully is looking for ways to treat this condition. I know
she is working on something different but she hasn’t confided what it is.’
“Tell her I need to see her, will you Frohike?”
“I’ll tell her but I’m not sure it will do any good.
She still hasn’t forgotten or forgiven how it ended. She doesn’t
understand and I’m not sure you can make her. But I’ll try.”
Scully stared at the monitor watching Mulder sleep. Frohike left
a few moments before and she was confused. She knew Mulder would want to see
her but she wasn’t sure she could do it without breaking down, and that would not do.
She couldn’t afford it. She was actually surprised he hadn’t
asked for Diana Fowley. But maybe that is why he wanted to see her to ask, to
allow that woman admittance. It would break her heart, again. But Frohike’s words taunted her ‘you owe it to your patient Dr. Scully.’
She entered the chamber slowly because she needed to concentrate just to make her feet move. Mulder was in the bed facing the door, eyes closed but she sensed that he was awake. Scully moved the chair a few feet further from its position next to the bed and took a seat. She purposely tried to keep her thoughts in check. She may
be a skeptic but she wasn’t a fool; she believed he could read her thoughts because she had seen proof. That proof could help Mulder.
Scully looked at Mulder lying there and had to look away quickly. Her
emotions were raw and if anyone could push her over it was this man.
“Glad I have some affect on you,” Mulder said dryly. “Took
you long enough to visit,” his hurt and anger very evident in his voice.
“I wouldn’t be here now if Frohike hadn’t guilted me into it.
I never wanted to see you again.” Her words were harsh but she never
lied to him before she would be damned if she started now.
“Why? Why Scully? How
could you just leave like that?”
Her mind told him what she couldn’t say. ‘I only left
physically, you left me first. You stole everything that was us from me and handed
it to Diana Fowley. You unknowingly became one of them. I couldn’t stay and have you reduce me further. I had
to leave before I hated you.’
Mulder was out of his bed and kneeling next to her chair. “God
Scully, why didn’t you talk to me?”
She found her voice. “When Mulder? When you were running off with her? Or maybe when you were
berating me about not blindly backing you up or possibly when you were dismissing the evidence I gave you. When would you have recommended I talk to you Mulder? Please
Mulder winced at her harshness but he knew she was right. He wouldn’t
have listened to her. He had to admit it to her. “You
were right about Diana, you were right about everything.”
A small sad smile graced her lips. “I know Mulder, I’ve
always known. You were the only one who didn’t.” Scully stood and motioned toward the door. “I have to
get back; I’m expecting someone who may be able to help us.”
The use of ‘us’ and not ‘you’ was not lost on Mulder.
Some part of Scully still belonged to him. He tried to read her mind on
her intentions but all he got was ‘Mary had a little lamb . . . ” Scully
was successfully blocking him by reciting nursery rhymes in her head. For the
first time since this began, Mulder laughed.
Scully greeted the ambulance at the rear of the facility and secreted her guest to her office. He was in a wheel chair and covered head to toe with blankets, no one would recognize him. They passed within twenty feet of the waiting area where Diana Fowley kept vigil. She didn’t even take notice.
Once the office door closed, he jumped out of the chair and they embraced.
“Dana, we’ve all missed you. How is he doing?”
“I’ve missed you too Gibson and he’s better than he was but it is still bad.” Scully said releasing the young man. “We’ve got
him off most of the drugs but his brain activity is all over the place.”
“Is that why I’m here?” Gibson asked.
“Yes, I think this isn’t a matter of curing the problem but controlling it. Do you think you could teach him how to function? How you
control your ability?”
Gibson’s face lit up. “I think you might be right. I don’t know if I can help him but I can try.
Can we go to see him now?” Gibson felt her emotions darken. He never knowingly intruded in Dana’s thoughts, or at least he tried not to. Once and a while he ‘peeked’ and he figured he needed to do that now. She was thinking of her earlier encounter with Mulder.
He knew she loved the man and he also knew she thought Mulder didn’t love her.
“Dana. Do you remember when we first met and I said that Mulder was thinking of one of the women and one of the
women was thinking of him?” Scully thought back and nodded. “He was thinking of you and how you would react to finding out about his past with the other one. He wanted to tell you but he didn’t know how.
He loves you Dana.”
“His actions would argue that Gibson. Come on, I’ll
take you to him.”
Gibson just shook his head, ‘Mulder you really are a fool.’
Mulder sensed her as she approached his room, she wasn’t alone ‘GIBSON!’ Her mind relayed her intent and he was impressed by the simplicity of her plan, it was genius. No wonder he loved this woman! Mulder saw Scully stumble slightly
and became concerned. Gibson’s thoughts broke through ‘don’t
worry Mulder she was taken back by your emotions. She doesn’t acknowledge
it but Dana has latent psychic abilities and you were projecting that love stuff so strong it’s a wonder she didn’t
fall over.’ Mulder and Gibson started to laugh while Scully looked on knowing
she was the butt of some psychic joke.
“I see I don’t have to explain my approach,” she said trying to regain the authority she thought
they had taken from her.
“No you don’t, Scully, and it is a great idea.”
Gibson taught Mulder how to block out peoples thoughts by reciting things in his head. It was hard at first, but Mulder mastered the technique in three days.
On the fourth day they took him off the pain medications, he no longer needed them.
Scully kept him on the anti depressants but reduced the dosage to a minimum.
Mulder was thrilled to be able to hold normal conversations again. Asking
questions and having to wait until the person answered was a blessing. The people
around him were reacting positively, even Scully. It started slowly but she visited
him regularly and she started to relax in his presence. Mulder desperately wanted
to ‘listen in’ on her thoughts but he couldn’t make himself purposely invade her privacy. It was one thing when he couldn’t control it but now it would be a betrayal.
Gibson also taught him how to hone in on individual minds. Whenever
he tested it he made sure the subject knew about it first. Okay, he slipped a
few times and answered unasked questions but he was getting better.
A week into training he asked Gibson why he never told him about Diana.
“Mulder you weren’t ready, you wouldn’t have listened. Do
you think that if Dana and the guys hadn’t left that you would have listened?
You know you didn’t. You had to loose them before you could even
begin to question her actions. And it took you quite a while even then.” Mulder knew the kid was right.
“You know Mulder you might want to have a visit from her now that you can control this ability. For all she knows you are still a raving loon whose brains are scrambled.
Dana has made sure that no one knows of the progress we’ve made.”
“That might be interesting. I could find out quite a lot
from her, don’t you think?” Mulder liked the idea. He would have to play act. Like they had him drugged up still,
and he needed to tell Scully why he wanted to see her. Scully was just starting
to act normal around him and he didn’t need to jeopardize that by not being truthful.
Hey maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Scully walked into the waiting room with a scowl on her face. “He’s
asking to see you, follow me.” She turned and walked away while a startled
Diana Fowley trotted to catch up.
“It is about time you let me see him. I’m sure he’s
wanted me with him all this time.” Scully just scowled harder at the woman’s
audacity and haughty tone. She hadn’t liked the plan but she went along
with it. If nothing else she would see how Mulder reacted to Diana. She also made sure that Gibson was kept out of sight; she didn’t want it to get back to the Consortium
that he was with them.
They entered Mulder’s room quietly. “I will be watching
from the monitor Agent Fowley so don’t try anything.”
Mulder felt the surge of triumph roll off of Diana and he cringed. She
took his hand. “Fox they kept me from you,” she said, but Mulder
was more interested in her thoughts. ‘Good, he’s still drugged. Color
is better but he’s still out of it. That bitch hasn’t made any progress.’ “I’m working on getting you out of here.
I’m working with your mother to get power of attorney.” She
blathered on while he ‘listened in’ on her thoughts. He wasn’t
worried about her taking any real legal actions because she was sure he was going to die.
He learned of her involvements within the Consortium. He found where they
were located and the names of operatives placed in sensitive areas (FBI, CIA, NSA, etc.) and made note of them to report to
Skinner. He knew how to get damaging evidence and where it was located. It was a good thing that people didn’t know the little things they thought of
when their minds are on other things. He almost laughed.
An hour after Diana walked in Scully came to get her. She ignored
Diana’s vehement protests and forced her to leave. In the hall he heard
Scully and Diana talking. “I assume this means I will be allowed to see
him again. That is since he asks for me.”
“Yes Agent Fowley, you can see him again. I ask that you
don’t make it too often because he doesn’t need more stimulation. His
mind is working so hard that it is killing him. Can we agree that you will only
see him every other day?” Scully was able to maintain a level of contriteness
that nearly fooled Mulder let alone Diana.
“Okay Dana, but I want to be kept informed as to his progress.”
“I’ll do what I can.”
“Your attitude certainly has changed, Dana.”
“This is for him. If he wants you around then so be it. I just have to accept it.” Mulder’s
chest ached to think how Scully had to act defeated to that woman. But then before
she left she’d had a lot of practice.
Mulder knew that in two days Diana would find a devastated Scully telling her that he had died from a seizure
the night before and his body cremated. To continue the fight Fox Mulder had
to die, for a while. He hated doing it to his mother but it couldn’t be
helped. Skinner would see she was taken care of.
That afternoon Mulder decided to take a walk, he’d been waiting for this opportunity for some time and
today providence smiled on him. Scully made sure he had never been placed in
restraints and his door was not locked. He was still weak so he had to use a
walker and he had to take his ever present body guard with him. The few times
he’d ventured out he wandered around but today he had a specific location to go to; Scully’s office and he was
going to break his self imposed rule.
He knocked lightly on the door knowing she was asleep but play acting for the guard. He left the guard in the small waiting area and went in. Scully
was lying on the couch and she looked peaceful. What he was about to do was despicable
but he needed answers. Gibson never taught him about it but Mulder hadn’t
forgotten that first day when the young man told him about ‘projecting.’
He was going to project some ideas in Scully’s mind and observe her responses.
He needed to know how she felt about him. He sat next to her, took her
hand and cleared his thoughts. Mulder was just about to send her an idea when
she tightened her hand around his and mumbled “Mulder” in a voice so sexy that it could be described as a moan. He sat there stunned for a moment and the magnitude of what he was about to do hit
him. He was going to violate Scully, mental rape.
Mulder tried to extract his hand but she held tight. “Don’t
leave me again,” she said pitifully.
Mulder smiled. He didn’t need to rely on tricks he knew how
she felt. “No Scully, I’ll never leave you again. I couldn’t.” He saw her visibly relax and a smile
crossed her lips.
Mulder just sat there until she woke. “Scully we have a lot
to talk about but first I have to tell you I love you.”
“Love you too” came her sleepy response. Her eyes went
wide when she realized what she said.
One year later:
Fox and Dana Mulder opened a door. It was the first time they had
been here together in almost two years. The office looked much the same as the
last time he’d been there, except dustier.
“I don’t know, Mulder, I can’t see the difference,” she joked. He just looked at her and mouthed ‘ha-ha.’ She
walked around and touched the few things she recognized from before the fire. He’d
replaced the poster and the bulletin board still had the odd newspaper article. “It
feels like coming home.”
“A lot has happened since I left here. Cancer man and his crew, including Diana, exposed and dealt with by the new
World Court for crimes against humanity. The alien craft recovered and decoded, providing us with
the means to fight. The vaccine developed creating a bio weapon. The world wide distribution thwarted the invasion.”
He was getting too serious for her. “Thwarted? Who the hell speaks like that? Thwarted my ass.”
Catching up he replied, “and what a lovely ass it is Mrs. Mulder, queen of all she observes and she who
must be obeyed.” He mock bowed to her.
“You better believe it.” His only response was to take
her into a firm hug.
Scully felt something hard resting against her stomach; she didn’t need to be a mind reader to know just
what he was thinking so she shot him a visual that she knew would make it past his self imposed barriers. “I love the way you think Scully, the desk is right over here,” as he lifted her up and sat
Their Future Was Here!