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Bough Breaks, The

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Title: The Bough Breaks

Author: Sara B.

E-mail: sabo727@tampabay.rr.com

URL: http://sabo727.tripod.com/

Rating: Good for everyone

Category:  Angst all around MSF hints of MSR

Spoilers: None

Feedback:  You want to do it, I know you do.  Come on it is so easy!

Summary:  Scully suffers a breakdown when Mulder ditches her.  Frohike proves himself as Scully’s protector and confidant.  

Archive: I would be honored, just let me know.

Disclaimer:  The recognized characters are used Without Prejudice and are the property of C. Carter, Fox and the wonderful actors who breathed life into written words, most notably G. Anderson and D. Duchovny who were able to make us believe in the improbable.  No Infringements of these copyrights are intended, and are used here without permission.  The story and before unknown characters belongs to me.

Gratitude: To Kim Knight, you are the best, thank you.  To my Dennis, enough said.  To CC and Company, who created the X-Files.  Lastly, but my no means least, to the readers, you make this hobby of mine have meaning.

The Bough Breaks

Sara B. 01/06

 

Mulder had just gone from the office when it started.  Scully didn’t know what was happening to her but she couldn’t control the shaking.  It started in her hands and moved up her arms then to the rest of her body.  She was cold, freezing actually, but it was 85 degrees in the office.  Her mind was a jumble; she couldn’t concentrate on anything and her breathing became erratic. If she didn’t know better she’d have thought she was in shock but that didn’t make any sense.  She was in their office catching up on paperwork not in the field tracking monsters. 

Dana Katherine Scully was in the grip of a class A panic attack.  She tried to make her mind focus so she could try and figure out what caused it. 

She’d been fine, thought a slight bit grumpy because Mulder hadn’t done any of his portion of the paperwork for the last three weeks and now they were being hassled by Skinner and accounting to have it done by the end of the day.  That was frustrating but not out of the ordinary.

Then the phone rang and Mulder answered it.  After his usual greeting of ‘Mulder’, his voice got low and he turned away from her like he always did when one of his shaky informants called.  This particular tone alerted her that it was that blonde, Marita.  When he hung up, he grabbed his coat and was out the door without a word before she even had time to realize what was going on.  Two heartbeats later she started to shake.

 

~x~

 

Kim Cook entered the office, saw Dana and knew something was wrong; seriously wrong.  Kim asked Scully what was wrong but she was shaking so bad the answer was unintelligible and she only made out ‘gone’ and ‘won’t be back.’  Kim took Dana’s hands in an effort to calm the agent and realized they were extremely cold.  Kim removed her jacket and draped it over the woman then called AD Skinner.

Skinner arrived and couldn’t believe the scene before him.  “Kim, have you tried to locate Agent Mulder?”

They heard Scully whisper, “Mulder gone.”  They waited but nothing more was forthcoming.

“No sir, we were supposed to have lunch, but when she didn’t show I came looking for her.  When I got here she was like this.  I didn’t want to leave her for too long.  I called you then I tried to get her to drink some water but I had to hold the cup for her.  Sir, we have to do something, call security or 911?”

“No, I think I should take her to the hospital. I don’t think Agent Scully would want anyone to know about this.  Help me get her out of here without anyone seeing?”

They got Scully to the AD’s car and strapped in.  Kim was going to see about locating Mulder. 

 

~x~

 

Skinner took Scully to Georgetown where she was given a battery of tests that ruled out any neurological or physical cause for her condition.  They had a psychologist look at her and he arranged for her to be transferred to a small but highly regarded facility twenty minutes outside the DC limits.  Dr. Phelps confided to Skinner that it was the place where the politico’s and their families went on those occasions they DIDN’T want to be seen.

That is how three days after her initial attack Dana Scully was in a private hospital, sitting in a rocking chair in her room looking vacantly out passed the rolling lawn toward the ocean. 

During the drive to Georgetown Scully, had only spoken once; to beg him not to call her mom.  Through her broken speech Skinner was able to make out that Mrs. Scully had recently left for a long trip in Ireland and Scully didn’t want to ruin it for her.  She also asked that the Gunmen make sure her plants were watered and Mulder’s fish be fed.  Skinner would have laughed at her priorities if the situation hadn’t been what it was.

Scully had only spoken once more and that wasn’t to him but to her two doctors, Phelps and Grant.  Skinner wasn’t sure what they may have gotten from the interview but he hoped it was something that pointed them toward Scully’s condition.  They did tell him that she was extremely concerned for her partner. 

 

~x~

 

Skinner had been able to piece together the occurrences leading up to Scully’s breakdown.  He’d had an early meeting with the two agents and there didn’t appear to be any issue at that time.  Kim told him she’d phoned Scully around eleven and arranged to go to lunch at noon.  Scully had not shown by twelve ten, so she tried calling.  There had been no answer so she went to find her.  A data dump of the phone records showed that the X-Files extension received an outside call at eleven thirty-seven that lasted three minutes.  They assumed that the call was a catalyst for Mulder’s disappearance and, subsequently, Scully’s current condition.    

They still had not been able to locate Mulder.  Skinner had placed traps on the office, Mulder’s and Scully’s phones and had agents keeping tabs on their apartments.  They had been able to trace the location where that outside call originated.  It was a prestigious address in New York but it turned out to be a dead end.  The owners were in London and had been for two weeks.

Airline manifests listed a Marshall F. Luder on the three-thirty shuttle to New York.  The records showed that ‘Luder’ was on the flight but there was nothing after that.  No car rental, no hotel or any other purchases could be traced to either Mulder or Luder.  Skinner even got Mulder’s three strange friends involved and they came up empty.  Skinner resigned himself to waiting until Mulder returned on his own or they were called to come save his sorry ass.

 

~x~

 

Scully was functioning on a very basic level.  She could eat, but she didn’t eat much.  She took care of her own personal hygiene needs without help.  She needed sleep aids for her to get any sleep. 

Melvin Frohike appointed himself Scully’s personal nurse.  Sitting with her, reading to her and forcing her to take walks around the facility.  Sometimes, while they were sitting together, he just talked to her.  He’d tell her the latest news or relate some anecdote.  He asked her questions that she never answered but he continued on as if she had.  Skinner noticed that even though she never spoke, her eyes softened when she looked at the little man and occasionally rewarded him with a small smile.

The other two, Byers and Langly, did ‘their thing’ and there was finally a break.  Byers just reported to Skinner that Marshall F. Luder would be on the five o’clock shuttle that evening and that he would pick him up and bring him to the facility.  

 

~x~

 

Mulder was surprised to find Byers waiting for him as he disembarked  and he was even more surprised when his quiet and reserved friend stopped him in he tracks with, “where the hell have you been?”

Byers drove and he called Skinner as they neared the facility telling him to meet them in the lobby.  Mulder jumped from the van and ran into the lobby.  He tried to push past Skinner but two orderlies stopped him.

“I need to see her!”  No one budged.

Skinner stood in front of him with his arms crossed.  “She needed to know where you were but you couldn’t be bothered.  Now you and I are going to meet with her doctors.  Only they will determine if you see her or not.  Right now they are not inclined to be very accommodating.”

 

~x~

 

Mulder and Skinner sat and waited for Doctors Amelia Grant and Dennis Phelps, neither saying anything.  The two doctors entered and seated themselves across from the agents.  Dr. Grant related some of Scully’s condition to Mulder.  “Agent Mulder, from what Dana was able to tell us you received a phone call then took off without telling her what it was about, where you were going or how long you would be gone.  She indicated that this seems to be a pattern with you, is that right?”

Mulder wanted to defend himself but the doctor stopped him, “please understand, Agent, we are not accusing you of anything.  We are only interested because this seems relevant to Dana’s condition.”

Mulder had to admit that he was known to take off without keeping her informed.  He also had to admit that quite often he was in danger during these trips and many times he got hurt.  Yes, Scully quite often had to find him; sometimes to bail him out or patch him up.  Mulder was quite concerned when both doctors kept nodding and saying things like ‘I see’ or ‘yes, that explains a lot.’

Dr. Grant began the session asking about Deep Throat, Mr. X and Marita and Mulder told her about them being informants.

“So, these ‘informants’ would give you evidence and you would pursue an investigation?” Grant asked.

“Not always, sometimes they just gave me clues or pointed me toward something.”  Mulder supplied.

“Yes, well, what about this latest incident?  Dana said you got a call and ran out.  Would you elaborate a little?”

Mulder looked to Skinner hoping his superior then at the doctors.  “I really don’t see the reasoning--”

“Damnit, Mulder, Dana Scully is down the hall and this is a psychiatric facility what more reasoning do you need?  Answer the damned question.”

Mulder was shaken by Skinner’s outburst.  “I got a call from Marita, I won’t reveal her last name.  She told me about a possible lead on a case.  I investigated and it turned out to be nothing.”

“You didn’t inform Dana about what this Marita told you?”  Mulder’s head hung and he shook it indicating no.  “This is a pattern when these informants gives you a lead, am I correct?”  Mulder only nodded, he’d never thought of it as a pattern.  “They never need to provide proof to you, you just take their word?”  Again Mulder nodded.  “But Dana always needs to provide proof for you to believe her.”  It wasn’t really a question but Mulder nodded again and Skinner glared at him.

Doctor Phelps took over the questions and asked, “Agent Mulder could you tell us who,” he referenced his notes and continued, “Bambi. . .  That can’t be right is that right.  Is that right, Amelia?”

“That was one of the names she said.”  She was reading down the list of names.  “Yes, right here.  Bambi Berenbaum an entomologist.”  She pointed to the name in her notes.

The man chuckled.   “Parents, sometimes you just wonder where their heads- -,” Dr. Grant pointed at something on the paperwork and Dr. Phelps stopped talking and looked at Mulder.  “Oh, well uh, back to this list.  Bambi, Angela, Phoebe, Marty, Diana, Karin, Lucy, Marita . . . oh, we already spoke about her, where was I?  Oh, yes, Melissa, Ephesian not Scully, Dana was very adamant about that, and Samantha are and how they relate to you and Dana?”

Mulder related who each of the women were and how he knew them.

“So for each of these women you have either physically or emotionally abandoned Dana, or at least that was her perception of the situation.  That’s interesting, very interesting.  Okay, Agent Mulder, what can you tell us about something called a Seraphim and Nephilin?”

Mulder told them about the four young handicapped girls and what happened to them.

“I see; what about a boy called Kevin Kryder?”

Again Mulder explained the case.  Skinner listened to the doctor’s questions and was quite impressed how much they’d been able to piece together from Scully’s disjointed ramblings.

“Yes, well, Dana told us that in these cases, she believed in the paranormal explanations for them but you dismissed her, is that true?”

“I thought she was too involved and had lost her perspective.” 

The doctors both just nodded but Skinner couldn’t contain himself.  “You, of all people, telling someone they are losing perspective?  Mulder, how many times have you gotten so personally involved you couldn’t see what was right in front of you?”

“Gentlemen, we are not here to lay blame but to understand what Dana is going through.  I think we’ve got a pretty good idea what caused this problem.  It seems to have been building for quite a while.  Dana is a reserved person and hides her emotions.  We think it was something she developed as a coping mechanism for all the moves her family made while she was growing up. 

You and she are extremely close yet she doesn’t feel secure in your relationship.  She seems to have serious trust issues and thinks you don’t really trust her.  That somehow all these women are your attempts at replacing her.”

Mulder began to protest but Dr. Grant stopped him, “Agent Mulder, we didn’t say it was true and if we asked Dana she’d deny it but this is what she really perceives.  Every time you leave her behind her subconscious interprets that as your way of abandoning her, of getting rid of her.  She is also terrified that if something were to happen to you she couldn’t get to you.  And every time she believes in something outside the realm of her science and you dismiss it, she sees that as another form of rejection.  These issues have been building and with this last one her mind couldn’t take it anymore and she shut down.”

The doctors exchanged glances and Dr. Phelps said, “I think we have everything we need for now.  Thank you for coming and being so candid.”

Mulder saw what their questions revealed.  There were clear patterns in his relationship with Scully and they were eating her alive. 

Mulder asked when he could see her.  The two doctors looked at each other and Phelps nodded to his colleague.  “We will take you to see her now but we want to observe her reaction to you.  We have to warn you it may be slightly jarring for you.”

“Just let me in there and promise that no matter what she does, no one will separate us.”  

 

~x~

 

They got to Scully’s room and Mulder looked in through the observation window.  Scully was seated in a rocking chair by the window with her legs pulled up to the chair seat, her arms hugging them and her head was resting on her knees.  Frohike was reading to her.  Scully looked so small in her robe, Mulder just wanted to run and hold her.

Skinner got Frohike to come out.  Mulder watched from the observation window.  If Scully noticed Skinner or Frohike’s departure, she gave no indication. 

When Frohike saw Mulder he said sadly, “you caused this,” and walked away.  Mulder watched his friend’s retreating back and his level of guilt and sadness trebled.

“Agent Mulder, are you ready?” Asked Dr. Grant and Mulder walked toward the door.

“Scully,” he called gently.  He saw her body stiffen for a moment then relief took over and all her limbs relaxed.  Scully turned toward him and he heard a deep sigh.  Her head fell and the tears started to fall as he heard her quietly say, “he’s home, thank you God, he’s home.”

Mulder slowly walked to her.  He hesitated for a moment then knelt down and took her in his arms.  “Oh, Scully.  I’m so sorry; I never knew it did this to you.”

“Yes, you did but it didn’t matter,” Scully said in very quiet but not accusatory way; just a simple statement of the facts as she knew them. 

Mulder pulled her tighter and although she didn't fight him, she didn't hold him either.  Mulder admitted to himself that she was right, he rarely thought about her when he got information.  When he did think about her it was more about her skills than Scully herself, he admitted in his mind.

Still, he never dreamt it would tear at her like this.  No, that was a lie.  He knew she agonized over his disappearances.  Somehow she always seemed to find him, except this time.  He was ashamed to admit,  he’d been a little angry when he finally turned on his phone and found that she hadn’t called him, nor were there any messages on his machine at home when he checked them.  He knew it was irrational, he was the one who took off and turned off his phone so she wouldn’t interrupt; but still he had been mad.

Mulder held her and stroked her hair until she fell asleep then he carried her to the bed and watched her until Dr. Grant came in and asked him to come out.  Frohike returned to his self appointed duty of watching over her.

Mulder watched her sleep from the observation window.  Scully was lying on her back but her sleep was fitful.  Her right hand was in a fist and she kept raising the arm and slamming it on the bed.  He’d learned from the doctors that this was the first time she’d slept without medication since she’d been admitted.

Mulder watched as Frohike tried to calm her, gently taking her right hand in an attempt to still her.

Skinner walked up and watched with Mulder but said nothing; the unspoken accusation hung between them.  Finally Mulder spoke.  “I never thought Scully would break.  She is the strongest person I’ve ever met.  She’s always been so in control, Doc Ice, the Ice Queen.”

“Ice cracks under pressure, Mulder.  It can break apart into thousands of shards.  Did you know she’d been seeing Karen in EAP?”

Mulder turned from the window and looked at Skinner.  “No, she never said anything.”

“We just found out yesterday.  Karen heard what happened and called me.  It seems Scully knew something was not quite right and she scheduled some sessions.  She did this periodically.  When things became overwhelming Scully would go in.  Karen said she asked Scully to bring you into some of the sessions but she refused.  She didn’t think you would do it and she was afraid of your reaction.  Karen said that Scully’s exact words were, ‘I can’t afford to give him another reason to doubt me.’”  Skinner looked at Mulder’s reflection in the glass then walked away.

 

~x~

 

A week went by and Scully made minimal improvement.  She talked, but only rarely and mostly only to Frohike.  She never spoke with Mulder.

Skinner joined everyone at the conference table taking a seat between Mulder and Byers.  “I’m so glad you could make it Mr. Skinner,” commented Dr. Phelps.  “Let’s get started shall we?”  Not waiting for an answer he plodded on.  “We need to discuss options for Dana.  She has made progress but she is a long way from a complete recovery.  I think everyone would agree with that.  She needs time and rest more than anything else.  She could stay at this facility but she doesn’t require drugs or medical treatment.  She does need therapy, but until she rests and becomes more communicative, any attempt at therapy would be a complete waste.  Also, there is no telling how long she will need to regain her strength and abilities.”  Phelps consulted his notes for a moment then continued.  “Mr., excuse me, Agent Mulder has made a generous offer to take time off and take Dana to a house he owns in Massachusetts and he assures us that this would not cause any burden on him financially.  He also has the legal right to do this because he holds Dana’s legal and medical POAs . . .“

“No!” Frohike said forcefully.  He pulled himself in check.  “I don’t think so, Mulder.”  Mulder turned and gave him a questioning look.  “Mulder, your actions, whether you understood or not, are at least part of why she’s here.  We all know how much Scully means to you but all it would take is one phone call with the promise of a lead about Samantha and what would you do?  Don’t just automatically say you’d ignore it and stay with Scully, ‘cause I gotta tell you, history is against you.”

Mulder’s shoulders sagged and Frohike started talking again, “I’m not saying no completely, just not that plan; I suggest we go with you.”  His hands waved to Byers and Langly.  “That way if something comes in we can check it out and if you need to go, I will stay with her.”

Dr. Grant nodded at the new idea.   “Also, right now Dana seems to relate to Mr. Frohike more than anyone else.  I think it would set her back to remove the one person who she feels comfortable with.”

 

~x~

 

The two vehicles drove up to the large house; Mulder and Scully in Mulder’s car and the Gunmen following in their VW van.  Skinner had arranged for them each to have a leave of absence with an open return date.  He also asked if he could visit a time or two just to see for himself how she was doing.  Scully slept most of the trip and when she was awake she didn’t say anything.  She just watched Mulder almost as if she feared he would be gone if she looked away.  She had improved since he first saw her, but she still had a long way to go. 

The guys settled in and they wouldn’t let Scully help, so she walked around the house exploring.  Mulder found her in his father’s study examining the books.  He watched her as she ran her fingers along the bindings reading the titles, stopping occasionally and pulling out a book that interested her then she’d put it back.  “I know you are there, Mulder.  Please don’t treat me like cracked glass.”

Mulder smiled.  He should have known she would feel him. “Not cracked glass Scully, priceless porcelain.”

“Oh, so now I’m a toilet.”  Mulder began to protest but she turned to him and smiled. “Gotcha!”  It was the most normal she’d been since his return.

“I just came to get you to show you to your room so you can unpack before Frohike.  He’s been dying to get into your unmentionables.”

“I can imagine.”

Mulder guided her into the master suite.  “Mulder, this should be your room, let’s swap.”

“No, Scully, I want you to have this room.  Come over here.”  She followed him to the window at the far side of the suite.  The window overlooked the back lawn and to the ocean.  The view was so beautiful it took her breath away.  “Impressive isn’t it?  Besides you won’t have to share a bathroom with any of us.” Scully’s face registered her revulsion at the thought and Mulder pulled her into a tight hug.  She pulled back and walked to the center of the room and refused to look at him. 

Byers was standing just inside the doorway with Scully’s bags and witnessed the exchange.  He motioned for Mulder to come.  “Agent Scully, I have your cases.  Come on, Mulder, let’s finish unloading the car and leave Scully to unpack.”

Mulder followed reluctantly and Byers stopped as they got to the steps.  “Mulder, she doesn’t know where she stands with you, give her time.  She doesn’t understand.  I mean she’s wondering if you are hugging her like that because of her condition.”  He put his hand on Mulder’s arm.  “I know you are reacting on a personal level, as her friend, but I think you need to try and put that aside and start seeing things as a psychologist would.  Or, at least, some amalgamation of the two.

They got everything unpacked and Byers and Frohike went to the store for groceries.  They returned two hours later and the four men started arguing about dinner.  They were all quite tired and didn’t feel like cooking so they decided to order in but couldn’t decide between Italian, Chinese, Mickey’s Clam Shack or something from the deli in town. 

None of them noticed Scully slip into the kitchen and start pulling out various food items.  She had the glazed chicken in the oven, the rice started and half the salad items chopped before they realized she was there.  She noticed the conversation ceased and just said, “I vote for Scully cooking and since I’ve started I say I win.”  Frohike walked to her, placing his hand on her shoulder and she covered it with hers.  “I need to do this. Do you understand?”  She spoke in slightly broken tones.

“Yeah, I do.  Anything I can help with?”

“Keep them out of my way and make them stop watching me.”  The corners of her mouth turned up and she looked at him out of the corner of her eye.  “It really bugs the crap out of me.”

 

~x~

 

The next several days found the group getting accustomed to their shared space.  Langly found a hammock at a store in town and he and Byers started to put it together on the rear porch.  Scully, Mulder and Frohike watched the progress, if it could be called that, with merriment as the two men fought with the framework.  Phrases like, ‘pipe A into pipe B,’ and ‘no, that isn’t how it looks in the picture’ were heard as they argued over the directions.

Suddenly Langly fell and almost hurt himself.  Scully stood and made her way to the pile of green pipe and Langly.  He waved her away, saying he was okay but she shook her head and tossed the directions away.  She then proceeded to build the frame.  Within minutes she had the entire thing together and was attaching the hammock. Once she’d made sure it was secured with a couple not very gentle tugs, she plopped her rear in it and snuggled in.

Langly said it for all of them, “damn, she’s good.”

 

Scully was making progress; she joined in conversations and expressed interest in exploring the area surrounding the house.  She tried to read but always gave up after a few minutes because she just couldn’t concentrate.  Scully was never one to watch television, she tried though, but had less success than reading.  The banality of the shows made it a torture. 

The guys had brought some videos along but nothing that interested her.  Car chases and explosions were not her style.  They offered to rent something for her but she declined. How could she explain her affection for The Women, Torch Song Trilogy, Pygmalion, Philadelphia Story or any of the other eclectic titles she loved? 

One day Byers took a chance and rented Gone With the Wind.   He’d been so excited about getting something he was sure she’d enjoy; Scully just couldn’t tell him she hated that movie.  She never understood how many women she knew that gushed over the scene where Rhett Butler carries Scarlet up the stairs.  They always said it was so romantic while she saw it as rape.  And Scarlet was as disgrace to women of any time frame.  She didn’t say anything to Byers because it would hurt him so she vowed to endure it. 

Scully moved to take a seat in the overstuffed chair when Mulder redirected her.  “I called dibs on the loveseat for us, Scully.”  They sat and Mulder put his arm around the back just lightly touching her.  She involuntarily tensed and she knew he felt it but Mulder didn’t move his arm.

 

~x~

 

The little commune had been at the Mulder home for almost two weeks and Mulder’s cell phone rang.  It wasn’t the first call he’d received but it was the first one that he turned from the others to take.  A few minutes later he left the room.  Mulder was the only one who didn’t see Scully’s reaction.  She closed in on herself.   “He’s going to leave.”

“No, Dana, we have an agreement.  If a lead comes in, he let’s us check it out first.”  Frohike tried to calm her.

Scully smiled at him and took his hand.  “Did you hear his voice?  That is how he talks to her, Marita.  She has a siren call for him.  He’ll come back and sometime later he’ll make an excuse to go to town for something.  Maybe a run?  Mulder will be gone before the hour is up.”

“I promise he won’t,” Frohike said with a slight desperation in his voice.

Scully smiled slightly, “Frohike, we’ll play it by your rules but if he leaves and is gone longer than an hour you will take me someplace else.  Is that agreed?”  She sounded so sure of herself, Frohike was almost sure she was right.  But Mulder had promised, so he nodded.  “And don’t any of you prompt him.”

Scully rose and headed toward the stairs and Byers asked where she was going.  Scully looked down before answering.  “To pack.”

Mulder came back in the room but was too occupied with his own thoughts to notice the looks he was getting or that Scully was missing.  Fifteen minutes later he announced he needed to go to town to see about something.

The men watched him leave and Langly said it for all of them, “not even thirty minutes.  Scully was right.” 

The men got up and started toward the stairs.  No one said anything but they were all going to pack their things.  Langly had said it, Scully was right.  An hour and fifteen minutes later, with their bags all stowed, the ancient VW van awaited its passengers.

 

~x~

 

Mulder couldn’t believe himself.  How could he have just left like that?  He raced back.  He pulled in behind the van and jumped out, looked into the van and bolted up the stairs.  Frohike, Byers and Langly were standing in the doorway when Mulder got to it.

Their faces broke into large grins and Frohike pounded Mulder on the shoulder.  “Your back, you actually came back.”  Mulder’s face spoke the question for him and Frohike continued.  “After that phone call, Scully was sure that you had gone after some lead.  But she was wrong.”

Mulder pulled away.  “No, she wasn’t wrong.  I did go.  I was halfway to where I was supposed to meet Marita and I realized what I’d done.  I turned around.”  Mulder’s head hung so low it almost touched his chest.  “I ditched her.”

A quiet voice came from the bottom of the stairs, “but this time you came back.”  Scully moved to Mulder and took his face in her gentle hands.  “This time you came back,” she repeated.  “You came back for me.  That makes all the difference.”

Mulder looked in her eyes and saw, for the first time in a long time, they were missing the sadness and distrust.  A tear pooled in the corner and it was like the ice had melted.  Mulder’s hands made their way to the sides of her face, mirroring hers. 

Byers herded the others out to the van to unload and to give Mulder and Scully some privacy.

“You’re back, you came back.”  They heard her say.

A few minutes later the guys came back in with the bags and the hallway was empty.  Frohike saw them through the French doors on the back porch just holding each other.

 

End

Sara B.

 

Author’s Notes:  This story came to me when I read someone’s comment on Scully’s strength and all the troubles she’s been put through by CC and Co. 

Depression is an insidious disease.  It sneaks in so quietly and slowly that not only does the sufferer not realize what’s happening those around them don’t notice either.  It isn’t until something drastic occurs that everyone looks at it and sees the small changes.  Sadly loved ones begin to blame themselves for not noticing or not commenting on something they did notice.  

Recovery is just as illusive as the onset and I don’t think you ever really recover completely, but that might not be all bad because it keeps you alert.  Slowly you begin to function and you gain confidence again.  Sleep returns and you can actually read a book and follow the plot.

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