While investigating a mysterious murder-suicide Mulder believes is linked to a suspect pharmaceutical company, he and Scully get dragged into a dark and confusing plot of experimentation and manipulation. They quickly realize that their lives are in danger- both from within and without.
Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, and the Gunmen aren't mine. I might throw Skinner in later, so neither is he. Everyone else I kind of made up along the way.
Spoilers: None that I can think of. This could be set anywhere in the series, really, but I see it around season 5.
This is my first original X files fic - all I've published so far are post-eps. Hope y'all like it.
Her mind slid in and out of focus; a hazy, just-under-the-surface state that wasn't quite lucid. Individual distorted details bubbled into her awareness, only to burst and send her slipping back into the same confused semi-consciousness.
A sudden bump jolted her almost awake. I'm moving. The thought formed slowly, as if she had to pull it out of a thick, viscous fog surrounding her brain.
And yet, she couldn't move.
Slowly realizing that she had a body, she discovered through the fog that her arms and legs were made of lead. Her head rested heavily on one of her arms, and when she tried to lift it, her entire existence careened nauseatingly sideways, making her sluggishly attempt to reach out for balance. Her hands didn't seem to be able to move, either. Slowly, she lowered her head again, letting the dizzying pounding in her skull abate before struggling to open her eyes.
The world was blurry and dark at first. As she dragged herself out of the fog, the dark shapes nearest to her started to come into focus, and she got the peculiar sense that everything was sideways. Another bump reminded her that she was in motion. A light flashed overhead, and without thinking she lifted her head again to look. The world spun in shuddering spirals, but not before she glimpsed what was above her. She clenched her eyes shut again until the spiraling stopped.
A street light had flashed by as the car carrying her had passed it- at high speeds, if her judgement was anywhere close to sound. It probably wasn't, but she was right.
Where am I? The car had to be going somewhere.
And then, a far more alarming thought:
Who am I?
She struggled through the fog, trying to access any recent memories. Absolutely nothing came to light. Trying to stay calm, she organized the things that she did know.
I'm in the backseat of a moving car.
It's night time.
I feel like hell. I must have been unconscious. Not asleep.
I don't remember anything. I may have been drugged.
She thought these things through several times.
I have to sit up and see who's driving. Maybe that would help her remember. But what if they're dangerous? What if they mean to hurt me? Or kill me?
It was a risk she had to take. She pulled herself slowly upright, once again aware that she couldn't move her hands. Glancing up, she found that they were handcuffed around the car door handle. Panic flitted through her hazy mind, cutting a path of precious clarity. Careful not to rattle the handcuffs, she pulled herself the rest of the way up, ignoring the pounding in her head. She sat twisted sideways, hindered by the cuffs, but she could see who was driving the car. He had heard her wake, and turned briefly to face her. His features were those of a man in his mid-thirties; his hair was brown and his face clean-shaven. He had an honest look about him, and by her standards he was handsome, but looks could be deceiving. She knew not to trust him.
He must have seen the fear and confusion on her face. "Easy," he said quietly. "No one's going to hurt you."
He turned back to the road, instead twisting his rear view mirror so he could see her while he drove. "What's the last thing you remember?"
She looked warily at his eyes in the mirror, then out the window. They were on an empty highway that cut through a vast, dark expanse of tree-littered farmland. "I don't remember anything," she admitted, still unsure if she could trust him. "Where are you taking me?"
His eyes flashed to hers in the mirror, looking concerned. He'd heard the mistrust plain in her voice. "Someplace safe," he assured her. "I'll do my best to fill you in when we get there."
She studied his face in the mirror, feeling like she should know it. "Who are you?"
His hands clenched on the steering wheel. He didn't look back, but in the mirror she saw him shut his eyes for a moment. "Jesus," he said under his breath. After a moment he composed himself and met her eyes in the mirror.
"Scully, it's me. Mulder. I don't know how long this amnesia will last, but I need you to stay calm and trust me, ok?"
She frowned. "Scully…." she said to herself. The name was pulling at the edges of the blanket covering her memories. Hazy thoughts of her family and early life floated into reach.
"That's right," the man named Mulder said encouragingly. "Your name is Dana Katherine Scully. You're a medical doctor and an FBI agent. My name is Fox Mulder. I'm your partner, and your friend."
She held his eyes in the mirror for a moment, letting his words sink in through the fog.
"Come on, Scully, help me out," He was still trying to sound encouraging, but it came out more like a plea. "I know you're in there."
The way he looked at her made it clear that he couldn't stand the idea of her not remembering him. The edge of the blanket tugged a little more.
"If you're my friend, why did you handcuff me to your car?" she asked cautiously. She wanted to trust him, but the handcuffs were definitely a hard thing to get over. Although they did fit with his FBI story.
He sighed. "I'm sorry, Scully." The way he said her name was familiar, comfortable. "I had no choice. "I couldn't take the chance that you'd try to hurt yourself, or me. You were given a very powerful drug, a hallucinogen which caused you to act violent, and apparently effected your memory."
He paused, searching her eyes for signs of recognition or remembrance. He could tell she was trying.
Scully considered his words. "How do I know you- ah!"
Mulder's eyes flew to her face in the mirror as her question choked off into a cry of pain.
She collapsed forward, clutching at her head with her fettered hands. Her skull exploded with pain and her body seized momentarily.
"Scully!" His voice was sharp with alarm but he didn't stop driving.
This was a repeat episode for Mulder. He'd hoped that when she woke this time, capable at least of holding a careful conversation with him, that the fits would have passed. Unfortunately, this was not the case. He hoped that he was doing the right thing by driving her into the middle of nowhere, away from the men he knew could be searching for them already. He hoped that Scully's own speculation about what they were dealing with proved to be true, and the drug would wear off after no more than 24 hours. He hoped that she would fall unconscious again before the violent urge that had been programmed into her took hold, and that next time she woke she would regard him with confused familiarity instead of bewildered terror or murderous rage. He hoped for many things.
"Hang in there, Scully," he said, his voice pained as she groaned through clenched teeth from the backseat. Her eyes were squeezed shut, her back arching in pain.
Images flashed through her mind, less as returning memories than as attacks by the drug that was wreaking havoc on her systems.
She was in a dark room, tied to a chair and struggling against men that held her still as one of them pushed a syringe into a vein in her left arm.
They couldn't make her do it, she was yelling, her voice thick with fear and desperation. The man with the syringe only laughed.
Scully cringed in the back seat, suddenly wishing that her memories would stay buried.
The next one, however, brought a flood of others with it. She had just regained consciousness, and Mulder was crouched next to her, his features etched with concern. He was cutting her free from the chair. When he saw the state she was in, he took her in his arms and carried her from the building, certain that they'd both be killed if they were caught.
"Mulder," she groaned, remembering not just that most recent encounter, but every other time he'd saved her on a hunch, every time they'd faced mortal danger together, every day they'd spent debating conspiracies in their basement office. She remembered him, and their lives on the X Files, though the details of how she had behaved after the mystery drug had kicked in were still absent. But she remembered what she had discovered of other victims of its influence, and knew she wasn't out of the woods yet.
"Mulder, don't uncuff me," she ground out as she felt herself losing control. The images in her mind were distorting into twisted, unreal versions of themselves. Soon she would be in a full-on hallucination, helpless to stop herself from whatever it was she had been directed to do.
Mulder clenched the steering wheel tightly, watching in the mirror with helpless eyes as his partner started to slip downhill in the battle against her own mind.
"It's still working," Scully groaned, desperately hoping that he would be able to keep her from hurting anyone until the effects wore off. "Don't-"
That was the last thing rational Scully was able to say before the hallucination took over. Mulder readjusted the rear view mirror and tried to turn his attention back to the road as his partner threw herself against the handcuffs, driven by a mad impulse to wrap her hands around his throat.
It was going to be a long night.