A/N: Let it just be known that I have never been more apprehensive before publishing a fic in my life, but Shannon says she likes it, and I trust her, so I'm posting it. Ahead lies lots of angst so just be prepared I guess. I made myself cry when I wrote this, but that may be because I'm emotionally unbalanced so...
Last note, there might be some slight issues when it comes to verb tense, sorry if that's annoying!
Disclaimer: If you sue me I get to meet Frank Spotnitz right. Okay then. But really. I own nothing.
It all started late last November. I walked into our bedroom and found Mulder on the floor, tears silently streaming down his now wrinkled face. I crouched in front of him and took his face in my hands.
"Scully," he said. I began to stroke his tears away with my thumbs like I'd done so many times before. Sometimes, at moments like that, the many wrinkles on his face disappeared along with the ones on my hands and we're back in another lifetime – one where everything around us was different, but we were still the same.
"Scully," he repeated. I let my hands still, but not fall. He dropped his eyes. "I can't remember."
"Can't remember what, Mulder?" I asked, not quite getting it.
He suddenly jerked away, ashamed. We stayed motionless for what felt like ages. "His name," he finally whispered.
Although the name in question went unspecified, I could feel it. Pieces of a puzzle I didn't know I was completing began to fall into place. I refused to believe it though. "Mulder."
"Our son's name, Scully. I can't remember," he said, just before breaking into a sob.
I knew I should hold him, should kiss away his tears, run my hands through his hair, and caress him with my soft whispers, but it was as if movement had ceased to exist. I felt like the floor had dropped out from underneath me and now I was just falling, falling, falling through blackness. When I blinked, everything became excruciatingly clear. How he had been zoning out so often over the past few weeks. How he had lost interest in not only his newspaper clippings, but Plan 9 from Outer Space, too. How sometimes he would simply lose his words, forget what he wanted to say. How the week before he had forgetten that we volunteer at the animal shelter every week. He said he thought it was Saturday.
I am supposed to be a doctor.
How in God's name did I not make the connection sooner?
"Mulder," I whispered. I was surprised at the sound of my own voice. I reached out for his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. My thoughts were frantic. "Mulder, look at me."
When he did and I looked in his eyes, I knew he made the connection as well. "How long?" I asked.
"Goddamn it Mulder!" I practically screamed. Standing now, I was pacing all about the room. "Mulder, how could you keep something like this from me?!"
"I thought it was nothing, just old age-"
"Bullshit Mulder! That is bullshit! I know when you're lying to me by now!"
He said nothing. Neither of us did. Both of us silenced by the thoughts racing through our heads.
I sat down on the floor again and enveloped him in my arms. I buried my face in the top of his head. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," I murmured. He was quiet in his acceptance. "I just," I said, "I just don't know how to deal with...This."
"I don't know either," he said honestly, "but we will. Deal with...This." He offered me a sad smile. "We always do." He trailed off.
In a whisper filled with the weight of all that had passed and overflowing with the impending future, I reminded him of the name of the son we had loved so dearly.
The next day I took him to the doctor. We got the news we were expecting. When we got home we had a bottle of medication, some tips, some kind words, and plenty of determination. We were going to be okay. And for awhile, we were. His memory lapses were manageable and I pushed the fact that they were happening more often out of my head. Most importantly though, he was still my Mulder.
Until March third of the following year.
Mulder didn't wake up before me, which was unusual, but not particularly worrisome. I got up and had planned on surprising him with pancakes. He looked panicked when he walked into the kitchen.
"Mom!" he yelled. "Samantha! She's gone!"
"Mulder," I said quietly, setting down the bowl of batter. "Are you okay?"
"Mom, go get Dad, she's gone! Call the police, call someone! I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry!" He grabbed my arm and began to try and pull me towards the door. "MOM!" he screamed.
"Mulder!" I said again. I tried to reason with him. "Mulder, look at me! I'm Scully; I'm not your mother."
A flicker of recognition passed over his features, but was soon replaced once again with panic. "Samantha is gone, Mom, we have to do something!"
I could feel tears pooling in my eyes, threatening to fall, but I blinked them back. "Just...Just sit down...Fox." I forced my voice to stay steady. "Fox, please, you're hurting me.
He stopped tugging my arm. "But Mom," he said indignantly.
"Fox, please," my voice finally broke. "I'm so tired."
"Mom?" he asked with all the innocence of a small child.
With that one simple word my tears began to fall. My Mulder. Why was this happening to my precious Mulder, with the beautiful, beautiful mind. Hadn't we been through enough together? Where was our happy ending? Why couldn't we ride off into the sunset like the fairy tales? Were we destined to suffer all our lives? For what sins were we paying for?
He blinked. "Scully?"
I raised my eyes to meet his and found that he was once again himself.
"Scully, what's happening to me?"
And just like that, my heart snapped in two. I broke down into sobs because I had just kept telling myself that everything would be okay, but I knew that it wouldn't. One day he might not snap out of it. He wrapped his arms around me. He never stopped whispering my name until my last sob had died. He was probably trying to reassure himself just as much as me.
He helped me finish the pancakes that day.
We used to always talk about old cases; it was like they happened yesterday. Now, I never mention them because it frustrates him when I can remember and he can't.
One day John and Monica came to visit like they so often did. He didn't remember either of them. They stayed anyway.
John sat in the living room and talked to Mulder like they had just met, while Monica held me in the kitchen while I cried. She just kept telling me that everything would be alright, that we would get through this. I'm lucky to have friends like her and John. We both are. The last time I had cried so much so often was when Mulder was gone. Although, I suppose, he is now in the process of leaving.
One day, a few months later, everything exploded.
I was lying in bed, taking a nap, when Mulder rushed into our room and roughly shook the sleep out of me. He took a long look at my face and started to back away.
I sat up. "Mulder, what's wrong?"
"What- Where's Scully?" he asked suspiciously.
I took a deep breath. I can do this, I told myself. "Mulder, I'm Scully."
His eyebrows knit together. "What are you talking about?" He took a step closer. "You aren't Scully". His voice was rising.
"Mulder, just calm down."
"What the hell is going on? Where's Scully?!" he yelled.
"Mulder, it's me!" The familiar words left a bitter taste on my lips.
He grabbed me by my shoulders roughly. "Is she hurt?! Are they hurting her?!" he says through clenched teeth.
I attempt to stay calm, but Mulder recognizes the panic that seeps into my voice. "Mulder, please let go of me," I say, trying to squirm out of his grip.
"Don't fucking play games with me! I swear to God, if she's hurt I'll kill you! I'll kill you!" He is shaking and gripping me so tight I can feel bruises forming.
"Mulder, you're scaring – "
Suddenly there's a loud crash and my vision gets blurry for a couple moments before a split second of clarity. Red. Quite a lot of red. Bright red. Blood red. And then, Mulder grabs me up off the ground by my shirt and screams in my face, "Answer me!"
"Stop it!" I lose control and scream back at him.
"Tell me where she is!"
"I don't want to hurt you, Mulder! I'm Scully!"
"What have they done with her?!"
The thought enters my mind that I am not equipped to deal with this. It's nearly enough to break me, enough to let me go limp in Mulder's fists. And once I let that thought through, a million others rush in as well. We aren't going to be okay. I can see that now. I can see it crystal clear and in that moment I finally accept it. Mulder is going to hurt himself, and I can't stop him.
Like hell I can't.
A swift and well placed kick leaves us both on the floor. I scramble to quickly try and stand so I can get to a phone. I find that glass is littering the floor around me, and I remember the crash.
He is scrambling to stand as well, but I'm faster.
I'm a second from dialing the '9' on our phone in the next room when there's a muffled thump and this time, instead of red, there is only black.
A wailing siren cuts through the black just long enough for me to peer out at Mulder. He's sitting cross legged, my head is in his lap. He looks down at me when he feels me stir and his eyes tell me more than his lips ever could. They tell me he's sorry, and I forgive him. They ask me never to leave, and I promise. They tell me they know he's being selfish, and I tell him I don't care. They tell me he's scared, and I tell him that I am too.
His lips tell me he loves me.
I hope mine answer.