Notes: I don't own these characters. I've never done this before. Let me know what you think.
(If our dear DD hadn't had a midlife crisis...)
I flew through the door with out a second of guilt for slamming the crash bar. Feeling solid things was good; it was necessary. Here. Now. Whole. Alive. I caught sight of Skinner and Agent Doggett. They both exchanged looks of horror at my appearance. Skinner had tried to keep me away. Had he met me?
"Where?" I breathed. Agent Doggett had a decidedly warning tone which I decidedly ignored.
"Agent Scully, I..."
"Where?" I addressed Skinner this time.
"Dana, just stop and listen," Skinners voice had an imploring note to it that stopped me with a thud of my heart.
"Tell me then," I acquiesced. I closed my eyes and waited for the story of Mulder's inability to remember what happened while he was, "away," as Agent Doggett put it. I was prepared for that. I was also prepared to hear that the undiagnosed brain disease that was killing was wasn't any better, was worse, whatever. Whatever it was I would deal with it. I had to see him.
"His lack of memory doesn't surprise me at all. I need to see him." I need to hear him say my name. Instead I heard Agent Doggett again.
"Scully, he doesn't remember anything. Nothing. He's been here for 6 days and we just found him. He couldn't tell the hospital staff who he is."
"What..." I began, but words failed me. I had no voice.
"No." I looked at Skinner, begging him to contradict Doggett's words.
All he could say was, "I'm sorry, Dana."
Doggett continued to talk. I should have been able to understand him, he was speaking my language, the language of medicine: vitals, stats, medications, tests... But all I could hear was the roaring of blood in my ears. I felt Skinner's strong hands on my upper arms and saw his mouth move, but all I caught was, "okay?" I forced myself to take a deep breath and thought furiously, Dana, dammit! You are not going to faint.
"I want to sit," I finally managed. Skinner guided me to an unforgiving plastic chair where I promptly put my head on my knees and did my best to doctor talk myself back to coherence.
Nothing. Not his name, not his work, not me. But, when he sees me, he'll remember. He'll remember my face, my voice. And if he doesn't? Now, my inner voice was taunting me. I didn't know where to start or what to say to the two men staring at me, obviously afraid I was going to keel over from shock like the heroine of bad antebellum film. I wouldn't give Skinner the satisfaction of having been right to try to keep me away.
"He should have been seen by a psychiatrist. I need to talk to that doctor."
After a lengthy discussion with the resident psych doctor, I found her to be reasonable woman. Dr. Cenetta seemed genuinely concerned for Mulder's physical and mental health. Moreover, she seemed to understand my position and my desire to see my, "partner." She agreed that a short, calm interaction with me may stimulate Mulder's temporal lobe appropriately. Temporal lobe. That's where the anomalous brain activity showed on the most recent abductees. I asked the questions that needed to be asked about the condition of Mulder's brain. I was not at all prepared for the answer I was given.
"I haven't had a chance to review Mr. Mulder's previous medical records. However, the scans that we ran to determine if his temporal lobe had been damaged all came back normal."
I wanted to say, "That's not possible." But, after 7 years on the X-Files, I had lost some of my rigid convictions. I asked to see the scans and print outs for myself. It would be some kind of proof. Proof that wherever Mulder had been, how ever he was otherwise mistreated, it was very likely that those who took him had corrected the abnormalities in his frontal lobe. I pushed back the urge to ask the ubiquitous why. At this moment, the why didn't matter. I had the body of Mulder back, but I needed his mind back as well. The questions could wait.
"I'd like to see him now." I tried to infuse my voice with confidence and a tone that would not be refused. But, I faltered. I was experiencing the age old battle of body and mind. What the two wanted were entirely different. My body begged for a break, for sleep, for peace. My mind, on the other hand, would have none of that. My heart. My heart ached for Mulder, for myself, for the little boy or girl whose father may never remember his relationship with his mother.
I knocked gently on the door of his room. My gut was in my throat and I could taste metal. Adrenaline and lots of it was coursing through my body, leaving me unsteady and jerky. He was awake. He looked terrible: ashen with scars on his face. Those symmetrical dots of abraded skin reminded me of Native American war paint. He would have needed the strength of a warrior to endure the torture they put him through. I stepped further into the room at his nod and with my heart squeezing and pumping furiously, I said the name that I had uttered countless times over the last several weeks.
"Mulder," came out at a whisper. He looked at me and smiled with a brilliant display of white teeth.
"Hi," came out of that mouth that I had come to know so well. "I know... well you know me! You're not wearing a white coat or scrubs, so maybe... maybe you know me?" He smiled shyly at me then. I had thought for just an instant that he had recognized me, but his last question was phrased so tentatively, I knew he was hoping, not remembering.
"I do know you." I had to keep myself under a tight reign. I wanted so badly to rush to him, take his hand, kiss his forehead, kiss the wounds on his cheeks and crawl into that narrow bed and hold him close. Instead, I simply stated, "we work together. I'm you're, well we're partners."
"Oh okay," he was still tentative as was I. "I wasn't expecting that. But, we work at the FBI. Some guys were here earlier and told me some things about myself. Look, I hate to be too personal with someone I work with, but..." his voice trailed off and I could see worry and sadness warring with need in his dark features. "Well, hey, you haven't even told me your name. I, apparently, and according to my medical chart am Fox Mulder."
I laughed. I actually laughed at the way he said his first name. For the first time since I picked up the phone to hear Skinner say he had been found, I relaxed a bit.
"My name is Scully. Dana Scully. I'm sorry. Its just that you've never liked your name. You insisted that everyone, including your parents call you Mulder, all the time." His look of surprise at my laughter faded into understanding and then returned to the tension it had before my outburst.
"My parents." His voice was quiet and a bit questioning. "Where, I mean, are they...? Do I have any family? The only people I've seen in the past 24 hours are doctors, nurses and people from the FBI. Am I... Is there... I mean I have to go back to a home at some point. I assume I have a home! But, is there anyone there?"
And I heard my heart break. People think that it must be a loud sound, a shattering, that sound of heart breaking. But, its not. Its a very small, unobtrusive sound that nonetheless sends shock waves through the body and leaves hands and feet tingling.
"Mulder, I'm there." He seemed reassured by that. Thank God. I left the hospital room and came face to face with Skinner and Doggett lurking in the hallway. Skinner tried to talk to me, but I couldn't open my mouth. I darted into the lady's room across the hall and was thoroughly sick.