Keywords: Mulder torture and Scully angst... a great team!
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Summary: In *my* own little galaxy, I felt the need to send Scully into the padded room to deal with Mulder.
Disclaimer: The X-Files and the characters of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are the property of Ten Thirteen and Fox. Far be it from me to tell the writers how to do their jobs. No copyright infringement is intended.
"We haven't been able to run as many tests as we'd like. He's extremely violent," the doctor was saying.
"Scully!" Mulder bellowed again as he paced the little padded room.
"He's dangerous," he continued.
"Not to me," Scully said emphatically. "I'm going in there."
"Agent Scully - " Skinner began, but she had already turned on her heel and begun to walk away. Skinner and Fowley exchanged a dark look as the doctor followed her around the corner.
Two burly orderlies fell in behind Scully and the doctor as they neared the door.
"Are you armed?" the doctor asked.
"Yes..." Scully answered uneasily. Surely he couldn't think she'd need...
"Then give me your weapon. We can't risk letting him take it from you. I'll give it to the assistant director, if you'd like."
Scully nodded and handed over the pistol. The two orderlies positioned themselves at the heavy door and one of them turned the handle of the first lock.
On the monitor, Skinner and Fowley watched as Mulder flung himself at the door with a wordless scream.
In the hallway Scully startled as she heard his body hit the door. "Scully!" Mulder cried again, and the desperate note in his voice cut through her like broken glass.
"Let me go first," she said, and pushed the startled orderlies aside. The doctor began to protest, but fell silent as Scully lifted the heavy bar and cracked the door open just a little.
Skinner and Fowley watched Mulder stop pacing, and retreat to the far side of the room, and cower down into the corner. He kept glancing up nervously at the door.
"He knows it's her..." Skinner muttered. Fowley said nothing.
Scully pushed the door open a scant few inches. "Mulder," she called softly. "Mulder, it's me."
He whimpered in response, and Scully slowly, cautiously opened the door. Mulder cringed further into the corner, never taking his eyes from her. She stepped into the room and pushed the door partially closed behind her.
"Mulder," Scully murmured, not knowing what to say. "Mulder."
"Scully - " he faltered, "stay away from me."
"I will, Mulder. Whatever you want."
He ducked his head for a moment and then looked up at her again. "I don't *want* you to stay away," he said forlornly. His voice was hoarse from screaming. "But you have to stay away. I don't want to hurt you, Scully."
She shook her head. "You're not going to hurt me, Mulder," she answered.
Mulder shrank as far into the corner as he could. He rubbed his eyes with one hand and winced as if something had struck him.
"I don't want to hurt you," he repeated. "I hurt Diana last night. I threw her across the room. I didn't know I was going to do it. I just did it." His voice broke on a sob. "I don't want to hurt you, Scully..." he moaned.
"Mulder," she breathed again, not knowing how to answer him.
"Scully," he sobbed, "Scully..." And he put his hands up to clutch at his head, and fell slowly over onto his side, weeping uncontrollably. "Make it stop. Make it stop - "
Without thinking, Scully went to him and knelt beside him. She reached out and took him into her arms and began to rock him, and he clung to her, crying piteously.
"I'm here, Mulder. I'm right here. Shhh," she crooned, cradling him against her breast. Slowly, very slowly, she felt him relax, felt him stop shaking. At last his tears subsided and he lay still in her arms.
In the other room, Skinner said admiringly, "Look at that. That's the best he's been since he got here."
"Hmm," Fowley said, her tone carefully noncommittal.
"I tried to call you first," Mulder was saying. "It wouldn't go through. I tried."
"It's alright, Mulder. It doesn't matter." She stroked his hair with one hand. "I'm here now."
"I didn't know what to do. I'm sorry."
"Shhh, Mulder. It's not your fault. It's alright."
"I didn't want - I don't want you to think - "
"Mulder, hush." She leaned down and kissed his forehead. "Whatever happened last night, you don't owe me an explanation."
"But Scully - " His voice rose; he became agitated. "Nothing happened. Nothing. She - She came to my bed, Scully. She tried - " He began to cry again, and Scully held him closer.
"Shhh. It's alright. Don't cry." She wasn't sure how she was holding back her own tears, but she had to. He couldn't see her break...
"She - she told me..." He sobbed, and clutched at her jacket. "What she said - and what I heard, in her mind - They were different. And I couldn't. I *couldn't*." He turned his face against her and cried, and she rocked him, just rocked him, murmuring comfort to him.
The sensitive microphone had picked up every word. In the outer room Skinner looked searchingly at Fowley, and she dropped her gaze, blushing; she hesitated a moment, and then turned and walked away. Skinner heard the click of her heels fading as she retreated down the long corridor. He looked back at the monitor.
Scully had soothed Mulder; he was sitting quietly on the floor.
"I'm so tired," he said, his words beginning to slur."I'm dizzy..."
"They've given you a lot of medication, Mulder. You're probably starting to feel it." She put her arm around his shoulder and let him lean against her. "They need to do some more tests to help you. Will you let them?"
He nodded against her shoulder. "Yeah... Scully, " he murmured hoarsely, his voice fading. "You have to... find the rest of this thing. You have to go to the Ivory Coast..."
She felt him slump against her more heavily. "I'll find it, Mulder. Don't be afraid."
The door cracked open and the doctor's anxious face appeared. He looked at her questioningly, and Scully nodded. The door swung open and the two orderlies entered; Scully's heart lurched when she saw the straitjacket that one of them was carrying.
"Mulder." She shook him just a little, and he stirred, opened his eyes. "They'll take you to do the tests now."
He wavered, sitting alone without her support; the orderlies crouched down and tried to put his arms into the sleeves of the straitjacket. When he felt the touch of strange hands, Mulder struggled; one of the men matter-of-factly wrenched one of his arms behind his back to subdue him, and Mulder cried out.
"Stop!" Scully exclaimed. "Stop it!"
Startled, the two men looked up, and Mulder pulled away and staggered to his feet; he reeled across the room and ran headlong into the padded wall. He fell heavily to the floor.
Scully was at his side in an instant, and he raised his head and reached for her. She felt the tears in her eyes well over, and waited a moment to speak until she knew she would not cry aloud.
She reached one hand blindly out behind her. "Give me the jacket," she said. "He'll let me do it."
Someone handed it to her.
"Mulder," she whispered, stroking his cheek. "Mulder. Wake up. Look at me."
His eyes half-opened; with difficulty he focused on her face.
"Mulder, you... You have to wear this. For me. ... You'll hurt yourself otherwise." She swallowed hard. "Come on..."
Mulder heaved himself to a sitting position and watched dully as Scully pulled the long sleeves up over his arms. "I'm sorry, Mulder. I'm sorry," she whispered over and over. "I'm sorry." She wound the straps around his waist and fastened the buckles.
The two orderlies picked Mulder up and laid him on the gurney that had been rolled in. He was docile now as they fastened the restraints across his legs.
Scully leaned over him, caressing his face.
"Scully," he murmured weakly.
"... don't cry..."
She covered her mouth with her hand and fought for her composure.
"Ivory..." he was whispering. "... the answer. Ivory... Coast..."
"I'll go, Mulder," she managed to say. "I'll find it. I'll do whatever I have to. I'll find the answer."
"I know..." he murmured, and slipped into unconsciousness.
Skinner stepped up to her as the doctors wheeled Mulder away. Wordlessly he held out her weapon, and she took it and holstered it. She took a deep breath, and sighed, and looked up to meet Skinner's gaze.
"Agent Scully, I'd - "
"Not now," she interrupted him, turning away. "If you want to talk, walk with me. I have to leave now."
"Where are you going?"
She looked grimly over her shoulder at him.
"To the Ivory Coast."