Title: Half Way There
Author: Josie Marchant
Summary: Mulder has some troubles and doubts that jeopardize his sanity.
Disclaimer: They aren't mine, I wish they were, thanks Chris and FOX

X files office

Fox Mulder sat in the dark basement office, poring over several case files that had landed on his desk at 8am that morning, he hadn't moved all day. Scully had been and gone, she had left at 5pm, insisting that Mulder came back to her place for some dinner, he politely had refused and told her he had things to do. That in itself was a lie, he only had work to do, nothing else, and he just didn't want to go home. He was having one of those times where his own company in his own apartment wasn't welcoming. So he buried himself in his work, the one solid dependable thing (apart from Scully) that he had in his life right now.
He ran a hand over his face, feeling the stubble starting to form, he was tired, really tired, and he needed to sleep. But he kept on working.


Dana Scully opened the door to the office; she placed her bag down on her chair and stared at the sleeping form of her partner, hunched over his desk.
"Mulder" she sighed. Walking quietly over to him, she crouched by his side. "Mulder, wakey wakey it's morning" she whispered. Reaching her hand to his head she gently stroked his soft brown hair. "Mulder?" she called again. This time she got a response as he stirred. "Hey there partner, you been here all night?"
"Huh...wha'....uh...yeah" he struggled to open his eyes. "Scully...I...I'm not feeling too...good...could you uh..." he grabbed the trash can and vomitted straight into it.
"Mulder, what's wrong?" Scully placed a hand on his forehead. "You're burning"
"I'm okay...you just woke me suddenly. I'll be fine" he wiped his mouth with his handkerchief. "I uh....I.." he wheezed.
"Slow down a second, just breathe for me will you?" he nodded and took in slow breathes. He felt like shit, as if he had a hangover after a heavy night on the beers. The room seemed to be spinning slightly. He figured he was just tired, he couldn't have had more that an hours sleep, and that was disturbed with a nightmare. "Mulder, you look terrible, what's going on? Why'd you spend all night here?" she busied herself with checking him over as she questioned him.
"I just had stuff to do"
"Come on Mulder, the workload isn't that bad at the moment. Why didn't you take some files home to read, you can't relax here"
"I can't at home either. Scully I'm fine okay. Just let me get on with things" he didn't mean to appear so offhand with her. He was just tired, and he didn't feel well. He knew she was only worried about him because she cared. He just had a small problem in accepting that.
"Okay, look go and freshen yourself up, clean your teeth and have a shave" Scully wandered over to her desk. "We've got a meeting with Skinner at 9am, you'd better make yourself look presentable" She winced at her sharp tone, but when Mulder was in this mood then there was no other way she could treat him. He wouldn't accept her help, so what else could she do. Mulder nodded and opened his desk drawer to pull out his wash kit, staying all night at work was a regular thing for Fox Mulder.

Assistant Director Skinners office

"Sit down Agents" the director leant back in his chair. "I have a new assignment for the both of you. It's based here in DC so there's no travelling"
"What is it?" Mulder eyed his superior. "Another assignment for the freak in the basement"
"Mulder!" Scully whispered.
"Agent Mulder, this case does have bizzare undertones yes, but I am perturbed that you consider yourself in that light"
"Sorry Sir, just slipped out, what are the details?" Mulder questioned.
"It's a case involving a teenager called Carl Steward. He believes that his sister was abducted by aliens and...."
"Right" Mulder interjected. "How..how old is he?" Mulder was getting out of his seat.
"13...Agent Mulder, where are you going?"
"I need some..some time. Can I take the file...I'll read it, and uh...I'll get onto it, thanks Sir" he walked out of the room. Scully stared in disbelief at the AD.
"I'm sorry Scully, but you two are the best two Agents to deal with this. The claims are most likely false, the thing is, Carl is a suspect in his sisters abduction and most likely murder"
"Sir, have you any idea what this case could do to Agent Mulder?"
"That's why I'd ask you to keep a close eye on things for me Agent Scully"
"This could be a mistake Sir, with all due respect, Mulder's not doing too great at the moment. He spent last night at the office and I think he's coming down with something. He was vomitting when I came in this morning. I think that this case will only aggrivate his already high stress levels"
"If it really is too much, come to me then, but I need his input on this. VCS requested him"
"VCS? there's not a body though"
"I know, but there could be pretty soon. Agent Scully, you know I'd not do anything to put the Agents under me in danger"
"Wouldn't you?" Scully raised an eyebrow at Skinner, turning on her heel she left the room. She took a deep breath as she got to her office door. Turning the knob she entered.
"Oh hello" Mulder looked up at her, he was sitting at his desk staring at the unopened file.
"Mulder, if this is going to be too much for you, we don't have to do it you know?" She came and perched on the end of his desk.
"I...I was thinking about it and I'll be okay Scully, I'm sure I will" he stood up and pulled on his coat. "Are you coming?"
"Where Mulder?"
"Too see this kid Carl. I think we should go speak to him" he moved to go to the door. Scully stopped him with one hand.
"Mulder, don't do this to me okay, don't shut me out"
"Who's shutting you out?" he smiled. "I'm fine Scully. There is no problem okay?" he shook his head. "Jeez, a guy can't be a bit quiet every now and then" he sighed. "I'll meet you at the car okay" he stalked out of the room.
"Shit" Scully muttered under her breath, "he won't let me into that head of his"

Home of Karen and Peter Steward 10:30am
The two agents appraoched the front door and felt for their ID badges, Mulder rapped on the door with his fist.
"Hello" the diminutive lady answered. "Have you come to talk to us about Jodie?"
"Yes, I'm Special Agent Dana Scully, this is my partner Agent Fox Mulder, may we come in Mrs Steward?" Scully smiled warmly at the woman who appeard to be a bundle of nerves before them. She nodded and stepped back to allow them in.
After cups of tea were given, Mrs Steward began telling the Agents about her two children.
"Carl and Jodie were just normal brother and sister, they used to fight, but not badly, he would pull her braids and she...Agent Mulder, are you okay?" she looked at Mulder, who seemed to be staring into the distance.
"Wh..yeah...yeah I'm fine. Where is Carl Mrs Steward?"
"He's at school right now, he's a good boy Agent Mulder, he loved Jodie in his own way, he would never do anything to hurt her. Carl's a quiet kid, very bright, he prefers to read and spend time in his room than go out making trouble like other kids"
"Is this Carl?" Mulder stood up and picked up the photo frame on the table, he stared at the brown haired sullen looking boy. It was all too familiar. "I'd like to talk to him, when does he get back from school?"
"About three thirty, Agent Mulder my son didn't do anything to Jodie, he wouldn't have"
"I know that Mrs Steward, I think he tried to help her as best as he could...he's just a kid, just a little boy, he couldn't do anything...and he most likely is blaming himself for..."
"Mulder" a hand gripped onto his arm. "Let's go" Scully squeezed his arm gently. "Thankyou for your time Mrs Steward" Mrs Steward nodded and showed the Agents out. "Okay Mulder, that's it, you are not able to do this case and you know it"
"Scully, I'm the only person who could do this case. This kid he...he.." the words were catching in his throat.
"Mulder, come on, get in the car. You're sick, you look terrible. Come on back to my apartment, take a couple of hours off okay" she placed a hand on his back. "I'm worried about you Mulder, let me do that please. I'm your friend and partner, it's my job"
"I don't think they told you that in your interview did they, when you were sent to spy on me" he snapped.
"Whoah, Mulder, hold on a second, where did that come from?" Scully pulled on her seatbelt. "You know that you can trust me 1000%, don't you dare suggest to me that you can't okay?"
"I'm sorry" he looked down "I...I shouldn't have said that. I don't ...I don't feel too well Scully" he looked awkward.
"I don't have to be a doctor to see that. Come on, let's go" Scully revved the engine and they set off to her apartment. Parking the car the Agents got out. Mulder begrudgingly following Scully up the stairs. "Right, give me your coat, and sit down" Scully ordered. Mulder slipped out of his jacket and flopped onto the settee, he rubbed his tired eyes. "You want a drink?"
"Uh...yeah just some water thanks" she nodded and went to fill a glass.
"You know" she handed it to him and sat down beside him. "You should talk about your feelings Mulder, because otherwise they can take over you. You won't be able to stop them. They can make you sick, and I think that they already have" she placed a hand on his knee.
"I'm fine...Scully I just...I'm just not too good right now. I'll be okay, you know me"
"Yes, I do know you Mulder, and I can tell that something in there isn't right" she moved her hand to his head. "Somethings wrong Mulder, you have to talk to me about it. You can't just shut it away like this. You can't"
"What if I don't want to face it Scully?" What if I'm scared to"
"Why are you scared?"
"Because I think that if I let go, I'll never get hold of myself again" he swiped at his eyes.
"Mulder, that's crazy, I'll be there to catch you if you fall. You know that don't you?" Scully stared at him. "Don't you?"
"Things are just getting on top of me...Scully. I just get so tired...I can't sleep, I can't...rest it's just a little too much at times" he looked up at her. "I'm so tired Dana" then he shocked her, leaning forward her lay down burying his head in her breast, wrapping his arms around her middle.
"It's okay, I've got you Fox" Scully ran a hand through his hair. Brushing her fingertips across his forehead, she was alarmed at how warm he was. "Mulder you're sick, why don't you have a sleep in my room?" it was a surprise when he nodded.
"Okay...maybe for a bit...Scully is there any reason why the room is..spinning?" he looked suddenly very pale.
"Come on, lets get you lying down Mulder. Come on" she pulled him to his feet and walked with him to her room. Just like she had done the night his Father was murdered, she laid him down on the bed and went to get a damp washcloth. Returning with it, she sat down on her bed beside him and gently wiped his face. "You have got to take it easy Mulder, you're going to do yourself some real damage one day if you carry on disregarding your health"
"Scully...I feel sick" he gave a cough. She grabbed the nearest thing to her, a plastic bag on the floor. He heaved into it. "I'm sorry" he sniffed. "I'm a mess...I'm a m..m..mess"
"Mulder, you're sick you're allowed to be sick. There's nothing to be sorry about" she laid him back down again when she was sure he was finished. "It's okay now, you're going to be okay?"
"Am I?" he swallowed "I feel like I'm falling Scully"
"Then as I said, I'll catch you. Now rest, shh" she whispered. "get some sleep Mulder. We'll chat later" his eyes flickered shut and his breathing began to even out. "There we are, shh now. It's okay, shh"

Later that evening
Scully's apartment

Scully sat on her settee reading through a case file when Mulder appeared in the doorway, he still looked sick, big dark rings under his eyes, looked worse as his skin was so pale. His hair was plastered to his forehead, and his face was covered with beads of perspiration
"Hey, how you doing partner?" she took her glasses off and looked at him.
"I've felt better" he staggered over to the settee and collapsed onto it. "You've got a comfy bed Scully"
"You should have stayed in it then Mulder" she rested a hand on his forehead. "You're still feverish. I want you to take some of these pills" she handed him a bottle.
"What are they?" he squinted at the pill bottle.
"They'll help you sleep Mulder"
"Sedatives? no way"
"Mulder, you need sleep to get better, and the amount of sleep you get, will not help you to get better. You need these pills"
"Scully, I don't like pills" he whined. "I feel shitty when I take pills"
"You'll feel more shitty if you don't Fox"
"You really think they'll help?" Scully nodded. Mulder pouted slightly. "..'kay" he accepted two and popped them in his mouth, washing them down with some water. "Thanks Scully, for putting up with me...I know I'm a pain at times"
"It's okay Mulder, you're not a pain, you just need a friend, sometimes we all do" Scully wrapped her arms around him and kissed his head. "You have to know how much I care Mulder. Don't you ever think you can't talk to me"
"Mmm....don't..feel...well..Sc..I....don'...I..." the sedatives were beginning to take effect. "Sl..eep..sleepy..can't..stay...'wake" he slurred.
"You sleep Mulder. Get yourself well"

Three days Later
X files Office

"Mulder, why won't you take some time off" Scully sounded on him. "You are still sick, can't you see that?" he didn't answer because he was coughing.
"I'm okay..Sc..Scully. I want to talk to Carl today" he pounded on his chest to clear his throat. "I need to talk to Carl"
"Mulder, are you sure you're up to this, the other day you said you couldn't handle things"
"I had a fever the other day, I was talking too emotionally. I'm fine"
"Mulder, you still have a fever, and it will get worse if you keep working yourself like this!" she raised her tone, but regretted it when she saw his face. "Mulder, we talked about this. You need to step back from this one okay?"
"No, not okay" Mulder pulled his jacket on, pausing to cough again, he coughed so hard he almost hacked up a lung. "I need to see Carl, and I've set up the interview, you can come if you want to, but if not, I'll go on my own"
"Of course I'll come Mulder, now you're being stupid"
"Oh, I'm being stupid, well excuse me! I will go on my..<cough> own then" he coughed again. Marching out of the office he slammed the door behind him. Scully sank down in his chair and sighed, he was sick, he was depressed, and he was in no state to be at work, and certainly not interviewing this kid.

George Washington High School

Mulder was shown into the room where Carl Steward was waiting. He sat down opposite him and gave a smile.
"Hi Carl, my name is Fox, I'd like to ask you some questions?"
"I didn't hurt her you know" the boy said quietly, "they took her"
"Wh..who took her Carl?"
"I don't know, they came, there was a light, and I tried to stop them and...oh what the hell, you won't believe me anyway"
"I do believe you Carl, you want to know why?" the boy nodded. "It happened to me too, when I was 12, they took my little sister too" Mulder coughed, and let out a wheeze.
"You okay Mister?"
"Yeah...bit of a chill that's all"
"It happened to you, they took her from you too?"
"Yeah, and everyone blamed me for it too, all the kids at school, they used to make fun of me, saying I murdered her and that I was responsible, when I wasn't, I was just a kid like you"
"What can I do?"
"You have to sit it out Carl, we'll launch a search party for Jodie, but I know we won't find her" at these words, Carl began to cry. "Oh...I'm sorry Carl, I didn't mean to make you cry"
"My...Daddy...he..he doesn't understand, and he...takes it out on me" Carl lifted his t shirt to reveal a dark bruise. Mulder felt his stomach turn, he saw not the boy Carl Steward sitting there, but himself, aged 12 years and 4 months, lifting his shirt and looking at the dark bruises covering his body. "Can you help..me?" Carl asked. "Agent Mulder?"
"I uh...I'll try Carl, I'll try. Look I've got to go, I'll call okay?" Mulder went to leave
"Okay....Agent Mulder?"
"I never thought I'd find someone who believed me" he smiled. "That means there's hope right?"
"Right" Mulder smiled. He pulled the door shut behind him and headed off down the corridor, he could already feel the tears stinging his eyes. This was hard, prehaps one of the hardest cases he was going to have to deal with, and right now he wasn't sure if he could face it. So he decided to take the rest of the day off, an event almost unheard of in Mulder's career.

X files office 4:45pm

Scully sighed, she had been trying to contact Mulder for the past five hours, but with no joy, his cell was switched off, and she had no other way of contacting him. He wasn't at home, and the school had said he'd left at eleven that morning. Her thoughts became troubled and worried as she thought about the things which 'may' have happened. Her thoughts were interupted as the office door banged open.
"Hi..honey..I'm home" came a slurred shout. Scully stared at her partner as he stumbled into the office, his shirt hanging out and his hair dishevelled. "Wha'?" he sniggered, taking a swig from the bottle of whiskey he had in his hand. "You no' pleashed to shee me Dana"
"Oh my god Mulder, you're drunk"
"Very...good Dr Scul..ly" he went to move closer and fell, knocking his head on the table. "Oh..ow...it..ow" tears began to fall down his face. "Hurt...I'm hurt" he reached a hand up to where he was cut. "Ow...hurtsh....oh God" Scully rushed to his side.
"Mulder, we have to get you out of here, before Skinner sees you in this state, come on, up we come" she pulled his arm.
"I'm...shorry..Scull..y.." he wrapped an arm around her shoulder.
"We'll talk about that later, for now let's get you out of here" manoevering a very drunk 6ft 2 Agent quietly through the corridors of the FBI building was no mean task. Scully dragged him to the carpark, he was now in a very sorry state, tears streaming down his cheeks. His legs were like jello, and his motor functions were severely impaired. "My God Mulder, how much did you drink?"
"A...little bit" he slurred. "Schcuully" he flopped into her front seat. "I feel....ill"
"I'll bet you do, now shh until we get back to my place, you just concentrate on not throwing up okay, you think you can do that?"
"Mmm" his head lolled.
"Good boy"

Scully's apartment.

She had known he would be sick, she had no idea how much. As he heaved for the tenth time into the toilet basin she was beginning to wonder if he needed a stomach wash out. He lay in her embrace exhausted, the retching was really taking it out of him, and on top of the fever he already had, he was one unwell Mulder. Sitting up again he brought up even more liquid, now however yellow bile was making itself present, and that was never pleasant.
"Scul..leee" he whined, his alcohol clogged mind made him whine and whimper all the more. "Make it..shtop" he heaved again.
"I can't Mulder, this is what happens when you drink most of a bottle of whiskey" she rubbed his back. "You done?"
"Think..sho" he looked up at her. "I'm sho...shorry. I had to numb...the..pain" Scully turned the taps on to fill her bathtub with water.
"Okay, shh now shh. Let's see about getting you in the tub hey? clean you up a bit" Scully wasn't angry at her partner, in truth she was worried sick about him. Mulder had never shown up to work drunk before, infact he rarely even drank. She knew that it had hit him hard, and that she was the only one he could turn to for help. Mulder slid down in her arms, he was beginning to pass out. "whoah, hey Mulder stay with me a while, come on help me out here honey, I need to get you in this tub" She unbuttoned his shirt and slid him out of it. "You need to help me with the pants Fox, lift up a bit honey, thats it. There we go" she got him undressed and somehow into the tub. Wiping his face and neck for him she let the sponge linger on his back and shoulders. She washed his hair, and even gave him a shave. He was half conscious throughout it though. He looked dreadful, pale and gaunt, with hollow cheeks, she was sure he hadn't eaten for weeks. When she was done she pulled him out of the bath and wrapped a huge towel around him. He couldn't really stand, so she knew she'd have to dress him as well. So drying him off as best she could, she got him into a pair of sweats and a t shirt. She always kept Mulder clothing around, for incidents such as this. Leading him to her bed she pushed him down and tucked him under the covers. When he was settled she seated herself by him and placed the thermometer in his ear. It beeped and she removed it. Flashing the figure 102.7 at her Scully looked concerned. Mulder licked his lips and opened his eyes a little.
"..'m sorry"
"Shh now, it's okay, you're safe with me here now Fox, you rest"
"Mis..erable...drunk" he slurred.
"Yeah, yeah you are, but I think you had your reasons didn't you?" gently she stroked his damp hair back from his forehead. "Mulder, don't you ever do this again, you are not well. You should have come to me, not to a bottle, I can help you, whiskey can't"
"I ...loveyou" he murmured.
"I love you too Mulder" Scully whispered, she leant forward and kissed his forehead. "So much" she thought to herself, knowing full well he'd forget this in the morning.

Scully's apartment
7:30 am

Mulder rolled over in bed, he stared at the sleeping form beside him, her hand draped over his chest. He felt terrible, but the sight of Scully snuggled up to him took some of the initial pain away. He let out an incredibly chesty cough, and then a wheeze. Scully was startled out of her sleep.
"Oh...hey there, how you feeling?"
"Sick" Mulder muttered. "What...'m I doin' here" he murmured.
"You showed up at the office very drunk, I took you back here, and you got very sick"
"Oh....I'm sorry"
"Mulder, we have to talk, this can't go on"
"Scully...I really don't feel well, can we talk about this later" he burrowed under the duvet.
"Mulder, you showed up at the office totally out of it, you cried all the way home, sobbing in my bathroom, and you expect me not to want to talk to you about it?" Scully brushed his cheek with her hand. "Fox, I'm worried about you"
"Don't call me Fox...Jeez Scully...you know I hate it" she bit her tongue.
"Mulder, I know you don't feel well, I know that, but you're sick, not just with a fever, but here" she touched his head. "And I for one will not watch you destroy yourself"
"Please...can I sleep" he sniffed, his eyes closed, and two tears slipped out from underneath his long lashes. "I'm so....tired"
"Oh Mulder, of course you can. You sleep now" Scully kissed his cheek. "It's okay"

J Edgar Hoover Building
Washington DC

"He isn't up to doing this case Sir, he's at my place now, he's very sick with a high temperature, and he's getting more and more stressed as the time goes on. He's making himself sick" Scully leant back in her chair. "AD Skinner Sir, I wouldn't say this if it weren't true" She was obviously not going to tell him about Mulder's showing up at work drunk, as that would result in a hearing.
"I know that Agent Scully, but I really believe that Agent Mulder is the best Agent for this case"
"Regardless of what it's doing to him Sir?" Scully seethed. "If he weren't so ill I'd bring him in here myself to prove to you"
"Should I call him?"
"No, if he knows I came to talk to you he'll be furious, he'll accuse me of not believing in him. Just take him off the case, PLEASE"
"I can't do that Agent Scully, the orders came from a higher authority"
"What higher authority?"
"I can't tell you that Agent"
"Then have your 'higher authority' review the situation, because if not, we'll lose a damned fine Agent" With that Scully stood and exited the room. Marching down the corridor she pushed past several Agents. She knew who the 'higher authority' was, and she was to be damned if she was to watch CSM destroy her best friend. She considered lying to Mulder, telling him that Skinner had ordered him off the case, however that wouldn't work. Mulder would be punished for not showing up, she just had to tell him what she suspected. If he knew that CSM was involved, he may not want to take the case anyway. But there was the chance that her theory was wrong.

When she returned to her apartment, she was confronted with Mulder lying on her couch, flicking television channels. He looked up at her,
"Hello" he tried to smile, but his head and everything else hurt.
"Hey there, you need to keep snuggled up in this" Scully tucked the covers around him, "how are you feeling? still nauseous?" Doctor Scully was back.
"Yeah, I tried to eat an apple and it came back"
"Mulder, I'm not surprised, the acid in that would make you sick" she felt his head. "You're still warm"
"Where've you been?"
"Work, I had to see Skinner"
"Oh, this and that" she sat down on the arm of the settee. "How are you feeling in yourself today Mulder?" she gently fondled his hair, "you okay?" he rested his head on her lap.
"When you do that....it reminds me of Mom before Sam...."
"You want me to not do it?"
"No, I like it Scully, makes me feel safe" he yawned. "I...don't feel good Scully, I mean I feel under the weather, but there's something else" he sighed. "Hell, I don't know what's wrong with me" he rubbed his eyes. "I talked to Carl you know"
"I thought as much. Did he have much to say?"
"Just that he didn't do it, he didn't hurt her. I told him I believed him, and that the same thing happened to me when I was a kid"
"You told him that Mulder?"
"Yeah, why?"
"How did he take it?"
"Seemed relieved that someone believed him" Mulder launched into a coughing fit.
"Why'd you get drunk after that Mulder?" she rubbed his back as the fit subsided. "Why'd you do it huh?"
"It hurt Scully, to see that kid, like I was....so scared, and everyone blaming him for what happened....it was like..me as a kid an' and..I couldn't handle it" he sat up. "Scully, I'm losing it here, I really am"
"No you're not Mulder, you're just going through a rough patch. You're not losing it. Christ Fox we all have problems which get to us, but luckily, we also have friends to help us get over them"
"I don't know what I'd do without you Scully" Mulder leant into her arms, and she hugged him tightly. "I need you so badly" he sniffed.
"Come on, lets get you back into bed, you look tired"
"I am, but I seem to have slept all day"
"Well, that won't do you any harm Mulder. Come on, I'll make you a hot drink, then you try and get some rest okay?"
"Yeah, okay. Scully?"
"Can I stay here tonight?"
"Mulder, I had no intention of making you go home tonight, I don't think you're in any fit state to be on your own"
"I don't want to be on my own, I want to be here with you" he looked at her. Looking into his eyes made her want to cry, they looked so pleading, and so hurt. Pain seeped out from those hazel stars, which were beginning to glisten with tears. Scully came back over and sat opposite him. "You make me feel safe, like my Mom used to, when you hold me...I feel like nothing can or ever will touch me. You're like all my securities rolled into one Scully. If I lost you, I'd lose everything"
"Mulder, you mean everything to me as well you know" she ran a hand through his hair. "I'm not going anywhere Mulder. I'd never leave you. I hope you know that"
"I hope I know that too" he sniffed. "I'm sorry, you don't want to hear me rambling on about my fucked up life"
"Yes, I do Mulder, that's where you're wrong, I want to hear about it. More than you'll ever know Fox. You have to talk about these things, as they'll just eat away at you, and become bigger problems than they are"
"They're already pretty big...and I'm sorry Scully" tears began to stream down his cheeks.
"Then they'll get bigger. Fox, stop apologising to me, I want to help. You should remember that" a hand reached out to dry his tears. "Now let me make you that drink" she got up and made her way to the kitchen. "You get into bed Mulder, I'll bring it in" she called out to him. Filling the kettle she switched it on and set about making the hot honey and lemon drink, to her Mothers recipe. Mulder was troubling her, she wanted to bring up the subject of him seeing a psychologist, perhaps her own therapist which she had turned to during the Donnie Phaster case. She knew however that he'd never agree to that. When she'd made the steaming drink she made her way to her bedroom. Mulder was propped up in the bed, still looking a little too flushed for her liking. His shivers also were a worry. "Here we go, drink that down, careful it's hot" his shaking hands reached for the cup. "Okay, you're gonna burn yourself Mulder, let me help you. Mind you don't burn yourself Mulder"
"Okay...Mom" he smiled slightly. "Oh that tastes good" he let out a sigh. "Scully, as a doctor...can you tell me when I'm gonna feel...better. Right now I feel lousy" he coughed.
"Well, if you keep going the way you are, you're not going to feel much better Mulder" she sighed. "You're not doing yourself any favors you know?"
"When do I...ever do myself favors Scully" he lay back and coughed. "I'm sleepy"
"That's because I put a sedative in the drink"
"Scully...why'd you do that?" he yawned.
"So you'd sleep, now snuggle down, let Dana tuck you in" she smiled. He was happy to oblige and burrowed down deep into the bed, Scully gently stroked his hair.
"Stay...till I sleep" he whispered
"Sure, I'm not going anywhere, now shh" she whispered. "You sleep now"
"Always...sleepin'..." he slurred groggily. Within seconds he was sleeping soundly.
"And I'm always telling you, it'll make you well" she kissed him lightly and crept out of the room.


Scully put down the medical journal and took off her glasses. Rubbing the bridge of her nose she realised how long she'd been reading. She felt exhausted, it had been quite a day. She thought about what she was going to tell Mulder about the case. This was a hard one, it made things awkward, she knew Mulder could react in a number of ways to the news. This thought was interupted when she heard a shout from her bedroom.
"Mulder?" she got off the seat and ran to her room. Mulder was twisted up in the bedsheets, writhing around, he was soaking wet with sweat, and he was groaning. "Fox, it's okay, shh it's okay, you're dreaming, it's Dana, you're safe" she stroked his soaked hair back from his face. "It's okay....Mulder can you hear me?"
"I di...d all...I could....Mom....Dad....I did all I...co...could" he sobbed. He was panting, as his temperature seemed to have rocketed even higher.
"Fox, I know you did honey, you have to calm down. It's okay....shh honey...shh" she stroked him softly, but he still started to howl. "Fox, shh" she lifted him into her arms and tried to rock him.
"Mom...they took her...an'...an'..'m so...sorry" he wheezed.
"Fox, nobody blames you sweetheart...nobody" she crooned softly. He showed no signs of calming down, so she did the only thing she could think of. She called her Mother.

Margaret Scully arrived as soon as she was able to, and hugged her daughter tightly.
"How's he doing?"
"Not too good Mom, he's so hot...and he's crying Mom, really crying"
"I can hear him, let me in to see him then Dana, I'll see what I can do" Maggie smiled at her daughter. She went to the bedroom where Mulder was still in the throws of his fever induced night terror. She sat down on the side of the bed beside him, and gently laid a hand on his forehead.
"Mom??" he looked up at her, his eyes bright with fever, he was hallucinating.
"Fox it's okay, everything's okay sweetheart" Maggie whispered softly.
"I feel....sick" he mumbled.
"I know you do, but it's okay, you'll feel better soon" she wrapped her arms around him protectively. He rested his head on her shoulder and murmured into it.
"Don't ....hate me...Momma"
"Fox, I don't hate you, I love you sweetheart, shh now, rest. You're a sick boy, rest. I've got you" she looked up at Scully. "He's burning Dana, really burning"
"I know, I think maybe we should take him to the hospital"
"No....no...Dad" he suddenly shouted. "I said....sorry...I said...sorr..y....ow...ow"
"Fox, shh honey, shh you're dreaming. It's okay...Dana, call that ambulance honey, he's getting worse" Scully nodded. She picked up the phone and dialled 911. "Okay Fox, you'll be okay, I've got you"
"I'm sorry....'m...so..sorry" he choked.
"I'm not cross Fox, you have nothing to be sorry about. It's okay"
"It's coming, God Mom, what the hells going on, he's so delerious"
"Dana, he's got such a high fever, was he this bad earlier?"
"No, he was talking to me before he went to sleep, I gave him a sedative to relax him, and then about an hour ago he started screaming"
"How long will the ambulance be?"
"Ten minutes or so, I'll get a wash cloth to cool him down" Scully went into her bathroom and damped the cloth with the cold water. Coming out she gently laid it across his forehead. He let out a pained whimper. "Okay Mulder, you're going to be fine. Help's coming"

The ambulance arrived and the EMT's made their way into the apartment, they lifted Mulder onto the gurney, and both Scully's ran alongside them. Maggie held onto Mulder's hand tightly.
"You're going to be okay Fox, just hold on okay" the journey to the hospital, although short, appeared to take a long time. When they arrived Mulder was transported immediately to ICU, and despite Scully's protests, she was left to wait with her Mother in the waiting room.
"Mom, he is so sick" she shook her head and took a seat. Running a hand through her hair she gave a sigh. "I don't know if he'll come through this I really don't"
"Dana, we'll just have to give him some time. What's been going on?"
"We're on a case, about a little girl who has gone missing, her brother has said she was taken when he was babysitting her..."
"I see...and Fox can see himself in this child"
"Yes..he's killing himself over it Mom, he was sick the other morning anyway, and he's just got worse and worse"
"Has he talked to anyone?"
"What? Mulder talk to anyone, no. Mom he's been shutting me out, he broke down the other night, said he didn't know how to deal with how he was feeling. Skinner should never have put us on this case, I told him that this would happen, but he insisted that we took it. I knew this would happen Mom...I should have stopped it..." tears began to cloud her eyes.
"Dana, you can't protect him from everything"
"I can try though"
"Yes...you can, but you can't always be successful. He's lucky that he has you now"
"Is he?" she shrugged. "Maybe I make things worse for him"
"Dana...when you...disappeared...he..he didn't know what to do. He searched so hard for you...and ....don't you ever think that honey. That man needs you" she hugged her daughter, "he needs us both right now"
"Yeah...you're right" Scully dried her eyes, just as the doctor approached. "How is he?"
"Miss Scully?"
"Yes, that's me" she shook his hand.
"Dr Paul Chandler, I'm overseeing Fox's treatment. He's very sick Miss Scully, his temperature is hovering just below 105 which is as you know, very dangerous"
"Have you got a cooling blanket on him"
"Yes, but he's fighting it, we may have to sedate him if he doens't calm down. He's experiencing quite a delerium"
"Can we see him please"
"I suppose it may calm him down"
"Yes it will" Maggie interjected. "Do you know what's caused this?"
"Some kind of bacterial infection is my guess, if you'd like to follow me, he's in a private room" the doctor seemed friendly and cooperative enough. The two women followed him down to ICU, where he showed them into the room. Mulder lay on the bed, he looked so pale, apart from the slight crimson glow on his cheeks. Scully sat down beside him, and observed the wires and tubes which covered him. She was pleased to see that an oxygen mask was still being used, and that they hadn't had to resort to using a respirator yet.
"Fox?" she leant in. "Can you hear me?" He let out a half whimper, half groan. "Fox, it's me, Dana, you're going to be okay, just fight this, keep on fighting sweetheart, please" her conversation was interupted by her cell phone ringing. She hurried out of the room and took the call outside. "Hello"
"Agent Scully, this is AD Skinner"
"I need you and Mulder to come into the office,there's been a development"
"Well, that's a bit hard Sir"
"What do you mean?"
"I'm at the hospital. Mulder's gone into intensive care, his fever has spiked and he's very sick"
"Can you come in Agent?"
"Sir...I'd rather stay with Mulder"
"This is important Scully"
"So is Mulder Sir" she pressed the cut off button and marched back into the room. "I can't believe that"
"what is it Dana?"
"Skinner, wants me to come into work, some development on the case. I told him about Mulder, and he still asked me to come in"
"Maybe you should then Dana"
"Mom, Mulder's sick, I'm not leaving him"
"I'll stay with Fox, it must be important for Mr Skinner to call you in. Go on. He'll be okay with me...I'll take care of him for you Dana"
"Okay, but I'll be back as soon as I can Mom, I don't want to leave him here, and if he becomes more lucid, tell him I'll be back soon okay"
"Okay honey, off you go" Maggie smiled. She kissed her daughter and watched her leave. Turning back to Mulder she took his hand. "You have to pull through sweetie, she needs you"

J Edgar Hoover building

Scully was furious as she made her way down the corridor to the AD's office. She knocked hard on the door and walked in when she heard him reply.
"Agent Scully"
"What's so important?"
"This case, there's been a development"
"What kind"
"We've found the body" he leant back in his chair.
"Oh...I see" Scully sat down opposite her superior.
"Jodie Steward was found beaten and strangled in woodland near her home. There was a struggle"
"Okay...so what does this mean for the case"
"Well, VCS will take over again, they don't need Mulder's help"
"Right...so they've just caused him all that stress for nothing"
"Well hardly nothing Scully"
"He's really sick Sir, so ill that I don't know if he'll pull through...and he's sick because of the undue stress this case has put him under. It was too close to home...he couldn't deal with it. Now there's no reason for that to have been the case. I'd say that's quite bad planning wouldn't you?"
"Agent Scully, I take good care of the Agents under me"
"Yeah...well, if you could find the time to stop by the hospital, please do. Fox needs all the support he can get at the moment" With those words she turned and left the office. Skinner sighed, she had referred to him as Fox, that was something he had never heard her do before, and it sent a shiver down his spine to hear it.

G Washington Hospital

Scully arrived back at the hospital, not sure what she was going to find, she was somewhat relieved, although a little saddened that there was no change in Mulder's condition. Except that her Mother was in the bed with him.
"Mom, what happened?"
"He had another terror, it was the only way I could get him to calm down" she smiled, one hand softly stroking his hair. "His temperature hasn't gone down much though Dana, and that cooling blanket seems so uncomfortable"
"Yes, it's not the best, but he needs it...Mom something's happened with the case"
"What is it Dana?"
"Well, they've found the little girl's body"
"Oh...that's sad"
"Yeah, I know, she was murdered, but VCS want us off the case"
"That's good though, for Fox"
"Well, in a way it's not. He thought that this kid was someone else who had been though what he had. If the same thing had happened to someone else, then he wouldn't have considered himself so....well noone believes him Mom....and this kid Carl...gave him some kind of hope"
"Dana, he'll be okay, let's get him through this first" they were interupted by Mulder's sudden jerking movement in Maggies arms. She got up in panic, as he began to wildly thrash.
"Oh God, he's fitting" Scully hit the panic button and held him down. "His temperature is rocketing...oh no, come on Mulder stick with me, it's okay...it's okay" she cooed quietly, running her hands through his hair. "It's okay, stay with me Mulder"
The doctors worked quickly, injecting him with syringes and turning down the temperature of the cooling blanket, he gradually stopped jerking, and to Scully's surprise he opened his eyes slightly. "Hey there" she stared at him, "Fox, can you hear me?"
"Mmmm" he groaned. "hot....Dana...hot" he murmured. Scully smiled, at least he hadn't sustained any damage from the seizure.
"I know you're hot honey, I know. We're trying to make you comfortable, just try to relax sweetheart, I'm here" she looked at her Mother. "He's in pain Mom, and he's scared, he only calls me Dana when he's scared" she had tears in her eyes.
"Dana sweetie, you look like you need some rest. Why don't you go home"
"No Mom, not while he's like this"
"Then ask them to bring a cot in here for you. Please Dana, you'll get sick too if you don't take care of yourself"
"Okay, but I'm staying here, and you have to wake me if he calls for me"
"I promise Dana, now go and ask the doctor for a bed" she put her arm around her daughters waist. "Fox is in good hands honey"
"I know, you're here" Scully smiled.

Later that evening

Mulder's temperature had fallen during the rest of the day, and he appeared a little more coherent. He was still however very weak, and not overly responsive, which was to be expected, especially due to the amount of pain killers in his system right now. He was as high as a kite.
Scully had gotten a couple of hours sleep, and felt much better for it, Maggie Scully had opted to do the same as her daughter took over her position by the bed. Mulder looked at her through his drugged hazed eyes.
"How you feeling?" she whispered.
"Sp..acey" he slurred.
"Yeah, that's the drugs, they've got you on the good stuff" she smiled.
"Honey, you shouldn't be in any pain, you're heavily drugged" she reached out and stroked his cheek. "Are you sure you just don't feel nauseous"
"It....hurts...all..of me...hurts" he shut his eyes as the room began to spin. Scully sighed. He shouldn't be feeling anything much, the dosage of Morphine he was on. This was a worry.
"Make...it stop" he let out a wheeze, "Da..na...please" he reopened his eyes and pleaded with her to make the pain go away. Scully took hold of his hand and brought it to her mouth to kiss it.
"Mulder, go to sleep, you'll feel better if you sleep. I'm staying right here, I promise you that" she could feel the tears burning her eyes.
"M..'kay" he closed his eyes again and his grip tightened on her hand.
"You'll be fine Mulder, I'm here. I'll not let you go" Scully whispered.

Three days later
G Washington Hospital

Mulder was much better today, he still had a slightly elevated temperature, but nothing near as dangerous as the last few days had been. Scully and Maggie had not left his side during this time. He had not been an easy patient either, through no fault of his own, he had been extremely unwell, and that had taken it's toll. Although he was over the worst of it now, the illness had taken it out of him considerably, he was to gain some weight if he wanted to be in full health again. His face was pale, and his eyes almost sunken in his gaunt features.
Sitting up in bed he stared at the dinner before him. It didn't look very appetising at all. Looking up at Scully he said quietly.
"I'm not too...hungry"
"You have to try and eat something Mulder, please"
"I don't want it Scully, please don't make me eat it" he swiped at his eyes with his hand. "I'm not hungry"
"Fox" Scully put a hand on his shoulder "if you don't eat anything, they'll put an NG tube down you and you know how much you hate those, just try some of this roll. Just a bit" she broke a bit off and popped it in his mouth, he chewed slowly and swallowed it. Grimacing he lay down and burrowed under his sheets. He had been very withdrawn since he had come around, and Scully was worried about that fact. "The sooner you eat, the sooner we can get you out of here, and you can come and stay at my place, and we'll get take out, and you can watch baseball and basketball if you want" she smiled "how does that sound?"
"Will...you take care of me...till I'm better" he asked.
"Of course I will Mulder, you don't need to ask that sweetheart" she leant in and kissed his cheek. "You rest now, I've got to go and run some errands, I'll be back in soon okay"
"Please don't be long" he reached his hand to her.
"I won't be, you sleep Fox, sleep" she gave his hand a squeeze. Leaving the room she made her way down to the carpark. She was worried about Mulder, she knew that physically he appeared to be getting back to health, but his behaviour was causing her some concern. He appeared very clingy. almost neurotic. She had put it down to the fact he had been stressed beforehand, and the illness had made him worse. But now he was physically on the mend, she was quite alarmed by the fact he hadn't yet mentioned going back to work. Normally after any injury, Mulder was aching to get back to work, he would drive her crazy by incessantly requesting she talk to Skinner to tell him that he was fit and well. This time however, he seemed more content to just have Scully hold him, he would lie in her arms just gently rocking, almost like a frightened child. She would have to see what she could do about getting him to see a psychiatrist, when he was out of the hospital. But firstly, she wanted to get him home and safe.

Saturday Morning

"Okay then" Scully smiled at Mulder who was sitting on the bed in sweats and sneakers. "You ready to get out of here?"
"I guess so" he eased himself off the bed and put his arm around Scully for what at first she thought was support, but he was clinging to her so tightly, she realised she was providing security as well. "We going back to my place?"
"Where else?" Scully questioned.
"I don't know" he looked down. "I just...thought..."
"Mulder, do you want to stay at my place for a while?"
"No...no it's okay" he stammered. "I guess I'll be fine"
"Mulder, you don't have to if you don't want to. I'm happy for you to stay with me" she rubbed his arm tenderly. "Mulder, don't lie to me, if you don't want to go home, then you don't have to"
"No. Scully you're right....I should go home. Besides I can always call you right?"
"Anytime Mulder, nomatter what time it is. I'm here okay?"
"Yeah'kay" he gave a smile which Scully detected as false, and they got into her car.

Mulder's apartment.

They arrived back at Mulder's building, Scully had been there previously to organise things. It had been in a complete state, so she had cleaned, and restocked his larder. She had set up a bed on his couch and had brought in some new cushions and blankets.
"Right then, you lie down, and get comfy" she tucked the covers over the now prone Mulder, fluffed up his pillows and gave him a small kiss on his head. Handing him the television remote she set about making them both some lunch.
"I'm not hungry" he shouted into the kitchen as he began to flip channels.
"I'm only making soup Mulder, you are going to eat that, I need you to have some nutrients in you"
"I don't feel well Scully" he persisted. "I'm not hungry"
"Listen to me" Scully stalked out of the kitchen. Taking the remote from his hand and turning off the television, she stated "I know that you are not well. I know that this has been tough for you. Hell it's been hard for me too, but you have to help me out here Mulder, you have to cooperate" his face fell as she began her tirade. As she saw his expression her face softened. She knelt down by the couch. "I'm so worried about you" she said quietly. "Mom is too, you're not eating, you seem withdrawn...Mulder please talk to me, what is going on?"
"Nothing...I just don't feel so good right now...is that allowed?"
"Mulder, of course it's allowed. Don't twist my words sweetheart" she was exasperated with him, "you are not doing yourself any favors here Fox, I'm here to help you. I'm your friend, not your enemy. You said yourself once that I was the only one you trusted. So why can't you trust me now?"
"Becau..se...I don't know what's happening to me....I don't know" his words cracked as he tried to speak. "I'm sorry...Scully"
"Shh, shh you don't have to be sorry Fox, not at all" she hugged him tightly as his sobs wracked his whole body.
"Why...didn't Mom..c..c..come an'...see..me?" he suddenly looked up, tears still streamed down his face. "Did you...call her?"
"Yeah, she wasn't well enough to travel Fox, but she sent best wishes"
"I bet" he lay back down and pulled himself into the foetal position. "You still going to make me eat that soup?" he looked up at her.
"You bet you I am" Scully gently reached out and stroked Mulder's head. "It's chicken"
"Smells...good" he gave a small smile. "I'll try a bit"
"Good boy" Scully smiled. "That's what I like to hear" she made her way back to the kitchen. She served up the soup with a little bit of French Bread and made her way back to Mulder. He went to take the cup but his hands were shaking. "You want some help?"
"Yeah....please" he murmured. Yet another reason for Scully to worry, Mulder had to be really ill before he agreed to let Scully feed him.
"Come on then" she positioned herself behind him so that he leant his back against her. She put the cup to his lips and he took a sip. "That okay?"
"Yeah....don't want much though..'kay?" he whispered.
"Okay, just take it slowly. That's it, good" she made sure that he swallowed a fair amount of the soup before he gave up.
Soon after he had finished the soup he became drowsy, and started to fall asleep. Scully took this as her opportunity to go back to her apartment.
"Mulder, listen to me. I'm going to go home now okay?"
"Mmm....yeah" he had his eyes half closed.
"You call me if you need me okay, I want you to rest now. Have a nice long sleep"she gently pushed his hair from his forehead. "I'll speak to you later"
"Yeah....I can call you yeah?" he murmured.
" You know you can honey" she kissed his cheek. "See you soon" she got up and tucked the covers over him, giving him one more kiss she left him to rest.

Scully's apartment

Scully lay back in the bathtub, she closed her eyes and tried to relax, she couldn't get Mulder out of her mind. He was not doing well at all, and she was at a bit of a loss to know what to do about it. There was no way he would talk to anyone, she had problem enough in trying to get him to talk to her, let alone a stranger he wouldn't trust. She just had to put faith in him that he was going to get through this as best as he could.
Wearily rising from the tub she combed through her wet hair, looking at herself in the mirror she gave a smile.
"You never stop thinking about him Dana" she said outloud to herself. "What does that tell you" shaking her head she began to apply her face mask, a small smile played on her lips as she remembered Mulder's reaction to it when they were undercover. She wasn't going to lie to herself, she wanted him back, the old Mulder, so sure of himself, and confident in his ideas. But right now, whatever it was he was going through, he needed her, he needed her to listen to him and to support him. Without her, he wouldn't have anyone. Scully wandered into the living room and picked up her book. Settling down with it, she tried to take her mind off Mulder. She found herself staring at the phone, almost willing it to ring. But she figured, that he must be doing okay. If he hadn't called, then there was a reason for it. He was fine.


The evening seemed to pass by quickly. Scully found herself ready to go to bed, it had been both a physically and emotionally tiring day. Climbing into her bed, she didn't even feel like reading herself to sleep, she looked at the phone again, wondering if she should call Mulder. But again she thought that he would have called. Her eyes closed, and she slipped into sleep.


Something startled her awake. She was sure she heard her name being called. It was faint, but she could definitely hear it. Looking out of the window she saw the rain coming down in torrents. Then she heard the bang on her door.
"Mulder?" she pulled on her robe and ran to the door. Looking through the spyglass she saw Mulder standing (just about). "Oh my God" she opened the door. "Fox" he was soaked through, tears streaming down his face, shivers racked his whole body. "You're soaking, come on in" she pulled him in and hugged him hard. "What is it? what's wrong?"
"I...I...I.." he gasped.
"Okay, shhh" she led him to the couch and sat him down. She unbuttoned his shirt and stripped him down to his boxers. Pulling a blanket from the armchair she wrapped it around him. "What's wrong Fox, tell me what's wrong?" she ran to her bathroom and got a towel. Coming back in she towel dried his hair. "What is it Fox?"
"I....woke..up..an'..an'...you'd gone" he rubbed his streaming eyes.
"Fox, we talked about that, I told you to call me...." she was interrupted by him breaking down even more. "Okay, it doesn't matter, shh now shh. I'm here now shh" pulling him tightly into her arms she rocked him gently. He cried harder and harder into her until his fits finally subsided. He nestled his head into her shoulder and let out a sigh. "You okay now?" she gently rubbed the back of his neck. "Mulder, we need to talk about this"
"Why?" he sat up and rubbed his eyes again, "I got scared, you said I could call you...or were you just saying that?" he suddenly retracted.
"No, no of course not honey, of course not" she placed a hand on his thigh. "I just think that you're having a few problems right now, which we need to sort through"
"Well, can we talk...about them in the morning" he lay back in her arms. "I don't feel so good"
"I know you don't, you want to sleep in my bed tonight?" Scully felt as if she were talking to a child. He nodded at her and followed her to the bedroom. She handed him one of his t shirts and a clean pair of boxers, she kept Mulder's stuff handy. Shuffling to the bathroom he went and changed into the clothes. When he returned he was shivering. "Come on, get in, get warm" he gingerly got under the covers, and as Scully wrapped her arms around him, he snuggled deep into her. Scully was taken aback when she felt a sudden rush of excitement. When however she looked at how innocently Mulder lay in her embrace, she realised how much he really needed her, and it wasn't at this time a sexual need. It was something more. Regardless of this however, Mulder needed help and in the morning that was what Scully was going to get for him.



The alarm clock startled them both out of sleep. Scully reached over and hit the button. She looked at Mulder still huddled up to her tightly.
"Come on sleepyhead" she whispered. "I've got to go into work"
"Pleas..e..don't" he murmured.
"Come on Fox, you can come with me"
"No...s'kay" he yawned around his words. "Still feel....poorly"
"Well then, you stay here, but I've got to go in" she slid out of the bed and went into the bathroom. "That worked" she thought to herself. Hopping into the shower she gave herself a quick scrub and got changed into her work clothes. When she came out Mulder was sat on the edge of her bed looking at her. "What?" she said.
"Thanks" he looked down. "For taking care of me last night....I don't know what happened, I just freaked out"
"Well" Scully took a seat beside him. "We need to stop that from happening don't we?" she took hold of his hand. "Mulder, will you please consider talking to someone"
"I don't need a doctor...I have you"
"Yes, you have me, but I can't help you"
"You can" he nodded "You are, you helped me last night"
"Mulder, I can only offer you comfort, not a cure for how you're feeling. I want to help you sweetheart, but I'm not able to offer the treatment you need"
"I don't need treatment...I'm better now. My fevers gone"
"Honey, I know, I don't mean medical treatment. You need to talk to someone about what you're feeling"
"I talk to you"
"You don't Mulder. You cry to me, which is fine, and I'll be there to hold you. But I don't know the right things to say to help you"
"Or you don't want to help me"
"Fox, you're doing it again!"
"Twisting my words!"
"I'm not" he lay down on the bed and pulled himself into a tight ball. "I'm not Scully, I'm not"
"Honey" she sat down beside him again. "You are suffering with depression, I can see it as plain as day. You're the psychologist, surely you know that things aren't right in there?" she leant in and kissed his head. "Mulder, God knows I love you, would I ever hurt you? or do anything which would hurt you?" he shook his head. "Then please. Go and see my therapist. I'll go with you if you want me too"
"She'll make me better?" he sat up and dried his eyes.
"She'll make you better sweetheart" Scully pulled him into her arms. "She'll make you better"

The Therapist's office

"Okay then" Karen the theapist held out her hand. "Dana has told me a lot about you" she smiled.
"Oh....right" Mulder sat down uneasily in the chair, he gripped onto Scully's hand. She held it tightly. "Dana..says you're going to help me"
"Well, I'm certainly going to try and help you Fox, now we need to start with you telling me a few things, such as what is causing you to feel upset" his response was to shake his head.
"I don't know...everything at the moment" he took a deep breath in. "I just feel like I can't do anything right now. I keep on falling apart at the slightest thing. Then I got sick...I'm still not feeling well" he wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. "It's like everything is too much. We were assigned onto this case, and it upset me, quite a bit...it was a little too close to things...things which happened to me when I was a kid" Scully could feel Mulder begin to tremble. "I tried to deal with it....but I couldn't do it.....I tried but I couldn't do it" Scully put her arms around him as he broke down in tears.
"Okay Mulder, shh. I've got you it's okay" Scully gently rubbed his back. "You'll be okay"
"Right then Fox" Karen said. "I think that we should set up a few sessions. You can talk to me then, and try and work through some of this stuff" she reached out her hand and placed it on Mulder's knee. "You've done the hard bit now" Mulder looked up at her.
"You must think...I'm crazy huh?" he sniffed.
"No, not at all" she gave a gentle smile. "You just need to talk some of this through, you'll be okay Fox"
"You think I'll come through it...then?"
"Sure, everyone gets stressed Fox, we just need to help reduce that stress. It may take some time, but you'll get through it" she gave another smile. "I think you need some time off work though"
"I'm still on sick leave....I'm not going back in yet"
"That's a good thing, look, why don't you come and see me on Monday. 10:00am appointment okay?" she shook his hand. Mulder stood up. "Take care of him Dana" Karen said to Scully when Mulder had gone out of the door. "He's in a fragile state"
"I know, thanks though, I think you helped"

Scully's apartment.

"Right then, Mom is coming over in ten minutes to keep you company, I have to go into work"
"I don't need a babysitter Scully" he looked up from the television magazine he was reading.
"Yes you do, I want to make sure you get some food into you" she gathered all of her things together. "How are you feeling now anyway?"
"Still a bit sick" he looked at her. "Do I still have a temperature?"
"Let's see" she laid a hand across his forehead. "Yes, you're still warm. Dear me Mulder, you're in the wars a little aren't you" she sighed. They were interupted by the arrival of Maggie Scully.
"Hello Honey" she hugged her daughter. "Fox sweetheart, how are you?" she came and hugged him. "You look better"
"I'm okay...still not too good, but better than I was" he smiled. "Thanks for staying with me when I was in hospital, I didn't get much of a chance to thank you before" he smiled. "I know I've been a bit of a nightmare really lately"
"No, you haven't been Fox, don't think that please" Maggie brushed his cheek with her fingers.
"Thank you" he looked down.
"You're welcome sweetheart" Maggie smiled at him. "Dana, you go on, we'll be fine here"
"Thanks Mom, that's great. I'll see you both later okay. I'm not sure what time I'll be home"
"Don't work too hard honey" Maggie smiled.
"I won't" she kissed her Mother "see you later. See you Mulder" she kissed him as well. "You rest now. Get some strength back" with those words she left Mulder in the capable hands of her Mother. When she was out of earshot Maggie looked Mulder straight in the eye.
"Now tell me something" she said, gently taking his hand. "How are you doing really? Dana is worried about you"
"Things are a bit hard...but I went with Dana to see a therapist today, and I think she'll really be able to help me. Everything has just got on top of me lately, and it's been kind of hard to deal with. I'm sure that I'll get through it. Dana's been a great help already. So have you"
"Oh Fox, you're important to me too. I'm just looking out for you"
"Well, that's nice....I've never really had much of that before...which is maybe what's wrong with me I guess" he shrugged. "Do you uh...want a cup of coffee or something?"
"I'll make it Fox, you relax" Maggie smiled at him. "You certainly look better Fox, you really do"
"Thanks" he followed Maggie to the kitchen and helped with the coffee.
"No Milk" Maggie sighed.
"I'll go get some" Mulder pulled his jacket on.
"No Fox, you're meant to be resting"
"I could do with the walk. It's only 5 minutes to the general store"
"But Fox..."
"It's okay Mrs Sc...Mom" he put a hand on her shoulder. "You worry as much as Dana, I'll be okay, just give me ten minutes, and I'll be back"
"Okay, see you soon, be careful" Maggie kissed him. "You're a prescious boy"

Mulder wandered out of the building and turned left down the street, he felt in his pocket for some change and popped into the store to buy a milk carton. He also grabbed himself a Knicks magazine and a packet of Oreos. He paid for the goods and with his nose in the magazine started back to the apartment block. He was so engrossed in the magazine as he crossed the sidestreet that he didn't see the fast approaching Sedan. There was an almighty crash, a loud sound of a horn, and milk everywhere. "Oh My God!" the driver of the sedan got out, looking somewhat dazed. "Someone call 911 I hit a guy!"

Mulder lay on the road, staring at all the people suddenly congregating around him. The waves of pain were crashing over him as he lay there, he could feel the blood welling in pools around him. He wanted to cry out, but his jaw seemed to be locked. He figured if he closed his eyes, Scully would find him and everything would be all right. He was suddenly aware of someone screaming his name. He recognised it as Scully's Mom. He had been hit right outside the apartment block, she must have heard the crash. Maggie fought her way through and bent down by Mulder's bleeding body.
"Fox, it's okay honey, you'll be okay" she took off her jacket and put it over him. He forced his bleary eyes to look at her, he pulled his strength together and whispered.
"Mo..m" as he did so a gush of blood came pouring from his mouth, and breathing became difficult. He let out a strangled cry. "Hu...rts"
"I know, it's okay, help's on the way sweetheart, you hold on please. Don't you give up on me baby, don't you give up" Maggie ran her hand through his hair. The sirens became audible and the EMT's were there. Mulder was transferred to a gurney and hooked up to a network of drips. As the drugs went into his system the pain seemed to ebb away. Maggie was riding alongside him holding onto his hand.

Two hours later
George Washington Hospital.

"Mom, what happened?" Scully ran down the corridor to where her Mother was sitting. "Is he okay?"
"He just went to the store, he only wanted to get some milk, and he got hit by a car"
"Oh my God, have you talked to the doctor?"
"Not yet, Fox is still in surgery...Dana I'm so sorry"
"Don't be Mom, he's not a kid, you can't keep an eye on him" Scully sighed. "Besides...he wouldn't listen even if you did say you didn't want him to go out" she gave a smile. "Was he badly hurt?"
"I think so Dana....he was bleeding and..." the conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the doctor. "Any news?"
"Right, Fox is out of surgery now. He's stabilised. He suffered quite a blow to his head, which we are a little worried about. His right wrist is broken, and he has a few bumps and bruises, but he was a lucky guy. It could have been so much worse"
"What about his head injury?" Scully asked.
"Well. We'll monitor him tonight, to keep an eye on the pressure, but I think he'll be out of ICU by the morning"
"Can I see him?"
"He's kind of dopey right now, but sure" the doctor led them to the room where Mulder was. Walking into the room Scully sighed at the sight of her partner. He was hooked up to a network of drips and an oxygen cannula. His right wrist was in plaster, and his face was nastily bruised.
"Oh, look at you" she came and sat down beside him. "Mulder?" she whispered. "Mulder, it's me. Can you hear me?" she gently reached out and stroked his head. Sluggishly he opened his eyes and looked at the blurred image in front of him. "Hey there, how you feeling?"
"Sick....an'...it hurts" he whispered softly. "Sc..ully...I want to go home" he gave a groan.
"Not for a few days yet Mulder, you've taken a bit of a blow" she moved her hand and gently rubbed his arm. "You need to rest and get some strength back"
"My..arm..it hurts"
"Yeah, I know it does. You've broken your wrist, so that's why it's painful"
"I'm sorry....'bout this" he licked his parched lips. "Trou...ble....again"
"Mulder, you didn't do this on purpose, it's okay" she sighed. "Don't blame yourself"
"I'm so...tired" he yawned.
"You should rest Mulder, go to sleep. I'll be here okay" she whispered. "I'm not going anywhere" she settled back into the chair and began to gently stroke his arm. "I'm here Fox, you rest now" she whispered.

One week Later
Scully's Apartment

Mulder lay on the couch, his head ached, his arm ached, he felt exhausted and down right miserable. He had been out of hospital for a day, and he was not overly communicative either. Scully didn't really know what to do with him.
"Hey" she knelt down beside him. "How you feeling now?" she gently stroked a stray bit of hair from his forehead. "Still bad?"
"Yeah...still bad" he swallowed. "Scully...when, when am I going to feel better?"
"Mulder, you were hit by a car, you're going to feel sick. That's normal"
"But I feel...so sick...I can't do anything. I don't know what's going on Scully" he shut his eyes. "Honey, it's okay" she leant in and kissed his head. "It'll be okay, I don't know how we're going to get through this, but we are, you have to believe me Fox, you have to"
"I want to believe" he gave a small smile.
"There we go, then that's a start" a smile crept across Scully's face. "You want to cuddle up and watch some tv"
"Sounds good" he forced himself into a sitting position and then curled up against Scully, his head nuzzled in her chest. "You know, we would make a good couple....I think" he looked up at her.
"Do you now?" she smiled.
"Yeah" nodding he let out a sigh. "Hey...what's happening about work, I hadn't even asked?"
"Well, you're still on sick leave, and I think that's a good idea"
"Yeah...me too"
"You do?"
"Yeah...I don't feel like going back at all" now this statement sent a panic through her.
"Sweetheart, what do you mean, you want to quit"
"I just don't feel up to it, and I think that my time there is done"
"Mulder" she stared at him "you can't be serious. You don't want to go back to the x files?"
"Not really" he replied.
"Oh honey, that car hit you hard" she stroked his head. "Mulder, that work is your life"
"Well, it was...now can't I just stay here with you?" the conversation was broken when he was suddenly hit by a bolt of pain in his head. "Oh....ow...Scu..Scu...hurts" he squeezed his eyes shut.
"Okay sweetheart, it'll pass, shh now. Lie still it'll pass" she crooned, gently rubbing his arm. It's okay, shh" the pain subsided, although it left him spent. His eyes slid closed and he fell into a somewhat fitful sleep. His breathing appeared laboured, and there was not a relaxed expression across his face. Scully tenderly stroked his cheek. His remarks about not going back to work troubled her greatly. Whatever had been going on in his head before the accident was clearly still at work, he didn't seem to want to do anything anymore, he was just content to be mothered and looked after, and that was not the Fox Mulder Scully knew and loved. This would have to come up in discussion during his next therapy session.

The therapists office
Monday 9:00am

"So how are you Fox?" Karen asked. "You look better than I thought you would"
"Not so bad" he gave a slight smile. "Considering I got runover"
"Well, that's good, how do you feel in yourself. What about coming back to work"
"Oh, well no" he shook his head. "I've talked to Scully about that, and I don't think I can"
"Why not?" Karen looked at him. "Tell me why not Fox"
"Well. I'm sick" he stated. "So I don't have to work" he sounded like a child.
"But when you're better, you won't be sick forever, don't you want to carry on with your work?"
"Well...I guess" he chewed on his bottom lip. "But you know..."
"What Fox?"
"It hurts" his face fell and tears began to spill out over his eyelashes. "It hurts when...when I see kids....lik..like me...an'....I can't help them...I can't" he put his head in his hands and sobbed. Scully who was sat at the back of the room stirred in her chair, she couldn't just leave him there crying. Rising to her feet she gently placed a hand on his shoulder, but he shook her off. Looking up at her he spoke again. "Do you..kn..know how useless I f..feel?"
"No" he cut her off. "Let me finish. That kid Carl...he needed help, so much. I was meant to be the one to help him...an'...and I fucked that up"
"You didn't Mulder" Scully shook her head. "You didn't. They found the body, it was a straight murder..."
"It..was?" he looked up at her. "You didn't tell me that"
"No, I know I didn't. You were so sick, then you got hurt...I didn't have time to tell you"
"Oh" he hung his head. "It doesn't change things though" he wiped his eyes. "I'm still fucked up"
"Mulder, you have been through a lot" Scully gently reached and touched his shoulder again. "You are way too tough on yourself. Just give yourself a break, you can't just expect to keep going, but at the same time, you can't just give up as easily as all that either"
"She's right Fox" Karen interjected. "I know it's hard, but running away from your feelings, and denying them, as you have been, you will make yourself a great deal worse" he looked at her with his piercing eyes. "You know that it's right Fox, and you know that you can do this"
"I'd like to go home now" were the only words that came from his mouth.
"Come on then" Scully put his coat around his shoulders and helped him into the one arm of the coat he could wear. He winced as she brushed past his arm in the sling. "Sorry" she looked up at him. "Let's get you home then"

They walked out of the office in silence, Scully was slightly stunned by Mulder's reactions in there.
"I'm sorry" he suddenly said.
"What for?"
"Breaking like that, I didn't mean to" he got into the car and cursed as he had trouble with the seatbelt.
"Mulder it's okay to break" Scully leant over to help him with the belt. "But you clam up again as soon as you expose yourself. That's what's bad"
"That's the way I am"
"Yeah, and that has to change, if you're going to get better"
"You think I can do it?"
"I think you can, it's going to take some time, but I don't see why you shouldn't be able to get back on your feet, but the thing you need to do is to break from me"
"What?" he stared "not see you?"
"No, not a complete break, I mean go home, get your life back again, try and cope on your own. Mulder you were always so damned independent, almost annoyingly so. You wouldn't ask for help in anything, but now you can't seem to do anything without me. Now don't take it the wrong way. I would die for you Fox" she reached her hand to his cheek. "I really would, but you have to do this on your own. I'll be here for you to fall back on. That will never change, but you have to fight these demons with yourself, by yourself, you understand?"
"I understand" he nodded.
"Then you're half way there sweetheart, you're half way there" she unclipped his seatbelt and pulled him into her arms where he was safe.