Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully belong to CC and 10-13. If they were mine I would have ended the episode differently. Oh well.
Author’s Note: I don’t care if you hated it, e-mail me. If you took the time to read it I want to know. Please? I am groveling here. XScout@hotmail.com
Pushed Over The Edge
Pushed Over The Edge
"We need an ambulance at 214 Channel Avenue." Scully hung up and shoved her cell phone back in her jacket. She glanced over at her partner who was standing a few feet away, facing the opposite direction.
"Mulder?" When he didn't respond she slowly walked over and laid her hand on his arm. "Mulder?"
He turned to look at her with unseeing eyes, his breathing fast and labored. He was trembling and she could feel his ice cold skin through his sleeve. He was in shock.
"Mulder, look at me." She squeezed his arm in an attempt to bring him back to reality.
"Scully?" He hadn't made a sound but his lips moved, forming her name.
"I'm here. Mulder, I'm okay."
His eyes focused on her and his breathing began to return to normal. His glazed look was replaced by one of confusion. He glanced over to the body lying a few paces away. He gasped and started to shiver harder.
Scully reached up and put her hand under his chin, maneuvering his head so that he was looking directly at her. "Mulder, that is not me. It is Linda Bowman, she made you think I was dead. I'm fine. I'm right here." She kept her voice calm and strong, ignoring the rising anxiety she was feeling.
Recognition registered on Mulder's face. "Oh God," he whispered then suddenly he reached out and grabbed Scully, pulling her into a tight embrace. He crushed her to him as though he would never let go and held on like a drowning man to a lifesaver. She just let him hold her until the sound of sirens in the distance began to grow increasingly louder.
"Mulder, the ambulance is here." She pressed her hands against his chest in a gentle order to let go. He released her reluctantly and took a deep shuddering breath. "Will you be all right while I talk to the paramedics?"
His eyes grew panicked instantly and his breath caught in his throat. Scully quickly reassured him, "I'll be right here okay? I'm not going anywhere."
Mulder calmed down slightly and nodded, but his eyes followed her as she met the paramedics and updated them as to what occurred. They loaded Linda into the ambulance and just as quickly as they had appeared, they disappeared into the city.
Scully turned back to the man who had not moved since she had left him and went to his side. She hooked an arm around his waist and led him to the car. After loading him in the passenger's seat she hurried around to get in, making sure that she never left her partner's sight. She started the vehicle and headed back home.
They traveled in silence all the way to Scully's apartment. When Mulder didn't even ask why they were at her place, Scully knew that she had been right in taking him to her home. She was not going to leave him alone in his condition and since he didn't own a bed, she decided that her spare room would do just fine.
They got out of the car and Mulder followed her blindly up into her apartment. Upon entering, Scully immediately led him to the guest room and gently pushed him down onto the bed.
Mulder appeared to have come back to reality and looked around him in bewilderment. "Scully..." he murmured.
"Shhh. We'll talk about it tomorrow. Right now I want you to get some sleep." A quick look at the clock showed it to be 11:25pm. They had a meeting the next day with Skinner and both needed rest. "Do you need any help?"
With extreme effort Mulder produced a leering grin. "Are you coming onto me, Scully?"
She sighed in feigned annoyance and raised an eyebrow in her patented 'Not in your lifetime' look. She gave him a smile, relieved that he was lucid enough to joke. "I think that signal's my exit cue. Go to sleep, I asked Skinner to move the meeting to the afternoon so we can wake up without an alarm."
Now it was Mulder's turn to raise an eyebrow questioningly.
"Oh stop that. I told him that you were in shock and I needed to keep an eye on you. He understood and said that he trusted us." She caught sight of that twinkle in Mulder's eye. "At least he said he trusted me. Now go to bed, I'll see you in the morning." With that she closed the door and went to her own room for a night of well earned rest.
She shot up in her bed at the scream echoing down her hallway. She threw off her covers and ran the short distance to Mulder's room, fearing what she might find. She burst through the door to find her partner sitting up in bed, his eyes glazed over and his breath coming in short gasps.
"Mulder?" Scully lowered herself onto the bed next to him and lightly touched his shoulder.
Still suffering from the severity of his nightmare, Mulder began to ramble. "I tried...Oh God she's dead...I couldn't...I didn't...she's gone." Tears were streaming down his face as he rocked himself back and forth.
Before Scully could bring him out of his reverie, he continued. "She's gone...I never, and now... Scully." The last word ended in a sob.
She took him in her arms and whispered reassuring remarks in his ear while rubbing his back in circular motions. Deep sobs of pure grief wracked him and he put his own arms around the woman cradling him.
Scully waited until he had cried himself out before she let go. "Mulder?"
He sniffed loudly and glanced away, ashamed. "I'm sorry," he whispered.
"Mulder look at me." He turned back and met her eyes. "There is nothing to be sorry about. This is why you are sleeping here instead of on that sorry couch you call a bed."
He smiled slightly at that.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Mulder passed a hand over his face to scrub away the last vestiges of sleep then looked down at the diminutive woman who meant so much to him. "No."
"Damn it Mulder!" Scully jumped off the bed and waved her fists angrily at the air. "Don't do this. You keep everything inside and never let me in. Every time I hear your muffled screams of another nightmare through a motel wall, I feel your pain. I see you tear yourself up with guilt for things you couldn't possibly get any control over. I have watched you crawl inside the minds of killers and struggle to come out. And I am forced to sit by as you slowly kill yourself by not eating or sleeping, puking your guts out as another case hits too close to home.
"You are the most brilliant man I have ever met. You could have been a SAC or perhaps even Assistant Director by now. I've read the reports, I've heard the rumors. You were the 'Golden Boy' of the VCS. Your solve rate was unparalleled and everyone thought you were next in line for Bill Patterson's job.
"But no one noticed how each case was harder and harder to walk away from. You were working yourself to death. You are one of the most empathetic people I have ever met. You empathize with the victim, with the witnesses, hell, even with the killer. You take the burden of the world on your shoulders even when you have no right to. I have watched you come close to the edge and each time I am terrified that you won't come back. Tonight you were pushed over that edge and I am offering you a rope. Please Mulder, talk to me, let me help you."
Scully sank down onto the bed, thoroughly exhausted by her emotional outburst.
Mulder closed his eyes in acceptance. "You were dead."
Scully nodded for him to continue.
"You put your gun to your head and I tried to stop you, but I was too late. I couldn't save you. Over and over again. Each time I tried to reach you I had to run farther and farther, not getting any closer until you... Every time I close my eyes I see you lying in a pool of blood." He bit his lip to keep from breaking out into tears again.
"Oh Mulder." She took his hands in her own, "I'm right here, I'm okay, I'm not dead. It's all right."
"No!" His vehement cry shocked her. "It's not all right! When... When I saw you fall my mind went numb. My whole life narrowed into those few seconds and when I found no pulse, my world shattered. The only thing keeping me from putting my gun to my own head and ending it all was the thought of Linda Bowman.
"I've dreamt before of you being taken; by Duane Berry, Donnie Pfaster, Modell, Krycek, and so many others. Though the monsters were different it was always the same scenario. They'd come and take you away while I stood helpless and no matter how hard I tried I would be too late. Then you were dead and I had nothing. Linda Bowman made it a reality for me.
"When I thought you were Linda I was so angry. Every part of me was fill with indescribable rage and hatred for her. She stole my life and I wanted revenge. I almost killed you."
Scully's eyes were rimmed with tears as she listened to the grief-laden voice of her partner. "Mulder..."
"No, Scully," he interrupted. "Don't. Don't try to tell me that I wouldn't have done it. All I knew was overwhelming hatred for this woman. It filled my mind and penetrated my soul. She had to die. And as soon as she was dead I would have turned the weapon on myself."
Scully gasped at this statement. "Mulder, no. You would have gone on. You possess such strength and determination, your passion for the truth has kept you going. There is so much more for you to know. The truth is out there and you will find it, with or without me."
Mulder looked stunned. "How can you say that? Don't you understand? Don't you realize that it means nothing to me without you? This has become *our* quest, not just mine. You were wrong when you said that it is my passion for the truth that keeps me going. It's you. You are my strength, my conscience, my guardian, and so much more. I *trust* you. To be there when I fall, to bring me back to reality when I am so close to insanity, to listen and understand, to believe me.
"I feel incomplete without you, as if I am missing something indefinable and irreplaceable. You are my partner and my friend, yet so much more. You have my trust and respect, my friendship and my faith... and you have my heart and my soul."
Dana Scully reached up and caressed away the tears streaming down Mulder's face. Then she leaned over and brushed her lips against his slightly open mouth. Just a hint of the passion and longing that lay beneath.
Then she whispered in his ear, "And you have mine."