Title :A long absence
Author : Valérie, as PoorMulder
Category: MSR. MT MA PG
Spoilers : Nothing after Requiem.
Summary : Mulder's come-back after a long absence
A long absence
He had the feeling of being back in hell. Foreign hands touched him everywhere, stripped him, examined him and he couldn't do anything to prevent this invasion of personal privacy. From the bottom of his conscience, he howled his outrage, but his voice wouldnt function, he was a prisoner in his own fever-racked body and struggled with the weakened spirit, which remained within him. He felt something flowing like acid in his veins, and only then found the force to cry out the precious name, which enveloped his mind.
The ER medical team members of the hospital of the county of New York looked at each other, disconcerted. The patient that someone had mysteriously dumped there a few moments earlier, appeared unconscious at first, but now he howled like one of the damned. Although he hadn't regained full consciousness, he shouted from the depths of his feverish nightmare. Susan finished the injection into his bared hip and saw her patient gradually slackening under the effect of the drug. She gave further instructions to her team and run to the telephone at the corner of the treatment room. A soft voice answered her.
"Dr. Scully, pathology dept."
"Dana, it's Susan, in the ER."
"Susan! Whats happening?"
"Dana, you will find this very odd... but one of our patients has just yelled your name..."
A long silence followed her sentence until the disturbed voice of her friend reached her again.
"Can you tell me more?"
"One John Doe brought in a moment ago. No papers, around forty, bad state, looks like a homeless person."
"I'm coming down immediately, Susan." Susan stared at the phone and tried to fathom the shakiness in her friends tone.
Dana Scully left her laboratory immediately, moving towards the elevator on shaky legs. Her heart beat so crazily that she had the feeling she was going to faint. She tried to keep herself under control, pushing back the foolish hope, which had arisen like a phoenix from her friend's words. Who else would yell out her name if it isn't... No. She refused to let herself be deluded by her emotions. That couldn't be him. Hed disappeared such a long time ago. Her hope had all but evaporated with her tears.
The elevator stopped its race to the ground floor. She felt a surge of nerves all but carry her legs towards the reception. A doctor quickly indicated to the treatment room from where Susan had called her. Her stomach tied in knots by apprehension, she pushed the doors and entered. Her heart almost melted into a puddle when she saw the pale face of the man lying on the bed, her hand flying to her mouth.
"Oh my god..."
"Dana? Are you ok? Do you know him?"
Scully glanced away with difficulty and stared at Susan, her eyes full of tears she could barely manage to contain. Then with an infinite tenderness, her gaze fell once more on the man she loved, and slipped her fingers into the man's mass of dark, sticky hair. Her hand slid down his warm brow and stroked his face; fingers grazed his hollow cheeks that were covered with an incipient beard, and then came to rest lightly on his cracked and dry lips. Susan looked on with amazement at her friends delicate, almost reverent gestures, which resembled those of a lover. Touched, she heard him mutter a name.
Her eyes full of tears, Scully turned to her friend.
"How is he?"
"He has a fever, 104, his lungs are congested badly, and he has signs of malnutrition. He was very agitated when he was brought to us. He has scars everywhere on his body, some seem old, others more recent. Dana, I don't want to be curious... but who is he?"
Dana's blue azure glance lighted up when she answered her friend.
"Somebody I haven't seen for four years. Who I thought Id never have the chance to see again. The father of my son."
Susan's eyes grew wider with shock.
"But I thought that hed disappeared..."
"And you found him... My God, Susan, I never thought of
seeing him again...
They were silenced by a sudden moan. Instantly, they both rushed to his bedside. Mulder's eyelids were half-open and his eyes, glassy with fever, sought to focus on the two faces leaning above him. A gleam of pure panic gripped his expression and his breathing quickened. He tried to sit up in his bed but a nauseous feeling overwhelmed him, forcing him to lie back down, head sinking into the pillows.
"Leave me... I want to get out of here."
Susan acted quickly, trying to hold him in the bed.. "You have a pneumonia and a high fever. We are going to take care of you now. Its going to be ok. Calm down."
A renewal of energy passed through him and he sought to get up once again. This time, Dana leaned forward and took his face between her hands.
"Mulder... It's me. Scully."
He focused on her face, his breath on hold, looking at her intensely before shaking his head.
"No... It's still one of your heinous tricks... Let me leave. Let go of me!"
Susan muttered in her friend's ear. "He's delirious, Dana, it's the fever. Or you were mistaken... "
"No! No Susan, Im more than sure. He is Mulder all right. ." (She might look at his blood tests and stuff to be on the safe side that he isnt a clone.)
His eyes closed, a single tear running down, Mulder answered with a broken voice.
"Scully is that really you?"
"I'm here, Mulder, it's over, Youre safe now...".
She let her fingers caress his sweaty face full of tears, and threaded them again through his damp hair.
I tried to find you for such a long time, Scully... I never believed Id see you again... I'm so tired... "
"Rest, my love. Youre very weak. I promise you that Ill be here when you wake up."
She took his hand and carried it to her lips, letting them gently brush his knuckles.
He awoke again with a long forgotten feeling of peace. For the first time in ages, he actually felt some concept of being safe. His eyelids fluttered open and he turned his head, seeking his memories of the words hed heard just before sinking in a deep
And she was there, sleeping deeply, curled up on the armchair close to his hospital bed, her face still marked by tears, but so beautiful, my god so beautiful. He delighted in the vision she made for long minutes, reacquainting himself with every aspect of her face before daring to reach and touch it, shyly first, then with more confidence way. His hand cupping her cheek, he muttered her name.
She opened her eyes on hearing her name and her face lit up with a smile, which she reserved only for him.
"You are real?"
Her smile widened and she answered him, half laughing, and half crying. She took his hand.
"Oh yes, Mulder, I'm real. How are you feeling?"
She lightly touched his face with a loving hand and was happy to note that his fever
seemed to have decreased.
"Tired... dirty... Happy. I have so many things to tell you, Scully."
"Tell me, Mulder."
"They finally let me leave six months ago... I found myself one night in a freezing forest, at the same place they abducted me from. Almost naked, weak and deadly sick. The first thing I did was to call you. After all this time, after all that I lived through, I remembered your phone number... "
"And you didn't find anybody... I moved two years ago..."
"I panicked. My thoughts were not very coherent at this time... I tried to call the FBI, to contact Skinner... "
"Walter died of a heart attack a little time after your abduction..." Scullys eyes grew moist. So much guilt carried by their former boss. Mulder brow furrowed in pain.
"Frohike, Byers and Langly..."
"They died in an attack... right here, in New York." A single tear slipped down both their cheeks. So much time missed, so much loss.
"I hadn't any papers, money, I believed that I felt I was losing the little reason for living that remained... Impossible to locate your mother... I even tried to call your brother... I ended up thinking that none of you were even real... That I had never lived the life, which I had believed Id always known before my abduction. I ended up in prison for vagrancy..." Scully face was a study in pain as she squeezed his hand, trying to inject all the love she could back into this desolate man, for all the hurt he had suffered..
"And nobody thought of checking the file of the missing people?"
Mulder raised the shoulders, his eyes filled with sadness.
"They put me in an asylum, thought I was nuts . must have seemed that way. I have relatively little memories of that time. I believe that I really lost myself for a while. I was terrorized by flashbacks, night and day. My mind relived the terrible experiments that they made me undergo... They tortured me, Scully... You can't imagine what they did to me..."
He started to shiver and she put a reassuring hand on his shoulder, rubbing gently.
"When I see you, Mulder, look into your eyes, I can imagine what you endured." She wiped away the stream of tears that flowed unbroken down his face. Her own eyes blurred his image with tears. Together they cried.
He regained the control of his body, little by little and went back
to speaking, the features of his face drawn by tiredness and emotion.
"I finally escaped. I survived as I could, afraid each time I had to steal food. I hitchhiked all over the place. I ended up arriving in Washington where I tried to enter the FBI's headquarters, but they wouldnt let me get in the building."
" Security controls were reinforced more strictly since the attacks..."
"I was at the end of my rope, Scully. I thought of a lot of things, even suicide. But I had to find you... "
"By which miracle did you come to New York?"
"I made some friends when I was living on the streets... One of them told me that in New York, the soups kitchens were better than everywhere else... "
Scully started to laugh, tears in the eyes of a different sort. After all he had undergone, his irreverent humor had remained intact.
Quickly, concern took over from joy in Scully's eyes when he began to speak again.
"Scully... As happy as I am to have found you, I want you to know something... Im devastated, as much on the physical level as the psychological one. Im going to need therapy for the rest of my life, and I dont feel that would ever be enough to erase the trauma of these last years... I don't want to be a burden for you. If people found me a nutcase before... "
"Mulder, you never were a nutcase. Especially not to me. Your spirit, your intelligence are intact. We will find the best psychotherapists... I will be there with you all along the way... "
They remained a long moment looking at each other, unable to retain the tears, which ran freely down their cheeks. Finally, Scully rose and embraced him shyly, offering her lips to him, which he kissed in an almost reverent way. A smile took shape on his face, but fatigue and emotion submerged him finally, and he fell asleep almost instantaneously in her arms.
Scully parked the car in front of her house and turned to look at Mulder, who had remained quiet since his release from the hospital. She sensed that he was a little lost, vulnerable and disorientated. Physically, he had regained his strength, his expression spoke of a man who had lived in hell, but he had gained a few kilos in weight now, shed even succeeded in making him cut his hair and shaving off the stubble. Emotionally, she knew that he had a long way to travel, but she was ready to help him to fight his demons with everything she had. There was one very important thing she had to do, and while she helped him leave the car, she faced him, taking his hand and looking into his eyes. Nervousness poured through her.
"Mulder I have to tell you something. There is somebody else in my life who counts more than I could have possibly imagined."
His face, still blank, suddenly broke up in agony and she believed that he was going to faint, her arms steadying him as he stared on in anguish.
"This person knows you well because Ive talked about you ever since he entered my life. He knows all that you are to me." Mulder looked as though he didnt trust his voice. He was having troubling with his next breath.
"It's our son, Mulder. He's nearly four years old."
Mulder's eyes closed in the space of a heartbeat, and when he opened his eyelids, she could read in his gold/green shimmering eyes so much love, hope and happiness, that she was deeply touched. She had hardly dared that this day would come. She took him by the hand and led him along into the house. As the door closed, the resounding laughter filled the cottage to bursting. He was home, where he belonged, where they could be a family at last as she had always dreamed.
They would get through anything as long as they were together.