TITLE: Recovery II (1/1)
AUTHOR: Shoshana
EMAIL ADDRESS: shoshana1013@excite.com
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Anywhere
SPOILER WARNING: Through end of Season Six
RATING: PG
CONTENT STATEMENT: MSR
CLASSIFICATION: VRA
KEYWORDS: Mulder/Scully romance
SUMMARY: Mulder recovers at home.
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me.
NOTES: Many thanks to my wonderful beta readers, Char and Meggo.

Recovery II
By Shoshana

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Early September 1999
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

February, February. I'm reading through all my journal entries for
last February with lightning speed, trying to figure out why the hell
Scully stomped out of here in an indignant rage half an hour ago.
We'd been going over the El Rico incident, trying to jog my lost
memories, informing me about events I've lived through but can't seem
to remember since the shooting.

All I did was wonder aloud where Diana had gone off to after the
massacre. I know Scully's always been wary of her, maybe even
jealous of her. But haven't the last two weeks enlightened her, made
it clear in no uncertain terms who I'm most interested in?

Since I got back from my little hospital stay, we've been
inseparable. Sure, she's slept in my bed. But only because I've
insisted on sleeping on the couch, injury or no. I like falling
asleep to the television glow and I wanted to be on *my* couch, a
place so familiar to me, a place I've slept for years. When you lose
a year of memories, you grasp at anything that will restore you,
anchor you to your past.

The fine physicians never discovered a direct cause of my amnesia.
They suspect that my head wound last year (which I *can* remember,
all too well) may have done more damage than originally thought. And
something was triggered by my recent trauma, being shot in the chest
by a gun-wielding madman.

This lame theory was not given much credence by my ever skeptical
partner. She was leaning toward hysterical amnesia, a diagnosis
which I overtly resented. Delirium of any kind was not something I
wanted to be closely associated with, having been confined to a
psychiatric institution in Illinois all too recently.

My partner. My Scully. I knew it was too good to be true. I knew
that there would be something to threaten this miraculous change in
our relationship. Something good had happened this summer, something
that had brought us closer, made us happier with one another. Just
wish I could remember it.
 
I suspect that it all started in April, with that baseball lesson
she's described in detail several times. She's been trying to share
her memories with me, trying to stimulate my mind. Actually it's not
only my psyche getting stimulation these days, as she shares a bit
more of herself than I've been accustomed to.

Not much more, not any more than two teenagers would venture on the
living room couch. But it's revolutionary for us, so novel I have to
remind myself I'm not dreaming, that this is my long-time partner in
my arms every night. Whether it's because of the shooting or because
we've become closer the last few months, I'm not complaining.

I remember wanting her so badly in that hallway, desperate to hold
on to her forever. And after the bee stung her and I brought her
back from Antarctica last August, we didn't discuss the near kiss. I
was waiting for her to make the first move, and clearly she never
would have from what I can gather now.

From my conversations with Scully and the journal entries I've made
it through so far, we were both going to deny that moment ever
occurred for the sake of our partnership. The indignity of having
the X-Files ripped out from under us, the embarrassment of scut work
like background checks and fertilizer investigations must have
suppressed my libido in a big way.

Most likely, and from what I read between my own lines, I lost my
nerve, waiting for her to give me some sign, show me how she felt. I
wasn't willing to take the risk and lose her forever, not after she
chose to stay with me, X-Files or not. She remained my partner, my
best friend all last year. And I'm so very grateful for that. But
something must have happened last February that shook her up, made
her extraordinarily sensitive to the mere mention of Diana's name.

This afternoon, we sat on the couch, holding hands, juggling the
materials from the El Rico file with our free ones. We've been very
demonstrative, affectionate since I got home, but I think we've
realized how difficult the last few weeks have been for the two of
us, both physically and mentally.

Whatever pain I've experienced the last few weeks, she's shared, to
my great dismay. She's a willing participant in my full recovery,
emotionally invested in me like never before. It's bewildering, I
don't know if I can fully accept that she loves me now, that it's
taken a full year (which I *cannot* remember!) for her to become
comfortable in that role. Or at least she was. Until I mentioned
Diana.

On her way out the door this afternoon she spat out, "Ask Frohike
about it! He knows what I'm talking about!"

The fact that she'd neither talked to me about it or wanted to at
that temper-filled moment didn't escape me. I was so shocked at her
anger that I could do no more than sit passively, watching her storm
out the door. I sat in stony silence for several minutes, furious
that I was being made the bad guy here. Jesus, Scully. Been shot
lately? Whoops, I guess she was in January... Better keep that
observation to myself.

So I called Frohike and he told me to look in my journal. He's one
of the few people who know I keep an electronic journal. I've
allowed the guys to safekeep a copy; no one else has read it. They
wouldn't dare. I needed, I wanted, some permanent record of my work,
away from the Bureau's prying eyes.

That it turned into a personal record of my unrequited love for
Scully was an accident. I'd write about the routine course of our
lives first, carefully documenting any interesting discoveries, any
relevant information that I'd failed to note elsewhere. But then, as
if driven by some irresistible force, I'd always end each entry with
several paragraphs about Scully, about how much she meant to me, how
much I cherished her in my life.

I'd been re-reading all the entries from late August 1998 on. I'd
only made it to November, since I had to do it on the sly, when
Scully went to the grocery store or took a long hot bath. It's
amazing to read words you know you've written, whole paragraphs that
could only have been written by you and not remember any of the
incidents described therein.

I couldn't remember the hard facts, the details of our cases, but I
had no problem empathizing with the man who wrote of his love for the
most beautiful woman he couldn't have. I would note what she wore
that day, what she ate for lunch, what she smelled like when I dared
to get too close to her. Clearly, I was caught in a form of madness,
a mania for Scully. And I had to keep my cool around her, never let
her know otherwise.

Once in a while, I'd record something outrageous I'd said to her.
Something that was clearly a joke, meant to annoy more than
titillate. But I'm sure I meant it when I told her I loved her after
she fished me out of the Sargasso sea. And even now, knowing how she
might have felt about me at the time, I understand why she said 'Oh,
brother.' That was Scully, deflecting the truth, blaming it on the
numerous drugs pumping through my water-logged system.

That's how far I'd gone in the journal, up to that little incident
in the Bermuda Triangle. I still wondered about the story I'd
recorded, the one about being on board the Queen Anne in 1939, seeing
Nazis, seeing Scully's doppelganger, kissing her... No wonder she
thought I was delirious. I'd just cooked up an unbelievable yarn
like that one, and then I tell her I'm in love with her. Great job,
Mulder.

Well, back to the journal, specifically the February entries. I've
finally gotten to the ones written immediately after the massacre.
With great trepidation, I read through them carefully, searching for
clues to my Scully's moral outrage. Oh, damn. Goddamn. Here's what
I said. What she said. Transcribed from that all too clear memory
of mine.

I really deserve to be horsewhipped for saying this stuff to Scully.
In light of Diana's all but complete disappearance from the Bureau.
In light of her suspected complicity with C.G.B. Spender. In light
of her betrayal of my trust. No wonder Scully left in such a huff.
I was such an asshole. It's all here in black and white. 'I know
her, Scully. You don't,' I'd said. 'I hope you've got something more
than that to indict her with,' I'd said.

And the worst thing I could ever imagine from Scully's rose red
lips, 'Well, then I can't help you anymore.' My heart sinks like a
stone. How could I have pushed her so far? What kind of man am I,
that I would let my best friend, my most treasured love, walk away
from me like that? So I could defend my ex-wife, someone I can't
trust now, someone I should never have trusted, someone I should
never have gotten involved with, ever...

Jesus, I wonder if there are any other affronts to Scully's
integrity, her honest, loving trust in me? If I felt better, I'd run
right after her. I'd drive across town, I'd knock on her door, I'd
let myself in. I'd force her to listen to me, I'd tell her how much
I loved her last February, how much I love her still. I was just
stubborn, too stubborn to see beyond my own misguided faith in old
friends, old lovers.

But here I sit, still out of it on pain killers, forbidden to drive,
dependent on others for food, medication, XXX videos... Sadly, I'll
be watching a lot more of those in the future if I can't convince
Scully how truly sorry I am. She might never come back, never bother
with my worthless, obstinate hide again.

On the other hand... she has to come back. She can't leave me high
and dry like this. She's been taking care of me for almost two
weeks, cooking, cleaning for us. It's been a little dose of domestic
heaven and I've loved every minute of it. Every night, we've
snuggled on the couch, watching tv, watching videos, catching up on
all that I've forgotten.

A romantic relationship is difficult enough, much less when one
participant feels so adrift, so detached from their life. However,
we've managed to savor every touch, every kiss between us, taking our
courtship slow, making up for lost time. Time that is literally
missing, erased, most likely suppressed from my mind.

I have to absorb a whole year's personal and professional events,
without ever really experiencing them. It's not fair to either of us
to move too quickly, to force the moment. And I know we love one
another. I know she'll be back. I just wish it were right now.
Because it's getting so damn lonely in this apartment and only she
can cure this attack of the blues...

What's that? A knock at the door? A turning key? Scully... I knew
you'd come back to me...

fin

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