Prompt: Mulder's thought after Scully left for the ICU and he's still at the crime scene.
Here’s some angsty Mulder inner monologue for you, anon, Thanks for the prompt!
Ficlet: “You Go”
Rating: General Audiences
“You go,” he tells her, his hand squeezing her shoulder, her body already cold and numb. He turns her and nudges her like she is learning to ride a two-wheeled bike. He feels a lump in his throat, notices his hands are shaking as she turns the corner despondently.
He thinks she likes to process things alone. He thinks she wants the sense of security that business is being conducted as usual, that she is not leaving a hole in the universe by tending to her own life. But as he hears the shadow of her footsteps disappear down the hall, he has to choke down the urge to scramble after her and change his instructions to, “Let’s go.” He has to remind himself she is not his to scramble after anymore.
He goes through the motions of the investigation, as he implicitly promised he would - examining evidence, talking to the cop, even developing theories. But he reserves a part of his mind’s eye for Scully. He sees himself with her – she is resting her forehead on the window as he drives, staring as a flurry of drab yellows and greens slur by, giving her name hoarsely to the receptionist at the hospital. He reminds himself she is not his to be with, and he feels a pang of guilt as he realizes his focus has shifted to his own loss rather than hers.
The investigation continues, his theories taking on lives of their own, but he is struggling as Scully must every day not to dismiss it all as nonsense. It is not that he’s become skeptical, it’s just that he can only see her.
She is lying in a hospital bed unconscious as he holds vigil. He has not known her very long, but is already non-functional without her. He foolishly dismisses the power of faith, of wishing her back alive, while he indulges himself in self-blame. It is Maggie who wakes him up, who sends him to her. He smiles ruefully to himself - he had almost killed himself over a girl he could not admit to loving.
She is sitting by his ailing mother’s hospital bed with him, her voice even and reassuring, stretching to great lengths to unify her beliefs with his own to give him some sort of honest peace. Even as she annoys him, he is grasping her hand to remind himself there are things in the world that are untainted.
She is standing before X-rays of her brain, coldly diagnosing herself. The word cancer flicks like an executioner’s switch, sending paralyzing fear flowing through his veins. He is crying at her bedside, the skin on her hand so pale it appears to be dematerializing, her eyes sunken in dark circles.
She is trapped in glass cage at the bottom of the earth, her eyes frozen open, her body stripped and jaundiced. He covers her, he carries her, he drags her, he shivers at the onset of hypothermia, and knows that there is nowhere he wouldn’t go, no ridiculous thing that he wouldn’t do to keep her safe.
She is cradling him in her arms in his apartment, summoning the strength to tell him the truth of his mother’s death. She climbs beside him into his bed, fully clothed, so consumed with helping him that she doesn’t look for a t-shirt to borrow. She strokes his forehead and his arm until he falls asleep. He is shaken awake by his grief, and when he opens his heavy eyelids and sees her still lying there beside him, skin striped with sunlight coming in the blinds, he knows eventually he will be okay.
He sees himself panicked and swearing in a flurry of countless near-misses, moments of seemingly trivial, passing uncertainty when he didn’t know where she was, or if she was safe, or if she would be sick, or be abducted again, or be there when he got back, or if she would forgive him… if she would forgive him… if she would forgive him. He sees her walking out of their house as he stands there furious with her, with himself, for letting this happen now that she was finally his to lose.
He turns the car around and cancels his motel reservation. He speeds up the highway double-time flashing his badge at more than one state trooper. Emergency, he says.
He feels vulnerable as he approaches the ICU, but he is willing to be turned away, willing to have to apologize for violating boundaries – she is worth the risk. When she looks over, her face is painted in gratitude and relief, and he knows he is in the right place. And when it is over, and she is broken, and she says, “Let’s go to Philadelphia,” he realizes she has never not been his to scramble after, to be with, to lose.