Prozac Days and Wasted Knights

by Pattie

Title: Prozac Days and Wasted Knights

Author: Pattie

Rated: NC-17 for graphic imagery and inappropriate behavior.

Category: MSR, UST, X, SA, MA, MT.

Summary: Scully is called away on a family emergency as a post-case depressed Mulder is sent to a doctor and prescribed Prozac.

Spoilers: Season 6.

Archive: Gossamer. Anyone else just ask and I will probably answer "yes".


Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, any other X-Files original characters and The X-Files belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions, and Fox Studios. I have not been reimbursed, favored, tipped, or treated in any way, shape or form. No copyright infringement is planned, premeditated, concocted, invented, intended, or whatever else the thesaurus says. I just LOVE to pay tribute and salute these fine characters.

3:30 A.M.

Mulder anxiously paced his apartment in his shorts and tee shirt in the darkness of his livingroom. Sure, he was a constant insomniac, but tonight there was more to his sleepnessness. He and Scully had just investigated one of the most depraved serial killers of the decade, if not the century. As he paced, the grizzly images of human bodies piled into a cabin outside of Raleigh still flashed through his mind in one long, repetitive slide-show.

"It was my fault he killed as many people as he did," he had shouted to Scully, as they were driving to the airport to fly home. "Eleven victims, and six could have been prevented if I had just followed my... "

"Mulder, there's no possible way you could have even suspected Ron Holly, a Presbyterian Minister. There was nothing in his demeanor to indicate... "

"Scully, you have always said to go on solid evidence and not "feelings" and "hunches". Well, I ignored the hunches and the evidence pointed toward some teenage kid who was a boyfriend of that minister's daughter. He was victim number eight, as I was sketching my little profile on my yellow pad in my motel room."

"You're being too hard on yourself, Mulder. You can't be perfect. None of us can. You need some sleep. I know you didn't sleep the past three nights," she said softly. "Give yourself a break. For all our sakes."

"We have a remarkable record, Scully. We've solved more cases like this than any of the other agents. Let's just get home."

That was the end of the conversation. During the flight, he didn't utter another word. He went over his case notes several times, and just convinced himself of what he considered obvious: Fox Mulder had screwed up.

Scully knew better than to disturb him. She decided perhaps he needed some quiet time, and that's what he was going to have.

Once back home, Mulder and Scully headed straight for their respective apartments. Mulder was just in the door when the phone rang.


"Mulder, it's me. I just got a message that Mom broke her leg. Skinner says I can use the two weeks I have coming in vacaton time, and Mom needs me. Mulder?"

"Yeah. Take care of your mother, Scully. At least it'll get YOUR mind off of this damn mess."

"Mulder, it's not a mess. We still caught the perp and it's finished. I faxed my report to the office, and I'm on my way out. Now, get some sleep and take a few days off. Okay?"

"Yeah. Sure. Better get going, Scully. Say "Hi" for me."

"I will. Bye." Scully wasn't sure her partner was going to be able to put the case out of his thoughts, but she reluctantly hung up and packed her bags.

But Mulder didn't take the time to recoup his sleep or energy. The constant barrage of images in photos and at the cabin haunted his days and nights. This night was about the worst he had had in a long time.

It was 4:32 a.m. when he decided to take a run. "Maybe that will clear my mind," he reasoned. However, even the "runner's high" from pushing his body to the limit was not enough to chase the ghosts away.

8:30 A.M.

Although he had showered and shaved, he looked absolutely enhausted. The tell-tale dark circles around his eyes, and his blood-shot eyeballs were hidden behind sunglasses when he entered the office. After he removed them and hung his jacket on the rack, he retrieved several faxes from the machine, and took Scully's report straight to the desk. Was he going to read it, or not? He knew better. He really did. He ignored another hunch. A hunch that this was not going to make his day any more bearable. He'd almost forgotten just what a bearable day was, since about six days ago, and he sat there reliving every call they'd received at the motel, every crime scene, and every image of macerated, mutilated, amputated and even ground, yes, ground like hamburger, organ tissue. A man of the cloth invested in such evil had reduced Mulder's self-esteem to even lower levels.

He was absolutely convinced he had no business smiling, resting, tasting, enjoying comfort. After several hours of gorging on the horrible incidents over and over, he stood and trashed the office. File cabinets were emptied, pictures torn off of the walls, even the paper shredder suffered the wrath of Mulder. He threw the last of his cold morning coffee across the room and watched it splatter onto the window sill. Then, he threw a paperweight through the window.

A maintenance man who had been passing the office looked in on him during his wild frenzy, and gently closed the door and caled Skinner and security.

Mulder had sunken into his chair in a daze by the time Skinner and two other men reached the office. Skinner noticed that Mulder had not stirred when they arrived, so he motioned for security to leave.

"Agent Mulder? Are you going to answer me? Mulder?" The man wasn't sure what to say or do next. Still, he approached Mulder cautiously and took a seat in front of the desk. "Scully called me this morning. She was quite concerned about you. This case. Tell me what I can do."

"Do," Mulder repeated. His faze was fixed at some point on the wall across from his desk. "Do."

"Look, I'm down here as a friend, not just your superior. At first, I thought Scully was just being overly protective, but now I know there's something wrong."

"Wrong." Mulder's voice was hoarse and low. "Everything was wrong."

"You got him, Mulder. He'll never see the light of day again. That's what you and Scully did. It's over and done with."

"Really." There was that glazed stare and monotone voice that lacked sincerity.

Skinner's cell phone broke the silence between the men. "Shinner. Yes. Okay, I think it would be a good time. We can do that. Right."

"Who was that? Scully and her Pollyanna *everything's gonna be all right* pep talk?" From silence to sarcasm. At any other time that would have been a sign Mulder was all right. But this time, it wasn't.

"No. Just someone arranging a meeting with me. Look, to be honest, I'm very worried about you. You show all the signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder."

He stood and towered over Skinner. "PTSD my ass!" Mulder yelled wildly, as he pounded his deak. "You don't know anything about what happened out there! You don't know what I saw and you're just here to make everything worse. So, you can just go right back upstairs and... "

At that moment, two EMS paramedics arrived with a gurney, and quickly strapped Mulder down. One of them had pre-filled a syinge, and quickly sedated Mulder. "It's just to relax him till we get to the hospital, Mr. Skinner. Is there anyone who can fill out the forms, speak on his behalf?"

"Yes," Skinner answered quietly. "I'll go with you."

7:30 PM

Skinner didn't want to have Scully worrying over her partner as well as her mother, so he decided not to call her until Mulder had settled down and a proper treatment plan was decided upon. Besides, he could tell by having read the report he had taken from Mulder's desk, that she needed some time with her mother, away from work. It wasn't that he thought she wouldn't be able to handle news of her partner's condition. She was just best left to heal her own wounds and needed the break.

It was well after the supper hour when a doctor emerged from Mulder's cubicle. "Mr. Skinner? I'm Dr. Ogilvey. I'm a psychiatrist." Oglivey was very tall compared to Skinner. He appeared to be about 55, and had salt and pepper hair. There was a youthfullness in his stance and disposition, which told Skinner he was an optimist.

Skinner stood and the men shook hands. "Yes. How is Agent Mulder?"

"He's resting comfortably right now. We want to keep him overnight for observation. I thought I would sedate him enough to give him some sleep. You told us earlier his partner was concerned he hadn't slept in at least three days? That he was obsessed with a rather gruesome serial murderer and his arrest?"

"Yes. Frankly, as I understand it, severe sleep loss can have some strange effects on people."

"You're right, SIr. People who haven't slept at all for even a few nights tend to have hallucinations, feelings of unreality, heightened anxiety and may become estremely agitated. With some rest, and perhaps therapy in his case, he can return to his regular self. I know he was exposed to a very traumatic investigation. Tomorrow, staff will assess his conditon further. I suggest you go home and come back in the morning. You'll be called if anything happens."

Shinner wasn't exactly convinced nothing would happen, but her nodded. "All right. I've left my home and office numbers with the front desk. Does he need anything from home?"

"No. We'd prefer he didn't have anything that... "

"I understand, Doctor. I'll be at home all night."

10:00 A.M.

When Skinner returned the next morning, he was told Mulder had been transferred to the psychiatric ward. Sure, it had often been the subject of jokes around the halls at the FBI, but people knew that Mulder was solidly sane when it came to doing the job.

Skinner pressed the buzzer outside the ward.

"Yes?" A nurse asked via speaker.

"Walter Skinner to see Fox Mulder. I brought him to Emergency yesterday."

"Thank you."

The doors were electronically unlocked, and as he entered, he saw a woman talking to a wall, two visitors chatting in a common room, and a very thin young woman trying her best to smile for her sister, who knew the girl was not eating. He passed a schizophrenic swatting at something imaginary, and wondered how anyone could visit here without feeling the world had turned upside down. After all, Mulder was here. He reached room 427, and walked in.

Mulder was awake. Calm but sombre.


"Yeah, that's me." There was a lack of liveliness that stunned Skinner. "Sit down. Watch the world go by in all it's darkness."

"Mulder, do you remember anything about yesterday?"

"Most. Up until I did a tap dance on the Holly case. Some case."

"Yes, you and Scully did a fine job nabbing him."

"A fine mess," Mulder whispered. "Where was I when victims six through eleven went through the meat grinder, huh? I was going by the book, writing up my little thumbnail sketch of who would do such a thing. I'm Spooky Mulder, not *By The Book Mulder*. Well, Walter! Wanna kick my ass? Go ahead."

"No, I don't want to do that. Have you been seen by the doctor, yet?"

"Yeah. He said I'd be a great story teller. I mean, my expressiveness is just awe inspiring."

"Mulder, cut the sarcastic crap. At times that's the real you, but this time you are having problems. We all want to help you. You have to let us do that."

"Yeah, I'll bet. The Tin Man, The Scarecrow and Dorothy, too. So, is the red-head still at her mother's?"

"She doesn't know about this."

"Good. Keep it that way." Mulder turned away from Skinner.

Dr. Ogilvey walked in with Mulder's chart. "Good morning, Mr. Mulder. I see you finally had a good sleep."

"Yeah. Just like a fuzzy little baby kitten: All curled up and harmless."

"Could you please turn around so I can see you?"

Mulder moved his head back. "Okay. So, when do I get to go home?"

"Well, it says here you didn't eat breakfast."

"Wasn't hungry."

"You seem almost expressionless, Mr. Mulder. I know you've been through hell. You were talking in your sleep last night. Those must have been some really violent nightmares."

"Well, there ya go. I'm back to my old self, Doc. So, spring me outta here and I'll just get back... "

"Hold on now, Mr. Mulder. We want to keep you here one more day. I have someone who specializes in PTSD, and I think you should see him. Before you pooh-pooh the idea, consider your friend here and the person you were calling out for all night."

Mulder closed his eyes. "Just... don't call her right now. She has enough on her mind. If I stay here and talk to your colleague, then can I go home tomorrow?"

"We'll make that decision tomorrow. Mr. Skinner. I'd like to speak with you a minute."

The doctor led Skinner out of the room. "I realize most of the files he has on this particular case are confidential, but can you at least give me a rough idea of what we're up against here?"

Skinner didn't really know what to say. He had not been able to finish reading the case reports, and only knew of one person who could fill in the blanks. "Doctor Ogilvey, I can't release the case file to you, but I can put you in touch with his partner, Dana Scully. She's also a doctor."

"Well, if he was calling out for her, maybe she can help him," Ogilvey suggested.

"She's been through hell these past few weeks, too. She is taking a couple of weeks off, and attending to a family matter. Look, just don't tell her what's been happening in living color. She needs this time away. I can't have two agents breaking down on me."

"I'm a professional, Mr. Skinner. I think I can word things in such a way as to find out what is going on, and then assure her that it's... all right to be out of town."

Skinner pulled out a writing pad, pen, and a piece of paper whick had Scully's mother's number written on it. "This is the number where you can reach her. Please just ask for the facts and I can only hope she doesn't run right back. That's for both their sakes. Understand?"

"I do. Believe me, I've been there, only in a different setting. We're going to keep your friend on sedatives in the meantime. He needs as much rest as he can get. We're monitoring him closely. He's on Q-15."


"Every fifteen minutes, a nurse checks in on him. So far, there's been no problem. Don't worry. I think he's actually faring better than last night."

"All right. I'll be by later in the day. You have my private line. I'd better get to work. Thanks for everything, Doctor Ogilvey."

"My job." The doctor's beeper went off, and Skinner asked the nurse to let him out of the ward.

11:45 A.M.

Scully was still thinking about Mulder and the guilt he had been feeling over the case in Raleigh, as she leafed through an old photo album of her father's. The picture of a seven-year-old Bill Scully bore a remarkable resemblance to Bill Jr. at that age. She smiled warmly. Fond memories of her father's stories of his childhood coursed through her mind, as she wiped a tear from her eye. "Miss you, Ahab. I can't believe it's been six years. " Then, her thoughts returned to her other Ahab. "Mulder," she whispered. "I hope you got some sleep." She closed the album and headed downstairs to the livingroom. To her surprise, Tara and little Matthew had arrived and were sitting with Margaret Scully.

"Tara! It's so god to see you. You look great!"

"Well, what's been happening, Dana? Your mother was just telling me you took two weeks off to help!"

"I needed some time away from work anyway, and when they called about her leg, I thought I'd come down and spend some time here. Is Bill back?"

"He's still somewhere in the Pacific," Margaret replied. "I'm always glad to see my two favorite girls and my handsome grandson."

"Well, I guess I'll make us some lunch, then. It's almost noon. Maybe Matthew would like to help Auntie Dana?"

"May I Mom?"

"Sure, honey. But don't eat anything until she's done. Okay?"

"I know, Mom."

As Scully took her nephew by the hand into the kitchen, Tara's smile faded. "Mom? What's wrong? Dana doesn't seem herself."

"Tara, there are some things she sees in her line of work which are just... well, even worse than gets out on the news. I think she's more worried about Fox than she is about whatever they were investigating."

"She's very fond of Fox. We all know that. I'm sure he's all right."

"Well, I'm not. She came out here to look after me. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing my baby. But I can still do a lot of things with one good leg. It's just a hairline fracture. I think I'll have a little talk with her after lunch. I'm pretty sure she should be at her apartment. I know she needs to do a lot whenever she is there."

"Maybe she doen't want to see Fox suffering what she's going through. Has she said anything?"

"Only a little about a horrible serial killer, some of the things he did. She was tossing and turning last night. I had to get up to take a pain pill. Come to think of it, I bet she didn't sleep at all."

"Well," Tara said quietly, "We'll be here a few days. Maybe she should rest after lunch."

Margaret thought for a minute. "Maybe she should go home tonight. If she can get some rest, she can leave after dinner. I just have this feeling... " Margaret Scully sensed that her daughter was very strong, and that her partner needed her. She was certain her daughter had concerns about Fox Mulder.

It was about three in the afternoon when the phone rang at Margaret Scully's home. "Scully residence."

"May I speak with Dana Scully?" It was Doctor Ogilvey.

"She's sleeping right now, Doctor. I won't wake her up for anyone right now. I will take a message." So stern, so insistent.

"I'm calling regarding a recent case she was investigating. Would you please tell her I need some information."

"Yes, I'll do that. You're at which hospital?"

"Georgetown University."

"All right. As soon as she wakes up, I'll ask her to call you." Margaret turned to Tara as she hung up the phone. "I think Dana needs to leave tonight. My instincts were right. Fox isn't well. I just have this nagging feeling she should be there."

4:30 P.M.

Mulder's session with the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder specialist was rocky at best, and that was to be expected. Dr. Ogilvey spoke to the specialist in a meeting at about 3:30.

Velding was approaching 40, brunette and blue eyed. He met up with Dr. Ogilvey at the Mursing Station.

"Doctor Velding, what's your impression on Mr. Mulder?"

"Well, I think he has a lot of survivor guilt. He also shows classic signs of depression. I'd prescribe Prozac, to be increased next week, and he would benefit from a few counselling sessions here or at the FBI Employee Services Office. If he has a good night, I think we can release him tomorrow. This guy has more problems than that TV guy they write about at Rogue Agent's Sanctuary."

"Okay, I don't care what you do in your spare time. Frank. I have a call in to his partner. Apparently the case was hard on her as well. She should be calling back later. I want to hear from her before I decide what to do."

Skinner arrived that evening to check on Mulder. While he seemed more at ease, he still appeared bewildered and uninterested in anything. "I hear you night be released tomorrow. That's good news, Mulder."

"Yeah. I feel better sleeping on my couch anyway. I hope Scully's doing better than I am."

"I haven't heard from her, Mulder. This is her chance to recover from what the two of you went through out there. If she calls, can I tell her... "

"No. Don't get her back here for me. I've taken her way down the road with nothing but futile attempts at making life safe for the American public. Maybe she'll see the light and resign. I sure as hell wouldn't stop her."

11:00 P.M.

Scully slept from 2:00 in the afternoon and didn't awaken until 11:00 that night. Since her mother didn't want to disturb her clearly exhausted daughter, there was a note left on her pillow.

"Dana, dear. A doctor Ogilvey at Georgetown U Hospital called. He wanted to speak with you about your last case. I didn't want to wake you."

"Mulder!" Scully gasped. As she gathered her belongings and began to pack, her mother walked past her room. When she noticed the light on, she opened the door.

"Dana? I was just about to... well, I thought yoe were going to sleep the night, so I was going to nake sure you weren't hungry, or having a rough time like last night."

"No, Mom. I got your message. I think I should go back to D.C. That was a long sleep I had, and I can't go back to sleep knowing Mulder's in trouble. That's the only reason I can think a doctor there would want to talk to me about the case in Raleigh."

"Honey, I was going to suggest you leave tonight if you were up, anyway. A mother knows. Tara's here for three weeks. We'll be fine. Do you want anything before I go to bed."

"I'll be fine, Mom. I'll grab something on the way home." Scully kissed her mother. "Good night, Mom."

"Good night, dear. Drive safely."

As her mother closed the bedroon door, Scully was more determined than ever to find out how her partner was feeling. She tried to call his apartment, but there was no answer. His answering nachine tape had been filled. Now, she knew where her partner was, and she needed to be there.

1:15 AM

Scully hadn't bothered to go home just yet. She wanted to check Mulder's place to see if he had arrived home. Using her key to the apartment, she went into his home hoping he would be there. The place was dark, and his travel bag still on the floor beside the couch.

The light on his fish tank was on, and she reasoned they may not have been fed. She shook some food into the tank, then went to his desk. It was dusty, but there were no new pieces of mail or his case notes. This was definitely not a good sign, and not really a surprise to her, considering the condition he was in when they had last spoken.

She called Skinner on her cell phone.

He woke, looked at the clock and rubbed his eyes. "Skinner."

"I'm sorry to disturb you so late, Sir. Where's Mulder? A doctor at Georgetown U has been trying to contact me, and I think for some reason Mulder's involved."

"Yes. Look, he's stabilized right now, and being carefully watched. I told Doctor Ogilvey he should not call you unless it was completely necessary. By the way, I still think you should take the vacation days."

"I'm at Mulder's right now. My mother has Bill's wife around and I think I should be here."

"Look, it's been a very hard couple of days. Do you have Ogilvey's number?"

"Yes. I plan to call him as soon as I finish this call. Did you read the reports?"

"Yes. I think under the circumstances... Look, I'll be seeing Agent Mulder tomorrow. He may be released some time later. Why don't you get some sleep and I'll talk to you then."

"All right, Good night, Sir." Scully had no intention of going home. "Next stop, Georgetown U."

3:01 A.M.

Scully went straight to the Emergency Room and inquired as to Mulder's condition and whereabouts. "Omigod, what happened to you, Mulder," was all she could think as she pushed the button for the elevator.

She identified herself to the nurse on the psychiatric ward as Dr. Scully and an FBI agent, and was allowed access, but not without first reading his chart. "I'm his personal physician," he told the charge nurse, a middle-aged petite woman, with a kindly face. Maybe she was someone's grandmother, Scully supposed. "I know Agent Mulder better than anyone, and I'd like to look in on him."

"Sure. One thing, though. We have strict orders to see that he has an undisturbed night. We're not to wake him. But, it wouldn't hurt to see you when he wakes up. Last night he was terribly restless, tossed and turned, and called for you a few times. He had some dandy nightmares."

"I'll just watch. Let me know when Doctor Ogilvey gets here. Maybe I can offer some information he doesn't have."

"We will. He's had a much better day than when he first came in."

"Well, I'm a bit relieved now. Which room is he in?"


"Thank you." Scully quietly made her way to the room, and drew a chair to his bedside. She removed her coat, and sat, watching Mulder's face, and remembered the grizzly finds in the cabin where Ron Holly had stored his victims outside of Raleigh. "Mulder," she whispered. "I shouldn't have gone. What can I do to help you?" She took his hand in hers, and held it for a few minutes, being careful not to disturb his slumber.

8:00 A.M.

Scully had managed to fall asleep just before sunrise, so she hadn't expected to be awakened by a nurse carrying Mulder's breakfast tray. "Agent Scully?"

"Umm. Yes. I'm Agent Scully."

The nurse put the tray on Mulder's table. "Night staff said you were here. Looks like someone's still asleep."

That someone began to stir. He opened his eyes and saw Scully, tears glistening on her face like glassy waterfalls. "Scully, no."

"Yes, Mulder. Don't give me any of that No crap. "Why didn't you talk to me?" Her face showed both sadness and anger.

"You couldn't do anything, Scully." That disturbing monotone was in his voice again. Scully had once been used to it, but now, it seemed a regression to the first days of their partnership."

The nurse interrupted as she could see an impending argument. "Agent Mulder, breakfast. Doctor Scully, Doctor Ogilvey is on the ward. He'd very much like to see you."

"Thank you. I'll be right out."

"Your Mom... "

"Tara's with her. I'm more concerned about you."

The nurse gently toucked Scully's arm. "Please, let's allow him to eat. The Doctor's waiting in his office."

"All right." Scully rose, grabbing her coat. "I'll be back Mulder."

"I wouldn't, if I were you. I'm not so great to be around right now."

The nurse raised Mulder's back and pulled the table over his bed. "Scrambled eggs. You're in luck. I'll be in with your meds in about a half-hour."

Mulder wasn't hungry. He was crestfallen that Scully had to come back to see him in this condition. He felt guilty enough without dragging her into his miserable existence.

"So, what you're saying is this has been coming for a long time. That this depression was beneath the surface, and the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder contributed to it."

"Well, that and the last case you were working on. I know it was very horrible, I know that he feel's a sense of survivor guilt because you were both working on the case while several people were murdered and mutilated. It must have been very hard on you, as well."

Scully hung her head. "Yes. It was. But I have been able to handle it. Mulder has a tendancy to become so absorbed in a lot of our cases. He tries to put himself in the shoes of the victims and the perpetrators. Often, he becomes lost to the whole concept of the illness, maybe evil, that people represent."

"Then he's a workaholic as well."

"I'm afraid so. Dr. Ogilvey, you're going to send him home with Prozac, from what I understand. Can you tell me why?"

"Well, the underlying depression needs to be addressed. Don't get me wrong, I don't want him becoming a pill-popper. He will need some therapy as well."

"I would have thought he'd confide in me by now," Scully said disappointedly. "He knows he can trust me. I've trusted him when things have gone wrong."

"My guess is he's very fond of you. He wants to protect you. I have a couple of other people to see this morning. It was nice to see you, Doctor Scully."

"Well, thank you. I want to see him again before I speak with the Assistant Director, Mr. Skinner."

"Then he has two very good friends." The doctor smiled, as he and Scully left the office and went their separate ways.

1:32 P.M.

Skinner's assistant was away from her desk, so Scully knocked inner office door. "Come in."

"I'm sorry, I'm late, Sir. I had to go home for a change of clothes." She took a seat. "So, I understand you were in to see Mulder this morning, too?"

"Yes. Agent Scully, how long do you think he's been depressed?"

"I don't know, Sir. It may go back to his father's death, and at that point in his search, he was getting close to a lot of things someone was trying very carefully to keep from him. I guess that's always been in the back of his mind. He looked much better this morning than when I went in last night."

"Yes. I saw him an hour ago, Agent Scully." Skinner stood and paced. "From what I understand, this was one of the most disgusting cases both of you have ever seen."

"It was the worst, Sir. People eviscerated, dismembered, mutilated... "

"I... get the idea, Agent Scully. He'll need some therapy, but in the meantime, he needs some support. Since his mother can't seem to play that role right now, it's up to us to see to it that he has someone he can count on."

"Sir, he can always count on me. Now, in your position, I think you should maintain a distance. He'll be back to work when he gets this out of his system. Two or three weeks from now, the Prozac will begin to take full effect, and in that time, he will have had a few sessions with the therapist to whom he's being referred."

"Well, then. I expect a call later this afternoon. I think you could drive him home, see to it that he gets his prescription filled. I have a conference at three, so I won't keep you any longer."

"I'll be downstairs, Sir. I think the office could use some cleaning up."

"You have two weeks off, Scully. Use them. The Raleigh casw was just as hard on you."

"I'd rather pick up the pieces of that case, before they repair that window," Scully stood. "Call me down there."

"I will. And Scully?"

"Yes, Sir?"

"Try not to read that... garbage."

"Yes, Sir."

5:00 P.M.

Assistant Director Walter Skinner had received a message at 3:15 that Agent Mulder was being discharged from the psychiatric ward with a prescription for Prozac. Scully arrived with some fresh clothing for her partner, and accompanied him to the pharmacy in his neighborhood. Mulder seemed rather hesitant to leave the car.

"Mulder. You have to come with me. The pharmacist has to explain this drug to you in person.

Mulder just stared at the windshield. "Scully, I don't want to see anyone. Just go get it over with."

"No, Mulder. I want you to come with me. Now let's go."

"All right. Much as I'd like not to... "

"I'm sure you'll feel differently in a few days." Scully held Mulder's arm. "It's okay, really."

The pharmacist took the prescription from Scully. "It'll only take a few minutes. Please, have a seat."

They sat in the waiting area, and there was an uncomfortable silence between them. Mulder felt the shame of Scully's knowledge that he was not strong as ever, Scully thought it best she let him relax, and she felt a bit powerless.

While the pharmacist was pouring out the capsules and counting them, his assistant informed him there was an urgent call. Another pharmacist's assistant took care of Mulder's order.

"Well, he's new," Mulder remarked. "I guess that last one quit."

WHen the pharmacist was through with his caller, he handed a bag containing the vial and instructions over to Mulder. "Now, no alcohol while on Prozac. Take one capsule at bedtime for four days, then increase to two every night. If you have any side effects that the print out says are severe, call us or your doctor immediately."

"Yeah. Jack, isn't this an SSRI?"

"Yes. It's a relatively new class of drugs. It has a more specific effect than the other classes of mood elevating medications."

"I see. Well, I guess I'll let you know. See ya."

"Okay, Mr. Mulder. Remember, call if you have any problems. Read the print out, please."

"We eill. Mulder, Dinner at your place. My treat. Let's go."

They walked quickly to the exit. "Go home, Scully. Just drop me off, and go home."

"No, I think I need a little company," Scully said as they reached the car. "Anyhow, I think you'll like the movie I bought when I went to get your clothes."

Mulder took the passenger side seat. "I doubt *Steel Magnolias* will help me, Scully."

She started the car. "Well, maybe Mars Attacks will interest you."


"Then let's go. After the movie, you can take your meds and get to sleep."

"Fun. Wow."

"I understand, Mulder. I do." As she pulled the car out of the parking lot, she wondered just how long Mulder was going to seem numb. "It'll be good for you to get home. You'll see."

"Okay. Fine. Dinner, the movie, and then you go home. I'll be fine."

When they reached a red light, she turned to him. "Mulder, look at me. You need someone there. Now, whether you like it or not, I am your doctor, and you need someone to be there for you. No more. Do you hear me?"

"Yeah. Look, I know what you're trying to do, and I appreciate it. I just think you'd be better off in your own place."

The light turned green and they were moving again. "Been there, watered my plants, and re-stocked my overnight bag. So, Chinese or pizza?"

"I can't decide. I think the tranquillizers they gave me are still in my system."

"Well, I don't doubt that. You needed a high dose that night. We'll get you through this, Mulder."

7:30 P.M.

Mulder hadn't eaten much of the Chinese food Scully had ordered, but at least he had eaten something. He stood beside the fish tank after he fed then and said he'd lost another molly. "So much for responsible pet ownership, huh Scully?"

"Mulder, sit down and relax. I'll pop the movie in and we can watch it. I also want to run that laundry of yours downstairs."

"Oh, don't do that. My neighbors like to come out before bedtime. It's their last chance to be out before there's a shooting or stabbing. They seem to know my schedule."

"Mulder, will you listen to yourself? There hasn't been anything like that here for a year. Now, here's the remote. Start the movie and I'll get your clothes into the washer before they run there."

9:30 P.M.

Scully had put away the left-over Chinese food and Mulder's laundry, while he watched Mars Attacks. She had been doing some research on Mulder's computer, and checking her e-mail, when she noticed Mulder had fallen asleep. The movie was over.

She went to the kirchen and returned with a glass of water and Mulder's medication. "Hey, time to take your meds."

"Scully. You're still here?"

"Yes, Mulder. Take your medication. Then you can go back to sleep."

He relctantly swallowed the capsule and washed it down with water. "Night, Scully." He immediately fell back to sleep. Scully grabbed a blankey and covered him up. She read the information on Prozac, then decided to sleep in the chair in the livingroom.

Mulder and Scully went through this routine the next day. Mulder seemed much calmer, and Scully wrote some of her report on his computer, sending it to their office via e-mail.

The third night Mulder had taken his Prozac at 10:00 P.M. and felt no need to sleep. In fact, he was more than wide awake. Scully had gone to a nearby corner store for some groceries, and returned to find Mulder bouncing a basketball off of a wall.

"Mulder, what the hell are you doing? It's past ten!"

"Thought I'd get a little exercise, Scully. Lighten up!" He was smiling. Prozac wasn't supposed to work that quickly. "So, what did you buy? Liver pate? Tongue? Maybe some rump roast? Brains? Bet it cost you an arm and a leg for the ground beef!" He broke out into a fit of laughter. "Get it? I mean, you could have made it a day trip to Raleigh! I know a little shack..."

"Mulder! Stop it! What's going on with you?"

"Hell, I'm just having the time of my life!" He thought everything was hilarious. "Smile, Sweetie! I took my Prozac while you were out, and I feel fantastic! Just one capsule and I am great!"

"I'm calling an ambulance. This is insame."

When the paramedica arriced, Scully stopped one who was filling a syringe.

"Don't give him anything until we find out what's going on," she ordered. "I'm going to have these analyzed." She grabbed the vial and her coat.

Once more, Mulder needed to be restrained, and once more he was off to the ER.

11:51 P.M.

Mulder was wheeled into an a psychiatric observation room, and a doctor checked his pupils and reflexes. "We're a little high, aren't we?" The blonde doctor charted her findings.

"I'd say more than a little," Scully grumbled. "He was precribed Prozac. Look, Dr. Ogilvey is the doctor he was assigned to a few days ago."

"We've had him paged," the doctor replied. "This man just started Prozac?"

"Yes. I have something to attend to, and a call to make. The front desk has a munber where you can reach me."

"Bye hon."

"Save it, Mulder."

Scully called Skinner to notify him of Mulder's condition, and decided to make use of the lab at The Hoover Building. To do that, she enlisted the help of one of the agents assigned to the lab.

11:54 P.M.

"Well, we've opened up every capsule, Agent Scully. Out of the sixteen we had here, nine of them were not filled with Prozac."

"What were they filled with?"

"Cocaine. I'd say Agent Mulder's pharmacy needs an inspection."

Scully's phone chirped. "Scully."

It was Dr. Ogilvey. "We ran some bloodwork, and Agent Mulder had some rather interesting results... "

"Cocaine, I know. I had his capsules analyzed."

"We'll have to just let his system eliminate it."

"How long will that take?"

"Overnight, maybe into tomorrow. I don't believe he's used to cocaine. Sometime tomorrow, we should see some improvement."

"Thank you." Scully ended the call and her thoughts drifted back to the pharmacy. She remembered Mulder's words. *He's new.* "Agent, thanks for coming out this late."

"No problem, Agent Dcully. He's one of us."

Scully made her way to the elevator, and called the operator. "I need a home number for Luigi 'Jack' Accetti. He's a pharmacist in Alexandria, Virginia. Great, thanks." She then called the pharmacist as she entered the elevator.

2:03 A.M..

Skinner had been waiting at the hospital for over an hour when Scully returned to the ward.

"Thanks for coming, Sir. Is there any word on Mulder?"

"Only what they told you over the phone. He's been put into a padded room. Any idea how he got a hold of coke?"

"Yes. It was planted in his prescribed medication. I had the lab analyze the capsules. Apparently, someone knew which pharmacy Mulder frequents, and a very short-term employee had time and opportunity to tamper with his meds."

"Did you call the Washington PD?"

"Sir, the man gave a false name, false references, false Social Security Number. I believe he's just another part of a group of a nameless, above-the=law element of society that have been thwarting our efforts for several years."


Mulder was well enough to receive visitors.

Scully brought him wildflowers, and arranged them in a vase. "You were lucky, Mulder. You may have a long way to go, but you're alive. They're releasing you this afternoon."

"Yeah, how about that. Look, Scully... I don't know how to say this exactly. I wanted to protect you from all that went on in Raleigh, and I failed. Some knight in shining armor. I couldn't protect myself."

"That's where you're wrong. You wouldn't be human if you weren't affected by what we saw. God knows, I was affected by it. You should have told me sooner, and maybe this drug tampering wouldn't have happened. I trust you, Mulder. Why can't you trust me to help you?"

"I didn't want to make you suffer any more than you had. I felt like such a waste as an Agent and a person."

"Then you don't really know just how strong you are. Or, for that matter, how strong I am. We have a few more days off, and I suggest you use the time to take a break, see your therapist, and just hang out."

"What are you going to be doing? Writing up more drug monograms?

"No. I need a break. Maybe I can hang out with you. If that's okay... "

"It's okay." Mulder smiled. "I'm going to be eating a lot of fruits and vegetables for a long time."


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