Title: The Psychic (WIP 2/?) From: Xenith E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Websites: http://xenith.freeservers.com or http://xenith.batcave.net Disclaimer: The X Files belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions, not me. I'm only borrowing the characters to keep the flame alive until CC gets us a new X Files Movie! Rating: PG-13 Category: SA, X, MSR Keywords: Muldertorture, Missing Episode Spoilers: Post Amor Fati but pre-dates Within Archive: Sure, but e-mail me first. Feedback: Love it! Love it! E-mail me!! I WRITE FASTER for e-mail! Summary: Mulder finds out that knowing the truth can be devastating. Author's Note: This is a work in progress but don't be afraid to read it. I NEVER abandon my work and I ALWAYS finish. I usually have a posting schedule and I'll move heaven and earth to keep to it. Expect a new chapter every Sunday until completion.
"She knows the future like the palm of your hand, She knows your past like the lay of the land, The first time she met me, She saw right through me, Some cards and a cape in her hands. And she said, 'All the years that shall come to pass, And all the years that shall be I see here right before me.' She said her visions were a bane in her life. She could not control them; kept her up nights. I know what you're thinking, I haven't been drinking She knew things that cut like a knife. Will there be earthquakes and great tidal waves? Can she see back to the dinosaur days? How can she foresee just by squinting at me and Can she see me naked in her mind's eye? What does she think when she foretells a disease? Would she keep it a secret if Death stood before me? What could some cards hold, where is her foothold? Can I escape what she sees? And she said 'All the years that have come to pass, And all the years that shall be I see here right before me. I see here...before me.'"
The Psychic by the Crash Test Dummies
The Psychic, Part 2
Mulder was silent a moment, then took in a shaky breath. "How do you know?" he asked, slowly.
"You believe me, don't you?" Gladys replied. "Most people would get angry and tell me that I'm a fraud. But you..." She peered deeply into his eyes. "Oh. I see. I'm so sorry. Of course you believe me. You know I'm not lying."
"You haven't answered my question," Mulder prompted. "If you've just pronounced a death sentence on me, I do want to know why. You believe what you've just said to me but you could be wrong."
She half-smiled sadly. "You were very ill recently, weren't you? In the hospital? They didn't think you'd survive, but you did, barely."
"I'm listening," Mulder said neutrally, consciously keeping his fingers from moving to the surgical site on the back of his head.
"You're hard to convince," she sat back in her chair and eyed Mulder steadily. "Your brain has a...a...not a defect...." She blinked and leaned forward. "Although he tried, the old man didn't steal it. He couldn't because it's your heritage. The same Gift that tells you when people are lying to you is what's sapping the life out of your body."
She paused, then quickly got up and pulled a bottle of water from a cupboard, opening it and splashing its contents into a styrofoam cup. "Here, have some water. You're awfully pale, don't pass out on me now. Go ahead and put your head between your knees...that's it."
She stood protectively next to Mulder while he obediently leaned his head forward, gulping in deep breaths.
He eventually sat upright and tried to grin. "You really give good value for fifty bucks. You realize that I'm going straight to a doctor to try and prove you wrong."
"I wouldn't expect anything less and I sincerely hope I'm wrong," she said. "I always hope that somehow I can prevent the things I see. I keep hoping..."
"But you don't?" Mulder asked. "Isn't it possible that with advance warning, the future can be changed?"
She sighed. "Maybe. Some day. Maybe it'll even work out that way in your case, Agent Mulder. I hope so."
Mulder cleared his throat and said hesitantly, "What else do you see for me? When does it...When do I die? How?"
Gladys made her way back to her chair and reached out for Mulder's hand. He put it into hers and her eyes closed. She began to breathe unsteadily, moaning softly under her breath. "I see...pain. Torturous pain. I hear you calling for someone across the miles doesn't answer. Then I see death.."
Her eyes opened and she studied Mulder in puzzlement. "And notdeath. Death/not death. I don't understand."
Mulder shook his head. "I don't know what that means, either. How long do I have?"
"I can't tell...but I see your partner, the red-headed woman who loves you, standing in the snow by your grave. Next to her I see a tall, balding man."
Mulder closed his eyes. "Skinner..." he murmured. "And Scully? What happens to her?"
The psychic paused, then smiled. "She's quite a dynamic woman; nothing ever quite defeats her, does it? I see her with an infant. Hers...and...yours?" She tilted her chin a bit, eyebrows raised and grinned. "Why Agent Mulder!"
Mulder caught himself blushing uncomfortably. "Um... We're really not...I haven't..."
"Well, this illness of yours obviously won't completely incapacitate you for a while. Would you like the advice of a woman who's seen entirely too much pain?" She squeezed Mulder's hand and put it back on the table. "Take your joy. Now. While you can. No one can be sure of tomorrow. Not you, not me. Don't wait."
Mulder found himself hustled out the front door and standing on the porch of the trailer before he had a chance to catch his breath. He looked over his shoulder and watched the curtains twitch closed. Squaring his shoulders, he picked his way back to the car. Gladys had clearly said all she planned to say today.
He sat behind the steering wheel for a moment, then leaned back against the headrest. The headache was back, pounding harder than before. He didn't want to believe her prediction but his gut told her she was right.
He turned the key and started the car then slowly pulled away from the parking space. While he drove, he pondered what the woman had told him. What should he tell Scully? He wasn't sure, after all. There was no medical confirmation and if he said word one to Scully, she'd have him checked into the local medical center so fast it would make his head swim. Swim more than it already was, he added grimly to himself.
No more hospitals. He still had nightmares about his stay in the Georgetown psych ward, when Scully had disappeared and no one would listen to him...
And if it really was true? That he'd go out of this life wrapped in a straight jacket? So much for a dignified death.
He gnawed at his lower lip. Scully. How would she take watching him disintegrate? It had been hard enough for Mulder to watch Scully slowly dying of cancer, but at least she'd been lucid and able to communicate.
And when he'd been sick and in the psych ward, he could still hear her through the cacaphony of voices. He'd heard her anguish, her fear for him and he'd been powerless even to try and reassure her. This time, if the telepathy came back in full force, Mulder would be able to 'hear' her emotions again. His lips tightened. No, nothing to anyone until he was sure. He couldn't do that to her.
"Mulder! How'd it go?" Scully asked absently from a pile of paperwork.
"Okay, I guess. She was interesting," Mulder said cautiously, dropping his coat onto the bed and stretching tight muscles.
"Hmmm...that's nice. So was she the real deal?" Scully picked up a form, then began vigorously erasing a sentence. "Or was she as phony as the Stupendous Maleeni?" She rummaged through a small pile of papers. "Do you still have the food receipts from Santa Monica?"
Mulder grinned crookedly. "Every receipt I have is in the pile, Scully, and it was the Amazing Maleeni and the Stupendous Yappi."
"Yappi, Maleeni, they're all fakes," Scully muttered. "Or was this one any different?" Irritably, she stapled together a stack of receipts.
Mulder paused, then answered quietly. "No, no different, Scully. I'm pretty tired. I think I'll turn in."
She finally turned and looked at him, frowning when she saw his face. "Are you okay, Mulder? Is that headache still bothering you?"
Mulder rubbed the bridge of his nose."I just need to sleep, Scully. I'll see you in the morning."
Two days later
Office of Dr. Harriman
Georgetown Memorial Hospital
Fox Mulder sat uncomfortably in his neurosurgeon's office. The headache was back, along with a low buzz in the back of his head. It was almost like static on a radio. It felt vaguely familiar. He folded his arms against his chest and reflected that one thing never changed. Doctors always made you wait.
He rested his chin on his chest and tried to still the pounding in his head. He didn't have much faith that Dr. Harriman could do anything more for him than he had before.
The real solution lay with that smoking bastard, the man he refused to call 'father', C.G.B. Spender. Unfortunately, all Mulder's contacts had eventually turned up dead: Deep Throat, X, even Michael Kritschgau.
After the unsanctioned operation they'd done on him before, Scully had tried to go back to the DOD medical facility where Mulder had been held. Nothing had remained, not even a few loose papers on the floors. The entire building had been empty as if they'd never been there. The Smoker hadn't put in an appearance lately and Mulder had no faith that he would. Hell, even if the smoker offered him a cure on a silver platter, Mulder knew he'd never take it. The price would inevitably be something he'd rather die than pay.
Another reason not to tell Scully about any of this, then. If she knew, she would hunt the Smoker down and offer him anything he asked for to find a cure. God, or maybe Satan, knew the kind of price old C.G.B. would demand. Mulder could never allow Scully to pay it."No, not Scully. She has to stay out of this."
"Did you say something, Agent Mulder?" Dr. Harriman held the office door open, a folder in one hand. "I'm sorry about the wait. The radiology lab is backed up."
Mulder idly waved a hand. "That's okay. What have you got?"
"Agent Mulder, I have the results of the CT scans and EEGs. I'm surprised that Dr. Scully isn't here with you today." Dr.Harriman looked around as if expecting Scully to suddenly appear.
"She doesn't know I'm here. I'd appreciate it if you'd keep this visit confidential," Mulder said uncomfortably. "I don't want to burden her with this."
Dr. Harriman's eyebrow lifted with that, then he shrugged and turned his attention back to the file he was holding. "I wish I had more information to give you. The unusual activity in your temporal lobe had largely subsided after your...ahem...surgery last October. But unfortunately it looks like you're having a flare up of those symptoms."
Mulder's eyes widened. "A flare up? What do you mean by that?"
"The brain activity has increased but not to the levels we were seeing before. Currently, you're still quite functional, albeit with some discomfort. Buzzing in the ears and migraines, wasn't it?"
Mulder nodded. "What can I expect. When.." his lips tightened. "When can I expect to be back in the psych ward?"
"I don't know, Agent Mulder. I've had a variety of specialists look over your original files and we still don't know what caused your original condition, much less why you went into remission. Now if you could put me in touch with the surgeon who treated you..." Dr. Harriman asked hopefully.
"No," Mulder said flatly. "He's... unavailable. Is there any chance that you could replicate the...the treatment I was given?"
Dr. Harriman slowly shook his head. "Obviously some tissue was removed but without knowing exactly what was done, I'd be as likely to kill you or leave you with severe deficits as help you."
"So, you're saying that you have nothing for me. No suggestions." Mulder eyed his hands, clasped lightly in his lap and wondered why he wasn't on his feet screaming with rage against the unfairness of it all. Oh yeah, it had never been fair. Not any of it. "What's my prognosis? How long?"
"I don't normally like to quantify this kind of situation and in your case it's even more difficult." Dr. Harriman closed Mulder's file and set it on the desk. "For now, why don't we just follow your condition. You may stabilize and live with this as merely a chronic condition. While you were here last year, Dr. Scully showed me EEG's for several people who were living normal lives with abnormal brain activity. That may very well hold true for you. I can give you medication for the headaches for the time being. Why don't I plan on seeing you again in about four weeks?"
Mulder nodded dumbly and got up to go.
"And Agent Mulder?"
Mulder turned back to Dr. Harriman.
"Agent Mulder, please don't go and self-treat with phenytoin like you did last time. You had an idiosyncratic reaction to it last time. If you try it again you could die."
Mulder gave him a half-smile. "Die faster, you mean."
Scully looked up from the reports she was refiling. "Hey. How did the dentist go?"
Mulder grimaced, taking off his topcoat and slinging it onto the coatrack. "How does it ever go? Might have to go back." He averted his eyes, focusing on straightening the coat on the hanger. "I might need a root canal or two, so I may have to take some afternoons off. I'll try to make the work up later, so you won't be burdened by it."
"That's okay, Mulder. You work too hard already. I can take up some of the slack." Scully smiled sympathetically. "Well, at least the Bureau dental plan is pretty good."
"Yeah, there's that," Mulder said. "So, what are you working on?..."
JOURNAL OF FOX MULDER
January 28, 2000
McMinn County Hospital
I've been here in a hospital bed since Mackey set those snakes on me. As I write this, Scully is out coordinating the statewide manhunt for Reverend Mackey, aka the Devil. Devil or not, I feel sorry for him if Scully does manage to catch him. Reverend O'Connor has also stopped by, to drop off a Bible and offer some advice. He told me that he'd been led to tell me that it was vital that I see to the health of my own soul, that time is running out.
Right. I've never had any doubt about the existence of a devil. Having met various diabolical people on the X Files, I can hardly quibble about the existence of Evil. I'd just never thought very hard about Evil's opposite. Is it possible that God has been thinking about me in the interim?
My underlying condition is slowly worsening. Two weeks after our initial consultation, Dr. Harriman called me with a referral to a specialist. Then to another specialist. Then another. None of them can explain what's happening to me. My EEGs are getting worse with each visit.
Scully is firmly convinced that in the past months, I've had two root canals, an engine rebuild on my car, spraying for cockroaches in my apartment and an out of town UFO conference. It's unfortunately easy to lie to her these days, I can sense when she's starting to doubt me and create a lie that she'll believe. The flashes of chaos are coming more and more often. I struggle to hear her single voice over the cacaphony and so far I am successful.
Lying here gives me an opportunity for introspection that my life normally doesn't allow me. O'Connor was right; I've failed the test. What have I accomplished? I never found Sam. Dad's murderers are still at large. I can't even show concrete evidence for the existence of the aliens that I am certain will invade within the next ten years.
The experts still can't give me a time limit, but I will continue active as long as I can. I can hear their thoughts while they mouth meaningless platitudes about "hope" and the possibility that some new scientific breakthrough that might save me. They're really thinking about what a poor, unfortunate SOB I am, and that they thank God they don't have my problems. Those are the kinder ones; the researchers cherish a hope that they might be able to dissect me when I'm dead.
Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll die a hero's death in the line of duty. It might save Scully something, give it all meaning.
I can't help catching her thoughts when I'm with her. What I 'hear' makes me more determined to keep this from her. She loves me, I know this. Not that I ever had any doubt, but the strength of her emotion staggers me. The closer I allow her to get, the harder the inevitable separation will be. I will live and die her friend, although I have longed for so much more.
February 27, 2000
My mom is dead. My mom...Scully insists that she wasn't murdered, but that she killed herself. Mom had an incurable illness and decided to take things into her own hands. I'd laugh if it didn't hurt so much. The worst of it is that Mom was trying to tell me something before she died. I think it may be about the missing children, Amberlyn-LaPierre, the walk-ins and Sam. I may not know until I face her myself on the other side. I am so very very tired. I just want it all to be over. I want to stop grieving for Sam, searching every face I see in a crowd for her, stop looking for leads, stop....
I can feel myself growing weaker. During this case I have had to work doubly hard to focus my thoughts, to not hear the minds of others. The anguish of Amberlyn's parents just about flooded me when I met them; I knew they hadn't done anything to their daughter. The problem was convincing the local police and the FBI, but I managed.
My thought processes are becoming erratic. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that I think more with my intuition now than I ever did before. Scully watches me make impossible leaps of logic with disbelief. She suspects that something isn't right, but she doesn't know what. So instead she follows me with her usual faith.
March 1, 2000
I've found Sam, or at least found out what happened to her. I can't explain the experience I had except to say that these new abilities must have made it possible. A dead child led me to her spirit and I know now that Sam is in a better place. I must be developing some new wrinkle to this gift, the ability to see and speak to the dead.
Sam showed me today that death isn't frightening. How can it be when it's a place where the starlight glows and the children play? Not only have I reached the end of the road in my search for my sister, but she has given me comfort about my inevitable fate. Some day soon, I'll join them in the starlight.
END JOURNAL ENTRIES
Gladys White lay in her bed, tossing and turning. Every time she closed her eyes she saw the face of that FBI agent with the curse. What was his name? Fox Mulder, that was it. She kept waking up with his face in her mind, framed against a scene of incredible disaster.
"I thought I was done with you months ago," she muttered as she turned on the bedside light. "You should be about dead by now, Agent Mulder. Why are you bothering me?"
She rubbed her eyes and, taking a deep breath, put on her bathrobe and padded into the office. "These cards didn't work the last time for you, Agent Mulder, so I can't think why I'm trying them now."
She opened the box holding the tarot cards and, removing the silk wrapper, carefully shuffled them. "Okay, the first card is for you, Agent Mulder."
She drew out a single card and put it on the table. "Death. Well, that's not surprising. You are rapidly transforming into something else as well as transitioning into death." As she began to lay the card down, she discovered that a second card had stuck to the back of it. "Hmmm, the Hanged Man, Agent Mulder? Sacrifice for the sake of higher knowledge." Carefully, she selected another card from the deck. "And this card represents the future," she said, then slapped it down onto the table. "The Lightening-Struck Tower. Disaster..." Her eyes opened wide and she gazed into empty space.
"A ship...she's full of people, happy vacationers. But what's that? What's that? Oh no...no...this can't be allowed to happen! All the people...screaming...dying... Somehow, this time I have got to try and prevent it!! We have to warn them!" Her hand trembling, she laid down the cards and rummaged for the business card that Agent Mulder had left her. The phone was picked up almost immediately.
"Agent Mulder, you have to stop it! They're going to die, a thousand people and you're the only one who can stop it! Please, you have to help!!" she cried into the phone.
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