Fear to Believe by Linda61 Not mine, belongs to Fox and CC PG 13 MA Written for the Mulder's refuge Golden gurney challenge March Dark and Dressing and psychological angst Special Agent Fox Mulder was lying on his black leather couch. He was staring at the TV, his eyes half-closed. He didn't feel good. Weird. Strange. Like his brain was doing overtime. The fact he was still recovering from a bad concussion wasn't a big help either. Thoughts were racing through his head and he couldn't get a grip on them. And he was tired, very, very tired. But every time he closed his eyes, it looked like his thoughts came to life and started to attack him. It was driving him crazy. This morning, he didn't go to the office, even though he knew he had a meeting. He didn't have the energy to get off the couch, shower, get dressed, open the door , go to the elevator, climb in his car or drive to the office. He just didn't want to, just couldn't... he felt scared. After all the things he'd gone through, this was the most scariest thing to endure, because this was inside him, trapping him within himself and he couldn't step away from it, however much he tried. Everywhere he would go, the fear would be there too. So he stayed at home. He didn't even have the guts to call Scully. Scully. He knew she would be worried, he didn't come to the meeting. He knew it was just a matter of time before she would call or come to his apartment. And then what? What was he supposed to say? <Hi Scully, don't mind me, I'm just lying around here on my couch, didn't feel like going to work today>. Yeah, right. Like she would fall for that. Nope, he just wouldn't answer the phone or open the door. The psychologist in him was asking questions.< Why Mulder? Why are you feeling like this? You know what is going on, don't you?> Mulder sighed. How the hell was he supposed to answer himself, when he wasn't even able to think straight? < Shut up 'doctor' Mulder, just shut.. up!> Mulder was so totally lost in his dark thoughts, he didn't even hear the knock on his door. Or the sound of a key unlocking it. "Mulder? Are you here? What is wrong, are you ill? Is it your head?" Scully walked into his living room, knowing that if he was home, he would be there. She wasn't surprised to find him lying on his couch, eyes half-mast. She walked right over to his side and touched his forehead. Mulder reacted like he'd been stung by a bee. "Jesus, Scully, you scared the shit out of me. When did you come in? Have you ever heard of knocking?" "I did knock Mulder. And I called your name. Several times. It looked like you were miles away. What's going on, why didn't you come to work? You missed the meeting. Skinner was pissed." Scully stared at him, not knowing if she should be worried or extremely angry. She didn't understand why he didn't call her, or why he didn't call the office. "It's nothing Scully, will you please go away and leave me alone? I'd like to be alone for a while. I'm sorry I missed the meeting." "You don't seem to have a fever, did something happen to you?" " I don't want to talk about it right now, Scully. I can't explain it. It's just... just....WILL YOU GO!!" Scully startled at his outburst. She was halfway to the door before she stopped and turned around. She opened her mouth to tell him what she thought of his behaviour, when she suddenly saw his tears. She was shocked and for a few seconds she didn't know what to do. The she was back by his side in seconds; took his hand in hers and sat down beside him. "Something is wrong here, Mulder. Can't you tell me?" The compassion Mulder felt from her was enough for him to start sobbing. He suddenly couldn't stop it anymore. And his head felt like it would explode. "I'm sorry Scully", he cried, "This morning I woke up, feeling like shit. It's like my brain is running around in my head.... and I have this feeling I should to stay away from you. But..but..I don't want to. Not really. And Scully...I'm scared." Scully looked at him surprised. He's scared? And why would he want to stay away from her? She felt somewhat hurt by what he said, but she also understood that it hurt him just as much to confess it. "We will figure it out, Mulder. You just try to relax. Maybe you should take a shower and get dressed. When is the last time you ate?" "Uhm, I don't know, I don't want to get dressed and I certainly don't have the energy to shower. And I'm not really hungry Scully." Mulder sat up straight. He was feeling tense and suddenly stood up and started pacing the room. He looked at Scully, not knowing if he should hug her, or just kick her out. "Mulder, please sit down with me. Come here. Just try to loosen up a little. " She held onto both his hands and he looked down to where they were clasped over his. They looked so tiny but such strength came from them. It made him want to weep. He hesitated. He still had the urge to push her away from him, but then his trust in her conquered his unease and he walked back with her. With a huge sigh he let himself drop back onto the couch. Scully pulled him into her arms and he had no choice but to surrender. She pushed him down, and he lay his head in her lap while she started soothingly combing through his hair with her fingers. Slowly he calmed down and for the first time in hours he was able to sleep. After a while Scully was so stiff and bored from waiting, she decided to wake him up. Considering the whole situation, it was better just to take Mulder home with her. He shouldn't be alone in the agitated state he was in. It was late in the afternoon and going back to work was out of the question. Gently she shook his shoulder and whispered his name. "Mulder...." "Huh.. what?" Mulder stirred and opened his gritty eyes, his voice sounding raw. "Scully, damn... sorry, I fell asleep." "That's ok Mulder, you obviously needed the rest, but I think you'd better come home with me. I don't like the idea of you staying here alone in this funk. I'd like to keep an eye on you, but I don't have any clothes here and knowing you, I don't think there will be anything edible in the fridge. Anyway, there's not exactly room for two on that couch of yours." Mulder smiled at her remark, the first smile today, days even. He knew he didn't have much choice. He got up off the couch, went into his bedroom to dress and stuffed a bag with some clothes. Within fifteen minutes they were on their way to Scully's apartment. Once there, Mulder stood forlornly in her living room. Scully took his hand and led him to her couch. In one move they sat down. She started to say something, but it was fairly obvious Mulder didn't want to talk, so she let it go. For now. "Mulder, are you ok? Does your head hurt?" Mulder wanted to shake his head, but then he changed his mind. His head did hurt. A lot. It wasn't a good idea to hide it right now, Scully would notice anyway. "Hurts like hell." Knowing he wouldn't say that unless really in pain, Scully got on her feet and looked for her medical bag. Once found, she took out a couple of pills for him to swallow. "These will make you a bit sleepy Mulder, but I would like you to take them anyway." She gave him the pills and a glass of water and without hesitation Mulder swallowed them. That moment Scully knew he really wasn't feeling well. He didn't want something to eat, but he needed fluids so she almost forced him to drink several times. Sitting on her couch they watched TV untill he almost fell asleep. Too groggy to walk to the bed, Scully put a blanket over him and let him sleep where he was. To Scully's astonishment the night passed reasonably well. Mulder did talk in his sleep a few times but there was no screaming or yelling. He was probably so tired his body just closed down. The next day when Scully woke up she found Mulder in the kitchen making coffee. Scully came up behind him and touched his back lightly. "Hi..", she said. "How are you feeling?" "Okay...I guess", he whispered dejectedly. He looked like hell and had dark circles beneath his eyes. "Mulder, I have to go to the office, but if..." "I'm going too. I don't want to stay here alone. I know I'm not in the greatest of moods and I don't know if I'll get any work done, but I don't want to be alone. Not now." Scully sighed. Missing half the day before, she did have a lot of work to do and taking another day off would almost be impossible. She could feel his discomfort and for reassurance she wanted to give him a kiss on the cheek, but the moment she tried, he picked up the coffee cups and dodged around her to the living room, leaving Scully staring at his back. Two hours later they entered their basement office. Scully immediately picked up a file she wanted to read, while Mulder picked up a pencil and rolled it between his fingers, looking at it absent-mindedly. Now and then Scully took a glance at him, knowing in normal circumstances he would have noticed it immediately. Right now, he didn't react at all. And she had another problem, she had to step out of the office for a short while to pick something up. "Mulder?" Slowly he raised his head, looking at her with dull eyes. "I have to get a report I was waiting for, I'll be back in about twenty minutes. You think you will be all right?" He just nodded his head. Scully touched his shoulder for a second and then walked out of the office. She felt awkward, she had the uncomfortable feeling that something was going to happen. But what? She couldn't just sit at her desk all day and wait for it, maybe it was just her overtired, worried imagination. A reaction to Mulder's behaviour. The best thing she could do right now is to get the report and be back as soon as possible. If only for her own peace of mind. Twenty minutes later she almost ran back into their basement office. She found Mulder in a corner, his back pressed against the wall, his arms over his head, his body shaking like a leaf. In one of his hands a piece of paper. Scully immediately walked over to him, tears in her eyes. "Mulder? What is going on, what happened? Did you fall? Did you hurt yourself? What?" He didn't answer. Just shook all the more and tried to curl into a fetal possition, making himself as small as possible. He just sat there shivering, clutching that piece of paper. Scully noticed and took it out of his hand so she could see what's on it. But suddenly Mulder grabbed her wrist and took it back. "NO! No....no, you can't read it, you'll think I'm nuts. It's.. it's nothing." He didn't look at her, just kept staring at his hands. "If it's nothing, why are you here, sitting in a corner, shivering like a little puppy? If that's nothing, I wonder how you behave when you are really upset Mulder. And why can't I read what's on that paper? Is it that bad?" She took his arm and pulled him to his feet. Slumping back to his chair, his body showed total despair like dark waves rolling off him. He looked tired, barely holding his emotion under control. "I don't want you to read it, because... I'm ashamed. I don't think you will understand Scully." "I don't know how to help you if you don't talk to me Mulder. I know it's hard, but we have to find a way for you to tell me what's bothering you. If you're not able to talk to me, maybe you should talk to someone else. A professional." "A shrink? So you do think I'm crazy. I won't do it Scully. I won't." Mulder got so agitated he jumped up. Soon he started to hyperventilate and was gasping for air. "Calm down Mulder, calm down. I don't think you're crazy, I'm just trying to find a solution. Come and sit down before you drop, deep breaths now. You don't have to go if you don't want to. It's all your choice. Calm down." Scully was getting desperate, not knowing what do with him anymore. Suddenly she looked at his computer. Maybe? "Don't you keep a journal in there?" "What? In my computer? Yes, I do, why do you ask?" "I would like to find out what is going on in your mind Mulder, that's the only way I can help you, but only if you let me. If you don't want to just tell me. " Mulder had his doubts. He knew Scully would find something in there and he wasn't to happy about. He'd never told Scully what was going on and he was ashamed what she was about to discover. But he knew he had no choice. "It's okay." She ruffled his hair, surprised that he didn't flinch. He just seemed resigned, defeated. Scully put her hands on the keyboard and typed in the password she knew was her own name. After a few seconds his journal showed up. She felt a little guilty to go through his private thoughts, but knew this was the only way. She started to read entries dated a few days back and noticed that he wasn't feeling the way she thought he did. Actually, what he had written was very disturbing. "How long has this been going on Mulder? I mean someone sending you upsetting messages? What kind of sick joke is this? You're stopping me advancing my career. Holding me back? What total crap!" "Everybody knows you are too good for me Scully. And a lot of colleagues won't fail to remind me of that every opportunity that they get." Scully felt a chill going through her body. He just shrugged. At that moment, all the guilt left her and she start rummaging through his desk. She was shocked to find lots of notes and letters accusing him of all kinds of transgressions against her and degrading his character.. Telling him he was a evil son of a bitch and a hindrance to her career. And Mulder's worst nightmare; someone threatened to hurt her. So thats why he decided to keep a distance from her. Although, that was his intention, his heart told him something totally different. And being still vulnerable, he didn't have the strength to fight it. "Why didn't you tell me Mulder? You know this isn't true. I make my own choices. Do you really think I would have stayed with you if I thought for one moment you weren't good enough for me? Look at this, there are dozens of these notes. All saying the same stupid things. How can you believe this Mulder. I can't believe you did. It's totally ridiculous. You are such an intelligent man but you fell for this? You know this pisses me off, how......." Scully turned around in mid rant. She'd really had it with this. She was so worried and it was all about some stupid notes. But then she saw his face. His eyes wide with fear. Tears welling up in them. Now and then a shiver ran through his body. "Oh my god..... you did believe them", she whispered. "That is why you wanted to get away from me. They brainwashed you. By telling you constantly how bad you were for my career, you finally started to believe it. But deep in your heart you knew it wasn't true. That is why you were all mixed up. Someone was leaving you notes on your desk and messages on your computer so they were sure you would find them all the time. They were driving you crazy with it. True Mulder? That piece of paper you held in your hand, that was another one of those notes?" He nodded. Two fat tears rolling down his cheeks as he closed his eyes. "I couldn't stand it anymore Scully. Everywhere I went I found them and one moment I just thought it was best to do what they said. Turn away from you. Leave you alone and let you go. But I couldn't. It scared me to death. I didn't know what they would do next if I didn't.....Only the idea you would go for real was enough to push me over the edge." "Did you try to find out who it was? Who sent them? Maybe we should go to Skinner and..." "No Scully. Please. I don't want anyone to know. I'm glad you know now. I'm glad I know now. I. I'm so relieved. And tired, I'm so tired." For a few minutes it was all quiet. Mulder was sitting at his desk, thinking how glad he was Scully knew the truth and what an idiot he was thinking it was all true what they said. He sighed. All he needed right now was a good night sleep. He probably needed a couple of days before he could think straight again, but he knew it would be all right. He just didn't feel like going home alone. He knew he was suffering from classic depression. Maybe if he asked Scully? Scully looked at him. She was still worried. But she could see he was more relaxed now, but she wouldn't leave him alone anytime soon. He had worked himself into a state of deep depression and would need some time. She already decided she would take him home, feed him and take care of him. And tomorrow would be brand new day. "Okay Mulder. We'll leave it for what it is. A stupid and vicious prank. Maybe we'll find out, but I will put it around that we found some stupid notes and that we laughed about it. It will take the power away from it. We are stronger than this crap. That will take the fun out of it and I'm sure it will stop. At least you know now, you won't have to fear them anymore. Just throw them out if you find one. Agree?" "Agree, Scully." She pulled him to his feet and he carried on into her arms as they went around him in a hug. "Let's go home." "Home?" He looked hopefully at her. "You're coming with me Mulder." "Ok Scully", Mulder said with a smile. "And Scully?" "Yes?" "Thanks." He gently took her hand and clasped it tight before looking right into her eyes. He saw then the truth of her love, her compassion and hope. They were stronger than this and they would be okay. "You're welcome Mulder." The End.