Title: Agony and Ecstasy
Rated: PG-13 (Violence)
Category: Casefile, MT, SA, MA.
Spoiler/Timeframe: Season 6.
Summary: Mulder is temporarily assigned with the DEA to bust
a drug ring, with serious complications.
Feedback: Please do, because if you don't feed me I do not have
the strength to write!
Archive: Gossamer, Mulder's Refuge, Ephemeral and ATXC. Soon
to be at this author's website.
Disclaimer: All fictitious characters belong to me. It's the
well-known agents from The X-Files that belong to Chris Carter,
Ten Thirteen Productions and Fox studios. This hobby is
terribly lacking in profit and not intended to break copyright
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
Something was up. Either Mulder had gone to visit his mother,
as Scully had strongly suggested, or he had gone to Graceland.
She had just finished her report on a pyramid scheme at Colorado
College, a four year liberal arts institution, and snapped her
cellphone shut. "Dammit Mulder, where are you?" she said in
"Hey, ready to go?" Jean Miller, a female agent she had been
partnered with for this case, walked into the motel room with
keys in hand. "Don't tell me you've been keeping tabs on Mulder
"Well, yes," Scully confessed. "I figured he'd refuse the time
off and be calling me, as he usually does, to talk ridiculous
theories or ponder the mysteries of the unknown, but he hasn't.
It just isn't like him." She locked her suitcase and grabbed
her suit jacket. "Let's get out of here. We're almost late for
As they walked to the office to turn the keys in, Miller stopped
her for a second and whispered, "Look, it's none of my business,
but what's so strange about him letting you have some decent
space for once?"
"Well, nothing really. It's just out of character for him. I'm
sure I'll find him sitting in the office twirling a nice, sharp
pencil and there'll be the same old, same old sarcasm and
witty repertoire, courtesy of one Fox Mulder."
She was going to find it was not "the same old, same old" when
she reached Washington.
TWO DAYS AGO
As Mulder lay sleeping on cold cement in a storage room that
was crumpling with age, a man in his mid-thirties unlocked the
door."Okay, bud," the man bellowed, "Let's try this all over
again. Who the hell are you? What's your name?"
Mulder stood, his legs and back aching. "I'm afraid you and
your friends are kind of paranoid." He went int a coughing fit
and continued. "I told you, Larry Slater. From the Portland,
Maine area. My territory. Ecstasy is my biggest seller."
"Wrong!" The man punched Mulder over and over again, and was
aggravating a lot of bruises and scars that had already been
inflicted. "Somebody sent you! Who?" As he gritted his teeth
he grabbed Mulder by the collar.
Mulder just stared into his eyes, saying nothing and remaining
expressionless. He was shoved to the floor.
"Later," his attacker snorted. "You'll talk later."
It took all his will to stand tall and not flinch. "Nice to
hear I'm still on your dance card." After his captor slammed
the door, Mulder slumped to the floor in agony, folding his
arms around his rib cage. The pain was two-fold: he had the
worst cough he'd experienced in years.
DANA SCULLY'S APARTMENT
Scully sat in her kitchen stirring what remained of a casserole
she had made and frozen days before and debated whether or not
to try once more to call Mulder. "No. I'm becoming just like
Mulder," she told herself. "No sense worrying about it. As soon
as I crawl into bed and fall asleep, he'll call to see if I'm
back, then talk extreme likelihoods of something or ask what
I would be if I were any kind of animal."
After a nice, hot bath, and a look at the weather channel, she
couldn't stay awake any longer and went to bed. She fell asleep
right away around 10:30, but found herself awake at 11:30. As
she looked at the clock, a strange feeling of apprehension went
through her body. "No. He's probably gone out of town and I'm
not going to get any rest worrying about my partner not calling.
This is ridiculous. We're not dating, we're not relatives. He
is a grown boy and why am I even asking myself why he hasn't
called yet?" She fluffed her pillow and tried to get
comfortable. But comfort wasn't the problem.
By 1:35, she decided the sleep she so desired wasn't going to
come. She grabbed her robe and went into the livingroom with
a chill running down her spine. As she clicked the TV back on,
she wondered if Mulder was sitting watching one of 'those movies'.
Maybe he had fallen asleep in the middle of a sci-fi movie, she
figured. No. The last she'd heard, he had taken vacation time,
but he had that annoying habit of keeping in contact with her
no matter where he was or for whatever reason he was away for
more than a few hours. Maybe it wasn't so annoying after all.
"Skinner," she whispered. Yes, he might have called Mulder back
in on a mainstream case, but wasn't it him that forced Mulder to
take the time off? She wasn't getting anywhere arguing with
herself. She dialed her boss's home number.
"Sir, it's Scully. Did Mulder check in with you by any chance?
I just got back and can't reach him."
"I had to send him out on a case, Scully. I'm sure he's wrapped
up in the investigation." The man squinted toward the clock and
ran his hand over his eyes.
"I see. Okay. Well, I'll be in the office later. I'll see if I
can get a hold of him then. Sorry to have bothered you."
"That's quite all right, Agent Scully. I'm sure he's just very
busy. He's working with the DEA right now, and I expect him
back any day now."
"Oh? Where, Sir?"
"Indianapolis. Good night, Agent Scully."
"Yeah. Good night, Sir. See you tomorrow." Now, why was she even
more worried? She asked herself that question a few more times
before falling asleep on the couch. In fact, she slept until
9:30 the next morning.
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
OFFICE OF THE X-FILES
Scully walked into the office, not surprised Mulder wasn't there.
She called A.D. Skinner's office immediately, of course. "Sir?
I'm sorry I'm late. I got in from Colorado late last night and
didn't sleep much. Any word from Mulder?"
"Agent Scully, I'm sure he's all right. If it would put your mind
at ease, I could call the field office in Indianapolis and... "
Scully didn't really want to hear the information third hand,
especially if it was just a report he was still on assignment.
"No, Sir. Thanks anyway. I'll just sit tight until... Any idea
just how long he'll be there?"
"You know how long these things can go on." Skinner was becoming
rather irritated by Scully's insistence.
"Yes, Sir. I'm sorry I bothered you. I should go through some
things here." After she hung up, she wondered if it was just
worry over nothing, or prudent concern for her partner, as some
drug cases cases could be quite dangerous given the wrong
people involved. There had been a rash of those very cases
involving organized crime, she soon discovered. She went through
the correspondence on Mulder's desk and found that out.
After she sorted the various letter mail, e-mails and general
Bureau memos, she decided to call the Indianapolis field office
herself. "This is Special Agent Dana Scully. I'd like to speak
to Agent Johnson. Yes. I'll hold." It seemed like an eternity
before she was put through to the middle-aged man. "Yes. This
is Dana Scully. I understand Special Agent Mulder was assigned
to an undercover drug investigation. Is there any way I can
"We haven't heard from him, Agent Scully. I wish I knew what
to tell you, but I don't. He was partnered with Agent Jake
Meyers three days ago. Meyers is in hospital with two gunshot
The hair on the back of Scully's neck bristled. "Gunshot
"Yes. As I was about to say, we haven't heard from Agent Mulder
since yesterday. The DEA wanted us to get the goods on a drug
ring here and Mulder was brought in to pose as an out of town
rep. I wish I could tell you something, but I can't."
"So he hasn't checked in."
"No. We were to meet yesterday to discuss the operation and
he didn't show up. Given the situation with Meyers, I'm not
too sure about Mulder. We had him wired, but had to move out
after we raided the place. With Meyers in hospital, I hope
to God Mulder's holding his own and about to check in."
Scully took a deep breath, hoping the worst hadn't happened.
"Thanks. I'm going to speak with my boss and see if I can help
out there. He's my partner. I might be able to get out there
"Frankly," the man replied, "We'd appreciate one more person.
The work load is quite staggering."
"I'll be there as soon as I can, then."
As soon as Scully's plane landed, she rented a car and headed
to the field office to discuss the case with Agent Johnson. As
she sat listening to the rundown on the case, she became even
more determined to find Mulder.
"As you can tell, these people are the most violent of their
kind. It's becoming epidemic across North America."
Scully read the statistics on drug dealers in the area. "It
would seem Ecstasy ranks right up there with crack and heroin."
Johnson paced the office and looked out the window onto the
busy street five floors below. "I'm afraid so. Too many kids
have ended up dead in emergency wards because of this
Scully swallowed hard. "Mulder's in danger. Isn't he?"
"That I don't know. We lost contact with him when they found
he was wired. We gave him the name Larry Slater, after we
picked up the real guy at the airport."
"I see. Where was he staying?"
FRITZ RITZ MOTOR INN
As Scully looked around Mulder's room, she noticed his bag
sitting on the bed, still unpacked. There was a piece of
paper with scribbling, sitting on the bed just beside the
phone. "562 Warren Avenue," it read. "No phone and bring
clientele list with the profits. Okay, Larry Slater, why
haven't you reported in?" Clearly this was not a haunting,
freak of nature or alien abduction, she decided, This was a
very dangerous case.
562 WARREN AVENUE
72 HOURS EARLIER
Mulder and Jake Meyers sat in a van just outside an old garment
factory and went over the details of the case as other agents
prepared surveillance equipment.
As Mulder strapped on his microphone and tape recorder, Meyers
ran down the list of details they had gleaned from the original
Larry Slater. "You're out of Portland, Maine, have five gangs
there working the streets and don't forget your allergy to
"Well, it seems Slater wouldn't feel that here," Mulder quipped.
"How many kids did you say I have?"
"Three. They're all in school. Your wife's name is... Evelyn, but
you call her Ev." Meyers handed Mulder a briefcase. "Your
offering to the almighty head of the mob."
"I feel so rich."
"So did the real Slater. We can't do this for too long. They'll
eventually hear the real McCoy's out of commission. Let's get
Mulder left the van and walked down the street to the main
entrance of the old factory. He knocked five times, and was
allowed into the musty old mill. A man in his mid-thirties
walked him down the long corridor to a small office. "I'll
take that," he advised Mulder.
"It's all there, if that's what you're worried about. But count
it anyway. I've been in this business too long not to keep
"Yeah, right. Like the time you tried to short change us in
"Hey! I don't know what you've heard," Mulder snarled, "But
that wasn't the deal and you know it."
The two men entered the small office and an elderly, short man
met them with a grin. "Slater, Never met ya, but heard a lot
about ya. I trust you've had a safe trip."
"Yeah. A little turbulence in the hallway... Other than that,
it's been smooth sailing, Mr. Cheevers."
Meyers and company listened intently as Mulder watched Cheevers
count the money.
"All there," Cheevers announced. "Here's your cut." The man
handed Mulder a thousand dollars.
"That wasn't the amount we agreed upon!" Much as he hated to
admit it, Mulder was actually good at playing the short-changed
drug dealing minion. "You said seven thousand long before I
left Maine. I got kids to feed and a wife to keep happy!"
"Take it or leave it, Sanders. Fletch, check him over for any
tag along lint. I smell a rat. If you're Sanders, how come you
didn't mention that little love nest princess of yours first?"
Mulder just shrugged and fought fiercely with Fletch, who over-
"That's my cue," Meyers told the men in the van. "I'm going in
Nothing went right. Everything went wrong. Meyers was met with
a barrage of gunshots as Mulder was stripped of all the
technology that had been gathering information and keeping him
safe. The old man ordered Fletch to lock him into a very small
coal room rife with mouse droppings, spider webs and dust.
"We'll find out who he is later. I've got a deposit to make.
See to it that you dispense of this matter AFTER you get the
answers," Cheevers ordered. "Slater obviously slipped up
somewhere. And find out who THIS one is."
Cheevers and company made a hasty exit, leaving Mulder at the
mercy of his captor, who knew where to go in the building, yet
out of sight.
FORTY-EIGHT HOURS LATER.
As Meyers lay in hospital unconscious and guarded by Bureau
agents, Mulder was undergoing repeated beatings and grillings.
He hadn't revealed his identity, nor had he as much as spoken.
Fletch was quite thorough in his so-called 'debriefing' and
Mulder was paying for it. Although he was allowed some water
every few hours, he was losing strength quickly.
At the field office, Johnson had brought in extra agents and
called the Indianapolis police department to watch the factory.
There had been no one coming or going in over a day, and the
tension was almost unbearable among the agents assigned.
"I know this is a critical situation, and one we've been
working on far too long to abandon, but one of ours is in there,"
he told his agents, who were dressed in flack jackets and ready
to do battle. "Mulder is on loan. We want to get him back to
Washington alive, and we want to get this operation stopped.
We apprehended Cheevers at the airport seven hours ago, but it
doesn't look good on this end. Let's get the little guys and
wrap this up before tomorrow."
Scully donned a flack jacket. "I'm going with you," she said,
as she ran from the van. "Don't say it!"
"All right," the older agent whispered. "Don't go in there."
As if that would ever deter Scully.
The agents broke down the door and shouted "Federal Agents!"
As they stole around the old factory no sounds other than
their own footsteps could be heard. Scully crept around as
did the others, and eventually one very young agent came upon
the coal room. "Lot's of footprints here," he shouted.
"Someone's been coming and going here!"
Scully aimed at the locked door and shot at it, running in
when she saw Mulder unconscious, beads of sweat on his battered
face. "Call EMS!" She knelt down to feel his pulse, then patted
his face. "Mulder! MULDER! Wake up!"
"Huh?" It was as though he was in a dream. Mulder's thoughts
were jumbled and his speech slurry. "Scully?" His voice was
hoarse and almost every second word was met with a raspy cough.
"Yeah. What happened here?"
"Busted... Some guy... Fletch. He thinks.... thinks I'm from
some other -- "
"Some other bunch of dealers?" Johnson asked.
"No. Great vacation." His eyes rolled then closed.
"He's not in any condition to answer," Scully warned. "He's
burning up, and his chest sounds tell me there's some pulmonary
involvement. I don't know. Maybe pneumonia, influenza. Seems
kind of doped up, too."
An agent who had been guarding the entrance announced that the
paramedics had arrived, and another shot at Fletch in an office
on the third floor. He wounded the man and both he and Mulder
were rushed to hospital.
FIVE HOURS LATER
Fletch lay unconscious in recovery after surgery to repair his
wounded right shoulder. Mulder was in worse condition, and FBI
Agents guarded both men steadily.
Scully emerged from the Intensive Care Unit, removing her mask
and gloves. "I'm afraid it's worse than I suspected, Agent
"We didn't want this," the man said. A tinge of guilt was in
his voice. "We had rehearsed this perfectly. What's his
"Sputum samples indicate Agent Mulder has Hantavirus Pulmonary
Syndrome. It's spread in the air, and the usual source is mouse
droppings. With the right antibiotics, he has a fifty-fifty
chance of... "
"I can't tell you how... " Johnson began.
"Save it!" Scully warned him. She threw her gown into the laundry
bag. "Just get the hell out of my way. My partner was supposed
to have some time off after months of steady road trips, and now
he could die! You could have asked for anyone else! Why him?"
The man couldn't face Scully eye to eye. "He's the best profiler
in the Bureau. I uh, I have a man still recovering from a
gunshot wound. He was partnered with Mulder. Believe me, Agent
Scully, I feel bad enough already. Keep me posted. I have to
call Meyers' wife."
Scully tried to be civil, but it was difficult. She wanted to
lash out and cry at the same time, but that wouldn't get her
partner on his feet any sooner. "I'm sorry. I haven't had much
sleep lately. Let me know how Meyers is. Mulder's on a
respirator and intravenous antibiotics. I'll call you."
"Deal." Johnson walked to the elevator and turned around when
he heard Scully's voice.
"You're not to blame. We know this when we're on the job. He's
"You're partners. No need for an explanation. That's how I
started out. We all know the risks in this line of work."
"Yes, Sir. We do. Go see your friend. I have to inform my boss
of Mulder's condition."
The man nodded and ran to the elevator before it closed.
A gowned doctor emerged from the ICU with a chart.. "Dr.
"I'll let you know when there's any change," She pocketed her
"I think you should take a look at this bloodwork report."
Scully frowned as she read the statistics. "Clonazepam?
Withdrawal can result in convulsions. That's not much better
than Hantavirus, Dr. Shane. "
"No. It isn't. All we can do is let it work itself out of his
bloodstream and let the antibiotics work on his respiratory
system. I'm giving him meds to get his temperature down as well.
Where can we get in touch with you?"
"I'll be here."
"Get some rest. It's going to be a long time before he's ready
to tell you what happened to him."
"No. I'm fine. And judging by his condition and the bruising,
I'd say those things speak for themselves." She went into the
female staff washroom and splashed cold water over her face.
She had to admit she looked exhausted.
In fact, Scully was so exhausted she fell asleep in the waiting
area just outside of ICU. A nurse nudged her awake three hours
She stirred, then opened her eyes and sat up. "Hmm?"
"We're moving Agent Mulder to a private room, and standard
preventive protocol for caregivers still applies. There've
been several shootings tonight. We have him on oxygen, and you
can sit with him if you like, but... "
"You'll have to gown, glove and wear a mask until the crisis
is over. We may also hook him up to a respirator if need be.
In the meantime, he's still asleep and there's been little
"Thank you." Scully lowered her head as the doctor rushed
into another room, praying her partner would hang on until
the antibiotic took hold. She read his chart: the dosage was
much larger than normal, but she understood the need for a
very strong loading dose. Still, the outcome had yet to be
determined. In non-scientific terms, her partner's
situation looked grim.
8 HOURS LATER
As Scully read over the journals to get an idea of just how
much danger Mulder was in due to Hantavirus, Mulder slowly
reached consciousness. "Sc-- "
"Try no to talk, Mulder. You're in hospital. Take a deep breath
and take in the atmosphere." She brushed strands of hair off of
"The case-- " he hoarsely began.
"All safe and sound behind bars. Meyers sustained gunshot wounds,
and he's recovering nicely. Mulder, you have a very serious
problem, and we're doing everything we can to help you."
As much as he willed his back and arms to help him sit up, they
weren't obeying. "What's happening?"
"You contracted Hantavirus from all the mouse feces you were
lying in. Right now, the best thing you can do is lie back
and try not to exert yourself. I can't say how long this will
last. Antibiotics, and a respirator if need be. You've really
impressed Johnson. He's just as scared for you as I am. The
lab technicians will want a sputum sample now that you're awake,
and if you can't cough it up, they'll still manage to get it.
You also have three broken ribs and a bruised left kidney."
"You're en-- enjoying this." Damn, It was so hard to say simple
phrases when everything felt heavy. Especially his chest.
"No, this is no joking matter. You'll lose several weeks of
work, but Johnson wants to put you in for a commendation."
OFFICE OF THE X-FILES
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
THREE WEEKS LATER
Mulder had almost fully recovered from his infection and
injuries. He looked a lot thinner than he had before the
Indianapolis case, but he had the energy to return to
As he sat at his desk reading his backlog of memos and mail,
Scully brought him the usual morning coffee and hung her
coat on the rack. "How does it feel to be back in the basement?"
"Scully, at least this basement doesn't go ten years without
cleaning. I'm... fine. Had to add another notch to my belt, but
that's okay. I'm sure the fast food and out of town diner fare
will get me back to my fighting weight soon."
"Still eating that yogurt I recommended?" She was clearly
"Plain, non-sweetened, and chock full of acidophilus to restore
my friendly intestinal flora," Mulder droned. "Can't I at least
have some regular fruit bottom with sugar? This is so drab."
"Not until your bacterial balance is restored and your immune
system fully recovers. Sugar is a no no. You don't want a yeast
infection. I suggest you get started. There's a lot to catch up
"That is if Skinner doesn't send us somewhere."
"True. But in the meantime, let's get back to some sense of
normalcy." Scully began to go over a few notes as Mulder
sat and looked at her. "What, Mulder?"
"Scully, you're my best friend." Those eyes of his were so
intense and deliberately come-hither.
"You lifted that from Driving Miss Daisy. One of the videos
that are yours and you never watch."
"Sure I do."
"Only when I'm at your place," she chuckled
"Then you have proof that I watched the movie." Mulder grimaced
as he downed another spoonful of yogurt. "Can't they make this
a little more palatable?"
"Well, there's always another solution, but it involves
inserting suppositories... "
"Let's get to work."
As Scully took a stack of papers and taped them all together,
the words sunk in. "Maybe you're my best friend, Mulder."
His stunned silence was reward enough for Scully. His smile was
definitely worth that and a lot more.