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For all is vanity
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Title:  For All Is Vanity
                           Author:  Waddles52
                           Summary:  After his encounter with a gorilla, Mulder 
                           suffers some consequences.
                           Spoilers:  Post-ep for Fearful Symmetry
                           Rating:  PG
                           Category:  MT
                           Disclaimer:  Just for fun.  Not for profit.
                           Archives:  After_The_Fact, others please ask.
                           Feedback:  Would love to hear from you at 
                           Waddles52@wmconnect.com
                           
                           Mulder and Scully walked slowly toward the car.  
                           Sophie was dead and they had done what little they 
                           could do to console Willa Ambrose.  The loss of the 
                           gorilla that was like a child to her had left her 
                           devastated.  To top it all off, it looked like she 
                           would be facing manslaughter charges in the death of 
                           Kyle Lang, another person that had once been so 
                           important in her life.
                           
                           "Sometimes this job sucks," Mulder thought as he 
                           stumbled when he reached the road.
                           
                           Scully reached out to steady him.  "Mulder are you 
                           okay?"
                           
                           "I'm fine, just tired," he sighed.
                           
                           "I want the paramedics to look you over.  You were 
                           unconscious for a while you know."
                           
                           "Yeah, Sophie clocked me pretty good, but I think I'm 
                           okay."
                           
                           He leaned against the car in an effort to stay on his 
                           feet.  He really didn't feel all that great.  If the 
                           truth were told, he had a concussion.  He knew all of 
                           the symptoms and he was suffering from most of them, 
                           but he just wanted to file the charges, write up the 
                           report and go home.  The first order of business, 
                           however, was to persuade his stomach to keep its 
                           contents where they belonged.  He swallowed, trying 
                           his best, but this time his best wasn't good enough.  
                           Up it came in all of its embarrassing glory.
                           
                           "Couldn't this happen in a more private place?" he 
                           thought as he heaved in front of the police, news 
                           crews and bystanders and worst of all, his partner.  
                           He was on his way to the hospital for sure.
                           
                           Before Scully could even reach him, his head began to 
                           buzz and flashes of light began to dance in his 
                           vision.  Oh-oh, he was on his way down.  Look out 
                           below, Fox Mulder was down for the count.
                           
                           Mulder woke up in the emergency room with a headache 
                           the size of Texas and a stomach that was still 
                           threatening to expel its contents.
                           
                           "Oh, shit," he groaned.  "Ow!"
                           
                           Even talking caused his head to feel like an 
                           explosion was imminent.
                           
                           "Mulder, I'm so glad you're okay," Scully said 
                           sarcastically as she moved to his side.  "When will 
                           you learn to tell me when you're really hurt?"
                           
                           Mulder could tell through his blurred vision that 
                           Scully was more concerned than mad.  "I honestly 
                           thought I was okay.  It hit me all at once."
                           
                           "Well, you've earned yourself an overnight stay for 
                           observation."
                           
                           "No, we need to get the case written up and closed," 
                           he protested weakly.
                           
                           "The police have filed charges and taken Willa into 
                           custody.  I will file the preliminary report and you 
                           can put the finishing touches on it when we return to 
                           DC."
                           
                           "But . . ."
                           
                           "No buts, Mulder.  I don't think you can focus enough 
                           to sign your name on release papers, let alone write 
                           a report."
                           
                           Mulder sighed heavily.  "You're right.  My stomach 
                           doesn't feel so good."
                           
                           Scully grabbed a basin just in time.  "I'm going to 
                           talk to the doctor about prescribing something for 
                           your nausea," she told him as she gently wiped his 
                           mouth.
                           
                           "Thanks.  How is Willa holding up?"
                           
                           "Not well.  I don't think she even realizes how much 
                           trouble she's in right now.  The loss of Sophie has 
                           really thrown her for a loop."
                           
                           "I really think she's a decent person, you know?"
                           
                           "Yes, Mulder.  I know, but her love for Sophie 
                           overpowered her good sense."
                           
                           Mulder moaned.  "Can you get me something for pain?  
                           My head is threatening to explode."
                           
                           "I'll see about a Tylenol suppository.  Will you be 
                           all right for a few minutes while I talk to your 
                           doctor?"
                           
                           "Yeah, I'm . . ."
                           
                           "I know.  You're fine," Scully finished for him.  
                           "Somehow that statement doesn't fill me with 
                           confidence.  I'll be right back."
                           
                           "I'll be right here waiting for your return."
                           
                           "You'd better be," she threatened.
                           
                           Mulder tried to ponder Sophie's last message while he 
                           waited for Scully to return.  "Man help man," he 
                           mumbled.
                           
                           That could mean so many things.  Had Sophie's 
                           abductors been trying to give her a message to share 
                           with the world?  His head hurt too badly to think any 
                           more.  He closed his eyes to wait for Scully's 
                           return.
                           
                           Mulder went to sleep after his meds were administered 
                           and didn't fully awaken until noon the next day.  
                           Scully was seated beside his bed, busily tapping the 
                           keys of her laptop.
                           
                           She hit save and shut it off.  "Welcome back, 
                           sleepyhead.  How do you feel?"
                           
                           He took a few seconds to assess his condition.  
                           "Actually, I feel much better."
                           
                           "Good.  If you can keep some food down you'll be 
                           released tonight."
                           
                           "I am feeling a little hungry.  Bring it on," he 
                           smiled.
                           
                           Mulder was released and spent the evening resting 
                           under Scully's watchful eye.  He felt stronger as the 
                           hours went by and by morning he was ready to go home.
                           
                           They made a stop at the police station and visited 
                           Willa at the jail before they started their journey 
                           home.
                           
                           Willa was depressed and was indifferent to her fate.  
                           With Sophie gone, the prospect of the next few years 
                           in prison didn't seem to faze her.  They said their 
                           goodbyes and hit the road, eager to reach the airport 
                           and their flight home.
                           
                           Mulder drove in silence.  Scully didn't attempt any 
                           conversation either.  Mulder was still mulling over 
                           Sophie's message.
                           
                           "Man help man.  It would be nice if the world would 
                           work together to stop the senseless slaughter of 
                           animals and each other.  Realistically, it will never 
                           happen," he thought glumly as the car traveled away 
                           from the town.
                           
                           Neither of them noticed the quote on the sign in 
                           front of a church as they passed by.
                           
                           "Man has no pre-eminence above a beast:  for all is 
                           vanity.  Eccl. 3:19."
                           
                           
                           
                           End