Title: For All Is Vanity
Summary: After his encounter with a gorilla, Mulder
suffers some consequences.
Spoilers: Post-ep for Fearful Symmetry
Disclaimer: Just for fun. Not for profit.
Archives: After_The_Fact, others please ask.
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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
"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
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
"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
"But . . ."
"No buts, Mulder. I don't think you can focus enough
to sign your name on release papers, let alone write
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
"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
"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
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
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
"I am feeling a little hungry. Bring it on," he
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
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
"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."