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Agreeing to disagree
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Title:  Agreeing To Disagree
                           Author:  Waddles52
                           Summary:  A look at what might have happened after 
                           Mulder was rescued from the railroad car.
                           Spoilers:  Fill-in-the-blank for 731
                           Rating:  PG
                           Category:  MT
                           Disclaimer:  No copyright infringement intended.  
                           Just for fun.  Not for profit.
                           Archives:  After-The-Fact. Others please ask.
                           Feedback:  Waddles52@wmconnect.com
                           Thanks To:  Satchie for the very nice beta, and to 
                           the gang at MR, thanks for not poking too hard 
                           recently.
                           
                           
                           
                           Mulder felt like he had been asleep for days, and 
                           still, he just couldn't seem to wake up.  A voice 
                           kept jabbering in his left ear.  Damn!  He must have 
                           accidentally moved the dial on his radio alarm to 
                           that talk station again.  All that chatter was giving 
                           him a headache!  He made an effort to turn to his 
                           left and hit the snooze button, but the noise faded.  
                           His eyelids became so heavy that he had no choice but 
                           to sleep again.
                           
                           Crap!  There was that annoying speaker again.  Had it 
                           already been nine minutes?  The vocal intonation 
                           sounded much nicer this time around, but the pounding 
                           in his head was much worse.  More sleep was 
                           definitely needed.  Maybe he could face the world in 
                           a few minutes, but for the time being, it was best to 
                           let that drowsy feeling pull him under again.
                           
                           Would this headache ever go away?  Mulder decided he 
                           must have a migraine.  Shit!  What a great way to 
                           start the day.  He had to get up.  He felt like there 
                           was something important to tell Scully, but he 
                           couldn't remember.  That same voice started again.  
                           Well, at least it was a bit more soothing this time.  
                           In fact, it sounded an awful lot like Scully.  
                           "Wonder what she's doing on the radio?" he thought.
                           
                           "Mulder, do you think you could wake up for me?"
                           
                           Since when did his alarm clock issue a personal 
                           invitation to wake-up?  Very odd.  Damn this 
                           headache!  Time to face the music and greet the day.  
                           No one said that he had to have a smile on his face.  
                           Whatever!
                           
                           Mulder slowly opened his eyes to find Scully's face 
                           inches from his.  An expectant look showed on her 
                           features.
                           
                           "Scully?" he asked, then covered his eyes against the 
                           harsh light.
                           
                           "Mulder, thank God!" she exclaimed as she pulled the 
                           cord to the overhead light, turning it off.
                           
                           He sensed that the light was no longer shining so 
                           brightly.  Taking a chance, he opened his eyes again.
                           
                           "Better?"
                           
                           "That's relative at the moment," he answered as his 
                           head pounded and his stomach performed an unwelcome 
                           flip.  "What happened?  Why does my head hurt so 
                           badly?"
                           
                           "You have a hairline skull fracture, a broken nose 
                           and scrapes and bruises too numerous to mention," 
                           Scully supplied.
                           
                           "What hit me?  A train?" he questioned, and then it 
                           came rushing back to him.
                           
                           He had been locked in a train car with a bomb and a 
                           man who claimed to be from the N.S.A..  He remembered 
                           punching in the last number on the keypad to unlock 
                           the door, then . . .nothing!
                           
                           "You were found at a railroad crossing in the middle 
                           of nowhere.  Someone called in an anonymous tip."
                           
                           "I don't remember," Mulder sighed.
                           
                           "That's not surprising.  You were unconscious for 
                           over twenty-four hours.  When I got here they had 
                           intubated you as a precautionary measure, and the 
                           doctor was considering performing surgery to reduce 
                           the pressure on your brain.  Thankfully, your 
                           condition improved with medication."
                           
                           "Where is here?" he asked, squinting up at Scully.
                           
                           "You're in Idaho."
                           
                           "The train car?"
                           
                           "It hasn't been found yet.  Judging from your 
                           injuries, you were severely beaten.  You have no idea 
                           what happened?"
                           
                           "Not a clue."  He placed his right forearm over his 
                           eyes in an attempt to block out the scant light 
                           remaining in the room.
                           
                           "I guess your head is hurting quite a bit."  It was 
                           more of a statement than a question.
                           
                           "You'd be guessing correctly," he sighed.  "When can 
                           I get out of here?"
                           
                           "The doctor will want to monitor you for at least 
                           twenty-four hours.  You'll be tied to your desk until 
                           the fracture is completely healed anyway, so there's 
                           no hurry."
                           
                           "Terrific," he said sarcastically.  "Think you could 
                           round up a couple of Tylenol or aspirin?"  He 
                           continued to keep his eyes covered.
                           
                           "I'll ask your nurse.  Will you be all right while I 
                           go out and talk to her?"
                           
                           "I'm fine."
                           
                           A nurse entered his room, saving Scully the trouble 
                           of tracking her down.
                           
                           "Mr. Mulder, welcome back.  How are you feeling?"
                           
                           "Like hell," he groaned.
                           
                           "That good, eh?"
                           
                           "Yeah, I guess it beats the alternative.  From what 
                           Scully tells me, I could be in hell right now instead 
                           of feeling this good."
                           
                           "She's right.  You had a close call, Mr. Mulder.  I 
                           need to look at your eyes and ask you a few 
                           questions.  All right?"
                           
                           "Sure.  Fox Mulder.  I live in Washington, DC.  I 
                           work for the FBI.  The president is Clinton.  I'm in 
                           a hospital in Idaho and I'm not 100% sure what day it 
                           is," he recited.
                           
                           "I guess that answers most of my questions."  She 
                           pulled a penlight from her jacket pocket.  "If you 
                           would, please, keep your head still and follow the 
                           light with your eyes."
                           
                           Mulder removed his arm and opened his eyes, only to 
                           close them and groan loudly when the nurse clicked 
                           the light on.  "Too bright!  Can't!" he exclaimed, 
                           bringing his right arm up to cover his eyes again.
                           
                           "Don't worry about it, Mr. Mulder.  We'll try again 
                           later."  The nurse gave his shoulder a gentle 
                           squeeze.  "I'll tell the doctor you're awake and see 
                           what he wants to prescribe for pain relief."
                           
                           "Thank you," Scully answered for Mulder who was still 
                           reeling from his exposure to the light.  
                           
                           After the nurse left the room, Scully asked, "Mulder, 
                           can I get you anything?"
                           
                           "I'm fine.  It would be nice if I could open my eyes 
                           without suffering excruciating pain, though."
                           
                           "That's a normal occurrence after a brain injury.  It 
                           should improve rather quickly," she assured him.
                           
                           "Hope so."  He turned onto his left side to face her.  
                           "Ow!"
                           
                           "Mulder, take it easy.  You're pretty banged up."
                           
                           "Now, you tell me," he moaned, despite the smile that 
                           was forming on his face.
                           
                           In a few minutes the nurse returned.  "Your doctor 
                           gave orders for pain and nausea medication."
                           
                           "Thanks."
                           
                           She quickly injected the medications into his IV 
                           port.  "There.  You should start to feel better soon.  
                           The doctor said he would be here shortly to examine 
                           you, then we'll see about getting you transferred out 
                           of the ICU."
                           
                           "Mm, great.  Is it all right to go back to sleep?"
                           
                           "That's an excellent idea, Mr. Mulder.  Rest as much 
                           as you can."
                           
                           Mulder slept through the doctor's visit and his 
                           transfer to a private room.  When he woke again, the 
                           first thing he noticed was that Scully was still 
                           sitting by his side.
                           
                           The second thing he noticed was that the headache and 
                           light sensitivity had improved somewhat.
                           
                           "Hey, sleepyhead," Scully greeted.  "I don't suppose 
                           you could stay awake for a while?"
                           
                           "Maybe.  Is there a special reason for me to stay 
                           awake?"
                           
                           "It's almost time for dinner and you wouldn't want to 
                           miss your favorite hospital meal," she teased.
                           
                           "What flavor is the jello?  If it's lime I'm going 
                           back to sleep," he threatened, squinting, even though 
                           there wasn't much light coming through.
                           
                           "Still having trouble with the light?"
                           
                           "Some, but it's better."
                           
                           Scully reached for something on the nightstand.  "I 
                           asked one of the nurses if she could get some shades 
                           for your eyes.  This is the best she could do."  She 
                           held up a pair of disposable sunglasses of the type 
                           distributed after an eye exam.  "Can't say much for 
                           the style, but I imagine your nose is still too 
                           tender to support designer eyewear anyway."
                           
                           "You're probably right.  Thanks," he smiled, taking 
                           them from her.  He tried to put them on, but his 
                           hands were shaking.
                           
                           "Let me," she offered, taking them and placing them 
                           gently around his nose and ears.  "Better?"
                           
                           "Yeah, that helps."
                           
                           "How about some ginger ale?"
                           
                           "It's not my favorite beverage, but I guess it will 
                           have to do for the time being," he sighed.
                           
                           "Do you feel like sitting up a little?"
                           
                           "Won't know until I give it a try."
                           
                           Scully raised the head of the bed slightly.  "How's 
                           that?"
                           
                           "Nice.  Thanks."
                           
                           "Good.  See if you can get some of this ginger ale 
                           down."
                           
                           She held the cup while Mulder took a sip and looked 
                           around.  "Guess I slept through the room change?"
                           
                           "Yes, you did.  Want another sip?"
                           
                           "Sure."
                           
                           "The local law enforcement was here.  I told them 
                           what you knew which wasn't much.  They're going to 
                           let the Bureau investigate."
                           
                           "Nice of them.  The conductor on the train is holding 
                           some evidence for me." 
                           
                           "I'll try to track him down for you," Scully offered.
                           
                           "Thanks.  So, when do I get my lecture?" he inquired.
                           
                           "From me or Skinner?"
                           
                           "You first, since you're already here."
                           
                           "Mulder, I would be wasting my breath."
                           
                           "You're probably right," he agreed.
                           
                           "Hopefully, Skinner will wait until your head feels 
                           better. More ginger ale?"
                           
                           "No, thanks.  I'm good," he answered.  "Has the 
                           doctor been in?"
                           
                           "Uh-huh.  He didn't want to wake you so he'll be back 
                           later.  If you continue to improve, he plans on 
                           discharging you the day after tomorrow.  He wants an 
                           ENT specialist to look at your nose first."
                           
                           "As long as he looks and doesn't touch."
                           
                           "I can't make any promises there," she grinned.
                           
                           "Scully, how long have you been here?"
                           
                           "Since very early this morning.  Why?"
                           
                           "Why don't you find a motel, or go ahead and book a 
                           flight home?" Mulder suggested. 
                           
                           "I'll find a motel later.  I don't mind staying with 
                           you."
                           
                           "This is about as exciting as watching paint dry, 
                           Scully.  Go home.  I'm fine."
                           
                           "Mulder . . ."
                           
                           "Honestly, Scully, I'll stay here until I'm 
                           discharged.  I probably couldn't even make it to the 
                           bathroom by myself right now."
                           
                           "You're still catheterized, so that won't be a 
                           problem."
                           
                           Mulder pulled up the sheet and after a quick peek he 
                           moaned, "Why me?"
                           
                           "It should be removed soon.  I'll just hang around 
                           until you're discharged.  Someone will have to shop 
                           for you anyway since your clothes were cut off in the 
                           ambulance."
                           
                           "Ah, you've got me," he stated, rubbing his neck.  
                           "Ouch!"
                           
                           "You've got a cut and a lot of bruising around your 
                           neck," she explained, gently removing his hand.
                           
                           "Yeah, piano wire usually does leave a few marks."
                           
                           "Piano wire?" she questioned.
                           
                           "The N.S.A. guy didn't want any witnesses to his 
                           little clean-up operation."
                           
                           "We'll talk about all of that when you return to 
                           work."
                           
                           Mulder opened his mouth to protest.
                           
                           "The more you rest, the sooner you'll be able to 
                           return.  Any questions?"
                           
                           "Uh, no.  Not at this time."
                           
                           One week later, Scully walked into Mulder's office 
                           and found him on the phone.  After a few words he 
                           hung up.
                           
                           "Nothing, Scully.  Not the rail operator, not the 
                           forestry department.  Nobody knows what happened to 
                           that rail car."
                           
                           Scully took off her coat and laid it across the back 
                           of a chair.
                           
                           "Are there any satellite photos you can get your 
                           hands on?" she asked.
                           
                           "Senator Matheson hasn't returned my phone calls.  
                           His aides say he's out of the country."
                           
                           "Well, the administrator of the hospital where you 
                           were admitted said that someone called and alerted 
                           them to your location.  Now, I went through the phone 
                           records myself and the call was placed from a phone 
                           booth in Blue Earth, Idaho."
                           
                           "Did you locate the briefcase that Zama left on the 
                           train?"
                           
                           "Yeah, I got it right here."
                           
                           Scully handed it to Mulder who sat down at his desk 
                           and opened it.
                           
                           "This doesn't look like the same briefcase," he 
                           stated.
                           
                           "It's the one they gave me, the one they said you 
                           gave to the conductor."
                           
                           Mulder flipped through the notebook.  It was evident 
                           that the writing was different.
                           
                           "These aren't the same journals.  They've all been 
                           rewritten," he said, clearly disgusted.
                           
                           "Mulder . . ."
                           
                           "They're getting away with it, Scully."
                           
                           "They've gotten away with it, Mulder.  The bodies at 
                           the leper colony have all been removed."
                           
                           "I know what I saw on that train car.  It wasn't a 
                           leper and it wasn't human," Mulder voiced 
                           emphatically.
                           
                           "And I know what I saw at that research facility.  It 
                           was just barely recognizable as human," Scully said, 
                           just as emphatically.  "Don't you see, Mulder?  
                           You're doing their work for them.  You're chasing 
                           aliens that aren't there, helping them to create a 
                           story to cover the shameful truth . . .and what they 
                           can't cover they apologize for.  Apology has become 
                           policy."
                           
                           Mulder stood beside his desk.  "I, I don't need an 
                           apology for the lies.  I, I don't care about the 
                           fiction they create to cover their crimes.  I want 
                           them held accountable for what did happen.  I want an 
                           apology for the truth."
                           
                           They stared at each other for a few minutes before 
                           Mulder broke the silence.  "Well, Scully, I guess 
                           once again, we agree to disagree."
                           
                           "I would have to agree with that," she answered, a 
                           smile beginning to form.
                           
                           Mulder smiled back as he picked up the notebooks.  
                           "Come on.  Let's see if we can find someone to 
                           translate these works of fiction.  Who knows?  They 
                           could be useful."
                           
                           "I hate to disagree, but . . ."
                           
                           "You know what?  I agree.  How about lunch instead?" 
                           he suggested, throwing the journals on his desk.
                           
                           "Now, that's something we can both agree on," she 
                           affirmed, grabbing her coat from the chair.
                           
                           
                           End
                           
                           
                           
                           Note:  Some direct quotes from the X-Files episode 
                           "731" were included in this fic.