Title: Agreeing To Disagree
Summary: A look at what might have happened after
Mulder was rescued from the railroad car.
Spoilers: Fill-in-the-blank for 731
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.
Just for fun. Not for profit.
Archives: After-The-Fact. Others please ask.
Thanks To: Satchie for the very nice beta, and to
the gang at MR, thanks for not poking too hard
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.
Mulder slowly opened his eyes to find Scully's face
inches from his. An expectant look showed on her
"Scully?" he asked, then covered his eyes against the
"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.
"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
"You have a hairline skull fracture, a broken nose
and scrapes and bruises too numerous to mention,"
"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
"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
"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?"
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.
"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."
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
"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
"Good. See if you can get some of this ginger ale
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?"
"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
"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
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
"Ah, you've got me," he stated, rubbing his neck.
"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
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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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.
Note: Some direct quotes from the X-Files episode
"731" were included in this fic.