There Is Only Me In My Bedroom
by Tesla

Mulder knows he is depressed, but he tells the clerk that he has seasonal affect disorder.

"We sell a lot of St. John's Wort for that," the clerk says sagely. "It's these damned florescent lights. Computer screens. Wrong kind of light all the time."

Mulder knows he is depressed when he eats the same take out Mexican food all week long, and when he stuffs his shirts, suits, boxers, socks and towels in the laundry bag and drops them off. He gets like that sometimes, when people die. When people keep on dying in his arms.

He can maintain during the day, but it uses up all his air, and he collapses like an old party balloon at home every night. He eats, and watches ball games and re-reads some of his old books.

Scully knows he's not himself. If he let her, she would say something like, "You can't save them all, you know." Scully likes making these unanswerable statements. It's true. He can't. He could just save some of them, though. The ones he's supposed to save.

Mulder can get through a week at a time. He's practiced at it. And on the weekends, he can pull his blanket over his head and sleep.

Scully knows he isn't himself, because she brought them Starbucks on Thursday. And in gratitude, he read her strange news stories until he got that little snort of suppressed laughter.

Friday afternoon, she stood by his desk and patted him on the shoulder. "I'll see you on Monday, then, Mulder, " she said. Smiling down at him.

What would she have done if he put his arms around her waist and hugged her to him? If he'd fallen on his knees in front of her and buried his head against her?

She'd feel sorry for him. She couldn't help it if she couldn't give him what he wanted. No matter what they did together, no matter what he said, the next morning, there she was, maintaining the equilibrium. They were circus acrobats on the high-wire, and he wouldn't be the one to fall off first.

Except he already had.

Mulder pulls the covers over his head. I'll feel better on Monday, he thinks. I'm just a little depressed, that's all. I'll get up and go running tomorrow. On the television, Beckham scores.

If they just wouldn't keep dying in his arms.


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