Think Before You Use *That* Title [X-Files]

Think Before You Use *That* Title!
Authors: Jennifer-Oksana and FirePhile
Classification: SHA
Spoilers: Fifth Season
Rating: PG-13 for language and adult themes
Summary: The therapy session from HELL.
Disclaimer: The 1013 Mafia and their surfer don, CC, own X-Files and all its
characters. Dr. Cecilia Vansen and Nancy belong to us, we do this for the love
and not the money. NOTE: If we have unwittingly poached this title from some
other writer, WE’RE SORRY! We didn’t mean it! We’ll clean your house and feed
your dog and watch your children for free, if you’ll only forgive us!

Dr. Cecilia Vansen, psychiatrist, licensed therapist, and all-around “good
shrink” had seen weird group sessions before. There had been one two weeks ago
with four foul-mouthed preteens who were preoccupied with “making sweet love
down by the fire” and alien anal probes. But *these* people took the cake.
They had sat down and started screaming at each other. It seemed like they
didn’t care exactly who they yelled at, as long as they were yelling.

“Where’s my sister, you black lunged SOB!?” the lanky one shouted.

“Why did you abandon my mother and me?” asked a whiny looking young man.

“Who’s my father?” the lanky one asked a silver-haired old lady.

“Do you find me attractive?” a blondish man asked no one in particular.

“What on earth is going on between you two?” the older woman asked the lanky
one and a pretty redheaded woman.

“Why am I always being tormented?” the whiny young man asked.

“Would somebody please tell me what the hell is going on?” the redhead asked
suddenly.

Dr. Vansen suddenly whistled, and everyone turned to look at her.

“This is getting us all nowhere. Why don’t we try to do this in smaller
pieces? People can talk to each other one on one, tell us their names, maybe
talk about what is going on that’s bothering them-” she said. Her gaze caught
two of the group, the attractive man and woman, whispering to each other,
shooting icy gazes at most of the other people.

“Seems like you two are ready to talk,” Cecilia said cheerfully, “So why don’t
we start with you- how about a simple question- what do you call each other?”

* * *
“Bus-sted,” Krycek called from across the room. Dana Scully fixed him with her
best “your ass is dead” glare and he promptly shut up. Then she forced a smile
and looked at Dr. Vansen.

“Well, I’m Special Agent Dana Scully, MD, and he’s Special Agent Fox-”

“No, let him speak for himself,” Dr. Vansen said.

“Yeah, Scully. I’m Agent Fox Mulder, FBI.”

“And you two are-?” Vansen asked, trying to ascertain their relationship.

They gave each other a look, and answered together-
“Partners!”
“Friends!”

Dr. Vansen caught several “yeah, right” looks floating around the group. She
suppressed a smile. This was interesting.

“And what do you call each other?” she asked in her best professional voice.

“Mulder-it’s-me,” Krycek answered. “Or Scully-it’s-me.”

“Shut *up*, Krycek,” Mulder hissed. “Look. It’s very simple. I call Scully
Scully and she calls me Mulder.”

“Usually,” Scully amended.

“What do you mean, usually?” Mulder asked. Dr. Vansen bit her lip, and looked
around the group. Everyone was rolling their eyes- obviously this banter was
normal behavior between the two. Interesting.

“You do call me Dana sometimes,” she pointed out. “Of course, I never call you
Fox. Or “Spooky” Mulder.”

“Think before you use that title, Scully. If I’m spooky, you’re Mrs. Spooky.”

“I am NOT!” she cried. Jeffrey Spender looked at them curiously.

“You mean, you guys don’t use first names?” he asked, “Not even when you’re-?”

Two stony gazes fixed on the young agent.

“We’re not-” Scully began.

“Having a love affair,” Mulder finished. “We’re *friends* and *partners*,
okay?”

“Yeah, seriously,” Scully agreed. “Hey, Mulder, just wondering- what name
*would* you want me to scream?”

Mulder stared at her in horror. “Scul-lleee!” he said, embarrassed.

“Just a little scientific inquiry, don’t freak. I mean, you believe in extreme
possibilities, why can’t I?” Scully asked, a satisfied smirk on her pretty
face. Dr. Vansen sighed, and scribbled a few notes on her pad- *Mulder and
Scully- unresolved sexual tension- ambiguous relationship- what the hell is
going on there?*

* * *
Dr. Vansen sighed and looked up at the next couple. “Well, Mr…”
She expected him to supply a name, but nothing happened.

The elderly man only stared at her and took a long drag on his cigarette. The
dignified-looking woman sitting next to him shot him a look that Dr. Vansen
was unable to decipher.

“You can call him Cancerman.” Mulder supplied, not helpfully. Scully turned
towards him.

“Mulder! Cancer is nothing to joke about. Think before you use that title! I
might as well have been called cancer woman…”

Scully’s voice trailed off.

“Scully, I didn’t mean…”

“Fox’s in trouble, Fox’s in trouble…” Krycek chanted.

“Shut up, you murdering SOB,” Mulder growled, having had about enough of this
whole therapy thing.

Vansen sighed again and tried unsuccessfully to bring order to the session.
Scully had reacted strongly to the mention of cancer, but Vansen didn’t want
to bring up another explosive emotional topic. It seemed these people argued
about everything. She turned her attention back to the man who was smoking.

“Sir? What’s your name again?” she asked insistently.

“It’s no use asking him for his name, I’ve known him for 40 years and still
don’t know his real name,” Mrs. Mulder told her.

“Okay, what name does he use then?” Vansen asked, confused by the answer.

“Call me- Bob,” the man answered, staring at Vansen and taking another drag of
his cigarette.

“I’m allergic to smoke,” Jeffrey announced, whining slightly.

Bob glanced at him and then put the cigarette out on Vansen’s plush carpet.

“Your mom raised a wimp,” he announced to his son.

“You left us!” Jeffrey shouted.

Vansen sighed again and resisted the urge to bury her head in her hands. This
was going to be a hellish session, and it had just begun.

* * *
The door swung open. It was Cecilia’s secretary, Nancy.

“There are a couple of latecomers outside, Doc,” she said, pushing her hair
back over her shoulders, “A Margaret and Bill Scully?”

“Let them in,” Vansen said, her head aching. “Your parents, Scully?”

“Her mom and her asshole brother, actually,” Mulder supplied.

“Don’t call Bill an asshole,” Scully replied.

“Hey- you called him that just last week!” Mulder snapped.

“That doesn’t mean you can call him that- hi, Mom! Hi, Bill.”

“Let’s get this over with,” Bill Jr. said, flopping down next to Krycek.

“Who the hell are you?”

“He’s our next participant,” Dr. Vansen said. “You seem to have a lot to say,
Mr. Krycek-”

“Just Krycek,” Krycek replied.

“Okay- Krycek- so who do you need to talk to?” Dr. Vansen said, making a
mental note- *smartass*.

“I don’t care,” Krycek said with a glare, “Everyone hates me, even Mulder, and
I’m trying to be his friend.”

“You killed my dad. Way to be my friend,” Mulder said. “And then- what was up
with that kiss?”

“It was a friendly kiss. What are you, homophobic?” Krycek asked. Mulder
sputtered, but didn’t manage to say anything.

“So you and Mulder have- issues,” Vansen said lamely.

“Damn straight we have issues! You killed my dad! You doublecrossed me! You
and that black-lunged SOB arranged Scully’s abduction! You killed Scully’s
sister, and then you kissed me to make it all better?” Mulder asked, “Oh,
yeah, now you’re tryin’ to save the world from the aliens. That’s right!”

“You’re so unforgiving, Fox,” Krycek replied, “I was never your enemy.”

Cecilia Vansen’s pen went back to her notepad *Krycek- sexuality issues.* She
looked at the note and shuddered. Flashback to that other session again. She
crossed it out and wrote *Krycek- crush on Mulder. Mulder- has issues.*

“So who else do you have issues with, Fox?” Dr. Vansen asked, trying to keep
the conversation rolling.

“Mulder. Just Mulder.”

“Okay, okay,” Vansen said, “So, Just Mulder. Who else do you have issues
with?”

* * *
Agent Mulder looked at his mother with undisguised dislike. She looked
deceptively uncaring as she gazed back. Margaret Scully had to keep pulling on
her daughter’s arm to keep her away from her partner and his mother. Cecilia
Vansen noted that- *M/S- get this couple some serious one on one therapy,
please! Co-Dependent. In denial. About everything.*

“You and I are overdue for a little chat, Mommie Dearest,” Mulder told his
mother sternly.

“I know,” his mom replied calmly.

“You cheated on my father. You lied about my sister. You slept with- with-
him! You could be involved in a hideous conspiracy to deceive the American
public! And you refuse to say anything!”

“Fox, we’ve been through this before. I don’t remember,” his mother said.

“That is such a cop-out,” Scully hissed. Dr. Vansen gave her a little look,
and she quieted down.

“Be that all as it may,” Mulder finished. “That’s still not what bugs me the
most, Mom.”

“Then *what* is it, Fox? God almighty, tell me!” his mother said, thoroughly
exasperated by her son’s behavior.

Mulder’s face contorted grotesquely. Scully caught her breath. Dr. Vansen, pen
poised, listened, waiting.

“It’s- it’s-” he stuttered. “My _name_, Mom. What on earth were you thinking?
Fox? I mean, I know your parents named you Teena, but come on! God damn, Mom!
Fox? Fox?”

He broke down into tears. Scully yanked away from her mother, and reached out
to comfort her partner in a very ambiguously platonic gesture. Vansen’s pen
started flying across the paper, and Spender, Bill, and Krycek exchanged a
very amused glance. Mulder, eyes glistening, glared at Teena, his lower lip
trembling. Then he clutched at his partner, and buried his head in her
shoulder. Teena snorted, and shook her head.

“You’ve got more mental issues than I thought possible, Fox,” Teena said,
exasperated. “My God, Fox, get over it. Don’t be a pansy boy.”

“You leave him alone,” Scully said.

“Who are you, his mother? Oh, I forgot, you’re just friends. Yeah, sure, I’ll
believe that,” Teena said.

“Teena! Scully!” Dr. Vansen shouted, “Stop that. If you ladies have problems,
we’ll handle them later.”

“The hooch and I have issues, too, okay?” Scully said, feeling more than a
little irritated at the whole situation, and the smooth-as-satin Dr. Cecilia
Vansen.

“I would think before I started using titles like that,” Teena Mulder replied.

“I said, ladies! I graduated from Columbia, NOT Tulane, this is not a talk
show, so I am definitely not Jerry Springer, and I will not tolerate behavior
like this,” Vansen said, looking very poised herself. Teena and Scully glared
at each other, but shut up. There was an uncomfortable silence.

“Fox, for the love of God, get off of her unless you intend to do the
honorable thing,” Teena finally said, giving Scully the evil eye.

Jeff Spender and Krycek started laughing, but Bill Jr. looked a little less
than pleased, and Maggie sighed. Dr. Vansen sighed. Why on earth did
everyone’s problems revolve around Mulder and Scully? She looked at her watch.
Damn. At the rate this was going, she was going to have to cancel her next
three appointments. The FBI was going to *pay* for this.
* * *

“Does anyone here have a problem that does not involve these two?” Vansen
pointed at Mulder and Scully, who looked back at her innocently.

A dead silence fell over the room. Vansen could almost hear crickets in the
background. Finally, someone spoke.

“My problem involves *him*,” Teena spoke finally, gazing icily at ‘Bob’.

“Okay, what exactly is your problem?” Vansen asked, almost daring anyone else
to speak.

“He killed my ex-husband, abducted my darling daughter, and never told me
about this *other* family.”

“Actually, mom, *he* killed dad.” Mulder had to speak up and pointed at
Krycek who gazed at him innocently.

“How many times do I have to tell you Mulder…” Krycek looked around the
group with ‘do you see what I have to deal with?’ gaze. Some of them nodded
sympathetically.

Bob finally spoke up. “Bill Mulder was a problem and problems have solutions.”
He reached into his jacket to pull out another cigarette but was stopped by a
pleading look from Spender. He sighed and pulled out a stick of gum.

“And he tried to have me killed!” Scully spoke up after a few seconds,
pointing at Bob.

“He murdered my daughter in cold blood,” Maggie said soon afterwards.

“At least you knew where she was,” Teena answered.

Vansen sighed and started writing again, *subjects have a lot of issues —
unable to make clear diagnosis yet*. She looked at her watch and closed her
eyes. She could feel the beginnings of a headache behind her eyes. But there
was no time to focus on the pain because Maggie and Teena had started yelling
at each other.

“At least I never cheated on my husband or hurt my child.”

“I *never* hurt my children.” Teena said angrily.

“You allowed one of your children to be taken, I call that hurt.”

“How dare you talk to me like that? Do you have any idea what it was like?”
Teena started to stand up, Bob put a hand on her shoulder, but she shrugged
him off.

“You destroyed the lives of both your children, you’re a terrible mother,”
Maggie told her angrily.

Now it was Scully’s turn to keep her mom away from Teena. Mulder was
strangely- or maybe not- quiet.

“Ladies, please!” Vansen said, exasperated. She was about five seconds away
from physically standing in the middle of the circle to keep Maggie and Teena
apart.
* * *

“My daughter has sacrificed her career for your son!”

“Your daughter is a tease!”

“My daughter? Five years I’ve been waiting for a proposal, I know how your Fox
feels about my Dana, but does he ever say anything? Nooooo-”

“Proposal? If my Fox felt his proposal would be accepted, then he’d propose to
your Dana, but why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”

“WE’RE NOT HAVING SEX!” Mulder and Scully yelled together.

“Dana-”

“Fox-”

“You stay out of this,” the mothers chimed in together.

“Think of the children,” Teena said wistfully, “They’d be adorable.”

“Yeah, if she could have children. That’s another thing your love-muffin whose
name you can’t recall did-”

“We’ll go with Bob,” Teena replied. “God damn it, Bob! Why’d you go and do a
stupid thing like that?”

“Me?” the man asked, looking surprised.

“A woman wants grandchildren, Bob,” Teena said. “You nitwit! You idiot! You
two-timing double-crossing spawn of Satan!”

“I’m protecting the world, I’m solving problems. She-” he pointed at Scully
who glared back at him- “Was a danger to global safety.”

“Don’t give me that global safety line! It didn’t work back in the day, and
it’s not working now, Bob.”

“Ooh, Jeffy,” Krycek said. “Looks like your daddy’s not getting any tonight.”

“Shut up, you gay homosexual,” Spender replied.

“I’m not gay, I’m just enjoying the tension I give to Mulder. Look at him,
Spender my man. He’s freaked. His life’s a mess anyway, and now he’s got
mothers plotting weddings and me on his mind. Like Mango.”

“Mango?” Spender asked, clueless.

“You’re obviously not an Saturday Night Live fan. Never mind,” Krycek said.
“Hey, Dr. Vansen, are you taping this? You could make a fortune.”

While Krycek and Spender chatted, Mrs. Mulder and Mrs. Scully had tearfully
made up, and were quietly talking about something, glaring alternately at
their children or Bob, who had lit up again, while giving Spender his best
“I’ve seen presidents die” look. Dr. Vansen was still writing on her notepad,
waiting for the separate conversations to die down a little.

“Dr. Vansen?” Bill Jr. asked, “I have a problem.”

“Does it involved your sister and her partner?”

“Yes.”

“Is it about their sex lives?”

“No.”

“Okay, then-” *thank god*, Vansen thought, those two have the most active
non-existent sex lives I’ve ever seen- “What is it, Bill?”

“I don’t like Mulder,” Bill said, “He gets Dana in trouble. And I’m mad at
Dana, because she won’t let me kick his ass like a good older brother should.”

“God damn it, Bill!” Scully snapped. “I’m sick of that bullshit! Okay, Dr.
Vansen, you want to hear issues? I’ll give you issues!”

Everyone was silent as the tiny redheaded stood up and glared at the group
with eyes as frozen as the arctic. Cecilia Vansen prayed the woman didn’t have
a weapon on her. It would be bad for Cecilia’s reputation.

END Part 1/2

Think Before You Use *That* Title – (2/2)
by Rachel Ehrentreu (FirePhile@aol.com) and
Jennifer Stoy (jstoy@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu)
Disclaimers in Part 1

* * *
Scully cleared her throat, stared down the entire group, and began
talking.

“I haven’t had sex in years. I’m incapable of having children, everyone I
work with treats me like they’re my older brother, Mulder only notices I’m
alive when my life is in danger and he’s got so many mental problems he
could be the subject of a textbook. Everyone I’ve dated lately has been
psychotic and my *one* good chance at getting laid was overtaken by an
evil tattoo. Bill acts like I’m still 5 years old and looking for a bunny,
Mom acts like everyone I work with is a possible mate, my sister was
killed, my father died earlier, my entire life is controlled by a
conspiracy, I lost *three* months of my life…I can’t take it anymore!”

A hush fell over the room and Vansen really worried about Scully having a
weapon. She could already see the slaughter. Luckily, Scully had put her
gun in her pocketbook, which was out of her reach at the moment.

“You didn’t sleep with Ed?” Mulder started, sort of surprised.

Scully glared at him. “Unlike *some* people I don’t sleep with someone
after only knowing them for a few hours. Or while on a case.”

“Ooh, bad move, Fox.” Krycek called from across the room, enjoying
himself thoroughly.

“I never did that!” Mulder said, ignoring Krycek.

“Kristen Kilar.” Scully said deliberately.

“That was different…” Mulder said weakly, knowing he should have stayed
quiet.

“Who is this Kristen person, Fox?” Teena asked, looking up. “And you
have the nerve to accuse me of cheating.”

“Scully and I aren’t in a relationship, Mom!” Mulder said automatically,
feeling like a broken record.

“Dana, honey, who’s Ed?” Maggie asked pathetically.

“No one, Mom.” Scully sighed and sat back down, wondering how quickly she
could get out of the session and halfway tempted to make a run for it.

Vansen filled another page with notes.

“Okay, does anyone else want to comment on any issue other than Mulder and
Scully’s sex lives?”

“I’m not gay,” Krycek repeated.

“Yeah, right,” Spender snorted.

“Just ask Marita,” Krycek shrugged.

“You and Marita?” Mulder interjected more than a little confused.

“You weren’t man enough for her…Foxy.” Krycek laughed, draping an arm
over the back of his chair.

“Another woman, Fox? Really…what kind of son did I raise?” Teena asked,
looking over at Maggie, who nodded sympathetically.

“So you’re bi.” Spender answered. “I hope I never get stuck in jail with
you.”

“Mulder, we were in jail together, did anything happen?” Krycek asked,
looking for back up.

“I wouldn’t know, you had them infect me with the black cancer.”

“You recovered from the black cancer? The Russians had the cure this
entire time?” Bob asked, eyes widening with realization. He took another
drag on his cigarette and ignored the coughs coming from Spender.

“We always were better than you Americans.” Krycek answered
matter-of-factly.

“Not quite…damn commies.”

“Hey, think before you use that title, communism fell in Russia years ago,
old man.”

“I should have killed you when I had the chance,” Bob muttered, turning
towards Mulder. “How could you have missed him? You were supposed to have
killed him.”

“I was what?” Mulder asked, now thoroughly confused.

“You were drugged and had a gun, what went wrong?” Bob asked, shrugging.

“I took action. I wasn’t going to let you frame Mulder for murder,” Scully
said resolutely, pinning Bob with her eyes.

“No, shooting him was a much better idea.” Krycek said, oozing sarcasm.

Vansen looked at her clock- God, two more hours of this. She looked at the
group, wrote some more notes and sighed again, which she was doing a lot.

“Okay, this is not politics 101, folks, let’s please keep that out of
here. Now, Mr. Spender, what is your relationship with your father?”

* * *
Spender took a deep breath. Finally, it was his turn to talk!

“Well- it’s my dad- he’s a deadbeat.”

“A deadbeat,” Dr. Vansen said. Slowly. Evenly.

“Yeah, a deadbeat! He ditched me and my mom- and my mom’s a cripple, not
to mention a nutjob who thought she was like, first apostle to the aliens,
and she had me believing all that Agent Mulder bullshit-” said Spender,
slowly getting more and more excited.

“We’re not talking about Agent Mulder right now, Jeffy,” Dr. Vansen said
sharply.

“Jeffrey!” Spender snapped.

“Sorry. Jeffrey-” Dr. Vansen said, correcting herself.

“Well, it all boils down to this- he ditched me and my mom. I mean, Dad-
why?” Spender asked pathetically.

Bob took a drag off his cigarette. Teena rolled her eyes, and snatched the
cigarette away, grinding it into Dr. Vansen’s carpet. God damn
psychopaths, Vansen thought bitterly. That was a new carpet!

“Well, Jeffrey,” Bob said. “You and your mother were vulnerabilities. A
man like myself can’t allow himself to have normal passions, a normal
life-”

“But *Dad*! You left all the sudden- after promising we were going to go
to Disneyland, and a Yankees game- and you were going to buy me hot dogs,
and get me some autographs from the good players- and then, one morning,
you were just *gone*,” Spender said, tears welling in his eyes. “Do you
know what that’s like, dealing with a missing father and a crazy mother?
Do you?”

“Look, Jeffrey- son-”

“Don’t call me son!” Spender snapped, crossing his arms and pouting.

“All right, you spoiled little brat. I had business. I mean, did you want
me to take you along to Teheran, or Beirut, or Argentina? Or perhaps we
could have a fun family vacation to Area 51? Would that have made you
happy, Jeffrey? Hmm?”

Spender said nothing.

“I didn’t think so. I made sure the money was there. I was protecting
you-”

“Oh, so you can protect your *son* but not your *daughter*,” Teena piped
in. “Was it because Jeffy was a boy and Samantha was a girl?”

“Teena, shut up,” Bob said. “I know Jeffrey’s my son. The way you got
around, God only knows who Samantha’s father is.”

“Don’t call my mom a slut!” Mulder shouted. “You black-lunged son of a
bitch!”

“Besides, that’s the pot calling the kettle black,” Teena replied coolly,
“I remember quite a few swinging parties on the Vineyard where you were
scoping out the chicks.”

Scully, who had been quietly sobbing in the corner of the couch, suddenly
looked up. She gave her partner the most curious look, as though she were
Alice and had just wandered into Wonderland.

“Your mom did not just say ‘scoping out the chicks’ about Smoking Man, did
she?” she asked. Her face contorted, and she started giggling
hysterically. “Scopin’ out the chicks, Cigarette Smokin’ Man.”

“Uh-oh,” Mulder said. “Dana- Dr. Vansen, I think she just completely and
totally lost it.”

“We’re not talking about *HER*!” Spender yelled, “It’s my turn! ME ME ME!
I’m the little boy whose daddy never took him anywhere! My daddy abandoned
me and now he’s trying to make up! Well, guess what, Dad? It’s not gonna
be so easy, I’m not just gonna read your stupid letters in the red
envelopes! You’re gonna have to acknowledge me, take me to football
games, let me check out those swinging’ Consortium parties I’ve heard so
much about, and you know what would really make me happy?”

“What, Jeffrey?” Dr. Vansen asked.

“I *still* wanna go to Disneyland!” Spender shouted, “I wanna ride Space
Mountain, and twist on the Teacups, and get Mouse ears.”

Bob’s face twisted in disbelief, then slowly relaxed as he realized
Spender was serious.

“Fine! Fine! I’ll take you to Disneyland! We’ll go to a football game!
I’ll take you to a party! You’re really my son! There! Does that make you
happy?”

Jeffrey Spender’s face turned all sorts of colors, and he burst into
tears.

“Dad,” he said, rushing up to his father and giving him a big hug. “I love
you, Dad.”

“You’re not getting my Bud Light, Jeffy,” Scully called, still giggling.
“Hey, Dr. Vansen- is that what they call a breakthrough?”

Cecilia Vansen nodded. That was all she could do at this point.

* * *
Dr. Vansen started writing furiously: *recommendation: constant injections
of Prozac, then crossed it out and wrote, *recommendation: straitjackets
for everyone, including myself*, then crossed that out and wrote *I’d kill
for those four kids right about now*.

She looked up at the group with a half-smile on her face. “Scully, I think
you’re having a breakdown.”

Bob hugged his son perfunctorily, afraid of his cigarettes getting wet.
He refused to admit love in front of this group of people. Especially not
Teena, who was glaring at him in a way that made him happy she wasn’t
carrying a weapon.

“OK, son, you can go back to your seat now,” Bob said, pushing him away
gently. This was ruining his image as evil incarnate.

Spender sniffed loudly and walked back to his seat.

“You’re all wimps!” Krycek announced, unbelieving.

Vansen reluctantly turned from the beautiful scene of love and
reconciliation, and toward the smart-mouthed Krycek. “Now, why do you feel
that way?” she asked.

“I had my arm sawed off and I showed less emotion than these people.” To
prove his point he removed his prosthetic. Spender screamed shrilly.

“He…beat you…one handed…Mulder?” Scully said in between bursts of
crazed laughter.

“Like he beats himself,” Mulder answered without thinking.

“Fox! There are ladies present!” his mom admonished. “And to think I
taught you manners.”

“You? A lady?” Scully started laughing again, grabbing onto her mother for
support.

“You used that one already Mulder, having a problem with originality?”
Krycek asked sarcastically, re-attaching the prosthetic.

As usual, Mulder was seized by the desire to beat Krycek into a bloody
pulp. But he was in enough trouble with the group as it was and didn’t
want to incur the wrath of his mom, the Scullys, ‘Bob,’ or Dr. Vansen.

Meanwhile, Vansen noticed someone had slipped out. “Where did
Bill go?” she asked.

Everyone looked over at the empty seat, surprised. “Why does he get to
leave? I wanna leave!” Spender whined.

“Yeah, Scully, can I go? I have leads to follow up on, criminals to catch,
videos to return-” Mulder stood, intending to leave, but Scully was
laughing too hard to answer him

But before anyone could leave, Vansen snapped. She stood and physically
blocked the door. “No one is going *anywhere* until we work out some of
these differences. I want to help you, but I can’t do that unless you all
make an effort. You’re all going to get along if it kills me.”

Everyone heard the unspoken words: “and you.”

Mulder sat back down dejectedly. “Anyone bring Snickers?” he asked,
sighing.

* * *
“Snickers really satisfies you,” Scully sang, before being hushed by her
mother.

“She’s gone batty, hasn’t she?” Spender asked.

“Five years in the basement without sex will do that to you,” Krycek said.
“Not to mention it’s five years in the basement with Mulder. Isn’t it
ironic that she finally has her breakdown in therapy?”

“Isn’t it ironic- don’t you think?” Scully asked. “And I’m not having a
nervous breakdown, god damn it. I’m fine!”

“Denial much?” Krycek asked.

“No, Alicia,” Scully replied tartly. “Let’s talk about denial, Krycek. You
were an accessory to the murder of my sister. You killed his dad. You
helped arrange that abduction of mine, and you’re an all around bad boy.
Of course, you keep denying these allegations, but you know what, Krycek-
you are in need of punishment!”

“Do I get a spanking?” Krycek asked.

“You’re sick, Krycek. I’m seriously gonna slap you,” Scully said with
disgust.

“Cool! That’s a fantasy of mine, you know, doc, to be punished by many
beautiful women- and a couple of nice looking boys,” Krycek said, winking
at Mulder, who shrank away from Krycek.

“Enough about the sex, people!” Vansen snapped, “Okay? It’s an issue.
Everyone here is either related or has some sort of weird unresolved
sexual tension going. We know. We get it. Now, Krycek, Bob, I keep hearing
these horrible things about you. I need to know- how much of it is true?
And if it is true, why do you do these things? Hurting others hurts you
more in the long run than it hurts the hurtee.”

“Say *that* five times fast,” Scully said.

“Well, Dr. Vansen,” Bob said. “Many of the things I’ve been accused of are
blatantly untrue, the products of unhinged minds and paranoid
personalities. I mean, look at her!”

“Rosemary- that’s for remembrance,” Scully was saying. “Pansies-” she
pointed at Spender- “That’s for thoughts. Rue- rue for me, and some for
you- but you must wear your rue with a difference.”

“That’s just like you!” Mulder shouted at ‘Bob’. “Deny everything! You’ve
driven Scully crazy-”

“I’m not crazy!” Scully yelled. “I would you give you some violets, but
they withered all when my father died. They said he made a good end.”

“Shut up, I’m making a point!” Mulder shouted back. “You’ve done these
terrible things, but all you can do is deny, deny, deny- and take your
pansy-boy son to Disneyland! I want the truth! I want some answers!”

For some reason Krycek saw this as a good opening to defend himself.

“Well- I haven’t done all the bad things people say I have,” Krycek said,
“Our beloved fifth amendment-”

“Doesn’t apply to russkies. Spill, commie boy,” Mulder commanded.

“Kiss my American ass. As I was saying, the Fifth Amendment gives me the
right to not say what I have done, but I admit, I’ve been a bad boy. Do
you want to know why?”

“Sure,” Mulder said. “Why?”

Vansen had a sudden flashback to a session with Bill and Monica and
Hillary, and hearing the same question and answer spiel come out of their
mouth. Eww- she had to deal with them Friday.

“Well. Here are the reasons. One, doing evil is extremely profitable. I
have millions of dollars hidden in Swiss and Caribbean bank accounts.
Second, the bad guys always dress cooler than the good guys. Always. They
get the bad chicks- and they’re always better in bed. Our parties are
better. I mean, come on, good people are boring. Bad people are cool. I
get to do what I want, and no one bugs me. I don’t answer to the American
justice system. Nine times out of ten, I come out on top,” Krycek said.
“Being a bad guy just rules, okay?”

“Until you become the one-armed man and can no longer get the chicks or
sign your signature to get your millions and all of your clothes hang
wrong and all you rule is your own domain- and it doesn’t sound like you
do that very well, Krycek,” said Maggie Scully, of all people.

Krycek looked at her for a minute. Tears welled up in his dark eyes, and
his lip started to tremble.

“You’re right! Being evil sucks! I’m so sorry for everything- and- and- my
mom and dad would be so mad at me-” Krycek began sniveling. “Can I have a
hug, Mrs. Scully?”

“Oh- my- God,” Scully said. “Has the world gone mad?”

* * *
“Well, it’s a mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad world Scully,” Mulder
cracked, counting in his head how many times he’d said the word mad.

“Say that five times fast.” Scully answered. But her attention was on
her mom who was actually hugging Krycek.

Krycek sat back down and wiped his eyes. He took a tissue from Vansen and
sniffled. “Look what you’ve done to me,” he whispered.

“It’s not too late for you to turn over a new leaf, Alex. Get a new name,
a new job. What have you always wanted to do?” Maggie asked.

“Rule the world.”

“Okay, politics.” Maggie said helpfully.

“Mom, you’re not actually helping this murderer, are you?” Scully asked,
dumbfounded.

“Dana, everyone deserves a second chance.”

“But…but…he was there when Missy was killed!” Scully sputtered.

“Dana, don’t be so judgmental. Now Alex, is there anything you want to
tell Dana?” Vansen asked.

“Yes, Scully…I’m sorry you’re stuck with such a jerk for a partner.”

Vansen was now able to sense when conflict would erupt and put an end to
the conversation as quickly as humanly possible. She turned to Bob and
asked another question. “So, Bob…why do Mulder and Scully feel like
you’ve committed all these crimes?”

“If people knew the things that I knew, it would all fall apart. I
protect people from the truth for their own good.”

“Could you stop being cryptic for a second Bob?” Teena turned towards
Vansen. “Do you know how annoying this is? I ask a simple question like
‘how is the weather?’ and he replies with ‘the truth will never be
found’.” She sighed.

Vansen nodded sympathetically.

“Bob, why are you this way with Teena?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why don’t you talk to her, really talk to her?”

“I don’t want to hear this,” Mulder butted in.

“Fox, let them talk,” Maggie told him, hoping that Bob and Teena could
work out their differences.

“I’m not listening…” Mulder started humming Shaft to himself.

“I tried to talk to her two years ago and she never thanked me for saving
her life.”

“Saving my life?” Teena asked in shock.

“When you had the stroke and were in a coma…I had someone cure you.”

Teena looked up at him tenderly. “You did?”

“The thought of you dying. I couldn’t allow it.”

“Oh Bob…” She touched his hand gently.

“I can’t watch this,” Mulder stood up and looked at the wall, still
humming Shaft.

“I have something to tell you Teena,” Bob said.

“What kind of alternate universe is this?” Scully asked, absolutely
exasperated. Her mom and Krycek were talking quietly, Bob and Teena were
gazing into each other’s eyes, Mulder was tapping his foot to nonexistent
music and Spender appeared to have fallen asleep.

* * *
Dr. Vansen was beyond pleased. This group had started tough, but now they
were having breakthroughs left and right. *The human heart really does
want to be healed,* she wrote, *It just needs encouragement and
support…*

“Yes, Bob?” Teena said, looking at him with uncommon fondness. Mulder had
turned back around, and he and Scully were taking turns looking nauseated.

“I just want you to know, I’m sorry about the whole Samantha thing. But,
really, it was much better for her this way. In fact- uh- Samantha’s alive
and well, with a husband and kids,” Bob said, looking abashed. “I never
wanted to hurt you, Teena- I just wanted-” SNIFF! “To protect our
daughter…”

“Tell me you’re not seeing this,” Scully muttered to Mulder.

“It’s tweaking my psyche as we speak.”

“Tweaking your psyche? It’s turning my stomach. It’s worse than Springer’s
Final Thought,” Scully said.

“You watch Jerry Springer?”

As they spoke, the Cigarette Smoking Man’s eyes began to water, and, under
Dr. Vansen’s watchful gaze, he actually began to cry.

“This is pretty bleeped up, right here,” Mulder said. “So you want to do
the kiss and cry thing so we can get out of here and buy a few rounds of
drinks, Scully?”

“No,” Scully said. “Mom, let Krycek go! He’s probably packing deadly
weapons. And Mrs. Mulder- are you really that hard up that you’d forgive
this- evil, twisted piece of filth?”

“You’ve never slept with him, obviously,” Teena said. Mulder blushed.

“More than we needed to know,” Vansen said.

“I wanna ride the pony!” Spender cried out in the middle of his nap.

“Are Mulder and I the only sane people in this room?” Scully asked,
standing up, hands on hips. “I have some deep, unforgivable issues with
several people here- the crazy ones, mostly.”

“As I recall,” Krycek said, reluctantly giving up his place on Maggie’s
shoulder- “You’re the one who had a nervous breakdown- or do the words
‘You’re not getting my Bud Light’ mean anything to you?”

“Dr. Vansen?” Scully asked, hopeful.

“Dana, I’m sensing bitterness. You need to realize that if you don’t
forgive, your victimization will come to own you and you’ll give up your
personhood for victimhood as you’re consumed by unforgiving.”

Scully looked at Mulder. “What the hell did she just say?” she whispered
to him.

“Kiss and cry and we can go home, Scully,” Mulder replied in the same low
voice.

“I’m not touchin’ Krycek.”

“Neither am I.”

“I thought-”

“Scully, come on. We can discuss issues till dawn, without the creepshow
around- come on- kiss and cry. Have a breakthrough.”

“You make it sound so sordid,” she said, rolling her eyes. A little of
that Alice-on-XTC madness was still in her system, what the hell.

“Well? Ms. Scully?” Vansen asked, giving her pleading looks.

* * *
Scully looked over at Mulder, closed her eyes and reluctantly gave in. She
blinked a few times, bit her lip and started to speak. “I…need to go to
the bathroom.” She didn’t wait for an answer and bolted out of the room.
Once outside the room she leaned against the wall and gave a sigh of
relief.

“Okay,” she murmured to herself. “Now I’ll get Mulder out of there.” Part
of her was tempted to ditch him, but he was her partner, and he certainly
needed her help.

Meanwhile, Mulder looked around the room, hoping for an alien abduction.
His mom and the black lunged bastard were close to kissing, Krycek was
admitting all his sins to Maggie Scully, who was still hugging him.
Spender was still sleeping and Vansen was looking at him like he was the
main course at a psychology dinner.

Spender let out a “Whee! Dumbo!” in his sleep.

“So, Mulder, have anything you want to discuss?” asked Vansen, pen ready.

At that moment, his cell phone went off. “Mulder-”

“It’s me, don’t say a word. Pretend I’m Skinner and you have to see him
right away.”

“Yes, sir.” Mulder answered, somehow keeping himself from laughing. He
pressed END on the cell phone.

“Dr. Vansen?”

“Yes?”

“Assistant Director Skinner wants to see me and Scully ASAP. We have to
leave.” Mulder picked up the coats and Scully’s pocketbook. He wasn’t
sure what to say to the rest of the room so waved slightly and ran out the
door. Scully sat in the waiting room, smiling.

“I owe you one, Scully.” He handed her the pocketbook and coat.

“I’ll add it to your tab.” She smiled slightly. “Oh and I think it would
be a good idea if we never discussed this…ever.”

“I couldn’t agree more.” He shuddered, just thinking about his mom and
the smoking man.

Scully looked back at the room they had just left. “I no longer fear
death.”

“Why?” Mulder asked, deadpan.

“We just went through hell.” They left the building.

In the room, conversation was nonexistent. Vansen glanced over her notes,
which made no sense whatsoever and looked at her watch. Thank God, the
session was over.

“Time’s up,” she announced, forcing herself to smile at everyone leaving.
Once they left, she slumped down in her chair and wrote herself one more
note *Note: If any of these people call again, change the number*. She
started giggling hysterically.

Spender woke up. “Where did everyone go?”

She took a long look at him and then broke in more hysterical laughter.

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