Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 05:51:03 PDT
Category: Story: Romance, Humor
Summary: Mulder & Scully are sent to a Relationship Clinic to
find the device that supposedly forced someone in
the Executive Branch to behave amorously.
Disclaimer: Obviously Fox, Dana, and Walter belong to CC and not to
The names Brian Kessler and Carrie are from the movie 'Kalifornia.'
The name Eugene Sands is from the movie 'Playing God.'
Biometronics is fictitious, unless someone else made up the same name I
Author is needy and craves feedback. I will reply unless you request
''I have been asked to handle a delicate situation, an investigation
that will require some finesse,'' said Assistant Director Skinner,
eyeing the two agents seated in front of his desk.
''Sometimes you need a little finesse,'' offered Mulder.
''A powerful person paid a visit to the Shipp Clinic for an undisclosed
purpose. It is his belief that during said visit, he was impelled to
engage in erotic acts that would not have ordinarily occurred. He
attributes the compelling force to a device, some electronic thing that
was used to direct his thoughts and actions.''
''I hate this already,'' said Scully.
''He wants us to find this thing. He wants to know what it is.''
''And where he can get one?'' asked Scully.
''I'll get a search warrant,'' said Mulder dryly. ''For a thing.
maybe it should say thing or things. To be safe.''
''No search warrant,'' Skinner said. ''No official FBI involvement.''
''Can we order it?'' Mulder asked. ''I hear they have a catalogue.''
''Let's make this very simple. You two go to the Shipp Clinic
identities that have been arranged for you. You attend the relationship
enhancement workshop. With luck, they produce some electrical device.
You leave with the device.''
''Steal it?'' asked Scully incredulously.
''That is not the word I would choose,'' said Skinner.
''This is completely out of line!''Mulder exploded. ''A total
of procedure.'' Scully and Skinner remained poker-faced. ''You're
sending us to a sex camp to steal a vibrator. Is that it?''
''Agent Mulder, I of all people appreciate your respect for procedure.
But first, it isn't sex camp. It's some group-hug nonsense about trust
and communication. And it isn't a vibrator. It's a flat rectangle,
about three inches by four, with wires on one side.''
''The Walkman made him do it,'' said Mulder.
''Respectfully, sir, this isn't a matter for the X-files. Agent
and I lack the expertise to manage this case.'' Scully excelled at
''To the contrary, your backgrounds in psychology and medicine make
ideally suited for this investigation.''
''Actually, my formal academic training in psychology mostly involved
rodents and mazes.'' Mulder looked quite disarming, Scully noticed.
Skinner seemed unimpressed.
''The original Ratboy,'' he said.
''Sir,'' said Scully, ''as you know I joined the FBI directly from
medical school. I have about as much practical knowledge as an intern
in July. I'm not licensed anywhere. I'm not qualified to so much as
write a prescription.''
''Exactly what are you qualified for?'' Skinner asked.
''I can take medical histories and check stool samples for blood.''
''That's thrilling, Agent Scully. How do you happen to be working
''Human resources said I was close enough for government work.''
''Exactly. Enjoy your trip.''
''I want to know something. What happens if we get arrested?
what happens if we get convicted?'' Good, thought Skinner. They're
going to accept the case.
''If you are convicted, a pardon will be forthcoming. But probably
right away. I told you this was a delicate situation.''
Dr. Franklin Seaford's Office
The Shipp Clinic
Derry, New Hampshire
''So, you are Brian and Carrie Kessler. Welcome to the clinic.''
Dr. Seaford was a balding, genial-looking man of perhaps sixty.
''Thank you,'' Scully said. Mulder seemed to be sulking, she reflected,
and she would have to do most of the talking. Or maybe he was playing
''Now, Brian, I see that you're an advertising copywriter.
Advertising--that's a competitive field. Do you think stress might be
part of you problem?''
Mulder shook his head, staring at his feet.
''Carrie, I see that you're a designer. What do you design?''
''Chastity belts,'' Mulder offered.
''Now, Brian,'' Scully said. ''He has such a great sense of humor
he's not being despondent. Really, I design jewelry.''
''Yes, great hulking chunks of lead and iron. They're very popular
south of Fourteenth Street.'' Mulder was into it.
''I embarrass him in front of his uptown crowd. They find honest
creativity threatening. I've always been completely tolerant of Brian's
decision to squander his talent by pandering to the marketplace.'' She
was into it too.
''She's so tolerant she allows me to pay the rent.''
''You're always throwing that up to me. You make more money.
spend more money. I'm not the one with thirty pairs of shoes!''
''Scully, you've got twice as many shoes as me.'' Damn, that was
careless of me, he thought.
''Oh, Brian, you haven't called me that in years. Do you remember
little pet name I used to have for you?''
''Of course I do,'' said Mulder. I'm in for it, he thought.
''Fox, remember? I called you that all the time. Because
adorable,'' she explained to the doctor. ''Well, I'm going to call you
Fox from now on. It reminds me of all the reasons I married you, Fox.''
Dr. Seaford had been taking notes.
''Isn't it fascinating how honest communication can lead to insight.
And the rest of the day will also be filled with fascinating insights.
Our therapists will lead you through a series of exercises and tests.
Tomorrow morning we'll meet again to outline our plan for the day, based
on what we learn today.''
''That sounds... fascinating,'' Scully said. Reaching across the
to return the doctor's handshake, she sent a slew of items crashing to
the floor. ''I'm sorry,'' she said as she loaded the stuff back on the
''Just leave it,'' Dr. Seaford said kindly. ''Go and meet our
The Shipp Clinic
''I get the bed,'' Mulder announced.
''Fine,'' said Scully, who knew he would fall asleep watching TV on
''Forget it, you can have it.''
''Mulder, I'm not enjoying this any more than you are. We just
get through one more day and we're done. With or without the secret
''This isn't even an investigation, is it? It's crap. Some
''A bigshot who can grant pardons,'' Scully interrupted.
''Drops his pants. Call out the FBI to figure this one out.''
''A total waste of time. Demeaning and embarrassing, yet boring.''
''Kind of like junior high,'' said Mulder. ''And this was my weekend
clean the fishtank.''
''Uh-huh. I had this new oven cleaner I wanted to try. It
works on a
cold oven.'' Mulder had found something on the tube. "Good-night,
Fox," Scully called.
She was sound asleep when he woke her at 11:21.
''I'm going for a swim,'' he said.
''Of course you are. Call me when they catch you.''
She was asleep again many hours later when a wet body came hurtling
through the terrace door and into her bed.
''Scully,'' he whispered. She had time to pull the sheet over
before the main door burst open and the lights blazed on. Scully began
to shriek, loud, high-pitched screams, rich with vibrato.
''Brian, wake up!''
A couple of uniformed guards stood in the doorway, looking confused.
''Sorry, folks,'' one said. ''We got a report... well, I guess
mistake. Sorry. Please, lady, shut up, we're goin', okay?'' They left,
closing the door.
''What time is it?'' Scully asked.
''I can't believe it.''
''You're all wet. You really did go for a swim.''
The Shipp Clinic
Derry, New Hampshire
2:30 AM Sunday
''Seaford, you're going to have to get your New York weirdos out of
here. The Judge is coming today.'' Dr. Sands was younger than Dr.
Seaford, but clearly in charge.
''I don't know if I can help them anyway. Still, I wish I could
She seems so repressed,'' Seaford said.
''Get a grip, Franklin. We were going bankrupt the old way.
friend like the Judge, we've got a steady cashflow, and most of all we
have the box.''
''Yes, the box is a great advance. When are we going to publish
''Franklin, you really are an idiot.'' The phone range and Seaford
answered it. He frowned as he listened, then reported to Sands.
''Brian Kessler left the video library. Now he's in the pool.''
''Fine. Give him a few minutes, then activate the alarm.
get him back to his room, but have them make sure. I don't want him
wandering around all night.''
The Shipp Clinic
Derry, New Hampshire
''I want to show you something.'' Scully reached under the mattress
pulled out a rectangular box.
Mulder was astonished.
''There really is a magic box? How did you get it?''
''I searched the treatment room.''
''That's the one section that's really locked up tight. Didn't
see you? What about the alarm?''
''I wore a labcoat. You can go anywhere in a labcoat. Oh,
and I used
the key from Seaford's desk.''
''Nice work, Scully. And now we can leave! We're done here.''
''Mulder, we've got nothing. We've got more questions than before.
thought this was some bogus cover-up of yet another presidential
indiscretion. So we went through the motions. But there really is
something going on here, and I can't imagine what.''
''But we've got the magic box. We take it back and let the lab
''You don't understand, Mulder. This is a standard medical device,
Biometronics twitch monitor. It has nothing to do with any of this.
And they're got five of them.''
''What is it used for?''
''Several things. We use it to monitor the level of neuromuscular
blockade when patients are given paralytic agents, during surgery, for
example. It sends out a series of electrical impulses and we count the
number of twitches in response.''
''Could it be used to induce an erection?''
''I suppose so, with the proper placement of the electrodes. I
you could use a pair of spinal needles to access the nerve, or perhaps a
''I'm sorry I asked.''
''Relax, Mulder, I'll show you how it actually works.'' She peeled
backings from the two electrodes and placed the sticky pads on her hand.
''When I push the button it will initiate a series of twitches.'' She
did. Nothing happened. She pressed the electrodes down with her finger
to improve the contact and tried again. Still nothing. She switched
the wires leading to the electrodes. Nothing again. ''I guess the
battery is dead.''
She turned the box over to see how it opened. ''Mulder, give me
army knife. I need the screwdriver.''
Mulder lay on his side, propped on an arm, staring at her dreamily.
''Oh, for heaven's sakes,'' Scully exclaimed. She reached across him to
get the knife from his pile of stuff on the nightstand. He exhaled
''I can't get this started,'' she said, struggling with the screwdriver.
He said nothing. ''You're about as useful as this stupid twitch
''Do you realize we're in bed together?''
''Well, guess what? You can keep the bed, now that it's all wet.
still can't believe you actually went swimming. While I was skulking
around stealing this broken twitch monitor.'' She tossed the box in a
suitcase and settled herself on the sofa. ''Aren't you cold?''
He just groaned.
Dr. Seaford's Office
The Shipp Clinic
Derry, New Hampshire
Dr. Seaford looked serious.
''We're here to discuss our findings from your sessions yesterday.
get right to the point, I don't think the relationship enhancement
program is appropriate for you at this time. What I would recommend is
that each of you spends some time in intensive individual therapy.
Perhaps in a year or two you will want to reconsider a weekend here.''
''Oh, this is just great,'' Scully exploded at Mulder. "You got
''Please, Carrie, I don't want you to think of it like that .
program is not for everyone. And Carrie... I found some of your
responses to be quite... unusual.''
''MY responses? Just what responses are you talking about?''
''Let's see.'' Dr. Seaford flipped through the folder. ''Okay.
where you were asked to describe your partner's body. You gave a
lengthy description, and the phrase you used most often was 'within
normal limits.' I'll read you a section: 'adult white male, appears
approximately stated age, skin turgor adequate, free of icterus,
mottling, or cyanosis.''
''Well, look at him,''exclaimed Scully. ''Anyway, what did he
my body?'' She glared at Mulder, who had his face in his hands. He was
either sobbing or laughing.
''He said you had a nice body.''
''He used a colorful expression to indicate that--''
''Dammit, exactly what did he say?''
''I said you were build like a brick shithouse.'' Mulder had gotten
himself under control.
''Like a what! And that's your idea of a good answer. Is
kind of guy-thing conspiracy?''
''Carrie, please calm down. It's an earthy way of saying he likes
''So you're throwing us out because I wasn't earthy enough?''
''Of course not. Some of Brian's answers were also... atypical.
free association test, he answered 'my sister' forty-five times. And
you both had some trouble with the 'Feeling the moment' exercise.''
''That's the one where we pound each other with pillows?''
''No, you were very good at that. This was the backrub one.''
''Well, he wouldn't let me do it.''
''You didn't do it right,'' Mulder countered.
''I didn't know you were ticklish there.''
''I think you get the idea,'' Dr. Seaford said soothingly. ''I
see you in the future, when you are ready.''
''Don't abandon us, Dr. Seaford. I know I need help. Isn't
something you could do, maybe some new therapy? There must be something
you're working on.'' Scully fixed her blue eyes on the doctor.
''There might be something. Would you mind waiting outside while
a phone call.''
''You two can do whatever you like,'' Mulder said. ''I'm out of
Just tell me when to pick her up.''
''We're leaving,'' Mulder whispered urgently. ''We've got the
You're not going to let Dr. Demento experiment on you.''
''The box is nothing. It doesn't do anything. I want to
going on here.''
''Scully, the box works. It does something, I'm not sure what.
it just makes you see the obvious. We've got it and we're going.''
''You go ahead. Send the box down to the lab, if you like.
Pick me up
later. I've got to find out what they're up to.''
''I'm not leaving without you.''
''Stop it! I can't work with you like this. Take care of
okay? See you later.''
Dr. Seaford's Office
Dr. Seaford is on the telephone.
Seaford: Eugene, I want to work with the Kessler woman for a couple
hours. She's had this great breakthrough, she's really ready to change.
Sands: I told you to get them out of here. The Judge is
require all out attention. He's got the new model for us to test.
Seaford: That's wonderful! But the old model is wonderful,
do you always focus on its limitations when it can accomplish miracles
as it is?
Sands: Franklin, I know how you feel. In the old days, I
been excited as hell to find a device that could ignite passion. And I
wouldn't have cared that it only worked for people who already loved
each other, or that they had to be soaking wet. But you know where our
funding comes from. And you know that the Judge's interests are
different from ours. If you want to keep this clinic going, you'll
start to focus on the big picture.
Seaford: You talk about the old days and you say you know how
Prove it. Give me two hours.
Sands: You've got an hour and a half. And get someone to
husband. He likes to explore, if you remember.
The Shipp Clinic
Dr. Seaford looked at his watch. The medication should be starting
''How do you feel, Carrie?'' he asked.
Scully took a minute to answer. ''I'm fine.''
''Let's talk about Brian.''
''Copywriter, Madison Avenue, late thirties...''
''Carrie. Tell me about Fox.'' He hoped the pet name would
''Fox. Trust him. Protect him.''
''How do you protect him?''
''Say he's dead. Shoot him.'' The door opened and Dr. Sands
He looked at Scully and then at his colleague.
''Holy cow, Franklin, what are you trying to do?''
''She's so uptight,'' Seaford said. ''You think I gave her too much?''
Sands looked over the empty medication packets. ''What is she,
kilos? Unless she's here for root canal, you gave her too much. You
got the husband coming back for her an hour from now? Just make sure
she's ready. Man, we're cutting this close.''
''Are you going to tell the Judge about our VIP clients?''
''Tell him what,that Al and Tipper set the night on fire?
They're married, Franklin. How's he going to use that?''
''It just shows how helpful the box can be, even in its current state.''
''Seaford, you can't be that stupid. You used the box on the Gores?''
Sands's pager bleated, and he used the wall phone to respond, still
staring at Seaford.
''Franklin,'' he said after his call, ''they caught Kessler going
through your files. Don't you lock your office? Get the woman ready,
we're running them out right now.''
The Shipp Clinic
Seaford stood outside his office. Inside, the three guards trying
drag Mulder out of the room were not making much progress.
''Where's my wife?'' Mulder screamed. ''I wanna see my wife!''
A fourth guard, the chief of security, stood next to Seaford, evaluating
''Look, doc, just get his wife. That's all he's hollering about.''
''I can't, Sid, she's still too zonked.''
''Then snow him too. He's not gonna shut up, you know. Dr.
gonna have my hide if the Judge walks in on this scene.''
''I can't sedate him, Sid, I didn't get his consent.'' Sid stared
''Uh, doc, I don't think he consented to this wrestling match, either.
Just get a needle ready.''
''Will you be able to handle him then?''
''We got a motel key from his pocket. If we can get him
to his motel,
he can scream all he likes there. And I'm telling you, he'll be okay
once you bring his wife to him.''
Manchester, New Hampshire
Sid, the security chief, is speaking to Dr. Seaford on the telephone.
Sid: You're worried if he's gonna wake up okay? Trust me,
awake. I know you can't hear him, we got his mouth covered with duct
tape. Oh yeah, it's great stuff. We got all of him taped. Billy and
me, we tied him to the bed when he started waking up. To the bed frame.
Took the whole roll. Well, I don't think he's happy, doc. You gonna
have his wife here soon?
White Oldsmobile Intrigue
''Where are we going?'' Scully asked.
''You asked me that two minutes ago, sweetheart. We've going for
ride.'' The security man kept his patience. He was just glad he hadn't
been one of the guys assigned to Mulder.
''Can I have a drink of water?''
''When we get there.''
''Are we almost there?''
''Go back to sleep.''
''They're awfully busy for a Sunday out of season,'' the guard remarked
to the driver. ''Come around and give me a hand.'' Together they
walked Scully to the door. Sid let them in gratefully.
''Good, let's get out of here,'' he said.
''You think she'll be able to get him loose?'' Scully's guard asked
''Sure, sooner or later.'' They left, and Scully leaned against the
closed door. Mulder writhed on the bed, trying to get her attention.
She saw him at last.
''Mulder, look at you!''
She staggered to the bed and began rearranging his tousled hair.
''And you're taking up the whole bed.'' She squeezed in next to
''I got us a flight out of Hartford,'' Scully said, sitting down at
table. ''And I found out what all the cops and press were doing at the
airport in Manchester. Ken Starr flew into town.''
''I have a recurring nightmare about Kenneth Starr,'' Mulder said
between forkfuls. ''He corners me somewhere and tells me he used to
work with my father.''
''You know, we've been lucky. We're about the only ones who never
to work on Whitewater.''
''You want to talk about it?'' she asked.
''I thought there was nothing to talk about. I was drugged, you
drugged. If a tree falls in the forest and everyone was drugged, it
doesn't make any noise.''
''I don't understand you. Don't you feel used? Manipulated?
Stop smiling, Mulder!''
''Scully, we're two consenting adults. Admittedly the particulars
unusual, but sometimes you just happen to be down by the dock when your
ship comes in.''
''Happen to be? We get ordered to a sex clinic, I zap you with
kind of rewired twitch stimulator, we're both drugged, and you get
yourself tied to a bed. That's not two consenting adults, that's an
assemblage. And you are unconcerned.''
He turned away, then faced her once more. ''It's happening again.
We're there at the same time, go through the same thing, and then it
turns out you have a completely different view of it. I was there too,
Scully. Don't tell me you didn't like it, I know better. The people in
the next room know better! You can't exactly say I took advantage of
''I know what I did.'' She shook her head. ''What shall
we call it? I
exploited your predicament. I risked your safety by leaving you in a
compromised state. Dammit, Mulder, you're smiling again.''
''Scully, whatever it was, it was the zenith of my corporeal existence
in this life or any other. What can I say about the concatenation of
events that crystalized into our encounter? Through what agency,
malevolent or kind, did this bounty befall me, or was it merely the
random accumulation of circumstance? Consider everything we've been
through, Scully. Is this the experience you would choose to
''Mulder, I can't even recognize the person I was yesterday. That
nothing like me. I've never done anything like that before. I
tormented you for hours!''
''You are quite a tease.''
''I didn't even untie you.''
''Sure you did, after you had your way with me. And you took the
off my mouth right away.''
''But that was so I could make you beg for it. Oh, Mulder, I'm
''It's quite all right. Anyway, I got you back.''
''You don't understand. I'm not saying it wasn't thrilling,
transcendent, and explosive. I just don't see what it has to do with
you and me.''
He reached for her hand. ''Listen. Even if it took a magic
jackass psychiatrist, and a boatload of drugs, I'm glad it happened.
But if you're saying it could only happen that way, that it has nothing
to do with us now, then I'm going to ask you for a favor.'' She didn't
answer, but he continued. ''If that's the way it is, I'm driving home.
I'm going to need the time alone. I want you to get on that plane
''Mulder, you sound like you're asking me to go with Victor Laszlo.''She
was smiling but close to tears. ''You know, Mulder, this really is like
'Casablanca.' Our problems don't amount to a hill of beans in this
crazy world. The fate of the world depends on you, on us. Our work is
''Bullshit. This has nothing to do with the fate of the world,
once. You're scared, Scully. Just tell me what you're scared of.''
''I did tell you. What I did to you yesterday, how I acted, I'm
like that. I'm clinical, remember? I'm boring. I've seen your women,
Mulder, they're tall and arrogant and fascinating. They snap their
fingers and you're at their mercy.''
''How can I reassure you? If I tell you how extraordinary it was
me, you'll say that wasn't you. You always get like this when some
woman shows up from my past. And now the other woman is you yourself.''
She paused for a moment to follow his logic. ''And then there's
tape collection,'' she said. ''Those women... and those men...''
''Why are you obsessed with my tapes? Forget about them.
From now on
I'll hide them, like everyone else.''
''I just don't think I'm what you're looking for.''
''Scully, how do you know what I'm looking for? Do you think I
be duct-taped and mauled every night? What's wrong with really mediocre
sex? I want to bore you, Scully. I want you counting the ceiling
tiles.'' What if we skip the flight and drive down together, he
thought. Take some time, let the mood lighten...
She laughed in spite of herself. ''Mulder, you are sweet,'' she
am so confused, she thought.
''That does not sound promising,'' he said.
''Why don't you take the flight home?'' she suggested. ''I'll
car down. I need time to think more than you do.''
''It's a long drive, Scully. What if we both drive to New York
decide about getting a plane?''
''But that's ridiculous.''
''No, you know what's ridiculous?" Mulder asked. ''You're
because of another woman--you. And I'm losing you to Victor Laszlo
because his work is so important. And I'm Victor Laszlo.''
''Your report was uncharacteristically concise,'' Skinner said.
''Yes, sir,'' said Scully.
''Just seven words. 'Here is the device you requested.'
you can tell me about the device?''
''It appears to be a Biometronics Neurostim Eighty-eight,'' Mulder read
from the case.
''Appears to be, yes. Biometronics confirms they are the manufacturer
of the Neurostim Eighty-eight and that the case is of their manufacture.
The inside is another story.''
''Perhaps it was modified for a different use,'' offered Scully.
''The lab is unable to discern its use or function so far,'' Skinner
said. ''They do note some scratch marks on the back of the case, as if
someone tried to open it.''
''I did try, but I couldn't'' Scully said.
''Not surprising. They had quite a time of it in the lab,'' Skinner
said. ''Here is a photograph of the components.''
The two agents studied it.
''Do you see that ring in the center? That is the power source.
Apparently it is fueled by deuterium oxide.''
''Heavy water,'' Scully said. ''That's unusual.''
''Unusual? It's unheard of. The other components are equally exotic.''
Mulder sighed. ''Alien technology. But why? And where
did they get
''The Judge,'' Scully said, surprising herself. ''I don't know
that means. I must have heard them say it.''
''Once again we end up with nothing but more questions.'' Mulder sighed
again. ''Can our friend in the White House tell us anything useful?''
''You make a lot of assumptions, Agent Mulder.'' Skinner tapped
pencil on his desk. ''However, our friend is no longer interested in
this device and feels he may have been mistaken about its powers.''
''It was the vice-president, wasn't it?'' asked Scully. ''He really
want it for himself.''
''Our presidential pardon was going to come from Al Gore? I'd
make a lot of assumptions yourself.'' Mulder looked accusingly at
Skinner. Skinner returned the stare without emotion.
''In light of what we now know about the device, I will be expecting
more detailed report. And about your expenses...'' Skinner poked at a
pile of forms and receipts. ''This is very confusing.'' Mulder was
still glaring at him.
''You flew into Manchester, and you have numerous return flights booked
and canceled. The car was rented in Manchester but returned somewhere
else. And I don't know how this got in here, a bar-car charge on the
Metroliner.'' Mulder and Scully exchanged looks. Neither spoke.
''What is the big deal?'' Skinner clenched his teeth in exasperation.
He picked up the paperwork and slapped it down on the desk between them.
''I've already signed it. Just clarify and turn it in to accounting.''
Great story, huh? Or maybe not? Please e-mail me either
answer, unless you ask me not to.
Kel - email@example.com
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com