Scully started for the living room with the coffee tray and saw her mother stopped just out in the foyer, looking toward the living room. “Mom?”
“Shh!” Maggie turned back with her finger at her lips.
Scully frowned and looked past her into the living room. Mulder had fallen asleep, sprawled on the couch. She shook her head, chuckling quietly.
They turned back to the dining room and took their seats again. Scully took a sip from her cup.
“I thought Fox looked tired at dinner, but that surprises me.”
Scully sighed. “I knew he wasn’t sleeping, but I have to admit I didn’t expect that either.”
“Why isn’t he sleeping?”
“He hasn’t said. You don’t mind if he naps for a little while, do you?”
“Of course not. I just worry about him.”
“You worry about Mulder?” Scully looked up surprised.
“Of course I do. He’s important to you; therefore he’s important to me.”
Scully didn’t respond, just concentrating on her coffee. Maggie changed the subject and brought her up to date on Charlie’s boys. They had been visiting for a few minutes when they were both jerked upright by the cry. “No!”
Scully was already on her feet as Maggie juggled her cup, managing to spill coffee only in the saucer.
Scully headed for the living room, Maggie on her heels. He was restless, his arms up as though reaching for something or someone. He was still talking, begging.
“Dana? Aren’t you going to - “
She turned to face her mother. “Mom, he wouldn’t want you to see him like this. Please.”
“I certainly don’t - “
“He’ll be embarrassed.”
“Does this happen often?”
Scully looked back over at him and from her expression Maggie knew her answer.
“Don’t take . . .” he mumbled.
Maggie looked back at him.
“He, he dreams about Samantha sometimes.”
“After all these years?” Maggie’s look of compassion pulled at Scully.
“She’s mine . . . Scul . . . love her!” His arm again seemed to reach for something just out of reach.
Startled, Maggie looked over at Scully. Her face had gone completely white, and then flushed a dark red. Her mouth had fallen open.
“I’ll be on the patio,” Maggie said quietly and turned away. She didn’t see the look of near panic on Scully’s face.
“Plea . . . “ She looked back and saw a tear trailing down his face. He was still asleep. After a long moment she slowly walked to the couch. She perched on the coffee table at his side and just sat watching him. Another tear followed the first. She reached out and gently brushed it from his cheek, allowing her hand to caress him slightly.
He turned into her hand and seemed to relax a little.
“Mulder, wake up,” she said softly, letting her hand press against his cheek.
“Mmm, Sc . . .” he swallowed and his eyes fluttered open. “Scully?”
She smiled and nodded.
“Where . . . oh shit.” He sat up then, looking around. “We’re at your Mom’s. Did I . . . “
“You fell asleep after dinner.”
He looked around again, trying to spot Maggie. “Did I . . . “
“Snore?” Her eyebrow rose.
“Come on, Scully. Did I . . . talk?”
“You had a dream,” she demurred. “It’s okay.”
She shrugged slightly.
“Did, did your Mom . . . “
“She’s on the patio. I knew you weren’t sleeping well, but - “
“How did you know I wasn’t sleeping?” he interrupted.
She rolled her eyes slightly. “We spend a lot of time together, Mulder. I know when you’re having trouble.”
He looked down sheepishly.
“What . . . what was the nightmare, Mulder?”
He didn’t look up.
“Was it . . . was I in it?”
His head jerked up then. “Did I say anything?”
“If you’re awake now, maybe we should head home.” She started to rise from the table, but his hand took hold of her arm. He searched her face but she met his gaze without revealing anything.
“Yeah, we should go.”
“Let me tell Mom goodnight.” She did rise then and headed for the kitchen.
He sank back against the couch and closed his eyes, shaking his head. Then he took a deep breath and rose to his feet, tucking his shirt back in. Damn. He looked up when the two women joined him. He met Maggie’s smile sheepishly.
“Maggie, I’m sorry I - “
“Fox, I’m delighted you feel comfortable enough here to fall asleep.” He blinked at that and his smile widened slightly. “I’m making ribs for the church supper next Thursday, if you’re in town I’ll make a little extra.”
“Sounds wonderful. Thank you.” His hand rested on Scully’s back as he escorted her to his car.
“Are you okay to drive?” she asked quietly.
“Yes. I’m fine.” She rolled her eyes, but got in the car and buckled her seatbelt. They were quiet on the drive to her apartment.
He pulled in near her car and turned off the engine. He faced her and she hesitated with her hand on the door. “What did I say?”
“Mulder, it’s - “
“Please.” He reached out and rested his hand on her arm.
“How long have I been in your nightmares?” He looked away then and released her arm. “Mulder, come in. Maybe we should talk.”
She settled back in her seat. “We might as well do it now. We can’t, Mulder . . . “ She’d seen that look before. It was fear. She’d seen it when she had been so sick, before he’d found the chip, and in California when he realized she was thinking of leaving him to raise Emily. “What is the nightmare?”
Instead of answering he pulled the keys from the ignition and opened his door. She did the same and led him to her door. Scully looked up at him, then unlocked the apartment and led him inside. “Would you like anything to drink?”
He shook his head and after a moment took a seat on her couch. She hesitated for a moment, then joined him. She looked over at him and he took a deep breath.
“Yes, you’re in my nightmares.” She seemed to wilt at those words. “You have been since you fished me out of the ocean. I . . . I know you thought I was drugged when I . . . Anyway, when I admitted it . . . Shit.” He started to rise and her hand shot out to stop him.
“You, you meant that? You meant that you . . . “
“That I love you.” The fear was present on his face again. Her eyes were wide and she didn’t seem capable of speech. “Great. I’ll get out of here now.”
“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. You don’t have to - “
“Why does . . . loving me give you nightmares?”
“It makes losing you even harder.”
“Losing me?” She met his eyes, confused.
“Well I certainly don’t expect you to reciprocate and now that you know . . . “ He shrugged.
“What if I, I do reciprocate?”
“Don’t. This means too much. I can’t - “
Her lips cut him off. It took him exactly two heartbeats to realize it and less than that to respond. When they broke apart, both panting, he just stared at her.
She looked down at her hands, then after a moment met his eyes again. “Why don’t you finish your nap here?”
His eyes widened, but then a small smile began to grow on his face. “I . . . I’d like that.”
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.