She woke slowly, not sure what was going on. It was dark except for the flashes of lightening. They were stopped - what the. . . ?"
"Mulder? Where are we?"
"State road 1160."
"Why are we sitting here?"
"Because the engine's off."
"Mulder." She took hold of her exasperation before it could become temper. "Why is the engine off?"
"I didnít realize I was in a flood plain. I ran though some standing water and the engine cut off."
"Oh." She took in his posture. He was sitting sideways in his seat, his head against the window, his feet up on the console between them. How long had they been sitting here? "Did you call for help?"
"I don't know if it's the storm or the area, but the phone's out." She reached into her pocket, but her phone was missing. "I tried yours too." At her look he smiled slightly. "I have a light touch."
"You must," she said dryly. "Did you pass anything on the way?"
"Not for at least twenty miles back that way. There may be something around the next bend, but in this storm I'm not willing to find out." As though to punctuate his sentence lightening crackled above them, followed instantly by a boom of thunder. It was close enough to raise the hair on her arms.
"Yeah, I think you're right."
"So I've been sitting here listening to you snore."
"I do not snore." She glared at him.
"Yeah, right, Scully." He couldn't help the grin.
"Do I?" she asked embarrassed.
"No, not snore. But you do make these little Scully noises and sometimes you talk."
"Oh come on, you're making that up."
"No, I mean it's not sentences or anything but sometimes I can make out words. I especially like it when you say my name. Do you dream about me, Scully?"
He hadnít really moved, but now he seemed to be looming over her, that patented Mulder leer on his face. "Are they dreams, Scully, or do you just cry out my name in the throes of passion?"
"We should have gotten a bigger car, Mulder." She cooed at him, glancing at the backseat. That drew him up short. Where was she coming from?
"Then your ego wouldnít have to be so crowded."
Sheíd gotten him. He laughed, not knowing if he was more relieved or disappointed. "Come on, Scully, we're stuck here. 'Fess up. You've dreamed about me, haven't you? What am I doing?"
She sighed, there was no escape, she could drag it out or give in quickly, but Mulder would never give up. "You're on a horse."
That made his grin even wider. "A horse. Umm. . . am I a cowboy?"
"You know what Freud says about horses."
She closed her eyes and shook her head. "You're a knight."
"A knight? Your knight in shining armor?"
"You wish. What about you?"
"What about me?"
"Your dreams, Mulder - those nightmares, am I in them?"
His face grew serious and very quietly he responded, "Yes."
"What are they, Mulder? What nightmare?"
"A lot of them - there's the one where Modell's sister won and I killed you in the warehouse, and the one where Schnauz had you and I didn't get there in time, and my personal favorite where I'm in the Antarctic and can't find you and I know I've run out of time. See a theme here?"
"I didn't know, Mulder. I'm sorry. You know, you're never too late."
"What about next time?"
Well, this was certainly counter-productive. She'd had no intention of bringing him down like this. She had to change the subject.
"Only nightmares? Don't you ever have good dreams with me in them?"
The blush that suffused his face - oh, like that huh? And realized she was blushing herself.
"We shouldn't go there, Scully."
"Yeah, I agree. Can I ask a question?"
"Sure." He was back in control, keeping an eye on the sky and purposefully not dwelling on the dreams she had conjured in his mind.
"Why did you decide to get a waterbed?"
He turned back startled - not a question he had anticipated.
"Well I. . . I mean, I . . . "
"I'm sorry, Mulder. It's none of my business, forget it."
"No, no it's not that. I guess I hoped you'd never ask."
"Because I don't know where it came from."
"I didn't buy it. It was just there. When we came back from that trip out to Area 51 when my informant didn't show, but we got run off."
"Kersh didn't catch us."
"Yeah, that one. Well, when I got back it was there. The room had been cleaned out and there it was."
"You're not serious."
"Yeah, Scully, I am. I don't have a clue."
"Maybe one of your adoring women got tired of sleeping on the couch and decided to remedy the situation herself."
"Oh yeah, that's probably it. One of the hoards of women that troop through there on a regular basis."
"See? And one of them decided on a present that would suit both of you." she teased.
"The last woman, other than yourself, to grace my abode was. . . good grief, it was Melissa."
"Melissa? When. . . when was she at your place." And why did it bother her that she had been?
"That last night, when you were in the coma. She came over and did me the biggest favor I've ever had. I never got a chance to repay her."
That caused a tightening in her abdomen she didn't want to analyze. "What did she do?"
"She had me go to the hospital to be with you."
"I remember you being there. I told you I had the strength of your beliefs. I think that's the night I decided to come back."
He ran a finger over her hand where it wrapped around her legs as she sat opposite him in an identical position. "She also kept me from doing something incredibly stupid that night."
"X had come to me earlier that day. He knew who had taken you and he'd told them I was going out of town to pick up more evidence to go with what I already had hidden in the apartment. He'd even bought an airline ticket for me. He told me to wait for them. I did, I was sitting there with my sig fully loaded, waiting to murder them in cold blood."
Scully shivered slightly and placed her hand over his. "I wanted to kill them, and I would have, but Melissa showed up and told me you were weakening, that we'd probably lose you that night and I needed to see you first. I threw her out, I didn't want her there when they showed up, but then I knew I couldn't let you go without. . . without telling you some things. So I left. They came while I was with you and trashed my apartment - of course there was no evidence to find and then. . . then you came back to me."
Her eyes glistened and she nodded. "I didn't know. She never told me she went to you."
"She was looking out for you, and me."
Scully gave a light laugh. "It wasn't always like that. We didn't get along that well as kids. She was the pretty one."
"What?" Melissa hadnít been anywhere near as attractive as Scully. How could she think that?
"Yeah, Melissa was the beauty, I was smart. Bill had to excel in anything athletic and Charlie. . . well Charlie was the baby. It was so hard sharing a room with her. Here she was wearing makeup and beautiful lingerie while I was still wearing t-shirts."
"You caught up." His eyes lingered on her full breasts.
"Actually I didn't." She decided not to call him on where he was looking; it was kind of fun talking to him this way. "She always had the better figure. She knew how to use it too. She had lots more dates, and men."
"I will never forget when Mom found her birth control pills hidden under that beautiful lingerie. That lecture went on for days. Geez. . . "
"How old was she?"
"Sixteen? Damn, she was precocious."
"What about you, Mulder? How old were you?"
"Are you implying, Dr. Scully, that I am not a virgin?" Big innocent eyes looked at her.
"I sure am. Come on, Mulder, how old?"
"Fourteen." Boy, heíd walked into that one.
"You're kidding. Could you do it at fourteen?"
"Thanks a lot, Scully."
"No, I mean. . . I mean, who's going to do it with a fourteen-year old? Iím sure you were cute as a button, but. . . "
He sighed, how had they gotten back to him again? "The people next door hired this college girl to keep their kids one summer and -"
"You did it with the babysitter!" That brought her upright her amusement apparent in every cell.
"Hey, not my babysitter!"
"When did she have time to do it, if she was keeping these kids?"
"They took naps."
"Apparently so did the two of you." She was chuckling now, visualizing him as a horny teenager.
"Okay, how about you? When did you give it up, Dana?"
She raised her eyebrow at the name, but didn't back down. "I was twenty."
"Twenty! Come on, how did you hold them off that long?"
She laughed again; "Well there weren't that many to hold off, but I wanted to wait until I was out of the house. I did not need that particular lecture again. So I went to college and sowed my wild oats there without the protective eye of Margaret and Bill Scully."
"You were the smart one."
"Well, I also wanted it to be special."
He nodded at that. "Who's special now? Do you have that right man in your life?" He asked it lightly, but was listening intently.
She felt the blood rising to her face again. "Let's not go there either, Mulder. Change the subject."
"Change the subject? Umm, okay, what's your favorite color?"
That elicited another light laugh. "Green. What about yours?"
"Well, since I can't see green, I guess blue."
"What do you mean, can't see green?"
"I'm red green color-blind. I thought you knew."
"No, another little tidbit you forgot to mention." She was mentally going through her wardrobe, what did she own in blue?
"What about your nightmares, Scully? Do you have any?"
That sobered her, "Of course I have nightmares, Mulder."
"Am I in them?" She nodded, "Tell me."
She hesitated, remembering this dream was still shattering to her. "Iím in your apartment identifying your body, but itís really your body this time. You really committed suicide." He nodded, it had almost happened. "You know," she continued, "if you had done it, Iíd be dead now too. You didnít find the chip until after that night. Of course, weíd probably still be together."
"I wouldnít count on that, Scully. I kind of doubt weíre headed for the same place. I guess Ostelhoff did us both a favor spying on me.
They were both silent then, thinking their own thoughts about that period in their lives.
She sighed, "Well, Iím glad weíre both here, both alive and healthy, if somewhat cramped and chilly. You need to live a long time, grow very old. Have a couple of kids, two or three grandkids." She smiled up at him.
"I canít have children, Scully."
The smile on her face faded. "What?" Shit, he should have phrased it differently. Said he didnít want kids, not that he couldnít have them.
"Letís change the subject, Scully."
"But, Mulder. . . "
"The storm seems to be moving on, at least the lightening." He looked out the window, anywhere but at her.
"Itís raining harder than ever."
"Yeah. We should be okay. I had enough momentum to make this rise."
"Iím sure weíll be okay." The conversation was uncomfortable now, stiff. How had children come up? There was another silence.
"Mulder, why canít you have children?"
"Scully - "
"Did they. . . did they do something to you too?"
"No, I mean, I donít know. How come you can change the subject and I canít?"
"Mulder, please. This is important. What do you mean you donít know? Either you can have children or you canít."
He looked out the window again, as though contemplating escape. "I suppose Iím capable. But itís not going to happen."
"Why the hell not? Youíre young, you owe it to yourself Ė "
"Scully. Drop it."
"I canít, Mulder. Please, explain it to me."
His loose posture belied his tension. She wasnít going to let this go. "I donít want children with just anyone."
"Well of course not, but you could find her tomorrow."
"Scully, I found her years ago. Could we drop this?"
Heíd found her? Years ago? Who? Who had he loved that much? He was able to see her confusion, the fear on her face even in this meager light. He sighed, she didnít have a clue and now his silence was causing her pain.
"You, Scully. Damn it, you. I donít want children with anyone else. Okay?"
She had no answer to that. Even if she had she wasnít physically able to voice it. They had never discussed this. The closest theyíd come was on that bench in Home, Pennsylvania. Then it had been joking, light, just conversation. Of course there were so many things they hadnít known then.
"Scully?" Sheíd been quiet too long. What had he done?
"Iím sorry." He had to lean in to hear her, even in this small space. "I wish I could give you children." She was looking out the window now, away from him, away from this conversation.
Those words hung between them for what felt like a very long time. Finally Mulder broke the silence, his voice almost normal. "Arenít you getting tired?"
"Iím not going to sleep anyway. Iíll keep an eye on the water level. Why donít you stretch out in the back and try to sleep?"
"Iím not that short." She tried to smile, lighten the mood.
"No, youíre not. But youíll be more comfortable. Here, let me. . . " He pulled her up, towards him, almost into his arms before he seemed to catch himself and loosened his grip. She climbed into the back through the small space between the seats. He turned his head away as her perfect ass came close to his face.
She curled up in the back on her side, facing him. "You cold?"
"No, Mulder, Iím fine."
"Well, try to get some sleep. I wonít let us wash away."
"Iím not worried." She closed her eyes, as much to block the sight of him as to try to rest. Their conversation had gone places she had never anticipated. She needed some time to absorb this information, figure out how to live with the knowledge and what to do about it.
Her quiet even breathing told him she was finally asleep. He felt safe looking at her again. Damn, he had let the conversation get off track. Heíd never meant to reveal all that, it had just been so comfortable talking to her all alone in the dark, with no one to interrupt. He sighed, at least she hadnít run out into the storm to escape him. Yet.
"I love you, Dana Scully." He whispered and turned away again. It didnít help to look at her, so he missed seeing her lips silently mouth the words, "I love you too, Mulder."