Something woke her, but before she could determine what, he spoke. “Scully?”
“Mulder? What - “
He switched on the hall light, not wanting to blind her. She sat up and the pale green sheet pooled in her lap. Though he tried not to, he noted the thin white tank-top she wore, and that he could see the darker rose of her nipples through it.
“What is it, Mulder? What’s wrong?”
He shook his head. She glanced over at her bedside clock, 3:07 a.m. “Mulder?” She rose from the bed. He took in that she was wearing something that resembled men’s boxers with a flower pattern in shades of blue. She had grabbed her robe, lying at the foot of her bed and jammed her arms in the sleeves, then knotted the sash.
She approached him now. “Mulder?” Her hand came up to touch his face. He caught it and squeezed it lightly.
“I . . . I had to make sure you were okay.”
“Okay? You drive over at 3 in the morning? You couldn’t call. You know you don’t mind you calling at all hours.” Her lips quirked.
He shrugged, blushing slightly. He indicated her living room. “Your cell is off. I saw it in the charger. I just . . . I needed to see you.”
Her brow furrowed. “Was it a dream?”
“Maybe. I’m sorry. Go on back to - “
She took his arm, leading him back to the living room. She guided him to the couch and had him sit. “Do you want something to drink?”
If she was annoyed with him, he couldn’t see it. That relaxed him some. “No, I should get out of here; let you get a little more sleep before you have to get up.”
“Oh Mulder, by the time you drive home and get settled you’ll get no sleep at all. Here, stretch out on the couch and at least get a nap. I’ll wake you when I get up, so you can get home and shower.”
He looked at her for a long moment, then said quietly. “Thank you.”
She smiled, though her eyes showed her worry. She pulled the afghan from the back of couch. Mulder toed off his shoes as he shrugged off his jacket. She handed him the afghan. “Try to get some sleep, Mulder.”
Mulder nodded and watched her make her way back to her bedroom. She pulled the door closed, but it didn’t latch. For some reason, that made him feel a little better.
He stretched out as best he could on her couch and covered himself. Maybe he could get a little sleep here. He couldn’t explain to her what had brought him here; maybe it had been a dream.
All he knew was that he’d woken up in his apartment, his heart palpitating, sweat on his brow. He had known something was wrong with her. He knew that fear, he’d had it when they took her from him. He could no more have stayed away then quit breathing. Only the sight of her, here and safe, was going to disperse a fear this deep.
Of course, being here wouldn’t keep her from being abducted. Look how much his presence had helped when Samantha . . . no, he’d been a boy of twelve. Now, now there was no comparison to what kind of fight he would put up. The stakes, the loss of Scully, put the odds in his favor - at least a little.
But it was strange. They’d worked together, parted company at the end of the day and gone their separate ways. Nothing had been bothering him and she had seemed fine. Was he having a problem with her last case? Ed Jerse was out of the picture. Besides, she didn’t date X-Files participants, at least not after she knew that’s what they were. Look at him as an example.
He shook his head. Who she dated wasn’t the issue. Well, it wasn’t the main issue. Something was wrong. Something had woken him from a sound sleep and his fear had him moving toward his car without conscious thought.
What the hell was it? She was here, she was safe.
Damn, he’d lain here for close to half an hour. He wasn’t going to sleep. The fear wouldn’t go away; even being here in the apartment wasn’t relaxing him, damnit!
Was she asleep yet? He rose, fully awake, and walked softly to her bedroom door. Her breathing was quiet and even. At least she’d managed to fall back asleep. He pushed the door open slightly and saw her with the meager light coming from the streetlight on the corner. She was curled onto her side, one hand under her pillow. There was only the sheet over her.
She looked fine.
He found himself taking a seat in the chair near the window. Yes, it was better in here, closer to her. She was important, important in a way no one else had ever become to him.
That didn’t fully explain what he was feeling right now.
He made himself as comfortable as possible in the chair and watched her sleep until his eyes closed.
She had made no comment the next morning when she awoke to find him there; not even teasing him about a stiff neck. He could tell she was concerned but the case they were handed finally drove some of his fear to the back burner. A headless man, walking out of a morgue - now that was his kind of case.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.