Post Traumatic Stress (2/2) (NC-17)


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He pulled into a space three cars down from her.  She waited on the sidewalk and he followed her in, his hand on the small of her back.

 

Scully let him in, and he stood near the door taking it all in as she shut and locked the door behind them.  To the right, under the window was a desk, with a computer, around the corner was a bookshelf, then a door leading to what must be the hall and bedroom.  On the other side of the door was her entertainment center with her TV and stereo.

 

The large opening led to the kitchen and he could see her table and chairs.  There were flowers on the table.

 

Scully tossed her bag into the easy chair at the end of the couch and motioned for him to take a seat on her striped couch.

 

It was strange, they had basically the same things, same furnishings, but her apartment felt warm, inviting.  His was more a place to sleep and maybe escape to for privacy.  Hell, her couch was coordinated with her chair.  And, of course, there had never been pictures like she’d found at his place.

 

“Make yourself at home, Mulder.   I’ll take a quick shower and be right back."  She handed him the TV remote and he grinned.

 

He watched her duck into her bedroom, then take some things with her into the bathroom.  When he heard the shower cut on, he flipped on the TV and surfed through some channels.

 

CNN was running an update on the Glenwood case, so he thumbed off the TV, rather than stumble on anything dealing with him again.  Mulder rose and wandered into the kitchen.  He found a pitcher of iced tea in the refrigerator.  Glasses were in the cabinet to the left.  He smiled at the orderliness of her cabinets, the fact that her glasses matched.

 

With the tea in his hand, he wandered around the apartment, looking at her books and CDs.  He stopped at her desk and picked up the large framed picture.

 

He was still holding it, gazing into the distance when she returned.

 

“That’s all of us,” she remarked.  He jumped slightly, coming to the present rapidly.  “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.”

 

“S’okay.  Hope you don’t mind.”

 

She took the picture, smiling.  “No, this is the Scully clan.  William and Maggie.  That’s my older brother, Bill and his wife, Tara.  My sister, Melissa.”  She pointed.  “And that’s my little brother, Charlie and his wife, Mary.  The two little boys are theirs, Will and Sam.  This is at least a year old, Sam’s walking now.”

 

“Melissa is older than you.”

 

“Yes, almost three years.”  Scully finger combed her hair.

 

He grinned then.  “You didn’t straighten it.”

 

“I should have.  It’s out of control.”

 

“Let me.”  He took the comb from her hand and sat on the couch.  He tugged her down to sit in the V of his legs.  He gently and carefully began detangling her red curls.

 

“You have a nice touch,” she commented.  They were silent for a few minutes, then she half turned.  “I saw a picture on your desk, a framed one,” she stressed.  “She resembled you.  Is she your daughter?”

 

He faltered, “Uh no, my sister.”

 

“Sister?”

 

“It’s an old picture.  Her, her last school picture.”

 

Scully turned then, “I’m sorry.  How did she die?”

 

“We . . . we don’t know.  She was taken.  We never found her.”

 

Scully’s eyes widened, the horrible pictures she’d seen in her apartment back in her mind.  “Oh Mulder.”  Her hand touched his shoulder.

 

“It was a long time ago.”

 

“It doesn’t look like it.  How old were you?”

 

“Twelve, she was eight.”

 

Scully winced, the same age as the victims in the photos.

 

“I was babysitting.”

 

“You were there?”

 

He nodded, “I woke up in the hospital a couple of days later.”

 

“Oh Mulder.”  She moved, taking him in her arms.

 

His arms went around her as well.  When they broke for air, they were reclined on her couch.  “Scully?”

 

“Bedroom,” she whispered in his ear.

 

He didn’t wait for a second invitation.  He had her in his arms, as her legs went around his waist, moving toward her room.

 

He wanted to take it slow, savor her, but he wanted her; hell he needed her and she seemed just as eager.  He wasn’t sure when he lost his shirt, but her hands were at his waistband, one of his hands was buried in her hair, while the other gently caressed her breast.

 

Her impression this morning had been accurate, but she’d been unaware of how talented his hands were.  Now he was playing her like a baby grand.

 

She was hot and wet.  Wet for him.  He felt her nails in his back, her warm breath in his ear, urging him on - as if he wanted to stop.

 

His fingers brought her to the edge, and as he watched, her eyes widened in ecstasy.  She was coming in his arms.  Just seeing her like that was almost enough to push him over the edge.  He held her body, seemingly boneless, against him for several long moments.

 

God, he wanted to be inside her, needed to be inside of her.  Then she had hold of him, in total control, cupping his balls with one hand as the other squeezed his cock, guiding him to her.

 

“Mulder,” she breathed into his mouth as she impaled herself.

 

Oh god, tight, hot, wet, so wet.  Her muscles gripped him and he groaned.  Mulder didn’t move, fearing he would disgrace himself.  He forced control, then slowly pulled almost out.  He thrust and she smiled, closing her eyes and letting her fingers press into his hips.

 

He thrust again and again.  The feeling that he was home, finally, came to him.

 

He was close and he wanted her with him.  He angled her hips and thrust again.  He saw her eyes widen, then she was coming again.  The sensations pushed him over the edge and he poured his essence into her.

 

 

He held her as she relaxed into sleep, then tucking her close to him, he succumbed as well.

 

He was watching her when she woke.  She met his eyes, and he started to speak, then stopped.


”Mulder?”

 

“Scully, I . . . “

 

She saw the uncertainly, the fear on his face.  She leaned up and kissed his lower lip.  “It was definitely consensual, Mulder.”  She smiled at him and his eyes closed for an instant.  He relaxed slightly then. She wasn’t jumping out of the bed or calling 911 to have him arrested.

 

“I didn’t mean to fall asleep, Mulder, but I had been up a long time.”

 

“Don’t apologize.  I loved holding you.  I just . . . “

 

“Yeah.”  She looked down at the two of them intimately intertwined on her bed.  “We are moving awfully fast.  But in case you’re wondering, I have no regrets and I’m certainly not kicking you out.”

 

He released a held breath.  “That’s good to hear.”

 

“But?”

 

“It’s not a but, Scully, just a question.”

 

“Go ahead and ask.  I reserve the right not to answer.”

 

“Fair enough.  It’s . . . there’s no one here waiting for you.  That makes no sense.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled, but shocked.  You’re a beautiful woman, intelligent, sensuous as hell.  I just don’t understand.”

 

She nodded, “Thank you.”  She looked down at her hand, resting on his chest.

 

“You don’t have to - “

 

“I know.  The short answer is, there was someone.  It’s over.”

 

“Am I rebound guy?” he asked, trying for a light tone, but not quite succeeding.

 

She looked up quickly, “No.  Mulder, no.  He was a, a mistake.  There’s no ‘rebound’ from him.”

 

He watched her, not commenting, just waiting.

 

She sighed, “He was married.”

 

“Oh.”

 

“Mulder, I had never . . . “  She shook her head.

 

“You don’t owe me - “

 

“I feel like I do.  I can only imagine what you’re thinking of me.”  She shifted slightly away from him.  “I sleep with you within hours of meeting you, I - “

 

He pulled her against him.  “Shhh.  You haven’t asked me about my past.  It’s not all pretty, but if you want to know about me . . . “

 

“You don’t think I’m a, a slut?”  She gave him a wry smile, but he saw the unease in her eyes.

 

He gaped at her.  “No.  I was thinking more guardian angel.  Want to tell me about it?”

 

She hesitated then.  “We haven’t eaten yet.  Hungry?”

 

“I could eat.”  He smiled at her as she rose from the bed.  She wasn’t shy now about her body, and she let him watch her don her robe.  He slid on his boxers and jeans and followed her into the kitchen.

 

She put together some lunch and they sat at her table.  After they had eaten a few bites, he looked up at her.  “You changed the subject.  Do you want to tell me about him?”

 

“I haven’t talked to anyone about him.” He touched her hand, reassuring her.  “He was my mentor.  He wanted me to follow him into his practice.  He’s a cardiologist, internationally famous.  He, he seemed sincere.”

 

“He sounds like a shit to me.” Mulder offered.

 

She actually chuckled.  “Thanks.  I, I guess I’ve always been attracted to strong, controlling men.  A father thing no doubt.”

 

“That was until you met the catatonic basket case, right?”  He watched her.

 

“Right.”  She laughed then and leaned over to kiss him.  “Maybe for a change someone needed me?”

 

“I do you know.”

 

“Why?” she asked quietly.

 

“You have to ask?”  His eyes roved her face.

 

“Why me?  I still don’t understand why you reached for me.”

 

He smiled at the memory.  “You were . . . incandescent.”


”What?”

 

“I could see you, Scully.  I knew, on some level, there were other people there, but I didn’t see them.  Hell, I couldn’t see the floor.  I think I knew that Skinner was there, but he had no more substance than a shadow.  But you, you were lit from within, you were solid and, and I knew that you could save me.”

 

“Mulder, I - “ She was shaking her head slightly.

 

“You already have.  My mind wanted to come back to a world that had you living in it.”

 

She gazed at him, tears coming to her eyes.

 

He brushed one away.  “I really know how to show a girl a good time on a first date, don’t I?”

 

“Is that what this is?  A first date?”

 

He grinned sheepishly.  “I hope so.  The next time I sink into hell, maybe you’ll throw me a line again.”

 

Her look of immediate concern warmed him.  “Mulder, you don’t have to do this.  Surely you could - “

 

“I don’t want to leave the Bureau, Scully.  I need the access.”

 

“Access to what?”

 

“I told you about my sister.”

 

“Yes, I . .. You’re still looking for her?  Mulder, it’s been so long.  Do you really think there’s anything new you could still learn?”

 

“There has to be,” he stated simply, “and I have to find it.”

 

She hesitated a moment.  “Do you think someone like Greenwood . . . “

 

“No.  That’s not what happened to her.”

 

“You know that?  Did you see something?”

 

He nodded.  “My mind blocked it out for years, but it started coming back when I was at school.  I’m a psychologist, Ph.D. and all, if you can believe that.”

 

“I can,” she said simply.

 

He blinked, “Well, in the counseling I had to take, things started . . . surfacing.  When I got back to the states, I saw a hypnotherapist for memory regression.  Most of it’s come back.”  He saw the question in her eyes before she spoke.

 

“Was he reputable?”

 

“Yeah, Scully.  I checked him out.  Dr. Weber’s legit.  I have the tapes, he didn’t lead me.”

 

“Can you talk about it?”

 

He gave her a sad smile.  “Not if I want to see you again.”

 

Her smile faded.  “I’m not going anywhere.”

 

He looked down at his hands, then slipped them off the table, distancing himself from her slightly.

 

“Mulder, you can trust me.”

 

“It’s not that, Scully.  I already do.  I’m just realizing how much I’m going to miss you.”

 

“Mulder, stop.  Tell me.  I think I need to know.  I’m here and you’re here.  I don’t know why our connection is so strong, but it is.  Please.”

 

His eyes seemed to hold centuries worth of sadness.  She couldn’t stop herself, pulling his face to hers and kissing him again.  “Come on, Mulder.  Let’s get comfortable.”  She rose and tugged him to his feet.  She turned to her refrigerator and pulled out half a bottle of red wine.

 

“It’s a little early,” she conceded, “but we need to relax.”

 

He nodded, unspeaking and followed her into the living room, carrying the two glasses.  She sat on the couch, motioning for him to take the corner as she put the bottle on the coffee table.

 

She poured them each a glass, and handed him his, then relaxed back, letting her arm brush against his.

 

“Did you say ‘got back to the states’?” She was giving him time, space, and he took it eagerly.

 

“I went to school in England, Oxford.”

 

“Oxford?  You have a Ph.D. from Oxford?”

 

“It’s not that impressive.”

 

“Yes it is.  And expensive too, unless . . . fellowship?”

 

He nodded, blushing slightly.

 

“Damn, Mulder.”

 

He shrugged.  “Try to remember I impressed you at one point.”

 

“You’ve impressed me at several.”

 

He looked up startled and relaxed slightly at her smile.  “Thanks.”

 

She took a sip of her wine and leaned against him, his arm automatically going around her, cuddling her close.  They sat in silence for a few minutes, letting the wine seep into their systems.

 

After a long quiet moment, she spoke without turning to look at him.  “Mulder, please, talk to me.”

She felt the deep breath he took.  “She was abducted by aliens, Scully.”

 

She sat there, waiting.  When no more words came, she turned to look up at him.  She saw the quirk on his lips, and that it didn’t reach his eyes.

 

“It was really nice meeting you, Dr. Scully.”

 

“You’re not leaving and neither am I.  Mulder, why do you - “

 

“As soon as I got to the Bureau, I started looking for her file.  It wasn’t with missing persons, it wasn’t with abducted children.  It was in the basement, with the UFO files, the ‘trash’ as it were.”

 

“If you - “

 

“Scully, I never told them about the regression.  I didn’t remember until I was grown.  I didn’t tell them anything.  I couldn’t.  I didn’t wake up for three days.  There was no one else there.  No one else human.”

 

“Mulder, tell me what you remember.”

 

He sighed, “We were watching TV and playing a game.  Mom and Dad were next door.  The power went off.  I don’t mean one room, the whole house went dark.  Then there was light, light so bright it was painful.  Scully, it came in every window, the cracks around the door, all at the same time.  It was everywhere around the house, surrounding it, like it came from above.  Then Samantha screamed.  I looked over at her and . . . and she was floating, on her back away from me.  I ran to get Dad’s gun.  It was locked in a box, but I broke it open.  The police said I must have frozen, that I didn’t fire it, because it was still fully loaded.

 

“They were wrong.  I pulled the trigger; I pulled it over and over.  It just didn’t fire.  She kept screaming my name, crying for me to help her and I . . . I couldn’t.  I couldn’t move.  Then everything started to shake, like an earthquake.  Pictures fell off the walls, books off the shelves.  There aren’t many earthquakes on Martha’s Vineyard, Scully.”

 

“What about next door?  Was the power off there, the shaking?  I know your parents must have rushed - “

 

“No.  Nothing happened next door.  They didn’t know anything had happened until they came home and found the place like that.  Me unconscious and Samantha gone.”

 

“But that doesn’t prove - “

 

“No, I guess it doesn’t.  And there was no one to confirm the being that I saw in the door.  I couldn’t tell you it was male or female.  It was taller than me, with a large head and huge black eyes.  It was thin, too thin . . .” He looked away from her eyes then.  “I started investigating it when I got my memories.  I’ve talked to hundreds of people that have had this experience.  Most abductees are returned, Scully, in hours, days.  Not kept forever like Samantha.  They wake up in a strange place, with no clear memory.  Usually they’re sore, from the tests and have strangely shaped bruises.   Tests have been run on them, they’re anemic, suffering from weightless sickness.

 

“The majority are taken from rural areas.  I guess it’s easier to pick off a camper or someone in a house away from others.  It’s not 100%, but you don’t find that many people taken from a third floor apartment in a city.”

 

“Ca-campers?”

 

He nodded.  “People are away from home.  It’s assumed a lot of people are just on a drunk.  They wake up as though from a bender.  The problem is, with the kids, they don’t drink.”  He tried to smile, then realized she was quiet, pale.

 

“Scully?”  He moved slightly back from her, “You know I’m crazy now, right?”

 

“You said strangely shaped bruises.”

 

“Yeah.”  He picked up a pen from her table and sketched a few examples on the back of a magazine.  He saw her eyes grow wide.

 

“What, what causes this?”

 

He shook his head, “Some instrument they use.  I don’t, I don’t know.  What’s wrong?  Scully?”

 

“But something else could cause this kind of bruise, right?  I mean, it might be . . .” Her finger traced one of the shapes he had drawn.

 

“Scully, what’s wrong?”

 

She was quiet now, her finger tracing and retracing the outline of one of the shapes he had drawn.  He wasn’t surprised; he’d known telling her this was a death-knell.  After a little time, he took a deep breath.

 

“I guess I should go.”  He rose from the couch.

 

“There could be another explanation.”  There was a desperate quality to her voice he didn’t understand.

 

He stopped, standing over her, watching her.  “Yes, but sometimes there isn’t.  There’s nothing.  That’s when the Bureau tosses the case into the ‘unsolved’ pile and they’re forgotten, like Samantha.”

 

She didn’t look up at him, her finger still moving around the drawing.  He stood watching her, puzzled.  Then he blinked, “You’ve seen that.”

 

She glanced up and immediately away.

 

“Of course,” he breathed, “You work in an ER.  You’ve seen a bruise like that on one of your patients.”

 

“No.  No I haven’t.”

 

He didn’t respond, but for the first time he felt that she was lying to him, that she wanted him gone.  “Yeah, well, thank you, Scully, for . . . for saving me.”

 

She didn’t respond, so after a long moment, he turned and walked to the door.

 

“Mulder.”  He hesitated, not quite to the door.  “It was me.”

 

He blinked, “what?”

 

“The bruise, it was on me.”

 

He was already moving back to her side.  “Scully, talk to me.”

 

She still couldn’t look away from the shape.  “It was a long time ago.”

 

Mulder resumed his seat beside her, then took her hedn, moving it away from the picture.  “How long ago?”

 

“1972, October.”  He jerked toward her.

 

”1972?”

 

At the quaver in his voice, she looked up, meeting his eyes.

 

“What happened, Scully?”

 

“We, we were camping.  The whole family.  Then I was gone.  They found me a little over 24 hours later.  I’d been playing with Charlie, my little brother.”

 

“Were you . . . hurt?”

 

She shook her head, “I wasn’t molested.  They gave me an iron shot and, and I was nauseated for a few days.”

 

He closed his eyes for an instant.  “How old . . . “

 

“I was seven, Charlie was five.”

 

“What did he tell them?”

 

“That a light took me," she said in a low voice.

 

“They didn’t believe him.”

 

She shook her head, “He was just a kid.”  They were both quiet then.

 

After a few beats, he sat beside her again.  “Did you see this light?”

 

She nodded, “It was the brightest . . . Mulder, there are no aliens.  The time it would take to cover the distance - “ She had just heard his story of what had happened to his sister.  He had trusted her enough to tell her, even though he knew she would think he was crazy.  He believed.  He was so sure.  She couldn’t just shut him down.

 

Finally she spoke.  “Mulder, do you believe I was abducted by aliens?”

 

“I don’t know.” he answered honestly.  “You weren’t injured?”

 

“No, but I was miles away, much too far to have walked.  The thing is, I wasn’t dirty or hungry and no one had hurt me, just that bruise on my stomach.  That upset the police.  They wanted to accuse me of running away with someone.  They didn’t believe that Charlie and I didn’t remember anything.”

 

“What did your parents say?”

 

”They hustled us home and it was never mentioned again.  It’s the only time I remember Dad hitting Bill.  He was complaining about the trip being cut short.  Nothing else was ever said.  I haven’t thought of it in years.”

 

Again she fell silent.

 

“Scully, if this is too difficult - “

 

“Do you have any proof?”

 

“Hard evidence?  Not much.  That’s difficult to come by, and I’m working against the government.  They don’t exactly want the information exposed.”

 

“What, what would be hard evidence?” she asked.

 

“Scully, don’t.  Let’s change the subject.  You’re upset, I never wanted that.”  He pulled her against him, massaging her back lightly, then on up to her neck.  One finger lightly rubbed the base of her neck, seeking and find a tiny scar.  He closed his eyes and tucked her up against him.

 

“Mulder, I need to know “

 

“Not tonight,” he interrupted.  “There’s probably no way to ever know what happened to you.  It never happened again, right?”

 

She nodded.


”Then it’s not something you need to worry about.  I’m sorry I ever mentioned any of this.”

 

“No, Mulder, don’t.  You shared something very personal with me.  You trusted me.”  Her eyes held him and after a moment he nodded.

 

*****

 

The sounds woke him.  This time he recognized her bedroom.  The sounds were coming from her, whimpers and cries.  She was lying stiff, as though bound.

 

“Scully?  Scully, wake up.”

 

“Don’t, don’t hurt me.”  Her voice was high, frightened, and she sounded young, much younger than her age.

 

“Scully, come on.  I’m here, it’s okay.”  Mulder pulled her close to him and she startled awake.

 

“Mu-Mulder?”  Then she was clutching him, shaking.

 

“It’s okay.  I’ve got you.”

 

“Please.”  Her voice was shaking, then she buried her face in his chest and tried to pull him even closer.  He stroked her back and she arched into him.

 

“Scully?”

 

“Please.”  Her hand slipped into his pajama bottoms.

 

He thrust involuntarily into her hand.  He already knew how good they were together, but was she awake?  He didn’t want to take advantage.  They’d been on the same page both times they’d come together before.

 

“Love me, Mulder.”  She tugged at her own t-shirt and he helped her.  He murmured loving words to her as she pulled at his pajamas.  His body was already responding to her assaults.

 

She was a wild woman this time, as though driving all other thoughts away by literally filling herself with him, both physically and emotionally.  He didn’t even wince when her nails drew blood in her quest to get even closer.  At one point he pulled away from her slightly to relieve the stress on her legs.  Her eyes flew open in panic and she thrust herself closer, her hands on his ass, drawing him even deeper if that was possible.  He allowed her to set the pace in this frantic coupling, trying to show her she was safe.  Her climax was unexpected and shattering.  He was aware she cried out his name and he knew relief that she realized she was with him.  His own climax was overshadowed by this concern.  He withdrew and pulled her atop him, covering her quickly as her body cooled.

 

She passed out, lying atop him and he held her gently until he fell asleep himself.

 

He woke to find her watching him.  He reached over and pulled her to him.  “Thank you,” she spoke into his chest.

 

He tilted her head up toward him, “You’re welcome.  What did I do?”

 

“You held me.”

 

“That was my pleasure.”  She shuddered lightly.  “What?”

 

“The dream.  I haven’t had it in years.”

 

“The one that woke you last night?”  He hugged her against him.  She nodded but didn’t speak.  “What is the dream?”

 

She pressed up against him, shaking her head.

 

“You’ve had it before?”

 

She nodded then, “So many times.  I’d, I’d forgotten.”

 

He pulled the quilt back over them where it had slipped down, tucking it in around her back.  “You’re safe here.  Talk to me.  When did they start?”

 

“You know.”

 

“Right after you went missing.”

 

She nodded.

 

“Did you have it often?”  He kissed her forehead, then her eyelids.

 

“Every night for weeks.  I couldn’t get through the night.  I’d wake up screaming.  Dad would be there, then after he shipped out, Mom came to me.  Bill and Missy got tired of it, angry.”

 

His eyes closed and he kissed her head.  “How long did they last?”

 

“Y-years.  But less often.  I’d forgotten about them.  I haven’t had one since I went to college, probably only one or two in high school.”

 

“I’m sorry, Scully.”

 

She looked up into his sad eyes.  “You were here.  I don’t know what I would have done alone.”

 

“No, not . . . I’m the reason it came back.  If I hadn’t brought up - “

 

Her lips cut off his words.

 

“What is the dream, Scully?”

 

She wouldn’t look up, couldn’t meet his eyes.  After a moment, she shook her head.

 

“You should talk about it.  Get it out. Have you ever told anyone the dream?”

 

“I can’t,” she whispered.

 

“You can.  You need to.”  She glanced at him then away.  “Come on, Scully.  I have to use the psych degree on someone.  It doesn’t work on me.”  He tipped her head up to see him.

 

“I’ve never told anyone . . . “

 

“Never?  Not your parents?”

 

“I told them I didn’t remember.”  She looked at him, defiantly it seemed for an instant.  “It was true at first.”

 

“But not anymore.”

 

She shook her head and looked down.

 

“It will be lighter if you let me carry half.”  He saw tears in her eyes.  He cuddled her against him.

 

“Nothing, nothing happens.  I have no idea why I’m so terrified.”

 

“Talk to me, Scully.”

 

She took a deep breath and her grip on his hand tightened.  “I’m lying down, but I can’t move anything except my eyes.  I can’t feel any straps but I’m being held in place.  I’m not alone.  I don’t see anyone, but I know they’re there.  It’s . . . it’s like I’m being . . . examined.”  She shuddered again.

 

“How old are you, in the dream?”

 

“Seven.”  She looked up at him again.  “It’s a memory, isn’t it?”

 

“I don’t know.”  He gently massaged her back.  “It’s over.  You’re here, you’re safe.”

 

She was relaxed again, resting her head on his chest with his arms protectively around her.  She looked up and met his eyes.  “How long have we known each other?”

 

He looked over at the clock, chuckling.  “We’re closing in on forty-six hours.”

 

She shook her head, smiling.  “This is insane.”

 

“I’ve been called worse.”

 

She sighed, “I need to get ready to go to work.”

 

“Could I talk you into playing hooky?” he asked, his eyes twinkling.

 

“Sorry, I don’t have that kind of job, Mulder.  And it’s almost impossible to get coverage this late.”

 

His lower lip jutted out in an exaggerated pout.  She laughed and placed a quick kiss on his nose.  She turned and left the bed.  He caught her hand, pulling her back for one more kiss.  He reluctantly let her go then and watched her leave the room.  Why did he feel like a cloud had just blocked out the sun?

 

*****

 

She loved her job and she was good at it, but it was taking an effort to stay on task.  He had remained at her place when she left.  She had suggested it and he had seemed pleased.  His apartment still contained so much pain.

 

She jumped when Dr. Calenti touched her shoulder.  “It’s quiet now, Dana, but you know it’s gonna pick up.  Why don’t you grab a few winks?”

 

He was right, she wasn’t really tired but she’d learned to take rest when she could get it.  She nodded and headed for the physician’s quarters. 

 

There was no one else there, so she took one of the beds and tried to relax.  With years of practice, she was able to drift off relatively quickly.  The problem was, the nightmare followed nearly as quickly.

 

She woke breathing heavily, sweat on her brow and pooling between her breasts.  Not again.  It had been so many years, but the terror was just as strong.  She’d only slept again at home because Mulder had wrapped himself around her and kept away the demons.  There was no use trying to sleep now.

 

Business had picked up, so no comment was made about her short nap and she got to work.

 

As her shift wound down, she found herself getting nervous.  She didn’t really have a ‘relationship’ with the man.  She had a two-night stand.  They’d shared some secrets, but was he going to want to see her again?

 

She was on edge when she left and the drive home did nothing to alleviate her doubts.  What would it mean if he was gone?  Nothing, really.  They certainly had no commitment to each other.

 

Still the realization that the apartment was empty caused a despair she was honestly afraid to analyze.  She had opened up to this man, in a way she never had before.  How did she reconcile that?  How big a fool was she?  She looked through the apartment, there was no note. The bed had been made and the dishes washed and put away.  There was no sign he had ever been there.

 

To her utter humiliation, she sank down on the couch and fought back tears.

 

“Hey, don’t you know we live in a big, bad city.  You shouldn’t leave your door open like - Scully?”  He hurried around the couch and set a bag on the coffee table as he took a seat beside her.  “What’s wrong?”

 

She shook her head, “Nothing, I . . . you weren’t here.  I’m . . . “

 

His eyes devoured her.  “You were upset because I wasn’t here?”

 

“No, I mean,” she brushed a tear from her cheek, embarrassed.  “I didn’t mean to keep you prisoner.  I guess I just . . . I don’t understand us.  I don’t even know if there is an us.”

 

“There is definitely an ‘us’, Scully.  I’m sorry.  I should have left a note, but I thought I’d be back before you got home.”

 

“How were you going to get in?”  She asked, trying for composure.

 

“Oh, uh, I found your spare key, in the kitchen.”  He removed it from his pocket and held it out for her.  “Sorry, I wasn’t going to - “

 

“Keep it?  You, you could.”

 

A grin took over his face.  He stuffed the key back in his pocket.  “I’m not gonna wait for another invitation.”

 

She gave him a shaky smile.

 

His grin slipped away.  “I am sorry.  I know we’re new.  I spent all day missing you.  I wasn’t sure what to do with that.  I wanted to call and see if you could come home early or if you were missing me too.  Shades of junior high.”

 

“I did miss you.  I . . .”

 

“What?  Scully?”  He took her hand.

 

She looked down at their hands entwined.  “I had time for a little nap.”

 

“The nightmare,” he said softly.

 

She nodded, a little surprised that he knew what she was thinking.

 

“I should have thought of that.”  The look of guilt on his face confused her.

 

“Why would you?”

 

“I caused it to return.  This is my fault.”

 

“Your . . . no Mulder.  I mean, you reminded me of what happened, but you didn’t cause anything.  You held me through it last night, you made it better.”

 

“And you held me when I was . . . “ They just looked at each other then, until she leaned in and kissed him lightly on the lips.

 

“So we’re even?”

 

“No, but I want to keep trying.  I brought dinner.”  He motioned to the bag on the table.

 

“So this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship?”

 

“Friendship?” he asked with a worried grin.

 

“Well, maybe a really close, getting naked together, pulling each other out of our post-traumatic stress kind of friends?”

 

“You know, I really do want to get to know you, because so far . . .” he took her hand again, “you scare me.”

 

“I what?” She gave a nervous laugh.

 

“You scare me.”  He shrugged slightly.  “It’s like, like I was meant to find you.”

 

She wasn’t smiling now, but she nodded.

 

“I . . . I think I need you,” he said softly.

 

“Good.”

 

“Really?”  His voice was quiet, serious.

 

She leaned in and her lips pressed against his.  “Really.”  Her hand lightly caressed his face.  “I need you too.  I think you already know more about me than anyone and . . . and I think you’ve opened up to me as well.”

 

He nodded.

 

She smiled then, “I don’t know about being incandescent, and I’m still in shock that we’ve only known each other seventy-two hours,” her cheeks colored beautifully.  “But I want to learn more about you, I want to learn everything about you.”

 

“Everything?  I . . . just because you haven’t run screaming from me yet - “

 

“And I have no plans to.  I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I want you to help me remember and let me help you remember as well.  Together . . . together maybe it won’t feel so lonely.”

 

He couldn’t speak, but his hand caressed her face.  He already knew how much he needed her, how much the loneliness had already receded.  For the first time since he was a boy, he wanted someone to know about him.  And he wanted to know everything about her.  The future felt bright with her beside him.

 

-Fin-

 

 

 

Author’s note - this is not the beginning of a new series, just a different way for them to meet.  Hope you enjoyed.

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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.