Taking a Second Breath (G)

She stirred, waking slowly.  Her light was on the lowest setting and the light from the hall came in through the glass in the door, so it took very little time for her eyes to adjust.  She looked around the room and spotted him sitting back away from the light.



"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."

"You didn't.  Is everything okay?  I mean . . . " She wasn't sure what she meant.  She was glad to see him, but surprised.

"It was kind of crowded earlier."

She nodded, it had been.  Mom sitting right beside her, and Melissa watching him so closely she had almost been jealous.  Neither had considered giving them any privacy.  There had been no way to really talk, not that she knew what to say.


For some reason the sight of him, not looking at her, fiddling with the tape recorder in that tiny surveillance room, but wanting her presence when they had returned from Puerto Rico, came to her.

"Well, I guess you really do still have me."  She said it lightly, but the sound of his breath catching caused her to regret her tone.

Without thought she reached out her hand to him.  He rose instantly and moved closer, taking it in his own.  But he didn't just hold it; he massaged it, playing with her fingers, squeezing it occasionally.  For some reason it felt . . . familiar.

After his voice was under control again, he lightly touched her necklace with one finger.  "Looks better on you."

"Did you wear it?" she asked, surprised.

He nodded, "Hope you don't mind."

"No, not at all."  It was definitely all right with her, and for some reason made the little cross seem warmer against her skin.  They were quiet again, but not uncomfortably.

Finally he sat beside her at her unspoken urging.  "You were here a long time last night."  She spoke softly.

"How did you - "

"The nurse told me, but I think I already knew."


She shrugged, "I could feel you or hear you . . . I don't know, but it helped me decide."

"De . . . decide?"  His voice broke on that word, so he didn't attempt another.

"I was sure it was just a dream, but I felt you talking to me and what you said made sense.  It helped me with what I was trying to do.  I don't remember it now, just the feelings.  Will you tell me what you said?"

"Some day."


He nodded, "You should get some rest now.  I'll - "

"Could you stay, just until I fall asleep?"

"Uh, sure."


 "You don't mind?"

"No, Scully, I don't mind.  Close your eyes."

She did, turning on her side towards him, but to his surprised, not releasing his hand.  Instead, tucking it, along with her own, under her cheek.

He watched her then, unable to smile, but finally making himself comfortable.


Mrs. Scully said nothing the next morning when she arrived, to find that the nurses had not disturbed him, though his head was resting on the mattress beside her and their hands were clasped.  When she returned from getting coffee, he was gone.






Authorís notes - The discussion brought this one on.  I never could reconcile how he sat there the night before pouring out his feelings, and then just leave the next day after less than five minutes . . .