TITLE: Comfort of the Moon
AUTHOR: Kudra (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISCLAIMER: These characters aren't mine. They belong to Chris Carter, 1013 & Fox, but they sure are fun to play with.
TIMELINE: Season Eight
CATEGORY: MSR, Angst
SUMMARY: "I'm right here, Scully. I'm coming back." In the night, she believes him.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Elizabeth for supremely fast beta despite a busy schedule!
Comfort of the Moon
"This is our last embrace,
Must I dream and always see your face?" - Jeff Buckley, "Last Goodbye"
He comes to her in the nights. They meet in the region between sleep and dreams, where the valleys are dark and cool and lit only by moonlight. They have the courage there to say and feel everything they never could in the light of day. Their ethereal selves live and breathe in a more visceral, more human way than they ever did when he was there before her every day.
A warm body next to her in the car, a strong hand at the small of her back. Not much more than that for most of their seven year journey... but he was still a part of her, somehow intertwined with the blood in her veins, somehow mixed with the air she breathed.
He tells her about his pain and longing, his desperation to return to her. She tells him about the child that grows inside her every day, the weeks and months ticking away like ages, epochs without him.
Sometimes they dance, drifting amid the shadows. She remembers dancing with him once, the humor of his gesture, her surprise at taking his hand. She felt safe in his arms then, just as she does here. A distant orchestra plays, and she swears she can feel his breath, hot in her ear, as he whispers words of hope and promise.
"I'm right here, Scully. I'm coming back."
In the night, she believes him.
These dreams give her the courage to face the days without him, to charge ahead, to be Agent Scully when she wants to throw the covers over her head and just be Dana. Sad, tired, lost Dana.
But today she feels the weight of her dreams, rubbing her temple a little too long, letting an exhausted sigh escape in the quiet of the basement office, earning her a concerned look from her new partner. And she doesn't want that. She's not ready to be vulnerable to anyone else. She's not ready to explain what she and Mulder were to each other. Sometimes in the harsh light of day she's not sure if she even understands.
It's so much easier to grasp in the moonlight. Somehow the blurry edges of her dreams make everything clear.
She tentatively meets John Doggett's gaze. He's a good man, an earnest man. His eyes are piercing, undeniably blue, and, looking at them, she's suddenly aware that she's never known exactly what color Mulder's eyes are. Sage with concern, gray with sadness, twinkling emerald with black humor, forest moss with desire. As changeable as the seasons, the eyes reflected the man, and she knows she was drawn to the mystery of him. The way she could never exactly figure him out, the puzzle she wanted to spend a lifetime solving, the question she secretly hoped she'd never quite answer.
"Are you okay, Agent Scully?" Doggett asks, quietly.
She gives him a tight smile. "Just a little tired. I'm fine."
She knows he can tell she's forcing it, a blind man could, but he's too nice to call her on it. At least that's what she's banking on. She's in a holding pattern, keeping up the old routine by day, living for the nights and the dreams that beckon. As long as he returns to her each evening, she can bear the loneliness of the day.
That night she asks him, "Where are you, Mulder?" He pulls her close and twirls her gracefully, and they float just above the shifting ground. He kisses her cheek, a phantom embrace.
"I'm here, Scully."
Only his voice and the comfort of the moon. They are enough for now.
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