Title: In Dreams
Summary: Scully is having a hard time being alone. Rating: PG
Spoilers: Up to the end of season nine. Distribution: Anywhere - but please let me know so that I can visit. Disclaimer: If I owned them I'd be wearing better shoes. Feedback: oooh please! Kimogen5@hotmail.com
Dana Scully slumped, exhausted, onto her couch after yet another physically and emotionally draining day. Heaving her heavily pregnant body upwards to facilitate the removal of her coat, she cursed her raging hormones for the thousandth time that day. She rolled herself over to lie on her back, kicking off her shoes and groaning at the bliss of relieving the pressure her increasing bodyweight had been putting on her feet and ankles all day. Autopsies, she decided, were not an ideal pastime for seven-month pregnant women. Especially not this one.
Despite the immense relief brought about by her horizontal position, Scully sighed at the realisation that there was little that she could do to ease the emotional turmoil that raged in her heart, nor the profound loneliness that resounded in the darkening room. The phone lay on the coffee table at arms length and Dana reached for it, mentally scrolling through her phone book. It didn't take long: Mum, Doggett, Skinner and Mulder. Great. Although Skinner and Doggett had been utterly supportive throughout the months when Mulder was missing, she was loath to call them with the more fickle problems associated with her pregnancy. She was distinctly uncomfortable sharing her weaknesses with the men she had fought so hard to be equal with in her career. In the same respect, Scully didn't feel up to her mother's incessant fussing. It made it all the more difficult when Maggie was worrying about Dana wearing heels to work or taking her vitamins. The only person she wanted to talk to was Mulder. And he wasn't exactly understanding. She just hoped he would let her know when he had figured out where he `fit in'. At the thought of her errant partner, a tear worked its way down her cheek.
Scully began to hiccup as the tears streamed steadily down her face. She dropped the phone back onto the glass-topped table with a clatter, sending a pile of medical journals skidding sideways. She realised, not for the first time, that her plan had been far from flawless when she had decided to become a mother - to face it alone. The sane, capable Dana Scully who had made the choice, had been replaced by a hormonal, irrational woman - who currently hated the pragmatic counterpart who had inflicted this misery upon her less stable self.
The physical aches and pains, she could handle. She could explain them away with her doctorly understanding, detaching herself from them with clinical comprehension. But for Scully, the emotional duress she found herself under was unexplainable, unavoidable and at times too much to bear.
Scully lay back, fully reclined on the couch, her eyes squeezed closed, trying to shut out the reality by replacing it with more favourable fantasy. She imagined that the dim room was illuminated by soft lamp-light. She breathed deeply, letting the warmth of the picture in her head wash over her. Scully sighed at the comforting thought of a fire in the grate opposite. She hadn't bothered lighting one since the last night that Mulder had been with her.
The vision faded with that thought. In her attempt to ease her isolation, she had only made it worse. The thought of Mulder made the tears come faster, she couldn't stop thinking about how he had treated her since his recovery.
After his long disappearance, her lover had been returned to her. Her prayers had been answered, so to speak. Yet even after his broken body had healed, he didn't seem to know what part he played in her life, or what role she would play in his. Scully chastised herself day after day for expecting any different. She had allowed herself to dream of a loving reunion. The seven months they had spent apart had changed things. Although he was happy for her on seeing her pregnant body, he hadn't been happy for them. Scully was reminded of him each time she thought of her growing child, but Mulder evidently didn't make the same association.
Then, in the midst of her mournful reverie, her fantasy returned to her, bringing with it the sound of a key turning in the lock. She turned her attention to the doorway in the darkened room. A large form filled the doorframe, lit from behind by the bright hallway outside. Soft light followed him into the room as he instinctively flipped on the light-switch by the door. Dana smiled up at him. She allowed the smile to become a grin as her eyes adjusted to the light and she realised what he was wearing: tight black jeans and his worn leather jacket. Only a fantasy could conjure up that ensemble these days. The real Mulder seemed averse to wearing any of the clothes she used to love. He had even coyly avoided wearing the ties she had helped him pick out over the years at various airports and malls. She couldn't help but feel that he was holding back from her - distancing himself. She wondered if he regretted it. Did he feel it had been a mistake? Scully wished she knew the answer to the question that had plagued her since his return. She wished she had the courage to ask.
A tear fell as her fantasy-Mulder moved forward, shrugging out of his jacket to reveal a white t-shirt. Dana revelled in the angles and contours of his elegant shape beneath the cotton - his body was fuller than before, weeks of convalescence had restored the weight he had lost during the time he was missing. He was just regaining the muscular definition, thanks to the punishing daily regime he put himself through. Scully warned him that it was too much too soon, but he hated to be still. He needed to train to focus his mind. The Mulder before her was as beautiful as the real thing as he crossed the room and knelt before her.
On his knees, fantasy-Mulder reached for her foot, his eyes never leaving hers. She was mesmerised by the swirling green they had become as he massaged her sore foot and ankle. She groaned and finally let her head drop back, her eyes sliding closed as she allowed herself to relax into the sensation. Only with Mulder could she ever completely relax. His fingers were magical, fantasy soothing the reality.
"Mmm...you are so good at that," She told the phantom before her, not expecting an answer. Instead, the hands released her foot, moving instead to the bump at her middle. As if on cue, the baby turned to greet its father, however ephemeral his presence. Scully smiled.
Sometimes, when she allowed herself the time away from her work, she would lay in the bathtub for long hours, topping up the water when it cooled too much. She loved to watch her tummy move and change shape, fancying she could detect a tiny hand or knee or elbow pressing against her taught skin. Now that she was big, the water would slosh around her with the wrestling child, moving the water from one side of the tub to the other. She laughed out loud each time, telling her unborn baby that its daddy would have loved that, if only he could see it. Now she doubted that he ever would.
As Dana began to drift off to sleep, the comforting warmth of an unreal hand soothing her into a slumber, Dana thought of something Mulder had said to her twice since his return. He had twice reminded her of `old times', referring to when things had been less complicated. She wondered if he wanted to go back to the time before the baby, before they had taken the leap and become lovers. She wondered if they were even lovers, after all, they had only been together a few frantic times, comforting one another when they needed it the most.
Dana's eyes flew open as she mentally put on the brakes. She wanted the fantasy to end, hated him for invading her thoughts every moment of her day. She could never escape from him. She blinked as angry tears threatened to fall. She refused to cry over him again tonight. She wished she could shake him from her brain altogether.
But the image didn't break. The room was still light around her. The man kneeling at her side still had his hands pressed reverently against her bump and she could feel the warmth of his hands through the cotton of her shirt. Scully blinked. Once. Twice. He was still there.
"I'm so sorry." He spoke. Scully heard herself gasp as she struggled to sit upright. Her fantasy had never spoken before.
"Mulder?" She questioned shakily. His dumbfounded expression answered her, "Oh God, I thought you were a dream," She gushed the words out, reaching for him as she battled to sit properly. He pulled her to him before holding her at arms length again.
"Scully, Oh Scully, I'm so sorry," His eyes were as moist as hers as he pressed a warm kiss into the side of her mouth, "I was so lost without you. I just couldn't...I didn't..." The tears in his eyes finally overflowed and they were crying together.
"Oh Mulder, it's ok, you're here now," She whispered into his neck. Finally he kissed her. It was the kiss she had anticipated for seven long months. It was the reunion she had longed for yet been denied. Scully was the first to pull away. She kissed the tears from his cheeks as his lips sought hers, not wanting to be apart from her for longer than a second. They had already been apart too long. The kiss they shared contained all the words they couldn't say aloud. There was too much set against them to dare utter the promises shared in the kiss. It could all be taken away so easily.
When they finally moved away from the couch, Scully felt as though she could sleep forever. They moved to the bedroom and Mulder turned down the covers. They undressed one another gently before falling into the bed together. They slept that night, wrapped in each others arms, as though neither had slept for the long seven months they had been parted.
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