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"A Shot in the Dark"
Part One
Written By: Angara






DISCLAIMERS:
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Everything leading up to Season 9 – Trust No 1
Warnings: A/AS/L/V/SC/UST/ – Action, Adult Situations, Language, Violence, Sexual Content, and Underlying (or unresolved) Sexual Tension

Author Disclaimer: Yeah ok I don’t own anyone. If I did I’d have done a lot of the things in the show differently. This is merely an ‘alternate’ take on the episode "Trust No 1" from Season 9. Everything leading up to now in the series has happened and blah blah. Look I don’t own them, never did, never will. However all characters created not involved in the show and conceptual situations not present in the series are of my own creation.
Thank you - Angara

Summary: SSR Forum Fan Fic Challenge #4: Firsts. This is a story involving the -first- time Monica Reyes is shot. Taking place amidst season 9, during the end of the episode "Trust No 1" Scully's been shot, Mulder's been shot, Skinner's been shot, Folmer's been shot, Spender's been shot, Diana's been shot, Doggett's been shot... I've never heard or seen of Reyes being shot before. So all's fair....right? Mind you this will be an on-going series. Considering I'm 'starting' at the end of an episode, so to speak, it will transition well into the next one.
Thank you again - Angara

Episode 9X09 – TrustNo1

 

January 9
Train Station Platform
11:57 pm

 

“Monica!” Scully’s scream poured from her mouth like molasses as the world around them seemed to settle into an equally stagnant pace.  She knew what Reyes was doing.  Reyes had already pulled Scully to the ground, but as soon as the Shadow Man had moved his gun towards the pair of them, Reyes had settled into instinct.

 

Reyes was still fumbling to get her gun out with one hand while the other hand snaked around Scully’s torso from underneath.  Nails dug into Dana’s shirt and skin before she hugged the smaller woman and rolled them over.  Her gun now free, she crossed her arm between Scully and herself over her own shoulder, hoping that even if she couldn’t see, the assailant would be close enough that she would hit something.

 

Scully heard the shot but it was too far away to be Monica’s.  A second after she felt the ricochet from the bullet cut across her side coupled with the impetus jolt of Monica’s body into her own.  Scully’s eyes were wide and her heart stopped as Monica’s scream poured into her very senses from against her ear.  A trio of shots rang out, throwing the scene into another violent whirl.  One discharge came from Monica’s gun, catching the man in the shoulder as the other pair of shots found their mark at his leg and chest.  With a turn of her head Scully saw Doggett, still locked on to the man in black with his smoking gun.  Scully’s concern immediately fell on Monica, the other woman’s arm had tightened painfully and she had been reduced to a few agonizing screams that were drowned out by the incoming train.  Doggett ran over to where the shadow man’s first victim laid; prone and lifeless; a bullet straight to the heart.  From behind him he heard the shouting of the station attendant. “Keep rolling!  Shots fired Keep rolling!” He ran for the man, trying to yell over the roar; over and over Doggett shouted that he was a federal agent and that the train needed to be stopped. 

 

Too fast, it was all happening too fast; came the internal voice in Monica’s head.  She hadn’t seen the Shadow Man until it was too late; she had been focusing on Patti’s husband who’d first pulled a weapon.  By the time she and Scully were already on the ground she saw the other man, and his gun.  He was going to kill my Dana.  That had been her rationalization in the heat of the moment and even now she didn’t take the time to correct her self; instead Monica was momentarily captivated by the possessiveness off her statement, ‘My Dana.’  That was all that’d registered. What a moment to have a revelation too late to do anything about.

 

Monica was turned over on her side again, Scully unhinging herself as best as she could from the grip on her body. “Oh god… Monica...” Blood was starting to pool from underneath and spreading from above and Dana’s word were sheer reaction. Scully stripped out of her jacket, frantically turning it inside out, exposing the inner lining before pressing it to the taller woman’s back. “Monica… talk to me.” Her voice was commanding, even as it shook. She pushed the other woman over, allowing the dead weight of Reyes’ body to hold the compress from behind.

 

“S…. s” Monica grimaced. Her voice refused to work through the pain, a pain that was quickly anesthetizing itself to her senses. “Shh-shock” was her momentary reply. She was going into shock and the darkness pawing at the edges of her vision was beginning to scare her.  

 

The doctor inside kicking in, Scully found the tear from the bullet in Monica’s sweater and ripped the garment apart.  The bullet itself had gone in at an angle and come out closer to the side of her body than her center. A once well-toned and contoured plane was now broken apart and spilling out precious life all over Scully’s hands.

 

“No… you’re not in shock Monica. C’mon… you’re right here. You’re here with me. Ok? ” Her hands pressed into the wound, feeling the pulsing beat of Monica’s heart as it beat against her grasp, one hand folded over the other as she lent her weight to the task. “You’re here with me…”

 

Tears fell in streams down Monica’s face from the pain; her features twisted and teeth ground against one another while Monica struggled, her body trying to arc away from the pressure of Scully’s hands.  Hands that made her nerves burn with a fire that began to spread from the wound into every fiber of her being. Dark eyes were lost for a moment, searching through a starburst haze accentuated in shadow for some sort of centre; a touchstone to reality.

 

“Here…” she grit her teeth and mentally slapped herself, pushing the darkness away with an austere groan. “I’m here…” she repeated, receiving a sad but still beautiful smile from a one Dana Scully who hovered above her.  Monica was in a daze, half from shock and half from blood loss and rather belatedly she registered her fingertips tracing over Scully’s features.  Tips now cold from the poor circulation held their place at the soft curve of Dana’s much warmer cheek. If it were any other moment, she would smack herself silly before taking such a risk.  Monica was drifting, in and out of body and mind.  This she surmised from the fact that it took her a good fifteen seconds to realized her fingertips lingered on a cheek that was slick with moisture.  Scully was crying; crying for her?  Maybe.  Crying for Mulder?  Much more likely. With a pale smile, her fingers moved, painting a trail over the soft curve into the laugh lines surrounding Scully’s mouth. “Safe…. all safe...” Monica didn’t know how she knew, but someone somewhere had told her Mulder was safe. Scully was safe. Everything would be ok.  The darkness came again, and this time it would not be pushed away and Monica didn’t have the strength enough to argue with it.  Monica Reyes’ fingertips fell across Scully’s trembling lips, before thundering on the pavement in a lifeless motion.

 

“Monica…. Monica!” Scully screamed and yelled, frantic for someone, anyone to help her, to help them.

 

Skinner raced onto the platform with a string of agents behind him, grabbing Doggett by the arm and hurling him in the direction of a car, shouting for the Agent to focus. To go, to get Mulder. “Go! Go before we lose it all!”  The pair of them exchanged a hard look before John threw himself into the task. It would be all right, if they got Mulder it would all work out. He had to keep telling himself that, for Scully, for Monica, for himself.

 

“This is not happening!!” Too much was going wrong. Scully had thought it was safe, she thought this was the way to get Mulder back, to find out about her son. Instead it was the perfect way to get him killed. To get them all killed. The train was gone, two men were dead, an Agent was down and it was all her fault.

 

Manville Rock Quarry
12:27 am

 

Doggett lead his car down into the quarry, Skinner had called him almost immediately after he had caught up with the train itself, informing him of a jumper.   A jumper they both speculated was Mulder, and no doubt the Shadow Man right behind him since Skinner hadn’t found his body on the tracks.  Rocks spit and threw themselves into the air from the velocity wrought by the tires of the sedan before the car slid to an abrupt halt.  Doggett pulled himself from the vehicle and slid more than climbed down the rather steep rock face, littered with stones and boulders ahead of him.  Only to stop at the continuing site of a man running across the base of the quarry, too far away to easily identify.  “Mulder?!” he paused a beat, and the figure slid to a halt, turning there amidst the quarry as if trying to find the source of the shouting. “Mulder!! It's John Doggett!”  The verbal identification seemed to set the man to running again, only this time with Doggett quickly following behind. 

 

There were mountains of piled rocks, all threatening to spill inward and refill the depths of the quarry.  Doggett chased the figure through the maze of valleys and equipment and after rounding the edge of a boulder valley, he realized he was very much alone and at a dead end.  He looked up and around, trying to find the man he had been chasing as the hairs on the back of John’s neck pricked to attention.  He stiffened slightly and with the sensation turned just as the shadow of a man appeared through the mist. “Mulder?” His only answer was silence. “Fox Mulder?” 

 

Intuition getting the better of him, John had already unclipped his gun, and was now holding the hilt in a firm grasp. The figure emerged from the mist ahead of him; face encased in shadow to start with, and as he approached Doggett’s position his identity revealed itself.   It was the gunman from the train station platform, alive and well just as Doggett had predicted after he had fallen onto the tracks.  Pulling his gun John began to back up, step after step, holding his weapon level with the advancing man’s chest; knowing full well they were locked in an open area surrounded by the high, steep sides of the quarry. 

 

“Stop there! Stop right there!” Came the commanding shout from Doggett’s retreating position, his breath curling about him in a haze of frost-coated air.  “Why do you want to kill them?!”  Without an answer and his agitation building ever-higher John fired another bullet square into the man’s chest. With little more than a stumble of his steps the Shadow Man continued walking forwards.

 

“Mulder must die.  Mulder or Scully’s son.” taking no notice of Doggett, the man continued forward menacingly.

 

“What are you talking about? What does this have to do with her son?” Realization came as Scully’s words replayed themselves in Doggett’s mind.  Something might be wrong, very very wrong with the boy.   “What's wrong with her son?!”  If for no other reason than to slow the man’s advancement Doggett shot him again, this time in the leg, forcing the Shadow Man to drop to his knees right in front of him. “Answer me damn it!” 

 

The fallen man’s expression suddenly became pained, body going rigid whilst trying his hardest to look at the rocks around him. With the motion he registered the reddish coloring around the base of the quarry before beginning to shake violently. Doggett readjusting the grip of his gun, raising it to the level of the other man’s head eve as look of bemusement etched its way onto his features; clearly unsure of what was happening.  All at once the shadow man fell to his chest as patches of black began appearing on his forehead; in vain he tried to get up, surprisingly unable to resist the invisible attraction to the rock.

 

“What the hell…”  Doggett’s gun lowering at the scene before him he cautioned a step towards the fallen man; a look of utter confused shock taking over.  With teeth baring growls the man struggled to his feet, all exposed skin now completely blackened by some form of chemical reaction.  The shadow man’s body thrashed about wildly until without warning, his body lurched towards the quarry wall at great speed, flying at Doggett.  A body that soon exploded into dust with the impact from the enormous velocity at hitting the wall; leaving nothing behind.  With a small groan John, now lying on the ground in order to avoid the rushing man, turned over looking at the rock wall before scrambling to his feet and running off back the way he came.

 

Same Time

Somewhere over Washington

Aerial Med-Evac Unit

 

Reyes was unconscious but stable as the helicopter ambulance hurriedly roared through the night.  Scully had managed to convince one of the EMT’s onboard to let her ride along; of course she figured her own gunshot wound had something to do with that as well.   Dana hadn’t taken her eyes off Monica’s face after she had lost consciousness; even now, both hands were wrapped about one of Monica’s own and tear rimmed eyes lingered on the other woman’s features. 

 

How much did she truly owe the woman before her?  When Mulder was missing she found Jeremiah on the tapes when no else bothered to review them in detail.  She was there when they found Mulder in that field, and taken Scully home.  She pulled Mulder out of the woodwork when Dana had been in the hospital with complications, trying to make him feel like he was back on the job again.  There had even been a time when Scully had been resting her eyes and Reyes had come in to see her during that case.  Monica had never said a word, just pulled a chair up and sat beside her until Scully had fallen asleep.  Only to’ve woken up an hour and a half later alone.

 

If that wasn’t enough, she had come all the way from New Orleans after all that to whisk Dana and her unborn son off into the middle of nowhere.  Risking her job and most of all her life for them.  Monica brought William into the world, protected her and her son until Mulder had arrives.  That night Dana had known something was up.  No one, no matter who they are, just comes out of nowhere with that much determination, with that much intention.  Dana was certain, had it truly come down to it and all those people hadn’t turned around and left, Monica would’ve died protecting her and William trying to take every last one of those people down with her.

 

“My god…” came the whispered sentiment from Scully’s tear stained lips as they continued to tremble with the recollections racing through her mind’s eye.  She felt sick, her body a raw nerve suddenly smothered in novocain; everything came crashing down then, to the beat of helicopter wings; and when the world finally caught up with them… defeat ruled over all.

 

48 hours later.
Fairlane Municipal Hospital
Critical Care Ward

 

It wasn’t physical... it was mental; well it was as physical as it could be without showing signs of it. Despite the blood loss, despite the stitches and tissue damage, that would all heal; the truth behind the matter was mental.  Monica’s spine had been mended, and a few fragments of splintered bone replaced.  Now it was just a matter of allowing the neural pathways to catch up. If they could.   The doctors were skeptical but it was a possibility; a twenty percent chance possibility but it was a possibility nonetheless.  However, Scully reaffirmed that between the lot of them she was the least skeptical until it came to medical and scientific means; things that could be proven without doubt.  In her time as a doctor she had seen many a broken back and to date not a single one she had seen who survived had been able to walk again. With a slow breath Scully flicked her gaze back up.

 

There Monica Reyes lay, propped up high in a medical bed, scrapes still visible along her cheek and forehead, marring her face where she had fallen.  Intravenous fluids infused in one arm and the other was wrapped lightly in gauze.  Doggett was with her now, so Scully remained outside in the hallway looking through the small viewing window.  Her own wounds had been tended to; a few stitches to her side and a medical wrap and she was discharged.  Scully couldn’t hear a word of what they said but the expressions on their faces articulated it instead.  Doggett was attempting to cheer her up and try as she might, Monica’s spirit would have nothing to do with it.  She smiled meekly, her voice still light but not true to form.

 

Paralyzed.

 

It was the only thing going through her mind. Scully knew it from her own experiences. Granted, she had never been paralyzed in the bodily sense like Monica, but she had been dying of cancer at one point in her life; only to be told months later even though her cancer had gone into remission, Dana would be barren for the entirety of it.  It was a second chance at life, without the possibility of a legacy to call her own to follow. That had been paralyzing… until she became pregnant. William was a rebirth for her, a chance for life to shine through the darkness of all the lies and death.  That was her reward… so what was there to offer Monica?  Where was her saving grace for all her deeds?  Sure, she had her life, but now it had been thrown into a horrible perspective.  Leaving a free spirit broken and bound with only a sliver of hope to escape. A quiet touch to Scully’s shoulder pulled her from her thoughts and with a blink she turned to it, coming to face Doggett.

 

“She’s askin’ for you.” His clear eyes conveyed his ache, his helplessness with trying to make Monica feel better. She was such an important part of his life; even if he could never follow through with what his heart told him to do everyday.  It was something Scully always wondered about.  If John knew he conveyed so much about himself and his feelings to everyone, or if she had just become excessively perceptive of it.  Despite the pause she gave him a small nod, lifting her hand to where his now rested at her shoulder while glancing back towards the window, where Monica was now watching them.

 

Scully squared her shoulders a bit after John’s hand slipped from its curve and with a simple gesture she moved past him inside Monica’s room.  She came to a stop at the foot of Monica’s bed, looking over her frame but never at her face.  The stitch of guilt she had been carrying with her mixed with her unrelenting memories and bit into her soul.  Even with everything she had thought she had sacrificed, there had still been a higher price.  Mulder was nowhere to be found, two men were dead and Monica lay paralyzed before her.  With a heavy sigh, quiet in its nature she laid her hands where ever they might fall, preparing herself for what she was about to articulate.

 

“I know what you’re going to say” came the rasp of a voice across from her.  Immediately Scully looked up, insipid gaze focusing on Monica’s darker one as her words fell back into the pit of her stomach.  With a swallow she began to pull another breath to reason but was again cut off.

 

“Yes, I know what I was doing. No, I don’t expect you to know what to do or say.” Monica paused, her expression becoming saddened before russet windows were closed from Scully’s view and when they reopened, focused elsewhere.  “Don’t take pity on me.  Don’t give me apologies, don’t be sorry and please don’t feel guilty.  I did what I had to, what I knew to be the right thing to do.” She would’ve continued but it was Dana’s turn to cut her off.

 

“Stop…Monica... jus-...” she couldn’t hold it in any longer.  Dana’s expression said it all, grateful but breaking at the seams with emotion, and Monica’s words had cut her to the quick.  It was if she wasn’t allowed to do or say anything about what had happened, what Monica had done for her… again.  She didn’t get to ask why or even thank her.  It was so abrupt and out of place it only seemed to tear at Dana’s already slipping resolve.  Her eyes burned with the maelstrom of emotions raging about inside her, constricting her throat and making her body ache.  “Stop…” her voice broke and fell to a shattered whisper.  “I… I can’t do this...”

 

All Monica wanted to do was move, to sit up and show Scully she was all right, but even now, that was the last thing she was able to do. That was the last thing she was; all right.  She was angry, frustrated and Dana’s maelstrom of emotions were wreaking havoc on her empathic barriers.  Her body wasn’t her own any more; the disjointed feeling of what her hand felt in contrast to what her legs didn’t was unbelievably spirit breaking.  A feeling that rooted itself into her even more with Scully’s gesture.  Little did the other woman know where her hands lay; they were at the foot of the bed, resting over Monica’s own feet. Feet that had no feeling. No gauge of the weight or the warmth of the hands unknowingly over them.

 

Monica swallowed hard and her breathing increased to an almost audible pace as the monitor on her heart jumped closer to the one hundred beats mark.  All she felt was a cold numbness. A fuzzy void, like waking up in the middle of the night because your arm is so asleep it’s lifeless.  For a moment you’re afraid it won’t regain it’s feeling but then the pins and needles begin and you start shaking it around trying to rid your nerves of the uncomfortable sensation.  This time however, Monica had awakened and it had been hours.  Hours that she had spent hoping to feel that uncomfortable haze spread over her limbs.


One Week Later
Basement Office
Washington D.C.

8:09 am


Doggett sat behind one of the only desks in the office; it had somehow become a graduation present from Mulder with his termination from the bureau and the X-Files.  With a low sigh he laid his pen down and leaned back into his chair.  Almost right away his thoughts drifted to Monica.  By now she would be slipping into the office, coffee and sometimes a doughnut for the both of them in hand.  He had never told her directly before, but that simple act each morning brightened his day; even in the darkest of times.  Today however, Monica was in physical therapy.  The Bureau had given her a full paid medical leave, thanks to Skinner’s and Scully’s pulling of strings.  The assignment they had all been on wasn’t exactly official but for some lucky reason, no one, not even Kersh argued about it.  Funny how that is; when an agent is shot or killed in the line of duty, official or not, all of those who would otherwise be beating your efforts down, take a break.  For you it’s a loss, and for them it’s a triumph, one less pawn for them to have to deal with.

John leaned forward, arms resting on the desk as his fingers pressed into the soreness of his eyes; trying to will the headache that was forming away.  Of all of us, why had it been Monica to take the fall?  Was it because she hadn’t suffered as much as the rest?  Was it a predetermined universal law that if she were to be surrounded by those who had paid some great price in their life, but hadn’t paid her own, fate was suddenly obligated to target her?  He felt his chest grow tight with anger, sadness and above all guilt.  He had brought her into this mess; he knew what she was capable of, what she could ‘take’ from those around her.  Look where it got her.  From day one she had been suffering; trying to take on the weight of everyone’s problems and emotions around her and every day since she only took on more and more.  Somewhere deep inside himself John knew that if anyone suffered in their little ‘group’ of FBI misfits, it was Monica.  She took on everyone’s demons all by herself without ever asking for help or taking a break.

John let out a deeper breath, his fingers pushing harder at the edges of the pain in his head only to jump as the phone beside him rang.  He cleared his throat and by the third ring picked up the phone “Agent Doggett…”  There was a pause and his posture straightened, worry immediately crossing his features due to the sound of the voice on the other end.  “No, Mrs. Scully she’s not here.  She’s at the Academy.  Is everything alright with you and William?” 


Same Time
Washington Memorial Hospital
Physical Therapy Ward


Tired feminine muscles flexed and rippled underneath the surface of olive tinted skin from their effort.  Monica Reyes gritted her teeth and growled with effort, trying to shut out the damned cheering her physical therapy coach was goading her with.  Her legs were bound in a sling, fastened to her body in a way to allow her to do a pull up from a free hanging triangle bar.  It had initially reminded her of a Jet Ski pull, but now it was merely something keeping her from falling on her ass.  Not that she would feel it anyway.

 

Twenty-eight.  She only had two more to go and she could be out of this wretched place.  Despite how this all really was helping her she hated being in therapy, she should be walking, or re-learning how, -not- working on her upper body strength so that she could continue to get around in a wheel chair unhindered.  With a slow and shaky movement she lowered her body back down until her arms were fully extended.  Sweat dripped from her brow and her clothes were soaked in it along her torso.  With a hiss of a breath Monica tightened her grip on the slender rod before straining to pull her dead weight up one last time.

Her arms shook, ready to give up as she pulled; muscles along her stomach began to spasm in the hopes of getting her to stop and her legs remained lifeless in their harness.  Her teeth clamped and ground into each other as her exhale started with a low groan, only to end in a highly aggravated yell once she cleared the line.  She let go then, just letting her body fall, completely aware that the harness of her legs would hold her up from the ground; leaving her torso to freely swing about in mid-air.  Unless her therapist caught her, which was unlikely given the nature of her release.  

She hovered there for a moment above the mat, the rope of her leg harness beginning to turn from the jolt sent through it.  It reminded her of hanging from a rock wall.  Just hooking yourself in, securing the line and then leaning back far enough to be parallel with the sky above you.  It was a wonderful way to feel free.  Within a few seconds her freedom was caged with the grip of her trainer cradling her torso.  Monica felt a part of her spirit darken with the gesture.  It only served to remind her that she might never climb again, never be able to hang from the face of a rock hundreds of feet up and feel truly free.

No, now she had to be helped even to get out of a harness.  Monica relaxed as much as she could; trying to will herself not to cry as she was pulled from the harness and laid out on the mat.  Oh no.  Wednesday, it had to be Wednesday; one of three weekly stretching session days.  The stretching was designed to keep the muscles in her legs and lower back flexible, slowing the rate of the decay in those muscles, which was a side effect of disuse.  It also meant the usual insensible prodding of a doctor into her legs with a large needle.

 

Monica spent every ounce of willpower she had to keep her emotions from raging out of control as she laid there on the mat.  Being subject to the sometimes less than sensitive ministrations of the doctors, nurses, and physical therapists at the hospital was, Monica felt, just one more reminder of that vulnerability. 

 

She tried to remain as passive and neutral as she could manage, repeating to herself that it would be over soon.  Her eyes closed and with the lack of feeling in her legs it was almost too easy to displace herself.  She felt like she did when she had finished a rock wall and was repelling down.  Every time her feet left the rock, she flew.  She was flying now, away from the hospital and all the pain bottled up inside its doors, sweeping over the city, looking for a momentary place to call her own.  Unexpectedly she found it in the corner of a bedroom, tucked away inside an all too familiar apartment.

 

Ahead of her was a crib, a moon and star accented mobile hovering lifelessly over it and nestled behind the wooden slats was one William Scully.  Monica wasn’t a stranger to astral projection.  In fact she had tried it many many times before now, just not with this great of a success.  She stood in the corner of his room for a good five minutes at least; half afraid if she did step forward she would be thrown back into her body without warning.  That was until her curiosity got the better of her. Without thought she walked slowly towards his crib, one foot in front of the other until she found its edge.  Fingers fanned out and with a half step closer Monica brought her hand to rest on the infant’s back.

 

She felt his little body rise towards her touch, a deep breath signaling his sudden awareness from a deep nap.  It wasn’t until she took a better look at her hand that she realized her fingertips had disappeared inside the little tyke.  Gently she straightened her hand as William picked up his head and tried to push himself onto his hands and knees in order to see the presence in the room with him better. 

 

After a few moments of frustration he began to fuss, which caused the nursery door to open.  At first Monica paid no attention to it, believing that Scully or her mother would simply come inside, pick William up and be none the wiser to her presence. 

 

“What…wh…are you doing…” came the shaken voice of Margaret Scully who still remained in the doorway, watching a very ethereal looking woman rub her grandson’s back. 

 

With a quick look up Monica felt like a deer caught in the headlights of a speeding car and just like that she was back on the mat in the hospital with a small start.  Valene, her trainer, gently lowered Reyes’ leg back to the mat, thinking she’d hit a nerve somewhere that was still tender. “Let’s cut in a little early huh?” 

 

Monica was too dazed and a little weak to respond and after a few moments she got a better hold of herself.   It wasn’t until she was being carried over to her chair like some sort of helpless child did that she was flooded over with that sense of vulnerability again.  A vulnerability that disappeared if she…


“Thanks…” she said with a half-hearted yet distracted tone once situated.  Val was a nice woman; obviously she had some form of predisposition for helping people.  Why else would she be in such a profession? Having to deal with individuals whose whole perception on life has changed due to some major injury or dysfunction.   When Val settled a towel around Monica’s neck without a word, Monica realized she also had a special sort of ‘touch’.   A little lighter than a moment prior, Monica shared a look with the other woman from over her shoulder before turning back forward.  Unlocking the breaks on the wheels, she pushed her way towards the showering facilities; mind whirling at the possibilities that now presented themselves to her.  As well as the utter confusion as to how she was gone for almost an hour without Valene noticing.

Later that evening
Scully’s Apartment

Scully awoke with a sleep-stifled scream.  Her bedclothes were tangled and snug around her now upright body; a body drenched with a cold sweat perfect for her silk pajamas to cling to.  Her heart felt as if it were going to thunder right out of her chest and her lungs gasped for more air.

With a dark and resolving huff of an exhale Scully pushed herself into a more comfortable position before tucking dampened strands of hair behind her ears.  “Twelve oh one… always fucking twelve oh one.”  She growled under her breath in regards to the time.  For the past week Dana had thrown herself out of a reoccurring nightmare.  Each time she woke it was the same time. Every night when she tried to evade the dream by either staying up late or falling asleep to a movie that previously eradicated her nightmares; she still managed to drift into the fearsome depths of the dream.  Always to end up in the same position she was in now.  Cold, damp with sweat, bed askew and no hope of getting back to restful sleep anytime soon. 

 

With a growl she threw the covers from her in order to start the ritual of calming herself down.  First, she would strip the bed and replace the soiled sheets with clean ones.  Then she would do the same to herself; strip down in the bathroom, run a luke-warm shower and change into clean pajamas.  Finally she would grab a book or a magazine, maybe turn the TV on for some background stimuli while setting to work on her laptop.  Anything to rid herself of the visions, of the memories until her mind would allow her to fall asleep again.

As quietly as she could Dana would check on her son, thankful that he was still asleep.  The call from Doggett earlier in the day concerning her mother having called him at his office had unsettled her.  Her mother had dialed the office out of habit and when John had answered and heard her mother’s unsettled state it had still taken forever to calm the three of them down.

 

John had phoned her apartment from his cell while her mother had still been on the main line with him just to be sure he didn’t lose the connection.  Then he drove all the way to the academy, while at the same time trying to comfort her mother until Dana could talk to her properly.  If nothing else were to be said about Doggett, the man could defiantly multitask.

 

Dana had canceled class and come straight home, more than half afraid her mother had caught Mulder in the midst of what Monica had once called a ‘visitation’.  It had taken a lot of reassuring on her mother’s part to convince Dana it had been a woman her mother had seen standing over William and not Mulder.

 

With a soft sigh at William’s current well being Dana made up her mind and padded back into her room.  Tonight’s option: soft music fed through the headphones connected to her laptop while she read an online book.  Thanks to the Lone Gunmen she had had a special filtered cable connection wired into her bedroom. Of course, she could have done without all the password protection firewalls and rerouting submenu’s she had to go through, but such is a price one has to pay for some form of secrecy.  Within seconds she was connected, before settling down with the good stuff Dana decided her first stop would be her work mail.  Just in case Doggett or Skinner had slipped her something to look at for tomorrow.  All in all it was the usual stuff; a memo here, an addendum to a report there. “Hrm… missed the Holiday party…” she mused aloud, scrolling through more junk memos.  “We have a spring masquerade?”  Dana’s brow even rose at that, “That’s a new one.”  Must be the new internal human resources department… guess the FBI doesn’t have enough fun so they need to make trouble.  Dana smirked at the thought of that, only to have it falter with the realization of attending some sort of ‘normal’ business function might’ve been nice at least once in her entire career.   With a sigh she mused that ‘such is life’ and began to pull up the online bookstore she had subscribed to months ago.   

At least that had been her intention until out of the corner of her vision Dana saw something blinking in her system tray.  With a slight furrow to her brow she clicked on the little messenger icon, allowing an instant message window to pop up.

‘Incoming message from:
Quetzalcoat1126@hotmail.com to Queequeg0925@hotmail.com’

“Can’t sleep…?”

 


Episode 10X09: Underneath

 

Six Weeks Later
New York Field Office

Manhattan

 

Monica sat back in her chair, frustrated that the answer to the puzzle wouldn’t just up and present itself to her. Course the lack of sleep she had experienced within the past 48 hours probably wasn’t helping her cause. Regardless she scooted forward, oblivious to the unbalanced angle her body, in conjunction with her now useless legs, was placed within.  Her arms touched the table edge, hands gripped around the tools and just as her vision focused, it all blurred in front of her. With a small cry of astonishment and pain she found herself on the ground propped on her chin and shoulders at a painful angle. If any pain came from her legs it went unnoticed, though something in the back of her mind told her their position was a rather uncomfortable one. With a rushed harmony of a groan and a sigh she pulled her hands up, sliding them across the floor so she could attempt to push her torso up from the ground.  Instead she got enough leverage to pick her chin up and tip her head down. Her torso shuddered and her shoulders gave into the ground beneath her. She wanted to scream, tears were already stinging her eyes and her lips couldn’t help but kiss the hard floor with a defeated quiver as she gave into the weight she felt`. She swallowed hard and bent her arms, allowing her fingers to comb through her hair and pull the dark strands hard behind her ears.

 

In the next room, Scully and Doggett had looked up, through the open entryway they could see where Monica had been and where she was now sprawled on the floor, her chair behind her against the far wall where it had rolled.  Instinctively Scully had moved to help the fallen woman only to find herself restrained by the strong hand at her bicep and another at her opposite shoulder.  With a disbelieving air she looked behind her at Doggett, whose gaze was settled on Monica while holding onto her shoulders.  It lingered there for a beat before he looked down to Scully then nodded back towards the fallen woman.  “Just watch… “  His words were breathless, just enough for her to hear.  John squeezed her shoulder reassuringly before moving his hands away and allegedly returning to his work while surreptitiously keeping an eye on Monica.

 

Dana felt her chest swell and her impulses yelling at her to get a move on, to rush across the room into the next, scoop Monica up and settle her back into that wretched chair.  But her heart, which suddenly had the louder voice, told her to stay put, to watch and allow that much to be her support.

 

Monica growled softly, her chin resettled on the hard wood floor, hair secured behind her ears now.  She hated this, to be so helpless, it had been only a few weeks since she had been shot only to wake up without the feeling of her lower half; but now, it felt like an eternity.  She remembered it now, she had known what was coming before it happened.  Lying prone on the cold floor reminded her of the cold cement she had been sprawled upon, looking up at the face of the intended victim, Dana’s face and finding only darkness.  Her fists clenched, clawing at the floor as her arms tightened, eyes closing she urged her body to move, her strength to grow so that the moment and the memories might slip into obscurity once more.  She wasn’t ready to remember the details, to deal with it, not now.  Monica didn’t feel safe now; and she needed to feel that in order to build the walls and the shields around herself.  To be sure not to lose her sanity to those memories, to the feelings that raged beneath the surface. 

 

With a low grunt she turned herself over, adjusting her legs with her hands.  Her torso twisted then, muscles unfelt and unused pulling and straining as her arms stretched for her chair.  Her fingers barely touched the curve of the metal arms the first time, and the second; she gripped their edge curling her fist around it in order to drag it over.  The wheels protested for only a moment before they turned and rolled willingly towards their mistress. With a turn of her head she found the brakes and locked them over the wheels, easy part over.  With a slow determined breath she bent her arms back, finding the arm rests nearly shoulder height above her position on the floor.   “You can do this… Mon… just grab it and go…”   Her voice was nothing more than a murmur and with a deeper inhale she strangled her fingers around her chair arms and began to pull her body up.  Slender legs, once well worked and muscled, now curled and bent and swayed with lifeless movement as her back passed over the lip of the seat. Just a few more inches and she would be there. The numbness of her bottom tingled as the hard edge of the seat scrapped over the curve and with a hiss she slid back into the chair with a jingle of metal and plastic.

 

With a joint sigh, both Monica and Dana seemed to relax. Monica with her head falling back between the grip and high back of her chair, Dana with her head falling forward between the strands of her hair.  Doggett couldn’t help but smirk, to himself of course, the last thing he needed were two fiery tempered women being caught in a moment of assumed weakness by the only man in the room.  Instead, he would keep his head down and his eyes on the work ahead of him. 

 

Dana pulled in a slow breath, she hadn’t done anything but watch, but that simple act itself had managed to ebb some of the strength and resolve she had kept inside.  Monica on the other hand, felt a renewed sense of empowerment.  Her arms hurt, as did her chin and chest from the initial fall, and she was sure somewhere she had done more than bring a welt to the surface of her skin.  At present, she felt stronger, filled with a forgotten resolve she had lost somewhere between then and now.  The demons of her recollection were locked away once more, tucked and folded inside the box in her mind as her internal shields continued to mend and reinforce themselves for when it would be opened.

 

With a swallow Dana tucked the strands of her hair behind an ear, closest to Doggett.  She threw him a glance, a cautionary one at first, to see if he had been watching her before allowing it to morph into a semblance of gratitude for keeping her at bay.  With pale blues on him he couldn’t pretend not to pay attention.  He allowed a ghost of his previous smirk to show for the woman beside him before he looked her way.  It was fleeting at best, but at its heart, it had all the elements of acceptance and relinquishment.  Having known and worked with Reyes prior to now, he just couldn’t stand here and let Scully make all the initial mistakes he had made in the beginning.  Monica was a proud woman, strong and independent.  Even if deep down all she really sought was a deeper connection with another person.  A person who would depend on her, and whom Monica could be depended upon without word.  And a person who could understand Monica Reyes,  FBI agent in a ritualistic crimes division, a woman with a belief and well rounded knowledge of what most considered new age or paranormal, and a self declared empath.  It had been hard enough when John had tried to understand and accept all that, and he had paid his price, three fold.  First his son, then his wife and most recently, his career.

 

To him, Scully had paid more than her share, she was looking at 100 fold and hardly seemed phased, but John knew better. Monica’s recent ordeal had been another blow to them both.  For him it hadn’t been as bad as he had imagined it to be for Scully. She felt guilty, responsible.  And why shouldn't she?  After all, the only reason Monica couldn’t walk was because of her unrelenting search for the truth.  Even if John had been the one to call Monica in to help find Mulder; Scully had given in, had shattered when they’d found Mulder in that field.  They’d all died in some way that night, and when rumors of Mulder showing up, in New Mexico, Washington, everywhere but home where he seemed to belong it was like a cruel joke.  Monica had been the one to bring Mulder’s not-so-dead body to a hospital after they’d buried him.  Doggett and Skinner were on a plane, and Scully had been no more than 15 minutes from the hospital itself at the time.  He remembered thinking she was crazy for the idea, but when it had been confirmed that they had buried Mulder alive… The sharp clatter of metal hitting the floor pulled John from his internal recollections as the echo of the gunshot rang clear in his mind.

 

“You all right John?” came the call from Reyes as she wheeled herself into the adjoining room with the other two. He’d seemed so lost in thought, the glassy look of his eyes wasn’t a promising one.  He was a million miles from where he needed to be and Monica had felt it from the other room.  Scully had noted it too; only a second after he had dropped the tray that was blocking his progress of the fingerprints lain out before him.  Doggett cleared his throat, and lifted the same unsteady hand to rub at his eyes.

 

“Yeah... just y’know... the usual.  Hard work and little sleep.  I’m fine.”  It was a half-truth but still the truth; at least enough to get past the two women with him.  “So where are we on this?” Quickly changing the subject away from himself, he looked between the redhead and brunette awaiting an answer.

 

Reyes kept him under her trained eye, communicating with her former partner and lover in a way very few knew how.  No words, no gestures just that unspoken knowledge of feeling and emotion conveyed between the eyes.  Scully watched for only a moment as she came back up from floor level with the dropped tray in hand.  She had seen Doggett and Reyes do that a lot, just sort of venture into their own little world whilst keeping everyone else around them in the forefront of their awareness. Scully felt envious of it, her stomach seeming to open up into a churning pit that threatened to swallow her from the inside.  She and Mulder were capable of that, before… With a hard swallow and a small clearing of her throat Scully turned, looking over to the clock settled on the end table.

 

“There’s something about the original DNA ...” she answered with an edge in her tone she had hoped neither John nor Monica heard.  Course the look she felt boring into her back from Doggett suddenly made her question that notion. 

 

“What do you mean, ‘Something?’ What something?”

 

“John.  Was there a willing sample of hair or skin to test when you were first working on the case?” 

 

He narrowed his gaze, not liking the tone Scully was taking with him.  “No, why?” He felt a hand on his arm and pulled out of it. “What’re you saying Agent Scully?  That the DNA we tested, the DNA used to convict this man wasn’t found on site?”  His voice rose with his agitation and with another touch to his arm he looked over at its source. 

 

Without turning to look at them Scully moved away, heading for the cradle of the phone in order to call the lab back and reconfirm what she had already concluded.

 

Doggett gave a small shake of his head, a sign he had made well aware to Monica before now that whatever she was trying to find out, now was not the place or time.  He’d be fine and they could talk later.  It was followed, as always, but a stern look of disapproving acceptance on her part.  Except for this time; the look instead fell from him and followed Scully as she headed across the room away from them. The redheads’ immediate reaction to Doggett and herself had caught her off guard.  It was like someone pressing the flat of their hand to her chest; hard enough to feel oppressive yet light enough as to not be threatening.

 

So strong… that’s all Scully could think. That Monica was this incredibly strong person that had already seemed to be taking on the world before now.  Now she had its weight and was showing signs of wear, but with hardly a drop in pace.  Despite her astonishment, Scully also feared this new … development, as it were.  She was afraid of the cost to Monica’s spirit and its nature in contrast to her own, in contrast to all of their own.  Monica was like this glue; near symbiotic in nature that embraced bits and pieces of everyone she worked closely with.  Feeding on their energies and replacing it with her own.  Most often when the negative became too overbearing for one person to handle by him or herself.

 

Scully had felt that energy, had allowed it to touch and eat away the broken parts of her when they had found Mulder in that field.  She allowed it to mend her, never stopping to think what it was doing to Monica in turn.  Did she keep all that negativity with her?  Or did she store it someplace to be used later, like a defense mechanism when someone became to close to Monica herself?  It was something Scully had never thought of before until now.  She knew Doggett was aware of it, plenty aware.  Even Monica, during that whole Daemonicus stint,  had stood with her and all but confirmed that Doggett ‘felt’ things as she did.  Channeled things as she did, but refused to see it in himself, refused to believe in something that was possibly as innate in him as his eye color.  That didn’t mean that he and Monica hadn’t formed some sort of bond together in spite of it.  A bond he might not even be aware of.

 

But Scully knew better.  She knew how they looked, what they shared. At times it made her ache for Mulder.  For a connection so deep it went without words, without thought, without effort.  It just was.  Mulder had been gone so long, and all of the things passing between then and now had made her numb to it.  She had forgotten that connection, its warmth, and its truth.  It had solidified when she had slept with him, the night they had made William and then, just like that, he was gone.  Taken from her only to be returned dead and broken.  Even Monica had apologized at their first meeting when she didn’t ‘feel’ him. Scully knew then, but would never admit, she had lost Mulder. Even after they had gotten him back it wasn’t the same.  Something just wasn’t the Mulder she had come to know before he disappeared, even his spirit had seemed altered to her perceptions.  Then, once his X-Files were no longer his own, he had abandoned her, suddenly unable to see his ‘place’ in the scheme of things.  Abandoned her for a pursuit of a truth and for the sake of her son, -their- son that he couldn’t bring himself to believe was theirs.  That he was just a construct and that the men trying to rule the world had defeated them both. 

 

She couldn’t follow along this time and Mulder had to have known that before he disappeared.  She would hardly admit, even though Scully had told him to go, that she had seen his decision already made.  Yet with all that, what truly struck a blow to her very core; were the e-mails he had sent her.  His words, his emotions were raw on that screen, open and unyielding and he had indeed come when she called for him.  Risking everything that he had been searching and working for,  but she had to know.  She hadn’t called on him for anyone but herself, everyone else be damned.  Dana Scully had to find the truth, her truth in his words.  To know for sure if he could repeat the words he had conjured over a keyboard.  If he could put his own voice to them and convey those sentiments he had e-mailed her with; look her in the eyes and wrap her up in each and every syllable... Or if they had been nothing more than some form of weakness of the flesh on his part; and a weakness on her own for believing in it all. 

 

For believing there was a happy ending in the middle of all the madness.

 

“Agent Scully?” Monica had wheeled over to her, Doggett had gone out with a pent up anger she hadn’t seen in a while and chose not to follow; even if she could’ve.  Instead she had followed after Scully.  Monica knew it wasn’t this case that was getting to her, it was everything in between then and now.  Without a reply from the woman who was listening to the constant buzz of a phone signaling the owner it’s off the hook Monica reached up and closed her hand around Scully’s own as it held the receiver.  Scully jumped to attention, not so much from being pulled from her thoughts but from the hand covering her own.

 

Monica let her hand linger for a moment longer than she should have before pulling it away. “Are you alright?” Came her softer tone as Scully looked down at her. 

 

Dana tipped her head to the side a bit, her hand tightening around the receiver a moment before time caught up with her.  She swallowed and looked away, setting the phone back down on its base with a hand that still reverberated with the warmth of Monica’s hand. “I’m fine… Just…I’m fine”  She gave a curt little nod to reaffirm the words to herself and let out a soft breath to calm her nerves. 

 

Monica knew what Scully was doing, she was bringing up her defenses again.  Defenses that rose stronger each time Scully realized she had brought them down; but Monica felt them with perfect clarity without fail.  Each time she was privy to raw emotions of feeling torn apart, suffering turned circles in her stomach, and time again it cut like a knife into her heart until the walls came up.   Trying to be so strong, she thought, watching as Scully composed herself enough to open a folder out beside her on the desk.  Perusing through the case file with a bit of an edge, trying to push aside the feeling of Reyes watching her. She’s going to break herself, all because she wants to be left alone.

 

Scully felt Monica’s eyes running over her back, knew if she turned she would have to face her unspoken questions and right now she didn’t have the strength enough to put on another  mask. 

 

Both women jumped as the phone rang, Scully being the closest answered it in the middle of its second ring. “Scully…”  When she turned to look at Reyes, the expression she held was enough to get both women out of there.

 

30 Minutes later

Cable Access Sewer

 

Scully pulled herself over the edge of the walk way and out of the water.  Hands smoothed back the water sodden hair on her face back against her scalp before she drew her gun.   

 

Her boots struck the pavement hard as she ran down the corridor, nearly skidding to a stop when she saw the shadows play themselves out on the wall.  Gun held waist level at first she came around the corner and raised it up just as their man wrapped Doggett up in his arms and stuck the screwdriver beneath his chin. 

 

“Shoot’m Scully.. Shoot him!”  His voice strangled with the menacing press of the flat head’s metal edge against his throat.

 

“Put it down.  I said put it down now!!”  There was no response from the bearded man, just the thrill of what he was about to do.  A thought from the back of her mind suddenly demanded her attention and with its insight she spoke, “Robert I know you’re inside there, somewhere. ” 

 

“NO! I’m the only one here, he’s gone.”  Came the ominous retort as the bearded man drew his arm tighter around Doggett’s body.

 

“Robert Fassl you’re a murderer! ” Scully shouted in desperation and out of some miracle he faltered.  “No!.. No I’m a good man!” 

 

“You’re a murder Robert and you’re a sinner.”  Her words came out in a hiss of disgrace and with it the man let go of Doggett in his rage to get at his accuser and Scully pulled the trigger.

 

A look of utter shock crossed the man’s features before he fell forward into the water, pulling Doggett with him.  Heartbeats went by before John emerged with a sputtering gasp, pulling with him the body of Robert Fassl.  With a shared look between he and Scully, they both knew what the other was thinking.  That there was no possible way for the man they were both now pulling onto the walkway to be who he was; but there was no doubt it was the bearded man Scully had shot.

 

45 Minutes later

Saint James Municipal Hospital

 

“…and deliver us from evil. Amen.”  The priest’s fingertips graced Robert Fassl’s chest as his others made the sign of the cross above him in the air.  He nodded towards the nurse present with him and slipped out; from out in the hallway Scully watched.  If Robert Fassl ever woke again, it would be too soon.   Try as she might, the events as they happened continued to play out in her mind’s eye, when all she wanted to do was push it aside.

 

Scully had no idea who’s voice it was inside her head telling her that the man she had been looking at down in that sewer was really Fassl; she just knew she’d heard it clear as a bell.  The words that’d followed after that revelation she felt weren’t her own, which only seemed to un-nerve her all the more.

 

Down the hall Monica let the cold metal of her wheel chair slide within her hands as she pushed her way into Doggett’s room.  He was sitting on the side edge of the bed, naked from the waist up save for the sash of white medical gauze that circled his chest and coiled around his left shoulder.  She made sure to stay clear of the nurse tending to the chart at the end of the bed where Doggett was now sitting up.  “Hope that wasn’t your throwing arm.” She offered with her usual warm smile.

 

John turned his head her way, and couldn’t help but relinquish his own smirk to her view.  “Sorry to disappoint.  Looks like I’ll still be beating you at darts.” 

 

“Oh and here I was about to offer you a handicap.“  She grinned and once the nurse slipped out rolled herself in front of him.  “So much for that.”

 

John’s laugh was a mere rush of breath coupled with an amused smirk that caused his frame to waver ever so slightly.  Despite his silence on the subject, his smile still remained intact.

 

“You alright?” She asked, reaching up to touch his knee, the concern for him evident in both look and gesture. 

 

“Yeah.” He paused, and for the first time in the past few days, let everything settle.  He looked up at her then, pulling in a heavy breath; it still shook him a little seeing her in that chair. “Where’s Scully?”

 

“She’s –“

 

“Right here…” the round tone of Scully’s voice finished Reyes’ sentence as both she and Doggett looked her direction.  There was a gentle squeeze to John’s knee before Monica let her hand slip off and back to the wheels of her chair.   Even John straightened a bit, trying to put on a better face and Scully watched with a veiled interest. 

 

She had changed into scrubs as soon as they had been offered to her, even washed her hair after she had been given two needles full of antibiotics.  “He’s in a coma.”  She leant her shoulder into the doorframe, arms coming to cross over her chest.  Mostly for the self-consciousness of not having a bra on under the scrub shirt than anything else.  “Doubtful he’ll wake up anytime in the future.” 

 

“You two act as if you’ve done some great disservice to the world or something.” Reyes had angled herself to see the both of them and their body language told her everything she needed to know; even if she could feel their emotions rolling off them in waves.  “Robert Fassl -was- the man behind all of this. “  She looked between the both of them, John was studying his hands and Dana the floor.  “Even he knew that.”

 

Scully lifted her eyes alone towards Reyes, lips pursed slightly as teeth pressed into her bottom lip in thought.  “It’s over now.” She answered with a point of finality while locked in Reyes’ gaze.  She let the look linger before turning it towards Doggett who turned his head just enough to meet her eyes. 

 

Doggett gave a small series of nods, allowing his gaze to drift to the right and off into some distanced point as he thought.  “Skinner’s on his way up,” he paused pulling in a straightening breath as he addressed them both “and I haven’t been discharged just yet.  Why don’t you two get on outta here, no point in stayin’ for lil’ ol’ me.”   The corner of his mouth lifted in a soft smirk, namely in the hopes of disarming their forthcoming arguments. 

 

Scully let the idea marinate, her head lifting enough so that she might rest the side of it against the door frame.  She studied Doggett for a few moments before turning her eyes to Reyes, arcing a brow in question.

 

Monica had tipped her head to the side, her expression carrying that ‘John, John, John…’  look he was so used to.  She was scolding him for what he was doing; of course that was like the pot calling the kettle black in her case.  “How long-”

 

“Ten minutes.” Came his interruptive reply, his smirk growing at Monica’s following look.  He was winning.  Even Scully couldn’t help but smile just a little at the scene as it played out. She looked back towards Monica and quickly tried to stifle the thing when the other woman looked her way.   Lucky for Scully, she was a master at impassiveness.

 

Monica shifted her jaw, looking back and forth between them and skewed her mouth; about time they started smiling she thought before clearing her throat.  “You still owe me a game,” she pointed in Doggett’s direction before reaching down to grip the wheels of her chair.

 

Scully shifted enough to pull her frame upright once again, still keeping her arms in place. “Call if you need anything John.” The pair of them shared a mutual look of gratitude before John nodded.  “Count on it.”

 

With that said Scully backpedaled out of the room and subsequently Reyes’ way.  “Could I offer you a ride back?”

 

Reyes’ had already started to turn the chair in order to wheel down the corridor but was stopped at Scully’s words, looking up towards her. “If it’s not inconvenient, not exactly the most hassle free passenger anymore.”  She had meant her statement to be a joke, but the look that crossed Scully’s face was anything but funny.  Right away Monica wished she had stopped at inconvenient.

 

“I’m sorry.”  She offered an apologetic smile but was interrupted before she could continue.

 

“Don’t be.” The comment had caught her off guard, that was for sure but she knew Reyes’ meant well.  Guess the guilt is still too close to the surface huh Dana. Scully let out a breath that puffed up her cheeks a bit before she smiled,  “Just be thankful the rental has a trunk big enough to fit three bodies in.”  With that, and a bit of complacency to her smile she stepped past Reyes and started down the hall.

 

Monica followed after her with her gaze, mouth slightly agape, the corners of her lips edging upward into a smile.  The humor lives!  Before Scully got too far away from her, Monica’s brain slipped into gear and she wheeled herself down the hall after her.  Upon reaching the redhead’s side she was greeted with a sideways glance, that smug smile still in place.   “What kind of game?” 

 

Monica looked confused for a minute “Game?”  Her features turning towards Scully as they made their way outside into the hospital parking lot.

 

“You said Doggett still owed you a game?”  Scully reached into the oversized pockets of her scrub shirt, pulling out the key ring belonging to her car. 

 

“Oh! That.” Monica stifled a chuckle.  Okay, how do you tell someone that you’ve turned a portion of the office into an unofficial dartboard?

 

Scully arced a brow, “Agent Reyes?” 

 

Monica had to keep from swallowing her heart when it jumped.  The tone Scully had used was one she hadn’t heard before, it was inquisitive and yet commanding in a very subtle and rather, well, seductive way.  That and it was a tone that surrounded her name to boot.  Monica cleared her throat softly, more so to gain her voice back rather than stifle more amusement; which is what Scully took it for.  “John and I, we, well…”  she bit into her cheek a bit, searching for the proper way to explain this. “We have this game of darts..”  She glanced over at Scully, who was paying absolute attention to her, “though it’s not exactly the average run of the mill kind.”

 

“Oh? What’s the difference?” Scully was positively intrigued, not so much at the fact that her and Doggett played darts either.  Anyone could play darts, it was just the way Monica was trying to go about explaining it to her.  It felt almost as if there was something guilty about it, in a pleasurable sense.  It was a feeling that continued to nag at her brain.

 

“Well.  For starters, we use pencils…” Scully stopped, turning to focus more on Monica, who deftly angled the chair Scully’s way. 

 

They were close enough to the car to warrant the stop, but it also made a more dramatic point to do so.  That and the arc of Scully’s brow, which preceded her repetitive statement. “Pencils.”  It was one of those ‘go on… believe me I’m listening’ tones.

 

Monica chewed on the inside of her cheek a bit, this was a very odd conversation to say the least.  An odd conversation that wouldn’t normally be odd; it was like… like they were flirting.  “Yeah, pencils.  Sharpened of course and the dartboard is a picture….mounted into the uh.. the ceiling above the desk.”

 

Scully’s full, throaty contralto laugh hit Monica square in the chest; sending a liquid fire racing through her from the contact via the beating of her heart.   It was a sound she wasn’t sure she had ever really heard.  It was warm and genuine, and above all it made the other woman radiate.   A seed of determination planted itself then; Monica wanted to see more of that, hear and feel it, no matter how hard she had to work to get it accomplished.

 

The car lights blinked as Scully deactivated the alarm “If I get a day off, I’ll be sure to drop by and join you two in one.” Scully’s smile remained on her mouth, the laugh and the sheer image of Reyes and Doggett flipping pencils up into the ceiling had been just the thing to lift her spirit.

 

Monica watched as Scully got into the car, wheeling her chair back and out of the way.  Thanks to the SUV beside Scully’s car she couldn’t get in-between the vehicles.  She saw Scully’s hesitation as well as the look to her right before the reverse lights came on.   Monica felt a rise in her blood for a moment; anger.  Everywhere she turned there was another reminder to her condition, another hurdle in the way of progress.  Don’t let it get the better of you.  Came the little voice from inside her head, the laugh Monica, remember the laugh.  At the sheer mention of it she smiled, sprinkling water on that seed.

 

Scully pulled up beside her and set the car into park, the lid of the trunk popping up.  Monica wheeled herself around to the passenger side and Scully went around to meet her.  Monica was setting the brakes just as Scully reached her, “One thing I forgot to mention…” She added, reaching inside the car to locate the ceiling bolted handle before turning back to readjust her angle; only to stop as Scully invaded her personal space.  Whoa…

 

Dana had meant to step closer to help Reyes into the car, and when the other woman had said something she leaned in to make sure to catch every word; initially unaware of where that would put her exactly.  Dana soon became very aware of how close Monica was to her.  Monica’s torso was arched and twisted halfway in her chair where her legs remained, and halfway into the car; one hand gripping the handle mount just inside the door as the other fanned out flat over the merger of the glove box and dash board.   Dana had come to stand just off the front of the chair with the opened door to against her backside and when Monica had leant inward the redhead had followed; one hand gripping the outside edge of the dashboard as the other gripped Monica’s chair arm closest to the car. 

 

They were inches apart at best and each pair of eyes searched and studied the other set before them.  Monica’s breathing hitched and her heartbeat rang in her ears, Dana’s grip on the car tightened and an audible swallow was quickly covered by her voice. “What…” She started, tucking her lips in so that she might wet them with the edge of her tongue unseen. “Did you forget to mention?”  Almost instantly she chided herself at the higher rise in tone than she had intended. 

 

Monica’s pulse leapt again as the warm, silky tones of Dana’s voice insinuated themselves into her brain via her ear.  She swallowed and cleared her throat gently “..th..” Her voice broke and with a slight shake of her head to clear it she continued quickly “That we use Kersh’s ID picture as the bull’s-eye..”  Of all the things she could’ve followed with, that had to stammer out.  Get a… Ok, first, get out of whatever mind frame you’re in -then- get a grip Monica.

 

With the broad grin that followed her words and the full and throaty laugh that rumbled forth from Scully’s throat Monica’s arms nearly buckled.  Ok Monica… focus… Just focus.  She was trying desperately to clamp down on the wicked little imp of a suggestion that kept escaping its little box inside her head right now. 

 

Scully couldn’t help the immoral look that crept onto her face, a look that grew even more with the prominence of her smile.  “Now I really wanna play.”  Whoa!  Rein it in Dana.  Pull back already! Jesus…  She didn’t drop the look or quiet the smile, but damn it if her libido hadn’t jumped up and taken over for a moment there.  

 

She was going to faint.  That was it, she was going to faint and then she’d have to try and live down Scully picking her up and carrying her or something.  Ok I’m not going to faint, not going to faint… but goddamn that look.   It was ravenous and predatory; wicked and untamed yet mischievous and inviting all at the same time; and it was going to do Monica in.  “You’ll uh.. you’ll have to play the winner of the next game then.”  She tried a smile, playful and perhaps a little more enticing and just when she thought Scully might say or do more the both of them nearly jumped out of their skins with the honking of a car horn.  

 

“Gee…guess we’re blocking traffic” came the response instead and with another honk Monica shot a look towards the other car over her shoulder that could fell an elephant; even though she fully doubted they could see it.   She tightened her grip on the handle and shifted the other to the console between the seats before pulling herself out of her chair with a dim sound of exertion. 

 

Scully kept her hand around the chair arm, feeling the brush of Reyes’ curves as they ran over her arm.  Once the backs of her upper thighs cleared the woman’s reach Scully instinctively set her arm into the crook of Monica’s knees.  Unchecked Monica kept pulling when Scully wrapped her hand around the side of the woman’s knee, trading the limbs from one arm to the other as she guided them into a suitable arrangement.   Dana knew Monica was more than capable of getting in and out of a car, she’d seen her do it more than enough times but on this occasion she couldn’t help herself.  

 

Monica hated to be handled, hated feeling the vulnerability her condition presented to her everyday and when she had eased enough of her body inside the car to reach for her legs she had had to bite down on the rising defensiveness at the image she was greeted with.  She also had to swallow back the heavy lump in her throat; at that moment she was at a loss as to how the actuality of Dana Scully holding her useless legs and setting them into the car was capable of setting so many emotions into action.   All at once she felt angry, grateful, wanton, mortified and above all sadly frustrated that she couldn’t feel the warmth of the other woman’s touch or the genuine care it radiated.

 

Her perception snapped back into real time and at once it was gone, Scully was gone.  Her chair was folded up and settled into the trunk and by the time Reyes shut her door Scully was just sinking into the driver seat. They pulled away without word and the car behind them filled the spot they had just vacated. 

 

When they pulled out onto the main road, Monica had regained the most of her composure.  Afraid Scully would clue in on it, and not being one to sit in silence she reached over, turning on the radio.  Talking the whole way home seemed to be the last thing she could deal with right now.

 

The gentle harmony of an acoustic guitar, a set of strings and a muted bass filled the interior, drifting over the two women like a soft blanket; allowing both of them to rid themselves a little from, the tension they’d built up.

 

‘Find me here…’ the gentle chords of a man’s voice washed over the music, flowing onward.  Oh’n speak to me.. I want to feel you. I need to heal you. You are the light, that’s leading me, to the place, where I find peace, again. 

 

Monica leant her head back into the seat and ventured a glance over at Dana, just letting the words soak into her being before turning her eyes back to the road before she was caught.

 

You are the strength, that keeps me walking. You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.  You are the light, n’to my soul.  You are my purpose, you’re everything.

 

Dana’s breathing increased enough to allow her to feel the vice forming around her chest and when she felt Monica look away, she took her own opportunity to look back.  She studied the woman’s profile, just letting the words of the song drift into her consciousness.

 

And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you.  Would you tell me how could it be, any better than this. 

Yeah..

 

Monica let her fingers of her left hand drift into the curve of her right, allowing her thumb and forefinger to spin the ring on the opposite hand about slowly in order to occupy them.  Tension bound itself to her shoulders, allowing her to feel its weight once more.  Her gaze drifted back to Dana and she subtly tipped her head down to try and remain unobserved.

 

You calm the storms, and you give me rest.  You hold me in your hands, you won’t let me fall.  You still my heart, and you take my breath away.  Would you take me in?  Take me deeper now. 

 

Dana swallowed evenly, pulling in the soft curve of her bottom lip, chewing on it lightly.  She felt the heat on her chest, rising up to her neck and brushing over her jaw into her face and at the last moment she glanced to the road to make sure they were still safe.

 

And how can I stand here with you, and not be moved by you.?  Would you tell me how could it be any better than this.  And how can I stand here with you, and not be moved by you? Would you tell me how could it be any better than this.

 

They pulled up to a light, and without word blue eyes turned with the slightest shift of Dana’s head, leveling themselves onto Monica’s darker hues.

 

Cause you’re all I want, you’re all I need, you’re everything.

Everything. 

You’re all I want, you’re all I need, you’re everything.

Everything.

You’re all I want, you’re all I need, you’re everything, everything

You’re all I want, you’re all I need, everything…everything

 

They stared at each other throughout the passionate refrain, each knowing of the other’s gaze but neither of them making any motion to change their positions.

 

Oh`nd how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?

Would you tell me how could it be any better than this…

Oh`nd how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?

Would you tell me how could it be any better… any better..

 

The chorus repeated with the softer voices of the background singers while the lead poured his heart into the notes he held throughout the bridge.  Both women breathed at an accelerated tempo, neither wanting to look away or admit what was happening.  Dana’s hands gripped the wheel tighter which a faint whine of a sound and Monica’s own hand stilled as if mesmerized by some form of enchantment.  They remained like that until the music fell back to the mellow nature of the acoustic guitar and soft accent of strings once more.  

 

Would you tell me, how could it be, any better than this…

 

The song faded into the drone of commercials as the traffic light ahead of them turned green.  With a breath she didn’t know she held Scully broke their contact, trying to focus on the road as she pulled forward.  She swallowed the weight of what had risen up from her chest and remembered to breathe.  Monica had tipped her head forward, eyes staring hard at her hands that were now wrapped around one another.  That was…intense.  The thought echoed in her mind over and over.  It was the first one that’d come to her once that song had begun.

 

That was… god.. what was that?  Scully was trying to review what’d just happened.  The intensity of it all had swept her up almost immediately as she realized that was the first thought she had had since the song had begun.  I have to be tired.  Very, very tired.   She bit harder into her bottom lip, rationalizing the feelings swimming around in her stomach and fluttering up to her chest.

 

“Have you eaten?”  came the quiet voice beside her. 

 

It was the best thing Monica could think of at the moment, having severely doubted asking ‘so what just happened’ was the way to go.  With the lack of response from Scully she reached over, fingertips turning the volume dial to the left.  “When did you eat last,”  she reiterated?

 

Scully licked suddenly dry lips, catching her bottom one with her teeth momentarily as she mulled over the question, shoving the sudden suggestion of what Monica tasted like along with the rest of her thoughts away harshly. “Sometime around seven this morning…why?  Hungry?” She didn’t chance a look towards the other woman , letting her gaze roam over the outlining access roads of the highway they were now on; searching for restaurants.

 

“A little..” came the semi-astonished reply, “shouldn’t you be?”  Perhaps that was worry and not astonishment, Scully mused. “It’s been almost twelve hours since you last ate Dana.”

 

Nope, that’s astonishment and worry.  Her thoughts made Scully smirk, which only fueled Monica on more. “How has your stomach not imploded by this point?”  The tension that had been building between the pair of them eased back into a much more manageable state and the rising humor of the situation at hand was relaxing both of the women’s nerves.

 

Scully took a breath and just as she was about to speak her stomach rumbled, leaving the redhead open mouthed and mid-breath.

 

Monica looked over at the other as if she had just.. well just what she wasn’t sure but it was surprise on the edge of amusement.  Scully could swear she saw Reyes’ mid-section jerk with suppressed laughter even though her face remained devoid of a smile. 

 

Inside Monica was cracking up and doing her damnedest not to let it show but already she was tightening the muscles in her stomach to hide the laughter and her mouth was starting to twitch involuntarily.  Must… hold… back… smile…  There was a broken snort of a sound and after half a second of silence the pair of them broke into bubbles of laughter.

 

“Ok Ms. Giggle-box.. when was the last time you ate?” 

 

Monica grinned, honestly finding the combination of Scully’s contralto voice mingled with laughter a heart-warming sound.   Monica puffed up her chest, her grin intermingling with a smugness produced earlier by Dana in the hospital.  “About three hours ago.” Was her following answer, coupled with a proud little nod. 

 

Scully couldn’t help but snicker at the playfulness of it all.  “Uh huh… three hours and you’re hungry again?”  She arced a brow high towards her hairline before sending a rather playfully conceited look Monica’s way. 

 

“Alright so I have a high metabolism.  I’m still hungry and I know you are.  Don’t deny it, your stomach speaks for itself.”  She added the last bit quickly, just in case Dana wanted to interject.

 

“Don’t deny it?  I’m not denying anything.  Besides I never said I wasn’t hungry, I just said I hadn’t eaten since seven this morning so ha.” 

 

That little response set Monica off into another fit of giggles, a sound that Dana noticed was a rather cute fit on the woman.  “Well I suggest you either find somewhere to stop or offer up an apartment because if you don’t our stomachs are going to have a pissing contest over which one is louder.  And that my friend can only last so long.”

 

“Me?  Why do I have to decide when you were the one that clearly brought up the subject? Hrrm?”  Dana’s last inquiry was almost singsong and both of them remained smiling.

 

“Because..” Monica started, refraining from saying ‘I said so’, “you’re the one who’s driving and that’s how it works.  The driver picks the destination and the passenger is the entertainment specialist… controlling things like the radio and heater. “

 

“Who decreed that?” Dana glanced over at Monica then back to the highway, “Entertainment specialist?”

 

“Hey, don’t mock it. Just y’know pick something before we run outta places to stop at.”  Monica grinned and turned to look at Dana.

 

Dana was chewing at the inside of her cheek again, trying to come up with the best course of action.  “If you think you can stand waiting a few hours… I’d suggest dinner and a movie at my apartment.”   That way they could get home, eat, and she could relieve her mother of babysitting duties.

 

Monica tried to calm the rise of her heartbeat, Would you quit it.  For Christ-sakes it’s just dinner and a movie.  How many times have you had dinner and a movie with someone! “Sounds like a plan.” 

 

The dark haired woman’s even response caused Dana to glance over at her.  “Mind if I take a nap?”  Was an instant reply and the redhead just shook her head lightly, her smirk still present.  “So much for the entertainment specialist.” Monica snickered at Dana’s retort. “Hey.. if I don’t do it now I’ll do it in the middle of my food or I’ll be so tired the only conversation I’d be capable of holding with you would be to threaten you with crankiness.” 

 

“Crankiness, I’m the one driving, I’m cooking dinner and you get to take a nap cause you’re worried about being cranky?”  Dana shook her head a bit, leaning back into her seat to get more comfortable as Monica toyed with the seat controls. 

 

“Yeah well, I’ll make it up with a backrub or something.” She had meant for the retort to come as a simple flippant comment, but the sudden thoughts of her fingers running over Dana’s naked back had her bundled up into a knot again.  Without so much as a glance Dana’s way she crossed her arms over her chest and settled down to have her nap.  All the while telling her brain to quit it.

 

1 Hour & 45 Minutes later

 

Scully sat at the traffic light and rolled her neck, wincing internally at the crackle the motion produced.  Monica was still asleep on her side of the car, comfortably tucked into herself and somewhere along the way her head had lulled towards Scully.

 

Internally Dana continued to dismiss it as purposeful but she still couldn’t help the feeling that somehow Monica’s visage had turned her way deliberately.  It had been at a point along the trip where Dana was afraid she was going to wake the other woman up.  It had started innocently enough with Scully turning off the radio when the signals started fading in and out and in the silence she was suddenly privy to a rather intimate personal trait on Reyes’ behalf. 

 

Special Agent Monica Reyes… snored.  Not a loud obnoxious sort but a soft almost purring trill of a sound.  It had caught the redhead off guard and set into motion a small fit of giggles that she had quickly sobered up from when Monica had shifted in her sleep, turning her face in Scully’s direction.  Now they were fifteen minutes from her own apartment and Scully was more than glad to be in familiar territory.  The light ahead of her turned green and with a soft sigh Scully started for home.

 

Georgetown

Dana Scully’s Apartment

9:53 PM

 

Margaret Scully sat down onto the couch with a soft ‘plop’, letting out a rush of a breath in the process.  She had finally settled William down for the night but not before catching another glimpse of who or whatever it was that seemed to be lingering around the infant lately. 

 

At first Margaret had believed it to be Melissa, looking over her nephew.  That was something she would never tell her living daughter.  The first ‘visitation’ had thrown the older woman, shaken her up to the point of near hysteria; coupled with her daughters reaction as well as her former partners’ once she told them, Margaret had made it a point from then on not to inform Dana of any further visits.  Over the past month and a half she had seen the woman with William on five separate occasions, not counting tonight; and each time she knew she never meant any harm.  So she let it continue, sometimes she even watched from the door, not wanting to disturb the pair.

 

Forty Minutes Prior

 

William turned in his crib, suddenly very alert and very awake.  The mobile above him quit spinning about as he focused his attention on trying to turn over on his tummy.  That way he could push his mass up and properly present his little self. 

 

Again the ghostly image of a tall woman with dark hair appeared in the corner of his nursery.  She took a moment to gather herself before stepping forward, walking to William’s crib.  Margaret Scully had nearly entered at that moment, having heard William fuss with trying to turn over, only to stop herself at the image that presented itself.

 

Ethereal hands set themselves around William’s sides, quietly helping him turn over before she crouched down to be at eye level with the baby.  With her warming smile William broke into a fit of nonsense baby babble, pointing, reaching, gesturing and even squealing with laughter when the dark haired woman responded to him. 

 

The crib’s side was brought down a moment later, and the wraith-like quality of the woman seemed to coagulate enough to literally pick William up and set him on the floor with her.   After that point, her appearance seemed unusually diaphanous but she remained right there with William.

 

They spread out his noise making blocks, spelling out things as the woman pointed to the blocks allowing William to grasp the toys and line them up.  Each word they formulated was rewarded with the pair of them clapping and laughing up a storm.  This went on for a while, until she started to flicker. 

 

At first William all but began to cry, knowing that the woman was going to leave him any second.  With a set determination he leaned forward, pitching himself onto his hands and knees to crawl towards her until he was directly situated in her lap.  William sat there almost enraptured from the sensation, little hands and fingers threading themselves through the intangible fibers of the dark haired lady’s essence before looking up at her and baby-talking to her softly.  Conveying his understanding disappointment the best he knew how.

 

She had smiled and tried to brush the side of his baby rounded cheek but couldn’t manifest the strength to tangibly do so and that had been when Margaret had entered. 

 

She was silent and calm, a hand settled over her heart as if to steady its wild pounding while she came to stand before the pair of them.  “Time for bed baby boy,” was her only whispered acknowledgment to the scene.  She bent down then, looking straight at the woman surrounding William and like a fog she dissipated. 

 

*cl-clink*  The sound nearly made Margaret’s heart stop until she identified it with the key in the door lock; Dana was home.  She filled her lungs with a deep breath and pulled herself from the couch, putting on a tender smile just as the door opened. 

 

Dana opened the door and pushed it aside, immediately looking up towards the figure she caught ahead of her, offering her mother a mild smirk.  “He asleep?” 

 

Margaret nodded lightly to the whispered tones of her daughter and moved for the coat rack to gather her things.  “Been down maybe twenty minutes.  How was the drive?”

 

“Oh y’know, quiet and uneventful.”  Scully had just shrugged out of her coat while Margaret tugged her own on.  The older Scully unhooked her scarf from the peg and was in the middle of wrapping it around her neckline when the secondary figure came into her vision. 

 

“Sorry about the delay there, still getting used to this… thing.“  Monica’s words stopped short at the sight of the Scully women.   Her gaze drifted amid Scully’s mother to Dana and back again; the recognition on the elder Scully’s features was unmistakable. 

 

“Hi.” Was the rather detached reaction from Margaret Scully towards the woman in the wheelchair.  She finished wrapping her scarf, however at a much slower pace and seemed to relax a bit.  Monica smiled sincerely, seeming the act proving to light up the space between them “Hi.”  Her voice was warm and soothing, kind with an underlying reverence.  It put Margaret Scully at a completely solid ease.

 

“Sorry, Mom this is Monica Reyes, she works with Agent Doggett. ”  The look between her mother and Monica had gone unobserved from Dana’s point of view “Monica this is….” when she turned to take them both in she nearly took a step back from the feeling that hit her square in the chest. “Mom.” 

 

Monica and Margaret were already in the middle of a handshake but the introduction on Dana’s part had both women looking the redhead’s way.  Her mother with an arced brow and Monica with a smirk “Mom?” 

 

Scully shook her head lightly, must be the drive… “Sorry.. this is my mother Margaret.”

 

“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you Mrs. Scully. ” Monica’s affectionate smile stayed in place, their hands still lingering together even longer as Margaret placed her other hand around Monica’s “Maggie… please.” 

 

Monica felt the extra squeeze from ‘Maggie’s’ hands while her heart swelled with a tender warmth.  “Maggie.” She nodded and looked over to Dana then back to her mother.  “Is… is William asleep?”

 

“Yes,” Maggie interjected before Dana could answer.  She finally let go of Monica’s hands, reaching into her pockets to grab her keys.  “Well, I should get going. It’s already past nine.”

 

Dana remained standing with her hands resting over her hips, fingers wrapped back towards her spine.  “I’ll walk you out.  Monica, just make yourself at home.  Be back in a sec.”

 

Monica scooted out of the way to allow the Scully women to pass her by, her vision lingering on the both of them until they disappeared around the corner.

 

“Damn…” she breathed, her heart still thundering in her ears.  “So that’s where I’ve been.”  Monica ran her hands over her face, fingers pressing against her mouth where she let them stay for a moment, letting the introduction of Maggie Scully sink in.

 

----------------------------------

 

 “Mom…? ” Dana started for the second time, her mother had seemed anxious when she had first come inside and now she was, well nearly bouncing. 

 

“Yes sweetheart?” Maggie was standing with one foot in the car, hands on the edge of the car door as she looked at her daughter.

 

“You ok?  You seemed a little… “  Dana gave her mother a look that went beyond any words needed and was quickly greeted with her mother’s hand cupping the side of her face.

 

“I’m fine.”  She gave her daughter a warm smile, thumb stroking her daughters’ cheek.  “Go back up there, I’m going home to bed.  Door’ll be open in the morning if you want to drop William off.” She pulled her daughter closer, placing the softest of kisses into the line of her hair before slipping down into the car without another word.

 

Dana rubbed a hand over her forehead lightly in thought, pressing at her temples in the process while her other hand remained on her hip.  She waited until her mother’s car turned onto the main road before pivoting about to look towards the windows of her apartment. 

 

----------------------------------

 

In the time it took Scully and her mother to reach the parking lot, Monica had wheeled herself inside.  In the few moments it took her to retain her bearings she realized there were a lot of places she wouldn’t be able to get into with her chair in this apartment.

 

“So much for helping with dinner.” The sour taste of her words lingered with the thoughts rising into the forefront of her mind.  With another rush of an exhale she pushed forward, moving beyond the living room and down the hall towards the slightly open door at the end of it.

 

When Scully came back into her apartment she had half expected Reyes to be sitting on the couch, or more the nearest chair.  When she appeared in neither, Scully chewed on the thoughts running through her mind until the rumble of her stomach made her decision for her.  She would start on dinner, it was already late which meant something light and assuming Reyes was in the bathroom Scully went to work in the kitchen.

 

Monica was so quiet, her chair nestled against the side of William’s crib where she watched him sleep “…now that the world isn’t ending.. its love that I’m sending to you.. it isn’t the love of a hero and that’s why I fear it won’t do…”  Her voice was hardly above a whisper as she sang to the sleeping infant, her hand, having slipped through the bars, was now resting over the boy’s back, soaking in his warmth and very essence. 

 

Her mind had ceased in its continuous run of thoughts and feelings as she focused on William’s sleeping form.  With her shields down Monica was rocked with a fluidic montage of sharp memories.  Her chest seized forcefully, almost impairing her ability to breathe as her eyes began to burn “…amazingly beautiful.” The words fell from her lips due in part to her sudden recollection.  Her thumb brushed along the spot between William’s shoulder blades before she gingerly pulled her hand away from him.   At least in my dreams I can pick him up without this damn chair.  

 

The anger that blazed a trail through Monica’s body started to cesspool at the spot just below her sternum.  She let it burn, flexing her jaw before letting out a shuddering breath.  Her bottom lip tucked itself between her teeth as she brushed her fingers across her cheek, ridding the curve of the moisture there. When her eyes closed the lids felt scratchy, even if they were overly wet with tears while she focused on her raging heartbeat in order to calm it.  Just breathe….it’s ok… you’re ok… everything’s—

 

“Monica?”  Scully’s whispered voice behind her yanked Monica from her inner mind, the worried nature of the redhead’s voice forcing a tremor through Monica’s body.  She pulled in a calming breath and smiled softly, giving William one last look before turning her chair to face his mother. 

 

Without a word Dana saw the inquisitive nature of Monica’s expression, she looked to her son, seeing him asleep before making a ‘c’mere’ motion with her finger. 

 

Monica watched Scully retreat from the door, after allowing it to open enough to let her chair through and on her way past the threshold Monica reached back and pulled the knob so the door came as close to shutting as she could manage it.  When Monica turned back to look down the hall she would’ve jumped back at the sudden close proximity of Scully’s frame to her own, were she standing.  Damn woman…. Personal bubbles Dana…have you ever heard of the personal bubble?  Instead Monica cleared her throat quietly and arched a brow, tipping her head up in order to look up at Scully’s face and not at her chest. 

 

“I made us something lite… ”  Scully had her arms across her chest again, though they were looser than they’d been at the hospital. 

 

It was almost like a game or something, the strings of tension that reformed between the two of them.  Monica nodded and tipped her head to the side a bit, taking in Dana’s appearance “You should change.. as comfortable as those scrubs are I’m sure pj’s or something’d be much more so.”  

 

Dana furrowed her brow and judging by Monica’s expression she hadn’t even realized what she had said.  “Can’t…” the word only seemed to bemuse Monica even more so, “I still… have to take you home.”  Almost as soon as the words had left her mouth Dana wished she could take them back with the stare that overtook Monica’s face.  It was a signature look, Dana surmised.  She’d seen it before in that house in Democrat, when all those people had come in and Monica had just looked at her.  Outwardly calm and composed but her eyes had shone with waves of unshed tears and a pent up wrath Dana hadn’t ever seen in another sane woman before now.  Tranquil devastation.  It was something the redhead had hoped she wouldn’t see again in direct relation to her. 

 

Monica hadn’t had the proper time to build her shields back up, and the onslaught from her little visit with William had done her in.  There was a beat before Monica spoke, sucking in a breath trying to rein herself back, “No.”  The break in her voice was cleared softly as her hands fell to her chair wheels.  “I’ll uh.. I’ll call John.” She smiled lightly, pushing away the rising emotions and Scully’s objection, “I’m sure he hasn’t even made it home from the hospital and debriefing Skinner yet.”   Oh god.. not now... please not now.  Just let me breathe, make it stop and let it pass.  Please let it pass.    She hated this, hated the vulnerability, hated the chair, hated depending so much on all these other people. 

 

Monica spent every ounce of self-control she had to keep her voice from cracking a second time. She knew that once it did the tears she had worked so hard to suppress would flow freely; making her feel more vulnerable than simply being stuck in the chair ever could.   Before now it wouldn’t have been an issue, then again before now she probably wouldn’t be at Scully’s in the first place.   Her hands forced the wheels of her chair to move, and unless Scully wanted to be run over, her as well.   “That way we can eat and by the time we’re done he’ll be here and you won’t have to call your mother back to watch William and you can head to bed.”

 

“Monica..”  Dana started, watching Monica from her new place against the bathroom doorjamb.  “It’s ok”.  

 

Monica brought the chair to an abrupt halt, “No it’s NOT OK!”  She  shouted, banging her hands against the wheels of her chair before grabbing hold of them and shoving her arms forward to propel her into the next room. 

 

The rise in Monica’s voice made Dana jump, features turning towards her son’s room and without a following sound of his waking she reached over and closed the door completely.  She regarded the brunette’s back solemnly through the dim light for a few seconds, crossed  the hallway into the living room and gripped the handle of Monica’s chair, forcing her to stop.  Dana waited for the woman to lash out at her from the gesture and when she didn’t Dana seized her opportunity.  Sidestepping the chair,  she gripped each wheel in her hands before lowering herself down in front of the other woman.

 

Monica swallowed again, her breathing shallow, as grief replaced fear in the role of the vice grip around her chest.  Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Dana move to the side of her chair and then in front of her.

 

Dana tightened her fingers around the wheel rungs, to keep them put as she waited for the other woman to compose herself.  Something inside her snapped when she saw the tears roll down Monica's cheeks; the urge to protect, to console had washed away any hurt she felt at the brunette's shutting her out.

 

Monica kept her face turned down even after she had gotten her emotions under control.  She didn't want to see the pity that she was sure Dana was doing her best to hide.  Everybody she saw lately had nothing but pity written on their features for her plight and frankly Monica was sick of it.  When she finally lifted and looked at Dana’s face, she saw a woman completely devoid of the emotion.  In turn it only made her drop her gaze back to her lap again, wishing to be anywhere but here.  At least if she were home she could freely cry about it until she drained her energy enough to sleep.

 

Dana swallowed hard as she watched her fingers lift and move over Monica's skin; fingertips becoming wet with tears as they caught on her skin.  She didn't think it was possible to feel more exposed than she already did but the words that spilled out of her mouth made her feel just that.   "Monica, there's no real gentle way to say this… You’re alive, and you’re here with me.  You’re not as ‘well’ as you’d wish but..”  Dana swallowed again and moistened her dry lips, “there’s still hope.”  She heard Monica sniffle but continued onward, her hand cupping the other woman’s cheek as fingers brushed away her tears.   “And I would rather you be broken but alive here with me right now, than lying six feet under for having saved me.”  Dana said, moving the backs of her fingers lightly over the opposite side of Monica's face.

 

It took everything Monica had not to gasp and break down again.  The tenderness of Dana’s touch had taken her by surprised but her words had wrapped themselves around her heart and squeezed tightly.  Monica didn't respond as she turned her focus to a point on Dana’s lap. Sadness and an impotent rage like she hadn't felt since she had woken up in the hospital to find she couldn't feel her toes roared through her like a hot wind.  She felt Dana’s hand drift back around her chin, fingers curling there before tipping her face upward. 

 

When Monica flicked her eyes up to the others face the look she found on the redhead's visage was completely wanton and only sent more tears racing down her face.  As Monica took a deep breath the steel around her chest refused to loosen and her stomach felt sour, twisted, and small.  From her lap she lifted her arm, fingers curling loosely until her index finger remained alone.   Dana lowered her eyes to the distraction and followed along to where Monica stabbed herself in the plane of her thigh just below her pubic bone. 

 

"Below this point, there's nothing.”  Her voice shook with the admission, and her fingers curled into a fist as that one finger bit hard enough into her leg to turn the digit white with effort.  “No feeling at all.  Between this point and my mid-stomach there's some sense of temperature and feeling, but it's intermittent and distant, as if whatever I'm feeling is happening through a thick layer of fabric."    Monica took another deep breath then, her voice had been forced out from behind clenched teeth while white-hot tears fell down her face.   Her whole body seemed to tremble and the intensity of her smoldering gaze had yet to leave Dana’s face as she watched it change between a range of emotions from good to bad to worse with the weight of realization.   

 

When Dana didn’t say anything after those heavy moments, some twisted sense of anger and justification boiled to the surface.  That’s not ok.”  The corner of her mouth twisted upward in painful recollection, “If that wasn’t the best part…tomorrow , I have to go to a physical therapy ward in a hospital where absolute strangers haul me about like a sack of potatoes for three hours… and then,” a strangled laugh broke through, embittered at the humiliation she went through every other session.  “Then some doctor gets to use my legs and back as a personal pin cushion trying to give me some fucking hope while I lie there and feel absolutely nothing Dana.”  Monica’s voice was practically spitting venom as she spoke, the shaking in her body unrelenting.  “Every time.. I feel nothing!”

 

Dana watched the change in Monica, blue eyes nearly made grey with the intensity of her own raging emotions.  It took everything she was not to break the metal of Monica’s chair beneath her hands with the images presented to her. Righteous indignation rolled off her in waves not only at the doctors and therapists, but at her own self as well for being the cause for everything. With that resurfacing thought Dana flicked her eyes away, unable to stand the eye contact. 

 

Monica’s hand collapsed under the pressure, beating into her thigh “I would do it again…” Her voice was haunted and broken as her body shook from the raw emotion that began to release itself.  “I would -”  All at once Monica was swimming, her words cut off by another mouth.

 

The anger Dana felt was swift and overwhelming, it pushed through her system trailing in its wake a rush of longing and need much denied.  Dana reached back and  pulled the surprised brunette to her, cutting off her words and claiming her mouth. 

 

Monica stiffened in surprise at the sudden action.  She tasted Dana with her lips even as they refused to wrap around the other woman’s.  Not because of lack of want, but because of the raw eminence of her emotions.  Tears burned their way down Monica’s face as sobs ebbed into Dana’s mouth while a battle raged on inside and without the strength enough to defend herself she gave in.

 

Hands were soon lost in Dana’s hair, clenching and pulling on the silken thickness until she felt the sting of Dana’s teeth biting into her lips.  Arousal tingled along Dana's skin as Monica took charge of the kiss, her breath hot against the redhead's mouth as she groaned with pleasure.  The analytical part of Monica's mind took note of a slightly-felt warm heaviness between her legs before it shut down under the emotional onslaught of the raw, aching need that pushed against her every nerve ending.  She felt warm fingers press into her neck, pulling her deeper into that kiss as the blade of Dana’s tongue swept over her mouth for entrance; an entrance she quickly denied with a single thought.  She deserves better…

 

Monica slid her hands to the flat of Dana’s chest, fingers curling about her collarbone and shoulders on either side of the woman’s neck before gently pushing her back while Monica herself retreated back into the depths of her chair.

 

There was a gasp between them once they parted, still close to breathe the other in.  Monica felt Dana begin to tremble beneath her hands which only seemed to mirror her own shaking that had yet to subside;  Monica swallowed hard, trying to learn how to breathe again. 

 

Dana’s full weight was balanced on her toes; strong fingers massaged the back of Monica’s neck lightly as parted lips fought for breath.  She didn’t dare chance a look up, afraid she would frighten Monica with the desire she knew was there in her own eyes.  Though Dana was even more afraid she would find nothing in return in Monica’s russet depths.

 

Dana’s breathing was audible, slipping past her lips in gentle exhales soaked in the emotions raging inside her and rushing over Monica’s skin like a summer wind.  Empathetic to those emotions, Monica stole a glance at her mouth for no other reason than to watch the other woman breathe.  Her hands slid down along Dana’s arms then, towards her wrists where hands still held themselves to her neck; only to stop somewhere along the strength of  Dana’s forearms where thumbs could rub at the skin there. 

 

Dana felt her heart hammer against her eardrums as her mind repeated a constant mantra; what did you just do?  She sucked in a gentle breath on the edge of a sob as she felt Monica pick a hand up from her arm only to brush it across the side of her face; instantly bringing back the memory of when Monica had done it on that cold moonless night on that train station platform.  She gasped softly with the sensation that tightened around her heart, turning her features into the warmth of Monica’s hand at the side of her face as their foreheads suddenly grazed and nuzzled one another.  

 

Monica pawed the contours of Dana’s face tenderly, keeping her features close as the other tipped and turned her head into the multiple points of contact.  Their foreheads stayed together, skin brushing skin as Monica lifted her hand again upon reaching the line of Dana’s jaw in order to continue her petting, only to stop short so that she might trace her thumb over Dana’s bottom lip.

 

Dana tilted her features into the touch, not wanting to be rid of it; her forehead pressed into Monica’s as she followed the movement of the other woman’s thumb along the outline of her mouth.  A mouth that she opened not only with an aroused exhale, but amid the intention of retaining that contact with the pad of Monica’s thumb.  

 

All Monica could do was watch those soft rose curves and her finger running over the lower swell.  When she lifted her thumb away Dana lifted her visage with the movement;  eyes closed and lips parted as both of them anticipated another kiss… only to let it fall short with a transitory regrouping of their senses.  Monica’s fingers were at the side of her face again, thumb just at the corner of Dana’s mouth as she suddenly realized how truly close the pair of them were.

 

Dana lifted her features, eyes mere slivers of pale blue; their noses brushed and Dana felt their lips barely touch before she drifted away, more than afraid to follow through with her feelings, with the truth of the moment.  It wasn’t about pain or raging emotions any more, it was about desire and trust.  Monica however followed right after her, her thumb drifting out of the way as her mouth sought Dana’s own.  When they made full contact Dana leaned forward, not willing to give up the sudden rush of passion surging through the both of them. 

 

They broke apart with a soft exhale of disbelief on Dana’s part before the woman leaned forward to seek out Monica’s gentle touch once more.  Monica’s hand slid up against Dana’s neck as their lips met a second time, both women  seeming to just breathe the other in.  Her hand wrapped around Dana’s neck, fingertips infusing into her hair once again as she felt the redhead’s hands grip at her shoulders and biceps, afraid Monica would break away any moment. 

 

Their kiss was tender and yet impassioned; unknowingly solidifying a deeper connection between the two of them.   With each inward breath their lips held onto one another before a gentle parting followed with a rush of an exhale from them both.  Dana’s hands curled around Monica’s shoulders tightly, arcing the curves towards her as Monica bent forward in her chair and wrapped the smaller woman up at the waist with one arm. 

 

After a series of endless seconds they broke apart with Dana tipping her head back so that her mouth literally caught on Monica’s own and almost seemed to peel away.  Monica tipped her head down enough to open her eyes first, waiting breathlessly for Dana to open hers; her arms were still tight around the small woman who pulled in a short breath, never looking up.  “Dinner…it’s uh…it’s going to get cold…” She gave a small sniffle and Monica couldn’t help but smile and give a breath of a laugh, tilting her features up enough so that her chin kissed Dana’s nose. 

 

“Yeah...” came her response as she lowered her features back down, pressing their foreheads together once again.  Dana shook her head enough to rub their noses together unconsciously and finally looked up for a split-second, still shaken with emotion and the realization of her actions; only to pull herself away and out of Monica’s arms with a turn of her body.  And in walking away, she brought a hand up to her face, fingers pressing around her mouth. 

 

Monica watched her go, pulling in a sharp breath as her balance suddenly wavered.  She found herself slipping back, hands searching for some sort of support as she settled into the recess her chair, never more thankful for its presence in her entire time in it.  Trembling hands slid out along the edges they’d found until they could support her from falling over at either side.  Her expression was a hybrid of joy and sadness, her body and mind trying to play catch up.  She looked towards the kitchen once again before smiling for a brief instance until reality set in; which lowered her head, visage exhibiting a forlornly etched bemusement.

 

Dana rounded the corner of the open kitchen entry and by the time she’d reached the counter had to grab hold of it to keep from collapsing.  Her legs were like jelly and the blood thundering through her veins via her raging heart burned with each palpitation. She had never been reduced to such a boneless pile of mush before “What the fuck was that…” rushed from her lungs in a whisper of a breath as a trembling hand lifted to her face, rubbing across its surface. That was you kissing Monica… chided the little imp inside her head that held the note of her own voice.  Unconsciously her fingertips fell to her mouth, still throbbing and burning from.. and that was her kissing you.  The realization shot through the redhead like a bolt of lightning.  She felt like she was going insane. She was confused and uncertain, ...and scared. She knew that her biggest problem was being scared of her feelings.  Everything is fine and she can maintain control so long as her emotions didn't get involved. But now... now she wasn't in control... unfamiliar emotions were surfacing... she was feeling very off-balance, and she absolutely hated that.  You’re in deep shit here Dana… she thought to herself as she closed her eyes and slumped down to the floor.

 

Fuckity fuck fuck fuck!  Monica let her head fall back into a most uncomfortable position, just letting it land between the rear handles of the chair as arms splayed out on either side of her.  She felt exhilarated and exhausted, joyful and afraid.  What the hell did you just do?  The voice was solid in her head as she stared at the ceiling trying to regroup herself.  God, I can’t even leave…  With an incident like that, given the situations at hand Monica would’ve chalked it all up to getting swept up in a moment, politely apologized and then driven herself home to a cold shower and empty bed.  Not tonight.  Ooooh no, she was now supposed to compose herself enough to have dinner with the woman she’d just been making out with before being driven home by her.  Wonderful…  She felt the soft cushion of a throw pillow with the stretch of her fingers, her head lulling to the side she reached out enough to grip it and pull it over.  With a nonchalant gesture she turned it over in her hands, admiring the embroidery on the one side before flipping it to the softer plain swath of burgundy.  Monica then pulled the pillow over her face, clamping her hands around it before screaming out her frustration.

 

Dana held the back of her neck in her hands, hair tangled between her fingers when she lifted her head.  Okay… just get a grip.  You’re both just really tired, really emotional… it’s all ok.  She let out a deep breath, seeming to regain a sense of herself with the motion, tension easing and her body finally starting to relax.  She uncurled herself from the floor and stood, immediately feeling lightheaded.  She was right.  I should’ve eaten before now. Dana rubbed at her brow, willing the headache that came from low blood sugar away before setting about getting dinner out.

 

If Dana heard Monica at all from the other room she kept it to herself.  The pillow lobbed back onto the couch Monica straightened, trying to look more presentable once she heard the soft clang of dishes in the other room.  She fussed a hand through her hair and smoothed hands over her face to clear it of any lingering tears before letting out a heavy sigh.  One hand overlapped another at her solar plexus and Monica forced herself to calm down enough to rebuild some form of a shield before taking up this next little endeavor. 

 

As soon as she seemed to settle back into some form of her normal being she caught movement out of the corner of her eye.  Scully emerged from the kitchen with two plates and silverware wrapped in napkins tucked between her thumbs and the plates.   She made her way around the opposite side of the couch and set both plates on the coffee table.

 

“Anything I can help with?”  Monica spoke up just as Scully turned to retreat back into the kitchen. The redhead kept her back to the other woman, already feeling the wall she herself was putting up like a cinderblock on her chest. 

 

“Yeah…” she turned then, taking the rather composed sight of Monica in.  “Grab a couple of wine glasses in the far cabinet?”  It was just as much a question to get the glasses as it was to make sure wine was an ok choice for dinner.

 

Monica couldn’t help but smile, feeling the vice building around her chest suddenly ease.  “Sure.”  She cast a glance towards what Dana had actually made and tipped her head a bit “Red?”  Her hands moved to the wheels of her chair then, leading her to the dining room and Dana slipped back into the confines of the kitchen.

 

“How’d you guess?”  was followed after the typical ‘fwoomp’ of the wine cork from its place in the bottle.

 

Monica smirked at herself, opening the glass cabinet and retrieving a perfectly complimentary pair of glasses.  “The meat you used in the stir-fry.”  She set them carefully into her lap and wheeled around just as Dana came from around the corner with the wine bottle and an odd expression on her face.

 

“Blame it on my grand-mother.  Ten years of ‘family’ culinary arts and every Holiday was considered a final exam.” 

 

Dana’s rigidity broke and she allowed a smile to peek through,  “I’ll bet November through mid-February were your favorite times of the year then.”

 

There was a gentle laugh that followed behind Dana as she slipped back into the living room.  The real reason she’d set up here was the coffee table was less obtrusive than the dining table would’ve proved for Monica.  She just hoped it would go beyond the other woman to ask.

 

Monica wheeled over to the opposite side of the couch the Dana went around.  Pulling the glasses from her lap and setting them on the table before wheeling herself closer to the couch and locking the brakes on the chair wheels.  “God that smells good.”  Monica slid forward in her chair before balancing her weight between the arm on the couch and the one on her chair.

 

Dana was in mid-pour when she shot a look over to Monica, “What did you say?” She could’ve sworn she heard Monica say that she smelt good.  She saw the lines of muscle in the other woman’s arms strain with her weight and quickly turned back to pouring the wine before she spilled it. 

 

“The food.. I said it smells good.” Monica’s words were strained as she transferred herself from the chair onto the couch with a soft sigh.  “Why?” Her tone was mildly playful “What’d you think I said?”  One glass filled Monica reached over and claimed it, bringing the edge to her mouth to take a full swallow of the rich fluid.

 

“Nothing, I was just kinda lost there for a second.” Dana set the bottle on the middle of the table where they could both reach it.  Grabbing her plate she slipped off her shoes and tucked herself up into the couch cushions with her meal.  Cursing everything holy that she was in a scrub top, its open vee-neck exposed the flat of her chest, and with it the direct result of what Dana had thought Monica had said intermingled with that playful tone.  Can’t blame it on the wine either Dana… you haven’t even had a sip yet.  Though thankfully the flush of her chest didn’t creep up any higher.

 

“So..” Monica started as she leaned over and traded her wine for her dinner. “Visual or audio?” She moved her food around and eased a bite towards her mouth, stopping at the look Dana was giving her.  “Movie or music.” She clarified and took her bite.

 

Dana glanced at the time, not really sure she could stay up for a full movie, and since she’d already gotten settled into the couch, didn’t feel like scanning through channels to find one to suit both her and Monica.  With a small smirk she reached to the table beside the couch, grabbing a remote and hitting the power button before ticking the volume down enough to be quiet enough not to wake William yet fill the air around her and Monica with a gentle ambience.  Gears and the internal mechanics of the CD player buzzed to life as she set it on random and hit play allowing the gentle ministrations of the lead’s voice from Train to ripple through the air with Calling All Angels.

 

I need a sign… to let me know you hear…all of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere…

 

Monica leant back into the cushions a little more, poking lightly at her dinner as the words of the song washed over her “Thanks…” Her tone was weighted, it wasn’t just gratitude for the music or the dinner but for the night itself and all the little things Dana had done to make her feel like she wasn’t useless.

 

…There is no place safe and no safe place to put my head… when you can feel the world shake from the words that I said…

 

Dana tucked her leg up underneath herself, not really paying attention to the song, just the sound of it in the background “Welcome…not cold or anything is it?”  She leaned forward, snagging her wine glass and hoping its contents would sooth her nerves.

 

“Perfect…” and try as she might Monica couldn’t help but watch the redhead stretch over, the way her body moved underneath the thin fabric of her scrubs and how slender fingers curled about the stem of her glass. A wave of playfulness spread over her with an underlying feeling of desire, Monica… stop it… stop it now. The sudden trill of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘All Thru The Night’ seeped into Monica’s awareness and she couldn’t help the smile that broke along with the memories it brought to mind.

 

An image of a car parked out in the dark in ‘the middle of the nowhere-yet-perfect-make-out-spot’ came to mind.  Fogged windows and the hum of Cyndi Lauper’s voice floating through the air. 

 

Monica was breathless and barely knew where she was, just that she was floating slowly back into her body and when she finally made it back her eyes opened into half-lidded awareness.    The ceiling of the car was the first to greet her vision as the protestant sound of the car seats filled her ears.  She felt her body dip with the weight of someone crawling up the length of her and with a slow blink she was greeted with the blonde haired vision of her lover Nicole.   “Where did you go?” came the passion-groveled voice of the girl above her as her hand pulled back the dampened strands of her hair so she might see Monica from her new vantage point.  All Monica had been able to do was shake her head back and forth but she was justly rewarded with a soft rumble of a laugh and a pleased grin from Nicole. 

 

Monica had grabbed her and ravaged the hell out of the blonde’s mouth until the both of them nearly had a heart attack when the repetitive bang of a flashlight tapped at the driver side window. It certainly was anything  but funny then but now…

 

Now Monica was worrying her bottom lip, trying to suppress a smile that refused to go away and Dana just kept right on watching the woman beside her.  Half of Monica’s plate was already gone but somewhere between the last two songs Monica had disappeared.  Of course Dana was hardly going to interrupt, the look on the brunette’s features wasn’t anything she’d ever seen on her before, and damn if it didn’t send Dana’s skin to burning all over again.

 

By the time the seductive waves of Luce’s “Numb” came pouring through the stereo Dana had to clear her throat and shift her place.  She let her fork settle on her plate and quickly stood, turning Monica’s direction and waiting.

 

Monica snapped to attention with the shift in weight on the couch, glancing to her plate she took another bite before offering it up to Dana with a muted sheepish smile.  “Guess I wasn’t as hungry as I thought.”  She cleared her throat and tried desperately not to break into laughter, but the memories running rampant through her brain just wouldn’t let up. 

 

“If you want I can put it with the rest of what’s left and you take it with you later.”  Dana felt as if Monica had seen right through her, and the amusement she felt coming off the brunette wasn’t helping. Stay calm Dana… just.. that’s it, breathe, you’re fine.

 

But she wasn’t fine, neither of them were.

 

“Yeah that’d be great.. “ Monica smiled up at her hostess and made sure not to follow the woman with her gaze when she disappeared from her peripheral view.  Instead she reached for the wine bottle and filled up their glasses.  My god… Monica quit it before she gets the nerve enough to ask you what you’re thinking.

When her memories flipped and put Dana into the situations presented Monica quickly sobered, practically dropping the wine bottle from the onslaught.

 

….I could use a fresh beginning too.. all of my regrets are nothing new…

 

She felt her heart jump and that thick haze from earlier spread over her waist as memories of no less than an hour if that came to the surface of her mind’s eye and when Monica took another swallow of her wine she felt the urge to mix its taste with Dana’s mouth rise like the flush at her chest.  Of course the sound of Swiftfoot’s Learning to Breathe that rang into her ears defiantly wasn’t helping shove that thought away.

 

….This is a way that I say I need you… this is a way… this is a way… that I’m learning to breathe… I’m learning to crawl.. I’m finding that you and you alone can break my fall… I’m living again.. a way better life.. I’m dying to breathe…in these abundant skies..

 

In the meantime, Scully was trying desperately to get a hold of herself in the kitchen. Get a GRIP, Dana! she scolded to herself.  I'm acting like a complete nervous wreck... idiot!  ...relax...why the –hell- would she be laughing at you.  It’s not like she can read your mind.   “Thank god”.  She mumbled to herself as she finished putting the leftovers in a container and back into the fridge, it took her a moment but as she headed back out to her guest she heard her stereo.…

 

…I never, never thought that I would fall like that.. never knew that I could hurt this bad…I’m learning to breathe…I’m learning to crawl…I’m finding that you and you alone can break my fall.. I’m living again a way better life… I’m dying to breathe in these abundant skies…

 

The words bit at her core and internally she cursed herself for not getting up to check the cds in her player.  She swallowed hard and as much as she feared it, Dana knew that she would have to be the one to initiate something - Monica would be too cautious to make any kind of move about anything.  Dana internally scolded herself to do something about her feelings for a change, rather than just sit there like a bump on a log.  She could feel her palms growing sweaty as she tried desperately to muster up some courage.

 

….This is a way that I need you.. this is a way that I say I love you.. this is a way that I say I’m yours… this is a way… this is a way that I’m learning to breathe…

 

Monica could tell that Dana was watching her. She supposed that she was studying her, still trying to make up her mind about what she wanted, about what to do and how she figured they probably needed to ‘talk’ about what had happened tonight.  That was okay... even if Monica really didn’t want to talk about anything, she just wanted to be.  To be in the company of the other woman, to be relaxed and settled, to be herself and just enjoy a slow moment in life with someone she cared about.  Even if deep down she knew Dana would nor could probably care about her in the same way; she belonged to Mulder not Monica. With an irritated glance towards Scully’s cd player she snuffed out a breath through her nose as Cher’s Heart of Stone echoed her thoughts.

 

With a soft clearing of her throat as she shoved the dark thoughts about all that back into their little box and swallowed another mouthful of the ruby liquid just as Dana came back into view. “Filled them up..” she stated with a nod towards Dana’s glass.  “didn’t think you’d mind.”  Cause I know I sure as hell don’t… the warmth of the alcohol was soothing the jittery nerves bouncing about inside Monica’s body.

 

The look on Monica's face told her all she needed to know. The sinking feeling in her stomach pushed against the prickly swelling of anxiety that heated the back of her neck and Dana threw some proverbial cards on the table.  She took her glass, sipping at the dark liquid, relishing in the warmth it was spreading through her throat and down into the butterflies in her stomach.  In afterthought she set it safely back on the table before stretching her arms and legs out a bit.  “Don’t mind at all.“  She lifted a hand and rubbed it across the back of her neck with a small sigh, “If I’m lucky it’ll help me get more than three or four hours sleep like I have been lately.”  Dana leant back into the cushions at an angle, enabling her to study Monica’s profile as she sipped at her wine. 

 

The dark haired woman arced a brow, turning her attention towards Dana from where she sat, she wasn’t sleeping?  “How long’s that been going on?”  She set her glass down and tried to shift to set her body in a better position to talk. 

 

Still rubbing at her neck Dana tipping her head into the gentle pressure, “Mmm… few weeks.”

 

Monica stared at her a moment, opened her mouth, closed it, opened it then looked away with a small shake of her head.  “I swear..” the words slipped out from under her breath before she turned and focused her much more determined gaze on the other woman.

 

Dana blinked at the other’s reaction, her skin suddenly feeling hot with the intensity she saw in Monica’s eyes. “What?”

 

Monica tipped her head to the side a bit, her expression holding a ‘don’t you ‘what’ me..’ temperament to it before she sighed internally.  "It’s a wonder you function at all sometimes Dana.”  Monica gripped the edge of the couch and leant forward as if to get up, which was immediately what Dana feared and started to say something until Monica beat her to it.  “Lie down.” 

 

Dana blinked, eyes widening a bit at the suggestion until Monica clarified “Turn over and lie down so I can rub your shoulders…  I did make a promise to you in the car ‘member.  " Monica balanced on the edge of the couch before twisting her torso and with the aid of the back of it slowly scooted herself more into the middle of it.  “And you defiantly need it… even if you don’t think you do.”   She looked back up then with a no-nonsense type of mask, even if on the inside her mind was screaming at her and the butterflies were doing dive bombs. 

 

"Uhm... okay," she said, not wanting to argue, thinking Monica had somehow become upset with her.  Great delivery Dana.  She sat forward and stretched her legs out along the length of the couch before realizing she was going to have to scoot herself down nearly nose to nose with Monica who had yet to let go of the couch back.  She can’t let go you idiot.. if she does she’ll fall off.    Dana swallowed and gripped the couch, pulling herself down and turning over, thanking the heavens Monica couldn’t see her face, easily feeling the blush from her neck creep up into it.

 

Shit… this is so not a good idea.  Now she’s mad at you –and- you’re… ugh.. Damn it how do you get yourself into these things Dana.  Scully thought to herself in a sudden panic. Monica shifted closer and instantly threw the other woman’s mind into silence, she was sitting so close that Dana could feel the heat emanating from her body.  What was more sobering however, was the fact that Monica’s hip was pressed against the side of her body, and with it the shelf of her thigh; both of which Dana knew Monica wasn’t even aware of. 

 

This is crazy… abso-fucking-lutly crazy Monica.  The brunette chided herself, and turned her focus on breathing normally and working on how she was going to do this.  You’re here to help her.. not hit on her.. not fondle her… Monica repeated the mantra and once Dana laid the side of her head on bent forearms she got to work. 

 

Monica’s hands wrapped around the sides of Dana’s neck as thumbs pressed into the tops of her shoulder blades before the firm press of her fingertips rolled backward.  Dana’s response was instant, her shoulders were relaxed but followed the movement of Monica’s hands as they rubbed backward, instantly feeling the tension there melting away.  With another shift in her body Monica continued, trying to stay focused on her task and not the thoughts of wanting to feel bare skin instead of cloth under her hands .  She let her palms and fingers rub all over the curves of  Dana's shoulders before working down the line of her back.   Honestly, for all she was trying to do, Dana’s top was impeding her progress, it was so much easier not to have to stop every now and again to straighten the fabric back down.

 

"How we doing? " Monica questioned, having not really heard more than a soft moan or a hitch in Dana’s breath in the past few moments.  Dana smiled lightly, feeling the knots in her stomach and the tightness in her chest increase.  "Better…”  her tone was hesitant and Monica picked up on it instantly.

 

“But?”  she pressed the pads of her thumbs along either side of Dana’s spine and worked her way up, pulling the woman’s sweater up with the motion. 

 

“Uhm… not to complain… but could you do it a bit harder?" Dana asked timidly.

 

Monica was again starting to pull Dana’s shirt back but stopped short with the request.  She held the hem of it in her grasp as her next though stirred itself around, "That’s a lot easier to do without this in the way.”  She tugged lightly on Dana’s shirt to emphasize her point and waited for what felt like an eternity.  Without a response she started to tug it back down, until Dana’s hand brushed over hers.  Looking up Monica saw that the redhead had lifted her head and reached back over her shoulder, fingers ‘walking’ between her shoulder blades in order to gather the fabric and pull it up.  When Monica let go of it she watched as Dana lifted up on her elbows, pulling her shirt over her head before lying it back down as it was before; sleeves bunched but still attached to her arms. 

 

Monica sat there for nearly a full minute trying to register what had just happened.  Hoh-kay… get a grip Mon… in and out in and out… just breathe.  You’re rubbing her back… she’s obviously in need of it there’s no implication or hidden agenda there.  Just… get moving!

 

Dana was doing everything humanly possible to keep her heart from breaking her ribs with its pounding and somehow managed to keep her breathing even and level.  The air on her back was suddenly very chilling but in a wonderfully refreshing way.  Monica’s hands on her back even through her sweater had sky rocketed her temperature as well as her arousal and it was something of a relief to have a few seconds to regroup.  Oh my god…. Oh my god… OH MY GOD….

 

 

“Harder huh…?”  Monica tried to remain neutral and with Dana’s small nod she smirked, “Alright…you asked for it…" she teased lightly while wrapping her hands around Dana’s skin harder and pressed her thumbs into her shoulders.

 

"Whhow-ooow!!" Dana groaned, arching back into Monica’s touch which stopped instantly.

 

"Oh… God Dana. I'm sorry…you ok? Was it too hard?" Monica started to apologize quickly and leaned closer, trying to gauge Dana’s state.

 

Dana saw the concern on Monica’s face and tried to bite back her grin, suddenly feeling very bad….well not that bad but… "No.. it’s wow.. it’s ok I was just kidding, it's fine."   Dana bit into her bottom lip then as her top one tucked itself inward as well.

 

"Oh you ass." Monica shot back with a smile of relief and amusement as both of them seemed to relax a bit more.  Dana had got her, that was for damn sure.  She let out a breath as she felt Dana snicker after she’d laid her head back down and with a temporary roughness she gripped Dana’s shoulders again and resumed.  Dana smiled to herself and turned her head so her forehead rested on her arms, making sure Monica couldn’t see her laugh-like expression.

 

After a few moments, Monica all but absorbed herself into the task, "You should really think about seeing a masseuse on a regular basis, you really have some knots up in here," she pushed her thumbs on the tightened muscles in-between Dana's shoulders feeling one such knot pop beneath the pressure.

 

"Oww..." came Dana’s quiet reply to the sensation.

 

"Sorry…" Monica apologized with a genuine concern and relaxed her touch to try and compensate.

 

"No it’s ok… It’s got to hurt before it gets better... " Dana pushed up into Monica’s touch, trying to convey that she needed the previous amount of pressure that the brunette quickly supplied.

 

“Just let me know okay… I really don’t want to hurt you.”  Monica’s voice drifted a bit, her hands were occupied with rubbing out a knot along Dana’s side while her gaze was burning the image of the pinkish forming scar just outside the edges of her touch. 

 

“You’re not going to hurt me… I promise.”  Dana’s reply echoed in the shelter of her arms where her forehead still rested.

 

I would never hurt you…  The words echoed in the brunette’s mind and she wanted more than anything to say them out loud. 

 

Monica let her hands start to roam over Dana’s bare shoulders and back, pushing here, brushing there. Making it seem more like an exploration than a massage, but Dana wasn't complaining.  Monica’ s touch slowly began to take control of her, and she felt herself melting helplessly.  She felt fingers slide up her back, her breath catching when they smoothed to the side brushing the compressed curves of her breasts; leaving her with the sense that Monica felt the skin there had been neglected from her touch.  Warm fingers slid back in and continued their way up working over Dana’s shoulders, and pushing at her shirt in order to get at her biceps as Monica seemingly caressed every square inch of her upper body.  The probing was all at once firm and delicate, making chills flow up and down her spine.  She felt the other glide her fingers up her neck and into her hair where nails razed across her scalp, gently pulling her auburn tresses as she drew them back out.  Monica repeated the motion again, and again, each time making Dana’s body come alive with an electrical energy, becoming highly aroused by the subtle touching and exploring.

 

The music of the stereo barely phased the edges of Monica’s hearing and after what seemed like endless moments of silence between them she leaned closer, "What are you thinking?" Keeping her voice to a whisper, as if speaking any louder would break something.

 

"Nothing," Dana replied just as softly into her arms. Monica gave a small, disappointed smile and withdrew her hands from Dana’s hair, sliding them down her back with fanned fingers.  When they reached the lowest curve of her exposed skin she bathed the redhead’s tattoo in her touch before pivoting her hands around and pressing her nails into the skin while pawing her way back up.

 

Dana’s response was instant, her back arcing into the touch as air filled her lungs in the form of a soft hiss which died away as soon as Monica’s hands relaxed and rounded over her shoulders once more just as Dana swore she felt the other woman’s breath wash over her skin.

 

Monica slid her hands along Dana’s shoulders and pushed at her shirt again to reach the sinewy curves of her biceps.  On her way back to her neck she brushed Dana’s hair aside for a moment and leaned down to place a soft kiss at the base of it. Dana's mouth opened and instantly her breath caught as she felt liquid fire spread from the pit of her stomach down to her groin.  Monica let her lips linger and close her eyes, filling her nose and lungs with a scent that was all Dana.  Her hair smelled like shampoo and some kind of strawberry cream, and her skin felt impossibly soft and supple beneath her lips.  Monica slowly let her mouth graze down Dana’s neck until she reached the point between her shoulder blades.   She pressed her lips against the woman’s skin again before lifting back to set a pair of gentle nips along the wings of Dana’s shoulder blades. She felt movement beneath her and when she moved to sit back Dana pulled herself up to sit and then turned around to face her. Monica’s chest rose and fell noticeably as she looked at Dana, who was having her own troubles breathing.   Her face was flushed and her shirt clung precariously to her arms and chest while the dark look in her eyes nearly made Monica’s heart stop.

 

Dana fluttered her eyelids slightly, looking as though she wanted to say something, but couldn't.   

Instead she swallowed nervously with Monica’s eyes riveted to her own, smoldering just as dark and exposing a glimpse of the feelings Dana had experienced earlier.  All at once she felt another rush of arousal settling around her hips as she reached up and quickly pulled Monica’s face toward hers. 

 

Their lips met with a heady fervor this time, escalating their desire.  Monica felt like her mouth was on fire as Dana’s tongue darted out and sought entrance ever so subtly. Her lips yielded under Dana’s and she opened them further, surprising herself as she groaned quietly and deepened the kiss even more. Dana fought to control the little moan that danced in the back of her throat as she dragged her tongue along Monica’s teeth and swirled it around her velvety tongue, dueling gently with her.

 

There was a sudden shift in the cushions before Monica unexpectedly reached down and grabbed Dana's hips, making the woman gasp slightly as Monica pulled her in closer;  so close that Dana had to slide her legs up over Monica’s thighs so she could scoot fully into her lap.  Without breaking their kiss, Monica gripped the cushions of the couch and pulled the both of them deeper into the furniture so she wasn’t slouching before she slid her hands around to grasp the full curves at the top of Dana’s thighs.  Dana answered with a sharp intake and a biting nip to Monica’s bottom lip before hands slid further up and over Dana’s lower back, who was now pushing her hips and body flush against Monica’s.   The onslaught of Dana’s movements was close to unforgiving as Monica arced the lithe plane of her torso as much as she could into the drive of Dana’s hips.

 

With an unspoken promise not to pull away Monica eased her hold on the smaller woman in order to sear a trail up her bare back and over her shoulders again before curling her fingers around Dana’s shirt and pulling.  She felt Dana’s arms straighten, pulling away so that her hands could curl around the back of the couch on either side of Monica’s head.  Nails and fingers alike grazed Dana’s skin, easily stripping her of the garment and letting it fall somewhere to the floor.   Their arms wound themselves around each other, fingers threading into hair as lips tugged and nipped hungrily at each other with escalating excitement.

 

Dana's stomach churned as she felt her groin begin to contract and throb impatiently within the laced confines of her pants... a few more grinding movements against Monica and she was going to completely lose it.  Monica seemed to sense Dana's lust, and she leaned back against the couch even more, pulling Dana back with her and holding her firmly around the waist.  A primal groan emptied itself into Dana’s mouth as Monica’s hands slid around the curve of her undulating hips into the juncture of her thighs while fingers kneaded her skin and thumbs massaged over the woman’s womb so that the redhead could move herself against Monica's body more easily.  Dana's conscious mind vaguely realized what was happening, but only a small part of her brain could rationally say "no, no - I can't do this"; the majority was too busy screaming for sexual release.  Monica began to mercilessly devour the woman now, seemingly intent on driving her over the edge, and Dana was helpless to stop herself from falling.  Monica grasped Dana's hips and tugged at them, encouraging her to grind herself even harder against her torso as she arched up again to press against Dana's heat.  There was a fuzzy haze settling between her legs that Monica instantly identified as arousal, an arousal she couldn’t hardly even feel.  Instead of allowing that to break her spirit, Monica channeled the energy, coupled with her rising feelings, into what she was doing. 

 

Strong hands bit into Dana’s hips as Monica kissed and suckled Dana's lower lip submissively, causing her breathing to become more labored as her climax neared.  There was desperation in Dana’s movements, a desperation that ended when Monica slid one hand further inward to press against Dana's lacings, letting her fingertips palpate the redhead’s burning hot center through the fabric of her scrubs.  Monica thought her heart was going to explode as she felt Dana's mouth open against her own and gasp for breath.  Dana's eyes squeezed shut and she dug her nails into Monica's upper arms as she let out a barely audible 'oh god' groan.  Her face pressed against Monica’s as her body pulsed into rigidity with the waves of a totally unexpected orgasm and Monica nearly fainted just from the sound and feel of Dana's climax.  Arms immediately wrapped themselves around the smaller woman’s panting body hugging her close so that, in a very selfish turn, she might feel every shock and ripple as it coursed through Dana’s frame and into her. 

 

Dana's face came to rest in the crook of Monica's neck as she desperately tried to regain her senses, feeling so safe within the secure wrap of Monica’s arms hugging her tightly as she felt the matching thumps of their racing heartbeats.  Monica turned her face and pushed her nose in to find Dana's cheek, raining kisses over her skin in a trail down to her neck before pressing her lips firmly against the beating pulse point she found; holding them there in a secure kiss. 

 

Dana's mind screamed to her, Oh god… oh my god… oh my god!.  Had she really just gotten off by grinding herself like an animal against Monica...?! Oh fuck.. oh shit… she groaned to herself and another tremor of aftermath raced through her. Oh my god….please… just let me wake up… let it just be a new dream I get to have over and over and not tell anyone about… she prayed inwardly, but the feel of Monica's lips on her neck confirmed her fears.  It was all very, very real.  Dana suddenly pushed herself up with her arms, sitting astride Monica and staring disbelievingly at her with a passion flushed face. 

 

Monica straightened back a bit with Dana’s suddenly withdraw, eyes racing over every inch of her face and eyes for some sort of sign.  Tentative fingers traced up along Dana’s back, causing the suddenly very quiet woman to tremble.   Dana stared hard at the woman whose lap she occupied, lips breaking apart as if to speak, but her voice refused to cooperate. Monica's fingers found her face, thumb brushing over the bottom swell of Dana’s mouth to try and coax something, anything from her as her brow crinkled worriedly.

 

"I,”  her voice broke and she swallowed hard, retreating from the warm touch at her lips as Monica arched  her brows in question.

 

"I'm... sorry, I...," Dana tried to continue, leaning back even further.  "...I, I didn't mean to..." Dana stammered suddenly feeling very exposed; lack of shirt not withstanding. 

 

Monica swallowed cautiously, letting her hand curl around Dana’s arm before sliding it down towards her wrist so that she might rub at the sensitive inner plane of it.  “Didn’t mean to what Dana?” she asked with a ghost of a smile trying to comfort the woman in her lap. 

 

Dana's face darkened to an even redder hue as she brought the hand Monica held up to cover her face, "Oh my god... " she whispered, and abruptly jumped off Monica's lap. 

 

Monica sat up quickly, surprised at Dana's profound embarrassment and rapid departure.  "Dana... wait!" she said, shoving herself forward quick enough to snag the woman’s wrist before she had a chance to get away.  She further hindered her escape by adding her other hand to the grasp and tug on Dana’s stretched limb. There was nothing but silence and Dana refused to turn and look at her, or give her some extra slack.  "Dana...?" Monica asked, and with no further response she took the initiative and fastened her hold before throwing her weight back into the couch. 

 

Dana let out a gasp at suddenly being thrown off balance and barely caught herself as she fell.  When she looked up she was mere breaths away from Monica’s face again and her look was one akin to an animal caught in a spotlight.  Monica reached up, fingertips brushing the side of Dana’s face in an attempt to calm her, "What's wrong?"

 

Dana closed her eyes, feeling a lump forming in her throat, "I feel so… so…. embarrassed... ," she said, letting her head fall forward enough to bring their foreheads together. 

 

Monica smiled gently with a quiet relief before letting out a shaky breath, eyes half-lidding as she nuzzled the dampened forehead against her own, "Why? ...I'm don’t." she said simply before recoiling from Dana’s sudden jolt when the woman picked her head up, looking back at Monica in amazement.   "What…we’re alone…in your apartment…and William’s fast asleep.”  She said, watching the woman in front of her intently.

 

"I know… but I...," Dana began, "...I... “ she swallowed hard, her grip on the couch tightening with her continuing statement “you didn't... did you?" she asked suddenly afraid Monica was going to close herself off to her again. 

 

Monica arced a high brow, biting down on the anger and sadness that threatened to rise before shaking her head lightly.  "No, I didn't.”  She swallowed and quickly pulled in a breath that left her just as fast.  ” That doesn't matter,"  Monica said all too casually, causing Dana to frown at her.

 

"Yes, it does - it matters to me," she said seriously. Monica smiled reassuringly at her, feeling tears threatening to rise "It's no big deal.  I'm just happy to please you... that matters."  Dana's eyes widened as she saw the look of total sincerity and affection on Monica's face mingle with the sadness and frustration Dana knew was boiling under the surface. 

 

Monica felt fear grip her, she really didn’t want to get into the conversation she felt brimming on Dana’s tongue. "What?" she asked softly.

 

Dana tipped her head back enough to fully regard the other woman before her, her resolve steeling itself as she threw Monica’s own look of ‘don’t you what me’ from earlier right back at her.  "No one has ever cared enough about me to put me first... to put my wants and needs first... but this…Monica" Her voice had all at once started out as commanding, almost said through clenched teeth only to finish with such a heartfelt unbelievabilitly that it had Monica's eyes on the edge of tears.

 

"Please…” came the soft plea from Monica’s lips, “I care enough about you, Dana," Monica whispered as she gently traced Dana's lips with her fingertips.  “But please.. don’t.” Monica blinked, trying to halt the tears, before letting her head fall back on to the rim of the couch where they spilled over anyway. 

 

Dana shifted as she watched Monica fight her, her knees dipped the cushions as she slid herself back around Monica’s lap.  She swallowed and pushed herself up onto her knees, pressing her body flush against Monica’s own once again, only this time, were Monica to lift her head she would be face to face with Dana’s breasts.  Instead Monica kept her head back, eyes turned aside as they continued to spill tears across her temples.

 

“Were you even going to let me try…” came the ever so tender tones from Dana’s lips.  Her fingertips fell onto Monica’s face, sliding up into the line of her hair as lips dropped a soft kiss to Monica’s trembling chin.  “To even give me a chance…?  She slowly tipped Monica’s head back farther, brushing her lips across the column of her throat. “Don’t trust me?”

 

Monica closed her eyes then, lifting a hand to press the heel of it into her eyes “I trust you with my life…” The woman’s voice was broken as she was trying so hard not to cry but Dana was swiftly bringing down her walls.

 

“You trust me with your life..” came a breathless response from Dana as she kissed her way back up Monica’s neck, “but when it comes to your body…”  she let the weight of her words linger, straightening up to look back down at Monica once again.  The woman’s hand was covering her eyes and with a gentle touch, Dana drew the limb away, resettling the hand over her own heart.  “Make me understand Monica…please…”

 

“I can’t…” she started, her chest caving with a sob, “I can’t be what you want… what you deserve..”  She tried in vain to pull her hand back and when Dana wouldn’t release her wrist she dug her fingers into the bare skin of the other woman’s chest.  What Dana didn’t realize was that she was asking something of Monica that was almost next to impossible for her to give.  Not just because what the bullet to her spine had done, but because of her connection with Mulder.   Monica had learned a while ago that any true feelings she might have for Dana she would have to channel into some other form.  Which she had done over and over.  When John brought her here to find Mulder she poured every ounce of herself into the task all because of what he meant to Dana, to her life, her happiness.  “I’m not…” she shook her head, finally opening her eyes as tears fell from them all over again.. “I’m just not..” she sniffled and let out a shuddering exhale.

 

As Dana watched the woman beneath her she knew there was something she wasn’t saying, something more she wouldn’t dare to speak of.  With a hard swallow, Dana pulled in a slow breath, tightening her grip on Monica’s wrist at her chest “You are…Monica…” she pulled the other woman’s hand away, lifting it to her mouth “to me you are..”

 

“God… I want…”  Monica stammered, closing her eyes again with a small shake as she swallowed the lump in her throat.  “You want what?”  Dana’s voice seared the edge of her ear and made her heart jump with the sudden nearness.  She swallowed hard and kept her eyes closed “I dunno…things that aren’t mine…things I can’t have…”  

 

“Sit up.”  The whisper of Dana’s voice was gone, though her tone was still gentle, it held a commanding edge to it.  One that Monica initially felt like defying until the flex of Dana’s fingers on her wrist prompted her into compliance.  She picked her head up first, then sat forward and straighter as she felt Dana lean back and away from her.  Another shudder of a breath escaped her mouth when Dana let go of her and the pit of her stomach churned with a knot of instant rejection, she’s never going to talk to you again…nice going Monica. 

 

To her surprise she felt the scratch of Dana’s nails on her waist, gripping her shirt before tugging it up and over her head; out of sheer reflex Monica’s eyes shot open and her hands fastened to her own sleeves, preventing Dana from taking it off. “no…please… Dana.”

 

Dana brought fingers to Monica’s lips, stilling her words as her pale eyes leveled on the other woman’s.  “Monica… you’re beautiful... ” the words and compliment disarmed the brunette almost instantly. “…a scar, a wound.. nothing is going to change that for me. ”  She let her fingers drift away, letting them coil back around the other woman’s shirt.  “but if you really, honestly want me to stop.. right now… I will.”

 

It has to hurt… before it can get better…  Dana’s earlier words echoed in her mind and after a long stare she let her fingers relax so that Dana might pull the garment off her, bunch it up and drop it to the floor with her own shirt.    Monica’s skin was almost golden next to the black satin of her bra, her breasts hung round and full, the underwire of the garment allowing for a provocative amount of cleavage.  Already the muscle development in the woman’s shoulders and arms due to her chair and therapy was showing; it was a strength Dana had felt moments earlier.  The memory of Monica’s hands wrapped around her hips as she ground herself against her came flooding back, strengthening an arousal that had yet to fade completely away. 

 

Monica remained absolutely still, even her breathing seemed strained as goose bumps rose all over her skin not from the air of her exposure, but at Dana looking, no.. admiring her body.  She felt warm fingers run over her shoulders and fall down her front, skimming over her newly revealed skin with a gentle exploration.  When Dana’s hands ran over the curves of her breasts her breath stammered, forcing a small quirk to the redhead’s mouth who never looked up from her hands.  Their tips grazed the intimate lines of Monica’s bra before continuing their downward journey.  She felt them over the flat of her abdomen, skittering over the muscles there before easing to a halt just above olive skin marked with a furrow of still forming scar tissue, light against her pale skin, from the bullet wound.  Monica watched Dana’s face, her own breathing having died to almost nothing as she waited. 

 

Dana let her fingers still, centimeters above the marring of Monica’s stomach for a long moment before letting them slide to the sides of her body in order to remain un-obstructive.  With a swallow Dana shifted, scooting her body back even further before gingerly setting her weight on top of Monica’s thighs.  Pale eyes studied the markings, following the invisible path all the way to her own far side, where the same bullet had struck and gone through her. 

 

With a slow motion Dana slid back and off the couch, forcing her body between Monica’s legs as her hands pressed around to the lower curve of the other woman’s back, her left hand brushing over the smoothed tissue where the bullet had originally entered the brunette.  She rubbed her hands higher, fitting her fingers in-between the cage of Monica’s ribs before kneading the tension she found there.

 

Monica was made breathless by the display, Dana’s actions catching her completely off guard, their tenderness and compassion.  It made her doubt every feeling she had had to the negative of Dana Scully ever loving her.  She saw her legs split apart, lifeless thighs cradling Dana’s naked torso as the redhead supported herself on the floor by her knees and when her hands kneaded at her back Monica stole one of many deep breaths to come.  She set her hands on either side of her on the couch, fingers unconsciously kneading the cushions as she continued to watch, focusing her energy on trying to amplify Dana’s touch.

 

Dana’s fingers wormed their way beneath the wrap of Monica’s bra, nimble fingers unhooking the clasp before circling around underneath the woman’s arms, breaking the contact of her skin and the midnight fabric.  Her thumbs were the first to feel the ample curve of Monica’s breasts as skimming fingers followed close allowing her hands to slip underneath one cup and then the other leaving palms alone to brush over taut nipples before sliding her bra off completely. 

 

Monica helped where she could, and instead of returning to the couch cushions her hands filtered through Dana’s hair, nails raking over the soft skin of her scalp.  She wanted this so much, wanted to feel every little thing that went on but in her state, that might never happen.  Ever.  At that moment, Monica decided that even if she only felt an ounce of anything, it was worth it.

 

When Dana’s mouth brushed against the edge of scar tissue webbing Monica’s stomach she had to bite back a grin when the plane involuntarily jumped away from her.  She followed it, nipping and kissing the expanse of scarred skin gingerly and the closer she got to the hem of Monica’s pants, the more intoxicating her scent became.  “Do you even know how aroused you are…”  Dana’s voice came in a low purr and she instantly heard the hitch in Monica’s breath when she nosed what should’ve been a completely raw nerve through the fabric of her pants. 

 

Above Dana’s head, Monica closed her eyes, pulling her lower lip between her teeth as hands tightened within the woman’s hair.  She could feel the slight drumming of Dana’s fingers on the skin of her side just above her waistband where the redhead's right hand had come to rest.  Her imagination supplied the feeling of  her other hand splayed on her thigh.  After a shuddering breath she dared a look down, the line of her jaw working as she watched  Dana openly nip at her through the slacks.  Monica wasn't sure if she could actually feel the slight scrapes of Dana's teeth or if she merely wanted so badly to feel them that her imagination was filling in the gaps.

 

"How can you be hungry now?" Monica teased lightly, fingers brushing over the back of Dana’s neck, her voice purposefully light.  Dana rested her head on Monica’s thigh before picking her head up.  She could see the truth in Monica’s eyes, belying her nonchalant tone.  She moved an arm beneath Monica’s  knees and instantly the brunette stiffened, hardly suppressing the gasp that leapt to her throat as hands fell to Dana’s shoulders.  "I’m not going to make love to you on the edge of the couch Monica" the redhead’s tone was as strong as the look in her eyes that she pinned the other woman with. 

 

Monica swallowed hard, as pure arousal at Dana’s feral look twisted in the pit of her stomach. “Where?”  was her breathless reply, forcing a soft grin onto Dana’s mouth.  “Floor.. or bed.”   Monica’s head was swimming with the ideas pouring into her brain, images of what might happen, what was going to happen crackling through her mind’s eye at a dizzying speed.  It made the flush on her bare chest creep upward into her neck as her breathing became a soft panting. “Bed…”  As much appeal as the floor had, either way she would want to end up surrounded in sheets and pillows instead of complaining about carpet burns tomorrow.

 

With a little aid on Dana’s behalf Monica pulled herself back into the cage that was her wheelchair. The seat along her bare skin and the metal beneath her hands was colder than she had imagined, threatening to siphon the thrill and mood of the moment from her.  Dana knew she would have to tread very carefully here, to make any wrong move at such a fragile crossroad could shut Monica down all over again.  However, with the look she saw crossing Monica’s features as she started to pull herself from the living room Dana caught the other woman by the arm. 

 

When Monica turned she was instantly surprised with  the taste and warmth of Dana’s mouth on her own again.  She didn’t bother suppressing the groan that escaped her chest, nor stop the thread of her fingers into Dana’s hair in order to hold her in place.  They ravaged each other to the point of breathlessness before Dana broke away soundly, the panting reverberation of her voice tickling Monica’s neck and ear “Don’t think Monica… just feel.” And like a ghost Dana was gone from her.

 

Just feel….Dana if only you knew what I feel… Monica’s hands shook, mirroring the hum her body had taken on.  Her skin burned where Dana had touched her and her lips felt red and swollen.  With a newly rekindled resolve Monica gripped the wheels of her chair and started for the bedroom.

 

Dana stood shirtless in the kitchen, her hands white from gripping the counter edge.  It had taken every ounce of will power she didn’t even know she had to pull herself away from Monica and ‘disappear’ and when she heard the sound of her own bedroom door opening she knew she’d pushed in the right direction.

Presently her mind was a jumble of thoughts, emotions, fears, anxieties, and worries.  All her thoughts ran together, cramming her head full of questions and answers... What am I doing… why… we hardly….No.  This is wrong… so very very wrong….isn’t it?  She swallowed hard, pushing herself away from the counter, she wasn’t sure of her reasons, her feelings, everything welling up inside her.  She had feelings, she had needs, she had wants… she had everything she had wanted… before now, before Mulder left.  Everything was complete, everything was right….. wasn’t it?   She asked herself over and over, her attention turning towards the opened door of her bedroom.  Why can’t you just care about another person without it mattering Dana…why can’t you consider the possibility outside of Mulder?  Someone who is good for you… someone who is good to you…

 

Monica sat on the edge of the bed, fingers knotting themselves together as her mind ran away with itself.  The silence surrounding her deafening as her nerve about all of this began to wane.  Monica Juliet Reyes… what the hell  are you doing?    It’s one thing to indulge in a fantasy… but … are you so weak and starving for some kind of connection that you’d…..? Love has made you its idiot….and it’s going  to burn you… How do you expect this to be any different than before?  Monica bit her lip, closing her eyes, willing the negativity inside her away, It’ll change Monica… it’ll fall apart and you’ll be right back to where you start- 

 

The click of the door shutting pulled the dark haired woman from her thoughts and as she looked up she saw Dana with her back pressed against the door, her whole weight held up against it.  There was that barrier  between them again, like the invisible force of same-sided magnets… pressing them apart.  From out of nowhere she heard Dana’s voice echo just feel.. her arm lifted and stretched, hand open with her palm to the ceiling… waiting.  In that moment all of her rampaging thoughts halted, the concerns and fears along with them, it no longer mattered to her what became of tonight they could analyze and face it later;  what mattered was the two of them here together now.

 

Dana felt her jaw clench before she pushed herself forward from the door, slowly walking towards Monica and her outstretched hand which she didn’t reach for.  Instead she came close enough to let Monica’s fingertips trace over her bare abdomen and when she stepped closer the warmth of the other woman’s hand flattened over the soft plane.  “so beautiful…”  the sound of Monica’s voice wove itself up into her ears as her skin rose with goose bumps while Monica’s fingers traced the underline of her breasts. 

 

While Dana’s hands raised from her sides Monica let her fingertips dance their way down the other woman’s abdomen.  Fingertips dipped into the curves the base of the redhead’s ribcage made before skimming inward towards her belly button where she allowed the pad of her thumb to invade the shallow crevice; sending a shudder through Dana’s body.  Without a glance up Monica let her hands glide back around Dana’s sides, the base of her ribs fitting around the curve of Monica’s hands before she pulled the woman closer to her.  The movement forced her own legs apart with the weight of Dana’s body as it came to press into the edge of the mattress between her thighs.

 

Dana felt the strength of Monica’s hands knead their way around to her back once more as the warmth of her breath washed over Dana’s already overly sensitive skin and the shock of pleasure that came from the touch of Monica’s mouth on her belly nearly floored her.  She felt her fingers in Monica’s hair before the thought to do so reached her brain, kneading and pulling at the dark strands, urging the woman to continue.  Her stomach jumped, muscles twisting in pleasure from the slick warmth of Monica’s tongue as it followed each and every contour of her abdomen in an upward trail.  Nails pressed into her back as arms tightened around Dana’s sides with the intention of hugging her closer and when Monica’s teeth grazed the curve of her breast all the woman could do was moan. Monica had taken all of her control away and was quickly pushing her limits again when Dana’s own intention had been to have the situations reversed.

 

Monica arched her body up and forward, as the intoxication of skin on skin rippled through her body.  Dana’s moan urged her on, hands raking their way up the smaller woman’s back until she felt the woman’s head lull backward, enabling her fingers to tangle into her hair again.  Her own was a mess in Dana’s hands, tangled and tousled about it draped her shoulders as she felt the other woman’s hands press into her back and rub their way down.  Her mouth was unrelenting in its assault, teasing, nipping, biting and caressing every inch of fair skin of Dana’s chest that she could find.  Every curve, every dip, every scar and every freckle, nothing went untouched especially the place just over Dana’s heart.  That was the most arousing place to her on anyone’s body, the simple patch of skin that thundered with such force from their heart underneath, a heart that she made run wild.   Her teeth dug into the spot, forcing Dana’s breath to catch and a whimper to die in her throat as the pressure eased; the newly made welt now the subject of tender kisses and licks.

 

“I feel like I’m falling…” the hum of Dana’s voice echoed up from her chest, forcing a grin to Monica’s face as she dipped her head down, nuzzling the valley between Dana’s breasts with her forehead momentarily. “Maybe you are..” whispered its way over Dana’s skin as Monica’s fingers released her hair and skimmed back down the plane of her back while Monica’s mouth savored the taste of her stomach again, venturing lower and lower until the band of the woman’s pants barred her way.  Scully couldn't believe it was happening...  a  strange, sensual, erotic happening... it felt natural... perfectly normal.

 

The tugging of the lacing on her pants was in and of itself a tease, but nowhere near the tease that presented itself when Monica’s mouth grazed hot over her skin and pulled at the waistband of her panties.  The snap of thin elastic against her skin made her jump and instantly affix Monica with a look of astonishment.  Dana was too lost to do anything, Monica had reduced her to a bundle of raw nerves all over again with little to no hope of regaining any sort of control.  The only reason she suspected Monica wasn’t as delirious was due in part to her injury.

 

Dana had very little time to dwell on that idea as she felt Monica’s hands slide underneath the waist of her pants across her bottom, letting her fingers dance across the cotton encased curves as her mouth rained kisses over her belly once more. Then all at once Monica suddenly removed her hands with a rake of nails over her skin and placed them low on Dana’s waist, "Turn around," she commanded in a low whisper. Forcing Dana to look down at her again with wide eyes, fingers flexed their hesitation along Monica’s shoulders before she obeyed silently; mind suddenly jumpstarted into a million thoughts a second with what Monica was going to do.

 

Monica pulled her hands from Dana’s waist, gripping the mattress enough to push herself back a little more.  When she looked up she again saw the circle tattoo coiling about Dana’s lower back.  Lips pressed to the colored skin before hands reached back up and pulled Dana back with a startled gasp until the mattress forced her to sit in-between her legs and lean back against Monica’s chest and shoulder.  She curled her fingers around Dana’s hair, draping it over one shoulder as she placed kisses holding silent promises onto her skin.   Almost immediately she felt Dana squirm, her body pressing back against Monica’s own while she let her hands roam over Dana’s body.  Committing her body to Monica’s sensory memory from the tops of her shoulders and arms, over the curves of her full breasts to the flat plane of her abdomen.

 

Monica’s lips supplied the gentle nips and kisses along Dana’s jaw and neck while hands painted invisible trails over the redhead’s stomach, dragging her nails back and forth across the smooth contours until Dana was left with her head lulled back against Monica’s shoulder.  Monica folded the edges of Dana’s fly apart  before drumming the fingers of her right hand across the cottony surface of the woman’s underwear, forcing another moan to break from Dana’s lips and her body arc with the waves of arousal jolting through her. 

 

Dana was going to explode, over and over her mind switched between that and ohmygodohmygod! She pressed her body back into Monica’s own as one hand fastened to the other woman’s unfeeling thigh. Her left hand bent up, fingers wrapping around the back of Monica’s neck, kneading the tension she felt there and with her head resting on Monica’s shoulder she tried to set her own heart to the fierce beating of Monica’s as it echoed from her neck into Dana’s ear. 

 

Monica pushed her fingers further down over Dana's soft mound, letting her long middle finger glide along the fleshy valley that hid beneath the now-saturated cotton while her other hand slid up the length of Dana’s body, coming to rest around the column of her throat.  Long fingers conformed and grasped her gently underneath her jaw, but made sure not to apply any pressure. Dana's eyes fluttered open, an immediate sense of panic seizing her and in reflex she dug her nails hard into Monica’s thigh until she felt the tender stroke of Monica’s thumb against her pulse point as if reading her mind.  Her panic was now a mix with arousal and bemusement; she had been seduced and stimulated into a writhing frenzy but Monica’s hand was still at her throat...  She had lost control of the situation completely, yet deep down, she knew Monica was hardly going to hurt her and that if she truly wanted to, Dana could pick her head up without a problem.  In a split second her body made the decision for her with the gentle press of Monica’s fingers all Dana could manage was to lift her hips upward, pressing herself against the heel of Monica’s hand.

 

Monica felt Dana stiffen, and the faint recognition of pressure at her own thigh from her action.  Her movements had slowed, not wanting Dana to bolt from her lap.  She placed a kiss to her ear, and mentally repeated that everything was ok, hoping somewhere Dana would hear her; only to find her answer with the push of Dana’s hips.  She held Dana's head still with the gentle hold of her hand while her mouth ravaged her jaw and face with kisses.  Monica slid her other hand back up, hooking her thumb beneath the thin elastic waistband before curling her fingers beneath its line, snaking them through the softy kinky hair she found.  She felt Dana’s shoulders press hard into her body as her chest rose with the sudden breath locked away in her lungs.  Monica felt each tremor of Dana’s body as it jolted from one woman into the other, the haze over her own hips was growing stronger, heavier and thicker, as if someone were pouring warm honey over her.  Monica caught Dana’s ear, teeth nipping at the lobe as two of her fingers pressed into the hot, wet crevice of Dana's center.

 

Dana let out a heady groan with the breath she had held as her hips bucked up against Monica's hand, her mind reeling with more arousal than panic.  Monica breathed heavily against Dana as she felt the spasms racing through Dana’s body as she pumped against her. “More…” the redhead’s voice was a pleading moan, the near desperation of it made physical by the press of her fingers into the back of Monica’s neck and the stretch of her body.  Monica graciously complied, adding a third and to her surprise a fourth finger to the continuous motion of her hand in and out of Dana's slick, slippery valley as the heel of her hand pressed hard into the little knot of nerve endings just above.   She let her fingers delve deep so that they plunged hard into her tight opening only to slide them back out with a purposeful slowness that left Dana whimpering.  Monica could feel the pounding of Dana's pulse underneath her other hand and against her body, wherever the other woman touched her while hips jerked harder against the onslaught.  Suddenly, Dana's hands tore from her body and snapped down around Monica’s arm, clutching the limb hard as she forced her back to arc inwards towards Monica instead of up and away from her.  Dana’s mouth opened, gasping with an incoherent despondency as her body exploded with the force of an immense orgasm.

 

Monica could feel Dana's body go limp on top of her as the convulsions subsided.  She was more frustrated than she had ever been in her life but the feel of Dana hot against the parts of her she could feel, the way her body shuddered in aftermath, how her heart pounded and breath came in pants managed to keep the negativity of her own dilemma away.  She waited until Dana’s hands relaxed around her forearm before gingerly withdrawing her hand from Dana’s pants and smoothed the hold on her neck down to the flat of her chest.  She wrapped the redhead up into her arms then, hugging her to her body as she had before in the living room, trying desperately to feel everything through the other woman.  She felt the burn of tears and tipped her head down, burying her nose and features into the dampened strands of Dana’s hair; waiting patiently for her to come back from wherever Monica had sent her… and hoping to regain control of her own self.

 

A solid 9 minutes passed before Dana could even begin to speak again, her voice reduced to a sex induced grovel.  “You did that on purpose…”  She felt the laugh from Monica in the form of cool air rushing over the back of her neck, sending a chill through her.  Her own smile pushed the edges of her mouth as her arms overlapped Monica’s own.  “Don’t deny it…”  Pulling words from their conversation in the car Dana couldn’t help but let a soft rumble of a laugh escape her with Monica’s reply. “I’m not denying anything… ”  She felt languid, fulfilled and sated… well almost.  She knew Monica had done that for her because she had wanted to, as selfless as she seemed, Dana couldn’t help but wonder if Monica was always like that when she slept with someone, or if it was something that had just recently developed.  Quit thinking….  She closed her eyes again and concentrated on the woman behind her.  The way her heart beat, steady and strong with a slight elevation.  How she breathed, controlled and seemingly at ease, each intake pressing the curves of her chest into Dana’s back.  This certainly would not do. 

 

Monica sat with her features still lost in Dana’s hair, lips pressing into the slats of skin that peeked behind silken auburn strands, it was going to take her forever to get the smell of Dana’s hair out of her nose.  With a deep breath she tightened her arms around the smaller frame, relishing in how the other woman fit into her lap.  With a heavy swallow she picked her head up, smirking lightly at the disheveled state of Dana’s remaining clothes.  Teeth bit off-center into her bottom lip at the deliciousness of it all.   Dana’s body rested firmly between her legs, the woman’s pants still folded open and the line of her panties was askew.  Her eyes danced with the instant recollection of Dana writhing beneath her hand as Monica opened herself up and felt her come,  knowing that it was all her own doing that Dana was climaxing, and then feeling it... it was an indescribable sensation; and maybe now and for the rest of her life, it was the best part of sex to Monica.  Her smile fell a bit, as she wondered if Dana.. or anyone else for that matter, could ever understand that.  Before now this had all been a fantasy to her, something she could dream about but never really have….and now she couldn’t even be sure if she would be able to give herself over to Dana in the same way.

 

Monica felt Dana move in her grasp and eased her hold enough to allow the woman to do so.  They met eye to eye with the twisting of Dana’s torso and just stayed like that for a minute.  Monica wasn’t sure what to do, lie back and pull Dana with her to sleep, get dressed and head back into the living room to sleep on the couch, call someone to come get her… Dana made the decision for her when she caught Monica’s bottom lip and tugged on it gently, fingertips drumming along the line of her jaw as she began to slide out from the brunette’s lap.   Her mouth released, Monica felt her body being shifted as Dana’s fingers curled around the waist of her pants and without word began to pull them down.  “Dana…?”  Blue eyes flickered up and Monica’s protest fell silent.  Curling her hands back behind her into the mattress she pulled, dragging her body backward into the middle of the bed and subsequently aiding in the removal of her clothing.

 

Dana left the pants along with her own to the floor, coming to stand at the end of the bed as Monica pulled herself away from her into the middle of it.  She couldn’t help but smirk at the sight before her; Monica Reyes lain out rather close to naked on her bed.  Course the mesh of black underwear that wrapped around the brunette’s hips like a pair of shorts didn’t really leave much to the imagination. 

 

“What?”  Monica’s question stirred Dana from whatever thoughts she was having, but if she didn’t say something she was going to lose it; it was one of those moments where Monica could only stand to be stared at for so long and being stared at by a ‘just fucked’ looking Dana Scully was grating on her raw nerves.  She watched the redhead shake her head without a reply before trying not to make the sudden gasp of air into her lungs seem noticeable at her next move.  The mattress dipped with the smaller woman’s weight; supported on hands and knees she crawled her way up Monica’s body, keeping herself low enough so that the length of her hair kissed its way along the prone woman’s skin until they were facing each other once more.  

 

With a hard swallow Monica tried to relax back onto the pillows beneath her, mouth suddenly very dry.  “Hi…”

 

Dana’s mouth twisted into an amused smirk, with an underlying predatory nature to it.  She bent down then, teasing Monica’s face with the ends of her hair and the brush of her lips across her face until she spilled her own greeting into Monica’s mouth in the form of a moan with her kiss.     Her body arched enough to enable her to balance her weight on her knees, allowing her hands to roam over Monica’s body freely.  Fingers drifted all over Monica’s body, taking their sweet time to explore her torso with an absolute thoroughness as her mouth refused to break it’s contact with Monica’s own.  Her lips tugged and pulled, teeth reddening the tender swells before she invaded the searing warmth of Monica’s mouth with her tongue, darting the evasive muscle in and out at a teasing pace.

 

Monica’s body responded freely, hands coming to rest at Dana’s hips, kneading and flexing with her arousal while her body arched and twisted, trying to retain the intermittent contact of Dana’s fingers along her torso.  Her breath escalated into strained pants as a throaty moan poured itself into the other woman’s mouth with the onslaught of her tongue.

 

In the meantime one of Dana’s knees had pressed and parted Monica’s legs while she let one of her hands skitter down to the curve between Monica’s legs, allowing her fingertips to brush over the warm valley underneath the mesh of her panties; paying careful attention to the woman’s reaction which was minimal at best.  She bit into Monica’s bottom lip again, tugging gently at the swell as her hand moulded itself to the woman’s most intimate curve, rocking the heel of it over the lip of Monica’s pubic bone.  She felt the hitch in Monica’s breath and a slight stiffening of her body, causing her to pull her mouth away and open her eyes. “Can you feel me?”  her voice no more than a hushed whisper.

 

Monica had been so focused on Dana’s mouth when she felt a muted jolt from the haze of her groin reach her awareness everything had stopped.  Her body constricted with a light panic and eyes fluttered open to level with the near violet tones of Dana’s eyes above her.  Whispered words washed over her skin and she tried to will the rising tears in her eyes away.  “N..not as much as I’d like…”  She closed her eyes to the tender rain of kisses on her face, her breathing shuddering with the sadness that threatened to grip her.  She felt the heel of Dana’s hand sneak up her body, from a sensation next to nothing that grew to complete pressure awareness and instantly became warm and real again.  She felt it press into the hollow between her breasts before lifting up, Dana’s thumb caressed over her mouth before lifting away, “Deep breath…”  The words were warm at her ear and when she obeyed her sense of smell was filled with an intermingling of sweat and sex made vapor.  “You’re wet Monica… very wet…”

 

Dana watched Monica’s features carefully, she was on the brink of shutting down again and Dana hoped her little intuitive experiment would keep that from happening.  When Monica’s eyes opened to her she smiled, kissing the end of her nose with a whispered touch.  “Hi baby…”  The look that broke over Monica’s face at that little sentiment made Dana smirk with a tender self-satisfaction. “You’ve got to give me time to figure you out…”  with that she drug her nails across Monica’s abdomen from her belly button up to the hollow of her chest.  “…by your look I’d say that felt interesting.”

 

Monica’s body had stiffened almost involuntarily from the touch and teeth had clamped together on the edge of a giggle.  “it tickled..” was her only response as a shudder ran through her with Dana’s ensuing laugh. 

 

“Mmm…well..” Dana arced a brow, putting on a mock air of superiority. “I -am- a doctor you know…” she paused enough to lick her lips, the smile left in place making Monica squirm. “..we know very special things when it comes to the human body.”

 

“You…” with the crack in her voice Monica cleared her throat, the tension in her body easing with this amusing little moment between them.  “you know it might not… ” Dana nipped for her bottom lip again, tugging on it before speaking with it “I know..” Monica couldn’t help but tuck the offended swell into her mouth, if for no other reason than to taste the other woman on it again.   “You’ll tell me…what you want… what you can feel.”  There was no question in Dana’s tone and Monica merely nodded in response.  It was still difficult for Monica to even consider relaxing, especially when she could feel her arousal directly connected to the tickle of Dana’s fingertips. 

 

Dana watched Monica for a long moment, trying to read the look on her face and in her eyes before she leaned in and kissed her tenderly on the lips without closing her eyes.  Monica’s widened enough to swallow her whole and within seconds Dana felt the grasp of Monica’s fingers cradling her head as she returned the kiss fervently.   Nails burned their way down Monica’s stomach, disappearing into the haze of numbness and around the band of her panties in order to strip them off.  Monica fell away from the kiss, panting softly as one of her hands reached over, tangling her fingers around Dana’s own and squeezing gently. 

 

Tossing the garment behind her, Dana brought her fingers to smooth over Monica’s soft mound, finding something incredibly erotic about the lack of curls there; instead she found the direct warmth of Monica’s skin under a thinly shorn layer of hair.  Fingertips swirled about in slow circles as they made their way lower, tipping her head back to properly gauge Monica’s expression she let her middle finger slip between the soft folds and into her hot, wet crevice.  She moved her finger around gently before pulling the length of it back slowly only to press a trio of fingers deep inside.  Almost immediately she felt Monica’s fingers tighten in a delayed reaction, forcing a questioning expression to her face.

 

“It’s ok…” came a slightly pant-like response, Monica was trying so hard to focus on the sensations, on their amplification, hoping her vivid imagination would fill in the gaps she physically couldn’t manifest. “I can feel you…”   

 

With a slow motion Dana’s hand began to piston in and out while the pad of her thumb sought out the little bud of nerve endings just above her fingers.  Monica’s eyes closed and a soft gasp broke past her lips.  It was a distant feeling but the unexpected strength of it caught the brunette by surprise.

 

“Good or bad?” 

 

Monica swallowed hard and when her eyes reopened she instantly found her back arcing into the touch of Dana’s lips surrounding her hardened nipples, “Good….” Fingers tightened against Dana’s and her mouth fell open with a low groan, “so…very good.”

 

Dana nipped gingerly at each silky bud until Monica was moaning and digging her fingers into the back of Dana’s hand.  Dana moved her velvety lips further down Monica’s taut body, stopping to spread kisses all over her stomach and hips while her hand continued its gentle probing between Monica’s thighs.  She moved herself further down the bed gently pushing the woman’s knees apart, her senses suddenly filled with the heady aroma of female essence.  She glanced up towards Monica once more; her eyes were closed, her chest quaking with each breath as free fingers kneaded the sheets of the bed beside her.  Ever so gently Dana slid her fingers out from the depths of Monica’s folds with a detached protest, letting her breath wash over the woman’s skin before grazing her teeth gently over her swollen lips. 

 

“Dana….”  The whimper of her name instantly lifted the redhead’s attention as she felt another press of Monica’s fingers around her own. “Please…” breathing shallow, Monica stammered, trying to focus, “… please….make me feel.”  With a faint growl Dana clamped down on the anger as the full realization of what one bullet had done, what it had stolen so abruptly from the woman.  She swallowed the anger and squeezed Monica’s hand back with an unspoken promise. 

 

Monica shuddered with a growing anticipation, she refused to open her eyes, just trying to lose herself to the images and feelings that she had brought out in Dana earlier in the evening.  She gasped aloud when the felt an invading warmth tickle at her insides, gripping overly sensitive nerves that were still evasive to her and spiraling them up into her gut.  The image her imagination supplied was as fuzzy as the feeling in her hips, with that she allowed her eyes to slip open, and in tipping her head up she could’ve died right there from the image.  Instead she let out a low groan and fell back into the pillows.   Dana was lapping delicately at her, savoring each little morsel with her lips and tongue.  She alternated between the swollen folds and the raw button of nerve endings; with Monica’s groan her breathing quickened and she became more eager. 

 

With a hard squeeze to Monica’s hand she untangled her fingers so that she might slide her arms under Monica’s thighs and angle her pelvis toward her.  She felt Monica’s hand in her hair as the other strained to find some other part of her to grasp; carefully Dana swirled her tongue around Monica’s clit, before pressing the flat of it against the swollen nub.

 

Monica arched her back and groaned with pleasure… and frustration.  “Inside… I need..you…”  Monica panted frantically, her voice having a very distinctive tone to it.  Whatever Dana was doing she was doing well, but it was only strong enough to let Monica hover at a point of evasive pleasure.  If strength of desire could have compelled it, Dana's sudden wish for Monica to reach any sort of climax would have had the brunette over the edge multiple times before Monica spoke again. “Inside…..” Dana pulled one arm free and carefully pressed her fingertips back into Monica’s burning-hot cavern. 

 

Monica’s head fell back as she moaned again; she was being devoured mercilessly, but the sensations were distant and delayed to her senses.   She curled her fingers around Dana’s hair, feeling the  movements of her head while her other kneaded the space of the mattress just above Dana’s other hand. 

 

Dana had no idea how long she had been moving in and out of Monica when she suddenly felt the sheets being pulled upward and nails digging gently into her scalp. Dana then felt the delayed rush that spread itself through Monica’s body as smooth interior walls convulsed and clamped around her fingers and her torso arched as much as she could off the mattress with her orgasm.  Dana kept stroking, firm and steady as lips fastened around the quaking button of nerves and sucked hard until Monica called out her name. 

 

Dana slowed her suckling, gingerly lapping and kissing Monica’s folds delicately, until the squeezing on her fingers subsided and Monica relaxed back onto the bed.  Carefully she withdrew her fingers and wiped her chin on her hand and that on the bedding where she felt the tremors from Monica’s body.  The play of muscles at the woman’s abdomen revealed that Monica was holding back sobs;  with an immediate concern Dana crawled her way up Monica’s body, seeing the tears staining the sides of her face where they’d disappeared into her hair.  “Monica….baby…?  What’s wrong?”  She whispered amidst a soft trail of kisses across the woman’s forehead,  “Wasn’t that bad was it?”  Dana laced her words with gentle humor, hoping it would settle Monica’s mood.

 

Monica couldn’t help but smile, a breathy laugh bubbling up from her even though she was still crying “No…oooooh defiantly not…” She opened her eyes, finding Dana hovering over her again, still disheveled as ever, errant strands of red refusing to cease their tickling caress over the sides of Monica’s face.  “I don’t know.. I…  just feel…”  trying to verbalize her feelings she shook her head and pushed a hand through Dana’s hair. “exhilarated, sad, alive, free…like I want to run up and down the halls screaming in joy…all mixed together…”

 

Dana grinned at the thought, a wickedly delicious grin at that Monica noted.  “Well.. that would require you to get up.. and I doubt you would get dressed…which means you’d be bouncing back and forth down the halls naked and yelling at a very inconvenient hour…….. That’s tempting.”  She leaned down then, a breath away from kissing her “..if you don’t have the words… don’t say anything… just feel it..” she whispered and closed the distance between them.  Monica wrapped her arms around Dana’s neck and pulled her in for a deeper kiss, realizing after-the-fact that she was tasting herself on the redhead’s lips.  It was incredibly intimate and erotic and instantly surrounded her in a heady blanket of warmth and arousal all over again. 

 

 

---------------------------------------------

 

 

With a low groan Monica twisted onto her back, bringing a hand to cover her eyes and the light of morning that spilled through the veil of her lids.  The movement was soon followed with a disgruntled growl at the position of her body.  Her shoulders pressed into the bed, head cradled by pillows, upper back near flush with the mattress but her waist twisted uncomfortably and her hips stayed to one side, useless legs still pressing their sides against the bed itself.  “god damn….” Her words were slow but deliberate as she roused herself from the haze of sleep in a languid fashion, fingers rubbing at her eyes as lips split apart into a dull yawn.  Keeping her eyes closed she let her fingers filter across her scalp before curling around the dark strands of her hair into fists near the base of her skull. 

 

All at once her mind caught up with her; she was naked, she was alone, she certainly wasn’t in her bed and if the sunlight was strong enough to penetrate her closed eyes….”Awww shit!”  Monica sat up in a rush of movement, wincing slightly at her body’s lack of compliance from the waist down before searching for a clock.  As if to mock her the bedside clock clicked over to display 11:26, “Well there went my appointment…”  She let out a harsh breath and combed her hands through her disheveled hair, holding the length of it in her fingers off one shoulder as her brow furrowed in thought.  Okay….no clothes… no change of clothes…she glanced around, shifting her position to a more compatible one.  Her clothes from last night were gone with no sign of Dana’s either.  There was no sound of a shower or any other indication that someone else was in the room with her and the bedroom door was firmly closed.  No notes... and…

 

“No chair….what the hell…?” 

 

 

To Be Continued





All images provided by me, Angara
Thank you