|Life with My Girl, Reyes|
|These Dreams - Chapter 4|
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Monica's Bedroom - One Minute Later:
"Monica?" Dana said again stroking her back and shoulder blades. "Sweetheart? If it's too hard to talk about, I understand. But you leave me concerned. I—I'm—I'd really like to know what made you so upset earlier. And I—"
The brunette began to cry.
"Oh sweetheart," Dana responded to Monica's tears. …Oh baby, for the love of Mary, this is hurting me too, to see you this way… she mused. "Monica? Tell me what is upsetting you so. I really need to know," she said again.
Why were these dreams of Monica's upsetting her so much? Why were her memories of this life long past so sad in the end? What had happened to Devin—to Dana—so long ago in Mulder's—and Monica's—past-life? What had happened to this young man named Devin McFadden, Mulder's sergeant, in that battlefield that day? Why was Monica not telling her the whole story? She had told her about the good times, the happy times, the moments leading up to Devin and Anna falling in love with each other, and making love for the very first and last time of their young lives. But what had happened in the end? How had Devin died? Or maybe Monica didn't know. Maybe that was the problem. Maybe Monica's dreams had never revealed to her what had actually happened to Devin, and that he had been killed. Not until she had heard Dana's words quoting practically verbatim what Mulder had said during his regression. Had she not been shocked and totally devastated, too, to find out that Mulder had seen his young male sergeant—Dana in this life—dead in that field, too? And in and around the same timeframe as her dreams? Had Monica not said that she had always considered them to be just that? Only dreams? Nothing more? Just dreams? But now, she was not so sure?
…Oh baby… Dana's heart ached. Monica had been just as shocked and devastated about Mulder's past-life regression as Dana had been, as she listened to Dana tell the story of when she had first witnessed Mulder's regression and heard his words from that former life. And somehow, Mulder's past-life regression appeared to include all three of them—Mulder, Dana and Monica—together in that past-life. Although Mulder and Monica had not appeared to have ever met each other during that time. But they were all still living and breathing in that same timeframe together, with Dana's soul as their common bond, their common link, that united them all together spiritually, since the beginning of time. Wasn't that what Mulder had said? That souls come back together in every life to learn? And that love mates two souls together for eternity?
…Oh baby… Dana really wanted to know more about Monica's dreams, because she was beginning to entertain the possibility that Monica's dreams might very well be the medium to understanding more about her own past-life journeys as well. If there really were such a thing as past-life journeys and reincarnation then she really did want to know.
"Monica? I—Sweetheart, I—I want you to—No. I really need for you to tell me, okay? I really need to know what happened, and—"
"Oh God," Monica grumbled. "He left me, okay? He left me. After that one last time, he left me. And never came back." She gave her the answer.
…Ohhh, my God… "He left you?" Dana's heart sank.
"Yes. He left me. And I waited for him. Every morning. Every single day. For months. Underneath our little mulberry tree, just as he had asked me to do. But, he never came back. Okay? He never came back," she muttered again through her tears.
…Oh no, Sweetheart… Dana's heart sank to the basement.
"And—three days, Dana. Three days. He had promised me that in three days he would come back for me. And then we would flee to the North, on the next train out. And then we would start a new life together, and start our family."
…Ohhh, Moni… Dana's heart ached so painfully.
"And we—we were going to get married. And possibly move to Canada if we had to. Just in case the Rebs considered him a fugitive, too, you know, for deserting his regiment."
"Yes. That would be reasonable. So. It's never revealed to you that he was killed in your dreams?"
"No. Never," she shook her head as more tears began to roll down her cheeks.
"Oh sweetheart, I'm so—my gosh, that is so—ohhh," Dana's heart ached for her.
"And I—I never could find him, Dana, I never can," she said, rising up for a moment to look into her eyes. "And I—No matter how hard I try, how hard I look, how long I search, or where I go, I never can find him," she said then laid her head back down between Dana's breasts. "And I—In every dream, Dana, I wait and wait, by our little mulberry tree, and then I search and search for him, all through that godforsaken field, and all over the dead bodies and wounded soldiers, even as the doctors and nurses begin to clear the field, needing me to get the hell out of their way, so they can do their jobs. But I'm determined to find him. And yet I never can, Dana, I never can," she choked on her tears. "Or his metal. I—You see, I had purchased this little metal coin for him. With his name, regiment, birthplace and birth-date stamped on it. But none of the unidentified soldiers were wearing it. So, that gave me hope, in every dream. And then his name shows up on the wounded list in a couple of my dreams. So then I rush down to Ringgold, Georgia, and then farther south, down to Dalton. But nothing. He's not there. He's never there, in any of my dreams. And so, I never find him. I never find him, Dana. And I end up all alone in the end, with no word," she sniffled.
"Oh sweetheart." Dana closed her eyes, feeling such immense pain and sadness for her as well. Even if it were just a dream, the ending was heartbreakingly sad. And if it were true. …Jesus… She began to rock her in her arms again, leaning down and resting her cheek in against her crown. …Oh sweetheart, if it's true, then the only thing that kept me from returning to you was death itself… she mused. She was sure of that. …Ohhh… Her heart ached so remorsefully, and was beginning to tighten up too, with emotion as she held her in her arms, allowing her thoughts and emotions to wander farther and farther away, into the distant past, farther and farther away, and into another time and another place. …Oh baby… She was heartbroken, listening to Monica's retelling of her dreams. What a beautiful love story between these two young lovers, Devin and Anna. And to think that Monica had been dreaming about them all these years, just for their sweet love story to end so abruptly, so sadly. …Ohhh… Her heart ached for these two young lovers, just starting out, in the midst of war, and then for that war to ultimately split them apart for life.
…Oh my gosh. Devin and Anna. Devin and Anna. Devin McFadden and Anna Marie Baxter… Dana kept repeating the names over and over inside her head. Oddly enough, the two names did sound familiar—quite familiar indeed. And the area, the location, the battles and battlefields, the dates, the time of the year—Fall of 1863—all seemed so eerily familiar. The little barn loft, the wine cellar, the small cave, lying out underneath the stars, kissing, hugging, cuddling and making-out. It all seemed so eerily familiar, so distant, and yet so familiar, as if right on the edge of recall. She could almost imagine herself living in that life, too, loving this beautiful young woman, making love to this beautiful young woman, honorably leading runaway slaves to freedom, and then ultimately, courageously leading brave young soldiers into a final battle, as most of them gave up their very lives and futures, paying the ultimate price to their homelands.
Monica sighed then rolled in a little more cozily, nuzzling her nose in between Dana's breasts again. "Mmm." She then turned her head and began to listen to that strong and steady heartbeat of her lover's again. "Mmm." Dana's heartbeat could always calm her soul. Plus, it had been a very difficult last few minutes for her, remembering those last few moments with Devin in her dreams. Her dreams almost always ended this way, forever separated from him, her lover, her soulmate, with her heart broken and shattered in two. Most times, she would wake up crying, sobbing uncontrollably, depending on where her dreams ended. And then finally, she would begin to return to this world, and this life, leaving that older life behind.
"Hum," Dana grunted, combing her fingers through the brunette's thick, dark raven hair as her head rolled lazily to the side. "Hum. So. He never comes back," she verified.
"Nope, never," Monica replied wiping yet another stray tear away.
"Hum, never returns," Dana whispered again. "Never returns, never returns," she mumbled under her breath, losing herself to the past and to Monica's dreams, as she allowed her thoughts to drift farther and farther away into another place and time. "I never return," she mumbled again, barely audible, as her head rolled lazily to the other side then down towards Monica's crown.
Monica just sighed as she felt the contemplative redhead's body and respiration begin to relax underneath her. It had been a very nice and enjoyable conversation, sharing her dreams with the little redhead. But it had also ended up on a very sad note, having to remember and tell Dana the truth, that Devin had never returned to her. "Oh gosh, thanks honey, for listening to me. I love you," she whispered, then squeezed the little redhead tightly for a moment, before settling her cheek back in between her breasts.
"Mmm, and oi love you, but, me lassie," Dana suddenly broke into a much deeper, more masculine voice.
…Whoa… Monica's eyes flew open.
"We begun to hear them canonballs, and artillery fire, way off in them hills a rollin', didn’t we now?"
…Oh my God… Monica's heart jumped to her throat. …Holy crap. Dana?… She rose up to look into her eyes. …Jesus!... Was that a slightly Irish brogue she had just heard rolling so naturally off Dana's lips, too, along with her much more masculine tone of voice?
"And then oi knew. Oi had no other choice, but to move ye me lassie, to safety. Aye?"
…Whoa! Oh my God!… It was! It was! …Holy shit!... Monica gazed into her eyes. …Holy shit!... Dana was most definitely speaking with a slightly Irish accent and a much deeper, more masculine voice. …Oh! My God!... Her heart began to pound inside her chest. "I um, Da—? Dana? Devin?" she called her former name, hopeful.
Dana cocked an Irish eyebrow then smiled, "Aye. 'Tis me."
"Oh! My God!" Monica gasped in utter joy. …Devin!...
"Aye. 'Tis me, me Anna. And, forgive me, me poor soul." She cupped her cheek. "But oi had no other choice, but to move ye now, did oi not? 'Twas no other option, but to take ye to me hiding place."
"Oh Devin, my God," Monica gasped, her eyes flooding with tears. "Yes. Yes! And we left on horseback. On Ole Johnny—"
"Aye," Dana grinned sliding her palm down and cupping her chin. "On good ole boy, Johnny. What a corker, aye?"
"Oh God yes, my God," Monica laughed. "What a corker," she laughed again. "Christ." …It's you! It's you! It's really you!… Her eyes glazed over with more tears.
"Bloody hounds. Ya rememba, me lassie?" Dana grinned again running her thumb across her lower lip.
"Oh God, yes," she laughed, "I remember all those bloody hounds," she laughed again, although she had forgotten about all those bloody hounds, until Dana had just reminded her.
"Aye. Filthy rascals, the 'ole lot of them. Followin' us all the way."
Monica giggled again, "Oh my God, yes. Following us all the way down to the creek. And barking at Ole Johnny's feet, with you at my back, and me in the front, you holding onto me so tight I never wanted it to end, while you guided us through the woods."
"Aye, through the woodlands," Dana chuckled. "And for several miles, no? Through the thick forests, o'er the hills, and down through the valley—"
"Aye, yes, yes, to Ole Man Walker's place. And then you dismounted and helped me down, and then we walked over—"
"To our wee little mulberry, aye, me lassie?"
"Oh God, yes. To our wee little mulberry," Monica replied as more tears began to roll down her cheeks. …Oh Devin, my God… Her heart was about to burst with pure excitement. And that moment would be the last time she would ever see him again in her dreams. But now, she was "seeing" and "talking to him" again through his future incarnation, Dana. "And then you tied Ole Johnny off, remember?" She quickly regained control of her tears. "On the lowest branch—"
"Aye, the lowest branch. And then oi kissed ya."
"Yes. You kissed me, my sweet Devin McFadden."
"Aye. Oi kissed ya. And oi kiss ya again, with your permission."
"Oh Dev," Monica giggled. "You never had to ask me for my permission. You could kiss me any time you—"
Dana then leaned over and kissed her, ever so sweetly on the lips.
"Oh," Monica whimpered into the sweet and gentle kiss, overwhelmed with emotion, as they continued to kiss for several more seconds.
"Mmm," Dana moaned too, then pulled away, cupping her chin again as she ran her thumb across her lower lip. "Mmm, been missin' them kisses."
Monica giggled again. "Mmm, and I've been missing yours, too, my love. God, and I loved you so much, I loved you so much, Devin McFadden," she rambled gazing into Dana's eyes as she saw Devin in there, too. "You never doubted that, did you? Please, tell me you never doubted—"
"Aye, oi never doubted," Dana reassured her.
"Oh, and I waited for you, Dev. I waited, every single morning, I would wait for you, just as you had asked me to."
"Aye. Oi know, me saw you a waitin'," Dana replied then closed her eyes again, groaning quite heavily all of a sudden, as she dropped her head down into her palm, rubbed her temples for a few seconds, then finally dropped her head all the way down into a slumped position.
…Oh my God… "Dev? Devin? Dana?" she called out. …Oh no, nonono, not yet, please don't leave me, not yet, there's so much more left to say…
"Mmm," Dana groaned heavily yet again then rubbed her aching forehead with her fingertips.
"Oh baby." Monica instantly reached up and began to rub her aching forehead, too. "Are you okay? Getting a headache?"
"Mmm," Dana groaned heavily yet again then began to fall back against the headboard.
…Oh my God!… "Dana!" Monica caught her just in time, instantly grabbing onto her as the redhead then slumped forward towards her. …Oh my God… "Dana?" She pulled her in closer. …What in the world?... She was getting concerned. It was almost as if the redhead had slipped off into some type of mildly hypnotic state. …But how?... Monica wanted to know. "Dana? What—? Can you—?"
Dana mumbled something incoherently in that very deep, more masculine voice again.
…Oh, my gosh… "Dev? Are you still here?"
Dana mumbled something incoherently yet again.
…Oh, my goodness… "Dev? Devin, are you—?"
"Gone back. To the mountain," Dana mumbled.
…Oh my God… "You've gone back to the mountain?"
"Aye. Boys be a needin'," Dana mumbled again then dropped her head back down against Monica's shoulder.
…Oh my God… "Okay. I understand. So where are you right now?"
"Ridge. Hooker. Crossin' the river."
"Um, Hooker," Monica repeated. …General "Fighting Joe" Hooker… She understood who he was. He was one of the Union/Federalist Generals who had led his troops across the Tennessee River and towards Lookout Mountain, only four, maybe five miles west of Missionary Ridge on the morning of the first battle for Chattanooga. Monica quickly realized that Dana was quite possibly remembering the morning of November 24th, 1863, two days before her (and Mulder's) untimely death; the morning of one of the most famous Civil War battles in American History, for full control of that region—the Battle Above the Clouds atop Lookout Mountain—as the battle commenced and heavy blasts of canon ball fire and artillery began to ring inside the redhead's head.
The Confederates had secured a stronghold atop Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and the valley between them in Mid-September, two months prior. But the Federalists had decided to move on November 24th, 1863, and advance across the river that zigzagged along the northern banks of the two ridges and the approximate four-mile-wide valley between them, and attack; hoping to take full control of the valley and the two mountaintops from the Confederates. If they succeeded, they would hold full advantage over the water supply, river supply, railroad supply and any other supply routes leading into the area used to reinforce and refurbish the troops with whatever they needed as their provisions ran low. Whoever controlled the river, and the supply routes, controlled Chattanooga, and the surrounding area. And this battle—along with the following battle occurring the very next day, atop Missionary Ridge—would prove to be one of the most famous battles and major turning points in American Civil War history, allowing the North to push all the way down into the very heart of the South, through Atlanta, Georgia, and all the way down into the Gulf of Mexico before it was finally over, ultimately winning the war not quite a year-and-a-half later.
"Dev? Devin?" Monica tried again, still holding onto Dana's shoulders and leaning her in against her.
"Oh, love. What are you doing? What are you doing right now?"
Dana mumbled something incoherently yet again then began to moan softly as Monica eased her back down to the bed.
"Dana? Honey? Where are you? What are you seeing right now? Hum?" she asked. …My gosh!... She could hardly believe it, that Dana had slipped off into some type of hypnotic reverie, some sort of past-life regression, so strong and powerful it was inducing Devin's memories to come to the surface, and suppressing Dana's in the process. It was almost as if someone had put her under hypnosis. …But how?... Monica wondered, utterly bewildered. It made no sense. She quickly placed another pillow underneath the redhead's shoulders and head, making sure she was more comfortable. "Honey? Where are you? What are you seeing right now? Hum? What do you see?" she asked again.
Dana moaned softly then jumped and flinched somewhat, obviously remembering some of the events from that dreadful morning.
…Oh no, nonono… Monica really did not want her to be remembering any of those dreadful events that had happened that early morning, that afternoon, or the night after, or any other part of the following day either. Because somewhere, some time during those two days and third morning of heavy fighting and ultimate Confederate retreat, Dana, as Devin, had been killed. And she certainly did not want Dana to be remembering specific events from a former life when she, as Devin, had been killed.
"Dana? Honey, what are you doing? Where are you right now?" she tried again as she eased down next to her and placed her hand over the redhead's heart, clasping her hand and hoping to bring her back to the present.
"Mmm," Dana moaned heavily again then jumped a little bit.
…Oh my God… "Honey, listen to me, you're dreaming, you're only dreaming. And—"
"Sherman. Advancin'. Secure the tunnel."
…What? Oh my God… "Dana? No. Listen to me. You're only dreaming. And remembering events from another life, okay?" the brunette repeated. …Shit... "Honey?" She shook her again then reached up and cupped her cheek. "Dana? Honey? Listen to me," she tried again shaking her a little more vigorously. …Damn. Why can I not pull you out of this?... Why wasn't she breaking free from this highly unusual past-life regression?
Dana's bewildering and highly unusual reverie had now shifted to the next day—the afternoon of the 25th—the very afternoon when Union/Federalist forces under Sherman's command and Rebel forces under Cleburne's command had clashed on the northern bank of Missionary Ridge, near the East Tennessee, Georgia Railroad Tunnel. Devin's regiment had been with Cleburne's Division in that second, more fierce and final battle for Chattanooga during the Civil War. And that battle had occurred near the area where Mulder—rather Sullivan Biddle—had been killed. Which meant that it was probably near the area where Dana—as Devin—had been killed.
…Oh crock... "Dana? Please. Listen to me. You've got to listen to me. You're dreaming. It's only a dream, and—"
"Anna?" Dana whimpered.
…Oh, my God… Monica's heart skipped a beat. "Yes love, I'm right here." She cupped her cheeks.
"Anna?" Dana opened her ocean-blues and gazed into her chocolate brown.
"Oh, my gosh. What love?" Monica smiled, her heart melting, as she recognized Devin's ocean-blues behind Dana's again. Dana's or Devin's. It didn’t matter. They both had the most beautiful ocean-blue eyes.
"They're a comin'."
"What? No love, no," Monica instantly cupped her chin. "No, honey, nobody is coming, it's just a dream, just a bad memory, and you're—"
"Bugler! Sound the attack!" the redhead yelled, suddenly shifting her eyes over Monica's right shoulder for a moment, then closing them, as she began to toss and turn in the bed.
…Oh my God, no! Nonono!… Monica's heart jumped to her throat. "No, Dana, no!" she yelled. "No! Dana?" she yelled again. …Shit!… The redhead was beginning to relive the battle atop Missionary Ridge! The very battle she had fought that had ultimately killed her!
Dana opened her eyes for a few seconds. "Right flank! Shift left! Forward! ATTACK!" she yelled again, flinching with every command.
"Oh my God. No!" Monica yelled again. "Dana!" she yelled once more, shaking her vigorously.
"Solid line, lads! Keep a solid line!" the redhead yelled again jumping and flinching with every command. "Close up the line! Close up that break in the line!" she yelled agsin pointing into the air at an imaginary break in her infantrymen's line.
…Oh my God! No!… "Dana! No! No! Now listen to me!" Monica shook her again, trying to dislodge her from this dreadful past-life memory.
"FIRE! Reload! Aim! FIRE! FIRE!" she jumped and jerked with every command.
"Oh Jeezus! No! Dana!" Monica gasped. …Jeezus!… She did not want Dana reliving any more of the horrendous events that had taken place atop Missionary Ridge that day. But what could she do?
"Keep it up, lads! Keep it up! Keep up your fire!" she jumped and tossed in the bed. "NO! Fall back! Fall back, lads! Twenty yards! Twenty yards!" she yelled again then lay perfectly still for a few seconds.
…Oh Christ!... Monica continued to watch her as she lay perfectly still for those few seconds. …Jeezus Christ!… She needed a plan, and fast. She began to run through different strategies inside her head trying to come up with a more viable plan. She needed a Plan B, and fast! Because Plan A was not working, just shaking her and calling out her name.
"Left wing! Move in! Forward! ATTACK!" Dana yelled again, her body jerking up into the command.
…Oh Jesus! No!… "Dana? No! No! Devin, no!" Monica yelled again, instinctively switching to the redhead's former name from that life. …Damn it!... "No! Devin! No! DEVIN!" she yelled again.
Dana opened her eyes.
…Oh Christ! Yes… "Devin! Dev? Are you—? Can you hear me?" she gasped cupping Dana's cheeks again.
Dana continued to watch her.
…Oh Jeezus!... "Dev? Honey, please, come back to me, okay? You're not there anymore, you're here, with me now. And your name is Dana. Dana Scully."
The redhead wrinkled her brow in confusion.
"Yes, love, that's right, your name is Dana Scully, and you're with me now. And you're a doctor, a scientist, an investigator, for the United States Government, and we live in—"
Dana closed her eyes.
"Oh no. Nonono, Dana, no!" …Damn it!... Monica did not know how to break her free from this hypnotic reverie she seemed to be caught up in. Hell! She wasn't even sure how she had gotten there. Much less how to break her free from it. …Damn it!… "Dana? Dev? Devin?"
Dana groaned heavily, then opened her eyes and locked gazes with her once more.
"Oh my God, yes. Devin. Now listen to me." She cupped her cheeks again. "Please, listen to me. You're not there anymore. You're here with me now. You've already lived that life. A long, long time ago. And you had to leave it, so you could come back to me. To this life. And now you're here with me, as Dana. Dana Scully. And you're safe. Perfectly safe, with me," she said running her palm across Dana's forehead and then down across her temple. "Honey, please. That life is over. Long over. And now your name is Dana. Dana Scully."
Dana just stared into her eyes, confusion written all over her face.
"Oh honey," Monica leaned in and kissed her lightly on the lips. "Where are you? Where's my Dana?"
"Anna?" She reacted to the question.
…Oh my God… "Yes love, I’m right here, I'm right here baby," she instantly switched, so as not to confuse her any more than she already was.
"Bad. It be bad," she said, shaking her head as she stared into the brunette's eyes.
"Oh, love. What's so bad?"
"Me boys, be outta ammo. We're outta ammo."
"Oh no," Monica groaned. No wonder so many young men had died up there on that mountaintop that day. They didn't have a chance at defending themselves running out of ammunition.
Dana watched her for a few seconds then shifted her gaze over her right shoulder again.
"Oh no. Nonono, Dana, no, Devin, no!" She knew she was about to lose her.
Dana closed her eyes. "Jenkins! Reynolds! Pick up what you can from the dead! I don't care, dammit! DO IT! Ya wanna live now, don't cha boys?"
…Oh Christ… Monica's heart tightened inside her chest.
"Take your time! Take your time, lads! Make every round count!" she yelled again. "Biddle! Pick up from the wounded, everything you can!"
…Ohhh, Christ… Dana had just called out Mulder's name from that former life, too. …Ohhh, Christ... Well. At least Mulder had been with her that day, when they had both died in that field. …Ohhh, for Godsakes… Monica wanted to cry. "Dana? Please come back to me," she whimpered shaking her again. "Please, baby. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to break you free from this. I don't know how. I—Damn it!" she yelled frustrated. "Damn it! Please!"
She could hardly believe what was happening. She had never intended for Dana to slip into some type of unexplainable, unforeseeable hypnotic reverie from the past, and begin to relive some of the horror from the afternoon when she had led her troops into that final battle atop Missionary Ridge, ultimately leading to her death. She had only wanted her to share in her dreams, and share in the possibility that Dana might have been Devin in Mulder's past-life. And now, as the redhead continued to jump, flinch and squirm, yelling orders to her troops, there was no doubt that she had been Devin in that former life.
…Oh my God… "Dana?" Monica tried again.
"NGH! NGH! OHH!" Dana suddenly grabbed at her thigh, pulling her knee up towards her chest.
"Oh Jesus!" Monica reacted to her cry. "Shit!" She grabbed onto her thigh as well. "Dana! Please! I don't know how to break you free from this! I don’t know what to do! I don't—Damn it!" …"Grams! Grams! Hear me! Hear me now! Please! Hear me now! I need you!"... She yelled for her grandmother through their shared telepathy.
"Ngh! Ngh! Ohhh," Dana groaned again, clutching at her thigh, then yelled, "Bayonets! Bayonets, lads!" as she tossed and turned in the bed. "Move in! Draw! Forward! CHARGE! CHARGE!" she yelled again, jumping and flinching with every command, as she saw herself drawing her bayonet, attached at the firing end of her musket, then charging down the mountainside, with her men following in behind.
Monica quickly scooped her up in her arms and held her tight. "Dana? No! No! It's not real! It's not real! None of this is real! Please! You're only dreaming! It's only a dream!" she shouted. …Jeez! Damn it! Why can I not pull you out of this? Damn it! Why? I don’t know what to do! Grams! Grams! Please! GRAAAAMS!... she screamed again inside her head. …GRAAAAMS! PLEASE! HELP ME! I need you! I need your help!… she telepathically yelled again for her grandmother.
…"Baby Girl. What have you done?"… her grandmother's voice instantly echoed inside her head.
…"Oh my God! Grams! Please! Thank God! Help me! Help me! I don’t know what to—!"…
…"Breathe. First, you must breathe. Then relax your senses."…
…"Breathe. Relax. Peace. Serenity."…
"Oh shit," Monica sucked in a deep breath, trying to calm her senses. How the hell was she supposed to do that when her baby was tossing and turning in her arms, so lost inside a gut-wrenching reverie?
…"Breathe. Relax. Serenity. Now. What have you done, my child?"… her grandmother asked calmly.
…"I—I don't know, I—Dana and I were discussing my dreams, the ones about Devin and Anna, you remember, and I—And then—I don't know! She—I—It's like—"…
…"She is remembering that life, too."…
…"Yes! But she—It's like she's caught up in some sort of trance or something."…
…"Then you must go to her, child. You must go to her as Anna."…
…"What? But, how?"…
…"Go to her, as Anna, using a conduit."…
…"Go to her now. It's the only way."…
"OHH! NGH! NGH!" Dana suddenly cried out again, grabbing at the area just to the left of her navel.
Oh my God! Dana!" Monica gasped in fear and frustration.
…"Go to her, child. You must go to her now. Make haste,"… her grandmother instructed her again.
"Ngh! Oh! Can't breathe, can’t breathe, can't breathe," Dana began to pant and shiver staring into her eyes.
"Oh Christ!" Monica wanted to panic. Tears began to roll down her cheeks again, as she grabbed at the area, too, just to the left of Dana's navel. "Jeezus! What have I done?"
…"You have done nothing my child. It is her journey to clear. But you must go to her. Quickly. She needs you now, to help her clear the past. You must go to her, inside her reverie. It is the only way,"…her grandmother instructed her yet again.
…"Go to her now. As Anna. And then you will know what to do."…
…"But I—?" Oh Christ… Monica still wanted to panic. But she knew she couldn't. She had to pull herself together and then pull Dana free from this overpowering reverie she was caught up inside. And the only way to do it was to go to her, as Anna, using her extrasensory gift, her telepathy, and some sort of shared item that they both treasured, using it as their conduit.
Dana continued to pant and shiver, staring into her eyes and clutching at her side, obviously experiencing pain, even if it were only imagined pain inside her head.
"Oh baby, hang on." Monica quickly searched around in the bed until she found it—the perfect conduit, the perfect medium, their shared, treasured touchstone. "Oh Jeezus, I'm coming, baby, I'm coming in to get you, okay?" she said as she quickly squeezed the little touchstone inside her palm then clasped Dana's hand and pressed the little stone in between their palms until she could feel the subtle vibrations radiating up through her forearm.
"Mm. Mm," Dana barely whimpered in response, then closed her eyes as her body instantly began to slow its shivers and trembles back down.
"Oh yes, God yes, thank God, that's it baby, just relax, relax into me," Monica instructed her, pulling her in a little closer. "It's Moni, Monica. Can you hear me? It's Monica."
Dana wrinkled her brow in confusion. She did not recognize that name either. She opened her eyes and gazed into the brunette's again. …No... Those dark chocolate eyes of hers were Anna's, not some woman named Monica's. She was sure of that. Those were her Anna's eyes. Her hair seemed a little darker than usual. But those eyes. She would recognize those eyes, and the soul hidden behind those eyes, anywhere.
…"Baby Girl, you must go to her as Anna. It's the only way,"… her grandmother reminded her yet again.
…"Oh yeah, right, okay."…
"A—Anna?" Dana barely whimpered again staring into her eyes.
"Yes love, I'm right here," Monica quickly switched again, reassuring her.
"Oi try. Oi tryin' so hard," she whimpered.
"Oh Devin, what are you trying so hard to do? Hum?" Monica comforted her, instantly scooping her up in her arms again, and then placed the little touchstone over Dana's heart and held it there.
"Mm, mm," Dana whimpered again as her body began to fully relax and collapse down into the brunette's arms.
"Yes love, that's it, that's it, now just relax into me, okay?" Monica reassured her again, readjusting her own body so that she could hold her a little more comfortably. "Now, I'm coming in, okay? I'm coming in to get you. And then I'll lead you home, okay?" she whispered, reassuring her yet again, as she began to visualize herself as Anna, following her instincts and closing her eyes, until suddenly she could see herself in an open battlefield inside Dana's reverie as well. …Oh my God!… It was so vivid, so real, just as vivid and real as inside her own dreams.
"Oi try. Oi tryin' so hard," Dana whimpered again then clutched at her side once more. "Ngh! Oh. Hurry, hurry," she whimpered clutching at her side.
"Shhh, oh baby, God, I know, I'm hurrying, I'm hurrying," Monica said as she scanned the dreamlike area to her right and then to her left. "Damn it, where are you, where are you?" she began to ramble as she searched all over the area inside her head.
Undoubtedly, Dana's past-life memories had shifted again, to the following morning—November 26th, 1863—the same date that Mulder and Melissa had remembered, after the Confederates had retreated through the night several miles to the east, towards Apison, Tennessee, as young dead and wounded soldiers lay scattered all about, all over the open field from the night before, and into the wee hours of the early morning. The scene was so familiar—eerily familiar—in that it was practically the exact same scene that she had been envisioning in her dreams as well through the years, as she had searched for Devin so many times before. …Jeez…It was so mind-boggling to see Dana's visions and past-life memories so vividly, and to now have irrefutable, spiritual confirmation that they had both walked, talked, lived and breathed in this very same life together, and in love, so many decades before.
…Holy shit… The scene was also quite hellacious, she quickly recognized, as she kept spiritually searching and running through the area, calling Devin's name out, and stopping occasionally to scan the area of wounded and dead.
Coughs, cries, sobs and moans were echoing throughout the area from everywhere as young wounded soldiers crawled, tossed, turned and squirmed in agony. It was horrendous. Like hell. It was war.
"Dev! Devin! Where are you?!" she yelled again inside her head.
"Here. I'm here," Dana whimpered softly, still resting comfortably in her arms.
…Ohhh, baby... Monica's heart melted into a big pile of mush. …My God… She had heard Dana's little whimper. She then leaned down and kissed her on the crown. …Oh God, honey, I know you're here with me, safe in my arms. Thank God, you're right here with me, safe in my arms. Mmm, and I love you. And I’m coming in to get you, inside your dreams, okay? But what do you need me to do, baby, hum? Why do you need me to come to you, inside your head, inside your memories? Hum? What do you need me to do? Or see? Or hear? Hum?... And then she suddenly realized it. …My God! That's it! That's it!... There was something Dana needed her to see, or hear, or do, in order for her to clear her karmic path from this particular life's journey. So that she could move on and clear her conscience, and be able to remember and accept this former life from her past. …Oh baby… And, undoubtedly, whatever it was, she needed Monica's help to do it. …Oh baby, I'm coming, okay? I coming in to get you, and then I'll lead you home, and out of this tormented life, okay?… she mused as she leaned down and kissed her on the crown again, never opening her eyes, as she continued to search for her inside her head, just as Anna had searched for Devin so many times before in her dreams.
She continued to scan the northern bank and tree line bordering the field, then down towards the trail leading towards some railroad tracks. …Good God… The scene and terrain was so frickin' familiar. How many times had she searched this very area inside her head, inside her dreams, searching for her man, Sergeant Devin Brody McFadden? How many times? And yet, here she was again, amazingly inside of Dana's past-life reverie this time, searching for him. And yet, she still could not find him. …Damn it!... Why could she not find him? But then no matter how hard or how many times she had tried before, in all her dreams, she had never been able to find him. …Damn it!...
She opened her eyes for a moment and glanced down. …Damn it! Why can I not find you?… She thought, so frustrated, as she stroked the little redhead's shoulder-blades for a moment.
Dana was still lying peacefully in her arms, almost asleep, if Monica didn't known better. ...Mmm, thank God… she sighed. Apparently, the touchstone had helped to relieve Dana of her imaginary pain. But, evidently, it had not completely pulled her out of her reverie quite yet, because, all of a sudden, she began to whimper and cry.
…Oh no. Nonono… "Dana? No, Devin, no," Monica reacted to her whimpers. "Shhh, now you jus' hold on my love, you jus' hold on. Cause I'm comin' in to get ya, okay?" she said, choosing to use a more Southern accent this time, so as not to confuse her any more than she already was.
"Aye," Dana whimpered through her sniffles. "Oi tryin', me lassie."
"I know, and I'm in the field right now searchin' for ya, okay?"
Dana nodded. She understood. And she was trying. She was trying so very hard inside her head, to crawl across the open field, towards the nearest bunker, or an old barn, or wine cellar, or—anywhere—to safety; and then maybe to an old horse, or a mule, or something—anything—to get herself and her wounded body off that open battlefield and back to her Anna. But that was impossible. Her body was too critically injured, with a bad cut to the upper thigh, from a bayonet wound, and then a gaping bullet hole just to the left of her navel, from a musket shot, for her to ever be able to do that. She was strong. But she was not that strong. She was not strong enough to stop herself from bleeding out with every move she made, as she crawled and pulled and inched her strong, masculine body along the trail, making it ultimately impossible for her to ever fulfill her promise to Anna, and complete her mission of getting back to her. She would never be able to make it back to Anna in time, out of the open field, and back to her, waiting for her by their little mulberry tree inside her head before she died, no matter how hard she tried. Reunion, in this former life, had never been destined for them—for Devin and Anna. It was just not in their destiny, to reunite in this former life.
Suddenly, a man from her past, and her future, ran up to her tortured, bleeding, crawling body as she dragged her legs behind her, pulling herself inch-by-inch along the dirt trail. He quickly knelt down, cut her sergeant's stripes from off her jacket, ripped her identifying coin from off her chain, then pulled all of her identifying papers out of her pockets.
"NOOO! YE BLOODY BASTARD!" she yelled at him, reaching for her sidearm, then took a quick shot, firing a round from her revolver at him, but missing, as he jumped and ducked out of the way. "NOOO! YE DIE! YE DIE! YE BLOODY BASTARD!" she yelled again.
…Whoa… Monica jumped from all the sudden yells and gunshot blast to the left of her inside her head. The scene shifted slightly, until suddenly she could see the two men—Devin, on the ground, and the other man standing over him. "NO! YOU LEAVE HIM ALONE, GODDAMNYOU!" she yelled herself inside Dana's reverie, then began to sprint towards the two men, instinctively clutching Dana a little tighter in her arms. But this was Dana's dream, not hers, and Dana's memories, not hers. The two men would never hear her cries.
He then spit in Devin's face and gave him one good, swift kick to his injured side, causing Dana to cry out in pain before reaching back down to pick him up.
"NOOO! YOU LEAVE HIM ALONE! GODDAMNYOU! YOU LEAVE HIM ALONE! NOOO! DEVIN! NOOO!" Monica screamed again inside her head as she raced as fast as she could towards the two men.
The evil man then hoisted the gravely wounded Devin up over his shoulder.
"NOOO! NOOO! DEVIN! NOOO!" Monica screamed.
"YE FUCKING BASTARD!" Dana yelled again. "DIE! YE DIE!" she yelled, firing her sidearm into the man's ribcage, but to no avail. She was out of ammo. And that one last former bullet she had just fired had been Devin's last shot.
"NOOO!" Monica screamed again as she watched the man drop her man down into a deep rock pit, just in front of them. "NOOO! NOOO! DEVIN! NOOO!" she screamed, running and running, until she ran up to the evil man then threw herself into him—punching, kicking, screaming and swinging her fists at him—giving him everything she had. But her kicks, punches, fists and swings went right through him. After all, these were Dana's memories, not hers, and Dana's past-life experiences, not hers. Showing her exactly what had happened to Devin on that fateful day; and why Dana, as Devin, had never been able to return to her, even as she had so faithfully promised.
The evil man then leaned over the side of the deep pit inspecting his handiwork. He smiled, quite pleased with himself and his criminal deed. It would be weeks before anyone would find the young man, Devin McFadden's mangled body down there. And if and when they did, he would be dead anyway, with no identifying papers, no sergeant's stripes, and no metal identifying coin on his person to identify him.
Anna had purchased that metal identifying coin for him—having his name, birth-date, rank, regiment and hometown stamped into the coin—just in case something like this were to ever happen to him, and if he were to ever get wounded, or actually killed in battle. That way she would always be able to find him, no matter how long it might take. She could scan the wounded list, or the killed-in-action list, and then would be able to find him. And if worse came to worst, and he had been killed, then she would be able to give his remains a proper burial. But neither she nor Devin could ever have anticipated this, someone stealing a young, dying man's identity from him, as he crawled along the ground, slowly dying in the battlefield. And yet it had happened quite often back in those days, until the US Army finally began to manufacture dog-tags and issue them to their troops. But even then, it could still happen on occasion, before picture IDs had come into existence. Those were the days before dog-tags, picture IDs, and military badges. Almost half of the American Civil War soldiers had died without ever being identified.
The evil man then turned and began to run far away from the scene. He would succeed again—in this former life, too—preying on Dana's soul, and all those whom were spiritually connected to her, giving them all so much pain, grief and hardship to endure while on Earth. It was his destiny, to prey on her virtuous soul, and prey on all the other virtuous souls that surrounded her. Evil returned as evil. Was that not what Mulder had said? Evil returned as evil. Just as love mates eternal.
"Damn! Damn it!" Monica watched him for a few seconds, then pulled up her imaginary skirt and petticoat, and began to zigzag her way down the terrain, down into the deep rock pit, and finally onto the rock ledge where Devin's body lay dying.
Witnessing these specific events from Dana's memories had explained so much to her as to why Anna had never been able to find Devin. It explained how his stolen identity had shown up on the wounded list down in Ringgold, Georgia, and then farther down south to Dalton; and how that, after she had traveled down to Dalton, Georgia, she still could not find him, in spite of his name being on the wounded list. She had entered a hospital room one morning, in one of her dreams, only to find a different man—not her Devin—lying in that hospital bed. It had never even occurred to her that the man she might have seen that day, in her dreams, had actually been the man whom had stolen her man's identity, and had used his name instead of his own to better himself with his comrades. She had always assumed that it had been a mistake in the paperwork. She would have never imagined that someone could have done something so wicked and cruel as that to another.
"Damn! Damn it! Dev! Devin!" She fell down to the hard rock floor next to him and tried to scoop him up in her arms again. But her arms went right through him. "Damn! Damn it! NOOO!" she screamed again inside her head. "NOOO! NOOO! Don't do this to us! NOOO!" she cried. Why could she not at least scoop him up in her arms and hold him, as he lay dying? "NOOO! Damn it!" she cried again. She could not even scoop him up in her arms. How cruel of the Fates to do this to them. How cruel! And she was not even sure if she could talk to him either, and him be able to hear her. "Damn! Damn it!" Odds were, that he wouldn't—not inside of Dana's actual memories of that day anyway. For they had never seen each other like this on that fateful day. The only memories they shared together were from the early morning two days prior, when Devin had said goodbye, and had promised her that he would return to her after the battle; then mounted his horse, that one last time, and rode off into the hills, leaving her all alone underneath their little mulberry tree while he returned to the battle that ultimately took his life.
"Nooo," Monica groaned. "Nooo, Devin! Nooo! I'm here! I'm here! I'm right here! Damn it!" she rambled trying to touch him, move him, shake him, anything to let him know that she was kneeling just next to him.
"Anna?" Dana suddenly whimpered inside her arms.
"Oh! God! Yes. Yes my love, I'm right here," Monica instantly opened her eyes, to find Dana gazing into her eyes so tenderly. "Oh Jesus, yes, I'm here, I'm right here." Her heart skipped a beat. …Ohhh, my God…
So. Devin—and Dana—had been able to hear her cries inside Dana's reverie.
"Anna," Dana whispered again, continuing to stare into her eyes. "Me soul, it be a failin'."
"Oh, I know love, I know, but that's okay, 'cause I’m right here with you. And I'm gonna stay right here with you, until it's time for you to go, okay?"
Dana nodded then closed her eyes again, reaching down and clasping the little touchstone from off her chest.
…Whoa... Monica's eyes widened as she watched Dana squeeze the little touchstone inside her palm.
"Come," Dana said, clasping her hand and then repositioning the little touchstone between their palms once again until the warm, subtle vibrations began to radiate up through their palms and forearms.
…Whoa. Oh my God... Monica's eyes widened yet again. …Wow. Yes…
Somehow, through their shared reverie, Dana understood that the touchstone was the key to helping Monica share in their past-life experiences together.
Monica then followed her lead, spiritually following her to wherever she needed them to go.
The scene shifted again until Monica could see herself as Anna, leaned up against their little mulberry tree, crying, rocking, and calling for Devin. "Ohhh, God," she groaned, her heart tightening inside her chest. "Oh Jesus." It was so hard to watch herself cry for Devin. All of that hurt and anguish began to rise up inside her heart once more.
Undoubtedly, since she was witnessing this scene through Dana's eyes, and Dana's memories, Devin must have been able to see her crying for him, too, as his spirit had left him—his body dying out there in that open battlefield, deep down inside that big hole in the ground. "Oh Dev," she whimpered. Her heart was already beginning to ache again.
Dana then clutched her hand a little tighter. "Aye. Ye see, me Anna. Oi knew. But, oi had no way a showin'."
"Mm. Yes. I see," Monica nodded.
"And me papers. He stole me papers, Anna. And me coin, me metal coin, that ya bought me. And me stripes," she explained.
Monica nodded again. "Yes. I saw that, and now I understand," she said again.
The scene then shifted until she found herself standing just next to her likeness, Anna, crying underneath their little mulberry tree for Devin. …Oh God… She watched herself, her likeness, crying for a few seconds then reached down and tried to touch herself—the crying Anna's shoulder—before suddenly glancing back up. "Oh! Dev!" she jumped as the apparition of her lover Devin suddenly appeared standing just next to her. "Oh my God! You're here! You're really here!" she gasped, overjoyed, then reached up to touch his face.
"Aye. 'Tis me," he smiled clasping her hand. He wasn't quite sure how the spirit of his Anna was standing there with him, next to him, and actually talking to him, as he tried to figure out a way to comfort the crying Anna leaned up against their little mulberry tree in front of them, but he'd go with it.
"Oh Devin. My God! I—I can't—I—Wow!" Monica was so overwhelmed with joy. "My God! You're really here!"
He chuckled at her excitement, holding her hand, then glanced down at the other Anna and then kissed the one standing beside of him's hand ever-so-sweetly.
"Oh Dev," she giggled. …God… How long had it been since she had felt him kiss the back of her hand like that? Too long. Much too long.
He then wrapped his arms around her, holding her for what seemed like an eternity. He couldn't reach down and touch the other Anna either, no matter how hard he tried or how much he wanted to through the years. He had never been able to reach down, reach out or communicate with her, not until now, through her own spirit standing there next to him. He then squeezed her a little tighter in her arms.
"Mmm." After what seemed like a century or more, Monica then began to rise up from his arms.
He grinned then winked.
"Oh Devin. You wanna know something?" she giggled.
"Hum. Maybe. Oi might." He cocked a dark auburn eyebrow.
…Oh Jeez… Monica giggled again. …Holy shit… Was that verbal response and facial expression ever so familiar? …Jeez… It was so Dana. She giggled again. "Well. I'm gonna tell ya, my man. Do you even know how much I adored your mustache?" she teased him reaching up and running her fingertip across it.
"Aye," he grinned. "Ye'd spank me, if oi ever took a notion to trim it off."
"Mmm, yes, I would. I'd spank ya, hard, big boy," she giggled again. …God… How she had missed his mustache. And she had always hoped, in her dreams, to watch him grow old with that mustache, and watch it turn salt-and-pepper grey with age. But, growing old together had never been fated for them in this particular lifetime. One had been destined to die, too young, while the other had been destined to roam the earth all alone, and without the other half of her soul.
Devin then squeezed her a little tighter in his arms again as Dana squeezed her a little tighter in her arms, too.
…Ohhh… Monica's heart fluttered inside her chest. She had felt that tight little squeeze from Dana, too. …Oh baby… She then refocused on Dana's reverie again, glanced down to her own likeness Anna, still crying, rocking and leaned up against their little mulberry tree, calling for Devin. "Oh Jesus, Dana, this is so—" she hesitated glancing back up at Devin inside their reverie.
He cocked an eyebrow at her in slight confusion.
"Oh jeez, I'm sorry, I—"
"No need," he reassured her the reached up and caressed her cheek. It was rather confusing to him, but he'd just go with it. "'Tis no need," he said again then leaned in for another quick and unexpected kiss.
"Mm," Monica barely whimpered into the kiss as Dana began to kiss her in the bed, too. "Mm, mm, oh," she whimpered again. …Oh my God… They may have been kissing as Devin and Anna—inside Dana's reverie—but all the intensity of Dana and Monica, and several other couples-in-love, from various former lifetimes, was most definitely there, too. "Mmm." …Oh baby…
Devin then broke off the kiss, just as Dana broke of her kiss, too, lying back down in Monica's arms. Devin then leaned out somewhat from her warm embrace. Tears began to fill his eyes.
Monica furrowed her brow.
"Anna. Please. Oi beg a ya," he whimpered. "Forgive me, me wretched soul."
"What?" She was flabbergasted. She could hardly believe it, what he had just said to her. …Forgive you? Forgive you for what?... She was astounded.
"Forgive me, me wretched soul. Oi tried so hard, me lassie. Oi tried so hard to come back to ya. But, 'twas not in me makin'. Oi could not stop the—"
"Oh shhh, no, Devin, no, there's nothing to forgive," she said instantly clasping his hands. "Good Lord no love. I knew. I knew that something must have happened to you. I just didn’t know what. But I always knew that you would have come back to me, if you could have. You just couldn't. It was out of your control."
"And I already knew that. But I never stopped looking for you. Not completely. I always felt that maybe one day I would find you, or find another that had fought in battle with you that day. And then maybe I could learn more of the truth about what all had happened up there on that battlefield that day, and why your name ended up on the wounded list, down in Dalton, and why I—Oh gosh," she paused. …Wow… And now her she was, learning all about the truth, and all about what all had happened up there on that battlefield that day; what had happened to her Devin, and what had happened to prevent him from returning to her on that fateful day, now, some one-hundred-and-thirty-seven years later through their mutual reverie.
"Oh Dev," she groaned, her heart beginning to ache again.
He then reached up and cupped her cheek.
"But, the main thing is," she said gazing into his eyes. "I never, not once, stopped loving you. All those years, I never, not once, stopped loving you. And I—"
"Ohhh." He began to cry in her arms, as Dana began to cry in her arms, too.
"Oh no, nonono, God no, I'm not telling you this to make you cry," she said clutching Dana a little tighter in her arms as she clutched Devin a little tighter in ar arms inside their reverie, too. "I just, I never had the chance to tell you that. And I, I wanted you to know, that I never stopped loving you, and that you were the best thing in my life, and that you gave me a gift. Your gift. Your precious gift, Dev. A part of yourself. That I loved and cherished through the years, and—"
"Nooo," Dana, as Devin, groaned in her arms. "Nooo, please, forgive me. Forgive me, me lassie. Forgive me, me wretched soul," she begged through her tears.
"What? Honey?" Monica wrinkled her brow then opened her eyes to look at Dana. "No love, it's okay. I was fine. We were fine," she said beginning to stroke Dana's wet cheeks and wipe away her tears. "Honey, we were—"
"No, no. Oi'm sorry. Oi'm so sorry. Oi never should a left ya that day. Oi never should a—"
"Hey no. It was not your fault. You did what you had to do," Monica reassured her, reassuring Devin as well, through Dana's eyes.
"No. Oi sorry. Oi'm so sorry," Dana rambled again as Devin, shaking her head, as she then slid her palm down and placed it atop Monica's abdomen then began to stroke it so tenderly.
…Whoa. My God… Monica's eyes widened in awe.
Dana then leaned down and kissed it ever so gently.
…Oh my God. You knew. You knew. Or did you? Devin, did you know?… She watched as Dana began to kiss and caress her navel then abdomen again. …Oh my God…
"Anna, please forgive me. Forgive me wretched soul, for leavin' ya so soon, and not—"
"Hey, no, shhh," Monica reached down and began to pull the remorseful redhead back up into her arms. "Dana, no. There's nothing to—"
…"Forgive him child, you must forgive him, in order for her to clear the past,"… Monica's grandmother quickly instructed her.
…Oh my God, of course... Monica quickly understood what her soulmate was needing from her. Forgiveness. Simple forgiveness, for a fateful decision she had made so long ago. "Oh my gosh, yes baby, I forgive you. All these years, I have forgiven you, I never held you accountable for that. I never did." She cupped Dana's cheeks. "Honey, I forgive you, and I forgave you then, just as I forgive you now."
Dana began to cry in her arms again.
"Oh God no baby, please don't cry," she held her tight. "Shhh, I forgive you, I forgave you then; I forgave you a long, long time ago, baby. I never—oh Dana."
Dana continued to cry in her arms, as Devin continued to cry in her arms as well.
"Oh God no, shhh, hey now. Dana. Dev. There is no reason for this." She began to concentrate on Dana's past-life, Devin's present-life, and their shared reverie again. "Honey, it's time for you to clear this undeserved guilt from your past, and clear your heart, your soul, and let this burden go. Your soul needs to rest, hum?" she said cupping Dana's cheeks and gazing into her eyes, as she cupped Devin's cheeks and gazed into his eyes as well.
Dana sniffled a little bit then searched her eyes a little deeper.
"Oh honey, I forgave you. I forgave you back then. Don’t do this. Please don't do this to yourself. I forgave you, a long, long time ago, okay?"
Dana nodded, and yet was still so full of heartrending remorse.
"Oh honey. Are you ready to come home to me, now? Hum?"
Dana wrinkled her brow.
"Oh baby," Monica smiled. "Come on. I want you to come home to me, right now. Because I miss you so much. And I need you. I need you with me now, okay? I need Dana. So close your eyes, and think of me, think of Anna."
Dana closed her eyes again, following her lead, and trusting in her completely to lead her home.
Monica then met her again as Anna, inside their reverie.
"Dev? Now listen to me. You did the right thing that day, okay? The right thing. The honorable thing. You made the noble choice, to uphold your duty to your troops. And I understood that. So I let you go. And when you didn't come back, I forgave you, because I knew that whatever had happened to you, it was out of your control. Okay, love? You understand? I trusted in you, and I knew how much you loved me. I trusted in your love for me enough to know that. Okay? So please, it's time for you to forgive yourself of this undeserved guilt and remorse. Can you do that? Can you please forgive yourself for this unjust guilt and remorse, and for that valiant and courageous decision you made, so long ago?"
He just looked at her.
"Oh Devin, please, it was not your fault. You did what you had to do. And you—"
"No. Shhh." Monica stopped his arguments.
Tears began to roll down his cheeks again.
"No Dev." ...Gosh... She didn’t know how else to help him—and Dana—clear his/her conscience.
Dana then clasped her hand a little tighter as the touchstone began to vibrate a little stronger inside their palms.
The scene then shifted.
"Oh. Wow!" Monica gasped. Suddenly she could see herself as Anna, in the throws of labor, giving birth to their firstborn son. "Oh my God. You knew! You did know. You did!"
"Aye. Oi knew," Dana said then reached back down and rested her palm over the brunette's abdomen, just above her womb.
"Oh my God." Monica watched, completely mesmerized by the scene. …Oh my God… To watch herself giving birth to their firstborn child was the most amazing thing.
"Aye. Oi watched o'er ya, looked down upon ya, from heav'n above. But 'twas no good, no good at all," Dana said. "Oi should a been there. 'Twas no reason, no good reason at all, for me to have left ya that day, with you carryin' me babies—"
"Shhh, hey, no, stop." Monica stopped her arguments again then reached down and clasped her hand. "No, love. We were fine, just fine. And they grew up to be such fine young people, respected by the community. And you'd have been so proud of them, Dev. So proud. I was so proud and happy to call them our children. Our kids, Dev. Yours and mine. Our two kids. And—" The scene began to shift again. "Oh wow." …Jeez…
It was so amazing, watching herself give birth as Anna from somewhere way up above the rooftops, and looking down into the small two-room cabin, and into the dark, candlelit room from Dana's perspective.
"Oh my goodness," Monica giggled. "Here he comes, here comes our son," she giggled, squeezing Dana's hand again, as she watched Anna give birth to their firstborn little son, and then Devin's mother catch him, cut the cord, and then begin to clean him up and swaddle him in swaddling linens.
"Ohhh," Dana cooed too, chuckling and watching the scene, then squeezed her lover's hand.
"Oops, yikes," Monica giggled in empathy as she watched herself as Anna, begin to cry out in pain again, wanting that second baby to hurry up and come out of there. Enough was enough. And Anna had already suffered through over twenty-three hours of labor pains. And to be having twins, the first and only time she would ever be pregnant. …Jesus… "Ohhh," Monica empathized as Anna began to show more signs of pain, frustration and exhaustion.
"Mmm! Get it out! Get it out! Now!" she cried inside their reverie.
"Oh jeez," Monica laughed, empathizing with all of Anna's pain, frustration and impatience. After all she had been the one to actually go through it back then, some one-hundred-and-thirty-seven-years ago. This was only a past-life memory she and Dana were so spellbound by.
Dana, as Devin, began to laugh too, at Anna's cries and frustrations. It was her/his kid after all, that Anna was having, as she suffered through all of those excruciating labor pains. But women were tough back then. Especially, considering the fact that they had no forms of pain control or pain relief to help them with all their suffering. They were given no other option, but to just tough it out; and hopefully survive, without rupture or hemorrhaging from a difficult childbirth.
Anna's labor had not necessarily been a difficult labor, just long—twenty-three hours worth of long—by the time their second child's head had begun to crown.
"Ohhh, Devin," Monica's eyes flooded over with tears again. "Oh my God, and now we have our girl, our little girl," she cooed squeezing Dana's hand again. "Oh Devin, there's our daughter," she whimpered, full of emotion.
"Aye, our wee lassie," Dana responded, then leaned down and rested her cheek against the brunette's abdomen enjoying these past-life memories of Devin's.
Twins. A boy and a girl. Anna had given birth to twins, exactly nine months later to the very day, from when Devin had said his last goodbye to her, and then had left her by their little mulberry tree. No wonder Dana had felt such guilt and remorse over this former life. She had died—too soon—and had left behind not only a beautiful young woman, whom would have later become her beautiful young wife, but a newborn son and daughter as well, just nine months later. No wonder she had needed to clear this past-life's journey from all her feelings of guilt, pain and remorse. She had done what she had had to do in Devin's life, and had courageously led his men into battle. But it had cost her dearly—a longer life, a richer life, full of love, joy and happiness, with an adoring wife and two adoring children to fill his days and nights with happiness. She had lost so much more than she could have ever gained, upholding her duty to her men and the Confederate Army that day. But she had made her choice. And she had only been a young man of twenty-two back then, trying to establish himself, build his reputation, and prove himself to the world, that he was a man of his word; a fine young man, and a fine young gentleman, whom people could count on, when the going got tough. And yet, he had let his own future-wife and family-to-be down that day. How could he have known? How could Dana have known, all that she would lose that fateful day, when she had left her Anna by their little mulberry tree that early morning, and rode off into the hills, towards the ridge and back into battle? How could she have known? It was impossible for her to have known. She could not foretell the future. All she could do was try and learn from the past. Her past. Devin's past. And try not to make the same mistakes twice. But, would she? Now that she had seen some of the mistakes she had made in her past? Devin's past? Would she remember and take note? And not make the same mistakes again, history repeating itself over and over again?
"Ohhh," Monica cooed as she watched the sweet scene play out. Devin's mother had finished cleaning up their little newborn daughter, cut the cord, and had wrapped her up in her own set of swaddling linens, and then had handed her over to her, next to her newborn big brother. "Ohhh." She and Devin's children were so beautiful—simply beautiful. And she had dreamed about this very scene so many times inside her head. And now to see it actually play out from Dana's prospective—from their actual father's prospective—was stunning, simply mind-boggling. …Wow… So the dead can see from the other side, from heaven above, all that is happening down on earth, while their loved ones carry on without them. And they can watch over them, love them, and feel joy and happiness for them too, even from the other side. "Wow," she gasped again, opening her eyes and glancing down at the little redhead.
Dana was watching her, smiling, and seemingly much more at peace now than she had been only moments before.
Dana grinned then cocked an eyebrow.
"Well now. So you did know, Sgt. Devin Brody McFadden, that you had knocked me up that one last night," she teased him.
"Hum," Dana grunted then began to laugh as Devin, heartily through her reverie.
Monica laughed, too. …My goodness. You little minx. More like fertile as hell, for just one time. Shit. And who's fault was that? … She giggled again. …Jeez, Dev! Lots of little spermy-wiggles swimming around in there… She laughed again shaking her head.
Dana laughed some more too as Devin, then kissed her on the abdomen again.
"Hum." Monica shook her head, feathering her fingers through her thick auburn hair, then lay back down against the headboard again. The sweet and tender scene was beginning to shift, shimmer and fade away inside their reverie. …Uh-oh… "Um, Dev? I think maybe it might be time for you to go, and God rest your weary soul, hum?" she said, opening her eyes again and looking down at the little redhead.
Dana wrinkled her brow in frustration.
"Oh love, I think it's time for you to go. And I think that maybe—"
"No, but no, oi don’t want to leave ye, not yet." Dana rose up gazing into her eyes. "Not yet. Not ever. Oi may never see—"
"Shhh, yes, you'll see me again. I promise. You will see me again, very soon, before you know it," she reassured her, cupping her cheek, then closing her eyes as she concentrated on Devin again. "Devin, look," she clasped his hand. "Look. See the big, bright light, beginning to shine down upon us from heaven above? Hum? Close your eyes and look."
Dana then closed her eyes, trusting in Monica yet again to guide her home from the past.
"There ya go, now look," Monica encouraged her. "Do you see it? See the big, bright light?" she repeated, meeting Dana once again inside their reverie and talking to Devin.
"Aye. Oi see it," Dana responded.
"Okay, good. Now it's coming for you, to take you home, okay? And I'm going to be waiting for you, just on the other side, all right? You really need some rest, love. And I'll be waiting for you, just on the other side of it, okay?" she reassured him then nodded towards the big, bright blinding beam of light that was beginning to surround them from high above.
"Yes. Aye. It's coming for you, to take you home, and give you rest. And you just watch. I'll be right there, on the other side, waiting for you."
"Aye?" he asked again needing a little more reassurance.
"Aye. Yes, my love. I'll be right there, waiting. I promise," she reassured him once more.
"But, oi don't want to lea—"
"Shhh, hush now. You're gonna make me cry. Now go on. You go on, Devin McFadden, and God rest your weary soul. Do you hear me?"
He continued to stare into her eyes.
"Oh Dev." …My God… She didn’t know what else to say or do to convince him—or Dana actually—that it was okay for him to leave, and follow his destiny, so that they could be together again, in a matter of seconds, as Dana and Monica. And she didn’t think that she could walk into the big, bright portal of light with him. Or maybe she could. She really wasn't sure. She had never experienced anything quite like this before, meeting another inside their own personal, past-life reverie. So she really could not say for sure what would happen, if she walked into the portal of light with him. …Hum… But it seemed logical that Devin needed to be the one to walk into the light and "die" in order for his soul to be "reborn" into this life as Dana, into this present life. …Oh, for Godsakes… The big, bright light was increasing towards them and beginning to surround them. "Dev? Honey, it's time," she said coaxing him again to do what he must—step into the light.
He just looked at her.
"Oh love, will be together again soon, very soon, I promise."
"Yes. I promise," she reassured him once more then let go of his hand.
He cocked an eyebrow then turned his gaze towards the light.
…Oh yes. That's it, love... Monica's heart skipped a beat. "That's it, go on, step into the light."
He then began to step tentatively towards the light.
…Ohhh, my God… She watched him as he slowly stepped towards the light. …Oh wow… It was the most amazing thing.
He then turned back to look at her once more.
"No. Nonono, you go on now. You go on. And I'll be waiting for you, just on the other side of it, all right? I promise, my arms will be open wide, waiting for your return, okay?" she smiled then stepped back from the broadening circle of light.
The fear in his eyes began to dissipate.
"Go on now. You go on, Devin McFadden. And God rest your weary soul. Don’t you dare keep me a waitin', for even one more second. Do you hear me?" she playfully reprimanded him in that sweet Southern drawl of Anna's.
He grinned then chuckled. And then, with those words, he began to walk more confidently into the light.
…Oh. My God. Yes. Yes. That's it. That's it. Yes. Yes. Let go. And walk into the light. And fly. And be free. And let your spirit soar, to that highest mountaintop… Monica breathed as she watched her lover boy Devin walk into the light, causing his apparition to shimmer, fade and then ultimately vanish away, right before her eyes.
…Oh, my God… She had never seen or experienced anything quite so spiritually moving and exhilarating as that in her life. Her heart was still pounding inside her chest. And she had Dana to thank for it, too. Now. She only hoped that Dana would remember it as well.
She opened her eyes and glanced down at the little redhead still resting so peacefully in her arms. …Oh Dana. Wow. My God. Please, please remember that, baby, please…
Dana continued to lay very still in her arms, her respiration and heartbeat just as steady as ever. Her tears had subsided. Her inner pain and turmoil had faded. She had forgiven herself of Devin's past demons, full of guilt, pain and sorrow from that life, just as she had needed to do for decades. She had cleared her karmic path, whether she would ever fully realize it or not. And Monica had come to her rescue, to help her do it. After all, it was Monica, as Anna, who had held the key to her willingness to forgive herself, as Devin. She had needed to hear those words of forgiveness from Anna, before she could forgive herself of that one last final life-altering decision she had made as Devin. No wonder she had balked at remembering that past-life, and had been so doggedly determined to not believe Mulder, even as he had believed in that past-life, too, and had remembered it through his own past-life regression. She had had too much karmic pain, sorrow and remorse to clear, before she could remember and accept that life from her past. But now, all of her pain, sorrow and feelings of guilt had been removed, and healed from that dreadful untimely death.
Monica sighed, waiting patiently, as she clutched the little redhead more comfortably in her arms, then kissed her on the crown beginning to massage her shoulder-blades.
Dana whimpered softly in response then opened her eyes.
"Hey." Monica grinned waiting patiently.
"Hey," she responded. …Whoa… Then began to glance around the room for a few seconds, trying to figure out how in the hell she had ended up in Monica's arms, instead of Monica still lying comfortably in hers. …What the hell?… Had she not just been holding Monica, only seconds before? And comforting her about her dream-lover Devin not returning from battle, and then sweeping her up off her feet, and whisking her away to Canada, or at least somewhere farther north, so they could get married and start a family? …What the hell?... She cocked an eyebrow in absolute total confusion.
Monica just smiled at that ever familiar expression. …Oh God… That adorable expression and cock of the eyebrow must have been something that would continue on, through every lifetime, from here to eternity. Now. She only wondered if Dana would remember anything. She didn’t want to push the redhead's recall, or assume that she had remembered even one major event from the last few minutes, much less every single moment. Dana might not even remember what had happened just seconds before, much less all the recalled memories over the last few minutes. But then again, she might, with some slight prodding. …Oh please, please, please, baby, please remember, please, at least part of it, please… she hoped.
Dana then glanced over at the nearest clock. …What the crap?... She was really beginning to feel the most bizarre sensations rattling around inside her brain, as if she had lost a few seconds of time, or maybe even a few minutes. Possibly a few decades? Maybe even a century or two?
She then glanced up to Monica's eyes, watching those dark chocolate penetrating eyes of hers for a few seconds, almost as if she were searching those dark chocolate eyes for the answer.
Monica smiled again, "Hey baby. You okay? Everything okay?"
"Huh?" Dana cocked that proverbial little eyebrow once more. "Um, yeah. Why the hell wouldn’t it be?" she responded. …Crap… What kind of insane question was that?
"Oh. I um, well—Hum." …Jeez. Shit… It appeared that the little redhead didn’t remember a thing, not a damn thing. …Dadgum, the luck… "I um, well, I was just, I thought I'd make sure," she shrugged.
"Make sure? sure about what? Yeah, I'm fine, just—God! What a damn headache all of a sudden. Shit!" Dana suddenly fussed reaching up and massaging her forehead. "Jesus! And it just presented, too. Shit!"
…Oh no. Oh my God… "Well um, honey, do you need me to—?"
"No, I'm fine, but—ohhh God. Just go and get me a little something for it, and I'll be fine."
"Okay, I've got some—" Monica began to rise up from the bed.
"No. Sit down." Dana grabbed her forearm.
…Whoa. Okay… Monica quickly sat back down.
"Now. You were telling me about your lover-boy Devin, right? And how that he had never returned to you, correct?"
"Um, yeah, correct," Monica replied, still hopeful that she might remember at least some small part of their shared reverie.
"Ohhh, gosh," Dana groaned again rubbing her temples and forehead. "Ohhh, Moni?" she whimpered in pain wanting the brunette to do something to relieve her discomfort. …Gosh… Her head was really beginning to ache.
"Oh baby, just tell me what you need, and I'll go and get it, right now," she said beginning to rise up from the bed again.
"No. Sit," Dana instructed her again.
"Hah. Well for Godsakes." The flustered brunette sat back down. "Honey? How in the hell am I supposed to go and get you something for your headache if you won’t let me get up?" …Shit…
Dana smirked. Good question. But she just did not feel like being without Monica quite yet. She just did not feel quite right.
"Baby, what's wrong? What's going on inside your head?" Monica said leaning back in and cupping Dana's temple again.
"I—I don’t know. I know I've got a bad headache, just presented, and—" She began to sit up. "And—Oh! Christ! Ngh! What the fuck?" She grabbed at her stomach, just to the left of her navel.
…Oh Jeezus, my God… Monica put her hand over the back of her hand too, in concern.
"Oh! Jesus! Feels like a damn mule has just kicked me in the stomach or something. For Crissakes," she panted again, running her hand across her scar and ribcage, then back over towards her navel.
…Oh Jeezus!… Monica's eyes widened. "Um. When did you get that? I've been meaning to ask," she said glancing down at the healed bullet wound just an inch or so to the left of Dana's navel then ran her own palm over it. She had noticed that healed bullet wound scar last week. But had never bothered to ask Dana about it.
"What?" Dana panted still massaging her sore tummy.
"That scar. When did you take that bullet?"
"Oh. Two years ago. Should have died, but survived, somehow."
Monica nodded. …Wow… "That's amazing," she said running her finger over the small bullet hole scar once more.
What was the most amazing thing about it of all: Dana had not only survived a bullet wound from this life, almost two years ago. But she had received a bullet wound in practically the exact same spot as Devin had, a little over a-hundred-and-thirty-seven years ago, and had ultimately died from it back then.
"Jeezus," Monica breathed again, amazed at how history did seem to repeat itself. And also how Dana had somehow managed to cheat her death this lifetime around.
"Um, gosh, it's really beginning to ache, when I take a breath," Dana panted again twisting her torso somewhat to find a more comfortable position.
"Oh baby, my God, are you gonna be okay?" Monica asked, her concern increasing for the little redhead after all they had just been through together inside Dana's reverie.
"Um, yeah, just—have you got some Tylenol?"
"Yeah. In the medicine cabinet," Monica said beginning to rise up from the bed again.
"No, wait, wait. Don't. Just, wait a minute, okay?" Dana instructed her yet again grabbing onto her forearm.
…Whoa. Okay… Monica instantly sat back down. "Honey, what's wrong? What are you feeling? What's going on inside your head? Hum?" she said leaning down again and then reaching over and clasping her hand.
"I um, I don't—I just—I want—I need you to stay with me for a minute. Okay?"
"Okay. I'm not going anywhere. I'll stay right here. But the sooner we get some pain reliever in you—"
"I know. But I need you to stay with me right now. And it happens all the time anyway, so—"
"What? The headache or the cramp in your side?"
"Both. Comes with the pregnancy I think."
"Oh," Monica nodded, but she really didn’t think so. Some of it, if not most of it, was probably stemming from what the little redhead had just been through a few moments ago, inside her reverie. "Um, gosh honey. Are you sure you're okay? And that it's not something—?"
"What else could it be?" Dana questioned.
…Oh boy… Well. Good question. Monica nibbled on her lower lip for a moment deep in thought. …Hum… "Well. Something happened a few minutes ago. And—"
"Yeah. And—" …Wow… She didn’t know whether to tell her or not. She didn’t want it to alarm the little redhead. But then maybe Dana needed to know. But then how could she explain what had just happened to her—to them—if Dana had no recall of it? ...Gosh... She didn't even understand it herself. So how in the heck could she explain it the little redhead, how she had somehow become lost inside a past-live regression for a few minutes?
She then eased down on the bed again and lay down next to her. "Honey? What are you thinking? What did you think about my story? About Dev? And Anna?" She decided to prod the redhead's memory somewhat.
Dana cocked that proverbial little eyebrow again.
"Oh my goodness," Monica giggled in spite of herself. She was just going to have to get used to that adorable little cock-of-the-red-auburn-eyebrow of Dana's. But then that adorably cute little cock-of-the-red-auburn-eyebrow was like coming home for her anyway. So, really, there was nothing to get used to. It was like coming home again, from a long cosmic trip to another universe or something.
"What did you think about it?" she asked again.
"I thought it was marvelous, simply exhilarating, the love between them."
"Yeah? Really?" she chuckled again.
"Um, yes. Really."
"Great, well, glad to hear it."
"Um, yes. I want to hear more about it, tonight. Possibly over dinner."
"Um, maybe. If you're up to it."
"If I'm up to it?" Dana wrinkled her brow yet again in slight confusion.
"Yeah, um, gosh, honey. That bullet didn’t cause you any problems with your womb did it?" she said changing the subject and reaching down to stroke Dana's scar once more.
"Um, no, not yet. Not that I know of," Dana said glancing back down and rubbing the small scar just to the left of her navel again herself. She knew how dangerously close it was to her womb, too. But the bullet had somehow missed her uterus, her fallopian tube and left ovary, lodging itself just between the ovary and womb, and just below the lower left corner of her stomach into the fatty tissue, muscle and small intestine, missing several vital organs by mere centimeters. She was lucky. Damn lucky. She should have died. But, she had managed to cheat Death that day, thanks to a man called Alfred Fellig.
Monica rubbed the area again with her palm. "Baby, are you sure you're all right? And not—?"
"I'm fine, my sweet. Just get me some Tylenol and I'll be fine," she said stroking the brunette's shoulder.
Monica looked up then smiled, "Okay. If you're sure."
"I'm sure," Dana smiled then winked.
Well. The redhead seemed to think that she was fine, except for a splitting headache and small cramp in her side. So. The brunette would simply trust in her judgment, and not fret anymore about it. But she did think that she would tell her later more about what had actually happened to them when they had more time to discuss it. Dana needed to know. It was the right thing to do. After all, it had been a life-changing experience for both of them, whether Dana was consciously remembering any of it right now or not. It changed everything. No. More accurately, it confirmed everything.
The doorbell rang.
They both startled somewhat.
Monica then looked at the clock. "Oh shit. It's already three-thirty? Shit. That's gotta be Eric. I forgot to put his wallet out on the back porch. Shit. And—"
It rang again.
"Hah. For Godsakes," she fussed again.
Dana just smiled at her lover's sudden edginess. "It's all right. Go on down and answer the door. I'll be fine. I can find the Tylenol. I need to jump in the shower anyway, right? We've got about forty minutes?"
"Yeah. More like forty-five."
"Okay. I'll be ready. Now go on down there and get that door before he rings it again."
Monica grinned then leaned in for a kiss.
Dana chuckled at the brunette's frustrations, then slapped her playfully on the butt as she got up to go and answer the front door.
Monica turned for a moment, giggling, then winked, "I'll get you for that."
Dana chuckled too, "I'm counting on it," then sighed as she watched the brunette leave the room then got up from the bed herself, rummaged around through her suitcase for a few seconds, looking for some appropriate underwear, then padded towards the master bathroom. She then opened the medicine cabinet and found the small bottle of Tylenol. That should work to alleviate her headache. "Hum," she grunted a little bit then rubbed the area just to the left of her navel again. …Crap… Why was her old bullet wound starting to cause her so much discomfort this afternoon, all of a sudden, anyway? …Shit… Although, it did happen on occasion. And had she ever been lucky on that day, almost two years ago, anyway.
She had been working on a case in New York, without Mulder, but with a young rookie agent named Peyton Ritter in his place, investigating a man whom claimed that he could see Death coming for people. He would take the unsuspecting person's picture, within an hour or so before they actually died—in an attempt to catch a glimpse of Death on film—and then the person would ultimately die, through various means, within the hour.
At first, Dana and Ritter both suspected him of being the serial killer, murdering all of these innocent people, and taking their pictures within an hour or so before he ultimately killed them. But Dana was not as convinced as Ritter that they might have the right man. And, interestingly enough, Mulder had managed to uncover the truth about this man called Alfred Fellig without even officially working on the case.
Mr. Fellig was almost a-hundred-and-fifty-years-old, according to Mulder's findings, and had managed to somehow cheat Death decades before. Mr. Fellig later told Dana the intriguing story, and how that he had somehow cheated his own death during a Yellow Fever epidemic. He had somehow tricked Death into not taking him the night that he should have died of the plaguing fever, resulting in his bed nurse dying in his place instead.
In the mean time, while Dana had continued to interview him on that last afternoon while working on the case, he had foreseen her death. He did not know how she would die, only that she would—within the hour. So, he proceeded to take her picture. This upset her. Hence, she began to argue with him, struggle with him, and accuse him of trying to frighten her, just as the young and inexperienced rookie agent Peyton Ritter, entered the room, panicked then fired off a round, hitting Dana right squarely in the gut and just to the left of her navel instead of Fellig.
Taking that accidental bullet should have killed her. But, as she began to slide down the back wall and to the ground, bleeding out, Fellig asked her if she had seen Death. She fluttered her eyes open then glanced over at him and shook her head 'no'. He then told her not to look—not to look Death in the eye—but to close her eyes again. She did as she was instructed, closed her eyes and then Fellig reached over and clasped her hand. Death then came and took him in her stead. Consequently, he had somehow managed to cheat and trick Death again, dying this time, in Dana's place. He had helped her cheat fate that day. In many ways she owed him, for giving her another chance at life, and more time on Earth, just as he owed her, for giving him what he had been searching for, freedom and spiritual rest from this life.
"Hum." She rubbed the scarred area just to the left of her navel again. The little twinge of discomfort should go away, just as her splitting headache would, after taking that full dose of Tylenol. Both sources of pain had already begun to subside anyway, even before she had taken the pain reliever. But her head was pounding too much to wait it out. A splitting headache could really be bothersome. And she did not want to be plagued with a splitting headache tonight—not with Monica taking her out to eat at one of the finest restaurants in town. She was looking forward to it, and looking forward to doing some sightseeing afterwards. She'd play "tourist" tonight as Monica played her "tourist guide".
She then shed the last of her clothes, stepped out of her sweatpants, reached into the shower stall and turned on the water, then adjusted the temperature to just the right warmth. She then stepped in and began to lather herself up. Maybe if she were lucky Monica would get rid of Eric soon, and then come back up to the bedroom and into the shower and join her. That could be fun—taking another shower together. And this time with enough time to really take their time and enjoy themselves. She grinned at the thought.
She then slid the bar of soap down between her breasts, down and across her stomach, then abdomen, and then down through her pubic hair lathering everything up, then sliding it down between her legs. "Oh," she barely grunted as a wave of dizziness suddenly washed over her. …Oh gosh. For Crissakes… She quickly leaned up against the tile wall. …Jeezus. What is happening to me?... She suddenly felt so lightheaded. "Oh," she barely grunted again, closing her eyes and steadying herself against the tile wall, as suddenly an image of a beautiful young woman entered her thoughts, frolicking around in a dark emerald green meadow, laughing, skipping, and jumping around, then turning back to look at her, to see if she were still following after her, then sprinting off again, full of life, love, and innocence. …Oh. My God… Dana just stayed there leaned up against the tile wall for a few seconds, losing herself to her daydream.
The beautiful young woman was Monica. Her hair was longer, much longer, and somewhat lighter. But her eyes, those eyes, and her smile, that radiant smile, and her laugh, that infectious laugh, and her playfulness. …Ohhh… And Dana was so in love with this beautiful young woman whom looked so much like Monica, frolicking around in this dark and grassy green meadow, teasing her and enticing her to come play with her. And the next thing she knew, she was playing with her, and on top of her, slowing the giddy young chestnut-brown-haired woman's movements down, and holding her there, steady, with her long, lean, strong and masculine body, on the soft green grass, then moving in to kiss her. "Mmm." She felt a slight twinge in her groin, almost as if something were rising up to the occasion. "Mmm." …My God… She reached down between her legs, almost expecting to feel a rock-hard penis down there. …My gosh!… But no, it was just her usual—her labia, clitoris and entrance.
The dreamlike vision then faded, just as soon as it had presented.
…Whoa, my gosh… She opened her eyes and stood there for a few seconds. …What the heck was that?... She shook her head. …For Crissakes… Whatever it had been, it had been a very nice little wet dream of sorts.
In actual fact, it had been a memory—a past-life memory—of Anna, frolicking around and teasing her, seducing her, and enticing her to come play and make love to her in that dark green, grassy meadow.
She felt down between her legs again. …Oh my gosh. For Crissakes… She began to laugh at the very idea of having an erect penis down there, ready to join in on all the fun. …For Crissakes… Monica's retelling of her dreams had really sparked Dana's imagination with thoughts of the hopelessly-in-love Devin and Anna.
She then turned and leaned up against the tile wall again, allowing the warm, wet water to cascade down her chest and breasts. …Hum… Or was it only a fantasy? Only wishful thinking on her part, to dream about two young lovers, so happily in love? Was it simply her imagination? Or was it real? Was that dreamlike fantasy actually a past-life memory, from Dana and Monica's past-lives? "Oh. Wow." She was not sure anymore. She just was not sure, if it were a mere fantasy or an actual past-life memory. But some part of her wanted to believe that it was real, and a past-life memory. Actually, some part of her already knew that it was real. Very real. She and Anna had made love that day, she being Devin of course, both climaxing without actually engaging in intercourse out there in that open grassy field. It had been like heaven, like paradise itself, making love to her woman, underneath the bright blue sky, and radiant sunlight, with the tall dark emerald green grass surrounding them. Yes, it had been like heaven itself as she had played and teased Monica's heat through her skirt, and then slid her hand up underneath her petticoat and found her bloomers, then slid her hand down inside and made love to her, making her come in that grassy field as Anna had done the same and had unzipped her trousers, reached inside to her drawers, found her pulsating heat and began to stroke her up and down and tightening her grip until she unloaded all over that grassy meadow. Oh yeah. They had made love that day, without engaging in intercourse. They had made sweet, passionate love that day.
"Mmm." She grinned then began to lather herself up again, washing her forearms, over her shoulders and down her triceps.
On the Screened-In Back Porch – Outside the house:
Eric reached down and stroked little Xena again.
"E-ow," she chirped her acceptance of his friendly gesture.
Monica then leaned in against the deck railing again, propping her foot up on the lowest rail. She then turned around to face him. "Eric? I understand that. I really do. But now is not the time," she said. "I've got company right now. And we need to be leaving the house in about forty minutes, so—"
He glanced back up, tears filling his eyes.
"Oh crock." She closed her eyes for a few seconds grumbling under her breath. This was just not the time. She really didn't have enough time to breach the subject with him right now—why she had decided to break up with him so abruptly. Not if she wanted to discuss it with him properly.
"Hah. Fuck. Shit. Okay. What? What do you want to know?" she grumbled growing somewhat agitated. …Damn it!… She wasn't deliberately trying to avoid him or the subject. She just did not have enough time right now to talk to him about it.
"I want to know why, Monica. I want to know why. Why is that so hard for you? I want to know why you're breaking up with me. What did I do, Monica? That was so wrong—?"
"Nothing. You did nothing wrong, okay?"
"Hah. Then why the hell are you breaking up with me?" His eyes filled with more unshed tears.
"Oh for Godsakes." His sad eyes were about to get the best of her yet. "Because, I—It's me, okay? It's me. Something happened to me while I was gone, and—Shit. I don’t have enough time to talk to you about it right now, okay? Really. I don't. Not and be fair to you," she said, looking at him once more then turning around and glancing out across her backyard towards the lake again, so she didn’t have to endure that anguished look he was giving her anymore. And she had caused it. …Jeez... But what could she do about it? It had needed to be done. She and needed to break it off with him and not continue to lead him on into no type of future together as a couple. ...Ohhh... What she would not give right now to be back out on the lake, and with Dana, instead of up here on the back porch with Eric, him pleading with her to tell him why she had broken up with him so suddenly. It was just not that simple. Not so simple she could tell him in just a few minutes.
He looked out across the backyard and towards the lake too for a few seconds, then walked up next to her. "Alright. I can buy that. But it still ain't explainin' why."
She inhaled deeply then sighed. …Oh God… No. It didn't.
"Mon? Couldn't we at least talk about it? Try to work it out? You say somethin' happened to ya. Well? Maybe if me and you would talk about it, we could—"
"No Eric. No. And I really don't have enough time right now to talk to you about it. Honestly. I don't. I'm not trying to put you off. I'm really not. But I've got another appointment to keep, okay?" she said glancing back over to him.
He twisted his lips then nodded. "Alright. But I just gotta know one thing. Who is he? Who's the other man?"
"What? Hah," she huffed then rose up from the wood deck railing, pissed. "Shit." She then began to walk towards the French doors that led into her house.
"No! What the hell does it matter?" she yelled losing her calm demeanor for a few seconds.
"What the hell does it matter?" he retorted. "Damn, Monica! Because I wanna know! I need to know who my competition is!" he yelled back.
"Your competition? Shit." She could almost laugh. "It's none of your damn business. So you're just gonna have to get over it, all right?" she argued back, then reached for the doorknob.
"The hell it's not!" he yelled back leaping over to her side and shoving his palm up against the door. "Dammit, Monica! I'm losing my girlfriend to some other man, and you're telling me it's none of my damn business?! Fuck this shit! Fuck this, Monica!"
…Whoa… "Eric? For Godsakes. I am not your wife," she retorted, glaring at him. "And would you please keep your voice down? Jeezus. I don't want the neighbors—"
"Fuck the neighbors!" he yelled again. "Monica? Fuck! This—You're—Dammit!" Tears began to roll down his cheeks.
"Oh Christ." She leaned up against the doorframe, glancing up at the ceiling fan for a few seconds then closed her eyes. …For Godsakes… What she would not give right now to be out on the lake again, or up in her bedroom, or at least inside her house, or maybe even downtown, anywhere else but here, on her back porch right now, as long as Dana was at her side. …Shit… She hated heated confrontations with a passion. But her ex-boyfriend did deserve to know the truth, and her reasons for breaking up with him so unexpectedly. But now was not the time. She didn’t have enough time to discuss it with him properly and be fair to him about the subject.
"Shit Eric," she whimpered, looking at him. "I've got to—ngh," she grunted.
He just stood there, looking at her, waiting, rubbing his eyes, and trying to stop his tears.
"Oh fuck, Eric. Daamn it. Do we really have to do—?"
"Yes," he said then began to cry.
"Oh God no, don't, no, don't cry, don't—shit." Her stomach tightened inside her gut. …Jesus… She then reached over to him and wrapped her arms around him. "God Eric, don't, I'm sorry, I, come here, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I never meant to hurt you," she whispered holding her sniffling ex-boyfriend in her arms.
He just leaned in against her shoulder and nodded, holding on.
The Master Bathroom – Inside the house:
Dana finished rinsing all the shampoo out of her hair then did one more quick wash between her legs before turning off the water. She stepped out from the shower stall. "Mmm. Aowh. Crap!" She massaged the area just below her old bullet wound again. …Good grief… Why was her old bullet wound and scar causing her so much distress this afternoon? "Mmm," she moaned again then glanced back down at it, then looked in the mirror, studying it from that perspective and turning her torso somewhat until the overhead lamp illuminated the discolored area a little more clearly. "Oh no." …My God… She suddenly felt faint again. "Good grief. What is wrong with me?" she mumbled as she grabbed onto the sink to steady herself. "Shit. Ngh." A flash of pain suddenly shot through her insides, causing her to gasp and clutch at her side again. "Ohhh, sweet Mary," she panted then glanced back up into the mirror.
…Whoa! My God!... Her heart jumped to her throat. …Jeezus!... Her gut appeared to be bleeding out—bright red blood gushing out all over the floor and down her leg—from a huge, gaping musket shot wound to her stomach, and just to the left of her navel. …Oh! Jeezus!… "Mon? Moni?" she instinctively called out as she grabbed at the imaginary musket shot wound then reached up with a hand and held on tighter to the edge of the sink. "Oh fuck, fuck you, you bloody bastard," she rambled, closing her eyes, as she recognized the evil man that had just critically injured her—critically injured Devin inside her head—the evil man shooting Devin with a musket shot round to the gut, over one-hundred-and-thirty-seven years ago, and then lifting Devin's critically wounded body up from off the ground, over his shoulder and then dropping him down into a solid rock pit. "Fuck, fuck you, you goddamn bloody bastard," she growled again, the gut-wrenching anger she had held towards this man for centuries resurfacing to the top and threatening to boil over.
It was Cancer Man. And she had recognized him from her past—Devin's past. It was Cancer Man. He had been the one to kill Devin, steal his bright and happy future away from him, and destroy his and Anna's bright and happy future together away from them.
"Mmm, goddamn you to hell," she growled again, her eyes narrowing inside her head as she stared the Cigarette-Smoking Man down inside her head.
He just laughed, wickedly.
So, it had not been just any random soldier out there on that battlefield that day whom had shot Devin and had ultimately killed him. It had been Cancer Man. Destined to reek havoc on her life—Devin's life; and indirectly, on Monica's life, too—Anna's life as well.
"Ohhh, goddamn you to hell, you mother-fucking bastard. Do you understand me? Never again. Never again, you bloody bastard, will I allow you to get by with that." She narrowed her eyes at him again, inside her head, in dogged determination.
He laughed again, wickedly, then began to vanish from her daydream inside her head.
"Never again, you goddamn bloody bastard, will I allow you to hurt me, or the ones I love. Never again," she growled again, making a promise to herself, to her unborn son William, and to Monica, as she rose up off the edge of the sink, inhaled a long, deep, settling breath, then reopened her eyes and glanced down at the old bullet wound scar just to the left of her navel again.
…Hum… She then ran her palm across it. …Hum… Well. Everything appeared to be back to normal again. Her emotions had settled. Her anger had diminished. The vision had ceased. Undoubtedly, she had just experienced another fleeting memory from her past as Devin. And that fleeting memory had given her more than enough information to last her for several lifetimes. Cancer Man had killed her in that past-life. Cancer Man was her foe, her adversary, her nemesis. But then she had already known that. She didn't need a fleeting memory from a past-life to tell her that. Although, she would keep that revelation in mind. It had been quite revealing to her, to learn that Cancer Man had been the one whom had killed Devin and destroyed his future life with Anna all those many years ago. Plus, it was always a good thing to be reminded of whom the arch enemy really was.
She then reached over to the towel rack, grabbed the nearest bath towel and began to towel herself dry.
She then sat down on the toilet seat lid and buried her face in her palms. Was she really beginning to believe in Monica's dreams? Was she really beginning to believe that Monica's dreams were not merely dreams, but were actually some form of past-life memories, from their past-life experiences together? Was she? Was she really beginning to believe in Monica's dreams? Monica's past-life memories? Were they actual past-life memories from their mutual past-lives together? Could it be? Could Monica's dreams really be the medium between now, their present life together, and their various mutual past-lives together?
She just sat quietly for a few moments contemplating that mind-boggling thought.
Outside on the Screened-In Back Porch:
Monica pulled up one of her lounge chairs then motioned for Eric to sit down next to her.
He then sat down, wiping more stray tears away from his eyes.
She then looked up at him, sucked on her lower lip for a moment, then sighed. …Oh jeez. How do I do this? How the hell do I do this? Shit… she mused then reached across the short distance between them and clasped his hand. ...I just do it...
He glanced up and smiled.
She then smiled in return and winked.
"Aw dammit, Monica, don’t do that. Shit. It's hard enough—"
"What? Oh. Sorry. Habit I guess."
"Yeah. That's always been a problem with us, you flirtin' with people when you don’t even realize it."
"What? I do not. That wasn't a flirt," she countered.
"Hah. Whatever. I reckon," he replied then shrugged.
"Yeah, so you say, but you don’t seem to get it, that when you do that, you—"
"What? I what?"
"You leave the wrong impression."
"The wrong impression." She knitted her brow.
"Yeah. When you look at people like that—"
"Like what? What did I do?"
"You winked, and—"
"I winked? Okay. Shit! So what? I winked. Big deal. I do that. I wink. I wink all the time. Shit. I was probably winking at the doctors and nurses when I first popped out of my mom. Shit," she defended herself.
They sat looking at each other for a few seconds then snorted into a fit of giggles.
Yes. She had winked. But no. She had not flirted with him, or anyone else. She had only given him her usual look that had made him fall in love with her several months ago. He had been in love with her for months, before he had finally mustered up enough courage to ask her out on a date. But then he knew that look quite well. It was the look she tended to give most anyone when she knew that someone was upset or hurting. It was that look that tended to make another fall in love with her, without her even realizing it. It was that congenial look of love, warmth, tenderness and compassion—always with a little understanding mixed within. How could anyone not fall in love with that look? She left men weak in the knees with that look. Women, too. Especially her soulmate, Dana Scully.
They sat quietly for a few seconds.
She then let go of his hand and leaned back in her chair, sighing and glancing at her watch.
He just sat quietly.
"Eric? I really don't have the time right now to breach this subject with you, but, I'm willing to give it a start, and give you enough information to give you some semblance of closure. Would that work? For now? Until we can talk more at a later date?"
He pursed his lips then nodded.
"Okay, so. What I'm about to say, it's not—it took me by surprise, too, okay?"
He nodded again, then leaned in, listening as intently as he knew how.
"Okay, so. I just want you to listen to me, okay? And not try to argue with me, or interrupt me, or try to convince me otherwise, from what I'm about to tell you, but just listen to me, all right?"
He cocked an eyebrow. "Alright, I reckon I can do that," he replied then smiled.
She smiled, too, gazing into his baby-blues for a few seconds and remembering why she had agreed to go out with him on that first date in the first place. He was gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. A simply gorgeously handsome man. She wasn't in love with him or anything like that. But he was gorgeous—simply gorgeous. And most women would be panting for the chance to go out with him, get a hug and kiss from him, and then hopefully sleep with him before the night was through. And yet, she had done all those things with him. But he was still not the one for her. Even with all of his burly good looks, beautiful blue eyes, sandy blonde hair, and adorably sweet and gentlemanly ways, he was still not the one for her. Amazing. But she was just not into men anymore, not after Dana Scully.
"Mmm," she sighed, curling her lower lip at the irony of that, then inhaled a deep breath.
He just watched her.
"Okay. So." …Here we go, Reyes. Brace yourself… She glanced back over at him. "I um. Something happened to me last week, while I was gone and—"
"Eric? Stop." She cocked an eyebrow at him. "Now you wanted me to tell you, didn’t you? So I'm going to tell you, if you don't start up with the asinine comments."
"I'm serious, Eric. If you start up with any smartass, asinine comments, that's it. Over. Done. End of discussion. Because I don’t have the time to—"
"Aw alright, shit."
She cocked an eyebrow at him yet again.
Inside the Master Bedroom – Ten minutes later:
Dana finished blow-drying her hair, ran the brush through her bangs then began to wrap the cord up. She glanced at the clock. 3:47 PM. They still had about twenty, twenty-five minutes left before they would need to leave. But she was beginning to wonder where Monica was. Surely she was not still downstairs with Eric. Surely. How long could it take to give him his wallet and checkbook?
She then pulled her medium, royal blue silk blouse from her overnight bag, put it on, buttoned it up, then tucked it inside her dark, navy blue dress jeans, zipped them up and then buckled her light tan leather belt into its last hole. Her pregnancy was beginning to cause her some problems with wearing her usual clothes. This particular pair of jeans had always been a little too big for her. But now, at four-and-a-half months pregnant, they fit her just perfectly. But within a couple of weeks, or maybe even by next week, they would begin to get a little too tight in the waist for her as well. …Oh well… And then she would have no other choice but to begin to wear maternity clothes.
She then pulled her dark navy, russet brown, medium blue, khaki and taupe herringbone patterned vest from her overnight bag then slipped it on. She hoped her choice in wearing a more casual outfit for the night would be appropriate enough for the nice restaurant she and Monica would be dining in later tonight. She really did not feel like dressing up. She wanted to go casual for a change, and concentrate on enjoying herself, rather than concerning herself on whether she was getting a snag in her hose, her blazer, her dress pants or whatever.
She then walked over to the floor length mirror again, and did another quick once-over. …Oh yeah… She looked fine, mighty fine, pregnant and all. She still was barely showing, even at four-and-a-half months pregnant. But soon, her abdomen would begin to swell into her fifth month. But for now, someone would have to look very closely to even notice her pregnancy bulge growing around her midsection. Of course the colorful long vest helped to hide it, too. But then it really didn’t matter. There was no one in particular in the New Orleans, or Slidell, Louisiana area that she felt the need to hide her pregnancy from anyway. And Monica adored her, pregnant and all.
She then walked out of the bedroom and down the hallway. "Mon?" she called out.
She then walked quietly down the stairs and into the living room. "Moni?" she tried again.
Still no answer.
…Hum. Weird.… She then glanced through the entranceway into the kitchen, through the dining room area, out the dining room window and onto the screened-in back porch.
Monica and Eric were still sitting out there apparently in a very deep and serious conversation about something by the solemn expressions on their faces.
…Hum… Dana cocked an eyebrow then decided to go into the den, plop down on Monica's nice big, plush couch, maybe turn the television on or something, and just wait it out. What else could she do? And she was determined to not let her insanely jealous streak rise to the surface and raise its ugly head in mistrust or suspicion towards Monica or Eric.
She walked quietly through the kitchen, through the dining room, glanced out towards the two ex-lovers conversing on the back porch again, then into the den. She then plopped herself down on the big sofa, found the TV remote, and then scanned through the channels until she found something of vague interest to keep her occupied, and to help keep her innately jealous streak at bay. She glanced out through the window again. …Gosh… Monica and Eric really were involved in some sort of deep and serious conversation about something by the expressions on their faces. "Hum." Eric looked as if he had been crying, with his red nose and watery eyes still puffy. …Crap… A part of her could get jealous, a part of her could get suspicious, a part of her was already frustrated, and then another, more objective part of her, was relentlessly reminding herself to just stay calm and not get so upset or worked up over something that probably meant nothing. She needed to just calm down, trust in Monica and wait it out, and not jump to any hasty conclusions about Monica and Eric's serious discussion. Monica could handle it, whatever it was going on out there on the porch between them. Couldn’t she? "Ohhh." She glanced out through the window again, inhaled a deep breath, then sighed. "Ohhh." But what more could she do, than wait it out? She glanced at her watch again. …Shit… Well. That's what they got for staying in bed so long and still being here as a result for when Eric came by to pick up his things.
She then flipped through the channels again trying to find something of interest. Cable TV, One-hundred-and-twenty channels and nothing to watch. She smirked.
Outside on the back porch:
"Aw, man." Eric leaned back in his chair again. "Shit, Monica. I ain't believin' that."
"Well? Whether you do or not, it's true. I wouldn't lie to you," Monica reiterated.
"Yeah, but Monica. Another woman? Damn," he said trying to get his brain to wrap around that unexpected revelation yet again.
"Yep. Another woman. I've fallen in love, with the most amazingly beautiful, adorable, sweet, wonderful and awesomely intelligent woman I've ever known in my life," Monica said smiling again as her eyes began to sparkle again with pure joy.
"Aw man, ain't no way." He sat stunned staring at her. "Ain't no way you'd—"
"Why not? Why is that so hard for you to believe?"
"Cause. I know how you fuck, and—"
"Hah. Eric?" Her mouth dropped open. "Shit."
They sat looking at each other for a few seconds then burst into a fit of giggles.
"Shit, Mon. Ain't no way you're a dyke. You're the best fu—"
"Will you hush? Shit! I don’t want the neighbors to hear," she admonished him.
They sat looking at each other for another few seconds then burst into another fit of giggles.
In the den:
Dana glanced out the window again in reaction to hearing the two ex-lovers suddenly giggling their asses off about something. …Hah. What the fuck?... she thought. But she would not jump to any hasty conclusions. Instead she would remain calm, watch her movie on the tube, and not go out there, gun in hand, cocked and ready to blow the handsome young Brad-Pitt-look-a-like's balls off, and then grab her woman by the hand and pull her back inside the house. "Ngh," she grunted again under her breath then switched the channel. "Shit." That movie had been boring, too. …Shit… She glanced outside at the two ex-lovers again, then at the clock. 3:51 PM. Well, it had only been a few minutes. No big deal. Right? Right. "Ngh."
Outside on the back porch:
"…a woman," he said again shocked. "Shit, Monica. Was I really that bad in bed, that I turned ya into a lesbian? Shit. Gawd! I—"
"Oh, for Godsakes. No. I told you! It has nothing to do with you. It's not about you. It's about me. Okay? It's me. It has nothing to do with you, or what you did or didn’t do in bed. It's me. All me. And—"
"But if it ain't me, or the sex then—"
"Eric? Jeez. It goes much deeper than the sex. Okay? It—"
"She pleases you?"
"Does she please you in bed?"
"Oh. Hell yeah," Monica blurted out before she could stop herself. …Oh yeah, she pleases me, all right. Shit. Fuck-n-ay… Her heart skipped a beat.
He just watched her for a few seconds then grinned, her changing expressions saying it all.
"Oh yeah," she giggled again in spite of herself. "Jeez, she—I'm sorry, but—wow!"
"Aw man," he rolled his eyes then chuckled, too. "Shit." But, whatever this woman did in bed it must be pretty damn good, because Monica's cheeks were beginning to blush the brightest crimson red.
"Yes. And she, I've never felt like this before, Eric. I've never, in all my life, felt anything even remotely close to this before, in all my life. She. She moves me, Eric, to do things I never thought possible. And she, oh God, Eric. I've never felt so alive, so vibrant and free, so whole and complete. Like my whole world—my life, my destiny—is right there, laid out before me now. And all I've got to do is accept it, follow it, and follow my destiny. Our destiny. Her destiny. She's my destiny, Eric, my destiny. My past, my present, my future. I know it," she stated confidently. "I just know it. I know it in my heart. And I've never been more sure about anything or anyone else in my life. She's my destiny, Eric, at the very center of it all, the very core. And everything in my life centers around her, making it all complete. And I, oh God, Eric, she's my soulmate. My love-mate, two souls mated for life. You know what I’m talking about. We've talked about it before. She's my love-mate, the other half of my living, breathing soul! And I—I never meant to hurt you. Honestly, I didn't. I swear, I didn't. But when I left for Montana, I had no reason to think that something like this would happen. It just happened. And neither of us expected it. She was just as blown away by it all as I was. But we. She. We're in love. And we've found each other again, after—"
"Found each other again?" He wrinkled his brow.
"Yes. We've found each other again, after years of separation. I believe in reincarnation, and that we are soulmates. Love-mates. Two souls mated for eternity. And we've been reincarnated into this life again, for whatever reasons; and we have finally found each other again, after all those years of separation. How else can I explain it, how I have fallen so madly in love with her, until I'd swim across the ocean, across the seven seas, jump through a wall of raging fire, through Hades itself, walk across a thousand miles of broken glass, hot coals, or leap onto the cursed ship of Cecrops, just to be with her? How the hell else do I explain that? Except that, she's the other half of my living, breathing soul. My dream-come-true. My God, she's my destiny, Eric. I know it. She's the truth of who I am. My past, my present and future. And all I've got to do is love her, honor her and cherish her, until Death comes to separate us again. And, God, I hope it's only for a short while. Because it hurts too much to wait for her," her eyes watered up as she finally paused to take another breath.
…Whoa. Holy shit… He just sat there staring at her. What the heck could he say to that?
"And I, God Eric, I never meant to hurt you. Honestly, I didn’t. Please believe me. I never meant to hurt you, or mislead you, or—Hell, I don’t know. All I know is, I've never loved anyone the way I love this woman. I love her, with every ounce of my soul, every inch of my being. I love her. Aand I can't explain it. But I love her. If my life depended on it, I couldn't explain it. All I know is, I love her. And it's right. She's right. Everything about us is right. And I—God, I'm sorry. I just can't stop talking about her, can I? Now that I've started," she chuckled, slightly embarrassed.
…Whew. Whoa. Wow. Holy shit… Eric continued to just sit there staring at her, utterly flabbergasted. … Jesus, Mary and Joseph. You're in love with another woman. Jesus, Mary and Joseph… All of her words of love and commitment towards this other woman kept ringing in his ears. He could hardly believe it. There had never been any indication at all that she found other women attractive. Never. …Damn!… His eyes widened as he shook his head, trying to come to terms with all that she had just told him.
Xena then jumped up onto the window ledge to peep in at Dana sitting on the couch in the den.
The redhead was still watching TV, waiting patiently, as her booted foot tapped impatiently against the leg of the coffee table.
Monica glanced over to her kitty, then to Eric.
"Mon? I ain't sure what to say," he said shaking his head again.
"Don't. You don't have to say anything. I'm not expecting you to. All I'm hoping is that you'll come to terms with it—everything I've told you—and accept it, and not blame yourself for any of this, or my sudden change of heart. I just, I'm as flabbergasted as the next person over it, okay? I never dreamed that I'd fall in love with another woman, after all these years. But I—"
"Whoa. Huh? Repeat that. After all these years? When'd the hell'd you fall in love with another woman?"
"Back before college. I never told you about her, but she was my first love. And I swore to myself, when we broke up, that I would never allow myself to cross that line again, and fall in love with another woman. I never wanted to be in a relationship with another woman again. Jeez. It's too painful, to raw and emotional, if things—"
"But shit, you're doin' it now."
"Yes, I know. And I am sure that my heart will be paying for it at times. It's gets so deep, so raw and complicated at times, with all of the intensity when with another woman. Shit. But. I'm not going to run from it. Because I know that it's the right thing for me to do this time. And I'm not going to run from it, from my future with this woman. I can't. I will not make that kind of mistake. Not when I know in my heart that it's the right thing to do. She's my life, Eric, my life. So. I guess, all that I'm asking, or hoping for, is that you'll just accept it, and accept me for who I am, and what I've become."
"You mean a lezzy?"
"No. Not necessarily a lesbian. Hell. I don’t know if I am or not. All I know is, I'm a woman in love." She smiled again, her eyes sparkling in the subdued light. "And I've never been in love until now. I thought I had. But, after Dana, no one else compares," she grinned again, almost hesitant to say that.
He pursed his lips then nodded. He could see the blissfully-in-love expression on her face. He had never seen her so happy and blissfully-in-love before either, the way her eyes just danced and sparkled in the subdued light. And he loved her enough though to want her happy, and want only the best for her. And, obviously, he was not the best for her. This new woman of hers was the best for her. …Aw man… But, he could come to terms with that. It might take him a little while to heal his wounds, and move on from this short-lived relationship he had shared with her, but he could come to terms with that. He was a good man, a gentle man, and very loving and understanding. And he certainly did not want to pressure her into trying to make a go of it with him again, not if he were not what she wanted anymore. How the hell could he compete with another woman anyway? A man, yes. Hands down. He could absolutely compete with another man. And generally win. But with another woman? No way. That changed everything. If she were a late-bloomer lesbian, he would just have to deal with it, come to terms with it, and move on. He was stunned though. He could not deny that. She had always appeared to be enjoying herself when they had been physically intimate with each other. …God… Maybe he needed to ask her more about that, too, if she really had been enjoying herself or just pretending and faking it with him all that time. He needed to know. So that he could learn and do better with the next woman to come along for him.
He glanced over at the window ledge again at little Xena. …Hum… They were running out of time for him to ask her about that. But he felt that he could, and that she would be open to discussion about the subject at a later date. So, he would wait, and talk to her about it later, at some other moment in time for them.
"So, name's Dana?" he said breaking the silence.
"Huh? Oh yeah. And she's—"
"FBI. Yeah, I know. Met her last night."
…Huh? Whoa… "You did?" She furrowed her brow. Dana had not told her about that.
"Yeah, but I want to meet her formally, ya know? You introducin' us and stuff, formal like."
"What?" Monica about fell out of her chair.
"Yeah, I wanna meet her, talk to her for a minute."
No, I—Eric? I don’t think that's such a good—"
"I ain't gonna bite her, or say nothin' out a the way. I just wanna meet her, meet this woman of yours, that you say has stolen your heart," he winked.
She cocked an eyebrow at him then pursed her lips. "Eric, I—I'm not sure if that's—"
"I ain't gonna bite her, I just wanna meet her, talk to her for a minute. And then I'll get outta here, let you two go and do your thing," he grinned.
"Cause. I wanna meet her. Sounds special, her bein' your dream-come-true and all," he grinned again.
"Mmm." She pursed her lips again, surprised by his unexpected request. "Hum. Well. I don’t know. Let me go in and talk to her about it first. But if she's not okay with it—"
"I know, I gotcha. But tell her I ain't gonna bite her. I just wanna talk to her, and meet this special woman of yours," he grinned again.
"Mmm," Monica smiled then stood up. "Okay. But stay here, while I go in and talk to her," she said then left for the den.
Inside the den:
Dana sighed again then rolled her head from side to side trying to ease the stiffness in her neck. She then flipped the channel to the next program. "Crap." Nothing worth watching was on, at least not for her highly intelligent, scientific mind.
"Dana? Honey?" Monica called from the kitchen then walked into the family room.
Dana glanced up from the TV.
"Hey baby, I’m sorry it has taken us so long, but, we've finally had that necessary talk," she said kneeling down in front of the little redhead then clasping her hands.
…Huh?... "That necessary talk?" Dana knitted her brow.
"Yeah, you know. The one where I tell him about—us."
"Us?" …Whoa… Dana narrowed her eyes.
"Yeah. I told him about—us, about—everything."
"Everything? Crap." …Holy crap… Dana's eyes widened.
"Yeah. Everything. He already knew that I was involved with someone else. But, I had not told him exactly who, or—" she shrugged. "But now that he knows, he's asking to meet you."
"What?" Dana about fell off the couch and into the floor.
"Yeah he wants to meet you, talk to you for a minute before he leaves, but—he already knows me well enough to know that, if things start to get out of hand, or he begins to—" she shrugged. "I'll put a stop to it. Immediately, okay?" She kissed the redhead's hands. "And baby, if you're not okay with it, then—" she hesitated gazing into her eyes.
"No, I—I'm just. Jesus! Why?"
"Um, I'm not sure. All I know is, he's asking to meet you."
"But why? I don’t—Mon? I'm just, I am not comfortable with the idea at all, I mean—Jeezus Christ!"
"Shhh, I know baby, I know. It's okay. I'll go and tell him," Monica said, easily understanding the redhead's hesitancy, then got up from the floor and walked towards the entranceway leading into the kitchen.
"Wait. Wait a minute," Dana called after her.
Monica then turned towards her.
"I—But why? What's the rationale?"
"I don’t know. All I know is he's asking to meet you. He wants to meet the woman of my dreams, the woman that stole my heart," she winked.
"Hah. He did not—"
"Yes he did, that's exactly what he said," she winked again.
"Oh my God. Whew." Dana blew out a deep breath then buried her face inside her palms for a few seconds, her head spinning with the highly unusual prospect. "Holy Christ." She glanced over at the clock again. 3:59 PM. …Holy crap… Monica's ex-boyfriend wanted to meet her? Right now? Today? …Holy crap… But why? …Holy crap… Her heart was beginning to pound anxiously inside her chest. "Oh shit," she blew out another deep breath. "Holy Christ. Okay. But you need to call the restaurant and cancel those reservations before we do anything," she said.
"Okay, I will," Monica replied glancing over at the clock herself and hoping to get a mere delay on those dinner reservations and not a full-out cancellation.
"Well. Is he angry? Ready to shoot me, or bite my head off?"
"No. No, honey. Not at all. At least I don’t get that kind of vibe from him. He's—I'd say that he's more confused than anything else. Stunned. But not angry. I don't get that kind of vibe from him at all. I think he's curious more than anything else."
"Curious? Fucking Christ!" the redhead exclaimed. "Shit. Curious my ass," she fussed again. "Well. He can just remain curious, wanting to meet me so he can fantasize about…" she began to ramble under her breath. …Men. And their fascination with two women in love… More like in bed making love to each other.
"Shhh, no, wait. I didn't mean it like that. I meant that, he's curious. He wants to know—oh hell, I don’t know, shit." Monica was feeling the tension, too. This was not easy at all—her new lover and her ex-lover being in such close proximity. And if things didn’t begin to make a quick turn for the better, in just a matter of seconds, she was going to waltz right back out there onto the back porch and tell him to leave. That was it. No formal introductions to Dana. And she trusted him to leave, if she told him to do so.
"Well. Fuck," Dana fussed again. "For Crissakes. All right. Shit. Have him come in." She stood up, flustered as ever. "But crap. You are not leaving me in any room inside of this house alone with him. Do you understand?"
"Of course, baby. I would never do that." Monica furrowed her brow in concern. "Honey, if you—"
"No. But we need to make it quick and simple," the redhead said walking over to the concerned brunette.
"Okay. I'll make sure of that," Monica nodded clasping her hand. That shouldn't be hard to do.
"Oh Moni, God," Dana panted. Her nervousness was really trying to get the best of her. She squeezed the brunette's hand a little tighter in her own.
"Oh honey, it'll be okay. It's my fault anyway. He knows how crazily in love I am with you. And he—it made him curious. So, don't be angry with him. Be angry with me if—"
"No. No, I'm not angry with anyone, I'm just—Shit." Dana had never been in this type of situation before. It was so awkward meeting a new lover's ex-lover so soon after a breakup.
"It's gonna be okay baby, I promise," Monica squeezed her hand again. "If anything goes wrong, I'll deal with it. But, everything will be fine. He just wants to meet you, the most beautiful woman in the world, whom just happens to be my lover. That's all," she smiled then led them over to the dining room window, pecked on the glass to get his attention, then motioned for him to come inside the house.
"Oh gosh Mon, God. I hope you're right. Whew," Dana blew out another deep breath in nervous anticipation. She was as nervous as a ten-pound cat in a room full of one-hundred-pound canines hungry for a little afternoon snack.