|Life with My Girl, Reyes|
|These Dreams - Chapter 6|
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Traveling West on I-10 towards Downtown New Orleans – Twenty Minutes Later:
Monica glanced out to the left towards the dark murky water again and at all the murky green swamplands surrounding the immediate area. They were crossing the main bridge that connected Slidell to the eastern coast of New Orleans city limits.
Dana watched her closely, from her side of the vehicle, then squeezed her hand a little more affectionately.
The contemplative brunette broke her gaze then glanced over at the perceptive little redhead before concentrating on the road in front of them.
Dana inhaled a deep breath, then sighed, then glanced over at the dark, murky waters again herself. "Hum." She then leaned over, reached up and caressed her lover's cheek. "Where've you been?"
"Don’t know. Last Saturday night I guess."
Dana nodded. She knew. "So, when do you plan to talk about it?"
"Um, not right now," the pensive brunette answered.
"Oh my. Okay," Dana sighed in resignation. Her lover really did need to talk about what all had happened out there on those dark, murky swamplands last Saturday night, when she had almost been killed, by her own partner, before he had ultimately been gunned down and killed himself by her backup, protecting her from his lunatic actions. …Hum, hum. In time, in time… She sighed again then reached inside the center console of the vehicle and grabbed her lover's pack of cigarettes. "Need another?"
"Nope. Not while you're in the car."
"Mon? If you need another—"
"Nope. Not while you're in the car. I'm not gonna smoke when I'm around you, not if I can help it," Monica smiled then winked.
"Oh baby," Dana squeezed her hand again. "But—"
"Nope. Don’t need one," she grinned again.
"Hum. Okay," Dana relented. She wasn't going to argue with her. "So. What happened out there, on those murky old waters last Saturday night, hum? To take you away from me for those several minutes? Anything having to do with that murky old marsh?"
"Hah," Monica huffed nibbling on her lower lip for a moment. …Shit… She already knew. The redhead already knew. So why was she asking?
"No," she replied again.
"No." Monica looked at her quite determinedly.
Dana then reached up and tickled her nose.
"Hah," she huffed again.
"No." Monica glanced over at her again then cocked an eyebrow.
Dana just looked at her—her eyes and expression pleading with her to open up and talk about the events of last Saturday night.
…Oh Jeez… Monica couldn't resist that loving and intense look her lover was giving her any longer. "Okay," she relented.
Dana smiled squeezing her hand.
"You see that deep, dark, mossy area, just to the left of the channel, going up through the middle?"
"Umhum." Dana looked out across the dark, murky water again and towards the narrow channel.
"Well. That's where I—I almost—bit the dust."
"Umhum," Dana nodded again. She had already guessed that.
"And that's where Brian bit the—Shit! The son of a—Dammit!"
"Oh gosh." Dana reached up and began to stroke her shoulder-blade.
"The dumb fuck. The dumb, son of a—Why? Why, damn it! Why did he have to—? Damn!" Monica slammed the back of her palm against the steering wheel then squeezed it again. "Shit! The dumb fuck! Dammit!"
"Oh baby," Dana squeezed her shoulder.
"Dammit, Dana! He's got two sons! Two frickin' sons! He left behind two sons, Dana! Dammit! Why did he have to—? Damn, Dana! Why?!" she gasped.
"Oh baby, I don’t know. I wish I knew the answer. But he gave them no choice. Your backup had to do what they did to protect you."
"No! Damn it!" Monica fussed again then tightened her grip on the steering wheel again.
"Oh baby no, now listen to me, he brought it on himself, and—"
"No! No! I should have—! I should have—! "
"What? You should have what, that you didn't do? Monica? There is no way in hell that you could have known what he was about to do."
"But I—No! I—I—"
"Monica? No, baby. You did nothing wrong. Nothing. Do you understand me? He's the one that went, temporarily insane with—"
"No! I—He—Dana?" she gasped again. "Why? Why? Why? What happened? What happened, to make him want to, kill me?" she choked, stifling a sob as her eyes began to water.
"Oh no. Oh baby." Dana squeezed her shoulder again, not having any reasonable, valid answer either as to why Monica's own bureau partner, Brian Pierce, had wanted to kill her—sacrifice her, as he had been quoted—before Coast Guard Retired Commander George T. Clayton had gunned him down to protect his taskforce leader, Monica Reyes.
The sorrowful brunette then looked out across the dark murky waters again. "Oh God I tried, I tried to stop him, Dana, I tried. I did, I did, I did, I tried! I tried! I tried to talk to him, reason with him—but—he—he wouldn't—he—oh God, no more, no more, no more," she rambled tightening her grip on the steering wheel again. …Jesus… She didn't want to talk about it right now. Not tonight, while they were out on practically their first date. She didn’t want to spoil their fun with her talking about all the bad that had happened to her last Saturday night. Although a lot of good had happened to her that night, too. She had managed to find and rescue two small children and a young teenager from ultimate murder and sacrifice last Saturday night, from a wicked gang of cult members she had been dealing with for the last several months.
Dana watched her closely, still stroking and massaging her shoulder-blade. "Baby, you need to talk about it."
"No, not tonight."
"No. Not right now. Maybe never."
"No, Dana. No. I understand what you are trying to do. Really, I do. But it's not necessary. I’m okay."
"Are you?" Dana cocked an eyebrow, watching her very closely.
"I don’t think so."
"Hah," Monica huffed again then looked at her. "I'm okay, Dana. Really, I am. As long as I'm with you, right now, tonight, I'm okay," she said then smiled and double-winked at her before turning her gaze back towards the road.
…Oh God… Dana just looked at her, somewhat frustrated, before closing her eyes for a few seconds. She was so frustrated with the brunette's tenacious determination to not talk about what had happened out there on those swamplands last Saturday night. She knew the brunette needed to talk about it—soon. Having one's own partner turn on you and then try to gun you down—with a 12-gauge shotgun no less—just did not happen very often.
In all of Dana's years with the bureau, she had never heard of an agent trying to kill another, and especially their own partner, with a shotgun. Although she had done a similar thing once, with her own government issue handgun. And Mulder had, too. But in both cases, both agents had been able to reason with the other until they finally came to their senses—neither actually firing a round at the other.
Dana's own mother had helped to calm her almost psychotic paranoid state down and bring her back to her senses the night of her temporary insanity. Her situation had been due to an overly-active serotonin level, in her brain chemistry, causing extremely over-elevated serotonin levels, brought on by what, she and Mulder were never quite sure. But it had had something to do with watching too many videos for a case one night on a television screen that had been hotwired with something. It had made her so uncharacteristically paranoid she had almost become psychotic—temporarily insane. It had been a horrible experience. And an extremely humiliating one for her as well. She might tell Monica about it one day. But then again, she might not. She still felt such embarrassment and humiliation over what had happened to her that night, even though she had not had any control over it. It was still quite humiliating to her to know that occasionally there were forces out there bigger and greater than she was, and could make her do things completely out-of-character, and almost insane, if she were not prepared to fight them, and defuse their powers of seduction.
And then in Mulder's case, the perpetrator had somehow pushed Mulder's mind, logic and reasoning into actions he never would have thought possible of himself either. The man had had an uncanny ability to "push" people's minds, making them do and see things completely oblivious to whom they really were or what was actually happening around them. In both cases, it was just a matter of working with the X-Files Unit. But she and Mulder had dealt with so many highly unusual, many times unexplainable things, compared to most agents within the ranks anyway.
"I love you."
"Huh?" Dana startled somewhat, pulled from her own musings.
"I love you," Monica whispered again then kissed her hand.
"Oh. My God," Dana panted, closing her eyes for a few seconds, slightly overcome with emotion. "I—Gosh I know, and I—Gosh," she stuttered, opening her eyes and looking over at her again.
Monica smiled then reached up and caressed her cheek.
Dana then pursed her lips and shook her head.
"I—Well. I thought I might tell you about something, that happened to me one time, but—for right now—I think I've changed my mind."
"Oh." Monica chuckled. "Okay. Too deep to dive into that pool right now?"
"Yeah. Something like that." Dana grinned.
"Okay," she smiled again then clasped her hand. "Maybe later. Besides. I've been meaning to tell you something, just haven't had the time."
Dana cocked an eyebrow.
"I've been meaning to tell you, since the first moment I saw you in the den earlier, that you look—beautiful tonight Dana, simply exquisite," she said, smiling again and stressing those last two words.
"Oh. My gosh," Dana gasped, her eyes widening slightly, then squeezed her hand a little tighter. She had certainly not expected that.
"Really. You do," the complimentary brunette said again then reached up and caressed her cheek. "And darn it, if I weren't driving down this frickin' ass bridge right now, with no where to pull over for a minute…"
"Yeah?" Dana grinned cocking an eyebrow at her yet again.
"I'd stop the car, lean over, and then gaze into your eyes for what seemed like forever, and then I'd tell you how beautiful your eyes are, like a sparkling—"
"Oh my gosh, would you stop?" Dana giggled. "My gosh! You're embarrassing me," she giggled again then crinkled her nose up shaking her head.
"No, I won’t. I won't stop, because they are. You are. You're beautiful, Dana. Simply beautiful. Exquisite. Dazzling—"
"Will you stop?" Dana giggled again, feeling a bright red flush begin to spread all over her face, cheeks and neck. …Jeezus. For Crissakes…
Monica chuckled again at her bright red blush. "Aw, doesn't anyone ever tell you that on a regular basis?"
"No. Heck no, for Crissakes," Dana giggled again. …My gosh… "No. Not on a regular basis. Good grief." She began to laugh. …My God… She couldn't remember the last time someone had said such things to her. And no one had ever used such descriptive words as 'exquisite' and 'dazzling' before to describe her or her outward appearance either. …My God!… She giggled again.
"Well, what's wrong with these people that see you every day? Are they frickin' blind, or what? Jeez."
"Hah. Moni? Shush. I'm not—"
"Yes you are. You're the most beautiful woman in the world, more beautiful than a Rhein maiden, on a clear summer's day."
"What? A Rhein maiden?" Dana stammered, cocking an eyebrow at her yet again and gazing into her sparkling brown eyes for a few seconds before the brunette finally turned her gaze back towards the road.
Monica giggled. "Yep, a Rhein maiden, protectors of the Rheingold, hidden far away beneath the deep blue River Rhein, deep down inside a little cavern, underneath—"
"Yeah, I know, but where are all of these references to Nordic Mythology coming from all of a sudden?"
Monica grinned, cocking an eyebrow at her yet again.
"Oh my gosh. Don't tell me."
Monica's eyes twinkled and danced so happily it almost took her breath away.
"Yep, my dreams," Monica giggled then kissed her hand.
"Oh my God. Monica? Don’t tell me you've been dreaming about flying horses, Rhein maidens, Grinhilda and the Halls of Valhalla?"
"Whoa! My God! Holy shit! Yes! Yes!" The brunette's sparkling brown eyes widened as her heart skipped a beat. "Yes! Holy—!"
"No Monica. Nope. Do not get all excited on me now. Don’t. I know my Mythology. I am a scientist, but I know my Mythology, okay? So it doesn’t mean a thing. I loved studying about it in school. I was always so fascinated by it—studying about all the different world religions, folklore, fairytales and legends, passed down from generation to generation, trying to explain the beginning of time, and how the earth and universe came into being, and about this human condition we find ourselves in, and how it relates to—"
"But Dana? What about, Brunhilda? Or the Eternal Ring of Fire?"
"What about it?"
"But honey?" She looked her. "My God! Brunhilda admired and respected the Lady of the Ring so much she turned herself into an Eternal Ring of Fire, so she protect her, and—"
"No Monica. No. That is nothing more than a silly fairytale, a romanticized folktale, a legend. Folklore. Created by a people trying to understand and make sense of their world—"
"No. And I don’t want to hear any more about it tonight. All right?"
"Hah," Monica huffed then nibbled on her lower lip for a moment. "Okay. But honey?" She looked over at the little redhead again.
"No." Dana shook her head, adamant about her request.
"Hah," she huffed again then sighed. …Shit. All right, shit… She wouldn't push it. Especially after all they had just experienced together a little over an hour-and-a-half ago from talking about her Devin-and-Anna dreams. …Crap… And Dana didn’t even remember most of what had happened just a little over an hour-and-a-half ago. …Shit…
"Oh, all right," she surrendered her wishes then closed her eyes for a few seconds frustrated as hell. But she would do as Dana had asked and not talk about it anymore. But …God!... how much she wanted to tell the little redhead about some of her other dreams, and some of her more specific dreams about Odin, the Norse God, the Valkyrie, Odin's Warrior Maidens, the Rhein Maidens, protectors of the Rheingold, and Xena, the Leader of the Valkyrie, and of course Gabrielle, the Lady of the Ring, or another of Odin's brave Valkyrie, Brunhilda, the maker of the Eternal Ring of Fire, or …Wow… the very ring of fire that she, Xena had jumped through, to get to her sleeping beauty, her woman, her beloved, her soulmate Gabrielle.
…Ohhh. By the Gods!... She inhaled a deep breath then sighed, ignoring that odd, yet quite familiar phrase again echoing inside her head. …Crap!... But she knew that it had to be the same two people and the same two souls. She knew it. She was sure of it. It had to be. Her dreams just represented different lifetimes for them. Each dream was a different lifetime from her past—and Dana's past. She knew it …Crap!... But, she was not going to push the little redhead. She had already pushed her limits with the little redhead telling her about her Devin-and-Anna dreams. And look what it had done to Dana. For some unexplainable reason it had made Dana slip off into another world for a little while, with no conscious memory of her unexplainable spiritual travel. So the giddy brunette needed to just cool it, cool her jets and keep her thoughts to herself—for now at least—until she felt that a more appropriate time had arrived to tell the little redhead more.
She then glanced over at the little redhead again. "Okay. I'll hush. So what do you want to talk about then?"
Dana smirked then chuckled. "Hum. How about—my son?"
"Your son?" Monica's big brown eyes lit up again, dancing in the subdued light.
"Yep, my son. He's kicking my insides out right now. I think he's trying to do the salsa."
"Oh yeah? The salsa? Wow," Monica laughed then reached over and barely grazed the redhead's pregnant abdomen with her palm. "Oh sweet Wills, whatcha doin' in there little man? Hum? Tryin' to do the salsa?" she cooed. "Do you know how to do the salsa, hum? Like maybe your mummy?" She glanced up at the little redhead again. "Does your mummy—?"
"Nope, but I wish I did. I love to watch it. Gosh, it's so sexy."
"Ah," Monica laughed again. "So sexy, huh? Well. Would you care to learn?"
"Whoa. Do you know how?" Dana's eyes widened.
"Honey? I am from south of the border. Mexico, remember? I learned how to salsa before I could ride a tricycle." Now that's early.
"Gosh, you're kidding me."
"Nope. I grew up on it. My dad was a dance instructor, just as I am."
"Whoa. Really? You're a dance instructor?"
"So, you know how to—"
"Yep. Just about any style, too. Latin, Greek, Cuban, Caribbean, Ballroom, Backroom, Jazz, Irish, Spanish—"
"…River-dance, salsa, polka, samba, mumbo, rumba, bolero, habanera, cha-cha, the swing—"
"Whoa." Dana's eyes widened.
"…be-bop, hip-hop, jitterbug, jig, the shag, flamenco, tango, waltz—"
"Holy crap." Dana's eyes grew even bigger.
"…um, let's see, and oh, the foxtrot, square-dance, two-step, country-line, and pretty much anything the younger kids are doing today," Monica finally paused to take a breath. "Most everything they're doing today are just remakes of the older stuff, rived up and jived up with more sexual undertones in their execution—"
"Yep, and the old MJ moonwalk, or the break-dance, now that'll about break your back—"
"Oh my God, I bet. So you're really a dance instructor?"
"Umhum, during college, that's how I supported myself through school."
"Oh wow, my gosh. That's fantastic, Monica. No wonder you were so good the other night. Gosh, I had no idea."
Monica smiled then squeezed her hand again. "Yep, I’m pretty good at dancin', keepin' in a rhythm."
Dana grinned then giggled. "Oh yeah. I'd say you're pretty good at keepin' in a rhythm."
Monica giggled again.
Dana chuckled. "And not slowin' down…"
"But keepin' it slow, and steady, and then steppin' it up, and then slowin' it down, and then gettin' a little faster, and then—Oh God, I need to shut up." The redhead playfully fanned herself.
"Oh," Monica giggled. "Why? Sounded good to me, all that slow and steady bumpin', humpin' and grindin'. You know the dance floor is about the closest thing you can get to a bed, without—"
Dana cocked an eyebrow at her.
"It's true. You can truly make love to someone on a dance floor. Without anyone else in the room knowing exactly what you're doin'."
"Oh really now." Dana cocked an eyebrow at her yet again. "Have you ever done it, on a dance floor?"
Monica giggled nibbling on her lower lip.
She giggled again.
"Oh my God. You have!"
"Holy crap. You—You've come on a—But, how?"
"Quietly," the brunette grinned mischievously then glanced over at her again.
"Oh my God," Dana gasped again then cracked up giggling. "Oh my God. Now this I've got to see, you coming on a dance floor, quietly. Oh my God. We have got to go dancing tonight, so I can—"
"What? Fuck me while we're shaggin'?" Monica teased her. "What if I fuck you instead?"
"Oh. That would be nice."
"Umhum, but can you stay quiet?"
"Nope, don’t believe it."
"Nope, don’t believe it. You're too loud, to suddenly—"
"Well, you aren't exactly the Mother Superior."
Monica giggled again.
"Of course honey, if you want."
"I want. I haven't gone dancing in years."
"Okay. Well. What kind of music do you like to dance to? We could do early nineties, eighties, sixties, fifties, soft rock, hard rock, be-bop, trance, hip-hop, big-band, blues, country. There's a Cajun juke-joint, down by the—"
"Wait. Eighties. How about early eighties?"
"Early eighties, huh?"
"Yeah. Early eighties. But, how are they gonna be about two women dancing?"
"Fine, my love, we're in luck. Because one of the local lesbian bars in town has an eighties night. I’m not sure if it's tonight, but we can certainly find out," Monica winked.
"Perfect." Dana giggled.
They both sat quietly for a few seconds.
"Think we'll be any good on the dance floor? As partners I mean?" Dana asked.
"Oh wow, hell yeah baby, we've been dancin' for days in bed. We'll be awesome on the dance floor."
"You really think so?"
"Oh, hell yeah, no hay problema, amor mío, just follow my lead."
"But, I don’t know how to do all the spins and—"
"You don’t have to know how to do all the spins. I'll teach you, and lead you."
"Yep, or I'll follow you. Don’t worry baby, I can adjust."
"But, what if I step all over your feet?"
"You won't. Not much anyway. Gosh, you have to learn how to protect your toes quick if you're gonna be a dance instructor."
Dana laughed. "Well. Could you twirl me, and spin me, and turn me around like you did the other night?"
"Oh yeah," she teased her then winked.
"You could?" Dana's eyes widened yet again at the possibilities.
"Yep," Monica chuckled at her excitement then gently caressed her cheek. "I did the other night, didn't I?"
"So, yes darlin'. I can do anything you want me to do tonight. We can do it. All right? I'll teach you, lead you, follow you, whatever I need to do, to make it right."
"Oh wow. Okay." Dana's eyes widened yet again at the possibilities. …Oh wow… She had not gone out on the town dancing in years—not with someone whom she really cared about anyway. She'd used a quick song-and-dance to pick up a complete stranger from a local bar in town or something, and had then taken them to the nearest motel for a quick fuck. But to go out on the town to just dance, bump and grind into the one she loved? …Oh wow… She had not done that in years. …Oh yeah… This could be fun—wonderfully fun, and a joyous, fantastic night, filled with sweet moments to cherish for a lifetime. "Well um, what about Whitney, or Mariah Carey?" she asked.
"Houston or Carey? You mean disco? Holy sh—"
"No, not disco. What we did in college. Early eighties."
"Um. Early eighties. Arguably left-over disco, but—"
"Hah," Dana huffed. …Left-over disco? That's not disco. Is it? Am I that old?... She furrowed her brow.
"What year'd you graduate?"
…Uh-oh… "Um. Which? High school or—?"
…Crap… "Um. Eighty-two."
"Eighty-two? Whoa. Awesome. The year of Flashdance. Or close to it."
"Yep. Fall of eighty-two. I remember it well. First year in college. Freshman. Berkley. San—"
"You went to Berkley? Get out—"
"Yep. First year. And took my girlfriend at the time to see Flashdance. Jennifer Beals. The hottest woman since—Whew, my, my." She playfully fanned herself yet again.
Monica laughed. "Oh yeah. Hot. 'She's a maniac, maniac, on the floor…'" she began to hop, sing and dance in her seat singing the old song.
Dana just laughed.
"'And she's dancing like she's never danced before'…" Monica winked at her. "'She's a maniac, maniac, on the floor'…"
Dana laughed again, just loving it.
"'And she's dancing like she's never danced before'…" Monica winked again. "Or there's, 'I'm goin' on a manhunt. Turn it around. Women have been hunted, now they're huntin' around'…"
"Oh no, no way, no 'Manhunt'."
"Oops," Monica giggled. "Okay," she stopped then quickly switched. "So how about, 'What a feelin'... Bein's believin'... I can have it all, now I'm dancin' for my life'…"
"Oh yeah," Dana giggled, then joined in, "'Take your passion... And make it happen'…" they both began to sing. "'Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life… What a feelin'…"
"Unuh, unuh, unuh, unuh, unuh," Monica began to imitate the deep, heavy, instrumental sounds squirming and rocking in her seat.
Dana just laughed and laughed until tears began to roll down her cheeks. She had not had so much fun since—she couldn't remember when. It had been years! She felt like a schoolgirl on her first date. And in many ways, she was like a schoolgirl, on her first date. Monica was making sure of that. Monica was going to make sure that the little redhead had loads of fun tonight. She deserved it, after the horrendous last couple of weeks she had just been through. Monica deserved it, too. They both deserved it, after the horrendous last couple of weeks they had both endured, both together and apart. It was about time for a little fun and romance, to wash their troubles away.
Monica continued to dance and sing, rocking in her seat, twisting and gyrating her hips, swaying her shoulders to the imaginary music inside her head.
Dana just laughed and laughed. …Oh God… Monica was so cute, with all her cute and silly antics, bringing back so many happy memories—good times, fun times, happy times—and wonderfully sweet moments, when she didn't have a care in the world—except for satisfying her first girlfriend, and occasionally leaving her behind in her dorm-room bed long enough for her to attend class on occasion.
"So what'd you think about Kevin Bacon or Patrick Swayze?" the happy and giddy brunette asked.
"Nope, no way, JB all the way," Dana replied. "I liked their movies, but I liked the girls better. And Flashdance—Whew. JB all the way," she playfully fanned herself again. "I knew I was a dyke after that, without any more trying-to-figure-myself-out and dating the boys in school. Whew!"
"Really? Beals did it for ya, huh?"
"Oh yeah. I had wet dreams about that woman for months."
Monica guffawed. "So you didn’t like the guys at all?"
"Nope. Hell no," Dana replied. "Footloose was all right. Good music. Loved Dirty Dancing. But not the guys. And Dirty Dancing had another Jennifer," she grinned arching an eyebrow.
"Oh yeah, Jennifer Gray," Monica chuckled. "And Cynthia. I always liked Cynthia Rhodes."
"Oooh yeah," Dana nodded. "Hot. Very hot."
Monica grinned. "I always thought that was a pretty hot scene, too, when Swayze and the two girls are dancing together, Jennifer's in the middle, with Rhodes' hands on her hips, Cynthia's bumping and grinding in against her, full body contact and teaching her how to—"
"Oooh yeah. Hot. Damn hot! I remember thinking, why didn't they just get rid of Swayze, and let the girls go at it?"
"Um," Monica giggled. "Could've been fun. But I was so young. That one came out during my first year in college."
"Yep. Freshman. Oh! Shit! John Travolta!" Monica's eyes widened. "How the hell did we forget about him? Staying Alive. My God! The plot wasn't all that great, but that bod. Whew. Jeezus." She playfully fanned herself, too, remembering a younger John Travolta's well-cut, well-built, well-muscled body, back in the early eighties.
Dana just looked at her. But, what could she say? She was just going to have to get used to it that Monica had been sexually attracted to men most of her life. Not women. So naturally, she found a well-built, well-muscled masculine body sexually attractive, too.
"What?" Monica asked noticing her silence.
"Men. Dated them, but didn’t like them. Not like I liked the women."
"Oh." Monica giggled. "Sorry. But he did have a great bod back then. Wouldn't you agree?"
"Don’t know, I never saw the movie."
"What? Really? Well. What about Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights?"
"Nope. Never saw it."
"You're kidding. You never saw Havana Nights? As much as you like Latin dance?"
"Dana? Wow. That's one of the best for Latin dance. The music, too. I like any movie centered around dance."
"I could see that. That would make sense—being a dance instructor and all. But I was raised Catholic. I wasn't supposed to like dance, or women," Dana said.
Monica chuckled. "True."
"Shit. I wasn't even supposed to like sex. Much less have it."
"Oh gosh," Monica giggled again. "Well, at least you were safe, with women."
"Yeah. No babies."
"Ah," Dana nodded. "And what about you?"
"Yeah. First girlfriends, boyfriends?"
"Only one girlfriend," Monica grinned then looked at her. "Well. Before you that is," she winked then caressed her cheek.
Dana smiled. "Yeah, I know, so tell me about her."
"Tell you about her? Are you sure?" Monica cocked an eyebrow at her.
"Umhum. I'm sure." Oh yeah. She was sure all right. She had wanted to know more about this other woman, from Monica's past, since the first moment she had heard about her. She remembered how emotional Monica had become just talking about her two weeks ago. "Yeah, come on baby, tell me about her, tell me about Jenni," she coaxed.
"Whoa. You remember her name?"
"Umhum." Oh yeah. She remembered the other woman's name all right. This other woman in Monica's life had left quite an impression on her, and she had not even met the woman, much less known much about her. But by the way Monica had reacted, with just talking about her the other night. Oh yeah. She wanted to know all about this other woman. "Come on, baby tell me about her," she coaxed her again.
"Hum. Well. Okay. I um. She was—Wow. God." Monica paused for a moment. "She was—incredible. Simply—Wow." She nibbled on her lower lip.
"But, we screwed up. I screwed up. Well, no, I don’t know. She was my first and, she touched me in places I never knew existed. But, I, well. It's never been the same since. Not until you that is," she giggled then glanced over at the little redhead again.
Dana smirked again.
"No, really. She doesn't hold a candle to you, Dana. But, she was my first, and—" she hesitated.
"You loved her."
"Yeah. Still do, in many ways. Does that bother you?" She looked over at her again.
"Um, no not, I don’t guess, I mean, I can’t expect you to—No," the redhead stumbled all over her words.
"Dana? There's nothing to be concerned about. She was like a river. You're the ocean, okay?" she said reaching up and cupping the redhead's cheek.
…Oh… "Okay," Dana smiled—her heart flittering and fluttering inside her chest. "So, what happened? What made you break up? If I may ask?"
"You may," Monica replied then squeezed her hand for a moment. "Hum. Well. What happened? I guess, alcohol, in a nutshell."
"Oh my. She had a drinking problem."
"Yeah, but it went much deeper than that. Jenni was—is—an alcoholic. Recovering now, I think. But she really had a severe drinking problem back then—truly an alcoholic. And I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it."
"And I was so young, too young and inexperienced, to know how to—oh, I don't know. I'd come home, find her passed out on the kitchen floor, in the bedroom, on the couch, in the bed, on the bathroom floor—literally zonked—and I just, I didn’t know how to handle it. Gosh, you know?" She shrugged looking at Dana.
"Um, that's hard. Very hard," Dana sympathized. She had never had to deal with such a situation as that before—coming home to a lover zonked-out on the bathroom floor, kitchen floor, the bed, the couch, or anywhere else in their home on a regular basis. But she had heard stories. "Oh wow, Monica. That had to have been hard."
Monica nodded. "It was. It affected everything, even the intimacy, our sex life."
Dana nodded. "Did she ever get—violent?"
"Oh boy," Monica groaned. "Yep, occasionally. But I'd always be there, ready to bail her out, stop a fight, clear up the mess she'd gotten herself into, or even bail her out of jail one time. It was—Whew." She shook her head at the memories.
"Oh my. That had to have been hard." Dana shook her head as well. "And you? Did she ever get—violent with you?"
…Oh God… "Um, yeah. Once," Monica replied.
"Oh no, Monica?"
"Yep. Once. And that was all it took. I left after that," she said glancing over at the little redhead again.
"Oh my, Moni," Dana groaned again. "Oh my God, that had to have been so—Oh wow."
"Yep, it was—hardest day of my life at the time. But I didn't—I couldn't—I didn't know how to help her Dana. I just didn’t know how to—Damn." She shrugged. "I took her to three different treatment centers, three different times, in three different cities. But none of them helped. Shit, she'd be clean for a little while, couple of months maybe, and then the cycle would start all over again."
"Yeah, and I—If I—God," she whimpered as tears began to flood her eyes. "Shit," she fussed wiping her eyes. It happened almost every time—tears would flood her eyes—if she thought about Jenni for too long. She quickly wiped another few tears away. "But, if I had to do it all over again, I would do it so differently now." She looked at Dana again. "So differently."
Dana nodded. "In what way?" she said reaching up and stroking her cheek.
"I wouldn't have left her, Dana. Not on that particular day anyway."
"Oh." …Whoa. Holy crap… Dana pursed her lips.
"Not on that particular day. Down the road I would've, but not on that particular day."
Dana sucked on her lower lip. "But why?"
"Why would I not have left her, or why—?"
"Yeah. Why would you not have left her?"
"Because, she needed me, Dana." Monica wiped another stray tear away. "And I—I should've bound her up, picked her up and carried her out to the car—like I had done so many other damn frickin' times before I'd lost count—and then taken her to one of the treatment centers—screaming, yelling and cussing me out, like a wild banshee all the way. And then, I could have made my decision, as to whether I wanted to stay with her or not. But at least I would have had her in the right place, in another thirty-day program, drying out, and under the professional care of others, while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life," she said, wiping yet another stray tear away. "But, I didn’t. I didn't do that, Dana. And I have regretted that ever since. To this day, I have regretted that. Shit. I weaseled out, wigged out, gave up—"
"Monica? No. It sounds to me as if you did all you knew to do to try and help her."
"Oh I don’t know, maybe. But it has haunted me all this time, ever since, whether I did the right thing or not."
Dana then reached over and squeezed her shoulder again beginning to massage it.
Monica just pursed her lips, sniffling a little bit then smiled.
"Oh gosh. You're just the knight-in-shining-armor, aren't you, Monica Reyes. Always trying to rescue someone else from themselves."
Monica smirked then chuckled. "No, not really. I don’t know. Maybe. I'm not co-dependent, if that's what you're implying."
"You're not? Could have fooled me," Dana teased her.
"No. I'm not. My own happiness doesn't center around someone else's."
Dana cocked an eyebrow at her.
"Hah. It doesn't. Maybe yours, on occasion. But Dana? That's not fair. You don't even know me very well yet. Not really. You don’t know anything about my family, my childhood, my parents, my mother, my father, who raised me, where I was born, anything about my past relationships, or—"
"Okay, okay, you're right. So tell me."
"I'm trying to."
"Hah," the redhead huffed then chuckled again.
"Dana? If I had been co-dependent, even back then, at nineteen, I wouldn’t have left. I would have stayed, even if she had beaten the holy crap out of me, I would have stayed. But I didn't. I left, the first time she ever gave me any indication that she wanted to pull me into her drama, use her brute strength on me, and try to physically intimidate me into doing whatever it was she wanted me to do. I left. I didn’t allow her to do that. She tried, and I left. Okay? I left. I walked out. Now that's not—"
"All right, all right, I stand corrected," Dana agreed. "But Monica, you put yourself through shit sometimes to help another. And that's…" she shrugged.
"Not co-dependency," Monica reiterated. "Well, borderline maybe, by some clinical standards. But, when I see someone in trouble, yes, I jump in and come to their rescue. But I don’t wallow in it, and praise God that they've got it, so I can wallow in it, right along with them, and then be their hero, and rescue them from their troubles. I don’t do that. I won't do that, Dana," she stated again, matter-of-factly. "But when I see a person in trouble, yeah, I jump in and do what I can to help them, and then I back out, completely out of it, and give them the space they need, to stand on their own two feet again. Now what's wrong with that? Shit. What the fuck is wrong with that? Just giving somebody a little helping hand every now and then?"
"Ohhh," Dana cooed then squeezed her shoulder again. "Nothing, baby. I understand what you're saying. But when it begins to bring you down too, then it's—"
"Okay, Dr. Scully. When did you become the Clinical Psychologist?"
"Shit. Shush. Please." Dana smirked.
Monica laughed. "Seriously Dana, when—?"
"Shush. I know you're right. But I think you need to be more vigilant, about who you decide to help, or not help at times. I think it tends to bring you down—"
"But Dana? You're not, that's not being fair. You don’t understand," Monica argued again, frustrated. But then how could the little redhead? She didn’t have the same extraordinary, extrasensory telepathic skills that Monica had—bombarding her relentlessly with other people's joy, pain, happiness, sorrow, sadness, enthusiasm, exhilaration, devastation and every other emotion they might be feeling at the moment.
"No Dana, now just wait a minute. You need to understand this. And the only way that I can help you to understand it, is for me to try and explain it to you, explain more about me, and how my—whatever works, and how I cope, for lack of a better word."
"Hum. Okay. Fair enough," Dana agreed. "I'm listening," she grinned.
"Okay," the brunette paused for a moment then clasped her hand again. "Jeez. Where to begin?"
"At the beginning, Moni, always at the beginning."
"Hum. Easier said than done. I'm not even sure where the beginning is."
"Oh." Dana cocked an eyebrow. …Okay. Whoa…
"Dana? Let me put it this way. I'm not sure how it all started, or when, or why exactly, but it's something I have lived with since practically the first day I took a breath. Okay?"
…Whoa… "Okay," Dana responded pursing her lips.
"And so, can you just listen, and not judge me, or get freaked out, or—?"
"What? Monica? Crap! Would you quit with that already? Shit. I cannot believe that you still feel the need to tell me that."
"Asking me to not judge you, or get 'freaked out' or whatever. Shit. Damn Monica, my God," the redhead fussed, frustrated.
"I—But—Jeez. Okay. You're right. I'm sorry. But it's just that, I've never told anyone else what I'm about to tell you, and I—I guess I'm a little—"
"Monica?" Dana reached up and cupped her cheek again. "Baby, there is no reason for you to feel so much concern over this. I'm not just anybody. I'm someone that loves you." She dropped her hand down and clasped hers again. "And I've seen a whole heck of a lot of things out there over the years, okay? Crazy things. Unexplainable things. So, there is no need for you to feel so much concern and uneasiness over this, all right? Okay, baby?" She reached up and caressed her cheek again. "There's not much you could say to me that would 'freak me out', all right? You would not believe some of the things I have seen over the years. You just would not believe. And Mulder? My God. He was amazing. Half the time I didn’t agree with him, but most of the time it turned out that he was right. Crap. And that's a hard one for me to admit. Okay?"
Monica grinned, "Okay," clasping her hand again.
"So baby, I am ready to listen, to whatever you need to tell me, okay?" Dana reassured her again.
"Yeah. Okay. Wow." Monica was practically speechless. She had never had anyone be so willing to listen, attempt to understand, and promise to not judge her by anything she might have to say as she tried to explain more about her extrasensory gift to them. …Wow…
Dana smiled then let go of her hand and began to slide her palm up and down her thigh. "Okay sweetheart, I'm ready to listen, I want to learn all I can about you," she encouraged her yet again.
Monica chuckled then clasped her sliding hand and squeezed it tight. "Hum. Okay. Well. I think you've already figured some of this out, but—sometimes—there are times, when I can be near someone, in close proximity to them or something—and many times with someone I don’t even know—and I'll occasionally be so bombarded with that person's pain, or hurt, sorrow or devastation—whatever they might be feeling at the time—until I'll get physically sick myself. Weak. Nauseous. Ill. And actually ache, so horribly inside my chest I can hardly breathe. Okay?"
"Oh my God yes, I know," Dana groaned. "Yes, I know, like in the kitchen earlier, right?"
"Yeah. Right. So—after what we were just talking about—wouldn't it make sense to you, that on occasion, the only thing I can do to get rid of all the pain and hurt I'm feeling inside myself, is to jump in, and come to that person's rescue, and then do for them whatever they need me to do, until they are stronger, better and can stand on their own two feet again? Does that make sense to you?"
"Whoa." Dana's eyes widened. "Oh my God," she yelped. …Wow… Of course, it made sense. It made perfect sense, and she would have never considered it like that. It was a whole new concept. "I um, yeah, I, wow."
"Yeah. Wow." Monica sighed then shook her head. "And most of the time, I'm not even sure that I have an option Dana, I don't think I have any other option, but to jump in, and do what I can to try and help them. And then hope for the best, and hope that it relieves me of my pain, too. I’m not trying to 'rescue them, from themselves' per se, I'm only jumping in—maybe quite selfishly on my part at times—but to get rid of all the pain I’m feeling as well," she said. "I've got to do something, to stop the frickin' pain," she grinned. "Whether it be my pain, their pain, or a combination of the two. Okay? Shit," she shrugged. "One of us has got to get some relief," she chuckled trying to lighten the mood.
"Oh wow, my gosh." Dana sat there flabbergasted. "I would have never thought about it like that, Monica. I—Wow. My God. How in the hell have you managed all these years?"
"Um, not easily."
"I guess not."
"Oh my God. You said you felt as if you'd lived with it since the day you'd been born. How did you know? How did you first know? When did you first notice that something was—different, from the other kids?"
"Four?!" Dana gasped. "Oh my God, you were only four-years-old when you first realized—?" …Holy Christ!...
"Yep, not quite four."
"Oh baby, my God," Dana groaned again in concern.
"But—? How—? Wha—? When—? How did you—?"
"I was sick, very sick, vomiting my guts out, and I couldn't keep anything down. I don’t have any recall of it, but my Grams was already babysitting me by that time, and she told me later that I was rambling about a little neighborhood kid down the street, one of my little playmates, and how that I couldn't take all her boo-boos away. I was trying so hard, but I could take them all away. And then, well. She figured it out. And that's a whole other story."
"Oh my gosh, your Grams?"
"Yep, my Grams. And, thank God, she was already taking care of me by then, or I don’t think I would have survived my childhood, because nobody else would have realized what was happening, or what to do about it."
"Oh my God, baby. This—Jesus," Dana groaned again in sympathy.
"Yeah, I know. And come to find out, even as a baby, an infant, I suffered a lot of stomach pain, crying and squealing all the time, and the pediatrician couldn't find anything wrong. Everyone assumed it was colic. But later, after the incident when I was almost four, my Grams finally realized what was going on, and that I had inherited 'the gift'."
"Yeah. Like my mother, my birth mother. She had done the same thing as a baby and little girl."
"Oh my gosh," Dana replied shaking her head. "But wait. Go back. Your birth mother?"
"Umhum. Later I learned more about the truth, and why I had ended up in Mexico, and with my aunt, and uncle and Grams."
"Oh my goodness. Explain."
"Well. I wasn't born in Mexico, only raised there, with my aunt, and uncle and Grams."
"And my mom gave me up, when I was about two, well, a little older than two. I was about twenty-six months. But I remember it like it was yesterday, and—Jeez. I'm not sure that I want to talk about all of that right now."
"Oh. Okay," Dana nodded, understanding her lover's hesitation, as she watched her lover's sorrowful brown eyes glaze over with more unresolved heartache. …Oh Monica. For Crissakes. You've been through as much as I have, in a different way, haven't you? And you've got it all locked away, deep inside, too, don’t you? Just like your girlfriend… She smirked at the irony.
"I—It's just that I don't like to talk about it. And I'm not sure that I want to right now either, even with you—"
"It's all right, sweetie. We don’t have to talk about it, not if you don’t want to," Dana reassured her.
"Well. It's not that I don’t want to. I want you to know, one day. But not right now, cause I know what it'll do to me if I get started, okay? And I don’t want to do that to us right now."
"Shhh, I understand," Dana replied, reassuring her yet again, then reached up and caressed her cheek again. "It's all right, baby. You don't have to tell me right now. You can tell me later, when you're ready."
Monica nodded then focused on the road again.
…Oh God… Dana sighed then closed her eyes shaking her head. No wonder Monica didn't want to talk about things at times. No wonder. She had been through so many hard times, too, and felt it all so deeply. And if she could feel another's pain and sorrow so deeply inside her own heart as well as her own, how in the hell did she cope with her own pain and sorrow on top of everyone else's? …Oh Jesus… The little redhead sighed again, shaking her head. …Jesus. My poor baby… She sighed again, squeezing her lover's hand for a moment, then decided to change the subject back to their earlier conversation. "Um. So. Back to your grandmother. What did she do when she first realized what was going on with you? What did she say? What did she…?" she shrugged.
"Oh. Well. Basically, she taught me how to focus, mediate, and visualize, and then build an imaginary wall, like a protective shield, around my psyche—"
"At four?" Dana queried.
"Umhum. Almost four."
"Oh my God. I don't see how in the world your grandmother was able to help you understand what she was trying to get you to do at that age."
"Oh, that part was easy. You know kids and their imaginations. It was easy for me to visualize that wall, a protective shield, a rock fortress, or a glass bubble, a rocketship, or a yellow submarine, a hot air balloon, or something to get lost inside. That was the easiest. Most of the time I would create this great big, beautiful, bright red, yellow, purple and green-striped hot air balloon inside my head. And then I'd crawl inside, or actually, it would suck me up inside of it's little basket on the end, and then wrap itself all around me, and then I'd peer out the bottom, through a little peephole, and then we'd fly high. I'd make it fly high, way up in the air, and far away from all the darkness and shadows trying to engulf me. I could fly as high as I wanted to, too. And go wherever I wanted to go, inside my head, and occasionally look down if I wanted to, and see all those nasty old, looming shadows below me, reaching up and trying to pull me back down into their clutches. But as long as I stayed up high, in the air, and concentrated on my balloon lifting me up, and flying me higher and higher into the sky, I could no longer feel the pain inside my gut. The hot air balloon was my favorite fortress as a kid. And my Grams and I would sing that old song by Fifth Dimension: 'Would you like to ride in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon?... We could float among the stars together, you and I... For we can fly, we can fly..."
"Oh God, yes! I remember that song!" Dana's eyes widened. "Oh my God, yes! My mom and I used to sing and dance around the living room, singing that song, every time it came on the radio! Oh God, yes," she sighed happily as so many happy childhood memories began to flood her thoughts.
Monica chuckled, happy that she had made the little redhead happy. "Yep. 'Up, up and away, in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon... We can sing a song, and sail along the silver sky... For we can fly, we can fly... Up, up and away, in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon... If you'll hold my hand, we can chase your dream across the sky... For we can fly, we can fly, we can fly...'" she sang another stanza. "Wow. Jeez. I guess music was my fortress, too. God, who am I kidding? Music is my fortress. But, anyway. I had developed all sorts of methods of building that protective shield around my heart. The problem was, getting me to do it when I needed to."
"I had grown so accustomed to the painful sensations inside my gut, and being so sick and hurting all the time, that I usually wouldn't do it. I would just hurt, feel nauseous, and ache through it, like I had always done, since birth."
"Yeah. That was all I knew. A big, bad tummy hurt. And learning how to ignore it, and laugh and play and pretend that it wasn't there. But as I got older, Grams began to explain to me what was happening to me, and why, and how that this 'whatever' was a gift, a special gift, and that it had been passed down to me by my mother, as my mother's only daughter, whom had had it passed down to her, by her own mother, Grams, and that I was to honor it, cherish it, and accept it, even though it would bring me great pain and sorrow at times in my life."
"Oh Monica, my gosh," Dana groaned again. …What a terribly heavy burden to place on such a little child… She clasped her lover's hand and squeezed it again.
"Yeah, and actually, I didn’t have too hard of a time accepting it. I never fought it. I just knew that it was a part of who I am, and something that I had to learn how to live with. I guess you could say that I quickly recognized my lot in life, at a very early age. And usually, I can build that protective shield around my heart fairly quickly. But every now and then, I fail, and run out of stamina, mental strength and endurance. And then I fail, and I can’t stop the pain."
"Oh my God, like out at the compound, the night we found Mulder."
"Um, yeah. Kind of."
"Oh my God, Monica. That was my fault, all my fault, when you got so sick. You were feeling my pain, and—"
"No, no, no, it was not all your fault, not completely. Jeez." Monica squeezed her hand again then kissed it. "No honey, so much had already happened to me by then. It had been a hard couple of days for me already, remember? Before we even got to the compound. I was already tired, very tired, and hungry. That never helps. And then, remember when I told you about feeling another man's pain, inside of that hospital's cafeteria that morning? And how that I could feel the joy and happiness of another? A new father's heart? And how I could a feel the pain and sorrow of another? An older gentleman and his two grandkids, sitting there in the cafeteria with us, trying to eat some breakfast?"
…Whoa… "Um, no, I—You didn’t tell me all of that but, yes. I do remember the conversation."
"Okay. Well. That morning, when you bought us our first cup of coffee and muffin," she grinned then winked, "there was an older gentleman, and his two grandkids sitting in there, trying to eat a little breakfast, while his wife, their grandmother, was upstairs somewhere dying. And it was in the cardiac intensive care unit. I know because, first of all, I could feel their pain, all of their pain, every single one of them, and their sorrow, and feelings of helplessness inside my gut. I'm guessing that some time during the night she had suffered another massive heart attack, with grave hopes of surviving, without more open-heart surgery, because—well, I don’t know. I’m not sure. I'm just guessing. But, all I know is, I could feel their pain, and see fleeting images of her lying there in her hospital bed, somewhere upstairs on another floor, all hooked up to IV tubes, a heart monitor, a blood pressure unit, a catheter, all sorts of things, and I knew that she was dying."
"But—Wow," Dana gasped. "Wait. Wait. Just—wait." She had not meant to interrupt her. But damn! "I'm sorry. Jesus. Go on."
Monica nodded. "Okay. And some part of me knew that she was already going to be dead by the time they got back up there to the room to see her. But—here's the thing, Dana—another part of me also knew that it was what she had wanted. She wanted to die, Dana, while they were out of the room. She wanted to die. And she had waited—"
"But, wait Moni. Wait. Just—wait," Dana gasped again clutching at her forearm. …Jesus…
The redhead shook her head. "Whew. Okay. Just—Jesus. Go on," she said. She had needed her to stop for a few seconds so she could catch her breath. …Jesus…
Monica nodded then started again. "Okay, well, you see, she knew, that her time had come. And she didn't want them, her family, to be there in the room with her when she took her last breath. So she had waited—"
"Wait. My God, Monica? You could sense all of that? Feel all of that?''
"Umhum. That particular morning I could."
"But, holy cow! Holy Christ! How did—? When did—? When—? How—?" Dana just stammered around in amazement.
"I don’t know. I just did," Monica shrugged. "Every now and then I can. I don't always get that kind of deep, intense read on a person, or a situation, but every now and then," she shrugged again. "I think it was because I had brushed up against the older man's jacket, right before we had entered the cafeteria together. Or, it was when I touched the same door handle that he had just touched, seconds before. I don't know, I'm not sure," she said shrugging again.
"Whoa. Holy crap!" Dana yelped again. "How in the—? How—? Jesus! How in the hell do you—? I mean, how in the hell are you not constantly bombarded with—?"
"I am, Dana. I am. Constantly. It's endless. Except for maybe when I'm asleep." She paused for a moment. "But even then I'll occasionally wake up, in a shivering cold sweat, from somebody else's dream." She casually glanced over at the little redhead, wondering if Dana would catch what she had just revealed to her. "Especially if that someone is a person I really, really care about, and love, and is going through a very, very hard time," she paused again, giving the little redhead time to process what she had just said. Monica had awakened several times already from the little redhead's bad dreams and nightmares, sensing her distress, even as she slept. "Hum," she sighed. Dana had apparently not understood what she had just revealed to her. So, she went on. "And sometimes, the sensations are so strong, I can actually feel their pain, their physical pain."
"Their physical pain," Dana repeated. "Explain."
"Yeah. Okay, let's take little Elisa for an example, the little jewel of a girl I found last week. I knew the moment her ribs were cracked."
"Yeah. I knew. I actually felt the blow, right here," she said placing her palm over the area just above her ribcage.
"Oh my God. Monica?!" Dana was flabbergasted. …Oh my God. You're an empath. You're an empath. Oh my God… The redhead's heart sank, remembering the outcome of another empath while working on a case with Mulder one time. The poor woman had died—drowned! In the backseat of a car!—as she literally saved a little girl from a murdering pedophile trying to drown her. "Oh Monica."
"Yeah. I actually felt the blow, right here, when that mother-fucking son-of-a-bitch hit her. That mother-fucking son-of-a—Oh. God. Sorry. Anyway," Monica hesitated calming her anger back down. "But yeah, I actually felt the blow, hurt like hell, and I could actually see the area inside my head too, where she and Cody were being held. And, oddly enough, I could actually see it from Cody's perspective at times too, which was quite different from the norm."
"Cody's perspective? Whoa," Dana yelped again. …My God… "Explain."
"Yeah, I could actually see the room, feel the cold, smell the fumes, the oil and musty odor, everything cold and dark, from Cody's point of view. And we—he—we could actually talk to each other—"
"Talk to each other? Explain."
"Yeah. He—Cody and Elisa—We all three have a similar gift."
"Oh my God," Dana gasped again. "Oh my God." She was trying so hard not to show any emotion, but remain calm. But damn! It was like an X-File! And Mulder would love it!
"Yeah, and I was blown-away by that too, at first."
…At first?... Dana cocked an eyebrow. …Blown-away? Did you just hear me? Or sense my thoughts?… She knitted her brow.
"But then I realized that it was all part of a bigger plan, a greater plan, and that it was meant for me to be the one to find them."
"You? Why you?" Dana asked the obvious question.
"Cause I'm the only one that could fully understand the situation we were in, talk to them, communicate with them, spirit-to-spirit and soul-to-soul. And more than anything else, they needed me, someone they could trust, and someone that would understand the full depth of the situation we were in, and about their little secret; and more importantly, someone that could possibly, hopefully become their mentor, and help them learn more clearly how to cope with their extrasensory gifts. Especially Cody. He needs my help now more than ever. He's only four, and—"
"Four? Oh my goodness gracious." Dana sat there for a few moments in silence mulling it over. "Oh my goodness. Okay. Whew. But that makes sense," she finally said. "Only four. My God. Same age as you."
"Umhum, and I swear, with little Elisa. I think she's already ahead of me—"
"Oh really." Dana chuckled.
"Yep. Some of the things she said to me later that night, at the hospital, I swear. Gosh. I really want to talk to her about it some more too, when the time is right."
"But, couldn't you now?"
Monica chuckled then began to laugh. "Yeah, probably, if I really wanted to, and concentrated on it. But it takes so much mental effort, strength and stamina to do that. And right now I want to keep all of my mental strength, effort and stamina up for a certain little redhead I've got with me tonight."
"Oh," Dana yelped then chuckled. "You do, huh?"
"Oh yeah. Talking to Elisa, whether through the cosmos or by a landline, can wait," she giggled again. "And most would already be dialing their cell-phone anyway, calling 911, and telling the dispatcher to have the paramedics rush me to the nearest psych ward."
Dana laughed. "Well, we've already been through that. I told you I would not 'freak out' with anything you had to say to me. Actually, I've worked on a few cases when others claimed to have had similar abilities."
"Claimed? Or was it real?"
"Hum. Actually, with most, I would have to say that it was quite possibly real, even though we never had hard evidence. Well. Correction. We did on some cases. But most were considered—unexplainable. Unsolved."
"And most were, quite fascinating I have to say. I had to really change my way of thinking, and begin to see things from a different perspective. Not everything can be proven by science. But then maybe that is a science in and of itself."
"Oh Monica. God. I hesitate to even mention this but, we had a woman one time that actually drowned, inside the backseat of a car, while a little girl was being pulled from a river."
"Oh God. I can believe it."
"Yes. She had actually taken in the water somehow, inside her lungs, thus saving the little girl's life."
"Oh yeah. I can believe it, Dana. I can believe it." Monica's eyes began to water as her heart tightened inside her chest, remembering her own mother's untimely death as she had taken on another's pain. It had ultimately killed her—Monica's birth mother—as she had tried to save another. "Oh Jesus. Dana? Could we—?"
"And Mulder, my God. He knew! He had known the whole time that she was an empath. But I—always the logical, rational, by-the-book, technically-challenged, scientist me—continued to think that she might be working with the perp."
"Oh Dana. God, the limitations that science can put on our minds at times."
"Hum. I know. So true," the redhead said. "So true." And she could hardly believe she had said it either—being a scientist and all.
"But honey? Could we change the subject for a bit? Take a breather?"
"You're growing weary talking about it?"
"Um yeah, kind of." Actually, she didn’t want to hear much more about the empath, and how the empath had died saving another. It would remind her too much of her own mother—her birth mother—and herself, if she ever allowed her gift to take over and completely control all of her thoughts and imagination. She could potentially die, too, from another's pain and suffering.
"Okay sweetheart. But I am so glad that you told me. I think I needed to know. Maybe now I can better understand how to treat you, in case you ever need medical attention again, and we need to rush you to a hospital or something. Right?"
"And next time, I'll know better how to handle it, as your doctor."
"Yeah, but hopefully there won't be a next time," Monica said. "But, you can always be my doctor. I like playing 'doctors and nurses'," she giggled then glanced over at Dana and winked.
Dana just grinned shaking her head. She liked playing "doctors and nurses", too—especially if she got to play "doctor" and Monica was her "nurse". They might just have to play that little game tonight, after they got home from their first date.
"God. I cannot believe that we have actually had this conversation in the first place, Dana," Monica suddenly yelped, full of joy and excitement. She could think about her birth mother at a later date. Right now she was too happy and overjoyed that she had shared some of the most intimate secrets about herself with another person—her soulmate. "My God, Dana, I—I feel so alive! So free! So loved and accepted! Like—I don't know how to explain it exactly." She glanced over at the little redhead again—her eyes bubbling over with pure joy. "God Dana. You have no idea what it feels like, what I feel, how I feel, to know that you love me, and accept me, for who I am, and what I've become, in spite of my unconventional weirdness," she giggled. "I know I’m weird, strange, odd, bizarre, unconventional. I've been told I'm a loony-tune fruitcake all of my life. Usually worse."
"No really. I've always been the black-sheep, odd-one-out, looking in from the outside. I've never been 'just one of the girls'. I've always been different, even as a baby. I had a lot of friends, but only casual friends. Nothing solid. No one I could really depend on, or trust. And even as a baby, I was a good baby. Basically a happy baby—or so I'm told—very thoughtful and contemplative, but also very sad at times. Of course later we found out why. I could sense things, feel things, feel the energy and emotions of those around me. And if they were sad, I was sad too, even as a baby."
"Oh Moni, my God," Dana gasped shaking her head. "How horrible for you."
"No, not really, it was okay. That was just part of who I am. I lived, I survived, and it made me a better person I think. I think I'm much stronger than most, in an emotional way, anyway—"
"My God, you'd have to be, to cope with this," Dana agreed.
"Yeah, I guess I would, wouldn't I?"
"Yes my sweet, my God." Dana reached up and caressed her cheek again. "My God, to take on so many other people's troubles in the world, and not even have a choice. You don't even have a choice." The redhead shook her head again in frustration for her lover.
But Monica didn't seem to care. It was all she had known, since practically her first breath. "Oh Dana," she grinned again all happy and giddy inside. "You have no idea, no idea at all how I am feeling right now. God! I—I wish I could somehow find us a place to pull over, and then I'd get out of the car, entice you out, and then I would pull you into my arms so tight I'd never let you go, and then I'd thank all the Gods and Goddesses, and whatever else there migh be up above, for giving me to you. I mean, God! I—I've never told anyone else what I've just told you tonight in my life! No one! Not even Jen. Only my Grams, and—"
"Pull over. You can pull over right there, just off that little rise," Dana nodded up ahead.
Monica looked up to where she had pointed. Yes. There was a slightly larger area of paved shoulder on the road, just ahead. "Okay," she agreed then, within seconds, she had pulled the big vehicle over into the larger area of asphalt. It wasn't a big enough area for them to get out of the vehicle safely, but it was big enough to park for a moment.
"Yes," Dana whispered then leaned over and grabbed the brunette by the cheeks, pulling her into the deepest, most passionate kiss.
They kissed for several seconds, both sliding their palms and hands all over each other's backs and shoulder-blades then wrapping their arms around each other and squeezing tight.
"Mmm God, Monica, I love you. And I don’t know what else to say, except that—I love you—and accept you for who you are, and—"
"Oh God," Monica choked as tears began to roll down her cheeks. "Oh God, I know, I know, and I love you, too, and I love you so much for it, for not being afraid of me, or hesitant, or thinking me crazy, or insane for what I feel, or how I feel, or how I—"
"Shhh, shush, just shut up and kiss me."
Monica giggled then leaned over even farther in her seat and did just that.
"Oh Monica." Their seatbelts were getting in the way, but neither seemed to care. "Mmm, baby," Dana moaned again then began to lean back in her seat.
Monica giggled again then cocked an eyebrow. She couldn't lean that far over, thanks to her seatbelt.
Dana grinned. "Okay. We can move on now. I just—I needed that," she whispered softly.
"Mmm, me too, badly," Monica teased her, quickly wiping a few tears from her cheeks, then checked her mirrors and began to pull the big vehicle back out onto the main thoroughfare.
"God, you're amazing, Monica, so amazing. You're like, several cases wrapped up into one."
"You mean, the X-Files?"
"Um. So does that mean you're gonna study me?" Monica giggled glancing back over at her.
"No. Hell no. You are not some scientific laboratory animal, some supernaturally gifted entity, to be studied and exploited by a room full of scientists. Hell no. I would never do that to you. I would never—"
"Whoa, wait a minute, hold on now. I know. I know, baby. I know what you meant."
"Hah." Dana smirked then shook her head. The brunette probably did know exactly what she had meant. She had probably sensed most all of what she had been thinking all day. …Damn… "Hum. Okay. Well. Tell me more about your grandmother."
"Yeah. I want to know more about this special woman in your life, that raised you."
"Mmm, wow, okay. Where to start? She's a darling, Dana, just the sweetest thing, and so gentle and kind."
Dana smiled. Now why should that surprise her, as darling, sweet, gentle and kind as Monica was? "Well, is she able to do most everything that you can?"
"You mean 'the gift'?"
"Oh yeah and more, much more," Monica replied proudly.
"Oh yeah. She's like a medium or something, and yet quite capable of telepathically commun—"
"A medium? Wait. What's the difference?"
"A medium can channel and communicate with the dead. I can't. Well, not usually, anyway," she said thinking back to her "spiritual communication" with Devin—Dana's soul from a former life.
"Oh. Okay. Well, what about a clairvoyant? Do you consider that strictly a spiritualist whom claims to foretell the future?"
"Oh no, not at all. That would be an oracle, a prophet, or an augur. A clairvoyant generally 'sees things', 'hears things', 'senses things', that are happening on the other side of town, or maybe even on the other side of the earth for that matter, but rarely futuristic in nature. At least that is my opinion."
"Oh. Okay," Dana nodded. …Wow… "So you would consider yourself a clairvoyant then?"
"Yeah. With telepathic skills."
"Hum. I see." Dana licked her lips.
Monica chuckled. "Yeah, I know. Gettin' deep. Deep as a shit-load of manure, right? For your scientific mind?"
Dana laughed. "Oh my. Well. It's different," she replied. And wow, was she ever getting a shit-load full of education on the minute distinctions between all the different labels concerning those of a mystic and/or spiritualistic nature.
"But I can do that, quite often actually."
"What? Foretell the future?" Dana teased her.
"No. Hell no. No way, my God. How the heck did we get on that?"
"I'm just teasing you. But that's considered more of an oracle, an augur or a prophet, prophetess."
"Yes. Correct. Shit. And thank God, I can't do that. Shit. I'd never want to be able to do that. The past and present are hard enough to deal with, without adding the future into the mix, too. Shit."
Dana belly-laughed at that. "Oh, I guess so. Jesus Christ."
"Jeez. Everybody's gotta have a little surprise or two every now and then in their life, don't ya think?"
"Yep. I think," Dana giggled again. She was in the company of one of the best surprises she'd had in her whole life right now.
"No, I'm definitely more of a clairvoyant, with telepathic skills."
"But not a seer, foretelling the future."
"Nope. Never. And don't want to be either."
Dana nodded. "Wow. Okay. Fair enough." She sat there for a few moments in silence mulling over all of this latest information her lover had just told her. "Good gosh, Monica. I swear. I'd give anything if Mulder had heard some of this. He would be, ecstatic, uncontainable, with meeting someone like you and possibly even working with you on a case."
"Naah. Get out. He'd have thought me a freak," Monica joked.
"Oh no, not at all. He would have admired you, respected you. And you him," Dana replied then sighed—resigned to the fact that that would never happen—Mulder meeting Monica—at least not until she died or something, and then she'd meet him on the other side of somewhere. And then what would it matter—all of this talk of clairvoyance, telepathy or foretelling of the future? What would it matter?
"Hum. Well. I'm afraid that I interrupted you. What were you saying? Something about your grandmother and telepathy?" Dana eased them back into the other conversation that she was still quite interested in—the one about Monica's grandmother and her telepathic skills.
"Oh yeah. My Grams. Jeez. Her telepathic skills are unreal Dana, out-of-this-world. She's amazing. She can do just about anything she wants to with them, and communicate through just about any fog you've got goiing on inside your head, to get through to you, if she thinks she needs to. And it doesn't seem to matter what else is going on either, or how clogged up and jumbled up your mind is with other thoughts. If she thinks you need to hear it, she's gonna get through. I know. Cause she does it to me all the time. And thank God she does, cause she has saved my ass so many times by doing that, I couldn't count the times."
"Well, well. I see," Dana smiled then nodded pursing her lips. …Oh my, my. Yes, indeed… She grinned again. She knew. She already knew that, and had experienced it, especially after hearing the older woman's familiar voice on Monica's answering machine earlier. …Hum. Well, well… "And when does she generally do this?"
"Yeah. Hum. I like that. Soul-to-soul," Dana grinned then paused for a moment, thinking about that intimate choice of words. …Hum… She liked that. It gave it much more meaning—such an intimate meaning. …Hum… She smiled again. She did like that a lot. "So when does she generally do this? Communicate with someone, soul-to-soul?"
"Um, usually when there is some type of big problem going on, I mean, we do mostly use the telephone," Monica giggled. "But if there is a really big problem, or something really, really bad is about to happen, and we need to talk to each other immediately, but we can't get to a phone, well," she shrugged. "She'll talk to me, telepathically."
"And then usually, I'll respond. But then there are occasional problems with my skill level. I'm not as good at it as she is. Sometimes I can communicate with her and sometimes I can't. Sometimes I can hear her voice and sometimes I can't. It can be very frustrating, because my skills are still not very reliable compared to hers."
"But of course, she's had many more years of experience and practice than I have, too, so I’m not worried about it," she smiled. "I know I'll get there one day," she said.
"Hum, yes. I’m sure that you will," Dana smiled as well. "So. Can just anyone hear her voice?"
"Yeah. Can just anyone, walking down the street, hear her voice? Or does that person have to be near her, or have similar skills as she?"
"Oh. Wow. Good question, but generally, that person has to have some of the same skills. The location, or proximity, doesn't matter. But the skill level…" she shrugged again.
"Hum." …Whoa… Dana's eyes widened as her heart skipped a beat. "I see."
"Umhum. It's rare for one that does not share similar abilities to…" …Whoa. Holy shit… Monica hesitated then looked at the little redhead.
Dana cocked an eyebrow.
…Oh my God… Monica grinned—her eyes sparkling with renewed understanding. …My God. You're figuring it out. You're remembering. Or how else could you have heard me, or me have heard you over these last couple of weeks? Hum? How else could we have talked to each other or communicated, soul-to-soul? Hum? Oh my God. You're figuring it out, baby, you're figuring it out. Or are you? Are you? Can you hear me? Can you hear my voice, hear me now, talking to you inside your head? Hum?... She grinned then cocked an eyebrow at her, hoping for a little silent response from the little redhead that only she could hear.
Dana smirked then shook her head.
"Ohhh," Monica playfully cooed then giggled again. …You can hear me. I know you can. You're hearing me right now. Sensing my thoughts. Because I'm helping you to…
Monica giggled. "Nothing, honey. I didn't say anything," she giggled again then focused her mental energy a little more intently, deliberately envisioning her thoughts circling around Dana's very soul. …"But I love you. Can you hear me now? I love you, baby. I love you."...
"What? Monica?" Dana's eyes widened. Her heart skipped a beat.
"Oooh," Monica giggled again. …Yeah! All right!... "Nope, not gonna get any more outta me," she laughed thoroughly enjoying the loving little mind-game she was playing with Dana's thoughts and extrasensory, sixth-sense awareness right now.
Dana had a small amount of telepathic, sixth-sense awareness, too. But she had never acknowledged it. She had always dismissed it as her own ludicrous imagination. She had never really analyzed it, or thought about it for very long. She didn't want to. She did not believe in such things. Or did she? She had experienced supernatural, extrasensory, unexplainable things in the past herself. So why had she been so reluctant to consider them, or the possibilities of what they meant for her?
"No. I need to ask you something: How do you deal with the constant bombardment of sensations and energies surrounding you all the time?" She deliberately changed the subject.
"Huh?" Monica cocked an eyebrow.
"I realize you mentioned the 'building a wall, building a protective shield' around your heart. But how in the hell do you deal with the constant bombardment without going completely insane and mentally collapsing from the exhaustion?" Nope. She was not going to talk about it. She had deliberately changed the subject, because she had learned all she had wanted to know about telepathic awareness for the moment. And that was enough.
"Oh. Well. Hum." Monica licked her lips. "I don't know. I guess because I've learned how to ignore it. I mean, most of it is nothing more than your typical, everyday ups-and-downs that everyone feels on a regular, every day, kind of basis. But, every now and then, it can become front-and-center. And then I have to consciously deal with it, concentrate, focus, mediate—if I can—and begin to build a shield around my heart to protect me from the pain."
"Yeah, but it's not that bad, Dana. Most times, my heart can be full of joy and peace and happiness from another, too. I can feel all the warm fuzziness inside. It's the most amazing thing. And if I know who it is, occasionally I'll glance over, to see if I can decipher who, or what, is causing all their joy."
"Oh wow," Dana cooed. Now that was nice. Maybe not all things about Monica's little gift was a curse.
"Yeah, and when I know that someone is about to die, and I’m near them, especially in the same room with them or something, every now and then I can actually see their spirit, and feel their joy and peace as they begin to separate from their bodies. It doesn't happen very often, but every now and then, I can actually see and feel their spirit when it begins to leave their body. It's really weird."
"Oh wow. Monica?" Dana gasped.
"Yeah, it's the most amazing thing. Just wonderful actually."
"Um, I guess so, I guess it would be."
"Yeah. It's beautiful. Very beautiful, Dana. Death can be a very beautiful thing, for the one that is doing the leaving, especially if they have been through a lot of suffering on earth. Once they have left this world, and separated from the physical realm and entered completely into the spiritual, they have no more pain, no more worries, or troubles, hurts or sorrows. It's a really beautiful thing, for them at least. For those left behind—God."
"Um," Dana nodded. "Yes. For those left behind. If we could only remember that, and hold onto it."
"Yeah, I know. Like Mulder, or even Brian."
"Umhum. But it's a great comfort. Because some part of me knows that Mulder was suffering greatly, before we found him."
Monica sucked on her lower lip for a moment then glanced over at the little redhead. Oh yeah. She knew. She had actually felt some of his excruciating pain that morning in the cafeteria. And it had been so excruciating it was almost indescribable. Luckily, she had managed to hide her physical reaction from Dana that morning. And she never wanted Dana to know what she had felt from Mulder that morning.
"And you have faith, in the Afterlife."
"Hum? Oh yeah. Most definitely," Monica nodded. "I'm not into any organized religion per se, but, oh yeah, I believe that it's just the beginning for us, once we leave this world."
Dana smiled. So did she, and they had shared a similar conversation before, back in Helena.
"Don't you? I mean—"
"Oh yeah. I've had a few experiences that I could not explain. Yep. Plus, being raised Catholic."
"Umhum," Monica smiled. "Are you still practicing? Devout?"
"Nope. Not like I should be. I haven't been to Mass in years."
"Well. That's okay, the Creator of the world understands," Monica glanced over and winked. "Besides, we don't need a great big church building, cathedral, temple, synagogue, or four big walls surrounding us to find the Creator. All we have to do is step outside and look up towards the sun, or the moon and stars, listen to the birds, the geese, the trees, the grass, smell the crackling of a campfire, or taste the sweet nectar from a honeysuckle bush, feel the cool water between our toes, as we wade throughg a trickling creek, or swim the mighty ocean, my God! It's all there, surrounding us constantly, if we'll just slow down long enough to stop and look, listen, taste, touch, smell and feel everything that it is trying to say to us. And let it teach us, guide us and rejuvenate us."
"Oh yes, now that I would totally agree with, Monica. Totally."
Monica laughed. "We're batting a hundred, aren't we?"
"Oh yeah. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised by that."
"Hum," Dana grunted then smiled happily. That was something she and Mulder had never been able to really talk about, or come to a workable agreement upon—any form of organized religion, or any form of basic spirituality at all. What a nice change of pace it was to have Monica to talk to about it. …Wow… She pulled her lover's hand back up and kissed it. "Hum," she smiled then glanced out towards the downtown skyline of greater New Orleans. She sighed happily then kissed her lover's hand again. She was getting hungry. But it was just a matter of minutes now until they arrived at the restaurant.
"Oh yeah. Perfect, just perfect." She smiled.
Monica smiled too then squeezed her hand a little tighter.