Title: All You've Wished for, and All You've Seen
Summary: Nightmares and Comfort, Confessions and Truth (It's not as clichéd as it sounds ;)
Notes: Hello all! Today is the anniversary of my first story. It was "Battle of Wills" and this is so far from that, that it's a wonder it's the same author! But now, 365 days, and only eight stories later, here I still am.
At the end of the day, Mulder goes home to an empty apartment, leaving everything behind. He feels no love for the apartment, for anything in it. Everything he loves is elsewhere.
So he write letters to her. More of a journal really, since it is about all the things he wished he could have done. Things he could have said. Things he wished he didn't say. Often, they would turn to poems.
He knows what poem he is going to write tonight.
He stands at the back of a church, wide eyed in wonder. He does not believe what she does, but he has always marvelled and respected places of worship. And this is the most beautiful place he has ever seen.
It is made mostly of old wood which somehow smells both musty and new. The roof is high, made of stone, as is the floor he walks on. It is cold, and lightly dusty, but it feels as if all is blessed. He has never felt like this before.
And for a moment, his burden is lifted.
Ahead, at the front of the church, he sees her and remembers why he is here. He starts walking slowly down the aisle towards her at the altar, a tender smile on his face.
But she doesn't see it. She has just lit a candle, and now she drops to her knees, head bowed. He continues toward her.
Then, a cloud uncaps the sun, and it is as if God itself is sending a message. It glides through the stained glass window at the front of the church, and as he looks up at the image, he is almost blinded by its brilliance. The detail is exquisite, the craft divine.
It is a Man and a Woman, their heads close, their expressions are a type of Serene Mulder has only found in religious art. The Man has an arm behind the woman which out of view, and the Woman holds a hand to her cheek. Around their heads is a halo of gold, like a crown of sunlight. But around the edges is the presence of Evil, dark and unforgiving; colourless, emotionless black. There are people there. In that Darkness.
But surrounding the Man and Woman is blazing colour, the green of nature, the blue of sky, the yellow of sun, and the red of cloth. The sun shines down on them, as it does now on Scully, but Mulder knows the Sun is more a source of light: It is Truth, and God, and Life.
It is breathtaking.
And it is illuminating Scully with all the colours in heaven as she kneels down in prayer, unaware of his presence. She does not know he is there. She thinks he is waiting outside for her like he said he would, but he has followed. And he watches.
She is an Angel. Blues and reds, yellows and greens, they swirl and mix as if at her command, blanketing her, answering her.
He decides to leave her in privacy with her turmoil and pain. But before he leaves, he turns and looks back at the church, at the glass window. Mulder does not believe what others in the church believe; he has not 'found God'. But he has come a step closer to understanding it. This church is not a place for worship, that is not what people are here to do.
It is a place for Truth.
And in that, he Believes.
"Scully, we-" Mulder opens the door and stops in mid sentence. She is asleep.
The room is black and white and shades of grey; the only illumination is from the street lamp outside her window which glows fluorescent pale, shining like a sick moon.
No colour exists, as if when she sleeps, the world sleeps too. When she is not awake to see the vibrancy and colour of life, the objective is lost and the world will wait and rest.
Mulder smiles gently, a sadness entering his eyes as he watches her. She lies so still, breathing so slowly, that only true abandon of consciousness could cause such peace. But as he moves closer, he sees it is not peace she has.
A nightmare is approaching. He can see it, feel it. His body convulses with fear.
On stakeouts, when she would fall asleep, she would get nightmares.
When they first started, he would wake her, tell her she was having a bad dream. But upon waking, she would only look violated, and angry, if not a little embarrassed. She would become defensive and not speak a word for hours after.
He soon learned not to mention them. They were personal frights and private fears, and her need for appearing indifferent and strong would drive him away, despite that she was touched by his concern, and grateful for his waking her. He could see it in her eyes.
So, often he let her sleep through them, if they were mild; or wake her with some excuse if he could sense a 'bad' one coming.
He often wonders if she has nightmares when at home, between cases. When he is not beside her, propelling them blindly on some fool's errand.
He goes to her now, knowing his presence will comfort her through it. The bed is hard enough to sit on without stirring her, so he sits.
Her eyebrows are furrowed in an expression of mild pain, the first sign. And she is beginning to sweat.
Already her breathing is ragged, inhaling in little gasps, as if she is suffocating, and she is soon turbulent and agitated. Mulder curses under his breath at the speed it hits; the pain slices with malicious glee.
He wants to rouse her, to save her from the next few minutes of horror, but he would never be able to explain his presence in her room, or the fact he *happens* to know she is about to have a nightmare.
Oh, he has plenty to excuses in mind, but she would not believe them. She is smart, his partner, and she would see through him. Then she would get angry and impenetrable, throwing him out. Though her eyes would silently thank him.
So, he just places a hand either side of her to balance himself, and leans in forward without touching her. No, he never touches her.
He places his right cheek close to her left one, and murmurs softly. He can feel the heat from her skin, and so he knows that she can feel the heat from his. Immediately, she settles a little.
When she dreams in the car, he gets out and goes to her side. He sits on the edge of her seat, and embraces her like this. An embrace with no touch.
She always knows it is him.
"Mulder," she breathes.
Yes, she always knows who it is.
He continues to murmur soft nothings in her ear, almost feeling the grey silk of her skin, smelling her fear, watching how his breath disturbs the fiery silver of her hair.
He cringes at the stroke of her panicked breath against his ear, her terrified words in his brain, the distressed friction of her clothes on his, as she struggles. He cringes from it, but he relishes it too.
This is the one way he can help her. The one way she will let him.
But this time it is not working, the visions are too powerful, the events too real. Her face is contorting into a mask of ethereal agony. Just being there is not enough to help her this time.
He starts to panic, wishing he had woken her, no matter the consequences, but now it is too late. If he were to wake her now, she would remember every detail, even if only for a few instants. And he will not do that to her.
He knows what she dreams of, though it is only an educated guess. From a lifetime of experience.
She dreams of being taken, snatched from hands, to other hands, and snatched again. Each more Evil than the last. She dreams of bodies no one deserves to see. She relives losses that no one deserves to lose. And through it all, she has to keep going, knowing that every time Mulder leaves her sight, she may never see him again.
He knows what nightmares eat at her. And he can do nothing but distract her.
He knows what poem he is going to write tonight.
"I picture you, in the sun," he whispers. "Falling down on you knees, Wondering, what went wrong."
She stills slightly, her lip quivering. Lifting his head to watch her, he continues.
"Being caught in between, All you've wish for, and all you've seen. And trying to find anything, You can feel, that you can believe in."
Scully whimpers slightly and Mulder feels his own throat constrict in that slow burning pain, which sets his eyes on fire. His voice is low and rough, and as he watches her, her expression changes. The fear is lessening.
"Now I would apologize," he whispers earnestly. "If I could, see your eyes."
The writhing eases.
"When you showed me myself, you know, I became someone else."
She smiles slightly at that, as if knowing how true it was for them both.
"But I was caught in between, All you wish for and all you need. I picture you fast asleep, An nightmare comes, But you can't keep awake."
He chokes on the line, but Scully's breathing only calms.
"Because if I find, If I find my own way, How much will I find? How much will I find?"
She understands. He knows she does.
"I don't think I know anymore, What's it's for, Anymore," he confesses quietly. "If there is anyone, who is in the sun, Will you help me to understand?"
The sweat is drying, her muscles relax.
"Because I've been caught in between, All you've wished for, and all you've seen, Or maybe you're not even sure, What it's for, Anymore, Than me."
His last line is riding on the tail of his breath, he speaks so softly.
Her face is calm, is grateful. Is full of recognition, of peace.
But Mulder feels a single rogue tear escapes, and fall with a light spatter on her cheek.
He catches his breath, fearing he is caught, she will wake and the spell will be broken.
But she merely brushes away his tear tenderly. And rests her hand on her cheek.
Mulder tears course silently, though the flow now streaks his own face. He does not need to brush them away; Scully has already wiped his tears.
The parting is sweet, the gentlest, softest kiss, and he is gone.
My first piece not checked by an editor! Should I stick to seeking professional help? (yes, in both senses) Let me know.