Title: The Glass Apple
Author: Coffman
Written: 1998
Rated: PG-13
Category: XRH
Spoilers: Fight the Future Keywords: Scully/Mulder Romance

Summary: During a dream, both agents are transported into a fairytale where Scully must rescue Mulder, who has fallen under the spell of a magic apple. Or, the FBI meets the Snow White and the Eight Samantha's.

He stared at the glass apple resting on the edge of the scarred, wooden desk. Perfect in every way, the air bubbles inside appeared to dance around like tiny planets moving through the cosmos. Even the bronze leaf and stem were delicate works of art, the deep edges left by the engraver's tool detailing the veins of the leaf perfectly. He palmed the fruit and rolled it around in his hand, allowing his mind to wander back to an old story, one that had been twisted and perverted until leaped upon by the people at Disney. Disney had a way of doing that, taking a story, such as one by the Brothers Grimm, and making it into a changeling, leaving it unrecognizable from it's initial conception. This particular story was Snow White. He had his own version of Snow White, or at least one closer to the story from Brothers Grimm. Instead of an apple, however, the evil deed had been done by a bee, and the evil witch, or step-mother, was the cigarette smoking man. What was ironic, however, was that the prince never got to kiss Snow White. Pain through yet another sting, the needle, had been required to awaken his princess. As he stared through the apple, it seemed to take on an unworldly quality, fairly glowing in the light. We never did finish that kiss, he thought, as the room faded into a milky-white dream.

He woke up sneezing rapidly, and found himself on a mattress made of straw. He could tell it was straw because several pieces of it were sticking out of the lumpy object and stabbing him with their sharp, yellow edges. The stone room was rather drafty and he peered over to find the window devoid of glass. The window itself was approximately four feet high, but only a foot wide, barely enough for a man to squeeze through. Swinging his feet to the floor, he noticed he was wearing a short cotton night shirt of a dingy white color. The floor was covered in old rushes, and bitterly cold. The fire place in the corner was devoid of wood, or any other type of fuel. *What the hell was going on?* Just then the door swung open and a small figure entered.

"Frohike?! What the hell is going on here? Where are we and why am I dressed like this?" he bellowed.

Frohike winced at Mulder's tone and smirked a bit. "Well, sire, this is your dream. I'm not sure how I got here, but I sure hope the enigmatic Dr. Scully shows up some time."

"A dream? But it seems so real. What's your role supposed to be in my dream, Frohike?" he asked with a trace of irony and a whole lot of skepticism.

Frohike gave a long-suffering sign and proclaimed dramatically, "I'm supposed to be one of those freakin' good fairies that saves your ass so you can live happily ever after. And I gotta tell you, I'm not extremely happy to be cast in this role. Why couldn't I be a knight or something cool? Do you know how silly I look in this outfit? The other guys won't even leave our little house in the woods until they figure out how to conjure up some appropriate clothing."

Mulder looked at Frohike's clothing for the first time and barked out a laugh. He tried valiantly to stop his laughter, but could not. Frohike was wearing his traditional black vest and gloves with the holes cut out of the fingers, as well as star-patterned navy tights with gold curved shoes. Every time he moved, a delicate chiming noise would sound from the star-shaped bells perched atop each shoe. In his hand, he held a wand of sorts. It had a star on the end of it and was covered in glitter. To top it off, the gold, sheer tutu around his waist was just priceless. Mulder couldn't help it, and fell into the rushes consumed by laughter. He could hear Frohike mumbling, and garnered that the other two Gunmen were in worse shape. Imagining what they looked like only served to increase the hilarity of the situation.

The wooden door creaked again and Frohike disappeared into thin air. Mulder stopped laughing and sat up abruptly, immensely curious and awed. *Well, I guess this is my dream.* He turned to see who was coming through the door, and was surprised to find himself staring up at the cigarette smoking man. "Oh, God. You must be my evil stepmother," quipped Mulder as he ran his hand across his face.

The Cigarette Smoking Man looked around in surprise as he took in his surroundings. He finally turned his perusal back to Mulder, and had covered any emotion except for that of sardonic humor flashing in his eyes. "Sorry, Mulder. You should make that evil father. You're mother's bad enough without anyone taking over that role."

He leaned lazily against the door as he watched Mulder's eyes narrow in anger. He quickly hid the emotion, however and jumped to his feet.

"So, where do we go from here, Pops? Am I to be locked in the tower until my hair grows out and a princess comes to rescue me? Do I prick my finger on a spindle? What's the deal?"

Smoking man raised an eyebrow and replied casually, "My dear boy, this is your dream. I'm sure you have some horrid nightmares lurking in there that I could twist to my own purpose, but this is your show. Now give me my lines boy. You're starting to bore me."

Just then the door swung open again and a large, menacing man entered with a hospital gurney. Mulder gasped as one of his greatest fears started to take shape. He was hoisted from the floor by the man whom he had identified as the Bounty Hunter, and strapped to the gurney. Struggling passionately he screamed insults to Cancer Man who casually peered over Mulder and said, "Couldn't have planned it better myself, Mulder." Then turning to the Bounty Hunter, he ordered, "Take him to the woods and wipe his mind free of all memories. Before you do so, however, make sure you show him some things he'll really regret forgetting. We have some aliens around here somewhere, how about a peek, Mulder?"

Mulder gritted his teeth and then told the Cancer Man what he could go do with himself. Cancer Man just grinned through a puff of smoke and replied, "God, I love my role. Nice lines, Mulder, but I've gotta go now." With that he winked out of existence and Mulder looked around and found that the room he was in had faded away and been replaced by the forest. Looking up at the Bounty Hunter, he asked, "Any chance of letting me go?"

The Bounty Hunter gave an evil smile, "Wrong fairy tale, Mulder," and morphed into a big wolf. The wolf was readying itself to pounce on Mulder and eat him when a dart pierced his hide. Howling in pain, the creature fell over into its side and morphed back into the Bounty Hunter. Mulder looked up to see himself surrounded by Samantha. Yes, all eight of them, and wearing white lab coats. His mouth gaped open as they all smiled at him. "Welcome to our lab," they all said at once. His eyes darted around until they lay purchase upon a white, concrete building which lay partially hidden in the deep forest. Overcome by his injuries from his struggle with the Bounty Hunter, as well as the shock of seeing the women, he passed out.

"Oh, dear!" exclaimed one of the Samantha's. "I think we've frightened him." Shrugging, all of the women grabbed a section of the cart and wheeled him into their hidden lab.

The two idiots had been fawning over her all day, each competing for her attention. She sighed heavily and rolled her eyes heavenward. Damn Mulder and his dreams. It had to be a dream of his, because she sure wouldn't dream herself into a hellish situation like this - and she knew it to be a possibility since they had shared dreams in the past.

Pendrell, who in real life was dead, held out the tray to Dana's face again. "Your highness, please take a chocolate. I had the lab make them up myself. You'll find nothing else like it, my sweet."

She nearly gagged at his sappiness and wondered if he had really felt this way about her when he was alive. Who knew what truths were being distorted in Mulder's dream. She pushed the tray away and walked across the parapet to peer over the castle wall. She felt trapped. Here she was on top of a castle wall, surrounded by two morons, and wearing the most confining dress she had ever had the displeasure to wear.

She tugged at the neckline of her dress, and felt Krycek's hand on her shoulder, or at least the approximation of a hand. Even Mulder wouldn't forget that detail. She pushed off his hand and turned to shove him away. "Move away from me you rat-faced man! Both of you, get out!" she bellowed in a very unladylike manner.

Both men took off, Krycek slinking, and Pendrell bowing backwards as he left. *How revolting,* she thought. *I guess it couldn't get worse, but God only knows what else Mulder has in store for me in this dream.* Just then Frohike popped out of thin air. "Good morning, fair princess," he simpered.

"Please, no!" she begged the heavens. Then looking at the little man she stated, "I'm going to kick his ass when I see him. Now where is he, Frohike? I know you've seen him."

He looked at her, startled that she had figured out they were in a dream. Shrugging slightly, he decided to enlighten her on her mission. "Yes, fair one, we are in his dream. I've been sent to tell you of your mission for the next hour of REM." He paused, as if creating dramatic affect.

"Get on with it! What's it going to take to wake him up? I can barely breathe in this damned dress."

Frohike realized that Scully was in a rare, foul mood, and rushed to enlighten her. "Mulder is being held by his evil stepfather, who tonight will be played by the Cigarette Smoking Man. If the story is holding true to form, Cancer Man will have Mulder taken to the woods to be done away with." At this Scully gasped and clutched the hem of her neckline again. Frohike continued to enlighten her while ogling her neckline. "The person who will carry out the order is played by the Bounty Hunter, who is supposed to find he has a heart and let Mulder go. Mulder will then find shelter for a while in a laboratory hidden in the woods."

Scully interrupted. "I fail to see why my assistance is needed. If he gets away, and the plot is known, why am I needed?"

"Don't forget about Cancer Man, Scully. He has some tricks up his sleeve, and Mulder hasn't let me in on them yet. In fact, I would suspect that there are some aspects of this dream Mulder cannot control. You and Cancer Man are some of them, which makes even a dream dangerous. You need to get to him at the lab and find a way to stop the story."

"When do we leave, Frohike? I'm ready to go now."

"Well, Dr. Scully, there's just one slight problem . . ." he trailed off as a voice in the distance yelled, "Dana! Where are you? Your mother and I wish to speak with you."

Dana started as she realized that it was Walter Skinner yelling for her. She arched a brow at Frohike. "The problem?" she queried.

"The problem." he answered.

Walter Skinner had been shocked to come to awareness in the large room of what appeared to be a castle. One minute he was staring at the computer, specifically the apple logo, and then he woke up here. The room was made of gray stone with high, arched ceilings. Old tapestries covered the walls depicting hunting scenes. A fire blazed in the hearth, shining dim light on the many stag trophies around the room. Leather and velvet couches and chairs filled the room. In all, it was a man's room, one that he liked. He could also tell it was very old as well. Actually, that wasn't correct. The room was not old, but her knew that the furnishings in it did not exist in his time with the quality exhibited here.

Skinner detected the sound of someone approaching the outer door and turned to greet or confront whoever would pass through. One can only imagine the surprise he felt when Margaret Scully walked through the door. What shocked him even more was when she approached him and wrapped her arms around him.

"Walter, what are we going to do about Dana? She hasn't picked from any of the suitors we have presented to her, and I doubt she'll pick from the two that are here now. It's well past time she were married. Maybe we should just pick a husband for her from one of the two gentlemen here now."

Skinner looked at his Margaret with amusement and confusion mixed on his face. Guessing by now that he was in a dream, at least he'd better be, he decided to play along. Returning her hug, he appeared to take her words seriously before asking, "Dear, tell me what you think about each suitor, and what you believe Dana will think of them."

Margaret looked pleased that she was being consulted and continued. "Sir Pendrell is a very nice boy, and appears to be devoted to our daughter. He is a younger son though, and may not be strong enough to withstand Dana's temper. As for Prince Krycek, I haven't been able to read him very well. He's a nice looking boy, and he is the oldest son of an old family, but I'm not sure."

Skinner sputtered at the mentions of the names Pendrell and Skinner. Who the Hell's dream was this anyway? "Well, I don't think either of these young men are suited for her. I don't trust Krycek, and Pendrell is much too weak to keep Dana happy, or out of trouble. Maybe we'll have to do more looking ourselves."

"Well, we need to do it soon. She's getting so forward and independent with all of the freedom you've given her. Pretty soon no one will want her and she will be too much for any man to handle."

Skinner laughed at the notions of the woman in front of him. They were obviously in the deep past in this dream, evident not only from the clothing, but from the manner and attitudes. Deciding that the discussion had gone on long enough, he asked Margaret where Dana was.

"Last time I saw her, she was on the wall with those two young men." Skinner offered to go find her and bring her back to his room. Asking Margaret to wait for them, he left to find Dana. Upon finding her, he asked her to attend to him and her mother in his den. Puzzled, she followed and waited to hear what both had to say to her.

Margaret looked at Dana for a minute before entering into her well thought out speech. In fact, she had been rehearsing it while Walter was gone. "My dear, as you know we have tried in vain to find you a suitor worthy of your love, as well as our esteem. Several dozen young men have come here hoping to win your heart, and you have cruelly turned them away with your harsh words." Dana cocked an amused brow and wondered what she was supposed to have done or said to chase all of these men away. Too bad real life couldn't be like that. Her mother continued. "Furthermore, you are getting beyond the age when a man would find you desirable to wed, and should be more cautious with whom you reject. What are we going to do with you Dana? You must wed soon, and you refuse to pick the man. Your father and I will soon have no choice but to pick one for you."

Dana looked on in shock at her mother and then Skinner. Skinner just shrugged as if to say, hey, I'm just a player in this dream. Turning slightly red, she looked at both and stated firmly, "I will not marry anyone because you feel I should. If the day comes when I fall in love, and if I choose to get married, it will be a man of my choice. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a friend I need to find. He is in some trouble and needs my help."

She started to storm off when Skinner stopped her with his voice. "Dana, where do you think you're going? If you haven't realized it by now, we are not exactly in the 20th century anymore. It will be dangerous out there for a woman, and I will not allow you to leave the castle."

She turned to him, stunned at his words. "You are not my father, and this is a dream. I am leaving, and you will not stop me." She started to leave again and noticed him nod his head to someone beyond him. She had not known anyone was there and turned to see her brother Bill standing in the door with a dour look on his face. "I am your father in this dream, and you will do as I ask. Now Bill, take her to her room and make sure she stays there until she gets this silly idea out of her head to go running after men."

Bill grabbed her arm and drug her off to the stairs. She heard her mother's brief, confused words to Skinner as she left. "Darling, what do you mean dream?"

Bill locked her in a large, beautiful room. The bed was massive and was a four poster made of beautiful, dark wood. The comforter and mattress were pure white and made of soft feathers. Tapestries that must have cost a fortune abounded and contained scenes from the last unicorn. Her bureau was of the same wood as the bed, and contained small personal items like hair brushes and ribbons. She opened a drawer and was surprised to find a small painting of Mulder. It was the kind woman wear on a chain around their neck, and must have been a gift from him. She wondered where she was supposed to have met him before, at least in this dream. Passing by the window, she noticed her room sported a large balcony with long, velvet curtains to block out the light. Her room appeared to be on the outer castle wall, which surprised her as it was contrary to her history lessons. She had always thought the families to be placed on the inner walls. The area around must not have much danger in it if a daughter's room was here. Or maybe she was just too much for her family to handle and had been placed here.

As darkness fell, she began tying the curtains together with the sheets. It would just be long enough to touch the bottom. She was almost finished with her task when she noticed two belled feet before her. Looking up she asked, "What do you want, Frohike?"

"Just wondering, my dear Dr. Scully, when you are going to get out of here? I've been waiting for quite some time now."

"Well thanks for offering me all of that help earlier," she muttered sarcastically. "Go find a horse and meet me below this window with it. Find me some clothes to wear as well. Make sure they look better than yours though."

He looked down at his clothes, turned red, and winked out of existence. "How does he do that? Must definitely be Mulder's dream." Shaking her head, she finished her task and tied the rope to her bed post. Giving it some hard tugs, she noticed the knots were good and was thankful for having a sailor for a father. Grabbing a few items from around the room, including the picture of Mulder, she hefted herself out of the window and began her descent. By the time she reached the bottom, Frohike was there with two horses. She eyed them both and chose the large grey stallion, who seemed a lot more spirited and faster than the stockier bay mare. Asking Frohike for the clothing, she asked him to turn around as she donned black leggings and a long red tunic. She kept her shoes, which were soft slippers with leather bottoms and mounted the horse. After watching Frohike struggle to do the same for five minutes, she galloped off, with him jouncing along behind.

Mulder had awakened in the lab surrounded by all of the Samantha's, and had not quite known what to do with himself. He had finally convinced them to untie him from the gurney and had tread wearily around them for days. They did not seem to be aware of who he was, and in fact believed themselves to be witches. They were actually a middle ages form of scientists, but in their day would have been considered outcasts. Because he was good looking, and could at times be considered charming, they had let him stay. In fact, he had tried to leave and they wouldn't let him. A large, evil-looking dog had kept him penned in for days. He was also still sporting the night shirt, and had sustained some scratches and minor injuries in his scuffle with the Bounty Hunter. In all, he was really in no condition to leave.

All of the Samantha's had left abruptly one day and said that the great mother was calling them to commune with her. All women claimed they would be back later that night, and for him not to try and leave, nor to follow. He was consumed with curiosity, and believed the "Great Mother" to be aliens. However, when he tried to follow, the dog growled menacingly. Normally a dog wouldn't bother him, but this was the biggest damn dog he had ever seen. It made him wonder if the witches and aliens weren't involved in genetic alterations or other tests. He guessed he'd have to wait it out.

Mulder got very bored that night and started poking around in all of the lab equipment the women had stored in the back room. He came upon what looked like a pantry and found a lot of weird items. In the midst of it all, he found what appeared to be a mutated form of apple. Eyeing it hungrily, he picked it up and took a large bite of it. Within minutes he felt an overpowering urge to sleep and barely made it to the front room before he fell to the rug in front of the fire place. When Scully found him later that night, he was lying on his side, long legs barely covered by the shirt. His arms were tucked under his head, and the apple rested by his side.

She reached out a tentative hand and shook him. No response. Turning him unto his back with care, she checked his pulse and noticed his breathing was fine. The pulse was slow and steady, not unlike sleep. She shook him again, and still no response. Looking up at Frohike she asked, "This is his dream. Any idea what I'm supposed to do here?"

Frohike took in the apple and the sleeping man. "Looks like a Sleeping Beauty or Snow White case to me. Better kiss him."

Scully looked incredulously at him and then down at Mulder. Mulder's lips were pouty in sleep, and his lashes drooped down low on his cheeks. His nightshirt was dirty and torn, and he had several wounds that needed attending. Pausing for a moment, she finally bent down and softly kissed his mouth. Leaning back up she sighed, "Well, that didn't work." Frohike just grinned and looked at the now wakening Mulder. Scully stared down in disbelief.

"Hey, Scully. Try that again. I think I was sleeping the first time."

She ignored the comment as she helped him sit up. "Aren't you supposed to wake up now, Mulder? I'm in this dream too, and I'm ready to go back to normal sleep." Mulder looked at her slyly.

"Scully, as you pointed out, this is your dream too. Now my issue has been resolved, but obviously there is still something you need to finish here. Let's say we get out of here and finish this thing. What is your issue, by the way? And how did you get past the dog?"

She thought for a minute and then turned red and she looked at him. "You have to come home with me, back to my mom and Skinner's castle. And I drugged the dog with some hemlock I found growing outside."

"You're mom and Skinner are married in this dream?" he asked incredibly.

"I thought it was something you had dreamt, but I guess it was me. But you have to come back with me."

"Why? What do you need me for?"

She turned even redder. "They insist that I'm getting too old for anyone to want to marry me. If I don't choose someone myself, they will pick for me. Their best candidates so far are Pendrell and Krycek."

"What did you do to get to the bottom of the barrel, Dana? I would have thought you would have a lot of suitors. And what do you need me for?"

"Apparently I chased all the other men away. In this dream, people seem to have the perception that I'm stubborn and have a temper. I can't imagine where they got that idea," she added as she saw him raise a brow. "Anyway, this is our dream, and you've kept me up long enough, so you're going back with me. I'm telling my parents that you are going to marry me. Maybe that'll get us out of here."

"Uh huh. You could wake up now if you wanted to, Dana. You really have the hots for me, don't you?" he teased.

She shoved him and mounted her horse. "Get on, idiot." He struggled to get on behind her, and winced at the soreness of his cuts and bruises. She felt a momentary pang of guilt and squeezed his hand. "You okay?" she mumbled.

He leaned down, pulled the necklace from her dress, and looked closely at the picture. Wrapping his arms tightly around her waist, he hugged her and whispered in her ear. "Yeah, and thanks for rescuing me, princess."

She shivered at his breath in her ear and melted a bit from his use of the endearment. Realizing who she was with, she straightened up and kicked the horse into a trot, but not before he grinned at her lapse. As they rode off into the woods, the echoes of the Samantha's yelling for Mulder could be heard faintly.

They were nearing the castle and Dana started to worry. How in the world were they going to get back in without being caught? Would her parents let her marry Mulder, or would they throw him back outside of the gates? Would she ever wake up from this crazy dream? Needing to think through everything, she reigned in the horse and slid off. Mulder and Frohike looked at her in confusion before doing the same. Frohike could barely stand by now from being on the horse for so long, and Mulder almost fell over from his injuries, but was caught by Scully.

"What's going on, Scully? We're not out of this dream yet, so why are we stopping?" Mulder inquired.

She explained her thoughts and both stood there with pensive looks on their faces. Frohike jumped suddenly and exclaimed, "I have it! The perfect solution!"

They both looked at him expectantly and wondered what the little man would pull out of his sleeve. Looking very pleased with himself, Frohike twirled his wand and a man in brown monk's clothing appeared out of thin air. Everyone gasped, including the monk, to see who Frohike had conjured up. It was the Well Manicured Man, also dead in real life. What was going on? The elderly gentleman looked himself over, and then took in everyone else's appearance. "While I do appreciate being brought back into the realm of living, however so briefly, I would have liked to have been given more dapper clothing. This is just appalling. Now, what have you called me here for?"

Frohike snickered. "You are here to marry Scully and Mulder, father. They need to be wed before re-entering the castle. You fit the bill right now."

Mulder and Scully looked at each other and clarity arose on their features as they guessed Frohike's plan. They would be wed before entering the castle, and Dana's parents would have no choice but to accept him. It was a good plan, except for the fact that the Manicured Man was not a priest. They mentioned this fact to Frohike, but the Well Manicured Man replied instead.

"Dear children, of course I am a man of the cloth. This is your dream, and I am anyone you wish me to be. In this dream, I am a monk and capable of marrying you. Now shall we begin?"

The couple looked at each other for a long moment, seemingly asking the other if this was really what they wanted to do. Both nodded and turned back to the father, a whole conversation having been held in silence. The father began, and shortly after the two were pronounced married. He announced that Mulder could kiss the bride, and laughed when Mulder could only stare down at her. "This doesn't look encouraging, Mr. Mulder, if you can only stare at your bride."

Dana recognized his dilemma. He was too scared to kiss her and did not know what her reaction would be. Placing her hand at the back of his neck, she pulled his head down and initiated the kiss herself. It started out as a soft caress, but he took courage at her move and deepened it. They remained embraced for a long moment and then hugged each other tightly. "We really did it," he whispered awe-struck.

"Yeah, we sure did," she answered as she kissed his cheek.

Frohike decided that the two had had their little moment for long enough and cleared his throat. "I hate to break up this scene, but it's starting to rain and we need to get into the castle."

Both looked up and noticed that the father was gone and that a gentle rain had started to fall. Both were getting drenched quickly, and Mulder's nightshirt was becoming plastered to him. "We better get home before we get any wetter. You aren't really decent enough in that outfit to go in public," Dana smiled. "I don't know if I want anyone else looking at you but me in that outfit anyway."

Mulder had forgotten that he was wearing a short, white shirt that barely reached his knees. He was blushing for two reasons as he mounted the horse, his almost see-through clothing plastered against him, and Dana's possessive comments. He knew for sure they were in a dream, because she would never say those things when awake.

As they approached the gate, they were halted by two menacing looking guards. They took in the travelers bedraggled clothing and the expensive horses they were on and hailed them as thieves. Dana lifted her head in the air and proceeded to tell the guards what she thought of their behavior in that long suffering lecture mode of hers. Mulder rolled his eyes and addressed the guards. "This is the lady of the castle you address. I suggest you let her pass before she continues on her tirade."

The guards looked closely at Dana's face and recognized her. Straightening, they addresses her more appropriately. "Princess Dana! Welcome home, my lady. We have been searching for you for days now. Your father is very upset with you. Follow us."

The weary travelers followed the guards to the interior of the castle and handed the horses over to the stableman. Mulder and Frohike began to follow Dana into the main castle, but were stopped by the guards. "You servants may wait in the stables. The stableman will give you a stall to sleep in."

Mulder began to sputter that he needed to proceed with Dana, but was not allowed past. Dana turned to see what was keeping all of them and noticed what was happening.

"Let him go, you fools! He may look a sight, but that is my husband. The other man is a friend. Now let them be and treat them with the respect you should accord them."

The guards stuttered their shocked apologies and allowed all to pass. Dana wondered if her parents would be as easy. Entering the castle, she found that her arrival had been noticed. Skinner and her mother embraced her in a hug, nearly choking her. When they released her, both began to lecture her severely. Neither noticed Mulder behind her.

"We were so worried about you, Dana. The son of an old friend is here, and we wanted you to meet him. He's perfect for you! Now go get cleaned up so you can meet him," rushed Margaret.

They began to shove Dana towards the stairs, but Mulder placed a hand on her shoulder to stop them all. "Dana will not be meeting anyone tonight but me."

Skinner and Margaret looked at him, surprised that they had not noticed him before. "Who is this man? Why is he in my house, and what in the world is he wearing?" screeched Maggie.

Skinner replied for her. "This is Fox Mulder. He is the son of a man who has been long dead. We had all thought you gone forever, Prince Mulder. I have not seen you since you were a small boy."

"Prince? I am no prince. And I have been at a castle far from here with my mother and stepfather, Cancer Man. But regardless, I am tired and wet. Dana, where is our room?"

She looked up with a start and blushed, having forgotten that they were now married. Taking his hand in hers, she started to pull him up the stairs. "Sir, could you have hot water brought up for a bath? Both of us are filthy?" she asked.

Walter just nodded his head and waved for a servant. Maggie was still mumbling to herself asking what had happened. Walter guessed that neither Dana nor Mulder had put much thought into the character of her mother in this dream since Maggie was an intelligent woman in real life. He'd have to visit her to reaffirm that once he woke up.

The bath water had been brought up rather quickly, much to their relief. Both were shivering in the wet clothing, but particularly Mulder. Dana went into her wardrobe, which was actually a small room off of the larger one, and shed her clothing for a large, warm robe. Upon returning, she ordered him to remove his night shirt so she could look at his injuries. He started to hesitate, but she reminded him she was his doctor and had attended him more times than not. Helping him with the clinging garment, she threw it on the floor and began a cursory evaluation of his cuts and bruises. Finding nothing that a bath and a few days rest wouldn't heal, she helped him into the tub. He had been slightly embarrassed at first, but soon forgot all of his worries in the hot water.

He looked so tired that she worried he might fall asleep in the water. Wishing to hurry his bath, she took the sponge and helped him finish the process of bathing. She washed his hair and gently cleansed his cuts. He was almost like a small child, and she wished that her ministrations would have had a different effect on him than sleep. Blushing at her thoughts, she squeezed the sponge out and placed it next to the tub. "All done. Let's get you out of there so you can go to bed."

He looked up at her tiredly and took her small hands in his larger ones to allow her to help him up. Once out, she helped him towel off and allowed her to put him in the bed. He sank into sleep at once, all the while wondering how one could sleep when in a dream. Dana watched him from across the room and then climbed into the tub herself. After washing her hair and scrubbing away all of the dirt from the past several days, she donned a white gown and climbed into bed beside Mulder. Some dream this is, she thought sarcastically. Only I would lie in bed with a naked man and do nothing but sleep. Turning over to find a comfortable position, she drifted off to sleep.

She woke up the next morning lying across something warm and solid. Cracking her eyes slightly, she looked up to see Mulder looking at her with cautious interest in his expression. She stretched slightly and lay back against him. "Good morning," she mumbled sleepily.

"Are we still dreaming, Dana? I figured when we fell asleep last night we would wake up in our own world. Maybe we'll never get back. Maybe there's something you have left to do in your dream, Dana."

He felt the heat of her blush through her clothing and felt heat rising in his body as well. Tilting her head up so he could look at her, he asked, "What is it you need, Dana?" When she failed to answer, but looked at his lips, he answered, "I think I know," and kissed her deeply as he tightened their embrace.

Mulder woke up and found himself sitting in his chair in his office. He jerked abruptly in his chair and dropped the apple as the door opened. As it shattered against the hard floor, Scully walked in looking slightly disheveled. She raised a brow at the scattered glass and then raised her amused expression at him. "Been caught sleeping, huh, Mulder?" she queried.

He turned red and wondered if she knew what he had been dreaming. "Uh, yeah. I dozed off for a bit and had a weird dream. Almost like a fairy tale."

She looked at him knowingly, and with barely hidden amusement. "Let me guess, Mulder. You were a damsel in distress and had to be rescued."

She laughed aloud as he turned red and then moved to sit at the edge of his desk. He glanced up startled as she grabbed his tie and pulled him near. Kissing him soundly on the lips, she released him and whispered, "Next time you want to be rescued, let's do it while were both awake," and then sauntered out of the office, leaving him staring with his mouth dropping open. She had been there in his dream! They had shared the experience. Oh, boy. What was he going to do now? He sat there for a moment and then stumbled out of his chair. Running for the door, he grabbed his jacket and hurriedly put it on as he chased after her. Maybe she would rescue him again.

The end.



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