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Summary: How did Scully know that something had happened in those Oregon woods?

July 18, 2000

Spoilers: mild ones for The Blessing Way, Christmas Carol, Elegy, All Souls
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just borrowed.Willingly given back. Except Mulder. I will give him back, but I don’t have to be happy about it, do I?
Archive: Sure, if you want it, keep my name and email addy with it – just drop me a note so I can visit.
Distribution – OK to Gossamer, Ephemeral, Chronicle X

Authors note: This is my first fic. The idea came about from a discussion with Elyse, while I was pondering some things for a fic that she is writing. Thanks to Nancy – bless you for all your kind help. Any and all errors are mine. Thanks to Yav, PBear, Patty and MJames for kind words of encouragement, and to Kristel, who, while we were knee deep in “Hegira” and “Hollywood Nights” helped me discover my inner Mulder. If there is a cure for that, I don’t want it. If you have not read Hegira, go. GO. Read Hegira.

Feedback: YES!!! Please let me know if you liked it. If you hated it, LMK that too. Be nice. Or not. Your choice. But, please let me know what you think.


A river of soft light from the hallway flowed into the darkness of her room. The twitter of call bells, the soft chime of the elevators, and the whirring from IV pumps hummed in counterpoint to the soft voices of the nurses.

Familiar sounds. Hospital sounds. The electronic cheeps of equipment and purposeful murmurs of staff members were a soporific for Dr. Dana Scully.

Lost in sleep, her eyes flickered under pale lids. The physician in her would note that she was experiencing REM — a healthy, natural, necessary stage of sleep

But what was tearing Scully’s soul apart in her dream had little to do with health or nature, but was as necessary to her as breathing. Dread anchored her to the solid mattress beneath her, for wreathed in shadows and churning tendrils of unnatural gold and blue flame, Fox Mulder invaded her sleep.

Pain was etched on his gentle face, and his long lean body was an island of solidity in a misty glowing sea of light. Strange twisting waves caressed and bound him as they twirled around him, hiding him, then revealing, only to hide him again.

Her breath caught. ‘Come on, Mulder, where are you … come on…There!’ Her prayer was answered as he pulsed back into view and she found that she could breathe again, but her heart pounded, hard and sharp in her breast.

Questions clattered in her mind. Oh God, oh God, is he hurt? She ignored the small rational bit of her mind that told her that you cannot check a dream person for injury. She forced herself to look. He looked pale, but unharmed. Her pulse took on a less frantic pace.

Deep sadness shone from the green-brown of his eyes. Her irrational Lover’s soul cried at the pain she saw there. She longed to reach out and touch his honey-colored skin to ease his pain. Her eyes drank him in, willing him to look at her, but his eyes were focused on something in the murky darkness that held him. He was entranced by something, or someone, that she could not see.

Her stomach clenched with fear. Was Mulder gone? Her arms curled protectively around her abdomen. Was this like Ahab? Had Mulder come to tell her good-bye? Suddenly bereft, but unable to tear
her eyes away from him. nonononooo…..

Her eyes closed in an effort to quiet the pounding of her heart. She stamped down the fear that while she wasn’t looking, he had vanished again. She willed herself to look back, praying that Mulder was still there.

Her breath caught again. Through the waves of darkness and light she could see his face again. A swirling kaleidoscope of love and grief mixed with wonder and fear and regret poured from his eyes.

Silently, Mulder reached up and caressed the cross nestling against the notch of his throat. When his gravely whisper touched her ears, she nearly sobbed with relief. “Scully… I need…. I need the strength of your beliefs, Scully.”

His image twisted and gleamed in the tears filling her eyes.

“Do you remember, Scully? I do… I stood on a bridge. A bridge between worlds. Between worlds… Oh God.” Unshed tears roughened the silky tones. “Oh, God, if I had understood then. I thought I did. I knew that we were bound together, Scully. In a dangerous purpose. By love… But you didn’t believe.” Not a question.

Mulder’s eyes looked through her. “Do you now? ” How could a dream sound so wistful?

She felt herself nodding, aware that it was ridiculous to answer a dream figure, but even as she did it, knowing that she could not dismiss this –him– as just a figment of imagination.

The honeyed tones continued. “You haven’t always believed in me. In my search. But you always respected the journey.”

No. No. She shook her head in mute denial She had always believed in him…

“Believe, Scully.” He was pleading, now, pain colored his voice with darkness. “The journey has changed. Please believe that it was not my choice.” A slender hand raised in supplication, and
Scully felt her hand reaching out in sympathy. “I…I don’t understand so much of what has happened. Light and dark weave around … there is so much to see — so much that cannot be understood.” His voice shook a little, belying the stillness of his face. “The path has branched.”

Scully felt something crack in her soul as she envisioned a lone man walking down a twisted path through deep darkness, away from her.

His voice dropped to a raspy whisper as the turning, twisting light swathed his dark form, and a fear born of wonder and pain shone from his eyes. “I can’t see the turnings, Scully. I see things
that I don’t understand.” A pleading note entered his voice. “Believe me, Scully, trust me. I would not do this. I can live without your love, if I have to. I can’t go on without your belief and trust.”

As quickly as if a switch had been flipped, everything went dark. Mulder was gone.

“Mulder!” Gasping in shock, she woke, suddenly aware that she had cried aloud.

“Doctor Scully?” The nurse’s voice was full of concern. “Are you ok?”

She pulled herself together, and took a deep breath. Shakily, she nodded, assuring the nurse that it was just a dream. Dubiously, the nurse slowly nodded. “Ok, if you are sure.” Smiling, the nurse told her that her doctor would be here soon with some test results, then she turned and walked away.

Impatiently, Scully slid her legs over the side of the hard mattress, relishing the feel of the smooth tiles, as she tested her balance. The cool floor did nothing to dispel her heated thoughts. Angrily, she scrubbed her face with her hands. A dream. Just a dream. But was it?

She remembered other ‘dreams’. Dreams that were not dreams. Emily. Begging her to let her go. Ahab, who had come to tell her good-bye and had remained mute. Long ago, Mulder shining pale against a path of stars. When she was fighting cancer, she had seen things that she had not believed. She had not told Mulder of that dark time. Mulder had theorized that those who were near death themselves could see beyond the veil.

Soft laughter welled up, as she imagined his reaction. If he heard her rationally searching dreams for information, Mulder would be checking to see if she had been replaced by a clone. A Non-Skeptic-Scully-Clone who searched dreams for messages.

Messages. Each of these dreams had carried messages. Mulder believed that dreams were answers to questions that we did not know how to ask. What question did dream-Mulder bring an answer to?

She paced to the window and stared unseeingly into the weak morning light. When Mulder had spoken to her from the dark sky, his message had been clear, that they were bound together and that he was returning. Whether she believed his assertion that he had returned from the dead was irrelevant. He had returned.

Tears fled from burning eyes. Acid tears. Tears that tore her heart and burned her soul. Was this message less clear? ‘I had no choice. The path has branched.’ In the hallway, outside Skinner’s office. His shaky voice telling her that it ‘ended now’. Dark eyes begging her to understand. Would he return from Oregon and tell her that the partnership was over? Their fledgling love affair, ended?

She looked past the blinds and watched dark clouds scuttling across the pinks and golds of the morning sky. Morning. The morning of the first day of a life without Mulder? No. This was not true.
Would not be true. The dream had meant something else. It had to.

Under the thin fabric of the hospital gown, her slender shoulders squared. Her chin lifted. She willed him, wherever he was, to hear her. Fingers reached to trace the shape of a cloud on the cool glass. She whispered, part prayer, part vow, “I believe, Mulder. I believe.”