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Chapter Four

 

7:47 AM

NYPD

 

Mulder, Scully and Trisha gathered around the refreshment table, waiting for the coffee to finish brewing and for the last member of their party to arrive.

"Did you two get a good night’s sleep?" Trisha asked as she reached for three Styrofoam cups.

"Yes, thank you," said Scully.

Truth be told, the beds were a little lumpy and a cat liked to serenade the moon at the most inopportune times of the night. She’d encountered worse, however. Mulder, on the other hand, could sleep anywhere. When he slept, that is. He didn’t respond to Trisha’s question, not vocally anyway, just smiled and nodded in agreement with Scully.

Gavin trotted in just when the coffee had been distributed. Scully was adding creamer when he approached.

"Sorry, guys."

Mulder took a peak at the wall clock before responding. "You’re only four minutes late, so we’ll let it slide this time."

"Thanks," Gavin replied dryly with a roll of the eyes. "Anyway, I say we take the subway. It will be a lot faster."

"Sounds good," Trisha agreed.

"Finish your coffee and we’ll leave once I talk with Chief." Gavin turned in the direction of Chief O’Donnell’s office.

Three minutes later they were all out the door.

XxX

We Belong to the Stars

8:03 AM

From the outside, the business looked like an Insurance office. It was in a brick building, as most businesses were, and shared the block with several restaurants, second-hand boutiques and smaller businesses. The only thing that tipped it off as a psychic business, aside from the large sign with an eye in a crystal ball, was the purple curtains with suns, moons and stars embroidered on them. The name We Belong to the Stars was painted on one window in gold.

The four officers walked in, ready to get down to business. A woman in a green suit sat behind a desk, chewing on her pen. Once she saw the possible clients, she perked up considerably and straightened her posture.

"Good day, my name is Leslie, can I help you?"

"Yes, actually," Scully said after a beat. "We’d like to ask you and any other employees present today a few questions."

"Any particular reason?"

"We have reason to believe that your place of business has a connection with a case we’re working on." Scully stepped ahead of the group, obviously having taken on the leadership role. The four officers pulled out their identifications, flashed them and tucked them away again in one fluid motion.

"I see," said Leslie, hesitantly. "Well, right now the only ones available are Carmen, Luke and Nora."

"How many other psychics work here?" Mulder chimed in.

"Well, most evenings, Celes and Jacob come in. That’s it."

"Thank you. Do you mind if we go ahead and question the others?" Mulder asked.

"Fine by me. They’re in the break room right now. Mornings are pretty slow, so it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s the first door on the right down the hallway."

"Thank you," Scully said.

Scully and Mulder started walking to the hallway when Gavin called after them.

"Trish and I will go ahead and take care of any questioning with Leslie, you two go ahead."

Nodding simultaneously, the two agents continued their walk until they reached their destination. The door was cracked open and some quiet murmuring could be heard beyond it. No radio or TV played in the background.

Mulder did a courteous rap on the doorframe before opening the door the rest of the way. Three people, two women and one man, sat around a circular table. The room was dark blue and had bold fabric draped here and there.

"Can we help you?" a curly-haired woman asked. Her complexion and hair were dark, but her nationality remained a mystery to the agents. She spoke with no real accent, but didn’t sound to be a native New Yorker.

Beside her sat the lone man, his sandy blonde hair receding and day old stubble on his face. He had deep blue, almost penetrating eyes that made Scully’s skin crawl. The other woman was a slim blonde woman, attractive and young. Her attention immediately snapped to Mulder and only Mulder.

"Yes. I’m Special Agent Mulder and this is my partner Special Agent Scully. We’d like to ask you some questions about a case we’re working on." They both quickly flashed their badges and remained within the frame of the door.

The darker woman sized up the agents then stood up. She was voluptuous and her outfit was the stereotypical look most imagined a psychic would wear–-a white peasant top paired with a bright colored, flowing skirt. She wore brown sandals on her feet and her hair had a bandana wrapped around it. Extravagant gold jewelry finished off the ensemble–-hoop earrings, several bracelets and a necklace with swirls and dangles.

"Have a seat," she said, unimpressed. "Would you like anything to drink or a donut or muffin?" she offered half-heartedly.

"No, we’re fine, thanks," Scully said.

Mulder and Scully filled the two remaining chairs and, purposely or not, Mulder sat by the blonde woman.

"First off, could you tell us your names?" Mulder requested. Both he and Scully pulled out a small notepad and pen, ready to take notes.

"Do you want full names or what?" asked the man.

"We just need something to call you. If we need any further information, we’ll let you know," Scully answered, unable to meet the bone-chilling man in the eye.

"Well, I’m Carmen," said the darker woman.

"Luke," the man said, raising his hand in a quick wave.

With a velvety voice, the blonde woman replied, "Nora."

"Alright, I guess the best way to do this is to split you three up and we’ll go from there as far as questioning," Mulder said.

Carmen rolled her eyes. "Look, Agents, we have a job to do so if–"

"If you would like to go about business as usual, while we go about our business with Nora and Luke here, then by all means do so. This is a serious case and I’m sure you can spare fifteen minutes of your time," Scully laid out, then added, "Unless, for some reason you’ve neglected to mention, you oppose to us questioning you and your co-workers." Her intention was clear; to make Carmen realize that unless they could prove otherwise with their questioning, everyone was a suspect. Including her.

Keeping cool, though Scully’s technique had thrown her for a loop, Carmen said, "Nothing to hide here, Miss Scully. I’ll be back in a few minutes for my turn." She sauntered out the door, her hips swaying naturally.

"Okay, Nora, is there another place where we could talk?" Mulder asked, apparently already having claimed his ‘questionee’.

Nora’s rosy lips curled up. "Yes, Agent Mulder. I have my own little workplace down the hall." She stood up and he followed the action. "It’s very cozy," she added, huskily.

Scully wanted to roll her eyes, but resisted the temptation. Much to Scully’s surprise, Mulder wasn’t at all impressed with Nora’s seduction. He didn’t seem to be anyway. Then again, he had made sure that the beautiful blonde was the one he would be alone with for the next five minutes or so.

Scully watched Mulder and Nora walk out the door. She cleared her throat and pressed down on the little knob at the top of her pen, the clicking sound of it filling the room.

"All right, Mister . . ."

"Vicors. V-i-c-o-r-s," Luke provided, leaning forward in his chair.

"Luke Vicors. We’ll just cover the basics right now. How long have you been with ‘We Belong to the Stars’?"

"About four years."

"Why this particular calling, if you don’t mind me asking?"

"My gift, of course," he answered with a smirk.

Scully looked up from her notepad she was writing on and cocked an eyebrow. What had she expected him to say?

"Okay then. Run me through a typical day in Luke Vicor’s life." She folded one hand over the other as she waited for his answer.

He stared at her for a moment, sweeping his eyes over her features. She swallowed uncomfortably at the gesture, but didn’t let the uneasiness show on her face.

"Well, I wake up at around 5:30 and do my morning meditations for thirty minutes. Then I shower, get ready and fix myself some breakfast. I live in Newark, so I head to work at around 7:15. Once I get settled into work, I go to my private little . . .office, I guess you would call it, and work my eight to twelve hours of the day. Most of the time I get walk-ins, but every now and then some people opt to just call in and chat for a few minutes. I ease their troubled minds and when my time is up, I have me some dinner, maybe a few drinks, and go home for the evening."

Scully scribbled some shorthand down on the paper then brought her eyes back to his. "What about on days you don’t work?"

"Just regular stuff, I guess. Depending on the day. I catch a show, hang out at a coffee shop, attend some concerts, alphabetize my record collection, you know, stuff like that. Normal stuff," he shrugged. He leaned forward a little closer, his arms resting on the table. As each minute ticked by he seemed to invade Scully’s personal space more and more. She tried to distance herself without him noticing, but there wasn’t much she could do.

"Going back to your workdays, how close do you get to your clients?"

"It depends."

"On what exactly?" Scully prodded.

"On how many times I see them. Some of them I like to get to know because they interest me." His lips curled up into a smirk, his eyes darkening a shade as he squinted at Scully.

"In what way do they interest you, Mr. Vicors?"

"People have silly reasons sometimes to consult us, Dana. They ask stupid things, nonsense things. That interests me. Then there are those who are so confused about which road they need to take or which door they need to open that they can’t even take one more step before talking to me. *That* interests me. And sometimes I get the few whose lives actually are so, so mixed-up that I understand completely why they need someone to guide them one way or another. That interests me."

Scully chewed on the inside of her bottom lip then licked the surface, taking in everything Luke had just said. Noting how his hands were only centimeters from touching hers. Then it hit her and her stomach dropped to somewhere around her knees.

"How did you know my first name?" She thought to herself if she may have let it slip. No. Then she wondered if he had read it on her badge. No, no one could have read it that fast, much less, see such small print from so far away.

"Don’t act so surprised," Luke laughed out. Then his expression turned gravely serious. "I’ve learned a lot about you in the last five minutes without you saying one word, Dana."

He wove his fingers together and began to study her face.

"I’ve learned that when a stranger sits this close to you, goose bumps rise up to cover every porcelain inch of your body. I’ve learned that when you gather some useful information from someone such as myself, you chew on the inside of your cheek, considering the possibilities. I’ve learned that your hair is actually two or three shades darker than the color you have it dyed now. And I’ve learned that every time your Agent Mulder looks at you, your cheeks flush and right now you can’t stand the thought of him alone in a small room with Nora." The smirk was back on his face, proud of his observations.

But that’s all they were; observations. He was good at people watching, that’s it.

Scully swallowed, more so because of the look in his eyes, but kept her composure. "While your cognizance is impressive, none of that reveals how you knew my first name, Mr. Vicors."

"Then allow me to continue," his voice low as he spoke. "I know that when the air is dry and you have a nosebleed, the hair on your neck sticks up and you wonder if maybe, just maybe the cancer could be back. I know that every so often, even though you chide yourself for the very thought, you wonder if there is more to your life than what it is now. I know that you entertain the thought of coming clean with your true feelings for your partner sometimes, but push them away because you don’t think he’s ready. And I know the memory of a strawberry-blonde little girl haunts your memory every night before you go to sleep." This time he didn’t smirk. His gaze peered into her and she could fill tears stinging her eyes.

Scully shut her notepad and tucked it into her coat along with her pen. She swept her tongue over her lips, once; twice. Clearing her throat, she stood up from her chair and straightened her coat.

"We’re finished here, Mr. Vicors. Thank you for your time."

Just as Luke was about to stand up, the door opened and Carmen walked in.

"Don’t bother, Miss Scully. The other half of your posse cornered me and did their job. You folks are lucky the mornings are usually slow, otherwise I might be unpleasant about you paying us a visit during business hours."

"Well, Carmen, it looks as though we are finished for now. We may be back later, possibly tomorrow evening, to get what information we can from Jacob and Celes," Scully said, back in professional mode.

"Mm-hmm, well, Jacob will be here at around nine tomorrow night. I already told your two detectives that Celes has been out of town for the last week and won’t be back for another week or two. I guess Leslie forgot to mention that."

"Yes, well, thank you." Scully wanted out of that room as soon as possible. She brushed hurriedly passed Carmen and walked to the lobby.

Trisha and Gavin were on the small couch, flipping through magazines. Trisha looked up when she saw movement then stood up, walking the rest of the distance to her.

"You okay, Dana?"

"Yes, I’m," Scully started then took a deep breath. "Everything’s fine, Trish, don’t worry about it. I’m just a little hungry, I think."

A giggle erupted from behind them and every head in the lobby turned its attention to the sound. Nora and Mulder filed from the hallway, Mulder with a half-smile on his face and Nora obviously enchanted by his charm.

"Thanks again, Nora," Mulder said, leaving her behind as he walked over to stand by Scully.

Nora batted her eyelashes and flipped her hair, smiling at Mulder. Mulder looked awkwardly between Trish and Scully before offering a closed smile and a wave.

Scully tried not to notice, but given her current state, her imagination was turning the exchange into something that only further frazzled her nerves.

Mulder waved to Leslie then led Scully to the exit with a hand on her back, the two detectives following behind.

"What do you say I treat us all to some breakfast? We’ll compare notes and I’ll tell you why I was late this morning," Gavin offered once they were all outside.

Mulder’s stomach chose that moment to grumble and he gave it a pat before replying, "Sounds like a plan."

Scully trailed behind while Gavin and Mulder talked about the chance of rain. Trisha followed close behind them, commenting whenever she felt the need. The sky was gray and some of the clouds hung so low that the taller buildings were half hidden. A man on the corner was preparing to sell black umbrellas, his only protection from the clouds’ promise being a black trench coat.

Mulder fell back to walk with Scully. He didn’t say a word, just smiled and kept in synch with Scully’s pace. She could tell he was curious about her quietude, but grateful that he didn’t push for the reason. Not right now anyway.

XxX

Martha’s Breakfast Nook

Despite what she’d said to Trisha, Scully didn’t eat too heartily. She’d ordered two scrambled eggs and two pieces of toast. In the end, she’d only pushed the eggs around with her fork and nibbled on the toast. She chased it down with four cups of coffee and a glass of water. Trisha seemed to notice Scully’s loss of appetite, eyeing her during the foursome’s conversation, but said nothing.

"Well, seems like Leslie, Nora and Carmen are cleared then and given Celes’s vacation, I don’t think she can be a suspect," Mulder concluded over a mouthful of pancake. He chased it down with his glass of milk before turning his attention to Scully.

"All right, Scully, spill it. What do you have on Luke?"

She’d been dreading her turn all through breakfast.

"Actually, I think we should further investigate him," she said succinctly.

"Really? Why’s that?" Mulder queried.

"Well, he seems to have a special interest in some of his clients. He addressed this openly to me. It just seems suspicious to me. Or at least deserves further investigation, if anything." Through her entire explanation she stared at the ice floating in her water. Mulder found that particular nuance in presentation unsettling and began to ask her to share her thoughts with the rest of the class.

Before he could say a word, she excused herself from the table. He watched her stride away, dodging a bus boy in her rush.

"Excuse me," he said as he pushed away from the table to follow her.

He caught up to her before she escaped into the lady’s room. Grabbing her forearm gently, he turned her to him.

"Mulder . . ."

"You okay?" he asked without prelude.

"Yes, Mulder, I’m–"

"You’re fine," he finished for her, wanly.

She sighed, having noticed she’d been caught trying to pull her usual routine. She leaned her back against the wall and cast her eyes down to look at the floor.

The restrooms were located directly beside the kitchen entrance, so the traffic was heavy in the narrow hallway. Mulder stepped closer to Scully to make room for the waiters and waitresses rushing by, leaning down so that once she looked up again their eyes would be level. He could smell her shampoo and hear her breathing.

"What happened to make you suspect Luke in this case?" he asked softly.

"I," she started, pausing a moment before continuing. "He made me uncomfortable. He just, he had that certain way about him that made it seem he knew more than he was letting on." She popped her head up and immediately her blue eyes were looking straight into Mulder’s hazel. Their noses almost brushed at the movement.

"Did he say anything to you? Did he," he swallowed, "touch you?"

Her eyes softened at his concern. "He said some things." She saw Mulder stiffen at that and quickly corrected herself. "He knew certain things about me that I had not made him privy to at any point in our conversation. Things that he couldn’t possibly know. Personal things," she looked down at the floor again with the last statement.

"But did he–"

"No. No, he didn’t, Mulder. I think he wanted to. Every time he answered a question he’d move closer to me and. . ." she trailed off, not wanting to say anything else regarding Luke Vicors inappropriately invading her personal space.

"I wish you’d told me," Mulder whispered, his breath feathering her ear.

"I know. I’m sorry. I thought that if I just touched on the fact that I thought he might be worth looking in to, I wouldn’t have to talk about it," she said with the smallest hint of guilt in her voice.

Mulder didn’t know it, but when she was given a second chance at life, Scully had promised herself that she would be more open with Mulder. So far, she’d been doing a lousy job.

"It helped though, right?" Mulder asked.

"What?" Her head popped up again to look at him, genuinely confused.

"Talking to me about it." He smiled.

The suggestion of a smile swept across her features as she looked back at him. "Yeah, it did."

His arm, which had been stretched out to rest his palm against the wall, closing her in for more privacy, came down so he could rest his hand on her shoulder. "I’ve got your back, partner. Remember that, okay?"

"I know, Mulder. I know."

"All right, then, what do you say we join the rest of the team. Gavin’s got something up his sleeve that he is just itching to tell us."

"Okay, I’ll be there in a minute. I’m just gonna–"

"Excuse me," a larger woman with frizzy orange hair bellowed beside them. "I’m trying to run a business here, so if you two could get a room or something, I’d appreciate it."

Mulder and Scully exchanged a look, both deciding that the woman must be Martha.

"Sorry, ma’am, we’ll move out of your way," Mulder apologized charmingly.

Martha rolled her eyes and turned back to the kitchen, mumbling something about being called ma’am. The grumbling elicited a laugh from the two agents.

"See you in a minute," Scully said around her laughter, ducking into the women’s restroom.

Mulder strode back to the table, catching Trisha and Gavin in conversation.

"Everything okay with Dana?" Trisha asked once Mulder sat down.

"Yeah, she’s fine."

"Well, Gavin was just telling me what he was up to this morning. His investigative spark seems to have come back, because he thought of something last night that might help us along."

"Mulder the muse of law enforcement. Sometimes I even amaze myself," Mulder quipped.

The two detectives rolled their eyes simultaneously just as Scully returned to the table.

"Mulder must have just tried to be funny," she said, sitting down beside him. The comment made Gavin and Trisha burst into laughter.

Mulder looked at Scully with mock hurt, but the twinkle in his eyes gave his amusement away. Scully smiled at him, then turned to take a drink of her water.

"Gavin was about to share something juicy with us," Mulder said.

Taking that as his cue, Gavin leaned forward to rest his arms on the table. "Well, while lying in bed last night, it hit me that we might have some substantial evidence in the palm of our hands. I’d never even thought about it before, but as you know, the city has security cameras set up all over the place."

Mulder and Scully nodded in agreement, intrigued by where this was heading.

"It just so happens that there is one set up en route to where this last victim was found. I’m having Forensics screen it as we speak. I figure maybe we can catch this guy in action or something. Anything."

"Not bad, my good man," Mulder extolled, leaning back into his chair.

"Until we’ve got news on that, there’s not much else we can do. I’ll get the team up at the station to work on researching Luke . . ." Gavin looked to Scully for the last name.

"Vicors. V-i-c-o-r-s," Scully said, a small chill running down her spine.

"Right, Luke Vicors. We’ll get what we can and then see what we have to go on for tomorrow. Maybe we’ll find something tonight, we’ll just have to see. Technically you’re the boss on this investigation now, so it’s your call on what you do with your time."

"Well, are you sure you don’t need us?" asked Scully.

"Nah, Gav can make it on his own. I think I may head home for the afternoon and do some tidying up, actually," Trisha said, ignoring Gavin, who obviously, judging by his smirk, was amused by her urge to clean every five minutes.

It had started to rain while they were having breakfast, but it was more of a drizzle than anything. Mulder helped Scully with her coat as the four of them all said their goodbyes before parting ways. Gavin and Trisha stayed behind, waiting for the check, while Mulder and Scully exited the diner. Aimlessly they began to walk down the streets of New York, paying no mind to the mist in the air.

XxX

Room 225

9:47 PM

After perusing the streets of Manhattan for a time, the rain coming and going as they did so, Mulder and Scully had lunch. The rain went on its way around two in the afternoon, leaving partly cloudy skies in its wake. Some time spent at Central Park gave them an opportunity to discuss what steps should be taken if Luke proved to be a liable suspect. Mulder was craving something to build a theory on. The involvement of a psychic network had him searching his mind for possibilities. Scully was still trying to figure out how Luke Vicors had read her so well. Every time she thought about the experience she still felt him poking around in her brain.

An early dinner, a subway stop confusion and two hours later, they were back at their hotel for the evening. No call from either Gavin or Trisha signaled that nothing further had been discovered in the case.

Saying goodnight, Scully and Mulder retired to their rooms. Scully’s feet were killing her, her punishment for opting to wear heels the whole day she concluded. To ward off the aches and pains, she indulged in a hot bath before slipping into her flannel pajamas and sliding in between the sheets. Lumps or not, at that moment that bed was the most comfortable bed in the world.

Once her head hit the pillow, Scully was out cold.

Cold . . .

It was so cold.

The room was bright but the source of the light offered no warmth to her barely covered body. And the weeping she heard all around her only made her bones chill along with the rest of her.

She seemed to be alone, curled into herself in the corner of the cell.

She knew this place.

An even brighter flash of light startled her from her huddled position, her attention shooting to wherever it had come from.

Several tall figures approached her and she felt the fear well up inside her, tears beginning to sting her eyes.

When would it stop? When would *they* stop? She found herself asking these questions that she felt she’d asked many times before.

She’d seen these faces before. More times than she cared to count. Actually, their mouths were always covered with surgical masks, but she knew their eyes like she knew her own reflection.

Just when she thought it was all going to start again, the tests, she noticed someone she’d never seen before. She couldn’t see his face. He stood in the doorway, the light shining behind him making his body a silhouette.

Everything froze. Everything but her and what seemed to be a man. His body turned and he began to walk away from the door’s entrance, turning left. The urge to follow him was overwhelming, so that’s what she did.

Cautiously she approached the door then peeked out to the left to see if he was there. He was. Standing.

Waiting.

She followed.

He seemed to be weaving her through a labyrinth, turning left and right down bright hallways that led to nowhere. She was about to give up on this escapade when he stopped at another doorway; pointing to whatever was inside, no words spoken. She padded slowly to him, with caution. Always with caution. Just when she thought she would be able to see his face, he was gone. Paying no mind, she turned to look at where he had brought her. Inside the room she saw . . .

Herself.

On a chrome table, eyes closed in a deep sleep. Her stomach protruding as a woman’s with child would. The men, the same men she’d seen too many times, surrounded machines. And there were vials. It was then that she knew what she was witnessing.

This is how they’d done it.

This is how they’d made sure she would never be able to conceive. Where they had given her cancer. Where they’d created Emily in the most unnatural way possible.

Not able to watch anymore, she turned to walk away.

And it was dark now.

Tears stung her eyes as she felt her way down the hallway, her palms sliding against the rough walls. She’d never had to experience it like this. She couldn’t decide what was worse: living it again and again or watching it.

Squinting her eyes, she saw him again. He stood there, motionless. She hated him. Hated him for showing her something that she’d never wanted to see. Bringing her back to this place that she hadn’t dreamed about in over a year. She stopped her tears, as quickly as turning off a faucet, wiped her cheeks and squared her shoulders. She continued to walk to him.

She grabbed his arm and he turned to her.

Mulder?

Nononononono, she repeated over and over in her mind. But when he looked at her his eyes were wet. He’d been crying. He shook his head and turned back around, his head bowed as he looked at something.

She could hear him whispering, chanting, "Why did you leave me? Why?" Again and again.

She moved to look at whatever was grabbing is attention. A gravestone. She expected to see Samantha’s name engraved in the stone, but her heart sped up and it hurt to breath.

All she read was the name and dates before turning her head away in a gasp.

Dana Katherine Scully

1964-1994

"Nonononono," she whispered aloud this time. She grabbed Mulder again and began shaking him. "Mulder, I’m not dead. I didn’t leave you!" Tears began to choke her, but she wouldn’t stop until he at least looked at her; saw that she was there. "Look at me. Look at me, damn it!"

She had to get out of here. She backed away from Mulder and began to feel her way through the hallways, not knowing if she was going the right way, or if there was a right way. She couldn’t breath and her chest hurt.

She stopped for a moment, to get a hold of herself. In order to get out of here she had to be thinking clearly. She felt her body calm down and was about to start walking again, when a hand landed on her shoulder. The contact startled her and she spun around, hoping that maybe it was Mulder.

She was met by black eyes. The emptiness in them brought a scream from her throat and . . .

And she woke up.

She wasn’t sure if her scream had been heard from outside her dream, but she assumed not since Mulder wasn’t banging on the door.

Mulder.

Scully threw the covers off of her, grabbed her key from the side table and headed for the door. She swung it open and walked to the door in front of hers, directly across the hallway.

Pressing her ear against the door, she could hear the television in the background. What time is it? She wondered. Hesitating only a split second, she knocked on the door.

Shuffling noises behind it solved the mystery of whether or not Mulder was awake. Ten seconds and he was opening the door.

"Hey," he greeted.

"Hi," she said back, not sure what exactly she was doing over here.

Oh, right. She wanted Mulder to see her. To see that she was alive. That she hadn’t left him. She still had no idea what she was going to tell him, though.

After a moment of silence, Mulder smiled at her. "You lost?"

A small laugh escaped, so small that it didn’t require her to open her mouth for it to be heard. She shrugged and shook her head.

"No, I," she started. She bit her bottom lip before continuing. "I had a dream and I just . . . I wanted to check on you. That’s all."

Mulder’s eyes softened and he became very serious, all glee and amusement leaving his face. He brought his hand up to smooth Scully’s mussed hair then tucked some of it behind her ear. He wanted to see her eyes better. "You want to come in and talk about it?" he asked softly.

A part of her wanted to take him up on his offer. She knew she wouldn’t revisit the dream with him, but maybe talking to him for a bit would calm her nerves.

"No. I should go back to bed. Who knows what we will be hit with tomorrow?" The rational part of her finally answered. "You should get some sleep too," she added.

She smiled at him weakly before she turned back to her room. Unlocking the door, she heard him say, "Goodnight, Scully."

"Goodnight."

Once inside her room, she tossed her key on the dresser and slide back under the covers. She closed her eyes, trying her best to go back to sleep. An hour and a half later, after much tossing and turning, her attempt was fruitless. Pushing the covers off for the last time that night, she padded into the bathroom and began her ministrations of preparing for, what would inevitably wind up being, a very long day.