Title : Gwoman Dreams
Author : Gwoman
Feedback : Definitely! firstname.lastname@example.org
Rating : PG
Category : Alternate Universe
Spoilers : none
Summary : Scully faces disturbing dreams she's been having involving a new neighbor
Disclaimer : Agents Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, AD Skinner, The X files, et al being the sole property of Chris Carter. If they were mine, I would keep them on a shelf, and never let the aliens win. No infringement intended.
Author’s note: Thanks to Patterson and Patty, for being so vocal. Thanks to Rockin Robin. You got the best ideas girl! Thank you to Zuffy. Without you I wouldn’t make any sense. Or hardly any sense. You keep offering feedback people, and I will keep supplying.
Dana woke up yawning and stretching. She sat up, and gave the lump under the covers on the other side of the bed a gentle shake. "C'mon," she announced, "rise and shine." At the answering groan, she swung her feet onto the floor and stood up, heading for the bathroom. After her morning rituals, she headed to the kitchen to start coffee. Returning to find the bed empty, she quickly straightened the covers. Dana knocked on the closed bathroom door. "Honey? I have to go in to work early today. I have a meeting. I will see you later ok?" The door cracked just wide enough for a sleepy half-shaved face to peer out and accept a morning kiss.
"Careful," the gravely voice uttered, disappearing once more into the steam.
As Dana wound her way through the morning traffic, she reflected on last night's dream. Again. She has been having similar dreams for weeks now. Always involving the same person. "Am I unhappy in my life?" she asked her empty car. She remembered tossing and turning enough to wake up her sleeping companion. He couldn't understand what was happening, so she just muttered "I'm fine," when asked, and they both fell back asleep. But she knew she wasn't fine. She hadn't been able to get enough sleep lately, and that would certainly be bad for her line of work.
Parking in her usual spot in the underground parking garage, she keyed her entrance code into the elevator door. At the basement level, she maneuvered past the boxes piled in the hall, and unlocked her office door. Not just her office. She could lay claim to exactly half of the room, the other half belonged to her partner, who seemed to be missing again this morning.
She sat down, dropping her briefcase and purse on her desk. She pulled out the files she had to work on today, and withdrew a couple of pencils from the desk drawer. Using the small mirror from her purse, she checked her makeup, noting the dark circles that had accumulated under her eyes. Her watch said she had five minutes before the meeting up in the third floor conference room. Unlike some people, she thought, she felt it best to be on time. When she reached the meeting site, she nodded at the men already seated around the conference table. She took her customary seat along one side of the rectangular table and placed her things in front of her.
Waiting for the meeting to begin, she looked around at the others, wondering what they had to offer today. The door opened abruptly, admitting a balding bespectacled man in a dark suit.
"All right people, let's get started," he commanded. He took a seat at the head of the table, and cast his eagle eyes around the room. "What have we got?"
Each person took their turn, offering up the contents of their folders for deliberation. Dana presented her cases, and listened to the others. Some of the contents were quite interesting. She knew she had enough on her plate, but she enjoyed hearing about the other crisis her colleagues dealt with.
"Okay, if there is nothing further? Meeting adjourned. Dismissed everybody." At times such as these, Walter Skinner's military training showed through. She stepped back to allow the others to file out. As Skinner turned to leave, Dana stopped him with a tentative hand on his sleeve.
"Sir? May I have a moment?"
"Yes, what is it?" His gruff demeanor hid nicely the caring person underneath.
"Sir, I would like to take a few days off for personal reasons."
"Are you all right?" Skinner peered intently into Dana's eyes.
"Yes sir. I just have some thing I need to take care of."
"Your family is okay, aren't they?" Dana knew that Skinner had a soft spot for her mom, and hastened to assure him that everything was all right at home. "We seem to be done here. Why don't you go ahead on home then?"
"That's ok. I will finish up what I have to do today, and start tomorrow, if that would be all right?"
"That will be fine. I will see you back at work on Monday."
"Thank you sir," Dana said quietly, and left the room, heading back to her basement office.
She dropped her things on her desk, and grabbed her purse. This time she exited the elevator on the 5th floor, and proceeded to an unmarked door. She knocked calmly and turned the knob. An older woman rose to greet her and motioned her to a chair.
"Hi Dana. How are you doing today?" the woman inquired politely.
"About the same, Doctor. I keep having those dreams. I wish I knew why."
The doctor smiled at Dana. "Why do you think you are having them?"
"I don't know. Maybe I am feeling like I am missing something in my life?"
"What could that be, Dana?"
"I don't know," she answered, frustrated. "I have a close family, a loving man in my life, what could be missing?"
The doctor shuffled some papers on her desk, and then looked back at Dana. "You told me that these dreams had a lot in common. Always involved the same person with whom you were accompanying, and they also had a lot of adventure in them. Do you think maybe you might be bored with your job? Are you craving excitement in your life?"
Dana pondered this for a moment. "No, I like facts, details, the certainties of life. I mean I know that being a tabloid journalist isn't the most glamorous line of work, but I like it. Last night I had another one, this time it was about men who were trying to control me, and everyone else, for their own benefit. Why would I want to dream about that? If I lacked adventure in my life, wouldn't I dream of skydiving, or something like that?"
"Maybe you should talk to this man who keeps cropping up in your dreams. If he is a constant in the dreams, there might be something there that warrants investigation. You do know this person? Is *he* in a dangerous line of work?"
"As far as I can tell, he is recently unemployed. I think he worked in telemarketing. He lives in my apartment building with his wife and kids."
"Dana, maybe you should talk to him. Try to find out what it is about him that has situated him into your dreams."
"Do you really think I should?"
"Well," Dana said, nibbling on her bottom lip, "It just seems bizarre to go tell a stranger that I dream about him."
"Trust me," the doctor stated. " It will be therapeutic."
She left the doctor's office more troubled than when she had arrived. She decided to take the rest of the day off anyway, knowing that the apartment would be empty and she could make the phone call she needed to, in private.
She let herself into the quiet house, and tossed her things onto the table. She picked up the receiver and stared at the number pad for a few seconds. Abruptly making a decision, she punched in her neighbor's number almost viciously. He answered on the second ring.
"Hi, it's Dana in the downstairs apartment. Do you have a moment? I really need to talk to you."
"Sure. Come on up."
She walked slowly up the stairs and stopped at his door. If anyone saw her doing this, during this time of day, they would surely get the wrong impression. The door opened before she could knock, and the occupant gestured with his hand for her to enter.
"Can I get you something to drink?"
"No, thank you. I'm fine."
"Have a seat then. Are you okay?"
"Yes, well, I guess so." She let her eyes wander around his face, knowing what she would see. The same details she had seen every night in her dreams for weeks now. Dark hair, prominent nose, hazel eyes. Fox Mulder was a nice looking man, and if her dreams were sexual, she could dismiss them as just lusting after the neighbor, like any other red-blooded woman would.
"Dana? What is it?" He leaned forward in his chair, intently peering into her eyes. She always felt that he conveyed amazing natural empathy.
"Well, I . . . " How to start, she wondered. How do you tell someone that you have dreamed of them almost nightly for weeks? She was saved from continuing from a soft cry down the hall.
"I'm sorry Dana. She is home with a cold. I will be right back." He unfolded his long form from the chair and sauntered down the hall. "It's ok honey. Want to come sit on the couch?" She heard a faint yes, and he returned carrying a dark-haired girl who had her head resting on his shoulder. "Here you go Samantha. You remember Ms. Scully, don't you?" The child nodded. "Now where were we?"
"I was just wondering how you were doing. I know that you have only been here for a month, and I wanted to know if there was anything that you needed." Her real reason, she mused, she could never discuss. Especially with a child present.
"Actually, we are doing fine. Samantha caught a cold from her class, and Jeffrey is making friends in preschool. Diana should be home from work soon. Would you like to stay and wait for her?" He peered at her sharply, seeming to know that there was something else, something left unsaid, but he made no move to pry the secret out of her.
"No, thanks. I have to start supper. Tom should be home soon too, and it's my turn to cook. I hope you feel better, honey," she soothed to Samantha, who had snuggled down into the couch to lay against her father.
"Well, then I will see you around Dana," Fox said.
"Most probably," she agreed, thinking to herself, * tonight for instance.*
She had just enough time to throw her meal in the oven before Tom got home. She set the table, and had the wine opened when she heard his key in the lock. "Hi sweetheart. How was your day?" He kissed her softly, and opened the closet door to hang up his coat.
"Actually, I wanted to talk to you about something."
He held her eyes for a minute, knowing it must be serious. "Okay, just let me change, all right?"
In the bedroom Tom Colton exchanged his uniform for jeans and a tee shirt. He padded barefoot into the living room, and joined his wife on the couch. "What is it? Is this about why you woke me up last night, kicking the covers off?"
"Yes. It is. Tom, I have been having dreams for quite some time now that I don't understand."
"I knew that something was on your mind. Do you think you can talk about it?" Tom knew Dana better than anyone. She had difficulty in expressing her feelings, particularly to people she cared most for.
"It's strange, the dreams I mean." She told him all of it. All the dreams, Fox Mulder's position in them, even the doctor that she had been talking to recently. He listened quietly, without interrupting. She finished with a sigh.
"Dana, let me get this straight. You dreamt that you are an FBI agent, partnered with Fox Mulder, and you investigate strange paranormal? That you dreamed Fox lost his sister named Samantha, same as his daughter, to a government conspiracy group that was involved with aliens who want to take over the earth? But you aren't married, and neither is Fox, yet you aren't sexually involved with him either? And Jeffrey, and Diana are two people who are working against you and Fox?" He peered into her eyes, as the words that she told him rolled around his mind.
"Isn't it bizarre? I can't imagine what would bring such thoughts and ideas on."
Tom reached out and enveloped Dana in a hug. "Let me call the police captain and arrange for some personal days. We are going to take a drive tomorrow and try to figure this out, ok?" He felt her nod against his shoulder. He hoped his boss would understand. He had been on the force for years now, and with the amount of off time he had accumulated, it should not be a problem to take a week off.
"I asked Mr. Skinner for personal days too. I am off until Monday."
"That's good, honey. Maybe you just need a change of pace."
"I hope so. It's just that the dreams are so vivid." She rested her head on her husband's shoulder, mimicking the way little Samantha had upstairs with Fox.
"It'll be okay, sweetheart," Tom whispered. "We will get to the bottom of this."
Dana awoke to a shrill ringing. She yawned and hit the alarm button. She got up and went through her usual routine trying desperately to wake up. She made the drive to work almost on autopilot. Getting off the elevator and making her way down the halls in the basement to her office, she dug her key out of her pocket, and found the door already unlocked. She swung open the door to find her partner already there.
"Gee, Scully, you look terrible."
"Why, thank you very much."
"Are you ok?" her partner asked anxiously.
"I'm fine Mulder. I just had the strangest dream last night."