Morning came, and Scully was right. Things were not clearer. The panic Mulder felt as he awoke made him sick. He was in utter darkness. His eyes were wide open, but there was nothing for him to see. His breaths came in short gasps, and a mantra of "wake up, wake up, wake the fuck up" came out in measured sobs.
Scully must have been out of the room when he began dry heaving. He barely heard her enter the bedroom as he sat doubled over on the edge of the bed. Speaking softly yet firmly she said, "Mulder it's me. It's morning and it's okay. Remember what we discussed last night? Trust me, you're okay, we're both okay...Mulder."
Feeling her move in close, she placed her hands to either side of his face, steadying him as his eyes traveled wildly around the room.
"Mulder, look up at me!" she yelled.
"I can't fucking see, Scully! There's nothing!"
"Yes you can Mulder. Look at me; you will see me."
"Scully. It's black...oh shit...oh shit"
"I'm right here. I'm right here."
She soothed him with her hands and her firm voice; Mulder closed his eyes and shook her hands off. She began speaking very steadily, "Mulder, open your eyes."
He opened his wet, sightless eyes and faced the direction of her voice.
"Listen to me, and you'll find out how you have to do it now. How you'll be able to see. It's just not the same as you did before."
Scully waited a few seconds then he felt her move away. "I'm standing right in front of you. You know that, don't you?"
He nodded slowly.
She continued, "My red hair is all mussed up from sleeping. It's in my eyes right now. I'm wearing your gray Knicks shirt, because you know how much I like wearing that to bed."
She paused a moment before continuing, "We're in our apartment, which used to be mine. The sheets you're sleeping on are white, and the comforter wrapped around your legs is light blue, almost the color of my eyes. You know what my eyes look like, don't you?"
Red messy hair, gray Knicks shirt, ScullyBlue eyes? Yes, yes, he could see them. He closed his eyes and listened to her voice.
"There are candles on most of the shelves in here. They're scented; smell them, Mulder. I lit them last night before going to bed, then we both blew them out before going to sleep."
He inhaled deeply through his nose and found there was a faint aroma of lavender still in the air.
"We had Chinese take out last night. I gave you all the nuts from my Kung Pao chicken, remember? We thought we'd be up all night working, but we both had way too much Tsingtao-that Chinese beer you like. We were tense from working and needed a break. Lick your lips, Mulder, taste the beer and spices from last night's dinner."
Almost involuntarily, he licked his lips and swallowed. The flavor of last night's dinner was faint but definitely on his tongue. The beer and the chicken, hot with spices. He swallowed again.
And discovered another flavor.
Her low voice drifted to him in the dark, "It's morning and I've opened the curtains. The sun is streaming through the window; can you feel it?"
Mulder noticed that the right side of his face was warmer than the left. The window was to his right, and the sun was coming in from there. He nodded to her, and she continued, "Give me your hands, Mulder."
He reached his arms out in front of him. She took his hands and placed them on her chest.
"Can you feel this? Can you feel my hands covering yours?
He said, quietly, "Yes, I can feel them. Your hands are wet probably from filling the coffeepot. Your heart is beating.... beating with mine. I feel my heart and yours; their rhythm is the same." He sighed, and warmth filled his voice, "You're soft and strong, all at the same time."
He briefly touched her face with his left hand and whispered, "And so beautiful, Scully. You are so beautiful, especially when you smile. I love to touch your smile." And with two fingers of his right hand, he did.
The smile was still in her voice as she said, "Listen, Mulder. Listen. What do you hear right now?"
"I hear the shower dripping and the coffee perking." He paused and turned his head toward the warmth of the sunlight.
"I hear the soft street noises of the cars passing, the birds singing, and people talking. But what I hear most, what I've always loved is the sound of your voice. The way you raise it when you're angry, and the way you lower it when you're sad. The way you pause as you search for just the right word. The confidence, sarcasm, humor, and the strength of it. And your laugh...your laughter is life to me, Scully."
"So, you can still smell the candles, Mulder?"
"The lavender scent of the candles, the clear scent of your perfume, the clean smell of soap and sheets, and the scent of sweat and musk. Yes, Scully, I can smell it all."
Scully's voice got quieter still as she brought her face to Mulder's, their foreheads almost touching. "Can you taste last night? Can you remember the taste of our dinner, the taste of the beer, the taste of each other?"
"Yes, Scully. Yes, I still have the taste of you on my tongue."
"The sunlight, Mulder?"
"I feel it warm on my face. I feel the currents of air as you pass in front of me. And I can feel when you're close to me."
"You can see me now, can't you?"
"Scully." He reached again.
"Tell me what you see, Mulder." Her voice faded slightly as she stepped back.
"Yes Scully, I see you standing a few steps in front of me with a gray Knicks shirt on and nothing else. But you're so small that my shirt comes all the way to your knees. Your hair is a mess, but it's cute the way you keep blowing it out of your eyes. I like to smooth your hair away from your face as you sleep."
He turned his head towards the bed. "I love the sound of your breathing while you sleep."
He continued, "I see our bed; the sheets and comforter have been pretty much destroyed by our lovemaking and my ... nightmare.
"The candles line the shelves in here, and there were so many to blow out afterward. We were afraid they'd cause a fire -but then again, we were rather drunk at the time. There's coffee brewing in the kitchen, and there are two large mugs waiting on the table. A cereal bowl is waiting on my side of the table for me to pour Frosted Flakes into, and a container of vanilla yogurt is waiting on your side."
Mulder smiled and shrugged, "Ok, blueberry. But you're right, Scully, I *can* see now. You're beautiful and sexy, and you love me."
"Damn right," she said with a smile in her voice.
"And I'm beautiful and sexy, and I love you." He reached for her again.
"Well in *your* case, two out of three. That ain't bad, and I'm not complaining." The air currents shifted as she stepped into his outstretched arms. She hugged his neck and kissed the tendons at his throat. Finally her voice sighed, "We'd better get this show on the road, we've got a lot of work to do today. We have a killer to catch."
"Okay," he breathed as he leaned over to nuzzle her neck lightly then said, "Scully?"
"Steer me to the bathroom, then point me towards the kitchen."
|Part 1|In A Flash|Part 3|