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Dream Weaver (3)













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She finally understood. Their fighting, their uncharacteristic behaviors, the unthinking responses, possibly even the Dream Weaver itself, all had been the machinations of Isaiah Crawford, whoever and whatever he was. She didn't know what were her own responses, what were Mulder's responses, and what were manipulations. Yet the creature had been forced to retreat when Mulder had cried out loud that he loved her. Her assessment had been right; love backed the thing away, and it might be the only thing that would ultimately save them.

Mulder's body was wracked by tremors that echoed her own. He was as frightened and as battered as she was, yet he refused to let her go, even when he'd had ample proof that his strength was no match for an incorporeal enmity. When the creature assaulted her, Mulder had jumped to her defense without thought of any risk to himself. It was what he had always done. He put himself ahead of her.

And that, she realized, was the ultimate love. She mouthed words remembered from Sunday School. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. She leaned up to kiss him, and gently but firmly pushed herself up. He protested automatically: she eluded his grasp, standing, her hand brushing quickly through his hair, a moment embedded in her heart.

"I love you, Mulder," she whispered softly.

Then she turned toward the spot where she could now see the nebulous figure. "Isaiah Crawford!" she yelled. "I'm here. You can have me, just leave Mulder alone!"

The response was instantaneous and violent. Crawford's decimated frame snapped into existence, his eyes and mouth glowing from fire within. "NOOOOOO!" he shouted, the putrid stench reaching out in visible tendrils that curled through the air.

Scully took a step forward, reaching out for the abomination. "I'm giving myself to you, Crawford. You can kill me, just let Mulder go."

Crawford staggered back, howling in agony, and the glow within him grew brighter. Mulder was screaming out her name from behind her, unable to reach past an invisible barrier. He couldn't touch her, couldn't save her. But she could save him.

Scully walked up to the cowering banshee. She leaned over to take the increasingly warped fingers into her own. She stared into the depths of eyes that were glowing embers. "I love him, Crawford. Take me. Kill me. Just leave my partner alone." She felt her life ebbing away when the aberration followed its unnatural appetites, its teeth sinking into her flesh. She felt the pain from a distance, watching it gnaw on her arm in a pitiful attempt to feed, and with each second, she watched it dissolve, molecule by molecule, the fire inside swallowing it up. In the end, Isaiah Crawford became a pile of dark ash on the soil. Within moments, the winds had carried off even the ash.

Nothing remained but the Dream Weaver.

The early morning brought them back to the cabin, only when they arrived, they saw nothing but the faint, half-buried rubble of what had once been a foundation. The carefully cultivated rose garden had given way to a wild tumble of roses, thick brambles loosened to their freedoms.

Mulder couldn't bring himself to speak. Even he wasn't sure how much to believe this time, how much was truth and how much was dream, or if there was a difference. He wouldn't let go of Scully's hand for anything. Only the Dream Weaver and the damage to her forearm remained to attest to their experiences.

They walked silently through the wild garden, where now they could plainly see evidence of old graves. The keeper had been removed, and the souls were at last freed to seek final rest. He held out the Dream Weaver, allowing its engraved side to lie flat against his palm. And while he and Scully watched, the stone shifted and changed, becoming a single red bloom, a perfect rose, its petals unfolding and curling back at advanced speed. Within moments, each of hundreds of petals had been borne away on the winds. He heard the voices again, but there were no cries of anguish, no begging for vengeance. The myriad whispers repeated their two word chant, again and again, in echo that breathed through the treetops.

Thank you... Thank you... Thank you... Thank you...

The sirens were silent when an hour later the search team arrived. The rescuers found the two agents in deep shock, huddled together in their useless rental car.

When Scully was next really aware of what was going on around her, she was in a hospital bed and AD Skinner was by her side. She blinked in the dim light coming through the heavy blinds on the windows of her private room.

"Sir?" she asked questioningly, trying to sit up.

Skinner reached down and pressed her gently to the bed with his hands. "No, Agent Scully." he said firmly.

Scully licked her lips. "Where's Mulder?"

"He's in his own room. He's fine." She visibly relaxed, and Skinner sat on the edge of the bed. "Can you tell me what went on in those woods, Agent Scully?" His jaw was set. He didn't like trying for days to get in touch with his errant agents and then having to launch a fruitless search that had widened as each passing day failed to turn them up, only to find the two right in front of their noses in the place they had started from. And in that condition. The site of Agents Mulder and Scully huddled in their rental car, barely clothed and obviously in shock, had been jarring.

Scully frowned and put her hand to her head. She had a bandage on her arm, which the doctor had told Skinner had appeared to be gnawed on.
"I---it was all so strange. Almost like a dream." Scully closed her eyes, and Skinner sighed, rising off the bed.

"Get some rest, Agent Scully." He left the room. He had gotten a similar response from Mulder, and now resigned himself to wait for the case report.

They were released from East Ridge Hospital near Chattanooga, TN the following afternoon, and took a cab to the airport. Since meeting him in the hospital room, fully dressed and ready to leave, Scully had been at a loss as to how to act around her partner. They had experienced something amazing, and she found herself wondering what had been dream and what had been reality. Did it really matter? They had lived through it, whatever it was, as if it had been real. She found herself watching Mulder when he wasn't looking, pondering their relationship. They were partners, and their lives depended on their actions. Scully had often pushed aside her budding romantic feelings because she was afraid that they would get in the way of work. Not the case-solving, but the instinctive reaction that they had formed over the years that worked to keep them functioning effectively and which their utter trust in the other was based upon.

Would sex make so much of a difference in their lives? Would it invite jealousies and other petty feelings that would undo them in the end? Scully doubted there was much more she could feel for her partner at this point. She also wondered if the unresolved sexual tension had become more of a barrier than any romantic relationship could be.
Of course, that tension had recently been resolved. She sank down into her seat on the airplane, every particle of her body remembering the resolution vividly. His hands upon her body, probing and gently brushing against her. A tactile overload that had turned her to butter. She smiled satisfactorily at the memory. It was this expression that caught Mulder's attention as he stuck the magazine he'd been reading back into the pouch of the seat in front of him.

"Scully?" he said tentatively. "What are you thinking about?"

Scully was jerked from her reverie and turned to look at her partner. What? Oh, um Dared she tell him truthfully what she'd been thinking about? She colored, waiting seconds too long to give him a believable lie.

"I," she looked away, licked her lips, studied the ceiling, then turned to find him staring at her much as before. "Honestly, Mulder?" she asked a little shakily.

He smiled. "Yeah, I think that would be best."

She smiled back, tentatively. She took a breath. Let it out. Took another, and sped on. "I was thinking about lying naked in your arms, your hands all over my body and your mouth on mine in that tent in the woods." The sentence came out in a breathless, quivering whisper, and Mulders eyes widened even as his mouth dropped open.

She leaned back and closed her eyes, continuing softly enough that only he could hear the words. "I was thinking about the moment that you entered me. How you felt inside me. How alive I felt for the first time in years." It was brazen, but it was true.

Mulder shifted in his seat, his pants suddenly unbearably tight. Not in a hundred years had he expected her to say that. A joke, maybe. A sardonic look at airline travel. Anything but the erotic words she had just uttered! He didn't think he would have had the guts to ask if hed thought for a minute that she had been thinking of that.
He swallowed, turning in his seat and staring straight in front of him. Oh God, now he was thinking of it. Not that he hadn't on several occasions since they'd been taken to the hospital. Somehow he had been certain that Scully would strike it up to illusion or insanity, or anything other than what he knew in his heart that it had been: a beautiful acknowledgment of their love for one another.

"Mulder?" she said, touching his hand and leaning forward. He looked over at her crystal-clear blue eyes seeking his. "I know that it was real."

He nodded, because he couldnt speak. She leaned back in her seat and clasped her hands in her lap. "I can't help but think about it, Mulder."

A beat went by and then he said, "I've been thinking about it, too." Her head swung round to look at him, the look in his eyes sending a warmth spreading from her tingling brain down to her toes nestled in her navy shoes.

"You have?" she asked weakly, and he smiled again, his hazel eyes twinkling.

"Every minute I've been conscious", he said, and she suddenly smiled brightly back at him.

"So you don't regret it?"

Slowly he shook his head. "Of course not, Scully." He reached for her hand. "It was.. it was..." Her eyes were glued to his mouth. God, she wanted him. "It was wonderful!"

She knew that he meant it, and she nodded her head slightly as her eyes remained glued to those lips. Her own parted. "Yeah," she managed, it really was.

The flight attendant announced their imminent landing on the loud speaker and Scully jumped in her seat. Her mind was repeating over and over again. She realized just how afraid she had been that he did regret it. Somehow, the entire week seemed terribly unreal. She reached between their seats and took the seat belt, buckling it firmly at her waist, aware that Mulder was doing the same by her side. She was intensely, almost unbearably aware of every move that he made beside. She swallowed and shut her eyes, biting her lip a little too hard. Now what?

They didn't share a cab home, as they lived in opposite directions from the airport, so Mulder and Scully said goodbye at the airport. They were to report bright and early the next morning to Skinners office.

Scully got into the waiting taxi and waggled her fingers at Mulder, who stood at the curb. He waved back, and smiled. His eyes held hers until her cab drove away. Scully looked at her watch. 3 p.m. When they pulled up to her apartment building, she paid the driver and got out, hauling her duffel bag to the sidewalk. She stood staring at the door for a moment, and then forced herself to get moving.

She entered her living room, taking in the smell and feel of it happily. She was glad to be home. The normalcy threatened to erase the events from the last week from her mind as she unpacked her clothes and fixed a snack, but she held on to the memory of Mulder above her, hovering, his face a study in ecstasy and love. Several times she found that she had stopped what she was doing and was staring into space, her mouth dry and her panties damp with need. When she almost chopped her finger off while cutting vegetables for a salad, Scully stopped and put the knife down. She had bathed and thought of Mulder, straightened her bedroom and thought of Mulder, called her mother 'Mulder' on the phone, and now fixed dinner with him on her mind. This was not getting her anywhere. Her eyes wandered to the phone on the wall of her kitchen. They'd just spent a horrific week together out in the woods from hell couldn't she wait until tomorrow morning to talk to him? She stared at the phone so long that her vision blurred. When it rang, she almost wet her pants.

Shakily, she lifted the receiver. "Hello?"

"Hi." His voice was heavenly music to her ears. She smiled.

"Hi there." Im a giddy schoolgirl, she admonished herself, resisting the urge to pick up the pen and shopping list beside her and draw little hearts and flowers.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm making something to eat. You?"

"I'm lying on my couch staring at a crack in the ceiling."

"Oh. Are you thinking about anything in particular?" There was a heavy silence. "I dont know if I can be as honest as you were about that, Scully." He finally said, and she smiled.

"Try hard."

She heard him take a breath and then let it out. A strangled word came out and then he laughed. "I wouldn't want to scare you."

"You can't scare me, Mulder. Were you thinking of a flukeman?" she teased.

"Nuh uh. Not even close." His voice was low and throaty, tickling her senses and causing her to sit down on the kitchen chair a little too hard.

"A case? Basketball?" she searched her mind, "Skinner?"

Now Mulder really laughed. "Not hardly, Scully. I was thinking of you."

She licked her lips, jumping up to get a glass of water for her parched throat.

"Yeah. I was thinking of how you looked."

"Uh huh?" Scully drank the water down in one smooth motion.

"How you looked, uh.."

"Mulder?"

"Yeah?"

"Spit it out."

"I was thinking, Dana Scully, how you looked trapped beneath me, waves of pleasure moving through you, and how I felt, how it felt to thrust inside of you like that, knowing I was making you say those things.."

"Those things?" Scully could barely get the words out, and they sounded foreign and embedded with longing to her ears. "What did I say, Mulder? Tell me."

Mulder's voice had taken on a seductive monotone as he relayed her frenzied cries to her burning ears. "Oh my God, Mulder, you're all I've ever wanted. Deeper, please, just dont stop!"

Scully took a deep breath and after a silence punctuated only by their slightly loud breathing, she said, "Mulder?"

He cleared his throat, "I'm here."

"Well, get over here." She hung up and shakily walked to her bedroom, looking for her best lingerie.

When she'd changed, she went back to the kitchen, taking two wine glasses out of the cabinet and a bottle of wine from the refrigerator. Her heart was thumping so loudly in her chest that she thought it would explode out of her and bounce away. When Mulder had said those words to her in that voice, she thought she'd climax on the spot. There was absolutely nothing she wanted more than to be in his arms, and she wished to God that he'd hurry up and get there. She turned and stared at her front door, willing the knock to come. Moving toward it, she pulled it open and looked out into the hall. Seconds ticked by and she walked down the hall in her stocking feet, her steps slow and measured. A light rain had begun, and she heard it splattering against the windowpane in the hall. She came to the door and peered out. Her pulse was thrumming, her senses alert. She swallowed and watched.

After an interminable time, Scully saw a cab coming down the road, and she opened the door, stepping out and into the rain, it's droplets now hard and steady. She walked down one step, then the next, until she was on the sidewalk, her eyes pinned to the taxi stopping about a block away, its path blocked by a Cable truck. Scully saw his dark head emerging and she moved, unable to wait. Jogging across the lawn, she saw him pay the driver and shut the door. She was making her way down the sidewalk when his head turned and he caught her in his sight.

He was wearing black. A black T-shirt and black jeans that looked wonderful on him, and she wanted to rip them both off. He started toward her, at first surprised that she was out in the rain and running, but then he seemed to catch the meaning of her urgency, and he began walking rapidly toward her, meeting her halfway and lifting her into his arms, his mouth immediately seeking hers. Scully's hands came up about his neck and tugged at his soft hair, little grunts of need coming from her throat as his tongue entered her mouth and explored it relentlessly. He felt so good. His lips were warm and his mouth was hot, and the cold rain driving against them was molding his clothes to his eager, solid body.

His hands seared a path up her back. "Scully, we need to get inside," he whispered, and she wondered what the neighbors were thinking. The prim and proper Agent Scully standing out in the rain ravishing her partner. Suddenly, Scully wanted to laugh, and she pulled away, smiling brightly. Taking him by the hand, she tugged at him and they went running through the driving rain and into her apartment building.

Closing her door, Scully went and got some towels, tossing one onto the couch. "Let me dry you off, Mulder. Take off those wet clothes."

He stared at her a moment, his eyes afire, then pulled off his T-shirt and reached for his zipper.

"No, wait," she said. "Allow me." She knelt in front of him and slowly unzipped his pants, tugging them down around his slim hips and then leaned back and watched as he toed off his shoes and stepped out of the soaking denim. Taking the towel, she gently rubbed it over his damp, hairy legs, taking time to admire them fully. On impulse, she leaned forward and placed a wet kiss on the inside of his right thigh, just below his dripping boxers. Mulder moaned and swayed a little, and she grabbed his upper legs, holding onto him, nuzzling him with her face.

"Steady partner," she breathed. "I'm not done with you by a long shot."

Mulder groaned and grabbed her head, pulling her upward. "Not yet," he gasped, and she stood in front of him expectantly. He kissed her tenderly, longingly, until her knees grew weak, then reached out and helped her out of her shirt, her lacy bra not going unnoticed. He took the towel off of the couch and ran it over her skin as she watched his face turn dark with hunger.

She pulled him to her by the waist, kissing his lips and nipping at them, her hands running up his sides and moving along to his muscular back. She felt his erection throbbing against her stomach and she pressed herself into him, eliciting another groan. It was like music to her ears.
She unzipped her slacks and slid them off, standing before him in her matching underwear. He looked her over, his eyes almost wild in his want.

"Oh, Scully," he said. "I never thought we could have this."

"Neither did I", she said, and pulled his head to hers again, kissing him with intensity. She couldnt get enough of this man. Their mouths moving over each other with soft smacking sounds, then opening, wider and wider until their tongues had reached every part of the others mouth possible. Mulder took Scully by her upper arms and pushed her against the wall, deftly flicking open her bra and covering her breasts with his hands.

Hot urgency overtook them as they divested each other of their underwear. Mulder was a persistant, pleasing lover, and he gently pushed Scully to her limits until she was practically screaming his name. She followed his lead, and found that he made delicious noises when she gave him pleasure. He used his mouth like a hot, third hand on her body and drove her to extreme heights of passion she never thought possible.

After they found themselves panting, their bodies puddled in the living room floor, they moved to the bedroom and picked up a slower pace, getting to know one anothers bodies in the most sensuous way possible. More than once they cried out in their fervor, and when Scully heard him hoarsely shout her name, it pushed her over the brink for the third time that evening. She lay sweating, her chest heaving as Mulder pressed tiny kisses along her shoulder.
Sated, and thoroughly pleased, they lay in each others arms, staring into the darkness.

"Wow," Mulder finally said, and Scully giggled like a young girl. He pulled her closer and kissed her head, a broad smile on his face. "If I'd known what it took to make you laugh like that, Scully, I might have tried it years ago."
She ran a hand up his chest, reveling in the contrasting smooth skin and coarse hair. Her palm moved on to caress his jaw, and she leaned up on her elbow to look down at him, her hair a curtain around her face.

"I love you, Fox Mulder," she said seriously, her eyes pinning him to the pillow. He reached up and tweaked her nose, his eyes telling her all she wanted to know.
A thump from the other room caused them to sit up.

"What was that?" Mulder said, swinging his long legs off of the bed and standing up. Scully scrambled off behind him and they went into the living room, looking around. Scully peered out the peep hole and then unlocked the dead bolt, leaving Mulder to wonder who she would deem worthy to flash her current state of undress.

Bending down, and driving his thoughts further into the gutter, Scully retrieved something from the floor and brought it in, relocking the door.

"Its a package, Mulder", she said, turning it over. "Addressed to both of us!"

Mulder stepped forward and took it out of her hand. There was no return address. Glancing at her, he ripped the brown paper off and opened the inner box, revealing a bed of tissue paper. Parting it, he delved his long fingers in and pulled something out. Scully leaned forward to see. Nestled in his palm was the dreamweaver stone.

The talisman was subtly changed, though; while the opal exterior still sheathed its ruby center, the plain gold setting was now a delicate filagree of hearts and roses. Scully reached out to turn it over, wonderingly reading new words etched into the precious metal. Her eyes wide, she raised her face to see a similar expression on Mulder's features. He voiced the words in a slow, measured cadence:

Souls soar in freedom, rest now assured
Curse turns to blessing and darkness be day
All that is evil can never prevail
When dreamers let hearts lead the way.

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