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Between Dreams

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It happened occasionally. The frequency usually had something to do with which cases they’d been on.

For her, they were often white, and bright. She dreamt of her body being manipulated in ways she couldn’t explain. Or there would be the impression of a gag and bound hands, stale breath and a dead voice. And then there were the rare occasions when her nightmares featured him, betraying her; exchanging information in a cloud of smoke or bleeding out on her.

For him, they were dark, always. And they always featured the women in his life. Samantha, being pulled through the window by unknown forces. Scully, being pulled from him by various nefarious people; Duane Barry,

It was never a dramatic occurrence. There were never screams. They never sat bolt upright. Just a tensing of the body, a sharp gasp melting into shallow puffs.

And then there would be an arm reaching out for the phone, speed-dial one being pressed, shaky breaths puffing down the line in sync with the dial tone. A cracked murmur of a name and a whispered ‘I’m on my way.’

He made it in forty minutes, and if she weren’t pacing her living room waiting for his headlights down her street she would have scolded him for his blatant disregard of speed laws.

Instead, her arms were around him and her face was buried in his chest, tears wetting his heather t-shirt.

‘You were bleeding. You died. You were bleeding.’

Fists clench and unclench, he rubs her back, kisses the top of her head and shuffles them inside the door to give them privacy from neighbours prying at three in the morning.

And then she pulled away, checked him over with shaky hands, examined head and chest and arms.

‘I’m alive. I’m okay. I’m here.’

‘You died. I held you and you died.’

He nodded, because what else could he do, and he pulled her into him, rested a cheek atop her crown and held her tight because he’d been there too. He’d dreamt her death more times than he could count on his fingers and toes. He’d felt her blood slick his fingers as the metallic tang filled his nostrils. He’d pulled her shirt up to discover gaping wounds and a fading pulse.

He pressed kisses to her forehead, to her cheeks, held her tight and guided her to her bedroom, flicked one of her lamps on and dried her face with a tissue from the box permanently by her bedside.

She didn’t need to ask. They both knew. He’d shuck off his jeans with one hand, having not bothered with a belt when he’d dragged them on before he’d left home, his other hand clasped firmly in both of her own as he kicked off his shoes and toed off his socks. She dragged him to her, reeled him in and pulled him down to her when his knees hit the edge of her mattress.

He melted down to her, curling around her like a weighted blanket, anchoring her to reality.

‘Don’t leave me?’

‘Never. I’m not going anywhere.’