Title: In His Dreams

Category: Unrequited/impossible DSR

Spoilers: Season 8, but nothing particular

Disclaimer: Doggett, Scully, Mulder, and anyone else who I may have mentioned in the XF universe belong not to me (of course) but to Chris Carter and 10-13. And I'm making absolutely no money. All I get out of this is twisted, warped satisfaction.

Author's Note: Shippers beware....

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In his dreams he visits her. He lets himself into her apartment quietly, in the middle of the night, closing the door behind him without so much as a breath. He stands over her as she sleeps on the couch with a troubled look on her face. He reaches out and strokes her shining red hair with one large trembling hand, inexpressible longing in his eyes, all across his face. He cannot help himself. An audible sigh escapes.

In his dreams she wakes and smiles up at him, that smile so long reserved only for one Fox Mulder, that smile he has never seen in his waking hours, and he feels like the luckiest man on earth. No, strike that -- the luckiest man ever.

In his dreams Dana Scully sits up, stretching, and gently pats the seat next to her, gazing intently, knowingly, at him. He sits carefully beside her, moving almost cautiously, and cannot breathe for the look playing about those twinkling, blue-upon-blue eyes. For several moments he can't do anything more than let his mouth hang open.

In his dreams he finally understands that he is here, with her, and John Doggett smiles back at her leisurely, lazily, like everything is somehow in slow motion. She rests her small hand in the crook of his arm and laughs about something trivial, inconsequential. She looks like an angel, radiant and lovely, and it is only now that he understands what all those painters and musicians and poets have been trying to say, the grace and elegance they have been trying to illuminate. For all her sleep-swollen eyes and her mussed red hair she is so goddamned beautiful that he can hardly stand it.

In his dreams she leans against his chest and goes willingly into his embrace, letting him into an ethereal, wonderful world he thought he could never visit. Everything is bright and perfect like the movies, like a fairy tale. He wonders why he has been permitted to be happy, what he has done to please the powers that be. But he only wonders for a little while, because she takes his hand and brings it up against her face, and he decides not to question anything, lest it disappear.

In his dreams he is allowed to kiss her, kiss her softly, or passionately, or desperately, or gently. He kisses her with permission and without it, on the spur of the moment, or after hours of deliberation. And she kisses him back. Every time. Her lips and tongue and mouth are maddeningly perfect, and he cannot get enough of them. She feels so incredibly right that he wonders what his life was before he met her, if it was anything at all. Somehow the things that haunted him so terribly only days before seem to simply fade away, and he is surrounded by joy.

In his dreams she rests her head on his shoulder and relaxes, her hand holding his tightly, that faint, mysterious, otherworldly smile on her lips. She reminds him of Mona Lisa, enchanting, captivating, quietly astonishing.

In his dreams he whispers into her ear, "I've fallen in love with you." He means it more than he has ever meant anything before. The sincerity is so strong it's almost painful. And for one terrible moment it seems she won't respond. But then she looks up into his eyes and murmurs that she feels the same way. She is radiant with honesty, happiness.

In his dreams he wraps his arms around her and buries his face in her hair, and he laughs. She giggles, reaches up, pulls his face down and kisses him. All the hard edges he has gathered over the long cold years melt away when she touches him, and he feels like he is lost in everything that is good and right, like he is lost in her. Then again, maybe they are the same thing. He knows that is what he believes.

In his dreams she curls up against him, tucking her feet beneath her, leaning into him. He smiles down at her and presses his lips to her forehead, and sighs, gratefully, to himself, cherishing the way she fits so perfectly against him.

In his dreams he feels her heart beating in the comfortable silence they share. They fall asleep that way, his arms around her, holding her, guarding her. There is a slight smile on his face as he sleeps, and every breath he takes is golden and incredible.

In his dreams he opens his eyes to find her still in his embrace. Suddenly afraid that the fantasy will slip, he gently lays her down, pulls the blanket over her, tucks her in. He stands to leave. But then her hand is grabbing his, and those eyes are shimmering with love, and she whispers to him, "Stay. Please." And he does.

In his dreams she doesn't glare at him with resentment. She doesn't turn her back on him, and she doesn't flinch when he touches her or speaks with warmth in his voice. Instead her eyes seek out his, and the hand that feels so small takes his at the strangest moments, bringing his walls down brick by brick. He smiles constantly, while people around him are confused by his uncharacteristic happiness. They wonder, but they have only to look at the way she and he look at each other to know.

In his dreams the little things redeem him. The touches, the glances, the whispers in his ear, the light little kisses, the laughs. They are his salvation, rescuing him from a darkness that stretches out cold fingers to tangle him in pain and guilt. When he has the little things he knows he will be all right. He knows that he can make it.

In his dreams he feels whole again. He drowns in every good emotion he has ever known. He is drunk with joy, woozy with love, reeling with the sheer wonder of it all. He never knew it was possible to be so engulfed by beauty, by feeling.

In his dreams there is no mention of the man named Fox Mulder. His shadow does not cast a pall over her eyes, and it does not dim their hope. Fox Mulder is a memory, or a dream, or sometimes he has never been at all. That's the way John Doggett likes it. That's what lets her seek comfort in his arms, and in his arms alone.

In his dreams he has her all to himself.

In his dreams he got there first.

But. . . .

Dreams are only dreams.

And damned if John Doggett knows it.

~FIN