Chapter Six: They're Watching

Mulder woke up suddenly, the dream echoing in his brain still. Tears were running down his face. He was in a cold sweat. He looked around wildly; sure that something was amiss, that something was wrong. Scully was there, right where she was as was everything else. Nothing had happened. He scratched his chin thoughtfully and went back to sleep.

But the dream returned. They were all around him. Watching, pointing, doing tests. How vividly he remembered it in his dreams. But, he found that he wasn't strapped down. No... It was like... almost like he was there on his own free will, though that didn't alleviate the fear at all. As if suddenly having an epiphany, he made the wilful move to run; he took off, leaving them all behind him. All he felt was his mind racing with disgust with himself for being there of his own free will; for being there because he wanted to and because, although he remembered nothing from before the moment before, he had the feeling that he wanted it. He ran longer than should be possible- longer than was possible- unless... unless it was possible for him, because he was enhanced- a super soldier. No, he thought. Impossible.

He came to a cliff and nearly fell off, but caught himself before he went over. He looked out over the chasm, wondering what was on the other side feeling that, somehow, it was important. Maybe everything he needed to know what over there. All the answers he had been seeking... He began to take a step toward it, forgetting the endless pit below him. Suddenly, he saw his sister out there, looking back at him. She was floating above the chasm- of course she was floating. She was dead.

"They watching, Fox," she called back to him, her voice high pitched and somewhat distant and not her own even if it still held the undertones of the little eight year old he had last seen so many years ago over a game of Stratego. "They're-"

He stopped dead in his tracks and turned to run but before him, all these faceless men and women were staring back at him. Even though they didn't have eyes, he knew that they were watching.

"Mulder! Mulder! Wake up!" He opened his eyes, and realised that he was already sitting up, his hands in the air. He was waving them around frantically, flailing. In front of him, reaching out to him with her hands on his shoulders was Scully, kneeling, trying to wake him. He gasped and lowered his arms and collapsed into hers. "Mulder, are you alright?" she asked.

He was silent for a long moment. "Yeah, I think so."

"What is it?"

He hesitated and then decided to proceed. They were alone in their own secluded home. Safe. We are safe...right? he thought. "I had a nightmare-"

"I could have guessed that much."

He smiled weakly along with the skeleton of a chuckle. Then his face grew dark again. "I dreamt about... I dreamt that they were doing tests on me... yes, tests. I was back in the place where I was when I was abducted. But, I felt, I felt... like it was good. Like I wanted the result of whatever it was that they were doing to me... until that moment when I was thrust into the dream... and I realised that I was disgusted with myself, with them and for whatever it that they were doing. So... so I ran. I ran... but I don't know if anyone followed... and then... I saw... a... a pit, a chasm with no end. There was an island on the other side. An island, I thought, where I might find out everything I wanted- or needed- or needed to know... and I began to walk toward it... but there was nothing under my feet. I knew it, but I started anyway until...until... my sister stopped me. And she told me..."

"They're watching."

"Yeah," he affirmed as he sat up and rubbed his eyes. "They're watching."

"You were whispering it in your sleep... then almost screaming it."

"God, I'm sorry, Dana," he told her, rubbing his eyes again and slouching. He was feeling utterly paranoid. He looked around. "You don't suppose the house it bugged, do you? Do you think that maybe..."

Scully sighed. "Mulder, we checked. Remember? You check every day and every now and then, I help you. There's nothing here."

He nodded slowly. Of course, there was nothing there. Scully was the voice of reason here and there was nothing. They had checked. Thoroughly. Besides, his mind went on, if it were bugged, they would have come to get him already. But still, he had the feeling that he was being watched. Maybe it was just the effects of the trial, knowing that he was supposed to be dead by lethal injection by now, but he wasn't. Maybe it was the lifetime of looking for aliens and conspiracies, then being abducted, tested on and... changed. Had he been changed? He didn't know. He had no answers. He never did have any.

Maybe he was just downright paranoid. He sighed heavily. "You go back to sleep, Scully. I'm gonna get some water or something."

"Are you sure?"

He thought for a long moment. No, he thought. But his mouth spoke differently. "Yes, I'm sure." He kissed her. "Thank you. It must drive you insane to take care of a condemned crazy man every day."

She giggled a little and he felt better to hear it. "It's not all that bad," she answered.

"Well, that's a relief."

He got up to go to the kitchen.

How long had it been since the trial? A little over a year? Why were these dreams coming now? Was there someone watching? His mind still raced as he neared the refrigerator. He opened it and pulled out a chilled jug of water. As he went to set it down on the counter, he saw a face in the corner. He had to do a double take. But yes, he had indeed seen a face in the corner.

It was Samantha again. "They're watching, Fox."

He took a deep breath. "Who is watching?"

"Who do you think?" she asked. "Them." She pointed to the sky and looked upwards, worriedly. "They're always watching."

"How can I stop it?"

"You can't."

He rolled his eyes. "Great."

She smiled. The skeleton of a smile. "They're watching," she told him again and she disappeared.

He reached for a glass and poured himself some water. He chugged it in three swallows. Someone was watching. Who? Or, maybe, what? He sighed and closed his eyes, setting the glass down on the counter and returning the water jug to the fridge. Why tell me if there's nothing I can do about it? he wondered. Maybe he was a crazy man. In fact, he had little doubt that he was.

He returned to bed, where Scully had laid down, rolled over and was now breathing slowly and peacefully. He was sure that she wasn't asleep yet, but she seemed to have a certain amount of peace. Just after the trial, when they had escaped, Scully had had dreams, not too different from his own. Dreams where they were coming for them and she was helpless to stop them. Now, there seemed to be some peace. He climbed in under the covers and closed his eyes and hoped for some peace at least tonight.