All Through the Night
by M. Sebasky
All Through the Night (1/1)
By M. Sebasky
Category: Scully and William try to shake off a hard day. Doggett helps. Feedback is always appreciated: email@example.com The website is: http://geocities.com/msebasky Rating: PG
Archive: Ephemeral okay, Gossamer okay, all other, please ask. Thanks. Spoilers: "Jump the Shark", small ones for "Existence" and "Requiem." Disclaimer: Chris, I'm taking the kids for a ride and maybe for some ice cream. I'll return them to you and 1013 in just a little while. Summary: Sort of a post ep for "Jump the Shark" and a prequel for whatever is to come this week. I've remained unspoiled for the last four eps, so reading this shouldn't mean anything. Notes at the end for those interested.
These things were:
The basement office that reeked of mildew and superstitious nonsense. Cheap hotels with sagging mattresses and paint that peeled. Cases that brought nothing but derision from superiors. Sideways glances from fellow agents in the halls of Quantico. The knowledge that you would die for your partner and he for you.
Doggett hands her a glass.
Scully swirls the amber liquid, then sniffs it. The mash whispers sweet promises of oblivion.
She hands it back. "I can't."
"I'm breast feeding."
Other men might blush at the reference, but this is John Doggett. He ignores the glass in her outstretched hand. "One drink won't make any difference."
Scully lowers the tumbler. After the past few days, it's tempting. "This is a big drink," she says, trying to ignore the liquor's siren song.
Doggett's eyes flicker, pilot light blue. "I know. I poured it."
It's obvious he is waiting for her to comply. Scully's hands tremble. She wills them not to shake. "At this point, I'm not sure I could stop," she whispers.
"You'll stop," Doggett says. "You'll stop."
He watches the glass travel upwards to her mouth. She takes a drink, then another and another. The liquor stings her throat. After the third swallow, her fingers begin to tingle. After the fifth, she starts to feel warm.
When the tumbler is empty, Doggett takes it from her. He tilts it to make sure there's nothing left but ice. "Good," he mutters. "You needed that."
He's right, she did need a drink. She finds no reason to tell him so. Under his concerned supervision, she leans back on the sofa.
The bourbon does its work. Scully shuts her eyes.
These things should be:
Mulder, home. William, safe. CSM, puffing away in some dark hole somewhere, head wreathed in a Morley halo. Even that bastard Krycek, should be alive, one-armed and lethal.
None of these are. The world as she knew it is gone.
In dreams, she is sitting in a waiting room, William on her lap. He snuggles close to her, his hands clutching and unclutching her blouse. She looks down to see him peeking up at her. "I love this child," she thinks. "I love this child so much."
Somewhere nearby, a woman is crying. "That's me," she thinks. "That's me crying." She looks up in the direction of the sound.
When she looks back down, William is gone. She can still smell him on her. She searches the waiting room frantically, but he is nowhere in sight. She pounds on the closed door until her hands sting and bleed, shouting her child's name over and over again.
No one answers.
These things are:
Doggett in the chair across from her when she wakes.
Scully sits up, not surprised when exhaustion slams against her like a steel door. She hasn't slept, really slept in days. The dream follows her into the waking world and she immediately panics. "William--"
"--is changed, fed and sleeping. All things his mother could use, too." Doggett waves her back. "Take a minute. Wake up."
She sinks against the sofa. Scraps of sleep cling to her and she draws her hands down her face to shake them free, noting it would be good to press the heels of her hands against closed eyes for about fifteen hours.
Instead, she sits forward. "I need changing?"
"I don't care what you say, suits can't be that comfortable."
"Suits are what I know," she mutters. "I've worn them for so many years; I wouldn't know what to do in anything else."
Doggett makes a brief noise that might be a laugh. Scully stands, ignoring the crackle of protest her spine makes on the way up. She turns towards the darkened nursery. "No offense, John, I'm sure he's fine, but--"
"--You don't trust anyone's eyes but your own. I remember how it is."
Pity stabs at her tattered heart. Of course he understands. He did this drill once. She wonders how hard it is for him to watch her son when his is cold in the ground.
She runs her hands over her eyes again. "John, you don't have to stay, I'm fine--"
"I know you are. I'm still not going anywhere. Not tonight."
Scully's grown close enough to him to know that John Doggett is an old fashioned man in many ways. She knows he still believes in women and children first. She also knows that right now, she and William are the woman and child in question. Well, if he wants to stay, she'll let him. Her defenses are too depleted, her resources too taxed to fight him. Not tonight.
She leaves Doggett sitting in the dimly lit living room and heads towards the nursery. As reported, William's out cold, his small arms stretched wide. Scully would do anything to save her son from the world. In his sleep, William would hug it.
She reaches down and touches one out-thrown hand. William's whole body twitches, his face twisting quickly. It won't wake him, this sudden jerk of limbs and feet. It was a motion that had been with him, even in the womb. The first time she saw him do it, Scully recognized what she had felt so often in the last months of pregnancy.
Raindrops hit the window pane, tapping out their untranslatable Morse code commands to the wind and trees. The sound will keep the Gunmen company tonight out in Arlington, she thinks and it brings a lump to her throat. She swallows it down. She has cried so much since she heard of their loss the blood vessels on her eyelids have broken. She finds no consolation they died heroes. She just wants them back.
William makes a "huh huh huh" noise in his sleep. The sound is dainty and oddly feminine.
"He sounds worried."
Scully starts. She hadn't heard Doggett come in. I'm slowing down, she thinks. Maybe the world has changed so much she doesn't know how to react to it anymore.
Doggett crosses over and stands next to her. "Still sleeping?"
"Yes." She tucks Maggie's blue and white baby afghan tighter around the child.
Doggett sighs. "It would be good to sleep. He's a lucky kid."
Not so lucky, she thinks. Not so lucky at all to be born into this life of hers and his father's.
"What do you think they dream of?" Doggett's question is barely audible in the quiet room.
"I don't know. Food. Colors. Maybe just warmth and light."
He leans in closer. "My mother used to say that babies were so new to the world that they could still reach the other side in their dreams. It's why they smile in their sleep. They're with all those that have gone before, who make up who they are." Doggett's voice is gentle. "If that's true, he's got a hell of a reception tonight."
Scully's eyes cloud over. She is glad that William is asleep. She doesn't like to cry in front of him. Children shouldn't have to see their mother's cry.
She shuts her eyes and her tears drip onto the blue and white afghan. Doggett lays a strong hand on her shoulder. Not for the first time she is glad for him. He doesn't offer platitudes like Skinner would. He doesn't draw her close; that was Mulder. John Doggett stands behind her. John Doggett has her back.
Scully reaches down and strokes William's cheek. Still sleeping, he tilts his head towards his mother's touch. "Do you believe in heaven, John?"
Doggett's hand tightens on her shoulder. "I don't know what I believe in anymore, Dana. After the past few months, I just--well, I don't know."
"I did once," she whispers. "Once upon a time, I believed in heaven."
The rain beats harder on the window. They remain, standing guard over William's dreams.
Quick notes: thanks to all those on LJ for the comments. I don't write much anymore and all your support is appreciated.
The title's from the lullaby, "All through the Night." The references to watching over a baby while they sleep are near and dear these days.
And, lastly, this is for K who got me to thinking about the party ending. I say to hell with that, my friend. Let's crack another, turn up the stereo and make it last for a while.
Like it? Hate it? Let's talk: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to M. Sebasky
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