by A K Naten

Title - "Limbo"
Author - A. K. Naten
Rating - PG-13 / NC-17
Summary - Rework of 'Audrey Pauley' ep. THIS IS A F/F SLASH PIECE. If you're under 18, get lost. I thought the 'Audrey Pauley' ep. had such potential, but, alas, it totally sucked, IMO. I have great disdain for the constant 'Doggett luvs Monica' stuff, and Scully's behavior in that ep. was just SO wrong, I could've spit. So, ever the arrogant one, I decided to write my own version. I've tried to stick with the original dialogue as much as possible, but I cut out a lot of it here and there to suit my needs, of course. I apologize for this becoming SO long - didn't intend for it to reach the dimensions that it did, honestly. I got carried away. ;-)
This piece has no beta-reader... again. It's really a rough-draft, I suppose, as I haven't done my usual and customary 3-month-nitpick (only 1- month this time), so please forgive the errors. DISCLAIMER: The characters of Dana Scully and Monica Reyes belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions, Fox Broadcasting, etc., etc., and are used without permission; I'm just borrowing them and giving them more interesting lives. No copyright infringement is intended, etc., etc., blah blah blah.

By A. K. Naten

Chapter 1

She seemed to be hitting every red light in the city tonight, of all nights. Scully revved the car engine impatiently as she glared at the light. When it finally changed to green, her tires squealed as she peeled-out and raced toward the hospital.

A.D. Skinner had called her at home to tell her that Doggett and Reyes had been injured in some kind of hit-and-run car accident and were at the County hospital. He gave her no more details, claiming that he knew nothing. So... here she was, flying thru the streets, hell-bent on reaching her destination so she could find out what had happened.

The hospital... it was a place that her career dictated she be close to or spend nearly all her time in, and yet she loathed it....Especially in times like this.

She was upset, nervous, and disturbed to think that, once again, the cloud of darkness and deceit that was the X-Files may be threatening the lives of two decent, hard-working agents. It would never end, she thought to herself... as long as someone keeps searching for answers, it won't end. It started with Mulder and it has consumed so many people along the way, including her. Now it's long, ugly tentacles were reaching out to suck up Doggett and Reyes... when would it stop?

Reyes... she had just seen her, and Doggett, two days ago... everything had been fine... they talked about a case... everything was the same. Monica had asked about William... they had chatted and carried on in their usual and customary we're-friends-but-sometimes-it-feels-like-something-more manner. Reyes had looked at her with the same intense gaze, and Scully felt the same strange charge of electricity between them, as usual. But, neither one acknowledged it in any way... also, as usual.

<It doesn't mean anything anyway,> Scully reminded herself... again.

She immediately pushed aside all those thoughts... they weren't important right now -what was important was that her friends were injured, and she had to go to them.

The sudden overwhelming need to be there, in the hospital, pulled powerfully at Scully as she pushed her speedometer to 65 in the 45 mph zone.

After reaching the hospital, Scully strode purposefully down the hospital corridors. She fairly burst thru the doors of the ICU and saw Doggett sitting in a chair with a large bandage on his forehead and a forlorn look on his face.

"Scully," he acknowledged as he looked up, seemingly relieved to see her there.

"Agent Doggett," she said, "What the hell happened? Where's Agent Reyes?" Scully spat out quickly, worry evident in her voice.

"She's... in there," he said quietly, motioning to the room behind him with his head. "She's... uhm ...nothing's broken or anything, but...," he paused, looking down at the floor. Scully arched her brows expectantly at him, "She's... not conscious," he added, shaking his head. "They don't think her brain is swollen, but..." he said, pausing and bringing his eyes to meet Scully's. "...They say she's got no brain activity," he said solemnly, his voice cracking. Scully said nothing. Her heart began to throb painfully in her chest and she felt her head begin to spin. She looked past Doggett at the darkened room,

"Jesus," she whispered, looking away and closing her eyes.

"I know," Doggett added quietly. Scully was quiet for a moment, silently telling herself to stay calm. She sat down beside John, needing to steady herself.

"What happened? I mean, how did it happen?" she asked, trying to sound as calm as possible.

"We decided to grab a beer after work... she offered to drive. We each had one - that's all," Doggett started, looking at Scully sorrowfully. She nodded silently.

"She was taking me home. We were crossing an intersection, and... out of the blue... somebody hit us... just... slammed into us... on her side," Doggett said slowly, his voice cracking and his face wincing painfully. Scully paused for a moment, then placed her hand on his shoulder gently,

"It'll be okay, John," Scully said, giving him a light squeeze. He only nodded mutely, looking down at the floor again.

"I'm gonna go in and see her, okay?" Scully said, giving his shoulder another squeeze as she drew a deep breath and walked past him into Monica's room.

Scully was surprised when she opened the door and saw A.D. Follmer sitting in a chair beside Monica's bed, his hand resting on hers. She immediately stiffened and felt a flush tingle her face. Still, she acknowledged him,

"Assistant Director," Scully said with a small nod.

"Agent Scully," Follmer replied similarly as he removed his hand.

Something about the guy repulsed Scully, and she didn't want to talk to him, especially now. She knew he and Monica had some kind of connection, and that it was in the past, but she didn't even want to ponder what it was... even though it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. The thought of him even touching Monica's hand turned her stomach.

<...Creep,> she thought privately.

Scully picked up Monica's chart and began perusing it quickly.

"You won't be able to determine much from there... it's all so technical," Follmer said dismissively as he stood up and took a step toward Scully.

"Well, I am a medical doctor," Scully snapped, perhaps a little too curtly.

"Yes... you are," Follmer replied with his typical smarmy smile as he took another step closer to her. He gave Scully a hard look that bordered on a glare, and she returned it defiantly. They stared at each other for a second until he smirked at her again, then walked around her and exited the room silently.

"Asshole," she muttered after he closed the door.

Scully looked at Reyes' still form lying on the hospital bed. She breathed... her chest moved up and down... the monitors showed that her heart was beating... and yet, they said she was brain-dead. Scully rifled thru the notes and scratchings on Reyes' paperwork. It was all documented and orderly, but... it somehow didn't seem clear to her. Monica had brain function when she came in, but then it seemed to just stop... it didn't make sense. How could she really be... gone?

"She can't be," Scully whispered. Her eyes threatened her with tears as she replaced the chart and stood for a moment, staring long and hard at Monica. She walked up to the side of the bed and reached a hand out, brushing a lock of hair away from Reyes' temple. A thousand different thoughts and emotions swept thru Scully's mind with that one touch... and a thousand prayers sprang to her lips.

Recollections of the first time she met Reyes filled her... how she was so curt and indifferent to her at first, but how eventually, Monica's good-natured temperament and obvious respect for her had changed all that. This was a woman who had stood up for - and stood up to - her on numerous occasions, with no questions asked. She was someone who understood her and could speak to her beyond words, which was a rare thing. Scully had grown to respect Reyes a great deal, and she genuinely liked her, which, she admitted, was also a rare thing. She knew that she didn't let many people 'in', but somehow, this woman managed to get close to her... and she wasn't quite sure how or when that had happened. Monica Reyes had come into her life for a reason -possibly for several different reasons. She wasn't going to bid her goodbye just yet.

"You can't be dead," Scully whispered again, allowing a teardrop to fall away.

Chapter 2

Only 5 minutes had passed when Doggett entered Reyes' room. Scully looked up quickly, his sudden entrance jarring her from her thoughts. She acknowledged him solemnly, trying to keep her composure intact.

"Well?" Doggett asked, obviously hoping that Scully would have something positive to say.

"I don't know what to say, John," she said grimly, retrieving the chart again and flipping thru it. "They say she has no measurable electrical activity in her brain," Scully said quietly. Doggett stared at her in disbelief.

"So... that's it? She's gone?" Doggett asked incredulously. Scully looked at him silently and gave a slight shrug, clenching her jaw and willing the tears not to start again. He looked back at Reyes' still body,

"I just can't believe it," he said quietly. Scully bit down on her lower lip, but the tears began to fill up her eyes anyway. She looked back at Reyes, lying so still on the bed... she had a small cut on her forehead... tubes were hooked up to her... electrodes were taped to her head... she looked so peaceful, despite it all.

<She always looks peaceful,> Scully thought internally. Reyes was one of the very few people who had a truly calm, serene aura about her. Everyone at the Bureau thought it was more than fitting that she be assigned to the X-Files, and it angered Scully that Reyes had apparently been pegged as the new resident 'Spooky'. True, she had some far-out ideas and feelings about things, but Scully knew that there was much more to her than just past-lives and E.S.P. She had come to believe in Reyes, and, more importantly, she really felt that she could trust her. Monica had a way about her that made Scully feel... secure... protected. It was strange, but Scully had to admit that there was just something about Reyes that made her feel reassured... made her feel safe. Monica was one of the most compassionate, considerate, and honest people that Scully knew. She was the kind of person that would make an excellent best friend, and although they hadn't reached that plateau just yet, Scully silently vowed to work harder at that once Monica got better....And she would get better.

<She's not dead,> Scully thought, <This can't happen to someone like her... not to her... it's not fair,> she brooded tearfully, <...I'm not giving up on her.>

Almost an hour passed. Both Scully and Doggett had spent that time in Reyes' room, sitting quietly by her bedside... thinking... waiting for a sign ...waiting for a miracle.

The attending doctor entered the room suddenly, jolting Doggett and Scully from their silent thoughts. Both stood up abruptly as Doctor Preiers greeted them,

"Are either of you family members?" he asked. Scully and Doggett looked at each other a moment,

"Uh, no, we're her... partners," Doggett said. The doctor turned to face him,

"I'm very sorry for your loss," he said with a nod. Doggett looked over to Scully, who looked as though she'd burst into tears at any moment.

"Uhm, listen, Doc...," Doggett started hesitantly,

"I know you're the expert here, but... neither of us understands your haste to call it quits so soon," he said. Doctor Preiers frowned at him,

"She's brain-dead, sir," the doctor stated, "And I'm afraid that brain death is indeed death," he said, almost too bluntly.

Scully felt a stab of anger. <How could he treat this so matter-of-factly... didn't he understand what this meant?> she thought bitterly.

"But... she's breathing," Scully interjected, motioning to Reyes' chest, "She's got a heartbeat...?" this time pointing to the monitors as she glared at the doctor, who looked at her totally void of emotion. "There must be something more that can be done," she demanded, pinning the doctor with a hard look.

"I'm sorry... I wish there were," the doctor said simply, turning back to Doggett.

"Look, I don't wish to make this any harder on you, but there is something you both should know," he started,

"Your partner had a living will... and she's signed an organ donor card," he said, looking from Scully to Doggett. Scully's mouth dropped open a bit, and she stared at John in disbelief,

"No...," Scully interrupted, shaking her head.

"...Dana," Doggett said, looking at her and trying to calm her.

"No, just... slow down a minute," Scully said, putting her hand up. The doctor and Doggett looked at each other.

"I just... I don't understand," Scully started,

"I mean... look at her," she pointed to Reyes, "She's lying there, in one piece... she has no fractures... no damage to her skull... it just... doesn't make sense to me," she said, her voice quavering and nearly cracking with emotion.

"Dana," Doggett said, stepping closer to her, "...At the end of the day, it doesn't matter," he said quietly, placing a hand on her shoulder.

"I'm afraid that doesn't change the diagnosis, nor her prognosis, ma'am," the doctor added, "In situations like this, time is always of the essence," he said, turning to look deliberately at Doggett, "There is a woman in Minnesota who could be saved by your friend's heart... In a real sense, she would live on." He finished, finally looking at Scully. "I really am sorry," he finished, turning and leaving the room, and the two agents, in silence.

Chapter 3

It was 2 hours later when Doggett found Scully in the MRI lab. He came in and gave her a questioning look,

"Dana... what the hell are you doin' in here?" he asked incredulously. Scully looked at him and let out a deep breath,

"I couldn't stand it down there anymore," she said, turning her attention back to the monitor in front of her, "They're calling hospitals everywhere... divvying up Monica," she said angrily as her voice cracked, "They say they can do it as early as tomorrow... I had to get out of there," she added quietly, shaking her head.

Doggett said nothing... he placed a hand on her shoulder, silently telling her that he understood, and she knew it. He turned his attention to the monitor as well, looking at the picture scan of Reyes' brain.

"Did you find anything?" he asked gently. Scully cleared her throat, trying again to regain her composure,

"This area denotes some minor swelling, which is consistent with a subdural hematoma," Scully said, pointing to a section of Reyes' brain,

"Minor swelling, that's it?" Doggett asked.

"Well, I don't know what that means exactly... it's not like there's an exact formula for how much damage equals death, so... I don't know," Scully answered, "... I just don't know." she added, looking up at Doggett.

"What really bothers me, though, is this," Scully said, picking up some papers and shaking them at John.

"What's that?" he asked, his brows knitted together in confusion.

"This was the monitoring of her brain activity... electrical impulses," Scully offered in explanation,

"She had EEG monitoring from the time she coded, and it just stops here... right here," Scully said, pointing to the place on the chart that read 8:11 p.m. Doggett looked at the chart, his brows crinkling further.

"If we could figure out what happened here, maybe we could get some answers." Scully said, standing up and exiting the room quickly.

"Dana!" Doggett called after her, but she was gone.

A few minutes later, Scully had tracked-down Dr. Preiers. She wanted answers, and this man was the obvious place to start.

"Excuse me, Dr. Preiers," Scully said, interrupting the doctor as he made his rounds.

"I'm wondering about this moment, on my friends EEG tape, at 8:11 pm, when brain death apparently occurred?" she inquired, pointing to the EEG paperwork in her hand.

"You're reviewing our records?" the doctor asked, his face wearing an obvious look of surprise and indignation.

"Well... no offense, but... yes," Scully answered, suddenly feeling a little awkward. "I just need to know if there was some change in Monica's condition leading up to this?" she continued, pointing again to the papers.

"Agent Scully, if you're trying to build up a malpractice case against me, or this hospital-" Dr. Preiers said, his voice now laced with some anger,

"Oh no, I'm not... I'm just trying to get the facts, Doctor." Scully interjected, not wanting to piss him off and lose her one possible chance at getting answers. The doctor looked at her impatiently as she held her breath.

"Whitney, would you pull the code notes from earlier tonight, please?" Doctor Preiers finally acquiesced, glancing over to a nurse. Scully released her breath.

"Monica had a seat belt and an airbag protecting her thru the crash... the ambulance crew said she was conscious at the scene. I just think there may be something we're all missing." Scully explained as the doctor scribbled down something on a paper.

"I don't know that this will help you any, but this describes what my team and I did to save your friend. You can take it, copy it, study it at your leisure." Dr. Preiers quipped, handing some papers over to Scully. He gave her a curt look, then turned on his heel and walked away quickly, leaving Scully holding a blow-by-blow account of Reyes' apparent death.

A short time later, Dr. Preiers was sitting in a quiet room going over paperwork. The door opened and he turned to see his nurse, Whitney, in the doorway.

"Hey Whitney," the doctor acknowledged.

"Dr. Preiers, it's not my place to say, but," the nurse began hesitantly,

"You might want to review the code notes from tonight." She finished.

"Why's that?" the doctor inquired.

"Well, there was an injection that you gave Ms. Reyes that wasn't in the notes." The nurse added with some reluctance.

"I don't think so." Dr. Preiers answered dismissively.

"In the trauma bay... I saw you administer an IV push... I assumed it was epinephrine." The nurse added, unwilling to let the doctor brush it off.

"I have no memory of that," Dr. Preiers said, now seemingly confused. "Did anyone else see that?" he asked.

"I think just me, but, it happened. My only point being that if there is an investigation, this is the kind of inconsistency that malpractice lawyers love to get ahold of." The nurse added with a grin, hoping the doctor understood that she wasn't faulting him.

"Whitney... thank you so much for looking out for me." Dr. Preiers said, smiling at her. She smiled back, glad to have been able to point out the mistake. She turned and began to open the door... she never saw the doctor lunge at her.

He shoved her against the door, pinning her head with one hand as the other produced a needle. The stick found its mark quickly, plunging deeply into the nurse's jugular vein and releasing its poison into her unsuspecting system.

She would die quickly... she would not interfere with his plans.

Chapter 4

Scully sat in a small kiosk sipping coffee, a million thoughts flying 'round her head. The code notes that the doctor had given her seemed to make sense. They were methodical, they looked orderly, and it did seem that everything possible had been done to save Monica. But she just couldn't get over the sudden cessation of brain activity at 8:11 p.m. That part didn't make sense. Everything that had happened was logical, except for that. She could find no reason why Reyes' brain would just suddenly die. It didn't add up, and it was driving her crazy.

Aside from all that, she kept having thoughts and flashbacks about Monica. Everything from when they first met, to when William was born, to their simple interactions at the office. Monica meant much more to her than she was willing to admit, she realized that now. She felt ashamed that it took her apparent death to bring the thoughts crashing to the forefront.

<So typical,> she thought to herself sarcastically.

But what was it, exactly? What was the 'more'? Maybe it wasn't anything at all... maybe the feelings simply represented what it was like to really have a 'close' friend. Scully didn't know... it was confusing to delve into it so deeply. But... she did need to think about it. She hated having unresolved feelings - she had learned that lesson well - and she knew she couldn't continue to just brush it off.

<If it's more than just a friend, then what is it?> she thought, <She's like... like a sister? No...> Scully shook her head at herself, <Not like a sister... I feel a connection to her... a 'bond',> Scully silently mouthed the words, <She came into my life for a reason... she brought William into this world... she saved him... and me,> she thought as those events flashed quickly thru her mind again. <I trust her... I trust her with my life... I trust her with William, implicitly...> she thought as she scrunched her brows together, pondering harder.

Memories of Monica with William flooded her mind. All the times she'd taken care of him, at Scully's request... all the times she'd stopped over to watch him, or play with him for a little while... her complete ease with him... his complete security with her... she was his guardian angel.

<He is my entire life, and I trust her with him...> she frowned still harder and sighed quietly. <She's done so much for me... so much for William...> Scully thought, <I ask her to help, to come over, at the drop of a hat... and she's always there,> <She's risked her life for me, for both of us, repeatedly... and I treat her like she means nothing... I give her nothing in return, and still, she's always there...> she thought, feeling sheepish. <...what kind of 'friend' does that for you?> she wondered, releasing her brows. She sighed aloud again, closing her eyes and rubbing the back of her neck.

<Why am I thinking about all this now, anyway?> Scully thought, dropping her head into her hands and massaging her temples. She hated it when her feelings were muddled, but to immerse herself in it now just seemed pointless. These stupid thoughts and feelings were probably just one-sided anyway. Thinking for a moment about what Reyes might feel, Scully quickly decided that Monica's "open-mindedness" undoubtedly also applied to her feelings and her romantic life. Recalling things Reyes had said, and the way she always looked at her, one part of Scully knew that Monica probably felt something for her too. But the other part thought that, for all she knew, Reyes saw her merely as a friend... nothing more.

<Then why didn't "friend" fit the mold?> her subconscious protested. <Why can't my mind be satisfied with "just friends"?> she thought, sighing in frustration yet again. <And why am I contemplating Monica's romantic life, for chrissake?!> she thought, rolling her eyes and shaking her head.

Suddenly, Scully's mind was filled with vivid recollections and memories of specific things Monica had said... the way she looked at her with such incredible, unspoken appetency... the way an entire room felt when they were alone in one. Scully recalled the feelings that had washed over her, numerous times, when they were together... the nervous twist of her stomach... the slight pounding of her heart... Monica only needed to look at her and smile, and she melted. Yes, Reyes had to feel something, and she surely had to realize that it was mutual, too. Scully felt herself blush just thinking about it. And yet, she thought, Monica had never come on to her... she had never made a pass... she had never even hinted at it. So maybe it was nothing... maybe it was just all in her convoluted head.

<Damn, why am I thinking about this?!> she screamed to herself. She squeezed the sides of her head with her hands, trying to clear her mind. ...It wasn't working.

<Okay, so, what if it isn't all in my head?> her subconscious chirped again. <What if she does feel something for me? ...then what?> Scully shook her head and closed her eyes, praying that the thoughts would cease... realistically, she knew she'd have no such luck. Now that she had acknowledged that the thoughts and feelings existed, her mind would not let up.

She began to think about how the two of them kept the safety barriers up by calling each other 'Agent Reyes' and 'Agent Scully' most of the time. It was something Scully knew she did subconsciously, and apparently Reyes got the drift and decided to follow suit. Scully felt bad for being so formal and keeping the walls up... she was pretty sure that Reyes wouldn't hurt or betray her. She trusted her so much, and yet she still held her at arm's length. It was dj vu in a way... the same thing had happened between her and Mulder as well.


Even though she knew it would add to her confusion and frustration, she began to think about Mulder... and William. Her son... their son. She and Mulder had a child together. They had spent one night together... 8 lonely years of bottled-up frustrations and feelings, poured into one night of powerful desire and desperate sex. Loneliness and desire... ingredients for a memorable night and long days of regret.

But she didn't regret it. It wasn't a mistake -she did love Mulder... but... it wasn't a deep, passionate, or romantic love. It was... it was complicated, and mercurial, and sad, and intense -too intense - and... confusing. Too damn confusing. It wasn't a happy love, borne out of joy and desire... it was a love borne out of shared sorrows and frustrations, and loneliness... lots of loneliness. It wasn't what she wanted.

Mulder was too isolated and self-absorbed to be truly close to her... to be a real lover for her. She knew that... she had always known that. And she wasn't the best at being intimate either... he knew that too. They just weren't a good match for each other... they were better as partners and friends... very special friends, who loved each other, but couldn't be in love with each other.

Her eyes betrayed her yet again and began to tear-up. It was all so agonizing. Her wanting and desiring someone made her feel so melancholy. She didn't want to want anyone, or anything... and yet she couldn't deny that she longed for someone's attention and affection. Little William had filled a huge gap in her life... but she still felt emptiness. It was an emptiness that could only be filled by another person... a companion... a lover.

As much as she hated to admit it, she found her thoughts drifting back to Monica. She envisioned what she looked like, in her mind. She saw Monica standing next to her, watching her raptly... that Mona Lisa smile curling her lips slightly... her dark eyes piercing... watching. She always knew when Reyes was looking at or watching her... she could feel her eyes on her. The look was intense and consuming, and yet... gentle and open. She had such an obvious kindness in her face; even when she was perplexed about something, her face was benign. Scully suddenly envisioned the two of them leaning in toward each other, slowly... their lips touching... tongues snaking out... warmth spreading all thru her face... rushing down her neck... spreading out across her chest...

<No, no, no, no... don't do this to yourself... not now,> Scully said internally. She had to stop this... it wasn't doing either of them any good, and she knew it. She had to push the feelings aside, again, and concentrate on the tasks at hand--

Scully's thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a loud, shrill scream and the sudden commotion of nearby people.

Chapter 5

The body of nurse Whitney Lewis lay lifeless on the metal autopsy gurney. She had been found by another hospital staff member and was DOA... cause of death, unknown. Scully had summoned Doggett to the bay where the woman now lay.

"What exactly are you... thinking?" Doggett said, his voice indicating that he was confused by Scully's rash actions.

"She helped work on Monica," Scully said, hoping that would be enough explanation. John merely looked at her with confusion.

"I started asking questions about what happened in the trauma bay, and she very inconveniently drops dead...?" Scully added, hoping that he would get the point.

"And you're thinking that somebody murdered her to cover something up?" he asked, his tone still implying that he didn't believe it.

"Yes," Scully said emphatically. "If you were going to get rid of someone who knew what you were up to, how would you go about doing it? How would you make it look like natural causes?" she added. Doggett paused for a moment, then shrugged his shoulders and shook his head silently.

"Well, I'd use a fast-acting barbiturate, like pentobarbital, and I'd use a small-bore needle to make it next to impossible to find an injection mark." Scully explained.

"Next to impossible?" Doggett asked skeptically.

"That's right... that's why I'm perfect for this job," Scully said, snapping on a pair of latex examining gloves.

"We should also probably test her blood while we're at it," Scully added, handing Doggett a piece of paper and giving him an assuming look as she bent down to begin her examination of the nurse's body.

"Scully," Doggett interrupted, and she looked up at him,

"I'm happy to do this for you... just don't kid yourself that this is somehow going to... bring her back," he said gently, looking at her with kind, sad eyes. They stared at each other for a few moments, until Scully turned away and dipped her head back down to begin her inspection.

Scully walked down the hallway quickly, searching for John. When she rounded the corner at the nurses' station, she saw him on the telephone. He hung up quickly when he saw her.

"Monica's parents are on their way from Mexico City... they're coming to say goodbye," Doggett said solemnly.

"Well they can say 'hello' instead... no one is shutting off her life support system - not with what I've got," Scully said defiantly as she handed several folders to Doggett.

"What are these?" he asked as Scully guided him away from the nurses' station.

"Test results and patient files," she explained in a hushed voice. "The blood tests on the nurse were positive, and I found what could be an injection mark," Scully said. Doggett looked at her with obvious surprise. She continued,

"There are also two other men who were declared brain-dead, same as Monica... all three have something else in common too," she said, opening one of the folders,

"...check out the attending physician," she said, pointing to a signature,

"Dr. Jack Preiers," Doggett read aloud.

"He's some kind of 'Dr. Death'... must get off on pulling the plug on his own patients. He did it last night to this guy, Barrero," Scully said, pointing again to the folder. Doggett read quickly,

"Well, yeah... at the request of the family," Doggett said, frowning and giving Scully a confused look. Scully made a small face and shook her head,

"What I'm saying is, what if he poisoned Barrero in the first place?" she said emphatically.

"What if he's... selling their organs on the black market or something, under the guise of 'donation'?" she said, looking intently at Doggett, who now had his brows knitted together very seriously. The wheels were definitely turning inside his head.

"This other guy, Steven Murdock - same as Monica," Scully said assuredly, "...a tox-screen will prove it," she added, answering Doggett's unspoken question about the evidence.

"Monica is alive, John, same as Murdock... we've got to help them both get back," she said, looking at Doggett earnestly. They stared at each other for only a second before they quickly rushed off in search of Steven Murdock.

After literally running all over the hospital, Doggett and Scully finally found Steven Murdock's room... but they were too late. They ran up to the window just in time to see someone pulling a sheet up over his obviously dead body, his grieving family standing by his bedside. Scully turned and looked dejectedly at Doggett, who let out a sigh of frustration. When they both looked back into the room, a familiar face greeted them... Dr. Preiers was staring directly at both of them.

"Son of a bitch," Doggett murmured in disbelief. Scully glared at the doctor, inwardly hoping that his head would explode. They were obviously going to have to do some more digging to nail this guy, and Scully was more than willing to pick up the shovel and run with it. They didn't have much time... Scully could feel Monica's life slipping away with each passing minute.

Chapter 6

It was only about an hour later when Scully, through the powers of persuasion that an FBI badge holds, managed to get herself into a hospital lab to do a tox-screen on Steven Murdock and Monica. She was hunched over a microscope, looking at smears from the test results and reading the corresponding data on the lab computer.

She had no idea that she was being watched... she was oblivious to the fact that her life was suddenly in as much danger as Monica's.

Dr. Preiers stood in the hallway, barely peering thru the lab window. He was more than angry that these intrusive FBI agents had uncovered the plans of his ingenious, and extremely profitable, organ-selling racket... he was murderously livid. They were so stupid... they had no idea of the kind of money he could make from this woman who was their friend. Well they weren't going to ruin it... not when he had just broken into the international market and was doing so well... no fucking way. This meddling little red-headed bitch had to go... and then her two friends next.

The doctor silently reached into his lab coat and withdrew a small, slender needle. He twirled it around in his fingers and looked into the room again, eyeing his target carefully... she wouldn't even know what hit her...

Suddenly someone grabbed the doctor by the side of his head, slamming him up against the wall with great force and grabbing the hand that held the needle. His arm twisted painfully behind his back, causing him to drop the needle to the floor.

"What are you doin' Doctor?!" Doggett growled fiercely into Dr. Preiers' face as he kept his body pushed tight against the wall. Scully, hearing the commotion, rushed out into the hall and stopped in her tracks when she saw Doggett holding Preiers. John looked over at her triumphantly... they had their killer... now all they needed was Monica.

Everything checked-out, as Scully suspected. Barrero, Murdock, the Trauma Nurse, and Monica all Had been given lethal doses of a barbiturate, secretly administered by Dr. Preiers. He intentionally caused their brain-deaths so that he could profit from the sale of their organs. The case was solved; Preiers was arrested and taken away. Scully should have been happy... but she wasn't.

Early the next morning, Monica still lay in her bed... unmoving... unawake... and still no brain activity. Scully was sitting silently at her bedside, staring unmotionless, when Doggett entered,

"The transplant teams are in place," Doggett said quietly. Scully looked up at him, teary-eyed and angry that he, after all they'd done, was still so willing to just give up. She gave him a disgusted look and shook her head, returning her gaze to Reyes.

"Scully... you nailed Preiers... we've done what we can... but the fact still remains," he said, looking down and motioning at Monica's still-unconscious form.

"...She's gone, Dana," he whispered.

"They're not cutting her up," Scully said with a quavering voice, looking up at Doggett with defiance. He looked up over her head, sighing out loud. Scully pushed her chair back away from the bed and stood up, turning to leave the room.

"Dana," Doggett interrupted, "I'm still waiting for your argument," he said, wanting to know Scully's reason for thinking that there was still some kind of hope.

"If you have something to convince me, or convince the doctors that somehow, she's alive...?" he asked again, feeling like he had to pull the thoughts out of her head. He had a feeling that she didn't have any real, tangible reasons... she was just hoping for a miracle, pure and simple. Scully turned and looked at him, tears filling her eyes...

"...J-John? ...Dana?" a feeble voice called out.

Both Scully and Doggett's heads snapped to look down at Reyes. Her eyes fluttered, once... twice... and then they opened.

"...My god," Doggett mumbled.

Scully and Doggett looked at each other incredulously, their eyes and mouths wide with disbelief. Scully looked quickly up at the EEG monitor and saw that it was indeed registering activity. They weren't hallucinating... it was real...

Monica was awake.

A slow, wide smile spread across Scully's face as she quickly reached out and took Monica's hand in hers and clasped it gently. Reyes smiled back at her. The tears that had filled Scully's eyes now spilled out unchecked.

"Welcome back," she whispered to Reyes.

Chapter 7

Scully stayed at Monica's side the whole time the doctors and nurses checked her over... and over... and over. Everyone was shocked at her comeback, to say the least, especially Doggett. He had left the room some time ago to go spread the good news.

Reyes' eyes had been closed for a long spell, causing a slight panic to rise inside Scully. But soon enough, the dark, foggy orbs reopened, quelling Dana's fears. Monica lazily blinked her eyes and looked up at the ceiling, then slowly let her eyes travel around the room... side to side... over at the monitors... then finally back to Scully, who was still watching her carefully, concern etched on her face. They exchanged gentle smiles with each other,

"I knew you were here," Reyes said with a gravelly voice. Scully looked at her with surprise,

"You did?" she asked quizzically.

"Mmm... I could feel you," Monica said, closing her eyes briefly, "...I could even smell your perfume," she added, still keeping her eyes closed, as though reliving the sensation. Scully didn't say anything, but she felt the beginnings of a blush sneak up her cheeks. Reyes opened her eyes again and looked at her,

"Thank you... for not giving up on me," she said quietly, regarding Scully with serious eyes. Scully didn't know what to say... she could only lick her lips quickly and smile self-consciously, dropping her gaze for a moment. When she looked back at Reyes, Monica's eyes were filled with tears. She reached her hand out to Scully, silently asking for her comfort. Scully gladly obliged, and they sat in silence, clasping hands and giving thanks to whomever was listening.

It was three days later when Reyes finally got the okay to be released. Scully was amused at Monica's impatience with being hospital-bound. She had been a good patient, but was terribly anxious. Scully smiled to herself as she rounded the corridor corner near Monica's room. She was here to take her home, and she knew that Reyes would be glad to see her... and, truthfully, she was glad to be seeing her as well. Monica had come out of this incident with flying colors, and Scully liked to think that she had something to do with that. She wanted so much to start repaying Reyes' kindness, and she hoped that this was the beginning of a great friendship between them.

She opened the door, not thinking to knock, and walked inside. The bed was empty.

"Monica?" Scully called out instinctively.

"Yeah?" a voice called from the bathroom. Seeing the light on and the door open, Scully walked further into the room, toward the bathroom.

"I thought you might be - oh...," Scully said, stopping abruptly when she reached the doorway and saw Reyes standing at the mirror dressed only in pants and a bra.

"I'm sorry... I, uh... I should have knocked first," Scully stammered, momentarily taken aback by Reyes' state of undress. Monica merely looked at her and smiled,

"That's okay. I was just getting ready," she said amiably, obviously unfazed by her appearance as she dabbed on a little makeup. "I just wanted to put something on my face to make me look a little more human," Reyes said, smiling again at Scully. Scully let out a nervous laugh,

"Oh, nonsense... you look... good," she mumbled, cursing herself for bumbling like an idiot. Her face was suddenly burning-hot, and she turned around and started to walk away, desperate to conceal her obvious embarrassment.

"Hey, would you hand me my blouse, please?" Monica called after her.

"Uhm... sure," Scully said, realizing with some dread that she was going to have to go back in there. This was ridiculous. Seeing another woman half-dressed should not be a big deal, but, for some reason, all Scully could think about was the soft, warm tone of Monica's naked skin... and the black lacey bra that covered her perfect-looking breasts. Scully cringed and cursed herself as she grabbed the white blouse off the bed and walked back to the bathroom, determined to act normal. Reyes was putting her things in a bag and turned to look at Scully, smiling blithely again,

"Thanks," she said, turning and taking the garment. It was then that Scully noticed the huge contusion on her left upper arm. Obviously it was from the accident, but it was still surprising.

"Jesus, Monica... that's quite a bruise," Scully said, reaching her hand out to touch the purple blotch on Reyes' shoulder.

"Oh, I know. Nice, isn't it?" Monica said, twisting her mouth sarcastically. "You should see the one on my hip," Reyes added, as she quickly unzipped her pants and pulled down the left side.

Scully's eyes looked at the bluish-purple mass on Monica's hip, but her mind was busy taking-in at all the curves and skin that had suddenly been revealed... not to mention the matching black underwear. She didn't realize that enough time had elapsed that Reyes was now looking at her quizzically, wondering what she was staring at. Scully finally managed to snap out of it and look up quickly,

"Ouch," she said simply, forcing a stupid grin at Monica, who was looking at her curiously. Another flush spread across Scully's face, and she swallowed hard, cursing herself again.

"Yeah, well... it could have been a lot worse, right?" Reyes said.

"Mm-hmm," Scully replied vaguely, nodding her head and averting her gaze nervously. Monica slipped her shirt on, noticing that Dana was looking everywhere but at her, and her face was flushed.

"You okay?" she asked, touching Dana's arm and looking at her intently.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Scully replied, forcing another smile and a small laugh. Suddenly, Monica was too close to her... she had to get out of there. "It's a little warm in here," she said, making a small face as she fluffed her jacket and walked out of the bathroom quickly, leaving Monica puzzled.

<Well this is something new... Dana Scully, flustered,> Reyes thought to herself as she buttoned her shirt and tucked it neatly into her pants. Her hand hesitated on the zipper of her pants as realization dawned on her. Had Scully been bothered to see her like this, half-dressed...? Reyes zipped her pants slowly, contemplating the situation for a moment.

How could something as unremarkable as seeing someone getting dressed upset the super-sober, ultra-rational Dana Scully? ...the poster-girl for the 21st century-Independent-Women's-Club-of-America ...the epitome of calm, cool, collected and in-control, Reyes thought. And, besides all that... she's straight as an arrow.

<So... what's with her getting wigged-out by my being nekked?> Reyes asked herself again. If it had affected her, was it good, or bad?

Reyes stared into the mirror for a moment, rapidly flipping thru the numerous possibilities like a rolodex in her mind. Being the glass-is-half-full-type thinker that she is, she of course envisioned them all being good... very good. She knew long ago that she had the hots for Scully, and she admitted to ogling her when nobody was looking. She had numerous fantasies about that petite little body and the flaming red hair - this was a very attractive woman, she reasoned. But, realistically of course, she knew they were just the over-active imaginings of a lonely, and horny, bisexual chick who needed a date, badly. She knew Scully was straight, and she knew that she was taken - really taken.

<She had a baby... to Mulder... hell-oOo?> Reyes scolded herself. <There's no way she'd be checking me out in any way.> <...and yet never know...?> her pollyanna side wondered. Reyes laughed at herself, thinking about the many times she and Scully had talked about being 'open to extreme possibilities'.

<Yeah... too bad that being turned-on by me isn't one of those extremes,> Reyes thought with a wry smirk. <Keep your lust in-check, stupid, or you'll ruin everything,> Reyes scolded herself. <She's probably just distracted about something else, that's all.>

Sighing out loud, Monica shook her head, casting the thoughts aside as she turned to give herself one last appraisal in the mirror. Putting on a happy face, she walked out the bathroom, more than ready to go home and get the hell outta the hospital at last.

Chapter 8

"Oh my god, I never thought I'd be so glad to be home!" Reyes exulted as she walked in the door of her apartment.

Scully followed her in, closing the door behind her and watching as Reyes dropped her bag and stretched her arms up in the air. She grinned to herself and looked around the apartment for a few moments, admiring what Reyes had done with the place and wondering just how much of the decor reflected the real Monica.

"Hey, you're going to hang around for a little while, aren't you?" Reyes asked, pulling Scully out of her thoughts.

"Uhm, yeah... I guess I can stay for a bit," Scully answered, removing her jacket and handing it over.

"Good. Listen, since I'm sure I don't have anything edible in the fridge, how 'bout we order something in?" Monica called out as she took the jacket to deposit it somewhere.

"Uhm, okay... that sounds good," Scully said, feeling the rumblings of swirling butterflies in her stomach.

<Dinner with Monica... in her apartment... sure... no problem,> Scully thought inwardly. "No problem, so long as you don't whip-out the wine and candles," Scully mumbled quietly to herself.

Dinner went smoothly, and although there were no candles, Reyes did have wine, which Scully downed thankfully. She needed to relax, and the wine seemed to help her do just that. They were sitting on the couch, talking about all the times they had each been in the hospital and/or unconscious, when Monica told Scully that this time had been very different for her.

"Have you ever had an out-of-body experience?" Reyes asked Scully seriously. Dana paused, pondering the question,

"Yes, I think I have," Scully said.

"Well, I have too, only... this time was different. This time... it was... so vivid." Reyes said. Scully said nothing, she just watched Monica intently and sipped from her glass.

"I mean... I can remember every detail. It's like... I was in limbo... in another world... another dimension, and yet... I could sense and feel you, here in this world," Reyes said, looking at Scully.

"I remember thinking that I had to get out... that I had to reach you somehow," Reyes added, "I knew you were there... watching me... waiting for me," she finished soberly. Scully's brows shot up, and she hesitated for a moment,

"Just me? Not John?" Scully asked. Monica paused, thinking,

"No... not John. Just you." She answered, staring directly at Scully. Dana swallowed hard and stared back at Reyes' dark, earthy eyes. They were piercing her with such intensity, she felt the hair on her neck stand up. Swallowing hard, she managed to speak,

"Well... I was in your room pretty often... y'know," she mumbled. "I don't think it's a far stretch to believe that your conscious mind knew that I was there, while your subconscious mind experienced an altered state that-"

"No... I don't think that's it," Reyes interrupted, still staring. Scully could feel herself becoming more unglued as each moment passed. If Monica was trying to get under her skin, it was working.

"Well then... what do you think it was?" Scully said quietly, her voice inadvertently dropping as she tried to pretend she was in control. Monica still stared back at her,

"...I don't know," she lied quietly, shrugging her shoulders a little and finally breaking the stare.

<Oh bullshit... you know,> Scully thought to herself as Reyes wordlessly got up off the sofa and took the plates to the kitchen. What was going thru that complex mind of hers? What did she want to say?

<Jesus... why don't you just tell her how amazingly beautiful you think she looks again, you idiot!> Reyes scolded herself as she carelessly tossed the plates into the sink. She was normally so calm, even when in a romantic situation... hell, she prided herself on that. So why did Dana always make her feel and act so juvenile?

<Because you've got one helluva crush on her, stupid.> Of course she had a crush on her... who wouldn't? She was smart, strong, sensible, and... incredibly sexy. Reyes wondered if Scully had any idea how gorgeous she was, or if she knew that she made Monica's knees buckle whenever she walked into a room. Moreover, she wondered if she had any idea how much she scared her to death.

"I guess I should get going," Scully said as she entered the kitchen, making Reyes jump slightly.

"Oh... do you have to?" Reyes said, looking and feeling genuinely disappointed.

"Yah, I have to go get William," Scully apologized. Reyes made a small face,

"Mmm... I understand. I'll get your jacket."

As Reyes left the room, Scully felt a slight twinge of guilt for deserting her. She was enjoying the company, and she really felt bad for leaving Monica alone. She could say that it was because she had just gotten released from a doctor's care, but... she knew the real reason why. Monica had been close to opening-up to her, and in some strange way, Scully thought that she would have welcomed the chance for them to put all their cards on the table. But... it seemed that it wasn't meant to be.

Scully sighed to herself and walked out to the door. Reyes appeared with her jacket and a slightly forlorn look on her face. Scully smiled at her and put her coat on, wishing she could say something meaningful, but having no idea what that might be.

"Listen, Dana...," Reyes began, and Scully felt her heart skip a beat in trepidation,

"I just want to thank you - I mean, really thank you - for everything you've done for me." Reyes said with genuine warmth.

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Monica," Scully said with a smile, more with relief than anything else, "You don't have to thank me for anything. It's the least I could do, really."

"Well, whatever. I just want you to know that I'm truly appreciative," Reyes added, smiling gently.

"I know," Scully said quietly, smiling back.

Then, before she could prepare herself, Reyes leaned forward and slipped her arms around Scully's shoulders, drawing her in for a full-on hug. Scully's instinct was to stiffen at first, but once she realized what was happening, she felt her body soften, and she returned the hug as well. It only lasted for a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity to each of them. Reyes reveled in the warmth and softness of Scully's small body pressed against hers; Scully thrilled at the intimate touch of someone she now was undoubtedly developing feelings for.

They finally broke from the embrace, but remained very close, their hands still touching each other's arms. They stared into one another's eyes again, both suddenly realizing that this moment could, quite possibly, mark a turning point in their relationship... if someone acted on it. While Scully was scared shitless at the overwhelming emotions coursing thru her body, all Reyes could think was how much she wanted to kiss Dana. Reyes unconsciously licked her lips, making Scully's chest constrict painfully. Scully licked her lips in response and swallowed hard,

"Well... I-I should be going," she murmured quietly, releasing her hands from Reyes' arms and silently chickening-out.

"Yeah... okay," Reyes whispered back as she also relinquished her hold. Dana quirked another nervous smile, then turned and headed out the door. Reyes watched her go with her heart in her throat, all the while thinking, <don't go don't go don't go>. She almost gasped out loud when Scully stopped suddenly and turned around,

"I'll call you later, okay?" Reyes broke into a wide grin,


Chapter 9

Dammit!! The perfect opportunity had just leapt up, right in front of her, and she hadn't done a damn thing about it. Monica sighed aloud as she trudged thru her living room and into the kitchen, mulling over the events that had just taken place.

In her wildest dreams, she never thought that Scully would be here, in her apartment, licking her luscious lips and making goo-goo eyes... even if it was only momentary. How she had avoided laying a full-fledged smackeroo on those lips, she'd never know. Dana looked ravishing, as always, and Monica wondered if she had acted or looked as wolfish as she had felt. Her overriding thought, however, was how Dana had felt in her arms when they embraced each other. True, it had only been a little hug, but oh... it felt absolutely divine. Scully's petite form pressed against her... the fragrance of her hair... the way her eyes had looked... it was something Reyes knew she'd never forget. Yeah, well, she knew how she felt... the question now was... how did Dana feel?

Oh my God... did Monica want her? Or was that hug a friendly 'thank-you' only? Scully didn't know... all she knew was that the feeling of Monica's body pressing against hers still resonated within her. She doubted that the hug was supposed to turn her on, but... it did. It most definitely did. Scully's thoughts toggled back and forth between the ramifications of having feelings for Monica, to the appearance of a sudden pain in her chest, undoubtedly caused by her thudding heart. Her head was spinning, and she couldn't decide which thought to concentrate on. She put some quiet music on instead, forcing herself to hum along with the old classics. That was fine and good until Johnny Mathis started crooning,

"...It's not for me to say... you love me; It's not for me to say... you'll always care; Oh, but here, for the moment, I can hold you fast And press your lips to mine And dream the love will last.

As far as I can see... this is heaven; And speaking just for me... it's ours to share.

Perhaps, the glow of love will grow, With every passing day; Or, we may never meet again But then... It's not for me to say..."

Scully groaned aloud and reached down, snapping off the radio abruptly so she could think clearly. But alas, she was confused more than ever, and now, aroused too.

After she got home and got Wills to bed, Scully plopped herself down on the sofa, determined to watch some tv and relax. She needed to get her mind off of 'things'. However, she soon found her mind hopelessly straying from the tv to thoughts of Monica, and the reality of possibly having a real relationship with her.

She couldn't help but wonder about the prudence of getting involved with a co-worker. Well, they weren't exactly co-workers, but still... they saw each other often enough that it would be... what? Uncomfortable? Awkward? Hard to conceal? She didn't know. All she could think was, what if it didn't work out? Then what? It would be beyond awkward... it would ruin everything. Maybe it wasn't worth that risk? Sure, she found Monica attractive, and they seemed to 'connect', but did that mean they should really try to pursue something? Scully could admit that she was lonely and she had urges, and maybe Monica could fulfill some of those urges, but... it would probably be foolish to attempt some type of 'relationship', only to have it end later and cause an uneasy rift between them. She wasn't being a killjoy either - failure certainly was a possibility. So... was it worth the risk? Should they remain 'just friends'? God... she didn't know... and now she had a headache the size of Texas.

Sighing aloud, Scully kicked her feet up on her sofa and stretched out. She began to drift off to sleep, but her mind danced unbidden with thoughts.

<It would be nice to try it out, wouldn't it?> Scully's sleepy mind thought. <I could use a big, healthy dose of passionate sex from someone like her... a warm, soft, body... so giving... so alive... filling me with life... Mmm... god, that'd be soooo nice...,> she pondered, until consciousness left her for the night, and she entered her own state of limbo.

Two days later, the workweek had come to an end, and it was Friday. Scully had put-off calling Monica for those two days, even though she knew she shouldn't. She was hesitant, and knew exactly why. Barely nothing else had entered her mind those few days besides Monica and the feelings that had arisen between them. The problem was, she was still confused, and she still didn't know what to do about any of it.

<I have to call her... I have to talk to her,> Scully scolded herself. <She must be wondering why I haven't called... well, no, that probably isn't true,> she acknowledged.

Monica wasn't stupid... surely she recognized the tension and the turmoil raging inside Scully... but what must she think? What must she feel? Scully desperately wanted - no, needed - to know. ...And she knew there was only one way to find out.

Filled with a sudden determination and an urgent need to quell the madness inside her head, Scully grabbed the phone and dialed her Mother's number.

Chapter 10

Reyes bopped her head and swayed rhythmically to the music, singing along with Gwen Stefani's vocals as she stirred the little saucepan of chicken gumbo soup. Lifting the spoon to her lips, she blew and slurped a little, licking and tasting the hot concoction.

"Well, it's nothing like New Orleans, but it'll do in a pinch," she muttered to herself, licking the rest of the spoon clean.

The doorbell chimed, and she turned her head, wondering who it could be. Peering out the peephole, she grinned at the sight of red hair and blue eyes.

"Hi," Reyes said, opening the door to greet Scully.

"Hi," Scully tried to say assuredly, but failed. "Uhm... I'm sorry I didn't call first... I just wanted to stop by... see how you were doing," Scully offered, trying this time to sound nonchalant, but everything was coming out just sounding pathetic and nervous.

"That's okay... I'm glad you came," Reyes replied, sounding equally edgy. They stared at each other awkwardly for a moment,

"Is that for me, or...?" Reyes finally said, pointing to the pizza box in Scully's hands.

"Yes, yes... I'm sorry," Scully laughed, looking quickly at the box and offering it to Reyes. Monica chuckled and took it, opening the door wider and stepping aside for Scully to enter.

"This is great - I was just about to eat some really boring soup," Reyes said, sitting the pizza on the coffee table.

"Sit down - I'll get some plates and drinks," she added as she disappeared into the kitchen. Scully shed her coat and sat down on the sofa. She was glad she had changed into something casual - Monica had on a white tee shirt and jeans, which somehow made her less threatening and more comfortable. Aside from that... she looked fabulous.

Reyes frantically dug in her cupboards for some plates, all the while chanting to herself, <don't blow it this time, don't blow it this time, don't blow it this time...>

She was so excited that Dana was here, and yet, she was nervous as hell, wondering what the night held.

<just take it easy... don't be stupid... take it easy,> she now chanted, feeling hopelessly love-struck.

After she finally calmed herself down, Reyes skittered out to the living room with plates, napkins, and some wine.

"Here we go... sorry 'bout that," she mumbled, realizing that Dana must be wondering what was taking so long.

"No problem," Scully replied, trying to sound casual.

<Yah, 'no problem' for you maybe,> Reyes thought sarcastically.

They slapped some of the pizza onto their plates and sunk their teeth into the cheesy dough almost in tandem, both eliciting an "Mmmm" sound, and subsequently chuckling in unison.

"Why does it always taste better when someone else brings it?" Reyes quipped while she poured some wine.

"Because... it's more special," Scully replied, quickly concealing her sly grin with a sip of wine. Monica could only answer with a suspicious smile, which she in turn hid by biting into her slice again. It seemed that Dana had come here to play tonight... Reyes' heart skipped a beat.

"So... how have you been feeling?" Scully said, determined to make some 'safe' small-talk.

"I'm doing pretty good, I think," Reyes said.

"Well, you look... really good," Scully blurted out before she could think. Realizing how that sounded, she quickly averted her gaze and again reached for her wine glass to wash down the heat that was rapidly rising in her cheeks. As usual, she sucked at small-talk.

"Thanks," Monica replied quietly as a self-conscious blush rushed over her body. She noticed that Scully had given her the once-over when she made that comment, and it turned her on and intimidated her at the same time. A moment of silence ensued as both women chewed their pizza and fought with themselves for some semblance of control. It was almost comical, Reyes thought to herself, and she nearly laughed out loud at the thought of them acting like infatuated high school teenagers. Instead, she thought she'd try to talk about something else.

"So... where's Wills?" Monica inquired.

"Staying with Grandma... she insisted." Scully answered in-between swallows.

"Mmm... lucky you." Monica said, raising her brows and grinning. Scully gave a little laugh and felt yet another blush touch her cheeks, even though she refused to think about why.

"Did I tell you she got a dog?" Scully said, trying to change the topic.

"She did? ...Wow. I guess that's probably a good idea," Monica answered.

"Yah, well... its not what you think," Scully said with a mischievous grin. Monica looked at her quizzically.

"I was expecting this... black lab, or something - y'know like a 'guard dog' - and when I went to see her last weekend, I was greeted by this little, white, yipping puff-ball!" she said with a giggle. Monica smiled.

"It was so funny, I couldn't help it... Mom didn't think it was very funny though," she finished, still chuckling slightly as she took another drink. Reyes smiled and laughed with her. Although Scully didn't know it, the mere sight of her laughing turned Monica on even more, if that was possible.

<God she's gorgeous,> Reyes thought unconsciously as she stared at Scully hungrily. <Shit! Shit! > she screamed inside her head. She took a big gulp of wine, trying to calm herself, and her libido.

"Having a pet is a good idea," Reyes said quickly, trying to get her mind out of the gutter. "They say people with pets live longer. ...I was thinking maybe I should get a cat...?" she added, cocking her head thoughtfully.

"A cat?" Scully asked, raising an eyebrow. "You don't strike me as a cat person." She said with a slight grin.

"Oh? Well what DO I strike you as?" Reyes asked, feigning indignance.

"I dunno... there are dog-people, and there are cat-people... I think you're more a dog-person," Scully offered in explanation. Reyes grinned at her,

"Oh really? ...and why is that?" she asked, grinning playfully.

"Well, you're... faithful... you're dependable... you're without guile, and you're... very comfortable to be around." Scully said, still smiling, but feeling it drain away rapidly as Monica regarded her intensely. Realizing what she was inferring, Scully swallowed hard as the long stares continued, finally managing to clear her throat,

"So... why a cat?" Scully asked, repositioning her slight smile in hopes of lightening the mood again.

"I dunno," Monica said, shrugging and finally breaking her gaze, "They're low maintenance, and they don't expect much from you, so you can't disappoint them...?" she added, looking back at Scully with a smirk. Scully's face grew serious, and she took a turn staring at Reyes for a moment,

"I don't see you disappointing anyone, Monica." Scully said lowly, the look on her face and in her eyes turning very grave.

Reyes' smirk fell from her lips as she regarded Scully soberly. The two women stared at each other again as time seemed to stand still, dark hazel eyes locked with bottomless ocean-blue. Monica swallowed hard, her throat bobbing reflexively as she ventured a glance down to Scully's lips. She wanted to kiss her... she wanted it so badly she could taste it on her tongue. She unconsciously licked her lips, and unwittingly sent a chill racing straight up Scully's spine and onto the back of her neck. Every hair on the back of Scully's neck was erect, and she suddenly felt like she was going to throw up.

Reyes could visibly see the rush of color steal across Scully's cheeks; it excited her to know that Scully was feeling something. Here was that opportunity again... right in front of her, literally. Should she take the chance? ...or should she continue to sit here and stare...? Her mind was still volleying back and forth when something else took hold of the situation and made the decision... the responsible party was, of course, her heart.

Chapter 11 (NC-17)

Monica slowly leaned in to Scully, closing the gap between them. Dana's eyes fluttered shut as she felt soft, warm lips gently descend upon her own. A full-blown blush completely took over her entire body, and she felt something wet dampen her panties.

Reyes halted the kiss and pulled back, wanting to see Scully's face before she went any further... and she did want to go further. The face that greeted her was flushed pink, the rosebud lips parted, and the eyes glazed-over and barely open. It was the unmistakable look of desire... of lust... and it nearly made Reyes explode. She wanted so desperately to take possession of Scully and ravish her with her mouth and hands. She wanted to feel them touching, skin to skin, with no boundaries, and she wanted to hear the cries of ecstasy as they fell over the edge. But... she had to be certain. She didn't want to make a fool of herself.

"Dana... I -" Reyes began, but Scully put her finger to her lips, silencing her.

"Shhh...," Scully whispered quietly as she began to trace her finger over Reyes' full lips. She let it glide over the upper lip, then down and across the lower... all the while, she watched it, as though entranced by its movement. Now it was Monica's turn to breathe unsteadily as her lips parted and the heat spread throughout her body. Scully was reducing her to a pile of mush, and there wasn't a damn thing she could do to stop it.

As Scully's finger finished brushing across Reyes' lower lip, she brought it up and carefully pushed the tip into Monica's mouth, forcing her to open her jaw slightly and allow the digit inside. The two women looked at each other wide-eyed, a mixture of shock and swirling desire arose in their eyes as Reyes gently began to suck and swirl her tongue around the finger.

Scully's mouth dropped open and she stared incredulously at Reyes' marvelous mouth and what it was doing to her unsuspecting finger. Unable to stand it anymore, Scully pulled her finger out and pushed both her hands into Monica's hair, pulling her face toward her own. This time, Reyes was prepared. She allowed Scully to demonstrate her need first by scalding their lips with a thousand-watt kiss. Then, Monica began to return the contact with her own ferocity, probing with her tongue while she slipped her arms around Scully's shoulders.

Scully let a quiet moan escape from the back of her throat, causing Reyes to stop for a moment and break the contact. Her body protested as it throbbed with need, but she really needed to make sure that this was right... that it wasn't going to be another one-nighter... god knows she'd had enough of those. Scully's lips were glistening and swollen from the onslaught, her chest heaved with ragged breaths, and her eyes were dilated and dancing with fire. She looked at Reyes for a moment, then made a move to continue their act of fusion, when Reyes halted her,

"Wait, Dana...," she started. Scully gave her a confused look. "I just want to be sure... I mean... are you sure this is what you want? Because-" Reyes faltered, but Scully cut her off,

"Of course it's what I want," she said as she started to lean in, but Reyes stopped her again,

"No, what I meant was...," she hesitated, afraid to vocalize her thoughts.

"What about... Mulder?" Reyes whispered, looking fearfully at Scully. Suddenly it all made sense to Scully. Reyes obviously did have feelings for her - maybe for a long time - but she didn't know what was going on with Mulder. So this is why she's never made any kind of 'move'... this is why it's all been so excruciatingly silent. She smiled warmly at Reyes,

"Monica... Mulder and I...," she hesitated, wanting to say it just right, "Mulder and I care for each other, a lot... and, we will always share something special, but...," she paused again, "But, we could never be in love with each other... we both know it would never work," she said, looking at Reyes. "Whatever we had between us at one time... it just wasn't meant to be." she said, trying as best she could to make Monica see that it was true. Reyes dropped her gaze and nodded slightly, making Scully think that she hadn't done a very good job of describing the situation.

"What about you and Brad Follmer?" Scully asked lightly, trying to draw a parallel. Monica let out a little laugh and looked up at her,

"That was nothing... and it was a long time ago, besides," she said with a small grin.

"I don't think he thinks that," Scully said, arching one eyebrow. Reyes grinned again,

"Well, it doesn't really matter what he thinks... does it?" she answered, reaching out to brush her fingers along Scully's jaw. "It only matters what you and I think... doesn't it?" she whispered, leaning in and bestowing a tender kiss to Scully's lips. Dana couldn't say anything, she just closed her eyes and relished the contact. Reyes broke away but held her face close,

"Tell me what you think, Dana?" she whispered against Scully's lips. Scully opened her eyes, staring into Reyes' dark, intense gaze. She felt like she was being sucked-in and swallowed whole, and she didn't want the overpowering feelings to stop now.

"I think... I want you, Monica," she murmured. Reyes smiled only for a second before Scully pushed her hands into her hair again and captured her mouth in a hungry kiss. Their bodies connected and their tongues clashed as they told each other how they felt thru their actions. Scully grew bolder with each passing moment, and Reyes grew more eager to take it to the next level. It seemed like they had making-out for an eternity when Monica suddenly broke them apart,

"Why don't we take this someplace more... comfortable?" she asked, cocking her head and glancing toward her bedroom. Scully's heart lept into her throat, but she remained calm.

"Okay," she said simply, quirking a nervous smile.

They got up off the couch, Scully allowing Reyes to lead her silently to the bedroom. Dana looked around the room quickly, noting its calm, warm tones and soft decorative touches. She smiled to herself, recalling her thoughts of the place reflecting the true Monica. Reyes turned to see her grinning,

"What?" she asked, smiling herself.

"Nothing," Scully blushed, "I was just... thinking... how beautiful you are," she said, surprised to hear the confession herself. Monica smiled again, her eyes glistening as she brought a hand up to cup Scully's cheek. Scully turned her head and kissed Reyes' hand, then reached up and slid her arms around Monica's neck, pulling her down to kiss her lasciviously. While devouring each other, Reyes maneuvered them over the bed and coaxed Scully to sit down. Reyes quickly took her shirt and bra off, and stepped in-between Scully's knees, taking Dana's hands and placing them on her chest, offering herself. Scully looked up at Monica's nakedness and the smoldering expression on her face... she could hardly believe this was happening.

She watched, mesmerized, as her own fingers moved slowly, sliding down Monica's chest, trembling over her breasts and nipples, until finally arriving at the waistband of her jeans. She looked back up at Reyes as her fingers began to unbutton the garment and push everything down off her hips. After stepping out of her panties, Reyes reached forward and deftly began to undress Dana as well, until they both were naked and lying on the bed.

Feeling bold, Reyes took the initiative and turned herself so that she lay partially on top of Scully. Dana didn't seem to mind, and she opened her knees to allow Reyes' leg to slip in-between. Scully had never felt anything like this before... the warmth and silky softness of Reyes' body atop hers was incredibly surreal, and she involuntarily let out a breathy sigh. Monica smiled at the sight and feel of Dana losing control, and she slid her arms under Scully's shoulders, placing light kisses on her clavicles and her throat.

Scully kept her eyes closed, reeling in the sensations that Monica was unleashing on her... the ultra-soft skin gliding over hers... the gentle pelting of kisses... the leg rhythmically moving between her own legs. If Monica continued this, she was going to explode long before she was ready. She reached down and grasped Reyes' head, pulling her up. They didn't say anything, they just looked at each other... the hunger and lustful desire was so evident, the room would explode if someone lit a match.

Their lips met gently this time, with soft suckling and licking, and tender kisses and nibbles on lips and faces. Scully relaxed, and she wrapped her arms around Reyes' neck to pull her in for a deeper kiss. Monica pressed her body harder against Dana's and trailed her hand down until it found its way to one of her satiny breasts. She slid her fingers around it, cupping it and feeling its suppleness as Scully moaned quietly and wriggled beneath her. Reyes quickly dropped her mouth down to lap at the hardened nipples, sucking at the tight, silky buds until Scully was moaning less quietly and digging her fingernails into Monica's shoulders.

Scully's body tensed as Reyes slid herself further down, kissing a wet path to the navel and delving her tongue into it. She kissed all over Scully's stomach then moved to her hip bone and down to the inside of her thighs. A sudden burst of anxiety filled Dana, realizing what Reyes was about to do. Her heart began to pound wildly and a lump of anxiety arose in her throat as she gripped Reyes' head with both hands.

Monica smiled and gently pushed Dana's knees apart, bending down further to plant a kiss on each inner thigh. A sweet scent filled her head, and her own clit twitched in reaction. She carefully kissed a path around the dark auburn curls, then gently brushed her lips over them, pushing her nose into the soft, kinky hair. Scully's quivering thighs yielded under Monica's hands as they pushed them apart further and lifted one gently over her shoulder. She shuddered as she felt Reyes' breath billow against her, and gasped aloud when a warm, wet tongue slipped in-between her engorged folds. She emitted a low moan and clutched Reyes' head harder with her hands as Reyes lapped delicately, savoring each little piece of Dana with her lips and tongue. Scully began to writhe and mewl quietly, clenching her fists in Reyes' hair. Her cries made Monica's whole body grow taut with excitement, and she felt her own clit swell and throb harder... if she continued this, she was going to explode before Dana.

She quickly slipped her hands under Scully's thighs and ass, angling her pelvis toward her and hungrily latching onto her sensitive button of nerve endings. Reyes sucked and swirled her tongue around the slippery nub while carefully inserting first one, then two fingers inside, determined to drive Dana crazy. Scully responded by gasping again and arching her back, thrusting her hips into Monica's face while groaning with pleasure. Reyes grabbed her ass tighter and laved her entire valley with her tongue as she kept pace with her fingers, thrusting them in slow and deep. Scully began to lose control quickly, driving her hips faster as Reyes pumped her fingers and sucked on her vulnerable nub. Her thighs began to quiver, and she felt herself begin to spasm out-of-control.

Scully whimpered breathlessly, waves of excruciating ecstasy crashing over her body as Monica continued to suckle her, coaxing a shattering orgasm from her. She arched her back and neck further off the bed, groaning loudly as she came hard and fast, convulsing repeatedly. Warm honey spilled out of her in a rush, and Reyes greedily lapped it up, swallowing the sweetness and humming with delight. Licking her clean, Monica kissed her soft thatch, then her thighs, and then her stomach as Dana came back down to earth again.

Scully reached out blindly, wanting and needing to feel Reyes against her. Monica crawled up carefully, laying herself atop her lover's petite form. Dana wrapped her arms around Monica's neck and back, pulling their bodies tight against one another as they kissed tenderly. Monica tasted of her, a new and strangely erotic sensation, and she felt her arousal spark again.

They broke the kiss and shifted to their sides, silently laying together and looking deeply into each other's passion-hazed eyes. They said nothing... they didn't need to... they just watched each other and let the comprehension of what just took place slowly sink in. Reyes placed her hand on Scully's chest and started drawing lazy circles with her fingertips, luxuriating in the feel of the sex-dampened skin under her hands.

There were so many things Scully wanted to say, but she didn't know where to begin, nor how to articulate them over and above the incredible emotions that were surging through her heart and soul at that moment. As she watched Reyes' eyes soften, Scully knew that Monica understood her completely, and she didn't need to speak at all. Tears suddenly gathered in her eyes as her feelings swelled to monstrous proportions. Reyes noticed it of course, and as the first teardrop fell away, she pulled Dana close and kissed her reverently. Scully hugged her tight in return, and as her emotions spilled forth, she transferred the intensity to her lips, filling Reyes with their sensual messages of love and adoration. Monica felt Scully's hands leave her back and flutter down to her sides, where they began a gentle exploration. Scully pushed her knee between Monica's legs, sliding it in until it touched the warm wetness of Reyes' arousal. Monica breathed heavily into Scully's mouth as she felt nimble fingers slide up her stomach to her breasts, where they gently massaged and played with her erect nipples.

Scully's lips suddenly left Monica's as they traveled downward to join her hands in caressing Reyes' breasts. Just as Monica was beginning to enjoy the attention there, she felt fingers quickly escape down her stomach and slide into her dripping wet sex. She emitted a gasp as Scully's fingers stealthily slid over her swollen clit and plunged inside her. Not wanting to miss out on any feeling or sensation, Dana immediately returned her mouth to Reyes', kissing her softly and swallowing every gasp and moan.

Monica had trouble focusing as Scully kissed her and massaged her breasts with one hand, while exploring her nether-regions with her other hand... she could only half-kiss, half-pant into Dana's mouth, all the while thinking how impressively dexterous Scully was. Reyes tried desperately to stay in control and prolong the pleasure, but her body began to give in as her hips slowly pumped against Scully, and her hands wove themselves into the coppery mass of hair. Feeling her partner's squirming movements, Scully became intent on pushing Reyes over the edge that she had just returned from. She drove her fingers in deeper and pulled them out, swirling them around Reyes' hardened clit, over and over again. As Reyes began to falter further, Scully pressed her thumb against the sensitive bud, flicking it back and forth repeatedly until Monica's hips were thrashing wildly and she was clutching Dana's head tightly, groaning with pleasure.

The world seemed to explode and everything went black as Reyes' orgasm overtook her. She felt herself begin to drift away, linked to reality only by the feel of soft lips kissing her tenderly. She was dimly aware that she was breathing heavily while a small, warm hand caressed her thudding chest. Her last conscious memory was the feel of silky hair fanning out against her chest as Dana's petite body slid atop hers and held her tight.

Chapter 12

Scully awoke with a start. She was in a strange room... in a strange bed. She sat up, immediately seeing and recognizing Monica lying asleep beside her... she remembered now. A sigh of relief escaped from her lips and she smiled at the memory of what took place just a short time ago. She got up out of bed gingerly, trying her best to avoid waking the sleeping form beside her. Reyes stirred, but didn't wake, and Scully tiptoed into the bathroom to relieve herself and freshen up.

She peered at the person staring back from the bathroom mirror... it was her, and yet, it was someone totally different as well... it was someone she hadn't seen for a long time. She had that sated, after-glow look about her, and a slight grin seemed to have taken up permanent residence on her lips. She wondered if this meant she was actually going to have some happiness for a change. Since it was something that so rarely come her way, she wasn't really sure. She only knew that she felt extremely fulfilled and content, and it was the best feeling she'd had in a very long time.

She had, in a way, been in her own state of limbo... and the person sleeping in that room had delivered her from it. She splashed cool water on her face and dried off, flipping the light and peering back out into the bedroom. Seeing the source of her happiness lying on the bed, a wide smile spread slowly across her face.

She studied Reyes for a moment... one arm above her head, the other across the golden olive skin of her stomach... the bed sheet draped haphazardly across her hips... her rich brunette tresses mussed, and her lips slightly parted as she slept peacefully. Something about that scene was so intimate, and so comforting to Scully. Something about Reyes, at that moment, was instantly and completely familiar to her. It was like she suddenly felt she had known her all her life... as though she had been so close to this person for so long, and yet she was only realizing now that this was what she had been looking for... that this was the missing piece to her life. She now understood what the word 'epiphany' truly meant.

With tears clouding her eyes, Scully walked over to the bed and started to crawl back in, trying again not to wake her lover. Reyes stirred again and awoke this time, blinking and looking around as she tried to get her bearings. Scully smiled and leaned down to kiss her quickly.

"What? ...what's wrong?" Monica asked as she started to sit up, realizing that Scully had been out of bed.

"Nothing... I was just... going potty," Scully whispered with a grin, not wanting to tell Monica what she was really thinking... at least not right now.

"You're not leaving, are you?" Reyes asked worriedly.

"No, no... I'm staying," Scully reassured her, touching her fingertips to Monica's cheek.

" 'K... good," Reyes mumbled as she smiled and laid back down, "C'mere," she muttered, reaching out to pull Scully close to her.

Dana gladly submitted, sliding her leg over Monica's hip and positioning her body so that it partially covered Reyes'. With her face buried in the crook of Monica's neck, Scully gently kissed the skin there, tasting the slightly salty tang and smelling the faint residue of perfume. Reyes smiled and hugged Dana tighter as she began to drift back to sleep, secure in the fact that they was here, together, safe and sound.

Scully smiled into Reyes' neck and returned the hug, happy and relieved to have found the cure for her broken-heart disease, and grateful that it came in the form of Monica Reyes. She placed one more kiss on Reyes' chest, silently thanking the gods for returning Monica to her, and wishing to never part from the comfort and security of her loving embrace.


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