R e v e r i e
by Politic X
 
 
11: undreamt

 

After I've showered, Monica and I sit at the table in her room until almost one a.m., arguing.  She thinks these women were subjected to the same testing that I was several years ago.  This isn't what I disagree with.  It's her more bizarre theory of cerebral manipulation that I balk at.  "So you're saying that these women were being sent messages via the implants?  Suicidal messages?"

"It's all in the chips, Dana.  From what I've learned of them things that you and Mulder already discovered - they were made using advanced technology.  Biotechnology."  She sips cold decaf and traces the outline of victim number four's face.  "The tattoos.  There's another key.  Why do they have them?  Why do you have yours?"

I stretch my neck and back.  "It was just a thing, Monica.  Something to mark a certain time in my life."

"But you're not the type of person who would just go out and get a tattoo."

"I'd thought about it.  But not seriously, no."

"So it was impulse shopping?"

"Something like that.  I just wanted to do it and I did."

"I think that can be said for each of these women.  I think it's something they did for reasons they weren't altogether sure of.  Like dropping successful jobs and moving to Aural."

"You think the implants controlled their actions."

She nods.

"I'm tired."

She looks at me compassionately.  "I know."

I leave everything on her table - my autopsy reports, my laptop and my coffee cup - and head toward the connecting door.  We have adjoining rooms, I assume because Monica wants to keep an eye on me. 

"Dana."

I stop, not turning.  I shouldn't have said that last night on the phone.  I shouldn't have said that I needed to be here, to be with her, even if it's true.  I'm not sure I'm ready to explain what I meant. 

"Leave the door open."

I do turn around now, and she's gazing at me directly.  I start to balk at her, but the look on her face is so worried that I can't.  "Sure," I say.  "If it will make you feel better." 

Even though I'm bone weary, familiar wariness creeps under my skin.  I can't take my mind from the victims, their tattoos, their implants, their shredded bodies.  This is what I do to myself every night in my dreams, destroy myself in the same manner. 

I've had lots of nightmares in my life, but they've never been this vivid or gruesome.  Or persistent.  I will dream again tonight, I know, but at least Monica's close.  I can hear her bumping around as I crawl into bed.  When I turn out my light, hers is still on.  I wonder what she's doing.  Reading, probably.  I wonder what she's reading.  I wonder what she's wearing.  As I'm pondering these things, sleep pulls me down, and I begin dreaming.  I'm still inside the forest, trying to get out.  But this time when I fall, I can't get up.  I pull, lift, try to climb out of a hole that's just getting bigger and deeper.  I scream Monica's name until I'm hoarse, my throat scratchy and sore.  I can't get out.  But just when I begin to give in to exhaustion, she's there, bending and pulling me out of the hole, lifting me as if I'm light as a feather.  I cling to her, breathing hard, trying not to cry.  Monica came into the forest for me.  She came into the forest, and she didn't burn it down; she didn't bring fire with her at all.  There is heat, though, once I see her face.  There is heat, and it's coming from me, smoldering embers in my belly, my chest, my mouth.  I see myself burning in  her eyes.

"It's okay," she murmurs, stroking my hair, shushing me. 

The only word I can say is her name, although I can't say it, really, just cry it, whimper it. 

"It's just a dream, Dana, it's okay.  You're okay."

"Don't leave."

"I won't."  She presses her lips to my forehead, pulling me to her, sitting on the forest floor.  And the ground settles beneath her.  The whole forest quiets down now that she's here, as if she's Fauna, mother goddess of the earth, protector of women.  "I'll never leave you.  You need to understand that." 

"Yes you will; you always do." 

"Wasn't I there for you when William was born?"  Her hands are spread below my shoulder blades.  "Wasn't I there when he was taken from you?  Didn't I help you get him back?" 

Monica's breasts are full and soft against me.  I push hard into her embrace.  Her body is more than a distraction.  I think I could forget about everything else in her arms, even the forest.    

"Don't you know...?"  She trails off, kisses my head again.  "There's not a lot I wouldn't do for you, Dana."

One of my hands is on the nape of her neck, the other in her hair.  Her skin is warm.  I flick my tongue out to taste it. 

"Oh!"  She jerks. 

I want to pierce her skin, get her blood flowing, free her, and so I lean in and bite down and feel her body spasm beneath me  A low keening escapes from her lips, and it doesn't end while my mouth is on her.  Then, "God, Dana.  What are you doing?"  She manages to wrestle herself away, stands and holds my shoulders, stooping to talk to me.  "What are you dreaming?  Where are you?"  She peers into my eyes.

"I'm with you," I tell her.  Her eyelashes are still full and black, even without mascara, but I can't see her well.  It's too dark here and the forest seems menacing again.  The ground shifts beneath me.  "We have to leave."

"We're okay here, we're safe.  You're safe here." 

I shake my head, looking back at the blackness of the forest behind me and at the dim light penetrating ahead.    

Monica brushes the hair away from my face.  "I won't let anything happen, okay?"

She smells warm and good and sweet, and she feels just the same when I reach out and stroke her breasts through her t-shirt.  

She shudders at my touch.  "Please."  Her voice is husky.  "You need to wake up."

"Why do you always think it's a dream?"

"Because.... You wouldn't be doing this."

"It's not a dream."  I hook my arm around her neck and manage somehow to pull her down to me, even though I feel so weak and tired I can hardly move. 

"Oh, God, Dana."  Her mouth is close to my ear.  "You're driving me crazy."  

"I need you."  My voice is just a sigh.

"Wake up.  Please."  She kisses my temple quickly, grips my arms tightly.  "We're here, in Aural, Washington.  You're in your hotel room.  And I'm here with you.  You're in your bed," she whispers.  "There is no forest.  Only us.  Just me and you." 

Her voice is soothing and I'm tired and I can't keep my eyes open. 

"Just me and you," she repeats.  "And I need to go back to bed before...  before we get carried away.  Because you're going to hate me tomorrow if you remember any of this."  She kisses my forehead once more.  "I don't want you to hate me."  She lowers me to the ground and stands over me, tall and gorgeous, wearing only her t-shirt and panties.  "Are you okay now?"  She smoothes hair away from my face.  "Is the dream over?"  And she's walking away before I can answer her, even though she said she'd never leave. 


The bed moves as if someone who's been lying beside me is getting up, and I think this is what awakens me.  Or maybe it's the lips on my forehead or the smell of eucalyptus and honey.  Monica.  I listen to what could be the soft padding of her feet across the room. 

When I open my eyes, she's not here, but I have the feeling she has just left.  Her scent is still in the air.  Why was she here?  The dream.  I dreamed again, yes.  She held me in her arms, kissed my forehead, soothed my worries away.  I hope I dreamt all of that; I hope she wasn't really here; I hope I didn't wake her up.  

I bet I did, though.  I bet it was just like the other night, when I was in the kitchen and she said I yelled her name.  Terrific.  I'm a strong woman, but Monica has no reason to believe it.  She's only seen weakness. 

I pull my robe on.  Im tired, but not sleepy at all.  I'll just check on her, make sure she's asleep.  Apologize if I woke her up.  Maybe offer to make a coffee run.  What time is it?  Just after two.  Too early to make a coffee run.  I can apologize, anyway.  And then dig out the book I brought and kill the rest of the night.  

It's not a great book, certainly not enough to keep my mind from the nightmares and all of these sliced up women, but at least it's something to do.  I could work on case notes, but I need an escape from death.  So I'm thinking about the book when I walk to the adjoining doors, trying to remember where I left off.  Her bed squeaks.  She's probably tossing about, trying to get back to sleep after I woke her up.  She's flat on her back, eyes closed, knees slightly raised, tenting the bedspread.  "Monica, are you awake?" I whisper.   Her mouth is open.   She's probably cursing me under her breath; it certainly sounds like a swear word slipping from her lips.  She's probably pissed off that she's spending her weekend here when she could be

Oh.  God.

About the time I realize what I'm seeing, Monica realizes what she's hearing my voice and she freezes.  Oh God.  Oh dear God.  I've caught her masturbating.

I've never witnessed anything so sexy in my life.  And how like me to crash such a delicate moment.  I've embarrassed both of us just by being here, but I'm stuck now and even though my mind is willing me to back away, I'm still as a statue, three feet from her bed staring, staring.  

Her legs slowly slide down until she's lying prone.  "Dana," she murmurs. 

I'm speechless.

"I thought it was over."  Her face reveals mixed emotions sympathy in her worried frown, embarrassment in her flushed cheeks, desire in her sleepy eyes.  She speaks so softly that I move closer to hear her, so close I bang my shins on the bed.  "I guess this is a bad one, huh?  It just won't let go."  She snakes her left hand from under the covers and touches my arm.  The right hand remains hidden.  Between her legs, I'm guessing.    

I shake my head, no.  She thinks I'm still dreaming, but I'm not.  I've never dreamed anything so blatantly erotic.  I've never even fantasized such. 

"What are you doing?"  This could very possibly be the stupidest question I've ever asked.   If it were pitch black in here, I'd still know what she's been doing; I smell her sex.

She shrugs wordlessly, her eyes on mine, her hand holding my wrist, stroking it. 

We stare at each other like this for a minute, then she blinks slowly.  "Are you okay?"  Her voice is a hoarse whisper.

I nod. 

"Are you lost?"

I shake my head. 

"Are you in the forest?" Her warm fingers wrap around mine. 

"I need you."  My voice isn't much more than a whisper either, and it's no wonder my mouth is parched.

"I'm here.  I'm right here.  Waiting for you."

I look at her, at the area where her hand is hidden, at her face.  "You are?"

"Yes."  Without a word, she lifts the covers and moves over, a silent invitation one I take.  I slide in beside her, and if I doubted what she was doing when I came in, those doubts are erased as the smell of sex becomes even stronger.  Monica's smell. 

I'm right here.  Waiting for you.  Was she waiting for me to join her in bed?  This isn't what she means, surely, but she seems to reassure me that it is exactly what she means, reaching out with her left hand to stroke my cheek.  It's an innocent gesture made intimate by the awkwardness of her position, lying as she is on her left side.  But then, I guess she doesn't want to touch me with the other hand, still hidden somewhere. 

I return the caress.  Monica's hair is soft, and she closes her eyes when I run my fingers through it.  She shudders when I kiss her.  We kiss slowly and gently, exploring.  She makes small sounds and twists toward me.  I'm trembling; that's how good it is.  I never knew kissing could be so powerfully sexual.  I would kiss her all night if she'd let me, but she doesn't.  She pulls away after a moment.  "Dana, this is wrong.  You you need to wake up," she says shakily.

"I am awake."

"You always think you're awake."

I slide my hand beneath the sheet and inch it toward her, finding the guilty fingers, damp and immobile on her flat stomach.  I'm so heady from the scent of sex that I want to bury my face between her legs and inhale.  

Her eyes grow large.  "Come on.  I'll sit with you for a while."  She pushes herself up on her elbows as if she's about to leave.  "I used to sleepwalk when I was a kid.  Do you know what I'd do?  I'd get out of my bed and go to the kitchen to get some cereal.  Mom would find half eaten bowls of corn flakes all over the house.  That's the only way she knew sometimes that I had been up."  She grins and winks.   "You got any cereal?"

"You're beautiful," I tell her.  She's the most beautiful thing I think I've ever seen.

"I must be prettier in your dreams."  Her thumb crosses my knuckles and her sweet smile turns soft. 

Hardly.  In my dreams, she's just as gorgeous and just as unattainable.   She invited me into her bed, but I think she only means to comfort me.  "I'm not dreaming, Monica."

She frowns, studying my face carefully.  I lean over and kiss her again.  It's an electrifying kiss.  I follow her mouth as she squirms beneath me until she pushes my shoulders.  "Dana," she protests shakily.  "I know you think you're awake, but...."

"Does this feel like a dream to you?  You've got to be kidding."

"I know you think you're awake.  I know how real it can seem.  No one could ever tell I was sleeping when I had my late night binges.  I did it in college, too.  My roommate found a bowl in her bed once."  She tries to smile.  "How spooky is that?  Freshman year, first week.  I'd just come out to her, and she was doing an outstanding job of reconciling that fact with her Southern Baptist upbringing, then she found a bowl of cereal between her legs, and when I tried to explain...."  Monica giggles.  "She requested a transfer.  Didn't get it until the next semester.  Boy, was she nervous around me.  She hardly ever slept in our room after that."

"I'm not sleepwalking, Monica."  I trace her lips with my fingernail, absorbed in her face until I see a figure dashing by the window.  When I turn to look, it's gone.  Just a streak on my peripheral vision, but I know what it was.  Another dead woman.  Her tattered arms waved like ribbons.

"What is it?"  Monica's out of the bed, at the window before I can tell her it's nothing. 

I shake my head. 

"What?"  She stares at me from several feet away.  "You look like you saw a ghost."

"Hallucination," I tell her, and slide down under her covers, overcome suddenly by lethargy.  "Nothing."

"Dana."  She lets my name hang in the air, searching for other words.  I watch her from my position, curled up in her bed.  Her scent is so comforting that I find my eyes closing involuntarily.  Great.  I'll just interrupt her while she masturbates, make a clumsy pass at her, and fall asleep.  That way she can truly see how much I adore her.

I think these sarcastic thoughts until I feel her weight.  She's sitting beside me, stroking the hair from my face.  "You're so exhausted," she says, looking at me tenderly.

"I'm fine," I mutter.  She says something more, but I lose part of it.  "Hmm?"

"Nevermind.  You're drifting." 

Her lips brush mine and I force my eyes open. 

She smiles apologetically.  "Sorry.  Just wanted one more kiss before you go away again."  The pads of her fingers smooth my forehead.  "The Dana I know and love will be back in the morning, and she wouldn't dream of kissing me."  She looks bashful. 

The Dana she knows and loves?  Loves?

"You sleep here tonight.  I'll go to your room.  Okay?"  She presses her lips to my brow. 

I catch her hair and twist my fingers in it and pull her down as firmly as I can while feeling inebriated.  Her mouth opens with little prodding, and we kiss passionately, but only for a moment.  When she pulls away to stare at me, I begin succumbing to drowsiness again.  I could use a kick of adrenaline right now, but as sexy as Monica is, as beautiful as she looks and sweet as she smells and delicious as she tastes, I can no longer fight the exhaustion.  Being with her makes me feel safe enough to fall asleep.  "Stay here," I tell her tiredly. 

She complies with a nod and crawls under the covers. 

"Monica?"

"Yes?"   

"I wasn't dreaming." 

She wraps her fingers around mine and closes her eyes.  My last conscious thought isn't a thought at all, but a feeling, the feeling that nothing in my life not science nor law nor motherhood has ever been as comforting as Monica's hand.

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 Posted 10/31/03