To Touch II: To Feel

      I woke up in your guest bed.  The late morning sunlight was
streaming through the window.  You were still there in that rocking
chair, the way you said you would be.  And you were watching me, the way
you said you would.  You saw my eyes open, and you smiled.  I felt that
smile all the way across the room.  There was warmth there, and safety,
and acceptance.  It was more than I could bear, so I hid beneath the
blankets.  When I looked out again, you were still there, and still
smiling.  I could almost believe your words to me that day in my office
when you spoke of love.  I wanted to believe, more than I ever did in
anything before.  I wanted to be in love with you.

      "Good morning, Agent Mulder."   "Agent" sounded more intimate from
your mouth than even my name would. 

      "Good morning, sir.  Sir?  Were you there all night?"

      "I wouldn't be anywhere else."  I believed you.  

      "I'm sorry, sir.  I cost you a night's sleep."

      "I can lose some sleep now and again.  Especially for you."  If we
had been other than ourselves, you would have held me then.  Instead,
you just smiled.

      Your smile is all the touch I need, but I want so much more.  I'm
afraid.  I know if I touch you, if I just brush your shoulder with my
hand, it will burn.  We will turn to fire.  Fire frightens me.  You
frighten me, too, with the intensity of your feelings and the way you
make me feel. 

      I knew it that night in your guest room, when you woke me out of
that nightmare.  I saw Scully and my sister lying on those tables,
pregnant and helpless.  And I was helpless, as I always am.  But your
voice called me out of the darkness.  And for the first time in a long
time, I wasn't scared.  You were there.  That was enough right then.

      I'd thought I'd stopped feeling.  I had my obsession and my work,
and I didn't need to feel anything more, so I could build walls and live
in solitary.  But first she came, and then he came, and now you are
here, and the walls are crashing down and everything I believed in is
lying in pieces on the floor.  Can you take the place of an obsession? 
I think you have, and that frightens me, too.

      You saw the fear in my eyes.  I think you can read my thoughts
almost as well as Scully can.  I saw the muscles in your arms tense and
relax as if you were going to violate our agreement, but changed your
mind.  Both of our careers were in your hands right then.  I would
gladly have tossed mine away for a moment there.  I was relying on your
strength.  I have to rely on the strength of others.  I have none of my
own.  I use it all on my work and my drives.

      "I'd better see about breakfast.  I do have to go in today."

      "Do I, sir?"

      "You are officially on leave, and will remain on leave until your
partner is fit for duty again.  You are *never* going into the field
alone if I can help it."  There was steel and desperation in your voice. 

      "You can't keep me wrapped in cotton."  

      "No. I can only wish I can.  Breakfast in a half-hour."  And you
were gone from the room, and all the warmth was gone with you.  

      I found my bag and pulled out some jeans and a t-shirt.  I'd spend
the day with Scully if her family let me.  Her brother hated me.  I
don't blame him.  I'd hate anyone who put my sister in danger.  I'd hate
anyone who put Scully in danger.  

      I was upset at your protectiveness, but that's the way I act
towards Scully.  It's a mistake, but I can't help it.  She's become part
of my life.  You realize this, but you aren't jealous.  You