DISCLAIMER: I don't own them. Chris Carter and 1013 Productions do. Any questions? <g>
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've never tried writing in second person before, so I hope it doesn't suck too badly. It was just an idea I couldn't quite ignore. Hope you enjoy, and if you have comments to make, I'd love to hear them.
SPOILERS: The series finale. Set two years after season 9 (guess that makes it an AU <wink>)
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By ocean gazer
You stare at the letter in your hand, the paper wrinkled from being stuffed in your pocket. Its envelope is gone; you held a match to it and burned it, just in case. Old habits die hard.
Your hands shake, ever so slightly, as you unfold the single page. Your eyes water with tears you refuse to shed. Not yet. Not until you know for sure. Glancing down, you read the words you already know by heart.
It's finally over. We're finally safe. I can finally come home.
I don't know if you even want me back, and I know it's unfair of me to even contact you like this, after all this time. Though I know words are inadequate, I am sorry for the pain I caused you. I hope you understand that, in a lot of ways, I had no choice but to go with Mulder. I was the only one he could trust, and we'd been through too much for me to turn my back on him.
If you never want to see me again, I do understand and will respect your wishes. But if there's any chance at all for us to try and rebuild our life if there's even a chance that we can be friends again tell Agent Doggett and he'll make sure the message gets to me. And I'll come to your place on Friday night when I get into town. If you don't want to see me, just know that I wish you nothing but the best.
You're a special person, Monica, and I've missed you so much.
You study the rumpled paper, seeing the faint blotches that look like dried tears. They were on the page when you first opened it, adding to the intensity of the words. Even after reading the words a hundred times, you still feel your breath catch in your throat. You hope it's really true. That she really is safe. That after two years, she really can come home.
When you first read the letter, you wondered why you weren't angry. You wondered why you reached out and called John before you even had time to think about it. And then, you wondered why there was never any doubt about taking her back.
Not that it's any kind of mystery. You know it's because you love her.
By all rights, when she and Mulder drove off into the desert, you should have been furious. When the Bureau made you a scapegoat and fired you, you should have been bitter. When the first year, and then the second, passed with no word, no contact, you should have given up hope and moved on with your life.
Instead, you coped.
You let her walk away, knowing her loyalty to her partner, and hoped she'd come back someday. You took the fall for her and Mulder, saving John's career by doing so, and looked optimistically towards a new career. And you came to the realization that you'd rather spend your days alone than settle for someone who quite simply wasn't Dana.
Other people seemed to think you should have fallen apart. Instead, you held it all together. Day by day you took your sadness, your pain, and put it aside, reminding yourself that she was following the call of duty. You told yourself not to give up, that she'd be back, that she'd still love you.
Maybe you are more psychic than you know.
Refolding the letter, you put it back in your pocket and glance at the clock. 11:21pm. Friday night is almost over. For the first time in two years, you start to doubt. Sternly, you tell yourself to stop it, that maybe the plane was late. But you know that if that were the case, John would have let you know by now. Deep down, you know that if she doesn't come tonight, she won't be back at all. Ever.
When you didn't know for sure where she was or what she was doing, it made it easy to imagine that she was thinking of you. You could maintain a sense of hope, letting your imagination fill in the uncertainties. Now, she's contacted you and given you something tangible. You know that if your hopes are shattered tonight, you'll never be able to piece them back together. When a long-held dream dies, it dies hard.
You're standing there in silence, lost in thought, when you hear a soft knock at the door. Your heart jumps into your throat. For a moment, you aren't even sure you can move. Then, the knock comes again, and love and hope take over when fear might stand in the way.
You don't bother to look through the peephole; you just throw open the door. It's her. The hair is much lighter, much shorter, and the face is thinner and lined with fatigue. But it's her your Dana. You'd know her anywhere.
You see the mix of hope, longing, and nervousness in her eyes. Without a word, you take her hand and pull her inside. She lets her suitcase drop to the floor while you close the door. She looks at you and you can see the fear of rejection painted across her entire face. And you aren't surprised, not really. She always worries, always doubts. It's just how she is.
You pull her into a tight hug and whisper in her ear that you'll never let her go. You feel her arms wrap around you so tightly that they'll leave bruises. But you don't care. Nor do you care that there are two years of separation to be bridged, that you've both undoubtedly been changed by your experiences.
You don't care, because she's home.
Now that she's here, you let yourself cry. Her arms tighten and she burrows her head in the crook of your neck. You can feel the shudders in her body that tell you she's crying too. You rest your head against hers and just revel in the warmth of the embrace. It's been so hard for you and you've missed her so much. You've been waiting two years to see if her presence, her arms around you, will start to heal the wound in your heart.
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