Title: Sleep
Author: Poly
Key words: Mulder/Skinner, slash, but nothing explicit
Rating: PG
Archive: Down in the Basement, anyone else please ask.
Disclaimers: Not mine.
Spoilers: None
E-mail address for feedback: foxling69@yahoo.com
Notes: This is a very small vignette I wrote for a dear friend of mine and she graciously wants to share.


I woke in the middle of the night that first time. Couldn't remember where I was, the bed unfamiliar to me. I wasn't alone either. I could feel his soft breath on my shoulder, his face inches from mine. I remembered that soft breath on my lips, on my face, on my groin. I flushed and wondered if I had lost my mind. I kept looking at his face, the length of his body, abandoned in sleep and I knew that I would do everything for the privilege to watch him sleep again.

"Walter?"

He hadn't opened his eyes and his voice startled me.

"Yeah?"

"Go back to sleep."

I smiled, a smile he couldn't see. He smiled, that secret smile he has, like he knows all the secrets in the world. And for all I know he does.

I watched him sleep a million times after that. Like yesterday, like right now. Sprawled on the couch, long legs all over the place. He can sleep like that. He sleeps like small kids do, when there is no other option, when all energy is spent. I hope his dreams are as pleasant. At least, I like to fool myself that sometimes they are.

The couch was the first thing we bought together. A silent concession to a future we didn't think we had. I told him it was too small for him to lie comfortable. He said he would make it fit. It turned out we were both right.

Mulder likes to sleep in crammed places. He only sleeps in our bed when I am with him, and then he sleeps as close to me as possible. He doesn't necessarily touch me, not like lovers do. He tries to climb in me, hide in me. Mulder never hides when he is awake. Sometimes I wish he did. I wish I could hide him away and have him all for myself. But I have found, long ago, that there are things to be done and none of us can afford it any other way. So I guard his sleep when I really want to guard his life.

I kneel by his side and I breathe his name:

"Mulder"

He doesn't open his eyes, nor he wakes up. But he moves over and opens his arms. I climb beside him. The couch is too small for the two of us. But it's OK. Because, at some point, the world became too big for just one of us alone.

The End


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