Doggett. Skinner. Chuck. Her mother. The Chinese food delivery guy. Little moments happened of something intimate and strange.
Maybe it was madness. The way wise men go mad, fast and quiet at the end of an impossible distance and the outset of another. Somewhere out there he was breathing and she knew it. Her own breath was anchored by that.
If she were crazy, maybe those curtains were standing still and she was the one moving softly in the breeze. And maybe that voice was in her head, the voice that lulled her into calm on these nights when she was too keyed up to sit still for a minute. Voice without words, just something steady in a night she might have been dreaming.
"It's all right," she said aloud. "I'm only crazy." And she remembered standing bravely over the small, withered corpse of an animal or alien.
"I'm not crazy, Scully," said a soft voice then, and she fell headlong into someting so permanent she was anchored by it still.
It started with a sense she was forgetting things. Or remembering them wrong. Chuck never said "take care of yourself," but she heard it in his voice. Skinner never called her up just to say hello, but tonight he had. Just to see if she was still breathing.
Mulder would do that. Would call for some petty reason and let her listen to his basketball demolish the coffee table. She jumped up now and knocked a green vase of the corner of her own. It broke, but the noise of it was wrong.
There was a knock on the door, and she found Agent Doggett waiting there, looking strange and not so maddening as usual.
"Hello, Agent Dogget," she said.
"Hey, Scully," he greeted her.
She waited. Did this happen? Was it happening? Crazy? Perhaps, but there was still this man on her doorstep.
"What are you doing here?" she asked.
"Couldn't sleep," he said. "I'm going for a run. I stopped by to --"
"See if I was all right," she said. "I'm fine."
"Good." He nodded. He would not remember this tomorrow. Her eyes searched his, and his were grey and a little bit sad.
"Why are you here?" she asked again. Because she had this theory. About mystics and their powers, about aliens and theirs. And how they could shape-shift. And how their presence was a secret.
This man before her, this Agent Doggett who might not be, was smiling just a little. "Just to say hi," he replied. "Just to ..."
Maybe it was madness; but as she stared into his eyes, she thought of city mystics, and how they could make themselves invisible to anyone. She knew someone who could see them. If he was able to come back he would have done it.
"I appreciate this," she said, and smiled at the agent who might not be. He nodded once, and smiled as well. "I'm going for a run," he repeated.
"Good night," she said, and closed the door. She was alone again. Or it looked that way. If the mystic men could shape-shift, could not Mulder, and appear as any of them at her door?
The aliens could change shape, too. They were working on a hybrid.
Madness. Smack in the middle of the journey. She walked to the window and stared outside as John Doggett never exited the building. He would not remember this tomorrow.