Title: The Hour Of The Wolf: Dana
Author: M. Edison
Written: June 2001
Rating: PG
Archive: To Ephemeral, and Gossamer
Spoilers: Essence/Existence
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters of the X-Files.

Summary: After the events of Existence (possibly a week or so later) Scully does a little reflecting on her thoughts.

Dedication: To Azar for convincing me to give XF a second chance and Ames for understanding my not converting to MSR.

Also to some of the Shippers who've flamed me for DSR writing. Its pretty much because of them that I sat down and *really* thought about why I don't write MSR or really see much potential for it (Though for Shippers...if you like it great! Congrats on the smooch!) which led to this fic.

Warning: No beta-reader was used on this one. It's stream of consciousness kind of thing. Any mistakes are my own. And I wrote this last night at 2:30 in the morning. First time insomnia was actually *useful* to me. *G* And this is 1st POV so if you don't like dat...I sorry.

Note: The Hour Of The Wolf is a concept I first saw in a Babylon 5 episode of the same name - mucho thanks to JMS for writing the ep and Claudia Christian for the powerful scene where she describes it. Very haunting.

I once heard someone, I don't remember who, talking about the Hour of the Wolf. I think it has it's origins in Russia but I'm not entirely sure but it apparently occurs in that time between three and four in the morning when you can't sleep. It'd the hour in which all your troubles, your fears, the what ifs and plans you had - ones that never materialized - for your life, come back and haunt you. You're basically plagued by your own personal demons.

At the time, I thought it was a rather...improbable concept. There was nothing particularly special about one hour in the midst of the night that would lead to such self-doubting. No more than any other hour of the night, or day for that matter.

I thought that then. Now....

Now I'm not so sure.

Will's three am feedings have proven to me that the Hour of the Wolf is very much a valid concept. I've been living in the Hour of the Wolf every night since I brought my son home.

I think about the what ifs, the plans I had and I think about my regrets and lately...the biggest one is *IT*. The Kiss.

The main question I deal with is 'What the hell was I thinking?' I *kissed* Mulder and it wasn't a thank you kiss, for being the friend he's been for all these years, it was romantic. I can't believe I did it.

Yes, it was a nice kiss, not the best I've had but not the worst either. Nothing particularly spectacular about it but that's besides the point. My point is I'm not sure I should have let it happen.

My relationship with Mulder has never been easily defined to say the least but it is a constant in my life and it's one I guard tenaciously. Even now, I am unable to clearly pin down what my relationship with Mulder is. We're friends yes, but more than that...yet at the same time, we're not romantic either. It's never been about romance. Not that I can see. With Mulder, romance isn't really a concept. Oh sure, he's had sexual relationships but, from what I've seen and witnessed. He doesn't let himself get too emotionally invested in them. With Mulder, any woman he really cares about ends up on some pedestal somewhere, worshipped or idolized from afar but never up close and personal. He's split the two apart in his mind somewhere. Romance and love are two very different things to him.

A survival instinct I guess. One he's developed over the years. Sometimes I wonder, if he doesn't see shades of Samantha in every woman he cares about. Some more than others. It would certainly account for his reactions to them.

I never fail to be confused by the whole thing. I'm sure, at some point in our past, Mulder and I had the potential to become romantically involved but that point has passed. I'm not sure *when* it passed, just that it has.

Don't misunderstand me, I do love Mulder, very much. As much as I would any member of my family, maybe even more. I love him but I'm not *in love* with him anymore, if I ever truly was.

Oh, don't doubt that my feelings are as bewildering as they always were but...Damn it, I wish this was easier to describe! But, at the same time, if it was easy to describe, it wouldn't be me and Mulder.

Our relationship is still more than friendship but it's not romantic. Oh, they're no less deep or resounding but...

It's impossible to label our relationship. It always has been. People are always trying - apparently, they've nothing better to do with their time. I' ve heard some of them talking about us before and honestly, I remembered why I've always despised the Bureau grapevine... Those gossips never understand anything, never try to give anything the benefit of the doubt, nor do they go for the truth. They chose the most salacious or their twisted idea of a romantic ending. Which, of course, is obviously *not* the most accurate choice.

I know some people would say I'm in denial or I'm rejecting the *Truth*...their truth. They're wrong on both counts of course. I've *seen* the Truth and romance has no place anywhere near it. The Truth is a very harsh and very dark reality. It destroys light and love. The Colonists aren' t exactly big on the mushy stuff.

And as for my being in denial? I was. For a very long time. I'd convinced myself, on some level, that my feelings were Mulder were simply romantic in nature. That it was the most logical and obvious choice. I was wrong. Whatever we are, it's not simple and it's not romantic.

I got my wake up call on that the night I kissed Mulder. We both did, I think. After he pulled away I'm sure I saw some of the same feelings I'm dealing with now in his eyes. The sad realization, the confusion, the regret but that connection was still there. That didn't surprise me. It'll always be there. Like I said, it's not romantic...it's more than that and I'm glad for it's permanence.

After all we've been through, I'd never forgive myself it we lost it because of one kiss.

I've lost so much during my time with the X-Files and Mulder - I don't want to lose him too because of a mistake that, in an interesting way, may have given me the push to do some serious thinking. To take a good hard look at my life, my emotions, my relationships and how I'm dealing with all of it. I 've found it to be quite cathartic and enlightening.

What I've found is a massive tangled mess of emotions but...at least now I can see the mess rather than being lost in it. I can look at it and see what needs to be fixed.

Some people may dread the Hour of the Wolf but I've benefited from it. It's helped me to find the rough spots and mistakes in my life and allowed me to see clearly for the first time in a long time.

And clarity's something I've craved for a very long time.

It's feels good to finally have it

Makes me feel free...


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