“I cannot live with you –
It would be Life –
And Life is over there –
Behind the Shelf
The sexton keeps the key to –
Our Life – His Porcelain –
Like a Cup –
Discarded of the housewife –
Quaint – or Broke –
A newer Sevres pleases –
Old Ones crack –
I could not die – with You –
For one must wait
To shut the Other’s Gaze down –
You – could not –
And I – Could I stand by
And see You – freeze –
Without my Right of Frost –
And were You lost, I would be –
Though My Name
On the Heavenly fame –
And were You – saved –
And I – condemned to be
Where you were not –
That self – were Hell to Me –
So We must meet apart –
You there – I – here –
With just the door ajar
That Oceans are – and Prayer –
And that White Sustenance –
Despair – ”
- Emily Dickinson
He crumbles before me. Piece by piece the fragments fall, cold stone tumbling into the nothingness below.
I wonder when the last chunk will fall, when the final scrap will break
free and join its discarded brothers in the dark beneath
our feet. Then nothing of him will remain. He will be as empty as the winter wind, cold and lifeless. The only part of him that will endure will be the part that resides in me, and I feel like a pitiful guardian for the remnants of his
soul. I am already so damaged.
The crumbling is a slow process.
It takes place over the days and months and years as I watch. It began for him with the actions of men before he was born; the sins of the father revisited on the son. It began for us with the dawn of eternity.
I know that now.
Our relationship is a force so elemental that there was never one single
act that worked to bring us into being. What we are
would have existed despite our present circumstances. No matter how the stars had chosen to align themselves, no matter
what different paths our lives may have taken, what we are would always have been.
It always has been. Our union is written in the cloth of time. We are trapped within its invariant march, two souls forever twisted together, forever struggling against the fate they can’t escape.
With as much certainty as I know my own name, I fear the tragedy that
I am certain waits for us. The process has already
begun. We have both already lost so much. So very little remains left to lose. I realize this, even as he continues to crumble.
He reaches for me. Silently he beseeches me to resurrect him, to put the pieces back together.
Don’t you know Mulder? Can’t you see? I don’t have that power.
Neither of us does. We are trapped in an unfolding tragedy, powerless to halt its destructive path.
He reaches for me, but he knows I can’t help. He knows it because
he can see within my soul, can see my thoughts as clearly
as I can. We are linked this way.
Yet still, he reaches.
I have no choice but to answer.
I never had a choice.
Perhaps this is written, too.
I step into his pull. The force becomes magnetism increasing with
my growing proximity. The cord pulls taunt between us,
reeling me into his grasp, reeling us both into each other. I enter the shelter of his arms with trepidation, knowing that this should not be, but that it will be. This occurrence is another inescapable stepping stone, one more moment written into our lives. It is preordained. Everything up and until this point was for the purpose of moving us here. We both know that. I think we always have.
As he moves to surround me, I grasp at a fleeting hope. I latch on to the desire that this will heal us both, that somehow we will escape the fate I fear is imminent and move forward together towards peace. I grab onto this hope with all my strength, holding it within my mind as a light to lead us both. I wrap it around the two of us, as we are wrapped around one another, and use it as a shield. A shield against destiny.
It is a pitiful defense, I know.
As he draws nearer, I feel myself weakening. The brilliant armor I have
worked so diligently to construct starts to falter. I see
his face approaching mine, his lips drawing close, and I allow the armor to fall. With a willing push, my walls come tumbling
I let him in.
His lips brush mine, and it is as if lightening flashes across the heavens. A thousand volts crackle between us. This first contact seems to untether him. With the door between us swung wide to the wind, the lifetimes of pent up emotion swell in a threatening flood. He is devouring me, and I allow it to happen. His lips move across mine with brutal intensity even as I feel the dampness of his tears against my cheek.
I surrender to his fury because it is easier this way. The fight
was too long, the struggle too hard. I haven’t the will to struggle
any longer. It is ever so much easier to succumb to this. I can drown in the fathomlessness of him, sinking below the depths
where no light can hope to reach, allowing the biting cold of these waters to tear at my flesh until it turns to heat.
We submerge ourselves in darkness.
He is crushing me. His arms are wrapped around me, so tight that
they come close to cutting off my oxygen supply. I don’t
protest at the loss of air; I don’t need to breathe. In his arms, such needs are trivial. He will be my air. I fill my lungs with him, drawing him into my blood, filling myself with the taste and smell of him. He tastes of lost hopes and surrendered dreams. I drink him in, willing us both to drown in our creation.
I gasp as his hands find the hem of my sweater and push up and underneath.
They are cold, a shock against the heat of my
stomach. He moves them up slowly, never releasing me from his grasp. My gasp becomes louder and mixes with a moan when the chill of his hands reaches my breasts. The sound startles him from his hypnotized state. He looks at me as if seeing me for the first time since this began.
He whispers. “Oh, God.”
I know what I hear in those words. There is shock, disbelief,
and desire. In two whispered words he tells me that he needs
this, but that he never intended it to happen. He backs away from me, moving as if in slow motion. In the darkness of his motel room, he becomes barely visible within a few steps.
Standing alone now, I feel myself tremble. My ears become attuned
to the harsh sound of our breath filling the room. We are
both breathing heavily. His eyes dart between the door and me, searching for a way out. With each second that passes, I can see his desperation grow.
I decide to help him, and myself.
With carefully measured steps, I approach him. My bare feet make
no sound on the plush carpet of this room. There is only
the rustle of clothes while I move. Watching my movements, he appears as a deer caught in oncoming headlights. He is frozen in place. I find myself standing before him. He looks in my eyes, as I reach down to take his hand. It is still cold. I keep my voice steady, sure of my purpose. “Let me help you.”
Something akin to anger fills his eyes. His words are stronger this time. “Not out of pity.”
I squeeze his hand gently. “Not pity.”
He searches my eyes and sadness fills his own. “I’m lost, Scully.” His voice mirrors those words. They are as lost as he is.
As I bring my other hand to his face, I find that my own words sound as lost as his. “We both are.”
He sees the truth of what I’ve said, and he needs me, as desperately as I need him. He does not fight it anymore.
We move towards each other again, stepping again into our endless sea.
This time, it does not feel as cold. Our movements are swift.
His lips move across mine, and mine across his, each of us searching for
what we’ve lost. His hands again find their way under my sweater,
and he does not stop this time. He burns a path across my flesh.
His long fingers find and dislodge the clasp of my bra, as I work the buttons
of his shirt. With a small struggle, he pushes the sweater over my
head, allowing my bra to slip effortlessly from my shoulders.
I do not even notice this. I am busy running my hands along his chest, feeling the fire I spread on him, feeling his skin warm to
His mouth leaves mine and travels down my throat. I throw my head
back at the sensation. I never thought it was possible to
feel so much as a result of so little. He is kneeling before me now, and as he kisses my stomach, he looks up into my eyes. He is asking permission. He still doesn’t realize; he hasn’t yet seen. I already gave the permission he needs. I gave it four years ago.
With only my eyes to communicate the message, I give it again.
Thus convinced, his hands move to my hips and push down. I am wearing old blue jeans that move easily over my hips and fall to the floor. With my hands on his shoulders, I step from the discarded clothes and kick them away with my toes. I am wearing only one tiny scrap of cotton now.
He is kissing my stomach, and I know what he intends. Placing
my hands on his shoulders, I urge him up to face me. It isn’t
that I don’t want that, I want it very badly. Now just isn’t the time. If I were to let him do that now he would be able to
distance himself from me, to concentrate on my pleasure instead of his own. What I want must be for both of us.
When he faces me, his expression is puzzled. He thinks I am pushing him away. To reassure him, I pull his face down towards mine with my hands behind his neck. As he kisses me, I push his already unbuttoned shirt from his shoulders. My hands travel to the broad expanse of skin covering his back. Beneath it I can feel the contour of muscle and bone. I memorize those lines with the palms of my hands, reading his body like Braille.
With one article of clothing out of the way, I reach for another.
As my fingers slowly maneuver the buttons and zipper of his
slacks, he moans a sound that vaguely resembles my name. I ignore him, and continue my work. It is quickly accomplished, and with the fastenings undone I lightly push the clothes from his body. After they drop to the floor and are shoved away, he stands before me naked.
I stop to admire what I’ve uncovered, and I gasp. He is so beautiful; it brings tears to my already moist eyes.
He watches me as I watch him. He is doing something I have seen
him do many times in the past. He is looking at me
reverently, as if I am a saint standing before him. This is something I have caught him at before. In the past, it disturbed me. I
was scared of the intensity with which he viewed me. Now, it makes me feel beautiful, and though I would love to stand and admire him all night long, it would be impossible. I need him too fiercely.
I take both of his hands in mine and lead him to the bed. He follows obediently.
I let go of his hands when I lie back across the bed. He stops
at the edge and stands above me, looking down. With him
watching from above, I tug off the last piece of fabric that stands in our way. It is tossed unceremoniously to the floor. All that is necessary is for me to say his name. “Mulder.” As I say it, he comes to me
He covers me, and I am surrounded by heat. His body moves above
mine and I am lost in the delight of it. Before I realize
what has happened, before I can even ask for it to be done, he moves to join us.
The first sense I register is pain. It is slight, but unmistakably
present. It is something I had anticipated. He notices this
almost stops. I raise my hands to still him. He does not need to stop; it only takes a moment for me to adjust. When he moves again, the pain is the last thing in my mind. I am immediately overcome with the onslaught of sensation. It is terrible in its intensity.
His movements are slow, careful. He does not want to hurt me again. I am the one who moves to speed things up. With only a little encouragement, he is no longer as gentle. The increased pace is all that I need. It does not take long. I knew that it wouldn’t.
The heavens soar before my eyes. Stars collide in explosions of
light and heat. Particles of stardust shower along my nerves
leaving tiny earthquakes in their wake.
I am undone.
I float amidst the heavens for an interminable amount of time.
His face is an ever-increasing point of light as I drift down.
When I am again able to focus, I discover him watching me. While I left my ability to concentrate, he has stopped moving. Awe is written on his face from watching me. He is reluctant to move again.
I reach my hand up to stroke his face. He is holding back, afraid
to let himself feel. Or maybe unable, maybe there is too little
left of him to feel even this.
He opens his eyes as I touch him, and I speak, trying to make it okay. “Let it go, Mulder, please just let go.”
Two tears escape the corner of his eye, clinging first to the ends of
his long lashes before falling to splash on the surface of my
skin. I speak again, and as I do it, I realize that I am crying too. “Let go.”
With a moan that sounds like pain, he lets go of the tense control he
held on to. He abandons the careful limits he has placed
on his feelings in relation to me. He falls apart.
When it is over, he collapses in my arms. The crumbling has stopped,
but I am afraid to look and see if anything remains after
the destruction. His head lies pillowed on my chest; his breathing is rapid and shakes after his loss of control. His long arms still clutch onto me with a ferocity that speaks of his fear of losing me.
I am afraid, too. I am afraid for both of us.
Numbly, I feel the small shudder that ripples across his back. He is crying again, with no sound made to betray him. His tears drop to form a small warm puddle against the heat of my chest. The saltiness of his pain mingles with the sweat of our shared passion in the dip between my breasts.
Pain and passion, fear and hope, death and life - the contradictions of our fate mix and mingle upon my skin. He does not look up, and I do not shift to search out his gaze. There is no need.
I murmur unintelligible things against the softness of his hair, consoling myself as I console him. It is unfair, that even this moment is filled with despair. Into the tangles of brown atop his head I whisper my longings. I whisper of fear, and the need for its absolution. I whisper of hope lost and found.
I form the words with trembling lips, unsure if he can even hear my soft pleas.
“I want an end to all this pain.”
“I want to see your face unclouded by demons.”
“I want to see a smile in your eyes.”
“I want to be able to reflect it in my own.”
“I want justice that I don’t remember how to believe in.”
“I want someone to blame.”
“I want an apology.”
“I want the lives we lost returned to us.”
“I want our freedom.”
“I want to find peace.”
“I want to wake in the morning without dread.”
“I want love without sorrow.”
“I want joy without guilt.”
“I want to build a future.”
“I want children and a home.”
“I want what others take for granted.”
“I want a life free from suffering.”
“I want to believe that is possible.”
“I want my ability to hope back.”