torch, summer 1998

Disclaimer: disclaim, disclaim. I was in a Mood. A Krycek vignette. Do not archive this story without permission.


The air smells of rain and smoke. It's a blueish-grey scent, almost tangible. The fires raged for days, leaving a burnt-out wasteland. I was never much of a firefighter. This is how I keep myself alive in the middle of nightmare, talking to you in my head, writing a letter in invisible ink. I dream of you when I sleep. You walk with me every day. I want my words to be like the fire, burning, unforgettable, but they're wisps of smoke, they'll blow away on the wind before they ever reach you.

I used to hate poetry.

There is so much I want, have always wanted, will always want. I used to make lists. Don't laugh. Those lists were a great comfort to me on a lot of long, dark, lonely nights. I used to recite them in my head, when I was too tired and drained to call up the vivid fantasies themselves. In cars on stakeouts, trying to sleep during cramped plane rides, curled up in hard motel beds, I have whispered to myself the long lists of things I want to do with you.

I want to walk with you on a beach, right down by the water's edge, waves splashing up over our bare feet and you're laughing, letting go of my hand to run in the wet sand. Later, as the sun sets, we make a fire from driftwood and toast marshmallows, licking sticky sweetness from each other's fingers. I want to drive across the desert with you in a beat-up old car without air conditioning, and watch you squirm and sweat, and stop the car in the middle of the empty road and demand a blow job. I want to make slow love all through an entire day, only stopping to eat, feeding you raw oysters and pineapple chunks. I want to fuck hard and fast when the night is rent apart by wild lightning.

Most of all I want to wake up wrapped in your arms, and hear you tell me you love me.

I know it's pathetic, but it felt good then, to have these fantasies of your mouth, your skin, your laughter, because I've never heard you laugh and I so want to. To be honest — I mean, why not be honest, now? — I am obsessed with the thought of your laughter. It seems like a distant wondrous unattainable thing, the holy grail of my life, more unreachable than sex, though I dream about that too, of course. Sex was somehow always a possibility. I could feel the spark between us, even though you tried to deny it. But to have you look at me with something other than hatred and lust, that's the real challenge.

I want to be able to hold you close and tell you how I feel about you, too. I told you it was pathetic.

I've had so many fantasies, so many dream scenarios, from your apartment to the basement office to the bathroom in the airport in Hong Kong to haystacks in some imagined countryside. The Greek islands. A snowed-in cabin in Vermont. Silk sheets, plain soft cotton, no sheets at all, something fast and fumbled, hard and hot and sweet against the wall of a dark alley, on the kitchen table of a suburban home.

Anywhere, Mulder. I'd do it anywhere with you.

There are things I've done that you could never forgive. I don't mean the ones you know about. Most of that I can explain; some of the rest never actually happened. But the things you don't know about... I don't want to talk about that. You're no saint, but you wouldn't accept the reasons I've had for the things I've done.

That's all right. I never expected you to.

I'm so tired. Days of back-breaking labor have left me numb. I'm covered with ashes, my clothes are scorched, my boots are more mud than leather. I think I've lost most of my eyebrows and lashes. I need to get out of here, but the only way to do that is to walk.

I want you. I want you the way I want fresh air, the way I want clean water.

My throat is full of dust, I can't speak. I want to kiss you.

I could get lost in you, more lost than I am in these black and smoking ruins of civilization. I love your intelligence, your stupidity, your intricate mind, your straightforward reactions. I want us to play chess, watch movies, argue about whodunit halfway through a mystery. We've hardly ever talked as equals, without trying to hide or provoke. I want that, want you uncensored, unconstrained by the past, more than I want your body. Yeah, I know it's hard to believe, but there it is. It wouldn't be any fun to have your body if I couldn't have your mind to go with it, anyway. It's all or nothing, Mulder.

No. It's not all or nothing. It's nothing.

It's getting dark here. Dark and empty. There is no one else left alive. It was the rain that killed the fire, when our resources were exhausted. I'll walk away from this place now, make it out on foot if I have to. I can do it. Because I want

So many things, none of which I'll ever have.

I want to see you again.

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