torch, November-January 1998

Disclaimer: I made this, but I didn't make them. Definitely later than Fool star and Witness tree. Thanks to W. H. Auden and Te. Do not archive this story without permission.

No new year

I have refused, several times, to turn the light on. I don't want to see him sitting on that orange plastic chair, posed like a storefront mannequin and just as relaxed. Wearing black again, all black. I probably should've offered him black lipstick to complete the look. And his hair is shorn short now, just like mine. I know where his guns are. I know what he's got in his pockets.

On the other side of the lowered blinds, the moon is moving slowly, up above the orange glare of streetlights, up above the city hum, the cry and whine of humanity. It's pretty, but I wouldn't kill for it. Wouldn't die for it. Fact is, it's just a fucking Christmas ornament. My feet are cold.

"Are you planning to stand there all night and count your bruises?" Creak of plastic. "We lost them on the beltway."

"Maybe." I'm not looking up at the moon, I'm looking down, looking for moving cars and parked cars, hidden watchers and marching assault teams, earthquakes and paradigm shifts. If there's no one out there, he can go home. Away from me. "It's time for us to make a few changes."

"Such as?"

I don't turn, but I look over my shoulder. He's leaning back, legs spread, hands relaxed and empty. "Such as, next time you stay out of it. We had an agreement. You keep breaking it."

Nothing on the street when I look back again, and it may be that there is nothing, and it may be that nothing will be the last thing I see. It's a mistake to look at the moon. It's a mistake to look at things that are remote and irrelevant and unattainable. Better to just remember the things you'll kill for. The things you'll die for.

The irritation is there almost before he speaks, surrounding him like a comic-book halo of jagged spikes. "You think I can't live in your world?"

If he keeps asking that, I'll hit him.

"Mulder, you fucking idiot, anyone can be a thug. The point is," and I'm probably going to have to take this slowly, "I can't go back to living in your world, and somebody has to. Maybe crossing the line fulfills some kind of macho fantasy of yours, but you need to get back and go to work."

You can do a lot of things in the dark, but some things you can only do in the light of day. And if our nights grow any longer, we will never see daylight again.

"I don't know what gave you the idea that you can just order me around."

Petulant, he's being petulant, and I can't take any more of this; I turn and cross the room, clamp my hand around his throat. "You have a problem with me giving you orders? Then why don't you try coming up with a few bright ideas of your own? Why don't you try to do your job? You have a problem with authority figures, you can have it in your spare time. Or are you only interested in saving the world if you can be in charge?"

He stares back up at me unmoving and unblinking, though I can feel him swallow, throat moving against my palm. I know that look in his eyes, he's angry and he thinks his anger is important, and I'm angry and I know how unimportant it is. So I drop down on my knees between his spread legs and run my hand down over his chest and stomach, down over the bumps of a button fly, rubbing against a growing erection. His eyes on mine, my eyes on his and I work the buttons open, feel skin instead of cotton, don't laugh because I know about this, from when I was young and adrenalin-crazy. There are more ways to kill a cat... letting him choke me with his cream ought to work, though.

Bending my neck I breathe against his cock for a moment, nudging it with my lips, my nose, my chin. Then I hold it steady with three fingers and start to lick, the way he likes, the slow way that'll make this last until everything drains out of him and he'll be soft enough to listen and understand. It's only right. I'll eat his sins this time; I made him and I'll take him. Deal with him.

There's something funny about the way he tastes, different from other men; not better exactly, just more distinct, I'd-know-this-in-the-dark different. Maybe it's the taste of his anger, his determination, his foolishness. Maybe it's just the way he jerks when I tickle that spot with the tip of my tongue.

His hand clenches in my hair, hard, and then he pulls my head back. "Don't do that." He stands up and his legs push me off-balance; I sprawl on the carpet and he walks away. "I'm going to take a shower."

The bathroom door closes behind him and the sound of the shower starts up almost immediately, as if he stepped under the spray without bothering to take his clothes off. I kick out aimlessly with one foot and hit the bedside table. The ugly plastic flowers in their ugly plastic vase fall to the floor and lie there awkwardly. Getting up, I put a boot down on the vase and hear it crunch.

Outside, the street is still there, the moon is still there. Everything is there. We're not safe.

* * *

Came down like water

the x‑files || e‑mail