VRA (heavy on the A)
Rated R
Keywords: Post-ep, MSR
Spoilers: Emily
Disclaimer: Of course I disclaim. Yada yada.

He's not leaving.

I told him to go, that I wanted to be alone.

But he is simply standing there, looking at me, and I can't read his eyes.

He is not arguing with me. He is not trying to convince me of anything.

But he's not leaving.


I can't move.

She told me to go. I should give her her space. I'm good at that.

But I can't make my legs work.

Hell, I can't even tear my eyes away from her.

I can't even speak.


"DAMNIT MULDER! I asked you to leave!"

Her outburst surges out of the pregnant silence, a sudden gush of words that surprises both of us.

"I can't."

Did I say that? I've been trying to make my feet work for so long that I am shocked when my tongue takes a life of its own.


His soft words pull me suddenly from the pit of isolation I've hidden myself in.

His eyes bypass my brain and send a coherent electrical signal down my spinal cord. I feel my feet move of their own accord, carrying me across the distance between us, stopping only when I am close enough that I can see only his eyes.

A word circles through my mind with a shriek like a finger sliding around a crystal goblet.



She comes close to me, so close. Her eyes scream silently, the word "alone" echoes in my ears.

I feel my tongue moving, taking that word and turning it away.

"You are not alone."

She shatters into knifelike shards, flailing at me, crashing into my chest.

All I can do is catch her.


I feel sobs shaking my body, a raging torrent of tears and words pouring forth.

The keening of the goblet is gone in a thousand tinkling shards of glass and a rushing river of grief flowing down his chest and out of my soul.


I have finally regained control over my body.

Her small body pours pain into my arms embracing her tightly because her knees will not hold her up.

I feel her slipping down, and I scoop her up gingerly into my arms as gently as I would cup a fine crystal in my hands.

I realize that I am not a thousand pieces.

There is continuity from the pressure of his left arm cupping my shoulders, and his right arm under my knees.

Curled against him, I feel his warmth pulling me together from my head resting on his shoulder to his strong arms wrapping around my whole body.

My glass walls crumpled, my every reinforcement shattered. The tears that flow from the broken cups of my control washed away my last vestiges of strength. I thought I would drown when my knees buckled.

But he carries me.

I am not afraid of drowning.


She is heavy on my lap and in my arms. I realize that her sobs have subsided into deep, even breaths.

I breathe, matching her breath for breath, idly noticing that our heartbeats are in synch, both slowing into a soothing amble.

She shifts in my arms, snuggling deeper into me, into sleep.


The storm waves have subsided. The crystal cups that trapped me, protecting me from the one who could make me whole, have disappeared completely.

Even the ocean of grief I thought would drown me has calmed. I float in the ocean, rocking gently up and down with the pace of my breath. It is there, but I have learned to swim. It is not my enemy. I am buoyed up.

My hands move, tracing the outline of my life-preserver. I feel him warm under me, his breaths gently lifting us up.

His hands respond to mine, and I feel them defining my edges.

Her eyes are closed still, her breathing still easy, but her hands are moving methodically. It seems almost as if she's mapping me, a surveyor defining my boundaries and landmarks.

My hands echo hers, lightly tracing her back rounded, her legs curled, her hair damp from sleep sweat, her arms in motion.

I feel my muscles uncoil, stretching me against him like a cat as his hands reassure me that I am all here.

I open my eyes and look up at him, to find his eyes already on me. They do not call me this time, they simply acknowlege that I am already here.

My mouth pulls into a smile in answer.


With her eyes on me, my hands find their way up to her hair, her face.

My fingertips lightly trace her mouth, her cheek, her ears.

I think I'm drowning.

She reaches up to me and her breath on my lips confirms this.

I am drowning.


It only took a slight tilt of my head, with him gazing down on me and his fingers drawing across my lips, for his hand to slide from lips to neck.

This leaves only a few centimeters and a warm breath between us.

I am very aware of my body, of his. No longer are my hands neccessary for me to know where he begins and ends.

He stays there, not moving, not pushing, waiting.

He will wait for me forever if I let him.


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