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Trace A Random Star *R* 1/1
Deslea R. Judd
Copyright 2002

DISCLAIMER: Characters not mine. Interpretation mine.
ARCHIVE: Sure, just keep my name and headers.
RATING: R for low-key sexual situations.
CATEGORY/KEYWORD: Vignette, Angst, Romance, Krycek/Marita.
SPOILERS/TIMEFRAME: Non-specific, but probably post-Requiem.
SUMMARY: A stolen moment in the eye of the storm. Mood piece. In a way, this is kind of a companion piece to Dream A Crystal Moon, but it stands alone.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: At the end.
FEEDBACK: Is cherished and answered - eventually. ::blush:: deslea@deslea.com
MORE STORIES: http://fiction.deslea.com/
AWARDS/ELIGIBILITY: Spooky 2002 eligible.


This is stupid.

I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't be in this building. I shouldn't be pressing this button.

The button lights up, yellow beneath my fingertip, and the doors close with a sickening thud. My stomach rises, then drops as the elevator begins its ascent.

I shouldn't step out when the doors open. I should stay, and press another button and go down and leave the way I came.

I don't. I can't.

I shouldn't be walking this corridor. I shouldn't knock at this door.

There are sounds, and then the light glimmering behind the peephole dies. She's looking out. She pauses, and I can almost feel her indecision.


I shouldn't let him in.

I've been waiting - my hands have already travelled over my aching body tonight - but I shouldn't let him in. Not into my home. Not into my arms. Not into my heart.

Well, it's a bit late for the last one, and that means the first two don't count.

You see, it doesn't matter about my body. That ache is a powerful one, but it can be eased - by my own hand, or the hand of another. But my heart - my soul - can only be touched by him. I hate myself for that. I hate my weakness and my need. It isn't right to be a woman on the edge of a new millennium and to still need a man.


It isn't right.

After all I've seen, all I've endured, all the betrayals I've put her through and been put through by her, it isn't right that I should need her like this.

I don't know whether to love her or hate her when she opens the door.


In the end, I suppose it always comes back to this.

He's there, looking wretched and worn.

So that's it, then. Tonight, he is vulnerable, and that means tonight he is mine. Tomorrow will be another day - but tonight he is mine, and I am his.

I reach out for his hand and I take it in mine.


When she takes my hand, my mind goes blank.

The betrayals leave me. The hurt leaves me. The nagging emptiness leaves me, all of it in a rush. God. God.

I want. I want.


My body begins to tremble when he pulls me against him.

"Oh, Marita," he whispers, and my name is a sigh. His lips are on my brow, and I feel desire drape down over me - over us - like a shroud.


"Alex," she says, almost on the point of weeping, and she tilts back her head to meet my lips with hers. She always seems to think before she speaks - there's a pause, as she considers her words - but she isn't doing that now. Not at all.

Her hand is on my shoulder, the bad one, pulling me down, down into her, and I reach back behind us to close the door.


His breath hitches in my mouth. He doesn't hide it anymore. The line between ache and anguish is a fine one these days. Lovemaking is grief between us - grief for something touched but never held.

Hold me. Please hold me.


I hold her tight against me, and just for a moment, I let myself believe that she is mine. That the hair I cradle in my palm will still be there, strewn across my body tomorrow or the day after that.

She makes me whole - and it hurts.


My mouth cleaves hungrily to his, drawing him into me, holding him there. I'm drowning with him, I've been drowning for such a long time, but when he's with me like this he feels like my salvation.

They say that drowning is a good way to die.


"Off," I whisper, tugging at her collar. "Off."

She nods, and she unbuttons her dress, her lips still searching mine.

I need her naked. I need her that way now.


He drops to his knees before me when my dress is open, and he smoothes his hand over my stomach. He presses his face against me there, and his voice is low and raw, and he murmurs into my flesh, "I wish."

I don't ask what he wishes. I don't need to.


I wish I could drive into her and fill her with my seed, and feel it spring to life. I wish I could feel her belly swell beneath my hand. It's a stupid thought, a nonsense one. I don't want kids. I don't want the picket fence and the American dream. I just want to survive.

But when I have her with me like this, all that falls away, and millennia of instinct rises in its place, and I want only this: to see the moment live on. To feel it within her, to watch it grow. As she runs her hands through my hair, as she slips down before me, I want it more than anything.

Just once, I want to awaken life rather than signal its end.


He lets me undress him, docile as a child. He doesn't flinch anymore when I unfasten the leather strap of his prosthetic. He lets me take his arm and his gun. He lets me leave him with nothing, and he doesn't help me or stop me, but only watches me with those gleaming eyes.

If I hadn't known he loved me already, I know it now.


When I'm naked before her, she runs her hands over my shoulders. Her left palm runs over my arm, down to my hand. Her right cradles my stump. It still shocks me, that she does that - that she can bear to do it - and at first I thought it was something she thought she should do to make things right, as if anything ever could. It was a long time before I understood that she actually liked it.

She loves my stump. She loves it because it's mine. Unbelievable.


I draw his hand up to my neck, and slide it beneath my open dress. He cups my shoulder, nudging the fabric over it, and I shrug it free. He barely glances at my body, just holds my gaze with his.

The naked yearning there shines so brightly I feel like it could burn me alive.


I need to be inside her.

I need it the way an addict needs a fix. I need it because feeling her body gather around mine is almost close enough. Any closer would be annihilation - fusion with her, total loss of myself. So within her is as close as I can get.

It's almost close enough.


I don't understand.

I don't want him to do anything. I don't want him to touch me here or kiss me there. I just want him with me - within me. I just want us to...be. Was this how it was before we all grew self-aware? Was it stripped bare, nothing more than this - to hold and be held? Is this how they made love at the dawn of time?

Sometimes I think I was his even then.


We reach for one another in the same moment.

It is she who breaks our locked gaze to draw me into her arms, and I cradle her cheek with my hand and kiss her. There is honesty in her silence, wordless love and need. It humbles me, that she can look at me that way, even after everything.

I wish we could stay this way forever.


Down.

I want him to cover me. I want to be warm.


She tugs at my hand, pulling me closer, but I draw back. I don't want her on the wooden floor. I want her cradled in the softness of her bed, and I want to sleep with her after.

I hurt her enough by day. I won't do it by night.


"Not here," he whispers. "Bed."

How many times have you slept on the street, Alex? How many times have you longed for a warm place to lay your head? Is that why you come to me? Because you know that I can be that place?

I draw his head down to my shoulder, and he lets me cradle him there.


I hold out my hand, and she places hers within it. I tug a little, and then we rise together.

We walk to her bedroom hand in hand.


He would have carried me once, but that was when he had both his hands. Now, we walk, and I like that better.

I like being by his side.


She slips down onto her back without being asked.

This is how I like it with her. I like her heart against mine. I like her flesh against mine. I like to touch her face, and to kiss her, and to cradle her in my one remaining arm. She's never asked for it any other way, so perhaps she likes it that way too.

I think so. I hope so.


When he slides into me, it is a relief.

There is none of the bracing, none of the apprehension that precedes the others I've known. They were not all unwelcome, but they were all trespassers. He is not. He belongs.

When he joins with me, something in myself falls into place - something I didn't know was missing at all.


I love how she fits in the crook of my arm.

I love how she holds my gaze. I love her solemnity. I love that she can honour the gravity of what lies between us with her silence. I love the way she moves with me, not against me...the way she seeks rhythm, not friction. With her it's like floating in water, like rocking on waves. I don't get lost in how she feels. I get lost in who she is. In who we are.

I'd say it was like death if I didn't feel so alive.


His forehead comes to rest on mine.

I can feel his breath, warm and humid on my flesh. There are tears in my eyes and in my throat, and I taste them on him. We pass between agony and ecstasy and back again without even knowing it sometimes, and the first I know of it is when I taste salt on him or myself. I've given up questioning why that is. I only know that it's there, and when it happens, I love him more than I can say.


"I love you," I murmur. "I love you."

She kisses me, and she makes a hitching, grieving sound. "I love you."

It occurs to me that I've only ever said that when I was inside her.


When I tell him I love him, his rhythm picks up speed. It excites him, hearing me say it, and I say it again. "I love you, Alex," I whisper. "I love you."

"Love you, Marita," he chokes out. "Love you, I love you." And that's when the slow love that we make grows fast and urgent and desperate, and we say it together, heads bowed to one another's shoulders, bodies and souls rising with need.

The words run together when we come.


Tears stream from her eyes when we finish. They always do. I wonder if she knows that.

She takes my face between her palms, and draws me down, and kisses my brow. Then my eyes, left and right. She lingers there, her lips caressing my lashes. Then my mouth, and I stay there, letting my lips travel lightly over hers.

I can still feel the tremors in her body as they fall back and disappear.


He never really pulls out of me. He just stays there inside me until the fullness fades away. I love those moments, moments of union for its own sake, and there's always just a shadow of grief when finally his body slips free of mine.


I ease off of her with a sense of loss. The loss of contact is only for a moment, but I hate it - I want her body along mine. I nudge her hip with my hand, and she rolls onto her side, and lets me cradle my body around hers.

We slept facing each other in the early days. We couldn't bear to look away from one another. But somewhere along the line, that got to be too much. Like looking into an eclipse. Now we lock hands instead, and she buries her face in the pillow, and I bury mine in her hair.


I love to sleep like this, covered in his warmth, deep in his darkness. His hand twines with mine, and his breath is hot on my neck, irregular at first, then smoothing out into a slow rhythm as he sinks into sleep.

Just for a moment, I wonder what tomorrow will bring. If it will be the day when, finally, I must choose between his survival and mine. If it will be the day when finally he completes the dance we began so long ago by taking my life. If I will make him bleed, either in body or soul, or if he will do it to me. We've done it before, and we will surely have to do it again before it ends.

And when it ends?

When it ends, I think it might be like this. Dark and warm and one with another.

It will be a relief.

END


AUTHOR'S NOTE: Firstly, thanks as always to my dear friends at the Harem. This story was inspired in part by my interview with Frank Spotnitz (available at Blondie's Ratcave - http://ratcave.deslea.com) in which he said, "I do see [Krycek and Covarrubias] as a love story of sorts, but kind of a twisted love story. Because I think they're both tortured characters in a way...and depending on the circumstances, they might stick together and be inseparable, and then in other circumstances they might stab each other in the back."

I've been kind of stuck in my Krycek/Marita writing for a couple of months now. I had reached an intensity, a kind of loving, grieving silence in dealing with these two, and that was blocking me from writing them. A kind of blinding paralysis - like trying to write something obscured by an eclipse. I think that emotionally I had become stuck on this one angle, this intensity, so that it overshadowed the other aspects of their story. This vignette was in part an attempt to put some kind of naming onto that and maybe put it into a better perspective so I could write them again.

I said in the opening remarks that this fic serves as a kind of a companion piece to Dream A Crystal Moon. The titles have similar content and syntax, and both titles were drawn from songs which, while not directly related to the stories, had a definite influence on the stories' mood. Both stories use lovemaking to convey something greater; both have a certain darkness to them; and both use (for me) new and experimental techniques. They could be seen as parallel stories, co-existing in the one universe. I didn't really conceive of them that way, but looking at them now, I see that the two stories draw on the same incarnations of our heroes. If you choose to look at them that way, I see Dream A Crystal Moon as the earlier of the two, and this one as the latter. This one seems to have a more developed honesty between them.

The title is drawn from Gravity Of Love by Enigma, and there is a Krycek/Marita music video to this song available at Blondie's Ratcave or my video page (both via http://xfiles.deslea.com).

     O fortuna valet luna
     O fortuna valet luna
     
     Turn around and smell what you don't see
     Close your eyes, it is so clear
     Here's a mirror, behind there is a screen
     And with wings you can get in
     
     Don't think twice before you listen to your heart
     Follow the trace of a random star
     What you need and everything you feel
     Is just a question of the day
     
     In the eye of the storm you can see the lonely door
     The experience of survival is the key
     To the gravity of love
     
     The path of excess leads to the tower of wisdom
     The path of excess leads to the tower...
     
     Try to think about it
     It's the chance to live your life and discover
     What it is
     It's the gravity of love
     
     Let your noise be heard
     Can you hear the voice
     Find the one who'll guide you
     To the limits of your choice
     
     But if you're in the eye of the storm
     Just think of the lonely door
     The experience of survival is the key
     To the gravity of love 
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