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Last Beautiful Thing

by Jennifer-OksanaJennifer Stoy

Subject: [glass_onion] Fic: The Last Beautiful Thing (XF, 1/1) Date: Monday, May 20, 2002 3:26 AM

The Last Beautiful Thing
Author: Jennifer-Oksana/Jennifer Stoy
Website: Rating/Classification: R, VRA, MSR, M/K, Sc/Reyes Spoilers: The Truth
Archive: list archives, ephemeral, gossamer, all others by permission Summary: The regrets we have pale next to the love we find. Disclaimer: Chris Carter and 1013 and FOX own; not me. Note: It's the last story for my first fandom. Treat her kind.

The thing about being dead is that it's cold. I could deal with everything else that comes with being dead, but I don't like the cold so much.

But I have him and for once, for ever, and for always, he's mine and he's listening to me. Just me.

"Do what they say," I whisper to him during the interrogations, my lips brushing his ear. Mulder. Mul-der. My enemy, my friend, my obsession. "Just play along and it'll turn out the right way. I promise."

What can I promise? I can promise so little to him. I'm dead. That's something that I can't change. It's something that I can never get past. But for just right now, he's mine again.

He leans against me during the nights when he's not allowed to sleep. I put my arms around him but he can't feel them. As has been mentioned a few times before, I happen to be one dead motherfucking rat bastard scumbag.

"Did you really love me?" he asks, leaning his head on my shoulder. "I mean, you did try to kill me all those times."

"Everyone's tried to kill you once or twice, Mulder," I reply, wondering what's really going on in his head. "That ain't no thang."

"You were always a little more--sincere about it," he says, chuckling the Mulder chuckle. "You really wanted me dead."

"Nah, Mulder," I say, wishing that I could feel more than the shadow of his body against mine. It's enough to turn a sad dead guy like me on, but it sort of pisses me off that the dead part makes action unlikely. "I just wanted you."

"Yeah, I know," Mulder says, snuggling against me. "Back in the day, you used to check me out all the time. I thought maybe it was hero-worship until I caught you ogling the red Speedo."

Oh, yeah. I remember the red Speedo. Angels in heaven probably remember that motherfuckin' thing and sing hosannas to the Most High God to remember the Speedo and the package hidden beneath it.

"What about you, man?" I ask, stroking his cheek. I'm dead--I have the right to be gentle once in a while now. "You ever gonna tell her about all the dirty, dirty things you and I used to do?"

He makes a little moan sound, the way he used do after we were done and before he'd go to sleep.

"Scully?" he asks, sounding like he used to before he knocked me down and got on my ass. I laugh.

"Nah, man, your mother--of course Scully," I say, watching the moon as it slides into the room. I wonder if the guard thinks Mulder's crazy--crazier. Talking to a dead man, that's not sane. Talking to a dead man about the hot sex you used to have, that's padded room time. "She should probably know about it."

"She already does," Mulder replies.

"What?" I say. "She knows? About you and me?"

"She's got eyes, doesn't she?" Mulder says. "It's okay. She knows. And it doesn't matter like it used to. I mean, love, you know? Love is the only thing that matters and everything else is just--"

He's fucking nuts. But that's Mulder. I always loved him because he was Mulder, no more, no less. So I let it go, even though I can't imagine fucking Scully fucking forgiving this. But you know, I'm dead. I'm cold and it's not much here.

Just him, leaning against me, asleep and warm. That's enough. It's not so much and it's everything. Maybe that's what Mulder means. This is love and it's nothing horrible. It's good. It's all right.

I wish I wasn't so cold.

The first night with Dana, she told me that she was there because it wasn't real. I don't know if she realized that she was there because there was nothing that could be realer to her.

I didn't mean to fall in love. But that's my heart--it yearns after the things it shouldn't because they are what they are. It doesn't care about the details.

Details. Like she was in love with someone else, like someone else was in love with me, like the fact that two female FBI agents do not fuck. She was a beautiful thing. When she cried, I would touch her face, amazed that she was so beautiful with those tears rolling off the tip of her nose, turning her face beet red.

I'd like to think, as I turn to John and smile, that I gave her a little happiness. A little peace. We did normal things together, she and I, when there was time for them. Dinner, television (she had a serious CSI fetish), cooing over the baby.

And sex, of course. The sex was always good and always wrong somehow.

"What are you thinking about?" he asks me as we drive back toward Washington, back toward what's left of our lives. It seems so big and empty without Dana and Mulder in it.

"Them," I lie, the lie easy on my lips.

"Yeah, I'm thinking about them, too," he replies. I wonder if he knew about us. I think he might have. I think he might have even approved, hoping against hope to see something alive and well light up in her beyond blue eyes.

She closed her eyes when we made love. I would watch her, the way her neck curved when she got close, the way her hands would slide toward me and then away. I remember so much of the way she looked, but even when she was calling my name, she never opened her eyes.

It's hard to love someone who doesn't love you the same way you love her. It's easier to love someone who doesn't love you, I think. There's always hope in that case.

I would hold Dana and she would snuggle into me on the best nights, almost sexually, almost like she was fifteen, very straight, and very unaware of how it felt to have a beautiful woman rubbing into another's body. That was when I knew that she didn't understand what she was to me, that I loved her with all my heart.

"You're quiet tonight," he notices, getting back on the highway. "Not much like you."

"It's been a long week," I reply.

"Never stopped you before," John says.

"Not the usual kind of long week," I tell him. I want to ask him if he knew about Dana and me. The curiosity is killing me.

"You're not wrong," he says. "It was good, wasn't it? Seeing them together--happy, you know?"

"Yeah," I say, thinking of the way she felt against me, thinking of the name she whispered when she didn't know I could hear her. "I'm glad that they're happy."

And I am, with all my heart, I am glad that Mulder and Dana are together in love the way they should be. The selfish, sad part of me that can't stop thinking of her wishes that I could have made her happy, but I know that it wasn't my fault.

Tomorrow, it'll all be in perspective. True love, friendship, family, the way it should be. Tonight I'm lonely and selfish and I wonder if I was anything to Dana except the unreal realspace she ran to when she had nowhere else to go.

Sometimes it hurts to be the only beautiful thing in an ugly world.

"Me, too," John says. He looks at me and I see the love in his eyes. "You're a good person, Monica."

I nod and look up at the stars. I wish I weren't afraid to see them still there. I wish a lot of things, but not on the stars or her blue blue eyes. I wish everything, but this is the first and last thing:

I wish I felt real.

And the thing that sustains all of it is love, nothing but love love love.

"I love you," he whispers in my ear.

"I love you," I tell him.

Things haven't always been perfect between us. Hell, we've survived various affairs and relationships that weren't between him and me. I know that he and Krycek were up to a little more than he'll ever let on and someday I need to explain about Monica.

If he doesn't know, and he probably does. We always know about the other's faults and indiscretions and at the end of the day--

Love and love and the only thing that keeps us alive and sane and well is the love. Time and space couldn't kill it, hell and all of its demons couldn't kill it, our own foibles and weaknesses seemed to paradoxically nourish the root of all of our experiences together.

"I want you," he says.

"I've always wanted you," I reply, finding his lips with my own, looking at him with my eyes wide open. He's not as young as he used to be. He's got that look, the look that's tired and lined and older. I see it in the mirrors in the mornings.

His mouth is warm against mine, gentle. It's not the passion we used to dream of (that we finally confessed to a long time ago), it doesn't burn and turn the world to water and my brain to mush. It's warm. Sweet. He brushes my hair back with his fingertips and I slide my hands down his back.

I survived all of it because I hoped and prayed and wished for him. Him and only him, Mulder. The man whose heart was mine before I asked for it. We never had to ask; it was always given.

"You're wonderful," I say when he pulls away. "Can I keep you?"

"Only if I can keep you," he replies, draping his arm around my waist. "I almost forgot how beautiful you are."

I laugh, but only a little. "Flatterer."

"No, I'm serious," he says, looking at me with those intense, hangdog, very very Mulder eyes. "Scully, you are my most beautiful thing. My touchstone. I couldn't live in a world where you weren't."

"Good," I say, trying not to cry. "Because neither could I."

He holds me tight and despite all of the things that are wrong--so wrong with our lives--our life is a motel room and an SUV with half a tank of gas--I can't help but be happy.

We're not lying anymore. We have faith in our love and we know it for the first time in nine years. All of the things that were locked in hearts and furtive glances are now out in the open.

Because of that, I have hope.

I have hope because he loves me and I love him.

The End

"I'm a devious degenerate, defender of the devil..." --MC Chris

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