Ancient Elements Series by MCA (as Mesa)
ANCIENT ELEMENTS SERIES
- ANCIENT ELEMENTS I: UNDERTOW
- ANCIENT ELEMENTS II: WEIGHTLESS
- ANCIENT ELEMENTS III: ABLAZE
- ANCIENT ELEMENTS IV: PLATE TECTONICS
Originally posted as Mesa
Category: V, A, R
Summary: The danger of the oceans is that you can never see the undertow until it’s too late.
Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the X-Files belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Broadcasting.
Feedback always greatly appreciated.
My deep gratitude to Meredith The Wonderful. Extraordinary editor and writer.
My thanks to my friends, who keep my laughing, and remind me why we do the things we do.
It called to her.
The crash-hiss-wash of the waves breaking against the shore permeated the air. Less a sound than part of the atmosphere. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, fluorocarbons, and this sound—combined into a breathable mixture of air, salt, sound, sand, and the scent that was simply ocean.
Crash. Hiss. Wash.
Relentless. Remorseless. Inevitable.
It was the sound of her childhood. The tidal rhythms of the seas ran through her – tugging at her at odd hours, in strange nights. Stranded in some hotel in the heartland of America during one of their assignments, she would find herself restlessly awakening to the knowledge that the tide was going out. Somewhere far away. Somewhere she longed to be.
She was a child of the oceans. She understood them. Feared them. Respected them.
Needed this—this communion with the slow drag of the waves against the sand, the feel of salt and water against her skin, the smell of seaweed and danger in her senses.
It was March. The Atlantic Coast along this stretch of the Massachusetts shore largely deserted. The case had ended, unsatisfactorily, earlier that day, but it had been too late to begin long trip home. So one more night here, at this beach front motel. Vaguely shabby in the off-season light, but near the water. Her water.
She walked slowly along the shore line, unconsciously shivering a little in the wind that cut through the unseasonably warm early Spring air. Dusk now, just past dusk. Barely light to see, but the moon was bouncing off the water, and she didn’t want to turn away yet. She required this time to be near the water.
The waters of sea were life, but also death.
As a child, growing up with a sailor father, she had instinctively known that the sea might one day rend Ahab from their family. Every year the Scullys had attended the funerals for the sailors who didn’t come home. Sailors lost due to their own carelessness, sheer accident, or simply because the sea demanded respect, and sometimes exacted the price at random.
At each funeral Dana had been unable to stop herself from imagining the day that the empty casket would be for her father. But she never asked him to turn down the next sea-faring assignment—they were both too proud for such requests—and he had always come back.
At the end, of course, the sea had reclaimed him—accepting his ashes in the same silence that it had accepted his love, his service. Ashes to ashes, but the Scullys lived from water to water. You gave the sea its due.
The wind shifted, sharper now, and Scully realized the chill came not from her memories, but from the cooling air. Still she was reluctant to turn back. The siren call of the Atlantic pulled her along, deeper into the night.
The hazards of water lie in their apparent transparency. You believe that because you can see through them, that you know them—understand where the danger is. But you never see the riptide that pulls you under. Never recognize the undertow until it is too late.
Scully had nearly drowned twice.
She was twelve the first time it happened. The warm waters of the Pacific had been a natural playground for her and her siblings when they were stationed in San Diego. Summer weekends at the beach were crowded, noisy, and frenetic. She’d loved being part of the bustle, but sometimes felt left out of things.
Missy and Charlie and Bill would strike up casual friendships for a day or a weekend, playing in pickup games of volleyball and trading surfing tips. But Dana was small, scrawny really, and also inclined to a certain shyness. She was not a natural “pick” for the teams that coalesced on the sand courts, not inclined to easily chatter.
She quickly found that simply heading out into the waters, swimming and floating and swimming that she could be a part of it all, but not have to pretend to be a part of group that probably didn’t want her. That she was never entirely sure she wanted, either.
She became a very strong swimmer. She reveled in her strength and endurance. The feel of her body cutting through the water, moving with and against the current, outwitting the sea—always managing to return to shore. Out there in the waters, she imagined herself a sea-faring animal: a dolphin, an orca. Something graceful, with just an edge of danger. Swimming alone became more than a habit. It became a necessity.
It had been a normal day. Bright, sunny—maybe slightly breezier than normal, but nothing out of the ordinary. She’d walked down the beach a little way. A little removed from the shrieking children and laughing kids. The waves were up—perfect height for diving through. She’d walked out into the water, until she was submerged to just below her waist—shivering at the cold-hot sensation of adjusting to the chilly water.
A perfect wave approached—she tensed, dove through, and was instantly caught in an undertow. Suddenly blind, deaf, directionless, she was tumbled rough in the surf. Over and over, she was spun, pushed, pulled. Her skin was scraped raw by the sand small rocks, shells snatched up by the same lurking maelstrom.
There was only the sudden surprise of the taking—no time to fight, no time to panic, no time to do anything but surrender to the forces of the ocean. There was only the green, brown, watery, sandy, relentless force that sucked her under and kept her down, down, down….and she let go of everything, and let the water carry her away…further beneath the surface, out into the water…until suddenly there was light and air and her lungs were sucking in oxygen, great tearing gasps, and there was the shore.
She was surprised to find that she could stand, that she hadn’t been swept miles out to sea. She staggered ashore a mile from where she’d entered the water—shaky, disoriented, bewildered. For an endless time, she simply sat on the sand, and looked at the deceptive waves.
Eventually her heart returned to its slow steady beating, and her breathing evened. She stood and walked back to the others, who never remarked on her slightly torn suit, her unusual (even for her) quiet.
It was her first real lesson about her own fragility. And strength.
The second time the ocean nearly claimed her was years later. On Spring Break from Berkeley her freshman year, she had impulsively jumped in her car and driven down the coast. No plans, no particular destination—she had just needed to drive, to move, to break out. She’d found herself in a beach-front town near where they had lived during their tour at San Diego, and decided to stay for a day or two.
It was a weekday, so the beaches were less crowded than usual, and she’d found a stretch that was reasonably isolated. In the back of her head, she knew that she should have checked in with a life guard station, found out the swimming conditions. She was older now. She Knew Better. But it was Spring Break, and she was strong, and the waves looked gentle. Surely wading out and testing the waters couldn’t be too dangerous.
She trusted the ocean. She knew the ocean. It wouldn’t hurt her. It protected her father. It would allow her this. It would feel her need, and support her, carry her.
And once again, an innocent wave masked the deadly menace of riptides. Once again, an undertow nearly destroyed her.
This time she fought—tried to claw her way to the surface, find the light and air. Tried to overpower the forces that overpowered her. Tried to stop the immutable fact of the waves and pull of the currents. She turned and twisted, pushing against the force of the waves, trying to outthink the tides, to analyze which direction she needed to go. It availed her nothing. In her panic, she began losing air more quickly, sucked in a great mouthful of seawater.
She was still fighting when once more, the ocean relented, and she was eventually cast ashore—battered, bruised, aching, but alive.
She never stopped swimming in oceans. At every opportunity, she would go to the water, seek to touch the waves, to swim through the breakers at the shore line, to reach open water and simply be.
To exist in a place where she could feel the beat of the waves like a heartbeat. Where the slow pulse of the world was all she knew, all she needed.
He called to her.
She felt the pull along her limbs, her veins vibrating with the dark awareness. The tug of the moon calling the tides in and out. Silver black fire coursing through her—the fire of lava, infinitely hotter than the mere red, white, orange flames of forest fires. Cool fire. Utter devastation. Utter seduction.
The lure of danger. The siren call of the unknown. It had infected her. Taken her unaware some deep night, and she had never been the same.
An awareness moved over her body, prickling, touching. Light trails of sensation tingling up and down her spine—skirting the edge of hot-cold. Knife blade trailing along skin.
The tidal rhythm beating in her heart changed—deepened, faltered, and then picked up, just slightly asynchronous.
She turned away from the water.
He was waiting for her. She could only see his silhouette back lit by the light spilling from the open door of his room. He was out on the porch in front of their rooms, leaning against the railing. A passing observer would think he was casually taking the night air, but she knew him. She could read the tension in him from yards away, could feel the waiting in him, the longing, the reaching.
She could feel his silent calling to her. Wondered if he even knew that he was doing it. Wondered if there were times when she called to him without knowing it. But she knew the calling was real. That it existed between them—binding them, balancing them, keeping them whole.
She knew he was watching her—felt his eyes cutting through the darkness to find her shadow against the deeper shadows of the night. Knew that he had found her outlined against the ocean. Was now watching her every moment. She shivered again, but there was no trace of the night air in her consciousness.
She stopped. Waited. Let the tension reel out, stretched taut and thin between them. Pulled back against the calling. Resisted the rhythm of him, of them.
Dark, deadly, waiting for her beneath the surface of that need, that longing. The silent, merciless riptides that reached out to pull her under and away and beneath.
She began walking toward the motel. Toward him.
Her thoughts snarled and tangled—creatures caught in fishing nets, drowning without knowing what had undone them.
Closer and closer, until she stood just below him, looking up to him as he stood on the porch.
An endless moment of lost language—silent communion.
“Aren’t you cold?” His tone was careful, but held so many undercurrents. Come in from the cold, help me find warmth, let us find heat.
“A little.” She looked back at the water for just a second. “But I needed to….”
“Yes, you always do.” And there was that understanding. That touch.
She walked around and up onto the porch, meeting him on common ground.
“I miss the ocean.”
He turned to stare out at the water with her, moving subtly closer. Not quite touching, but no real space between them. She could smell his scent—subtle, musky, secretive—underneath the salt and sand. “I know. It….it gets in your blood doesn’t it?”
Barely a whisper. “Yes. I can feel its rhythms.”
Careful movement, and a hand brushing across her back. Hovering for a moment, indecision, and then she was pulled gently against him. The dark night and their isolation enhanced her sense of danger, but she fought back against her instinctive stiffening. They had denied themselves basic human contact for too long. She could feel him sigh when she relaxed into his pull. “It’s a heartbeat.”
Her own thoughts echoed back to her had become familiar, but she felt a sudden flare of acknowledgment at the intimacy. He knew her as no other did.
“The pulse of the world.”
Small snort. “You’re the scientist in this combo, Scully, when did you develop these poetic tendencies?”
“It’s the ocean. The tides. Out here, at the water’s edge, I understand why early scientists thought that the elements were water, fire, earth and air.”
“There are forces beyond even your philosophy, Horatio.” A vague laughter evidenced in his tone, but something uncertain underscored it.
“More things in heaven and earth….” She was dislocated from time, drifting, listening to the heartbeat of the world. Beginning to hear the heartbeat just 8 inches from her ear.
“It feels like we’re the only people in the world out here, doesn’t it?” His tone was so solemn. She felt an ache begin in her chest.
“Maybe we are…” It wasn’t what she had meant to say, but it felt true right then.
His only reply was to turn and pull her into the shelter of his body, pressing her against him tightly. In the dark, alone in the world, no one for miles but the two of them, she wondered if he needed comfort, or the simple touch of another.
Until she realized that he was trembling slightly—felt the hard heat of his arousal against her body. He made no further movement. Merely held her, cradling her head lightly to his chest; his other arm wrapped gently around her back.
Her mood turned suddenly mercurial—liquid, quicksilver, unpredictable. Mind darting down passages of sensation and need and longing and knowledge. They were the only people in the world. This was the only moment in time.
She tilted her head and nipped at his chin, then soothed the sudden pain with her lips and tongue.
His indrawn breath was harsh, ragged. He lowered his head and his lips met hers. Fully, demanding, seeking, asking.
There is a moment of surrender when the undertow claims you. A moment when you must commit yourself to capitulating your will to that of the elemental forces of nature. The moment when you accept the destiny that the seas will for you—to be swept out to sea and drowned, or cast back to the safety of shore.
It is only in accepting the consequences of your folly to test the waves, that you have any hope of survival.
Her mouth opened beneath his, permitting him access to her—her heart, her soul, her body. Everything had always been his. For a long time now. For too long.
Her arms moved to pull him closer, tighter, deeper. His mouth moved over hers, his tongue touched hers, tangled briefly, conquered, claimed and retreated, so that she might claim him, too. He tasted vaguely of cinnamon and coffee and the undefined truths of night, and love, and trust.
Their hands began to rove, restlessly touching, caressing, holding. His hands moved along her sides, her back, until they brushed along the side of her breast. Even through the sweater she wore, the touch sparked and jolted—pleasure washing over her.
Her groan reverberated through them both, shaking them, awakening them to this—this moment, this reality.
He pulled back, and for a moment looked almost startled.
No words. No need for words. A look that was ‘yes’ and ‘yes’ and the hand holding hers only shook faintly as they made their way into the room and closed the door.
A sudden attack of near awkwardness as they closed the drapes and turned on the dim corner lamp and shed coats and suddenly faced each other across the 4-foot abyss that seemed to separate them. But then he stepped forward, and she stepped forward and there was nothing between them but laughter and touch and their bond.
He was beautiful—long limbed, lithe, lanky. She couldn’t stop touching him, running her hands over the skin and hair and scars and sinew and muscles that strained up to meet her touch. She washed over him with her hands and mouth and hair, insinuating herself against him, upon him. Beneath her hands she felt the smooth-rough of the hair on his chest, the heat and dampness of his sweat- slicked skin.
Finally he laughed, mock-growled at her and rolled them over to lavish the same attention on her. His heavy weight across her legs and body a welcome burden as she writhed and trembled beneath the onslaught of the pleasure he brought. He suckled her breast— worshipping her with touch and kiss. She cried out, wordlessly, incoherent with pleasure and the knowledge that it was him here with her, in this room, in this bed.
Their mouths fused once more, imparting acceptance and need and acknowledgment of need met. Soft and rough, sweet and sharp—past meeting present, defining a future that had never been thought possible.
And then she was beneath him, looking up into eyes dilated into ebony discs surrounded by emerald fire. She twisted, her legs parting in invitation, mirrored need, acceptance. He sank into her with a slow inexorable thrust, filling her. Filling spaces she hadn’t known were empty.
~The waters are so beautiful~
He pulled back, and she felt the movement vibrating through her.
But you must always beware of what lies beneath.
He surged forward again—tight, deep. Home. His eyes were wide open, and meeting them, she felt herself falling, pulled into the endless oceans.
She shifted underneath him, meeting him and pulling them onward, out to sea.
Forward. They could hear the waves crashing outside their room. The ocean’s relentless, inevitable, unchanging voice echoing through their years.
And again, and again, and their rhythms meshed, and merged, and mimicked the ocean’s, until the undertow caught them, pulling them under, tumbling them faster and harder. Rough, ragged rhythm. Falling, sinking through the waters, breath snatched from them, rolling, riding the waves, until finally she surrendered with a cry that was half a sob, “Mulder!”
He surged against her once, and twice, and then he, too, abandoned himself to the currents that swept them under.
Just before daybreak she dreamt that she was adrift in the open sea. There was no sound but the beat of the waves. She was utterly alone, but somehow she felt safe, secure in the ocean’s embrace. She awoke in the harbor of Mulder’s arms.
Originally posted as Mesa
Category: V, R
Summary: A flight home and a realization of what waits.
Disclaimer: The characters and situations of The X-Files are the property of 1013 Productions and Fox Broadcasting. No infringement intended.
Note: This takes place in the same universe as, and after the events of “Undertow,” but is a stand-alone story.
My deep thanks to Meredith who puts up with way more than she should, and who always makes just the right suggestion.
Fleeing from nowhere into nothingness.
A window seat in an empty row, on a half-empty plane. Tired passengers taking this final flight of the day away from a place whose name they’d already forgotten.
Beneath him the country rolled away in serene and surreal darkness. The glowing sprawls of urban lights looked like coral colonies— groupings of small, single-minded creatures moving and flowing through a darkness they didn’t even realize was without light.
The plane climbed up to cruising altitude through the cloud layers until there was nothing visible below him. The lights were dim throughout the cabin, and there was only the reflection of moonlight on the clouds—infinite shades of white and grey and more grey.
He actually liked these late flights. Less crowded, dark, nearly silent, they suited his solitary nature. Afforded him time to pull inward, to sit in the quiet of an imposed darkness, and drift along on the mechanical will of the plane’s flight path. He could surrender to the inevitability of departure and destination. There were no decisions to be made once he found his seat.
Up here, unable to use his cel phone—cut off from the known world, he simply was. It was a pleasant non-existence. In these times, between cases, flying from dark into dark, there was nothing behind him and nothing before him. It was an odd sort of freedom. Almost unexpected.
This, he thought, was true weightlessness. Not the zero-gravity experienced by astronauts, who merely escaped the mundane and pragmatic pull of Newtonian force on their physical bodies. No, flying through this night he felt the weightlessness of freedom from life. For these precious, dark, quiet moments there were no tugs and pulls on him, no factors anchoring him to the hard, bright realities of his existence. There was only this dim cabin, with the muted lights. An isolated time of space with no time.
Below him the night-lighted cities swam in and out of view, visible through the gaps in the clouds that rushed by under the plane’s wings. Or was the plane rushing through the clouds? It didn’t matter. Time and direction had no meaning in this floating world that encased him.
And yet, it wasn’t entirely true that he was flying into nothingness. From nothing—yes. Another case that would simply become part of the inextricable jumble of his memories. Another brutal series of murders that would blend seamlessly into the horrors that lurked always below his consciousness, surfacing in sharp, fitful nightmares. His part done, the murderer caught, and already it was fading away into nothingness, merely another case file.
Flying through nothingness. Up here, suspended in mid-air, held up by a contraption that if he looked at it too closely would surely disintegrate under the sheer improbability of a hunk of metal being able to fly. He would be dropped into thin oxygen- starved atmosphere—unable to breathe, unable to do anything but tumble and tumble into the final unknown. Nothing to brake his fall, nothing to buoy him. But….
Before him….ahead of him was something he was flying toward. Something that he didn’t dare even name because if he tried to name it or touch it, it might simply slip through his fingers—as insubstantial as the whips of clouds through which this plane flew. Clouds that could hide lethal storms, and obscure vision, but that ultimately were nothing more than water and air. Yet, it wasn’t the individual components that mattered. It was what they became together.
The idea that there was something else was too new to think about clearly. It still seemed impossible that there could be anything in front of him. But there was.
He held on to the thought of his destination. He let the night carry him home.
And then the bump-bounce of touching back to earth, and the heart-stopping roar of the engines reversing as the plane all-too slowly reduced its speed to finally reach the safe taxi speed that would take them to the gate. Always it seemed to him that the plane was reluctant to cut the speed, to slow to something reasonable or safe.
Stepping out of the plane onto the walkway, he felt the chill air seeping in around the loose seal. Earth-bound once more, he felt the weight of the past 2 weeks settling on his shoulders, pressing down on his spine. Vague aches making themselves known now at this late hour, in this cold winter night. He shivered as he walked up into the harshly lighted terminal.
He found himself scanning the faces of the half-dozen people waiting at the gate, looking unconsciously for the one face. Her face. He knew she wouldn’t be there. He didn’t expect her to be there. And yet, he couldn’t suppress the sharp bite of disappointment at her absence. He growled incoherently at himself and trudged out of the departure/arrival lounge and toward the main terminal.
It was late—so late that all the shops and bars and coffee shops were gated and shut down. Abandoned storefronts that beckoned the weary travelers with bright displays and then denied them with the dark windows and padlocked doors. There was no one alive in the world but the people straggling off the plane—their footsteps both echoing and being swallowed up by the cavernous spaces of the airport.
On the way out he debated with himself the relative merits of taking a taxi—probably faster if there wasn’t a line, but more expensive— versus the metro. Finally the metro won, simply because he knew he could be assured of not having to talk to anyone. He was so tired, had no more words left. The metro would take a little longer, but he had very little luggage, and it would be silent.
The four-block walk to his apartment from the metro station was eerily deserted. He seemed to have carried a surrounding atmosphere of silence and dark with him. For a moment he was weightless again—alone—free from the petty annoyances of life and job and paperwork and family and past and history. Simply a man walking toward his home.
His home that would also be empty and dark and silent. Unanchored, he could drift until morning—loosed from constraint and tethers to anything resembling reality. He wondered briefly if there was a danger in this weightlessness. If he would simply lift up and away until he disappeared from anyone’s consciousness.
In the dark of this night, the line between the freedom of being without weight, and the loneliness of it blurred and snarled in his gut.
The prospect of his empty apartment seemed suddenly sinister.
But it wasn’t empty.
She was there, waiting for him.
She flowed out of the shadows, almost startling him, his only warning of her presence in his darkened rooms the faint scent of her that reached him milliseconds before she pressed against him, arms reaching to wrap around him, pulling him into her. Almost desperate. Hungry.
“I missed you.” He wasn’t sure if she had said it, or he simply heard her thoughts echoing in his mind.
He dropped his bags and returned her embrace, one hand cradling her head against his heart. Feeling himself becoming anchored back to this world, this life, this moment. For a brief instant he missed the feeling of weightlessness, of flight, but the solid and welcome reality of her warm body in his arms evaporated the tiny longing.
She was there.
Unexpected, but essential. Had she known that he had looked for her face at the airport? Held on to the memory of her touch and taste and texture through all the lonely nights on the road?
She moved her head against his chest—seeking, restless—lifting her mouth to his. Lips touching, and retreating slightly, and then touching again, and again. Deeper. Longer. Harder.
He felt his fatigue wash through him again, for a moment threatening to pull him down, to disintegrate him into nothing but a quivering heap of bones and rumpled clothes.
But then her tongue swept over his. Touching, exploring, claiming. And he was lost, sinking down into her, surrendering to her fierce hunger.
She surprised him. Not just her physical presence, but her need, her fire. Her wordless demand for all of him. Her hands pulled and caressed and tugged. She seemed to want to merge their bodies at the molecular level. He felt himself growing hard, hot, his need flaring to match hers.
He finally dragged his mouth away from hers, driven only by his frail body’s need for oxygen. He began trailing kisses down her throat, pausing to lightly nip her earlobe, and to whisper to her, “Yes. Always. Always.” He wasn’t sure what he was reassuring her of, only that the words were needed.
Her head fell back, arching her neck in a form of submission that had nothing to do with any power, except the overwhelming force of what lived between them. Of the electricity that had sparked from the first moment and that had finally been acknowledged and surrendered to two months ago in that lonely beach motel.
It was still all so new—this freedom to touch her, taste her, feel her writhe and shift under his eager hands. Each time they came together felt like a new epiphany, a separate wonder.
He felt her tugging at his coat, pushing it off his shoulders, so that his arms were briefly trapped as it slid backwards. Reluctantly he let go of her long enough to shed both his coat and his suit jacket.
She was still wearing her suit from the office, and some distracted corner of his mind paused to wonder if she had simply worked far too late, or if she had been here waiting for him for these many hours. He would have waited for her….
She had removed her jacket, too, and began working on the slippery fabric-covered buttons of her blouse, but he still stilled her impatient fingers—moving them aside so that he could unfasten them one careful button at a time. Pausing to brush his fingers over the heated flesh he found revealed by each opening. Bending over and letting his lips linger on the beauty revealed by this simple, erotic act.
Then her blouse and bra were puddles of white on the floor, and she stood before him, swaying slightly under the force of the desire that wrapped about them—tangling them in an intricate web of passion and impulse.
Something shifted in her eyes, and she reached out to him—still ablaze with need, but more contained now. Focused. With the same solemnity that he had shown, she undid his shirt. Pausing at the cuffs to kiss the inside of each wrist. A benediction, a promise.
Now half-naked and half-dressed, they came together again. Embarking once more on a journey of familiar rediscovery. For an endless time they simply explored. Kissing, tasting, holding. The sensation of hands roving over skin, gliding, and scratching lightly. Caressing. Loving. Skin against skin. Need meeting need.
Moving against each other. Hunger growing, accelerating as the night grew slowly older. Breathless moans and sounds of arousal. A gasp, an answered groan.
Beneath his touch and lips, her nipples were puckered, sweet, achingly hard. He felt an answering ache in his chest and cock. In the pit of stomach he could feel the sharp greed for her growing. Insistent, hot, tight. Now. The time was now.
He broke from her grasp, just slightly. Stepped toward his bedroom. She followed—a brilliant smile gracing her beautiful face.
Still dark, still almost silent, they rid themselves of their remaining clothes and tumbled heedlessly onto the sheets. Alive, aware, awake to a joyous sense of reunion.
Tangled in each other, their journey continued. Hands grasping to pull them tight into one another, breathy laughter at unexpected touches, gentle nips. She flowed under him like quicksilver, almost elusive, but bright, and perfect.
Her hands tugged him tightly against her—his erection firmly trapped against her soft belly. He groaned, unable to stop himself from thrusting against her.
She smiled up at him, and then rolled to her back, parting her legs in intimate invitation. And without another thought, he sank down into her warm, wet depths, stilling only when he was sheathed completely within her.
“Ah.” A swallowed gasp, and then slowly, slowly they began to move.
Sweet, deep friction. Instinct driving them forward, and upward. Their eyes met and locked—sharing the secrets of the world between them. He bent to kiss her, allowing himself to plunder her willing, dangerous mouth. The mouth he dreamed of, but this was no dream, and he continued to surge against her, feeling her meet him again and again.
He shifted, thrusting ever deeper, harder. Feeling her shiver as he brushed against her clitoris, their urgency echoing back and forth the points where their bodies touched, and joined, and meshed. An irresistible impetus lifting them away from everything but this moment, this second.
And speed now becoming imperative, necessity sweeping through them, pulling them headlong into a storm of senses, the sound of their bodies’ slapping against each other, the taste her mouth, the feel of her hands against his back, the incandescence in her eyes, and then there was only them, and them, and them, soaring up and up…
The world faded away as she cried out, and he felt her spasm against him. Moments later his own release overtook him, and he fell through thin atmosphere, dropping endlessly through space and time, unable to escape from gravity’s attraction. But just as he thought he would smash to earth, his body broken into dozens of pieces, he discovered that he was….weightless.
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Originally posted as Mesa
Category: V, R
Summary: Scully discovers that surrendering to your fears is sometimes the greatest freedom. Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the X-Files are the property of 1013 Productions and Fox Broadcasting. No infringement is intended.
Note: This belongs in the same universe as my stories Undertow and Weightless (in that order) and follows them. It is not necessary to have read them to understand this, though.
Acknowledgments: This story is all thalia_dmuse’s fault. She knows why. It’s why I made her beta read. I hope she’s learned her lesson…..(thanks, D)
I awake on fire.
I am surrounded by his inferno, sparked from my sleep like a striking match by the scorching drag of his fingers, trailing flames along my skin—touching, dancing, caressing.
I am transfixed by this sensation—sinking backward into the heat and hardness of Mulder’s body and our connection. His hands sweeping over my skin, branding me with a casual possessiveness that I don’t think he even realizes he has.
I am helpless in front of the onslaught of emotion and pure physical need that he rouses in me. My body softening, responding, slipping further and further into his white-hot blaze. The intensity of his passion steals all the available oxygen, leaving me breathless with desire and abandon.
The sweet hard length of his body pressed along my back calls to me. Seducing me with promises unspoken, but nonetheless heard. Promises that are built on the foundation of now and then and forever.
His fingers gently slide down my arm, swirling languid designs as they move—ancient symbols of life and secrets foretold—until at last they reach my hand and our fingers mesh and tangle.
“Scully.” A whisper only. Breath soft against my ear. Mere suggestion of sound. Yet, so much more than that. In his voice, my name is strangely beautiful and intimate. It is a plea and promise. I shiver with nothing at all like cold, and feel his fingers tighten around mine. Strong, tender.
I have no voice to answer him. My chest tight and heavy, I can barely draw breath to keep oxygen traveling through my blood. I can only sigh quietly, knowing he will understand my acquiescence, my answering need. I must speak with my body—my fingers flexing in his grasp, coded messages that pass along the wire that binds us. My legs moving against his, restless, seeking.
Mulder is what he most fears – fire. Dangerous, unpredictable, and once sparked to life, unstoppable. He will level entire forests, icefields, or bureaucracies in his search for what matters most to him—truth, justice, answers that no one else thinks to look for….or to find me.
It was my fears of surrendering to that fire that held me apart from him for so long. Like the proverbial moth attracted to the candle flame, the instinctive animal part of me longed to throw myself into his all-consuming pyre. But my rational side always held me back just at the moment when I would have flown through that final boundary between air and fire. I relied on that rationality to preserve me. I hated it with a passion.
Shifting against him, feeling his heat and hardness pressed into my back, smelling the heady musky scent that is us, I cannot imagine why I feared this surrender so much. I thought it impossible to live in flame. I was wrong.
I turn in the narrow confines of his arms, and meet his eyes— bright, clear, alight with a joy I had never hoped to see. My own eyes, I know, reflect a similar brightness. He has marked me. Seared through my soul to claim me as his own, as I have claimed him. I will never look for that joy in another’s eyes. No other will find an answering echo in mine.
Then his mouth lowers to meet mine, and I must allow my eyelids to flutter shut. Concentrating solely on my senses of touch and hearing and taste. Oh. It is all still too much. Overwhelming. This wet, sweet softness of our mouths and tongues mating. Sliding, moving, testing.
His lips against mine are like nothing else I have ever known. It is connection and communion. For endless moments we lie like this. Our hands intertwined, gentle pressure of our fingertips. Heated flesh pressed into welcoming heat. Our kiss silently speaking all the words we so rarely say out loud.
He finally releases my hand to allow his hands to rove body. Tracing the patterns of delight that he knows so intimately. That he has created in these dark, enveloping nights we now share. I arch into his touch, gasping, sighing. Seeking the oblivion and consummation that only he can bring me. Lost in my own greed for this touch, this feeling. I am awash in the pleasure of his sure hands, the ebb and flow of the rhythm of our love.
But I cannot simply submit meekly to this—our mutual need demands more. I bring up my hands to his shoulders, caressing the long, sleek muscles, the surprisingly soft skin. Feeling his response beneath my fingers, his body pressed into mine. Encompassing him as he encompasses me. Only together like this are we complete.
Mulder is elemental, and requires an elemental response. No half-way measures will suffice. I feared losing myself in him. I thought my total capitulation to the demands of his passion would undo me. But in daring that surrender, I gained something I still can’t look at too closely, because it is so bright it might blind me. It is the bright hope that sustains me, though, through all the madness and other uncertainties of our lives.
He is languid tonight. Patient, thorough. Focused with a laser- like intensity, but with no hurry, no rush. It is unbearably erotic—this slow gentleness. I bend my head to kiss his shoulder, to nip a little at his skin, feeling him jump a little, and then resettle.
His eyes laugh down at me. He says nothing, though, catching my silence, and echoing it back, warm and familiar. A silence that hums with the slowly building tension.
Slowly he slides down my body, kissing each millimeter of my skin, something akin to worship. Pausing to run the tip of his tongue along my collarbone, fingers following in twin paths of pleasure.
He reaches my breast and tenderly kisses a nipple, his hand caressing along the side of my aching fullness. I fall back into the sheets, caught between this swirling, liquid present and a memory….
Not long after the case of the pyrotechnic, which briefly reunited him with that bit— Phoebe, we found ourselves at dinner in a restaurant much fancier than normal. I’m not sure how or why—it wasn’t quite our style then or now—I have a vague recollection of Mulder steering me there, muttering something about the Washington Post’s food critic’s latest review, but I don’t really know…
What I remember about that evening, though, was seeing Mulder by candlelight. Really seeing him, and realizing that he glowed. That the passion and fire I’d begun to suspect he contained was real. It warmed me in places I was hesitant to name, afraid that by naming them I would have to act on my knowledge. Recognizing even then how the flame would call me. Fearing, at that time, how it would consume me and leave me nothing but ashes.
There were candles on the table. Tall, white tapers set in slightly ostentatious crystal candle sticks. Their flames flickered and danced in the lightly moving air. I could see Mulder’s eyes being drawn to their burning presence again and again as we talked. I don’t recall what we said. What I remember from that night was his face, illuminated from within and without by flame. I lost endless moments to absorbing the picture of him in front of me.
And his long, elegant fingers finally reaching out, daring, challenging the flames. Sweeping through the cool fire of the yellow halo surrounding the burning wick. His eyes tracking their motions through and over and around and in.
It’s ok, I wanted to tell him. You can touch the flame, dive down into it. It will know you, accept you. You are kindred sparks.
I saw him testing the candles’ flames that night, testing himself against his own fears, and the immutable laws of chemistry and physics. I could tell you precisely the reaction that causes a wick to burn, but I will never be able to diagram for you the chemistry and physics of our immutable bond, that which burns between us….
He has moved lower on my body, his elegant fingers still kneading and stroking my breasts, but his lips now traveling across the skin of my body—kissing and whispering spells that bind us into a time out of time. My hands trace answering talismans along the lithe lines of his shoulders.
Each time we are together like his, I want to stop time. To disconnect from space and the progression of hours and simply drift forever on the currents of our immutable cadences. But I cannot stop time, so I must concentrate on holding on to each moment as it occurs. Cherishing these moments for the priceless treasures they are.
We nearly didn’t allow ourselves this. Nearly lost something we didn’t even know we had. I will be forever grateful that we dared take this gift. That we overcame our mutual pride and stubbornness and habits of solitude to meet each other across a beach one cold and unexpected night.
He reaches the crisp curls at my juncture, and reverently runs his fingertips along the line where skin gives way to hair. I quiver under the light touch, and then begin to tremble deep in my center as he gently parts my legs, and breathes in the aroma of my unmistakable arousal.
A kiss on my swelling clitoris, and I can feel my body beginning to dissolve, my bones melting in this refining fire. I am helpless to do anything but accept his ministrations, letting the waves of arousal wash over me, following the inexorable rhythm of his mouth and hands, until I am crying out incoherently, dazed and shaken by the power of my release.
Finally, I can raise my head enough to meet his eyes—dark and smoldering in the dim light of my bedroom. His expression is momentarily unreadable, and then his face is transformed by a slow, deep smile. For a breathless moment our eyes lock and hold, the sound of our breathing the only break in the silence.
Then he flows up my body again to kiss me once more, passing back my own essence, along with the smoky undertone which is uniquely his.
I can feel his erection pressing into my thighs—hard, insistent. I can feel his tension building, radiating through his frame, creating anew an answering echo in my core. I press up a little against him, restless again, ready.
He positions himself above me and then slowly sinks into me, filling me with one sure thrust. So tight and perfect—we fit together in ways that defy metaphor. We simply are, and will be.
A ragged sigh from him, and he begins to move in me and through me. My hands reach up to grasp him closer, deeper. Feeling him surge away from me, and against me again, I am caught in his paradox—Mulder as water and Mulder as fire. He is both to me. Essential to life, to warmth, to growth. He is these elements and more.
He is an ocean of fire now washing over me with cool green flames that will drown me forever in his depths, changing me beyond recognition until I am wholly and only me, as I was meant to be. As I was meant to be with him.
He bends to kiss me once more. Moving a little faster now, a little rougher. Yes. Oh. Now. Deeper, harder, take me through this moment, Mulder, sweep me out to sea until I am lost forever in an endless fire.
I can feel his breath catch and redouble. Feel my pulse speeding, stuttering in the fullness of the motion and moment. A bonfire builds in my core, spreading along my veins in quicksilver rivers of lightning.
I am disintegrating into base elements, feeling only Mulder’s hands holding my body together as they reach and pull me ever more tightly against him.
A golden brightness winds up from our point of connection, the friction of our thrusts making it flare hotter and whiter. It coils through my stomach and heart wrapping us both in its embrace.
With a sob, I let go and fall into the force of my orgasm, letting it overtake me and sunder me into pure energy, feeling and emotion.
As I spasm around him, Mulder pauses for a moment, watching me, holding me, riding the crest of my waves with me, and then he begins his final ascent. His thrusts now rough, ragged, quick. Until he, too, is released.
We are flying now—weightless in each others’ arms, spiraling through air and water and fire, until we transcend the known universe, and are scattered as points of fire across the night sky.
I never believed in the transformative nature of love. It seemed to me the mere stuff of fairy tales, and cheap romance novels. The wishful thinking that love is the answer to all life’s problems, if only we are lucky enough to find that “right person.” I rejected the notion because I believe that we are who we are, and that we cannot change another, even with love.
But I have come to realize that in Mulder’s fire, I have become steel—strong, enduring, flexible. My science and rationality were the raw elements tempered in the furnace that we created. Just as his fire was transformed into a crucible for refining his search for answers…the search that has become ours.
It is not simply this—this physical manifestation of our need and love and connection that is this meeting of iron and fire. It is all that we are together—partners, seekers, lovers and soul mates. He…we have forged this blade between us. Because together we are the blade.
Originally posted as Mesa
Category: V, R
Summary: How do we measure time, and how do we know where we belong? Mulder muses about Scully. Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the X-files are the property of 1013 Productions and Fox Broadcasting. No infringement is intended.
Note: This completes the Ancient Elements series. Chronologically it is the fourth, but you do not need to have read the others to understand this.
This is for sharinlilbit and angstville, who asked, and for thalia_dmuse whose idea it was. And, of course, my deep gratitude to erehwesle, without whom I wouldn’t be writing at all.
Millions of years ago, when the earth was forming—heating and cooling in vast, unimaginable expenditures of energy—the continents were not separate. They were conjoined, whole. In elementary school, my teacher demonstrated the way that if you could shift the current landmasses around you could see how parts of Africa would tuck neatly against South America. Although I was young, I still remember the strange wrenching feeling in my stomach—a sympathetic pain at the force that had rent one land from another. I thought it must be like a family being ripped in two. It was a pain that was familiar.
Even after the continents had drifted apart, there were landbridges. Small spits of land that defied continental drift. That stubbornly tried to hang on, in one small place or another, until they too disappeared and we were left isolated in our own lonely lands for so many years.
Eventually the continents were joined again by ships and then planes and by the bold adventuring spirits of explorers — both good and bad outcomes to that — but our loneliness remained. We humans were lost in the knowledge that what had once been joined was torn apart, and we couldn’t ever really be whole again.
Tonight I hold her.
It is such a simple thing. And it is everything.
It is cool here tonight. The campfire on the beach keeps us warm against the chill ocean breezes, but not so warm that we don’t need to huddle together, sharing a heat that is only partly the result of our physical closeness.
Another case, another chase, another mystery solved, and a mutual agreement that we needed time that wasn’t defined by the bureaucratic strictures and structure of Washington, and so we stayed here for the weekend. Away. Together.
Such a simple thing.
In my end is my beginning.
We are back where we started.
On a beach, with the ocean in front of us, and the world seeming to wait, holding its breath to see what will happen next. Only this time I know. I know how this evening will end, and where we will go from here. As much as I can know anything, I know this. I will be with her. And she with me.
We are surrounded by unfamiliar elements: the crackle and spark of an open fire that blazes up and out into the night air, the sound and scent and sentience of the ocean just beyond, the looming cliffs behind us. Out here on the Pacific Coast, it feels like we are on the edges of the known world. Isolated, insulated, at least for a time from all the petty annoyances of time and obligations and paperwork.
The cliff behind us rises dark and brooding up into the night— sweeping lines of black stone that contain the records of time and the mysteries of life trapped and hidden between their tightly compressed layers. The edge of a continent—eroded now, by time and wind and water, and yet still bearing the form of what it once was. The imprint of the place it was once joined to, and from which it was wrenched away during the vast upheavals of the earth’s formation.
I pull Scully a little closer to me, feeling the soft curve of her back as it fits against the lines of my chest. Wrapping my arms a little tighter around her, pressing my legs along hers.
She seems lost in the fire—her gaze trapped in the flames that dance and spark and pop with a murky crispness in the night. Her silence is warm, too, encompassing, not excluding. We do not need words here and now. Her hands running softly up and down my forearms are all the answers I have ever sought.
She is both near and far away from me. So close I can smell the cardamom and vanilla scent of her beneath the smoke of the fire, and yet, I know her mind is leagues from here, floating in some quiet current of contemplation and memory.
I slip into my own stream of memory…
Last night, in my room. The two of us, wound up from the adrenaline rush of catching the killer, but also so tired from the case. Weary of evil and the loss of innocents.
We had suffered through the obligatory final dinner with the local police, and finally escaped to our motel. As soon as the cruiser that had dropped us off cleared the parking lot, I heard Scully’s knock on my room door.
She was still wearing her trenchcoat as she drifted with languid purpose through my door. I could see fatigue written on every line of her face, underscored by a glimmering purpose. She took my breath away.
Using nothing but her gaze, she froze me into place as she closed the door and purposefully discarded her coat, a casual puddle left on the floor behind her as she advanced on me with the slow determination of lioness culling the weakest gazelle from the herd. You know all my weaknesses, Scully, simply take me, make it quick, be merciful.
Her hands reached for me—sweet and sure. Gentle, but firm. Brooking no arguments, no denials. Not that I would offer any resistance. I surrendered to her pull, her gentle tugging on my lapels until our mouths met. And met and clung, and touched, and tasted.
Kissing Scully is indescribable. It is nothing less than a full commitment of myself, my soul, our souls. She is fierce in this, as she is in all that she does. But there is a special daring in the way she surrenders herself to the force that rages between us.
When her mouth touches mine—each time—I can almost envision her standing on the edge of cliff and then suddenly hurling herself over the edge. Trusting the living passion that binds us together to keep her from destruction on the rocks and waters below. There is never any hesitation in her in these moments. She leaps into our joining with a joyful abandon that never fails to awe me.
My fingers cradled her face, slowly moving back to tangle in her hair, to caress the fragile bones of her head and neck and shoulders. We were careful with each other last night. Aware of our mutual tiredness, seeking to please one other, to restore each other in this declaration of what we are—together.
Her hands smoothed over my body, knowing, kind, demanding. Long, smooth strokes that aroused and soothed. I found myself trembling and couldn’t even find the words to name the reason.
Pragmatic concerns finally broke our kiss—I always forget that oxygen is a necessity. I somehow always believe that I can subsist simply on Scully.
She looked solemn in the odd, yellow-dim hotel light of my room, but her eyes were ablaze with a fire that rose up from the depths of her soul—the fire of the earth’s core, molten, slow-burning, white-hot.
She pushed my jacket back from my shoulders and down my arms, and helped me as I shrugged it off and let it drop, unremarked, to the floor. Then she carefully removed my tie and unbuttoned my shirt. A studied seduction that asked for only my total trust, and belief in her.
It was my turn, fingers rendered suddenly clumsy by the feelings gripping me, fumbling to undo her blouse’s buttons, to gently tug the fragile fabric off and away. A quiet humor lit her face as she simply unclasped and shrugged out of her bra by herself.
My hands were no longer clumsy as I reached out to trace her skin, to feel the warm velvet smoothness of her, the delicate architecture of her bones beneath, the sinuous connections of her muscles and tendons moving under my questing fingers.
Long, languid moments of exploration, of touching and tasting. Lips and hands flowing over territory long since marked by claims of possession. Our bodies melding together, drawn by a gravitational pull that we had tried to deny for too long.
Another endless kiss, and I felt her deft hands undoing my belt, and the quiet passion of the evening began to spark to a different rhythm, a more urgent pull.
More quickly now, the rest of clothing removed, and we tumbled onto my bed, limbs tangling, breaths mingling in husky laughter that was drowned again by our mouths fusing.
And then she was over me, lowering herself, joining us in a single, fluid movement. Oh God, Scully. Yes, always yes. There are no words for this moment. Ever. There is only us. And yes.
My palms skimmed up her ribcage to gently cradle her breasts, simply holding them, feeling their weight and heft as she moved over me. Her hands covered mine briefly, and then stroked down my arms until she rested them lightly on my chest, just for balance.
For a time, we recaptured the slowness, the unhurried, erotic leisurely pace of the night. She rocked up and back, stroking deliberately—an even steady motion that carried us smoothly forward. Ever forward. I could feel my orgasm beginning to build, the tight, cutting coil of pleasure beginning to unwind in my balls and gut. I could see her matching arousal building in her eyes— an echoing hunger that both fed mine and sharpened it. I could smell us, our mingled scents wrapping around my consciousness, causing me to gasp, trying to take us ever deeper into my lungs.
She whispered my name, “Mulder,” and leaned over to kiss me again, and the pleasure swirled upward, past my racing heart. All pretense of languor was swept away in the lust and need and love that washed over me with her honey-dark voice.
“Yes,” and I rolled us both until she was beneath me, and began to drive into her with an arrhythmic intensity that should have frightened us both, but only drove us more quickly forward.
I felt her tightening around me, and heard her call out, an inarticulate crying of need and need met, and then my own release hit and I was flung into welcome oblivion….
The fire pops suddenly, a resin bubble exploding loud and unexpectedly, startling us both. Scully stirs in my arms, bringing me fully back to the present. I wonder what she has been thinking about.
“Mulder?” Her voice in the darkness is soft, but certain.
Her hands tighten around mine for a moment, and I can hear her smile. “Nothing. Just, Mulder.”
I think, but do not say, “I love you, too.” The words are too dangerous, and anyway, she knows.
Silence wraps around us again.
The earth moves through space at thousands of miles per hour— circling the sun, spinning and spinning in its long, elliptical orbit, taking us through all the seasons, moving us in and out of meteor showers, and years and time.
And yet, held here by gravity, and centrifugal force, we don’t feel it at all. We are not aware of the motion carrying us through the vast reaches of our galaxy. We don’t feel the dizzying whirl of our orbit. We feel nothing at all but the surety that we belong here, that we are anchored to this reality.
There was a time when I misjudged her. I thought she was stolid, unimaginative, prosaic. I missed her speed, her motion, her long, smooth passes around the sun. Her sure navigation through space.
It was only much later that I realized that she did make me dizzy— but in a strange grounded way, as though her gravitational pull would both undo me and be the only thing in the universe that could hold me together.
Holding in her my arms last night, holding her on the beach tonight, I now know the truth—I can feel her movements beneath her stillness, can sense the energy that she barely keeps harnessed.
I can barely express, even to myself, what she is to me.
I spent years adrift—lost, separated from all the others like me— ever in search of something that I couldn’t even define. I had distinct quests, I still do, but always I knew that there was something more. Some nameless something else that lay beyond my immediate goals, but which was the thing that would end my searching forever.
I almost didn’t realize it when I finally found it. We all spend our lives, I have come to see, in search of something. Trying to reconcile that human sense of loss that is an unconscious echo from the time when we were all joined. When the continents weren’t separated. We look for landbridges, and all too often we fall into oceans or canyons when those bridges collapse without warning.
The lucky few, though…..
It has gotten colder. I can feel a small shudder wrack Scully and realize that I am feeling a little cold and stiff.
Ever the practical one, she speaks first, “Ready to go back?” It is not a question I want to answer, because tonight is our last night here. Tomorrow we must return to Washington, and the Bureau and the mad game which is our lives. No, I am not ready to go back.
“Yeah. It is getting sort of cold.”
We untangle ourselves and bury the embers of the fire. She starts to take my hand for the walk back across the sand to our hotel, but instead I wrap an arm around her waist and pull her into my side as we turn to go home. The crash-hiss-wash of the waves serenading us as we quietly leave.
As we walk from the beach, I feel the continental shelf of my heart meet hers and the fit is perfect, and we are whole once more.
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