Diamonds and Rust

by Ursula

Title: Diamonds and Rust
Author: Ursula
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Date Archived: 04/25/02
Category: Romance, Relationship, Angst  
Pairing: Mulder/Krycek      
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Up to Season 8
Permission to Archive: DIB
Series or Sequel/Prequel: N/A
Notes: Written for the ending of the lyrical wheel
Beta read by Karen Leigh S.
Warnings: Schmoop
Disclaimer: Chris Carter's characters
Summary: Memories and Ghosts

Diamonds and Rust
The Ending Lyric Wheel

I remember his cheeks were red with exertion when I finally caught up with him. I had pressed him against a tree as I kissed him breathless. There was snow that glittered like diamonds in his hair. The moon had been full and the night was aglow with its soft light. I reached for the leaf rakishly dangling from the side of his head. He smiled at me and darted away. A moment later, he bent and threw a snowball catching me over my ear.

I had laughed and chased him. I could see his tracks in the new snow as he ran. I was faster and he wasn't really trying. We tumbled down together and I lay over him, his hands captured and pinned to the ground. I had a snowball ready to rub on his face, but instead I kissed him again. Again.

I couldn't stop until I realized he was shivering beneath me. I gave him my hand and pulled him to his feet only to kiss him again. We walked up the stairs in the golden glow of the entrance light. He looked so young and his eyes seemed enormous in the shining face. His lips were rosy with cold; the tip of his nose was red. Alex...

The last time we came here it was spring. Cherry blossoms had replaced the snow. The petals drifted, spinning in an idle breeze as if they would hover like dust motes in the air. If you'd asked me then...if you asked me now, I'd say, if ever I could have stopped and stayed in one moment of my life, I'd have stayed right there.

And here I am again...

I fled it all, my fame, my exoneration, and my life with Scully. There's that proverb about 'Be careful what you wish for because you might get it'. I did and it wasn't me, wasn't enough, or was too much. I couldn't breathe. I felt trapped. Maybe if things were different. If I had been different, not so full of sharp edges...

The last thing I wanted was to hurt Dana. I tried so hard not to rip her; so, instead, I watched my sharp edges become ground glass. I knew I was making her bleed inside. I didn't like the man I was becoming.

So I ran. I did it in a civilized manner, all too like the way my parents divorced. It was smooth on the surface...a lecture series that involved a year of travel. Then, I was offered a visiting professor status at Oxford. Scully had her career and she said she felt William was too young to travel. When she told me there was someone else, I managed to be jealous and then noble. All in all, I felt relief. That was Scully. She did the dirty work and I was free.

So here I was. I had been standing in the lobby long enough to be asked three times if I needed assistance. I finally walked to the desk and registered. It was the same room we'd had; the last time he was Alex to me, the last time we made love. Everything after he left...was a dance of hate and lust. Everything I felt was acid-tinged. Here was the last place we had been happy.

I prided myself that I had grown beyond illusions, but I was here and he was where?

Dead according to what I had seen, but I never really believed it. Walter wouldn't have done it like that. I also think I would have felt either relief because I was free of him, or despair like an obsidian knife cutting my heart from my chest.

When I didn't want to be alone with my thoughts anymore, I went back downstairs to the bar. I didn't want company, yet could not bear to be alone. New York is the perfect place for that. Maybe that's why I came here and it had nothing to do with spring, nothing to do with cherry blossoms falling like snow. I remember that one petal fell across his lips as we kissed beneath the tree. The blossom was no softer than his mouth, no sweeter than that kiss.

My life is filled with ghosts and memories. I always remember the haunting glimpse of diamond tears trailing down his pale face and the rust of blood smearing across his forehead.

I ordered a drink and then another. The alcohol numbed my taste buds, stung my nose, and made my eyes water. It couldn't numb the pain in my heart and the emptiness in my soul. Why did I live? Why couldn't I have died with my friends and my lover?

I heard his voice from across the room. I refused to turn. I had fooled myself before, conjured him from my need. Then I heard him laugh, that throaty purr of a sound and I was lost. I grabbed the bar to keep from falling, closed my eyes, and lowered my head, fighting the fear that it wasn't him after all.

"Mulder?" Alex said.

Now, I looked. It was he. There was some white now in his sideburns. Perhaps there were new lines around his eyes, but he still had all his power over me. I dropped the scotch tumbler, knocked the stool over as I scrambled to get to him. My hand reached for him and he stepped backed with a flinch.

"I didn't expect to see you here," Alex said.

"Then why did you come?" I asked.

"I was the one that suggested this place. It was mine before it was ours," Alex replied, his voice edged with anger. "Don't think I missed you. I'm not nostalgic for what should never have been."

My hand still hovered in the air, not touching him, but not withdrawing.

"Don't make a scene, Mulder, it's over. I've been out of your life for a long time. I'm too old to be your punching bag or pillow boy anymore," Alex said. He looked at me as if there was more to be said, but ended by shrugging his shoulders. He said, "I'm checking out, Mulder. I won't come here again."

Politeness said that I should let him go. I should be reasonable, as I was the one who'd kept telling him it was over.

Instead I dropped some money on the counter and hurried after him. He looked at me with scorn and said, "Mulder, give it up. Where's Scully anyway? You bring her here to our place?"

"We aren't together," I replied. We were blocking the doorway so I took his right arm and led him into the lobby. I felt the easy way he allowed me to guide him out and I could not let go of him.

"Why the hell did you leave her? Or did she come to her senses and dump you?" Alex snapped.

"I think we left each other. It took a while to set in, but we were both in love with other men. I was in love with you and Scully was in love with a me that never was and never could be," I said.

Looking down, Alex shook his head and said, "Well, I'm sorry. I really am. You two went through so much together. You should have..."

It must have finally sunk in because he froze in mid-sentence despite the fact that he was always so good with words. He stared at me and said, "What did you say?" He laughed uncertainly and said, "That's funny. I almost thought you said that you were in love with me." He went to the coat check and claimed a leather jacket. It was well tailored, perfect for an upscale Greenwich casual. I had my own brown leather version of the same jacket. I had never worn one before the first time I saw Alex in his.

"I want to walk," Alex said.

"That's a good idea," I said, shrugging on my jacket. He didn't fight the way I guided his jacket on for him, tugging it over the less mobile left limb.

I claimed his arm again. He stared at me, but let it go. We used to walk this way together when we came here for long weekends. I always liked to touch him, to feel as if everyone knew he was mine. Our feet took us to the park. There were clouds gathering in the sky, drifting slowly over the full moon.

"What's the idea, Mulder?" Alex asked as we reached the old cherry tree.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"As in--what game are we playing now?" Alex demanded.

"None. Why would it bother you if we were?" I asked. "You never played by the rules."

"Christ, Mulder, what do you want from me? I paid my dues. I fucking died for you!" Alex said.

"Alex, what the hell are you talking about? That scene in the basement?" I asked. "You think that was what I wanted?"

"Yeah, I do," Alex said. He tried to pull free of my hand, but I made a move and pinned him to the sturdy trunk of the tree.

Cherry blossoms shimmered over us, catching in his hair. I shivered as a breeze brought with it the first drops of spring rain. He looked downward, always one of his best angles. His eyelashes were silver with moisture. Was it the rain or was he crying? He'd never admit the latter if he were.

My hand traced the moisture from his face then tilted his chin. I leaned into him, remembering how well we fit together. More rain blew onto us and Alex said, "We're going to catch our death of this, Mulder."

"All right with me," I said, "If that's the only way you'll stay."

"With everything between us..." Alex said.

"There's nothing I can't accept," I promised.

"Yeah, well, that's right now. When you have what you want, maybe those memories will be all too clear," Alex said.

He tried to push me away. I think if he really wanted to break free that he could have done it. I pressed back and moved quickly to kiss him. He could have turned his head away. He didn't have to open his lips. I could feel his sigh as it moved between us. My hand stroked his face, moved back to caress his hair. When we had to stop for air, he bowed his head and rested his face in the crook of my neck. He draped over me, sweet and warm as he used to be.

Wearily, Alex asked again, not very loud as if the question might be as much for him as for me. "What do you want?"

"I want you. There's nothing left but that, Alex. Everything else is over. Dana is happy, happier without me. We did what we had to do and now we're free. Let it go, Alex, let it go. The world took what it needed from us. We played the roles we had to play. Now, we're like ghosts together. I think if we walked through the city, people would see right through us. You're the only real thing left in my life," I said. I lifted his hand to my mouth and kissed his knuckles, unfolded his fingers from the fist knotted against the pain we always brought to each other. He let me, his open hand trembling in mine as I finally kissed the palm.

Stepping away, I stood waiting. Actually, I was thinking of that old T-shirt saying, the one about 'If you loved something set it free. It will come back to you'. I always liked better the version about 'hunting it down and killing it'. With Alex, I think I would have changed that to humane trapping. We'd been there and done the other idea. It sure the hell didn't do anything for me.

There was one of those long silences. He stared at me with those feral green eyes. I was sure he would push by me and walk away. The weight of the past settled on me. My shoulders slumped. My eyes closed. I guess I didn't want to see him walk away.

His hand felt warm in mine. I opened my eyes and he was still standing in front of me. I suppose my eyes asked the question because he said, "I think we're crazy for trying again."

I smiled at that and said, "Yeah, well, no one ever said either of us were sane."

His laugher sounded rich and caressing. I squeezed his fingers and then moved my hand back to his arm.

Some things rust. Others are diamonds, stronger for age. Alex and I... we're diamonds.

Diamonds and Rust
(Pollyanna said the version she knew was by Judas Priest. I only know the original version by Joan Baez.)

I'll be damned; here comes your ghost again but that's not unusual
It's just that the moon is full
and you decided to come
And here I sit, hand on the telephone
hearing the voice I'd known
a couple of light years ago
headed straight for a fall
But we both know what memories can bring they bring Diamonds and Rust
Yes we both know what memories can bring they bring Diamonds and Rust
Now I see you standing with brown leaves all around and snow in your hair
Now we're smiling out the window
of the crummy hotel over Washington Square And then comes that white cloud,
mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
we both could've died then and there
Now you're telling me you're not nostalgic then give me another word for it
You were so good with words
and at keeping things paid
because I need some of that vagueness now, it's all come back too clearly
yes, I love you dearly
and if you're offering me diamonds and rust I've already paid
But we both know what memories can bring they bring Diamonds and Rust
Yes we both know what memories can bring they bring Diamonds and Rust
Diamonds, Diamonds and Rust
Diamonds, Diamonds and Rust
Diamonds, Diamonds and Rust
Diamonds, Diamonds and Rust

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