Amor Vitae

by realitycek

Date: Monday, May 27, 2002 6:20 PM

Title: "Amor Vitae"
Author: realitycek ( Pairing: M/K
Rating: PG
Spoilers: "The Truth", but only technically Disclaimer: Property of Ten Thirteen and Fox (legally if not morally) Comments: A dream within a dream. Very hastily written for the Cube's "eXit Files" challenge.

The first time, I ignored him. Convinced he was only some stress-induced hallucination, some effect created by Knowle -- a Harvey the Rabbit from Hell -- I could force my eyes away from that face I'd thought I'd never see again, and keep running. For all the good it finally did me.

When he came to me in my cell, despite the locks and surveillance cameras and regular observation by my guards (suicide watch, wouldn't do to have me hurt myself before they killed me), I wanted to leap at him. To guarantee he'd stay dead this time, or to make sure he could never leave me again, I don't know. "Listen to me, Mulder," he said. "There isn't much time. Let me help you." I thought I'd run the entire gamut of pain by that time, but that voice -- weirdly soothing even in desperation -- filled me with an ache I could never have imagined. I buried my face in my hands and wept; when I looked up, he was gone.

Now he's here at the end. I'd caught a glimpse of him through the observation window, then lost him (I'd always lost him, it was only fitting), only to turn my head away and see him here next to the gurney. "It's got to be now, Mulder. Hear me. Please." Touching me at last, lingering, then hastily removing the restraints and the IV that was beginning to send me into the first sleep.

I hear a voice that sounds vaguely like mine. "Stop. Let it happen. I want to be with you." And for a moment he ducks his head down, away, before looking me in the face again. Chin up, determined, and his eyes are very bright.

"You will be," he whispers. "From here on. I promise." His hand on my chest, removing the heart monitor, and when it's gone...

He had always taken my breath away -- with beauty or a hard jab to the gut, it made no real difference. Even now, well aware of the urgency, for a few moments all I can do is look at him. Strapped down, already elsewhere, the old all burned away, and there will be no safe place for any of them if I'm too late.

Deep in the illusion, the lie they're feeding him to render him isolated, neutralised, he still knows I'm here. I can feel it, in spite of this headache and the ringing in my ears. Doesn't matter. I know I'll hear them even before I can hear them, and it will be soon. We've got to move.

Third time's a charm, and I pray like I haven't since I was five as I place my hand on his chest, palm over his heart. Rapid, like the pounding in my own skull, and skin warm, perfect... When I talk to him this time it registers, penetrates the illusion. His cracked lips move, whisper like old paper, and it's too much. It's everything. "Let it happen. I want to be with you." I promise him, something he never believed but for me was never in question.

I peel off the last of the leads, severing as much as I can of their control. He blinks, and sees me. Really sees me, at last, beside him in this sterile room. I couldn't stop that fucker from plundering his brain, but my Mulder is still in there. Less than human, and much more, just as I'll soon be.

He grips my arm, so weak I'd have barely noticed even if he were clutching something capable of feeling. It's more than enough to hold me. I get him to his feet and out the door, and even silently apologise to Scully for the wild goose chase I sent her on with that key card. She'll be along in time as well, I know it; another of us changed by the oil and the artifacts, and when I explain she'll finally understand.

He leans on me, rests his head on my shoulder as we make our way out of the building. I want to kiss him, but I know I could never stop. One look and I know he's seen it all, knows all my secrets now, and when we get out of here I won't have to stop.

Still so much to do, so far from over, but it's all right now. We'll face it, he and I. Fight the future? We are the future.

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