DOWN FALLS THE MOON 1/1
Author: Isabel "Izzy" Izenthe (izzy_izenthe@yahoo.com)
Archive: Anywhere
Rating: NC-17, Scully/Other
Classification: VA
Disclaimer: Characters from the "X-Files" are the property of 1013 Productions and the Fox Television Network.

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I used to think of her in poetry until the day I forgot all the lovely words.

I used to see her beautiful, as if lit by candles wherever she went. When I cried for her, because of her, it was as if Monet had put her on canvas. Admired through tears she was an ambiguous masterpiece, but I stared for so long the color disappeared from my sight. I saw her only in gray and so ill-defined I had to look away because she hurt my eyes.

I used to imagine that she would sing me to sleep. I didn't know if she could sing and it didn't matter. Whatever sound she made was music to me. When she spoke I heard melodies in the words.

There was no room in her world for music, for poetry or art. She never danced or laughed, I was sure of it. She was too absorbed in her own suffering to recognize someone else's broken heart or to notice the pieces of it that she ground beneath her feet while she paced in lonely circles.

I learned to ignore her as she ignored me and shunted her aside when she came to me for advice on a case. I picked up the phone in her presence and pretended to talk to someone more important than her. I pretended she wasn't the only person who mattered to me until I eventually came to believe it. I think I may have hated her for awhile. I'm positive I didn't love her for at least a week.

I saw her on Saturday, gliding lifelessly from one rack of expensive suits to another, and I followed her for no other reason than to inform her that the clothes didn't matter. "Sackcloth would be cheaper." I actually said it out loud, and for the first time, Dana Scully noticed me.

Oh, she was angry, hurt maybe, but she radiated color again and God help me, I started thinking in poetry.

"Agent Gerber," she said, she accused, and I found myself staring at her lips as she mispronounced my name.

"Greber," I corrected, though I think Gerber would be better. It conjures pictures of chubby-cheeked infants and tiny jars of strained apricots. Greber sounds like a name that once belonged to an awkward teenager, with uncombed hair matched in shade by a mousy demeanor, with glasses held together by tape. A fanciful man with an affected accent and a made-up name, Antonio Marvelais, found just the right bottle to turn mouse brown into sunshine. Contact lenses made green eyes emerald. I thought about changing my name, adding some European suffix like elle or ette. Greberais, perhaps, since it had worked so well for Antonio, but Greber reminds me of who I used to be and am not anymore.

I apologized for my rude comment and asked her to call me Iris, although I've always hated the name. I told her about my sister, Rose, and how glad we were that Mom discovered birth control before Petunia could be conceived.

She smiled, almost anyway, at my story and said she liked my name. I'll admit I like hearing my name when she says it. It sounds less floral, more serious. Words weigh more when she speaks them.

I begged her not to buy another black suit, to get the navy blue instead. Not much of a change, lighter by scarcely a shade, but it would be a step in the right direction.

"But I'd have to buy shoes," she protested weakly.

"Exactly," I told her and I dragged her from store to store until we found just the right pair of navy blue pumps, plus a pair of heavy-heeled black boots. Old habits die hard, I suppose.

We shared a fast food lunch. She didn't flinch when I reached across the table to brush a sesame seed from her chin, even though my fingers stayed on her face after the seed fell away. She invited me to her house, to watch a movie or something. I told her I preferred the "or something" because I didn't want her to misunderstand my intentions. I think she was blushing when she dug through her pockets for her car keys.

"Do you want some coffee?" she asked before her front door closed behind us.

"No."

"Something cold to drink?"

"No."

She was standing too close for the distance between us to be accidental, and so I asked her if there was something she wanted. "I want you to stay," she confessed. "I want you to fuck me."

Granted, I would have worded it a different way. Would have expressed my desire to make love to her and impressed her with poetic phrases and euphemisms, but since her tongue was in my mouth and her hand was pushing its way inside my blouse, I decided not to quibble over semantics. No matter what she called it, it was exactly what I wanted.

Our skin was equally pale, but hers looked less healthy, bleached by a loveless life. I rubbed my hands over her, chafed her until she glowed. I drew on her with kisses, marked her with candy pink lipstick. She was everything I'd fantasized she would be except she didn't taste the way I'd imagined. She was bittersweet, a flavor like loneliness that I drank from her, and so wet I thought I might drown.

I asked her to sing me to sleep that night and when she finally, reluctantly did, I asked her to stop. It was the first time I'd heard her laugh, but it was sweeter music by far.

She sent me home the next day with a stomach warm from breakfast, legs that ached from sex, but without a single promise. A passionless kiss was all I got and I think it was to be my only reward for temporarily filling a void. For being a warm body to sleep against for a night. She'd used me and I'd given consent, but my anger stretched to fill the miles between her apartment and mine. I drove too fast, slammed the car door too hard, would have slammed my apartment door but I had an unexpected guest.

I was so dismayed to see cigarette burns on the cushions of my new sofa that it took me a moment to become incensed at the intrusion. I'd seen him at the Bureau, looking smug and important, so I assumed he'd come on business. He had, but no business I wanted to be a part of.

"Let me show you some pictures," he said cordially, like I was to be treated to scenic vacation slides. Though these pictures could have been beautiful under other circumstances, I tasted bile in my mouth when I looked at them. Morning sun poured in through my window and lit them, showed details I didn't want to see. In one, my face, hidden by tangles of blond, was pushed into Dana's breast. There was a liquid shine on her left nipple, evidence that my mouth had been there. She was smiling in the photograph and I remembered her saying my hair tickled her stomach. I found the five pounds I'd gained over the winter clinging to the back of my thighs. Dana's fingernails had left light scratches on my shoulders.

I didn't cry until I saw the second photograph. A school picture, not a particularly good one, of my nephew. "He's lost another tooth since that picture was taken," the man told me to frighten me more.

He had an assignment for me, "a very pleasant chore," he called it. Love Dana Scully, make love to her, whisper sweet nothings and listen for secrets in her replies. Fuck her and tuck her in and search her apartment while she sleeps. If I did these things, if Dana did not suspect my motives, this man promised that my nephew would be safe from an associate of his who had taken quite a liking to young Patrick.

"Why me?" I asked even when I knew why. Dana Scully spins in her private orbit and keeps everyone away, pushes them back with a force that can be sensed but not seen. Her partner loves her in a way either too pure or too damaged to be sexual. There had been others before me who approached but were never allowed near enough to touch.

I think maybe the end of the world will be beautiful, when the moon begins to fall and the earth is astounded by its largeness and light. Maybe, if Dana and I are lucky, we'll be too entranced to feel anything but love in that moment when the world comes flying apart.

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The end of "Down Falls the Moon"

This story may be continued in a series, but feedback on this first installment would be especially appreciated.

Isabel "Izzy" Izenthe
izzy_izenthe@yahoo.com
http://members.xoom.com/goatgir1/

"Please leave your values at the front desk."
                  -In a Paris Hotel Elevator