Sweetness Will Follow

by A. K. Naten

     From: "A.K." <aknaten@yahoo.com>
     Date: Monday, August 26, 2002 4:05 PM
     Greetings, gang.  I have this sequel-fic that I wasn't going
     to post, but I changed my mind.  ...???

     Title:    Sweetness Will Follow
     by:       A. K. Naten
     Rated:    R / NC-17 for some sex scenes - woo-hooo!
     Summary:  Love is rarely perfect; follow-up to "Lost and
     Found"; Lots O' Angst
     Cross-Posting:  Okay, but my name stays intact and please
     notify me.

THIS IS A F/F SLASH PIECE. If you're under 18, get lost; you still won't be able to appreciate this.

I wasn't going to 'publish' this anyplace except on my own website, but then someone told me that I HAD to, cos it's a sequel, so...? (is there some kind of 'sequel rule' someplace??) This is a continuation of my 'Lost & Found' fic, and you really should read that fic first in order for this one to make any sense. (http://www.geocities.com/aknaten/ScullyReyes.html)

Again, there are details and descriptions, AND, yes, there is MORE ANGST too. So, if the turmoil and tragedy of 'Lost & Found' pissed you off, then bail now - this is your one and only warning.

Also, there is a somewhat 'descriptive' scene that involves strap-on sex, so if that type of thing is OFFENSIVE to you in any way, then again I say, bail now or forever hold your peace/piece. Things are still jumping from first-person-Scully to first-person-Monica throughout.

No beta-reader, sorry, but I must thank AmberMagic for her 'insight', opinions, and thoughts about certain 'scenes'... ahem. Please forgive any errors that are out there.

DISCLAIMER: The characters of Dana Scully, Monica Reyes, etc., belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions, Fox Broadcasting, etc., etc., and are used without permission; I'm just borrowing them and giving them the love-lives that they should have had all along. Besides, the show's over and CC isn't doing shit with them anyway. No copyright infringement is intended, etc., etc., blah blah blah, dribble, dribble, dribble.

     "Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe, 
     and to love you" - Hollies

Ch. 1

January 14, 2005
4:00 p.m.

Thank God that class is over. If I was bored with it, imagine how my students must have felt. Well, at least Winter break is coming up soon; that'll be nice. I sigh loudly and begin gathering my things so I can head home to William... and to Monica. I smile privately to myself at the thought.

It's been about four months since Monica looked me up in D.C. and we'd officially 'made up'. Things seem to be progressing nicely, and even though she's only been able to come and stay with me a few times since then, I feel that we're well on our way to having a real future together again. I'm happy and content, and she is too... well, at least I think she is.

Everything's been going great; we're taking it slowly, but we're so good together, it's hard to keep a moderate pace. I often feel like I want to rush ahead and push forward... make up for those two lost years. But she doesn't feel that way; we've talked about it. She wants to take things slowly, and she's right; we need to go at a reasonable pace. But it's difficult sometimes. She has quickly become my life force, and I find myself wanting her to be with me every minute of every day.

Whenever she calls to say that she's coming for a visit, I can hardly wait; those little phone calls give my life new purpose. Whenever I pick her up at the airport, I'm a bundle of nervous excitement, like a kid on Christmas morning, or your birthday - whichever one gives you the biggest rush and thrill. As soon as I see her face emerge from the throngs of people walking through the exit door, my heart swells until it bursts, and my body rushes full of liquified love. I want to run to her and take her in my arms and kiss her and hug her and touch her all over until my body fuses with hers.

I'm so hopelessly in love with her.

I feel like this all the time. I think it every time I look at her. I'm in awe of her beauty and grace and kindness, and the easy peacefulness that often surrounds her. She's become a drug that I can't get enough of; a magic potion that I need every morning in order to make it through the day; I'm completely and thoroughly enthralled by her. Is this normal? Is there something wrong with me? ...I'm not sure.

The thing is, I get mixed signals from her. Sometimes she seems to be right in sync with me, and I can tell that she feels the same as I do, and it feels like we have our old rhythm back. But other times, she seems... distant... preoccupied. I've asked her about it, but she usually dismisses me and brushes the whole thing off as 'moodiness', or something lame like that. As open and understanding as she usually is, she can be quite closed-off when she doesn't want to discuss something. Sometimes the Monica that I see now is so different from the Monica that I knew before in that she seems to be... I dunno... holding something back. Like she's unsure of herself... or of me. The irony of the situation isn't lost on me either - I realize that I was the one who was 'unsure' not so long ago. And, I know this doubt is in her mind because of me. I know that it's taken up residence because of what I did.

She still has hang-ups about my relationship with Mulder, and although we've talked about that, I think she's still wary of it, and of him. I guess I can't blame her, and I try not to. I try not to dwell on it nor let it bother me too much. If she simply needs time to learn to completely trust me again, then I will deal with that. So I tell myself not to worry... I tell her that I love her, and I tell myself to give her time, and space. And I sit and wait patiently for her to change back to the Monica that I knew years ago, before everything got so messed up.

That Monica was uninhibited... she was always totally free and open with her feelings, and she showed me that love was indeed a many splendored thing. That seems so long ago. Our relationship back then was very intense and very sexual, especially behind closed doors. It was sometimes kinky and experimental too, at least to me it was... she always teased me and told me that I was so nave. Well, whatever... I didn't care. I loved that side of Monica... her naughty, playful side. When she displayed that in the bedroom and we totally let ourselves go, we had the best lovemaking ever.

We had used 'toys' and things before, just once in awhile, for something 'different'. It was fun and, with Monica, incredibly satisfying too. She did things with a dildo that no man can do with his dick, to put it bluntly. She wasn't afraid to try anything, and even though I had very little experience with such things, she never pushed me nor went too far. As always, she was gentle and patient, giving and pleasing me in every way possible.

I want that to return so badly, but she, curiously, doesn't seem to be interested in it at all. At least, she makes no indication of it, even when I drop subtle, and not-so-subtle, hints. I want that free, fun, 'playful' spirit in our relationship now. I find myself wondering if I could sort-of 'surprise' her... if I should. What would she say? What would she do? I guess, as they say, there's only one way to find out.

     "If you can't make your mind up, we'll never get started;
     And I don't wanna wind up being parted, broken-hearted."
     - Cake

Ch. 2

January 20, 2005
11:00 p.m.

My mouth is hanging open and I know I must be sitting here with huge eyes. I let out a little laugh, like I'm embarrassed. Well I guess I am a little, but I'm also shocked that she would do something this bold. It's not like her. I manage to clear my throat,

"Well, this is... this is certainly an interesting 'surprise'... to say the least." I'm blinking quickly and holding the harness up, turning it around and looking at it. She laughs her own little embarrassed chuckle in return,

"Yah, well... I just thought... I dunno... I thought it'd fun...?"

Fun? Is she kidding? She sidles up to me on the bed and kisses my shoulder. This isn't exactly what I was thinking when she said, 'I have a little surprise for you.' Jesus. I know I shouldn't be so negative; we've played around with this stuff before, but that was before. Toys don't bother me... this shouldn't be a big deal... but, it is... it is now. Things are different now... at least, I feel different.

"Pink... very nice," I say, trying to infuse a little humor and make myself relax. She picks up the rubbery shaft and squeezes it in her hand, grinning wide. I force myself to smile, blushing a little, and I feel a distinct tremor pass through me. Oh my god... this is a nightmare... well, the start of one, anyway. I have to close my eyes for a moment and collect myself, lest I freak out right here on the bed. When I open my eyes, she's looking at me, her eyes dilating, dark blue and intense. She gets like this when she's turned-on or thinking nasty thoughts, and it makes me melt... usually. I unconsciously lick my lips and try to let the world fade away for a moment as she leans toward me and kisses me.

Next thing I know, we're both naked and lying on the bed, kissing and caressing and getting very hot and bothered. She's touching me in all the right spots, as always, and as much as I'd like to just enjoy this feeling, I know that she's waiting to break out the toy.

I know what she wants... I've always feared it, in some way. What she doesn't understand is, bringing about this situation just compounds my fears about her and her true 'wants'. They may be stupid fears, but they aren't unfounded... not after what happened between us. I fear that playing with this little strap-on isn't about the two of us making love; it's about her and what she really craves sexually, and physically. And she has no idea that I know... no idea at all. Like I said, it's the start of a nightmare coming to life right here in front of me, literally.

She's kissing me insistently, lashing me with her tongue. I tell myself that it's totally self-destructive to think ridiculous thoughts, and I must stop it. She's here, with me, and I should just enjoy the moment, and enjoy her. I can do that, can't I?

"Mon... I want you to fuck me." She growls against my lips, licking me and biting my bottom lip. Oh Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick...

I still for a second, trying to process this and think of a way out of it. She pulls her face away slightly and looks at me, saying nothing... just giving me a dark, hungry look. I want to do this for her, I really do. I just don't know if I can.

I push myself up and away, reaching for the harness, determined to do this and do it well. Hey, maybe this will help me get over my stupid problem? Yeah, right. I start to put it on, and she sits up, leaning on her elbow, watching me. Then she scoots over behind me, helping me with the little buckles and clasps that I'm obviously fumbling with. This does nothing to calm me, seeing her impatient and eager. I'm sure I have it all wrong... I'm sure I'm not feeling or thinking the right things. But I keep telling myself, 'just do it for her... do it for her.'

When I'm finished 'gearing-up', she sits in back of me and caresses my shoulders and back, placing soft kisses along the back of my neck. I sigh and try to relax as her hands reach around to grasp my breasts and trail down my stomach. I try to let the feeling of her petite fingers wash over me. I could have succeeded if she hadn't reached down to grab the dick and play with it as well. I'm sure this is supposed to turn me on in addition to her, but honestly, it's just sparking more negative feelings in me. After only a few moments of that, I decide that I've had enough of the mind-fuck that this is inflicting on me. If she wants me to fuck her, then I'll fuck her.

I turn around and give her a look that I'm sure is very dark and intense; she'll just have to think that it's sexual in nature - I won't bother explaining how much it isn't. She scoots backwards on the bed, looking at me with eyes that speak of severe arousal and turn-on. She can't possibly have any idea how incredibly difficult this is for me. She seems so... 'into it', I don't know how I'm going to follow suit. Not only am I not 'into it', I can feel my mind teetering on the brink of a serious jealous fit because she seems so... so eager to have a cock between her legs... more than eager, in fact... 'desperate' maybe... desperate for a cock... desperate for His cock, probably...

FUCK!! ...I gotta stop this. I can't think this way... I can't think about him, for chrissake! I just have to focus on her... just her... just please her.

I look at her intently. I wish she could read my mind to know that I desperately need this just to be about us - just her and me. I want to say it aloud to her. I want to clarify with her that this isn't a manly 'cock' that I'm wearing, it's a... dildo... it's just a dildo... which happens to be strapped between my legs.

She lies down on the bed, awaiting me. I climb up to her, settling myself between legs that open much too easily. I kneel for a moment, caressing her thighs and calculating my movements quickly in my head... I want to try to do this as quickly as possible and just get it overwith.

I lean over her body, letting my hips dip downward so that the tip of the dildo touches her warmth while my mouth presses into her chest. She immediately lets out a breathy moan and I let my lips trail up her neck until we begin kissing languorously while I slip and slide the shaft along her wetness. She groans and shamelessly spreads her legs wider as she begins moving her hips urgently, sliding her hands down to the small of my back, fluttering across to my hips, pulling me down onto her, wanting to feel more of the turgid toy I'm wearing.

I break out in a sweat and I'm trying so hard to concentrate, but my jealous thoughts invade relentlessly... she still has 'straight' tendencies... straight girls like cocks... manly cocks... straight girls always liked to get fucked by manly cocks... God help me, I'm battling with myself and not paying attention to her. I start thinking, does she dream of getting fucked by a man? - more specifically, of getting fucked by Him. I can't help but think of how many times Mulder must have fucked her like this... of how she must still crave it, and how that's probably why she's wanting this so much...

No no no noooo! It's destructive to think like this, I know, I knowwww!!!! I fight desperately to push the idiotic, rivalrous ideas out of my mind.

I want to do this for Dana, to please her, to give to her... but it's nearly impossible... especially when I'm being plagued with jealousy and ideas of inadequacy. In this instance, and with Dana right now, this isn't sexy, and it doesn't feel good. It feels... masculine... it feels like nothing but crude, manly sex. Like we might as well be in the back seat of a car or something. It's surely reminiscent of what he must have done with her and to her. Is that what she wants? Did she want me to be like him? To become more like him? Does she wish that it was Him fucking her right now rather than me?!

Oh god ohgodohgod...

I clench my eyes closed and grit my teeth, cursing the wretched thoughts in my head. I'm not concentrating, and I'm getting upset, and that's bad, for both of us. I quickly reach down and grasp the shaft, pushing it into Dana's tight heat. She gasps aloud from the sudden penetration, shuddering and digging her nails into my shoulders. I begin an uncomfortable, jerky movement, sliding the shaft in part way, then pulling it nearly all the way back out.

...Fuck... fuck... just fuck... just get it overwith...

God help me... I think I'm going to scream.

     "Well let me tell you that it hurts so bad, it makes me 
     feel so sad; It's gonna hurt so bad, if you walk away."
     - Ronstadt

Ch. 3

January 20, 2005
11:25 p.m.

I'm moaning and groaning helplessly, the sensations coursing through me are nearly undoing me. I want to hold on, I don't want to explode right away, but this is absolutely testing my limitations.

Monica's supple, warm body hovering above me, silently dominating me... her silky hair dangling down, tickling my skin... soft puffs of breath along my neck... taut back, slick with sweat... slender hips moving against me, filling me with heat and desire... it's driving me completely insane to have her do this to me. But, I want her to get off too, and somehow I'm not getting that vibe from her.

I crack my eyes open to look at her to see if she's enjoying herself. Her eyes are closed, her brows crinkled in concentration, or something. I'm not sure if she's enjoying this or not. Her face is so close to mine, I can see the little beads of sweat that have gathered along her hairline. Her lips quiver slightly, exposing gritted teeth as she pumps into me carefully. She's not relaxed... not at all. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea afterall?

I slide my hands up from her waist and grasp her head, bringing her lips over to meet mine in a gentle kiss... I want her to relax and become one with me. She drops to her elbows and I gasp aloud as she suddenly releases her hips and drives the shaft into me deeper. Oh fuck... I'm going to explode soon.

I open my eyes again, only to see a strange expression flash across her face as she suddenly begins to move faster and harder, her teeth still clenched tightly in a near-snarl. She seemed disembodied before, now she seems agitated and frustrated. The frown on her face is worse - the little vein that bulges on her forehead when she's stressed is there, and she's thrusting against me, pushing deeply and clutching me tight around the shoulders, almost painfully. I'm starting to think that something definitely isn't right; either Monica has the wrong idea of how I wanted to get off with this, or this 'act' has sparked something of a 'forceful' nature in her, which would be unusual; Monica is never forceful nor rough with me.

Before I can halt things, she begins to shake her head back and forth slightly, finally expelling a deep breath that she has obviously been holding, and bowing her head down. She ceases her movements and collapses, laying her forehead against my chest for a second,

"I'm sorry... I'm sorry." She whispers in a barely-coherent mumble. What the fuck?

"What? What's wrong?" I have to ask - I'm confused. She hesitates, then finally looks up at me, a mixture of sorrow, frustration and anger on her face,

"I can't do this... I'm sorry." She withdraws and pushes herself away from me, sliding wordlessly off the bed.

"Mon, what's the matter?" I'm asking as I sit up. She ignores me and unbuckles the harness, dropping it to the floor as she rakes her fingers through her hair roughly and heads toward the bathroom.

"Monica!?" Dammit; I'm getting angry now. I jump quickly off the opposite side of the bed and grab her wrist just as she's slipping past me. She won't look at me, so I reach up and turn her face toward me,

"Talk to me... what the hell is this all about?" I'm imploring her as gently as possible without yelling. Her face is tight and impatient. She hesitates for a long moment,

"... I'm not Him, Dana," she finally snaps, her eyes flashing anger for a millisecond. "I'll never be Him - not in body nor soul - so you'd better get used to it, okay?"

She twists her arm and frees herself, disappearing into the bathroom quickly and closing the door with a bang. I just stand there, slack-jawed and unbelieving.

What the fuck? She thinks I want her to be whom?... Mulder? Oh my god... she must be insane. She thinks this sex is about Him, for chrissake? Why? ...the toy?

The pieces are slowly coming together in my perplexed head. She must think... oh my god... what in the hell is wrong with her?! This ridiculous jealousy thing is going too far now.

I'm suddenly incredibly angry, and I march toward the bathroom, determined to straighten this whole mess out, once and for all.

Goddammit... goddammit... godDAMMIT! I pound my fists down on the bathroom sink, jarring the whole wall. I swear, if I had a gun right now, I'd be standing here holding it to my temple, cocking the hammer...

I look at my reflection in the mirror... a very big disappointment stares back at me... a jealous, unhappy woman who doesn't know what the fuck she's doing. Jesus... unhappy? Am I really unhappy? I can't be unhappy... I have Dana... DANA. She makes me happy... at least, I used to think she did. Fuck, I'm not sure anymore... I'm not sure of anything. And worst of all, I'm not sure if it's me, or if it's her that I'm unsure of. God help me... I need to get out of here.

I turn to the bathtub and start running the water. Maybe if I get a shower I'll feel better? Yeah, sure, that's definitely the magic cure-all for insecurity and paranoia, you moron. Jesus... I can't believe this. I can't believe that I'm being so fucking irrational. What is WRONG with me?! Instead of running away, I should go talk to her. Instead of being a complete coward, I should try to explain what's going on in my mind. But... I don't know if I can. And, I don't know if she'll listen anyway.

I'm standing at the tub, inhaling a deep cleansing breath when the door fairly bursts open. Oh shit. I don't wanna fight.

"Okay Monica... okay. I give up. You win." She's really pissed; I can tell by the way she's biting the words off as she speaks. I give her a sideways glance, acknowledging her, but not looking directly at her. I'm not going to argue about this; I just can't.

"I don't know what's wrong, because you won't talk to me, and I don't know what else to do or say to you. So, I give up." She's nearly seething. Oh man.

"If you're trying to punish me, or-or, destroy things between us, you're doing a bang-up job." She's so upset, she's not even making sense... how can I possibly make her understand? I feel bad for doing this, but she just doesn't get it... she'll never get it. I close my eyes and shake my head, still not looking at her. I just want to disappear... just curl up into a ball right here on the tile floor and disappear like magic. Where the fuck is Harry Potter when you need him?

"I don't know what to do... I don't know what else you need from me," Her voice quavers and she pauses for a minute; I guess I'm supposed to say something, but I don't... I can't. I open my eyes and look over at her slowly. I don't think I have an expression on my face; I think it's totally blank. I'd like it to say 'I'm sorry,' but I'm not sure if it's there or not.

"I love you, Monica... but I... I just don't know what you want." She's looking at me, imploring, her eyes red and welling with tears. I finally manage to speak,

"...I don't know either Dana."

     "It used to be so easy livin' here with you, You were light
     and breezy and I knew just what to do; Now you look so
     unhappy, and I feel like a fool."  - King

Ch. 4

January 21, 2005
6:11 a.m.


The alarm is buzzing for the fourth time... or is it the fifth? I'm so tired and unable to move, I just let it go. The annoyance soon stops, however, getting smacked off by an impatient hand.

Monica rolls away from the night table and the clock, coming to rest on her back. She sighs deeply, and her eyes are closed, but I know she's awake. After a few seconds, she turns her head slightly and opens her eyes. I peek at her and she gazes back at me, neither of us saying a word nor displaying an expression of any kind. It's strange, looking at her and not being able to read her mind. I would so like to know what she's thinking. She is a stone wall, and her face is completely blank. After a few seconds of empty staring, she turns away from me again. So much for 'staying open'.

I lay on my side, very still, watching her through barely-open eyes. I know I have to get up and get moving for class, but I'm loathe to leave the comfort and warmth of the bed. I'm loathe to leave her too, even though things are suddenly so... 'strained' between us. She's here, and we're together, but things are hanging in a very uncertain balance. I hate it. I hate anything being 'wrong' with us, and yet I don't know what to do about this... this thing that has wedged itself between us.

I know what the 'thing' is... it's the same as always - Mulder - well, not him actually and physically. It's more the 'idea' of him, and my past with him, and the fact that he is - although only through William - still in my life. Monica just can't handle it. She can't get her head around the fact that Mulder was, and will always be, a part of my life. She knows it's ridiculous, and she readily admits it. She says she knows that I don't have feelings for him anymore, but I don't believe her. I think she just says that to placate me. She doesn't believe that I'm totally over him, or she doesn't believe that I believe, either one. Case in point - last night's little fiasco over a stupid sex toy. I know that's what the problem was/is, because I know her. For 4 hours last night, I laid awake in bed, thinking about it and analyzing it.

For whatever reason, she thinks I still have feelings for Mulder, and maybe for men in general - who the fuck knows. She doesn't trust me... she doesn't trust my feelings. And that hurts me so much. It surprises me and frustrates me too. I just can't believe that she can feel this way, after everything we've gone through. I can't believe that she doesn't believe in me, because it's just not like her. She is not an insecure person, and that's really what this is all about. ...At least, that's what I think.

I admit that she has just-cause to have some doubts. I know I made mistakes, and I hurt her - I know that. But give me a fucking break... how long must I pay for those mistakes? I know how I really feel now, and she should too. Jesus. How many times must I say it? What else do I need to do to prove it? I love her -why can't she just get that?!

She knows that it drives me crazy for her to be jealous of Mulder. She says it's her problem, and she's working on it, that she's trying to make herself get over it and deal with it... but I don't think she's doing a very good job. She really doesn't talk about it much, but... I can tell what's going on inside her. I know her well enough. Whenever there is even the slightest mention or hint of 'Mulder', I can see her face tense... I can see her posture stiffen, even in the most subtle way. Being around my Mother is usually the worst time, because Mom doesn't know how Monica feels about him. So of course, she talks about him and ask me tons of stupid questions about him and what he's doing, blahblahblah, and the whole time I know Monica is silently burning up inside.

I hate it. I hate the whole goddamned, asinine situation. It has now become a huge problem, and it's ridiculous. It drives me nuts for her to be like this, and yet I don't know what to do about it. I don't know how to help her get over it. We've discussed her jealousy of Mulder enough times... I've reassured her that I don't love him anymore, and I tell her that I love her, that I am in love with her, and not Mulder, nor anyone else for that matter. Shit, I could tell her that until I'm blue in the face, and somehow, I doubt it would make a difference. I feel like I've said it so many times, I'm physically sick of the words. Maybe I'm not doing a very good job either, I don't know. I don't know what else to say or do or change. And the thing is, I don't even know if I should try to do anything anymore. If it is just her problem, then maybe I should just back off and do nothing, and let her solve it herself.

Why must this be so fucking painful and difficult? Why can't things just go right for a change? Will someone please answer me that??

I just DON'T KNOW what to do. I have no fucking idea what to do about any it. But something needs to be done, and soon, because it's tearing us apart... slowly but surely.

     "Love me, love me, say that you love me;
     Fool me, fool me, go on and fool me;
     Love me, love me, pretend that you love me;
     Leave me, leave me, just say that you need me."
     - Cardigans

Ch. 5

January 29, 2005
3:00 p.m.

So, here I am... once again... in pursuit of her. Can you believe this shit?

She called me at work last Friday afternoon - right before my last class which, I'm sure, was intentional - to tell me that she'd decided to go home early. A full week early. She gave me some lame excuse about her calling her department and finding out that they really needed her for a case that had come up. Yeah, right. That rinky-dink police department that she was doing detective work for didn't need her immediately, like she tried to infer. Granted, they need her in general, because she's more qualified than any of the other local-yocal officers and gumshoes they have in that place, but it could never be that pressing. She knows that I think she's totally wasting her time - and talent - in that place, but that's another issue altogether.

The point is, she obviously wanted to get the hell away from me as soon as possible, so she handed me a line, and now she's gone.

Although I'm at a loss as to what to do about her, and us, my first instinct was to go to her. Well... that's not exactly accurate - my immediate instinct was to phone her up and scream at her, but I knew that wouldn't do any good - so I counted to ten a few thousand times and ended up deciding to just wait.

Wait, and give her time to think... give me time to think. Give us time to get some perspective on the whole ridiculous matter, and hopefully - hopefully - talk about it calmly. I want to hash it out, but I don't want to have a big wicked fight with her; I don't want things to disintegrate into a battle of blame and hurt feelings. I'm loathe to stir things up again, but she needs to understand that we must solve the problem if we're to have a future together.

I need to be with her... I need her to be with me... so we need resolution. It hurts to be divided like this - it physically aches inside me. I'm miserable without her, and if she doesn't want to be with me, or can't be with me, then I need to know. I need to know, because I'm dying living like this. I'm dying inside... and I have to tell her... I have to see her.

When I finally reach her house, I'm struck by the Andrew Wyeth-ness of it, and the fact that I hadn't really noticed it before. The house looks weather-beaten and old, yet quaint in a small-beach-resort sort of way. My car sneaks up the sandy street, and I immediately spot her Jeep parked in its usual spot. Well, at least she's home.

I park on the street and gather my nerves for a moment, determined to face her without being too aloof and bitchy, nor breaking-down completely. I just want to talk... surely she will do that. I get out of the car and walk to the back yard, where I can hear music coming from inside the house.

There are tools and lumber pieces strewn about the yard... it looks like someone has been busy with something. As I tentatively climb the steps, I can see that someone has replaced the treads with new wood. When I get up to the porch, it's also obvious that the screening is new and the wood trim has been painted. ...Interesting.

The door is open, so I take a deep breath and step inside. I fairly tip-toe through the kitchen and reach the living room area, where I can smell fresh paint. Most of the living room is bare and the furniture has been pushed out of the way. So she's been busy with something that came up at work, huh?

I turn my head and lay my eyes on her. She has tattered jeans on and a t-shirt, hair pulled back in a ponytail, blue bandana on again. She looks like such a tomboy. Jazz music is pouring from her stereo speakers. Monica's music choices say everything about her. I think it's Nnenna Freelon... it's blue and soulful... not a good sign. She only plays the sad stuff when she's moody and melancholy. She doesn't sense that I'm here, so I take the opportunity to watch her for a moment.

Monica stands on a small ladder, carefully painting the wooden trim of the living room windows. There are bits of sandpaper and assorted tools scattered on the floor. She dips the brush into the paint pail and smears some white paint onto the trim, back and forth, back and forth, smoothly and gracefully. She's very quick and sure of herself - she knows what she's doing - I can tell just by watching her. I'm impressed.

I watch her fluid movements and smile vaguely to myself... I love to watch her. In my mind's eye, I recall the times I've watched her before, and the way she'd look up and catch me... the intense but soft emotion that would overtake her features... the smirk that would flit across her lips... the love and devotion that would shine in her eyes.

I miss that.

It always calms me to watch her. I try to tell myself that I should be calm now, too. I know I'm loaded and ready to attack, but I don't want to be like that. I finally take a deep breath and walk into the room.

"So, when are you going to put the pool in?" She whirls around instantly, almost falling off the ladder. Oops.

"Dana...?" She's genuinely shocked, I think. I smile at her gently and she still regards me with surprise. She has a little paint smear on one cheek, and my heart nearly breaks at the profoundly natural beauty and flawlessness of her face.

"Quite an impressive job you're doing here. Bob Vila would be proud." I'm trying to keep the mood as light as possible.

"Yeah well... if you have your own house, you'd better be able to take care of it. My Dad always said that." I smile and nod and she smiles uneasily back at me as she steps down from the ladder.

"Uhm... what are you doing here? I mean, how are you here? Don't you have classes?"

"No, it's Winter break... remember?" Obviously she doesn't.

"Oh... right." She gives a little guilty grin and shifts her gaze away from me for a moment. I guess I should be hurt that she forgot; we had been looking forward to spending the break together. But that's not the important issue right now. She seems a little nervous. I guess I should have been courteous and called first, but honestly, that was the last thing on my mind.

"Spring cleaning?" I ask, again trying to sound upbeat.

"No, just... doing a little 'home improvement'." She answers cryptically, putting her brush down and wiping her hands on a towel. Somehow I get the feeling that she's not telling me something. My mind suddenly fills with the paranoid vision of her selling her house and disappearing again. I blink my eyes and force the thought from my head. We both hesitate for a moment, looking at each other. Finally she speaks,

"So... are you here to stay? I mean, do you have bags or anything?" I make a small face and look down for a moment,

"Well... I guess that depends on you."

"Me?" Her brows furrow as she looks at me.

"Yeah... do you want me to stay, or... is that maybe not a good idea?" I'm saying it calmly; I don't want her to think I'm accusing.

"Of course I want you to stay." She seems surprised by my question; I guess she's conveniently forgotten all about her not-so-subtle exit a few days ago.

"Well... after the way you left last Friday... I wasn't so sure." I'll just jog her memory a little.

She rolls her eyes skyward and releases a huge sigh as she turns away from me and heads to the kitchen. Apparently she still doesn't want to discuss it. Well guess what? ...I do.

I follow her silently. She pulls a Corona out of the fridge and pops the cap off, taking a huge gulp. When she finally looks back at me, I give her an expectant look, letting her know that she's not off the hook, and I take the beer from her hand and take a gulp for myself.

"I told you... I had some things that needed taken care of at work. That's why I left early." She tries to say assuredly as I give the beer back to her.

"Yes, I know... that's what you said." I give her another look, to tell her that I think she's full of shit, and she returns it with challenge. I don't want to fight with her, I really don't. We stand there in her little kitchen in uncomfortable silence, looking at each other, then at the walls, then at each other again. Finally she clears her throat,

"Where are your bags? I'll go get them." She offers, putting her beer down and heading for the door. I quickly take a step toward her so that she can't get out, and I grab her arms and pin her with a stare.

"What?" Her voice is quiet and small, and I can feel a slight tremble pass through her.

"You're going to have to talk to me, you know," I say it quietly, but with absolute sincerity, while I stare at her hard. "You're going to have to tell me what's going on with you." I don't want to threaten her or make her think that I'm angry, but I want her to understand that we are not just going to ignore this.

"Dana, please... please don't do this." She begs me in a quiet whisper, shaking her head and closing her eyes as she moves backwards to lean against the cabinets. She breaks my heart. I reach up and lay my hand on her cheek.

"I don't want to do this, Monica, I really don't... but we have to... we have to because I can't live like this anymore. I can't live not knowing if you're going to be with me, or not be with me. Do you understand?" My voice is suddenly tremulous and unsteady and I'm fighting back tears. She looks at me, her eyes darting around my face.

"I love you... and I want to be with you... with YOU, Monica... no one else but you." She bows her head and refuses to look at me again.

"That's all I know... that's all I can give you. Either you accept that, and you believe in me, or... or we have no future together." My voice betrays me again, and now my eyes do too as tears begin to pool in them.

"Do you understand that?" I shake her a little bit, but she won't look at me. Dammit, why won't she talk? "Say something!" I whisper it emphatically as my tears begin to dribble out. She finally looks at me, her eyes red and flowing tears of their own.

"I'm sorry... I'm sorry for being such a mess. You don't deserve that. You shouldn't have to deal with that." She starts crying too.

"Shhh... don't say that." My heart is breaking in two.

"I'm sorry I'm such a fucking idiot!" She covers her face with her hands and bursts into tears. I bring my arms around her neck and try to pull her close to me. She resists at first but gives in after a few seconds.

"You're not an idiot." I press myself against her further, pulling her face down to mine. When I whisper 'I love you' against her lips several times, she breaks down completely, and we cry and kiss and hug each other tight.

Please let this be the beginning of our journey back.

     "Your kisses are as wicked as an F-16,
     And you fuck like a volcano,
     and you're everything to me."
     - Phair

Ch. 6

January 29, 2005
7:05 p.m.

When I awaken, the sun is going down. I move my leg slightly, immediately noticing a slight soreness of my muscles. Good make-up sex should always push you to your physical limitations. I smile ruefully at the thought then turn my head to look at Dana. She's sleeping peacefully, the bedsheet draped haphazardly over her naked body. ...The body that I love... the woman that I love. I do love her.

So why is it so damned hard for me to accept the fact that she really loves me too? She's here, afterall. She came looking for me - again - when she could have very easily told me to fuck off. But instead of giving up on me and my stupid neuroses, she came the whole way down here to be with me and tell me that she loves me. She loves me, still... and I have to believe that... I want to believe in her again. I have to get over my insecurities and get back to where we once were... God I want that so badly.

I find myself starting my mental self-therapy again... ticking off facts in my mind, urging myself to get over my anxieties, because they are stupid. They really are just stupid and petty.

Once upon a time, I loved her like no one else before her. Once upon a time, I gave her everything, and I wasn't afraid. Not at all. I became afraid because she left me for Him. It hurt, and it made me afraid. But that's over now, and I must forgive her. I must remember... she left Him for me, and she loves Me, not him. She deserves forgiveness.

I have to trust her again... I have to get over my bitterness and anger and let myself give her everything again. I have to be the person and the lover that she deserves, because she deserves everything from me... still... and always. I want to have a future with her. I want commitment and I want to spend my life with her.

I need her.

My grandmother used to tell me, whenever I'd get upset or cry about something that had gone wrong, she'd say, "The sweetness will follow... you will have bitter, el querido, but sweetness will always follow... yo lo prometo."

I miss my grandma. Her promises were always true.

Dana makes a deep sighing noise and rolls over to face me, but doesn't awaken. A gentle smile erupts on my lips and the tears that have gathered in my eyes spill out. I reach out and lightly finger a strand of her dark blonde hair. I wish she were awake right now. I want to kiss her and tell her again that I'm sorry... I want to taste her and show that I trust her... I want to make love to her again and give her everything.

Because she is everything to me. I do believe in her. And I do so love her.

I edge toward her and kiss her forehead. She's so warm... comforting. Her very presence soothes me. She stirs and nuzzles against me, causing a full-blown blush to run rampant up and down my body. I kiss her again, this time touching her lips. I know I should let her sleep, but I can't help it. She finally cracks her eyes open, looking up at me and smiling. They're so blue... they pierce into my very soul. I grin back at her. The overwhelming love that I feel for her must be showing on my face, because I feel like I'm going to burst at the seams.

I lean forward and kiss her again and again, and she sleepily tries to respond. I let my lips trail down her chin, her throat, her clavicles, her sternum, and her tummy. I touch her delicately and let my passion seep out of me and into her skin. My arms slide around her and hold onto her while I kiss her tummy and her breasts.

She is my world.

I slide further down and settle myself between her legs. She brings her knees up alongside my head and I kiss and caress her thighs. I push my nose into her warmth and kiss her intimately while she rakes her fingers through my hair and groans so quietly.

She is my love.

I touch and taste her with my tongue and speak my love to her with every swirl and stab. Her body tenses and her thighs squeeze my skull as I devour her relentlessly. Her back arches against the bed and she says my name in a whispering moan as she gives me her release. I want to hold her like this forever and drink her and drown myself in her essence.

She is my life.

A shrill ringing is sounding in my ears, jostling me from my sleep. What is that? I must be dreaming. No... there it is again... ringing. It's a telephone. It's not my phone... it sounds different. Monica... it's her phone. Goddd... shut up. My head is groggy and my muscles ache. How many times did we make love? ...I lost count. After that last time, I lost track of everything.

Something had changed in her... she made love to me, but it was different... it was incredible. More incredible than ever before. She touched me with unbelievable reverence, like I was the most beloved and coveted creature in the world. I could actually feel the emotions coming out of her fingertips, and such intense passion and devotion poured from her. Her face wore an expression I've never seen before... it was so soft and beautiful and incredibly loving... it was gentle and adoring and awed... it was totally giving, and it was trusting. Something had broken free somewhere inside her.

The phone rings again, and Monica stirs beside me in the bed. I hear her sigh softly, but she makes no motion to get up and shut that damn phone up. She rolls over, gently scooting her body up against mine so that she spoons me. This position always turns me on, and the ringing phone is soon forgotten.

She has her mouth against the back of my head, and when she expels a deep breath, the warm oxygen penetrates my hair and heats the back of my skull. I can feel the skin of her stomach sticking against my back as she breathes in and out... our bodies are still slightly damp with sex and sweat. I can feel the softness of her pubic hair tickling against my ass as she moves a little closer... her thighs flex ever so slightly against the bottoms of mine. She brings her arm up and slides her hand across the top of my thigh. My heart starts beating faster...

The phone rings yet again... someone means business. Monica releases another sigh against my head. This time, the ringing continues until the answering machine goes off. A woman with a thick southern accent leaves an annoyed message:

"Monica! Where the hell are you?! We're all sittin' here at the restaurant waitin' for you, you shithead! Get your ass down here, and don't forget your dancin' shoes too! Hurry up!" There's some cackling in the background before the caller hangs up.

Monica makes no movement, so I finally roll over so that we're facing each other. Her eyes blink lazily, an uneasy grin crossing her lips.

"You had plans for tonight?" I ask quietly, suddenly feeling really bad that I've crashed in on her unexpectedly.

"Mmm... I was supposed to go out for dinner and maybe some clubbing with a couple friends from work." Yes, I DO feel exceptionally bad now. She stretches her arms above her head, "But it's no big deal." She tries to sound nonchalant. I make a disagreeing noise.

"Yes it is." I sit up and look at her. "You shouldn't stand them up."

"I don't feel like it... I'm not really in the mood," she says, wrinkling her nose. "Besides, I'd rather stay here with you." She sounds a little like a petulant child as she reaches out to stroke my arm. The truth is, I would rather she stay here too. But I shouldn't be selfish; she should go with her friends.

"You shouldn't be rude," I say teasingly while wagging my finger at her, "If you made plans to go with them, go." I start to slide off the bed, but she grabs my arm and pulls me firmly back toward her as she sits up. I can't help but grin, and she pulls me in to her and kisses me seductively.

"I can't let you here alone," she says in-between kisses as she lays back down on the bed, dragging me easily with her. "What will you do all by yourself?" she's smiling and kissing me at the same time, as she pulls me fully on top of her. I laugh, secretly thrilled that she can overpower me so easily, and amused at her libidinous ulterior motive. Her demeanor has certainly changed in the last few hours.

"I'm sure I'll manage." I give her a final kiss as I somehow worm out of her arms and slide off the bed to head toward the bathroom. I can hear her flop back down on her back and make a grumbling noise.

I'm splashing water on my face, wondering what has made her change her attitude. I can tell, even now, that she is much more relaxed and at ease. I want to know why. I want to know what she's been thinking, because she's obviously reached a decision about something. My thoughts are interrupted when I suddenly feel the warmth of her body as it gently presses against my backside. I look up in the mirror at the soft, sexy statement on her face, and I grin at her. Her expression is so tender, I nearly melt all over again.

"Why don't you come with me?" she says quietly and hopefully as she nuzzles my cheek.

"Oh, no... I don't want to do that." I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I don't want to go hang out with a bunch of strangers either. "They're your friends - go and have fun with them." I try to sound upbeat as I grab a towel and dry my face off.

"Please... come with me." She says it in a little whiney voice, and I can't help but crack a smile as I look in the mirror again and see her now giving me exaggerated puppy eyes.

"You like to dance... c'mon... you'll have fun." She's cajoling me as she pelts my shoulder with kisses.

"I do not like to dance." I'm trying to sound firm, but then she starts kissing my neck while murmuring 'pleasepleaseplease'.

"Monica, stop!" I'm trying to be serious but I'm laughing because she's kissing and nibbling me all over.

"Please? I'll have more fun if you're there," I roll my eyes at her and groan. "Pleeeaaase?" She kneels down and kisses me all over my backside now, making me laugh more. I turn around, intending to face her, but she immediately begins kissing my thighs instead. She slides her hands up to grab my ass and she squeezes as she buries her nose into me. Good God, she's going to kill me. I groan and reach down, grasping her head and urging her upwards.

"Okay, okay... I'll go. But I'm warning you, I'm going under protest." She brings her arms around me and gives me a gentle hug.

"Thank you... you won't be sorry... I promise." She grins at me and kisses my lips, a subtle gleam in her eye.

Something tells me that this night is going to get a lot more interesting.

     "John, I'm only dancing; She turns me on, but I'm only
     dancing; She turns me on, don't get me wrong; I'm only
     dancing."  - Bowie

Ch. 7

January 29, 2005
9:15 p.m.

I called Joan back and told her that Dana was here visiting, but that we'd meet them at the club later. She was, of course, oh so delighted to finally be meeting Dana. Joan is an older, divorced mother of two grown kids whom I've gotten close to since going to work at the station. I guess you would call her the 'office manager' - whatever she is, she keeps everything running smoothly and has a knack for keeping everyone in their proper place. She's just that type of person. She's also everyone's surrogate 'Mom', and I guess that's what she is to me too. She was born and raised near New Orleans, so we sort-of naturally came to be friends. She's wise and very caring, but she doesn't take any crap either.

We've had many long lunches discussing life and love. I've told her about me and my 'love life', and she knows all about Dana and our history together. It's nice to have someone unbiased to talk to, really, and I value Joan's friendship a lot. I've only ever 'come clean', so to speak, with Joan and one other woman who works at the station - Kate. I'm not as close to Kate as I am to Joan, but I've gotten to know Kate pretty well through some cases we've worked together. She's bisexual, so of course, she and I have some things in common that Joan and I don't. She has a tendency to be a little negative at times, but she's okay.

Anyway, Joan said there were a few other people who would be there as well, and as she ran through the names, I mentally ticked-off the ones who knew about Dana compared to the ones who didn't. The odds were in favor of those who didn't know, so I was a little uneasy about the whole thing. It's not that I'm embarrassed of Dana - quite the opposite, really - I just don't wish to be obvious and put my private life on public display, y'know? I debated just bagging it and going home, but Dana assured me that it wouldn't be a big deal and no one would think anything of us.

...Yeah, okay, sure.

The club is pretty packed, which is a good thing, I suppose. The music is loud and the rooms are dark, and I hold Dana's hand as I drag us through the throngs of dancing, inebriated idiots. Finally I see the gang and walk over to the booth and table that they have somehow commandeered.

"Heyyyy! You made it!" Joan exhalts loudly. Well, she's blitzed already. Everybody booms their 'hellos' to me, and then turns their attention to the attractive woman at my side. ...Here we go.

"Uh... this is my... friend, Dana Scully." I make a small motion with my hand and curse myself inwardly for stumbling like an idiot. Dana smiles and gives a little chuckle at my obvious nervousness, then says 'hello' to everyone with a smoothness that I envy. Joan stands up and walks toward us, extending her hand to Dana to shake it... oh no... please don't embarrass me... she has a tendency to go overboard with her mouth sometimes.

"It certainly is nice to finally meet you, Dana. I've heard so much about you." Joan speaks as quietly as a drunken southern woman can, but she's completely sincere.

"Well, I hope it's all been good?" Dana says with a smile.

"Ohh yesss... it's always very good." Joan slurs as she take another sip of her drink. She turns to me and raises her eyebrows, silently mouthing 'Wow' to me. My face flushes a little and I roll my eyes at her. When I turn back to Dana, she's looking at me with a smirk firmly set upon her lips.

We sit around the tables for a long while, chatting and catching-up on things. Dana, of course, does an excellent job of listening intently and participating in the conversations whenever possible, but I think she seems a little bored. While Joan argues loudly about the legalization of marijuana (she's against it) with Debra, the peace-love-tenderness hippy of the group (who favors it), I lean in to Dana.

"You bored?"

"No, I'm fine... this is fun." She smiles, reassuring me.

"They're insane, aren't they?"

"No, they're funny... you're lucky to have a group of friends like this." She sounds a little sad when she says it. I guess she doesn't really know what it's like to have a gang of friends to hang out with. I guess she's never really had the opportunity. I smile at her, but what I really want to do is kiss her.

Monica's friends are funny... and loud. I like them, and I can see why Monica likes them. Joan is a riot - typical southern woman; Kate is a smart-ass who has a biting comment for everything; Debra is easy-going and upbeat, but nave; Jill is a wild-child who thinks she's still 21; Darla is an obvious butch who doesn't say much, but laughs a lot. She's been staring at Monica, and at me, and she talks conspiratorily with Jill a lot... I have a feeling that they've figured out that we're a couple... I wonder if Monica knows this.

Jill, Kate, and Debra have gone out to dance. It seems the retro hour at this club has started, and when 'Shake Your Groove Thing' came on, a bunch of them screamed and made a bee-line to the dance floor. They're even funnier out there... gyrating and doing disco moves, badly. We're watching them and laughing. They whoop and yell for Darla, Joan and Monica to come and join them. Joan obliges, but Monica stays by my side, waving them off.

"Go out and dance with them." I say, leaning in to her ear.

"Mmnn." She replies with a grumbling noise, wrinkling her nose as she takes a swig of her beer. Her friends shout to her again from the dance floor as some other song comes on.

"Go on." I say, bumping her arm. She gives me a little, loving smile and puts her beer down on the table before walking out to greet her friends. They move together and form some kind of line-dance, and I hear Darla breaking out in laughter behind me. I turn around, acknowledging the comedic scene on the floor with her.

"They're nuts... absolutely nuts." She says, still laughing.

"Yes, they certainly are... but they're having a good time." I say, watching them carrying-on. Monica is bumping hips with Kate, and they're laughing and dancing together, acting silly while Debra, Jill and Joan look on. 'Get Down Tonight' starts playing and all of them switch tempo and continue to dance and sing along with the song. Joan sort-of continues to dance in the same stiff manner as before, but Monica's body completely changes and conforms to the new music. She is lithe and so smooth, swaying her body and moving her hips in a way that looks very sultry and sexual.

"Monica's a really good dancer." Darla comments, making me turn and look back at her. I can't tell if she's saying that just from watching Monica right now, or if it's an historic observation. Either way, it makes me a little uneasy to think that she's eyeballing my woman. I have to laugh inwardly at my own suddenly jealous thoughts.

"Yes, she is." I say it as if I know it for a fact, but in reality, I don't think I've ever really seen Monica dance that much. Never in a club setting like this, anyway.

"You and Monica are... pretty close, huh?" Darla says, taking me off-guard for a moment. So I guess the probing is going to begin now.

"Yeah... I guess you could say that." I decide to try to answer her as non-commitally as I can. She nods her head at me.

"Well, you're lucky. She's a special person." I turn and fix her with what I'm sure must look like a jealous stare. ...So be it. She spins her beer bottle nervously on the table.

"I mean, everyone really likes her... she's really great." I nod at her in agreement and smile politely, waiting to hear what else she has to say, because I know she wants to say something more.

"She's been such a wonderful addition to our puny, little police force... all of us will really miss her when she goes." My eyebrows shoot skyward.

"When she goes?" I blurt it out and look at her suspiciously.

"Yeah... when she moves back North... y'know?" She looks at me curiously, obviously wondering why I'm surprised about this.

"Oh, that... right." I take a big gulp of my drink and try to recover quickly, but this news has totally blown my cool. 'When she moves back North'... 'When she moves back North'... Darla's words play over and over again in my head.

So Monica's planning on moving, and she hasn't bothered to tell me... how lovely. I don't know if I'm hurt or angry... or thrilled. Regardless, why the fuck wouldn't she tell me? What, exactly, is she planning on doing? And when was she planning on letting me in on it? Is she planning to move closer to me? Farther? Where? When? Was it supposed to be a surprise? Why wouldn't she tell me... why wouldn't she discuss it with me first? I'm confused, and I suddenly want to march out to the dance floor and grab Monica by the arm and... and...

I return my gaze to her, still shimmying away. 'Dancing Queen' has started to play, and she and Kate are dancing seductively and close together, gyrating their hips and moving their arms and shoulders in perfect 1970's-discoteque unison. Even when mimicking dance techniques from yesteryear, she is graceful and moves with such ease. I could easily sit here and be in awe of her, if it weren't for the little jealous jabs that keep poking me in the side.

I just can't believe that she'd share her plans of the future with her co-workers, and not me. Kate is bumping hips with her again, and I'm suddenly so jealous, I feel like my head is going to explode.

The song ends, and Monica looks over to me, laughing and pushing her hair away from her face. I'm trying very hard to keep my expression blank, but I'm sure I'm nowhere near that. The smile disappears from her face and she gives me a questioning look, obviously sensing my discomfort. She says something to her friends and starts to head back toward our table. They all apparently decide to give it a rest and follow her back.

Great... here we go.

Well, she's obviously upset about something... god knows what it might be. Who was sitting here with her? ...Darla. What could she have said to her? Darla doesn't know anything. Kate says Darla has a big crush on me, but I've never really taken her seriously. Wonder if she made some kind of rude comment or something...? I approach her and sit down beside her, taking a swig of my beer.


"Hey." She replies curtly. I'm looking at her, but she doesn't look at me. Oookay.

"What's wrong?" I lean down and ask her quietly.

"Nothing. Nothing's wrong." She responds, with a little too much snap. Shit. I stare at her, silently willing her to look at me and talk to me, but she doesn't budge. I don't say anything for about a minute.

"Are you ready to go?" I ask, even though I already know the answer.

"Yes, actually." She puts her drink down on the table and stands up abruptly.

"Well, it was really nice meeting all of you." She blurts it out quickly and steps back, leaving me to do the explaining while my friends whine and complain and beg us to stay. I make up some excuse about us being tired and having had a long day, etc., and when I turn to include her in the conversation, she isn't there. She's already headed toward the door. I hastily bid my friends goodbye then hustle to the door to catch up with her. I give her an angry look as we push the doors open and walk outside.

"That was rude of you." I say in a scolding tone. She's walking briskly to the car, again not looking at me.

"Oh I'm sure they'll understand; they know you so well, afterall." It's a snide, cutting remark. What the fuck?

"What are you talking about? What the hell's the matter?" I'm getting angry. Some people walk past us and turn to look when I raise my voice.

"I don't want to talk about it now." She snaps, finally looking at me with a dark glare. Fine then. We'll do it her way. I stare back at her for a moment and unlock the car doors.

We get in and drive home in complete silence; we don't even turn the radio on. She stares out the window the entire time, and I find myself wishing that, just for once, we could have a nice, long stretch of time where everything goes smoothly. I really don't think that's so much to ask, is it?

Jesus Christ... if this is how all serious relationships go, then I am so glad that I've never had any that have lasted. This is bullshit.

'Sweetness will follow' my ass, Grandma.

We reach the house and she gets out of the car and immediately heads up to the house, completely ignoring me in the process. I unlock the door and she marches inside. I go around and lock everything back up, and when I reach the bedroom, she's already undressed and in the bathroom. She obviously intends to play hard-ball about this. I'd love to play, really, because I'm certain I could whup her ass, but I won't. I want to know what happened. I suppose I'll just wait for her to calm down a little.

After about 15 minutes, she finally comes out of the bathroom. She still doesn't look at me, so I decide to hit the bathroom first and talk later. It only takes me 10 minutes, but when I come back out, she's got all the lights off and is in bed. Bullshit on that. I flip the bedside light on and sit down beside her. She opens her eyes and gives me an annoyed look.

"You don't let me get away with not talking, so I'm not letting you get away with it either." She makes a small snorting sound,

"Well, if I were handling this your way, I wouldn't talk to you about it for at least 6 months," she snaps. I roll my eyes at her.

"Come on, Dana." I let out a sigh. I'm not in the mood to fight. "What's wrong?" She says nothing and just stares at me. "You were talking to Darla... what'd she say to upset you? She must have said something." She looks away from me for a moment, contemplating. Her eyebrows furrow and then relax as she looks up at me.

"She said that you were moving away. That you were moving 'up North' someplace." She says it softly, with a slightly hurt expression in her eyes.

"Oh she did, did she?" Now I get it.

"Yes, she did." She looks away from me.

"Well, I would think that that would please you." I try to say it softly, but it sort-of comes out sarcastically.

"It doesn't please me that you share important information like this with your CO-workers rather than ME, Monica!" She says it emphatically and gives me the hurt look again. I let out an exasperated sigh and run my hands through my hair.

"Look... all I told them was... that I probably wouldn't be staying around here for very long... because of you. Because I want to move back North and be closer to you." She looks up at me with slightly weepy eyes and pauses for a few moments.

"So why couldn't you tell me this? Why did I have to find out this way?" She has a point, of course. I sigh again.

"I don't know." I get up off the bed, needing some space just in case things go awry. I lean against the far wall for a moment and force myself to say the things that I've been afraid to say aloud. "I was... afraid to tell you, I guess. Afraid that you might not want that... that you might not be ready for that. Afraid that I'm not really ready for it, maybe... I don't know."

I feel really stupid and embarrassed to be making these admissions to her, but I'm kind-of glad to finally be getting these secret fears, and wishes, off my chest.

"Not ready for that? Monica, Jesus..." She's shaking her head incredulously. She gets out of bed and walks over to me. I sense that something tremendous is about to happen, and my stomach flips nervously.

"I want you to be with me... I want us to be together." She speaks slowly as she reaches up and holds my face in her hands. "I don't want you to buy or rent a place close to me though," she adds, distracting my sudden confusion by pulling me down and kissing me on the lips, "I want you to live with me." She whispers it against my lips and kisses me again, longer this time, then she moves her lips down to my throat and my clavicles. "I want to get a new place... a place that is ours, and ours alone..." She plants more sugary kisses on my clavicles while her fingers work the buttons on my silk nightshirt, "...and I want you and William and I to live there, together."

Oh my God. I want to cry... I want to scream. I want to fall to the floor and kiss her feet, but I can't. I can't because she has undressed me, and she is kneeling in front of me and snaking the tip of her tongue out to delve into me, over and over again.

Jesus... I think I'm coming already.

     "I want to stand with you on a mountain,
     I want to bathe with you in the sea;
     I want to lay like this forever,
     Until the sky falls down on me."
     - Savage Garden

Ch. 8

January 30, 2005
3:23 a.m.

I don't think I've ever come so hard or so many times in my life, let alone in one night. Oh my god. There is no doubt in my mind now of how Monica feels about me. What she does to me... Jesus H. You give incredible pleasure to someone if you care about them a great deal, but if you come yourself while doing it, then you are truly in love with the person - this is my deep philosophical discovery of the day.

I don't know what made my body spasm more, sitting astride her face, watching and feeling her devour me, or hearing and seeing her hit her climax while I hit mine. The combination of both has left me physically weak and so impossibly choked with emotion... I cried afterwards and she cried with me as she held me.

What does that mean? I'm so bad with emotions; all I've ever done is keep them stuffed deep down inside. Lock them up tight, like demons in a darkened cell... never let them see the light of day. It's madness, really.

This feeling is so exhilarating; it's so joyous and life-affirming. How could I have missed out on it for so long? I've never experienced anything like it. I'm not sure I really know what to do with it. It bewilders me.

Maybe that's why I cry... maybe that's what it means.

Or maybe it just means that we are so hopelessly in love with each other, the emotions overwhelm us. It's an overpowering thing, discovering your deepest love.

I didn't think it was possible to love her any more. I didn't think it was possible to love anyone this way, or this much.

...I still have so much to learn.

I think she's asleep; she's not moving and I can hear her breathing smoothly. I lift my head up slightly and look at her. ...So beautiful. Her body is gorgeous... her face is peaceful... her skin has a slight sheen to it. I want to lick every ounce of liquid from her... I want to feast on her again, and again. If I can muster up the strength, I want to taste her and drive her wild with pleasure. I want to show her how much I love her too.

I want to cry some more and release all these demons.

Our bodies are slumped together, her face lies against my stomach as it expands and contracts in time with my ragged breathing. She breathes hotly against my skin, panting, trying to catch her breath. We're both going to wind up in the hospital from dehydration and exhaustion at the rate we're going.

It seems that we cannot quench each other's raging thirsts. Just when we settle down and curl up against one another, our hands and fingers disobediently stray and we start all over again. She is so delicious, I want to hold on to her taste forever... she is so soothing, I want to feel her flesh against mine for all eternity.

Her hand is on my chest, and I slowly reach down and lift her fingers to my mouth to kiss them. They are sticky from our lust, and I gently suck them into my mouth, eager to consume every morsel of her and of our love.

I can feel her smile against my stomach and she turns her head slightly so that we look at each other. She is smirking at me, her eyes shining in the darkness.

"Sweetness," I murmur to her with a smile. She crawls upwards, laying her petite, bare body fully along mine, and we kiss long and lasciviously.

I could do just this for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. Our deep, soul-searching kisses are so packed with emotion, they almost eclipse everything else.


She suddenly shifts her body, lifting upwards so that she can move her hips and grind herself oh so gently against me. I smile against her lips as I bring my arms around her, resting my hands on her perfect ass and squeezing gently. ...She's going to kill both of us... and it will be such bliss.

I want to capture this moment and hold it forever. I want to capture the feeling of her skin, the taste of her lips, the weight of her body, the smell of her desire. I just want to lay here like this, with her, and never rise again. I don't want to think about anything else... I just want to think about her, about the two of us... right here... right now.

I'm losing my concentration, and the beautiful, poetic thoughts are dissolving. I'm trying to focus, but I can't. I can't because she is kissing me in my sweet spot, again, and I can't focus on anything but the immense pleasure of it all.

All I can think about right now is sweetness... the sweetness that is finally following.


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