Title: Crying at the Locks
Author: Shannon Kizzia
Feedback Email: syzygyshan@warpmail.net
Written: 2005
Author's Website: http://hegalplace.com/shannon/
Archive at Gossamer: Yes to Gossamer
Series? No, standalone
Size: 28k
Category: Drama, Relationship, Angst, Hurt/Comfort Pairings: Mulder/Krycek
Rating: NC-17
Gossamer Category: Story ~ Romance, Angst ~ Slash
Spoilers: This is pretty AU, post-col stuff.
Disclaimers: Not mine

Summary: Mulder must deal with the absence of his new lover in the dark night of the soul. (Not a death fic.)

Notes: This was originally written for the XF Lyric Wheel and posted 1/23/05.


The curfew siren sounds. He doesn't move, doesn't blink. It's like a car alarm to him now, settling in the ethers of subconscious, wholly unalarming. He flips the station, getting fuzz on what was once PBS. His headache spikes. He's out of Scotch. He dangles the bottle between two fingers like a great, bulbous, glass cigarette. Soon gravity will drag it down, and it will roll on the dirty rug out of his reach.

He's been still too long. The waiting is anathema to him, and it's eating at his soul. He is proactive. He is self-actualizing. He is passionate. Or once he was. He remembers that man as though he's but the skeleton remembering the skin. He is heartsick.

Mulder raises his gaze and looks beyond the television, out the crusty window screen. There's a world out there that needs him, needs what he knows and what he's able to do. But he's not able to do it. Like everybody else, he's become a prisoner, locked in his memory of better days and his anemic hope to have them back again.

He should be fighting. He would have been. But someone had to stay. He feels like the last thready pulse in a city of zombies. He's the link. The one who will hear the cry of victory first and help spread it to the others, help them know how to be human again. If there is ever a cry to hear. He feels the insanity of waiting in the silence for a noise that may never sound. Forever waiting.

The only other person alive he can share anything with anymore is gone. Missing. The only other person who knows what's happening, who knows what Mulder knows, is in the field, out of contact, a specter in an endless dream. Mulder should have heard by now. Each second he doesn't hear, and yet still has to wait and do nothing, kills a little more of his resolve. There have been nights he's thought about taking the pills and ending it. They're in the basket next to the stove. There are enough of them. They're blue and simple. Painless. Unlike living.

There are times when holding on for another day, hoping for another day, seems like the cruelest thing imaginable. Like trying to live without blood and being told, "Just one more day," as you fight for breath. Just one more day. Hold on and have hope. One more day. And then another. And another.

He can't do this another day without him, he thinks. The tears are always there now, and he doesn't fight them. He is only mildly surprised when once again they prove untapped. Limited as is his capacity for hope, that is how deep the well of unshed tears.

Hell is an idea first born on an undigested apple-dumpling, he recites in his head. Hell is living like you're already dead, he decides.

He's staring out at the bland night, taking one stale breath after another, when finally, he hears it. Not like the white noise of TV fuzz and curfew sirens. Not like the voice in his own head that rends at itself out of the eternal darkness of helplessness. Nor the voice, not his own, that whispers to hold on. This is something too human and completely real.

Mulder sits up, breath caught. He lets the bottle go, his desire for drunken stupor forgotten. He's out the door without even bothering to dress. He's trembling with excitement. His bare feet get stabbed from underneath by the wet, torn-up pavement, the little stones digging between his toes. And he doesn't care. This is something. This is *something*. He's running.

He follows the cries, unmindful of the rain like mist, the chill on his chest, the bare skin of his exposed back, vulnerable to the elements. Old news headline sound bytes flash through his mind as he runs. The Antarctic ice caps breaking at their snowy seams, an entire continent loose in the ocean, the pieces floating away like deaf children heedless of electromagnetic parental law calling out for their return. Weather glitches taking out cities in Europe. Migratory birds winging chaotic symphonies overhead.

And yet more tsunamis, relining coasts, reshaping the blue on maps still in flux, sweeping away the old earth with seeming casual disregard, changing everything in a breathless blink, the horrible labor pains of an earth recreating herself from her own dust and blood.

He feels lucky it is only raining on him.

Humans aren't allowed to hear anything about the climate changes now. Nothing the powers that be don't want them to hear. Mulder misses free will. It's something not even Scotch can make him forget. At least Scotch is still legal. Anything numbing is. They want everyone numb to the torture they inflict daily.

Sovereignty is a dirty word hidden in contraband literature.

Mulder runs faster, nearing the noise that drifts on the patient wind. He looks at his watch. It reads 7:57. "Dammit," he hisses. No one out past 8:00. A law, all too human in its cruelty, but alien in its conception. A hybrid law, one might say. One begotten in an ugly coupling of human greed and alien discompassion.

He sees the little girl at the corner of Buckley and Fir. He runs harder, ignoring the shards of asphalt cutting him and blackening the soles of his feet. Somebody yells from a second story window, "What, are you crazy? Get inside!"

He gives them no mind, chest burning. He grabs her, the slender column of her neck nearly snapping as he pulls her to him anxiously and runs down the street to the sound of his watch battery helping to tick off the fateful seconds.

He's too far from home. He'll never make it. She's heavy. She's scared, and she cries against his neck. Her warm tears tickle as they run down his shoulder. He doesn't have time to ask where she lives. There's no time at all. He sees the complex at the end of the block and feels his guts twist. There's no choice. He's breaking a promise, but there's no choice.

The door slams behind him just as the sirens cut off, the quiet loud and ringing in his ears. He pants, letting the child slide out of his tight hold. She clings, still, to his leg.

"It's all right," he tells her. Then he looks at the rickety elevator, the stained door marked 'Stairs' beside it, the familiarity of these things like old photographs of family, the smell as pungent as over-ripe cantaloupe, enthralling to him. He takes a breath and takes her hand.

They climb the stairs, weary travelers. He sees the door at the end of the hall. It looks somehow bigger than the others, though it can't be. He just knows everything about it, inside and out. He knows its texture, the feel of the wood grain against his back. He even has a small scar over the shoulder blade where a splinter burrowed in once. He feels, suddenly, how naked he is. The legs of his pajama pants are damp at the ankles. He's shivering.

"Where are we going?" she asks in a small voice. Her hand is tight around three of his fingers. She's strong in her fear.

"Someplace safe," he says, and his voice is too hoarse.

As he walks forward, he leaves her in his head and goes into the past. Everything goes black around the sight of that door at the end of the dingy hall. He knows it'll be warm inside. Like being submerged in a mug of coffee, the lingering scent of old, wet grounds sticking to his skin. He knows there will be dishes in the sink, thirty-six days old now, and the glasses in the cupboard will be almost perfectly clean, not quite. He knows the feel of the lumpy mattress, the crack in the toilet seat pinching his cold ass in the early morning. He knows the shades are always drawn on the windows and strategy boards line the walls instead of artwork. They are artwork. Someday they will bring in millions.

He knows no one is home. That the man who should be there isn't. That he should have come back days ago. That that was the plan, and instead there has been only silence. He knows that there's nothing he can do. But it'll be warm. And he's going to pretend that's all he needs.

He doesn't have his key. Doesn't have anything. He looks both ways down the hall, pushes the little girl gently away. Her brown bangs haven't been cut and they're in her eyes. She pushes black glasses up her nose. Mulder kicks the door in. It gives up easily as though just staying closed had worn it to exhaustion. It had once been sturdy. Mulder remembers the splinter again, remembers crying out, but not in pain. He shakes his head, dislodging the memory as he leads the child inside.

He quickly props an armchair against the busted door, creating a makeshift barricade that will barricade nothing but might give them notice of an invader in time to flee. He tries not to notice how soft the velour upholstery is in his hands, the remembered feel of it under bare legs.

He turns and looks at the girl, the living room beyond in soft focus like memory should be.

"What's your name?" he asks.

She's looking around, hands clasping and unclasping in front of her. Her sweater arms are too long and she fiddles with the extra material. "Sarah," she tells him in a small voice.

"I'm Fox," he says, unhesitatingly. It always sounds less hateful when he's talking to a child her age. He's guessing she's six or seven. Around eight, he starts calling himself Mulder again.

She nods. "You're cold," she says, pointing to how he's shaking now.

But the place is warm, just like he knew it would be, and he looks at the white paint peeling off the radiator in the corner. It's always on. He's always been grateful.

"Do you live around here?" he asks, finally walking into the room. The rug between the foyer and living room is spongy...wet-feeling. It's unnatural and wonderful under his frozen toes.

"I got lost," she says quietly. "On the way back from the store." She looks down. "They let me go out to get gum."

"Your parents?" he asks.

"Grandparents," she corrects, and he knows, instantly, perfectly, as if he'd been there, that her parents are dead.

He nods. "We'll get you home tomorrow." He sighs, "We can't go back out there tonight. I'm sorry."

She nods, eyes huge behind the thick lenses.

He bites his lip and then strides to the phone. He only gets the message he knew would be running by now, the standard bullshit about new governmental policy regulating phone usage for the public safety. "Please try back at 8 AM eastern standard time. Thank you."

He sighs again, putting the phone down. "Are you hungry?" He knows where the food is. He's sure he knows what's left and what's gone bad. He's going bad. Soft and black inside, the skin sallow, ready to bruise if pressed too hard.

He turns away, feeling how his lip wants to tremble, reluctant to show the child any form of weakness. He has to be a pillar, an oak. He has to maintain, even without his Scotch. Without him. He fortifies himself with the knowing that he has something worth maintaining for now. She is his salvation for tonight.

He rummages in the cupboards and finds the instant oatmeal. She's followed him and stands in the doorway. "I have apples and cinnamon or...maple and brown sugar," he says. I have, he thinks. We have. He has.

"Apples," she nearly whispers.

He puts the tea kettle on. The grey crack in the porcelain is like a life-line, his own. He fingers it until the pot gets warm enough to burn, then he snatches his hand away.

They sit at the kitchen table with two bowls, one blue, one white with yellow around the rim. She's quiet...not eating. It feels too formal, this table and chairs, facing each other like guest and host. He takes a deep breath. "Come on," he says, taking his bowl and hers, the smell of apples strong in the steam.

He sits on the couch and motions for her to sit next to him. She sits closer than he expected. She smells like shampoo and bubble gum.

She eats now. He eats beside her. He wants to turn the TV on, but he likes the sound of her breathing. too. He remembers the times when his sister would have bad dreams and crawl into his bed. He only pretended she was a pest. He was lonely and scared, too.

"You full?" he asks when she finishes. She nods and he puts the bowl on the coffee table next to a magazine. It's a copy of UFO Monthly. The name on the address sticker reads M.F. Luder with his old post office box beneath. He smiles. He'd forgotten he used to get that one. It's been illegal for so long.

"Sleepy?" he asks the girl.

She shakes her head no decidedly. He peers at her face for a long time. She looks nothing like Sam, but still he sees his sister. He always does. "Wanna watch TV?" he tries.

She nods this time, and his hand goes to the remote without thought, finding it unerringly. He stops breathing, closing his eyes. The little girl taps him in the arm politely. He leans back, blinking quickly, and turns the TV on.

"What shows do you like?" he asks.

She scoots in, situating cozily under his arm to his surprise. She shrugs as she settles, curling into a ball, long sweater arms wrapped around herself.

He surfs, not finding anything he thinks suitable for a young girl. There isn't much of anything anymore, which might actually have been a blessing were it not for the overwhelming nothingness set forth in its place for human entertainment.

Books are illegal pending presidential stamp of approval which is dictated by off-world mandates for the publishing of alien propaganda. TV is a vehicle for mind-control unless you can get a scrambling device and ferret out the small stations still transmitting local rants against colonization and the oft-occuring bizarre fishing show.

Mulder knows this TV has state-of-the-art scramblers, yet all he can find is a local-run weather report predicting more landslides in what's left of Los Angeles and freak blizzards near Mexico City. He peeks down under his arm to check his charge's state of horror or fascination, intending to change the channel or keep it accordingly.

But she's asleep, little mouth slack, glasses slipping down her pert nose. Mulder waits, hoping her sleep will deepen and he can move her. Though it isn't a terrible thing...this small creature curled into his side. It's only that while she clings there, he won't give himself permission to breathe. To really look around this place, to be alone and feel the energy of it, like a haze, coloring everything in sight and making it so very hard not to cry.

She starts to snore quietly and he picks up her tiny, limp frame, moving her so her head is resting on a throw pillow, knees pulled into her chest. She sleeps on. Mulder stands, looking down at her, then he takes a breath and feels.

That window ledge where his coffee would sit while he'd look out and declare the streets too empty...shake his head with that dimpled frown reflecting in the glass back to Mulder. And that there. That book left open and over-turned on the ottoman. It's a well-worn copy of a cheap crime thriller. It's marked with yellow highlighter, pages 46, 152, and 266. He said he liked the heroine.

And there...where they'd fought, the broken glass still impotent in the fireplace, the mantle cracked. Mulder smiles, the remembered feel of that body close to his, trembling violently... Alex licking the blood from his lip.

He closes his eyes, just thinking that name. It feels like a sin. Like he should be struck down by an alien destruction beam. It feels more illegal than books or newspapers or de-bugged telephones. It's priceless. If they knew how much pleasure and pain he feels, how human he feels when he thinks of him, they'd shoot him down with enough force to hollow out the earth where he stands.

The thought brings a weak smile to his face. He turns his gaze to the door. He projects himself into the past effortlessly. It's so easy here. He can smell it happening. Can almost hear himself coming, hefted up, legs clutching Alex's grinding hips, Alex's arm shaking, prosthetic braced as he fucks Mulder hard up against the door, sweating.

Mulder closes his eyes again, cock straining at the memory, body tight with pain and yearning. He remembers the exact moment of the splinter...when Alex convulsed and came hard inside him. The sliver of wood slid beneath the skin, Mulder squeezed his eyes shut, nails dug deep into the tough shoulders, and he shook with his own orgasm.

He goes to the bathroom now and splashes water on his face. He's only been gone a little over a month. Only been missing six days. But Mulder aches for him, even more than for the answers he'll bring, the hope tattooed on a disk for them to read and reread until they manifest it into being simply from the power of their wanting it. The all-important disk. The holy grail for a new age. Mulder almost doesn't care anymore. He almost doesn't believe. He believes in Alex's body up against his own, hot and hard and real.

He misses the body. He feels guilty, ashamed, petty. But he wants the body back. Wants the mouth sucking softly at his cock, wants the hand wrapped around the back of his skull, warm. Wants the frenzied sex when it's three in the morning and all they can think about is fucking or dying.

He takes a piss, flushing the toilet and then quickly leaning out to make sure the child is still sleeping. The noise has made her stir. She frowns in her sleep. Mulder approaches the side of the couch, afraid she'll be afraid of him if she wakes. But when she opens her eyes and blinks up at him, she just yawns and sits up.

"Why is your name Fox?" she asks.

He smiles. He shrugs. He feels like a big brother again.

She thinks on it. "That's a silly name," she pronounces as though reciting new law. Then she nods decisively. "I like it."

Mulder sits next to her. "Did you have a dream?"

She shakes her head. "I just woke up 'cause you flushed the potty."

He smiles again. "Do you want a drink, Sarah?"

"No, I can go back to sleep," she tells him then scoots down with her head on the pillow and closes her eyes.

He takes the throw off the armchair where he used to sit before he felt comfortable sharing the couch. He covers the child, and she draws the blanket up under her chin.

He sits in the chair and watches her for a while. The weather keeps playing on the TV screen. Everything smells like him. Like the coffee he drinks, like the deodorant he wears, like peace in the darkness. Mulder closes his eyes, the silence outside insinuating itself around him, a lonesome fog. He sleeps off and on, wanting something he can't have.


He wakes with a small child in his lap. The blanket is clutched in her hands. He lifts his head and, eyes drowsy, blinks down at her. He taps her gently. She groans and wakens.

"Hi," he says. He realizes his arms are both asleep. "Want some breakfast?"

She shakes her head. "Want to go home," she says simply. Perhaps she's thinking that it should have all been a dream. Maybe he's not so much a hero anymore.

He picks her up and sets her on her feet. He realizes he forgot to remove her shoes last night. His arms prickle alive once more.

"I'll take you home now, Sarah," he tells her. "Just let me get some clothes on, okay?"

She nods solemnly, still holding the blanket to her chest.

"I'll just be a minute. Will you be okay here in the living room by yourself?"

Another nod and a sniff. Then she wraps her arms around him as far as they'll go, guileless and trusting. Mulder hugs her back, careful to be gentle. He feels weak but knows he's still strong enough to bruise.

He leaves her on the couch with the weather report. He doesn't want to go in there, but he needs clothes today. Clothes that are too big, that have memorized certain scents and tucked them away in their fibers despite numerous washings. Clothes that are infinitely less warm than the man he wants.

Just opening the drawer is sensory over-load. Jockeys fresh white like milk and inky black socks...balls of socks that somehow have this strange power over him and bring tears to his eyes. So many fucking socks, all paired off and spooning. He shuts the drawer, intending to come back when there is less of him hurting.

Mulder rests his palms flat on the dresser. He can't help but close his eyes and remember that voice. Like the concoction his mother used to brew when he had a sore throat: lemon juice, whiskey, and honey. Sweet devil bite nectar, his lover's voice.

He remembers the conversation they had before Alex left. Mulder hates promises, but he made one then. To not put himself in danger so close to the end. To stay out of sight. To lay low. It was against his nature, but the look in Alex's eyes had been both fierce and frightened. It was the fear that made Mulder make the vow.

Mulder regrets it. He feels he should have been allowed the simple torture of finding his lover, dead or wounded or worse. Instead he's been relegated to lighting the candle in the window and taking solace in Scotch. He hates doing nothing more than dying. So much more. He resents Alex. Resents the rows of brilliant white Jockeys, the line of stoic black socks, all that's left of something he can't admit he loves.

He realizes now why Alex made him promise not to stay here. Here hurts. Here should be the two of them, not the one. But he would have been willing to take the pain. It would have been better that way. Alex was wrong. He wants to have been here all along.

He leaves the dresser and opens the closet instead. It is no less a curse. It's walk-in. He has to envelope himself in a little world of Alex's clothes. He reaches out, two hands, and takes jeans on one side, shirts on the other...gets dizzy and closes his eyes again. He feels sick. He's ready to let the girl find her way home alone. His tears begin to fall and land on a pair of shiny dress shoes.

He hears a noise. He startles and gasps, eyes open suddenly. He drops to his knee and goes for the gun under the third floorboard in. It fits his hand. He feels guilty at the rightness of it. He creeps back out and into the living room. He hides the gun at his side so Sarah won't see, but he puts his finger to his lips to tell her to be quiet. She nods.

His focus goes to the front door. He watches, side-stepping closer on silent, burning feet. The door edges open an inch, meeting the resistance of the chair. Before Mulder can tell the girl to hide, to run, the chair skids into the room as the door flies open.

Mulder raises the gun, and even when he sees who it is, he hesitates. His pain will not be assuaged with just this. He wants to believe and can't. But the wanting to may at any moment push him across the chasm separating them, sending him to his death.

"Say it," he manages to hiss, knowing that procedure must be followed.

The man in the doorway is looking at him with eyes that mirror everything Mulder feels. He is frozen in the sight of the gun, but he's going up in flames where he stands. The shared ache as they look at each other almost makes it bearable.

The man takes a breath and says, hoarsely, "Crisco."

Mulder drops his gun arm with a breath of relief, choked on its way out by the continued pain of half-seconds between now and touching him. Alex kicks the door shut and comes around the chair as Mulder strides forward. They hit so hard they'll bruise from it. Alex's arm is shaking with strength, grabbing for a hold in Mulder's ribs. His teeth clamp down on the tender spot on Mulder's neck.

Mulder is holding on tight. He whispers, "I hate you," and pulls his lover in harder, relishing the pain of the mouth latched onto his flesh.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Alex growls, now rocking them gently back and forth, arm still locking Mulder to him, lips barely clearing the rosy mark of his bite.

"Shut the fuck up," Mulder mutters, grabbing an unruly shock of hair and prying snarling lips into a kiss meant only to direct Alex's wrath rather than tame it. Their tongues meet and forget to battle for a moment, soft in that moment where all that's remembered is how to make love. Then a groan from Alex precedes the attack, the reminder that half their love is rage. Alex's tongue pushes to the back of Mulder's throat and Mulder feels silk rending in his hands.

A giggle from the living room pulls Alex's mouth off Mulder's. Mulder watches him frown and look over his shoulder.

"Who-?" Alex starts, and Mulder turns, not letting go, to make introductions.

But Sarah is quick and her giddy voice bursts through the tension. "You're *kissing*!" she exclaims in ecstatic embarrassment. Then she hides her face, giggling.

Mulder smiles and strokes his lover's frown lines away. "This is Sarah," he tells him. Then he leads Alex over by the hand he has to pry from around his waist. "Sarah, this is Alex. He lives here." All the time, he's filling up. Filling with something he forgot to want even. It's something simple and immediate and foreign and perfect. It echoes like a word inside him.

Joy.

Joy.

Joy.

Joy.

Joy.

"Mulder, what...?" Alex tries again.

Sarah looks up, pink-faced. "I can't watch kissing movies yet," she confesses. Then she adds, whispering, "But it's okay, because you're married."

Mulder flushes hot and turns to Alex. "She was out past curfew," he explains. Then roughly, "Where were you?"

He is almost too intent on seeing him to hear. The stubble across his jaw, a new scar down his right cheek, still pink, the way his throat moves around the words.

But the words demand to be heard. "It's over," Alex says.

Mulder searches the weary face...tries to speak. It is unspeakable. He wants to believe. He can't.

Alex swallows. "It's done." And there is a grave recognition of the battle in his eyes, even as his words declare peace. "I couldn't get in touch with you... The system goes down today, but... I couldn't... Mulder..."

"Down?" Mulder asks. There would be nothing more unbearable than to misunderstand, to believe in something that's not real. His eyes fill with tears. If Alex would just touch him, he'd know.

His wanting must be strong as any beacon, because Alex takes him and pulls him in tight. "It's true," he says, and Mulder feels it. "It's really over."

"The friendlies?" Mulder asks, choking on his emotion. He wants to know everything all at once. He wants to pause the earth's rotation until he's caught up. He wants to collapse, to dance, to cry.

"Yeah," Alex confirms. "They're landing today. The alliance is strong. The colonist's weapons are off-line. So are the military's. Hell, *my* gun won't even fire." Alex's voice rumbles in Mulder's ear.

Mulder leans back. "Who did you try it on?"

Alex shrugs, stalling. The little girl interrupts. "I like the friendlies."

Mulder and Alex both turn and look at her.

She nods. "They're nice. They come when I'm sleeping and tell me I'm brave and very important and that I should keep singing 'cause they like it and so do the angels."

Mulder and Alex share a look. Mulder kneels in front of her. "You know about the friendly aliens, Sarah?"

She nods vigorously. "They've been my friends since I was little," she tells him. "I knew they'd help us." She looks up at Alex. "Is it okay if I sing all the way home?" She checks with Mulder, too.

He smiles at her, feeling Alex behind him, real and solid and alive. "It's a good day for singing," he says.


It's past midnight and the moon is high. Firecrackers go off like popcorn, illuminating the undersides of clouds. People are laughing in the streets. It is Mardi Gras and Carnivale and New Year's Day and the Fourth of July. Mulder turns over under the sheet. "Again?" he asks softly.

Alex touches him, dragging their bodies together once more. Alex's tongue is hot entering Mulder's mouth. Mulder slides on top of him, and Alex rolls underneath, groaning. He grabs the headboard with his one hand and pulls himself up higher onto the pillows. Mulder thinks it is the sexiest thing he's ever witnessed. His cock is like a rod sliding between Alex's legs. They don't speak as they start to thrust against one another. There is only breath and fireworks and the quiet slapping of skin. There is Mulder's hand reaching between, tugging on Alex's sore cock, then him sliding down and wrapping his mouth around it. There is only Alex arching his back, making a fist in his pillow, crying.

Mulder moves around, straddles Alex's face, and slips his cock inside his mouth, too, and they suck each other. There is singing outside, down on the street below. They sing Cat Stevens and John Lennon and songs whose prophecies have been instantly realized. There is hope fulfilled.

Mulder gushes into Alex's mouth, lifting his lips to howl his joy. He pumps his hips, nuzzling the cock in his face. He's home.

Alex reaches down and sheathes his cock back between Mulder's lips to come, and Mulder swallows it, tasting freedom.

They curl together afterward, tangled, fallen on their sides, Mulder's cock still held loosely in Alex's warm mouth. He seems unwilling to let go completely. Mulder likes how it feels, the wet embrace.

The party outside seems never ending. It'll persist for days, maybe weeks. Mulder rests his head on his lover's downy thigh and falls asleep. They wake to the distant sound of bells beginning to ring.

"Mmm," Mulder groans. "Whassat?"

Alex's fingers are in Mulder's hair. They sift gently. "Wedding bells, I think," he says. "Go back to sleep." Then he yawns.

Mulder listens. He scoots up into Alex's embrace. "You know what I think it sounds like?"

"Mmm."

"It sounds like they're singing to each other. And the one says...'New day.'"

Alex opens his eyes and looks at Mulder. The ringing goes on.

"Then that one answered, 'New peace,'" Mulder murmurs.

Alex sighs, listening, too. Then he adds, "'New earth.'"

"Yeah," Mulder agrees. "New earth." He lifts himself up and looks down into his lover's face. "Time to wake up."

End


My rhyme, given to me by Sue:

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town
Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown
Peering through the windows, crying at the locks
"Are all the children in their beds, it's past eight o' clock."

 

### The End ###

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