Title: For the Season
Author: Te
Written: 10/98
Disclaimers: They belong to people richer and more powerful than I'm ever likely to be.
Spoilers: There's a vague and tiny one in here for Piper Maru.
Ratings Note: R for implied violence, m/m interaction, and disturbing imagery.
Acknowledgments: To Pretty Pretty Dawn Pares for all-too- necessary pre-stroke.

Summary: A few Halloween vignettes.

I wonder about this holiday, sometimes. I've never found terror in a mask. I've learned not to fear the cold, wet touch of the other. And decay... the shrivel and slough of flesh, the whiteness of bone... There is beauty there, once you know where to look.

There are things that, once learned, can never be forgotten. This is a good thing. A fine thing.

Even if you are softened enough by time and comfort to wish for forgetfulness.

I look at Mulder and he is happy. Once a year the whole world looks over their shoulders. They laugh, but often there is a real touch of terror in their eyes. Once a year they wonder why the stories are so old and well-known. They remember the worm.

These people, they walk through life with no comprehension of the inevitable. Oh, they say, there's no way the Giants will make it to the playoffs this year. Or maybe just, Bobby is *never* going to speak to me again. And this is how they view fate. This is what they see when they look at the choices they've made -- clearly defined paths, fuzzily defined endings.

I used to wonder how their worlds could be so narrow. Then I would gloat -- *my* vision was clear. Now... Now I fear. I've seen so much, and I know now that I cannot see all.

I wonder about God. Wonder how long it took before He went insane. A millenium? A week? I cannot curse God anymore. There is so much. Even if He knew, He couldn't have understood.

The world is a fearsome place when you pity God. Perhaps this is what it's all about. Perhaps this is the time of year when the world offers up a larger part of the picture than we could normally digest.

The masks, as always, are only window-dressing.

Grey-brown skeletal trees clawing at the sky and Alex breathed deep. Burning leaves and children. Sugar-sweat. Piping cries. Alex felt himself tightening and the chill wind on his teeth was the best indicator of his mood he'd yet found.

Mulder hated Halloween -- the celebration of the false and depraved. Alex, perhaps predictably, loved it and for once had no reason to regret the fact his lover had refused to hunt with him.

There was nothing quite like watching the world struggle gleefully to make itself more like the vision of his mind he most treasured. Demons walked, witches talked, and all set themselves out to beg without shame. Give me sweetness, give me joy, or I will punish you and yours.

There was a passion to being alone this night, a grace to the solitude of the hunt. All senses clean and the rush and skitter of leaves was both counterpoint and companion. Perhaps he wasn't alone at all. He was proof the dead could walk, after all.

The thought was a comforting one. Alex wanted a pack to run with, a collection of individuals with a taste for iron and fear and a love for him, as well. There was no shame in this admission. He had an eternity of cold and the company of the dead was better than no company at all...

Even if he feared no one would understand the joy in the crisp snap of a small throat. In the wonder of grief to follow when her body was found after the first thaw.

//Will I feel it this time?//

Blood and fear, wind and cold. Alex wanted his heart to pound, but the sight of bright color high on his cheeks was more than enough for this night.

I'm really quite superstitious. I know it must seem hard to believe. I know it must make people like you feel immeasurably better when you can look at me and smugly assume the torments of the unbeliever, the blasphemer, are my fate.

But I believe. I pray like you. I fear like you. And when the fear grows unbearable I offer worship to the nameless gods you've come to disdain over time.

The cult of the gun -- The worship is sleek and clean as I can make it, bright flash and the cry of air being rent.

The cult of the night -- I blend and I creep, and my only shadow is what the moon chooses to give.

The cult of the dead -- So silent, but on nights like these the fog is rich and thick with souls unhappy with me. The worship will never appease, but that, too, fits.

I hear you laugh at me. So obvious, you say. So pathetic that he finds his comfort this way.

It doesn't make me angry anymore. It doesn't make me doubt. Tell me, when you catch me move in the corner of your eye, when an unfamiliar noise makes your heart catch in your throat... Do you laugh then?


Note: Virtual back massage with truffle oil to anyone who can guess one or both of the songs I pillaged for these.

"I feel all warm and fuzzy. Like a piece of moldy cheese in the microwave."

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