Title - Ghosts
Author - Megan C
Rating - PG
Written - Jan 2001
Classification - Vignette
Spoilers - All Things, Requiem
Keywords - M/S Romance
Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not own 1013 Productions or any of the characters affiliated with it. I'm just a poor student with two much time (and far to little money). So if Chris Carter wants to sue me, he wont get much more than a whole bunch of X-File memorabilia (which I'm sure he already has plenty of).

Summary - The Musings of a Lonely Pregnant Woman

She unlocked her door wearily, throwing her coat on a nearby chair and kicking her shoes onto the floral mat that lay in the walkway. For once she didn't even notice (or care) that the heels of the discarded shoes clunked heavily against the wall.

Every muscle in her body ached, but that was not unusual. Lately, she never seemed to feel rested, no matter how late she slept. She arched her back, stretching her arms above her back, enjoying the sensation of release as the tension from holding herself poised slowly left her body. She slumped against the corner of the wall, breathing deeply.

Unconsciously, her hands stroked the taut bulge at her waist, caressing the subtle roundness she so nervously concealed behind loose jackets and dark colors. She knew, however, that she could not hide it forever. The hallway mirror reflected her tired face, its smooth skin etched with lines of weariness. It was too much - the strain of hiding her growing condition, the strenuous work schedule, the growing anxiety over her partner's disappearance.

Partner. Why did she do that? Why did she still try to disguise her feelings for him, after all that had happened? That was the worst part - having to hide her feelings. She could handle the stress of her career, in fact, she thrived on it. Even the pregnancy, with its nausea and countless worries, was hardly a trial. It was the ache of missing him - her friend, her lover, her partner - that was really killing her.

She wanted to howl with grief, throw things, cast herself into the sea; but no, she must remain professional, calm, and aloof. And even now, as she faced yet another night alone, she knew she must not give in to the temptation to collapse on the bed and weep, for once opened, the floodgates of her emotions would never close.

So, with dogged determination, she set about ignoring the gaping wound in her soul. She pattered across the tile floor, the cold making her toes curl. She hardly seemed to recognize her own kitchen - the cool, shining counters and neat cabinets seemed something from another life. She absently tugged the handle of the refrigerator, the electric hiss audible in the silent apartment.

The cold light formed a puddle around her stocking feet as she considered her options. It seemed so pointless to feed her body, when her heart was starving. The bottles and jars seemed to swirl and blend together as her eyes were clouded with a sudden mist of pain and longing. She leaned against the cool metal door for a moment, waiting for the constricting pain in her heart to pass, then, with a sigh, she closed the door. She knew what she needed, and it was not hiding behind the jug of milk. Silently, she picked up her discarded jacket and slipped her aching feet into her shoes.

Walking into the dim apartment brought back a flood of memories and emotions that threatened to press her to the ground. She paused on the thresh hold, questioning once again, the wisdom in returning here. She only knew that she could not spend another night alone; at least here, she would have the ghosts of her memories to keep her company through the long night.

A few quick steps brought her to the edge of the couch, and she teetered for a second, before collapsing onto its worn upholstery. She buried her face in the soft material, breathing in the scent of him. The cushions enveloped her like his arms had, and she finally drifted off, her dreams replaying that fateful night.

She watched herself in her dream, amazed at how sleep softened her own face. She had been so tired that night, a weariness that reached beyond a physical exhaustion. She had drifted off without realizing it, oblivious even to his warm, solid shoulder that pillowed her head.

She had woken with a start, several hours later, nestled against his side. The room was lit by the dim glow of the muted television, the pantomime of a syndicated sitcom flickering like the lights he so often searched the sky for. He had fallen asleep, his head lolled against the back of the couch. Twisting slowly so that she wouldn't wake him, she smiled softly.

She gazed at his face, unabashed, drinking in his features, tracing them with her eyes. Throughout their seven years of partnership, she had been careful to never look too closely at him, knowing instinctively that to do so would be to drown in the emotions she could only barely keep in check. Now, throwing caution to the proverbial wind, she drank him in.

He sighed in his sleep, and his lips parted ever so slightly in a contented smile. Her heart beat wildly against her breastbone, and all the fibers of her mind told her to turn away, to leave before she could not turn back. Instead, she leaned forward, bringing her lips to his in feather kiss of breath. She paused, fate hanging there between her lips and his, and then she turned her face away.

Her eyes, filled with tears, could not see his, open now and filled with such love. He knew why she wept, knew that she could not take even that simple kiss for herself, and he loved her all the more for it. His hand searched out her face then, cupping her check against his palm, his thumb tracing the track of that single tear. Their eyes met then, in an embrace more intimate than any kiss, and their lips followed suit.

She woke with tears drying on her cheeks, his touch evaporating as quickly into the night. She lay, remembering his hands, how they held and protected her. Now she held him within her, her body shielding his most precious gift, and in that silent night, she felt the child move within her for the first time, a tiny jolt that echoed in every nerve. She smiled then, through her tears, her hands cupping that tiny, beating heart which carried the love they shared.


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