Hyperion - carleton97

Like a bellows blast from Hephaestus, heat surged through the windows of the airport shuttle. Despite the constant draft of cooled air blowing from the vents, late summer was winning the battle inside the cramped vehicle.

From the relative comfort of the shady side of the shuttle, he studied her. It wasn't often he was afforded the opportunity to simply sit and look at her. Their lives were so chaotic he was rarely able to indulge in this, his favorite pastime.

Across the aisle, immobilized between two large vacationers, her eyes were closed against the harsh glare from the tarmac, blue veins standing out in sharp relief against translucent lids. Her mouth was pale and turned down at the corners. In the afternoon's unrelenting brightness, the texture of her skin looked blotchy and uneven, mottled by the sun.

The sun was odd, his aspects as disparate as his effects. Some days he was Hyperion, god of light, truth, and beauty. His light shone with the gentleness of candlelight, gracing everything he touched with a luminescent glow. On other days he was Carneios, destroyer, bringer of blight and devastation. His light burned, marring everything in its path, accentuating every flaw, every blemish.

She was his sun.

Hyperion - her presence warming his days and making the prospect of night bearable. Carneios - able to destroy him with little more than a look. Her power over him was complete. And completely unknown. She had no idea of the sway she held over him. He would do anything for her, offer the comfort of his arms, answer to his given name, abandon his quest. If only she would allow him to. Instead, she steadfastly held her ground, doing her best to protect them both from whatever threatened them, be it internal or external.

He thought she was miraculous.

He thought it yesterday as she chased down and wrestled their suspect to the ground. He thought it last night as she stubbornly refused to believe his supernatural explanation of their case. He knew it this morning as he listened to her flee to the safety of her own room after guarding his sleep throughout the night.

Her retreat this morning, though regrettable, was not unexpected. Her hesitancy had become as deeply ingrained as his. He had awakened some time before dawn; unable to believe she was actually sleeping in his arms. Last night had been the first time she had allowed herself to fall asleep during her self-appointed sentry duty; never before had she allowed her vigilance to slip so drastically.

The first time he had awakened from a restful night's sleep to her scent in the air, he thought his dreams had followed him into the waking realm. The second time she had slipped into his room and his bed, he had awakened during the night to the feel of her hand gently clasping his. He had known she would never be able to face him if he opened his eyes, so he abandoned himself to her tenderness and slipped back into sleep. The care she lavished on him during those long nights, her desire to ease his suffering was unlike anything he had ever known.

For a moment, he indulged in the painful luxury of fantasy and he pretended. He pretended there were no international conspiracies to throw up roadblocks to his desire. He pretended their partnership could withstand the firestorm of criticism a romantic entanglement would bring down on their heads. He pretended he wasn't utterly obsessed with a quest that would probably be the death of both of them. In short, he pretended there were no consequences for the leisurely exploration he would walk through fire to undertake.

But there were consequences. Deadly ones.

His familiar twin demons of desire and guilt sprang to life. They coiled around each other like serpents, like smoke - until neither was recognizable without the other. Desire for her, as familiar as his desire for the truth. Desire for her body, her mind. Guilt for all she had lost because of him. All she stood to lose. Desire and guilt. Guilt and desire. And all of it wrapped up in a nearly desperate uncertainty. He knew she cared for him, perhaps even loved him, but he didn't know, would never know, if her actions were motivated by love for him or by her nearly pathological need to take care of him.

And the distinction was important in a way he never dreamed it could be. He told himself that if she were only acting out of some misplaced maternal instinct, he would have to bury his love in the darkest, coldest part of his soul. That even he wasn't that self-destructive. He didn't know if he would be able to, though. Somehow, loving her, even from afar, had become necessary to his survival. It breathed life into his haggard spirit and soothed his battered heart. It gave him the strength to accept whatever she offered him.

As the shuttle passed one of the terminals, the sun vanished behind the building. Glad for the momentary respite, she opened her eyes and offered him a warm smile.


Disclaimer: Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, and all things X-Files are the property of Chris Carter, 1013 productions, and 20th Century Fox et al.

Created and maintained by carleton97.

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