Title: Small as a world, Large as Alone

Rating: T

Summary: Neither one knew the other was there...the beach was very big, and they were both so alone. Trippy little oneshot, MSR of course. Have fun.

Disclaimer: No, I certainly don't own X-Files, or Mulder and Scully. I do however, have the collector's edition Barbie and Ken dolls of them. I built them a little dollhouse and everything. I'm pathetic, I know. Don't sue me, please.

Author's Note: I recently got back from a week of vacation in North Carolina, which inspired me to write this. Specifically, the drive home, where we got stuck in traffic in Virginia for four hours, and I sat in the backseat, recovering from heatstroke and watching my X-Files DVDs on my laptop. Have fun reading it, please review. I love you all bunches.

The title is from a line in one of my favorite poems, ''maggie and milly and molly and may'', by e.e. cummings.

This one is for my invisible friend Mailen, and for Mulder and Scully, who always kept the aliens away.


They're standing at the edge of the sea, both of them together on the same beach, but neither one realizes the other is there at first. It's a case, or, it was a case, and now that is over and the reports have been written ahead of time, which is a miracle, and they can exist like human beings for a day.

It's North Carolina, it's the end of June. The weather is hot and sweet and sunny and gorgeous. It's the kind of day that screams ''travel brochure photo''. The water is sparkling, the sand is soft and white, and thousands upon thousands of beautiful, smooth shells are scattered along the beach like confetti on the floor after a New Years Eve party.

She's wearing a bathing suit, it's actually a two piece, and a pretty hot one at that. She doesn't think anyone is looking, but that's a pretty stupid thing for her to think, my god everyone is looking. She's oblivious, though; she couldn't care less about the eyes that are traveling all over her body, wondering why she's alone here, if she's alone here, or if she's just maybe...waiting for someone.

And she's walking along the beach, barefoot and bikini-clad and adorable, the waves washing in to cover her little feet, the salty sea breeze sending her red hair flying all around her pretty face, with those huge, huge eyes as blue as the sky is this day over North Carolina.

She pauses to pick up little shells in unusual colors; she holds them in her tiny hand and continues to walk along the beach. People look, but she doesn't look back; her mind is somewhere far away in the distance; there's an unreadable expression on her face that could mean anything or nothing at all, but it's beautiful and intriguing all the same.


And he has no idea she's there, he figures she's back in the hotel, reading or doing paperwork or something like that. He's feeling a little alone, and a little mystified, and a little crazy from the heat, so he's swimming in the ocean.

It's been awhile since he's done this, just dived into the huge and all-encompassing arms of the sea, flung himself body and soul into the waves, and just floated and swum. Into the depths, back up again, like some kind of fish or mer-man, like a creature born of sand and salt and fathomless depths. And then he wades back out onto the shore, the sea still clinging intimately to his body, and She's glad as hell she got to wrap Her arms around this one.

His dark hair is plastered all over his forehead and he's dripping wet, which is a lovely look for him; at least the three college girls from NYU seem to think so as they stare and stare and stare like their eyes are going to fall right out of their skulls and get buried in the sand.

But this one, he's oblivious too. Super-mysterious, enigmatic and gorgeous he is, and every woman and some of the men on the beach can't seem to peel their stares away from him, but he's completely gone...his head is somewhere out there, up there, high in the clouds or even beyond that.


And he keeps walking and she keeps walking, and she's still collecting shells and her tiny feet are forming cute little footprints in the wet sand. And he's still pausing every few steps to glance out at the horizon and look lost and adorable and sad and sweet.

And those girls from further up the beach, well, their eyes are still following him, and they're talking amongst themselves and wondering with dreamy voices who he belongs to; what lucky, lucky bitch gets to hold that every night.

And he's out of their view now, and he never even knew they were watching him, and if he did, he'd probably laugh. He's already laughed at himself in his head for being the way he is, but it isn't a nice laugh; it isn't gentle or loving or kind; it's a harsh, mocking laugh, like being rubbed raw on the inside of his soul with sandpaper.

He's humming ''Lay, Lady, Lay'' by Bob Dylan, because it was playing in the lobby and now it's on permanent loop in his brain. And he's also thinking of the stupid art in the hotel room, and how much he hates the sheets because, god, there's so very much room in the bed with just him...so he sleeps on the little sofa in the corner of the room. Because even though he's gotta fold up those long, long legs and sleep squashed into an uncomfortable position, it's better than feeling all that empty space beside him.

And he's wondering what she's thinking, stupid crap he's never asked her, stuff he wished he knew about her, the real important crap...which is not what most people would consider important. Not her mother's maiden name or her blood type, or even her favorite color; that's survey shit. He never asked her if she liked dancing, what her favorite memory was, if she ever jumped up and down on a trampoline at night while staring directly into the sky. When was her first kiss, did she believe in fate or true love; had she ever read The Catcher in the Rye; when was her first time, and was it everything stupid stories and whispers had ever led her to believe...did she ever cry over a boy when she was young, did she ever dye her hair or smoke pot or run in the rain naked... and did she like Bob Dylan and what did she think the song ''American Pie'' was really about; was it just a bunch of nonsensical rhyming verses? And if he asked, would she tell him? Would she let it all drop and let him in and tell him everything?

And she's not really thinking about anything at all, but she's feeling. Her heart feels like the place where the sun meets the ocean, if that makes any sense, but that's how she feels, when she looks straight out and sees the space where the blue of the water meets the blue of the sky, where they dissolve completely into each other and there isn't any distinction anymore, it's just beautiful, infinite blue. And she feels that, and she wants that for herself. That meeting, that blending, that merging of heaven with earth, of sea with sky, crashing and blending together until not even They can tell which is which, and they don't even care at all, because it feels so good and so right to be together finally.

And suddenly, there isn't anyone else on the beach except the two of them, the man and the woman, walking towards each other like the sea wrapping it's embrace around the sky. Eyes meet with a kind of startled, happy regonition, and everything else is just a funky, Impressionist blur of color around them. But they're perfect, they see each other in fantastic, clear, Rembrandt detail. And he smiles at her as strangely as the Mona Lisa ever did, but he's even better looking.

And she reaches out her hand. He takes it. People stare with loud eyes that look like headlights on a Buick, but this couple can't see them at all. They turn together and walk along the shore. The ocean laughs and crashes against the sky, and the sky smiles down with adoration. Thunder and lightning soon follow, and everyone is leaving the beach, everyone but this man and this woman, who are still just walking along, hand in hand, like it's a perfectly ordinary thing to do.