A/N: So, my obsession with The X-Files came back with a vengeance whilst I was preparing to go to the IBG, Inc. Conversation Series, where I got to see GA, DD and CC have a Q & A session, and where I got to meet Gillian Anderson [this has been dubbed the Best Day of My Life So Far]. Anyway, as with most of my fic, this just came out of the blue and I couldn't sleep until I'd written it down. It's not the best, that's for sure- BUT, it will help me get the voice back; and hopefully, this means a conclusion to "Trust, Half Baked, and the Loss of Feminist Values" is on its way soon. *fingers crossed*
I miss my life before you. I don't mean that the way it sounds—but I do miss my life without you in it.
This isn't coming out right, and I don't know how to make it make sense—so let me just try to explain.
Of course, a small part of me misses the somewhat worry free and certainly less chaotic life I had before you came along. Quite from the beginning, in the basest way possible, you changed my life. It was small at first—someone depended on me, on my thoroughness and rationale. It's not that this hadn't happened before. As a genuinely bright child and natural born leader, I'd had people rely on me nearly from the beginning of my life. But you made it different somehow. You made it more thorough, more complete—less static. Whereas, despite my intellectual prowess and certitude (I did, after all, rewrite Einstein), prior to you (a time that I, and the few friends I have left who aren't you, have perhaps maniacally, begun to refer to as 'B.M.'), I felt static; it didn't seem to matter that I was constantly moving, that I was throwing myself headlong into academics and my schoolwork. It wasn't until that first case with you that I felt completely awakened—and the years that have followed have made me feel more fluid than ever; I am constantly awake.
The moments are fleeting and faint and almost always antecede some sort of disaster that brings about unparalleled exhaustion—but sometimes, I do miss the sleep I got before I met you—literally and figuratively.
But we do good work, and the good days make the bad ones very nearly worth it, so most days I don't mind the chaos—I don't mind the worry. Though, I suppose you should ask me if this is still the case in a few years when my face has finally begun to reflect the worry and chaos of the past six years.
I miss not having to worry about anyone else. That sounds selfish, but it's true. Even as I was dying, my worry was for you (and, of course, my mother, who had already watched one daughter die). I wondered how you'd carry on—about what my leaving you behind would do to your fragile, beautiful mind. I rarely cried for myself—for my fears and the life I was sure wouldn't be realized. I miss crying for myself. This all probably sounds selfish, but so little of what I have left isn't wrapped up in you nowadays, that I can't bring myself to not be selfish when it comes to at least this—my thoughts unbound.
I miss lying in my bed and having my thoughts to myself. Though it is difficult to remember, I know there was a time when my thoughts just before drifting off to sleep had little to do with you. Beyond that, there is a time, some dull spot on my consciousness that I can remember only vaguely, when those thoughts had nothing to do with you—it's at once both morbid and special to me that I struggle to remember a time when I didn't know you.
I wonder if you visit the time when you didn't know me very often. Or, is it the same for you? Have our lives become so melded together that it is almost as though a time before we knew each other—a time before we loved each other—doesn't exist.
I'd never admit it to you, but I do sometimes miss the days when my life wasn't tainted by such utter, incomprehensible darkness—when life wasn't some seemingly endless chess game where my life seems but a pawn to everyone involved. Everyone, that is, except for you. I miss not having to be one step ahead of all the men in dark suits who lurk about in hallways making shadowy deals with one another—who presume to have fate in their sweaty hands, gripping the power like an infant grips his bottle as he first learns to hold it himself, clumsy and stupid yet tightly. I miss the days when I didn't know that the FBI stunk like a cloud of smoke from the ghosts hiding around every corner, behind every door, waiting to make the next power play—trading life for life and limb for limb as though it won't make the whole world blind.
I miss believing in fate and destiny. I once did, you know. Before all of this—before I realized that most things are controlled by men who have no right to control anything, let alone the fate of an entire race; I still shudder to think how these men, how you, even, held my life in your hands—in the most literal way possible—so many people, seen and unseen, good and bad, played a part in my living, and I still haven't been able to decide if I am grateful or resentful for it.
I miss the lightness of idle Saturdays, when I could walk around Constitution Park without having to look over my shoulder because there are people willing to stab me in the back just to get to you. To shoot me dead because my allegiance is no longer something I even pretend they can control.
Oddly, I miss the sun more than I think I should.
To say I miss my social life would be to insinuate that I ever really had much of one; you and I both know that I didn't. From the time I can remember, academics was my game, and I was drawn to professors and instructors who challenged me in a way my peers never could, save one post-doc candidate I met among the stacks at the library. I liked the way he smelled, I liked the way he looked at me, and I liked the way he clutched to science as I did, seeing it as oftentimes the only thing that made any sense—as the explanation to everything that has ever existed, including human connection.
I miss lying down on my bed and absentmindedly running my hands through my hair and not pretending that it's your hand coursing through my hair, lightly scraping over my scalp. I don't miss a man's touch—or, I do, but in a way that's atypical. I miss a man's touch that I've never had—the ubiquity of this is not lost on me, and in case I need to spell it out, it is your touch that I miss. Your touch is at once foreign and familiar to me—alien and completely natural (I thought you'd appreciate that metaphor). The few times you have placed your palm against my cheek, I have nuzzled my face into your warmth and your hand which seems both softer and rougher than it should—I have felt the oddest compilation of exhilaration and peace. Your touch feels like home—like what I've been waiting for my entire life without even actually realizing it. I miss that touch, even when I have it—because I know someday it will be my last.
I miss not imagining what you'll be like as a lover. The imperative I used was deliberate, but I'll explain that in a moment. There was a time, certainly before you, but also at the beginning of our partnership when my imagination didn't go into overdrive when I saw you working on a sunflower seed. When I didn't tingle and my hair didn't stand on end in the most delicious way possible when you put your hand on my back to guide me through a door. I know what you're thinking—yes, it was very early into our partnership, indeed, when this particular shift occurred—the one from curious interest to desire. I only miss the days of curious interest because I had so much less distraction back then.
But, back to the imperative. I used it because I've no doubt that I'll someday know what you're like as a lover. I am so sure of this as of any science I have spent years studying. I have spent years, too, studying our relationship—breaking it down into its analyzable component parts, gathering data, running experiments—my own little adjusted scientific method, until the question was not 'if' but 'when.' Not a theory, but an inevitability—(it should scare me the way I ignore the basics of science for you; but it exhilarates me, instead).
And whatever the truth turns out to be—whatever sort of lover you are, will be compatible with the kind of lover I am, which I know you wonder about. I've seen you do it.
So, I do miss my life without you in it—in small, hand me down ways. But, I'm not lonely anymore—except when I miss you.