A/N: Yep. Still obsessed with the X-Files some more. #TheShipThatDidntSink


"Monsters are easy to come by,
So I went out and found the beast before we met."


There are so many things I haven't told you; not the least of which is that I love you.

I remember waking up as a young child to strange noises, hugging my knees to my chest and rocking back and forth, squeezing my eyes shut tightly; I was never very afraid of the dark. In fact, it often comforted me—surrounded me in its blanket and held me closely as no one had done since I was a very small boy. The sounds, though, were what seemed to idly haunt me in ways I still haven't come to fully comprehend. I would listen to them and feel my body tense up under the sheets, my muscles pulled taut as my mind tried to wrap itself around an idea that I did not know I was too young and naïve to understand. The sounds I couldn't identify then are based in sadness and loneliness and what happens to a heart when everyone in the world has forgotten it exists.

I never forgot my mother's heart—my father did, and the strange creaking in the house that kept me awake most nights, even before my sister vanished, was the love escaping through every crack in our house, every crevice—every thing that was not airtight.

Nothing is airtight.

I couldn't sleep on those nights—I still can't sleep, you know this. But the best sleep I've ever gotten has come at your bedside in the hospital. I know how that makes me sound—it makes me sound selfish, to put it mildly. So I guess I should try to explain.

It was never the dark that hurt me—it was the noises. And if the silence that reigned in my house as a child—even more than the yelling—was the degradation of love, then the sound of your breathing, the steady rise and fall of your chest, is the incarnation of it.

If we were lovers, if I could lie next to you every night and listen to you breathe, I could sleep every night. But we're not lovers. At least, not in the widely understood definition of that term. So, it would be unacceptable for me to come to your bed at night, except when you are in the hospital. It's okay there—and that you are alive, the fact that I can hear your breath instead of silence, brings me a sense of peace I'm not sure I've ever had before.

Don't misunderstand: Every vigil I have kept by your hospital bedside—and there have been quite a few—were expressly and purposefully for you. But, it would be a transgression to not admit that they were also for me. On those nights, in those sterile places surrounded by pain, anger and death (thank god it's never been yours), I can forget—I can forget everything except you and everything that has led me to you and to your bedside, holding your hand, brushing your hair from your face, placing my forehead on the edge of your bed and sleeping finally without the consequence of dreams.

And in these moments, the love does not escape through the crevices and cracks—instead, it seeps into them. It seeps into the room around us, filling every gape—even the hairline ones—until they overflow; it slips into me, fills every crack and crevice created by too many years of not quite enough love from anyone I've ever met. You know what comes next, but I'll say it anyway: except you.

So, I won't apologize for this selfishness. I never do, but for this one especially, I won't.

I could never forget that your heart exists.

There are so many things I haven't told you; not the least of which is that I love you. Not the least of which is that your very breath has become my salvation.


End