title: Fairy Wings
author: ellen milholland [radiant@bluelikethat.com]
rating: R
codes: crossover, X-Files/West Wing, Monica Reyes/Amy Gardner
disclaimers: none of them are mine, I swear.
summary: You've seen her on television, tightly-wrapped and smiling. You've seen her, dark against the window, turn to you and say, "I don't know what to say to you, Monica."

notes: for the Wing Swing, who should feel free to archive. they should entirely take the blame for this, okay?


*

If you want, follow the line of Amy's leg right up from the arch of her foot and the knob of her ankle. She has hard calves and soft thighs and flaring hips that say she's all woman, and that's what made you look twice at her in the first place. Well, that, and the fact that she was taking up your usual spot at the free weights. You learned from the first that you both spend too much time at the gym, and from the first, you were wondering what she was avoiding by burning all those calories.

You weren't used to flirting, not really, but she led you right there, batting her pretty eyelashes and pushing her hair back from her face and panting even though you knew she couldn't possibly be that out of breath. Her voice was liquid, sweet as syrup, and when she looked at you, it wasn't exactly an appraisal, but it was close enough.

She liked knowing she made you a little uncomfortable, and so you enjoyed turning the tables when she handed you a card in the locker room. You asked her if it was true that all feminists were lesbians, and she said she wasn't the butch one who'd joined the FBI. You didn't correct her, tell her that you weren't really gay, but she didn't correct you either. She's powerful in her circles, and you're powerless in yours, but she thinks you're in control because you carry a gun.

You don't correct each other's mistakes. It's easier that way. Later, you'll call it a case of mistaken identity, and John will have no idea what you mean except that your eyes will mist a little when you say it. He'll know that you loved her in your own particular way, and he'll be jealous. You'll love him for that, too.

But now you can take your time, licking that spot on the inside of Amy's knee, the spot you know reduces her to a viscous memory of herself. You like the way the muscles under her skin tense and release with the movements of your tongue. Quite honestly, you like everything about her, especially the way she doesn't know anything about anything that matters. She's not red like Dana or angry like John, and she thinks that all the conspiracies here are right-wing.

She announced to you, once, that she didn't believe in ghosts or God, and it didn't matter to you because this doesn't mean anything. It doesn't matter that you believe all the things no one else is willing to see, that you spend a thousand hours a week searching for the truths beyond truth.

As commentary on your chosen career, Amy said only, "Well, the benefits must be great."

You think there's truth enough in the stubble where she missed with her Gillette on the back of her left thigh.

She has long legs and long muscles and she grunts when you kiss her bellybutton, and you think of the magic stories the Mexican women told you as a little girl. You think of otherworldly demons, you think of mysteries gone unsolved, you think of the way she tastes like glycerin soap and smells like rosewater. You think of her face lit up by nymphs and flittering fairies. She rubs her palms against the sheets, dark blue and 400-count.

The first time you went to dinner with her, you picked up the bill because it seemed like the butch thing to do. You talked about classical music and about books you'd both read like the Feminine Mystique and Bridget Jones's Diary and Nancy Drew. You talked about television and popular movies and about growing up in foreign countries. Days later, over margaritas, you spoke to her in Spanish and she traced lines around your hand with the condensation from the bottom of your glass. She told you things in Italian, which she spoke with that strange little accent, like her tongue was too slow for her lips.

The third time you saw her, she called you beautiful, called you G-Woman, called you from the ladies' room on her cell phone just to make you laugh, sitting alone at the bar. In public, you were just friends, but the fourth time, the phone call from the ladies' room wasn't so innocent, and you gulped down your vodka-cranberry in one breath.

You told her stories like the old Mexican women had told them to you, and she kissed you against the door of her apartment. You asked her if there was a man, and she said that there wasn't. You weren't sure she wasn't lying. It didn't matter.

You never knew you were a woman, always thought you were a bird, and when this was over, you'd just fly away and nobody would ever know the difference. Amy had stars pressed into her skin, magic written across her in fairy dust ink. You were awkwardly naked, always conscious of the soft places along your stomach and down your thighs, but she gasped when she saw you.

She liked to walk around your place in Crystal City without her clothes on. She would sit on your kitchen counter and swing her feet and try as you might to have a conversation with her, this wasn't about falling in love or falling out of it.

At least, you didn't think so, but you're good at making those kinds of mistakes.

Even creeping up her leg like this, when you could just push her knees apart and find out how wet she is, you keep going to her stomach and the little marking there. It's a tattoo, a tiny thing you'd almost mistake for a superficial ink smudge if you didn't look harder. Amy's tattoo is of the tiniest fairy you've ever seen, wings and wand and all.

The first time you saw it, you asked her, but she couldn't tell you anything, just that she'd gotten it young and always loved having it there. Most people didn't notice it, she said. She looked at you like you were the most precious thing in the world, poised where with your thumb over the ink blot of a woman on her flesh.

You come home sometimes smelling like corpses, like sewers, like antiseptic. You come home with piles of manila folders, with endless envelopes of freshly developed photographs. You never come home with John Doggett, even though you think you might be falling in love with him, even though he's doing a good job of falling apart.

Some people think you're crazy, and you're fine with that. Dana's so mired in her search for Mulder that she's never going to notice everything she's missing, from you and from John, and from all the other people who love her.

Amy thinks you're strong, and Amy smells like all the sweet, girl things. Amy has a boyfriend, and Amy doesn't think of this as cheating. You don't think of it as cheating on John. She likes pinot grigio, and she doesn't usually eat meat. She has soft palms that touch your cheeks, and a soft mouth to kiss your eyelids closed at night.

She's always gone in the morning. You've seen her on television, tightly-wrapped and smiling. You've seen her, dark against the window, turn to you and say, "I don't know what to say to you, Monica."

And so she didn't say anything, never says anything. She's this wraith. She's here and then gone, fluttering away on her own fragile wings. You don't consider pinning her down, even for a moment, because then you'd have to stay.

You rest your mouth against the tattoo, and when you stop she mumbles, "What's wrong?"

You're good at lying, so you say, "Nothing," and think that she'll be gone in the morning just the same.

-

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