posted on 25-Mar-2002 8:52:49 PM by Demoira
Author: Demoira
Contact: demoira⊕
Title: The Mess We're In
Rating: PG-13
Distribution: by permission.
Disclaimer: Property of Katims and the lot, JK Productions, 20th Century, and the UPN. Lyrics property of PJ Harvey.
Spoilers: Somewhere after first season.
Summary: CC, ?/? This is just a moment in time . . . the group has had to go their separate ways, each alone, and then a phone call and a meeting and a final farewell.

Can you hear them?
The helicopters?
I'm in New York

It was a desperate phone call. She didn't even think that it would connect . . . all the logic in the world suggested that he would have dumped the phone or left it somewhere, maybe even had it disconnected, gotten a new number under a different name. It was dangerous, his having it. Like it was dangerous, her calling it.

But the need was in her bones and muscles now, a spasm, an ache. A draw – like a cord from the pit of her stomache drawn tight and pulling her toward him.

And he answered.


"I need you."

He didn't even ask who was calling. In the silence that followed, she savored the sound of his breathing, the reassuring rasp of it. She thought of a thousand things to say to him – yell at him for still having the same phone, beg him to let her join him, say she loved him. Her mouth was dry and no sound came out. He rasped again – breathing so loud she could hear the indecision he was fighting.

Finally – "Where are you?"

"New York."

Then – "I'll be there. I'll find you."

No need for words now
We sit in silence
You look me in the eye directly
You met me
I think it's Wednesday
The evening, the mess we're in

Stepping out of the bakery where she had just bought two croissants, she wasn't surprised to feel the arms wrap around her. The cord drawing on her belly had loosened just a little, and the ache in her muscles and bones had become sharper and nearer.

He had found her.

The croissants fell from her fingers.

She ignored the rest of the world as her fingers ran through his hair and their tongues tangled. His hands were everywhere and she moaned as her skirt rose minutely and her thigh was brushed once, twice, with rough, beautiful hands.

The ache was a fire and she was kindling. She went up in flames, his tongue scorching a path down her neck. She threw her head back and gasped, her fingers greedily consuming every bit of flesh they could reach under his shirt.

And then he pulled away – so fast she stopped breathing and her heart quit. Then he was back, his arms tight around her and the thump of his heart steady under her ear.

He had found her.

The next thing she knew, they were sitting opposite each other in a little hotel room with the small table between them. The only connection between them their fingers, tenuously meeting in the middle.

She looked at his eyes – glorious and perfect – and saw everything there. He had ached as she had all this time. The need for each other was impossible. And he had been hurt too these last months. The loneliness wasn't all of it. This world was a horrible place for him. Worse by far than it was for her. And she wondered why he had kept the phone.

But she didn't ask. She already knew the answer.

The city sun set over me
The city sun set over me

She felt his hand shake as he slipped his fingers up hers and wrapped them around her palm. His grip was instantly tight and secure – he wasn't letting go. Not yet.

His eyes asked her the question, with the slightest lift of eyebrow and shift of lid. She nodded.

And then he opened the connection. The pain slid through her hand, flowing both ways – into her and into him.

Without realising it, the time passed. The sun set and the stars came out.

Night and day
I dream of
Making love to you now baby
Love making on screen
Impossible dream

Flesh on flesh. What a raw scraping it made. She marveled at the different sounds as they dwelled in each others' bodies. The soft sounds and the harsh ones – sounds of sweat and moans and desire.

Sounds of desperate need.

Sounds of love and fear.

The raw sounds of the raw flesh – the raw wounds and raw bare fear. Desperation.

Need and desperation, and they twisted the sheet round each other and off the bed, hair knotted and each threw themselves into the other. They delved and penetrated and drowned. But the fear didn't go away.

And I have seen
The sunrise over the river
The freeway reminding of
This mess we're in

The dawn wasn't far away. They could feel its rays reaching round the earth to find them. They had finally exhausted their bodies beyond any desperate need or fear, but their minds and souls were awake to the loss waiting with the sun.

She tightened her arms around him, pressing her bare breasts into his chest and twisting her legs around his. She would have kept him captive there if she could. But he would leave soon.

His fingers were tied up in her hair, but he didn't try to remove them. Instead, he massaged her scalp, and then, deep within his chest she felt him begin.

He told her of all the places he had been, faces of strangers he had seen. Highways and back roads – buses and long walks – dirt and grime and the poor. Sometimes the rich. But never beauty. Never joy.

The pool on his chest the she formed with the tears from her eyes told him her story as well.

The city sun set over me
The city sun set over me

The white hotel curtains fluttered and the sun stained the sky its many colors. Blood and bruises on the clouds, she thought, as his voice drifted off.

Blood and bruises on the sky. The sun rose and the people below came out.

What was it you wanted?
I just want to say
Don't ever change
And thank you
I don't think we will meet again

They sat in silence again. She was in his shirt and picked at the baguettes while he stared at her.

Finally – "Love."

He raised his eyebrows but didn't say anything.

"That's what this is."


She was silent. He cleared his throat.

"You look the same."


"I thought you would be different. Inside everything's changed."

"I feel different."

They were quiet while she sipped orange juice, and he continued to stare.

Then – "I feel old."

"You don't look old."

"Old as dust. I think I'm dust."

And then he moved around the table and picked her up, holding her while she cried.

I really must leave now
Before the sun rises
Over the skyscrapers
And the city lanscape comes into bloom
Sweat on my skin and – oh
This mess we're in

He pealed the shirt off her and marveled at the sunlight on her skin. Goddess in all her perfection.

Then he replaced the sunray's strokes with his fingers and sought her moans, the calls to his soul, the peace from this ache in his bones and muscles. His need for her body was nothing like the need for her husky sighs and clutching fingers. She drew him in, and in he dove.

The city sun set over me
The city sun set over me

The sun had long passed its peak, and was dimming. Dwindling. Waining. They were losing time.

She slept, lashes spread on her cheeks, skin moist and plump and the need rising off her like a foggy haze. Her scent was everywhere, and he desperately hoped it was on him. He wanted it everywhere, had bathed in her.

Now he had to leave. He stepped back, praying that her eyes wouldn't open, whispering words to nameless gods and goddesses asking for that one boon. He walked away, the ache growing. The desperation and the ache threatening to take over. The fear that he would never see her again wrenching.

Closing his eyes, he pressed the button on the elevator.

Down on the street, he gave his cellphone to a beggar.

A New York crowd swallowed him up.

And time passed. The sun set and the stars came out.

She opened her eyes.

Cried - "Goodbye Michael."


What did you think?


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 29-Mar-2002 3:54:56 PM ]
posted on 26-Mar-2002 1:29:43 PM by Demoira
Hey everyone! Thanks so much for the feedback. Made me a very happy fic writer, I must say. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

About the identity of the female. I've said what I've said in my summary, but I will not say anything conclusive. Part of the point is to be able to make them whoever you want until the end. I'm actually curious who everyone had thought they were before I identified him. To be honest, I don't mind UC interpretations at all . . . I'm something of a manic UCer on the boards. *Grin*

Anyway . . . Ciao,
posted on 26-Mar-2002 4:07:36 PM by Demoira
Shamelessly self-promoting *wink*

posted on 29-Mar-2002 4:28:12 PM by Demoira
Look at me! Look at me!


I'm really not that crazy.

*Sly smile*

I just want the attention. That's all. I want to feel the love.

Well . . . MORE love.