The X-iles


Sweeney Todd Review
NonEssential and NonExistent's NonsEnse
Push's Pad
Xtreme Unction's Labor of Love
Sacred Heart's Ambry
Satchie's "On the Safe Side"
Site Correspondence
Aye, There's the Rum


By Xtreme Unction


DISCLAIMER: This work was for love, not for profit. It is
intended as an homage, not an infringement.

SPOILERS/TIMEFRAME: A few years post-ep 3, approximately


THANKS: To dtg for inspiring me to complete an old, half-
finished story. And to Sixth Extinction, who refuses to take credit
for helping me accomplish that goal. I am humbled in the face of
such talent.

NOTES: Esurio is Latin for hunger, yearning or desire.

* * *

"There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear
to them except in the form of bread." - Indira Gandhi

* * *

The sky was a riot of purple hues swirling deeply in the
background as white hot supernovae of pain exploded behind his
eyelids. Mulder bit his lip to keep from crying out in agony as
Kristen Killar sank her teeth into his shoulder and smashed his
head into the wall with preternatural force.

"My name is Kristen. It's a normal name." He remembered her
telling him this, years ago. Whatever she was then, she was far
from normal now. Her dark locks were longer and thicker, her eyes
glowed with an unnatural luster, and her skin was spectrally pale.
She seemed more powerful, more mysterious, and somehow
uncannily transformed. There was an eerie stillness about her.
When he arrived home minutes ago, he didn't even notice her
sitting on the couch until she called his name.

She ripped open his blue dress shirt - buttons flying everywhere -
and tore off his undershirt before biting his left nipple. "Kr -
Kristen, wait," he ground out hoarsely as his knees buckled. She
was holding him up by nothing but the strength of her hunger, her
mouth a vacuum of intense desire. She paused, pulling back and
tilting her head to one side as she studied him.

"You don't want this anymore," she said with as much surprise as
disappointment in her voice.

"No, I don't," he replied uncomfortably, eyes dropping to the floor.
"When we met years ago, I thought I had lost someone. My heart
was adrift at sea..." he began to explain. But he never finished. She
laughed bitterly as she flung him angrily across the room. He
landed in a broken heap in the opposite corner of his apartment,
smashing into the bookcase that held his aquarium. He felt the
walls shake with the force of the impact as the darkness enveloped

* * *

Stinging from his unexpected rejection, Kristen's coolly
dispassionate facade began to crack. Her carefully cultivated
stillness, which she had mastered years after finally shucking the
oppressive cloak of victimhood, was thoroughly jarred.

She began to pace.

Could he not see that he was hers by right established centuries
ago? How could he be so blind to fate? Did he think he could just
mate with her at will, and have it mean nothing? Does he think that
she gives herself that freely to just any man? She took from
mortals, but never gave, until he came along. There is no doubt
they were destined to meet. He was the catalyst that sparked her
transformation from a sacrificial lamb into a dark savior.
His blood on her lips tasted like Eucharistic wine. She dragged her
tongue across her lower lip, unwilling to waste a single drop.
Walking over to him, she kneeled on the floor and gently pulled
his lolling head onto her lap. His heart was pounding so hard that
she could see the flutter of his pulse under the delicate skin of his
neck. The mere sight of it flooded her senses with arousal. She had
to touch it.

Kneeling on the floor like this, with his half-naked body splayed
over her lap, they looked like some bizarre Oedipal perversion of
Michelangelo's Pieta. Carefully, she placed a single digit on his
neck. The feel of his pulse thrumming against her finger sent a bolt
of sensation directly to her sex. His eyes opened at the precise
moment she began to come. He startled at the raw craving in her
eyes. She wrapped her arms around his chest, pinning him against
her when he started to struggle.

His kicks sent a glass paperweight flying across the room. Books
and knickknacks rained down upon them as the bookcase teetered
ominously. She watched with interest as he suddenly ceased
defending himself in order to reach out and steady the aquarium,
lest it shatter onto the hardwood. Water sloshed over its edges,
carrying with it a solitary fish. A Molly. She landed on the floor
next to his outstretched right arm, her bright metallic hues
reflecting the dim light of his desk lamp as she flopped around in a
desperate dance of suffocation. Mulder tried to save her but was
stopped short by a piercing pain in his left bicep. He turned his
head to see that Kristen was digging her nails into his flesh to
restrain him, leaving four visible trails of blood down the inside of
his arm.

"Do you love that fish?" She hated the jealous tone in her voice.
She hated him for bringing it out in her, and above all, hated the
woman by whose star he now navigates his heart. She would find
her and kill her. Then she would see about 'hearts adrift at sea.'
"You have had that fish for years. I can see your affection for it
shining in your eyes." Kristen licked her lips as she eyed him
suffering, helplessly watching his pet die. Such empathy, she

"What would you be willing to sacrifice for your beloved fish?
What would you give to put it back into the waters it calls home?"
she asked with a small smile. Mulder looked up at her in
confusion, pain glazing his furious eyes. "Would you give up a
limb for your precious Molly?" she asked, tightening her hold on
his bicep. Her hand and his arm were now bathed in blood.

"Kristen, I don't know what this is about," he whispered. "What do
you want?"

When she did not answer, his voice grew stronger and his gaze
burned into hers. "What do you want from me?"

Stupid man, she thought with contempt.

As if it isn't obvious that I want to possess you, whether you come
willingly or not.

* * *

At her continued silence, Mulder turned his gaze back to the fish.
He knew Molly's gill arches were collapsing by now, leaving
insufficient surface area for oxygen diffusion to take place. He
could picture the physical exertion of her struggle causing a deficit
in her already oxygen-deprived tissues, forcing the muscles to
function anaerobically. The lactic acid was building up in her
muscle tissues and diffusing into her blood, causing the pH of her
blood to drop. Mulder knew that even slight changes in pH can
cause major disruptions of the metabolic processes of fish,
ultimately killing it. He had carefully tended to Molly's needs over
the years, ensuring her well-being to the best of his ability. For
such an irresponsible man, he thought to himself, I did a pretty
good job of taking care of my fish.

He had to turn away now. It broke his heart to watch her die like

* * *

Kristen smiled as she saw the fire extinguish behind his eyes at the
same moment the life force drained out of the small creature. If he
would suffer this greatly for a fish...

She picked him up effortlessly by the neck and flew him over to
the door. With his back against the wood, his feet suspended an
inch above the ground, she slowly pinched off his airway. He
began to struggle like the fish they had just watched die. "Who do
you love most in this world, Fox Mulder?" she asked. "Look me in
the eye and try to lie."

She loosened her grip after a moment, allowing him to fill his
lungs with oxygen in great heaving breaths. When the color started
to return to his cheeks, she lifted him up again and screamed, "Tell
me. What would you be willing to sacrifice for your beloved

"What do you want from me, Kristen?" He asked again.

"I want to know what you would give up for your precious Scully,"
she sneered. "She, who keeps you from wanting me, how dare she
occupy a heart that is rightfully mine?"

"I was never yours, Kristen," he explained, still gasping for breath.
"Nor were you ever mine. We were both lost souls at the time,
each looking for a temporary harbor in the midst of a maelstrom of
emotional upheaval. I, I..."

"Temporary?" she spat out at him. "There was nothing temporary
about the connection we made. Temporary is not the word I would
use to describe the depth of our communion."

"It was just one night," he protested weakly. "One night of comfort
in the overwhelming chaos."
He shook his head now in regret. "My
God, I had no idea you would see it this way. I thought we both
understood what it was about."

"That one night may as well have been forever. Time loses all
meaning when two souls link such a manner." She whispered into
his mouth, "Each hour we spent together was a lifetime in the blink
of an eye."

* * *

Mulder began sinking into despair, all hope leaching out of his
heart. He never meant to hurt Kristen. He had fought monsters and
madmen, deviants and the demonically possessed, global
conspiracies and common criminals, but never had he been faced
with this: someone who loved him to the point of obsession. He
had so longed for the seemingly unattainable love of his mother,
and every significant other in his life, that he had no idea how
destructive the opposite could be. Even Scully was distant and
emotionally unavailable. He knew she loved him, but not
necessarily in the way he wanted to be loved. Not to the extent for
which he yearned.

Kristen was eyeing him again, studying him with her eerie
phantasmal gaze. "She is a fool if she doesn't love you as much as I

At this, a solitary tear made its way down his cheek. "It's not like
that between us, Kristen. We are partners and respected colleagues.
We maintain a certain level of professional demeanor in our field.
We can't..." His voice was wracked with emotion as he tried to
justify the lack of resolution in their relationship. "The next level,
whatever it may be, is unnecessary. I would give up much more
than any limb for her. I would give my life. Is there any greater
love than that?"

She barked out a harsh laugh. "You pathetic fool. There is so much
more than you can ever admit you want. There are slow, lingering
kisses. There are cold nights warmed by her embrace. There are
passionate explosions of sexual energy. And Sunday mornings in
bed with the New York Times."

What?" She asked, at his incredulous look. "I am merely reading
your mind. These are all YOUR images of love and intimacy.
These are your dreams of an idyllic life with a woman who has no
idea you care about her in such a way."

He was speechless in the face of this emotional assault.

* * *

The despair in his eyes filled her heart with pity. She gently set
him down on his feet, like a child, and did her best to straighten the
disarray of his clothing. He leaned forward to bury his face in his
hands. And he wept.

Kristen stared at him for a moment before abruptly turning on her
heel. She began pacing his living room, the staccato beat of her
boots against the floor matching the throbbing pain in his head.
"Pathetic, pathetic," she muttered. She spun around and pointed an
accusatory finger at him. "You are not the Fox Mulder I fell in love
with years ago." She ran her hands through her long tresses in
frustration. "That Fox Mulder had a chivalry about him that was
matched only by his intellectual curiosity. He was brilliant and
brash. His irreverence was legendary, and yet his respect for all
things was self-evident. He took unimaginable risks and lived to
tell. He was poetic, even when he was trying to be funny. And he
was heroic. He...saved me."

"All these years," she lamented, continuing to pace, "as I grew
stronger, faster, meaner and purer, I was doing it all for you. I did
it so that you might be drawn to me even more than you were
before. So that I might become worthy of you." Her voice dropped
down a whisper now. "I did not just love you. I worshipped you."
She stopped to look him over with pity and scorn. "The Fox
Mulder I fell in love with was bruised and battered, but never
broken. You, sir, are broken. By another woman, no less."

She stopped right in front of him, lifted his face with a hand on his
chin, and whispered. "If I kill you now, it would be an act of

He met her gaze full-on, prepared to accept her death sentence for
the most unimaginably heinous of all human crimes: true love

The silence between them weighed heavily.

"No, I am not about to kill you," she finally said, with a heavy
sigh. "You and she are an exquisite tragedy. I would no more crush
a beautiful flower or deface an objet d'art."

She turned to the open window behind his desk and perched one
leg on the sill like a giant black leather bird preparing to fly off.
Turning to give him a sad look, she said, "I know you hunger for
some great Truth, almost as much as I hungered for you these past
years. We have each transformed ourselves and ignored everything
else, so consumed were we by our respective quests." She smiled
ruefully. "It all seems so pointless now, doesn't it?"

She stilled for a moment, caught up in deep thought.

"In return for everything you have given me, let me leave you with
some recently hard-earned insight, my love: Not all hungers are
meant to be satisfied."

"Are you telling me there is no Truth?" He asked in a low,
aggrieved voice.

"I'm telling you," she said patiently, "that the Truth isn't the point.
It's the hunger, in and of itself, and the journeys of personal growth
we undertake to satisfy it."

"Look at you." She allowed her eyes to feast on him one last time.
"Despite all I have said tonight to disparage you, I cannot deny that
you are even more magnificent than you have ever been. The
hunger has transformed you into something greater than you were
before. You may never have your Truth, Fox Mulder. But it was
never the point."

She paused to adjust her cape before taking off.

"The hunger is the point."