Soul, heart, and body, we thus singly name,
by Alfred Austin
Are not in love divisible and distinct,
But each with each inseparably link'd.
One is not honour, and the other shame,
But burn as closely fused as fuel, heat, and flame.
They do not love who give the body and keep
The heart ungiven; nor they who yield the soul,
And guard the body. Love doth give the whole;
Its range being high as heaven, as ocean deep,
Wide as the realms of air or planet's curving sweep.
Soul, heart, and body, we thus singly name,
Dana looked up from the carton of dim sum she'd just opened, distracted from her thoughts that dumplings were always too cold when you took them 'to go'. "Hawaiian Punch? Since when do you drink Hawaiian Punch?" She eyed the bright blue can he was studying, and noticed the small smile playing about his lips. "That's Krycek's, isn't it?"
"I don't think he'd mind, if you want it." The smile broadened. "He always gets a red moustache, no matter how careful he is."
"Give me a beer, and put that away before I lose my appetite."
Mulder brought two beers to the table and sat down. "You know, every time I hear 'chicken fried' I get a mental picture of some great, breaded, deep-fried slab. I have a hard time relating it to rice. Leave some of the ribs."
She twisted the top off her beer as Mulder began to fill his own plate. "You're stocking groceries for him?"
Mulder was trying to pick around the broccoli in the broccoli beef. "Just a few things--snacks. You know--sodas, goldfish crackers. He likes the ranch and pizza kind."
Scully drank a little beer as Mulder began to eat, then said slowly, "This worries me, Mulder. It's starting to sound a little too... domestic. I noticed that you have two toothbrushes in the bathroom."
"I can't let him use mine. Intimacy is one thing--sharing toothbrushes is another. I wouldn't share a toothbrush with my mother."
"How much time are you spending with him, anyway?"
"None of your business."
"Mulder, I'm worried about you. Up until a few months ago I would have been perfectly cofident in saying that you loathed Alex Krycek. Now you're not only sleeping with him, you're stocking his favorite junk food."
Fox pushed food around on his plate, and his voice was sullen. "Well, you can quit worrying about me. I'm a big boy."
Dana's eyes narrowed. "I think the operative word here is boy. You're not looking at this situation in a logical manner, Mulder. Maybe he looks like he's changed, maybe he's treating you well--for now. But he's going to revert, and when he does..."
"You don't know him, Scully." She was startled by the heat in his eyes when he raised them to her. "And you don't know me. Christ, you're just like my father was--he never thought I'd grown up, either. He had no confidence in my ability to make my own choices."
"When those choices are so patently bad for you..." She trailed off. There was the sound of a key in a lock. The front door opened. Alex Krycek, looking rumpled and tired, but gorgeous (as usual) came in. He stopped abruptly when he saw Dana, then looked at Fox, and shut the door.
Alex tossed a small overnight case on the sofa, walked to the table, bent down, and kissed Mulder softly on the cheek. "Hey, babe."
"Hey. You're back early."
"Things wound up quicker than I expected."
"Am I going to read about this in the papers?"
"Not this time. Is there enough for me?"
"Sure. Sit down, I'll get you a plate."
Alex pulled out a chair and sat while Mulder got up and went into the kitchen. He exchanged flat looks with Dana, then said, "Agent Scully."
There was silence as Fox got a plate and cutlery. "Alex, what do you want to drink?"
"Any of that Hawaiian Punch left?"
"That'd be great." His eyes hadn't left Scully. Too softly for Mulder to hear he said, "My ears are burning."
Just as softly Dana replied, "Too bad it isn't all of you."
Fox set his burden down before Alex, noting his lover's tight smile. He noted the frown on Scully's face and the pinched line between her eyebrows, then said, "God, you two haven't started already, have you? You know, I thought with Dad gone and Mom so vague..." his hand threaded quickly through Alex's dark hair, "and you seeming not to HAVE parents, that I'd avoid in-law problems. Scully, you and Skinner are even worse than in-laws."
Alex shrugged as he scrapeed the last of the moo goo gai pan onto his plate. "Don't let them bother you, Fox. You know how it is with some friends--they get jealous when you fall in love."
With her fair skin, it was hard for Dana to conceal her anger--she flushed to the roots of her auburn hair. She was obviously angry with Krycek, but it was Mulder she addressed. "You let him call you Fox? You hate that."
"Not from me, he doesn't."
"Stop it, you two."
"Look, Mulder, I can see you being attracted to him. There is some sort of animal magnetism--even I have to admit that."
Alex broke an egg roll in half. "Gee, thanks for the compliment, Red."
"It's not a fucking compliment, Krycek. I'm just stating facts, and keep out of this--I'm talking to Mulder. Like I said, I can understand your wanting him physically, but can't you just have sex with him and leave it at that? I'm sure he's used to it."
Alex's expression didn't change, but Fox saw the flash in his green eyes. "Stop it, Scully."
"I'm serious, Mulder. I wouldn't think much of it if you just did a little rutting, but you're letting him into your life. Do you have any idea how dangerous that is? If you open up your heart, he could..."
"Austin." Dana and Fox both looked at Alex. He calmly dripped sweet-and-sour sauce on the second half of his egg roll and said, "Trinity."
Dana scowled. "What has Texas got to do with anything?"
Fox was nodding slowly. "Not Austin, Texas. Alfred Austin, right, Alex?" The younger man nodded. "Love's Trinity. Yes, you're right." Mulder looked at Dana. "How much poetry do you read?"
"What's that got to do with the price of eggs, Mulder?"
"Alfred Austin wrote a poem called Love's Trinity that might explain this to you a little better, Scully."
Scully sighed. "I'm not really a great one for that 'life imitates art' theory Mulder."
"But it explains why I can't just sleep with him."
Alex reached over and wound his fingers in Mulder's, holding hs hand. "And why I couldn't keep up that 'pure love from afar' crap. Soul, heart, and body, we thus singly name, are not in love divisible and distinct, but each with each inseparably link'd. I used to be able to compartmentalize myself, Scully. I could keep my heart separated from what I did with my body, keep my soul separated from both. Not any more." He gave Mulder's hand a squeeze.
"And you can't really pick and choose what you give when it's real love, Scully. One is not honour, and the other shame. That's how it is with me, anyway." Mulder drew Alex's hand up and pressed it to his cheek. "One is not honour, and the other shame, but burn as closely fused as fuel, heat, and flame. They do not love who give the body and keep the heart ungiven."
"Nor they who yield the soul, and guard the body." Krycek brought his other hand up to cup Fox's face. Scully didn't want to admit it, but there was genuine tenderness in Krycek's expression--something she had never expected to see. "Love doth give the whole." He looked at Scully, and his eyes were deep, and sober. "Love doth give the whole. That's what we've done, Scully."
She was silent for a moment. There was a look on Mulder's face that she'd never seen before. It was unguarded--vulnerable. Trusting.
Mulder--trusting? Good God.
She had thought he was being foolish, and headstrong. He never liked to admit that he'd made a mistake. But that wasn't it. He was... sure.
Mulder was watching her. He said quietly, "Its range is high as heaven, as ocean deep, wide as the realms of air or planet's curving sweep. It scares me a little sometimes, Scully, but I can't live without it. I can't live without him. Try to understand."
At last she said, "I'll try. I can't promise, though, Mulder."
"That's all we ask." Alex let go of Fox with a gentle push. "Eat, Fox. There's been enough discussion for now. Too much will spoil your appetite."
They all started to eat. Dana squeezed duck sauce out on her sweet-and-sour pork. "Do you two do this often?"
The two men exchanged looks. Alex raised an eyebrow. "Chinese?"
"Mulder, I never would have thought you'd fall in love with a smartass. Poetry. Do you two recite poetry to each other often?"
They both smiled, and Fox murmured, "You'd be surprised."
After a moment Dana said, "You were right, Fox."
"I'm glad you realize that, Scully."
"That's not what I meant." She pointed with her fork. "I mean about the Hawaiian Punch. Krycek, you have a moustache."