Not Quite Still-life With Plums
by Spica

TITLE: Not Quite Still-life With Plums
FEEDBACK: Would be cherished at
ARCHIVE: Just keep my headers attached and you can have it.
DISCLAIMER: Characters belong to Fox, Chris Carter and 1013. No copyright infringement intended.
SUMMARY: "These plums are black, filmed with a dusky heathery-honey color, they will stain a mouth like passionate kisses."
SPOILERS: None, just a short and sweet relationship scene. In my mind, this encounter takes place toward the end of the second season, but it's open to interpretation.
NOTES: Thanks and kisses to KristenK2, Muridae, Kelly Keil, Vanzetti, Bardsmaid--you all helped me develop and improve this snippet, and made it a fun writing exercise.


His room is stark, dawn-bright but drab, temporary home that it is. Covarrubias still stands in the center of it, stark, bright and drab also, her beautiful face drawn into its habitual death-mask of solemn reserve. Alex sits on the edge of the bed looking up at her, hardly bothering to hide his tiredness. She has said what she came to say, so why isn't she on her way out? He has killed two men this night; he can smell the gunsmoke and the blood still. He wants to think about something other than business. He wants to clean himself, wants a shower; come to think of it he wants to jerk off in the shower, imagining that he strips the young queen's death-mask from her along with that hard, elegant suit, fucking both her and himself back to life.

With idle curiosity he follows her gaze, and does a double take when he sees where it has settled in captive distraction. It's the one decorative item in the room, a plain, rectangular pewter tray on the bedside table, its shape pleasingly curved. On it are three smooth, perfect plums, dully reflected against the metal they rest upon.

Plums. Mild amusement takes him at seeing her immaculate guard compromised by something so simple. So Marita Covarrubias knows of temptation--hell, maybe there's even red blood circulating under that pale flawless complexion.

Alex hesitates, then nudges the tray toward her, raising his eyebrows slightly as he dares her to indulge. He may not be the most gracious host in the world, but he does know a few things about how to issue a challenge. She stiffens and stands cornered by his ironic invitation, considers the fruit as though it were a whispered offering from a serpent. These plums are black, filmed with a dusky heathery-honey color, they will stain a mouth like passionate kisses.

He expects her to take a cool stance, to promptly deny herself or defy him. But she looks entangled in crossed strands of memory, something dreamy-slow about the way her lips part, something tugging at her far beyond the simple facts of fragrance, flavor, texture. He watches with rising fascination as color skims warm over her high cheekbones, as her gaze deepens and goes distant with recollection.

What was it? Did your first lover feed you one; did your mother serve you a few on a tray like this; did your grandparents own an orchard?

Four seconds of lost time, and then she catches herself, turns her focus back to the offer at hand. He sees her weighing memory against reality, desire against stickiness, gratification against mess. Pressing her wide lips together, she turns her gaze from the tray and dismisses the thought. But her skin is still suffused with that fine deep radiance, there's a wistfulness in the firm set of her mouth, and his heart lurches. He can't let it not happen.

"They're delicious. Try one." His quick, near-whispered words interrupt her as she starts on her curt good-bye, and she stops in surprise and suddenly looks truly flustered. Tempted as much by her blush as by his own words, Alex leans forward by way of example and takes a plum between his fingers, brings it to his mouth. He tastes the chalky dryness of the surface, then lets his teeth test and break the tender, yielding skin. Juice bursts in a sugary-tart, sun-warm flood into his mouth. He swallows with eyes lowered, but it's her he sees--the quick subterranean river of her blood darkening her cheeks, ripening her lips to receptiveness. It's her he tastes--sweetness of saliva and suppleness of tongue, purity like water from the bedrock to quench and cleanse.

He hears the sharp snap of her heels and his eyes flash open. Belatedly, he realizes that he has ended up rising to his own bait, but by now that doesn't even seem relevant. He gets to his feet and overtakes her by the door, puts his hand on her shoulder with a sudden humility he can't quite decipher--is it apology, confession, supplication?

Not Covarrubias, this is just the woman Marita turning to face him unmasked in the bright, drab room--ferocious as a cat, careful as a sparrow. She's gathering herself for attack or flight, but hesitates as she meets his eyes--raises her chin, hitches on a breath. It sounds like a question. Trespassing through the layer of tailored suit, his hand tightens around her slim shoulder, supplies her with a possible answer.

She releases a deep sigh of troubled concession, and then he barely has to lean forward before she meets him, transports him to a flitting blur of sunlight and shady orchards, warm earth and scents of harvest. She's drawn into his mouth, she commands his embrace: honeyed and ripe and delicate-skinned, all ruptured surface and surging acid-sweetness beneath.


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