You touch her, and she feels like fire.
The warmth of her is immense. Her flesh radiates in a feverish blush; her breath is humid with it. Her fingertips dance along your skin like a spray of cinders, lighting over you in lazy patterns in the night. When you lay your head over her breast, her heartbeat throbs, and the blood roars in your ears, and your head pounds with longing. She is warm and you are cold; and how you long to be warm.
You run your mouth over her wrist, and her veins grow dark, standing out against your cold. You take one delicate fingertip between your lips, and fine blonde hairs rise on the back of her hand in self-defence. She throws back her head, moaning like something wounded and torn. Her every instinct rages against you, yet she bows her head to your shoulder, blonde hair trailing across your lips, hands searching for you, beseeching and mute. Her hair is the only part of her that doesn't sear you; it is neither warm nor cold, but somewhere in-between. It is dead, yet part of something living; cold countered by warmth.
You are death and she is life; and when you touch her, she feels like fire. Sinking into her is plunging cold into warmth, and it hurts. Every cell in your body protests; every nerve jangles with shocked displacement from the cold. You feel something long-frozen break, a long deep rupture that streaks through that part of you that can't live with the warmth. The warmth is kind, and kindness is something you don't deserve. Even her fire is kind, and, God! It hurts to be splintering and fracturing there in the flames. Agonising white-heat courses through your veins. You crave it, even though it's killing you both.
You touch her, and she aches; you can see it in the way she widens her eyes and hear it in the way she cries out your name. The veins in her neck rise; she arches against you, exquisitely painful, exquisitely warm. The light in her eyes grows dark and small, dying down in the cold rush you bring her, dark gift in flickering light. She gasps for air, flames ebbing, fighting for life if only to make you warm. She needs to make you warm, maybe even more than she needs you. Oh, she needs you, she needs your touch and your voice and your mind and your heart; but more than anything, she needs to make you warm.
Because she loves.
When you join with her, you break and melt and form again, not because she is warm, but because she wants to be warm for you. Suddenly, you can bear her warmth, and she can bear your cold. She rises to meet you, pressing the length of her body along yours. What was endurance for you both melds into shocked exaltation.
All because she loves.
You don't deserve her. Even melting into her, you know this. It is a truth you carry, like a mark of Cain. You wonder if she sees it, or if she cares. You wonder if deserving her would make her love you more or less. You wonder if it matters. When you empty yourself into her, you wonder whether what she receives is really human at all. You know it doesn't carry life - the silo took care of that. It is empty, real but devoid.
And yet she loves. She takes what you have to give, even though it isn't enough. It courses through her, and she takes it because it is yours. Somehow, there is a space for you in her body, as there is a space for her in your heart. Somehow, you can touch without destroying one another. Your cold fills her without extinguishing her fire, and she consumes you without burning you alive.
When it ends, you touch her, and she draws you against her. There are whispered words and halfwords and nonwords, sounds uttered and lost in the same breath; but the words matter less than their meaning, their claim - one on another and to both the same. There was never another who claimed you before her, not even the one from whom you came. There has never been another who took your cold and made it warm.
Perhaps that's why you can't hate her.
You could hate her if she pitied you. You could hate her if she wanted to save you or redeem you, but she doesn't. She knows you for what you are, and she would betray you if she felt the fire within her begin to freeze as yours did so long ago. It is not in her to follow you into the cold. She will take your cold and make it warm, but she will not make it hers.
You love her for that.
You tell her that, and she smiles, because she knows that you would kill her in a heartbeat. She smiles because she knows that it's true.
You touch her, and she feels like fire. She is warm and you are cold.
And how you long to be warm.
Author's Note: Although I tend towards a much brighter interpretation of Krycek and Marita in most of my fic, for this one I visualised a mystical kind of dance with death - one that was beautiful but inevitably fatal. The title is from a sequence from David Bowie's "Underground" (see below). As for this fic - I love feedback always, but I would be really interested to hear anything you've got to say about this one. Second-person POV is a new one for me, and it's not something I think I'd use often; but it was really interesting and challenging to do.
Down in the underground