Like Sunlight To Prism cover art by Deslea

Like Sunlight To Prism *PG* 1/1

Deslea R. Judd
Copyright 2001

DISCLAIMER: Situations not mine. Interpretation mine. Deal.
ARCHIVE: Yes, just keep my name and headers.
CATEGORY: Vignette/mood piece, angst, sorta D/R.
SUMMARY: Just a quick flash in the mind of a manly man.
NOTE: For Wolfen, who inspired me to write a Doggettfic with the specific intention of qualifying for the Doggett Hate Author List. You rock!
FEEDBACK: Love the stuff, but joining the likes of Anton, Means, Hearne, Jirafe, Keil, Jintian and Tooms is its own reward.
AWARDS/ELIGIBILITY: Finalist, 2001 Spooky Awards (Outstanding Other Series Character Romance - Doggett/Reyes).

Like sunlight to prism.

Monica's life intersects with mine like sunlight to prism.

She'd laugh if she heard me say so. I'm not a man disposed to poetic expression. She reads Jane Austen and I read Reader's Digest, and if anyone should be uttering that particular pearl of wisdom, it should be her. Still, there it is.

Looking into her eyes is like looking into my life through a filtered lens. It's not something I do often. Her filter differs from mine, coloured with understanding and tinted with infinitely more compassion. She doesn't blame me, and sometimes I can hardly bear to look at her, because she doesn't let me blame myself.

Blame myself for what? Well, Luke tops the list, and Lynne isn't far below that; but really, the blame in my life spreads so far and so wide its parameters defy description. Mulder's death...the delay in his resuscitation...those are my most recent sins, heading a catalogue of many more. But always, one way or another, they come back to Luke and Lynne.

Luke is the obvious one, of course. That's a shadow I live with, that I've learned to live with. No-one ever tells you that grief never heals. You just learn to coexist with it, uneasily side-stepping its moment-by-moment, fragment-by-fragment intrusions. I guess they don't tell you that because they don't want to hear you scream. But Lynne is the grief under the grief, the guilty secret, the shadow I flood with Luke's endlessly painful light. Because you can dance with know its steps and after a long, long while, you learn to slip between its graceful moves. But guilt is something different again. There is no grace or order. It leads, and you follow, because you don't know any other way.

Lynne took the news remarkably well. Monica told her because, as she reminded me gently, when a parent is told the news, the one doing the telling is often blamed. Rightly, in my case; but Monica did it anyway, taking my blame and bearing it herself. Lynne sat there, very still and brave, and she said "Thank you for telling me" in a sad little voice. She got to her feet and went to the kitchen to compose herself, and Monica silently drew me close, and I was still there, my head on her shoulder, when we heard the glass break. By the time we forced open the door, Lynne had calmly eaten five pieces. Her throat was slashed from the inside, and she was dead before the paramedics arrived.

I still have one of the pieces of glass, the one that didn't make it down her throat. I pulled it out when I closed her eyes. I didn't want some undertaker to do it. I never knew quite what to do with it, but I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. It's in the same wooden box as her ashes, still streaked with her blood. I've never told Monica that, but I sometimes think she knows anyway. Sometimes...sometimes Monica just knows.

Sometimes I love her for that. Sometimes I hate her.

But when I look at it, when in the extremity of guilt I open that box and pick up the little ragged arc of glass, I can never see Lynne's prone, unmarred form. That memory is eclipsed by Monica, kneeling at my side, watching me with a look I cannot see but somehow feel. It feels kind. When I turn the glass over in my hands, light catches on streaks of red, changing them, transforming them from something unthinkable into something of harsh beauty.

Like sunlight to prism.


AUTHOR'S NOTE: There are a few technical errors in this, including a few shifts from first-person to second. I decided to leave them there for characterisation and effect, but I'm not sure if I made the right judgement call. Still, as John might say, there it is.