|Primary Characters:||Krycek, Skinner|
|Warning:||m/m sex, strong language, violence|
|Description:||Kryecek returns to Skinner’s apartment to deal with what happened between them the last time they met.|
Krycek was in Skinner’s apartment, waiting for the man to return. He didn’t know what it was that kept him coming back here. For the time being, his work didn’t provide any excuse. But since that strange and confusing incident a few weeks earlier, he had not been able to shake the memory of what he and Skinner had done that night. So far he had just waited in the apartment, only just leaving before Skinner returned.
Once though, he had actually stayed out of the way, hidden, until Skinner fell asleep. Then Krycek had stood over the bed, watching. What was it about this big, strong man that had gotten under his skin? He knew it wasn’t love. Krycek wasn’t even sure his ambivalent feelings towards Mulder was love. But this new awareness of Skinner was something different and something completely new.
Over the years, Krycek had never allowed himself to love anyone. Not since Jelena, the woman he thought might have been his mother, had died. But at least Jelena was the one person who had never hurt him. Not even when she was drunk or stoned. She might be beaten up, humiliated and tired out, working for people who never gave her any recognition. But when she was in the dirty little room that was all the home she and little Alexei had, she never turned on the boy.
Krycek thought that must mean she loved him. But he wasn’t sure who she was. And all the time since she left that night never to come back, he had studiously avoided emotional involvement. That’s why he had fought his feelings for Mulder, the even more complicated feelings he had for Scully, and now, the emotional turmoil in his mind following his sexual encounter with Skinner.
Things were never complicated if you just stuck to what you knew: work, sex and killing. Those were constants in a confusing and dark life. So why had he changed his mind about the revenge he was going to inflict on Skinner? The implant wasn’t Krycek’s idea, that had come from higher up. When he got his revenge on Skinner, Mulder and Scully he wanted it to be direct, hands on, physically close.
He wanted to see into their eyes, to know that they knew he was the one responsible, and why. For some reason that still felt important. He tried rationalizing away the inconsistency in this highly emotional hate-love he felt for them all. They had lost loved ones, same as he, in fact, he was even closely connected in those deaths, but even after all that, they still had each other. Who did he, Alex have, except himself? But that shouldn’t have been reason enough.
He had thought he didn’t have any emotions left when the woman he thought of as his mother had failed to return to him as she always did. She had always come, even when she was battered and bruised all over, or when her emaciated body was crying out for more of the drug that kept her going. But that last time she hadn’t. Alexei knew right away that she was dead. Even at the age of nine he had understood what Jelena did to support herself and him, and he had feared the day when she wouldn’t come.
And then he had been taken away, and placed with people who were supposed to be known as his parents. They expected him to call them mother and father, and after they reinforced the command with their fists, he had. Still, someone was there to protect him, or at least he thought so, until those men came and picked him up. He was told what to do, and when he started to cry, they told him he should have known what to do, seeing who had raised him.
But Jelena had never brought anyone back to her private room. So Alexei had only guessed at what had been done to her, to make her look the way she did when she came back. It appeared his education would be furthered that day. And he was right about that. It wasn’t the last time those men came. But when he was 15 he was grown up, and no one considered the deception of family life necessary anymore.
By that time he had learned his lesson well. No one ever saw him cry again, and he knew what image of himself to present to outsiders. It occurred to him now as he stood in the shadows by the window to await the person he should have been avoiding, not drawn to, that in learning to cope with what was required of him back there in the old country, he had lost himself, the real Alex in the process.
Alexei, the boy without a last name, living in the tenement building in a disreputable suburb of Moscow, might have been a thief and a liar. But on reflection, there had been no secrets or hidden depths in him.
Now he didn’t even know himself. Even his face was different. Though of course it would be since he was no longer a boy. But the changes were far more extensive than that. The plastic surgery had been intended to change his appearance, so that Alexei with no other name, could disappear. So that the Russian immigrant Alex Krycek could show up in the place where his work was needed.
It seemed the US authorities were more demanding of an identity, than the military authorities that sent him to Afghanistan had been. He had achieved the change of identity, but he had also been given a more handsome face. It was easier to believe in the truthfulness of a good looking person than someone who was ugly.
And Alexei’s face had been badly burnt in the explosion he had been sent to set off on one particular occasion. Sometimes he thought his employers had meant for him to die there, but somehow he had pulled through. Life in America was all he had hoped it would be. Cars, hotels, women, expensive clothes. And for a while he had been able to enjoy it all. Then he had been found out, by Mulder, and Skinner and everything had changed again.
For a while he had even thought he would be forced to remain in Russia, but at least he had been able to escape Tunguska, and eventually, Russia itself. He had vowed to himself never to return. Everything he wanted, or needed was right here. So he always kept coming back, to Washington, and now to Walter Skinner’s apartment. Damned that man for getting to him that way. He had thought himself safe here. It should have been an easy way to get started on the revenge he needed.
The thought of that revenge had been all that had kept him alive, when he painfully dragged himself away from the mob that had cut off his arm. No painkillers, not even some vodka to take the edge off the searing pain. Just an axe, severing his arm from his body. The pain made him black out for a moment, but when he came to, he could still see the blood, and the arm nearby. They had cauterized the wound with fire, causing him to black out again.
He had been left lying there, unconscious. But he had come to much sooner than they had expected, or maybe they had never intended to keep him there. Anyway, using his remaining arm and his legs, he had managed to crawl away. For a while he just wanted to curl up in some corner and wait for the real sleep, hoping that it might reunite him with Jelena.
But the thought of Mulder getting away, alive, and intact had kept him going. Revenge was what drove him then, and finally he had managed to find his way back. It had been a long time until the surgeries required to clean up the damage those ignorant butchers had done were finished. By that time, Mulder and Scully would believe themselves safe. Maybe they even thought he had died.
Alex felt a stab of anger at how they would just write him off like that with no feelings at all. He wasn’t that indifferent to them, so why would they be to him? If he had been able to, he would have saved Melissa Scully, but it had been too late to do anything. He even felt some gratitude towards Scully for saving his life that day when Mulder was about to end it for him once and for all. Not that death might not have been preferable to life as a cripple, but still… She had saved his life.
Why he hadn’t started out with Mulder? He didn’t understand himself. The detour around Skinner was totally unexplainable, unless he forced himself to face, first that he had feelings for Mulder, and yes, for Scully too, and finally that something about Skinner intrigued him. Men had always been something of a double-edged sword in his life. They were the ones abusing Jelena, and later Alexei himself, but there was also something undeniably attractive about them.
Alex was fascinated with them, repulsed but fascinated. There was nothing about their bodies that remained a mystery to him, but how they could be so strong and confident in themselves, in their own identities, eluded him. And Skinner had been the most uncomplicated of them all, at least Krycek had thought so until that fateful encounter less than two weeks ago.
But when he found that Skinner actually shared his ambivalent feelings towards Mulder, something had clicked inside Krycek and he had been carried away by the wish to share something with the man. After all, a bound and gagged person couldn’t cause any harm, could he? It might even be satisfying, in a different sort of way, to torment Skinner with sex, not violence. But bound and helpless or not, Skinner had done something to Krycek, and it was no use denying it to himself.
So now he had two choices, and neither one of them would please his employers. He could end this unforeseen complication by killing Skinner tonight, or he could face the confusing attraction he felt for the man and give himself to him. When he heard the sound of the key in the lock, Krycek hadn’t made up his mind, which it was going to be. But he instantly sprang to attention. If Skinner had half a chance the initiative would be taken from him.
It was as easy as it had been the last time. Did Skinner actually welcome the attack? Krycek thought it was a definite possibility. If he had read Skinner correctly, he had never really allowed himself to fully enjoy sex. Certainly not with men, and if he really was as attracted to Krycek and Mulder as he seemed to be, Alex didn’t think Skinner could have been enjoying himself with his wife either. The thought of Skinner filled with lust for him, Alex, as usual made him sick, but this time, there was also a definite hint of excitement mixed with dread.
Krycek had managed to remedy the situation about experiencing sex with women when he came over to the US. Now his resume could have included a wide range of sexual techniques. Professionally, he still found himself with men most of the time, but privately he had rewarded himself with dozens, if not hundreds of beautiful women.
At times he had really felt fulfilled. That seemed to prove that he wasn’t gay, something that had been bothering him for years. The tricks always told him he liked what they were doing to him, and when he learned his trade better, he told them so himself. But he hadn’t. He knew that. And with women he had. So that should have been the end of it, right?
Wrong. There was still something missing. Not love, if there even was such a thing. Krycek wasn’t as picky as that. No, all it would take for him was to be with someone who cared just a little. Just enough not to hurt him, just enough to say his name. Enough to look him in the face, instead of just getting on with it.
Skinner hadn’t really looked at him with any kind of affection, but there had been something about the way he reacted that had hinted at something warmer than Krycek was used to. And the way his voice had sounded when Krycek had given himself away. Not that Krycek didn’t hate him for finding out about him.
So, for his own peace of mind, he should kill Skinner now and get it over with. Not reviving him to torment him before the end. His revenge had gone sour and he no longer thought he could go through with it, but at least he could set himself free. He didn’t need this complication. His life was hard enough as it was, without adding unrequited love to the score. But, he corrected himself, where was love in all this? He sure couldn’t see it, or hear it, or feel it.
Looking down on the motionless body of his victim, Krycek was trying to make a decision fast. If he decided to kill Skinner it would have to be now. He knew that if he gave Skinner time to come round, and give him that look again, Krycek, the highly professional assassin, wouldn’t be able to go through with it. That was reason enough.
If he couldn’t do his job, why would he even bother going on? No one would have any use for him anymore. Spying came cheaper than assassinations, strangely enough, since there was really no trick involved in killing. One minute the victim was there, the next he wasn’t breathing anymore. As simple as that. Then something struck him about the way Skinner looked. Wasn’t he a little bit too still?
Alex bent down and put the fingers of his good hand on Walter’s neck. It could be a trick, but if so Walter was very welcome to try. But there was no pulse. The chest wasn’t heaving and suddenly Alex knew there had never been any choice.
He heard a strangled noise coming from his own throat. That was the sound little Alexei had made when he had known Jelena wasn’t coming back. Later he had made that sound and others like it again and again, until he had learned to accept what he was forced to do. But he hadn’t heard it again since then. Not since he was a boy.
He started removing Skinner’s tie and began CPR. His hand pounded that strong, broad chest that he had snuggled up to so recently, and finally when he was about to give up, he was rewarded. There was the faintest movement and again he pressed his fingers to the side of the neck. Yes, finally there was a pulse.
He didn’t even bother carrying Walter to his bed, or the sofa that was closer in any case. Alex just slumped down over Walter and sat like that, until he saw the eyes open. He should get away now. He had failed, and if he didn’t move Walter would have him. Of course he could threaten to use the remote, but what use would it be? Walter knew as well as he did that that remote was useless unless someone was holding it.
Alex laughed at the thought of the irony of it all. He had come to kill Walter, or to have sex with him. But instead now he just might be killed himself. He was sure old stinky would see the humor in it, and maybe Walter would too. But the man on the floor wasn’t laughing.
“Alex, what are you doing here?”
“Failing at my job, that’s what. I came here to kill you. And now it seems I will finally know what it’s like to die, myself. Go on. It’s over. I couldn’t go through with it. But first do one thing for me.”
“Hold me. Kiss me if you like. Say my name, and look into my eyes. You don’t have to pretend you love me, and if you want you can fuck me first, but please do those things before you kill me.”
“I have one hell of a headache. Who could have knocked me out so completely? Some amateur by the feel of it. Not you, surely?”
“Ok, have a good laugh too. It’s on me. But I told you, I’ve lost it. And it’s all your fault. Mulder has this damned way of getting to you, and Scully too, but I didn’t think you would. You’re too much like those creeps back in Russia. Big, strong, ruthless. And all of them trying to seem like such macho men. But still they get off on fucking little scared kids. Boys preferably. And roughing them up afterwards. I could see you admiring my collection of scars the other day – Now you know where I got them. Not the tattoo, I take the blame for that one myself. I wanted to show them I wasn’t afraid of pain. So what? Big deal. The pain of a tattoo is nothing. There’s far worse. What are you waiting for, Walter?”
“Why did they send you to kill me?”
“You think I’m going to tell you anything about them? Now that I’m not even going to kill you? I may have lost it, but I’m not that stupid. Anyway, this was personal. Not business.”
“You wanted me dead? Ok, I can believe that. What’s stopping you then? I won’t be able to put up much of a fight.”
“But I’m sure you’d give it your best shot anyway?”
“Of course. Don’t expect me not to go down fighting, until the very end. So, now it’s your turn. Why aren’t you doing anything?”
“That’s right, turn the knife in the wound. It seems Vietnam trained professionals too. And all the time they were telling me that you were decadent capitalist swine with no stamina.”
“Sorry to disappoint you, comrade.”
“Oh, well, I’m constantly disappointing myself. But go on, won’t you do those things I asked you? This is the last time I’m going to ask. I won’t beg.”
“Hold you, kiss you, say your name, look into your eyes, did I get all that?”
“Perfectly. But you left out the part about fucking me first, if you feel like it. But there’s no doubt about that, is there? You want to alright. I could tell even the last time. What are you waiting for?”
“The catch, Alex. What’s the catch? You come here, bash my brains in, and then suddenly you sit here, teary-eyed, asking for love. What are you trying to pull?”
“Nothing. Is it so hard for you to just this once put aside your distrust for me and accept what I’m saying as the truth? You should appreciate it. You’re probably the first person ever to hear the truth from me. And even if you choose to ignore what I’m saying, why don’t you just accept what I’m offering? I can tell that you’re dying to get laid. When was the last time? You can’t even remember, can you?”
“So to summarize, you want affection, and I want sex, is that it?”
“Am I wrong?”
“I don’t understand.”
“What’s there to understand? You get what you want, and I can’t see that what I’m asking for is so difficult to give me. I’m not asking you to love me, trust me or forgive me. Just do those things. I can’t read your mind. This time I’m willing to settle for what I can see and hear.”
“Why don’t you help me up, and I’ll think about it.”
“Ok. But when you knock me out, don’t kill me until you’ve done what I ask for, please.”
“Knock you out? I just told you, I’m in no fit condition to do anything like that. If I were, do you think I’d ask you to help me up? But if you won’t, just move aside and I’ll try anyway.”
Krycek decided to trust just this once and gave Skinner his good hand, and pulled him to his feet. Skinner seemed to be telling the truth so far. There was no attempt to attack. He just slumped down on the sofa and gingerly felt his head. Krycek was angry with himself. How could he have screwed up that badly? It should be an easy matter to either kill a man with the first blow, or else simply knock him unconscious. Skinner had really shaken him.
So he got over to the bar and fixed Skinner a drink and when he’d put it down on the table, he returned and got himself one too. He would need it. Krycek was looking down on his hand with distaste. It was shaking. So he drunk his drink down in one big gulp. Skinner was taking his time, sipping his drink. Krycek knew that Skinner was most likely trying to clear his head enough for the attack.
But on the other hand, the man was obviously interested in the offer of sex, so he might not finish it until afterwards. Krycek hated himself for his weakness, but he still wanted this, more than anything. Even if a woman would have suited him better. Or maybe not. There was the way Mulder always made him feel. Was that the way a straight man would react?
He shrugged. It was too late to worry about that distinction now. Gay or straight, he just needed a little affection. And afterwards, if he was still alive and Skinner allowed him to leave, he would just go. To do what, he still hadn’t figured out.
Perhaps it would be best if he didn’t get out alive. That would solve his problem just as well as killing Skinner would have. Maybe he should ask Skinner to do him, right after doing him the other way. Krycek couldn’t help smiling at his own pun. Assassin humor, not for outsiders.
He sat down next to Skinner and turned his eyes on him. Krycek couldn’t understand what was so special about them, except for the fact that they were all that remained of Jelena’s Alexei. But he did know that they always had an effect on people, whether they wanted to or not. He didn’t think Skinner would be taken in like that, but then again maybe he would.
What did happen was that Skinner faced him and fixed him with a stare that made Krycek blush for just a second. Not in embarrassment. He was long since past embarrassment. That look was not only undressing his body, but stripping him all the way down into the soul he didn’t think he had. Was Skinner trying to find the truth in there? If so, good luck to him. Krycek had never been able to find truth anywhere. Particularly inside himself. But maybe the truth looked different to different people.
When Walter’s hand touched his face, he almost stopped breathing. Kill me or fuck me, it makes no difference. Just go on touching me a little longer. And it seemed he was granted his wish. Walter kept touching him, just his face and hair, and the hand. Alex grabbed one of Walter’s hands and held it to his mouth. He was kissing the palm of the hand in gratitude. Walter pressed two fingers inside his mouth, and Alex began sucking them.
They wriggled a little to get closer, then began a frantic struggle to get out of the clothes that kept them from getting even closer. But when Alex was undressed and Walter was wearing only his pants, he stopped. He took Alex’s hand and pulled him to his feet. So they weren’t going to use the sofa, after all. Well, the bed would be even better.
This time it was Walter who lay Alex down on the bed. Walter sat down on the side of the bed, looking down on the man he had hated for so long. It was ironic how one minute one man was captive and the other was his captor, then the next the situation was reversed.
Walter seemed to be turned on by being in control. It was ok, Alex could handle that. That was the way it worked most of the time, though sometimes he would get the odd submissive, who got off on a little harmless spanking by the young guy he was paying for it. As far as Alex was concerned it was just as kinky, but as long as he got paid, in money or in information he didn’t have to like it. Just do it.
Finally, Walter removed his pants. Alex, who had spent so much time in this apartment knew how particular Walter always was with his clothes, so it surprised him to see the pants being flung to the floor in complete indifference. He had always thought Walter just a bit anal, but he hadn’t known he was in any other sense of the word.
Well, he would find out soon enough. How he loved being touched by those strong hands. It was odd how gentle they could be, when they weren’t beating the crap out of him. They were almost as gentle as a woman’s hands. And they excited him just as much.
Walter lay down next to Alex on the bed and began touching him all over. His fingers made gentle contact with every single scar, but after an inquiring look at Alex, he left the prosthetic arm alone. It wasn’t important, but there was still some vanity left in Alex, no matter how little justified it might be. Now Walter was letting his mouth continue with the exploration.
God, that felt good, Alex thought to himself in Russian. With his eyes closed, he could just imagine that he was with a woman, but it didn’t make much difference. Here at last there was someone who was willing to treat him gently just for once. The women often did, but he could feel no affection from them. It was just a game to them too. But this – Even if Walter hated him, he hated him in a good way, it seemed to Alex. And perhaps it was better to have one good enemy than many bad friends.
All the time he was waiting to be called upon to do what he always did. What he was as expert at as he was at killing. But the moment didn’t come. Instead Walter was doing everything that needed to be done. Alex could just lie there and accept the pleasuring. Was this to be a gift only? No taking, just giving? For the time being, Alex was content to wait and see.
But he wasn’t prepared for what followed. Walter’s mouth closed on him, taking him in deeply. It might not be an expert blowjob, but Alex appreciated it anyway. And it seemed Walter was enjoying himself too. When Alex opened his eyes, reluctantly, he saw Walter bringing himself off. Alex moaned softly, not wanting to spoil the moment. And then he let himself go. At that point he really wasn’t thinking at all.
Afterwards he wondered how Walter had liked taking all that in his mouth. Swallowing it all, because Alex could see that he had. Alex had always hated the taste, but Walter didn’t seem bothered at all. Maybe that was the difference between them. One loving every second of it, the other only this once. Or maybe it was simply that he had been forced to start out too young.
When it was over, for both of them. Walter lay down next to Alex, his arms around him. He was going to keep his promise after all. That embrace was the sweetest thing Alex could remember ever experiencing. As far as he knew, Jelena hadn’t hugged him much, at least not from the time he was old enough to remember. None of his tricks ever felt inclined to stay afterwards and cuddle. But then again, Alex wouldn’t have been in the mood for it anyway. Or in any condition to appreciate it.
But this was different. Walter held him close, looked into his eyes, and then – and this was what Alex found hardest to believe – he whispered his name. He whispered it over and over again, and it didn’t sound as if he had to force himself all that much. There was the hint of an emotion in it that told Alex Walter had loved this as much as he had. Maybe even more. Alex found himself furiously blinking away a few tears. He had given himself away in too many ways already.
In a little while, when Walter was ready again, Alex would return the favor. It was only fair after what he had just been given. But not just yet. He would allow himself to stay like this just for a moment more.
But when he woke up again, there was a faint light coming through the windows, and Walter was fast asleep, still with his arms around him. Alex found that his head was actually resting on Walter’s shoulder. When he moved he discovererd that Walter was so deeply asleep, that it was easy to disentangle himself. It was time to go. His mind was strangely at peace. He wouldn’t make any plans for the future right now.
Before he left he just bent down and kissed Walter lightly on the mouth. Even fast asleep, Walter returned his kiss. For the first time another man’s tongue in his mouth didn’t make Alex sick. But he couldn’t stay. It was time he was away from here. He needed to think over where the new developments left him.
No matter how pleasant the night had been spent, he was still who he was. Alex Krycek. He was still employed by the men Skinner, Mulder and Scully were working against. Nothing had changed really, he thought bitterly. He was still the assassin, the spy, the traitor.
But now he knew that somehow he must avoid hurting the people he loved. Yes, he finally could admit to himself that tinged with hate and bitterness though his feelings were, he did love them all. These three people who should have been his enemies, who still were. Who says you can’t love your enemy? Apparently it worked just fine.
It was bitter to admit to himself that Mulder and Scully would most likely never return his feelings. But it seemed Skinner did. Somehow. Or maybe he too, loved and hated in the same strange mixture. Either way, this was different from the cold indifference that Krycek met every day of his life. At work or privately.
He hadn’t made up his mind yet, whether he would return to Skinner again or not. It would be unwise to do so, but it might be impossible to resist. For now he had to go, no matter how he would have loved to stay beside Skinner on the bed. Stay and never leave his side. But that would be impossible. Whatever else he might be Krycek was not a fool, and he especially didn’t believe in fooling himself.
As always, he sneaked out undetected. He kept to the shadows of the back streets, and no one saw or heard him pass. It was as if he didn’t exist. But at least to one person he knew he did exist. And thinking of that man helped him on his way.