|Primary Characters:||Krycek, Scully, Skinner, Mulder|
|Warning:||some strong language, adult situations.|
|Description:||At a particularly difficult time in Krycek’s life, he dreams himself away to another life. The life of someone he knows well.|
Alex Krycek was on his way home from work. If he was lucky, his partner and lover, Dana Scully would be there already. But autopsies tended to drag on almost indefinitely it seemed to Krycek. Of course, he was merely an agent, whereas Scully was also a doctor. Not that he was just an average FBI agent.
To his colleagues he was known as Creepy Krycek. The weirdo who believed in little green men. It all stemmed from a disturbing incident in his childhood. One night his mother had disappeared. He had never seen her again. As he grew up he had become obsessed with finding her. In the academy, he met Scully. From then on things were never the same.
With the help of his lovely redheaded partner in all things, Krycek had been able to direct all his energies into reopening an obscure department of the Bureau, called the X files. In the years they had been running the X files together, their ratio of solved cases had been significantly higher than in other more normal departments. Of course, there was also a downside. There was no denying that their reputations had suffered.
Krycek felt guilty about ruining Scully’s solid reputation as a fine agent and a clear-headed scientist. But she always assured him that working with him, and secretly living with him, made up for any difficulties they might face at work.
He parked the car in the street outside his apartment and looked up to see if the light was on in the window. It wasn’t. So she wasn’t home yet. Krycek took the elevator up, and unlocked his door. It had been a long day, and it would be nice to get a shower and change into something more comfortable. If he had known when Scully would show up, he could have called for takeout, but as it was, he decided to just grab a snack out of the refrigerator on his way to the bathroom.
When he emerged from the shower ten minutes later, dripping wet and slightly aroused from fantasizing about sharing the shower with his lovely partner, he realized someone was standing over by the window, pointing a gun at him. With a sinking feeling Krycek recognized the tall handsome stranger. Those hazel eyes had bored into him before. For a brief period of time during Scully’s abduction, they had been partners. It had been a shock to discover the betrayal hiding behind those eyes. And now the man had the nerve to break into his home.
“What do you want, Mulder? I have nothing to say to you.”
“No? Well, I have a thing or two to tell you.”
Mulder treated him to a very intimate stare all the way from Krycek’s dark hair down to his feet and back up again. Then that generous mouth curled into a smile filled with innuendo.
“I guess you were expecting someone else.”
Krycek felt a blush creep all over his face. He knew exactly what Mulder was referring to. Why should he still be feeling aroused, faced with this man who was his enemy?
“Get to the point, will you?”
“But that wouldn’t be as much fun, now would it? Why don’t you make yourself comfortable? On the bed or on that couch over there. We have all night.”
Krycek didn’t like the sound of that one bit.
“I’m fine. You sit down if you want.”
“No, I think I’ll stay over here. And in case you’re thinking about reaching for your gun. Don’t, ok? I won’t kill you – at least not this time. But I won’t hesitate to put a bullet through your leg. And stay away from the phone too. Three might be company but tonight I think it would be a crowd. This is between you and me. We’ll play doctor some other night. That’s a promise.”
“Cut the crap, Mulder. What do you want?”
“What kind of attitude is that? I remember a time when you were much more civil to me.”
“Yeah? That was before you turned out to be a traitor and a -“
“That’s a harsh word. I prefer to think of myself as a survivor. You shouldn’t be so quick to judge people.”
“What do you want, Mulder?”
“I’ll get to that in a minute.”
“No. You’ll get to it now.”
For a second it looked as if Mulder might take offense, then he shrugged and treated Krycek to one of those infuriatingly flirtatious smiles.
“Whatever works for you, Alex. I have some information for you. About a man we both know.”
“This is boring me, Fox.”
Now there was a sharp glint in those deep hazel eyes, but Krycek wasn’t afraid of Mulder, so he stared back unintimidated.
“A man who doesn’t know tobacco can be hazardous to your health.”
“Oh. Well, what about him?”
“I think you should show a little more gratitude, Alex, or I might decide to rethink my generous offer.”
“Gratitude? What did you have in mind? What’s the price tag, Fox?”
“Nothing. For now. Do you want to hear it or not?”
“Ok. Tell me what it is you have on the Smoking Man.”
“I think you and your lovely partner, at work and at play, need to watch out. He’s been concerned with certain discoveries you’ve made lately. If he decides to do something about you -“
“So what else is new? I hope you’re not expecting me to share information about those certain discoveries.”
“Please. You think any of that is news to me? The Smoker knows all about it as well, but that doesn’t stop him from having objections.”
“Is that it? The information you came to offer me?”
“You shouldn’t underestimate this man and the people he works for. Watch your back, Alex.”
“How touching. You seem awfully concerned about me. Why? What are you after this time, Fox?”
“What would you say if I told you I want you?”
“I’d say you need to wake up. Are you saying you want me?”
“Not tonight. What if I told you I want your lovely partner?”
“Fox, this is getting tedious. If you don’t have anything else to tell me, why don’t you just leave? I’m busy.”
Again, Krycek felt that infuriatingly familiar gaze travel over his body. He couldn’t stop himself from blushing. It was as if the towel didn’t hide a thing. What was it about this man that got under his skin so?
“Yes, I can see that. But unless you’re more pathetic than I think, you can hardly get busy all on your own. Are you sure you don’t want me to stay and – give you a hand?”
“No, thanks. But thanks for the offer.”
If the sarcasm didn’t work, Krycek would try something else. He’d really had it with this visitor. And it seemed the visitor had had enough as well. Mulder stretched his long slender body and got up.
“Looking forward to it.”
“Cynicism is out. Didn’t you know? It went out of fashion some time in the late 90’s.”
“I can live with that.”
“I sure hope so, Alex. Remember what I said. Don’t antagonize the Smoker too much, or you’ll regret it.”
“I heard you the first time.”
This time, Mulder finally turned and made for the door. It was just Krycek’s luck that Scully chose exactly that moment to arrive. If there was anything Krycek hated more than having to deal with Mulder it was having Mulder deal with Scully.
He knew she loved him, but that Mulder guy was awfully attractive. At least Krycek guessed women found him appealing. It was a little difficult for him to tell, especially since his opinion of the guy was colored by the treachery and the betrayals.
When the sound of a hard slap echoed from the direction of the front door, Krycek grinned contentedly. Of course, Scully took no nonsense from anyone. Thirty seconds later, the door slammed and she was in the living room with him. She looked as if she was in a tolerably good mood.
“What was that all about?”
“I could ask you the same thing.”
For the third time that day, Krycek felt an invasive stare travel across his body. And for the third time, he blushed vividly. He knew she didn’t think anything had happened between him and Mulder, but he also knew that she was most likely going to give him a hard time about it for days. It was all part of their personal jargon.
“You think I invited him? He was in here when I came out of the shower. Armed. I had to listen to some warning of his, before he finally decided he’d had enough and left. So that brings me to the little altercation between the two of you.”
“Oh, that. Mulder kissed me, and since I hadn’t encouraged anything of the kind, I made my feelings known.”
“You slapped his face? I wish I could have seen that.”
“Of course I slapped his face. What else did you expect? Do you turn the other cheek when a guy kisses you?”
“Since that’s a little outside of my experiences, I’d have to give you a hypothetical answer. No. I guess slapping sounds about the right response.”
She gave a little shrug as if to say, why state the obvious? As if the matter was dealt with, she put down her briefcase and opened her laptop.
“You’re not going to work?”
“Yes, it does look that way, doesn’t it? It’s my report. I always feel it’s best to get it typed in as soon as possible. It wouldn’t hurt you to adopt that policy either.”
“I was hoping we could have dinner together.”
“Alex, I’m sorry. I had a snack on the way home. This really needs to be done. Are you really disappointed?”
“Oh, don’t give me that look. Like a reproachful cat. I’ll tell you what, I’ll finish this as fast as I can and then we can – Do you have any suggestions?”
The look in her eyes told Krycek what kind of suggestions she’d prefer tonight, and he began to relax. Mulder’s visit was fading a little in his mind. No need to get all worked up about the guy. He was like rain. You might not like it but you might as well get used to it. It wasn’t as if it was going to stop raining just because you didn’t like it. Pretending to misunderstand, Krycek smiled innocently at Scully.
“Ok. There’s a new episode of Star Trek Voyager at 10. We could watch that. I know I always -“
“Program the VCR, Alex, or you’ll sleep on the couch tonight. That’s a promise.”
“Aye, captain. Who do you want me to be tonight? Chakotay? Tom Paris?”
“I’ll let you know later. But you’d better work on the salute. Otherwise it will be the brig for you.”
Next morning they split up to arrive quite innocently at the office one by one. They didn’t think anyone at FBI headquarters had suspected. Of course, everyone liked to pretend they knew something, but Krycek was willing to bet that no one had a clue. Certainly not their boss, A D Skinner. The man was quiet, strict and extremely hard to read. But their working relationship was functioning ok, and that was what counted after all.
Someone had left a sealed envelope on the floor outside their office door. Scully bent over to pick it up, presenting Krycek with a very appealing view of her rear end. He silently hoped that she wouldn’t guess what he was doing, standing around behind her for so long. She had a way of making him pay for every little thing. Not that he minded. It made him love her even more. He didn’t think anyone had a lover who was tougher than mrs Creepy.
Now she had unlocked the door and proceeded over to his desk, where she dumped the envelope. Was she going to let him look at it?
“What’s keeping you so long? My ass isn’t on display anymore, so you can come in.”
Shit. She had guessed. Now there’d be some grovelling tonight at her place or his, whatever she’d decided on. And she wouldn’t let him know until moments before he left work. Oh, well, he’d cross that bridge when he came to it. She slowly and deliberately opened the envelope and scanned through the contents.
“What is it?”
“Some very interesting evidence in the case we’ve been working for the last couple of weeks. Sound familiar?”
“Yes. Let me see it.”
“No. You have old reports to type out, from the past month or so. If Skinner asks, how can I tell him we’re making progress with the mountain of paper work you’ve accumulated? Stay here, and I should be back in plenty of time for lunch, which by the way, you’re buying.”
“Ok. Italian? Chinese?”
“Mm. Or Indonesian.”
That would make it necessary for him to go straight across town, which was undoubtedly her intention. But fine. He loved their lunches together down here. It was almost as if they were married. Without thinking he began rummaging through his top desk drawer, looking for the rumpled up paper bag of cashew nuts, he knew he kept there somewhere.
“If you’re looking for the bag of cashew nuts, I finished those last night. Are you that hungry already, Alex? Maybe you should run up to the candy machine on the first floor. Right, I’m going. See you at lunch.”
And she was gone, leaving only a hint of her perfume in the air. He decided to leave the candy bars alone. Instead, he sighed and dutifully got on with the paper work for nearly two hours, before he received a very interesting email from his slightly unusual friend Frohike.
This wasn’t work-related strictly speaking, but it dealt with some fascinatingly farfetched occurances in Louisiana. Voodoo again? Or something else? Either way, it promised far more fun than sitting around the office, like a desk clerk.
He could drive over to Frohike’s place and spend an hour or so of absorbing discussions before he had to go over to the Budapest and get the lunch for his partner. Or the Batavian House. She had said either would do.
Personally, he’d go for Indonesian, but she would have anticipated that, and since she preferred Hungarian, it might be safest to stick with that. Today. When she’d forgotten about the ass staring incident he might be able to get away with buying his own preference for lunch.
But the lunch hour came and went, and he had to nibble on his Hungarian lunch on his own. Not until around 4.30 did the call finally come, and it wasn’t from Scully. It was from his direct superior, Walter Skinner.
“I have just received a phone call regarding your partner, agent Scully.”
A sickening feeling of dread gripped him. What if something had happened to her? But he forced himself to act the way his boss expected him to.
“Yes? What’s happened to her?”
“She’s been arrested. For breaking and entering a medical facility, and once on the premises, removing certain important test results. However, what’s far worse, she’s been involved in a shooting, leaving one man dead.”
“I don’t have the details yet, but I want you to drive over to the precinct where she’s being held and look into the matter. The Bureau will naturally see to any formalitites such a posting a bond and so on.”
“Yes, sir. Right away.”
“What sort of case are you working right now? Please tell me it’s a legitimate case and not one of your hair-brained personal stunts again.”
“Well, sir -“
“That’s what I was afraid of. I don’t want to know. Get going. I’ll see both of you in my office afterwards.”
Seeing Dana behind bars was a shock. He had managed to end up in trouble a couple of times, forcing her to bail him out, but he’d never imagined he would need to see his lover locked up with whores and drug dealers.
Not that he needed to worry. The criminals in her cell were keeping a respectful distance. He wondered how she’d managed that, when the cops must have taken her gun away. But it was a fact that the women were looking away from her, almost submissively. He wished he could have that effect on people at least once in a while.
When he walked in he was greeted by a cacophony of catcalls, whistles and various types of propositions. If his errand here hadn’t been so important, it would have been interesting to at least consider some of those offers. Hypothetically.
Now his partner made a low noise. And as if by magic all the women shut up. Apparently, he was off-limits to them. That filled him with pride. She cared enough to stake a claim to him in front of a room full of hardened criminals.
The officer on duty unlocked the cell door and let Scully out. She sailed through as if she’d merely been conducting an interview with a suspect. Apparently, the FBI badge he’d shown on arrival had done the trick. He would be allowed to take her away. In the relative privacy of the parking lot, he turned to her for an explanation.
“What’s going on?”
“Didn’t Skinner fill you in?”
“He said he had almost no information at this point. But I know you’ve been involved in a shooting, resulting in a death.”
Her face fell slightly. As Krycek knew far too well, killing was never easy, even in self-defence. By now they had reached his car, and he unlocked the door and let her in. Now in the comparative isolation inside, he took her hand and squeezed it reassuringly. Whatever was going on they would face it together.”
“It was a clean shooting, Alex. The man pulled a gun on me, didn’t identify himself and I had to fire. It was self defence. And he wasn’t wearing a uniform either, so it couldn’t have been a security guard.”
“I see. What did you find?”
“I didn’t find anything. That letter had to be a hoax. The facility I came to appears to have nothing to do with our case.”
“But Skinner said you’d removed certain test results and -“
“What? No. I didn’t find anything. There was no time for that. The minute I walked in there this guy was aiming his weapon at me. It all happened in less than five minutes.”
“Oh. Well, don’t worry about it. We’ll get through it somehow.”
“I don’t like this, Krycek. It seems I was set up. Maybe we were getting closer than we think on that other matter.”
“That’s what I’m thinking too. Ok, let’s get back to headquarters. We’re not going to find any answers out here.”
But by the time they arrived in their boss’ office it turned out that the matter was far more serious than they’d been able to imagine. Now there was evidence to say that firstly, the man had identified himself as a security guard, and secondly that he and Scully had a history together. Skinner stared intently into Scully’s face as he recounted that part of the evidence he’d been presented with.
“That’s not true, sir. I’d never seen that man in my life. And he never said a word. He just pointed the gun at me.”
“I see. You’re saying you’ve never met this Jack Rainer?”
Scully’s face drained of all color.
“No, sir. I have met someone by that name, but that wasn’t him. I swear.”
“Are you sure?”
“Think again. This man must have changed over the years since you last saw him.”
“Of course I’m sure. There was not the least bit of resemblance.”
Krycek wanted to ask who this Rainer guy was, but he realized this wasn’t the time or the place.
“I see. What about that material you allegedly removed from the scene?”
“I did no such thing, sir. There was no time. I never found anything, because I didn’t get any further than the corridor outside the lab. Secondly, the police showed up when I was in the parking lot outside.”
“That’s odd. This report says the man was found inside the lab.”
“That’s impossible, sir. The shooting took place in the corridor, and that’s where he fell. He must have died instantly, so there’s no way he could have moved on his own.”
Now Krycek remembered something that he had found odd right away.
“If agent Scully was alone with this man, how can anyone claim he did identify himself?”
“Because there’s a witness. A man by the name of Dan Walker.”
“There was no one there except the two of us. As far as I could tell. May I ask what sort of test results I’m supposed to have made off with?”
“The lab appears to have been making experiments that were supposed to help women bear children despite serious infertility problems.”
Again there was a horrified silence. It all fitted together, far too well. Only Krycek knew how devastated his partner had been when she discovered that she was unable to bear children. And he was willing to bet she’d been involved with this Rainer guy at one time. Maybe in med school.
He intended to ask her later, but there was no doubt in his mind that this had been engineered from out of the shadows. And he was fairly sure the Smoker was behind it all. Maybe Snakeboy was right. It wasn’t fair. He was the one they should go after, not Dana. But he wouldn’t stand for it. He’d get her out of this somehow.
They decided to go home after all this. There was too much for them to discuss and work suddenly seemed very unimportant.
“I know. Of course you didn’t do it. I believe you and I’m sure Skinner does too. But we’ll have to find some answers fast.”
“What about that guy? Rainer?”
“Yes. We were involved in back in med school. But I swear, the man I shot wasn’t anything remotely like Rainer. Rainer was this blond German type of guy. Big, blond, with blue eyes. This guy was dark, shorter and thinner. And he was older. Rainer is about my age. This one was maybe late 40’s.”
“Ok. Tomorrow, we’ll have the autopsy report, most likely. You take a look at that and I’ll ask around a bit. See what comes up. In the meantime, I’ll get you home. I’ll stay with you. You shouldn’t be alone right now.”
“Alex, I really appreciate your support.”
“Don’t mention it. I know you’d do the same for me.”
That night they didn’t get much sleep. Krycek could see his lover tossing and turning until daylight came through the window. After that, he must have dozed off. He had a dream about seeing the prison doors swinging shut behind Scully with a very final sound to them. It felt as if he’d never see her again.
And it was all his fault. If he hadn’t had this obsession with finding his mother, none of this would be happening to her, and nothing of what had befallen her in the past either. She would still have her sister, she wouldn’t be barren and she would never had had to fight for her life against the cancer. The sound of a phone ringing woke him up seemingly only minutes after he’d closed his eyes.
Amazingly, his partner seemed to be asleep still. He hurriedly lifted the receiver, even though he knew she didn’t like him to do that. It was their boss. Krycek cursed under his breath. If Skinner suspected – But apparently, their boss found it perfectly natural that he should be spending the night at his partner’s place during such a crisis.
“You’d better come over to my office right away. New evidence has come to light. Someone’s been hurrying the autopsy along and I’ve got the report on my desk now. Agent Scully is in serious trouble, I don’t mind telling you.”
“I see. We’ll be right there, sir.”
This was a nightmare. In his worst dreams he could never have imagined anything like this happening to the woman he loved.
He shook her shoulder gently. It took her so long to wake up, he was beginning to worry that the cancer had come back. But finally her eyes opened.
“That was Skinner on the phone just now. He said some new evidence had emerged. We need to go right away. I’ll make you some coffee.”
“Thanks. I’ll just get into the shower.”
Half an hour later, they were in the car, on their way to FBI headquarters. The drive didn’t take as long as it usually did. Not at this time of the morning. It was barely 6.30 and the worst rush hour traffic wouldn’t be until later.
Soon they were standing in front of A D Skinner’s desk, feeling a little like two kids facing the principal after some silly stunt. But this time the consequences would be far worse. Skinner opened a brown manila folder that was lying on his desk and picked out a photo. He gave it to Scully, never letting his eyes leave her face.
“Ever seen that man before?”
Krycek could see his partner’s face lose all trace of color. He knew her well enough to be able to tell she was badly shaken.
“This is impossible, sir. The man I shot wasn’t Jack Rainer. I swear to you it wasn’t. But this is Jack. How did he die?”
She already knew the answer to that one, but Krycek knew she had to ask anyway.
“By a gunshot wound to the chest.”
“How is this possible? It must be a conspiracy. Someone must be trying to incriminate me.”
“Yes, it does seem that way.”
Krycek took a quick look at his boss. What a relief. He believed them.
“What about your current work? Any reason why anyone would want to do this?”
“Yes, sir. Remember the case we’ve been working for the past month or so?”
“The one about the genetically engineered children? Yes. You think that’s connected somehow?”
“We were making progress. Someone might have been rattled enough to try something like this.”
Skinner was silent, as if he was thinking the matter through carefully before replying. Then he appeared to come to a decision.
“I will look into this myself. In the meantime, I’m afraid there’s a warrant out for your arrest. It’s only a matter of time before you will be taken into custody. That’s why I felt it best to bring you here this early. Agent Scully, I will do whatever I can to get you out of this – mess. For now, you’ll just have to trust in the system. Agent Krycek -“
“You and I will work together on this.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Skinner had been right. As Krycek and Scully passed through the corridor on their way to the elevator, two police officers approached, identified themselves and faced Scully.
“Dana Scully? We have a warrant for your arrest.”
“On what charges?”
“Murder one, and breaking and entering. We must ask you to come with us. Turn over your weapon, slowly.”
There was a wild look in Scully’s eyes that Krycek didn’t like at all. She looked like a cornered animal. But he was helpless. He was forced to stand by, while his partner and lover was taken away. Would he ever see her again? He knew just as well as she did, what fate awaited any kind of law enforcement agent when he or she crossed the line to the other side. There were people inside the prison walls who would kill her just for the fun of it.
When she was gone, he changed his mind about going down into the basement. Instead he went out into the parking lot and drove off to his own apartment. He wasn’t very observant. The circumstances were too grave for that. So perhaps it wasn’t such a surprise that he had a visitor waiting for him. Deja vu. There he was again, the arrogant bastard. What did Snakeboy want with him now?
“Hello, Alex. You’re looking awfully glum.”
“I’m not in the mood.”
“That’s understandable, and believe me, I’m not here to play with you today, Alex. Though it might be fun.”
“Then what do you want?”
“To help you.”
“Yeah, right. Why would you want to help me? Get to the point. I want to be alone.”
“Ok. I’ll be brief. Here. Take this.”
Mulder held out a sealed envelope to him. That reminded Krycek unpleasantly of the envelope sent to Scully yesterday morning. For a second he was filled with blind rage. This bastard must have sent the first envelope to set Scully up, now he was offering some kind of solution.
Next thing he knew he’d be so deep in Snakeboy’s debt he’d be lucky if sexual favors was all that was expected from him. Or maybe this was another trap. With both of them put away for good, or rather until some felon managed to finish them off, the X files would be closed down. Their enemies would be safe.
“You. You were the one who sent that information to her and set her up.”
“Slow down a bit , Alex. I didn’t send that envelope. The Smoking Man did. I told you, the two of you have managed to rattle him. But if you take this information and turn it over to your boss, this whole situation will go away.”
“And if there really is something in there that could help Scully, why would you want to help me? What’s it going to cost me?”
“I told you before. Nothing.”
“Excuse me for not believing in the kindness of your heart.”
“Me? Kind? It’s sweet of you to say so, but that’s not the point here. Maybe you’ll understand better if I tell you I’ve got a score to settle with that old cancer growth myself.”
Krycek stared at Mulder in disbelief. This really was too good to be true. He felt as if he was contemplating making a pact with the devil, but if Mulder was for once telling the truth about wanting to pay the Smoker back, then maybe, just maybe there was a solution to his problem.
“Do you want it or not, Alex? Time is running out. I have someplace I have to be.”
Krycek couldn’t believe he was doing this. But he held out his hand for the envelope.
“I didn’t hear you. Would you like to speak up?”
“Yes, I want it.”
“I knew it. Well, what do we say?”
“If you think I’ll grovel you’re sorely mistaken.”
“How about pretty please at least?”
“Forget it, Fox. I’m not going to beg.”
“Ok. Just say thanks really nicely and we have deal.”
“Now we’ll shake on it as well.”
“Don’t push it, Mulder.”
“Whatever. I’m in a hurry. See you soon, Alex.”
“Not if I see you first.”
“What was that, Alex?”
“I thought so.”
Krycek couldn’t believe he might be holding Scully’s salvation in his hand. But he wouldn’t question his luck. Impatiently, he tore open the envelope and quickly scanned the pages. Yes, this really seemed to be what he was looking for. He grabbed the phone and called Skinner. Five minutes later he was in his car, heading back to headquarters. There was no time to lose.
Incredibly, Mulder really did seem to have come through for them. It was a funny feeling and a disturbing one to owe Snakeboy such a debt. But when Krycek went to pick his partner up, he pushed back those thoughts to the back of his mind. She was once again safe and with him. No matter what he’d have to do for Mulder would be worth it. No price was too high.