Author: KinkyGrrl Diane (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Keywords: Mulder POV, M/K, implied slash, h/c
Spoilers: As if anybody cares about spoilers by now...
Archive: Ask, please.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Chris Carter and Them, yadda yadda. No copyright infringement intended, I write for love and feedback, not money.
Summary: Mulder has finally managed to catch Krycek. He reflects on all the history between them, and tries to decide what to do.
Dedication: To Peja, for coming up with such a lovely challenge. She wanted a story that started with the word "Broken", which got my muse all stirred up.
Broken promises. Broken dreams. The traitor lies unconscious on a dirty floor.
I had once thought to find in him the partner that completed me, my equal in intellect, my matchmate in belief. I had thought us a team in tandem, pulling eagerly in our traces toward the truth.
And then one morning I had awoken to discover the empty space beside me, the leather cut, a pathetic truncated reminder of what had once bound him to me. Or me to him.
He stirs, those beautiful green eyes still hidden beneath long lashed lids. His hand twitches, seemingly at random, against the cuff that binds it behind his back, to his belt loops, but I know that there is nothing unplanned about anything he does.
Always in control. Always one step ahead of us. The arm he lost in Russia is proof that he can be caught by misfortune, but he has never allowed it to slow him down. Not that I can tell, anyway.
Was he always like this? Perhaps. I saw in him what I wanted to see. Now I know that he can never be truly broken to harness. His life is erratic, volatile. Violent. The rules and regulations that bind my life must have driven him crazy. Sometimes I hope that that's why he left. That it was an impulse born of desperation, and not a planned betrayal.
His lashes flutter, only a fraction, but I know that he is watching from beneath them. Analyzing, assessing, planning. He's never at a loss, never hesitates. It's one of the things I always admired the most about him, the ability to make a decision while balancing on the blade of a knife. How could I help it but admire, when I live my life half-frozen in regret and uncertainty.
Once I thought to pity him. I called him a contemptible lackey, a dog who let himself be owned by men with poison in their souls. My own soul was filled with rage and disappointment. And loss. It was many years before I could face that bitter truth.
There was a brief moment when I lost myself, and he gave it back to me. Delivered with the soft brush of his lips and the hard outline of a gun still warm from his body. And a gift I had never thought to receive from him. Truth.
I waited for him to return after that, but he never did. Or, at least, not in the way that I had dreamed of, after that night. Broken dreams. No promises, that time. We both knew what his promises were worth.
His breathing is measured and slow. If I didn't know him so well I'd be fooled into believing he was still asleep. His feet twitch as well, testing their bindings. He could run without his hands, but he is hobbled now and must stay to face the consequences of all that he has done.
I touch his face, and he goes very still. He knows, now, that he has been found out. His eyes open reluctantly and in them I see no fear. Only…weariness and pain.
"Hello, Mulder," he says. His mouth twists up in a bitter smile. "I guess I should have checked out my buyer's references a little more thoroughly."
"Wouldn't have done you any good. He was as legit as they come. Skinner's got him in custody now." I smile down at him. "He was the one who wasn't careful," I tell him, knowing that it will give him some degree of comfort, knowing that it was someone else's mistake that brought him low and not one of his own. "We found out about this meeting when we questioned him last night."
His eyes do a quick, nervous circuit of the room. "Where is he?"
I know who he's referring to. If he was in Skinner's hands he'd already be drugged and broken by now. "He doesn't know. Scully and I did the questioning. We just handed the suspect over to him and left out a few salient points in our report." Scully wasn't pleased at all. She wanted me to come in with a full team, kevlar and automatic weapons. I think she was hoping Krycek would be shot while trying to resist arrest.
"Okay, Mulder. I'm sure you know how much I appreciate that. If you take me into custody I'm a dead man. What do you want?"
What do I want? Just another question that I can't answer. You'd think I'd be used to them by now, but I could almost hate him for asking it. I want what I can't have. I can't have what I want.
He waits, a breathless stillness that tells me my answer is somehow important to him, beyond the obvious relevance to his own survival. I can't let myself think about what that means.
"I want…" I want you… "…you to stop running around killing people, Krycek. If I let you go I'll be responsible for every man you kill from this day on. I want you to promise you'll get out…now. Break away from them." Come back to me. "Just stop. That's all. I want your promise, Alex."
Something dies in his eyes, and as I see it...I wait for the lie. I'll know it's a lie, and he'll know I know, but it will give me an excuse to do what I want…no, need…to do. He's the liar, and he's the killer and we both know that sometimes things are necessary but I can never do what he does. I can't be what he is.
His mouth opens, his lips preparing to shape the words…then he falls silent. "I can't," he whispers. "I'm sorry, Mulder. I won't give that to you any more." His eyes sink into me, dark with pity for us both.
No more options. No more excuses. My decision.
We've stepped away from the dreams and the half truths and the un-lies and I stand naked in the slipstream. Will I choose to clothe myself in righteousness, or in the squalor of my own selfish desire?
"Okay, Krycek. I guess you've made your decision. My turn."
His eyes pierce me with their goodbye.
Then I take the key from my pocket and drop it on the ground beside him, and walk away.
The sun beats down on the back of my neck like a fiery promise. The flames of hell must burn brightly for those like Krycek and I. Those who have once walked the path of light, but have fallen from grace. I put my hands on the hood of my car, ignoring the searing heat of the sun-kissed metal, and peer at my own reflection on the polished surface. Somehow, I was hoping that something would show on my face. A new hardness. A stony coldness in my eyes. Nothing. I look as I have always looked. Nothing has changed.
That's the worst of it. Nothing has changed. I've only come to admit the truth to myself.
And then something does. The picture changes. Something is added.
His hand is on my shoulder. I wait to feel a gun pressed into my back, but there is only the heat of his body against mine. "Alex?"
"You win, Mulder." His breath stirs the fine hairs of my neck. "You win." I feel his head laid against my back, the stubble of his unshaved cheek against my neck. "You get my promise. For as long as I'm alive to keep it."
Somehow, this time it feels like the truth.
I win. It's all I asked for, but for some reason my victory tastes flat. Like a prime cut of steak without any seasoning. I want more. "Alex?"
"Come home with me?"
He goes very still, then another soft puff of breath. "You sure, Mulder?"
Finally. A question that I know the answer to. "Yeah. I'm sure."
"Okay, then." His lips brush across my skin, just below the hairline. "Take me home, Mulder."
I turn and claim his lips right there, not caring who might be watching. He meets my hunger with his own. Another truth. Another gift.
Alex Krycek's eyes are green and wild, shining with bright promises and anticipation. I take hold of them with both hands, and lead my lover home.
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