Heart, We Will Forget Him
by Emily Dickinson
Heart, we will forget him,
You and I, tonight!
You must forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.
When you have done pray tell me,
Then I, my thoughts, will dim.
Haste!--'lest while you're lagging
I may remember him!
Roy polished a glass, watching the tall, rumpled man sitting at the end of the bar. He'd been polishing this same glass for the last ten minutes. Maybe he should put it down and start another one before he worked his way through it.
There were three shot glasses lined up on the bar before the lanky man with the hazel eyes. He was toying with a fourth, turning it slowly around and around, staring into the amber liquid like it was a scrying glass and he was seeing something particularly interesting reflected in it. He'd been here for the last two hours, and the bartender had the uneasy feeling that this wasn't the first bar he'd visited.
He hadn't seemed even a little drunk when he'd come in. But then again, he hadn't said a hell of a lot. He'd just gone to his seat, taken off his coat, and ordered in the fewest words necessary to get his meaning across. "Tequila." The bartender had set it up. While he was getting out the salt and lime, the guy had slammed it back, rapping the shot glass back down on the bar.
Roy had stood there with a salt shaker in one hand and a lime wedge in the other, feeling a little foolish. The guy had tapped his nail on the empty glass and said, "Another." Roy had put the accompaniments on a cocktail napkin in front of the customer, gotten the bottle of Jose Cuervo, and refilled the glass. (Remembering this, Roy winced. That meant that was the fifth tequila shooter the guy was working on. Shit.) Again the guy had ignored the fixings and tossed back the shot. Then he'd looked into the glass again and said, in a clear voice,"Heart, we will forget him."
Roy had resisted the urge to wiggle a finger in his ear. "Beg pardon?"
"Heart, we will forget him, you and I tonight."
"Oh-kay." Mavis had come to the other end of the bar with a drink order, and he had been happy to go fill it. Good, a daiquiri and a pina colada. Something to keep him occupied. Mavis had leaned on the bar as he worked, and she had observed the man at the end of the bar with blatant curiosity.
They had mostly regulars, very few random customers, so a new one was interesting. "Hey Roy, whyn't ya talk him into taking a booth or a table? I could use the tip." She had studied him, taking in the lean, athletic body and handsome, melancholy face. "Wouldn't mind tryin' to work a good tip out of him."
Roy had slid him a quick glance. "You'd be wasting your time, Mave." "Oh?" She had adjusted her neckline, exposing another half inch of cleavage. "What makes you say that?"
"Just take my word for it."
When he had set up the third shot about a half hour later, the guy had held it up as if in a toast and said, "You must forget the warmth he gave, I will forget the light."
Roy had been torn. He'd had plenty of guys cry on his bar because their wives or girlfriends had done them wrong. *This isn't so different, is it?* He had looked at the guy's eyes. *Nah, not so different. Hurt is hurt.* So he had said, "You know, the alcohol isn't going to solve anything."
He had looked up, studying him. Finally he had said, "Maybe not, but it makes an excellent temporary anesthesia." He had gulped the shot. "When you have done, pray tell me, then I my thoughts will dim." He had held up one finger, as if making a point. "Haste! 'lest while you're lagging I may remember him." Finally he had picked up the lime wedge and squeezed it into his mouth, grimacing at the tartness. "Emily Dickinson."
Something had sparked in Roy's mind, some dim memory from high school. "You mean the 'I'm nobody' dame?"
The guy had blinked, like he was surprised, and the ghost of a smile had curved the corners of his lips. "Yeah." Roy had felt inordinately pleased with himself, but then the man had said, "Another."
Roy had poured, warning, "You have to slow up on these, fella."
"Sure." The fourth (no, wait a minute, the fifth. Or was it... Oh, shit. The Liquor Commission would have his nuts if anything happened to this guy when he left here.) had disappeared as quickly as the others.
"Crap. Look, I don't know what he did to ya, but he isn't worth this."
"You think so?" He had tapped the glass. "Another."
Roy had stared at him. "Look..."
"One more. That'll be the last one. I promise to drink it slow, and sit here till I can walk straight before I leave." Roy had regarded him doubtfully. "C'mon. Don't make me beg."
"I my thoughts will dim, huh?"
"Can you think of anything legal that will dim your > thoughts any faster?"
Sighing, Roy had poured the shot. "That's it. Make it last."
That had been almost an hour ago. Every now and then the guy touched the glass to his lips, but the liquid didn't lower by any apreciable measure. Roy shook his head, thinking, *Shit. Gay, bi, whatever. That's as real a heartache as any I've ever seen. I don't think the forgetting is working.*
*A bar. Here I am again in a bar. No, bars, plural: there were those other two before I found one empty enough. Shit. I thought I was past this. All it takes is one little fight with Alex, and here I am again.*
He touched the rim of the shot glass to his lips and let a trickle of liquid fire ease down his throat. Oh, this was nasty stuff when you drank it slow. But the dispenser had said this was the last one, and he knew he was already too drunk to find another bar safely at this hour, so he had to make it last.
"Screw you, Alex," he muttered, feeling unbelievably resentful. *You're the one who should be out getting drunk, not me. No, wait. I'm the injured party so yeah, I should be getting drunk.* He sighed. "Fuck it. one of us had to get drunk." It had been that 'little job' he'd said he had to do in Chicago. Fox had thought he was on a job interview for a position with an electronics firm, and it had turned out he'd been working as a courier again. Fox never would have known if he hadn't knocked his own key down the kitchen drain and been too lazy to unhook the pipes to fish it out. So he'd gone prospecting in Alex's jacket pockets and found the receipt for the rental car.
He hadn't brought it up right away. No, he had allowed Alex finish his shower and get comfortable, then begin poking around in his refrigerator in (he should know by now) the vain hope of finding something that was more than marginally edible.
He'd test sniffed several containers, then settled on some moo goo gai pan that he was pretty sure was safe, since it was chicken and not pork. While he'd been waiting for the microwave to ding, Fox had flipped the receipt over his shoulder so that it floated down to land on the counter before him.
His back to Mulder, Krycek had gone stiff, then slumped. "Son of a bitch. You went through my pockets."
"I needed your key because I wanted to go get some take out. You want to explain that?"
Krycek had turned, green eyes cool. "You want to explain why you needed the key when I was going to be right here to let you in?"
"Don't start. You were supposed to be in Philadelphia, talking to Elecore. How the hell did you end up in Illinoise?"
"I talked to Elecore last week. It wasn't for me. What were you doing rooting in my pockets, Mulder? Looking for evidence that I have a blonde on the side?"
"I don't think I'd be so pissed if I thought that was what it was. But it isn't, is it?" Alex was too much of an old hand at deception to show much reaction. There had beem just a slow blink, but it had been enough. "Shit! It was them, wasn't it? You did something for them."
"Will you calm down? It was just a little job, nothing major, nothing global, nothing even illegal, really. Well," he had paused, "not as long as the guy doesn't report it."
"I don't fucking believe this." Mulder had rubbed his face. "You told me you were through with them."
Krycek had shrugged. "Mulder do you have any idea how hard it is to get all that shit off? The smell still lingers, and they can find me by the scent. I've reached an understanding with them. Just a favor now and then, and they know better than to ask for anything really heavy. A little carrying when the item is, shall we say, delicate. A message passed in person when other means are either ineffective, or too dangerous. Things like that."
Mulder had heard the chill in his own voice, and had marveled at how he could speak coldly when he felt like he was about to explode. "Okay Alex, how many betrayals does this make?" He had seen the pain flare in those green eyes. Mulder had said he wasn't going to bring that up again. Well, Krycek had said he wasn't going to have anything to do with his 'handlers' again, too.
Fox had almost regretted his words, but then Alex had reacted in the only manner that his previous experience would allow: he struck back. "I wouldn't go there, Mulder. Not when you got the evidence you're using to flay me by spying."
"Wait a minute, I'm not the one who lied."
"If you'd just left it alone you wouldn't have had your feelings hurt."
"Had my..." Mulder scowled, gulping the last of the tequila and lining up the final shot glass. *Like I was some junior high girl who'd just discovered that her steady boyfriend had been on a date with another cheerleader when he said he was home studying.*
It had sort of blown off the scale after that. Mulder couldn't remember all of what had been said: he just knew that it had all been hurtful, on both sides. They each knew where all the other's buttons were located, and had not only pushed them, but had pounded on them.
It hadn't gotten physical, though. Mulder contemplated this as he took another sip. That surprised him, now that he thought about it. All the times he and Krycek had beaten and bashed each other, and it had never gotten past verbal this time. There hadn't even been a shove.
And he hadn't ordered Krycek out of his apartment. No, he'd grabbed the key that had been sort of the trigger of this episode and stomped out, slamming the door so hard that it shook in its frame. Then he'd gone hunting for the proper place to drink himself into a stupor. Hopefully by the time he crawled back home Krycek would have removed his denim-and-leather clad ass from the premises.
*And what the hell am I supposed to do if he hasn't? I'm gonna be too damn drunk to throw him out unless he's gotten just as shitfaced as I have, and that doesn't seem likely. Crap. I wonder if I have enough on me for a hotel room? If I don't... No, wait. That's why God invented credit cards. Okay, so I can spend what's left of the night in a hotel room. Alone. In an empty bed.* He put his forehead down on the bar. "Fuck."
*Oh, shit, he's going to sleep. Actually, that might not be such a bad idea, but I have to close up in about twenty minutes, and I can't leave him inside, and if I sent him out like this and something happens to him, it's my ass. I don't want to call the cops on him, he sounds like he has enough crap in his life right now. Maybe send him home in a cab? But Romeo may still be there. I'd rather not think about enabling a domestic dispute. Christ. Curse all the unfaithful boyfriends in the world.*
"Yo, Mac? I'm closing up in less than a half hour. Better start, um, gathering your resources." The man lifted his shoulders in a sort of a shrug, but didn't raise his head. *I'm gonna have to roll him out of here.* "Want me to call you a cab?"
"Why would you do that? Have I turned yellow?" Silence. A sigh. "Yeah, I know. Bad joke, but what do you want from me? I'm drunk and depressed."
He sat up and scrubbed his hands over his face. "Lemme visit the little boys' room and I'll be good to go."
Roy rather doubted that, judging from the weave in his walk.
He sent Mavis home, since there was only one couple left in a side booth, and began to shut the bar down. Mavis was reaching for the door handle when the door swung open. The guy entering stepped aside to let her pass. She did so slowly, with a regretful, lingering glance. That was another one she wouldn't have minded working for a tip. He grinned at her and tipped his cap, but his bright green eyes were busy scanning the bar.
He seemed to consider for a moment, and Roy called. "I can fit in one more for you, if you hurry."
"I'm not really looking for a drink. I'm looking for someone, but he doesn't appear to be here." Still, the man stepped into the bar, letting the door swing closed behind him, eyes probing the darkened corners. "Has a tall, morose man with hazel eyes been in tonight?"
Roy almost winced. "You mean the Dickinson guy"
? Dark brows rose. He came closer and leaned on the bar. Roy could hear the leather of his jacket creaking as he rested an elbow on the counter. "No, Dickinson is not his name."
"I mean he was talking Dickinson." The eyebrows climbed higher. Roy blew out a breath. "I'm not putting it right. You know how some people sing when they're drunk?" The stranger nodded. "Well, this guy was reciting poetry."
A slow smile. "Yes, that's Mulder, all right. He was drunk, you say?"
"Still is. Has to be, considering how much he put down." Roy indicated the shot formation at the other end of the bar.
*Dammit, Fox. Things were going so well. Why'd you have to go be your snoopy self and spoil it?*
Alex had sighed, poking dispiritedly at the moo goo gai pan he'd retrieved from the microwave after Mulder had left. It had been almost as cold as when he had taken it out of the refrigerator and, though it smelled pretty good, he had absolutely no appetite.
*When someone makes you lose your appetite, it's serious shit.*
He had dumped the food and rinsed the dish, then leaned over the sink, head drooping. *Why the fuck did I leave the damn receipt in my pocket? I know better. Shit, all the years I've had to survive by leaving no trace, I fucking know better. I knew there was a chance he'd go through my pockets. It happens often enough with other couples, why should it be any different with us?*
Alex had closed his eyes, growling, "No, I did not want to get caught. How fucking Freudian can you get?"
He had slumped in the kitchen chair, staring off into space. The truth of the matter was that he had been caught doing something he'd known he shouldn't do. He knew it would hurt Fox, but he honestly hadn't been able to see any way around it, and he'd figured that what Mulder didn't know wouldn't hurt him.
"Can you say 'cop out'?" Alex had muttered. He should have talked to Mulder about it, that was clear enough now. Together they might have been able to figure out another solution to the problem. At the least Mulder wouldn't have felt betrayed. He might have been pissed, but he wouldn't have been... hurt.
Alex sighed again, getting up and putting on his jacket. There were three types of places he could be: a bar, a club, or with Scully. He probably wasn't with Scully. She'd made her disapproval of their relationship clear, and Mulder wouldn't want to hear 'I told you so' (and that bitch would say it).
That left bars and clubs, and he quickly discarded the idea of a club. Many people in a situation like this would go out looking for a revenge fuck, but Mulder wasn't like that. So Krycek had started checking the bars, beginning just outside the local neighborhood, because Mulder wouldn't want to be anywhere he could be easily found. Krycek had focused on small, dark, and underpopulated places.
He had word of him in two places. A tall, good looking, hazel eyed, depressed man wasn't all that hard to track.
He'd become more worried as the time went by. It would be closing time soon. Where would Mulder go once he was turned out of the bar? He wouldn't go home, the stubborn nit.
He had almost run into a woman coming out of the last bar he tried. She had made sure to give him a good look down her neckline as she slid past, but he had barely noticed, as he was busy Mulder-hunting. The place was pretty deserted, and he didn't hold forth much hope, but there had been a spark of recognition when he'd described him to the bartender.
"You mean the Dickinson guy?"
Bingo. They had exchanged a few more words, and the bartender had indicated what looked like a whole troop of empty shot glasses. Drunk? He'd be surprised if Mulder could have stayed on the stool without being tied on after that intake.
Alex had stared at the bartender and said softly, "And you let him leave in that state?"
The bartender had said hastily, "No. Hell, I know better than that. No, he's in the can."
Krycek had closed his eyes for a second. He couldn't remember a time in his life when he'd prayed, but if he'd been inclined, then would have been the time to offer thanks. The bartender was continuing. "I was just about to call a cab for him."
Alex had smiled. That smile had been known to make grown men wet their pants. "No need for that. I'll see that he gets home."
"Great." The bartender frowned, then said, "Are you 'him'?"
*What did Mulder tell this guy? I'd expect him to rattle on about his X Files: he likes watching their expressions. But I didn't think he'd spill his personal life to a bartender.* "Who do you mean by 'him'?"
"From the poem. Heart, we will forget him, you and I tonight."
Krycek felt a sharp pang. "That was the poem he recited?"
"Yeah. Something about the warmth he gave and the light. But it didn't sound like there was a hell of a lot of forgetting going on, even after he poured on the Jose. But if you are him, are things gonna be all right if you go back there? I mean, I don't want any trouble here."
"Yes, it will be all right. If we were going to beat the crap out of each other, we would have done it by now."
The guy frowned. "This has happened often enough for you to have a pattern? Have you two considered counseling?"
Alex smirked. "Thank you, Dr. Ruth. We'll take that under consideration." He started back toward the john.
Mulder was leaning over the sink when Krycek came in. Not washing his hands, not looking in the mirror, just leaning on the sink, head down, hair hanging in his face. Alex stood for a moment, watching him. He thought that Mulder was too drunk to notice him, but then he said quietly, "Get out of here, memory."
Krycek went to him. "The barteneder said you were quoting Heart, We Will Forget Him. Do you think that Emily would approve of having her poem inspire a tequila binge?"
"It didn't inspire it--you did, and I don't know why not. I hear she went heavy on the brandy when she made fruitcake. How the hell did you find me?"
"I'll always find you, Mulder. You should know that by now. Are you ready to come home now?"
"You can't stay here. The bartender is ready to close up, and I'm not leaving you to wander around in this state."
"Excuse me, what part of 'piss off' didn't you > understand? How do you say 'fuck off' in Russian?"
"Yeb vas, Krycek. Understand now?"
"Mulder, I'm sorry."
"No, I mean it." He put a hand on Mulder's shoulder. The other man stiffened, but didn't pull away, and Alex continued. "I didn't tell you because I knew you'd worry." Mulder finally looked at him, and Krycek almost flinched at the pain in his eyes. "I swear, it wasn't a big thing."
"Alex, with them you never know how big it is. Don't you realize that if anything happened to you..." His voice cracked slightly, and he cleared his throat. "You could have just disappeared, and I would never know. I couldn't even hope for closure when a hunter stumbled on your remains some day because your records have been so fucked up that you'd probably never be identified. And not to know..."
Alex felt his teeth grate. *Oh, God, Samantha. I forgot. No wonder he was so upset. It wasn't just that he was mad I went behind his back--he can't stand the thought of having someone else in his life just disappear.*
"I can't promise I'll never have any dealings with them again. It's going to take time to pull me out of their tangle. But I'll promise to never again lie to you about where I'm going, or what I'm doing. I may not tell you 100 percent, for security's sake, but I won't lie. Will that be enough?"
Fox stared at him. "I don't know," Krycek felt his gut knot. Then Mulder said softly, "but I guess we'll have to try."
Tentatively Krycek slid his arms around Mulder's shoulders, leaned in, and kissed him. Mulder stayed still, not responding, but not rejecting. Alex slid his hand up into Mulder's hair, holding him firm, and pressed the kiss till Mulder's lips parted, and he could slip his tongue inside. Still holding the older man, he turned him and started backing him up.
Mulder pulled his head back. "Alex, what are you... Fuck!" His butt had hit the door to a stall, and Alex kept moving him back. "Wait a minute. These things were never intended for two people."
"I can't help it if the architects were short sighted prudes." Alex had managed to squeeze both of them into the stall, and now he bumped the door shut, turning Mulder loose so he could slide the bolt. Then he pushed Mulder up against the wall and reached for his belt.
"What do you think you're doing?"
"Mulder, haven't I done this often enough for you to figure out what comes next? No? Well, I'm willing to keep it up till you learn the proper sequence. I open your pants, then I suck your cock."
He turned his cap around so that the bill faced back. It made him look like a high school kid, but most of them couldn't manage such a seductive look.
"Oh, geez, Alex! Not in a public restroom. What if someone comes in?"
"They'll have to find their own date. I'm not doing anyone but you any more, remember?"
Alex had the buckle undone and was lowering his zipper. "Look, we can go home, okay? I'm too drunk to do anything..." Mulder's voice trailed off as Krycek slipped his hand into his fly. Warm, knowing fingers closed gently around his cock and began to rub. There was an immediate response. Mulder's head fell back against the cool metal of the wall. "Why here and now?"
"You were trying to forget, Mulder. You need a reminder. I don't know about my light," he dropped to his knees. "but surely you can remember my warmth."
Mulder gasped as Alex took him in his mouth, sinking down slowly till he'd swallowed his entire prick, then drawing back up with equal langour. "Okay, maybe I'm NOT too drunk." But he was glad of the wall at his back. It wasn't long before he needed that support. He clutched at the wall with one hand, palm flat on the graffiti smeared surface, while the other hand gripped Alex's head, gently guiding him. The room was silent exept for the soft gasps and the tiny slurps that echoed off the tile walls.
Alex slid Mulder's cock out of his mouth and bent further, licking his balls firmly. A finger slid up the length of Mulder's stiff cock, becoming coated with saliva and the pre-ejaculate fluid that seeped from the tiny slit to ooze over the sensitive, swollen cock head. Then Krycek sucked the hard-on into his mouth again as that hand slid deep between Mulder's legs and back, till it teased at his rectum. With a grunt Mulder pressed back and down, impaling himself.
It went on for several more minutes: Alex finger fucking Mulder while he blew him. Even though the room was brightly lit by florescents, Mulder couldn't help remembering that dark, foggy alley between warehouses down by the dock. There Alex had taken him for the first time, threatening him into initial submission with a gun and sucking him off, just like this.
The memory of that encounter, the almost brutal sensuality of it, drove Mulder over the edge, and he spilled his essence into Krycek's accepting mouth, shuddering as his lover drank it, then used his tongue to clean the last drops from his softening prick.
When he was done, Alex hugged Mulder, leaning his cheek against his thigh, and Mulder bent to embrace him, curving over his body. Alex whispered, "Do you think that will be enough to remind you, or do you need another lesson?" Mulder's only answer was to pull off Alex's cap and drop a kiss on his soft hair.
Instinct told him that it probably wasn't a good idea to go into that men's room, but it was past closing time. As he approached, he thought that at least there hadn't been a lot of screaming and crashing. That was a good sign, wasn't it? On the other hand, there was such a thing as too quiet. Maybe one of them had strangled the other, and was now trying to figure out what to do with the body.
Instinct told him to knock before going in, too, but he didn't pay any more attention to the second instinct than he had the first. But at least he had the good sense to be quiet about it.
Roy eased the door open slowly, glad that he'd oiled the hydraulic slide last week, and peeked inside. He frowned. Where the hell were they? They couldn't have gotten out without him knowing. Yeah, the back exit was near the men's room, but he would have heard the alarm buzzer if they'd gone out that way.
Then he saw the two pairs of legs in the stall. The legs in trousers were just standing there. The legs in blue jeans were kneeling in front of the others. *Uh oh.* He stepped back out, and eased the door shut. *Okay, you knew it happened, you just didn't expect it to happen here.* Then he found himself smiling. *I guess this means that they made up.* He cleared his throat and rapped sharply on the door. "Time, gentlemen." His smile broadened. "Don't... uh, don't dillydally."