Alex let himself out of the room and closed the swollen, ancient door, blocking out the sight of the sleeping, well-fucked man he left behind him. He'd planted the first, cancerous seeds of dissension and nurtured them with care and a bit of sex. A few more days here would let him see if his plan had worked or if he needed to add a little more to the pot. If he'd already done enough, then he could get his ass out of this stinking cesspool of a house and Project Mayhem.
Tyler Durden's two personalities would fight to the death, the world's financial system would be saved, and Alex could pick up his paycheck.
"Alex," a voice said from behind him as he reached the rickety stairs. It sounded familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. It was thicker, darker, and lower than the one that had shouted his name only a few minutes ago, but it belonged to the same vocal cords.
Alex turned to face Tyler Durden. "Sir, members of Project Mayhem have no names, sir," he answered. He kept the sudden chill he felt out of his face and voice.
Tyler smiled. "Right... Alex."
That body didn't look nearly as soft once you removed the rumpled remains of the business clothing the other personality wore, but Tyler's presence in it made it even harder looking. Somehow his face narrowed and looked like it had more prominent cheekbones, completely losing the open, childlike appearance the other one wore on it. The shadows and bags under the eyes that made the other one look ill and overtired made Tyler look focused, if in a maniacal way. The slump disappeared, replaced by a straight and proud posture. You couldn't help knowing that Tyler looked handsomer and taller in his own mind.
For some reason, Alex couldn't help feeling that Tyler thought he was blond too.
Though both wore their bruises and scrapes as badges of honor, the same way everyone here did. That was about the only thing the two had in common.
How the members of Project Mayhem could accept Tyler and the other one doing such different things with that body as normal, Alex had no idea. Stupidity didn't explain it well enough.
Mulder would give a hell of a lot to see this in action, and Alex really had to stop thinking of Mulder.
Right now Tyler stood naked at the top of the stairs looking as serene and confident and sneering as he always did when he was in residence. Tyler's certainty and charisma took him far.
"Back to the room. I want to talk to you," Tyler said.
Fuck. "Yes, sir."
Tyler closed the door. "Have a seat." He smirked as the old, stained mattress rattled when Alex sat down on it. "You didn't lose your arm in a car crash."
"We know car accidents, and you didn't get yours amputated in one."
That casually dropped "we" worried Alex, since Tyler never referred to him and his other self as "we" in front of other people. "The arm was damaged in the crash but amputated at the hospital."
Tyler shook his head. "No. It looks like your arm was hacked off slowly by an amateur with a hot knife, then carved a bit by a doctor for the prosthesis. Which I don't care about, except that you lied and I couldn't see why. The real story would have gained you more points. Unless you didn't want to attract any attention. At least until today."
Alex said nothing. Tyler might just be suspicious instead of certain. No need to give any more rope to hang him with either way.
"I'm flattered about the seduction, and a good fuck is great now and then, but I'm wondering why you did it," Tyler said as he lit a cigarette. Tyler's nudity was probably supposed to set Alex off balance, but you didn't survive in the Consortium if nakedness made you nervous or inspired you to underestimate someone's ability to kill you.
"You have to ask, sir?"
"Sport fucking the leader and idol you admire? Oh yeah. But you don't have the right look in your eyes, Alex. You never did. The rest of the space monkeys here have that mindless, fanatical gleam, but you're always figuring the angles."
"I don't understand."
"Mmm-hmm. I'm flattered that somebody figured we were enough of a threat to put you on my tail. Your little speech to the kid and the sex.... You were fucking good. And good fucking; I have to give you credit. Yeah, I was with you two through all of it. You're pretty talented with the hand you have left. You know what we are, and that's a kick. Even he doesn't know what we are. But it won't work. I never let any of you know my real plans, and the kid is too bound to me and too happily unaware to turn on me in time. He needs me."
Continue to pretend ignorance? No, Alex could see that Tyler wasn't lying about having heard and seen everything. The thought sent a sudden bolt of lust to his cock. Sick? Only slightly. The way Tyler kept absently stroking himself didn't help.
Even if it turned out that Alex didn't know Project Mayhem's real goal, his plan for fucking up Tyler could still work.
But he couldn't let himself get distracted now.
"You're losing him," Alex said. "He feels so out of the loop and resentful that I didn't even have to convince him." The other personality had looked so battered, lost, and hurt, a look which had Done Things for Alex ever since he'd been stupid enough to get obsessive over Mulder. That look always left him feeling crazy with lust, frustrated, and protective all at once. Like Alex wanted to fuck him, slap him, and give him a bowl of soup all at once.
Alex knew he was one sorry bastard.
"I want him to learn something. Hell, I'd let him know you were using him if I didn't want him kept in the dark about why you were using him. I'd like to see you try to tell him, actually. He'd never believe you."
Damn. It'd be worth a try anyway, but Alex got the feeling that Tyler was right.
"So. You had a mission, and it seems like it involves making me turn on myself. Well, it's not going to happen, so I guess you can't go yet, huh?" Tyler grinned and stubbed his cigarette out on the peeling wall. "Unless you want to."
"You'd let me?"
"I'm generous. No reward without risks."
Tyler did have a healthy self-destructive streak. Alex wondered if Tyler and Tyler's worldview had sprung from the other personality's apparent insomnia. Insomnia did... interesting things to Mulder's head too.
Stay or go now?
Tyler's smile deepened. "I'll even give you some help with your plan." Tyler sat down next to Alex on the mattress and stroked Alex's cock through his jeans. "I was thinking I could let him watch once in a while during this."
Alex watched the hand, its kiss-shaped chemical burn obscenely red against the pale skin, move up and down in a maddening motion, stoking his lust. If he could satisfy his perversity and help his plan along at the same time, why shouldn't he? If Tyler wanted to alienate his closest ally and destroy himself, "hit bottom and be free" as he often said, Alex saw no problem in helping him along. It was purest Darwinism to weed out the stupid and over-arrogant.
And Alex wanted this. Wanted both of them.
As Tyler's teeth started to gnaw at Alex's nipple through his shirt, Alex decided he really should stay a while to make sure the Tyler civil war started.