TITLE: SCARLET LETTER
AUTHOR: the lopsided weevil
DATE: Jan. 1, 1998
FORWARDING or ARCHIVAL: NOT WITHOUT AUTHOR'S EXPRESS PERMISSION
SUMMARY: It's New Year's Eve, and Alex waits.
RAISON D'ETRE: Miwa asked for a New Year's story, so I wrote this. Didn't spend much time on it, so it's not perfect, but hope you like it.
SPOILERS: None. This has nothing to with reality.
"I am the archive of our failure."
Alex Krycek looked down at his watch, the time was 11:43pm. It was getting late on this cold new year's eve. The rogue FBI agent stood in the darkness, hidden in the deepest shadows of the street corner. He had been there for over an hour, waiting, watching. The cold was beginning to get him as he hugged his leather jacket close to his aching body. He feared that his vigil was fruitless, as he took another look up at the apartment building across the street.
He counted the windows as he had done a thousand times before. Two up, four over. Darkness, light, light, dark, and finally again darkness. Again his hopes were dashed, like those thousand times before. It was ironic that he could find so much pain in the darkness of the window. The darkness had always been his friend. He found comfort there. It was a place without judgment, a place without time. But now the darkness was his enemy and his time was running out.
Hidden there, Alex measured the futility of his situation. There he stood, waiting, for an event that would never happen, for a sign that would never come. Standing there he realized that this was his lot in life, waiting hopelessly for the good that would never come, for the good that he somehow didn't deserve, the victim of his own choices, embracing a failure of his own creation.
He tried to put this unhappiness behind him. He wanted so desperately not to be here, not to be in this situation. But he had to, had to be here, to consider the possibility. There was, after all, a remote chance. If the hunter could remember the past, maybe his prey could as well. There had been a time, when things were not like this, when things were better. A time, no matter how brief, when the unhappiness had given way to contentment and peace. A time when the darkness was not his home. A time when he was surrounded by warmth and a time when he wasn't afraid.
Alex took another look at his watch, it was 11:48. He closed his eyes and tried to remember, to go back to that time long ago when he wasn't alone. He pictured his former partner, the man he had betrayed. It was the simple images that were so vivid. The time the two sat so closely together at the computer screen. Alex's heart had raced when Mulder's shoulder had touched his. All those trips the two had taken in the government car. Alex would steal glances at Mulder when he didn't think the other man was looking, and he would just drink in the image, if even for just a split second. And there was the time in his cubicle when Alex had been working intently. Without realizing it, Mulder had come up behind him and just stood there, watching over Alex. How long had he been standing there? Alex remembered reading the papers and then sensing the other man's presence.
It had been late one night in the office when Alex remembered hearing Mulder's soft breathing behind him. Gently in, gently out. Gently in, gently out. He could almost feel it on the back of his neck. As if Mulder were standing there in the darkness with him. Breathing. Gently in, gently out. Tickling the little hairs on the back of his neck. Gently in, gently out. Warming and soothing him. Gently in. Reassuring him. Gently out. Alex's eyes remained closed and he remembered. Gently in. Remembered. Gently out.
Slowly, Alex opened his eyes, the watch on his wrist read 11:51. Looking up at the apartment building across the street, he repeated his ritual. Two up, four across. Darkness, light, light, dark, and again darkness. But not just darkness, there was something else in the last window, he noted movement there. His heart began to pound as his eyes took in this one sign of hope. Suddenly a light shown through the window. And there, suspended in the glorious illumination was a letter, a sign. Glowing in the light was a crude letter A. Yes, it was crude, but clear. It was his signal, and suddenly the world dropped away, and he was no longer angry at the darkness.
Alex looked down at his watch, it read 11:53. "Damn Mulder, cutting it close again this year aren't we?" Alex had just enough time to race his way up to apartment 42 and to the warmth and the light that was Fox Mulder.
THE END - SCARLET LETTER - UNCHUCK