You would have thought that Canada would be safe. Of course, there were alien-clone camps up there, but not in the heart of Ottawa. Goodness knew what CSIS was up to - no one ever knew - but Skinner had a firm faith in the basic goodness of Canadians. Not even Krycek could get into trouble in Ottawa.
That was aside from the fact that Krycek wasn't in Ottawa. Wherever he was - Paris, Hong Kong, Australia - he wasn't in Ottawa. He'd be back in Washington when Skinner got back on Saturday, after his meeting with the Canadian authorities.
There'd been no possibility of taking Krycek to Ottawa with him. There was no excuse Krycek wasn't with the FBI any more. Not only did he not, officially, exist in Skinner's life -- officially, he didn't exist at all, and what it said on his forged passports Skinner didn't want to guess.
He was resigned to spending a few days without Krycek. Tough, but he could do it. He didn't want to admit to anyone, least of all Krycek, how difficult he found it. Howdifficult his body found it. Only a few days. A man could do without sex with Krycek for that long, right?
Sometimes he wondered if Krycek spiked his food. This was sexual capacity and sexual craving such as he'd never known.... But hell, the separation was only for a few days. He could do it.
There was no point thinking how he never knew, from day to day, whether Krycek would be there when he got home. Or, if he wasn't, whether he would come to his bed in the small hours, his cock hard and his mouth demanding. Sometimes Skinner liked that best. Other people could have predictable relationships with people they trusted. He had something better. He had Krycek.
And he could do without Krycek for four days. Three-and-a-half days. Eighty seven hours. He'd done it before, he could do it again.
So he thought, until he walked into his room in the Chateau Laurier late on a Wednesday night and found Krycek sitting
in the chair, waiting for him.
It was dark. The lights were off. A circle of illumination from the wall-mounted desk lamp set off black shadows across Krycek's expressionless face.
Skinner closed the door behind him. He put down his bag and put his fists on his hips, putting on his most stern expression from the war days. "What the hell are you doing here?"
Krycek's dark, thick lashes lifted as he looked up without raising his head. "Waiting to seduce you," he said.
Skinner could not move. The sound he made meant nothing. It brought Krycek out of his chair with a swift, fluid grace. It brought him across the room in the semi-darkness. He took Skinner's tie in his fist and pulled him into a fierce, demanding kiss.
It wasn't fair, thought Skinner, in a delirium of happiness. It wasn't fair how Krycek affected him, how he was helpless with Krycek's touch, resistant but vulnerable to his whim.
Sometimes life just wasn't fair, and Skinner was glad of it.
Invigorated by a night of ruthless sex, Skinner enjoyed the morning with the RCMP delegates and the DND policy-makers. Luckily, thanks to some choice legwork by Doggett and Scully, Skinner had all the leverage he needed to get what he wanted out of the Canadians, and they knew it. They dealt with him politely
and with good grace.
Lunch was spent, inescapably, with the Mounties. Conversation seemed to be mostly about sports he didn't understand. Canadian hockey and
curling. What in God's name was curling? And why should grown men care?
The afternoon session broke up early, and he decided to wander through the market before going back to the hotel. Weak sunshine was proving that it didn't always rain in Ottawa.
Just past the Rideau Centre, Krycek said to him, "Going my way, handsome?"
The tone was ironic, as so it should be. In dark glasses, leather jacket, and skin-tight jeans, Krycek was the one who was impossibly handsome. "What, straight to hell?" asked Skinner, gruffly.
"Or heaven," said Krycek. He glanced down at Skinner's crotch, and then up again. "Are we sightseeing?"
"I have a dinner meeting at five o'clock."
"Unless you are unavoidably detained."
"You can't kidnap me on an open street."
"Is that a challenge?"
"Bastard," said Skinner, through his teeth. He loved it. He loved watching Krycek as he crossed the street, the little bounce with which he stepped onto the sidewalk again, examining some colourful merchandise on a rack. Neon orange tie-died kaftans. "Suits you," said Skinner, his face bland.
Krycek looked at him, then froze, his eyes focussing on something behind Skinner. "Jesus, will you look at that!"
Skinner looked around. He didn't see anything unusual. A few people crossing the street, an ice-cream vendor, a magazine shop.
"The sign," breathed Krycek. "Beaver tails. Is that legal in Canada?"
"It's some sort of pastry," said Skinner.
Krycek removed his dark glasses. "How disappointing," he said. "Or maybe not." He strode across the street, ignoring traffic. Skinner followed, to the sound of honking. "I'll buy you one."
"I just ate."
"No you didn't. Besides, this isn't food. This is a cultural experience. Two," he said to the earnest young man who had just asked if he could help him. "Two, uh, whatyamacallums."
"Beaver tails," said the youth. "What flavour, sir?"
Krycek's eyes ran over the list of possibilities. Skinner could almost guess his thinking process. Sugar and cinnamon: too dull. Chocolate: too mainstream. "Killaloe Sunrise," said Krycek smartly. "My friend will have pizza flavour."
Skinner let him have his way. It was easier than arguing, and there was a certain joy in letting Krycek have his head. Resistance and pressure, the secret of their relationship.
Krycek put his glasses back on, eyed a pretty girl across the street, and said, "Are the Canadian authorities watching us?"
"Infrared cameras? Sonic scopes?" There was a mischievous twist to the edge of his mouth. "If I kissed you now, would you lose your job?"
"Try it and see."
"No. I'm going to make you wait."
"You always do."
"Except when I... don't."
"Except then," agreed Skinner. The earnest young man handed them each a Beaver Tail, thanked Krycek for the three toonies he gave him, and turned to the next tourist.
Krycek took a bite of the pizza beaver tail. "Hmm," he said, his mouth full.
"I thought that one was mine."
"Ours." He munched, and swallowed a bit. "Hot."
Krycek held up the Killaloe Sunrise, a drippy, sugary concoction, for Skinner to take a bite. It was not hot, despite the fact that it had been cooked in hot oil seconds before. It was warm and drippy, sweet and sour. Sugar and warm, wet juice ran down his chin. Too much to lick off. He wiped it with the back of his hand.
"Let's go back," said Krycek.
It sounded to Skinner like a splendid idea. "No," he said, gruffly, licking the back of his hand.
Krycek stared through his sunglasses at Skinner's hand with that dark, dangerous look that Skinner most enjoyed provoking because he knew where it led. Sooner or later. Every time.
"Please," Krycek said, sharply. It was not begging. It was a command.
Skinner took the Killaloe Sunrise confection out of Krycek's hand, and took another bite. It was more tart than the first, more satisfying. He chewed the pastry slowly.
"Now," said Krycek.
Skinner held out the beaver tail for Krycek to take a bite. He took off his glasses first, then took a very large bite, letting the cinnamon smudge his cheeks and glaze his chin. He didn't look at the food, but kept his eyes on Skinner's eyes.
Damn, he was good.
Skinner thoughtfully took a bite of the pizza beaver tail. Italian spices warred with the sweetness in his mouth. Krycek took a bite from the same side he'd taken it. Now there was oil and tomato sauce and a trace of cheese at the side of his mouth. He looked like a greedy child.
"You're a mess," said Skinner. "Get a napkin and clean up."
"No," said Krycek. "You're going to lick me clean."
"Bastard," said Skinner again, knowing from the way Krycek's eyes dropped to his trousers that he'd noticed he was hard, like he always noticed, as if there were warning bells attached. "I have a dinner to go to."
"That is then," said Krycek. "This is now." He flicked his tongue out to get a bit of the cinnamon-lemon liquid dripping from the edge of Skinner's pastry. If they were under surveillance, the vivid sexual intimacy of it would be obvious.
Or maybe that was just Skinner's perspective. Maybe they looked like two ordinary, innocent American tourists, exploring Canadian culture. Not like an FBI Assistant Director and a maverick outlaw, united by lust.
He wasn't going to bet on it.
It was only a short walk to the hotel, but the beaver tails were finished by the time they got there. They were alone in the elevator, their bodies motionless, tense, fingers imperceptibly twitching at their sides.
"Hungry?" asked Krycek casually. He had the dark glasses on again.
"I just ate," said Skinner flatly. But Krycek's smirk had already ensnared him, and the flecks of sugar on his cheek made his heart pound. He put one hand against the back of the elevator wall by Krycek's head, and the other hand on the wall on the other side of him, trapping him. Krycek lifted his chin and opened his mouth
slightly, not speaking. His nostrils flared.
The elevator door opened. Skinner turned smartly and went out, down the corridor, opening the door to their room with a flick of the hand, holding the door open so Krycek could walk in before him with a sideways glace.
The Krycek strut.
Skinner slammed the door behind him.
Turning in the centre of the room, Krycek asked casually, "So what kind of dinner is this you think you're going to?"
"No," said Krycek, smiling that wide, terrible smile. He licked his index finger, used it to wipe a trace of sugar from his cheek, then tasted the finger with the tip of his tongue. "Not cold. This buffet is hot as a volcano."
And it was.