2011 - Weirder Things Had Happened
2011 - Weirder Things Had Happened
2011 - Weirder Things Had Happened, A Love Story
Notes: a New Year's tease from the boys
Mulder opened his eyes, well he tried to open his eyes; they felt gluey and heavy. He concentrated and blinked them open, automatically lifting a hand and wiping the crud off with a finger. He became aware that his throat was dry, dry, dry. Peanut- butter throat one of his academy colleagues called it after a night that found them asleep in an unmarked car the next morning worse for wear, but unable to say exactly why. It was still an apt description twenty years later. Years! Years struck a dull chime in his head and images rushed in behind the thought. He and Scully had eaten at her apartment near to the hospital where she lived during the winter to avoid being snowed in at the cabin and unable to get to work. They'd uncorked and drank the better part of a bottle of rather superior wine before they'd cleared up and headed to bed for a New Year's celebratory coupling. She'd fallen asleep ten minutes after midnight and he'd been wide awake.
He'd dressed and taken the remainder of the wine to a window seat in the living room. 2011 and he was almost fifty. He had his hair, he had his FBI status back, such as it was, waiting for him to claim an office and become an active agent, should he chose.
He took a swig of the wine from the bottle and held it up, "Dad," he said aloud. Mulder put his shoes on, got his keys and headed out into the icy night, bottle in hand. In his truck, keys in the ignition, he took another swig, "Mom," he said and started the vehicle.
The bottle was empty by the time he got to the crossroads with the last mini-mart before pure country took over. He parked, they had wine too; not `superior' wine, but the alcohol content was the same and the deal was three bottles for $25 and a split of champagne on the house.
He opened a bottle in the car, no corkscrew needed, "Frohike," he said and turned onto the dark street. "Langly, Byers, X, Deep Throat," went down his gullet as he swerved onto the far side of the street. "You're drunk," He muttered to himself and righted the truck.
"Melissa," he said and ended up in a ditch. He tried driving backwards and forwards rocking the truck in the hope of getting back over the lip of the depression and onto the road. No luck. Mulder got out of the truck, carrying the bottles in the plastic bag; he headed towards his cabin on foot, hardly feeling the cold.
He stopped every few yards uttering another name and taking a drink. "Max," He whispered on his knees, "Will," and he fell over. He barely mouthed "Samantha" before he passed out.
Mulder swung his feet out of bed in the warm cabin. Someone had turned on the heat and he smelled coffee too. A New Year's Eve Samaritan perhaps? Someone who'd found him in the road and carried him home? Weirder things had happened. He went into the john, pissed a long, long time, washed his face and rinsed his mouth. His gun was by the bed, but his savior would hardly bring him home, tuck him in and then try to kill him, would he? So, Mulder headed for the kitchen and the coffee.
The table was laid for breakfast, lots of toast on a plate, OJ in two glasses, butter and jelly neatly aligned near muffins in a basket, a half empty coffee cup and another clean and empty by the coffee machine.
He poured coffee into the clean cup and a movement caught his eye through the window.
He recognized the body language before the name came to his lips. Maybe he needed his gun after all. He took a sip of coffee instead, Alex fucking Krycek, returned from the dead and scraping the frost off the window of a black jeep in his driveway. He added sugar to his cup and sat down at the table. He might as well eat as he waited for things to unfold; the X File which was his life was happening once more and it was always worse on an empty stomach.
Krycek opened the kitchen door as if he did it every day. For all Mulder knew, maybe he did while Mulder'd been out or sleeping or deep into his collection of what he'd managed to steal from his old office files. Krycek paused and wiped his feet on the mat, an eyebrow askance as if waiting for Mulder to shoot him or jump him or throw a knife into his chest. When Mulder buttered another piece of toast, Krycek came inside. "Head all right" He asked and refilled his coffee cup.
Mulder grunted and wondered why he wasn't shooting or beating or knifing the other man. Maybe it was because all of those names he'd toasted the night before were still at the forefront of his memory and Krycek's name hadn't been one of them. In the very topsy-turvy ass-backwards way his mind worked, he was sort of glad.
Krycek sat down at the table across from Mulder and took a muffin. He put it on his plate, cut it neatly in half and put the knife down. Mulder saw Krycek had both hands again. Had it been a reward for his death and resurrection; coming back perfect and how about a new soul too? He stared at Krycek's left hand.
Krycek shrugged, took a sip of OJ and cleared his throat. "It's human," He said and wriggled the fingers on his left hand.
Mulder shrugged back, "Did I ask?" He said sarcastically.
Krycek frowned, "I didn't come to argue," He said.
"No," Mulder said tonelessly, "You came back from the dead to tuck me into bed and make breakfast."
Krycek grinned, "I always wanted to tuck you into bed. Breakfast is because I get hungry in the mornings."
Mulder looked at the carefully set table and all the toast, muffins, hot coffee and poured OJ. "Riiiight," He drawled.
Krycek smiled and Mulder was reminded of cartoon drawn sharks, rows of sharp teeth inside an insolent grin. He let the `tuck you into bed' comment pass unchallenged.
Krycek's eyes twinkled greenly and left the subject of bed alone. Instead, he raised his OJ and said, "Happy New Year, Mulder."
Mulder sobered, "I said all my toasts last night." He said morosely.
"Always adding to that chip on your shoulder, eh, old man? Never a light quip or a friendly bon-mot?" Krycek drank his juice.
"Friends?" Mulder questioned, his voice rising despite himself. "Cheery greetings shared with you, Krycek? Why should I, given your history?"
Krycek sat back in his chair, coffee cup in hand. "Ah, the dreary past. Come on man, you died, I died and yet, here we are and this isn't heaven, for all it's West Virginia and it sure isn't Hell. Give it a rest."
Mulder crumbled toast; a contrary part of him wanting to give it a rest. After all, what had the past ever done but bring sorrow, guilt and failure? True, there was Scully, but even that love was tainted by the long years of denial watching youth pass by without any lightness at all. What he'd had was no input in was the loss of the child, that innocent hoped for prize, which had sparkled for an instant and was shuffled away into the unknown of other parents and another life. He hadn't known for sure who and what the boy had been made of, but he'd been willing to be the father regardless. He'd been a cuckoo in his father's nest too; maybe it was a family tradition.
Mulder sighed deeply and got up to refill his cup. His cell chirped from the bedroom and he left the cup and went to answer it, wandering back as Scully wished him another New Year's greeting and chided him for taking off, all in the same breath and tone of voice. He knew it was one more time when he would evade giving her a full explanation. The fit of dismals he'd indulged in on the way to the cabin was foreign to her and more, made her shake her head and cluck about antidepressants. He picked up his cup, added sugar and remembered he'd left his gun by the bed once again. Krycek was sitting quietly, waiting him out for whatever he'd yet to say or get from Mulder before he vanished into the cold mist and away once more.
He told Scully he'd needed to check the pipes after the freezing temperatures and rang off without making further plans. She was on duty for the rest of the week anyway.
Hot, sweet coffee in hand, Mulder leaned against the counter. "What do you want Krycek?"
Krycek looked at him keenly, but then Mulder had seen that before other betrayals, so he wasn't moved.
"I had to lie low most of the past decade," Krycek began. "I think I've managed to become a nonentity to the neck-bulging assholes, at least I hope so. I had a regular job with regular hours, a pay check and an apartment where I stayed for years instead of weeks. It was a change. I made friends, BBQ-ed on the weekends, watched football at the local watering-hole, and managed it all without firing a single shot. I'm on my way to another regular job, further away, but I had a hankering to see you and check in. I've missed you Mulder. It's as simple as that."
Mulder almost smiled. "Yeah, Krycek, simple; I wasn't born yesterday, you know, I was only drunk."
"Technically it was early this morning, not yesterday. And I know you were drunk. You were also nearly hypothermic and in the middle of the road. What was so wrong with Agent Scully's warm bed in her warm apartment that you had to leave?"
Mulder sat down abruptly. What had been wrong with Scully's warmth? Time after time he was drawn in and yet, had to leave within moments of the "moment." Why her warmth suddenly equal - did, had always equaled strangulation and oppression? He shook his head and glared at Krycek. Why did this asshole always seem to appear and find things in Mulder's own soul Mulder would rather leave undiscovered? Like a crow or a vulture, Mulder thought, a blackbird pecking into his flesh and psyche.
Krycek frowned in response to Mulder's silent glare, "I was just asking, you know." He said as if he had no knack of insight.
"What do you want Krycek?" Mulder growled.
Krycek squared himself on the kitchen chair, both feet on the ground, hands folded on the table, back straight and face serious. "I came to see if you want to come with me." He said, his voice rougher than Mulder had ever heard it, even when the bastard had been in pain.
Mulder was rocked. Go with Krycek into the unknown. Hadn't they played out that scenario before with disastrous results? Go with Krycek to where, to do what and why, why, why would he chose this man as his traveling companion, even if he wanted to go somewhere. Not that he `was' planning to go anywhere or knew in the back of his mind and in his psyche and soul that he would need to go to find the end of his multi-year, multi-decade quest. He replied, "You're kidding."
Krycek seemed to wrestle for an answer; still holding back secrets Mulder thought as despite himself, his heart began to beat quickly and sweat formed at his hairline and under his arms. "I," Krycek stuttered uncharacteristically, "I know how to stop them." He said in a low voice, slumping back in his seat and scraping his thumb over his coffee spoon.
"Ah," Said Mulder and swallowed some coffee.
Mulder finished crumbling his toast, emptied his coffee cup and rose from the table. He went into the main room, lit the fire in the fireplace and sat down to watch the flames. So Krycek knew how to stop them. That was no surprise, he'd probably known since he was twelve or in '95 or some other early date. What was a surprise, if it was genuine - which would be a surprise all on its own - was that Krycek was willing to help him end it. To give him information, nah, Mulder thought, it was just another trick. Nevertheless, he sat and saw the flames lick a large log with pure blue heat and saw the log lose the battle to remain intact.
Mulder heard the sounds of a kitchen being righted; refrigerator opening and closing, water running and plates chiming against one another gently. He'd never thought of Krycek and mundane activities in the same universe, let alone in his own kitchen. What did he have left to lose? He had his life and Scully who loved him in her way as he loved her in his way, but they would all burn like the log if the hybrids weren't stopped and their takeover of Earth ended. He didn't even know if they were the whole deal or just an advance force, long planned and ready to go into action.
What the fuck. It made sense in a mad sort of way. Krycek had always been the insider to his outsider, yin to his yang and so on. He knew it, Krycek certainly knew it and life sucked and then you died.
Mulder got up and went back into the kitchen. Krycek was sitting quietly sipping another cup of coffee and looking like he longed for a cigarette to go with it. Mulder went behind Krycek and watched the other man become tense and on full alert, although he hadn't moved. He leaned down and whispered into Krycek's ear, "You fucking lie to me this time and I `will' kill you." Krycek shivered and Mulder smiled, imagining this time he was the one with the shark's smile.
"Blow in my ear some more Mulder and I'll take you wherever you want to go," Krycek growled and Mulder knew he was destined for other metaphors; Krycek had the shark down pat.
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Title: 2011 - Weirder Things Had Happened
Author: Flutesong [email/website]
Details: Standalone | PG-13 | 12k | 01/11/11
Category: Drama, Story, UST
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