Five Birthdays that Never Happened to Alex Krycek
Five Birthdays that Never Happened to Alex Krycek
by Courtney Gray
"Okay, okay, your kung fu's the best." Ringo Langly pushed his rolling chair away from the keyboard, his concession made with a smirk that didn't quite hide the admiration in his voice. Crossing his arms over his Ramones t-shirt, he stared at his fellow Lone Gunman who was grinning back at him smugly.
Frohike got up from his easy chair, carefully replacing his Prime Skin magazine on the cushion and walked across the room towards the two computer stations. "Sounds like we have a new champ," he said, reaching out to grab his roommate's wrist and raise it up.
Still grinning, Alex took his ET emblazoned baseball cap off with his free hand and waved it around in triumph.
"Congrats, kid," Frohike told him. "That's the last of the disks. Mulder is gonna be damn pleased. You did it in record time."
"Hey, I just wasn't trying that hard," cut in Langly. "It's the kid's birthday; I gave him a break."
"Oh yeah? It wasn't my birthday yesterday, or the day before," returned Alex with an even bigger grin as he got up and tossed his cap on his seat and headed for the kitchen.
Langly blew him a raspberry and exchanged a smile with Frohike. "Kid's getting attitude."
"Gee, that makes two of you," quipped Frohike.
The doorbell rang. "Hah, they're early." Langly got up and headed for the door.
"You can count on Mulder never to be on time," Frohike hurried over to the recliner and quickly hid his Prime Skin under the seat, patting the cushion affectionately as he fit it back into place.
"Enter G-Woman, and Man," announced Langly with a sweeping wave of his hand.
Frohike ran a smoothing hand over his hair and gave Scully an appreciative smile, his bushy eyebrows rising. "Well, Ms. Scully, so glad you could join us this evening. May I say, you look fetchingly hot."
"Roll you tongue back in your mouth, Frohike," said Mulder as he stepped around his partner, a large pink bakery box in his hands. "So where's the birthday boy?"
Alex stuck his head around the kitchen doorway. "Hey, is that for me?" he asked with a pointed glance at the box.
Mulder gave him a smile. "Maybe. Depends. What do I get for it?"
For a moment, their gazes locked and a flush rose over Krycek's cheeks.
"Aw, leave the kid alone, Mulder. He just cracked the last encryption code on those disks you gave us. We're streaming all the data now. You'll have a backup set and printouts as soon as it's done. You can have `em tonight."
Mulder swung around with a delighted grin, bakery box tipping. Scully grabbed it away just in time.
"C'mon, Frohike, help me set this cake up while it's still in one piece" she said with a raised eyebrow.
"I would be delighted," beamed Frohike, eagerly following her into the small kitchen.
Alex was still standing near the doorway. "Can I see?" he asked, hand darting towards the pink box as Scully passed him.
"No. Go and talk to Mulder." She softened it with a smile.
Mulder was huddled over one of the monitors, skimming over the data. "Damn, this is it. The locations and names for all of them. This will finish off their fucking Consortium once and for all. Yes. Yes!" He straightened up just as Alex walked up to him. Mulder grabbed him in a big hug, lifting him off the ground. "You're the best! The real deal," he proclaimed.
Krycek's smile faded as he pulled back and looked at Mulder. "Am I? Really?" His tone was as serious and intense as the sudden emotion in his eyes.
Mulder seemed to understand what lay beneath his simple questions. "Yes, Alex, really. You are."
"Hey, man, what about me?! What am I, chopped tofu?" Langly's indignant squawk broke their reflective mood.
Mulder patted Krycek's shoulder and walked over to the blond with a grin, wrapping his arm around his shoulders. "You, Ringo, are a genuine prince of keyboard legerdemain, a man who has been tested in the deepest and murkiest of technological waters, a techno wizard who has almost single-handedly elevated geekdom to rarified new heights, a--
Langly threw off his arm with a roll of his eyes. "Forget I said anything. Go back to hugging the kid."
"I am not a kid," stated Krycek with what seemed like long-suffering patience.
"You can debate that after we've all had some cake," announced Scully. She carried in a tall chocolate cake with a single sparkler in the center; Frohike followed faithfully with a small stack of plates and forks in one hand and a six-pack in the other.
"Happy Birthday, Alex!" they all shouted as the small group gathered around him and the little celebration began.
A few hours later Mulder and Alex found themselves alone in the small kitchen. Scully had already left for home. Langly and Frohike were in another room playing a video game on the big plasma screen. The muffled sounds of swords clanking and blood-curdling screams carried faintly through the house.
Alex put the remains of the cake into the refrigerator as Mulder placed the empty beer bottles in the recycling bin. "It was nice of Scully to come over tonight. I know she doesn't like to leave Emily," Alex told him.
"Well, her mom's watching Emily, and she wanted to be here. Besides, if it wasn't for you, she wouldn't have Emily."
The silence that followed made Mulder grimace.
"I didn't save Emily. My original did." Alex turned away and started to put the plates in the sink.
Mulder blew out a breath and walked over to him. He put a hand on his shoulder, turning him around. "I know. Look, you are Alex Krycek, down to the subatomic particles. I don't want to worry over everything I say to you. You've been with us a year now."
Alex sighed, a bittersweet tone in his voice. "Yeah, one year old today. Happy Birthday to me."
"You've given Langly and Frohike their Gunmen back. They wouldn't have stuck together after John died if it wasn't for you."
The long dark lashes rose, revealing green eyes that overflowed with emotion and a hunger that almost took Mulder's breath away. "What about you, Mulder? What am I to you?"
Mulder chewed on his lip, remembering the roads not taken, the chances lost by misunderstanding, the love denied first by stubborn pride and then by death. "Redemption," he answered. And, at long last, he closed the short distance between them and kissed Alex Krycek on the mouth.
Rain was threatening. The sky was a gun metal gray and the air was cold. Krycek stood under the dark canopy at the gravesite, watching as the casket was lowered. Most of the old men began walking away. The Brit turned back. Krycek could feel his hard stare and slowly looked up, meeting it. His lips twitched at the barely concealed contempt in the Englishman's pale eyes before the old man turned away and followed the others down the gravel path that led to their waiting cars. "I have a feeling I'll be arranging another funeral shortly," he said softly.
An arm linked through his and he dipped his head to the side to gaze at Marita's lovely face. "I doubt that he'd make a move against you, Alex. Not so soon. None of them would. You hold all the cards now, darling. They can only resent it. You're the one in charge."
"I intend to keep it that way." Krycek admired the way the sable collar of her coat framed her face and brought out the platinum gold of her hair. He almost wished he actually felt some affection for her.
He turned his attention to the remaining two people under the canopy, standing on the opposite side of the grave. Bill Mulder's face was as grim and ashen as the weather. His eyes were bitter, focused on the open grave. By his side, his daughter Samantha looked vaguely bored, her hazel eyes gazing about at the tombstones.
She could be useful, he thought. Bill Mulder, on the other hand, was becoming more of a liability than an asset. His sole ambition to see Spender dead had certainly worked to Krycek's advantage. But now that Spender's remains were soon to be buried under six feet of well-deserved dirt, there really wasn't anything more that the senior Mulder could do for him. The other Syndicate members certainly weren't going to confide in him any more. They might even kill him, just out of pique. The thought brought a small smile to Krycek's lips. Now, that would be fun to watch.
Samantha seemed to be a very intelligent woman but not particularly motivated by anything other than her own security and an unfortunate over-dependence on her father. She hadn't even expressed any interest in the circumstances surrounding the death of her brother. Of course, she'd just been a child when Fox Mulder had been given up to the Project at Spender's insistence, but the consequences had certainly transformed her family. The boy had died with the first round of experiments. Her mother had committed suicide shortly thereafter. And Bill Mulder had started on the path of his obsessive, secret vendetta. But Samantha probably considered herself fortunate to have escaped her brother's fate and had been satisfied to leave it at that.
Krycek briefly wondered if anything would have turned out differently had Fox Mulder lived.
"Alex, darling, let's go. We have a lot to celebrate today." Marita's silky voice interrupted his thoughts. "I have champagne and cake back at my apartment." She slid up against him, her gloved fingers stroking down his arm as she glanced briefly into the open grave. "There are better ways of celebrating your birthday than wasting any more time on this dead bastard."
His lips formed a smile. Yes, it was his birthday. How clever of her to remember. "Why don't you go ahead and get back to the limo. I'll be there in a minute."
Marita gave him a smile as false as his own, nodded, and headed for his car. He watched her graceful silhouette for a moment before turning back to the grave. The cemetery attendants were standing at a respectful distance, waiting until all the mourners were gone before filling in the plot. Probably hoping they would leave before the rain started.
Mourners. Krycek could have laughed at the notion. If anything, they had all come to rejoice at his long-deserved passing. Much as the others might fear and resent Krycek at the moment, they had despised Spender even more. The cancerous son-of-a-bitch had been as adept at doling out misery as he had been at ingratiating himself to the Alien invaders and their ill-fated Project. But the Rebels had prevailed. Krycek had gambled big and found himself on the winning side. Now he held the reins of power in the Syndicate.
About the only thing Spender had been good for was cleaning out the FBI and NSA of any possible threats to their organization. As far as Krycek could ascertain, there was no one left in a position of influence that wasn't under the thumb of the Syndicate. Those few who had tried to fight them were dead.
He gazed down into the tarped-lined hole, at the shiny lacquer top of the coffin. "Burn in hell," he whispered. He looked up to see Bill Mulder approach the edge of the grave, one foot moving to kick a loose knot of dirt onto the casket, his expression a curious mixture of hatred and defeat. Without a word, he turned his back on Krycek and the grave, took hold of his daughter's hand and walked away. Samantha looked over her shoulder, nodding a vague goodbye to him. He inclined his head slightly in acknowledgement. Yes, maybe she could be useful. If not, two bodies were as easy to eliminate as one.
His thoughts returned to Mulder's son, Fox, and he wondered again if the outcome might've changed if Samantha had been the one given to the Project instead of the boy. Would Bill Mulder have acted differently? Would their lives have taken another turn? Would Krycek be where he was now?
A sharp gust of wind brushed against his face and ruffled his hair, making a shiver run up his spine. He could feel the moisture in the air and gazed up at the dark, roiling clouds.
Conjecture was a waste of time, he decided. Besides, he doubted that it would have made any difference anyway.
They were all the same. They were all players in a shadowy game of power and deceit. He'd learned that early on and nothing and no one had proved him wrong. And it was, in its own dangerous way, a very seductive game, with the old men in the Syndicate and the young connivers like Marita, all jockeying for position and their chance at taking it all. Those were the only kind of people in his world.
Krycek smiled. He'd have to watch them, every one of them. Play them against each other. He couldn't let down his guard, ever. He was on his own, like always. There was no one to trust and nothing to believe in. But by the same token, there was no one to care about either. No one to get in his way and distract him. He'd kill them all, if he had to, and not blink an eye.
Little had the old men realized that they'd been grooming him for this, for this moment. He'd purged himself of any troublesome idealist notions, hardened himself to the reality of survival, honed himself to winning at all costs. He was better at it than any of them ever were.
Glancing down at the coffin of his former mentor and adversary, his smile faded. In the distance, the little caravan of black limousines was slowly snaking out of the cemetery. Marita was waiting for him. He nodded to the grave attendants. "Cover it up now," he ordered and turned away.
A light rain began to fall as his shoes crunched along the gravel path. He could see his sleek limo up ahead at the end of the path, his driver dutifully standing outside, ready to open the door for him.
Perhaps he'd let Marita persuade him to stay at her place tonight. He could ease himself in her ivory beauty. Maybe he could even imagine that they actually cared for one another. He drew in a breath of cold air. No. There was no room for pointless fantasies in his life. He didn't need them. He didn't need any one.
His hair was damp from the rain, little droplets trailing down his face. His gaze slowly swept the tombstones on either side of the walkway and he stopped. For a fleeting moment, he envied the dead as he had the peculiar sensation that a piece of him had died long ago and the rest of him was just...existing.
He swallowed hard and shook the feeling off and started walking, leaving the dead behind. He had a celebration to go to. It was his birthday after all.
This was definitely not what he expected for his birthday.
Alex glanced at the fur-lined cuffs on his wrists, a tiny frown line crinkling between his brows. Damn Mulder and his big, flapping mouth. He wriggled on the bed, the satin sheets sliding under his skin. The ruby colored walls seemed to shimmer in the glow of the squat pillar candles that flickered around the room. A scent that was almost like honeysuckle and jasmine lingered on a warm breeze that wafted through the tall arched windows.
He turned his head at the sound of the double doors opening and bit down on his lower lip. His eyes followed Walter Skinner as he crossed the room and stopped beside the big bed. He was dressed only in black cut off jeans that showed off his powerful frame and hard muscles.
"Are you comfortable, Alex?" he asked, placing a large covered tray on the intricately carved wood table by the bed, along with a fluffy white bath towel.
"Listen, Walter. You, uh, you don't have to do this."
Skinner reached down and slowly ran a fingertip down his chest, from his collarbone to his navel and back, a gleam in his dark brown eyes.
Whimpering a little as Skinner stopped to pinch his left nipple, Alex swallowed. "Walter?"
Skinner's fingers trailed lower, pausing. He grabbed the towel with his free hand and began tucking it under Krycek's ass.
"Walter, what are you doing?"
Skinner gave him a slow smile. "Time for your shave."
"Oh. Oh. Uh, no, you...you can't mean..."
But Skinner was already reaching for a razor and a container of shaving cream, setting them close as he began to cover Alex's pubic hair. The cream tingled and smelled of mint. The razor touched his groin and began to lay him bare.
Skinner was slow and meticulous, making sure every hair was removed from his crotch. His balls were checked, too, until his entire groin was smooth as a baby's.
"You're panting a little, Alex," Skinner told him after he was done, touching one blunt fingertip to the crown of his half-hard cock.
"Y-you were f-fondling me."
"Well, of course, I love playing with your cock and balls, almost as much as I like pushing my finger into that tight little hole of yours," replied Skinner matter-of-factly.
"You, uh, you don't usually talk...like that."
"Talk? Dirty, you mean? Well, now how did you explain it to Mulder? Ah yes, `Walter's the tall, bald, handsome and prudish type. He's so vanilla he makes ice cream jealous'."
The clipped tone in the older man's voice made Alex wince. "Mulder's a big-mouthed dork. I was only joking around. He was complaining about Scully not wearing the leather bustier he got her for their anniversary and, well, I was commiserating, you know, just saying something to make him feel better."
"You meant it, Alex."
Alex glanced at his cuffs and gulped. "I love your vanilla, Walter." He inclined his head, deliberately gazing up through his long lashes.
"Don't bother. That's not going to work tonight," replied Walter firmly. "As it happens, I'm very glad that Mulder told me. Now, let's finish your shave."
His question was answered as Walter efficiently shaved his armpits. "There, nice and smooth." Walter bent down and slowly ran his tongue over one clean shaven underarm until Alex gave a little moan. Then he stopped and straightened. "How do you like your birthday so far?"
Alex looked at his groin, his cock twitching. "It's not what I expected, but..."
Alex smiled. "So far, so good. That is, unless you're gonna be mad at me because of Mulder and his motor mouth."
Walter removed a small silver bowl from the covered tray, an almost teasing smile on his face. "Have a truffle," he said, taking a very dark, cocoa powdered confection from the dish and placing it against Alex's lips.
He bit into the rich, dark chocolate, tasting rich liqueur as it melted against his tongue. "Mmmm." As he opened his mouth to devour the remaining half, his lips sucked at Walter's fingers.
"We're going to have a very good time, Alex. I'll show you that I have quite a few more flavors in me than vanilla and you will have the best birthday of your life." He traced Alex's truffle-smeared lips with a fingertip before he bent down and kissed them. Then he sat down on the big bed and lightly caressed Alex's cheek with the back of his hand before leaning forward and giving Alex another long, deep kiss. When Alex began to growl, he drew back and reached over to remove the linen cloth that covered the large tray.
Alex opened his eyes and took in the padded nipple clamps, assorted dildoes and plugs, leather paddles, scented oils and cock rings. "Wow," he whispered, his penis twitching into full erection.He glanced at Walter's crotch and happily noted the impressive bulge with a lusty sense of possessive pride.
Walter slowly picked up one of the jewel-studded cock rings, admiring it with a chuckle. "Are you still angry with Mulder for telling me?"
Alex shook his head and grinned, making a mental note to thank Mulder later.
He looked up into Walter's eyes and their gazes met and understanding flowed between them.
A few years ago, neither man had expected to be alive, let alone have a chance to discover that they could be more than grudging allies in a secret intergalactic war. Yet, here they were, building a strong relationship and a future together. Learning about each other. Loving each other. Two men who would never have dreamed it possible.
Life was indeed stranger than fiction. Scully had called what happened to the four of them a miracle. Mulder had called it his greatest X-File. Walter, well, he was sure there would be a rational explanation for it one day. And Alex...Alex refused to question or label it. He was simply going to savor every moment to the fullest and consider himself a damned fortunate human being.
Things happen that can change your life. Extraordinary things happen that can change your universe. In their fight for survival, all four of them had lost their world, but they'd stumbled upon an ancient portal to another.
As Walter sat down beside him, cock ring in one hand and a bottle of scented oil in the other, moonlight streamed in through the arched windows.
Walter turned towards the soft silvery-blue light, Alex following his gaze. They both smiled at the now familiar sight through the drawn ivory curtains: two moons rising, radiant and lovely, one slightly larger than the other, hanging like shimmering baubles on a necklace of stars.
Krycek walked down the street towards the apartment building, a paper bag with his fast food burger clutched in his hand. The city was crawling back to life. The last of the debris from the destroyed buildings had been cleared and new construction was starting to fill in the gaps.
D.C. was one of the hardest hit areas, a major target in the Alien War as desperation rose on both sides and all viable weapons were unleashed. Krycek knew there were parts of the country and fairly large areas across the world that hadn't been ravaged, hadn't even been touched, except for the now pervasive vaccine that floated in the air.
They were safe now, the Alien threat beaten back and forever eliminated thanks to a lucky accident in one of the Rebel labs that had found the ultimate, microscopic weapon. The human collaborators were all either dead or locked away.
He looked around as he slowly turned the corner. Businesses and shops were open again. There were people walking in the streets now. They looked more like opaque shadows to his eyes, moving around in the distance. There were a few more cars and buses on the streets and fewer military vehicles. One day, it would all look completely...normal again. Be normal again. He knew that would take time. A bus engine sputtered and than popped loudly as it stopped and started at the signal. It sounded like a burst of gunfire. Krycek hurled himself against the closest wall, dropping down into a crouch before he could stop himself.
He'd always told himself he'd survive. He was a born survivor, after all. From the beginning of the Silent War all the way through the all-out Battle of the Worlds, he'd survived.
He'd survived them all.
With a thick swallow, he rose to his feet, his breathing rapid, and looked around. The bus was already gone. His burger and fries were crushed against his chest by his prosthesis. His legs felt heavy as he started walking again, tossing his mangled food into a big dumpster that overflowed with charred metal and broken concrete, the debris of a war-torn city. Bits of paper were caught by gusts of wind, rising and twisting in the air for a few moments before being swept away. He walked past a tall construction fence, the view cut off by planks of wood. There used to be several apartment building on that site. Krycek remembered those buildings all too well. It was one of the reasons he kept a place nearby.
It was a stupid thing really, to remain in the area. He should have left when the War ended. Should have found himself a new life in one of the untouched parts of the country, of the world.
He stayed here because it was as close as he could get to the only two people that ever really mattered to him. They were both gone now, of course. Dead and gone. Lost in the War with all the others. Not even graves to mark their passing. Nothing left at all. So, he stayed here, in one of the old apartment buildings that still remained and been classified as livable.
His appetite gone, he hurried along to his building. There were few people in occupancy. In fact, he rarely saw anyone, just an occasional glance of someone's silhouette entering or leaving the building. No one else lived on his floor. That was fine with him. He didn't really care.
Inside the small studio apartment, he walked past the empty bed with its neatly arranged, pale blue blanket, the only bit of color in the room. He walked over to the chair by the window and sat, staring out at the empty space across the street. They were starting to dig out a foundation. A new building would be going up where Mulder's apartment once stood.
He wasn't aware of the time passing. The minutes, hours, days, all seemed the same. Everything seemed endlessly grey, devoid of feeling, of warmth, of hope.
Slowly, his eyes filled with tears. They slipped, unnoticed, through his lashes. Longing settled like a deep, sharp ache inside him. The loneliness never went away, never eased. Sometimes, he could almost hear that voice, his voice. Sometimes, he could almost hear both their voices. He could almost feel their touch. Almost.
It hurt. It hurt so much.
He survived. Survived them all...
"Oh, god, Walter, look. He's crying again." Mulder's voice was strained, his face haggard as he sank into the chair by the bed and reached for the sallow, lax hand. He bowed his head, touching the cool fingers to his cheek. "Alex, Alex, wake up for me. Please, wake up now. I'm here, I'm here and I need you. Please, Alex, come back to me."
Skinner approached the other side of the hospital bed and lightly touched the pale blue blanket for a moment before following the trail of a tear as it slipped through the long dark lashes. He wiped it away gently. "He'll come back, Mulder," he said, his voice rough.
"It's been weeks, Walter. Weeks." Mulder bit down on his lip as he tried to steady his voice. "He thinks he's alone. He thought we were in my apartment when he was caught in that last attack. He thinks we're dead, Walter."
Skinner swallowed visibly, turning his head away towards the hospital window. The sun was shining outside. "I know." Skinner squared his shoulders and turned back, fighting his own weariness. He'd heard Mulder say the same thing over and over. Each time, it was no less painful. Each time, he knew what Mulder wanted him to say. "We'll get him back," he said, the response a necessary mantra for them. "Alex will come out of it. He'll come back to us."
And, once again, Mulder nodded, the words still holding some comfort, some hope, despite each bleak, passing day. "We have to believe," Mulder said softly, more to himself. He cleared his throat and wiped a hand over his face.
Mulder looked across the bed at Skinner. "Today is Alex's birthday."
Skinner squeezed his eyes shut for a moment, fighting the feeling of helplessness, fighting back that sense of loss that always seemed to hover over his heart. He had to be strong, not just for Alex, but for Mulder. "We'll celebrate it later, when he's well again."
The two men took up their places, on either side of the comatose man on the bed, waiting and watching as the tears continued to slip down Alex Krycek's face.
Jenn raised her large mug of coffee and gazed out at the world as it strolled by the coffee shop window. The coffee was hot and rich, a sharp bite on the tongue as it went down. Delicious. It was her first cup in centuries. It had definitely improved over time.
She touched her finger to the corner of her eye, feeling the smooth skin where her jewel used to be. Free. She was free. She smiled and looked through the window again, bright sunshine warming the view, dappling down through the late blooming dogwood trees and sparkling off the many storefront windows. People walked by, going about the everyday business of their lives.
Jenn waited to catch a glimpse of them.
A few minutes later, two men emerged from the fancy bakery across the street. They were both tall and very handsome. The brown-haired man grabbed the dark-haired man by the shoulder and whispered something into his ear, making him laugh. He pointed to the coffee shop and they dashed across the street.
Jenn's smile grew a fraction as her eyes followed them. They were even better looking closer up as they made their way into the coffee shop and sat down a couple of tables away from her. They didn't sit by the window. Well, she could see they obviously weren't interested in the view outside.
There were only a handful of patrons in the little cafe on this fine late morning, and she could hear their conversation.
"Fox, that cake you ordered was ridiculously huge. Two tiers? No wonder they have to deliver it in a van."
"Hey, you have a lot of friends. We have a lot of guests to feed. The X-Files department alone is over a dozen people and with most of your Computer Crimes section, that's around thirty guests right there. And you know they're all going to come. And then there's everybody else. Besides, Langly alone could eat half of that cake."
"Not if he values his life he won't. He knows how I feel about chocolate." The sable-haired man tempered his comment with a smile, his green eyes shining with affection.
So, thought Jenn, that's his Alex. More beautiful than handsome, she decided. Fox Mulder had very good taste.
Mulder glanced at the short menu as the waitress approached. He ordered a large coffee and a slice of apple pie. Alex just asked for coffee with cream.
"You're really making too big a deal about my birthday, you know. I mean, caterers?"
"Remember how many people are coming, okay. Hey, you want me to poison our friends with my attempt at cooking? I'm still struggling with oatmeal for one, and that's with the instant baggies."
"I wouldn't have minded putting together some stuff--"
"It's your birthday, Alex. Bad enough I couldn't manage a surprise party like I wanted. That's what comes of having a crafty, cunning FBI agent for a life partner."
"You left your email open, Fox, oh erstwhile FBI genius. Didn't exactly require my hacking skills to figure out what you were planning. Besides with all those invitees, someone would've spilled the beans."
"Aw, hell, it makes it easier this way. Scully and Walter were about to go ballistic with all the subterfuge I had in mind to keep you in the dark."
Alex started to chuckle. "Yeah, Red has her hands full enough with the twins." His brow furrowed, mouth thinning for a moment. "Uh, I guess they'll be bringing them to the party?"
Fox laughed. "Very delicately put, babe. No, her mother is going to watch them. So, no Terrible Twos rampaging through the house this time. Scully figured that'd be as much a present for her and Walter as for you."
"Well, I'm still trying to clean up all the stains from their last visit," admitted Alex with a roll of his eyes.
Their coffees and pie arrived and the two men drank in comfortable silence. Fox ate a few bites of the golden apple pie before offering a big forkful to his partner who took it with an appreciative murmur. Several more forkfuls followed. When the pie was almost gone, Fox reached out and gently swiped a small piece of apple from the corner of Alex's mouth.
"Don't look at me like that," Alex told him. "We're in a public place, you asshole."
"Why, whatever do you mean, Alexander?" replied Fox with a wide-eyed look of innocence as he slowly sucked the bit of apple off his finger.
"Oh, you're gonna get it."
"God, I sure hope so. Hey, we still have the whole day to ourselves. Caterers don't descend on the house until tomorrow morning. The house is clean but we can mess up the bedroom as much as we want. Let's find out how many creative up close and personal pre-birthday gifts I can come up with for you." Fox wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and turned to wave the waitress over as Alex's laughter bubbled over.
But Jenn had already caught the waitress and took their check.
The waitress moved on to the two men and informed them there was no charge. "That lady over there took care of it. Told me to tell you that she wishes you both a long and happy life together."
Alex's eyes rounded for a moment and then he inclined his head politely towards her in acknowledgment. "We must look like a couple of love-addled, sugarpuff newlyweds," he said, glancing at the platinum band on his left ring finger and the matching one on Fox's hand.
"Speak for yourself. I'm a rough, tough, macho sugarpuff newlywed," replied Fox with a grin. Then he turned around in his seat and looked at Jenn. The expression on his face told her that he'd already spotted her when they came in.
She raised her coffee cup in a toasting gesture and smiled at the only human she had ever encountered over the long centuries who had truly chosen and crafted his three wishes with a heart's wisdom, and with a depth of compassion that even included her in them.
Hazel eyes, alight with recognition and a deeper joy, met hers and he nodded knowingly. "Thank you," he mouthed.
"Thank you," she said in return. Then she rose from her seat and walked out of the little coffee shop and back out into the glorious new day.
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Title: Five Birthdays that Never Happened to Alex Krycek
Author: Courtney Gray [email/website]
Details: Standalone | R | 32k | 05/24/06
Category: AU (Alternate Universe)
Summary: The title pretty much says it all.
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