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A Turnabout Detour: Wild Card

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"Carrion child,
Prey for me.
Play your wild card,
See the house come down around your head..."
   -- "Possession" by the Sisters of Mercy

New York City, NY
November 4, 1998
1:30 a.m.

Pulling his leather jacket closer around him, Fox took a deep breath of sharp, cold, autumn air and sighed. He'd missed this during the years of roaming the south and southwest with Bobby. //You can take the boy out of New England, but...//

Not that Fox regretted those years, no. Every day was a holiday with Bobby. //My lover, my master, my creator, my world...// But anxiety gnawed at him, and he'd been turning more and more melancholy lately. He could also swear they were being followed somehow.

"You've already had a thrill-kill this week, Bobby," Fox said softly.

"And I need another one," Bobby answered while ruffling Fox's hair. "Your conscience targets are fine, but sometimes a man needs some empty calories. Someday you'll come to appreciate the beauty of a random kill."

"It's been about nine years. If I haven't already, why would I start now?"

Bobby's brown-black eyes seemed to swallow the orange light of the street lamps even as his pale skin seemed to glow. "Consider me an optimist." He moved with the deadly grace of a tiger on the prowl. Fox loved to just watch him.

"You're getting too overconfident, Bobby. You already took someone from New York City this week."

"So anyone trying to follow us wouldn't expect us to do it again. They haven't caught us in 10 years."

"That's because we were careful!"

Bobby turned to him and pulled him close. "Fox." Bobby's touch always made the rest of the world go away, focused Fox on his voice and presence. "Are you scared? Don't be. I'll always take care of you and never leave."

Fox felt his throat close up. "I can't help wondering if you're needing more of these, because I'm... I'm not enough for you anymore, Bobby."

"What? Never, Fox, never. I love you," Bobby said against his mouth before kissing him deeply, and his lips instinctively parted for his lover's tongue. Bobby's hand went under Fox's jacket--stroking from the strap of the gun harness down his spine to the hilt of the knife at the small of his back--before sliding under the jeans over the bare skin of his ass, gripping and caressing. He clutched Bobby tighter and moaned.

Neither cared about the spectacle they presented to anyone passing by. Bias crimes against gay men and lesbians in New York City had jumped 81% during the first 9 months of 1998, but Bobby actually hoped to meet up with an attacker. Even Fox would have no qualms about playing with and killing such a person; he would see it as a conscience killing.

Eventually, Fox realized that they had drawn an appreciative audience and winced when he saw that it was a pair of Goth kids. Worse, they watched with that look in their eyes, the one Fox had seen too many times not to know immediately. These two belonged to that delusional Goth minority that believed in the essential good will of vampires and wished to become undead themselves. Vampire groupies, dreaming of immortality and so arrogant--or maybe just so young--that they believed any creature of the night they'd meet would bestow it on them instead of just killing them. That type saw Bobby and Fox's extreme natural pallor, sensed their coiled deadliness, and mistook them for another kind of predator entirely. Kids like them appealed to Bobby's vanity and cruelty.

Two of them, a girl and what might turn out to be a boy, both with that look in their eyes. Bobby would want them both dead, and he'd expect Fox to take one himself.

Fox's heart sank when Bobby looked at the kids with a kindly smile.


Bobby had taken the girl, who called herself Martine, to the other end of the alley, out of sight. He felt that girls took the "romantic vampire shit" (as he called it) more seriously, which gave him more pleasure when he broke their dreams and their bodies. That left Fox with the androgynous boy, Patrick.

As Fox kissed black lips and ran his hands through thick blue-black hair, he regretted the betrayal and murder to come. Disobedience was never an option, but he could mourn what his love made him do. These kids reminded him so much of himself at that age, but they would never get the chance to grow older and smarter. When forced to kill like this, Fox always gave them as much pleasure as he could before a quick, relatively painless end.

Patrick pulled away when his explorations uncovered the knife sheathed at Fox's back. His eyes, darkened by thick black liner, widened. As Fox flexed his wrists to better feel the knives sheathed on each one under his sleeves, he wished a bolt of insight would hit that callow mind, forcing it to realize that making out with an armed stranger alone in an alley wasn't a good idea. If the kid ran, Fox could make an excuse to Bobby, who wouldn't really believe it, but would find a way to forgive surely....

No such luck. "You and Bobby are like the vampires in The Hunger?" Patrick asked softly with glowing eyes.

Fox thought of the Whitley Streiber story about the vampire Miriam. Only able to create flawed vampires, she could give her companions bloodlust and a longer life but not immortality as she knew it. "Something like that," Fox answered sadly. //Somehow these kids never remember how many people become nothing more than meals, or maybe they think that couldn't happen to them.//

Patrick smiled and pulled Fox close again. He had opened his trench coat as soon as they'd stopped in the alley to reveal a studded leather collar, faux velvet halter top, and long velvet skirt. Pressed into soft black and warm metal, Fox licked and nibbled at the pale skin over the boy's carotid artery, knowing full well that these kids loved that. No doubt dreaming of immortality to come, Patrick moaned and bucked. Fox knew he should make this fast, but the boy beguiled him with his immediate submission and diffident caresses, so unlike Bobby's total surety, complete possession, and dark fire. He felt a dangerous wave of affection.

"What were you, before?" Patrick gasped.

//Apparently it's obvious which of us is the true vampire... Why not tell him? It's been so long since I had anyone but Bobby, and Patrick will never tell...// "I was a federal agent. I hunted serial killers." At the boy's soft laugh, Fox said, "Yeah, ironic. That's how I met him. He took me, and changed me..."

Some faint noise, some quality of the night, prodded at Fox's instincts. Something was wrong. He pulled away and fended off the kid's attempts to pull him back in. "Listen to me, Patrick. Find a place to hide. Someone's after me and might not be picky enough to avoid taking you down too." The boy stared at him in incomprehension. "Go!" Patrick shook himself out of his trance and ran for the opening to the street. "Don't go that--" The kid vanished. //I hope they let you through okay.//

Fox whistled a high note that ended low--his sign to Bobby that they had trouble--before unholstering his gun and running toward him. Bobby had just pushed Martine away and had his own gun in hand. He looked wired from not getting his kill, but he would never do it under a time constraint. That made it butchery instead of art.

"We have hunters on our tail, Martine. You have to hide," Fox said. Her eyes widened, but she obediently ducked down behind a dumpster, although not before her nose wrinkled in disgust at what she had to hide in.

Bobby had already climbed the chain link fence, vaulted over the barbed wire at the top, and landed on the other side. "C'mon, Fox, hurry."

Fox started to climb, but dropped back down when he saw gunmen coming up behind his love. He fired, hitting one in the chest and the other in the shoulder. He heard people running up behind him too and ducked behind another dumpster just as they started to fire.


"Go, Bobby! I'll hold them off. You have a clear path! Go!"

"I won't leave--"


Bobby ran--probably to try to loop around and surprise their attackers from behind. //Don't be stupid; there are too many of them. Save yourself...// Fox returned fire.


Alex Krycek cursed as their prey took down another of his men. //Where the hell did Johnson get these people?//

"Krycek, did one of our targets just call the other one `Fox'?" Johnson asked in the plug in Krycek's ear. He hated going on these missions wired. Having to listen to the old bastard like this made him feel like he had his supervisor in his head.

"That's what it sounded like," Alex growled softly as he crept closer to his target's location.

"Be especially careful with this Fox. Make sure you bring him in alive."

"What the hell do you think we have these tranq guns for? That's what we were doing anyway!" //Dammit, I know my business...// Another man went down wounded. //Better than your thugs do.//

Alex vaulted over the dumpster and knocked the gun from his target's hand. The target responded by pulling a knife and slicing into Alex's arm, which made him drop his gun. Both crouching on the asphalt, they faced one another. The mark suddenly had two knives, one in each hand, and used one to feint as he sliced at Alex's throat with the other. Krycek leaned back to escape and managed to pick up of the darts his X-Files team had shot earlier. The next time the target slashed him, this time on his other arm, he jabbed the dart into the man's neck.

When the mark collapsed into his arms, he smelled a heady melange of sex, leather, metal, gunpowder, cigarettes, and old blood that went straight to his groin. The solid warmth, bristling with weapons and dressed entirely in black, slumped against him didn't do him any favors either.

"Alex--" Johnson snarled in his ear.

"I brought him down, okay? He's too warm to be the vampire we were expecting, so I'd say he's living."

"The other one came back around but escaped before he could be caught." Something in Johnson's tone said he'd find a way to blame it on Alex.

"I'm sure we can use his partner to reel him in."

"Which one did you catch?"

Alex smiled at the barely veiled need in his supervisor's tone. "I caught `Fox.'" //And rarely has a name been more accurate...// "So, who do you think he is?"

"That's need-to-know, and you don't."

//We'll see about that.//


Alex watched on the monitor as Bill Mulder tried to get his unresponsive son to say anything or even look at him. Fox Mulder had withdrawn completely within an hour of being left alone in the room. Right now he was curled in a fetal position on the bed.

Alex took a deep drag on his cigarette and smiled. "You must be desperate if you're asking my opinion."

Johnson blew out a long stream of smoke. "I hoped his father might break him out."

"Bill Mulder's barely human. Your own profile on Fox suggests a distant, dysfunctional relationship between them." //As you well know, since Bill's a friend of yours, as much as either of you could be friends with anyone.//

"I thought guilt or anger might help."

"So, now you want my opinion." Alex sat back and put his feet up on the table.

"Yes." Johnson didn't look happy about it.

"I read the profile of the killer Patterson thought had kidnapped Fox nine years ago." Alex had also looked at the bureau's profile and stats on Fox Mulder, kept on record even after he'd gone missing and been presumed dead in 1989. Life with a serial killer had only made him more attractive.

"Extracurricular reading, Alex? How... thorough of you."

"That's just the way I am." //Asshole.// "Given what we know, I think Fox became the soulmate the UNSUB was looking for. Being the obsessive type, the killer probably stayed around him 24-7. Solitary confinement won't do Fox any favors."

"He needs a roommate."

"Yeah." Alex stubbed out his cigarette.

"Report to Cardone for clothing and provisions. You have to be ready for your new living situation."

"What? I have an assignment--"

"This is more important."

"I'm not living in a loony bin no matter how much you--"

"Alex," Johnson hissed, "you follow orders. Do you understand? Do you?"

Alex breathed deeply and made his face go blank. He put his Perfect, Dutiful Employee mask on and looked at Johnson and the rest of the Old Bastards Club behind him. "Yes, sir. Sirs."

"I don't have to tell you what I'm about to. Fox Mulder is very important. He got taken precisely because he has such a gift for profiling and solving cases. We could have used him just when we thought he was another killer; these other talents make him priceless to us."

//But you have another reason, one you're not telling me...// "Yes, sir."

"I want you to persuade him to stay with us, no matter what it takes. Don't give me that look. Is whoring suddenly too good for you? I saw the way you drooled over him last night, so don't pretend you'd be doing us a favor."

//In that room, with all of you watching us on camera and jerking off... Only if I found a way to take advantage of you with that...// "It's not like his accommodations will make him want to stay."

"If anything of the old Fox remains, you can make him see why we have to be concerned with his safety at first. See if you can get him to name his partner."

"But we have a name for the person who owned the house that was Fox's last known location." //The one that blew up in the SWAT team's faces after they got there too late to find them...//

"It was under an alias. You can promise Fox a nicer room as a reward for information and progress."

"Of course." //You just keep adding on to the list, Johnson. At this rate, I'm going to be torturing you for days before I do you the mercy of killing you.//


The locks made a loud, final, clicking sound as they closed behind him. Alex had been in the windowless room for only three seconds and knew he hated it. It only contained a toilet, two small cots, and Fox Mulder. The white fluorescent lights buzzed faintly, glared off the white walls and floor, and gave the small, austere room an even bleaker look. //Convince him to stay with us? How, when I want to run from here?//

Alex stood next to Fox's cot and, ever mindful of the cameras, fought the urge to stroke the pale curve of spine revealed where his T-shirt had ridden up. He wore only the white shirt and a pair of pants that had an elastic waistband, no shoes or socks; his jailers wouldn't give him any laces, zippers, or buttons he could use to harm himself or others. Alex wore a similar ensemble, but in black. //Makes it easier for the guards to tell us apart... I'm going to kill Johnson for this.// Fox didn't move or open his eyes, not even with what could have been a threat looming over him.

Alex sat down next to him and started to stroke the soft chestnut hair. Still no response. Last night's killer in the alley would have attacked long before now. Alex started to talk, trying to get a reply. He didn't say anything personal about himself, not with the whole room bugged, but talked about books he'd read and movies he'd seen.

Since they took Alex's watch from him, he didn't know how long he'd talked, but his throat eventually started to go dry. "Shit, I'm dying for a cigarette."

"Me too," a soft voice said from beside him. Fox rolled over to look at him. He briefly got lost in gray-green eyes. "What are you in for? Didn't they like the way you handled me?"

"They thought you'd be happier with a roommate. I'm Alex, your roommate."

"There's an easy way to make me happy."

"They won't let you go."

"That's what I thought. Could they at least give me a nicer, dimmer room and a few packs of Du Maurier cigarettes?"

"We'll see."

When Fox looked around suddenly, Alex realized the other man knew about the surveillance. "Great," Fox said in a neutral tone. When he sat up, Alex was struck by the thought that the other man had oddly elegant feet, long and shapely. Distracted and disgusted with himself, Alex almost missed Fox's next words. "I'm sorry about your arms. I was just defending myself and buying my partner time. It wasn't personal."

Alex looked down at the bandages circling his arms. One slash had required ten stitches, the other 15. "Right." //It's a good thing you're so damned sexy, and you sound sorry.//

"Catch me up?"

"If I can." //I hope you're all seeing what a wonderfully helpful team player I'm being here.//

"How's Patterson doing?"

"How did you...?"

"I saw Dad and made a guess about the agency that brought me in. Your reaction just confirmed it."

//Whatever else happened over the last nine years, his brains are still at least partly intact.// "Your old mentor?" Alex grinned at the face Fox made. "He's dead. Shot down resisting arrest. He went too far into the head of one of his killers and couldn't get out."

"It's always sad when that happens," Fox said, then started to giggle. "Sorry."

//You're at least as nuts as you should be, and I like it. Maybe this won't be so bad...//

Eventually the guards brought the next meal in. While they let Alex eat his in peace, they stood over Fox and watched. Obviously self-conscious and pissed off under the scrutiny, Fox started to taunt them. "Are you sure you can let me have this spork? I might snap it in half and use a sharp edge on my wrists. Do you think you'd be able to stop me from killing myself in the, oh, twenty minutes it would take me to slice into the artery? What about this banana peel? I might shove it down my throat to choke myself to death." Alex almost choked while laughing on his own banana. The guards refused to react.

Just before they left with the trays and dirty dishes, one of the guards opened the door for Bill Mulder. "And here's dessert," Fox muttered sadly to himself.

"You'll be coming with us for now, Mr. Krycek," one said. Just before Alex left, he took a look back. Fox looked desperately unhappy. Alex turned away.


As soon as he reached the control room, Alex snatched a Morley from Johnson's pack and lit up. He bristled under Johnson's patronizing look. He blew a long stream of smoke out, then asked, "So, does he get any of his requests?" //This brand tastes like shit. How appropriate.//

"We can't lower the light too much, or we won't see what's going on, but we can dim the room a little. I doubt the Board will approve the cigarettes. They don't want to see how inventive he could get with matches or a lighter."

//Heaven forbid I get a "Good job, Alex," or a "Thanks for pulling our asses out of the fire, Alex." Fuckers.// "He's only going to get crankier without them. You should know." //I'm only going to...//

Johnson smirked. "I'm sure you'll get him past that."

Alex let the glaze of blood fade from before his eyes before he said, "Yes, sir."

From the monitors he suddenly heard Fox growl, "Do you want to know how I survived, Dad? I learned to suck cock and took it in the ass every day. I learned to like it. I got good at that, and then killing too. I'm not the son you want. I was never the son you wanted. So why the hell won't you let me go?"

"Do you think I'm clean, Fox?" Bill Mulder answered. "I don't care how many people you murdered; I probably still have you beaten. I want my son!"

"You lost me long before I got stolen."

"A man can get possessive about his blood, his legacy," Johnson said, but smirked.

Alex began to wonder what the bastard knew that Bill Mulder didn't. //Like a damned soap opera.// Alex hated being left in the dark. Knowledge was power, and power was the ultimate goal...

"When Bill leaves, you go back in," Johnson said.

Alex stubbed out his cigarette. "Yes, sir."


Almost as soon as the door closed behind him, Alex found himself with his back against the wall and Fox molded to his body. He'd only seen a blur as the other man launched himself at him. //Oh, shit!// But Fox simply took a deep breath against his skin before starting to rub luxuriously against him and kiss him. The older man's tongue explored his mouth slowly and thoroughly. Hard and aching, Alex moaned and melted into the strong arms that clutched him.

Finally, Fox broke away and took a deep breath. "What's up with the cheap cigarettes? It's not like people in our professions have to save up for retirement."

"You did that... just for a contact hit of nicotine?"

"I did that for the nicotine. This," Fox's hand slid under Alex's pants and down until his fingers found and stroked the perineum, "is because I want to."

Whimpering, Alex lost himself in the feeling of caressing fingers and Fox's talented mouth. When hot wetness closed around and teased his nipple through his thin shirt, he gasped softly, "We can't... we can't..."

"Why not?" Fox asked as he blew into Alex's ear. "Because they're watching us? Are you shy? Not you, Alex."

As much as Alex wanted this, his pride got in the way. "They're pimping me off to you. They figure I could get you to stay." He fought to ignore how hard he was, how hard Fox was...

Fox tongued his ear, then asked, "Are you really that good?" As Alex choked, Fox said, "I guess there's no good way to answer that question." He pulled away, looking frustrated and unhappy, before walking to the toilet. "Do you know they have a camera right here?"

//I shouldn't be surprised.// Alex sneered. //Are they that desperate? I've heard that people after 60 still have sex, at least some of them...// The next thing Alex saw did surprise him. First, Fox saluted the wall. Then, he pulled his pants down, stepped out of them, and started to stroke himself. //Oh, my God, he's huge, he has an incredible ass, and he has no shame whatsoever. Fuck pride, I'm drooling...//

As Fox's long fingers traced up and down his shaft, pulling and sometimes scratching ever so lightly, he gasped, "They're watching anyway. I might as well give them a show." His breathing went harsh, his eyes closed, his back arched...

Alex couldn't take it anymore. He molded himself to Fox's back and took hold of the older man's cock, pumping it. Fox took advantage of having his hands free by reaching back and pulling Alex's pants down, leaving them skin to skin with the younger man's cock nudging at his ass. He shuddered and moaned, "Please fuck me, Alex. I need you," before coming convulsively.

Alex prepared himself with his slickened hands before slamming in, pinning Fox against the wall. The other man grunted his appreciation and rubbed himself mindlessly against the wall when he wasn't being ground into it. //You slut...// Alex thrust in and out, faster and harder with each whimpered, "Please, more," from his partner. Fox's very vocal encouragements and desperate writhing excited him, but the older man's control of the muscles that now gripped and milked him amazed him. //I don't know what your name is, but you deserve a medal for training him like this...// Lost in lust, pressure, and silken heat, Alex shrieked in release.

Alex came to panting, with Fox still pinned beneath him against the wall. Stripping off their shirts, they staggered to Fox's cot and collapsed on it. Fox immediately tangled his body with Alex's and whispered, "You were so good, so good..." He tongued the other man's ear, fucking it, before saying, "I removed the bug from the wall above the cot and buried it under the mattress. This is as much privacy as we'll get here."

Alex felt utterly manipulated but was too satiated to care. //I hope you fuckers got the show of your lives. I hope you're biting through your lips in frustration.// "That's good." //Oh, that was brilliant. Did all my brains drain out my cock?//

Fox gave him a wry smile. "Thanks. I figure we can get away with much more if just looking at us makes them stupid with lust. Do you think they're still jerking themselves off?"

"I figured they either couldn't get it up or finished in three seconds," Alex said, while Fox wiggled in ways that encouraged Alex to stroke and explore him.

Fox laughed and kissed him. "No wonder they're so evil."

"Fox, they haven't captured your partner. He's still free. I know you wanted to ask. I also know why you wouldn't."

Fox's mouth trembled. "Thanks. Do you know what happened to the kid?"

"What kid?"

"The one who ran at your people just before you closed in."

"The kid in all the black? He got through fine. He was running too quickly and flailing too hard to waste time on."

"That's good. Maybe he'll be smarter next time."

As they kissed and caressed one another under the rough sheet, Alex said, "Something surprises me."

"My reverence for Gothic lifeforms?"

"Yeah, that's very unkiller-like of you. But besides that."


"I expected you to have a tattoo or piercing or something. There's nothing." Alex's hands and mouth encountered only lean muscle and some scars.

"A mark of ownership?" Fox's fingers stroked some of those scars, the ones that looked like they'd been inflicted by a very sharp knife. "You could consider some of these his marks, but not necessarily. He doesn't have to. He's marked me everywhere. You just can't see them..."

With anyone else, that confession would have been a dampener. With Fox, it only inflamed Alex more. If he hadn't been so tired, he would have done something about it. Instead, they drifted into sleep.


Alex woke up when the room started to shake. Fox, already dressed in the white pants and Alex's black shirt, waited by the door. If he'd thought the older man looked excited before, it paled to the dark ecstasy that suffused that face now. Alex scrambled in to the remaining clothing and waited with his roommate for someone to open the door. The room rocked again. Fox's partner had brought explosives for the jailbreak.

The door burst open, and the man who came in ducked away from Fox's grab before enclosing him in a bone-crushing hug. Their rescuer wore a baseball cap and baggy coveralls; apparently he'd snuck through security as part of the janitorial staff, with weapons hidden under the coveralls.

The man pointed a gun at Alex, but Fox threw himself in the way. "No, Bobby!" Fox said. "He's been good to me!"

Bobby threw Alex a dirty look. The face under the cap was sharp and darkly handsome with pale skin, sensual lips, and eyes like black coffee. He was even leaner than Fox and moved with the same lethal grace. Bobby and Fox made a beautiful matched set of deadly blades, and Alex felt a surge of lust. //I want them both...//

Fox's eyes glittered as he held a gun with one hand and sheathed a knife at his back with the other. The weapons seemed to complete him.

Alex made his decision in an instant. "Give me a gun and let me help you," he said.

"Why would I do that?" Bobby asked.

"One more gun could make the difference between getting out of here and becoming the Consortium's pets. Like I was. I want out."

Bobby smiled darkly at Fox and obviously thought that Fox had seduced him into the decision. Alex let his face go completely blank. //Think whatever you like. Underestimate me too. I have my plans.//

"Fine. But I'll be keeping an eye on you."

"I wouldn't respect you at all if you didn't."

Bobby smirked and gave him a gun. "We have to get out of here fast though. I have a surprise for your employers."

With Alex leading them down the fastest route, they took the hallway at a run, shooting anything that moved. 15 Consortium thugs later, they hit the emergency stairway and went down five flights before ducking into an elevator for 30 stories, then getting back onto the stairs for the last three.

"What the hell are you doing?" Alex asked.

"Trust me," Bobby said.

When they reached the foyer, Alex heard a loud boom that seemed to reverberate through the whole building. Bobby laughed and pulled Fox through the door outside into the red-charcoal pre-dawn. Understanding now, Alex followed. They ran out onto the sidewalk and across the street.

Gouts of flame spewed from the 40th floor of the building they'd just escaped from. Soon, bystanders and the surviving occupants clogged the sidewalk and streets. The three of them watched from within the crowd, camouflaged, as the fire trucks, emergency workers, and news vans pulled up.

Alex grinned at the sight of his companions watching the destruction and panic. Fox's head rested on Bobby's shoulder, and they both looked so wonderfully happy and entertained. Alex saw such possibilities. It wouldn't be easy to convince Bobby to tolerate his presence, but Alex had a talent for overcoming people's better sense.

Things would be perfect once he taught Bobby who was really boss...