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2630 Hegal Place
Apartment 42
Alexandria, VA 23242
7:17 p.m.



I watch in stunned silence as Aleksei Nikolai Krycek—yes, I am familiar with his full name; though I can't let him know I know, nor how I found out—turns his back and walks out of my apartment unarmed; insofar as being without a gun. He fucking gave it to me.

This act alone causes me to stir, and I rush to my feet in a hurry to catch up to the ever-elusive man. I run for my front door and out into the hallway, then down to the wooden door at the end marked 'Stairs'.

Flinging it open, I scarcely hesitate before racing down four flights as fast as I possibly can, knowing I must reach the lobby first, or he will be lost to me.


I arrive, scarcely in time, as the elevator doors open and he casually saunters out, looking for all the world as if he owns the place.

Hell, for all I know he does. It would be just like him to do something like that; guarantee his way around the sections of my life that are beyond my control.

As if I have any control, anyway.

"Kry...cek!" I hiss between much needed breaths, my adrenaline running high; from the sudden-out-of-nowhere-kiss, or his odd departure, or my run down the stairs, I know not which. I simply know that if he does not stop right now, I will have to hurt him.

Like he hurts me every time he leaves.

He turns, and immediately masks his surprise at seeing my disheveled self before him, but not quick enough for me to have missed it. Ha ha, I can play at cat and mouse, too, Alex. Or is that cat and rat? Fuck, he could be both!

He is both.

We stare at each other for a quick moment, and I find myself actually unable to read anything in those distressingly beguiling eyes of his, before he shrugs and turns again to walk out the front door of the lobby.

"Stop!" I whisper, and it appears to be enough as he halts and once more turns his attention toward me, allowing me to fully see him in the dim lighting from the hanging lamps above our heads. I inhale sharply, as I take in the sight of him.

Jesus Christ! His arm! What the hell happened to his arm?!


Fuck! That could have so easily happened to me.

"Oh, Alex." I sigh, biting at my bottom lip to keep from crying out at what I have just realized. How could I have possibly missed his mutilation when he was upstairs?

Oh, and God! That fucking joke I made about his one hand! Shit!

"What do you want, Mulder?" He asks with a slight edge to his husky voice, and I can just feel the itch he has under his skin to turn again, and leave my presence behind. The impatience at having to stand his ground based on curiosity alone, for he is curious; of that I am sure.

If he were not, why else would he have actually listened to my command, instead of telling me to 'Fuck off, Mulder.' and hightailing it out of here; back to the maze from which he plots his evil deeds against...well, against whomever he fancies to wreak havoc?

Watching his eyes narrow at my lengthening silence I take a deep breath, force my thoughts aside, and ask the one question that has been looping inside the back of my mind for the past five or so minutes.

For surely it has been no longer than that since he turned his back on me, has it? "Why the fuck did you just do that?"

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I smirk at him, I just can't help it, as I find myself wondering which part of our latest entanglement he is inquiring about, but fearing—yes fearing—that I already know the answer. And I can see by his veiled glances he has figured out about the arm.

Pity, that.

I wonder how much glee he gains from my pain? I wonder how long it will take him to come up with a way to use it to his advantage?

Not that I would let him.

"Do what?" I question as nonchalantly as possible, though my insides are roiling like the Atlantic during a late summer hurricane.

I cannot believe he knows about my arm!

"Don't play coy with me, Alex! It doesn't suit you."

His use of my first name startles me deeply, but I quickly suppress the sudden, and absurd, urge to throw myself at him to cover his beautiful lips with mine. Instead, I rely on my usual tactics to get me out of what is close becoming a prickly situation-I become a cold-hearted bastard.

"'Alex' now, huh? At what point since I left your apartment did you feel you gained the right to call me by my first name?" I ask, sending a seething glare toward the man who has—somehow—moved closer. Though, for the life of me I can't recall watching him do so.

"Maybe it was at the same point in which you felt the distinct need to place your lips upon my person."

I actually find myself gasping; shocked that straight-laced, by-the-book, 'Spooky' Mulder would acknowledge such an event even taking place.

"That was nothing, Fox, just an Old Russian tradition type of a thing. A bid farewell. Why? Did you want it to mean something else?" I practically spit out at him.

Christ, I can't take much more of this. I have got to get the hell out of here.

Of course, my mouth decides to take another fork in the road, as I find myself adding to my previous statement.

"I find it hard to believe you would rush all the way down here, simply because of a mere peck on the cheek, Mulder. What do you really want with me? A chance to inflict more pain, more bruises, before you rush off to play Boy Scout for humanity's sake?"

The moment I have finished my smartass comments though, I regret them. Not because of some irregular need to feel sorry for being an ass, but because it has taken me the length of my diatribe to figure out what should have been blatantly obvious the first time I had turned to face him.

He still has a gun in his hand.

The gun I placed there.

Shit! Shit! Shit!

He raises the Sig and points it at me, almost as if he has just read my mind and remembers he has an advantage. Not that I should really be surprised. He is always wanting to throw down with a little violence before conversation, but I still can't believe I have been so clearly brainless.

It actually amazes me at times that I have lived this long.

"Get back in the elevator." He demands, and I have to bite the inside of my cheek to keep myself from abruptly busting a gut laughing.

"How very John Wayne of you, Mulder."

"Get in, Krycek."

"Are you out of your fucking mind? I don't have time for this bullshit, Mulder. Frankly, neither do you. Go to Wiekamp. I am small potatoes in comparison to the Intel I have just handed you, and time is a wasting."

Turning back toward the lobby door, yet again, I actually manage to take two steps, before the quiet, yet unmistakable, sounds of a safety being clicked off and a hammer being cocked reach my ears.


I stop and rotate slowly, wondering if maybe I have truly underestimated him this time, and feel my heart lurch in my chest as I find myself looking straight into the barrel of my own gun.


"Get. In. The. Elevator."

"Fine, Mulder. But if you miss your one fail-proof chance at getting your Precious Truth, don't come crying to me." I reply with a shrug, making damn sure that he has no idea that it is his demanding tone, and the flinty look in his eyes—not the weapon—that are bending my will toward his much easier than I would dare care to admit.

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Paying no heed to his words I keep my mark in check, and follow him aboard the elevator as the doors open swiftly with the push of a button.

"Do you really think all of this bullshit is necessary, Mulder?" He asks, as we begin our ascent.

"Shut up, Krycek, before I change my mind and decide to really put a bullet into you."

He rolls his eyes, but remains silent the rest of the ride to the fourth floor, and I have to marvel at his control. Surely he has problems with claustrophobia after...well, I'd rather not think of that incident either.

I wonder if he knows I know about that, as well?

Jesus, and I thought I had been marred?

I cannot even fathom enduring what he must have survived through to get to this point. Surely, I would have eaten a bullet by now.

The moment the doors part I press the Sig into his lower back, and push him out with my left hand on his right shoulder blade.

"Go. Slowly."

He turns his head toward me, and again rolls his eyes, but he does as instructed. I can peripherally see he is making a mental note as we casually walk down the hallway; my front door is hanging wide open.

"Were you in a hurry?" He questions, his reply only mildly sarcastic. Almost as if it borders on apprehension.

"Something like that." I reply cuttingly, needing to stifle any reaction to his voice I may have, as I shove him over the threshold. I shut the door behind us, locking it.

"So what now? You got me back up here. What are you going to do, call the Calvary-known-as-Scully, so she can have a bit of your fun, as well?"

"Not exactly." I state, pushing him up against the wall in a move so quick, his eyes widen at having been caught off guard.

"What the..."

"Shut. Up." I demand softly, lowering the hammer of my gun and clicking the safety back on, lest I do accidentally shoot him. "You lied to me."

"I've ne..."

"I said to shut up, Alex." I remind, pressing him against the wall even harder for emphasis, quite surprised by his complete lack of self-defensive maneuvers, especially given he only has one arm. "You are going to stand here and listen to me for a moment. If you so much as twitch, I will make you regret it to the point you are calling out for your mother."

He glares at me; his stare deadly. "You sonofa..."

"Large learning curve." I mumble, before leaning in and roughly pressing my lips to his in a brutal kiss.

I insert my tongue none-too-delicately into the burning furnace of his mouth; tasting coffee and cinnamon. As I slide over his even teeth, I desperately breathe through my nose. Determined not to be rushed, as I finally—finally—have the chance to savor what I have coveted for too many years.

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I can do nothing but allow his onslaught; afraid of both what would happen should I bite his intrusion—to keep him from realizing how I truly feel—and what will happen if I don't.

I decide to go with the latter, and allow Mulder his fun, before I must reluctantly break away so I can take a breath. "Mulder?" I murmur, wondering if he is indeed the same man I had been forced to hold a gun to not ten minutes ago, just so he would listen to what I had to say.

"Jesus, Alex. They let you into the Academy?" He whispers, pulling away a mere two inches, just enough to allow him to look upon my stunned face, and giving me the opportunity to stare back into his luminous eyes. "You do not follow directions very well."

I can't help but chuckle at that statement. "So I have been told."

"Do that again." He requests, his mesmerizing hazels never leaving my face.

I look at him, more than a little mystified. "Do what again?"


Now I know he has lost his mind.

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I watch as his jaw drops at my command, and it takes every ounce of willpower I possess to keep from taking his mouth again. To prove to him in some corporeal way that I am not crazy.

"You don't do it enough, and I adore the sound of it."

"Mulder, can I check the color of your blood? Because you are definitely starting to scare me, and that is saying a lot, mind you."

This time it is my turn to chuckle, and I look away to keep from losing myself in his confused, yet lethally serious, eyes.

Dropping the gun onto the table by the front door, I take a step back and return my gaze to his face, making damn sure that I have applied my own stoic mask.

"Give me your knife." I request, placing a serious note into my voice, lest he think I am making light of his suggestion. Considering both of our encounters with EBEs of late, I can fully understand his desire for confirmation of my true identity. Plus, it should be interesting to see his reaction to what it is I will do next.

"What makes you so sure I have a knife on me?" He inquires rather hastily.

I have to bite my inner cheek to suppress a smile, as I instead arch an eyebrow in such a way as to make Scully proud. "Please, don't treat me like I am an idiot. Not you."

He gives me a quizzical look, and reaches for the eight inch Bowie kept at his back.


More than a bit surprised by how easily the man before me—my sworn enemy—has handed over his only weapon, I take the proffered blade, and slice into my left palm a quarter of an inch. Never taking my eyes from his, as the blood begins to weep from the wound and gather in the middle of my hand, I raise my arm.

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I flinch at his action, but do nothing as he holds up his injured hand for me to see. Either he is crazier than I gave him credit for, or he is really set on proving something to me. Course, it would help significantly if I could simply figure out what, exactly, he is trying to convey.

"There. Red. Satisfied?"

"Actually, that does answer the question about you being you, but I am still mystified. Have They been fucking with your water around here again?" The moment the question is out of my mouth, I regret it fiercely, and automatically brace myself for the blow I know I will receive, because of what my inquiry may remind him about: his dead father.

However, much to my amazement, he merely smiles at me, and hands me back my knife—hilt first, as he takes a handkerchief from the interior pocket of his jacket. He wipes at the blood on his hand, before wrapping it around his palm and tucking in the ends. Seeing the action almost makes me cringe, but I bite my lip and add steel to my gaze instead.

"No, the water is fine. Though, considering past experience, I have become quite partial to bottled."

"What is going on here, Mulder?! Do you realize how quickly time is wasting away, while we stand here? You need to go to Wiekamp." I state, placing my knife back into its sheath. I truly do not have time for anymore of his stalling tactics. Or whatever the hell he is up to. I have to make myself scarce, before Old Smokey decides he wants to take a peek at his favorite G-Man tonight. That is, of course, if he has managed to have another of his goons slip in a bug after I have taken the time to remove his old one. I surely hope that someone is smiling down on me tonight and the place is still clean, as this is just becoming weirder and weirder. The last thing I need is to find out this—whatever this is—is being recorded.

"No, we need to go to Wiekamp. But, first I need to do something."

"What the hell do you mean 'we'? I can’t..."

Shit, is he insane? His water has got to be tainted, I don't give a damn what he claims.

"Yes, you can, and you will. You are not going to simply leave here and fade back into the woodwork, Alex. Not this time. So, the way I see it, since you came to see me we should talk."

"I left, Mulder." I reply as cold as possible, though my current presence makes the argument seem weak, even to me.

"Yes...well...I was not through yet, and you didn't seem to be in much of a hurry downstairs."

"What was with that kiss, Mulder?" I inquire, cutting to the point of my curiosity immediately, because I simply have to know the answer, before I do slip away. Because, once he gets to where he needs to go, I am positive that things are going to be a lot different between us. He will have his proof. Proof that I gave to him. Then maybe, just maybe, he'll even begin to actually trust me.

Now that would truly be a phenomenon worthy of an X-File.

"What was with yours, Alex?"

Shit! Think fast, Aleksei!

"Russian thing. I already told you." I reply indifferently; toeing the surface of the floor with my right boot, and looking at the weathered workmanship of the hardwood. Anything to keep me from having to look at him.

"You are full of shit." He replies, and I snap my head up to look severely at him.

"That surprises you?" I ask with a sneer. This is definitely more like the Mulder I am familiar with. The pompous ass.

"No, but your explanation is how I know you are lying to me. If it had been merely a traditional token there would have been an accompanying kiss to my other cheek. Not just the one."

I stare at him, speechless. I mean, really, I have no idea how to respond to his allegation. How would he know about the traditions of Russia, anyway? I sure as hell am not going to admit to him what it actually meant to me. Not even if my life depends on it. I may have sharply honed my survival instincts over the past couple of years, out of sheer necessity, but I would rather die than ever admit what I intended by that kiss.

That damn kiss!

Why the hell couldn't I have simply walked away?

"I'll tell you what, Alex. You just stand there, and keep looking as though you are about to be reprimanded by the principal, and let me explain how I know you are being dishonest."

I return my attention to the flooring, unable to keep eye contact with him for fear he will see right through me, and know the damn truth. No matter how much I may cover my true reactions with a scowl or a blank facade, I always feel as though he can read me like a book.

"First of all, you practically whipped my ass when I got here. Which you have never previously done. Most likely so I would actually listen to your words of warning, and finally see the light. So to speak.

"Second, we both know you have never been one to want to endure my violent tendencies toward you before, so what you gave me must have been pretty damn important to you, if you were willing to risk a beating from me by showing up here in the first place to provide me the tip.

"Third, you kissed me. Which by itself, I will admit, could normally mean nothing. However, taking into consideration parts one and two, I would have to say that it did signify something. Almost, almost as if you were trying to apologize for smacking me around. Which, again, you have never done in any of our prior meetings—save for one. But that was self-defense, pure and simple.

"And fourthly, yes, fourthly, you called me your friend.”

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"Wha...?" I try to interject, shooting a glare at him, but he will not let me interrupt. Not while he can see that I am actually listening to what he is saying. Not that I had never listened before, but I doubt he would believe me on that point.

"Shh, wait a minute and hear me out." He states, as though he is trying to prove some large theory to me, and I am about to tell him he is full of shit. I am at a loss as to what to do now. Now that he is on a roll, God forbid he be interrupted. And I am curious as to how he knows what I said to him when I left. I whispered it for Christ's sake, while he just stared at me stupidly!

I decide to indulge him and lean against the wall, actually managing to keep myself from looking away from him this time. I wonder if he has any idea what color his eyes change to when he gets so fired up? I am going to be in such a world of hurt when I leave here. Just watching the way his irises transform will be enough to fuel the fantasies in my head for the next six months. Makes me wonder what else I can do to get them to alter into that green-gold they become when he gets his blood pressure higher than normal.

"Mul...?" I try again, not really wanting to disrupt him, but enjoying the effect it has on his eye color when I make like I will.

"Let me finish! Yes, I heard you, and I know what 'Tovarisch' means. After our little sojourn to Siberia, I took it upon myself to learn a few of the basics regarding the Russian language and traditions. I figured I would need it, if ever our paths were to cross again. I thought it would be nice if I could at least understand you when you are proceeding to cuss me out. Or not, as the facts have shown tonight."

"What exactly are you trying to say, Mulder? If you are going to stand there and analyze my behavior to death, I suggest you stop now. I have things to do, and so do you. What the hell do you care, anyway? Why did you drag me back up here, Mulder? Why the hell can't you follow directions, and go to Wiekamp? The kiss was nothing, Mulder. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it was nothing!" I lie, exasperated.

Christ, I am such a piece of work!

"Well, God damn it, mine did!" He hollers, loud enough for the whole building to take notice. Not that it appears he cares one way or the other.

"Excuse me?" I whisper. I can't possibly get my voice to rise any higher, not if I expect to continue to be able to hear him through the blood that is now pounding in my ears.

What did he just say? His did?!

"Kissing you, Alex, was just what I have dreamed about. Needful, powerful...lustful, and Christ but you taste good. Cinnamon?"

"Jolly Rancher." I reply softly. Automatically. Unable to think beyond the words 'needful' and 'lustful' as I stare into his face, demanding him with a look to take back the lie he has just told me.

It has to be a lie! There is simply no way he would...admit such a thing; not to me!

I can't breathe.

Nice going, Aleksei! Now who has whom trapped in the snares of a mind-fuck?

"Alex, I kissed you because I have wanted to kiss you ever since I looked up from my transcripts, and saw your face."

"What?" I shout, unable to willingly think back that far. Back to a time when everything ahead of me seemed to be pointing to a pathway straight to a glorious career as an Agent for the FBI. Before I allowed my naïveté to escort me into the arms of an organization more destructive than a drunk driver on prom night. All in the name of ‘National Security’.

What a fucking joke.

My knees are about to go out from under me, as his words finally sink in, and it is taking most of my concentration to keep from falling to the floor at his feet. I wonder how he would react if I did just that?

"Listen to me, Alex. I also know you did not kill my father."

Yet, again, I am floored. This time I find myself with my boots planted into the hardwood to keep me from moving southward, and he is hedging closer!


My eyes widen as I continue to struggle to remain standing. Hearing him admit that he believes me about his father's death is almost too much for me to handle.

"What did you just say?" I croak, once again wondering why I could not have just taken the stairs out of the building. I don't even like elevators! This is simply too surreal to actually be happening. He raises his right hand to my stubbled jaw in a caress, and I recoil as if I am about to be burned.

"Shh, it's going to be okay, Alex. I know you did not kill him. I did."

"What!" I shriek incredulously, standing upright once more and shaking my head profusely, while pushing away his hand.

"I did it, Alex. Oh, I was not the shooter. We both know it was Cardinal, but I may as well have been. If I hadn't been so wrapped up in finding answers, he would not have felt the need to tell me any—not that he did, of course."

"No, no, no! Fox, you didn't kill him! You weren't responsible! He was..."

"I know what he was, Alex. I just needed to let you know that I do not blame you for what happened. That it is finally time I let you off the hook."

"I don't...I don't understand. Why are you doing this?”

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He sounds so defeated, and scared, it is tearing me up. How could this man have continued to come around me, knowing how badly I could hurt him, and still be standing here now, no matter that I forced him here? We both know he could take me; even with only one arm, so why hasn't he? Why the hell does he allow me to continue to torment him? I am positive I know the answer to these questions, but could I ever get him to admit it?

"You are not guilty, Alex. And as for why I am doing this? Isn't it obvious?"

"Not exactly, Mulder. Then again, around you nothing is ever 'obvious'."

"I love you, Alex." I softly disclose, looking straight into his beautifully stunned face. "I have loved you for quite a long time, actually. I only hit you because it was the one way I could get away with touching you. Jesus, I want to touch you. And, you have feelings for me, too. I know you do, Alex."


"If you didn't, there is no way in Hell you would have turned your back on me—with a gun in my hand—and walked out; thereby allowing me to shoot you if I had so chosen. But I do not want that, Alex. I don't ever want to see you turning your back on me. I had to live through your leaving me once, do not make me do it again. Please.”

"Do you have any idea what you are actually saying, Mulder?" He whispers, the shock I can see he feels, coming through in his voice.

"Am I wrong, Alex?"

He looks down at his feet, surprising me with his docility, and shakes his head. Not used to seeing him so submissive I reach out to lift his chin, making him look at me.

"Tell me you don't care for me, and you can walk out that door right now, and this conversation never took place."

He stares directly into my eyes, and still says nothing, but I can see the tears beginning to form, and it breaks my heart.

"Do you want to leave, Alex?" I ask, moving my hand up along his jaw line in a soft caress.

He almost imperceptibly shakes his head.

"Do you care about me, Alex?"

Again, almost imperceptibly, he moves his head in a positive direction. I cannot help but give him my best smile, and softly outline his cheek with my thumb.

"Am I wrong to think—to believe—you love me, too, Alex?”

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My entire being has just been rocked to its very foundation by his confession. He loves me! He wants me to answer the question I have been trying to keep from even acknowledging to myself over the course of our...whatever it is we have...and he wants an answer now!

I don't know what to do!

Do I simply come out and tell him the truth? Or would it be best if I merely deny my own feelings for this beautiful man in front of me, and allow the shit around us to return to status quo? I do not know how safe it would be for him—for us—if he knew how I truly feel. There are so many fucking assholes out there, just waiting to find something to pin on either of us. If they knew how I felt about him they would surely try to hold it against me.

But God! I do love him! I have loved him since before I ever had the pleasure of meeting him in person. How can I possibly deny—with him looking at me squarely—that he is right?! That, yes, I do love him! God damn me, but I do!

I suddenly reach out—my decision made—and spin him to the wall. This causes his hand to fall, as I take his face in my real hand and his shoulder in my artificial one, both knocking him off guard and stunning him with my quickness. Having his undivided attention throws me for a moment, but while taking a deep breath, I admit to him what I have ached to divulge for a very long time.

"I do love you, Fox." I whisper. "I always have. But, are you sure of your own feelings? Because, now that you have said it, I would not be able to bear it if this was purely a mind fuck on your part. I have killed people for less."

He places his hand upon my good wrist, and begins stroking the soft, supple leather of my jacket underneath his fingertips.

"I am quite sure, Alex." He replies, the look on his face showing me he is deadly serious.

Holy Christ!

"What made you so sure that I love you?" I ask with a slight smile, curiosity burning within me to know. I have to know how he knew. I have willingly suppressed my feelings for him for so long, I am positive that I have done nothing to give him any hint to the contrary.

Well, except that damn kiss!

"You went under the wire." He responds, his voice strong and steady.

Startled, I drop my hands and take a step back, but he refuses to be detached, and he lowers his hand, and places it at my waist. His hand feels so good there, almost as belongs there, and always has.

This can't possibly be happening.

"I had to, Fox. I couldn't allow you to go in there alone." I murmur.

"You didn't have to do that, Alex. You did not have to follow me into that shit hole, but you did it anyway. That is when I knew for certain. Oh, I have had a few ideas that you cared for me, at other times, but you most certainly solidified it when you failed to even hesitate on that ridge. You simply...went under. As if it was the most natural thing in the world for you to do; follow me. Even if it meant...even if it meant you might get hurt. That is when I knew. And Jesus, but I wish you had not. If I had known what would happen to you, I would have insisted that you remain behind."

His glance toward my left side, under normal circumstances, would bother me significantly. If it were not for the twin trails of tears falling from his eyes, I’d think he was bluffing. I find myself swallowing fiercely to keep from shedding my own.

"Why didn't you say anything then? I tried so hard to get us the fuck out of there, safely. But I didn't know you knew! If I had had any...any inkling at all that you felt the same way as I, I would have worked even harder to get you out! Instead...instead, our silence has cost us dearly. Too much. What those people took from me, I'll...I will never get it back. I am not a whole person anymore, Fox. I can't...I can't let you…"

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I reach out and pull him into my arms as he begins to break down. The anguish on his face is enough to cause me to feel as though I am being stabbed a thousand times in the heart. I know not how to make him feel better. So I do the only thing I can, the only thing I hope will make any difference at all.

I apologize.

"I am so sorry, Alex. I wish I had said something. I wish I had had the guts to face what was staring at me all along. I wish...God, if I had only known what danger you would be placed into; I would never have allowed myself to let you come with me. I would have kept you safe. I would have...I would have done everything in my power to find you, afterward. As it was, I barely got out myself. You cannot know how relieved I was to see you again tonight, to see that you survived that God awful place, and are here with me now. I am so sorry. For everything, Alex."

He raises his head and peers at me through drenched eyelashes. Eyelashes most women I know would kill for, and I can't resist the urge to run my thumbs across them and take his tears from him.

"Please don't cry. It will be okay, now. I promise."

"Why didn't you tell me, before?" He whispers, and I ache at the earnest longing in his eyes.

I lean in and place a small kiss on his forehead, before replacing my lips with my own.

"I knew you would not believe me. That after all we have been through, you would think I was giving you a mind-fuck simply to get you to get me out of there. I didn't want that. For you to disbelieve my words. So, I waited, and my life has been a living hell ever since. But, I am glad I have finally been given the opportunity to enlighten you."

He pulls away from me and sighs, before turning to lean on the wall beside me. I wish I could read his mind, know what he is thinking. But, now that he knows how I feel, and I know how he feels, I will give him my patience. For this to work, I will have to let him make the next move.

If he leaves me, I will simply eat a bullet from the gun on the table the moment the elevator doors close. Okay, maybe not. I’m not that overdramatic. But, Scully will positively hate being around me in the foreseeable future.

If he stays, I swear to God I will do everything in my power to keep him safe, and with me.

"What happens now?" He questions, looking over at me with sorrowful eyes.

"What do you mean?" I ask, giving him my full attention. His concern over the situation we now find ourselves to be in radiates from his every movement, as he presses himself against the wall and sighs.

"What happens now? Do you turn me in so I can go to prison, if I live that long, and serve my time so we could maybe have a chance at a life when I get out?"

I grin despite myself at the melodramatic air of his statement, and he moves away from the wall, and me, closer toward the door.

Shit! Don't scare him off you idiot! I rebuke to myself, realizing how he must have perceived my expression.

I reach out and take a hold of his hand—his left hand—and he struggles to keep from jerking it out of my grasp.

"Shh, calm down. Who the hell said anything about turning you into the authorities? There really is no concrete proof you have done anything wrong. Well, except skip out on a mandatory OPR hearing at the FBI, but, hey, I do that all the time." I say with a chuckle. "What do you want, Alex? Do you want to stay where you are? Risking your life with those pricks, while appearing to work against me at every turn, yet slipping me information? Or do you want to stuff it up those old men's asses and work together to bring them down?”

Chapter Text

It's my turn to laugh as I involuntarily envision the group of Elders with all sorts of nefarious objects shoved up their butts. I must wipe a tear from my eye, before I grip his hand, thankful that I have the ability to do so with the piece of plastic hanging from my left shoulder.

"You are quite the lewd bastard, aren't you?"

He swiftly moves and takes me into his arms, laughing himself.

"You don't know the half of it, Alex."

"What exactly are you offering me? You want me to stay on the inside, and slip things to you like I am, or do you want me out? I can do either one. I have enough information on those bastards that they know better than to fuck with me, should I leave."

His smile seems to grow even brighter, if that is at all possible, and I can't help but intake a breath of air at the sight of it.

"I want you out, Alex. I want you here. With me. I am convinced that together, we can bring them down. Apart...apart is just to damn dangerous."

"Dangerous? Fox, waking up in the morning is dangerous."

"You know what I mean. I worry. If I knew that you were still out there, among those fucking bastards, I would never be able to concentrate on anything. No, I would much rather have you here. That is of course, if you want to be here. Do you want to be here, Alex?"

I can't say anything, my shock at his admission is simply too great. Instead, I let my body convey what my mouth cannot, and I bring his hand to my lips, placing a soft kiss onto the inside of his palm.

In return he tilts his head, and after I lower his hand from my face, he moves to take control of my mouth. This time I wholeheartedly participate and savor his taste.

Pure bliss!

His tongue is so soft; yet firm, as it makes itself happy with its mate inside my mouth. His flavor consists of coffee and sunflower seeds, and I am lost in the headiness of it.

I reach up and stroke his face with my hand, urging him to continue his assault, as I run my thumb along his stubble from the day.

There is no struggle among us for dominance of our kiss either, just a beautiful melding of our souls as we pour ourselves into our first act of lovemaking, for I know that is what this is; proof to each other that our decision to be together is the right one, for the both of us.

Finally pulling away, albeit reluctantly, for some much needed air, I start to tell him how much I love him, when I am startled by a sudden intake of breath coming from behind me in the vicinity of the front door. I whirl from Mulder’s—Fox’s—embrace and reach for my gun, which I no longer have.


"It is about fucking time!"

"Scully!" We both reply in unison, stunned by her presence in the room.

Oh, God! I am so fucked now, I can't even think about how I will get myself out of this one. Surely I cannot just knife the woman!

"Fuck!" I yell, instinctively moving closer to Mulder. I know full well how excellent of a shot the petite woman can be, and I’m pissed as hell I failed to hear her enter the apartment.

"Shh, Alex, don't worry. She already knows about..."

"She knows?!" I exclaim, looking between the two of them in shock.

This is fucking insane!

She smiles at me, freaking me out considerably, as he places a hand around my waist to reassure me of his partner's lack of hostility toward me.

"Yes. She has known how I feel since the day you brought her back to me, or at least, since the day she woke up and told me it was you who had helped to have her returned."

"Jesus." I reply, beginning to shake in his arms, as she takes a careful step in our direction, her smile growing wider. I stare at her, perplexed, while fighting my flight reflex. This woman could truly hurt me. Hell, she shot Fox once upon a time.

“It's okay, Krycek. Really." She says, calmly, before her eyebrows arch in stunned surprise. "What happened to your arm?"

Fuck, not her too!

"I had an accident. I'm fine."

"Tunguska?" She inquires softly, reaching out to touch my left hand, before thinking better of it and pulling away, despite her inclinations as a doctor.

"Yes. It appears that some peasants wanted to protect me. Unfortunately, though I didn't need the protection, they refused to listen to my persistent statements. That was a few months ago, though, and I am doing well, now."

"I am so sorry."

"Don't be, it was an unfortunate happenstance, but I am dealing with it as best as I can. I have an appointment next week with a prosthetic surgeon over at George Washington. He apparently has some state-of-the-art design he wants to fit me for. I figured I would give it a try. In the meantime, I am dealing with this piece of plastic as best as I can."

Fox tightens his grip on me as I finish explaining things to Scully, and I instantly feel better for her having shown up. It has allowed me to talk about what happened to me, without seeing any pity in his eyes. But I am still shell-shocked.

"Jesus." I sigh, unable to comprehend what is happening. That this is even happening at all. I suddenly wonder if I actually made it outside, and I fell down the porch steps. I mean, this is just too, too...too much of an X-File if I were to be blatantly honest. I mean, I am explaining about my arm! To Scully!

"Are you okay, Alex?" Fox asks me, and I find myself shaking my head.

"Come on, why don't you sit down over here?" Scully says, helping Fox to lead me to the couch. "Would you like something to drink? Mulder, please get him a glass of water, would you?"

"Sure Scully."

Leaving me to sit into the couch, I watch in wonder as he exits the room and does as she bid.

"This is too much." I mumble, wondering if I have been drugged in some way.

"What is, Krycek?" She asks, sitting beside me to the left, and placing her hand upon my forehead.

I flinch away, unintentionally startling her, and smile at her sheepishly. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...I mean...shit, I don't know what the hell is going on here, but certainly I must be hallucinating."

Scully giggles, and it stuns me.

"What is so funny?"

"You are."

I sit up straight and gape at her, as Mulder—Fox—returns with a bottle of Evian.

"Here, drink this Alex." He states, handing me the water and taking a seat on my other side.

Taking the bottle from him, I do as he asks. I watch in surprise as the two of them simply observe me.

"What?" I inquire, closing the lid and not feeling at all comfortable to be between them.

"He certainly is cute when he is flustered, isn't he?" Scully asks while smiling at me, and I shut my eyes at the absurdity of the question.

"This is just too fucking surreal." I whisper, convinced now—kissing aside—that I have fallen into an illusion of some sort.

"Krycek, I understand that you must be feeling...overwhelmed...but I can assure you, this is real. You are sitting here, and you are not hallucinating." Scully replies in her professional doctor voice.

"Are you okay, Alex?" Fox asks me worriedly, snuggling in closer on the couch and placing his own hand to my forehead.

"No." I reply with a shaky laugh. "I am not Fox. This is...this is just so damn...odd. Could you please explain to me why this woman is being so fucking nice to me? I do not; I don't understand how it is she has yet to pull her gun on me. I don't understand why she is not screaming at you that this is insane, that our love for each other is abominable, that you should stay as far away from me as you can possibly get. I just...I don't understand."

"It is easy, Krycek. I do not hate you. I never did. I was upset with you, yes. But I never hated you. Especially not after you risked your life to bring me back, and I figured out what side you were really on. Neither did Mulder. In fact, I am happy to see that the two of you have finally pulled your heads out of your asses, and gotten it together. I have known for a long time how he feels for you, and it has been rough the past few months, with him not knowing where you were. Now that you are here, and you two have made your feelings known, as I am assuming from what I walked in on, hopefully we can have a fighting chance in this war against the Consortium.

"As for telling him it would be insane to love you, I may be Catholic, but I don't believe that love has to be restricted to a certain gender. I am happy for him. For you too, Krycek. Truly, I am."

I stare at her, my mouth agape, and Fox smiles at my bewilderment.

"He is cute, Scully."

Christ, this is getting too damn sappy for my tastes. At least with someone else in the room, keeping me from ravishing my Fox.

My. Fox.

God, I must be losing it, because I actually like the way that sounds.

I take a deep breath, smile at him, and then return my attention to Scully. If this is going to go any further between Fox and I, and I pray it does, there is something that I have got to let her know.

"Scully, about your sister..."

"Krycek, don't. I already know you did not kill her. Let it go, okay? Cardinal is dead. That is all that matters about Melissa's death. Cancerman will be next, and now that you are here, I am confident that that will happen."

I stare at her, then at Fox, too awestruck to say anything more.

Chapter Text

I look at Alex, then at Scully, and I smile a huge grin. I just can't help it. I don't think I have ever been as happy, as I am right now.

"So, what brought you by anyway, Scully?" I ask, hoping that it is not business. There is simply too much I want to do with Alex tonight to have to be interrupted by a case. Aside from Wiekamp, of course.

"I was in the neighborhood, having dinner with a friend, and saw your light on. So I thought I would pop up and see how you were doing. I have been worried about you. Since it appears you are doing all right, I'll go. I am happy for the both of you." She replies, before looking at Alex directly. "Keep him happy, Krycek, and you will keep me happy, understood?"

I watch, fascinated, as he merely nods, knowing full well she would keep her word about the veiled threat.

Apparently pleased with his response, she rises from her place beside him on the couch, and returns her attention to me.

"What is it, Scully?"

"Not a damn thing, Mulder." She replies, cryptically. She smiles brightly, and I can't help but return it, before I then turn and catch Alex's eyes follow her across the room, giving her a quizzical look.

"Alex, are you all right?" I ask, moving to take his hand in mine.

'I'm...fine. Everything's fine now, Fox." He states, a beautiful smile replacing the caution on his face. He turns toward Scully, and gives her the same breathtaking smile, and I watch, enthralled, as she falters in her steps toward the front door.

"Well, I shall be going now. You two...have fun." She states, opening the front door.

"Oh, Scully. Can you cover for me tomorrow? I don't know that I will be in. I have some things to take care of, um...something pressing has come to my attention, and I think I should focus some time to it."

"What are you doing, Mulder?" She asks, and I feel Alex stiffen next to me, as she retraces her steps to stand before the two of us.

"Nothing you need to worry about, Scully. I just...I got a lead about something, and I wanted to check it out. But, don't be concerned. Alex is going to go with me. Tomorrow is Friday, anyway, so there should be no problem if I don't show up at the office."

I hold my breath, hoping she takes me at my word and doesn't press for anymore information. I really want Alex to go with me to Wiekamp, and it would make me feel immensely better if we could do what needs to be done, without my feeling as though I am ditching Scully in order to do it.

She looks between the two of us, and something in our stance, or Alex's face, must satisfy her curiosity, as she merely sighs and smiles once more.

"Well, if Alex's history of watching your back is anything to go by, I'd say that I have no qualms with your ditching me."

I raise an eyebrow at her, and she giggles.

"Come on, Mulder. I know that is what you are trying to do here, but it is fine. If you want to go out and traipse around the countryside doing God only knows what, I know that I won't need to worry. Not as long as he is with you."

"Am I really that obvious?" Alex asks, and I can't help but join Scully in looking at him with a smile.

"Yes." We both reply, and he simply shakes his head.

"Christ, and I thought I was being so damn careful to keep my feelings hidden. To keep you from finding out just why I keep hanging around."

Scully laughs outright, and I return my gaze to her. "What is so funny?"

"You two! He says he thought he could keep his feelings hidden. Give me a break! When the two of you were going at it during that raid a few months back, I knew you two should know, and get it over with. What? Do you two seriously think I have been blind?"

"I don't quite get what you mean, Scully."

She raises her hands up in exasperation, and Alex stares at her as if he has never seen her before.

"Mulder, I knew a long time ago that this man adores you. I also knew that you adored him. The only reason I said nothing at the raid that night, about the two of you knocking of your posturing and getting it over with, was because of everyone else who was there, and the fact that you seemed so damn set on showing your 'animalistic' side to him. Now, I know you were simply hiding your true desires from him, but please.

"Anyone who has a brain can see that this man would rather take a bullet for you, than put one into you. And the same goes for you. After you got back from Russia, you were a torture to be around. You have done nothing but mope in your off hours, wondering where he was, and pouring yourself into your work during the day so that you could forget about the pain of his being missing.

"Because of this, I have no qualms at all with you leaving me to go on a quest, as long as he is with you."

"What does my being there have to do with it, Scully?" He asks, and I must agree that I am curious to know her answer to the question.

"Yeah, Scully. Do you really think that I can't take care of myself?"

She laughs, again, and I am becoming a bit affronted by the sound.

"Why are you laughing?"

"Okay, first of all. I know that Alex will take care of you, be your backup. He will watch your back even better than I normally would. Because he has an even higher reason for wanting your continued health, than I do. He is in love with you. As for you, no, I know that you can take care of yourself, but I also know—from experience—that you have a tendency to walk into trouble whenever you decide to do an “off the clock” investigation.

"In fact, I must admit that I was thrilled to walk in here tonight and find you two finally together. Now...hell, maybe now I will finally be able to have a chance to take a peaceful bubble bath, or God forbid, take a vacation. To not have to worry about whether or not Skinner is going to call me to tell me to get to the nearest hospital because you got into a scrape.

"If what I walked in on is any indication, than I know I no longer have to worry about you. Am I right?”

Chapter Text

"Yes, Scully, you are."

She smiles at me, as I squeeze Fox's hand tightly, and pull him toward me.

"Fox has asked me to leave the Syndicate, and I am going to. It won't be easy at first, but I am pretty much out of it already. What I have mostly spent my time doing, since I returned from Siberia, is watching over him, from afar. This way, you are right, I will be able to cover his back, and no one will get to him without getting through me first."

"Good. Then you two go out, have fun, and just call me when you are back so that I know you made it. Now, I really should be going. Mulder, if there is nothing else, I'll just tell Wal...Skinner that you are not feeling well. As your primary physician, I doubt he will have any problems with that."

"Thanks, Scully." Fox states, smiling up at her as she makes her way to the door once more.

"Yes, thank you Scully." I add, feeling as though I have finally made my peace with the one person who matters most to me, next to Fox.

"You're both welcome. Have a good night."

"You too." We reply simultaneously, as she exits and closes the door behind her.

I swiftly leave the couch, startling Fox, and turn the lock, before turning around to find Fox standing behind me with a huge grin on his face.

"She is great, isn't she?" He asks, closing the distance between us, and then placing his arms around my waist.

I merely nod in agreement, wondering where I turned and walked into the alternative universe I find myself to be in. "Fox?"

"Yes?" He replies, giving me a tight squeeze, before pulling away, and looking into my face.

"Is it true, you've loved me since Scully was returned?”

Chapter Text

My heart hurts as his simple question reminds me of all the time we have wasted, and I can't help but turn my smile into an expression of extreme seriousness as I answer him.

"I was attracted to you when I first saw you. I tried very hard to hide it, and then all hell broke loose, giving me the opportunity to do just that. I was so upset with you for leaving me, just when I felt I needed you the most. Then, after she came back and was able to speak, she told me she recalled seeing, and hearing, you give a man instructions to help you get her out of the labs."

"Jeremiah Smith."

My eyes widen at this bit of news, but I go on, as I lead him back to the couch, not allowing myself to stop with my confession of how it is I am able to love him, no matter what has transpired since he left me after the incident of Duane Barry. As we sit down, I reach for his right hand, and squeeze it between the both of mine as I continue.

"I had not been able to figure out who the other person was who helped her to return, thank you for telling me. Anyway, she said it was you who brought her back, and I was unable to keep myself from crying. She asked me what was wrong, and I told her flat out about my feelings for you. She merely smiled, and proceeded to tell me that she had known. She had seen it in my expression whenever you were around, especially after the incident with Cole, and definitely while I was in with...with Duane Barry.

"After she came back, when she got better, she and I tried to find you, to tell you that it was safe for you to come to us, but we had no luck. And then...then that incident with my father happened."


"Shh, just hear me out. That is why she shot me, Alex. She knew that I had been poisoned, and she knew that even though she had seen you in this building, there was no way you would intentionally hurt me. So, when I was going after your throat in a drugged up haze that night outside my apartment, after my father was killed, she shot me to keep me from killing you. She refused to allow the circumstantial evidence to outweigh what she knew in her heart to be true. That you love me and would not allow me to be hurt.

"Even though everything looked bad, she took the risk and shot me to keep you alive. Knowing that it would kill me, once I was no longer drugged, to find I had hurt you. Then you took off again, while we went to New Mexico. She left me there, and came back to attend my father's funeral. It was then that her suspicions about your being on our side were truly confirmed."

"How did she know, Fox? I never even saw Scully. After your father died, and you got shot, I skipped town. It killed me to know that you thought I had done that to you. I needed to get away as fast as I could, so I left the country. I didn't want...didn't want to be around after you got better, and cause you any more pain than you were already feeling. Wait...wait a minute, how did she know that I was truly on your side? You just said yourself that the circumstantial evidence against me was overwhelming, what could have possibly kept her from believing the lies?"

"She had an encounter with the Brit."

"What? What encounter?"

"At my father's funeral. The Brit came up to her afterward and forewarned her about the hit that might be made against her. That night, when she received a mysterious phone call, someone telling her to get out, she knew. She is convinced it was you who gave her the warning."

"It was, but..."

"I figured it out for myself after Hong Kong."

"What happened after Hong Kong, Fox?" I question hesitantly, the wheels in my head spinning from everything he is telling me. "If you were convinced that I was not the person I was made out to look like, than why were you so pissed off when you found me?"

"Because you kept leaving! Every time I thought I had finally had the chance to explain things to you, you left. Then, after our scuttle outside the airport bathroom, you became extremely distant, so I decided to just stay silent. I thought it might be best if I simply continued to act like a prick. Hoping you would get pissed off enough at me to stand your ground, and actually stay long enough to listen to what I had to say. But you never said a word to me on the plane. Then, we got back and we had that fucking car accident, and you went missing. Again. In the meantime, Scully managed to nab Cardinal, who, of course, implicated you in the shooting death of Melissa. But, Scully, being the darling she is, knew it was bullshit, and was able to tell me that she had the lead you were in North Dakota.

"Don't you see? We were there, Alex! We were at that fucking silo! But I didn't know you were trapped in it!”

Chapter Text

"Oh God..." I seriously think I am going to be sick, and have to pull away from him for a moment in order to maintain any semblance of sanity.

He was there! Christ!

"The Brit asked me to meet with him in Central Park after you had gone missing."

I raise my head, and he promptly takes my hand back into his, and I squeeze back, hard. Thankful for his presence, as the effects of the silo try to keep me from remaining grounded in our current conversation.

"Why would he do that?" I ask, still tense, but thankful for the soft caresses he gives me with a thumb.

"He knew I was looking for something very valuable, and said he could help me to find it."

"What was that?" I can't help but inquire, not allowing myself to hope.

He smiles and leans in closely to me.


"Me?" I whisper, not willing to believe in what I am hearing. Yes, I believe it when he tells me he loves me, but to find out that he spent so much time trying to find me is just...unbelievable. To know that while I was in the bottom of that concrete coffin, he was out trying to locate me is suddenly a lot more information than I know what to do with.

"You. After our car accident, I lost track of you. He told me he could help me. He didn't know exactly where you were, but by even meeting with me showed me that he, at the very least, cared whether or not I would kill you on sight, as soon as you were located."

"He didn't know where I was, Fox. Only...only that Smoking Bastard knew. He...he locked me..." I wilt against his chest, unable to complete my sentence. The thought alone of the silo too much to bear.

Fox moves his arms around me and begins to stroke my back with one hand, while running his other through my hair, and I suddenly can't keep the tears from falling.

"Shh, shh. I know. It's all right, you don't have to say it." He soothingly states, holding me even tighter to him. "Cancerman started bragging, and he figured it out. The Brit helped me to get you out."

"What?" I ask, pulling abruptly away from him to stare at him, dumbfounded. "What do you mean he helped you? Fox, you were no where near I left. You..."

I reach out for him and pull him back against me. The feel of his weight against my chest is so right, that the thought of him bolting from the room fills me with a fright I cannot explain. And I am terribly afraid that he just might do that.

"Oh, but I did know, Alex. Do you really think a paltry militia group was able to get that close to where you were? The Brit sent them in. They were working for him, under the guise of being militiamen. I knew when they were going in, and...when they got out. But, I was unable to do anything about it, unable to come to you, because Cancerman was watching me too closely. Then the raid took place, nice thing with those receipts by the way, and it allowed me to get close to you again. Only Scully knew how I truly felt about you, so I had to...rough you up, in order to maintain the illusion that I hated you. Then Tunguska happened.

"Jesus, but it took everything in me to keep from reaching out for you in that gulag, Alex. I wanted so much to be able to hold you then, as I am holding you now."

"Why didn't you?" I whisper, thinking of how nice it could have been if only he had. "Why didn't you reach for me then?"

"You told me not to touch you again, so I didn't. Though I wanted to, desperately. I was afraid of what your reaction would be, so I kept my distance. I did what I did later—throwing you into the back of the truck—because it was the only thing I could think of at the time that would ensure your escape, as well as mine. Now, here we are. I have been scared for weeks that you were dead, after I lost track of you in those fucking woods. It has taken a lot out of Scully, I am sure, having had to sit there in our office, and watch, as I paced a hole into the floor. Wondering where you could possibly have been. But, no matter how upset I became, a part of me knew you were alive, Alex."

"How could you have known that, Fox? I was as good as dead." I tell him, though I know instinctively that I, too, would know if he were to perish from this earth.

"Because I would have felt it here, if you were not." He states, pulling away from me to place a hand across his heart, almost causing me to cry at the gesture.

"Who is being melodramatic, now?" I ask instead, looking at him with a smile.

He laughs, and squeezes his arms about me tightly.

"'Here we are now.' That is what you just said. So, what is next Fox?" I ask shyly, returning his embrace just as strongly.

"What do you want, Alex?"

I pull away from him, and looking at him squarely, I reply, "Everything, Fox. I want everything."

"Than you shall have it, Aleksei. Anything at all your heart desires, I will be sure you receive. After my father's death, I became a very rich man. I can think of no finer way to spend his blood money, than on the two of us. On you."

I can only stare at him, stunned, until he begins to laugh softly.

"What? You seem surprised, Alex."

"Fox, you do know what I mean by “everything”, don't you? I was not speaking about material possessions."

"Yes, Alex. I am well aware of what you meant. You shall have “Everything”. I promise."

I can't help myself, as I begin crying again. What did I ever do to deserve this man?

"I love you, Aleksei Nikolai Krycek. I love you."

"I love you too, Fox. I love you too."

Pulling me into his arms again, I can't help but wonder how I got to be so damn lucky, when all I thought I was doing was bringing him his faith back tonight, when I arrived in the first place.

Snuggling against him, he continues to run his hands along my back, and in my hair, and I suddenly know that things are going to be okay. Wiekamp can wait a few more minutes, as I sit and bask in the warmth of his love for me. Our love for each other.

It isn't but for a few moments, before it dawns on me.

He knows my full name.

"Fox?" I murmur against his warm chest.

"Hmm?" He asks, taking a deep breath and holding me tighter to him.

"How did you know my name?"

Instead of replying, he simply begins to chuckle.

"I still have to keep some secrets. about we go and save an Alien Rebel?"