Author: Laura Jacquez Valentine (jacquez@dementia.org)
Title: Fade And Sustain
Pairing: Krycek/Spender
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: possible for TF/1S.
Summary: Krycek visits Jeffrey Spender.
Archive: Down in the Basement; all others by permission only.
Author's website: http://www.dementia.org/~jacquez/writing/fanfic.html
Direct URL: http://www.dementia.org/~jacquez/writing/xfict/fade_and_sustain.html


Fade And Sustain
by Laura Jacquez Valentine

I wasn't the world you see
You weren't the world I know
     --The Razor Skyline

Jeffrey Spender leaned against the cold brick wall that formed the north boundary of his world. The light that came in from the barred window threw his features into sharp relief. He tapped a cigarette out of the pack in his hand and lit it, watching the smoke curl up, watching it dim and soften the daylight.

North boundaries: past the wall, what was there? He had no idea.

"You're turning into your father."

He let the cigarette fall to the floor and looked up, catching the flash of his cell door closing. For a moment he was surprised that he hadn't noticed it opening in the first place, but it was beyond the boundaries; irrelevant. "What do you want, Krycek?"

"Nothing."

Jeffrey straightened, using his shoulder to push himself off of the wall. "I'm not so far gone that I can't read you. What do you want?" He knew his hands were trembling, knew that his hipbones showed sharp above the low waistband of his sweats.

He knew how much he looked like a man who had nearly died, and he knew that the scar was even more silver-white than his skin, here in a room that should have been dark.

That it wasn't dark was, he knew, the whim of Alex Krycek. That he was alive at all was yet another whim, or yet another move in a game he did not understand.

"I wanted to see you," Alex said.

Jeffrey lit another cigarette and watched it burn. "You've seen me," he said, not allowing the bitterness he felt to touch his voice.

He heard the shift, heard the creak of leather as Alex Krycek leaned against the west boundary of Jeffrey Spender's small world.

"I wanted to see that you're all right."

A momentary sacrifice
Gets lost inside an empty glass
     --The Razor Skyline

"Let me out."

"I can't do that."

Jeffrey lifted the cigarette to his mouth and said, "Then you can't see me all right." He inhaled, feeling the burn of smoke in his mouth, in his lungs, letting his eyes speak of what it was to be caged.

"Anything but that," Alex said.

"Even if I ask you to kill me? Or to let me die?"

And against the west boundary, which was not brick but smooth cool metal, Alex Krycek looked suddenly vulnerable. "No. I can't do that, either."

Jeffrey walked towards him, knowing from endless days and nights of motion that it would take him exactly five steps to cross from the north boundary to the hidden door in the west. He leaned close and hooked his fingers in the waistband of Alex's jeans.

"Let me have you."

The surrender, such as it was, was complete and silent. Alex Krycek, bright-eyed and ashamed, on his knees in a cold cell somewhere in a cold country. His mouth was warm and his hands were gentle, and he made no sound of protest when Jeffrey tangled fingers into his hair and thrust into him, hard, uncaring. The walls that contained the world faded into nothingness.

Afterwards, Alex sat slumped against the west boundary, the metal boundary, and Jeffrey watched him through the curling smoke of another cigarette. "Did you ever read The Last Unicorn?" he asked, and Alex shook his head. "There's a lesson in there about keeping things captive. You can't always keep them, and sometimes they're dangerous."

Alex stood up, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "You've been here for--quite some time now. I think I can keep you."

The door slid open at the touch of Alex's hand, and Jeffrey laughed. "If you can keep me, why let me use you this way?" He waited for an answer, making no move to attack, to push out into the hallway. "Why appease me? Why risk everything, if you think you can keep me here?"

Alex did not answer, but he turned his head and looked back at Jeffrey Spender, gone to spareness and hardness, gone to sharpness, gone to hate, gone to ruin: and Jeffrey smiled, and said, softly, "Your death sits in this cage and hears you, my love."

The door was as silent as Alex's surrender when it closed behind him.