Title: Touched
Author: Louise Jones miss.jones@totalise.co.uk
Website: http://www.users.totalise.co.uk/~fiatlux
Fandom: X-Files
Rating: PG 13 for mild slash and violence.
Pairing: Mulder/Krycek
Keywords: Slash, Mulder/Krycek
Status: Complete
Archive: Yes, please ask
Spoilers: Tunguska.
Summary: Mulder and Krycek try to work together, but fail miserably.
Beta Thanks: Skinner Box, Jennie and Debs. Further mistakes are all mine.
Disclaimer: CC+1013 own them.
Notes: Originally written for Pollyanna's Lyric Wheel. It's changed a lot since then.


Touched

Mulder sighed and stared straight ahead. His hands clenched around the steering wheel.

// What the hell am I doing here with him? //

It occurred to him that he could be at home, alone and loving it, rather than consorting with a known criminal.

// Ah well.the sins of the fathers.//

Mulder twitched his mouth into a tiny, grim smile. It faded as he heard Krycek shifting in the seat next to him: leather clad shoulders were making annoying little squeaking noises.

"Quit wriggling Krycek. Christ, can't you sit still for one minute?" He felt a stab of laughter hit him: he might have been admonishing a restless child. Abruptly, any feeling of merriment faded, as he remembered whom he was sitting with.

// Fucking Krycek, the crazy bastard. //

Just sitting in a car sharing a tense silence was enough to bring back all the anger and pain. He'd thought that the information Krycek could give would be enough of an incentive to bear the man's company without losing his temper. Obviously not.

Krycek sat beside him quietly now, obviously being careful not to move around too much. Mulder could tell what the man was going to say; could feel the unspoken message radiating from Krycek with every look and glance. Finally he couldn't bear the suspense any longer. With a screech of brakes he pulled the car over, switching off the engine with a sharp twist of the key.

"Hey Mulder, what...?" Before Krycek could get any further, Mulder grabbed his jacket and roughly pulled him close.

"Let's get one thing straight, Krycek. Don't piss me off with ''lets be friends'' speeches. I don't want to hear it. I believe that you want to help us now, but that doesn't amend for what you've done to Scully and Skinner, and me. Remember that and everything will be fine."

Mulder realized that he had trapped Krycek's good arm against the seat.

He felt a thrill of unpleasant satisfaction.

// Oh god why did I ever agree to this? One of us must be crazy, // Mulder thought desperately. He suddenly became extremely aware of Krycek's body, hard and heavy, pressed up close to him. Krycek's lungs expanded in a deep breath, pressing against his chest, his heart thudding in a steady rhythm. Mulder's palms were slick against the cool leather of Krycek's coat. His stomach churned with sudden a queasy nervousness.

"Just don't talk to me. I don't want to hear what you've got to say." Mulder could hear his voice rising. He realized he sounded like he was begging.

"Well Mulder, maybe you need to hear it." Krycek scowled darkly into his face, shoving back at the other man with equal force.

"And what makes you the expert on what I need to hear?" Mulder's flushed face hovered inches from Krycek's, as he hauled himself forward again.

"I never said I was an expert, Mulder, but some things are just obvious." Krycek spoke in a hurried whisper "If we want to work together, and stay sane, don't you think we should...ah.talk?"

"What's to say Krycek? Sorry? I forgive you? I don't think so."

Krycek's gaze was burning up the space between them, a pleading expression on his shadowed face. Something kept happening when those eyes met Mulder's, and Mulder didn't like it. The laser heat in that radiated from those eyes made him feel too hot, too shaky; out of control. Angrily releasing Krycek, he withdrew to his own seat and glared out of the windscreen.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw Krycek's lip curve up in small smile.

"What?" Mulder demanded. He felt the heat of anger roiling in his guts as he turned back to face the man. Krycek readily answered.

"This mission is so fucked already; I don't know why we're bothering. You'll have to talk to me at some point Mulder. The past won't just go away."

"When did you turn into Oprah? I must've missed that," Mulder snorted.

"This whole thing is pointless. Your attitude will get us both killed. Do you realise how much I've sacrificed to come to you and give up this information. Only the vaguest possibility of a secure future, that's what. Now we're actually on this assignment and you won't even talk to me! Do you really think that we'll convince those people you're with me if you keep on acting like this?" Krycek's voice had got louder and louder. Now it was filling the small space.

"Shut up already, Krycek, just leave it!"

Mulder violently turned away. If he looked at the man any longer he would lose something he simply could not afford to lose right now. Instead he gripped the wheel harder, inclining his head so that he could rest his brow on the rim of the wheel.

// Maybe I can just shoot him //

Mulder glowered silently at the floor, all the while knowing that Krycek was right. He'd been wilfully ignoring Krycek's every attempt at communication. If he carried on like this he would seriously damaging their chances of success, and he knew it. Krycek knew it too.

// Why am I doing this? I need to get a grip, clam down, anything. This is so bad. // Mulder thought desperately. He lifted his head; // *Control* //

"I.well, let's just keep this on a strictly business level shall we?

"I will if *you* will, Mulder. Treating me like scum isn't making me want to help you, you know."

Mulder cast a sour glance at him. How had he thought this could ever work?

"But you *are* scum Krycek, and nothing's going to change that."

"Mulder, fuck you".

Krycek's voice was insistent but quiet. Ignoring him, Mulder straightened up, aware that he was loosing it in front of Krycek, fired the ignition and steered the car back onto the road.

------

On the road again Krycek sighed and turned his gaze to the passing scenery.

// Why did Mulder have to be such jerk? //

After all the things Alex'd done, risked his goddamn life to help Mulder. // Not to mention the arm. We're not rational about each other // he thought grimly.

// Well, I know why my good judgement crashes and burns every time we meet, but what about him? //

It was like sitting next to a ticking bomb. He turned to Mulder again, feeling the tension buzzing between them like an electric fence. A barrier you wouldn't want to climb over.

"Listen", his voice softened to hide the edge of anger, "we've got to try and make this work, and it would be much safer for both of us if we could resolve our differences, not just for this assignment but for the future."

"Oh god, just leave it Krycek. Nothing you could ever say would make me respect you."

"You'll get us both killed, Mulder. We've got to make this believable or they're going to know we're fakes". Krycek's voice became rougher as his control slipped. " We've got to be more relaxed. I don't feel like dying yet, do you?'

A deafening silence from Mulder was his answer. The man had not even looked at him.

Krycek sat back, thoroughly deflated.

// Great, this is gonna work so well, NOT //

He chewed his lip, brooding over what Mulder had said to him, as the car sped on down the road. He barely noticed the world outside, a blur of gray and green, as the miles passed.

//Christ, why do I always let him do this to me?//

Krycek was well aware of what he became when with Mulder: passive, conciliatory, and defensive about his destructive role in the other mans past. He was getting steadily angrier the more he thought about Mulder.

//The intractable, unforgiving, moralistic bastard//

Krycek's face grew hotter, and found it impossible to stop himself tapping his fingers compulsively on his leg. Shit, Mulder had noticed.

"Okay, Krycek, what's up, has Mulder made you all angry?"

Krycek felt the last of his control slip away. He squeezed his eyes shut hard.

// Count to ten, Alex. No, not working //

"Fuck this, Mulder! Stop the car!"

"No."

"I said stop the car, now!" Krycek lunged at the wheel and forced the car over to the side of the road, where they came to an abrupt halt. Mulder was thrown against the dashboard, impacting with a strangled hiss. Krycek leaned over, pulled the keys out of the ignition and threw the window.

Mulder sat in open-mouthed disbelief as Krycek leapt from the car and yanked open Mulder's door. Grabbing him by his lapels Krycek pulled him out and began to shake him. Mulder managed to break free, and moved quickly away. Pure rage bubbled up inside Krycek: he clenched his fists.

"Mulder, you really need to listen to me," he growled.

"Come on then Alex. Tell me what made it so easy for you to lie to me, for you to be such a deceitful, murderous shit. Let's get that straight. Come on!" Mulder laughed grimly, hands on hips. Through his rage Alex couldn't help but see the way Mulder's body was lean, fit and powerful.

//Just concentrate on how *annoying* he is for Christ's sake //

Suddenly Krycek was being barrelled backwards by Mulder. Krycek rocked back, cursing. Fury rose inside him like acid; he charged at Mulder, head down. Their bodies impacted with a muffled thud. Krycek quickly hooked his feet round Mulder's ankles, bringing the lanky body down. Mulder panted for breath, and lay staring up at Krycek with a mixture of fear and anger. He had stopped grinning.

"Oh, not funny now?" Krycek gasped, dropping quickly down to sit on Mulder's chest, pinning his arms with his knees. "Good." He leaned over, dropping his voice to a threatening whisper. "Listen to me Mulder; I've had all I can take of your attitude to me. Why can't you understand that I've been trying to help you, you dumb shit?" Krycek's cheeks flared red with effort as Mulder tried to struggle up. '

"Stop it. I just want to tell you a few things, things you need to hear." Krycek paused, breathing heavily; his heart was racing and it seemed difficult to get enough air. "You're selfish and stubborn and insensitive. Do you realise that? Why can't you accept me, now you know the truth about me - I didn't kill your father. I'm trying, have been trying for a long time, to help you bring those bastards to justice. I've risked my life for you and you treat me like I'm a piece of crap. You don't look beyond the surface with me. Why not?" His good hand wound into Mulder's hair, knees dug into Mulder's shoulders as he pressed him harder into the earth. Mulder struggled furiously.

"Get the fuck off me, you maniac. Y'know, maybe the reason I don't like you is because of your tendency to attack people."

Mulder twisted underneath him and managed to roll both of them over. The lip of a drainage ditch loomed perilously close. Krycek's one hand was busy grabbing Mulder's hair. Krycek bit him hard on the neck. Mulder shrieked with pain, and tried to twist away.

"No, Mulder, listen to me for once", his fingers tugging Mulder's soft hair, voice shaking from the effort of keeping Mulder still. "I think it's obvious to both of us we have issues, yes? If we can work together, then imagine what we could do to those bastards. We have to talk to each other, be honest. Please, listen to me."

"Haven't got much choice have I, you lunatic, and where'd y'get the psychobabble, off the back of a box of cornflakes?"

Krycek heard Mulder's voice as it vibrated through his ribcage, and a sharp pain flared as Mulder's fist connected with his jaw, making a dull popping sound. His heart pounding, Krycek slithered around behind Mulder, and managed to lock his arm around his neck.

Both men were panting as they desperately struggled with each other, Krycek's breath coming and going in great whoops, his face bleeding. Neither paid the passing cars the slightest attention. Krycek's world had become a blur. Mulder's pulse beat against his forearm. Mulder struggled, Krycek tightened him arm, making him gasp and choke, strangling the air from his lungs.

// It would be easy to do this, just kill him, and put an end to this stupid game we play //

Krycek was almost tired enough to do it.

// That won't *really* help matters though, will it? //

The thought swam up to annoy at him. He knew this already. // Shit //

'Krycek, fucking stop, stop, you're choking me', Mulder hissed.

The words filtered into Krycek's ears and broke the spell.

// God, what was he doing? //

Krycek abruptly relaxed the arm lock that had been pinning Mulder to him. He realised he was lying on his side in a foot of stinking, cold ditch water. As their struggling stilled he became sharply aware of their situation. He could feel Mulder's heat, and the cold of the water seeping into his jeans. He could hear the tiny movements they made in the mud as they lay together, panting. The smell of dank water curled into his nostrils.

He could also smell the wet wool of Mulder's suit. Time stood still, and all that he was aware of was this place, this person who he still held to his chest. His face was resting on Mulder's hair. Looking down he could see the curve of a cheek, the sweep of a lash as Mulder blinked water from his eyes. The hot tingle of sweat, exhaustion and fear swept over him. He was very tired. //This man is driving me crazy //, he thought absently.

--

Mulder felt Krycek release him. He lay still, shaken by the intensity of the fight, hardly believing he was lying in a muddy ditch, clasped to the very man who had hurt him so much. He winced as he tried to swallow.

// If only Krycek would just.go away. //

He realised with stunned amazement that neither of them was moving, and, incredibly, that Krycek was holding him.

"What are you *doing*?" Mulder's voice rose in disbelief. Krycek tightened his grip.

"What does it feel like I'm doing, stupid?" Krycek whispered into Mulder's damp shoulder.

Mulder's elbow suddenly pistoned backwards, connecting with Krycek's gut. Before Krycek could curl up, Mulder spun round and straddled his body, catching Krycek's strong fist in his own. His prosthetic arm lay limply in the mud, obviously disconnected from the fight.

Mulder pressed Krycek back into the muddy earth. It didn't take much effort, as Krycek had stopped fighting, and lay calmly in the mud. Mulder looked down, seeing the face beneath him; Krycek's cheek flushed pink against the pale complexion. The elegant curve of his cheekbone, sharp as a razor clam, was outlined against the dark muddy water. Strands of black hair were plastered to his forehead. It had begun to rain. Krycek gazed up at the man straddling his waist, squinting his eyes against the raindrops.

"Mulder, please listen; why don't you want to see me as I really am? You know I could've killed you anytime, but that's not what I wanted. Now you now the truth about me you should understand that I want to help you, and that I *can* help you. You won't accept me for what I am, someone who made a mistake, but who did everything in their power to make it better. I've had to live by different rules than you have Mulder, but it doesn't make me an evil person."

Mulder watched his lips moving, only half listening to what was being said to him. He knew without hearing the words what Krycek was telling him, had known all along. Eyes glittered up at him warily. Looking at Krycek reclining in the mud, hand pinned, his anger dissolved. With it come an abrupt awareness of the man below him; a tired, wet, bleeding person lying underneath him in a ditch. A person with one hand, and this only hand controlled by a person who he thought wanted him dead.

Mulder pressed his eyes closed for a second. // Oh god. // Realization swept over him. No one had ever made him feel like this before, had produced in him this mixture of anger and obsession and need. He couldn't seem to tear himself free from this man, or from his gaze. He was obsessed with revenge, but something else to. A tiny flare of desire lit in his belly

// I want him //

He realized he was staring, drawn to that mesmeric gaze like a child to Christmas lights. Krycek's warm breath whispered against his skin. Their faces were almost touching now, nose-to-nose. Krycek stared at him in wonderment. Mulder held his gaze for a long moment. The man beneath him made a small noise in the back of his throat and tried to turn his face away.

"Shhh Krycek. It's okay. I...this is all wrong...I'm sorry." Mulder finished lamely.

"Sorry? Mulder you're scaring me." Muttered into his leather jacket. Despite his words, Krycek laid unmoving, face still averted.

"Look at me."

Turning, Krycek could feel the tickle of Mulder's damp hair against his skin. He looked

Their lips met tentatively at first, pressing gently. Mulder felt suspended in time, the moment seeming to last forever, every heartbeat loud and clear.

// What am I doing? What the hell am I doing? // Whatever it was, it was good. //Maybe he's an alien // Mulder thought, as the man beneath him shifted. // Oh //

Mulder released Krycek's wrist and slid his arm under the other man's neck, fingers sliding under the wet shirt collar to stroke the silky skin. At this, Krycek pressed up harder, tongue lightly flicking against Mulder's lower lip, creating a spike of lust in the other man's groin. Abruptly, Mulder pulled his head back, letting a swirl of cool air chase away the heat between them.

They considered each other for a long moment. Mulder's heart was hammering. // Am I really doing this? //

"Mulder, you're nuts." Krycek whispered. He paused

"Krycek?"

"Yeah?"

"What are we doing? Because it seems to me we're lying down together in some muddy water. Is that right?"

"Yes"

"Well maybe, y'know, we should get up."

"Mulder, I... yeah, right"

Mulder heaved himself up, extending his hand down to Krycek, who grabbed it. Krycek paused, looking up,

"So, now what?" he asked, as he allowed Mulder to pull him to his feet. They stood awkwardly facing each other.

"Let's just get back in the car...and go somewhere warm."

"I threw the keys away."

They both stood still watching each other, the rain rolling down their faces and dripping onto their shoulders, unnoticed. Suddenly they were smiling, then laughing; doubled up, crying and laughing together. Through the tears, Mulder noted how interesting it was to see Krycek laughing with abandon- he'd never seen it before. There were lots of things he'd never seen Krycek do before. The thought caused a sudden stab of lust so strong it made him want to sit down.

Recovering slowly, Mulder felt weakness thrill through him. // So tired, yet...not //

Krycek was still smiling faintly, but looked pale and cold. He shivered and moved closer. To Mulder the action seemed almost predatory, full of barely suppressed need.

"Hungry?" Mulder asked.

"God yeah, starving."

"Good."'

----

As the black Ford sped along the road, he could see a steady stream of color - green wheat, blue hills. Mulder's pink face. He smiled. He could feel the muscles in his legs and arms aching with tiredness, yet he felt a sense of anticipation that denied any thoughts of relaxing.

Leaning his head back, Krycek turned just enough to spy on Mulder out of the corner of his eye. He was covered in mud, they both were. What an incredibly weird day. He could see the muscle working in Mulder's jaw, and the frown line furrowing his brow. Mulder's long fingers tapped out a staccato rhythm on the vinyl. Krycek considered those fingers, and the amount of pleasure they could probably give to him.

"Krycek, I know I'm fascinating but please stop ogling me, okay?"

Krycek smiled and turned his head away.

"Sorry, I just can't help it."


Archived: November 02, 2001