Hi, I don't know what the protocol is here so I'm just going to dive right in. Sorry about the lump-of-text format but my mail account is being a little spasmoidal at the moment ;( Hope you like it!
TITLE: The Other Side
RATING: Not entirely sure - PG-13 I guess?
PAIRING: K(/M)- kind of an Alex perspective thingy
WARNING: slashy sentiments, possible character death and (gasp) unbetaed British spelling. And angst. With a shovel.
DISCLAIMER: no, they're not mine. CC can keep 'em - I'm not even allowed a goldfish in this place.
COMMENTS: Final exams - first fanfic (in fact, first creative writing effort in about ten years). A connection? I think so. All criticism, good or bad, will therefore be appreciated greatly at email@example.com, anything to distract me from revision ;)
The Other Side
The insipid late-autumn sunlight is dissected by an ancient venetian blind as it enters the room. Sighting along the softly gleaming muzzle of my gun, I watch pale ribbons of light glide slowly across the floor, occasionally distorted by a festering pustule straining up under the timeworn linoleum. I have performed this action so many times, but this time there is no-one; no innocent, no corrupt player, on the other end of the barrel.
In the time I have rested here, one questing tendril of wan light has progressed from the badly scuffed leg of a desk to the equally damaged toe of my left boot. Perhaps rested is the wrong word, but what do you call it when you simply stop, because there is no longer a reason to keep on moving? I have been running for so long now - running and hiding and hurting, all to keep you safe. All for you. Sometimes, in the rare moments when I'm capable of appreciating the humour, the irony of this situation makes me laugh. Your closest allies spend so much time telling you that you aren't at the centre of some giant conspiracy, that everything that happens to you isn't personal. You are so keen to find the truth, but you cannot see that the one person who you believe thinks the least of you in the world is the one person to whom you are everything. I'm a comet caught up in your orbit, a lithified shell of filth surrounding a frozen core of ice, spiralling ever inwards towards you. My substance ablates away as I draw near, and I know that when I get too close everything I am will eventually be obliterated in a blaze of fire, nothing left but dust and ashes.
I have never understood why others desire to know their future. I don't think you've ever wanted to know yours, except maybe to have the certainty that you will succeed in your quest find your sister. Isn't it enough for people to know that one day they will just cease to be? Knowing how this inevitable cessation of existence will be brought about is a curse. Do people imagine the passenger on the 'plane dropping towards the ocean is comforted somehow by that final infinite moment of awareness, 'this is how I'm going to die'? I've come to know that feeling today. I remember the look in your eyes as you held me close, defenceless despite the gun in my hand. You've always known I would never use it against you, yet the reason for this fatal flaw in a man whose job it is to cheat, lie, kill and betray seems to have completely eluded your sharp intellect. For one so obsessed with the truth you can be so dangerously oblivious to reality that I'm surprised you're still alive, even with my help, but maybe this selective blindness only applies to me. Too close, too far under your skin to examine without revealing things about your own tangled psyche that you can't ever learn without destroying yourself.
You had me pulled to your chest with a clenched handful of my shirt, in a bizarre parody of a lover's embrace - another irony I'm just not up to appreciating right now. The venom in your voice was the same as ever, the fevered litany of questions nothing new - why, why, why, like a kid whose parents have inexplicably confiscated a favourite toy. That thought actually triggers a brief chuckle - the problem is really my inexplicable removal of a parent. I sober - it's not really funny at all - but I guess dealing in death for so long has removed my respect for it. I've seen close-up the final moments of enough lives to know that death isn't dignified, and is seldom peaceful - it's pleading and tears, the stench of blood, sweat and terror. But despite the now-familiar mind games, this time was different. This time I could see right into the anguished depths of your beautiful hazel eyes, and I realised that you didn't understand, couldn't ever understand what I had to do, and why. I think you would have less difficulty believing that the alien invasion was actually a day trip for extraterrestrial high-schoolers than that all I ever wanted to do was keep you safe. Striving to keep ahead of the hunt in order to protect you, I think I always knew that you would be the one to bring me down.
I can't keep on when I know there will be no reward, no pat on the head, no 'Good Alex' and redemption at the end of the day, not even to keep you from harm. I hope that this act will bring you some of the peace you crave, but perhaps it will just add to your burden of guilt. You're too intelligent not to realise that our meeting today was what led to this. Though I love you, some crabbed, vindictive part of me, the same part that lets me be the killer I am, is glad to have this small revenge.
The grip is cool in my hand as I slowly turn my gun towards myself. Now it's time, time for that final flare, time to turn to ashes and dust.
Time to see the barrel from the other side.
Hmm. It occurs to me that killing Krycek in my first RatB fic is a less than 100% foolproof plan for winning friends and influencing people, but it's really not my fault - the muse made me do it. Honest. Bad muse, bad.
Archived: August 30, 2001