Author: Spooky
Title: Window
Feedback: ddwake1@netcom.ca or dwake@utpress.utoronto.ca
Total Parts: 1
Status: Complete
Category: Vignette
Pairing: M/Sk/K
Rating: PG-13 (language, adult themes)
Spoilers: Redux, Redux II, slightly
Keywords: Slash (sort of), MSR (sort of)
Summary: Unrequited lust is a bitch.
Author Notes: This is my first attempt at slash. Be kind. Feedback will be fed and given a good home.
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. I'll put them away when I'm done Ma, honest!


Window
by Spooky

The bar is a rather sad commentary on what he has been reduced to, he muses as he nurses his third beer. He is fooling himself, of course, to think that travelling all the way to Alexandria from Crystal City to drink in a broken-down bar a scant two blocks from his subordinate's home, means nothing.

It means something, of course.

Something that isn't to be faced in the light of day, where duty and obligation and propriety reign. Or faced entirely sober for that matter. But here, amid the buzz of three beers on an empty stomach; amid the smells of beer and dried sweat and slight reek of old vomit; amid the low light and dark hovering outside the door -- he can almost acknowledge it.

There is no reason for him to be here. No reason at all suffices -- no reason except reckless need. The impulse, a scratching of an itch really, so casual it took him unawares, has hooked its claws into him as hard as any heroin-induced monkey. And like any junkie, he now wants more.

More than to cower in this bar, afraid to reach for...what? Love? Lust? Or just to be held by another human being until the loneliness fades?

There are a myriad of reasons.

But his heart has become weary of listening to his head, and his jerk-off fantasies are beginning to resemble Mulder's cheap porn videos.

He steps out into the sultry summer night -- he can almost swear he can smell sex in the humid air. Well, considering the neighbourhood, perhaps he can.

He tells himself again he's wasted far too much time on impossible dreams. Extreme possibilities. The air is like steam on his air-conditioned skin, sending a shiver through him, akin to desire. Sweat is already collecting on his face, sending his glasses sliding down his nose.

He hates that.

Fucking summer in fucking DC.

He glances at the car, but his feet carry him past it without conscious thought. Warning claxons are sounding in his head, like they used to in Vietnam. But his strides settle into a steady rhythm reminiscent of the Marine he had been thirty years ago. Steps measured, a deceptively light tapping on the sidewalk, despite the unfamiliar fluttering in his chest. He has become adept at ignoring those warning bells since meeting one Fox William Mulder.

He has never done this before. Never before taken his need into the street. He has thought himself reconciled to the craving -- but tonight his addiction has reached a new level.

He can almost feel the weight of the monkey on his back. This is no cute capuchin, no, this is one big, mother-fucking baboon. It must be, to coerce him into such a foolhardy act.

Unconsciously, his pace quickens as he nears his destination -- another block and he can see the building. Sweat drips lonely tears down his face and his shirt clings to his muscled torso, but he takes no notice of these. Instead his thoughts are of the sweat dripping down *his* bare skin, what it might taste like if he swept his tongue just *there*, what sweat-slicked taut muscles might feel like under his questing hands....

He's there.

He slides into a darkened niche, feeling it embrace him like a stolen cloak -- illicit comfort -- eyes scanning the lighted windows until he finds the right one. Yes, Mulder has the lights on for once. A beacon of promise, he'd like to believe, but knows better. He yearns for a glimpse, but must be satisfied with a vague shadow crossing in front of the lamplight.

He can see that Mulder's window is slung wide open in a futile effort to catch the non-existent breeze. He imagines him there, stripped down to his boxers, sweaty skin gluing him to the battered leather of his couch. Languid and boneless in the heat, sleepy hazel eyes at half-mast. Skinner almost groans at the image and his cock strains undeniably against his jeans.

He should leave.

He should leave for his own sanity and the privacy of this very private man. Jesus, Cancerman's cronies had surveilled his apartment for maybe months -- when had he sunk so low?

Insanity. That must be it. Six years of sitting across from Fox Mulder's pouty lips, trying not to ogle the tight ass as it sways seductively against Armani pants.... Brilliant, eccentric, irritatingly sensual.... Too much.

In spite of it all, in spite of the dangers, the risk to both their careers -- he might have chanced it once. He can almost see himself reaching out to the man he senses is as lonely as he. If he thought his feelings might be reciprocated.... But Mulder barely trusts him and his love for his partner is worn on his sleeve for all who care to look.

His very female partner.

He can almost hate Dana Scully sometimes. In spite of the fact that he both likes and respects her. Envious of the way Mulder looks at her, touches her. Of the connection they clearly share. Can hate her for not following through, hate her denial of her obvious feelings. Hate her for Mulder's loneliness. And purely selfish relief that the agents haven't taken their relationship to the next level. It saddens him to think of Mulder in his apartment alone, jacking off to some porno movie, even as the thought makes him incredibly hot.

He has to consciously move his hand away from his groin then, as he glances about nervously. It would hardly do for an Assistant Director of the FBI to be picked up for lewd behaviour. Time to take this home.

He spies a slight movement in the deeper shadows and begins to move away, wary. While he is more than capable of defending himself, explaining to the police why he is lurking in the shadows outside his agent's apartment is more than he cares to attempt tonight.

"Come here often?" a sardonic voice drifts out of the gloom, its owner stepping into the dim glow of a streetlight to reclaim it.

Before he knows he has moved, quicker than the thought has formed, he has the other man up against the alley wall, sweat-slicked bodies pressing close, his arm against the man's throat. It's a measure of his surprise and hatred that he hasn't yet thought of his gun -- ripping the little rat-fuck bastard to shreds with his bare hands has its appeal.

"Is that your gun, or are you just happy to see me?" the younger man manages to gasp out, a knowing smirk on his face.

"Don't flatter yourself." Skinner nevertheless backs off, drawing his weapon. He waves it under Alex Krycek's nose while he pats him down.

"That feels soooo good, Walter," Krycek moans in mock ecstasy, leering at the older man. "But I bet I'm not the one you wish you were doing this to," he taunts knowingly. Instantly, both their gazes turn to the lighted window.

"You're under arrest, Krycek," Skinner mutters through gritted teeth. Krycek can't tell in the dark, but he is certain the other man is blushing. It's no real surprise to find Skinner here; he has read the story of need in the AD before -- a craving to match his own.

Two junkies looking for their fix. Twin baboons on their backs.

"And how will you explain this?" he asks innocently. His voice lowers a notch, impersonating a fictitious cop. "So tell me, Mr. Skinner, do you make a habit of hanging out in front of the windows of all your agents? With a hard-on no less." Smug expression on the handsome face.

Skinner barely manages to squelch the quiver of desire the throaty voice sends through him. Like Mulder's, only darker somehow. Pulled from depths that knew dark deeds and darker secrets. The scent of a sweat-soaked Krycek caresses his nostrils. For a moment, the danger titillates his cock. But there is also the dread.

For he knows Krycek is right. He has no reason to be here. None that would pass scrutiny, at least. And worst of all, Mulder would know.

Would know of his boss's desire, of the fantasies Skinner jerks off to at night, of how he wants, just once, to lock his office door, throw Mulder over his desk, running his hands along sleek back and thigh, and give his troublesome agent a reaming with more than mere words.

They would both be mortified.

And the rat-fuck bastard prick would probably get off anyway.

He scowls at Krycek, a gaze that sends most agents scurrying to cover their balls, but Krycek is unfazed.

"Why are you here?" He is prepared to take extreme measures to ensure Mulder's safety. Damn the police, damn the Bureau; he'll drag Krycek in if he has to, or blow the fucker's head off. Either option will do.

Tension envelops them like the heat and something changes in Krycek's eyes.

Finally, the young assassin answers. "I have information for him."

No one can work long for everyone's favourite butt-fucking uncle without being on the receiving end of shovelfuls of bullshit, and Skinner has received his instruction from the government's best. So Krycek's declaration makes his hackles rise. "Crap."

Krycek chokes out a laugh. "So articulate. The FBI teach you that?"

He tightens his grip across Krycek's throat. "Why are you really here?'

There's a lost, almost vulnerable look on Krycek's face as his eyes search Skinner's. Green, Skinner thinks inanely. His eyes are green. Limpid pools of emerald that go hard and sharp without warning. Involuntarily, the AD feels his cock twitch.

Then the realization hits him and he stares at the younger man, pole-axed.

"The same as you," Krycek confirms in a whisper. Then grins. His fleeting vulnerability replaced by his usual cockiness. The eyes change, indefinably. "He does have an impeccable ass, doesn't he?"

Skinner scowls again, hesitates, then holsters his gun. He isn't arresting Krycek tonight. Maybe never, depending on what Krycek does with this information. He can almost see the OPR hearing now. It would be -- undignified -- to lose his job because he is mooning over a subordinate. A *male* subordinate.

Krycek grins again at his discomfiture. "Don't worry, *Walt*, your secret's safe with me."

Like hell it is, the AD thinks with a hard knot in his gut. Wonders how he can start again at his age. All because he's indulged a stupid, dangerous whim. He should have known. This *is* Mulder after all. Unfair, perhaps, but true nonetheless.

His eyes turn back to Krycek, but the younger man has lifted his gaze to the window. Mulder is silhouetted in the light, gazing out into the street. Skinner was wrong it seems -- his agent is wearing a white t-shirt and dark jeans. Both men automatically step further into the gloom. For a moment, Skinner worries they might have been seen, but Mulder's gaze is directed skyward. His shoulders droop, whether due to the heat or defeat, or his inner demons, Skinner can't tell. The figure passes out of view, presumably to resettle itself on the worn leather couch.

"So have you done him yet?" Krycek asks easily.

Skinner can only stare at the young assassin, stupefied.

"I take that as a no." Krycek seems to revel in his response. "Oh, you didn't know he swings both ways, did you?" he smirks.

Skinner wants to ask. Desperately wants to ask but is terrified of the answer. Knows Krycek knows this, so he bites his tongue. The bastard would lie anyway.

Have Mulder and Krycek...?

He cannot bear the answer.

The reasons for his reluctance aren't what he might have supposed. His own desire figures in this not one whit. Rather, it has always seemed to him that Mulder and Scully have a connection that is purer than most, regardless of whether or not it is sexual. More profound. And the thought that either might have sullied it for mere sex disturbs him, although he knows it shouldn't. There is no reason at all they shouldn't seek out other partners, except he has always expected that they would be chaste until they inevitably consummate their relationship. Like some sort of fucking romantic fairytale. Anything else seems -- wrong --somehow. Tainted. Like his own lust.

Shit, this is DC, not some fucking Camelot.

Krycek must be feeling mellow tonight, or maybe it's just the relief of having Skinner's gun out of his face. There is no other explanation, he thinks, for letting the AD off the hook. Much as Skinner's shock and revulsion warm him, he wants to set the record straight. He doesn't want the other man to think less of Mulder, because Mulder, quite possibly, would have beaten the shit out of his sorry carcass by now.

"I kissed him once," he muses, seeing the AD tense. "Shocked the hell out of him. Kinda surprised I got out of there with my life." Well not really, but it sounded good. There is only a slight easing of the shoulders. "Relax, Skinner, it wasn't even on the lips. Do you really think he'd have anything to do with the likes of me?" Krycek says impulsively. He can taste the bitter acid of the words, and thinks maybe things might have been different if he had made better choices long ago. Joined in Mulder's quest, instead of assuming Scully's discarded role of spy. Preventing him from saving her. He shrugs the thought away. He has never been one for self-analysis and besides, what's done is done. Unlike Mulder, Krycek doesn't do guilt well.

Skinner finds himself relaxing, the tension exploding out of him. He doesn't want to think of Mulder and Krycek together. The very notion threatens to make him ill.

The two men fall silent as a car makes its way slowly up the street, parking under a streetlight not far from where they are skulking. Yes, Skinner thinks, I have been reduced to skulking in the shadows with Alex Krycek. It would have been hilariously funny if it weren't so goddamn pathetic.

The stark light casts a halo around the driver and both men find themselves seeking deeper shadows.

Dana Scully stares at the steering wheel with fierce intensity, then to the lighted window. She makes an abortive move to restart the car, then giving herself a shake, exits with firm, proud strides and disappears into her partner's building.

Two sets of eyes turn up to the window, counting minutes to the elevator, up the elevator, along the hall. Skinner feels vaguely ashamed of his role as voyeur, but nothing can make him turn away now. He glances sideways at his companion, but Krycek is lounging against the wall, a languid study in dark, eyes fixed on apartment 42. No shame there. He suddenly wonders why Krycek, with unlimited access to surveillance equipment, is reduced to hanging about in the street like some common peeping tom.

Skinner's ruminations are cut short by the appearance of two silhouettes in the window. They are standing quite close, apparently in earnest conversation. Then Mulder's arms hesitantly enclose Scully, as hers steal around him. She lays her head on his chest a moment, then tilts her head up, even as his bends down to meet her. The first touch of their lips is tentative, but they soon become bolder and Skinner turns away, furious with himself. Krycek's expression is unreadable.

"Get out of here, Krycek," he growls.

The young killer lets his gaze drop from the window. "I guess neither of us gets the guy." His voice, which he means to sound sardonic, comes across as merely wistful. Skinner's eyes meet green ones burning with need and feels his own rising to meet it. He notices how dangerously beautiful the other man is, clothed as he is in black -- a darker shadow among the shadows, despite the heat. The gloved left arm held a little strangely. He can almost, almost taste the salty lips, feel their silky texture beneath his own. Knows, oh he knows, where sweat will have pooled, the musky scent of secret places....

"Go home," he says, his voice surprisingly gentle. Krycek stares at him a long moment, something indefinable in his eyes, then turns back to the alley with a sigh, a curious hitch in his breath.

"Oh, and Krycek," Skinner waits until the other man is facing him, and says in his most intimidating AD voice, "Next time I see you, I *will* arrest you."

Krycek grins wryly and waves jauntily as he melts once again into the shadows. Skinner looks to the window again, but this time, the blinds are drawn. He draws a deep breath, and his steps ring hollowly as he heads back to his car.

Finis

Thought for the day:
"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them. And you have their shoes."