"Watch the Closing Doors"
RATING: R. If m/m interaction bothers you, run away, run away!
SUMMARY: What is it like to be a bystander in a Mulder/Krycek fic?
DISCLAIMERS: All things X-Files belong to Chris Carter, Ten-Thirteen, and 20th Century Fox. I'm just sharing and not making a cent off it, I swear! No infringement intended. Suing me would be a waste of time and a mean thing to do. I have no money. At all.
FEEDBACK: Would you? That would be great. All feedback can be sent to Viridian5@aol.com or Viridian5@altavista.net
NOTES: Another Manic!Viridian Production. Think about what that means.
All hail Te, my super beta! Bow, maggots! Someday she'll be ruling the world, so you better get on her good side now....
"Watch the Closing Doors"
"So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.
Yeah, I know who I want to take me home."
- "Closing Time" by Semisonic
I clomped off the Q train with my burden in time for the Brooklyn-bound F train to close its doors and leave the station. Cursing under my breath, I put the heavy mixing board down and settled in to wait for the next train.
Notes to self:  No good deed goes unpunished. Repeat 100 times.  Kick my brother's ass for asking me to carry this damned thing home. Especially kick my brother's ass since he crashed the computer last night and lost my Microsoft Word program.  Kick my own ass for being such a sucker.
It seemed that I would never be putting the lid back on that can of whup ass. My dance card was full.
A busker played the _Godfather_ theme on a saxophone. In the past six months I've heard that song played at different subway stations on an accordion and steel drums. I'd liked the accordion and the way listening to it let me imagine myself in a European city. The steel drums just didn't do it for me. The saxophone sounded nice, though.
I let my mind drift onto multiple tracks as I usually did during my commute. //Sera stands on tiptoe on the top of a hill, arms outspread, hair and jacket blowing back in the warm spring wind, ready to fly. She has empty bullet shells and a crow feather, souvenirs from her last case, strung through her hair. The sun shines golden. Brian watches--// Oh, the saxophonist is playing "Putting on the Ritz." Cool song, demented movie... Have to love that tap-dancing scene. "Hold onto your purse and valuables." No duh. //He comes up behind her and puts his arms around her waist, burying his nose in her hair to smell gardenia and the wind and sunlight.// ...where fashion sits/ Puttin' on the Ritz... //"We must make other people sick," Brian said. "I do hope so," she answered.// No idea where that little vignette could go, but I like it... Not that I can do much with it, when the computer's down. Remember to kick Derrick's ass for messing with it...
"Could I help you with that?"
I turned to notice a tall, very attractive man giving me his full attention. His eyes... It always disgusted me to see men with such beautiful long lashes. So few of them appreciated the gift. This one did though, and he let them rise and fall seductively over deep green eyes that held a gleam of something that warned me and made my IQ drop by about 50 points at the same time.
Why me? Leaving my relationship with my brother aside, I usually wasn't much of a sucker and don't think I look like one, either. Then I looked at myself as he probably saw me: little girl with a Big Heavy Thing. //I'll carry that for you if you do me an itsy bitsy widdle favor...//
An attractive man walks up to me from out of nowhere and offers to help me. He must want something.
Sure, I'll hand a $700 piece of recording equipment to a stranger with dangerous eyes. Maybe I'll give him my purse too.
"No, thank you," I said, hoping that would end it. Just to be sure, I gave him my best nasty poker-faced New Yorker look, perfected through two years time served in the New York City subway system.
Didn't work. "Then let me carry your tote bag and trench coat."
An unseasonably cold June morning had turned to a seasonably hot June afternoon, so I carried my coat over my shoulder as well as my purse, my tote bag, and my brother's giant piece of recording equipment. I was hot, tired, and carrying much more than I should be in addition to stewing from a frustrating afternoon at work.
"If I say no, will you go away?"
Big smile that was pure sex. "No."
"Then carry my coat and tote bag." I could afford to lose those if I had to run for it.
He reached for both one-handed. His left arm just sort of dangled, and he hung my things over that shoulder. I noticed the way he surreptitiously watched the stairs and the way he twitched when a tall man and a red-headed woman came bounding down them. My stranger tried to melt more into the growing crowd waiting for the train. I started to become interested despite myself.
The Brooklyn-bound F pulled up with a roar and gust of hot air. I grabbed his right arm and shoved him in through the doorway as soon as it opened. I carefully settled the piece of equipment at my feet //"Don't you dare drop it, Maureen." Fuck you, Derrick.//. I heard a commotion way behind us, and for once felt happy that so many people crowded on after us.
The doors closed experimentally and opened, then closed for good. My stranger swayed only slightly as the train started to move with a lurch. Excellent balance for a one-armed man.
I didn't ask what he ran from. I doubted he'd tell me the truth. Instead I asked, "So what's your name? Since you're using me for cover, it's only polite to tell me."
His eyes took on a more measuring look. I had upgraded myself in his mind from "piece of furniture" to something capable of thinking. "Can't. What's yours?"
"You can call me Super Commuter."
He smirked. "Fine, then. I'm Alex."
"Maureen. I'm switching trains in two stops. You should either give me my stuff back or head off to Queens with me."
Alex held on to my things. I sighed.
We passed the ride in silence until we hit the Second Avenue stop, when the tall man from the West 4th Street station raced into the open door. He must have gotten onto the train before it left, just not the correct car.
"Nice try, Krycek," he said as he surreptitiously pulled out a gun and pointed it into Alex's stomach. No one else on the train, if anyone paid attention, would see it. I leaned back against the door.
Alex sneered. "Not bad. Let me guess, you left Scully back at West 4th with no explanation."
That cracked the man's concentration. That and the fact that Alex was giving him That Look. Nice to see that I'm not the only one who loses brain cells under that gaze.
While he was distracted, I asked, "Who the hell are you?"
He turned to me and looked way down, making me feel much less charitable towards him. It just doesn't pay to be short. "Special Agent Fox Mulder, FBI."
"I'm supposed to believe that's your real name?" He gave me a long suffering, why-me? look. I pressed the advantage. "Look, you're threatening a man who's holding some very important things of mine. That coat cost me $110, and that bag has my medicine, favorite shlumpy quilted jacket, and _Toy Story_ alien toy I got from Burger King, all irreplaceable." He looked at me blankly. "You remember _Toy Story_, right? 'The Claw will choose'?"
I could feel Alex laughing. Agent Mulder, if that was indeed his real name, looked back at him and got caught in his eyes again, like a mouse mesmerized by the snake. I started to get disgusted. Delancey Street was coming up, and I intended to get off with my coat and bag.
We came to a stop. I grabbed Alex's good arm again and let the crowd's momentum push us off the train and up the stairway to the M. I could hear Agent Mulder cursing behind us as he got cut off, N. but I knew he would be with us again shortly.
Alex stared at me. "Can I have my stuff back yet?" I asked.
"What was that about important medicine?"
"My job gives me headaches. I have ibuprofen in my bag."
"You are a dangerous woman." He took one side of the bag handle in his hand and helped me carry the mixing board up the stairs. I kept a tight hold on my side. When his arm and jacket moved I caught a teasing glimpse of the gun I had suspected he carried.
I should have sacrificed the coat and tote and leapt off the train alone while Alex and Agent Mulder had been deeply involved in their eye dance. Even if Alex had been inclined to come back here to try to find me, he never would have succeeded in nabbing me, not with this stop belonging to the J, M, and Z trains, each going in two directions.
I would *not* lead this man to my car, and I certainly didn't intend to show him where I lived.
I didn't doubt my initial instincts. It *was* better to have some idea of where this man was instead of wondering whether he followed me and how closely. At my side, I could anticipate him. If I'd jumped off here by myself, it would have been a great plan.
I didn't. I forgot what was important. Now I'm screwed.
I hoped that the J and Z trains would come in first, as they usually do. Maybe they would provide too much of a temptation for escape for Alex to stay with me. *I* lose patience waiting for the M, so there's no reason why Alex, who had reasons to want to get away fast, would do any better.
To my shock, the M train pulled in as soon as we reached the platform. Usually it's five seconds too early, giving me a great view of it departing from the station just as I reach the platform, or 15 minutes late. My luck running true to form.
He didn't know that I usually take the M. I can let this one pass, sit, and wait for Alex to decide that it would be too much trouble to stay with me.
Oh, who am I kidding? I suck at waiting. I grabbed my coat while he was distracted and got on the train. He followed half a minute behind. I watched the federal agent jump into the car nearest to him just before the doors closed.
"How long will it take him to get here?" Alex asked, eyes gleaming.
Like I'm your native guide? Oh, right, he has a gun. "Not long. On the M you can move between cars while the train's in motion."
Alex claimed an empty two-seater as his due. When he gestured for me to sit with him, I declined. He smirked but didn't press the issue. I carefully settled the mixing board on the floor near my feet and thought of ways to scam my tote bag away from him.
A tousled-looking Agent Mulder joined us two stops down the line. He looked good that way. Then he said, "I hope you realize I can bring you in for aiding and abetting a criminal, miss," and he became a lot less attractive.
"Don't go after her, Mulder. I did the threatening routine." Alex let his leather jacket briefly slide away to show his hand on his gun. "She had no choice."
My hero. Oh, gag me.
The agent sat down next to Alex. He soon had one cuff on Alex's good wrist and the other on his own.
Alex looked amused. "Is this really necessary?"
"You're not getting away this time."
Alex smiled again and deployed his long-lashed deep green eyes to stunning effect. I wasn't even in the line of fire, and it made me go briefly stupid. "If you insist."
Mulder shook his head. "I do."
I leaned back against the pole and half-listened to the ensuing conversation. Agent Mulder mentioned his father's murder, and Alex had a "been there, done that" air of ennui as he sat through it. Part of a ritual for these two nuts? By the time they started to talk about aliens and men who don't have real names, I tuned the voices out. Like trying to listen to a soap opera in code.
I watched them instead, partly in preparation for an escape and partly in fascination. Alex had staked a flag on Agent Mulder's personal space early and kept advancing. The way he kept making their legs brush, the way his hand touched Mulder's arm, the direct eye contact he managed to maintain despite the federal agent's best attempts to avoid it spoke volumes about the campaign Alex had planned. Mulder's eyes went darker and vaguer the longer he sat next to his supposed prisoner. Soon Alex touched the side of the agent's face, and Mulder didn't try to fight him off, even though the agent's arm moved along with Alex's from the handcuffs. It looked a bit comical, but Agent Mulder seemed to be mesmerized. Or stupefied.
I fought the temptation to laugh. Both these men had guns.
Alex had worked that voodoo that he did so well. I wonder if Alex knew that he didn't look like he maintained complete control of himself, that in some way the agent had him snared as well. Two less attractive men in the world for me //snort//, but I'll survive.
At least I hope I'll survive this.
My tote bag slipped ignored to the floor, and I used my foot to drag it over to me while Alex was distracted. I had a plan. I didn't know what else Alex might want from me, but he's not bringing my family into it.
My stop was three stations away, but I didn't intend to get off there. My possessions in my hands and on my shoulders, I sidled toward the door. At Wyckoff station I backed out, heart pounding, onto the platform and let the rush of people carry me along down the stairwells and out onto the street. Once there, I got on a bus that would take me home. I could pick up my car near my usual train station another time. I didn't start to feel safe until I locked the door of my house behind me.
Another day, another interminable wait for the Brooklyn-bound F. As I flexed my sore arms, I let my mind wander and de-stress after a long, boring day plus overtime. We got so bored at work today that we translated "That's Amore" into French. When we weren't putting on _Masterpiece Theater_ accents and giving ourselves snobby British names. But boring isn't so bad. Look at how much trouble excitement caused me yesterday.
I sang under my breath and let the story images come. "Quand la lune/ Frappe les yeux--" //The man runs through the snow of a small town's streets, the sound of a parade still loud behind him. His pursuer is a person dressed in a giant, plush reindeer costume, complete with halter and jingle bells. The reindeer tackles him to the ground and pounds his face in.// "--Comme un grand pizza tart--" //Some kids wander by and stare in horror. The reindeer says, "You better be good." The children run screaming. Brian, grinning ruefully, walks up. "Sera, those kids are going to be in therapy for the rest of their lives." The reindeer removes its head and tosses back a tousled mane of black curls. Sera's eyes gleam in the winter twilight. "Therapy isn't so bad. Look what it's done for me."// "--C'est l'amourrrrrrraaaaaaaaayy." Well, that was evil.
Then I saw Alex standing there, watching me. My mouth went dry. He must have been waiting here for me to arrive. I got here later today than I did yesterday. Great, he's the vengeful, obsessive type.
He walked toward me and came to a stop about six inches on my left. "You left without saying good-bye," Alex said.
"I'm a New Yorker. We're rude." I kept my voice as even as possible. "How did things go with Agent Mulder?"
His grin was all teeth. "Well enough." I saw some bite marks on his neck where the collar didn't cover. "You were so good at distracting Mulder, I wanted to reward you."
I wondered if being in a crowd would make him hesitate but figured I didn't have a chance. New Yorkers had a well-deserved reputation for looking the other way.
Within seconds I had my keys dangling in my right hand. I could use those and my long nails as weapons. Alex had the advantage of me in strength, weight, and height, but I would mark the hell out of him before he took me down.
It turned out that he also had the advantage in speed. He grabbed me before I could make a move. Later I realized that he kissed me, long and hard and skillful and with a lot of tongue action. At the time I really wasn't thinking. My brain hadn't been the most stimulated part of my body at that moment.
I came to lying on the floor panting. Alex waved and blew me a kiss before he said, "You're lucky *I* got lucky." Then he walked at normal speed up the stairs.
No one is ever going to believe this one.