Free Man, A

by Shael

Title: Free Man, A
Author: Shael
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Category: Pre-slash
Pairing (Primary): Pre-slash
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Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: US Season 8 through Existence
Permission to Archive: eXpositions and Nickzone. Anyone else, please check with me first.
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Notes: Big thanks to my betas Karen-Leigh, Ursula, and my partner in crime Isa. I'd be only half the writer I am without all of you.
Summary: My take on what happened in the parking lot of the FBI

I'm in the FBI parking lot, watching Agent Mulder watch me. I can't believe he doesn't know I'm aware of his presence. I have been since he and Doggett began tailing me in the parking lot. Old Spooky must be slipping. But almost being made over into an alien replacement would be enough to knock anyone for a loop.

There he is, chattering on the phone to Doggett. Or maybe Skinner. Or maybe Scully. I wonder if she's gone into premature labor from the excitement. But Mulder isn't paying any attention to the fact that I've ended my phone call and am walking towards his car, gun drawn. It seems that the famous Spooky Mulder Paranoia has taken leave of him.

But now I've got his attention. He looked at the car I was in a second too late. By that time I've broken the passenger window and grabbed his cell phone. I can hear Doggett's voice calling for Mulder as I drop the phone and crush it with my foot. I can't help but wonder how many cell phones Mulder's lost or destroyed in his career with the FBI.

No time for wondering. I cock the gun and tell him to get out of the car. He does slowly, from the driver's side. "Doesn't seem fair now. Doesn't seem right. Coming down to this," I say as he walks around the car to face me. Yeah, it's not right or fair. But it's what has to be done.

Mulder, ever defiant and always ready with an insult, responds. "What do you know about fair or right, Krycek? You're a coward."

Yeah, whatever, Mulder. That really hurts. I've been called worse. In fact, you've called me worse. I don't bother to verbally respond to his weak barb. "I could've killed you so many times, Mulder. You've got to know that. I'm the one that kept you alive. Praying you'd win somehow. "

"Then there really is no God."

Typical smart-ass Mulder response. Why was I expecting anything else? "You think I'm bad. That I'm a killer. We wanted the same thing, brother. That's what you don't understand."

"I wanted to stop them. All you wanted was to save your own ass."

And sometimes that's one and the same, Mulder. Haven't you gotten that through your thick skull yet? "No. I tried to stop them. Tried to kill Scully's baby to stop them. It's too late." Now I'm babbling nonsense. Anything to keep his attention I guess. "The tragedy's that you-- you wouldn't let it go. That's why I have to do this. 'Cause you know how deep it goes. Right into the FBI."

" You want to kill me, Alex, kill me," Mulder taunted. "Like you killed my father. Just don't insult me trying to make me understand."

Insult you? Insult you? You're the one who's been insulting me since the first day we met six years ago. My finger tightens around the trigger of the gun, wanting so badly to shoot the bastard. For six years I've had to put up with insults, the blows, and the beatings. I fucking lost an arm and almost lost my life several times because of you, you bastard. And I'm insulting you?

The gunshot startles me and I fall to the ground, hit in my right arm. It seems that I've been slipping too. I didn't even notice old Stone Face Skinner sneak up. I'm crouching on the ground, my right arm cradled against my side, blood staining my shirt. It appears that I've pissed the AD off one too many times, because he doesn't hesitate to fire again. That's chivalrous of you, Skinner. Shoot the one armed man in his "good" arm a second time, as if once isn't enough. With what little strength I have, I push my gun towards Skinner with my prosthetic arm. I'm gasping for breath on the ground, mind clearly foggy from pain. That's the only excuse I can come up with for the words I next say.

"It's going to take more bullets than you can... ever fire to win this game. But one bullet... and I can give you a thousand lives." I look over at Mulder, no trace of pity in my gaze. Just grim determination to get the job done. "Shoot Mulder."

I watch as Skinner and Mulder stare at each other for a few seconds. Skinner's face is unreadable; Mulder's incredulous as Skinner raises his gun and fires.

The bastard shot me right between the eyes.

From my spot behind one of the support pillars, I watch as Mulder just looks at Skinner as if he just said that it was going to rain, not as if he just shot a man in cold blood. Okay, so technically it wasn't a man. It was one of those alien replacements like Billy Miles. But still, the thing looked like me and had been alive in its own way. It deserved some respect in death. Not to be disregarded like a sack of trash.

And he calls me the heartless son of a bitch.

There is a short conversation. It appears after years of ditching Dana Scully, Mulder is going to ride to her rescue like the white knight he sees himself as. And he's a bit impatient when Skinner doesn't answer him right away. Give the man a break, Spooky. Stone Face just killed in cold blood. It can be a real shocker.

Skinner tells Mulder to go on, that he'll get Doggett. And the unspoken part is he'll take care of the body. Not the first time he's had to do that, I think. And as Mulder drives away, Skinner glances at the corpse and starts to walk away.

I stop Skinner before he is able to go to far. He looks like he wants to shoot me just like he shot the alien replacement. I can't help but sneer at him. "A good assassin never lets his disdain for his client show."

"Cut the crap, Krycek." Skinner looks insulted by my mere existence, let alone my earlier jibe. "We had a deal."

Time to pay the piper. I nod coolly and pull the PDA coded to Skinner out of my pocket. I hand it over to him, resisting the urge to fumble it and watch him scramble to keep from dropping it. I then walk past him to get a better look at my clone, exposing my back to the AD. Skinner could shoot me, but he won't now that I've kept my end of the bargain. He's a man of honor.

I look down at the body, and I could be looking in a mirror, except for the bullet hole in the forehead. This was me - a fully human clone created by the Consortium in case I was really killed and they still had need of me and then made into an alien replacement . The likeness is perfect, down to the small wrinkles that are starting to form at the corner of my eyes. Even the same dents in the prosthetic arm I wear. I wonder if they had to slice off the real limb, or if they managed complete the alien regeneration without re-growing left arm. Having seen what I need to see, I walk past Skinner towards the stairwell. I pause in front of him long enough to say one thing. "Alex Krycek is dead."

Skinner grunted. It's all I'll get from him, and it's enough for me. He knows that if I even think he's revealed the fact that I'm still alive, he is dead. And not by the nanotechnolgy coursing through his arteries and veins. By something a lot messier, a lot more painful, and a lot more personal.

But that's in the future, and right now I need to be concerned about the present. Leaving Skinner behind, leaving Mulder behind, and leaving both the corpse and persona of 'Alex Krycek,' behind, I walk out of the FBI

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