Smiley Face Pancakes

by Laurel

Title: Smiley Face Pancakes
Author: Laurel
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Category: Drama, Humor, Hurt/Comfort
Pairing (Primary): Mulder/Skinner/Krycek
Pairing(s) (Secondary):
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Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Right up to early murky season nine
Permission to Archive: Yes to DitB, Slashing Mulder, anyone else just ask first
Series or Sequel/Prequel:
Notes: Mulder's POV
Summary: Alex returns and Mulder ruminates on his reappearance

Was there anything more surreal than finding an assassin in your kitchen making smiley face pancakes and singing a Bee Gees song? I don't think so.

He knew we were standing there. His instincts were well honed.

"It's just emotion that's taken me over. Caught up in sorrow, lost in my soul," he sang softly. His husky voice was low and melodious.

It wasn't a voice used to speaking. He spoke as though it were a great effort.

Silently he set down plates. Perfectly browned fluffy pancakes with a strip of bacon for a smile, slices of banana for the eyes and a sinful dollop of cream for a round blob of a nose. The coffee was not burned so Walter had three cups. He never even finishes one cup when I make it. He just sort of stares at the oily black liquid like he expects a cockroach to come scuttling out of the bottom of the mug.

I studied Alex, remembering every moment that had led him here to our house: the cryptic message before he'd "died", the cold gaze of my lover as he shot our foe, the gasps of pain as he struggled weakly to right himself.

After anxious weeks as Scully took her baby home, I disappeared for safety, Walter was investigated and the x-files were usurped by Reyes and Doggett, Scully on the outs, there was a pin prick of hope.

A disc with Krycek's name on it. Not literally of course, but his sly work. Kersh up the proverbial creek. Walter calling me home. Spender found. Well, what was left anyway.

Krycek emerging from a dim warehouse, resurrected from the dead and accompanied by Jeremiah. I wouldn't have been more surprised if his companion had been Wayne Newton and they were belting out "Danke Schoen".

It had been Jeremiah who'd healed him. His contact, my ally, his ally.

We retrieved the rest of the damaging information from Krycek's apartment. He'd been away so long that a thick coating of dust covered everything. Dust had penetrated doilies so that when you lifted the lace edges, the intricate patterns of holes and crescents was duplicated in dust on the surface of the furniture.

Doilies, I'd snickered. He gave me a murderous glare, explained that his grandmother had crocheted them. I mumbled an apology. You don't fuck with anyone's grandma, not even Krycek's.

We brought him home. I had a million questions on my tongue but Walter just stared at him in the rearview.

I let him take a hot shower. The man was dead on his feet, so to speak. He looked underfed and there were dark circles under his eyes. They were not quite the purplish tinged desperate eyes of Hong Kong but close enough.

When he emerged he was still damp, a towel wrapped around his waist. The arm was a shock. I knew of course, but seeing it uncovered, the heavy piece of plastic I'd hefted before he'd come out of the bathroom not attached, was strange. It was scarred and raw. Red with abuse.

He stood still. His face contorted, collapsed, knitted itself back together.

"I've got some dinner for you," Walter announced.

Alex nodded. He frowned, looked at the floor, his shoulders heaved. "I'm glad you're okay." His face contorted again. His voice a rasp.

I put a comforting hand on his arm and in seconds my arms were full of wet, sobbing, shaking Krycek. He tried to stop, tried to pull away but the sobs grew harder, a strangled sound of intense pain and intense relief. His body sagged against mine. His arm snaked around my back for support.

Walter's hand tightened around his glass of scotch.

Alex choked back a sob and looked at us. His eyes were brimming with tears but he was smiling. Nor a smirk, not a grin, not a Cheshire cat quirk of the lips, but a beatific smile that lit up his tired face.

"Here," I grabbed some tissues from the bedside table and held them up to his nose. "Blow," I ordered.

I didn't want him to rub his snotty nose on my new shirt no matter how adorable his nose was. I wiped him, sent him to the bathroom to wash his face. He changed into an old tee shirt, sweat pants, socks that had lost their elastic and pooled around his ankles. He didn't bother putting on the arm. He did put some cream on his stump. He covered it with a silky piece of cloth to protect it from rubbing against his shirt. I made some sympathetic noises as he tended to himself and was rewarded with another sweet smile. I never wanted to see that smile wiped away again.

We wandered into the living room while Walter fixed him dinner. Alex knelt by the aquarium and tapped on the glass until a fish swam up to his finger.

Dinner was two-day old pizza and a fresh salad. We watched as he ate. He was starving all right. His perfect teeth sank into his dinner like a great white with a swimmer's leg. He pulled strings of cheese from the crust, wrapped his tongue around them, devoured each bite with gusto. There was no sound except the hum of the aquarium, Walter's ice popping in his glass and Alex's teeth crunching on the crisp lettuce and cucumbers in the salad.

"Dessert?" Walter offered.

"Yes please."

Alex seemed embarrassed by his hunger. I smiled at him, encouraging him to finish the generous slice of apple pie Walter set in front of him.

"Tired?" I asked when he tried to stifle a yawn.

"Exhausted," he confessed.

"This information. It's reliable?"

"Oh yeah," he promised. His eyes glittered with victory.

"Let's go to sleep. I can pick your brain tomorrow."

"Okay. Guest room all ready or should I sleep on the couch?"

"Our bed," Walter ordered gently.

I quizzed him with my eyes. He smiled. How long had he known about Alex? Did he know that night he'd "killed" him? He didn't seem surprised to see him but then again he had a poker face.

Me and Walter readied ourselves for bed, performing our nightly rituals. Alex sat in the middle of the bed watching us with bright eyes. Walter got in on the right, me on the left.

He pushed Alex down gently until he relaxed and spooned around my back. Walter snuggled into Alex. Alex wriggled back, sticking his butt into Walter's crotch until he got swatted.

"Go to sleep. You're too tired anyhow."

Alex giggled against my ear. I turned off the light and gave him a light caress.

It wasn't the first time he'd shared a bed with us, though not at the same time. He'd taught me a thing or two on how fun a waterbed could be. As for Walter, a drunken confession one lonely night and he'd spilled the fact that Alex hadn't spent the whole night on his balcony freezing his assets off.

I smiled in the dark thinking about all the games we could play. Alex in the middle. Bad cop, worse cop. Fox chases Rat and kisses him stupid.

"Fox stop thinking," Walter growled.

"I didn't say anything," I protested.

"I can hear you thinking."

Alex's breath was warm on my neck. He smelled like cinammon and soap and musk. I sighed and wriggled into his sleepy embrace.

So there I was, Walter slurping at the perfect coffee Alex made, me chasing a stream of maple syrup with a forkful of pancake and Alex singing and looking very pleased with himself.

Funny I always figured Alex for a Rage Against the Machine sort of guy.

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