Monday No. 57
Date: Friday, February 15, 2002 6:23 PM Title: Monday No. 57
Disclaimer: They belong to CC, but they're telling me the fun things. Archive: Yes to GSSU, CkoS, RatB. All others please ask. Website: http://www.squidge.org/gssu/jadzia/jadzia.html Feedback: Oh yes. firstname.lastname@example.org
Warning: CAVEAT LECTOR. That's all I have to say. Don't say I didn't say anything.
Comments: This was written some time ago for the Fight Club "Monday-Challenge". The task was to write a version of the episode "Monday" (the one where this guy tries to rob a bank and everything happens over and over again, remember? G) with Krycek in it. Go and find more contributions to the challenge at The Cube: http://www.mkfightclub.net
My Thanks to Chris. You keep the stars apart.
MONDAY No. 57
Mulder was the key. He had hoped it wasn't so, but of course it was. Mulder had always been the key to his whole fucking life, so why shouldn't he be the key to this, too?
The variable that turned everything around.
The sun without which the planets around it couldn't exist.
Mulder was the key, and he didn't even know it. For him it was just another day. He didn't count the seconds. He didn't wait for the fireball to end it all. No, being the key wasn't difficult.
Difficult was being the one who had to turn it.
Alex stared at the wall.
He remembered the first days. He hadn't known what was going on back then. A bad dream. He had considered seeing a psychiatrist - maybe he had finally gone schizophrenic or something. He had had no idea what was happening, and it had taken him about two weeks to find out what he needed to do.
He hadn't been sure in the beginning, of course...but after he had overcome the certainty that he had suddenly gone crazy, he had begun to think.
A day that repeated itself over and over again - that meant something had to change to make it right again. And since he wasn't trying to impress Andy McDowell and didn't like Jeopardy all that much, he had started to cruise the city and tried to find things that could be worth changing.
He couldn't even remember half of the things he had done. Shot some people, saved some people. He had spent a few days waiting for a pretty blonde girl of about five years at a crossing close to the post office. He remembered walking by there on the fourth day, when it had dawned on him that maybe he had to change something to make things go on. He had already stopped asking people what day it was while watching them closely for suspicious signs. They hadn't even been puzzled ... not one of them.
He was the only one.
He had known that right after he had asked the old lady that went by his apartment-building every day at 7:40 am on her way to the hair-dresser... always polite, always smiling. Every day.
He had known it, then.
On day four, he had been strolling through he city, still not sure what to do. 9:30 am. He had barely noticed the little girl bouncing along on the other side of the street next to her mother... but he could still hear the woman's yell in his mind, could feel himself whirl around just in time to see the girl on the street, the red Ford rushing around the corner in a blur, the piercing scream and the silence afterwards - the car gone, the mother on the sidewalk, paralysed, clutching her purse - the girl's body on the street, smashed, the blonde hair sprinkled red.
He had spent 13 days on the problem.
First he had waited, looking at shop-windows, and tried to run after the girl... she had been faster, every time.
He had approached her mother - to ask what day it was, of course - five minutes or so before the crash. It had happened two minutes later than usual.
He had tracked the driver down - which took him two days - and immobilised his car. The guy owned two cars.
He had sabotaged both of them. Only to find out that a woman in a black Mercedes-Benz had killed the girl that day - same time, same place.
He hadn't tried again after that.
But every day, at about 9:30 am, he heard a shattering scream and saw a battered body on the ground, arms outstretched, eyes wide open in shock, legs... no, he didn't want to think about the legs.
It was hell.
A hell nobody knew but him.
His own personal hell, and he had no idea how to get out of it.
After that, he had wanted to stop. Just stop. Lie in his bed, read a bit, watch t.v., not think about the world at all. Didn't work, of course. He had tried to lie still, to just let his thoughts flow, but he had found that he wasn't able to calm down. It hadn't been as it used to be during all the years before... back then, he had shut himself off from everything for a week or so, and had emerged focussed. Free. Not now, though. Now, he was haunted. Driven. He couldn't possibly relax when he knew that the sun went down and up behind his window, just to end and start the same day again and again. With the same people dying and being born, the same happiness and tragedy as the day before. He wanted it to change.
And if it didn't change by itself, he'd have to make it.
He was still staring at the wall. He was the one who had to change it. And since there wasn't going to be a tomorrow he could have postponed it to, he could just as well start today.
He got off the bed mechanically and put on his prosthesis and his clothes. He didn't have the slightest idea what he would do, exactly. He looked at his watch and saw that it was already five p.m. ... he couldn't remember the last time that he had spent lazily in bed like this... well, not alone, anyway. But in the last years, all of his "relationships" had involved slipping more or less quietly out of some bed and being back home before breakfast.
As he went downstairs and out on the street he realised he was hungry - his last proper meal had been some Mondays ago. He crossed the street and went into the small supermarket opposite his apartment-building.
Grabbing a coke and a cheese-sandwich, he thought of sneaking out of the shop as they had sometimes done as kids, just to prove they had the guts.
This was getting ridiculous. He went toward the bored-looking man behind the counter.
That was when he saw it.
For some reason, this one headline among all the others drew him to the newspaper-shelf.
"Explosion Kills 48".
The coke-can fell to the floor, and he had the paper in his hand before he knew it.
"Special issue, just came in ten minutes ago," the store-keeper informed him eagerly.
"Ah," Alex said absentmindedly while scanning the front page.
Bank-robbery in Washington, this morning at 10 a.m., suicide-bomber with dynamite attached to his body, no chance of negotiation, 48 victims including three tourists, the entire bank staff and two FBI-agents, more on page three.
"Terrible, isn't it? All those people," the store-keeper chattered away, obviously happy for the slightest break in his non-existent routine.
Alex managed to pick the can up and put everything on the counter. "Yeah," he said, finding a ten dollar bill in his pocket and laying it next to it. His heart was beating double-time, and he was starting to sweat. He didn't wait for his change but grabbed his things, stuffed everything into his pockets and started searching for the rest of the article. He ignored the store-keeper's insulted looks and walked out of the shop.
He recognised a certain sinking feeling in his stomach that had always told him in the past when his first intuition had been right, and he knew whose pictures he'd see even before he turned the page.
He knew it.
Now he had a new schedule. He had moved to Washington, which didn't take long - he was still used to being constantly on the run, after all. And he'd got over the feeling of leaving something behind when moving on to a new place. He didn't leave impressions. He kept everything to himself and took it wherever he went.
He remembered the jolt cursing through him when he had seen Mulder that first Monday - it meant that he could still change something. Somewhere deep down he had been scared of waking up the next morning and finding out it was Tuesday. But when he left for the station, the old lady still smiled sweetly at him and told him it was "Monday, my dear".
He had seen Mulder die about twenty-five times now, and the feeling that it could become Tuesday without him having fixed it still nagged at him. He didn't even want to think about why it bothered him so much.
So, every day, he tried to keep the bank from exploding.
Found out where the bomber - a guy named Bernard - lived, tried to delay him, to shoot him, to give him money, to blow his car up, he even tried talk to him for Christ's sake - no chance.
He had tried everything that had come to his mind before he had started to try Mulder. He had dreaded it, for some reason. In a way, he would have liked far better to shoot Bernard and watch Mulder walk happily out of the bank and back to work than exchange one word with him. Than telling him why he was there. Why he tried to save his life when he could do about a thousand other things. Why he not only tried, but fervently wanted to save Mulder's life, why he couldn't sleep at night for fear that the next morning wouldn't be a Monday, that his one chance would be gone and everything in vain.
No, far better to keep on working in the background... but at some point, it hadn't made sense anymore. He had tried everything he could think of, and he had thought of a lot of things. All of them had failed.
Today was Monday No. 57, as far as he could say. He had stopped counting and then started again... but it should be something close to sixty.
He was standing at the corner opposite the bank as he did every day... since Monday No. 32, anyway. Felt as though he had been standing there for his whole life. Every morning. 9:30. Watching a Japanese tourist-group on their way to the Hoover-building, watching an about twenty-year-old ragged-looking guy walking casually after them until he suddenly walked faster, grabbed a camera from an elderly tourist and ran away. The group was immediately in uproar, but none of them could bring themselves to run after the thief.
Alex had done it once, for fun, but now he knew that the guy would stumble over his own feet some streets later and lose the camera, anyway.
Alex thought about Monday No. 46. Another day on which he had stood at this corner, waiting for Mulder to show up. He had wondered, like every morning, if he'd come relatively early, wearing a modest blue tie, or about seven minutes later, wearing an unspeakable something in red-yellow. It had been blue on Monday No. 46, and Alex had used his usual approach: shoving his gun in Mulder's back and dragging him into the alley right next to the house where he'd been waiting.
Then he had pulled off his speech, as he had always done, interrupted by several "Fuck you, you bastard" and "What the hell do you want from me, Krycek?", and, as always, Mulder hadn't believed him. Hadn't believed one word.
It had been one of those days when Alex hadn't been in the mood to pay too much attention to what Mulder was doing, and before he had been able to finish his talk about recurring Mondays, Mulder had given him a swing that had sent him reeling backwards and down to the ground.
He had almost rolled his eyes. Every other Monday Mulder managed to get the better of him. Sometimes he fought back, sometimes he didn't. That Monday he hadn't. He hadn't felt like it. He had felt this dreadful certainty again - that Mulder would never listen to him. That he would never manage to keep him out of this bloody bank, that he would stand there every day of his cursed life waiting for the big boom, that he would always imagine how Mulder's battered body would look amidst the remains of the bank, that, night after night, he would try to find out how Mulder must have felt in those last seconds.
He had let Mulder's hits rain down on him, barely noticing the pain. The bruises would be gone the next morning, anyway, and he'd have something left of Mulder for the rest of the day.
It had taken him a few seconds to realise Mulder had been just standing there, not moving to land another blow.
"Why did you tell me all this, Krycek?"
He had almost snorted then. "So you don't blow up with that bank, Mulder."
"Yeah, I kind of got that. And why am I not supposed to blow up with that bank?"
Trust him to think of the right questions, Krycek thought. "You're still needed."
Oh fuck. "By the important guys," he had lied half-heartedly, and had known that same second that Mulder hadn't bought it.
"Yeah, right. You're not here because they sent you."
"I'm not?" he had asked sarcastically, trying to hide all these feelings that had threatened to come to the surface just then. "So why am I here?"
Mulder had squatted down beside him. He had looked at Alex, and Alex could still feel the shudder at having those strange eyes fixed on his. "Because you don't want me to die in this bank." Mulder had said softly, and his eyes had started to peel away layer after layer of Alex's mask.
"Don't go in there." Alex had managed to say in a steady voice, and he had never forgotten how Mulder had smiled then.
"I have to. But now that I know what will happen, I have the possibility to fix it. Thank you for telling me."
And Alex had seen Mulder's hand rising, but instead of delivering a blow, it had unfolded and touched his cheek gently, softly, almost so briefly he could have denied it ever happened.
Mulder had left then, and again, Alex had waited for the bang that came a short time later.
The day after that, Mulder had whirled around with a cold gleam in his eyes, got out his weapon in a blink and shot him.
Alex blinked and looked at his watch. Mulder should come any minute now... presumably in red-yellow. His cheek was burning, as it did every time he thought of Mulder's hand on it. Pathetic, really.
Ah, there he was. Striding purposefully down the street, red-yellow tie and all. Mulder went past the house-entrance Alex had hidden in, and without feeling any thrill - he had got used to it by now - he pushed his gun into Mulder's back.
"Krycek." Mulder said softly, unsurprised, and Alex didn't do anything but gape at that moment. Had he been so careless that Mulder had been able to see him? He didn't think so.
"It's you, isn't it? What's going on here? I had this weird feeling all morning."
In a split-second decision he uncocked his gun and pulled Mulder further back into the dark.
"A gigantic dja vu. Starting with my water-bed this morning-"
"Your what?" Alex grinned in spite of himself.
"Never mind." Mulder muttered, slightly irritated. "I knew I'd have to go to the bank, and I kept having this bad feeling about it. And I kind of knew I'd meet you. So what the hell are you doing here?"
Alex was just standing there, looking at Mulder, not knowing if he should be surprised, happy or careful.
"You were waiting for me, right?" Mulder asked, now sounding a little uncertain.
"Yes." Alex said quietly.
"And this has happened before."
Alex felt an insane desire to laugh out loud. "Oh yes, Mulder, it has."
And with those two words, everything became deadly serious all of a sudden.
"About sixty times."
Mulder stared at him, wide-eyed. "But why?"
"I don't know. I just know what will happen, and I haven't found a way to change it yet."
Alex could see the wheels turning in Mulder's head. He thought for a few seconds before he said slowly, "You're the only one who knows, aren't you?"
"Yes." Alex said, half smiling, trying to hide his despair and his hope at finally being able to talk to Mulder like this.
"God." Mulder leaned back against the brick wall and closed his eyes. "The same day for more than two months? That must be hell. But why you?"
Yes Mulder, Alex thought, why a spineless bastard like me? To make me atone for my sins, maybe. And I'd gladly do anything to make it stop. "I don't know," he said softly. He knew his feelings were showing, but he didn't give a damn right then.
"So what's my part?" Mulder asked, his eyes not angry but intent. "Tell me what I need to do to end it."
"Don't go into the bank," Alex told Mulder for what seemed like the hundredth time.
Alex closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Because you will die. There'll be a guy with a bomb trying to rob the bank, and he'll fuck it up and blow the whole thing up. And you will die. Everyone in there will die."
Mulder looked at him, and Alex could see his professional training kicking in. "We'll have to find a way to keep him from going in there-"
"No," Alex interrupted him impatiently, "what do you think I've been doing the last weeks? You can't keep him away. You're the variable, Mulder. The only one. Don't go into that bank, and everything will work out just fine. Don't go." He almost added "please".
Mulder turned and walked a few steps up and down. Then he shook his head and looked at Alex again, his face softening. "That can't be the way, Alex. You know what I am like. Do you honestly think I could let several people die and sit quietly in a cafe around the corner, knowing that maybe I could have stopped it? I can't do this, Alex, and you know it."
He was surprised that he did, but when he thought about it, he found that he had probably known it all the time. Known and dreaded it enough to shove it into some hidden corner of his mind. That wasn't Mulder's way of doing things. Not at all. For a second he thought he'd cry.
He saw Mulder's hand coming up in slow motion, heard him whisper "I'm sorry", and felt his fingers on the exact same spot on his cheek. Alex closed his eyes again and leaned into the touch for a second until Mulder said, mild surprise in his voice, "I've done that before, too."
"Once." Alex smiled. "But you beat me up first."
Mulder grinned. "Yeah, that sounds more like me." He sobered at once. "Anyway, I need to go in there. I'll inform the bureau first-"
"With what?" Alex sighed.
"Oh, shit." Mulder smacked his forehead. "So I ruin my cell-phone every day, huh?"
"Yep. And it's too late to find a public phone, don't bother."
"Dammit. But I have to go in, Alex." He looked at him, almost helplessly.
"I know. I've always known, I guess. There must be a reason why I could never keep you from doing it."
"Exactly." Mulder said gently. "Thank you." And as he almost turned to leave, he stopped, and like an after-thought he touched Alex's cheek again, briefly, and said, "I'll be careful. And we'll need to talk after this."
Alex looked after Mulder as he went across the street and disappeared into the bank.
And all at once, he knew it. He knew what to do. It was as clear in his mind as it could be, and he didn't know why the hell he hadn't seen it before.
He went over to the bank in a trance, seeing that Bernard was already about to draw his gun. Mulder was standing with his back to Alex, facing Bernard and talking to him in a calming voice. Alex didn't listen to what he was saying, he was just watching.
Watching how Mulder kept his hands always visible, how the other people were lying on the floor, but most of all how Bernard's finger moved steadily toward the trigger.
He moved soundlessly toward Mulder - and stopped as he suddenly felt Bernard's eyes on him. Mulder turned quickly, eyes widening at seeing him, and as Bernard whirled around at the movement and pointed his gun at Mulder, everything seemed to go into slow motion.
Alex could feel himself moving fast, he saw Mulder stretching out his hand to keep him from coming closer, he saw Bernard's index finger pulling the trigger, heard the shot and felt Mulder's coat in his hands at the same moment, saw the floor coming closer and closer.
Then came the pain. Red-hot pain that made everything blur, everything except the sight of Bernard dropping his gun and Mulder handcuffing him. He closed his eyes and felt like flying... soaring up high and free above snow-covered mountains.
They wouldn't talk after all, but that was okay. Okay.
An eternity later, he felt a touch and opened his eyes. He saw Mulder above him, felt his hands trying to stop the bleeding, and tried to tell him to let it be.
And Mulder did. Alex smiled at him and closed his eyes again, flying, Mulder's hand on his cheek, his sorrowful eyes forever burnt into his fading memory, knowing it was all right now.
This never happened before.
"Well, it seems like a miracle to be able to look forward - to - to see all the minutes in front of one come hopping along with something marvelous in them, instead of just saying, Well, that one didn't actually hurt and the next may be quite bearable if only something beastly doesn't come pouncing out - " Dorothy L. Sayers, "Busman's Honeymoon"
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