No Longer Burn

by Dr Ruthless

Title: No Longer Burn
Author: Dr Ruthless
Feedback to: sashworth@shaw.ca
Author's Website:
Date Archived: 05/06/02
Category: Unclassified  
Pairing: Mulder/Krycek      
Rating: G
Spoilers:
Permission to Archive:
Series or Sequel/Prequel:
Notes: This was written for the Endings Lyric Wheel, and is short and sad.
I am still weeping bitterly, and have run out of hankies. My nose is red and will never be pale again.
Warnings:
Disclaimer:
Summary:


"He had to die, I know that."

Fox Mulder gazed, unseeing, out of his window into the night; the ghost of his face looked back at him, mystery hollows for the tired, sleepless eyes.

He'd spoken the words out loud though there was no-one to hear them, and now he stood, unmoving, reflecting.

The game had moved on. Somewhere, the torch had been passed, although at the time he hadn't noticed. The battle belonged to someone else now, and he no longer had a part to play.

Death seemed as good a way as any of bowing out. He'd leave all the shit for Doggett Hah! Doggett by name, and dogged by nature; the man was relentless, and he, Mulder, had lost his fire.

Now was as good a time as any. Scully had what she'd always wanted; she didn't need him any more. The struggle would go on, but without him. His enemies the ones he could put a face to were all dead and gone. "Time to leave, Mulder, old man," he said, and his shoulders shook as he realized that he was talking to himself.

His eyes focused still only half seeing - on the 'X' that still marked the window. Nobody had answered that particular signal for years now. Batman's dead, Robin, he told himself. Better grow up now. No more Boy Wonder for you. Reaching out, he tried to peel off the masking tape, only to find that it had well and truly become one with the glass.

WD40, he thought. That'll do it, but of course he didn't have any. That would be practical, and nobody had ever accused him of that. Doggett would have WD40 as a matter of course. Fuck, even Scully would have a can in her car. Absently, he pondered whether Alex Krycek would have owned a can of WD40, but as ever, Krycek baffled him. Mulder had never been able to put the man tidily in his pigeonhole. He'd never managed to build a profile on the dark being who had plagued him, and that had always bothered Mulder; it did so even now. He hated to be beaten.

"He called me brother at the end."

Visions of Krycek falling, the third, blind eye suddenly glaring red on the pale forehead haunted Mulder as he mused. Brother? Who had he been? Was Alex Krycek really his brother, or was that just another strand in the hopeless web of lies and deceit through which he'd been led?

Mulder had trusted Krycek, even loved him, and Krycek. well that was water under the bridge now. Krycek was gone blown away in the end by a man with too much to hide. The thought was a pain behind Mulder's eyes as he recalled Krycek's sweet, lying face and the honeyed, poisoned intimacy of his voice. Gone, he was gone now, and Mulder felt empty, somehow invalid.

Brothers. could it be? Had Alex died just as he was about to tell Mulder some truths at last? Somehow, Mulder doubted it, and yet.

Fuck it! Fuck it all! There was nothing here for him any more no X-Files, no FBI, no Scully, and above all, no Alex Krycek. He felt, standing here looking back, as though his life had been taken, twisted and bent to some strange purpose not his own. He was the last of the Mulders, although he couldn't help but wonder if he'd ever been entitled to bear that name. No doubt some day the truth would surface, but it didn't matter any more not to him anyway. Blind fury consumed him. Damn them all for taking his choices away. He balled his fist and pounded the glass, hating everything and everyone, hating Krycek for dying without telling him the answers, hating himself for wanting to know them.

The shattering of glass brought him back to himself. Pain lanced him, and his fist dripped red as blood welled from the deep cuts he'd just incurred. The X on the window pane was gone forever; shards lay scattered on the sill and spread, glittering, on the table beneath the window. The night wind swirled the drapes around and Mulder's ghostly self had gone with the glass, leaving only what was written in the starlight.

Idly, utterly detached, he walked to the couch and sat, watching the blood pump from the deep cuts in his wrist and forearm, wondering if that would be enough to finish it all. Somewhere within the dark recesses of his mind, a husky, caressing voice told him, "It's never enough for them, Mulder. You could bleed out your life and it wouldn't be enough."

"Yeah. You'd know, wouldn't you, Alex?" He sounded bitter, and that wasn't what he'd tried for. It wasn't Alex's fault. "Sorry. I didn't mean that the way it sounded."

"That's okay. I always looked between the lines when we talked." Mulder blinked, but it didn't seem to clear his vision. From nowhere, Alex Krycek was there, dressed as Mulder had last seen him, in black. As Mulder watched, he sauntered forward to take a seat on the couch beside him.

"It won't ever end, Mulder; you're better off out of it. Trust me. I know." Alex's face was pale, that of a dweller in darkness, and Mulder felt all the old fury boil up within him as he looked at this man he'd hated

--loved--

For so many unfulfilled years.

"Why did you do it all?" he asked. "Tell me the truth. It doesn't matter now, does it?"

Krycek glanced at him from the corners of his eyes, an expression that made him look both furtive and unsure of himself. "There was never just a single reason, Mulder. Sometimes it was because I jumped, and at other times I was pushed. I didn't kill Bill Mulder though. That's the truth."

"If you didn't, who did?" Mulder's voice was that of a bruised soul, crying out for relief at any price.

"You know the answer to that yourself, Mulder. He killed himself. He was weak at the last, and couldn't live with the things that he himself had done." The words were out; the husky, relentless voice shook Mulder, and for a moment, he wanted to grab Krycek and shake him until his teeth rattled, had even raised his hands to do so, but the blood was still leaking steadily, and he thought better of it, putting his arms by his side..

"You didn't kill my father," he said, with what might have been relief in his voice.

"I didn't say that," said Krycek, blandly. As Mulder's gaze flew to Krycek's face, Krycek shook his head slowly, pityingly.

"You know what I'm going to tell you, don't you?"

Cold certainty wrapped itself around Mulder's heart. He didn't want to hear, but he'd never been accused of hiding from the truth. The need to know was as strong in him as the urge to pick at half-healed scabs. "You called me brother," he said.

"There were three of us," said Alex, apparently inconsequentially. "Three women and three sons. You'd wonder that even one woman allowed herself to be implanted in that way, but three?" Alex shook his head in disbelief. "We're constructs, Fox. They built us, but the DNA used was Spender's."

"Three?" Mulder hadn't noticed the use of his first name, so bound up was he in the new concept. "Who was.?" There was a beat, and then, "Not Jeffrey?"

"The only one of us he acknowledged." The conviction in Alex's voice was utter and complete.

The room seemed to swim. Mulder was feeling lightheaded now; little sparkles and flashes at the edge of his vision fascinated him. He felt as though he were on the verge of some higher truth. Alex continued to look at him, a soft half-smile on his face.

"Come on. I think we need to go." He held his hand out to Mulder, and Mulder took it. There was a strange sensation a stretching, a snap and then he rose to his feet, his hand in Krycek's.

"Good boy," said Krycek, and Mulder bridled a little. "I'm not your fucking dog," he said, tightly.

"Fox, we don't need to fight any more. We should go now." Krycek's hand tugged at his, insistent now. "Think of the worlds there are to explore. There's so many different worlds So many different suns out there, and they're ours, Fox."

Mulder paused, frowned. "Alex? Tell me one thing. Do you own a can of WD40?"

The look on Krycek's face was priceless. "Fuck, no. Why would I want that stuff?"

Relief flooded Mulder's features. Hand in hand, arm in arm, the two men faded away.

On the couch, amid the red ruin of his life, Mulder's discarded shell stared, sightless as if his gaze could follow where they'd gone.

~~~~~~~oo(O)oo~~~~~~~

Brothers in Arms, by Mark Knopfler

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn
To be brothers in arm
Through these fields of destruction
Baptism of fire
I've watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms
There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones
Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

Sue aka Dr. Ruthless
<sashworth@shaw.ca> ICQ#14783367 <Alyosha303 on AIM> Travel agent for guilt trips...


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