What Really Happened After the Events in Essence

by Queen Mab

From: "Lee Cox" <lilacfairy@earthlink.net> Subject: [RatB-K] FIC: What Really Happened...M/K 1/1 Date: Thursday, May 24, 2001 9:18 PM

On May 24, Demi-X wrote:
>Hi sibs...
>since were on the topic of Krycek and convertibles... >maybe that should be a challenge for the summer... >Alex/Mulder and a convertible....
>you make up the place/time/circumstances... >I'm trolling for some M/K and a quick slashy >story featuring the two would be reallllly good right about now! >hehehehehehehe...

My dear, ask and ye shall receive: Title: What Really Happened After the Events in "Essense" Author: Queen Mab
Pairing: M/K
Rating: PG-13
Archive: RatB, any one else, just ask.
Feedback: Nah, it'll only encourage me <g> Disclaimer: If you can't take better care of your toys, CC, you don't deserve to keep them. No copyright infringement intended, 1013 owns all, yeah yeah yeah.
Misc.: Beta'd by Ratadder, thanks m'dear! This story is for the other Alex the Ratboy, cause he's so sad about the mess that was "Existence".

What Really Happened After the Events in "Essence" by Queen Mab

I don't know what drugs Surfer Boy was on to produce that nonsense called "Existence", but gather round, children, and Queen Mab will tell you what really happened after Billy Miles went dumpster diving, and Scully and Reyes took off for parts unknown...

Mulder and Skinner watched the car conveying Scully and Agent Reyes to- they hoped- safety, until it turned a corner and was gone. They didn't stick around to watch the technicians from the coroner's office scrape chunks of Billy Miles out of the garbage truck.

Agent Doggett joined them as they headed back to the elevator. "I'll be in contact with Reyes. No one'll find them where they're goin'."

Mulder wished he could be as certain, but he kept quiet.

It was a shock to all three men to find Alex Krycek leaning against the wall next to the elevator, looking relaxed and smug. He waited for Skinner to push the call button, and followed the three agents without a word. Mulder watched him as the metal box slid upwards. Krycek's hair was disheveled, his five o'clock shadow was nearing midnight, but he still managed to look above it all, amused. Bastard.

Mulder tried to rebuild his own mask of cool detachment, but it wasn't easy. Being in the confined space with three other men, all coming down from adrenaline highs, was making him jittery. By sheer force of will he managed to stop jiggling the change in his pocket. He tried leaning his shoulder against the wall, shoving his hands deeper into his pockets. That's when he realized he was partially aroused. It was that adrenaline thing, the fight-or-flight reaction, it was perfectly normal. It had nothing to do with the murdering son of a bitch who was smirking at him, green eyes flicking insolently from Mulder's face to his crotch and back again. When Krycek's glance met Mulder's, his smile widened, but he dropped his eyes and tried to look contrite. Tried, failed. Bastard.

Krycek was still silent and cocky back in Skinner's office, sprawled on the couch, his long legs stretched out, his head tilted against the back cushion. The other men arrayed themselves in front of him, put on their best macho "cop" poses and looked threatening. Krycek wasn't impressed.

"Guys, please, the testosterone in this room is reaching combustible levels. Turn it down, will ya?"

Skinner and Doggett did look like they were ready to blow. Mulder stared at the rat a moment longer, then sat on the edge of the desk, his posture mocking Krycek's.

Krycek sighed. "Hey, I took care of the Madonna of D.C. for you, didn't I? If you need more of a gesture of good faith, well, how's this?" He reached into his jacket pocket- rolling his eyes when Doggett went for his gun- and pulled out a Palm Pilot. Tossing it casually to Skinner, he grinned as Skinner caught it, weighing it in his hand, and looking at Krycek in astonishment.

"That's it? After... after everything, you just give it up, just like that?"

Krycek nodded. "Yep. It's that simple. I don't need you anymore, Skinner."

"It's not like you to give up an advantage for no reason, Krycek," Mulder drawled. "So, what do you want from us?"

Krycek's eyes widened in an attempt to look innocent. It wasn't convincing. "I don't want anything from you, Mulder. I want to do something for you, something you'll like very much."

"You're going to eat your gun?" Mulder said.

"Mulder, Mulder, come on! You've been demanding answers from me for years. I'm sitting here, at your mercy-" The smirk got even more irritating somehow. "Deep in the heart of the freakin' Hoover Building, surrounded by tough G-men. Aren't you going to start throwing out those questions?"

But Mulder shook his head, crossing his arms over his chest. "Not gonna play your game, Alex."

"Well, I have a few questions, and I ain't averse to usin' whatever it takes to get answers." Doggett leaned over Krycek, his hands braced on the couch back on either side of Krycek's shoulders, his nose nearly touching Krycek's.

"Why Agent Doggett, we hardly know each other!"

"Shut up and answer the questions!"

"Uhhhh, that's going to be rather difficult."

"Smart ass. Who is Billy Miles working for?"

"Alien colonists."

"Why are they after Scully's baby?"

"They think it may be the first of a new breed of humans, humans that can successfully resist their invasion plans. He is, by the way, but not the way they think."

Mulder and Skinner exchanged glances, while Doggett persisted.

"How does Billy Miles keep comin' back to life? He's really dead this time, isn't he?"

"No, probably not. He'll most likely regenerate within the next twelve hours."

Doggett straightened, sneering. "Am I suppose ta believe this load of crap?"

Krycek sighed, looking wounded to the heart. "Agent Doggett, you've been taking lessons from Mulder. I don't get it, if you all believe that everything I say is a lie, why do you keep asking questions?"

"Okay, Krycek, I'll bite," Skinner said with exaggerated patience. "What are you going to do for us?"

"For you, Skinner, nothing. You got your life back, don't be greedy. Fido here is on his own. What I said was, I want to do something for Mulder."

"What do you want to do for Agent Mulduh?" Doggett demanded.

"Ahhhh," Krycek sat up suddenly, smiling gleefully, "That's just it! He isn't Agent Mulder anymore, is he? Good ol' Kersh finally did what They've been trying to do for years."

Mulder snorted, "Oh yeah, good old Kersh. He's one of you, isn't he, Krycek?"

"There you go again, Mulder, jumping to conclusions. For someone who's supposed to be such a genius at profiling people, you are blind, deaf and just plain stupid when it comes to me, aren't you? I'm not one of Them."

"Oh, right," Skinner said impatiently, "We're supposed to believe you've been one of the Good Guys all along, is that it?"

But Krycek ignored him. "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."

Mulder sneered, "Then there really is no God."

"You think I'm bad? That I'm a killer? We want the same thing, brother. That's what you don't understand."

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

"Well, yeah, I'm rather fond of my ass. I was also fond of my left arm, but I lost that for the cause, thanks to you jumping to conclusions again. No. I have tried to stop them. Tried to get Skinner to kill Scully's baby to stop them from learning too much about the Resistance. I'm glad now that I failed. Anyway, it's too late. We have to take direct action now."

"We? We who?" Mulder sputtered, his exasperation overcoming his desire to remain cool in front of this... madman.

"We, you and me, Mulder. We should have been a team all along, but you're such a stubborn, arrogant jackass. I tried to work with you before. That time when I handed you that terrorist bust? I really was trying to deal in good faith. We ended up in Tunguska, where you were perfectly willing to listen to a total stranger, never questioning that one of the few people in that camp who spoke English just happened to be in the cell next door, with a convenient little hole to talk through. You trust him instead of me." Krycek suddenly used his right hand to rap on his left arm. A hollow sound echoed in the room. "You can understand why I no longer trusted you after that. Oh, I gave you what I could, but... Anyway, things have changed now."

"Changed? How?"

"Mulder, you know how deep it goes. Right into the FBI. Right up to the top. Kersh is just the first and least important layer of the rot. As long as you were still on the inside, I couldn't take the risk. But now, you're outside, like me." Krycek's face was alight with something that looked like joy. "I've always been a wild card, Mulder, even when I was working for Spender. Now you're a wild card, too."

"You're the Joker in the deck, Krycek." Mulder sat down on the other end of the couch, running his hands through his hair. "Let me get this straight. Are you offering me some sort of partnership here? We go off and fight the Giant Blancmange from the Planet Skyron together?"

Krycek nodded. "Think about it, Mulder! I can take you places, help you dig out information you'd never find on your own!"

"You've been inhaling Spender's smoke too long, Krycek." Mulder collapsed backwards, his head dropping onto the cushion, his posture again mimicking Krycek's earlier pose. "Hey, we haven't heard from that bastard recently-"

"He's dead."

Mulder nearly fell off the couch, and Skinner had to sit down.

"Are you sure?" Skinner asked incredulously.

"Yeah, I killed him myself. Dead. As. A. Doornail. Just ask Marita, if you can find the bitch."

Doggett looked from Krycek to Skinner to Mulder. "Did this guy just confess to murder?"

"Lot of good it'll do you." Krycek smiled cheerfully at Doggett, who looked ready to commit murder himself. "So, Mulder, you in? There's a research facility in Vermont, genetics experiments you would not believe. I can get you in, we collect the goodies, get out, your three geek friends can shoot it through the Net right to Skinman and Dogboy."

"Mulder," Skinner bellowed, "You are not listening to this son of a bitch?"

But, oddly, Mulder was. It had a deliciously bizarre appeal. As Krycek had pointed out, he was outside the system now. He wasn't bound to play by the Bureau rules- not that he ever did. Now, he was free. Skinner and Doggett had proven that they could look after Scully, as much as she needed looking after, tough as she was. And with the baby coming, she wasn't going to be able to take off and chase wild geese with him at a moment's notice.

What if Krycek was leading him into a trap? Hell, he'd been trapped in the mothership for months, he'd survived. And if he was going down for good this time, he'd take Alex Krycek with him. He gave Krycek his most stubborn, arrogant jackass smile. "When do we leave?"

"Mulder-" Skinner began.

But Mulder held up a hand, shaking his head. "You have my cell phone number. I'll keep in close touch. Look, maybe if I take off with Krycek, it will get the aliens, or whoever, curious enough to distract them from Scully for a while."

"But-" Doggett began.

"Do what you have to do, pack, meet me in front of your building at 5 a.m. tomorrow." Krycek stood, heading for the door.

"5 a.m.? That's before dawn!"

"Hey, we wild cards operate in the shadows, remember? See you then, Mulder!"

Skinner and Doggett were both torn between trying to talk sense into Mulder, and restraining Krycek, and failed to do either. Krycek shook off Doggett's hand from his shoulder, and strolled casually out of the office. Mulder stayed another half hour, listening to their arguments, but he had made up his mind.

The next morning, he left his apartment, wondering if Scully would feed his fish and keep an eye on the place again. It was a good thing he had a long lease. This wasn't the first time he'd wondered if he'd ever be back.

He was wearing jeans, a sweatshirt, and his favorite running shoes. Stood to reason that traveling with Krycek would involved a lot of running. He had two small suitcases, and the shoulder bag with his laptop and enough computer gear to keep them in touch with the Lone Gunmen. He had only been waiting about two minutes when Krycek drove up.

In a Jaguar. A gleaming scarlet Jag convertible, with black leather upholstery. The top was up at the moment, but Mulder could already imagine flying down the highway at 90, wind in his hair. He swallowed, hoping he hadn't visibly drooled. Krycek released the trunk, and Mulder stowed his gear, then hopped into the passenger side.

"Who did you steal this from?" he asked.

Krycek laughed, "I am driving it perfectly legitimately."

"It's yours?"

"I didn't say that, I said-"

"I don't want to know."

Mulder pondered that he was embarking on a totally insane journey with a man he hated and had no reason to trust. A man who had probably murdered his father. A man who had gotten under his skin, and driven him crazy with rage and lust on more than one occasion. A man who was singing along with the CD he had just started.

"I don't want no damage
But how'm I gonna manage with you
You hold the percentage
But I'm the fool payin' the dues

I'm just around the corner
If you got a minute to spare
I'll be waitin' for you
If you ever wanna be there

Hold me, hold me, hold me..."

Krycek had a strong, husky voice, and he was singing at full volume, tapping his fake hand on the steering wheel. Mulder eased down in his seat, and discovered the cup of coffee in the holder on his side. Coffee with exactly the right amount of sugar.

As he sipped, he picked up the CD jewel box on the floor near his feet. Fleetwood Mac's greatest hits? Somehow this was not what he would expect an Evil Shadow Government Assassin to listen to. Evil Shadow Government Assassins did not drive Jags either, nor did they look totally hot in black jeans, white t-shirts and black leather jackets.

"Something's happening
Happening to me
My friends say I'm acting peculiarly

C'mon baby
We better make a start
You better make it soon
Before you break my heart

I want to be with you everywhere..."

Why was Krycek giving him those funny smiles every so often? The ratboy seemed awfully cheerful for someone who was driving toward danger, possible torture and death.

They stopped to gas up, use the restroom. Krycek bought a couple of six packs of Classic Coke and some Nacho Cheese Doritos. Before getting back into the car, Krycek put the top down, and grinned at Mulder across the car. "It's not a proper road trip unless the top is down."

"Road trip. Like we're just a couple of drifters in search of adventure."

"Yeah, like Hope and Crosby."

Mulder snorted, "More like Thelma and Louise, probably." He slid into his seat, buckled up.

"Well, okay, but I get to be Geena Davis." Krycek smoothly reentered traffic, going well over the speed limit but not enough to attract undue attention.

The wind in his hair and the spicy chips lifted Mulder's mood.

"I've been wandering
Gone away too far
But the road was rough
To get back where you are..."

Krycek's voice crooned over the crunch of the tires on the road and the crunch of Doritos. Mulder was beginning to think there was a message in the lyrics his new partner chose, somewhere. He wasn't sure he was ready to hear it. Yet.

Mulder popped a can of Coke, set it in the holder near Krycek's right hand, opened one for himself.

"Thanks," Krycek said. "Another couple of hours and we'll stop for lunch. I'll let you drive after that."

The happy thought of driving this beauty on the open highway erased Mulder's last lingering doubts. He didn't trust Alex Krycek an inch, but somehow, in his gut, he knew this wasn't a mistake. He slouched back and watched the scenery go by.

"And the sun went down
It never seemed to rise
Ah but now you're here
With the light shining in your eyes

Now I know I can't lose
As long as you follow..."

He had been singing for almost the whole chorus before he realized it. His flat, monotonous voice slid under Krycek's and streamed away in the breeze flowing over them.

"I'm gonna win, I'm gonna win
I'm gonna beg, steal, or borrow
Yes I can live today
If you give me tomorrow
As long as you follow

As long as you follow, as long as you follow As long as you follow, as long as you follow..."

When the song was over, Krycek glanced over at him, his face alive and bright with something that could be hope. "This is gonna be a blast, isn't it? Even if we go down, we'll go down fighting."

"Just shut up and drive, Geena."

And together they rode off into the sunrise...

Songs used without permission:

Hold Me
Written by Christine McVie and Robbie Patton

Written by Christine McVie

As Long As You Follow
Written by Christine McVie

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