Snippet for Stephanie

by Bertie

For Stephanie, a lurker on X-Hale list who asked me to write a story explaining why Mulder would let the ghost of Alex help him. Unbeta'd. Sorta missing scene for the finale, The Truth.

Mulder lay in the dark, feeling like shit, knowing he would be better off dead than in this hell hole of a military prison cell. He was about to try closing his eyes briefly for a moment before the MPs tried another round of shock therapy when he sensed a presence in the cell with him.

"Mulder, don't let those bastards get to you."

"Alex." Mulder smiled up at the other man who he knew wasn't really there. Not in corporeal form. "I almost wish we could trade places."

"You don't really think that, Mulder. You're just feeling sorry for yourself."

Mulder nodded, then rested his head on the concrete floor.

"You know, I haven't thanked you for your help, Mulder."

Mulder snorted. "All I did was help facilitate your death. You know I didn't want to do it. I was certain you could be saved."

"How, Mulder? I was certifiable! I just learned my lover was a super soldier and he continued to act like we were lovers even though I confronted him with it. What do you think he told me just before I went after you, Mulder? He was telling me what we were going to have for dinner that night. As if everything was fine and my world wasn't crumbling under my feet. I never thought I would snap, but learning that the one person I had found after many years of searching wasn't really a man at all, in fact, he was just a machine, I lost it."

Mulder lay still, his teeth chewing on his lip, before responding. "Do you think he was a super soldier from the beginning? Like when John knew him?"

Alex sighed. "I don't know, Mulder. I don't recall anything but the day I met him and fell in love with him. He seemed completely real and I had no reason to believe otherwise."

Mulder grinned when he said, "Did he fuck you like a machine?"

Alex snorted. "Damn, even in deep shit, you still can be an ass. No, he was surprisingly loving and gentle with me. Now that I think about it, he probably just learned what I wanted and acted accordingly."

"You wanted a lover, not a fuck machine...that's surprising."

"At that time, I did want a lover. Believe me, I had been a fuck machine myself. I needed to put to rest that part of my life. Knowle came into my life just when I needed him. I don't doubt it was probably a going away present from Smokey."

Mulder sighed. "You're a good man, Alex."

Alex grinned though he wasn't certain Mulder could see it. "So are you, man. Hang in there."

Alex disappeared just as the MPs shone their bright light in Mulder's face.

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