Title: A WANTED MAN
Author: lopsided weevil
Summary: X-Files Mulder/Krycek angst
I'm old enough for the dark. That's what my father told my one rainy night in my youth. Grow up, he was saying, get used to it. And so I have, and here I am, sitting here in the dark, alone, secure in myself and fearing nothing and needing no one.
Needing no one. No one. Not a worthless father, not a weak, shrill mother. No teddy bear or imaginary playmate. No companion, no friend, no life partner, no lover, no one. I don't need any of them.
So here I sit, alone in the dark, in my own living room, comfortable with myself and waiting for no one to come home, no one to kiss me good night and tuck me into bed. No one. I'm comfortable here, sitting on the couch, listening to the rain rhythmically beat against the window, interrupted only by the occasional clap of thunder.
That night long ago was the last time I'd ever asked my father for help. Saying I needed him was the weakness of a child. It was a mistake that I would not soon make again.
That night reminds me of another stormy night and another uncomfortable situation. It's interesting how the key moments in our lives follow some strange parallel, and that night with my father should have told me how another night with another man was going to turn out.
Scully and Skinner were standing there, looking like they'd both just sucked the life out of a bag full of lemons. Talk about bitter. At least Mulder knew how to put a handsome face on his misery.
It was another one of those situations where despite the initial appearance, I was in complete control. Sure, I was sitting in an FBI interrogation room handcuffed to the chair while the Skinner and Scully glared at me, circling like vultures who hadn't had enough to eat, while Mulder sulked in the corner barely holding back his rage. If he weren't so angry, I would have said he was happy to see me. After all, what else did he have to look forward to in life except to rough me up once or twice a year. And it had been so long, so very long since he'd had his hands all over me.
But I digress. Suffice it to say we were having another one of those conversations. You know the ones, where everyone talks in clipped words and phrases full of codes and half-truths. And let me tell you, it takes me days to plan out some of those smart retorts; a guy has to be prepared to hold up his reputation after all, and I wouldn't want to let Mulder down by not having a snappy reply at the ready for each and every one of his emphatic demands for 'the truth.'
"You're a pathetic dustrag, Krycek, covered in so much dirt you make me sick!"
Oh, good one Mulder, you've been reading more of those trashy novels again, haven't you. I just stared at him, smoldering. He likes it when I smolder. So I smoldered, just for him. Besides, it gave me more time to search through my catalogue of comebacks for just the right line. And tonight's performance definitely called for the perfect profound statement of foreboding.
He turned and walked towards the exit like this was some sort of grand Shakespearean production and he was taking leave of the stage. If only he had an orchestra to accompany his grand gestures. Just as he reached the doorway he paused for dramatic effect. It was my queue, his signal that it was my turn to come up with some punchy dialogue so he could exit with an even sharper closing argument. But this time I came prepared with a blockbuster. We'd see who was MacBeth and who was Ophelia.
"I don't need you, Mulder."
He turned, quickly but smoothly, with the reflexes of a hungry animal smelling fresh meat, anxious for the taste, unafraid of the potential trap.
He scoffed at me, "Is that the best you can do, Krycek? I was expecting something better than that, something pithy perhaps; you're good at pithy."
He stood there, full of confidence, his hand firmly gripping the door handle, making it clear he was still prepared to go unless I could come up with something better. If he only knew.
"I hate to disappoint you, Mulder, I knew you were expecting me to say, 'don't go,' but it's not going to happen."
"There's more than one way to say a thing, Krycek." His hand slipped from the handle and fell to his side. He took a step forward, towards me, towards the bait.
"I don't need you, Mulder." I spat the words out, with a bitterness equal to his mocking tone.
Disgusted, he turned and prepared again to exit the interrogation room.
"On the other hand..."
He turned, my words having the desired effect of getting his attention. I was playing him like a yo-yo.
"The other hand? You sure about that, Krycek?"
Ouch, a very good reply, I'd forgotten how well his mind worked and how interesting his word associations were. Nevertheless, he'd taken the bait, it was an easy hook, I knew he'd bite, now it was time to reel him in.
I tilted my head down and worked up the darkest, most evil glare I could and pulled my adams apple further down my throat so that my voice was a rough, deep bass.
"I may not need you, Mulder, but I do want you."
He flinched, just a little flinch, not much more than a blink and the smallest of spasms right there at the upper edge of his cheek and moving up to the corner of his eye. He's amazing at controlling himself, not giving away his hand.
Meanwhile Rosencrantz and Gildenstern, in the form of Scully and Skinner, weren't so smooth. Someone needed to call in a stagehand to scrape their jaws off the floor. They were making for perfect comic relief, just the supporting players I was hoping for in this little production.
"So it's up to you, Mulder, is wanting you enough? Not needing, just wanting."
He walked up to me and scanned me up and down, as if trying to measure my words, and if I really meant them. I meant them, in the way only he could know. He was now practically on top of me, his hands gripping the arms of the chair I was chained to. I could feel the heat in his breath burn my face and leave the bitter promise of his taste on my lips as he tried to intimidate me. But I didn't back down, didn't move an inch. If he wanted to get in my space so close I could stick out my tongue and be half way down his throat, then so much the better.
I looked him straight in the eyes, not blinking once. If it was one thing I'd learned in my time with Mulder is that he'd seize on any weakness, any opportunity to pry you apart. This was one time where I wasn't going to let him get the better of me.
Oddly enough he didn't say a word, he just pulled away, paused for a moment and then turned and then stopped as he finished opening the door. At first I thought he might turn around and spit some nasty reply at me, but as I watched he stood there motionless, his head hanging down. The silence in the room was chokingly thick. It was the first time I'd seen him speechless, unable to cut me down with just a handful of words.
And then in the quietest of whispers he said it, said his peace.
"Grow up, Alex." And then he walked away.
There I was, practically with my dick hanging out of my pants and Skinner and Scully just standing there, their eyes rolling like the dials on a pair of Vegas slot machines. This was not going to be a pleasant interrogation.
I didn't see Mulder for a long time after that. In some ways I think he was avoiding me. I left him clues, obvious ones, but somehow he never put his heart into following any of them up.
So now here I sit in the dark, not needing anyone and no one needing me. It's time to go to bed; I need to get some sleep and put these thoughts behind me.
Crawling into bed, my skin shivers a bit next to the autumn coldness of the sheets. I'm still not sleepy, but it's well past two in the morning and I need to get some shut-eye sooner or later.
Beside me, I hear his breathing. Despite the fact that he's asleep, it doesn't take long for him to sense my presence. He rolls over and brings himself up next to me and his arm reaches across my chest.
"Mmm, better," he says. He talks in his sleep, little things, but often very important. One day I should tell him about this little habit of his.
I stroke his arm and let the fine hairs tickle through my fingers.
"You were right."
See, what did I tell you, little but important.
I can feel the warmth radiating off his body. I pull him in closer to me and hold him tightly to my own - not because I need him, but because I want him, I want to feel his skin warming mine and his heartbeat gently tapping at my side like someone knocking to get in.
He nuzzles his face into me, the stubble along his jawline scratching along the contours of my chest. I want him and that's all that there is. Want, not need.
"Liar," he says, softly so I can barely make it out. I wonder who he's talking about. He repeats his word, "Liar," but I ignore him and slowly drift off to sleep.
- the end -
the lopsided weevil