Disclaimer: I don't own Krycek or Mulder, they simply live in my closet rent free in return for acting out my little fantasies. Believe it or not, they're happy. Fox and CC own them but they were mistreated and came to live with me for a while.
Warnings: Slash aka m/m. AU, Post-Colonization, slave fic.
Summary: Alex purchases some battered merchandise in a Post-Colonization world...
He entered the slave pens and immediately wrinkled his nose. The stench... It was amazing just how terrible it was. Even if he 'had' experienced it many times before...it never failed to shock him how much humans could stink when kept caged.
"The newest shipment arrived only moments ago. You can take a quick look, if you wish..."
He was lead to the final cage at the end of the row. These humans were a bit cleaner as they had only just arrived, but they were still streaked with dirt, sweat and other unmentionable filth. The mass of limbs stirred at their arrival before the bars. Several of them reached for others to huddle with or to hide another from their eyes. It was all rather useless. None of them would be sold together unless the entire block was sold to a large plantation owner.
Four women were huddled in one corner; they had yet to be removed to the next auction block. The rest were adult men 30 to 50, as healthy and fit as was possible for slaves. He glanced over the lot, he had long since lost any real hope of finding what he sought, but he continued the routine out of habit and so he could go to sleep at night assured that he had at least 'tried' that day.
No...no...too short...too old... As his eyes drifted over the lot he glanced over at the man next to him. "Have they been checked, yet?"
"No, sir. As soon as we leave the whole block will be hosed down and this lot will be sorted, separated, and checked."
He nodded and continued scanning the last remaining huddle of men. No...no...n-" he squinted and felt a sudden thrill run through him. It couldn't be... The man stirred as he noticed his stare. Gray-green eyes stared back at him blankly as he suddenly bit his lower lip in and released it. Those lips...the dirt streak where the mole would be...
"See any you like?"
He glanced up at the impatient Block Manager. "Yes. That one" he said in a strained voice, trying to contain his growing excitement.
The other man nodded and pulled out his whip. Sticking it into the cage he poked the chosen man. "This one? Rather scrawny looking...I'll have him washed up and sent to you as soon as he's checked out-" his words are cut off as the buyer suddenly grabbed his forearm with a crushing grip.
"I'm not waiting for that. I have business to attend to. Fetch him now, I'll have him groomed and checked by my own staff..." The Block Manager opened his mouth to protest. "...and I thank you for your trouble" he said as he tucked a large handful of credits into the Block Manager's pocket.
"Oh - yes, sir, Mr. Krycek! John! Open gate ten-thirteen!"
The manager pulled the frail man out with brutal efficiency. None of the other slaves dared make a movement as the gate closed once more. Where has the fight gone in these humans? They are like all the others...even those who remain free spend their days in careful obedient subservience. There is no rebellion worth mentioning.
Krycek trained his eyes back on the man being brought to him. He walked with a bit of a stoop. The cage was never intended for a tall man to walk upright in...the slave wasn't used to space above his head when he stood. But if he were to stand straight...yes, he would be tall enough...
"You have a transport equipped with bonds, Mr. Krycek? I can't let you take him without proper transport..."
"Yes, of course. My car is waiting at the entrance."
"You'll need to sign your receipt. His papers will come in a few days...if you want to wait for the papers..."
"No, I'll take him today. Just have his papers sent to my house." A guard trotted up with a receipt and it was soon signed, a copy in Alex's hands as the guard hurried off to file the original. The Block Manager congratulated him on his new purchase and began to walk towards the entrance, one beefy hand wrapped tightly around the slave's bicep.
At the entrance Alex's driver quickly opened the rear door and pulled out hand and ankle cuffs. The manager and driver snapped them on the unresisting slave and shoved him into the back seat. Krycek followed more gracefully into the backseat and was gratified his driver was quick and silent as he left the slave arena.
"Where to, Mr. Krycek?"
"Home, Ron. As quickly as possible."
"Yes, sir" the privacy panel slid up and Alex was alone with his property for the first time. The gray-green eyes peered up at him with wary curiosity as he huddled in the corner of the seat, his filthy rags dirtying Alex's upholstery, but Alex didn't care. Pulling out a clean white handkerchief he spat on it and leaned over towards his slave. He wiped at the corner of the mouth, and removed some of the dirt.
It was him. No way, this was a coincidence. All that was missing was that sarcastic monotone...that thought froze him. They hadn't been checked yet. There was a good chance -
He broke off the line of thought...he couldn't bear to find out just yet. Better to wait until they arrived and his personal physician could examine him. Reality was too cruel to intrude any more heavily than it already was now. His eyes roamed hungrily over the body before him. Whole, no obvious disfigurements...it was almost too good to be true.
He glanced up at the face once more and is surprised to see the man was now looking at the floor with proper subservience. Who taught him that? It must have been a hard lesson for him to learn...an obvious sign that the man he saw now before him was changed. But how much? He didn't recognized him...no way that the man could change 'that' much if he remembered Krycek.
As they pulled up to the house he looked up at the building and then back to the huddled form before him. "Home Sweet Home..." he said lightly, the corner of his mouth quirking up slightly. The slave flicked his eyes up and glanced at Krycek and then the house in quick succession before reverting his eyes to the floor once more.
The driver held the handcuff chain as he escorted the slave into the house. Alex nodded toward his butler, Davis, who then took custody of the cuffed man and followed him up the large staircase to his private rooms.
Alex unlocked the cuffs and handed them to the butler. "Bring Dr. Daniels. He needs to be examined...and checked." Davis raised an elegant eyebrow at this before nodding as he left the slave shivering in the middle of the bedroom.
Alex walked over to his closet and opened the doors, rows of elegant suits, silk shirts and ties and dress shoes on the left, casual khakis, jeans, cotton shirts and running shoes on the right. Neatly folded on the upper shelves were sweats, jogging clothes, pajamas, and slippers. He grabbed a pair of sweats that had ties; the man behind him would need them. Next on his list after healthcare and cleaning was feeding. He would need to inform the cooks to prepare nourishing meals for him.
"These should fit you..." he said as he turned around. The man hadn't moved. He glanced at the clothes before staring at the pattern in the rug beneath his feet once more.
"Come with me" Alex commanded, walking into the bathroom. The slave shuffled in behind him.
The bathroom was one of Alex's favorite rooms, gleaming tiles and polished faucets, a small potted palm tree and luxurious towels and rugs. Alex set the clothes down on a small table, "Strip, the doctor will be here soon." He spoke quietly but firmly, he was still uncertain of how to address the man...he would know more after the examination.
The slave's head remained bowed as he slipped off the filthy clogs that had served as shoes. His hands shook only slightly as he pulled off his ragged top and pants. He stood naked in front of Alex, eyes on the tiles before him.
The damage to the body from lack of nutrition made Alex's lip curl with disgust. Each rib was clearly defined, his chest was sunken and his arms and legs were painfully thin. Alex opened his mouth to speak when the doctor entered the room, a small black doctor's bag in his hand.
"Ah! Dr. Daniels...here is your new patient...he needs a thorough exam."
The doctor was a short man in his mid-50's, salt and pepper hair and beard, but his eyes were a twinkling blue that tended to put his patients at ease. He nodded at Alex's words but his eyes were already examining the patient with professional interest. He set his bag down and began to palpate: neck, under arms, and groin area. Alex stepped back to sit on one of the small chairs and watch. Eventually the patient was instructed to sit down, as the doctor began to shine his small light in the eyes and ears he turned to Alex. "You said he would need to be checked as well? You have no papers...?"
"None yet...they hadn't performed the checks yet and his papers are not yet ready..."
The doctor shook his head but then turned back to his patient. "Open your mouth."
The slave flicked his eyes up at the doctor and hesitated. Alex stood and the slave's eyes slid over to his before obediently opening his mouth.
"Ah...well, he has his tongue, no obvious signs of injury..." the doctor's voice trailed off as he tilted the head before him further back and leaned in closer with the light, "...and I see vocal cords...no obvious signs of injury...say 'Ah'..."
The patient made no sound but closed his eyes.
"Say 'Ah'...I need to see your vocal cords move..." There was no response. The doctor looked over at Alex helplessly.
"You will obey the doctor..." Alex said warningly. The slave kept his eyes shut and the doctor waved him off.
"I don't see anything wrong...has he spoken at all?"
Alex shook his head and continued to stare at the man that was now slumped in his chair.
"Well...he likely has reason not to attempt speaking...you realize that most slaves no longer have a tongue. It's the easiest and cheapest way to silence a slave. Those who wish to spend more are those who opt for the surgical procedure. They usually remove the voice box completely - as far as I can see he is likely whole...he may simply be silent out of training - or fear. The slave arenas tend to cut out the tongues without discrimination, it's the norm for the type of slaves sold there. You're lucky to have bought him before the 'checks'...you 'are' planning to keep him unchanged, aren't you?" The doctor looked suddenly worried, he obviously didn't wish to perform either procedure on the slave.
Krycek shook his head at the thought. "Of course...I'm glad to hear he is undamaged, but he hasn't spoken yet."
The doctor began to pack away his tools. "Yes...I wouldn't worry too much, Mr. Krycek...give him some time to adjust. He looks as if he's been mistreated for some time. He needs a thorough cleansing and a good diet to put back on lost weight. I'll leave a list of suggested foods with Ms. Hanson and come back in a few days to check on...does he have a name yet?"
Alex looked at the man they had been speaking of, he hadn't moved since the exam. "He does...Fox Mulder."
The slave didn't so much as twitch at his given name, the doctor simply nodded and walked towards the door. "Yes...I'll be back to check on Fox soon unless you have any difficulties. No heavy duties or work until then. Good day, Mr. Krycek."
The door shut and Alex turned back to the slave - to Mulder. "Well...are you going to speak now?" Silence. "You may, you know...I wish you to speak...Do you remember who you are?"
Mulder didn't look up, but straightened slightly in his chair at being addressed. He looked hesitant...unsure of how to respond so Alex repeated the question. "Do you know who you are? Who I am?"
The slave shook his head, his eyes glancing up once to look at Alex and then looked back down at the floor, shaking his head again.
Having his fears realized finally, Alex was unsure of what to do. He'd never dreamed he would find Mulder only to have an empty husk of a man who didn't recognize him...who didn't even remember himself. He stared down at the man before him disbelievingly. What had happened to his dry wisecracking humor...his energy...his defiance? As he stared he began to realize he was staring down into greasy matted hair. Time for a bath, but first...
"My name is Alex Krycek..." he paused but there was no change in the slave's posture, "...you will call me Alex when you decide to address me and you will answer to Fox. Is that understood?"
"You will obey me and my staff or you will be punished. I'd rather not detail any punishments, as I'd prefer them to be unnecessary. Do you agree?"
"Well then, I think it's time for a bath. I don't have any body servants so I'll do the washing for today. When Dr. Daniels clears you for work you'll take over the duties of a personal attendant. You'll receive instruction before then." Alex waited for any hint of rebellion but was disappointed (no, not disappointed - relieved) by the continued silence. He gathered several soaps and the shampoo that the doctor had left for removing the lice from the slave's hair and turned the bath on. The silence from the other man was unnerving as he waited for the tub to fill.
"Sit down on the edge of the tub. We'll do your hair first and then fill the bath for the rest of you." The slave shuffled forward and sat as instructed. Alex dampened the hair and then worked the rather smelly soap into the hair. It wasn't very long. A trifle longer than Mulder had ever worn it as an agent. It might be nice once it was clean... He would need a shave, too, but thankfully he hadn't yet grown a beard or it would be full of lice - the cages were teeming with the louse.
Rinsed and seemingly free of the vermin, Alex let him into the bathtub. It was only as he ordered the man to lean forward to scrub his back that he saw the scars. They were very fine...a spider web of silver scars that webbed the back. He ran a gentle hand over the scars and the back trembled suddenly. "Shhh..." he murmured. He'd threatened Mulder with punishment earlier...a comment he now regretted. Still...perhaps the threat would be sufficient - Mulder may not have his memory, but the man was likely still prone to foolish bravado.
The warm air of the bathroom was making him flushed. He returned to scrubbing the back with a bit more care than he'd originally intended. The slave was tired...head drooping, not so much from subservience than from exhaustion. As Alex tilted him back to work on his front, he noticed Mulder's eyes snap back open as if he'd fallen into a doze.
Dipping his washcloth into the water he scrubbed the chest and worked his way down. "Don't fall asleep on me yet...you need to eat first." The stomach beneath his washcloth growled at that and Alex couldn't help smiling a bit, glancing up at the other man's face. Mulder's eyes looked into his for a moment with the slightest bit of humor dancing in gray-green eyes before they suddenly widened and lowered back to the water, remembering his place.
Alex felt a glimmer of anger at his actions before shoving it aside. "I think we're about done. Stand up," he said roughly. Mulder struggled to his feet and Alex put a hand out to steady him without thinking. Trembling legs barely held his weight as the slave awaited further instruction. Alex quickly scrubbed both legs and then turned the shower hose on, rinsing him off thoroughly before reaching for a towel.
There was a knock on his bedroom door. He left Mulder to dress and left the bathroom to answer it.
His cook stood at the door, a large tray in her hands. "Mr. Krycek...I thought you might prefer it if I brought up some food - I'm sure the young man is starving..." Rebecca Hanson was a large matronly woman with fading honey colored hair secured into a large braided bun and tended to mother him into an inch of his life. Now it seemed she was prepared to take on a new victim to stuff full of goodies. "Where...?" she asked as she set down the tray on Krycek's small table in the sitting area.
Alex glanced around before stepping back into the bathroom. Mulder was dressed and standing where Alex had left him, just outside the tub. He swayed slightly on his feet, but kept his eyes on the floor. "Fox, come in here. Ms. Hanson has brought you some food."
Mulder shuffled out of the bathroom and sat where Alex pointed. His eyes left the floor to stare at the tray of food hungrily. "Go ahead and eat, Fox." Alex shooed the clucking cook out the door. As he closed it he heard her muttering a menu for breakfast the next day.
With the door closed and his slave occupied, Alex was finally free to return to his work. Sitting down at his desk, he scanned the papers on it, but found it difficult to concentrate. There was practically no sound coming from behind him. Turning to look he saw Mulder stuffing a whole piece of bread in his mouth. His soup bowl was empty already.
"Slow down, Fox. You'll make yourself sick." Krycek gave up on work and sat down opposite of Mulder at the table. The other man stopped at his words and swallowed quickly, hands slipping off the table to rest at his sides, eyes cast down. This was becoming very irritatingly - at one time he might've enjoyed this kind of behavior from the formerly arrogant agent, but now? It was becoming tired fast.
"Look up at me." Mulder's head raised slightly and his eyes focused on his forehead. "Look me in the eye, Fox. Where you told not to look your master in the eye?"
A slow nod. "Well, I don't want that. Look me in the eye when I speak to you." The eyes shifted focus to look into his own. They were completely gray and unreadable.
"I think it's time for bed, don't you?" Alex said with a weary sigh. He stood and led Mulder into a connecting bedroom. It was one of those old servant's quarters. Small, but serviceable. There was a twin-sized bed that had been freshly changed and a small trunk for belongings. Of which Mulder had none. "You'll sleep here and I'll come for you in the morning. Don't leave it unless I or one of the staff comes for you. Understood?"
A nod, his eyes were focused on him obediently but there was not a trace of personality behind them. It was...spooky.
He closed the door. Back in his own bed he stared at the ceiling. What had he gotten himself into?
The world had changed after colonization. The aliens had taken large sections of the population, but left the rest under strict rule of their consortium underlings. Very few aliens actually lived on the planet. Apparently, they were only one of many colonized planets and one of the less inhabitable ones. Earth's population was of more use than the planet itself.
As for Alex - he'd fought with the resistance for as long as possible, trying to avoid Earth's fate. But in the end...he was a survivor. He had managed a new position in the consortium elite by betraying the resistance at the last possible moment. He'd held on to the hope that a revolution might be possible in the future, but that hope dwindled with every day. Mankind had been culled of its resistance. Mulder had disappeared with all of the other resistance leaders shortly after colonization and Alex had feared the worst, though he had continued to look.
And now he had him - but his memory was wiped. Not so surprising, really. The only reason Mulder was likely alive was because he'd been wiped more thoroughly than in the past. And that was really a blessing...with his memory; Mulder would hate him more passionately than ever before. For he had betrayed the resistance - made colonization possible. No matter that it had only sped it up by a few months at most - he had still betrayed them. Betrayed 'him'. Again.
But the man in the next room remembered nothing of this. He had no quarrel with Alex. Indeed, he wouldn't quarrel with him if he did. Someone had taken the time and effort to make Mulder a good little slave. Obedient, humble, and silent. No small feat - even without memory.
Alex turned on his side and stared at the dim outline of the door that led to the servant's room. What would he do now that he had this version of Mulder?
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