Pretending to Swim

They awoke when it was still dark, the rain falling in quiet spatters on the roof of the motel. Mulder lay in silence in the still, staring at the ceiling, knowing it wasn't the gentle waterfall of the rain that had resurrected him from dreaming. He was acutely aware of his surroundings, his skin seeming to crackle with stored static at the touch of rough woolen blanket, smooth fuzzed skin, linen sheets. He lifted a hand, just holding it in empty space for a moment, testing the weight of his own flesh. And then he waved it in front of his face, as if testing for blindness. The hum of electrical devices seemed deafening, the dull roar of rainfall and the occasional car wooshing by. Say a prayer for those forced to be out driving at this hour.

I should be thinking of Scully now, he thought. Strike that: I should be with Scully. I'm not. I'm lying in a strange bed with the man who killed my father, listening to his breath. Anticipating his touch. Am I dreaming this? Have I finally gone mad?

Sometimes you have to walk away. Let it go.

Krycek's finger traced a line down the center of his nose, giving it a tap at the tip, still maddeningly silent.

Stupid, Mulder. How could you do this?

"You have such a pretty mouth," Krycek wanted to whisper, his fingernail scraping as it skated across the satin-shiny skin. But he kept his own mouth shut, not wanting to break the fragile surface of the quiet. Silence is golden. Or leaden. He didn't want to think about that.

Mulder turned his head, pressed his face to Krycek's throat, delicately tasting and lapping at the skin. Tracing the faint blue lines of veins and arteries. I could kill you like this, he thought. Just sink my teeth in... Krycek's hand moved down, stopped over his heart. Their lips met, tongues dancing a sloppy, sweet tango, a slippery ancient motion of desire. Love, even. And their eyes met, Krycek's almost glassy in the dying mist-filtered moonlight. Dewy.

Don't notice. Please.

Mulder's hand covered Krycek's, the rhythm of his heart, their hearts, almost a tangible thing. He closed his eyes, opened them again.

"I hate you, Alex."

Krycek sighed, eyes sliding on moisture away from Mulder's face, out the window. The rain had nearly stopped, and he could see the blue-green light creeping up from the horizon, starting to paint the sky.

"I know."