Whirlpool III: Surf Line

by D. Sidhe


Date: Thursday, March 06, 2003 4:33 AM

     Whirlpool III: Surf Line
     By D. Sidhe: Erika dsidhe@attbi.com
     Web: http://www.dsidhe.com
     Category: Pre-slash, WIP
     Pairing: Langly/Krycek
     Archive: If you want it, it's all yours.
     Rating: R, for angst, language, off-screen violence, and, as
     they say, sexual situations
     Beta: Betty didn't even bother to look at it. I'm afraid it
     shows.

Summary: Langly's starting to think about what he wants from this. Has Krycek already thought it through?

Disclaimers: I don't own any of these people. I'm not making any money off this. No offense or infringement intended.

Spoilers: Same as before. Sorta all the early Krycek stuff. I don't really have a date to pin on this one. Sometime after "One Breath", but before "Anasazi" at the latest. Or you can call it AU, I guess. Krycek has been revealed as a double agent, maybe, and blamed for the abduction of Scully, but very little else has been revealed about him, and Melissa Scully and Bill Mulder are still alive. This is never going to be a timeline story.

Author's Note: Not funny, not gonna be. If you're a Krycek fan, and you're still reading, I suppose there's nothing I can say that's going to make you stop. At least not until we get to the parts where you start sending me hate mail, I guess. There are comments made here about Frohike and Byers which are unflattering. (And Mulder, too, come to think of it.) Look at it this way: Langly doesn't really appreciate his roommates. Yet. We'll see if we can't get him straightened out.


There's a beeping noise, and I jump, kind of. Fuck, that noise--it's the cell. It's Alex.

Frohike gives me a look. "What's that?"

He doesn't know I have the cell, and if they find out, they'll be all over me about why I need a prepaid one. "Reminder. I gotta go meet somebody. For a story." And it beeps again, and I know I just turned bright red. So I say, "Later," and I'm up the stairs before he can say anything else.

It beeps twice more before I'm in my room, and Byers comes out of the kitchen as I go past, wiping his hands on a towel, and says, "Is there something wrong?" and he gives me the eye.

"Gotta go out. Story." And I lock myself in my room. I'm kind of breathing fast, and I wish I wasn't, but Alex is gonna hang up any second, and I don't have time to get it under control so I answer. "Hey, Alex."

"Hey, Ringo. I almost hung up. Are you okay? You sound funny."

I laugh a little. "Sorry, I had to get away from the guys before I answered."

"They still don't know?" he says, surprised.

"None of their business. What's up?"

He hesitates, and then he says, "Are you busy?"

God, I was hoping he'd say that. "Nope. Let me guess, you know a great little place."

He laughs, but it sounds forced. "Yeah, no. You pick the place this time."

He sounds like he needs a drink, actually. So I name a bar that does burgers and stuff. He's quiet, and I wonder if he's having second thoughts. But I hear a noise in the corridor, and I wonder... So I'm going over to the door, quietly, and I look carefully at the crack between my door and the floor, and I don't see anything, any shadows or anything, which I would if somebody was standing out there. I know that for sure. So I relax a little, and go back to my bed and sit down, about the time he says, okay, whatever.

It took him a while to think about it, and he doesn't sound all that happy. "You want to meet someplace else?"

"No, it's okay. That's fine."

He sounds kind of, you know, lifeless. "Is something wrong?"

I can almost hear him shrug. I can definitely see him brushing his hair out of his eyes. "I don't want to talk about it, okay?"

And I back off. It's probably none of my business, and we had this conversation the other way around once before, right? Fair's fair. "It's okay, you don't have to."

He kind of half-laughs. "You're not going to make me?"

I laugh, too. "I don't think I could. When do you want to get together?"

He hesitates again. "Can we make it soon? I just need to get out, and relax. I need some decent human company."

I get the impression he didn't mean to say that, and he seems almost embarrassed about it, so I try to make a joke. "What, did you spend all day at the pound?"

"I don't want to talk about it," he says, kind of flat.

I laugh, weakly, nervous again. He does that to me a lot, I guess. "Just kidding."

And I hear him sigh a little. "Didn't mean to snap at you. I just really don't want to talk about it."

"Sorry. I was just kidding. Not trying to pry."

"It's okay."

"Do you still want to get together?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I do, Ringo. I just want to spend some no-pressure time with a friend."

All of a sudden, I feel a little cold again, my hands and feet tingling. "You mean that?" My voice sounds kind of weird.

"Mean what?" He's surprised again.

"About--" I clear my throat. "About being friends?"

He's really surprised. "Did I say that?"

"Uh, I think so. I think I heard..."

He's silent for a little while, and he says, "Yeah. I guess I did. I guess I didn't realize..."

I swallow a couple of times and wiggle my fingers, trying to see if I can feel them. They're still a little cold.

"How soon can you get away?" he says, finally.

"Uh, whenever. I mean, whenever you want. I'm not busy or anything."

"How does half an hour sound?"

"Great. See you there."


Byers gave me another look when I headed out, but didn't say anything. Frohike gave me a look, too, and said something about having the tape recorder with me. I didn't answer him. Now, here I am, sitting in the bar, a little later than I said I'd be, and he's not here yet. But this time I'm not worried he won't show up. He sounded pretty--I dunno--down, I guess. Like he really needed the company.

But, okay. He's almost a half hour late. He brushes his hair out of his face to look at me, and I kind of take a breath. He's got a pretty good bruise on his forehead, and there's a bandage wrapped around his left hand. He looks like he hasn't slept in days.

"Jesus, Alex, are you okay?"

He stares at the bar and shakes his head. "Can we get a booth?"

"Sure."

So we do that, and he takes off his jacket, and it seems to kind of hurt him, like maybe his shoulder hurts or something. "Alex, what happened?" Maybe I shouldn't have asked that. I probably don't want to know. I probably don't want to, you know, see the other guy.

He stands up again and shakes his head. "I knew this was a mistake," he says. And he grabs his jacket. "Have a good evening, Ringo."

I grab his arm, and he tenses up again, his right hand makes a fist. I let go fast. You'd think I'd learn to not do that, with his reflexes. "Sorry, Alex. Just don't go, okay? If you don't want to talk about it, that's okay. I was just--just surprised, I guess."

He won't look at me, and I think he's gonna run again, but then he sags a little and sits back down, sort of hesitating. He's still thinking this is a mistake, he shouldn't be here with me, I can see it in the whole way he's sitting. His shoulders are slumped again, and he's hiding his left hand under his jacket, and he's not looking at me. "This isn't a good idea," he says, kind of quiet, like he's talking to himself. "I shouldn't be here."

"It's okay, Alex. I'd just like you to stay. We don't have to talk about it at all. Okay?"

He shakes his head. "I really shouldn't be hanging around you, Ringo. God, this is a bad idea."

"Why, because of Mulder?" I'm mad all of a sudden, and I'm not really sure why. It seems pretty stupid to me. We like each other, and we have a good time together, at least it seems like it, and what the fuck is wrong with that? I get pretty tired of Mulder fucking with our lives sometimes. There's always something--something he needs from us, something he wants us to do, something else that he's gotta have us put our asses on the line for, and now he's fucking up what little social life I have. "Fuck Mulder," I say. It's not the first time I said it, but it might be the first time I said it to anybody. "I'm tired of Mulder."

He looks up, surprised. "Hasn't--" And then he stops, and looks down again. I'm not gonna ask this time. If he wants to tell me what he's thinkin', I guess he will. And after a while, he does.

"Mulder's warned you about me. I know he has. He has to have."

"Jesus, Alex. Mulder's warned me about fucking fluoride in the water. Mulder's warned me about everything. He's kind of, you know, paranoid."

And he looks up, and he almost smiles. "Good point."

I almost made him smile. That smile. Almost. But I can do better.

We do some drinking, we have some burgers. We talk about baseball. We talk about Spain, where I've been once, and he has a few times. I tell him a funny story about not running with the bulls, and he laughs, relaxing. He's still kind of wincing when he moves sometimes, and I'm concentrating on not looking at the bruises and his hand. I don't want to upset him again, make him run off.

It's not too hard, after a while, except when he winces. He's a really good conversationalist. You'd never get that idea looking at him, or listening to Mulder bitch about him. And, I'm starting to notice, most of the time even when we're not actually talking, it's not weird or anything. I don't even really feel like I gotta--you know, make conversation. Anything like that. I mean, yeah, he makes me nervous, like when he smiles at me, but it's, it's not the kind of nervous I get when I'm scared or anything. It's like... anticipation, maybe. Like, I want to know what he's thinking, what he'd like. 'Cause, I think I mentioned, he's totally hot. And I wouldn't mind--well. I don't really know what I'd like to do.

I think I might like him to kiss me. I think I might like more than that. I dunno. I know I'm attracted to guys, sometimes. But not just guys. And I got a pretty good idea what guys do together, and it seems kinda weird, compared to what guys do with chicks. I don't know how to explain it. All I know is, there've been guys and chicks I wanted to kiss. I'm not all that sure what else I want to do, but, you know, I'd kinda like to explore the possibilities, right?

But I'm just not that good with people. And, hanging with the guys, it's not like I get any practice. They're decent guys, and they really need to do what they know is the right thing, but they're not--normal. Byers, I mean, has got this real clear view of the world. Stuff is good or bad, and he doesn't see much in between. He'll hack if he has to, but he doesn't like it. He still doesn't like doin' illegal stuff, even to help people.

Me--I admit it, part of why I love the paper is it gives me a good reason to do stuff maybe I would anyway. Byers isn't like that. Totally straight. Totally--square.

And Frohike? Don't get me started. Sometimes he's kind of creepy. He's a nice guy and all, and I guess I trust him, but sometimes--I dunno.

But I don't spend a lot of time, you know, trying to figure out what either one of 'em is thinking. If I wanna know, I ask. If I wanna know.

With Alex it's not that easy. I get the feeling he doesn't like to talk about himself. He said friends, earlier, but I know he still doesn't trust me. I don't think he trusts anybody. And, I dunno. The people he knows, or at least people like the people Mulder talks about, he probably can't trust anybody.

And every time I say something dumb that reminds him of that, he starts to run. One of these days, I'm probably going to say something incredibly dumb, and I won't even be able to get him to come back and sit down. So that's what makes me nervous around him, really. I'm worried about scaring him away.

I like him. I like being with him. I like that I can make him smile, and I like that smile. A lot. I liked it when he put his hand on my knee in his car. I liked it when he held my shoulder outside the Chinese place. I liked it--a lot, a whole lot--when he touched my hair that one time.

And I'm pretty sure he likes me, too. But I know I'm just not that good with people, and I say a lot of fucking stupid things, things that, well, scare him away. It bothers me that he can't trust me because of who my friends are.

I realize I must have been quiet a while, because he's looking at me, just looking at me. There's kind of a half-smile on his face.

"What?" I know I'm blushing.

He shakes his head a little and takes a sip. "Just wondering what you were thinking."

I kinda smile at that. "Uh, I was wondering what you were thinking, you know?"

He makes a little laughing noise. "Great minds, huh? And not a thought between us."

I laugh a little too. "Actually--" I stop, kind of embarrassed.

He cocks his head to one side. "What?"

"I was just thinking how much I like hanging out with you." It comes out in a hurry, and I know I'm blushing even harder now. He's gonna laugh at me, I bet.

But he doesn't. He blinks a couple of times, and it's like he's surprised I said it too. Then he smiles at me, that good smile. The one he gives me when I just said what he wanted to hear. "I don't make you nervous anymore?"

I laugh, he laughs, he orders another beer for me, and starts telling me a cute joke about a dog and an elephant. I drown my giggles in my drink, and he smiles at me, the green eyes sparkling. At some point his knee touches mine under the table, and I get a warm shock running through me. I don't know if he notices or not. I hope not. I look up at him to see if he's watching me, but he's not, I guess it was an accident. He looks up and brushes his hair out of his face again, and the bruise, and the bandage, and... Man, I've got a schoolgirl crush on a psycho killer. If I can believe Mulder, anyway. Like I said, Mulder's sort of paranoid.

But even if he's not like Mulder says he is, he's still pretty dangerous, you know? Bad boys. And, God, I think it makes him hotter. Maybe there's something wrong with me. But then he smiles at me and I don't care what he is, I want his fingers in my hair. I'm in over my head, but it's in a good way.

He shakes his head a little, though, and there's a little frown that's gone across his face so fast I'm not sure I even saw it, and a look in his eyes that tells me he thinks maybe he's in over his head, too. God, he has to be the loneliest guy I ever met--and I know a lot of 'em.

I wonder how he got that way, and if he'll ever tell me. And for right now, I do what I can about it. I make him laugh.


Frohike's still up when I get in. I don't even try to slink past him. Between the locks, and the perimeters, and the paranoia, it's pretty close to impossible even when I'm sober. He looks at me, and says something like "Musta gone well".

I kinda shrug, and he looks at me closer. "You get the story?"

And I blink at him like a dummy. "What story?"

He gives me a look. "The story you were going out to get, remember?" And he's just slathering on the sarcasm, and I know he doesn't believe a word of it.

I bet I'm blushing. "Oh yeah," I say. "Turned out to be nothin'."

He's still got the hairy eyeball on me. And he says something like "Yeah, right."

I think about letting him have it, but I'm still a little wasted, and you never argue with a guy whose business is words when you're drunk. So I go upstairs again. I go into the kitchen for a soda, and as I'm opening the fridge, Byers comes in. Jesus, what next? He's wearing those stupid blue pajamas of his, and I'm looking anywhere but at him, because God, they look stupid. He looks like a ten year old with a beard, and all he needs is a fucking teddy bear, right? I finally manage to focus on my watch, and it's like four in the morning. Close enough. I don't know what Narcboy's doing up, unless he was waiting up. Or, okay, maybe, I woke him up, but I don't think I was that loud.

I'm thinking about taking my Jolt and going to my room, but he's standing in the doorway, and I don't want to have to push past him right yet. The cold air from outside is kind of wearing off, and I'm starting to get a headache. I turn around and lean against the counter and rub the cold can against my face, it feels better. And then, goddammit, there's a hand on my shoulder, and I jump. I wish he'd stop sneaking up on me like that. I have to grab the can with both hands to put it down without spilling it.

"How'd it go?" he says.

I shrug. "Okay."

"What's the story?"

Oh, shit, that again. Man, I forgot again. I want some more soda, but I can't hold the can without spilling it, and I don't need the audience. "Dunno yet," I kind of mumble. "Might be nothin'."

He's still looking at me. His eyes are blue like Alex's are green. They go right through you.

"Why don't you go to bed," he says. "You look like you've got a fever."

I leave the Jolt where it is and pull away from him. Again. This is getting old. "Leave me alone, okay."

Between him and Frohike, they pretty much killed the good mood I was in. If I was just a little more drunk, I'd probably call Alex and see if he wanted to talk. But I'm sober enough to know that annoying him isn't a great idea.

After the bar, we drove around for a while again. In the dark, and still a little drunk, I thought it was the same car as before, but now I'm not so sure. What the hell do I know, anyway. A lot of people in the city don't own cars, they rent or whatever. And, yeah, I was drunk both times.

You know, I don't know if he was. He didn't act like it. He's a good driver, smooth and fast, like everything else he does. Confident.

I pitch myself onto my bed, just thinking about him. God, I wish I was confident like that. I am--where I know I'm brilliant, like the computers. I'm totally in my element there. Around people--it's a totally different story. But it seems like he's used to being in control of everything, which makes it even more weird he's hanging around with me.

He doesn't trust me, I know that. And it seems like he spends a lot of time telling himself this is not a good idea, this--whatever it is we're doin' together. It's like he said, he doesn't usually put himself at risk like this. I can tell that from--from just his whole posture, the whole way he acts, the way he seems like he's always half-ready to bolt.

I close my eyes and I think about it. There's gotta be some--you know, some kind of, something in it for him. Like, a payoff. Something he wants from me. It's not information. I mean, he doesn't give a damn about the guys, or Mulder, or anything like that. Not when he's with me. He doesn't ask about them. He doesn't want to talk about them. That's okay, 'cause I don't either. It's like when he even thinks about who I am--who my friends are, anyway--he freaks and tries to leave.

But, he comes back. I get him to come back, and he sits down, and I talk to him, and he starts to relax. So it's like he likes me in spite of them, not because of. There's a look he gives me sometimes, it makes me want--I don't know what, really. I'm not sure I want, you know, gay sex. I don't know if I want to, like, jump him or something. I'm pretty sure I don't want him doin' it to me.

But he's hot, and he's fun, and I'm almost positive he's gay. He gives me that look, and I start feeling hot, I don't mean like that exactly, but like it's just way too warm in the room, right? And I want--I want--I don't know what I want. Something.

Sometimes I dream about him, okay. And at first it was just, like, his face. Smiling. Those eyes. And then there were some dreams where he'd talk to me. I can't always tell what he's saying, but I think it's usually stuff about how good I make him feel, maybe like that. Once I remember it was him talking about my hair--he likes my hair, I know he does--but talking about how he loved it, and touching it, touching me. I know his hands were on my face, and my neck, and my shoulders. I don't really remember anything else.

There've been a couple of dreams where he kissed me, and those were pretty good. More than pretty good. They were--I've done some making out, of course. With girls, obviously. I mean, you grow up in Nebraska, you can get stoned and pet with girls, but... But not a lot of it. It's stupid, I know, 'cause I'm almost thirty, right, and I'm still--It just--I get nervous, and I say dumb things. Or they find somebody better. Or they pass out, okay. Or I do. Or--it just doesn't feel right. I mean, I know that's the chick's line, but sometimes it just feels, I dunno. Like a bad idea. I don't even know why.

I mean, I know I'm supposed to be all yeah, yeah, fuck any chick who says yes, brag about it in the locker room, lie about it if she says no. I guess that's how guys are supposed to be. But I was never like that. For a while in high school, I was scared I was gay, because I had a crush on this guy. But there were other girls, and so now I'm, I dunno. Maybe bi.

It's okay, I guess. Now. I mean, I'm okay, if I am bi. Which I guess I am. But I'm still not sure about, you know, anal sex. I don't dream about doing that, you know? With anybody. I dream about Alex, though, touching me. I mean, I did once. It was one of those weird things where I couldn't figure out where I was or anything. But Alex was there, and he was smiling at me, and his hand was, well, rubbing me, through my jeans. And it felt--It was, incredible. For a dream, I mean. And he was talking to me, but I can't really remember what he was saying.

But, tonight, when we were just driving around, he was talking to me, too, and I don't really remember all of it. He's got a good voice. And he'll talk to me, low, quiet. Steady, I mean, is the word I want, I guess. It sounds weird, but... He's nothing like Mulder says. He's totally calm, a lot of the time. And the rest of the time he's laughing and making jokes.

He drives fast, though. And gets into fights, apparently. Or something. And I saw a lighter tonight, while he was looking for his car keys, so maybe he smokes, too. And he drinks. I don't think he drinks much, though. I mean--he kept getting more beer, but I bet he only ordered one for himself about half the time. I think he did that last time, too.

Maybe he's trying to get me drunk and take advantage of me. I put my hands behind my head and smile. That's pretty funny.

When I said he was, you know, calm, steady, I didn't mean, I mean, I don't want... I don't want to make him sound like, well, like Byers. Mr. Straight and Narrow. I don't know if you can call a guy who gets guns pointed at him all the time boring, but whatever it is Alex has, Byers doesn't. He's got those blue eyes, and that voice... And I bet Alex would be that cool with a gun in his face too, but that's where it ends.

There's something else Alex has, that smile, and that look... And probably something else I haven't seen yet. I grin. Probably a lot I haven't seen yet.

He called me, though. He had--a bad day, I guess, I don't know what, but, Jesus. Something happened. But then he gets home, and he just wants to spend some time with me. That makes me feel pretty good. He just needs, well, a friend. Somebody he can trust. Have a chance to trust, anyway. So maybe that's all he wants from me. That's a lot, though. From a guy like Alex. But I don't think that is all. The way he looks at me, man...

I spend a while thinking about that, and then I'm falling asleep. The light's still on, I still got my clothes on, fuck it. The headache's comin' back, and I'm not gonna move. I've got barely enough energy to yank my glasses off and toss them far enough away on the bed so I won't roll on them when I'm sleeping. Close enough.

End part 3

Harpy dsidhe@attbi.com Handmaiden of the Goddess of Irony
 

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