by Marcia Elena

Title: Quintessence

Author: Marcia Elena

Email: marciaelena@hegalplace.com

Keywords: Slash, M/K, Krycek's POV

Spoilers: Not really. Takes place sometime after RAtB and Patient X, but it's AU, since I've taken the liberty of changing the events of those episodes for my own nefarious purposes.

Rating: R

Summary: Reclaiming life together.

Disclaimer: Mulder and Krycek are not mine. I'm only trying to give them what should be theirs.

Author's notes: Is this a story? A snippet? Who knows? It's been languishing on my hard drive for almost a year now; all I've done was polish it a little. It might grow someday.

by Marcia Elena

Running, running, stumbling down the hill. Cold wind in my face, sharp and brittle, stealing the breath out of me, making my lungs scream for me to stop, please, only for a moment, an instant, a second. Scorching heat behind me, flames eerily illuminating the night and pushing me forward, feet pounding the ground as I go on running, running.

A new explosion rocks the burning Consortium facility, the force of it throwing me off balance; I stumble again, falling and rolling like a thrown pebble before I manage to halt my descent, my prosthetic arm twisted beneath me. Before I can even utter a curse Mulder is beside me, pulling me to my feet. And then we're running once more, not waiting to see if Hell is following on our heels.

An eternity passes before we reach our escape vehicle, and we scramble in, scattering gravel as we drive away. We have a long journey ahead of us, so we take turns at the wheel, grabbing whatever sleep we can in between. Our meals consist of the rations we packed, and bathroom breaks are few and far between, mostly brief stops by the side of the road. Paranoid to the last, we switch cars -- and direction -- as often as possible, so as not to leave any trail that could be easily detected.

Three days go by before we're reasonably sure no one's following, and it's only then that we allow ourselves the luxury of checking into a motel.

Tired and dirty as I am, our drab accomodations seem heavenly to me; the double bed in the middle of the room beckons invitingly, and I actually groan aloud as I debate with myself whether to take the time for a shower now or later, exhaustion tugging at me.

Mulder breaks the impasse. "You can have the bathroom first," he offers magnanimously, eyeing me with an oddly amused expression. "You look worse than I feel."

"Thanks," I mutter, lacking the energy to feel offended as I stagger to the bathroom.

Not bothering to close the door behind me, I strip quickly and step into the hard spray; hot water sluices over me, washing away dirt and sweat and blood, massaging my cramped muscles and taking the edge off of my fatigue. Even so, I am only half awake as I shuffle out of the steaming bathroom, a towel wrapped around my waist. Mulder is propped up on the bed, stripped down to his boxers and watching TV. Somehow, I manage to make it there before collapsing next to him. I feel him get up; the sounds of the running shower and the smell of clean sheets soon lull me to sleep.

I come to hazily when the mattress sags, disturbed by Mulder's weight as he slips into bed beside me. The drag of the sheets over my bare ass tells me that the towel I was wearing is gone; yet after months of sharing close quarters, neither one of us is embarrassed about the other's nakedness anymore. I'm almost asleep again when I hear his voice, low and wary.

"Why, Krycek?"

Why. The one thing he always asks me, every day since we've begun this partnership, as if he can't quite come to terms with it, can't accept how similar we really are, how similar we've always been. Both of us on the wrong side of the law these days.

I sigh, fully awake now, though my eyes are still closed. There are so many possible answers to his question, and I've probably given him most of them by now. But tonight is different; our circumstances are different. This last was by far the hardest job we ever pulled, and both of us hardly got out of it alive. I'm tired, and my defenses are down, and all I want is to have one more measure of truth between us, however small.

And so: "Because whatever the hell it is you're still looking for, Mulder, I want to help you find it."

Opening my eyes, I find him lying as far from me as he can. He searches my gaze for an interminable moment before nodding, the ever-present mistrust that colors his features changing into something I can't quite define. His eyes on mine are suddenly infinitely softer, greenish gold and almost vulnerable, and I can't stand to look at them for long; it hurts. So I close my eyes again, fleeing inwardly, where everything is dark and silent, and thus, in theory, more bearable. Yet both the softness and the hurt are waiting for me there as I drift back into sleep, tightly coiled around my heart in insidious loops of hope.

It's pitch black when I wake up, and, as usual, I have to fight the disorientation that threatens to engulf me. Drawing deep breaths, I will my heartbeat to slow down, the seconds vast and elastic as both memory and awareness wash over me.

Memory first: Scully, dead, her body charred to the bone over a dam in Pennsylvania. Mulder, mad with grief and nearly broken. Me, striking a truce with him and bringing him the information that has led us both into our current path, angels of vengeance seeking the Consortium's destruction, and perhaps, if we're lucky, humanity's salvation as well.

Awareness, then: Mulder's warm body pressed against mine, my arm wrapped around his chest, my half-hard cock nudged against his ass. I am suddenly afraid to move, not wanting to disturb this moment, craving this contact, accidental as it may be.

Breathing slowly, I concentrate on Mulder, the feel of his skin, the rhythm of his heart. His ritual question echoes in my mind, why, why, why, until it becomes the axis around which my soul revolves. And as honest as the answer I gave him earlier tonight was, there is another answer as well, no less true, yet certainly more revealing, and much more damaging: for this. For this peace, this trust, this feeling of home. How sad that it can only happen by mistake, both of us forced to share the same bed because there was no other room available, our proximity involuntary, this closeness unintended. And Mulder asleep.

It's then that I sense it: a slight tensing in his body, his heartbeat accelerating, his breath changing from deep to shallow. If I was afraid to move before, I am now paralyzed by doubt. Should I stay like this and pretend I'm still asleep? Should I move away and apologize, forget this ever happened?

Mulder seems to share my dilemma, for he doesn't move either. Minutes tick by, seemingly like hours, tension eroding at my nerves until I know I must either end this torture or go mad; I begin to move my arm away from him.

Mulder stops me. His hand grips mine, fast and sure, our fingers entwining instinctively. I hold my breath as he guides my hand in a slow path down his body, this simple slide of skin on skin making me tingle everywhere. And then we're there, both our hands covering his erection. All the air in my lungs is expelled in a long, loud moan, and, unable to stop myself, I thrust at him, my cock now painfully hard. This draws a response out of Mulder: he moans, too, crying incoherently when my fingers close around him, stroking and squeezing.

My mouth fastens on his shoulder, and he grinds his ass against me, his hand leaving mine and reaching to find my hip, kneading my flesh and pushing me even more firmly against him. Whatever blood is still left in my brain rushes south, and I turn into a creature of instinct, utterly incapable of rational thought. I want to taste this man, feel him with every sense I possess, know him inside and out, in a way I have never known anyone or anything else in my life. I want him. I want him.

As if attuned to me -- and I can almost believe that he is -- he shifts on the bed, turning to face me. Grabbing the back of my head, he claims my lips in a kiss that is pure hunger, feeding on me, devouring me. I whimper into his mouth, and he swallows the sound, pulling me even tighter against him, forcing my mouth to open wider for him as he deepens the kiss. He rolls on top of me, presses me into the mattress, the whole length of his body against mine; and it's all sweetness, feeling bursting open between us, loneliness and fear and grief falling away until there's only need, only us. Sweetness, and heat and velvet and right, and my arm around him is pulling him down into me, closer, closer, come-closer-crawl-into-me-and-never-ever-leave, tongues mating, cocks rubbing, legs tangling.

I cling to him, dizzy and desperate. I've dreamed about this for as long as I can remember, and the nearest I ever came to it was the night I came to his apartment after Scully's death to find him sitting on the floor, his face devoid of expression and his eyes empty. I kissed him then, just barely brushing the corner of his mouth with my lips, and when I drew away I could see I'd lit an ember in his eyes, small and fragile. And that was the thing that undid me, undid us both -- kneeling in front of him, I offered him my gun, and my life, and all the secrets I knew, and he accepted them. And that ember grew into a blaze, and the blaze into an all-consuming fire, which we both brandish with extreme efficiency. And now that fire is consuming me, consuming us, melting us both into a single being as we kiss and kiss and kiss, and oh god I could die now, but he won't let me, each touch making me feel more alive than ever, and it's too strong, too good, too much, and with a groan I bury my fingers in his hair and pull, tearing his mouth from mine, my whole body trembling.

The darkness in the room has lightened into a pre-dawn greyness, and I can just make out his face as he looks at me, his hair mussed, his eyes dark, his lips bruised and swollen from our kisses. He's never looked more beautiful to me, the unexpected mixture of desire and tenderness in him breaking me, as I knew it would. I'm all cracked up as it is, my soul crisscrossed with fault lines, deep crevasses of pain. Years of it, his fists pounding into my flesh when all I wanted from him was softness. But I let him, I craved it, because those were his hands touching me. His hands, now caressing my skin and giving me the softness I've always prayed for, making me shiver, breaking me further, making me whole.

He holds my gaze with his, making it impossible to avert my eyes, making it unbearable to maintain it for long. I struggle to find my voice, and what finally comes out surprises us both.

"Why?" I ask him, mirroring his question. Everything between us reflecting away into infinity.

"You told me you'd help me find it, Alex," he rumbles, low and hoarse. He leans into me, brushes his lips against mine. Doesn't pull away even though my fingers in his hair are tugging at him, hard. "Help me find it," he whispers, and pushes his tongue in between my parted lips.

Am I the thing you're looking for, Mulder? My mind asks, fearing the answer. But my lips and my tongue and my soul kiss him back, speaking to him in a language only the heart understands. A language I know neither of us is fluent in.

Yet hope persists.


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