Behind The Mask

by Kashmir


     Date: Friday, June 06, 2003 12:49 AM
     Title: Behind The Mask
     Author: Kashmir (Kashmir_2u@yahoo.com)
     Rating: PG-13
     Pairing: M/K Implied
     Archive: Yes
     Summary: Monsters come in all shapes and sizes.

Notes: Thanks to Peach for the lyrics. A BIG thank you to Ladyluck for a quick beta. Written for the "Horror" X-Files Lyric Wheel.

Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the television program "The X Files" are the creations and property of Chris Carter, Fox Broadcasting, and Ten-Thirteen Productions.


Mulder glanced at the glowing numbers on the dashboard. Nearly 2:30 a.m. Halloween night.

Well, technically, November first, but people hadn't seemed to notice in this area. Witches, werewolves, vampires, and the living dead were all still shambling up and down the street, some weaving drunkenly, not quite willing to give up the costume just yet this year.

Samhain for the ancient Druids. Just the first day of a three day party where wearing dead livestock was all the rage. All Saints Day for the Roman Catholic Church. Mulder's saint was obviously out partying, because he was getting the feeling he was out of luck tonight. He had been looking for hours. He knew he had seen him leaving that bar, and that was no costume. Short, dark hair. Leather jacket. Tight jeans.

Not that he was looking.

He seemed to have a sort of sixth sense when Krycek was near. Something in his guts tensed and warmed at the man's proximity. Mulder didn't want to think too much about what that meant; he was just glad to have some advantage.

His body's glimmer of recognition, right out of the blue, impeded him this time. He lost precious moments stunned in immobility at being so close, so suddenly. He just sat, gaping, as the red light went green, then back to red, watching the other man retreat.

Knocking back a few beers with the gunmen earlier hadn't helped his reaction time, either. But how could he turn down an evening of watching Frohike cursing and bleeding as he carved the `official' jack-o-lantern for the front porch. It had been a bang up job, though, the frozen scream carved into it's shell almost completely detracted attention from the camera mounted inside. Those boys really brought paranoia to a whole new level. "You just never know who's behind the mask, Mulder." A tipsy Langly had taken him aside to impart that little bit of wisdom.

The old, hardwired, response kicked in soon enough. To follow, to find. Unfortunately, by then he had lost sight of him. The throng of costumed bar-hoppers closed ranks around him as soon as he had passed. All he had now was Krycek's general direction. He hoped that would be enough.

It wasn't that he was going to arrest Krycek. He'd had a few too many for that tonight. He simply wanted to know what the man was up to. Yes, that was it, Mulder told himself. Just wanted to know how his Halloween was going, whose house was he trick-or-treating at this year, that sort of thing.

He was approaching yet another dimly lit block of buildings that had seen better days when a blur of activity caught his eye.

Two teenagers, one donning a pirate costume, the other wearing a Spiderman outfit, were chasing after a white ball of fur, one hurtling rocks and missing by a mile, the other egging him on with "Yeah! Get it!". The cat took a quick turn into an alley, with them right behind it.

Mulder sighed. "Why does this always happen to me?" His hopes of finding Krycek fading, he did a sloppy job of parallel parking at the opposite curb, got out and jogged over to the alley.

The lone streetlight didn't quite catch the alley, and there seemed to be a shadow on the moon, filtering the already inadequate light. He crouched, using the wall for cover, while he got a visual on the situation. He could see the rock-chucker on his knees by a large trash bin, shiny pirate pants creeping down his wide ass. The other one was hunkering down beside him, removing his mask to get a better view. The small amount of light in the alley gave his acne a gruesome glow, and shone off of his greasy hair.

The pirate seemed to have the cat by the tail, tugging with ruthless abandon as he attempted to yank the cat out from under the bin.

"C'mon, you fuckin' hairball, come on out and have some fun with us."

The skinny, greasy Spiderman deftly produced a switchblade from his pocket, and flicked it with a practiced ease. "Yeah, come on kitty. We're going to have a GOOD time." He punctuated this statement with a bray of laughter.

Great, he thought. These two couldn't be any older than sixteen. The way they were going after that animal it certainly wouldn't take them any time at all to mature to a taste for their fellow human beings. Well, time to nip this in the bud. Mulder was in the middle of rising to advance on them, when movement on the other side of the alley caught his attention.

"Well, what the fuck do we have here?" Those low, gravelly tones were unmistakable.

As Krycek stepped out from the darkness, Mulder's guts fluttered violently, almost as if they were trying to catch up from being so startled. The two junior thugs mirrored his reaction almost simultaneously, dropping the cat's tail in surprise. It scrambled to relative safety further under the garbage bin.

Krycek loomed over the two punks, who were still on their knees. He was leaning back on his heels, arms crossed, all menace. Mulder swallowed with a suddenly dry throat, waiting for this to play out.

Spidey turned his attention, and the switchblade, on the intrusion. He seemed to pale a bit as he got his first good look at his challenger. "This ain't your business," he squeaked out.

The pirate gained his feet as well, giving his southbound pants a sound yank on the way up. "Yeah, none of your business, fag. Why don't you find another alley to sell your ass in."

Krycek's bored expression cracked for a moment, as he grinned at their implications. He caught himself quick enough, and got back to business.

"No, boys, unfortunately for you, I have an entirely different reason for being in this alley. You see," Krycek took a step closer, "I am a founding member of the... `Association for the Care of... Kittens'." He stopped for a moment to compose yet another smirk.

Mulder rolled his eyes. He would like to see the stationary for that organization. `ACK'. I guess that whole `dork' persona earlier in his career hadn't been a total sham. He entertained the notion of Krycek running around town with a big ladder, fetching cats out of trees for a moment, then tuned back in as Krycek continued.

"It is my sworn duty to protect felines everywhere from stupid dickheads, like yourselves. By using any force I deem necessary."

While Spidey seemed to be buying what Krycek was selling, the pirate was unimpressed. He raised a meaty fist, lumbering towards Krycek slowly. "I mean it cocksucker, get the fuck out...."

That was as far as his threat got as Krycek took one final step towards his prey and brought his knee up squarely into the pirate's groin. The kid gave a high-pitched whimper, folding to his knees, his hands clutching his abused privates.

Spidey took that opportunity to attempt to stick Krycek with his knife, taking a wild, sweeping lunge at his side. Krycek fended off the attack with his left arm. It made a solid `thwack' as it came into contact with the boy's hand, effectively causing him to drop the switchblade. Krycek countered with an impressive right, knocking the greasy head back against the alley wall.

Krycek took a moment to retrieve the blade at his feet, then gave the kid on the ground a hard shove. There was no resistance as he fell, still writhing in pain. Spiderman was cowering against the wall in abject terror, clutching his bleeding nose.

Krycek placed his foot on the head of the prone assailant, and directed his attention to the one against the wall.

"You see," he began in an ordinary tone, as if he was discussing the weather, "our association is very dedicated to the protection of this species. And we are everywhere." The punk was shaking in his shoes as Krycek pinned him to the wall with his left forearm. "There isn't a place where we don't exist and protect. There is nowhere to hide from us."

Mulder jumped at the shrill squeal coming from the pirate. He had been so enraptured by Krycek's little speech he had almost forgotten about the other boy, who had foolishly attempted to roll out from under Krycek's boot, causing even more pressure to be applied to his cranium.

"Don't move, lard-ass, or I will pop your head like a grape."

The kid whimpered in submission, and remained still.

"Now," Krycek returned his attention to the one pinned to the wall, "so you won't forget, and so the rest of my `association' will know you by sight." He moved so quickly, Mulder wasn't even sure what had happened, until piercing shrieks bounced off the dirty bricks of the alley. Krycek pulled back to admire his work, giving Mulder an excellent view as well. Krycek had carved a bloody "K" in the center of the kid's oily forehead. The shrieks continued, until Krycek belted him in the solar plexus, and the screaming stopped immediately. As he attempted to crumple, Krycek once again pulled him up square, taking another look at his handiwork.

"Perfect."

He gave the pirate's head a little farewell shove, then removed his arm from Spidey and stepped away.

"Now, you boys remember what I said. We have eyes everywhere. You even look at another animal and you'll be even sorrier than you are now. Understood?"

Spiderman had gone fish-belly white, his head jerking in assent, as much as it could with him still clutching his forehead. The pirate had gotten to his feet, finally, and gave a piteous "Yes, sir."

"Good. Now blow."

They staggered away as quickly as they could, not noticing Mulder, who had been crouching in the same spot since this little drama began. He watched them until they were a good distance away.

"Enjoy the show, Mulder?"

Mulder jumped at Krycek's voice. In all the excitement he had almost forgotten what he was here looking for in the first place. He stood, stretching his legs for a moment, although no more than minutes had passed since he had first spotted the cat.

Krycek favored him with a little smirk as he got down on one knee and leaned over to peer under the bin. "You can come out now, cat. They're gone. Here kitty, kitty."

Mulder was still trying to get his head around the recent turn of events, but that didn't stop him from admiring the view Krycek was offering. The leather jacket had rucked up a bit, giving him a great view of those tight jeans he had told himself he wasn't noticing earlier. He was about to ask what Krycek had really been doing in this alley, and possibly inquire what twenty bucks would get him - just for the sake of pissing Krycek off, when the cat decided to make an appearance.

She sidled out from the opposite end where Krycek was kneeling, dramatically arching her back and rubbing herself against the edge. She looked to be of Persian descent, well fed, with a rhinestone collar, too. Other than being dirty, she seemed no worse for wear.

Krycek righted himself, and leaned over to pet the cat, when she hissed indignantly, and twitched her tail at him. Having decided that she had made her point, she slipped off behind a few dilapidated boxes.

Krycek stood, watching the cat depart. Mulder watched Krycek. "What?"

"Krycek. What you just did could almost be considered...um...nice. I guess you just never know, huh?"

"Know what?" With a quick flick of his wrist Krycek returned the blade to the handle. While Mulder was mildly impressed with the fluidity of the motion, his cock was absolutely entranced with the action. Jesus, he thought distractedly, the things that will blow your skirt up.

"What's really behind the mask." Although this train of thought made perfect sense to Mulder, Krycek seemed perplexed, and he really didn't feel like explaining the bit of wisdom Langly had imparted earlier this evening. He changed the subject. "So... what were you doing here? Besides your duty for the `Association', that is."

"Nothing, just thought it was a good place to spend Halloween. You never know what is going to jump out of the garbage cans."

Mulder regarded him shrewdly. "Not meeting anyone?"

Krycek gave him that wide-eyed innocent look that had been so popular back when he was an agent, "Me? Meeting someone? No, not at all."

"Uh, huh. Lets say, hypothetically, if you did meet someone, and they had some information for you, wouldn't it be easier to tell me now? It would save you from breaking into my apartment. Again." Although I can't say I wouldn't mind a visit, Mulder finished mentally.

Krycek smiled, "Mulder, Mulder, Mulder. You know if there was anything, I wouldn't hesitate to tell you. I'm just out here, celebrating in my own style. I could ask you the same question. What's a fine agent like yourself doing in an alley like this?"

"Just doing my part for `ACK', same as you." Krycek's brow furrowed at this for a moment, then his expression lightened, as he got the joke as well. It was kind of nice, Mulder thought, just the two of them, shooting the breeze, almost normal. The beers he had drunk, and Krycek dealing with the scene earlier had put him at ease. He noticed Krycek looking across the street at something.

"Well, if you're going to arrest me, I guess those guys stealing your hubcaps will just have to get in line."

"What? Hubcaps?" He turned to see two clowns with crowbars beginning to effectively strip his car.

Mulder bolted from the alley, gun drawn, yelling "Federal Agent! Drop the crowbar!" The clowns took off, their big shoes flopping noisily on the pavement.

Mulder returned a few minutes later, slightly out of breath and hubcap in hand, to a deserted alley. He stood for a moment wondering if he should try to catch up to Krycek. Suddenly feeling very tired, he sat on the curb, elbows on his knees, hands in his hair.

He looked up in time to catch the cat as she made her final appearance, trotting by Mulder, her prey dangling limply from her jaws.

"Well, at least one of us got their rat." Mulder sighed heavily, got up and returned to his car. He contemplated returning the hubcap to it's proper place, shrugged, and tossed it in the back seat instead.

He climbed in and sat for a moment, and gave some serious thought to getting a cat.

-END-


     This Is Halloween
     Danny Elfman 

     Boys and girls of every age
     Wouldn't you like to see something strange?

     Come with us and you will see
     This, our town of Halloween

     This is Halloween, this is Halloween
     Pumpkins scream in the dead of night

     This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
     Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
     It's our town, everybody scream
     In this town of Halloween

     I am the one hiding under your bed
     Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red

     I am the one hiding under your stairs
     Fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair

     This is Halloween, this is Halloween

     Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!
     In this town we call home
     Everyone hail to the pumpkin song

     In this town, don't we love it now?
     Everybody's waiting for the next surprise

     Round that corner, man hiding in the trash can
     Something's waiting now to pounce, and how you'll scream

     Scream! This is Halloween
     Red 'n' black, slimy green

     Aren't you scared?

     Well, that's just fine
     Say it once, say it twice
     Take the chance and roll the dice
     Ride with the moon in the dead of night

     Everybody scream, everybody scream
     In our town of Halloween

     I am the clown with the tear-away face
     Here in a flash and gone without a trace

     I am the "who" when you call, "Who's there?"
     I am the wind blowing through your hair

     I am the shadow on the moon at night
     Filling your dreams to the brim with fright

     This is Halloween, this is Halloween
     Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!
     Halloween! Halloween!

     Tender lumplings everywhere
     Life's no fun without a good scare

     That's our job, but we're not mean
     In our town of Halloween

     In this town
     Don't we love it now?
     Everyone's waiting for the next surprise

     Skeleton Jack might catch you in the back
     And scream like a banshee
     Make you jump out of your skin
     This is Halloween, everyone scream
     Won't ya please make way for a very special guy

     Our man Jack is king of the pumpkin patch
     Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King now

     This is Halloween, this is Halloween
     Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

     In this town we call home
     Everyone hail to the pumpkin song

"No! You're dead!" Mulder says. "Maybe. But I'm still pretty," Krycek retorts. Not really. I mean, he doesn't really say that; don't worry, he's still quite attractive. - The Truth (Part I) Recap, Television Without Pity
 

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