Title: Names, Dates, Bits and Pieces
Lyric Wheel/Poetry Wheel November 2003
Spoilers: Canon through May of 2000, Season 6 - AU after that
Warnings: This might be humor. On the other hand, it might not be humorous at all.
Disclaimer: The XF properties belong to the Fox Conglomerate.
Notes: Thanks to Tarsh for the exceptional poetry choices.
Names, Dates, Bits and Pieces
Mulder watched the sunset without seeing it. As the mauve sky flamed orange a final time, he became aware that another day had ended without him appreciating it. He uncapped the nearby bottle of water and drank. His right hand shook slightly and when he removed the bottle from his lips, some of the water dribbled down his chin. Absently, he wiped his chin with the back of his left hand and drank some more.
Today was the third anniversary of Scully's death. Today was his forty-second birthday. Today had dawned, spun out its seconds, minutes, and hours and concluded. Today he was alone, like yesterday and the day before that. In a few weeks it would be the thirtieth anniversary of Samantha's abduction.
Today was one year, three weeks and four days since he'd been silenced and forced to resign from the FBI.
Today was two years, three months and two days since the conspiracy had been revealed, and the world found out about aliens in their midst. Far from being outlawed, outcast or prosecuted, the conspiracy members had been viewed as far-reaching thinkers, planners and heroes.
Most of the old guard conspirators had become extremely visible Talking Heads on every news show, and paid big bucks to appear on the lecture circuit, give graduation speeches at famous universities, and have institutes and NASA missions named in their honor.
Mulder lived on. He occupied space and time in a double-wide trailer at the far end of a ragtag lot outside of Phoenix, Arizona. The place had a mini-mart with a refrigerated food section, an ATM machine, a gas station and two working telephone booths. His trailer was larger than his apartment, but the one bedroom remained a repository for files, junk, and a large chest of drawers for his clothes. The closet, which contained his suits, ties, collection of porn tapes and magazines, and cell phone, was blocked by an unused mattress and bed frame still stacked in their protective plastic, exactly the way he'd purchased them.
The dining area was his office. He wrote letters to newspaper editors that were never published. He contributed to websites that were ignored by virtually everyone. He had four thousand pages of Truth about the Evil Empire, annotated, illustrated, and properly footnoted. The Gunmen lived in perpetual hope that he would allow them to serialize it someday.
It was October 13, 2003 and there was no hint of fall in the air, no trees with changeable leaves. Alex Krycek, the one conspirator missing from the Party hoopla and the absent from quotes by the Party line, was driving a camper towards Phoenix.
He had the window rolled down and rested his prosthetic arm comfortably in the open space. Since the arm didn't get hot or sunburned, Krycek appreciated the air, blowing in his face, unimpeded. He wore a tee shirt and the strange looks from occupants of other vehicles, as they neared, shared red lights or passed him, concerned him not at all.
He wasn't hiding. He wasn't undercover or at-large. He simply didn't matter anymore. He'd been expunged instead of incarcerated, assassinated or eliminated. Bygones were bygones as far as his former associates were concerned. It was the worst thing that could have happened to him and he hated it.
He pulled into a service station in a shopping center anchored by a large grocery store at one end and a K Mart at the other end. He left the camper to be refueled, refilled with water in the supply tanks, and the sewage system drained and flushed. He pressed a twenty in the sweaty palm of a teenaged attendant, with the engine key, and told the kid to park it while he shopped.
The kid said, "Yes, sir."
Krycek hummed "Yes Sir, that's my baby... No Sir, I don't mean maybe..." as he walked across the lot. The camper didn't have a tape deck or a CD player anymore and Krycek decided, somewhere outside of Las Vegas, that the choice between Country, Gospel, and Oldies radio stations, really sucked. He'd had more than enough of Garth Brooks, the Gatlin Brothers, and Ricky Nelson and intended to purchase the best boom box K Mart had to offer, along with as many CD's as he recognized.
He bought a lot of other stuff, still unused to having the dubious space of a camper to call his own, and to keep junk in, which wasn't lost, tossed, or abandoned each time he'd had to run, or was marooned in Kazakhstan, or changed identities.
He had plenty of money. Spender hadn't even bothered to annex his accounts when he'd eliminated Krycek from active, if highly suspect, allegiance to the conspiracy.
Krycek walked back across the lot, threw the stuff on the passenger side of the camper, paid for the services, drove to the spot closest to the grocery store and went inside. He enjoyed grocery stores since he'd rejoined the part of humanity that didn't eat all their meals in restaurants, although the abundance of Halloween candy and displays of Thanksgiving merchandise struck him as overkill. He hadn't been able to recall a time when he'd actually shopped for his own food before one year, three weeks and five days ago.
That had been the day Spender had called a meeting and explained Krycek's termination to him. Krycek had been happy enough, then, to get his life instead of a gold watch. Now, he wasn't so sure life was worth it. He had no more ambition to rule the world, or be major or minor warlord or drug dealer. Six months of kicking around all the pleasure palaces and other places of interest he hadn't had time to previously explore, had been enough.
He tried settling in a nicely appointed hotel, a cabin in the woods, and on a houseboat. The hotel had been claustrophobic and too many people watched him come and go, ordinary, non-threatening people, but he wasn't used to it. The woods were beautiful, but brought nightmares to mind in the leaf blowing, undergrowth crackling, snow covered darkness. The houseboat had been a total disaster in one-armed frustration.
So, he'd taken to life on the road. He'd been outraged when the camper had been burgled and the tape deck and his tapes had been stolen. He knew he'd lost his edge when he saw the damn things in a pawnshop a few towns away, and hadn't felt the need to interrogate the owner for the whereabouts of the thieves. Instead, he'd felt fortunate they hadn't had time to get beneath the floorboards and steal his weapons, files, and computer.
Lately, it occurred to him, that Mulder, who'd been the reason he'd been drafted by Spender in the first place and whose elimination from the field had been the cause of his termination, might appreciate his hoard of information. It also occurred to Krycek that Mulder was also the person who would want to see him least of all, for any reason.
Nonetheless, Krycek felt, in a rare burst of partisanship, that Mulder probably found being a nonentity as insipid as he did.
Krycek loaded fresh fruit, choice steaks and cold beer into his small refrigerator. He added a large bag of briquettes and a can of starter fluid to the supply box, and secured the rest of the bags in the camper. Unless Mulder shot him on sight, in which case Mulder would have eat the food alone, he couldn't actually prevent Krycek from renting a space at the same trailer park.
He chose a spot across the sandy lot, at the far end of the line, nearest to Mulder's mobile home, just as sunset flavored the sky with unearthly colors. The lot manager hurriedly set up his connections to water, sewage and electricity, tossed a Rule Pamphlet his way, and went back to the office in time to watch Wheel of Fortune.
Krycek noticed Mulder seemed disinclined to play Welcome Neighbor and remained, staring at the sky and uninterested in the new guy on the block. Krycek put the Rule Book and his rental contract in a drawer. The date finally struck him, October 13, and the almost forgotten fact about Mulder's birthday came to mind. With a sharp intake of breath, Krycek remembered Scully had died on this date as well.
He'd been busy elsewhere, but some gossip had later some his way. Uncharacteristically, Scully had gone to a party. Krycek wasn't sure if it had been a party for Mulder or not. He thought not. In any case, there had been a fire in the club's kitchen and Scully had died a heroic death, rescuing someone, only to expire of smoke inhalation.
Krycek sat on his bunk. What a fucking mess. Mulder's birthday, a fire, death, and the tragic loss of his most treasured companion, all on the same day. He wondered how he'd forgotten the significance of the date until now.
He sat on the bunk a long time, and when dusk turned to night, he remained, sitting in the dark. At length, he dug beneath the bed, opened the floorboard hatch, and found his gun. He checked the weapon. It was loaded. He put the gun in the drawer with his other papers, one of which was a note to Mulder consigning him with all his worldly goods.
Krycek had written the letter months ago, after the houseboat fiasco. Now, far from water, snow, rustling underbrush, soft beds and softer women, he had no doubt about the veracity of the note.
He heard the unforgettable sound of a badly hung screen door, clatter shut in the dark stillness of the night. He imagined he could hear a drawer open, the weight of a body sitting down heavily on an old, sagging, leather couch, and the infinitesimal click of the safety, on a well oiled gun, being unlocked.
Krycek waited for the deafening bang that would blow the night all to pieces. He stared into the murky corners of his small space. He waited a long time.
Stiff, sore and surprisingly, cold, in the well-insulated camper, Krycek finally moved. He lay down, covered himself with a rough horsehair, genuine Native American blanket, and curled up into a tight ball on his small bunk.
He watched the long night eventually lighten and the confines of his space elongate and become distinguishable, as ordinary things, once again.
He heard the squeaky whine of shower pipes, moan, from across the way, and rose, throwing off the scratchy blanket.
He and Mulder had a lot to talk about, a lot. Soon, Krycek thought, they would speak volumes.
The cat spends long hours
and any day now I expect
a new book,
CORNERS -- THEORY AND PRACTICE
maybe only a couple volumes,
but thorough, very thorough
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