Not Everything

by Verily

TITLE: Not Everything
AUTHOR: Verily
DISTRIBUTION: Archive Freely

SPOILERS: Existence, The Truth, Biogenesis

SUMMARY: The problem is that even though he can rationalize it, he can't believe in it, and he feels himself splitting under the strain.

Disclaimers: The X-files, Mulder, and Krycek belong to FOX and 1013 Productions. I do not own them. It's probably a good thing.

Author's Notes: Was anyone happy with Existence? Not me. I don't really know why I wrote this piece. Call it Krycek judging himself. Or call it crap. I did my own beta on this one, so I take full responsibility for any and all mistakes. This will be totally incomprehensible if you haven't seen the three spoiler episodes that I reference up top. But it might be fun to read anyway.


He has a fantasy sometimes. I'd call it a dream, but he wants it to be true. So it's a fantasy. Anyway. When it starts, he's drowning. The water is cold, but not shockingly so, not the thirty-two degree knife to the gut that he's felt before. No, it's just pleasantly cold, enough to make him numb. He looks up and can see the gray sky. The air is only a few feet above him. It's a cloudy day, and the wind is blowing. I'm not sure how he knows that, because he's under the water. As he's looking, a shape moves across the sky. It's blurred and dark against the gray/white of the clouds. Before he can sink any lower, it plunges toward him, and he reaches up instinctively. His hand meets another hand, and he can feel himself pulled up into the wind and the air. He's gasping on the wood of the dock. He looks up again, not so far this time, and he--nevermind. It's not important. You don't want to hear this stuff.

The morning after he met Mulder was the first time he had really looked at himself in the mirror. He didn't spend much time in front of mirrors. But that morning, he thinks now it might have been a Wednesday, he stared at himself as he might stare at a file he was studying. Self-examination wasn't something he usually subjected himself to. He didn't think it was possible for him to indulge in such things in his chosen profession. But now he felt almost compelled to compare himself to Mulder. He got things done. Mulder didn't. He was ruthlessly efficient. Mulder wasn't. In fact, Mulder was a different story entirely. The man made the most ridiculous and implausible leaps, which he could only sometimes provide a logical explanation for. And somehow, despite his fucked up childhood, his fucked up family, and his fucked up head, he had managed to hold onto his beliefs and almost all of his integrity. And the Consortium had been worried enough to try and put a leash on him.

But enough of the fucking introspection. So you've met Krycek. Don't be fooled by that moment in front of the mirror garbage. He really is a rat bastard at heart. If he has a heart. Because not ten minutes after that little self-examination session he went right back to work, gaining Mulder's trust with his right hand, and fucking the man over with his left. Do you want to know what lies he told himself? He told himself that it was for the good of his country. And then later when he knew more, he told himself that it was for the good of his God damned planet. As if he had a personal stake in saving anyone's life but his own. It was so easy for him to kill. So easy to lie, to cheat. Shit. I promised no more introspection. All right. I'll tell you how it all went down.

They, and by They I mean the syndicate, recruited him to be one of Them. He was twenty-four years old, and already rising in the ranks of the KGB. He jumped tracks, and started working for the Russian end of the consortium. After two years of good work, the Russians had a proposition for him. Go to America, they said, and rejoin the Consortium. Climb the ranks and learn what the Americans have done with their vaccine. He spoke English without an accent and he had some medical training, so they sent him to Quantico, setting him up to be handpicked for the American end of the Consortium. And let me tell you, it worked like a charm. Spender snapped him up within six months of his arrival. He graduated and was given a boring job: build a cover. Then came his assignment. Fox William Mulder, profiler extraordinaire, had "developed a consuming devotion to a project outside the bureau mainstream," a project which in the past two years had come closer and closer to unmasking Their interests. He took the job: gain Mulder's trust and sit on him. Block him. Frustrate him. Stop him. And he did. He stole the report that Mulder's informant handed over on the experimental platoon in Vietnam. He told them what Mulder was doing, and stood back, eyes narrowed, when Mulder and Scully conversed in hushed tones.

He did his job and he did it well. So of course they screwed him over. A little car-bombing here, a little arm hacking there, the swipe of a blade, the crack of a punch, the quiet sound of a desk drawer closing--he hears them all as he drives his prosthetic through the glass of a car window. But how much does pain matter to him? Is he untouchable because he's human Teflon and everything slides right off, or does he really get cut every time, and simply not feel it because he's made of scar tissue and plastic and nothing hurts when there are no nerves left to register the pain. Is that why he can do this now? Does he even know why he's doing it? Personally, I don't believe there are any answers to these questions, but he does. He believes in answers, and that's what you have to keep in mind, if you want to understand this. If anyone can understand this.

He doesn't know what he's saying, he's not even listening to himself anymore, or to Mulder. He's watching this all play out like he's not even involved, wondering how he's going to do it, if he can do it, what it will look like after he's done it, whether some kind of divine intervention is going to intervene and save both of them. Or one of them. And if it does choose to save only one, then which will it be? If there is a driving force to the universe, an invisible wave that carries events forward, hurling through the medium of space-time, then is he riding the wave, or is it towering over him, about to come crashing down? His finger is on the trigger and you know he's ruthless and I know he's ruthless, and even HE knows that he's ruthless. But he's still not shooting. Not quite. Not quite yet. He's talking to himself. He's telling himself it's for the good of his country, that it's better this way, that Mulder would rather be dead than face what's coming, but the problem is that even though he can rationalize it, he can't believe in it and he feels himself splitting under the strain.

Literally splitting. But I'm telling you, don't feel sorry for him. It might be tempting, but he DESERVES this. So the universe is just after all, and meets out punishment where punishment is due. God, and they tell you life's not fair. That's just another fucking lie, or so it seems. He supposes that if the universe is really and truly fair, that Mulder will somehow get saved, again, miraculously. Because now that he's made his choice, and now that his finger is tightening on the trigger, the only thing that would MORE FAIR than this would be if he somehow failed. Do you find this confusing? I'll explain it again in different words. Choice is a punishment. Just ask Eve. Some choices are truly horrible, and because of what Krycek is, because of what he's done, he deserves this, this most horrible of options, the pain of bleeding out between a rock and a hard place. But even more than that, the final kick in the teeth (and he's taken many in his time) is that he knows he chose wrong. The tidal wave is coming and it crashes down on him with the sound of a shot.

Straight into the good arm, and he knows he's lost it now. He knows which way the pendulum is swinging and it's straight at his head. Which brings us back to the dream. The fantasy. The hallucination, maybe. He's seeing double now, and I don't mean in the concussed sense. I mean two images superimposed upon one another. Is this normal? Does one normally see this when one is about to die? Don't ask me; after all, I haven't died. He's wondering that. Whether this is normal. He's pretty sure it's not. His brain seems to be processing on multiple levels, all at the same time, as if it KNOWS somehow that this is its last fucking chance, and maybe, maybe in the last few seconds that one extra burst of neural activity will be enough to ensure that consciousness endures. That something endures. So he's glancing between Mulder and Skinner's gun, wondering if it's too late to get religion, wondering if he has faith, reaching toward the weapon, reaching toward that shadow on the pier. He touches both and neither, but he really does see the two scenes. Parking garage. Cloudy pier. Bleeding to death. Drowning. Does it really make a difference how it all ends?

But there is something that appeals to him about the water. Seriously, what's with this guy? Don't most men fantasize about women in dark motel rooms? For him it's always been the forgiving darkness of the ocean. So that's the image he tries to hold onto, that's what he grafts himself to, and he knows he's going to die but he wants to live. He wants to live, damn it. But then something goes wrong and the images break down, and I'm trying to tell him that he's been shot in the head but he's not really capable of processing that at this point for obvious reasons.

And that, my friends, is how we reached this moment. He chose this somehow, or this is how what's left of his brain is processing death. The parking garage is totally gone, and we're here together, under the water, looking up at that gray sky again. And he's still reaching for that shadow, as if he still believes he could break through to the air. I think, though, if I told him right now to give up, he would do it. He's tired. Nine years is a long time to fight. If he gave up now, we'd sink together into the forgiving depths, just off the coast of wherever this psychic beach is mentally located. But you see, I've seen the end of this little fantasy of his, and I'm truly intrigued about what might happen if I let it play out.

This is something I never told anyone. That he never told anyone. (But who, after all, would we tell?) He started having this drowning dream around the same time that the artifact surfaced on the coast of Africa. If you really want to get specific about it, if you want to get downright spooky about it, he had this dream every single night that Mulder was catatonic. So of course, I have my theories about who is standing up there, making that shadow on this blue and nameless beach. So we keep reaching, he and I, but it's pretty obvious that we're going to get absolutely nowhere without a little help from the other side.

Typically, it takes forever for Mulder to get around to it and pull us out of this psychic limbo, but suddenly-

"You're dead!" Mulder shouts incredulously.

Krycek's mouth quirks slightly as he holds the door.


If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Verily