Requiem's End

by Maxine

Title: Requiem's End
Author: Maxine
Website: Pairing: Sk/K
Summary: Things aren't always as they appear Warnings: None
Notes: In answer to Peja's challenge at xfilesfic lj community. This is my second clear attempt at an X-Files fic. Thanks Polly for the quick and efficient beta. All mistakes are still mine.

"It all began with a missing tube of lube."

"Sir?" Mulder queried.

Skinner sighed and continued to stare out the window of his balcony.

Mulder wasn't sure if the older man would elaborate; then again he wasn't sure he truly wanted to know.

"I kept lube in the glove compartment of my car. The door hinge would squeak and it annoyed the hell out of me," Skinner shrugged. "One day, after listening to that irritating grind for days, I reached into the glove compartment to get the tube, but it wasn't there. I couldn't remember removing it or running out."

"Sir, what does this have to do with wanting to keep Krycek safe?"

"He took it. To keep me safe," Skinner snorted. "He thought I was visiting some less reputable places, and was afraid the smoking bastard would find out. As if I wouldn't or couldn't go buy more and continue."

"Why were you using KY Jelly as a lubricant for a door hinge?"

"It was Astroglide, and because it was the only fucking thing that stopped the noise, even for a little while! Why else, Agent?"

It was Mulder's turn to shrug.

"Anyway, it was late, too late that night to go and buy more. The next morning, Krycek found me in the drugstore..."

"You didn't find that suspect?"

"Of course I did! I even asked him if he was following me. He said yes. He offered to explain why if we could go somewhere he knew to be safe."

"You trusted him?"

"At the time, I didn't have any reason not to. Yes, I thought it strange that one of my agents had broken into my car and took a personal item, but it seemed harmless at the same time."

"So, you went with him."

"Yes. When we got there, he explained why he had taken it. Even admitted to knowing it probably wouldn't stop me from buying more. That's how he ended up at my drugstore, he'd been keeping it and a couple of others under surveillance. He then went on to tell me everything else. How he'd been trapped by the Consortium, what his orders were at the time, and that he was leaving the Bureau soon."

"So, you've known all these years that Alex Krycek was a spy?" Mulder barked.

"I've known all these years that Alex Krycek was doing what he had to do, what he needed to do to survive and help mankind live through what those bastards had planned. And now I'm the reason we have one less person on our side."

Skinner whirled around to face Mulder, his eyes wet.

"I killed him in cold blood! There was no reason for that third bullet. You know that as well as I do!"

"Sir, he was out of control. He wanted you to shoot me. You had no choice." Mulder tried to soothe his boss.

"Didn't I? Christ, Mulder, he was already down. All I had to do was turn away. You were safe, and Scully was safe. And now I have to live the rest of my life knowing that I killed the one person who meant the difference between me being happy and miserable."

"What?" Mulder was startled by this revelation.

"Alex and I have been lovers ever since he left the Bureau."

"Even after the nanobytes?"

"Yes," Skinner sighed. "I knew."

"You knew? That Krycek infected you?"

"I told him to. The other choice was you. I couldn't allow them to have that kind of control over you, Mulder. If they had, your cause, your mission would've died even if they didn't kill you."

"Quite noble of you, sir," Mulder's voice dripped with sarcasm.

"Fuck you, Mulder!" Skinner raged. "I've been protecting your ass for years and what have I gotten for my trouble? A gun in my face, yours and Scully's mistrust and the death of my career, so excuse me if I'm not too sympathetic to your outrage."

Mulder stared at him.

"What are you going to do?" He eventually asked.

"I'm done at the Bureau, Mulder. The minute someone gets their hands on the tape from the parking garage, and I have no doubt someone will, I'm gone anyway. Hell, I'll be lucky if they don't put me in jail and throw away the key."

"Not if I can help it," a whispered voice behind Mulder caused both men to jump and grab for their guns.

When the body belonging to the voice came out of the shadows, Skinner gasped.

"Krycek," Mulder spat.

"Alex!" Skinner pushed past Mulder and pulled the younger man into his arms. "Jesus! Alex! You're all right? How? What happened?"

Krycek burrowed deep into the embrace. "I'm fine, Walter. It wasn't me. It wasn't me," he whispered, consoling his trembling lover. "I'm sorry I didn't get word to you. I couldn't risk it."

Mulder stood back with his mouth agape as he watched the two men comfort each other. He took a deep breath; "What happened, Krycek?"

Alex pulled out of Walter's arms slightly and looked at his former partner.

"They wanted Walter gone, they knew he'd do anything to keep you safe. Spender knew killing me would insure that."

"So they know? About us?" Walter asked.

Alex shook his head. "No. If they did, it would have been me in that garage. No, they assumed that you hated me enough to go for the kill. Like you said, they'd then use the tape to push you out of the Bureau. They can't, now. There is no tape, but that was Spender's plan."

"No tape? How? What did you do, Alex?"

"Me? Nothing, someone else took care of it."

"Who?" Walter asked.

"Does it matter?"

"Yes, I need to know who I'm indebted to."

"Later," Alex whispered. He stepped away from Walter and met Mulder's accusing gaze head on.

"Mulder, you need to go to Scully, make sure she's safe. Doggett will take you to her location. He's waiting for you, two blocks from your apartment. Whatever you do, do not go to your place tonight. Stop on the way for clothes, whatever you need."

"Why should I trust you, Krycek?"

"You know what! Don't, asshole, go to your apartment. Die for all I care. I'm tired of saving your sorry ass only for you to beat the shit out of me every time I turn around."

"The last time I trusted you, Krycek, I was abducted. Excuse the fuck out of me, if I have a problem doing it again."

"No, moron, you were abducted because you couldn't hold your curiosity at bay for five fucking minutes. They never would have taken you if you haven't walked away from Walter. I had made sure of it. Of course, I should have counted on your inability to curb yourself."

"How did you make sure of it, Alex?" Walter inquired.

"The key chain I gave you, it has a jammer in it. The aliens can't track their chips if the person is near one or carrying one of their own. I didn't think Mulder would accept a gift from me, so I gave it to you."

"But you knew there'd be a time when we weren't together. It can't have that wide of a range on it," Mulder surmised.

"No, but I know Walter. He'd let you drive; you'd have the key chain on you most of the time. Actually, I had counted on that." Alex shrugged. "My fault, you're right Mulder, it's my fault you were abducted. I'm not as well versed in 'Mulder movement' as I thought I was."

"Alex," Walter whispered. "Let's get you to bed, you're tired."

"Yeah, I am tired, but not physically. I'm tired of fighting, weary from having to explain my every action on all sides. Look, Mulder, just this one time, do you think you could take my word for it that going to your place isn't safe? For once in your life listen to another voice aside from the ones in your head. Doggett's waiting. Go be with Scully."

Mulder looked as if he was going to argue. Only Skinner's glare stopped him.

"You know the way out, Agent Mulder. I'll approve personal time if you don't show up for work tomorrow."

Walter turned from Mulder, took hold of Alex, and walked the younger man upstairs.

"Good night," Mulder murmured to no one and left the apartment, making sure the door locked behind him.

"I can't believe you took him that story," Alex chuckled.

"Well, it was true, it all started with a tube of lube," Walter laughed.

The End
05 Jan 30

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