As he slides into the driver's seat, an uneasy feeling of dread slithers into his gut, a shiver of foreboding which makes the tiny hairs in the back of his neck stand alert at the sensation. He takes a shaky breath and concentrates on the solid feeling of the car seat where it joins his body, connects with him, supports him.
He doesn't want to be this suspicious. He doesn't want to doubt.
He lets his eyes slide shut for a moment, and leans his head back against the headrest with an empty sigh.
Unwanted images immediately flicker into focus behind his eyelids. Fragments of memory he doesn't wish to collect and put together. Not this time. He doesn't want to be that person, that paranoid spooky person that everyone thinks he is. He wants to believe. And he wants to trust him.
The images form a movie in his head. An eerie whisper of recollection, complete with the tingles of brief touch and vibrating silence, occasionally broken by a husky whisper, the uncertainty of what to say, how to say it, or when. And then, finally, the eye contact. All of it relived with the intensity and clarity of a flash back.
Mulder can't help a shiver to pass through his body at the hurried sensations, and he can't help but to rewind and watch it all again. Slowly, carefully, this time. Frame by frame.
Mulder had sat crouched down next to Cole's body, watched it shudder for a last time as he released a final breath and then go limp with relaxation beyond sleep.
"Good night", he'd thought, unable to shape the words aloud.
Krycek had spoke and he'd forced himself to tune in and listen to the words, as opposed to let them filter through him as mere background noise. After all, the guy had just saved his life, or at least that's what he'd thought himself, so the least Mulder could do was recognise that, perhaps even set his mind at ease.
Although that comforting thing had never really been his forte, he'd realized. He wouldn't know what to say or do. And besides, he had been just as confused himself.
"You did the right thing", he'd said all the same, before he had a chance to think about it.
He held back an urge to flinch as he heard the words come out of his mouth and silently scolded himself for what he realized was a lame, and also clich, line. Turning away from the younger man, he tried to get a hold of himself, he willed the burning blush out of his face and his heart to slow.
Mulder could feel Krycek's presence still behind him, could hear the faint rustle of fabric as he stood, the slight scratch of gravel under his shoes as he shifted his feet.
"What happens now?" he spoke uncertainly, his voice slightly thickened with half repressed emotions.
Mulder had sighed and turned around to face him. The fragile expression on his face was enough to make him question everything he knew, or even stop questioning everything all together. There was something about that look, that unsure, lost puppy dog look, that made it all seem so simple, and at the same time so heartbreakingly complex.
Mulder had averted his eyes and told him to go home and get some sleep, and the words brought a bittersweet joy to him, as they bounced back through the many memories of Scully telling him the very same thing.
"What about you?" the younger FBI agent had said, the voice and face expression's seeming heartbreak multiplied, in Mulder's interpretation.
He shook his head slightly to clear it. Offered the guy a soft smile, never mind it being wry and hesitant, then shrugged his shoulders with feigned ease.
"I don't know, I guess I might as well give it a try myself, I hear it can be a quite rewarding experience ..." he said and smiled broader. Krycek merely frowned and actually seemed worried about him. Tough crowd, Mulder thought and averted his eyes. "Might go get a drink or something before I head on back home ... Prepare myself for all the tedious paper work we've got to do in the morning ..."
"Want some company?" the younger agent had immediately replied, and Mulder could sense the desperation in him even before he turned his head back to see it on his face. It wasn't a request made out of politeness. It was a plea. Krycek didn't want to be alone. And he certainly didn't feel up to sleeping. Mulder knew that feeling. He swallowed a sigh and nodded.
"Yeah, sure. If you're not too tired ..." he said softly.
Krycek shook his head. And they began to walk back to their car, silence stretching out in between them, the night air coming down on them and wrapping arms of darkness around them, lulling them, not to sleep, but to some sort of nocturnal peace at least, making the quiet into a mere lack of spoken words, making it pleasant, and comfortable. Mulder wondered at this sudden change between them, wondered if it was actually real or just a shared reaction to the events of the night, or the night itself.
Then he stopped wondering, told himself to stop. He didn't want to be suspicious of this feeling, he didn't want to doubt the beauty of it and he certainly didn`t want to be that paranoid, spooky person that everyone accused him of being, looking for loop holes in the simplest of situations, holding on to the old the old saying "too good to be true" with claws and teeth, he didn`t want that. He wanted to believe. And he wanted to trust Krycek, wanted to believe him, be with him.
They reached the car, Krycek's hand seemed to hesitate on the door handle of the passenger seat, and he glanced at Mulder over the roof of the car, before he got inside carefully, shut the door again quietly, and put on his seat belt.
Mulder couldn't help feeling in awe of this fragile looking person sitting in the seat next to him, this insecure young man, the real Krycek. He swallowed again, thickly, and turned the key in the ignition, eased his foot onto the gas pedal, felt the car purr and come alive in under and around them. He put his hands on the steering wheel, kept his gaze fixed to the wind screen and drove without uttering a word.
He felt Krycek's eyes on him twice, briefly. He felt the man hesitating again, deliberating with himself whether or not to speak, to break the silence, to dare ask. Mulder took pity on him and opened his mouth to speak as he turned the car on to the main road, the words trickling out him in a whisper although he had not intended them to.
"So, you want to go somewhere near the Hoover building? Be closer for you to get your car later. Or if you want we can go somewhere close to your place, and I can come pick you up in the morning..."
"How about we go somewhere close to where you live?"
Mulder hadn't want to think of the implications of that simple suggestion, hadn't want to jump to any conclusions or been forced analyze his own reactions to it. So he simply shrugged, said "Sure, if you want", and made the next turn at the sign that mentioned the direction towards Alexandria.
Subsequently they ended up in Mulder's regular "after a hard day's work"-refuge, the pub on the street corner adjoining Hegal Place, the block of flats where he lived, and breaking his habit of making a bee line for the bar, Mulder lead them to a table in the back, and took his seat whilst gesturing for Krycek to sit down in the seat opposite, at the same time trying to get the waitress' attention.
Krycek carefully slid into the seat and put his hands on top of the table, staring at the wood beneath and between them.
The waitress sidled up to their table and flashed them both a polite smile, raising her eyebrows in expectation.
"I'll have a whiskey, please", said Mulder and glanced over at the man in front of him. "Krycek, what will you have? Name your poison..."
Krycek glanced back at him briefly, but quickly turned his gaze on the waiting waitress, offered her a weak smile and said, "Whiskey's fine. Thanks." then went back to staring at the table top.
Mulder had studied him for a moment then, feeling a tinge of worry seep into his gut, and deliberated with himself on whether to approach the subject or leave the kid alone to work it out for himself. In the end he'd said nothing and thanked the waitress when she returned with their drinks, sipping slightly on his, whilst watching Krycek's hands fold around his own glass but not raising it from the table. The clear dark liquid cast a faint glow on the wood below, making it shimmer, making Krycke's hands shimmer as he moved his fingers slightly, in almost-caresses over the thick glass.
Mulder hadn't realized how mesmerized he was until the sound of Krycek's voice had startled him out of his passive reverie. He snapped his attention back to the younger man's face and listened to the words that carefully tumbled out of his mouth with almost reluctance.
"I... had an ulterior motive for coming here with you... I mean, for suggesting this place... instead of my own neighbourhood", he'd said, and Mulder had hated the way his stomach immediately clenched, the way his suspicious mind instantly jumped to the worst scenario. He didn't speak. Krycek glanced up, almost shyly, then went on. "I didn't... you know, want to be on my own... tonight."
Releasing the air form his lunges, Mulder realized what it felt like to be truly relieved, what it felt like to truly feel, something other than pain and suspicion and determination and, all of those things that was him, that he didn't want to be him, but was, now he felt something else entirely, he felt... sort of happy.
Some psychiatrist you are, Mulder, he'd thought to himself, you can even form the words in your head.
"Is that alright? I mean, you're not spooked or..." Krycek's hands were trembling slightly he noticed.
"No, it's fine. I understand." and a smile to go with that and the moment was complete.
Krycek even smiled back, "Thank you."
He doesn't want to be this suspicious, he doesn't want to be this person, he doesn't want to doubt.
Slowly, with agonizing deliberateness, he opens his eyes again and lets them adjust to the unfamiliar darkness on the other side of his eyelids, the dull glow from the little light above the rear view mirror, and he takes another shaky breath.
His gaze falls inevitably on the ashtray, that sickening feeling of dread and foreboding curling into a throbbing ball in the pit of his gut, sending clawing shivers up his throat, the tiny crack from not shutting the ashtray completely leers at him through the dimness, and his fingers are itching to reach out.
"I want to believe", he says defiantly, as though trying to talk himself out of it, make himself swallow the impulse and shed the cloak of Spooky, once and for all. "I want to trust you", he whispers brokenly, his hand already reaching. "But I can't."
As he takes in the sight of the Morley butts, his heart seems to stop beating, and he lets his head fall back against the headrest again, his eyes falling shut of their own accord, the happiness breaking, the pieces cutting into the dream of a possible life, now lost forever.
Three shots of whiskey later and the warmth from the alcohol, along with the warmth from the bond that was weaving itself between them, had slithered into their eyes and their smiles, and when he'd thought ab out it, Mulder couldn't recall how long it had been since they broke their eye contact. Then, before he'd known what he was doing, Mulder's hand had slid across the table top and covered Krycek's hand which rested invitingly just within reach, and he'd moved his thumb slightly up and down, rubbing it against the side of the other man's wrist.
"Hey, you can trust me, you know..."
The green of Krycek's eyes had seemed to shift, flicker, darken. But perhaps that was just the alcohol, he'd thought then, because Krycek had grinned, not merely smiled, but grinned, and said: "I know. You could trust me too, you know. If you wanted to."
They had grinned at each other. Krycek's hand had moved under his, flipped over, palm to palm, and his fingers had curled, entwined themselves with his.
Wow, what a Kodak moment, Mulder had thought, and inhaled the fluttery feelings between them, allowing a promise to form of days to come, a whisper of happiness.
"God damn it!" he slammed both hands against the steering wheel and pushed the car door open, bolting outside. It had been a dream, no more no less, and now he had to face the waken world again, had to deal with it, had to function.
"Son of a bitch", he muttered darkly as the all too familiar determination seeped into him again, that furious, manic obsession for fighting a losing battle, thus drowning the hopelessness, the sorrow, and the heartbreak, burying them with all the other repressed feelings he had somewhere within him. "You're going down, Krycek, you rat bastard. You're going down, if it's the last thing I do..."
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Title: Shattered Dream
Author: gonattsaga [email/website]
Details: Standalone | PG | 12k | 07/09/06
Category: Drama, Pre-slash, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Missing Scene
Summary: Mulder wants to trust Krycek, but he can't. He has to know for sure.
Notes: Spoilers for Sleepless and Ascension, S2.
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