Sent: Friday, August 13, 1999 6:24 PM
Title: Letting Go
Author/pseudonym: Debra Fran Baker
Fandom: X-Files
Pairing: Mulder/Krycek
Rating: PG
Status: new, complete
Archive: yes
E-mail address for feedback: cherished at dfbaker@panix.com
Series/Sequel: Sequel to Hold Tight
Other websites: http://www.panix.com/~dfbaker
Disclaimers: Chris Carter's, not mine. This story may be printed out for personal use only.
Notes: There was only one place Hold Tight could go.
Summary: Where is Mulder?
Warnings: Death story


"Where is he?" Alex Krycek carefully aimed his gun at the pair hugging each other in Dana Scully's living room. She and Walter Skinner immediately broke apart and drew their own weapons. "You think I give a damn? Look, do you know where Mulder is, or are you two too busy screwing each other to care?"

"How did the hell did you get in here, you murderer?" There was no mistaking the hatred in her voice.

"Your apartment is only marginally harder to break into than Mulder's. Do you know you know, or even care, where your partner is?" He didn't bother hiding his own disgust.

"Why do you think we don't care, boy?" Skinner's eyes bored right into him.

"Why? Because he's been wasting away for months and you haven't even noticed!" Krycek tossed his gun down. Yeah, it was stupid, but right now he didn't care. "And he's not in his apartment now. He could be dying someplace and you wouldn't know. Too wrapped up in each other." Krycek considered spitting, but rejected it as crude. Instead he flopped into an arm chair.

"How dare you! How dare you pretend to care about him - you, who've drugged him, killed his father, tried to kill me, *did* kill Melissa. How the hell do you dare to be so self-righteous?" Scully tossed down her own weapon, walked over and slapped his face. Then she turned away quickly and walked back to Skinner.

Skinner was calm on the outside, but Krycek could see anger building inside of him. "I don't know what you know or how you know it, but we noticed everything. We've been watching him die a little everyday for months." Was that a tear or just a reflection off his glasses?

"And you let it happen? How? How could you let it happen?"

Skinner put away his weapon. "It's what he wants. He made it clear when he wouldn't tell us. You can't force a man to take treatments against his will. Damn, stubborn...And he'd have been out of the FBI as soon as it came out. And he'd be dead now. At least this way..."

"Damn. It's gone. I'd built up all this steam and it's gone. I found out...he was falsifying his blood tests. And I confronted him and...you're right." He buried his head in his hand.

"Krycek...have you been tested?" Scully's voice was gentle. He'd never heard her that way before.

"Have I...?" Krycek's mind reeled with the question. "What are...?"

"You're in love with him. You've been in love with him for years. That was one of the things I hated you for...You've slept with him. Have you been tested?"

Krycek searched for an answer. "I love him. Yes. I've been tested, yes. I'm negative. But...we've never had sex. I've never even kissed him. He...won't let me."

"Like I said, stupid and stubborn." Skinner rubbed at his eyes.

"You love him. You're in love with him. And he doesn't know." Krycek knew his words were facts. Skinner only nodded. "God, we're a bunch of fools." He sighed. "But where is he? Do you know?"

Scully nodded. "He's at the hospital. Pneumonia." Her voice became strained. "His viral count is high, his immune system might as well not exist and he's not even trying to fight. Damn him! If he was going to kill himself, why the hell didn't he just eat his gun and spare us all this?"

"You think it was on purpose?" He didn't say "too", but he knew they could hear it.

"Yes. All of a sudden, my reclusive partner started going out to bars at night - not just in DC but when we were on the road. Any place he could find a gay bar. He'd disappear for a couple of hours and come back slightly bruised, and he wouldn't talk about it."

Skinner nodded. "I saw him once at one of the bars I frequent here. A...leather type." I looked at him. Yeah, he'd fit in there. Probably start fights. "He didn't belong, obviously. I don't think he recognized me. He picked some guy up and disappeared into the back room."

Scully looked at her boss as if seeing him for the first time. "Leather bars? I knew you were...but..." she shook her head. "This started right after I got better from cancer. He seemed to just lose who he was. Then he stopped. And he got sick. Frohike told me, and I told Walter but we couldn't let Mulder know. We could just watch. Yeah, I think it was on purpose. He never let you kiss him?"

"No." Krycek remembered how *we* started.

Krycek had been doing my normal check-up on Mulder's well-being. I'd long ago admitted to loving him and needing to know he was all right. Yeah, he was a weakness Krycek couldn't afford, but he didn't give a damn. There was no point in surviving if he didn't. And he noticed something - Mulder's blood tests were identical - all of the numbers were the same. It was like he wanted to get caught. So, Krycek caught him. He went to his apartment.

"What the hell are you doing here, Krycek?" Mulder couldn't curse. It always sounded like he's a little boy doing something naughty.

"What the hell are you doing in general?" He waved the blood test around. He became pale.

"I didn't know you cared, you rat bastard." His heart wasn't in it, Krycek could tell.

"Nah. I just look at medical records for the fun of it. What are you hiding? It can't be hepatitis or even VD..." he was paler. "Oh, God. You can't be *that* stupid."

Mulder shrugged. "Well, I guess I was. And I don't want to hear anything more." He sat down on his couch.

"What do you mean? You need to get to a treatment program. You need to talk to Scully...at least you'll always have medical care."

"She's not going to know. I'm not getting treatment. No one's going to know."

"You idiot! Are you trying to kill yourself?" He didn't answer. "What the hell are you thinking? Are you thinking?"

"Why do you care? What does it matter to you? You should be happy -I'll be dead and all your problems will be solved." He sounded...empty. Krycek moved to sit down next to him. Mulder tensed at his touch, and then relaxed just slightly.

"I care. We need you to fight. I need you."

"You?"

Krycek took a deep breath. "I love you. I'm an idiot for saying so, but I'm in love with you, Fox Mulder. I don't want to lose you, and not to *that*."

"We're both idiots, then. I can't forget you, or...or that kiss. I'm sorry."

Krycek leaned forward and kissed him again. This time he *aimed* for that mouth, but Mulder moved and he got the cheek again.

"Mulder?"

"I won't make you sick."

"Dammit, you can't get it that way. You know that."

"Yeah. Still...I don't want to take any risks. Just hold me, Krycek. Alex. That's enough."

*****

Krycek felt Scully and Skinner stare at him. "I'm sorry. Memories. Can I see him?"

"I'll call the hospital."

She disappeared into the other room. To Krycek's surprise, Skinner reached his hand forward. It was warm and solid in his. They sat like that in silence until Scully returned and told them they could go now. In fact, it would be a good idea.

*****

If Mulder had looked bad before, he was positively skeletal now. There was an oxygen mask over his face and his eyes were glazed. As they entered, a nurse looked at them and shook her head sadly. Scully went in first, putting on the gown, cap and mask the nurse handed to her. She sat there for a long time, just holding his hand and murmuring. Mulder didn't seem to notice.

Finally, she left, and gestured for the two of them to gown up and see him. For some reason, he and Skinner were holding hands again. Krycek didn't want to think about why. They walked in together.

"Hey, Fox." Krycek grinned under the mask as Mulder turned to him, looking exasperated. "Mulder, I mean."

"What...both...here?"

"I wanted to show Alex how stupid an agent could be."

"Win...prize." He smiled - a blazing Mulder smile. Krycek bit his lip. "Home...soon."

"It'll be a couple of weeks, Mulder." Skinner was having trouble speaking.

He shook his head. "Home...real home. Feel it..." He batted at the oxygen mask. "Not...needed...soon..."

"It's just a set back, Mulder." Alex grabbed his hand. "You'll come home and I'll take care of you. I love you."

"Love...too...both...each...please..." His breathing became more labored. "F'me" He began to choke. An alarm sounded and a nurse came in to shoo them out. A doctor followed, but just shut off the alarm. They watched Mulder jerk a couple of times and then lie still.

"Scully? Why aren't they...?" Krycek knew the answer, but had to hear it.

"He's do not resuscitate. He insisted." Scully was sobbing. She buried her head on Skinner's shoulder. Scully never cried. Neither did he, but there were tears running down his face...and Skinner's. "That idiot." She wiped her eyes. "I'll call his...his mother. And mine."

"I'll call Mrs. Mulder. It's my job."

"No, sir. She knows me. Stay with Krycek. Make sure he doesn't get away."

They watched her find her way to the telephones. Krycek felt the remains of his anger dissolve with his tears. He turned to Skinner. "What are you going to do with me?"

He took Krycek's hand. "Grieve. At least for now."