DATE: 30 July 2000
ARCHIVE: Yes to MKFC, Gossamer, Basement, RatB, All Things Rat
Anywhere else please ask.
WEB SITE: http://www.chaelyndra.com/nicklea/fiction
SUMMARY: Mulder receives a myterious envelope.
NOTES: M/K Fight Club location challenge: Shoeburyness, England.and RatB Location Challenge - Home Town
Thanks to Tarlan for the read through
DISCLAIMER: They don't belong to me, I'm just playing with them for a while.
The white cotton gloved hands picked up the photographs from the printer's out tray, where they had been left to dry, and placed them in a reinforced envelope, already addressed in black permanent marker.
Bemused, Mulder eyed the contents of the envelope which had arrived in the mail for him, trying to decide if the contents was a real clue or an elaborate, and expensive, practical joke.
He made sure there wasn't anything else inside, then looked at the address again. It was certainly addressed to him in black, block lettering, and postmarked here in Washington.
He studied (at/delete) the contents again, still somewhat perplexed why someone should send him some 8x10 glossy photographs, the word 'roslin' and a URL map reference typed on a slip of paper http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?G2M?X=592500&Y=184500&A =Y&Z=3, an open-ended airline ticket to London, England, fifteen hundred pounds in Sterling Traveller's Cheques and five hundred pounds cash in the form twenty, ten, and five pound notes.
Entering the URL reference into his browser, he found himself staring at a map of Shoeburyness, England. Did the red arrow on it mean anything? Maybe. Maybe not.
Turning his attention back to the photographs, he studied the captions, wondering what was so important about a Coastguard station, a beach, a row of beach huts, the backs of some, admittedly expensive, houses, and a close up picture of one of the balconies.
The only conclusion he could draw was that someone obviously wanted him take a trip to England.
Taking a magnifying glass out of a drawer, he studied the figure lounging on the balcony and drew in a sharp breath; it was undoubtedly a picture of a man who was supposed to be dead: Alex Krycek.
He felt a tide of anger surge through him, he was going to have it out with that rat bastard if it was the last thing he did on this earth. He stuffed everything back in the envelope and went to see the Lone Gunmen. He gave them the piece of paper with the URL map reference, asking them to find out if there could be any reason for the presence of Alex Krycek in a town on the coast of England.
Byers took a look at the photographs and the on-line map and postulated that the CG lookout on the map could be the Coastguard station pictured.
Meanwhile, Frohike took a look at the surrounding area. After a while he came up with a website for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, otherwise know as DERA http://www.dera.gov.uk/index.php3 which had a weapons testing station at Shoeburyness.
"It's a tenuous link at best," he admitted when the others stared at him. "But it's the only unusual thing I can find."
Langly pushed his glasses backup his nose, and said diffidently, "I've found a connection to the word 'roslin'... there's a Roslin Hotel on the same stretch of road that ends at the Coastguard station. It looks a nice place, judging from the picture on line http://www.roslinhotel.com/ and I think I can just see the CG radio mast in the background."
"What's the betting that Mulder's mysterious benefactor has booked him a room in the hotel?" Frohike joked, laughing at his own wit.
Mulder gave him an odd look and dialled the contact number shown on the screen, then had to re-dial as he'd forgotten to put the country code in front of the number. While he waited for the call to go through, and for someone to answer the phone, he looked at his watch and added five hours onto the time, it would be 4:15 p.m. there. His lips quirked, time for afternoon tea.
"Roslin Hotel. Good afternoon," a voice said in his ear.
"Good afternoon. My name is Fox Mulder. I believe you may be holding a reservation for me." He made it sound not quite a question.
"Yes, sir." Came the immediate answer. "Paid in advance, for one week from tomorrow. Is there anything..."
Mulder cut across the tentative question. "Just checking, as I shall be leaving for the airport soon."
"We look forward to seeing you, sir," the voice assured him.
Mulder, and the person at the other end of the line, said their "goodbye's". Then, picking up the ticket, and its accompanying letter, he phoned the airline and confirmed his seat before putting his phone away.
"You're going then?" Byers asked.
Mulder nodded. "How could I resist such a charming invitation?" he replied, a lunatic grin splitting his face. "Thanks for your help guys, I'll keep in touch."
The journey across the Atlantic had been very comfortable. He had not fully appreciated that he'd been given a first class ticket until he'd checked in, late as usual, and been told that he could go straight through as they were boarding first class now.
At Heathrow the hand of his unknown benefactor was evidenced by the courier waiting patiently with his name on a placard. After verifying his identity, the courier had led him to a chauffeur- driven limousine. When asked for his destination, Mulder had given the driver the name and address of the hotel and settled himself comfortably in the back of the Rolls Royce.
The journey took rather longer than had been anticipated as they were delayed by a traffic accident on the M25. Feeling hungry, Mulder had suggested to the driver that they stop somewhere for lunch, and felt suddenly grateful for the cash that had been provided.
When they finally arrived at the hotel, the driver carried his bag up to the reception desk, then said goodbye.
Mulder thanked him for the comfortable journey, and accepted the business card the driver gave him, then turned his attention to the receptionist who wanted him to fill in some forms. Once the formalities of registration were over, and he was alone in his room, he compared it to the picture he'd seen on the website and fleetingly wondered whether this was the room which had been featured, as it was laid out identically.
Shaking his head at his fanciful thoughts, he started to unpack his case, and discovered a large envelope on the writing desk with his name on, which he opened with alacrity. He was rather disappointed that no more photos of Krycek fell out when he emptied its contents on to the bed. There were, however, several photocopied sheets of information about South East Essex, and the County Borough of Southend-on-Sea of which both Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness were a part.
By the time he'd finished unpacking his case, read all the information from the envelope, and that provided by the hotel for their guests, he was feeling very tired. So he retired to bed not long after he eaten an excellent dinner in the restaurant.
Next morning, after breakfast, he dressed himself in his running gear and left the hotel. Crossing the road to the red asphalt pavement which ran along the landward side of the sea-wall, he set off eastward towards the Coastguard station, which had been clearly marked on the town map he'd found in his bedroom. Soon after he'd left the hotel, a line of huts started along the beach, just the other side of the wall, the differing heights of the steeply pitched roofs often drawing his eyes as he ran along. On the opposite side of the road the houses gave way to a tennis club, and even this early in the morning he could hear the thwack of balls being hit over the nets.
Past another road on the left, and the space was now occupied by a small park, and judging by the large houses he could see lining the road on the other side of the park, this was a very expensive part of town.
He slowed when he reached the end of the park. The next stretch of ground was fenced off for small boat storage in front of the Thorpe Bay Yacht Club, where some people were checking over rigging. Beyond that, right up to the corner of the next road, was a grassy car park. Looking up ahead, he could see he was now much closer to the Coastguard station and felt the need to go there first to see if it was the one in the picture he'd been sent. Starting to jog again, the line of huts actually on the beach soon came to an end, and another line started to his left as the footpath ran between them and the wall. There were occasional benches on this part of the promenade and there were a couple of people already sitting on them as he went past.
Looking through one of the larger gaps between the huts, he recognized the houses from another of the pictures and knew that he was standing very close to the spot from which they had been taken.
He studied the houses for a moment, easily identifying the balcony on which Krycek had been photographed, and wished he had a pair of binoculars with him so he could study the house more closely.
Mulder leant back against the side of the hut, considering his next move. || So, one location discovered. What should I do now? Stay here and keep watch, or go on? || Remembering that there were still two other locations to identify, he went on towards the end of the promenade.
With his sunglasses perched just far enough down his nose so that his eyelashes didn't bat against the lenses when he blinked, Alex Krycek sat on the balcony after breakfast, watching the world go by his back gate.
He smiled, it was a beautiful day. The sky was blue, the weather set fair and the tide was on its way in. It had come as a bit of a shock when he'd first moved into the house to find that the difference between the high and low water marks was a mile, sometimes more, it was now something he took in his stride.
He watched a jogger move along the promenade towards the Coastguard station and looked at his watch, it was time for him to move if he wanted to get the hut well provisioned. on the first trip across Shoebury Common Road, he took a large cool-box and stored it inside, then took down the weather proofing and left the vents open before going back for the second load. He stopped for a few minutes and spoke to his neighbours, Dave and Irene, who had come down from London that morning to continue painting their hut. Telling them he'd be back later, he went to fetch the other box he had prepared before getting breakfast.
When he reached the Coastguard station, Mulder studied it for a while, but could see no link to Krycek other than making identifying this area of the country easier.
"Maybe that was the point of including the photograph," he mused. "Now all I have to do is identify the beach huts from the last picture. Maybe they will give me clue."
Electing to walk all the way back along the beach, he used the slipway next to the station to cross the wall and walked down it onto the firm sand. He was fascinated by the fact that further out the exposed sea floor changed colour from gold to almost black until he realized that, of course, he was at the mouth of the River Thames and the sand had been overlaid and mixed with centuries of silt brought down river from London and beyond.
Deciding that on such a hot day any sand or silt would be easy to brush off his bare feet once it had dried, he removed the trainers, relishing the feel of sand between his toes. He hung the trainers by their laces around his neck, and walked slowly westwards along the shore, either stepping over, or walking around the ends of the wooden breakwaters. He had almost reached the yacht club slipway when the huts which had been in the photograph came into view. One of them was being worked on. A man and woman were painting the outside, and he watched them for a while trying to decide whether it would be best for him to keep watch here or on the house. Eventually deciding that the house could wait until later, he looked along the beach for a place to keep watch from. Spotting the gap under the slipway, he made his way there, sitting down in the shade where he could keep an eye on the row of huts.
It wasn't long before his vigil was rewarded. He wasn't sure what he had been expecting, but the sight of Alex Krycek, dressed in a tank top and shorts with flip-flops on his feet, carrying a large backpack, was definitely not it. It shook him off kilter and made him hold off from an immediate confrontation, the total difference between the Krycek he'd known and the Krycek he was seeing now, piquing his curiosity.
Krycek went up the steps of one of the huts and let himself in. After about five minutes he came out again, spoke to the couple who were now sitting on their steps, drinking from mugs of hot liquid, then started walking out towards the incoming tide.
Which left Mulder in a quandary. Did he follow, or wait for Krycek to return? Seeing there were quite a few people walking out to meet the tide, he decided to do likewise. Grinning to himself, he went up to the couple that Krycek had spoken to, and asked if he could leave his trainers on their verandah while he took a walk out to the water.
They nodded and told him to enjoy the walk. Thanking them, he followed Krycek's footprints away from the shore.
As they got closer to the edge of the water, Mulder expected Krycek to turn back at any moment, so he started using the moored boats for cover, just in case. He wanted to keep his presence here unknown to his prey until the last possible moment.
Krycek stopped on the seaward side of a large boat. The Agent peeked around the stern of the vessel and saw his quarry just standing, staring, out to sea. Mulder was hot, tired, and thirsty. His legs were coated with sand and silt and somehow the sight of Krycek just standing there, doing nothing, was finally too much for his temper to take. Running forward, he launched himself at the other man. Hearing someone coming Krycek started to turn, but was unable to stop the Agent's rush from bowling him over. Slipping and sliding in the mud, neither one of them was able to gain the advantage, they wrestled until they were exhausted, finishing up lying side by side, gasping for air.
"So nice to see you again, Mulder," Krycek panted, still gripping the Agent's T-shirt.
Mulder made one last effort and rolled on top of the other man. "Should I hold you down and wait for the tide to come in?" he questioned between gasps for air.
Krycek grinned, and arched off the ground, rubbing his groin against that of Mulder, making their already hard cocks, swell that little bit more.
Mulder groaned, and gave into the temptation to rub back, hard. A few seconds later and they had both come in their pants.
When he had got his breath back a bit, Krycek pushed the other off him, and asked, "Feel better now you've got your rocks off, Mulder?"
"Fuck you," Mulder replied.
"Maybe later." Krycek laughed at Mulder's expression. "Or are you going to deny what just happened?"
Krycek laughed again, rolled over the top of Mulder, kissing him quickly on the way, then got to his feet. Holding out a hand to the still supine man, he said, "C'mon Mulder, let's walk out to the channel just over there and rinse some of this muck of, before it dries and we smell to high heaven."
Sighing, Mulder allowed Krycek pull him to his feet.
Silently, they walked side by side out to the deep channel which was filling rapidly with water and totally immersed themselves, getting rid of the mud and semen from their bodies, and their clothes.
The tide was coming in fast now, and they had to wade through some quite deep water on their way back to the shore. Neither of them spoke, seeming to be lost in their own thoughts.
Krycek was mentally preparing himself for the usual round of questions and accusations, which had characterized most of their meetings, wishing that just for once Mulder would actually listen to him.
Mulder was studying the silt which coated his feet. It was rather like their lives in a way, they were both sons of the Consortium, coated with the sins of their fathers, urged ever onward by a need to save the world once they had recognized, or in his case had been forced to recognize, the danger. They had both walked through fire and flood, done things they wished they hadn't. Wasn't it about time he allowed the silt to settle, and put his false hatred, his paranoia behind him?
Back on the beach, the sand clung to the silt and helped brush it away, and Mulder took it as a kind of answer to his questions, that later actions could indeed atone for the past. Thanking the neighbours for looking after his shoes, he followed Krycek up the steps to his hut and waited patiently for the man to unlock the door.
The furnishings inside were sparse, a camping gaz stove near the entrance, the cool-box and a raised platform which took up most of the rear of the hut, covered in cushions and thick quilts.
While his guest looked around, Krycek went over to the large cool- box and took out two bottles of water, he passed one to Mulder and took a deep draught from the other.
Mulder followed suit, drinking almost half the bottle in one swallow. Putting the cap back on, he placed it on a shelf near the stove, and stalked towards the other man.
Krycek, not quite knowing what was going on in Mulder's mind, screwed the cap on his own bottle, and retreated towards the rear, coming to a halt against the edge of the platform.
Mulder continued forward until his whole body was pressed up against the other man's. Putting his hands on either side of Alex's head he pulled it forward, placed his lips over the perfect pink bow he had fantasised about so much, and kissed him deeply.
Krycek's bottle of water crashed to the floor from suddenly nerveless fingers. Then he brought his arms up and crushed Mulder to him, the blaze of passion consuming them both.
Finally breaking apart, they rid themselves of their clothes with unseemly haste and flung themselves onto the quilts. Krycek scrabbled in the bottom of his duffel bag for a moment and came up with condoms and lube, grinning from ear to ear.
It had been a long time for both of them, but they were too close to the edge to take things slowly. They kissed and rubbed against one another for a while, then Alex rolled a condom on Mulder and offered himself to the other man.
Mulder was very close to coming, and he had to take some time to lubricate and ease himself into the hot, tight passage. Once he was fully inside he picked up the rhythm, and worked Alex's cock in time with his thrusts.
When their orgasms came they bit down on each other to prevent those nearby realizing what was going on inside the hut. Mulder flopped forward, half on and half off Krycek's body. Alex wrapped his arms around the love of his life, and sighed contentedly nuzzling against the dark-brown hair resting on his shoulder.
They would have to talk later, but for now there was nothing else in the world that mattered beyond the comfort of each other's arms.