Title - Cockfighting
Author - Dark Nascent
E-Mail address - nascent70@hotmail.com
Rating - NC-17
Category - SAHR <-- Well, the 'H' sorta depends on you.
Spoilers - Fight the Future
Keywords - Slash. Character Death.
Summary - Guess.

Archive - Sure, just let me know where it's going. Unless, of course, yourepresent Gossamer, in which case you don't have to tell me anything.

Feedback - Always

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"Cockfighting," from the Barnyard Series Barnyard Series installmentsare entirely independent and need not be read in order.

by Dark Nascent (nascent70@hotmail.com)

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CONTENT WARNING: Character abuse and corruption of Carter's vision.

DISCLAIMER: Two rights don't make a wrong. Right?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Special thanks to Ben and Jerry. You are my inspiration.

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9:22 p.m.
Hoover Building

The ticking of the clock echoed in the unfamiliar space, bouncing off thewalls and sinking into Mulder's right ear like ricocheted eightballs intothe corner pocket. Game's over. Go home.

Or not.

Heave a sigh, lean forward, fingers splayed in hair. The desk under hiselbows was real wood, polished and hard and unfamiliar.

He did not like the new office. He knew that the window was a compliment,but the sultry warmth of the summer night air drifting out of the FoggyBottom gave him unwelcome chills. Nervously, he patted his shirt pocketagain, reassured by the crinkle of paper within. He kept imagining he'dset it down someplace--on the filing cabinet, the desk (his--hers was off-limits),the windowsill. Somewhere she would find it.

Why couldn't he tell her? He had to tell her. It could be their chance tonail down that rat's ass-bastard for good.

"Are you okay, Mulder?"

He jumped. She laid a small hand on his shoulder, and he swiveled to faceher, except she was standing closer than he'd expected, so that her breastsstared into his eyes.

"Mulder?" she repeated.

He blinked, wet his lips nervously. Tore his eyes away from his partner'schest and forced his gaze to her eyes; their open concern made his stomachtighten.

"I'm...fine, Scully," he said, trying to rearrange his featuresinto a mask of reassurance. Judging from her unchanging expression, he wasn'tsucceeding.

"You sure? You've been jumpy all evening, and just now it was likeyou forgot I was even here. You look a little pale..."

She pressed her warm palm against his forehead and he could have meltedunder it so he batted it away. She shrugged and held out a pile of photos."Know what these are?"

She'd spent the day on her knees, digging through the remains of files R- U. Most of the salvageable material she recognized on her own, but atleast once an hour she brought him some barely identifiable pile to askhow it should be categorized or referenced. He knew he should feel grateful,but, to tell the truth, it irritated the hell out of him that she didn'tknow.

He heaved a sigh and took the stack from her hand, flipped through themgently enough that the browned edges didn't crumble. Black-and-white crimescene photos stamped with a red '1976.' Dead men, naked and sprawled helplesslylike fallen marionettes, but without visible injury.

"Yeah," Mulder said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "Theseare...um...from a closed file. The killer--Redford or Redmond or somethinglike that--turned himself in, but they never figured out how he killed theguys. Looked like cardiac arrest."

Scully did her patented Eyebrow-Raise. "That's why the X-File? It was1976--forensic pathology wasn't as reliable as it is today. He probablyoverdosed them with something."

"That's not what he said. I went to talk to him when I first startedlooking into the X-Files in 1991. He was a male prostitute. Every one ofthose men had been regular customers. He said the sex was so good they justkeeled over sometimes, and finally, it just got to him. Said he felt reallybad."

"Hmmmpppf," Scully sniffed, and Mulder knew he'd heard her finalopinion on the matter. She turned away and started back across the roomto file it under 'R,' and Mulder sank lower into his chair. The note inhis pocket was burning a hole in his chest.

"Scully," he said, before he could stop himself, and she turnedexpectantly.

When he didn't speak, she stepped back toward him, leaned her hip againsthis desk. "What is it, Mulder?" she asked, using the same hookedand barbed tone he'd seen her use to wrench the truth out of suspects, andhe knew he was going to tell her.

Something, anyway.

He leaned back in his chair, clasping the armrests, and thought while Scullywaited patiently.

"I was thinking about Alex Krycek," he said finally.

She frowned. "Why?"

"I was rereading the file on the Piper Maru, and it just got me started."He was lying and he could tell she knew it. He watched her process thatinformation and file it under 'to be used later.'

"So, what about Krycek?" she insisted.

Mulder shrugged, picked up a pen and began to toy with it. "Why doeshe keep turning up? Why, of all the syndicate's undoubtedly innumerablecronies and thugs, do we so frequently butt heads with Alex Krycek?"

"Well, during the Piper Maru case, he wasn't working for them,"Scully pointed out, and he smiled at the subtle landmine she'd laid in herquestion. _Sorry, my friend,_ he thought. _One of the advantages of workingwith you is that I know your interrogation tricks all too well._

"No, but he's back with them now," he answered. "He's outthere, somewhere, doing their dirty work, and we'll run into him again.And again."

She reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear, thinking. "Does thishave to do with what you told me last winter, when he came to you with informationabout the Fort Wiekamp prisoner? When you said that the recurring connectionswe have in life are strange?"

Mulder blinked, surprised for a moment that she'd homed in so quickly onthat single event. Had he been that obvious, even then? "Yes, that'spart of it, Scully," he admitted. "It _is_ strange that he keepsturning up. But I'm wondering if there's not a design to it, an intent onhis part."

"How do you mean?"

Ah. Now they'd reached the potentially dangerous territory: the unfamiliarcountry of Sharing. _She's your closest friend,_ he told himself. _Why shouldthis be so hard?_

It shouldn't.

Thus resolved, he ambled forward awkwardly. "There's something I nevertold you about Krycek, Scully."

He could feel her eyes sweeping over his face, deciding whether to pursue."Do you _want_ to tell me?" she asked finally, and he had thesinking feeling that she might have guessed.

He looked away. "I think so, yeah."

There was a long silence as he worked up the nerve. Outside, a car hornhonked and a truck roared by. He really hadn't wanted the window. He'd likedthe old office--hidden and separate from the world, a refuge.

He sighed, rubbed his fingers along the length of the pen. "Beforeyour abduction, when Krycek was supposed to be my partner, he...that is,I...uh...he kissed me."

He stole a glance up at Scully, but there was no reaction. She only regardedhim calmly, kindly.

Mulder looked away from her, at the clock hanging over the door. "Itwas totally unexpected," he continued hastily. "Well, not quitetotally. I mean, I'd even wondered...the way he walked around, the way hewatched me, something in his eyes. There was one day at the pool...."He trailed off self-consciously, then shook his head and continued. "Now,I think the whole thing might've been deliberate, of course, but at thetime I just told myself I was flattered."

"But you weren't?" Her voice was neutral but tinged with promptinggentleness.

"Well, no. I mean, who would be? Sure, that's what women say when theyfind out a lesbian's attracted to them, but guys? No. Even 'enlightened'men like me. It made me nervous and uncomfortable."

"But you let him kiss you," she said slowly. It wasn't a question.

"Well...yeah," he admitted. Suddenly, sitting still was too difficult.He surged out of his chair and paced across the room, toward her desk.

Her voice followed him. "Does this bother you because you let him orbecause you might've liked it?"

"Scully!" he cried, whirling.

"I'm sorry," she said immediately, tilting her head. "Wedon't have to talk about it."

Mulder leaned against her desk, ran his hand through his hair. "No,"he muttered through a sigh. "No. It's okay." He hesitated, then,gruffly: "Yes. I liked it, all right?"

Scully crossed the room and reached for the hand that was tangled in hishair. She pulled it down between them, clasping it in that perfectly cool,strong way of hers. "Calm down, Mulder," she said softly. "Youdon't have to be defensive. It's me."

He nodded once in apology and took a breath. She was standing too close--hecould smell her perfume and her hand was too smooth. Hoping she wouldn'ttake offense, he stepped away, toward the window, and she didn't follow.

"What if they _did_ set me up like that?" he asked the brightD.C. night. "What if they assigned me Krycek to get at me somehow?What if they knew--or thought they knew--something about me that I don't?"

Her voice floated across the room to him. "I didn't think you had aproblem with homosexuality."

He winced. "I don't, not in principle, but we're talking about _me_here. About my own sense of self-identity. I'm nearly forty years old, Scully.I don't pretend to know everything about myself but I did think I knew thatmuch."

He heard her sigh, imagined her folding her arms. Her next words were notunexpected. "Do you believe in biological determinism, Mulder?"

He half-turned to look at her. "You mean nature over nurture? I'm apsychologist, Scully."

"So you were trained by people who'd be out of a job if they said 'nature?'"

He chuckled, and she did too.

"No, really," he said, after a moment. "I believe we havea certain amount of genetic predisposition, but ultimately we make our ownchoices."

She smirked. "You and the Christian Right."

This was easier, non-personal, and he turned to face her completely, leaningone arm on the filing cabinet beside him. "No, seriously, Scully, theymisuse the argument to advance their 'moral' agenda, but there _is_ somethingto what they're saying when they advocate homosexual 'conversion.' I dobelieve the ultimate control over who you are and what you do rests withyour intellect, which is separable from your genes."

"And you were so certain of your intellectual conclusions about yoursexuality that you were startled by your biological reaction to Krycek'sadvance?"

Parry and thrust.

He grimaced. "I wish you wouldn't phrase it that way."

"So the answer is 'yes.'"

"Not really," he said, shrugging. "Just because I reacteddoesn't mean I was wrong in believing myself heterosexual. Nerve endingsare nerve endings."

"Then why does it upset you?"

He pursed his lips, conceding. "Because I may be justifying what Iwant to believe."

She smiled faintly at him, and after a pause, he continued, encouraged."Scully, what if I'm wrong? What if, because of the time and placein which I grew up, I resisted this very fundamental thing about myself?But would it really be about _myself_, if it went against what I'd intellectuallydefined as myself? I want to believe I control who I am."

Scully frowned slightly. "I don't think I understand your problem.I think you're trying to justify your own automatic prejudice."

"No, it's not that," he insisted. He thought for a second, then:"Scully, do you believe that because you're a woman, you should beopenly emotional and maternal and like shopping?"

Her brow furrowed as she tried to follow his logic. "Are you sayingthat because you don't fit the stereotype of a gay man--"

"No, I'm saying just the opposite. Nothing I mentioned applies to you,but isn't the fact that you're a woman very deeply ingrained in your identity?"

"Absolutely."

"So is your sexuality, I would imagine. But is a woman limited by hergender? I don't mean socially or professionally--I just mean, are the choicesabout who she can be in life somehow constrained by her gender?"

She considered that. "It's impossible to tell," she said finally."Boys and girls are treated differently by everyone around them fromthe moment they're born."

"All right, then let's look at something more cerebral," Muldercontinued, gaining confidence. "Do you think you're an intelligentperson?"

Scully blinked. "Well, yes."

"Good. I do too. Some psychologists believe that intelligence is relatedto the speed with which your neurons can process a given problem. This isin turn regulated by the production of neurotransmitters, which you probablyknow more about than I do. But their production can be altered by drugsor by hormones, right?"

"Right...."

"So maybe you're only smart when your body chemistry is tuned a certainway, and that changes from hour to hour, day to day. How would that makeyou feel, to know that you aren't _really_ intelligent, but that you justhappen to think faster than most some of the time? Doesn't it perturb yoursense of identity? Hell, maybe we could make you stupid with the right kindof drug."

"Well, that's simple enough," she said, favoring him with a rarewry grin. "I think a couple of guys tried that on me in high school."

"But, seriously. Doesn't that bother you?"

"Not really," she replied. "Do you know what the corpus callosumis, Mulder?"

"Yeah, it's the--ah--the part of the brain that connects the rightand left halves."

"Right. Well, sometimes it's surgically cut in patients with severeepilepsy, so that if one half of their brain goes into seizures, the seizurecan't be transferred to the other half. Research on patients who've undergonethis surgery allows scientists to actually stimulate one half of the brainat a time, either by covering one of the patient's eyes or by hypnotic suggestion.Researchers can talk to one side of the brain or the other exclusively,and they've found that each half has a remarkably complex and distinct personality.In some cases the right brain will even complain that the left brain istoo 'bossy,' and since most speech centers are in the left hemisphere, maybethat's not surprising. That's just the left and right brain, but if we couldas conveniently section off other parts of the brain, we'd probably findeven more splintered personalities. Some scientists believe that we're actuallyjust a conglomerate of fairly random 'people,' not a holistic entity thatwe can ever successfully wrap our minds around."

"Do you believe that?"

"I think the jury's still out. But I would be okay with believing that,because even if it means I can never truly know myself, the synergisticsum of those neurological parts is still me. I am still, fundamentally,Dana Scully."

He crossed the room to stand beside her again. "But--and don't takethis the wrong way, Scully--'Dana Scully' is just a word. You say, 'fundamentally'when there's no real foundation. If what you're saying is true then we cannever really know ourselves and no one can ever know us."

"I'm not saying it's true...." she began, but he charged ahead.

"Moreover, if you accept that we're nothing but a bag of chemicals,that intellectual will is meaningless--a transient manifestation of theneurotransmitter of the hour--then you have to accept that, for instance,women shouldn't make decisions when they're premenstrual."

"Or, that men shouldn't make decisions at all kinds of times,"she replied with a dismissive wave of the hand. "Women's sex hormonesmay cycle monthly, but men's actually cycle daily, and not necessarily withperiodic regularity. But again, I didn't say I accept the theory. I do believewe can and _should_ be held accountable for our actions."

"Yet if we can't control who we are, how can we really control howwe act? How can we ever feel pride for our accomplishments, and why shouldwe feel shame for our mistakes?" Mulder shrugged. "I just refuseto accept that, Scully. I want to believe I know who I am. I want to believe_you_ know who I am."

She looked up at him very seriously. "I'm pretty sure I do, Mulder."

"I'm not gay, Scully."

Her brow furrowed, and he knew he'd failed to make her understand. He knewhe should tell her about the note now, but somehow, he couldn't make himselfform the words.

"It doesn't matter to me anyway," she was saying. "But letme ask you this: If you'd grown up identifying yourself as gay, would youbothered by this then?"

He leered at her. "Well, then I'd just be bothered about my video collection."

She rolled her eyes and he knew he was off the hook. He crossed back tohis desk in a few short strides and put his hands on his hips, sighing downat the morass of papers--burnt, fresh and otherwise.

"Well," he said.

"That's a very deep thought," she told him solemnly. He ignoredher.

"I don't think I can take any more of this tonight," he said finally,gesturing at the desk. "I'm gonna take off, okay?"

"Okay," she answered, but he could hear the curiosity in her voiceand knew he hadn't completely succeeded in alleviating her suspicion. Ohwell. She wasn't going to follow him.

"You sticking around?" he asked.

She gave a slight nod. "For a little while. I've got a little moreenergy left."

He shouldered his jacket. "Don't stay too late," he said, awareof how awkward his voice sounded.

Her voice stopped him at the door.

"Mulder," she said, and he turned. She was still leaning againsther desk, watching him carefully. "What'd you do?"

His brow furrowed. "What?"

"When Krycek kissed you. What'd you do?"

He grinned at her. "I punched him in the jaw, of course."

She gave a small snort of laughter. "Of course," she echoed. "Andafter that everything was just peachy?"

He shrugged. "We'd gotten it out of the way. As for 'peachy'--you knowthe rest."

She nodded slowly, and for a long moment the memories hung between themlike a tangible fog, warmer for having been shared.

Finally, with a fond nod of his head, Mulder left their office.

He had truly intended to go home. To throw the note away and pretend tohimself and his partner that he'd never seen it. But when he reached hiscar his fingers delved involuntarily into his shirt pocket and withdrewthe scrap of paper.

In the dim light of the parking garage, he unfolded it and reread the neat,capital letters.


_Mulder._

_I can't keep the silence any longer. I want to help you. I can help youso much. Meet me tonight, at 480 Plato Ave., Apt. 44A._

_I think you know what I mean. I have to tell myself that you do. Please.I can explain everything._

_Yours,_

_A.K._


He knew it was stupid to go. If Krycek didn't kill him, Scully might. Atthe very least, she'd shoot him again.

But somehow, deep down in the same place that told him what killers thought,he knew Krycek was telling the truth. And, though he hated himself for it,a part of him wanted to believe.



End Part 1/2



---------------------------------------------------------------- X-Filesfanfiction generously hosted by jordan at: http://geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/1063

---------------------------------------------------------------- "I'msorry, Scully. You were right."
-Fox Mulder (really! Name the ep!)"Cockfighting," from the BarnyardSeries

by Dark Nascent (nascent70@hotmail.com)

part 2/2



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10:32 p.m.
480 Plato Ave., Apt. 44A

"I didn't kill him, Mulder," Krycek gasped, his voice raspy andstrained as Mulder's forearm twisted savagely against his windpipe. "Youhave to believe me! I was there that night but I didn't kill him. They shothim through the window." He gagged. "Please!"

Mulder let up the tension a little, but still held the younger man's backagainst him in a vice grip. They were standing in a dark, dingy efficiencyapartment, an undecorated room which had the dubious bonus of allowing theoccupant to reach into the refrigerator while lying in bed. A single curtainedwindow was suspended above the matress, and a small stove stood on the oppositewall. Beside the stove was a small closet.

A regular rathole.

He hadn't caught Krycek by surprise, of course, but they'd tussled and Mulder'sextra arm gave him a significant advantage. So here they were, at the inevitableimpasse. Mulder wasn't quite certain where to go from here; it had dimlyoccurred to him that he hadn't planned this well.

Krycek's breaths were ragged heaves, shuddering against Mulder's chest."I did...not...kill...your father, Mulder," he hissed. "Iwas following you, and they killed him."

"Then _why did you run?_" Mulder hissed back, enunciating everyword.

"Are you saying you would've believed me?" Krycek demanded. "I'mnot an idiot! My instinct for...self-preservation was sharper back thenthan it is now. I _want to...help you._"

"Why do I find that so incredibly difficult to believe?" Muldermuttered. "Maybe it's because you left me to die in Hong Kong--"

"--self-preservation," Krycek repeated. "I would've helpedyou if I could."

Mulder continued as if he hadn't heard, squeezing Krycek's throat tighteragain. "Or maybe it's because you betrayed me in Tunguska, left mein that cell--"

"You don't understand! I lied, yes, but I was planning to get you outof there! If you hadn't escaped--"

Mulder twisted Krycek's arm savagely, eliciting a cry of pain. "Yougot me there in the first place!" he accused roughly. "They usedme as a test subject--"

"They may have saved....your fucking life," Krycek answered bitterly,gasping for air.

Mulder spun him around, slammed him down onto the bed and leaned into him,pinning him by the shoulders. "What the _hell_ does that mean?"

Krycek's eyes were wild and dark, his cheeks reddened and decorated withbeads of sweat.

"It was a vaccine," he whispered, so soft that Mulder had to leandown to hear him. "A vaccine against the black oil. I wouldn't've letthem use it on you if I didn't know it was going to work! I had to trickthem to get them to give it to you--they didn't know who you were...."

"You're saying you orchestrated a _vaccination_ for me?"

Krycek nodded.

"I don't believe you," Mulder announced fiercely, jabbing hiselbow into Krycek's stomach. "How can you say you want to help me whenyou work for _them?_ How can you possibly expect me to believe that?"

"I work for them because I have to," he hissed. "But I'mon the inside, I can help you."

"What do you get out of it?" Mulder demanded, punctuating hisquestion with a dig in the ribs and eliciting a gasp from Krycek.

"Satisfaction," Krycek answered, with a deliberate leer in spiteof the obvious pain. "Didn't I mention that? That's part of the deal.But I think you'd be satisfied as well. Double bonus for you."

Mulder suddenly wanted to slam his fist into that smirking, enraging face,but something prevented him.

Krycek grinned and his teeth glistened like those of a feral wolf. "C'mon,Fox," he said softly, almost gently. "You're always harping aboutwanting to find the truth. But you don't mean the truth behind the conspiraciesand alien life, do you? Your quest is just to give meaning and purpose to_your_ life. Your quest is to find the truth about yourself."

He lowered his voice to the barest whisper. "And I can help you theretoo."

Mulder's could feel his pounding heartbeat--or was it Krycek's? He wet hislips uncertainly, and that's when Krycek leaned abruptly upward and caughtthem between his own.

Mulder didn't punch him.

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Scully shook her head slowly, staring as the door closed behind her partner.What was he not telling her? There was more to this than he had let on.

She was tempted--oh, so tempted!--to follow him. But this was the kind ofgame she thought they'd finally stopped playing. They were beyond that,right? She had to trust him.

Besides, whatever was bothering him had personal undertones. And she wasstill uncertain exactly how much right she had to ferret out personal revelationsfrom him. As he had since the beginning, Mulder made the rules.

Fine. She'd call him at home in an hour or so with another question abouta file, and if he didn't answer, she'd go after him by cell.

Thus resolved, she forced herself to push thoughts of her partner asideand returned to the stacks of files on the floor.

The nighttime quiet of the building and the increasingly quiet streets outsidewere conducive to smooth efficiency, and ninety minutes had passed beforeshe noted the time.

She was reaching for the phone, intending to call Mulder as planned, whenher cell phone trilled to life. Expecting her partner, she dove for it,answered quickly.

"Scully."

The voice on the other end was not Mulder's. "Dana Scully?" Itwas a man's voice, a lilting tenor.

She frowned. "Yes. Who is this?"

"Someone who has an interesting tidbit of information for you."

Scully fumbled with the office phone, quickly punching in the number fora trace. Into her cell, she said, "What information would that be?"

"A man we both know, someone you want to talk to very badly, can befound at 480 Plato Ave., Apt. 44A, tonight only. I suggest you go rightaway."

She put her hand over the cell phone, spoke rapidly into the office phone."This is Agent Dana Scully. I need a trace on my cell number _now._"

Returning to the cell, she spoke slowly, trying to draw him out. "Whatman?"

"His name is Alex."

Involuntarily, Scully gasped. What were the odds? It couldn't be coincidence.Mulder must have known something. "Who _is_ this?" she asked again.

"When you catch him, Agent Scully," the man said amiably, "tellhim Clerke MacDonald sent you. That will make me very happy."

"Wha--" she began, but the line was already dead.

"Shit!" she exclaimed, and the agent on the office phone reported:"It wasn't enough time, Agent Scully."

"I know that," she answered irritably. "Thank you."She hung up, and immediately punched the speed dial for Mulder's home phone.

One. Two. Three.

A tinny but familiar voice. "You've reached Fox Mulder. I'm experiencingunusually high call volume at this time and all my agents are busy--"

_Dammit._

She hung up and hit the speed dial for his cell, but again, there was noanswer. A vision of Mulder lying dead on the floor under Krycek's gleefulgaze flashed through her mind. "Mulder," she said aloud to herself,"if you're chasing Alex Krycek without me I swear I'm gonna shoot youagain."

She picked up the office phone and dialed up the switchboard. The operatoranswered. "D.C. police," she said, in a voice that crackled withauthority. She was going to need back-up.

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11:24 p.m.

Scully had barely touched the brakes all the way to the address. Arriving,she passed the rundown apartment building, then parked around the corner,where, as expected, four unmarked cars were double-parked. Eight uniformedmen milled menacingly on the sidewalk.

She killed the ignition and hurried over to join them, flashing her badgeas she walked. "I'm Agent Scully," she announced, quiet but crisp."Thank you for coming. I got a phone tip that a wanted and dangerouscriminal is inside apartment 44A of that building. We're going to take allprecautions going in. Here's the man you're looking for."

She handed a photo of Alex Krycek to the nearest officer, who studied itfor a moment before passing it along.

"This man only has one arm, but don't let that deceive you. He shouldbe considered extremely dangerous," Scully continued. "I'd reallylike to have him alive, if at all possible, but don't hesitate to shootto kill if the situation demands it. I want all exits covered and threeof you to come with me."

She paused, wet her lips uncertainly. "There is a possibility thathe has a hostage. Take all precautions."

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11:36 p.m.

Mulder gasped and fell backward as Krycek's lips grazed his nipple, as theyounger man's skin grazed his own, sending shocks of electric current shootingfrom his groin to the tips of his fingers and toes. It was all so surreal,so unbelievable--and yet, so _good._

Fox Mulder and Alex Krycek.

Naked.

When he first heard the ringing, Mulder thought it was his cell phone again,but then Krycek was leaning over the side of the bed, groping for the landline.

"Don't answer," Mulder heard himself hiss, just as Krycek hadtold him each of the two times his cell had rung.

"Have to," Krycek whispered, then spoke into the handset. "Hello?"

He was close enough that Mulder could hear the voice on the other end, ateasing tenor. "Alex," the unknown man said. "I'm comingup. Hope you're...heheh..._decent._"

Then a dial tone.

"Shit!" Krycek cried, dropping the phone. He leapt to his feet,tugging Mulder with him.

Mulder frowned. "What?"

"It's...an ex-lover," Krycek answered quickly, looking as sheepishas a one-armed naked man with a very large, erect cock can. "Clerke.C'mon." He darted for the closet door, opening it. "Hide in here.I'll get rid of him."

Mulder shook his head, opened his mouth to refuse, but Krycek cut him offas he grabbed Mulder's gun from the stove. "I'm serious, Mulder. Youdon't understand. If he finds you here I don't know what he'll do. Get _inthe fucking closet!_"

With a violent shove, he slammed Mulder into the tiny space, just as thepounding on the door started.

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Surrounded by officers, their guns held ready, Scully pounded on the door.When there was no immediate answer, she called, "FBI," and noddedat the man to her right, cocking her Sig.

The officer kicked the door open, and what happened next was a split-secondblur, but when Scully would replay it in her mind for the rest of her life,it would be technicolor slow-motion.

She saw Krycek, naked, turning toward her with his mouth an 'o' of surprise.Raising his gun. She fired.

She missed. The bullet slammed into the closet door, and the ensuing screamdid not register with her brain until her fingers had automatically squeezedthe trigger again, splattering Krycek's blood and brains on the crackedplaster wall. His body slumped to the ground, and only then did the screamsink in.

ohgod

She raced across the room, jerked open the cheap closet door. Mulder, nakedbut for his own dark blood, slumped to the floor.

Scully dropped to her knees, praying it was a horrible dream. Her fingerswiped frantically at the blood on his chest as she tried to make out theedges of the wound. He gasped for breath beneath her hands, and his eyelidsfluttered, shock-wide pupils both seeing her and not seeing her. She turnedto the men in the doorway, who were standing still in uncertain shock, gapingat the blood-colored walls, woman and floor, and as if from a distance heardher own voice yelling, "Don't just stand there--call an ambulance!"

Someone did, but she knew, despite every hope, that it was too late. "Mulder,"she whispered softly, cradling his head in her lap, trying to hold his gazeas if by doing so she could hold onto his life. "Mulder, come _on._"

She stroked his hair, trying not to see the blood that trailed from thecorner of his mouth. "Mulder," she repeated softly, choking onthe word, naming him as he died.

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End.




Sigh. Wasn't that sweet? I'm glad I stuck with _that_ ending, instead ofthe one I was ABOUT to write. It might've been more interesting--would'vedefinitely had serious sequel possibilities. Oh yeah, love them sequels.

But I had this problem, see. In my alternate ending, MacDonald was goingto be Krycek's ex-lover still, but an all-around nice guy instead of thevillage Mr. Nasty, see? He was going to be all sad that Mulder and Krycekhad discovered they were soulmates, and we were all going to feel very sorryfor him, until Scully decided she really liked him, and they ended up havinga double wedding (Scully and MacDonald, Mulder and Krycek, that is).

But never fear, you shippy little hearts, you! Mulder and Scully would stillbe Really Good Friends, so close in fact that when Scully finally gets pregnant,Mulder decides he wants to experience this miracle with her, so he getspregnant too! They have all kinds of pregnancy adventures together--sequelpossibilities abound. "Morning Sickness In Dudley, Texas," "S/He'sHaving My Baby," "Nine Minutes, Nine Months"--the list goeson.

Mulder and Alex name their baby Alex, Jr., and Scully and MacDonald nametheirs Jim. The two boys grow up practically like brothers, and there'sa whole series of stories there too, of course. Sorta like the Hardy Boysor something. "Jim and Alex Play Cops 'n' Robbers," "Jimand Alex Abducted by Aliens," "Jim and Alex at the FBI Academy."You get the idea.

I was getting really jazzed about the whole thing--you know, creating originalsecondary characters and developing them and all that--when I suddenly slammedheadfirst into the obvious problem.

Scully can't get pregnant.

Man, reality SUCKS.

---------------------------------------------------

REAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

yeah. like anyone WANTS responsibility for this. but i might not be doingthis if it weren't for the wonderful support provided by dahlak, flywoman,jordan and marguerite. don't blame them, though, okay?

jordan generously plays weblord to the Barnyard, which can be found at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/1063.

nascent will handle dark nascent's feedback at nascent70@hotmail.com.

Started: 06/30//98
Finished: 08'/17/98




---------------------------------------------------------------- X-Filesfanfiction generously hosted by jordan at: http://geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/1063

---------------------------------------------------------------- "I'msorry, Scully. You were right."
-Fox Mulder (really! Name the ep!)