Spoilers for Terma

Contains sexual innuendo and smut but not downright filth as I am saving
myself for later.

Disclaimer: You heard it before, but I'll say it again. They don't belong to
me. I would have been much nicer to them.

Thank you Frankie, and Fleur for reading and snorting

Feedback please. I'm just a baby at this. I'll get better once I mature....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"

by Dr Ruthless

Part 1 "The dying of the light"

I've been here before. Whenever I come here it seems to be dark. The streets
are always wet and grimy, and I invariably end up slinking around in some
black, abandoned warehouse, in pursuit of a shady being who will kill me if
I make a wrong move. Why don't I move to Fort Lauderdale, cut the legs off
my jeans, get myself a tan and go fishing? It would be so much easier to go
with the flow instead of always swimming against the tide. Why don't I just
hightail it to the airport and grab the next flight out to a sunspot. Maybe
I could be in a whole different story...."Pirates of the Caribbean" perhaps.
I'm not too hot with a sword any more now I only have one arm though. I used
to be a great sabre fencer, and once in a while I would try an epee. Foils
are boring. There's no risk to fencing with foils, but epees are different.

Did you know that there are channels cut into an epee for the blood to run
down?

No matter! The reason why I'm here, the reason why I can't just go off to
lie on the sand and drink strawberry daiquiris, the reason I'm putting my
life on the line again? All reasons are the same. There's only one cause.
When you get right down to it, it all adds up to one thing. His name is Fox
Mulder.

I've been away for a few weeks. I haven't been able to contact Fox, until
yesterday I haven't dared to call him. I didn't want to get him killed. He
lives on the edge, but I've been so far out over the void now for so long
that I can walk on air like a cartoon character. I don't think Fox can do
that! Once in a while I fall but the trick is not to look down. As long as
you don't see the drop, you don't hurt yourself.

So, I finally got back to DC last night. I've been running for a long time
now, but at last it seemed safe to come back here. I lost the tail in
Colorado. Lost him somewhat permanently too. He won't be coming up behind me
and saying "Boo!" at least not unless he can find a spade under there. A new
right eye would help him a lot, and there were a few bits of brain that
parted company from the mother ship too, as I recall! So, I get into DC last
night and decide that I want to go call on my tovarich. I've missed him.

I'm making my circumspect way to his apartment, not wanting to get him into
trouble-you know how it is- "desperate criminal found in the bed of Federal
Agent". Not good for the career, not to mention the fact that his arch
-enemy the Cigarette Smoking Man would probably kill us both. Anyways, I'm
skulking in dark alleys, the way any good rat would, when I see him. I see
the CSM. I'm wondering what he's doing in an area that's less than a block
away from Mulder's apartment, so I wait, and I watch, and finally, when the
evil old bastard stirs himself and turns to leave, I follow. It takes a lot
of skill to spot me when I'm tailing you. I've made my career from being
silent but deadly. So I have to say it comes as no surprise to me when he
doesn't see me, and then he leads me to an office, where I overhear him
arranging a meeting with the Consortium. I figure that Fox would like to be
in on this, so I take a little risk. I phone him. Well, he's not at home,
and I don't want to risk calling his cell-phone. Those things are not
secure, I don't care what anyone says. I don't want to say too much or be
betrayed into giving too much info over the phone, so I call his home and I
leave my message. I say:

"Hey Mulder, this is Slasher, remember me? Long time no see. I thought we
could get together tonight. Meet me outside the Hardt Building on 21st at
8:15, there's a bus shelter there. Our mutual friends are planning a party
and I think it would be great to surprise them. There may even be someone
with wacky tobaccy there if you get my drift. We're gonna have a blast
Mulder. Bring something that packs a punch, and wear a little black number."

And now here I am, waiting in the bus shelter and he's late. Do you suppose
he's stood me up? I'm going to have to go in on my own if he's not here in
the next 15 minutes or the old bastard get away and we'll have to start all
over again. It would be so good to get the foul smelling old bastard off my
back and out of our lives together. In about 20 minutes, I'm gonna be
shoving a packet of Morleys up where the sun don't shine, and if he asks me
real nice, I may not light them up first!

Boy, where does the time go? Maybe he's out of town. Dumb of me, I should
have checked but I was so excited to be here that it didn't occur to me.
Looks like I'm going to have to go in and take care of things on my own.
Same old story! Who can you depend on if not yourself? Fox, this will be my
gift to you. What a great Thanksgiving present it will be. I just can't wait
to see you!

Nope, you aren't coming are you? Where are you? Maybe you decided it's too
tough to carry on a relationship with an unscrupulous killing machine that's
missing some integral parts anyway. I'd be thinking long and hard about it
too, if I were you. Still I wish we'd never got together over there in
Vancouver. You know what the Chinese say? "One glass of wine is better
spilled." If I didn't know how love could be, I wouldn't be missing it so
much right now. Anyway, it's time. Be there or be square Alex old rat! Let's
get Fox something really nice for Thanksgiving. Lets give him the whole
damned Consortium, complete with their stooges, politicians and flunkeys.

So, I'm inside. There wasn't much of a lock there. No security guards, no
lookouts. These guys are either confident or careless. I bet they think
nobody knows they exist. Beep, beep! Wrong! Go directly to jail! Do not
collect 200 dollars!

Hmmmm! They aren't on the ground floor. The Cancerman said room 301 on he
phone last night. I'm heading that way now. Where's the fanfare? The music?
Alex Krycek is comin' to getcha!

So, there's a light on, but not much noise. I'm wondering what's going on in
there. What are they waiting for? I don't see any movement, so I'm going to
risk going in. The safety catch is off, and I'm about as alert as I've ever
been.

Oh, Fuck!

"Ah, Mr. Krycek. So glad you could come. Do sit down. You'll see I have
saved you a chair." I sit, what else to do? The smoke is curling up from one
of his damned cigarettes, and I am wishing that I knew why he's looking so
smug when I am pointing a fucking great automatic pistol at him. I look
around the room, and something in my bowels runs hot, then cold. Man, I need
the bathroom! There are nine other people in here with us, and they are all
sitting around the table with us, and they are all dead. They are fucking
dead! Every single one of them has had his brains blown to kingdom come.
Jeez, I hope I'm not gonna get stuck with the bill for cleaning the carpets.

"I'm very glad to see you here Mr. Krycek. You have caused me more than a
little trouble over the past few months. I do so hate to leave things
untidy. Your presence tonight has made me very happy. I'm holding a party in
your honour as you can see." The man lights up yet another cigarette and
smiles at me through the smoke. His skin is so well preserved, and the smile
so forced it seems to me that the face will fall in half. Imagine that! The
top of his head falls off! No such luck however. He keeps on talking.

"In a few minutes we'll be expecting another guest. One you may know. I have
assembled these fine people around us especially for the two of you. I
really think it's time that we put paid to your little rebellion. It's a
great shame you could not have carried out your orders Mr. Krycek. There was
a time when I had great hopes for you. However, you are somewhat of a
problem now, and I'm afraid it's too late for you." He picked up a small
tube from the table. Whatever it was, it shone with a deep black inner gleam
like hematite. Maybe he was going to smoke it. Did I care? No, not so you
would notice. Finally, I ask him the 6400 dollar question.

"What are you talking about? Are you going to kill me?" I try to be
nonchalant about it but can't help feeling that he's noticed the fact that
my voice has gone up 3 octaves and I'm sweating like a pig.

"Oh yes. I'm very definitely going to kill you. I'm going to test out this
new weapon. It's something our visitors have loaned us for trials, and from
the specifications it should work very well on you. It's something of an
honour you know. You will be the first subject of our new batch of tests."
Oh great. In a minute he'll let out a maniacal laugh and start telling me
his secret plans to rule the world. Oh Fox, I would so much rather be curled
up on the couch with you and a box of popcorn, watching reruns of the
Rockford Files. Where are you? I think I need you to rescue me. My favourite
ex-employer goes on the air again.

"I've prepared things very well for you. You are going to expire in one
minute when I fire this device at you. Thirty seconds later, Fox Mulder will
walk through that door and I will hand the device to him. He will be a
little surprised maybe, when I tell him it's an alien weapon, but not as
surprised as when he finds you, lying dead with your gun in hand, having
shot all these nice people. When the police arrive in three minutes time,
they are going to find Mr. Mulder in possession of a murder weapon, and they
are going to take him away and incarcerate him. Then, I will go home and
have a brandy before retiring for the night."

I open my mouth to say "Don't kill me, I really enjoyed working for you. I'd
love to sign on again." But before I can open my mouth, he lifts the tube up
and points it at me. There's a fizzing sound and the world starts spinning
around. Then everything goes cloudy for a minute. I fall down, but get up
again almost immediately, and head towards him to teach him the error of his
ways. I grab hold of the device with my left hand while raising my right to
punch out his lights.

I grab with my left hand. I pull back my left hand and look closely at it. I
have a left hand. Something happened to me. I have two arms. I want to kiss
the filthy old villain, but then I realise he isn't looking at me. He's
looking at something behind me. He's looking at something on the floor and
smiling. He takes the cigarette out of his mouth long enough to speak

"Goodbye Mr. Krycek." I look to the floor and see what it is he's looking
at.

Oh fuck! It's me. I think I'm dead.

Quickly, he puts the gun in my hand, holds it up and makes my finger pull
the trigger. There's a very loud bang. I realise that he's used my hand to
shoot his own arm, just above the elbow. I guess that forensics are going to
find powder on my hand. He's a clever bastard. I hear footsteps, hurrying
toward the room. The door crashes open, and in he comes. Fox. My love. He
didn't stand me up, but he's so late.

Not as late as me. I'm the late Alex Krycek. I wonder how he's going to take
the news of my demise. I go to him and try to make him know I'm here. I yell
at him, and put my hand on.urp, through his shoulder. Oh God, what can I
do? I think I've messed up alarmingly, and for once, I'm not going to be
able to get out of it.

CSM staggers to Fox, and extends his hand. He says "Take it. It's the only
thing I had to defend myself with. It's yours now." Puzzled, Mulder takes
the object and I see it's the alien ray gun or whatever. He's holding it,
looking baffled, and I'm not surprised. He catches sight of me. I watch him
sink to his knees and feel for my pulse. He can't find it. I want to hold
him but I can't. His face crumples and he slumps next to me and covers his
face in his hands. Oh Fox. I'm here. Can't you tell? There are more sounds
coming from the door. In come about four cops. They are wearing kevlar vests
and pointing huge artillery at my guy. He is not noticing anything. Tears
are rolling down his cheeks, and I want to lick them off: to tell him I'm
here and everything's going to be all right. Except that it won't and I
can't. CSM is offering them some kind of credentials and telling them how I
shot everyone including him, and how Fox and I argued and how Fox killed me.

Fox is still out of it. They take him down and cuff him. He screams "No!"
and then "Alex!" before they drag him out. I go with him. There doesn't seem
to be any further point in staying with my body, it doesn't appear to want
me any more. I tag along behind Fox, and try to catch his attention. Once,
just after they load him into the back of a police van I think I've got his
attention. He looks at me, right at me. Then, he shudders and looks through
me, before his shoulders start to shake, and the tears come again. His hands
are cuffed behind his back and he can't hide them this time. My heart (if I
still have one) aches for him. I don't know how I can help him. I love him
and he's hurting. It suddenly dawns on me that I'm never going to be able to
hold him again. I'm dead. That means no more kisses, no waking up to feel
you stroking my neck, no long hard body pressed against mine. Now there are
two of us bawling our eyes out. Oh Fox, I'd give anything I had for just the
chance to tell you goodbye, and to let you know at last why I killed your
father.

*****************

He's just lying there. I've tried and tried to make him see me, but he
doesn't. I've been all around the cop-shop trying to get people to see me.
The only one I seemed to have any success with was the drunk in the holding
cell three doors down from Mulder, and he screamed and fainted. Then he
puked. I don't really want him to see me.

I've seen "Ghost". Patrick Swayze found other ghosts who helped him to learn
what you do, but so far, I've seen only the living. I wonder why. I don't
know how to help you Fox, and I'm sure I'm here because I have to help you.
I can't think of any other reason for me to be left after I've bitten the
big one. I wonder if there really is a hell. I'm gonna find out one way or
another aren't I? Maybe this is hell. I'm condemned to watch everything I
love turn to shit, while I can't do anything to stop it. That's hell right
there! I wasn't that bad though. Everything I did, I did for a reason. I was
never evil, not the way that cigarette smoking bastard's evil. Oh, Fox, how
can I help you?

It's getting late. I'm beginning to ramble. Oh boy! Swayze went to look for
a medium. I should maybe try that. There's the Stupendous Yappi I suppose,
but I'll save him 'til I get really desperate! There's no point in staying
here watching Fox. He's completely out of it at the moment. I touch his face
with my left hand. My left hand! He doesn't feel it, I don't feel it, but
it's the thought that counts. I go outside to see what I can find.

Out on the street, there's a misty quality to the night. There's enough rain
in the air to make a halo around the moon. I take a deep breath, watch my
chest moving and wonder what the hell it is that I'm breathing. It feels
like air, but it's not the air of this night I see. It has no flavour, no
scent of grass, no moisture, no clean chill to draw into my lungs. I'm
looking around, but there's nothing moving but a few scraps of paper, blown
by the night breeze. I've got to do something, or I'll burst. Think Alex,
think!

I'll go and see Scully.

I walk. It seems as if I walk, though I don't make any sounds. This is all
so weird it's like a dream. What can I do for you Fox? How can I get you out
of this?

I suddenly get an idea. If I'm a ghost, how come I can't fly? I try for a
minute, willing myself to rise up, and for a few seconds I actually do, but
the second I quit concentrating, I sink back down to the earth. Hmmm. Alex
Krycek, earthbound spirit! What will become of me? I keep waiting for those
black critters from "Ghost" to appear and drag me down, but there's nothing,
not an angel from heaven, not a demon from the black beyond, only me.

Here's Scully's apartment building. It seems odd to call them apartments
when they're all together the way they are! I'm beginning to bore myself
with this philosophizing shit! All the lights are out, but that is probably
because it's about 2:30am and everyone's sleeping. I think about Mulder,
lying dry-eyed and stunned in his holding cell, and I want to run yelling
through these halls screaming and banging on the doors. I've learned a thing
or two in the past few hours though, and instead of standing around waiting
for someone to open the door for me, I close my eyes and step in. I was here
once before. I remember the horror of watching as another red-headed girl
died. I remember that I was going to kill, but that I did not. I remember
going back to report what had happened, and being berated by the man who had
sent me. I remember that it was to have been Scully who died that night,
Dana, not Melissa. I still have no idea why. I wonder to myself as I have
many times since why did I do it? How did I think it would help Fox?

Scully's apartment is quiet when I enter it. The living room is neat, and
nothing is out of place. The kitchen is tidy too, with rows of herb jars and
pretty plates hung on a rack. There are no dirty dishes. Dana, you are the
perfect housekeeper! Come live with me, please. I've always wanted you! I
stick my head into her refrigerator and there are carefully packaged items,
everything clean and labeled, nothing fattening here. Such discipline! I bet
she likes to tie men up and get on top. Jeez! Maybe I'll get to check that
out before too much longer!

Where is she? I seep through the closed door that leads to what just has to
be her bedroom. There she is. I ooze up closer to look at this formidable
little person in her vulnerability. If I could touch you, I could kill you
right now Dana, but I won't. I need you. Fox needs you.

She's lying on her tummy. Her pajamas are green silk and her sheets are soft
white cotton. Her hair fans out over the pillow like a flower's petals, and
she looks so peaceful I'm touched. I want to stroke my finger down her
cheek, and share her peace, but hey! Not a chance! She's a beautiful lady,
this prickly little partner of Mulder's. I stand and watch her, and feel
quite moved. Her lips are full and red, her lashes curl onto her cheek, and
contrast with the incredibly fine-grained white skin. She doesn't snore
either! Please come live with me Dana! I'm lost in a reverie that involves a
sandwich, with me playing the ham, and Fox and Dana pressed one on either
side, each trying in their own way to ensure that I stay with them. Dirty
Alex! Dirty boy! You had Fox, and you lost him, now do what you came here
for, and quit wasting time. I'm feeling a certain fullness in my groin and
wondering if ghosts ever jerk themselves off? I'm going to be finding that
out sooner or later I guess.

I don't know what to do here. I'm confused. Sexual tension, misery and anger
are a powerful cocktail. I want to pound something. I want to pound and
pound on the cancerous old shit that put me in this position. I am so mad, I
want to kill. I look around and see the metal tray on her dresser. It holds
all kinds of little stuff, beads and combs and knick-knacks. I stride over
to it and without thinking I hurl it to the floor. It makes the mother and
father of all crashes. Holy Moly! I jump out of my ethereal skin at the
sheer surprise of it. Beads and feminine accoutrements go all over the floor
and Dana sits bolt upright yelling "Freeze!"

I cheer softly! You go girl! You didn't disappoint me even slightly! Fox may
lose the odd gun but not you Dana, you sleep with yours under your pillow!
I'm looking down the barrel of a gun that you would not even believe she
could lift, let alone fire, and it's pointing very steadily. It's trained on
me. I move slightly and the gun follows me.

She sees me!

I fall to my knees, and at last, tears come to my eyes. The gun still points
at me. She does not seem to realise just what my problem is. I push myself
up, walk towards her and am rewarded by her yell!

"Don't move! Put your hands on your head and stand still. I will kill you if
you come any closer."

"Scully, put down the gun, I need your help." Her eyes suddenly widen as she
hears my voice. She's recognised me. Part of me is grateful for the fact
that she can't do anything to actually hurt me! Her fingers are tightening
on the trigger.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part 2 "And learn, too late, they grieved it on it's way"

"Scully, I'm not here. I'm a ghost. Here, look." I reach forward and pass my
hand through the end of her bed. The expression I'm rewarded with is
priceless. I've never seen such a double take in my life. She is seriously
shocked about this I can tell, but she does lower the gun and relax a little
bit. I perch my ectoplasm on the side of her bed, and she moves away to the
other side. I grin and am thinking of tormenting her a little by jumping
into bed with her, when I remember belatedly why I am there.

Whilst these thoughts are running madly through my mind, she finally gets
herself together.

"Krycek! What are you doing in my apartment? What's happened? Why would you
imagine for even one minute that I might want to help you?"

I draw a deep breath and begin to tell her about the evening's events. I
tell her about the sick fuck that set me up, and how I'd called Mulder to
come and back me up. I fill her in about the arrest, and about my death.
Then, I let her know that Mulder is in jail, and that he's catatonic. I
don't tell her that Fox is (was) my life, and that I had planned to spend
the rest of this night depriving him of sleep in the most arousing ways I
could think of. I don't say that I love him, and that he's keeping me here
beyond the grave. I finish up my synopsis and move straight to the
editorial.

"Scully, Dana, we have to get him out of there. We have to help him. He
didn't kill me, or any of the others. He's going to be indicted, and he'll
go to the gas chamber for murder unless we can prove he didn't do it. We're
the only ones who can do anything to save him."

Scully furrows those perfect eyebrows, and her smooth alabaster forehead
shows a momentary frown. She is thinking and I don't really want to
interfere with the process. Firstly she's a clever lady, and she's got more
ideas than any two other people I know. Secondly, she once shot Mulder right
in front of me and I haven't really ascertained just yet whether or not she
can hurt me. Thirdly, she's pretty when she frowns, and I want to watch her.

"So your telling me that you were set up by this..this shadowy government
figure, and that Mulder has been arrested?" Bingo! She got it in one! She's
not slow, this girl! I agree.

"Yeah, the old bastard set us both up. He told the cops that I'd shot most
of them, and that Mulder had helped. He gave Mulder the weapon and then told
the cops he'd seen the murders, and that he was going to be next. If I could
only hold a gun, he'd be right. Walls and guards can't stop me now. The
thing is, Scully, Mulder has just gone completely to pieces. We're going to
have to do something creative to get him out of the pokey, because when I
last saw him, he was not even capable of stirring his own coffee let alone
finding a way to prove his innocence. He just didn't care any more." I try
to convey all the sincerity in the world. I need this amazing little person
on my side. If she decides she will help, maybe, just maybe I'll see that
evil old man get what he deserves and I won't have died in vain. I hold my
breath and wait for her to deliberate.

"Krycek, you say Mulder has had some kind of a breakdown? Why? What made him
fall apart. Is it something to do with his sister?" Scully is on the wrong
track and I break in:

"No, his sister was never mentioned. It isn't anything to do with her." I
fall silent. Honestly, I don't mind Scully knowing about us, but it's not my
story to tell any more. I'm not gonna be the one who has to live with it
once she finds out, and really thinks it through. I'm sitting on the
sidelines now. I mull that over, and all of a sudden it hits me. I mean, it
really hits me, like a thump in the gut. Like Fox was here, and letting me
know he didn't like me. Holy shit! I'm dead. All done! Bye-bye! I'll never
hold him again. I'll never wake up again and open my eyes to see him gazing
at me with that expression on his face. I only ever got to experience it the
once, and now it's gone forever beyond my reach. I bury my head in my hands
and let a wave of desolation wash over me. Oh Fox!

Scully is watching me, but I can tell she doesn't understand.

"Krycek, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt for now. I can't for
the life of me see what you have to gain by helping Mulder, but I'm willing
to go along with you for the moment. However, the minute I find out that
you're lying to me, believe me, all bets are off. The fact that you're dead
won't save you from me. I'll have you exorcised. I'll find some way to make
you wish you hadn't ever met me." Throwing back the sheet, she swings her
legs around to sit on the edge of the bed. I flinch involuntarily as her
shapely feet pass clean through my mid-section. She sits for a minute,
before giving me the evil eye again.

"You may be dead, but you are not going to watch me getting changed. Would
you mind going into the living room for a few minutes. I'll be with you as
soon as I can." I mooch off through the wall, but turn after a moment to
peek.

She wears pretty undies. She trusted me not to look. I cheated. Oh well,
rats must be rats! I float in the general vicinity of her couch and wait for
this irresistible force to get dressed and come help me rescue my lover.

My money's on our side.

*************************************

It seems like forever, but when she emerges from her bedroom, she's done a
first class job. She hasn't got a hair out of place, and she's dressed in
her tailored best. Figure-hugging pants do their duty by a figure that's
worth every squeeze it gets. Her feet are tucked into shiny leather boots
and her blouse reveals just enough cleavage to seriously distract anyone who
isn't dead yet. Ahem, I'll amend that! I am seriously distracted. It must be
the green silk pyjamas that got to me, I'm not usually a push over for a
pretty face!

She's pulling on a leather jacket and swinging her car keys at me. I blow
her a kiss, and float over to her. I'm getting the hang of this locomotion
now. If you concentrate on going somewhere, you just somehow seem to get
there. It ain't fast, but it's ghostly all right, and if I'm gonna find a
career haunting and rattling my chains at evil doers I can't put off
learning just because Scully is pissed off at me.

We leave her apartment and head for her car. She fixes me with what I
imagine to be the kind of look that makes strong men weep and cave in. I
return the look with my own special bland stare. It's guaranteed to piss you
off every time. I developed it when I was working with Mulder. It's a stand
off! After a minute, I see her lip twitch, and if you'll pardon the
expression, I corpse! I start to laugh. Forgive me, I've been through a lot
today, and it's made me a little crazy, but I laugh and laugh until I cry
with laughter. She regards me disdainfully at first, but slowly, the ice
queen sheds her snooty expression, and an answering grin appears on her
face. If I could, I'd be leaning on her, slapping her back and drumming my
heels, but as it is, I just kinda hover. In another minute, she's howling
too, and between splutters, she's trying to tell me something.

"Krycek, how do you that? You're fading in and out like a really bad
tracking system on a VCR!" She's warmed up for a minute, and I watch her
with genuine enjoyment. She's got it all does this little woman. She's
clever, beautiful, and much more ruthless than I am. She could kill you and
walk away, She could shoot you, and then extract the bullet, bandage you up
and tell you what an asshole you were for making it necessary! If you don't
believe me just ask Mulder. He's got holes up and down him like a fucking
flute from Scully's tender ministrations.

Eventually, the hilarity dies down, and we begin to address the serious
business of the night. Getting into Scully's car, we head out towards the
police station where they are holding Fox. As we go, I give her a blow by
blow account of what went down. She's thinking hard, and I'm trying to find
a way forward for us both.

"Scully, I think we should split up. I'm going to go find the Cigarette
Smoking Man and find out what's going down. There's nothing he can do to me
now, and I want to find some way of exposing what he's doing. We'll go to
the jail, and see what you can do for Mulder, but then I have to go find
that bastard. We need to arrange a time and a place to meet. Are you going
to tell Mulder that I'm here?"

She thinks for a minute: "Krycek, you are a real nuisance! Why can't you do
things the way everyone else does? I don't know if I can admit to hobnobbing
with a ghost or not. Don't push me, I'm not even sure if I'm awake or
dreaming." She gives me another grin, and I think I see the stars come out.
"I can see a great use for your services if you're going to hang around with
me! You're the perfect undercover agent!"

"Dr. Scully, you are a reprehensible young woman! Let's get this over with
first then we can talk. I might just get carried aloft on a shaft of
moonlight once we get Mulder out of this jam. I don't know why I'm still
hanging around here. I would have thought I'd be in a warm dark place by
now, with a bunch of demons slapping my feet with birch twigs and stuffing
lighted matches down my toenails! Maybe I've been given a chance to redeem
myself. I have no idea what's going to happen after that. Also, much as I
hate to argue theology, I don't believe in God, but if I do find him, I'm
going to blow the motherfucker right off his pearly throne for the stuff
he's done to me. All I wanted was to be happy with the person I loved. I
never had a chance. Look at the stuff that's happened to me. Talk about
never giving a sucker an even break." OK, I know, I was pontificating! She
got that look in her eyes.

"Krycek, are you whining? I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to find some way
of hurting you if you keep on!" I gulp, and pictures of her in black leather
and chains, standing over me flow through my mind and warm me up
considerably. Ghosts get horny too! Who knew? Maybe I should tell her. She
looks as if she'd get a kick out of it. I'm getting to like Scully.

We are drawing up at the cop-shop. She parks neatly and perfectly, just the
way she does everything, and with little or no fuss, she hops out and locks
up. I watch her take a deep breath and transform from a kitten into a
lioness. She starts forward and I tag along. Opening the door into the
police station, we confront the extremely fat desk sergeant, who doesn't
seem to be very wide-awake. He opens a rheumy eye and gives her a fishy
stare. Dana hands it straight back to him. The temperature drops ten degrees
right there, and the officer gets frost on his uniform jacket. He
reluctantly wakes himself up, and gives her the benefit of his attention.

"Special Agent Scully, FBI!" She flashes her badge and leans in to
intimidate the blubbery hulk behind the desk. He smiles in a sickly way, and
smartens his ideas up.

"What can I do for you, Agent Scully?" She rolls her eyes, and asks to see
Mulder. She gets her way of course and Lardo conducts her down into the
basement where the holding cells are. We pass the drunken man who saw me
earlier, but he's not in any fit state to see me now. He's lying on his back
on the floor, blowing bubbles and grunting like a pig. I resolve never to
drink too much again. Not that it's much of a sacrifice! OK, I further
resolve to haunt Fox unless he stays off the sauce.

We progress down the corridor to the other cell and there he is. He hasn't
moved much. His eyes are red, and his hair is a mess. He's got tear tracks
on his face, his suit will never be the same again, and he's lying on his
side, with that terrible flat, blank gaze. I look into his eyes, but he's
not at home.

Scully is taken aback by the appearance of her partner. She stands for a
long moment surveying the wreck of a once proud FBI agent, and then she
turns to me, obviously wanting to ask me something. The presence of Sergeant
Congeniality inhibits her, and a spasm of frustration flickers across her
face.

I meet her stare with one of my own, and reflect that she is going to be
asking questions as soon as she can. Meanwhile, she is tugging at Mulder,
trying to get him to take notice.

"Mulder! Come on Mulder. You have to pull yourself together if we're going
to get you out of here." Mulder doesn't move, he just lies there and a tear
runs down onto the striped ticking of the pillow on which he lies.

Scully shakes her head angrily, and then begins to put him through a
complete medical examination. I watch her touching him gently, and wish it
were yesterday. I want him so badly! I want to make him better again, but as
usual, it's my fault and I can't help put things right. A thought chases
that one. If I had my time over again, I'm going to be a doctor. You get to
put your hands in amazing places and nobody thinks it strange. Nobody slaps
your face! You can also bet that nobody hacks your arm off with a red -hot
machete either, it just isn't done in medical circles.

Scully has got him sitting up now, but he's still locked in his own silent
world of misery. The duty cop has finally taken himself off outside. Quick
as a flash, she whirls and fixes me with the gimlet stare. The one designed
to make me confess to everything.

"Krycek, just what happened to him? He's in deep shock. I realise that he's
been in the presence of murder victims today, but that shouldn't be
affecting him this way. What aren't you telling me?" As she talks, Mulder
looks up at last.

"He's dead, Scully." The words are so quietly spoken, I think I dreamed
them, but Dana hears and I know he's back with us for now.

"Who's dead? Krycek? Yes, I know." Scully answers without really taking time
out to examine the import of Mulder's anguished statement. I stay quiet,
looking for a way to ease myself out of this conversation. It's Mulder's
story to tell, but I don't know how she will react to the news that he and I
were lovers. She sits down next to Mulder and gathers him up in her arms,
almost like a little boy. He sighs once and lays his head on her shoulder. I
am touched. I can see love between them, and it's the kind of love I've
never known personally. The kind of love that accepts, and doesn't pass
judgement-ever-just because. Maybe she won't be beating him up about me
after all. I turn away. I'm hurting now, and who's going to clasp ol'
ratghost to their bosom, answer me that? I can tell you this ghost thing is
not great. I feel so damned lonely. I can look, but I can't touch. Never to
touch again! Poor Alex!

Mulder has been lying in Scully's arms, and she has been rocking him gently
from side to side. Now, at last, he stirs and lifts his head up to look into
her eyes. His own eyes are red, and the skin beneath them looks bruised.
Scully sits straighter, and fixes me with her evil eye once more.

"Come on Krycek. Give! What is it that I don't know, that I need to know
here?" I spread my hands in the age-old gesture.

"Scully, there's nothing that you need to know. The only thing there is, is
not my story to tell you, so you'd better ask Mulder. I think I need to go
haunt the Cancer Man before dawn. Once he's out on the street I'll never
find him, and I do really need to tail him if we're to get any kind of clues
as to how to get Mulder out of this." I make for the outside wall of the
cell. Funny, even though I've been walking through closed doors, it hasn't
occurred to me to try walking through the walls. Duh! Scully is pretty fast
though.

"Alex Krycek, if you go before I've finished with you, I'm going to be very
annoyed." I turn back to her. She's got a way about her that's for sure.
Mulder is looking at her as if she's gone totally bananas, and I guess he
has good reason.

"Scully, Alex is dead. Who are you talking to?" He looks around wildly and I
want to kiss him and make him all better.

"Mulder, I don't quite know how to tell you this, but Krycek is right here,
and he's talking to me. I can see him, hear him, everything. I guess he just
isn't visible to everyone. He's here though. He's the one who brought me
tonight. He came and woke me up." Mulder is looking at her with a very odd
expression on his face. I look around for something I can hurl at him, but
everything is bolted down and besides, I don't seem to be able to throw
things the way I managed to in Scully's apartment. Scully runs down a little
like a clockwork mouse. Mulder still is looking at her. She drops her gaze
and blushes. I blow her a kiss and she recovers enough to glare at me!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part 3 "Rage, rage..."

"Don't ask stupid questions Mulder. I need to know why you're in here, and
what we can do to get you out. What happened Mulder? Krycek told me some of
it, but he said I needed to ask you for the details. He seems to be wanting
to get out of here right now, so I want the complete story please." I have
been edging quietly towards the back wall but ostentatiously sink down to
pseudo-sit cross-legged on the floor in an attitude of spuriously intense
concentration. I hang on Fox's lips, but sadly, my dumb play is wasted on
him.

Dana gives me that school-mistress look again, and I subside. Damn! She's
good.

Mulder has been sitting quietly for the last few minutes, but now he takes a
breath and starts to talk in a monotone.

"Alex, he died. Scully, I saw them kill him." He stops talking and his head
hangs down.

"Mulder, you hate Krycek. Why are you so upset about the death of a person
you accused of having a moral dipstick two drops short of bone dry? Someone
who you think killed your father? I don't understand."

Mulder lifts his head once more and regards her without speaking. Then with
a sigh he slumps over, and the story begins to come out.

"When I went on holiday in April, I went to Vancouver." Scully nods as he
speaks. "To cut a long story short, Alex and I met while we were there. I
got to know him. I realised that he wasn't the man I had thought him." For a
minute I think he's going to leave it at that, but then it all bursts out of
him. "Scully, I fell in love with him. We were only together for about 24
hours before he was shot. I had to get him away from danger, and he was
coming back to me tonight. Scully, I lost him." Scully sits, staring at
Mulder as if a man holding a sock stuffed with lead has just whacked her on
the back of the neck. Mulder pauses, and I watch in fascination as the
tableau goes on and on. Finally, Mulder gives her a little shake and she
appears to recover her senses. She says nothing for a few minutes more and I
think she's in a state of shock, but finally she opens her mouth.

"Mulder, are you telling me that you had a relationship with the man who
killed your father?" Mulder nods dumbly.

"Don't you care that he." Mulder interrupted:

"Killed my father? Of course I care, but I loved Alex. He swore that he'd
never do anything to hurt me. He was going to tell me why it happened. Now
it's too late." Scully regards him for a pregnant moment, before beginning
to speak once more.

"OK Krycek. The one thing you can do for us right now is to tell us why in
God's name you killed Mulder's father." I stand up. I want to tell her. I
want Fox to know, but he can't see me or hear me, and I'm sure he's not
going to believe Scully. All that stuff about 'I want to believe!' It's all
bullshit you know! He's very set in his ways sometimes.

"Scully, I killed the alien life-form that was inhabiting Bill Mulder's
body. I did it to save Fox, who incidentally is the man I have loved for the
past four years. He was just telling the creature that he believed to be his
father that he had found out enough that he was to be killed. I saved his
life. That's pretty much all I've been doing for the past few years.
Protecting Fox, saving him from the consequences of his own rash actions,
and trying to keep him safe even though he won't be careful. I died trying
to help him, and I'm still trying to help him. Don't you dare try to put
that down. It doesn't matter if you like me or if you hate me, this is the
soul of Alex Krycek right here doing the only thing it can. Loving Fox
Mulder." I turn away then, and walk through the wall. Let them talk it out
any way they can. They don't need me for it, and I've got to find that old
CSM before the day begins.

***********************************************

I read a poem, it went:

"It is in my blood, the black poison. I am the sinister glass in which the
fury sees itself."

I know how they felt, the person who wrote that.

I'm on the street now, looking for the office where I last saw the Cigarette
Smoker. He has to be found.

I am not staying there to hear them cutting me up and debating my
intentions. Scully can tell Fox or not. One day, he will know, I swear it,
whether I tell him myself or not. I killed a monster, and I am not ashamed.
Tonight I will try once more to do what I have done for the past four years.
I will try with all my soul to protect my love and deliver him from evil.

I wander into the building and start to search for what I need. All is
darkness. He certainly doesn't seem to live over the shop. I wish I had
followed him from the scene of the crime, instead of hanging around Mulder.
I could have done so much more good for him. It's easy to be wise after the
event. Oh well. I'm searching for the office, the papers, everything that
was here. It's not here now. What to do? I think of Scully's superior smile
when I go back and tell her that I totally struck out. The hell she will
patronise me!. I go through the building again. There must be something.
There doesn't seem to be even so much as a packet of Morleys. Even the
ashtrays have been emptied!

Shaking my head, I drift downwards. This is new. If I really concentrate, I
can pass though the floor, and once through, I float down to the next level.
Eventually I fetch up in the parking garage, and there I get my first break.
I fix on the Cadillac in the corner. I'd know that car pretty much anywhere.
I've chauffeured the Smoker in that car too many times not to recognise it
right off. Sliding into the front seat, I settle down to wait. No doubt if
they've moved the office, someone will be coming for the car. Hey! There's
my REM tape I couldn't find. I get a kick out of the lyrics while I'm
waiting. Too bad I can't turn the thing on and play it. Hey, that's me in
the corner. That's me in the spotlight, losing my religion. What a terrible
thing for a newly dead person to be confessing! Fox, I'm here, and I still
believe in you. Something happens to me, and I seem to lose consciousness.
Would you believe that ghosts sleep?

I'm awoken by a sharp sound, as someone puts the key in the lock and opens
the car door. I don't recognise him, but I can tell at a glance that he's
packing some hardware. That's so sloppy. When I go hunting, nobody sees my
weapons until it's too late, and I'm usually toting at least two guns, a
couple of knives, a garrotte and a couple of other things that would cause
grievous bodily harm to anyone needing the treatment. I can also improvise.
You wouldn't believe the mess I can make with a steel comb, or a bunch of
keys. Anyway, Mr. Dynamic here is getting into the car, and I quickly scoot
over. I don't want him sitting on my knee. We haven't been formally
introduced! He turns on the tape player, and on goes REM. Hey! Just for
that, you get to live an extra day.

He seems uneasy, and he keeps casting glances over at me. Just what I need,
a psychic thug, who will not drive me to meet my nemesis! I fade into the
upholstery and he seems to relax. The car starts, and we pull away.

Outside, it's getting light. The birds are yelling their empty little heads
off, and I wonder who it was that first got poetic about birdsong. To me,
birds go good in pies. They are not musical. Michael Stipes is musical. Live
is musical. Birds are just very, very noisy! They are all creating a ruckus
this morning though. I'm watching from the back of the car, as we pull out
of the downtown core and head out towards the suburbs. I'm watching intently
because somehow I have to get back from here, and I can't just hotwire a car
any more.

Finally, we end up at a large house with a sweeping driveway. We sweep up it
in the approved manner! The Heavy-du-jour climbs out of the car and heads
for a door around the side of the house. I don't. I walk in through the
front entrance, admiring the large heavy oak door and the mellow gleam of
wood paneled walls. This is a very nice house. I head into the nearest room
and find a table set for breakfast. There seems to be nobody around, so I
take a seat, and settle down to wait for a few minutes.

I'm working on quite a serviceable fantasy, with lots of action from Dana,
dressed in her lacy camisole and stockings. I'm trying to decide whether Fox
gets to play with us both, or just with me, when there is noise from the
hallway, and the door opens. A liveried servant enters, pushing a cart on
which there are a number of covered dishes. For heaven's sake, this sort of
thing is usually seen in pre-war British movies. For heavens sake! A butler,
right here in the good old USA! He's laying things out on the table, when a
maid flies in, bearing a teapot which she deposits on the table prior to
rushing off again. I almost follow. Her skirt is short and she's got one of
those little white apron thingies on. I'm wondering if she's wearing a
garter belt, and if so, whether or not I can fit her into my daydream
without giving Fox a heart attack!

Something must be happening pretty soon I think, and I am right for a
change. The door is pushed wide, and a number of men walk in. I gaze around
me, and recognise a number of them. My heart is in my mouth as the last
person who enters the room turns out to be my nemesis, my murderer. He
saunters into the room with his cigarette unlit, but pauses theatrically to
light it once inside the doorway.

As the men take seats around the table and begin their breakfast, I wander
over to the Smoker, and attempt to look through the files he has brought in.
When I grab them, and throw them into the air, they scatter like leaves,
spreading all over floor and table indiscriminately. I glance through the
turned up pages, looking for something I can use to clear Fox's name, but
nothing seems to help. Oh well, I have time. I have forever, if that's what
it will take.

Wait a minute, I'm trying to decide why I could throw the papers this time,,
but couldn't move anything last night except for Scully's tray. It dawns on
me that it might be due to sexual tension and I recall that when I had
tossed Scully's tray to the floor, I had been thinkingummmimpure thoughts
about green silk. I pause to recall the green silk in great detail.

Then I float over to the table, where a slightly amazed Smoker and his
cronies are trying to gather all the papers together in a cohesive pile, and
then, with deliberation, I grab the big teapot, raise it above my head, and
hurl it onto the smoker. There are screams. I picture Fox, and then recall
him in the hotel room the night we made our peace at last. This does it and
I sweep everything from the table, I overturn the chairs, I hit men and send
one hurtling through the window into the flowerbed outside. I howl with fury
and rip the pendant light fixture from the ceiling before tossing it
outside.

There are shrieks and screams. Those who still can run away. Others lie on
the floor and moan. The Smoker lies still. He is scalded, and his face is
covered with blisters. In retrospect, I reflect that maybe I should have
waited a little while before I began to play at being the Incredible Hulk. I
haven't really helped Fox, but on reflection, it was fun! The butler comes
rushing into the room, and then grabs for the telephone. I hear him
summoning the ambulance, the police, the entire emergency service. He
doesn't of course summon an exorcist, and to be honest, I don't know if it
would help him. I, poor spent force of nature that I am, sit lounging beside
the Cancer Man, gloating about the state to which I have reduced him. At
least I know where the Cancer Man is, I've seen his HQ, and when the
ambulance comes I can get a ride back into town.

The ambulance gets me back into downtown much faster than my ride out into
suburbia, but this time there's no music playing, and I don't get to sing
along to REM. Instead I'm hearing the siren wailing and the blue light is
flashing on the top of my chariot, urging the other vehicles to the side of
the road.

I'm tempted to wave out the window, but it's a momentary whim. I know nobody
will see me. Looking for a way to pass the time, I turn to the Smoking Man,
who is looking a little unhealthy to my jaded eye. His colour has always
been grey, but now he's greenish tinged, and he does not breath easily. His
face has a number of raised blisters on it, along with the reddened patch
where the tea hit him. I'm an artist, though I say it myself, and I admire
my handiwork. Not bad for a ghost!

He's wheezing, and the paramedics are giving him oxygen so I guess he's in
pretty bad shape. I amuse myself for a few minutes pinching the tube that
leads from the oxygen cylinder but it soon palls, and I leave him alone. He
isn't waking up right now anyway. I have a terrible thought. Supposing he
joins me and we're here together for eternity. This is Hell! Maybe that's
going to be my fate. Worse than being alone! Please don't let it happen. I
wasn't that bad a rat!

I think of the things I can't have any more. I think of the bite on my
tongue of a really good brandy. I remember the wonderful pilaf with spiced
lamb that my Mom used to make on holidays. I think of turkey, and bacon, and
mushrooms. I think of the feel of silk on my skin, the feel of leather and
the warmth of the sun on my back. I think of sex. I get no further, I think
of Fox, and the one night that we spent together. Don't send Cancer Man
after me too, please. Isn't losing all of this enough of a punishment?

The ambulance is pulling into the A. and E. bay, and I leave it. Following
the Smoker up to his eventual destination occupies a little time, but once I
know where he is I don't feel the urge to stay. I float off, heading towards
FBI Headquarters. I need to find Scully, to see whether she has managed to
get Fox out of jail.

I'm travelling along an older street, there are vagrants sitting in
doorways, and the stores are mean looking and old. I pause at one because
the sign in the window is advertising a medium. I'm really fascinated by the
idea of giving a medium the Krycek Test for Psychic Ability. Do I have time?
I decide that half an hour is not going to make any difference to the way
the world is treating me, and I leave the sidewalk in search of this medium.
The store looks dusty and I can't see anyone about. I proceed through the
wall into the back where there is a small kitchen. A can of tomato soup
seems to be the food of choice for the psychic amongst us. There is a pot on
the stove, but the burner is turned off and the can lies patiently so I
leave it behind. I guess I'm not going to be eating soup any more. I am
looking for signs of life when I hear footsteps, and turn to see what may be
the oldest woman in the world coming down the stairs. She's very tiny,
covered in wrinkles that aren't so much wrinkles as clefts in her skin.
She's a little slow, but carries herself upright and in her eyes there is a
sparkle. I stare at her, and it's fairly obvious that she sees me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part 4: "Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears"

"Hello, is this the right place for the medium?" Silly question I know, but
you have to start somewhere, and I really need to get some answers. The old
lady smiles at me, and boy, does she have a smile! She's not a beauty or
anything, but her smile lights her up and I can see the soul shining
through. I wish I could be like that. I'll trade pretty for spiritual now
you know. I've never considered it before, but I'm learning, God, I'm
learning stuff now.

"Well hello young man! What can I do for you?" Her voice is not old at all,
it's like a flute, pure, sweet, quiet, musical. I want to hear her sing Ave
Maria or something. She would make theatregoers weep. I resist the urge to
get sidetracked. I need answers too badly, so I leave the levity for once
and cut straight to the chase.

"I need help Mrs....Ms..."

"Call me Dorothy young man, and how may I address you? She moves past me
with deliberation, heading for the kitchen and the tomato soup. I follow
her, trying (why, I can't imagine) to walk on the ground instead of doing
the Casper impression I've been perfecting for the past 24 hours. She
watches my progress wryly, before turning to open the can.

"Alex, my name is Alex. I died yesterday evening, and I don't know why I'm
stuck here, but I really need to get help to my friend. He's in jail. I
want...." My speech runs down as I take in her amused expression.

"Alex, whatever made you think that you're dead? You aren't dead at all.
I've seen enough dead men to know the difference by now." I stare at her in
blank amazement. It does not compute. I and totally confused by her
statement.

"Last night I was shot, and the police arrested my friend for my murder. He
was framed, but I don't know how to get him off. I know he didn't kill me,
but I'm not in much of a position to clear his name." She's laughing. I run
down again and gape at her. I'm very good at gaping. I've had lots of
practice!

"Alex, take it from me, you are not dead. The spirits of the dead don't look
anything like those of the living. You have a silver thread connecting you
to your body, I can see it clearly. My advice to you is to go back to it,
and wake up. You have obviously had a wonderful sleep, but your dreams are
just a little dark for my taste." She pours the soup into the pot on the
stove and lights the burner. I'm thinking hard.

"Dorothy, I don't know where my body is. I don't know how to get back to
it." I must sound pretty pathetic, because she shakes her head at me, and
then starts with words in a language I don't understand. I feel a click and
a pull, and I'm fading out of her kitchen. Everything is whirling around in
front of me, grey and white. I'm afraid. I don't know what's happening and I
hate that.

Things slow at last and I'm in a room, it's a scary place. Everywhere is
stainless steel, and there is a table. A trolley beside the table holds
something covered by a white paper sheet, and I know where this is now. I'm
in the pathologist's lab at FBI Headquarters. Some days it just isn't worth
coming back from the dead! Now, if I want to "find myself" I'm going to have
to find Scully, or if not Scully, someone else who can see the undead. There
is a sound from behind me, and all of a sudden Scully is coming in, pulling
her surgical gloves on. Oh no! I don't believe this!

Two men are with her, and as she directs them, they transfer the contents of
the trolley to the table, and I don't think I have to look under the sheet
to know who it is that's lying there. She snaps her gloves menacingly, and
turns on her little tape recorder. Then she pulls back the sheet, and as the
orderlies leave, she examines my body. I'm with her, and I'm examining it
too.

"Subject is a well nourished Caucasian male of 73 inches tall, weighing
around 170lbs. Left arm is missing from just above the elbow. I'm noting a
scar......" I start to get agitated at this point! Fuck! She's gonna cut me
up. I'm still alive according to Dorothy, but if she does her famous "Y"
incision and then saws the top off my head, it will be "Bye-bye Alex"! As my
level of agitation reaches high anxiety, she suddenly notices me. She has
the grace to blush and puts down the scalpel. I shudder as she focuses on
me.

"Alex, you came specially for my autopsy? How sweet!" She needs her little
behind kicking, and I am tempted, but I need her help. I can't antagonize
her right now, she might cut off my dick or something, especially when she
hears that I'm still alive. I know Mulder told her about us, and I can see
her taking things into her own hands if I'm not careful.

"Scully," I am trying very hard to stop my voice from squeaking as I talk.
"I need for you to listen to me before you start on my autopsy. On my way
here, I stopped off to see a medium, and she told me I'm not dead. Do you
understand me? I'm still alive after all."

She surveys my body, lying there on the stainless steel, with all the
channels around it for blood to drain into, and her smile has the cutting
edge of a diamond.

"You look pretty dead to me." She says, reversing the scalpel and drawing
the handle down the sole of my foot with what seems to me to be an
unnecessarily vicious flick of her wrist. "See, no reflexes to speak of.
Dead! I'm sure you're dead." She starts to turn me over, and then there's a
pause, whilst I can hear the cogs turning within her feral little head.

"Hmmm, Krycek, there's something very strange here." She turns to me as she
talks, and I see that she has put the scalpel down again. I try to summon up
the energy to flick the thing under the bench and fail lamentably. Hot damn!
Where's my libido when I need it most?

Scully beckons me and I approach, even though the sight of me lying like a
worn out animal on the butchers slab gives me a feeling that, if I weren't
in my astral state, I would call nausea. Hell, I'll call it nausea anyway!

"Look at this, Krycek. When a man dies, all the blood sinks to the bottom,
and you get what's called lividity. The heart stops pumping the blood
around, and it just sinks to rest. That makes the top of the body white and
the bottom purple. Do you follow?" I nod, and I'm looking at my back now,
trying to see what she's driving at.

"Well it seems that you aren't showing this kind of symptom. Also, to put it
bluntly, you should be as stiff as a board by now, and you aren't. You're
still quite flexible, so I think I should maybe hold off from ripping your
face off until you're in a fit state to enjoy it." She hisses the last
sentence at me, and I'm feeling very fragile at this point.

"Scully, how am I going to get back into my body? I've never done this
before." I know, I sound pathetic, and I have no excuses. It's been a very
long day already and it's only just beginning as far as I can tell.

"I don't know, just lie down in it or something. I'm a doctor dammit, not an
astrologist!" She giggles a bit after she says this, and I give her a veiled
look.

"OK, Bones!" She giggles again and I move to the silent Alex shape lying
waiting, and lie down in the middle of it. I'm just about to sit up and tell
her it's not working, I'm still a ghost, when there is a rushing sound, a
flash of whiteness, and then a fall down into soft black flakes of
nothingness.

*******************

There's someone calling my name. I turn away, but they won't shut up. I hiss
at them to go away, and leave me alone but it keeps on going. There's too
much noise! Why don't they shut up and let me sleep?

"Alex! Alex! Come on Alex, talk to me." A voice- I've heard the voice
before. Why won't she go away?

"Don't owe you anything. Go 'way an' let me sleep." I can hear myself and I
sound pathetic again. My voice gets no points at all for depth of tone, it
sounds like I drank a bucket of raw spirit and smoked a pack of Sobranie
without stopping for lunch. In my next incarnation I want to come back as a
frog. I've had practice! I am cold. I am so cold that I can't move, except
I'm shivering and shaking violently. I don't know what's happening, but if I
can't get warm in a minute, I'm going to shake myself apart.

The voice comes again, and this time I recognise it. "For God's sake Dana,
let me sleep, I don't feel good." I'm trying to be nice, and the woman is
buzzing around me like a hive of wasps. I'll get her for it, see if I don't!

She shakes my shoulder, none too gently I might add, and I open an eye.
She's looking really concerned, her doctor face gone and her Dana face
showing. I'm stupidly pleased about this. Maybe she doesn't hate me after
all. I lift my hand up to her, and she's tugging at me, trying to make me
move. I'm at a serious disadvantage here, totally naked, clothes and
prosthesis gone I know not where, cold as the grave, hopelessly disoriented
and unable to move. She throws a blanket over me, and starts to rub my feet
and legs. If I were even slightly more alert I would be yelling and
screaming at her to stop, I'm ticklish!

All of a sudden my body decides to take things into its own hands. I can't
do anything to prevent the terrible cramps that wrack me, tensing me up like
a bow, and making me scream out in agony. It goes on for so long I start to
wish myself back on the astral plane, but then I feel the slick insult of a
needle piercing flesh, and something (hot, ahhh, burning!) oozes into my
shoulder muscle.

The orderlies are back, and this time they put me onto the gurney and wheel
me out of there, still wracked and straining against cramps that come and
go, but getting less incredibly painful each time they come.

"What did you do to me?" I recover enough to gasp out. She's running
alongside the gurney, her doctor face returning as she follows.

"I gave you a shot of muscle relaxant. You looked as if you could do with
it." I thank her wordlessly, and she smiles at me for a minute, a real
smile, not the cut crystal of her 'let's hurt Ratboy" expression.

"Dana, I'll be especially good to you for that once I've recovered. You wait
and see." She looks down at me, and her face hardens.

"The only thing you can do for me is leave Mulder out of your sordid little
games." There's not too much I can say to this, especially as I am weak and
vulnerable, and I know she will hurt me if I get fresh so I stay quiet. Who
said that I was a slow learner? It's not true, just whack me on the head a
few times and I'll get the message right enough.

An ambulance is waiting outside the door and we hustle into it, where they
wrap me in tin foil and Scully takes my temperature.

"I feel like a turkey that's just been made ready for the oven. Not only
that, but you know that isn't the most effective place to take a
temperature!"

Scully smacks me once with her sheaf of notes, before grabbing bundles of
blankets and tucking them round me.

"They say that the way to warm someone up who's suffering from hypothermia
is to strip off and get into bed with them. You have to transfer your body
heat to them." Oh-oh! I've overstepped the mark this time. She leans in to
menace me, seriously invading my personal body space.

"Krycek!" She hisses through gritted teeth "I don't personally care one iota
whether you live, freeze to death, or spontaneously combust right there on
your bed of pain. The only reason I am helping you at all is because my
partner loves you. I don't know why he loves you, I always thought of him as
a pretty good judge of character, but he does. However, he loves you with
bits missing right now, and I'm sure he'll love you missing a few more. Do
you want to try it out and see?" I quail, and fall silent. I'm not proud of
it, but I'm a coward where she's concerned. Some people you just don't want
to push.

A thought occurs to me.

"Where are we going?"

"Hmmm? Oh, Washington District Hospital. A. and E."

I grin to myself. The Smoker is going to be so pleased! I have to break this
to Scully.

"Once we get there, just go take a look in room 10B Scully, you're going to
be surprised and delighted." A thought suddenly occurs to me. "Hey, if I'm
not dead, they have to let Mulder out of the pokey! Get him here, as fast as
you can. You're gonna just love this Scully, and he is gonna piss himself
laughing!" Scully gives me one of those looks-you know the ones. I feel like
she set fire to my ears. Then she reaches for her cell phone.

********************

It's 6pm, and we're all together again. My clothes have been produced,
though I still don't have my prosthesis. Fox is with us, grimy, crumpled and
unshaven, but very, very upbeat. He smiles a lot and can't stop babbling.
I'm thinking that Scully should be giving him a shot of her wonder juice
too, but she doesn't seem to notice that he's completely off the wall. I
haven't told them yet what they are going to find in room 10B. It's my
little gift to Them! Together, the three of us stride mightily into the room
where I just know the old bastard who started all this will be waiting. He
is going to be so happy to see us! Happy to see me, especially!

He is sitting up in bed, and he's not smoking. He looks a little worse for
wear, burns and blisters on his face. I did a great job. I pick up the chart
at the end of his bed and pass it to Scully.

"Here babe, doctor stuff for you!" Scully grabs it, and studies it intently,
I don't think she's noticed who the patient is yet. Mulder has though. He
gives a great yell and hurls himself at the man in the bed.

"You evil old piece of excrement! I'm going to...." What he's going to do
may never be known as Scully does her thing.

"Freeze Mulder! Leave him alone or I'll shoot you right now!" She's using
her fierce voice, and he knows well enough that she means it. He subsides.
The two of them turn a little to look back at me, and all of a sudden I am
on centre stage, loving every minute of my 15 minutes fame.

"Hello Sir. I heard you were in hospital and though you would like a visit
from your very favourite ex-employee. I felt it would make your day to hear
that, contrary to popular opinion, I am alive and kicking. You aren't
looking so hot yourself Sir, but I'm sure Dr. Scully will be able to figure
out what ails you." His face is a picture. I wish I had a camera, so I could
capture the scene for posterity. Mulder's belligerent, Scully's disdainful,
I'm grinning like a Cheshire cat, and Cancerman, oh yeah! Cancerman's
looking like he's seen a ghost!

We turn then and leave the room. The cops will be along in a few minutes to
interview him, but that's OK, I've had my revenge. I've got my life back,
and I'm feeling generous. Scully drives me to the bus station where I pick
up my bag from the lockers. I turn to her, and look steadily at her.

"Scully, I know you want to protect him, but I promise you this, on my life
that I just got back, and which is more precious to me than you could
possibly know, I will never hurt him. Not only that, but I will never allow
him to be hurt by anyone else if I can protect him. Is that clear?" She's
staring into space and I wonder if she's heard me at all. Then her eyes
clear, and she looks at me with her intense gaze.

"Krycek, I don't know why but I'm inclined to believe you this time. You'd
better take care though, because I'm going to be watching you." She smiles
ever so slightly, and I take a chance. I lean down and grab her chin,
turning it up and planting a kiss on her very red, very surprised lips.

"Thanks for your help. I was very alone there for a while. I'll repay you
someday, you just see." Turning, I walk away without waiting to see her
reaction. I figure that if she shoots me, I'd rather not know it's coming. I
picture green silk pajamas and I smile to myself.

He's waiting for me, just as I cross the street towards his apartment
building, and as I walk he falls into step beside me. He's been running, and
he's wearing disreputable sweats and has a toweling band around his head. I
glance at him and quicken my pace. Together, we head for his front door, and
as he unlocks it, I'm feeling a rush of something very like tears.

We tumble through the door and he pushes it closed very firmly. Turning
towards me, I see on his face that he's been longing for me, the way I've
been longing for him. His arms go around me, I turn my face to him, and open
my lips to his kiss, and I'm home at last.

Sue aka Dr. Ruthless

sashworth@home.com
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