Title: COMING OUT (1/1)
Date: August 8, 1999
Summary: A formal night out
Archive: ArchiveX, Gossamer. Any others if you ask:
just so I know where this is travelling to. Comments: email@example.com
EXPLANATION: P. D. James (Dame that she is) once explained that she wrote her novel a chapter here, another there. I am only following in her footsteps: except that *she* probably knows very well where her characters are going. I, on the other hand, am being led by the nose by mine. Definately after LONG DISTANCE RUNNERS, maybe even after NIGHT OUT.
DISCLAIMER: These are the property of CC, Fox and 1013, but let's not forget that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
Mulder checked in on Alex to see how he was getting along.
Alex was muttering under his breath, turned to see Mulder looking as though he had been born in that tuxedo. "I still think this is asking for trouble."
Mulder grinned, came into Alex's bedroom. Alex was looking at himself in the mirror. The tux he was putting on had been made for him. Mulder thought it fit him much better than the rental tux he had worn the first time Nash had insisted he present himself for a formal do. This one allowed for the prosthesis, its straps and its stiffness.
He went to stand in front of Alex, took the tie's ends in hand and set to finishing off the picture of an elegant Krycek in black tie. "There."
"Mulder, talk to him. This isn't a good idea."
"Alex, stop worrying. It's been two years. Everyone who needs to know knows that you're with us. This *isn't* the FBI. This is a charity auction and dinner put on by Walter's think tank. Wilson-Jones knows all about us."
Alex turned from checking them out in the mirror. He was vain enough to appreciate that the two of them looked good in formal wear. He had no great objections to wearing black tie. But this was the first time he was actually, officially accompanying his two lovers to a public function. And, unlike them, *he* didn't think it would go over well.
"Alex. Stop fretting. It's not like he's asked anything much of us before. He wants this. He wants the two of us to accompany him to this gala. It's important to him or he wouldn't have asked."
"Besides, you owe him. Who came down and bailed you and your team out that night Gus tripped the alarm. Argued with the cops until Nash could get there to clear up the whole thing. And," he continued before Alex could say anything, "who keeps on inviting him along to those B&E's so he can have some fun."
Alex just nodded, accepting that he was going to accompany Walter and Mulder, in spite of his fears that the world at large was not yet ready to accept the fact that a best-selling author, a respected member of a prestigious think tank, both ex-FBI, were shacked up with an ex-Consortium assassin.
Philippa Wilson was very pleased with the attention the three men entering the Grand Hall were getting. Nothing like three seemingly unattached men who looked extremely elegant in black tie to gladden a hostess's heart.
"Walter. How very nice to see you could make the gala."
Walter leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. Philippa Wilson was seventy-five if she were a day, beautifully made-up, dressed in a deceptively simple gown of muted crimson, and was the Wilson in Wilson- Jones. In other words, his boss. She hadn't ordered him to put in an appearance, just "suggested" it.
"And Fox. May I tell you how much I enjoyed your latest book. It kept me up all night, I just couldn't put it down."
Mulder laughed, politely kissed the offered cheek. "Thank you, Philippa. Nothing like knowing that I've kept a beautiful woman from her sleep."
She smiled: she and Fox Mulder had crossed paths often over the years. It was nice to see the boy looking so relaxed. She turned to the third member of this party. Discovered she was being examined by a pair of incredibly beautiful green eyes which seemed quite removed.
"Philippa, may I present Alex Krycek. Alex works for Thomas Nash."
"Yes," she held out her hand, "Thomas's break-in expert, I believe. I'm very pleased to meet you, Mr. Krycek."
"I've heard a great deal about you from Walter, Mrs. Wilson. The pleasure is all mine." He took her hand in his, brought it up to his mouth and gently passed his lips over the top.
Nicely done, my lad, thought Philippa Wilson. "There is nothing more a woman of my age enjoys than the attentions of a handsome man. May I call you Alex?"
Alex smiled and Philippa Wilson understood just why Walter Skinner would want this one around.
It didn't take much time for the men to be separated. Mulder was quickly surrounded by a group of fans, happily accepting their compliments, teasing them with snippets of his latest work-in-progress. Walter was off with several members of the Board, to discuss some latest development on one of their projects.
The only one Philippa couldn't locate quickly was Alex Krycek. She caught sight of him only because of who was making his way into one of the shadowed corners. Oh, dear, she thought.
"Ah, Mr. Krycek."
Alex slowly straightened up from the wall he was slouching against. He took a sip of his drink. "Mr. Director," he acknowledged.
The Director took his time looking the man up and down, a slight look of distaste on his face. "How nice to find you looking so very well, Mr. Krycek." His voice bordered on insult. "I hope you intend keeping in good health, for all our sakes."
"I'm doing my best, Mr. Director." Alex kept his voice as expressionless as his face. *This* was what he had been worried about.
"Alex, dear." Philippa Wilson smiled at the two men, purposefully laid her hand on Alex's arm. "I'm so very sorry to interrupt this conversation, but Walter is looking for you. He'd like you to join him in the auction hall. You don't mind, do you, Martin?"
"Not at all, Philippa. I'm sure Mr. Krycek and I have nothing much more to say to each other."
Alex gave a slight nod of his head, smiled down at his rescuer, bent and kissed her on the cheek. "Thanks," he whispered and went off to find Walter.
Philippa Wilson took the Director by the arm and began strolling around the room.
"Did you think I was going to cause a scene?" he asked a bit sarcastically. Only a bit, because she was a power worthwhile having on his side.
"Not at all, Martin. But I really would prefer getting through the evening without bloodshed."
"I doubt Krycek..."
"Martin, not Alex. I'm certain the young man has much better manners than to behave that way, here at least. No, I mean Walter. I'm not certain that he would restrain himself if he found you harassing one of his boys." She smiled at some old friends who knew better than to interrupt her when she had that look on her face.
The Director was peeved. "I don't understand why he lets that...thing hang around." Suddenly he stopped in his tracks. Philippa turned to smile at his stunned expression. "One? Of his boys? I know about Mulder, but are you implying..."
"Martin, dear, I'm not implying anything. I'm just saying that Walter can be very protective." She looked amazingly innocent at that moment.
Alex found Mulder in the auction hall. Mulder took one look at his expression and asked, "You okay?"
Alex grunted softly. "I just had a nice *short* exchange with your ex-boss."
"Shit!" Mulder grimaced. He had worried about just who was on the guest list.
"It's okay. Walter's boss rescued me."
"Philippa?" Mulder smiled. "She would."
"Ah, here you are, both of you. There's something I want you two to see. Come on." Walter looked curiously delighted.
The two shrugged at each other, played follow-the- leader until Walter stopped in front of a roped off area. The three men just stood there.
"Nice, eh?" Walter commented.
"Oh, my," said Mulder. "A Morgan."
Alex gave a soft whistle of appreciation.
Surrounded by the red velvet ropes was a canary yellow Morgan convertible sports car.
"It was" explained Walter, "decided only this morning to add this to the auction. One of only ninety made. It's out of Jameson's collection. Somehow, Philippa got him to part with it for the auction. She figures it might bring in as much as one hundred thousand dollars." He tossed out very casually, "I figure I could provide about thirty-five of that."
And he let that hang in the air.
Alex did some quick calculations about what he had in a safety deposit box as well as in his legit bank account. "Hummm. I could do that too."
Mulder figured he could cover the whole amount without any trouble: he had sold the movie rights for his last book for an obscene amount of money. But he realized the symbolism of this division of purchase: it would be the first thing they had all contributed to, on an equal basis.
He smiled at Walter who just raised his eyebrows. "Count me in for my share."
Alex grinned at the two of them. Who found themselves grinning back.
"Philippa, thank you for the lovely evening." Walter kissed his boss's cheek. "And for keeping an eye on Alex."
"Not much of a chore, Walter. Beautiful men are always a pleasure to watch." Then she smiled. "And he really is very sweet."
"Sweet? I think 'interesting' might be a better word. And thank you again."
He looked over to the corner of the foyer where his two lovers were already drawing up battle lines over who was getting the Morgan for the weekend. He sighed: why hadn't he thought this through before suggesting they bid on the car. The squabbling was just beginning.