Title: "Loaf of Revenge" (1/1)
Author: RhymePhile
E-mail: RhymePhile@webtv.net

Rating: PG-13 for language and violence

Category: Story, Dark Humor, (there's some death...hey, death can be funny) M/K slash (implied...sorry, you don't see anything ;-)

Spoilers: This is a direct post-ep story: please see "S.R. 819"

Distribution: By all means, feel free
Disclaimer: All characters mentioned herein are owned by Mr. $40-million-and-a-book-deal, and are used by Fox for ratings. We treat them way better.

Summary: Can a man like Krycek get away with torture? Some do not think so...as a surprise guest can attest.

~~~~~~~~~~
"Loaf of Revenge" (1/1)
by RhymePhile
~~~~~~~~~~

He had been hesitant about the meeting in the car; the personal contact didn't sit well with him.

The only time he ever revealed his face to anyone was just before the kill, and that was to let his quarry know the hunt was over. What usually followed was the hushed sound of his silenced weapon, or the flick of a knife between ribs.

And, of course, the laugh of satisfaction.

This quarry, however, was the Assistant Director Walter Skinner. Much had changed since he had first met Skinner; now it seemed the AD was a much bigger risk than originally anticipated, and the stakes had been raised.

Various methods were discussed--with Krycek opting for the purer hunt and kill--but his employer had other ideas.

Now that the job was over, he paced back and forth across the threadbare carpet of his rented D.C. room, lost in thought. Had he taken every precaution when he left the underground garage? He didn't think he had been followed, but he was getting sloppy using this advanced technology.

Damn.

Torture used to be so simple: a rag over the face, hissed threats, sharp objects used to prod the subject into talking...everything had gotten so high-tech lately. He missed the days when sticking a stiletto into someone's eyeball *meant* something.

A faint knock on his door interrupted his reverie. Shit. He *had* been followed.

It took only moments before he readied himself: the safety on his gun was immediately clicked off; he felt for the knife in his boot; the small .22 was nestled exactly where he had left it in the lining of his leather coat; the small dagger strapped to his forearm waited silently; and he patted his brand-new Sig Sauer with its freshly filed-off serial numbers stuck in the small of his back.

Krycek walked to the right side of the door next to the doorknob and leaned carefully against the wall. Turning, he placed an ear to the thin wall and tried to listen. Hearing nothing, and still using the wall for protection, he reached out quickly with his bad arm to open the door.

Hell, if a shotgun blast came through the room right now, all he'd lose was the plastic and rubber attached to his shoulder.

He turned the doorknob and immediately crouched, expecting to blow off a kneecap.

Instead, he glanced down to the hallway rug outside his door, where a bread pan sat, covered in foil.

First his weapon peeked around the corner of the door, then his head followed, searching the corridor for the obligatory M-16-wielding madman ready and willing to cut him in half. He saw nothing except for the bread pan, which *had* to be a bomb or incendiary device, most likely.

Krycek walked to the back part of his room where he kept the double-gauge shotgun hidden nicely between the mattress and the bed springs. He retrieved the shotgun, and dragged the mattress over as well.

Again, using his left arm, he held the heavy gun out and poked at the pan. He was prepared to jump back behind the mattress balanced between himself and the doorway in case of explosion.

The click he heard told him the pan was metal. And, it didn't explode, which was a good thing.

Struggling with the gun, he was able to remove the foil that sat atop the pan. When the foil was set aside, he smelled something almost...heavenly.

Food.

More specifically, meatloaf.

In the bread pan sat the most delicious-looking meatloaf he had ever seen.

What the hell?

Perhaps the note taped to the pan would give him some idea. He carefully removed the note, making sure not to jostle the pan further in case a delayed timer was involved.

He recognized the handwriting as soon as he opened the note.

"Dear Alex-schnookums," the note began, "I played dumb this afternoon when Skinner showed us the surveillance photos from the hospital. God, where did you get that awful wig? You know I prefer running my fingers through that sexy short hair of yours. I had a feeling you were going to be in town, so I asked around to find out where you were staying. I won't get a chance to see you tonight, and I thought I would send over some of my mother's meatloaf you love so much. Enjoy, and dream of me tonight. Fox."

Mulder always seemed to be looking out for Alex lately, even complaining the last time they were together that Alex looked thin. It would be a long, cold night without him, but a good meal would keep him warm until tomorrow.

It was odd that Mulder found out where he was staying so quickly, and he wondered why he didn't drop off the food in person, but sometimes it was really sexy when Fox was mysterious.

Smiling to himself at the thought of Fox's lips and his together, he brought the pan inside to the kitchen.

This was going to be the first good meal he had eaten in weeks, so he cut the meatloaf in half, placed it in the microwave, and soon the whole room was filled with the glorious smell of Mrs. Mulder's homemade meatloaf.

He ate cheerfully, thinking of Mulder. It tasted slightly different--some extra onions perhaps, a few different seasonings, and it was a little dry. The taste was familiar, though, so he simply dismissed the altered taste to the fact that he hadn't eaten Teena's meatloaf since the time he and Mulder visited her for dinner.

He was definitely going to have to thank Fox for this later--in numerous ways and positions. But first thing's first: dishes. Alex could not stand a sloppy kitchen.

He began soaping the sponge, waiting until the stream of water from the faucet felt sufficiently hot. The water flowed into the sink, and it turned at a right angle, then moved left, then went down the drain.

Odd, Alex thought, that his water did that. He wasn't sure water *could* do that. Water didn't usually bend in right angles, and he was almost certain sponges didn't walk, either.

But his was, right across the sink.

It took him a second to come to the conclusion that he was hallucinating.

What was happening here?

He attempted to retrieve the sponge, but suddenly he realized he couldn't keep his arm from shaking wildly. Then his knees shook, and he lost balance when his legs refused to support him.

Lying on the floor, Alex felt his body convulse for a moment. Through his fogged thoughts he was able to focus, trying to grasp what was happening to him. Obviously he had been poisoned, but by whom? He knew it was the meatloaf, but the note had been in Mulder's handwriting. It even called him "Alex-schnookums."

Well, he reasoned, it didn't taste exactly like Teena Mulder's meatloaf. He cursed his sudden, uncharacteristically trusting nature.

"Dammit," he moaned, surprised he could still speak. His body convulsed again, and this time he heard himself cry out in pain.

Whatever he had eaten worked very swiftly, and he knew he had to find help, and soon. There was no telephone; Alex felt safer knowing that it was impossible to trace him through a simple phone call. So now, in his windowless room with no phone, he was in trouble.

He began to crawl across the kitchen floor, fighting with his body for every few feet. Eventually he made it to the threadbare carpet he had been pacing across earlier and collapsed. He felt his breathing slow, while his body convulsed for a third time. Christ, what a shitty way for a man like him to die.

Then he heard the doorknob turn.

Even for a dying man, Krycek knew it had to be the person who poisoned him, anticipating revelling in watching Alex die a slow and painful death.

Alex could do nothing more than watch as his killer stepped through the door.

The hallway light illuminated the form of a balding man in a long trenchcoat standing before him.

"How are you feeling, Alex my boy?" asked a grinning Walter Skinner.

Krycek felt guilt all of a sudden. Not for all the things he had done in his life, but because he didn't kill Skinner when he had the chance.

"Bastard..." Alex gasped.

Skinner walked into the room, leaving the door ajar behind him. "I want everyone to get a good look at the mysterious, soon-to-be-former Alex Krycek," he said, motioning to the door.

"Why..." Alex managed to get out.

Skinner looked down at him. "You think I can't play your game, Krycek? Revenge is sweet." Skinner kicked at Alex's foot. "And that stuff works damn fast, I see."

"The...food..."

Skinner laughed heartily. "Impressive, wouldn't you say? I've known about you and Mulder for some time now. I tried to come up with a thousand different ways to repay you for my own hell-on-earth."

He walked closer to Alex, the better to watch his eyes as he told him what he had done. "But I finally realized your weak point is your relationship with Mulder. What better way to make you suffer than by toying with your affection for him?"

"We never..."

Skinner waved dismissively. "Don't try to make excuses for your connection to him. You've been together, off and on, since you were first assigned to partner with him, so I simply took advantage of that fact." Skinner smiled softly and bent down next to Krycek's ear. "Actually, Alex, I can't wait to see the look on *his* face when he finds you."

Krycek's body shook again, sending Skinner into laughter. "I do admit, poison is much crueler than a simple shot to the head, but now you know...you can *feel* what it was like for me. I didn't choose poorly, however. This particular poison, although obviously fast-acting, does indeed have an antidote."

Skinner reached into his pocket for the vial of reddish liquid.

"It's amazing what you can find as a high-ranking government employee. I didn't even have to leave the Bureau for any of it," he said, his foot crunching the forged note from Mulder still lying in Alex's outstretched hand. "Forgery, poisons, and a *very* professionally-done meatloaf, all under one roof, can you believe it?"

He turned the vial around and around between his fingers, then held the concoction just above Alex's nose.

"You would think," said Skinner, still turning the vial, "that it would be a waste of money to acquire both the poison *and* the antidote. But I wanted it for precisely this reason: I wanted to hold it here, just out of your reach. I wanted...no, *needed*...to watch when your eyes finally dimmed, still able to see your unattainable salvation."

Skinner stood, holding the vial between his thumb and forefinger.

As his heart slowed, Krycek watched the man he should have killed simply stand there, grinning. Skinner held no weapon, threatened no violence, yet he held the power of life and death over Alex, helpless on the floor.

"You're...going...to let me...die?" breathed Alex quietly.

"I think so," answered Skinner. "I---"

Skinner stopped talking suddenly, his eyes fixed on Krycek. Slowly he pulled open his overcoat, and Krycek expected the report of Skinner's weapon to end his suffering.

Instead, Skinner's overcoat flowed with blood, and he slumped to his knees.

"I think *not*," answered Fox Mulder from behind Skinner.

Mulder closed the door behind him as he entered the room, unscrewing the silencer from his gun and placing it in his pocket.

He lifted the vial of antidote from Skinner's dead hand and went over to Alex.

"No one screws with my Alex-schnookums but me," he said, "and *nobody* fucks with my mother's meatloaf."


~~~~~~~
-Exeunt-
~~~~~~~


Adieu
RhymePhile

Comments eaten with a side of macaroni and cheese. Don't forget the ketchup.


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