"Saints and Martyrs"
RATING: R; M/K. If m/m interaction bothers you, leave now. SPOILERS:
"Apocrypha," "The Red and the Black," and
"The Ghosts Who Stole Christmas."
SUMMARY: Some things end, while some new ones begin. DISTRIBUTION:
Anywhere, as long as you ask me first. FEEDBACK: Hell, yes. Feedback
can be sent to Viridian5@aol.com
DISCLAIMERS: All things X-Files belong to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen
Productions, and 20th Century Fox. No infringement intended.
WARNING: A certain event in this story will really bother some
people. I don't feel comfortable revealing important plot developments
up here, but I think you get what I'm hinting at. If you think
you might be one of those folks, skip this. If you're really curious,
find out if anyone you know read this and ask them if you should
give it a try.
NOTES: I got the original idea and started this in May '98 but
couldn't find the strength to finish it until now. By some perfect
coincidence, my brother's girlfriend was playing the Cure's _Distintegration_
album downstairs as I wrote this. Beta by the ever-stunning Ladonna.
"Saints and Martyrs"
I'd been dreaming of having Mulder's head in my lap again for
the longest time. I never wanted it like this. I should remember
to watch what I wished for.
His shallow breathing had a gurgling sound under it. No matter
how much pressure I put on his wound, his life still pumped out
from under my fingers in a raw, red current. The deathly cold
concrete beneath us greedily drank his blood. The light of a flashlight
I'd propped up on his chest showed glassy eyes and a face gone
dangerously pale, with a thin crimson stream at the edge of his
lower lip. He'd stopped trying to find a comfortable position
for his head against my prosthesis ages ago.
There would be no help coming for him. He'd ditched his partner
hours ago to meet me, so none of his allies had a clue about his
whereabouts. My attempts to yell out the small, boarded-up basement
windows had brought the mobsters back downstairs to shoot me again
from the stairs before kicking in my ribs a few times. That meant
that my breathing didn't sound that much better than Mulder's,
but I could tell that I wouldn't die from any of my wounds, which
I'd wrapped with scraps torn from my T-shirt. They'd nailed him
with a lucky shot at the start, and they hadn't even cared about
I never tended to accept blame for anything, but I couldn't escape
the feeling that this was my fault. These were my enemies, not
his, for once. If I hadn't called him to set up a meeting... Hell,
I hadn't even had any information; I just hadn't been able to
resist another chance to fuck with his head. It wasn't like he
hadn't always enjoyed that...
The Russian mob had become more professional since I'd last tangled
with them; they'd gotten the drop on us without my noticing until
far too late. Mulder and I had ducked most of the bullets that
had followed, but one had taken him in the chest, not too far
from his heart, and another had punched through my shoulder. They'd
taken advantage of our new weakness to catch up and beat the shit
out of us before disarming us, throwing us in the trunk of one
of their cars, and bringing us here, wherever here was. Then they'd
thrown us downstairs into the basement, presumably to deal with
I'd generously let Mulder land on me since he'd been more seriously
hurt. It hadn't made much of a difference.
He'd been drifting in and out of consciousness since then, and
I'd talked non-stop to try to prevent him from fading away altogether.
I'd started out saying things that had meaning, but eventually,
as fatigue and fear settled further in, I'd been reduced to mumbling
nonsense in English or Russian, whatever came first from my lips.
I stroked his hair, which the idiot had cut short again. It was
only slightly longer now than it had been while we'd been partners.
While we'd been lovers. We hadn't been this close without trying
to confuse or beat the hell out of one another since then. That
fleeting kiss after I'd told him about the alien war had been
too brief to count. Besides, I'd done it more to stun him into
letting me leave without a fight than out of affection.
I'd always figured I'd be the one to die a brutal, meaningless
death; at least Mulder would be murdered in the course of his
lunatic quest for the truth. This... wasn't right.
I had to be fatigued if I was thinking that this wasn't fair.
What the hell was fair?
I told him what I'd do to our attackers as soon as they came back
down. After that orgy of torture and murder, I'd carry him out
and get him medical attention. I didn't say that they'd probably
shoot me from the stairs again, or that he'd probably bleed to
death even if I did manage to get him out. I think he knew all
"Alex," he said so softly that I wouldn't have been
able to hear him if he hadn't been so close. I looked down at
He had this look on his face... It made my chest hurt and reminded
me, stupidly enough, of church. I hadn't gone to church until
after my father had brought us to this country. Religion had been
against official doctrine, but its houses of worship had always
struck me as beautiful. I remembered the bright gold and vibrant
colors of the icons. I'd been fascinated by the odd beauty in
the loving depictions of the righteous being tortured to death
by the heathens. That was how most saints achieved sainthood:
through torment and an early death.
His expression reminded me of what I'd seen in the faces of those
representations of martyred saints, that calm exultation. Certainty
"You can't fucking do this to me," I said with a harsh
edge to my voice. "All the things you've survived..."
His voice already sounded like a ghost. "Alex, kiss me."
I was never one to do what I was told, but I got the feeling that
this would be my last chance. The dust down here permeated everything
so strongly that even his cold lips tasted of it under the flavor
of his own blood. After a quick brush, I tried to pull away, but
in a last fit of strength his arms encircled me and pulled me
closer. His tongue pushed gently against my mouth, asking for
entry, and I decided what the hell, why not?
We kissed deeply, hungrily, all the more avid for knowing this
would be the final time. I could swear I felt his breath swirl
through my mouth, giving me the insane notion that I could keep
him alive by breathing for him. I tried, but it wasn't enough.
All too soon he stopped breathing entirely, and his body went
slack against me.
But I didn't let him go for the longest time, still unable to
believe that he had survived so much to die like this, so stupidly
and pointlessly. Finally I pulled away, and, impossible as it
sounded, his mouth slowly closed once mine had left. He looked
Then I felt a strange warmth start to permeate my body. I didn't
know what the hell was wrong and had panicked thoughts of somehow
being possessed by that damned oilslick again. But this didn't
feel the same. That had been like being pulled under by a dark,
cold undertow that moved me like a puppet. This didn't interfere
with my control of myself, and it brought me strength and felt
like honeyed sunlight and... love?
Stupid. I was losing it.
Then I saw something that made me certain I was insane. But, at
the same time, I knew exactly what I had to do.
>From Dana Katherine Scully's private journal, February 7,
I haven't written a diary entry in this book in so long. All those
years of filling out our case files in the certainty that Mulder's
version of events would sound too insane had burned away the desire
to write about my days and thoughts in a private journal. In the
three years following his death I'd felt too numb and harried
to do anything other than fall to bed, exhausted, every night.
But tonight I've been sitting here, staring at an impossible note,
for three hours now. Maybe writing down my jumbled thoughts and
the strange events of the day will help me make sense of them,
show me that everything has a rational explanation after all.
The information Krycek had provided and the fall and exposure
of the Conspiracy had forced me to believe in aliens. I won't
believe in ghosts too.
I'll start at the point where everything still made sense. Of
I'd been walking through the hall on my way to the room where
I'd see the end of it all at last. I kept telling myself that
this was the final one but still couldn't believe it. After three
years of investigations, hearings, trials, and executions, today
would finish it. Over those years I'd witnessed every execution
of every conspirator who--through will, greed, blindness, delusion,
or a simple unwillingness to stick his neck out to put an end
to it--had victimized me and so many other innocents. After this
last death I would be able to get on with my life, or so I told
I'd thought back to the beginning of the end, that surprising
911 call from Alex Krycek. For some reason, he'd asked for me
by name. Among many other things, he'd told the operator that
they'd killed Mulder, and he'd made them pay...
When we'd arrived and walked inside the house, we'd been stunned
by the devastation that had greeted us. Something had torn through
the house and Russian mobsters with the strength and destructive
force of a tornado. Blood and debris had littered the floor. We
still haven't figured out how he'd done some of it. We'd found
Krycek in the upstairs bedroom, sitting dead-eyed near Mulder's
body, which he had arranged on the bed as if for burial with Mulder's
hands folded together in what had appeared to be prayer. My partner
had looked so peaceful... Even with all the police around, it
had taken all my strength to hold myself back from shooting the
bastard as he'd loomed over Mulder.
Confused and dazed, Krycek had let us lead him away without a
fight. His eyes had refused to focus on us, seeming to be fixed
inward instead. The official consensus had been that he'd gone
God knew, seeing Mulder's corpse had almost driven me that way
myself. Only the thought of unfinished duty had kept me going.
Even so, I'd still felt haunted by his presence, occasionally
heard his voice, and expected every ring on my cell phone and
late night phone call to be him for months afterward. At least
our banishment from the downstairs office had made things a bit
easier on me. I couldn't have dealt with trying to clear his things
out of that office, which had been so completely *his*...
But I'm digressing.
It hadn't taken long for the investigation to support what Krycek
had told us over the phone. He hadn't killed Mulder. And, insane
or not, Krycek had started to prove himself useful beyond anyone's
wildest expectations. Once in custody, he'd willingly told us
everything he knew. Everything. Every name and place and bit of
evidence he'd known of. He'd shown an unerring gift for knowing
which links in the conspiracy's chain would snap under pressure
and lead us to more. It had amazed me how many people were involved
and how few of them knew the whole truth of what they belonged
to, how many versions of the Conspiracy existed. Krycek had explained
that as the way the Conspiracy had survived, with no one person
able to bring it down.
I'd often wished that Mulder had lived to see it, but I got the
feeling that if he had, this never would have happened.
It had turned out that Krycek wasn't even really Krycek. He had
been born Alexander Kochevikov in Leningrad, a citizen of the
USSR. His parents, deep cover agents, had immigrated with him
to the United States when he had been eight years old. Depending
on how you felt about him, you could say that he had been born
to treachery or that he'd never been given a choice.
Over time, I'd come around to the second way of thinking.
That didn't matter to the government. He would be executed for
treason with the rest of the conspirators. Too many old men in
power, still longing for the good old days of the Cold War, were
thanking God that they'd been given one last Commie bastard to
put to death. Krycek's appeals, his insistence that he'd been
taken advantage of while he'd still been too much in shock to
cut a deal, fell on deaf ears.
My pleas for him had been as much use. My original refusal to
involve myself had crumbled under the feeling that Mulder would
never forgive me for
Damn. I'm telling things out of order again. I'm stronger than
A few months after Krycek's incarceration I'd been given a chance
to see him. Alone. The cameras would be running, and officers
would be next door waiting eagerly for the chance to beat him
down if he made a move for me, but I'd be in the room alone with
I'd asked him what had really happened in that house, how Mulder
had died, and why he'd spilled everything he'd known for no reward.
Krycek had *looked* at me in a way that had seemed so familiar
to me yet utterly alien to him. Then he'd asked, "Do you
believe in ghosts, Scully?" The tone had been a perfect mirror
of Mulder's similar question to me the first day I'd met him.
Then I could swear that I'd seen him myself. Mulder. Wearing the
suit and trenchcoat he'd worn the day he'd died, sitting and looking
very companionable on the cot next to Alex Krycek, with his head
leaning on Krycek's shoulder and such a look of desperate hope
in his eyes...
I'd refused it all: the thought of his unquiet spirit walking
the earth, the picture of tenderness I saw before me. I'd fallen
prey to the power of suggestion and my own hope that he wasn't
truly gone forever. "If thinking you're haunted by Mulder's
ghost helps you tell us the things we need to bring your bosses
down, then you can believe what you like, Krycek. But you can't
fool me into letting down my guard for an instant."
My denial hadn't made Mulder disappear, and he'd looked disappointed
but rueful. Krycek had nodded. "He'd figured you say something
I'd left the room in a hurry and tried to tell myself I hadn't
When I'd watched the camera footage later, the tape hadn't shown
a trace of Mulder's presence. But every time I'd seen Krycek after
that, I'd also seen Mulder near him. And looking so strangely
The sound of sirens had interrupted my train of thought and passage
to Krycek's execution. A guard had then pulled me aside and into
a room to wait. The warden had locked down the prison as the guards
had searched for the escapee. No one would tell me anything no
matter how many times I'd flashed my badge, but I'd known who'd
Into the fifth hour of the ten I'd waited, I'd put my hand into
my coat pocket and heard something rustle. I'd pulled out a common
piece of paper with writing on it. It had said:
I don't expect you to believe--not even our Christmas excursion
made you believe in ghosts--but please read this.
Alex has finished all my unfinished business, but I'm still here,
to my endless surprise. And he doesn't mind, to my further surprise.
The initial transfer had shocked the hell out of us both, since
neither of us had expected it. If it hadn't, Alex wouldn't have
been so zombified that he'd just meekly allowed himself to be
incarcerated. Three years... I blame myself.
Anyway, he's no saint, and he sure as hell is no martyr. He's
mine, and I'm his, and he doesn't want to die. *I* don't want
him to die.
We're long gone by now. I've learned the ropes over the last three
years, more than enough to get us free without getting anyone
Get on with your life, be happy, and we'll be happy and get on
with ours. Goodbye, Dana, and don't ever forget that I love you.
It had even been written in his almost illegible handwriting.
It's still with me, and I'm still staring at it now. Evidence.
This isn't any more rational now than it was when I'd started
writing, but maybe it makes its own kind of sense.
Maybe believing in ghosts is just humanity's way of trying to
comfort itself. Maybe that's not such a bad thing.
I believe that his work is done, and he's happy at last. Maybe...
maybe that's enough.
He's moved on. Now, so can I.
More Viridian5 stories can be found in The Green Room at http://members.tripod.com/~drovar/viridian/