Disclaimer: At last, at last. This sorry saga draws to an end.
It's a cliffhanger too, but don't shout at me. No_shout at Chris
Carter about the unsatisfactory state of affairs he left the boys
in. I don't own them_.Chris Carter owns them. If they were mine,
they would be blissfully sticky all the time.
Archive: Sure. Tell me where you put it and I'll go and visit.
Thank you to Our Lady of the Commas, Orithain, for her beta. Thank you too, to Aries, for bravely watching Biogenesis for me when I couldn't find my copy, to Nicole S. who pointed me to everything I needed, just at the right time. For Tirinar, who bribed me so splendidly, much thanks. For the rest of you on TER/MA, thanks for entertaining me_hope I'm entertaining you too.
The plot is CC's sorry mythology. I'm showing you what CC didn't, because he didn't think you should know. He's been conspiring to cover it all up. The truth is (as they say) in here_ Oh, wait, maybe I got that wrong! <shrug>
Spoilers are for everything in the mythology. Don't read it if you don't want to be spoiled, and by the way, Alex only has one arm.
Feedback: Please, feedback_need feedback_. Want feedback_ Whine! Send all contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Guilt Edged 2 #10 "The Scorpion Lament" by
God has let me release the sting in my own eye. Walk home to
just nightmares, no angel's on the phone
His drive to the FBI building was uneventful. As he slipped into the corridor that led to the series of concealed rooms that overlooked the ADs' offices, he smelled old cigarette smoke and shuddered to himself, wondering if the evil old bastard was alive or dead. He supposed he would find out soon enough.
As the office began to fill, he grinned to himself. When it came down to it, he was a slut. There they were, lined up behind Kersh's desk. Jeff, the confused, unhappy, bitter youngster sat stiffly, guarded against potential hurt, licking his lips nervously.
Dana, impeccably groomed as usual, showed no sigh of the sexual being he had found her to be. She sat still, posture open and aggressive, her cold gaze raking the other occupants in the room indiscriminately as she awaited the start of the meeting.
As he watched, Fox burst in, dishevelled already in his grey silk, and sat, tapping restlessly against his knee. Alex gazed lovingly at the rangy body, poised to get out of there as soon as he could.
He knew their bodies. He had loved them all in different ways, and now they were all together, working for the things that he wanted. He felt a flush of pleasure suffuse him as he watched. Now, if only they would do what he needed them to do.
He observed with satisfaction as the little drama played itself out. Jeff was determined, and Alex watched him lay himself bare as he dispossessed himself of the X-Files, abdicating completely. When he stood up to leave the room, he was wrapped in his distress as if it were a threadbare cloak.
A few more minutes, and Alex ghosted from his hideaway, satisfied that the return of the X-Files was a fait accompli. A thought occurred to him, and he made his way down to the office of the X-Files, hoping to catch Jeff there and renew his offer of sanctuary.
As he reached the room that housed whatever of the X-Files had been recovered, he froze. There were voices within. One of them was Jeff, he could tell, and then, with a sinking feeling, he realized that the meeting between Jeff and his father was taking place, here and now. The old bastard had survived the holocaust and was even now taking out his spite on his bewildered, unhappy son.
He fantasized bursting in and affecting some kind of rescue, but even as he steeled himself and gripped the handle of the door to push it further open, there was a shot. He backed away rapidly and rounded the corner into the file stacks, waiting as the Smoker left the room and made his way back along the corridor to the stairwell.
As soon as the old man had left, Alex was in motion, flinging himself into the room. He looked around, seeing the partially filled container into which Jeff had been loading his belongings but not initially spotting Jeff himself. As he moved forward, he felt the cold of horror slither the length of his spine, and he realized that the young man had fallen behind the desk. With a moan he raced forward to where Jeffrey Spender lay.
Spender was unconscious, unmoving, and his face was white as a ghost as he lay in his own blood. There was a wound in Jeff's chest from which bright blood bubbled, and Alex knew he had little time. He removed his own T-shirt, wadding it tight and laying it over the place where the red foam was welling up, applying pressure as best he could.
Jeff moaned, rolling his head, and Alex ripped off his belt, attempting to use it to lash the impromptu dressing in place.
"I'm here, Jeff. I'm sorry. I didn't make it in time, but I'm here now, and I'll get you out of here, I promise.." There was a faint whisper from Jeff, and then he lost consciousness once again. Distraught, Alex cast around for some way of moving him, and finally he threw stacks of books onto the floor, kicking the side of a bookshelf off in order to appropriate the long, smooth side piece.
Jeff's tie and belt were removed carefully and pressed into service as he maneuvered Jeff onto the makeshift stretcher and lashed him to it as well as he could. Grabbing the phone, he summoned a colleague from his office elsewhere in the building, and between the two of them, they carefully transported Jeff out of the X-Files and away from the Hoover Building.
Much later, with the sky already darkening as the end of the day approached, Alex found himself sitting at the young agent's bedside, holding his hand, and waiting. Surgery had made a slight difference to Spender's appearance, and now at least he was breathing properly. He looked at Jeff's chalky face and knew that he could not just leave him. If his father found out where Jeff was and that he still lived, there would be no way to protect him while he was here in the hospital. He was damned if he was going to let that smoking bastard snuff this boy's life out casually.
Jeff Spender would live. He was going to do his damnedest to make sure of that. Reaching for his phone, he checked his watch. There would be no time to visit Fox tonight. If he left Jeff now, he knew the young agent would not stand a chance. Sighing, he picked up the phone, dialing swiftly and waiting for the voice he longed to hear.
"Mulder." Alex's chest thumped painfully as his lover's voice broke the silence of the room.
"Fox, it's Alex." His soft rasp seemed to carry shadows along with the words he spoke.
"Alex! I've got the X-Files back! I've got it all. Listen, I'm not going to be able to get home tonight. I'm packing to go out of town right now." Alex closed his eyes. He knew that this was the way things had to be, but he was nervous. He couldn't leave Jeff, at least until tomorrow, but he needed to make sure Fox was going to be ok. Damn, he needed clones. Knowing that this was the only way didn't make him feel any better. He sighed, a tender, curious little smile on his face. Fox was as he was, and his focus was part of him.
"Just be careful, love. It's not all over yet by any means. Stay away from Diana, please."
There was a few minutes silence and then Fox's voice again, and now it was filled with suspicion. "Alex? What do you know? Tell me now!"
His heart sank "I can't yet, Fox. Soon, I promise it will be soon." And the click on the line sounded very final this time as Alex sat, phone to his ear, wishing things could be different.
4am, there was something about 4am that disturbed Alex. That was the time of the morning when his body became clammy with night sweat. That was the dark time just before the dawn when souls departed their bodies. He felt at his lowest ebb this night, as the machinery that assisted Jeff's breathing hissed and chugged, and the display of monitors bleeped and stuttered. Jeff had not moved, and though from time to time a nurse had come by to make notes on his chart, there seemed to be little change.
Alex had left Jeff's bedside for a minute while he went in search of the bathroom and had now paused for a few desultory words with the nurse at the central nursing station a few yards from where young Spender lay.
The middle-aged lady in the nurse's whites had been describing the doctor who would be seeing Jeff in the morning. She took a long, searching look at Alex and suggested that he get some sleep.
"You can't make any difference to him now, and you'll want to be there for him when he wakes up, won't you?" Alex gave her a distracted smile as he spotted a suggestion of movement in the dimly lit doorway to Jeff's room. With a muffled curse he flung himself towards the door, gun out and cocked, ready. Crashing through the door, he saw that he had surprised a white-coated man in the act of readying a hypodermic. He was almost ready to accept the man's presence, until a flash of something sinister, quickly veiled, had shown in the man's eyes, and he felt uneasy.
"Back away now, or you're a dead man!" The other man raised his hands and smiled in a manner that was meant to reassure but merely succeeded in causing Alex to panic. The nurse had come running at the sound of Alex shouting, and the look of amazement on her face confirmed to Alex that the man was an intruder and up to no good.
He held his gun on the man at Jeff's bedside, his eyes flicking from the bed to the hand holding the syringe. The man continued to appear relaxed, the needle held loosely in one hand.
"What are you doing? Who are you?" The nurse had gotten over her astonishment and was now apparently approaching indignation. She took a step towards the false medic, and Alex yelled to her to stay back, keep away, for God's sake.
It was all in vain. The man was as quick as a snake, grabbing her by the hair and swinging her across him until she lay against him as he pressed the needle against the pulsing vein in her neck.
"Put your gun down or she dies, right here and now." The words were snarled, and Alex, tired, angry, and wishing that for once people would just not fuck with him while he was sleep deprived, fired a single bullet into the man's head. The syringe dropped to smash on the floor, as a spreading pool of amber liquid studded with glass slivers slowly spread over the linoleum floor. He saw the nurse turn white and, in a frozen instant, realize what was happening to her, and then the would-be assassin folded neatly and slumped to the floor. He half expected the nurse to scream, but in the event, she did not. Instead, she checked Jeff, and apparently satisfied with his condition she collected rubber gloves, swabs and a specimen bottle and began to gather a sample of the substance that had been intended for Jeff.
She was still very pale, and Alex looked on in admiration as she carefully stepped over the corpse that lay on the floor.
"Are you married? I think I'm in love!" Alex's smoky voice stopped her in her tracks, and she turned to him with the ghost of a smile on her plain, middle-aged features.
"You couldn't keep up with me, young man! I'd have you in the next bed to your friend, suffering from severe dehydration if you tried. I just figure that it might be a good thing to find out just what's in here." She carefully squeezed the swab into the small plastic container and moved to place it on the table next to the bed.
"Nurse, darling, I know he's seriously ill, but his life isn't worth a plugged nickel while he's in here. I won't be able to stay awake 24 hours a day, until he's well enough to be moved, and they will keep on trying until they get him." He stroked the dark hair of the unconscious man. "I have to get him to a place of safety. Help me? Help me save his life?" She stood for a moment, a dumpy figure in crisp white jacket and pants. He could see the thoughts chase each other across her face until finally she nodded.
"I know how it could be done." She thought for a minute, and then moved to the bed, beginning to adjust the tubes and wires that festooned the motionless body.
"He needs the IV at present. He's not only getting fluids from it, he's getting antibiotics. He also needs the oxygen. All the rest of it is just for show, really." So saying, she released the brakes on the bed's castors, and gesturing for Alex to manage both IV stand and oxygen bottle, she began to move the bed out of the ward.
"We'll put him where we're taking him for the rest of the night, and then I'll go back to the ward and call the police. I can't let you take him out of the hospital itself until a doctor has checked him out. He's seriously ill, you must know that." Alex nodded.
"I know a doctor that will help him." He sounded grim.
The bed fit into the elevator, and the two of them squeezed in beside it. Jeff remained motionless, his face white and pinched, his lips pale and his eyes looking like bruises. Alex wondered if he would ever be truly recovered. It was better not to dwell on that.
As the elevator reached the fourth floor, they manhandled the unwieldy bed out of the cramped space, then, at the nurse's bidding, they pushed the bed down a corridor from which the sounds of crying emanated. Alex's brow furrowed in confusion as he listened.
"What? Where the hell are we taking him?" The nurse grinned over her shoulder at Alex as they made their way along to the farthest reaches of the corridor.
"I thought you'd never ask! It's the maternity ward. It occurred to me that it's possibly the last place that anyone would look for him. We can certainly hide him here 'til morning." The grin on her face lit up her ordinary features, making her appear, just for that moment, almost beautiful.
Alex gave a brief snort of laughter as the humor of the situation sank in. The nurse had flung open one of the doors, and together they maneuvered Jeff's bed inside, taking out the empty bed that had been there and pushing it back out of the door.
There was no time to speak for the next few minutes as the nurse bustled about getting things organized. Finally satisfied, she stepped back and drew the curtain across the glass panel in the door, concealing the occupants of the room from anyone who might pass. She followed the action up by rolling a folding screen out around the end of the bed.
"There. He's as safe as he can be for now. I have to go back and raise the alarm. There's a dead man on my floor, remember? I'll come back down after the shift change at 7:30. Why don't you try to get some sleep?" Alex smiled at her as she indicated the empty second bed on the other side of the room. He quickly wrote down the number of his cell phone and gave it to her, then, on impulse, he put his hand to her cheek and dropped a quick kiss onto her surprised mouth.
"Thank you. You're wonderful. If there's any trouble, any at all, call me, and I'll come running." She smiled back and patted his arm.
"It will be okay. You'll see. Get some sleep, or I'll spank you." And then, she was gone, leaving Alex to his own thoughts as she trundled the empty bed away from the room where Jeff lay.
He checked his watch. It was 5:45 am and he couldn't wait any longer. Pulling out his phone again, he sat down on the chair beside Jeff's bed and dialled Scully's number.
"Dana?" He could hear her sleepy response. Damn! She would be mad at him. "Dana, honey, wake up. It's Alex. I need you."
There was a pause during which he held his breath.
"What do you want Alex? It's nighttime. Don't you ever sleep?" Her voice was growing stronger, clearer, and he breathed a sigh of relief.
"Dana, listen. I can't tell you over the phone, but I need your help. I desperately need your help. Please come." She grumbled a little at this, but he could tell that she would help him. "I need you to come to the Memorial Hospital. Call me as soon as you arrive, and I'll come and find you." He was back to praying once again. Where else would he find someone he could trust if she turned him down? "Dana, please say you'll come?"
There was a very long pause.
"Dana?" He was worried now. He would not be able to stay awake for much longer, and once he was asleep anyone could harm Jeff.
Scully sighed, audibly. "Krycek, if this is any kind of a false alarm, I will shoot you."
"Does that mean you'll come?" There was relief apparent in his voice. She was coming. He would soon be able to rest, knowing he had succeeded.
"Give me 15 minutes, Alex, and wait out front for me. Oh, and Alex?" The last was spoken with a smile. He could hear it in her voice.
"What, Dana?" He was grinning, light headed with relief.
"This had better be good." There was a click as she hung up.
Eleven minutes after he had replaced the phone in his pocket, it rang again. Spender still lay unmoving, unchanged, and Alex swiftly grabbed the instrument from his jacket.
"Hello?" Dana's welcome voice slid over his waiting ears. He exhaled, relief throbbing in the air around him.
"Where are you, Dana?"
"Just approaching the front of the hospital. Where do you want me?" He grinned. He would tease her about that one later. Right now he was swiftly making his way back out of the ward and along the corridor down to the entrance, hoping that they would be safe, that nobody had monitored the call.
She was standing in the foyer of the darkened hospital, a slim figure in blue jeans and a sweater with a skier on it. He peered cautiously around the corner to check for lurking hitmen, and whispered her name sharply. Turning, she made for him with a minimum of fuss.
He wasted no time greeting her, merely seizing her hand and racing back to the elevator, pulling her behind him. She followed, mercifully asking no questions, and he flashed her a grateful smile over his shoulder.
"Thanks for coming, love." She gave him a dark look.
"You'd better hurry up and convince me that this is an emergency." He grinned, shook his head at her, and as the elevator doors closed, he tweaked her nose, affectionately. The doors opened on the fourth floor, and he grabbed her by the hand again, hurrying off towards the room where Jeffrey lay.
Gun in hand he pushed the door open cautiously, fingers crossed that the room had not been discovered during his brief absence.
All was still, and as he rounded the screen that concealed Jeff's bed, he relaxed, slipping his gun back into the waistband of his jeans as he beckoned for Scully to come in.
As her gaze fell on the stricken Spender, she turned pale.
"Alex? What_?" Her voice trailed away, and she raised her horrified eyes to his.
"Don't look at me. I didn't do it. I'm trying to save the poor fuck's life. There's already been one attempt on it since he got here, and I've hidden him here temporarily. He can't stay here. I need your help. They said he was stable after surgery but obviously he's pretty sick. Is it safe to move him? Where can I take him?" Alex had begun his speech quietly, but his voice was rising as he spoke, distress evident in his every gesture. Scully put a hand on his arm.
"It's okay, Alex. Don't worry. I'll help you. Let me go and check him out first of all." He slumped onto the spare bed as Scully began to examine the comatose Spender.
"I was starting to worry that I would fall asleep and they would get him while I was unconscious. Dana, you've got to help me keep him alive. Old man Spender tried to kill him."
Dana looked up sharply at that. "Tried to kill him? But he's_"
"His son. Yes, I know. You can't believe just how evil that old bastard is. There's nothing he won't stoop to, nothing at all." Alex was silent once more as Scully continued to do things to the man in the bed.
"His pulse is good and strong. His heart is fine. He definitely needs medical care right now though." She paused for a moment., deep in thought, and then her face brightened.
"Sleep for a while, Alex. I'll stay and keep watch. You'll both be safe enough." Alex flashed her a relieved smile and lay back. Within seconds, he was asleep. The last thing he heard was Scully on the phone, setting things up for Jeffrey's rescue.
He was shaken awake some time later by Dana, who handed him a coffee as he rubbed at his gummy eyes.
"We're all ready to move him. Do you want to come along? Wordlessly, he nodded, running his hand through sweat-spiked hair and giving a bone-cracking yawn. Glancing over at the bed, he saw that Jeff had awoken.
Although his face was still pinched and white with pain, his eyes were alert, and he smiled at Alex.
"You saved me again. This is becoming a habit. Thanks, Alex." The thread of a voice fell on Alex's ears, soft and welcome as spring rain. Impulsively Alex bent to kiss the sick man's forehead.
"I'm sorry I wasn't in time to stop it from happening. I couldn't just let you die, it would please the old bastard too much. You've gotta live to spite him, Jeff." That brought a low, gasping laugh from Spender and an admonishment from Scully.
Checking his watch, he noticed that the time was now 10:45. A thought occurred to him.
"My nurse. The one who brought us here. She was going to come back once her shift changed. Did she come? Where is she?" Scully viewed him, her perplexed gaze telling its own tale.
"Stay here for a couple of minutes. Don't leave without me." She nodded and he began the trek back to the ICU, where he hoped there would be no problems. He approached the central nursing station and asked the lone man in nursing whites where he could find Nurse Patterson. The man looked at him blankly, before consulting the duty roster.
"She's the night nurse, my man. If she has any sense at all, she'll be at home in her bed right now."
"Have you been on since 7:30?" Alex could feel a presentiment of disaster raising the hairs at the back of his neck. Chill fingers ran the length of his spine. As the nurse nodded yes, he persisted. "Were there any unusual things this morning? Did she seem okay?"
"You act as though you think something happened to her. She was perfectly fine. She went home, I think." The man sounded uneasy. "Are you saying she's not okay?"
Alex couldn't think of an answer. He had been sure there would be cops all over the place. He'd left a dead man in here, lying in a pool of his own blood, and kidnapped a seriously ill patient. The place should be buzzing with boys in blue. That was weird. Sighing, he made his way back down to the maternity unit.
Entering the room once more, he found that the Lone Gunmen had joined Scully. Scully was hooking up a drip to the stretcher they had brought in, and the four of them were busy, tightening and tweaking at incomprehensible machinery that surrounded Spender, who was now sleeping once again. As he looked on, they deftly transferred Jeff to the stretcher, and Scully motioned for Alex to go first.
"Head for the front doors. We've got an ambulance waiting." Together, the five of them moved Jeff Spender, pawn, out of the danger zone and off the board to the safety of the Gunmen's home.
Alex busied himself over the weeks that followed. He stayed close to Fox, as close as he could. He had seen Jeff brought down, and he was anxious to stop the same thing from happening to Mulder.
He knew now that not only had Jeff's father survived the Consortium holocaust, but so had Diana Fowley. He knew that Fox was in terrible danger, by the very nature of what he was. He also knew that he could do nothing at present except watch over him.
Fox took up most of his time now. Nights were spent in his arms whenever it was possible, and days, particularly days when Fox was in the Hoover Building, were spent observing, shadowing, poised and ready to intervene if anyone tried to harm him.
Twice, he killed.
Fox came and went, unknowing, immersing himself with glee in his precious X-Files.
Jeff was well on the road to recovery now, and though he never would be as fit as before, he had impressed Alex greatly in his struggle to regain his health. Time and again Alex had attempted to persuade Jeff to go away and start a new life, but the grim young man had refused. Alex could do nothing except wait, knowing that something was building.
When it finally occurred, he almost missed it. Fox had been happily pursuing phenomena unrelated to the alien invasion, and Alex had grown a little lax, not really expecting trouble.
Mulder had been out of town, and when he had returned, he had brought with him an alien artifact. When Alex had seen it, he had become very excited. It was something he had believed lost forever.
Fox had kept it a secret, even from Alex, and it had come as a surprise to him when he had produced the thing in AD Skinner's office. He was still reeling from the blow of this realization when he saw Fox begin to show signs of a serious headache.
It could mean only one thing. Someone had activated that dormant gene that lay within his Fox, and now the change was beginning. It was too late to go back., Too late to stop it. His love was going to have to suffer the change without the close supervision he needed, and he was going to suffer.
>From his vantage point, he watched the exchange between AD Skinner and the
two agents of the X-Files. He prayed that the transition would be gentle for Fox. He knew that without the correct supervision, it would potentially be lethal. And that even if he were to live, it could possibly induce an incurable psychosis in him.
His blood ran cold. He could hear Mulder ranting about another person working the case. As the man berated Skinner, who could do nothing except stare, open-mouthed, Alex came to the conclusion that something very strange indeed was happening to Fox.
He wondered what could be done. Fox was so fragile at present, Alex was not sure if he would be able to take him away from the pain. Even as he thought this, he knew that Fox would never consent to go with him.
He shivered, drinking Fox in with his eyes, helpless to do anything except wait and watch. One thing was certain, he would need to find out how Fox had been infected, and by whom. He knew that it must have occurred very recently and that it indicated that there were still members of the consortium around.
He knew that Spender Senior would not have been able to get close enough to Fox. The only other member of the syndicate he could picture right now was Diana Fowley.
It must have been Fowley. Despite his warnings, despite his begging and pleading, he must have let her in close. Now it appeared that Fox had somehow begun to sense the thoughts and feelings of those around him. It was no longer safe for Alex to be close to him, at least not until the change was complete. If Fox sensed the truth before his defences were in place, he would probably give up on the spot. After that, his death would be only a matter of time.
Alex couldn't bear the thought of that. He would stay away from his lover if he could, as long as he could ensure that Mulder made the change successfully. Once that had happened, there would be no stopping them.
As the two agents left Skinner's office, Alex emerged from behind the panel through which he had been observing and held out his hand for the video on which the scene had been recorded. He had to study it and see if he could tell just how far along Fox was, but even more importantly, he needed to follow Fox and make sure he came to no further harm. He had to be there, close to Fox, just in case.
Just in case of what, he didn't know, but unknowing, he took the tape, dropping it into his pocket, ignoring Skinner's baleful glare. Then he hurried out of the office after Fox, a slim figure in black, seemingly at home in the lengthening shadows.
On reaching his car he found that some asshole had double-parked alongside it, effectively blocking him in, and Alex, fuming impotently, was forced to stand and watch as Scully and Mulder emerged from the underground parking facility and drove off towards the west.
He cursed his luck, wishing that he had thought to put a tag on Scully's car as well as the one on Mulder's. He chafed at the bit, waiting for the street to empty out a little so that he could pick the lock on the offending vehicle and get it out of his way. He would have to hot-wire the damned thing, and he reflected that there had been a time when he could just have shoved it out of the way. Now, his one-armed state meant that pushing and steering at the same time were virtually impossible.
It was his missing limb that saved his life. He had hesitated for just a minute or two, wondering if he could actually work out a way of pushing the stupid vehicle out of the way. Finally deciding that it was not going to work, he moved around to open the trunk of his car in order to find the tools necessary for entering the car that was inconveniencing him so.. Taking a roll of tools from the trunk, he turned and, fumbling, dropped his keys into the road. He was in the act of stopping to retrieve the things when the earth surged beneath his feet, pitching him to his knees.
He crouched for a moment or two as debris rained around him. Fuck it all! What had happened? His car was probably a write off, and he could not waste time with the police. He needed to get out of here as fast as he possibly could.
Grabbing his roll of tools, he scrambled to his feet and took off.
He ran for several blocks, and when he finally slowed down to a brisk walk, he reflected that the powers that be would be calling on him just as soon as they identified the owner of the black BMW. He was determined not to be in the vicinity of the explosion when that happened.
Fuck again! Who the hell had tried to kill him?
He flagged down a passing cab and directed it back to his house. Once home, he changed his clothes quickly, watching Skinner's tape as he did so.
He knew where Mulder must have gone now. Popping out the tape, he dropped it back into his pocket and made for the garage. He discarded the old man's limo as too big and flashy for his purposes, finally settling in behind the wheel of a sporty, hunter-green Jaguar and gunning the engine.
The university was complex. Alex parked as close as he could to the building that housed the Department of Genetics, and entered through a side door. Disdaining the elevators, he started up the stairs, paying scant heed to the sounds that were emanating from above. As he progressed up the stairs, he could see that there was a man lying on them in some distress, and as he drew closer, he discovered with a thrill of despair that it was Fox.
//Jesus! It's advancing so fast. I don't know what to do for him.//
He had to help him. He had to, but the only way was to keep on going, find Dr. Barnes ant discover what had been done to him. He would catch Barnes now, quickly, and wring him dry of information, then return for Fox and take him home to safety. Fox was perfectly safe for the moment; he wasn't going anywhere like that.
Stepping over Fox's moaning body, he continued on up the stairs and out onto the roof.
Barnes was there as Alex had suspected he might be. Alex approached him swiftly, a predator, stalking his quarry. Dr. Barnes, uncertain, cast about himself for some way of escaping this malevolent presence, but it seemed that he was trapped.
He looked wide-eyed at this being who stood over him in a manner that made him think of sharp teeth and ravening jaws.
"Dr. Barnes?" The husky voice was soft and menacing, and it brought the doctor's head upright as Alex held up the videocassette. Barnes nodded, swallowing nervously with a mouth that suddenly seemed to be devoid of saliva. "You and I are destined to be great friends." His smile became positively angelic as Alex stepped into the other man's personal space.
"W_what do you want? I've done nothing wrong." He was up against the parapet now, a cold sweat making his face gleam as Alex leaned over him.
"I want to know what you've done to Fox Mulder."
Alex reached out with one black-gloved hand and almost tenderly encircled Dr. Barnes's neck. His smile spread, seraphic and alluring, and Dr. Barnes suddenly understood the concept of mortality.
Alex began to squeeze. He applied the pressure slowly at first, and as he did so, his velvet voice told away the seconds remaining of Dr. Barnes's life.
"Fox Mulder has been infected with something, and you are the one who accomplished that." He squeezed, punctuating his words as the smaller man gagged. "I want to know the hows and whys of your little effort. I want to know where the facility is that you planned on taking him to when he went critical, and I want to know who has the program for helping him make the transition." He squeezed again, and Barnes began to turn an alarmingly high color as Alex choked him relentlessly. "I know you can tell me if you really try."
Alex's hand had closed on the man's throat and Barnes's eyes bulged with horror as he felt his own pulse under Alex's tightening fingers. He let out a croak as Alex continued in conversational tones.
"You know, they say that one loses consciousness easily if one has the blood supply to the brain interrupted like so." He suited his actions to the words, pinching hard on the pulse until he saw the other man's eyes begin to roll up, then releasing him for a seconds or two before beginning again. "However, I'm not going to let you off that easily. I'm going to crush your larynx. Now that's a pain you just can't imagine. You won't just fade to grey, Dr. Barnes, you'll choke on your own blood and drown."
Alex applied more pressure to the now gobbling Dr. Barnes, and his face suddenly lit up as though he had had a brilliant idea. "Unless, of course, I can successfully perform an emergency tracheotomy on you. I've always wanted to try that." His hand found its position and pinched in over the now terrified man's larynx, and Barnes finally broke.
"I'll tell! I'll tell! Stop it and I'll tell you." The voice was a high pitched squeak, and Alex released his grip on the throat in favor of stroking his victim's now grey cheek.
"Good, very good. Look on this as a reprieve, for now. Tell me what I need to know, and we'll discuss your continuing good health." Barnes slid down the guardrail to slump at Alex's feet, and Alex stood, waiting patiently while the pathetic heap on the floor before him managed to get himself together. Then he reached down and took hold of the man's collar, hauling the sorry looking scientist to his feet.
"Step into my consulting room, Dr. Barnes. I think you might want to unburden your conscience. My door never closes." And with that remark Alex began to tow the quaking man back into the building, disregarding the monkeys that screeched and leaped in their cages as they entered.
Once he had entered, he found a seat for Barnes and stood beside him, one leather-clad hand absently caressing the nape of the trembling man's neck.
You were going to tell me what you've done to Mulder," he prompted, and his teeth gleamed white in what Dr. Barnes might easily have mistaken for a smile.
"He was infected. There were originally three specially bred hybrids who were constructed to take the virus and adapt it once they had reached adulthood. Once the change was complete in them, they would have the necessary tools to cleanse the earth of the alien invaders. Mulder is the only one of the three that is left now, and it was decided to activate him." Alex rocked back on his heels. He knew the truth about Fox, but_
"Who are the other two hybrids?" He was fascinated, but at the same time troubled. Fox was not the only one, but the cushion provided by the other two might mean that they would not try as hard to save him in a pinch. He shook the doctor, hard. "Tell me. I'm losing patience." The doctor shuddered.
"Alex Krycek is the name I was given, although there are orders out to terminate him, so he may very well be dead by now. The other is called Spender, Jeffrey Spender, and I know that he's dead. His father told me." Alex nodded, ruffling Barnes's hair in a dreadful imitation of affection.
"Go on, you're doing really well. Don't stop there. Where is the virus you've introduced into Mulder? " Barnes indicated the refrigerator in the corner of the room.
"It's all in there. Even the ones for Krycek and Spender, though they won't ever be used now. The shot for Mulder's second stage treatment is the blue one. He needs to get that one within the next few hours. It's no use though. Sandoz took off with the equipment they need for his final metamorphosis. Mulder is going to die, because we can't complete the cycle, and then the human race might as well give up." Alex's ears went back at that, and he felt a flash of panic slice through to his groin.
"Tell me all about this third stage. What's needed?" Dr. Barnes raised wild eyes to meet his.
"There was a fragment from the alien artifact. It emitted the radiation that's required to modify the virus that's in Mulder. It's not my department. There were others working on that aspect of the treatment. All I was involved in was the administration of the virus." Alex cut him off then, moving to the fridge to secure the phials of virus. He readily found the two that were labeled with Jeff's name, and then those that were for him. After a moment's fumbling he revealed the solitary tube with Fox's name on it. Gathering them up, he wrapped them carefully, snagged a couple of syringes from the tray beside the fridge, and left the room, deserting the terrified Barnes and made his way back down to where he knew Fox would be lying.
Only when he reached the place, Fox was no longer there.
The drive back to Fox's apartment seemed like an eternity. Alex jittered as he sped through city streets that glistened in the aftermath of a light rain. He cursed himself for not having taken Fox to safety first, and prayed that the stricken man had managed to make his way safely home.
He pulled up outside Fox's apartment building and quickly made his way up the stairs to the door, pulling out the keys Fox had given him as he approached. Ever cautious, he paused at the door to listen and stiffened up as he heard voices within, then he quietly unlocked the door and entered the suite as silently as a shadow. Moving on cat feet down the short passageway, he began to discern a woman's voice. Listening, he recognized the unmistakable tones of Diana Fowley.
He drew his gun. This would be a pleasure.
When he rounded the corner into the living room, the woman had just hung up the telephone and was in the act of undressing. Alex waited until she was clad only in her bra and panties and then ambled forward, his gun held loosely but firmly in his hand. She was watching Fox with a peculiar expression on her face and didn't quite realize his presence until he was very close to her. She was studying Fox with an look that was part satisfaction and part amusement, and as his shadow fell over the bed, she jumped and turned, exclaiming angrily as she saw who Mulder's unwelcome guest was.
For a frozen moment neither of them spoke, then Alex found his voice.
"Get out." His eyes raked up and down her scantily clad body, and a sneer spread over his face. She stepped backwards, flustered.
"There's nothing we can do for him, Alex. You might as well just leave him to me." Diana raised her chin, and Alex lifted his gun with a smirk.
"He doesn't want anything you could possibly give him. Now get out, or I'll blow your supremely ugly head off." And he thumbed the safety catch off his weapon, bringing it to bear on her left eye.
She backed slowly away to where her clothing lay in a neatly folded pile and picked up her skirt. Alex moved again, cobra fast, and the gun was suddenly cold against the base of her spine.
"Take your clothes and go. Now." She turned pale at that.
"But I'm not_ " she indicated her clothing vaguely, and he jabbed her hard with the barrel of the gun.
"Don't test me, Diana. Don't try my patience, I have none. Just get out."
Something in Alex's face must have convinced her. She swiftly gathered up her belongings and made for the door.
Alex watched her as she stood in the hallway and rapidly made herself decent. He only closed the door to the apartment when he had seen her step into the elevator.
He locked the door and hurried back to the bedroom, to where his stricken Fox was lying, ghost like now and still, his breathing shallow as he labored to throw off the virus that had invaded his system. He took the hypodermic and the phial with Mulder's name written on it, and began to load it, praying that he was doing this right, terrified that he was not.
Fox lay, sweat sheened and pale in his bed, his bruised eyes closed and pain written on his face, set in the lines around his mouth. As Alex moved towards him, Mulder's sudden scream took him by surprise.
"Help me, Alex. You know you can. I can hear you."
"I'm here, darling. I'll try." He could hardly breathe. His hand shook and he knelt beside Fox on the bed, trying to get himself together enough to apply the needle.
He had no idea how this stuff was to be administered. He could just as easily kill Fox as help him. There was no other choice; he had to do something, and the doctor had been very specific that something must be done tonight if Fox were to survive.
Alex thrust the needle into the skin of Fox's arm and injected the serum as the tears rolled down his face to splash onto his lover's skin. Then, stripping off his clothes, he climbed into bed beside him and held him close as he waited to see whether or not he had made the right decision.
Fox seemed to doze for the next while, and Alex lay beside him, stroking and petting the soft, thick hair and clammy skin, murmuring to him about the things he had found out about the process he was going through. He was not sure if Mulder could hear him or not, but he could not give up now.
He finally knew that Fox was feeling better when he suddenly opened dazed looking grey eyes and smiled, a sad, strained little smile.
Alex was holding him tightly, and his heart skipped, thudded and skipped again as he gazed down at his lover.
This man had somehow become his life, and he had no idea how it had happened. His mind traveled back to a time long since gone when he and this man in his arms had hated each other. He could see himself as he had been, chained to a cast iron pipe in a third rate Frankfurt hotel, exhausted, shocked, bloodied and broken after Fox had raped him.
Somehow the feelings he was experiencing now had grown out of that horrific start to their relationship. He frowned, not understanding, and then Fox reached up to encircle him with his arms and pulled Alex down to meet his lips in a sweet, sticky kiss.
He didn't think any more after that.
Their mouths slid over each other to lock in place, and Fox sucked Alex's tongue into his mouth, teasing and caressing it with his own. One arm was around Alex's neck, while his other hand had sneaked down and was now cupping his ass, pulling him in tight until their bodies lay pressed together along their entire length.
Alex wriggled, feeling his cock slither against Fox's belly, and the answering twitch of increasing hardness as Fox deepened the kiss, rolling over to lie on top of him, pinning him, breathless and moaning, under him.
Closing his eyes, Alex drank in the taste of Fox's mouth and the sweet scent of his arousal. It came home to him with a chill that this might be the very last time he and Fox would ever make love. If he could not locate Dr. Sandoz and the alien artifact he had absconded with, his beautiful Fox was doomed. He thrust his body hard against Mulder, feeling the other man catch fire in response.
Mouths greedy on each other, hands clutching, the two men continued to devour each other, desperation driving them to even greater heights as they touched and stroked each other.
Alex could feel Fox's breath against his cheek and offered up his thanks that he was still aware, still breathing, then Fox began a steady, rolling motion with his hips, and Alex groaned into the mouth that covered his. Pulling away for a second, Fox lifted his head to gaze down at his lover.
"Thank you, love, thank you." And Alex's eyes flew open as he tried to process what Mulder was saying.
"Thank me for what, baby? I've been in bed with you before." Slow and husky, his voice made Fox smile, and he dipped his head to place small kisses along Alex's jawline and down to his throat where he set to work sucking a necklace of small bruises into being.
"Thank you for helping me, for getting that stuff that I needed. I could see in your thoughts how much you wanted to make me well. Even if you can't get the last part, I know you tried, baby."
It took a minute for Fox's words to sneak through the haze of arousal that was building in Alex. Then, all of a sudden, even as Fox bent to lick around his nipples, it dawned on Alex just exactly what Fox had said, and he froze, forcing Fox's face up to look at him.
"How_ ?" Fox smiled down at him, kissing the end of his nose.
"How did I know about the serum? To tell the truth, I'm not really sure. It's just that from time to time I seem to be able to hear the thoughts of those around me, even when I don't want to. In fact my main problem seems to be that I can't shut things out when I need to, and it's killing me. I could hear when you were arguing with Diana. I could hear your thoughts and hers too. I love you, Alex." And he resumed his tender onslaught on Alex's chest, nipping and sucking at each rosy nipple in turn while his hands kneaded and teased at firm flesh.
Alex moaned again, and stroked the back of Mulder's neck as he gave himself up to the things his lover was doing to him. It was no use trying to figure things out right now. This was Fox, his Fox, and they were making love for one last time. Surely the world would wait for them.
Fox moved back up to cover Alex's mouth with his once more, as his hand stole down to find and seize Alex's hard flesh.
Knowing fingers closed around Alex's cock and began to stroke him insistently. Alex gave himself up to the feelings his lover was stirring in him, responding to the clever hands and voluptuous lips with his own urgent touches, feeling all the time as though this would be the last time he and Fox would ever be together.
Fox was still kissing him, tongue snaking and darting to explore the inside of his mouth as his hand slid back and forth over his cock. Alex felt the approach of his orgasm like a wave of tingling warmth that built in the base of his spine, waiting to burst free and flood him with pleasure. Panting, he pushed himself up into Fox's hand.
Fox suddenly stopped his movement, holding Alex still, and Alex cried out for the lack of the delicious friction that had been driving him wild. Fox ran a considering tongue tip over Alex's lips and smiled down at the desperate, wild eyed man as he attempted vainly to recapture the motion of just few minutes ago.
"Alex, baby, please. I want you. I want to fuck you right now." Alex swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry with need, and lowered improbably long eyelashes submissively.
"Anything, Fox. You can do anything. Just hurry, please, before I explode." Mulder kissed him again, a rough, hard kiss that bruised his lips, and Alex could feel him trembling. Then Fox pulled away as he groped through the items in the drawer of his nightstand, quickly finding the bottle of Astroglyde and pouring it into his hand.
Alex, made shameless by desire, spread his legs wide, arching into Mulder's touch, and Mulder began to stroke the crease of his ass. To start with, his fingers went to the soft, delicate skin behind his balls, tracing sensations as soft and fluttery as butterfly wings as he massaged Alex's sweet spot.
Alex was moaning again, writhing up into Mulder's touch as he invited more and more intimacy. His lover circled one long forefinger around and around the bud of his anus, finally slipping it in past the muscle as Alex twisted and rocked.
He felt Fox begin to slide in and out, stretching him as he filled him, and heard his own voice whimpering out his need for more, more with a detached curiosity. That wave was back to lurk behind his balls, and he could feel it building as Fox fingerfucked him.
Fox drew away from his onslaught on Alex's lips to smile a predatory way at his moaning, desperate lover, relishing his evident arousal as he fingered him slowly and steadily. He could see the tendons of Alex's neck standing out like cords as he rolled his head from side to side. Mulder stooped to nip at the long, smooth throat, and then, as Alex found his voice, he smiled again.
"Come on, Fox, I'm ready, please. Give it to me." And his voice was crushed velvet, abrading Fox's senses as it brushed his skin.
"Hold on, love, I'll take good care of you, just have a little patience." Mulder pulled away, snickering at the whimpered protests from his lover, and then laughing out loud as Alex began to swear at him. He knelt up and pulled Alex onto his thighs, slicking up his cock and positioning it ready.
Then he pressed home slowly and relentlessly into the heat of Alex's body.
"Oh, fuck! Oh, Fox, please_ " Alex was filled, stretched to the tearing point, burning ache fading to sweet intensity as Mulder pushed home, drew back and thrust in again.
"I'll take care of you, love." Fox leaned forward and his mouth covered Alex's once again as he held him tightly, his hips undulating as he fucked.
Electric tingles were building in Alex now. He pressed his hand down between their two bodies to take hold of his cock and work it in time with the action of Mulder's pumping hips until Fox reared up again, placing his hands over Alex's.
"Oh, God, yeah! Please, Fox, you do it for me, lover." And Fox took hold of the purple, slippery cock, beginning to jack it until Alex gasped, his orgasm slamming though him like a tsunami, bursting over his limbs like foaming water as his cock spat sticky white gobs of semen. Seconds later, he felt the stutter and jerk inside him as Fox followed, pouring out his own spunk into the sweet liquid heat that surrounded him.
With a cry that was part benediction and part curse, he fell forward onto Alex and held him tightly as he buried his face into the other man's shoulder.
Alex wished he could stay warm and wanted in Fox's arms for the rest of time, but shadows were lengthening, he had an alien artifact to find, and who knew how long he actually had to do it in.
Fox was lying warm on his chest, and he nuzzled in to him, mumbling something indistinct about the alien technology. Alex, who had been stroking the long muscles of Fox's back, paused for a minute.
"Tell me what you know, Fox. It's important. It might even save your life." Alex rolled to take Mulder into his embrace and fixed him with an unblinking green stare.
"Scully knows about it. She went off after Dr. Sandoz. All you need to do is call her and ask her for it." Mulder pulled his face down again for a kiss, and Alex reluctantly began to get up from the bed, feeling cold and alone as he left the warmth on Mulder's body behind. Passing through the door into the living room, he picked up Mulder's phone and dialed Dana's cell. After a few seconds, he heard her voice on the other end of the line.
"Dana? It's Alex. Have you found Dr. Sandoz? It's really important. Mulder's life depends on locating him." There was a silence at the other end of the phone, and then, "He's in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico. I'm just on my way back. I was with him about ten minutes ago, why?" Alex would have kissed her if she had been there with him, as it was, he let out a war whoop, and broke the connection, casting around for Mulder's well used road atlas. Fox had risen and put on some elderly, disreputable sweats, and he leaned over Alex, leaning against his back as the nude counterspy studied maps.
"Albuquerque! Look at that. I get to take the left turn at Albuquerque after all!" Alex turned, grinning to point out his destination, and Fox spluttered with laughter as he recalled the silly phone call that had brought the two of them together at last. Then he was on the phone again, booking a ticket west for a plane that was leaving in four hours time.
The heat of New Mexico was immense, even the velvet darkness of the night on the reserve. Alex was still dressed for the cool clime of Washington DC, and was more than a little uncomfortable. He didn't intend to stay for any longer than it would take to relieve Sandoz of his life saving piece of machinery and had rented a car at the airport. Now he was on the Navajo reserve, looking for his quarry.
He had found the settlement of Ojo Caliente with surprisingly little fuss, and it seemed to have around a dozen houses, a church and a gas station that had a small store attached to it. Alex was depressed by the very appearance of it.
As he arrived at the large, clapboard building next to the garage, he spotted a man talking on a cellphone, standing beside a couple of horses. He was not going to lose anything at all by asking. He moved in.
"I'm looking for Dr. Sandoz. I don't know if you've seen him?" Alex spoke quietly, but the man flinched, turning to run. It suddenly dawned on Alex that this was the man he had sought. He had found him so quickly that he almost believed in God just for that moment. He leapt to stop the older man from running, not at first spotting that the other man had drawn a gun.
As Dr. Sandoz turned to face him, gun coming up to position itself menacingly. Sighing, Alex, his hand in his pocket curling around his own gun, shot him through the fabric of his coat.
As Sandoz fell into the red dirt, Alex dropped to his knees and felt through the dead man's pockets. There it was, thank God. Fox might live yet. He hadn't given up.
Alex was back into his car and pulling away onto the road to Albuquerque before anyone had come to investigate the gunshot.
The next morning, an exhausted, exhilarated Alex opened the door to Fox's apartment, holding the piece of alien technology in his hand triumphantly. Calling out, he waited for his lover to come out. There was no sound. He rushed into the bedroom, and there was no sign of Fox there. The bed had been made and it was as if he had never been there.
He moved to the phone. Dana would probably be mad at him for continually calling her to pick her brains but, fuck it, this was an emergency. He dialed.
"Dana? Where is he? Where's Mulder?" The silence at the other end of the line was deafening, bruising him as he waited for the woman's answer.
"Alex. It's too late. He's in the hospital." He heard the words through numbness. He didn't know what it meant. Maybe it would still be okay. Fox needed the treatment, that was all, and Alex was here now with what he needed. Better not think about it too hard. He gulped.
"He's still alive? Tell me he's still alive!" Hoarse with the need to hear the right words, he stood, tensed against the words he feared.
"It might be better for him if he weren't. He's insane, Alex. He's totally insane." Her words were careful, pitying, and he wanted to punch her to make her unsay it. Instead, he heard himself asking for the directions to the hospital.
He was so tired now, after two days without sleep, he thought he would go mad himself, but instead he placed the metal fragment back into his pocket and went back down to his car.
Arriving at the hospital where Scully had directed him, he found himself a closet and snagged a white coat from one of the hampers. Stripping off his coat, he donned the medical garment. Then he transferred the artefact and his gun into the pockets before moving out into the corridor. All he would need was a minute or two to get the device through to Fox, and then it wouldn't matter any more.
He arrived at the secure unit where Mulder was being held, and within moments he had picked his way through the locks to enter. Peering around the corner, he could see Skinner and Diana. Scully was nowhere to be seen.
He wasn't sure how this was going to work. The two of them were deep in conversation, but there was a doctor present too. Unless they went away, he was going to have trouble. He was still deliberating a way forward when Scully came up behind him, making him jump out of his skin.
"Dana! Thank God!" She looked at him, puzzlement in her face. "You have to help me. I can save him, but I have to get to him."
She shook her head.
"It's quite out of the question, Alex. He's beyond your help. I know he was your friend, but.." Alex seized her shoulders, his fingers digging into the flesh painfully.
"No!" The cry was wrenched from him, and Scully's eyes flew to his face as she realized that there was more here than she had imagined. "You don't understand. I can help him, but you've got to get me to him. I can't get past them on my own." He indicated the trio in the room around the corner.
Dana's eyes rested on him, taking in the bloodshot eyes and the two days growth of beard.
"You care about him don't you?" She touched his face, gently.
"Care about him? I love him. He's my life." The bleak voice crashed like waves on rocks, and the shock of discovering that Mulder had a male lover appeared to shake her, although it could have been his imagination.
"I'll help you. How are you going to do this?" She smiled gently, and Alex felt weak kneed with relief.
"Take me in there at gunpoint and get me close to him. Ill do the rest." He smiled, proffering his gun as he did so and nodding as she took it.
"Let's go then. I may chicken out if I stop to think about this too much." She gave him a small, sad smile, and then the two of them moved out and around the corner.
As they came within sight of the two agents sitting in the waiting area, Alex could see satisfaction in their eyes. Skinner looked positively glowing as he surveyed Scully's prisoner. Above his head, Alex could see Fox in a green, hospital gown on the monitor, and he heard a hoarse screech of "Alex!" from him as he moved towards the Assistant Director.
Dana gestured for him to move over to the corner, where there was a window into the secure room where Fox was being kept. Alex wondered how they were going to get the artifact to him, and then Diana stood, smoothing down her skirt with a careful hand.
"Ah, Krycek. You're just in time to see us move him. We're taking him away to a place of safety. He'll be safe from the likes of you anyway. Just sit on a chair and stay out of the way." Alex sat, and Dana turned to Skinner.
"Where are you taking him?" Skinner merely shook his head at her, and then a couple of orderlies materialized, entered the room where Mulder was, and wrestled him to the ground. Fowley pushed a wheeled stretcher in, and Mulder was placed on it, kicking and struggling. Alex could stand no more.
He rose and threw himself full length onto Fox, artefact pressed between them. He wriggled, stuffing it up under the robe Fox wore, and prepared himself for the beating he knew would come his way.
There was a loud bang, and something hit him in the back. Surprised, he stood, and turned to see Skinner returning his gun to its holster with a smile on his features.
Then he fell, gracefully slipping to the floor, and the lights went out for Alex Krycek.
Dana Scully stood, aghast, as Alex hit the ground, knocking the stretcher wheels with his shoulder and smacking his head against the floor. A.D. Skinner was looking at the still figure on the floor, a smirk on the blunt features. He turned to look at Scully, and froze as he spied the gun trained unwaveringly on his middle.
"Step away from him, sir, or I'll be forced to shoot you." Skinner put his hands in the air, and backed away from the angry little woman. Diana Fowley opened her mouth to say something, and Scully snarled.
"Just give me one reasonable excuse to kill you," She hissed at the taller woman. Then She settled on a plan. "In there! Move!" She gestured with the gun and indicated that they step into Mulder's erstwhile cell. After a pregnant moment, they all complied and Scully closed the door, locking it with venomous satisfaction.
Grabbing a pair of shears from a tray on the counter, she cut through the restraints that bound Fox, and shook him.
"Mulder, Mulder come on! I need your help." Mulder looked at her vacantly for a minute or two, and then shook himself.
"Come on, Mulder. Alex needs you. Help me." And at that, the befuddled agent staggered to his feet and at Scully's command, the two of them lifted Alex onto the gurney. Fox, a vision in his short, green, hospital gown and Scully with her smart suit rapidly turning red with Alex's blood, got the now moaning Alex onto the stretcher, and the three of them moved away towards the elevator, and possible safety. **************************