Title: ORA PRO NOBIS (1/1)
Author: Josan
Date: January 2000
Spoiler: ORISON
Comments: jmann@mondenet.com OR, if you're getting bounced due to the anti-spam filter my server has added, try jmann@spam.mondenet.com

NOTE: There is a reason why Scully might actually open the door to Krycek, but the reason is to be found in a story I posted ONLY on Slash-kink. Nothing sexual between them, but the subject matter dealt with child sexual abuse. Just take my word though she still doesn't like him, Scully is feeing a bit less frigid towards Krycek.

DISCLAIMER: These are the property of CC, Fox and 1013, but I am only borrowing them.

It was the middle of the night when she heard the knock on her apartment door.

She should have been sleeping, shouldn't have been awake to hear it. It wasn't so loud that, had she been asleep, she would have heard it.

She picked up her weapon, now always kept close by, and went to see who was "softly tapping" at her door.

She looked through the peep hole, closed her eyes and rested her forehead against the door.

"Come on, Scully. I know you're there. Let me in, will you?"

Scully dropped the hand with her weapon to her side, sighed, feeling very put upon and opened her door to Alex Krycek.

Krycek quickly slipped through the partially opened way to stand, hands up above his head, in her foyer.

She shut the door, turned and, ignoring him, made her way back into the kitchen to her cooling mug of tea.

Krycek slouched against the kitchen doorway, watching her as she refilled the kettle, placed it on the stove and turned on the ring under it.

"You're getting sloppy, Scully. You didn't even check to see if I'm carrying."

Scully sent a haughty eyebrow in his direction. "When aren't you." She rested back against the counter, hands in the pockets of her bathrobe. "What do you want, Krycek?"

Krycek made a show of carefully reaching into his partially opened jacket and pulled out a small plastic case of CDs. He straightened, walked over to the table and placed it down next to her mug.

She merely questioned him with a look.

"For Mulder. Skinner may be interested in the small one at the back."

Scully nodded, almost as if it didn't matter. Krycek cocked his head, took his time looking her over. She didn't challenge his examination of her: that worried him.

"You should have moved," he hitched a hip on the edge of the table, his eyes watching her every reaction.

"Then he would have won. I'm not going to give him that."

Krycek nodded his understanding.

"I did change the furniture in the bedroom," she admitted. "Had the whole place repainted."

Krycek smiled at her compromise. "But you're not sleeping." It was said as a given, not asked.

She shrugged. "I suppose it takes time." She pushed herself away from the counter, turned the heat off and prepared a pot of tea. She picked up her mug, emptied and rinsed it out. Got a second from out of the cupboard: seemed she had a guest, whether she wanted one or not.

"Sugar," said Krycek. He pulled out the chair facing hers at the small table and made himself comfortable.

She looked over her shoulder, eyebrow challenging his use of the word.

"I take sugar in my tea," he smiled innocently.

"Hungry?" she asked. "I think I've got some cookies left somewhere." Her mother would have been proud that she had instilled manners in her to the point that she could be polite to a visiting assassin.

"No, thanks. I actually ate supper not that long ago." Krycek held back the smirk he could feel fighting to appear on his face. He wondered just how long her good manners would last if he allowed it out.

He waited until she had poured, offered him sugar and a spoon, sat down to her own mug. "You look like hell, Scully."

Scully looked up from her contemplation of the hot liquid in her mug. "Gees, thanks, Krycek. You certainly can flatter a woman."

"There's no reason to lose sleep over Pfaster. He needed to be killed."

Scully looked up as though he had slapped her. She did feel slapped when she realized that Alex Krycek, assassin par excellence, was looking at her with sympathy.

"Did he?" she bit out. Her hands which had been resting on the table top fisted.

Krycek reached over and then pulled back. She would not appreciate his touching her.

"I forgot," she continued in the same cold tone, "I'm speaking with an expert."

Krycek slowly shook his head. "Not the same thing," he spoke softly, as if not wanting to spook her.

"Isn't it? I killed him in cold blood. Not in self defense. Isn't that what *you* do?"

"There's a difference," Krycek was obviously searching for the right words, "between fulfilling a contract and eliminating Evil."

"I see," Scully said, sarcastically. "Let me guess. Melissa was a contract but Pfaster was Evil. Is this what you're saying?"

Krycek wondered just what the hell he was doing here. But it was obvious that Scully was hurting and if Mulder, with all his expertise, and Skinner with his couldn't help her: well, he did owe her.

"Melissa," he said quietly, "was a mistake. *You* would have been a contract. Pfaster needed to be taken out."

Scully rested her elbows on the table, rested her face in her open hands. Krycek waited for her.

"How was Melissa a mistake?"

"You were asking too many questions after Mulder pulled his dying routine. Making too many waves. They thought Mulder was dead and that they didn't need you any more. The Brit gave me the contract, but at the last minute Spender insisted that Cardinale accompany me. I wasn't happy with that arrangement, but no one asked me. After, Spender wasn't too happy with Cardinale. Seems the original plans were for me to kill you then for Cardinale to kill me. It was supposed to look like we had shot each other."

"Except that Melissa was the one that got shot."

Krycek nodded. Picked up his tea and drank some.

"We knew from the DNA we found on the trigger that it you weren't the killer."

"How did you find DNA on the trigger, Scully? We were both wearing gloves."

She smiled from a sense of satisfaction. "He must have cut himself on a finger at some point and picked up the gun without gloves. We found a dab of blood on the finger rest."

"Sounds like him."

"So," Scully looked him in the eyes, "why didn't I kill him when I had him in my sights?"

Krycek sat back in the chair. "Because even though he was a thug, a killer, the man who killed your sister, he was just a man. He wasn't the embodiment of Evil."

Scully snorted. "Do such things exist, Krycek? 'The embodiment of Evil'?"

"Oh, yes. They do."

Scully found herself enthraled by the certainty in Krycek's voice.

"And they must never be allowed to get away. I know that. Now you do, too." He met her eyes straight on, not wavering, while she absorbed what he said.

"Scully," he leaned over in her direction, "there *are* things in this world that are intrinsically Evil. There are men who do evil things. Cruel things. Things that go against the norm. But now and then there..." He looked for the words, couldn't find them. He sighed. "There is Evil. And it can't be allowed any leeway, or it wins. It *has* to be destroyed. That's what you did. That's *all* you did."

"So why didn't Mulder see him that way?" Her frustration was easy to read on her face.

"Is Mulder blaming you?"

"No!" she bit out angrily then sighed. "No. Just the opposite. He covered for me. But why didn't *he* see Pfaster the way I did?"

Neither of them wondered at the irony of Dana Scully turning to Alex Krycek for understanding.

"Probably because Mulder's experience is with monsters. He can see monsters and he can deal with them. I don't think he's ever had to deal with Evil. Except in passing."

Scully looked at Krycek, finally understanding something. "Spender is Evil."

Krycek gave a sort of smile. Said nothing. He had encountered more than Spender in his experiences with Evil.

He reached over and placed his real hand on top of hers. "Look, Scully. If you had shot Cardinale in cold blood, you would have had reason to question your action. But in this case, which bothers you more: the fact that you killed Pfaster? Or the fact that you don't feel guilty at having done so?"

Scully looked up from her examination of his hand on hers. She took a sharp inhalation of breath.

"Scully. I know you. As much as I ever will. You are not a cold-blooded killer. Believe me, I would know if you were. The reason you're having trouble sleeping is not that you killed Pfaster, it's because you need to accept that it was the right thing to do. The only thing to do. And you did it. This doesn't mean that you're going to go around killing people. It was a one-time deal. Trust me. And if you do kill someone again, " forestalling her, "it will be because you had to defend yourself, you had to protect someone."

Under his hand, he felt hers relax. He smiled at her. "Shit, Scully, if you were any type of a killer, we wouldn't be sitting here having a friendly cup of tea at your kitchen table. You would have blown me away at the door."

He got up. "Thanks for the tea. Make sure they get the CDs as soon as possible. They're important."

Like the politely brought up woman she was, Scully escorted her visitor to the door. He was half-way through when he reached out and stroked her cheek.

"You may be safer this way, Scully, but I find I miss your sharp tongue. Get some sleep."

And she did.