Author: Josan
Date: MAY, 2000
Summary: Just what the title says: it'a a rescue.
Pairing: Sk/K
Rating: Just a few kisses
Archive: With thanks to CJK at: http://adult.dencity.com/CJK/index.html Yes, to Basement, Ratlover. 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


DISCLAIMER: The main characters are the property of CC, Fox and 1013, and I certainly am not making any money on them. Rejanne is mine, to a certain extent.

DEDICATION: To the real Rejanne.




He pulled strings he hadn't had to use in years. Called in more than a couple of favours. Used the fact that the area commander had been Moscow-trained to flash some of his old ID. Which got the commander to sit down to a meeting, but didn't help much on negotiations.

Still, all things considered, he haggled himself a decent deal.

Half paid immediately into a Swiss bank account: the other half on receipt of the package. Ah, the joys of electronic banking. The place had barely any water, no food, but the soldiers drove around with palm pilots and laptops.

The deal he worked out meant the commander himself had to accompany him to the camp. They were greeted by a guard who was barely able to stand on his feet. Like the rest of his colleagues, part of his pay came in the form of drugs or alcohol, whichever was preferred. Still, the man recognized authority when he saw it: the heavily armed, stone sober bodyguards that accompanied them saw to it that the message got across.

He found her under a denuded tree whose branches barely cast any shade in the hot sun. She was sitting cross- legged, a child in her arms.

At first he thought the child was sleeping, but as they got closer he saw the flies that buzzed the open eyes and knew that the child was long dead. Still, she clutched the body close to her as if by doing so she could repel Death.

He didn't address her. It wouldn't have done any good even if he had. Her unfocused eyes stared into a world that he really wouldn't care to visit. At a signal from the commander she was dragged to her feet, the child pulled out of her arms and casually tossed to the ground. That she didn't react at all to the gesture worried him. That and the fact that she didn't resist whatsoever as they pulled her to the waiting jeep and tossed her into the back seat.

He and the commander finished their business. He played with his palm pilot then waited while the man played with his. The new total to his account pleased him enough that he actually escorted them to the landing strip where a helicopter was waiting to take off.

The commander snickered, said something obscene about the price he had just paid for an old piece of meat. He just shrugged, pulled the woman out of the vehicle and, with little kindness, shoved her to the door of the refurbished Huey. Where another pair of arms were waiting to pull her on board.

He nodded to the commander and, eyes on the man and his guards, boarded the helicopter which took off even before he had thrown himself onto the floor. The commander, however, was more interested in looking again at his new bank account tally.



Skinner was worried.

The woman he held in his arms, tightly wrapped in a blanket, was barely conscious.

"What the hell did they do to her?"

Krycek tried to make himself comfortable against the metal frame of the helicopter. His eyes were closed. He was too old for these stupid games, he thought. "Nothing that they haven't done to anyone else. What little food there is goes to the soldiers. The same for the water. Civilians are there just to die."

"She's a bloody doctor, for God's sake!"

"She's a woman. In their eyes, that's all she is. And an old one too. He thought I was crazy for buying her."

Skinner was holding a bottle of water to Dana Scully's mouth, trying to get her to swallow some. Krycek just watched. She had never been very big to begin with but now Scully was skin and bones. And looking as though all life had been bleached out of her as well as her colour.

To Skinner's delight, she swallowed some of the water, coughed, swallowed some more. It finally dawned on her that she actually had water in her mouth. With a small cry she raised her hands to the bottle and placed them on top of the large ones holding the precious water to her lips.

"Easy. Easy, Dana. I won't take the water away, but you have to slow down. Sips. Take sips. That's a girl."

Dana Scully kept her hands on the water but looked up to see who was speaking to her. She thought she recognized the voice, but what would it be doing here in West Africa? She was hallucinating. That was it. That had to be it. What on earth would Walter Skinner be doing here? She looked around. And just where was here? She could see the tops of trees. She was above them.

All right: she was definitely hallucinating.

The bottle was held to her mouth again and she took another drink.

Well, she had certainly thought about water. Didn't think the wetness in her mouth, sliding down her throat was a hallucination. Still she certainly didn't think she had developed the ability to levitate. She looked over to the other voice.

She could understand calling up memories of water. Of Walter Skinner. Of escape. But why on earth would she have dreamed up Alex Krycek?


She turned her head to look at the man speaking to her. "Walter?" she croaked. "What are you doing here?"

"Bringing you home."

She thought about that as she took another mouthful of water, sweet, blessed water. She swallowed, feeling it glide down her aching throat, feeling her body absorb it.

"All right," she said.




Thirty hours later, Walter Skinner tucked the covers around a Dana Scully sleeping sounding in their spare bedroom.

The local doctor, who had worked a stint with Medecins Sans Frontiers, had been waiting for them when they had pulled up at his clinic door. Three hours later, Dana Scully, examined, medicated was sent home with the two men who had flown into the middle of a revolution to find her, with a list of instructions, a bag of medication and orders to call him if she showed the slightest sign of trauma.

"I'm too old for this," Walter moaned as he slipped into his side of the bed.

Alex gave a snort of agreement. He tossed the towel he'd been using onto the hamper and, yawning, slid in next to his lover. Skinner settled his aching head on Alex's shoulder. Gave a heartfelt sigh. "Well, we got her."

This time the noise Alex made was more neutral.

"You gonna tell me where you found the money to ransom her?"

Alex sighed, snuggled more deeply into the pillows. After the past couple of years of living with Walter Skinner, he knew that question was going to be slipped into conversations when he least expected it until he broke down and told him. Oh, well, might as well give in right now. Wasn't that important.

"There were a couple of numbered accounts that belonged to some of the members of the Consortium. I wasn't quite sure I remembered the sequences correctly, but it turned out I did."

"How much?"

Alex shook his head. "Walter..."


"Walter, I'm too tired for this. Drop it, will you? All that matters is that we got her out of there."

Walter nibbled on a certain sensitive area just under Alex's ear.

"Ah, shit. Walter!"

Skinner said nothing, just continued nibbling.

"Fuck you, Skinner! I gave him all I could find, a bit over a million."

Skinner stopped nibbling, stayed very still. Alex wondered why the hell Skinner always picked times when all he wanted to do was sleep to play question and answer games with him?

"I was going to offer to pay half," said Skinner.

Alex snorted. "Why? They sure as hell owed it to her. Anything else you want to know?"

"No, that'll do."

"Thank you. *Now* can I get some sleep?"

Skinner raised his head. Alex looked as exhausted as he felt. "Alex."

Alex groaned.


Alex opened his eyes, looked at the greyed face of the only man who could have gotten him to run a rescue mission into the middle of a war. He smiled. "You owe me. Big time."

Skinner laughed softly, resettled his head on Alex's shoulder. "I'll handle Rejanne the next time she comes up."





Dana Scully sat on the couch in the sun room, looking out at the back yard of the house she was, somehow, visiting.

She'd been here a week and hadn't really had the energy to do more than drink liquids, eat small meals that were served to her every few hours by the man who used to be her boss. As a doctor, she knew she would be worried about a patient who had somehow been spirited out of one country, transported through...well, to be honest, she really didn't know how many countries they had gone through. Only that suddenly she was here in Canada...with no recollection as to how she had gotten here.

She looked about her, at last interested in her surroundings. The house was not new; the furniture was a hodge-podge of some that she recognized from Walter Skinner's condo in D.C.; some were definitely antiques, others, obviously new.

The only rooms she was familiar with were the bedroom she had been using, the bathroom off it, the kitchen, but only because she had to pass through it to get to the sun room where she spent most of her waking hours.

Well, what few hours she managed to remain awake. It was easier to close her eyes and drift away.

She knew this behaviour was not normal for her, but the last few months had barely had a passing acquaintance with normality.

No, she scolded herself, she wouldn't go there. Not yet. She wasn't ready to remember.

So, she concentrated instead on the tree that shaded her end of the sun room. She could tell that the leaves were fairly young, not full-sized. It was late May, but the location was further north than what she was used to. Of course, development would be later.

She was trying to identify the species of tree when she heard footsteps coming into the room. For some reason, she felt it important to have identified the tree before she turned her attention to the man sitting in the chair across from her.

Walter watched Dana Scully's forehead wrinkle in concentration. The doctor had warned him that it would take more than a week for the woman he knew to make a re-appearance. If she ever did. He'd reminded him that her being witness to the massacre of most of the staff of the clinic she worked in, the patients, being forced to march with other prisoners to a camp where they were beaten, starved, where their dead bodies fed the scavengers might be something that she would never be able to put aside.

"Dana?" He followed her gaze and realized what she was looking at. "It's a silver maple."

She said nothing, just frowned at it. Finally she turned her face to look at him. "Why silver?"

"The underside of the leaf has a silvery tinge to it. When it rains and the wind flips the leaves, it looks like shimmering silver. It's very beautiful when its leaves have fully developed."

Scully nodded and returned to her examination of the tree. "Walter?"


"Where am I?"

Walter gave a sigh of relief. At last! "You're in our home."

"Yes. I *do* know that."

He grinned at her tone. She looked at him, eyebrow slightly raised. Oh, yes, thought Walter, welcome back, Dana. Aloud he answered her, "Haliburton. Which is north of Toronto. Alex and I bought this place about eighteen months ago." He settled back in his chair, waited a moment to see if Scully was paying attention. Then he added, "We bought it from a friend of Rejanne's, a potter who decided to move to British Columbia to be with her husband when he had a chance to head a department at some university out there."

"It's very beautiful."

Walter smiled. "House was built around 1920, after the first World War, as the summer cottage for a Bay Street financier. Most of the land around it was sold over the years, but we've got about two acres, half of it treed, the other half lawn and garden."

Scully settled back in the nest of pillows that Walter had set up to make her comfortable. She gave her head a little shake. "Somehow, I can't see you as a gardener."

Walter laughed. "I'm not."

Scully's eyebrow rose even higher. "You're not going to tell me that...Krycek," she said his name with some difficulty. Walter pretended he didn't notice.

"Alex? Garden? According to Alex, mowing the lawn would be too much like communing with Nature for him. No. There's a really good local service. They come out and take care of the place for us. We just enjoy the fruits of their labour.

"Besides, we didn't buy the place for the grounds: we bought it for the house. Lots of rooms, wood floors, high ceilings, fireplaces. All in tip-top condition. The only thing we had to do when we moved in was decide where to place the furniture."

Something from beyond the door caught his attention. He rose, smiled at Scully. "Be right back."

She knew he was going to speak with Krycek. Alex Krycek. The last person on earth that she would ever have paired with her ex-boss.

She had been surprised when Walter had e-mailed her that he was moving to Canada. Understood it when he'd explained that he had found someone he wanted to be with.

A man.

That had also been a surprise. She'd had to think about that before she'd concluded that as long as Walter was happy, it really had nothing to do with her.

And then, one day, he had mentioned who the man was. Alex Krycek. And suddenly she'd felt far less accepting. She had tried hard to understand the reasons for Walter's choice. Had even subtlely asked him if he were being coerced into the relationship. Walter had e-mailed her back that blackmail had nothing to do with it.

They stayed in touch, but she never mentioned Krycek and neither did Walter. As if he had understood that the man was a touchy subject with her. That if he forced her into a corner, she would stop answering his e-mails. She didn't want that and, she had concluded, neither did he.

But, over the next week, as she became more involved in her world, became more active, spent more time out of her bedroom, the subject couldn't be avoided. After all, she was staying in a house he partly owned..

Alex knew how she felt, did his best to stay out of her way, giving her all the space she needed to recover. It was inevitable that they should occasionally be in the same room at the same time, but when that happened, Alex would ease out of the room, leaving it to her.

Scully knew that her behaviour bothered Walter, that it was in fact really quite rude -- her mother would not be pleased with her -- but she found it very difficult to be around the man who had caused her so much pain. She supposed that Walter had found a way to forgive Krycek for what he had done to him. Maybe Krycek had had a satisfactory explanation.

But the mere sight of the man made her remember all that she had lost. Her sister. Her fertility. The man who had been part of her.

She knew she needed to make a decision about her presence in this house, but every time she tried to take herself in hand, to tell Walter that she wanted to leave, an incredible sense of panic would overcome her and she would say nothing.

And so they continued in this way until the leaves on the silver maple were at their full beauty.




Walter slouched in the doorway of Alex's office, watching him proofread his latest piece of work.

Alex lay on the couch, head resting on one armrest, stockinged feet propped up on the other. He worked on the computer to write, but needed hard copy to proofread, especially at this early stage of his writing. Walter knew this draft would end up decorated with pencilled rewrites, notations, arrows until only Alex could read what he had done to the printed page.

His own writing style was very different. He spent lots of time thinking about what he wanted to write, worked it all out in his mind then and only then did he sit down at the computer in his office to put down his thoughts. He might need to do a second draft, but only for some minor changes. In spite of Rejanne's urgings to try something more sellable, he was more than pleased with the acceptance of his first book, a manual on methodology. She was pushing hard for his second to be less "esoteric" as she accused, and more of interest to the general public.

"How's it coming?"

Alex looked over the top of his reading glasses, a new addition in his life, and frowned. He tossed the papers he held in his hand onto the pile on the coffee table next to him. "It stinks."

Walter nodded. This too was part of Alex's writing style. He'd learnt the hard way not to try to convince Alex that it didn't stink.

"Well," Walter unslouched, went to lift Alex's feet and sat, resting them on his lap. "Did you hear the phone ring?"

Alex rubbed one of his feet along Walter's fly. Walter grabbed the ankle and held it gently in his hand. With the other hand he began massaging the foot through its sock.

"Spill it," Alex growled.

"We're going to have a visitor."

Alex closed his eyes and groaned. "Oh, god! I knew it was too good."

Walter grinned. "You've got to admit, she's shown great self-restraint. We asked her to stay away until we felt Dana could tolerate visitors and she has. It has been a month."

Alex grimaced. "She's going to want to know why I haven't finished this draft yet. Couldn't you have convinced her that Scully wasn't ready yet?"

Walter included the other foot in his ministrations. "Tried that. Seems she contacted Doctor Johnson. They're old friends, you know."

"Shit! Is there anyone she isn't old friends with around here?"

Walter shrugged. "We should have thought of that when she brought us up to see the place."

Alex snorted, enjoying the foot rub. BS, before Scully, that would have led to other things, but they were very circumspect these days. "The only thing you were interested in was the fishing. She certainly had your number. All the professor had to do was take you to his favourite fishing hole and the house was as good as sold."

Walter grinned, not at all bothered by the accusation. "All it took for you was the sight of the fireplace in the master bedroom."

Alex cocked an eyebrow at his lover. "Fishing fanatic."

"Hedonist." Walter tossed back, in the familiar exchange of insults. He leaned over, Alex raised his upper body to meet him half-way.


Alex closed his eyes, sighed and dropped his body back down. Walter agreed with him. "Hold that thought. I'll see what she wants and then we'll take up where we left off."

Alex picked up his proofs, went to sit at his computer. He doubted that even if Walter did come back that they would take up where they had stopped. Since they had brought Scully home, their now very quiet sex life had been restricted to their bedroom.



Scully was sitting outside, supposedly reading a book when a sporty black Minata with the top down pulled into the driveway and came to a stop next to the outbuilding that was used as a garage.

The woman who slipped out of the driver's seat was tall, slim and very elegantly dressed in a pale linen summer suit. Her long legs ended in heels that Scully would never have dreamed of wearing for fear of vertigo, let alone for driving a car. While she allowed Scully to examine her, the woman removed the scarf she had on, shook her head and that's all it took for a superbly cut page boy to fall into place. The pale ash colour of the hair was very natural looking considering the woman had to be at least in her fifties.

She tossed the scarf onto the passenger seat, bent over and came up with a pack of cigarettes. Ignoring Scully's obvious disapproval, the woman lit up, removed her sunglasses and openly returned Scully's perusal. "Alors, you must be the doctor they rescued."

Her tone could not have been more disapproving. Scully was suddenly conscious, as she had not been in years, that her appearance was less than imposing. That it was, in fact, barely there.

"Rejanne! We weren't expecting you at least until tomorrow." Walter shook his head. He should have realized that the sounds he had heard in the background during their conversation were road sounds.

"Mon cher Waltaire, I could not stay away any longer. I just had to come visit my two favourite men."

Walter laughed, bent to exchange cheek kisses in the French style with the woman who lovingly tried to manage his and Alex's lives. With a fair amount of success. His arm hugging her close to him, Walter introduced the two women to each other. "Dana, I've written to you about our agent. Rejanne de Beaubien, Doctor Dana Scully."

Scully rose, offered her hand. "I'm pleased to meet you, Madame de Beaubien."

Rejanne barely took her hand then dismissed her. "Is Alexandre working?"

"No, Alexandre is taking a break in order to greet you." Alex came down to join them. His greeting included a tight hug as well as the usual kisses.

"How is the book coming along?" Rejanne looked him over carefully. Something was not right with her men and her intuition told her the pale woman had something to do with that.

"Nice to see you too," countered Alex.

"Do you have something for me to look at?" The doctor and Alexandre were very carefully avoiding looking anywhere near each other.

"Yes, but you won't like it."

"Alexandre! When do I not like something that you've written?" She put just the merest hint of hurt into her voice, but kept her arm around him.

"Excuse me," Scully pulled away from the three. "I think I've had too much sun. I'll go lie down for a while."

Alexandre's eyes, she noticed, did not follow the woman into the house as did Walter's. And he was right: she didn't like what he had written. She looked up at him from the couch in his office, put the manuscript down and held out her hand to him. Alex got out of the chair in front of his computer, came and sat next to her. She gave his hand a squeeze.


"Yeah, I know. I told you it stinks."

Rejanne nodded. "And not just your writing. What is going on here, Alexandre? Why is that woman still here?"

Alex let his head fall back to the top of the couch, made himself comfortable. By now he knew better than to try and distract Rejanne de Beaubien when she was on the scent of something. He told himself it was because she hated anything that caused any of her writers to produce less than what she considered to be their best. He knew it was because she cared for him.

"Because she's not quite ready to go back into the world."

"Has she no family she could do that with?"

"Yes, but it's not that simple."

Rejanne cocked a disbelieving eyebrow at him. He smiled, brought her hand up to his mouth and kissed the back of it. "Dana Scully and I have a bit of a history."

"Really?" Alexandre and that pale nonentity? "Does Walter know about this?"

Alex laughed. "Yeah, he does. And it's not what you think."

Rejanne freed her hand and used it to stroke a soothing caress on his cheek. "Then why don't you tell me."

And he did. Hesitantly at first, watching for any sign of disgust, rejection. More confidently when he realized that her occasional "Tsk!" was typical Rejanne reaction rather than condemnation.

She did know about some of his past. Learnt more that evening which made her understand him better. He didn't hide what his role in Dana Scully's life had been. Made no excuses. But she knew him, considered him to be more than a writer she represented. Thought of him as a friend, as someone she cared about.

So, though she felt for the woman, she sided with him.




In her usual way, Rejanne de Beaubien took charge.

She cornered Walter in his office after breakfast the next morning, ostensibly to inquire about his thoughts on his next book. She had managed to wear him down enough that he had agreed it should not be a textbook, but he held firm on his refusal to do a novel. After three hours of hard negotiations, they agreed to a collection of cases he had been involved with as a beginning agent up on through to his position as Assistant Director.

Walter felt he had won until she pulled out a contract and discovered she already had sold a publisher on a book that was a collection of cases that followed a beginning agent on through his career up into the higher ranks of the FBI. Non-fiction.

She smiled innocently at him through a plume of smoke. "We could have used you," he shook his head ruefully as he signed.

"I doubt that I would have liked your little games, mon ami." She put the contract away in her briefcase, turned and looked at him. "Now we will discuss something really serious. What is happening between you and Alexandre? And don't try to tell me that there is nothing. I know him and I think I know you."

Walter rubbed his eyes. "What did Alex tell you?"

Rejanne merely looked at him. Walter sighed: he should have known better. She wouldn't tell him anything Alex had said any more than she would tell Alex what he told her.

So he gave her his version of why they had gone to West Africa to rescue Dana Scully.




The next morning, she kicked them both out of their own home. Told them to go spend the day doing something that would please them. Not to come back until supper time or else she would commit both of them to writing a children's book.

Then she cornered Dana Scully in the sun room.

"You don't need to entertain me," Scully said to the woman who took the chair Walter usually sat in.

Rejanne took her time lighting a cigarette. "I have no intention of entertaining you. It is not up to me to entertain people. Rather I find that people entertain me."

Scully shifted a bit uncomfortably in her corner of the couch. Rejanne was casually dressed in a long skirt of a variety of colours from pale pink to crimson. The silk top she wore matched the medium colour of the skirt. She crossed those long legs that would have done a model proud and waited for Scully to say something to her.

Scully stared out at the silver maple that had become her focal point out here in the sun room, trying hard to ignore how dowdy she felt next to this woman.

"Alexandre told me about the history you and he share."

Scully kept her eyes on the leaves moving gently in the soft breeze of the morning.

Rejanne waited for her to speak. She finished her cigarette before Scully said, "Did he?"

"Yes. He was very up front about the pain he has caused you, directly and indirectly."

Well, Scully thought, bully for him. Aloud she only said, "Was he?"

"Yes. Walter was far kinder to Alexandre in his version of events than Alexandre was to himself."

Scully pulled her eyes away from the tree to the woman who was passing judgement on her. "But then he would be, wouldn't he?"

"Really? Why?"

"Because he's besotted with the man."

Rejanne had no trouble picking up the disapproval in Scully's accusation. Well, was the good doctor just a tad jealous? "He is in love with him, yes. As is Alexandre with him. Do you disapprove because he is in love with a man or because it is with Alexandre?"

"I do not disapprove because he is in love with a man. I disapprove of the man, because quite frankly, I do not agree with you that Krycek is in love with Walter." Her tone was icy cold. "Using him, yes. In love, I've seen no sign of that."

Rejanne paused in the lighting of another cigarette. "But why should you have seen anything? If you come into a room, Alexandre walks out. And if he, then you. When have you seen the two of them together?"

She shook her head. "No, Madame Scully. You can't have it both ways. You cannot send Alexandre out of the room and expect to see him and Walter show their love for each other. Not when you so obviously do not approve.

"Quite frankly," she used Scully's words, "what I do not understand is why, if you so disapprove of this relationship, in spite of the fact that they both put their lives on the line to rescue you, you are still here?"

But Scully didn't answer her, was more concerned with something else that Rejanne had said. "What do you mean, Walter put his life on the line to rescue me?"

"I did not say Walter, I said both of them. Walter and *Alexandre*. You may not want to acknowledge the fact, but Alexandre is the one responsible for your rescue."

Scully concentrated her attention on the woman sneering at her. "What are you talking about? Walter ransomed me."

"Is that what Walter told you?"

Scully opened her mouth to answer yes then realized that no, Walter had never said that to her. Merely that she had been ransomed. She was the one who had assumed he had been the one to do so. Why would Krycek...

"How did Krycek put his life on the line for me?"

Rejanne caught herself from saying something she would not regret later on. From the look on the doctor's face, she really did not seem to know. Rejanne sighed. Men and their stupid pride!

"Alexandre was the one who organized the rescue. Found out where you were being kept. Found a way of getting there. Found the money to pay for your release. Something in the area of about a million dollars..."

"What!" Scully was stunned.

"Not of his money. Nor of Walter's. Alexandre is paid well for his writing but he is not Grisham." Well, not yet, she thought. If she had her way...

"No. He took the chance that no one was monitoring some accounts in Switzerland, accounts that belonged to what Alexandre calls 'the crisped men'. He called in a few favours, again reminding certain people that he was still alive. People, I need not tell you, who would not hesitate to go through Walter to get to him.

"He arranged to fly in to the war zone, negotiated your release, brought you out. Arranged for all the fake documents that allowed you to travel quickly.

"Walter accompanied him of course, but Alexandre took most of the risks."

Scully didn't say anything. It took her the time for another cigarette for her to ask, "Why would he do that?"

"Because he felt he owed you something. He knows he is responsible for your losing many things, people that were important to you. He cannot give you them back. But he has done his best."





They went to the hotel they had stayed at when they had come to look at the house and spent the day making love. It was late when they got back: the house was all darkness except for the soft light above the stove.

Walter wondered, but in a whisper, who had made supper since they both knew that Rejanne hated having anything to do with the preparation of a meal. And he wasn't certain if Scully knew where things were: they had never allowed her to help.

Alex shrugged, not really caring. He had had the pleasure of fucking his lover through the mattress and of having himself fucked there as well. And once the pressure had been off, they had made long slow love. He was still coasting on the after effects.

Walter was looking at the contents of the fridge, looking to see if there was any sign of what the women had eaten for supper when Alex's hand slowly caressed its way down his back to his ass. Walter smiled, turned into the embrace of his partner, whom he had spent the day reminding of his importance to him.

At the top of the stairs, Scully sat on the first step and watched as they kissed. Once she had been fully aware of them, she had had no trouble seeing Walter's feelings for Krycek. He was quite open about them. He touched Krycek whenever they passed each other. His tone of voice was softer when she overheard the two of them talking. His eyes followed him.

Rejanne had insisted that it was reciprocated, but until now, she had not thought so.

By the light of the open fridge, Krycek's own feelings for Walter were very obvious. Even looking down through the banister railings she had to admit to herself that Alex Krycek did indeed care...okay, maybe even love Walter Skinner. She had never noticed how much he hid of himself in front of her.

She watched as their kiss deepened, as Krycek pulled back, softly laughing at something Walter had done to him. Walter slowly closed the door, darkening the room so that she couldn't really see them, only hear the pleasure they took in one another.

Very quietly, she rose, carefully went back to her bedroom.




They were all at breakfast the next morning when Rejanne announced, "Madame Scully is coming to spend a few days with me in Toronto."

Even Scully was surprised at that bit of news. But she kept her mouth shut and merely nodded when Walter turned to look at her for confirmation.

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" he asked Rejanne when she sent Scully to wait for her in the car.

"Walter, mon cher, you have done all you can for her. You and Alexandre have rescued her. Given her a place to get herself together. But now she needs to spend some time remembering she is more than a doctor: she is also a woman. A few days of doing the things women like will remind her of the fact." She kissed him on first one cheek than the other. "While we are gone, you can make me happy by producing an outline and Alexandre needs to throw away all he's written since you've returned and start all over again."

Walter groaned but returned the hug she gave him. "Slavedriver."

She laughed.




Scully was gone long enough for Walter to remind Alex of his promise to make love to him in every room of the house should they ever have time alone again.

And to return the favour.

Alex threw away the mess that was his first draft, began work on a new idea. When he wasn't recovering from a passing comment he certainly didn't regret making.

Walter pulled out some old files he had brought with him when he'd retired, logged into the FBI data bank after having gotten Jana Cassidy's approval and downloaded about a dozen cases he thought were different enough to appeal to Rejanne. He studiously avoided anything to do with the X-Files. That wasn't his story to tell.

They fell into the routine they had established before Scully had needed to be rescued.

Rejanne called every couple of days as was her wont, just to inquire as to the "advancement" of their work. Walter would ask about Scully and Rejanne would inform him that she was well. Nothing else.

They were both working away in their respective offices when a sporty black Minata with the top down pulled quietly into their driveway almost two weeks later.

The first they knew of it was when Rejanne knocked on Walter's door -- he was snoozing away, not having gotten much sleep the night before -- and asked him where he kept his corkscrew.

"Rejanne! When did you get here?" Walter found his glasses, put them on before greeting the woman holding a bottle of wine in each hand.

"About five minutes ago. Walter, where on earth do you keep your corkscrew?"

"In the kitchen drawer." He followed her into the kitchen, rummaged around in a drawer and handed her the implement. Rejanne may not have been handy in a kitchen but she didn't have any problems opening wine bottles.

"Alex!" he called down the hall. "Rejanne!"

Alex came out of his office smiling. Rejanne was pleased to see that both her writers seemed to be back to themselves again. As she filled the four glasses on the table, Alex was the one who asked, "Where's Scully?"

"I'm here."

Scully came down the stairs from putting her luggage away in her room. Both men stared at her, Walter's mouth open.

The Dana Scully who had left had looked far older than her years. Her hair had been a faded red, more grey than auburn. Her eyes had appeared lifeless in a face that had little animation. Though she had gained some weight since they had found her, she had still had a look of famished about her.

Looking at this Scully, Walter understood what Rejanne had meant by finding the woman again.

This Scully had deep auburn hair that had been cut in a feathery way to make her look less thin. The blue of her eyes stood out, outlined by the professional line of make-up that Rejanne favoured. She was dressed not in sweats but in stylish dark green slacks, a matching silk top that accentuated her figure. And though Walter would have sworn that she was pretty much flatchested when she left, she certainly wasn't now.

Alex gave a low wolf whistle.

Scully gave him the same raised eyebrow she had given him at an autopsy many years ago.

"Well, Dana," Walter smiled, "I guess Toronto was good for you."

"I guess it was." She took the glass of wine he offered her.




Dana Scully stood in the doorway of Krycek's office, watching him re-read something he'd written.

Walter had informed her, when she had been feeling better, that if an office door was closed it meant the writer didn't want to be interrupted.

Rejanne was in Walter's office, going over the material he'd put together for her examination. His office door was closed. Krycek's was open.

She must have moved because suddenly he was aware that she was there. He turned his chair around and waited. In all the time she had been here, she had never sought him out.

"May I come in?"

He nodded, pointed to the couch.

He was waiting for her to say something, she knew. He wore the usual expression he put on whenever she came into a room. Now that she had put some distance between her feelings from the time at the end of the Consortium, she realized that it was the face he wore whenever Mulder, and even Skinner back in those days, would challenge the information he had brought them.

"I wanted to thank you."

Not what he was expecting.

"What for?"

Scully raised that eyebrow at him. "Well, let me see. First, for sticking your neck out to rescue me."

Krycek shrugged. "Walter's idea."

"Krycek. Please. Let me thank you for that. You didn't have to do it. I'm sure Walter never expected you to do all that you did when he made the suggestion."

Krycek actually felt embarrassed. "Yeah, well. I only did it so that he wouldn't go and do something stupid. I had visions of him getting a bunch of his old war buddies together and..." he shrugged.

"And you love him too much to let him put himself in danger with some foolish plan."

Their eyes met, held. Krycek didn't say anything, but she knew he wouldn't deny it.

"And I wanted to thank you for putting up with me since I got here. I know that was also Walter's idea and you went along with it. I want to apologize. This is your home and I know I made you uncomfortable in your own home. I'm sorry about that."

Krycek sighed. "Look, Scully..."

"I wasn't sure about a lot of things then. I knew I shouldn't be staying here, imposing on both of you, but I couldn't bring myself to do anything about it."

This time he interrupted her. "Scully, I understand. Besides, it wasn't as if we were ever pals or anything like that. I knew you needed some time to get it all back together."

"Yes, well, what I needed was a kick."

Krycek smiled at her. "Yeah, Rejanne is very at that."

Scully sat back in the couch. "I take it you're speaking from experience?"

Krycek stretched his legs out. "Oh, yeah!" His tone was heartfelt.

"Well, you'll be happy to know that I'm leaving."

"Scully, are you sure you're ready? You can stay, you know."

She smiled at him. "Thank you. Yes, I do know. But I need to go home and see my family. And I need to make some decisions about my life."

"Going back to Africa?"

The smile wavered, came back, but not as secure. "No. No, a friend from University is at Johns Hopkins. In the faculty. He's been after me for some time to come teach some courses on forensics. I think I'll go spend some time there and check it out."

"Will you stay in touch?"

She cocked her head at him. "Yes. With Walter."

"Will you come visit?"

"God! Krycek! What are you, a glutton for punishment?"

He laughed. "You need to see the place in winter."

They would never be friends, but they would be able to tolerate each other for Walter's sake.




They sat over their wine after supper. Scully had them laughing with her version of Rejanne's reminding her she was a woman. Rejanne bore it all with a smile, only occasionally protesting. She didn't mind being the cause of so much laughter when it was obvious that the ground to new relationships was being established by it.

She was more than pleased with this visit. Walter's ideas were merging rather well with her own. His new book would be far more sellable than his textbook. The cases he'd chosen were a good melange of the serious and the ridiculous. He had the rare ability of being able to look back on his past with acceptance and humour. She knew this book would hit the bestseller lists.

Alexandre's new outline was probably the best thing he had written yet. His "hero" was older, more introspective. More likely to avoid the situations Jack Tyler had revelled in. She would wait until Dana finished making them laugh to tell him that a studio in France wanted to buy the movie rights to his Tyler series.

"So," Walter said, "has Rejanne been after you to write?"

"Vraiment, Walter, why would I do that?"

"Well, you had barely met me when you started in on me."

Rejanne waved the hand with her cigarette. "Mais oui. But that was because I knew you were a writer. Dana is a doctor. Maybe, one day, she will decide to be a writer. When that day comes, I will...as you say...start in on her."

Dana Scully groaned.