Rat 'n Boots, An X-Files Fairy Tale
Disclaimers: No one you recognize belongs to me.
Spoilers: Eep... Tiny ones for The End, the movie, and maybe the seasonpremiere.
Summary: Alex makes a few deals.
Ratings Note: R for language, implied m/m interaction, violence, generalwrongness.
Author's Note: A direct result of a certain thread on Nick-Fixx.
Acknowledgments: To Woodinat for finding me a copy of "Puss 'n Boots"to massacre, to Rae for fine audiencing, to Sister Blue because she's peachykeen and the best kind of mean, and to Rye for fine beta in the face oflife's absurdities.
Rat 'n Boots, An X-Files Fairy Tale
Once upon a time, in a land not unlike Washington D.C., there came a timeof great upheaval in the halls of power. A time of deaths and burnings.A time of emotional suffering. A time of stress headaches too powerful formere Excedrin of the Exxxtra Strength to handle.
When all was said and done, the great and powerful were left with chaoswhere they needed order. This was a dangerous thing, indeed, and they stroveand struggled to set things right again.
"How could it be done?" they cried.
And then, from the shadows came a voice of smoke and dangerously gigglesomeaccent.
"We shall bestow gifts, my friends, and all shall be well again."
No one spoke to disagree.
To Agents Spender and Fowley were given the X-Files, in the hopes that twopeople so flush with the rarefied power of Annoyance would be able to simplybrowbeat and mince the troublesome cases into proper silence.
To Assistant Director Kersh was given the power of Superiority over AgentsMulder and Scully, in the hopes that the man would be too busy restraininghis impulse to kill to think about that icksome little affirmative actionsuit.
But Agent Mulder was not forgotten. Nay, he received a gift of his veryown...
Mulder didn't think he would ever be free of the pungent scent of fertilizer.
>From his darkly-spiked hair to his distressingly caked Magli's
he exuded the wholesomely rich bouquet of the nation's farmland. While thishad caused the luscious Agent Barkin -- formerly of Idaho -- to spend quitea bit of time sniffing him nostalgically, the cons still outweighed thepros.
He missed the days when his clothes were more concretely ruined. Now therewas neither fascinating ooze in his pockets nor acid burns on his hem.
Now there was only the disturbing low-grade urge to eat fresh vegetablesand vote Republican.
His heart was weary, and now it was only Langly's occasional forwards ofcreative uses for farm animals that made him smile in the dusty gloom ofhis apartment. Mulder sighed piteously and hoped for a change.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door and the thump thump thump of fleeingfootsteps, and he felt a vicious stab of hope.
Could it be? Had a change finally come?
But Mulder stifled the wish before dragging himself to answer.
And found Alex Krycek at his door, wearing nothing but a merry grin anda bright pink bow ribbon. Around his neck.
Mulder blinked once, slowly, and then waved the other man inside with hisgun, backed him against the now closed door, and settled the barrel againstone pale temple.
Mulder didn't answer.
"Jeez, Mulder! Is this any way to accept a gift?"
"What the hell are you talking about, Krycek?"
"A gift. I'm your gift."
Mulder blinked again, reassured himself that his grip on the SIG was firm.He tried very hard not to think about how Alex's deep sigh would sound ifthe other man was naked and far too close to Mulder in other circumstances.
"You know, Spender and Fowley got the X-Files, Kersh got you, and..."
"I get you."
Alex smiled brilliantly and appeared to consider nodding as well, but thegun seemed to make him decide not to do so.
"That's right, Mulder. I'm all yours."
Mulder pressed the gun a little harder against Alex's forehead and felthis lips pull back into something like a smile for the first time in...
Much too long. It got even wider when he caught the scent of fear-sweatrising high from the other man.
"Hey, hey there.... You're not planning to *kill* me, are you?"
Mulder cocked his head, and tried to get the smile just a teeny bit wider."Seems like a good idea to *me*, Krycek."
"Well, damn. If this is how you treat *all* your presents it's no *wonder*your Christmases were so lousy."
"What was that?"
"Nothing, nothing, it's not really important. Listen, if you thinka naked me on your doorstep is somehow worse--"
"On the contrary, Krycek. A naked you on my doorstep is the first goodthing that's happened to me all week."
Mulder began to run the barrel in tight little circles, wondering just whichparts of the brain he'd be taking out when he pulled the trigger. He hopedfor the language centers.
"-- worse than some moldering piles of genetic mutants waiting to getmessy and the opportunity to be *your* direct supervisor, then you've gotanother think coming, Mulder."
"Do I, now?" Mulder moved a little closer and watched with fascinationas one slick droplet of sweat slid to the end of Alex's snub nose. He resistedthe urge to lick it off.
"Yes you *do*. Listen, I can get you what you want, Mulder. Fortune,power, maybe even a little truth. OK, so I can't make too many promisesabout that last, but--"
Mulder jabbed the barrel harder, pretending he could hear the light thudof metal impacting with cranium. "Shut up, you lying sonofabitch. Ifyou're my "gift," then just where the fuck did they get you from,hunh? Last time I checked it took a little more than a trip to the mallto pick up your own handy dandy traitorous, back-stabbing prick--"
"I bet you *never* checked Housewares--"
A punch to the gut shut him up neatly. "I asked you a question, Krycek.Where did they get you from?" Mulder was impressed with the coollydangerous quality of his own voice, and needed look no further than thebright swipe of pink over Alex's lip to tell him the other man was, too.
Alex sighed wistfully. "Walter's basement, but really that's not atall important right now..."
A dark swirl of images of just what Alex might have been doing in Walter'sbasement, of what might have been done *to* him, threatened to weaken Mulder'sresolve. Not to mention his knees. He shook himself out of it and triedto focus on the other man's words.
"... and a pair of boots then I promise you won't be sorry. If youstill are, then you can do anything you want with me."
"In case you haven't noticed--"
But that was all he had time to say before Alex bit his wrist hard enoughto make him drop the gun, headbutted him and somehow managed to both turnhim around and twist both his arms behind his back. The next thing Mulderwas fully aware of was the hot press of lean, obviously naked muscle againsthis spine and a throaty purr at his ear.
"Anything you want, Mulder."
"What do *you* want, asshole?"
Soft lips seemed to kiss the air beside his face. "What I want? Well,now... why don't we worry about that in, say, a month?" Cheerful laugh."For now, grant me my life, my freedom, and a nice pair of boots --oh, and some clothes would be nice -- and when I return, we can... re-negotiate.What do you say?"
The absurdity of the request nearly sent Mulder off that edge whose cragsand slips had become all too familiar to him over the years, but he caughthold of himself internally and shook until he was back on something likea safe track.
"Well, OK, Krycek, but if I'm not happy a month from now your ass ismine."
"Of course, Mulder, of course."
Without another word he was free, and by the time he managed to correcthis balance and check his shoulders for soundness, he could hear Alex rummagingthrough his bedroom. Mulder walked to the kitchen for a beer, then backtrackedin search of something a little stronger.
It took only three shots of tequila for Alex to return to him, having borroweda tee shirt, his brand new leather jacket, a pair of jeans, and his favoritepair of motorcycle boots, scuffed and battered into perfect leather comfortand steel-toed bad- assed-ness. He was perversely glad Brenda had nevercome back for them, despite having hoped Alex would settle for one of thepairs of hiking boots.
Black leather had always suited the other man just fine on any number oflevels.
Alex handed him the neatly folded ribbon...
... and then was out the door and away. Mulder took another shot and thenset to burning all of his calendars. Even the Far Side ones.
Alex breathed deep and smiled. Even in the sooty little heart of Milwaukee,Wisconsin's basic dairy goodness was pretty much inescapable. Although hewas on a schedule, he hadn't been able to resist egging some local teenagersout in the sticks into some cattle mutilations in return for several casesof Beast.
There were few things he loved more than the idea of corrupting America'syouth, and one of them was the idea of Mulder chafing at the bit to comeinvestigate.
For now, though, he was on the hunt. And there were simply no better groundsfor tonight's chosen prey than right here.
He looked up into the night sky and thought of Bikkens.
Maynard Bikkens had been in his "class" at the other Academy he'dattended. The man had taught him more about estimating the placement ofhuman organs than any number of field trips and experiments had, and gaveone hell of a blow job, besides. In return, he had looked the other waywhen Maynard slipped the leash.
The man had been looney tunes, and their "professors" had plannedto graduate him just a wee bit early... but loyalty had been loyalty inthose days, and Alex had taken his demerits like a man. Damned if thoseriding crops hadn't left some nasty scars, though.
As far as he could tell, Maynard had lived the life he'd wanted in the interveningyears, if the disappearances of a large number of dark-haired rentboys withcute little ears was any indication.
Alex was more than vain enough to think it was. He knocked at the door ofMaynard's neat little house and was immediately greeted by the smell ofsomething not *quite* like frying pork chops and a pale little man withstylishly thin gold glasses.
"How's tricks, killer?"
"What do you mean?"
The arm that ended with a hand carefully hidden behind one conservativelykhaki-ed thigh twitched slightly, and Alex knew that whatever he'd end updoing tonight would most probably have happened anyway, sooner or later.The man was definitely losing it. Well, more so.
"Hey, hey, Maynard! Take it easy. We know each other, right?"
"Why are you here?"
Just once, he'd like for someone to be *happy* he dropped by for a visit.Alex let his lashes flutter half-closed, parted his lips and rubbed hiscrotch. "I missed you..."
His cock had yet to fail him in a situation where weapons were involved,and this was no exception. Maynard licked his lips once and again, and hishand came into clear view. A miniature machete, most probably custom made,hung loosely by his thigh.
"May I... come in?"
"Alex... Alex. Yeah, come in."
Dazed and confused. Alex believed he could come to love Wisconsin.
The precinct was slow and quiet at this time of night. Maynard's neighborhoodmay have been rather seedy, but crime hadn't quite settled in.
Well, mundane crime.
Alex dumped the unconscious Maynard on the floor in front of the desk sergeant,and slipped into angry-yet-fiercely- proud-little-agent mode -- Mulder'swallet had provided more than enough cash for a few changes of clothing.
"What the fuck is this supposed to be?"
"Sergeant Duffy, this little punk ass is Maynard Charles Bikkens. Rememberthat string of hustler disappearances?"
Duffy's eyes narrowed in a speculative gleam, and Alex felt a small momentof camaraderie. Perhaps, in another time, this man might've made a goodoperative.
"You saying this skuzz is responsible?"
"You might want to check his freezer."
"Ah, *fuck*. Another one. How the hell did *you* get ahold to him,Mister..."
"Gabson. *Agent* Gabson, FBI." He flashed his "badge"with that brand of high-handed speed and efficiency that had served himso well in his years of pretense. "My partner worked up the profile.Took one helluva knife wound. He's getting patched up."
"We didn't receive any word--"
"Yeah, well, *you* wouldn't." Alex let the anger set in beforecontinuing. It would be useful, given proper focus. "My partner andI broke a few of the rules, and now we're stuck on shit detail. But Mu--my partner knew this guy would just keep on killing, so..."
"So he worked on the profile in his off time." Duffy nodded approvingly,and Alex smiled inside and began to ease toward the door in an obvious manner.
"Hey, where are you headed?"
"Can't have my name on this, man. Bikkens should be in a talkativemood once he wakes up." Alex had, of course, shot him full of pentothal."We're supposed to be in Nebraska. Mulder'll have my head if anyone--*Shit*."
Duffy nodded sagely. "Don't worry, Gabson. We'll keep your names outof it. I know from brass, I'll tell you that much."
Alex plastered on a look of gratitude, and walked out fast. Mulder's namewould reach the right places within hours. On to task two.
Mulder sat in the rich brown leather of his chair and tried very, very hardnot to tear out AD Kersh's throat with his teeth.
"For the last time, Kersh, I have no idea what you're talking about!"
He noted with some measure of exhausted joy that Scully was looking equallymiffed. Maybe if he mentioned how cute she looked that way *she'd* tearKersh's throat out for him. They shared a look, and Scully raised an eyebrowat him. Or maybe not.
Continued in (2/2)
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Rat 'n Boots, An A-Files Fairy Tale
"Do you mean to tell me that the name Maynard Charles Bikkens meansnothing to you?"
Kersh had that ice cold DC purr down to a science; Mulder would give himthat much.
"Of course it means something to me. That bastard's been all over thenews for the past week, but I had *nothing* to do with it."
"Really, Agent Mulder."
Kersh just looked at him for a long moment, ignoring his increasingly iratepartner.
"If you really think I spend my free time profiling serial killers,then maybe you should just promote me, Kersh."
"Or maybe I should just put you two back to work."
Kersh slapped a file on the desk and smiled.
Alex looked out the window from his seat at the exquisitely carved drawingroom table and sighed to himself. The rolling green hills of England hadnever looked quite so in need of carpet bombing.
Across from him sat Mrs. Well-Groomed-No-Names-Please- We-Forgot-Them-Years-Ago-Anyway.Widow's black suited her shriveling features beautifully, in that way blacklace and an icy demeanor always could.
"I was his protege, madam. I need those files to carry on your husband'swork."
"My husband's *work* did nothing but get him killed in some seedy littlealleyway in the States, Mr. Krycek."
"On the contrary, madam. Your husband's work got you out of those millsin Derry before your lungs could collapse from industrial poisons."
A long silence and then the doors opened to reveal several large men inthat sort of ill mood that meant nothing but a trip to yet another doctortoo stripped of his credentials to say anything about a man with mysteriousinjuries.
"Do not presume you know anything about me, Mr. Krycek."
"Of course, madam. I apologize."
"Do you? You're very sweet."
Her voice never left the range of carefully crafted aristocracy, and Alexremained still.
"You want those files.... There are things I want as well, Mr. Krycek."
"We both know who is responsible for my husband's demise. I would havehis head. Rather dramatic, I know, but I am an old woman. I fear my tastefor subtlety has drifted away on the same wind as my taste for... bangersand mash. You will get me what I want, and then you will receive certaindiskettes."
"Your wish is my command, madam."
"Yes. Of course it is."
The halls of the mighty buzzed and hummed with word of the powers of Mulderthe Spooky. All over the country, in towns great and small, serial killerswere turning up, along with any number of incriminating trophies.
No one but Mulder could have done such a thing, it was said, and yet therewas never any sign of his presence beyond names whispered on the lips ofthe awed and grateful.
Alex, you see, often grew bored with the search for his former patron'skiller, and he had any number of exes he wished to be rid of.
Week three and Mulder had had *no* success in the attempt not to track thetime Alex had been away, ashes of Wiener Dog Art be damned. Although hehad to admit the impatient track of days until he got his hands on the bastardagain provided a measure of sanity.
While he was still traipsing from farm to farm in search of home grown terrorists,the inevitable returns to Washington had grown surreal.
Claps on the back. Secretive smiles from behind cubicle walls, and, theworst --
"Give 'em hell, Spooky."
Thrill killers, mass murderers, odd little psychos with mother fixations...They were showing up by the blood-slick handful in precincts and branchoffices all over the country.
And his name was all over the lot of them, despite the fact that the closesthe'd come to profiling in recent memory was the attempt to understand whySusie-the-delivery-girl always did a little cha-cha-cha upon leaving hervehicle.
Yet there were other whispers as well. A dark-haired, fresh faced man whoclaimed to be his partner.
If Alex got him sent back to Violent Crimes he'd throttle him with the damnedbow ribbon, no matter *how* much fun it was to jerk off with the thing.
Canada and snow turned blinding in the winter sun.
Alex couldn't decide whether it was a sign of senility or brilliance thatthe old man had chosen to hide precisely where he'd hidden the *last* time.No matter, though. He had a job to do.
He kicked in the door and laid down a blanket of machine gun fire. Therewere, of course, no bodies as an end result, but the move had bought himtime to enter the little cabin safely.
"Come out, come out wherever you are..."
"Alex. How pleasant to see you again."
The old man revealed himself with a drag on a cigarette. He was loungedcasually in the far corner, and the wood just to the left of his head hadbeen splintered by at least one bullet. Alex shuddered minutely. The womanmay not have *specified* that the head was to be undamaged, but it was betterto assume some things.
"Thanks, you don't look so bad yourself, actually. Those sweaters reallywork for you."
"Thank *you*. Now, tell me. You're not *really* going to try to killme, are you?"
"Well, that was the plan."
"You can't kill me, little man. You've tried before."
"I was taught to try until you succeed."
"Hence this latest attempt to get in Mulder's pants. Honestly, we letyou out of that assignment *ages* ago, Alex."
"I'm a thorough man."
"I reiterate, you can't kill me."
"Please do explain. I should let you know that the guards are stainingthe snow about three miles to the east."
"I figured as much. Incompetents."
"Hard to get good help these days."
"All too true. Still though, Alex, you can't kill me."
"I've always considered myself to be a fair man. There were some...experiments... that I volunteered for, myself. When I saw just how wellthe results came out, I made a point of... eliminating all traces of theproject from the record."
"Which would explain the lack of effect all those bullets I've pumpedinto you over the years."
The old man smiled. "Indeed."
"Maybe it just wasn't *enough* bullets."
The old man shifted into the vaguely European countenance of those beingsAlex had come to think of as Real Big Pains In the Ass. He immediately droppedhis gun to reach for the plam, but the next thing he was aware of was thesickening freedom of his feet from the hardwood floor and an iron hand aroundhis throat.
"Like I said, you can't kill me."
"I..." He coughed helplessly. "I beg to differ."
RBPITA cocked his head in question. "Is that so?"
A smile. "Explain your reasoning." The hand relaxed its grip afraction.
"Well, sure you can shift form, and take bullets, and bleed red --neat trick, by the way -- but really, how many forms can you take? At best,you're just a half-breed."
"I can take any form I wish, boy."
"Oh, really? Then how about the form of Jean-Pierre Chan?"
RBPITA seemed deep in thought for a moment, and then flowed with liquidease into the muscular, darkly handsome form of Mr. Chan. Alex smiled evilly.
"As you can see, I can do--"
But that was all the man had time to say before immediately dropping deadof mysterious causes. Alex had figured out after the second Scully had bitthe big one that relatives of the people he'd slept with tended to do that.
Charles *still* wouldn't return his calls, and it was really about timethat the odd little quirk of his love life could prove itself useful.
And, while Denese...
//That's Deneeeeeze, Alex. Ma mere is French.//
... Chan may still have been alive somewhere, making the lives of men andwomen alike absolute hell; she'd be doing it with one less brother in theworld. Alex looked down at the slow shift of flesh back into grey crepeand surprise. Well, one less brilliantly detailed replica of a brother,at least.
Alex planted the heel of Mulder's boot firmly on the old man's chest, removedthe machete he'd liberated from Maynard's hands, and set to work, whistlinghappily all the while.
"You've done well, Mr. Krycek." Black silk today, and Alex foundhe missed the lace. She slid a small business envelope across the table,handing off the large specimen bottle to one of her flunkies. Presumablyfor permanent storage. "Inside that envelope you will find a key. Thelock is on the drawer of the desk of the office in which you first met mylate husband. Am I understood?"
"Excellent. You are dismissed."
Alex walked to the door with as much calm as he could muster.
"Oh, and Mr. Krycek?"
"Stay in touch."
He turned, gave her his best smile and bow. "With pleasure, madam."
The titter she gave made his balls try to crawl back into his body, buthis smile remained even.
Though he did find himself back at the airport a full half hour earlierthan he'd calculated.
Day thirty-one and Mulder was pacing his apartment in a mixture of angerand anticipation. The cases Kersh was handing him had begun to smack vaguelyof the paranormal, though the assignments themselves remained innocuous.His star appeared to be on the rise again.
The official X-Files, despite the ugly rumors that had led to Diana's disappearancewith a metaphorical price on her head, remained in Spender's hands. He'dalready lost one new partner, and the man was clearly fraying around theedges without Diana's influence.
Scully had taken to wearing far less fashionable shoes. Paranormal edgesor no, she'd confided that she'd grown sick of ammonium nitrate burns onher best heels.
And Alex was going to be late within the next fifteen minutes.
Click of a safety behind his ear.
"Happy month-day, Mulder."
There was a smile in the purr. "I'm not happy, Alex."
"What? After all I -- that is to say, after all that's happened thismonth?"
"I *still* don't have the X-Files."
"Complain, complain, complain. Have a seat, I think--"
He was cut off by the chirrup of Mulder's cell phone.
"Mind if I get that?"
"Not at all, Mulder. Not at all."
Yet another smile from just behind him, too awkwardly placed to--
"Agent Mulder. This is Assistant Director Skinner calling."
"Sir? What's up?"
"Tomorrow morning you'll receive an interoffice memo informing youthat, effective immediately, you and Scully are back in the X-Files division."
"Apparently certain information was received that suggests your presencein the division is... required. I just thought I'd let you know that I'llbe your supervisor again. And I expect you in my office at 8:30 sharp. You'vegot some explanations to make, Mulder."
"But I--" He cut himself off at the sound of Alex beginning tosnigger. "What about Spender?"
"Oh, he's all yours, Mulder."
"Live with it."
Skinner hung up with a click and Mulder shut the phone off, turning to Alexjust in time to see him eyeing it wistfully. Mulder made a note to checkout Walter's basement at his earliest possible convenience.
"Feeling happy, yet?"
Mulder tried very, very hard to remember the precise arrangements of thedeal he'd made with the other man a month before.
"Well, I'm still stuck with Spender..."
Alex threw up his hands --
"Hey, wait, where did that come from?"
-- and settled on the couch with a sigh.
"Look, Mulder, I really did try to do something about lil' Jeffy, buthis father cleaned him up just a little too neatly. Think of it this way,he *is* his father's son. Get 'im on a leash and he just might prove useful."
Alex smiled and nodded, and Mulder couldn't help but return a grin.
"OK, OK, so I'm *getting* happy."
"Getting happy. What does it *take* with you, anyway?"
Mulder pulled the somewhat frayed and faded ribbon from his pocket.
"Oh, I dunno, Alex.... But I do have a few ideas."
And all in the land rejoiced at the muffled thumps and whimpers emanatingfrom Apartment the Forty Second, and everyone lived happily ever after.
Except for the dead ones.
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