The ship was still there.
By all reason it should have been gone. Everyone knew it was there; the bodies still piled in the corridors hadn't resulted from an interdepartmental squabble in the Bureau of Land Management. The Smoker hadn't even had the decency to bury them. Filthy.
The silo range had to be one of North Dakota's ugliest landscape features. Above ground, it looked like a string of pillboxes on the border of some now-crumbled Communist nation. Underground, it was functional concrete and iron, and it smelled cold. Shimmering steel-and-glass towers were reserved for other horrors. The only lights still on were small and red and unhelpful. One DD-battery flashlight did more good.
They'd reached it, before, so at least this wasn't a blind search. 1010, 1011, 1012. Empty. The silos were supposed to be full of concrete, supposed to have been paved over to fulfill the 'never again' promise at the end of the Cold War.
Bunker 1013 had blood on its tiny window pane. The lock only gave after five attempts with the FBI-issue pick. The Lone Gunmen's stolen codes, scrawled on a sheet of looseleaf in Byers' precise handwriting, opened the bolt. Frohike's good luck wish glared in red ink from the bottom of the page. A sad, strange, wistful little man, that one, but a good person for all that, and gentle. He deserved more credit than he got. Some other day, there would have to be time for him.
And the ship was there. It was horrible; it wasn't for human eyes. It just floated there as if it hadn't enough respect for basic physics to settle to the ground. The whole room smelled like oil.
The space was too large for the flashlight to do any real good. Wet snow runners made kissing sounds against the asphalt floor. So dark that seventy-two inches of grimy thief was just another shadow until it became something to trip over. No reaction to the impact but the smallest of whimpers. When the hand-held light hit his face, Alex Krycek just buried his face deeper in the arm of his coat and refused to move.
He'd been on that cold floor for too many hours. Even at the surface, the ground was frozen. This far down, the concrete would be a conduit for body heat, and he had precious little remaining. His kidneys might be damaged.
Every muscle on him was showing so starkly that the tissue striations were visible: advanced dehydration. The blood on the window pane had to have come from his fingertips. There wasn't any skin left on them. He'd been that desperate to get out.
Whimper. No movement.
Slap. The dehydrated flesh made the impact sickening. "Krycek, wake up."
Sob. Ugly sound, too dry, fear tearing desiccated tissues.
Shaking him. "Come on. I need you to get up." He had to drink. Had to get him out of there. "Come *on*, you son of a bitch, open your eyes!"
"Watch your mouth, Scully. You sound like a goddamn whore."
The words were humourous under the rasp, but they made her too angry and she hit him again.
He whispered, "Fuck."
She could be angry later. Scully got his shoulders into her lap and tilted his head up to the water bottle. Half an inch of the liquid went down his throat, enough to wake him up. Enough to make him tremble against her body, half-crying but still tearless. He needed saline, but that was in the car, waiting for her to feel merciful enough to give it to him.
She never really understood, later, how she got him to the car. It became possible because it was necessary - she was willing to believe in that - and even so, it was still only possible in stages. They spent more minutes resting on the stairs than they did moving. More than once Krycek twisted away from her grip and pressed himself back against the wall, shaking, his eyes completely blank. In spite of his use of her name, she wasn't entirely sure that he knew who she was.
The door opened like a dead thing and outside it was dark. Even with the days so short, this far north on the edge of winter, the darkness meant the climb had taken them almost two hours. The man collapsed at Scully's feet was more than halfway dead. His knees had simply given on the final landing and she'd had to drag him outside. The bastard hadn't even made a sound except to whimper when his body, too big and awkward for her to manage with any degree of care, hit the doorframe.
9:23 pm. -10°C.
"Who . . . ?"
( . . . had the dacha the summer of 19--glassed-in porch with windows so goddamned filthy thought it'd never come off a whole day washing them, scrubbing over and over with wadded-up newspaper and ammonia, the smell getting all over the house brilliant light coming through the clean patches, colouring the rooms, making all the greens more vivid grass leaves garden house with white trim cleaned up so beautiful . . .
(. . . hard on the paint, that cold it came off in huge flakes, like dead skin sloughing away underneath the wood was marvellous, it kept the same tones it must have had when it was first cut big northern conifers cut down to build those cabins . . .
(. . . walking out in the garden in the middle of the night half-moon light refracting off the lake half a mile off wanting to make love to someone just tonight . . .
(smells so goddamned awful)
"In a car, in North Dakota. Scully, Krycek. I'm Scully. Try to remember."
The car clock said 11:50. The liquid crystal display was green.
"I . . ."
"North Dakota. In a car. With Scully. Hauled you out of a missile silo."
"This is the fifth time, Krycek. Try not to forget. Or else stay asleep."
She didn't want to look as she stripped him. Krycek's body, even after the saline and the glucose drips she'd given him in the car, looked like some kind of perversion. He had heavy muscles and he was filthy and smelled like a dead thing and he was too tired to hold himself upright. She had to brace his shoulder against her chest while he hunched over and cried softly, utterly incoherent. A dozen times he'd woken and asked where he was, and the first six she'd answered him, though she might as well have been talking to herself. She could have cursed him or beaten him and he wouldn't have noticed. She wondered if he was crazy.
His clothes were going to burn like tinder, there was so much oil in them.
He had broad hips for a man, enough to give him a swagger, thick muscle running from his thighs up to his waist. Anonymous white knit cotton under the jeans she'd skinned off. If this were a hundred years ago, she could wash him like this and call it decent. Not even doctors saw you naked, then, until you were dead.
Scully stepped back from Krycek and the man immediately folded in on himself. The bathroom light was brilliant and unflattering, like a department store dressing room or an autopsy bay. He slouched on the closed toilet seat, cradling his forehead with the heels of his hands, elbows resting on his knees. It had been hours since he'd made the slightest attempt to open his eyes.
What it came down to was that she didn't want to see him naked. Even semi-conscious, he was imposing; he must outweigh her by sixty or seventy pounds. Nudity would have nothing to do with vulnerability for him and everything to do with a apitulation of modesty on her part.
In her mind, she heard Agent Mulder's voice whispering, Hurt him, Scully.
But she did strip him, in spite of herself, and wrestled him into the bathtub. There was a flash of comprehension in his face when she sank him into the steaming water, then the eyelids dipped closed again and he fell back to muttering.
Both the cheap motel washcloths were black by the time she let the water out and re-filled the tub with him still in it. Without the layer of oil and dirt, she could see the small marks on his skin. A few acne scars on his shoulders. Wine-coloured patch on his upper arm that looked like a burn. Bullet scar on his thigh. Knife scar on his abdomen, dragging through the dark hair. Raw fingertips that she hadn't treated yet.
He wasn't paying the slightest attention to her. He rocked gently as the bathtub filled.
Krycek hissed words in some rough, Slavic language.
Scully took one of the thin towels and ripped it into squares. She wetted one and started washing down his back. There were bruises that she hadn't seen under the oil; someone had beaten him, hard. When she pressed too firmly, he flinched.
And in spite of herself, some of the anger was receding. When she'd been an intern, she'd treated men who sneered at her femininity when they weren't in so much pain. She hadn't hurt them then. If she hurt Krycek now, she'd regret it.
He relaxed enough under her touch that she was able to lean him back, cradling his skull in the crook of her elbow to prevent him from striking it against the wall. With another piece of shredded towel, she started on his chest and shoulder. None of the ribs she felt were broken, or even visibly cracked. She wiped the tear-tracks off his face. Water ran down from his hair and down her arm to the elbow, making her shiver. He echoed her.
He was still so cold. She had to finish this. The terrycloth ran down his belly, scraping away the underground smells. The cock and balls half-hidden in the greying water were more of him than she wanted to think about, but she washed them too. He didn't open his eyes.
It was a little easier to make him stand; he must have relaxed a little in the hot water. She hadn't managed to feed him, yet. The doctor in her brain lectured on the body's famine response while she rubbed him dry, guided him like a blind man to bed and wrapped him in blankets. The body slows down when it believes starvation is setting in. You feel cold. You sleep, you don't feel as hungry. You can stay alive a long time that way, almost hibernating, but it's hard for such a basic response to let you go. He was going to have to eat something by morning.
She covered him with another blanket. She phoned the Gunmen.
2:30 am. -23°C.
"Turn off the tape, it's Scully."
"I mean it, Byers, turn the tape off."
Plastic snap. "It's off."
"Agent Scully, are you OK?"
"Did you find him?" Soft, careful. She could almost see his face, the sweet brown eyes and the beard he grew over that baby face. Byers was Scully's favourite of the Gunmen, the least threatening, the most polite. "Is he dead? How long was it, anyway? A week?"
"Four days," she sighed. "I've got him. I've got a rental cabin in the Black Hills for a while."
"How is he?"
"Like the last rat out in 'The Secret of NIMH'."
"Issue thirty-two of the Gunman - 'British Animal Testing and Related Anomalies in Intelligence'."
Her laugh came out shaky, reminding her of the hour. "It's a *children's book*."
"And?" Was he smiling?
"Not everything is a conspiracy. Oh, don't go sulking, I didn't mean it. You can explain to me why it is later. I need you to get some things from my apartment for me. Don't tell Mulder." She gave him the list.
"Doable. And I understand. Mulder's still angry. He went to see Senator Matheson yesterday."
"I'm sure. Take care of him, will you guys?"
"We always do, Scully. Be careful."
"You too." Click.
Scully sat in the armchair and watched him wake up. The same Alex Krycek, naked and cocooned in that pile of blankets, that she'd washed down the previous night. In spite of her exhaustion, she hadn't been able to sleep.
The first sign she had that he was awake, other than a change in the rhythm of his breathing, was his sudden contraction into a fetal ball. Hearing him cry was like hearing skin tearing. He cried as if she weren't there: lung-ripping, raw, undignified bawling that went on for a long time. For the first ten minutes, she just watched him. It left her cold. The soft-voiced keening that followed the tears was surreal, not something with which she could intervene. The slow rocking and the whimpers were justice.
She only laid a hand on the back of his neck when he started to shake convulsively. The skin there was clammy, but she only had a moment to feel it before he flinched away from her touch. In the course of his twisting away, his head came around to face her.
The look in his eyes wasn't even human. The green irises glittered absolutely flat, terrified of something that she couldn't even see. More frightened than Mulder with his brain fried by his own drinking water. More frightened than she had been in Donnie Pfaster's closet. Krycek looked like he wanted to take his own skin off.
So she settled down beside him and let him wrap himself around her. She couldn't see the man who had let Melissa die in the quietly sobbing wreak whose face was buried in her lap. God, his hair was long. She let it tangle around her fingers. Shaggy, dark, beautiful hair, red highlights under the black.
"Poor baby. Poor Alex. Shhh."
Gradually, he calmed. Scully stayed stroking his hair and the back of his neck, mentally retreating to study him a bit.
In his struggling, he'd pushed the blankets down until they were bunched around his waist. The bruises were uglier in daylight. Besides the marks of the beating, the side of his face was vaguely swollen, as though he'd been slammed against a wall, and there were clear fist marks on his abdomen. The shiny burn on his shoulder looked to have only recently healed.
Krycek's body wasn't thirty years old yet, and it looked like a battlefield. Scully exhausted a little of her rage by tracing each pattern of damage on him and imagining the pain that must have accompanied it. If she could convince herself that he'd suffered enough, she wouldn't have to hurt him, maybe.
He wouldn't get up. She freed herself from him and made oriental noodles with water from an electric kettle plugged in next to the ancient television, watched them soften and drained the hot water away. She fed them to him slowly, using her fingers after giving up on the fork, easing the soft food between his lips. He stayed semi-fetal, her thigh under his head to prop him up enough to eat. She had yet to see the slightest sign that he recognized her cross his face.
(. . . code-breaking in Hong Kong long nights of it staring at the encryption and gradually making some kind of sense out of it reading the first retranslated fragments and finding Pacific Ocean coordinates . . .
(. . . and throwing Geraldine back out into the hallway making a run for the window and jumping and leaving Mulder there the street washed in chemical light from the illuminated Cantonese and Mandarin signs . .
For Scully, the Gunmen were willing to drive cross-country in the beginning of winter. Thirty-eight hours after her phone call, they eased a battered compact through the snow-choked approach and parked beside Scully's rental. She came out to meet them.
The car's interior had a smell like warm light and coffee. Byers gave her a nylon gym bag she recognized from her front closet and a long, slow look. Langly blinked at her from the back seat through greying blond lashes. She wondered briefly if she could just leave with them.
She didn't invite them in, but Byers got out of the car and followed her when she walked away. Langly at least had been willing to let her go with only fingertips brushed across her hair and a letter from Frohike pressed into her hand.
"Agent Scully, are you OK?" Byers asked softly.
He stood paused behind her, ankle-deep in snow. The neat, inexpensive dress pants below his coat had to leave his legs freezing in this wind. Scully looked back at him. Brown hair and beard, brown eyes, that quiet precision that her mother must have hoped she would marry. And what was she to do with this reliable, paranoid, former civil servant? Tell him the truth. "No, I'm not."
But he only came and wrapped protective arms around her and hugged her close against the stiff, wind-shear nylon of his coat. Scully could feel tears icing on her face. Byers rocked her and whispered nonsense words into her hair while she cried, then offered her a handkerchief and wiped off her face when she didn't take it from him. In the flat November light, he look older than she expected him to.
He said, "This isn't some sort of mystic game, Scully. All you have to do is end it." Scully nodded. She wondered abruptly if Byers and Langly were lovers. "Good girl." He kissed her hair and let her go.
Langly reached out a long, thin hand to Byers when the bearded man slipped back into the driver's seat, squeezed, and leaned over to whisper something. Scully watched them go. The back of her neck prickled at the thought of Krycek waiting for her inside.
( . . . that winter, the windows on the dacha frosted up to the point that an ice layer like a small glacier grew on the windowsills warm days when a little of that ice melted and made lakes on the painted wood mopping the dampness away with the sleeve of an old shirt . . .
( . . . when sleeping was a matter of nesting with piles of blankets, pillows front and back and layers and layers of comforters and coats wood stove that you had to start early in the morning standing around it wrapped in socks and that giant old bathrobe waiting for the heat to get out . . .
( . . . so wonderful to live like that after the Moscow boarding house where there was never enough fuel the time the woman across the hall came knocking carrying all her bedding and crawled into bed too just sharing body heat and the comfort of another person sound of her breathing soft female and warm waking later without remembering her and panicking, automatically assuming that there was a wolf in the room . . .
(there's a wolf in the room . . .)
She'd hit him again. It hadn't been rage, though, just a quick and deliberate strike, to remind him that he'd been drifting. He raised his face to meet her, blank and frighteningly passive. She'd asked him something . . .
"Were you involved in my abduction?"
"Did you send Duane Barry to my house?"
"Did you tell him where I lived?"
The tape recorder's spools hissed slightly. He wondered how much she'd be able to make of their conversation, later. Both their voices were so flat they might have been doing a polygraph. Nothing they'd said in the past hour made more than residual sense to him. The greatest part of his mind was occupied by the extent to which his head hurt, and the exhaustion that was a steady ache behind his eyes.
"Did you know what he'd do with me?"
"Did you know who was helping him?"
He might not have told her, but he hurt all over and he was so tired and her gun was resting on her knee with the safety off. He gave her fragments - locations that she must know had already been abandoned, names that likely weren't legally connected to any living person. And then he told her about standing on Skyland mountain with his arms around Mulder, staring at the too-brilliant light in the sky until it left burns on his retinas, and about Mulder breaking free of him and beginning his long assault on the shivering lunatic who'd been kneeling in the mud where she'd disappeared.
"What did they do to me?" she asked.
"I don't know." She raised the gun. "I don't. I'm not a fucking biologist, I don't know what they do."
She sneered a little. The expression was alien on her, and he suspected it was an affectation rather than a natural reaction. "Your tape didn't tell you?"
"It took three months to translate just the ship's location. I had to learn Cherokee. I had to diagram equations like I haven't since college. I didn't work on anything that wasn't immediately marketable."
"I'm sorry," he said.
She said, "I should have left you down there." Holstered her gun, found her boots and coat, and went outside. He sat in the chair where he was handcuffed and stared at the water glass she'd been holding out of his reach. She didn't come back for two hours. When she did, she unchained him without saying anything and let him go to bed. He was most of the way to sleep before he felt her stroke the back of his neck, briefly, and withdraw.
She found herself awake and shivering at four-thirty in the morning; but it still took her a long time to pull herself together enough to get up. Somewhere in her subconscious, there was a nightmare that she'd just barely surfaced from. The blank terror of it had generated tears; the pillowcase was damp and getting cold.
Scully wrapped herself in the bedspread and padded in the dark to the bathroom. If she could just avoid turning the lights on, she was sure she'd be able to sleep again. She groped in the half-dark for a washcloth and the faucet, washed her face without looking. Trails of water wetted the collar of her shirt. One ran across her collarbone and slipped down between her breasts.
It wasn't working. The only way she could imagine sleep right now was as a forum for further nightmares. She wrapped the blanket tighter around herself and padded back into the bedroom. Krycek's breathing was so soft she had to stop her own to hear it. She moved past him and settled at the foot of her own bed, cowled like a hermit. The moon was still up and the curtains were thin; she could make out most of the details of the room, but no colours.
She wanted to go home. She couldn't imagine what she was going to do with the man in the other bed. No matter how many times she fantasized it, her brain wouldn't wrap itself around the idea of killing him. She kept seeing masses of blood and the fey, childish look in those pale green eyes. But the part of her that had watched Melissa die still wanted justice too much to turn him loose. In prison he'd last a matter of hours; Cardinale's blood was still on her hands from that mistake. She wanted a quiet, dark place where she could leave Krycek and never think about him again.
She never should have let him out.
And she was still crying, just so softly she could barely hear it herself.
Krycek knelt in front of her. His skin was an almost perfect white in the monochrome darkness. Too much of it was exposed in his t-shirt and boxers; he had to be horribly cold. She should try and get the heat register to work.
"Tell you something, Scully?" he asked.
She looked him over, nodded.
"Story I was told about the civil war in Russia, the one after theRevolution." She watched him without expression. He shrugged. "The Red army general comes to the house of this peasant farmer and demands that the peasant hide him. It's open war in the country, the general's separated from his men and the White army's close. So the peasant takes the general into the bedroom and tells him to lie on an empty bedframe. And on top of the general, the peasant and his wife pile a whole bunch of feather beds and blankets and all their clothes until the pile's about three feet high.
"Then the White army comes. They search everywhere, break everything, sort of make a mess and threaten. And when they get to the bedroom, they take out their bayonets and they drive them into this pile of blankets and clothes. Have you ever seen a Russian bayonet?"
"Well, it's got a blade about ten inches long on the end. Then the White soldiers leave, because they haven't found anything. They threaten the peasant with conscription, but for some reason they don't actually take him.
"The peasant and his wife uncover the general, who's completely unhurt except for a tiny cut on his ear where he was grazed by a bayonet. And at that moment, his own troops march into the yard. The peasant follows the general outside and watches him mount his horse. Then, because he's feeling incredibly brave or incredibly stupid, he says, 'General, if I may ask a question?'
"'Ask,' says the general.
"So the peasant asks, 'How did it feel to be under those blankets while the soldiers were driving in their bayonets?'
"The general looks at him for a second, then he orders his troops to seize the peasant. They take him back to their camp and beat him, tie him to a stake and leave him there overnight, tell him he's going to be shot in the morning.
"So, in the morning, he's standing there covered in blood, and he's starving because they haven't given him anything, and the firing squad comes out. One of them sort of looks the peasant over and then offers him a cigarette. He takes it and he's grateful for it. While he's trying to smoke it with no hands, the firing squad raises their guns.
"Then the general comes along and he says, 'Peasant, do you remember that you asked me how it felt to be hidden under your blankets with the bayonets driving in?'
"The peasant's just about terrified at this point, but he says yes, he remembers.
"'Well,' says the general, I'd imagine it's about the same way you feel now. Only without the cigarette.'
"And he let the peasant go."
He had settled cross-legged at her feet. The flat greys of the room didn't show even slight wrinkles in his skin. In that light, Krycek was perfectly beautiful, luminous and fragile. She extricated an arm from her blankets and ran three fingers through the short hair at his temple.
He leaned into the touch, absorbing her body heat with a wonderful sensuality that she'd never seen before in a man. The same movement of his head brought her fingers around to his mouth, and smoothly between his lips. For a long time, she was held there, the pads of her fingers pressing against the warm enamel of his teeth and being sucked gently. Only when she softened the muscles in her hand he relaxed his jaw and ran faintly jagged teeth over her skin.
She'd never imagined that anyone male would touch her like this. Her fingers were deep in his mouth, rubbing at the thin skin, and being massaged all over by his tongue. He released them slowly, then bent and licked delicately over her inner wrist. His hands had never moved from his lap.
Nobody should be so beautiful. Certainly, Krycek shouldn't have been. His whole body was marked with blood collecting under the skin, so that every muscle must have ached. She could just barely remember what he looked like under his clothes. Almost absently, she reached down and caught the hem of his t-shirt, lifting the garment over his head. There was no resistance in him; he raised his arms to get free of the cloth and then dropped his hands back to his thighs and sat watching her.
When she didn't move, he did. White hands ran up his thighs and over his hips and ribs to his shoulders. For a moment, he stayed there, then dropped one hand to trace around his nipple and then trace the faint lines of hair down his torso to the waist of his boxers. The other hand followed it, and again when he reversed the pattern and brought his fingers back up to rest on his collarbone. The eyes he kept locked on hers were absolutely open. She wanted to read some kind of aggression into his delicate exhibitionism, but all she could see was a cautious assessment of her reactions.
For a long time he knelt at her feet, running faint touches over his own skin and never touching her. Only when her leg jerked in reaction, he bent and ran that gossamer tongue over the bare skin of her foot and ankle. His eyes came back to hers and he waited with his mouth on her skin for her to respond. She nodded slightly, and he moved, raising his mouth towards her knee in a line of barely-felt kisses.
The kiss he placed on the inside of her knee was open-mouthed and warm. The next one was on her thigh, and it pushed a little, spreading her legs. The progress he made was infinitesimal, and by the time he'd come far enough up her body to have to kneel forward onto his hands, she was shivering from wanting him. He had to be able to smell it, she was so soaking wet. But there was still nothing aggressive in him, just that quiet watchfulness. When his mouth moved again, it came up against her panties, and his tongue stroked her vagina through the damp cotton.
Against her body, she heard him whisper, "Let me, Scully, please."
She let him. His hands finally came up and stripped her panties, cradling her hips in the seconds she had to lift up to be rid of them. Then they were gone again, back on his thighs, and his face was pressed between her legs.
She thought her chest would explode at the first pressure from that tongue. He traced the lines of her inner labia with his mouth, stroking over her clit so delicately she thought at first that he hadn't realized he'd found it. But on the next sweep he pressed there for a long moment, then sucked hard, and accepted the pressure as she bucked against his face. It was only after that that his tongue pushed into her. It was as good as anything she'd had before in her life. Once he was sure of her, he pushed hard, and she felt him impossibly deep, as though he were kissing her all the way into her belly. He pulled back after a moment, then rubbed his lips against her clitoris, coaxing small animal sounds out of her and absorbing all the shocks as she shook against him, and came.
He stayed like that while she came down. When she was sure of all the movements of her body again, Krycek was still pressed between her thighs, resting with most of his face hidden by her public hair and only the jade of his eyes visible. She reached a hand out and ran her fingers through his hair.
She was gathering herself to sit upright when she finally registered his arousal. The hands in his lap didn't conceal the erection pressing against the thinness of his underwear. His shoulders were bare, and they were shaking. He might have been cold, but his nipples were hard, and his pupils were so dilated that the colour was almost totally lost.
Scully leaned forward until she was bent almost double, and kissed him. The taste in his mouth was hers, and he held very still. It took both her hands to ease him forward into contact with her body. When she let his mouth go, he dropped his head and wrapped his lips around the tip of her breast.
Scully whispered, "Do you want me?"
"I'm yours as long as you want me." His lips still so close to her skin that she could feet the vibrations when he spoke.
"Do you want me, Alex?"
"Please . . ."
He pressed up against her, kissing her breasts deeply and running his teeth over the nipples. She hardly felt his weight shift, but when she next registered his position, he was crouched in front of her, guiding her legs around his waist. And lifted.
She didn't think she'd ever had a partner raise her so easily. Certainly not one as frail as Krycek should have been. But he had her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist and he carried her across the bedroom until her back was pressed to the wall, only letting her go when she was braced against the plaster. His hands were everywhere bracing her while she slid down his body.
When he leaned back, he drew her with him, and she found herself fitted to the lines of his body. The thigh between hers thrust her up and pushed her legs apart. His mouth was everywhere along her neck and shoulders. She could feel his teeth running over her bare skin, moving so intricately that she thought he must be saying something, if she could just make out what it was, but the breath rasping over her body wouldn't resolve into anything like English. She kept her fingers in his hair, holding him down.
It surprised her how much control he'd given up, again. She shouldn't have had any at all - her back was to the wall, and a man half again her size had her bent half over backwards, but her hand was on his neck, and she could hurt him badly just by pressing her thumb down hard. Instead, she shifted her grip to the side and rubbed against his jugular while he sucked at the base of her throat, and again he moved into the touch, rubbing his whole body against her in the process. The cock pressed against her left a hot liquid trail down her hip and up to her waist. God, he was so hard he must hurt, but his whole attention was still on her rapidly bruising skin.
"Alex." As much a hiss as anything. One of her arms came up to wrap almost completely around his head. Without raising his face, he brought both hands up and lifted her, braced her, and brought her down onto his erection.
There was a stretch of time she couldn't measure in which her retinas exploded and she was temporarily blind and shaking. When she surfaced, she was in the same position, pressed against the wall with Alex Krycek's unreasonably hard cock pressed so deep inside her she was shaking. He'd stopped kissing her, but his mouth was open and pressed against her neck. There was something wet, something warmer than saliva, on her skin. She released his head to run her fingers through it and bring it to her eyes. It was blood.
With a hand that shook, he raised Krycek's face to hers. He had bitten almost completely through his lower lip. God, he was trying so hard to keep from moving, to keep from hurting her. All the skin of his that she could see was frighteningly pale, and his eyes were urgent.
"Do it," she whispered.
His first buck pushed so far up inside her that she almost screamed; the next shook her whole body. Using the foot that still touched the floor, she braced herself enough to push back against him. The other twined around his thigh.
It felt good to let go and let him fuck her. His whole body was centred on hers, to the point that she sometimes doubted his pleasure. Only occasionally, he whimpered and kissed her again, and the flashes of his eyes she could see were electric.
"Thank you, Scully, thank you thank you thank you." Like a mantra. "Thank you beautiful krassavitsa love you so sorry thank you."
He lifted her by the hips and rubbed himself down the length of her. The cock that had been massaging her inner muscles shifted and struck the perfect spot just in front of her pubic bone. She hissed, and Krycek repeated the movement, cradling her to keep the position. She whimpered and pressed her breasts against his chest, orgasming slowly, gradually folding herself backwards so that he was supporting her whole weight. While she was still shaking, he finished himself in short, fast thrusts, and cried out almost silently.
The cold of the room took several minutes to penetrate her brain. It came up on her as a slow shiver, so that she was horribly chilled almost before she'd noticed. Krycek ran his fingers up her back and shook himself a little. Then he gathered her up and carried her back to the bed, wrapped them both in the blankets, and twined himself around her, skin to skin. She drifted. Krycek was against her back; she could feel him, as cleanly awake as an animal, and watching.
In the morning, she gathered everything of theirs that she could find and loaded the car. It was cold, but the block heater had been plugged in overnight, and after several grinding false starts, the engine turned over. Krycek followed her out, dressed in clothes she'd pirated from Mulder at various points in their relationship and which fit the man accompanying her badly. He looked awkward in them, even more so than he had in the cheap suits he'd worn when they first met. But, then, she'd never seen him look totally comfortably in anything except nakedness.
He accepted the passenger's seat without comment, and perhaps without any memory of the last time he'd been slumped in it. The last time her rage had gotten the better of her, she'd cleaned the upholstery and thrown a blanket over the damage she couldn't repair. There wasn't any evidence left, really, of the wreck she'd dug out of the ground.
She was going to have to sell Krycek to the bureau, somehow. Bringing criminal charges against him would only leave him a corpse. A witness of some sort, maybe. She'd have to find agents she trusted enough to protect him. The Gunmen would probably help her.
Krycek sat quietly, leaning a little against the window and apparently listening to the noise of the car running over the ice and asphalt. Seen in profile, his eyelashes because his most prominent feature. They seemed to take up half his face, and they radiated a sensuality that was missing from the child-soft lines of his other features. When she turned on the radio, he roused himself and turned quiet green eyes on her.
"Where've you been?" she said.
"You've been drifting for days. I was wondering where you were."
"Russia. I lived there for a while."
"What was it like?"
"Nice. Cold. It looked sort of like this, a lot of the time."
"I'm not sure I'd call this nice." The day was absolutely flat. What sunlight there was was diffuse, coming through too many layers of cloud.
There were no shadows and no signs of human life.
"It's not so bad. Sort of looks like home to me."
"Russia is home?"
"My family's there," he said absently.
"Why'd you leave?"
"I fucked up a kid, badly, during an assignment. The men upstairs said they'd take care of it, but that I'd have to work in a different arena for a bit."
She must have looked horrified, because he said, softly, "Did you think I was the victim, Scully?" She looked at him. "I *worked* for them. I killed for them. There isn't anything you can do to me that they can't do worse."
It was the truth, but it was more than she wanted to hear. The bastard was always under her skin. She should have left him buried, let sleeping dogs lie, and maybe he would have died and she wouldn't ever have had to deal with him. She wouldn't have to explain his presence to Mulder. She stopped the car.
"Get out," she said.
"Scully," he hissed. "It's thirty fucking below."
"You aren't going to leave me here."
She felt sick. She'd shown him too much compassion, forgotten that he was such a stone killer, and he'd gotten close to her. If she'd listened to her initial instincts to hurt him, things would have been better.
"You aren't going to do this," he said softly.
He didn't believe she could do it. "Get out," she ground out. He didn't move.
She slid her gun out of its holster, kept it close beside her knee. "Get out."
He didn't move.
She hit him with the gun.
It was quite possibly the most horribly sound she'd ever heard. The skin on the side of his face *tore*. The gun metal hit bone with a dull, wet sound. And Krycek screamed.
(Killer. Killer. Missy bleeding out her life.)
Groping blindly, he unbuckled his seatbelt and opened the door. When he tried to get out, he fell.
As soon as he was free, she pulled the passenger door shut and accelerated. The rear view mirror gave her only glimpses of him, curled up on himself in the snow, staring after her. The greyness of the light was already blurring him. If she was lucky, maybe the earth would open and swallow him up.