Krycek awoke with a start, sitting upright on the lumpy bed. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes then scrubbed that hand through the short, sweat- matted, dark hair at the back of his head.
"Jeez. That was one doozy of a dream."
Moonlight bathed the interior of the room in a soft glow, casting deep shadows into the furthest corners. Throwing back the covers, he pushed up from the bed and wandered over to the bureau. The thin veneer was peeling in a dozen places and rings had rotted into the wood from wet- bottomed glasses but Krycek hardly noticed the delapidation of the room; didn't notice the peeling wallpaper or the musty smell. This was just one more seedy motel room, one of a string that he had called home since he went on the run all those years ago.
He slopped a generous amount of vodka into the glass standing by the bottle, not concerned about rinsing it first. After all, alcohol was it's own steriliser.
The cheap vodka burned its way down his raw throat, curling warmly into his empty stomach. He licked his lips, savouring the spilt drops that clung to them. He coughed as the alcohol fumes tickled his back of his throat and replaced the glass on the side, closing his eyes, momentarily, to banish real life from his vision.
His hand dipped to his damp shorts and he sneered at himself. He hadn't had a wet dream for years. These days his dreams tended to be darker but as he re-captured the remnants he began to wonder which was the true nightmare... the empty, black places in which he found himself trapped; the peasants sawing off his arm for the hundredth time... or the warm arms cradling him as he fell back to Earth after mind- numbing sex?
"Don't kid yourself, Krycek."
His voice was raw from emotion, and from the shouts that must have accompanied his orgasmic release.
"That wasn't sex. It was love."
And that was why it was more of a nightmare than *any* of those other terrible scenes his mind replayed to him during those 'down- times'.
"Sleep. It's called sleep, Krycek. You're not a machine. You don't switch off."
He sighed, berating himself aloud. If only he *could* switch off. If only he *could* have dreamless sleep... if only he had someone else to talk to other than himself.
Yes. That was the nature of his particular nightmare. It gave him everything he couldn't have. It gave him a sweet, attentive lover who would hold him tight; adorn him with kisses; smooth away the lines of fatigue with tongue and deft fingers. It gave him the one person he couldn't have. The one person he had hurt above all others.
It gave him Walter Skinner.
Krycek checked his watch and grimaced. There were still many hours until dawn. Many hours to kill before he killed or *was* killed. He knew why he had this dream. It was his subconscious telling him not to carry through with the latest set of orders... telling him not to kill the one person he had grown to love above all others, even himself.
He slopped another measure of vodka into the glass and carried it back to the bed, lying down on the stained bedsheet, balancing the glass on his bare chest as he stared up at the nicotine- stained ceiling, whispering more words to himself.
"If I just close my eyes..."
He did. He closed his eyes and let his mind wander back along the path of the dream that awoke him; allowed the luxury of feeling himself nestled against a muscular chest. He smiled as phantom fingers teased first one and then the other nipple erect, pinching each nub until it ached, sending licks of energy zig- zagging downwards. He felt that body move until his head was cradled against the other's soft, inner thigh; could feel the other's burgeoning erection nudging his ear and turned his face so he could nuzzle the crisp, dark curls; breathing deeply of the heady masculine scent of sweat and sex.
After a moment he turned over, bracing himself on two arms above the straining, aching flesh. Yes. In his dreams he always had two arms. He lowered his head to take the velvet, steel shaft deep, tongue and teeth teasing along the length as a gasp of pleasure drifted down from above. Slowly, he drove his lover insane; drove him to the very brink and then drank from him as if he had been offered the sweetest nectar.
Brown eyes, darkened to black with lust, would then hold his. Strong arms would drag him up to share the fruits of his labour in a soul- searing kiss. He would be flipped over onto his back and a path of fire would trail from his face to inner thigh.
He would give everything he had to this dream lover... to Walter Skinner, offer every part of his being, holding himself open for every caress and pass into total bliss, returning to find those arms still enfolding him in love's embrace.
Krycek opened hs eyes, tilted his head and gulped down the last drops of vodka. He dropped the empty glass to the floor and sat back up.
Reaching over to the bedside cabinet, he grabbed hold of the palm pilot.
The last time he had used it was in Skinner's office, his interrogation being interrupted by Dana Scully's unexpected arrival. He wondered whether Scully realised who had sent her the Navajo book... and the pass. He wondered if she realised he had killed Fowley for those items, but not for Mulder's sake... or for hers. He had killed Fowley because she had dared to confront Walter Skinner; because she had been planning to sacrifice him to save her own scrawny hide.
He stared at the gadget in his hand. He had caused Skinner untold pain and humiliation with this device and now, in a few short hours, he was expected to kill him with it... permanently.
"Dreaming is for dreamers."
Who had said that to him? His father? Spender? He sniffed. Did it matter? He *had* been a dreamer once. He had dreamed of being the hero; of saving the world. When had it all gone wrong? Was there *any* way he could possibly make it right again?
Yes. There was one way.
Today he was supposed to kill Walter Skinner, but if he did then this dream would die with him and there would be nothing left of Alexei Krycek, the dreamer.
With a tightening of his lips, Krycek smashed the palm pilot onto the cabinet. He smiled as pieces of plastic, glass and metal skittered across the top.