Sex. That's all it was. Sexual intercourse between two rational adults. Two rational adults who wanted nothing more than a chance to be satisfy their biological needs without the complications of emotional attachment or the nonsense of conventional courtship rituals (as she had scoffed drunkenly).
One chance encounter was all it took to begin a chain of events that ended with them in bed together. A follow-up then another, and before they knew it, they were addicted. It had started off with stiffness and embarrassment, but the habit had been all too easy to grow accustomed to. Every Friday evening at a small hotel far away from her partner's Alexandra apartment and the Hoover J building. A darkened room with crisp white sheet, heavy velvet curtains and en suite bathroom was rented from seven p.m. until morning. One of them was always there that little bit early and started the consumption of alcohol well in advance of the other's arrival. It was usually Alex. He would be at least halfway through a bottle of vodka or scotch by the time Scully walked in. She would skull a good few glass herself then ever so gradually undress and slither into bed. She was happy to do foreplay, extremely happy, but often wanted nothing more than to have raging primalistic sex with him. He was glad she had the courtesy not to scream anyone's name; it was never like that. To form words during the act would only be interpreted as endearment or affection - a sigh of weakness even. A peaceful contented sleep would always follow.
It was strange for Alex to feel this way, especially when sharing a bed with a federal agent, but somehow he managed to rest better with her than in any of the secured hideouts he frequently throughout his life.
The mornings were the most unbelievable part of their arrangement. Once they had both showered and dressed, they would eat breakfast together in the hotel's restaurant, like the model couple, discussing current affair, sports or the weather. Sometimes she would relate the tales of the many idiotic situations Mulder had gotten them into, but these stories were often cut short by feelings of guilt or embarrassment at the mention of their mutual acquaintances name. They parted amicably, splitting the bill, making arrangements for the next meeting, then walking off in separate directions to return to being the unconnected individuals they tried to be.
Alex Krycek was starting to rethink this policy. He liked the arrangement. He enjoyed it so much it had become the very thing he lived for. But sometimes he longed for more, for something more meaningful. He wanted the very thing they had agreed to suppress - affection. It was lonely at the top of the food chain, where he had recently set up residence. Not that he wanted to share that life with anyone; it was simply a matter of wanting something more substantial than sex. The first time he'd thought about it, he'd laughed out loud. What kind of man even believes that such a thing exists? The answer is; a lonely man. He would never admit to the insatiable desire he had to find someone, "to love someone and be loved in return". It was a line from that Nat King Cole song, 'Nature Boy'.
This particular Friday evening he sat in their hotel room knocking the alcohol back. He had left the curtains open this time and was admiring the view of the sun descending through the gaps in the city's horizon. He loved this time of day, when it was slowly becoming night - the sunlight dwindled and the growing darkness was warm from the heat of the day.
When she entered, the scarlet sunlight shone in Scully's eyes.
He turned to admire the vision. "Good evening, Miss Scully." He purred.
"Get here a little early, Krycek?" She picked up the bottle and poured a measure into a glass. Her trench coat was draped across a chair and she was about to start undressing right away, when she stopped, sat into a chair and looked at him. "You're smiling." She noted suspiciously. "What happened?"
Alex wouldn't allow her suspicion to get him down. "I had a good day today." He smiled wistfully at her, which only made her more edgy.
She sighed and leaned back in her chair, holding the glass of vodka in her delicate hands. "I'm glad somebody did."
"Do you want to talk about it?" He sat forward a little too quickly, and touched her hand.
"Your good day?"
"No," He laughed. "Your bad day. It might make you feel better to talk about it."
She eyed him for a moment then knocked back the alcohol. "I spent all day doing Mulder's paperwork."
"How'd he get out of it?"
"Played sick." She almost snarled.
"You should have gotten him back. Maybe filled in a form wrong or something. Put in a funny middle name for him. Then he'd have to deal with it when he got back."
She smirked, probably considering the possibility of doing that sometime in the future. "Not everyone is out to be the bane of Mulder's existence."
Alex choked. "The bane of HIS existence?!" He held up the weighty plastic arm. "I think it's the other way round, Scully!"
"And I think you both annoy each other to an equal degree and should get together sometime to show off your battle wounds." She gulped down another glass of vodka. "Hell, why don't you just ring him up and tell him to call round. Maybe he'd be a better a screw than I am!!"
Alex held his tongue, stifling the snide remark that threatened the escape his lips. "I doubt that very much." He whispered into his glass.
She looked away. A tiny smile crept over her lips. "He'd probably scream 'Samantha' when he came." She deadpanned.
Alex roared with laughter. He clinked her glass, adoring the wicked smile she wore. There was an evil-minded vixen hidden behind those conservative suits and sensible shoes. The shock of red hair gave it away.
"C'mere." He got up and stood behind her. His one good hand rubbed her back, trying to loosen the knots that had her tensed like a cat in labour. "Let's not talk about Mulder, he only brings us both down."
She sighed, obviously enjoying his one-handed massage. "Mmm, Mulder who?"
He laughed, his hand stroking her back then her neck and each shoulder, one at a time. Once he felt she was completely relaxed, he decided to brace their forbidden subject. "I want to see more of you, Dana." He said her forename, hoping it would have a good influence.
She didn't say anything at first, continuing to roll her neck around in tandem with his massage. "That's not what we agreed." She stated, as though talking to her 'silly puppy'.
"I know," He sighed, wishing he didn't feel the way he did. Wishing that he could ignore his desire, his love for her. "Maybe it's time we advanced our relationship?"
"Maybe." She took hold of his hands. Rising from her chair she turned to him and began unbuttoning his shirt. Hot fingertips touched his bare chest, sending their right down to his groin. "We'll talk about it in the morning."
They never did.
He thought about bringing it up, tried to a few times but she managed to distract him or change to subject each time. That Saturday they parted amicably in their usual fashion, but this time he watched her walk away, wishing he was going in her direction.
Wednesday afternoon. Alex was walking out of a Japanese restaurant. He rubbed his face wearily, having lost sleep this week over a contact who'd decided to hop the fence and work for the Smoking Man. It bothered him to lose someone as useful as this contact, but also to think that he was working on the other side now, probably helping Morley Man think of way to be rid of Alex Krycek. The meeting in the restaurant had been with someone who would be able to find out if he became Spender's target.
He was sauntering down the main street when a red-haired head caught his eye. He immediately dismissed it as unimportant, since he'd spent most of the sleepless nights thinking about her. He was always seeing women on the street that reminded him of Scully, this one was probably no different. Same haircut, same height, similar trench coat. Hell, there was even a lanky dopey-faced male walking just ahead of her.
Alex cursed himself, and his need to see an optician, just a few seconds too late. He turned to run back the way he came.
"Krycek!" The familiar war cry was yelled. In a matter of seconds Alex was grabbed from behind, punched in the face, and shoved up against a wall.
The handcuffed snapped onto his wrist and his prosthesis. He could imagine the self-satisfied grin on Mulder's face at that moment.
Scully ran up beside them. Her blue eyes widened as they met Alex's. She didn't say anything. She wouldn't dare.
"Don't do this Mulder!" Alex warned him.
"Why the hell not?" Mulder spun around and pushed him up against the wall, a swift right hook to Krycek's eye.
"We're on the same side, you asshole!" Krycek gritted his teeth.
"Bullshit. You tried to kill Skinner. You've been blackmailing him ever since, and you left me for dead in that stairwell." Mulder shoved Alex against the wall with each point.
Alex gasped at the pain - in his wrist, in his back, in his head, and most of all where the prosthetic arm was chafing his stump. "Diana Fowley came for you, didn't she? I heard she looked after you pretty well." Alex teased. He looked at Scully. Her face was a battlefield of emotions. He thought he saw anger and sympathy and sadness in there somewhere.
Mulder took this opportunity to knee Krycek in the crotch. Alex doubled over, gasping for air, tear welling in his eyes at the severe pain. "You piece of shit Krycek." Mulder spat. "I'm gonna tear you apart piece by stinking piece. Then I'm gonna turn you over to the police and make sure you stew in prison for the rest of your life!" With that Mulder kicked Alex in the stomach.
"Mulder!" Scully cried.
Mulder ignored her and rammed Alex head first into a brick wall.
Alex could feel himself losing it, blackness threatening to take over from the pain. He made one last plea. "Dana, don't . . .Stop him. Please." He choked.
Mulder heard the words like a curse on his family. He pulled back for the final blow.
"No!" Scully grabbed him and held him back. "Stop hurting him!"
Krycek looked up at Scully. Blood poured down his forehead and into one of his eyes.
She bent down and held his face in her hands. "We have to get you to a hospital."
He wanted to argue, to tell her he had to get away form here, but the words weren't coming out. He was fairly aware of her pulling out her cell phone and asking for an ambulance, but whether or not it ever came was unknown as he lost consciousness in seconds.
Scully watched the ambulance pull up. Mulder was pacing around her, and the slumping unconscious body of Alex Krycek. He was loaded into the van with care. Scully was tempted to ride with him but didn't trust Mulder not to call in the National Guard to keep an eye on Krycek.
They rode silently to the hospital. She was seriously debating whether or not to explain her recent relationship with Krycek to him. The fury that had taken over her mild-mannered partner had subsided, but she was still afraid to be honest with him.
"What's up with you Mulder?" She asked.
"How do you mean?" He seemed genuinely unaware of what she was asking.
"You completely lost it back there! You could have killed him!" She wished she didn't sound she upset by it.
"I'm sorry, Scully, but that guy . ." He pounded the steering wheel.
She stared wide-eyed at him. "Pull over Mulder!"
"Pull over!" She shouted.
He complied and pulled the car into a nearby parking lot. "We should call Skinner." He reached into his jacket and pulled out his cell phone.
"No?" He turned and stared at Scully. "We have to tell him we have Krycek, get some guys over to the hospital!"
"We're not going to turn Krycek in." She stated simply.
"Why the hell not?!" Mulder was visibly shaken by her announcement. "He's a killer, a murderer, a liar, a thief, a criminal of the highest orders?!"
"Mulder, I know you dislike . . ." She snorted and thought of a better word. "You despise him, but I have reason to believe that he's not the evil-incarnate you believe him to be."
He frowned at her. "What reason?"
"He wants to stop colonisation. He's allied to the resistance. He's helped you in the past . . ." She wanted to say that he was sweet and kind and thoughtful but knew that would be pushing it.
Mulder narrowed his eyes at her. "How do you know he's helped me?"
"He gave you the name of the base where the rebel alien was being held." She realised too late that she had made a mistake. "He told me about it."
"I've met with him once or twice." She confessed with her head hanging.
Mulder opened and closed his mouth like one of his fish. "Why haven't you ever told me about this?"
"And have you beat me to pulp?!" She let her tone rise above slightly angry.
"Scully," Shock was written all over his face. "You know I'd never . . I mean, I couldn't hurt you! You know that!?"
"But you'd hurt, nearly kill that man?!" She found herself glaring furiously at him.
Mulder tried to calm himself. He watched Scully closely. His deep pensive eyes were scanning her with his analytical mind. A realisation suddenly appeared on his features. "Oh no, you're not serious?!"
Scully had some idea of what he had realised. She reconsidered being forthcoming about her love life. "We have to get to the hospital."
Mulder blinked, then closed his mouth and turned on the engine. They drove in silence to the hospital, both to afraid to voice the fears they had.
Krycek had been moved to the ICU when they arrived. Flashing the FBI badge, forced the nurse to give them permission to look in on him, if only for a short time.
Mulder stood in the doorway while Scully walked closer to the bed.
Alex lay unconscious and unaware. A bandage covered the wound on his forehead, his black eye had swollen up, and a ventilator kept him breathing.
Scully picked up the chart and assessed the details. He had a severe concussion and a broken rib had punctured his lung. Scully was immediately grateful she'd stopped Mulder when she had and Krycek had gotten to the hospital in time for the doctors to operate.
Instinctively, she ran her hand over his short brown hair and down his cheek. It was such a familiar action she almost forgot Mulder was standing there grimacing at her.
She walked up to her partner and spoke in hushed tones. "I'm going to stay here until he wakes up."
Mulder frowned and shook his head.
"Mulder, you don't understand what has happened, it took me a while to figure it out for myself, but I'm asking you to remember that I've always been there for you, and I always will."
He put his hand on her shoulder, and she wondered if the twinkling in his dark eyes was the beginning of a tear.
"Go home, Mulder. I'll call you if I need anything." She smiled.
Mulder nodded silently. "Okay Scully." He pulled her close to him and she enjoyed the feeling of closeness while it lasted. "Call me." He told her as he pulled away.
She watched him stroll down the corridor and into the elevator. Rolling her stiff neck she walked back into the hospital room. She didn't know what she had just admitted to, but for some reason it felt as though a great veil had been lifted. She looked at the injured Alex Krycek and suddenly saw someone completely different.