This is the story of how I've lost respect for my partner. Yes, I know what you must be thinking, that it's impossible after all we've been through together. Yet, I don't have even a shadow of respect for Mulder now. And you're definitely not going to believe me when I say thanks to whom I'm not looking at Mulder with my usual wonder any more, but only with quiet amusement.
Yep, the one. The ex-assasin, the ex-spy, the accomplice in my sister's murder, the guy who managed to set the oiliens against the shapeshifters and then blackmail both sides into leaving Earth alone while Mulder was chasing The Big Foot, Mulder's ex-boyfriend, my current husband.
It all started quite innocently (well OK, innocent is not exactly the right word). After the aliens had left, Alex appeared back in our lives, proud of what he had accomplished and willing to take his reward. Which turned out to be Mulder.
I can't say that I was very surprised when they officially became an item. They had always had the chemistry between them that made everything else lose its significance when they were together. I remember how I've noticed it for the first time six years ago, when Mulder introduced his new partner to me, and I immediately became jealous of the handsome young man who took my place by Mulder's side. I was hopelessly in love with my brilliant ex-partner then and, knowing that he was bisexual, I was scared to death I could lose him to the geeky junior agent with beautiful eyes.
So I wasn't surprised when Mulder announced his decision to let Krycek move into his apartament but I sure was hurt by the fact that after all these years he chose the man who had killed his father as his life partner over me, his best friend.
Soon, however, Alex won me over. He was funny, he was frank, and he'd been through hell like Mulder and I, so that we could talk openly about the things occupying our minds, without being misunderstood or accused of lying. And he was ... well ... hot. Extremely so. He's changed his image from that of a scruffy sewer rat into one of a luxurious predator. The way he was strolling around with feline grace, dressed in tight black jeans and a cotton shirt, always made me anxious to get home as soon as possible, so that I could satisfy my burning arousal. My fantasies were still centred around Mulder, but Alex appeared in them too, doing some very indecent things to both of us.
I was so concerned about my "unfaithfulness" to my partner that I didn't notice when things started to go wrong between the two of them. Well, I've seen the way Mulder stopped to use every occasion to touch Alex, or the way Alex seemed to become more and more interested in the contents of the liquor cabinet than in the conversation during our less and less frequent dinners together, but I didn't take the time to wonder why that would be.
That's why the sight of Alex Krycek crumpled in an untidy heap on my couch with a half-full bottle of vodka in his hand and another, empty one, lying on the floor came as such a shock.
"I've run away from him." Alex slurred, when he noticed he wasn't alone any more. "Has...ah, has Mulder called you?" he asked, lifting his head and looking at me with half-conscious eyes.
My heart sank at the raw pain I saw in them. Whatever it was that had happened to make him look at me like that must have been awful, because I've never seen this man broken, not even when he was facing his own death or the possibile extinction of the entire human race.
"No, he hasn't, I'm sorry." I said really meaning it. "That's probably too early for him to start to worry."
"Perhaps." Krycek nodded and lifted the bottle to his lips.
"Alex, you have to stop drinking. It won't help you but it can easily destroy you." I quickly added, trying to evaluate how far from alcohol poisoning he was.
"Why? Mulder says that when I'm drinking, it at least means that I'm still a human being, with a conscience and all that shit." he protested but he put the bottle down.
"He does?" I asked, suddenly feeling very cold. But Alex had already fallen into heavy sleep, splayed carelessly on my couch.
I decided to let him rest and went to the kitchen to unpack the groceries.
When Krycek came round a couple of hours later, his hangover was already in full swing.
"Do you happen to have an aspirin to spare?" he managed, looking at me with glassy eyes.
"Sure, wait a minute. I'll bring it right away." I answered, not caring to analyze my sudden rush of protectiveness towards that man.
I gave him the aspirin and a lot of water to counteract the dehydration and soon Alex recuperated enough to take a shower.
When he came out of the bathroom, he was finally ready to tell me what was going on.
We sat on my bed, I in my blue, silk pajamas and Krycek in Mulder's T-shirt and boxers I keep in my drawer just in case, and started to talk truthfully for the first time about the nature of Alex's relationship with my partner.
"You know Dana, when Mulder actually agreed to give me a chance, I thought that I'd somehow managed to trick God and wormed my way to Heaven." Krycek started. "But now I think that it was I who was tricked.
"Everything was so perfect at first, even now I believe that we were actually happy then. Mulder seemed to have accepted me and my ways, we carefully avoided talking about the past and concentrated on building our relationship.
"One day, however, this damn guilt fetish of his eventually let itself be known. He started to question me about his father, my time with the smoking bastard and about everything else I had ever done. He became obsessed with the fact that I was able to leave it all behind. He held against me every night I had managed to sleep through without a nightmare.
"Now, I don't want you to misunderstand me, Dana. I do have a heart, in spite of what Mulder thinks, but I just can't let myself regret my past and the things I've done, even though I'm not proud of most of them. If I start to doubt that they were all necessary, I'll have to shoot myself, plain and simple."
As I was watching Alex Krycek reveal the fragile model of reality he had built for himself to remain sane, my heart was aching to reach out and hold him, ease the pain of the man who had to cling desperately to the rule that ends justify the means even though he didn't really believe it.
What defeated me completely was the way he just looked at me when I offered to comfort him and then simply came closer and let me take him into my arms and stroke his hair until he fell asleep. He didn't fight because of some stupid pride but accepted my strength as something natural. And that doesn't happen to me very often. Even Mulder always tries to protect me from whatever he is after, humiliating me in the most subtle of ways. Alex just accepted the fact that when he was hurt, I was the stronger one, and respected it, letting me take care of him.
I was lying in my bed, with my arms full of the man I used to consider my worse enemy, and I felt the warmest, sweetest feeling spread all over me. I knew I was in deep trouble.
When I woke up the next morning, he was still there, warm and solid against me, his steady breathing tickling my neck. Following a sudden impulse, I ran my hands over his back, admiring the well-defined muscles slightly tensing under my fingers.
I always had this thing for athletic guys, God knows why. After all, the perfectly reasonable woman that I am, I should be immune to the archetype of a strong male protecting me, the feeble female. Yet, every time a tall guy with bulging muscles steps in my way, my knees immediately go weak. That's what attracted me to Ed Jersey in the first place - I don't usually go with guys I meet in tattoo parlors, or anywhere else for that matter, but when he stood there before me, towering over me and depriving me of any wider perspective, I just couldn't resist him.
In fact, the lanky frame of my partner was the only flaw in the perfect image of Mulder I used to keep in my head. Well, that and his horrible taste in ties. It was also the thing that helped me not to try and move our relationship on more personal ground. At first I was even proud of myself as I became interested in a man that didn't wake the animal lust in me, but now I suspect I simply confused love with admiration. How else can I account for the fact that I came to terms with the realisation that our relationship would forever remain platonic that easily?
Krycek on the other hand... My, he's built like a tank. Those broad shoulders, deep chest and muscular thighs used to give me wet dreams even when I was supposed to hate him. Add to that the aura of danger that always surrounds him, the overwhelming excitement at the realisation that even now, unarmed and one-handed, he could easily kill me in dozens of different ways he had mastered at the course of his "career", and you're still nowhere near the realisation of how damn sexy he was.
And that fine specimen of a man was lying right next to me in my bed. No one can blame me that I simply couldn't keep my hands off that powerful body.
<Sorry, that's it>