At the police station ...
Mulder, his eyes glittering and his whole face rigid with anger, is pushing and shoving Krycek along the corridor. Krycek, with his wrists handcuffed behind his back, is off balance and concentrating on not falling. There's a tight forbearing quality to the set of his mouth, but otherwise there's a perfect patient self-containment to his expression. At the end of the hallway Mulder grabs him by the back of the neck and thrusts him towards the open door of the interview room.
Scully, standing at the table, looks up and winces as Krycek stumbles on the threshold and hits his head against the side of the door frame: but his cool composure barely flickers. As he blinks from the blow Mulder grabs him again and shoves him into the room.
Krycek fetches up against the table, opposite Scully. Her eyes are on his face, but his are downcast, avoiding her gaze. Mulder has pulled out the wooden chair from his side of the table.
"Sit," he orders, visibly restraining himself from grabbing Krycek again.
Krycek, his head bent as if anticipating a blow, sits. For a moment Mulder stands glaring down at him. Scully, watching Krycek's profile, is struck by the graceful unfolding quality of his movement as he raises his head and looks at Mulder. His expression is one of compliant repose ever so delicately tinted with reproach.
Mulder catches him a stinging slap across the mouth that snaps Krycek's head to one side, towards Scully.
"Don't even look at me, you piece of shit," he snarls.
Scully, shocked, sees Krycek slowly and deliberately open his eyes and, with his head still turned, touch the tip of his tongue to the corner of his mouth where a little smear of blood is collecting, then close his mouth, setting his lips in a calm resolute line. Scully has an uncomfortable feeling that if Krycek would cry out or struggle or plead then Mulder, gratified, would let him alone: but his ability to absorb punishment is an unspoken challenge that provokes Mulder.
Mulder is drawing back his hand again: Krycek catches the movement out of the corner of his eye - he doesn't quite flinch, but Scully sees his face tighten and the faintest crease appear across the bridge of his nose.
"Mulder, no," she says sharply. Mulder stops, his hand in mid-air, and looks at her, surprised and annoyed. "Go and get the disc." She makes her tone gentler, coaxing compliance.
For a second he looks as if he's going to refuse. Then his eyes flicker away from hers, confused. He looks down at Krycek, who continues to hold his head turned to one side, his face expressionless.
"Alright." Mulder agrees, but grudgingly. He leans down to Krycek so close that when he speaks Scully can almost see his breath stirring the fine dark hair by Krycek's ear. "Catch you later, Krycek," he says softly. "I'll know where to find you. Even in a sewer shit always sinks to the bottom, right?" Krycek remains stony faced. Disgusted, Mulder turns away and walks out, slamming the door behind him.
Scully expects Krycek to ease back a little once Mulder leaves. She's waiting for some slackening in the tension visible in him, so she's doubly struck by what she sees. He bends his head, his gaze on the floor, but his eyes won't settle: Scully catches the glint of his eyes as he flicks a sidelong glance at her, but instantly his gaze flinches away again. The tip of his chin gives a little jerk, and she sees the muscle of his jaw flex as his teeth clench.
Scully walks round the table, taking a clean folded handkerchief from her jacket pocket. She bends down to Krycek and delicately dabs at the corner of his mouth. As she does so he flinches and blinks, but then with a visible effort he masters himself and stays still.
"Are you okay?" She's a doctor, she's only asking out of habit. It's not like she particularly cares.
"Yeah. I'm fine. Leave me alone." He's a good liar normally, but right now she can easily hear the panic in his voice, lifting its pitch above his normal low husky tone.
Scully stands back a step and looks down at him. This doesn't make sense. It seemed to cost him nothing when Mulder was here; now that he's gone Krycek is wound up like a spring. She's here to try and fill in the gaps in the story Krycek has already told Mulder, and her father always said you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Besides, getting information out of Alex Krycek by force is a job for a burly KGB man with a sharp blade and a strong stomach, not a five foot two FBI agent hampered by a basic sense of humanity. Her best bet here is doing a 'good cop bad cop' routine with the absent Mulder playing bad cop.
"You're going to push Mulder too far and he's going to kill you," she begins, trying to infuse a degree of 'like I give a rat's ass' into her voice.
Krycek lifts his head towards her readily enough, but only slowly and reluctantly raises his eyes to even the level of her throat. He studiously refuses to look her in the face.
"I'm not afraid of Mulder," he says hesitantly, the emphasis all on the name, not the emotion; then hastily lowers his eyes and bends his head again.
"Who then?" Scully's voice is almost tender. There's something so vulnerable about him, about the dark slender line of his bent neck, about the dark crescents of his eyelashes trembling on the skin of his cheeks.
Krycek lifts his head, then slowly, tantalizingly, he starts to lift his eyelids. His face doesn't seem to move, yet his expression slightly softens.
"You." He closes his eyes, as if the words are drawn out of him only with a little pain.
Scully's first thought is that Alex Krycek is the greatest mind-fucker in history, and it would be a mercy all round if Mulder came back and knocked his cocky head off. But not the least of Scully's virtues is an ability to be angry and still think clearly. Krycek has to be lying about this, but something is scaring him. He's good at keeping his face under control, but he can't mask the fine shudder in his body, or his quick shallow breathing, and most of all the haunted uncertain look in his eyes.
Wait a second. Scully realizes she's giving a poetic description of some symptoms of concussion - trembling, rapid breathing, problems focusing. The fall against the doorway didn't look hard enough to cause it, but she might have misjudged. And besides, given the level of abuse Mulder was dishing out in front of her, she's afraid to imagine what he might have done to Krycek before they got to the police station. She is looking for a head wound. All she can see is the little raw red graze on his left temple from the doorframe, and that doesn't even look swollen. Still ... lightly she touches the tips of her fingers to the skin around it.
Krycek jerks back, and then as if angry at himself, he sits tense and still, breathing in little shallow catches, evidently forcing himself to hold still under her hands.
This is too weird. Imagine if - no, no way. He doesn't mean a bit of it, and he can't expect her to believe a bit of it. But he's angling for something. Experimentally she touches his temple again. He doesn't move. He's almost too still; as if he is forcing himself not to react. Whisper light she touches one fingertip to the sharp bone of his cheek. She feels a tiny tremor run through him. If he's acting, then the theater lost a true son when Alex Krycek joined the FBI. She leans over a little more, putting her face close to his. Krycek's breath is ragged and uneven: a little muscle at the side of his mouth tightens as he presses his lips together.
She moves a fraction closer, exhaling against his mouth, and he catches his breath, making a little sound in his throat. Scully, teasing out each second, just touches her parted lips to his. Krycek gives a long deliberate groan: Scully feels the tension leave him, his mouth softens and opens under hers. She pulls away and he makes a little movement of his chin to follow her, then leans back, his eyes open, confused and uncertain.
"Is what you told Mulder the truth?" Her voice is an endearment. A shadow of pained shame passes over Krycek's face and he looks down: he gives the slightest turn of his head. No. Scully leans towards him again. "Alex, tell me." She has a certain pang of discomfort purposely using his first name. For a second he is silent - not refusing to answer, just trying to speak.
"There's nothing in the locker - it's empty," he falters, his voice husky and sensual, yet self conscious and unsteady. He ducks his head again, embarrassed to have to admit his own duplicity to her.
"So where's the disc?" Scully coaxes, cupping his jaw in one gentle hand.
"His apartment." He winces slightly, expecting outrage perhaps, but Scully pulls back, her face breaking into a sudden smile. This man is truly shameless.
"Where?" she laughs.
"Mulder's apartment. Under the bed. Taped to the underneath." Krycek looks up at her, still embarrassed, but shrugging slightly, as much as to say 'hey, I'm only doing my job'.
Scully straightens up, pulling her handgun out from the holster on the back of her waistband.
"Where?" Krycek asks, wide-eyed.
Scully figures that Krycek may have thought telling Mulder to go to Arlington was a good idea, what with Mulder in his face and slapping him around. If he thinks she's going to go running off to Mulder's apartment to find out he's lying to her too, he's wrong. She's bringing him with her. That way if he's making it up, she can kick his butt on the spot, instead of having to come all the way back here and then find that Mulder has beaten her to it. Though looking at Krycek's wide-eyed look of surprise, you'd think he'd never told a lie in his life.
"To get the disc, of course. Unless you'd rather stay here and wait for Mulder to come back?" Scully cocks one eyebrow skeptically. What Mulder is going to be like when he realizes he has been given the run-around does not bear thinking about. Krycek may have solved his immediate problem with regard to her partner, but it's time for him to plan against Mulder's return. Krycek actually smiles slightly as he dips his sleek head.
"No - I'll go with you."
At Mulder's apartment Scully opens the front door then stands back to let Krycek go in ahead of her. He stops in the living room but Scully gestures with the gun in her hand towards the bedroom.
"Show me," she instructs. She realizes all too clearly that Mulder's apartment and one small FBI agent, even if armed offers Krycek far more chance of escape than the police station. Which presumably is why Krycek is willing to trade the disc's location for the trip here. Assuming it's here at all, which she severely doubts.
Krycek walks into the bedroom, Scully following behind. Mulder's bedroom is a mess. It's amazing he can collect so much chaos in a room almost entirely taken up by the bed. Discarded clothes litter the floor and festoon the chair; at least she's assuming there's a chair under there. Videotapes and their empty cases, some with deeply unedifying pictures on them, litter the top of the TV and the floor around the VCR. Any small spaces left are taken up with cups and mugs containing vintage dregs. One particularly prize specimen on the nightstand is developing a miniature lawn of pale blue mold.
The bed is unmade - duvet piled up at the foot of the mattress, one pillow tangled up in it, another on the floor in front of the bed, two more still at the headboard. 'What the hell does he be doing in here?' Scully wonders, then hastily skitters away from that line of thought. Krycek picks his way through the chaos to the foot of the bed.
"There, right in that corner," he says, gesturing with the tip of his shoulder.
Scully turns her head, motioning him back.
"Sit on the other side of the bed." As he does so, she holsters her gun, then slips her jacket off and adds it to the top of the pile of clothes on the chair. She turns so she can still keep an eye on Krycek, then kneels down and feels with the flat of one hand on the underside of the bed. To her amazement her fingers encounter the smooth mat surface of a disc, and the drying remains of two strips of tape. She pulls it away and lifts it out to look at it. Miracles on miracles. This is the disc described in the message - small black label, a smudge of red ink on the blank side.
She's not taking any chances - if this is the real thing then the opening sequence will include the same code key that Mulder obtained from CancerMan. She's going nowhere until she boots this on Mulder's computer and takes a look at it.
Forever afterwards she can only assume that the combination of curiosity, excitement, and the sheer shock of realizing that there is even a chance that Krycek isn't lying, effected her judgment. She glances around the room: Krycek's hands are cuffed behind him, and even if they weren't, he'd have little chance of finding anything in here to serve as a weapon against an automatic. In fact he'd have a problem finding the floor in here. And she leaves him where he is while she goes to the desk in the living room.
It takes little more than a minute for her to run enough of the disc to see it's the one Mulder is hunting. She turns away from the screen quickly. God only knows what Krycek imagines he's going to achieve by letting her see this disc, but while she's on a roll she's going to get him out here and see if she can get the second code key out of him.
It must be two years since she had that conversation with Mulder as to whether or not someone who had their hands cuffed behind them could get their hands in front of them by curling up in a fetal position and passing their hands under their legs. Mulder had linked his fingers together and demonstrated a complete inability to achieve it. She had been laughing so much and felt so silly that she couldn't even keep her fingers interlaced. And besides, as Mulder had rather meanly pointed out, her legs weren't long enough for her to be taken as a typical case.
Well, now she knows. It can be done. Even by a six-foot plus solidly built man. Must have something to do with a supple spine or narrow hips or something.
Scully makes a snatch for her gun, but even as she does so she knows she's too late. Krycek, standing by the side of the bed, gets his two hands clasped together and starts swinging them up fast. She can see this coming - one clean right to left blow to the head that will bounce her off the wall, then a two handed grab of her hair, and he's going to put her head through that plasterboard.
But he hesitates, his hands faltering in mid air. She actually gets the gun free and around her side. Then he decides. He makes a left to right swing at her wrist. The impact sends the gun flying. It lands on the bed and comes to rest on the far edge of the mattress. For one second Scully just looks at it, waiting for the smack on the head. So amazed that Alex Krycek of all people should be doing this wrong. He should bury her first and then worry about her gun. And he's stuck again, his hands at chest height, his face blank but his eyes a storm of aggression and indecision.
Scully doesn't waste the next second. She launches herself at the bed, hand outstretched for the gun. But when she hits the mattress on her stomach the gun falls off the edge and lands on the carpet. She pulls herself across after it and gets her arm over the edge of the bed, reaching for the floor. Krycek hits the bed hip first behind her, grabs her by the back of her skirt and pulls her back. Scully thrashes over onto her back and he loses the handful of cloth, but gets his two hands into the waistband at the front of her skirt and drags her further back. Her holster pulls off her waistband and gets stuck between her spine and the mattress, digging into her back. The smooth viscose fabric of her skirt catches against the cotton undersheet and rides up over her thighs. She is suddenly acutely aware of an inch of bare skin between the tops of her stockings and the rucked up hem of her skirt.
Krycek hangs onto her waistband and moves his knees to straddle her hips and kneels down on her. There is only a clean honest anger in his eyes, but the touch of her bare skin against the taut seat of his jeans makes Scully uncomfortably aware of her situation. She convulses up and tries to claw at him, but he's kneeling upright, and his height and the length of his arms make it easy for him to avoid her nails, and he snags her hands in the chain of the handcuffs and closes his fingers around her wrists.
"What the hell are you doing?" His voice is full of carefully controlled anger. "Are you planning on shooting me? I gave you the disc: I'm trying to help you."
"Help me? Why would you help me? I don't know what you think you're going to gain by letting me get a look at that disc but I know you're after something."
For a second he just looks at her. The anger just drains out of him. "You know. You know why." His voice is very low and quite soft. Scully, flat on her back with her prisoner on top of her, her gun on the carpet and her holster in her back, has had about as much as she intends to take.
"Oh cut the crap! You think I buy that act? Please. I don't know what you're after, but I know you'd bury me in a second, and believe me I'd be just as glad to return the compliment if I wasn't hampered by the law."
She truly doesn't believe him for a second. He's playing some elaborate game, pretending to believe she was buying his bullshit. But the breaking edge of rage in his voice seems very real.
"That's it. That's fucking it. I have had it with you. I've had it with you and I've had it with that fucking lunatic Mulder. Mulder the genius psycho-profiler. That's a fucking joke. Why doesn't he profile the bulge in his fucking underwear?"
This is so unexpected that Scully actually stops struggling and just looks at him in amazement.
"Jesus, it's fucking pathetic. The man is practically begging for it and he won't admit it. Not even to his own fucking self. Christ all fucking mighty! If he's that hot for it why doesn't he just bend the fuck over? Jesus, I think I'd fucking do it just to get him off my fucking case."
Scully feels a red-hot wave of sheer rage welling up in the top of her stomach. It's like a million-fold version of how she feels when someone accuses Mulder of being a whacked out space cadet chasing little green men. It's not that they don't have a point, it's just she gets mad when people laugh at someone for something that person can't help and can't hide.
That's how she feels right now. It's not that she thinks that Krycek is actually wrong - in fact a certain percentage of her brain is testing the idea against Mulder's behavior in the interview room, and thinking 'Yes, it's true'. What's making her mad is that Alex Krycek, a man with the moral instincts of a cockroach, should presume to laugh at Mulder for suffering the pangs of conscience.
"You shut the fuck up!" Krycek grips her wrists tighter, and leans down towards her a little. Scully, hardly breathing, presses her head back against the mattress. "You, you bitch," he spits. "You're getting as fucking weird as he is. What is it - contagious? You catch it from him in that fucking basement? If I'm fucking you around then what the fuck was that crap you pulled back there? You kissed me. Why did you do that to me? You're out of your fucking mind too!"
"Well it worked didn't it?" Scully snaps. Even as she does so she realizes it is not very smart to point that out, but it's too late. Convulsively she twists in his grip. His hands must be starting to sweat: there's give between the skin of her wrists and his palms. She turns hard again in the opposite direction and he loses his grasp. A little off balance he tries to catch her arm again, and doing so he lifts his weight off her hips slightly. Scully has a little momentum going now and she keeps twisting. She manages to get half way over onto her side leaning on one elbow. She starts dragging herself out from under him. Her holster gets dragged with her, but she grabs it and flings it out of her way. She gets her legs free down as far as her knees, one hand reaching for the far edge of the bed.
Krycek gets hold of the arm she's leaning on and yanks it out from under her. Scully falls back on the mattress but straight away she tries to gain some purchase with the heels of her hands to keep sliding free from him. For a split second she has a mad thought that if Mulder was any good he'd have satin sheets on the bed and Krycek would have as much hope of hanging onto her as he would of holding onto a greased snake. Krycek can't move fast enough to kneel on her and stop her, but he sees exactly what she's trying to do, and throws his weight forward, his hips and thighs pinning her flat against the bed from the waist down.
Scully brings her two hands up, trying to get at his face, but the chain blocks her again and he manages to get hold of her wrists, pulling them together. He is taking the weight of his torso on one elbow, which is by her shoulder, and holding her hands against the mattress over her head. His face is only a few inches away from hers, and the angle isn't ideal, but Scully knows that headbutting him is the only option she has; but with him this close she needs to get some momentum going if she is going to have any chance of hurting him. She presses her spine down hard into the bed and tries to rock her hips up, to get a bit of a swing going -
He has a hard on. Really. A rock solid bulge that fits into the hollow at the top of her thighs.
From the second she walked back into the bedroom Scully knew that she had screwed up royally. If she was going to leave Krycek unsupervised she should have handcuffed him to something. She didn't and that was stupid, and she would have had no one but herself to blame if he had taken the opportunity, and slugged her one and taken the disc and hightailed it. But this isn't taking an opportunity; this is taking a frigging liberty. Scully is angry and horrified and -
"Get away from me you pervert," she snarls. This is exactly what she knows you shouldn't do in a situation like this. A bit of her back brain is helpfully compiling edited highlights from the 'Guidelines on Personal Safety for Female Field Agents'. Don't be confrontational. Don't show any awareness of your attacker's sexual arousal. And don't struggle if you can't make it count. Well she's busted the first two already, and the third is impossible: she's so furious she can't help squirming in the hope of getting enough room for maneuver to rip his miserable eyes out and shove them up his nostrils.
The thought of doing that is so great that she locks her gaze on the eyes in question, half hoping she'll turn out to be one of Mulder's psychokinetic freaks and she'll be able to achieve the desired result by sheer willpower.
Scully has a thing about butterflies. She doesn't trust them. Once, when she was little more than a tot, a butterfly landed on her arm when she was playing in the yard. Naturally she had been delighted by this little living bow of pearly white, fringed by the most delicate red blush. The butterfly had remained there, slowly fanning its wings, open and closed. Moving slowly so as not to startle it Dana had raised her hand to look more closely.
And been confronted for the first time with the strange faintly mechanical construction of a butterfly's head and legs. She had, she later supposed, been expecting a sort of flying caterpillar - fat and furry. Not this glossy black thing with its attenuated machine legs and its antennae making blind circles in the air.
And then the butterfly, drawn perhaps by some trace of honey or sugar on the child's skin from breakfast, had unrolled its tongue. Dana had jerked her hand away, knocking the butterfly into the air, and wiped her hand against her dungarees. Looking at the butterfly as it fluttered over the fence into the neighbors' honeysuckle hedge, Dana had thought ruefully that it would be better if things were either nice like caterpillars or nasty like slugs, so you would know what to expect. Half-and-half things like the butterfly gave you a fright.
She still likes to see butterflies fluttering around. She doesn't freak if one comes in the window or gets into the car. She has never killed a butterfly as she once caught Mulder killing a large silverfish, by dropping a case-file folder onto it and then jumping onto the folder. But when she sees one she can't help feeling again that rueful resentment. She likes to know where she stands with things, and it's not fair when you look at something pretty and then you see it's not pretty at all, it's horrid.
Well it seems that God feels bad about the butterfly too, and at this late stage is trying to make it up to her. She had looked at it expecting to be enchanted, and she felt disgusted. She looked at Krycek expecting to be disgusted, and ...
She wanted to tear his eyes out and leave him with two blank black holes in the sockets. She realizes it would be kind of redundant. His eyes couldn't be deeper or blanker than they are already. He's looking down at her, but it's as if he's focusing on something else, something between his face and hers, something she can't see.
The morning mist is burning off outside, and the early sunshine is slanting through the half open blinds. A thin bar of white light is falling across the bridge of his nose, and illuminating just a sliver at the bottom of each iris. She always thought his eyes were dark. If she'd had to fill out an arrest sheet for him she'd have put 'eyes: brown' or even 'eyes: black' because there isn't enough room in the box to put 'very dark brown'.
But they're not. They're green: the most amazing flat even shade of teal green. People don't have eyes that are all one color. Eyes have shadings, little lines or flecks of color that you have to look for. That's why the eye color box on the arrest sheet is such a waste of time: cops take one look at someone and put down 'hazel'. The ID sheet in her file says 'eyes: hazel'; so if she was killed and all they recovered was her eyeballs, they are never going to figure out that it's her.
But his eyes are just green. There is perhaps the slightest suggestion of a lighter shade at the edge nearest the pupil: maybe that is just really green, as opposed to really really green. She can't tell, even with the sunlight shining right into them. She can't see well enough because his eyelashes are casting a shadow. Guys always have great eyelashes, but his are incredible: long thick black crescents; and even as she's noticing this he doesn't quite blink, but there's a slight tensing and then relaxing of the skin around his eyes, and his eyelashes dip and then lift. And the slow, fragile beat proves it to her. God really is sorry about the thing with the butterfly.
For a second the whole thing seems to take on a dreamlike quality. Scully stops struggling and draws breath to speak. What's going through her head is something like 'Okay, so it wasn't the butterfly's fault, it didn't scare me on purpose; and you may be the most amoral scumbag on earth, but you do have incredible eyes: so now I know, and you can get the hell off of me'.
As she opens her mouth to speak she knows she isn't going to say that exactly, but she has no doubt that the end result will be the same. She may not have the disc, but at least he didn't put her head through the wall when he had the chance, and anything will be an improvement on finding herself on Mulder's bed with Alex Krycek of all people on top of her.
And then he -
He has a mouth like a blade. Cool, hard, the touch of his teeth like glints of light. It's not that he's kissing her hard, it's that his face, his mouth, even his tongue have a cool firm quality, like living stone.
Mulder's mouth is all over the place. He can't have two brain cells firing at the same time without his mouth moving. Holly in the record office has this theory that Fox Mulder's mouth leads a full and varied social life without the benefit of Fox Mulder. With Krycek, Scully realizes, it's all in the eyes. His mouth gives nothing away. It's cool and careful and tastes of something faintly sweet. And then, as he leans into her mouth a little harder, his tongue against the edges of her teeth, there's another taste, stronger. Blood. Kissing her has opened up the cut in his mouth where Mulder hit him. Mulder.
Oh God. She's on Mulder's bed kissing a man who kills people for money. Not even the corrupting wealth of kings, just pretty much the same money he'd have made if he'd stayed in the FBI. In fact she takes that back. He doesn't do it for money, he does it for the hell of it: he likes it. With a smothered scream she manages to spit Krycek's tongue back out of her mouth and turn her head away.
"Get off me. Get the hell off me you...jerk!"
Krycek pulls back. His grip on her wrists which, Scully only now realizes, had loosened, tightens up again.
"Shit!" She says it out loud but she's really talking to herself. She should have bitten his lying tongue off when she had the chance, and now it's too late: she blew it. He has an elbow on each side of her head, his grip on her wrists is tight enough to hurt, and he has pulled back so that his face is about a foot from hers. Scully considers praying. 'Dear God, please make that lying thieving murdering bastard come back down here so I can rip his throat out with my bare teeth.' No, you can't ask God for stuff like that.
You don't need to ask God for stuff like that. Don't they say that God helps those that help themselves? If she can't get him back down here, it won't be for want of trying. Okay, so she is asking him to be the same kind of stupid twice in the one day, but then again, she's still aware of his erection rock hard against her. Anyhow, at this point she doesn't feel like she has a lot to lose.
Scully can't look him in the eye - she'll end up spitting at him and he'll know she's bullshitting him, so when she turns her head towards him she closes her eyes and tries to smooth out her face. He's really leaning on her and there's not much room for maneuver, but she manages to produce a slight lift of her hips. He presses down harder on her, trying to keep her still. He knows she's up to something, he's just not sure what.
He's on her so closely she really can't move. Then she realizes that, sensibly enough, he's concentrating on keeping her hands and her bodyweight under control. But from the thighs down she's pretty much free: he has his legs outside hers, and she wouldn't be able to lift her knee or her foot very far. But there's nothing to stop her...
...Scully opens her legs slowly. She doesn't want to move too suddenly or he'll get spooked, and she's unconsciously holding her breath, half expecting to feel his knees pinning her legs down. But she gets away with it. With her skirt still rucked up she can get her legs far enough apart that his hips sort of tip down into the space between them, and to settle himself he moves his legs, lifting each knee over hers, so that he is lying between her legs.
That alone gives Scully more space. She considers trying to twist out from under him, but he still has a good grip on her wrists, and she can't afford to make a mistake here - she may be lucky enough to get away with this stunt twice, but no one is going to buy it a third time. She has to make this one count. She starts to rock her hips, slow and easy. After half a dozen lifts she can move even more freely: he seems to be raising his bodyweight slightly.
"Please," Scully says softly, urgently. It's the first word of an internal commentary that goes along the lines of 'Please let this work, please, please' so it is said with real conviction. She is just making up her mind to open her eyes and see if he's buying this, when she feels him lean down on her again. Damn. Is she busted? He lifts away again, even more so. What the hell is he doing?
Oh. He's doing what she's doing - when she lifts he goes with her, when she backs off he leans into her. Scully decides that getting to kill Krycek with a blunt ax wouldn't be worth this, and is just about to open her eyes and tell him so, when she feels a sudden cool rush of breath on her forehead. She does open her eyes, but she keeps her mouth shut.
Perfect. His head is bent down, almost touching hers. His eyes are closed, actually closed, the idiot. For a second she is looking at the dark golden slightly glossy skin of his eyelids, and those incredible long black eyelashes trembling against the skin of his cheekbones. His grip on her wrists is slackening off. If she jerks her hands out hard he's not going to be able to hold her.
Don't do anything stupid Dana, she tells herself. You're doing great. Another minute of this and he'll have to get off you to go phone for flowers. She decides not to take the risk of just trying to get away from him and hoping she can get to her gun before he can get hold of her again. She needs to inflict some damage, give him something else to think about while she gets away. If she can just get him to turn his head a bit...
She lifts her head a little off the bed, trying to put her cheek against his. Krycek opens his eyes and pulls back a fraction. His hands flex on her wrists. Scully feels her face flush and a hot ball of anger gets stuck in her throat - which is a mercy, because otherwise she'd be hissing at him 'What is your problem? My God, if I take my shoe off in the car to fix the toe of my stocking Mulder forgets what side of the road to drive on. Surely to God you can make an effort and forget that my greatest ambition in life is to have Mulder set you on fire so I can toast marshmallows'.
What actually gets out around the lump in her throat is a small inarticulate noise half way between a groan and a sob, and her head lifts off the bed again as she tries to swallow and clear her throat.
And Krycek dips his head down to meet her, and puts one cool cheek against her hot forehead and starts to speak to her softly.
"It's all right, it's all right. I wouldn't hurt you. I could never hurt you. You're like my guardian angel. You saved my life; Mulder would have killed me, and you saved my life. I haven't forgotten. I didn't mean to scare you. I'm sorry. I just got crazy. You make me crazy. I truly don't care about the disc, to hell with it. We're on different sides, and I don't play by your rules, but I have my reasons. I'm so sorry for everything I've done that hurt you. Forgive me; I want you so much ..."
While Krycek is speaking he is stroking his face gently against hers, so that she can feel the cool light touch of his eyelashes, the tip of his nose, the ridge of his top lip. For the first second or two all Scully can think is that she's had a change of heart - she's going to light the fire and Mulder can toast the marshmallows.
Then she realizes that as Krycek moves his head, stroking his lips against her temple, he is stretching his throat out next to her mouth. That's it, she's going to do it. She's going to tear his jugular out and spit it in his face. She takes a deep breath, holds it. She's looking for the vein. His skin is a pale amber color; there's a faint trace of black beard, not bristle, just a shadow to show where the bristle will be; and a clean sharp smell like soap and - almonds, maybe? It's tough finding veins in skin that dark. Scully doesn't figure it's made any easier by having Krycek change the emphasis of his movements. Instead of just rocking with her hips he starts to push against her, dipping his pelvis then lifting against her, so that she can feel his erection in the hollow of her crotch. It's only when she lets her breath go in an explosive sigh that she realizes she was still holding it.
Okay. Scully tells herself that she can do this. She's jacked up enough to kill him with a toothpick if necessary. Her face feels like it's on fire - Krycek's skin and even his breath feel like cool water by comparison. Her heart is going like a trip hammer and her breathing is ragged and uneven. Consciously she takes another deep shaky breath and holds it. 'You can do this Dana' she tells herself. 'The gun barely slid off the edge of the bed: it's right beside you. You just have to get him off you for two seconds.'
She decides to go for it. Apart from anything else she doesn't think she can cope with this for much longer. Rubbing against his jeans must be irritating the bare skin at the tops of her thighs, because it feels as if she can differentiate every thread and fiber of the fabric. Also there's a kind of heavy dragging sense of pressure in her pelvis that's making her worried that his weight on her is going to make her joints seize up and she's not going to be able to move fast enough to get away if she waits much longer. Again she lets her breath out in a rush and swallows another gulp of air. Okay. On three. One. Two -
He lets her go. He lets go of her wrists and his whole body just lifts and is gone. For a second she is too stunned to move. It must be the adrenaline, because her entire body is shaking like crazy, and with his weight gone off her she suddenly feels very cold and very light, as if she is going to float up off the bed. Another second and she is able to lift her head up and see what he's doing.
He's kneeling up between her legs. The first thing Scully registers is his face. His eyes: at this distance she can't make out the green; they look completely black, as if the pupil has dilated out entirely and taken over the iris. Like when someone is dead. And his mouth, perfectly calm, expressionless except for a slight tightening at the corners. So how does he give the impression of being at the eye of a storm? The image comes into her head of the coils of cold white vapor that fall down the front of the freezer when you open it on a hot day. He's like that.
Then she registers what he is doing. The waist and fly of his jeans are open and, having to work on one side at a time because of the cuffs, he is pushing them down over his hips. Some idiot part of Scully's brain keeps her there long enough to realize he isn't wearing anything under them. Guess Mulder didn't give him much time to get dressed. Then she flings herself away, twisting onto her stomach, her arm down over the side of the bed while she is still kicking away from him. The flat of her hand on the floor. Where is it? Her fingers close on a lump of dust and a sunflower seed husk. She sees it. When Krycek threw himself on the bed after her he must have pushed the bed over a few inches. The edge of the gun grip is sticking out from under the bed. Scully hooks one finger around the corner of the grip and tries to -
Krycek's two hands grab her by the waistband at the back of her skirt and pull her back. Scully, with a scream of rage and frustration, twists onto her back. That's it. She has to kill him now before he can get a proper grip on her again.
"Don't you lie to me," Krycek cries. "Don't!"
"What?" Scully is actually so convulsed with rage that she can't attack him. She leans up on one elbow, her hair tangled over one eye, gasping for air, struggling for coherence and trying to hold onto what scrap of her sanity has made it this far. Krycek is straddling her thighs again, and he is holding two handfuls of the fabric at the neck of her blouse; he isn't gripping the cloth tight, he's just holding it, and most of his bodyweight is on his heels, but Scully's sense of being back where she started is putting the final touch to her fury.
"What are you talking about? I didn't say anything. And you - everytime you open your mouth what comes out is a lie. And you accuse me of lying?" Scully's voice is high and brittle with anger. She's surprised she can even speak at all.
"I didn't mean in words." Krycek sounds mad too, but he also sounds...
"Just take your hands off me, Krycek."
"All right I will - if you still want me to in a minute." There's an ominous calm quality to Krycek's voice, and an even more ominous lack of calm in his eyes, but Scully is way past caution.
"If I want you to?" she hisses. "You are out of your mind. You're deranged. You're disgusting. Do you really think I could want you to-" The last time Scully spat at someone she was five years old and her father told her he was ashamed of her. So it's lack of practice that stops her hitting his eye, because that's where she's aiming. She doesn't know where it went - possibly her mouth is too dry from anger for her to have had anything to actually spit, but Krycek takes the intention for the deed anyway.
"Dana, that's enough!" he says, as if speaking to a child getting out of hand. He grabs her by the shoulder and pushes her over onto her stomach. Instantly Scully gets up on her two elbows and starts trying to combat crawl her way to the edge of the bed again. Krycek passes his handcuffed wrists over her head and under her raised shoulders, then lifts her. Scully tries to duck down under his grasp, but she's only half on her knees and can't get much lower. Krycek passes his hands down her body as he kneels behind her and his arms are around her.
He wraps one arm around her waist as far as possible, so that he can use the other hand to push his jeans down further and slide her skirt right up to her hips. Scully is twisting and pulling, but with his hands cuffed together he'd have a problem letting her out of his arms even if he wanted to. She succeeds in getting up onto her knees, but Krycek moves with her, putting one knee close outside each of hers; and kneeling up the top of her head is only on a level with his mouth, so that although she flings her head back hard, hoping to hit him, he avoids it easily.
Krycek gets his elbows in against her ribcage and reaches down. Scully tries to escape his hands by bending over, pushing her pelvis back. Like an electric shock she feels the touch of his bare thigh against her behind and straightens up with a jerk.
To keep her still Krycek spreads his knees a little more and presses his pelvis against her. Scully feels the cool hard head of his erection sliding against the nylon of her stockings as he pushes in between her thighs. She jerks forward, trying to pull away from him, but he stays with her, making no attempt to get up into her, just keeping his pelvis tucked up against her.
"Easy. I'm not going to hurt you. I swear I don't want to hurt you."
"Then let me alone" she snarls. "You think I want this? You're out of-"
He doesn't try to get her underwear down. He just slides his hands down inside. His left hand he presses flat against her pubic bone, pulling her back against him. As she feels his right hand slide downwards she twists her head around, trying to see his face. Her heart lurches, stops, then races. She has to stop him. If he touches her... Panic stricken she grabs his wrists and tries to pull his hands away from her.
"YOU-" She only succeeds in jolting his hand.
Krycek has a sudden image in his head of trying to pick up an impossibly over ripe peach. Although his fingers are softly curved and relaxed, his fingertips break through a warm dryness one molecule thick into sweet soaking softness, and like peach juice the wetness once opened spreads: he fans his fingers out over her and his palm is wet, and the skin in the angles of her thighs, and the crotch of her underwear.
Scully can't breathe in. Or maybe it's that she can't breath out. Either way lack of oxygen is making her head pound and she's not sure she can stay up on her knees.
Krycek is concentrating on holding her back against him; he's not trying to hold her up. So when her thigh muscles give a little she slips in his grip. His fingertips slide into heat and wetness with no resistance. She puts her hand over his, trying to push it further down; when he spreads his fingers against her opening she stretches her middle finger along his and presses it into her.
Her breath comes out in an explosive rush. She doesn't make another sound, but she starts making a tiny rocking motion of her hips, and her breathing is coming in rapid uneven jerks. He pushes his finger in all the way. At first she seems to him to be a formless space of heat and wet and softness. Then a small internal shudder goes through her and he feels his finger contained in a grip of soft hot tight velvet.
Scully is having a problem holding her head up. She feels as if her skull suddenly weighs a ton, and the only place to rest it is against Krycek's shoulder. She leans back, the back of her head fitting into the curve between his shoulder and his neck. Krycek slides his finger out again. Scully makes a noise - just a tiny meaningless sound like a spasm in her throat.
With his left hand he parts the lips of her vulva and with the middle finger of his right he touches her clitoris. She is so wet and he is stroking so lightly and so slowly that at first the sensation is little more than a delicate shiver. But he is experimenting - testing the point of contact, moving the tip of his finger more to one side, then to the other. He knows when he gets it just right by the way she turns her head sharply on his shoulder. Her eyes have drifted closed, but when he takes his hand away she opens them again. Is he stopping?
Krycek wipes the tips of his fingers against the skin inside her thigh. With his left hand he opens her more, lifting her clitoris onto the ridge of her pubic bone. When he touches it again the friction of his fingertip, still damp but not slippy, is like a sudden jagged flash. Scully catches her breath a little, then exhales hard. She can see a pulse beating in the fine skin right under the corner of his jaw, and she focuses intently on it.
Now that he has the spot he is searching for the right touch. He moves his fingertip up and down, then side to side, then in a small circle. He touches her so lightly that he is hardly touching her at all; he leans on her hard enough to make her momentarily try to pull away. He strokes slowly, lazily; then turns his touch to a rapid flutter.
Scully feels as if every change of pressure and speed and touch is a separate turn of a screw, tightening up some internal spring. She can feel a savage tension in the muscles of her behind, her pelvis, her thighs. She lifts her head from his shoulder, letting it fall forward, and breathes out hard.
She is consciously clenching every muscle, trying to increase the tension, trying to force it to some resolution - even if the resolution is only that she loses her mind; but the muscles of her vagina just ache, trying to get a grip on emptiness. She is suddenly aware of skin as smooth and cool as satin sliding against the hot crease between her behind and the back of her thigh. Scully pulls forward, and there is so little question of her trying to get away from him that Krycek actually leans back to give her space.
"Alright." Her voice is weird - hoarse and broken. She sounds as if someone tried to throttle her. She tries to steady and clear it, but overcompensates, so when she says, "Do it, go on", it sounds like she's telling someone to 'Get out of the car and keep your hands up'. Krycek leans into her again, pulling her back against him.
"Put it in then." His mouth is right beside her ear, and Scully feels a little shiver go down her spine at the stirring of his breath against the side of her face. She wriggles a tiny bit, and actually has her mouth open to say 'No, you do it' when she realizes that for him to get his hands down to his own crotch he would have to take his arms away from around her: and then she wouldn't have even the flimsiest illusion that this is only happening because she can't stop him.
"Do it: get it over with." The shape of the words might be interpreted as abusive, but there is no mistaking his tone - tender and caressing and faintly laughing at her. With a little squeak of annoyance and frustration, Scully bends over and reaches between her thighs. The fingers of one hand close around the cool smooth skin of his penis, with the other she pulls the crotch of her underwear to one side, out of her way. She guides him between her legs, smoothing him against her wetness, back and forth, before pushing him in a little. Then she leans back and down.
He goes in, in one long sliding thrust that drives her breath out in a shocked exhalation. The best bit though is that Krycek makes a stunned sound like a cry suddenly cut off. Scully kneels back on him. He rocks under her very slightly, but he's mostly concentrating on touching her.
Scully realizes that having him inside her is not necessarily going to help finish this. His hardness is pushing away whatever it is his hands are gathering up. Her heart is going a mile a minute, she can feel it in her head, her chest, her vagina - no, maybe that pulse is his. She isn't breathing, she's drowning in air - gulping and gasping and trying to lift her chin.
Then she starts to feel a coiling shuddering tightness and she's knows she's getting there. Caught between his cock and his hands she's taking one step back for every two forward, but at least she's heading in the right direction. She isn't even aware that she's biting her lower lip so hard that she's making a blood bruise.
It happens suddenly, and it stops suddenly. Just one powerful convulsion inside her, so strong as to be as much pain as pleasure. Her spine flexes like a whip, and she makes a sound she recognizes from the time she got hit in the face with a bathroom door.
She can't believe that's it. Having abandoned her decency, her self-respect, her sanity for God's sake, that's IT? Disgusted, mostly with herself, she pushes Krycek's hands away. She has a bad feeling that she's going to start crying.
"I felt that."
"Bully for you." She's horrified at the raw lost hurt sound of her voice.
"Turn around." He says it like her mother used to say 'Come here' when she'd see Dana trembling on the verge of tears but unwilling to ask for comfort. It's awkward, but she manages to pull off of him, turn in his embrace, and settle herself straddling his thighs. He looks at her with serious eyes. Behind her back his two hands are slowly smoothing up and down over the fabric of her blouse.
"Don't try so hard. It wants to happen... just let it." His hands are on her behind, guiding her up, and down onto him again. She reaches for him, tips her hips slightly to get a better angle, and he slides back inside her like his body knows the way now, and neither of them can stifle a slight gasp of pleasure.
Scully puts her arms loosely around his neck. Slowly she starts to move on him, up and down. Every three or four strokes she comes down hard and gives a little circular grind of her pelvis. Every time she does it she has the gratification of seeing those beautiful eyes narrow and then widen again. She picks up the pace very gradually, making each stroke more emphatic. Krycek's eyes look like they are on fire, but his face is perfectly still and his breathing is slow and even.
Scully cups her two hands along each side of his jaw. His skin is actually cool. How can he do this? Scully feels as if she is burning. Fascinated she smoothes her fingers over his cheeks. She leans into him and touches her lips to his mouth. Instantly he opens his mouth under hers and they are locked together, groin to groin and mouth to mouth. As his tongue slides over her teeth Scully has a sudden flash of this being the same kiss she gave him this morning in the police station, as if that instant came immediately before this one.
And remembering that previous moment, a lifetime of an hour ago, before she lost her mind, she hesitates slightly and draws back from him uncertainly. Krycek takes one look at her face and shakes his head once.
"Dana, don't even start with me." His mouth turns into a tight straight line. He pushes her back flat onto the bed, moving with her. Scully gets her feet flat on the bed, her knees bent, and lifts her pelvis; Krycek ploughs in, hard, grinds against her, deep, then draws back in a tidal rush. Again, driving into her, twisting his hips, trying to hurt her: trying to help her. Away from her. Again. In. His movements are so perfect, so reckless.
There is very little finesse to it, but Scully belated realizes it isn't about finesse. It's about something altogether more elemental than that. She looks at his eyes, hovering over hers. Speaking eyes. Something - not the color, not the shape, not the way they soak up the light, but there is something in Krycek's eyes that is the twin of the look Mulder gets when he is seeing some weird shit happening right in front of him.
Mulder likes to think that he is looking for the truth. Scully has always had her doubts. Who knows what happened to his sister? Maybe it was connected to William Mulder's work: the families of Black Op agents were not always considered sacrosanct during the Cold War. And 'Black Op' would seem to make more sense of William Mulder's career than 'the State Department'.
More likely she was one of those poor unfortunates: just taken and raped, killed, her body buried somewhere remote and never found.
But that's a possibility Mulder can never be brought to consider. What Samantha's loss did to his family is so painful that he can only understand it as part of some massive conspiracy, threatening everything: our lives, our world, our species. To confront it as a random meaningless act of violence is too much for him. Mulder is looking for spaceships in the sky to avoid seeing what's happening on the ground.
And she does the same, only different. From the time Jack Willis made her snort beer down her nose by telling her the first Spooky Mulder story she ever heard, Scully has felt that Mulder's biggest mistake is to be looking for a single unifying explanation for everything he's ever seen.
So when she came to work with him, she felt that the most valuable contribution she could make was to take the completely opposite approach: to assume that each individual incident, far from being proof of a wider truth, was a particular combination of causes and effects, with its own unique but perfectly logical explanation. Because that's what she's seeking - explanations. She became a doctor because she believed that disease, even death, lose their horror when you have enough knowledge, when you can understand. When you can explain.
Stupid. Trying to figure out why the toaster won't pop while the house is burning down around you.
This isn't a coherent stream of thought, but rather a sense of an opening dilating awareness inside Scully's head, as if every fact and every piece of knowledge were being absorbed into an expanding wordless certainty.
She puts her hands on Krycek's sides, sliding her palms up over his ribcage under his t-shirt. She can feel the sleek solid muscles working, bunching up and then smoothing out with each thrust and twist of his hips.
Knowledge and experience. She is a pathologist: she knows death in all its details. But she gets there when the corpse is cold, and picks over the bones of the mystery. Alex Krycek does it. Now she understands. There is a truth older than her science, older even than Mulder's magic.
Life and death and desire. That's the truth Alex Krycek is seeking for. He's a liar and a murderer, but he's right about one thing - there is a place where that doesn't matter, where what side they're on or what they have done just has no relevance. And right now that's where she is.
Her whole body lifts off the bed, her heart heaves into her mouth, her eyes are full tears. As he leans down over her, some childhood memory makes sense - a child enfolded by the wings of its guardian angel; because here she is, under the wings of an angel of death.
His gaze is blazing, and she suddenly seems to see some sign, some cryptic significance in the very shape and tilt of his eyes, in the narrow elegant form of his skull, in the careful restraint of his features.
There is a coarse sensuality to Mulder's face. Alex Krycek is... pure. Feeling her whole body tightening in long sweet lifts, it seems a strange time to reflect on semantics, but she finds herself turning the word in her head. Pure. It means 'cleansed by fire'. And he is; cleansed by the fire.
Her hands close on his arms. She slides her palms hastily up to his shoulders, his neck. Down over his chest. Over his back, down his sides, his hips. Everywhere he has a clean hard scorched perfection. Like the cold ashes of a fire. Something inside her, a helpless hopeless acceptance. A sense of something opening, blossoming. Her heart breaking perhaps? "Alex." Her tears welling over her eyelids. So unhappy. So unhappy. And Alex so cool, so untouchable. She puts her hands to his face, her fingers molding to his bones, a blind woman.
Heat. Not ashes at all. Embers. She can feel the warmth on his cheekbones. She touches the fingers of one hand to his mouth. He exhales hard, and she feels fire. Ice, thawing, melting, falling away. His mouth is open, soft, stunned, vulnerable. He gives a sudden gasp, and a cry like a cry of pure surprised pain. And the clean hard quality of his body just goes. He is suddenly a warm living man. Lost in so many wrong turnings, like a rat in a maze: forced to be smart, forced to be cold. But found now in the hot bare simplicity of her body. He gives a single long shudder, his eyes close, he frowns hard, a deep crease etching across the bridge of his nose. And he bites his lip.
The sight of that final betrayal of his own careful control sends her right over the edge. A sweet spasm of pleasure starting in her vagina, then flowing up her spine like a small wave onto sand, dying out just below her shoulder blades. Another, stronger, dying out between her shoulders. Another. Seven or eight in all, each separate and deliberate and spaced out. Each stronger than the last, reaching further up her spine, so that the last one lifts her head clear off the bed and she makes a sound she never heard coming of out her mouth before. The sound of the devils watching the damned burn.
And then she starts to laugh and Alex, leaning over her, gasping, starts to laugh too.
They just lie there, laughing. He rests one elbow to the side of her body and leans his weight on it, so that he is half on her and half beside her, his face turned to look at her. One of them calms down and gets their breath back, and then the other starts them off again laughing helplessly.
Eventually, with her heart slowing and her skin cooling, and capable of taking a breath without cracking up, she feels his softening cock slide out of her in a rush of heat and wetness.
"Good-bye," she says, smiling into his eyes.
"Pa'ka," he replies, making a tiny shrug with his eyebrows.
"I thought Da'svee'da'nee'ya was Good-bye," Scully says idly.
"It is. Pa'ka means-"
The sound of her cellphone ringing startles them both. Scully ducks out from under Krycek, and trying to ignore the protests from her body, she scoots across the bed and drags her jacket off the chair onto the bed, and takes the phone out of her pocket.
"Scully." She isn't watching Krycek. He takes the jacket up and locates the keys of the handcuffs, opens them, drops them on the bed.
"Scully, get that bastard up from the cells again." Mulder's fury hits her like a physical blow.
"Mulder! Where are you?" Scully turns towards Krycek, wide-eyed, panic-stricken. He's going to say 'I'm just getting home.' Krycek is pulling his jeans up, buttoning them.
"At the depot. You know what's in the locker Scully? Squat. Get him Scully. So help me I'm going to beat an answer out of that shit sucker."
"Mulder, we don't actually have Krycek anymore."
"Wha-" Mulder sounds like he's just had a seizure. "What happened?" he cries.
"I'll explain when I see you. I'll meet you at the office."
Krycek is smoothing the palms of his hands over his face, over his close cropped hair. For a second she is reminded of an animal cleaning itself after it feeds.
"At the office Mulder." She hangs up. Krycek turns to look at her. Calm, collected. She feels like she just noticed that the sky is actually green. "You have to get out of here." She manages to prioritize that much.
"What are you going to tell him?" Krycek actually sounds interested.
"I don't know. That you brought me somewhere - somewhere else, smacked me one, took the disc."
He comes to her, puts his hands under her jaw, lifts her face. "I told you, I don't care about the disc. Keep it."
For a second she just looks up into his unreadable eyes. "Go. Take my car," she says.
"No, you'll have enough trouble explaining how you lost me, without the car going too. I'll steal one." He smoothes his fingers over her cheeks. He doesn't kiss her, he doesn't say good-bye. He just looks at her.
Then he turns around and leaves.
Scully pulls herself back together again, does a rough job on her hair with Mulder's comb in the bathroom. She remembers to take out the couple of long red strands that get caught in the teeth of the comb, then goes into the bedroom and removes the same damning signs from the bed, wraps the hairs in a tissue and flushes them down the lavatory.
There's a wet mark on the undersheet right in the middle of the mattress. Well, there's nothing she can do about it - Mulder's bound to notice if she changes his sheets. It looks like he'd notice if he changed them himself. The stain will dry out, and if there's a mark or a faint scent, well, what's he going to think - 'I'll bet that's from Scully having sudden rampant sex with Alex Krycek'? Unlikely, even with his elastic sense of the credible. She glances at her watch. Eight twenty seven. Hell of a morning, and it's barely breakfast time. She takes the handcuffs up off the bed, her gun up from the floor, the disc out of the computer, and leaves.
Amazing how easy it is to head Mulder off. Once he realizes she has the disc he really doesn't care if she's mislaid Krycek. He has the good grace to look shocked when she tells him that Krycek smacked her one - she's acutely aware of the bruise on her mouth and the swollen beaten quality to her skin as she's lying to him. But he's so thrilled that she was smart enough to change the disc for another one, before Krycek tried to get it back, that he isn't really interested in the details.
Mulder hightails it off to see someone who can work on the disc encryption. Scully goes home, takes a long hot bath, eats three half stale doughnuts and half a pint of double chocolate chip ice-cream, then lies face down on the bed and sleeps the sleep of the dead for seven hours.
In the afternoon she wakes feeling like she's been reborn, as if the old Dana has been burnt up and blown away like ashes. She still knows what side she's on. She still has her principles, her standards. She still has her limits. They're just...further out.
In the elevator going down to the basement something catches her eye, on the wall. A butterfly. A large red and black butterfly. The artificial light, the dry recycled air in the elevator, is making it drowsy. She has no trouble in scooping it up between her hands. She brings her cupped palms up to her mouth.
"Hello beautiful," Scully whispers into her hands.
Walking down the hallway AD Skinner passes her, going in the opposite direction. "Agent Scully." He makes a little nod and gives a half smile. Scully looks at him with a kind of intense distracted passionate indifference. Skinner, already past her, finds himself wondering if she's OK. That rat fuck Krycek must have given her one hell of a thump - that's quite a bruise she has on her mouth.
Krycek opens the car door and gets into the passenger seat. The driver doesn't bother to acknowledge his presence, continuing to watch the street, squinting into the smoke winding up from the cigarette in his hand. The man and the car both reek of old smoke and cold cigarette stubs. Krycek resists the urge to wave his hand in front of his face. The thick sour air is annoying him, but for now he is in no position to object.
At last his companion deigns to speak to him, lined face slack, but his snake smooth voice full of unhealthy curiosity.
"You had no difficulties, I trust?"
"Agent Mulder has the disc."
"I hope you at least attempted to retain it. I would hate for him to think it was of no value. How did he manage to part you from it?"
Krycek flushes a little, but his eyes are hard, and he keeps his gaze carefully ahead, and his voice flat.
"It was Agent Scully who took it."
One eyebrow lifts. The cigarette waggles in amusement.
"Indeed. Well, I imagine Agent Scully could be very persuasive, given a little encouragement."
THE END. Not.
"Wrestling With The Devil" now has a sequel, "Trick or Treat". Scully and Krycek renew their acquaintance while Mulder fumes.