RATales Archive


by E. Watson

Title: Alex?
Author: E. Watson
Rating: R for Disturbing scenes and sex.
Spoilers: Existence. Lazarus, vague one for Emily, and all Krycek episodes.
Keywords: Character death. K/Ma, M/S (Mildly)
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit. They belong to Fox, Chris Carter and 1013.
Summary: Skinner has some unwelcome visits; Marita and Alex try to cheat death.
Authors note: Revised March 2 2002

Part One

<The gun fires. The bullet hits its target. Krycek falls. He walks up to the body to confirm he's dead, and kneels down over the corpse.

Its eyes open.


The hand reaches up and grabs his throat. He can't breathe.>


Gasping for air, he sat up in his bed. Sweat dripped down his forehead. He closed his eyes, and took several breaths. When he opened them, he saw Krycek sitting on the end of his bed, smiling. Blood was dripping from the hole in his forehead.

"Payback's a bitch."

Skinner scrambled to turn on the lamp. With the click of the light, Krycek vanished.

He slept with the light on the rest of the night.


Marita moaned in her sleep. Lately, she'd been spending a lot of time in bed. At least when she was sleeping, he wasn't gone.

His lips were on her neck. His hands were all over her. He had both in her dreams. The left was about to pleasure her further, when it disappeared. She looked at him. He'd changed. He was covered in blood, and there was a bullet wound in head.

"Help me Marita."

Her screams woke her up.

Her hands shook, as she picked up the clock by her bed. It was already afternoon. No point in going back to bed now that her pleasure in it had been taken. She thought about Skinner.


She was still trembling when she entered the shower. Hot water poured over her while she stood, staring into space. The water started to turn cold, snapping her back to reality. She washed quickly, and got out.

She opened the medicine cabinet, and took out her lotion. Why she bothered, she didn't know. This day would be like all the others. She'd sit, staring into nowhere, for hours, crying for several of them. She thought about ending it. Now that Alex was dead, they'd be coming for her. It would be better if she weren't alive when they came. Or maybe they just forgot about her. It wouldn't be the first time.

She shut the cabinet door. The bottle of lotion crashed on the floor.

There was a message in the fogged mirror.

Gleason Motel
Room 119

She backed up to the tub, and sat on the edge. Her eyes darted about the room.



The next night, as Skinner got ready for bed, he paused before turning off the light.

This is ridiculous, he thought, but so were a lot of things he had seen, since taking a more active role with the X-files. He shook his head, and turned off the lamp. Several hours later, the nightmares began again.


The hand reached up, and grabbed his throat. He woke up gasping.

Again, Krycek sat on the edge of his bed, looking like he did the moment he died.


Krycek's hand reached out, and grabbed his neck. He couldn't breathe. His hand reached for the lamp. His fingers barely touched the switch. He struggled to get closer. His fingers managed to tip the lamp in his direction. He caught it, and was able to turn it on.

He was alone. No one else was in the room. He sat there rubbing his neck, trying to figure out what just happened.


Marita rang the bell, and waited for the attendant to come. She knew this was crazy, but what else did she have to do? Finally, a small wiry man with glasses came to the desk.

"Would you like a room?"

"Yes. Actually, I would like a specific room, number 119."

"I have that one reserved."

"Would it be possible to move them to another room? The room has fond memories for me, with someone who is no longer around."


"No, murdered." She lowered her head. "I'm hoping to get some closure." She glanced up at the man, and smiled.

"Well I suppose it won't do any harm."

"Thank you so much." She purred, as he handed her the key.

Once inside the room, she began searching. It wasn't a pleasant experience. It was a one star motel, at best. She looked under the bed, in all the drawers, under the dresser. As she ran her hand under the desk, she found a key taped underneath.

It was for a safety deposit box, but she had no idea what bank.

"Great Alex, now what?"

No one answered.

She went to the bathroom, and shut the door. Had she finally gone crazy? Months of torture and captivity with the tests, and still she survived, yet kill her Alex, and she goes nuts?

"Okay Marita." She told herself. "You came this far, it won't hurt to try."

She turned on the hot water, and waited for steam to fill up the room.

"Alex, I need to know what the key is for."


She turned off the water. The tap burned her hand. She thought she heard laughter.

"Fine, Alex. I came here to help! If you want to play games, go find someone else."

Words began to appear on the mirror.

Great Eastern Bank, #59. Dodd

"Oh my god Alex? Is it really you?"

Two more words appeared.

Help me.


Mulder answered the door, holding the baby. It was Skinner. He looked terrible. Huge bags hung under his eyes.

"Hey, what's wrong?"

"I- I need to talk to you. Can I come in?"

Will started to cry.

"Yeah sure come in."

As soon as Mulder shut the door, Will started to scream. He cradled the child, and rocked him. It didn't work.

Skinner looked at the baby. "Maybe this isn't a good time, I'll come back."

"What, because of the crying?" Mulder laughed. "There is no off time for that. In fact you look as tired as I feel."

Suddenly, the child stopped.

"There, all better, probably gas. What's up?"

Skinner looked down. "I need to talk to you about that night in the garage."

Mulder frowned. "Look, if it's playing on your conscience, don't let it. Krycek was going to kill me. As far as I'm concerned, you did the right thing. It was self defense."

"You and I both know it wasn't self defense. He was unarmed when I shot him. I keep telling myself that in the bigger picture it was the right thing to do, but-"

"You did what you felt you had to. You're a good man, Walter. You've demonstrated that to me enough times for me to know that you did what you felt was right."

"That's not it. I've been experiencing-" he stood there with his mouth open for a moment. "What do you know about ghosts?"

"You think Krycek's spirit is-" Mulder looked down at Will. "If that is the case then you shouldn't be here. I'll get all the information I have and come by your place after Scully gets back. Okay?"

Skinner nodded. "It's probably nothing, but whatever help you can give me, I'd appreciate it."

"I'll see you tonight."


"Yes Miss, can I help you?"

"Mrs. actually." Marita replied. "I would like to access my safety deposit box please."

"Certainly Mrs., uh-"


"Mrs. Dodd, right this way."

She signed in, and went to the vault.

Let me know when you are finished, Mrs. Dodd."

"Thank you."

Marita opened the box. There were several stacks of thousand dollar bills.

She looked up. "You'd haunt me forever if I just took this and ran, wouldn't you?"

Ever since the motel, she was talking more and more to him. She didn't know if he was with her or not, but she found it comforting.

She took the bills, and placed them in her briefcase. Underneath them was the device.

"You want me to kill him? Should I do it now?"

The box slammed shut.

"Okay, not now. I'd prefer to be there when it happens anyway."

Marita opened the box again, and placed the device in her suitcase. She left the bank smiling. It was the first genuine one she had in weeks.


Skinner opened his door, and let Mulder in.

Mulder took a seat on the couch.

"Did you find out anything?" Skinner asked.

"Can you first tell me why you think Krycek's spirit is haunting you?"

Skinner sat down in the chair next to the sofa. He rested his head in his hands.

Mulder continued. "I know it's hard for you to accept these things, but if you want my help I need to know what's going on."

Skinner told him about the nightmares and the visions.

"The last one, he attacked me when I was awake. I could feel his hands around my neck. I haven't been able to sleep since. It doesn't make any sense."

"Unfortunately it does. The literature I've read says some, especially those who lead darker lives, don't move on after they die, either because they don't want to, or because they can't. Another factor is if they die violently. The spirit stays until they get some kind of closure or justice. Krycek would match both descriptions."

"How do I get rid of him?"

"Well, that's the good news. There are people who specialize in this type of thing. A lot of them are scam artists, but I know of one who is well respected. I already phoned him, and he can make it up here tomorrow night. Can you wait that long?"

Skinner nodded.

"Do you want me to stay here with you tonight?"

"No, I should be okay." He gave a dry laugh." As long as I sleep with the light on."

"Are you sure?"

Skinner nodded, again. He walked Mulder to the door.

"If anything happens, call me, okay?"

"Yeah I will. Oh, and Mulder?"



"Hey, no problem. I needed a hobby now that I'm jobless."

"No offense, but I'm hoping this hobby is short lived." Skinner said as he shut the door.


Marita watched Mulder leave the building.

She went up to Skinner's apartment, device in hand, and picked the lock.

"Remember when you taught me this?" She whispered.

She picked up the device, and turned it up one third. She heard the scream of pain, and entered the door.

Skinner was clutching his chest. Trying to make it to the phone. As he pushed the on button, Marita turned it to the halfway mark. The phone dropped.

"Murderer!" She hissed.

Skinner was on the floor, his back propped up by the couch. She could see his veins pulsing.

"You think you're better? You think you had the right to kill him? I know your type. You're no better than the other men I've worked for." She turned it up another notch. He screamed. She lowered it a little.

"Everything's so black and white with your type isn't it. A man is either good or bad, useful or not. Better alive or better dead. It's all the same bullshit, no shades of gray."

"Pl-please, don't do this." He gasped.

"Did you think no one would care? Are you that closed minded to think there was no one who would miss him, no one who would grieve?" She was yelling now. Tears were streaming down her face. She didn't hear the sound of the phone being dialed or the operator at the end on the line.

"Alex took orders. It was either obey them or die. You should know how that feels. You had no right to kill him!" She turned it up as high as it would go and watched him convulse.

Finally, he was still. She heard the sirens. They were very close. She wiped the tears off her face, and left the building before anyone got there.


The Paramedics raced into the apartment

"He's not breathing, no pulse."

Within seconds, they had the defibrillator ready.

"One, two, three."


"Again, one, two, three."

"Still nothing!"

"Come on buddy, one, two, three."

"I got a pulse!"


Marita sat on the bed in room 119, waiting for Alex to give her another sign. When he didn't come to her at her place, she thought here would work, but there was nothing. She filled the bathroom with steam until the tank ran out of hot water, but no message.

She could go anywhere now. She had all the money she found in the safety deposit box, but she waited. One more day, she told herself. That was three days ago. She should have been happy for Alex. If he wasn't here, then perhaps he found peace, but the finality of it made her weep.

The door opened. Marita gasped. It was Skinner.

"What are you doing here? You're dead!"

He smiled at her. "I know I'm a lot uglier now, but I would think you missed me enough to give me a better welcome."



Part Two

Marita stumbled back, until she was against the wall.

"This isn't possible."

"I know, but it's me, Marita. Really." He started walking towards her.

"Stay back."

"Marita, it's me. Is it so hard to believe after everything else? After the messages I left you, and the bank, and what happened at Skinner's apartment? I was with you for almost all of it. How else would I know how to find you?"

"You could have followed me."

"I was in the hospital. Look, I know that the safety deposit box number was 119. I told you where it was right there in that bathroom. How would I know that if I was Skinner?"

He came closer to her. Her eyes grew wider, but she didn't protest.

She slowly reached her hand out to him, and touched his chest. She gasped. He felt so real. She had gone mad. Her unwillingness to let go of Alex had driven her insane, and the guilt in her subconscious had given him the body of Skinner.

She closed her eyes. "This isn't real. This isn't real. This isn't-"

"Marita, stop it, you're not hallucinating."

She opened her eyes. He was still there.

"Alex? Is it really you?"

"It's me." He smiled.

He put his arms around her, and held her close. She didn't respond, but didn't resist.

He whispered in her ear. "You saved me Marita, in more ways than you'll ever know."

All of a sudden, it didn't matter how, or why, or even what he looked like. She had her Alex back. Whether it was because she'd gone crazy, or because all of this was real, it didn't matter. She had him back, and that's what she'd been wanting. She wrapped her arms around him, and started to cry.

"I thought I'd lost you. I thought you were gone forever."

They stayed that way until her eyes ran dry. Eventually, he let go, and went to the window. It was a habit for him to glance outside, to make sure no one was watching, but this time he stayed there for several minutes, staring at nothing.



"What was it like being dead?"

He didn't turn away from the window.


"It was -" He looked down. "I don't want to talk about it, not now"

"Something happened to you, didn't it?"

"I was shot in the head and died! Isn't that something enough?" He looked at her, staring at him, and softened his voice. "If I can, I'll tell you one day, but not now. We have a lot of work to do. Where's my body?"

"What do you mean where's your body? Alex you've been dead for 6 weeks. You were shot in the head. Because you had no identity, they did an autopsy to find clues about who you were. Your body isn't going to do you any good."

"I'm not going to try get back into it. If I thought that would solve everything, I would have done it in the first place. Now where's my body?"

"Why do you want your-"

"Shit! You didn't cremate it, did you?"

"Didn't you hear me? The FBI had your body. I couldn't just waltz in there and claim it!"

"I know, I just thought you'd find some way of getting it."

A smile crept to her lips. "I did. I stole it."

"You have my body?"

"Yeah Alex, it's in the closet back at my place."

"Marita, "he pleaded, "Where's my body."

"I had it buried in a cemetery in Rochester, under the name Thomas Smith."

"Good. Do know what happened to the surveillance tape?"

"No. I did try to get it. I was going to use it, but someone else had taken it."

"We have to find out who has it. The last thing I need is to get arrested for murdering myself. I need you to do something tomorrow."


"You're going to meet someone. I'll tell you exactly what to do and say. Okay?"

"What are you doing tomorrow?"

"Going grave digging."


Mulder walked down the hospital hallway to Skinner's room. He'd come by the other day to drop off a change of clothes, but Skinner was sleeping. He entered the room this time, only to find an empty bed. He found a nurse in the hallway.

"Excuse me? Do you know what happened to the patient that was in that room?"

"Oh, you mean, Rock Hudson?"


"Never seen a guy so obsessed with his appearance. He spent hours staring at himself in the mirror."

"Really?" Mulder choked down a laugh.

"Yeah. He checked himself out yesterday."


He took out his phone and dialed Skinner's number.

No answer.

He looked at the nurse walking away, and frowned. Something wasn't right.


Alex stood with his hands in Skinner's trench coat, watching them dig up the body. His body. He'd seen countless bodies in his life, some peaceful, many gruesome. He thought he was ready for this.

Once the coffin was brought out, he walked up to it. He ran a hand along the top. A voice in his head warned him:

Don't look in there.

He had to be sure this body was his. The plan was a long shot. Nothing could be assumed.

He lifted the lid.

He only took a quick glance, and shut the lid as soon as the stench hit him, but it was enough to make him ill.

His body had been dead for over 6 weeks. Decay had settled in. His skin was a mix of purples and greens. If not for the hole in his head, he would have barely recognized himself. His body was severely bloated and the nails on his hand had begun to fall off. He'd seen worse, but on other peoples bodies, not his own.

As soon as he shut the lid, he took a few steps backwards, and started to vomit. He stayed bent over, throwing up for almost a minute, until one of the other men came up to him.

"Sir, are you all right? I thought that someone with your position would be use to sights like that, but I guess it's sort of a good thing if you never get use to it"

He stayed hunched over for a few seconds, and looked up at the man. "Yeah, I'm fine. Have the body taken to the morgue. A doctor will by later today to do some tests."

He headed back to the car.


Marita waited on the dock, watching a man gather his fish, and get out of his boat.

"Dr. Cornwall?"

The man looked up. He dropped his catch. "How'd you find me? Look, I just wanted some peace. I have no intention of talking. I haven't said a word in over 3 years. Please-"

"Alex Krycek sent me. He told me you'd be here. He told me to tell you that it's time to repay your debt."

"Krycek? Why didn't he come himself?"

"The situation is, um, unusual. You'll understand shortly. There's a body up in Rochester. The address of the morgue is here." She handed him a piece of paper. "You are to go there and take the necessary samples. When you're done you are to go to Seattle. The address is also on the paper. I will meet you there tomorrow. No matter what you find with the body, do as you are told. Everything will be explained soon. Are we clear?"

"What if I say no."

"Alex instructed me to remind you that you're on borrowed time. Of course you can say no, but then you'll have to give up what Alex gave to you 3 years ago."

"You don't strike me as the sort of person who could carry out that task."

"And you don't strike me as the sort of man who would destroy the lives of innocent children. Everyone's full of surprises, doctor."

Cornwall turned his back to Marita and looked out on the lake.

"All right," he said, "but then my debt's paid after this. You tell him this favor clears the slate."

"See you in tomorrow, doctor."


Part Three

"There you go." The super said, as he opened the door to Skinner's apartment. In the rush to the hospital, the keys were left inside.

Alex didn't move. "Thanks." He said, still staring inside. He went straight to see Marita after he left the hospital, and hadn't been back here since.

"Hey, I know it can be hard coming back home afterwards." The man smiled at him. "Had my first heart attack 5 years ago. I couldn't wait to get home, but when I did come back, it was unnerving. Funny how things like that can haunt you."

"Yeah, funny." He tried to smile at the man, but all that came out as a worried glance. He thanked the man again, and entered the apartment.

He quickly turned on the lights, and looked around. Everything looked the same as it did that night, but that didn't mean Skinner wasn't present. He wouldn't have come at all if he didn't need to check Skinners' messages. In a few days he'd be gone, but until then he couldn't raise suspicions, not when he was already so close.

Turned out he only had one message anyway. Mulder.

"Hey, hope everything's okay. Went to see you at the hospital but you were already gone. Scully wants to know if we should reschedule the baptism. Give me a call, and let me know if you still need that friend we were talking about earlier."


He looked around Skinners desk, and found his day planner. He flipped to that week. There it was, that coming Sunday.

10:00-Godson's Baptism, St. John's Church


He chuckled, picked up the phone, hit star 69, and wrote down the number.

He could hear Mulder on the other end."Hello?"

"Yeah it's me, I got your message."

"Hey. How are you doing? I went to see you at the hospital a couple of times, but you were sleeping, and the second time you had checked out."

"Yeah, thanks for the clothes."

"How are you? Did what happen have anything to do with what we talked about earlier?"

"No, it was just a heart attack. I think the whole thing was just been in my head. I'm taking sometime off. I'll be out of town for a couple days, but I'll be there for Sunday. No need to reschedule. After that I'm going on vacation."

"I've never known you to take a vacation."

"Yeah? Well, doctors orders."

"Are you sure your okay? We can postpone the baptism."

"Nah, I'll be fine." He smiled, "Besides, it wouldn't be nice to keep my Godson waiting."

Alex heard crackling. The bulb on one of the living room lamps exploded.

"You still there?" Mulder asked. "What was that?"

"Nothing, just the TV. I gotta go. See you Sunday."

As he hung up, the second lamp in the living room exploded, followed by the one on the desk. Like a chain reaction, every bulb burst, until the entire apartment was black.

His eyes raced around the room. He couldn't see anything. He began to feel his way to the door.

Skinner appeared.

Alex gasped, and took several steps backwards, tripping over the coffee table.

Death had not been kind to Skinner. Bloated blood vessels covered his body. He started to approach Alex.

"What do you think you're going to do?" Alex asked, still on the floor. "Kill me? It won't be that easy this time. Whatever you do to me, you do to yourself."

Skinner stopped.

Alex got up, and casually brushed himself off. He walked around Skinner. When he reached the door, he turned around and grinned.

"I thought having to go through limbo with a hole in my head was bad, but man you look like shit. Hope you enjoy that hell as much as I did." As he left the apartment, Skinner disappeared.


Mulder sat on the couch, staring at the phone. He was glad Skinner was okay, but something didn't feel right. Perhaps he was looking too hard. It was horrible, but he actually felt a tinge of disappointment. As much as he was enjoying this new life with Scully and the baby, the idea of having a paranormal case to investigate, FBI or not, sparked some excitement in him.


He looked up, and saw Scully puzzling at him. Bags were under here eyes, and she had Will's spit up on her nightgown, but she still managed to look beautiful, to him at least.

"Is the little guy all done supper?"

She yawned, and sat down next to him. "Yep, we've got a few hours reprieve until his midnight snack. I asked you who was on the phone, but you didn't answer. You were staring out at nothing. Is everything Okay?"

"Uhm, actually everything's fine. It was Skinner. He said he' was doing fine, and that there was no need to postpone the baptism."

She stretch out and placed her head on his lap. "That's good. I was worried about him. I hope he takes some time off now."

"He is. He said he was going on a vacation after the ceremony. Kind of unlike him, don't you think?"

She yawned again. "Well he has been through a lot."

He ran his hands through her hair, "Several hours of reprieve you say?"

"Mmhmm, "she murmured

"Well, there's an Ed Wood marathon on TV tonight." He teased,

No answer


She was sleeping. He looked down at her resting on his lap, smiled, and grabbed the remote.

"Looks like it's just you and me Ed."


Alex sped into the parking lot of the Gleason Motel. He didn't think Skinner would be able to leave his apartment yet. It took him a few weeks to learn how to get around, but if he were wrong, Marita would definitely be a target.

He rushed into the room, and looked around. Marita was sleeping in the bed. He shut the door, flicked on the light, and leaned up against the wall to catch his breath. Marita stirred.


"Yeah, it's me. Go back to sleep."

He went to the bathroom, and showered. By the time he came out, Marita was asleep again.

He crawled under the covers, and spooned against her. It felt so good to be able to feel her warmth again. It was so cold when he was away.

He just intended to lie there with her, not wanting to push her. He knew how strange all of this was to her. Not just him having another body, but the body of the man she'd murdered. If all went well, soon things would be closer to normal. They'd have time for all the other things after that, but as he put an arm around her, she and arched closer to him and moaned his name.

Was she still asleep?

He whispered back. "Marita?"

Still with her back against him, she took the hand, and ran it over her breast.

"Alex" she moaned again.

He bit his lip. He didn't know if she was dreaming or conscious, but he was scared to say anything. It felt so good, and although he knew it was wrong if she was sleeping, he didn't want her to wake up.

She starting rubbing against him. A groan started to escape from his mouth, but he held it back, afraid that any noise could cause her to open her eyes.

She took his hand, and guided it lower.

Again she called his name.

He couldn't stop. He didn't want to stop. If she opened her eyes and started screaming, he'd stop, but until that happened he wanted to enjoy this.

He lowered his head into hear neck, and started kissing it, as she reached behind and guided him inside her.

He gasped. She began rocking her hips thrusting back and forth, moaning encouragements, all the while keeping her eyes shut tight.

He moved with her, careful to only allow quick breaths to come out until the end when, as she screamed, he finally let out one of his own. He raised his head, and looked down at her face. Worried she'd now open her eyes, and realize what had happened.

Her eyes were still shut. She had a smile on her face. She brought his hand up, and kissed it.

"Thank you" she said.

"Marita?" he whispered.

"Shhh, get some sleep. We have an early flight to catch tomorrow."


Part Four

They parked at the warehouse, and got out of the car. Cornwall ran up to Marita.

"It's about time! I don't know what kind of sick game you're playing lady, but I'm not impressed! Now you tell me who you're really working for, because it sure as hell isn't Krycek!"

Alex stepped between Marita and Cornwall. "Did you get all the samples?"

"Who the hell are you?" He looked closer. "Hey, wait a minute, I know you. You're from the FBI." He looked over at Marita. "You Bitch! You set me up!"

The doctor lunged towards Marita. Alex grabbed the Cornwall's right arm, and twisted it behind his back. Within seconds he had the man on the ground, straddling him, with one knee on the doctor's back, the other knee on his left arm. Still holding the right arm, Alex used his free hand to grab the doctor by the hair, and pulled his head back.

He leaned his head closer to Cornwall's ear. "No one's here to set anyone up. Now, did you get the samples?"

"I'm not telling you anything. The only person I was obligated to was Krycek. Not some blond whore and fucked up G-man."

He twisted the doctor's arm. The man yelled out in pain.

"I am Krycek!"

"Fuck off. Krycek's dead."

"Look Doc, Three years ago I was sent to kill you. You were standing in your kitchen, cooking some kind of pasta and sipping on your brandy. I watched you beg for your life, while you pissed your pants, and cried like a baby. You told me you could be useful to me. You said that a killing a man with your kind of knowledge and skills, would be a waste, and that I may need you someday. I let you live because of that, and only because of that. "

"This isn't possible!" Said Cornwall, struggling to get up.

"I don't care if you believe me. All I'm concerned with is that you do what you're told, and make yourself useful, like you promised me you would. Otherwise, I'm taking back my gift, and it won't be a quick assignation like last time. You've had three years of leisure in a nice cabin, fishing everyday on your boat. I figure you owe some interest. Now, decide. Are you going to co-operate, or do I start doing my own experiments?"

The doctor went limp. "I got the samples."

Alex let the man up. "Have you started the process?"

Cornwall dusted the dirt off himself. "No. I was waiting for further instructions. Besides, no one told me what template."

"Adult male. Come on, let's get this started." Alex turned to Marita. "I'd understand if you don't go in. I know you don't like looking at those things."

"No, I'm fine." He was right though. She didn't like these types of places.

"You sure?"

"Yes. Let's just get this done." She followed him inside.

There use to be a dozen of these warehouses around the country. When they thought the colonists were transporting them, the leaders of their organization ordered all of them destroyed. By the time Spender realized they'd been double-crossed, only a couple remained. He spared them from destruction, not knowing what to do with them, but too greedy to risk letting go of any power they might give him one day. She wondered how Alex was handling the idea that the man, who he blamed all these years for damning his soul, was now partly responsible for saving it.

They passed by the templates to the workstation where the samples were kept. She tried her best to avoid looking at them. When cloning first started it would take months. A mother could give birth to a natural child before a scientist could finish cloning one. Cloning adults came afterwards, but again, the process was long and tedious. Gradually, advancements led to the making of what they called templates.

Templates enabled them to clone different genders of different ages to the point were all human genes were similar. The unique DNA of a particular human, alien, or both, would be added later. This streamlined the process drastically. What use to take months, now took only weeks. They were practical, but horrifying to look at.

Because complexion is a variation, their skins were translucent. You could see all the partially formed body parts inside. The bones were gel like, not having the data for size and strength. The worst was their faces, particularly the eyes. Colorless, but still developed, with no solid skin covering them, the eyes made them look like they were awake, watching everything that was going on.

It took Cornwall several hours to input all the data and start the process. They sat in silence for most of it, watching him. Eventually, he finished.

" All done." Said Cornwall. "Couple weeks from now, that gelatinous blob will look just like Alex Krycek."

"Good." Said Alex. "If that's the case, in a couple weeks, you can forget this ever happened."

"Of course," the doctor added with a smug grin, "that doesn't mean it will be Krycek. It won't have his memories or personality. In fact, without the proper brainwave manipulations, that thing will practically be a vegetable. It would have to learn how to walk and talk, just like a baby would. If Krycek set you up to do all this as some kind of resurrection scheme, it won't work."

Marita gave Alex a worried glance. She still wasn't clear on how he planned to pull all this off. Alex didn't seem worried at all.

"You just worry about the body, doc. I'll take care of everything else. I'll check back in a couple days. You run, I'll find you. Remember that."

"I'm not going anywhere. I'll fulfill my bargain. Besides, I want to see what you do with it."


Alex walked out of the church, cursing the fact that Scully was Catholic, and not some other denomination that knew the value of a simple quick ceremony.

He thought he'd never get out of there. The ceremony lasted forever. At least he got some pleasure, watching Mulder desperately try not to yawn. Luckily, his recent heart attack gave him an excuse to leave shortly after he signed the certificate. He started walking towards his car when he heard Skinner's name being called.

"Assistant Director Skinner?"

Alex turned around. He saw a young man with red hair. He couldn't have been older than 20, maybe 23. The kid was sweating. He never saw him before, and didn't think Skinner knew him.


"Assistant Director Skinner?" He asked again.

"Yeah?" Alex replied, again.

The young man went up to him, looked around, and stuttered, "I, uh, got the tape."

"What did you say?"

"You know the tape." He held out his shaking hand like a gun. "Pow pow?"

"And you are?"

He backed up and twisted the bottom of his T-shirt. "You d-don't need to know who I am. Meet me outside your apartment tonight at 7:00 I'll let you know what I w-want for it then "

Alex laughed. This guy didn't have a clue about what he was doing.

"Look kid, you don't want to do this."

"7:00." The kid looked around again, and ran off.


"That wasn't so bad, was it?" Scully asked, as they walked in the door.

Mulder didn't respond. He placed the baby bag down on the coffee table.


"I'm sorry. What?

"The day. Was it as horrible as you thought it would be?"

"Uh, No." He looked down at the ground, and rubbed the back of his head. "No, it wasn't. Say, did Skinner seem okay to you today?"

"What do you mean?"

"I don't know. He just seemed distant."

She raised her eyebrows. "Mulder! It's Skinner. It's who he is. If he weren't distant, then that would be different. Besides, the man just had a heart attack. I'm amazed he was up to this in the first place."

He gave her a half smile. "Yeah, I guess."

"Are you okay?"

Mulder sat down on the couch. "Yeah. I'm fine."

Will started to fuss.

Scully sighed. "I think he needs changing."

"Well it's not going to be me. A morning at a church, and an afternoon with your brother, gets me off poop duty for a while."

As Scully took Will to his room, Mulder took the framed baptism certificate out of the bag. He went to place it on the mantle, beside the congratulations cards Scully received for Wills birth. As he set it down, one of the cards fell to the floor.

He picked it up. It was from Skinner. He checked the card again, and looked at the certificate.

He peeked his head into Will's room. "Hey, I'm going out for a while.

"Where are you going?" He heard Scully call, as he walked down the hallway.

"I just have some things to take care of." He called back. He grabbed his keys and left.


Alex waited. The little shit was late. He better not take too long. They were leaving tomorrow, and he had one last thing to do in Skinner's apartment. He wanted this to be over so he could get everything else done this evening, before it got dark.

He looked down the street to the car, where Marita was watching him. He could get her to go up there and do it, but he preferred she didn't go up there at all, never mind alone. Skinner might be unwilling to harm his own body, but Marita didn't have that protection.

A couple minutes later, the kid pulled up in an old Ford Tempo. He opened the passenger door.

"Get in" He ordered.

"You don't want to do this."

"Don't tell me what I want to do. Get in."

Alex didn't move. "Look, It's obvious you aren't that experience in this sort of thing. Haven't you given any thought to the idea that your blackmailing a man you know is capable of murder? I'm giving you a chance here kid."

"What I saw was vigilantism. The man had a weapon. I did some research. You're not going to kill me. You're not the type. Now get in."

Alex shook his head and got in the car. Before the kid could start the engine, Alex pinned him to the seat, and pressed his gun into the kid's forehead.

"Your research was wrong." He said.

"Oh fuck! Shit! What the hell are you doing?" the kid screamed.

"Shut up! You have no clue what type I am. I'd kill you right now, if I didn't think it would be such a pain in the ass to clean up the mess. Now tell me how you got the tape. Who gave it to you?"

"No one! I just took it!"

Alex dug the gun in deeper, "Don't lie to me! How'd you get it?"

"Honest! I just took it! I work in archives and sometimes, when I work nights, I go to the surveillance room to pick up the older tapes. No one was there that time. The whole thing happened while I was in the room. I saw everything. I decided to take it. Oh shit! I thought I could use it to get some money. Please! It's the truth."

"Where's the tape now?"

"In the trunk."

"Did you make copies?"

"Yeah. Three. They're in the trunk too."

Alex lowered the gun. "You kept all the tapes in one place?"

"You said it was obvious I didn't know what I was doing." He squeezed his eyes shut. "Are you going to shoot me?"

"Not yet, but if you mention this to anyone, and I mean anyone, I'll find out, and then I'll shoot you." Alex grabbed the keys and got out of the car. He found all the tapes in a backpack inside the trunk.

He threw the keys back inside. "Get out of here, and remember, anyone."

The car sped off. Alex shook his head, and laughed. That was too easy. He looked down to Marita, signaled that everything was okay, and headed up to Skinner's apartment.


Mulder sat in his car across the street from Skinner's apartment watching, stunned. Any doubt he had before was gone. Somehow, Krycek had gained control over Skinner's body.

He watched the car drive away, and saw Krycek entering the building. He waited a minute, got out of his car, and followed him inside.

As Alex was unlocking the door to Skinner's apartment, he heard the elevator open. He saw Mulder walking down the hallway.

Alex forced a smile. "Hey, what are you doing here?"

"Oh I was just in the neighborhood. Thought I'd stop in and see how you were doing." Mulder smiled backed.

"Fine. Um, I was just going in to pack. I'm leaving first thing in the morning, remember?" He opened the door Mulder followed him inside.

"Oh right. Where are you going again?"

"Puerto Rico." He lied.

As he shut the door, Mulder slammed him against it, dug into his pocket and brought out the gun.

"What the hell are you doing?" He yelled.

Mulder put the gun up to Alex's head. "Cut the crap Krycek! I know." He backed off, still holding the gun on Alex. "I don't know how you did it, but I'm going stop it. No way am I allowing a bastard like you come back from the dead."

Alex turned around, and glared at Mulder. "Why not? You did it."

Mulder lowered the gun, punched Alex in the face, and brought the gun back up.

Alex looked at him, and grinned. "Go ahead Mulder, shoot."

Mulder tighten his grip on the weapon.

" Don't get me wrong, I still have use for this body, but I think I can handle losing it a bit early." He looked around the room. "Skinner on the other hand-"

"Where is he?" Mulder demanded.

Alex shrugged. "Around here somewhere."

As Mulder turned his head to look around the room, Alex tackled him. The gun dropped. Both men went to the ground. Fists flying, they struggled to retrieve the weapon. Alex, being on top, was able to direct more blows, but Mulder was closer to the gun. In less than a minute, Mulder was holding the gun, again.

Alex backed away. Mulder stood up. Alex smiled as Marita appeared in the doorway, pointing her gun at Mulder.

"Hand it over." She ordered.


Part Five

Mulder pressed his lips together, and handed Marita the gun.

She walked over, and handed it to Alex. "What do you want to do?"

Alex thought for a moment. "Put him on the balcony."

Once outside, Alex ordered Mulder to sit down. He turned to Marita. "Watch him, I'll go finish up."

When Alex went back in, Mulder looked up at Marita. "I thought you were better than this."

Marita didn't say anything. She stood still, with her gun aimed.

"Why are you doing this?" He asked.

"Shut up."

"I mean, what are you getting from this?"

She started to laugh. "Getting?"

"I just want to know. Is it money? What is he offering you to make you go this far?"

She shook her head. "This has nothing to do with what I'm getting, it's about what I'm not losing."

"I don't understand."

"I don't expect you too."

He was quiet for a moment. "It's him, isn't it? You want him back. You know that can't happen don't' you? You know this is wrong."

"Wrong? What do you know? Tell me Mulder, are you enjoying your new life with your partner and the baby. Enjoying playing daddy, with church ceremonies and family gatherings? You seem to be fitting in to the vastly populated world of illusions, aren't you?"

He didn't respond.

She smiled. "Don't feel guilty. I'm glad for you. I can't live in that world. I don't belong there. I live in a different world, and Alex is the only one who shares it with me. He's all I have."

"But if you want to save him, then you have to stop this. He needs to move on, he doesn't belong here anymore. You need to move on too."

She shook her head. "I thought once that I could move on. It cost me everything. I won't make that same mistake again. So save your breath. You won't convince me otherwise."

"You're doing more damage to him by letting this continue."

The door slid open. Alex walked out carry a set of handcuffs. He turned to Marita. "All done." And just in time too, he thought, the sun was starting to set.

He cuffed Mulder to the railing.

"I already called Scully. Told her you were having a sleepover."

Mulder didn't look at him. He kept staring at Marita.

Alex motioned to Marita and left. She stood, staring at Mulder for a few seconds, and followed Alex out.


Several hours later, Mulder began to doubt his decision to wait for Scully to come looking for him in the morning, when he didn't show up to babysit. He initially decided against yelling for help, fearing the police would come, and he had no idea how to explain this. Now, he was cold and uncomfortable, and a warm bed at the psyche ward was beginning to appeal to him. He opened his mouth to start screaming when Skinner appeared.

He looked at him, mouth still open. Skinner looked awful. Every blood vessel on his body looked like it was about to explode. He'd seen him like this before.

"Can you hear me?" Mulder asked

Skinner nodded.

"Can you get me out of these?"

Skinner looked at the closed sliding doors and shook his head.

Mulder slumped his shoulders.

Skinner opened his mouth. Nothing came out.

He closed his eyes and opened his mouth again. After several second, he croaked, "Help me."

Mulder looked at him, and nodded. "I'll try."


Around 10:00 the next morning, Scully entered Skinner's apartment.

Mulder started hollering. "Scully! Out here!"

Scully rushed out on the balcony.

"Mulder! What happened? Who did this to you?" She looked at the cuffs, and went inside to find the key.

"It was Krycek."

She came back out, frowning, key in hand. "Krycek? Mulder, Krycek's dead."

"Yeah? Well, apparently that's not a big deterrent for him."

She unlocked him form the railing, and felt his forehead.

"I'm fine Scully." He went into the apartment, and grabbed his phone.

"Mulder, what are you doing?"

He started dialing. "Calling someone who can help."

"Help with what? Mulder would you put the phone down, and tell me what's going on."

Mulder closed his phone. "I don't have all the details yet, but somehow Krycek managed to take over Skinner's body. It happened during his so-called heart attack. He was here last night with Marita Covarrubias. They've probably left town by now."

Scully crossed her arms, and looked at Mulder's phone. "And you're calling?"

"A medium. He's an expert in spiritual phenomenon."

"Mulder, I know it's been an adjustment for you, leaving the X-files, and-"

"This has nothing to do with that. That's not all I saw last night. I saw Skinner. He looked horrible. When Krycek took his body, Skinner's soul became trapped here somehow. He needs our help, Scully." He started to dial again.

"Mulder, even if what you saw was real, you're not going to be able to help Skinner unless you figure out where he," she sighed, "I mean his body is."

"That's a good idea. Try to trace back Skinner's movements since the time of his heart attack. Find out if he did anything at the bureau. Maybe we can find some kind of lead about where Krycek's going."

Before she could respond, Mulder was already talking.

"Hello, Mr. Stevens? It's Fox Mulder, I spoke with you a while ago regarding a friend of mine."

Scully grabbed her purse, and shook her head. As she was leaving she heard Mulder.

"Let me know as soon you find something!"

"Yeah, whatever." She called back, as she shut the door.


By the time Mulder picked up Randal Stevens, Wednesday afternoon, his suspicions had grown. It didn't take long for Scully to find the records for the extraction of Krycek's body. She also found the name of the doctor who took samples from it, Francis Cornwall. He was waiting for her to call back with more information on the man, but if his suspicions were right, it would mean she wouldn't find much. It would also mean they were running out of time.

Stevens was a small, quiet man, who possessed none of the flamboyant qualities so often seen with people, who claim to have his abilities. As they drove back from the airport, he listened quietly, while Mulder gave him all the details about the situation. When Mulder was done, Stevens pushed his glasses up, and shook his head.

"I don't know Mr. Mulder. This is very unusual. I considered it my job to help souls move on, and leave behind their bodies, not get back into them."

"Yeah, but in this case, the body isn't dead. Are you saying you've never seen this before?"

"There have been a couple cases of souls taking another person body after a near death experience, they were all done by coincidence, both victims were utterly confused by the situation. This is the first time I've heard of it being done deliberately. For it to occur, the spirit must be in the exact the position at exactly the right time. Whoever this Krycek is, he must have had some kind of knowledge that this procedure was possible."

"I had a case 8 years ago involving this same type of body switching. It's a good probability that Krycek had access to my."

"That seems likely. I'm betting he was quite an adaptable person in life."

"What makes you say that?"

"Those souls, who don't move on right after death, are stuck here by a range of emotions they can't let go of. Fear, regret, denial, rage, these things can manifest themselves as actual entities that hold a soul back. Not only do they hold them back, they can trap them in one place. Normally it's where they died, sometimes their own house, sometimes the home of someone they refuse to leave. The experience is quite terrifying, and that strengthens the negative emotions, more fear, and more rage, which further hinders any ability to move from their self-imposed prison. Without help, it can take years for a soul to learn how to focus away from these things, and be released. Your Mr. Krycek did it in a matter of weeks."

"You'll excuse me if I don't share in your awe. You said without help, can you teach my friend how to move around? Help him find Krycek?"

"Yes, if he's willing, which you said he was, I can help."

"How long will it take? I don't think Krycek intended on keeping Skinner's body permanently, I have a feeling he's making plans to take over a new one. We have to find him before that happens."

"It all depends on him. If all goes well, I'd say about a week, but understand, once Mr. Skinner finds him, somebody still has to be there. There's only one way for the spirit to leave the body, Mr. Mulder. Your friend's body will have to be killed and then brought back."

"I know. I'm prepared for that."

"You should also know that, even if you manage to get your friend 's body back to him, he's still going to need help afterwards. Those who've had the spirit leave their body never come back the same, and these incidents normally last only several minutes, hours in some rare cases. Mr. Skinner has been away from his body much longer. It's going to have lasting effects on the man."

Mulder nodded. "Let's just worry about getting him back first."


<He's in the silo. It's dark. He's alone. He can't get out.

He realizes he's not alone. That thing is in here with him. It's shapeless and dark.

He pounds on the wall, screaming. It's useless. He can't escape.

He keeps pounding, and looks down. He's sees his body.

He's not in the silo anymore.

He's in the parking lot. It's dark. He's alone. He can't get out.

He realizes he's not alone. These things are in here with him. They're shapeless and dark.

He pounds on the wall screaming. It's useless. He can't escape.

He hears laughter. He turns around and sees Skinner. He screams.

Skinner stops laughing.

"I want my body back.">


Alex screamed as he sat up in bed.

He looked over to Marita. She was sitting up, with the same worried face she had every other night.

He looked down to the floor." Nightmares, again."

"Want me to get you a glass of water?"

"No, I'll get one myself."

He went to the bathroom. Marita stared at the spot he was sleeping in, and bit her lip. He'd had these nightmares ever since he came back. She thought they'd subside, but this last one seemed worse. She thought of Mulder's words.

"You're doing more damage to him by letting this continue."

She watched him come out with his water, and stand at the window. He'd spent a lot of time in front of that window, since they arrived in Seattle. Standing for hours in silence.

He looked back at her. "One more day. One more day, and this will all be over."

"And then what?"

"What do you mean, and then what?"

"I mean," she paused."Is it really going to be over? Everything will be better?"

He looked down at the body he was in, "Well they'll be a lot better than they are now? What's gotten into you anyway? You're still with me, aren't' you?"

She didn't answer

"Marita? Tell me you're still with me on this. I can't do this without you."

"You died Alex, not almost died, you died. I keep thinking that we do all this, and then what? What happens next time, and there will be a next time, eventually. What's going to happen to you then?"

He didn't respond.

"I just want to know that you'll be okay after this."

He turned back to the window. "I don't get it. What brought this on?"

"Mulder said I was doing more damage to you by-" She stopped herself, realizing that what she said would open old wounds, but it was too late.

He turned around. "Mulder! Mulder said? And you believed him?"

"I'm not saying that! I just want to know you're going to be okay!"

"We've been through this before, Marita. I had your word, never again! Never again, and yet, here we are! I need your help more than ever, and you're going to abandon me, again, because Mulder said?"

He threw his glass against the wall.

"Alex, Please!"

"Why is it okay for him, and not me?" He yelled. "Why is it perfectly normal for him to crawl out of the grave, three months after he died? Ever think that maybe I'm not supposed to go back? That maybe Mulder isn't the only one who gets a second chance?"

She went up to him and tried to touch him, "Alex, please! I never said I was-"

He pulled away. "You don't know what I went through! You don't know what it was like for me there! And the golden boy says a few words, and you're ready to send me back?"

"No, that's not it. Stop it! Please, listen-"

"To what? To you arguing Mulder's case? So what? I can decide to just quit, and go back? I'm not going back there. I don't care what anyone say's I'm not going back to that prison, with those-"

He stopped, turned away and went back to the widow.

She went up behind him, and touched his shoulder.

He didn't turn around. "Those things." He whispered. "They're still there, waiting for me to return. I swear I can see them sometimes in the shadows. Every time I look out the window I expect to see them coming to take me back. I won't go, Marita. Whether you're with me, or not, I won't go back."

He allowed her to turn him around, but he still wouldn't look at her.

" Alex, I'm sorry. I'm with you. Okay? I'll do whatever you need me to do. It's not like before."

He stared at her.

"I promise." She said. "I'll do whatever you need me to do. Whatever it takes. I won't let you go either."

He stood there for several seconds, and nodded.

She wrapped her arms around him. He looked over at the shattered glass, and hugged her back.


Part Six Conclusion

By the time Alex and Marita arrived, Cornwall had everything set up. The monitors were ready, the defibulators prepped, and the two syringes full. Two tables were set up, one empty, the other holding an exact duplicate of Alex Krycek. Alex looked at his clone. "He never gained consciousness, did he?"

The doctor scoffed. "No not yet. Not that it would matter if he did. Like I said before, without the proper brainwave manipulations, these things are like vegetables when they wake up."

"And like I said, you just worry about the body." He turned to Marita. "You ready?"

"As much as I'll ever be."

He held her by the shoulders. "You're clear on what you have to do?"

She nodded. "Inject you with the syringe, then wait two minutes, and inject the other body. Wait 3 minutes, and then bring your new body back. If anything goes wrong we start trying to bring back both bodies. You should be able to get back into one of them."

"Good." He took off jacket and gun, and placed them in the bag they'd brought with his clothes. He placed the bag under the table that held his new body.

"Let's get this over with."

The tires screeched as Mulder turned the corner to the road leading to the warehouse.

They finally pinpointed Krycek's location, and just in time too. Based on the information Stevens acquired from Skinner's observations, today was their last chance to get Skinner's body back.

He could see the warehouse up ahead. He pushed the gas pedal down further, and sped to the gates.

Marita Looked down at Alex on the table, syringe in hand.

"Ready?" She asked.

Alex took a deep breath and nodded. "See you over there in a few minutes."

She stuck the needle in him and watched him code. When the monitor showed no heartbeat, she hit the timer, and walked over to the other body.

The lights began to flicker. The humming from the template chambers and controls grew louder.

"What the hell was that?" Cornwall asked.

"It doesn't matter." Marita said. "What ever happens, we stick with the plan."

She pulled out the IV, and looked at the time. One minute and thirty seconds to go.


Alex looked down at Skinner's body. Shadows moved around him. He didn't look. He went over to the other body beside Marita.


He turned, and saw Skinner glaring at him. He should've known this was going too smoothly. He looked down at Skinner's body and said. "What do you think you're going to do? Hurt me? Kill me? I'm already dead!"

The lights flickered.

Alex looked at Skinner, and then down to his body.

"I wouldn't do that! You need the power in here as much as I do if you want to get back!"

The lights flickered again, one of the template chambers shattered. The lifeless body oozed to the floor, staring upward with its colorless eyes.


"What the fuck is going on!" yelled the Cornwall. The humming had turned into a scream.

"Stick with the plan!"

Another chamber blew.

One minute to go.

"Fuck this. I'm getting out of here." The doctor ran towards the exit.

"What are you doing?" yelled Alex.

Skinner didn't respond. He face was full of rage.

Another chamber blew.

"Are you crazy!" Screamed Alex. "Are you actually willing to sacrifice yourself for revenge?"

Alex saw Mulder approaching with the doctor.

"Stop what you're doing Marita!"

Marita turned, and saw Mulder, holding his gun on Cornwall.

30 seconds left.


Mulder pointed the gun at her, "I said stop what you're doing!"

20 seconds

"I said, no! If you want to stop me you'll have to shoot me, but your running out of time." She gestured to Skinners body. "You have a decision to make, you can take a life or save one. Either way, I'm not stopping."

10 seconds

Mulder looked behind him at Skinner's body.

5 seconds.

Marita took the syringe.

Mulder looked back at her.

"You're choice, Mulder!"

She stuck the needle inside the clone, and watched the flickering monitor.

Mulder pointed the gun at Cornwall, and gestured to Skinner's body. "Bring him back, now!"

The doctor went over to the table and grabbed the defibulator.


Alex saw the opening in Skinner's body.

Skinner was close enough to enter but he didn't move.

Alex yelled. "What are you waiting for? Right there's your doorway back!"

Skinner looked down to the opening, and headed towards his body.

Another light appeared.

Alex had never seen anything so amazing.

The spirit of the clone exited the body. It was an untouched soul, completely innocent. It looked like it was made of pure light. The being looked back at the body it left, and then at Alex. It smiled, and floated upwards.

Alex was mesmerized. He couldn't take his eyes off it. Everything else seemed to disappear.

The spirit started radiating, the light was everywhere, but it wasn't blinding. Slowly, the light faded until there was nothing left.

Alex stared at the spot where the spirit just was, and realized the doorway was closing.


Marita shocked the body again.


She saw Skinner's monitor spike a heart beat. Was Alex there?

She tried again.



She got a pulse.

Something came back. The question now was: what?

"Alex?" She asked.

It opened its eyes.

"Alex, is it you?"

It looked up at her.

"Alex, say something."

"You won't believe what I saw."

She put her hand to her mouth. "Oh, my god. We did it."

She kissed his forehead and placed her head on his chest.

He put his arm around her. "It was amazing. It was almost like it just gave it to me, like it was happy to go."

She gave him a quizzical look.

He shook his head. "I'll tell you later."

They heard the click of a gun.

Skinner was standing over them, with Mulder's gun in his hand.

"I can hurt you now." Skinner said.

Marita leaned over Alex.

Skinner started to pull the trigger. Mulder pushed the gun down before he finished.

"I don't think you should do that." Mulder said.

"Are you kidding? You expect me to just let him get away with this?"

"I don't like the idea either, but I think that if you shoot him, there's a possibility all this could start over again."

Skinner shook his head. "What, they just walk out of here?"

"No, I'm not saying that. You can arrest Marita on attempted murder, Krycek as an accomplice. We can at least hold them until we think of something better."

"It's not right."

"It may not be right, but do you want to go through this again?"

Alex looked at Marita, and motioned to his bag.

While Mulder and Skinner argued, Marita leaned down to the bag, and grabbed the gun.

She came up and pointed it at Skinner before he could react.

"Hand over the gun."

Skinner started to raise the weapon, Marita shot above him.

"I said hand over the gun."

Skinner looked at Mulder. Mulder nodded. He handed the weapon to Marita.


They sat, cuffed in Mulder's car, watching Krycek and the doctor scatter gasoline around the warehouse.

"When's Scully suppose to get here?" Skinner asked.

"Not for a while. I called her when I arrived, and she was just boarding the plane."

"I can't believe the three of them are going to just walk away from this."

Mulder smiled sadly. "The three of them aren't"

They heard the shot, and saw the doctor fall to the ground.


The two of them drove off, leaving Skinner and Mulder to watch the fire show.

She couldn't stop staring at him. He actually seamed happy. He had a smile on his face she hadn't seen for years.

"I still can't believe we did it." She said. "I can't believe it's over."

He stopped smiling. "It's not over. There's still all that other shit going on out there. We haven't done anything to stop that."

She slumped back in her seat. He hadn't been back for more than two hours, and already he's thinking about colonization. After everything they'd been through, she hoped they could have a little break.

He saw her reaction, and put out his new arm to her. She moved closer and nestled in.

"Of course we do have a bag full of money. I suppose a little vacation is in order, after all that work. Where do you want to go?"

She closed her eyes. "Anywhere, just as long as you come with me."

He smiled, ignoring the flicker of a shadow he saw in the rearview mirror. Marita was right, eventually he would have to go back, but it didn't matter right now. Now he was here, and he intended to enjoy it for as long as he could.