RATales Archive


by Tosca

Title: Axis
Author: Tosca
Feedback: Yes please! toscas_kiss@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.angelfire.com/grrl/toscaskiss/
Archive: Yes if I sent it to you, otherwise please ask.
Rating: R
Pairing: Skinner/Krycek
Series: Yes. Two-parter. Sequel to Peripetia
Disclaimers: I don't own them on this plane of existence, but I figure, somewhere in the multiverse.
Warnings: None.
Synopsis: Walter waits.

noun: a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure rotates or may be supposed to rotate.

I was up at 5 a.m. for a long-distance call with an agent working in Sydney, Australia. There wasn't much point in going back to bed, so I made myself a leisurely breakfast and read the morning paper. The engine of the SUV disturbed the quiet of weekend suburbia and when it stopped, I wandered to the kitchen window to investigate. Years in the FBI make you an inveterate curtain-twitcher.

Oddly enough, I wasn't surprised to see him. Not that I considered it inevitable Alex Krycek would end up on my doorstep, but certainly I wasn't shocked. I watched through the nets as he got out of the car, opened the gate and strode up the path. You can't see the front door from the kitchen, so I stood there waiting for the bell to ring, mind idling in circles of not thinking. Waited. And waited.

A couple of silent minutes passed but he hadn't gone back to the truck. I very much doubted he was setting up a bomb on my porch. Which meant he was still standing outside my front door.


He'd finally picked up the courage to have that talk?

I've never expected him to apologise. He might, but I've never expected him to. One of the things I've come to understand about Alex Krycek is that once something's done, it's done. Regret and guilt are too fleeting to do more than flicker on his emotional radar. He's learnt to accept things with a 'shit happens' nonchalance, and unless retaliation is necessary, to move on to more important matters (an attitude Mulder in particular should be thankful for). It means however, he lacks a certain comprehension that the majority of people aren't like that. Dana, for instance, can hold a grudge until Judgement Day, and I have no doubt over certain matters she will.

But I'm not saying he isn't capable of malice - the man has a malicious streak as wide as a cat's - or hatred.

Krycek hates well.

He hates with an ice-cold passion that is frightening in its intensity and focus. I have had that hatred directed at me, and few human things have ever chilled me more.

The other side of the coin is that he loves with an equal obsession and force. And no matter how much he has loathed me at times, he has always loved me more.

I remember the look on his face the first time we were introduced. I found gripping his hand tighter and longer than was truly professional, watching startled eyes dilate, a soft cupid's bow part on a gasp, and imagining him on his knees.

I take pride in my impassiveness, but he must have seen something on my face for he blushed red and stammered. I've no doubt Mulder teased him mercilessly about that response without any true comprehension of the real emotions underlying it. For such a smart man he is often blind to the true motives of those around him. But then with Krycek, we all were.

I too would have had to have been blind not to realise he was head over heels in love with me. A state he never seems to have recovered from, and a state I must admit to having taken advantage of. Some temptations are just too strong to resist. Eve got the apple, I got the green-eyed snake.

But I was never in love with the boy, appealing as he was, and I don't think I ever would have been. He was too arrogant, too shallow, too damn eager for approval and power and all the things youth desire. In so many dangerous ways I didn't know the boy at all, and yet I knew him too well. He was a compulsion, a taste and delight I couldn't get enough of, but I didn't love him.

The man - well, that's another matter.

Forgiveness. Mmm, now there's a sticky subject. Where does it come from? How can it even be contemplated? And for what is it actually needed?

Dana would say forgiveness must be earned, but it is also her Christian duty to forgive.

Yet of the pair of them, Mulder - never the most emotionally stable person in regards to Krycek - seems to have found it easier to grant absolution, despite his wife's religious convictions.

I forgave Alex one cold dark night in a FBI carpark. All well and good to pardon someone when you think they're dead, perhaps, but I've never felt inclined to withdraw the decision and ultimately, that's all that counts.

And is it actually needed? In the long run, Alex is a major reason for the human race being free and on the whole, blissfully ignorant of its intended doom. Despite his arrogant smirking façade and what he himself might think, there has always been a strong kernel of integrity hidden deep amongst the egocentricity and warped morality. A sense of responsibility to his species that even one of Earth's ultimate survivors couldn't repudiate. He did what was necessary to preserve humanity. As part of the collateral damage I can't applaud him, but as part of the humanity he preserved, I can't condemn him either.

And now the savior of Earth is standing on my doorstep, trying to find the courage to knock. It holds a certain twisted appeal, like so much of Krycek's own dark humor. I find myself smiling, take a sip of my coffee. Realise it's unpleasantly luke-warm now.

The doorbell rings, and I go to finally let him in.

The End