RATales Archive

Cherry Ripe

Rachel A. & Laura Blaurosen

Title: Cherry Ripe
Authors: Rachel A. and Laura Blaurosen
E-Mail: RAnton1013@aol.com and Mezzo4@aol.com
Rating: NC-17
Category: S, A
Keywords: Scully/Krycek
Summary: Sometimes remembering who you are means forgetting who you've been.
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to us and most folks are probably pretty happy about that. They are used without permission. The poetry quoted is also used without permission and will be cited at the end.
Archive: Sure, but let us know.
Spoilers: Small Never Again and Tunguska. Nothing major.
THANKS: To Cynthia for amazing beta-reading and to Alanna for encouragement. You ladies are the best!

"Just call me when you've found something. Kay?"

'Kay?' is Mulder's way of saying, 'Yes, I am aware of the fact that I am blowing you off, and I suppose I'm kind of sorry for treating you like a minion, but please do it anyway.' There might even be a thank you thrown in there somewhere as well. Whatever combination of the above, it seems to justify the command for him, seems to makes him feel better about whatever he's doing at the moment. I should refuse him, but I never do. No, I'm a good girl, I press on and I do as I am told. Please don't ask me why. I'm still on the journey to figuring that out.

One time I told him no. To this day I still laugh at the memory of the surprised look on his face, despite the situation I eventually found myself in. How dare I refuse him? the look said. You always do what I need. Why stop now? Even though at the time it made me angry as hell, at least for one moment I had the simple satisfaction of refusing Fox Mulder. It was liberating. For a moment. Until I got on the plane to Philadelphia, cursing him and myself the entire time. Kind of like I'm doing now.

It is so fucking hot out today. I don't think that the air in this car works very well anymore. Not surprising since the odometer on this thing reads 95,000 miles. I'm starting to wonder if I haven't put on at least twenty of those ninety myself.

Where the hell am I? It seems like I just keep driving the same stretch of road over and over. And it just keeps getting hotter and hotter. "It'll be a nice drive. Kay?" "It can't be but ten miles out of town. Kay?" "I'll catch up with you. Kay?"

No, Mulder, not 'kay'. Shit. I've now pulled off everything I can without getting completely naked or risking losing control of the car, which amounts to suit jacket and my shoes. I suppose I could take the T-shirt off... No, the last thing I need is to get apprehended by identity-less government thugs when I'm half naked. "Uh, FBI..." as I fish around my bra for my badge. No, I'm not that desperate. Not yet. Next intersection and I'll pull over and take of the hose.

No, next intersection and I'm turning around and going back to the hotel. Why am I here? There's nothing out here. Nothing but nothing. He insisted this was our last resort. That if the location wasn't out here, it didn't exist, that it couldn't exist. But he was certain it was. Absolutely certain, he said. Seems to me that last time he was absolutely certain I ended up in the middle of a desert.

I drive a little further and I'll be damned if I don't see an actual building in the distance. Damn him. I hit Mulder's number on my phone as I pull off the road and in front of it.

Antelope's? Is that what the sign says? Said. It's deserted as anything around here. Is THIS what he meant? God, I hope so.

Looking for service...



I don't want to, but I turn the car off and open the door. It's not a sauna, it's not even an oven. I think I've driven to bloody Mercury. The air is so oppressive, I feel like I've had the wind knocked out of me. And when I try to get up, a sinus headache overwhelms me like an atmospheric slap in the face. Mulder's got my Advil. Shit. Well I guess I'll at least take off these stupid nylons before they've seared to my legs.



This is not good. This is very very bad. What the fuck is she doing here? I knew I was taking too long. This chunk of metal has been burning a hole in my pocket for two days and I've been burning a hole in the floor of this dump for almost an hour now. Sometimes poetry needs to be sacrificed for expediency. I forget that once in awhile.

I've been trying to select the perfect place to leave it, see. A place that I could never forget just in case I need it again. A clever place. An easily described yet hopelessly remote place. A place no one would guess but that makes perfect sense. A place other than my pocket. I like my pocket and all, but I'm a little sick of being a moving target. I need it off my person. Now.

I picked Antelope's. Well, that's not entirely true. It might be more accurate to say that Antelope's picked me. Or maybe most accurate to say that my car decided to overheat about two miles away and I wandered into this ghost town looking for a mechanic and a bite to eat and discovered that there is nothing here *except* for Antelope's.

I crawled in through the window and immediately decided that this had to be it. The place. I just had to find something to stuff it into.

Which brings me back to the current problem. I've been standing here for an hour trying to imagine various hiding places and possible reactions to the discovery of said places. See, I like to think that when people uncover a piece of my work they're shocked, awed at my craft. The irony, the wit, the sheer brilliance, they say, scratching their heads and wondering where I learned this shit. I like to think that I give the artist part of con artist true meaning.

Anyhow, my mind works better, faster, in the cold. Always has. And it's hotter than hell in this deserted, broken down dump. Too hot to think.

Point is, I've been standing here like an imbecile for too long. Way too long.

How the hell did she find me?

When I heard the car I thought it was one of them. Maybe even the old bastard himself. Mulder didn't even cross my mind but it wouldn't have shocked me. But her? Is it possible that she's been following me?

I've been underestimated plenty of times. I try to be careful about not doing the same thing to other people. I know how dangerous it can be. I try to keep careful track of my enemies, potential and realized. Looks like I missed one.

It's not that I doubt the lady's intelligence. Not at all. In fact, truth be told, I think she's probably one of the smartest people I've ever met. Smarter than Mulder even. It's just that her subterfuge skills are fairly limited. She doesn't have a sneaky bone in her body. At least, I didn't think she did. Sneaky enough to tail my sorry ass half way across the country unnoticed apparently.

Okay, time to take note of possible exits. She pulled up to the front so I've gotta leave through the back. Unless she's snuck around the place. I take a peek between a couple of rotting wooden planks near the front door just to make sure.

She hasn't even gotten out of the freaking car yet. She's sitting in the driver's seat with her legs hanging out the door, looking straight ahead. Straight at me. I don't think she knows I'm in here though. If she knew surely she'd be heading towards the building, weapon in hand, not sitting there with a blasÈ expression on her face, fanning herself with a folded up newspaper and kicking her shoes onto the sidewalk. Could it possibly be that her appearance here is coincidence? She looks more like a disgruntled tourist than an FBI agent on a manhunt.

Maybe if I just wait here she'll go away.

No. This cannot be coincidence. How could the world possibly be *that* bizarre. She's here for a reason. Even if she doesn't know that I'm in this building she knows there's something here. Don't ask me how but she must.

Okay, wait. I think I missed a step. I look away for two seconds and by the time I look back she's unbuttoning her pants. This is absolutely, 100 percent weird. Maybe it's a trap. It's a perfect set up: She starts to strip, distracting me, and Mulder jumps out of the shadows and starts beating my face in.

God, she's really doing it. She's taking off her goddamn pants. Gotta be a trap. Gotta be.

Or maybe she's just hot. Watching her, I start to notice little details; the way her hair is matted and sticking to her forehead and her neck, the beads of sweat sliding over her chest, down the V-neck of her tight white T-shirt. Man.

I really should be going now.

The dowdy tan pants pool around her ankles and she demurely lifts one foot and then the other. She bends over and lifts the pants, shaking invisible dust out of them and drapes them over the passenger seat of her car. Panty hose. She's wearing panty hose. I have never been able to understand how women could wear those things at all, never mind underneath a pair of pants. And at 4 p.m. in the middle of an Oklahoma July, you'd have to be crazy to even consider it. She seems to concur. She reaches under the waist band of the wretched things and pulls them down over her thighs, calves and feet. Once they're off she kicks them away and doesn't bother to pick them up. Wise move.

She's just sitting there in a T-shirt and her freaking underwear. Her silky, white underwear, damp with sweat. She's sagging sideways against her seat and her legs are spread wide as fuck and she's just sitting there like that.

I no longer believe this to be a set up. There's no way in hell Mulder would've let me get this much of a show. And neither would she for that matter. She must just really think she's alone in this shit hole. Which is good for me in a way. Very good. I've got a hell of a chance of getting out of here without her spotting me at all. If only I could stop looking.

This is stupid. This is pathetic. I'm not some desperate, horny loser. I'm not Mulder. I've got better things to do than sit here staring at a woman in her panties. Scully's not even that good looking.

At least, I don't remember her being all that good-looking. Of course I've only spent about fifteen minutes in her presence during the past five years. And every time, she's been with Mulder. God forbid I glance at Mulder's woman. I've done my best to ignore her and it's been pretty easy so far.

I might have to start rethinking that policy.

She's running her palms over the insides of her thighs now, mopping up the moisture as her head rolls backwards on her neck. There's always the possibility that this is just a massive hallucination. It is very hot. Sometimes the mind plays tricks...

She's taking her underwear off.



She's taking her fucking underwear off. She loops her fingers in the waistband, seems to hesitate for a minute, looks around furtively, shrugs and yanks. Once the scrap of fabric is away from her skin she curls it up into a ball and shoves it in the glove compartment, giving me an even better view of the damp, peachy curls between her legs as she leans back. I can almost smell her from here, pungent and heady from the temperature.

This would qualify as a very bad thing. I've got a hard-on for Dana Scully. It's almost a suffocating presence. I almost feel like stripping myself.

Then just as suddenly as it began, the redhead review is over. She grabs her pants and pulls them back on over her bare flesh, steps into her shoes and starts walking right towards the bar.

Dammit! What the hell is my problem. I must be seriously slipping. It's too late to escape unseen. Thanks to my voyeurism, I'm stuck here. I've only got a couple of options left. I've got to let her capture me, let her think she's winning and talk my way out or I've got to hurt her. It takes less than a half a second for me to decide.



No Service.


I suppose since I drove all this way, I ought to at least check the place out. As soon as I don't, this will have been the spot. And if after tomorrow it's gone, Mulder would never get over it.

There I go again. Concerning myself with his opinion. Maybe there's some kind of twelve-step program I can enroll myself in.

The glass on the front door having long ago been smashed in, I step in through the space left behind, not without catching my pant leg on a jagged piece at the bottom and scratching my ankle a bit. Bottle of Advil, new pantsuit, antibiotics for the infection I'll probably get. The list is growing, Mulder.

I can see through the inside screen door to the sad remains of someone's means of income and perhaps pride and joy. There are a few remaining chairs and booths with their tables missing. On the wall there is spray-painted in red, "Danny loves Carrie 4-ever." Next to the declaration, "smoke weed."

As soon as I am inside, I feel uneasy, like I'm not entirely alone. It's difficult to see in here, as it's nearing dusk and there's only small, stained-glass windows on the two walls that I am able to see. The afternoon sun makes it through two broken windows, shining thick rays on the dusty, dirty floor, but not lending anything to visibility.

Before I am even aware of it, I'm reaching for my gun. And just as quickly, I am immobilized, my arm twisted and pinned behind me.

"Nice show."

There is hot, heavy breath on my neck and the hardness of an erection pushing at my back. My mouth dries. I feel faint. I can't move. I'm going to get raped.

But the instinct to flee fades as quickly as it came over me and I take the opportunity my assailant seems to have given me to swing around and lay one into him. As he yelps in surprise, I waste no time and take my foot to the protrusion below his waist.

He doubles over in well-deserved pain and drops to his knees.

"AH! FFFFFFuck! Bitch!"

I take a moment to let my eyes focus on him. He's a young man, perhaps thirty and in apparently good physical condition. Relatively speaking, anyway.

"Shut up! Show me your face."

Slowly he reveals his pained face to me. Oh God. I should have known...

"Come here often?" the bastard groans out. "Or is this a working night for you?"

I'm still attempting to catch my breath. "Wha...?" I pant.

His contemptible look nauseates me. "Business must be really bad back in the D.C. area if you're selling your stuff out here."

"Wha...what the hell are you talking about, Krycek? Selling what stuff?"

"Your secret life as a stripper. Does Mulder know? 'Cause that was quite a show. I'll bet he'd love to see."

I stare him down in a way that makes most men run screaming. But his smug look remains.

"Here," he says with a wink, "I gotta quarter in my pocket for ya."

Unable to help myself, I take my gun and smack his face with it.

"Ow!! Jesus, woman, what the hell?"

"Get up!"

"Oh, I get it," he says in a pained voice. "This is one of *those* kind of places. Not usually my style, but I'll try anything at least once."

Oh, this is going to be so much fun. Again, Mulder, thank you. I grab Krycek by the arm and pull him upward as forcefully as I can manage. My grip barely makes its way around his thick, muscular bicep.

"Are we gonna dance now?"

"GET UP!!" I scream and push the barrel of my gun into his neck.

He obliges me and stands up with obvious difficulty. Apparently kicking him in the groin was not the best thing for his erection. That's too bad.

I push him toward the bar at the other end of the room, gun at his back. What the hell do I do with him? He's gonna bolt if I don't restrain him. But where?

"Oh, you want *me* to dance? I could get up on the bar, maybe they've got "It's Raining Men" on the jukebox."

"Just shut up!"

Ah, wonderful. There's a foot bar at the bottom. "Sit down."

"On the floor? It's kinda dirty."

Oh, listen to Mr. "you gotta learn to live the rats" worrying about getting his ass dirty. I look up at him, straight into his piercing dark eyes. I can feel his breath on my face, I'm so close. "You have a problem with dirt?"

"Depends. Some dirt's good, some's just disgusting."

"Well I think you'll be right at home. Now SIT DOWN!!"

"That's pretty tough talk coming from a lady with no underpants."

I give him a good shove to the floor and he lands harder than I would have expected. He continues to laugh, leering at me the entire time I'm cuffing his right hand.

"Um, have I committed a crime?"

I look up quickly and am face to face with his lips. Heat creeps up through my neck and I look away quickly.

"Maybe," I hiss out.

"I'm just standing here, you're the one indecently exposing herself. If anything, *I* should be making a citizen's arrest!"

I roll my eyes and sigh at him. When I reach for his left arm, I can't control my blatant gasp.

"Oops, think fast, agent."

Mulder's voice echoes in my memory, telling me once how nice it was to be able to put both of his arms around me after his return from Russia. Krycek...?

I let go of his arm quickly and attach the cuffs to the bar.

"Decent solution," he can't help but praise me. "This is kinda tight, though"

"I thought I told you to shut up." I frisk him for a weapon somewhat reluctantly and look up only to be greeted with a repulsive sneer.

"That was awhile ago," he says and leans back on his elbow with a horribly macho grunt. "Thought maybe I'd charmed you into changing your mind by now."

I rise and turn my back to him, suddenly unable to get past the notion that Alex Krycek saw me naked, that he knows that there's nothing underneath these pants but me. A Sweaty, grimy me at that, too. I know I should care less, but I'm finding it extremely difficult to keep a hard-line attitude aware that my suspect knows all my secrets.

"Now," I say as I turn around. "I need to know some things...and you're going to tell me these things. Are we clear on that?"

He is still leering at me. I wait for a sick feeling in my stomach, but it doesn't come. Instead my eyes are fixated on the rise and fall of his chest and feel my stomach jump.

"I got no problem with that, he says through a stifled grin. "As long as I have the answers."

Oh, you'll have the answers, all right.

"What are you doing here?"

"Looking for a drink. A mechanic, maybe some lunch. Big mistake. HUGE mistake." He stops and laughs. "This place is a freaking hell on earth. Although now that you've shown up, things might just turn around. I keep hoping that one of the times you open your mouth, the place will frost over or something."

Son of a Bitch.

"Cut the crap, Krycek. I want a straight answer."

"It's the truth," he insists pleadingly. "Hey, I'm not gonna make shit up to please you. What about you? What are YOU doing here? Where's Mulder? I thought the guy couldn't go more than an hour without you in sight before he started convulsing."

Oh, God. What am I doing here? I don't have the desire, inclination, or energy to do this. The headache that I had earlier has returned with a nasty vengeance. It's now at the stage where its getting difficult to focus clearly. I need to shut my eyes, just for a second.

I wipe the dripping sweat from my brow and let out a long, slow breath. "Where is it," I ask through closed eyes.


"Yes, it. And don't try to snow me, Krycek. We both know what I'm talking about."

"Don't say snow," he pleads and I almost feel guilty. "It's so freaking hot."

"Where is it?"

He remains still and continues to leer. I have no idea why it's making me feel so uneasy. It's only Alex Krycek. I sigh and grunt a bit in frustration. In the distance, I hear the culprit of my headache approaching us.

"You know, you probably should be going."

"What? What are you talking about?"

"Don't want to get stuck in a place like this with a bad, bad man in the middle of a storm, do you? Who knows what might happen."

Goddamn that sneer! If he thinks he's gonna wear me down, he's got another think coming.

"We're not going anywhere. We're not going anywhere until you tell me where it is."

"That's funny," he says and scoots his body lower to the ground. "I was really hoping you'd tell me."

"Don't play this game with me, Krycek! I know why you're out here. Now tell me where it is."

"Game?" he laughs. "You think this is a game? This is deadly serious, Agent Scully, and I really think you oughtta let me go."

"No," I demand in compensation for the unease I'm feeling. "Tell me."

"I don't have any idea."

"Oh come on, Krycek!" I yell in frustration, trying not to sound like I'm whining. "Why the hell else would you be out here in the middle of nowhere?"

"I told you. My car broke down. About two miles north of here."

"What are you doing in Oklahoma?"

"That's a very good question."

God, did he say something to me just now? It just keeps getting hotter and hotter. My head won't quit pounding and the nausea has set in now. I can't see.

"Are you all right, Agent Scully?" I think I hear him ask. "You seem a little peaked."

"Fine. I'm fine."

I've gotta get out and get some air. I also need to call Mulder. He needs to get here and take care of his garbage

"Hey! Where the hell are you going?"

I pull open the squeaky screen door and look back at him. My God, he almost seems frantic.


"You better not leave me here, bitch! I swear to God, you'll regret it!"

Well well. Isn't this a strange and sudden turn around?

"Are you feeling all right, Krycek? You look a little peaked."



Bitch. Stupid, thoughtless bitch.

What is it with these people? Mulder, Skinner, now her. Is this part of FBI training? Maybe I missed that day. Cuff your suspect to the furniture and then leave him there to rot 101.

There is nothing, abso-fucking-lutely nothing I despise more than being trapped. I've been pretty nice about it so far, letting her cuff me and all. Hell, it was kind of exciting in a way. She sure is something else when she gets all riled up like that. I'm willing to forgive the groin kick and the pistol whipping. But this...this is not exciting, amusing or endearing.

"COME BACK HERE, BITCH!" I holler after her, pulling at my restraint furiously. The metal rod runs along the bottom of the bar and I follow the expanse down to the end where the two are joined. The wood of the bar is rotting. I might be able to get the rod out and extricate myself. I take a deep breath, an attempt to calm down a bit, wrap both hands around the bar and start shaking and pulling at it. The prosthetic isn't much use and the real one is somewhat limited because of the cuffs but after a minute or so the bar starts wobbling a bit.

God, I've gotta get out of here. So fucking hot. I will not be stuck here. Alone. Not alone. Goddammit. Stupid bitch. Next time I see her, she's a dead woman. No one does this shit to me and gets away with it. Not anymore.

Goddamn this stupid plastic arm. I would have been able to pull this bar out and bend it into a pretzel a few years ago. Fuck fuck fuck.

I take another deep breath, trying to calm the bubbling panic in my chest. This is so fucking stupid. Stupid stupid phobias and memories. It's actually gotten so bad that I thought about going to therapy. Can you imagine? I'd love to see the look on that particular shrink's face. See Doc, I got locked in this claustrophobic, hot, empty missile silo and spewed black oil from every bodily orifice for about a week and now I get really freaked out when I'm trapped someplace by myself...I don't know if they've got seminars for that kind of shit or what. Maybe I should ask Scully who she goes to for her post-alien abduction trauma.

I would, except that Scully's NOT HERE...

Okay, relax. I still haven't heard her start her car.

"SCULLY!" I call out again as loud as I can. My voice is already raw from yelling so damn much and the fucking heat. I wonder if she'd let me go if I just gave her the damn key. I'm almost tempted.


Thank God. She's back. I never thought I'd be so happy to see that fucking face. She stands in the door silently for a second and I let out a deep breath and relax against the bar, trying not to show how completely relieved I am. She puts her hands on her hips and tilts her head to the side, regarding me strangely and I realize that I'm soaked with sweat. I lift my fake arm and wipe my face along the sleeve of my shirt, leaving a trail of moisture on the fabric, and try to regain control of my breathing. She continues to stare blankly and it's actually making me a bit uncomfortable. What the hell is she staring at?

"You're still here," I say stupidly, needing to fill in the empty space. She lets out her own breath, looking like a wet, deflated balloon.

"Yes, I'm still here."

She doesn't sound all too happy about that fact. She runs her fingers through her hair and squeezes her eyes shut tightly. I think she feels as crappy as I do. Maybe even worse.

"Are you okay, Scully? Seriously. You look sick."

She points her gun at me and walks completely inside the bar until she's standing directly in front of me, about ten feet away.

"I'm fine. Agent Mulder's on his way."

She's lying. On both counts. It's so obvious it's pathetic. Like I said, not a sneaky bone.

"Oh boy. A party," I say, more to humor her in her delusions than anything else. I just wonder why he's not coming. She couldn't reach him? Or maybe he just didn't feel like dragging himself over here. No, he'd never miss an opportunity to smack me around.

"Now I want some answers," she tries to growl, tries to intimidate. She's wilting though.

"Why don't we wait till Mulder gets here before we start the interrogation. He's much better at it than you."

She chews on her bottom lip and rubs her nose. She is SO lying. It's funny.

"Tell me where it is."

Wonder if she'd come fish it out if I told her. Might be worth it.

"What's in it for me if I do?"

"I won't shoot you."

"That's a given."

"You think so? Don't be so sure. I wouldn't have any qualms about putting a bullet in your head, Krycek and there's not a jury in the world that would convict me. Probably not a soul that would miss you either."

Okay, I'll give her the jury and the missing me thing but she's full of crap about the rest. She'd never shoot an unarmed, handcuffed man just because he won't give her what she wants. She's not as psychotic as Mulder.

"Stop. You're gonna make me cry."

"Don't try me, Krycek. Tell me why you're here."

"I told you. For a drink. And the ambiance."

I've got to admit, when she fires a round into the bar, about a foot from my head, I almost jump.

It looks like the sound was worse for her than for me though. She closes her eyes for a long moment and rubs her temples with her free hand. Not a good idea to make big boom-booms when you've got a big headache.

"Tell me," she tries again. She's got to tire of this soon. It's getting stupid.

"So, where's Mulder? How long have we got before he joins us?" I can't resist teasing her. She's too easy.

"Not long enough for you, I'm sure. Now you can tell me now or you can wait for him to beat it out of you."

"Well, we wouldn't want to deprive him of his one joy in life. I know how much he gets off on hitting me when I can't defend myself properly."

Not that I usually try to stop him, but that's a whole other can of worms. Not one I feel like opening with Scully right now.

"Am I supposed to feel sorry for you or something?"

"Hell no. I'm not asking for sympathy. I just wonder what's in him that makes him act that way. What kind of twisted psyche he must have..."

She laughs shortly and shakes her head. Her tongue darts out to moisten her dry, chapped lips and she swallows. All this in a sort of slow motion as if any movement whatsoever made her ache.

"You're one to talk about twisted psyches, Krycek. You're a liar. And a murderer."

"I do what I have to. Doesn't mean I enjoy it. I'm not a sadist Scully. I don't get pleasure from hurting people."

"And you're saying Mulder does?" she asks disdainfully. God forbid someone think such a thing about her precious Mulder.

"Maybe not people in general but me, yeah."

She opens her mouth, wanting to defend him, and sighs, resigned to the fact that on this one small point, she really can't.

"It doesn't really matter. I just wonder why..."

"Shut up, Krycek."



She stretches her neck out and starts rubbing the side close to her shoulder. Then she sits down, cross legged, on the dirty, disgusting floor with a sigh. There's a rumble in the distance. The storm's getting closer. Maybe that's why she's got a headache. Like a kitty cat.

"Are you sure you're okay, Scully? You need a massage?"

She gives me a disgusted look like I'm making some kind of lewd suggestion. I guess to a woman who hasn't gotten laid in a decade a massage is pretty damn lewd.

"The only thing I want from you is for you to tell me where it is. If you're not gonna do that keep your damn mouth shut."

"Is it a migraine?" I ask, as quietly as possible.


"Your headache. Migraine?"

"No it's sinus. God. What's it to you?"

Pissy pissy. If I hadn't seen her naked from the waist down I'd think she was on the rag or something.

"I get migraines. There's a place on your hand where if you squeeze it it helps with headaches. I could show you if you want."

"I just want you to be quiet. Please."

"Well, don't come begging for it later..."

She kicks off her shoes and puts her gun down next to her. She rubs her hands over her face, wiping some of the sweat off, and then down her neck again. Her head rolls around on her shoulders and she makes a very small sound similar to a whimper. I take another good look at her and notice the tear and small blood stain on her pant leg. She must have cut herself on the way in.

"Your pants are ripped," I tell her. I'm usually a better conversationalist but, ya know, the heat.

"Wow, you must have been an honor student."

Little snot. I'll bet she was a prissy little tattle-tale when she was a kid. Probably one of those girls who make you chase them around the playground for a kiss and then when you catch them they call the teacher. One of those pretty, smart girls who think they're better than everybody. Who think you're a pile of worthless shit if you don't have the right sneakers or your father's poor. Maybe she's right about my own twisted psyche though, cause I feel the same deranged need to impress her as I would have felt when we were children.

"Yeah, I was actually."

She looks at me skeptically and I feel compelled to continue. I wish I had my old report cards, my degrees, diplomas, awards, everything with me so I could shove them all in her face.

"Even got myself a Ph.D.."


This back and forth nonsense with him has been nothing resembling anything of an interrogation. It's more like a game of matching wits. Or a childish playground argument. "My mom's smarter than yours." The pathetic part of it all is, even though I should know better, even though I am well over thirty years old, I find myself needing desperately to win. If I were a stranger walking by, I'm sure I'd be wondering when they were just going to get it over with and get a room. Again, thank you, Mulder.

A Ph.D., though. Huh.

"What? You think I'm some kind of mental defect or something? I'm not just a pretty face, you know."

"I didn't say anything."

"Well you looked pretty damn surprised."

He wants me to ask him in what. I can just feel it. He's got an equally desperate need to impress me, too I think. All right, I'll bite.

I ask, but not without a heavy sigh. "In what?"

"Why don't you guess?"

"Guess..." I repeat to myself and rub my eyes. Have I damned Mulder in the last few minutes?

"Come on, it'll be fun. It's not like we've got anything else to do now, is it?"

"Krycek, right now ALL I want to know from you is where the hell it is. You tell me that and I'm outta here." Suddenly I remember what just may be my only leverage with this man at this moment. "I just may even uncuff you," I add.

"Not good enough," he counters, unaffected. "Anyway I told you, I don't know where it is."

"You don't really want Mulder to get here to find out you've told me nothing. Do you?" Oh good one, Dana.

"Oh, I think he'd be happier that way. Then he'd get to be the big man and try to pummel it out of me. I think he'll feel emasculated if you get it first."

I stare down his incessant leer, but again, the bastard is unaffected. He swallows as though he's trying not to laugh at me.

"When *is* he going to get here anyway...?"

"He'll be here any minute," I say as authoritatively as I can muster.

"Well then calm yourself."

I nearly tell him to fuck himself, but refrain. Who knows what weird-assed things that would provoke from him.

For the first time since I got here, I notice that there is a staircase on the one wall. A staircase leading to nowhere. While I ponder its peculiarity, a strong wind whips past the building, seeming to cause it to sway on its foundation. The building must have been two floors.

With a frustrated grunt, I get up off the floor to examine the odd staircase and the entire place more closely. Maybe I'll be able to find it on my own. Find the treasure AND capture the villain. Gosh, he'd be so proud.

Apparently the upper rooms have been missing for a while, as there is a patch over the space at the top of the staircase. The way the wind is whipping through this place, I wouldn't be surprised if that's how they lost the other floor. Or maybe those were rooms where the working girls took their customers and some church basement women's club came in with fiery demands that the devil's floor be removed.

Holy God, I can almost hear them, see them. The groups of temperance movement women, never before having set foot near such places, now invading the lairs of the beast seeking to rid the world of the vile substance that they knew as alcohol. Those who came in peacefully as well as those with much more ferocious intent, spilling kegs and breaking bottles. Screaming and laughing and yelling...

God, how could they stand wearing all of those clothes in a summer heat like this?

"I wonder what this place was like in its day."

I jump and shiver a bit at his voice. I was really fading away there.

"I'll bet it was one of those cowboy saloons with shoot-outs and showgirls and poker."

I believe he's right.

"I wonder how many people have gotten killed in here."

I run my hand over two bullet holes in the wall and peer closely. I'd be willing to bet there's still blood there, permanently stained in the wall. I shiver again.

"Many," I say out loud unintentionally. Fortunately my ridiculous comment is covered up by a crack of thunder. The storm is getting closer.

"Lots of ghosts, I'll bet." I look out of the corner of my eye at him. Good. I think he didn't hear me.

"Sounds like the storm's coming. Maybe we should tell creepy stories. I've got a good one about a guy with a hook for a hand...oh wait, that's my life."

I don't acknowledge him, but continue my roaming. Then I see it. Through the occasional flashes of lightening, I notice for the first time the portrait painted into the wall behind the bar. My God, I'm surprised it's even here still.

It is a woman, pale-skinned and bare, lying across a red velvet couch. She has long, curly golden-blonde hair that drapes across her shoulders and the couch, yet does not cover her perfectly-shaped breasts. She is long-legged and not too skinny, most likely in accordance with what was at the time considered by society to be the ideal body shape for a woman. And although it is painted directly onto the wood panels, it has the appearance of, if touched, you could feel the soft, smoothness of the woman's skin, the silkiness of her hair. She appears to be looking straight at me, too. Watching me. I'm almost glad that it's getting darker.

"She's certainly...endowed." Krycek has noticed her too.

"You know, I always wonder if those are ever real people."

"Probably somewhat."


"It was probably the artist's girlfriend. She was probably some scrawny, butt-ugly little thing but he saw her the way she's painted there."

I turn and stare at him. Who *is* this guy?

"So, she was real but not really the way she is there."

Again, I believe he is right. But why?

"What?" he asks me. Apparently I'm still gaping.


He laughs quietly at my guess. "Are you a detective or something?"

Then he starts something that nearly makes me pee my pants.

"A sudden thought of one so pale For love of her and all in vain So she was come through wind and rain..."

He's reciting poetry. He's fucking reciting poetry. Porphyria's lover? Is that what it is? Oh my God, I really did wander into the Twilight Zone.

"...Be sure I looked into her eyes Happy and proud at last I knew Porphyria worshipped me; surprise made my heart swell and still it grew..."

I keep my back to him, completely at a loss as to what to say to that. Was that some kind of clue to where it is? Or just one for his asinine guessing game? Or is he really trying to impress me?

I hope it's my headache, because I don't think I've ever felt so confused in my life.

"God, its hot as hell in here," he says pointlessly. "You think the ceiling fans still work?"

So much for impressing me with his intelligence.

"Well it definitely wasn't electrical engineering..."

"Ouch," he feigns.

He is right, though. It is fucking hot in here, even with the sun fading fast. I think I might just going to melt into the floor in a minute.

"Maybe you should try to open another one of the windows. Or break one."

"I'm sorry if the temperature isn't to sir's liking." For some reason I want him to suffer, even though I am doing the same. "So I break all of the windows and then you can complain about the rain coming in on you."

"Mmmm," he says, closing his eyes. "That would feel...so good."

I have no idea why, but I'm staring at him again, watching him lay there, his dark navy shirt even darker from being drenched in his sweat, sticking to his muscular form. One hundred and ten f-ing degrees and he's wearing long sleeves. It surprises me for some reason. For all of the things I'm sure this man has probably done in the name of survival, he'll suffer in extreme temperatures for the sake of concealing his artificial limb. I guiltily sneak a look at that arm, trying to determine where the prosthetic begins. It's getting too dark in here anymore to see any kind of detail, though.

He's trying to control his breathing, I can tell, perhaps to keep from getting any warmer. His chest rises and falls at a slow steady rate, and his mouth is open. He certainly has "grown" since I last saw him, despite the absurdity he's been displaying here. He looks much older, though. I suppose having your arm hacked and learning to deal with that while keeping the lifestyle which he keeps will do that to a person.

Finally he opens his eyes and I look away quickly. Maybe I should break another window.

"Think the rain's keeping Mulder?"

I jump at his question. "Huh...? Oh." I walk toward the back door. "He'll be here."

I drag a three-legged chair to the door and prop it open. A magnificent gust of wind blows into the room.

"Oh...God, that feels so fucking good..." he moans.

I swallow hard and feel my cheeks tingle at the sound of his voice. I blame my headache for my shallow breath.

"Hey, do you have any food in your car?"


God, from the look on her face you'd think I'd asked her for a million dollars.

"What?" she asks in that disgusted voice I've grown to expect from her in the past hour or however fucking long we've been here.

"Food. In your car. Do you have."

"What am I Krycek, FBI Meals on Wheels?"

She's funny. I'll give her that.

"I dunno, I thought maybe you'd have a snack stash or something. You seem like a woman who keeps candy in her glove compartment."

"Well I don't."

I guess it was just wishful thinking. She actually doesn't seem like she'd do that anymore. I was thinking of the woman I met five years ago, still pink faced and full of baby fat. She looks a lot better now. Leaner and meaner. But still there's a softness there, a femininity she can't hide no matter how hard she tries. Especially now. No makeup, no shoes, hell she doesn't even have any underwear. Her hair is less damp now than it was before, less matted. Now it's just kind of messy and curly from the humidity. The sweat on her face is drying but her shirt's still wet. It's white so the dampness creates an almost see through effect. I can almost see her bra if I squint and focus hard enough. She's got a hell of a rack on her. Yet another thing I never noticed. I gotta start paying better attention.

"You sure you don't have anything? Not even a lifesaver or something?"

"Look even if I did, I'm not going out there to get it. It's pouring."

Yes it is. Maybe if she goes out and gets soaked I'll be able to see through the bra too.

"Why don't we go out together?"

"How stupid do you think I am, Krycek? Oh, sorry. *Doctor* Krycek," she sniffs.

There's the snot again. I guess she thinks I'm planning an escape. I wonder if she'd be more or less offended if she knew the truth.

"I just think it would be fun."


Guess she wouldn't know much about that. Forgot who I was talking to for a second.

"Don't you like playing in the rain, Scully? Especially when it's hot like this."

"You're not gonna wear me down, Krycek. I'm not gonna give in until you tell me."

This again? I thought for sure she'd be bored by now.

"Give in to what?" I ask her. Not the response she was expecting obviously because she doesn't have some smart-assed answer at the ready. She just sighs and sits down again in the same exact spot she was in before. This time she stretches her legs out in front of her, crossing her ankles and leaning back on her hands. The pose causes her chest to protrude almost obscenely but I don't think she notices.

"Who are you working for?" she asks me and I can't help but smile. I love this question.

"Myself," I answer. "What about you?"


"Who are you working for?"

"What the hell kind of question is that?"

"I dunno. You're the one who asked it. It's actually a very deep question if you think about it. What does it mean really?"

She sighs and rolls her eyes towards the ceiling.

"No really. Who gives me a check every week? Whose agenda am I trying to fulfill? Who do I ultimately answer to? Who really pulls the strings? What exactly are you asking me?"

"Why are you here?" she asks me, enunciating every word slowly as if she were talking to a child or an idiot.

"That is a completely different question. Equally confusing. You'd probably get bored very quickly if I started going into all the potential answers and..."


I laugh a little at that. First of all because she's playing with me and that amuses me and secondly because I actually came this close to going for a Philosophy doctorate.

"That's even more useless than the degree I've got. But you're getting warmer."

The ceiling makes a god-awful creaking sound and a loud crack of thunder makes us both jump a little bit. It's starting to feel like this old place is gonna collapse on top of us. What a pathetic ending that would be. After everything we've both lived through, to be put down by a little rain.

She sighs heavily and her eyes slip shut. She's probably wondering if we're gonna have to spend the night here. Maybe cursing Mulder for getting her into this stupid situation. I almost laugh out loud thinking about the ass whupping he's gonna get for this when she goes home.

Then she moans and rubs at her neck again and I remember her headache.

"You still feel sick? Want me to show you that accupressure thing?"

"Krycek, I just want you to shut up right now."

"God, have you always had that attitude problem?"

Her eyes spring open and she gives me a nasty, shocked look.


"Your nose is so far up in the air I'm surprised it's not bleeding from the altitude."

Her mouth drops open just like I knew it would. She is too fucking easy.

"I was just wondering if you've always been this way or if it's a recent development. Cause I've got this image of you as a kid and I'm just wondering if it's accurate."

"Oh really?" she asks haughtily, convincing me more than ever just how accurate it is.


"Oh tell me great swami, what picture are you receiving?"

"See, that's what I'm talking about. That attitude right there. You're not very nice."

"I'm not very..." she shakes her head with disbelief.

"Nice. No, you're not. And I was wondering if you ever were. I'd like to think that maybe you were once. Maybe when you were a baby. Before your..."

Brother? Sister? Probably a brother. The one sister I know about was older and she definitely did not have more than one. Had to have been a brother.

"Before your little brother was born."

She can't help but widen her eyes in surprise at that. I guess she's never really tried to figure out a person's life story just by watching them, observing. She's not a profiler like Mulder. Or a master manipulator like me. She doesn't know how easy it is. She also doesn't seem to realize how loudly she screams "middle child" to anyone paying attention.

"Yeah, you were probably really sweet when you were the baby. Before you went to school. Before you realized you were a girl and that no one would notice that you were the smartest one in class unless you shoved it in their faces."

"What...what is this, some kind of therapy session? Shut up already."

"I'm just trying to figure out why you're so mean."

That one really throws her for a loop. I'm sure no one's ever said anything like that to her before. She doesn't say anything for a long time, just gapes at me and knits her brow into a bow.

"Is it cause you had to show the boys that you were as good as them? Better? Had to be nasty to put them in their place, make sure they don't get away with anything."

Her face starts slowly morphing into this strange little pout and I can't decide if its the hottest thing I've ever seen or the most infuriating.

"Is that the face you used to convince teacher that some bully was being mean to you?"

"FUCK OFF!" she shouts and I think her loudness shocks both of us. I laugh and she glares at me.

"Settle down, Dana. God."

"Don't call me that."

"Why not? It's your name isn't it?"

"It's Agent Scully to you!"

I have to laugh at that one too. Who the hell does she think she is anyway? The freaking Queen of England?

"There's that attitude again. What's your problem?"

"My problem is that I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere with a blabbermouthed assassin from hell who seems to want to talk about every goddamn thing under the sun except for the one thing I need to know, that's what! Oh..."

She moans and hunches up her knees, burying her head between them. Apparently all this shouting is making her feel even worse.

"Are you all right? Are you gonna be sick? Maybe you should go outside and get some fresh air."

"Just shut up shut up shut up!"

"God, what is *wrong* with you? I..."

"Tell me where it is or SHUT UP!" she yells into her thighs.

"What do you want to know for anyway, Scully? It's just a load of trouble. Why do you want to have anything to do with it?"

She shakes her head and makes another miserable sound.

"I think you've got a Smurfette complex."

She stops moving, stops talking, just stops for about a minute. Then she lifts her head up and eyeballs me with a mixture of curiosity, annoyance and disgust.

"A *what*?"

"Smurfette. You remember the Smurf show?"

"Yeah, I remember..."

"Remember Smurfette?"


I guess she was too old for the Smurfs by the time they were on. Probably didn't watch too much television as a kid anyway. Probably had too many other things to do. I get another image in my head, far more pleasant than the original young Scully, of a smudge-faced tomboy in overalls and pigtails running around with a toy gun, pretending to kill her brothers. That's probably a lot closer to the truth. Or maybe they're both true. Either way, she was the kind of girl I would have died for. The kind of girl I would have teased mercilessly just to get a morsel of attention from her. The kind of girl who would have hated the very sight of me.

"Smurfette, she was the girl Smurf. Gargamelle created her and sent her over to Smurf village to make trouble. But Papa Smurf's magic made her good and all the Smurfs fell in love with her. But here she was, the only girl, in this town full of guys. And all the guys had their individual personality, Brainy Smurf, Vanity Smurf, Painter Smurf, and she was just Smurfette, girl Smurf. That was her only distinguishing characteristic, that she was a girl. So she had to do something interesting in every episode, ya know, to distinguish herself a little. But in reality, she was a lot cooler than the other Smurfs. She would have been a lot better off going off on her own and forgetting about those losers. Building a separatist, feminist, dyke Smurf colony or something, gotten Gargamelle to make another girl Smurf for her to play with."

Wow. I don't know where that came from but it's pretty damn good. She doesn't just have Smurfette complex, she IS Smurfette. She doesn't see it. She's just staring at me like I'm from another planet. Her confusion is actually kind of cute. She's kind of cute. God, she'd shoot me in the head for thinking that.

"Oh my God," she says, shaking her head.


"I don't know...Why did you just tell me that?"

"Cause, you're like Smurfette."

"God, I can't believe I'm even asking...how am I like Smurfette?"

"Well, think about it, Scully. You've got Skinner, I guess he's Papa Smurf. And Mulder, he's Brainy Smurf. And Enamored Smurf too. God, Mulder's like every Smurf. And all the other men you deal with every day, you're the only girl. You're Smurfette living in an all male colony, trying to distinguish yourself by something other than your sex. That's why you feel like you've gotta find it. Bring home the prize and be more than Smurfette. But Scully, it's never gonna work. You'll always be girl Smurf if you keep playing their game."

"Wait a minute, I've got as much personal stake here as anyone else. I'm not just some tag-along child."

"But you don't need it, Scully. You don't need to be part of this."

Even as I say the words, I realize that they aren't true. Not anymore. Maybe if I'd tried this five years ago, but it's too late now. She's buried just like the rest of us. I wish I could find her a shovel.

She sighs and rubs her face for the twentieth time.

"So, I'm Smurfette huh. What Smurf are you then?" she asks, probably thinking that I don't have an answer already.

"Apprentice Smurf."

"I don't remember that one."

"He was only in a few episodes."

"What did he do," she asks and even though she sounds condescending and bored out of her mind, it makes me smile that she asks.

"He was Papa Smurf's assistant. He wanted to do magic like Papa Smurf more than anything but he could never really get it right. So one day he snuck out of the village and went to Gargamelle's place and stole one of his magic books. He did one of the spells in it and turned himself into a green, scaly monster with a big, fat, ugly tail."

Her expression is completely unreadable. She's just staring at me again.

"I know what you're thinking," I tell her even though I don't. For possibly the first time since she walked in here I really don't.

"What am I thinking?"

"That I know *way* too much about Smurfs."


This is one of those moments in life when you say, if someone would have told me ten years ago I'd be sitting here doing this I would have laughed in their face. That if I had known that someday I was destined to be in this situation, I might have taken a completely different course.

I can hardly process all of the things he just said to me, let alone respond to any of it. Actually, I'm trying to remember how we got to this point. This absolutely ridiculous point in which we are comparing my role in life to a frigging cartoon show. But I'm too tired, hot, hungry, and achy to care all that much.

Then something occurs to me through the cloudy haze of my headache. I had to have be at least seventeen years old when The Smurfs was on television.

"Krycek...God, how old ARE you, anyway?"

"How old do you think I am?"

"Too old to have been watching the Smurfs with that much interest."

"I guess my boyish good looks are fading," he laughs. "Well you're right anyhow, I was in junior high when they were on."

"Please don't tell me you studied them in grad school."

He laughs out loud quite boisterously, if Krycek can be described that way. "Yeah I wrote an entire thesis, 'Gender inequality in Smurf Village.' "

Even though it goes against my better judgment and does nothing to ease my headache, I am powerless to control the laughter that bellows forth from my mouth. And I have difficulty containing it for quite a while, especially when it gets Krycek cackling. Krycek's giggling. I made Alex Krycek giggle. God, what the hell am I doing here?

Eventually we both come down and while I rub the swollen area over my cheekbones, he explains, "No, I used to watch the show with my baby sister. Every single godawful afternoon after school."

Wait, what was that?

"Krycek, you had a sister?"

I can't quite figure out why, but it seems like the most foreign notion to me, Alex Krycek having siblings. I just never considered it before. Probably because it was far too alarming to think that there were others who sprang forth from the same gene pool as this slimy recreant.

"Yes, I *have* a sister, yeah. Why's that so shocking?"

"I, I dunno, I uh..." I stammer and shrug uncomfortably. I never meant to put him on the defensive. I was just, as I said, taken aback. Suddenly an entirely different image of this man invades my mind's eye, of a scrawny, gangly youth telling a climbing toddler to get off of him because he's on the phone. Of a child, enamored of this other big person in her life aside from her mother and father, smiling and calling his name when he came home from school, as though that were the happiest, singlemost important moment in her life.

"I suppose I never considered that um...that you had a family."

"What did you think I came from a pod or something?"

I will freely admit that I deserved that one.

"Well, anyhow, she loved the Smurfs. Was the only thing that would shut her up."

I have to stifle a smile. Suddenly he IS that gangly 12 year old, incredibly resentful about the responsibility put upon him at a time when he was just barely a child himself. Trying to figure out who he was and conflicted at the same time with the love he felt for his sister.

"What was her name?" I ask, my curiosity eating me up inside.

"Her name IS Sasha. Why do you keep saying was and had?"

"I'm sorry. I don't know why I...I didn't mean anything by it." Sasha Krycek, Sasha Krycek. I let it run through my head a few times, my imagination conjuring up pictures as to what she might look like.

"So, were you close to her?" I press on realizing the tables have turned once again and he is now the uncomfortable one.

"For a while. I guess. I dunno. I was gone before she really formed that much of a personality."

We sit in silence for several moments. It's still pouring and thundering every so often and the heat has subsided a bit, though it is still a far cry from cooling off any in here. Normally I would enjoy the sound, relish in it even, but today it just manages to aggravate the nausea in my stomach.

The periodic lightening affords me glimpses of Krycek's face and I see him focusing on some insignificant spot on the floor. I feel that I have struck a nerve. I have made him uncomfortable, I can feel that as well. Yet my curiosity is not quelled.

"Where...where is she now?"

"I dunno, probably in college, I guess. Unless my taking care of her for those few years left her permanently scarred, in which case, she's probably in a loony bin."

"You guess? You mean you don't know where she is?

He shrugs, his eyes still averted from me.

"So you don't ever see her, then?"

"No, of course I don't ever see her."

He says that as though that were naturally the most obvious thing in the world. I suppose he wouldn't keep in touch with her. That would mean getting close to someone and I'm sure Alex Krycek doesn't know how to deal with such a thing.

"I, um, I could help you find her," I offer, though I'm not entirely certain why. "I could probably tell you where she buys her groceries in a matter of minutes."

"You're kidding, right?" He finally looks at me. I think he's trying to give me a sarcastic glare, but I see something entirely different. Something sadder.

"Look, I could find her too, very easily. I don't want to find her, Scully," he whispers and suddenly I am the one who is unnerved.

"You don't want to see your own sister?"

"Its not...it's not as simple as that."

"But she's your sister, what's more simple than that? Or didn't you ever care about her in the first place?"

"You don't understand, Scully, I care about her too much to bring her into this."

"But she's your *sister,*" I demand again. "I think she should at least have the option of deciding that for herself."

"You just don't get it, Scully. Once you're part of it, you don't have a choice anymore."

He's starting to raise his voice again, getting more and more visibly agitated. But for reasons unknown to even myself, I continue to push the issue.

"No, you're the one that doesn't get it! You have a sister and you're choosing to throw her away like she means nothing."

He shifts around and stares at the other wall now. He inhales several times to speak, apparently deciding whether or not to contest this further with me.

"What does it matter to you anyway? I would think you'd be glad I'm not subjecting some innocent girl to my presence."

"You're not a monster, Krycek," I offer, remembering his earlier words.

"And I'm not throwing her away," he persists. "I'm trying to keep her safe."

"So you'd rather she went through the rest of her life believing that her brother rejected her?"

"Yeah, I would rather have her think that than have her know the truth. She's safe this way."

I don't believe that to actually be true. I think he is much smarter than that. If he really wanted to see her, I'm sure he would do it, at any cost, and be able to protect her at the same time.

"God, I don't even know why I'm telling you this," he huffs at me. "If you tell anyone that I even HAVE a sister, I swear to God Scully, you'll be so fucking sorry."

"I'm not going to tell anyone."

"Not even Mulder, Scully. I mean it!"

"I'm not going to tell anyone, Krycek," I vow as solemnly as possible. "I do think you should reconsider your position, though."

"No way, not a chance in hell. What good could possibly come of that? She'd wind up dead. Or worse."

I shrug. I'm not sure what I could say to that. I can't exactly argue with him on that count.

"It's not fair, is it?"

"What's not fair?"

"The hold these people have over our lives."

"I guess not, maybe not for you."

"No it's not fair for you either, no matter what choices you've made." I don't know what force is controlling me when I add, "And it's not fair to Sasha."

"Well, she's the victim of the choices I've made. I can't really sit here and cry no fair and call myself the victim at this point in the game."

I can no longer count the number of times I have strangely consoled myself with that cynical thought. The questions are not new to me, but they always remain. And equally as strange, I am beginning to wonder if Alex Krycek is the only person in the world who could relate to me on this aspect.

"But maybe the question you have to ask yourself really is, am I the victim as well because I had to make those choices, even if I never really had a choice in the first place? If...if it was all plotted out long before I ever decided to become involved? That it's not just a bizarre coincidence that I'm here..."

I stop my rambling when I hear him laughing.

"What...?" H-oh God. I'm just going to shut my eyes for a minute here...

"Sorry, I know its not related to what you're talking about, but It IS just a bizarre coincidence that you're here isn't it?"

God, I've nearly forgotten why I'm even here. I'm supposed to be gathering information, perhaps even putting this man under arrest. What am I doing? I need to get somewhere here, and I'm not going to do it having a bonding moment with a known criminal.

And I'd be just be fine if this pain would go away.

"Mmmmulder," I say, the mere word a chore to speak. I take a labored breath and remind him, "Mulder's on his way. Mmmm...God."

I try to open my eyes and immediately have to hold my stomach. So...dizzy...

"Scully, what's wrong?"

I don't know. I can't think. He's talking way too loud. I press my hands on my head and dig my fingertips into my skull. I think I'm going to throw up.

"Mmmmy stomach...God I can't see."

"What do you mean you can't see?"

Oh God, please don't make me explain. "I mean I can't see."

"Like at all?"

"I just, need to, mmm, shut my eyes..."

"Is it your head again?"

Noise. Too much noise.


"Scully, I can help with that if you let me."

"I'm fine...H-oh God.

"You're not fine. Come here."

"What're you gonna do?" Got to be careful. He's trying to trap me. "I'm not going to let you free, Krycek."

"You don't have to. Just come over here and give me your hand, I can do it with the cuffs on."

No! Don't let him do it. "S'not gonna help."

"Well its not gonna hurt either then is it? Come on, it works for me every time."

"I...dunno. I...I can't think..."

"You don't need to think. Just give me your hand."

But his voice sounds so gentle. I need more of the gentle. I need for this to stop hurting. I open my hand and stare at it. Is this a good idea?

"Come here. Sit down here. Next to me."

I move slowly nearer him, and every movement is excruciating. I sit down a few feet from him and extend my arm.

"You're gonna have to move closer, sweetheart," he says, pulling at the cuffs.

I scoot closer. "What...what're you gonna do?"

"Just give me your hand," he says in that gentle voice again.

My arm is shaking and as he takes my hand, he whispers, "Shh. It's not gonna hurt, Scully."


Her hand is damp and shaking so it takes me a minute to find the spot. I rub my thumb over her palm, between her thumb and forefinger, searching, and she glances nervously back and forth between our interlocked hands and my eyes. I don't know what she thinks I could possibly do to hurt her in this situation but she still seems very nervous and wary.

Then I find the spot. I dig in with all the strength I can muster in my fingers, hard and slow, and her eyes slip shut. Her jaw slackens almost immediately and as I massage her hand she begins to look more and more relaxed.

The thunder's starting to pass and the wind is calming a bit. The only noise is the constant drumming of the rain drops echoing through the building and the sound of her breathing.

Since her eyes are closed I take the opportunity to watch her a little more carefully, to study her face up close. It's dark outside now but there's a streetlight in front of the place which is shining through the open door, giving things a sort of yellow glow, almost like candlelight. My eyes have adjusted to it and she's close enough now that I can see every detail. Such a pretty face. Not plastic pretty either but a deep, sensuous beauty. Classical. Wonder if that's why I felt compelled to dump my life's story on her randomly. I can't even believe she got me started on that shit.

Just thinking about it again is agitating and I find myself grinding her palm in my hand harder than ever. Her eyes open and she lets out a small "oh" sound.

"Is that okay? Does it hurt?"

She clears her throat and yeah, it's dark but I could swear she's blushing a little bit.

"Um, no, no it's fine."

"Is it helping at all? Sometimes you have to work it for awhile."

"It uh...I, I dunno..."

"It always works for me eventually."

She looks me in the eye and swallows. For some reason, looking into her eyes when she's less than a foot away from me causes me to become instantly aroused. Even more so than watching her take off her underwear. I don't know if I've ever been this close to something so pure, so completely good in my life, attitude problem and all. It just radiates from her eyes like nothing I've ever seen.

"So whaddya do, find...find someone to rub your hand every time you get a headache?"

I just smile because suddenly my mouth is too dry to say anything. I wonder if there's any way, any way in heaven or on Earth that I could get into her pants. Maybe if I wow her with my knowledge of accupressure...

"This actually works for lots of thing. There's a place on your hand to correspond to almost every part on your body."

She nods and her eyes narrow in a way that I can't interpret for the life of me.

"I remember reading something about that in school."

"Yeah, I thought you'd probably know something about it. Probably more than I do in fact."

She closes her eyes again and nods slowly. Her head starts sagging to the side a bit.

"Ma...maybe," she murmurs dreamily, her voice about a thousand times softer than I've ever heard it. This might be easier than I thought.

"So, how does it feel?"



"Mmmm," she sighs and the corners of her mouth turn up in a perfect, tiny smile. Her headache should be long gone by now so I start to widen the strokes of my fingers to other parts on her hand.


"Mmm, less nauseous."

"Good. You look better."

This gets her attention. Her head perks up a little bit and she laughs lightly through her nose.

"I can't even imagine how I look. Probably like a drowned rat."

"No, you look better. Much better krassavitsa."

She's so relaxed now, almost hypnotized it seems, because of the massage, that it takes her a beat or two to catch that.

"Wait, what? What did you say?"

"That you look better. More relaxed."

"No, after that. You said something. It sounded like another language. Russian maybe?"

"I did?" I ask, as innocently as humanly possible.

"Yeah, you did."

"Oh. I guess I did."

"So, what was it?"

I pause for a second for dramatic effect. Gotta make this exactly right, completely perfect.

"Krassavitsa," I whisper and she opens her eyes and her brows furrough.

"What does that mean?"

"Why don't you guess?"

She rolls her eyes and I actually feel the tension returning to her body through her hand. Strike one.

"It doesn't mean drowned rat, I'll tell you that."

"Oh well that narrows it down then," she says with a bit of sarcasm but her voice is still soft and lilting. All is not lost.

"You're funny."

"Shut up," she snaps. Strike two.

"No, I'm serious. You make me laugh. Not many people can do that."

This is absolutely true. Usually when people amuse me it's because they're so pathetically stupid. She makes me laugh because she's just funny and that's all.

"I know my life probably looks like a regular riot from the outside but really, I don't laugh very often."

She smiles and I rub my thumb over her wrist lightly. She doesn't seem to mind so I wrap my whole hand around her wrist and start massaging her lower arm.

"It means beautiful. Beautiful woman."

Her brows furrough and she frowns skeptically.

"You're pretty funny yourself Glasnost boy. What does it really mean?"

Her bone feels so tiny in my hand. I could probably break her arm right now. Good thing for her that's the last thing I wanna do.

"I'm not being funny. Look it up when you get home."

"Look, I realize I'm not exactly at my best right now but that's no reason to make fun."

"No, I disagree. You are at your best."

"I'm dirty, sweaty, grimy, and quite possibly stinky."

"Yes you are. And I've never seen you look more beautiful."

Her mouth drops open and her eyes get wide and she looks, frankly, a little too shocked. I'm not sure if it's because this is coming from me or because it's been a decade since she's heard it at all. I hope it's the first but I don't think so.

"You're always trying to hide it, you know? With all that makeup and those sensible suits and the gunk you put in your hair to make it pin straight. But this is just you. Nothing to hide behind. And you...are beautiful."

Her eyeballs dart around and shocked turns into frantic and very very confused.

"You look almost offended. Don't people tell you that all the time?"

"My mother," she mumbles and looks at the floor.

"I mean people who aren't related to you."

She sighs and shrugs.

"No, I guess not. I guess there isn't really anyone to tell you that is there?"

She looks up at me again and now I see something else swimming in her eyes. She's afraid but not of me. Then she pulls her arm out of my hand.

Not so fast Dana. I'm not gonna let her run from me now.

"It makes me sad," I whisper, grabbing her wrist gently but firmly. She offers some perfunctory resistance but I know she's not trying as hard as she could.

"I've seen you. Alone. At night."

I bow my head a little bit and move in closer so that our faces are almost level and only a few inches apart.


"Lots of times. I've seen those silk pajamas no one ever gets to touch but you. I've seen you writhing around on your big, empty bed. Touching yourself."

Okay, so this is a stretch. The one time I was assigned surveillance of the Scully home was probably the singlemost boring night of my life. She sat on her couch in an ugly sweatsuit with some kind of mud mask on her face and yellow putty in her hair watching Casablanca and eating microwave popcorn and then fell asleep. I complained to my superiors about being given shit work and I hollered so loud they never made me do that again. But she doesn't have to know that. It doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter because I can tell by the way she's shaking her head, by the way she's pulling her wrist away, by the embarrassment and panic and excited flush on her face, that she does have silk pajamas and she does writhe around on her empty bed, touching herself. What a surprise.

"You're so beautiful Dana. So beautiful when you do that. Such beauty shouldn't go to waste like that."

Her mouth moves wordlessly and a small gasp escapes from her lips.

"There should be someone there. Someone to appreciate that beauty. To touch you the way you touch yourself. To watch your face when you come."

She tugs hard this time so I tighten my grip and pull her closer to me.

"You're lying," she insists but there is a question in her voice.

"Does it really matter Dana? It's true isn't it?"

She shakes her head slowly and looks at the floor again.

"Are you gonna waste your whole life waiting Dana?"


"Don't you want more than your hands?"

"Let me go," she demands with absolutely no conviction. I shake my head and then I lean in and cover the soft, damp skin at the side of her throat with my mouth.


Stop. Oh, God, help me stop. Because I cannot stop myself. There is an actual mouth on my neck. A man's lips. And then his teeth. And then his tongue. And it feels so incredible I could cry.

I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't be...oh God... This isn't right. God, please help me stop this.

"Mmm, you smell so good..." he whispers into my ear before letting his tongue slip inside.

"Nnno," I finally manage.

"Yeah, you do," he gently protests.

My head becomes extremely heavy on my neck and leans into his probing tongue. His mouth opens and he takes nearly my entire ear into his mouth, running his tongue all along the outside of it. I gasp quite sharply and he laughs, the vibrations coursing through my entire body.

"Sssstop," I plead weakly.

"Why?" he says and rubs his nose into my hair, inhaling deeply. "You seem to like it."

Oh my God.

"Mmmstop...Kry...nno...Let go."

"Not yet," he sighs.

"Let go. Let..." He's barely done a thing to me and yet I am completely paralyzed.

"Do you *really* want me to?"

Oh God, I don't know, I don't know. How did I get here? Help me.

"Yes..." I whisper.

He's moved back to my neck now, kissing me with an open mouth, each touch nearing my jawline. He still holds my hand in his cuffed one, rubbing his fingers over the skin. My heart leaps into my throat with every swipe of his thumb.

"Or do you just feel like you should want me to?"


"S'matter, Dana? You sound a little confused," he breathes onto my neck.

His hand continues an upward rise on my arm, stroking it delicately, starting with my wrist and moving up my forearm and then down again, sending an unwelcome wave of sesation down my back. I know I should tell him to stop, to take my hand away and run far, far away, but I am still paralyzed.

After a while he pulls his head away and his eyes meet mine.

"Mmmhwhat...what are you doing?"

"Your skin is...so soft," he whispers, the air from his voice spreading over my face. "God Dana, you're so beautiful," he adds, moving his mouth to my other ear. He nips the lobe with his teeth and makes a tiny moan.


He kisses my chin. "How come?"

"Don't. Pleasssse."

"Dont you like it?"

No, no I'm not supposed to. This isn't supposed to be...God. I swallow hard and a whimper escapes shamefully from my mouth. Again he chuckles.

"No, I..."

"No? Really? Are you sure about that, Dana?"

I wish he would stop using my first name. I wish he wouldn't be rubbing my nose with his own. I wish that he didn't smell so masculine. I wish he wouldn't be making those little noises in his throat. I wish I wasn't wishing he would kiss me.

"You don't have to be scared, Dana."

"I'm not...scared. I'm not."

"Then what?"

Oh God, I don't know what. I can't exhale.

"Mulder..." I croak out.

He pulls back slightly, so that his mouth is directly in front of my own. "I don't know why you're so worried. Mulder's not coming."

"Yes, yes he will be here. He's coming..gah..." Good Lord, I'm shaking. I'm also holding onto his hand for dear life. And he is holding on to mine as well.

"We both know that isn't true," he speaks straight into my open mouth, he every word just barely a whisper, almost inaudible over the pouring rain. "Now why don't you just relax, Agent Scully?"

I think my eyes are actually tearing. God, what am I doing, what am I doing?

"I won't hurt you. God, I promise, Scully. I won't hurt you. Relax."

Oh, I want that. And I believe him.


Then he starts to barely run his lips over mine. My jaw is slack, my body tense. Light, teasing kisses he places on my lips, over and over, until I'm dizzy enough to fall over. I shut my eyes, hoping that it will help me distance myself from the moment and lessen the sensation.

He moves over to my cheek and it affords me a moment to swallow and breathe. I need to think about...um...

In a low, barely audible voice voice, he starts, "There is..."

My eyes pop open. He's going to tell me something. Maybe this is right after all. Maybe it's making him talk.

"There is what?" My attempt at a harsh demand is rendered ineffective by the sensual timbre I hear in my voice.

A small smile curls his lips and I see his dark green eyes dart up toward mine. His kisses resume at my hairline and in between he continues, "There is a garden in..."

Okay, garden, garden, garden. What could that be? Madison Square Gardens? New Jersey? Busch?

"Where? What garden?"

My voice catches in my throat upon speaking. I feel his smile this time against my cheek and he laughs slightly. He pulls away and kisses the other side of my face over and over, whispering, "There is a garden..." He pauses and moves back to the other side again, this time nearer to my eye. "A garden in her face..."

What is this? Code? Sounds so familiar. I repeat it over and over to myself, attempting to memorize and decipher it.

As soon as I think I've distracted myself from his ministrations, he's near my ear again, speaking into it and sending chills through my entire body. "There is a garden in her face where roses..." a kiss to my eye, "and white lilies..." another to my nose, "grow."

White lilies and roses? What on earth could he be referring to?

He pulls back and I feel as though I am forced to look into his eyes despite the fact that he is the one at the disadvantage. I am nearly frightened by what I see in them. Not a look I've seen yet tonight. "A heavenly paradise is that place...," he murmurs a bit louder and I shiver.

"Wha...mmm..." I can't ask him. I cannot speak.

"...Wherein all pleasent..." he pauses yet again to place a kiss at the corner of my mouth, "fruits...do flow."

It's not a clue, it's not information. It's a bloody poem again. Exquisite words whispered in my ear by a murderer. A traitor. A thief. A liar. Who may very well be trying to trick me out of information, dignity, and, very likely, my life. And yet at this moment I'm finding myself wanting to hear more. Wanting taste him, to feel his skin the way he is feeling mine. I want to know what it's like. I shouldn't, but I need to. God, I need it.

He pauses, his mouth directly in front of mine, his nose resting at the side of my own again. When I hear how heavily he is breathing, I realize that my breath has matched his. After an eternity of waiting, he inhales deeply, seeming to draw the breath from my own body, and then feeds me with the next line.

"There cherries grow...which none may buy..."

I feel myself reaching for his mouth with mine, and I am nearly powerless to stop it. My forehead leans into his as he quickly and breathlessly whispers the final line of the verse.

"Till 'cherry ripe' themselves to cry. Oh, Dana..."

Before he has the opportunity to finish my name, I grasp his head in my hands and push my mouth onto his. I kiss him with a fervor I don't think I've ever kissed anyone with before. It's not even a fervor. It's a definite hunger. One I was not aware I even possessed.

His lips are soft and hot and surprisingly sweet. And his kiss is beyond thrilling. I suck at his bottom lip and I feel his tongue teasing my upper one. I gasp and thrust my tongue into his mouth and he moans, long.

I can't get enough. I don't think I will ever get enough. Our tongues roll and twist around each other's with a nearly voracious forcefulness. I want him. I need to have him. I want to feel him.

My hands find their way under his shirt and I run them all over his torso, letting my fingers glide up to his pectorals and back down to his waist, tracing the finely-defined lines of all his muscles with my nails. He whimpers and sucks on my tongue.

We continue our animal kiss, groaning into one another's mouths and when I can no long breathe, I break it off. We are both panting heavily, myself nearly heaving for oxygen.

"Wow," he smiles. "You're unbelievable..."

I don't know quite what to make of that comment, but I can't ask him to clarify regardless. I am still trying to catch my breath.

"Who knew..."

Before I am able to say anything, he dips his head down and starts laving my neck, then moving down over my chest. He attempts to reach for my shirt, pulling at the bottom of it, but hindered by the handcuffs to raise it any higher than my waist.

Frustrated, he stops pulling at it. He rests his hand on my waist and leans toward my ear again. "Take these off, Dana. Take these off and let me touch you."

Touch me, please, yes, touch me. Oh God how I want that. Need that. But I can't take the chance. The chance that he still may just be trying to trap me. The chance that he may leave me.


"I won't go anywhere," he says, dropping his head to my chest. "Do you think I'd run out on this?"


"Take off your shirt, Dana."

I should be punching him, but I'm holding his fingers at my waist, praying that he won't stop talking to me like that. That he won't stop looking at me like I'm the most amazing thing he's ever seen.

"Take off your shirt for me, Dana. I wanna see you, I wanna...taste...you."

I whimper as he lowers his head and starts biting at my nipples through my shirt. My eye drips a small tear and I feel my groin burn, ache. I have to force myself to not cry aloud.

When my eyes open again, he is looking up at me with a doe-like gaze. He starts to suck at me, through the two thin layers of clothing covering my breast, until I can feel the moisture seeping through. I'm now shaking more than ever before with need.

In the back of my mind, there is a voice calling for Agent Scully. It's Mulder's voice, it's Skinner's voice, it's my mother's voice, it's Father McDuffy, it's my aunt Kate. All of them, telling me how wrong this is, how detrimental it could be. What a mistake I'd be making, the many things I'd be throwing away by giving into a shallow human need.

And to them I say: Agent Scully doesn't live here anymore.

I push Krycek's hand away from my waist and pull my shirt from my body quickly. The rain has cooled the temperature dramatically at this point and it has gone from being humid in the old building to damp and nearly chilly. A breeze comes through the door Agent Scully had propped open eons ago and I shiver, making me very aware that I am naked before him, more naked than I have been in front of any man in a long time.

I avert my eyes from his and reach behind to the clasp of my bra. I hesistate a moment and remove the piece of clothing.


I have what some people might call strange luck. I don't think anyone would call it good but I don't think it qualifies as bad either. It basically boils down to a tendency to get into awful, potentially deadly situations and end up escaping by the skin of my teeth, occasionally with one less limb. I've cheated death more times than I can count but never without a cost. Never in a way that left me feeling like a lucky guy.

Tonight I feel like a lucky guy. Tonight I know what people mean when they say "I got lucky last night." I don't think I've ever really thought of getting laid as getting lucky. In my experience the whole thing has had very little to do with luck. It's been about skill. The skill of the hunter.

And while I wouldn't discount skill as a factor in this situation, I'd say in all probability luck was at work here in a big way. Hell, it was luck that brought us both to this house of crapulence to begin with. And now it's luck that's allowing me to be the first man to see Dana Scully's breasts in the 1990's.

Strangely enough though, my eyes are drawn more to her face than to her cleavage. Her eyes are closed as she removes her bra and tosses it to the side and she's chewing on her lower lip nervously. Her cheeks are turning pink.

I only get a quick glance before she raises her arms and crosses them over her chest, covering herself. Her shyness is surprising and sexy as hell.

"Let me see you Dana," I whisper and my voice cracks. It's a small crack but it's a crack. I think this woman might have more power than I ever imagined. No wonder Mulder's so fucking whipped.

She looks down at the floor and slowly drops her arms to her sides. Her hair falls down over her eyes and she runs her hands over her pants nervously. I wish I could reach out and force her chin up. I wish I could fucking touch her.

Well, I guess it's more of a challenge this way.

"Look at me."

A little better. Didn't sound like a fourteen year old boy that time. Yeah, I've still got some control here. No problem.

"You're so beautiful Dana. So perfect."

She really is. As alluring as her embarrassment is, it's completely incomprehensible to me. How could she be embarrassed about showing me this? Absolute perfection.

"Look at me," I ask again. Well, plead. I want her to see the way I must be looking at her. To know.

She gives a small shrug and a sigh and lifts her head. Her eyes are open but they dart around a bit before settling on mine. When we're finally looking one another right in the eye, her breasts fully exposed, I think she gets it. I think she sees.

She swallows heavily. Her nipples harden under my scrutiny. No secrets anymore, Dana Scully.

Her hair is still hanging down over her eyes and my hand is still attached to the bar so I lean over and take the errant strand between my lips, pulling it back from her face. I've got a lot of practice using other body parts to perform acts normally done with fingers.

This brings my face very close to hers and I take the opportunity to stroke the side of her face with my cheek. Her skin is so soft and sweet that I think my stubbly, rough face might leave marks.


"Alex," I correct her and then cut her off with a deep kiss before she gets her wits back. This woman really knows how to kiss. Lots of guys talk about womens lips in relation to blow-jobs but personally I've never found that terrifically important. Some lips look better when you watch but they feel pretty much the same. But kissing, you've gotta have good lips for kissing and she has got one set of amazing lips. Big and wet and soft and best of all, encouraging. I could spend weeks just nipping and sucking at those lips.

And her tongue, holy God. I'll bet she's one of those girls who can tie up a cherry stem into a little bow in her mouth.

I feel her nails digging into my scalp, directing my head towards southerly regions and I smile against her. She needs this badly.

I trail a path over her neck and collar bone with my mouth. More of those light, delicate kisses that seem to drive her crazy. When I reach her left breast I start to increase the pressure, kissing a little harder, until finally reaching out and flicking my tongue over her nipple. She shudders and swallows a moan. She's trying so hard not to make a sound. I wonder if she thinks being quiet will make this less real.

I wrap my lips around her and suckle her like a baby and her fingers tighten their grip on my skull. Her chest is heaving with every sharp intake of breath. She can be as quiet as she wants but there's no hiding the fact that this is making her feel something. Who would've thought that Dana Scully would get off on having her breast sucked by a "blabbermouthed assassin from hell"?

The thought makes me laugh and it makes me moan and the sounds vibrate over her flesh.

"Come here," I murmur into the space between her breasts.


"Come here."

I press on her thigh, the only part of her I can reach right now, trying to show her what I want. What I'm starting to need. She's just too damn far away over there.

"Come here. On my lap."

She takes a deep breath and then, amazingly, she does it. She crawls on top of me and straddles me. As soon as her crotch settles on mine I groan wordlessly and jerk up against her. God, I need this more than I realized.

Her eyes widen and she stops moving.

"Mum, I...," she mumbles and her skin flushes. She seems vaguely taken aback by the fact that I've got a dick for some reason. I move against her again and wink at her.

"Cry...cek......God," she grunts through clenched teeth.

"You feel good," I tell her, rocking against her in a now-steady rhythm. I can feel the warmth of her naked chest, pressing against me through the cotton of my shirt and the heat burning between her legs is detectable even through two layers of clothing. Her hands are hanging limply at her sides.

"MM., I...ha, no...."

She shakes her head and suddenly looks very frightened.

"What's wrong Dana?"


"Are you scared?"

She shakes her head again but I don't believe her.

"I won't hurt you Dana. I promise. And nobody has to know."


Goddammit. I'm really getting sick of hearing that fucking name. I take a deep breath and swallow a heavy lump of anger.

"Mulder won't find out. I swear Dana. Nobody will ever find out."

She swallows and a tear wells in the corner of her eye. It lingers there for a second and then rolls down her cheek. I don't know what to think of that. Part of me is immeasurably proud to have melted the cold-hearted bitch I once knew to be Dana Scully but that part is overwhelmed by the part of me that wants more than anything in the world to make her feel better. She's incredible. I can't believe she's crying.

I lick the drop of moisture from her face and kiss her cheek.

"I won't hurt you Dana. Look at me. I'm at your mercy here. Take whatever you want."

This is certainly true. I've never been a big fan of being tied up or otherwise restrained during sex. Whatever kinky thrill the whole thing might have held for me faded almost immediately the first time I tried it and turned into annoyance and, ever since the silo, panic. But in this situation it's taken on a whole new dimension. If I was free to move she would have an out. She'd be able to tell herself that I forced myself on her, that she had no choice. This way though, she's the one who's gotta do the work, she's gotta take the initiative and make whatever she wants to happen happen. I can tell her what to do all I want but ultimately she's got the power, and the choice. I think we both need it to be this way.

"I want...I..."

She breaks off and leans in to kiss me with a new ferocity. Her tongue works its way half-way down my esophagus and she starts moving with me, grinding her crotch into mine. When she pulls back we're both panting.

She squeezes her eyes shut and runs her hand over her face.

"I can't...I can't..."

"Yes you can. You can do whatever you want Dana."

"It's...no...it's not right," she whispers and her eyes focus on some distant point behind my head.

"Right? I don't know if it's right Dana but God, it feels so good."

"Mmm...no," she whimpers when I start licking her neck. I don't know how I got to the point where I feel like if I don't fuck her, I'll die, but somehow I have.

"Take off your pants Dana," I tell--beg?--her.

"Wha...oh...no. I've...I've gotta...go."

I try not to laugh but it doesn't work. She has to go? That's a good one.

"I don't think you need to go Dana. I think you need to come," I whisper into her ear and she trembles and grinds against me.

"God Dana, you feel amazing."

Too amazing. If she makes me come in my pants after all this I'm gonna be humiliated for life. I might just have to kill her so I never have to look her in the eye again.

I slide my tongue around her ear and down to the tender patch of skin where her neck meets her shoulder. I bite her there and I watch her hand clench into a fist on her pantleg.

"God, Kry...Kry..."

"Alex," I try again.

"Oh God, Aleexxx," she hisses and my dick throbs unbearably against my jeans at the sound.

"Take them off Dana."

She closes her eyes for a long, suspense-filled moment and another tear drops from her wrinkled lids. Then she opens them again and stands up. She pulls her fly open and yanks her pants down and off to the side very quickly and then she's back on top of me. Completely naked.

My breath catches in my throat and my hand moves towards her against my will causing the cuffs to chafe the already raw skin on my wrist. I need to feel her in the worst possible way.

"Dana, I wanna touch you so bad."

"You can't...no," she tells me nervously.

"I know. I know. It's okay. You're in control Dana. Do whatever you want."

She sits there staring at me and breathing heavily with a lost and confused look on her face for a long time. I don't think she's got a clue what to do with me. Not that I can blame her. This whole situation is so fucking surreal. I know what I want though.

"Do you wanna touch me Dana?"

Please. God, please say yes.

She gives a small nod and reaches her trembling hands between us. She presses her palms against my chest lightly at first and then really hard. She digs her fingers into my shirt like she's molding clay, squeezing and massaging my pectoral muscles.

"That's good Dana. You can touch whatever you want."

She smiles and her hands drift a little lower, to my stomach, which she gives the same treatment.

"So hard..." she murmurs and I have to strain against the self-satisfied smile I feel threatening to take over my face. I've had to work very hard to keep my body strong and I'm glad it's paying off in this particular way. I'm glad somebody appreciates it.

Then her cool, adept fingers slide under my shirt and she starts caressing my bare skin and she tucks her head under my chin, laving my Adam's apple with her tongue.

I gasp and press my whole body upwards and into her.

She's still shaking.

"Mmmyeah.. so good Dana."

She pulls back and smiles again.


Christ, she seems genuinely surprised.

"God yeah. You feel so fucking good. I can't believe it."

She kisses me again and rubs herself against me and I swear to God I think my dick is gonna just bust through my fly at any second. I can feel how wet she is through my jeans. I can smell it.

"And this?" she whispers into my ear. I don't trust myself to talk so I just grunt and nod. Then I feel two of her fingers sliding underneath the waistband of my jeans.

"What else is good Alex?" she asks me coyly. I think she knows pretty damn well what else is good. I thrust up mindlessly and she smirks.

Then she starts unbuttoning my buttons and I think I might cry myself just from the relief. When she's done she looks down at me and I wonder if she likes what she sees. She just stares for a little bit, looking almost shocked. I guess it's been a really long time since she's seen a hard dick.

Then suddenly her hand is wrapped around me and I squeeze my eyes shut and moan. She just holds it in her hand for awhile, squeezing and releasing every couple seconds, and staring, wide-eyed and curious, almost as if it were one of her little science projects, a mystery she's trying to unravel.

"Da...Dana, I..."

Oh man. She's got me. I'm gone.

"I...oh fucking-A," I sputter when I feel her tongue on me, running circles over the head. I look down helplessly and remember my blow-job mouth thoughts from before. I think I was wrong. Seeing those lips down there enhances the experience more than I ever thought possible.



Yeah, that's what I *should* be saying. Christ, I really don't want this to begin and end with a blow-job. But it feels so fucking nice. How am I supposed to tell her no?

"SCULLY!" I call out urgently when I feel her lips closing around me.

She looks up, startled and pulls back.

"I..." she stammers and blushes. She actually looks sad to have to stop. And maybe a little embarrassed.

"Dana...God. This is gonna be over way too quick if you keep doing that."

She shrugs and sits up again.

"If that's all you want then I guess that's okay but I don't think it is. I think you need more. And I wanna give you what you need Dana."


"I think you need to be made love to Dana."

"I need....yes. Yes," she nods and kisses me hard. She rises up on her knees and positions herself over me, tantalizingly brushing her heat against me and I almost start cursing when I realize I've gotta stop her again.

"Dana, wait."

She scowls.

"What now?!"

I laugh a little bit and she glares at me.

"I think you're forgetting something doc."

She arches her brow and settles back down on my legs with a sigh.

"Reach into my back left pocket."


There's a trace of fear in her eyes and I realize she probably thinks this is some kind of trick.

"Reach into my back left pocket and take out my wallet Dana."

She does. Very slowly, her eyes never leaving mine.

"Open it up and look in the front pocket there. And don't laugh at my driver's license picture."

She does as I ask and pulls out the condom with a combination of relief and further embarrassment. I guess she's wondering why she didn't think of this. I guess she's kicking herself in the head cause God only knows where I've been and what kind of germs I've got, etc. Well, I am clean but she'd never believe me if I told her that. And I just know that in a couple days or a week or whenever her senses come back to her she's gonna realize what she did here and I don't want her to start panicking about venereal diseases. That's not an association I want her to make with this situation.

She opens the package and looks back and forth between my cock and the rubber a couple times. I think this might be the first time she's completely realized that we're going to have sex. Better not let her linger on the thought for too long.

"It's okay Dana. Go ahead," I encourage her and she takes a deep breath and puts it on me. I have to look away because the sight of her tiny hands doing this to me is almost too much.

Then she rises to her knees again and takes me in her hand, directing me to her entrance. When she's poised to sink down onto me she pauses for a minute and rotates a little.

"Tease," I grunt and she laughs.

"Open your eyes Alex. I wanna see you now."

With some effort I force my eyes open and she looks at me for a few seconds.

"Oh...Alex," she moans breathlessly and then she kisses me and then she finally brings herself down onto me and I bury myself in her watery depths.


Oh my.

Oh my God.

I can't breathe.

I can't think.

I'm going to faint.

Oh God.

I swallow hard and squeeze my eyes shut. I can't look at him anymore. I can't believe this is happening. I can't believe it. Oh God oh God oh God...

Just don't say it, just don't tell him how this is making you feel.

He's everywhere, though, God. He's so hard and so big and it's nearly painful bringing him inside of me. It's been, oh God, so long, so long, since there was anything there at all. Anything real. And it's like I can feel him, God, everywhere. It's incredible.

"Fffffffffuck, Jesus, you're so...fucking...tight, God, Dana-mmmmmm," he grunts out through clenched teeth. I worry for a split second, trying to remember if that's a good thing. I think it is.

It has to be because he rotates his hips into me, forcing a soft grunt from my mouth. He does it again a few more times and I finally realize to shut my mouth to keep myself from making the noise.

So far I have only sat still, straddled and squatting over his lap, just relishing in the feeling of having someone inside of me, feeling that fullness like I don't think I've ever felt it before. But he keeps lifting his hips toward me and I can't let him think I have no idea how to do this, that I'm some kind of frightened, inexperienced virgin. So I lift myself up on my shaky legs. Almost immediately I fall back down on him, unable to hold myself up.

Oh God, that's nice.


"Oh, yeah," he hisses, this time catching my eye. "Oh, yeah, that'ssss...good. Ssso good..."

I can't help but smile a bit. I'm doing that to him.

I rise up again, this time with a tiny bit more control and then slide slowly down again. He lets out a breath through pursed lips, blowing it onto my breasts and I shudder all over. I do it again and he responds to my movements with his own thrusts.

"God, Da-nnnna...You are so...You look so beautiful, so beautiful..."

My skin tingles even more intensely from my breasts and up to my cheeks. I can feel my ears burning and realize that I can no longer hear the rain. I hear only Alex's panting.

I put my hands on his shoulders so that I am able to change my direction, the angle at which I'm stroking. My heart leaps in my throat and I feel myself start to really climb now. Oh God, I want this. So bad.

I move faster and he lets out an "Oh shit," loudly, followed by a distinctively masculine groan. I, on the other hand, am still trying to remain quiet. I don't want him to know.

"Dana, will you do...ah...somethinggggg..."

No way, lover. I'm not taking them off.

"Why don't you...mmmm," he stops and lifts his hips a little bit higher a couple of times. Then he leans down and takes one of my breasts in his mouth. The action of his thrusts combined with this renders me ineffective. My God, I think he's got the whole thing in his mouth. Oh God oh God oh God.

Yeah, right there.

He leans his head back against the bar, letting my breast fall out of his mouth. Oh God, Krycek, don't stop, please.

He continues to push up against me and I take to rocking back and forth now, virtually unable to hold myself up anymore. His face drips with sweat and he's panting laboriously. "Why don't you, touch...them, Dana. I can't. You do it."

The thought of what he's asking me to do causes me to soar even higher and I have to bite down on my lips to keep from making a sound. I do, however, speed up my strokes and to my utter disbelief, I see my hands reach for my own breasts.

He smiles big and I smile reflexively. His green eyes are nearly black and for the first time I notice his lashes. They're remarkably long and quite beautiful. Not effeminate, yet they seem to soften his whole face. I bend down, keeping my hands on myself, and kiss his eyes lightly. I believe I felt him twitch and grow inside of me.

"Mmmm, God, you're unbelievable..." He half-moans, half-laughs.

I'm rolling my breasts around in my hands, arching my back toward him. It is for his benefit, yet I'm finding it extremely exciting myself. I squeeze my nipples and a small "oh" escapes my mouth.

He continues to watch me, smiling at me with I think is awe. Amazement almost. Not hunger, not desperate need. He's just watching. Watching me. Like I'm the most amazing thing he's ever seen in his entire life. I can't believe that I'm the most exceptional woman he's been with. I just can't imagine that.

He's definitely getting bigger, I can feel him. He's probably more than ready. Yet he's holding back, I think. He's slowed down.

Speaking of ready, I think I'm pretty near that myself. My body seems to be moving faster and faster of its own accord, and I climb higher and higher, my muscles below ever tightening.

Oh my God.

What the hell am I doing? I can't. I can't do this. What am I doing? I've got to stop this.

If only I'd thought of that sooner. Can't exactly stop now. Can't exactly say you didn't ask for this. That I didn't encourage it.

I rip my hands away from my breasts and sit back a bit, hoping that it will ease the contact. And I squeeze him with all my might.

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..." he shouts, shutting his eyes again.

I take a deep breath and try to speak forcefully. "Where is it?"

His eyes pop open and he breathes out a "Wha...?"

"Tell me. Nnnnow!"

He laughs, expending a huge amount of energy and causing his body to shake dangerously beneath me .

"You're...you're good. In more ways than...ahh...one."

He's trying not to do it. He's trying to wait for me. Well I'm sorry, but it isn't going to happen.

"Fffffffucker, tell me!!"

"No way."

I squeeze again as hard as I can and he screams. He fights back by grasping at the bar behind him and lifting his hips higher into me, making me moan against my will.

I move up and down as quickly as I can, taking care that I don't fall over the edge with him. It won't be much longer.

"G-ahhh-d, Krycek, you little shit, tell me!!"

"No, no, God, Dana, you..." His breath and moans quicken and finally he ends it with a loud, bellowing groan.

As he rides it out, thrashing wildly, I hear the snapping of wood and realize that he's pulled himself free from where he was attached.

I should feel recompensed, justified. I was able to resist it, to resist him in the end.

If it wasn't for the fact that I feel like crying now more than ever. He'll probably go now, taking my car, my money, maybe even my clothes, so that I'm found out here naked and have to explain why I am this way.

I look up and he's on his knees, rolling the used prophylactic of off himself. He's breathing heavily and watching me savagely. I should feel disgusted by it.

Then more suddenly than I am prepared for, he grabs me around the waist, the cold metal of my handcuffs brushing my ass. I tell myself not to look scared.

"Let go. Get...get out of here," I demand.


"You got what you wanted. And apparently what you needed. Now go. The keys are still in the car. Go ahead, take it all."

His look is of absolute disbelief. He smiles and his top lip curls upward. "You're crazy," he tells me. "What, you wanna pay me for that? Would you feel better about yourself that way, Agent Scully?"

"Just go already."

"Uh-uh. No fucking way." He's still smiling at me and he brings his face closer to mine again and pulls me tightly to him.

"Krycek, let go of me."

"Nope." He starts to kiss my neck and I feel what was left unfinished stir within me at an even greater intensity than before.

But I realize I must fight him and so I begin to squirm in his embrace, trying to free myself. "Let me go...bastard."

"Dana, shh, calm down," he whispers and begins to run his lips lightly all over my cheeks. It is only then that I realize, much to my horror that I have been crying this entire time. My face is soaked with tears.


"That was amazing, Dana," he whispers in to my ear huskily. "*You're* amazing."

"No..." I object weakly as he takes my mouth with his again and pushes me down toward the floor. I hold on to him tightly, suddenly terrified and excited by the thoughts of what he might be planning to do to me now. Now that he is free and at a decided advantage against me.

Yet he lays me gently down on the dirty, scratchy, dusty floor and runs one finger over my cheek. He backs up again and merely stares at me. Again, I expect to feel uncomfortable, but I do not.

And then I hear the clinking of metal and what sounds distinctly like the unlocking of handcuffs. My eyes grow wide with disbelief when I see what he's doing. The key! He took the key, the bastard.

His grin is devilish. "Won't be needing these anymore, huh?"

"You...How? When?"

"Ah, the mysteries are endless..."

I don't believe this. I don't believe I let this happen. Any of it. "How long?"

He curls up his grin and I know exactly the comment he's wanting to make at that. His brows raise and he says proudly, "Since the hand massage."

It has to be some kind of trick. He must have some kind of skeleton key. There's no way I could have let that happen. But why wouldn't he have gotten away long before then?

"No...how...? I mean, I you..."

"Guess you're lucky I wanted you more than I wanted freedom."

I close her eyes and pinch my brows together. I'm such a fool. Such a bloody fool. But I'm finding it hard to not be pleased to hear him say that to me.


"Shh..." he bids me and leans over my body, running his fingers over my face.

"Why don't you just go," I spit out, not opening my eyes.

"I wanna touch you," he says gently, with an air of surprise in his voice. "Now that I can."


He chuckles lightly. "Why? Why wouldn't I?"

I shake my head and attempt to squeeze more tears back into my head. When I feel his finger run down my side feather-lightly, I jump a bit and shiver.

He lies down on his side, next to me and continues to touch my body, tracing lines with his fingertips and massaging lightly with his hand

"You're so soft, so warm."


"Felt so good inside you," he says directly into my ear, his hand drifting lower.

"What," I stop and swallow, "are you doing?"

"Shh, I'm just touching you, Dana I just wanna make you feel good, as good as you made me feel."

His voice is wonderfully soothing. Hypnotizing. I want to hear more, but I know I can't.

"Nno...no, please..."

"No? Why not? Why don't you wanna feel good, Dana? Don't you feel like you deserve it?"

"Don't. Just...don't." I squeeze my eyes shut eyes tightly and try not to think about how his words, his questions are making me feel.

"What are you so afraid of?"

"I dunno..." God, I'm crying again.

"You don't have to be afraid." His hand trails down between my thighs, nudging them apart. My body does not wish to stop him.

"I can't...do this," I cry. "Oh, let me go, please."

He places his open mouth on my shoulder and then trails them and his tongue up to my neck. His hands stroke the insides of my thighs.

"What do you mean you can't? Of course you can. You need it. You deserve it."

And I do want it. Want him to finish it for me. Oh God.

"Please let me...oh God...Alex..."

He moves his hand higher and my legs move apart even further. He begins tracing his finger around the outside, with just enough pressure, making me light-headed. I swallow hard and force back yet another whimper.

"I won't hurt you, baby," he swears to me. "I promise."

Then he is gone from my side and before I can miss the warmth of his body, I feel his hair on my thighs, his head having assumed itself between my legs.

I am no longer physically able to hold my body as still as I have been once I feel his lips on me. He kisses me there, several times, before darting his tongue outward and into me. He runs it all around once inside me and then moves upward. When he reaches the place that aches the most, I shake and moan, unable to control myself.

"Oh God..." I pant. I want this. I've wanted this for a very long time. I've wanted and needed it. And right this moment it doesn't matter that it's Alex Krycek. Right this moment I'm thanking God that it is him.

He moves his lips and tongue in sensuous rhythm, driving me higher and higher, closer to the brink, to the point where I'm without coherence. He latches his lips to me and sucks as hard as anything I've ever felt...

And then I am lost.


For someone who just had what sounded like a pretty damn amazing orgasm, Dana Scully does not seem like a very happy camper. She's crying again, silent tears trailing down her cheeks, and as soon as I move away from her body she wraps her arms around herself.

I scoot up so that my head is next to hers and try to wrap my arm around her. Post-coital snuggling on a filthy cement floor. Seems wrong somehow but it's the best I can offer her at the moment. She's shaking so badly though that I can barely get a hold of her.

"You okay?" I ask. It's pretty obvious that she's not.

She doesn't answer me but she turns on her side to face me and grabs the front of my shirt, burying her face in my chest. I roll over onto my back, pulling her on top of me. She's naked and I'm completely clothed so it only seems fair that my ass is on the floor and not hers. I wrap my arm tightly around her back, feeling a strange need to shield her. From what, I don't know.

God, I can't believe it's over already. I tried. Really, I did. I wanted it to last. I wanted it to last a very long time. But she was too damn good. Better than I ever would have imagined in my wildest fucking wet dream. So good that the shock of it all took something away from my ability to fully appreciate it. I'd like to do it again.

Somehow I don't see it happening though. She seems pretty much done for the night and we're sure as hell not gonna be here in the morning. Well, I'm not anyway.

Still, it's nice to be holding her. Fucking Dana Scully is something I never thought I'd do in this or any other lifetime. Holding a post-orgasmic, naked, crying Dana Scully on top of me is something I never thought I'd *want* to do in this or any other lifetime. But it's nice. It's good.

She's clinging to me, curling up into me like a mattress. I can be a mattress. It's good to be a mattress.

We lie like that for a long time and all I can seem to think about is how small, how fragile she seems. It doesn't feel like there's another person resting all of her weight on my body. She's like a feather. A trembling, sweaty feather. Appearances certainly can be deceiving. Who would have known Special Agent hard-ass could be this vulnerable, this exposed, this soft. And who could ever guess that the tiny angel resting on my chest is capable of turning into a woman of steel at a moment's notice.

I wonder how many people have seen her like this. I wonder if she's like this every time she has sex or if I'm even luckier than I thought.

"Why...why are you still here?"

Her voice sounds raw, like she's been screaming. Ironic considering her concentrated efforts to remain silent.

"What do you mean?"

"Mulder's not coming," she tells me as if it were a terrific revelation.


She looks up at me with a small smile.

"Seriously, you're free. I can barely move. You won Krycek."

"Alex," I interrupt her and kiss her forehead.

"You should go."

"I should have gone a long time ago."

The minute I heard her car probably would have been the best choice and there were a thousand and one other opportunities after that.

"Why didn't you?"

"I'm not sure," I tell her honestly. "I guess this is the best date I've had in a long time."


"The truth is Dana, I was having fun. I like talking to you. You're one of the most interesting people I know."

If she knew the people I know she would probably realize what a compliment that is. As it is she seems to think it's some kind of joke.

"You are. And you're also very beautiful."

She looks up at me again and her brows knit together. So very beautiful.


She shakes her head slowly, scared. Or confused.

"You don't believe me?"

"I don't...I don't know."

She doesn't want to. That's the real answer.

"Is it so unusual for someone to think you're interesting and attractive Dana?"

I realize how odd what I'm saying must sound given our situation. It really does sound like something someone would say on an actual date. It's just so strange to me that this woman could be so...overlooked I guess.

"I...I don't..."

Her lower lip starts trembling and she bites it angrily. She looks down quickly, trying to hide the fact that she's started to cry again. I don't mention her tears but I squeeze her a little tighter.

"What am I doing here?" she chokes out quietly.

"I have no idea."

"God, what am I doing?"

"Shh, it's okay. It'll be okay Dana," I whisper even though I'm pretty sure it won't be. Not for her or for me. Or for anyone else.

"What am I doing?"

It's starting to sound like she actually wants an answer.

"Um...having fun," I offer lamely. She actually laughs a little bit through sniffles.

"You won't...um, I mean...um," she sputters.

"Won't what?"


I feel my jaw and my stomach clench upon hearing that name again. It's turning into an automatic response. That can't be a good thing.

"I told you Dana. I won't tell him. I'm not that stupid."

"The...the bureau..."

God, next thing she's gonna be begging me not to tell her mom.

"Dana, I won't tell anyone. I told you that. I'm real good at keeping secrets. And besides, who the hell would believe me?"

She nods, relaxing a lot.

"Kay," she murmurs through a yawn.

"Just don't you go bragging to all your girlfriends. I've got a reputation to uphold here."

She laughs softly and tucks her head under my chin. Her breathing is finally steady and I don't feel moisture dripping off her face anymore.

I close my eyes and listen to her breathing and to the rain, trying to let myself go for a minute. I have to make a concentrated effort to relax and enjoy any given moment and this one really deserves the energy.



"That poem...from before...what was that? Was that the whole thing?"

"It's Thomas Campion. And no, it wasn't the whole thing. Would you like to hear the whole thing?"

She hesitates a moment and then nods.

"Look at me," I tell her and she does, lacing her fingers together on my chest and resting her head on her hands. I stroke her cheek with my palm.

"There is a garden in her face
Where roses and white lilies grow"

She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly as I run my fingers over her cheek and down her chin. I guess some people might say that reciting beautiful poetry to a beautiful woman is corny. Or maybe if they knew it was me, manipulative. Well, whatever. She seems to like it.

"A heav'nly paradise is that place
Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow
There cherries grow which none can buy
Till 'cherry-ripe' themselves do cry"

The thing is, I'm not being the slightest bit insincere here. Her face really is a heavenly paradise and her lips really are like cherries. And she should know that.

I kiss her forehead and move my finger over her chin, up to her mouth.

"Those cherries fairly do enclose
Of orient pearl a double row,"

Her lips are parted slightly and I run my index finger over the top one. It's warm and wet and I can feel her breath blowing on my fingertip.

"Which when her lovely laughter shows,
They look like rosebuds filled with snow,"

I move on to her lower lip and the very tip of her tongue touches my finger.

"Yet them no peer nor prince can buy,
Till 'cherry-ripe' themselves do cry,"

I slide my finger between her lips and she takes it into her mouth, sucking gently, tasting the remnants of herself on my skin. It makes me gasp and she chuckles lightly.

I move my hand from her mouth back to her forehead and trace her eyebrows.

"Her eyes like angels watch them still;
Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threat'ning with piercing frowns to kill
All that attempt, with eye or hand
Those sacred cherries to come nigh
Till 'cherry-ripe' themselves do cry."

I lean down and kiss her full on the lips, softly but with a stronger need than I had just five minutes ago. I think it's time for me to go.

I pull away reluctantly and she looks up at me with sleepy, poetry-softened eyes. She yawns and rests her head under my chin again.

"Literature," she mumbles into my shirt.

I don't answer her because she knows she's right. We lie in silence for several minutes and I concentrate on breathing in her scent.

"How's your head Dana?" I ask quietly after awhile.

She doesn't respond and I notice that her breathing has become deeper and heavier. Like she's sleeping. Sure enough when I look down her eyes are closed and her mouth is open and she's actually fucking sleeping. On top of me.

I can't believe it. She fell asleep. She must be either completely wiped out or more trusting than I thought. Maybe both. She's amazing.

I really do need to go now.

I indulge in a few more moments of watching her in slumber and then reluctantly, as gently as I can, move her body off of me and back onto the floor. She jerks her arm but doesn't wake up. It must be a combination of the killer headache and the emotional and physical drainage she's suffered at my hands causing her to lay here in this near comatose state.

It's almost dawn. When I go out to her car I can hear the birds beginning to chirp incessantly and the sky is a strange greenish, gray color. The rain's stopped and it's about 30 degrees cooler than it was a few hours ago. Soon though, probably by noon, it'll be hot as hell all over again. By that time I should be far away from this god-forsaken state.

I take almost everything out of the car, including a blanket from the trunk, and bring it back to the bar. She's still dozing, completely naked in the middle of the floor. The thought of someone else coming in here and seeing her like this makes me unspeakably and inexplicably angry so I kneel down next to her and cover her with the blanket. I put her belongings next to her in a pile and tuck the blanket around her.

For an endless, deranged moment, I consider throwing her over my shoulder, tossing her in the backseat of the car and taking off to Mexico or Canada. She'd be pissed at first but eventually she'd realize how much better off she'd be. She'd see how much happier she is with someone who appreciates her, who tries to make her feel special and perfect every day of her life. She'd forget about Mulder.

I almost have myself convinced but reality is a difficult thing to escape for very long.

I lean over and brush an errant strand of hair from her forehead and place a final kiss on her cheek. I let my lips linger on her skin for several seconds, trying to memorize her taste and texture, and then I stand up.

"Thank you for letting me see you, krassavitsa," I whisper and then I walk out of Antelope's and into the chilly darkness.


"Oh my God!"

I gasp and sit up quickly in my bed. I think I'm late for work.

Except that I'm not in my bed. Except that I'm naked and not in my bed. I feel a cool breeze rush through the room and my eyes forced into focus.

Oh, yeah. That's right.

Memories, images come crashing back on me, but for a moment I wonder if any of them are actually real. I had sexual intercourse with Alex Krycek? Why in hell would I do that?

Yet I am naked. Naked and sitting on a damp, dirty floor with a blanket wrapped around me that I know I did not take out of the car.

I hug my legs up against my chest and wipe my eyes on my knees. And then I smell a faint scent on me. I bring my nose to my shoulder and inhale. I smell like him. Not Mulder. Like him. I also smell another familiar odor and it makes me aware of the soreness I feel. The aching of someone who has not engaged in intercourse for quite sometime.

I'm strangely happy for it.

I wrap the blanket around me and get up slowly from the floor. My legs feel shaky and very weak.

"Krycek?" I call out quietly, my voice echoing into emptiness. "Krycek?" I try a little louder.

Dammit. He's gone. And I don't know if I'm upset because he left or if I'm upset because he got away.

I wander slowly over to the door and I'm shocked into the realization that my rental car is gone as well. Fucker! He took advantage of my vulnerability, wowing me with ridiculous poetry recitations and helped himself to my dignity, and all of my things.

I feel tears creep up into my eyes and throat and if it wasn't for the fact that I feel so lethargic, I'd put a hole through the wall with my foot. I can't believe I was so willing, so, so stupid. He seemed so sincere. He said I had cherry lips...

Stupid, stupid, stupid. God, what the hell am I going to tell Mulder?

I turn back to the spot. The place where Alex Krycek made me feel things I haven't felt for a long, long time, things I've never felt in my entire life. The place where he made me feel like the most beautiful, sexiest woman in the world.

This is why it's been so long. Because I'm a goddamn sucker. I can't believe he broke me.

Just as I am about to close my eyes, I notice a familiar pile of things on the floor next to the spot. I go over and for some absurd reason, I fall to my knees, needing to be close to it, however filthy it is.

It's all here. My shirt, my bra, my pants, even my jacket and the stupid pair of nylons I threw away all that time ago. My bag, my gun, my money, it's all here. Everything but my underwear. He left it here for me.

And then my phone rings.

It takes me nearly four rings before I answer. It can only be one person and I don't know if I'm coherent enough to think, let alone speak. Especially to him.

"Hello? Scully?" He prompts me. "Are you there? Are you all right?"

"Uh...yeah. Yes, I'm fine. Where are you Mulder? You sound so far away."

"Where are you?! I've been calling you since last night. I must have left twenty messages on your voice mail."

He sounds genuinely concerned. I almost feel as though I've deceived him. But I don't feel the guilt that I would have expected.

Unconcerned by the filthy floor, I sit down and pull my pants on, trying to figure out the best way to tell him where I'm at.

"I-uh, I followed those directions you gave me, just like you'd wanted, and-"

"Did you find it, Scully? Did you find anything out?"

To say the least, Mulder.

"Uh, no not exactly...uh..."

Mulder starts spewing out all kinds of what I suppose is relevant information and I am unable to comprehend any of it. I feel so disjointed.

I stand to zip my pants and when I stick my hands into the pockets to straighten them, I feel something foreign inside.

"So, Scully, you never said. Did you find anything?"

I pull out a folded piece of paper and what looks like a locker key. The paper says simply, "Washington-Dulles INTL."

"Ye-yes," I say slowly and bring the paper to my nose. It smells like him. "Mulder, I'm going to need you to come get me."

"Uh...okay," he says. "Where...where are you?"

I tell him my approximate location, though I can barely remember how I got here, it seems like weeks ago that I was driving down I-35 in the blistering heat.

I press 'End' before giving Mulder the opportunity to say anything more. I can't bear talking with him right now. I hope he doesn't bombard me with a million questions when he gets here.

I pull on the rest of my clothes and take a final pass by the portrait behind the bar. Bidding her goodbye perhaps, perhaps thanking her. I'm not sure. Her eyes smile at me knowingly, telling me she knows things, things I know I don't want to, even though I should. That she'll always remember what happened here. And that she promises to keep the secret.

I resolve to give to her the memories so that I don't have to take them back with me. So that I can walk out of here as I am doing right now and leave the event within the confines of this building. Until another Oklahoma tornado sweeps the rest of it away.

The sun is rising and I figure the time to be around 7:00 a.m. The temperature is beginning to rise already. I hope Mulder gets here soon. Before I really begin to sober up.

I look down at the items in my hand and realize that there is more writing on the piece of paper. I unfold and read it aloud in a whisper.

"Under the lime tree
on the open field,
where we two had our bed,
you can still see
lovely broken flowers and grass.
On the edge of the woods in a vale,
sweetly sang the nightingale.

"I came walking
to the meadow,
my love was already there.
And he received me,
Blessed Lady,
the joy of that will last.
Did he kiss me then? A thousand times, at least,
look now, how my mouth is red

"Then he made
a lordly
place to lie in, all of flowers.

"There's a good laugh there
even now
for anyone coming that way;
he could tell, by the roses,
just where my head lay

"If anyone found out,
God forbid, he lay by me,
I'd be ashamed.
What he did with me there
may no one ever
know, except for him and me
and one little bird,
which will not say a word."

And at the end are his own words,

"You win."

A shudder passes through my entire body and suddenly I need to sit down on the wet ground.

And so I sit and I wait.

Poems cited:
"Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning
"There is a Garden in her Face" by Thomas Campion
"Under the Lime Tree" by Walther von der Vogelweide

The End