Walter Skinner drove down the quiet, tree-lined neighborhood to his new house. His retirement had officially began the day before. Today he was beginning the final phase of a plan he had put into motion many months before.
He had moved his belongings in gradually and now there were only a a few personal items left to carry inside. The house he'd chosen was huge and old, with a wraparound porch. It was wood, and had recently been repainted, white with blue trim. Most of the houses on the block had large yards, and his was no exception. There was a generous front yard, a decent side yard and best of all, a big back yard surrounded by shrubs and willow trees.
After unpacking the last box, Walter allowed himself a few minutes to enjoy the view before heading back out. His destination was the local park. He found an empty bench and sat down, watching a gathering of adults and children nearby. They were in groups, some playing frisbee, a few of the younger ones on the swings, and the older ones had organized a baseball game. Walter observed it all, but his attention was focussed on the dark-haired man overseeing the children tossing the frisbee. Alex Krycek, dressed in shorts and a t shirt, was laughing with the children, encouraging them and making sure they took turns.
Walter knew the exact moment Alex noticed him. He stilled, staring at Walter for several minutes before turning his attention back to the children. He spoke to one of the adults and then made his way to Walter's bench.
"Skinner," Alex said calmly.
"Hello, Alex. Would you like to sit down?" Walter asked pleasantly.
Alex sat down. "How'd you find me?"
I didn't. I had a friend looking for you. He found you about six months ago. Imagine my surprise to learn that you had barely left the neighborhood."
A friend of Walter's from his military days had been enlisted to locate the missing triple agent. Alex had disappeared soon after the consortium's downfall, having given the FBI the information needed to make that happen. Much to Walter's surprise, Alex was still living in Virginia, working for a security company under the name Alex Kramer. Walter's friend Mike had turned up other interesting info: Alex lived in an apartment, pretty much kept to himself, but the friends he'd made, both at work and in his building, spoke very highly of him. Especially of his work with a nearby children's home, Ursula's Haven. The home began as an orphanage, and now took in abused children from age 6 and up. Nearly every Saturday, Alex and several other volunteers took a group of children out for different activities.
"Are you planning to cause trouble for me?" Alex asked warily.
"Then why were you looking for me?"
"Answer a question for me first. Why do you do this?" Walter asked, indicating the children.
Alex sighed. "Something to do with atonement, I suppose. And... did you know I grew up in an orphanage?"
"No, I didn't."
Alex nodded. "By the time Spender found me there, I was so angry, and felt so unwanted... what he offered just seemed so much better. I guess I'm hoping I can keep other kids from turning out like me. Go ahead, tell me how crazy I am."
"That's not crazy, Alex. It's a very nice thing you're doing."
"Now tell me why you made it your business to find me."
"Do you remember what you told me, the last night we spent together?"
Alex nodded. "That we'd never be able to have any kind of relationship while the war was going on."
"Yes. That we would only hurt each other."
"The war's over, Alex," Walter said softly.
Alex stared at him for a few seconds before laughing bitterly. "You went to a lot of trouble for a joke, Skinner."
"I'm not - -"
"Don't. Look, I have a... peaceful life here. I know you must hate me, but I'm not hurting anyone here. Don't... toy with me. I never expected you to forgive me for what I had to do to you, but please, just leave me in peace."
"Alex, you're not listening to me. I'm not joking. I left the FBI. I retired. I bought a house. I'm going to practice law here. I came here for you, Alex."
Alex sat there, mouth open, not able to voice any coherent thought. "Skinner, you... I... why?"
"Because I never stopped loving you. Because I want to share my life with you. If you'll have me."
"If I'll... my God."
"Hey, Alex, are you coming back to play?" A small blond boy asked.
"In a little while, Aaron. This is Walter. Walter, this is Aaron."
"Hi," Aaron said shyly. "You're a friend of Alex's?"
"I was once," Walter said. "I'd like to be again."
"Aaron, why don't you go find Maria? It's about time for lunch."
After Aaron had rejoined the others, Alex turned to Walter.
"So, what do you expect? That we'll just fall back into bed together?"
"Alex, I don't expect anything from you. We can play this however you like. Before we didn't have the option, but now we can go slow and really get to know one another."
"I've never been more serious."
"We can date?"
"Whatever you want."
Alex smiled mischievously. "Maybe I want to be courted."
"Okay. I know you're worth waiting for, Alex."
Alex took Walter's hand. "Would you like to meet the kids?"
"Yes, I would," Walter said, rising to walk with Alex to begin their life together.
- The End -
Title: Second Chances
Websites: Maddie's Fanfiction
Feedback: Yes, please!
Warnings: This story contains a m/m sexual relationship.
Rating: The Rating Formerly Known as G
Spoilers: Assume everything through S.R. 819.
Archive: Full House, RatB, DitB, WWOMB
Disclaimer: All X-Files characters belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made. All original characters belong to Maddie.
Note: Happy Birthday, Ursula!
First Published: September 7, 2005
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