I don't believe in love
I never have, I never will
I don't believe in love
It's never worth the pain that you feel
I Don't Believe In Love by Queensryche
Holed up in the small windowless room, Krycek ignored the man staring at him and bided his time, waiting for his personal cavalry to arrive. Two days earlier, he had called Skinner, providing him with the location of the Consortium lab and a description of the evidence the FBI could expect to find secreted behind the building's bland exterior. Now came the payoff: the FBI got the bust, the Consortium lab would be shut down, and Krycek would get to go home with Skinner.
Although Krycek was good at acting as if he belonged, the consortium employee's unrelenting stare made him feel edgy. He actually exhaled with relief when the FBI agents burst into the lab. In the split second Krycek's attention was captured by their arrival, the other man drew his weapon and pointed it at Krycek. When Krycek glanced back, he saw a look of pure hatred disfiguring the man's face.
Moving purely by instinct, Krycek was already in motion when the man yelled "Krycek, you fucking traitor!" and pulled the trigger.
Diving out of the line of fire prevented the bullet from hitting him, however, Krycek's landing was both inelegant and painful. He bounced off a bookcase before landing on a pile of storage containers and the top-heavy shelving unit, now completely off balance, wobbled precariously. Krycek tried to roll away, but before he could free himself from the tangle of boxes, the bookcase lost its fight with gravity and toppled over, smashing down across his leg.
Krycek screamed as the bones snapped, the sound lost amid gunfire and shouting.
Steeling himself against the pain, Krycek lay quietly and cataloged his injuries as he waited for the shooting to stop. In addition to a broken left leg, he was bleeding from numerous cuts and scrapes and everything felt bruised.
He almost screamed again when two FBI agents, working to free his trapped leg, hoisted the bookcase and jarred it in the process. But his attention was immediately diverted as he noticed Fox Mulder entering the room. Seconds later, Mulder was in his face, demanding answers.
"Krycek! What do you know about this?"
Krycek just looked at him, marveling at how quickly things had gone wrong, and wondering how much worse they could get.
"Answer me, Krycek. What do you have to do with this?" Mulder turned to the other agents. "I'll watch him. You two go and see if you can help out somewhere else."
Mulder waited until the agents walked away.
"Now, Krycek, you answer me. How many more places are there like this one? Talk to me, you son of a bitch!"
Krycek smiled despite his pain. "Now that we're alone you're back to calling me names, Mulder?"
"Krycek, you're a fucking lowlife! I should've known you'd be involved in something like this."
Krycek concentrated on a spot to the left of Mulder's shoulder and said nothing.
His continued refusal to talk only served to anger Mulder further. He reached down and grabbed Krycek by his jacket and shook him violently. The pain in his broken leg was excruciating, but Krycek gritted his teeth and glared at his assailant. "I see your interrogation methods haven't improved."
"You might as well talk to me, Krycek. You're going down hard this time, asshole!"
"'Going down', Mulder? 'Hard'? Get your mind out of the gutter. I know you always had a thing for me, but . . ."
Mulder moved his clenched fist back.
"Are you going to beat me, Mulder?"
"You'd like that, wouldn't you? I always knew you were a kinky little bastard."
"Speak for yourself. I've seen your video tape collection."
Mulder's face reddened, and enraged, he moved further into Krycek's personal space, intentionally jostling his nemesis' broken leg as he did. Krycek howled with the unbelievable pain. Mulder resumed his questioning.
"Come on, Krycek. Tell me why you're here. Who's behind this? You'll have to tell someone sooner or later."
Krycek smiled beatifically. "Won't be you," he told Mulder softly.
Once again, Mulder grabbed him, shaking him like a terrier with a rat. It was then that Walter Skinner walked in. He'd heard Krycek yell in pain, and he'd had to force himself not to run straight to his lover. Now he grabbed Mulder and pulled him back, shouting, "Agent! This is not how the FBI conducts an interrogation!"
Mulder spun around to face Skinner, and quickly realized his superior was extremely angry.
"But, Sir . . . "
"No buts, Agent. Get away from him. Now!"
Mulder, taking heed of Skinner's fury, backed well away from both men. Skinner turned to Krycek and asked gruffly if he was okay. The injured man saw the concern in his lover's face.
"My leg's broken."
"He do that?"
Skinner nodded, relieved. He turned back to Mulder.
"Mulder, call for an ambulance."
"It's already done, Sir."
Skinner sighed with exasperation. "Then go and guide them in here, Agent."
"Yes, Sir," Mulder said resignedly.
As soon as Mulder was gone, Skinner knelt by Krycek. Once again allowing his emotion to show, he asked, "Alex, are you really okay?"
A blinding smile worked its way through the younger man's pain-etched features. "I am now that you're here."
Skinner could do nothing more than stand and watch as they took Krycek away to the hospital. He knew his first priority had to be overseeing the collection of evidence. When he did leave, he made the hospital his first stop and managed to locate Krycek without much trouble. As he reached the door to the treatment room, Skinner heard raised voices. He opened the door to once again see Mulder with his hands on Krycek.
"Mulder! What the hell are you doing? Why are you harassing my informant?"
"Your informant?" Mulder shouted. "This ratbastard is your informant? After everything he's done to me, to Scully, hell, to you - - you'd trust a word he'd say?"
Skinner looked coldly at Mulder. "Yes, I would. Let's take this to the hallway."
Mulder reluctantly followed him out. Once there, he stared at his boss, astounded. "Sir, I can't believe this . . . it's crazy."
Skinner felt his anger building, but forced it back. "Mulder," he said tiredly, "Please go home. We won't be discussing this tonight. If we do, I might have to report the interrogation techniques you used today."
Mulder paled. "Sir, I - - "
"Good night, Mulder."
"Yes, Sir. Good night."
Skinner went back inside. Krycek was pale, bruises standing out against his alabaster skin. And his leg was encased in a cast from knee to foot.
"Alex, I'm sorry about Mulder. Did he hurt you? Again?"
"It's okay. It's not your fault, Skinner. You're not his keeper."
"No, but sometimes I think he needs one. Alex, can you tell me what happened?"
Krycek told him all of it, the man recognizing him and taking a shot, the bookcase falling and catching his leg.
Skinner sat down abruptly.
"Skinner?" Krycek asked, shocked at how pale the A.D. had become.
"I'm okay. It just hit me, how close I came to losing you."
Krycek blinked in surprise. The doctor chose that moment to walk in.
Skinner stood. "Is he going to be all right?"
The doctor stared at him questioningly.
Skinner pulled out his badge. "I'm Walter Skinner. I'm responsible for him."
"He'll be fine. He has bruises and some minor cuts. The leg was a clean break. We set it and put a cast on it. We won't need to keep him for observation."
Skinner released the breath he'd been holding. "How soon can he leave?"
"As soon as the paperwork's done."
"Thank you. He'll be coming with me."
"Skinner . . ." Krycek spoke up.
"I'm taking you to a safe house," Skinner said firmly. "I'll be out to get his release in a minute, Doctor."
As soon as the door closed, Krycek said, "Skinner, I have a place to go."
"You're coming home with me, Alex."
"Alex, you said it yourself. If that guy got the word out about you, you won't be safe. No one knows about us. You'll be safe with me. Now, don't argue, boy. I'm going to see about your paperwork, then I'll come back and help you get dressed."
"First time you've offered to do that. It's usually the other way around."
Skinner smiled as he went out the door, relieved to hear him making a joke.
The nurse finally brought the release papers, and a prescription for a painkiller. As she handed it to Skinner, she told him, "See if you can get him to take it. He refused here, even when we set his leg."
Skinner grimaced. "I'll make sure he does."
He went back to Krycek's room to find him trying to get out of bed.
"Krycek!" he cried in alarm. "Get your ass back in bed!"
"Skinner," Krycek said through clenched teeth, "I'm used to taking care of myself."
"Too damned bad. You need to keep that leg up so that it doesn't swell."
Krycek sighed and lay back, grumbling as Skinner went to get his clothes. They had cut his jeans in ER, and Skinner remarked, "These will have to do until we get you home. Then we'll find you some sweats or boxers."
Skinner helped him to stand, and quickly and efficiently dressed him. Soon they were on their way.
"I'll see if I can find a pharmacy and get your prescription filled."
"That's okay, Skinner, I don't need them."
"Yes, the nurse told me you wouldn't take anything, even when they set your leg."
"I have to keep a clear head."
"Well, you don't now," Skinner said as he parked. "I'll be right back."
By the time they got to Skinner's house, it was getting dark, the windows in the quiet neighborhood lit with warm light.
"Alex, should I help you, or do you want to try the crutches?"
"Crutches. I have to get used to them."
Skinner carefully helped him from the car, and grabbed the crutches. Krycek managed well enough once he got started. As he let them in, Skinner directed, "Go sit on the couch until I get the guest room down here ready." He followed Krycek to the couch and when he was seated, said, "I'll be back in a minute. I'll get you some boxers. Do you want a bath? It will have to be a sponge bath until we figure out a way to get you in the shower."
"Even a sponge bath sounds good."
Skinner went upstairs and found some boxers for Krycek, and fresh linens for the bath and bedroom.
"All right, Alex, let's get you to the bathroom."
Once inside, Skinner flipped the toilet seat down. He reached out to help Krycek undress, only to have his hands slapped away.
"I can do this, Skinner!"
"Alex, you got hurt because you were helping me. Let me take care of you."
Krycek bristled. "I don't fucking need anyone taking care of me! In fact, I shouldn't even be here."
"Alex - - "
"Dammit, I told you I had a place to go. I don't need help."
"Krycek! Sit your ass down. Right now!"
After a few minutes of trying to stare Skinner down, he gave in and sat.
"Good boy," Skinner said, still glaring. "Now listen to me. You're my responsibility, whether you like it or not. And you are going to sit there and let me give you a bath."
He went back to undressing Krycek, scowling at him whenever he seemed to resist. Once Skinner had his patient undressed, he gave him a quick bath, then dressed him in soft faded boxers. As he settled Krycek into the freshly made bed, he asked, "Have you eaten today?"
"Not since this morning," Krycek admitted.
"I haven't had anything since lunch. I'll see what I can find."
Skinner fixed canned soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. He got it on trays and took it to the bedroom.
"I'll get a TV moved in here tomorrow and find you something to read."
"That's not necessary."
"Of course it is. Now, do you want tomato, or cream of potato?"
"Tomato," Krycek replied, but he didn't sound pleased.
Skinner handed him the tray, then settled down in the armchair to eat his own dinner. Krycek was hungry and he ate quickly. It was then that Skinner realized he'd never eaten a meal with the man. Not even take-out pizza. He smiled.
"What?" Krycek asked.
"Nothing. Let me take your tray, and I'll get your pain pill."
When he came back, Krycek was still wide awake.
"Sorry I took so long. I called my assistant to let her know I'd be taking some personal time." Thinking about how much he would enjoy his time away from the FBI, Skinner walked closer to the bed and handed the pill to Krycek. "Take this," he said.
Krycek looked up in surprise. "You what?" he asked, taking the pill from Skinner's outstretched palm.
"Arranged for some personal time. I told her a week. We'll see how it goes."
Krycek sat up straighter. "Are you trying to get one of us killed?" he demanded. "Skinner, you said yourself no one knows about us. But you were involved with that raid and now I've disappeared - - anything you do that's out of character will draw the Consortium's attention."
"Alex, you'll need help while you recover."
"No," Krycek said, getting annoyed. "Look, Skinner, I can do this on my own. I've done it before and I can do it again. If you'll just give me a phone - - "
Skinner said calmly, "Alex, it's been decided. You're staying here, and I'm taking care of you."
"Fuck you, Skinner. I don't need you!"
"Alex, you're acting like a child. Now settle down. You need some rest."
"Listen, Skinner, you can't keep me here. I'll get out."
"Alex, you're hurt. Don't provoke me. Because," Skinner said, smiling ominously as he got closer to the bed, "you're really at my mercy here."
Krycek swung his legs around, intending to get up, but Skinner easily pinned him to the bed.
"Alex, stop that!"
Krycek continued to struggle, hitting at him until Skinner straddled the younger man's body, being careful not to get anywhere near the injured leg. Skinner held his shoulders down.
"Damn you, Skinner! Get off me."
"When you calm down."
That only made Krycek fight harder. In an effort to throw Skinner off balance and free himself from the his grasp, he bucked violently against the AD's brawn.
Skinner opened his eyes wide in surprise. Krycek saw and looked away.
"Wrestling turns you on, huh, Alex?"
Krycek refused to meet his eyes, but he continued to squirm.
"Stop, Alex. You are hurt. I'll suck you off."
Krycek turned his gaze back on Skinner, who saw the familiar look of need and desire in those intense green eyes.
"No, I want you to fuck me, Skinner."
"Alex, I'm not going to risk hurting you."
"You won't hurt me. I need it hard. And that's how you want it, too."
"Well, that may be true, Alex. But we're going to do it carefully, I>my way, or not at all."
Krycek started to argue, but saw the look on Skinner's face and gave up. Skinner positioned him carefully, on his right side, with pillows supporting his broken leg. Then he took the lube and started to carefully open Krycek's hole. As he increased his one finger to two, and then three, Krycek, who was moaning now, began to thrust. Skinner smacked him lightly with his other hand.
Krycek mewled his displeasure at that idea. Skinner continued moving his fingers and was rewarded with a low, sexy moan when he found his lover's prostate. After spending a few minutes tormenting Alex with a sure but gentle touch, he slipped his fingers out and reached for a condom. When he was ready, he lifted Krycek's leg higher and held it.
"Alex, you tell me if your leg starts to hurt."
"Mmmm. What leg? Fuck me already."
Skinner chuckled and carefully eased inside Krycek. When he was in all the way, he waited a few seconds, then began to thrust, loving the sounds Krycek was making. After a while, Krycek tried to thrust back against him again.
"Alex . . . " he growled.
"Then fuck me harder!" Krycek demanded.
"Slow and easy, Alex. We're doing it slow and easy. You just lie there and let me handle this."
Skinner reached around to stroke his lover's cock, enjoying the new tone Krycek's keening took on when he did that. He pumped the cock slowly, languidly, in time with his gentle thrusts. And he talked to him.
"Alex, you feel so good inside. So hot, so sweet. Are you ready to come for me?"
Krycek groaned loudly, changing to a scream as he started to come. "Jesus, Walter!"
Skinner, feeling Krycek clamp down on him, came too, yelling his lover's name. He took a few minutes to recover, then went for a washcloth to clean them up. He made Krycek comfortable and lay back down beside him. Apparently the sex, combined with the dope, had made Krycek sleepy. He moved as close to Skinner as possible and fell asleep. Skinner smiled to himself. Finally, he would get to wake up with his lover still beside him.
The next thing he knew, he was awakened by Alex trying to maneuver himself out of bed.
"Alex!" he barked, "What are you doing?"
"I have to take a piss, Skinner, do you mind?" Krycek snarled.
"Then you should wake me up so I can help you."
"I haven't needed help in the bathroom for years."
"You know what I mean."
"Skinner, I'm perfectly capable of getting to the bathroom on my own."
"You may be, but I don't want you to hurt yourself."
Krycek let out an exasperated sigh. "Look. It's too late, or, too early, depending on how you look at it, to argue about this."
Skinner got up and guided him to the bathroom.
"Alex, you're on pain meds. You could easily fall and hurt yourself worse."
"You're really not a morning person, are you?"
Krycek merely glared at him. And stopped Skinner at the door.
"That's far enough."
Skinner waited impatiently for him to come back out, then guided him back to bed. Once he was tucked back in, Krycek snarked, "You know, your talents are wasted at the FBI. You should go into nursing. You seem to enjoy it so much."
Skinner smiled and got back in bed. His disgruntled patient went right back to sleep. Skinner, who was used to waking early, lay there watching Krycek for a long time, thinking how nice it was to have him in his bed. While he had Krycek here, he fully intended to show him how good their relationship could be, if he'd just let it. He lay there until the sun was rising, then got up and showered.
Skinner went downstairs to see what he could fix for breakfast, deciding on bacon, eggs and pancakes. He wasn't sure exactly what breakfast foods Krycek preferred. While Skinner was waiting for him to wake up, he brought the TV downstairs, and picked out some books he thought Krycek might like. When he peeked back in the bedroom, he saw that Krycek was stirring, so he took the TV in and set it up on the dresser.
"Skinner, you didn't have to do that. I won't be here that long."
"Well, you can be entertained while you are here. I'm going to make breakfast. Watch TV or read, if you want," Skinner said, handing him a stack of books.
When breakfast was ready, Skinner put it on trays again, made a quick phone call and headed to the bedroom.
"Skinner, I hardly ever eat breakfast. You shouldn't have."
Skinner shrugged. "I had to eat, too."
Despite what Krycek said, he ate with obvious relish. Especially the pancakes, of which Skinner took note.
"Are you trying to fatten me up?" Krycek asked teasingly.
"You could stand to put on some weight, Alex."
"Do you always cook like this?"
"No, I mostly cook on the weekend. I don't have time during the week."
"I wouldn't figure you for someone who cooks."
"I picked up stuff here and there. I don't like to eat out all the time."
They finished their breakfast in silence, then Skinner asked Krycek if there was anything he wanted to do.
"Yeah, I need to leave."
"Alex . . ."
"And I really need to know what happened to that guy, Skinner. They could be looking for me."
"He's dead, Alex." At Krycek's surprised look, Skinner told him, "I called a friend this morning. The guy was identified as John Barnes, and he was killed at the scene."
Krycek sighed with relief. "I still need to call in, let them know I'm holed up somewhere."
"I'll get a phone."
"My phone. The last thing we need is them figuring out that I'm here."
After Krycek made his call, he once again tried to convince Skinner to cancel his vacation and return to work. Skinner calmly rebuffed his arguments, and got on with his day. He did laundry, cleaned up a little, and caught up on his reading.
Krycek alternated between reading mysteries and flipping through the TV channels. He was restless, which Skinner expected. Having led an active, independent life, coupled with frustration over his injury made him extremely irritable. Skinner made an effort to be patient, which only seemed to make it worse. As did Skinner's ban on rough sex.
And Krycek continued with his efforts to convince Skinner to return to work.
It took only two days for Mulder to call. When Skinner answered the phone, Mulder asked hesitantly, "Sir, is everything all right?"
"I'm fine, Mulder, thanks for your concern."
"I was just - - Krycek's gone - - I was . . ."
"Like I said, Mulder, I'm fine. I'm just taking some personal time. Is that all, Mulder?"
"Okay then. Goodbye."
Skinner shook his head and went back to fixing lunch.
Early in the next week, they finally got out of the house. Krycek had an appointment with an orthopedist, who x-rayed his leg and told him it was healing fine.
"How long before I'm out of this cast?" Krycek asked.
"If everything goes well, I'd say four, maybe five more weeks."
Krycek didn't care for the answer, but didn't comment. After they left the doctor's, Skinner drove them to a quiet little park. He felt that they both could use some fresh air and sunshine after a week indoors. Krycek lay back against the bench and closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of the sun on his skin. Skinner sat there watching the man he loved, issuing a silent plea to whatever deity might be listening to help convince Krycek to let him in, to give them a chance. He tried to think back to the exact moment he had realized he loved this man, but couldn't. And after a week of being with him constantly, he wasn't sure he could take it if he couldn't convince Krycek to give in.
". . . thinking about so intently?" Krycek was saying.
Skinner shook himself from his reverie. "What, Alex?"
"I said, what are you thinking about so intently?"
"Oh, nothing. This is nice, just sitting here, not having to be anywhere. Don't you think? We should do this at home."
Krycek looked at Skinner incredulously. "Have you lost your mind, Skinner? This isn't the Brady Bunch. We're not going to sit around the back yard at home. Get real."
"Why not? We could make it work, Alex. We could have a normal life."
Krycek laughed bitterly. "I think you've been in the sun too long, Skinner. Let's go."
"Wait, Alex. Can't we talk about it? And can't you call me Walter?"
"No, Walter, we can't talk about it. Now, are we leaving together, or am I walking?"
Skinner started to argue, but quickly realized that words would not convince Alex and were likely to alienate him further. Giving up, he said, "Let's go."
Back at home, Krycek headed straight to the bedroom and stayed there. Skinner swore viciously under his breath. He felt that any progress he'd made penetrating Krycek's psychological defenses had been ruined.
It was a rough few days; Krycek remained uncommunicative and pissed off. The nights, however, continued the same as before. Skinner made slow, gentle love to Krycek, and held him all night.
During the day, Krycek continued to insist that Skinner return to work. Pointing out that he had gained mastery over his crutches and that he was perfectly capable of managing on his own while Skinner was at the office, Skinner reluctantly agreed.
The next day, Skinner walked in the bedroom to tell Krycek dinner was ready, and found Krycek looking miserable.
"Alex? Something wrong? Is your leg bothering you?"
Krycek looked up sheepishly. "Skinner," he said in a kinder tone of voice than he'd used recently, "could I have a shower? I feel so . . . unclean. I'm sick of sponge baths. The doctor said I could if I put a garbage bag over the cast."
Skinner smiled. "Of course, Alex. After we eat, you can have a shower."
Krycek got up and followed Skinner to the kitchen. He'd refused to eat in bed after the first few days, insisting it wasn't that far to the table.
After they ate, Skinner grabbed a garbage bag and headed to the bathroom, where Krycek was already undressing. He could well imagine how his next decree would be taken.
"Alex, I know you might not like the idea, but I don't want you to shower alone. If you went upstairs and used the shower stall, we could put a chair inside. But one won't fit in the tub down here."
Krycek frowned, and Skinner prepared to argue, but he was surprised.
"Okay, Skinner. Maybe you're right. The tub is slippery. And God knows I don't want to be stuck here another six weeks."
Skinner winced at that, but began to undress. He helped get the garbage bag tight around Krycek's leg. And decided that while anyone else would look ridiculous in a garbage bag and nothing else, it didn't make Krycek any less attractive.
"Alex, I'll stand behind you. You lean on me if you need to."
Krycek lathered up the loofah, then looked over his shoulder.
"Skinner, could you get my back?"
Skinner took the sponge and lathered Krycek's back, enjoying the feel of it under his hands. His cock began to harden. Skinner tried to concentrate on helping Alex, not fucking him through the wall, but it was no use. He only had to look down and there was Krycek's glorious ass. He stood back, so Krycek couldn't feel the evidence of his arousal and get any ideas of his own. Then Krycek innocently asked, "Skinner, would you mind washing my hair?"
Krycek backed closer so Skinner could reach his hair. Skinner moved back, but not before Krycek noticed his erection.
"Showers really turn you on, huh, Skinner?"
"I can't help it. You naked and covered in lather? Who could resist?"
"Well, come here and take advantage of it."
"Alex, - - "
"Don't, Skinner. It's perfectly safe. I'll lean against the wall. Fuck me. Here, now."
Skinner grinned. "Ask me nicely."
"Don't start that shit again."
"And call me Walter."
"Skinner," Krycek growled. But when Skinner touched his cock, he whimpered and said, "Walter . . ."
"Please fuck me."
"I like 'Make love to me gently' better," Skinner said teasingly.
Krycek whimpered again and closed his eyes. Skinner stroked his cock to encourage him.
"Walter," he said in a strangled voice, "Please make love to me gently."
Skinner smiled. "Was that so hard?"
"Yes," Krycek grumbled.
Skinner chuckled and reached for the conditioner. Using it as substitute lube, he took his time preparing Krycek, teasing him until he was whimpering.
"Now, please, Walter?" Krycek begged.
"Now, Alex," Walter said as he carefully entered his lover, one arm around his waist to support him. Krycek groaned as Skinner pushed in all the way.
Skinner thrust gently, reaching down to grasp Krycek's cock, stroking him gently. When he felt himself on the verge of orgasm, he started to pump Krycek's cock harder.
"Come for me, Alex," he said roughly.
Krycek did, yelling and spraying the tiles with his ejaculate. Skinner came moments later, moaning his lover's name. He held tightly to Krycek, letting the water rinse them before easing them out of the tub. He dried Krycek, then helped him to bed. Skinner went and turned off all the lights and returned to bed to find Krycek already asleep. When he got in bed, Krycek snuggled up to him, and Skinner fell into a deep slumber.
The doorbell interrupted their dinner. Krycek froze, hand reaching for the gun he didn't have. Skinner stood up and headed to the door.
"Skinner!" Krycek hissed. "What the fuck are you doing? Get your gun!"
The doorbell sounded again, followed by knocking, then "Sir?"
Skinner said "Mulder!" at the same time Krycek said "Fuck!"
"Go to the bedroom, Alex. I'll handle Mulder."
He waited until Krycek was safely in the bedroom, then took a deep breath and answered the door.
"Yes, Agent Mulder? What do you want?"
"Could I come in, Sir? I'd like to speak to you."
"As long as you make it brief."
Skinner stood aside to let Mulder in. He looked around and turned back to Skinner.
"I didn't want to believe it was true," he said, shaking his head.
"Mulder, start making sense."
"He's living here, isn't he? Krycek's living here. That's his jacket. There's two places set for dinner . . . it's true, isn't it?"
Skinner looked levelly at Mulder. "Yes, he's living here."
"Because you feel guilty that he got hurt? Is that it?"
Skinner shook his head. "No, Mulder, that's not it. We're in a relationship. I want him here."
"But, Sir, he's . . . it's Krycek. Think of the things he's done."
"We've all done things we can be less than proud of, Mulder. At least Alex is trying to make up for past mistakes."
Skinner recited a list of all the recent arrests for which Krycek was responsible. Mulder looked stunned.
"Are you sure, Sir?"
"Of course I'm sure. He is my informant, after all."
"I had no idea."
"I know, Mulder, but now you do."
"I should go. I'm sorry, Sir, I shouldn't have come here."
"Alex is the one you should be apologizing to, Mulder. Maybe some day you'll be able to do that."
As soon as Mulder was out the door, Skinner went to the bedroom. Krycek was sitting on the bed, looking winded.
"Alex, are you all right?"
"Yeah. Thankfully, Mulder didn't really get wound up. Listen, Skinner . . . Walter. Did you mean . . . "
"What I said to Mulder? Every word. I was hoping one day you'd feel the same way, Alex."
"It's not that easy for me, Walter. You really believe all this could work. I don't. Walter, I've never believed in love. Sex, sure. Love makes you too vulnerable. It's never worth the pain."
"It would be for me. Your love would be worth it to me."
Krycek's face crumpled and he turned away. "No! I don't want you to love me! You're safer that way. Everyone I've ever dared to care about has always gotten hurt because of it."
"Oh, Alex," Skinner said, reaching out to him.
"No. It's true," Krycek said roughly, "I tried so hard to keep it casual. Pretend the sex was just part of your payment. At first, I needed you to make me. But I started to realize it really turned me on. A lot."
"I don't mind doing that, Alex. But I want more. I have for a long time now."
"I don't know how much more I can give . . . God, I don't want you to get hurt too."
"Alex, that's not going to happen."
"Yes it will! You don't know," Krycek said in an anguished voice, "If they ever see that you care about anyone, or anything . . . "
"Alex, what's this about? Don't turn away. Tell me what's making you feel this way."
Krycek drew a shuddery breath. He leaned against the headboard, arms wrapped around himself.
"Walter, I grew up in a Consortium orphanage. They . . . trained us from an early age. It was a bad place. Some of us didn't make it. Some just weren't strong enough. They'd disappear; one morning they'd be at breakfast, the next, they'd be gone. I had a friend there, Tony. I . . . we fell in love. We were so careful . . . but they found out. The trainers were . . . inventive . . . They used every tool at their disposal . . . to teach us to obey their orders. They expected blind obedience and trained us to respond immediately, without hesitation, without question. And they discovered that the bonds we children formed with one another could be used to motivate us better than any punishment they could inflict directly."
Krycek took a deep breath before continuing. "When Tony fucked up, they punished me; if I fucked up, they punished him. Only thing was, he hardly ever did anything wrong. I just couldn't seem to . . . not mess up. They made me watch, Walter. They tied me up and made me watch them hurt him. For something I did," Krycek said, the pain in his voice raw, close to tears. "That's why I don't like to be restrained. And that's one reason I can't love you."
"Alex, it's not like that now. We're adults."
"We are. But their methods haven't changed. You'd be vulnerable."
"Alex, I'm not afraid of them."
"Then you're a fool."
"What about you? All that you've done to bring them down? Look at what you're risking."
"It would be worth it."
"You are worth it to me, Alex." Skinner reached out to Krycek again, pulling him into his arms. "Let me in, Alex. You don't always have to be strong. Let me be strong for a while. Just let it happen." Krycek seemed to struggle, but Skinner held on and stroked his back, murmuring comforting nonsense. "I'm not Tony, Alex. No one's going to stop me from loving you. You were children, and they had no right to do that, to use that against you." Skinner felt it when Krycek let go, giving in and releasing the pain he'd held back for so long. He held on, and let Krycek cry it out. When he felt it start to abate, he gently lay Krycek down on the bed and went to get a washcloth. He wiped his lover's face, then slid his shirt off to run the washcloth over chest and arms. Krycek seemed to have exhausted himself, and Skinner pulled him back into his arms, once again murmuring to him until he fell asleep.
The next morning, Krycek was feeling awkward, but Skinner treated him the same as always. Although once Skinner left for work, Krycek had plenty of time to think.
He thought about Tony, of course. He hadn't told Skinner what happened to Tony. He'd been killed years before, by someone faster on the trigger. Krycek thought of what he'd felt for Tony all those years ago, and what he felt now for Skinner. It made him more determined than ever to take down the Consortium, and to keep Skinner safe until he could accomplish that.
Krycek also had time to think about Mulder. He knew Mulder had reason to hate him. Mulder blamed him, rightfully, for Bill Mulder's death. And for Melissa Scully, although in that case, while he was there, he didn't pull the trigger.
He also wondered why Skinner, on the other hand, didn't seem to hold a grudge for the beating on the stairwell. They'd been ordered, by Spender, to retrieve the digital tape, by any means necessary. Krycek respected Skinner, having seen the kind of man he was during his time with the FBI. And knowing how overzealous Luis Cardinale could be, he figured it was better for Skinner to take a beating than for Cardinale to shoot him, or throw him down the stairs.
There was little else for Krycek to do except think while he impatiently waited for his broken leg to heal. Books could hold his attention only briefly, and TV seemed to make him more restless. He obeyed the doctor's instructions and kept his leg elevated, but he was bored to tears by the time Skinner got home.
Once Skinner was home, however, everything was fine. In fact, the nights following Krycek's confession were some of the happiest ever, for both of them. It was a time of really getting to know one another, discovering the other's likes and dislikes, their individual little quirks.
For Skinner, just having his lover there, happy, was a gift. He loved being able to reach out and touch Krycek whenever he wanted, and especially waking up next to him.
For Krycek, he experienced emotions he never let himself feel. Before Skinner, he was used to quick, anonymous sex. Never forming any attachments. It turned out he liked having someone hold him all night. And although he complained, he really loved the way Skinner took him gently, almost reverently, so sweetly it almost made him cry. And he also knew he needed to leave before he started to like it so much that he couldn't leave.
"Alex, I'm planning to take tomorrow off and take you to your appointment."
"Walter, don't do that. It's an afternoon appointment. Why don't you let me take a cab there, and you pick me up afterwards? You know how long it took last time."
"I don't know, Alex. Are you sure you'll be all right on your own?"
"Walter, you worry too much. I'm getting better every day. I'll be fine."
"Okay, we'll try it this time."
Alex's appointment went fine, the doctor informing him that his leg was healing perfectly. Walter was waiting when he got out. They stopped for Chinese on the way home and ate it in front of the TV. While looking for some kind of game to play, Walter came across a Scrabble game. Walter noticed Alex played Scrabble the way he did everything else - - to win. But they had fun, teasing each other and challenging each other's made-up words.
The next few weeks continued on in the same fashion, the nights being taken up with slow, easy lovemaking. Skinner loved the way Krycek finally let himself just be, letting Skinner show him how good life together could be.
They almost argued the night before Krycek got his cast off. He'd started getting a little irritable again, which Skinner attributed to his eagerness to be free of the cast.
"Alex, I need to be there tomorrow. You could be unsteady after you get the cast off."
Krycek sighed heavily. "Skinner, look. It'll be fine. The doctor even said so. Besides, the only appointment they had is right after lunch. And you told me, you have an important meeting. I can go on my own. And just imagine, when you get home, I'll be here, with two functioning legs."
Skinner smiled. "Well, that is true. Promise me if you do need me, you'll call."
Krycek nodded. "Of course. How about a sneak preview of tomorrow night?"
The sneak preview lasted a long time. Krycek was like a man possessed. Skinner couldn't wait until the next night; if it got any better then this . . . he anticipated another long night.
The next morning, Krycek awoke when Skinner did, but seemed a little down. Skinner figured he was probably tired from last night. He certainly was. Krycek followed him to the door, kissing him goodbye as he left. It was a long day at the office, and he never got around to calling to check on Krycek before he started home. He made it the drive in record time, and got out of the car, happily thinking of his lover with two healthy legs again. As soon as he got inside, he realized Krycek wasn't there. A quick check of the house revealed that to be the case. He noticed Krycek had actually made the bed in the guest room. It was then he noticed the note on top of the comforter. Skinner picked it up with a sense of dread.
The note was short and to the point.
"Skinner, it's better this way. I'll be in touch when I can. A.K."
Skinner sighed as he sat down on the bed. He should've seen it coming, Alex's insistence on going to the doctor on his own, but he chose not to. And the way he was the night before. And this morning. Now it all made sense.
After a while, he got up to go find a drink and begin the long wait until he heard from Krycek again.
Title: Skinner's Informant 2: I Don't Believe in Love
Author: Maddie and Haven.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Websites: Maddie's Fanfiction and Haven's Slash Archive
Feedback: Yes, please!
Warnings: This story contains a m/m sexual relationship.
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.
Summary: When Krycek is injured and forced to stay with Skinner while he heals, Skinner tries to show him how good they could be together.
Notes: This story is the sequel to Skinner's Informant. Alex has two arms.
First Published: August 7, 2003
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