TITLE: A Dream of Fools
FEEDBACK: Oh yes, please... to firstname.lastname@example.org
ARCHIVE: Keep my info attached and you can have it.
SPOILERS: Up to and including Patient X/RatB.
RATING: NC-17 for graphic and at times angsty or mildly coercive
CLASSIFICATION: S, A, Sc/K
DISCLAIMER: These characters are the property of Chris Carter,
1013 and Fox. I'm just borrowing them, except for a few secondary characters
who are mine.
SUMMARY: Tiger and wolf, winter snow and cornflowers, wounds
and desire: a war of wills.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Heartfelt thanks to my wonderful beta readers:
Kelly Keil for taking the story safely through all the stages of a much
needed Deep Massage beta, and Kris Gould for lots of excellent input at
the later stages of revision.
Also huge thanks to Nika for invaluable help with all things
Russian, and to Isa for the test-reading and the encouragement.
NOTES: It may be useful to know at the outset that this story
takes place a short time before the actions in Patient X/RatB.
Translations and other comments regarding the Russian can be
found at the end.
"...Winter has already loitered here,
lightly powdering these fields,
casting an impenetrable haze
that fills the world as far as the horizon.
I used to think that after we are gone
there's nothing, simply nothing at all.
Then who's that wandering by the porch
again and calling us by name?
Whose face is pressed against the frosted pane?
What hand out there is waving like a branch?
By way of reply, in that cobwebbed corner
a sunstruck tatter dances over the mirror."
(From "March Elegy" by Anna Akhmatova, in translation by Stanley
Krycek was drunk. He slouched at the bar counter, his head resting
on his left arm, studying his hand with repulsed, distracted fascination.
Should he call her, or not?
Not. Definitely not.
Better to ponder where the hell would he sleep tonight? That
woman at the other end of the bar was ogling him fairly openly. She
was pretty, too. Now she smiled at him. He closed his eyes and turned
his head slightly. The idea made his stomach churn. Sex for pay: a fuck
for a warm bed. Some greedy, lonely stranger feasting on his body. She
wasn't *that* pretty, and he wasn't that horny either.
Outside, the February night was depressing. The damp cold wind
carried sleet in slapping gusts against the windows. He could sleep
in his car, he supposed. It would be cold and uncomfortable, but, hell,
it would be better than selling himself like a whore.
There was always Marita, of course. She would probably be willing
to put him up for the night, and she wouldn't expect to be courted and
laid as recompense either. It wasn't that he didn't want her, but something
told him to be wary of getting too cozy with her. That burning ambition,
that icy resentment of hers - it too much resembled his own. Fucking
her now might mean having to piss her off later. He didn't want to piss
her off. Not yet.
His left hand made circles on the bar counter with his glass
before bringing it to his mouth and tipping it back, his head lifting
for a moment. They knew their hi-tech, those aliens. They had managed
to fashion him a limb that, within reason, did what he wanted it to. An
arm that to some limited extent imitated, through artificial constructs
and chemistry, the biological properties of muscular strength and tactile
sensation. Considering they had made it for an organism fundamentally different
from their own, that was no mean feat. An Amazing Alien Artificial Limb.
Hey, he ought to trademark that.
Funny, the everyday familiarity with which he thought of the
extraterrestrials these days. He hadn't been so blasé about
it at sixteen, that night when his mother had related an improbable
tale by the kitchen window overlooking the Neva. Nadezhda, barely three
then, dozing in his lap, the warm soft solidness of her body somehow
grounding him while his mother's words conjured up spaceships and Armageddon
in the air between them. Telling him about aliens, about a threat to humanity,
about her work on a vaccine, and finally, the truth about his father.
He'd cried then. He'd been sick, and angry - quietly angry, not to wake
the innocent in his arms. But he'd been elated, too. His heart had pounded
with his new knowledge: his father wasn't a traitor. He hadn't left them
all to go back to America. His father was a victim. His father was a hero.
Traitor. Victim. Hero. Ah, the luxury of life in black and white.
He wondered what sixteen-year-old Sasha would have thought of his thirty-year-old
self. Which convenient label would that boy have used for the man he'd
become over the last seven years? Now, there was one thing he really
didn't want to know.
Call her, or not?
Fucking forget it, Sasha. You trust those people she stays with,
but things may go wrong. Things may go to hell. Her phone line may
be tapped. You want Spender to trace you?
Placed a bug himself this night. Marita called and told him that
Mulder and his queen consort had left town on some case and would be
gone for a couple of days at least. It had been a good opportunity to tap
Mulder's phone and place a microphone in his wall. Mulder was a wild card.
Having some opportunity to anticipate his moves would be useful.
He'd put Mulder to good use in Tunguska. It was Marita who had
staged all that. She was a double agent wily as the best of them. She'd
had the idea, and helped him pull off a successful operation. Great
trip, that had been. Pity about the arm.
It didn't look alive, this thing. Not at closer inspection. Those
precisely placed wrinkles, just a little too precise. The nails with
perfect crescent moons and even edges were different from the nails of
his right hand that were worn by use. The fine dark hairs shading the
back of his right hand were missing on this one. It didn't exactly look
like the hand of a manikin; it looked like the hand of a bloody airbrushed
GQ cover model. It was a fucking marvel. It made him fucking sick to look
Better not call. It was her birthday though. Her eighteenth birthday.
Nadezhda, his sestrichka, coming of age. And he hadn't seen her for months.
He knew she got ill with worry at times, literally ill. She didn't know
the half of it, of course. It had seemed best that way, but she was growing
up now - she deserved to know. He'd resolved to tell her of the alien
threat upon his return to St. Petersburg. It wasn't a conversation he
looked forward to.
He downed his sixth shot of vodka and ordered one more.
Idly, he wondered what Marita had traded to get him that arm.
What made her so certain of the loyalty of the apparently human man who
had measured him for the limb and made the necessary adjustments? One word
from that guy in Spender's ear and Marita would be pushing up daisies. A
bit less idly, he speculated on her motives for striking up an alliance
with him initially - rescuing the wreckage of him out of the depths of
the silo when he'd hardly laid eyes on her before, nursing him back to
reasonable health, getting him his ticket to St. Petersburg. Whatever
she'd been thinking, she must have studied him better beforehand than
he had her, seeing something that made her consider him a possible useful
ally. But what?
He had been Spender's Russian golden boy, lured out from the
crumbling Soviet Organization to grace the conspiracies of the American
Consortium. He'd fancied himself anointed, chosen, blindly choosing
to forget the implied threats that had secured his cooperation. So fucking
naive. "You'll be a hero in both your father's and your mother's country,
Alex." Dangerous and cold as a python, Spender had repelled and attracted
him, threatened him and tempted him. Maybe it was the 'Alex' that had
gotten to him. Not Sasha, but Alex, said in that clipped American way.
Until then, his father had been the only one to call him that.
He cringed slightly, thinking of how well Spender had read him.
It had been his dream come true, being in his father's country at last,
living out his notions of the freedom, the sophistication of the West.
Here, his American citizenship was taken for granted, not something
that made him an outsider among his own people. He'd steeped himself
in the culture, impatiently pushing away his Russian identity as if the
twenty-three years of shaping it had been inconsequential. He'd been on
a giddy, careless high of possibilities. Such hubris. No wonder it had
all gone to hell.
After two exciting years of cosseting and training, and a bit
of help from false papers, the reality check had come, his first assignment,
the infiltration of the X-files. It hadn't taken him more than a day
to figure out that no matter how compelling Spender's justifications,
Mulder was a decent human being, whereas Spender (this much he already
knew) was not. He might have been naive, but not *that* fucking naive.
And as much as he had tried to bury his head in the sand, he'd known beyond
question that Scully didn't deserve whatever fate Spender had in store
What had made him go through with the betrayal, in spite of his
doubts? Resentment, despair? On some aware, scared level of consciousness,
he'd begun to realize that he had sold his soul to the devil, while Mulder,
for all his fumbling in the dark, was fighting on the side of the angels.
And Scully was the seraph on his right hand, with her devastating blue gaze
and her russet-gold halo and her sword raised to protect him. Yes, resentment
and despair. He'd made that one damning phone call, sealing Scully's fate,
and gone home by way of a liquor store, drinking himself into a stupor
on his couch that night. Not on the fine smooth bourbon he'd gotten himself
used to since he left Russia, but on stark clean vodka. He had remembered
that night, unshed tears burning behind his lids, what he had been.
He'd remembered his mother too, and as though her ghost were
haunting the rooms he had asked her out loud if she had ever felt this
kind of shame. She'd made her own deal with the devil, after all. The
sound of the Russian words in his slurred drunken diction had been unbearable
to him, so he had shut up, finished the bottle, and gone to bed to sleep
the fitful sleep of the damned.
It had started to dawn on him what a fatal hand he had been dealt,
but by then it was too late. Like a landslide, the treachery had escalated
with murderous pace, taking with it lives of the guilty and the innocent
alike, sending him at last reeling with shame and guilt over a woman's
fallen body. Scully's sister, bleeding to death at his feet while he lingered,
sick with the realization that it might not be too late to save her -
but he'd been too scared and Cardinale had shouted at him to run and then,
God, how he had run...
By the time of that incident, he'd become numb to his screwed
up life. Insomnia had long since turned him to booze, then drugs. Spender
hadn't liked it, needless to say. Deemed him unstable. Hence the little
Ah, fuck all that. He made an almost inaudible groan as his head
sank down on his arm. Why the hell did all this come back now anyway?
God, as if he didn't know. It was the prospect of telling Nadezhda about
the aliens, or course. She would be sure to start asking questions about
his role in all this, and it gave him the chills to think what he would
answer. More lies probably. More fucking lies, just because he couldn't
bear the thought of seeing the love in her eyes turn to contempt. Only,
he was so tired of lying to her.
Eighteen. She'd be having a party, probably. Vasya and Lara would
see to that. Vodka glasses tinkling and crashing on the floor, a band
playing, couples dancing in the kitchen and the living-room, spirited
arguing, singing and shouts of laughter. Lots of friends, but no family,
no parents, no brother. He'd have liked to have been there. He really would.
Not only back with Nadezhda, but back in Leningrad - shit, St. Petersburg.
He still sometimes stumbled on that name.
After his American dream ended in the nightmare depths of that
underground maze, after Marita had saved him, he'd somehow scraped
his Russian persona back together and returned to his home town, which
had become St. Petersburg while he was away. The remains of the Organization
welcomed his cooperation. He wasn't back in the fold, for obviously
he was no longer to be trusted, but at least he commanded respect for
what he could contribute, and maybe perversely, for the extent of his
deceptions. His mother's former cohorts were wary of this friend turned
into stranger, Marya's boy become a man: twice a traitor by then, nobody's
hero, and nobody's fool.
He tipped back the last shot, then threw the empty glass over
his shoulder, relishing the small crash and tinkling of glass. The bartender
turned to him viciously. "Hey, you prick!" The woman ogling him widened
her eyes in alarm.
He stared back at her with dead eyes, registering that his smile
must be quite ugly, and whispered, "Vashe zdorovye".
He raised himself heavily up from the stool, gripping the counter
for balance. He threw his last bills on the counter. The woman was turning
to the chubby guy at her side for more cheerful company. Shit, he could
sleep in the car - pull the synthetic fleece blanket over his head and
float into darkness. Drunk and tired as he was, he thought he could sleep
in spite of the cold. Fucking sour American winter, not the stable cold
of Russia. This was the sort of cold you couldn't completely clothe yourself
for. The damp ache of it insinuated itself into your skin, your bones,
like a disease.
He stopped and looked at the phone booth near the door. He sifted
through his pocket for change. Fuck, what was the use? He'd see her in
a few days. He'd hug her and kiss her sweetly on the cheek, apologize
for not calling on her birthday.
He gave the phone booth a vicious shove with his hand as he opened
the door and stumbled out into the frigid night air. He huddled against
the cold, zipping up his jacket. He'd sleep in the car. It would only
be for tonight. The bonds he had released would come through tomorrow,
and he was off to St. Petersburg in a couple of days. Then off to Kazakhstan.
Marita had reported some interesting incidents there.
He stopped, looking around him. Where was he, anyway? His head
was floating. He leaned against the wall, thinking. Yeah, right, Georgetown.
Georgetown. What was it about Georgetown?
Right, the queen consort. The saintly ice maiden. Scully. That
was it. Scully's apartment. Scully was in Kansas. Not in Georgetown.
He was in Georgetown.
Somehow, though he was sober enough to make the connection, he
was drunk enough to think he'd just had a good idea.
It was just a couple of blocks away.
In the dream, he was a Siberian tiger, and he stalked his territory
in a light fall of dry snow, the dawn bleeding crimson into the indigo
He knew what he was, and revelled in his properties. The strength,
the beauty, the casual cruelty of a perfect predator. He had neither
pride nor shame in this. It was how it must be. In this land, the weak
did not survive.
In the dream, it was not the dirty, half-hearted winter of this
American city, but the incandescent white winter of sub-arctic Russia.
In late February, the land was still in the death-grip of a bitter, searing
cold. He paced the perimeter of his kingdom on a grim, single-minded quest
of defence and hunt. Around him, the dark conifer forest stood laced and
sparkling with snow that caught the sanguinary hues of the dawn. Behind
him, the falling snow covered the tracks of his silent progress.
The tiger scented blood. He stopped immediately, his heart momentarily
beating faster, then slowing to a deadly, calculated pace. He turned
around, following the blood-scent with quiet purpose, gliding like a
pale shadow between the snowy, rose-tinted trees. He was hungry. Blood
Suddenly, the trees gave way to a clearing. He stopped at the
edge of the trees, cautiously surveying the monochromatic landscape. There
seemed to be nothing there.
A movement in his peripheral vision caused him to tense and turn.
There, at the far side of the clearing, something was watching.
It was a she-wolf. It wasn't a natural beast, but the enchanted
white wolf of ancient fairy-tales, and her eyes were like cold blue jewels
in her snow-white face. She returned the tiger's gaze with glacial contempt,
showing none of the fear of his lesser adversaries.
But in her silver-white fur, gashes from mighty claws ran sideways
and vertical. Blood was seeping into the fur and the snow beneath her
slowly, but fatally. The wolf was familiar with death, and must have
known that night was closing in on her, but the defiant glint in her lazulite
eyes showed that she had hours of fight in her yet.
The tiger stood still for long minutes as if bound by a spell,
imperially matching his burning gaze to the wolf's icy one, his brain
grappling with some hitherto unknown reaction. It was not quite empathy,
but it was uncomfortable. It hurt in a way he had no language to explain.
His heart was pounding like it did during a kill, but the hunger he felt
was alien, something of the mind and not the body.
At length he lowered his big head, turning back, and in doing
so, he discovered without surprise the dark frozen blood crusting his
front paws, and the strands of white fur caught in his claws. Not looking
back, he felt the gleam of two arctic jewels following his retreat, shining
without gratitude, without hope.
The tiger retraced his invisible tracks. He returned to his patient
vigil of survival, facing a siege that would never end.
For in this land, winter had unlimited dominion, and spring was
a dream of fools.
Krycek roused, sleep-drugged, fighting his way out of a cold,
cold realm. On some semi-conscious level, he knew there had been sounds
before this; a door banging shut, footsteps clicking on hardwood flooring,
a sharp intake of breath, an object falling to the floor with the dry
shattering sound of something fragile breaking. But these had all been
interpreted into surreal elements of some tenacious dreamscape.
"Don't move, dammit, or I'll shoot." The voice - a familiar,
woman's voice, cool even in the heat of fury - told him that she meant
business. He gave up the attempt at coordinating his movements into
defence. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes.
Immediately, wintry eyes took him captive, glaring in regal affront.
He started, different levels of consciousness flowing together for a
moment and leaving him in limbo. <Wolf - there was a wolf...>
"In my apartment," the wolf snarled. "You have the gall to make
yourself at home in *my* apartment." She shook in fury, and dark red
hair danced on her shoulders, and finally Krycek's mind climbed out of
the deep cellar of unconsciousness and recognized Dana Scully.
In his sleep-fuddled brain, chaos reigned supreme. All he could
think was, shit, shit, why is she here, she shouldn't be here...
Oh God, he must have been more wasted than he thought, earlier,
to consider this a good idea. Crashing on Scully's couch. Brilliant.
Slowly, Scully backed up and reached out a hand for the light
switch without looking, her gun aimed at him all the while. Light flooded
the room and painted her in the blazing colors of a pre-Raphaelite gratie,
the creamy pale skin, the russet vibrancy of her hair, the startling,
startled blue of her eyes. Snowflakes were melting into drops of water
on her long black winter coat and her hair, some of them starting to
trickle down into her face, and she raised an arm and swiped impatiently
at her eyes and forehead with her damp sleeve.
Something about her stance caught his attention. She was wobbly...swaying.
Now she reached out an arm and steadied herself briefly against the
wall. And that gun hand, while fuelled by enough righteous fury to blow
his brains out in a second, could definitely have been steadier, too.
Jesus, was the woman about to faint, or what?
Then he noticed the flushed heat of her cheeks, the conspicuous
brilliance of her eyes, and the truth dawned on him. Oh, great. Scully
was... well... *significantly* inebriated. He felt suddenly, terrifyingly
sober himself, and, finally, wide awake.
He'd been solidly drunk coming here and had, foolishly, just
dropped on her couch without removing his weapons, but no way would
he chance trying to whip his gun out. He didn't want to shoot Scully
anyway. He left his victims without a backwards glance these days, like
road kill, but couldn't explain how the horror of those select few first
transgressions still clung to him, still visited him in nightmares at
times. Of all his victims, Scully was the one that haunted him in dreams,
in scenes he had never witnessed awake, cold instruments violating her restrained
body and setting off awful, pleading wails of pain, a childlike keening
that made him wake up with terror in his gut and bile in his throat.
Scully put one hand into the deep pocket of her coat and fished
out her cell phone, watching him with menace. He rose in alarm, mentally
hearing a jail door slam shut behind him.
"Stay there, Krycek," she warned, her attention drawn away from
the phone momentarily. He made up his mind in a split second. Once she
hit that number, Mulder or Skinner would be on their way here with backup,
and he shrank from contemplating the scenes of carnage that would follow.
No way would he ever let those two sanctimonious pricks use him as a punching
Slowly, he raised himself from the couch, holding up his hands
placatingly. Scully was a stickler for protocol. He didn't think she
would shoot as long as he didn't show aggression. He'd have to take
He held her gaze with an open, snake-charmer stare, pulling his
jacket to the side and fishing out his gun from the holster with two
fingers. He let it drop to the floor, and kicked it carefully her way.
"Sign of good will, Scully," he explained. Okay, so he had a knife
in an ankle strap and a small gun in a holster under his sweater. His good
will didn't override his instinct for survival, but a nice gesture never
hurt, did it?
Seeing her gun hand jerking dangerously, he had a revelation.
"Shit, you're really scared of me, aren't you?"
She made a gasping sound that was half unamused laughter, half
rage. "Don't flatter yourself."
"Well, it's only that you look very tense, and you strike me
as a brave girl generally, Scully..." Before he had even finished the
sentence, she was speaking in a cold, breathy whisper.
"Let's not even talk of my abduction. My sister was killed by
your associate. Here. In this. Very. Room." He imagined he could see
the words rising from her mouth and hovering over them like puffs of
frosty cloud. "I can't prove that you were directly involved in her death,
but I know you are a clockwork killing machine. It's not fear, it's
Krycek didn't answer the accusation. He didn't want to discuss
her sister's death. Not now, not ever. Instead he said, "I didn't come
here to hurt you, actually." He moved again, pointedly ignoring her
gaze and her gun, fixing his attention instead on the shopping bag in
the middle of the floor. "Something broke," he said. "Eggs?"
Now she stared in disbelief as he picked up the bag and proceeded
to the kitchen, turning his back to her with an air of cheerful nonchalance.
Distraction was the key. He had to keep her off balance and off the
phone, and wait for an opportunity to turn the tables.
"Turn around, you bastard," she snapped, following him, but he
gave no reaction beyond a wounded glance over his shoulder. She held
him at gunpoint, the situation growing more absurd by the second while
he emptied the bag of an assortment of fresh vegetables, ham, a carton of
cream and a gooey cardboard carton which he contemplated with some concern.
"Eggs," he affirmed. "Well, we can probably salvage them. Let me guess. You
were planning an omelet?"
"Stop it," she commanded, her voice almost breaking. "What are
you doing here?"
"Making you an omelet?" he suggested calmly.
"I don't want a goddamned omelet!"
"Doesn't look that way to me. You should eat something, anyway,
or you'll have the mother of all hangovers tomorrow. Besides, you're
She was silent for long seconds. Trying to wrap that methodical,
but drunken mind around the totally outrageous, no doubt. Meanwhile,
he rummaged in the nearest cupboard and found a bowl. Carefully, he emptied
the broken eggs into it, turned to wash his hands with the soap in the
dispenser by the kitchen sink, and returned to start picking out the fractured
eggshells, dropping them in the sink as he proceeded.
Then, her voice at first misleadingly flat, rising gradually
into teeth-grinding indignation. "What - are - you - *doing* here, Krycek?"
He actually felt embarrassed to have to admit it. Of course,
he could have made up a colorful lie, but instinct told him that the
lame truth might be the best way to keep Scully off balance, which was
really his only option right now.
"I needed a place to crash and I just happened to get information
that you and Mulder would be out of town for a couple of days," he said.
"I figured I had less of a chance of sharing the couch with roaches here
than in Mulder's infested lair, so... here I am." He silently awarded
himself extra points for his winsome little grin at the end.
"Don't..." She took a deep, steadying breath, continuing on a
note of barely checked anger. "Are you trying to tell me that you used
my apartment for a free hotel? Not that I ought to believe a single word
that comes from your lying mouth..."
"Fork?" Krycek asked, knotting his brow pensively as he rooted
She stared at him. He glanced at her askance - then did a double
take, narrowing his eyes to a sharp focus.
She was drunk. She was furious, and confused, and beneath that,
she looked absolutely beat. But above all, she was different - different
from the Scully with whom he was acquainted, changed, on a fundamental
level, like a creature emerging from a chrysalis.
When he first got to know Scully, he had found that she looked
far younger than her actual age. Now, at this moment, she looked every
one of her thirty-four years and maybe then some, but striking... oh,
yes. Catching up with her age had only enhanced her looks. As she stared
at him under the dark sweep of her lashes, the solemn arcs of her brows,
Krycek registered in wonderment what he hadn't noticed until now. Since
the last time they met, Dana Scully had stopped being pretty, and had
He'd learned about her cancer, of course. But the last time he
had actually seen her had been one and a half years ago at Dulles airport,
going after the diplomatic pouch before he went with Mulder to Tunguska.
She had still had something of a child's face then, a pretty, plumped-up
softness about her looks. His jab that she had become too thin had
been unpremeditated, off the top of his head, but he saw now for certain
that something - her sickness? loss? heartache? - had taken more than
baby fat off her face. Being thin was the least significant part of the
change. Her innocence had been honed away. There was something of a beautiful
bird-of-prey likeness about her now - a strong, merciless functionality
imprinted on that small frame.
She had stroked her wet hair back from her flushed face, and
the scents surrounding her were the coolness of snow and the mustiness
of damp wool and the tartness of wine and the light floral note of her
"What the hell are you looking at?" she asked, seeming to pull
herself out of some trance. He returned to the task at hand, finding
a fork in a drawer next to the stove and starting to blend the cream
into the eggs, considering her question. Then he colored his voice a
neutral nuance like dry grass and answered truthfully:
"I don't think I ever really saw you before."
She didn't answer, didn't even arch her brow in that infuriating
way he remembered. She looked hot, uncomfortably so. She kicked off
her shoes with a petulant vindictiveness he associated with a child,
then proceeded to unbutton and shrug off her coat, never letting that
dove blue gaze or the gun shift off him. The slump of her shoulders suggested
dejection, Krycek thought. Then her coat fell and he didn't think for a
Scully wore a blue dress. A dress as blue as irises and Siberian
squill, as blue as the blue of her eyes. A dress of thin, clingy velvet
with a neckline that bared the pale upper swell of her breasts. A sleeveless
dress that skimmed her slim curves and ended right above her knees.
It was a dress for an *occasion*, he thought, and noticed now
how her hair looked somewhat different too, curls starting to loosen
and fall forwards from an originally tidy arrangement at the nape of her
neck. Her face looked like it had been carefully made up but the makeup
had mostly rubbed off, which made her look vulnerable, in a strangely sensual
Slowly, pieces clicked in a puzzle he hadn't even perceived until
now. Dana Scully had been on what he guessed was a big date, yet she
came home early with a grocery bag full of food... Had she been stood
up? Why wasn't she in Kansas with Mulder?
Another piece of information clicked into place. He had noticed
Scully's birthday on a report provided by Spender once, and had remembered
it because it happened to fall on the day of his little sister's.
God, if he had made that call to Nadezhda, no matter how foolhardy,
at least he might have sobered up enough not to get himself into this
He contemplated Scully's appearance in light of this new revelation.
Oh, man. She did look a bit the worse for wear. He shook his head in
unexpected sympathy, then noticed her attention turning to the cell
phone again. Shit. Hurriedly he said, "Happy birthday, Scully."
She glanced up, alarmed. "How do you know..."
"Never mind." He chanced a guess. "Mulder stood you up, didn't
he Scully? And he left you behind on the case. Way to catch two birds
with one stone."
She stared at him for long seconds, and for a dizzy moment he
caught a glimpse of the landscape behind that magnificent mask, some
polar, ice-locked coast where unshed tears petrified into the permafrost
before they ever could thaw the ground. Her hand came up and pushed her
hair back from her temple, a gesture echoing the angry bewilderment in her
eyes. "He couldn't help it. It was urgent, and he had to take a rain check..."
"He might have called you before you were sitting in the bar
waiting for him though, don't you think?" Again only an educated guess,
but her flinch told him it was another hit.
"He had to catch a plane at half an hour's notice..." But she
wasn't convincing herself, even, and Krycek decided to turn the inner
conflict up a notch. Why, he wasn't even sure. Just for the hell of it?
No, that wasn't quite right. There was annoyance seething in him that he
God knew he wasn't exactly a dream lover himself, but thinking
of Mulder having this krasavitsa right under his nose, *pining* for
him, week after month after year, without having the guts to put them
both out of their misery... that was just plain fucking pitiful, and he
"Was this an important case, Scully? Important enough to take
precedence to a prearranged birthday date? Which you had obviously put
some... preparation into?"
"That's none of your business," she snapped, suddenly avoiding
"Much fun being a martyr, Scully?"
She looked at him with quick rage, then glanced abruptly away.
"Go to hell, Krycek."
She started as she caught the mirror image of the two of them
reflected in the dark window, as if the tableau were something completely
unexpected. The instant double take was followed by the distanced fascination
of someone watching a film. When she spoke, he couldn't tell if she was
talking to her image or his. "Cow mutilations," she muttered, and now
her voice was filling with cold anger. "What a joke, fucking cow mutilations."
"Again, huh? He does tend to run around in crop circles," Krycek
said dismissively, talking to the Scully in the mirror, and was astounded
to be rewarded with a blank stare followed, unthinkably, by an involuntary
cackle of laughter. He'd never heard her laugh before. He supposed he'd
never given her much to laugh about. It was uncanny - this ice goddess had
a laugh that was sexy as all hell. Maybe there was some shock involved in
her sudden mirth, but it sounded like it was doing her good.
Cautiously, he grinned, testing the fresh taste of her approval.
But his brain was busy processing the situation. So, Dana Scully was
dressed up like a carnal angel for her date with Mulder, and Mulder had
stood her up. Had she had seduction in mind? Had Mulder guessed, and
was that the true reason for his sudden interest in bovine tragedies?
Wave potential bliss in Mulder's face, and his self-obsessed guilt complex
might just cause him to scoot off in the opposite direction.
He became aware of her studying him in the window, with an expression
of revelation on her face that he couldn't fathom. "So, here you are,"
she stated cryptically, her calm contralto abruptly devoid of amusement.
He'd forgotten about the food on the counter, the need to distract
her. As he turned around slowly to face her, leaning back against the
kitchen counter, she did the same. He thought the confusion in her face
might mirror his own. There had been a change of some kind. Like continental
plates shifting, the upheaval landing them on a different emotional latitude.
The look in Scully's eyes reminded him of a startled beast. The
sudden wary stare of something wild sensing an unknown presence. He thought
he could feel her body heat radiate off her in waves, feral.
"Do you like my dress, Krycek?" she said huskily, sounding more
vulnerable than he suspected she wanted. How drunk was she really? She
smoothed down the shimmery velvet over her ribs and her waist and her
round, sweet hips with nervous hands. Was she preening for him? Something
about that slow, shy stroke of her hand mesmerized him and made him feel
slightly sweaty. A languid pulse started beating in his groin. He fell
into her blue gaze, and was profoundly shocked to note the tell-tale dilation
of her pupils. Oh God, what was that? Arousal, defiance, despair? All of
Then, looking him squarely in the eyes, she deliberately placed
her gun and phone on the counter, and his heart very nearly stopped.
As God was his witness, he had never harbored an impure thought
about Scully. Not the slightest, most basic fantasy. Too much guilt involved.
Too embarrassing start to their acquaintance, in the autopsy room with
her coolly sizing him up as he ran out the door to barf his guts out.
Yet now, looking at her, he just wondered helplessly where his eyes had
"The dress is nice," he said, his breath catching a bit on hesitation
as he frantically tried to figure out where this was going. He felt out
of his depth, like a miscast actor. But as she lowered her lashes in
a kind of defeat, extinguishing the naked question in her eyes, he knew
it had been the wrong answer and felt a sudden, sad fury at himself and
at Mulder and at every man who had ever failed her.
"Why don't you just get the hell out of here, Krycek?" she said
in a flat, dull voice. She looked her natural pissed-off self again,
but hurt under the anger, and he felt oppressed by a quickly descending
cloud of inadequacy.
He stood rooted to the spot for a few seconds as she walked a
bit unsteadily to the front door and opened it for him. Then, sluggishly,
he made up his mind, and started moving, stooping to pick up his gun on
the way. He should thank the wayward gods of fate that she was letting
him go. He'd achieved what he wanted, hadn't he? He'd managed to get his
ass out of here without being arrested. For him, this woman was the scenic
route to Hell. Best to leave *now*. Best not to look at her.
But he couldn't resist a last look, turning as he stepped into
the corridor. She raised her glance too in the same second, off-guard,
with that ice-scape of hardened longing in her eyes... And Krycek lingered,
his heart rate picking up.
He wouldn't deny there was a definite thrill in the fact that
Mulder had never had her himself. Fucking her would feel like stealing
the droit de seigneur from the bastard. But beyond that, a more surprising
realization was forming in his mind, like the colors of a kaleidoscope
bursting into a pattern of crazy beauty. So, maybe this *was* crazy,
but he wanted to do something right for once. He simply wanted to do right
by Dana Scully. He wanted to show her that he could get it right. Right.
He stepped back inside and closed the door, cornering her behind
it, crowding her without touching her. A sudden, apprehensive cry escaped
from her throat, he didn't know whether it was fear of him specifically,
some general sexual anxiety or just shock at his spontaneous move. She
looked up at him, wide-eyed.
"You're sexy as hell in that dress," he said quietly.
She caught her breath on a hiccup as his hand lifted to the juncture
between her neck and shoulder, tracing the fragile line of her collarbone
before rubbing sensually over the thin velvet of her dress. It was a
strange sound, forlorn, thin, like the last sobs of a child who had been
crying for a long time. Hearing it put a heavy lump of sadness in his
stomach. He raised his hand to her damp hair, smoothing it back with care.
The tips had started to dry and were curling softly between his fingers.
She shrank from that touch, but stayed close, betraying some
longing beyond her control, perhaps even beyond her full awareness.
"Just let me do this," he said huskily. "Let me make it better."
He moved his mouth to her parted lips, whispering. "Ty tak prekrasna,
vassilyok - "
He yelped at the sudden smarting pain in his lower lip, and his
fingers flew up to soothe the spot where she had bitten him. "Scully,
what the fuck!"
"'Make it better', as if you could! Who the hell do you think
you are?" she taunted him. "Some tender fantasy lover from a Russian
Anger flared in him at this attack. After all, she had started
this, hadn't she? Well, hadn't she?
"I can be as tender as you want me to be, Scully," he hissed.
"Or I can fuck you up against that door if you want. I can tie you down
and fulfill your rape fantasies - ow!"
This time it was his cheek bearing the brunt of her fury. Grimacing,
he rubbed at his prickling skin with the back of his hand for a couple
of seconds before hurrying to catch her hand in mid-flight as it rose
for another hit. He secured the other one too and pinned them against
the wall on either side of her head, leaning over her ominously. Her wrists
were jerking with the desire to hit him, hurt him, score him with claw
"It's your call, Scully," he informed her in clipped tones. "You
started this, you tell me if you're going to go through with it."
"The hell I did! In your dreams, Krycek."
"Ah, yes, and that little scene just now, cooing like a little
golubka about whether I liked your dress, did I dream that too? Make
up your mind, Scully. You've got half a minute."
She was magnificently, quietly furious. He rarely met anyone
who could stare him down, but Scully didn't give an inch. They glared
at each other at length. It was chilling, thrilling. He wanted to grind
his hips into her, to shock her, intimidate her, but he told her that
with his eyes instead. Thirty seconds passed, probably more. At long
last, he laughed and let abruptly go of her wrists, and turned around
for the door, swearing.
He wouldn't have believed the strength in her small hand as it
clamped down on his arm and jerked him around to face her. She held
him there for a moment, her expression veering wildly between outrage,
temptation and reluctance, which abruptly gave way to one that made his
stomach lurch. It spelled out a loud and clear "Ah, what the hell". He
stared at her, the unreality of the situation seeping in at last. Christ.
She was actually going to do it. He was going to get lucky with Scully.
Then she was reeling him in, no concession in her face. "Let
me explain things to you in simple terms, Krycek," she said coldly.
"You can drop the Casanova bullshit. I *know* you, remember? I know you
to your rotten core. I just want you to shut the hell up and fuck me.
He felt scorched by the dry ice of her voice. "Oh, I get it all
right. You want a plain, generic fuck so you can pretend that I am someone
else and that you are better than you are." He jerked his arm free and
leaned into her, his voice falling to a husky warning. "Let me explain
something to *you*, milaya. If I screw you, it's going to be done my way
or not at all, and when I make you scream, remember that my name is Alex."
He wondered if that was some unwelcome self-insight registering
as shock on her face. In a second, though, she sublimated it into arctic
anger. "And why do you think you get to set any terms in the first place?"
He laughed, touching his hand to her cheek with mocking gentleness.
"Because as much as I want to fuck you, Scully, I somehow don't think
I'm quite as desperate for this as you are."
Oh, now he got to see Scully blush. Another first. The absolute
give-away blush of a natural redhead. She straightened herself to her
full, regrettably lacking height and drew a shaky breath to speak. He
knew that the only options he had left her with were to chuck him out
in fury or to rein him in and kiss him. He somehow suspected she didn't
have the latter in her, and being chucked out at this stage would be a bitch.
Time to move in for the kill, then.
"Think about it, Scully," he said, purposely using his most seductive
voice to charm her. "Tonight, it could be another human being kissing
you, stroking you, holding you, fucking you - or it can be your own hands
in your lonely bed. Is that such a difficult choice?"
She looked mesmerized. Miserable as hell, but mesmerized. She
took a deep, agitated breath and finally spat out the words. "Just...
just do it, okay?"
With a vague sense of alarm at his own relief, he drew her in,
testing the stiff resistance in her spine. She felt reluctant, considering
her aggressive request, and he experienced a sting of fear that she
was already now sobering up and wondering what the hell she was doing.
It occurred to him that she was tiny, that he was looming over her with
his thick-muscled tall shape. In an instinctive effort to eliminate
whatever threat she saw in him, he fell to his knees, tracing his hands
up along her back and pulling her with him so she sat astride his lap,
her dress riding up tantalizingly. They were almost face to face like
this, and he leaned in and coaxed her with patient persistence into a
Her mouth lay chaste and passive against his barely parted lips
for some seconds, tasting of light, spicy wine. He waited, hearing her
breath pick up, betraying her. He closed his hands lightly around her
arms and glanced down at her small, rigid body. Christ, he could see
the rapid agitation of her heart right through her dress, and she was trembling
like she had a fever. It was clear that distress was overriding her desire
now that the first hurdle had been crossed, and he needed to change that.
With a reassuring sound he moved his lips against hers, whispering. "I
know you don't trust me, Scully. You don't have to. Tonight is a secret,
okay? None of this is real."
He kissed the corner of her mouth. He kissed her cheek. He traced
her delicate jaw line lightly with his tongue and his teeth. He kissed
her chin quickly, her throat slowly, closing his eyes as he felt it vibrate
against his mouth with her soft moan. Now she swayed into him, hands fumbling
over his shoulders for support as she sighed heavily like she was having
trouble breathing. "I...Krycek, I..."
He withdrew slowly, his eyes opening as if from a drugged state.
He discovered that the fingers of his right hand, which had threaded
into her hair, were flexing with pleasure. His thumb caressed the light
pulse at her temple. "Yeah," he breathed. "You okay?" Please God, let her
be okay, he thought fervently, his first clearly formulated prayer since
he was thirteen.
She huffed dismissively. "Like you care."
He grinned. "A bit rusty, Scully? Relax, they say it's like riding
a bicycle, once you've learned it you don't forget."
Scully tensed further, visibly. "Spare me your little nuggets
of wisdom, will you?"
He looked across her shoulder into the bedroom and saw her bed,
covered in pristine white-and-gray check flannel and waiting. Scully
caught and followed his glance, and blushed again like a 17-year-old. Fuck,
she was too precious. Krycek felt torn between laughter and disconcertment.
He said, looking at her under half-lowered lashes, "If you're
gonna change your mind, then do it now, Scully. Later will be way too
late. Once we're in that room, there'll be no going back."
"I'm not known for changing my mind." This was delivered as fact.
Good, because sincere as he wanted to be, he was realistically aware
of the pliable nature of his moral backbone. He'd never take a woman by
force, but he'd be damned if he wasn't confident he could do what it took
to convince Scully she was wrong if she changed her mind at this point.
Moral considerations wouldn't get a foot in the door. Even as he'd spoken
his offer, the relentlessly straining hardness in his groin was issuing
an official protest.
"Well?" she asked in a throaty whisper, touching her fingers
to his chest through the knit cotton of his sweater. He smiled dangerously.
He felt like a conqueror suddenly. He felt like a Cossack on a black
stallion, like a Magyar tribe with banners streaming. He rose up with her,
then carefully hoisted her off the floor and into his arms, feeling her
hand clench around his upper arm for balance as her feet left the floor.
He was strong enough and she small enough that he could carry her gracefully,
albeit not painlessly, just as long as he took care to let the right
arm take the most of the load.
But - "What the hell do you think you're doing?" asked Scully,
squirming like a snake and staring at him in astonishment more than
affront. She wanted down, and she was making no secret of it. He swore,
and grabbed her tighter with his hands, holding on for dear life. He broke
out in a sweat at the chafing pain her resistance caused the stump of his
arm, nerve endings going wild with unwelcome stimuli. But putting her down
was defeat - unthinkable. He strode towards the bedroom, refusing to let
the pain stop him from carrying her to bed like a spoil of war.
She laughed, but she was getting angry, he could tell. "You should
consult a shrink about the Rhett Butler complex."
"It's a man thing, Scully." He bit the inside of his cheek to
stifle a groan. Jesus, he hoped he could make it to that bed, or this
would be hard to live down.
"Oops," said Scully as he dropped her none too elegantly on the
mattress, her annoyance seemingly replaced by curiosity as she registered
the agonized grimace on his face. Her gaze slid over him without sympathy.
"You hurt your arm?"
His eyes narrowed. He hated having to think about it, having
to deal with it in a situation like this. "Never mind my fucking arm,"
he answered, amiably enough, but with a warning flash in his eyes.
Scully rolled her eyes and didn't pursue the issue. He relaxed
slowly. Smart girl.
The room was comfortably warm, and he pushed the duvet and the
throw down on the floor. He was aware of her wary gaze on him, as he
shrugged his leather jacket onto the floor. He unfastened both gun
holsters and let them follow the jacket, and took time to take off his
shoes and socks, then the knife strap on his ankle, before standing
by the bed and returning her gaze.
"You must be scared of something, Krycek," she said with ironical
bravado that struck him as rather forced, taking in his little arsenal
on the floor.
"Well, what can I say? The minutiae of survival may be trivial,
but they help me sleep at night," he countered, caressing her with his
"Still, it seems a bit much..."
He laughed. "Are you stalling, Scully? Now, who is scared?"
Well, maybe we both are, he thought. Scully seemed to have a
harder time of hiding it though. Her damp hair was dark against the
sheet, her eyes unnaturally luminous. The peaks of her smallish round
breasts were tightening even as he looked at them, and as she noticed
the direction his attention was taking, Scully blushed for the third time.
This time the wave of color flooding her was as triumphant as the sea of
red flags conquering Leningrad's main street on a May Day, her skin from
her forehead down to her chest bursting into a bloom of wild roses. He
smiled, almost staggered by that beauty, and Scully averted her gaze sharply.
In denial, Scully? he thought. He put his knee onto the mattress,
lying down next to her and placing one thigh possessively over her legs.
He leaned on his prosthetic arm, bracing himself against the unavoidable
discomfort, and raised his right hand to her burning cheek, cupping it
and turning her face back to meet his gaze again. He felt amazingly gentle.
He could afford to be generous.
"Ssshh. I know. I know you're afraid."
Scully's obligatory protest was rather pathetic since she couldn't
seem to find her voice, and he caressed her cheek before leaning in
to kiss her.
Again, there was first this callow, frustrating passivity. He
wondered whether it was inexperience that caused it or rather the fact
that she was quite literally in bed with the enemy. Maybe both. He brushed
his mouth over hers, smiling encouragement. Then, stealthily, he moved
in to test the perimeters of her defence. He traced the inside of her lower
lip with the tip of his tongue, causing her to take a shallow, troubled
breath and open her mouth against his. He felt the warm touch of her tongue
on his, withdrawing enticingly after the first taste. Determined, he followed,
his tongue sliding and exploring and coaxing her out to play again. Being
patient with Scully felt good, like some luxurious indulgence. For a moment
he was brought back twenty years in time to a lazy, snowed-in Sunday at
the dacha, lying in a half-daze from the heat of the fireplace, trying to
prolong the enjoyment of the sweets his mother had brought back to him from
one of her trips to the West. He'd slowly savored the liqueur-filled chocolates,
waiting for the burning explosion of sweetness at the center.
Experimentally, he let his hand slide from her cheek, down her
throat and chest, his fingers dragging lightly over one nipple. She
arched into his hand, moaning into his mouth. Fascinated by her sensitivity,
he repeated the caress, this time lingering on the hard straining peak,
softly stroking and manipulating it. Scully broke free from the kiss,
drawing a gasping breath which she expelled in a long, low, plaintive
sound. Her eyes closed tightly shut as she half-rose from the mattress,
pushing herself into his hand. Whoa. Something told him that this girl
was coming to the end of a very long dry spell.
He murmured, soothing her. "Yeah, milaya. Is that good? Let's
do it some more." He cupped the small firm globe of her breast in his
hand, thumbing the nipple lazily. Her eyes slowly drifted open again,
disoriented and dazed like from a dream. He met her gaze quietly for some
seconds before dipping his head and biting the hard bud gently through
her dress. She moaned, writhing. Jesus, she might be inexperienced, but
she was far from innocent. He knew he had to find a way to get that dress
off her. He didn't want a quick nervous fuck with her skirt bunched around
her waist. If he only got to have sex with Dana Scully once in his life,
he wanted it to be so right and good that no one was ever gonna fuck her
She seemed distracted by the dress, too. She put her hands on
his shoulders and pushed him away, but only to kneel on her knees and
reach back for the zipper. She was nimble and could no doubt manage the
operation herself, but there was no way he was going to let an opportunity
to undress this woman pass him by. He knelt on his knees, too, moving so
he was behind her. Seeing the pale delicate nape of her neck distracted
him, though. He kissed her there, and with a faint sound of encouragement
she bent her head, inviting further exploration. He licked like a cat down
the side of her neck and she moaned as her head rolled back again, resting
against his chest while his hand closed over hers, helping to pull the
zipper down to the small of her back.
He started easing the dress down over her shoulders, and had
just undone the clasp of her navy satin bra, when he was hit by the
added visual impact of the small tattoo nestled in the V of the opening
in the dress. The sensual surprise of it shimmered through him like a
heat wave and made him gasp for air.
"Jesus, Scully..." He laughed, a short soft sound, and touched
the tattoo carefully.
She stiffened, and shifted to see his face. Her eyes were fiercely
defensive, expecting mockery, he realized. Still he couldn't help smiling
as he traced the delicate rendering in ink with his index finger.
"It's beautiful," he assured her in half-whispered urgency. "You
are beautiful. Don't you know that?" It was important to him that she
should understand, that she should know that he wouldn't hurt her even
in this small way.
"You're so full of shit, Krycek," she said, ungraciously. But
her fever-bright gaze seemed to revisit some half forgotten pain, like
an old wound, a gash that had scored too deep to ever heal quite right.
"Why, because I tell you the truth?" he countered quietly. "Is
it really so comfortable to bury yourself beneath a glacier so that
no one dares show you how beautiful you are, or how desirable?"
"You've absolutely no right - " she began tightly, but he interrupted,
cautiously aware that he was pushing her beyond her comfort zone, but
intent on making her see - herself, and him.
"You're so afraid of getting burned that you can't even warm
your hands by the fire, Scully. You'd rather die of the cold than approach
She moved sharply, a panicked motion as if to get away, but he
held on with lazy confidence. He kissed the back of her neck, kissed
a warm whisper into her skin, "Nu, nu, ne veshay nos, vassilyok. This
isn't real, remember?"
Scully was unyielding in his arms, her breath betraying true
fear for the first time since this unlikely scenario started unfolding.
"This is real, all right," she whispered hotly. "Because believe me,
if I were dreaming you wouldn't be playing the male lead."
His mouth at her neck moved into a smile. "Danoushka, you're
"Don't mess with my mind," she hissed, a racking shiver going
through her. "I know who you are."
"Good. And as long as you remember it," he said tolerantly, "we're
He put both his hands to her lower back then, to distract her,
applying warm pressure before slipping under the blue velvet over her
hips. Soft hot skin over slim strong curves. His fingertips encountered
the upper part of what seemed to be a dark satin garter. <God, Scully,
you really were on the prowl tonight, weren't you?>
He withstood the temptation to investigate the issue for now,
choosing instead to let his hands glide in a slow firm caress up to her
waist, encircling it briefly before continuing up over her narrow ribcage.
His thumbs traced the undersides of her breasts and she sighed, growing
restless in front of him, turning her cheek to his shoulder and fighting
to keep her breath even. Her back arched in an involuntary attempt to invite
a more intimate touch. Her hips made tentative circles, bringing her ass
into fleeting contact with his full-fledged erection, uncomfortably trapped
in his jeans. He groaned and sat down on his heels, pulling her resolutely
down into his lap. Scully pushed into him, her hands clutching convulsively
at his hips. "Krycek," she pleaded shakily.
"Say please, Danoushka," he teased her, his voice low and warm
in her ear.
He smiled. "It's only polite." A couple of fingers pushed her
bra away, then made a detour up to a nipple and brushed it lightly before
"Oh, God..." She moaned, arching her back in a vain attempt to
recapture the touch, then spat out the word like something foul. "Please!"
Krycek laughed and moved his hands the required three inches
up, and the moan rose to a wail of relief.
Even proportionally, she was small-chested, and she was a diminutive
size on the whole. Her soft, yet firm breasts felt infinitely vulnerable
under his large hands, and his instinct was to touch them gently. Her
skin was hot, her nipples pushed hard and swollen against his palms.
She arched forward into his touch, then desperately, her hands came
up to her shoulders and clawed at the dress, tugging it down her arms
to her elbows, along with her bra. Her breasts came into view, small full
moons with coral pink centers. She leaned back into the hollow of his neck,
her mouth emitting a slow steady whimper as he molded her lightly in his
hands and tugged at her nipples. She was rocking softly in his lap, fuelled
by a restlessness she couldn't seem to control, and he was rocking back,
likewise unable to help himself. Suddenly, his hands had become erogenous
zones. He thought he could feel her pleasure spreading in electric pulses
into his palms, under his skin, drumming through his nerves and his blood.
Even in his left hand, through that alien mechanical maze, he felt the warm
human buzz, and it was the first time he could recall that it had ever given
him any sensation other than dispassionate tactile awareness.
"Ah... Milaya..." His voice was slurred, husky with sensual wonder.
"Milaya, s toboy tak sladko, tak goryacho..."
He bent down and put his lips and tongue to the base of her throat,
licking and breathing evenly on the tender skin there, and presently
she was squirming in his lap to turn around, her eyes stormy and desperate.
In spite of his own swimming arousal, he couldn't help laughing at her
expression. She looked fierce and insanely cute at the same time. He took
hold of the hem of her dress, deftly easing it up and over her head along
with her bra. And... Scully, oh Scully...
His mind went blank. "Scully, you're..."
She strove to look unaffected by his slack-jawed admiration,
but he could tell by her small, self-conscious smirk that she liked
it. And she deserved it. Scully was a technicolor miracle. Her pale
skin contrasted warmly with blazing cornflower eyes, berry-red lips,
tousled red hair, nipples flushed from his attention... and a dark chestnut
tuft nestled in the v of her thighs, framed to perfection by a navy satin
garter and nude stockings. No panties.
<God, Scully, you really had plans for poor old Mulder tonight,
hadn't you?> He shook his head as if to clear it, almost feeling
sorry for the guy for missing out, but just for a split second. Tough
luck, Mulder. Tonight, Alex Krycek was the darling of the fates.
He used his right hand to unfasten the clips that secured her
stockings, then reached both hands around to the back of her garter belt,
unhooking the fasteners there. "This is beautiful," he murmured. "It
makes you look like a piece of erotic art. But that's not what I want.
That's not what turns me on."
He threw the garter away, then tipped her over on her back without
warning, netting him a yelp of surprise. She watched in anticipation
as his right hand eased onto her knee and slid slowly upwards and inwards.
She inhaled sharply as he gently brushed her curls, but he withdrew
immediately and started to push down one of her stockings instead, dragging
his fingertips in exploring patterns down the inside of her leg. He
did the same with the other stocking, and moved down, nipping at her
toes with a teasing growl before kissing his way up to her knee and beyond.
Her inner thighs were silky and trembling slightly with tension. As he
approached her sex, her thighs parted reluctantly, and she gasped. He laughed,
raising himself on his elbows and moving up so his face was level with
hers. He contemplated the agitated rise and fall of her chest with satisfaction,
clucking in sympathy.
"Out of practice and out of breath, milaya."
Her gaze flew to him in glaring outrage, and his eyes widened
triumphantly. He stared hard at her, his mouth half-open on a small smile
of sensual relish as he put his hand flat on her neck and drew it in
a firm deliberate sweep down over her breasts, her belly, to her sex.
He dipped two fingers in between her folds, taking a slow careful breath
as he felt her wetness and her immediate, shaking response. Then he drew
his hand back, retracing the possessive sweep over her torso, his wet
fingers making a glistening track over her skin.
"*This* is what I want," he told her. Then moved his hand up
to her face, and tapped the same two fingers lightly on her temple,
indicating some mystery inside. "But *this*," he murmured, "this is
what turns me on. This is what makes me hard."
Scully's face was a sight to behold, mesmerized and terrorized
as if she were contemplating an uncoiling rattlesnake. His smile widened,
and he hovered above her. "Now," he said barely audibly, "I want you
to kiss me, Scully."
She recoiled, but he caught her, pinning her down under his body
with a low laughter. "Does it work better like this? Nu potseluy menia,
She struggled for a few seconds, then stilled to a stony, demonstrative
reserve. "A kiss is a gesture of affection," she pontificated as though
his effrontery simultaneously bored and amazed her. Her voice wasn't quite
the flat dismissal he thought she strove for, though. A timbre of despair
was sneaking in, and her gaze drifted guiltily to his parted lips as
if she expected to be punished for it. "Why would I kiss you?" she inquired,
and it sounded like she was actually trying to come up with a good reason.
"Why? You mean, besides the fact that you're itching to do it?
You know you loved it when it was me kissing you." He smiled at her
immediate snort of protest, and went on. "Well then, because you can't
expect to get something for nothing, of course. I'm being very reasonable
here. I know you're a bit rusty. I'm not asking you to deep throat me
or anything." He laughed, tightening his hold on her arms as she jerked
in fury, and whispered: "Just a little kiss, milaya. Just... a little...
kiss..." He bent his face towards her at the last words, his mouth hovering
just a soft breath away from hers.
With the most outraged little whimper he had ever heard, Scully
bridged the infinitesimal distance and moved her lips against his.
Having gotten that little taste, she couldn't hide her hunger.
He withdrew slightly, experimentally, and she followed, her mouth open,
moving into his with a small sound of supplication. He let her take the
lead and her tongue flicked smooth inside his mouth, dipping and diving
and exploring. He let go of her arms, and she moved her hands up to cradle
his head. Her head sank back against the pillow, and he followed.
Her kiss was an unexpected spell of sweetness. Their eyes
slid shut in a transient truce. Their tongues were dancing, hers leading,
his following, sliding, sliding, smooth wet slow heat. It felt like
sinking through miles and miles of dark dangerous depths. He gave himself
up to it, as entranced as she. He was aware of his cock throbbing in
a heavy even pulse of want, pressed into the firm give of her thigh,
but distanced, a pressure he could acknowledge and postpone.
He rolled, taking her with him, so they lay side by side, face
to face, kissing. He moved his knee in between her thighs, and even
through the fabric of his jeans he felt the heat of her skin, the searing
furnace of her sex. He opened his eyes in slow, happy amazement. Man,
Scully was riding his thigh, undulating against him like some mermaid
creature in the deep. He felt her wetness seeping through the sturdy denim
to his skin, and then the kiss broke up as she withdrew to come up for
air, breaking the surface with a low shuddering intake of breath.
"You amaze me, Danoushka," he muttered, and she opened her eyes,
the cool blue of them lucent with consternation. She opened her mouth
to speak, and from the look of her it seemed she was trying for something
extremely insulting, but not a sound came out. He held her gaze lazily,
and took her hand, and led it gently to the bulge in his jeans.
She withdrew her hand immediately, with a look in her eyes that
said she wasn't going to do him any favors. He shook his head. "What
now then?" he asked on a note of exasperated indulgence.
"Dammit, Krycek. I said I'd let *you* fuck *me*," she hissed.
"Not the other way around."
"Yeah, and I said we'd do this my way," he countered, his patient
smile wearing a bit thin. He moved his thigh once, slowly between hers,
and she closed her eyes and turned her head slightly on the pillow. "Listen
to me, Scully," he said, and now his voice was clear, cold, and level.
"I won't let you pretend that this is about me forcing myself on you. I
want you, oh yes, but if you don't start to acknowledge that there are two
of us in this bed, it will cost me little to walk out of here. I'd
leave you to burn, or to freeze, or whatever the fuck you choose. You can
depend on that."
Her face was flushed and defensive, her eyes round with surprise.
Scully was doing a reality check. Good thing too, because rhetoric aside,
he'd much rather stay than leave. He smiled inwardly and decided to drive
his point home.
"Consider, Scully. You're spending way too much time with a jerk
who'd actually rather study cow mutilations than have sex with you.
Isn't it nice to feel wanted for once? Isn't it kind of good to be with
someone who sees how beautiful, how fucking hot you are? Here, have a
look at the hard facts."
He cupped her chin, tilted her face down to see, and she took
a soft quick breath as both their gazes traveled down to the straining
bulge under his fly. Jesus, he could actually see his cock twitching, impossibly
swelling even more under her gaze, and as he noticed the little pink tip
of her tongue darting over her dry lips, his arousal accelerated from a
nice cruising speed into breakneck urgency in the space of two seconds.
"This," he said with pleasant, though somewhat pained emphasis, "is the
crotch of a man about to burst a seam with wanting you, milaya. So all
I'm saying is, carpe diem."
She snorted at that, but her gaze was meditative as it strayed
to his face. "All right," she said at length, assuming a disgusted expression.
She moved her hand to the fork of his legs, staring flatly at
him. Her hand closed on his straining erection, cupping over it, then
rubbing gently. Oh, ye angels in heaven. He lowered his lashes in sensual
approval, fighting the urge to start rocking his hips. "That's good."
She didn't answer. She stroked him outside his jeans, firmer
now, slow circles pressing with the flat of her hand. Krycek cleared
his throat. In fact, it was so good it was starting to hurt. He arched
his hips a little, moving into her touch, then tapped a finger lightly
on his belt buckle. "Mmm...Danoushka? Show a little mercy, will you? If
not for me, then for my favorite pair of jeans."
She countered his gaze, expressionless, and moved both hands
to his belt. She opened the buckle, and soon his zipper was being eased
slowly, carefully down over the thick bulge of his erection. The lingering
brush of her hand making a soothing track in the wake of the zipper was
so exquisite, his head turned to the side, eyes falling shut as he made
a sound deep in his throat. "Ah, yes."
He felt her stroke him again, a bit firmer, ending with an experimental
squeeze that drew another husky approval from him. She let go and her
fingertips slid up to where his cock had fought clear of his briefs. She
brushed the smooth hot head lightly and he jerked. Then she pulled the
edge of his briefs down, freeing him to her inspection.
She was quiet so long it caused him to open his eyes, smiling
to see her leaning up on her elbow beside him, her hair hanging down
to partly shade her face, her whole attention riveted on his dark, engorged
cock. Whatever she was, disgusted wasn't it. She looked awed, and hungry.
She also looked slightly troubled, measuring him with her eyes, a fact
that amused him greatly.
"Don't worry, Scully," he grinned. "I'll be gentle."
She looked up in amazement, cheeks on fire. "Your arrogance is
boundless, isn't it?"
"Only trying to put you at ease," he said, green eyes laughing
at her. But in the next moment the laughter died out and his gaze froze
as Scully cast him a vicious glance and bent towards the general area
of his pelvis, her lips parting to take him in her mouth.
"Jesus!" His eyes slid shut at the first lap of her tongue, the
touch of her hand to the base of his cock. God, no way had he seen this
coming. Not that he was complaining, mind. She curled her fingers around
him, swirled her tongue slowly over the head, then closed her mouth over
it and sucked in time with the even, firm strokes of her hand.
His body stretched and arched, a slow uncurling of pleasure.
He groaned and moved his hand to thread gently through her hair, willing
himself not to force himself deeper in, not to push her head harder down.
He brushed her cheek with his fingers and murmured to her, his voice husky
and broken, "Mnye tak horosho, milaya -"
Sweet God, he could come from this, too soon. It wasn't by a
far stretch the most sophisticated or skilled blow job he'd had, but
she was sensitive and conscientious, adjusting her caresses to his sounds
of encouragement, and then there was the mere sight of her, that lush
berry mouth wrapped around him, sliding gently up and down, and knowing
it was Scully - incredibly, excitingly - Scully -. His head reeled, and
he said, "Pogodi, Danoushka... Wait -."
As Scully raised her head, his hands slid to her shoulders, then
her arms, pulling her up to him. Her mouth was swollen and red, her
eyes dazed with surprised triumph. He got the impression she hadn't
quite anticipated this success.
"See?" he murmured smugly. "It's more fun when there are two
She cleared her voice, striving to appear offhand. "Fun for you,
He grinned, his hand sliding down over her belly. "Let's see
if we can make it fun for you too."
His fingers combed through the curls at the base of her belly,
slid down to graze the upper swell of her thighs. Scully seized up with
tension, a tremor starting in her hips and thighs, and he laughed softly
into her hair.
"Don't forget to breathe, now."
"Damn you, Krycek," she whispered. "Don't play with me."
He let his fingers trace lightly away from her sex, concentrating
on stroking her inner thighs, and she spread her legs wider, gasping.
He moved upwards again, but lingered a chaste inch from her sex, his caress
as light as a breath.
"Has it been long since anyone made you come, Danoushka?"
She gasped as he moved his fingers a bit away again, wild-eyed,
pleading now, "Yes, God, please, it has been so long -."
He held her imploring gaze for a few seconds before dipping his
head to her breasts. He took a nipple in his mouth, stroked his tongue
slowly over it before scraping it gently with his teeth. Her fingers threaded
into his hair, drawing him close as she writhed under him, her hips lifting
instinctively towards him to get into closer contact with his hand. He
finally obliged by stroking her lightly, repeatedly over her outer folds,
still avoiding any deeper touch.
"Krycek... I'm going to... kill you," she moaned, but she seemed
definitely incapacitated, so he wasn't too worried.
"That would be a shame," he murmured, raising himself again so
he could look into her eyes, "because then you'd be missing out on this..."
At which his fingers slipped easily in between her folds and slid with
predatory stealth onto her clit, and started a slick, continuous stroking.
"Oh my... God -" She half-rose towards him, supporting herself
on her elbows, tense as a coiled steel wire. Her eyes were locked with
his in amazement. The intense color of the irises was near eclipsed by
the dilation of her pupils, just a corona of blue around the black.
"Approaching the heat after all, little girl?" His amusement
had slipped away and been replaced by unsmiling purpose. She was beautiful,
her face contorted and vulnerable to the point where it felt like an
intrusion to look at her, and still he was unable to look away.
"Closer to the fire, moya krasavitsa," he murmured, speeding
up his two fingers over her clit as he felt a light regular pulsing
begin there. Her eyes fell shut and she started shuddering, but it took
time. She seemed caught in an agony of tension, holding back on the brink
like a panicked mare rearing up at the edge of a chasm. Suddenly identifying
a considerable level of performance anxiety in her despairing face, he
found himself melting with concerned, suppressed laughter. He fought for
control over his voice as he bent low, breathing a searing kiss on her
open mouth, and slid a finger deep inside of her. "Dyshi, milaya... Breathe.
Just remember to breathe."
Scully's breath hitched on a strangled cry, then released on
a wild, deep rush, and then she sobbed loudly as she was overtaken
by the orgasm, rendered incoherent by pleasure, gasped-out syllables
leaving her lips. "Oh... Kry-cek... so... good..." Her thighs clenched
around his hand and she fell back on the mattress and still her climax
went on, a spring flood of heat releasing through her body in swelling
waves he could actually see. He didn't think he'd ever seen a woman come
that long and hard before, and it filled him with incandescent joy that
it was him doing this to Scully... *Scully* for fuck's sake... Could
life be better than this?
As she started coming down from her high, the throbbing in his
cock reminded him that quite possibly it could. He kissed her tenderly
on the mouth and let his hand slide away from her sex. "Stay with me
Scully, I'll be right back." He slipped off the bed and fumbled in the
pocket of his jacket for a condom, tearing the packet with his teeth as
he returned to her side. She was breathing hard, her eyes closed as she
tried to get her bearings. Sluggishly, her lids lifted, revealing eyes
swimming in tears. Oh *shit*, he thought, alarmed, scared actually...
Suddenly angry with himself because he hadn't anticipated some reaction...
She laughed explosively through her nose, catching his expression.
"Relax, Krycek....It's nothing. I was a tad overwhelmed, that's all."
"Overwhelmed? *You* were overwhelmed, Scully? Hell, that climax
almost made *me* cry... with envy," he said, grinning with relief.
She took a deep, unsteady breath, looking down at the condom
in his hand. "Let me help you with that."
She climbed up on her knees, her thighs trembling. As she smoothed
the condom over the length of his cock, he showered kisses on her neck
and shoulders, moved by her tentative, gentle approach. He was ready
to lie down with her, sink himself into heat and oblivion, but Scully
lingered. Her hands slid from his sex up under the hem of his sweater,
a reluctant exploration as if she wouldn't quite admit her need to touch
him. She wouldn't meet his eyes, and he closed his own. Her palms flattened
out over his stomach, stroked up over his chest, then slid down again,
her fingertips brushing over his nipples on the way back, and he didn't
know if that was deliberate or not but a low moan caught in his throat and
he raised heavy eyelids to search her face because God, it felt good. All
of it, so good. He guessed Scully thought so too, because her breath had
slowed and was shallow and almost inaudible, trancelike. She glanced up now
at the sound he'd made and there was a question in her eyes. She withdrew
her hands from his torso and gripped the hem of his sweater, and started
easing it up his body.
Alarm bells went off in his mind, which was now barely connected
with the rest of him. No no no. Bad idea. His hand shot out to stop
her action. "No...wait. Not necessary," he stammered.
Annoyance flashed in Scully's eyes. "Damn, Krycek. It's a power
trip to you, isn't it?"
This was so unexpected that he laughed. "What?"
"You clothed and me naked." She said it with tight resentment.
"I don't think it's too much to ask that you get your clothes off and
join me on equal footing."
God, she had no idea. But of course, how could she? He'd gotten
used to having sex in a semi-dressed state after he lost his arm. He just
hadn't the stomach for the looks of pity or revulsion that the damaged
part of his body tended to engender. And quick hard fucks had seemed to
be all fate sent his way these days anyway, so it hadn't really mattered.
But this was different. This would be slow and hot and special,
and dammit, he longed to feel it all. It would be so good, after all
this time, feeling the sensation of naked skin against his own.
"Krycek?" Scully was going beyond resentment into simmering disbelief.
Christ, it wouldn't surprise him if she decided to throw him out after
What the hell. He wanted to feel her, all of her, and it wasn't
as if she hadn't seen worse. <She's a pathologist, Sasha, for heaven's
sake.> He took hold of the sweater and pulled it up over his head, throwing
it on the floor. While he was at it he pushed down his jeans and briefs
too, kicking them down into the lower end of the bed before turning towards
her. They were standing on their knees facing each other, and he was naked
and erect and defiant, looking down into her face, daring her silently
to make a comment.
Her eyes widened, involuntarily drawn to the area around his
left shoulder, and he couldn't blame her. Even with the alien prosthesis
fitting seamlessly to the stump of his arm, it wasn't pretty. There was
discoloration and extensive scarring reaching to his shoulder and almost
half-way to his neck.
Scully raised a hand to the mangled scar tissue, a shiny mass
of red and pink and purple, touching it gently. The sliding warmth of
her fingers excited him and unnerved him. He couldn't read her face at
"My God, Krycek. What happened to you?"
He forced himself to remain motionless as her hand trailed down
to where the prosthesis joined his arm. She took a startled breath of
"Nah, really?" He gave her an annoyed look. "Fuck yeah, it is."
"What the hell *is* this thing... Don't tell me it's Russian?"
She held in for a second, the process of association plain to see in
her face. "Russia. That's where it happened, wasn't it? Tunguska? Mulder
told me about..."
"Hey, just... Just let's not talk about it, okay?" His voice
came out harsher than he intended, and he wondered whether he looked
as sick as he felt. This was getting way too close for comfort. He swallowed
hard as crazy images flitted through his mind, uncontrollably.
<The moment they took the knife from the fire, jeering and
calling him the uchenyi's son, he'd known that he'd been recognized and
he'd known that they had hated her and he'd known this was revenge but
there had been too many of them holding him down and they'd started hacking
through the layers of flesh and tendons and muscle and bone and he hadn't
known anything then but agony, roaring sobbing deranged with the extremity
Scully was studying his face, a shocked revelation jarring her
calm exterior. "You were conscious, weren't you? You were awake when...
this happened to you."
"And how the fuck would you know?" he snarled, latching on to
his anger like it were a life buoy. Maybe he was hard to please, but
sympathy was every bit as bad as revulsion. Besides, he was getting impatient.
He had a raging hard-on, and Scully was choosing this moment to exercize
her sensitive bedside manner.
"Your physical reactions right now. You're breathing hard; your
pupils are dilated; you're swallowing, probably feeling sick... you're
remembering a major trauma." Her cool voice trailed off, softening reluctantly.
"God, Krycek, I can see your heart pounding..." She lifted her hand to
his chest, laid it over his heart, a gesture more like a caress than a
physician's touch, and he jerked back as if she had burned him. The heat
suffusing his face actually felt painful. He was in a despair of arousal
and humiliation. This was going from bad to worse. Damn her, she thought
he'd accept pity from a woman he'd taken to bed? She had another thing coming,
He drew her close, his right hand closing around her ass and
grinding her into him so that his erection jutted hard into her stomach,
and she emitted a shocked gasp as her gaze flew up to his face. "What
a regular little Florence Nightingale you are," he sneered. "Let's get
back to business, don't you think?"
To remind her, he moved the artificial arm deliberately, slipping
the hand in between her legs and stroking her. He sought out her eyes
with a provocative stare. He could approximate normal flexibility very
well in his better moments.
Scully moaned, still slick and sensitive after her previous orgasm,
and he laughed.
"You want to bet I can't make you come with this hand, Scully?
Save your sympathy for someone who needs it."
She tried to slip away, her eyes frosty with troubled recognition.
She was one hundred percent aware who she was fucking right then, and
it gave him a hot thrill to see it. He used his right arm to draw her
in, holding her tight as he rubbed her carefully, steadily. There wasn't
much fight in her at any rate, she was too ready for it. Her eyes glazed
over helplessly, and he watched her, narrow-eyed, sensing that her orgasm
was closer than she even knew herself. She was actually whimpering. He
relished the sound. He grinned tolerantly, a cat's smile playing with the
"Ssshh. Poor baby."
Feeling the tell-tale trembling begin in her thighs, he held
her gaze in triumph.
"Pozhalusta... Don't mention it," he murmured with the gentlest
She whispered as she came, "Krycek, you... bastard -"
This time, the look in her eyes reminded him of the anguished
passion of a martyr thrown to the lions. She reached for him, cried out
and clung to his arms as she shook, assaulted by pleasure. The vulnerability
of that clutching, helpless gesture went like a spear to his gut, his
own sense of humiliated pride dwindling to nothing in one sharp, unexpected
stab of protectiveness. He held on to her and lay down with her against
the pillows, and moved over her like a shadow, poising himself to enter
her. "Hey, Scully?" he whispered softly. "Good things come to those that
She was still spasming slowly as he sank into her, and he tried
to be gentle with her. But the sensation of her warm inner walls fitting
around him, slick and tight, was irresistible and he couldn't help forcing
the last half of the way home, biting his lip to tame his shout into
a deep groan. Scully was crying out too, some shocked protest, he thought,
her head turning sharply on the pillow. He forced himself to lie quietly,
breathing hard and opening his eyes, only to notice in consternation that
she was retreating under him in a backwards crawl. He followed, driving
into her again.
"Don't," she gasped, the tremor of her climax carried over into
a more violent shaking. "Don't!"
"What the -" He stared at her in amazement. "Scully, you agreed
- no going back, remember?"
"Fuck you!" Her eyes were iced crystallizations of hatred and
panic in her face, and she was shaking, shaking... "Krycek -"
"Yes, Scully... *Dana*," he improvised, trying to get through
to her, but she shook her head furiously, backing off yet a few inches
until her head knocked into the headboard. She fell down in a daze before
trying to sit up, only to butt against his chest. Again, he moved his hips
forward to follow her motion, sweeter this time. A cracked, broken sound
slipped over his lips at the smooth warm slide inside her and the effort
of leaving it at that one thrust. He curved a hand firmly over her ass
to prevent any further escape. She arched her head back on the pillow,
gasping, and he lifted his hand to the back of her head where she had hit
herself, gently prodding the bump that was rising there. "Jesus, Dana..."
She swatted his hand away from her head in cold rage. "Don't
you call me that!"
"Fuck! Then tell me what's wrong, Scully!"
Oh Jesus. She was caught in that tremor, engendered by some agony
he could only make an educated guess at, and he draped himself over her,
steady as a rock, trying to warm her, trying to ignore the imperative
message from his groin demanding he start moving inside her.
"I can't... Get off of me!" She pushed at his shoulders. He was
immovable. She flailed at him, and swearing under his breath, he caught
and gathered her hands, bringing them down to the pillow above her head.
He used the weight of his left lower arm, the one he was leaning on, to
pin down her wrists; Scully was a small amazon and he hadn't enough strength
in that hand to hold down both of hers.
"Is it because it hurts?" he said in intense concentration. "Tell
me if it hurts, Scully. Or is it because it's me?"
Her gaze seemed to burn into him like X-rays, trying to make
out something, some essence of his being that she would interpret in
terms of disease, and death, and destruction. "It's you... you, Krycek.
And I - oh God."
He let out a deep, uneven sigh. "Scully," he whispered. "I'm
just a man. Flesh and blood. You're not exactly consorting with the
She laughed, but her despair made it sound like a sob. "Why couldn't
you just shut up and fuck me, like I said, Krycek? It would have been
He needed some seconds to take this in, scrutinizing her with
eyes that were hard with concern. He didn't buy it. If she wanted it so
damn easy, why hadn't she just got rid of him one way or the other, then
gone to bed alone and brought herself off? If all she wanted was the sexual
release, why was he even here, enduring this purgatory of frustrated desire?
"I don't care for easy, Scully," he said in a hot burst of emotion.
"Do you? Are you sure you want it so fucking easy?"
If she hadn't looked ready to get up and leave before, she did
then. The growl emitting from her throat sounded like it came from
some cornered beast fighting for its life in a dark, inhuman realm.
It wasn't a sound he would have thought that Scully had in her. Someplace
within him, he stilled, and thought he recognized where they were at
last, enough to see a way out of this maze.
<Wolf - a wounded wolf - warm life leaking red into cold snow...>
If he had felt exposed, undressing his maimed body for her, what
must this be like for her? Her damaged life, all her need and hurt and
loneliness, stripped naked for her enemy to see. She lay trapped under
him, rigid and watchful, tremors still running through her. He was hard
inside her, he lay hard over her. He had her at his mercy, and mercy
had him by the throat.
Scully had never had anything easy. He doubted she'd know easy
if it came up and bit her on that shapely ass.
Maybe about time, then, that someone taught her.
Slowly, he lifted his hand - his right, warm, human hand - to
stroke sweaty tendrils of hair away from her resentful face. "You're
right. Sometimes, easy is better. You deserve easy. Let me make it easy
for you, vassilyok."
She tried to move again under him, but this time he wouldn't
let her. He simply stayed put over her, using his superior strength
and size to hold her in place, and he had no qualms about it. He kissed
her neck, licked around her ear, breathed a soft sigh into the delicate
whorls inside. "Easy."
He thrust once inside her, a long, deliberate slide out, a deep,
heavy momentum back in as he raised his head to look into her eyes,
exhaling slowly through parted lips.
Scully closed her eyes briefly and moaned, and her knee came
up to stroke against his hip, a touch so fleeting he only barely felt
"Let me go," she demanded without conviction.
"No, milaya, I won't let you go." He kissed the corner of her
mouth next, finally reasonably confident that she wouldn't bite him if
he did that. "You asked me to fuck you, and fuck you I will."
And he proceeded to do that, clasping her to him with one arm,
leaning on the other that still pinned her hands down. With an initial,
husky groan at finally finding relief in friction and movement, he withdrew
and sank steadily in again, settling into a hypnotic, comfortable rhythm.
He knew he couldn't keep going that much longer, and he couldn't be gentle
that much longer either, but he was giving it his best effort.
The sweet approach seemed to get through to Scully, slowly. Stubbornly
passive at first, she came gradually undone under his unhurried, even
movements, the quiet determination of his gaze, his mouth spilling murmurs
in a foreign language onto her lips. He released her hands, and they
trailed up to his shoulders, his neck, into his hair. With a desolate
little cry of concession, she raised her thighs to clasp around his hips
at last and rocked with him as the sweet, hot ride escalated, making long
low moaning sounds that made his eyes glow under lowered lashes.
As the tension grew, she withdrew into the sensations of pleasure,
and her eyes closed to him, hiding. He could understand her need to
do that, but it was the one thing he wouldn't allow.
"Open your eyes, milaya." His murmur slid like raw silk against
her soft cheek and her forehead, designed to tempt. He detected a flicker
of movement under her lids but she ignored his request. He was too far
gone for subtle sweet talk at this point, so he let go of her with his
arm, and eased a hand between their sweat-slicked bodies, found her clit,
stroked it with light efficiency. Her mouth opened on a transfixed gasp
and he gave her some more of the treatment, enough to feel her start clenching
around him, then drew his hand away. "Scully, open your eyes."
This time, she obeyed, somewhat reproachful. He could feel his
control slipping, but he anchored his attention in her eyes. It was
the gaze of a queen throwing down her weapons before him, utterly proud
in defeat. He grew quiet, feeling almost cleansed by tenderness for a
There was a part of him, as a lover - some essentially Russian
part, steeped in that chauvinist culture - that craved the rush of
possession, that wanted to claim and conquer and leave a mark. It was
far from the sophisticated, strictly directed power play of bondage
and domination games; he had no patience with that. He didn't want that
carefully negotiated submission. He didn't want easy. He wanted the real
thing - the initial challenge, the thrill of the chase, the final coup
de grace. It made the last sweet moments that much better.
Scully had been his match, a worthy mate. He didn't want to break
her. He even doubted that he could.
Somewhere - where? - a tiger paced heavily through snow, and
chanced unaware upon the boundaries of a kingdom of summer.
Krycek smiled in surprise, and whispered sweetly: "I surrender."
He'd wanted her to understand. It was only at her uncomprehending
stare that he realized he'd spoken the words in Russian. But by then
he was bringing his hand back to help her over the edge, and a warm wave
was flooding her gaze, pulling him in, drowning him. Then she was groaning
and coming against his hand and around his cock and he was coming too,
his last movements heavy and deep and uncontrolled...
"Ah, Danoushka -"
...Saying that name like a plea into her fevered skin, while
she clutched out and clasped him tight as if she could save him, as
if he could save her.
What to do afterwards was not immediately clear to him, although
he was fairly certain that loving afterplay and cooing pillow-talk wasn't
on the menu. After the first half minute of feeling boneless and regaining
breath and trying to locate his motivation to move, he raised his heavy
body from hers and rolled over on his side, leaving her exposed. She
shivered and sat up with a small wince, curling into herself, for warmth
or for privacy, her back to him. He didn't know what to expect next.
Would she turn on him like a black widow after the act of mating and bite
his head off? Probably, staying long enough to find out wasn't a good idea.
On the other hand, the sound of the wind hurling wet sleet on the window
wasn't exactly tempting either.
God, he missed St. Petersburg. The comfort of his modern apartment,
the measure of control he felt in the complex politics there.
He was glad, now, that he hadn't made that phone call last night.
He winced at the thought of his sestrichka picking up the phone to hear
her big brother, her hero, calling from a public phone booth, drunkenly
slurring his words and maybe even giving away the misery he felt at the
way this shitty place grated at him. The America of his teenage dreams,
their father's country, turned into shoddy reality. No, he would
never be an American hero. Not that he wanted that any longer, of course.
Anyway, Nadezhda had never seen him at his worst. That was something
to be thankful for. And besides, if he had called her last night, who
knew if he would ever have ended up doing the horizontal tango with Scully?
Scully was shivering still. Hell, she looked so cold, it made
him feel cold too, just to watch her. His right hand twitched with the
instinct to stroke down her back, to warm her any way he could, but he
didn't want to chance at her good will. He got up instead, heavily, and
reached down on the floor for the duvet.
"Here, Scully." He put one knee on the mattress, draped the duvet
around her, looking doubtfully at her lowered head. She accepted the
gesture without acknowledging him, her hand clutching the duvet together
in front of her. She looked a bit zoned out, sitting with her arms around
her knees and her face half-hidden in her arms.
"Are you all right?" he asked finally.
"I can't be, can I?" she retorted with an immediate sting to
"You mean, screwing me?" He grinned. "That was just your animal
instinct taking over, Scully. It doesn't reflect on your mental faculties."
Scully peered up at him over the top of her knees. Her look of
flat, unimpressed assessment made him definitely uneasy. He grabbed
his jeans from the end of the bed and got up on his feet. "Well, Scully,
I assume you got what you wanted. Don't let me outstay my welcome."
An indignant toss of her head sent her hair dancing. He was actually
relieved to see the spark of anger in her eyes. "That's too damn considerate
of you, Krycek."
He picked his sweater up from the floor, and caught a glimpse
of her face as he stood up. What he saw there made him raise himself
slowly, carefully wiping his face of all expression as he turned to watch
"Something on your mind, Scully?"
She shrugged. "No," she said. The word was a single icicle hanging
between them, and yet that shrug was so pathetic in its defiant nonchalance,
it negated her denial.
Krycek smiled, glancing down for a moment. Well, wasn't this
the night for surprises?
He flung his clothes into a chair and walked over to her, kneeling
down by the bed. "Moy vassilyok."
Scully took a quick, careful breath, looking down at him. He
had a sudden, startled association to the classical illustrations of
Russian fairy tales from his childhood. With her pale skin and dramatic
coloring, this American woman looked like one of those enchanted, watercolor
princesses, a flame-haired Vassilissa caught by an evil spell in the
sorcerer's dark castle, her skin like snow and her mouth like a wild
poppy and her eyes like the blue flowers of spring. All the dream of
ancient Russia embodied in a woman. He whispered, his eyes smiling at
her. "Moya tsarevna, vashe vysochestvo. Vassilissa prekrasnaya."
She looked bewitched. She looked like the princess, caught in
the sorcerer's spell, and he reached up to where her hand clutched the
duvet, and gently pulled her hand back to his mouth. He kissed her palm.
He felt giddy with his own power. So you just want a fuck, do you Scully?
Glupyshka, sweet silly girl.
"I'll make it easy for you again, Scully," he murmured against
her palm, then her wrist, looking up at her. "You won't have to ask
me to stay."
He turned her hand around, pressing his lips against the back
of her hand in amused, tender deference, then rose and put his knee on
the bed, and she was gasping, compliant, as he lay back with her and
draped the duvet over them. He left her some personal space, lying close
to her but not touching, tracing the curving line from her shoulder
down to her waist with confidence, and she turned to face him. Her
eyes, with that secret, Russian spring in them, were full of sorrow.
Not for herself, or for him, but for a loss that hovered between them
like a ghost. But her voice, as she spoke, was all Scully, all business.
"I'll leave for work tomorrow, and I'll expect you to be gone
by the time I return. And... that's it, Krycek. That's all it is. If
we meet again I will act like this night never happened, and so will you,
He put his finger across her lips to stifle the words of murderous
intent. Oh yes, he knew, he knew from that sadness, that determination
in her eyes, but he didn't want the words between them. It would be
neither metaphor nor hyperbole this time. "Sshhh... I know, Scully. I
won't tell on you." His finger slid to her cheek, traced her hairline
around her ear and down to her neck. "Ne grusti, malen'kaya moya."
She said with a strange calm: "I hate you, you know that."
He shook his head slowly. "I don't ask you to stop hating me.
Why would you feel that you should?"
"Oh, I shouldn't, I shouldn't stop," she countered, no hesitation
in her cool voice. "It's only - you're so... you've been so..." She laughed
out in bitter disbelief at herself, but braved the mild question in his
eyes. "I never thought I'd use the word 'sweet' to describe you, Krycek."
Again he shook his head, smiling this time. "Scully, do you think
it was out of sweetness that I fucked you? Don't give me more credit
than I deserve."
"Oh, I don't give you much credit, believe me," she said caustically.
"I think you should take what little you get."
He sighed, and his hand left her face and slid down to her shoulder,
then her arm. "Come here, you."
He drew her in, cradling her close to his traitor's heart, accepting
her sorrow, and her hatred, as gifts of honesty after all.
Later, he got up and pulled on his jeans, and went into the kitchen
and made that omelet. He opened the fridge to find something to drink
with the food, and lost his jaw as he saw the contents.
"Strawberries and champagne?" He walked over to the bedroom door
and looked at her. She was lying in bed, clutching the duvet around
her with a faraway gaze, and started as he challenged her with mock
reproach. "Scully, you have strawberries and champagne in your fridge
and you let me slave over a hot stove?"
Scully's face turned beetroot red, and he felt his own face grow
heated in immediate, embarrassed empathy. Oh, fuck. Of course, the delicacies
in the fridge were supposed to have been a celebration, a suitable interlude
in a night of consummation with the man she loved. Scully would have
no intention of sharing the strawberries and champagne with him. Having
seen it made him feel awkward, both for her, for having her thwarted plans
for high romance flung in her face, and for himself, for presuming that
he might aspire to partake in this kind of feast. He went back and grabbed
two cans of diet coke from the shelf in the fridge door and closed it, racking
his mind for something to say that wouldn't make him sound like a bumbling
When he turned around, he was surprised to see that Scully had
followed him and was standing in front of him on the kitchen floor.
She had thrown on a T-shirt, ridiculously much too big for her, and
looked strangely imploring, like a little girl trying to comfort a grown-up.
"It's all right - we can have the... the champagne and the strawberries
- let me help you carry some of it."
Hell, what was that? Did he look so piteous that even Scully
thought he needed to be consoled? "No, forget about that," he said gruffly.
"I realize this isn't... exactly how you intended it."
She balanced on one foot, rubbing the other one distractedly
over her ankle. God, she looked about nine years old. He waited for
her to speak, completely at a loss what more to do or say. "No, but...
Krycek, you were right back there. You know - what the hell - carpe diem.
I've never had champagne and strawberries in bed before. If I wait for..."
- a sudden, fragile laughter - "...for *him* to turn up, then these berries
are really going to go bad..."
He stared. Tension began sliding like a cape of lead from his
shoulders. He murmured, "Yes, it would be a shame about the berries."
"Let me..." She moved past him, opened the fridge door again
and took out the bowl of strawberries and the bottle of champagne, handing
him the latter.
He brought the bottle and the plate with the omelet into bed
while she found two champagne flutes and brought the berries. He put
the plate on the side table and started easing the cork out of the bottle,
holding it outside the edge of the bed.
The sound of the cork popping free was disconcertingly similar
to a gunshot. The association wasn't lost on Scully, who jumped and
looked away in sudden embarrassment. He felt himself blushing as he
filled the glasses. How damned appropriate. How fucking symbolic. Why
couldn't she have bought eiswein instead?
He gave her one glass, and raised his own, determined to distract
her. "Za prekrasnyh dam," he murmured, in the deepest, softest register
of his voice.
She looked at him, took her glass. "What was that?"
"It's a Russian toast." He took a sip of his glass, eyeing her
under his lashes, then licked the remaining drops off his lower lip
slowly, precisely. "'To beautiful ladies present.'"
Scully's face softened into reluctant amusement. "God, Krycek,
He sipped at his glass with a little smirk. "I aim to please."
She snorted. "As the assassin said to his girl."
He damned near choked on the champagne, and studied her askance,
trying simultaneously to regain his breathing ability and figure out
her mood from her deadpan expression. Her eyes laughed at him, cool under
"Scully, that's so below the belt," he gasped, fighting the indignity
of talking with a fizzy drink up his nose.
"Mhm. Those are the regions we're concentrating on tonight,"
she remarked, taking a dainty sip from her glass.
He selected the biggest strawberry he could find, and popped
it into her mouth. "Shut up, glupyshka."
Caught by surprise, Scully bit down on the berry, and swallowed
again and again, with small, concerned sounds as the juice flowed down
her throat, spilled transparent pink over her lips, trickled from the
corner of her mouth down her chin. He took her glass from her and leaned
in and lapped the juice up from her chin with his tongue. He found her mouth,
licked the juice off her lips, heard her swallow berry mush and start to
speak, and slid his tongue into her mouth, and her tongue was strawberry
sweet licking over his own, a warm sunny taste of summer, and she was
starting to giggle, Scully was actually giggling -.
Before he even knew what he was doing, he was making her come
again, just because he wanted to look at her lovely face when she did
- sliding his hand in between her legs, finding her getting wet, and starting
to stimulate her, and she was still giggling, but her giggles turning
into sighs and moans by and by. He used the other hand to pull the T-shirt
up and ease it over her head, and she arched her back and raised her arms
to help him. She stayed there half reclining against the pillows with her
arms thrown back in a pose of relaxed abandon, mewling softly as he took
her up on her silent invitation and brought his free hand to her breasts.
He wasn't subtle or teasing this time. He was single-minded and
gentle and thorough. He held her gaze, smiling. He looked at her face.
His fingers danced a dance they knew to perfection, he didn't even have
to think about it, just watch her become short of breath, and her mouth
grow tumescent and ripe like the strawberries, and her skin suffuse with
warmth like from a high summer sun, and her eyes - God, her eyes... In
a better world, he could have spent a lifetime just watching the vast
blue universe of Scully's eyes as their expression grew from languid appreciation
into plaintive desire, into grasping, spiraling loss of control.
She was approaching her climax, a joyful panic of anticipation
seeping into her face, breathing hard, head turning back and forth
on the pillow, her eyes open, letting him see her - wanting to see him?
- before all her tension was smoothed out in intense, rapturous relief,
and she exclaimed, a drawn-out, wordless, sweet moan, but it was him
crying out, him saying, "Oh God Scully, yes, please, please -" and her
eyes were glazed over but seeing him, he was certain, absolutely aware
of him still...
And afterwards, he thought, on a bewildered high with realization
but holding his happiness close to his chest: shit Scully, that wasn't
about getting back at Mulder was it, this one wasn't about Mulder at all...
Some fucks were saturated with the scent of skin, with the feel
and taste and warmth of it, with whispered questions, with sighs and
discoveries. Some fucks turned into lovemaking without there being any
love involved, like alchemic sorcery transforming worthless matter into
gold. He'd had some of those, but it had been years ago, in another lifetime.
He'd never have expected it to happen with Scully. But then, he wouldn't
have expected anything to happen with him and Scully.
Scully rolled over on her side, reaching out a slim hand for
the zipper in his jeans, and he was faintly surprised to even discover
that he had an erection; he had been so focused on her that his own desire
caught him unaware. He curled his fingers around hers, stopping her. "No,
"Tit for tat," Scully murmured, questioning him with her eyes:
"Because - tit for tat isn't always what you think." He grinned.
"This time, I took pleasure in your pleasure. You gave me a present,
She pulled her hand free from his gentle grasp, stroked his hip.
"I wouldn't mind," she said, which he supposed was Scully's decorous
way of saying that she rather wanted to.
"That's nice. Later. Don't worry, I'm not finished with you yet."
He turned over on his side too, pulling her close, and his erection pushing
into her stomach seemed to put her into a state of bewilderment. She
looked at his crotch, then at his face, twice.
The more he grinned, the more serious Scully grew. "I don't get
He laughed then, stroking her back and leaning over to kiss her
briefly. "Why, milaya? I just want to enjoy my horniness for a while,
what's so hard to get?"
Scully shook her head and then laughed too. It was an unsure
sound, a slender chain of happiness. "I don't get it."
"You don't have to," he said, taking their glasses again and
raising his in a toast as he handed her hers. "Here's looking at you.
You win first prize, Scully."
She accepted the glass hesitantly, cupping the bulb of it in
her palm as they drank the toast. "What for, though?"
His fingers traced over her cheek. "Most good-looking orgasm
of the year."
She looked so startled, and genuinely modest, that he laughed
again. He studied her blushing face, his eyes following the track of his
fingers, making note of the dappled pattern of pale gold on her skin.
Distracted, he put away his glass again, and let his fingertips trace
her cheekbone. "There's a gold trail here."
She was disoriented for a moment before making the connection,
grimacing. "Oh, my freckles, they're awful. They're not too bad now
in winter, but in summer they're horrible."
"They're not awful," he protested. "How can you even say the
words 'freckles' and 'awful' in the same sentence? They're lovely.
Like stars on your skin."
Her eyes turned to him, late winter lakes where the ice was just
breaking. "So the assassin is waxing lyrical about freckles now."
He returned her gaze, eyes smiling quietly. "It's my night off."
She shook her head with a small smile, sitting up and studying
him as he lay before her, propped on his elbow. Her fingers touched
his shoulder, traced slowly over the mottled scar tissue down to his
prosthesis, then back again, over his chest and his hard stomach. There
was a melancholy in her smile, something that vaguely scared him even
as her touch excited him. "You're beautiful, you know. A beautiful wild
beast, Krycek. That's what you are."
He looked at her warily, strangely chilled, now, where her fingers
touched him, wondering if this train of thought could come to any good.
"So beautiful that it makes me forget. Like seeing a leopard
or a tiger and wishing one could pet it. You've killed innocent people,
The unexpectedness of this attack, the contemplative sadness
of it, registered in his mind as unfairness. He sat up too, looking
away. "What the hell would you know about that?"
She took a deep breath, startled. "You take me for a fool?"
He met her gaze, not knowing at this point whether he was speaking
the truth or a lie. It was neither, and both. "You know fuck all about
what I've done, and not done. For that matter, you know little, in this
context, about who was innocent and who was not."
"My sister, Melissa, was innocent," Scully said with deceptive
quiet, her eyes growing wide and luminous. "My daughter, Emily... "
She held in, agony welling up in her gaze, making it terrible to look
The see-saw of enmity and need had tipped again, and he didn't
know if there was anything other than sexual manipulation that could
restore the precarious balance. But he was compelled to try, and let
out his breath in a harsh sigh. "I never knew about your daughter until
a couple of weeks ago, Scully. Your sister... may God forgive us all for
your sister. But I didn't kill her. It was a terrible thing, it turned out
She laughed, the saddest, hardest sound he had ever heard. "Now
am I supposed to pat your back and whisper, 'There, there'?"
"No," he said. "No. Just... just try to keep this night separate,
Scully. Disconnected from what took place before, or what will happen
later." He reached out and pried the ice cold drink out of her hand and
placed it on the bed stand, then warming her hand in his own. "You needed
someone tonight, and it happened to be me. So, you're human. You don't
need to keep flogging yourself over that."
"Oh, so we are to keep quiet about your transgressions, and it's
all for the best," she said bitterly.
"Maybe it is, milaya. Do you really believe it's me you're trying
A few tears spilled from her eyes. She looked bruised, not quite
whole. He moved in cautiously, held her close, but loosely, as if she
might shatter at the wrong touch.
"Please tell me," he said after a while, "if you want me to go."
Her face was hot against his shoulder, his ruined skin wet with
her tears. "No, don't go. Not yet. Don't go."
Discovering Scully was like traversing disintegrating ice sheets.
Losing foothold on sudden slippery slides of tenderness; stumbling, heart
lurching, before opening voids of pain.
They finished the food in fairly amenable silence. Scully had
patched herself together, now, and was staring at him, her brow knotting
in frank confusion.
"You have me thrown, Krycek," she said at last. "You're clearly
not unintelligent, you seem to have a working grasp of reality, you even
show some vestige of functional humanity."
"Why, thank you," he murmured ironically.
She gave an offhand, gracious nod to acknowledge his input. "You
could have been someone, could have done something useful, and you've
chosen to waste it all for a life in the... the sewers of existence
He looked into her grave, enquiring face, and suddenly her question
and his answer ran together as the color of her eyes brought a flashback
that made him smile, made him sit up and remember, joy seeping into him,
"Oh, I've had my moments too, Scully. I... sat in an army tank
once - and a girl climbed up onto the top, into my lap - a child really,
but oh, she was beautiful - and we sat kissing -."
That had been in the summer of '91, August, and he had been twenty-three,
an officer in the Red Army when those old men staged their fiasco coup
against Mikhail Gorbachev. He had, of course, with his American citizenship,
had no business being in the Soviet army in the first place, but an army
education had seemed useful and one of his mother's powerful friends
had made the necessary arrangements. The army tanks had rolled into Moscow
and the Red Square, which was teeming with masses of people in outrage
at the coup, but jubilant with the foretaste of victory that seemed something
truly tangible, sweet as the scent of high summer in the air.
The soldiers in the tanks had refused to break down the demonstrations,
taking the people's side, and he had been sitting perched on the top
of the massive vehicle, legs dangling down into the open hatch, when a
laughing girl reached up to him from the street, carrying vassilki, cornflowers,
for him. And he had taken not only the flowers, but the girl too, hoisting
her up to him, and she had blushed because she was so happy, and so young,
perhaps sixteen - and because he was a grown man, a handsome soldier,
a hero holding her and pulling her into his arms. She had tilted her face
up to him to be kissed, and although she was too young, she was beautiful,
with long silky hair and laughing gray eyes and a round Slavic face, and
he had sat there for an hour with that lovely malen'kaya in his arms, sharing
the sweetest, most innocent kisses, and she had blushed like a field
of poppies, and the people around them had cheered and laughed. Then
the girl's father had come, yelling at him, and he had grinned and helped
him up on the tank too, and Yeltsin's voice had boomed in swaggering triumph
from the megaphone, announcing victory and freedom, and in spite of all
that he knew, all that bitter heritage of knowledge from his mother, the
whole of it had seemed so real, so fucking real -.
Then, coming back to the base a few days later, he had gotten
the message that his mother was dead, and a month later the old python
had slithered into his life, and then he had learned for certain what
was real, and that it had nothing to do with innocence, or vassilki, or
He smiled now, though, and meeting Scully's gaze saw that she
was smiling too, in spite of herself, intrigued. He breathed deeply,
brushing away the memory with easy regret. "Let's just say that I've had
my moment in the sun, too, Scully."
"You strike me as an ambitious bastard, though," she retorted,
considering. "Kissing a girl in a tank - that sounds like a modest
"Perhaps it was," he agreed, lowering his lashes and smiling.
"I guess it was... So, Scully," he said, changing the subject. "Speaking
about pleasures, exactly how little have you been up to in the last
She looked taken aback, but retorted coolly, "None of your damn
"Hey, *you* brought it up," he said with an innocent smile. As
she looked at him without understanding, he murmured, "I think the
exact words were 'God, please, it's been so long.' Isn't that about right,
Scully flushed pink. "Okay, so it's been a while. I've showed
some flawed judgment where men are concerned, of which, I may add, you
are the latest example, Krycek."
He acknowledged her point with a slight smirk. "Well, it may
not have been wise, but your judgment can't have been too off in my
case. As I recall, you also used the word 'overwhelmed' at some point."
She scowled. "Would you please stop quoting myself back at me?
I wasn't quite myself when I said that. I was..."
"Overwhelmed?" he suggested, grinning.
"I was experiencing a temporary impairment of my faculties due
to sexual excitement," she replied with some dignity.
"Well then, I'm glad I could sexually excite you, Scully." He
considered for a moment, then continued: "What about Mulder, though?
I confess, I always thought the two of you had been through the Kama Sutra
backwards and forwards, twice."
An uneasy shadow of regret flickered over her face. "Well, that's
a different story, and it's none of your business either." She glanced
down before focusing on him again, with the level cool gaze that had
no doubt been instrumental in netting her that infamous nickname. "I know
you're no fool, Krycek."
Seeing that look, warning bells went ting-a-ling in his mind.
Yet fatally, curiosity got the better of him. They'd finished the food,
and he put the plate on the floor next to the bed. "If Mulder..."
"I don't want to speak about Mulder," she said. "Not with you."
He laughed. "Scully, how many times have you gone home from Mulder
sexually and emotionally frustrated because that guy put the dys- in
"Don't you dare speak about him like that," she said with an
immediate sharp, cold note in her voice. "You of all people." He started,
but she went on, "I haven't -." She looked down, rephrased. "Let's say,
for argument's sake, that my relationship with Mulder sometimes leaves
me frustrated. What the hell is that against what you have done to me,
to all of us, Krycek? Let's try to retain some sense of perspective here,
The disdain in her tone numbed him for a second. Like a shaft
of brilliant, northern noon light, it mercilessly illuminated the comfortable
twilight zone they had forged with their need, as the flimsy construction
it indeed was. He could deal with hatred, but that scorn stung in some
naked, exposed sense of pride that had always been his Achilles' heel.
He shook his head, feeling powerless because he couldn't defend
himself without invoking her pity, and he couldn't even start on it without
saying too much. "All I can say, Scully, is that you don't have all
Scully was studying him sharply. "I know this much. Mulder lived
a nightmare, growing up, after losing his sister and suffering the
guilt from it. He has been through hell and managed to come out of it
a fully paid-up member of the human race, which is more than can be
said for you, Krycek. You don't measure up to Mulder's ankles, in any
respect. So don't come prancing in here like some ridiculous avenging
Cossack, expecting to be taken seriously."
It took some seconds for her words to sink in, to cut to the
marrow of his already wounded pride. She sat there so haughty, this
amerikanka, embodying the nation that had spurned him, turned on him,
while jeering in disdain at the identity that was essentially, though
not legally, his. With the impact of a whiplash, something snapped in
him, a string that had been pulled dangerously taut over many years.
He spun around, his hand on her shoulder, pushing her hard up against the
pillows supporting her. "Don't you dare - don't you fucking dare - I'm
an American as good as any of you!" - leaning over her, his eyes flashing,
teeth bared in fury.
She scrambled to get up, but he pinned her down, trapping her
legs under his thigh. Scully gasped and laughed, disbelief mingling with
satisfaction in her eyes, her eyes hard honest true-blue, taunting him:
"Touched on a sore spot, Krycek?"
His heart was pounding. Rage, pride, excitement moved through
his mind like shivery patterns of light and shade. He rocked his groin
once, suggestively into her hip, then brought his hand to her sex, slipping
two fingers barely inside her opening and stretching it with dispassionate
intimacy. "Scully, the only sore spot in this bed is right here."
She'd jerked at his touch, the satisfied smirk replaced by an
expression of absolute surprise. Without warning and without hurry he
slid a thick finger deep inside her and she gasped and shuddered. She
was hot, still slick enough from their previous lovemaking to abate most
of the friction, and her muscles clamped down on him involuntarily. He
dragged his finger almost out, then inserted two more fingers and pushed
them all slowly in again, pressing upward firmly. Scully made a thin, suppressed
sound. He looked up to her face and saw her biting her lip for control.
Her eyes locked with his and he saw that she was angry, maybe even a little
scared, but above all excited.
"Too bad Mulder is too morally superior to do this to you, milaya,"
he commented, fucking her with hard, stabbing thrusts of his fingers.
She wet her dry lips. "Screw *you*, Krycek."
"Mm, no, milaya, I think the shoe is on the other foot." He clamped
his thumb down on her clit. "You like that, Scully?"
She closed her eyes, taking a harsh breath. "Oh, God."
He moved his fingers inside her, curving them sharply to press
in hard jabbing circles up on the small raised pad he had found. She
cried out in alarm, hands clawing at the sheets for support.
"You *like* that Scully?"
"Go to... aahh!" she wailed as he moved down between her legs,
taking away the bruising force of his thumb and soothing her clit with
a slow lap of his tongue.
As he swirled his tongue gently over her, he could feel her warm
into liquid pliancy. She moaned and he looked up to see her head turn
against the pillow, lips parted in anticipation of pleasure. He set his
mind and his mouth to the task of getting her to the brink of orgasm,
fucking her gently with his fingers while he licked at her delicately,
methodically, like a cat cleaning its bowl. It was pathetically easy.
After all, she had been starved for this. Her arousal made her wet, the
clean tartness of her flowing onto his tongue and making him want to linger
after all. But she was already seizing up in expectant tension, crouching
for that quantum leap into weightless space, and he let her feel the first,
preliminary spasms before pulling back and leaving her in limbo.
"Oh no!" The exclamation was a cry of such disappointment he
could only silently congratulate himself as he rose up to contemplate
her. She looked about ready to cry. He took one of her hands in his and
kissed her fingers lightly before placing it over her sex.
"Morally upright Americans like you don't need a dirty Cossack
to help you come, hm, Scully?"
She stared, her dry voice stumbling on words. "For... for heaven's
sake, Krycek... That wasn't meant as a slur on your...what's the matter
"Ah, no. Wrong question, Scully. Wrong, wrong, *wrong*. I'm so
fucking tired of taking it on the chin. If you can't be polite, shut
the hell up."
He was standing up, searching his jacket for another condom.
What the hell, he was out of stock. He glanced at her, lying on the
bed fairly glowing with annoyance and thwarted arousal, her hand still
daintily in place over her mound but showing no sign of taking action.
"You intended to practice safe sex with Mulder tonight, Scully?"
She closed her eyes in seeming disbelief, battling with herself
for long seconds, but eventually raised her eyes to his. Her words came
out half-choked. "You just crawl back to the pit you came from, Krycek.
I'm not playing your sick game."
He shook his head, his gaze level on her. "Wrong again, Scully.
Now there'll be hell to pay."
Her eyes widened as he moved his hand to his fly. The sound of
the zipper being pulled down seemed very loud in the charged silence
between them. By contrast, his voice as he took out his erection and
started stroking himself was quiet, the silky hiss of a snake.
"I think you want this, Scully."
She swallowed hard, half-gaping, her gaze fastening in helpless
fascination on his thick cock and his big hand pumping it in slow, deliberate
"This is good," he murmured. "But it was so much better being
inside you, Scully. So soft, so hot and tight. So perfect. You felt it
too, I know. That having a man inside you was better than your fingers...
those poor tiny fingers of yours..."
She whispered without looking away, "You're sick." But a slow
lava smolder was insinuating itself into her eyes, viscous molten heat,
and he smiled in near-compassion. <If this is sick, then you're as
sick as I am, milaya. God help us both.>
He stopped stroking himself and sat down on the edge of the bed,
splaying out his hand over her flat stomach. She moaned at his touch,
arched the small of her back slightly off the mattress. Her soft skin
was unbelievably hot, and her gaze was fixed on him in a kind of voluptuous
lethargy, like she knew doom was at hand and couldn't bring herself to
His fingertips made slow, light circles around her navel. He
lowered his voice even more, to a hushed almost-whisper. No need to
shout; he had her rapt attention. He got the impression she would have
been able to read his lips.
"This time I want to fuck you hard, Scully. So hard you scream.
This time I want you to really feel it. I want you to wake up tomorrow
and know the reason you can barely walk is because Alex Krycek fucked
you, and you'll think back on it and you'll still want me, Scully. You'll
want it all over again. Because it's gonna be so good. But I think you know
that. I can see in your face that you know it. Don't you, Scully?"
Now she couldn't speak. Her face was utterly helpless, so lost
he felt a twinge of pity tug at the edges of his mind. He brushed it
away impatiently. This was war, and by God, this time he'd take no prisoners.
He moved his hand down until it covered hers, brushed his thumb gently
through the soft curls under her fingers, pressed down just firmly enough
to encounter hot pooling wetness. She tensed with a small cry, and he maintained
the slight, unmoving pressure and said in a silken murmur, "I need to
know what you want, Scully."
She was vibrating like a violin string under the bow, her breath
coming in small catching sobs. "God, I want... I want..." She closed
her eyes briefly, but opened them again and looked in abject misery at
his erection. He could see the conflict in her face. There was enough remaining
pride in her that her body's betrayal smarted. "You," she whispered, sounding
shamed. "Inside me."
"Then tell me where the fucking condoms are, Scully."
She moaned in denial, unwilling to grant him this ultimate victory,
but her eyes flicked to the nightstand and that was answer enough. He
opened the drawer and found an unopened box inside. "'Ribbed for her pleasure',"
he read and cast a knowing glance at her distressed face as he smoothed
a condom onto his erection. "Your pleasure is my command, Danoushka."
Before she could answer, he was at her side, drawing her in so
she lay spooned against him, back against his front. He took her hand
again and dipped it between her legs. Her breath hitched and her pelvis
jerked, but her hand remained still under his.
"Just can't do it, can you? Poor little inhibited Catholic girl."
He bent down to kiss the tiny golden cross that had slid on its chain
to the back of her neck, and started moving her fingers with his own,
whispering into her ear:
"Just tell the priest that the devil made you do it..."
"Oh, God!" Her fingers flexed under his as she yielded, the foretaste
of orgasm honey-sticky on her voice. "Oh my God -"
"Remember my name? Say my name, Scully."
She moaned into the pillow as she came, "Alex, Alex, Alex..."
He didn't wait for her to finish, but raised her upper thigh
slightly with his hand as he positioned himself to enter her. "Red Army
moving in to attack at your rear," he commented, laughing at her groan
He noticed with distant approval how good it felt as he pressed
deep inside, and bore down on her so she was pushed onto her stomach,
with one thigh drawn up and her face half-hidden in the pillow. Scully
made a wild, fierce sound and raised herself on her elbows. Her back bucked
and her head bent down like on a waking cat going into a stretch.
"That okay, Scully?" he asked, out of breath.
"Wait..." She was panting, disoriented. But he withdrew abruptly
and thrust in forcefully, and she made a startled sound in her throat.
"Hang on." He leaned on one elbow, using his other hand to keep
her drawn-up thigh in place against the mattress. He moved roughly in
and out of her tight channel, his mind frozen somewhere between carelessness
and satisfaction as he watched her pale narrow back shake with the impact
of his thrusts. The grip of his hand on her thigh would leave bruises for
tomorrow. He felt better, much better, in a detached, edgy way. He was in
control. He wasn't hurting her - well, not much - but he was making her thoroughly
aware of how little her body despised him, how much she was willing to
put up with in the name of desire. Lesson for you, Scully. Lesson for you.
He was what he was. She had invited him in. If not with words,
then with her cool eyes and her hungry body and her lonely desire. She'd
better not look down her nose at him with that air of self-satisfied
superiority. Damn her. *Damn* her. Damn them all.
Scully had started crying out with each thrust, and his initial
reaction was hostile triumph. But gradually, for all that he'd wanted
to break her self-control, to bend her completely to his will, the cries
were beginning to claw at him distantly. They were laced with intense
pleasure, but she vocalized them as if she were choking on them, drowning
in them, gagging on them. He shook his head to clear it, reeled as he recognized
the cries from his nightmares, Scully's pleasure and Scully's pain twining
together in his mind, into abandoned, pleading threads of sound.
"No, Scully, don't - don't!" He slowed down a bit, eased up a
bit, took a heaving breath for control. He saw his hand lifting, stroking
down her back and ass slowly, gentling her, soothing her. On the next
long slide of his cock out of her clutching heat, he saw a trace of blood
on the condom, and the icy, jagged edge to his arousal turned on him with
Jesus. He had hurt Scully. He tried to scramble a justification
together. She'd gone without sex for ages, she was tiny compared to him,
it was only a surface abrasion at worst... Such a minor hurt compared
to his other transgressions. But he closed his eyes, sank into her again
to hide what he had done. He rested his hot, damp forehead on her shoulder,
some sense of perspective seeping in at last, and with it a dull shame.
Scully had quieted down. The wild cries had ebbed out in disbelieving,
He didn't feel better at all. He felt like shit.
Where had all that rage come from? Scully wasn't a Russian princess.
Neither was she an American icon. He didn't know what Scully was, since
he had forfeited his right to ask her any questions that truly mattered.
He didn't know Scully, anymore than she could know him.
"Ah, milaya," he murmured, "milaya, I'm sorry, so sorry."
He was unprepared when she muttered in a raw, spindly voice,
"Talk to me, you bastard."
Still moving within her, he was quiet for a moment, his brain
regrettably empty, then murmured into her skin, fear making him crude,
flippant, "You want dirty talk, Scully? Whatever turns you on. Just wait
a minute while I adjust."
"Damn you, Krycek." She struggled to turn her neck enough to
see him. Her voice fell to a throaty, hoarse pitch, somewhere below
the secret place of her tears. "Talk to me for real. For *real*. So
I know you're human."
Now he lay still, taking in her words. He raised his head finally,
and saw that although there was defiance in her voice, there was fear
in her eyes. He didn't like thinking about what she had perceived in
him that had put that fear there.
"So I know you're not grinning at me behind my back," she added.
"Oh Jesus, Scully. It's nice to be thought so highly of," he
countered, a bit staggered, even as he felt the accusation zing right
home. He hadn't done that - had he?
"Just talk about something... something... you love," she maintained
Well, his brain had broken down. He tried to do a cold start.
What the hell did he love? Was there anything left in his life to love?
Yes, oh yes there was, but not anything he could talk to Scully about
at a moment like this. "I love doing this, Scully. I love making love to
you," he improvised, uncertainly.
"Is that what it is to you?" she asked tartly, gasping as he
resumed his thrusting. He let go of her thigh, smoothing it down to
a relaxed position, and his hand moved up and found her breast. He stroked
the nipple absent-mindedly, fucking her slowly, gently. He felt her spread
her legs wider to accommodate him. "Yeah, Scully, I guess it is," he
"Keep... talking," she insisted.
"I love..." He cast desperately about the room with his gaze
for inspiration, and was granted it from an unexpected source. "That
dress, Scully. The dress you wore. Such a perfect blue. The most beautiful
blue." He was gradually relaxing, some rigid hurt loosening its vice-grip
on his body and mind. He dragged his hand down her side and inched it
under her pelvis, seeking out her clit. She jumped and moaned, maybe
over-sensitive after the previous orgasm, and he spread his fingers
out to cup her mound instead, moving his hand in gentle circles. "Better,
milaya?" he whispered. He felt warm, dizzy, his cock swelling and pulsing
inside her, aching from the languid pace he had set.
"Yeah, better," she crooned. "That blue, Krycek..."
"That blue," he breathed, "it's the blue of your eyes, vassilyok.
It's the blue of spring. Spring at Ladozhskoe Ozero... lake Ladoga ...
at the dacha..." He had to break off, memories flooding him unexpectedly,
a warm pleasurable wave of pain swelling through him. His release was
within reach, shimmering like a ghost and tempting him to give up all
control. But he couldn't do that, and grasped with determination at the remains
of his self-restraint.
"Go on," Scully commanded, voice gone whispery with wonder.
He spoke in short, breathless intervals. "The last Easter we
went there... I was thirteen," he murmured. "The last ice was just going
from the lake... And we arrived late in the evening, and it was dark
- it was April. In the morning, waking up, I... I opened the French doors...
to the garden... Scully..."
"Go on," she urged him again, rhythmically pressing herself against
his caressing hand. He wondered whether she was as close as him. It was
no good trying to hold back, he was being lifted up by the swell already,
tidal forces pulling at him.
"Goluboye... blue... so blue," he gasped. "The lawn... was drowning
in it. Iris, proleska, kolokolchik... Specter from... cerulean through...
cobalt. Bluer than the lake. Bluer than the sky... the *sky*..."
And he couldn't speak anymore, couldn't breathe anymore, just
lose himself in the deep of her body, silently shaking.
Afterwards, he lay folded over her like a fallen leaf, limp and
weak and shaken. And angry, almost. What right had she had, to wring
that memory out of him? What right had she to the meager treasures of his
But she turned slowly around to face him, moaning softly as he
slipped out of her, and she traced the humiliating trail of sorrow
on his face with her cool fingers, and took the last of his anger away.
He didn't think he had slept. They lay nestled under the duvet,
Scully with her cheek upon his chest, her arm flung across his body.
He didn't think she had slept either. An immense weariness, uncomfortably
mixed with something closely related to fear, had pulled him close to an
almost-dream for a while, but he woke with a start before he had truly
fallen asleep, making her look up at him in the light dusk of the room.
He saw his own emotions reflected in her face. It didn't make him feel better.
The impulse that he'd had to do something right for this woman
seemed preposterous to him now. How could he have believed, even for
the duration of a good lay, that any interaction with him could cause
her anything but misery in the long run?
But, Christ, he was only human, and Scully had practically jumped
him. He marvelled at this, turning the events over in his mind, wondering
whether he might have misread her signals at some point. Nope. Damn right
she had jumped him. Now in fact, that did make him feel somewhat better.
Just the tiniest bit.
It should have been Mulder, though. Even he could see that, because
clearly that was what she had planned and wanted. Mulder was the one
she had decided she could trust, but her chosen knight had fled in terror
and someone else had invaded her fortress when her guard was down. He
was twisted enough to find that funny in a sad way. The inherent tragedy
of slapstick. Not a chance that he wouldn't have let Scully have her way
with him even if foresight had been 20/20, but... certainly, if life had
been fair, it should have been Mulder.
It was an impetuous thought, but for a second he contemplated
it for the sheer weirdness of it, being loved by Scully, by that intelligent
integrity. It was frightening. It was the sort of alliance that could
really stop a bad guy from going places.
Just as well for both of them that he wasn't exactly her type.
He went up to get her a drink of water - she had said, with a
wry little smile, that her throat was parched - and glanced at the clock
on the wall. It showed 4:15. How many more hours in this sanctuary, he
wondered. Two, three at most? He'd done enough surveillance in his time
to know that Scully used to clock in early at work.
He drank some water too, bringing sloppy handfuls of it to his
mouth from the faucet. The liquid trickled clear and cold down his
naked chest. He drew cool, wet hands over his face and through his hair.
For some reason he hesitated to go in there to her again.
If his clothes had been in the living-room, he'd have dressed
and left right then.
But he shook off his unease and brought her the glass of water,
sat at the edge of the bed and watched her drink it greedily. She spilled
some on her chest too, and he couldn't resist bending his head to lick
the drops of water off her breasts. But when he zoned in on a nipple, almost
on autopilot, she protested mildly.
"Krycek... I don't know what you have in mind, but... I'm a bit
sore." After a second's pause, she added with relative lack of rancor,
"As I understand was your intention."
"I'm sorry... I got a bit primitive there for a while," he murmured,
kissing her nipple lightly before drawing back. As a matter of fact,
he was sore too - his left shoulder smarted from using that arm for leverage.
No reason to bring that up, though.
She put her glass on the nightstand, brushing the drops of water
off herself, and then, distractedly, off his chest. "A dacha at lake
Ladoga, Krycek? That's near St. Petersburg, isn't it? You did grow up
in Russia then."
<Here we go.>
"In the Soviet Union, yes," he said. "It was called Leningrad,
She removed her hand, sat straight-backed in the bed looking
at him, interested, not unfriendly. "Yet you call yourself an American
- you speak American English."
"My father was - is - was an American. Czech-American, to be
precise." He bit his lip, wondering what to tell her about that man
whom he only could remember from a child's small perspective, a kind,
scholarly man, a Russophile, who'd come to Leningrad as a guest doctor
in linguistics and fallen in love with a brilliant science student -
sealing his fate. "He emigrated to Russia because he... loved the language,
the culture, and a woman."
"Mm. But he was allowed to retain his American citizenship. Both
I and my... I am an American citizen, but I grew up in Russia. We spent
a fair amount of time in the West too, though, intermittently. Paris,
"Then your family must have been privileged in some way."
"That's right." He shrugged uncomfortably. He was aware of being
gently questioned, and instinct made him wary, although he had a suspicion
that this was as much Scully the woman as Scully the investigator at
work. Strange thing about women - they seemed to think if a man had functional
tear channels he must have a beautiful soul. Which was, of course, wondrously
deluded. He'd cried like a baby a few times in the last decade. Having
an arm hacked off without anesthesia or being raped by black alien slime
did tend to bring a man in touch with his sensitive side, at least momentarily.
He didn't fool himself, though, that he had much of a soul to show for
Scully persisted. "Your parents had high rank in the Party?"
He got to his feet and walked over to her window to get away
from her gentle scrutiny, looking down on the deserted street that shone
blackly. A thaw was coming in, the white trimmings on buildings and cars
melting and dripping.
He thought of his Russian mother, a small being forged in fire
like a blade of steel, spending weeks on end in the laboratories in
Tunguska, coming home to Leningrad after these stints in grim dejection
more often than jubilant with hope. Attending, sometimes hosting, secret
meetings with important women and men, some of them KGB, some of them
not, some of them foreigners. Coming home from the occasional Party meeting,
laughing at the banalities she was forced to spend time on. Dying at 46
from exposure to the alien virus, a laboratory accident, just weeks before
the development of the first crude, working prototype of the vaccine.
Her body thrown into a fire, burnt to cinders, ashes blowing in cold gusts
into the dark, silent taiga.
(Marya Ivanovna Krycek, coming to him in the silo two years after
her death as he lay semi-conscious and half-mad with terror in a pool
of red and crawling black that he had expelled from his body. An apparition
with stern love in her eyes, whispering to him to be strong, to live,
that he would be whole again, safe again. 'I know, I know, Sasha. There,
now, my beautiful Sasha--')
He thought of his father, too, that big, quiet scholar, walking
into the unknown of an alien spacecraft seventeen years ago, a hostage
for his wife. Willingly, to avoid the impossible choice of whether to
give up his son or his daughter to that very fate. That last Easter, in
a white shirt and baggy grey farmer's pants, carrying one-year-old Nadezhda
on wide shoulders through the blue-speckled garden at the dacha. Murmuring
to his wife in comforting cadences as she wept that night, clearly heard
through the thin walls, "Karel, Karel." And himself, beginning to understand
the way things were, yet helpless to comprehend this, that these were
the last days with his father, that the world as he knew it was ending,
(And Spender telling him ten years later, smiling through a sickening
curtain of smoke, that his mother was dead but Karel Miloslav Krycek
was still alive somewhere and now it was up to him to keep him that way...And
maybe it was a lie, and maybe it was not a lie.)
His thoughts wandered on to seeing Nadezhda in Prague that same
fall, a brittle, stony-faced 11-year-old child, not crying. Thin as a
reed. Looking like her mother. Just lost her mother. Never remembered
(And holding her hard, bony little body close that night, trying
to help her cry, or sleep, and in the end, in his awkward husky singing
voice, resorting to those monotonous lines from childhood nights. 'Bayu,
bayushki, bayu, and I'll sing you a little song'... And at long last,
then, she had slept, but she never cried.)
There's privilege for you, Scully.
Scully was waiting for an answer, with patient attentiveness.
There was nothing of this he could tell her. Nothing. So he just said,
"Do you believe in ghosts?"
She gaped at that, and he went on, not expecting a response.
"My father, not being a Soviet citizen, wasn't a member of the Party.
My mother was a high-ranking Communist Party member. But her position
in the Party was more an effect of our privileged state, than the reason
She gazed at him, pensively, for a minute. Then she sighed in
the mildest resignation. "Dark horse, aren't you, Krycek?"
"If you say so."
She pushed off the bed with a small wince, grabbing the cotton
throw from the floor, and walked over to him at the window. He put
his arms around her, surprised. She stood on tiptoe and draped the throw
around them against the chill. They swayed a little, rocking imperceptibly
back and forth, soothingly.
"What's your name in Russian?" she asked softly, and he hesitated
for a while, curiously shy, before telling her.
"Alexandr Karlovich Krycek...."
"Alexandr..." Her cool contralto spoke the word as if tasting
something foreign, some pungent exotic spice.
"No one's ever really called me that," he said, a quiet smile
forming on his lips. "It's Sasha in Europe, Alex here in the States."
Somehow it was easy talking to her like this, not looking, just their
warm skin touching and their voices immaterially tender in the dusky room,
careful, now, not to hurt.
She whispered against his chest, "Tell me something in Russian,
Krycek. Just... anything."
He smiled. "Wouldn't you rather be courted in a language you
"I don't want to be courted," she answered, then thought about
it, and added, so it sounded like an amendment, "I don't want to understand."
She wasn't the first woman he'd met to be seduced by that side
of him, and he supposed he had played up to it himself. But that particular
request always made him feel awkward. What was he supposed to say, anyway?
The price of cabbages is very reasonable today. Your eyes are beautiful.
<And they are, Scully.> You have great tits. <And it's true, Scully.>
In the end, a poem popped into his blank mind. His mother's favorite,
wistful and lovely, heard so often he knew it by heart. Maybe far too
romantic a choice - he had no business whispering love poetry to Scully.
But for her, it wouldn't matter. He recited the first few lines into her
hair with dreamy conviction.
"My ne umeem proschatsya, -
Vsyo brodim plecho k plechu.
Uzhe nachinaet smerkatsya,
Ty zadumchiv, a ya molchu..."
He said the whole of the short poem for her. He was aware of
his own voice going huskier speaking this language, and more relaxed,
as if an almost invisible barrier of conscious effort had fallen away.
Speaking Russian felt comfortable, like coming home at night to warm
rooms and warm food and a warm embrace.
"... Ili syadem na sneg primyatyi
Na kladbische, legko vzdohnyom,
I ty palkoi chertish palaty,
Gde my budem vsegda vdvoyom."
Scully sounded surprised. "A poem, Krycek?"
"You think I grew up in a gutter, don't you?" It fell from his
lips half a jest, half a provocation.
"Probably some drinking song," she guessed.
"I thought you didn't want to understand," he said softly, but
continued before she could reply: "Why would I recite a drinking song
to a beautiful woman? It's a poem. Don't ask me to say what it means.
You'd find it presumptuous, coming from me."
She gave him a spontaneous, wary smile, startling him. "You're
such a contradiction in terms, Krycek. Danger, sweetness, chaos. But
I guess that's fitting for a love child of a Cold War."
The throw slid down on the floor as her small hands ran flat
and yielding through the sparse hair on his chest, over the wide expanse
of his shoulders, up to his thick neck and into his hair. She traced
his unmoving body as if it were a map that could tell her of secret snowed-over
paths to his mind. Tilting her head back, she searched his face next.
Whatever she saw there made her go still and alert with discovery, with
the concession of something ultimately foreign in him. She was decrypting
an exotic alphabet, reading him in cyrillics. "Who is Sasha, Krycek?"
"Sasha is all that Krycek is, too," he warned her, not unkindly,
caution extinguishing his joy even as it started flaring in him.
She looked like he had slapped her face. All color drained out
of her face in a second, then rushed back in a painful rosy wave. Instinctively
he tightened his hold on her, afraid she was going to faint. <Ah Scully,
surely, you didn't allow yourself to forget, even for a moment...>
But she straightened up carefully, took a step back, and her eyes were
cool spring skies, imperviously lovely flowers, a blue lake drifting with
ice. "I know who you are. You don't need to remind me."
She retreated another step, then turned around and went into
the bathroom, closing the door silently. After a while he heard the
shower running. He pictured her inside there, water streaming down the
white diminutive perfection of her body, making silky-wet ropes of her
hair, hiding her tension and maybe even tears. He would have liked to be
there with her, to stand under the warm spray and make soft comforting love
to her with his hands and his mouth, get to see that panicked cerulean joy
in her eyes, just one last time. But he knew the spell must break now. He
stood unmoving by the window, looking into the street, tired to the bone.
His father had taken him to the Winter Palace on a Sunday in
May, just as the first summer tourists were coming. He had been ten.
Three years to childhood's end, but none of them knew that then. They
had walked around the halls, seeing Swedes and Finns and Americans being
led about by their appointed guides.
"I guess they think we are Russians," Sasha had said.
"Probably," answered his father, sitting down on a bench out
in the gardens and lighting a cigarette.
He'd watched the small flocks of tourists at a distance, with
a strange sting in his heart, like envy, but sadder. "Maybe I could go
over to them and tell them that we are Americans? They'd be surprised."
"Do you want to do that, Alex?"
"I dunno." He hesitated. "Nikola called me a bastard last week,
in school. With a Czech name and American passport and Russian mother.
He said I'd never be a real Russian, or a real anything."
"You're a real person," his father said, raising his eyebrows.
"That counts for more. It wasn't a nice thing to say."
"I belted him."
He could see his father's dark green eyes, so like his own, hide
a reluctant smile even as his face grew worried. "That's not the way
to deal with conflict, Alex."
He'd said with all that hot bitter hurt of a sad child, "If he
says it again I'll beat him up. I'll make him regret he said it."
"It's best to ignore him. He doesn't know what he's talking about.
You're as Russian as he is, by culture. You're as American as those
tourists over there, by citizenship. The Czech name adds the final finish
and makes you into a nicely rounded person," Karel Krycek had said easily,
dragging on his cigarette and puffing out precise contemplative rings
Sasha looked at the tourists disappearing into their huge buses,
with that nagging ache in his chest. "When I grow up, I'll go and live
in America. I'll be an American. In America, there's justice, right?
People are free there, aren't they?"
"I grant you in many ways, they are more free than the Russians.
But people can be trapped in other ways than by dictatorship." His
father smiled at him, with that slow secret warmth Sasha loved, the smile
that said he was being talked to like an equal, and cupped his large
hand gently over his son's close-cropped head. "The important thing is
to be free inside here, Alex. When all is said and done, it's the only
freedom that can't be compromised."
Thinking back now, Krycek wondered briefly whether his father
had found that statement to be true, in the end.
When she came out, wearing a pale Chinese silk bathrobe, she
had intended to ask him to leave. He saw it in her eyes as their expression
changed from determination to stricken relief, discovering him already
fully clothed through the open door into the living-room.
"Time for good-bye," he said, "don't you think?" He was sheathing
his gun into its holster, reaching for his jacket.
She was politely contrite. "I know I said you could stay longer..."
For some reason, such impeccable manners made him want to shake
her. It was obscene that she should apologize to him, for anything.
"No point. For what? What's to come out of this, little girl?
Only heartbreak, I suspect."
He avoided her gaze as she came into the room. He slipped the
leather jacket on, then walked over to her bookshelf next to the sofa.
There he took Melissa Scully's photo, which he had laid face down on the
shelf last night before falling asleep, and put it right. He turned back
to glance at Scully, aware that his lack of subterfuge might be perceived
as provocation. Her eyes were round, her lips parted in shock.
"I couldn't sleep with her watching me," he said softly. "I didn't
kill your sister, Scully. But I didn't save her either. And I'm sorry.
I'm more sorry than I can say."
Maybe even more obscene, him apologizing to her, but he couldn't
"Oh God." Scully brought her hands to her mouth, to strangle
something, a sound of agony. "What a mess. What a fucking mess." She
went over to the picture, grabbed it as if she were afraid his presence
would contaminate it, and held it to her chest.
He accepted that stoically, and filed the pain away for future
reference, too preoccupied at the moment to appreciate the justice
He hesitated. An idea had been dawning in him, but he didn't
know he was going to say it until the words spilled out. "I have a sister
too. She might be in trouble."
"Oh, you too," said Scully with bitter irony. "Of course. A triumvirate
of doomed sisters. Why not?"
"She is only eighteen," he said gently. "Barely eighteen. She's
in Europe. And I think someone might exert themselves to find her - to
get a hold on me."
He had her attention. "Why are you telling me this?" she asked,
eyes like blue lasers going through him.
"If I ever decided to get her here, later, if things... come
to a head - if I could find her a safe place - would you be willing
to help me?"
Now she was staring. "For God's sake, Krycek, why me?"
"Because you are the one person I would trust with her," he explained,
the truth of this striking him as he spoke the words. "You're a woman,
and you can't be bought, and you're the last person anyone would expect
to help me with anything."
"And that should be telling me something," she countered, shaking
"Just think about it. Can I at least contact you if the situation
arises? Please," he added quietly.
She looked away, her reluctance almost a tangible obstacle between
them, but finally, for whatever hidden reason, nodded mutely, and he
felt a jolt inside. Triumph, or dread, or relief. He didn't know. He
walked over to her, stroked her hair away from her face. She slowly turned
her cheek into his hand, her lips parted on a small sound somewhere between
denial and acceptance. She smelled of scented soap, something she had
used in the bath, some evanescent vernal bouquet.
He was aware of his own smell too. Sex, and sweat, and stale
vodka, and a long waking night, and too long without a shower. The rat
was heading back to the sewers. How come though, that somehow he felt
cleaner this morning than he had the night before?
"Thank you," he murmured. "But it goes two ways, Scully."
He found pen and paper in his pocket, and jotted down a U.S.
telephone number. "We both know I owe you. If there's ever a time when
your options are down to zero, and you think I can be of any use, then
call this number."
She looked at the scrap of paper in his hand with wonderment.
"Krycek, if you're fooling yourself that there's anything you can do,
any way you could ever make amends..." But her eyes, looking up at him,
were curiously devoid of enmity. She looked exhausted, only, ready to
curl up and sleep away the last couple of hours before morning.
"Don't think about it in those terms. Let's just say that if
you need help, and if you let me know, then I will help." He took her
hand, closed it around the note before releasing it. Holding her gaze,
he said, "Call that number, ask them to get Lara Androvna to call you
back. I won't write down her name, you have to memorize that. If I'm
at all alive and a free man, then Lara will be able to get in touch with
"If you're at all alive -..." She shook her head with a small
gasp of laughter. "Such melodrama. You rather enjoy life on a knife's
edge, don't you?"
"It sure as hell beats the alternative," he answered with a cocky
She was quiet, then, grimly so, watching him. "You look like
you're heading into the trenches."
"If that's what it takes."
"Lara Androvna," she said. "I don't expect that I shall need
it, but I'll remember."
She hesitated. Her hand rose, grazing his for a second. She observed
this with what seemed like mild surprise.
His words came out half-whispered, voice laden with intimate
knowledge. "Do svidanya, vassilyok. Maybe I will see you again." He
raised his finger to gently cross her lips, a universal gesture, and
winked at her, but his eyes held both warning and promise. "Ssshh...
Nikomu ni slova."
He leaned down and kissed her easily - and oh, how hard it was,
to kiss her so easily - then drew back before she had a chance to pull
away, and turned around, and walked out the door.
In the street, a cold pre-dawn light fell on his pale face and
his heavy shoulders. A hint that somewhere beyond these buildings,
below the eastern horizon, a new season was shivering into translucence,
testing out the early aquatic hues of March. He paused for a minute,
zipping up his jacket against the crisp air, planning his day.
He would meet with Marita Covarrubias. He would go to the bank
and cash an obscene amount of money in American dollars. He would buy
his ticket to Kazakhstan, via St. Petersburg.
Regret was lapping at the remote reaches of his mind, restless
waves of a chill, keen sadness. Yet who could stay in a sanctuary and
accomplish anything? He straightened up, dark verdant eyes hardening
into a colder season of determination, and strode with feral grace down
the empty wet street.
This wasn't the time. A child of one cold war, he must try, now,
to sway the odds in a colder one. He could already feel the ice settling
in around him, consolidating into a siege for which he'd prepared himself
for years. He was ready for that, as ready as he ever would be, but he
was making himself a promise, signing a contract in blood. He wouldn't
Amends would be made.
Explanation of Russian phrases:
1. "Sestrichka" = Little sister.
2. "Vashe zdorovye" = Cheers/to your health (a casual, generic
3. "Krasavitsa" = Beautiful one (about a woman)
4. "Ty tak prekrasna" = You are so lovely.
5. "Vassilyok" = Cornflower. It is also a very tender endearment
for a blue-eyed girl - the Russian term refers directly to the color
of a girl's eyes. This is considered a quintessentially Russian flower.
6. "Golubka" = Little dove, used as an endearment.
7. "Milaya" = A generic endearment that, depending on circumstance,
can be either very offhand or tender (like English "honey" or "baby").
8. Danoushka is a plausible Russian diminutive form of Dana.
9. "Nu, nu, ne veshay nos" = There, now, take it easy.
10. "Milaya, s toboy tak sladko, tak goryacho" = Baby, it's so
sweet with you, hot with you.
11. "Nu potseluy menia" = Kiss me, now.
12. "Mnye tak horosho" = That feels so good.
13. "Pogodi" = Wait.
14. "Moya krasavitsa" = My beautiful one.
15. "Dyshi" = Breathe.
16. "Uchenyi" = Scientist
17. "Pozhalusta" = You're welcome/don't mention it (the standard
reply if someone says "spassibo", or 'thank you'.)
18. "Moya tsarevna, vashe vysochestvo." My princess, your highness.
19. "Vassilissa prekrasnaya" = Vassilissa the beautiful. She
is a princess from Russian fairy-tales, who was taken by an evil sorcerer
who had fallen in love with her, and kept captive at his castle.
20. "Glupyshka" = Sweet silly.
21. "Malen'kaya moya, ne grusti" = Little girl, don't be sad.
22. "Malen'kaya" = Little girl.
23. "Za prekrasnyh dam" = To beautiful ladies present (a toast).
24. "Amerikanka" = American woman.
25. "Ladozhskoe Ozero" = Lake Ladoga, a large inland sea north
of St. Petersburg.
28. "Bayu, bayushki, bayu, and I'll sing you a little song" =
a popular Russian lullaby (the verse is repeated over and over, with
variations in the text depending on the mother's ingenuity). The first
three words are a traditional way of starting a Russian lullaby and are
variations over a word which means "go to sleep".
29. "Alexandr Karlovich Krycek": A note concerning Krycek's Russian
name. The surname (which is Czech, or in this story, Czech-American)
would go unchanged in Russian. The rule with Russian middle names, or patronymics,
however, is that you either use valid Russian or russified, assimilated
names, or you don't use patronymics at all. So, since Krycek's father was
Karel Krycek (a Czech name) and Karl is the Russian equivalent of Karel,
his son's middle name would be Karlovich.
30. The poem quoted is "We Don't Know How to Say Goodbye" by
Anna Akhmatova. The poem, of which the first and the last stanza are
cited in the story, translate as:
"We don't know how to say good-bye
We wander on, shoulder by shoulder.
Already the sun is going down.
You're moody, I am your shadow.
Let's step inside a church and watch
baptisms, marriages, masses for the dead.
Why are we different from the rest?
Outdoors again, each of us turns his head.
Or else, let's sit in the graveyard
On the trampled snow, sighing to each other.
That stick in your hand is tracing mansions
In which we shall always be together."