Author's Notes: I first heard this song for the first time when a friend showed it to me. It is so perfect for Mulder and Krycek that it amazed me. I was so inspired that, less than two days later, a little after midnight, I started on this story and finished it 1hr and 20min later! Feedback is eternally appreciated. Many thanks to my beta readers, Angela and Mia.
Mulder sat disconsolately on his couch, wondering why the sight he'd wished for all his life had failed to fill him with joy. The sight of that huge ship rising towards the heavens, clear as day and real as life, should have vindicated him. It should have restored his faith in his cause.
But it didn't.
//And I know why, don't I?// Mulder thought to himself. //It just proves their power to me, that they could hide something so big so completely. And, though I know for certain the reality of the existence of extraterrestrials, no one will believe me any more than they did before. With all I've seen and learned, I realize now that I've never moved from where I am now. Two steps forward, two steps back.// He chuckled, bitter and self-mocking, //I haven't even been losing ground, just staying right where I am.//
The agent fingered the gun in his hands, caressing the metal like a lover. //As close to a lover as I've had in the last five years, anyway, // Mulder mused bleakly. //It's been so long since I've felt a human touch, a tender touch, that I can barely remember what it's like.// Unbidden, another dark night in his apartment flashed through Mulder's mind. Lips pressed to his cheek, a voice calling him friend...even if he'd thought Mulder didn't understand.
//Hell, Mulder, you know you've gone around the bend when you're remembering Krycek with gratefulness.// And he did feel grateful. For that moment of humanity that Krycek had given him. For that gentle touch, only made more valuable by the fact that it came from a man who'd never had such a kindness from Mulder.
His mind leaped from one kiss to another...almost kiss. //Scully,// Mulder, thought with some regret. He'd looked for such a touch from her,when he thought he was about to lose everything. She'd helped him through so much, surely she could help him through this loneliness... But in that moment before he lowered his lips to hers, before the bee had stung her, the flash of panic across her face had told Mulder volumes. She didn't want to give him that touch; she hadn't looked for that kiss. But she was willing to give it, because she could see he needed it.
Then, he'd been willing to overlook that panic. Now, he knew he couldn't look to her to find the touch he craved. //She's given and given and given, and I've given nothing back. I'm like a leech, drawing strength from her,// Mulder accused himself. //For all our sacrifices, for all our work, for all our pain, we've received nothing.// He kept coming back to that point. If they'd revealed anything, if they had any evidence, hell, if they had any other witness besides Mulder, he could continue.
//If I even had someone I could love, I might find the strength,// Mulder thought. //But I have none of those things...// his thought trailed off. The song on the radio, which was playing quietly to help fill the desolate silence, faded out and another came one. The words immediately caught Mulder's ear.
--- Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine I'm leaving my life in your hands people say I'm crazy and that I am blind Risking it all in a glance How you got me blind is still a mystery I can't get you out of my head Don't care what is written in your history As long as you're here with me ---
Mulder suddenly found himself unwilling to lie even to himself, this night. The song reflected his feelings so perfectly that it brought tears to his eyes. "Alex," Mulder whispered involuntarily. //Every time he showed up, I trusted him. Even when all logic told me I shouldn't, every instinct told me to trust him.// On the radio, the song went on.
--- I don't care who you are Where you're from What you did As long as you love me Who you are Where you're from Don't care what you did As long as you love me ---
The words forced the tears from Mulder's eyes, so that they poured down his cheeks. He raised a hand to touch his cheek where Krycek had kissed him. "My god. When did I fall in love with you, Krycek?" Mulder asked himself, as a harsh sob was torn from him.
In the shadows of Mulder's apartment, Krycek watched. He didn't know why he kept doing this, watching over Mulder, when it was so dangerous. But every now and then, when Mulder was at greatest risk, Krycek would keep an eye on him. Alex had seen how depressed Mulder had become, if no one else had.
It had struck him right to the heart to see Mulder finger his gun contemplatively. Alex had wanted so badly to rush from the shadows, to take the gun out of the agent's hands and hold him. But he'd been sure that such a touch would be unwelcome. He'd been terrified that Mulder would look up and see the love in his eyes.
When Mulder whispered his name, Krycek's heart lept into his mouth. He'd held his breath, refusing to give into the sudden hope that maybe, just maybe, his love wouldn't be so unwelcome after all. Mulder's aching, desolate question forced Krycek from the shadows. He'd seen Mulder suffer through so much, and everything he'd done to help the agent had only brought more suffering. If Krycek could spare him this pain, he would.
Mulder gasped to see Krycek suddenly in front of him. "Alex?" he asked in near disbelief.
In answer, Krycek braced himself on his arm, leaned over and kissed Mulder full on the mouth. The kiss was tender and desperate with loneliness that went soul deep. When they finally broke apart to gasp for air, they looked into each other's eyes and let the song speak for them.
--- Every little thing that you have said and done Feels like it's deep within me Doesn't really matter if you're on the run It seems like we're meant to be ---
"I love you," Krycek told Mulder, heedless of the danger of such an admission. It was a weakness, it was something the consortium could use against him... and it was worth it, to relieve the loneliness he could still see Mulder battling.
Mulder stood up, leaving his gun on the couch, and wrapped his arms around Krycek. Alex returned the embrace as well as he could. "How long have you been watching over me?" the agent whispered past his tears. He knew, in his heart, that Alex had been guarding him, not spying. Mulder couldn't have said how, but he knew.
"Always," Krycek responded. The song went on...
--- I've tried to hide it so that no one knows But I guess it shows When you look into my eyes What you did and where you're comin' from I don't care, as long as you love me, baby. ---
"I've always been behind you, Mulder," Krycek said. "Behind you, where you couldn't see me, where I could back you up."
"I'd rather have you beside me."
"I will be," Krycek promised. "Whenever I can, I will be."
"That's all I need," Mulder whispered. He kissed Krycek tenderly, and knew he could go on. The gun lay forgotten as they discovered they weren't so lonely after all...