Rating: Adult Pre-slash
Date Posted: 6-19-05
Archive: FHSA, DIB, FONXL, WWOMB, Gossamer
E-mail address for feedback: Fan4Richie or Ursula4X@aol.com
Classification: Post Series Slash Relationship
Series/Sequel: Is this story part of a series: Father's Day Story one, but Story three was written first, Folie, because that's the way I am.
Disclaimers: No profit, fan fiction for fun
Folie was a challenge written for Peja's Womb challenges. Courtney Grey who writes beautiful wonderful stories asked for more and I knew I would have to expand on the story. Father's Days 1 was written for the Mulder/Krycek lyric wheel from lyrics given me by Tarlan.
Thanks to Paula (Mama Beast) for beta
Time Frame: Post Series
Summer has come and past
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Like my father come to past
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends
There are no seasons here. I never thought I would miss them. Russia was too cold and I suffered from the heat in Tunisia otherwise I never noticed weather. Now I would laugh to see a sunny day. I might even dance in the rain.
I sat in my cell, my mind in the past. Sometimes I dreamed about past lovers, beautiful men and boys, the occasional women I had. There had never been anything serious with any of them, not since I was young and foolish. Oh, I had dreams, but the one I dreamed about was unobtainable...the old man saw to that. I had told myself it was for the best; a guy like me didn't need love. It left you wide open, weak, vulnerable...
Only get this. I chose my road and I wasn't the kind of man to cry over it. If I had thrown myself at his feet when I first saw him. If I had told him everything I had known when I was still innocent...as innocent as I had ever been since I was a child, if I had risked it all for love instead of ambition, how much worse could it be?
You know you're going down, going crazy, when the days they pull you out of your cell for the tests are the days you almost look forward to. Anything is better than these blank walls and the padded floor of this small cage. I don't even have a bunk on which to sit or sleep; the only fixture is the john that I had to ask to have them release from its little locked closet.
I think even Spender was bored with me. I wasn't fun anymore, no screaming, no begging, no cursing left in me. No matter what they did, I didn't give them a show.
I sat there, my arms wrapped around my knees, the restored left limb no longer meaning anything to me. My forehead was pressed to my arms as I walled out the light and the clatter of equipment moving outside. This place was small. I was in the only cell and the main room of the lab is right outside my cage door.
My mind drifted to the past. I had few happy memories, but at least, my life used to be more interesting.
I had always thought my father was a cold hearted bastard. He was always down on me, telling me a thousand times how I had failed him. He was a military asshole, proud of being a self made man, an officer and a gentleman from humble immigrant roots. I don't know how many times he told me how his parents came from Russia with only the clothes on their backs. I don't know how many times he laid it thick on me how hard it was to get an appointment to West Point when you don't have connections.
It was years later when I found out about the lie. My father had bought his way into West Point with his integrity, his future loyalty to the project, and with the promise of his first born child. Hell, my parents weren't even married yet. He kept his engagement secret until he graduated from West Point and then married Mom.
I bet my father was pissed off when my birth proved so difficult that my mother was told to never consider having another child. I'm surprised he didn't order her to have one anyway.
The shadow of the truth was that my father rose through the ranks because he was bright, ambitious and ruthless. The reality behind the cloak of partial truths was that he rose because he always took his orders from the project. My father always meant to keep his word by turning me over to his bosses for testing. I know I had a moment of relief when I found out that I was never intended to be his heir. I thought he didn't love me and that meant there was something about me that could not be loved. I'm still not sure if that isn't also true.
My father didn't even bother with hiding behind the ruse of leaving me unattended as Bill and Teena Mulder did with Samantha. He told me to pack a small bag, put me in the car and drove me to meet the pick up crew personally.
When it was time for me to get in the car, my father shook my hand and said, "Make me proud, son. Be a solder."
I was ten years old. What did I know about being a soldier, much less about being a test subject?
A few days later, I was sick, my body running a high fever and swelling with fluids as it rejected the alien genes they tried to splice with mine. I didn't die of it, although most of the other children in my ward did. I would wake up in the night and see them removing one of the other kids in a body bag. I hurt so much that I envied them.
By the time, I could sit up and feed myself, only three children were left of what had been twenty. I don't know if we were the lucky ones. Miriam, the girl that lived, never seemed to heal entirely although I thought she would live. She disappeared one day when I was being tutored. By that time, I had learned to keep silent and didn't ask what happened to her. The other boy and I were separated soon after that.
I was sent to a private military school ...a real one. When I heard the other children complain about how terrible and difficult it was, I would have laughed if I remembered how. Compared to where I had been, it was paradise.
I had been at the school for half a year when I was called from my dorm. My favorite teacher, Mr. Howard came for me, a smile on his face. "Alex, your father is here to visit you."
I tried to smile for Mr. Howard, but my knees started to shake. I walked into the visitor's room in my dress uniform and saluted my father like the toy soldier I felt like.
"Good to see you, son," my father said.
"Thank you, sir," I said.
"I thought we would go for a ride," my father said.
I nearly ran and hid. The only reason I didn't was that it went worse for you when you tried to defy them. Even though I thought Dad was taking me back to the tests, I went with him. Instead, we went out for an awkward meal. The only thing I remember about the conversation is Dad telling me that Mom had left us. He implied that was the reason he sent me away...that Mom didn't want to care for me. I didn't argue. I said 'yes, sir' when a response seemed needed.
Dad squeezed my shoulder when he brought me back to the school. "You've become a fine soldier," he said. "I'm proud of you."
I stood straight as Dad had always expected of me. I looked him in the eye and replied, "Thank you, sir."
"I will visit you one weekend a month," my father said.
"Yes, sir," I replied and walked back in the school, wondering how big I would have to get before I had a good chance of killing him.
Mr. Howard, my favorite teacher, asked me if something had gone wrong during my father's visit. 'Everything's fine," I said.
"Alex, something is bothering you," Mr. Howard said. "It's not as if I ever really seen you smile, but when you left with your father, you looked terrified."
"I'm fine, sir," I said.
Mr. Howard was English and taught literature. He had excellent credentials and had been in the Royal Air Force, which is why he was hired. Somehow they missed the boat with him...he was warm, human, and loving. If there was any humanity left in me, Mr. Howard put it there...and maybe my mother before she decided she didn't want to be a mom.
The school went from age twelve to graduation. During the summer, I supposedly went home with my father, but spent most of the time at 'summer' camps that taught additional skills, self defense, cryptology, intensive language classes, and marksmanship.
Of all the summers, I remember the one before my sixteenth birthday. That's when I went back to school and found that Mr. Howard was gone. The other boys whispered that he was gay and that he was fired for having an affair with me.
Mr. Howard had never touched me, never acted in any improper way. It was true that I had a crush on him, but I never told him.
Right after that, I found my first lover. I think I was looking for some way to show how angry I was over losing the first caring adult since they took me from my mother. And then again, Zhenya was beautiful. I met him when I was reading in the library, trying to keep up on my Russian. Zhenya spoke and read Russian as his first language. He and his parents spoke English well. They were well educated; his father was a tutor for the Russian embassy and his mother was a senior research assistant.
Russian was the language of love for me that year. Zhenya was the experienced one. I had not even had a kiss before him. Zhenya was slightly older and brought me moment by moment into his world. I was lucky with him; he was both a caring and a passionate lover.
I think he loved me too, but eventually his family was ordered back to Russia. He was too good a son to run away. I never even really said goodbye. He thought they would spend the summer in America and we planned to make one last effort to be together. I was away at one of the fucking Project camps when Zhenya left. I went to his apartment as soon as I could. There were people moving in already. The woman stared at me when I stood there, white faced and shaking. She was kind and asked me what was wrong. I couldn't tell her. I ran and ran until I landed someplace in the country, earning the only set of demerits in my entire residence at school.
I graduated at seventeen...another reason besides my mother's genes for the way I looked when I first met Mulder. I was young and looked even younger. I enjoyed college, let down my hair a little as the tight scrutiny couldn't quite follow me everywhere at a public university.
My academic record remained flawless. I was never as brilliant as Mulder, but who was?
I worked hard and I was bright enough to make the Dean's list. The best thing as far as I was concerned was that in order to qualify for the FBI academy I had to have some law enforcement experience. I spent the summers working as a cop, meaning I spent entire years out of their reach. I was a damn good one too. I loved the work, loved the challenge, and loved being praised for my efforts. I think I fooled myself into thinking I was finally free of the bastards.
My fantasy ended when I saw my father and Spender in the audience when I graduated. I received my master's degree in computer science with a dual major in criminal justice. Spender handed me an application to the FBI academy along with some trivial gift. My father stood beside Spender glowering. I think he had heard about my sexual preferences by then. I ignored him as pointedly, responding to Spender, who pulled Dad's strings.
I worked one year in the field as an investigator before applying to the academy. Normally, I would have been required to have more experience, but strings were pulled and I was accepted. I was on the fast track toward hell.
My thoughts of the past were interrupted by the lab men. Considering the rest of my history, that might have been a mercy.
I've been here long enough now to notice that this is a cheap operation. Nothing like the old days with vast hidden enclaves with state of the art technology. The equipment is still good; I think it was scavenged from other operations. I could tell the researchers are skilled, if unethical. I hear them grumbling about Spender, but at the same time, they're happy as hell to be able to do the research they are doing. The political climate sucks for geneticists who want to explore directly into the human genome.
I'm not sure what their project is other than it has something to do with cloning and gene manipulation. That's nothing new to the Project...of course, there really isn't a project anymore. The only reason any of this is here is Spender.
I know that Spender is the reason I was kidnapped. I walked out of the Hoover after meeting with Skinner, Mulder, and company. I was in that damn garage when someone hit me on the head. I woke up here.
It's been years. I'm not sure how long, but from what I hear, long enough for me to become a dinosaur. The good thing is that the good guys won. The bad news is that Spender blames me.
I think Spender is an old loon. He's lost it if he ever was sane.
Spender was here often. He asks me if I want to be a lab rat or want my chance to rule the world beside him. What a pathetic asshole! He may have inherited the wealth and resources of the Project, but it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. The world passed Spender by and he doesn't understand that. I almost feel sorry for him, still posturing as he does, still conspiring and hiding out in technological rat holes like this.
I could lie to Spender, tell him again how I admired him, but it sticks in my craw. Mulder would have been proud of me. He offered me the freedom of working for him and I spat in his face. It might not last, this defiance, but it felt good...at least until his goons beat the hell out of me.
Spender was in the room when they brought me into the lab. I don't know what the procedures were about. Lying on a white table under that surgically intense light, I reverted to a ten year old boy, huddled in fear and pain, surrounded by adults whose cold eyes reduced me to a specimen on a slide. I didn't question them, I endured as they took blood, marrow cells, and come from me for whatever purposes they had if they had any...
When they left me alone, I slept. I made like Rip Van Wrinkle. Curled in my cell, I wished I never had to wake, not unless the world found some golden summer, where my life had never happened the way it did. Where Mulder and I were partners. Where we were lovers...
Mulder's a great man; a bastard to me, but then I earned it. He cares a great deal for the people he lets in, but they are few. He cares for victims too...especially the kids. The kids always got to him.
Me? I guess I cared a little more for kids than I did for adults. They at least were relatively harmless. The only thing I didn't like about them was the way something inside me wanted to protect them. I did one hell of a job ignoring it most of the time.
I hadn't been thinking much about Mulder until I saw them wheel him past on a gurney. He was unconscious. I freaked out about that, hitting the Plexiglas front of my cage so hard that I was bruised for a week. He never even blinked.
Torn between horror and hope, I waited to see if Mulder would accompany me in my cell. I even had an idea they might put us together and maybe I could comfort him...or maybe, more realistically, he would put me out of my misery and kill me.
Instead, Mulder was wheeled back out of the operating room, the smoking bastard following him, gloved and masked, but still looking pleased with himself.
I should have made sure he was dead before Marita and I walked away from him, thinking we were free agents at last.
Self-delusion is the strongest drug on earth.
Some months later, I woke up and heard a baby crying. It was crazy and sickening to hear an infant squalling here. Spender came by, holding the screaming baby in a gingerly fashion. The baby had my eyes. It was unmistakable, my smoke green eyes in that tiny face. I could even see my long lashes in near transparent form surrounding his innocent unfocused baby eyes as they gaze at me.
If I could ever imagine how I would feel about seeing my son, if I could imagine that I would ever make such a mistake...
If you asked me what I would feel, I would have said homicidal. No kid deserved what happened to me. The way I figured it, the last thing I wanted to do was pass on my father's black hearted genes to another generation. Maybe that was why I preferred male lovers...
Seeing my son in Spender's arms, all those emotions that I thought dead inside me rose up. I was afraid again. I could smell the stink of fear oozing from my pores, but I wouldn't show Spender. I stood and observed him, not giving him anything. That was the only power I had so I used it.
"What's with the kid?" I asked.
"A man wants a son," Spender said. "Jeff was my failure, a mistake. Mulder...Mulder might have been perfect, but I let another man raise him."
The baby looked like any other baby, not that I had close contact with a lot of them.
"So is this kid your kid?" I asked. "or is a clone of Mulder?"
"You are a very attractive young man, Alex," Spender said.
God! Spender better not be coming on to me! I'd kill him.
"You have some admirable qualities that have impressed me through the years. I remember you telling me that you wanted to be my heir. In a way you are," Spender said. He stood smiling at me.
What did the crazy old fucker mean? I waited, not willing to give him the satisfaction of hearing me ask.
Spender laughed. He held the baby casually in his hands. "This child combines the best of you and the best of my son. This time, I will make no mistakes. I won't delegate his upbringing to any one else. Don't look so worried, Alex. I can assure you the boy will not suffer. It seems that children need a gentle hand along with a firm one."
Spender's mouth turned down after he said that. It was as if the thought of caring for a child was torturous to him. Certainly the stories that his son, Jeffrey, told me indicated that he was no better a father than he was a leader. He was a twisted martinet, incapable of anything passing for human emotions.
I shrugged and said, "Whatever floats your boat. It's just another kid. Nothing to me."
"Really, Alex?" Spender said.
Going to sit in the corner of my featureless cell, I rested my head against the padding and said, "What do you expect me to feel? It's just another of your damn experiments."
"How devoid of sentiment," Spender said. "Mulder would have a much more interesting reaction, but I prefer that he think me dead. The man is so obsessive. As for you, I think that I will let you live. You have your uses, Alex, and I think it will help you to refocus, once you come to know your son. Surely, you tire of this life? I can offer you comfort, access to this child, your child, Mulder's child. The choice is simple. Cooperate, come to heel, or as soon as this child is old enough, I'll sell him to some one who will make worse use of him then your father ever made of you."
"I don't know why you're doing all of this," I said. "They're gone, Spender, your allies, your enemies, everything. You're a relict, Spender, why don't you give up and let them put you in a museum somewhere with all the other useless antiques!"
You can say this about me. I know how to get a rise out of Spender.
"Take him out," Spender said. "Take him out and punish him."
The kid was screaming harder than ever. I don't think he liked Spender at all. His tiny red newborn fists shook as they flailed in the air.
Spender's brutes dragged me out. Spender snapped his finger at a nurse, another one of those busty blonde Swedes of which he seems to have grown fond as he has grown older. He turned to hand her the baby. Meanwhile the guards looked his way as he almost dropped the infant...the nurse squealing as she ran to catch the baby.
I surprised myself. Grabbing a distracted guard's weapon, I fired it into his side. The next shot took out the other guard. More were coming, but by that time I had Spender's neck in my arm. His fingers dug at my arm, surprising strong. I bet he wished he hadn't had them give me back my left arm.
The gun at his frail temples, right where a big blue vein beat hard against the paper thin old man skin, I smiled one of the few real smiles of my life. I think I was torn right then between getting my kid out of there and killing Spender.
The baby cried again and I guess some deep buried instinct surfaced. I dragged Spender backwards, motioning the nurse to follow. I kicked over a stand of electrical equipment, slamming right into an oxygen tank. I didn't plan it, but something or other lit on fire. I shoved Spender back in the room and grabbed the baby from the nurse. I locked the door behind me. I really didn't care if all the bastards fried.
As I thought, it wasn't a big operation. The second floor held nothing but piled up boxes and a couple more security guards. I shot both of the men, aimed to kill, and succeeded. I don't like it when my enemies get back up unless they were Mulder.
Searching one of the guy's pockets, I found some cash and some keys. Taking both, I looked around until I found a coat, adding it to my inadequate garb...I had escaped dressed only in backless hospital gown.
The keys belonged to a Toyota. I placed the baby on the floor of the passenger side. Poor kid...no baby seat, no formula, nothing but a bare-assed father on the run.
I don't know what I was going to do with a baby. I suppose I could leave him somewhere, make people think he was abandoned by a desperate mother. Only those stories hit the news and Spender probably was going to walk out of that fire. I didn't want him to get his hands on my son...on Mulder's son. How strange that was to combine our genes... I'd often thought that Mulder and I were the two sides of one coin, the moment before dawn when dark and light meet. All those fanciful thoughts must have been Mr. Howard's influence. My former teacher had a taste for poetry that he had passed to me.
When I saw I was not far from Washington, I knew what I was going to do. I was going to Mulder. It was his kid too. It seemed as if I should ask him what to do with it. The baby had stopped crying now. He's still making snuffling noises, but he had his fist in his mouth, trying to comfort himself. It makes me think that he is my son, accepting the world as a hard place to live, where you have to do for yourself.
"You have to have a name," I said softly, not wanting to wake him until he has the things he needs. "How do you like Jacob as a name? It's classical, has a good strong ring to it and I liked the nickname, Jake. Have to admire a man who could lie to his Dad and steal from his brother and get admired for it. Don't fret though. Jacob had some good qualities though and he made a good life for himself. You're gonna have a good life, son. I promise you."
I knew the first thing I was going to have to do is persuade Mulder not to kill me. I think I was reasonably safe as long as I was holding Jacob. Mulder wouldn't hit me until I put him down. Made me wonder how long I could keep holding him.
I waited in the car until a delivery man propped the door open. They're always going to do that, no matter how many signs tell them not to.
One of Mulder's neighbors stared me up and down when I walked past her. I could tell she was looking at my bare legs and feet. I smiled at her and said, "Friend of Mulder's. Apartment 42."
Understanding flooded her face. She nodded as if all was explained. I caught the elevator up, leaning against the wall. Jacob was crying again. Poor kid was having a rough time. I wasn't sure how old he was. I didn't know a lot about babies although I saw his fingernails looked like real fingernails. I remember one of my cousins when they were just born had fingernails like tiny transparent insect wings.
Jacob was starting to smell foul. He was wrinkling his small face as if he didn't like his smell either. He twisted his mouth in a certain way and...damn! It was Mulder's mouth when he was upset and about to start a good long brood. I almost missed the elevator opening because I was so enchanted with that tiny Mulder mouth. Jacob's wail brought me back to reality and I stepped into the hallway.
Someone had painted the walls a different color of cream since I had been here last. When I turned the corner to go to Mulder's apartment, I saw that all of the apartment name plates were different. Right next to Mulder's apartment, I saw a vacancy sign. Both of Mulder's immediate neighboring apartments went vacant on a regular basis. I don't know why the management hasn't kicked him out yet.
I took a deep breath, jounced Jacob, and knocked on the door. Mulder yelled, "Who is it?"
Trying to disguise my voice, I said, "I have a delivery for M.F. Luder."
I thought that would get Mulder's curiosity going, using his UFO magazine pseudo-name, not that it was hard to arouse Mulder's curiosity. He said, "Never heard of him," but he cautiously opened the door, a gun in his hand.
"Krycek?" Mulder said. He looked at Jacob who was wailing in my arms by then and said, " You're not blaming that on me." Giving Jacob a second look, Mulder said, "Kid's bald. Shouldn't you be knocking on Skinner's door?"
My voice went breathy, the way it does around Mulder. I said, "Mulder, I hate to tell you this, but this is your kid."
Mulder looked at me, finally noticing my state of dress beneath the coat. Another of his neighbors was staring at me. Mulder grabbed me and dragged me inside, Jacob and all.
"He's wet and hungry," I said. "You have some milk or something?"
"Infants this age don't drink milk," Mulder lectured me. "They need formula."
Without a word, Mulder walked to the phone, picked it up, hit a speed dial, and said, "Scully, it's me. Can you pick up some newborn diapers and formula? I need some of William's newborn clothes if you kept them."
A moment later, Mulder said, "An old friend just showed up with a baby he rescued from...from somewhere. No, I don't want to call the police. It's trouble from the old days. Yeah, leave William with your Mom and bring a gun."
Mulder's eyes were watching me the entire time he was talking to Scully. He hadn't invited me in, not unless you count grabbing my arm and shutting the door behind me. I was tired though. I hadn't had decent food or any exercise in the lab. I was starting to shake and felt like joining Jacob in a good tantrum.
The baby was crying so hard that I knew I needed to do something for him. I peeled off the layer of blankets and the little white sleeper they had him on him. His little hands were curled into fists of rage and he kicked his feet too. I like this kid. He was a fighter; I could already tell that.
His little butt had big smears of greenish yellow poop on it. His skin was getting red with irritation from his pee. I muttered to myself, "God, shame if this kid grows up to be straight. He's going to be hung."
I was surprised to hear Mulder laugh. I looked up at him. He walked over and took a look at Jacob. He said, "All little boys look like that. They grow into the equipment."
Taking a closer look at Jacob, Mulder said, "This baby looks more like you than me. He has your eyes."
My eyes are just a little greener than Mulder's, but the lashes were mine and the shape of Jacob's eyes. "He has your mouth, Mulder."
"You better get that little butt cleaned up or that rash will get worse," Mulder said. He went out of the room and came back with a warm washcloth.
Carefully, I swabbed down Jacob's tiny bottom and, blushing like a virgin, I got all the folds between his leg and around his tiny penis. A moment later, I almost threw Jacob to the floor as he celebrated his cleanliness with a jet of fresh pee.
Mulder roared and said, "He might be my kid. He has my sense of humor."
Scowling, I finished the clean up, wrapped Jacob in the driest of the blankets. I handed the kid to Mulder and said. "He's your kid. Spender made him out of your genes and mine. I have to get a shower."
Marching past a suddenly speechless Mulder, I stomped my way to the bathroom, trying to figure out why I was mad. To hell with it, I turned on the shower on hot. That shower felt better to me than any fucking I have ever had, even better than the one I dreamed about Mulder giving to me.
I guess I was trying to scrub the stench of fear off me, the smell of despair reeking from my pores. I wasn't even aware of the water getting cold, of my legs collapsing and my ass hitting the bottom of the tub.
"Krycek?" Mulder's voice said.
I realized Mulder was right in the room with me. "What the hell are you doing down there?" Mulder asked me.
At the same time, Mulder reached in and shut off the water. He reached in and helped me out, handing me a big towel. I was ashamed of my weakness, but I still had to lean on him to get out of the tub. When I tried to dry myself, I almost fell again.
"What's wrong?" Mulder asked, sounding irritated. He sat me on the toilet seat to dry me.
"I'm weak," I admitted. "I was in the lab with Jacob." I realized that Jacob wasn't with us and said, "What did you do with the baby?"
"He's fine. I pulled out a dresser drawer and lined it with a couple towels and a sheet. It's good," Mulder said. "Poor kid cried himself to sleep when he finally figured out that he wasn't going to get milk from my thumb."
"We shouldn't leave him alone," I said, struggling to my feet.
Leaving the hospital gown and coat on the bathroom floor, I staggered out to the living area. As Mulder said, Jacob was asleep although he still looked fretful. I sat down on the couch, all the energy gone from me again.
"I'll get something for you to wear," Mulder said.
Wondering why Mulder was being so nice, I slumped back, resting my feet on his coffee table. Only my nerves kept me from joining Jacob in sleep. Mulder came back with a pair of well worn sweats and a pair of new underwear.
"Lucky I went shopping a few days ago," Mulder said.
I shrugged. I wasn't fussy. I would have worn his underwear. Hell, why would it bother me? I was perfectly willing to put my tongue up a guy's ass.
I barely had pulled the sweatshirt over my head when someone pounded on the door. I was scrambling for the gun I took off the security guard when Scully's voice announced, "It's me, Mulder."
I still made sure I had the gun in my hand before the door opened.
Scully marched in, the same as she ever was, sensible heels, professional suit, and a sour expression on her face. She had that look so much around me that I would have thought it was her only expression if I hadn't seen surveillance of her laughing with Mulder. She set a number of bags on the floor.
Glancing at me, Scully asked, "Mulder, did you test him to see if he was a clone?"
At least, Scully believed in clones now. She walked over and chose my right hand, pricking me with a lancet. A bead of red blood oozed from the small wound. I have to admit I was relieved to see my own blood. Spender's idea of a joke would have been to delude a clone of me that it was me, just to enjoy the pain when his construct found out it was not real.
"You're supposed to be dead, Krycek," Scully said.
"You never played army, Scully?" I remarked. "All you have to do is yell 'new man'."
"We were a Navy family," Scully said.
I think she was joking with me.
Anyway, that done, Scully picked up Jacob, her face softening. "Such a pretty baby,' she cooed. My son roared at her. She said, "Mulder, make some formula. Just follow the directions."
"I remember how," Mulder said. "I did it once or twice."
"All right, just do it," Scully snapped, unwrapping Jacob. She examined him briefly, took his temperature, and extracted a small amount of his blood.
"How old is the baby?" Scully asked.
"I'm not sure," I said. "Today is the first time I've seen him. I thought he was pretty young."
"Was he in a lab?" Scully asked.
"Yes," I said, wondering how she knew.
"We took quite a few infants out of labs," Scully said, "Not all of them were human."
"Spender said Jacob is human, as human as Mulder and I," I said.
"Mulder and you? You're not saying..." Scully remarked.
"Yeah, Jacob is genetically Mulder and mine," I said.
"That technique would make some gay couples happy," Scully said. "A chance to have a child that shared genetic material from both parents."
"I don't see why that's so important," I said. "Having a kid is having a kid."
"Then why did you rescue Jacob?" Scully asked. "Weren't there other children in equal danger along your career?"
"I never liked to hurt kids," I said.
"But you never put that before your own safety, did you?" Scully shot at me.
"I did a couple times," I said. "I did what I had to do, Scully. I didn't play by your rules, but I was on the right side most of the time."
Funny thing was that I wasn't lying. I had taken risks in my time, if I thought I could get the kid out without screwing up my mission, I did it. I didn't claim to be one of the good guys, but I wasn't the devil Scully seemed to think I was either.
I saw Mulder's expression as he came back with the formula. I wanted to leave, but I was worried about Jacob. If they didn't believe what I was saying, they might dump him in a foster home where Spender could get him. Even if Spender didn't get Jacob, who was to know who they would let adopt my son, maybe a creep like my father.
Scully said, "I was trying to show you that you acted to save your own child. It's a genetic instinct." Scully frowned at me. "Alex, there's nothing wrong with feeling something for your son."
"If protecting your kid is genetic," I said. "A lot of people don't listen to their genes."
"If you're talking about my father..." Mulder said. A dark look crossed his face and he corrected himself, "Bill Mulder..."
"I was talking about my father," I said. I guess I was angry. I stood up, my fists curling. I took a few steps toward Mulder.
Mulder said softly, "Who are you angry with, Alex? Me?"
That took the air out of me. I sat back down, almost sliding down sideways to lie on the couch.
Softly, Mulder said, "I think I finally understand you."
"Don't feel sorry for me," I said, "Don't you dare try to feel sorry for me."
Mulder laughed at me. He had a lot of fucking nerve doing that. I was too wiped out to try to correct whatever he was thinking. I just sat there and watched Scully put a diaper on Jacob. She added a tiny little tee shirt thing that snapped in the middle at his crotch and then a little blue sleeper with a big dog embroidered on it. Jacob still wailed, but Mulder handed me the bottle and Scully gave me my son.
"I don't want to do this," I said, but Jacob was really screaming so I aimed the bottle at his mouth. He stopped crying instantly and went to work sucking on that bottle. I could see Mulder in Jacob, but I think he had my will to live. Tough little kid...
Jacob finished the bottle. Scully said, "Now you burp him."
"I knew that," I replied. I may not have ever taken care of a baby, but I had seen movies about it. I put the blanket on my shoulder and tentatively patted him. Now that he was clean, Jacob smelled good. Interesting smell, baby powder and a little sour, but mostly just a baby smell. It must have been more of that hard wired genetic stuff to suck us into taking care of the little parasites. Well, look at me, I am a normal human mammal with warm and fuzzy drives...
Mulder put the sleeping Jacob in his bed made out of a dresser drawer.
Scully said, "I can arrange a foster home."
"No way in hell," I said. "He's not going where Spender can get his hooks into him."
"Why did Spender do this?" Scully asked.
"He's still trying to make his perfect heir," I said. "He didn't want me. I wasn't his blood and, even though he admired my ruthlessness and my skills, that was never going to suit him. He wanted a dynasty. Jeff failed him, at first by being too weak and then by standing up to him. He wanted Mulder...his son genetically, but Mulder hated him. He couldn't handle that. So he decided to take what he liked about me, mix my DNA with Mulder's, and raise the kid to be his perfect son. Can you imagine what the twisted son of a bitch would have done with a kid under his care? My son, Mulder...your son."
It finally hit me, my genes and Mulder's combined in this tiny body. "Our son, Mulder, our son."
I was filled with wonder. I was a father. I wanted to believe in God. I wanted him to make me a good parent to this poor child. Let me make a life for Jacob very different from my own.
Mulder's eyes were dark. I saw that lip droop. I knew he was following my thoughts. He shook his head and said, "Krycek's right. We better keep the baby where we can protect him."
"Walter could arrange a safe house," Scully said.
"No," Mulder said. "Krycek and I can be formidable." Mulder smiled and said, "Once in a while." He walked over to look at Jacob sleeping. He said, "We'll take care of the baby."
"I've been calling him, Jacob," I said. "You can name him something else if you want."
"Jacob?" Mulder said. He smiled and said, "No, I like it. Jacob what? Jacob Krycek?"
"I didn't think that far," I admitted. "Mulder, I guess. He shouldn't have to be looked down on for my past."
Mulder said, "I'll wait to see how the blood test works out. How is he, Scully? Jacob doing okay or does he need to go to the hospital?"
"He seems healthy, well-cared for," Scully replied. "I would say he is a couple days old. Can you handle this? I really should pick up William."
"We'll do fine," Mulder said.
I wasn't sure. I'd hate to think about Jacob getting caught between us if we went back to the old Mulder and Krycek and started pounding on each other.
Mulder must have read my mind. He said, "Don't worry about it, Alex. I'm not going to start using you for a punching bag. How long did Spender have you?"
"He took me from the Hoover, after the meeting there," I explained. "I walked down into the garage and they shot me with a dart. I went down like an amateur."
It still made me mad at myself that I was so easy. A guy has his pride. I know that anyone can make a mistake, but I hated that I had let down my caution to that extent.
"Do you remember coming back? Talking to me in a crazy way? Calling me 'brother'?" Mulder asked.
I snorted. I couldn't help it. I said, "Mulder, I have a lot of feelings toward you and I can assure you that none of them are brotherly."
Mulder could have taken that in a hostile way, as if I was saying that I hated him. Instead a slow sexy smile played on his lips. He let his eyes flicker over me, telling me he knew what I meant.
You wouldn't think I could still blush, but I did. I saw Scully's eyes flicker between us and a look of disgust flickered across her face. I don't think it was the idea of two guys flirting. It was that it was Mulder.
I felt bad for her. I always figured it would be Mulder and Scully. It probably should have been. I don't know why they weren't raising their kid together...although I came straight to Mulder's apartment, not even thinking he could have moved.
Scully was packing her medical bag with the abrupt movements of the truly pissed off. She had an after thought and asked, "Alex, are you injured?"
"I'm okay," I said. "Just out of shape and hungry. They didn't let me exercise or feed me much at the lab."
"I'm sure even Mulder can find something to feed you," Scully said. She nodded to Mulder and said, "I still expect you to visit William this Saturday and spend the day. If by then we know whether the baby is really your child, then you can bring him. William should know his brother."
Lucky Jacob...he was going to have a place, a family. I envied him. I figured I would make sure that Mulder and Jacob were safe then take off. I still had some secret accounts here and there. I would be okay.
After Scully left, Mulder stirred into action. "Soup okay? I can make you soup and toast."
"Sounds great," I said. It did. I don't know what they had been feeding me at the lab, but it hadn't tasted like anything anyone would choose to eat. Even canned soup was a feast compared to that.
Mulder took off for the kitchen and I went to sit by the window, not sitting in front of it, but to the side. After all that time in a cell, I needed to see the outside world.
It was raining again. It had been raining since I left the lab and now it was a downpour. I watched the thunder and lightening with hungry eyes. The world's a beautiful place. Don't ever sell it short.
"Mulder, what's the date?" I asked.
"September," Mulder called back. He must have thought about it and added, "2005."
Shit, I had lost more than four years of my life in that lab. I groaned, wondering what had been happening while I was gone.
Mulder came back into the room, leaning on the entryway. He said, "Alex, we won."
"How?" I asked.
"We used the information you gave Jeff and Marita to keep for you," Mulder said.
"What information?" I asked.
"Alex... Izabushka's house is burnt," Mulder said.
It took me a moment to process it. I wondered how Mulder knew the name of Baba Yaga's house. I had this flash of Mulder investigating a house that ran around on a chicken legs and trying to interview Baba Yaga...
Then it all came back in a rush. Finding out about the antivirus... it was really gene warfare against the aliens; it had been the natural next step for me to steal the viral culture and bring it to scientists I could trust. I used the Project's own methods to wipe all that from my mind except I had left myself a key word, one that Spender and the rest of his ilk would be unlikely to guess.
"You've been talking to Jeff and Marita lately?" I said. I was a little pissed at them for being together. I had told them both to keep important information in two places. They could have screwed things up moving in together.
Mulder laughed at me again. He was making me feel strange, guessing my thoughts the way he did.
"Alex, you are so obvious...they're in love and it turned out fine. This is all old news to the rest of us," Mulder lectured.
"That was the price for you not to hate me?" I said.
Mulder shrugged. He said, "Hate's a luxury I can't afford any longer. Out there...when Scully and I were on the run...oh you don't know about that. After they took you out, a lot happened, including them putting me on trial...big farce of a hearing meant to get me a death sentence. I have no idea why they didn't just put a bullet in my head if they wanted me dead. Skinner, Doggett, Scully, and Kersh rescued me. Scully and I went on the run."
"If Kersh was in on breaking you loose, that was the intent from the beginning, to discredit you and keep you so busy trying to avoid recapture that you wouldn't have time to cause them any real trouble," I said.
"You are a smart man," Mulder said. He said, "It seems they didn't account for you, Marita, Jeffrey, and my Lone Gunmen. Maybe they thought with you out of the way that any resistance you had organized would die."
"I made sure that it could live without me," I said proudly. "I did what Spender never could do. I made a player out of Jeff. Then I turned him over to Marita, who is as ruthless as I am. I hooked up your Gunmen who, combined, are as brilliant as you are. They didn't need me."
"They needed you to make it happen," Mulder said.
Mulder walked over to me, put his hand on my shoulder, and stared out at the steady fall of rain. He pointed out at the world of man and the world of nature. He said, "This is your world, Alex. You helped save it."
I guess I did. I looked back at Jacob, who was sucking the air in his sleep, tiny Mulder mouth moving as if in quest for sunflower seeds. Maybe I could hate Spender less for making my son.
Closing my eyes, I tried to pray as my Russian grandmother had taught me. "Help me to keep Jacob safe, God. That's all I ask. Let me be the kind of father to him that I never had."
Maybe I said my prayer aloud. Mulder tilted my chin up toward him. He said, "Jeffrey and Marita told me some other things. How you felt about me."
"I'm going to kill them," I said.
"I don't think so," Mulder replied. "We have to talk, Alex."
Yawning, I shook my head and said, "I don't expect anything from you. That was never my price."
"And I'm not making any promises," Mulder said. "Except to help you protect Jacob and to raise him right, give him all the love and care that two fucked up bastards can give a kid. It didn't work out with Scully and I although I'm still trying to do right by William. I'm a shit poor husband, but I want to try to be a father. It's something we can learn about together."
Together sounded good. I yawned again and Mulder said, "You need to rest. Don't worry. I'll watch over you and Jacob."
Yeah. I let him lead me into his bedroom, get beneath the Mulder smelling sheets and fall into slumber.
It was like a dream. I heard Mulder talking to Jacob as slumber pulled me down. It might have all been a dream, but all I can say is, 'Don't wake me'. Never wake me from this wonderful dream.