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06 November 2009 @ 10:43 pm
Take A Walk Down The Lonely Street 2/4  
Take A Walk Down The Lonely Street - Chapter Two.

For Warnings, Author's Notes, ETC. see the Master Post.

+++


Chapter Two: Mess of Blues

I just got your letter baby
Too bad you can't come home
I swear I'm goin' crazy
Sittin' here all alone
Since your gone
I got a mess of blues


+++

For a moment he was just starring at the postcard in his hands. Sure, it wasn't the first one; it wasn't even the ugliest one, although the laughing cherub on it was definitely grotesque. In last few months Mulder received quite a few such postcards, congratulating him on his still unborn child. At first it was positively creepy, but then he just got used to it. People were more trying to get information than actually congratulate him.
The fact that there wasn’t actually anything to congratulate him on was besides the point. He actually thought those cards helped him remember that Scully had something great happening in her life and he shouldn't call her everyday just because he felt lonely without her. On the other hand he couldn't pass up such an opportunity.

"Scully."

"Why I've never noticed what a comedian you are, when you were working with me?"

"It's not me," she said with a smile. "It's hormones. You wouldn't want to meet me, when I'm in my bad mood phase."

"Thank you for that information. I'll feel sorry for my boss now every time I see him."

"Good. Because he deserves it," she laughed. "You just want to thank me for the card or is there something else you want to discuss?"

"Nah," he said. For a moment he was selfish enough to actually feel a bit sad that he had no bloodthirsty monster to talk about. "It looks as if the X-Files tried to respect your upcoming maternity leave."
She chuckled quietly, obviously in pretty good mood. Maybe it was hormones, or maybe the coming maternity leave. It didn't matter, he missed her smile.
On the other hand he missed her rants, sarcasm, cold looks, exasperated sighs, rabbit-food lunches, lifted eyebrows, voice of reason, freshly done coffee, neat handwriting…

"That's good," she stated.

"Yeah. That's perfect."

"I would hate to chase aliens with an eight-month pregnant belly. It would look undignified." He just laughed honestly, before he heard her exclamation. "Oh my god…"

"What is it?"

"One of my co-workers heard that last sentence… She gave me a weird look."

He could just imagine it. He got lots of such looks even if everyone already expected weirdness from him. How did people look at the perfect Ice Queen when she started saying such things? Oh, that must be priceless!

"I told you, you're going to work with some weirdos. You should come back; I've never looked like that at you!"

She laughed and he was going to continue on this line, wanting to hear her voice as long as humanly possible. Especially since she was in such a good mood, he wanted to remember her laugh, he hoped it'd make him feel less lonely, at least for a while.
Unfortunately the moment he opened his mouth, a knock came at the door and a second later his boss let himself in. Noticing that Mulder was obviously talking with someone he said quickly.

"I needed to talk to you, Agent Mulder"

"Of course, sir," replied Mulder. "It'll take just a sec…" He turned back to the phone he was holding. "I have to go Scully, my boss needs to talk to me."

He noticed Skinner's rised eyebrows before he heard Scully's deadpan answer.

"Yes, you should go then. I’ve heard he can be a real pain in the ass."

"It's not his fault. It's his hormonally unstable girlfriend that makes everyone crazy."

"Mulder… Get lost," she laughed hanging up.

He put the phone down and looked at his boss, still smiling slightly. God, he missed that girl.

"You wanted to talk to me, sir?"

For a moment it looked as if Skinner was actually going to talk about something Mulder just said to his ex-partner, but then he just shook his head and began.

"Yes. As you’ll recall we previously discussed you taking annual leave when Agent Scully goes on maternity leave? Her doctor has finally managed to convince her that it's time to leave work, so we should discuss your arrangements."

Mulder nodded, completely serious again. Nothing was going on in the X-Files. He knew he should leave for that vacation, but it just felt… wrong, somehow. He glanced at the card he just got from his best friend and sighed quietly.
Oh, Don Vito, he thought, the things I do for you.

+++

They talked again in Skinner’s office and Mulder wasn’t exactly sure why. He liked the idea that his vacation leave was so unusual and weird that talks about it needed to be taken in a special environment. What’s more probable is that they were both aware that Skinner’s office is probably way more bugged than a one star hotel in Mexico, and just this once it was actually useful for something. Mulder’s paranoia briefly wondered how many people would know his travel plans within a short amount of time.

“So, Agent Mulder, as I understood; now that Agent Scully is taking maternity leave, you’d like to take a break too.”

“Yes, sir. I would like to ask you a favor, Sir.”

“I believe, it won’t hurt to ask, agent,” sighed Skinner, somehow surprised by the request.

“I hate to leave X-Files without any supervision whatsoever, I assume that if there was a case normally sent to X-Files that needed immediate attention that you will assign someone to it, but I’d like to ask that you inform me of any cases that may need my attention that I will return early to attend to.”

Skinner sighed again, moving his glasses up, while rubbing the bridge of his nose. He wasn’t pleased. Mulder thought he was getting better and better at reading this man. He was definitely good at recognizing Skinner’s silent ‘Oh, sure, it just couldn’t go that easily, could it?’ moment. It was one of Mulder’s personal favorites and most often seemed to precede ‘God give me patience or I swear I’ll strangle him’.

“Agent Mulder, I understand that you’d like to return to work as soon as possible. Not only for the X-files, I’m sure, But we both know it wouldn’t be wise.” He raised a hand quickly to silence Mulder’s protests. “I can promise you, that I won’t let the X-files department to go to complete waste. If there’ll be a case suiting it, I’ll take care of it and I’ll find the most trusted people to work on it, and I’ll contact you every step of the way. However you need to ensure that you don’t do something stupid and against the rules. That’s all I can say, is that clear?”

The younger man bit his lips thinking that he probably wouldn’t be able to get much more out of his boss. It was a better deal than he should even hope for and was given because of how much Skinner really wanted him to help by getting away. He nodded quickly, remembering that he wasn’t doing it for Skinner nor to have a reason to tell Scully she owed him.

“Yes, sir.”

“Good, agent. May I ask where are you heading for your trip?”

The real question was: should I ask it, while there were bugs everywhere, but Mulder didn’t mind. He smiled brightly.

“I decided I could use this time to have a nice, long road-trip and check on some things that are too unbelievable to ever make a case, even if lots of people claim it hugely affected their lives!” Skinner just raised his eyebrows. “I’m going to check on some reports of ghost sightings in Memphis.”

“You’re… I mean…” Skinner closed his eyes for a second and just shook his head. “I don’t even want to ask. Have a nice trip, Agent Mulder.”

“Thank you, sir,” nodded Mulder happily, getting up and leaving the office, while Skinner just stared at the papers on his desk, probably hoping on grasping the reality back before his next meeting.

+++

I ain't slept a week since Sunday
I can't eat a thing all day
Every day is just blue Monday
Since you've been away
Since you’re gone
I got a mess of blues


+++

“I’m going to kill you very, very slowly. I’ll put your head in the oven and make it explode.”

“The head or the oven?” wondered Mulder brightly, but Scully’s only answer was a painful groan.

“Mulder! I’m on leave! My very first day of laziness, doing nothing but caring for myself and the huge stomach I now own, and what? You wake me up! At seven!”

“Sheesh. You’ve been listening for too long to that overprotective, lovesick boy of yours. I’m just trying to keep you and Don Vito in shape! Anyway, I actually called for a reason, I have a bad feeling I forgot about something, but I have no idea what… Do you?”

He could hear her falling back on her pillows with a tired groan and he grinned happy that he was too far away to be shot by her. He glanced at the window, wondering if her overprotective boyfriend hadn’t thought to put a sniper in the opposite building already. Just in case Mulder moved further into the room for now refusing to analyze why it’s easier to think of Scully’s boyfriend as just that, her boyfriend, future husband, love-boy, lover or even Don Vito’s father and not Skinner. This situation was just too weird for now. But Mulder would adapt. He always did. He took weird without blinking, but sometimes it just took some time to fit a new weird piece in this old weird, insane picture of their lives. And boy was that quite a piece!

“Cross? David’s star? Some other religious objects?”

Mulder frowned upon taking yet another pair of jeans out of the closet and dropping them on the bed, next to his bag.

“Do I dare to ask why?”

“I hear you’ve gotta pray in Memphis,” grumped Scully and he just laughed at her.

“I took CDs for religious purposes, but thanks for the thought!”

“Oh my God,” she groaned. “I am so happy you’re going alone for this trip!”

He smiled refusing to comment and concentrating on squishing his jeans into the bag that was pretty much full by this point. He sighed, wondering if he’d need another one, but decided to wait until he knew what he’d forgotten

“Come on! Jokes aside! Think, woman! What did I forget?”

“Pants? Gun? Wallet? Car keys? Elvis’ wig?”

“Ha! The wig! See, what would I do without you?”

“You want detailed gory version or will a summary do?”

“I want you, I need you, I love you!”

There was a silence on the other end and for a second he almost started to worry she misinterpreted his joke, but then he heard her terrified voice.

“You’re quoting Elvis on me. You didn’t even get there and you’re already possessed… I’m hanging up, Mulder. That’s too much for me to handle before some decent, lazy hour.”

“Love me tender,” he started, but only heard a click of her hanging in response. “Oh, don’t be cruel.”

He pouted putting the phone down as if she could see him. He shook his head at the phone and made his way to the bathroom to get the shaver he actually remembered only after Scully started talking about Elvis’ hair. If anyone asked, that, would be the reason for his call not being totally pointless.

+++

The sound of the keys in the lock wasn’t surprising anymore. Walter walked into the room, carrying some take-out for lunch and Scully only sighed quietly from her spot on the couch, where she laid comfortably, watching the movie. She knew she should give up by now, Walter was going to come by and check up on her at every opportunity no matter how many times she told him it was ridiculous and unnecessary. She was sure she had told him that at least five times since yesterday evening, including at least one time just before he had left for work that morning.

“I bought you tuna salad and some sandwiches, you may pick.” He said calmly as if she should expect him to be there. To tell the truth, she did.

She paused the movie and sat higher, so he could fit on the couch next to her feet. Normally she’d insist on him sitting on the other end, so she could lean against his strong body, which had become one of her favorite positions in which to spend her time on the couch, but the thought of having to let him go in less than an hour was to tiring to go to the effort of moving to begin with. He was better off at her feet where she could always kick him out to work.

“By any chance is one of them with beef? Or any other kind of meat?”

He just looked at her and she shrugged.

“Since when you’re suddenly so meat obsessed?”

“Don’t look at me! I can’t remember when I last craved meat so mich! But apparently little Samantha is growing and needs it,” she shrugged.

Walter sighed quietly and picked up one of the sandwiches and handed it to her. The sandwich looked awfully home-made to her. She raised an eyebrow.

“You should find some meat in your fridge in case the craving hits again,” he said calmly. “Apparently Junior has better taste than you.”
She just glared, swallowing first bite.

“We’re not naming our kid Junior,” she stated in a definite tone.

“Well,” he answered calmly not looking up from the salad he was unpacking. “We sure aren’t naming him Samantha either.”

She kicked him lightly and he smiled happily. Just for that she decided to eat his whole beloved sandwich, even if the craving had passed after the first few bites. She smiled happily at her thoughts, sliding her feet slightly under Walter’s thigh to warm them up. Perhaps she didn’t mind so much that he was stopping by at every opportunity.

+++

Whoops there goes a teardrop
Rollin' down my face
If you cry when you're in love
It sure ain't no disgrace


+++


The road-trip finally started sometime around two hours after Mulder left his apartment. He didn’t count sitting in city traffic with all the other cars trying to get out of the city and onto the open road as a true road trip. Now he was finally on his way, the highway before him clear, his car moving finally at a respectable speed. He opened the window to enjoy the wind and smiled happily, thinking that now everyone passing him will hear Elvis’ singing and think he is nuts. He always thought it was good to make that one thing clear as soon as possible.
So far the whole road trip wasn’t so tragic. Of course, he already left at least three messages on Scully’s cell phone and one on his own at work (because he had suddenly remembered a detail about one of his cases and wanted to follow up on it when he got back) and there sure were many more places that he’d rather be than on his way to Memphis… but it felt nice to just drive and have a care in the world. Besides, he liked Memphis and Elvis was just perfect for road trips. It was one of the mysteries Mulder had never been able to understand. Was it about the rhythm? The King’s voice? Or perhaps the simple lyrics? One thing was true: Elvis’ songs worked as background music for road trips better than anything else ever recorded.
Mulder smiled slightly, tapping his finger against the wheel to the rhythm of the song coming through the speakers. He wasn’t crazy enough to actually hope to see the ghost of Elvis. He snorted. He’d believe almost anything, the keyword being “almost”. He just liked Memphis and he was unimaginative enough to not come up with a better destination. Not that he could just state something like that in the bureau, he had a reputation to uphold. Well, he didn’t have to fight for it most of the times, but he enjoyed the few occasions, when he was actually the one responsible for some insane rumor. Just stating that he’s going to spend some time with people as or more insane than him, wasn’t good enough for those. Especially since the psychos at Memphis weren’t exactly crazy in Mulder’s style. They acted more like religious freaks, visiting the blessed place and buying tacky souvenirs that will heal them or give them power and wealth. Most of the really famous locations of miracles were the same, but without good music. That was one of the main reasons, why Mulder would always pick Memphis over Fatima. Then there was something magical about the ritual of visiting sacred places. Unfortunately Mulder could only think of two he could go to and Roswell wasn’t so far off his original tour plan.

It took another two hours before he finally decided to stop for something to eat. Something more than sunflower seeds that is. He ended up in a small diner that looked promising enough and just because she is psychic and sadist too, Scully decided to call him the moment he was trying to make his way with his food through a school trip that had just filled the place. Perhaps it was just Mulder’s famous bad luck, but at least he managed to answer the phone and not spill anything.

“Mulder.”

“Stop missing me and calling me just to inform me of that.”

He laughed quietly.

“I do not remember leaving any message that indicated anything of that sort.”

“Mulder, you left me five massages and you’re haven’t even been gone for even half the day. It doesn’t matter what you said, the underlying message was clear even if somewhat blurred by the Elvis singing in the background.”

“Oh, the King didn’t express my missing you appropriately?”

“Nah, he was mostly just happy to see Las Vegas.”

“He can be so shallow, when listened to randomly and only in small parts.”

“I don’t even want to know how much of his deepness you have already discovered,” she answered quickly in his beloved ‘why do I bother with this freak’ tone of voice. “Besides an obviously painful lack of me, is the trip going well? How far have you gotten?”

“Pretty far, actually. Especially considering it’s not like I am in hurry or something. I just made a small break for some food.”

“Smart move, considering the fact you probably ignored the concept of breakfast completely. Just don’t eat anything gross and get sick. I don’t want to move off the couch, much less any further trips just to save you.”

“I’ll be good, mum, I promise. Speaking of: how’s Don Vito?”

“She’s fine, kicking around without any apparent motive besides to annoy me, but she’s not too bad. At least I can be sure she has strong legs.”

Mulder smiled putting down his coffee and nodding to himself as he swallowed a sip of the hot drink.

“He’ll be a great baseball player; he’s got legs to run well. We’ll just need to work on his shooting and catching skills and he’s gonna be rich and famous in no time!”

“With a name like this? I have no doubt. She’ll be a true star.”

Mulder laughed quietly. The fight that always seemed to be going on underneath their conversation somehow didn’t get boring even though it had been going on for months. But then again annoying Scully was rarely boring. Mulder was almost disappointed that soon Don Vito would be born and the fight over his sex would be over. He shrugged inwardly; he’d pick another fight in no time.

“You know most women would like as many guys around as is possible, I don’t understand why are you still fighting this.”

“Most women with one man to mother-hen them and another they have to mother-hen, would love another smart girl to back them up on all the fights that are bound to ensue.”

“You know I’ll have to find myself some respectable girl just to ruin your double teamed girls versus boys plan?”

He could hear her quiet chuckle and decided to think she was just happy that for the minute he was agreeing with her female-Don Vito theory.

“Well then my dearest daughter will find herself a boy if I wished to establish the right balance of forces instead of using the advantage of the smarter sex winning.”

He snorted.

“I hate to break it to you, but you may have to wait awhile before Don Vito is old enough to date.”

“Oh, I think you might both grow up to that stage at about the same time. If not, she can always wait a few years before dating, as her mother, I absolutely do not mind.”

“My male pride tells me to hang up on you angrily.”

“Well, as long as you’re on speaking terms again…”

He hung up to the sound of her smile. It wasn’t the worst way to end the conversation in his humble opinion, even if his burger and fries went almost completely cold during the call. He smiled back at the waitress that arrived at his table now that she apparently had time for customers over twelve as well. She had a nice smile and Mulder thought it was too bad that after hearing at least parts of his side of the conversation she now probably thought he was at least engaged, but more probably happily married. Too bad also that Mulder forgot how to charm and flirt with waitresses at least a decade ago.

He sighed quietly and ate his cold food, following it with fresh cup of coffee. Maybe if he waited long enough Scully would let him date Don Vito, unless the gay relationship would ruin the boy’s career.

+++

The greatest problem with the Consortium was that it was created by men who had the same goal; but were also greedy, manipulative and who always tried to work on their own plans as well. Most often while using the means available to them from the Consortium. It created barely maintained chaos and a perfect stage for power plays. These men practically never agreed on their personal missions and it was good to remember this.

The Cigarette Smoking Man slowly inhaled through the cigarette in his mouth, breathing deeply on the smoke and thought carefully about the current situation. He let the breath out, watched the gray smoke swirl through the air, moments later his phone rang.

“What did you find out? Why was he absent?” asked the Smoking Man quickly.

“Apparently one of his grandsons felt ill and he went to the hospital with him,” answered cold and calm voice of someone who only does what he’s told and makes sure not to be too interested in the reasons behind his orders.

“And was seen not only by family and doctors, but also by the hospital’s cameras, how convenient,” he said bitterly. He didn’t trust the Well Manicured Man and him having a perfect alibi just the moment he was especially unsure of him was just a bit too convenient for the Well Manicured Man. “That is all. Thank you for your help.”

“Yes, sir.”

The moment the other man hang up, CGB Spender called another number, just to make sure.

“Timothy? I want our British friend under constant watch, is that clear?”

“Yes, sir. I’m right on it.”

“Excellent.”

He hung up again, with a small smile on his face. It was useful to have just the right people to call.

+++

I gotta get myself together
Before I lose my mind


+++


When he woke up there was only darkness around. And yet he knew he wasn’t in any open space. Not even a big space. He was curled up on material covering the ground. He could not straighten his legs, his side was squeezed next to something that took up some of the limited space he was given, and he was pretty sure not only was his head was touching the other end of his prison, but also that if he lifted it just an inch or so, he’d touch the upper boundary of this place. He tried it with some morbid curiosity and just as he predicted he touched the roof of his small cage, so to speak. He hated dark and tight spaces. He hated the unknown. Normally he’d have no problems with deducing that he was in the trunk of a car, now it took him way too long to figure it out and even after that he kept on thinking of other places he could really be. By the time her thought of a ‘small trunk closed with chains wrapped around it and buried under the ground’ he started breathing in quick shallow breaths.
He swore to himself to never ever again trust the tea. Or any other drink or food served him by Consortium workers. He knew he was getting too used to the workings of the Well Manicured Man. Honestly, he was under the impression that the man would rather knock him unconscious himself than poison the tea. Apparently that’s one of the things that came with dealing with American co-workers of his British boss. They enjoyed poisoning people with tea. They found it ironic.
Alex rarely got the psychopath humor, even when he was one of the ones making the joke and it was even less funny when he ended up as a victim. At one moment he was agreeing that yes, apparently the Smoking Man was going to take some direct action, the Well Manicured Man was closely observed and someone from their own should be in the middle of the action to stop them should the need arise and then BAM he was in the trunk. He was pretty sure he could hear Mulder talking or maybe arguing with some suits from the Consortium, probably the ones that put him here.
The thought that if he was buried under the ground he wouldn’t be able to hear them, made him feel slightly better, but the feel of the car in which he apparently was currently located wasn’t that good at all. He closed his eyes tightly, concentrating on the job making an action plan for when the trunk did actually open. He hoped it was soon, even if it did mean dealing with an angry, psychotic Mulder. At least there’ll be some air around. He tried to slow his breathing as not waste even one gulp of oxygen. Fascinating, how the thought that you need to watch you’re breathing to preserve the air required for you to stay alive, doesn’t really help you slow it down.

+++

I'm gonna catch the next train goin'
And leave my blues behind


+++

Mulder noticed the black van while sitting in the small diner right next to the motel, where he had spent the night. He highly doubted his research on Elvis’ ghost was really of any interest to the Consortium, but paranoia kicked in anyway. After all he was on this road trip only because he was suspected of being the father of Scully’s miracle baby and that could cause some interest within the shadow government. Still he did not run out of the diner, yelling at the owners of the van. First he finished leaving a message for Scully, ate last bits of his breakfast and drank his coffee, observing the car just to check that it didn’t belong to a big, happy family with a sweet, huge dog that needed space. He’d hate to yell at innocent bystanders just because he was paranoid freak, even if he did have reason to be just that. If by any chance the van was used by the Consortium’s tags, he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see what they were doing in this area. They surely weren’t here to spy on him. Or at least it wasn’t their main mission, considering how obvious their vehicle was.
After noticing a pair in suits that weren’t in any form appropriate for the weather even if they were indeed accompanied by black sunglasses, Mulder moved quickly and cut them off on their way to the car.

“Well, hello, random people working for the government even if everyone involved is going to deny it anyway.”

“We do not work for government.”

“My point exactly,” murmured Mulder quietly. “So… what brings you here, outside of the stone buildings in such a beautiful weather?”

“Everyone has to get out sometimes. Take a walk, do groceries, take out some trash.”

Mulder stared at the blonde and her expression, but she was perfect at her job. Small smile, blank expression. Not even the innocent one, since everyone included in the conversation knew no one is really talking about anything specific here. No one was letting anything slip. Mulder just smiled and decided to take a stab in the dark.

“And since you’re coming back to the car without anything my guess would be you’re actually here getting rid of some trash. I would even consider betting that it’s pretty illegal trash.”

“Or we were just taking a walk, Agent Mulder,” answered the man this time. “Now if you’d excuse us, we need to go and we’d hate to slow down your road trip.”

Mulder just nodded and they passed him by, got into the car and drove away. There was a small part of him that wanted to tail them, tail them until he knew where the Consortium’s tags disappear to when they’re not strolling around pondering their own evilness and cackling happily to each other. Instead he got into his car and drove just as he had planned, heading up the highway as he had mapped out yesterday and not changing one small thing because of that unexpected meeting. He managed to drive for at least twenty minutes before the voice of paranoia in his head became impossible to ignore. It was now listing every possible place in the car, where they could’ve left bugs, bombs or any other sort of troublesome trash. He stopped at the side of the road as soon as it was possible and the neighborhood looked deserted enough, so he wouldn’t feel completely stupid taking his car apart.
After he looked in most of the places he could think of around him – which included looking through Elvis’ tapes and checking the ashtray – he suddenly realized he probably should start with looking at the back seat, underneath the car and probably the trunk. These places seemed to be most likely to hold something bigger and more problematic, because as much as bugs were in fact the cause of many problems, bombs still tended to have a more spectacular effect.
The back seat appeared to be just fine and so did the under side of Mulder’s car, which he checked to the amusement of some teenagers who happened to pass him the moment he laid down on the ground. After also checking under the hood – which at least was one of the things that looked normal – Mulder went to the back of his car, deciding the trunk must be the last sensible place to put something really big and dangerous. He just hoped it wouldn’t be too humiliating or problematic as he could hear another car coming his way on the road.
He opened the trunk the moment the upcoming car announced its presence with quick signal with police sirens. The immediate reaction made him close the trunk with some extra human speed, thankfully the loud thump of it being shut muffled the sound of a human’s yelp. Mulder turned around with a small smile to the police car parking right behind him and young officer getting out of it.

“Hello, sir, is there a problem?” she asked.

“No, officer. Not a problem, I was just looking for something.”

“Something..?”

“One of my smaller bags, I was afraid I left in the motel, but it appears to be in the trunk, so everything’s fine. I think I should be on my way… Unless there’s something else?”

“No, everything’s fine. I just stopped to check if you have some problems with car,” she said going back to her truck. “Have a nice trip.”

“Thank you, officer.”

She nodded at him, still smiling, as he got into his own car and pulled onto the road not long after her. He got on the first exit and drove a bit further into the forest, following a small road. When he was sure he was out of the sight from the main road and there seemed to be no one around, he finally stopped and quickly got out of the car, going to the trunk. Upon opening it he was welcomed with the same sight, perhaps only slightly more freaked out.
He already opened his mouth to start yelling and demanding some answers, but before any sound left him, the other man practically jumped out of the trunk, gulping loudly as if at lost of air, almost hyperventilating. Mulder grabbed him by the jacket, making him look him in the face and once again tried to start learning what exactly was going on, but upon seeing how pale Krycek’s was becoming, he let him go. The man fell to his knees and promptly threw up, while Mulder just stared.

“I,” started Krycek, holding himself up on his prosthesis and drying his mouth with his real hand, “hate tight spaces.”

“Here’s a thought how to avoid them: how about keeping out of people’s trunks!”

Krycek just glared at him and Mulder started to suspect this conversation was going a different way than how he thought it should.

“Speaking of which, please explain to me, you scum, what the hell were you doing there?!”

“I’m here to help you, Mulder.”

“Oh, of course. How could I not guess? My own personal guardian angel appears once again to save the day. Oh, Krycek, my true hero, please tell me, why the fuck I don’t believe you?”

Krycek shrugged awkwardly, sitting back on his toes, moving away from his puke with obvious disgust. He seemed tired and weary, but he was also barely hiding a smirk.

“I have no idea, Mulder. Do you want to believe?” he tried to joke.

Mulder kicked him in the ribs for his efforts.

+++

Since your gone
I got a mess of blues


+++

Later on, when he was remembering the evening he was pretty sure that coming home and finding it empty wasn’t the worst thing. He was terrified, that’s true. When he at Scully’s apartment – where he spent more time anyway – and not seeing Dana anywhere was one of the scariest things he ever experienced. Yet it was not the worst. The worst came after searching the apartment, calling her cellphone and the doctor she was supposed to be seeing, because the worst was still coming. The worst was pretending he wasn’t personally involved in the case, and Agent Scully was indeed in high danger of having been kidnapped and that’s why they shouldn’t be made waiting the standard twenty-four hours before filing the missing persons report. Finally he called on her special state of health and got things moving, but lying about how he noticed Scully missing and pretending he wasn’t involved in this more than any other agent of his… That was almost worst than calling Mulder to tell him about it. Swearing him in thoughts, because Mulder could be scared and terrified and have a psychological break-down and no one would blink twice.

“What do you mean she’s gone?!”

“Agent Mulder, please! At least try to calm down! We don’t know anything yet! She had an appointment with her doctor this afternoon and after she left the clinic no one saw her. She never got to the apartment. Right now we’re checking the clinic’s video footage and we’re trying to recreate her route so to determine, where she was taken from. As of now I don’t know anything yet, you know that I would tell you if I did.”

“Yeah… I… yeah.”

“I’m heading to the clinic right now; I’ll let you know as soon as I learn anything. Then we’ll decide what to do, but please for now at least try not to do anything stupid.”

“Can’t promise anything there, sir, but I have a few sources I’d like to hit too.”

Skinner disconnected a second after Mulder, hoping the man was smart enough to not get himself killed now that Walter had to concentrate his worry on Scully.

+++

I got a mess of blues

+++

Before Krycek could comment on the overheard conversation, he got punched again. He was now sitting in Mulder’s car, in the passenger seat and his head snapped to the other side, hitting the window with a dull thud. He moved his jaw slightly, trying to ease off the pain. The words ‘what the fuck was that for?’ were on the tip of his tongue, but then he felt a gun pressed painfully against his ribs. Slowly, he turned his head to look at Mulder.
The FBI agent was furious, that was clear, but Krycek had seen Mulder angry enough times to know pretty much what to expect. He even saw that particular mix of helpless anger and fear, and pure want to do something, to find someone even remotely responsible or involved and hurt them back. Alex never saw this face, when he fought with Mulder, because it was his ‘you hurt my Scully face’ and last time Krycek saw it, Duane Berry almost got choked to death.

“I didn’t know they were going to take her, but yes, it’s probably them. The Consortium were observing Scully’s pregnancy carefully, they had some plans. Most of them involved killing the baby in fear it’ll be born unhuman.”

“What?!” asked Mulder incredulous, but Krycek’s main point got achieved. He concentrated on learning from Alex and not killing him, which was always Krycek’s preferred course of action. “Why would they even think it?”

“Are you kidding me? Mulder, she was abducted, she was left barren and suddenly she’s pregnant? It is at least a bit suspicious. And they’re scarred. They’re scarred they might’ve created something that’s going to bring them down. Mulder, if this kid is the first prototype of some alien-friendly hybrid race then its birth maybe a global disaster.”

“And what if it’s not, huh? What if Scully’s ovas weren’t destroyed, what if her in-vitro worked? Maybe it’s just an innocent, unborn child they’re trying to kill here!”

Krycek let a quiet breath out, thinking how to formulate his next bits of information and silently thanking higher forces for the slight turn for the better in this situation. Angry yelling Mulder was always better than angry silent Mulder. He always was just a little bit too pre-occupied with what he was shouting to concentrate on his blows.

“That’s the main reason, why the Consortium made no move up to this point. They weren’t sure how to proceed. Most of them voted to wait until they knew something for sure, but some wanted to kill the baby right away, just in case. Some of them, I think, had plans for the kid even if was born perfectly normal. Apparently now, they don’t want to take any chances.”

Mulder frowned, glaring ahead at nothing in particular, one of his hands clenched over the steering wheel, while the other still held the gun firmly against Krycek’s ribcage.

“And how do you fit in this picture? What was the point of me finding you in the trunk?”

“The man I currently work for has no desire to see the baby dead. I believe he wanted me to figure out as much as I can about it, but since he’s under observation by parts of the Consortium who don’t agree with him, he had to act in slightly more original manner.”

“I bet.”

“Listen, Mulder. They know you’re here, they know where you said you’re going, they’re pretty sure you’re the father of the child. You want to help Scully? Threw them of the loop, they’ll assume you’ll now go back to Washington to look for Scully, but it’s pointless. Let Skinner look for her, they’ll probably try to contact the search party anyway. When Skinner figures something out, it’ll be eaier for you to suddenly disappear and go looking for Scully if you’re out on the open road anyway.“
Mulder stared at him, clenching his jaws. He looked back at the road ahead of him and the green forest surrounding them.

“Or I could just shoot you and leave you here and have one thing less to worry about.”

“I know a bit about how Consortium works. I know a bit about their bases and places where they can hide somebody and how to get there. Most of the Consortium have no idea where I am, the parts that know aren’t sure either, because there’s a fifty percent chance you would kill me or think that I was feeding you misinformation. Face it, Mulder, as much as you hate it, right now I’m the only advantage you have.”

Mulder stared at him hard, but Krycek barely looked nervous at all. Only when Mulder finally tucked away his gun, did he notice the tension seep out of the other’s man body. He started the ignition and backed out of the unused road without a word. Krycek just stared out of the window with a small smile on his lips. Survival: 1, Death: 0. It was a good start.

+++

CHAPTER THREE

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