Word Count: ~900
Summary: Follows I Couldn't Do It Alone. Krycek makes a decision.
‘Please’ is on the tip of your tongue again. Who knows, maybe saying it once more will finally break him. You’re not blind; you can see the way his eyes darken, looking almost hungry, when you mumble the word. You can’t help but notice how he swallows on reflex when you purposefully add a slight whine to your usually deep voice. You know, only too well, how to play him but, for once, you don’t want to. For once, you actually want to help.
On the other hand, you understand his reluctance. Just because you want to help him doesn’t mean he wants to be helped. This cycle of deceit and distrust that has been the backbone to your relationship has become just that, a backbone; a crutch that neither one of you wants to give up. If you’re not his enemy, then what are you? Without the lies, what do you have to talk about?
You zero in on the folder in his hands; the folder you risked everything for just to get it into his grasp. If only he knew what you went through to get that then maybe he would finally understand the dangers you have put yourself through for him. You have always been a wanted man, although usually only from one side of the law, but thanks to that seemingly innocuous manila folder, you can now call yourself the most wanted man. From this point onwards, you would gladly hand yourself over to the Feds as long as it meant the Consortium never got their hands on you. You recall the phrase, ‘the lesser of two evils’ and smile slightly to yourself.
Mulder’s eyes flicker down to your self-gratuitous smile and strangely it’s that moment that makes you realise the smile is completely real. You’re not trying to goad him, no matter what it must look like; you are just genuinely feeling emotionally and physically light and unburdened, despite the persistent ache of your cheekbone and the stinging of your lip. You just hope he doesn’t take it the wrong way.
It’s Mulder, though. So you know that’s not a possibility.
His eyes narrow at your short lived joy and you want to backpedal immediately. You can’t do this anymore. If his fist comes hurtling towards your face again, then you’re done, you decide silently.
“Why?” Mulder asks, out of the blue.
You’d be lying if you said the question didn’t surprise you because it does, a lot. A punch was expected; you wished against it but you thought you knew Mulder well enough to know it was the most likely reaction to your display of vulnerability, but a soft imploring voice from Mulder’s mouth was something you never thought you’d be on the receiving end of.
You let the silence stretch long enough to make him think you’re not going to answer, and then you shrug.
You know it’s not a real answer, more of a reply than anything else, but you know Mulder’s not adverse to pointlessly cryptic answers either so you hope he understands what you mean because for some reason you find yourself unable to just out rightly say what you really feel. A punch would be unavoidable if you did.
In that one word, you try to say everything that you’ve wanted to say for years. About how everything you have ever done has, in some roundabout way, been for Mulder, and that manila folder is paradoxically the best and worst thing you’ve ever done for him.
You risk moving closer, enjoying the fact that even though Mulder looks at you strangely he doesn’t step away.
“That folder should tell you everything that you want to know. Either that or it will open enough doors for you to know everything.”
You want to add ‘Do you get it yet Mulder?’ but you leave it unsaid.
The look in his eyes tells you everything you need to know anyway.
It’s not like you were expecting him to drop many years of ingrained impulses and beliefs just because you show a slight change in alignment but you really wish he could at least reign in that look of mistrust.
Mulder stares back at you with narrowed distrustful eyes and your body feels hollow.
‘I call bullshit, Krycek’ and ‘What are you planning, you rat bastard?’ are going to be the next things out of Mulder’s mouth, you can tell, and you can feel the remaining energy drain out of your battered and bruised body. You feel empty.
There’s nothing left for you to do but take a retreating step backwards. You’d sigh in disappointment but you know your ribs would complain about the movement.
You shuffle back a few more steps and risk one last look at Mulder. He has his eyes dropped to the folder in his hands and his face is casually blank. Now would be the best time to slip away unnoticed. If you can do it right then maybe you can avoid another shot to the gut.
Don’t look back. You repeat the words to yourself in hopes that the childish logic will become true. If you can’t see him then he can’t see you.
Slipping into the shadows and never been so difficult.