Written By: Kari Tryk

Based On: The X-Files Television Series

Rating: T - Language, Sexuality, and Graphic Violence

Summary: When Alex Krycek appears and tells Mulder his sister may still be alive, the two trek out to the Arizona desert to find the answer, a boy named Gibson Praise, and questionable events soon follow. Implication of KrycekMulder pairing.

Spoiler Possibilities: Content includes information from SEASON 1 to SEASON 8.

Author's Note: Hello, this is the author, of course. I just wanted to add a note to explain my reasoning for writing this fanfiction. It's mostly a drabble, I'm not really solid on how far it'll go, I just wanted to start writing one due to the fact my family LIVES off of the X-Files, and my newfound obsession is Krycek. In this fanfiction are hints of a Krycek/Mulder slash pairing, that's just me being sneaky like always. Gibson Praise was added into the plotline because he's my favorite X-Files character just because he's such an adorable kid, and he's such a smartass that I love him to death. The idea behind Krycek and Hotel California came from another fanfiction I read about him and Scully, and him liking the song. So that idea wasn't mine, I just found it amusing. And in this fanfiction, Krycek does have both arms. Whether that pisses you off or not is up to you. I used to think it was amusing that he was missing an arm because I used to hate him, then I started liking him and I felt sorry for him. So for this drabble, I gift him another arm. So, here it is, enjoy.

All Characters/Plot Involvements © Chris Carter

Chapter 1: Game Start

The blow to his head nearly sent him careening to unconsciousness. He grimaced as pain radiated through the side of his jaw. He looked up with his dark eyes dazed to meet the face of his assaulter. Walter Skinner. He found no shock at this. He barely had time to keep eye contact before he was struck again, this time staggering into the wall once more before losing his balance completely. He almost seemed to crumble next to the wall. He felt a warm buzzing in the side of his head, quickly turning to a bruising ache next to the one he received a split second before. He had been hit before, but all of those others combined never compared to when he was hit by Skinner. He was the only man Alex was afraid of, and of course, Mulder. The two of them together nearly sent him to his death just by their appearance.

"Skinner —" he started, cut off by another strike. This time he cried out from the pain.

Skinner snatched him violently by his black collar, slamming him against the wall. It echoed around the parking garage. "What are you doing here, Krycek?"

"Looking for Mulder," he replied with a slight grunt of pain. He felt another blow to his stomach, crying out again. He doubled over but Skinner slammed him back into the wall.

"What for?" the Assistant Director demanded.

"I have information for him." He was pushed harder against the wall and he winced. The rough texture of the concrete was somehow managing to begin poking its way into his spine through his jacket.

"What information?" was the next dark command.

"I can't tell you, I can only tell Mulder."

"You won't get the chance to tell Mulder if you don't tell me, now," Skinner warned.

"Then you can have the pleasure of telling Mulder you've killed one of his sources about the Syndicate," Krycek answered as coldly. Then with an almost homicidal tone, "Now get your hands off me."

"Assistant Director?" a voice echoed off the walls. Mulder came around one of the cars. Skinner turned slightly, holding Krycek by the chest with one fist against the wall.

"Mulder, what is Krycek doing here?" Skinner demanded.

"How am I supposed to know?" the other man answered. Krycek looked at Mulder. They're eye contact alone could have been enough to set the space between them on fire.

"He says he has information for you."

"Oh really?"

Krycek was hit a fifth time, now in the stomach by Mulder as well. He yelled out and Mulder repeated Skinner's actions by slamming him against the cement wall by his jacket. "You sorry son of a bitch."

"You want to hear me out Mulder," Krycek said through pained breaths.

"Do I?" he retorted. Krycek looked at Skinner as though he was hinting the AD's presence was a nuisance. He leaned forward and said in another painful tone to Mulder's ear, "It's about Samantha."

Mulder had two reactions to this. His first reaction was about his sister, who was on record as recently found dead. How she could still be alive was totally improbable. His other reaction was how the goose bumps from Krycek's breath had traveled from his neck down his back. He ignored the latter and watched Alex lean back into the wall, breathing heavily. He saw the damage Skinner had caused to the man. His lip was cut and he saw blood trickling from the back of his head into his shirt collar from being slammed into the concrete thrice before. He felt concerned for a moment, as though he realized that if this was about his sister, Krycek was a valuable source. Then he looked at Skinner while pulling something silver from his belt.

"Sir, I want you to call Agent Scully and tell her to come to my apartment as soon as she can." He flipped Krycek around and snapped the handcuffs tightly onto the assassin's wrists.

"Mulder, this man's a murderer, you're going to take him to your apartment?"

"Sir, I'll ask you not to argue with me. Just go." Mulder grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and dragged him over to his car. Skinner walked to the elevator wonderingly and soon disappeared.

"What are you doing?" Krycek asked, sounding almost frightened as Mulder shut the passenger side door. He sat down in the driver's seat and started the car, backing out and coasting down the levels into the street.

"Samantha's DEAD, Krycek."

"You'd think so, but you'd be wrong," Alex answered simply.

"I saw her ghost, Krycek, she's dead, she died when she was fourteen."

"No, she didn't."

"Then who has her? You? The Syndicate?"

Krycek looked over at Mulder. The agent had the idea that whatever Krycek's next answer was, he wasn't going to like it at all. A look of despair swept over his face.

"Don't tell me it's that cigarette smoking bastard," Mulder begged.

"Who else?"

"Oh, god. Anyone but him, that SON OF A BITCH!" Mulder yelled, almost making Krycek wince in fear. "Where is he keeping her?"

"Indiana. They're using her as bait for something."

"Bait? Bait for what?" Mulder seemed frightened now.

"Smokey thinks that the alien colonization can be stopped if your sister is sacrificed."

"SACRIFICED?! What the hell does that mean, sacrifice!"

"Your sister was one of the first alien abductions. They know her. Spender brought her back to keep her from them and has recently been offering other subjects. Such as Scully."


"The aliens said that was fine but eventually they wanted Samantha back after a certain amount of time, after the Syndicate performed their own tests, to see how the cloning process was going. After a while, Spender decided he didn't want to give her back. When he told the aliens he wanted to keep her, they said they'd be willing to make a deal if Spender cooperated. If she was handed over to them, they'd postpone the colonization."

"Why do they want my sister so badly?"

"She's carrying something. Some sort of piece of something that they need. Her first abduction and the tests they did left her with something that they need back."

"Do you know what it is?"

"No. Spender doesn't even know. The only ones that do are Samantha and the aliens."

"Well, how the hell does he not know? That bastard knows everything. The one time we need information on something, he doesn't know."

"Are these necessary?" Krycek asked skeptically, noting that the handcuffs were still on him.

"If Scully's going to see you, yes." Mulder pulled into the parking lot of his apartment building and shut off the engine. He led Krycek up the stairs and down the hallway to door 42. After opening the door for Krycek and slamming it shut angrily, Mulder flopped onto his couch with an audible whumph and Krycek sat on his computer chair almost patiently.

"The reason I came to tell you all of this was because it leads back to another case you recently worked on."

"And what's that?"

"If this was just about your sister I never would have told you because it would risk my life too much," Krycek started. He stood up and at on the floor while Mulder watched him.

"Glad to hear your extent of willing assistance," Mulder said sarcastically.

"Hear me out, Mulder," he began again. While he spoke, he slowly moved his arms down his back and under his legs. He winced several times, still speaking with pain in his voice and the occasional grunt. "This colonization thing is way more harsh than you believe it to be. Spender says that if Samantha isn't turned over to the aliens, all of their previous abductees are going to be executed." There was a gruesome sounding crack, he grimaced with a grunt/yelp, and then stood up, bracing his shoulder with one hand while the other hung limp from the handcuffs that bound them together. Mulder suddenly got very quiet, staring at Krycek for a long while.

"You mean Scully's going to die," he concluded in an almost eerily calm tone.

"Mulder, Spender's your father. You think he's going to give up your sister?" He spun the chair around and sat on it backwards, crossing his arms over the back and watching Mulder closely. He rubbed his neck roughly and grimaced as his own blood smeared onto his fingers, which he promptly smeared back onto his pants.

"So, because Spender's the selfish bastard he is, Scully and about a hundred other people are just going to die?"

"Would you give up Samantha if you finally found her?" Krycek sighed, and would have rubbed his eyes tiredly if the handcuffs were nonexistent at the time. "Spender has a time limit, and he doesn't want to give up Samantha. But to him, losing Scully is almost equivalent, due to your inclusion to the equation. Either way, he can't win. He wants to know what Samantha is keeping from the aliens, but she won't, or can't, tell him. Ergo, how does he solve this one?"

Mulder stared at him. Krycek sighed again, this time in frustration. After a pause they both jumped as the door shut with a loud snap. Dana Scully stood at the door looking as skeptical as ever. Mulder readily got to his feet.

"Mulder, what's Krycek doing here? Skinner told me to meet you, I —" she was slowly cut off as Mulder walked over to her, hushing her as he got closer. They had a hushed conversation that left Krycek sitting with his chin resting in one palm lazily on the back of the chair.

"Mulder, she's dead!" Scully said in a convincing tone.

"Krycek says she's not, and if that bastard has her, I have to go find her!"

"Mulder, wake up. You're actually going to believe this RAT?"

"Hey," Krycek said defensively.

"Shut up," they both snapped. He closed his mouth in a half pout.

"He killed my sister, Mulder, AND your father! He's killed so many people and told so many lies, the Guinness Book of World Records couldn't keep up, and now you're telling me you're going to believe him?"

"He says there's more to it than Samantha. Spender's looking for something that he needs to get the information out of her."

"If Spender can find something that will get Samantha to tell him whatever the aliens want, he won't have to give her up. Mulder stays happy and out of his hair, and the colonization gets postponed. He doesn't have jack-squat to worry about for the next two hundred years." Krycek sat up straighter and let his hands crisscross limply over the chair.

"So you're saying we have a chance to save my sister," Mulder corrected.

"Warmer," Krycek nodded.

"Well, what's Spender going to do, read her mind?" Scully asked sarcastically.

"Warmer," he repeated.

"Or find something that can read her mind," Mulder said suddenly, almost to himself. Scully looked at him like he was crazy. It was a look she made so frequently that Mulder was able to ignore it.

"So close," the dark eyed man said with a smile that Mulder found too dubiously attractive.

"Well, what do we know that can read minds?" Scully asked disbelievingly. Krycek just raised his eyebrows playfully, watching the two of them work it out. He especially liked playing with Mulder's mind. Ever since that long ago day when he had been assigned as Scully's replacement, back before he became a full assassin, he had made it a hobby. He drummed his fingers ever so slightly on the back of the chair he sat upon.

"Never said what," the man said with that smile.

"Who?" Mulder asked.

"Even warmer."

"Gibson Praise," Scully said suddenly. Krycek smiled and pointed his index finger at Scully, making the fake noise of a gunshot.

"Bingo to the redhead."

"Spender's after Gibson?" Mulder asked.

"That's why I'm here. If you guys find the kid before Spender does, then you can probably save your sister, and Scully."

"How does finding Gibson help Mulder's sister?"

"Because if the smoker finds the kid, he'll read Samantha's mind. Spender finds out what she's keeping from the colonists, and he'll use it as a weapon against them, and afterward probably kill the kid. More chances than one, the aliens will get pissed and just attack the planet and take Samantha by force or something. So whether he knows or not, he won't give up Samantha. The abductees are doomed to die, and everything goes to hell. If you can find the kid and get Samantha back, you can give the aliens whatever they want and we can all live our dandy little lives."

"Speak for yourself," Mulder said in an undertone.

"How are we supposed to get Samantha if Spender has her?" Scully asked quickly, catching the flaw in his plan.

"I had that all planned out, but once I tell you, you're not gonna like it."

"I didn't like it before you started. Spill it," she demanded.

"No matter how much Spender says he'd kill you, Agent Scully, he never will. That would jeopardize his situation with Mulder. You have questions about your cancer you had, so if you can go to Spender, asking for answers, tell him that you know he knows what happened to you, and you'll threaten to expose his whole plan unless he tell you. You spend time doing that, eventually at some point you sneak Samantha out, there, we have the sister. Meanwhile, Mulder and I can go find the kid."

"You know where he is?" Scully asked.

"Yes. He's in Arizona, which is why I suggested Mulder comes with me. I lead him to the kid, I tell you where to find Spender, we're all good." Krycek crisscrossed his hand again and rested his chin on the top of them. He looked up at them like some sort of puppy. Mulder tried to ignore it.

"Why do you want to help us in all of this anyway?" the latter asked suspiciously.

"I have one condition. Well, two actually. One may be simple, the other may be a little difficult, but I won't help you without it."

Scully looked disapprovingly at Mulder, who sighed and nodded to himself. "And these are?"

"One, you and Skinner stop hitting me, because I'm TIRED OF IT."

Scully tried to hold back a laugh at this and Mulder rolled his eyes, then gave an expression of intention at the cuffed man's next condition.

"And I want my name cleared."

Scully once again glanced disapprovingly at Mulder.

"You know that's not possible, Krycek. On record, you've killed thirteen people." Scully had her arms crossed over her chest, making her seem like a mother scolding a child asking for another cookie before dinner.

"I don't care. You have a choice, Mulder. Either you get my name cleared, or we all die within the next 72 hours."

"That's how long he has?" Mulder questioned. His enemy nodded. Mulder stared at Scully, unsure whether to answer or not.

"Even if we wanted to, Krycek, we couldn't. There's no way a record like yours can just disappear! The Bureau would notice, especially with the crimes you've committed."

Krycek just stared, his chin still upon his crossed hands. He continued to stare at them that way, until he just focused on Mulder. He seemed to be the most trapped one of all. He had so many choices, they seemed to be pestering him like a conscience. Let his sister die, let Scully die, let Gibson die, let the whole world die, or free his worst enemy into the world. That seemed to be a fair balance of choices.

He had a staring contest with Krycek for nearly five minutes, Scully looking shiftily between the two. Krycek continued to emit that slight radiance of a puppy face, and Mulder continued to try and ignore it, almost failing. He covered his face with his hands in exhaustion and flopped onto his couch again with a moan. He sat with his head thrown onto the back of the couch, his hands still over his eyes, until he finally dropped his fingers, looked around the room obliviously and then leaned forward, supporting his elbows on his knees.

"Scully, call Skinner and ask him if he can arrange anything. Tell him I'm booking a flight to Arizona tomorrow morning at 10:30 am, and I'm taking Krycek with me. By the time we get back I need his name cleared and I need any files we have left on Gibson Praise."

Scully dropped her jaw and Krycek raised his eyebrows, almost tilting his head and carrying on that puppy like look. He slowly let a smile across his face and then just looked back over to Scully, who was turned facing Mulder in utter disbelief.

"Mulder, that man is a murderer. An assassin who has tried more than once to kill the both of us as well! You actually want me to call up ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Skinner and ask him to just erase his criminal record?!" She was practically yelling by now. Krycek felt a sort of relief wash over him, and some sort of appreciation towards Mulder. He set the side of his head on his hands and slowly began to spin a few inches back and forth hypnotically as Scully argued with Mulder for another ten minutes.

Finally: "Scully please, I'm asking you honestly. I know all of the stupid cases I've dragged you into, all of the dead ends I've made you walk, but please, just this one last time. This could be the answers to everything!"

"You say that every time Mulder, and every time we come to the same conclusion! We always come to the dead end, we always come to that nonexistent answer! When are you going to just GIVE UP?!"

"WHEN I FIND OUT WHAT THE HELL ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO MY SISTER!" Mulder yelled back, raising his voice for the first time. She seemed taken aback, and Krycek opened his eyes, looking up to see her reaction. "Scully, please."

The two men watched her as she shook with anger, until finally she let out a long sigh and grabbed her cell phone from her pocket.

"Thank you," Mulder said as sincerely as he could. She dialed a number while walking out the door. Mulder got tiredly to his feet and pulled off his coat while undoing his tie. Krycek watched him quietly as he walked back and forth between his bedroom and the living room silently, pulling off another piece of clothing here and there, kicking off his shoes, pulling his cell phone and gun out and dropping them onto the coffee table. He came out of his room one last time finally without his shirt while undoing his belt and Krycek watched slowly as he picked up his gun, gave him a sort of suspicious glance, before walking back into his room and shutting the door.

He was still sitting in the computer chair with his head lying on his handcuffed wrists five minutes later until he slowly stood up and sat down on the couch. He licked his hand and rubbed the back of his neck furiously until he had cleaned most of the blood from his hair and neck line. He wiped his hands on his pants again, so used to having blood on him at all times that he didn't care anymore. He looked at the blank TV.

"Touch that remote and I shoot your dick off, Krycek," Mulder's voice sounded from behind the door.

The assassin almost smiled to himself and he slowly rested his body onto the cushions, grabbing a pillow and stuffing it behind his black hair. He stared at the ceiling with his exhausted dark green eyes until he finally drifted into the first easy sleep he had had in a long time, while quietly humming Hotel California.