Chapter 6: Fever

He couldn't move away before a warm hand was on his forehead. Mulder had been standing beside him, hovering over him in examination.

"Krycek, are you okay?"

He swallowed dryly, trying to conceal his panic as he screamed at his burning stomach. "I'm fine, why?"

"You're really warm. You haven't been sick lately, have you?"

"I'm fine."

"Are you sure? You feel like you have a fever."

"I'm fine."

A silence fell over the room again and suddenly awkwardness settled within it as well, as Mulder didn't remove his hand from the other man's face. Alex's attempts to calm his body were failing horribly.

"You're sweating," his voice was quieter now.

"I'm all right, go back to sleep."

He rolled over to face his back towards the standing man, feeling those fingertips slide from his forehead agonizingly, keeping burn marks as he clamped his eyes shut. Mulder didn't move, but merely stared in the dark, eyes adjusted enough to see as much as Krycek's moving chest as he breathed rapidly.

"Do you want some water?" he asked, letting be known his effort to try and cover his tone with petty sarcasm.

"Go back to sleep," was the simple irritated reply.

"All right, I'll just get it for you."

"I don't want any water!" he argued, rolling back over to glare in the dark as Mulder headed for the sink by the bathroom. As he heard the water run, he threw the blanket from his body and got to his feet, stepping beside the man and pushing him away from the counter. "I'm fine all right? Just go back to sleep, I don't want any water!"

"I won't go to sleep until you drink it," the agent insisted childishly, holding up the small cup.

"I'm not drinking it!" he protested just as stubbornly.

They stood there for another five minutes in a glaring contest, before Alex sighed angrily, and they began a stupid argument over dumping the water back into the sink. The darker haired man reached for it furiously, trying to snatch it from the agent.

"Not unless you're going to drink it," he insisted.

"I'm not sick, I'm not going to drink the stupid water! Just get rid of it!"

"No."

"You're so childish!" he yelled. He could feel Mulder's smirk beaming on him. "Give it to me!"

"No, you'll dump it out."

"Give it to me!"

"No!"

"MULDER!"

They had another small glaring contest before the agent gave in and set the cup on the counter, backing his hands away.

"If you don't want my help, fine. I'm sorry for trying to be nice." Mulder started walking back towards his spot on the floor, muttering something and Krycek was still trying to fight that burning in his stomach.

"Mulder ―" He stopped himself, turning instead to look in the mirror as he did.

"You do look like you have a fever though. I just wanted to make sure you weren't getting sick. If you're sick, that might compromise the trip."

"I'm fine, Mulder. It's my body, I'll deal with it," the assassin insisted with a small snap to his voice.

Yeah, I bet you will, the back of his mind mocked.

"All right, fine, whatever. Just make sure you get some sleep. I want you driving tomorrow."

"Fine."

Every second made Krycek panic more as he saw how his face looked. He had a full blush from his cheeks, to his ears, and down his neck. He swallowed dryly, and stubbornly drank the water from the small cup, just to get the cotton from his throat. He looked down past his stomach, turning his mouth up stubbornly and then staring back into the mirror before turning off the light and dragging his feet back into bed.

"We'll pick up some medicine for you tomorrow," Mulder added quietly, turning his head to stare at the wall.

"I don't need any, I'm fine."

"I'm still getting some," Mulder insisted, interrupting him in midsentence.

"Fine."

Krycek sprawled out on the bed in a failed attempt to cool down his body. He almost whined to himself, but instead squeezed his eyes shut and prayed to whatever being that Mulder didn't get back up. Just as quickly as they had left his mind when he had gotten up, the images flashed back into his mind again and he felt like ripping his hair out.

Five quiet minutes went by and he listened to Mulder breathing, wondering if the man had managed to fall asleep again. He swallowed, his mouth already going sore and dry again, and opened his eyes to look at the ceiling. He had a small, slow daydream of lying somewhere with Mulder out of sight. Out of sight, but still there, his hands gently caressing over his shoulders, his mouth under his ear, whispering to him that nothing was going to go wrong, for whatever reason.

He stared at the unmoving fan and felt a jerk in his stomach. He could already feel those lips on his neck, and he took in a deep breath. Why him? Why, in the entire world of useless unaware human beings, did it have to be him? Why did he want someone so ― obviously straight? And when did he start not being so obviously straight?

"God damn it," he whined, covering his eyes with his arm.

"What?" Mulder asked, shattering the quiet and causing the assassin's stomach to burn in a split second just from the sound of his voice.

"Nothing. Just having trouble falling asleep," he covered quickly.

"Hm."

Another minute went by, and Krycek moved his arm up to his forehead, looking at the fan again.

"Mulder?" he asked quietly.

"What?"

He took in a small breath, ran his hand back and forth over his stomach for a second, and then sighed, closing his eyes and covering them again with his arm.

"Nothing."