Title: Exchange Rate
Author: GeeLady (GenieVB)
Summary: Alex saves a dying man. Events occur sometime during early Season 5.
Rating: Mature! Slash.
Legal Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the X-Files. I will make no money from anything related to the X-Files. FOX is rich. I have holes in my socks.
Category: Krycek/Mulder slash.
Spoilers: None.
(This story is the sequel to 'No Return Policy' which can be found at /geelady)
I drool stupidly for feedback.

EXCHANGE RATE

What would be the exchange rate on a man's soul? I cashed mine in a long time ago. My "banker" assured me, as he blew smoke in my face, that it was the deal of the century. A few odd jobs in exchange for the truth and the chance to live. Live that is, as long as his buyers stuck to the agreed upon deal.

Me and the smoker are getting to be so alike in character, I may as well buy a pack of Morley's and be done with it.

Alex Krycek, bought and paid for.

But Mulder...Mulder doesn't sell his soul at any price to save his own ass. He did, however, sell his own ass to save someone else's.

He sold it to me.

That's what I'd told him: "You or your sister."

And I've been fucking him ever since.

Yeah, I'm a lying prick. I wanted him for so long and don't get me wrong, I love that firm, smooth backside offered up to me whenever the desire beckons. Kissing those goddamn soft lips is like sucking milk chocolate.

I control him. My mouth eats him and my cock whips him.

But sometimes having isn't as good as wanting.

Of course I still want the gorgeous, fucking arrogant hot-ass. But I hate what it's doing to him.

And I've only just lately noticed how bad he's getting.

I've got an undiminished appetite but it's as if something is starving him to death.

Last week I sent the car to pick him up and when he entered the hotel room, it was like a heavy rain pouring in.

These raunchy rendezvous's must weigh on him because I know Mulder isn't homosexual (though I personally think there's a little gay in everyone), but, I mean,... he agreed to it for Christ's sake!

Unless,...he didn't believe me, did he? when I said we'd kill his sister if he didn't strip?

Who'd believe a story like that? Is he really that gullible?

Not even a hello tonight and he's peeling off his clothes already. He either wants it bad or he wants it over with.

Not that I'll refuse his offer or anything, the sight of a nude Mulder gets me harder than iron.

It was good - fuck - it was great, though he didn't make a sound.

There I was, pounding him as hard and fast as I could, loving the squeeze of his sweet interior and the feel of his muscled back but I might as well be fucking a corpse for all the reaction I got.

I tried to talk to him but he didn't answer. Then I wanted to bitch slap him upside the head for being just a contrary son-of-a-bitch.

Until now, he always seemed to enjoy it. No one's that good of an actor.

"What the fuck's wrong with you tonight?"

He slipped his long legs into his jeans and buttoned them, looking at me but not looking at me, if you know what I mean.

"Mulder. Part of the deal is when I ask you something, you answer."

"Since when have you ever asked for anything?"

That was true, I had to admit. "Just tell me what the fuck is up with you before you piss me off." I hated this silent shit. Even when we were partners, he pulled this crap, ditching me in person or in attitude.

"How much longer?" He asked.

I knew immediately what he meant, I'm not stupid.

"I told you a long time ago." (How long was it? I did a quick mental calculation. I figured I'd been banging Mulder for about a year and half),

"There's no return. This goes on for as long as I decide and I'm not about to give up an ass like yours anytime soon."

I indulged in a little mind fantasy that hearing that would please him somehow, that he'd blush and flash me that tiny self-conscious smile I'd seen him send Scully's way on occasion.

He didn't though and my jealousy over his relationship with her brought my anger quickly to the surface.

"You do what you're told." I snapped.

He went very still but said nothing back.

I was to realize later that it was the lack of his biting come-back that had bothered me the most.

I learned about it by accident.

Mulder thinks the whole world revolves around him and his little conspiracy theories, that we're all hanging on his every step, but in fact we don't keep track of every movement he makes. He just isn't that exciting.

Yes, he's important to the Smoker and my dink and has been for a while now, for different reasons of course. But we don't really care to know what he eats for breakfast or what kind of toothpaste he uses.

So, as I said, I learned quite by accident of his newest adventure.

If there was anyone on the whole planet who could piss me off and make my heart ache, it was Mulder.

Thankfully, we still had Skinner's office bugged.

I turned on my tiny speaker, mostly because I was at home and bored. Then I turned to stone when I caught those first heart stopping words.

"Why did Agent Mulder try to kill himself, Scully?"

I recognized Skinner's angry baritone. He was no pooch but my tastes ran to more refined specimens.

"Don't you think I've asked myself that a dozen times?!"

Scully's tight-tones of anger and bewilderment.

I listened to the tape with balled fists and a hole in my chest the size of a dinner plate. She should have seen it coming. She lives with him for fuck's sake! Or he lives with her. Part of the time at least.

"You practically live with him, Agent Scully,.."

I wondered how many around the halls of the shinny bureau knew that besides Skinner. I wonder how much Skinner suspects or how much he would interfere if he knew Mulder was buttering his bread on both sides.

"..you must know something."

Skinner was no dummy.

"Mulder doesn't talk to me much these days, sir. I wish he did."
"I find that surprising to hear, Agent Scully, considering how much time you spend together."

I could feel over the wire the temperature in the room spike.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

This whole conversation must have been off the record. Way off.

"Understand me, Agent, as far as I'm concerned what you and your partner do during your off hours is your own affair. Just know that certain individuals within these halls would not approve of some types of activity."

Whoo-hoo, how right he is. Lubing up for your worst enemy would be right up there too.

"I realise that."

I was getting impatient for news of Mulder.

"Mulder tried to eat a bullet, Agent Scully! Now I'm at a loss to explain to anyone, let alone myself, what would drive an otherwise dedicated and to all appearances, at least for the last while, level-headed Agent like Mulder to load his gun and place it under his chin!"

Skinner's jaw was grinding out the words like nails. I wanted to know the answer too. I wanted to yank on Scully's dyed hair until she explained why she failed to notice her partner falling apart. I needed to know.

"He was drunk at the time, sir!"

Oh.

That explains why he didn't finish the job. Why he's lying in a hospital bed with I can only imagine stitches and bandages on his throat, jaw and head and not in a refridgerator with a toe tag.

Mulder was always somewhat inept with a gun, fumbling a shot, losing it on the job. Looks like his luck had held.

None of this explains why he did it though.

"Mulder's been upset about something, sir, for some time, but he will not speak to me about it."

"When did you first notice it?"

"About a year ago. Something happened to him one night. I don't know what..."

He met me on a bridge, that's what happened. He met me, then he met his sister, then I took him back to a nice little room and fucked him several times. Made love to him so hard, I don't see how he could have walked out of that room straight.

Our deal.

His sister lives if his ass became mine. And just to make sure he agreed to the deal, I showed him Samantha so he would believe. So he knew she was real.

She was. I wasn't lying about that part. She's the real sweet thing. And out of it, I got Mulder's sweeter things.

Ass, cock, balls, body, flesh, skin, hair, saliva, sweat, smell. Smooth and consumable. I loved fucking him so much. I loved what it did to me. I loved seeing what it did to him. At first, he seemed to be enjoying our mutual mingling of fluid.

"...but I found him in a hotel room in a particular state of distress. He never told me what happened, but I have my guesses."

Every time I sent the car, he came. Mulder never once indicated to me that he couldn't stand it anymore. Was that the reason for the gun under the chin?

"Let me in on those guesses, Agent Scully. If you want my help with Mulder, it would help me if I understood what's been going on."

I want to help him. I shouldn't show my face at the hospital or the bureau or anywhere else, but I want to help him. I've ridden the steed into the ground and now I can't even watch him as he dies.

"I think he was raped, sir."

What? No.

No, it wasn't rape. That's bull shit!

My cell phone chirped right when Scully was getting to her theories. Best thing, anyway, they would have been wrong.

"ALEX. WE HAVE A SITUATION."

Goddamn leaf burning son-of-a-bitch!

"What?"

"FOX MULDER. I NEED YOU TO COME HERE RIGHT NOW."

Fuck. I had no choice but to go and see the bastard.

As usual, he was dressed immaculately and, as usual, his bearing was OVER-. He held himself above me and his fellow associates like some big, fucking volcano, spewing his stink out over all of us.

"Fox Mulder has attempted suicide."

It wasn't that hard keeping my emotions from showing on my face. And I was having them, but I'd learned lying from the master himself.

"Really?" I managed with just the right amount of surprise and contempt.

"I need you to look into this, Alex. Naturally, there is speculation, but thus far no one seems to know why he has done this. No matter. We cannot afford to lose Mulder at this stage."

No. I didn't know what he was talking about. The "C" man had always spouted his paragraphs of Mulder's "importance" to the project, but none of us on the lower slopes were ever allowed anymore details than that. Then again, none of us had a big, ugly alien with meat hooks for hands looking out for us.

"Speculation?"

"Yes. We know he has been making regular trips, overnight trips away from home. However, since the Group has suffered declining interest in Mulder's activities, we don't know with who or why.

I couldn't help it. I had to clear my throat but the lump didn't budge. "When did this happen?"

"The day before yesterday. Circumstances," he continued, "prevented Mulder from carrying out his action to its conclusion."

That's fancy speak for Mulder fucked-up. C-Man was always making excuses for Mulder. And he had in the past found ways to circumvent the Consortiums maneuvers to have Mulder eliminated. (I even made the suggestion once and C-Man had neatly swerved around it). Always, he found some way to convince them to leave Mulder be on the pretense of Mulder's "importance". Sometimes I wonder if there are other reasons, though. Reasons C-Man wouldn't or couldn't dare tell them.

"What do you want me to do, specifically?"

"Watch him. And keep me informed of his progress.

I nodded, zipped up my jacket and left with my usual sigh of relief. I respected, even on some level, admired C-Man, but I also hated him. I was off to do the dirty work once more, only this time I was responsible for it, it was my dirty work. My hands were coated in it, (even if I didn't understand why Mulder would try to off himself), I was bloody.

I had turned out just like Cancer Man, I was exactly like him so I hated myself too.

C-Man had no idea that it was me Mulder had been meeting with. I can just imagine Ol' Stinkies reaction if he knew what I'd gambled just to be able to do Mulder up the ass.

Even the goons who'd accompanied me that night were nobodies. Cheap scragers I'd hired on the side for a good wad, (Mulder had cost me a bundle) and who, by the way, never lived to tell the tale.

Yeah, Mulder cost me plenty.

Oh, and the story about Samantha being killed if he didn't cooperate? Another lie. A pretty good one I'd thought at the time, in fact, I was surprised Mulder 'd bought it.

I guess.

But maybe he really loves her that much. Maybe he'd rather die than lose her again. I never dared love anyone that much. You can't afford those kinds of feelings in this line of work. Hump 'em and dump 'em. Let the physical take you away for a while in its sizzle, then shrug off the heat. Let the thrill cool and harden like grease out in the cold.

I never let myself get emotionally involved.

Until now.

Fuck me and Smokie and his stinking cigarettes.

Oh, Christ.

The hospital was pretty deserted at this time of night. A few nurses, a couple of doctors, most of the patients asleep, their rooms in the dark.

Mulder lying there like a white fucking ghost, with tubes sticking out of his arms and a plastic snake hanging out of his mouth, doing his breathing.

Jesus.

With my penlight between my teeth, I read his chart. I'm not a doctor, but best as I can make out, when Mulder tripped in his drunken stupor, instead of the bullet blowing his brains out the back of his skull, it shattered his Ramus and then exited from just below his right ear.

Lucky.

From the looks of him, he lost a lot of blood, and from what I can understand of the gobbledegook on this chart, he hadn't awakened from emergency surgery over two days ago.

Unlucky.

They riveted a titanium plate and jig-sawed his Mandible back together but the coma they could do nothing about.

I found myself breathing very hard and wanting to punch Mulder in the face. Keep the stupid asshole down for good this time. For doing this to me!

I punched the pillow beside his head a few times but that didn't do it. He didn't wake up and I didn't feel any better.

Touching him, though, felt good and I did. With my one good arm I cupped his sick looking cheek and kissed his forehead and his eyes and the one cheek that wasn't swathed in bandages.

I was pretty sure this was going to be the last time I would be able to touch him, even if it wasn't the way I wanted to, with my whole body.

I hated him for that.

But even dying, Mulder comes out again on the right side of morality, and I am punished with his dying body that I'll never make love to again.

I never really wanted to hurt him. I never meant for this to happen. I underestimated his fragility, maybe, or his craziness. Or maybe I'd overestimated my power over him, or the worth he would place in being with me.

I never realized what an arrogant, power hungry, egotistical son-of-a-prick I was.

Now I knew.

Upon hearing the click of a woman's heels approaching Mulder's sick room, I also knew I was in deep if I didn't get my ass out of sight, so I hid in the attached bathroom and hoped like hell she didn't have to pee.

Of course, if it came down to a confrontation, I would deal with it in my usual fashion. I never go anywhere without my gun.

Scully entered the room, followed by that stiff military statue Skinner.

They were whispering. Barely enough to alert living or dead.

"Doctor Robb wants to bring in a neurologist from Toronto. Someone he says is the best in the field."

That was Scully, thinking about the medical angle, wanting Mulder to have the best treatment, wanting him to get better.

"Agent Scully. If- when..."

I heard his hasty correction. Good Skinner. Good marine. Don't kill him twice.

"...when Mulder wakes up, there'll be an inquirery into his fitness for duty. There'll be at least mandated therapy-"

"-I know that."

She's not an idiot, Flag Boy!

"If it's found that Mulder is incompetent..."

"They won't find that, sir. I don't believe Mulder tried to kill himself. I think someone did this to him. Or drove him to it."

"You got names attached to that theory?"

"Not yet."

Scully has that tight, angry pitch to her voice now that shrinks the balls on a man.

But Skinner's ready to ship Mulder down the looney toon highway and that pisses me off too!

"What makes you think Mulder isn't responsible?" Skinner asked.

"I'll admit, he's been acting a bit odd these last few months. But he showed no signs of suicidal tendencies. He wasn't depressed, exactly, but he had something on his mind. And every-so-often he'd disappear for a night and not tell me where he was going. He always made the excuse he was "checking out a lead" into a current case...or going off to see some newest chapter of the Lone Gunmen..."

Oh, Mulder, you dolt. Scully's way too smart to fall for those lame attempts at deception.

"...Anyway, whatever was bothering him would just seem to go away and he'd be his old self again. For a while."

"But then...?"

"It would happen again, yes."

"You said before you thought he might have been raped."

"I don't know. If he was or if it was something else, he couldn't talk about it. I wasn't going to push him."

Mulder had talked to me about it. But I didn't listen. I turned off any misgivings while sliding in and out and to and fro across the object d'art that was his body.

I couldn't get enough of him. When I was with him, I filled him up and so he filled me. When he was gone, I was so hungry for him, I ached.

Scully spoke aloud what was now pounding in my brain. "I didn't want to drive him into silence."

Neither did I but I did. Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone?

(Songs in my head. Blood on my hands. Hole in my chest. I'm doing just fine as a lover.)

I hadn't heard Mulder when he asked me 'how much longer?' I had instead listened to my own self serving thoughts. Believed in my own attraction. Worshiped myself.

It was that simple.

Eventually Scully and Skinner left Mulder's room and I waited until I could no longer hear the soles of their shoes on the hallway floor.

Eventually, I found myself once more staring down at the face of my only satisfying retreat.

The only times I'd felt close to anyone (even if it was almost exclusively in the physical sense), the only times I'd felt wanted, (even if it was in a resentful way), the only times I'd felt remotely a decent human being, had been with this man who'd almost died by his own hand.

By my hand. MY hand. My liability. I was culpable, if not in the legal sense, certainly in the moral, of Mulder's near death.

I'd fucked him into a corner and as much as I'd enjoyed the ride (and had imagined him enjoying it as well), I'd worn him out somewhere inside. Somehow, he couldn't handle the guilt of his actions of fucking the enemy who'd threatened his sisters life. He could no longer accept the torment of lying to his partner and lover who bore his silence with barely disguised fright.

Mulder was a prisoner of his ethics. He took a hundred swigs from that Forty-Sixer, released the safety on his Glock, and decided to take himself out of the game and end all of their miseries.

My hand was dipped in his blood just as surely as if I'd been there and pulled the trigger for him.

I fucking love him. Goddamnit, I fucking love this son-of-a-bitch. Fuck him to hell for it!

That's my biggest problem, I guess, in seeing him like this.

I can't tell you how many times in our tumultuous past I've wanted to kill him because of my love and my hatred both.

There is a fine line between the two, didn't you know? No one is so vulnerable than when their heart is tied up with another. No one is so weak, or utterly destroyed when that trust is shaken or shattered.

To love someone is to take them at their word and hope like hell they're not lying. And, really, hope like hell your heart will be able to see it if they are.

But sometimes, though, your heart lies.

See how fucked up it all is?

I hate that my arm got cut off because of him dragging me back to Russia.

I hate the power his body has over my good sense.

I love all those things too. He's a tenacious and as stubborn and as insanely determined in seeing his choices through as I am in mine.

We're a fucking right pair of animals, we are. We hate and respect each other. We'd circled around each other for years, looking for a place to strike, like a wombat and a snake.

We ended up drinking alcohol on ice and falling in bed together. Then he tries to kill himself to get away from me.

Neil Diamond described it best:

"Hows that for love on the rocks? 'Aint no surprise."

(Songs again. Christ!)

Mulder's eyes have opened. I didn't know that I'd said that last sentence aloud but I fantasize that it was not the words but because of me, my voice, my presence in the room that made him want to awaken. I secretly daydreamed that I had profoundly affected him, changed him and charged him, and now there was no going back.

I dreamed that he'd opened his eyes just for me alone to see.

Ha. Your turn to "wake up" Krycek.

But I wanted to give him a reason to live again. Some kind of gift that, if it wasn't compensatory (nothing could make up for what I've done, and I know there's a god who will someday make sure to remind me of this), an offering he can use to exchange the bloody pulp I'd made of his spirit for something fresh and living.

(It was rape. I had raped him, over and over. Mind, body, soul, spirit. What's left? I'd taken it all and figured he was okay with that.)

My hand touched his fevered chest through the hospital gown and remembered other feverish encounters in better circumstances.

I had loved fucking him. I'd loved his sound and length and solidness under me. I loved shoving my dink deep inside him and playing my fingers back and froth on his abdominal muscles, like a pianist caresses ivory keys. Those muscles were intensely erotic.

Sometimes, my favorite thing would be to lay across his back length to length (we were the same height and this made the it possible for me to touch so much more of him at once), while I moved around inside him, and then with him on his knees, I'd reach around and stroke him until he came and came, and came again.

Other times, I'd just lay on top of him and kiss his back over and over, while pumping gently, stretching the experience to its limits, to our limits, to the limits of linear time. My cock would tease his prostate and I'd listen to him breath and we'd break the barriers of the clock. Everything would still in the universe, then stop and stare at me fucking Fox Mulder, pouring myself into him until he overflowed.

The odd time, I'd hear his breath catch and release in rhythms of pleasure and knew I was where I wanted to be - should have been -all those years I tailed him (no pun intended but funny isn't it?, the expressions that come back to haunt us and, at other times, become the fore tellers of our future?!) followed and watched him, knowing it was forbidden to touch.

I was the worlds greatest fucker (Mulder would hear that last as a noun, not a verb). I was a musician paying his favorite tune on his prized instrument for all the world to hear and envy.

Those were the times I wished I had two hands.

But, even if I was reduced to using a sole wand to stroke his incredible sex, it made me a god. But I broke my instrument. Snapped the strings. Cracked the mouth piece.

Enough about my faults.

I loved loving Mulder. I imagined now, as I see him, that I'll never love anyone else the way I do him. (Maybe that's a good thing for that next, poor nameless shit out there.)

I love Mulder. Fuck me.

Enough about my dink.

Mulder was looking up at me in astonishment, weariness, (wariness?) with eyes so tired I actually almost, damned near, just about but not quite, shed a tear.

Time to give back the sacrifices he made to me just to save this woman (in reality this near total stranger) he calls his sister. Sacrifices he made in good faith to a false being who cares for no one but himself.

Time to save him. Time to show him that occasionally, even a false god knows what love is and can even demonstrate it if circumstances prod.

I put my lips to his perfect ear and whispered it:

"You're free, Mulder." I said. "You're free and Samantha will not die."

He would have to choose now, whether to close his mind to my gift or trust the words of, and I quote, 'a murderer, a coward and a liar'.

Then I kissed his cheek like I had that night I sent him off to Wiekamp, only this time he didn't turn away from my touch.

I hadn't lied then either.

"Mulder?"

Scully sat beside him on her couch watching the televison. An old Seinfeld rerun, she noticed. George the screw-up had taken a job under false pretenses and was now trying to fake his way through it. Mulder was staring at the screen as if hypnotized.

"Mulder?"

He blinked, then turned to her, "Scully?"

Mulder's therapy had been going well, but he'd told her not one scrap of what went on during the sessions. He seemed to be better. Less tense, less sad, less withdrawn into silence.

"We're okay, aren't we?"

"We're okay, Scully."

"Are you okay?"

He nodded once, then frowned, tapping his bottom lip with a finger as he often did when contemplating and interesting twist in a case.

"It's just a crisis of conscience now, Scully. What do I tell you? How much do I tell you?"

"You can tell me anything." She said with resolve.

He turned a peering gaze on her. "Are you sure about that, Scully? Maybe you won't want to hear some of what I have to tell you. Maybe some of what I have to say will be too hard."

"If we love each other, that's enough."

Suddenly Mulder laughed aloud, his head thrown back against the cushion behind his head, but then he quickly quieted and turned an apologizing face to her. "I'm sorry I did that, It doesn't mean anything."

"What are you afraid of?"

He didn't answer directly. "Have you ever loved something, Scully, so much that you did something you knew was wrong, that was absolutely the wrong thing to do even though it was vitally necessary at the time? Because if you didn't do this thing, those things you loved would be gone forever. Has that ever happened to you?"

"I think it happens to everyone of us at some point or other in our lives. Is that what you were faced with? Did you have to do something you didn't want to do but had to?"

"No." He said softly. "I did something I didn't have to do but... I did it anyway." He looked directly into her eyes that had tiny lines of worry at the edges. "And that's what I need you to forgive me for. I can't ever tell you what I did."

Scully swallowed, afraid. "Did...you kill someone, Mulder?"

He seemed to be considering her words. Someone died, he thought. For certain, one of us died. Which one?

Or was one of us reborn? Is that what the gift was?

"Yes. Someone died. And someone was saved. Someone I hope you'll be able to meet someday."

Murder, Scully thought.

She promised herself to never, ever ask him any more details than that. Perhaps some things are better left unsaid. And unknown.

Scully took his hand and closed it in her trembling ones. "So are you all r-right?"

"Yes." He smiled and said. "Maybe for the first time in my life."

It was enough that Mulder was there with her, alive and fighting for a second chance. One thing she did need to know, that the death, however it occured, the sacrafice made, whatever it was, had not been in vain. That it had been for something at least equal to its loss.

"Was it worth it?"

Mulder reached out and fingered her hair (at the same instant he felt small phantom fingers at the back of his neck twisting in his).

"Yes. Every single moment."

END