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16 April 2008 @ 12:00 pm
Ch. 2.  
Title: A Blithe Uncertainty
Chapter: 2/?
Author: inlaterdays
Rating: PG-13 for language
Characters: Mulder, Krycek, Scully
Pairing: none in this part
Words: ~1300
Genre: Post-series casefile.
Disclaimer: Not mine not mine not mine.
Summary/Author’s Note: Yeah, it's probably going to get slashy.





The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement.
But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.

- Niels Bohr


Mulder pulled at his lower lip in thought, watching Krycek's sleeping form. There's an assassin in my guest bed. At least, I think there is.

At last, unable to contain his curiosity, he sat down on the bed, leaned over carefully, and ran his fingers over the other man's forehead. There was a small scar in the center, right where - but that was impossible - and a tiny dip underneath the skin, as if the bone had re-knit itself.

People don't just get better from a bullet to the head, Mulder thought. Still...if it wasn't Krycek, why a scar in the same location?

Beyond curious now, Mulder undid the top button of Krycek's shirt, carefully pushing it and the undershirt down on the left side. Scully had untucked the shirts from the waistband of Krycek's jeans in order to suture and bandage the wound, so he hadn't gotten a good look at that arm.

And there, right below the shoulder, was a seam. Not quite a scar, not raised or puckered, just a join. An uneven demarcation line, below which the skin became paler and smoother, and appeared to continue that way for as far down as Mulder could see.

No way, Mulder thought. There's just - no way. He brushed his fingertips over the paler area - definitely warm and human; not even the most clever and sophisticated prosthetic could feel like that, could have a pulse or get goosebumps. He suddenly became aware that he was being watched from a vantage point a few inches away from his face. Dammit, the guy could be quiet as a cat. It was unnerving.

Mulder sat up, shaking the bed, making Krycek wince. "I was just - "

"Molesting me in my sleep?" His voice still sounded rough and ragged.

"NO," Mulder said loudly.

"Then why are you taking my clothes off?"

"Your arm." Mulder folded his arms, flushing, though whether with anger or embarrassment, Krycek couldn't tell. "You've got - where do you get off having a left arm again?"

Krycek's mobile features shifted as thoughts, none of them pleasant, flitted across his mind. A crease formed at the bridge of his nose, and Mulder hated himself for finding it almost welcome in its familiarity. Nobody but Krycek could look so much like Krycek. Could they?

"I'll tell you," Krycek said, finally, "But I need to sleep first, okay?"

"Yeah. Sure."

"And stop touching me."

Mulder stood up in a rush, peeved. "No problem there. Just wait till you need help changing your bandages."

"I just don't want you going through my pockets again," he said, and as Mulder opened his mouth to issue an angry denial, "I'd have done it too - it's a practical precaution. I could tell you you've already got everything but you wouldn't believe me. It just hurts like hell after you roll me around. You don't have the lightest touch." Krycek closed his eyes and sank back against the pillows.

"You're welcome for saving your life." I think.

Krycek opened his eyes again, briefly. "Hey, thanks."

Dammit, he can still push my buttons without even trying, Mulder thought angrily, balling his fists. Or is he trying? I can never tell. Not to mention spiking his guns. He had been planning to give Krycek's clothes the once-over once more - the twice-over - after he fell asleep again, but now Krycek would tell Scully and Scully would scold him, and whose life was this, anyway? All that came out was, "It's my house," inanely.

He slammed the door behind him, then opened it again as he realized that Scully had told him to call her the next time Krycek woke. "Don't snore," he ordered, leaving the door cracked. He stalked off to the living room and the comfort of DVDs - which he'd have to watch with the sound turned down - in high dudgeon. He'd have to content himself with going through Krycek's jacket pockets five more times.

~ ~ ~


It was dark by the time Mulder heard a cough from the spare room. He'd spent the day watching movies he was unable to focus his attention on, trying and failing to work on the computer, staring at Krycek through the door, and pacing around the house, his thoughts churning.

He leaped off the couch and went to stand at the guest bedroom door again.

"Miss me?" Krycek asked when he entered.

"No. I hate you." God. I sound like I'm ten, Mulder thought, but it was said so matter-of-factly that Krycek looked as though he had been struck. "Yeah, well, the feeling's mutual," he muttered. "I'm thirsty."

"I'll get you some water." Mulder left, found a clean glass and filled it from the tap, and returned to find his guest struggling to sit up in bed.

"Here." Mulder set the glass down, doubled up the pillows; tried to pull Krycek into a sitting position.

"Ow! Quit yanking on me."

"I wasn't yanking. I was helping."

"Could've fooled me. Have a heart, I've just been shot."

"You've been through worse."

A spasm of pain passed across Krycek's face at that, and Mulder felt a twinge of regret, finally, despite himself. "Hey, look, I'm - "

"Forget it." Krycek had levered himself up, and was now reaching toward the bedside table. "Little help here, maybe?"

"What?"

"Water."

"Oh." Mulder thrust it at him spilling some in the process, which elicited a tiny smile from the patient.

"Your bedside manner could use some work."

Mulder just stared. Krycek could practically hear the mental gears turning.

"So are you going to tell me - " he started, finally, once the water glass had been set down.

"Yeah. I said I would." Krycek heaved a sigh. He hoped he could get through this without setting Mulder off again, but it wasn't going to be easy. "Remember the nanites? The ones Skinner had?"

"The ones you used to - "

" - torture him with? Yeah, those. I was infected with them too; that is, I don't know if they were identical, but the principle was the same."

"Are you trying to tell me that someone else was pulling your strings?"

"No. Not exactly. Look, just let me finish, okay? Anyway, someone's always been pulling all of our strings, or trying to - usually more than one someone; and if you don't realize that..." Krycek favored him with a look so direct and open that this time Mulder flinched.

"I believe in personal responsibility."

"So do I, believe it or not. I also believe we never know everything that's going on.

"Anyway. These nanites can do much more than just cause pain and suffering. They can stimulate bone and tissue growth, even repair neural pathways. Though it takes a long time, and the process isn't exactly comfortable."

Mulder wasn't buying it. "That still doesn't explain - " he began, when his pocket buzzed.

"You have your cell phone set on vibrate?" Krycek cocked an eyebrow.

Mulder glared. "I didn't want to wake you up; excuse me for being thoughtful."

He fished it out. "Yeah."

"Mulder, it's me. Has he woken up yet?"

"Just now."

"You were right. There's something very odd about this bullet. And there's something else; I'm not sure if it's related or not. I think you need to see this; I'm coming back over." Scully broke the connection. Mulder sat and stared at the man in the bed, who was now gazing impassively at the bedclothes.
 
 
 
Griva: Mulder I dont gaze at Krycekgriva_x on April 16th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
Owh, so...what must Mulder see immediately? /is intrigued/

"Miss me?" Krycek asked when he entered.
"No. I hate you." God. I sound like I'm ten, Mulder thought.
Heh, I think it's not the first time in my memory when Mulder sounds like'a child. ;)

And OWH, I bet Krycek, even wounded looks SWELL with a whole arm!

And Krycek telling Mulder he'd have gone through his pockets too... our Kryceks are the same, aren't they?

Byw, I've got some critique that in SWSS my guys banter too much. But what I LOVE in your fic (and in general that's how I view Krycek), he's a guy whose word must be the last. He'd shoot remarks at you till you're done in. Of course on the show he's very laconic, sulking in the shadows. But it's just a pretense.
LID: krycek nameinlaterdays on April 16th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
I agree with you - I think Krycek definitely shows flashes of a desire to get the last word in - early on, when he's in the car with Mulder in Ascension, later on when he's trying to get Mulder to tell him stuff, and still later, when he's going off verbally in front of the Consortium and CSM goes, "Alex, enough!" He does it with Skinner, too. It's just that people usually shut him up and then he goes back to skulking and seething.

At least that's how I see it :)
Claudia: Mulder's a bad asslunakitten on April 16th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
I like the nanites as a reason for Krycek to be alive- it seems the most plausible excuse.
That said, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't trust him- but you can't help it, as Mulder knows.
I'm really enjoying this- thanks for sharing it. I don't know that I've ever been around for a fic-in-progress, so I'm really excited to see this unfold.
LID: krycek half faceinlaterdays on April 16th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm really glad you're enjoying it :)
bitter_crimson on April 16th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
I loved it again! For some reason, this line was my favorite:

Krycek opened his eyes again, briefly. "Hey, thanks."

I could just picture and hear it perfectly in my mind, IDK. And it reminded me of Mulder's same line in "The Red and the Black," haha.

I love all the little scars form where he's been healed! And the nanites! You're brilliant. I am so excited for the next part. And especially for when it finally turns slashy. (Haha, I'm so shallow.)
LID: krycek looking sidewaysinlaterdays on April 16th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
That is exactly the reference I was making!

And thanks. :)
(Deleted comment)
LID: mmmmmmmmmulderrrrrrrrrrinlaterdays on April 16th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Aw thanks, monj :)
Stefaniestefanie_bean on April 16th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
Awww, two arms - the better to squeeze you with, Fox my dear ... ; )

Very nice pacing, too.
LID: krycek alex krycekinlaterdays on April 17th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
Thanks :) And yes, this is true, about the squeezing.
seagray: MKseagray on April 17th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
I love the Bohr quote! A perfect reflection of XF, imo. And, a hint from you? :D Your story is unfolding very smoothly, the voices are really M & K.

"And stop touching me." Had me thinking of Tunguska. I like that deja vu feeling.

Ah, the nanos. An interesting twist! Wanna know what Scully found!

LID: krycek looking forwardinlaterdays on April 17th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
Thanks :D

I probably reference show lines too much, but there was never enough Krycek screen time, and I rewatch those eps a lot.

I'm glad you like the quote! I am a compulsive quote-hoarder. Fic gives me an excuse to use a bunch of XFish ones.

Thank you, about the voices. I wasn't so happy with this chapter, but I'm hoping the next one will pick up a bit.
Amandasweety167 on April 17th, 2008 05:23 am (UTC)
Oh joy! I've started to miss Krycek, so this is fun. And I love your plot-logic. Very sharp.
deathwatchlove on April 21st, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
You write Krycek very well. I can hear him in my head when I read this. I like your banter, too. Banter was always one of my favourite parts of the show.
thandiethandie on June 8th, 2008 10:30 am (UTC)
Just came here from Olga's rec.
Ehm, I've not read a MK fic in AGES (and never a new one, I always end up reading the same old ones I know), but I really must admit I love this one. You have such a refreshing narrative...and good balance between dialogue and inner thoughts.
and this:
"Ow! Quit yanking on me."
"I wasn't yanking. I was helping."
made me laugh. I like that your Mulder is a hyperactive, curious, pissy 10 years old and your Krycek is the enigmatic killer in the bed that takes offence on the petty 'I hate you' that Mulder throws at him. I think it's the kind of characterization I love more :)
They are SO in love.
LID: nick lea smileinlaterdays on June 8th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! :)

Thanks - and thanks for reminding me that I really need to finish this fic!
Griva: OT kissgriva_x on June 10th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
Like HELL you need to finish it!

I will even forgive you if they don't have sex.
But NO, they MUST have sex because it will make Mulder remember that *noone* does him as good as Krycek!
LID: i'll ship whom i please dammitinlaterdays on June 10th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much as always for the encouragement!

And it's true. M/K forever.
Griva: Dean demongriva_x on June 10th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Heh. You take my word that Mulder will *always* be on Krycek's mind, even if he's with such a pretty face as Dean.

I even planned (much much later) a scene in SWSS when Dean (with his own expertise) learns *something* about a certain Fox Mulder and asks a couple of question to Kryckek the latter is oh so reluctant to answer because... he was in love with Muder, and he'd rather die than tell it to Dean. But Dean's not a fool. He realizes that K is not SO tough as he want to look...

Ah poor, angty boys.
LID: dean has a peninlaterdays on June 10th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, oh, oh. I can't wait!! This sounds amazing!
Griva: Dean cocksuckinggriva_x on June 10th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, you'll have to wait for a long time. But...it might happen. SWSS certainly has tons of potential to go on and on for long....
ib_ratstruck: Nickib_ratstruck on August 23rd, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
Wheeeeeee!
I'm finally starting to catch up!
I can't tell you how tiring it is to be jumping up and down with glee 1) to be reading this 2) to be picturing this and 3) to be anticipating more!

"Miss me?" Krycek asked when he entered.
Just to show you my state of mind, I seriously misread this as "Kiss me?" I was all... "What?" Not that I'd mind, of course. :D

I'm loving this, Lid! Are you still planning on a 3rd chapter? *hopes* I'm usually not too fond of a Krycek who gets his arm back, though it never lessens my enjoyment much at all when he does, but it really works here even for me, as it initially seals that 'This ISN'T Krycek!' denial that Mulder is going through.

So now, I demand more. What about the bullet?

THANKS FOR WRITING!
{almost breaks your rib hugging you}
LIDinlaterdays on August 23rd, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Wheeeeeee!
I feel so guilty for not working on this since April. :(

I promise I will do so!

Did I miss a chapter of yours? I got way behind on my reading and spent yesterday happily getting caught up on the drabbles comm, but I think I missed some other things people posted. :/
ib_ratstruckib_ratstruck on August 23rd, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Wheeeeeee!
Um, maybe the last part (4)? There is no comment from you. I think it was in the middle of the new Dragonspam hooplah. :D

It is here: http://ib-ratstruck.livejournal.com/tag/ratastrophe

I will occasionally poke you with my pointy stick until you keep your promise about finishing A Blithe Uncertainty
LID: krycek half faceinlaterdays on August 23rd, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Wheeeeeee!
Thank you!! I did miss that post. Off to read :D
ib_ratstruck: LJ Gnomeib_ratstruck on August 23rd, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Ooops!
I SWEAR I linked to the chapter! But oh well, that'll get you there too. :/

Blame it on the Gnome...
Ursula4x: M/Kursula4x on November 2nd, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
This just left a smile on my face. I love the childish bluster between the men. It's perfect.

Great story. I have been the queen of procrastination for almost two years so I can't moan about lack of updates. Still, it's a great one. I love great dialog and you have wonderful dialog here.
LID: m&k eyesex 5inlaterdays on November 2nd, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Your words and your good writing example are inspiring me :)