Title: Illusions of the Heart
Author: Amazon X
Feedback: Why, yes, thank you!
Category: slash, X-Files, post-colonization, angst, Krycek/Jimmy Bond, Krycek/Surprise!
Rating: Adult, what else is new?
Summary: When someone is loved so much, and someone else isn't, the unloved will do anything to BE loved.
Archive: The Topica Bunker, The Basement, Full House Slash, Gossamer, WWOMB, anyone else, ask.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never were, I have no money.
Notes: This was a fast and twisted inspiration. Some people I thought would get a kick out of this didn't think it would work and I think they'll be pleasantly surprised. Thank you Laura for helping me with the title. Thank you Aunt Ursula for the beta, I love the way you look after me! If there are any other mistakes, those were all mine in the post-beta tweak. I hope everyone likes this. If not, well, there's more "Compromised" coming eventually.
CENTRAL KANSAS, 2014
Alex Krycek lay on his back in his tent, listening to the quiet sounds of the night and the fight. The night, those were sounds of rumbling, burning, sometimes screams, sometimes gunfire. The colonists were gone, that was true, but the planet was in chaos. Back to the days of no electricity, no running water, barter systems and roving bandits. There was always a guard out, there was always a trial; there was always a hanging. Krycek was just thankful that it was never him.
Walter Skinner had been elected the magistrate of the group. He was the fairest man they knew. Fox Mulder, ever a survivor, was their leader. He and Skinner decided that they, along with the Lone Gunmen, who maintained their written records, would be the three departments of the ruling body. Just like the American government. Alex thought it was quaint how they tried to recreate their old government, when it was that same government that caused their present predicament.
There were many others that traveled with them, finding new places to camp, helping to search decimated towns for supplies and anything they couldn't find in nature to be useful. Dana Scully was a survivor; she spent her days caring for a huge group of orphans. Her son was never found and presumed dead, so she took solace in caring for the children whose parents didn't make it.
Krycek lay in his tent, waiting for his hours of guard duty. Usually he slept, but the sounds of fighting kept him awake. Screaming and yelling and finally a man being thrown to the ground caused him to roll over and look out of his tent flap. He watched Jimmy Bond brush his pants off as he got up from the dirt. It wasn't lost on Krycek that Jimmy was thrown from Yves Adele Harlow's tent, the woman Jimmy desperately wanted. They were all older, much older, but Yves still would not allow Jimmy too deeply into her life.
Oh, she slept with him, but she didn't commit to him. Skinner was the one to perform all the marriages in the community and Krycek knew he was anxiously awaiting the Harlow-Bond ceremony. She was very independent. Krycek had shared a few guard sessions with her, and a recon mission or two. While he was impressed with her skill and bravery, he didn't understand why she wouldn't commit to Jimmy. The boy was just as kind as could be. Everyone loved him. He played with the children, helped Scully with the sick neighbors, and managed to bag some huge deer to feed their tribe. He was the perfect mate. Krycek only wished the kid was gay.
Jimmy stood and started walking away. Krycek took his cue and stood from his pallet and exited his tent, stretching in the red glow of the setting sun. The warm Kansas days of late spring led to chilly nights, but you'd never know it from the way Krycek walked around in just his boxer shorts. He watched as Jimmy walked toward him and stopped where he stood. The boy was just beautiful.
"Hey, Alex, you're up late," Jimmy said. The smile from his mouth was mirrored perfectly in his bright blue eyes.
"Late? The sun just set. It's not that late."
"Aren't you on watch tonight?" he asked, cocking his head to the side. The kid was good. He remembered the schedule like it was tattooed on his eyelids.
"Yeah, but there was some yelling and screaming that woke me up," Krycek said with a smile. Jimmy actually blushed and smiled.
"Yeah, she tossed me out. She thinks I'm too over protective and clingy." The boy's face fell. Krycek laughed inwardly continuing to think of Jimmy as a boy when he was in his late thirties. For that matter, Krycek calculated he was about fifty himself. He didn't want to imagine how old Skinner was. Nor Frohike either.
"I know, I heard. You wanna talk about it? Get it off your chest?" Krycek asked, putting a hand on Jimmy's shoulder. He tilted his head to the side, looking up into Jimmy's face. The boy was starting to crack. His lips quivered and Krycek knew what was coming next. "Come on, kid, get in that tent. A man can cry anytime he wants, but no one should see it. Especially not in these times." Krycek didn't see Skinner standing across the camp watching him lead Jimmy into the small tent.
Jimmy sat heavily on Krycek's bedroll and hid his face in his hand. Krycek rummaged in his pack and pulled out the bottle of Jack Daniels he kept for medicinal purposes. If keeping the big man-child from breaking down in tears wasn't good medicine, nothing was. "Here, Jim, take a sip of this. It'll settle you."
He drank a good mouthful and swallowed, not flinching as Krycek figured he would. The kid was tougher than he thought. "Jim?" the younger man asked.
"You called me 'Jim'. Not 'Jimmy' like everyone else. Why?" Another sip and the sob was gone from his voice.
"'Jimmy' is a boy's name. You're a man. You deserve a man's name." Krycek took the bottle back from Jimmy and took a heavy gulp. "This stuff gets better with age. Want more?" Krycek held the bottle out.
"No. I'm not used to it. Making me dizzy." Krycek laughed.
"Have more. Dizzy is better than sad, isn't it?" Krycek said, laughing and handing back the bottle. Jimmy drank deeply this time and let a huge belch out. "Good man!" Krycek proclaimed as he drank and belched himself. Both men laughed heartily.
Silence reigned for a while until Jimmy looked over at Krycek and asked, "What am I gonna do? She hates me. Threw me out. And she knows I don't have anywhere else to stay. I gave my tent to Scully for the children."
"OK, OK, relax, Jimmy. You can stay here in my tent with me. I'm going on watch in a few hours, you'll have the place to yourself." Jimmy nodded and smiled.
"You're a good man, Alex. People say you're just here to survive, but, I've seen you with the kids." There was a slur in Jimmy's speech. Nothing overt, but Krycek's attuned ear caught it. The boy must not have had anything to eat for a while.
"You're drunk, Jim," Krycek said, taking a last sip and putting the bottle away. "Calling me a good man is akin to blasphemy in this camp."
"Well, then fine, but this is nice of you, Alex. Really nice. Thanks." Jimmy gave him a little smile then lay back on the bedroll.
Krycek wasn't a stupid man. Here was the all American boy, the captain of the football team, the home coming king. He was what Krycek once wanted to be, someone that everyone liked and wanted to have around. Someone that everyone loved. He crawled over to lie beside Jimmy and put his head on the strong shoulder.
"I don't know why Scully won't let you help with the kids. They all want you to read them another story. You do the scary voices the best," Jimmy said, sounding more like he was eight.
"Scully thinks I murdered her sister, or had something to do with it."
"Did you?" The request was honest, just information wanted, nothing more.
"No. The truth is, I have a big reputation for being an assassin and I've only killed one man for no other reason than I was told. And that was a good reason."
Krycek laughed. The small oil lantern in the corner sent light and shadows over the ceiling of the tent. It wasn't tall, both men had to crawl inside it, but it was big enough for the two men to lay comfortably. Krycek didn't have to share with anyone, so he usually spread his bedroll out in the middle of the tent and had room to spare. The larger tents were used for the meeting room, the kitchen, and the children. The largest tent, recovered from a decimated carnival, was used for the hospital. Thankfully, it only housed about six children suffering from tonsillitis. Scully regretted that she couldn't flavor the medicine she'd made for them, but they were recovering nicely.
"Bill Mulder was not his biological father. And from what I heard, he was pretty abusive toward Teena and Mulder after he gave Samantha away. I did them and the world a favor by killing him."
Jimmy sat up and looked down at Krycek. "You really believe killing a man is doing anyone a favor?"
Krycek sat up to face his accuser. The kid was beautiful, all right, with full lips, high cheekbones, wide, clear eyes and his teeth were still white and even, none missing. His body was strong, solid with great expanses of hairless tanned skin. He was taller than Krycek, and that made the older man look down the firm body to the long, sturdy legs. If only Jimmy would undress.
"Jim, sometimes, people just need killing. Bill Mulder was prepared to kill his son. That night, he was going to tell Mulder the whole story, then report that his son knew everything and had to be taken out. He knew Mulder wasn't his natural son, which is why Samantha was given to the project. And Spender had already given his wife to the project."
"That's the cigarette man, right?"
"Yep. No one uses his name, but me, anymore. Anyway, I killed Bill Mulder, on the Englishman's orders, to keep Mulder alive and keep the project going until the vaccine could be developed. That's why we all survived the culling. Anyone else, mostly the military, who had what they thought was a "top secret anthrax vaccine," really got the alien vaccine. The general public, of course, suffered. And the wonderful American government decided that no other country deserved the vaccine, so they kept it a secret. Now, the survivors are spread so widely, there's no effective way to police it all. And here we are. You see, Jim, nothing is perfect."
Jimmy nodded and sighed. Then he turned a thoughtful expression to Krycek. "Why did you join the project in the first place?"
Krycek gave a sad smile to the boy. "I thought that I could help avoid all of this...chaos. I wanted to be a hero, you know? Spender made it all sound so patriotic. My parents came here from Russia where they lived in abject poverty. They sold everything, including my mother's long, raven hair, to travel here. They were homeless and hungry when they left Russia. But here, there was a chance. There were some opportunities, but not many. I was the hope of the family, to be successful and bring the rest of our family over. And...in the end, my parents died while I was a young green agent, both of a very mysterious viral infection."
A hand was laid on Krycek's shoulder. "The project killed them, huh? I'm sorry."
"What about you, big guy? What about your family?" Krycek needed to divert the subject from his family. It still hurt after all those years.
"My parents we both born in Omaha, Nebraska, high school sweethearts and they married right away. My dad got a job with Prudential Insurance after he graduated from college with a business degree, and they lived happily. Had me. And then we all moved to Commack, Long Island when I was in high school, since they transferred my dad, and I stayed there, going to college and teaching football..."
"To the blind guys, I know. I heard all about that." Krycek lay back on the bedding.
Jimmy looked guilty for a moment. "Sorry, I tell that story a lot, don't I?" Jimmy lay beside the older man.
"Good lesson in it. Nothing's impossible. Shows you have heart, you got faith. Some of us would give anything to have that back."
Both men were quiet for a moment when the sound of lovemaking floated to them on the light wind that blew the dust about the camp. Krycek could tell it was Mulder and Scully. Krycek smiled. "Well, Scully forgave Mulder for taking up my cause the other day."
"Huh?" Jimmy looked over questioningly. Krycek made a mental note to keep this expression etched in his brain forever, along with the wide-mouthed smile Jimmy gave, showing all of his perfect teeth.
"Oh, Scully made a comment that I wasn't setting a good example for the children when I would take apart and put my rifle back together blindfolded and make them time me. They were all sick as dogs in bed, and it was something to entertain them. Mulder noted that the same rifle had once kept her from being raped and murdered by some roving freaks. And she just walked away with a harrumph."
"You saved her life? Really? That's..."
"Nice of me?"
Jimmy laughed and nodded.
"I would save anyone's life here. We need everyone to continue on as a community. I wouldn't have survived if I were alone. I owe everyone here. So...whatever."
Krycek could only conclude that Jimmy was being bold and friendly when he rolled on top of Krycek and hugged the man tightly. Krycek and Skinner once discussed the boy and concluded he was the human equivalent to a Golden Retriever puppy, big, loving, smart, but uneducated. And he was learning rapidly, in leaps and bounds daily yet always maintained that dimly lit attitude, disarming people into a false sense of security around him. And the boy never thought to use it to his advantage. He just enjoyed surprising people that he was, in fact, highly intelligent.
Unable to control himself, Krycek hugged back, squeezing Jimmy as tightly as he was squeezed. "You're a good guy, Alex. Dana'll learn that."
Jimmy leaned up on his elbows, still fully covering Krycek's body with his own. Where they touched seared Krycek as if Jimmy was made of fire. It didn't matter that the boy was completely clothed, Krycek was sufficiently undressed for them both. He only hoped Jimmy felt the stirring of his groin. As if Jimmy read Alex's mind, a shocked expression came over Jimmy's face. He reminded Krycek of a virgin who'd inadvertently encouraged his lover and had no clue what to do next. Krycek felt Jimmy start to pull away.
"No, Jimmy, relax, it's OK. I won't...do anything to you. Please, don't let me go right now."
And that boy did have a heart of gold, and just lay back down, putting his full body weight on Krycek, holding the man tightly. Then Jimmy made his biggest mistake and pressed his cheek to Krycek's. It touched the older man so deeply; he couldn't hold back the small sob that escaped his throat. Jimmy turned immediate and saw the reddening around the deep emerald eyes of his bedmate. "You OK, Alex?" he asked, but didn't pull away.
"It's been a really long time since anyone's touched me like this, Jim. It feels so good, I don't want to let go." It wasn't in Krycek's nature to be so open and frank about his feelings, but it had been over a decade that anyone had touched him with any kind of emotion other than hate. And paying a hustler to bend over for him didn't count.
Jimmy put his cheek back, ensuring Krycek felt the scratch of his beard. Krycek's face had a naturally soft beard, and he'd let a faint goatee grow in. Jimmy shaved every day, when he could get razors. The men in the camp all didn't have the same habits. Skinner had been taught to shave with a straight razor, and kept his sharp enough to stay smooth and be deadly.
After a few moments, Jimmy leaned up on his elbows and kept looking down at Krycek. It was too much, too powerful. Krycek could not help himself. Jimmy's lips were ripe, red, full and moist. Surely, just one kiss wasn't a crime. Jimmy didn't move at first, when Krycek pressed his lips to the pair looming above him. It was a soft, closed-mouth kiss, and Krycek almost thought he felt Jimmy respond. When the boy pulled back and looked down, Krycek almost feared for his life. The kid was big and strong, and, even with the regenerated arm, Krycek feared he might come out the worse for wear in a tussle.
"What are you doing?" Jimmy asked. There was no accusation, no anger, just inquiry. Krycek almost didn't know how to handle it.
He turned his head and mumbled, "Sorry, Jim."
"Well, I mean...." Jimmy moved off Krycek to lie beside him again on the bedroll and just stared at the ceiling. "I'm not...like that, you know? I know you are, and all..."
"I'm gay, Jim, you can say it." Shame colored Krycek's face red, and though no one could see it, he felt the heat in his cheeks and scalp.
"Well, yeah, I mean, we all know and everything. And I'm not afraid of you, but...I'm...I feel close to you, but...this isn't coming out right."
"I know what you mean, Jim. You don't have sex with guys. It's just been a really long time for me, since anyone's been this close. I'm sorry." The last was almost a whisper, but Jimmy heard it.
"It's OK. You kiss good. Like I said, I'm not afraid of you. I...uh...had a guy once...you know..."
"Blow you? Lemme guess, playing as boys in, like, grade school. Everybody does that. Doesn't make you gay."
There was an uncomfortable silence. Jimmy rolled to the side and looked at Krycek, which caused Krycek to turn toward the blonde man. "Why do you like guys?"
Krycek laughed. "Why do you like girls? Itís just how we are. One thing gay men learn early in life is, straight guys are a dry well. So, all the guys here are safe." There was that uncomfortable silence again.
"Is it like...the same as with a girl? I mean...the...uh..."
Jimmy was taking big risks, asking his questions. This was the man that Krycek respected. He may be stumbling over the words in embarrassment, but he genuinely wanted to understand the feelings behind what Krycek felt, and Krycek knew that. He knew Jimmy wasn't making fun of him, but trying to get closer to his friend.
"The anal sex? I've been told yes. I've only slept with one woman, and she wouldn't let me. So, I can only say, from what other lovers have told me, it's very similar. You taking notes?"
Jimmy laughed. Seeing the lines around his eyes deepen slightly was like seeing joy come live. Jimmy knew how to be happy, how to have inner peace, even when times were tough, even when his woman cast him aside. He stayed happy. And he would always be so. Krycek wanted that happy, wanted the love bestowed upon the boy, wanted just a taste, a little piece. Even for a few hours.
"I just...wanted to know is all."
"It's OK Jim, I know. I could...I could never hope to even think of...it's just not...I'm not your type, even if I were a girl, huh?" Again, Krycek turned away, to blink away the tears.
"You'd be surprised at how alike you and Yves really are. Both of us respect your dedication to the community and how little emotional reward you get for your efforts. And you know, I love you, Alex. Like my brother, man."
"Thanks, Jim. Same here." There was silence again, and Jimmy surprised Krycek by rolling back over and kissing the man again. Not letting an opportunity pass, both of Krycek's hands came up to gently hold Jimmy's face, to allow his mouth to open and his tongue to explore. The two men pulled apart and Jimmy quickly looked away.
"Is that what you wanted?" he asked, quietly, unsure.
"Jim, look, this is not...don't do this out of pity. It's not your bag. It's OK. You can go to sleep and I won't touch you, I promise."
There was a pause while Jimmy seemed to think it over. Then he said, "You said it was just like with a woman, right?"
Krycek looked around nervously then back up to Jimmy. "You wanna top me? Seriously?"
"I...uh..." Before another word could be uttered, Krycek dove in swiftly, kissing Jimmy again and rolling him onto his back. He kept his weight on one arm while caressing Jimmy's face and chest with the free hand, all the while gently kissing the man. To his surprise, Jimmy put his arms around him again and caressed him, keeping it to his back and shoulders.
When finally they pulled apart, Krycek asked one last time, "Are sure about this, Jim?"
Jimmy took Krycek's hand and put it on his erection. Both men smiled. He reached behind him into his pack and pulled out a jar of Vaseline, handing it to Jimmy. "Ok, um...what do I..."
"Just like a girl, man. Grease yourself up." Krycek shimmied out of his boxer shorts, and rolled onto his stomach. For the first time in a while, he wished he still had pillows, to shove under his hips, but he'd given them all to the hospital, knowing the kids and sick folks needed them a lot more than he did. He heard Jimmy unzipping his pants, but nothing more. It didn't matter; this wasn't a seduction.
Krycek relaxed as soon as he felt the hot head of Jimmy's cock pressing on him. He was tight and it would burn, and did. Slow going for Jimmy, he rocked slowly forward, a little at a time until he bottomed out inside Krycek's ass. He lay forward, draping himself across Krycek's back, leaning on his elbows for leverage. The scratch of Jimmy's zipper on his ass was distracting. Once upon a time, it would have been exciting. Krycek spread his legs as wide as he could and felt Jimmy begin to move again.
It wasn't quite pain, but it didn't feel as good as he wanted it to. Jimmy was deceptively silent, making the quietest grunts as he pumped. Krycek just pressed his face into his folded arms and waited. And when Jimmy's cock glanced across his prostate, he saw stars and the pleasure took over immediately.
It didn't last long. Jimmy thrust quickly to completion while Krycek reached down to stroke himself to orgasm. Afterward, they lay together, catching their breaths. Jimmy placed a last, gentle kiss on Krycek's cheek before moving off to the side. "Hey, do you have something..."
"Grab the t-shirt that's laying there. It needs to go to laundry, anyway." Krycek heard the rustle of Jimmy's clothes and the telltale zip of his pants. Krycek just lay there, feeling Jimmy's semen trickling from his body, and not moving, not breaking the magic of the moment. They both heard the scream clearly.
Two heads turned toward the closed flap of the tent. Then came a loud, female wail.
"Jimmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" cried Yves in the night air, sobbing twice. Jimmy spared a glance for Krycek before taking off into the camp toward her tent. She stumbled out to meet him and gladly allowed him to wrap her in his arms. From his tent, Krycek watched as Jimmy hugged her, cradled her in his arms like a child. He could barely hear their words, but it was helpful that he could read lips.
"Are you OK, Yves?"
"I dreamt someone had murdered you, while we were on patrol. He raped me beside your dead body. I just...lost it."
"It's OK. I'm alive, I'm fine. You can calm down."
There was a pause then Yves looked up at Jimmy, tears streaming down her face and she said, "I stink of fear. Let's go shower and go to bed, OK?"
Sadly, Krycek watched, silently, as they disappeared to the latrine tent where a shower had been rigged up. They put up the occupied sign and Krycek had to turn away. He lay on his back after closing the flap of his tent and finally allowed himself the luxury of tears. Tears cried for his honor, lost so easily so long ago. Tears for the lives that slipped through his fingers, which he should have saved, would have saved, if he could. And finally, tears for the lonely life ahead of him, being tolerated instead of welcomed. He drifted into a fitful sleep for his last few hours before guard duty.
Right on time, freshly washed and dressed, Krycek walked to the post he would stand that night. He was a little surprised when Skinner joined him, rifle in hand.
"What are you doing here, old man?" Krycek asked, trying to keep a playful lilt in his voice.
"Old man? I'll take you down any day of the week, boy. Just figured I should keep myself sharp. Mind if I walk patrol with you?" Skinner's gaze didn't waver. Krycek nodded tightly.
Skinner was older, yes. The gray had finally found his eyebrows. You could see them easier since Jeremiah Smith had fixed his eyes. Skinner counted that as a blessing, he had perfect vision. His hair was completely gone, but Krycek liked that. The lines around his eyes were deeper, as well as the ones in his forehead, but Krycek didn't see any of that. If he were honest with himself, he'd admit to himself that he'd loved Skinner since he'd seen the man. Krycek preferred the lie.
The men walked the perimeter of camp and sat on a log at the forest's edge, listening to the night sounds. They hadn't had any trouble in quite a while, and they were confident this night would be the same. Yet, one could never be too careful.
"I saw you and Jimmy go into your tent, Krycek," Skinner said, none too smoothly.
"So?" Krycek asked, very bristly and not appreciative of the intrusion on his private life.
"So, he's straight."
"Let me take you back to the 1980s a moment, Walter. No duh." Krycek felt particularly pleased with that jibe, but kept it from his face.
"Don't get caught up in that. He loves that girl. Deeply. You need to find someone who's like you."
Krycek let himself laugh at Skinner's words, albeit quietly. "We haven't met any adults that want to join our community in months. It may be years before I come across another gay man. We may never come across one that wants to fuck me. So, if I have one last shag with someone who actually gives a shit about me, whether it's just as a friend or whatever, what business is it of yours?"
Skinner grabbed Krycek around the bicep and pulled until the younger man turned toward him. His grip was still iron-strong. "It's my business in that I've been waiting to marry those two for a while. Don't fuck it up."
The weariness of the fight, and the life, made its presence known in Krycek's moss-green eyes, showing Skinner how tired he really was. "He left me for her, and I know better than to go after him, Skinner. It's OK. This was just once. It was a really long time since I'd been kissed is all."
"He more than kissed you, boy. I heard it. And believe me, I know how long it's been. It's been longer for me."
Krycek looked over at Skinner as if seeing him for the first time, looking at him with new eyes. A big hand, one that was still strong, yet showing it's age with gray hair and dark spots, reached out and stroked Krycek's cheek. The kiss was something from movies, eyes flicking down to lips then back up. Their lips met softly and Krycek melted into Skinner's arms, floating on the high of the kiss. The men held each other a while, listening carefully for any sounds, but also listening to each other's hearts beat.
"What does this mean, Walter?" Krycek was open to whatever Skinner wanted. He didn't care, so long as someone would finally treat him with kindness.
"It means that probably after patrol, Iíll need a nap. But I'd like it if you would join me. Even to just sleep beside me. If that's..."
"Yes," Krycek said quickly, then smiled at the big man. His smile had yellowed a bit, most likely from the extra strong coffee since they had toothpaste, but he knew his smile wasn't what it once was. Several fights had cracked one or two in the front. He'd have to ask Yves to cut the matted dreadlocks from his hair as well. There was a reason now. Even as just a companion.
"There's something I should tell you, Alex," Skinner said, quietly. Krycek didn't know if he could listen to anything knowing that there was a person who wanted his company. The sound of his given name rolling from Skinner's tongue was like the sound of honey dripping. "Alex...it doesn't...work all the time. I'm an old man. He works...when he wants. You'll have to be patient with me."
"I don't care," Krycek said. "If we never fuck, it's fine. As long as you keep kissing me like that, I'll be fine." Krycek smiled again. If he came across Smith again, he'd make the man repair his teeth.
"Oh, I'll make love to you, Alex. I plan on that. You'll just have to be patient with me."
With another quick kiss, the men returned to their patrol. When the sun came up, and the new patrol took over, they made their way to Skinner's tent. And closed the flap behind them.
Dedicated to Amy and Erynn
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