Nicotine Bliss And The Road Not Taken
by Kelly Keil
From: "Kelly" <email@example.com>
Subject: [glass_onion] FIC: (XF) Nicotine Bliss and the Road Not Taken (1/1) by Kelly Keil Date: Friday, June 14, 2002 7:51 PM
TITLE: Nicotine Bliss And The Road Not Taken AUTHOR: Kelly Keil
DISCLAIMER: CC, Fox, 1013, and such can bite my ass. SPOILERS: None to worry about
CATEGORY: V, A, H Marita/Krycek with overtones of slash and even a dash of MSR
SUMMARY: Cigarettes and surveillance
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story takes place somewhere in the murky depths of the series after 2F/1S and before Requiem. I don't completely follow canon, but then, neither did the show's writers. More notes at the end.
They sit together in a darkened room, with Marita lounging on the old sofa and him perched uncomfortably on a folding chair, waiting for the antics across the street to get interesting. To pass the time, they talk, trading bullshit without the need for thought, the patterns of their speech like a worn sweater or broken-in shoes. Sometimes they lie and sometimes they tell the truth. Part of the game is to figure out which is which. They have been playing this game for a very long time.
"What do you see in him?" Rita asks, lighting a cigarette. For a moment, her face is lit like the glowing coral cameo pendant that his mother always wore.
He lets out a small laugh. "Give me a cigarette and maybe I'll tell you."
She looks up, brows raised, and inhales a lungful of tar and carcinogens and delicious nicotine. "I thought you quit."
"I changed my mind."
She shrugs and tosses pack and lighter his way. They arc gracefully; she has never thrown like a girl.
He extracts a cigarette, lights it, and breathes in acrid manna. It's been too long. He throws the pack and lighter back and she catches each with ease, despite the lit cigarette gripped loosely between two fingers of her right hand.
"Well?" she asks, taking another deep drag of smoke and nicotine.
Because of the darkness, he can only see her face when she brings the cigarette to her mouth. In its faint light he can see the woman she will become years from now, if she lives that long. She seems so fragile in the red glow.
He struggles with an answer. "He smells good," he finally says.
She chokes on her laughter. "You're shitting me, Alex. I don't believe that."
It's true, though. Mulder's scent is full of danger and sex, need and want. Krycek has never been able to resist it. Not from the very beginning. Apparently, however, this isn't enough of a reason for Rita.
"He's fucking beautiful."
She cocks her head to one side, considering this. "I don't know," she says. "His nose is too big. And he always looks like someone just shot his puppy."
No arguing with that, but it's beside the point. He finds Mulder's pain exquisite and amusing at the same time. Mulder revels in his misery and Krycek likes to watch him. It is an arrangement that suits them both down to the ground.
"He's a good lay," he finally concedes.
Rita smiles her quick feline smile. "I know."
And of course she would. Who hasn't Mulder slept with, really? He is a cosmic slut who fucks anything willing and avoids reality whenever he can. He is weak. Krycek abhors and adores his weakness. He laps up Mulder's tears like cream. At the same time, he wants to beat Mulder's face in when he moans over the icy Scully or his icier mother or his frozen corpse of a sister. All the women in Mulder's life are icicles and Krycek wishes he would just get the fuck over it and move on. Preferably into his empty arms. So he quietly listens to Mulder's confessions, then lets Mulder slap him around, then opens his mouth when Mulder finally gives up and kisses him.
Krycek breathes in more nicotine and tries not to think of things that are not possible, at least not on this night.
"When did you fuck him?" he asks her.
She flips her hand in a negligent way, the red glow of the cigarette tracing a sigil in the air. "Does it matter, Sasha? It was just one night. I've had better." The Cheshire smile returns. "I've had you. Even at fifteen you had him beat hands down."
"I'm flattered," he says. Their early encounters swim to the forefront of his consciousness, demanding to be reexamined: fumbling in a dark closet, the smell of fur and leather enveloping them; in her bed with the frilly pink canopy above them; the backseat of his father's Crown Vic.
"Do you remember how it began?" she asks archly, knowing very well that he hasn't forgotten a single furtive grope or stolen kiss.
For all intents and purposes, it all began the day eight-year old Sasha was introduced to nine-year old Rita as "Alex." From that day forward he was never called Sasha again, except by Rita when she wanted to charm him, or nettle him, or do both at the same time. It was her task, assigned by his and her parents, to form his small Soviet self into a believable American, born and bred. She took her job seriously, and used the power she had over him with ruthless calculation. At age twelve, she'd convinced him to beat up a boy at her school who'd been teasing her. At thirteen, he'd gotten drunk for the first time on vodka she'd snuck from her father's liquor cabinet. At fourteen, he'd stolen his first car at her behest, and they had driven it to a quarry and swam naked in the clear cold water by moonlight. That had been shortly before the incident that Rita is referring to now in her oh-so-unsubtle way.
"Sure, I remember," he says. He remembers her head in his lap as they sat in a darkened room, watching television, the grownups talking heatedly in the next room. She had sprawled against him, her cheek rubbing along him until he had a hard on that ached. Then she'd turned her head and looked up into his eyes. His hand had fallen to the crown of her head and turned her face toward his erection.
"Sasha," she'd said. "Do you want me to...."
He hadn't been able to speak, had just nodded. One of his hands remained on her head and the other gripped the couch cushion. She had fumbled with his pants and underwear and then her mouth was on him, tasting him in small tentative licks that had made his whole body tremble. He'd nearly come right then. Instead he had come less than five minutes later in her mouth, her rosy lips stretched around him. She'd swallowed his semen with a grimace of distaste, then had silently gotten up and left the room. His heart had pounded while he righted his clothes, afraid that she had gone to tell the grown-ups or something equally horrifying, but instead she'd just come back a few minutes later, sipping a glass of Coke.
"That was interesting," she'd said. "Maybe next time you can do that to me."
He remembers every detail like it had just happened. "It's not something I could forget," he says.
"You never forget your first blowjob," she agrees, then brings the cigarette to her mouth.
Instead of answering, Krycek gets up and walks over to the camera sitting on a tripod, its telephoto lens pointing toward Mulder's apartment window.
"Are they fucking yet?" she asks.
"Looks like it," he says, his gut squirming as he sees bright red hair spilling across Mulder's lean legs.
"One thing about Mulder," she says, "he's got stamina. Far more than you did back then."
"I thought you said I was better than him," Krycek says, moving away from the camera.
"I like to think that you've aged to perfection," Rita says, stubbing out her cigarette. "Not that you've given me much opportunity to prove my theory." Her voice is wistful. This is an old argument between them, one that has been repeated so many times that each of them knows every word of it by heart. Still, she won't let it go, at least not before getting in one more salvo. "Once upon a time, you begged me to fuck you. 'Please, Rita, please. I'll do anything.' Remember that?"
She only wants him because she can't have him, he feels sure of this, and he won't give her the satisfaction of knowing that the force of her will is beginning to erode his resolve to keep things between them strictly professional.
"Rita, let it go."
She lets out a ladylike snort of disgust. "Coward," she says. "Besides, I was just mentioning it because it means we're in for a long night. They never go over evidence until after a good long screw."
"I know," he replies tersely.
"Jealous?" she asks, eyebrows raised in a supercilious way that she knows pisses him off.
"What do you think?" he asks.
"Poor, poor Alex. My heart bleeds." She lights another cigarette.
"What's got your panties in a bunch, Rita?" he asks. Sometimes she rubs him raw, and tonight is one of those nights. "What the fuck did I ever do to you?"
She puts her cigarette in an ashtray and taps her forefinger against her pursed mouth. "Let's see here. Let me think. Betrayed me...how many times now? Four, or is it five? I've lost count."
"You've fucked me over plenty of times yourself. I think we're pretty even there."
"There was the baby."
The words hang in the room like poisonous vapor. In all the years since it happened, neither one has mentioned the incident.
"Jesus Christ, Rita," he says, "I was sixteen. We were both kids then. I didn't mean...." He stops speaking because there are too many things he hadn't meant to do. He certainly hadn't meant to knock her up, and he hadn't meant for her parents to find out, and he for God's sake hadn't meant to cause her father to beat her so hard that she'd lost the baby. It had been abortion the hard way, and she'd nearly died before her mother had relented and taken her to the hospital.
"I know," she says, her voice dull. "It was a low blow. I...." She pauses and picks up her cigarette. "Forget I said it."
But now he can't. In the taut silence that stretches between them, he thinks of a different life. Him, and Rita, and their child. Hell, children. A house in the suburbs. PTA meetings. Vacations to Disney World. Orthodontists. Private schools. Saving for college. A fucking minivan. The works. He expects the vision to be a nightmare but instead he feels only a species of gentle regret. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad.
"You were seventeen," he says. "Even if you hadn't had the miscarriage, having a baby at that age--"
"What?" her voice breaks in sharply. "Would have ruined my life?" She lets out an ugly little laugh. "Right."
"Would have made things different," he says.
"Yeah," she says with a sigh. "Yeah. And if you say 'Road not taken' to me, Alex, I will kick your sorry one-armed ass but good. And don't think I can't."
"I wouldn't dream of it," he says.
"I know," she says. "That's why I love you." Her voice is sardonic but there is note of honesty there that startles him.
"I'm a bad bet to love," he says, making it sound off-hand. He wonders if she does really love him. It doesn't seem possible, not hard-as-nails Rita. His cool American princess has never shown such vulnerability before, except perhaps in the depths of Fort Marlene when he'd left her for dead, but best not to think of that right now.
She nods and sucks down more lovely nicotine. "No one ever said I ever made the best choices in life."
"No one ever said that about me, either," he says.
"What a pair we are."
"Mm hm," he agrees, getting up again to peer through the camera's lens.
"They still going at it?"
Scully's mouth is open in a scream that only Mulder and the apartments around him can hear. Her back is arched and her breasts are pert and lovely even to Krycek's jaundiced eye. He wonders if Scully knows that she can be seen through the half shaded window and if the knowledge turns her on. "Yep," he says. "We're in for the long haul."
"We could fuck to pass the time."
He raises an eyebrow at her. "You never give up, do you?"
"I figure that if I keep asking, eventually you'll say yes. I'm wearing you down."
"Like Chinese water torture."
"Exactly," she says.
"Give me another cigarette and I'll think about it."
Again she tosses pack and lighter his way. "You'd whore yourself out for cigarettes? I like that in a man."
"I've whored myself out for less."
He stares at her and she stares back.
"I was just kidding," she says.
"No, you weren't," he replies. "You want me bad. You want hot Krycek cock in your tight little pussy, don't you?"
Laughter burbles out of her, right on cue. "You've been watching too much porn. I think Mulder's a bad influence on you."
"Not nearly as bad as you." He stands up, the idea of fucking Rita right here and now growing on him. What better way to get the vision of Mulder putting Scully through her paces out of his head? He'd prefer some pretty college boy, but Rita's not bad as alternatives go. "Come on, Rita. Let's be naughty. Like the old days."
Unless he's mistaken, a blush spreads across her face. Maybe he's wrong. Maybe it's just the light of the cigarette. "You're not serious," she says.
"I'm serious as I ever get," he says. He's close enough to pluck the cigarette out of her hand, and pluck it out he does, stubbing it out in the ashtray. He takes a few more drags on his own, then crushes it out as well. He takes off his shirt and tosses it on the floor. "Let's fuck, baby," he says with a snigger.
Rita puts a hand on his chest and studies it intently, keeping her gaze away from his face. "Fuck you," she says. "I'm not your whore anymore."
"Number one," he says, "you were never my whore. Unless you count the Oreos I gave you after that time in the closet. Number two, I'm the whore here, bought and paid for with a cigarette. Number three, fucking me was your idea, wasn't it? Or are you just a tease now, Rita?"
"Stop it," she says, sounding near to tears, but with her hand still on his chest. It rubs his skin slowly, in small circles. He wonders if she's aware of doing it.
Somehow he has managed to hurt her, and he's not sure how. He bends down and kisses her, tasting her smoky breath.
The touch of her lips is like a sweet memory come to life. He is fourteen again, and kissing her for the first time. The faithless Mulder and the rest of his fucked-up life fall away in a blur of randy teenager's hormones.
"Rita," he breathes. "I want this."
She lets out a breath she's been holding. She cradles his head in her hands and pulls him down beside her. They revisit their youth, making love on a couch in a darkened room. He can almost hear the murmur of the grownups' voices filtering in from the other room.
Afterward, they dress silently. Rita lights up another cigarette. He goes to check on the progress of the wonder twins. "No sign of either," he says. "They're probably showering."
"No doubt," Rita agrees. "She's pretty anal about that."
"Are you sorry?" Krycek asks. She looks so pensive, sitting across the room from him.
"Are you?" she asks.
"No, and I asked you first."
She is quiet for a time, and he lets her be. Sometimes he is smart enough to know when to do that. "Yes," she says at last. "Because I've been reminded of what I'm missing. If it makes you feel any better, I understand why you hate Scully so much." Her voice is flat and cold.
"Rita," he says, going over to her and smoothing back her hair.
"Don't," she says, flinching away from his hand. "Don't."
Hurting Rita is always business, never pleasure, so he does as she asks and pulls away, going back to the camera. "They're back."
"Thank fuck for small favors," she mutters.
As documents come into view, Krycek snaps pictures of them. All the while, Rita smokes in silence.
After a time, the two of them trade places, giving him a chance to stretch his muscles.
"We weren't meant for suburbia, Rita," he says, lying down on the couch.
"No," she agrees absently while shooting a picture.
"Domestic bliss wouldn't suit us."
"And kids are a pain in the ass. We'd make shitty parents."
"I hate minivans."
"Shut up, Alex," she says. "I get the point."
For lack of anything else better to do, he lights up another cigarette.
Eventually she steps away from the camera and stretches. "That's all, folks," she says. "We can call it a night. Mulder is about ready to kick Scully out his door. Give it half an hour and I'm pretty sure he'd welcome you into his bed."
"Couch," Krycek says automatically.
"Whatever. His freaky kinks are your problem, not mine." She sounds strained and tired.
"I wish things could be different," he says.
Rita comes over and kisses him in the darkness. "No you don't," she says. "But thank you for saying it."
"I don't want to want him. I wish..."
Camera under her arm, she makes her way to the door. "If wishes were horses --"
"There'd be horse shit all over the place," he says. As he always had, as she knew he would. They've been finishing each other's sentences for too long. Like a long married couple. One with a minivan.
She rewards him with a small laugh. "Exactly."
"You'd be the only one I'd ever want to own a minivan with," he says. "For what it's worth."
"You're so full of shit, Alex," she says. "Go and see Mulder. You know you want to."
And of course he does. She knows him so well.
MORE NOTES: This story, first and foremost, is for Deslea, to whom I owed another trip into Alex and Marita's lives. I'd also like to thank CazQ and Spica for their respective betas. Huggles and snuggles to you both. And to W., who read it and said that it hurt, but in a good way, thank you as always. I also owe my very own beautiful Alex a debt of gratitude for inspiring this story, even though he will never read it. I miss you, dear boy, and hope to see you again.
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Kelly Keil
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