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Is He Dreaming?

by Grimilkin

     Subject: [glass_onion] (XF) Is He Dreaming? by Grimilkin 
     Date: Saturday, September 07, 2002 5:22 PM

     Title:  Is He Dreaming?
     Author:  Grimilkin (
     Rating:  R
     Category:  V, A; M/K; sorta AU.  You'll see.
     Spoilers:  none
     Disclaimer:  <rolls eyes> Do I gotta?  Okay, fine. Not mine.
     Someone else's.  But since Krycek's dead now, I figure he's
     fair game for whomever wants his ass.
     Archive:  Anywhere, just tell me where it's going.
     Feedback:  Oh, please.  I do so enjoy it.
     Summary:  Prey or predator; wolf or man; live or die; dream
     or reality?  Which is which, who is whom?
     Notes:  Thanks to my very nice betas:  Flutesong, Sue (aka
     Dr. Ruthless), and Wicked Cherub.  I do so appreciate it.
     Cyber cookies are on me.  And I forgot to say it the first
     time, but this is for Wildy.  She knows why.

I had a dream which was not all a dream.

Is he dreaming?

He pads on four legs past black trees, paws crunching brittle snow. He can smell colors on the jagged air: azure, and ivory, and ash, and then vivid ocher. There is fear up his nostrils, and it excites him. He begins to run, pads barely feeling the icy ground, following a yellow stink he can almost see. The color changes as he nears, now tinged with gray exhaustion and streaks of puce tinted panic. Beautiful. Delicious.

Is he dreaming?

He's still running, but on two legs, and now he's the prey. The man chasing him will kill him, of that he's certain, but part of him wants to be caught. It feels like a dream, one where you run and run and run, and as you stumble, your heart constricts, and you wake up.

But he doesn't stumble.

"Stop, or I'll shoot," warns the other man. His hunter.

(His prey. It's a thought from a half remembered dream and he shakes it off like cobwebs.)

Mulder. It's Mulder. And why should this thought have the strange flavor of surprised recognition? It's always Mulder, isn't it? Always. Round and round and round they go, like children on a merry-go-round or in ring around the rosy.

(pocket full of posies)

Then he does stumble, as something in his brain tries to click. There is a connection here that needs to be made. He is missing something, something very important. What?

Is he dreaming?

The wolf has trapped his victim in a culvert

(blind alley)

and pauses to assess the situation. He knows his prey, knows him intimately somehow deep down below fur and sinew and teeth, in the place that would be his soul, if wolves had souls. Through the odor of the Man's fear there is the scent of promised things: warmth and security and love. All the things that turn wolf into dog.

He wants to eat that scent, eat it and savor it and at the same time, sick it up onto the snow. A steaming mass of empty promises and bleak hope.

He advances on the man, growling.

"Easy, boy," the man says, his voice on the edge of a tremble. "Easy."

Is he dreaming?

He realizes, as he falls, that he's run into a blind alley

(dark culvert)

and that there's no escape. He can feel his pulse pound in his throat and the taste of copper fill his mouth.

He hears a click as the safety is disengaged from a gun. He pants, looking up at Mulder. His face is dark and unreadable in the faint light that illuminates the street.

"Tell me," Mulder wheezes, "what you know, or I'll blow your fucking head off."

What he knows. 'This isn't real,' he wants to say. 'I'm a wolf and you're my prey. This isn't real. This isn't happening.'

His heart pounds and pumps imaginary blood to fake limbs.

Is he dreaming?

He advances on the man, hackles raised. This man, with his promise of comfort and lies and enslavement. He wants to taste the man's blood. He needs to cleanse his maw.

The man tries to run, but the wolf is faster and stronger. He pins the man's shoulders to the ground, then lowers his muzzle to the bared throat.

The man's voice curls up in a shriek of anguish.

He pauses for a second, then joins in, his wolf-song mingling with the shriek and the music is beyond lovely.

Is he dreaming?

He can't seem to shut up. Alien fetuses, stolen eggs, cloned babies, old men, pretend fathers, adulterous mothers, imaginary sisters, unknown brothers, conspiracies, black oil, space ships, betrayals, and cover-ups spew from his mouth. He doesn't know what he's trying to do -- perhaps frighten Mulder into finally leaving him the fuck alone, but he sees as he stops, out of breath and secrets, that Mulder will hear nothing of it. Mulder shakes his head and screams at him to just shut the fuck up. How sadly ironic and amusingly typical of Mulder to turn from the truth.

The truth is ugly. The truth is dangerous. The truth hurts.

Mulder doesn't want to believe any of these things.

Mulder falls to his knees down beside him and covers his ears. Plucking the gun out of his hands is too easy. He places the barrel along Mulder's throat, and the man lies there motionless, waiting for the trigger to be pulled. Mulder's eyes are large and dilated, begging for something that he can't quite identify:

He's heard of this happening, of how prey becomes transfixed by the predator and waits for death. He's seen it, himself, more times than he's bothered to count. But he hadn't expected to see it here, in this face.

He's filled with disgust, and disappointment, but also pity. "Stop it," he barks. "You're not a child. This is how the world works. Deal with it."

Mulder stares up at him with empty eyes. "Why do I care?" he asks in a hollow voice, a little child lost in a wood. "I keep thinking," he goes on, "if I keep trying, that one day all of this will stop and there will be a happy ending."

(no happy endings here, only wolves)

Mulder lets out a mirthless laugh. "Give me an ending, Krycek. I don't care anymore if it's happy."

He caresses Mulder's throat with the gun's barrel and he can see the spray of blood and the life fleeing from Mulder's eyes. He can smell copper and shit and piss: the odors of death. No more Mulder, forever and ever and ever. He clenches his finger, then relaxes. For some reason, he doesn't want to do this.

The busy Moscow night surges on around them, but somehow he can still taste the quiet that envelops the two of them. He stands, turns from the intimate silence, and begins to walk away.

"Don't leave me here," Mulder pleads. "You owe me, dammit. You come into my life, fuck it up, then disappear. I've had enough." Then, so quietly that he can barely hear it, Mulder says, "It's not fair." He's the lost child again, forsaken by all, even the wolves.

It's enough to make a grown assassin cry.

"Mulder, what the fuck do you want from me?"

Mulder just sits there. He is shivering and clearly unprepared for the Moscow winter. He doesn't even have a hat. So stupid, so Mulder, to jump before consideration. Leaving him here, lost in the Moscow slums, would be the same as shooting him, only slower. Better to just put him out of his misery.

He finds that he can't bring himself to lift the gun then pull the trigger. A bitter taste fills his mouth: desire and contempt.

(ashes, ashes)

He pulls Mulder to his feet and prey takes predator (or is it the other way around?) to his lair. Mulder allows himself to be stripped bare, and offers himself up as a sacrifice.

'Take me, fuck me, eat me,' Mulder's eyes say.

He slips Mulder into a warm bath and thinks about drowning him. Later, he tucks Mulder under thick blankets and considers smothering him with a pillow.

Instead, he lies down beside Mulder and holds him tight.

Is he dreaming?

'Take me, fuck me, eat me,' his eyes say, although the wolf could not indicate how he knows this. One just knows when the battle is won and prey is yours. There is a smell to it, a bitter-sweet sepia of regret and relief.

He lowers his jaws and the kill is easy, over in one blow, a merciful end for the weak, the pitiful, the prey. It is fitting and right and so ancient that the knowledge of the 'why' is unimportant. All that matters is the chase and the hunt and the kill.

And now, to feed.

Is he dreaming?

Both men cry out as he sinks his cock into Mulder's willing body. At last and finally and yes and no but it's too bad, so sad, I've won and you've lost and I've lost and you've won and fuck fuck fuck, this is what I've always wanted, this is what I was made for, and nothing can ever be the same again.

(we all fall down)

Afterward, the men lie side by side, touching, yet isolated in their thoughts.

Predator or prey? Which is what? Who is whom?

He sees that there are bite marks on Mulder's throat. Dark and deep enough for Mulder to have to explain away later. If there is a later. He hasn't quite decided yet. There is still the gun, of course. There is always the gun. Or a pillow, smothering that handsome face. Or a kitchen knife, stuck between Mulder's lean ribs. But somehow he doesn't want that right now. He's made that choice in another lifetime and now he is content to live this one


and see what things it brings. It will be...interesting.

(we all fall down prey or predator doesn't matter in the end we all win we all lose we eat and are eaten and we all fall down)

He lays his cheek against Mulder's warm shoulder, smelling his scent.

(ocher and gray but now pearl with contentment. And how does he know this? How can he?)

There is still the taste of copper in his mouth. Mulder's blood and semen and saliva. Crimson. Mulder tastes like crimson.

Like he knew he would.

Is he dreaming?


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