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This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Deny Nothing

It was a good thing Scully meant Mulder's freak friend Langly and not the CIA as he'd initially thought, inasmuch as Alex had even more reason to stay away from that part of Virginia than he did from the FBI.

Langly and the other Stooges gaped like sucking chest wounds when they saw him. He doubted that Mulder had admitted the sexual aspect of the affair — he was probably afraid that one or more of them would proposition him if they knew he was a two-way street — but they sure as hell knew about the betrayal.

It seemed appropriate that Langly had been an Asian studies major in college.

He quickly determined that one of the papers from the desk was mostly transliteration, phonetic characters describing English words, and strange ones at that.

Threatening laughter. Glorious sunset. Ghostly whispers. Cosmic pratfall. And, incongruous even before it had been circled in thick black ink, Pop rocks.

It was like haiku, almost. But more like something else, something he couldn't quite place.

"Weapons," Scully said when Langly finished reading. "These are the code names for weapons projects."

"American weapons projects," Byers breathed, his brown eyes wide. Alex had never been into hairy men, but there was something about Byers's beard that indicated a charming precision.

"Arms dealers looking to steal and sell the latest technology?" Frohike asked Scully, as if she'd know.

She tapped her fingers on the desk next to the sheet. "It's possible, under the cover of an import/export business. Can you find out what these projects are? Particularly Pop Rocks."

The Gunmen traded significant glances, which was a laborious process as there were three of them to coordinate. Finally, Frohike looked back at Scully and nodded. "But you have to leave," he said. "Come back in … three hours and we'll have something for you."

Scully didn't seem put out, and Alex could understand why they'd want to preserve a little mystery. It's not like she'd come visit them for the beefcake potential. "Why don't we go hang with my friends, Dana?" he asked and got a full house of glares for his trouble.

Alex took her to a gun shop he knew, where they let him in after closing time, took his money, and didn't make any noise about waiting periods. Mostly he just browsed, but when their time was almost up he thought about it and bought her two guns that she could leave behind if the rescue got messy and not worry about being traced. She didn't protest, though she looked longingly at the line of concealed carry cocktail purses behind one counter.

They left the store, finally, and he handed her the guns. She put her Bureau- issue weapon in the trunk of the car, under the spare tire, and looked up at him. "Next time," she said, "I'm buying."


When they returned to the Gunmen's grassy knoll, Byers had acquired the confidential weapons reports and Langly had finished the translations. He told them that most of the other papers had been, so far as he could tell, completely innocuous. But the list from the kid's closet was suggestive. It was a list of addresses with dates and numbers attached.

"They're moving something through the DC area," Langly commented. Scully nodded, a molten copper strand of hair escaping from behind her ear to swing gently with her motion.

She tapped her pen against her bottom lip, a researcher's habit. "But the dates — there's no fixed pattern. And the last one's over three months ago." He watched as she sucked the very tip of the cap into her mouth and bit down. Very Freudian, classic sexual frustration signal. Mulder would have made some joke.

Mulder would have had her on her knees in front of him.

Scully destroyed the incipient fantasy by speaking. "The fact that Mr. Park and family were here until a few days ago suggests that they hadn't finished up…whatever it was. This could be an out of date manifest."

"Like last week's TV Guide," Alex suggested, and received another serving of nasty looks. He was reminded strongly of the Wizard of Oz. Scully could put on a pinafore and braid her hair in pigtails. Langly could be the Tin Man, Frohike the Cowardly Lion, and Byers the Scarecrow.

That would make him Glinda the Good Witch. He smiled to himself. You can take the gay man out of the piano bar …

"We'll just have to go to these places and see if there's anything left," Scully decided. Then she yawned. If she'd been sleeping like Alex, she wouldn't have been sleeping at all.

"When's the last time you slept?" Byers asked her, and she shook her head which was an answer in itself. Byers walked to where she was sitting and put his hand on her shoulder. "You can't be any help to him in this condition. Why don't we check out the places on this list, just some initial reconnaissance, and see what we can find out. You get some sleep and in the morning you can follow up on what we've learned."

Scully's face was as stiff with stubbornness, but the other two were nodding at her. "There's no point in barging ahead without sufficient information," Frohike agreed. "If you go wandering around in the middle of the night you may well tip them off that we're on their trail."

Alex had to concur. "It's nearly one now," he pointed out. "A few hours of sleep will be a lot of help, especially if you guys can narrow down the list of locations."

Though Scully's spine was still as straight as a demonstration skeleton's, Alex could sense her acquiescence.

"Um, Dr. Scully, we'd be happy to have you stay here," Frohike began hesitantly, stretching his hand out towards her, "but, I don't think we have room for … him."

Alex bared his teeth at the little man. "I'm easy to accommodate."

Scully sighed and got to her feet. "No, I don't want you out of my sight, Krycek. We'll lay low, I'll call you in the morning," she told the boyz, and then she was moving out the door, assuming that he'd tag along.

Maybe it was Toto after all, he realized as he lurched to his feet and hurried after her.


They ended up in a Motel Six not far from the DC border.

Scully produced a garment bag from the back of her car. He was impressed, but then he realized that she had to be used to life on the run with Mulder. Running away, running towards, just running, these were Mulder's main solo activities, and also one of his favorite team sports.

Alex went for dinner and called his DC contact just to check in. Ashley was as bitchy as ever, which he found reassuring even though it was probably just a ploy. People in his world didn't need a reason to play head games; they just did. Like any mid-level office worker, Ashley felt more allegiance to him, a fellow observer of the bosses' foibles, than to said bosses. She'd let him know that Mulder was missing, and she'd help him up to the point that betraying him would do her more good. However, since his indiscretions weren't limited to stealing office supplies, that point might come quickly. He'd only use her help if he couldn't avoid it.

Scully had steamed the next day's suit and hung it in the coffin-sized closet, and now she was sitting on the bed nearest the door, reading reports. He'd finished his Burger King meal half an hour ago — American fast food, nothing else like it — and he was bored. He was trying to understand the specs the Gunmen had given them, but all he could really tell was that the U.S. military was interested in making bigger and better booms.

"What am I going to tell Skinner about you?" Scully wondered out loud, saving him from the death of a thousand paper cuts.

"That you charged ahead without backup, a rogue avenging angel."

"Better than hooking up with his favorite traitor."

"Am I really his favorite?" He blinked seductively at her and she looked away. That was in the nature of a victory. It showed that if she looked at him, she'd have to give him a smile or a frown, whichever she begrudged more.

"Did you really stay all night on his balcony?"

"I'll tell if you will."

"I don't think he knows any other traitors."

"That's not what I meant."

She failed to return the volley, instead swiveling back to her laptop. He couldn't believe that she was recording her investigation notes. Mulder was missing and she was *typing*. The woman had liquid nitrogen in her veins.

God — he remembered her as this short, dumpy nonentity. No matter what she wore, it always looked like tweed on her. He'd been unable to comprehend what Mulder saw in her — though he was grateful that Mulder didn't care about snappy dressing.

Somewhere among the abduction, the deaths, the cancer and the implant, the old Dana Scully had been whittled away. Now there was nothing left but the heartwood.

She was as exquisite as a samurai's sword. He had no doubt that she could slice him up into precise one-inch cubes with her laser eyes and her pragmatically short fingernails. Had Mulder always seen the possibility in her? He'd had the most outrageous intuitions, but they were so often right.

"What?" She looked up from the tape-bound report, annoyed at his surveillance.

"You're beautiful."

She shook her head. "Keep reading. We don't have much time."

"I don't understand any of this," he had to admit.

"Let me look," she demanded. "What's the difficulty?" She flipped through the pages of diagrams. "Oh."

"What does *that* mean?" he asked, annoyed.

"It is rocket science," she said and he had the feeling that she would have graced him with a superior half-smirk if he'd been the right man. Then she settled back against the headboard to begin her lecture. "This report on Project Pop Rocks concerns several items of advanced satellite technology. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been working on mini-satellites, known as lightsats, since the mid-80s. I had understood that the project died, but I've seen a number of government zombies over the past few years.

"Most satellites require large launch facilities like Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg. But lightsats can launch from trucks on the highway. In case of war, antisatellite weapons could take out our existing communications and intelligence satellites and then a handful of missiles would prevent us from launching replacements from our fixed sites. With lightsats we could put up satellites faster than they could be taken out."

He needed more. "Don't we have enough birds in the air now? I know I've seen captures of your license plate far too many times."

She adjusted her glasses and dropped her voice further into lecture mode. "Lightsats probably aren't that useful to the American miltary, or whatever agency you've been betraying lately. But they'd be very useful to nations or groups without access to major launch facilities. With lightsats a terrorist nation could get a small, cheap satellite to do a specific job, perhaps short- term surveillance of a particular target, and pop it up from a road or an airport runway. They could even launch antisatellite weapons that way and cripple our ability to communicate and gather intelligence at a critical juncture."

Alex found himself staring at her mouth. It was like getting a strategic intelligence report from 1-900-HOT-CHIX. A woman with such casual mastery of the complex and arcane might bring similar intensity and comprehensive knowledge to more intimate matters.

How could anyone look at that milky skin, smooth as a mountain lake at midnight, and not want to mark it? He wanted to run his hand across her porcelain cheek, to see the blood rise to the surface — and perhaps beyond.

He sat on the edge of the bed. Scully was sitting in the center, flanked by pillows, her back stiff against the cheap pressed-wood headboard. She paid him no attention as the mattress sagged dumbly beneath them. She was turning pages of the report on Pop Rocks, wetting the fleshy ball of her thumb with a catlike flick of her tongue as she turned each page.

It seemed inconceivable that this woman should be wasted on bad beds in cheap motels. On Mulder.

Of course it was also inconceivable that she should have been abducted, her reproductive system raped and destroyed like a Vietnamese village overrun by GIs.

Appearances can be deceiving, he thought, and finally touched her face, right at the jawline where her skull threatened to saw through its thin cover of flesh. Up close, her skin was like a parchment lampshade, dimming the light inside so that it was possible to look directly at her. The fine soft hairs on her cheek were distinctly feminine, unlike the rougher testosterone- fueled stubble of his usual partners.

She was hot, he realized, hot and dry like sunlight in Arizona, like the heat from the old radiator in his pathetic Moscow apartment on the days when it was miraculously, blessedly working. Hot, and shocking like static electricity. He pulled his hand away and almost saw the purple afterimage of the lightnings that danced from her skin to his.

Her indrawn breath was almost lost in the rustling as the DoD report dropped to the bed.

He knew that she wouldn't shoot him; she'd already made that decision and she hated to second-guess herself. Instead, her mouth parted fractionally and she tilted her head back, just a degree. It was a good thing he was a veteran of international politics, because interpreting her signals was like analyzing 1970s Russian politics from the headlines in Pravda. He braced his hand on the bed and moved in to her, wondering at the perversities of human nature, the way that the straying daughter always seeks out the stern father. Did she despise Mulder for his occasional tenderness, he wondered as his mouth touched the molten steel of her lips.

As nimble as he'd become with his lopsided frame, one-handed sex really only worked as a solo endeavor. He lay on top of her, kissing her and bearing her down into the bed, tugging at her shirt but unable to get access to the burning brand of her body. Helpless, he rocked against her as she shoved the report off the bed and stung his mouth with her kisses.

She pushed and suddenly he was on his side, the mattress pressing the prosthesis into his chest. She pulled at his shirt and he was finally able to touch the curve of her breast, a handful of sun. She twisted further, pushing herself into his grasping hand, and then he was underneath her.

His shirt, her shirt, her doctor's hands served her admirably well. She was doing all the work and he found himself simultaneously gratified and disgruntled. Was he just a vibrator with three extra limbs? He stretched his neck to bite at her shoulder and she made a low sound in her throat, grinding her hips against his erection.

He didn't want to let go of her breast. Her nipple was cooler than the soft flesh around it, stiff and puckered against his calloused fingertips. For courtesy's sake he shifted his hand to give her other breast equal time.

He'd never slept with Mulder after he killed Melissa Scully. He wondered if Scully knew that, what she'd say if he said it now. Fortunately for both of them, his mouth was full of her skin, hot and slick and salty-peach as he sucked at the flesh of her neck. She'd be marked; she'd have to explain herself to Mulder. Or Mulder would have to slap an explanation out of her like he always tried to do with Alex himself.

The air was cold against his suddenly exposed buttocks, and she was not particularly gentle as she pushed his pants and boxers as far down his legs as she could reach. He obliged her by kicking them the rest of the way off as he renewed the assault on her chest, driving his mouth between her breasts and pushing his hipbone into her pelvis. She was so little, so female, that it was possible and he certainly didn't need to worry about accidentally crushing her balls. In her case, they were entirely metaphorical.

When he'd teased her breasts enough that her head was thrown back into the pillows and she was panting, not ordering him around, he moved down into the softness of her stomach. Her skirt was easy enough to figure out and he made her naked so that he could put his face between her thighs.

He'd had sex with women, of course. Even if you crossed Marita off of the list — and you might, if you knew everything about her — there'd been others of the female persuasion. So the thin salty taste of her was no real surprise.

He was surprised by how much it turned him on. He hadn't known that the cool Mrs. Spooky could make those sounds, writhe that liquidly against him, crush his head between her warm soft thighs like a velvet-coated nutcracker. He rubbed his face against her, coating himself in the warpaint of her sex, and breathed her in as she came.

She was still shuddering when he pulled himself up her body and slid into her, further foreplay impossible. With only one arm he couldn't brace himself the way he was used to so he pinned her upper body down with the weight of his own and let his hips do all the moving. In and out, dancing with her on the dingy bedspread, her breath moist at his collarbone, panting like bloodhounds in the forest chasing after a suspect. But he was the criminal, he was on the run and she drew her legs up, tucking her knees under him. Her hand was between them, still looking for her own pleasure, and Alex admired the singlemindedness of her greed. He was moving like the second hand on a grandfather clock, the swinging swaying hypnotizing him, sucking him in entirely to be consumed.

The orgasm hit him like a shotgun blast, assaulting every part of his body with hot pellets, and he collapsed onto her even as his hips continued their useless thrusting.

He assumed that she came as well, because she didn't complain.

He rolled over and stared at the ceiling, as pockmarked as the face of the teenager who'd served him breakfast at McDonald's that morning.

Scully pressed her nose into his chest and he shivered. Her half-smile crackled against his skin like a stun gun.

"I just made that up, about you speaking Russian when you came," she said. He twitched in surprise and she nipped at his chest with her teeth.

"Are you sleeping with him?"

"I'm *awake*," she pointed out grumpily and scooted away from him. "Don't you know the answer from the constant surveillance we're under?"

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

He should let the scab alone. His curiosity only encouraged her to enhance the mystery. He was sure of the answer anyway.

Mulder had liked to watch het porn before — sometimes during — sex. He said he liked being reminded of his options. Alex had tried several varieties of responses: hurt ("Aren't I good enough?"), braggadocio ("They're not as good as I am, baby"), suggestiveness ("Then why don't you invite one of your female colleagues over?"). For the last, Alex had meant to specify Scully, but the madman in Mulder's body had looked incipiently homicidal and he went generic at the last second.

Alex imagined Mulder's reaction to this latest development. Would he have paid to watch it? Or would it have been one of the things he had to be forced to like? Alex could see him, tied down onto a cheap hotel chair and handcuffed to the radiator, watching and cursing as Alex fucked Scully and she loved it. Mulder would be so angry that he'd probably spit when Alex came to unzip his pants but his erection would be as blind and solid as ever.

He fell asleep to the memory of Mulder's satiated eyes on the flickering television screen, watching inflatable plastic people screw.

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