Title: Easy to Love
Email address: Peach1250@hotmail.com
Archive: If I posted to your list it's yours.
Disclaimer: The characters of Skinner, Krycek and the X-Files belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the Fox Network. No copyright infringement is intended no money is being made.
Summary: A night out, a love song, happy ever after
NOTES: #21 Because someone insisted I wasn't done yet.
"Walt, you have to go to this club with me."
I chuckled as I listened to Red's happy voice. He'd been trying to get me to visit for years, and now that I'd called to say I needed to get away he was bubbling with plans for us. I'd have been happy to sit around the house, swill beer and watch ESPN.
Things had finally calmed down and I needed some time to myself. Mulder and Scully were off in Hawaii, Doggett and Reyes were in Alaska. Me, I was headed to visit an old buddy in Miami.
"So, what's the name of this fantastic club? And do they play anything from the last century that I might know?"
"Walt, you're so traditional. Yes, they play stuff from the last century, but I'm not sure that you'll know it. The singer has a great voice and he does really old stuff, from the forties. He does a mean Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, does some Porter, Holiday that kind of thing."
"Hey, Red, just because I rocked out back in college doesn't mean I have no knowledge of music before then. A night out would probably be good for me."
"Want me to find you a date?"
"No way, man. I remember the last date you got me."
"Wait a minute; you married her."
"Exactly, I'm not shopping for a wife."
"I could fine you a date who'd go home after you were through."
"I just want to unwind, Red. If I decide I need that kind of date, I'll let you know."
The trip had been smooth, Red met me outside the gate and we did the slapping on the back thing that men do. I smiled as I realized his nickname no longer applied. Not that I could say much; I'd had plenty of black, curly hair when we first met. These days I wash my head with a cloth instead of shampoo.
"I thought we'd take it easy tonight, Walt. Kick back, get stoned and eat everything in the fridge."
"Got some good shit do you?"
"Hey, this is Miami, man. We get *the* best shit."
Red grinned at me and I thought, why not? Hell, if anyone deserved to get stoned and relax it was certainly I. Unlike the others I didn't have a lover to vacation with. Sharon and I had long since parted ways. The last date I'd had ended up dead in my bed. I'd stuck to my own fist for the most part, occasionally finding a pretty brunette for a quick blowjob.
"Tell me about this club you want to drag me to."
"It's an old converted Deco place near the beach; they serve the best steak around and the band is incredible."
"You said the singer is good."
"He has all the women drooling over him, but he never seems to notice. And his voice is so rich. I have no clue why he isn't professional."
"Sounds like a place to unwind. Tomorrow?"
"I'll call tonight and reserve us a table."
"Are they that busy?"
"On a Saturday night? God, Walt, you do need to get out more."
Red's house turned out to be on the beach, so we grilled burgers, smoked some grass, and I fell asleep on a chaise on the patio. I woke up the next morning more relaxed than I'd been in longer than I could remember.
We spent part of the day swimming, and the rest in quiet conversation over a game of chess. I dressed carefully that night, trying to reach a middle ground between 'desperate over the hill and trying not to look it' and 'does he really think he can carry that off'. Red nodded at me as I came out of the guestroom.
"You'll fit in fine in that, Walt. Maybe we can bring home the rejects."
"The ones the singer ignores."
"Let's just go and have a good time. Let what happens, happen."
We got to the club and were shown to a table with a great view of the stage. No one was out on it yet, but it was still early. I glanced around and noticed that women occupied a good portion of the room. I figured this guy must be pretty hot to fill up the room this way.
We ordered dinner, and just as it was served the band came onto the stage. The first number was just the band and I decided that must be so that wait staff moving back and forth wouldn't disturb the entertainment.
The song ended and the singer stepped out onto the stage. I dropped my fork. Red's head turned to look at me as the singer spotted me.
I'd found this gig in Miami. The band and I had acquired a following. They ribbed me about all the women in the audience and the offers to buy me drinks between sets. Every night I went home with my pockets full of cocktail napkins with phone numbers. I would drop them in the trash and forget them.
The only one I wanted in my bed would never be there, and I certainly didn't want to try and pretend a woman was a big, burly, bald guy. On the nights I didn't work and the loneliness got to be too much, I would go out and get laid, but most nights I remembered the last time I'd seen him, and I wished the world were different than it is.
That particular Saturday had been like any other. I slept in, did my laundry and shopped. The manager of the club stopped me on the way in to say that the placed was booked solid again. I grinned at him as he went on about how much business had increased.
I hung out in the dressing room, having just a beer and a salad before show time. The band went out, and I got dressed, not expecting that night to be any different than any other Saturday during my gig there.
I stepped onto the stage, glanced around, seeing some of my more persistent stalkers. I clearly heard the fork hit the floor, and I saw him; the object of my wet dreams, in the flesh, Walter Sergei Skinner. Damn, he looked good.
His companion said something and Walter turned to answer. I turned hurriedly to the band and changed the order of the first set slightly. Then we went into the first song and I let myself act as if he wasn't there. But that night, every note I sang was for him.
"Yeah, it slipped."
The waiter brought another fork and I managed to eat. I have no idea how. Alex Krycek was on stage, singing in a husky 'come fuck me' voice that settled in my crotch. He didn't look at me, but I knew he was very aware of me all the same.
I glanced around, seeing the women watching him as if he were an item on the menu. Somehow, I knew they would all be going home alone. Our steaks were finished and the band had been playing for about forty-five minutes.
I watched as he tilted his head back and drank deeply from the glass of iced water. Then he spoke for the first time.
"One more song before the break folks. I want to do something a little different." The band members were exchanging looks as he talked. "This one is for someone special."
The band began to play and he looked me right in the eye as the words flowed from his pretty mouth.
'I know too well that I'm just wasting precious time
In thinking such a thing could be
That you could ever care for me'
Red leaned over to whisper in my ear, "Now I know why he ignores the skirts. You know him don't you?"
I nodded, too surprised to speak. One of the women at the next table made a rude noise and got up to leave. He didn't seem to care. He crooned the last line of the song and the stage lights went to black. The applause was a minute in starting, but it was still respectable.
Red looked at me as the waiter came over to remove our dishes and leave the dessert menu. Red ordered cheesecake without asking what I wanted, and added Irish coffees. The waiter left and he turned to me.
"He the reason you and Sharon split?"
"No, in spite of the fact that he is publicly singing love songs to me, nothing has ever happened between us. He was one of my agents."
"Well, he certainly broke a lot of hearts tonight. He might have blown his job as well. I'm not sure how the manager feels about gays."
In the dressing room, the band waited. I grinned at them. They know I'm gay. I'd been honest about that from the beginning. They didn't care.
"Who is he, Alex?"
"Remember once I told you I didn't date because my heart was taken?"
"He's the one?"
"Yeah, and he could kick your ass half way to the moon. Weird as it may seem to a guy like you, who won't look at a woman bigger than a size six, I don't care how he looks. And believe me he's got primo goods in those jeans."
"What are you going to do now?" Alice asked me softly.
"Go out and see if he'll buy me a drink."
"I don't think that's a good idea."
Before I could answer, there was a knock at the door. Ian pulled it open and there stood Walter, a little flushed, with a determined look on his face.
"I'd like to talk to…"
He turned to look at me, a slow smile spreading on his lips.
"I thought I'd offer to buy you a drink. That is, if it's okay. I don't want to cause you any problems."
I stood and moved across the room, "I'd love one. Are you sure your friend won't mind?'
"Are you kidding? He's dying to talk to you. Probably wants to tell you all my shortcomings."
"You don't have many of those."
He blushed as I looked pointedly at his crotch. I let him lead the way.
I don't remember what we talked about. Alex and Red did most of the talking. When the band came back out, Alex turned to me.
"Will you stay for the next set? I'll buy you a nightcap afterward."
Red jumped in then. "Walt, why don't you stay? I'm going to head home. You can give him a ride later, can't you, Alex?"
"I'd be glad to."
"Good! I'll see you in the morning, Walt."
Red put some bills on the table and left. I watched as the band performed for a new audience. No dedications this time, but that was fine with me. When the set ended, the applause was loud and long.
It was a few minutes before Alex came out dressed in old jeans and a tee. He looked as good in them as he had in his tight leather and silk.
"Want a drink?"
"No let's get out of here."
On the way to his car, napkins were pressed into his hand; a couple of the bolder ones pushed them into his pockets. I might have been upset, but he was leaving with me. In the car he turned to look at me.
"Where does Red live?"
"I don't want to disturb Red."
"How would you be disturbing him?"
"I don't plan on letting you keep silent."
"You're the one who hit on me in front of a room full of people; are you a cock tease?"
He grinned and put the car in gear. I relaxed back against the seat and let him carry me away.
I called Red the next day to let him know I was fine. He made me promise to come for dinner some time before I had to go home. It ended up being the best vacation of my life.
So a few months later, I retired. Miami is a great place to live. And every Friday and Saturday I clean out his pockets, throw the notes on napkins and matchbooks in the trash and show him just how easy he is to love.
Easy to Love
By Cole Porter
I know too well that I'm just wasting precious time
In thinking such a thing could be
That you could ever care for me
I'm sure you hate to hear
That I adore you, dear
But grant me
Just the same
I'm not entirely to blame
You'd be so easy to love
So easy to idolize
All others above
So worth the yearning for
So swell to keep every home fire burning for
We'd be so grand at the game
So carefree together
That it does seem a shame
That you can't see
Your future with me
'Cause you'd be oh, so easy to love
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