Title: Ebb Tide
Author: Peach
Email address: Peach1250@hotmail.com
Fandom: X-Files
Pairings: Skinner/Krycek
Warnings: None
Rating: PG13
Date: 01/15/04
Disclaimer: The characters of the X-Files belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the Fox Network. No copyright infringement is intended no money is being made.
Summary: Vacation, old friends, a returned lover
Notes: For the Lyric Wheel "One song to bring them all and in the darkness bind them"



"Watching the tide roll away."

Walter smiled as Jake bellowed along with Otis. The two of them were on the way to the city. They'd just spent a relaxing two days at a spa in Calistoga, sitting in mud, Jacuzzis, and getting deep muscle massages.

Walter had forgotten the last few years for the entire two days. Spending time with Jake was good for him. They'd met when he was in college after Nam. Jake had been a fuck buddy who somehow morphed into a best friend when Sharon walked into his life.

The last two days they had reinstituted the fuck buddy status. That had probably relaxed Walter more than the mud, water and massage oil. He'd been more than willing to go in to San Francisco for a weekend of club hopping and sight seeing. As they rolled across the bridge, Walter's grin got bigger when Jake launched into another song with the CD.

"If you're going to San Francisco, be sure…"

Walter joined in and they finished the song before they pulled up into the driveway of the hotel. They checked in, threw the bags in the room and then headed to the wharf for seafood and drinks.

As they wandered along the Embarcadero, they talked about the good food they'd had for dinner and made plans for the evening. Neither of them noticed the man watching from across the street. They never noticed him cross the street, or as they took a cab to head toward the club they'd decided to check out. By then he'd moved close enough to hear the address Jake gave the driver.


He watched from the shadows as Walter and his friend danced with the twinks in the club. He was so jealous of the firm bodies that Walter caressed. He even followed as Walter and one of the twinks entered the back room.

On a purely objective level he had to give the boy points for technique. Walter seemed to appreciate the oral skills. Walter had given boy toy a kiss of thanks, bought him a drink and then headed back to the dance floor.

Jake made his own trip to the back room, but the watcher didn't follow him. Shortly before closing time the two men picked up a pretty boy and left with him. Alex made it to the street in time to follow the cab back to their hotel.

It wasn't hard to find out the room number, before he went back to the small room he was renting in one of the slightly seedy parts of town. He closed his eyes and remembered the way Walter had looked. He'd switched to contacts or had laser surgery, he'd also gone completely bald and it was a great look on him. But it was the smiles the watcher had seen on Walter's face that he remembered.

He looked happy. Alex only remembered one time that he'd seen him happy, and Alex had ruined that. He'd give anything to go back to that night, to stay in Walter's arms and never leave them.

He wasn't sure what drove him to the hotel the next morning. He craved the sight of Walter being happy. He saw them in the restaurant, laughing together as they ate. He found a table in the corner and ordered coffee. When they got up to leave he threw a ten on the table and followed them.


They were walking along discussing where to spend the evening. They stopped at a couple of shops, where Walter bought gifts for his nieces. As they left the third shop, Jake spoke softly.

"Walt, you have a stalker."

"What are you talking about?"

"Some guy. He was in the bar last night, across from us at breakfast and he's been tailing us. You've been behind a desk too long or you'd have noticed."

"How do you know he's not watching you?"

"It's you he's drooling over. Trust me, he's barely noticed me."

"Where is he?"

"He's outside the arcade. He's in a black leather…Walt? What is it?"

"If you tell me he has dark hair and a fake arm…" the look on Jake's face said it all. "Fuck!"

Walter turned and headed back. Alex saw him coming but there was nowhere to hide. Walter grabbed his real arm and shook him.

"What the fuck are you doing? You disappear, not a word, not a call, not even a fucking email."

"I…I didn't think you'd want to hear from me."


"Jake, this is Alex. Alex, Jake."

"The legendary Alex, nice to meet you. Walter, I think we need to take this somewhere, we're drawing attention."

Walter nodded and turned, keeping hold of Alex's arm as they entered a restaurant. He found a table and pushed Alex into a chair. Jake settled on one side and Walter just stared at Alex for a long minute, before he sat on the other.

"So, Alex, why have you been skulking around? When you saw us why didn’t you just come over and say hello?"

"I saw you walking together last night and – well I…"

"Walt, give him a break. I was touching you a lot last night. We probably gave a lot of people the impression that we're a couple."

"Jake, stay out of this."

"Walt." The tone brought Walter up short. He had no reason to be jumping on Jake.

"Sorry, Jake."

"I know. Look I'm going to go find something to keep me busy. Let me know later what's happening with you."

Jake got up and wandered off. The waiter showed up and Walter ordered coffee. Alex asked for tea. They sat in silence until the cups were on the table in front of them.

Walter broke the silence but didn't look at Alex. "Why, Alex? Just tell me why."

"You know why. I had few options. I took the one it was easiest to live with."

"Running away!" Walter's anger was obvious in his voice. He looked at the man next to him, noticing the pulled in posture, the gaunt look of him and the fear. The fear was palpable in the air. He'd never seen Alex afraid.

"I did the best I could, Walter. I'm not you. You've always known where you were headed. I never knew where I was bound. I thought I did - for a while I thought…"

"So did I." He looked at Alex for a long time, waiting for him to say something else. When nothing came, Walter reached out. Gripping Alex's hand he spoke softly.

"You got a place?"


Silently Alex rose to his feet. Walter threw a bill on the table and followed him. No words were spoken as Alex led him to his car. The drive was silent as well. The room was neat and clean unlike most of the neighborhood.

There was one chair and Alex gestured to it. Walter sat and Alex eased down on the bed. He stared at the floor waiting for Walter to take his pound of flesh, or whatever it was Walter wanted.

"Alex, I searched for you, for a long time. I didn't want to believe the things I was hearing. It felt real that night."

"It was real. That's why I had to leave. If I'd stayed – if Spender found out…"

"You fucking idiot!"

Alex's head jerked up and he stared at Walter as the big guy got up and paced the small space of the room. Finally, Walter turned and strode to the bed. Pushing Alex down he straddled him.

"You should have stayed. Had you come clean with me the three of us could have worked together. I just want to slug you right now."

Alex wiggled his hips under Walter. "Sure you want to slug me?"

"Watch it, boy."

"I think I'm getting a little long in the tooth to be called boy."

"Shut up." Walter reinforced his order by kissing Alex hard on the lips.

When Walter pulled back, Alex asked softly. "What's going on here, Walter?"

"I'd like us to try again."

"Just like that? What about Jake?"

"Want a threesome? Jake'd love to get in your pants."

"Is that what you want?" Walter felt the change in Alex's body even though his face gave nothing away.

"Jake and I enjoy sharing, Alex. We always have. But right now, you and I are the only ones here. And in a few days I go back home and Jake goes back to his place in Canada."

"So I'm still not clear about what you want."

"Right now, I want to fuck you."

Alex wiggled again, "Yeah, that part I was pretty sure about."

"Then we need to call Jake, at least go out for dinner with him and maybe someplace to find a date, if you don't want that threesome."

"After that?"

"Book you a seat on the flight home with me."

"Are you sure?"

"Very sure. When I get you there, I'm going nail your shoes to the floor, and bar the door."

"I think I'd like getting to know your friend better."

"He knows about you. Knows how much I…"

"I don't need the words, Walter."

"Need? Maybe not, but you deserve them. I love you. I always did."

Alex pulled Walter down and pressed their lips together. He was never sure if the tears were his or Walter's or a combination. In between kisses, he just kept saying over and over, "I love you."



Jake waved to them as they went through the gate. His plane would be leaving from another gate in a half hour. He was on his way home with plans to let the man who'd been chasing him, catch him.

His vacation had been wonderful and he'd enjoyed watching Walter and Alex find their way back to each other. His phone rang and he answered it.

"Jake, I forgot to say thanks."

"For what, Alex?"

"Loving Walter, helping him stay sane, spotting me following you."

Jake chuckled, "The first two I'd have done anyway. You're welcome for the last one. Don't let him forget, summer in Toronto."

"I won't. I have to get off now."

"Take good care of him."

"I will."

The phone clicked off. Jake smiled as he handed his ticket to the lady at the gate. Yep, it was time to let that boy catch him.



I Can't Help But Wonder (Where I'm Bound)

Words and Music by Tom Paxton

It's a long and dusty road, It's a hot and a heavy load
and the folks I meet ain't always kind.
Some are bad and some are good.
Some have done the best they could.
Some have tried to ease my troublin' mind.

And I can't help but wonder
where I'm bound, where I'm bound.
Can't help but wonder where I'm bound.

I've been wandered through this land just a-doin' the best I can,
Tryin' to find what I was meant to do.
And the people that I see look as worried as can be
And it looks like they are wonderin' too. (To Chorus)

Oh, I had a little girl one time, she had lips like sherry wine
And she loved me till my head went plumb insane.
But I was too blind to see she was driftin' away from me
And my good gal went off on the morning train. (To Chorus)

And I had a buddy back home but he started out to roam
And I hear he's out by 'Frisco Bay.
And sometimes when I've had a few, his old voice comes singin' through
And I'm goin' out to see him some old day. (To Chorus)

If you see me passing by and you sit and you wonder why,
and you wish that you were a rambler too;
Nail your shoes to the kitchen floor, lace 'em up and bar the door,
Thank your stars for the roof that's over you.


Post your stories any time after Monday 26th. No need to include a line
from the song in the story. Any other queries then please drop me a

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