Email address: Peach1250@hotmail.com
Warnings: This story contains implied m/m sex
Disclaimer: The characters of Skinner and Mulder, and 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.
Notes: Lyrics supplied by: Erynn. Story written for the Lyric Wheel: Endings
Summary: Sometimes the end brings a beginning.
Indifference, the plague that moves throughout this land for the most part these days. The survivors huddle and ignore the winds of change. Will we remain entrenched within our ways? Knowing that there may be others who will try to usurp our place on this planet.
I stand outside the small cabin. It took me a long time to find him. Mulder and the others wouldn't help me. They kept saying "you killed him" but I knew better. If I killed him where did the body go?
These are questions I can not answer. Now that I've found him maybe he can. But if not, maybe he will answer a different kind of question.
Did he ever love me? Because god knows I loved him. You can not hate without love. And I hated him at the end. Hated him enough to pull the trigger. Still love him enough to track him down here. To this god forsaken place in the middle of what has become the wastelands.
I stand and stare at the door. Now that I'm here will he let me inside? Or will he at least give me release from a world that no longer makes sense.
I'm so exhausted, hungry and footsore. The trip here depleted my reserves of strengh. I steel myself and start toward the door. It opens and the biggest pit bull I've ever seen bounds out. I stop and wait for my death.
I watch him standing there just looking at the cabin. He's thin, so I know his trip here was a hard one. I wonder how he found me but it doesn't matter. You see I have no doubt he knows I'm here. Why else would he be here? This is the armpit of the world now. Or what's left of the world.
We fought them off, but the cost was high. Of course, I was dead by then. He killed me. I still remember the look in his eyes as he shot me in cold blood. I deserved it. I had hurt him in so many ways. Not the least of which was loving him, then betraying him. Will he listen if I tell him the truth now?
That it was the only way to keep us all alive. Or has he figured that out? Is that why he's here? Or did he come to finish what he started that night so long ago.
I love him still. That never changed. Yes, I killed him. I had to. But I brought him back as well. Time to face him. I owe him that.
I stand perfectly still, well, as still as I can under the circumstances, as the dog races up to me. She stands between us and shows her teeth, letting me know she is on guard. I wait, silently for his next move.
"Hello, Walter. Is this going to be a peaceful conversation or should I give her the kill command and get it over with?"
"I didn't drag my sorry ass across the continent to shoot you again. I'm armed, but I'll leave them here so you know I'm not going to try anything."
He looks at me for a long minute.
"Strip. I want to know you have nothing hidden."
I nod, then look pointedly at the dog.
She turns and runs back to sit by his feet. I slowly strip everything from my body. Understanding his caution but being ashamed for him to see me as I am now. The body he always praised me for is no more. I'm an old man and I know it.
He isn't as beautiful as he once was, but then neither am I. I ache for what we could have had in a different reality.
When he is naked he looks at me waiting, making no move to cover any part of himself. He has a new scar that is still red and angry looking; acquired on the trip I'm sure. I have some ointment that should take care of it.
"Come on in. I'll lend you some sweats."
I watch as he walks to me then past me into the cabin. I see his eyes flicker around it and for now I let him think this is all there is to it. For now, that is all he needs to know. I walk over to a dresser next to the bed and pull out an old soft pair of sweat pants and pitch them to him.
"You hungry? The soup should be ready."
"That would be great. Thanks."
"When did you eat last?"
"Don't remember. I had water until yesterday. Where do you get your water?"
"The well is on the far side. And there is a stream nearby."
I put a bowl of soup in front of him and watch as he eats slowly. He's smart enough not to make himself sick by gorging. I open the cupboard and pull out a bottle of wine. His eyebrows raise but he accepts the glass I offer him.
I fix my own bowl and sit down next to him to eat. When he pushes the bowl away I speak again.
"Want to take a shower? I remember how you hate being dirty at the end of the day."
He looks surprised but nods. I lead him to the small bathroom and hand him a towel and face cloth. When he steps into the shower I lay out a disposable razor and a toothbrush. Then I leave him to it.
I walk outside and bring in his clothing, weapons and backpack. Locking the weapons in a cabinet I lay his clothes on the hamper, the backpack beside it. I'm drinking a cup of tea when he emerges looking more like the Walter I once shared a bed with.
"Now, I know who you are. Want some tea? Sorry, I can't offer coffee."
I sit across from him, neither of us speaking. I wonder why he has been so kind. Why he has asked no questions? Maybe he is waiting for me to speak.
"I'm surprised you haven't asked me why I'm here."
"I think I know why."
"You're here for the same reason I would have come looking for you in the spring."
"Why is that?"
"Need? What the fuck does that mean?"
Sadie obviously doesn't like my tone. I find myself flat on my back, hot tea scalding my body and one hundred pounds of teeth and muscle sitting on my chest.
"Walter, you shouldn't raise you voice to me, at least not until you have been properly introduced."
"Are you telling me that once I'm *introduced* she won't tear my throat out if I yell at you."
"No, she won't."
"Why is that?"
"You'll be part of her pack then and she protects her pack."
"Ok. I'll be quiet. Get her off me, please."
"After you answer a couple of questions. Why did you come here? Wasn't it the need to know?"
"If any of it was *real*. That's why I would have come to find you."
I wait for his answer. Watch him struggle with his need, even now, to hold back. To hide from *us*. I even see the moment when he admits defeat.
One word whispered by one old man to another old man. He refuses to look at me. I refuse to answer him just yet.
I watch him wince as she moves her hundred pounds off his body. I hold out my hand to him and he takes it. When he is standing I call to Sadie.
"Sadie, Daddy's lover. Daddy's friend."
She nuzzles our hands where they are still joined. His brown eyes stare at me for a long moment before he lowers them to look at the dog drooling on our connection.
"Sadie, beautiful girl."
He says this as he uses his other hand to find her favorite scratch spot behind an ear. We stand like that for a long time.
Now what do I do? I've been formally introduced. He made the first step. Time to swallow that foolish pride and have whatever we can before our days on this world end.
I slowly raise my head to see green eyes made greener still by his emotions. I came here with so many whys. Do I really need to know them?
Suddenly, all that matters is he called me lover. I smile at him, he returns the smile and the world seems new again.
"I love you. I always have."
"To quote an old song, will you still love me tomorrow?"
He waits for just a beat then he laughs. And it's the most beautiful sound left in the world.
"Do you know, Alex, why she asked that question?"
"Yes, I know."
"Then my answer is yes, I'll still love you tomorrow. Hell, I'll even throw in 'I'll still respect you in the morning'. But I have to warn you, as long as it's been you'll probably be disappointed. I probably can't last more than a minute."
"One of the things in my survival pack was a bottle of viagra."
He throws his head back and laughs the unfettered laugh of long ago. The one I never thought I would hear again.
"I just have one more question."
I grin thinking I know what he is going to ask me.
"What is that, Walter?"
"Is Sadie gonna bite my ass when I make you scream?"
We laugh together then. And I'm happy for the first time in years.
When our laughter ends he leads me across the room and pulls his hand from mine long enough to press it against a picture hanging on the wall. A panel slides up, he reaches for a switch, and a light comes on. I look at the steps leading down into the earth. Should have known this one room and a bath wasn't all of his home.
I allow my lover to lead me toward my new life without looking back.
(by Dead Can Dance)
The birds of leaving call to us,
yet here we stand
endowed with fear of flight.
the winds of change consume the land,
while we remain
in the shadow of summers now past.
When all the leaves
have fallen and turned to dust,
will we remain entrenched within our ways?
the plague that moves throughout this land
in the shape of things to come.
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