The Truth WAS Out There: The Aftermath
[Cue in the X-Files theme.]
Four people, three tall handsome men and one lovely petite red-head stood in the middle of nowhere staring out into the distance. The desert at night was cold and harsh. The woman shivered a bit until a tall brunette man wrapped his arm around her, cuddling her close to share his body heat.
“Are we safe out here?” the balding man asked to no one in particular. His deep baritone voice cutting through the darkness.
The third man with sable black hair slipped the pack he was carrying off his back and with silent precision withdrew a small metal device. Turning it on, he swept the device in the air around them. A few clicks were heard.
“Yeah,” was all the dark haired man would say. The bald man visibly relaxed while the brunette scrunched up his eyes and gave the red-head a squeeze.
“He’s right,” replied the red-head to the asked but unasked question. “That’s only the ambient radiation in the air. We live in that all the time,” she explained while never leaving the brunette’s side.
The dark haired man just rolled his eyes as he murmured, “Duh.”
They continued staring out over the barren land until the bald man gave a command. “Let’s get out of here.”
“So how the hell do you move a secret base from the middle of nowhere and leave no trace? And why after all these years?” Mulder asked as Walter handed him a beer.
They were relaxing in the living room of Walter’s ranch. The fireplace was going filling the spacious room with its comfortable heat.
“Does it really matter?” Walter replied with a question.
“He cooks?” Scully murmured as she watched Krycek move efficiently around the kitchen. Delicious aromas were wafting toward them.
“Apparently he can,” Mulder responded with his monotone voice. It was Walter’s turn to roll his eyes.
“He can hear you,” Krycek growled out as he placed a large roast beef on the table to rest before carving. Walter took that as a sign to set the table then as Krycek continued to bring out more delectable dishes.
“Dinner’s ready,” Walter pronounced with pride when the table was set with his best china.
Mulder scurried over and plopped himself down on the closest chair. Walter looked toward the ceiling seeking guidance as Scully approached the table with some trepidation. Walter, like the gentleman he was, pulled out a chair for Scully and then handed her into her seat.
“Thank you,” Scully said primly while glaring at Mulder. Krycek just shook his head as he stood over the roast.
“Krycek, it’s already dead, just carve the damn thing. I’m hungry,” Mulder whined.
“You’re always hungry,” Krycek mumbled as suddenly he wielded a very large carving knife and a two-pronged fork. Within minutes the roast was expertly carved and served. Mulder and Scully began breathing again while Walter looked up at the ceiling for a second time, hoping.
“Mulder, are you sure your information was correct?” Walter asked after a while as he passed around a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes.
“It came from the Gunmen and they’ve never steered me wrong, sir.” After all the years of calling Skinner “sir,” Mulder couldn’t stop. Walter had resigned himself to it.
“Oh please,” Krycek snorted. “Those guys are idiots, besides you enjoyed having us run around the desert in the middle of winter looking for something that no longer exists,” he said as he bit into a roasted brussel sprout.
“These are good,” Scully exclaimed referring to the brussel sprouts before Mulder could respond to Krycek’s accusation. “I never liked brussel sprouts. How did you cook them?”
“It’s simple. Just throw them in a small pan, drizzle with olive oil, season them then slip them into the oven for about forty-five minutes,” Krycek said with a smile that allowed his dimples to show.
Scully glanced up at Krycek and then became momentarily memorized by his emerald green eyes and charming smile. While Krycek shamelessly flirted with Scully over the brussel sprouts, Walter silently begged the tablecloth for guidance. Fortunately Mulder was into his second helping of beef and didn’t notice.
Walter cleared his throat then asked, “Why dismantle the base, if it really existed, after all this time?”
“I know it existed,” Mulder stated as he shook himself recalling the bad memory. Scully reached out to gently pat Mulder’s hand in support. “The Gunmen surmise that since the Consortium has all but vanished and the general populace has gotten used to hearing about clones and little grey men, there’s no longer a need for a secret base.”
“Hide in plan sight,” Krycek added as he tore the last popover into two pieces to share with Walter.
“I suppose that makes sense,” Scully added.
“But that doesn’t answer the question why you had to go there or bring us with you,” Walter said.
“Validation,” Mulder and Krycek said at the same time. Hazel eyes met green as their unspoken communication was suddenly made apparent.
“Mulder, are you okay?” Scully asked with concern.
“I’m fine, Scully,” he assured her as he finally turned his gaze away from Krycek to his wife. He gave her a warm smile.
“How long?” Walter asked Krycek.
“For several years,” Krycek replied knowing what Walter was asking. “We don’t do it much because it gives us a headache.”
“It happens more often when we’re in close proximity of each other,” Mulder went on with the explanation.
“How?” Scully asked.
“The black oil,” Mulder and Krycek said together. Then Mulder nodded allowing Krycek to continue.
“Something about the oil and a side effect with the vaccine connected us. He likes it because he thinks he’ll find out where all the bodies are buried. As if...” Krycek snorted.
“Don't you enjoy fishing into Mulder’s mind?” Walter growled with a tinge of jealousy.
“Nope. Too scary in there. The man’s practically psychotic, and that’s all I’d need is Mulder's half-assed crazy theorems floating in my head."
"Hey!" Mulder cried indignantly.
"But I do get a few flashes now and then.” Krycek leered at Scully. Scully slammed her utensils down on the table with a gasp.
“He’s baiting you, Scul. Ignore him,” Mulder assured her around a mouth full of glazed carrots. Walter suddenly flicked his eyes at Mulder then quickly shifted them to Krycek. He relaxed when Krycek imperceptively shook his head.
“Can we focus?” Scully demanded as their meal resumed. “The base, what did they do with it?”
“More importantly what did they do with the ship?” Mulder asked.
“It’s gone. Along with the others they had hidden around the world.”
“Yep. Gone, they let it go. It’s done, Mulder. All over; that’s all she wrote. The fat lady has sung. Done. Finito. You can now go on with your ordinary lives. You can teach your kids the other secrets of the universe such as why is the sky blue,” Krycek rambled then forestalled Mulder and Scully with his hands. “I know why the sky is blue; it’s just a figure of speech.”
“Did they really let the ship go? And how do you know?” Mulder asked as he tried to probe Krycek’s mind only hitting that same titanium wall he hit several times before. Mulder rubbed his temples.
“You never learn do you, Mulder,” Krycek said smugly.
“Knock it off, Alex,” Walter finally said getting an innocent smile in return. “Explain, and why is it that I’m just hearing about this now?” Walter asked using his A.D. voice.
Krycek sighed as he wiped his mouth with his napkin. He then began to give his report.
“Look, the war is long over and us good guys, no comments, Mulder,” Krycek warned with a glare. Mulder gave him his most innocent look at which Scully, Walter and Krycek all rolled their eyes. “As I said, us good guys, the human race won. The bad guys are gone, the Consortium is dead and the little green men...”
“Grey,” Mulder intoned.
“Grey men, are gone. Having the ships around was just causing tension. So they let them go. And before you ask, the government copied whatever they could but we are just not ready for that technology. Not yet anyway.”
“So you’re telling us that they just opened the doors and let the ships float away?” Scully asked.
“Essentially, yes,” Krycek confirmed.
“That doesn’t explain why you know these things and we don’t,” Walter stated with a restrained command.
“Walter, I just know and as long as I live I will always know,” Krycek explained gently, silently begging Walter not to push it. Walter read the green eyes and understood. This was something that was too painful for his lover to go into especially in front of Mulder and Scully. "You're not the A.D. anymore and they're no longer agents."
“You rat bastard,” Mulder stood in an outrage.
“Mulder, stop!” Scully shouted as Walter stood up ready to defend his lover. Krycek stayed seated, trying not to escalate matters.
“Mulder, I can’t,” Krycek calmly said. “Even if I could, you wouldn’t want to know. The real truth is that they’re gone and they won’t be back. It’s over. We can live like humans, love like humans,” Krycek said with a soft smile.
“Love your wife, Mulder, and your kids. Stop chasing conspiracies that no longer exist. It’s time, you and Scully deserve it.”
Scully stood to hug her stubborn husband. Mulder hung onto her as she felt the fight and tension drain from the man she loved for so long.
“Who’s for dessert?” Krycek asked when Mulder and Scully finally sat back down.
“I’ll put on the coffee,” Walter said as he stood to help Krycek clear the table.
After Krycek and Walter dropped off Mulder and Scully at the airport and their house was their own again, Walter and Krycek walked out back to tend their chickens and other animals.
“Did they really shut down the base and let the ships go?” Walter asked as he helped Alex feed the chickens.
“Yes and no.”
“Should I ask?”
“It’s okay, Walter, I can tell you. The base is essentially gone. The physical structure is still there but most of it is so old that it’s falling apart. The desert will reclaim it soon enough. It costs too much to maintain and it served its purpose.”
“And the ships?”
“They did let them go but they soon realized that the ships are tied to the Earth for some reason; tied to me and to Mulder. As long as we’re alive then ships won’t leave our solar system. They’ll hide on the dark side of the moon or wherever they feel safe, but they’ll never be truly gone.”
“And we don’t want Mulder knowing this because...?” Walter asked as he watched the chickens happily pecking at their feed.
“Because he doesn’t need to know. His brain has been scrambled enough over the years. Let him use that genius of his to find a new purpose, one that doesn’t involve guns, death and conspiracies.”
“What about you? Don’t you deserve a life without guns and death?” Walter asked as he spun Alex around to give him a loving kiss.
“Mmm. I want more of that, let’s go inside.”
“Answer the question first.”
“I’m retired, Walter.”
“Semi-retired. We both know that. Why is it okay for Mulder to remain blissfully unaware while you still fight?”
“Because that’s the plan. That’s always been the plan; I promise to keep you in the loop. And don’t worry, I’m not really fighting anymore just cleaning up. There’s a mess out there,” Alex waved his arm toward the world.
“Alex Krycek, triple spy, assassin extraordinaire and sanitation man,” Walter snorted as he snuck into the chicken coop for a dozen eggs. “Here, go feed that fox of yours then come inside. It’s time for me to make you blissfully unaware,” Walter commanded in his A. D. voice.
“Yes, sir!” Krycek retorted with a snappy salute then snatched up a few eggs for the vixen and her brood in the barn.
“Lisa, Lisa,” Krycek cooed. The little fox he had rescued from a fire some time ago carefully scampered toward Alex. He rolled the eggs toward her. When she felt safe enough, the vixen snatched up the eggs then carried them one by one toward her little corner of the barn.
Walter and Alex came with loud grunts and groans then collapsed into a post coital haze shifting their positions so that they could sleep side by side. Walter waited until their foggy brains cleared to continue their conversation.
“Can you really pick up Mulder’s thoughts?”
“When I need to. Why, does that make you jealous?”
“More envious than anything else,” Walter replied honestly.
“Don’t you know we have a stronger connection,” Alex stated. “One that I never thought I’d ever have. And that’s my truth, Walter. The only truth I ever need to know or want to know,” Alex said as his hand searched for Walter’s under the blanket. Finding it, Alex clasped Walter’s hand with a strong grip.
Concentrating on Walter, Alex sent out his awareness. Walter felt something enter his heart and fill his soul.
“Our truth,” both men said at the same time.
As the universe sang them a lull-a-by, Alex and Walter fell into a blissful sleep.
[Cue the X-Files theme.]
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