Title: CHANCE ENCOUNTERS III (1/1)
Story in 6 parts
Date: Written July, 1999
Posted October, 1999
Summary: A series of chance encounters can have personal
Archive: Ratlover, CJK, Basement.
DISCLAIMER: These are the property of CC, Fox and
1013. But, by chance, I too encountered them.
NOTE: If the duties of a senior office on site are not
as I describe them, I don't care.
CHANCE ENCOUNTERS: This being the Third (1/1)
It was relatively early in the evening when Skinner
shut the motel's cabin door behind him.
He rested his forehead against the door. Exhausted.
The hostage incident was over.
As senior official in charge, it had been his duty to
inspect the mountain cabin down the road when the
crisis was over, to see to the bodies being bagged.
To inform distraught parents as to the contents of two
of the bags. To suggest that neither be opened in
their presence, that closed caskets should be
To have obscenities yelled at him by a mother who would
never hold her children again. To be blamed by a
father for the death of his children.
To inform another set of parents of the death of their
son, a son they accused the system, through him, of
To console his negotiator, a woman with children of her
To thank the field agents, the local and state cops for
their help. To try and abate their feelings of
helplessness, to recognize the long hours they had put
in to trying to resolve this situation without
Now, he had nothing left. Not even the energy to
disrobe, to get rid of the smell of frustration, fear,
horror that permeated his clothes.
He didn't even have the energy to hear the water
running in the tub.
"Can you turn around?"
The voice drew him to try. Krycek.
He rested the back of his head on the door, too tired
to try and straighten up. Too tired even to be
surprised that Alex Krycek had shown up here in his
motel cabin, in what was basically a cross-roads, in
the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Krycek stripped him quickly, efficiently. He was
getting much more competent with that one hand.
He didn't speak, sensing that Skinner was beyond
speech. He left him there for the time it took to go
and turn off the taps in the tub. A shower would have
been easier to organize, but the cabin didn't come with
one. Went back and manoeuvred the man into the
The water in the tub was hot, not unbearably so.
Skinner knew he would fall asleep if he stayed in for
any length of time. Then found he really didn't care.
Krycek took off his sweater to wash Skinner. The man's
exhaustion was written on his face. His eyes were
bruises of purple in a drawn face. He had never seen
Skinner with stubble other than end-of-the-day stuff.
He figured the beginnings of the beard represented the
number of days the man had done with either little or
He knew, from the media reports, that Billy Lee had
kidnapped the Dawson twins a week ago, had been traced
to the cabin three days ago. After that, there had
been a news blackout.
Krycek wasn't sure what it was that had made him check
who was senior officer. Or why, the longer the crisis
went on, he felt it necessary to get here. It wasn't
as though he could stand by the man in the field, or
help with negotiations. He just felt that he had to
come, and for once in his life, he put his needs before
his orders from the Consortium.
He'd been with the FBI long enough to know what a
senior officer's duties were. He had heard the mother
screaming, the father cursing just like everyone else
here at the motel which had been designated crisis
centre. Had seen, from behind the curtains in the
window of this room, Skinner move on to the van
belonging to the kidnapper's parents. Had seen Skinner
move among the men, console a silently crying woman.
Had seen him stand by the ambulances that took the
Had seen his face when he turned to walk over to the
cabin assigned to him. Had even seen one of the agents
stop another from following him.
He knew no one was going to come in and check on
Skinner. It wasn't their job.
Skinner's skin had been cold when he'd undressed him.
Now the heat was working and his body was warming up.
He was also slipping down into the water.
Krycek pinched him awake. "Come on, Walter. Get up."
It was like trying to get a gigantic bag of flour to
stay upright. By the time he'd succeeded, he was
almost as wet as Skinner.
He braced Skinner's hands against the bathroom door,
dried him down quickly, propped him up again and got
him out into the bedroom. After the tub, it was
relatively easy to get the man into bed.
Krycek went to put some order in the bathroom, hung his
wet jeans over the towel rack, checked to make sure the
outer door was locked, even shoved a chair under the
door knob to insure that no one would come in and take
them by surprise.
He finished stripping, slid into the bed next to this
man who had drawn him here. Skinner was sleeping
fitfully. Krycek pulled him closer, snaked his arm
under Skinner's arm to around his back, anchoring him
solidly against him.
He dozed rather than slept so that when the nightmare
started, he had no trouble waking Skinner up.
"Walter. It's over. Let it go. You did everything
that you could. It's not your fault."
Skinner thought that Krycek was part of the dream.
Suddenly dawned on him that the man was real, was
"Alex? What are you doing here?" He tilted his head
back to look into the face of this man who disappeared
and reappeared in his life.
"Came to see how you were doing." He kept his voice
"Not well." Skinner closed his eyes. "I lost them,
all three of them."
"No. You don't take that kind of responsibility onto
yourself. You didn't lose anyone, Walter. They
weren't yours to lose. Their karma was bad, their time
was up, God willed it. Whatever shit it is that you
want to blame it on, but not you."
Skinner shook his head, silently disagreeing.
"You did your job. You got the best people in. I
recognized Hennesey down there. Are you trying to tell
me that she didn't do her best to get those kids out of
there? Is that what you told her?"
Skinner shrugged, dispirited. "There had to be a key
somewhere. Something I missed."
"Fucking shit, Walter." Krycek's anger got through to
Skinner. He looked at the man, more alert this time.
"You of all people should know that there are asshole-
subhumans in this world. You dealt with enough of them
in VCU. You've read enough of Mulder's reports to know
that there are things in this world that aren't human
in human form. Billy Lee was some amoral psychotic
punk who got his jollies kidnapping and killing a
couple of kids..."
"He tortured them." Skinner's voice interrupted
Krycek's anger. He took a deep breath. "They started
out as identical twins and he tortured them in
"Then when he was all done, because they still weren't
quite dead yet, he rammed his silenced gun up their
asses and fired.
"Then he blew his brains out and died instantly. We
found his jeans soaking wet with semen. Caked with it.
All the time he was carving them up, he was coming.
"He was seventeen years old and his parents don't
understand how he could have hurt anyone because he was
such a sweet little boy."
Krycek hadn't move all the time Skinner was voiding.
Now he grabbed Skinner's chin. Held it tightly. "He
was a monster. The kids are better off dead." Skinner
made a growling sound in the back of his throat.
"What? Would you have preferred the kids to live?
Like that? Blind. Maimed. Emasculated. Is that what
you would have wanted for them, Skinner? Them alive so
that you wouldn't feel like you'd lost your little
battle with Billy Lee?"
"No!" Skinner pulled his chin out of Krycek's hand,
pulled back from Krycek himself.
"Then what the fuck have you got to feel guilty about?
You did your best. Your team did its best. You tried.
The fact that you didn't get the kids out has nothing
to do with you. It has to do with a monster who wasn't
going to come out of there alive no matter what anybody
Skinner got out of the bed, was staggering on his feet.
Krycek joined him, stood close behind him, not touching
him. "If you weren't so exhausted, if you had gotten
some sleep in the last few days, if you hadn't talked
to those people, the parents, you would know that you
had done your best. That you aren't responsible for
what happened in that cabin any more than you're
responsible for Billy Lee."
He touched Skinner's shoulder then, had his hand shaken
off. Skinner took a step further away from him. "You
don't understand. If we'd found them earlier..."
Krycek was used to rejection. Found that Skinner's was
more painful than he wanted to admit. He went to find
his clothes, dressed.
Hesitating and then not touching for fear of further
rejection, Krycek passed Skinner on his way to the
door. "Sorry. I shouldn't have come. I thought maybe
I could help." He stood at the door, his back to
Skinner. "Instead, I seem to have made things worse."
He moved the chair from under the knob, began opening
the door, ready to slip out.
"Alex." Skinner's voice was hoarse with pain.
Krycek stayed for a moment. Felt a hand touch his
shoulder. He turned, back against the door. Skinner
rested his head against Krycek's shoulder. As the
first sob broke through him, he began sliding to the
Krycek tried to hold him up, ended up on the floor with
him. Cradling him. Listening to him empty himself of
the grief of the situation.
Sometime before dawn he got Skinner into bed. He
tucked the blankets around the sleeping man. Bent and
kissed him on the temple.
End of Part 3