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Brand New Day by Aqualegia

Series: None
Summary: Based on Tunguska (s04e08 - Nov 1996). Mulder and Krycek are driving to New York after leaving Skinner's apartment. Crossover with Men in Black.
Categories: X-Files
Characters: Alex Krycek, Fox Mulder, Krycek/Mulder
Genres: Alternate Universe (AU)
Warnings: Implied sex
Challenges: None
- Text Size +

Story Notes:
Written for the July 2005 Crossover Lyric Wheel. With thanks to Ursula for the Lyrics.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Written in July 2005 for the Crossover Lyric Wheel.
Mulder was not in a good mood. Having to lean out over a balcony seventeen floors up to rescue Krycek had soured his mood. Then they'd hardly got going before Krycek wanted the bathroom, then something to eat.... Then some idiot had slammed his car into the back of a semi, just in front of them which caused them to be delayed.

When they'd finally reached New York, things still weren't going Mulder's way. They had been diverted from their route by the emergency services attending a fire. Mulder had got lost, then lost his temper and struck out when Krycek had suggested he stop and ask for directions or buy a map. Now when his temper had cooled a bit, Krycek was sulking and had turned completely non-helpful.

Finally in exasperation he stopped the car, and got out slamming the door behind him.

Unmoved, Krycek watched him walk away, and then released his wrist from the handcuff. "I'm probably going to regret this," he muttered as he turned off the engine and switched off the lights before getting out of the car and locked it before following Mulder along the street.

Catching up with his erstwhile partner, he handed over the car keys, then said, "I think I know where we are."

Mulder whirled his fists rising. Krycek caught his wrists. "I'm not going to be your punching bag any more, Mulder. If you hit me again I'm going to retaliate, and you won't like it if I do"

Mulder glared at him for a moment, then retorted. "All right, where are we?"

"We're near where they held the 1964 World Fair. I recognize the tops of the towers we can see - there was a picture book about it in the library at school and I always imagined that they were flying saucers until I learned to read."

Even as they watched, some lights appeared on the higher of the two disks; then the top started to move down. They looked at one another and bolted back towards the car, they had to find out what was going on.

Mulder screeched to a halt again when the disk suddenly took flight, and almost immediately afterwards, two bolts of bright light streaked across the sky, blossoming even brighter as they hit the craft.

They started to run towards the park as the craft turned around and started to lose height showering sparks in all directions.

As they got nearer the spot where two men, one white and one black, dressed in black tuxedos, holding very peculiar looking weapons, were standing, Krycek pulled Mulder into cover.

"Let's keep out of their way until we know what's going on," Krycek hissed at the man struggling to get out of his grip. "Now is not the time to get shot by accident."

Mulder stilled. All his attention concentrated on the stricken craft as it crashed back to earth and finally came to a halt within yards of the two men. As the dust settled, a ramp lowered to reveal a very odd looking man who walked in an uncoordinated manner down to the ground.

They listened as one of the armed men quoted a violation of an ordinance of which they had never heard, and the man seemed to be about to obey the instructions to put his hands on his head, then before their astonished eyes, the creature peeled off the disguise and revealed itself as a huge insectoid.

Frozen to the spot, they watched as the alien knocked the two men off their feet, disarmed them, and swallowed their weapons. The creature then turned towards the observation towers, making for what had to be a second spacecraft.

The white guy gave other man some instructions, then ran to get in front of the insectoid, jumping up and down and shouting at it about killing cockroaches. Eventually the alien seemed to get irritated and swallowed the human whole, at which point the other man threw a large rock at the insectoid's head, trying to divert its attention from the second tower. Next he tried a metal strut, but he was swept aside like a swatted fly. When the man got to his feet again, he was swaying slightly, but he gamely chased after the huge bug and grabbed its tail; and when he was shaken off he crashed into a large metal container.... Slowly he got to his feet again. Then, noticing two cockroaches on his sleeve, he looked around him for the source. Finding it, he kicked at a rusting corner near where he'd landed; something spilled out.

He started to call after the alien, making a point of grinding something into the ground. The insectoid halted, then abandoned the climb to stalk back towards where the human was still standing... then, just as the bug was about to strike, there came the sound of a powerful weapon and the alien was blown apart. The man who had been swallowed dropped to the ground beside his companion.

Mulder and Krycek had both breathed a sigh of relief when the slime spray didn't quite reach them, then watched as the front portion of the bug revived and started to creep up behind the two figures seated on the ground covered in slime. They were just about to take a hand when woman they hadn't noticed rushed forward to pick up the other gun and shot the alien again, disintegrating it completely.

Their movements having gone unnoticed, Krycek pulled Mulder into cover again, waiting to see what would happen next.

Now they were much closer, they heard the woman say, "Interesting job you guys have."

What was said next wasn't loud enough for the listeners to hear, but when the white guy called for a clean up crew, they very carefully crept away towards where they had left the car. Mulder then drove it, without lights, very slowly until they could see the car in which the two men had arrived. He then stopped the car in deep shadow to await developments.

The two men finally got wearily to their feet and plodded back towards their car, the woman following along behind them. When they reached the car, they leant against it; waiting patiently until a fleet of trucks arrived on the scene. While the workers started the clean-up operation, the two men and the woman disappeared inside one of the large trucks, emerging some time later, all traces of the slime cleaned away. They got into the black car and drove away, with Mulder following carefully in their wake.

When the car stopped outside the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel building, and everyone got out, Mulder drove past and parked his vehicle, then he and Krycek walked back to where they could see what was happening.

The girl was now leaning against the car, watching the two men who had got halfway to the door of 504 Battery Drive, and had then stopped to talk. They watched fascinated as the older man handed a long, silver cylinder to the younger one, explaining something to him about the dials on it. The younger man took it reluctantly; finally putting on a pair of dark glasses before pointing the top of the cylinder towards his comrade and pressing a button. The bright light lit up the night, then the man took off his dark glasses and made a phone call, in response to which more men dressed in black tuxedos issued from the building.

"Who the hell are these guys," Mulder muttered as the older guy was driven away, and the younger man took the woman inside the building.

Krycek was looking at the ground, and frowning as he said, "They're definitely not anything to do with the consortium...." His frown deepened and there was a long silence, before he said quietly, "I didn't think they existed outside a comic book...."

"Who?"

Krycek gave a diffident shrug. "I used to share a room with this guy who collected comic books, and I was once bored enough to read some of them. One story... one set of comics stuck in my mind... it was about a secret organisation who policed all the different races of aliens who were living on this planet."

Mulder's volatile temper was rising again. "Is there a point to this story?"

"Yeah, there is. The characters in the comic dressed the same way, black suit, white shirt and a slim black tie." He lifted his eyes to meet Mulder's. "They carried weapons like the ones we saw tonight, and they had a silver gadget which gave out a blinding white light and wiped people's minds for a period of time, which could be set on some dials, so they could implant new memories into witnesses. In the comic they were called "The Men in Black".

"You expect me to take this seriously?"

"Why not? What better way could you deal with people who might see something odd, than to say 'you must have read it in a comic'?

Mulder started off towards the Tunnel Authority building, but Krycek pulled him back again. "I'm not letting you get close to that place unless we're both wearing wrap-around dark glasses."

"Both?"

"Yeah. If they really are who I think they are, then I've got some questions I want to ask them about how their ordinances apply to the black oil and the Bounty Hunters, and I don't want our memories tampered with."

Mulder looked thoughtful. "Do you think they know about the consortium?"

"I don't know, and even if they do: I still want some answers from them."

-oo0oo-

A quick trip to a pharmacy provided them with two pairs of expensive sunglasses; and if the proprietor wondered why they were buying dark glasses in the middle of the night, he didn't ask.

Mulder was still grumbling about the price when they arrived back outside number 504 Battery Drive.

As they walked up the path to the doors, Krycek said, "Leave the talking to me."

"Why should I," Mulder demanded.

"Because I've read the comics and you haven't. Now put your glasses on and please stop arguing with me." Krycek covered his eyes with the glasses he'd chosen

Mulder didn't have time to answer, so donned his pair of Ray-Bans and stomped into the building behind his ex-partner.

Krycek walked up to the man sitting on a chair, the only furniture in the room, and said, "Good evening. I would like to speak to the Agent in charge. I have a message of import to impart."

The man hesitated for a moment; then said, "Take the elevator to level two."

Krycek nodded, walked to the back of the room and pushed the call button. The doors opened almost immediately and they went inside. Krycek looked at the control panel then back at the guard, and said, "Draw your gun, Mulder. At the first sign of any treachery, shoot at the control panel."

Feeling totally out of his depth, Mulder did as he was told.

All the lights on the panel came on, and three bars of light moved up the car, then the doors behind them opened.

Krycek whispered, "Lower your weapon, but don't put it away yet."

They walked out into a white room which had six half-egg-shaped chairs and a small round coffee table in it.

Krycek turned to face the large mirror set in one wall. Mulder also turned around, his gun half raised.

After a couple of minutes had passed, a stocky, bearded man came into the room. "Not very trusting are you," he commented.

The visitors shrugged in unison.

"My name is Zed. Who are you, and why are you here?"

"My name is Alex Krycek, my companion is Fox Mulder. We were on our way to a meeting and got lost when we were diverted from our route by the police due to a huge fire.

"We saw your agents fighting the alien insectoid at Corona Park and followed them back here.

"We have special reasons to be interested in extraterrestrials. Mulder is SAC of the FBI's X-Files and I have been under cover inside 'The Consortium'."

"I have heard of Agent Mulder," Zed admitted, "But I'm not sure what a group of international businessmen has to do with us."

Krycek raised his eyebrows. "Do they have you fooled, too?" he asked, then plunged on without waiting for an answer. "The consortium was formed just after the incident at Roswell when some more of the Grey Aliens arrived and-"

That's was a hoax," Zed growled, "It didn't happen."

"Oh yes it did," Mulder and Krycek said in unison.

Krycek flashed a grin at Mulder, and then went on. "His father and mine were involved in the subsequent cover up. They were both founder members of the Consortium."

"Is this true Agent Mulder?" Zed was having trouble believing that he'd been fooled, and desperately needed some corroboration.

"I discovered my father's involvement a few days before his death, and he admitted that he'd used his position at the State Department to further their aim of plausible deniability." Mulder told him.

Zed stared from one to the other for a moment, and then said, "Please come with me, I think we need to take this conversation to my office." He turned on his heel and led the way out of the room.

The glass-walled office, elevated above what was clearly a control room of some sort, was accomplished in silence. Mulder had holstered his gun at Krycek's nod, and they relaxed in their seats, waiting for Zed to ask another question.

Zed didn't speak again until the young black man they'd seen at the park had joined them. Zed then introduced them to Agent Jay, who had recently joined the organisation from the NYPD, and had him listen to the tape of his earlier conversation with his visitors.

"Could we have been infiltrated?" Agent Jay wanted to know.

Even as Zed denied that it was possible, Krycek said, "Some of the aliens we have encountered are shape-shifters and can take on the appearance of anyone - the only way you can tell the difference is that they bleed green."

Mulder took up the thread. "Alex forgot to mention that they are difficult to kill and their blood exudes a toxic gas if you don't kill them outright. My first encounter with one nearly cost me my life."

"That must have been before I knew you," Krycek commented, wondering why Mulder was suddenly calling him 'Alex'; not that he was averse to it.... nor was he going to let anyone see how much it had surprised him. "Some of these shape-shifting types are known as 'Hunters' they are the greys' enforcers. The best way to kill them is with a stiletto to the back of the neck at the top of the spine, that seems to nullify the gas and they just melt away. There are also some other aliens, who are from slave races of the greys which have fled here, and have formed a kind of resistance, and it is them that the Bounty-Hunters are trying to eliminate."

Zed held up his hand to stop the flow of information. "Slave races?"

"That's the way they describe themselves. 'Fugitives from planets that the greys have conquered. Earth appears to be their chosen battleground, the next planet on the schedule to be conquered... or maybe re-conquered. I have heard some rumours that they lived here before the last ice age." He shrugged. "That could be true, or it could be just an excuse for their aggression."

"There's also the 'black oil' which can take over a person and make them do anything they want them to. I've had personal experience of that one. I flew from Hong Kong to the US sitting beside Mulder and I couldn't say a word - the oil had complete control."

Agent Jay turned towards Zed. "I thought that scanner you showed me displayed the position of all the aliens on the planet, How come all these others are running around without our knowledge?"

"I don't know," Zed replied uneasily

"Who built the scanner?" Mulder asked.

"I don't know that either. Although I was one of the first agents, I was not the first director. He retired after two years in the job. The twins look after it now, and know far more about how it works than I do: let's go talk to them."

Zed led the way down to the main floor and across to the scanner where two aliens, who looked rather like plants, were operating the controls. He introduced the twins, and then asked them to display the locations of all the aliens on the planet.

The map of the world lit up with collections of coloured lights, most of which were located in New York.

Alex described the Bounty Hunter to them, and asked if they knew anyone who fitted that description. Their answer was no.

Mulder drew his brows together. "How do new aliens get added to your database?"

"Now that I do know," Zed replied. "Their profile gets added automatically every time a new species, or sub-species for that matter, walks through the terminal. Their details would also be recorded if they come within a 200 mile radius of the facility, or the satellite facilities around the world."

"In that case we are faced with two scenarios. One; the aliens Alex and I have encountered have never been anywhere near this terminal; or, two; something in the original programming inhibits recognition."

"I think it must be the second," Alex stated. "I know for a fact that at least one of the Bounty Hunters has been in New York fairly recently.

Zed scowled. He didn't like what he was hearing, and told the twins to either look at the programming themselves, or get someone they could trust to sort it out as soon as possible.

One of the twins said something in reply which made a thoughtful expression appear on Zed's face. After a while he asked, "How many of you people out there know what these 'Bounty Hunters' look like."

"There must be quite a few. The aliens who are hiding from them definitely know; Mulder, his partner Dana Scully, and myself, of course. Some parts of the Consortium use them as enforcers, since they've promised to hand over the planet at some date in the future, and are therefore considered to be allies-.

"What date?"

Alex screwed up his nose in distaste. "I don't know; and, believe me; I've tried very hard to find out. The old men just keep repeating the phrase 'the date is set'. At a guess, judging by other comments I've overheard, I'd say it was at least ten years' away; but less than twenty... which doesn't make me very happy. I'm certainly not going to give up my planet without a fight."

"Me neither!" Mulder added vehemently.

"I like your spirit, boys." He looked at his watch, then went on, "I need to follow up on what Bob just told me, after that I'd like to talk to you both some more; offer you a place in our organisation. In the meantime, I'll ask Mirriam to take you to conference suite one. She can also show you how to get food and drink delivered to the room."

Mulder and Krycek looked at one another. Mulder raised an eyebrow at Krycek who quickly tossed up in his mind whether the current situation warranted laying aside his plan to get Mulder vaccinated against the black oil, or not. He was about to say no, then changed his mind at the last moment, and turned the shake of his head into a slight nod; real allies were hard to come by. It was something they needed at the moment, and the offer of food and drink would give them some time alone, which they could use to discuss what to do next.

Mulder turned back to Zed and said that they would be interested in hearing what he had to say.

Zed gave a half smile, then took them over to one of the desk, and introduced a short, dark-haired woman as Mirriam.

Once Zed had given her his instructions, she told them to follow her. They went out of the control room and through a maze of corridors to the conference suite, and made sure that they knew how to order food and drink before she left.

While waiting for their food to arrive they explored the suite and used the bathroom to clean up, before the waiter arrived with their order.

After the waiter had been and gone, Mulder took a seat at the dining table, looked at the array of covered dishes, and asked, "Do you think it's safe for us to eat?"

Alex shrugged. "We've got to start trusting them sometime; and we do need allies."

"So we abandon the search for the source of the pouch?"

Alex shrugged again. "I think this proposed alliance is more important than anything else at the moment. The information about the origins of the pouch is unlikely to disappear." He picked up a soup bowl, filled it and placed it in front of Mulder, then filled another one for himself. Sitting down opposite Mulder with it, he took a roll from the basket and started to eat.

After a few minutes, when nothing dire seemed to have happened to Alex, Mulder followed his example and started to eat.

Alex looked up and smiled. Mulder's stomach did a belly flop, it was a long time since he'd seen that smile, but it still affected him the same way.

"Do you think we're being watched?" he asked to cover up his reaction.

"Probably; I would if I were Zed. He's probably also running background checks to see if we really are who we say we are, so don't say anything that you don't want anyone else to know."

"You're as paranoid as I am."

Alex threw his head back and laughed. Mulder stored up the sound; it was something he wanted to hear again. "No one could be as paranoid as you, but thanks for the compliment," Alex replied once could speak again.

Mulder grinned wryly, and then turned thoughtful. "Why do you think Zed said he wanted to offer us a job?"

"I think he's worried about the all the undetected aliens there are running around the planet, and we're the resident experts on them; and the consortium as well."

"That's what I figure, too. It's nice to know we're on the same wavelength."

They ate in silence for a while, then Alex said, "You know, I can't help wondering if the first director here was a member of the Consortium."

Mulder looked up in surprise. "What makes you say that?"

Alex finished the last mouthful of strawberry cheesecake, and pushed the plate away from him. "You can't build an alien life signs detection system overnight, and this is a highly sophisticated program that adds new alien 'signatures' automatically. Also, it had the instructions to hide the Greys, their allies and their enemies from the surveillance. So, one has to ask oneself; 'where did the original program come from?' My guess is that although this is now an autonomous agency, the original idea was to keep track of the visiting aliens without any of them finding out about the existence of the Greys."

Mulder got up and paced around the room, turning Alex's hypothesis over in his mind. Meanwhile, Alex poured himself another coffee, and watched; Mulder watching was one of his favourite occupations.

Mulder stopped behind the chair he'd been sitting in earlier. "Why relinquish control?"

"I've been thinking about that. Once the blocks on discovery were in place, and fully tested, I think there would be a risk of discovery if the two organisations remained linked. They probably still have some access to view the database, though, so a warning would be thrown up should anyone get too close to one of their projects. One of Zed's first tasks is to find if that link exists and make sure that it looks at an old, or heavily censored, copy of the database, so when the aliens we know about get added, they won't find out."

"Yeah, destroying the link would not be a good idea." Mulder agreed.

"Which brings up another of Zed's problems... ours too, in a way. He's got to make sure that there are no consortium moles on his staff, particularly in the computer maintenance and programming areas. They would be privy to way too much information for my peace of mind, and could compromise our positions"

"Now he's had time to think about it, do you think he'll still want to offer us a job?"

Alex looked hard at Mulder's face, trying to discern why his ex-partner kept asking this question, albeit in differing ways.

"Yes, I think so. He has too much to lose otherwise. He was shaken about the Consortium's plans to hand the planet to the Greys, he doesn't want that any more than we do."

"Probably working in a semi-autonomous department," Mulder speculated.

"That would be my guess; and probably not located in this building, either. Too much risk of an information leak, in both areas, otherwise."

"Will you accept the job if he offers it?"

Alex stared at the wall where the windows ought to have been. Silently running the conversation over in his mind, try to see where Mulder was leading this conversation.

Mulder shifted from foot to foot, the movement brought Alex back from his musings. Looking back at his ex-partner, he said, "Relying on you, me, your friends, and mine, to save the world by ourselves is not going to be enough. Although there is a resistance movement, it's not very big, and the alien rebels are our allies on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If we can weld the resistance into a really cohesive unit, get some other brains working on the best way to defeat the Oiliens, then unless Zed puts some insurmountable obstacles in my path, I would take the job.' He was silent for a couple of minutes, but when Mulder didn't speak he asked, "What about you, would you accept his offer?"

Mulder paced agitatedly about the room. "I really don't know. I'd like to, but I'm worried about the furore my leaving the FBI, would cause. After years of clinging on to my job by the skin of my teeth, what could I tell Scully and Skinner that they would believe?" He stopped opposite Alex again. "Besides, I'm not sure that I'm ready to give up the X-Files. It's not just aliens that I investigate."

"I know.... I read through quite a few of the files while I was working with you.

"Required reading, Alex?"

Alex shook his head. "I enjoyed reading about some of the cases I'd heard about while I was at Quantico."

"For what it's worth, I don't think you ought to leave the FBI either. Lot's of people have more than one job, and in this case there are no conflicts of interest. After all, I'm sure that if Zed does offer us a job, we can work from Washington rather than here. It would make security easier to handle, too."

"Why didn't I think of that?"

"Too close to the problem, perhaps."

They both turned towards the door as it opened to admit Agent Jay.

"Zed's on his way here. If you've finished your dinner I'll get the waiter to clear the dishes while we wait."

"Yes, we've finished, thank you," Mulder replied after getting a nod of assent from Alex. He then slumped back into his chair, while Jay called the kitchen and asked for someone to remove the dishes.

They watched in silence while the waiter was clearing the table. Zed arrived as the waiter was leaving the room.

Zed took a seat at the head of the table and waved Jay to take the seat opposite him. He smiled wryly at the two men. "As you rightly surmised I did want to verify your identities, and I'm assured you are both who you say you are, after a fashion, anyway. Mr. Krycek, you have a sealed file at the FBI which none of my people have been able to access. Why is that?"

"I am generally supposed to have left the FBI under a cloud having been exposed as a Consortium operative. I was recruited by them of course; I could hardly avoid it, with my father being an active member. But, as soon as I graduated from Quantico and began working in the real world, I started to smell a rat. My suspicions were raised even further when I came into contact with Spender. The guy who smokes too much," he added as an aside to Mulder. He paused and took a couple of deep breaths, before continuing. "To cut a long story short, I arrived early for a meeting with Spender, and was shown into a small meeting room to wait for him to be free. Whilst sitting in there, I accidentally overheard Spender telling someone that Special Agent Todd Martin had poked his nose into their affairs once too many times and should be eliminated, the assassin was told where and when to do he job. That, for me, was the final straw. Todd Martin had come to Quantico while I was there and given a lecture on combating organized crime, so I knew all about him and his reputation.

"I went to Agent Martin and told him what I had overheard, and about how I wanted out of the situation in which my father had landed me. He put me in the care of a doctor friend and I spent five days in hospital with suspected food poisoning. By the time I returned to duty, the assassin had been caught, but had somehow managed to hang himself in his cell.

"That sounds familiar," Mulder muttered

Alex flashed him a grim smile, and then went on with his story. "Martin called on me just before I was released from the hospital and made arrangements with me on how I was to pass on any information to him. It was he who sent me to infiltrate the militia you arrested the other night, Mulder. When I found out that Todd, and his partner Larry, had been put on administrative leave, I sent the receipts to the only other person I knew I could trust to act on them."

"Me."

"Yes, Mulder, you... and that, more or less, brings my story up to date."
"So essentially you still work for the FBI." Zed stated.

"Last time I checked I was still getting paid every week."

"Does Skinner know about you working for Martin?" Mulder asked.

Alex shrugged. "I don't know. He didn't exactly give me a chance to have a talk with him last night."

Zed looked from one to the other. "I found your speculations very interesting to listen to," he said. "You're both very bright boys and have followed my earlier train of thought fairly accurately. I like your idea of setting up shop in Washington, there must be a new apartment, or office, complex that's being built in DC that would fit the bill."

"Since you've both intimated that you believe we can be mutually useful, I won't bore you with details at this time of night. Yes, I do want you to work for me, in an autonomous department, my trusted, and re-vetted, aides are working out the details. I suggest you find yourselves a nice hotel nearby, and get some sleep. Come back here about ten tomorrow morning, we should have most of the details worked out by then. Before you go, there is one little ritual to perform, let's get you into your official MiB suits.

An hour later they walked, side-by-side, into the lobby of their chosen hotel. The sight of two gorgeous men walking up to the reception desk turned all heads in their direction.

Uncomfortably aware of becoming the centre of attention, Mulder punched the bell on the reception desk, hard, setting it jangling.

Alex put out his left hand to silence the sound.

A scowling receptionist came out of a door behind the desk to see who was assaulting his bell. His expression cleared a bit when he took in the sartorial elegance of the two men standing on the other side of the desk.

Alex smiled at the man, then said, "We would, like two connecting rooms, or one room with two large beds in it."

Disarmed by the smile, the receptionist opened the register, and looked at what was available. "We don't have any connecting rooms in this hotel. We do have junior suites available, two bedrooms each of which has a king-sized bed."

Alex handed over a credit card, and gave the registration of Mulder's car when asked if they were driving, and five minutes after walking into the hotel they were shown to their suite on the 7th Floor.

After the bellhop had left, Alex locked the main door then leant against it and watched Mulder prowling around the L-shaped suite, looking in every room and closet. When he stopped in front of the TV in the lounge, and picked up the remote, Alex asked. "Have you decided which room you would like?"

Mulder dropped the remote as if it were a hot potato and turned to face his ex-partner, unsure of how to act now that they were completely alone. Always in their meetings before he had been in charge. Now, they were equals he was tongue-tied.

Almost enjoying Mulder's sudden discomfort, Alex grinned at him, then picked up his suitcase. "I take it that's a 'no'. In that case I'll take this one." He walked a few paces to his left and into the bedroom where he placed his case on the rack provided, then started to undress.

Mulder stared as Alex's body was revealed, feeling unable to look away.

Feeling Mulder's eyes on him, Alex looked over his shoulder, and smiled at Mulder's expression. "You know... before we threw in our lot with Zed, I had visions of sleeping in the car at the side of the road while you met up with your informant." he said, as he hung his jacket and shirt in the closet and retrieved the complimentary towelling robe hanging there.

"Mmm," Mulder muttered, his eyes drawn to the colourful bruise from Skinner's fist, which was now showing above the waistband of Alex's pants.

Giving a mental shrug, Alex stripped off the rest of his clothes before Mulder's startled eyes, and padded into the bathroom, trailing the fluffy robe along the floor in his wake.

Mulder shook off his stasis as a years' old vision of a green eyed partner disappearing, naked, into the bathroom of a cheap hotel, floated across his mind... Alex wasn't going to get away from him this time. He went into the bedroom threw of his clothes, then, taking a deep breath, he too went into the bathroom.

After all, tomorrow was a brand new day, and a brand new way of life.


Brand New Day
Words and music by Sting

How many of you people out there*
Been hurt in some kind of love affair
And how many times do you swear that you’ll never love again?

How many lonely, sleepless nights
How many lies, how many fights
And why would you want to put yourself through all that again?

’love is pain,’ I hear you say
Love has a cruel and bitter way
Of paying you back for all the faith you ever had in your brain

How could it be that what you need the most
Can leave you feeling just like a ghost?
You never want to feel so sad and lost again

One day you could be looking
Through an old book in rainy weather
You see a picture of her smiling at you
When you were still together
You could be walking down the street
And who should you chance to meet
But that same old smile that you’ve been thinking of all day

You can turn the clock to zero, honey
I’ll sell the stock, we’ll spend all the money
We’re starting up a brand new day

Turn the clock all the way back
I wonder if she’ll take me back
I’m thinking in a brand new way

Turn the clock to zero, sister
You’ll never know how much I missed her
Starting up a brand new day

Turn the clock to zero, boss
The river’s wide, we’ll swim across
Started up a brand new day

It could happen to you - just like it happened to me
There’s simply no immunity - there’s no guarantee
I say love’s such a force - if you find yourself in it
And sometimes no reflection is there

Baby wait a minute, wait a minute
Wait a minute, wait a minute
Wait a minute, wait a minute

Turn the clock to zero, honey
I’ll sell the stock, we’ll spend all the money
We’re starting up a brand new day

Turn the clock to zero, mac
I’m begging her to take me back
I’m thinking in a brand new way

Turn the clock to zero, boss
The river’s wide, we’ll swim across
Started up a brand new day

Turn the clock to zero buddy
Don’t wanna be no fuddy duddy
Started up a brand new day

I’m the rhythm in your tune
I’m the sun and you’re the moon
I’m a bat and you’re the cave
You’re the beach and I’m the wave
I’m the plow and you’re the land
You’re the glove and I’m the hand
I’m the train and you’re the station
I’m a flagpole to your nation - yeah

Stand up all you lovers in the world
Stand up and be counted every boy and every girl
Stand up all you lovers in the world
Starting up a brand new day

I’m the present to your future
You’re the wound and I’m the suture
You’re the magnet to my pole
I’m the devil in your soul
You’re the pupil I’m the teacher
You’re the church and I’m the preacher
You’re the flower I’m the rain
You’re the tunnel I’m the train

Stand up all you lovers in the world
Stand up and be counted every boy and every girl
Stand up all you lovers in the world
Starting up a brand new day

You’re the crop to my rotation
You’re the sum of my equation
I’m the answer to your question
If you follow my suggestion
We can turn this ship around
We’ll go up instead of down
You’re the pan and I’m the handle
You’re the flame and I’m the candle

Stand up all you lovers in the world
Stand up and be counted every boy and every girl
Stand up all you lovers in the world
We’re starting up a brand new day


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