Distractions 4/4

Distractions
Co-authored with Ra Enright
Written October 1995
Rated PG
Synopsis: Mulder falls for an agent-in-training, unaware of her true identity.

Disclaimer: The characters you recognize belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Fox Television. No infringement is intended. Some of the characters and situations are my own.


Scully stiffened, let her hands drop from the younger woman’s shoulders. He thoughts began to whirl.  Lex. . . Krycek. . . Alex Krycek, Angela Kent, Angela Krycek, Angela Mulder, ohmygod my partner is dating Satan’s sister– >

Angela saw the instant shock in Scully’s eyes and wondered if Alex did know Mulder. At the very least, Mulder’s partner seemed to know Alex. . .

“Do. . . Does he know Mulder?”

“Yes, he does.” Dana made a decision. “And you’re right, Mulder is in very serious danger. Where is he?”

“He said he was coming over. . .” Angela answered distractedly.

“Where’s Krycek?”

“He left. He said he had business to take care of. Oh, god, what’s going on?”

“We haven’t got time. I’ll explain on the way to your house.”

***

Angela handed the keys to Scully and climbed in. If the driving had been perilous going over, it was almost worse now. Scully was grateful she had her FBI identification with her in case they got pulled over.

“Agent Scully. . . What’s happening?”

“How much do you know about what your brother does for a living?”

“I know he makes a lot of money. I know he’s a lawyer–isn’t he?”

“No, he is not.” Scully took a deep breath. “He used to be an agent in the FBI.”

What?  Alex? So that’s where he got the gun.” She shook her head. “So he did know about you two.”

“There isn’t anything to know.” Scully hung a sharp left. “This is the way to your house?”

“Keep straight for a few miles. Why would he tell me that if Mulder didn’t have something to hide?”

“Because he isn’t what he looks like. Angela, I’m so sorry you have to find out like this. Alex Krycek was a double agent. He worked in the FBI, but not for it.”

“My brother?” This was unbelievable. “So why does he hate Mulder?”

“A number of reasons. He was assigned to Mulder to keep him from solving any of his cases and report on him to his superiors. He–” Scully choked off, remembering the few days before and during her abduction by Duane Barry. “Mulder attacked him once. He’s probably still smarting.”

“My brother was a double agent for the FBI,” Angela repeated. “This is unreal.”

Suddenly she recalled the time Alex had come home with a bloody nose and dislocated shoulder, covered in bruises. He said it was a mugging.

Could Mulder have done something like that? Sweet, quiet Fox–but Alex said he’d hit Agent Scully. She felt like her whole world was coming apart.

“I don’t have any proof. You have to trust me.” Scully shrugged. “I know it’s a lot to ask.”

Angela sat back and didn’t answer.  Either she’s a really good liar or she’s telling the truth.

There are so many reasons for her to lie. . .

***

Alex crept along the corridor of the J. Edgar Hoover building. Either he was here or he was at his apartment.

Damn him! Wasn’t it enough that that jerk had put him out of a job, but now he had to come messing with his family? He had to be ten years older than Angela! What, was he having a mid-life crisis early?

No, Mulder wasn’t here. Damn, he must be at his apartment.

Back up, Alex, regroup. Where would you go if you were Mulder? Scully’s place? What if Angela had called him? Where would he go then?

Best to get home, to Angel. He would think of a plan from there. Maybe take care of Mulder once and for all.

He catalogued all the ways he could do it as he drove back.

Car bomb, arson, suicide, gangland hit, accident, poisoning. . .

Maybe he would catch him, torture him first. Nobody got that near his sister and lived, especially once they screwed up. And Mulder had it coming to him for a long time.

Just like that other guy, Jim. Bam, bang, two broken arms and he was history.

Only this time he wouldn’t end there. . . . .

***

Mulder used Scully’s neat and precise technique in breaking and entering and slipped quietly into the house. It was dark. No one appeared to be home.

He turned on the nearest light switch. Mrs. X sat on the table, her pot scratched and battered a bit. “Angela?” There wasn’t an answer.

***

As Alex pulled up to his house, he spotted a very familiar blue Ford Taurus pulled up along the curb. He chuckled slightly. “This really is my lucky day.”

***

Mulder searched every room just in case Angela was hiding in one of them. He was standing by the bathroom when he heard the front door open. He peeked around the corner.

Oh, my God. What was Krycek doing at Angela’s house?

“Mulder!” Krycek called out, pulling his gun from its holster. “I know you’re here. I’ve been waiting for this moment. And the Hunter always gets the Fox.”

What the hell is he doing here?  He slipped into the nearest room and looked around in the semi-darkness.  This must be her brother’s room.  It was cozy . . . if you were Dracula or some other bloodsucking monster. There was a picture of a young boy and girl on the nightstand. Mulder moved closer to it and picked it up, holding it into the moonlight for a closer look.

The girl, with her blond pigtails and crayola blue eyes, was most definitely Angela. But the boy was another story. It was obviously her brother–the noses, cheekbones, faces were the same.  I know this face . . .

He heard a noise behind him, and the lights came on. He turned abruptly, finding himself staring down the barrel of a standard FBI-issue gun.

“Mulder,” he began smoothly, removing the safety, “you should know never to mess with family.”

The sad truth that finally sank in revealed nothing but a cold, hard fact.

***

Angela was the first to notice the two cars parked outside of her house. “Alex is here.”

“So’s Mulder.” She handed Angela a gun. “Quick lesson. Pull the trigger.” She opened her car door. “Come on.”

Angela didn’t want to use the gun. She hadn’t even gone through the entire training course at Quantico . . . and she still wasn’t sure if Scully was telling the truth or not.

They heard a gunshot from inside. Scully quickened her step.  Please don’t let us be too late . . .

***

Mulder refused to let Krycek know that the shot had grazed his injured shoulder and hurt like hell. “How did Angela become so unfortunate? Related to a low-life like you?”

“Oh, now you’re really pushing it.” He put the gun up to Mulder’s temple. “But, see, this way is too easy.” He clicked the safety back on and put his gun in the holster. “How’s your shoulder, Mulder? Almost healed?” He punched Mulder in the jaw and reveled in the sight of his blood. “This might be easier.”

“Don’t count on it,” he grumbled, grabbing Krycek’s throat and squeezing. Krycek countered by kneeing him and watching him double over in pain.

Mulder groaned in pain but continued the fight, ramming his head into the man’s chest and pushing hard. Krycek tumbled into the dresser and rolled over. Mulder gave him a low blow to the kidneys.

The front door burst open. Scully drew her gun and searched the living room. There was no sign of Mulder or Krycek. She heard noises coming from somewhere in the house and followed them. Angela had a different idea, sliding into the kitchen.

She saw her partner fighting furiously with Alex Krycek. But the man saw her and pinned Mulder against him, putting his gun to his head. “Well, well, Agent Scully,” Krycek greeted breathlessly, “what brings you to my house?”

“Let him go, Krycek.”

“Oh, no, not this time. You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to kill him.”

She steadied her aim on Krycek’s head.  But it’s so close to Mulder . . . can I get a clear shot?  She went through the possibilities and realized that there was no guarantee she’d hit the right person. “Just let him go. We can talk about this.”

“Oh, yeah?” He scoffed. “I really thought you’d be more intelligent in your reasons of letting him go. After all, you have dealt with aliens from another planet . . . ”

She really wished she had that clear shot. “Drop your gun.” Where the hell was Angela?

Angela was in the other doorway. She had reached her brother’s room through the kitchen. She had heard the whole thing and had the clear shot Dana was hoping for. But it was Lex up there–not a double agent or some evil character, her brother.  But who’s right?

“Put your gun on the floor, Agent Scully. Maybe I’ll spare Mulder’s life.”

“Don’t listen to him!” Mulder told her. “He’ll kill me anyway–and you, too. Just take your best shot.”

She took a step closer, her finger slowly closing down on the trigger. But she stopped; she couldn’t do it.

“What’s the matter, Scully?” Krycek taunted. “Can’t risk it? Mulder was right, though; I would kill him anyway, just like what I’ve been planning on doing ever since I first started working with him at the FBI.”

Scully inched even closer. Mulder ordered, “Just shoot!”

And a shot rang out. For a moment, Scully thought it was her gun that had fired the bullet. Then she heard the scream and watched Krycek fall to the floor, releasing Mulder and his weapon.

Angela threw her smoking gun aside and rushed to her brother’s side, sobbing heavily. “Alex! Oh, Lex, are you all right?”

He looked at her blindly. “Angela . . . why?”

Scully dialed 911 and ordered the paramedics there immediately. She kneeled by Mulder, who was watching Angela and Krycek in disbelief. He glanced up at Scully, confusion clouding his face and searching for answers in hers. But she had none to provide.

***

The bullet Alex Krycek had taken to his left hip had not been fatal, especially with the quick arrival of paramedics on the scene. Angela–and Mulder too–insisted on riding in the ambulance with him. Mulder wasn’t going to let him get away so easily this time. It was as well that Mulder had insisted on coming along; he’d lost a lot of blood in the exertions with Krycek, and he needed to be patched up almost as much as his opponent.

It was a long, quiet ride. Angela refused to talk to anyone, just sat, holding her brother’s hand. Alex would, no doubt, have talked, if he hadn’t been unconscious. It was better this way anyway–he’d probably have been screaming at both of them, and that scene could wait until later. Mulder steepled his hands–wincing at the burning that caused his shoulder–and regarded the two of them.

He recalled Angela talking about having a half-brother. That would explain the contrasts. Perhaps, if she had been a brunette, or had black hair, he would have noticed who she resembled.

He marveled at the calm way his mind was handling this.  Shock, his training told him. You’re in shock, idiot.

But it was true. Angela was fair haired, fair skinned, with bright eyes. Alex Krycek was–not. He’d grown his hair longer than the last time Mulder had seen him, and now the black mass he used to slick back in that awful style ran almost to his shoulders. Damn, he would have made a good agent. If he hadn’t been so hell-bent on destroying everything the FBI was supposed to stand for.

His mind drifted back to the first lecture, earlier in the month.

An agent’s first duty is to the truth.

***

Dana Scully arrived at the hospital somewhat after her partner did, not being able to put on flashing lights and get people to pull over for her like the ambulance could. Thankfully, the nurses at the front desk were used to seeing Dana Scully and her partner come in, usually injured, and let her pass. The elevator ride to the Critical Care ward seemed to take forever.

She found Mulder, shirtless but still in his bloody jeans, seated on a hospital bed, watching a young nurse warily as she rebandaged his shoulder and assured him that the bullet had only grazed him and done minimal damage. He didn’t look up until she’d left, and then only after he’d flexed his arm to make sure he still had it.

He smiled sadly. “Scully. You know, I’m starting to forget what it feels like to have all my body parts in full working order.”

“That’s a rare occurrence these days,” she agreed. “Where are Angela and Krycek?”

“Krycek’s in surgery. I’ve made sure that they won’t ‘accidentally’ lose the room they put him in.” He took a deep breath. “Angela’s watching.”

Scully considered that for a moment. “Do you want to go join her?”

He declined, the last traces of the smile vanishing. “She’s made it clear that even if I wanted to, she doesn’t want me there.” He flexed his arm again, trying to figure out what to say next. “I don’t really blame her. Having to shoot your brother to save your lover’s life. . . he’s going to make it, there’s no doubt of that, but what’s that going to do to her? Dammit!” He slammed his good hand down on the bed. “You would think, out of the forty-odd students in that class, that I could manage to avoid falling in love with the one of them–”

“Are you in love with her?” The question brought him up sharp. Scully was looking at him, curiously.

Was he? He remembered looking up into her bright blue eyes for the first time and thinking of Scully. Time and again, looking at her and thinking of his partner. If Angela died, today, now, would he mourn her as he would his partner? As you had mourned your partner, he reminded himself. For three months.

His head hurt, half from dizziness from the blood loss, half from trying to think too hard. Angela Kent was Alex Krycek’s sister. Half-sister. Was she a plant? Someone placed there deliberately to distract him?

As if she knew what he was thinking, Scully spoke again. “She didn’t know what he was, Mulder. She thought he was a lawyer.”

Well, that made sense. Krycek was a weasel. He would make a pretty good lawyer.

What was he thinking? That was Angela’s blood kin.

It all came back to her, eventually, didn’t it?

“I don’t know anymore,” he finally said, in answer to Scully’s half-forgotten question. “I thought I was. But. . . ” He shook his head. “Every time I saw her, every time I looked in her eyes, I thought of you.”

Oh, lord, what was he saying? He must be worse than he realized. He would never have said that under normal circumstances.

Scully was getting very good at this mind-reading thing, he thought, as she ordered him to lie down. “You’ve lost too much blood. Get some rest. Don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye out on Angela and Krycek.”

“We want him alive. . . ” He managed. “We need to know what he knows. . . ”

“And he will be held accountable for what he’s done.” Scully assured him. “This time, he’s not going to get away.”

With her assurances, and the images of two sets of blue eyes floating in his head, he drifted off to sleep.

***

Angela didn’t turn around as Agent Scully entered the room. She didn’t owe her anything. She didn’t owe Mulder anything. She’d had to shoot her brother to save him, wasn’t that enough?

I joined the Bureau to help people. Not for this.

The big glass insert showed the operating room clearly, and the doctors bent over Lex, trying to remove the bullet. It had lodged somewhere in his hip-bone, she didn’t know the scientific term for it. Apparently he’d been lucky–two inches closer and he might have been hit in his spine, paralyzed. As it was, he would never want to see her again. Her mother would laugh and call it sibling rivalry taken to the extreme. She didn’t know what to do.

“He’s in good shape, Angela. He’s going to survive.” Scully’s words intruded on her thoughts. She still didn’t turn.

“Mulder’s fine too, if you’d like to go see him. I’ll keep an eye out here.”

“Agent Scully, do you think I want to see him right now?”

“No, but I think you should. If only to straighten out how you two really feel about each other.”

“That’s always the question, isn’t it? What’s the truth, what’s a lie.” She spat. “Did I lie to Mulder or did he lie to me? Or did we lie to each other?”

“I don’t think either of you lied, unless you did it on purpose.”

“He should have told me he’d worked with Lex.”

“How would he know to? Unless you’d told him what your brother’s name was, he couldn’t have known to tell you that he’d almost been killed by your brother. Mulder is many things, but he’s not telepathic. Not yet, anyways.”

“Sorry. I guess I’m just. . . trying to sort out what’s real, and what to do next.”

“Alex Krycek has to be held accountable for his crimes, Angela.”

“I don’t even know what he’s done,” she half-wailed. “Nobody will tell me anything. . . ”

“Are you ready to know?”

“I hope so.”

“Just the murders, or the sabotage, too?”

“Both, please.” She sounded scared, childlike.

“He killed Mulder’s father. And my sister. He deliberately prevented Mulder from saving me when I was abduct–when I was kidnapped, almost a year ago. He attacked Mulder for a tape of information he was carrying. He sabotaged almost every case Mulder worked on with him, and reported our actions to. . . men in control. After almost killing Mulder in the attack, he disappeared. We hadn’t seen him, until now.”

“And that’s the little boy I used to play Monopoly with,” Angela murmured to herself. “Times change, huh, Agent Scully?”

“And people with them.”

“I think it’s time I made a few changes in my life. You will explain to Mulder?”

“If that’s what you want.” Scully took a deep breath. “You don’t want to see him again?”

“I don’t think so. But tell him. . . he taught me things you can’t learn in a classroom.”

***

When Mulder awoke, Scully was sitting by his bedside, and Angela was gone.

After making sure he was conscious and cognizant, she explained it all to him. Krycek was, at this moment, recovering in a room guarded by two agents–yes, they could be trusted, she’d handpicked them herself, thank you. He would recover, and then they would deal with him. No, nobody suspicious had been seen.

Finally he got up enough guts to ask about Angela.

The look on Scully’s face said it well enough.

“She left. She didn’t want to say goodbye–she told me to tell you. I’m so sorry, Mulder.”

He shook his head against the pillow. “It’s okay. I can understand. Did she say where she was going?”

“She said. . . she wanted to find out what had happened to Krycek, and to prevent it from happening again. I think she’s probably gone by now.”

“She didn’t leave anything specific?” he asked, half-hopeful.

“I’m not sure. She said she was thinking of joining a government surveillance group. I gave her the address of the Gunmen.” Scully smiled. “But I don’t think she’s their type. I think she probably got some information from them, maybe joined NICAP or one of the other organizations.”

He leaned back on the pillow, eyes on the ceiling. “Too late to say goodbye, huh?”

“She didn’t want–”

“I know.” He rubbed his forehead tiredly. “How long have I been asleep?”

“Almost fifteen hours.”

“Am I allowed to get up?”

“Do you think you can?”

“Uhm.” Using his good arm, he propped himself into a sitting position and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. “I want to check up on Krycek.”

“He’s–”

“I want to see it for myself.” His tone didn’t leave any room for argument. She assisted him out the door and down the hallway, his face pale from the simple act of staying upright.

The two agents seated outside saw them, smiled, and waved them in. There he was, sleeping on the hospital bed. Quietly, probably under sedation.

Mulder just watched him for a few minutes. Satisfied, he nodded to Scully, and turned to walk the few yards back to his own room.

There would be no more distractions.

The End

O woman, perfect woman! What distraction was meant to mankind when thou wast made a devil!
–John Fletcher–

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