Title: Item #2229649660
Author: Amazon X
Feedback: Why, yes, thank you!
Category: clothes, theft, money, stuff
Summary: Who do you think would sell Krycek's leather jacket on Ebay?
Archive: The Basement, Full House Slash, Gossamer, WWOMB, and if I OKed when I signed up on the list, go for it. Anyone else, just tell me!
Disclaimer: Not mine, never were, I have no money.
Notes: This was a Peja challenge that the entire Lone GunCon attendance helped me write! Yes, all the main freaks had a hand in this one. The number is the actual Ebay number for the Krycek costume and I hope you enjoy it, kaNd! Gunfen, this is dedicated to you! No beta, I decided it was fine as it is.
CRYSTAL CITY, VA
Alex Krycek paced the room, cut glass crystal tumbler clutched in his prosthetic hand with force enough to make the glass' owner flinch. Walter Skinner watched his wayward lover as he fumed and fussed about how he was "impugned".
"I swear to fucking God, Walt, I'm going to shoot holes in all three of them." He paused to take a gulp of Skinner's best single-malt scotch. "They are going to die. Not pay. Not apologize. I'll fucking kill them!"
"Alex, is it possible that you forgot the box at that particular..."
"I did not lose my warehouse, Walt," he spat. "I don't know how they did it, but they didn't do this legally. I'm good at computers, but even I can't figure out how they did it."
Skinner covered his face with his hands and rubbed his eyes. "Look, as far as I know, they bought that warehouse free and clear. If you left things there, they own them flat out. There's nothing you can do."
Krycek, still completely naked, how he arrived, save for the long black wool coat he wore over his black leather boots. He'd burned most of his other things, green alien blood making the red, angry marks on his thighs, stomach and back. He'd been finishing off the last, or what he though were the last, of the Super Soldiers and came upon a group of Shape Shifters who decided to dance. It wasn't pretty.
He'd ended up destroying most of his clothes trying to avoid getting the corrosive green alien blood in his face. He wasn't worried about his skin, that would heal easy enough. What was another scar on his body? Skinner always thought they were part of him, how he would know Krycek from a clone or Shape Shifter. Krycek had thought that he would dump his ruined clothes and collect his things from the abandoned warehouse he'd bought years ago. He stored everything there, including his special leather jacket with all his papers and his hidden DAT tape. He'd kept it all these years, as leverage, to make sure if he was caught by the legal government, he had a "get out of jail free" card. Skinner told him that was quite smart.
But it was all gone. He'd let the taxes go while he was "vacationing" in Tunisia, and the warehouse was repossessed and sold. Along with changes of clothes, his laptop with the special Cyrillic keyboard and his Chinese horoscope stuffed Beanie Baby rat, the sparkly one with the iridescent tail. That was a gift from Skinner as a joke. He'd kept it as safe as he could for as long as he could. It was all gone. Krycek was so pissed about the door lock being changed and those three freaks making it virtually impossible to get in. They were damned good, and if he didn't respect them so much, he'd actually go through with killing them. As it stood, he would just get his stuff back and exact payment for his property.
"Alex, they need the money more than you need that jacket. I'll get you another stuffed rat, baby. Let's just get a bath and go to bed. We'll call them in the morning, OK?"
"What the fuck would make them do that, eh?" he asked, preceding Skinner up the stairs.
BROOKLYN PARK, MD
TWO WEEKS EARLIER
Jimmy walked through the newest warehouse that the Gunmen had finally moved into. He was there to clear the boxes out of the storage rooms and offices upstairs where the bedrooms would be. Byers squawked the most about the bathroom, since it was an industrial bathroom with an open wall boasting six separate shower nozzles, six toilets behind stalls, six urinals and six sinks. There wasn't a bathtub in sight.
Jimmy didn't care at that point. Well, it needed duct work for heat and air conditioning. And it needed to be scrubbed top to bottom, but it was better than sleeping in the van, or his car. When things got tight with the guys, they'd had to do that. Then they stumbled on a warehouse being just about given away for a song from the IRS, all one would have to do is pay the back taxes, they jumped on it. The sale price was a dollar. You couldn't beat that.
Jimmy opened box after box, looking to see if there was anything that could be salvaged. He did not expect to find boxes of men's clothes. There were several pairs of well-worn black jeans with snap and zip flies, sweaters in various dark colors, navy, hunter, gray and black, some wool and cotton socks, white t-shirts but no underwear. That was strange to Jimmy. There were two pairs of black boots as well, with zip closures. The most interesting part was the heavy black leather jacket. He was thoroughly confused.
Taking the boxes to the main area where the guys were building the work tables and wiring the computers, Jimmy put them down, making three trips to get the one open box and the two still sealed boxes marked with characters he didn't understand.
"Uh, guys, what do these markings mean?" he asked.
Byers was the first to walk over to look at the box and said, "That's Cyrillic. Russian people use a different alphabet than the Western countries."
"Like China and Japan and all those countries."
"Precisely. However, I don't read Cyrillic. I wonder what's in the boxes."
"Well, this one has clothes in it."
Byers cocked his head at that. Frohike was intrigued. He came over and snatched up the one piece of clothing that interested him the most, the leather jacket.
From across the room came Langly's, "Forget it, guys. Who wants some, nasty old clothes? Toss `em."
"Not yet," Frohike instructed. "Just wait a moment." Frohike took the jacket to his work station and began to feel around in the lining. He stopped and smiled. With his trusty Gerber tool, selecting the long, thin blade, he carefully slit the lining at the seam and started pulling things from it, like a magician's top hat. He placed several folded, aged papers on the table, a cassette, and a battered, red leather passport covered in more Cyrillic. The last box, smaller than the others, contained an older model laptop all with Cyrillic characters and writing on it.
Frohike opened the passport and smiled at the name. "Guys, we hit pay dirt."
"What do you mean?" asked Byers, looking over his shoulder.
"This is the passport of one Valery Arntzen. Known to us as Alex "Rat Bastard" Krycek. And this," he held aloft the cassette, "I'll bet my left arm is the DAT tape stolen from Skinner and Mulder. We are in the pink!"
And pink they were. Langly sat to unencrypt the tape, which after the item kicking around for 10 years, the encryption was obsolete, so he had it downloading massive amounts of data, and burning it all to two DVDs, one for jpegs and drawings, the other for text files. They would give copies to Mulder and Doggett for review. The rest, including the laptop, Frohike said he had use for. Langly wanted in.
"Come on, Stubbie, what are you gonna do with Ratboy's clothes and things? I wanna know. I got a right. This place is one third mine."
Frohike sighed wearily, but relented. "Alright, I'll tell you. We've been hurting a little for coin since all the crap went down, but now that we're out of hiding and all the threats are going to end, why shouldn't we get in on the American dream?"
"I'm not following," Langly said, shaking his long blond locks.
"Follow this, hippie. Ebay! Does that compute?"
Langly smiled, then frowned.
"Wait a second. Who the hell's gonna buy some random guy's clothes?" he asked, waiting for the reasoning behind the stupidest thing he'd ever heard.
"Are you telling me there are people out there who wouldn't buy `authentic clothing worn by an international assassin'? Come on, if you knew some big gaming freak wore some jacket, you wouldn't want it? If you had the money?"
Langly thought about it for a moment. It may work, if no one caught them. "All right. What will we use as a nickname? I mean, something they can't trace back."
"Easy, we'll use TMB-INC as our nick. No one associates that with us anymore. That old dummy corporation is long gone, but it still has that email address." Frohike was smiling in accomplishment.
"Wait, what if Ratboy finds out? He'll kill us, you know," Langly said, still trying to shoot down Frohike's bubble.
"Look, pal, no one's heard from him in years. Yeah, Skinner faked his death, but he's been gone for ages. This is going to be the easiest money we've ever made."
In the back of Langly's head, he couldn't help but hear the echo of "never utter famous last words."
BROOKLYN PARK, MD
By no means were the Gunmen asleep, and Krycek knew it. He still only wore the long coat and boots, gracefully accepting a pair of socks from Skinner, but nothing else. Skinner could have laid out the finest couture offered by the Fab Five themselves and he'd have refused, most likely to said offerers' delights. Skinner always said a naked Alex is a good Alex, and he was sure the cast of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" would certainly agree.
Watching that particular show, and television court shows, was the only way he could keep Krycek mollified long enough that day until under cover of darkness, they would visit the would-be thieves of Krycek's possessions. Skinner kept insisting that left property is not stolen, but Krycek would hear none of it. He wanted his things and he wanted them immediately.
They stood before the typical iron door, this one in a small alcove and not a swing door that could have the hinges worked on. This was a huge sliding door, probably bolted into the ceiling and floor. The telltale video camera at the door was pointed directly at them. Krycek waited while Skinner knocked.
There was some scrambling around inside, but the door slid carefully open. Jimmy stood in the small space. "Mr. Skinner, Mr. Krycek, can I help you?"
Krycek saw the tick of fear in Jimmy's left eye. He smiled. "I like you, kid. You know what's right and was isn't. I know you had nothing to do with this situation. Please let me in so I can collect my things. I do not want to see who would win if we locked horns. Got me?"
Jimmy didn't back down at first. Oh, the size difference wasn't arguable. In strength alone, Jimmy had the upper hand, not accounting for greater height and width. He fondly thought back to the time he'd successfully impersonated Skinner. The thought of fighting against someone who knew several forms of martial arts, and probably had hidden a stabbing weapon on his...well, in his coat, wasn't appealing. He didn't want to see who could beat who. Also, he didn't fancy grappling with a naked man, as Krycek hadn't buttoned his coat and unabashedly stood there in his bare glory.
He did what he thought was best and stepped back, allowing the men in. He stared at Skinner, who gave back a look that seemed to say, `we mustn't let this get out of hand.' If that was the sentiment, Jimmy seconded the motion.
"Frohike!" Krycek shouted. "Get your ass out here, you little bastard! I want my things!"
Krycek knew he was taking a chance, going there in the open, but the Gunmen were not fighters, at least, not where he was concerned. If they were openly attacked, look out, that place was wired to blow. Then again, Jimmy wouldn't be standing three steps behind them if they meant to take him out. No, they were the kind who reasoned, ran if they could, and lived to fight another day. He was there, calling them out, just asking for what was his. Byers would see that.
Guessing right, Byers walked out with one box in his arms. "I'm sorry, this was all I could find of your clothes. Well, not your jacket. I'll show you the washroom so you can dress." It was obvious Byers was trying to look away.
"I need the laptop, the DAT tape and the papers that were in my jacket. I'd like my jacket, too, Byers. I know this was the work of the other two. You have morals."
Byers cocked his head at the last statement. "This has nothing to do with morals, Krycek. This has to do with things you left here. We own them, outright."
"If you had found my things, you'd have given them to Walter. Look, in my jacket, there was a picture..." Krycek's face broke instantaneously, a glimpse of emotion that was banished immediately.
"Just go get dressed and we'll get everything together," Byers directed, and the firmness in his voice almost made Krycek have an ounce of respect for the man. He'd have had more, but the guy allowed his friends to offer all of his clothes on Ebay to spy fetishists. How moral could he be, really?
When Krycek turned to go to the washroom, he spied the little thief he'd been looking for, dropped his clothes and made a beeline for him. Frohike stood his ground, showing much bravado in the face of certain doom. Krycek had a moment of respect for his elder, then remembered the man left him penniless and naked. He grabbed Frohike by the leather vest and hauled the little man up to his eye level, bracing Frohike's back against the wall.
"Where is my stuff, dead man?" he growled in Frohike's face.
"Alex!" Skinner shouted. "Put him down!"
"You better listen to your Sugar Daddy," Frohike warned.
"I'll tear you apart just for shits and giggles, you little troll!" Alex shouted.
"Alex, if you don't put him down, I will arrest you for assault. I have no choice, I'm still an officer of the law," he warned.
Alex thought about it a moment. He'd promised Skinner he wouldn't break the law unless he was defending himself or someone else. He looked over his shoulder at his lover and then unceremoniously dropped Frohike, who took the opportunity to shove Krycek back onto his ass. The long coat he wore opened, revealing his honey-golden skin. Frohike looked down, unimpressed.
"You ever put your hands on me again, kid, I'll cut `em off," he growled.
"If I have to put my hands on you again, you'll never see me coming," Krycek growled back, getting to his feet.
Byers walked back in the room with the leather jacket, the laptop and the papers that were in the jacket lining. Krycek grabbed everything and began searching through the papers, only to throw them down in disgust. He grabbed the jacket and began a systematic search of the lining from the outside until he found what he wanted. Grabbing an X-acto knife from the desk, he carefully cut into the lining and pulled from it an old, worn, black and white photograph that seemed several decades old.
Skinner stood behind him and looked over his shoulder at the picture of the smiling little boy balanced on his beautiful mother's hip. She was slender, dark-haired like him, but it was cascading over her other shoulder, the one that did not have a little boy's cheek pressed to. Krycek held the photo reverently a moment, then quickly slipped it into the inside pocket of his coat and turned to leave. Skinner gathered his jacket, laptop and papers, completely confused at why Krycek had left them behind.
Outside, he found Krycek standing in the darkened alley, looking up at the stars. "Wanna get the door for me?" Skinner asked.
Krycek shook his head from his reverie and opened the back door of the big Expedition to help Skinner load his things. He sat beside Skinner in the front and waited to go back to the condo.
"Alex, was that all you wanted? A picture of your mother?" he asked, putting a gentle hand on Krycek's shoulder.
"It's the only clear memory I have of her. That day, at my fourth birthday party. Either the Syndicate or to the Rebels took everything else. But I still remember her holding me, standing for that picture and telling me I was the best little boy in the world. She kissed me, then sent me off to play. I don't have any other memories of her. Just her voice. And the rose petal-smell of her skin."
Skinner started the truck so Krycek could wipe the tear from his cheek.
"Let's go home, Alex," Skinner said and drove off into the night.
TWO DAYS LATER
CRYSTAL CITY, VA
Skinner walked to the door to admit Jimmy and Byers to his apartment. Krycek had left the day before, borrowing a few items until he could replenish his wardrobe on his own. Skinner contacted the Gunmen asking to please bring the items to his place, like he felt they should have done in the first place.
"Walter, I gave Agents Doggett and Mulder the information we downloaded from the DAT tape Alex had," Byers started. "This is the rest of his stuff."
"I sewed the lining closed," Jimmy said. "It was only right, since he only wanted the picture."
All three men were silent for a moment.
Finally, Skinner said, "John, did you think he was hatched?" Byers knew what he meant. That it was interesting to think that Krycek had parents, since they all knew so little about him.
"Is his name really Valery Arntzen?" Jimmy asked.
"Yes, but he doesn't use it, saying that the little boy in that picture is dead. He's not the same person. Just like you two aren't the same men you were before you became involved in all this...nonsense. We've all changed immensely. And I'm not sure I care to ever be that ignorant, arrogant, ass-kisser again. I like who I've become. The only problem is, we can remember who we were. Alex has no memory of his life before about three years ago. He doesn't remember most of the Syndicate, his life, or even his parents. But that picture brought back a few memories."
"Then it's good he got them back," Jimmy said, then grabbed Byers' arm to pull him from the house. Byers almost gave a loud protest, wanting more information about the memory wipe technology, but then realized. Whether or not it would be a good story, Skinner would have a difficult time discussing intimate details about his lover. So Byers let it drop and left the condo. Before they were out the door, Jimmy reached into his pocket and handed Skinner the iridescent rat. Skinner smiled down at it. "Thank you, Jimmy."
Skinner sat heavily on his couch, waiting for the laptop to boot up. He smiled at the familiar Windows logo popping up along with all the characters of his childhood story books. His great grandmother had taught him to speak, read and write in Russian, but after years of disuse, the skills he'd honed had faded. As soon as he began navigating Krycek's computer, all his forgotten lessons came back.
He found a text file of journal entries. This was why Krycek wanted the laptop. His journal from when he was a young man, started in 1984. It was all in Cyrillic, but Skinner quickly remembered what he needed to recall to read the diary of events in the life of Valery Pavel Arntzen.
He didn't hear the keys in the door, nor did he catch a glimpse of the man hang his coat in the closet while reading. He did get startled by the deep voice ask, "Are you enjoying yourself?"
Skinner looked up to see Krycek fondly looking at his endeared toy rat. "Just reading about you."
"I didn't know you could read Russian."
"I can do a lot of things."
Krycek gave him a seductive smile. "I'll be showering. Feel free to come show me what you can do."
Skinner only allowed the time he took to lock up the downstairs for Krycek to be alone before he started "show and tell."
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Amazon X
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