Title: Graduation Day
Author: N. Y. Smith
Author's Page: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3437/
Category: X-Files Vignette (Krycek), Alternate Universe
Disclaimer: Okay, you know I didn't create them-at least not Alex Krycek. The rest are mine, though.
Genre: Words: 1,772
Written: 03/21/1999
Words: 1772
Rating: G

Summary: Alex Krycek's past intrudes on one of the most important days of his life.


A cold wind blew inland from the Bering Strait, tying the old monk's cassock around his spindly shins. He struggled to maintain his footing in the mushy spring thaw. Blue eyes peered through the heavy drapes that covered the windows of the izba.

"[Good]," thought Alexei. "[Maybe he'll give up and go back to the monastery.]" But Alexei knew that his hope was in vain. The old monk had emigrated from Siberia--just like they had-- and stubbornness was a regional character trait. A heavy knock shook the heavy door. Muffled voices in the entry hall spoke Russian. He had not realized how rough-sounding a language it was.

"Alexandreovitch?" his father called sternly.

He hesitated for a moment, hoping his father would assume that he was not in the house, or was asleep, or was on his way to the moon, perhaps. But he turned the knob and opened the door, praying that promptness would lessen the punishment.

Passing through the entry hall--still chilly from the opened door--into the parlor, he stood silently before the two men.

"[Alexei, Brother Gregorovitch has come about your schoolwork.]" His father's voice was very quiet but firm. "[Is there something you wish to tell me?]"

Young Alexei stared at the family portrait that hung behind the cleric's head. Is there something you wish to tell me, Papa? he thought but said nothing, staring at his mother in the portrait. Her hair was blond and her eyes were hazel.

"Alexei?" the cleric prompted.

Alexei hung his head, tracing in his mind the images of his mother, of his red-haired, brown-eyed father and his strawberry-blond, hazel-eyed sister. And he stood before them--olive complexion, dark hair and eyes the color of the deep water. Please tell me something, Papa. Still he said nothing.

Brother Gregorovitch was not a patient man. "[Where is it, Alexei? Where is your science report?]"

"[Alexei, the Brother says you completed your science report but you refuse to turn in it to him. Why not?]"

The boy stood silent, waiting for an explanation to his unasked questions.

The father turned to the cleric. "[Perhaps if you explained the assignment . . .]"

"[Of course, Dr. Krycek. It was quite simple, really. We were studying blood typing and Alexei was assigned to obtain a blood sample of each member of his family and determine the type of each sample.]" The doctor stole a glance at his son.

"[Is it true, Alexei? Have you completed your report?" he asked cautiously and held out his hand.

"[Yes, Papa.]" The boy placed the paper in his father's hand.

The teacher reached for it but the doctor looked over the paper. "[Brother Gregorovitch,]" he began. "[You know that my area of expertise is genetics?]"

"[Why of course. That is why I gave Alexei this particular assignment.]"

"[Brother, if I assured you that this report was done correctly, that is was done to my own exacting standards, would you grant Alexei a passing grade?]"

"[This is highly unusual . . . ]"

"[I can assure that I would not ask if it were not important.]"

The cleric studied the doctor and his son. "[I have your word that the work is adequate . . .]"

"[I assure you, Brother. It is more than adequate.]"

"[Very well, he finally assented. Just this one time.]" The cleric stood as if waiting for explanation but Krycek pere ushered him out with polite, but perfunctory thanks.

Alexei stood still, waiting for his father's return. Suddenly, he wheeled and bounded down a narrow staircase, tapping on the glass-paned door at the bottom. The strawberry blonde woman waved him inside. He reached into a box and pulled out a surgical mask, tying it with an expertise that belied his youth. "[Stasi,]" he burst into the room filled with beakers and dishes and microscopes and machines.

"[What, 'Lexei?]" her voice betraying the patience, exasperation and affection she felt for the sibling who was half her twenty years.

He stood uncomfortably, fidgeting, his eyes showing confusion and fear.

"[What's wrong, Alexei?]"

He fidgeted more. "[Who am I, Stasi? Really?]"

Her hands interrupted their delicate work momentarily before resuming. Her words were measured, cautious. "[What do you mean?]"

He held out his report.

She laid down her pipette and closed her petri dish. Her gloved hands trembled as she read the scrawl.

"[Who am I, Stasi?]" he begged.

She sighed, resignedly, and led him through the door and sat on the stairs. Her mask hung limply around her neck. "[Who do you think you are, 'Lexei?]"

"[I'm not your brother,]" he hung his head.

She reached around him and drew him closer. "[You know you are. Why else would I put up with your temper?]" She smiled warmly.

He smiled wanly. "[Who are my parents? My real parents?]"

She shook her head. "[Mama and Papa are your real parents, 'Lexei.]"

He shook his head and shook the paper. "[They're not, Stasi.]" His dark eyes pleaded. "[Please tell me the truth.]"

She pulled him closer and wished her mother were well enough to do this. Alexei was trembling and she could feel his warm tears dropping on her hand. A stair tread creaked above them and, in a moment, a large hand rested on both of their shoulders. "[He wants the truth, Papa.]"

The man sighed. "[You're my own true son, Alexandreovitch. I've never considered you anything else.]"

"[But I'm not your son. Your real son.]"

Krycek hung his head. "[Do you understand what Anastasia and I do, Alexei?]"

The young man sniffed. "[You're geneticists.]"

Stasi ruffled an errant lock of dark hair. "[But what does that mean?]"

The boy thought for a moment. "[It means,]" he paused. "[It means that you learn how and why cells work the way they do and then learn how to make them do other things.]"

Stasi smiled proudly at her father, who himself wished he'd heard as clear an explanation from university fellows who came occasionally to observe their research.

"[And you understand that Mama did the same sort of work before she became ill?]"

The boy nodded.

"[Well]," the old man said quietly, "[After your sister, Anastasia, was born your mother and I prayed for a son. For a very long time we prayed; nearly ten years. During that time your mother continued her work.]"

The boy mopped his tears with his sleeve .

"[Finally, after much waiting, we were thrilled to discover that we were to be blessed with another child. And in a happy coincidence, Mama's research experiments proved successful. It was a joyful time for us all.]"

The old man bowed his head. "[But, sadly, the child was born dead. Your mother was insane with grief. I vowed to do whatever I could to comfort her.]"

"[But, what about me?]" the boy asked.

The father searched his heart. "[The object of your mother's research was to do something nobody had ever done before: to take disparate strands of DNA and combine them into a cell that would grow into a person with particular characteristics. In your case, dark hair and eyes the color of the Bering Strait. And she was successful, Alexei, amazingly so.]"

"[What about the baby?]"

"[As I said, your mother was insane with the loss of a child. But in a very real sense you were her child, too, so I took it upon myself to tell the authorities the experiment had failed and I brought you home in his place.]"

"[Is that all I am, Papa, an experiment?]" The boy searched his father's face.

The father gathered his son into his lap. "[You are the beloved creation of the woman I loved. All the rest is of no consequence.]" He wrapped his son in his strong arms. "[You are, and always have been, my beloved son, my Alexandreovitch.]"

The child stared into his father's eyes and prayed he was hearing the truth.

An elbow to the ribs jarred A. Krycek, United States Naval Academy class of 1973, out of his reverie.

"Right face, Krycek," growled Midshipman G. Krzezcki. The pensive middie complied sharply and followed Midshipman T. Kronish to the podium, pausing at the top of the steps.

"Midshipman Alexandre Krycek, highest honors in Biochemistry," he marched forward and accepted the customary diploma and congratulatory handshake from the commandant. He followed the column back to his seat and endured additional ceremony until the final moment came and his "cover"-his hat-joined the others in flight. He milled around for a moment, exchanging joyful handshakes and hugs with his classmates, as he worked his way to the family and guests seating area.

Casting his eyes across sea of designer clothes and ostentatious jewelry, he immediately spotted them. The sandy-gray-bearded gentleman was dressed in a black suit whose style had faded with Camelot. The thirtyish woman wore a somber chemise-her long, sandy hair caught up in an antique brass clip. They were so conspicuous he could have seen them from the moon. And he'd never been so glad to see anyone in his entire life.

"Alexei!" they both shouted and he was immediately surrounded in 2 embraces, their proud tears raining onto the white sleeves of his uniform.

The woman leaned back and looked him over. "[You look so handsome in your uniform. Much more handsome than the baby brother I remember.]"

"[I missed you, Anastasia,]" he entwined his fingers in hers and kissed the top of her head. "[Especially when I had problems with my homework,]" he teased and she responded by swatting his arm playfully with her free hand.

The old man pulled away, "[I am angry with you]," he chided. "[Highest honors and you didn't even tell us!]"

The shiny new Lieutenant JG responded in English. "I wanted to surprise you, Papa. I wanted you to be proud of me."

A withered hand brushed a tear from the graduate's freshly-shaven cheek. "[How could I not be proud of you, Alexandreovitch? You are my son.]"

The graduate engulfed the old man in a desperate embrace, years of doubt and uncertainty finally finding release in his tears. "[Yes, Papa, I am.]"

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