Title: Chez Scully
Author: Livia Balaban
Content: None whatsoever. A little humor and a LOT of explanation for some nagging continuity questions.
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Spoilers: Absolutely everything up to and including Closure. Movie too.
Distribution: Sure, just lemme know
Scully's apartment is an intruder's dream
Their continuity stinks
So here are some answers and we'll be done
Before CC or 1013 blinks.
WARNING: It's a farce. A lark. A romp. If you're a stickler for
characterization, move on, little cowpoke.
Summary: After Spender's unexpected visit in "Closure", we discover that Scully has finally accepted the role of unwelcome intruders into her life. And home.
Alex Krycek arrived at Scully's apartment, ready to pick the lock and lie in wait for her, so he was flummoxed to discover there was no longer a deadbolt to unlock with silent skill. No knob either. No peephole, no chain, no slider bar. What he found, frankly, saddened him.
A maze of velvet ropes in the hallway. That was the first thing he saw. A young man with a short hyperblond coif and an excessively European accent spoke carefully to the dozen or so people waiting in line.
"Violent predators to the left, please. Have your weapons in plain sight. THANK you," he recited, cheerfully sing-song. "Consortium lackeys take the middle aisle please. Have your decoder ring and membership credentials out and on display." He checked something on a clipboard, muttered a few undecipherable phrases into his headset, and continued. "Ghosts, apparitions, spirits both benevolent and evil, move to the right, please..."
Shrugging with his one good shoulder, Krycek stepped into the middle line, behind a bland-looking man in a white lab coat and a shifty-eyed man in an ugly sport coat. He tapped his foot impatiently. What injustice. He'd just managed to ingratiate himself to the higher-ups again after that whole Jeffy disaster, and now he had to wait in line behind common informants and cloning researchers.
Out of morbid curiosity, he chanced a quick look over to his left. Nothing special there. Big hairy knuckle-dragger with a knife; spooky guy in a cape, holding his own severed head under one arm; innocuous-lookin' dude with a melon-baller and a bottle of chloroform. Freak.
To his right, there was at least some variety. Vaporous vision of a sorority girl in a bloodstained NYU sweatshirt; wiggly half-image of a four-year-old boy with big sad puppy eyes; hazy Mayan chieftain in full ceremonial garb; assorted family members milling about in a diaphanous, back-lit mist.
As his line shortened, Krycek took note of the other radical change to the hallway of Scully's building: The revolving door. He'd been wondering how long it would take for her to just give in and install one, so it wasn't much of a surprise when he finally found himself at one of its wedge-shaped openings, moving in a small curving path, before arriving at the interior of Scully's apartment.
He could have sworn it'd been smaller the last time he'd been there. Had there always been that roomy sun porch? And he couldn't seem to remember there being so many labyrinthine hallways and extra rooms. Nice freaking furniture, too. Fully-stocked wine cellar off the kitchen, hardwood breakfront cabinet filled with Fabergé eggs. Nice. He made a mental note to take her shopping with him before he offed her. She'd be able to show him where to get some *real* bargains, since she was obviously able to afford all this - in Georgetown - on her salary. Shit, she probably made the same as Mulder, and *he* lived in a dump in Alexandria.
A lovely young long-haired woman in a very short dress showed him to the closet, and opened the door for him. "Apéritif?" she asked solicitously, holding out a tray of clearly caterer-produced nibbles. He reached for a crab puff and requested a Dubonnet with a twist when the young woman whispered conspiratorially, "I'd stay away from them if I were you. Try the little mini quiches. They're FABOO."
Real assassins don't each quiche, Krycek mused inwardly and declined the food altogether. "Just bring the drink when it's ready. You know where I'll be," he told her as he entered the closet and closed the door behind him.
Nice closet. Man, it was huge. She'd had a plush recliner installed, obviously for the comfort of her guests, and Krycek found himself relieved he wouldn't be standing in there for hours. Next to the door, he also found a wall-mounted ash tray and a rack with a decent selection of magazines - all current issues, he noted. Once he'd settled in, he felt something sticking into the small of his back, and reaching for it, found he couldn't pull it all the way out. Oh, it had a cord. It was a control panel of some sort. Recalling the nature of the special control panel he always kept in his breast pocket, he switched on the little built-in reading light over the lounger, so he could examine it.
'HI, LOW, VIBRATE, PULSE' Ah, a massager recliner. He switched it on, and felt all his tension melt away as his body vibrated away from knee to shoulder. Ahhhh. What a hostess.
At just the point when his knees transformed from lethal, coiled springs to pleasantly buzzy lumps of gelatinous cartilage, he heard a knock on the door. Offering the standard requisite "Come in," Krycek reached out his right hand to take the drink from the short-skirted gal, who closed the closet door behind her as she left. "Hey," he heard a menacing male voice call from the living room. "Can I get some service here?"
Dammit. Twist of lemon. He'd wanted lime. Just can't get good help anymore.
Sipping his Dubonnet and riffling through a recent issue of "Stalker Monthly" thoughtfully left there for his reading pleasure, Krycek pondered the order he'd been given earlier in the day.
"It will destroy Mulder," CGB Spender had told him, Cubby Spender of the nine-packs-of-Morleys-a-day habit, Cubby Gus Bubba Spender of Consortium fame and FEMA glory; ruler of thousands, beholden to no one.
What a putz.
"Kill Scully and you remove his last reason to continue," Cubby Gus Bubba had informed him with false bluster. Anybody with eyes could have seen that ol' CGB was taking his last earthly drags off the Morley of life, but who was Krycek to point that out? The old guy croaks, and some other random Walking Enigma takes his place. The devil you know, the devil you don't know...makes no difference, Krycek thought, who the hell holds the reins.
In the end it was still Alex Krycek and his gun.
And the Consortium would *still* be dead wrong about Mulder. Kill Scully to eliminate Mulder's motivation? Krcyek snorted. Kill Scully and they provide Mulder with a century's worth of righteous indignation and turbo-fuelled ire. The man would kill them all.
But an order was an order. Krycek waited.
A vaporous apparition of a little girl drifted through the closet door and climbed onto Krycek's lap. "Mommy?" she asked in an airy voice.
"Do I *look* like your Mommy, kid?" He swatted at the wispy form. "Get outta here. Go find somebody else to haunt."
The wraith shrugged and floated back out the door. Fucking ghosts.
He'd just begun to nod off, when a knock on the closet door roused him back to full consciousness. "She here?" Krycek asked.
"No, sir. I'm very sorry," the voice said crisply, "but Agent Scully has been called out of town and will not be home this evening."
"Damn," Krycek muttered, opening the door and rising from the recliner. "When will she be back? I have a job to do."
"She wasn't sure, sir," the hostess replied. "Something about blood and salamanders and the water supply in Teaneck, New Jersey. She didn't sound terribly happy about it."
"If you would care to wait, sir, we could arrange a few 'personal services' to tide you over until she returns."
Krycek thought about it and agreed. The last thing he wanted was to face ol' Cubby with an untouched To-Do list.
Twenty Minutes Later
The Sun Porch
"So I told him, 'Nigel, you've gotta project the right image. Trust me. A manicure will do you a WORLD of good.' Calms the nerves, that kind of thing. WELL, pretty soon that's all anybody knows about him, you know? He's the one with the great manicure."
"Well, they all knew he was a Brit," Krycek countered.
"Yeah, but he was the Brit with the *great manicure*. Really, some of my best work. Damn shame what they did to him. Dip." The manicurist dipped Krycek's right hand into the fingerbowl and let it rest there, while she toyed with the hand of his prosthesis. "You want me to do this too? Buff the tips a little?"
"No thanks, Clara. Just the right hand for now. So you were gonna tell me what happened to Vito."
Thrilled to spill the latest dose of Consortium gossip, the manicurist continued. "Oh, you just HAD to know he'd go down. I TOTALLY didn't like him. Bit his nails, lousy tipper. Killed three of my shop assistants for suggesting he consider a Bally's membership." She cracked her gum. "Turned out Bally's was owned by a *rival* Mafia overlord. I mean, who knew? We just thought he was sensitive about his weight."
"Well, he was always more of a figurehead anyway," Krycek replied. "Wads of cash, but the brains of a rutabaga. Glad I never had to actually *work* for him. I heard he treated his subordinates like dogshit."
"Well don't tell anyone I told you," she said, winking conspiratorially, "but I understand he had a thing going with Spender's twinkie."
"Spender Junior or Spender Senior?"
"Both. That foul one with the gray roots and the expensive tits."
Oh *her*, he thought. That woman got passed around more than a five-year-old store-bought fruitcake. "Well, he got what he deserved," Krycek muttered. "If those rebels hadn't charred him into pork rinds, he probably would've died from a social disease."
"Right. The ho."
Krycek was inwardly pleased to have been the one to end Fowley's miserable existence. Ironic, he thought: She went out of this world cleaner than she lived in it. Those lungfuls of bathwater baptized her for a new life. Afterlife.
The skank-ass ho.
"So any word on Jeffy?"
"No, all quiet," the manicurist told him, trimming his cuticles with expert precision. "I think he probably went for a permanent."
Quaint. So many people associated with the Consortium drifted in and out of life that the only way to keep track of those out of the game for good was to arrive at a code for all possible levels of death.
"Gone" could mean anything from 'shot in the chest' clear on down to 'taking a long weekend in Virginia Beach.'
"No longer a viable threat" either meant the individual in question had been executed - uncreatively of course with a firearm of some sort - or was entombed in a rubber room, never to leave. Very often a strategic placement of child pornography in the subject's home and/or office would round out the "No longer a viable threat' option.
"Out of the picture" usually implied something gruesome, often including memory erasure or evisceration. And sometimes a bullet, too. Those consortium bigwigs were big on the guns.
"Permanent" meant undeniably, irretrievably, irrefutably no longer among the living. Blocks of cement and the Potomac River often played featured roles in the "Permanent" scenario.
Poor Jeffy. Shot by dear old Dad and left to die on the floor of his officially purloined office. He was innocuous. Clueless, as Krycek could attest from that little babysitting gig, but essentially innocuous. Harmless. The Bureau equivalent of Kathie Lee Gifford: Irritating, nerve-jangling, saccharine-sweet, but absolutely without the power or ability to harm.
"Poor kid," Krycek said finally. "Never stood a chance."
"Yeah, sometimes I have the *hardest time* keeping up with who's dangerous to the work this week. Used to be that Mulder guy, but lately it keeps coming back to Scully. I've been stationed here for about a month, and I *still* haven't seen her. I'm totally DYING to know what she's like. I mean this place is always immaculate."
"Well, it helps to have a service."
"Yeah, I bet," she said. "You ever met her?"
"Met her? I killed her sister here."
"Wow," the manicurist replied, clicking her gum to indicate how impressed she was.
"Well, okay, it wasn't *me* technically who did the shooting. And this place was a lot smaller back then, and not nearly as well-furnished. But yeah. Hey, I facilitated her abduction."
"She's actually okay. A little icy, but I get kind of a German Shepherd vibe from her."
"Ooh, one man at a time?"
"Yeah. Vicious to outsiders. She's ferocious. Makes me kind of wish I didn't have to do her. She'd make a great addition to the team. Hey, you're in a position to know: Is she a real redhead?"
"You *know* I can't divulge confidential information like that."
"Of course," Krycek conceded. To his regret, some information was too classified for even *him* to access.
"But I *can* tell you about that freaky tattoo."
"Some cannibalistic snake thing. On her back." Krycek hadn't heard about that. "Anyway, Marcel, the massage therapist from the salon, used to give her a weekly 'defrosting'. That's what he called it: A 'defrosting'. He's SO funny."
Yeah, yeah, get to the point, Krycek thought.
"Well, after she came back from this trip to the South Pole - ha ha, she needed a *real* defrosting - that tattoo just wasn't there anymore. No scars or nuthin'. Just gone."
"Yeah. Like I said, freaky. There, go rinse your hand in the sink."
Krycek rose and went into the kitchen to wash off all the guck and chopped-up bits of cuticle. Of all the things he missed the most about having two flesh-and-blood hands, it was washing up. "Hey, Clara, you wanna give me a hand here?"
"A hand," she chuckled, moving toward him. "Funny man."
"Yeah, catch my act. Looks like I'll be here all week."
"You know," the manicurist whispered to him, suddenly much less frivolous, "I kind of wouldn't mind if you didn't kill her just now."
Krycek leaned in, while she continued to wash his hand in the sink. "Why's that?"
"Well, they're tellin' me I have to go on Mulder duty once Scully's history, and that is TOTally not my kind of job. I mean, everybody comes here to do their jobs in the comfort of her home. But that Mulder guy...I'd have to be on call at all times, day or night. They can't just wait in his apartment. No, it's all warehouses, abandoned factories, ooky damp basements. It's AWful. This is the cushiest assignment I've ever had. I wouldn't exactly mind seeing it go a little longer."
Krycek examined her face carefully, to determine the depth of her intent. "What's in it for me?"
"Well, I might be able to arrange an appointment with that guy from Rousch, you know, the bionics guy?"
"He's one of my regulars. Been DYING to see some action. You know those technogeeks. Never get out. I think he'd do just about anything for a little slap and tickle. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours, you know?"
Krycek found himself suddenly very excited. He hadn't felt that good since he'd burned that itchy fucking wig last fall. A new arm. One that moves. Cool. "I'll see what I can do," he whispered.
"Hey, you wanna let somebody else use the sink?" The nondescript guy with the melon-baller was standing behind them, tapping one foot impatiently. He had a wadded-up pair of Scully's panties in his hand, and a guilty expression on his face. Krycek winced and stepped aside. Fucking sickos.
They returned to the manicurist's table, and she dried his hand and buffed his nails while they sat in comfortable silence.
When she was done he rose, and tossing a fifty on her table said with a smile, "Call me."
She lifted the bill, noticing the ten digits printed on it in purple ink, and tucked it into her cleavage. "You got it."
The leggy hostess intercepted him on his way to the front door. "Would you care to look at something from the dinner menu, sir?"
"No thanks. I don't think I'll wait. Be back tomorrow."
The long-haired young thing smiled graciously at him and chirped, "She'll be returning from a case most likely tomorrow. You know how busy things get around here when she comes back from a road trip."
"You have a point. Make a reservation for me, would you, hon? I'll be here at four."
"Four sharp. Yes sir, Mister Smith." She winked conspiratorially.
Krycek rolled his eyes as he snagged a few prociutto-wrapped melon slices off a caterer's tray and pushed his way through the revolving door.
Notes: Thanks to Ropobop, Ms. Sebasky and Mr. Livia for encouraging this freakish little fugue. If anybody asks, it's all Ropo's fault. Thanks to Janet for inspiring the homage to her "crab puffs". Thanks to BFM and YesVirginia for snorking and giving it the green light.