T
he Obligatories

by Goddess Michele

1

Inevitably, someone will strike a glass…

Mulder had thought his stomach was going to be in knots all day.

It was a bit fluttery while he was tying his tie—or, to be honest, while Scully was fussing with the knotted mess he had made of it—but he chalked that up to the pot of coffee he had called breakfast.

He'd experienced a downright lurch just as the usher had brought him into the large airy room where his friends and family sat smiling—well, Scully was wiping her eyes with a tissue, but he could tell she was smiling on the inside—and Alex Krycek stood waiting.

And when he'd recognized his mother's car standing idle at the curb out front, and when it pulled away quickly as he and Alex exited the building together, he'd experienced a brief but painful jolt where he imagined himself suddenly throwing up all over his best Florsheims.

But now…

Now, as everyone was finishing a dinner that he'd barely picked at, just in case…now, while the wine was still being poured but coffee and tea were beginning to put in an appearance…now, as the first chime of a silver spoon on a crystal glass began a cacoph ony of noise…now, as Alex Krycek looked suddenly startled and almost ready to bolt, Mulder stood with a smile and felt nothing but calm.

He gave a quirked eyebrow to Byers, whom he suspected started the whole thing, and an 'aw, shucks, us?' grin to the rest of the room, and then he turned his focus to the man beside him.

Krycek was slowly getting to his feet, eyes on the floor like he was searching for a convenient hole to open up and swallow him.

Mulder put a steadying hand on his arm, and Krycek swore he could feel something like warm Novocain seep into him from the point of contact there all the way to the heart of his sizzling nerves. One last small part of him wanted to duck and run, to protect himself, to get away from the light and get back to the dark…with the rest of the rats…

Mulder's warm grip brought him the rest of the way out of his chair, and the look in Mulder's eyes—a combination of complete trust, devotion and wicked good humour—brought him back from his dark self-doubts.

Before he could do more than smile back, Mulder had slipped his other arm around his shoulder and his face was inches from his own.

"Ya tebyA lyublyU," Mulder murmured—'I love you' in Russian.

"Your Russian sucks, lover."

And then it was impossible to speak as Mulder's mouth claimed his with quiet authority; the passion in lips, tongue and teeth was restrained but undeniable, and Alex could only fall back under the sudden explosion of taste and sense and arousal he found in Mulder's kiss.

And then it was done; some people were applauding; Jimmy Bond gave them a wolf whistle and a megawatt grin. And if Dana Scully was laughing at the glazed eyes and swollen lips he was now sporting, Alex Krycek didn't care.


2

Inevitably, somebody's going to cry during the toast to the groom.

When Frohike compared Mulder to a redwood among saplings, Krycek let his hand ride up Mulder's thigh until, just inches from his goal, said hand was slapped away with a whispered, "you're insatiable," and Alex snickered nastily.

Walter Skinner had to clear his throat several times, pause a great deal, and at one point even had to take a full minute to compose himself, brown eyes suddenly wet behind tasteful wire rims. But he told a story that downplayed all that 'Beacon in the night' stuff that Mulder often went on about, and extolled the virtues of a tenacious young man who, in his own desire to believe, made believers of them all. Krycek squeezed Mulder's hand when he groped for it and whispered, "I believe in you."

Mulder gave him a grateful smile.

Jimmy Bond tried to tell a story about them, got most of the facts wrong, but did it with such enthusiasm and good intentions that Byers didn't have the heart to stop him, and everyone enjoyed the tale of Special Agent Fox Mulder on the Orient Express, striking oil and saving the rich business man's handsome son from nuclear annihilation.

"My hero," Krycek murmured, giving his laughing partner a kiss on the cheek.

Scully sounded almost like she was giving a report to her A.D. at first as she described meeting Mulder and learning to work with him, and believe in him. She shared a couple of anecdotes about pig herding and the Stupendous Yappi, which made everyone smile. As she continued, and more emotion filled her voice, Mulder's grip on Krycek's hand grew tighter and tighter. She spoke of a connection between the two men that happened right from the start, that faced trials almost unimaginable, and finally culminated in this day, this event, with the future sure to bring happiness for them both. One tear slipped free during her speech, but she was smiling, too.

Krycek watched Mulder struggle with his own emotions as the woman he'd shared so much with bestowed her blessings on them, and he gave back as good as he got, keeping Mulder's hand warm in his; being a strong wall that Mulder could let his emotions crash against. And Mulder did so, grateful more than he could say for his partner.

Mulder had always had a self-deprecating way about him. He never backed down when he knew he was right, but he never looked for accolades for his actions either. All this heartfelt praise was flattering but discomfiting at the same time. Krycek seemed to understand this and he kept his hand warm and soothing on Mulder's and he kept his lips close to Mulder's ear, whispering his agreements with the kind wishes of the speakers, or periodically ghosting kisses over his cheek or neck.

Until Anna stepped up to the microphone.

Krycek's grip turned painful, and at the same time he jerked back from Mulder, eyes widening in alarm.

Mulder realized immediately what was happening, and he turned to face his partner, tugging him by the hand and pulling him closer so that he was effectively hugging him and blocking him from curious looks. That Mulder was also blocking his view of his mother was not lost on Krycek, but he kept his face buried in the warmth of Mulder's chest and only acknowledged the gesture with the rhythmic tightening and loosening of his hand.

When Anna spoke, her voice was soft and thoughtful, slightly hesitant as she carefully chose the words in English. As she told a story of a young boy determined to be the best at everything, and a young man eagerly embracing all life had to offer, Mulder imagined Alex as the overachieving geek he'd first met so many years ago. And as the tale took a dark turn, and Anna's voice hitched once or twice as she described her missing boy and her attempts to find him, her eyes flashed angrily, and Mulder imagined the bastards who had taken so much from him, and who had separated mother and son so completely—he could almost see Anna swearing in Russian through a cloud of smoke.

He felt a shudder work through the man in his arms, and heard a quiet sobbing sound, and he let go of Krycek's hand so that he could put both arms around his shoulders and stroke his back, feeling the tension beneath the suit coat and for just one moment he imagined the two of them meeting on a sunny beach somewhere, someplace where neither of them had ever heard of aliens, let alone proven the existence of them.

And then he just held his lover tighter as Anna thanked God that they had found each other, and told them how much she loved them.

Some applause, some sniffles, when she was done, and then the spoon-on-glass orchestra started tuning up again, and Krycek lifted his head, swiped at his eyes and gave his partner a shrug that meant 'don't worry' and a smile that said 'thank you'.

And then there was more kissing.


3

Inevitably, there's a drunken relative whose shoes are off before the music even starts.

"Hey cutie!"

Krycek rolled his eyes as Dana Scully called him over to her table, where she was holding court with the likes of the Lone Gunmen and Chuck Burke.

Even though they'd had more than their share of ups and downs, and despite the fact that she'd threatened his life even more often than Mulder had, Krycek liked Scully. He appreciated her no nonsense approach to life. If he could be sure of anything, it was the knowledge that Dana Scully would never play the 'keep 'em in the dark, need to know basis, half truth' games that seemed to have dogged him all of his life. It didn't hurt that said forthrightness was wrapped in such a pretty package.

Even prettier tonight, he thought, as he sat down beside her and took in her trim figure in a simple autumn coloured slip dress that turned her hair to fire. Her shoes were somewhere under the table and her small nylon-clad feet were tapping along with the soft after-dinner-before-dancing music the DJ was playing. With a sapphire sparkle in her eyes and a wine-induced flush to her cheeks, Scully was the epitome of the helpless waif tonight, and for a moment, Krycek didn't know whether to kiss her, or pat her on the head and get her a drink of water.

She solved his dilemma by handing him Frohike's full wine glass.

"Hey!" Frohike reached for the glass and Scully pushed him away.

"Sharing's good, 'Hike," she told him, spontaneous giggles mocking the severity of her words, "Play nice."

The older man grumbled something unintelligible but Krycek thought he caught Mulder's name in there somewhere. And then Scully was forcing the wine glass into his hand, nearly dumping the contents into his lap. She found her own wine, and then regarded him with a smile.

"Mulder's right," she told him, with a conspiratorial wink.

That line could mean any number of things, he thought, half of them X-rated.

"Don't tell him I said that, though," Scully continued, "but he's right."

"About what, Scully?" He rebuked himself silently for even entering into this conversation.

"About you, silly," she sipped demurely at her wine, but kept her eyes focused on him.

Determining that Frohike was a scotch man and hadn't wasted his time with something as lame as the house red, Krycek took a healthy swallow of the deep burgundy liquid. Alcoholic warmth settled into his stomach and tingled his toes.

"Me? What about me?" Dammit, he thought, I am not going to fish. That was stupid. He drank more wine and decided to walk away from any potential barbs which Scully was probably about to hurl in his direction.

Her warm touch on his arm just above the prosthetic surprised him. So did the strength of her grip.

"Mulder says you have the prettiest eyes on the planet….several planets, actually." She looked thoughtful. "He named a lot of them…"

At his skeptical look, she raised her left hand in her best impression of Scout's honor, a noble act marred only by her fumbling as she tried to remember if that particular vow used three fingers, or four.

"Actually…"Her hand fell back onto his shoulder. "I think he was drunk at the time." Sipping more wine didn't help her remember. "But he was right." She leaned in kissing close, pressing more of her weight on him. "Very pretty."

Krycek cast his gaze around the room, seeking the eye-admiring astronomer himself, but Mulder was nowhere to be seen.

Scully's grip grew tighter, painfully so, and he focused back on her. Although she was a little unsteady, she displayed nothing drunk or disorderly as she set her wineglass down on the table and suddenly yanked him forward so they were nose to nose.

Blue eyes formerly drunkenly soft were blazing with something fierce and protective.

"Hear this: if you hurt him, I will finish you. Got it?"

"Jeez, Red—"

"I mean it. I don't care how pretty your eyes are. I will put you down."

"Scully, God! I'd never---"

As abruptly as she'd grabbed him, now she pushed him away, nearly knocking him out of his chair. She stood quickly and turned with a smile to greet Mulder, who was just re-entering the room.

As Krycek watched, Scully caught Mulder's arm and looked up at him, even shorter without her shoes, all innocent blue eyes and wine induced giggles.

"Let's dance," she suggested.

Mulder grinned back at her just as goofily, but as they moved together towards the dance floor, he turned to look back and Krycek and his smile turned less 'best buddy' and more 'lover', something slow and easy with just a hint of lust that made Alex suddenly want to haul his partner off to the nearest bedroom and kiss his whole mouth from the ankles up.

Instead, he let Scully lead Mulder away. And wondered what his life would have been like if he'd had a best friend like that back in the day.


4

Nobody's comfortable in a tuxedo.

Fox Mulder thought tiredly, sitting back on the hard chair and reaching for the sunflower seeds in the bowl on the table next to him.

He slid a finger between the stiff collar and his neck, wishing for the millionth time that he'd won the coin toss to forego the traditional tuxedo. Even at work, back in his green agent days, he'd rarely made it though a day without at some point loosening or even removing his tie.

Of course, after Scully had gotten through her tale of "Fireball Phoebe" and just how good one Agent Mulder looked in a tux, well, his partner had been more than insistent…

Said partner also looked pretty tasty in black tie, he had to admit, laughing softly when he saw Krycek make the same collar-stretching move from across the room.

Mulder dropped his empty shells into a half empty plastic cup—the tables were littered with them—and a wide grin spread across his face as he watched the other penguin in the room make his approach.

Walter Skinner sat down heavily in the chair beside him and Krycek veered off towards the bar.


5

The ex inevitably wants to talk.

"Hey, Walter."

"Fox." He put a comradely and only slightly drunk arm around Mulder and gave him a crooked smile.

"Nice suit," he said.

"Thanks." Mulder played it cool. "You, too." He was married, after all, not buried, and he enjoyed raking a lustful gaze over Skinner's Hugo Boss draped body. Skinner returned the frank appraisal and then scanned the room with a casual air.

"Good turnout."

"Yeah, Scully and Anna did a nice job." As he spoke, Mulder found Krycek at the bar, pretending not to be jealous. Mulder leaned into Skinner's casual hug, making it just slightly less casual, waited until Alex's eyes got a little greener, then very deliberately twisted the gold ring on his left hand. Krycek grinned and carried a handful of drinks to another table.

"He's lucky." Skinner's words were tinged with regret and scotch, and for one moment, Mulder let himself remember how that fondness for scotch had tasted in a kiss.

"Fox, I don't know if I ever told you—"

Mulder turned sharply and put a hand over Skinner's mouth.

"No, you didn't, Walter," he replied. "And it wouldn't have mattered if you had."

Skinner was giving him 'one-scotch-too-many' puppy-dog eyes over the hand still on his mouth. Mulder smiled back easily. There was no place in his heart for bitterness for this man.

"Walter, I wouldn't be here now if it weren't for you." He glanced across the room and watched Alex hand his mother a glass of wine. "You say he's lucky? No. I'm the lucky one."

Mulder stood and held out his hand. "Come on, old man, I'll buy you a drink."

Skinner laughed and let himself be led to the bar.


6

The DJ will inevitably play The Macarena, The Chicken Dance, or YMCA.

"Young man, there's no need to feel down…"

That sad blast-from-the-past caused Skinner to excuse himself and head towards the foyer.

"Young man, 'cos you're in a new town…."

Mulder laughed out loud watching Scully drag a protesting Langly onto the dance floor.

"There's no need to be unhappy…"

Mulder sipped vodka and orange juice and thought he'd never seen John Byers smile like he was grinning now, matching step for step with his clumsy blonde partner. They looked like they were in love, and it suited them. He wondered if he looked that dopey these days and thought he probably did. But he wasn't the only one…

The other dope came up behind him and rested his chin on Mulder's shoulder.

"Young man, I was once in your shoes. I was down and out with the blues…"

"They're playing our song," Mulder deadpanned while trying to ignore the possessive hand roaming around under the back of his jacket.

"Aw, hell…" The hand disappeared just as it was starting to get interesting back there.

Anna smiled at them and held out her hands.

"Handsome boys!" she declared. "Dance with me?"

"I'll let you take this one."

Mulder didn't have to see Krycek's face to know his grin was huge; he could hear it in his voice.

"Not a Village People fan?" Mulder tried to ignore Anna's gentle tug on his sleeve and turned to face his partner. "I know they're no Grateful Dead, or whatever passed for a classic in that 'old country' of yours back in the day, but—"

"Fox…Alex…" Anna was using 'mom' voice.

"You go on," Krycek said. "I'm no good at this one." He glanced briefly down at his left arm. "My Ys always look like Is."

Mulder closed his eyes briefly, remembering.

"None of that, mister," Krycek kissed him on the nose and pushed him into Anna's arms. "Go dance with my mom."

Mulder reluctantly let her lead him onto the dance floor and hoped he wouldn't look too much like a fool.


7

The wedding party is obligated to sneak out early to trash the honeymoon suite.

Mulder smiled at Scully's awkward movements as she and the Gunmen made exaggerated shushing noises, cast furtive glances back at the table he was sitting at (he wondered briefly if they could even see him clearly) and then made their way to the door. Frohike was carrying Dana's shoes, and Langly caught Byers when he nearly tripped on the doorframe.

"What do you think?" Krycek sat down next to him and replaced the near empty beer bottle in his hand with a fresh one. Mulder wondered briefly at the number of drinks he'd had tonight. Oddly, he didn't feel drunk. Just very aware of himself, of his partner, while the rest of his surroundings had a muted, fuzzy glow to them—soft focus, like Cybil Sheppard in Moonlighting.

"What do I think about what?" He could almost hear Scully's laughter from the foyer. The beer tasted cold and sharp. He noticed Krycek setting his plastic up down with great deliberation and he thought his husband might be a little drunk. That made him smile. "What do I think about all this?" He waved his bottle airily around the room. "Or do you mean, what do I think about 'Scully-locks and the Three Geek-bears' sneaking out of here, and heading over to the honeymoon suite of the Ramada hotel, where they are probably now saran wrapping the toilet and adding cornflakes to the bed sheets. Not to mention filling the bathroom with condoms, spreading KY on all the doorknobs, and possibly replacing the pillows with shaving cream?"

"Yeah, that one," Krycek chuckled softly and Mulder felt that small sound all the way down to his balls.

"What all that friendly, even downright loving, sabotage on that defenseless honeymoon suite at the Ramada makes me think is—" He leaned forward and brushed a kiss over Krycek's cheek, late night stubble making his lips tingle. "I'm glad we're staying at the Radisson."

Krycek laughed again.

"You nailed that one, lover," he said. "Red's gonna be pissed that we messed up her plans."

"She is," he agreed. Somewhere in the distance, the DJ called last call.

"One more for the ditch?" Krycek asked, picking up his empty glass and giving Mulder's beer a 'need another?' gesture.

"Nah, I'm good."

"That's why I married you." Krycek's green eyes gleamed for a moment while he gave his partner a frank and lustful appraisal. Mulder could feel his skin flush under the scrutiny, feel his pants growing tighter.

"Tease," he muttered.

"Not for much longer." Another smoldering look as Krycek did his best to psychically convey all the plans he had for a sweaty, nekkid Mulder.

It worked a little as Mulder turned his attention to his beer bottle, adjusting himself in what he hoped was a subtle way, and Krycek sniggered a little as he headed back to the bar.


8

Only the happy couple knows what the last song of the night really means.

Mulder had never heard of them, but Krycek had insisted. He told him they also had a song called Policy of Truth, and that automatically endeared Mulder to them. Even though he had lobbied hard for "Kiss At the End of the Rainbow" from A Mighty Wind, on this one point there had been no negotiations, no coin-toss, not even a lengthy, no holds barred kiss-fest had swayed him.

On top of that, Krycek had insisted that he not listen to the song. Or dig it up on the computer, or have one of those geeks do it for him. He wasn't allowed to Google the song lyrics, or even try to find the album in any store. And though the investigator still buried in him balked, wide green eyes won out, and he had waited.

And now, finally and at last, as the last few stragglers finished their drinks; as Walter Skinner escorted Anna to her hotel, and Jimmy Bond tried to get Byers on his cell phone for a ride home; as the discrete cleaning staff continued to clear away sunflower seed shells along with the plastic glasses and burned down candles; Alex Krycek took his husband into his arms and molded them together on the dance floor. One quick glance at the DJ, and the first quiet strains of the final song came on.



Fragile
Like a baby in your arms
Be gentle with me
I'd never willingly
Do you harm

Apologies
Are all you ever seem to get from me
But just like a child
You make me smile
When you care for me
And you know...

It's a question of lust
It's a question of trust
It's a question of not letting
What we've built up
Crumble to dust
It is all of these things and more
That keep us together

Independence
Is still important for us though (we realize)
It's easy to make
The stupid mistake
Of letting go (do you know what I mean)

My weakness
You know each and every one (it frightens me)
But I need to drink
More than you seem to think
Before I'm anyone's
And you know...

It's a question of lust
It's a question of trust
It's a question of not letting
What we've built up
Crumble to dust
It is all of these things and more
That keep us together

Kiss me goodbye
When I'm on my own
But you know that I'd
Rather be home

It's a question of lust
It's a question of trust
It's a question of not letting
What we've built up
Crumble to dust
It is all of these things and more
That keep us together

THE END
 

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