The Gift

by Siberian_Skys


Notes:
Sequel to Bloody Torchwood which appeared in the 2010 Christmas Zine.
Pairings: Mulder/Krycek, Jack/Ianto. Rating: PG-13

 

"I was told not to call you Fox," a young man with a Welsh accent said, looking up from a battered copy of Casino Royale as Mulder stepped into the tourist office.

"You must be Ianto," Mulder said, setting down his bags and offering his hand.

"I reckon it's about time to close up. You can just leave those there and go on down. I already rang Jack to let him know you'd arrived," Ianto said, reaching below the counter for the buzzer that opened the Hub's door. He smiled as Mulder looked dubiously at the opening passageway. "Would you prefer I give Alex a ring and have him come fetch you?"

"Krycek is supposed to make me feel safer?" Mulder asked.

"I was under the impression that the two of you were—close."

"Close?" Mulder asked.

"I was searching for a description that wouldn't get me another of Jack's famous—make that infamous—'you people and your quaint little categories' speeches."

"Ianto just loves his labels," Jack said, bounding into the tourist office.

"They do tend to clarify things, sir," Ianto said, taking Jack's coat from his hands. Holding it up, he helped the captain into it.

Jack pulled his lover toward him by his tie and kissed him long and hard. "Why don't you give Fox the grand tour?"

"Mulder," Ianto corrected.

"Huh?" Jack asked.

"If you bothered to read the files I put in your in-box you'd know he prefers 'Mulder.'"

Jack shook his head and chuckled. "Fine—why don't you take Mulder for the grand tour. Alex and I are going Weevil hunting in Splott."

Ianto arched his eyebrow.

Jack grinned, patted Ianto on the ass, and kissed his cheek. "I love it when you get all proprietary."

"Jack!!!"

"He doesn't like me having any fun."

Ianto rolled his eyes.

Before Jack could retort, a loud horn blared from out on the Plass.

"That's our Alex, patient as usual. Sort out the newbie; we shouldn't be long."

"Why don't you sort out Mulder and I'll help Alex with the weevil?" Ianto suggested.

"You sure?"

"I could use the air," Ianto said as he pushed open the door.

"Be careful," Jack cautioned.

Ianto smirked as the door closed behind him.

"Worried?" Mulder asked as Jack led him through the passageway to the Hub.

"I'm the Captain."

"Are you sure it's not more than that?

"Profiling me, Dr. Mulder?"

"No, just thinking I'd be worried too if I was trusting Krycek to watch my boyfriend's back."

Jack frowned as they entered the Hub. "This is Toshiko Sato, our resident technical genius, Dr. Owen Harper, in charge of the alien autopsies, and Gwen Cooper, my second-in-command. Gwen, why don't you take Mulder down to meet Janet? I'll be in my office," he said.

"Not even your real first day and you've got Jack wound up. That has got to be some sort of record," Owen said.

"Ignore Owen," Gwen said. “We all do."

"I'm just sayin'. You know, Jack usually takes the fresh meat down to greet our house guests," Owen said.

"Owen," Tosh admonished.

"You, too? I'm feeling very unloved. I'm heading out."

"You should let Jack know," Tosh said.

"You've got to be joking. I'm not going up there with him in a mood," he said, tossing his lab coat on the back of Gwen's chair before stalking out.

"Don't mind him, love," Gwen said. "That's just Owen for you. He's an acquired taste."

Tosh giggled behind her hand.

"You have a—dungeon down here?" Mulder asked as Gwen led him into the cells.

"Please don't let Jack hear you call them that. You'll give him ideas and he gets quite enough of those without any encouragement."

Walking Mulder past a Hoix and several weevils, she stopped toward the end of the corridor in front of Janet's cell. "This is Janet. I've always thought of her as Jack's favorite."

"Jack has a favorite—?"

"Weevil," Gwen supplied. "At least that's what we call them."

"And she's an alien," Mulder said, smiling widely.

"And she's an alien," Gwen said, returning Mulder's smile. "Bloody brilliant isn't it?"

Mulder nodded as he laid the palm of his hand against the clear wall of Janet's cell. He barely flinched when she bared her teeth at him and growled. "Bloody brilliant," he echoed.

"Would you care to sit with her for a bit? Jack finds it helps with the acclimation."

Mulder nodded, accepting the chair that Gwen offered him. "Weevil? That's what Ianto went to catch with Krycek?"

"No worries there. Ianto knows what he's doing and Alex has settled in nicely. If they get into trouble we'll go running. We usually just force them back down into the sewers. If they're overly aggressive or stubborn then we bring them here. Killing them is always our last option."

Mulder nodded as he turned his attention back to Janet, not noticing when Gwen left him on his own.

When Mulder came up from the cells, he walked into a commotion. "What happened?" he asked Tosh.

"It wasn't just one weevil. When Ianto rang he was a bit vague about their injuries. He just said that we needed to ring Owen. Fortunately, our doctor's not too pissed to work. We try not to use the A&E unless absolutely necessary. Too many awkward questions."

"How attached is Alex to his coat?" Ianto asked, seeming to materialize out of thin air at Mulder's elbow.

"Are you all right?" Mulder asked, gesturing at the claw marks down the Welshman's cheek and neck.

"I'm not the one getting several dozen stitches. Now about his leather jacket."

"How would I know?" Mulder asked.

Ianto walked away, looking more than a bit put out.

"Ianto," Mulder called out.

He turned and waited expectantly.

"I've never seen Krycek travel any way but light, so my best guess is he doesn't give a damn about his jacket, though he was wearing it the last several times I've run into him."

"Thank you. It's too bad that leather is so difficult to repair. It was quite an attractive coat. I'll see if I can't find a reasonable facsimile," Ianto said, nodding politely as he headed toward the stairs that led to Jack's office.

"What was that about?" Mulder asked.

Tosh patted Mulder's arm. "You'll learn he finds things more tolerable when he has a project."

"And Krycek's jacket is his new project?"

"I think he feels responsible for Alex's injuries."

"Krycek has nine lives," Mulder said.

"It doesn't make them any less painful," Tosh snapped, walking away.

Krycek sure had them snowed, Mulder thought, as he followed Jack's and Gwen's voices. Joining them, he followed their gazes down to Owen's workspace. He closed his eyes and looked away. Scully would have ribbed him for having such a weak stomach.

"He'll be fine," Jack said, squeezing Mulder's shoulder. "Owen's a prat, more often that not, but he knows what he's doing."

"I'll just—"Mulder said, nodding back toward the main part of the Hub.

Both Jack and Gwen smiled tightly.

Later, by the time Mulder was able to get Krycek alone, he was livid. Grabbing Krycek by the neck he pinned him to the tile wall, ignoring the choking sounds coming from his throat. "What are you playing at? We both know you don't have an altruistic bone in your body. So why did you risk yourself like that? They aren't idiots. They will catch on to you sooner or later."

"Enough," Jack said, pulling Mulder off Krycek. "If this ever happens again, you'll wake-up back in Alexandria with a pounding headache and no memory of us or how you got there. And your hacker friends will get the same treatment. Am I clear?"

Mulder nodded, his jaw tense.

"My office, now," Jack ordered.

Mulder went, but not before shooting Krycek an accusatory glare.

"Why do you let him?" Jack said stroking Alex's neck where it wouldn't be long before finger-shaped bruises would start rising. "You and I both know you could have put him through that wall even with all that morphine in your veins."

"You wouldn't understand."

"You might be surprised what I know about penance," Jack said, feeling Alex sway under his hands. "Ianto's going to drop you at yours on his way home,. I'll come by later and check on you."

"That was nothing," Alex said, stepping back from Jack's hands.

"Combative today, the whole lot of you. This is not up for debate. Ianto—"

"Yes, sir," Ianto said, taking Alex by his prosthesis. "Best not poke him when he's like this."

"He's not going to use the Retcon is he?" Alex asked, following Jack with his eyes. "It made Mulder ill the last time."

"And I thought I was in a dysfunctional relationship," Ianto muttered as he steered Alex toward The Invisible Lift.

XF-XF-XF


"Keep your coat on, Jack, I'm—" Alex said, pulling open his front door.

"Just here to talk," Mulder said, holding his hands up in supplication.

"I thought Jack might have you half-way to DC on a military transport by now."

"I think he was tempted."

"Keep wearing those Armani suits and you'll have Jack wrapped around your finger inside a week," Alex said. "He seems to have a fetish."

"I don't think so. He said if he saw me in a suit again I'd be on my way back in that military transport you mentioned."

Alex winced as he laughed.

Much to Alex's surprise, Mulder looked contrite.

"You might as well come in," Alex said, backing into his front room so Mulder could enter.

"Nice place," Mulder said.

"They took care of everything. It's nice to work for people that don't think some hole or the back seat of your car are acceptable living conditions."

"Jack's not likely to try and blow you up either."

"There is that," Alex said.

"And he thinks you're a good addition to his team."

"You don't," Alex said.

"I wish I knew for sure you that you weren't playing these people."

"Take a seat, I'll get you a beer."

"Going to try and convince me?" Mulder asked.

"I have no idea why, but yeah. I guess I am a masochist."

Mulder reached out and stroked Alex's neck.

"You've done worse," Alex whispered.

"That's not going to happen again."

"You sound sure. What's different this time?" Alex asked.

"I gave Jack my word."

Alex shook his head and smiled. "You'll try."

"Jack told me his side. I want to hear yours," Mulder said, sliding his hands down to rest on Alex's hip bones.

"I'll get you that beer," Alex said, backing out of Mulder's hands.

Mulder followed him into the kitchen and took the offered beer. "Brains?" he asked, reading the bottle.

"Flat warming gift from Gwen. Apparently it's the Guinness of Wales."

"You're not having one?"

"Pain killers and liquor, not the best idea."

Mulder took a swig of his beer. "This is really the National Beer of Wales? "

"I'm still not sure it's not some sort of Torchwood hazing ritual."

"You should sit down," Mulder said, steadying Alex as he swayed.

"Maybe I should be the one asking you what game you're playing."

"I'm making an effort here," Mulder said.

"Sorry, I know," Alex said, squeezing his eyes shut as he rubbed the bridge of his nose.

"Come on, before you fall down," Mulder said, taking Alex by the arm.

Alex grimaced.

"Sorry," Mulder said. "Is there someplace safe I can touch you?"

"Ianto warned me that Jack was catching."

"What?" Mulder asked.

"Nothing. You're right; I need to sit down before I fall down."

Alex propped himself at one end of his black leather sofa and put his feet up on the mahogany coffee table. Sitting down next to him, Mulder carefully lifted Alex's legs and rested them across his lap. Neither of the men spoke as Mulder picked at the old denim on the knees of Alex's jeans.

Finally, Alex broke the silence, "I was running an errand for the British gentleman and Ianto was my contact. It was supposed to be Jack, but that's another story."

"Ianto, really?"

"You'd be surprised," Alex said. "Anyway, it didn't go to plan. Ianto was quite intractable. After the meet, Jack showed up and offered me a job."

"And you took it just like that?"

Alex laughed. "I wonder if anyone ever says no to the captain?"

"Alex," Mulder chided.

"Would you believe it just felt right."

"There isn't much I'm not capable of believing."

"Even me?" Alex asked.

"Do you have any idea how much I want to trust you?"

Alex sighed.

"What is it you're having such a hard time getting out? It can't be any worse than what I already know."

"It was so easy to say yes to Jack. He offered me a way out. He offered me protection. It wouldn't just be me watching my own back anymore. I'd be working with people who weren't just in it for their own self interests."

"Safety and a purpose," Mulder said.

"But more than that. He had what you always wanted. I could finally give you proof. I could show you an honest to God alien."

"Jesus, Alex."

"If I could give you proof, if I could show you extraterrestrial life, then maybe you could forgive me the rest or at least maybe not hate me quite so much."

"Contrary to my actions, I think I stopped hating you a long time ago," Mulder said.

Alex lowered his legs to the floor and got stiffly to his feet. Holding out his hand, he hoped Mulder would take it.

The End

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