Alex Krycek stood in an alley staring across the street. Occasionally he would reach up and wipe the water out of his eyes. He frowned at himself. He had to be insane. Only an insane person would be standing out in the pouring rain, when he had a perfectly fine and dry apartment, just because he might catch a glimpse of a man who hated him and wanted him dead.

Yup, it was official he was nuts. He had figured out how to get his sanity back however. The only problem was that he didn't know what he would do if it actually happened, because his plan to become sane again involved never ever seeing or thinking about one, Special Agent Fox Mulder.

He hunched further into his soaking leather jacket. The coat was most likely ruined, but what the hell, it was in a good cause. Or a very pathetic cause. It all depended on your point of view, but Alex never gave a flying fuck to what other people thought. If he had, he would never have ended up where here.

He reached up and adjusted the earpiece he was wearing. So far, Mulder had managed to miss the bug Alex had planted four weeks ago. The sound of really cheesy seventies music started up and Alex rolled his eyes. Yep, pathetic. He was pathetic for staring up at an apartment he could barely see through the rain, because he had a thing for a guy who was addicted to porn, and not good porn even.

Alex straightened up slightly when the sound suddenly went silent. He pulled out the remote control and pressed a few buttons. The gain on the bug was adjusted and he could hear the sound of the tape squeaking quietly in the VCR and above it was the sound of Mulder breathing.

Alex watched the lights go off in most of the apartments as his watch beeped to alert him that it had just become one o'clock in the morning. He glanced down the street and saw that it was deserted. He emerged from the alley and made his way across the street. He made his way to the main door to the building and made short work of picking the lock.

He turned down the gain when he heard Mulder get off of the couch and pick up the telephone. He entered the building and started up the stairs as Mulder dialed. From the tone of the numbers pressed, Mulder was calling Scully. What a surprise. He noticed that Mulder hadn't turned off the tape though.

He switched over to the bug he planted in the handset of the phone. He listened while the phone rang three times before it was picked up.


"It's me."

"Mulder, do you have any idea what time it is?"

"Uh." There was a pause, which Alex could only figure that Mulder was checking a clock. "Oh sorry, Scully. I wasn't paying attention to the time. You were asleep weren't you?"

"That's okay, Mulder. What did you need?"

"Um, nothing really. I guess I just needed to hear another person's voice."

"Thinking too much again, aren't you?"

Alex settled himself on the floor against the wall outside of Mulder's apartment. He stretched out his legs and sighed as he finally gave his tired feet a rest. He settled down at listened to the rest of the conversation inside the apartment.

"When do I not think too much, Scully?"

"Good question, I'll have to think about that."

"Now you are thinking too much." Alex rolled his eyes as the conversation reached grade school level.

"I think you need to turn off what ever tape you have on and try to go to sleep. We have a busy day tomorrow."

"Okay. Goodnight, Scully."

"Goodnight, Mulder." Scully hung up first and Mulder sat holding the phone. Alex could hear the beeping coming from the phone before Mulder finally hung up. Alex switched back to the main bug and listened as Mulder got up and went into the kitchen. He heard the sound of the refrigerator opening and shutting, cabinets opening and slamming shut. The sound of the kitchen faucet being turned on and a glass being filled was followed by silence, before the glass was placed into the sink and Mulder made his way back to his couch.

He heard the sound of the leather couch creaking as Mulder sat down. The cheap seventies music filled the room again and for a while there was no other sound. Then, the music stopped and he heard the sound of the light being turned off. He raised the gain on the bug and listened to the sound of Mulder breathing.

When he had been Mulder's partner he'd listened to every little thing Mulder said. Not because it was profound or awe inspiring, but because Mulder had an enthusiasm in his voice that Alex found fascinating. He never understood it. Mulder was obsessed with aliens and proving they existed. Then, Alex started his own obsession, not for little green or grey men, but for one anti-social FBI agent that had ditched him like a bad date. Suddenly, he understood just where the excitement in Mulder's voice came from.

Mulder'd been willing to listen to every bit of news on aliens, even if it was clear that the information was false. As he said, there is a little truth in every lie. Alex could never understand why he would spend so much time on nothing, but here he was, listening to Mulder breathing. He had reached the pathetic stage and to be honest he didn't care.

He knew that Mulder would kill him if he knew about his obsession. Sometimes, sitting there, Alex let himself think about what it would've been like if he'd never met Spender. If he'd gone to Mulder as a real FBI agent, not a double agent. He wasn't blind. He saw the looks that Mulder had given him. He knew what he looked like. He wasn't ugly.

If only he had been able to prove himself worthy of Mulder's trust. He could imagine what might have happened between them.

He had a vivid imagination. He could hear Mulder's whisper in his ear. Sometimes at night, when his past would haunt him, when the voices would come, Mulder's voice would be there. Angry, then loving, hating and then forgiving. He sometimes woke confused as to which was the real Mulder.

He spent so much of his time numb to the world, it was always a shock to be in Mulder's presence. He couldn't wall himself off. Mulder only had to glare at him and he felt the shards of hatred pierce what was left of his soul. It hurt, but it helped to remind him that he was still able to feel. He was still alive. Mulder wanted him to fall off the face of the Earth. He wanted Alex gone from his life forever, but Alex couldn't stay away. At first, he'd been trying to convince himself that Mulder wasn't as fascinating as he remembered. Then, it was to remind himself what it was like to feel. Now, it was as necessary as breathing.

He didn't have to hear Mulder's voice. Just the sound of Mulder breathing, snoring, was enough.

Every time he felt his heart shatter.

To know that he would always have to be on the other side of the door. To never be next to Mulder. To never be able to lay his head on Mulder's chest and hear the breaths up close. But this was enough. This would sustain him.

All he needed was to hear him breath.

"Alex." And to hear his name called out in the middle of the night. But the breathing was the most important.
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