A Water Baby
Itís an X-Files story based in the world of Charles Kingly and his book "A Water Baby".
For Sun Singer. Loonywoif, By any other name as sweet a writer and a reader.
Time Frame: In the never-never
Summer, sweet July heat baking the long wet spring out of their bones. Mulder looked out at the whales and said, "They sound lonely."
Drawing him back against his warm solid body, Walter said, "They aren't though. They're just gossiping with other members of their pod, keeping the family together so to speak."
"Funny, I never liked being aboard a ship before. My metabolism must have changed with one thing or the other."
A whale surfaced, just a killer whale but it was sleek and agile, a beautiful predator. Made Mulder think of another lovely killer. Damn, lost forever, the bastard refused to even haunt him.
A conference had landed them in this coastal Washington State town. Walter had attended in his official persona and Mulder as a paid speaker. Afterwards, Walter wanted to go on a whale sighting cruise and Mulder planned to take in the sights of the coast. He was interested in Ozette, the ancient Indian village buried by an Earthquake. It was rumored to be haunted. Mulder was making a good living, debunking stories about hauntings. It was an odd choice for a believer, but he believed without idiocy. It was important to him to weed out the fakes and it made for top rated television. He was a star, a fact that horrified him in his bleak moments and amused him in his lighter ones.
Walter moved away, studying a group of whales on the other side of the excursion ship. Mulder leaned over the rail and let his mind drift. The sun on the water reminded him of green eyes and loss, dark depths and shining heights.
Eyes widening, Mulder spotted a white form sporting with the killer whales. It wasn't a dolphin or a baby killer whale. What the hell was it? He ran across the deck and tore the binoculars from Walter's hands. He looked again and saw that the white figure was a naked human male with lush hair, which was the color of garnets buried in jet, reddish highlights shining in the sun. The man was swimming with the whales, inhumanly agile and swift.
"Walter, look!" Mulder shouted.
"What?" Walter said, looking irate. He hadn't like the way Mulder had grabbed the binoculars out of his hands. Mulder handed them back and said, "There's a man out there."
"Very funny," Walter said, "You've made me see 'Star Trek, The Voyage Home" how many times."
"Just six," Mulder said, "Do you see him?"
Grimacing at his lover, Walter trained the glasses on the figure and a moment later, gasped, "It's Alex!"
"What?" Mulder yelled, grabbing the glasses again. Walter was right; the killer whales had come closer and now Mulder could see green eyes flashing, a broad white toothed smile and Alex's ethereal features. He saw the head tip back and delighted laughter ripple through the slim, perfect body.
As Mulder tried to keep the white figure in sight, Walter had gone to find a crewmember to see about 'rescuing the man over-board'.
For a moment the pale skinned beauty looked toward the ship, his hand shading his eyes. The largest killer whale, that was easy to spot as he was huge and had a bent fin, slapped his tail on the water and the entire pod took off including their human companion.
Walter returned with a frown on his face. He said, "They said to ignore him. He's a hallucination. There's no one missing from the ship."
Mulder spent the rest of the afternoon interviewing the crew and passengers of the ship. Apparently, Walter and he were not the first ones to catch sight of the naked swimmer. He was a new local legend. One old Irish sailor said, "He's a damn Selkie; don't mess with him or he'll sink the ship."
The man was wrong. If Alex had become a Selkie, he should have had a seal form in the water. Mulder went out the next day, but the pod had roamed somewhere else and the cruise had found a different group to thrill the tourists.
Two days later, Mulder hired the Ursa Minor, an out of work Alaskan salmon boat, to track the pod. He had a map marked with areas, where the pod was known to hunt and play, a large stock of fresh salmon for bait, and had taken two weeks off. Walter had put in a request for leave as well. He had to fly back to Washington to clear his desk, but then would rejoin his lover in this wild fish hunt.
The Whale Watching Institute had been unfriendly at first, but Mulder had persuaded them that his interest in the particular pod of whales was not to capture any of them. They finally told him that the large whale with the bent dorsal fin was known as Long John. He was wily and intelligent, suspected to be a whale that was once a captive performer. He was extremely interested in humans and often brought his pod close to ships. However, he would flee if anyone tried to approach him.
The pod spent the time playing and eating and Alex lived exactly like them. With high-powered binoculars, Mulder saw that Alex was not only exceeding pale, but could spend an amazing amount of time underwater. He could rival the whales in his speed and his ability to hold his breath.
Mulder snapped pictures at random intervals, recording his former lover's life. Alex combing his hair as he sat on driftwood. Alex sporting with young killer whales, playing with them as if he was one of them. Watching him eat made Mulder queasy; he remembered that Krycek ate sushi, but it was disconcerting to watch him devouring raw fish, flakes of the glistening flesh shining on his peaceful face.
It took three days before Mulder was allowed to approach the pod. Walter had flown back, but Mulder didn't want to vary the routine by allowing his lover to join him on the two-man dinghy. As it was, Long John eyed him like Walter back in his director to naughty agent days every time Mulder moved.
Gradually, the dinghy drifted near the pod. Mulder was half-asleep, his hand drifting in the water when nuzzling woke him. A shark was the first thing that crossed his mind. He startled and very nearly overturned the boat.
Opening his eyes, he saw great green eyes staring solemnly into his. Alex had always had otherworldly eyes and now in his face grown pure and innocent, they seemed like stars that could guide Mulder in some eldritch course. Alex's hand drifted to Mulder's leg, his mostly naked leg and explored it gently. He sang in a low melodious voice, "I remember you. I used to play with you, Mulder. Mulder. Beautiful Mulder."
Flipping back in the water, Alex turned several somersaults in the water, charmingly displaying all his wares. His legs were sleek with grace and power. His shoulders rippled with muscles and he seemed totally adapted to the water. He shot back up, astounding Mulder by landing in the dinghy. He trailed his feet in the water and shook like a dog, odd groupings of muscles revealing that his humanoid form was a disguise for no mere human body could swim like this merman.
A tiny nose went tip to tip with Mulder's. He drew his breath as he felt the cold wet tip rub against his. "Kiss?" asked the creature.
All manners of ideas took over Mulder's head. Supernatural creatures shouldn't be trifled with. Yet, he cupped the ethereal face and met the salty lips with his own. He tasted a bit of brine, but there was some exotic flavor underneath.
"Yes, I remember. I remember that," Alex murmured, his cool hands discovering Mulder's body. A dreamy expression crossed his face. He said, "You're my mate? But there was another one. I remember the big one, a pod leader! He looked like ....and Mulder could not have approximated the sound that Alex sang out. However, Alex pointed at Long John, the pod leader, so it was clear whom he met.
"I miss mating," Alex remarked, his left hand investigating Mulder's rapidly rising erection. He nibbled his way down Mulder's body, exclaiming in wonder at the taste and the sensations.
Mulder knew that Walter was watching and possibly some of the others. He couldn't resist though and reached for a tarp, inveigling his supernatural lover beneath. Gasping, Mulder took Alex's cock in his mouth. He was salty and wild tasting, but Alex had always had an otherworldly flavor about him. A large daub of suntan lotion served as lubricant; although it was a bit distracting as Alex seemed interested in eating the banana scented oil. Mulder had to firmly push it under the oar box to keep it from him.
The movement from beneath the tarp must have made it clear to the boat what was happening, but Mulder was beyond caring. He was moved between Alex's legs, nudging his way inside, shaking with his passion. It was exquisite. Mulder was convinced that he had suffered sunstroke, but he loved the phantasm. His lost love returned to him, clad in a sweet innocence that was as enticing as any silken raiment. He held onto the powerful hips as he drove deep. Alex stared up at him, drowning him in his eyes.
"Yes, like this," Alex groaned, capturing Mulder's plunging body within his legs. He drew Mulder in and spurred him on with the insistent pull of his heels. His head falling back, his eyes wide, huge, and dark with lust, his breaths panting as he neared his orgasm. His sea cold body warmed now with the heat of their exertions.
Arching Mulder fell backwards on his heels. He angled to draw Alex into his arms. He kissed the wrinkle between his brows, the only mark left on the strangely young and now ageless face. "Alex, my Alex."
Weeping, Mulder explored the face of his love, his restored love until Alex shook him off and dived into the water. Mulder hesitated, but he couldn't bear to see him go. He plunged after. Suddenly, the bulk of a killer whale shouldered him away. Mulder rolled helplessly in the water until Alex came from nowhere and righted him, floating with him until he had recovered.
"What the hell was that about?" Mulder demanded.
"My mother was worried," Alex explained.
The only killer whale near in size to Long John was the huge female heading for them making distressed noises. "Your mother?" Mulder exclaimed before a bout of shivering sent him underwater.
"She took care of me when I woke up here just like a mama," Alex said. He frowned and remarked, "You're cold. Humans get cold in the water."
"I'm human and you are? What are you, Alex?" Mulder asked.
"I'm a water baby, my mother says," Alex explained. He smiled wistfully. "Being a water baby is good, but sometimes I think I miss...I think I'm lonely for you and the other one. I don't remember why I had to leave. They took the bad memories from me. So many bad memories..."
Paddling strongly with one arm and the other securely wrapped around Mulder, Alex brought him back to the dinghy and scooted him up. As Mulder dangled half on and half off the ship, Alex leaned on the sides of the dinghy to kiss him. "Will you come and mate with me tomorrow also? You can bring the other one, the big man. I remember pleasure with him, so much pleasure. Pain? I also think there was pain, but it fades..."
"Why don't you come back with me, Alex? No will hurt you now. Walter and I could take care of you," Mulder plead.
"I don't think that's allowed," Alex answered. He flipped backward into the water and shimmered away as if he was a mere illusion. Disappearing beneath the water, he surfaced yards away. He raised a hand before catching onto the fin of the female Orca as the pod restlessly moved on.
"You are a crazy son of a bitch," Walter growled, wrapping Mulder in a blanket. "Those whales could have killed you. That thing that looks like Alex might have killed you!"
"Didn't though," Mulder answered. "I enjoyed myself."
"Yes, I could tell. The captain could tell. The crew could tell. For all I know, the coast guard is looking up regulations to see what laws you broke," Walter lectured.
"Hey, we were under the tarp. We could have been arm wrestling," Mulder claimed.
"Right," Walter agreed, "that's what it looked like."
With a smack on Mulder's behind, Walter urged him towards the guest cabin. Mulder grinned and hurried. The salt water had washed away the evidence, but now the salt water itched. He wanted a shower such as it was. The tiny spout dribbled a few droplets a minute, but it was better than nothing. Mulder scrubbed at his skin and smiled, remembering Alex tasting him.
The Scotch in Walter's hand worried Mulder. Skinner didn't exactly have a drinking problem, but he was dancing with one. He had memories that he could not bear to recall. Walter's legs sprawled apart as he sat in the room's only chair. The bottle was at his feet, the glass raised and quickly drained.
"I did the right thing," Walter announced.
"I know you did," Mulder said.
The final bullet bothered them both. No, it all tormented them. It was an end that should never have happened. Alex's cries of pain still woke Mulder screaming. All the hate could not erase the love he had felt. His agony had driven him drunken to Walter's door. His confession of his affair with Alex had spurred Walter to finally admit the same. Then afterwards, they had found comfort in each other's arms. It had been necessity at first, both of them waiting to be driven to the frenzied grappling that characterized their lovemaking. Over the months that followed, it had finally become love, a tender, humorous relationship that was totally unlike Mulder's four other love affairs.
"What the hell was that thing out there? It isn't human and I don't think it is one of your ghosts," Walter questioned, pouring another shot.
Crouching at Walter's feet, Mulder snagged the bottle and took a drink before moving it out of his lover's reach. He said, "It was Alex, a changed Alex. He seemed to have extraordinary strength. His skin felt smoother and almost like a dolphin's. I could feel the muscles underneath. He's adapted somehow to live at sea. Yet, he knew me. He said they took all his bad memories and that he didn't remember much of his life. He knew we had been lovers and he asked about you."
'That's insane or it must have been some alien trick. Mulder, we can't just accept this. What's wrong with you?" Walter complained.
"Nothing, Walter, except that I want him back. I want him the way he should have been!" Mulder declared. He grabbed the Scotch and put it in the tiny closet. He said, "You've had enough of that. I'll talk to you when you're sober."
The panacea of the booze wore off around midnight. Restless, Walter left the cramped bunk and went up on deck. He was alone which he appreciated; his thoughts were not the kind he wanted to talk to anyone about.
The light of the moon slivered across the choppy waters. Walter heard song, a Russian lullaby he had not heard since Alex had sung it.
Leaning over the rail, Walter looked straight at a pale face shining out of the waters. He said, "Fuck" and almost fell on his ass.
Courage sent him back and curiosity as the voice begin to sing again.
Pi, moya radost', usnie, V dome pogasly ognie, Ptichki umolkly v sadu, Rybky usnuly v prudu, Glazki skoreye somknie, Spi, moya radost', usnie
"Sleep? You were supposed to be sleeping forever, Alex. How did you come to be here?" Walter asked. His eyes drank in the elfin features, the silver skin, which proved it was not human in that this creature did not shiver.
Smiling, the creature gracefully turned in the water and with a few strokes, approached one of the emergency ladders. Walter followed along, his legs starting to shake with the weirdness of the situation. He knew he should be sounding some sort of alarm, possible should be trying to remember where he put his gun, but instead he could only helplessly stare down as the sea creature that looked like Alex climbed aboard.
Water droplets shed down the sleek body, trailed in a crescendo to dew the pale white skin. He looked human, like a perfected human being, the skin nearly without pore, no scars, and only the spare flesh that still seemed so smooth over the frame of muscle and bone. Walter had to reach and touch to see if he was real.
The skin seemed cold until he let his fingers rest for several moments. He realized he had felt something like that before when he had visited Sea World when he was a teenager and touched a dolphin. The skin was nearly watertight and the flesh so insulated that it was hard to believe the sea creature was a warm-blooded mammal.
His gesture must have freed Alex to explore. He laughed softly as he found the heavy growth of whiskers and then again as he ran his hand over the top of Walter's head. The creature laughed, a low rippling sound like a melody. He said, "You have your hair in the wrong places. On your chin and cheeks instead of on the top of your head. Why did you do that?"
Despite himself, Walter laughed. The creature joined him, wrinkling his nose adorably as he showed his white teeth. Walter cautiously caressed Alex's chin and cheeks, finding them as smooth as the rest of him except for brows, eyelashes, the wild head of hair and the patch of hair surrounding the groin. Alex made a sound like a purr and pushed against his hand.
"You're my mate too, aren't you? I must have been a wonderful person to have two fine mates such as you and Mulder," Alex said with beguiling innocence. "Would you like to mate now?"
Pushing back the tug of hands at his jeans, Walter said, "No, Alex, not right now."
"Why?" Alex asked, with a rebellious look. He still had fire in those dark green eyes. He leaned on the rail, cocking his head to one side in bemused curiosity.
"Alex, I want you to think very hard about the last thing you remember before waking in the ocean," Walter said, a wave of nausea gripping him as he asked. He snagged a deck chair and sat down, his legs growing weak with dread.
The water sprite sat at his feet. Alex leaned his head softly against Walter's leg. He frowned and pulled at a fray in the denim. "You wear too many clothes. Most humans do. Why do you cover so much of yourself?"
"It's just the custom," Walter said. He captured the hand, examining it, finding that the fingers were webbed slightly. He swallowed hard, wanting to kiss the long fingers. "Alex, I asked you a question. What do you remember before you came here?"
"A dark place," Alex said, "Everyone was angry and I was afraid. Someone had told me a bad thing about Mulder. I don't remember now who told me, but I know I shouldn't have believed him. Then there was pain and someone was screaming, but soon there was light. It was warm and my mother was singing to me. Her flippers held me up; she felt warm and safe."
"Alex, do you remember another life? Do you remember who killed you?" Walter prompted. He could not accept the gift of Alex's innocence, not with the guilt of his lover's blood on his hands.
"I remember that you loved me; I was your beautiful boy and I was Mulder's love. I remember another mother, who also sang to me. I remember I stood in a big room. Young humans were cheering and I was very proud. That's all. Water babies don't remember the past if it hurts too much," Alex said.
There was no getting past this. Walter said, "Alex, I was the one who killed you in your old life. I shot you three times. I killed you in cold blood."
"No, no, don't say that! You loved me. I remember you love me," Alex said. He stood, looking as if he would flee.
"But it's true," Walter said, "I loved you once, but by that time, all I could remember is the hate."
Hands covering his ears, Alex fled and jumped into the dark sea. The dark cold sea.
The pod moved north. The crew of the Ursa Minor followed reluctantly. They were restless, worried that the supernatural creature they followed would bring them bad luck.
The captain, a dark blend of Irish and Indian, said, "Those Water Babies are worse than Albatrosses to mess with. If you see them, you leave them alone. If your passengers see them, laugh and tell them they've had too much wine."
"I'm not drunk," Mulder said, his binoculars scanning the choppy waters. "Where are we?"
Captain Johnny said, "We're just off Little Diomede, just on the edge of Russian waters. We can't go any further. It's strange that the pod roamed this far. They seldom range as far as Alaska. I just hope the Ingalikmiut are not in the mood for Killer Whale."
"I'm taking the dinghy out," Mulder said. He went to find Walter and said, "Come out with me. Bring your guitar. I think he will be lured to us by the music."
"Mulder, can't we just let him be? He's happy and he's not human. If we make him remember what good would it do any of us?" Walter replied sadly.
"Because there has to be a reason!" Mulder insisted. "Why we were in Washington and why you had the sudden notion to go whale watching. Why Alex showed himself. It's a second chance, Walter, and we can't throw it away."
"I think I already threw it away," Walter replied, but he stood up and took his guitar.
"Spi, moya radost',
usnie,V dome pogasly ognie,
Ptichki umolkly v sadu,
Rybky usnuly v prudu,
Glazki skoreye somknie,
Spi, moya radost', usnie
Sleep, my sweet, fall asleep
The lights in the house have gone off
Little birds in the garden are silent
Little fishes in the pond went to sleep
So, do close your little eyes
Sleep, my sweet, fall asleep"
He had sung this lullaby at the ceremony that Mulder and he finally had over an empty grave. They had erected a black tombstone, deeply carved with the word, Alex Krycek, June 22nd, 1966 to May 20th, 2001. He'd almost seen his thirty-fifth birthday.
Alex had said to them the one time they had all been in one bed that he would never make it to thirty-five. Walter had surprised himself by kissing Alex tenderly and saying, "I think you'll live to be a hundred and still be beautiful."
Very wrong, Walter.
"Spi, moya radost',
usnie,V dome pogasly ognie,
Ptichki umolkly v sadu,
Rybky usnuly v prudu,
Glazki skoreye somknie,
Spi, moya radost',
A voice sea changed joined his.
"Spi, moya radodt' usnie"
The same mother of pearl sheen was on the lovely features as Alex's head popped over the side of the dinghy. It was the larger of the two lifeboats; Mulder had insisted upon that in hopes of repeating his experience with the supernatural creature. Alex refused to come entirely aboard, hanging on the side. He solemnly looked at Walter and said, "I didn't believe you when you told me that you killed me, but I asked the oldest grandmother in the sea and she said it was true. It's why my family brought me here so I could talk to her. She said there is the stench of wrongful death hanging over you, my love. She says that's why we were drawn back together so that I might forgive you. Yet how can I forgive you when I don't remember."
Shaking his head, Walter said, "How can you forgive me if you do remember, boy? It was the worst thing that I have ever done. I can feel the canker of it rotting within me. I'll die of it. I know I will."
Glancing at Mulder, Walter lowered his eyes, ashamed of his weakness, ashamed that he had been afraid to tell him.
It took a moment for intuition to hit.
"No! Cancer? But you don't even smoke!" Mulder said. "You can't be dying. You look fine."
"I still have some time before it gets me," Walter said. "I won't lie to you, Mulder. I'm not hanging around for the dregs. The day I feel it start to eat my insides is the day I eat my gun. I've seen too many of my wartime buddies die that way. It's not for me. Never for me."
"Shit, oh shit, fuck!" Mulder railed. "I've lost Alex. I'm going to lose you. I might as well as jump in the ocean! That's it. Let's both do it. Do it now. Make love to Alex in the cold waves until the sea takes us. Maybe we'll become like he is."
"You don't get to be a water baby if you kill yourself; Grandmother told me that. " Alex said. "Only if you die as an abused child. I guess some part of me remained the innocent child whom they took to make a weapon. I was reborn. If you jump in the water and die, all you'll become is fish food and I will be very sad."
"But I'm so tired," Mulder said, "I've lost everything except Walter and now I'm losing him. It's not fair."
"There must be a way to fix it," Alex said. "I'll ask Grandmother. You wait aboard the big ship. I'll come tonight by moonlight."
The argument had gone on for hours. How could he? How could he have not told Mulder? Well, how could have had faced that look of utter despair one moment sooner than he was forced to do?
Mulder believed he could find a cure. Capture one of the remaining healers left on earth after the defeat of their enemy, the Oiliens and Greys, who had enslaved them. Walter knew that was all futile grasping. He had embraced his own death when he killed Alex. When he was diagnosed with cancer; it was almost a relief. He would pay. His body had imposed its own capital punishment.
"Let's go on deck. The moon will be rising and Alex will coming," Walter said.
The captain had been on deck. He said, "The waters are choppy. Don't go near the rail."
Mulder grimaced and said, "You got that."
The song preceded him. "Spi, moya radost', usnie"
Slowly, he rose from the waves in his beauty, the water trailing from his white flesh like diamonds rolling from flesh of pearls. He was the loveliest creature that Walter would ever see in this life.
"Kiss me," Alex demanded as he stood awkwardly on the deck.
Cupping the precious face in his hands, Walter tasted his lips first, his sea changed lips. His tongue slowly quested inside and there, Alex was bittersweet, an exotic wine still elegant as it faded to the edge of its vintage. His mouth wasn't cold. He was a furnace inside and Alex's heart beat rapidly as Walter savored him, his fingers moving gently to caress the tender flesh of his face, to stroke the damp hair from his features, to hold him as if he never wanted to let him go. Walter wanted to sink down to the deck. To lie with Alex here at the end of the world and forget that anything else existed.
Finally, Walter had to draw a breath. Alex could have kissed forever. He gasped and Mulder caught him as he almost fell.
"What did the Grandmother say, Alex?" Mulder demanded.
"She said that the only way we could be together is if I gave freely to Walter what he took from me," Alex said.
The ship rolled and Captain Johnny yelled, "Get below, you two! There's a squall coming!"
None of them responded. Alex leaned toward Mulder and caressed him, kissed him lightly, exploring his nose, his chin, his throat, before settling on his lips, sucking tenderly on that sulking, sultry lower lip for a moment before losing himself in the kiss.
The deck pitched and the ship's lights went out for a moment. When Walter looked, both of them were gone. The deck ran with water. He ran to the side of the ship, clinging as it fought to throw him. His hands clutched a life -preserver and he looked to see where Mulder had fallen.
Alex was struggling to keep Mulder afloat. His lover's face was slack and something darker than water ran across it. Walter screamed, "Man, overboard. Man overboard!"
Grabbing a lifejacket, Walter released the smaller rubber raft and tried to climb into it to rescue Mulder. Another giant wave spun him and suddenly he was in the water. Alex made it to his side and together, they pushed Mulder into the raft. Walter secured his lover to the dinghy. As he fought the dinghy to guide it back to the ship, a gust of wind caught him and he was falling, falling into a spinning vortex of water and somehow, Alex was with him, holding onto him, never letting him go.
Alex's lips fastened to his, forcing oxygen into his starving lungs, refusing to separate. In a moment of clarity, Walter thought that even a water mammal needed to breathe. He was stealing all of his lover's air. He tried to free himself, but his lover's strength was legion. He was giving it up to Walter, dying for him.
NO! No! Walter fought to free himself. He was dying anyway. Alex should be immortal. He'd suffered enough. The last thing he remembered was the great green eyes smiling into his reassuringly.
His lungs ached. He lay on the hard deck and someone was forcing fire into his lungs, one heaving breath at a time. He heard a voice say, "Move aside, Mulder. We have him. Let me give him some oxygen."
Walter opened his eyes and saw that Mulder was dressed in layers of clothing, including a Norwester coat. His eyes slid past and he saw Alex, lying on the deck like a fallen angel. He groaned, pushed aside the oxygen mask, and pointed. "What about him?"
"Dead, dead again," Mulder mourned. "The whales pushed you both to the ship. Me too earlier, but Alex was gone. The whales have never stopped singing since we took him aboard. The big female's come close to butting the ship, but something stops her.
Coughing, Walter spit brine from his lungs until he felt as if he had hacked up pieces of himself. Crawling, he made it to Alex's side and touched the long hair. "Why did you do it? I didn't want to kill you again."
A strong man's tears...ripped from his heart like a bloody sacrifice lain on an altar of grief. His tears burning his cheeks, Walter leaned down to kiss his beloved for one last time and he felt...
A faint intake of breath and then the pale skin begin to pink as Alex coughed and coughed again. He gasped and his skin grew red with effort until he squalled like an infant protesting birth. When Walter hugged him close, he realized that the naked flesh was shivering. Alex was cold. Alex's skin was covered with goose pimples. Alex was...human.
There was only one thing to do. Walter did it, passing out like a fainting maiden.
Mulder and Scully were arguing above his head. Walter smiled. Home. Home was the voices of the two of them arguing like a pair of ill-disciplined siblings.
Memory struck a moment later and Walter sat up, dragging the oxygen tube from his nose. He looked around wildly until he saw Alex sitting in the other bed, watching the former and current FBI agents argue louder and louder until Scully's voice was as shrill as the shrieking of gulls.
A plop and the hospital nightgown hit the floor. Alex stood radiant in his nudity and said, "I don't like clothes. I'm not going to wear them."
Scully stared with more than clinical interest. Her carefully lipstick drawn mouth curved in a rueful smile. She said, "This should be absolutely fascinating. Maybe you could all go live in a nudist colony. God knows William doesn't care for clothing either. He could come and visit you until he's toilet trained. Hmm, is Alex toilet trained?"
"I think so," Mulder said. He grinned as he saw Walter sitting up. Greeting Walter with a deep, thirsty kiss, he took Walter's breath away yet again.
When Mulder finally let him up for air, Walter said, "He's really human?"
"Yeah, fully human except for one odd thing," Mulder said. "His fingerprints don't match Alex's Krycek's. In fact, they don't match anything human. They have the pattern of a pearl's layers. Frohike is the one that figured that out."
"How long was I out?" Walter asked.
"Two days," Mulder said, "Exhaustion and shock is what the doctor said."
"And that's all," Scully said. "Where did you get the idea that Walter had cancer? He's healthy as a moose. When I get his records from Maryland..."
On cue, a nurse brought them. Scully sat down and read them, stared at Walter, read some more. Checked Walter's current chart. Then started to laugh and said, "It must be before breakfast, because I am now believing my fifth impossible thing!"
Walter looked around and asked, "Where did Alex go?"
"Oh, shit!" Mulder said.
Against Scully's scolding, Walter grabbed a robe and slippers to help search.
They found him in the lobby, a squirming goldfish about to slither down his throat. Mulder yelped, rescued the fish, and tossed it back in. "We'll stop by the market and pick up some nice fresh fish for you, Alex. You always did like sushi."
"Nothing to see here, folks," Mulder said.
"I'd hardly say that," Walter said admiringly as Mulder led their nude lover off the plastic couch.
"A little over medicated..." Mulder explained to the security guard.
Scully produced a blanket and the wild creature was recaptured.
"Well, Mulder, this should prove interesting, but then you and Walter always had the taste for wet behind the ears agents, didn't you?"
And Scully for once had the very last word until the next time...
The Spanking Epilogue.
Donít read if you donít like Spanking.
On to WaterBaby 2:Springer