Title: Zen And The Art Of Defensive Origami
Author: Lillith, Claire and Temaris
E-Mail: blackisis29@yahoo.co.uk, moonlettuce@blueyonder.co.uk  and
temaris@blueyonder.co.uk
Fandoms: Oh god, do we really have to name them? Um, mainly X-Files and
Stargate, everything else is a 'spot your own' kinda deal
Pairings: Jack/Daniel, Mulder/Krycek, spot the others yourself :)
Rating: R - pretty much all innuendo and a couple of rude words... oh,
and rampant guppy abuse...
Archive: If you want it, you can have it. Now, think carefully...

Warnings: Dancing and singing Ninjas are contained within this fic. We
apologise for that wholeheartedly

Summary: Fox attends the 23rd Annual Good Guy (tm) Convention

Disclaimer: None of the people here are ours. To be honest, after this,
I don't think they'd want to be.

Notes: A Flat, G Sharp, and the number 69. (Excellent!)

Alcohol was not involved in the making of this fic, either.

Ooh! Ooh! And we now have a website!! You can read all (well, three,
because that's all we've written) of TLC's fic at:

http://www.cadarnle.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/TLC/ 



 



Zen and the Art of Defensive Origami

 

by Claire, Lillith and Temaris

 

Fox Mulder sighed with relief as he dropped his luggage in the foyer of
the hotel. He was never sure what to pack for these things, so always
ended up taking more than he should. He still couldn't believe his
invite had come through for the 23rd Annual Good Guy (tm) Convention. He
hadn't been invited to the 22nd convention, but blamed that entirely on
Alex Krycek. It was hardly Mulder's fault if Krycek had staged a raid on
the hotel during the 21st Convention and... Mulder shuddered, he
couldn't even think about it. Even now the thought of chocolate and Koi
Carp gave him nightmares.

"Mulder?"

The voice brought him out of his reverie and he looked up to find Walter
Skinner staring at him. He still couldn't believe his boss had actually
come this year. Every other invite had been crumpled up with scorn and
thrown in the trash, but for some reason Skinner had cornered him in the
corridor the week previous and told him to book *two* flights to the
convention. "Yes, sir?"

Skinner held out a room key. "I booked us in. They're taking our luggage
up now."

Looking over, Mulder saw his luggage being loaded onto a trolley and
wheeled away. At least it mean he didn't have to carry that heavy bag to
his room. And speaking of rooms, he wondered where about in the hotel
he'd be staying. Glancing down at the room key, he grinned as he
realised he was in the West Wing. It was the nearest wing to the hotel
next door. The hotel next door where the 23rd Annual Bad Guy (tm)
Convention was being held, and a certain green-eyed rat would be
staying. "Where are you, sir?" he asked, trying to appear interested. In
truth he didn't really care where Skinner was staying, just as long as
it was as far away from him as physically possible.

"I'm in the room next to yours," came the dry reply.

Well, bugger, thought Mulder, affixing a smile to his face. "We really
should register," he commented, walking over to the registration desk.

"Hi! I'm Sherry!" bubbled the redhead that was sitting behind the desk.
"Welcome to the Convention, can I take your names please."

"Fox Mulder and Walter Skinner."

Looking through the box next to her, Sherry soon pulled out two
envelopes, handing them over. "These are your convention packs, they
should give you all the information you need, but if you need something
else, please don't hesitate to ask. We're here for you."

"Thanks." Mulder took his envelope, handing Skinner's over before they
headed over to the elevator and made their way to their rooms.

Mulder waited until he was in his room before opening his convention
pack. Shaking out the name badge, he attached the 'FOX MULDER' moniker
to his suit jacket, before he pulled out the other contents. The yellow
leaflet for 'EscapeCon: How To Survive Just About Anything' was quickly
thrown in the trash, but the green leaflet for a seminar on 'How To
Ditch Your Partner In Order To Do Heroic Deeds Thereby Annoying Your
Boss But Not Resulting In You Being Fired' was perused with interest
until Fox spotted that not only was it a week long course it had sold
out within 24 hours.

"Damn," Fox muttered throwing the leaflet in the trash as well. He had
never managed to make it to one of those seminars yet. Last year he had
been stuck in Russia with Alex, although technically he hadn't ditched
Scully on that one but somehow he'd still managed to upset Skinner
afterwards so he counted that too.

"Mulder, you ready yet?" Skinner bellowed from the adjoining room.

"Just about!" Fox called back quickly. "This weekend is going to be a
real blast if he stays in that mood," Fox grumbled as he started to
stuff socks and boxers randomly into drawers. Two unused tubes of
strawberry-flavoured lubricant were looked at forlornly before they too
were pushed into a drawer. "Guess I won't get the chance to use those
either," he muttered, now feeling distinctly sorry for himself.

"MULDER!"

"Yeah...yeah!" Fox replied, now deep into sulking mode. He kicked his
suitcase under the bed and stomped towards the door, stopping when he
realised there was an enveloped attached to the back of it. Peeling the
envelope off the door, he opened it and pulled out a piece of paper.
'I'll find you. A.' His mood suddenly lifted and grinning to himself,
Mulder headed out of the door, nearly running into Skinner who was
waiting outside.

"Ready to go down?" Skinner asked.

Would be if Alex were here, Fox thought automatically, inordinately
pleased it hadn't been his boss who had been temporarily given
telepathy. The older man would have apoplexy if he ever knew what his
prized agent (and Mulder didn't care what Skinner said, he *was* his
prized Agent) was doing with the bane of their existence. Although, at
least it had allowed him to find out what Scully kept in that box she
had hidden under her bed. He'd been tempted to tell Frohike, but the
other man would have probably died of joy right there just from the
thought of it. "So, what's first on the Agenda?" Mulder asked, trying to
rid his mind of images of Alex on his knees.

Skinner opened his con booklet as they waited for the elevator to
arrive. "Well, I'm going to the 'How To Keep Your Cool When Your
Subordinate Ditches Their Partner In Order To Do Heroic Deeds In An
Attempt To Annoy You' seminar. I thought you might benefit from the
seminar in Chesterfield Hall."

Pulling his own booklet out of his pocket, Mulder opened it and skimmed
through it, trying to find which seminar Skinner was talking about.
After a few seconds searching he discovered that the seminar taking
place in that hall was entitled 'How To Keep Hold Of Your Gun: Velcro Is
Your Friend'. "Hey!" exclaimed Mulder indignantly, only to look up and
find that the elevator had come and gone and Skinner had left him
standing there.

Muttering to himself, Fox pressed the button for the elevator again,
stepping into it when it finally arrived.

"Going down?" A voice said.

Why does everyone keep asking me that? thought Mulder, as he turned to
look at the man standing next to the buttons. "Um, yeah," he answered,
searching his memory for where he'd seen the man before.

"Dylan Hunt," the other man introduced himself, shaking Mulder's hand
firmly.

"Fox Mulder. And I know this sounds like a line, but have I met you here
before?"

Dylan shook his head. "No, it's only my second time here, and I don't
think we met last year."

"We didn't, I wasn't here." Mulder didn't elaborate. There was already
enough talk about him, Krycek, the chocolate and the fish without
getting newbies involved in it.

"Then we definitely haven't met," commented Dylan.

Mulder was surprised. "I could have sworn I've seen you here before.
Talking with a short, blond guy," Mulder added helpfully.

"Well, that sounds like Harper," Dylan commented, "but he's not here. He
attended the Assistologists Convention last weekend."

"Ah, Harper wouldn't happen to be a spiky haired, hyper guy who hits on
anything?" Mulder asked.

Dylan's eyes widened at Mulder's description. "That's him, have you met
him?"

"No, but my partner did. She attended the Sidekicks thing, as well. She
chaired the seminar 'How To Figure Out The Answer To Your Problem While
Your Partner Is Off Chasing Aliens.'"

"Then your partner would be Dr Scully?"

Mulder nodded.

"Harper mentioned her. He was really rather impressed on her
contribution to the 'How To Keep The Bad Guy (tm) Away From Your Good
Guy (tm)'. Said he took more notes in that seminar than in any of the
others. Of course, he personally thought that getting him declared
officially insane might be a bit much."

Mulder flushed "So, there's a Bad Guy (tm) Harper wants to keep you away
from?" he said, trying desperately to change the subject.

"Well, Tyr's still a part of my crew, he's just too mercenary and wears
far too much leather and chain mail to be considered a fully-fledged
Good Guy (tm)."

"I see," said Mulder, cursing the fact that the mention of Bad Guys (tm)
and leather automatically brought him back to thinking about Alex. He
just hoped he'd be out of there before Hunt saw him trying to rearrange
his trousers. His prayers were answered in the form of the elevator
arriving at the ground floor and the doors opening.

"Well, Mr Mulder, I'll see you around," nodded Dylan as they walked out
of the elevator.

"You too, and enjoy the convention," Mulder said, before he turned in
the direction of Chesterfield Hall. When he reached the Hall, he
stopped, seeing Jim Ellison standing outside. "Hey, Jim!" he called,
heading over to the other man.

"Mulder!" Jim smiled. "How are you? I heard about them banning you last
year."

Mulder shrugged. "What can you do? At least I'm here now."

"So, you here for the seminar?"

"Yeah," Fox nodded. "You going in there, too?"

Jim grinned. "I'm chairing it."

"You? Jim 'I Can Go Through 16 Guns In One Week' Ellison? How on earth
did you manage that?"

Jim held up his gun hand, showing Fox the large black mitten he had on.
"It was Blair's idea. He made me a Velcro mitten and then Velcro'ed my
gun. Now I *can't* lose the thing. I'm going to show everyone how to
make them."

"How do you fire your gun?" Fox asked.

"There's a hole," explained Jim, popping his trigger finger out of the
mitten and wrapping it around the gun. "See."

Fox matched Jim's smile with his own. Scully had once made the comment
that he should Velcro his gun to his hand, he just hadn't thought she
was being serious. Oh well, he was willing to try anything if it got
Skinner off his back about his expense forms always having at least one
extra gun on them. "Lead the way, my friend." Mulder motioned to the
door, following Jim into the Hall.

A couple of hours later, Fox Mulder walked out of Chesterfield Hall with
his very own Velcro Gun Mitten. He'd wanted to make Scully one, just to
show her he was thinking of her while he was at the Conference, but
since making his had only left him with 5 minutes of the seminar left he
decided against it. Besides, in hindsight, he wasn't too sure whether a
Velcro Gun Mitten would go down well with Scully.

He just had time for a quick lunch before the afternoon seminar started.
Unlike all the other seminars, which tended to run in tracks, the
afternoon seminar was a lone seminar. Since everyone tended to go to it
anyway there was no point in running anything else alongside it. 'How To
Seduce Your Bad Guy (tm) Into Bed And Make Him Think It Was All His
Idea' was the most popular seminar the Convention had ever run. It was
even more popular than 'How To Seduce Your Sidekick (tm) Into Bed And
Make Him Think It Was All His Idea'. For some reason many of the Good
Guys (tm) just seemed to go weak at the knees when confronted with a
sexy Bad Guy (tm) with leather and attitude. The only problem came from
those Good Guys (tm) who couldn't decided which side of the fence they
wanted to play on. Because of this the con committee were talking about
extending the seminar next year into including a section entitled 'How
You Can Seduce Your Bad Guy (tm) *And* Your Assistologist Into Bed And
Make Them Think It Was All Their Idea'. Apparently they were also
thinking of adding in 'Self-Love: What To Do When Your Bad Guy (tm) And
Assistologist Seduce Each Other And You're Left Out In The Cold', but
somehow, Fox didn't think that would be quite as popular.

Heading into the restaurant, he ordered a plate of stir-fry and looked
around for somewhere to sit. Acutely aware that several people had
stopped eating and were looking at him and murmuring, Fox sped up his
perusal of the tables. Spotting a free table next to the window, he
quickly walked over to it, catching the odd word from the muttered
comments, such as "chocolate..." and "fish...". Ignoring those who were
talking about him, he put his plate on the table just at the same time
as someone else did. Looking up to see who had tried to claim the table
at the same time, he found himself staring into an amused face with
brown eyes.

"Fox Mulder," grinned Jack O'Neill. "I didn't think they'd let you back
in here after that fish-"

"*Don't* mention the fish and chocolate thing," pleaded Mulder.

Jack's grin widened, but he mimed zipping his mouth shut and throwing
away the key.

"Thanks," said Mulder, relieved that Jack knew enough not to push him
about it. Mulder liked O'Neill, had liked him ever since he'd met the
other man at the 18th Annual Good Guys (tm) Convention. And the more
he'd talked to him, the more he found they had in common. They both had
Sidekicks... err, Assistologists who could run rings around them if they
really tried, not to mention Infinite Amounts of Patience (tm) when they
were trying to explain something. Of course, Jack had one up on Fox in
that his Assistologist was eminently screwable, and Scully was, well,
Scully.

Fox frowned at the other man. "Two words... Major Carter!"

Jack shrugged unrepentant. "What can I say, I was in denial."

Mulder knew all about that as well. He had spent more than a few months
mooning after Scully before realising where his true feelings lay. Of
course, he still didn't know if Alex felt the same way considering all
their assignations had been quick, down and dirty, and neither of them
had said those three words. Well, they'd said *other* three words. Alex
was particularly fond of "Mulder, suck me," whereas Mulder's
proclivities tended to lie with "Oh, Alex, harder!", but they hadn't
actually said the three words Mulder had wanted to say for quite some
time now.

"So, where's Daniel now?"

"I think he's still in his seminar. Mine ended early, so I thought I'd
grab us a table."

"What was it?" asked Mulder, forking stir-fry into his mouth.

Jack took a deep breath before he replied. "'How To Let Your Eyes Glaze
Over When Your Assistologist/Partner Is Explaining Things In Order To
Make Them Explain It In Less Than One Thousand Words.'"

"Sounds interesting," replied Mulder. "I could have used that myself."

"Unfortunately we weren't even halfway through before certain members of
the audience went a little too far and started snoring, " he shot a
glare at Henry Brown who was now settling down to lunch with his partner
Rafe. "They cut short the seminar on account of the rest of us not being
able to hear ourselves think."

"Jack." A familiar voice called across from the far side of the room.
Fox turned round to see Daniel Jackson waving at them as he entered the
hotel restaurant. "Fox.. ," he greeted the FBI agent in surprise. "I
didn't expect to see you here after..."

"DON'T!" Fox almost shouted. "I don't want to hear any more about two
years ago."

"But I never did hear the full story," Daniel complained with a grin.

"There really isn't that much to tell," Jack interrupted quickly, "and
it wasn't really Fox's fault either. "

"Thank you." Fox said gratefully. He had had just about enough of sly
glances and whispers behind his back for one day. "Why don't the two of
you join me for lunch?" he offered. There hadn't been a sighting of
Krycek all morning and Fox had asked Sherry on the Registration desk to
check for all Alex's known Good Guy (tm) aliases but the bouncy redhead
had refused to give him information about other attendees. "So Daniel,
what seminar are you going to this afternoon?"

Daniel pulled out a crumpled con pack from his back pocket, separated a
yellow flyer which got quickly stuffed away again, and studied the
timetable. "I was thinking about 'How To Seduce Your Bad Guy (tm) Into
Bed And Make Him Think It Was All His Idea'."

Fox couldn't help notice Jack pale.

"I think it would be interesting and besides Jack's always complaining
my head's stuck in a book."

Personally Fox didn't think Jack wanted Daniel to stop using one head
simply to start using another but who was he to interfere. He just
started to say the he was also planning on going to that seminar and
would the other men like to join him when...

"Why on earth would you want to go to that?" Jack interrupted, face pale
and with a hint of panic in his eyes.

Daniel picked up a breadstick from the selection in the centre of the
table and started to break it into little pieces, oblivious to Jack's
distress. "Don't know really," he shrugged slightly. "Looked like it was
popular and there wasn't anything else on this afternoon."

"But you don't *have* a Bad Guy (tm)?" Jack protested. He knew that for
certain. He mentally ticked off the list of possible contenders for the
position: Ra - Dead, Apophis - Dead, Hathor - Dead, Sokar - Dead, Seth -
Dead, Tanith - Dead. Jack had taken care of the opposition with great
thoroughness. The only possible candidate was Maybourne... Jack
shuddered at the very thought. Besides Maybourne had left Jack a note in
his hotel room promising to contact him later.

"So?" Daniel was indignant. "Just because I don't have one *now*!" he
protested. "I'll have you know Teal'c said Cronos was very taken with
me!"

And Cronos is now very dead! Jack thought with satisfaction. He had been
grateful when Teal'c had shared that little snippet of information.
Between himself and the former Jaffa the universe remained safe for
innocent archaeologists to roam.

"Well the small print of the seminar states that you must have a Bad Guy
(tm) before you can attend," Jack informed his friend, firmly.

Fox was confused, he hadn't remembered seeing that in the seminar
description but a sharp kick on his ankle and a glare from Jack stopped
him from saying anything.

"Really?" Daniel sounded depressed then he frowned. "Then how come
you're planning on attending?"

"Special Ops, you know?"

Daniel clearly didn't.

"Part of the training is compulsory participation in this seminar. A
military operative undercover must be able to take advantage of all
situations presented to him."

Fox almost choked on his drink.

Looking despondent, Daniel sighed. "Ah well, I guess I'll have to find
something else to do this afternoon. See you both later."

Watching as the younger man wandered off looking sad and alone, Fox
glared at his companion. "That was mean!"

"It was for his own good." Jack replied firmly, not looking up from his
lunch. "I'm just saving him from himself."

"Saving him for yourself more likely," Fox snapped back. "And when are
you planning on doing something about that?"

"When he's ready." Jack replied. "I come on too strong and I won't see
him for dust."

Yeah... yeah, Fox thought, the profiler in him yelling 'Denial! Denial!"
In fact he was sure there was a seminar on it. 'Top Ten Reasons Why Your
Assistologist/Partner Will Become Uncontrollably Depressed' and
Unresolved Sexual Tension was right at top of the list. He watched as
Daniel stopped outside the doors to the restaurant, pull the yellow
flyer out of his pocket again and head back towards the entrance of the
hotel and the registration desk with a grin on his face. Well at least
he'd found something to do this afternoon, Fox thought relieved.

Two o'clock rolled around quickly and the two men found themselves
standing outside the main hall. In a Convention Queue (tm). In a queue
that snaked round the foyer outside the hall, down the corridor and main
staircase and into the reception area. And back again. The con
organisers had had to cap it at that point and tell the remainder of the
attendees to come back once numbers had dropped slightly. This was
because of the incident at the 8th Annual Convention when Robin of
Loxley had been standing outside the hotel patiently waiting to get into
the seminar, in the hope of eventually managing to entice the Sheriff of
Nottingham into bed. He was grabbed by four sword wielding mercenaries
on horseback, one of the whom looked distinctly liked Kronos, whilst
'The Boys are Back in Town' blared out of the hotel next door, and was
not seen or heard of again. Eventually, after a year, his Assistologists
had to replace Robin with a rather unconvincing look-alike in order to
continue as before. It was an event that had traumatised all Good Guys
(tm), the both Guilds (as they then were) had lodged formal complaints
with the Bad Guys (tm) Guild, the con organisers and each other. It had
all turned rather nasty, and the organisers had taken great pains ever
since then to avoid a repeat.

"What the frickin' hell is the problem?" Jack started complaining after
they had been standing in the queue for five minutes.

"Jack... " Fox tried to hush the other man. Raising a ruckus was not
considered a seemly Good Guy (tm) trait (unless provoked by the entire
annihilation of one's family and/or loved ones). The queue was being
marshalled by a couple of pale looking guys dressed in expensive but
rather old-fashioned clothing.

"Isn't that...?" Fox started to ask as both men turned towards where
they stood. He shut his mouth quickly as both men walked towards them,
waiting until they were a good distance away before gasping. "How the
hell did Lestat get into a Good Guys (tm) convention? Louis, I can
understand. But Lestat?"

Jack was busy checking his watch for the sixth time in less then five
minutes. "I'm sure this damn thing has stopped!" he grumbled.

Fox poked him in the ribs sharply and pointed towards the two vampires

Jack peered over the crowd and watched the men successfully keep the
line of attendees in order. "I heard that Lestat managed to convince the
organisers that he was a Good Guy (tm) for a vampire."

"For a vampire?"

Jack shrugged. "Apparently he claimed discrimination on the grounds that
just because he ate people didn't make him a Bad Guy (tm)... just higher
up the food chain." As a Colonel in the USAF it was a sentiment that
Jack could relate to. "Spike got in on the same technicality."

"But... Spike doesn't just eat people, he tortures them. It's why he's
called Spike, for god's sake!"

"Yeah, but he's been chipped, so he claims that puts him on the side of
the angels. Although when Spike used those words he actually gagged,"
commented Jack.

"At least Angel'll keep him in place," Fox had met the vampire at the
20th convention, and found that, for a brooding hulk who liked to sit in
the dark and bemoan his existence a lot, he was actually quite a fun guy
once you got him drunk.

"Hopefully. Although I haven't seen him since I got here." Jack scanned
the crowd. "WES!" he yelled, when he spotted who he was looking for.

After telling Gunn he'd be right back, Wesley Wyndham-Pryce walked down
the queue speak to them. "Hello, Jack, Fox."

"Hey, Wes," Jack greeted him. "I was just saying, we haven't seen Angel
this weekend."

A moue of distaste crossed Wesley's face. "Well you wouldn't, he's not
here, he's next door. I'm not sure how he did it, but Angelus managed to
arrange for custody of the body for this weekend. Which is a pity,
because I know Angel was looking forward to this seminar. He asked me to
take notes for him, which is why we're here." A wicked grin crossed
Wesley's face. "Although, if Gunn and I can arrange it, we're going to
see if Angel will let Angelus keep the body for an extra night. After
all, it would be a shame to sit through this without being able to put
it to practical use."

Fox grinned. He'd slept with a vampire once, and it had been an
experience to remember. He wouldn't mind repeating it, but the part of
him that wanted to risk his life by sleeping with someone who would kill
you as soon as kiss you was abated by knowing Alex. He was just about to
ask Wesley who Angel wanted the notes to use on when the doors to the
Main Hall opened and people started moving.

Leaving them, Wesley jogged back towards Gunn to reclaim his position in
the queue as they all filed in.

As Fox walked through the double doors he was handed a booklet. Glancing
down, he read the title 'How To Seduce Your Bad Guy (tm) Into Bed And
Make Him Think It Was All His Idea: Required Notes And Diagrams'.
Looking up, a huge screen covered one end of the Hall and the seminar's
chair, Vince Tyler, was busy sorting through a huge pile of acetate
sheets for the overhead projector. Opening the book at a random page, as
they took their seats, Fox stared at the picture for long moments. And
then he turned it upside down and tried again. Oh boy, this was going to
be fun...

Several hours later Fox and Jack left the seminar among the pile of
bodies.

"Well, that was..."

"Interesting?" supplied Jack.

"Graphic," finished Mulder. "But definitely interesting. And who knew
the British had minds like that. I never met anyone like that when I was
at Oxford. I would have had a hell of a lot more fun if I had."

Fox's laughter was interrupted by the cry of "Agent Mulder!"

Looking up, he saw Skinner striding towards them. "Oh joy," Mulder
muttered.

Skinner had only just reached them when he said, "Mulder, I'm heading
back to DC."

"But the Convention isn't over yet."

"It doesn't matter. I'm booked on the late flight back to Dulles."

"You'll miss all of tomorrows seminars." Mulder couldn't understand why
Skinner would want to leave. He always looked forward to the Good Guy
(tm) conventions. They were the highlight of his year.

"It doesn't matter. It's not as though I actually wanted to be here in
the first place."

"So, just why *did* you come?" Mulder asked.

Skinner frowned. "I didn't actually have any choice in the matter."

"How do you mean?"

Skinner pulled a letter out of his pocket and handed it to Mulder.

Mulder opened the letter and quickly read through it, his annoyance
rising. "How dare they!" he spluttered. "I'm not a child! I don't need
you here to keep an eye on me!" Apparently the Good Guy (tm) Guild had
written to Skinner telling him that his Good Guy (tm) license was going
to be revoked unless he agreed to attend the convention and keep an eye
on his errant Agent.

"I rang them to try and dissuade them, but the woman I spoke to said
something about chocolate and Koi Carp and never darkening their door
again unless I came with you. They just wouldn't accept that an AD in
the FBI had better things to do than to baby-sit one of his agents
through a weekend."

Mulder was incensed. To think that they'd only let him come because
Skinner had agreed to watch over him. It was insulting... it was
demeaning... it... meant that Skinner was leaving now!!!! Mulder tried
to keep the grin off his face as he looked back up at his boss. "Well,
sir, it's a shame that you're having to leave, but I promise that
nothing will happen while you're gone."

Skinner gave Mulder a Very Long Look (tm) which translated as 'you think
I came down in the last rain shower?' then turned to Jack. "Can I assume
that you will be staying for the duration of the convention, Colonel?"

Jack started at the formal use of his title and looked at Skinner
quizzically, he then suppressed a yelp as Fox's foot kicked him sharply
on the ankle. "Yes sir." He answered politely, suddenly reminded of
General Hammond.

"Would it be too much trouble if I requested of you that you keep an eye
on Agent Mulder while he's at the convention?" Skinner asked. "The Good
Guys Guild (tm) threatened to take away my membership unless I
accompanied him and I don't want to run the risk of the fiasco that
happened last time when I'm gone."

Jack smiled. "You can rely on me."

"I'm glad to hear it, Colonel," nodded Skinner, before he turned back to
Mulder. "I'll see you back at work on Monday, Agent Mulder."

"Yes, sir," replied Mulder.

With a final glance at both of them, Skinner walked away.

Fox looked at Jack, a huge grin on his face. "To quote Vince in the last
seminar: SORTED!!!!"

The moment of elation drifted into an uncomfortable silence. "Now what?"
Fox eventually asked.

Jack looked at his watch. "Daniel should be due back soon. I guess I'll
wait for him in the bar."

Fox considered this. This hotel served Stoli Vodka straight from the
freezer just the way Alex liked it. There would be no better lure to
catch a Rat. "Would you like some company until Daniel gets here?" he
asked Jack.

"Sure." Jack replied. "Could be a while though. Knowing Danny he's
probably found interesting book somewhere and is busy examining it in
minute detail. Probably will keep him occupied for hours."

Fox couldn't see the attraction. The only book of interest that Alex
owned was the Karma Sutra. Though that did merit in-depth study,
sometimes going over the same page two or three times... every night...
for a week.

"So, bar, then," suggested Jack.

Fox nodded, quickly checking the con book to find out where the hotel
bar was situated, he pointed in the general direction and they started
to walk over. Several others have obviously had the same idea as there
was a congregation around the bar.

A rather frazzled looking barman was busily trying to take orders and
mix drinks. It wouldn't have been too bad, but he seemed to get *really*
confused when Lestat ordered a Bloody Mary with Red Bull chaser and then
got upset when he gave him *alcohol*. Eventually the poor man was just
pushed out of the way by a green guy with red horns who started singing
the most soulful rendition of Lady Marmalade as he worked that Fox had
ever heard.

Jim Ellison smiled happily at Fox as he went past, "Now *that's* more
like it. I wonder if he does Santana?"

Fox grinned, then turned as he felt someone jostle into him, to see
Wesley and Gunn standing next to him.

"Lorne!" shouted Wes. "The usual please."

"Right with you, handsome," the barman replied.

"You know him?" Fox asked.

"Yeah, he runs a karaoke bar in LA," replied Gunn.

"A karaoke bar?" Fox queried.

"Yes.. he does this thing where his customers sing and then he reads
their auras." Wesley informed him. "It's all very scientific."

"Uhhuh?" Fox replied wondering how difficult it would be to convince
Skinner that he had to visit L.A. on an urgent X-File case. A demon Good
Guy (tm) with psychic powers. Sounded almost reasonable compared with
Tooms or that guy who sucked the fat out of people. Of course, Mulder
had always thought that the fat-sucking guy probably would have had
better luck if he'd set himself up in Hollywood as a liposuctionist.
Chances were, no one would have even noticed.

"And what would you like, gorgeous?"

"Beer."

"Beer."

Both Jack and Fox replied at the same time and then glared at each
other.

"I think he was talking to me," commented Jack.

"Boys, boys," appealed Lorne, "you can fight over me later. Just tell me
what you two are drinking."

"We'll both have beer, thanks," Mulder said.

Within seconds two open bottles of beer were placed on the bartop.

Grabbing the bottles, Jack and Fox fought their way through the crowd.
Fox muttered as he was elbowed by Steve Sloan on his way to the bar, and
he retaliated by stepping on Logan's foot, quickly moving when the other
man growled at him.

"Wait, my son," a calm voice cut through the din, and a pathway opened
from the door to the bar. "Remember, there is always a way."

"Don't you *hate* when Caine does that."

"I hear he's proposing the twenty-ninth amendment to the Constitution of
the Good Guys (tm) Guild." Fox dug out the heavily folded program of
events. "Yeah, here: 'Amendment to read... uh... ' this is it: 'I
solemnly swear that I shall only use my powers in the cause of good,
unless it is eminently obvious that the bad guys will win in which case
I can act like a Bad Guy (tm) without any tarnishment, detriment or job
loss to my position as a member in good standing of the Guild of Good
Guys (tm)' , yadda yadda, 'to rescue Assistologist'... hmm... here we
are: 'and I do solemnly swear that I will not use powers in any other
circumstances unless I can't get to the bar due to cruel and unusual
crowding.'"

Jack blinked. "You're saying he's going to legitimise using your Powers
For Good (tm) for beating the crowds at bars?"

"Yeah. Can you believe it?"

"Go Pops! Never thought he had it in him."

Fox leaned closer, "To hear Dangermouse tell it, he had it in him all
night... and you know who he's sharing with?"

"Old news. How is Peter these days?"

Fox shrugged. "Dunno. I don't think he's speaking to me since the Carp
got toasted that night. He'd been contemplating, he said."

Jack took a long slug of his beer, and glanced around the room,
wondering when he'd be able to make his escape. Mulder was notorious for
getting maudlin, and judging by the rate at which the bottle was going
down, it wouldn't take long. "Ya know where Danny went?" he asked,
scanning the room.

"Saw him down at the main desk with a yellow flyer. Then Skinner turned
up, and I didn't see where he went after that."

"Oh." Jack shrugged and knocked back more beer. He'd gone through
Daniel's con pack very carefully, and he'd taken out the, ah, less safe
seminars. Come to think of it, he didn't remember seeing a yellow flyer.

"I found her once," Mulder was staring at a photograph of a small
brown-haired girl child. "But it wasn't her, there were too many of
her." Jack blinked again, and examined the beer. Either he'd missed a
large chunk of the story or Mulder had the alcohol tolerance of a
malnourished vole. "It shoulda been me." He sniffed, "And I haven't seen
Alex once, and he *promised*." He brandished a note, "See. He promised."

"Trouble in paradise?" Wesley popped up and peered at the note
interestedly. "Interesting."

"What's interesting?" Mulder asked sulkily.

"Oh, he's used an invocation sigil of the Great Demon Boffalut. I hope
he knows what he's doing," Wesley shook his head. "Very dangerous
stuff."

"Yeah," Gunn leaned over Mulder's other shoulder. "Hope he brought
plenty of lube!" He grinned and slapped the now sniffling Mulder on the
shoulder. "Come on, British, I've got some devil worship I wanna show
*you*."

"Really," Wesley asked as they disappeared from the packed bar, "Are you
into Boffalut too?"

"I sure hope so, my friend," Gunn said as they left. "I sure hope so."

"Alex wouldn't cheat on me," Mulder said mournfully, peering into his
empty bottle. "He wouldn't. I know he's a Bad Guy (tm), and he hasn't
actually said it but... Alex!" He shrieked, and heads all around the bar
snapped up. He lunged through the crowd to a scruffy looking Krycek by
the door. Without pausing for breath he Swept Him Into His Arms (tm),
Taking a Deep Kiss From Those Sweet Lips. (tm).

"Ex*cuse* me?" a voice impinged on his Joyful Reunion (tm). Mulder
ignored it. He ignored the tugging on his shoulders, the knee jammed
into his back and the attempt to winch them apart too. The Steely
Whisper of Richie's Sword (tm), and the Chill Metal Pressing Against His
Neck (tm) was rather more effective. He whirled to face his rival, gun
in hand, vainly attempting to tuck Krycek safely behind him, and noting
in passing that he really did have to think of something special for
Blair.

"Get your hands off my guy!" They said simultaneously.

"No he's not, he's *my* guy," they also said, simultaneously.

"I may be able to resolve this unhappy coincidence," a deep and
distinctive English voice spoke up.

Jack turned to Rupert with some relief, "Can you make sense of this? And
who *is* the red-head?"

"Richie Ryan," the blond lad stuck out his non-sword wielding hand, "And
you are?"

"Jack."

"Colonel Jonathan 'Jack' Francis O'Neill, of the United States Air
Force, to be precise," Rupert smiled fondly at him. "The young man who
is not trying very hard to escape Fox's clutches is Cory Raines - by the
way, young man, I have been meaning to ask you if you've seen your uncle
recently?"

"Not Krycek?" Mulder grasped, even through the entire bottle of beer
currently swamping his good sense. He gagged and wiped his mouth on the
nearest piece of cloth until Rupert firmly removed the collar of his
tweed jacket from his teeth.

"That was a bit unnecessary," Rupert observed mildly.

Cory slipped out from Mulder's back and wrapped his hand around Richie's
wrist, "Put the sword down, kid, it's cute and all, but I can really
take care of myself, you know?" He leaned in and took a Deep Kiss (etc,
etc tm). He left Richie gasping and smiled at the Tweed Clad Librarian
(tm). "Uncle Ethan's next door at the Bad Guys (tm) con."

"Ah. Well, I'll probably pop in to see him a little later." He glanced
at the FBI agent. Mulder had excavated a bottle of Scope somewhere and
was currently gargling then sluicing out his mouth, and spitting into,
Rupert sighed, it was the 21st con all over again, the pool. Some
guppies were already floating slowly to the surface. "Oh dear!"

Mulder seemed totally oblivious to the carnage occurring in the pool
despite the fact that those fish who weren't currently floating, belly
up, in ground zero were leaping out of the pool in a desperate attempt
to escape the unprovoked bio-chemical attack. The crowd of Good Guys
(tm), who had been avidly watching the unfolding drama, were now engaged
in Heroic Deeds (tm), as they rushed en masse to the bar to demand
glasses of water, then hurrying back with the Precious Fluid (tm) to
succour the expiring fish.

Zorro closely examined the fish that he held tenderly in one black
leather-clad hand. "Dios gracias! This one's not dead! He's just damp!"

"I want Alex." Oblivious to fishicide he had caused, Fox mourned sadly
before staggering towards their table.

"Aww, hon!" a green hand appeared on his shoulder and Fox looked up to
see two Lornes peering at him sympathetically. Carefully Fox reached up
and grabbed the faces and tried to push them into one. Lorne's face grew
less sympathetic. "Why don't we sit you down again." He gently guided
Fox back to his seat. "Colonel!" he yelled and Fox winced.

Jack strode over nonchalantly. "You yelled?"

"I believe you told AD Skinner that you would take responsibility for
this man," Lorne reminded him.

"How the hell did you know that?" Jack demanded. He was pretty sure he
would have spotted a tall green demon with red horns hanging around the
hotel lobby.

Lorne just looked at him. "Exposition: Plot Device 57b (tm), okay,
honey?"

Jack mumbled something about being too busy to remember all the Guild
Rules and who thought up half the stupid things anyway, but did as he
was told and helped get Fox settled in his seat again.

There was a brief interruption as Ellison hurried back into the bar,
looking worried. "Has anyone seen My Guppy (tm)?"

A number of hands shot up, some of which still contained fish-filled
glasses. There was considerable confusion as a new Hero Rescue (tm)
frenzy took place to rescue the newly de-glassed guppies.

"Not that kind of guppy!" Ellison growled. "Sandburg. Mouthy little guy,
cute as a button and annoying as all get out. About yey high." He
indicated a point somewhere around his waist.

"No, Jim, that's just the height *you* like him at!" someone yelled
across the bar, and Jim blushed and fled.

The confusion slowly cleared, and Lorne reappeared by their table.

"I'll get you boys some more drinks," he said cheerfully, "doctor's
orders." He winked at Jack and disappeared.

He returned a few minutes later with a large bottle of whiskey and two
glasses. "On the house," he told them before heading back to the bar
where a dozen Heroes (tm) were now loitering aimlessly, having finished
the Heroic Rescue (tm) (for the second time) of the guppies and now had
no clue what to do next.

Lorne picked up the phone and seconds later a white van screeched up to
a halt in the patio area just outside the bar, more than half a dozen
ninja types rushed in. The first one came to an abrupt halt at the sight
of the milling Heroes (tm) and the remainder of the ninjas crashed into
him.

Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!

Number One Ninja, he say: "Where are the bodies?"

Lorne nodded at the scene of carnage by the small fish pool. Many of the
More Sensitive Heroes (tm) averted their eyes. Silently, respectfully,
four of the black clad ninjas pulled out miniature trowels and gently
shovelled up the dead Guppies while Number Two Ninja, he start spraying
Febreeze around the hotel bar.

"Who the hell are you?" Richie asked, bewildered.

Number One Ninja bowed politely, whilst keeping his eyes on Richie's
enormous sword. "We're the Teenage Mutant Ninja Clean-Up-Crew."

"Teenage?" asked Cory.

"Ninja?" asked Caine disapprovingly.

"Well..." Number One Ninja shrugged. "...they can't employ adults for
less than minimum wage."

"But it's not all bad," another Ninja piped up, "we get three square
meals a day, housing, a radical van and even if we have to clean up all
the crap you guys leave behind, we do at least have our own theme tune
and dance routine."

They moved with noiseless grace into a line, and a chord sounded in the
distance.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja cleanup!
Teenage Mutant Ninja cleanup!
Heroes with a duster!
Cleanup power!"

They then broke into a complicated dance routine, involving much
spinning of nunchakas and katanas, and a peculiar 'roo-tchacha,
roo-tchacha, roo-tchachacha!' chant. Eventually they came to an end and
took a bow from the rapturously applauding bar. (Who ever claimed Heroes
(tm) had taste?)

The Ninjas bowed respectfully then continued with their task, carefully
zipping the bodies of the deceased Guppies into tiny body bags and
carrying them out on minute stretchers.

One Ninja stood to attention at the side before whipping out a bagel. He
hesitated, looking confused, then rummaged around in his pockets again,
eventually emerging with a bugle and striking up Taps.

Every civilian head in the room dropped and the military men saluted,
stony-faced, their minds flashing back to long ago, tragic, dark days
long past, and their lost, their fallen comrades. Suddenly a voice cried
out in apparent agony, petitioning the uncaring universe with his
desperate, unanswered, unanswerable question: "Why!" from the darkness
of the bar. "Why am I saluting a frickin' fish!?!?"

There was the sound of a slap, and then a yelp. "Jack... shut up!" the
Host's voice hissed.

Jack grabbed the bottle of whiskey and glared at the Host, who simply
smiled sweetly and blew him a kiss. He glanced at the bottle, the very
label, black and white and smug, taunted him. There was a despondent
sigh to his right and Jack started to pour the whiskey into the glasses.
He stopped at a shot, then thought better of it, filling the glasses to
their brims.

"Cheers," he pushed one glass over to the FBI agent then knocked his own
down in one gulp.

Fox eyed the glass suspiciously. "Whiskey?"

Jack swallowed the sour liquid with a grimace, then turned the bottle so
Fox could see the label proudly stating 'JackDaniels'. "Best kind."

Fox looked at him blearily. "Why haven't you told Daniel yet?" he asked
before downing the whiskey and immediately having a coughing fit.

Jack slapped the other man a couple of times on the back until the
colour returned to his cheeks and he stopped wheezing. "It's
complicated."

"Ha!" Fox was still gasping for air but managed to emphasis the 'Jack
you are a coward!' tone to his voice.

"I'm military, his CO..." Jack protested.

"Alex is a part of a Consortium which has sold out the human race to
aliens in order to breed slaves... or food... or breeding stock... I
forget which! I still love him. We still manage hot monkey sex on a
regular basis," Fox replied reasonably, and surprisingly coherently.

Too coherently. "Drink your whiskey," Jack ordered, pouring another
glass full for himself and settling back to brood.

"Okay," replied Mulder, knocking back the drink and then holding his
glass out for more.

"Besides which, he's innocent to the ways of man," Jack commented,
lapsing into silence.

Unbidden, a voice broke into quiet. "And I-ee-I-ee-I will always love
you-oo-oo-oo-oo."

A few of the More Sensitive Heroes (tm) broke down into tears.

Jack looked over at where Lorne was holding court amidst a group of
weeping Heroes (tm). Sighing, he turned back to Fox and lifted the
bottle of JD to his lips, taking a healthy gulp before holding it out to
the other man.

***

"Oh my god, what was I drinking last night?" Mulder moaned as he cracked
open his eyes and whimpered as the sunlight hit them. He was busy wiping
his tongue around his mouth trying to decide if the fuzz was meant to be
there when a long, drawn-out groan suddenly rent the air of the room.
Body freezing, Mulder slowly turned his head and came face to face with
Jack O'Neill.

"Fuck!" both of them yelled as they leaped out of bed simultaneously.
And then both grabbed at the sheet as they realised they were naked,
resulting in a minor tug of war, which Jack eventually won.

Glaring at Jack as he pulled a pillow off the bed and held it in front
of him, Mulder looked the other man up and down, surreptitiously
checking for finger bruises and bite marks. "Did we...?" he motioned at
the bed with the hand that wasn't clutching the pillow.

"I have no idea," replied Jack as he finished tucking the sheet firmly
around his waist and examining it for incriminating stains. "The last
thing I remember is Lorne dragging us up and... oh my god, did I really
*sing*?! Did *you* really sing?"

Mulder paled. "I think so."

"Oh great, I got drunk, sang and then slept with Fox Mulder. What the
fuck was in that bottle?"

"Hey!" objected Mulder, indignant at the tone in which Jack had spoken.

Jack waved a hand. "You know what I mean."

Mulder nodded, unable to hold his anger. He was pretty upset at the
notion that he'd cheated on Alex, even if what he had with the octuple
agent was hardly most peoples notion of domestic bliss. Although...
"Actually, I don't feel as though I've had sex," commented Mulder,
wiggling his ass cautiously. None of his muscles were aching, he didn't
feel raw over certain parts of his anatomy and his ears still felt
normal.

"And it doesn't smell as if we've had sex," added Jack, not wanting to
admit that the last time he had a good bout of sex was so long ago he
couldn't actually remember what it felt like in the morning.

"So we just got drunk, got naked and got into bed with each other,"
surmised Mulder.

"Works for me," declared Jack.

"Well then, we'll just leave it at that and say no more about it."

Jack nodded as he turned and looked for his clothes. They took several
minutes sorting out what belonged to whom from the trail that lead to
the bed, but eventually each of them had a pile of clothes in front of
them that they hurriedly proceeded to put on.

Finally dressed, Mulder winced as he pulled on his jacket.

"Here." Jack held out a pair of shades.

"Thanks," smiled Fox as he gratefully took them and put them on,
blocking out the harsh glare of daylight.

"I always carry a spare pair, I never know when I'm going to need them,"
Jack told him, placing his own over pair over bloodshot eyes.

"Now what?" Mulder asked.

Jack glanced down at his watch. "Well, it's nearly 2:00pm, so we've
missed the morning..." his words trailed off. "Shit! Danny!" O'Neill
rushed to the door and jerked it open.

Not knowing quite what else to do with himself, Mulder followed Jack out
of the room and into the elevator.

They reached the ground floor just as the morning's seminars were coming
out.

"Jack! Fox!" Lorne sashayed up to them. "Boys, I have to say I was more
than impressed with you two last night. Although, Colonel Cutie, such
thoughts!"

Jack waved Lorne quiet. "Have you seen Daniel?"

Lorne frowned. "No, I haven't seen that bundle of joy since yesterday."

Steve Sloan wandered up and clapped Jack on the back. "Gorgeous voice,
Jack. And that song, what was it again?" Steve looked at Richie, who had
just joined the group. "Richie, what was that song they sang last
night?"

"Oh, you know, it was the one that goes la-la-la-laaaa-la-la-la-la."

"You have no idea, do you, sweetness?" Lorne prompted.

"No," admitted Richie. "But someone'll know, I'm pretty sure I saw a
video camera floating around at some point."

Fox and Jack both groaned. And then Jack remembered why he was there.
Walking over to the registration desk, he ignored Sherry's protest and
climbed on the table. "HOI!" he shouted across the room, causing the
assembled Good Guys (tm) to look at him. "Has anyone here seen Daniel
Jackson?"

"Daniel's missing?" Jim Ellison asked. "Maybe he's with Blair."

"Where's Blair?" Jack queried.

"I don't know!" came the despondent wail.

Jack sighed as he jumped down from the reg. desk. "If you didn't know
where Daniel was, then why say anything?"

"I didn't say I didn't know where Daniel was, just that I didn't know
where Blair was," commented Jim, staring at Jack menacingly.

"So you know where Daniel is?" You're a Good Guy (tm), Jack. You're a
Good Guy (tm), Jack. O'Neill kept the mantra going through his head to
try and stop him from kicking Ellison in the balls.

"I saw him going next door yesterday."

A sudden hush fell over the foyer, with one or two whispered mutterings.

"Next door?" repeated Jack. "Next. Frickin'. Door?! And nobody told me
this sooner?" Clenching his hands into fists at the side of his body,
O'Neill turned and stormed towards the entrance of the hotel.

Mulder sighed, shrugged, and then thought 'Fuck it,' and followed him.

***

Fox Mulder stood outside the entrance to the hotel hosting the 23rd
Annual Bad Guys (tm) Convention. He was torn between wanting to go in
and wanting to stay out. He knew he'd been teetering on a thin wire with
the Good Guys Guild (tm) recently. Napoleon Solo, the little...
Napoleon... had been gunning to get him thrown out for quite some time
now. He really didn't want to give them an excuse to revoke his Good
Guys License (tm). He'd just decided to go back to the other Convention
when he caught sight of a familiar black-clad figure walking through the
foyer. Walking through the foyer towards Jack. Walking through the foyer
towards Jack with his hand in the back pocket of Daniel Jackson. Mulder
hadn't even made the decision to move before his legs were propelling
him forward. He'd been waiting for the other man to make an appearance,
and all the time he'd been here with that... that *hussy* Jack seemed so
bloody fond of. "KRYCEK!" he yelled as he walked up to them. "Where the
fuck have you been?"

"Around," commented Alex, his body stiff. "How's Skinner?"

Skinner? What the hell had Skinner got to do with this? "How the hell
would I know how Skinner is? He left yesterday. Said something about
having better things to do than attend a convention." He wasn't about to
say *exactly* what Skinner had said.

"Look, never mind about Skinner, what I want to know is what has this
reprobate been doing to my archaeologist?"

Fox was just about to object to Jack calling Alex a reprobate when
Daniel started on the Colonel.

"Your archaeologist? *Your* archaeologist?!! I'll have you know Jonathon
Francis O'Neill, that I am no one's archaeologist but my own!"

Mulder watched as they continued to argue. And then Alex sidled closer
to Daniel and Fox couldn't stand it any longer. Stalking away from the
trio who seemed to be deeply absorbed in their drama, Fox leant against
a wall, jumping when a silky voice purred into his ear.

"Are you all right?"

Mulder jumped about five foot straight up in the air, landing in the
man's arms on way down.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."

With his feet now back on the ground, Mulder looked into the face of an
angel. Or rather, the face of *the* Angel.

The vampire looked at him. "Did you hurt yourself?"

Mulder shook his head. "No," he replied. "And why are you being so nice?
I thought Angelus was meant to have the body this weekend."

"He did, I got custody back a couple of hours ago," he smiled, with
rather too many teeth showing.

"I see," Mulder smiled back, ignoring the Small Voice In The Back Of His
Head (tm) which was screaming, 'Moron! Idiot! Vampire! Not trustworthy!
Like... D'uh!' He was past caring. All he could see in his mind's eye
was his Alex and that *slut* of a Daniel Jackson.

"I saw what Krycek did," Angel murmured seductively, forcing Mulder to
move closer to hear the deep, sexy voice. "I think he was wrong choosing
Daniel over *you*." His hot gaze roamed over Fox's body.

"Uh...huh." There was a war going on inside Mulder's brain. Part of him
was melting under the dark, brooding eyes of the vampire but the other
part, the part which spent its time keeping Fox alive during his
experiences with aliens, clones, other vampires, garou, sasquatch,
liver-eating serial killers and assorted creatures despite all Mulder's
attempts to the contrary, was rallying to the cause. If a brain cell
could slap itself round the head, this one was.

'Angel' slipped an arm round Fox's waist and began trying to lead him
away from the scene playing out before them. "This must be so
distressing for you to watch," he purred.

'No! Don't let him lead you away from Alex!' the one remaining
operational brain cell screamed. It was, surprisingly enough, sufficient
to kick start the rest of his mind into gear.

"Uh, no, I don't think I-"

"Are you *turning me down*?" Angelus asked slowly. "You wouldn't be
leading me on, all hot and human, and then turning me down, would you?"
He pressed chill lips to Fox's neck. More brain cells scrambled as the
'Enemy at three o'clock' signal seared through his skull.

"No." He backed away. Angelus morphed, and Fox screamed. Yes, it was
embarrassing. It was girly, and let's face it, it was really pretty
pathetic. Angelus flinched for a moment, possibly thrown by the sheer
improbability of Mulder, Fox Mulder, the survivor of multiple X-Filey
type encounters howling like a big girl's blouse.

"Alex!" He yelled, "Alex! *Save* me!" He coloured bright red, as his
brain caught up with his speech centre and beat it to death with the few
remaining shreds of dignity left to him. But it worked.

Miracle of miracles, even as the Bad Guys (tm), who had watched as Jack
slung Daniel over his shoulder and left, and hung around in expectation
of some hot three way action out in the parking lot, roared with
laughter and cheered, Krycek came flying back from staring after Daniel.

"Leave him alone, you pointy-toothed bastard!" His wrath was terrible to
behold; with one hand he reached for his Beloved Friend (tm) wrenching
him away from the salacious grasp of the unregenerate, temporarily
disensouled vampire. With the other he brought up a sharpened wooden
stake, moving fast it came to a halt scant millimetres from Angelus'
broad, silk covered chest as Angelus' hand, faster than the human eye
gripped his wrist and began to squeeze.

"Let him go!" Mulder demanded, and turned and scowled at the Bad Guys
(tm), some of whom had been reduced to rolling around on the ground,
howling feebly and shedding tears of laughter at this latest demand.

"Are you okay, Fox, babe?" Krycek asked urgently, ignoring the pain in
his wrist as Angelus began to twist, holding Angelus' eyes unwaveringly.

"Yeah," Fox lay a tentative hand on Krycek's free arm. "Come on, babe,
he's not worth it."

Alex nodded and with a quick Martial Arts Move (tm) jerked his arm free
from the vampire's grasp. "Next time," he hissed darkly, "I'll just go
for the hair."

Angelus backed away, raising his hands in surrender. "Jeeze, take a
chill pill, Alex. It's not like I was going to kill him or anything."

"Just rape him, right?" Alex growled. "Not on my watch." There was a
deadly silence from the assembled Bad Guys (tm). Mulder looked around
warily. They were the centre of a deadly circle of murderers, thieves
and cut-throats.

"What is it?" Mulder whispered as they moved back to back.

Krycek smiled lop-sidedly. "I've committed the unforgivable sin, babe. I
went Hero (tm) on them." He let his gaze flicker to the dark brown head.
"Don't worry, okay?"

"What are they going to do?"

Krycek swallowed.

Loud, synthesized music (oddly reminiscent of Queen) echoed through the
parking lot. A man in a golden cape, his beard waxed and styled into an
improbable point walked out, majestically. The crowd parted wordlessly,
heads dipping as they acknowledged the leader of the Guild of Bad Guys
(tm), Ming, The Merciless.

"Majesty," Krycek nodded politely.

An imperious imperial hand reached out. "Your badge."

Wordlessly Krycek reached into his jacket and pulled out the Guild of
Bad Guys (tm) badge and wallet. He hesitated only for a moment, and
dropped it into Ming's hand, where it began to shrivel and smoke. In
moments it was no more.

"Leave. Never darken our doors again." Ming turned away, and the crowd
slowly began to disperse, muttering darkly, and casting disdainful looks
at the traitorous Krycek, who smiled at Mulder.

"I'm sorry," Mulder said softly, looking anxiously into the cool green
eyes. Krycek smiled back up into the hazel, gold flecked orbs.

"I'll consider the world well lost for love," he said, finally, and
moved into Mulder's arms.

The End.

Extra Note: Yes, we know Cory and Ethan spell their surnames
differently, but it's near enough for us ;) Accept the difference. Live
with the difference. Be one with the fuckin' difference. 'Kay?



 

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