Title: Losing It: Take III
Author: Zoë


Take III


**

Skinner

If there was ever a situation that called for expansive swearing, it's this one. But I'll bite my tongue to keep anymore 'fucks' from spewing from that angelic baby face. Krycek was a hell of a cute kid.

Christ, I'm hungry. "Okay... we've all been thrown off by this bizarre situation. Let's stop sniping and figure out what to do."

"Sure, dad," Mulder replies snottily.

"Agent Mulder!" I snap. "I may look like a high school kid, but I'm still your boss."

He has the decency to flash me a remorseful look. "Sorry, sir," he mumbles to his shirt.

"Let's just-" My stomach loudly growling makes me forget what I was going to say. "Fuck it, let's eat something so I can think straight."

"You fucking shithead," Krycek yells at me.

"What'd I do?"

He just smiles and shrugs.

"Oh sh-shoot... I forgot." If I don't eat soon I won't be able to remember that I forgot that I'm supposed to remember to forget to swear. Taking a seat at the table, I pull out several bags and packages.

Mulder sits across from me. "Ooh. Junk food. Right on."

I'm halfway through a donut when something starts pounding me on the knee. I look down at a clearly pissed off baby. "What?" Powdered sugar rains down on his dark head.

"I can't exactly reach," he grits through his gums. I guess there are some teeth.

"Oh yeah." Trying to remember that I need to be the mature one, I dig through the bag with a forced, but false frown. "Well, we have formula or baby food."

Mulder snickers into his Doritos as Krycek yelps, "What?" Baby's faces just aren't designed to convey a wide range of expressions, but his eyes sure spit a lot of fire.

"That's what we have for you."

"Why don't you just give me a bag of chips and we'll call it a day."

I'm trying to think of why that's not a good idea when Mulder flashes us both a patronizing look, then says, "It's fairly clear to me that we have all the physical maladies associated with bodies that are 30 years younger."

"So?" Krycek spits at us.

"So, do you have any idea how sick you'll get on Doritos? What the salt content in sunflower seeds," he waves a bag menacingly, "will do your system? I'm sure chocolate wax donuts will really make you feel in top form."

"Mulder, I hate you." Krycek stomps around in a circle. "Give me the fucking baby food!"

"NO SWEARING!" We both yell. I reach down and grab Alex--I have to start thinking of this baby as something besides Krycek--and deposit him on the bed. I get several baby thumps on my forearm for my efforts. "Do you want applesauce, peas and chicken, carrots, squash, bananas, prunes-"

"Just give me the applesauce."

I toss a jar on the bed, followed by a little spoon, then turn my attention back to my breakfast. About a minute passes before I hear a grunt of frustration from Alex, followed by a snicker from Mulder. Looking back, I see the jar of baby food rotating in Alex's hands as he tries to get a grip on it.

Shit... that was pretty obvious. Guess he can't exactly get a grip.


Krycek

A big hand appears, taking the jar away. Skinner places the opened jar next to my foot.

I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.

It takes a surprising amount of coordination to get the spoon into the jar. Even more to get it out. This is really frustrating. I manage to get it out only to fling half of the applesauce on my leg. Damn.

I pretend not to notice Mulder watching me. After poking myself in the nose, I manage to get some food into my mouth. The next bite winds up mostly on my chin.

Mulder's snickers are not going to bother me.

My next attempt is a little better. I've had just enough to eat to remind me that I'm really hungry, so I persevere. Another bite, then, while trying to get the spoon out of the jar, I knock it over, spilling half of it on the bed.

As the applesauce shapes itself to my leg, Mulder starts laughing hysterically. I close my eyes tightly, feeling more upset than I should. Maybe I'll just starve.

I feel a towel on my leg. Skinner is wiping up the spill, then wiping it off my legs.

Swatting at his big hands, I yell, "I can do it!"

"Sure you can. Here... let's get it off your face."

I turn my head away.

"Come on, Alex. Knock it off."

Alex? Why the hell is he... the towel rubbing my cheeks distracts me. "Stop it!" I twist, trying to evade him by rolling to the side. But the roll doesn't stop and I realize I'm going off the bed. "Ahhh!"

I'm caught right before I hit the ground. Next thing I know, I'm sitting on Skinner's lap. "What the hell are you trying to do? Bash your skull in?"

"Of course that's what I'm trying to do. I was thinking I'd like to flatten my flat spot!" Fucking idiot.

There's a spoon filled with applesauce in my face. I purse my lips and turn my head to the side while whacking the spoon with my fist. Applesauce sprays Mulder. Nice.

Skinner's arm comes around me, securing my hands to my sides. "Hey! Let go!"

"You little brat! Just eat." Spoon in my face.

"No!"

"I'm going to win this one, so cooperate now and save us some grief. I can hold you still longer than you can go without food. You have to eat. Lord knows you're already cranky enough."

"I don't want anyone feeding me." I can't stand the indignity of this.

"Alex, just eat and quit being a baby."

Mulder laughs so hard he chokes on his soda.

"That's not exactly what I meant." Skinner sounds flustered. "I meant, stop being immature."

I know that he's going to keep on until I eat. This really sucks. I open my mouth and let him stick the spoon in.

If I had to choose between this and barfing up an alien, it'd be a tough decision.


Mulder

I know for absolute certain that I will never, ever forget the sight of Assistant Director Skinner feeding Consortium thug Alex Krycek baby food. Krycek looks furious, and he glares daggers at me every time I snicker. He's really quite cute.

"That's nasty!" Krycek gags on whatever Skinner just fed him.

"Peas and chicken... you need some protein," Skinner insists. He's trying to shove the spoon into Krycek's mouth. I stick another corn chip into my mouth to keep from laughing out loud.

"I don't see you two eating any protein," Krycek observes sullenly.

"That's different. We're..." Skinner trails off, looking to me for help.

Krycek flashes him an indignant look. "You're... what? FBI agents?"

"We're not babies."

And the squirming begins. Skinner has a harder time holding on to Krycek than he should. "You bastard!"

I cringe at the language. It's just wrong. He looks like a fucking cherub. Killer cherub.

"Swearing!" Skinner yelps. "Listen, we don't know how long this is going to last. What if you have to age 30 years the hard way? You want us to make you sick?"

Krycek just glares. It's surprisingly effective considering those chubby little cheeks.

"If we're still like this tomorrow, I promise to, um, make sure Mulder eats right."

"Hey!" I protest. "I've never-"

"Mulder, shut up! We have a huge fu-freaking problem on our hands, and you two just want to squabble. You'd think the task of getting us fed would be fairly easy, but it's turning into a nightmare." He holds Krycek really still. "Eat!"

"Peaches," Krycek replies. At Skinner's expression, he adds, "Try to remember that you don't care what happens to my body. I'M UNDER ARREST."

"Oh, fine."

I watch Skinner feeding Krycek baby peaches. Why the hell is he picking on me? Krycek has been just as difficult. More so. But what does my boss do? Yells at me and feeds the cute little baby peaches.

This isn't my fault, and I'm not gonna take the rap for it.

"Mulder!" Skinner yells. "Snap out of it." The overgrown teenager in charge of me stands up with the 'baby.' "Would you quit sulking and put that impressive intellect of yours to the task of figuring out what the hell we're going to do?" He starts walking toward the bathroom. "I'm going to get Alex cleaned up."

"You are not..." drifts back before the door closes.

Oh, great. Now I have to figure out how to fix this. Well, you just wait and see. I'll get us out of this, then have the satisfaction of taking baby Krycek to jail. Maybe that'll be his prison bitch name. Or, better yet, Baby Alex.

Skinner emerges with a rosy-cheeked Krycek and a very soaked shirt. Guess Krycek gave as good as he got. With a frustrated grunt, he deposits Krycek on the bed, then strips off his T-Shirt. Holy shit. How could he be that muscular at that age? Did he do anything in school besides PE? Was he on steroids in high school? That could account for the early hair loss...

A fresh shirt effectively eliminates my distraction.

"Skinner," Krycek ventures, "did you think to ask the desk clerk what year it is?"

I sneer at him. "You actually think we've traveled back in time?" Not the sharpest tack in the drawer, that baby Krycek.

He bats his eyelashes at me. "You really think that's more implausible than being age regressed by 30 years?"

Skinner starts cracking up.

Fucking little twit. "You really are a punk."

"Aw, Mulder, that really hurts."

I gotta get into my thinking groove, so I flip on the TV, hit the mute and channel surf. I'm fairly certain time travel is not the answer to our problems.

"I said think, not watch TV," Skinner observes from his seat at the table.

"This is how I think, thank you very much."

Hmm... I think I'm going to need a basketball to figure our way out of this.

**

End Take III

6 July 2004


Zoë

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