Hands cover art by Deslea

Hands *NC17* 1/1

Deslea R. Judd
Copyright 2000

DISCLAIMER: Situations not mine. Interpretation mine. Deal.
ARCHIVE: Yes, just keep my name and headers.
SPOILERS/TIMEFRAME: Terma, Zero Sum, Patient X.
CATEGORY: Romance, angst, rambling introspection, Krycek/Marita.
RATING: NC17 for sexual situations and language.
SUMMARY: Marita reflects on Alex's lost hand.
MORE FIC: http://fiction.deslea.com
FEEDBACK: Love the stuff. deslea@deslea.com
AWARDS/ELIGIBILITY: Spooky 2001 Eligible. First Place, "Off-Camera, On-Canon", Purity Fanfic Challenge. Third Place, 2001 B.I.T.T. Awards. Recommended, Lara's Favourites (May 2001), Museans (March 2001), and A Quiet Place To Read (December 2000). Finalist, 2001 Spooky Awards (Outstanding Krycek Characterisation, Outstanding Marita Characterisation, Outstanding Krycek/Marita Romance). Nominee, Best NC-17 Fic, House Of Fanfic Harold Awards.

When he lost his arm, it was the beginning of the end.

It was an awful, unworthy thought, and again and again she pushed it away. She had nursed him, had flown to St Petersburg to be with him when it had happened, and she felt the injustice of his loss and the fracture to his soul as though they were her own. The thought was hateful, disloyal - to him, to who he had been and to who he could be; to all they had shared. But there was truth to it, too, however unpalatable; and what had begun as a distasteful thought was now a certainty in her heart.

He still had his right hand, of course. His purposeful hand. His useful hand. That was the hand he used to part her thighs and tease her mercilessly, the hand that dragged deliberately over her nipples or worked her clit with precision. It was the hand that pressed into her back, holding her closer than she'd thought she could be; the hand that held her hips hard against his; the hand that he would use to manoeuvre her body however he wanted her. And she wanted it, too, no mistaking that - she wanted him any way she could have him - but that was the hand he used to fuck her, and she loved it when he fucked her, but fucking wasn't enough. His right hand - his purposeful hand, his useful hand, his killing hand - that hand wasn't enough. She wanted the other, craved its touch, because that was the hand that touched with love.

Left hand...right brain. Dreamy, unguided, intuitive. The hand that cradled her cheek and cupped her breast and ran idly over her curves; the hand that rested on her belly over hers. The hand that entwined with hers when he nuzzled and sucked at her, his fingers tightening on hers, keeping her with him when she came, his name on her lips. The hand that he used to caress her neck, to entangle in her hair, oh, so tenderly, even when his body was consuming her. The hand he'd stretched out to her when they were seventeen, making him hers, her first and her last.

It all seemed so long ago.

The boy had become a man, and the girl a woman; but their love had remained. It had kept them alive, and somehow, when they'd had to sacrifice everything to save each other, it had kept them sane. He had given much more than her; had given not only his freedom, but his integrity; and the cost had been high. For so long, all his instincts had been poured into staying alive, leaving nothing for whatever riches there could be beyond survival. His left hand, she thought now, had been the only vestige of his humanity left. The hand that touched, not to arouse, not to control, not to tease, but simply for the sake of the joy of touch. Because it was her skin he could feel under his, and he wanted it just because it was her, and some muted part of him loved her just as much now as he had a decade before. And over the years, as he'd grown harder and colder, that touch, that hand was the only thing that had kept him human, and kept him hers.

And now it was gone.

There had been a certain tenderness between them in St Petersburg, as they found new ways to please each other. There was less leverage; he had learnt to rely on her more, trust her more, dominate her less. For a while, it seemed he loved her more; but she had soon understood that the love in his eyes merely reflected hers. The truth of it was when it was over, when he emptied himself into her, and he stayed empty; the faint flicker of life gone from his eyes. It was like that old riddle, the one about whether a sound was really a sound when there was no-one to hear it. Was it really love when the only way he knew how to show it was gone? When there was nothing left in him that could even touch it, let alone give it voice?

She tried - God knew, she had tried. She had tried to lead him by example, shown her love with words and actions and symbols. He'd recognised them, accepted them, seemed to need them; but he was always taking, never giving, never even knowing how. And when she had left him to return home, she had gone to take that hand, as always, ready to hold it to her heart to tell him the things for which neither of them had words. But there had been no hand there, and what little ground they had gained was undone in an instant. He had turned from her, his face hot with bitterness and anguish. When she'd caught up with him, he had clung to her, silently, for what seemed like hours; but she knew then that there was a gulf between them - a chasm, unnavigable, irrevocable.

They had spent that Christmas together, more from habit than anything, and it had not been a happy one. There were new tests now - tests involving children - and his eyes were dead, like those of the children who haunted her dreams. She wasn't sure which image disturbed her more, and anyway, it didn't matter, because they were entwined, overlapped, indistinguishable. She loved him as ever; and yet the man she had loved was gone, vanished into whatever refuge his soul had found beneath oh, so many layers of pain. She sought him through his body; let him possess her and own her as he always had, and it was still hot and urgent and desperate, and he made her ache as much as ever; but how she wished it could be making love once more.

And now, here they were again. Fucking against a wall on a rusty freighter, mouths sliding, hot and wet together; tongues searching and duelling; as urgently as their very first time. Cold steel against her back where he'd wanted her naked - against all good sense - and somehow that turned her on even more. He was hot and hard between her thighs - he'd been there so often she felt he belonged there - he was cradled there against her, teasing her deliciously. So totally other than her, and yet that missing part of herself; and she wanted it, needed it, because she no longer knew any other way of making him hers. And when she took him into herself in a single stroke, it was with a cry of desire, a gasp at the sudden completion she always felt with him inside her. He breathed her name with real need, and she was euphoric, alive with sudden hope. She held him within her, giving to him, taking from him, trembling with longing until they were both spent; until he slumped against her, his head bowed to her shoulder, breathing her name.

But when they were done, and she wanted him to hold her - something he had never denied her before - he couldn't do it. She reached for him, tried to cradle his cheek with her palm; but he had caught her wrist and pushed it away. He wasn't unkind, or sad, or apologetic, or angry. He just shook his head morosely, his eyes dead. He loved her - she knew he loved her - and yet his eyes were dead.

Even to her.

She'd been shaking as she fled, buttoning her clothes, weeping; and soon she'd found herself back in the bowels of the freighter. She had stayed there, choking out silent tears; grieving for the man now lost, the life now lost. She'd been vaguely aware of the hostage, clamouring for water; and she'd given it absently, moved by his plight and yet almost too shocked, too grief-stricken to care.

It had to end.

It had to end, before it killed them both.

With new interest, she watched the boy, wretched thing that he was. Would letting him go end it? Would removing his bargaining chip take him out of the game? It might, she supposed; but he might find a new way in, simply because he wouldn't know what else to do.

But maybe if she could get the boy to Mulder, if she could make him believe anew and act once more, maybe she could bring about a resolution - if not for the world, then for the two of them. Maybe there could be peace.

Maybe it could end, once and for all.

He would be furious, she knew that; but she thought that would pass. And even if it didn't, he could still heal. For that, she could bear to give him up, she thought; because she loved him, and more than she wanted him with her, she wanted him to be healed. And even if that meant losing him, she would always hold him in her heart. She would always have the memory of him when he was alive to her.

Of when he had his hands.


This story recommended by A Quiet Place To Read (December 2000), Museans (March 2001), and Lara Means (May 2001). It placed third in the Angst category of the B.I.T.T. Awards (Believers In The Truth) in April 2001 and first in the Off-Camera, On-Canon challenge at PURity in May 2001. It was reviewed at the House Of Fanfic in June 2001. The cover art was reviewed at Beautiful Minds in February 2001.

Jintian at Museans wrote: "Wow, what a story. Gives a great voice to one of the fandom's least favorite characters, and gives us tantalizing glimpses of the history she shares with Krycek. And it all revolves around a perceptively metaphorical theme which Deslea balances with great care. I don't normally read this pairing, but this fic impressed the hell out of me."

Lara Means wrote: "From the moment I saw them together in "Patient X," I wanted to know more about Alex Krycek's relationship with Marita Covarrubias. How long had they known each other? Were they really working together? Were her actions in that episode a betrayal of him, and did he care? On the show, we've only been given glimpses of them together, so it's been up to fic writers like Deslea to create their history. In this story, she shows us how the loss of his hand in "Terma" effected a gradual change in Alex, and she shows us this change through Marita's eyes. There's sorrow and loss in Marita's narrative, an almost lyrical sadness."

A Quiet Place To Read described it as an "intriguing Marita/Krycek with a unique slant."

Maidenjedi at House Of Fanfic wrote: There have been many interpretations of the sexual tension between Alex "Ratboy" Krycek and Marita "Uniblonder" Covarrubias, but none so well translated into fanfic as Deslea Judd's Hands. In this vignette, told from a Marita-biased POV, we get to see how Krycek's loss of his arm was ultimately what cinched his bad-boy tendencies into the dissolution of his soul. At once poetic and heart-wrenching, Judd's style of storytelling takes good ol' fashioned smut and turns it into the emotional rollercoaster it would be for a man and woman so at odds. Her Marita characterization has her as a woman with a heart trapped inside a web from which there is no escape....and she knows it. Her only saving grace is this man she loves, and she'll even take him to his worst enemy in hopes of reviving the life in him. Judd makes you believe in Marita and in Krycek, wanting them to succeed in spite of their treachery. I give this story a 9 of 10 for its depth, imagery, and imagination. I will strongly recommend it to anyone in need of a good story!