Welcome To The Harem
Roam by Skinner Box
Summary: A non-Leedsville road trip - Spender/Krycek Slash implied, PG
by Skinner Box
Summary: A non-Leedsville road trip
Spoilers/Timeline: Bits of early season 6 (pre 2F1S). This story has the same relationship to X-Files canon and chronology that a smitten twelve year old has to his favourite teacher.
Disclaimer: The X-Files and these characters belong to Chris Carter and Fox Broadcasting. I play with them out of love and for no profit.
Note: The ISD is the Investigative Services Division of the FBI. In addition to the unit that does criminal profiling, it contains a unit of agents with mathematics backgrounds who analyse crime data and statistics. Originally written for the X-Files Lyric Wheel. Thanks to Waterfall for the lyrics to the B-52's "Roam."
Archive: please ask first
They'd moved all the time. Growing up Jeffrey could count on two or three moves a year, apartment to trailer to rental house, with the odd motel and campsite thrown in. Wherever Mom's "voices" told them to go next. That part of it was pretty much hell, when you came down to it. But getting there . . . getting there was all the fun. As much as he hated the uprooting and unpredictability, the moves themselves were the highlights of Jeffrey's childhood. Cassandra Matheson Spender had a knack for putting together a road trip, and the gift, if he said so himself, had been passed on to her son.
Jeffrey scooted out from under the Scirocco and grabbed a cloth for his hands- oil change complete. His tires were balanced and inflated to just the right pressure, hoses and belts checked, fluid levels topped up as needed. All the things he'd learned to do as a kid, when their aged Malibu wagon had broken down one too many times on the road. He patted Rocky absently on her silver snout and headed in for a shower.
Loading the car was the part that really brought back the memories. Mom had made a game of it, finding the best way to fit their belongings together, hiding little treats for each other among the bundles. A lot less to load for a two week trip, even with camping gear, but the pleasure was still there. Jeffrey hummed under his breath the songs they used to sing, Arlo Guthrie and Janis Joplin- all the sixties hippie stuff Mom loved. "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
Not Jeffrey wanted one. His roommate in Frankfurt, Axel, the junior year of undergrad Jeffrey spent at Goethe-Universitat, had been in a Scirocco club, and passed the obsession on to Jeffrey. He'd taken some teasing over the years for his "little German muscle car"-- not the expected vehicle of choice for an ISD statistician, apparently. But she was a sweet little machine, and fun to tinker with. Really just another species of geekdom, Jeffrey supposed. He tucked a bag of gourmet jelly beans into his bedroll- a "surprise" for later, and closed the trunk.
Two weeks. Two whole glorious weeks, camping under the great big sky, tracing the edge of the great big sea. His plan was simple- take his time hugging the coast down to Florida, then spend a week or so hanging out in the Keys, driving the causeways, loafing on the beach reading Hemmingway.
Last but not least, he settled the cooler in the space behind the front passenger seat. Cold sodas and the requisite shoebox full of hardboiled eggs, carrot sticks, and cold fried chicken that Mom had always insisted was the proper first meal on the road. The engine turned over with a happy purr, and Jeffrey started the first CD. Silly road music, another tradition, although this was a goofy pop band he'd listened to first in high school. God, this feeling was the best, the start of a trip, all those miles, black licorice highways unrolling endlessly, just waiting for him. Like he could kick through continents if he wanted, find that golden bridge to China, ocean surging under the Scirocco's wheels, ready to roam around the world.
There was only one tradition missing. One he always missed. Mom always started the trip the same way-- count down like a rocket ship and then a kiss for luck. Even after he'd decided he was too big for kisses, even after he'd become the driver, Mom's wheelchair folded up in the back, that kiss had been sacrosanct. "For luck, Mom."
Mom. Missing again. But . . . at least there was hope this time. His transfer had come through from ISD to the X-Files-- a whole unit devoted to fanatical nonsense-- but to the kind of fanatical nonsense that had absorbed his mother since his early childhood. His best hope of finding Mom was there in the X-Files, right at the heart of it. Two weeks off and then a new unit, another chance.
"Luck, Mom," Jeffrey said quietly, and then eased out of his spot in the stable-like garage and around his building to the street.
A mile or two outside the tangle of highways surrounding the city Jeffrey eased off onto a southbound road, one of the coast-hugging two lane highways he'd mapped out for the trip.
Less than a mile along, there he was: thumb out, sardonic grin plastered across his handsome face. There was no point in Jeffrey even feeling surprised.
One road-trip tradition sensible Jeffrey had never maintained. Mom had always, always picked up hitchhikers. They'd never had a problem, either-- hell, Mom's talk of messianic aliens had scared more than one rider into asking to get out again a few miles into the ride. Jeffrey pulled onto the shoulder.
Alex's hair was long in front- a far cry from when they'd roomed together at Quantico. And he looked like a refugee from a James Dean tribute party: jeans, white t-shirt, leather jacket. Even motorcycle boots, Jeffrey noted as Alex got in.
"I need to get out of town for a while. Okay?" Alex said.
This was what Jeffrey got for plotting his route on the computer.
"Long as you don't mind Florida," Jeffrey said. "Or sharing a small tent." Jeffrey risked an ever so slightly suggestive smile-- it had been a long time.
Alex Krycek's answering grin made him feel a whole lot better. Jeffrey pulled back onto the road, the wind from the open windows whispering possibilities in his ear. Maybe this trip would still begin with a kiss.