Too Far for an X-file
Summary: Crossover between Farscape and the X-files. Mulder meets
John Crichton in a secret military prison.
Secret Military Prison
A square room. Funny how something so common looked so strange to him now. John Crichton sat in an uncomfortable metal chair, trying to find a good position in which to settle himself. He'd gotten used to the amorphous curved lines of Moya, the living alien ship he'd been aboard for the last several years of his life. Sometimes he'd imagined that the chairs and beds he slept in while living on her would adjust themselves to his body, molding themselves to him as if Moya were able to communicate by touch as he sat or slept.
Sleep. He remembered sleep. His red-rimmed eyes stung as he looked up at the harsh overhead light above him. He could see deep shadows hug the underside of his cheekbones and the hollows of his eyes in the reflection of the two-way mirror. He never thought jet lag would insinuate itself so strongly after travelling through a wormhole in outer space. It didn't help that he hadn't slept since he'd been back on Earth, either.
The door to the small interrogation room swung open, snapping him back to alertness. Crichton automatically stood and reached to his side for a holster that wasn't there. They'd taken Wynona, his alien version of a pistol, away from him. His hip felt light and empty without it, and he made an awkward gesture with his hand, scrubbing at his close-cropped hair to hide the motions he'd taken in defense. His leather pants squeaked as he shifted his weight, then stilled himself to size up the man that had just entered the room.
He was most definitely a government employee. The style of the dark, double-breasted suit he wore just reeked of it. He was a few inches taller than Crichton, with a thin, though muscular build. Not as stocky with the muscles as Crichton himself, but athletic at least. He had a too-clean-cut way about him, yet the facade was spoiled slightly as he spat the remains of a sunflower seed shell into his fingers and dropped them into the wastebasket in the corner of the room.
Crichton remained standing as the other sat on the opposite side of the table. 'Who the frell was this guy?' Crichton had thought for sure he'd be seeing some ornery official from NASA come to beat his head into the ground.
"John Crichton?" the suit said.
"Yeah. And you must be Joe Friday," he replied dryly.
The suit paused, a twinkle in his eye that appreciated the quip, but also recognized Crichton's sarcasm as a defense mechanism even more so than the weapon absent from his hip.
"Sorry, wrong division. I'm Agent Fox Mulder with the FBI."
"Ooooh... Foxy! I'm comin' to get ya!" Crichton replied, twanging an air guitar and then smirking at the FBI agent.
"It's just Mulder, if you don't mind. Sunflower seed?" Mulder held out the red and white plastic bag he had gotten out of the vending machine two floors up and popped one into his mouth while he waited for the other to consider.
Crichton sat down slowly, watching Mulder for signs of dishonesty. Mulder held his gaze just as intently, not even blinking as he dipped his hand gently into the snack bag again and cracked two more seeds open with his teeth.
"All right, Mulder. Why aren't you NASA?"
Crichton decided this guy wasn't going to do him any harm... yet. He rifled his fingers into the offered bag and snatched up a handful of seeds. He'd promised himself that he wouldn't eat too much while he was stuck on Earth, but along with lack of sleep, lack of food was another thing that was wearing him thin.
The outer shells tasted good -- salty, nutty, earthy. Much better than many of the alien foods for which he'd been forced to acquire tastes. He closed his eyes and could almost pretend that he wanted to come back here for good. He was human after all. Did he really want to continue playing the fish-out-of-water game on a living ship, with a half-crazed Luxan, a two-foot green eating-machine Dominar, a gray haired, gray skinned teenaged thief, and a... Peacekeeper?
Crichton's face softened at the thought of Aeryn Soon, a Peacekeeper defector that was one of the other passengers on Moya. That was the reason, the biggest one anyway, that he had to go back. Thousands of universes and a thousand chances to convince her that it was okay to love him -- he'd finally done it, but... He promised he'd always go back to her, but that wormhole had just come out of nowhere. He still didn't have full control over his abilities to predict wormhole locations and their times of appearance. Sometimes he got lucky. This time he had found Earth, but this time he wasn't looking for it.
Mulder crumpled up the half-empty bag of sunflower seeds, and pushed them across the table to him. Crichton was able to focus on Mulder, but it took him a moment to remember what he'd asked the agent before thinking about Aeryn. She had a tendency to overpower his thoughts sometimes, especially when he thought he might never see her again.
"I'm not NASA because I'm the one who got you out of their stewing pot. I want to know why you're so bent on getting that module back. What's your hurry in getting back out into space? And getting out there trying to bypass security. Did you think nobody would notice you taking off with a trillion-dollar project they thought was lost forever?"
"Point taken Beanpole," Crichton said, chewing on the last of his seeds.
Mulder bit on the inside of his bottom lip and nodded subtly, visibly keeping a temper under wraps. "It's just Mul--"
"Mulder," Crichton grinned, "Yeah, I know. So you're helping me, is that it? What's in it for you?"
Mulder had the decency to look mildly surprised at this question. Then he said in all seriousness, leaning over the table, "I want to know what's out there."
"Oh, lordy, lordy! You do *not* want to know."
Mulder remained hovering over the tabletop, but now rested his elbows on top of it. He'd be in for the long and tiresome story, if that's what it took. Crichton could see, though, that Mulder knew exactly that it was not a tiresome story at all.
"All right, Beanpole."
Mulder glared, but moved nothing.
Crichton inhaled deeply through his nose, trying to decide the best way to spill it all. Hell, this weirdo might actually believe him. But where to begin? Maybe he ought to start off with the ship, or how he first got out there, or the project with NASA, or Aeryn.
No. He knew what to ask first. "How are you going to get me back out there, anyway? I mean, I can spill my guts to you like slicing open a Ton-Ton with a Light Saber and I'd still be left out in the cold."
Mulder sat back in his chair. "I have friends that can get us where they moved the test-module. I believe it's now in Area 51."
"Wow. I guess I'm involved in a bonafied alien conspiracy now."
"You have no idea. Point is, my friends have ways. My name is known in those circles, too, so we'll have to be extremely careful. I'll only be able to go with you so far," he had a hunger in his eyes as he said this, "though I wish I could go the whole way."
Crichton could see that Mulder was truthful in his speech. Stupid with ideals, yes. But truthful. He really did want to know.
"Have you seen Them? Are they the Grays?" Mulder asked in so soft a tone, Crichton thought it might have been a timid request. But Mulder's face was full of awe.
"Far from it, Mulder."
Crichton proceeded to tell the short version of how he'd been testing out the module; how he'd gotten sucked through a wormhole and ended up in a different universe, in the middle of a confrontation between Peacekeepers and a ship that had been apprehended by escaped prisoners -- all of whom were different aliens.
He told him about the translation device implanted into his foot when Mulder asked how he communicated with them. He told him about Kar D'Argo, Rygel, Chiana, Zahn, Scorpius, and Aeryn.
Then he told Mulder about his return to earth the first time. How his father had greeted him and told him about wormholes, and that it really wasn't his father but an alien that looked like him. It was the only way the alien could think of to tell Crichton that he held in his mind, the key to wormhole technology, and that it would be revealed to him when he was ready to understand it.
He told him about the plague Scorpius had become to him, and the obsession Aeryn had become to him. Saving Earth from the clutches of Scorpius and the Peacekeepers was one of his quests. Aeryn was the other. Right now, Aeryn was the most important thing in his mind, because he saw what Earth thought of him when he had come back. He felt like Earth was lost to him. It wasn't his life anymore.
"My father still works in the space program. He doesn't understand why I cannot bring him, or any other explorers with me when I return. And if I can't bring them, then I don't go," Crichton concluded.
Mulder sat silently for long moments, absorbing the whole crazy story. Crichton shifted around in his strange buckled vest and leather pants, stretched out his back from sitting so long. Mulder watched him, studied his eyes, bright with exhaustion and with determination. Crichton lowered his head, tired from the telling of his tale, and unsure if it would buy him a chance to get back out into space.
"I believe you."
Crichton snapped his head up. "Damn, monkey! Why didn't I meet you before?" He grabbed Mulder's hand and shook it furiously.
"I've been stuck in a basement office for a long time."
24 Hrs later
Mulder lay back on the hood of his car, staring up at the sky full of stars. Out in the desert, one could see more stars than any other place on Earth. He wondered which one of them Crichton was going back to?
He remembered his conversation with the space traveler on their way out here, before he turned Crichton over to direct communication with the Gunmen to get him inside.
"So," Mulder asked casually, "how does it work between a human and a... Peacekeeper?"
Crichton smiled brightly, showing off his gleaming white teeth. "Surprisingly well. Though I had to wear her down to it."
Mulder cleared his throat, slightly embarrassed about asking personal questions about someone's love life. "I meant..."
"Don't sweat it, Mulder. I know what you meant." He adjusted his earpiece as Mulder sped the car along the open desert road. "Peacekeepers and humans are very much alike. She has the physiology of a woman, but she's just built a little differently."
"Well, here's a good example. I found out recently that she was pregnant."
"Wow. You're a regular Captain Kirk, aren't you? Fraternizing with the aliens that way."
"Nice, Mulder. But here's the catch. It might not be mine, or it could be mine, but I didn't exactly do the deed -- particularly."
"Okay, I understand the first part, but if it is yours, how could you not have--"
"Let's just say, I wasn't quite myself," Crichton winked at him, but didn't explain any further. Trying to describe that he'd been split into two versions of himself by an alien ray-gun, in which both were completely himself at the same time, body and soul, was a little much to go into when they were less than a half an hour away from his ticket home.
"I -- probably got her pregnant, but she chose the time to have the baby. It doesn't just happen for her." Then Crichton said under his breath, "God, I wish I had been there."
Mulder was furiously confused and bursting at the seams to ask him more. But instead, he asked, "She's worth the world to you?"
"My man, she's worth a thousand worlds to me."
"I know the feeling."
He did know. If he had met Scully anywhere on this Earth or another, he would have felt the same way for her. Finding out that there was really something out there was Mulder's primary reason for diverting John Crichton away from being trapped in a government prison by NASA. He didn't want Crichton to become another legend lost to the alien conspiracy, something that wasn't supposed to exist.
For the brief time he got to know Crichton, Mulder began to realize that he was one of the most human people he knew. Against all odds, dealing with strange worlds and beings, he adapted his own knowledge of himself, and used it to overcome diversity in an alien world.
Mulder glanced at his watch. It would be any minute now.
A rumble in the distance made him sit up and look to the West. He saw a glow toward the horizon that became a thin streak of white vapor shooting straight up into the sky. As it got higher, it faded completely from sight.
A crackle came through his earpiece, and he heard three voices whooping and shouting through the static.
"Did you see that, Mulder? He made it the sonofabitch! Whooo!"
Mulder added to the celebration assaulting his eardrum with his own shout toward the sky. "Yeeeaaaahhh!"
He hopped off the car, and leaned his head back as far as it would go, just before he could become dizzy from his body's imbalance. He hoped one day he'd be able to travel as Crichton had. But would he really want to leave what he had behind him?
"Mulder?" Frohicke's voice came in clearly through his earpiece. The other two had hushed for the moment. "You'd better start getting out of there before they start sweeping the area for witnesses."
"All right Frohicke. Hey, thanks for this, guys."
"No problem, Mulder. What a scene! Thanks for the excitement, man."
"All right. See you when I get back. I'm headin' home to Scully."
"Lone Gunmen out."
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