Friday, 13 June 2014

Klein and the Smoking Man, Part 2

A Doctor Who/ X-Files crossover

Klein awoke to the smell of cigarettes. This was unusual as she had given up smoking nearly ten years ago.

"Good morning, Dr Klein," came a male voice, smooth and precise, with the faintest hint of an Irish lilt.

The cigarette smoking man. She remembered. She had returned to the hotel with this shadowy man from the US government. They had drank and drank at the bar, before going back to her hotel room.

What kind of woman went to bed with a man whose name she did not even know? At least she was in a foreign country and far from home. Nobody was going to know about this.

She looked at the man she had carelessly made love to, his craggy, weathered face, with its sharply defined cheekbones. The sharp lines of his aging features betrayed the depth of his harrowing experiences.

Most of the men her age were fat and ungainly, one of the reasons it was such a long time since she had taken a lover. Not so the smoking man. His naked chest revealed a slim slender form, broken only by firm and tight muscle. It was a body kept in check by iron discipline. She supposed he was an ex-military man who had never abandoned the rigours of his youthful training.

The man breathed deeply on his cigarette and gazed at Klein. His expression was inscrutable, his half-smile neither cruel nor kind. His beady-eyed stare suggested friendly attention, but might just as easily have been mocking amusement.

"This is actually a non-smoking room," Klein pointed out.

The man lowered his cigarette and shrugged.

"Does it matter? You smoked plenty yourself last night," he replied.

"Yes, I vaguely remember that I did," admitted Klein. "Hang it all. Pass me another one."

The man smiled and passed his packet of Morleys and his lighter.

Klein lit the cigarette and drew deeply. She was well aware of the health risks, but a situation like this called for cigarettes. Saving the world from Zygons or Quarks was one thing, but waking up in bed with a nameless killer from a secret branch of the US government was quite another.

"This is a plain hotel, Dr Klein. I would have thought the United Nations expenses would have stretched a little higher," commented the man.

"Perhaps for the World Health Organisation. Blowing up Daleks and Cybermen with bazookas is an expensive business. It doesen't leave much room for plush hotel stays," Klein answered.

"I thoroughly approve, Dr. Klein. I always stay in modest hotels myself. There is only so much you can get out of a black budget. Besides, great power requires responsibility. Those of us who work in secret and outside the law must be honest and above reproach. I come down sharply on associates who use their power to their own benefit," he said.

"It's always about big secrets, Earth-shaking plans, the destiny of humanity and sinister threats with you, isn't it?"

"Of course. What else? Though I do have my distractions. I like to write fiction in my minimal spare time and occasionally watch a game of baseball. And on very rare occasions, I enjoy the company of an attractive woman such as yourself, Dr Klein," said the man.

A life utterly consumed by secrets and the shadowy wars of the heavens. So much like her own.

Most of the men Klein had fallen for in the past were ordinary men doing ordinary jobs, men who could distract her from the cold and terrifying realities of her professional life. Why had she allowed this man, with all her own baggage and complexities into her life?

A Machiavellian schemer. Delighting in secrecy, lies and devilish plans. A man who was happy to manipulate and dupe others.

A man just like the Doctor. Admittedly, the smoking man was a good deal handsomer, as well as taller than the Doctor. And rather more ready to get into bed with her.

Could she never get away from thinking about the wretched Umbrella Man? Was that infernal schemer even warping her love life? Damn you, Doctor, she silently cursed.

"It's time to get dressed, Mr Smoker," said Klein. "I didn't come to this country just to fool around in a hotel room. You were going to show me some of your facilities."

"Naturally, Dr. Klein. A car awaits. But on the way, perhaps you can tell me a little about Cybermen. We have a project that might make use of some of their technical properties," said the man.

"Gladly," replied Klein. There were times when the thought of being an emotionless sexless Cyberwoman seemed so much simpler.

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