That's What Trust'll Get'cha

Fandom: XF (M/K)

Rated NC-17 language and m/m sexual situations

Archive: Allslash, Archive X, TER/MA, All Things Rat, Den of Sin,
Slashville. Anywhere else, please ask me, first.

Summary: This is part two of the Not On My Watch Series. Mulder tells Scully
about his week-long stay with Alex in Oregon, and boy, is she pissed.
Trouble arises for our boys as a result. Something happens to get the three
of them back to Alex's cabin, they get snowed in, Alex and Scully square
off, and by some miracle, all three get back to Washington alive. Mulder
tells Skinner about his relationship with Alex, and more trouble ensues,
setting us up for part three.

Disclaimer: Mulder, Krycek, Scully, Skinner and Cancer Man belong to CC.
Anyone else who appears in this story is mine.

Eternal thanks to Nic and Ori for wonderful beta. Any remaining screw-ups
are all my own.

Feedback keeps me from pulling the little hairs out of my arms one by one.
Ever try it? It's not a pleasant thing. You can reach me at MMCUSN@aol.com

********************

That's What Trust'll Get'cha by Aries

"Yeah?"

"Guess who?"

Alex lowered himself slowly to his bed and propped himself against the
pillows. "Hi. Got your coat off?"

"Nope. Told you I'd call you as soon as I got in the door. I'm taking it off
now."

"Have a good flight?"

"I've had better."

"Scully grill you?"

"Like an Omaha steak." Mulder discarded his jacket and dropped it onto the
closest chair. "She doesn't usually hound me like that for information. I
think she knows something's up."

"*Is* something up?"

He could hear the leer in Alex's tone. "Shit, yeah. Has been for a while. I
started thinking about you on the plane, and I've been hard as stone ever
since."

"Wish I was there to take care of that for you."

"Mmmmmm."

"How'd you manage to sneak that bad boy past Scully? I don't imagine it's
the easiest thing in the world to conceal."

Mulder chuckled softly into the phone. "I don't think she was looking at my
crotch."

"I find that hard to believe."

"Why?"

"Come on, Fox. Do you really think she's never checked you out?"

"I have no idea."

An amused laugh crackled over the line. "Let me clue you in, okay? Dana
Scully, queen of freeze, is not so cold when it comes to you. I used to
watch her watching you when we were partners. There was a whole lotta ass
watchin' going on there, let me tell you."

"Alex, Scully's never shown the slightest bit of interest in me."

Alex snorted. "Are you kidding? I suppose you don't know about the thing
that old Walt has got for you, either."

"*Skinner*? You've lost it..."

"I just call em as I see em."

"I think it may be time for some glasses."

"He wants you bad."

"Gimme a break, Alex."

"Okay, okay, you don't have to take my word for it...so...back to Scully.
What'd you tell her?"

"I told her that I was hungry, and I was tired and asked her to please just
back off until I'd gotten home and had a little rest. She kept trying,
though."

"I thought you were considering telling her the truth?"

"I am. That's why I didn't answer any of her questions. I just needed to
hold off long enough to have some quiet time to myself to think about how it
is I'm going to do this."

"Well, talking to me isn't helping you think."

Mulder dropped onto his sofa. "Yeah, I know," he sighed, "but neither is
this hard-on."

"So, jerk off."

"I'm going to have to, I guess."

"Go ahead."

"What...now?"

"You know of a better time? Go on, I'll talk to you while you do."

"Alex..."

"Come on, baby. Undo your pants."

Silence greeted his instruction.

"Are you doing it?"

"....Yeah."

"Good. Touch yourself, Fox..."

Mulder's fingers slipped inside his underwear and brushed the length of his
rigid erection. He remained silent for a number of seconds, then whispered
into the phone, "Alex?"

"Yeah?"

"What are you doing?"

"Same thing you're doing."

"You're gonna jerk off with me?"

"Yeah, baby, I am. And I'm going to imagine that it's your hand on me. God,
Fox, what I wouldn't give to be with you."

Mulder's hand wrapped around his cock and began to stroke it gently. "I
know. I miss you already."

"We'll be together again soon. Keep telling yourself that. And when we are,
I'm going to fuck you until you can't scream anymore." He smiled at the soft
gasp on the other end. "Would you like that, baby?"

"Shit, Alex...you know I would."

Alex firmed his grip on his own throbbing erection and began to pump it a
little harder. "I sent you a present, Fox."

"A present?"

"Mmm hmm...how're you doing?"

"A little while longer...what kind of present?"

"It should reach you tomorrow."

"What is it?"

"Just a little something to tide you over."

"You got me curious."

"I'll check with you tomorrow. See if you got it."

"Tell me what it is."

"Nope. Come on, your attention is drifting, and you're screwing *me* up."

"God, I wish I was screwing you."

"Okay, that's better." Alex closed his eyes and refocused his attention. "I
still feel you, you know."

"I know," Mulder breathed into the phone. "I can feel you too. That first
time I felt your cock push into my ass, it was like my wildest fantasy come
true. Now, fucking you or being fucked by you is pretty much all I can think
about."

"It's not a bad thing..."

"I want to be doing it, not thinking about it," Mulder moaned, squeezing his
cock with more enthusiasm. "I want you so much, baby, I can taste it."

Alex's respiration deepened, and he increased the speed of his strokes.
"Mmmm....I'd like for you to be tasting me. Those fucking gorgeous lips
sliding up and down on my cock..."

Mulder's head fell back against the cushions, and he released a harsh
breath. "Jesus Christ, Alex."

"You're close now...aren't you?"

"Yeah..."

"Me too. Come on, baby. Let's bring it home. Come with me..."

Mulder gritted his teeth and jerked himself harder. "God....oh, shit...it's
coming..."

"Let...let it come. I'm right there...I'm with you..."

Alex's muffled cry was just the push Mulder needed to put him over the edge.
Warm, slick fluid spouted over his fist as loud, sobbing grunts poured from
his throat. When he quieted, Alex spoke softly to him.

"Baby..."

"Hmm?"

"Why don't you go get some sleep, now?"

"Yeah...God, I'm going to hate this."

"What?"

"Sleeping without you. Didn't take me long to get used to having you in bed
with me."

"Yeah, I hear you. I haven't been looking forward to tonight either."

"Well," Mulder sighed, tightening his grip on the phone, "better get this
over with...goodnight, Alex."

"Goodnight, babe. Call me tomorrow."

"I will."

Reluctantly, Mulder pulled the receiver away from his ear and put it back
into the cradle. He sat quietly for a while, staring at nothing in
particular, then rose from the sofa, cleaned up a little, and drifted into
the kitchen. He walked over to the fridge, knowing damn well that there was
nothing in it, but he opened the door anyway and peered inside.

//Refrigerator fairy passed you by again.//

He closed the door, preferring to pass on the carton of three-week-old milk
and two peaches that were just a bit more fuzzy than they should have been.
Deciding that sleep was more important to him right now than food, he headed
into the bathroom and stripped off his clothes. He let the shower run to
warm, then stepped into the tub and drew the curtain closed.

The warm water flowed over his body, soothing and relaxing, and did more
than an adequate job of adding to his growing fatigue. He finished washing,
dried himself, and slipped into a pair of charcoal gray boxer briefs, and by
the time he fell onto the sofa, minutes later, he couldn't even keep his
eyes open long enough to watch the news. And despite the fact that Alex
Krycek occupied his last conscious thoughts, he fell into a deep, dreamless
sleep.

********************

The phone rang three times before the husky monotone answered.

"Mulder?" Scully paced the length of her kitchen, phone in one hand and
coffee cup in the other.

"Yeah?"

"You were asleep?"

"Yeah." There was the brief sound of someone struggling to sit up, then the
voice sounded again. "Yeah, I was."

"I'm sorry, Mulder, I never would have dreamed you'd be asleep at this
hour."

"What time is it?"

"Seven-eighteen."

"Oh."

"Are you all right?"

"Uh huh. I guess I was just more tired than I thought."

"Well, you just relax. I'll come by and see you later, okay?"

Mulder closed his eyes and rubbed at one with the tips of two fingers. He
knew she wasn't coming by simply to say hello. She was going to try again to
press him for answers about his disappearance, and he wasn't ready yet to
give any. He had to keep her at bay for another day at least...

"S-Scully."

"Yeah?"

"W-would you mind not coming over today?"

"Um...well, I guess not. Mulder, I have to ask you again. Are you *sure*
you're all right?"

"I'm *fine*, Scully, I promise you. I'd just like to have a whole day to
myself, that's all."

"You're not exactly acting like yourself."

"I'm just tired," he protested. "Tomorrow, okay? You can grill me all you
want tomorrow."

"Mulder, I don't want you to think that answers are all I'm interested in.
I'm worried about you. You were held hostage at that lodge. On top of
already being sick, you were beaten and according to the women who were also
held there, you were damn close to being *raped*, for God's sake. *Someone*
came in there, shot up the place and dragged you out. You went missing for
days and days...Mulder...that's a hell of a lot for one person to go
through. And on top of it all, you won't talk to me about it. How the hell
can I *not* worry?"

"I'm sorry, Scully. I didn't mean to make it sound like answers were all you
were after. But please. We'll talk tomorrow...okay?"

A deep sigh sounded in his ear. "All right, Mulder, all right. I won't call
you again today. In fact, I won't call you tomorrow, either. I'll wait for
you to call me."

Mulder gave his partner a smile she couldn't see. "Thanks, Scully."

"Sure. Okay, well, I gotta go get ready for work. I'll....see you later, I
guess."

Mulder listened to the click before setting the phone down. He ran his hands
through his hair and looked around.

No stone. No wood. No beautiful view. No crackling fireplace...

No Alex.

"God, this fucking sucks," he mumbled to himself. He rubbed his hands over
his face and pushed himself up off of the sofa. He took a quick shower and a
trip to the grocery store, and he was back again, choking down a bowl of
Trix in front of the television. Halfway through, he set the bowl down on
the coffee table, watching the brightly colored puffs soften and release
their color into the milk, turning it a sickly shade of gray.

"What the hell ever possessed you to buy *this*?"

//Temporary insanity?//

If buying a children's cereal was temporary insanity, then how the hell
would Scully term his week with Alex?

//Are you *sure* you want to tell her?//

//Have to. You owe her the truth.//

And Alex was more to him than a dirty little secret he'd keep swept under
his rug. He realized that keeping their relationship from people like
Skinner was a necessity. But Scully was his best friend, and he wanted her
acceptance...or at the very least, her understanding.

"Well, great," he whispered to himself, picking up the half eaten cereal and
carrying it to the kitchen. "You know you want to tell her...now you just
have to figure out *how* to tell her."

********************

Sable eyelashes fluttered slowly then lifted. Alex blinked, stretching his
long limbs, then froze. His body slumped as he remembered that he was now
alone in the bed that he had shared for many nights with the only man he
would ever want. He groaned softly and pulled a pillow to his chest.

"Shit. Shit, damn, damn, damn, shit."

Fortunately, there was one bright spot in this otherwise gloomy day. If he
couldn't see Mulder or touch him, at least he could talk to him. And as soon
as Fox received his little gift, he'd call.

An evil grin lit his face.

And then they'd have a little long distance party.

********************

The words on the screen blurred and turned to an unreadable jumble of
letters. Mulder leaned back as far as his chair would tilt and slipped his
fingers under his glasses, pressing them into the inside corners of his
eyes. He took his hands away and again focused on the screen, reviewing the
report he would submit to Skinner about the events leading up to his
disappearance. So far as he could recall, it was complete and accurate.

"Now here's where it gets sticky..."

He adjusted his glasses and began to type the intentionally vague part of
the report that described his actual disappearance.

As he typed, images of Alex dashed through his mind. So beautiful, standing
outside of the cabin with an armload of firewood and the snow falling around
him. Sleepy-eyed and tousled first thing in the morning...naked in front of
the fireplace with the soft glow of the flames playing over his magnificent
body...

Mulder's lips parted and a long, low sigh slipped past them.

Weeks.

Did he say that he'd see Alex in a few *weeks*? Hell, he wasn't sure he'd be
able to last a few *days*.

He took his glasses off and tossed them onto the desk. The object in the
corner of his eye beckoned to him, and he turned to face the phone. One hand
slid over the desk and came to rest on the receiver. Just as he was about to
pick it up, the doorbell rang.

"Shit."

He pushed away from the desk and went to the door.

"Yeah?"

"Fed Ex."

An instant smile lit his face. "Ah," he whispered, "the mysterious present."
He opened the door and took the package from the delivery man. Scrawling his
name on the man's clipboard, he nodded a quick thanks and closed the door.

"Smaller than a breadbox."

He carried the small package over to the sofa and lowered himself to the
cushions. Turning the approximately ten inch-long box over in his hands, he
tried to guess at its contents.

//For Christ's sake, just open it.//

He took a deep breath and tore the packaging away, finally making it down to
the bare box. He pulled the flap open and let out a loud bark of laughter.
"You sick fuck," he mumbled to his absent lover. He withdrew the slim,
though very lifelike vibrator from the box, along with a tube of lubricant,
and a note. He unfolded the sheet of paper and read aloud.

"A little something to keep you warm until I can fuck you myself. Give me a
call, and we can test drive it. Alex."

He drew his fingers over the object, lightly tracing the various ridges,
then circled the head, marveling at how real it felt. He closed his eyes and
wondered if it would feel so real once it was inside of him.

//Christ. Are you really going to do this?//

He thought of Alex, hundreds of miles away, encouraging him in that soft,
gruff voice while he fucked himself with this thing, and suddenly his cock
came to painful attention.

//Yeah, I guess you are.//

"God."

He picked up the phone and dialed.

********************

The solitary figure stood at the window, staring out at the light snowfall.
Alex glanced down at his watch, then back out at the sky.

One-fifty. That meant it was almost five there.

//It must have come by now. Shit, what if he doesn't like it? What if he's
pissed?//

//Are you kidding? As horny as he is? He'll love it.//

Minutes later, his cell phone rang.

"Hello."

"You sick, perverted bastard."

A wide grin curved his lips. "So, you like it?"

The low, lascivious chuckle answered his question and sent a twinge through
the length of his cock.

"I'd like it a lot better if there was a gorgeous, six-foot, green-eyed man
at the other end of it, but it'll do in a pinch."

Alex moaned softly. "Hey...you know how at Christmas you always got battery
operated gifts and the gift giver never remembered to include the
batteries?"

"Yeah..."

"I remembered."

Mulder unscrewed the cap and looked inside. "What a guy."

"You're all set."

"You're too good to me, Alex."

"I'll always take care of you, baby. So...did you miss me?"

"Yes, I did. I do. I was thinking earlier, I don't know how the hell I'm
going to make it through the next few weeks."

"I know. Listen, babe, let me get this out of the way, then we can talk
about more pleasant things. I'm going to be away for about a week starting
tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to call you, but you know
I'll try."

Mulder pressed his lips together and took a deep breath in through his nose.
He held it to the count of three then released it. "A week?"

"Yeah. Don't get worried if I don't call, okay?"

"I'll try not to."

Alex appreciated Mulder's not quite successful attempt to be cool about his
news. "Hey."

"Yeah?"

"Give me something to carry with me for the next week."

"What do you mean?"

Alex's voice sounded softly but clearly. "Let's play with your new toy."

Silence.

"Fox?"

"Just removing a few uh...roadblocks."

"Oh." Alex unbuttoned his jeans and pushed them down to his knees then fell
down across the sofa.

Mulder lifted the vibrator from its box and stroked it down his cheek and
chest. "You should have got one for yourself, too." A soft chuckle, then a
faint buzzing sounded in his ear, and he broke into laughter. "I should have
known."

"You don't think I was just going to sit here and let you have *all* the
fun."

"I don't know *what* I was thinking."

Alex unbuttoned his shirt then passed his own vibrator over his chest,
pausing at his nipples. The gentle hum drew the flesh into hard peaks.
"Where are you?"

"Couch. Licking the head of this thing...wishing it was you..."

Alex's cock jumped in involuntary response. "I was thinking about that last
night." He moved the object downward, teasing the tightening muscles of his
abdomen.

"What were you thinking about?" The silky voice on the other end sent a warm
flush of excitement dancing across Mulder's skin.

"Your mouth...that first night...I watched you." His respiration deepened as
his thoughts and the feel of the vibrator moving across his skin worked in
unison to take his arousal a couple of notches higher. "You've ruined me,
you know."

Mulder knew what Alex was getting at, but he wanted to hear him say the
words. "Ruined you?"

"That night you sucked my cock into your mouth, I was all done. I couldn't
let anyone else touch me now, even if I wanted to."

Mulder gently rubbed the vibrator over the underside of his cock. He arched
slightly at the sensation it created. "But you don't want to."

"No, I don't want to. You're all I want. God, baby, and I want you so much
right now. I want to see that beautiful mouth open for me..."

Mulder's head fell back against the arm of the sofa, and he emitted a harsh
gasp into the phone.

Alex squirmed on his own couch as he ran his vibrator over the insides of
his thighs. "I want to fuck that mouth long and slow..." He grunted softly
as he moved the quivering shaft over the fragile skin of his balls. "...and
just before I come, pull out and bury myself in your ass." He grinned at the
soft whimper on the other end. His lips grazed the mouthpiece of the phone,
and he whispered into it. "Baby..."

An equally breathy whisper answered. "What?"

"Let me fuck you."

Mulder reached for the lube, squeezing a generous amount into his shaking
palm. As he stroked it on the latex shaft, he sighed into the phone.

"I want this to be you I'm touching."

"Close your eyes, baby. It *is* me." Alex distributed some lube into his own
hand and began to apply it to his cock. "I'm right there with you." He
stroked and squeezed himself, moaning his pleasure. "God, it feels so good.
You know just the right way to touch me."

Mulder moaned softly, now completely under his lover's spell. "Please,
Alex..."

The voice grew softer and even more seductive. "Please what, baby?"

"Fuck me."

"You want me right now?"

"Yes."

"Do you *need* me?"

"*Yes*."

"Then let me in."

Mulder shifted onto his back and draped one leg over the back of the sofa
while bending the other at the knee. He propped the phone between his ear
and a throw pillow, then slowly, he worked the slick object into his ass.
When the entire length of it was inside of him, he pulled it back leaving
only the head, then turned it on the lowest setting. That done, he worked it
back inside, clenching his teeth and digging the fingers of his other hand
into the leather cushion.

Alex heard the faint buzz overlaid by a medley of moans and whimpers, and he
knew what Mulder was doing. He followed his lover's example, lubing his own
vibrator, shifting onto his side and slipping it into himself. He again
turned onto his back, wedging the end of the shaft against the seat cushion.
Mouthing the words 'oh shit', he then grasped his cock with one hand.

"I feel you, baby...squeezing me..." His hand tightened slightly around his
cock. "So warm. So...fucking warm. And tight. God, you feel good."

Mulder moved the vibrator at a slow, even pace as his other hand began to
pump his cock. "Fuck me harder, Alex. Please."

"You want it rough, baby?"

Long sigh. "Yeah."

"You want to scream?"

"*Yes*."

"Tell me."

Mulder shifted back and forth between his hands, almost unable to handle the
dual stimulation. He shuddered uncontrollably with the effort it took for
him to speak the words. "I want...want you t-to make....God....please, make
me scream."

"Like the other morning in the motel room? When I fucked you against the
wall?" Not waiting for an answer, he continued, a slight tremor in his
voice. "You liked that, didn't you? Having no control. You trusted me enough
to let it all go and it felt so...good." He heard a barely-audible 'yes' and
smiled, increasing the speed of the strokes on his own cock. "I'm fucking
you hard now, baby. Just the way you wanted it...is it good? Talk to me,
Fox. Tell me."

Mulder increased the strength of the vibrations and pumped the shaft faster
into himself. "Yes, Alex," he choked. "It's so good. So...make me come,
baby. Please...please..."

Alex's hand moved quickly over his cock and his breathing grew harsh and
uneven. "I'm slamming into you. Oh, God...feel it, baby. I'm so
deep...Jesus, come on, Fox. I want to...want to hear it..."

His control completely shattered, Mulder fell into an erratic rhythm,
bringing himself closer and closer to the inevitable eruption. The moans and
whimpers turned to all-out sobs as his body became an extension of the thing
inside him, pulsing and shuddering. He was coming. It wrung all rational
thought from his mind as well as all control of his body, and all he could
do was ride it out. Warm, opaque fluid gushed over his fist and ran down his
quivering ass, forming a slick pool on the black leather cushion. As the
roar in his head dulled, he could hear his lover's voice, soft and urgent,
begging for his attention.

"Fox...baby, please..." Alex squirmed, causing the vibrator to shift inside
him, setting off a series of tiny ripples along his nerves. "...oh, God..."
He worked his cock vigorously as he approached completion. "Tell...tell me
you're mine..."

Mulder lay sprawled over the sofa, gently pulling the vibrator out of
himself. He shut it off and returned his full attention to the desperate
voice on the other end. "Alex..." he whispered in a small, exhausted voice,
then fell silent.

"Tell me," Alex begged, holding his orgasm off with a whip and a chair and
clearly suffering for it.

Mulder pressed his lips to the phone and breathed into it, "I'm yours, baby.
All yours."

Alex's eyes squeezed shut as did almost every muscle in his body, and he let
go, sobbing unintelligible things into the mouthpiece. He continued to pump
his cock until he'd milked it of every last drop, then he went suddenly
limp. Intermittent shudders coursed through him, and finally, after long
seconds, he took a long, stuttering breath.

By now, Mulder had recuperated enough to speak in intelligent sentences.

"I feel like my legs don't belong to me."

Silence.

"Alex?"

"Hmm."

Mulder displayed a soft smile. "Need a few more minutes, huh?"

"Mmm hmm."

"Okay, just relax. I'll be here." He barely heard the murmured request.

"Talk to me."

"About what?"

Humor now mingled with the weariness. "Tell me a story."

"Jeez....okay, how's this? Once upon a time, there was a tall, handsome FBI
agent who fell...into an unbelievably hot sexual relationship with his worst
enemy. They fucked all day and fucked all night and only ever came up for
food or a little sleep. The day came when they had to go back to their own
worlds, and it was a very sad day, indeed. But one of the pair, wonderful,
enterprising son of a bitch that he was, came up with a way that they could
still have fun together, even though they were hundreds of miles apart..."

"This story sounds familiar."

"Oh, you're alive?"

"You didn't describe the handsome FBI agent's enemy, though."

"Sorry. He was also tall and handsome. No. Wait. That's wrong."

"He *wasn't* tall and handsome?"

"Tall, yes. But handsome is too ordinary. And this man was anything but
ordinary. Sexy. Hypnotic and wild, and yet, when he slept, or in those few
minutes right after he'd finished fucking the FBI agent blind, and he lay
drained and motionless, he looked like a child. Innocent. Angelic...

"You watch me?"

The soft question stopped Mulder in the middle of his story. "Does that
bother you?"

"No, I just..." Alex gathered the strength to remove his vibrator, groaning
softly as he did, then sat up. "I'm just surprised."

"Why?"

"I...I don't know. I guess because I just thought about the times when I
went to sleep before you did. I never thought about you lying there,
watching me."

"What do you do when I fall asleep before you?"

Alex laughed softly. "Watch you."

"Uh huh."

"Okay, okay. So...you really like my present?"

"*Like*? I think I'm in love..."

"Funny."

"Seriously, Alex, I'm lying here sticky and exhausted. *Yeah*, I like it,
but it's gonna be damn hard to cuddle with it in bed."

"I know." Before the conversation took too much of a depressing turn, he
changed the subject. "Scully bug you today?"

"Nope. She promised me yesterday that she wouldn't, and she hasn't."

"So you've had all day to yourself."

"Yeah."

"Have you decided how to tell her?"

"I think I'm as prepared as I'm going to be. Dragged out the Kevlar vest,
the whips, the chairs...think I should run out and get a couple of
Rottweilers?"

"Couldn't hurt."

"I'd be nuts to think that she isn't going to wig out on me, but when all is
said and done, she's a rational, reasonable person..."

"Not when she hears what *you've* got to tell her."

Mulder sighed, fearing that Alex might be right but hoping for the best
anyway. He changed the subject, and they talked for another hour before
finally, reluctantly saying goodnight. Once disconnected, he lay quietly for
a while, eyes closed, then got up. He cleaned up the sofa and, lifting the
vibrator from the coffee table, looked at it and smiled.

"So...honey...what would you like for dinner?"

********************

"Goodnight, sir," Scully called to A.D. Skinner as she passed his open door.

"Agent Scully."

She backed up two steps and came back into her boss's line of sight.

"Yes, sir?"

"Have you spoken to Agent Mulder today?"

"No, but I'm on my way to his place now."

Skinner tucked the file he held under his arm and moved closer. "You'll let
me know how he's doing?"

"Of course, sir."

The A.D. nodded curtly. "Thank you. Give him my best."

"I will. Goodnight, sir."

"Goodnight, Scully."

She left him standing in the doorway and moved down the hall and to the
elevators. The doors opened, and she stepped into the empty car. Absently
pressing the button that would take her to the parking garage, she stood
back against the wall and let her thoughts wander to her partner.

For long, agonizing days he'd been gone, and although she had tried to
remain optimistic, thoughts of Mulder's demise had crept into her thoughts.
Then he'd called, and she had begun to breathe again. But something hadn't
been right. As convincing as he'd tried to be, she'd known that he wasn't
telling her everything. But he was alive and he was safe, and for the time
being, that was all that had really mattered to her.

Now he was home. He'd had time to rest and gather his thoughts, and it was
time. She wanted answers. And not the 'I don't remember, I was unconscious,
I don't know where I was' bullshit. She wanted real answers. And if it
killed her...or him...she was going to get them. Today.

The doors opened, and she stepped off the elevator and strode to her car.
Minutes later, she pulled out of the garage and was on her way to what would
prove to be the most disturbing conversation of her life.

********************

Mulder looked at his watch for the third time.

Six forty-four.

Scully called him about twenty minutes ago from the road to say that she was
on her way. Now he paced the length of his living room, awaiting her
arrival. Over and over in his head, he ran through a list of openings, but
not a one of them seemed appropriate now. He couldn't beat around the bush
anymore; there was no way in hell she was going to stand for it. But coming
right out and saying, "Hey, Scully, you know that week I was missing? Well,
I was with Alex Krycek, and we fucked each other fifteen ways to Sunday,"
wasn't going to get it either. There had to be a way...some middle ground.
He just needed to find it, and he needed to do it...

He whirled and focused on the knock at the door.

...right now.

//Deep breath, Mulder...that's it.. Cool...cool.//

He made his way to the door and paused briefly, hand on the knob. Finally,
he swung the door open and looked down into the anxious blue eyes of his
partner.

"You look better," she commented by way of a hello. "Not so tired."

//Well, you know, when you're not fucking or being fucked four times a day,
every day, you're bound to get a little more rest...even if you *aren't*
happy about it.//

Mulder stepped aside and allowed Scully to enter. "How was work?" He
followed her into the living room where he watched her remove her coat.

"Okay. I've mostly been playing secretary for you. I hope you're *real*
rested, because you've got a stack of call-backs waiting for you when you
get in."

Mulder nodded and leaned back against his desk as Scully took a seat on the
sofa. "You could have brought them with you."

"None of them said that they're urgent, so..." Scully bowed her head
momentarily then looked up directly into Mulder's wary gaze. "Mulder, we've
got to talk about what happened out there."

Another nod.

"Well...why don't we start at the beginning? You were sick...Beals did a
number on you from what a couple of the hostages said."

"Yeah. It wasn't too bad, though. A few contusions...hurt my ribs. I'm much
better now."

"I wish you would have gone to the hospital."

"There's no need. I'm fine."

Scully pitched forward slightly. "Mulder...what else happened up there? The
women also said that one of the kidnappers was about to...rape you..."

Mulder's gaze lowered to the floor. "I don't know, I don't...I...there was
one who kept alluding to that."

"But he never touched you that you can recall?"

"No."

Scully nodded. "Anyway, that's when all the confusion began. The shooting
and the appearance of this man. The one who killed all the kidnappers and
took you out of the lodge. Under dozens of noses, Mulder. Are you sure you
can remember nothing about this man?"

//Here it is. Take it away, Mulder, it's all yours.//

"Scully..." He raised both hands to waist-level, holding them parallel to
each other as though he was measuring something. "...I have...it....what I
told you I remember about my disappearance isn't...it isn't all true."

Scully wished she could say that she was surprised by her partner's
admission, but it came as no shock to her. "I'm sure you realize that I
never really thought it was."

"I know."

"And now you're going to tell me what really happened?"

"Yes." Mulder took a seat in the chair across from her and looked her
directly in the eyes. "I *was* unconscious when I was taken from the lodge.
I had no idea who had taken me, and when I woke up, I didn't know where I
was. I knew I wasn't at the lodge anymore, but...I called for you, but you
weren't there..."

"Who was, Mulder?"

//Just say it. Tell her and get on with it.//

"Alex Krycek."

Scully's eyes widened, and a small gasp escaped her lips. "*Krycek*?"

"Yeah. He was the one. He..."

"He killed all those men, and then he snuck you out of there?"

"Yeah."

"Where?"

"He had a cabin in Oregon. He drove me there. I was pretty sick, Scully.
Beals made me lie out in the snow, and it didn't do me a whole lot of good.
I was running a fever, and I couldn't keep anything down. He took care of
me. He bandaged my ribs...kept me hydrated..." A tiny smile played at his
lips. "He made me soup."

Scully stared at Mulder, seeing his mouth move, hearing the words, but she
still could not believe her ears. "Mulder...you almost sound...*pleased*."

"I wasn't...not at first."

A confused frown clouded cerulean eyes. Mulder took a deep breath and
continued.

"I was scared, and I was pissed, and confused...and God, I was so sick and
in such pain. He fed me, Scully, and he was there holding the bucket while I
puked my guts out, I can't tell you how many times. I threatened him. I
insulted him. I called him every name in the book, and he stayed cool and
focused..."

Scully sat quietly, listening to her partner praise their nemesis.

"I took off on him one day when I was able to move around better. It was
snowing like hell, and I snuck out while he was in the kitchen. I didn't
take the time to grab a jacket or anything. I just...I bolted out the front
door." He displayed a wry smile. "I had no idea where I was at that point or
where the hell I was going. I just needed to get away, I needed..."

"Why?" Scully interrupted. "Why then? I mean aside from the fact that this
man...your mortal enemy, kidnapped you, why did you feel the overpowering
urge to run? What did he do to you?"

//The sixty-four thousand dollar question.//

"He didn't hurt me," Mulder offered immediately. "He just...he made me face
up to some things. Things I've known for some time but was never willing to
admit to."

"What things?"

"He made me face some emotions, some...feelings."

She didn't like the turn this conversation seemed to be taking. "What
feelings?"

"My feelings for him."

"Your feelings for him," Scully repeated. "You hate him. So what's to face?"

Mulder lowered his head and shook it slowly from side to side.

"Mulder, for God's sake, finish this story."

The golden-brown head lifted, and he again met her gaze. "He went out
looking for me. Found me almost unconscious in the shelter of some rocks,
and he brought me back. I was frostbitten. Not badly, but...he carried me
into the cabin and put me into a bath. He put me back into bed, and...I
watched his face. He was so..." Mulder stopped and took a long, slow breath.
"I did a lot of thinking. And I came to the conclusion that I didn't want to
play the stupid game I'd been playing with him anymore. He took such good
care of me, and a couple of days later, when I was feeling better, he handed
me his cell phone and directions to the cabin. He left me to make the call
to you."

"That's when I heard from you."

"No."

"No?"

Mulder shook his head. "I followed him into the bedroom where he'd
disappeared and dropped the phone and the directions on the bed in front of
him. I told him I didn't want to go."

"You *what*?"

He held up a hand. "Scully, please. Just hear me out, okay? I need you to
hear it."

Slim fingers dug into the leather cushions of the sofa as Scully waited.

"I...I couldn't leave him, Scully. I didn't want to..."

"Mulder," she whispered, "what did you do?"

"We made love."

The room turned a hazy shade of reddish-black and began to spin. Scully
gulped and sputtered, trying to drag much needed air into her lungs.

Mulder leapt from his chair and came to kneel in front of her. "Scully?
Scully, are you all right?"

His only answer was a choked wheeze.

He cupped her cheek in his palm. "Come on, Scully, take a deep breath.
Breathe..."

"You," she coughed, "you made..."

"Forget about that right now. Just concentrate on breathing."

Scully slapped his hand away and fixed a wild stare on him. "Mulder,
tell...me...tell me it...it isn't...true."

"I can't. It *is* true. Alex and I are lovers."

Her breath came back in a rush. She jumped up from the sofa and began to
pace. "Are you...are you...*insane*? This is Alex *Krycek* we're talking
about! How can you sit there and tell me that you...you...Mulder, the man
killed your *father*! He was with Louis Cardinale when he shot Melissa!"

Mulder lowered his eyes. "I wish I could....I need for you to understand,
Scully..."

"Under*stand*? Are you crazy? What is there to understand? The man is a
backstabbing, conscienceless killer! And you want me to understand that you
*fucked* him?"

Mulder flinched at his partner's use of the term and the disgust in her
voice as she said it.

"This is unbelievably crazy. This is insane even for you." She stopped
pacing. "God..." Scully covered her face with her hands and mumbled into
them. "Oh, *God*. Why didn't I..." She uncovered her face and spun to make
eye contact. "Mulder...he did something to you. He probably drugged you."

"What?"

"God, of *course*. He brainwashed you...a type of chemical brainwashing."

"No, he didn't..."

"He *must* have! It's the only way to explain this. He broke you down with
some type of drug, then he brainwashed you."

Mulder shook his head. "And you're going to tell me that I'm still under
chemical influence."

"Not necessarily. He would only need the drug for a short while if it was
potent enough. But the thoughts implanted in your head would remain. You're
still under his influence. That goddamn son of a bitch."

"Scully...you're wrong..."

Scully continued, convinced that she'd found the answer to her partner's
behavior. "He's up to something, Mulder. *They* are."

"So if he'd done something like what you're suggesting, why let me go?"

"Mulder...God knows what else he may have programmed into your brain. There
must be a reason that he returned you."

"Scully, listen to me." Mulder raked a hand through his hair. "I have *not*
been brainwashed. I have become Alex's lover by my own choice. Please
understand that."

"No, Mulder, no. I can't believe that. Your father is dead. My sister is
dead. It could have been *me*...it was *supposed* to have been me. He's
double-crossed us more times than I can count. He's more than capable of
doing this, Mulder, and you know it. Think about it. *Think*. It's all just
a little too convenient, don't you think? He just happened to be in the
neighborhood, heard you were having a little trouble with some kidnappers
and decided to pop in and see if he could help?"

"N-no, he said he heard the old men talking. They could have intervened, but
they'd decided that I was becoming more trouble than I was worth, and they
were going to allow me to be killed."

"So he rode in on his white charger and rescued you..."

"It's was a Range Rover, actually."

"Whatever. Mulder, just please think about it. Please come with me. Let me
check your blood. Let me run some tests."

"And if you find nothing?"

"It's possible that I won't. There are some drugs that don't stay in the
system. Alex Krycek is a rotten bastard, but he's smart. Chances are I
*won't* find anything. But it's a place to start."

"You didn't answer me. What if you *don't* find anything?"

"Then I'll have to keep at you until I make you see Alex Krycek for who he
is. You used to know what a conniving, murdering bastard he is. He's done
something to change that, but he won't win." Scully stepped forward and
placed a hand on her partner's shoulder. "I won't let him."

"Scully, you're all wrong about this."

"No, Mulder, *you* are. But it's okay," she said in her most soothing,
condescending voice. "We'll fix this. We'll make it right. And we'll get
that sadistic slime. Finally, we've got him."

Fear crept into Mulder's tone. "What are you talking about?"

"Mulder," Scully said softly, curving a hand around the back of his neck,
"he did more than brainwash you. He raped you."

"*No*..."

Scully would not listen. "You were mentally incapacitated and therefore
unable to give knowing consent. That's rape."

Mulder's heart began to pound. "Scully...listen to me. Alex did *not* rape
me. *I* initiated it. I *wanted* it. I *still* want it. I miss him. He
walked out of my motel room the morning you came to get me, and a big piece
of me went with him..."

"Oh, God." Scully shook her head in horror. "Oh, my God. When I find that
perverted son of a bitch, I'm going to kill him..."

"*Stop*."

Scully bit off her next word and gaped at her partner. He spun around and
stalked to the other end of the room, then came back to face her.

"When the hell will you ever listen to me, Scully? When will you ever
believe anything I have to say? This is exactly what I've told you it is.
Nothing more. I haven't been drugged, and I haven't been brainwashed. I was
fully aware of every hot, sweaty, screaming second that Alex and I spent
together, and I can't wait till I see him again."

Scully raised a shaking hand to her mouth and took a deep breath.

//Okay, Dana, hang on. This is getting you nowhere. All you're doing is
agitating him. Take a second and regroup.//

A few seconds passed, and she raised her eyes to his, then she spoke calmly
and softly.

"All right, Mulder. All right. Would you please do me a favor?"

Mulder's eyes dropped shut as he considered her request.

"Mulder?"

Golden-brown lashes lifted, revealing dark, turbulent eyes. "What do you
want from me?"

"Let me run the tests I mentioned."

"Fine."

"Thank you. Now, please. Sit down while I make the arrangements, and then
I'd like for us to talk calmly and rationally. Can we do that?"

"I don't know what else we can say, Scully. You'll never see..."

"Mulder, please. Just sit and I'll be with you in a minute."

Scully made her calls and minutes later, joined her partner on the sofa. She
took one of his hands in hers and began to speak.

"Mulder, how long have we been partners?"

Mulder rolled his eyes. "Six years."

"Right. And I know that we don't always see eye to eye, but how many times
have you told me that I'm the only one you trust?"

"I know that, Scully. But I never said to you that you were the only one I'd
*ever* trust."

"True enough. But the man you apparently trust now does not deserve it. Over
the years he hasn't done one decent thing. He's a killer. He's a liar. He's
a double-crossing, low-life who would sell his own mother down the river if
there was something in it for him. He's loyal to no one but himself. He's
using you, Mulder. For what purpose, I don't know. But I'll bet my life that
what I'm telling you is right. Can you do the same?"

Mulder stared silently at his partner. He took an unsteady breath then let
his gaze drift to a spot on the sofa just to the left of Scully's head. "You
weren't there, Scully," he said softly. "You didn't...you didn't see how he
was..."

"He's a hell of an actor," she countered gently. "Remember?"

Mulder's eyes shifted from the sofa to his lap.

"Think about this, Mulder. Think long, and think hard."

No response.

Scully sat quietly for a while, then squeezed the hand that still rested in
hers. "We've got an appointment at the lab tonight, after hours. That way we
can more than likely avoid seeing Skinner and anybody else who would want to
ask questions. Okay?"

Mulder nodded absently.

"All right. I've got to leave for a little while, but I'll be back to get
you a little later. You okay?"

"Yeah."

"You're sure?"

"I'm all right," he answered hoarsely.

Scully rose from the sofa and picked up her coat. "I'll be back."

Mulder sat staring at his hands until he heard the door open and close. Once
Scully was gone, he closed his eyes and folded his hands, squeezing them
together to try and stop them from shaking. "She's wrong," he told himself
softly. "He couldn't...he couldn't do all the things he did these last few
days and not feel anything for me. He couldn't."

********************

Mulder blinked, trying to focus in the near-darkness. Something had roused
him from his dream, and he lay there on the sofa, listening.

It came again. The knock on his door.

He hauled himself to his feet and trudged over to the entrance. "Yeah?"

"Mulder, it's me."

He opened the door and trained a sleepy gaze on his partner. Scully stood
before him holding a thin folder and wearing a determined expression on her
face. "You were asleep?"

"Yeah, I...what time is it?"

"Seven o'clock."

"I didn't sleep very well last night. I guess I just passed out."

Scully entered and turned to face him once she reached the middle of the
living room.

"Those the results?"

"Yeah."

"Well?"

"I could find nothing out of the ordinary. But as I said, Mulder, I didn't
really expect that I would."

Mulder nodded and moved past her.

"Why didn't you sleep last night?"

He stopped at the windows behind his desk, and, looking down at the street
instead of his partner, shrugged. "Just...thinking."

Hope surged. "About what I said?"

"Partly."

"Do you want to talk about it?"

He turned to face her. "You know, I'd really rather not. Not right now,
okay?"

"Okay." She placed the folder on the coffee table and backed up, thinking
the best thing to do now would be to just leave and let him work it out.
Yesterday, he'd been adamant about his trust in Alex Krycek, and now she
could see hesitation. He was beginning to question himself. This was good.
Apparently, whatever Krycek had done to him could be *un*done. She'd give
him tonight and then talk to him again tomorrow. "I'll leave you alone now."

"Thank you."

Scully moved to the door then stopped. "Mulder."

"Yeah?"

"It's going to be okay."

He watched the petite woman disappear into the hall, closing the door softly
behind her, then he turned back to the window and stared out into the
darkness.

********************

Alex paced the length of his motel room, waiting until the appropriate time
to make his call. He couldn't be exactly sure if Mulder had gone back to
work, but knowing his stubborn lover, he'd probably gone back the day after
they last spoke. And, if that was the case, he wouldn't be home yet.

His thoughts drifted to the conversation that Mulder was supposed to have
with Scully.

//Must have been damn tough on you, baby. Rigid little bitch that she
is...//

He could see her now. In her stiff little suit, crossing her arms over her
chest, glaring at Mulder and reminding him of every rotten thing he had ever
done to them and expecting him to be a good little doobie and obey her
command to knock it the fuck off.

//Boy, are you in for a surprise, little girl.//

Two more hours passed, and he decided that he'd waited long enough. He
snatched up the phone and punched in Mulder's number. The phone rang three
times before it was picked up, and he heard the soft hello. His heart
swelled at the sound of his lover's voice, and he smiled into the phone.

"Hey baby. Guess who?"

The low, smoky voice rattled Mulder's nerves, and he practically fell back
onto the sofa. "Alex."

"Good guess." He inhaled deeply then released it slowly. "I've missed you."
When he received no response, a deep frown creased his brow. "Fox? You
there?"

"Y-yeah."

"Baby, what's up? You don't sound right. Are you feeling all right?"

"I'm okay."

"You don't sound okay." Suddenly, light dawned. "Fox...did you talk to
Scully about us?"

"...Yeah."

"That's what's bothering you, isn't it? It didn't go very well, I gather."

"Y-you could say that."

"What happened?"

There was a long silence, and when Alex had had just about all he could
take, Mulder's voice sounded again. "Alex, what do you want with me?"

"What?"

"What do you want with me?"

//Shit. That motherfuckin' bitch...//

"You know what I want, Fox. I've told you. I've shown you."

More silence.

"Has she said something to make you doubt me?"

"She just...she reminded me of who it was I was talking about."

"Had you ever forgotten?"

"N-no. But I think it got pushed aside."

"Why would you do that?"

"Did I?"

"You're losing me..."

"Did *I* push it aside, Alex, or did you do it for me?"

"Fox, what the hell are talking about?"

"I don't know, I don't...I'm so damn confused."

Alex gripped the phone so tightly his knuckles began to whiten. "About
*what*?"

"Everything. The time we spent together, it was...it felt so right. So
real."

"It *was* real."

"All the things you've done in the past...those things are real, too."

"Fox, the way I've gone about things may not always have been the best
way...I make no excuses for myself. But my end goal is the same is yours. It
may not always have been, but I was naive and impressionable, and the people
I worked for had me convinced that what I did, I did for some noble purpose.
I know what bullshit that is now, and I'm working to fix it. You know that.
I've told you that."

"Yeah. I know what you've told me. But how do I know that what you say is
true? What reason do I really have to believe you?"

Alex picked up the phone and paced as far as the cord would allow him to.
"Do you think that the time we spent together was a lie? Can you recall one
minute of the time we spent in that cabin where I gave you an instant of
doubt?" He barely heard Mulder's whispered 'no'. "Then, why?"

Silence.

"Fox, you said you trusted me."

"I know." Mulder squeezed his eyes shut. "I did."

"You *did*."

"I want to," Mulder interjected quickly. "God, Alex, I want to. It's just
that..."

"It's just that *what*?" The agitation was beginning to show in his tone.
"That you went back home and Saint Scully made you see the error of your
ways?"

"She doesn't want to see me hurt. She cares about me."

"And I *don't*?" He was yelling, now, the irritation turning to flat out
anger.

"I didn't say that..."

"Not in those exact words, *no*. But it's what you meant. I can't believe
this." He paced faster, his respiration now coming in short, uneven bursts.
"I can't fucking believe this. I didn't think she could get to you," he
ranted. "I was so sure. You hear that, Fox? I was sure. I *trusted* you." He
emitted a short, harsh laugh. "And look what it got me."

"Alex, don't," Mulder pleaded softly. "I'm...it's not easy..."

"Sure it is," Alex snapped. "You either trust me or you don't. You don't.
I'm just a moment's insanity to you. The dirty, scum-sucking piece of shit
you've always known me to be. Somehow I managed to finesse you into bed, and
you hate yourself for it. And you can't understand it. Well, keep talking to
Scully, Mulder. Together, I'm sure you'll concoct a plausible explanation
for why it is we spent days fucking each other senseless and why we woke up
every morning wrapped around each other...like we were actually happy."

Mulder flinched at Alex's words, and a dull throbbing pain began to radiate
throughout his entire body. "Alex..."

The voice on the other end cut him off. "*Krycek*."

"Alex...please. My head is spinning. Can I just...I just need a little
time."

"What for? What's time going to change? If the week we spent together didn't
do it for you, no amount of time in the world is going to help. You'll
always be suspicious of me. You'll always doubt my actions, and that's not
what I need. I don't *need* it. And consequently, I don't need you."

"Alex," Mulder begged softly, "please. Don't do this."

"I didn't do it," he said flatly. "You did."

"Alex? *Alex*." He whispered to the one who was no longer there. "Alex,
please talk to me." Finally admitting to himself that the connection had
been broken, he pressed 'end' and dropped the phone onto the table. He
stared at the phone for long moments, then leaned back against the cushions
and stared despondently into the darkness.

********************

The man shut off the recorder and removed his headphones. Quietly, he packed
up his equipment and slipped out into the night.

******************** Three weeks later ********************

Mulder drove in silence, moving with the stop and go traffic. Dull eyes
focused on the road and avoided the blue stare to his right.

"Mulder...Mulder. You haven't said a word in two hours. What are you
thinking about?"

"Nothing."

Scully sighed and looked out the window. "You said it was done. You said you
were glad."

"It is....I am."

"Yet, you look like that. It's been three weeks, and I haven't seen the
slightest bit of improvement in you. If anything, you're more withdrawn than
I've ever seen you. Why are you lying to me?"

Mulder slammed his hand against the steering wheel, startling his partner
into silence.

"Because I'm sick of talking about it! I don't want to *hear* it anymore!
It's *over*, Scully. Aren't you happy with that? Why do need to know the
grisly details? Why do you need to hear about..."

"Hear about what?" she asked cautiously.

"Nothing. It's finished. Leave it alone."

********************

Alex squinted through the haze of blue-gray smoke at the man who sat behind
the immense maple desk. "I heard you wanted to see me."

"Yes, Alex. You're a hard man to track down. Where have you been?"

"Here and there."

"What have you been up to?"

"This and that."

"Not in a very jovial mood this morning. Have you not had your coffee yet?"

"What the fuck do you want?" He watched the tip of the cigarette flare red
then fade to nothing as its owner pushed it into the ashtray. The man
withdrew another and lit up before he answered.

"I'm sure you must have heard some buzz about what happened a little over a
month ago in the Olympic Mountains."

Green eyes remained as hard and cold as ice. "No."

"No? A man with your remarkable sense of hearing? I find that difficult to
believe."

The leather-covered shoulders shrugged in indifference.

"Well. Allow me to recap for you. Our friend Agent Mulder was caught in a
very dangerous hostage situation at an abandoned ski lodge. He would have
surely died along with a handful of civilians had it not been for the
amazing efforts of a single, unidentified man."

"And?"

"This man single-handedly killed every one of the kidnappers and took the
unconscious and wounded Agent Mulder away to safety."

"Again, I say, *and*?"

"Quite resourceful, this man. Slippery, too. He disappeared without a
trace." The fleshy red lips curled into what passed for a smile. "Better
watch your back, Alex. This man sounds like he could actually give you a run
for your money."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"It simply means that I wonder if even you could pull off such a stunt."

Alex ignored the obvious dig. "You still haven't told me what it is you
want."

"No, I haven't, have I? All right, Alex. I'll tell you this. We aren't
especially happy to have Mulder in our hair. He's becoming more of a
nuisance than we anticipated."

Alex tossed him a soft, bitter laugh. "Whatsa matter? Getting a little too
old to keep two steps ahead of him?"

"If that's the way you'd like to look at it. We had hoped that it would end
there, up in that lodge, but this man, this...unknown factor ruined that.
We have come to the conclusion that we must take action ourselves."

Alex's heart began to thrash within his chest. Outwardly, he remained cool
and detached. "So?"

"So, you're our man."

"Why me?"

"Because you're the best. We don't need any foul-ups, and we know what a
perfectionist you are."

"Cut it out, I'm getting misty."

The second cigarette was snuffed out. "It's been arranged. Our unsuspecting
agents will be lured to the old saw mill in Dumfries. You will be there to
see that they never return. We will give you one man as backup."

"You think I'm so damn good, yet you give me backup."

"Well...you know...one can never take too many precautions."

"When?"

"Tomorrow night. Be there no later than ten."

"Fine. That it?"

"Yes, Alex. Thank you for your help."

Without another word, Alex turned and sauntered out of the room.

The smoker watched on the closed-circuit television as the man who had just
left his office left the building and drove from sight. He lit up another
cigarette and pressed one of the many buttons hidden under his desk. Minutes
later, a single man entered.

"Is he going to do it?"

"He agreed, yes."

"But you're not sure."

"Mr. Wallace, there is no such thing as a sure thing."

"You heard the tape. He trashed the room afterward, I heard him. He was
royally pissed, and Alex Krycek does not strike me as the type of man who
much appreciates being betrayed. You know, one of those can
dish-it-out-but-can't-take-it kind of guys. I think he'll do it."

"I hope you're right. But Alex has always been a wild card. He can't be
completely trusted."

"Then why do you continue to employ him?"

"Because we need him. He's got the most devious mind I have ever had the
privilege to know. We do our best to keep an eye on him."

"But your best isn't always good enough, is it?"

"No. I know it's a dangerous game we play, but frankly, it would be more
dangerous *not* to have him in the group."

The other man shrugged. "You know best."

"Yes. I do." He took a long drag then slowly blew it out. "Make sure he does
it."

"And if he doesn't?"

"That's why you're the backup."

"Do you want me to kill him too?"

"Only if absolutely necessary. You may go now."

The man nodded and left the same way he came.

Alone again, the smoker pressed yet another button.

"And now, to back up the backup."

********************

Alex burst through the door of his apartment and slammed it behind him.

They knew.

Obviously.

He paced like a mad man, wracking his brains to try and come up with a plan.

The smoking son of a bitch was sending another man with him not to back him
up, but to insure that he did what he'd been sent to do.

"*Fuck*. What am I going to do, what the hell am I going to do..."

He dropped down onto the sofa and covered his eyes. "Fox," he whispered
softly into his hands.

In the three weeks since he'd hung up on Mulder, he'd spent every day
tormenting himself with thoughts of the two of them together, wrapped in
each other's arms in front of the fire...walking hand in hand in the
snow...rattling the windows with their intense lovemaking...

He thought of those moments now, and his heart ached. How could he? How
could Mulder not trust him after the time they'd spent together? He'd proven
himself...or so Mulder had led him to believe, and he had been so confident
that Scully wouldn't be able to sway him.

Wrong.

Wrong, wrong, fucking wrong.

He pushed the magazines off of the coffee table with a violent kick of his
foot.

Now, *her*, he'd like to shoot. But not Mulder. Not Fox. No matter how hurt
he was, the truth was inescapable. They might never spend another night
together. They might never say another word, but it would not change the
facts. Alex loved him.

*Loved* him?

//What the fuck are you thinking?//

He leapt to his feet and began to pace again. "Knock it off. Just knock it
off. You don't need to be thinking thoughts like that. You got a problem
here, and that kind of shit is only going to fuck up your head.

"Okay, deep breaths, Alex.. Forget all this mushy bullshit and concentrate."

He threw himself back down onto the sofa and focused on the problem at hand.

********************

"Morning, Mulder."

"Morning."

Scully entered the office and closed the door behind her. "You could at
least look at me when you say that."

Mulder looked up into the slightly irritated face.

"Gee, that's better." She removed her coat and threw it over a hook. "What
are you reading?"

"It was on my desk when I came in. You know the old saw mill in Dumfries?"

"The one where that bad fire happened about two years ago?"

"Yeah. This says for me to be there at eleven tonight if I want to see
something that might be of tremendous importance to my work."

Scully approached and took the message from Mulder. "No idea where it came
from?"

"No."

"And you're thinking of going?"

"I wouldn't ordinarily, but there's something about this note. Not so much
the note, but...it...I can't explain it. It's just a feeling I have."

"So we're going to either go on a wild goose chase or walk into a
potentially dangerous situation because of a feeling you have..."

Mulder snatched the note back. "You don't have to come, Scully. I know how
little you trust my judgment. I'll let you know what I find."

"Mulder...I'm not going to let you walk into this place alone."

"I'll be fine, Scully. I don't need you to hold my hand."

"That's not what I meant. Please don't put words in my mouth. I'm coming
with you, okay?"

"Fine."

Scully turned away and rolled her eyes into her head.

This was driving her nuts. He said he was through with Krycek, yet all he
did was mope. Whatever Krycek had done to him, he did a damn good job. God,
she wanted to kill that bastard...

********************

Nine fifty-two.

Alex walked through the building, surveying the dark room. The voice behind
him grated on his already jagged nerves.

"They'll be here in about an hour."

"I know that."

"So what d'you think?"

"About what?"

"About killing him."

Alex maintained his cool exterior. "Just another job."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"I'm surprised to hear you say that, Krycek."

"Why?"

"You two have locked horns for years. And you've always been under direct
order *not* to kill him. Now, you've got your chance."

No answer.

The other man gave him a sly look. "Kinda too bad, actually."

Alex turned and fixed a glacial stare on him. "Yeah? Why's that?"

He'd heard about it. He'd been warned against pushing Alex Krycek's buttons,
but he'd always been a risk taker...

"It's no secret that you go both ways." He shrugged. "Me too."

"Good for you."

"He's handsome."

"Who?"

"*Mulder*."

Alex turned slowly and took a couple of steps in the other direction.

"Don't tell me you haven't noticed."

Nothing.

"His little partner is pretty hot, too. Hey...hey...you know what we should
do? We should have us a little party before we off them."

Silence.

"Come on, Krycek. Wouldn't you love to pay him back? Humiliate him a little
before you kill him? Think about it. The great Fox Mulder. On his knees in a
filthy, burned out building, sucking you off." He couldn't see well enough
in the dark to notice the way Alex's jaw repeatedly tightened and relaxed.
"I could fuck the chick while you did him, then we could switch. Goddamn,
I'd love to feel that mouth around me. Then..." He made a soft popping sound
with his mouth.

It took every ounce of strength Alex had not to turn around and fill this
asshole full of lead. Instead, he spoke calmly and softly. "I'm not here to
have fun. I'm here to do a job."

"Jeez, they were right about you. You've got no sense of humor whatsoever."

Alex ignored the comment and sat back against some crates in a dark corner
of the room.

"Do you ever smile or laugh, Krycek?"

"Do me a favor, okay, and just shut the fuck up. You're starting to give me
a headache."

"Hey, fine, okay." The other man checked his watch and walked away, mumbling
under his breath, "Fucking prick."

Apparently, he'd heard about Alex's lack of humor but not about his
remarkable hearing.

********************

The Ford Contour pulled up to the dark building and idled to a stop. Both
agents pulled their flashlights and weapons out as they got out of the car
and headed for the door. Checking out their immediate surroundings first,
Mulder pushed at the door, and it swung open on squeaky hinges. Cautiously
they entered the building. Four steps in, a soft, anxious voice sounded.

"Agent Mulder? Thank God. I didn't think you'd come."

Mulder turned his flashlight in the direction of the voice. A man squinted
in the glare and held his hand up in an attempt to shield his eyes.

"Are you the one who sent the note?"

"Yes."

"Who are you?" Scully asked, also training her flashlight and weapon on the
man.

"Darryl Clark. I'm a geologist at the university. I've come across something
very disturbing, and I need your help."

"What is it?"

"It's in a crate at the back of the room. I hid it in with the rest of the
crates." He turned and started toward the pile. "I didn't know what to make
of it, then someone I know told me about you and your work in this field. I
don't mind telling you both that I'm just a little terrified. I had a visit
yesterday by a couple of men. They wanted to know where the item was, and I
had to do some creative storytelling to get them off my back. Only I don't
think that I have."

"Mr. Clark, can you describe these men?"

"Well," the man began as he pulled a crate forward and started to open it.
"One of them was old...wrinkled. Chain smoker from what I could tell..."

The agents exchanged knowing glances.

"The other was young." He motioned toward the now open box and continued
talking as the two approached. "Good looking." He stepped away from the
crate, and immediately after, the distinct click of a hammer being cocked
echoed in the stillness. The agents spun in the direction of the sound, and
Scully felt the butt of a gun being pressed to her neck. "Drop your
weapons," the man said, "or I'll put her away."

The guns and flashlights clattered to the floor, then the gunman pointed his
own flashlight at the chest of the man who they were now facing.

"Krycek." The word left Scully's lips in a sharp hiss.

Mulder stared in shocked silence.

"Hey, Scully," Alex said in a syrupy-sweet tone. His eyes flicked to the man
beside her, and a riot of emotions churned in his dark eyes. He looked away
quickly for fear that the other man would notice.

"What the hell is this all about, Krycek?"

He fixed a cold stare on the woman who stood beside Mulder. He shrugged
nonchalantly. "It's about you, me, and a couple of bullets with your names
on them."

Scully turned nervous eyes to her partner, but he did not return the look.
He continued to stand silently, staring intently at the man before him. The
coarse voice drew Scully's attention back.

"You've become more than a minor nuisance to the people I work for. So
they've asked me to remove you."

Scully glared at the man she hated more than any twenty people she'd ever
known in her life, then turned her gaze to Mulder, whispering harshly, "I
told you he was filth."

Alex's body tightened.

So she *had* been at the bottom of this shit. God, how he itched to shoot
her...

"Hey, Krycek."

"What?"

The other man skimmed Scully's cheek with the barrel of his gun. "If you
won't let me fuck 'em, at least let me kill one of them."

Again, Alex's eyes flicked to Mulder's, then fell away. "Okay," he said,
motioning for the other man to stand beside him. "You can have Red." His
eyes rose again to meet Mulder's, and he forced them to stay there. He
slowly raised the gun and aimed it point blank at Mulder's head. "*He's*
mine." He blinked and swallowed down the huge lump that had formed in his
throat as he watched a bright gleam coat one hazel eye. "Close your eyes,"
he instructed softly. "Both of you."

Neither agent flinched.

"*Do* it!" he barked, startling Scully into compliance. He watched as her
body visibly trembled and she pressed her lips together in an effort to keep
silent. He looked to Mulder, who was still staring at him. "Fine," he said
more to himself than to the man in front of him. He glanced at the man to
his left. "On three. Ready? One...two...

A muffled shout sounded, and the man fell to the floor in a puddle of
quickly accumulating blood. Scully screamed at the sound, and her eyes flew
open, expecting to see her partner at her feet, but she was shocked to find
the man who had held his gun to her neck. Before either she or Mulder could
react, there was a simultaneous flash and gunshot from above, and Alex fell
beside the man he had shot.

An anguished roar tumbled from Mulder's lips, and he dove for Alex's weapon.
He fired blindly in the direction from which the shot had come and, by some
miracle, dropped the shooter. As soon as the body had fallen from the
catwalk, Scully snatched up her gun and flashlight and ran over to
investigate.

"He's dead," she called from the other end of the room, then dashed back
over to her partner, who had since cradled Alex in his arms and had pressed
his hand over the unconscious man's wound.

"He's been hit just below his shoulder," he said with a calm he did not
feel. "We gotta get him out of here."

Scully investigated the wound, then turned wide eyes to Mulder. "He shot
that man?"

"Yeah."

"Wh...*why*?"

"Scully, can we please talk about this later? He needs help and he needs it
right now."

As quickly as they could, they loaded Alex into the back seat of the car and
left the area. At Mulder's direction, Scully drove to a house that was
relatively nearby. As it turned out, the house belonged to a veterinarian
friend of his who also happened to be a MUFON member. The man welcomed them
in without question, and fifteen minutes later, when Alex was sedated,
Scully removed the bullet. They patched him up, the vet gave them the
appropriate medications, and three hours later, they were back on the road.

Next stop, the home of a pilot friend.

Scully moved along quietly, following her partner's lead. Before she knew
it, they were on a plane, and finally she'd gathered her thoughts enough to
start asking questions.

"Mulder...where the hell are we going?"

Mulder sat stroking the damp forehead of the man who lay across the seats.
"Oregon. His cabin. It's safe there."

"I don't...I don't understand, Mulder. Why did he shoot that man and not
us?"

"He never intended to kill us, Scully. They've wanted me dead ever since
Washington. They probably decided that they had to do it themselves, and the
only way he could stop it was to become part of it." He lay his head down
next to Alex's and pressed their foreheads together. "He was so upset with
me that day. He hung up on me, and I didn't think he'd ever have anything to
do with me again." He petted the sable head. "And still, he was looking out
for me." Mulder lifted his head and focused a glazed, amber-flecked gaze on
her. "You were all wrong, Scully. There's nothing you can say to me that
will ever make me doubt him again." He scattered a handful of kisses across
the unconscious man's face, then again lay his head on the seat.

Scully watched in silence for a few minutes, then turned weary eyes toward
the window and the lightening sky.

********************

A soft, pained sigh wafted up from the bed, drawing the attention of the one
who dozed in the chair not more than three feet away.

"Shhhhit."

The occupant of the chair watched as impossibly thick, sable lashes
fluttered then lifted.

"Oh...damn..."

Alex felt the gentle depression of the mattress on which he rested and
fought to focus on the face that now hovered above him.

"Krycek, can you hear me?"

"Where am I?"

"Your cabin."

"Why are *you* here?"

Scully took his vitals then shone a tiny light into his eyes, much to his
irritation. "That's what I'm asking myself," she muttered, then rose from
the bed. "You're going to be fine."

"I was shot."

"Yeah. Apparently, your employers added someone else to the party without
telling you. Guess they didn't trust you."

Alex closed his eyes. "Hey, nobody does." He paused for a moment, then his
eyes flew open again.

//Fox.//

"Scully..." His eyes searched for the woman but found another face. Tired,
gold-flecked eyes met his, and he looked away.

"Alex."

The distressed monotone jangled his nerves and tore at his heart, and all at
once, all he wanted to do was wrap himself around this man and never let go.

"Mulder..."

He turned in the direction of the small red-head by the door who was giving
her partner a warning look, and some of the anger returned.

"...why don't we let him get some rest, okay?"

If he hadn't looked away, he wouldn't have missed the returned glare.

Mulder stepped forward and touched a spot on the blanket very near Alex's
hand. "Is there anything you want?"

//Shit, yeah, there's plenty that I want. I want you to lie down here with
me. I want you to wrap your arms around me and tell me that you're mine. I
want to beat the shit out of you for letting her come between us...I want to
fucking slit *her* throat...I want to go back a month to the time when we
were here alone. I want to tell you to get the fuck out of my house and mean
it. I want you to love me the way I love you...//

"No."

"Nothing at all?"

Alex turned onto his side, facing away from Mulder and closing his eyes. "I
don't want anything," he rasped.

"Mulder, come on," Scully beckoned.

Obviously unwelcome here in the bedroom, Mulder saw no choice but to leave.
He followed Scully out the door, leaving Alex alone. Once in the living
room, he turned to her, struggling to keep his anger in check.

"Does he require care that only you can give him?"

"N-no, I don't think so. No major damage was done. All he needs is rest and
meds..."

"Then you should go home."

"What about you?"

"I'm staying."

"Mulder..."

"Mulder, *what*? Do you still think that he did what you accused him of?"

"I don't know."

"He got shot protecting us, Scully. I won't doubt him again."

"Mulder, it's dangerous to trust him."

"That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. If you feel you can't live
with my decision, then please, by all means do what you feel you have to. Go
to Skinner, request a transfer...whatever. But I *will* *not* turn away from
him."

"Well." Scully's fingers tapped erratically on the cushion of a chair. "I
see your brainwashed mind is made up."

"Knock it off, Scully."

"Fine. I'm done being your safety net. Get me out of here."

Mulder snatched his phone out of his pocket and dialed information, then the
airport. Minutes later, he threw the phone down and cursed.

"Son of a bitch."

"What?"

"There's a big storm moving in, and they've closed the airport." He glared
at his partner. "I guess you're stuck."

Scully spun away and stalked toward the window. "That's wonderful. That's
just great." She turned back, hearing the rustle of material. "Where are you
going?"

Mulder finished pulling on his jacket before he spoke. "If we're going to be
snowed in for a few days, we're going to need some supplies."

Without another word, he walked toward the bedroom. Cautiously, he
approached the doorway and looked in on the man on the bed. He was asleep,
or so it seemed until Mulder sat carefully beside him and began to gently
stroke his hair. Green eyes opened halfway, then Alex shifted slightly,
moving away from the other man's touch. Mulder dropped his hand and spoke
softly.

"A storm is coming in. I'm going to go out for some food and stuff. Scully
will be here if you need anything." He gave Alex a weak smile. "She hates
you, but she's a doctor before anything else."

The eyes closed again, and Alex said nothing. Mulder lowered his head then
rose to his feet.

"I'll be back in a while."

When Mulder's presence could no longer be felt, Alex opened his eyes and
looked toward the door.

//Be careful, baby.//

********************

A light snow started to fall, covering the ground at a leisurely pace.

Scully stood at the window, watching the tiny crystals flutter to earth and
found herself beginning to worry. Mulder had been gone approximately
forty-five minutes, and she hoped he would make it back before the snow
turned heavy.

She thought back to the last month. It hadn't been fun, that was for sure.
She and Mulder had had disagreements before...arguments even, but nothing
like this. He was so fixated on Krycek that nothing she did or said could
get through to him...unless it was to anger him.

She heaved a long sigh.

Regardless of what they were going through right now...no matter how pissed
she was with the situation, one thing wouldn't change. Her feelings for that
stubborn bastard. Hell, she wouldn't *be* so furious with him if she didn't
care. But he couldn't see that right now. All he could see was that dirty,
back-stabbing...

She turned around quickly, sensing that she was no longer alone. Alex stood
at the other end of the room, studying her intently.

"What are you doing up?"

"Tired of being in bed." He moved into the room and took a seat in one of
the chairs by the fireplace. "So...you're stuck here, huh?"

"Yeah. Don't worry, though, the second I'm able to leave, I'm out of here."

"I'm not kicking you out...as much as I'd like to..."

An icy blue stare greeted his words. "We both know why I hate *you*, Krycek,
but what have you got against me, exactly?"

"Are you kidding?" Alex cocked his head curiously. "You fucked everything
up."

"What? Your plan to take Mulder down?"

Alex shook his head. "Think you rescued him, don't you?"

"I'm trying."

"Has it ever occurred to you, Scully, that he doesn't *need* rescuing?"

"That's his feeling on the matter. But you did something to him to make him
think that. I know you did."

He gave her lopsided grin. "Yeah, I did plenty to him. Just not anything you
think." Scully turned away, but now that he was speaking his mind, he
wouldn't quit. "It drives you crazy, doesn't it? Doesn't it, Scully? You
think about the time we spent here alone together, and you can't stand it.
You hate that he wants me and not you."

"I don't think of him that way," she snapped.

"What am I, stupid? You want him bad. You'd jump him in a second if he gave
you the slightest bit of encouragement. But he won't. He's wanted me for
years. And I've wanted him..."

"Yeah? Then what's the deal with not talking to him? Is this some kind of
game you're playing? Are you just messing with his head...trying to make him
crawl to you..."

"He hurt me," Alex spat. "He told me he trusted me, then as soon as you
started in on him, he began to have doubts."

"Tells you something, doesn't it?"

"Tells me you're a relentless little bitch who's taking advantage of her
friend's love and trust."

"I should have let you bleed to death."

"Oh, yeah, that would have gone over real big with him. Face it, Scully,
you're in a lose/lose situation. Make the best of it. Accept his feelings.
Treat him like a thinking human being for once."

"And watch you tear him apart?"

"I'm not going to do that. Yeah, I'm pissed with him right now...what
happened aggravates the shit out of me. But I saw his face in the mill and
in the bedroom. He's sorry he doubted me. He wants to work it out. So do I.
I'm still mad, but I'll get over it. How could I look into those eyes and
*not* get over it?"

Scully spun back to face him. "Gosh, Krycek, that's sweet. And Mulder may
believe that bullshit, but *I* don't."

"*You* don't have to. I really couldn't give a shit less. Just back off.
Don't get between us again."

"Is that a threat?"

One corner of his mouth twitched upward. "I don't make threats."

"Oh, you'll just up and kill me?"

"As tempting as that sounds, it wouldn't make Fox happy."

Scully cringed at Alex's mention of Mulder's first name. "Very thoughtful of
you."

Alex rose from the chair and walked away slowly. "Just leave us alone,
Scully," he called softly. "Let Fox be happy."

"Happiness is more than a good fuck," she tossed back as he disappeared back
into the bedroom.

He poked his head back out into the room and grinned at her. "Aww, Scully.
But I'm *so* good." He blew her a kiss and again vanished from her sight.

********************

A wall of white now passed before the window and still, no sign of Mulder.
Scully paced, feeling more and more uneasy. He'd been gone for two hours
now, and though she had no idea how far he had to go, she thought he'd
really been gone long enough. As much as she hated to, she walked into the
bedroom and stood over the sleeping man.

"Krycek."

Alex awoke with a start and sat up quickly, blinking. "What?"

"How far did he have to go?"

"Huh?"

"Mulder. How far did he have to go?"

"About twenty-five miles round trip."

"Well, don't you think he should have been back by now?"

"How long has he been gone?"

"Two hours. And it's snowing harder."

"That's not *so* unreasonable. That store is the closest one around here;
there are probably tons of people in there. And if it's snowing harder, he's
got to drive slower."

"Are you sure?"

He studied the doubtful expression on her face. "Yeah, I'm *sure*. What
d'you think, Scully? You think I planned all this? Getting shot...coming
here...the *snow*...you think I've got a pact with mother nature to trap him
out there in a raging storm...hey...maybe I drained the gas tank so that
he'd run out halfway there..."

"God, I really hate you."

"Don't hold back, Scully, tell me how you really feel."

"Fuck you."

"Does your mother know you swear like that?"

Scully stormed out of the room, leaving Alex smiling and immensely pleased
with himself. He chuckled softly, deciding that tormenting her was much more
fun than killing her.

Sliding off the bed, he walked over to the window and pulled the curtains
aside. It *was* snowing harder. Very hard, in fact, and he began to feel a
little of the anxiety that Scully had displayed.

"Come on, Fox," he whispered. "At least call Scully so we know you're all
right."

Coming up on three hours, both occupants of the house sat in the living
room, an unspoken, uneasy truce called between them. The sound of the door
opening had them up and out of their chairs instantly.

"Mulder, where the hell have you been?"

The snow-covered man shot his partner an impatient look. "Disney World.
Didn't you get my postcard?" He looked past her to the man who stood a few
feet away. Their eyes locked for a moment, then he set the box he'd been
carrying on the coffee table. "I got a few more boxes to get from the
truck."

When all the supplies were now transferred into the cabin, Alex and Scully
began unpacking the boxes while Mulder went into the bathroom to change.
Minutes later, he was back, watching from the doorway as Alex worked
silently, pulling items from the boxes with one hand while he cradled the
other against his chest. Mulder walked quietly over to him and pulled a box
of candles from his hand.

"I can do this," he said softly. "Why don't you go sit down?" Not waiting
for a response, he took over, stacking and storing the items.

Scully watched from a corner of the kitchen, her irritation growing as Alex
moved in behind Mulder and slid his hand up the long back. Mulder paused
then turned and faced the younger man, searching repentant eyes. Scully's
hands tightened around the can of string beans she held as right before her
eyes, her partner fell under the serpent's spell.

"I'm sorry," Alex whispered as he curled his fingers in the front of
Mulder's shirt.

Mulder shook his head and dropped the loaf of bread onto the counter, then
wrapped Alex gently in his arms. "This was all my fault," he argued. "I
should have trusted you, I should have..."

His remaining words died in his throat as Alex's mouth covered his. The moan
he emitted was just barely audible, yet it echoed in the ears of the woman
who stood frozen with anger.

"I missed you, baby," Mulder breathed between kisses. Alex nodded and opened
his mouth, inviting his lover inside.

Scully watched Mulder's tongue disappear into the other man's mouth and
decided she'd had all she could take. She stomped from the room, completely
unnoticed by the two who were currently trying to swallow each other whole.

After long minutes, Mulder broke the kiss and pulled Alex into a tender
embrace. Scattering soft kisses in the sable hair, he murmured, "I was never
so scared in all my life as when I saw that bullet drop you." He pulled away
and gently passed a hand over the area. "How does it feel?"

Alex shrugged, rubbing their noses together. "Sore, but not bad."

"Well, come on. You've done enough for now. I want you to rest."

"I've done nothing *but* rest," Alex complained.

"Yeah. I know. But getting shot is a hell of a trauma to the body."

Alex cocked his head and smiled. "You know, I've never been shot."

"Really?" Mulder grinned at him. " I figured you'd probably know more about
it than I did."

"Nope. Been stabbed. Almost blown up..." He emphasized his next word while
smirking at Mulder. "*Beaten*...but never shot. Can't say that I enjoyed
it."

Mulder nodded and drew the younger man toward the door. "Come on, now. I
want you back in bed."

Alex stepped forward and rubbed himself seductively against his lover. "Come
with me?"

"Don't tempt me."

Alex licked a path along the stubbled jaw. "It's been way too long, baby."

"I know, I....God, Alex, don't do that....shit....you're making this damn
hard."

The other man licked and nibbled at the sensitive skin just beneath Mulder's
ear. "That's not all I'm making hard, I hope."

Mulder grasped his hand and placed it over the rigid protrusion in his
jeans. "What do *you* think?" he growled into Alex's ear.

A soft chuckle was his only response as the other man continued to massage
and pet his restrained cock.

"Come lie down with me," Alex coaxed again.

"Alex..."

"I'll behave, I promise. I just miss feeling you beside me."

"God." Mulder blew out a long breath. "Okay. I'll lie down with you until
you fall asleep. Then I'm going to see about getting us some dinner."

"Oh," Alex snickered. "Yeah. I suppose it's way too much to expect that
Scully would want to do any cooking, huh? She seems to be pretty pissed off
with both of us."

"Yeah. I really didn't think she'd react this badly...well...let's go." He
pulled Alex into the living room and on their way to the bedroom, he stopped
to speak to the woman brooding by the window. "Scully, I'm going to put Alex
to bed, then I'll make us some dinner, okay?"

A cold blue gaze turned in their direction. "Gonna get him some milk and
cookies and tell him a story, too?"

Mulder sighed heavily and said nothing more. He and Alex moved into the
bedroom, and after he made sure his lover was comfortable, he lay beside
him, gently stroking his hair. "I thought we'd never be here together
again," he murmured. "I was so damn stupid."

Alex traced his lower lip with two knuckles. "I shouldn't have got so upset.
I mean, think about it. On one end you had your partner of six years, and on
the other end you had a double-crossing, back-stabbing assassin, and both
were asking you to trust them. Not too hard to figure out."

"You forgot to mention that the double-crossing, back-stabbing assassin was
my lover. I told you I trusted you, then I turned around and let Scully
screw with my head. I'm so sorry. I promise I won't doubt you again."

"She might never get over this, you know."

Mulder shook his head. "I can't worry about that. I mean, I hope...I really
hope that she can, but I won't put you aside for her. Not for anybody."

Alex kissed his hand and nestled deeper into the pillows.

"Why don't you try to go to sleep?"

The younger man licked the patch of skin he'd just kissed. "Not tired."

"You said you were going to behave."

"Yeah, yeah. I'm still not tired...talk to me."

"About?"

"I don't know. Anything."

"....How did we end up in the situation we were all in?"

Alex snorted softly. "That chain-smoking asshole asked to see me and handed
me the assignment."

"Assignment?"

"Yeah. To kill you. They're pissed that you didn't die up at that lodge. He
doesn't know for sure, but he's got a pretty good idea it was me who pulled
you out of there. And he found out that we were lovers, and he knew that I
broke it off...I don't know how, but he knew. And he wanted to test me. He
wanted to be sure that I was done with you, so he put it on me, and he only
gave me a day's notice."

"They've got to know by now what happened. They'll try again."

"No, they won't. Like you said, they know by now."

"They'll just get someone else."

Alex shook his head. "They won't. Because they also know by now that I won't
let anyone get near you. They can't afford to start losing people. And they
*will* lose anyone they send after you."

Mulder propped his head up in his hand and grinned down at the other man.
"Aren't *we* confident."

Alex smiled back and nodded.

"You didn't know about the second man on the catwalk."

"Well, I was a bit distracted, but I promise you, I will *not* get caught
like that again." He smiled up at Fox. "You got him, though, huh?"

Mulder's eyes grew distant. "Yeah. I...it was so dark in there. I couldn't
see him, but I saw where the shot came from, so I just aimed in that general
direction and opened fire."

"Well, we were damn lucky."

Mulder nodded then lowered his head and rested it beside Alex's. "I thought
he'd killed you."

"Nah." Alex kissed the tip of his lover's nose. "I've got nine lives."

"Thought that was cats."

"Applies to us bad guys too."

"Ah, okay." Mulder combed his fingers through the other's hair and murmured
against his mouth, "Well, you bad guys may be hard to kill, but you still
need recuperation time. Go to sleep."

Alex inched closer, pressing their bodies together and tucking his head
under Mulder's chin.

"I'm telling you, I'm not tired."

"Yeah. I know. Shut up and close your eyes."

Mulder draped an arm over his waist, and they lay quietly together until
Alex's breaths became slow and even. He pulled away and looked down at the
younger man. "I'm not tired," he said in a soft, mocking tone and planted a
soft kiss on his sleeping lover's head. Carefully, he slid off the bed, and
with one last look in that direction, he slipped out of the room.

Scully looked up from the large book she was flipping through as Mulder
moved into the living room.

"What's that?" he asked, walking toward her.

She closed the picture album and tossed it down onto the table. "Apparently
my suspicions about Krycek's parentage were wrong."

Mulder's brow creased as he picked the album up and studied the pictures
within. Photos of a very young but very recognizable Alex were scattered
throughout the pages, and with him were a man and woman who had to have been
his parents. The man bore a striking resemblance to Alex, and if Mulder had
been anyone else, he might even have thought for a minute that this man
*was* Alex. Though he was a handsome man to be sure, the elder Krycek did
not appear to possess that seductive magnetism that his son exuded.

"He *wasn't* born from jackals. Imagine that."

Scully's snide remark drew his attention away from the picture.

"Are you ever going to stop?"

"Doubtful."

He slammed the album shut and turned in the direction of the kitchen. "I'm
going to go make dinner."

Scully watched her irritated partner disappear into the other room, then she
dropped onto the sofa and covered her eyes.

Everything she said...every time she opened her mouth, nothing but venom
spewed forth, and she knew that it was seriously bugging Mulder, but she
couldn't stop. She'd known for a month now how he felt about Krycek, but
each reminder, no matter how small, renewed her anger. As much as she hated
to do it, she was really beginning to think she was going to have to
consider reassignment. And she knew what such a request indicated.

Defeat.

Bested by a murdering, lying, soulless bastard.

//Are you really ready to throw it in?//

//I don't think that's the real question. I think the *real* question is,
can I hang around and work with this man every day, now knowing that I don't
stand a snowball's chance with him? I'm not first in his life anymore. I'm
second banana behind one of the most loathsome individuals to ever slither
the earth. I could manage to live with the fact that he'd chosen someone
else...yes, even a man. I want him to be happy even if that means it's with
someone else. I mean, I've never given him any idea that I was interested.
How could I expect him to *never* find anyone? But Alex *Krycek*? How can I
stand by and watch him be led to slaughter? How can he be so damn blind?//

//Maybe it's you who are blind. Krycek *did* save your asses. And if it
wasn't for him, Mulder never would have made it out of that lodge in one
piece.//

//Yeah, and maybe he's just saved Mulder for his own selfish, destructive
purposes. Can I really watch him get dragged into hell?//

Scully curled her fingers in her hair, pressing her knuckles to her head.

//God, why couldn't I have just let him bleed to death?//

********************

Mulder sat at the kitchen table, waiting for the spaghetti to cook. In front
of him, snapshots of an angel-faced child smiled up from the pages of the
old photo album. He flipped slowly from page to page, studying the sweet
countenance and wondering how many events had to have taken place in the
little boy's life to bring him to the hurtful choices he'd made. So many
lives disrupted. Ended...tragically changed forever, including his own.

Yet, the man who had for several years shown himself to be nothing more than
a double-crossing killer became for Mulder, this boy. Affectionate,
fun-loving...trusting. And the man who had been all at once hated and
desired became one more thing. Loved.

A slow grin spread across Mulder's face. "Oh, Christ," he mumbled. "Are you
out of your mind?" He looked down at the small boy with chocolate cake all
over his face, and the grin grew wider. "Yeah, I guess so."

********************

"Well," Scully murmured, sniffing at the spaghetti sauce, "it smells
edible."

"I promise I haven't poisoned it."

"No, I didn't think you would...not if Alex baby is going to eat it."

Mulder ignored the snide remark and finished setting the table.

Scully looked down at the three place settings. "Uh, I'll just take mine
into the living room."

"Scully, come on." Mulder heaved a hard sigh. "We might be stuck here for a
few days. Can't you please try to be civil? It'll make things so much easier
on all of us."

"Fine," she said flatly. "Just don't expect me to make pleasant dinner
conversation."

Mulder simply nodded and left the kitchen. He moved to Alex's bedroom and
quietly pushed the door open. The light from the living room filtered in and
illuminated the still figure on the bed. Mulder walked over and sat himself
on the edge of the mattress, looking down at the sweet face from the
pictures. He smiled and leaned down, dropping a soft kiss on Alex's
forehead. "Alex," he whispered, then waited for a response. The other man's
lashes fluttered then lifted halfway.

"Hmm?"

"Nap time's over. You sleep any longer, and you'll be up all night."

White teeth glittered in the dim light. "I could find something to do."

"Yeah, I'm sure you could. Come on. Dinner's on."

"Okay. I'll be there in a minute."

Mulder nodded and kissed the younger man's mouth, then got up and left the
room.

Alex lay in bed a minute longer, wincing at the slight stiffness, and once
he was more awake, got out of bed and headed into the bathroom.

********************

Mulder was just setting the rolls on the table as Alex walked into the
kitchen. Scully rolled her eyes as a smile lit his face, and he pulled out a
chair for the younger man.

"How's your shoulder?" Mulder asked as Alex moved toward the chair.

Alex took his seat, and his lover placed a kiss on the top of his head. "Not
bad." He glanced over at the woman who was a satisfying shade of red. He
sent her a tiny smirk, then tilted his head up, searching for his lover's
mouth. A sound of disgust formed in Scully's throat as Mulder's lips covered
his in a long, tender kiss.

"So," Mulder asked when they'd finally separated, "you hungry?"

Alex nodded and stretched up for another quick kiss. "Smells good."

"Can't cook much," Mulder explained, moving away, "but I've got spaghetti
down to a science." He began to serve Alex's food, and the younger man
protested half-heartedly.

"Fox...I can do that myself."

"I know," Mulder answered softly but continued ladling sauce over the
noodles. He placed the plate in front of Alex then reached for a roll and
smiled over at him. "Butter?"

Alex laughed softly and nodded.

"You gonna feed it to him too?" Scully muttered, unable to remain silent any
longer.

Alex smirked at her. "I think I'm able to feed myself." He looked from the
perturbed woman to his lover. "You can feed me dessert later, though."

Mulder glanced over at Scully and choked back a laugh. "Behave," he mouthed
at the younger man, and the three finally settled down to a very quiet
dinner. While they ate, Alex's eyes wandered to the photo album on the
counter.

"Where'd you find that?"

"Scully did, actually. I was looking at it while I was cooking. You mind?"

Alex shrugged. "No. I haven't looked at that thing in ages."

"Your parents look so..." Scully looked into space before completing her
sentence. "...normal. Decent."

Alex let the dig pass unanswered. "They were good people."

"You look a lot like your father," Mulder commented.

"Yeah, I guess. If you want, I can introduce you to the whole family after
dinner."

When they were through, Scully volunteered to do the dishes, jumping at the
opportunity to be alone for a while.

"I can do it, Scully," Mulder protested as they cleared the table.

"No." The single word sliced through the air like a knife. "Go look at
pictures or whatever. I'll take care of this."

Without another word of argument, the two men retreated to the living room
and made themselves comfortable in front of the fire. Mulder lowered himself
to the thick carpet and propped himself against the overstuffed chair by the
hearth. He pulled Alex down to sit between his outstretched legs then took
the fleece throw from the chair and arranged it over the two of them. Alex
snuggled contentedly against him and opened up the photo album. He smiled at
the first photo and explained to Mulder who the four people were.

"That's my mother and father," he pointed to the couple to the right, "and
these two are my mother's cousin Maria and her date. This picture was taken
in nineteen-fifty seven. They were on their way to their senior prom." He
indicated the car in the background. "That's my grandfather's Dodge. After
the prom, they went parking by the river to do a little drinking, a little
smoking, a little...whatever teenagers did in those days, and somehow, the
car wound up in the river."

A soft laugh sounded behind him. "Damn."

"They had to walk five miles before they reached a phone to call home."

"You father must have been in some serious shit."

"Yeah. For six months, every cent he made went to my grandfather to pay him
back for the repairs." Alex turned a few pages and pointed to another
picture. "Four years later. My maternal grandmother insisted on a huge
wedding, much to my grandfather's horror. He was pissed enough that my
mother would even consider marrying that Krycek character as he liked to
call him, but to let the whole town know about it was beyond unacceptable.
Needless to say, my grandmother won."

"Why'd your grandfather dislike your father so much?"

Alex shrugged. "He thought my dad was too arrogant for a farm boy with a
mediocre job and no prospects. Dad showed him, though. He did very well by
my mother, and when they had me a few years later, he was doing well enough
to buy us a small house."

"Did your grandfather ever warm up to him?"

"Not really. He proved himself over and over again, but the old guy was way
too stubborn to admit that he was wrong. He was civil for my mother's sake,
but that was about it." He flipped through more pictures, identifying this
one and that, then paused on a photo of the proud man standing over the
seated woman holding a tiny bundle in her arms. "They'd just brought me
home. I was born a month too soon and had to spend quite a bit of time in
the hospital. My mother said I only weighed like four pounds."

"Really?" Mulder asked in genuine surprise.

"Yeah. But she said I was a stubborn little bugger. Not only was I born
early, but I walked early, talked early...she said I was a real handful by
the time I was ten months old."

"Yeah? And you looked so sweet."

"I was! My mother always said I was a lovable little demon."

Mulder let out a loud bark of laughter. "That's what she called you?"

"Yeah, you believe it?"

"Actually, Alex, yeah. I do."

Alex snorted indignantly and returned his attention to the photos. Twenty
minutes later, Scully emerged from the kitchen and wandered into the living
room. She moved past the chair, trying her best to ignore the two cuddled
together on the floor. Alex watched her through a curtain of lashes as she
took a seat on the sofa about ten feet away and picked up a magazine. He and
Mulder finished looking at the pictures, then he tossed the album aside and
wiggled back against his lover, closing his eyes.

"Tired?" Mulder whispered into his hair.

"No," he answered, rubbing his head against Mulder's jaw. "Just enjoying
being close to you. It feels so damn good."

Mulder drew a hand gently up and down Alex's chest and kissed the top edge
of his ear. "I know." He glanced quickly over at Scully, who was continuing
to ignore them, then murmured softly into his ear, "I hated sleeping alone."

Alex shivered at the low hum. "Me too. I got so used to waking up with you
next to me." He shifted so that he was able to look at the man behind him,
and he ran a hand through his lover's hair. "I don't want to wake up alone
anymore..." His tongue inched out and traced a path along Mulder's chin,
then he moved up to the pouting lower lip, teasing and bathing the rosy
flesh.

Mulder pulled back a fraction, hoping to keep things from getting
embarrassing, but when he did, their eyes met and he was all done. He gently
grasped a handful of sable hair and came down on Alex's mouth, drawing a
soft moan from them both.

She couldn't ignore the sound.

Scully looked up from the magazine and found her partner and
his...his....she couldn't even think the word....practically devouring each
other, and though she didn't know exactly what they were doing beneath the
blanket, the constant movement of their hands gave her a pretty good idea.
Her eyes shifted quickly back to the magazine, but she couldn't block out
the soft sounds of arousal drifting up from the floor.

His partner's presence long forgotten, Mulder's hand undid a couple of
buttons and wandered inside Alex's shirt to caress the heated flesh. Alex
whimpered into his mouth as his fingertips danced across the flat nipples,
teasing them both to hardness. His task accomplished, he lightly pinched one
brown peak, pulling a soft gasp from the object of his attention.

"Harder."

Mulder could barely make out the whispered request. "What is it baby?"

Alex repeated the single word, and his lover smiled. He squeezed and twisted
the nipple, incurring a clipped groan.

Scully's fingers tightened around the magazine as she glanced up just in
time to see Alex writhing in Mulder's arms. As disgusting as she found the
scene, she was oddly fascinated by it and couldn't tear her gaze away as the
emotionless killer she'd come to despise whimpered and begged for Mulder's
touch. And she saw a side of Mulder that she hadn't known existed.
Gone was the truth-seeking, analytical, too-smart-for-his-own-good man she'd
known for the past six years, and in his place, there was this intensely
sexual being, completely immersed in his alter ego, and seemingly wielding
absolute power over the man he held captive with little more than his touch.

Her teeth clamped down on her lower lip. Oh, he was good, the dirty son of a
bitch. All that squirming and moaning...it wasn't Mulder who was in control,
it was him. Manipulative bastard. She seriously doubted that there was ever
a time when Alex Krycek had allowed himself to fall under *anyone's*
control. //And look at him//, she thought, studying Mulder. //He's just
falling for it hook, line and sinker.//

Alex bit back a sob as his lover's hand left his nipples and moved lower,
lightly skimming over the throbbing bulge in his jeans. He arched into the
caress and began to whine, but Mulder's hand over his mouth muffled the
sound. The hand on his crotch stopped moving, and the older man pressed his
lips to Alex's ear.

"Shhh," Mulder hissed softly. "You have to be quiet."

"Fox..."

"Quiet, or I'll have to stop."

Alex's lower lip quivered, and his head rocked from side to side. "Nooo."

"Yes. Do you promise to be quiet?"

"It's so hard..."

"I know, baby," Mulder cooed in his ear, setting his nerves on edge. "But
Scully's only across the room. You have to be quiet. If you're not, I'll
have to stop...okay?"

Alex nodded hesitantly, and the hand on his crotch squeezed gently. Mulder
then shifted him so that they were sitting front to back. One hand wandered
slowly over his chest while the other carefully undid his pants. Mulder's
hand slipped inside, and, encountering no underwear, immediately found what
it sought. Alex's fingers bit into his lover's thigh as Mulder caressed his
rigid cock.

"I love the way you feel," Fox purred in his lover's ear. "So warm. So
velvety smooth..."

Alex's lips parted, and a long, almost inaudible sigh escaped them.

"Every night," Mulder whispered as he continued to pet the younger man's
cock, "I'd lie there with your vibrator in my ass...jerking myself off, and
I'd be thinking of the nights we spent together. I'd think of the feel and
the taste of you in my mouth, and my whole body would ache. I wanted you so
fucking much, and it killed me that I couldn't have you...that I might never
have you again..."

Alex reached behind him, threading the fingers of one hand through Mulder's
hair, and writhed seductively against him.

"...But you're here..." Mulder's fingers wrapped around the thick shaft and
began to slowly pump it. "...and you're mine...and I'll never let you go
again..."

Scully watched hypnotized as her partner whispered things she could not hear
to his lover and did things to him under the blanket that she could not see.
But the look on Alex's face told her plenty, and for one heart-pounding,
sickening moment, she saw something in him that spoke to her of things other
than arrogance and deceit.

//Even lying murderers enjoy sex, Dana. And who *wouldn't* enjoy having
Mulder touch them like that?//

She should leave. Get up and stomp out of the room. Or say something to
screw up their concentration and maybe piss Alex off as an added bonus. But
she couldn't speak, and she couldn't move, or perhaps she just didn't want
to. She wasn't sure. The sight of these two men enjoying each other for
whatever their individual reasons, was just too fascinating...not to mention
an unbelievable turn-on.

Jesus, she hated herself.

//How can you be such a damn hypocrite? How can you even *think* of enjoying
this? It's sick, and it's depraved, and *dangerous*. He's sucked Mulder in.
You can't let him do the same to you. You've got to stay on guard. Do *not*
give him the upper-hand, or you and Mulder both are fucked.//

Her eyes again focused on the scene across the room.

//Well...Mulder's fucked any way you look at it.//

Her eyes closed as she fought against images of her partner naked and
flushed...ass high in the air, shoulders to the floor, with beads of sweat
rolling off his body as Alex Krycek slammed into him from behind. The
eroticism of that mental picture warmed her body to the point of extreme
discomfort.

//God. Oh, my God. *Stop* it right now. Stop it and get the hell out of
here. He *wants* you to watch. He's enjoying every second tormenting you.
Don't let him. Just go to bed.//

Her eyes flicked over to the two men on the floor. As Mulder kissed and
nipped at Krycek's neck, his hands continued to move under the blanket, and
the rhythmic undulations of the younger man's body held her entranced...

Alex's hips rose and fell, and his cock throbbed against the warm hand
closed around it. He bit into his lip until it hurt, trying to obey his
lover's command to remain silent, but it had been so long, and this felt so
good. A tiny whimper escaped his throat, and panic overtook him as the hand
stopped and tightened around the head of his cock.

"You promised," Mulder whispered against the side of his throat.

Alex turned, searching for his lover's mouth. "I'm sorry. Please, Fox," he
begged softly.

Mulder took what Alex offered, lazily feeding on his mouth, and his hand
began to move again. He felt the man in his arms shudder, but heard not a
sound from him as he gently pulled and squeezed his cock. He smiled against
Alex's mouth, imaging the torment he was suffering. The younger man was
hardly quiet during sex, and he knew that in all probability he was going to
pay dearly for making him suppress his natural tendencies. The thought
swelled his already rock-hard cock to unimagined proportions. "That's my
good baby," he purred, momentarily releasing Alex's mouth and growling
softly as his lover squirmed against him. He covered the perfectly bowed
lips once more and increased the speed of his strokes.

It took all of Alex's will and then some to keep from voicing his intense
pleasure, but he managed to hold himself in check. He opened his mouth,
allowing Mulder's tongue to sweep inside, and Mulder took full advantage,
sweeping over every inch of the warm interior, then sucking on his tongue.
Alex's hips bucked in response to the added stimulation, but still he would
allow no sound to slip from his throat.

Mulder pulled back, dragging his lips over Alex's trapped tongue, then
released it. "You're right there, aren't you?" he asked, quickening the
movement of his hand.

Alex nodded, not daring to speak.

"You're going to stay nice and quiet, right?"

The younger man compressed his quivering lips and nodded again.

"Okay, baby, come on...come on, Alex..."

Alex's body stiffened then began a series of quick spasms as he released a
gush of warm fluid over Mulder's hand. All this he did in complete silence,
and when it was over, he collapsed back against the older man's, chest
heaving.

Mulder released his lover's softening cock, cleaning his hand on a corner of
the now soiled blanket, then wrapped his arms around the semi-conscious man.
"See?" he whispered in an amused tone. "You did it."

"You killed me," came the weak reply.

"Nooo." Mulder kissed the sable head, and as Alex snuggled against him, he
began to sway from side to side, gently rocking his spent lover. "But Scully
may kill us both."

Too weak to enjoy the woman's ire, Alex closed his eyes and drifted into a
light sleep.

"Interesting." The irate feminine voice wafted Mulder's way minutes later.
He turned his head in Scully's direction and rested his cheek on the top of
Alex's head, waiting for clarification.

"Watching the two of you together, one would almost think that you were
actually in charge of that little performance."

Mulder gave her a wry smile. "You mean I wasn't?"

"Mulder, he was in control from beginning to end."

"He was?"

"Yes."

"How do you know?"

"Because he'll *always* be in control. You're his puppet, Mulder."

"Wow. You know him really well, Scully. That must mean one of two things.
You're either his mother, or you've fucked him."

A red tide of fury washed over Scully's face. She leapt from the sofa and
stormed into the guest room, slamming the door behind her.

Alex's eyes flew open, and he pitched forward, wincing at the sudden
discomfort the action brought. Mulder reached for him and eased him back
against his chest.

"It's okay, baby."

"What was that?"

"Nothing."

Wide eyes stared around the room. "Sounded like a gunshot."

Mulder tightened his hold on the man in his arms. "No. It was just Scully
saying goodnight."

"Oh....uh-oh."

"Yeah."

"She pretty pissed?"

"You might say that." Mulder released Alex and got to his feet, helping the
younger man up. "Forget it. Come on, let's go to bed."

Alex took his lover's outstretched hand and let himself be led into the
bedroom where, as soon as the door was closed behind them, Mulder began to
gently undress him. He stood quietly, allowing the older man to complete his
task. When he was completely stripped, Mulder pulled back the blankets and
urged him to lie down. Comfortably settled, he watched his lover remove his
own clothing. As Mulder's jeans came off, Alex's eyes rose to meet his.

"Looks like you could use a little attention."

Mulder shrugged. "I'm okay."

Green eyes again flicked down to the long column of flesh that stood proudly
from the other man's body. "You are, huh?" As Mulder nodded, Alex rose to
his knees at the edge of the bed and wound his arms around the other man.
Placing a teasing kiss on those exquisitely full lips, he moved across
Mulder's cheek to his ear as his hands wandered the length of his back. "Are
you sure?"

Mulder's respiration deepened, and he felt his bones turn to liquid as his
lover gently teased him. "Well," he breathed, "I guess I'm not *so* sure."
His fingers speared through Alex's hair, grasping a handful of dark strands
and holding his head still as he assaulted the younger man's mouth.

Now free to express his pleasure, Alex moaned aloud, rubbing himself against
Mulder and luring the older man once again into the dominant role.

Without missing a beat, Mulder took the lead, leaving Alex's mouth and
tilting his head back, giving himself clear access to the younger man's
throat. His mouth traveled the long arch, biting and sucking at the tender
flesh. As he reached the base of Alex's throat, he clamped his lips onto the
skin, sucking hungrily as if he'd never let go.

Alex's cock throbbed to life as he was held immobile, his head pulled back
into a position bordering on uncomfortable. He cried out, deeply immersed in
the painful pleasure his lover was inflicting on him, and Mulder's only
reaction was to sink his teeth into his neck, pulling a louder wail from
him.

Mulder paused, fighting to ignore the voice that growled in his head,
demanding that he give in to his baser instincts. And Alex, damn him,
squirming and moaning, and showing absolutely no desire to put up a
struggle, wasn't helping a bit. If he was going to stop himself, he'd have
to do it all on his own.

Alex felt the pressure on his throat decrease, and he whimpered in protest.
"No," he panted, "Fox, please..." He emitted a strangled sob as once more,
the teeth sank quickly into his flesh, then released.

Mulder pulled back and studied the trembling man.

Parted lips revealing gleaming, white teeth, eyes dilated and half-hidden by
heavy lids, and an expression that begged for his lover to take what he
wanted.

Mulder took him up on his silent offer. Ever mindful of his lover's wound,
he gently pushed Alex away and climbed up on the bed, lying against the
pillows. He motioned to the younger man who immediately slid up next to him,
nuzzling his chest and throat. He lay quietly for a while, petting the silky
hair as Alex worked his way south and was now delicately licking one of his
nipples.

"Mmmm...that's good, baby. So good...do that to my cock."

Alex obeyed, slowly licking a path down Mulder's chest and belly, working
his way to the base of his cock. Gold-flecked eyes fluttered and closed as
the tip of his tongue danced up the shaft, tracing the large vein, then
running over the prominent ridge of the head. Slowly, he teased the smooth,
flared surface, just barely touching the skin.

Mulder gripped the blankets with one hand and anchored the other in Alex's
hair. He gritted his teeth as his lover teased and tormented him, and when
he'd had all he could take, held Alex's head still and arched upward,
pushing his cock into the younger man's mouth. "Take it, " he rasped, and
again, Alex obeyed without question. His eyes rolled up into his head as the
younger man's mouth closed around him and sucked him into its wet warmth.
"Give me all you've got, baby," he instructed, and Alex did, taking his
entire length and sucking voraciously until minutes later, Mulder pulled him
up by his hair, incurring a soft, whimpering protest. "No," he grated,
motioning for Alex to sit up.

"But I wanted you to," the younger man complained. "It's been so long since
I tasted you."

"I know, baby. Maybe tomorrow. But tonight, I need to come in your sweet
ass."

Despite his recent objections, Alex licked his lips at the thought of
feeling his Fox thrusting deep inside his body. A pair of hands at his hips
jarred him out of his thoughts. He looked down into eyes that at the moment
were as dark as his own.

"Ride me," Mulder snarled, leaving no room for debate.

Alex straddled the man beneath him and reached over into the nightstand
drawer for the lube. He unscrewed the cap and quickly squeezed some out into
his hand. Grasping his lover's cock, he efficiently applied the lube, then,
holding the shaft at the base, gently lowered himself until the head was
teasing at his entrance. His eyes met Fox's, and he sank down, moaning with
every inch that filled him. Mulder gripped his waist and forced him down the
last remaining centimeters, then began to buck beneath him.

"Now, Alex. Don't make me wait."

As if he wanted to.

As his hips began to move, so did his hands, stroking and kneading his
lover's chest and shoulders. A long sigh tumbled from his lips as Mulder's
hand wrapped around his cock and started to pump it in perfect, matching
rhythm.

"You gonna....gonna come again...for me, baby?"

Alex nodded frantically.

"Answer me. You don't....have to be quiet any...any more."

A whimpered 'yes' sounded in Mulder's ears.

"Good," he whispered. "Love to watch you...come. So...beautiful." He stroked
Alex's cock a little faster. "Let's do it, baby."

His lover's passionate words drove Alex into a frenzy, and he began to rock
wildly, riding Mulder hard and fast. "Oh, God," he finally sobbed, and once
he began, he couldn't stop. The cries grew louder and more feral, and a
litany of curses filled the air as their thrashing built to a fever pitch.

"Let it go, baby," Fox commanded through clenched teeth, making himself
heard above his lover's wails of pleasure. "Come on, do it...for me...let me
know..."

Alex's body tensed, his muscles being coiled tighter and tighter until the
springs broke and he flew apart at the seams. His screams bounced off the
walls as his cock released a stream of thick fluid over his lover's chest
and abdomen, and the action triggered Fox's own orgasm. The older man's hips
jerked upward, fucking his weakening lover as hard as he could in this
position, and he cried out, sobbing Alex's name as he shot long and hard
into his ass. His body shuddered as he spent himself, and he fell back to
the mattress, pulling Alex down on top of him. They lay together, exhausted
and struggling for breath, and finally, it was Mulder who spoke first.

"Never again," he whispered into Alex's perspiration-dampened hair.

Weary green eyes opened, and Alex managed to lift his head high enough to
stare curiously at the other man.

Mulder reached up to caress the stubbled jaw. "I'll never let you go again.
There's no reason in the world good enough for us to be apart."

A slow smile graced the bowed lips, and Alex again lowered his head to his
lover's shoulder. "Don't worry, I'll never look for another reason," he
promised, "I'm only stupid once."

Mulder laughed softly and stroked the head tucked into the side of his neck.
"You comfortable?"

"Yeah."

"Sorry to hear that, cause I gotta get up."

"What the hell for?"

"Way past time for your meds."

"I don't think I'll die if I miss one."

"You can't miss your antibiotics. I'll be right back."

Alex groaned his protest but let Fox up. He stretched lazily and grinned at
his lover, who, before he left, pulled on a pair of boxers and took a long,
appreciative glance at his naked body bathed in the bright moonlight. Fox
growled softly, then disappeared from his sight, leaving him to bask in the
warmth of renewed happiness.

Mulder prowled into the dark kitchen and felt around for the light switch.
As brightness flooded the kitchen, a pair of blue eyes blinked up at him
from the table.

"Scully, what are you doing in here in the dark?"

The red-head lifted the mug in front of her. "Having some tea...since I
couldn't sleep..."

Mulder nodded but made no apologies. "Well, you can go back to bed, now." He
poured a glass of water and pulled Alex's medications down off of the shelf.

She glared up at him with bloodshot eyes. "Is he that good?"

Mulder closed his eyes and sighed softly. He was too tired to do this.
"What?"

"Is sex with him *so* good that he's managed to completely blind you to who
he is?"

"It's you who doesn't know who he is, Scully, and yeah, the sex is
fantastic," he answered flatly.

Scully turned her head and gave no reply.

"There's nothing you can say to me, Scully. Nothing at all that'll change
how I feel about him."

"How you *feel* about him? Oh, God, Mulder. Please don't tell me."

He looked down into the glass of water. He didn't have to say a word, she
already knew. No matter what barriers had come up between them lately, it
didn't change the fact that she could read the emotion in his words with
stunning accuracy.

"Goodnight, Scully," he said softly and left her sitting at the table, head
in her hands.

Go to Part II

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