Title: "From this nettle, we pluck this flower"
Author: Arsenic
Email address: sugar_plum_fearie@chickmail.com
Rating: NC-17
Fandom: X-files
Pairings: Krycek/Skinner
Archive: DO NOT ARCHIVE ANYWHERE! NO EXCEPTIONS!
Summary: Alternate ending to Tunguska
Category: SLASH
Spoilers: Anasazi, Paper Clip, and Tunguska Disclaimers: Krycek and Skinner most unfortunately do not belong to me. No copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: Rating and classification mean what they say, please do not read if you are under 18 or offended by m/m sex. Endless thanks to Jamwired, my beta and (far more importantly) best friend, this one is for her.
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"From this nettle, we pluck this flower" by Arsenic

Krycek held the glare until he was certain that Skinner was out of viewing range. Given that certainty, he proceeded to double up as far as he could without pulling his wrist out of the socket and moaned into his knees. He stayed like that, trying to regulate his breathing for several moments on end. Eventually, the dark swirls lurking in his brain started to die down, and the pain became a hum, making its presence known in his body, rather than a bright point of unadulterated agony. Able to straighten up with some effort, Krycek went back to glaring in the direction of the apartment. *So much for being a fair player, eh, Skinner? I wasn't precisely in a position to fight back, now, was I?* Unfortunately, the part of his mind that he was trying his best to ignore was well aware that it was fair play, just different for being defined by revenge as a motive. After all, Skinner hadn't precisely had a chance to fight back in the stairwell, had he? //We're not even yet, boy.// Krycek sighed and gave up glaring, it wasn't much fun when nobody was there to see it anyway.

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Skinner saw Mulder out and went into the kitchen to make some coffee. Krycek was right about one thing, it was frigid out there. Just the few seconds he had spent on the balcony made him wish he had taken the time to put on a shirt and some socks. He poured heated water into a clean mug and stirred in the tiny coffee granules. Pressing his hands against the mug, he brought the heat up near to his face. He drank the coffee slowly, one small sip after the other. He concentrated on the heat, deep almond scent, and satisfyingly bitter taste, carefully keeping his mind from the man who, in all likelihood, was busy contracting hypothermia on his balcony. *Jesus, Walter, a couple of inches to the side and you could have killed him....* He wondered whether the miss had been accidental, or there had been some remnants of sanity lingering with him in those moments after Mulder had closed the door. He desperately hoped it was the latter. It was comforting to think that he was somewhat in control of his own actions.

*Of course you're in control; what else is keeping you from going out there and killing the little shit, do you think?* Unfortunately, therein lied the problem. It wasn't that he was actively keeping himself from going out there and beating Krycek into a bloody mess, it was that, now, having released the majority of his hostility, it didn't even seem all that attractive anymore. Skinner shook his head, *You're getting soft.* He set the cup in the sink, promising himself he would clean it in the morning and headed to the bed he had vacated at Mulder's knock.

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*You have such a nice way of saying thank you, Mulder.* It was the fifth or sixth variation he'd come up with on the theme of Mulder as an ingrate in the hour (two hours? he was having trouble telling) that he'd spent on the balcony. The venom was missing though. Krycek's mind brought up a picture of the scales of justice: on one side was Bill Mulder; the other had a couple of receipts and a black rock in it. The scales tipped towards Mulder. *Man, oh man, we are being maudlin this evening, aren't we?* Krycek would have been tempted to smack the voice in his head, had he had a tangible target. *I'm freezing, I haven't eaten in over forty eight hours, and everybody seems to have gone out and bought a game of _let's beat the shit out of Krycek;, I'm allowed to be fucking maudlin if I want. Or anything else for that matter.*

Krycek made a face; fighting with one's self was not a pastime for the sane in his opinion. Especially seeing that he imagined Mulder as doing it all the time. Aware that he couldn't feel himself making the exasperated face, Krycek gingerly tried flexing the fingers in each hand. It took a while, but he managed to pry the hand holding his coat away and restore circulation. He bit his lip to keep from moaning at the vicious needles jabbing every millimeter of the skin's surface on that hand. A moment later, he was praying for those needles to make a repeat appearance on his other hand. No such luck. *Shit, please let me have a hand by morning, please.* He didn't take the time to wonder who he was asking. As he saw it, the fact that he had been an atheist since childhood had nothing to do with the fact that he had a tendency to appeal to a higher power in emergency situations.

Exhausted, Krycek burrowed his good hand in the folds of his jacket, pulling his body into as fetal a position as could be reached. Letting his head droop into his body, he began to breathe heavily in and out. His breath was scorching against the bare skin of his fingers and neck, diffusing a mild warmth through his body. He wondered how long he could keep this up before he passed out from oxygen deprivation. Then again, passing out didn't seem like such a horrid idea at the moment.

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Skinner jolted up, unsure of what had awoken him. Calming his breathing, he listened for anything out of the ordinary. It didn't take him long to hear what sounded like a muted human shout. *What the...SHIT!!!* Skinner flew out of bed and down the stairs, practically ripping the door to the balcony off the track. *If anyone has heard you, you are dead Krycek, dead.* He was just about to tell the former agent to shut the hell up when he caught sight of Krycek's face. He was screaming alright, but not for aid in escaping Skinner. The older man could have sworn he was listening to Krycek's verbal attempt at escaping whatever black-souled angels his subconscious was conjuring. Skinner leaned over and gave the man a firm shake. Krycek's neck snapped back at the same moment his eyes popped open. Seeing the large figure standing over him, he began to claw with his free arm and kick. The fact that his other arm was not free was sending him into a panic. Skinner easily defeated his struggles, the other man's arms and legs not responding to neural commands as they usually would in their present frozen state. Pinning the flailing limbs with one hand, Skinner grasped the back of Krycek's head with the other and forced him to focus on the older man. Skinner started to speak in low, soothing tones, not wanting to worsen the sheer terror evident in the dilated eyes of the man chained to his balcony.


"Krycek, Alex, it's ok; you're safe; nobody can find you here. Do you remember where you are? This is my apartment. We're on the seventeenth floor, nobody can get to you here...." He kept going, mumbling the words, not questioning why he was doing it. After all, he had to keep Krycek calm, didn't he? Wouldn't want the neighbors inquiring. And the fact that he wanted nothing more than to hold Krycek and force him to believe that he was safe and cared for was a normal AD thing, wasn't it? After all, Alex had been one of his agents at one point...G-d Alex's eyes were mind-blowing, even in the midst of a panic attack. The green glittered even against the pre-dawn darkness. *What the hell, Walter? Why are you thinking about Krycek's eyes?* Well, he stepped in to defend himself, he had been staring at them for some time now in an effort to calm the younger man. Idly, he wondered if the Guinness Book of World Records had a page for self-delusion.

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"Ok, it's ok, shhhh, you're safe....." The words were starting to penetrate the fear. Krycek was relieved to feel his breathing slow and sanity peek in to see if it was okay to return. He hated the dark. Ever since North Dakota (his mind skittered around actually voicing the word), he slept with the lights on. It had not gone unnoticed by him or his subconscious that the streetlights were seventeen floors down. His eyes focused, and Krycek recognized the speaker of the words he had been hanging onto as something of a lifeline. *What the...?* Krycek could say with a fair amount of confidence that next to Scully, Walter Skinner was the LAST person on earth he would expect to take pity on him. Feeling the large hands sturdily pinning him to the concrete base of the balcony and forcing his head forward, Krycek involuntarily flinched, remembering his last contact of a physical nature with this man. He was surprised to find himself ashamed at the grimace that passed over Skinner's features.

"Glad to see you with us again," the voice was gruff and carried not the smallest hint of sarcasm. Krycek fought down the urge to respond with a smart-ass comment.

"Th-thank y-you," he stuttered the words through badly chattering teeth. It was a moment before either of them moved. Skinner got up and walked inside, and Krycek attempted to curl up again, planning strategies of staying awake. He was too shocked to do anything but gape when Skinner returned to the balcony, handcuff key in hand. With a gentleness that Krycek would not have guessed existed in the ex-marine, Skinner unlocked the cuff and brought the hand down to where blood could reach it, but refused to let go. Strong, almost too-warm fingers moved in delicate circles, avoiding the chafed area, revitalizing sensation in the palm and each of his fingers. *I should struggle, try and get out of here; he's in boxers, no gun; I could do it...* Krycek wondered who he thought he was kidding; boxers or no, the AD was twice Krycek's size and had probably eaten and slept a hell of a lot better than himself of late. Besides, reluctant as he may have been to admit it, he had missed physical affection. Skinner may merely have been trying to help him keep his hand, but the last time anyone had touched him to do something besides hit him had been months ago. To give up the comfort of this moment in a futile attempt at escape was asking too much.

"C'mon," the deep, even voice intruded on his musings. "Let's get you inside."

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Without letting go of Krycek's wrist, Skinner stood up and pulled the other man's arm around his waist. He deftly lifted his unoccupied arm around the smaller man's shoulders and proceeded to support a very wobbly Krycek into the apartment. They got as far as the couch where Skinner set him down and pulled back to think what his next step was going to be. He was on autopilot now; Krycek was no longer Krycek, just a man in very bad need of warmth and no doubt a couple of painkillers. Or at least that was what the voice of justification kept repeating over and over in his mind. Skinner had thrown on a bathrobe and slippers when he had gone to get the key to the cuffs. Nonetheless, he was well on his way to frigidity. He was willing to assume that, having been out there for three and a half hours, Krycek had probably passed that landmark a while back.

Skinner formed a warm-up plan and turned on his heel to start with the execution before realizing who sat on his couch. He turned back around and approached the sofa briskly, pulling the cuffs out of his robe pocket. He was busy locking the cuff to the wrist that wasn't bleeding when he made the mistake of looking up. Krycek's eyes were sporting a wariness that he hadn't seen in rape victims, war veterans, or any of the other countless people he'd come into contact with over the years. At the same time, those eyes were surrounded by a sickly purple flush that suggested an advanced state of mental and physical exhaustion. Skinner removed the cuff and stood up, looming over the other man. The wariness, impossibly, went up a notch.

"Can I have your word that I will find you here when I return?" *You're going to trust HIS word?? Are you fucking insane?? What was in that coffee??* Krycek nodded and Skinner turned to leave.

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*Skinner just asked me for my word. Nobody trusts my word. Nobody. I don't even trust my word.* All the same, it seemed vital to him in that moment that he keep it. He told himself that it was because he was too damn cold and hungry to bother with getting up and sneaking out of this place. It seemed like a reasonable excuse. He didn't want to think about the look he had seen in Skinner's eyes when he had asked. The grudging tenderness. *I don't want his pity.* It hadn't been, though. Pity was a simple emotion, one could feel it for any given stranger. Tenderness, that was different, personal. It denoted caring, stock in the other person.... *You're letting your imagination run more wild than Mulder's mouth.* Krycek drew a breath in at the approach of footsteps and let it out only when he saw the large feet and body to whom they belonged. Skinner had shed the robe and slippers, once again wearing only boxers. The expelled breath caught at the sight of Walter's firm upper and lower body physique. His somewhat sluggish heartbeat started quickening in attention to his body's response. *Oh, Jesus, Alexei, not him, talk about safety in the unattainable.*

"I ran you a bath."

Krycek was trying to remember the last time anything had sounded quite that good. Nothing much was coming to mind.

"Do you think you can make it there yourself?"

Krycek nodded, having serious doubts as to just how truthful he was being. He pushed himself off the immensely comfortable sofa and focused every ounce of strength and coordination on reaching the stairs. Mentally, he gave himself a pat on the back when he made it; he grasped the rail and prepared to physically haul himself up the stairs. He felt a warm hand gently supporting his back and practically fell back into it. Skinner didn't say anything, just pushed him up the stairs carefully and slowly. Krycek's head was spinning when they reached the top. Things that looked suspiciously like fairies seemed to have gotten in his eyes. He reached up to rub them away, throwing his balance off. Skinner caught him halfway on his trip to the floor and lifted him, intent on carrying him to the bathroom. Krycek was dimly aware that the situation should have been beyond humiliating. Unfortunately his brain was too busy being chewed on by tiny rodents who also seemed to have found a badly tuned piano somewhere to walk over. He barely felt it when his jacket was pulled from his arms, followed by his shirt being pulled over his head. As his body slid below the water's surface, it came to him that Skinner had decided to roast him to death. He wondered at the fact that he didn't mind, but was too busy enjoying the extreme heat to pay attention to these queries.

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Skinner divested the younger man of his clothes as quickly as possible, trying not to pay attention to the tight muscles, slim hips, and well formed, long legs. He couldn't help noticing the chill and intense white of the other man's skin which spurred him on to even greater rapidity. Picking him back up, noticing yet again that the action was not as much of a strain as it should have been, Skinner gradually placed the somewhat limp body into the hot water. The other man moaned and looked up for a minute with a milder form of the expression Skinner had observed upon waking him up.

"Relax, I'm just trying to warm you up, that's all," the words seemed to reach their intended target as the pasty-white eyelids slid back closed over lethargic eyes. Skinner waited a few moments, making sure there was no danger of drowning and headed out to the kitchen where he started a pot of coffee and searched the cabinet for some kind of canned soup. He pulled one out triumphantly and put the pre-prepared liquid in a pot to boil. Having accomplished what he had set out to do, Skinner returned to the bathroom, telling himself the eagerness he was experiencing was in no way connected with the fact that Alex Krycek was naked in his bathtub.

He opened the bathroom door and shut it softly behind him. Feeling very much the voyeur, he took a moment to examine the face of the man sleeping in his bath. It was like looking at a portrait of the young agent assigned to him fresh out of the academy. The seeming innocence, youthful beauty, and intelligence were all there. But like the picture of Dorian Gray, this portrait was starting to mar as well. Skinner watched as the face twisted slightly, a whimper escaping the perfectly formed, sensual lips. It wasn't evil that marred the portrait, more just pain...vulnerability. The subconscious version of the wariness he had seen this man wear like a bullet-proof vest. Skinner found himself hoping it had offered this man half as much protection against the emotional bullets he was taking. The sounds he was making in his sleep made it evident that idea was as far from the truth as most of Scully's rational explanations. A cry escaped from Krycek and he began to toss, splashing Skinner with the now lukewarm water. Stepping closer, he extended both arms and tightened his hands around Krycek's biceps. The smooth skin beneath his fingertips, once again close to regular body temperature, sent white hot lightning bolts dancing in his palms.

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The contact was enough to wake Krycek up. His lifestyle was one that was in no way conducive to being a heavy sleeper. It surprised him that he hadn't woken when Skinner had re-entered the room. *You're getting soft.* The mental reprimand was drowned out by the feeling of Skinner's hands against his arms. He hadn't thought anything could feel better than the bath. *Wrong again, Alexei.* Very, very wrong. Insanely, he wanted more. *This is Skinner, you idiot. He would probably rather fuck Drew Carey than so much as hold hands with you. He's just being his usual, honorable self.* It was on the tail end of that rather dampening thought that Alex found himself rising up to meet Skinner's lips with his.

It was soft at first, almost virginal. That was until Skinner, not pushing him back and beating the shit out of him, made Alex bold. Alex opened his mouth fractionally to take Skinner's lower lip between his teeth, sucking, enjoying the slight coffee flavoring of the other man's mouth. Gently tugging at the lip, he succeeded in opening Skinner's mouth enough to insert the tip of his tongue. He found the other man's tongue with his and began a gradual seduction of the receptive mouth. Bringing the hand he didn't need to support himself up, Alex stroked the back of the other man's head, down to the slope of his neck.

Without warning, Skinner's tongue began an offensive, delving into Krycek's mouth, wringing a surprised and thoroughly satisfied gasp from the smaller man. Hooking his hands underneath Krycek's arm, he lifted him from the tub with surprisingly little effort and no thought whatsoever of breaking the kiss. Skinner was left wondering how Krycek had managed to move his mouth to the hollow of his neck. There didn't seem to be much of a reason to complain though, so he let Krycek do what he wanted. The kisses kept moving further from his mouth.

It was Skinner's turn to gasp as Krycek's teeth nibbled playfully on one nipple. Trailing kisses across the wide expanse of chest, Krycek copied the teasing actions of his mouth on the second nipple. The heat of Krycek's mouth left the small, painfully hard bud, and seconds later, Skinner's eyes widened as he felt the soft heat of Krycek's tongue exploring his navel. Just as he was about to grab the wet, practically nonexistent hair on the top of the other's head and force him downwards, Skinner jumped at the feel of Krycek's tongue meeting the tip of his cock. He wondered momentarily how it was that he was no longer wearing boxers, but his mind was too unraveled to hold onto the thought. Krycek brought his arms up and wrapped them around Skinner's torso, steadying the older man. The tongue in question made slow deliberate circles around the head, getting bigger and bigger with each rotation. Skinner tried to remember how to breathe as Krycek's mouth slid around the head, the tongue still rotating. Krycek moved in a fraction closer and began slowly pushing his own hips back and forth, tormenting himself with the friction of Skinner's leg against his erection.

Krycek's ascent was slow, making Skinner want to scream and force himself down the other man's throat. Krycek reached the root of the shaft and Skinner nearly passed out from the feeling of the other man's throat constricting around his cock. In simple, slow motions, Krycek rocked back and forth on the other man's penis, tongue tickling under the shaft. He moaned through the obstruction. *Fuck breathing.* Skinner placed his hands on either side of the other man's face and came, throwing his head back and screaming. No more than seconds after he began, Krycek came, a mixture of fire and hard ocean waves crashing against his skull in maddening reverberations of pleasure.

It took several moments for any trace of sanity to return. When it did, Skinner let go of Krycek's face, allowing the younger man to slide into a boneless heap on the floor. Still standing, if not by much, Skinner reached over to grab the unused wash cloth on the side of the tub, wet it in the sink, and rinsed the other man's skin in calming circular gestures.

Alex lay there, allowing the ministrations, trying to sort through what had just happened. Had this been what Skinner had been after when he had taken Alex from the balcony? If so, what drove him to the consideration he was still showing Alex? *Damn it, Alexei, it felt good, that's all that matters!! You got something out of it; he got something out of it; who cares why it happened?* Only it did matter, because at the moment, Skinner was reminding him what respect felt like, something he had forced himself to forget years ago.

When Skinner finished, he quickly cleaned himself. Worried that Alex would catch a chill from the increasingly cold bathroom tiles, he helped the other man up and after rubbing him down with a towel, threw him in the smallest pair of sweats he had been able to find. Walter watched in admiration as the other man dressed. He laughed at the finished picture. When Alex looked at him curiously he just shrugged.

"I was considering whether I'd be able to find you in those if you got lost," he said, inclining his head towards the sweats. Alex caught his own reflection in the mirror and began to laugh as well. The two men made their way to the kitchen where the coffee sat ready and the soup boiled rather vigorously.

"I've never heard you laugh before, you have a nice laugh." It was an understatement, Skinner had wanted him to laugh for hours just so he could sit and listen.

"I could say the same about you, sir."

"Walter." Alex shrugged at the obvious request and sat at the table, digging into the soup. The conversation was put on hold while he worked his way through three bowls of soup, two pieces of toast and a cup of coffee. Walter leaned against the counter, watching him eat, silently making sure he'd gotten enough.

"Thanks," it came out softly, tentatively. "It's kind of been awhile," Alex said, motioning to the food. Walter didn't tell him that he had assumed so from the other man's seeming lack of body weight. "And, uh, you know...for the bath and these," his hands flitted over the loose fitting sweats and he smiled. Walter wasn't sure what god kept him conscious after seeing a smile like that, but he was willing to pay homage to whichever one claimed the miracle as his own.

"Thank you." He was silent for a minute. Sensing that Alex was about to make some snide comment about his past deeds, he went on. "For the best blowjob of my life." That shut Alex up. For a bit anyway.

"You're welcome...you don't dance around a subject much, huh?" That smile again. He was perched on the corner of his seat, a panther, unsure of which direction to run. Walter stepped closer, causing Krycek to jump up, startled. Walter smiled and crossed to sit in the seat still radiating Alex's warmth. He pulled Alex to him easily, positioning him on one leg. Alex closed his eyes. He wanted this. The heat of Walter's breath against his neck, the long, thick fingers caressing his own, the affectionate look that Walter had thrown his way before dragging him over. These were things he had long considered unattainable, too precious for him. Relationships were a lot like crystal, something beautiful that he was prone to breaking. He should get up and cross the room. Walter wouldn't force him. In fact, he would probably do something unbearably wonderful like chain him back to the balcony so that he could hate the man. Only it wouldn't work. Because those "warm thoughts" that AD Skinner had spoken of hours earlier, he had given all of those to Alex in this night. Tomorrow Mulder would come and beat him and things would be back to normal; why shouldn't he do this? Why didn't he deserve this? Because he had murdered and lied and cheated, and the man who was offering him bliss had done none of these things. Or at least not out of the context of war, which was entirely different.

"Alex, if it makes it better, you can think of it as me making up to you for tonight."

But see, that was the problem; Walter didn't owe him for tonight. Tonight had merely been an eye for an eye. He looked back at the man whose leg he was probably putting to sleep. The stern brown eyes had softened; they were waiting, anxious for an answer. He wanted Alex to stay with him for the remainder of the evening; there was no doubt betrayed in the brown reflecting pools. It made the decision so simple. Alex leaned back slowly and curled up against the chest of the much larger man. He closed his eyes and concentrated on the sensation of Walter's chest rising and falling. Walter reached around and pulled Alex into an embrace, accidentally hugging his stomach. The groan that came out of Alex was so instinctive he heard it before he realized he had done it.

"I'm sorry, Alex." He pulled the shirt over Alex's head tossing it aside and bent his head to kiss the stomach area. Laying Alex on the table, he covered the almost fully-formed bruise with butterfly kisses so as not to hurt him. He lifted his head, still leaning over Alex. "I want to make love to you, Alex Krycek."

"Alexei," he said and just nodded his head, transfixed by the way Walter was looking at him like he was exquisite, something of value. Walter walked away and reappeared moments later with condoms and a tube of something that Alex could only assume was lube. He left both on the table beside them and returned his full attention to kissing Alex. Alex was amazed by the way the coffee they had both drank seemed that much more delicious as a flavor of Walter Skinner's mouth. Walter's tongue skimmed Alex's mouth, exploring, always returning to entwine with Alex's. Walter's fingers pinched the nipples below with no real strength, just enough to draw their sensitivity to a peak. Alex was practically hyperventilating into Walter's mouth. Walter smiled into the kiss and broke away. Soothing his hand through the dark shorn hair, Walter let his eyes glaze over to match those of the man lying on his kitchen table.

"You're stunning when you're like this, Alexei." Walter barely had the breath for the words as he removed Alex's pants and slid his own boxers down, toeing them off. Alex, no longer able to wait, grabbed the older man's head and with a strength he was unaware he still possessed, pulled Walter's lips back onto his. Walter returned to his languorous teasing of Alex's nipples until they were so hard Alex screamed at the sensation of Walter's fingernail scraping the surface. Satisfied with his work, Walter reached for the lube and spread a fair amount onto his hand. Alex practically fell off the table in the first moment when Walter's hand closed around his cock. When Walter began running his hand up and down the shaft Alex struggled merely to maintain his hold onto the table's edges.

His other hand slicked with the lube, Walter introduced a finger into Alex's ass. Seeing that Alex was too entranced by what was going on with his cock to really notice, Walter slid in a second finger. Alex noticed this time, tensing slightly. Walter took his hand off Alex's cock, ignoring the groan of disappointment. Briefly, he wiped his free hand on the towel he had laid next to the supplies then used the now-dry hand to massage Alex's upper body into relaxing. Fingers moved along the rib cage, up his neck, and through his hair. It wasn't long before Walter felt the release of tension and began to move his fingers in and out, scissoring open and close. He twisted his hand ever so slightly so that his knuckle brushed across the prostate. Alex screamed and ended up with his head dangling off the other side of the table. Laughing, Walter pulled him back, deftly inserting a third finger. Alex moaned and attempted to push himself farther onto this newest intruder.

Walter decided he was ready. Alex caught his hand in a death grip as he removed his fingers, and he firmly pried the other man's hand off of his so he could roll the condom on and lubricate his cock. He returned to the end of the table where Alex waited with such expectancy that Walter could only smile. Draping Alex's legs over his shoulder's he positioned himself at the opening and slowly pushed his way in, keeping his hands firmly on Alex's hips to prevent any thoughts of rebellion, intent on being the one to control the pace of entry.

Carefully, he shifted postions inside Alex, angling himself to build the level of pleasure quickly rising in the man below him. The first feel of his cock pushing insistently against the prostate had Alex practically sobbing at the ecstasy of it. Walter's grin reappeared but his speed stayed constant. Alex struggled against the hands holding his hips in a death grip, not caring if he bruised, desperate to push himself further onto the other man's cock. It seemed an eternity before Walter's entry stopped, his pubic hair tickling Alex's ass. Alex brought his hands up from the edge of the table, tempted to maul Walter when he began to withdraw. The temptation only lasted seconds, ending when Alex was forced to concentrate on the exquisite torture of the rhythm Walter was setting. The now free hands found their way to Walter's chest, running at a leisurely pace up and down the sleek muscles. Alex's pleasure-fevered mind wondered how a man so seemingly perfect as Walter could find gratification in the flawed specimen he saw himself as being.

"Walter," it was the voice of a man who very much wanted to kill the nearest living thing if he didn't get his way. "FASTER!!" Walter grinned and gave in to Alex's demand, sliding up and down quickly, feeling him through with each thrust. Walter looked down at the gorgeous man so completely under his spell and tried to remember how he had gotten this lucky. Taking one hand off of Alex's hip, he returned to the stroking he had started before until the man underneath him was writhing and pleading incoherently.

"Please, Please, WALTER!!! Pleeease...."

"Please what, Alexei?"

"FINISH!!!" Walter's only response was to grunt and increase strength behind each thrust and the speed at which it came. He leaned back down and kissed Alex in a way that was sure to leave bruises. Neither man cared, each one's touch driving the other man to a blissful insanity. Unable to hold out any longer, Skinner lightly scraped Alex's cock and squeezed gently in a manner that had Alex coming and screaming so loudly that Walter was quite sure he would be missing his voice come morning. Walter let go of the cock in his hand upon seeing Alex come and come hard, high off the other man's intense pleasure.

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Several moments later, Walter sank back into the chair in which this had all started. Alex had a conversation with his legs about the way they were supposed to work and managed to make his way to the towels at the sink and back, cleaning both of them slowly and thoroughly. Walter leaned down to kiss his forehead and allowed his lips to linger over the skin.

"That was amazing." Alex shivered at the feel of Walter's breath against his forehead.

"That's all you have to say for it?" Walter leaned back and shook his head.

"Troublemaker."

"Can't argue with you there." They sat silent for moments on end, holding each other's hands, Walter staring at Alex's fingers, Alex staring at Walter's chest. Abruptly, Walter stood up and disengaged one hand from Alex's.

"Come." Alex did. He was surprised to find himself in Skinner's bedroom seconds later.

"I can sleep on the couch." This was too much. To be held while he was sleeping...he couldn't do it; if he did it this once, it would be too much to give up.

"No, you can't." Alex recognized the AD tone of voice and knew the thought that accompanied it: this is my house, and you are my guest/prisoner, and I plan on getting my way. Alex shrugged, his body and mind several stages beyond exhaustion, and crawled into bed as far away from Walter's side as possible. Walter smiled silently at the last ditch attempt and laid down in the bed, moving to where Alex was practically falling off and pulling him into the middle. Alex had no defense against it. A physical fight would have been mere foolishness and Walter felt like love and perfection and all the other storybook tales read to children. Sighing, Alex pressed his back into Walter's chest and pulled Walter's arms even tighter around his body, laying his hands over the other man's. Not even noticing the darkness of the room, Alex closed his eyes and fell into thoughtless sleep.

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End
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