Notes: I have no idea where this came from or why I can't write a happy M/K, but here you have it. Major Angst warning.

Disclaimer: Krycek and Mulder are not mine. This story can be printed out for personal use only. It may be archived.

Summary: Mulder has a secret.


Hold Tight

Debra Fran Baker



He wondered again how it would feel to have Mulder's naked flesh pressed against his own even as he tightened his grip on the man's restless sleeping body. There was barely room on that futon for one man to sleep, so the other remained awake.


"Why do I even bother locking my door?" Mulder tossed first his briefcase and then his overcoat on the floor as he walked into his apartment. His face, as usual, would be unreadable had it not been for his eyes, and even those were cloudy now. Krycek stood and wrapped his arm around him, held him as closely as he could.

"You want to give me a challenge. This would be more impressive if you actually changed your lock once in a while." He felt those two strong arms hug him briefly.

Mulder stepped back. "You're thinner. And *that's* new." He reached out to touch the bruise Krycek knew decorated his eye. "You aren't going to tell me, are you?"

Krycek just shook his head. "You're thinner, too. I could feel your ribs just then, even through that armor."

Mulder shrugged. "I've been eating." He pulled Krycek down to couch and gathered him in his arms again. Krycek buried his head in a shoulder padded only by the suit jacket. "I'm a fool, but I miss you, Alex. Traitor though you are." He felt Mulder's fingers ruffle through his hair. "And it's still too short."

"Not you. Not in anyway that counts, Mulder. Never." That lip brushed his ear gently as Mulder could.

Sometimes, like now, he wondered how that lip tasted.

If Krycek could have stopped time, he would have stayed in that position forever, but time moves, bodies tire and someone had to take care of Mulder even for just a little while. He let go as slowly as possible.

"Pizza? Chinese? Indian? What continent will supply us dinner tonight?"

"You decide. I'm not hungry. Not for food." Mulder ran his finger down Krycek's back over the t-shirt.

"You're getting food." Krycek found the telephone under the usual pile of papers and books and called the first number that came to mind. Pizza...easy to for him to handle. He ignored Mulder's grimace as he got it loaded with everything possible, except the abomination of pineapple. Then he stood up and got a couple of beers from the fridge. They weren't hard to find, since Mulder's refrigerator held little else. The beer was probably the safest and most nutritious item there.

Before he walked back to the living room and his...and to Mulder, he did a quick survey. It too neat. There were no empty take out cartons, and the garbage held nothing but several days' worth of used coffee filters.

He handed both bottles to Mulder, who opened them and handed one back to him. Krycek took a long drink, but Mulder just held it.

"How's your partner, Mulder?"

"Scully's fine. She'd kill you and me both if she knew you were here, but she's fine. Skinner's grooming her for a promotion, I think."

"Just...grooming her?"

Mulder grinned. "Now *that* would be a picture. I don't know."

"He keeps her busy, doesn't he?" Dammit. Doesn't she know I need her to...

"Why are we talking about Scully?"

"Something to do until the pizza gets here?"

Mulder seemed to finally notice the beer in his hand and took a pull. "And who's been taking care of you, Alex?"

"I can take care of myself. Unlike you, I eat when I'm hungry. If I can find the food."

"I eat when I'm hungry." Mulder put down the half-empty bottle.

"You sleep when you're tired, too, I suppose." Krycek gathered him close again. Mulder refused to relax. "You're going to kill yourself without even trying."

"Isn't that the best way?"

"Don't even think that way. I've worked too hard, risked too much..."

Mulder twisted and stroked his shoulder, the one that ended abruptly. "Lost too much? I can't stand what I did to you, Alex."

"You did nothing. It was all my choice. Dammit, Mulder!"

The door buzzed. Krycek let the pizza guy up and Mulder gave him the money to pay him. They opened the box on the floor. Mulder grimaced at the slice but stopped picking off the vegetables when Alex glared at him. And he managed to get grease on his suit before the first bite.

Mulder glared at Alex, put his slice down and went into his bedroom to change. Alex fought the urge to watch him undress and continued to eat. Ah, real food. It had been a long time since he could afford real food.

He came back in sweats and a t-shirt, ostentatiously put a napkin on his lap as he sat on the floor and actually ate the entire slice, spinach and all.

He picked up another but put it down again. "Okay. I ate."

"Not enough."

"Doesn't matter." He wrapped his arms around his legs.

"It does. It does to me."

"Waste of food, waste of time. You know that. I'm glad you ate, though." He pointed to where three slices should have been. "Or did you just inhale it? Someone has to keep fighting."

"Scully and Skinner are fighting the good fight now. They don't know, do they?"

"I think Scully is starting to suspect something, but she hasn't said anything." Krycek hugged him again. This time Mulder relaxed against his good shoulder.

"What if she does? What will you do?"

"I don't know. We'll figure it out later."

Alex nodded, and held him for a little longer before forcing him to eat another slice, piece by piece from his fingers.

He ate a third piece himself and put the rest in the fridge while Mulder just sat on the couch. Alex looked at him from the kitchen. The t-shirt revealed what the suits hid. He knew that shirt. It used to be skin tight. It wasn't anymore. And Mulder still wouldn't do anything about it. Yet another way to passively leave. Maybe Alex should tell Scully. She'd bully him.

Alex shook his head. Even before...before this happened, Mulder had been more damaged in his soul than Krycek had been in his body. He may have welcomed this as a way out. For all Alex knew, Mulder had *sought* this out.

He sat down next to him and draped his arm around Mulder's body. "You in there?"

"For the time being."

"Don't talk to me about time. We wasted enough of it. If I hadn't caught you falsifying your blood did you get away with it so long?"

"I have connections. Little Green Men."

"They know?"

"Yeah. I had to threaten them to not tell Scully."

"Idiot." He maneuvered Mulder's long body until they were both lying on the futon, still fully clothed.

"I'm glad you're here, Alex." His voice was sleepy. "I think I'll keep the same lock for awhile."

"Just sleep. I'll watch out."

"See you in the morning, maybe."

"Maybe." Alex lightly brushed his lips again Mulder's cheek.

Mulder drifted off with a smile. Alex held him tightly. And wondered how it would have felt to hold his bare flesh against his own and taste that lip and maybe even build a life.

Copyright 1999 Debra Fran Baker and NightRoads Associates




************************************************************************ One sharp peppercorn is worth more than a basketful of melons.
Tractate Megilla 7A
************************************************************************ Debra Fran Baker