Disclaimer: Even though they never will be mine, I abduct them repeatedly. 
I'll put them back soon, I promise, and nobody pays me for this.

Preamble....It was Orithain's birthday, and she gets all moody when you
don't feed her.  This is for her in celebration of the birthday.  Thanks for
the unending source of commas, babe!

Rated:NC17 because there's male-male sex in here.  Stay away if it will
offend.  I have warned you.

Plot:  Yep, this time there is a plot, and You will be mad at me if I spoil
it, so I won't.

Spoilers: Terma, Sleepless, SR319 0r whatever the darned number was, Two
Fathers, One Son...hell, probably all of them!

Thank you to Frankie-goddess for always making the right suggestions, Paula
for the detail work, and  Rowanne for beta above and beyond the call of
duty.

Feedback:  Are you kidding?  Please feedback. I crave feedback....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cheshire Cat

by Dr. Ruthless **********************************************************

The lightning flashed in the plate glass and the reflection tore a hole in
the back of his eyes, ruining his night vision and allowing the red-purple
after images to riot across his visual field. He was so tired it would have
been easy to relax into the fireworks display and just allow the discharge
of nerve endings to seduce him into sleep.

He could not afford it. He was on the short strokes as it were. So close, he
was so close to the payoff it was a living breathing entity. Drawing in a
breath, he opened his eyes wider and waited for his night vision to return.

He moved from his car to a vantage point up on the hillside and as his
vision returned, he could begin to make out the shapes of the aliens. They
were milling about down there, scrambling and scuttling in the dark. They
were so depressing. He would not allow them to take his planet. He would do
what it took.

Whatever.

Sounds in the distance, and a car drew close. He saw the riot of the
headlamps burst over the horizon, and then the car drew closer still.
Another, and they were coming now, more and more cars coming to line up in
the muddy field.

He shook his head, applied his eyes to the field glasses and began to check
off the familiar faces as they emerged from their chrysalis vehicles. Light
suddenly began to bloom, and the brightness coruscated around the glass and
steel structure. He saw the men and women as they moved towards the light
and mentally checked each of them off as they advanced. They were all there.

No, wait, they were not all there. Not all there at all.

Where was the cigarette smoking bastard? Alex could not see him anywhere.
Then, finally a last car came straggling up, and as he turned to look, he
heard screams. Screaming and smoke,

//Oh, God!//

With the scent of cooking pork. He vomited on the grass as he watched. The
last car turned around and took off, and he watched it out of sight before
climbing, shivering, back into his vehicle. He knew what he had to do now.
He was the only one left.

Allowing the car to roll silently down the hillside, he started the engine
as it reached the bottom and took off as fast as he could. Once over the
horizon. he clicked on the lights and put his foot down. There was no time.
No time left now.

Arriving at the facility, he used his hard won security clearance to pass
through the checkpoints. Nobody there would know he had not been authorized.
Nobody would ever be there again. It dawned on him that he and the bastard
were the only two left, and if he could just get what he had come for, he
would be in charge. He was not averse to being in charge.

He dressed in the quarantine suit as quickly as he could and scurried
through the corridors, feeling like the rat he had been called. Reaching the
cold room, he moved quickly to open the container and take out the tissue
samples that would mean salvation for the world, redemption for himself, a
life out of the shadows.

It was empty. The cupboard was bare. There was nothing there and he
screamed. He had been so close, so very fucking close.

Stripping off the protective clothing, he turned and left the laboratory.
His belly was flip-flopping as he went. Where to go? What to do now? How to
regain the upper hand? The answer oozed unbidden into his mind, like the
black oil, and just as welcome.

Mulder.

His ace in the hole. His secret hybrid. He didn't want to go back to Mulder.
He had resisted seeing him. Mulder had never forgiven him for what he had
seen as betrayal, way back when he was a junior agent. Mulder had spent the
last few years pounding on him whenever he had the chance, and Alex could
not see a day coming when they would ever reconcile. He had avoided him
successfully at the hospital, when Mulder had seen him and chased him. Now
he was going to have to go back to him, and then who knew what would happen?

He felt sick. The dreadful smell of burning was still in his nostrils and
the even more awful prospect of returning to Mulder hung over him. What else
could possibly happen to him today? He rounded the corner and then he knew.

Spender. He could see Spender with a scarecrow in tow. A scarecrow he knew,
incredulously, as Marita. Dyed-in-the-wool double-crossing perfidious bitch,
and just look at her now. He stared at her, bemused. Knowledge that he had
no need to seek revenge on her now hit him in his belly with a visceral
clunk. He gasped slightly, and Spender, poor, dear, woolly-lamb Spender was
talking to him. He didn't process the words, but knew they were asking for
help. What a great day for the Krycek family. Amazing. He shook his head.

"It's all going to hell." He seemed to be saying that a lot lately, but it
was true, and they should know. He allowed himself a further brief
examination of Marita's discomfort, before turning like Moses to lead his
pathetic followers to the Promised Land. Amazing how they followed him.
Amazing how Spender trusted him even now. Totally amazing that Marita would
place herself in his hands. He shook his head at the sheer stupidity of the
two of them.

Then, he led them to safety.

Dropping them off at Spender's place, Alex allowed himself another grin.
Marita was still wearing her green hospital robe. He wondered how Spender
was going to deal with her. He did not care, although on another day it
would have been rewarding to watch. He snickered briefly, and turned to face
his immediate problem.

Mulder.

God, Mulder! He had spent so much time screwing with Mulder's mind, the
thought that he needed to go to him now, cap in hand as a supplicant, was
the least appetizing thing he had been faced with in a very long time. He
knew that if he got out of this with merely bodily bruises he would be doing
very well indeed. He knew that his treatment of Mulder in the past would not
earn him any favors.

No use to put it off 'til later. Best face it now while he was still too
heartsick to feel any pain. Starting his car again, he drove off.

The gloom of the dark streets suited his mood. God, he was so tired. He
wanted to pull over and get a couple of minute's sleep, but there was really
no time. He had to catch Mulder before he woke. The only way he would be
able to control the encounter would be if he found the other man asleep and
took charge of the conversation.

He arrived at Mulder's apartment block and parked in what he had come wryly
to think of as his parking space. The old woman that lived on the sixth
floor had no car and Alex was used now to slipping into the space she had
been allocated. He let his mind drift back in time to a short period when he
had been Mulder's lover, before the betrayal he had been unable to avoid. He
remembered Mulder going down on him in the swimming pool changing room, and
even now, that memory was right, was necessary to him. He felt the cuts from
his memory. Lashing pain that made him wince as he readied himself to meet
Fox Mulder again, knowing that he had once been his lover, and never could
be again.

Black in the shadows, he ghosted up to the door, and used a pick to open the
way forward. He spurned the elevator, not wanting to risk waking someone who
might remember him later. Silently he climbed the concrete stairs to the
fourth floor, moving noiselessly as an owl through the building. Keds on his
feet, black jeans and T-shirt worn under an old black jacket, he was merely
another pool of shadow as he worked his way up to open the door onto
Mulder's corridor.

He moved quickly, surely, making his way to the door of number 42 and using
his lock-pick again to open it. Sliding inside, he carefully closed it
behind him, listening for the double snick of the lock as it latched. Then
he turned to the couch. He was so used to seeing Mulder asleep on his couch
that it jarred him to see that it was empty. He stood baffled for a minute.
What to do? He wasn't home. Mulder was never not home. He didn't have a
life. He had no significant other he might be visiting.

An idea came to him and he padded on his panther feet to check out the other
rooms. He knew that there must be a bedroom in this place although he had
never seen it. Ordinarily Mulder slept on the couch. What the hell had
happened? He realized that his memories of Mulder's habits came from many
years ago and that so many changes had taken place since then that neither
of them were the people they had been.

The first room he checked out was the kitchen. Surprisingly clean and tidy,
it was obvious that Mulder spent very little of his time in the kitchen.
Alex closed the door and moved on to the next. The door was almost closed,
but not quite, and as he approached it, he knew he had hit paydirt. He could
hear the deep breathing that signaled a sleeping Mulder.

As he stole into the bedroom, he could see the outline of the man, and a
thrill ran through him as he paused to plan out his attack. He knew that if
it were not executed perfectly it would not work. He knew too that he would
not get a second chance at this. He drew his gun.

The man he was stalking lay sleeping on his back, arms flung wide and head
lolling backwards. He was bare-chested, and the whiteness of his torso
gleamed in the faint light from outside the open curtains. Long limbs
tangled with the sheets, and Alex could see the rise and fall of his breast
as he dreamed.

He grinned wryly to himself, recalling the last time they had encountered
each other in this apartment. He had been in charge that time too, leavening
his message of alien rebellion with a healthy dose of mindfuckery. First he
had beaten Mulder, not severely, just sufficiently to demonstrate how if he
wanted to, he could. He had held Mulder captive at the point of his own gun,
and then, to demonstrate his sheer devilry, he had planted a kiss on
Mulder's cheek. Then he had handed him back his gun, turned his back and
sauntered away. As he went, apparently relaxed, his muscles clenched in
case, just in case Mulder got it together enough to pull that trigger and
blast him to kingdom come.

He hadn't. He had sat, stunned to silence, watching after him as he went.
Alex had not seen him again, other than at the hospital when Mulder had
chased him through the hospital and out the door into the parking lot.

Now, it was time to bite the bullet...a rather unfortunate phrase, though he
said it himself. He moved over the carpet towards the man on the bed. A
thought crossed his mind and it made him smile. Stooping, his hand clutching
his gun, he placed his lips over Mulder's, and delicately applied the
pressure and suction that would turn the gesture into a lover's kiss. He
slid his tongue out to pass between the sleeper's lips, and tasted his
sleep-drugged mouth as his memory leaped out to choke him.

The man on the bed responded for the flash of a moment. Alex felt the
reciprocation, warmth of lips moving under his as the tongue probed
outwards, seeking his own, just for a second, and then it was over.

"What the fuck?" The sleeper started up, and Alex, creature of the night,
moved backwards to remain out of arms reach of the very man he wished most
in the world would hold him. By the time Mulder had woken enough to gather
his scattered wits about him, Alex Krycek was standing at the foot of his
bed, gun waving negligently at him, angelic smile wreathing his features.

It took Mulder a few seconds to process the changes in his room, but finally
he had pulled himself to sitting, peering through the gloom at the man who
appeared to have designated himself his nemesis.

"What now, Krycek? Can't it wait 'til morning? I was sleeping." His tone was
flat, emotionless, and Alex would have believed him to be relaxed and a
little bit fuddled if he had not seen the tension in the other man's hands,
and the slight tremor that telegraphed his intention of movement. Alex
leveled his gun.

"Come on Mulder, put your hands on the back of your head, you know the
drill." He motioned with his gun, and Mulder, glaring, obliged him. Alex saw
him relax, and knew that the threat of confrontation had been overcome for a
few more minutes. "You are sleeping through one of the most important nights
of your life. I'd have thought that you would be out there tonight, watching
the battle for your planet. Instead, here I find you in swinish slumber, to
coin a phrase. You really can't afford to be sleeping." Krycek seated
himself carefully on the end of the waterbed, and gestured with his gun.
"Things have changed a lot since I was last in here."

"Krycek, what exactly is it that you want? What are you doing here? I
suppose there's no point in asking how you got in?" Mulder sounded
aggrieved, and Krycek laughed.

"As I was going up the stair, I met a man who wasn't there, he wasn't there
again today, I think he's from the CIA. Come on Mulder. You're wasting my
time, and we need to get you out of here to a safe place before the ones
that are left come looking for you. You might not be too happy to see me,
but tomorrow you'll be very dead if the rebels get to you first. For once in
your life, do as someone suggests and get your ass in gear." He pulled open
a drawer and began flinging underwear at Mulder. "Get dressed, we've got
little or no time left."

Mulder continued to stare at Krycek in bewilderment, but after a second or
two he climbed out of bed and began to pull on his underwear. He kept a wary
eye on Alex as he found blue jeans and a sweater, pulling them on rapidly.

"Why should I trust you after everything you've done to me?" The question
was conversational, but the eyes that Mulder turned on Krycek were black
windows through which Krycek could see a sea of regrets.

"Because I've got the gun?" Alex gestured once again. "Come on, we have to
go now. Now!" He turned and made for the door, hoping and praying that
Mulder would follow. "Hate me and distrust me all you want, but your life is
in danger tonight, Mulder, and if you don't come with me now, tonight, you
will be a crispy critter by morning, and the Earth will be colonized before
the year is out. Think about it. Is a fist fight with me worth the human
race?" His voice was quiet, but something in it rang true, stopping Mulder
in his tracks and making him catch the urgency. Together they left the
apartment. Mulder made for the elevator, and the two of them heard it begin
its ascent to the fourth floor before Mulder had the chance to press the
button that would summon it.

Alex grabbed Mulder by the arm and virtually dragged him to the stair well.
Hustling him into the quiet beyond the fire door, Alex gestured for silence
from the other man as they stood in the poorly lit area. They heard the
elevator doors open and then there was a pause before rattling indicated
that something was happening outside.

"They've come for you, Mulder. I have to get you out of here. Come on, but
quietly." Alex began descending the stairs, quietly moving from shadow to
shadow. After a second or two, Mulder shrugged to himself and followed.

Arriving on the ground floor, Alex cautiously cracked open the fire door. He
could clearly see the shapes of men, or reasonable facsimiles thereof,
loitering around the lobby of the building. Allowing the door to close as
quietly as he had opened it, he turned to Mulder.

"What's in the basement?" Mulder thought for a minute.

"Laundry facilities, the janitor's cupboard, there's a door out to the
garbage disposal facility " Alex said nothing, he merely grabbed his arm
once again and hustled him downstairs. "But it's kept locked at night,"
Mulder finished as they arrived at the door in question.

Alex gave him a sideways glance that raised blisters where it touched, and
stuffed his gun into the waistband of his jeans so that he could pull a tool
out of his pocket.

"Watch carefully, FBI man, this is the first lesson in "Treachery 101."
There will be a test." He inserted the lock pick into the door and juggled
it for what felt like forever, finally grunting in satisfaction as the door
swung open.

Once again, Krycek grabbed the arm, and together they moved though the door.
Krycek turned and bolted it behind him before clicking on his flashlight.
Together they crept towards the back of the basement.

The two men paused at the door out of the basement, listening for any
disturbance outside the door. They knew that they had to escape quickly or
they would lose the element of surprise. Krycek was aware of the fate that
awaited Mulder if he were taken. He knew also that his own fate would likely
be similar. He knew too much. Hell, he knew everything. He might even be the
only one left alive who did.

//No! The Smoker was still around. Don't lose sight of that.//

There seemed to be no sound, although the door was very heavy and it would
be inclined to muffle sounds.

"What do you think? Shall we risk it?" Mulder's voice was quiet, and he
showed no signs of sleepiness now.

"We have to. If we don't get out of here, we'll be roasted like bugs in a
trap. Let's just take it nice and slow and easy, and go for it." Krycek's
voice was low and husky. Mulder found that he had to strain to hear it, and
ended up so close to the other man's lips that he could feel their movement
on his ear. He shivered unaccountably.

Krycek drew back the bolts and attacked the door lock with his all-purpose
tool, grinning over his shoulder at Mulder as he did so. "I hope you're
getting this. You never know when you're going to be called upon to break
out of a basement...or into an apartment."

The lock snicked quietly once, and then gradually the door slid open as
Krycek peered carefully into the gloom of the garbage area. The smell was
quite powerful, and Krycek held his nose briefly as the two of them ghosted
forward into the shadow of the dumpsters.

Careful listening gave them no clue. They could hear nothing breaking the
silence of the night, but fear roiled in Krycek's stomach. He had a fear
that the rebels were concealed just beyond the doorway, and yet his scrutiny
revealed no cover, anywhere that they could conceal themselves as they left
the vicinity of the apartment block. He gestured, and as Mulder leaned in,
he approximated his lips to Mulder's ear once again.

"There's no cover. We're just going to have to run for it and hope for the
best. When I say the word, get going and I'll cover you. Go for the low
buildings over there, and for God's sake wait for me. I'm probably the only
person in the whole goddamn world who can save your sorry ass right about
now." He spoke very quietly, but the sincerity in his voice was
unmistakable. Mulder could feel his skin start to creep as the realization
that he was now a hunted man seized hold of him.

Krycek's body was taut and alert. Every sense seemed heightened as he drew
his gun. Silently he gestured, a quick sideways flick of the head, and
Mulder was gone, running as fast as he could over the moonlit pavement.

Krycek watched him reach the shadows, and breathed a sigh of relief that
froze as he saw a hunter/seeker round the angle of the building. The
creature hadn't seen Mulder, that was obvious, but his presence jeopardized
the success of their mission. He could not join Mulder without attracting
its attention, and if he lost Mulder...no, he couldn't lose Mulder. Best not
to go there.

He tucked his gun away again and reached into his pocket to pull out a
cylindrical metal object. Pressing a switch on the side caused a long wicked
looking needle to spring out of the end.

He pulled back into the darkness behind the further dumpster and waited. He
was rewarded a couple of minutes later by the bulky figure of the alien
lumbering past him towards the door into the basement. Noiselessly, Alex
slid from his hiding place to position himself behind the unsuspecting
alien. Raising his needle-like device, he stabbed viciously into the back of
the alien's neck, and it fell without any further commotion.

As the green, poisonous vapor began to ooze from the body at his feet, Alex
turned quickly and, pulling his gun once more, he took off across the
pavement, running as fast as he could.

As he reached the welcoming shadows of the building where he had seen Mulder
vanish, he pressed himself up against the wall and tried to see where Mulder
had gone. There was no sign of him, and Alex bit back a bitter curse. So
near, he was so near to achieving his purpose. It would be just like Mulder
to screw things up for him at the last minute. Fuck!

He snaked around the building and out of sight of the apartment block. His
movements were subtle in the darkness, and his senses were tuned perfectly
towards the place from where he expected the aliens to appear. He was not,
when it came, prepared for the hand which seized his ankle as he crept along
the wall, and he virtually jumped out of his skin, banging his head on the
wall as he spooked. His curse at this point was far more explicit than the
last, and extremely fluent. Mulder's voice came to him from the cellar into
which he had climbed.

"Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? How unsavory." Krycek crouched
down and scrambled into the small, low wooden hatchway from which Mulder had
ambushed him. A quick survey told him that it was as good a hiding place as
they would find, and he quickly climbed down into the small, dark, dirty
space next to Mulder.

Closing the wooden hatchway behind him, he pulled out his flashlight and
quickly illuminated the room in which they were hidden. It was very small,
and the ceiling was so low that neither he nor Mulder could stand erect.
Mulder was now sitting on the floor hugging his knees. Krycek could see the
tension in his ex-partner and dropped down to sit by his side, seeing him
flinch as he did so.

"Okay, Krycek." The whisper was faint, but fierce. Alex extinguished the
light and leaned his head back against the rough bricks of the wall. At
least it was dry down here. They were going to have to stay there for a
little while before they could get out of the area. God, he was tired. He
closed his eyes and allowed the dizziness of sheer exhaustion to take him.
Mulder was not going to let him get away with that, however, and in a moment
of sheer irritation he realized that his companion was shaking him, none too
gently. "Come on Krycek, so far I've done what you asked, but I'm not going
to do anything else until you tell me what's going on."

Wearily, Alex turned to Mulder. "I told you. The invasion is starting.
Tonight I watched a whole bunch of people being fried to a crisp, and among
them was Cassandra Spender. She was the result of many years of
experimentation. She was an alien/human hybrid, and she was supposed to be
the means of developing the vaccine that would save the human race from
takeover and eventual slavery. Most of the consortium has gone to their
grave tonight, and I think I may be the only one in the world left alive who
knows the truth. She was not the only hybrid. Another exists, and has
existed in anonymity for many years, waiting for the day when the vaccine
could be synthesized from his tissues." Alex's voice tailed off into gentle
breathing, and he felt himself drifting off into sleep again. Mulder gripped
him by the shoulder and shook him again, savagely.

"Come on you rat bastard. What are you implying?" The beginnings of panic
were evident in Mulder's voice, but Alex had no time for kindness right now.
If the fucker wouldn't let him rest, he saw no obligation to break it to him
gently. He gave a sigh.

"I'm not implying anything, I'm merely stating facts. Mulder, your father
was involved in this for years, along with that lousy cigarette smoking
shit. As was my father. This is not hypothetical. This is the real deal I'm
giving you here. You and your sister were carefully bred hybrids. You were
kept in strict secrecy. Only four people knew of your existence. One of them
told the aliens that a child existed and they took the child they were told
about. That was Samantha. You were saved. You were kept secret. Now, as far
as I know, you are the only thing that stands between the survival of
humankind and total servitude. You'll forgive me if I'm being unnecessarily
brutal, but it's been a long day, and if I don't get just a little sleep I'm
gonna start making mistakes." Alex's rusty voice was still low, but the
intensity of his feelings was unmistakable. As Mulder listened to the man
beside him, he began to ask himself questions, and Alex could feel from the
tension in him that he did not like the answers he was getting.

Alex could not care less at this point. Closing his eyes again, he passed
almost instantly into sleep, and his head lolled down onto Mulder's shoulder
as he went out like a light. Mulder remained still. He had been given a lot
of information to digest. He didn't know how he felt about this man who had
been his partner, and for a short time his lover, but he could not deny that
tonight, the rat bastard had saved his life. Shrugging metaphorically, he
closed his own eyes once more, and his head drooped to lie against Krycek's.
He dozed off.

A crash from outside brought the two men awake instantly. Krycek had no idea
what time it was or how long he had been asleep, but he was aware of gummy
eyes, and a mouth that tasted like the bottom of a birdcage. He needed to
pee really badly. Another crash from somewhere distant made him forget his
discomfort as he tried to see through the cracks in the planking of the
shutter without opening it.

Weak, watery daylight had dawned, and the wind had risen. After watching
nervously for several moments, Alex was rewarded by the sight of an
unlatched window in the building opposite. It was loose in the wind, and was
banging against its frame. He relaxed, letting out the breath he had no idea
he had been holding, and went to slide down alongside Mulder once again,
pressing up to the side of him as the chill of the early morning seeped
through his bones.

He had checked his watch and found that the time was 7am. He sneaked a look
at Mulder. The man seemed pensive. Alex turned to face him.

"We're going to have to get out of here sometime soon. I don't know about
you, but I need to find a bathroom and a coffee. A wash would be nice too."
A faint nod from Mulder signified assent. Dragging himself up to his feet,
Alex cautiously opened the hatch, expecting at any minute for flame to burst
in on him. All was quiet, and he emerged cautiously, followed by Mulder who
was uncharacteristically subdued.

Together they stole their way around the building, and arranged a rendezvous
site on the road. Alex turned and retraced his steps back to the parking lot
that held his car. He could see no one, but he was aware of the possibility
that he would be noticed and killed, or worse, followed back to where Mulder
was awaiting him. He tried to walk nonchalantly and approached his car,
checking surreptitiously as he did so.

Reaching his car, he did a speedy evaluation of the area and then opened the
door. He had no reason to suppose that the rebels were aware of his presence
in the vicinity, or that he even knew Mulder existed. He had lived this long
however by taking no chances. It now paid off for him. Slamming the door
decisively, he moved away, pulling out his all purpose lock pick to break
into a likely looking Ford that he could see parked a little way away. As he
went toward the other car, there was a dull rumble, and his own car
exploded, raining debris onto the surrounding area and laying open a gash in
his cheek as he was struck by a piece of flying metal.

//Fuck! There went his no-claims discount.//

Speed had suddenly become incredibly important. He swiftly got the door of
the Ford open, and after a few minutes fumbling, he heard the engine purr
into life. He pulled away from the parking stall quickly, turning his
vehicle towards the place where Mulder would be lurking. Gunning the engine,
he took off like a rocket. As he approached the small group of trees they
had selected, he slowed to a crawl and popped the central locking system.
Mulder appeared at a run and made a dash for the car, yanking the door open
as he made a dive for the passenger seat.

Without further ado Alex floored the pedal, and the car leaped forward.

"Now what?"  Mulder was leaning back against the door, watching his  
ex-partner as he negotiated the early morning streets of Washington.   

  "We're going to find a safe place for 24 hours or so.  Then, first thing
on   Monday, we're going to get you into the Hoover building and give
everything   we've got between us to Skinner.  The time for secrecy is past
and gone.   We have to get as much of your tissue as we possibly can out to
inoculate   as many people as we can.  I'd suggest that we start now, but
first off  they'd be watching for us.  Second, we both need to catch up on
sleep or   we are going to make mistakes.  Then, we'll be toast."  Alex
shuddered.

  Damn his unfortunate turn of phrase.  Mulder had no clue just how much
like   toast they were gong to be.  

  He turned into the parking lot of a small restaurant that had "All-day  
Breakfasts" advertised in the window.  Wordlessly, they emerged from the car
and filed into the dining room.  Taking a seat, Alex ordered coffee and  
food for the two of them and then excused himself to head for the bathroom.
  

Mulder followed him.  

  The coffee, when it finally came, was hot and black.  Alex did not try to
  drink it at first, he merely held it to his face, allowing the steam to  
sink into his tired skin, and inhaled the fragrance.  He had only gotten an
hour   and a half's sleep and he was still feeling extremely tired.  As
Mulder   returned from the bathroom, Alex could see that he was not in much
better   shape.   

  Mulder sat down opposite and wrinkled his nose at the cholesterol-laden  
plate that had been set down in front of his companion.    As Mulder began  
eating the fruit and yogurt he had ordered, Alex finally allowed himself to
  drink the coffee his hands had been cradling.  He sighed in sheer
enjoyment   as he felt the bite of the hot liquid on his tongue.  

  "We're going to have to leave the car here."  He spoke around a mouthful
of   eggs, and Mulder, who was just beginning an assault on his fruit and  
yogurt, raised his eyebrow in a query.  "Yeah...didn't have time to tell  
you.  I stole this one.  That bang you heard was my car going boom.  
There's no point in leading them to us if we can avoid it, so we're gonna  
take a bus.  There's a stop about a block and a half from here.  Once we  
get where we're going, I've got another car we can use."  

  Mulder said nothing, and continued to munch his way methodically through  
his breakfast.  Alex paused in his attack on the plate in front of him to  
watch the man eating.  He had loved Mulder so much once.  Since then he had
  been beaten and mutilated because of him, and he had thought he was over  
him.  The emotion roiling in his belly was suggesting to him that he was  
not only still in love with him, but that the feelings he had for him were  
stronger now than they ever had been.  As he watched Mulder consuming the  
food in front of him, Alex felt as if his entire -section had suddenly
fallen away.  His breathing quickened and something, maybe the sheer
strength of the emotions emanating from him, made Mulder look up and meet
his gaze.  

  "What, Krycek?  You look as if you've had a revelation."  Alex shook  
himself.  Better by far not to go there.  He bent his head again and began  
to eat.  

    Breakfast done, Alex tossed money onto the table and the two of them  
emerged into the blustery morning.  There was a gloomy, leaden sky lowering
  over them, and Mulder shivered once.  The two of them made their way over
  to the bus stop in silence.   

  As the bus drew up, Alex tossed coins into the fare collection box and  
passed inside the bus.  Mulder followed, and his face appeared to be as  
stormy as the morning outside.  

  "Fuck this, Krycek.  I'm not a girl, and I'm not on a date. You can tell
me   where we're going right now, or I can get off this bus and go somewhere
on   my own.  Give!"  Alex eyed him nervously.  

  "Trust me, Mulder.  We're going to a safe house that I set up a long time
  ago.  I'm not about to sell you into slavery or turn you over to the
aliens   for experimentation.  All I'm doing is taking us somewhere where we
can   catch a little sleep and hide out for a few hours.  You are safer with
me   at this moment than you would be with anyone else in the world."  Alex
  turned the full beam of his remarkable eyes onto Mulder.  Mulder surveyed
  him sardonically for a few more seconds, and then gave a grunt and
appeared   to relax.  

  "You know, the one thing about repeating your mistakes over and over again
  is that at least you know exactly when to cringe."  Mulder spoke on his  
usual flat voice, but when Alex's eyes flew to his face, he detected a  
small smile, rapidly fading.  "You betrayed me and mine so badly, I wanted  
to kill you, you know that?"  

  "I know.  I've had to live with it for a long time now.  You paid me out  
though, don't you think?  There in Tunguska?"  Alex was speaking quietly,  
picking his words with care.  "It may not look like it, but all I've done  
has been to protect you.  One day I'll be able to prove it to you.  I was  
placed with you right at the beginning to make sure you came through it  
safely, and that, so far, is what I've done.  You didn't make it easy for  
me.  Seducing me was the worst thing you could have done.  It clouded my  
feelings.  It made me vulnerable and I made mistakes.  Damn you, it made me
  love you.  I never understood why you did it.  Did you feel something for
  me or was it just because I was there?"  There was hurt in his voice now  
and he knew it.  The raw pain he thought had gone was back again.  Amazing  
that he still felt this after the years that intervened.  

  "Krycek, Alex, what do you want me to say?  I forgive you?  I can't do  
that.  I still recall you, all eyes and a bad haircut, following me around  
in your polyester suit.  I can see you now, leaning against the door of the
  changing room just begging me to fuck you, and practically passing out
with   your need.  You were so needy.  How could I resist you?  I can
remember   clearly how you put me to bed that day after Scully was taken. 
It was   wonderful and I thought you loved me.  I really thought you loved
me.  I   didn't know you'd already betrayed me.  I would have done anything
for you   then.  When I found out that your innocent act was just that, an
act, I   wanted to kill you."  Mulder was looking at something far away, his
grey   eyes unfocused as he stared into the beyond.  Alex took a deep
breath.  

    "I did what I had to.  I didn't need to fall in love with you.  I wish
to   God I hadn't.  I've never been able to get you out of my mind, and
after   Tunguska I should have hunted you down and killed you.  Look at me. 
You   did this to me.  What more punishment do you think I deserve?"  Mulder
  focused on Alex, and his face clouded over in confusion.  

  "What are you talking about, Krycek?  What punishment?  You were living it
  up with a bunch of Russian prison guards while I froze in that cell last  
time I looked.  I don't know where you went after I broke us out, but you  
sure didn't seem to be attracting any punishment as far as I could see."

  Alex's face had slowly changed throughout this speech, and he was now as  
amazed as Mulder had ever seen him.  Slowly, he drew the leather glove off  
his left hand.  

  "You mean you really don't know what you did to me?  I could have got us  
out of that cell, and away from there unscathed, but no!  You had to go off
  half-cocked as usual.  Look.  Look at this.  This is what happened after  
you threw me into the back of that fucking pick-up."  His words were still  
quiet, but the intensity was so strong that the air seemed charged.  As he  
spoke, Alex grabbed Mulder's hand and placed it on his own, ungloved left  
hand.  Mulder froze, and then his face appeared to crumple.  Alex released  
Mulder's wrist and leaned back in his seat, but Mulder's hand remained on  
the artificial limb, and Alex could see that there were emotions warring  
within him.  "They just hacked it off me.  They woke me in the middle of  
the night and hacked it off with a red hot blade.  Wouldn't you call that  
payback, Mulder?"  

  There was a pause, and then Mulder turned to him as if to say something.  
As he opened his mouth, Alex pointed.  

  "Our stop.  Come on, we're nearly there."  Abruptly, he rose to his feet  
and made his way to the door of the bus.  He could feel the other man  
following on his heels as he stepped down and off the bus, into the gloomy  
morning.  It had now begun to rain, savage needles of fine cold water that  
were lashed across his face by the gusts of wind.  He turned, gestured to  
Mulder, and then moved off at a brisk trot.  

  The two of them approached a small, dilapidated looking house.  The
windows   were boarded over, and the paint had peeled so badly from the
siding that   it was difficult to assign a color to the structure.  Mulder
thought it   might once have been green, but that might just have been the
sheen of moss   on the old wood.  

  Alex removed a key from his pocket and opened the door, standing aside to
  permit Mulder's passage into the musty smelling place.  

  "You want to stay here, Krycek?  Are you out of your mind?"  The question
  was indignant, and Alex grinned at him, impishly.  

  "Don't judge a book by its cover, Mulder.  Follow me."  He secured the  
door behind him, and led the way across the empty room towards the back of  
the house.  Opening a tall cupboard, he shoved a bunch of cardboard boxes  
out of the way and revealed another door behind them.  He drew another key  
from his pocket and unlocked it swiftly.  Drawing the door back, he  
indicated a flight of stairs that descended into the basement.  He flicked  
on a light switch and gestured for Mulder to precede him down the stairs.  

    Once again, Alex ensured that the door behind him was locked, and then  
followed Mulder down into the basement.  Mulder was standing, looking  
around him at the facilities of the place in which he had found himself 
There   was a small office alcove with a computer and a phone.  A door,
partially   closed, showed that there were bathroom facilities within, and
the main area   was given over to a bed, armchairs and several closets. 
Krycek made an   elaborate gesture.  

  "Welcome to my humble abode."   

 Mulder looked at him in disbelief. You live here, Krycek?"   

Alex grinned nastily at him."From time to time I do, yeah."  His voice
contained ill-suppressed amusement as Mulder shook his head in amazement. 
"There are occasions when I don't want to be discovered by certain people,
and it's never been discovered yet.  You should be honored that I'm
revealing it to you.  It's not often I feel this generous."  

  Alex made his way over to the bed, and sitting down, began to pull off his
  shoes and socks, sighing with relief as he did so.  Mulder gaped at him as
  he stood and began to shed his clothing, unbuttoning his jeans and pulling
  his sweater and T-shirt off over his head.  

  "What are you doing?"  Mulder appeared completely baffled by the other  
man's actions.  Alex gazed at him fondly, a malicious smile playing across  
his features as he did so.   

  "I'm getting ready to go to bed.  That's what I'm doing right now.  I hate
  sleeping in my clothes.  I'm going to have a shower, and then I'm going to
  get into this bed and try for a full eight hours sleep.  I've had maybe an
  hour and a half in the past 36, and I am completely wiped out.  You can do
  whatever you like.  You can sleep here in this bed with me, or in a chair
  if you prefer.  Hell, if you want, you can stay awake.  Feel free to hack 
into all my files.  There's no reason for secrecy any more.  I'm sorry if  
you are embarrassed by my nudity, but it's not as if there's anything you  
haven't seen before, is there?"  The last words were flung at him like a  
challenge, and his words were punctuated by the rustle and slide of  
clothing as he removed it, allowing it to fall where it would.  

  Finally, he removed his artificial limb, disengaging it from his torso and
  tossing it over into an armchair, and stood naked in front of his guest.  
His expression was a mix of defiance and regret.  Mulder studied the body  
before him.  He had wanted Krycek from the first moment he has seen him,  
and was aware that he had hustled the younger man into a sexual  
relationship he had not wanted.  He had been in perfect control of the  
partnership at that time, and Krycek's weakness had been a turn-on for him.

   Time had written many changes on the slate, and now he was no longer in  
control.  The body before him was almost the same.  

  Almost.  

  He could not bring himself to look at the injury Krycek had sustained.  He
  took in the long, slightly bowed, well-muscled legs, the tight curve of
his   buttocks, and his flat stomach.  His eyes wandered over the man's
chest, taking in the depth and strength of it, and up to his face.  The man
was   even more beautiful now.  Mulder could see that suffering had changed
him,   and the maturity of his face was the result of this.  He exhaled,
suddenly   aware that the sight of Alex had literally taken his breath
away.  Alex   turned away and padded off towards the bathroom, leaving
Mulder alone with   his thoughts.  

    In what seemed like seconds, Krycek was back, towel loosely wrapped
around   his waist, droplets of water glistening in his short hair, and off
his   eyelashes.  Mulder had remained standing in the same position,
thoughts   racing through his head as he tried to readjust his attitudes. 
Krycek   favored him with a further level stare as he began to towel himself
dry.   Mulder watched him for a moment or two, and then began stripping
himself   off to go for his own shower.  

  Krycek watched him go, and then turned his attention to the bed.  He was  
more than ready for it.  Giving a deep groan of satisfaction, he threw back 
the comforter and climbed into it.  Within a few moments, he was asleep.  

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

  Alex awoke gradually for once.  He was warm, comfortable, and had a
feeling   of well being that he had not experienced for as long as he could
remember.

   He stretched luxuriously, and suddenly became aware of the warmth of a  
body beside him in the bed.  He was suddenly wide-awake, a shock flashing  
through his system as he recalled the previous 24 hours.  Rolling over to  
face his companion, he opened his eyes cautiously, and found that he was  
looking straight into a pair of hazel eyes, regarding him with interest.  

  His heart stuttered as he regarded Mulder, and the knowledge that he had  
slept along side him for the past little while made him shiver despite his  
warmth.  He lay, unmoving, wondering what the other man was thinking about.

   He closed his eyes once more and sighed, his voice signaling comfort as
he   stretched again, feeling the sensual snap and pop of joints against
muscle.    He yawned again and began to think of coffee.

Mulder was still submitting him to that disconcerting inspection, and after
a few more minutes occasionally peeping through his lashes, Alex started to
feel a little uncomfortable.

"What?" His voice was husky with sleep and he felt muzzy. Mulder didn't
respond immediately, and Alex opened his eyes cautiously to see what the
hell was going on with his bedfellow. He was just in time to see Mulder's
hand reach out to him. He flinched, not ready to deal with violence at this
moment, but the palm of Mulder's hand came to rest on his cheek, and he
froze, not quite believing what was happening.

"You looked so young. I was remembering you before" Mulder didn't have to
finish his sentence. Alex lay, captured beneath the palm that touched him so
gently. He felt unable to move. Strange, forlorn hopes ran crazily through
his mind and he greatly feared that he was about to lose not only his
advantage, but also his credibility as he felt his genitals start to pulse
and fill up. The nudity with which he had maliciously taunted Mulder was now
to be a liability as memories of the feel of him crawled on Alex's skin. He
uttered a strange little sigh and nestled his cheek into Mulder's reaching
hand. If he was going to be reduced to begging, he might as well get it over
and have done with it.

"Mulder, you know how I feltfeel about you?" Alex spoke very fast, as if
somehow he would only be able to discuss this if he articulated it all right
now. He still had not moved and he was trying not to shiver under the warmth
of the other man's touch. Mulder had not as yet done anything except lay his
hand on Alex. Now, as Alex lay still, the pit of his stomach somehow
lurched, earthquake and aftershock. There was a warm, queer feeling inside
him as if he were melting over the bed. Mulder deliberately moved his thumb
across Alex's sleep swollen lips, smoothing them delicately.

Alex gave his little choked sob sound once again and turned his face into
that hand of Mulder's, placing a moist little kiss into the palm of it. He
felt all at once afraid and excited as he suddenly realized what was
happening to him. He closed his eyes, feeling the stab of excitement pierce
his body from navel to knees, and put his hand up to cover Mulder's. He felt
the hand under his tense slightly, and then, soft as a whisper, smooth lips
brushed his and he cried out as his belly melted and flowed into the
mattress.

The man beside him laughed harshly, and his hand slid around to cup the back
of Alex's head, drawing him closer and then Alex was lost in sensation as
Mulder fixed his mouth over his, kissing him with an intensity that made him
catch his breath.

Alex felt as if he were drowning in sensation. His heart began to thud and
the blood pounded briskly in his ears. He reached out for Mulder and pulled
him in close, feeling the smooth skin of his back as he slid his hand around
to embrace him. He parted his lips and felt Mulder move to take advantage of
it, tasting the sweetness of the other man's mouth. It had been so long, so
damn long since he had felt like this. His heart fluttered, and all of a
sudden his stomach was filled with butterflies. He growled.

He bent forward to insert his tongue between Mulder's lips, mouth following
to browse avidly on the other man's sensitive spots until he heard him moan.
Pulling back, he looked down at him again and thrills passed through him
because

//He loves this, look at him, he loves it.//

He was going to make Mulder scream. He was going to make him remember. He
would make him sorry for every day, every night they had let go by without
love. He prepared to put everything he had into making love to this man,
hoping, praying that it would be enough to make up for the actions he had
committed in the past. Knowing it probably wouldn't be, but willing to give
everything, so dearly did he want this.

All the love and desperate longing he had ever felt for the man he was
holding surged through him and he shivered, sinking himself into the feel of
tongue teasing tongue and lip working against soft lip.

"Oh, God, Fox, it's been so long." Alex's whisky voice, soulful and jaded,
stroked fine echoes of vibration that hung over Mulder. Alex saw him
shudder. Looking at Mulder, his eyes were pools of obsidian and his mouth
was an open question. He slid his hand into Mulder's thick hair, tugging it
playfully, and then pulled the hair in his hand forward until their mouths
collided, silken saliva and moist skin, while Mulder burrowed into him,
trying to get ever closer, hands clutching and arms tightening in spasm as
they kissed.

Alex was, for this moment, feeling good. He felt, at least right now, in
total control and he knew that he could do anything he wanted to do to the
man in his arms. He slid his hand around under Mulder's ass, and turned him,
lowering him down to lie beneath him. His breathing was harsh as he rained
kisses down on his eyes, his hairline, his jaw, and from there down to his
throat. Mulder had clasped his hands behind Alex's head, and he was clinging
to him, pulling his mouth back to meet his lips, teeth nibbling, tongue
stroking and tasting. The warmth of his mouth was making Alex's head swim,
and the two of them groaned, and then began to chuckle as they realized that
they had done so simultaneously.

Alex reared up over the helplessly giggling Mulder, his lips twitching as he
tried not to laugh, and dove down to trace a line with his tongue from
throat to navel. Pausing to dip his tongue into the quaking man's navel as
he did so he heard with satisfaction the sudden hiss that finally quenched
his laughter. Looking up at Mulder, he encountered cloudy eyes, darkened
with desire as he licked the tracery of fur that arrowed down to his groin.
The sight made him catch his breath.

He bent his head to lap at angry, engorged flesh, relishing the taste,
making every lick, every slide of his tongue over the length of it, last as
long as he could, and rejoicing in the whimpers his actions elicited from
his victim.

Mulder put hands to his head, and Alex pulled off, snarling, growling.
Hastily, the hands flew back from him, to clutch the pillow, and Alex smiled
at his lover, white teeth shining in the half-light, before swooping to
engulf him in his warm, wet mouth. Mulder had reached the stage where he was
powerless to do anything except groan. The lost, whimpering sounds he made
just made Alex feel more powerful, somehow stronger.

He gave Mulder one last, hard suck, swirling his tongue around the crown of
his cock before pulling off to look for something he could use as lube.
Mulder moaned as he did so, almost putting out a hand to pull him back, but
the hissing snarl Alex turned his way caused him to reconsider and he bit
the back of his hand instead.

Alex was pleased, fiercely pleased. He had checked the drawers and found
nothing that would conceivably work for them, and was beginning to resign
himself to the fact that he and Mulder would not be able to do more than
this. Not wanting to lose the momentum, he grabbed Mulder under his buttocks
and deep throated him, gurgling as he felt the silk covered hardness
touching the back of his throat. Mulder arched and cried out again, back
bowing and straining into the all consuming furnace of Alex's mouth. Alex
was by now sucking so hard that it was only a matter of seconds before
Mulder couldn't hold it back and the fluid that poured from him gushed easy
and fine into Alex's sucking mouth and swirling tongue.

Alex could feel Mulder trembling and jerking. He had not felt so happy for a
long time. Aliens at the front door and the world well lost for love. Even
knowing how irresponsible he was being, he could not stop the joy from
seething around his system. It had been so fucking long since he and Mulder
had been lovers. He thought he had been able to get over his lost love, but
now he knew that he would never be able to cut Mulder out of his system. He
slowly retreated from his position with Mulder sucked deep in his mouth
until he was just resting on the limp man's thigh, lightly breathing on his
reddened cock, watching it as it slowly subsided. Slowly then he slid up to
cover the man, fixing his lips over Mulder's mouth to share the taste of his
come with him. Mulder had no choice, he had caught fire and was starting to
burn as Alex slid his arm under him, threading under his armpit to cup the
back of his head and draw him to his insistent kiss. Even though he had just
come, he was starting to harden again, pressed up against Alex's own jutting
cock. He began to moan again, somewhere deep in his throat, and the
resonance of it made Mulder's pulse leap. He sustained the kiss, tongue
deep, deep inside, finding all the warmth and the sweetness he had craved
for so long and tearing it from him while Mulder moaned and held him tight.

This was it for Alex. He had everything he wanted in the whole, fucking
world. Everything. He pulled back at last, looking at the man in his arms.
His lips were puffy and swollen from his attention, and he had his eyes
closed. Alex bent to suckle on his throat, and was rewarded with another
moan. He left a red mark as his mouth came away from Mulder's pulse-point.

"I could rip out your throat." He laughed as Mulder clutched him
spasmodically. "You're mine now. Mine. I've missed you so much." His voice,
hoarse with desire, sounded like frayed velvet ribbons, coiling in the air
between them.

Mulder opened dazed eyes to stare blindly into his. "I never stopped wanting
you, you know. Even when I hated you, I wanted you more." Alex could only
shake his head from side to side and move to fasten their mouths together
once again.

Lacking any kind of lube, he spat on his fingers and slid his hand down to
feel his way over the temptingly displayed playthings Mulder had to offer.
He stroked the writhing man's penis, and dropped down to fondle the sac
beneath, feeling the ridges rise, corduroy and fuzz. His hand strayed to the
cleft below where he located the dip and pucker that told him he had found
Mulder's tight little asshole. Concentrating, he spat again, semen and
saliva mixed onto his fingers, stroking it around the hole there. He had
really started to feel his own cock begging him for action and had to pause
for a second while he got himself under control, feeling the ripples of
sensation flickering around his balls as he hung on. He slid an easy finger
into Mulder, hooking it just so, and surprising a small yelp out of him as
his finger found the hard little gland inside.

"You like that, eh? Want me to do it again?" He suited action to words as he
stroked that finger over him again and again. Mulder started moaning again
and Alex added another finger to stroke, twist, and stroke in an easy rhythm
that caused droplets to start oozing from the head of Mulder's dick.

Finally, he sat up, took back his fingers and spat to lube up his cock. He
was gasping now he was so close and he wanted more than anything to make
this last.

Hooking Mulder's legs up over his shoulder, he positioned himself, and threw
his head back, biting his lip. He felt the heat of his lover and suddenly
was no longer sure if he could do this. He thought maybe it would be all
over before he got inside. He waited, panting, and Mulder reached up to pull
his head down, opening his lips to him and distracting him for the few
seconds he needed to calm down, then he pushed.

//Tight, silken heat. Want to sink in and drown forever//

Into Mulder, past the tightness of his ring and into the passageway beyond
where he lay, cradled snugly, held tight in that rippling furnace, walls
sucking on him as he slid in, in.

He moaned and Mulder cried out his name, sending thrills through his system
and making him drive deeper, deeper into him. Then they were making music,
fucking music that had Alex reeling as he pushed in hard. He was inside,
right inside that heat and he didn't know if he was going to be able to last
long enough because the feelings were so intense. He pushed again and slid
further in, gasping and shuddering.

Mulder was chewing on his lower lip as Alex pushed in, and he was losing
himself again, had to stop and think remote thoughts before he exploded. He
shoved his tongue down Mulder's throat as he finally sank in as far as he
could possibly go. He was encased, possessed, totally surrounded by Fox and
it was everything he wanted or needed. He pulled back an inch or two and

Thrust. He shoved as hard as he could, straining against the rippling walls
of the tight velvet sheath that was Mulder. He began to grunt, plunging
deep, and unable to stop himself.

"Do it to me. Do it hard, Alex, hard." The voice was harsh and strained.
Alex looked down at him, but he couldn't talk. Couldn't say a word if he
wanted to. If words were necessary. Alex pulled back again and stroked, back
and stroke, and the whole world became only this.

He was sure that he was going to die. Mulder still had his hand around the
back of his head and now he pulled him down again to fix his mouth onto
Alex's throat while his other hand went down to find and pump his own cock
as Alex pounded into him.

Alex could feel it gathering. He was strung out tight as a bowstring, and
the tickling flashes gathered first in the small of his back as he strained,
gulping the air and hanging on, hanging on for dear life to Mulder's
shoulders. The build up of tension was still making him grunt, little, lost
sounds that Mulder echoed back as he approached his own climax.

Finally, Alex knew that he couldn't stop it. No turning back now as he

Pumped! Rigid, straining, tingles flash-flooding through him as he shuddered
and shook,

//Oh God good, so good I can't stand it//

And spurted deep into Mulder. Then as he was coming down, ready to collapse
and lie limp over Mulder's chest, Mulder came too, rolling his head from
side to side as he spurted onto himself, and onto Alex.

Falling forward to bury his face into the hollow of Mulder's shoulder, Alex
could feel his long looked for arms tighten around him, and muzzily wondered
what was happening. This was wonderful. This was coming home. He tried to
process what was happening, what had happened just, but he was too full of
emotion to think straight. Vaguely, he knew that loving someone this much
would be bad. He could get hurt so easily, but the thoughts just refused to
solidify. He had to sleep again, had to, and at the same time as he slipped
out of his lover, he slipped out of conscious thought.

He didn't feel Mulder stroking his neck, but he was safe, warm and being
held by the man he loved and that was enough for him just then.

Later, he woke up, still lying over Mulder, who was trying to wriggle out
from under him a little.

"You get heavy after a while, man. Can't breathe properly." The voice was
gentle, and there was a smile to go with it that warmed him up as he rolled
to one side and opened his arms for the other man to crawl into. They
exchanged warm kisses, and then they drifted off to sleep. He would be there
when he woke up and for Alex, that was enough.

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

Waking up was wonderful. He didn't know what time it was or even what day,
but he was feeling wonderful if a little stiff. He was starving, and clicked
on the light to check his watch. It was six in the evening, and he was
really ready for something to eat, and coffee, he really needed coffee.

Sliding out of bed, he left his still sleeping lover, and crept silently for
the kitchen to put on coffee, and then to the bathroom where he emptied his
aching bladder, brushed his teeth and studied himself critically in the
mirror. He was trying to see what changes had occurred in the past four
years. He gazed at himself, recalling his appearance the day he had taken
Mulder home. He'd been so stupid, so fucking young. How could he have
thought he would be able to hold onto Mulder?

The thought of the other man sleeping in his bed, and the lovemaking they
had enjoyed earlier made him tingle. He washed his face and went back into
the bedroom to find that Mulder had woken and was sitting up in bed mildly
watching the door.

"Coffee? I'd say good morning, but it isn't." Alex smiled a greeting at
Mulder as he passed the bed.

"Come here." The laconic voice brushed over his ears, sending shivers down
his spine with the intimacy of it. Alex allowed the voice to draw him over
to the bed. Coming to rest on the edge of the bed beside Mulder, he raised a
quizzical eyebrow at him. Mulder leaned forward to snag him around the
shoulders, pulling him forward into a crushing embrace. Their mouths met,
and for a moment there was only sensation and warmth, then Mulder pushed him
away, holding him out at arm's length to study him.

"God, you're so much more beautiful now than you were then. Suffering suits
you, Alex." Mulder was smiling a little, and Alex leaned forward to nip his
lower lip, pulling it in between his teeth.

"Don't you be thinking to make me beautiful by cutting anything else off me,
Fox. I grow more beautiful with care and attention too!" Alex was still
nibbling that lower lip, and his words were a little muffled. Fox tightened
his arms around Alex and laid his head on Alex's shoulder, deepening the
kiss.

"Can I smell coffee?" Mulder's voice was plaintive.

"You bet, baby. There is no way I would hide out without coffee! It's
filtering right now." Mulder was still holding him tightly, and Alex
snuggled there, grinning wider than a Cheshire cat as he soaked up the love
he could feel.

Tomorrow they would have to face the music, and get Fox in to see Skinner
and Kersh, but tonight was theirs, and after four lonely years Alex Krycek
was at long last, happy.

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