Archive: Yes
Title: Bad Seed 2: The Fuck-Up Fairy
Author: Dr. Ruthless
Series/Fandom: X-Files
Pairing: M/K/O (Anson Green from Moloney)
Rating: NC17, with a bullet.
Feedback email: sashworth@home.com
URL, if applicable: http://www.squidge.org/terma/ruthless/ruthless.htm
Warnings & Spoilers: (optional) Here be incest.
Disclaimer: Nobody made any money from this story. It's a labour of love only, and I am well aware that the boys belong to another. I promise to put them back when I'm done.

Thank you to the people who have made this story what it is. To Paula, who always knows the answer when I ask her questions, to phyre and Frankie, for their patient beta, to Aries for chanting, and mostly to Bonita for cajoling, and bullying, and helping, and clarifying, and editing, and nagging....

 

 

Bad Seed II

The Fuck-Up Fairy

by Dr Ruthless

Waking up in Fox's bed, snugly sandwiched between two, count them, two gorgeous guys was more than Anson had ever dreamed of. These two men he had found were not just fuck-fantasy materials. They were amazing people, and what's more they wanted him. That astonished him.

He had it all. Didn't he? Money, the best sex ever, and acceptance, even something that seemed to be rapidly approaching love.

So why was he scared shitless? Why did he awake every night in a screaming panic? Why did the night press around him like a pillow on his face? It gave Fox a bad temper and caused Alex to grumble that they needed a bigger apartment, one with two bedrooms. The two of them had tried to alleviate the nightmares for him, but nothing had worked. His lovers cared, but their nerves were fraying, and he was scared. What was it that caused his bad dreams?

He didn't know: didn't want it to happen: was just plain miserable when all too frequently it did.

By day he was working. He'd recently got himself a job on a construction site and was bringing in good money. Fox and Alex both seemed to want him around, and he was... He was...

//Happy? //

Afraid to say the word to himself and that was the problem. Happiness was not his favorite word. His life had dealt him a lot of blows, and he was afraid. Whenever he'd given love to anyone in the past, the person to whom he'd given it had betrayed him, leaving him alone, bereft and hopeless. His mother had been the first in a long line of betrayals, and he was still hopelessly confused about that night - the night when it had all started, and he had begun to slide towards hell.

//Taste of cold steel, oily and rancid on his tongue as the voice played over and over in his mind. You did it to her, Anson. You did it, and you're just plain bad. You have to pay, Anson. Bad kid! Bad seed! //

He'd gone through his childhood in misery, dislocated from a - family who knew he was bad, eternally hovering, shy and truculent, on the fringes of where he had longed to be.

Anger and hostility were so easy, so simple. They were old friends, tested and true, and they never let him down. Actually, they always let him down but he had lived with them for so long that even though they hurt, they were comfortable because they were familiar

From a big-eyed waif he had grown into a sullen teen. They had all turned their backs on him, one by one, the counselors, the teachers and the Sunday school ladies. They had all faded away as their initial interest died. They discovered one after another that his looks were a stereotype, and that beneath them lay depths of fury that would have taken far too much effort to disperse. Eventually they left him alone, and Anson dragged himself up learning petty thievery as a means of punishing the fuckers who had hung him out to dry.

The world didn't care, didn't give a flying fuck, and you'd better believe that, baby. The hazy blanket that covered the thoughts of his past became a shield behind which he never looked. He never tried to flip it back and see the extent of the damage that had been done to him: he was afraid of what he might find. His confusion was all encompassing. He didn't know who he was, or from whence he sprang. He felt like a puppy, given for Christmas and turned out to fend for itself when it grew too large, too hungry for the convenience of its owners.

He had been sexually aware for as long as he could recall. The things that had been done to him lurked like serpents beneath the cold calm of his conscious thoughts, and he learned to please. Every hot shaft that drove into his mouth afforded him temporary relief from the cold of that gun and the fear that it brought. He understood fear. It had been his companion through all the days of his childhood, even though he had suppressed it as he had come to maturity. His recall was hazy. He had been a child, but he knew, if you asked him, that his life had once been held at the point of a gun.

Small and helpless, he learned to pleasure others when they came to him. Desperate, he had found ways to stop them from hurting him. In the course of time, growing big, he learned to take pleasure for himself. It wasn't long before he discovered the easy tingle of casual sex and because he was beautiful and didn't care, he found out how to break hearts.

He was in juvenile court before he was 12 years old and learned little from the experience, only that there was no justice. His first visit to a jail, later, taught him how to pick a lock and gave him contacts to which he could sell his ill-gotten items once he was out on the street again.

He turned twenty-one, sullen and hating. There were no parties for him, no presents, and no coming of age. His rite of passage was the transfer between juvenile court and the full thing. Nobody was going to grant him the key to the city.

//Don't need a key; there isn't a lock anywhere I can't unfasten. No need to invite me. I'll come by myself. //

Then, in a tangle of sweat soaked sheets, anonymous as always, he gave himself his birthday present. Two sisters, willing to do anything, made him feel good for just the one night, made him feel wanted perhaps, just long enough to get him to sleep.

Of course, when he had the dream again the girls were quick to fade, taking his wallet full of stolen credit cards with them.

He told himself that he didn't care. Why should he? Easy come easy go, but he carried every grievance, and somewhere, in the dark time when he lay awake he cared too much, and it made him bitter.

He joined the Marines. He lost himself in the routine, and the brutality was nothing after some of the things he'd lived through, but he found it hard to make friends. He ended up in the stockade after a drunken brawl, once, twice and finally he was out. They didn't want him back.

Then he met her, and for a while, things were different. He thought he thought she was beautiful - pretty and blonde and very, very young, and wanting him. He began to relax in her presence. She wasn't just an easy fuck, and he found himself wanting to be gallant towards her.

He let her inside his defenses, just a little way, and knew, just knew that this was not like anything he'd ever known. She was kind to him, kind and interested in his dreams. His parched soul blossomed.

They married late in the year. Her family welcomed him cautiously, and he pretended that he didn't care when they slighted him. He didn't need them.

Their wedding night was something out of time. Outside was cold, biting, bitter wind, while inside, the two of them were warm as he held her at last. He'd been gentle for her, calm and loving as he tried to coax joy from her body. Sexually sophisticated, he was a novice in love, hanging on her breathy sighs, and losing himself at last inside her when finally he pierced her, loved her, and gave himself completely to her.

He did, he really did. He gave himself utterly and completely. The walls came down to expose the soft center that was Anson at the core of him, and it was wonderful.

He went, dazed, each morning to a job that was his gift to her, joining the mainstream of humanity as he worked to build a home, just as if he were the same as everyone else.

For a while they were content. He wanted nothing more than this feeling of belonging he had found. He began to think he had been redeemed. He was jealous of her, wanting to hear nobody speak her name, nobody but him. He even fought for her, punching the lights out from boys he thought might want her the way that he did. For a while she found that charming in him.

"You take such good care of me, Anson. I'll always belong to you."

Their first Christmas together found them in their own house. By spring, she was pregnant. Anson was a little scared at first, but he soon saw that she wasn't suddenly more fragile. He struggled manfully to deal with his beautiful girl growing puffy and stout as she whined her way though pregnancy, not wanting him, neglecting him even before the baby was born. He couldn't bear for her to be out of the house, in case someone else might come along and take her from him. If he had brought home a report card at that time it would have said 'does not share well."

He began to retreat into himself, not sure how to handle this rejection, believing that it would pass and that he would once more find his sweet lover. He had no knowledge of pregnancy, and couldn't understand the things that were happening to her. Everything she did seemed to him to be a deliberate rejection of him, and he was confused and hurt. He railed at her, demanding, unsuccessfully that she be his love once again. When she couldn't, or wouldn't, his moods grew dark, and sometimes he could see that she was afraid.

On the day that his daughter was born, he had spent the night on the couch. She couldn't stand him pressing up to her. It made her too hot. She didn't want his kisses. She was tired. Her back ached...

And finally he had taken himself out of her way, a beaten puppy, unsure of how he'd offended, but nevertheless relegated to the doghouse.

Waking in the brightness of a July morning at 5am, he had heard shrieks and raced upstairs to their bedroom to find her cowering amidst a welter of water, mucus and blood.

He'd held it all together long enough to make the drive over to the hospital where he had handed her over to obstetricians with white coats and attitudes.

Childbirth was a horror for him. Because of him, his beautiful angel was lying shrieking, sweat-soaked, bloody and bloated in this place. He almost vomited, but then rose to her need, sponging her face, murmuring encouragement while inside he cringed, afraid of what was happening and fearing it would never be the way he wanted it, ever again.

He thought that he might have ruined things forever.

At last the baby cried, and the sound set off something new, something primeval inside him. The hairs on the nape of his neck prickled and when at last they laid her in her mother's arms he was transfixed, stunned.

This was his. He was a part of her. Tears began to fall, unnoticed as he gazed at the crumpled little red face with its dark hair matted by the bloody reminder of the fight to enter the world.

He was entranced.

Meaningless speech flowed over him, through him, past him until at last they held out the baby to him. As he took his baby

//my daughter //

in his arms, he felt a surge of adoration that turned him weak at the knees. Nothing had prepared him for this. Nothing else existed. Not time, not his past. Nothing.

***

When the new family left the hospital to go home, things already wrong began to get worse.

His wife, his golden girl kept on whining. She didn't want him, wouldn't share her body, wouldn't offer him the comfort that he increasingly needed. He thought that there must be someone else, and that made him angry. Always confused, he became more so, more jealous, and more morose.

She accused him of not caring, of being inconsiderate, and he retreated into himself, believing her when she told him he was causing her pain. He learned to accept the crumbs of physical relief that were tossed his way, but he grew bitter, and many of his old habits returned. The old ways were harmful, but they were familiar to him. They were his retreating place when hurt.

Rather than face her accusations he stayed out more and more, returning sullen, smelling of cigarettes and booze. The only thing that kept him sane was his baby girl. With her he was gentle and caring, pouring out the love he needed to offer someone. He relished the games he played with her, his face lighting up when she threw plump little arms around his neck and pressed moist baby kisses to his stubbly chin.

She watched, disapproving as he and his daughter romped, deploring the games as unsuitable but failing to offer alternatives. She was always afraid of him. His potential for destruction sang beneath the thin surface of his barely civilized behavior. She never knew when he would snap, and the daughter he appeared to love might pay the penalty.

He took her out, lavishing attention, affection, all that he could on this girlchild who had become his unsuspected treasure.

Things were bound to break eventually. All his eggs were in one basket. He was too vulnerable. He began to get into fights, and there were phone calls to the house that ended abruptly if she answered the phone. A couple of times he failed to return home at all, and appeared late the following day, bruised and blood-sticky.

His loss came the following afternoon. He had returned home from work sweaty and dirty from an afternoon spent in the heat of the sun digging up the highway. He was looking forward to a bath and a shave, because he was due to take Annabel to a birthday party. Her best friend was turning four and she had a new dress with puppies embroidered on it.

Anson desperately wanted her to have a dog. He and his wife had fought long battles about it, the latest of them that very morning, and each time he had been vanquished by the bitter intensity of her refusal to entertain anything that he might want.

// You know who'd end up taking care of the thing? I would. Who'd clean up after it? That's what I want to know. //

and all he'd been able to offer had been //but she wants one// not enough, knowing that he would end up, dumb as a post, allowing her to have her way and feeling as if he was letting his little girl down.

So he came home, tired, a little dispirited, but on the whole in reasonable good humor until he reached the door of his house. That's where they got him. The man stepped off the porch as he arrived, handed him and envelope, thanked him and went on his way.

He turned it over in his hand, shrugged and opened it up. Then he stood numbly. Forsaken, bereft, devastated.

It was divorce. She was divorcing him. He was ordered away from his home. He was not to bother them without a judge's say so. He was to go, to leave, and to begone.

He stepped up onto the porch, and found three suitcases along with an old catcher's mitt that he'd been using to show his daughter how to play.

Opening up the suitcases he found his clothes, the odd book, videotapes and cassettes but nothing of his little girl. There was not so much as a photograph.

The scream he uttered began in his balls and wailed its way up through his gut. His soul was lost to him then. Raising his fist, he punched through the glass of the front door, laying open his fist amidst spurting blood. The two of them, mother and daughter, watched, big-eyed as he bled, and cried, and tried with shocked and fuddled brain to open the door and be a part of his family again. He was still there when the cops showed up and took him away. He was not to see them; not to think of them. They were gone.

As they led him away to the hospital 'for assessment'. He thought his life had finished. In a way, perhaps it had.

Anson went a little crazy then. He didn't care any more so he became reckless. The dreams he had held at bay for the last couple of years returned to plague him, and he tried it all in his efforts to forget.

He had almost been caught, had ended up in the stupidest standoff of his life. He had been arrested, and ended up holed up in a hospital with a bunch of loony-tunes. He would have been facing trial for murder even now if it hadn't been for the Beast. When the Beast had run amok, he'd seized his chance and gotten away. Nobody had noticed the young man hurrying through the corridors away from the hue and cry. Since then, he'd been running.

He'd stolen. He'd slept rough, he'd lied and he'd cheated. He'd fucked, and been fucked to make a dollar, and every stroke was a stab at the heart of the bastards who'd never given him a chance.

He was cunning. He was wild, and he was hopelessly broken, numb from the lash of fate on his back. There was nothing more to live for. The dream came every night 'til he no longer slept. Then, somehow, he'd found Fox, or rather, Fox had found him and brought him home.

The first days had been spent in a blur of sensuality and warmth as he got to know the other two. Fox was witty and sarcastic with his honest, yearning need for love and his crazy quest. Alex was a different beast altogether, brooding and quiet, with rare flashes of a mordant humor that made him double-take from time to time.

They were all damaged. It was impossible for him to tell which of them had been wounded most on their slide down the razor blade of life, but they seemed to want him, so for now, he stayed, having nowhere else to go.

Sex with the two of them was just about as much as his heart could stand. He was warm and dry, and his life was about as good as it could be without the little girl he knew he could never see again.

So what was it that made him so afraid? Why was he so shit-scared every time he opened his eyes? Could it be? Was he falling again? No! Not possible. He was dead inside and there was nothing left for him to give.

He had no trust left in him, and yet the days spun themselves by one by one, rich in comic relief as he and Alex bobbed in their orbit around Fox, Phoebos and Deimos, the dogs of war, united in their distrust of the world.

Fox would sit between them, one arm around each of them, telling them his hopes and aspirations, sharing all the complexities of his thoughts while he and Alex basked in the glow of his attention. Neither of them would say very much, but warmed to him as though they were sunflowers, following the light.

As he had promised, Anson cooked for them. Meals were simple and workmanlike at first, but as they praised him and cleaned their plates. He began to experiment, branching out into a host of cuisines, knowing that the other two would eat whatever he put before them.

It all worked perfectly well, so why, why, why did he wake up shrieking and sweating, night after night. They tried, his lovers, they both did. They tried to soothe, to comfort, and finally to probe. It was no good. He couldn't have shared, even if he had wanted to. He didn't know the answers to their questions himself.

There came a night when it all threatened to spill over, burst the bonds and explode. Alex had just returned from somewhere after a four-day absence. He never said where he was going, and they never knew when he would return. As a rule he would stumble in, exhausted, and crash for a day before taking his place in their strange triumvirate.

This time he reappeared just as Anson and Fox were finishing dinner. He was very bright eyed and talkative, not a state in which they were used to seeing him. Naturally they had clustered around him, trying to get him to talk about his mission. He had turned to Anson.

"Do you have a birth certificate?" The other man shook his head in denial. It had been left behind with all his other things when he had been forced out of the home that had been ripped from him.

Alex had smiled then, a much less malevolent smile than people usual saw from him, and reached to produce a number of papers, along with a couple of photos that he laid on the table.

Intent on slicing up cheese for the sandwich that he was making for Alex, Anson didn't turn around at first. It was only when he heard Fox exclaim that he came over, placing the food in front of Alex and glancing over to where Fox was frowning down at the pictures.

"How did you get these, Alex?" Alex shook his head at Fox, smiling as he took a huge bite out of the sandwich. His interest piqued, Anson moved to read over Fox's shoulder.

The paperwork was interesting, though to begin with he couldn't see what it had to do with him. It was the early history of twin babies, and chronicled their lives up to the age of five months, at which age the pair of them had simply vanished. Anson felt disquiet loom within him. He was uneasy, though he couldn't have said why. He wanted to push the papers away and retreat.

"We have to get you blood tests, Anson." Alex had stopped smiling and now leaned forward, suddenly serious as Anson shook his head dubiously. They were not going to let him retreat. They were going to take him with them, and he was afraid.

"What are you saying, Alex? That you think I'm one of these... these rugrats?" Alex stood, placing his half finished sandwich back onto the plate, and then stalked over to where Anson was standing.

Placing his hand on Anson's hip, Alex pulled him into a thorough, hard embrace, his lips moist and parted as he sought, then explored Anson's mouth. Anson, breath quickening, slid his arms around his double's shoulders, permitting the contact and opening access to his body in hopes of more.

The kiss continued, escalating until both men were moaning and writhing against each other. Alex's hand stroked up and down the length of the crevice between his two ass-cheeks, and Anson shoved his hips forward, grinding against Alex as the two of them embraced.

When at last they broke the kiss, Alex placed his nose to Anson's, and in a soft voice he said, "I think we both are."

Fox had been watching his two identical lovers as they kissed and nuzzled. Now he stood up and ran his fingers through their hair, one hand to each of them. As one, their heads turned towards him, and four speculative eyes studied him minutely, making his cock twitch and sending his blood pressure sky high at one and the same time.

"Alex, are you saying what I think you're saying? That you think that you and Anson may be brothers?" Mulder was pensive, sucking on his sinful lower lip in a manner that Anson found extremely sexy. It was plain that the prospect was intriguing to him.

It took a minute for the implications of what Fox had just said to sink in, then Anson felt the cold claws of panic sink into his shoulders.

Brothers? That would mean that he was not alone, but it would also mean that he and Alex were... Deliberately he inched forward and glued his mouth to Alex's, inviting the angry gods to smite him if they wanted.

As happened increasingly often these days, Alex and Anson got the same idea at the same time, and both of them turned to Fox, Anson dropping to his knees to slide thumbs inside Fox's sweat pants and hook them down to expose his rapidly thickening cock. Nuzzling in to lick and suck at Fox's balls, he put all thoughts of brotherhood gratefully from him as he sought anonymity in sexual activity. He knew without looking, that Alex would have his mouth fixed on Fox's, and he would be giving Fox one of those deep, intense, soul shattering kisses that had always made him, Anson, weak at the knees.

Caught between them, victim of their double-teaming, Fox rapidly gave it up, moaning as Alex moved behind him to open his ass cheeks, slick him up and slide inside him. As Alex gave the long, shuddering sigh that told Anson he was inside Fox, Anson took hold of Fox's cock and swallowed it down, sucking him in past his gullet until he was down to the fuzz that sprang around the base.

Caught between the two, Fox shuddered and jerked helplessly. Anson sucked busily while Alex impaled their victim. Unsurprisingly, it didn't take long before Fox came, pumping bitter fluid into Anson's mouth while he sucked, swallowed, and sucked again.

Alex's groan, and involuntary thrust forward came mere moments afterwards as he spent himself inside the man he had loved for years.

Standing quickly Anson caught Fox in his arms, supporting both of the two men as they recovered, kissing Fox's neck and then his rough cheek, finally covering lush lips and driving his tongue in to share the taste of Fox's semen.

The three of them stood for a few minutes longer as they recovered, and then gradually they began to turn to Anson, Mulder moving behind him to encircle his waist, and to trace small circles on the back of his neck with a hot, wet tongue.

"Guy's, hey, guys, it's okay. You don't need to... " The rest of Anson's words were muffled as Alex began a long, intimate exploration of his mouth, his hand buried in Anson's hair.

***

Sandwiched this way, Mulder carefully walked the three of them backwards until they were level with the couch, and once there he sat himself down, unfastening Anson's jeans to slide them over his hips and down his thighs. Leaning forward, he began to kiss and lick the tightly rounded, muscular ass, as he grew hard once more.

Reaching for the lube that was tucked down the side of the cushion, he began to stroke it into Anson, fingers probing deeper and deeper until his lover began to buck his hips sharply.

Alex lowered him down then, smiling at the expression of closed-eyed ecstasy on Anson's face, while Fox, half sitting, half lying on the couch, gradually slipped his cock inside Anson until he was pressed tight against Anson's back. His hands moved to pull Anson back until he was lying secure in Fox's arms, and then he began to fuck him, small movements of his hips at first.

Alex dropped to his knees between their widely spread legs and began to explore their inner thighs, their balls, and the site of their joining. A sudden gasp from Anson caused him to move to the tip of the dick that loomed before him, first licking, and then parting moist, pink lips to suck him inside.

Spread-eagled on Fox, Anson turned his head. Fox immediately began to explore his mouth with little licks and nibbles at his lips while his hands slid under the t-shirt to circle and pluck at his nipples.

Stimulated almost beyond bearing, he gave himself up to the slide and plunge of movement, feeling the hot swirl of Alex's mouth on his cock while Fox filled him deep and tight. He moaned as the building sensation glowed white hot in his balls, and he lost himself as the shocking sweetness of his orgasm exploded through him.

Alex's feral rumble as he drew the essence from him sent ripples of ecstatic electricity through him to bathe from the outside in with uneasy pleasure.

When it was done, and he was spent, Fox, always very oral, continued to kiss and suck on his mouth, his own movements getting sharper and stronger until Anson felt him discharge himself, his arms convulsing tightly around him as he sobbed out little words of love against Anson's neck.

Anson froze. This was something new. Fox loved him? That couldn't be right. Fox loved Alex, and Alex

//was his brother. //

Alex thought that they were possibly related. Anson's body flushed cold, and the blood pounded behind his eyes, beating hollow at his temples.

Too much. It was too much. He didn't deserve this closeness and he was afraid. He felt the fear like a living thing, stealing his breath and climbing with sharp claws the length of his spine. He thought of the photograph he had seen, of the twin babies side by side, and a sensation of panic descended over him. He could not...

With great astonishment, he heard a roaring in his ears, and blackness enveloped him.

***

When he came to, it was to find Fox cradling him in his arms while Alex hovered. He could dizzily hear them discussing him, but try as they might, he could make no sense of their conversation.

His head ached. Somewhere inside him he could hear the voice telling him "Bad seed, you'll never amount to anything." He had a queasy desire to vomit and his head ached.

Fox was still holding him close, and his expression was concerned. Anson put out a hand to touch the other man's face.

"Jeez, Fox, you care. How is that?"

Mulder's eyes darkened. Alex, who had been pacing restlessly, came to sit on the floor beside them.

"You asshole," he gritted, "We both care. Don't you?" and the voice in his head was whispering again. //Don't believe them. Why would they love you? You're bad. //

Helpless, he lay shivering in Fox's arms until Fox had finally turned to Alex.

"We have to get him help. There's something wrong. I think it's buried in his past. Something he can't even bear to face, much less deal with." Alex had nodded, pursing his lips in thought.

"It's something to do with the photo I brought. For some reason it's scared him. What can we do?"

The tenderness in Alex's voice was real, not imagined, and Anson lay still, part of him terrified, and part of him wondering why. Why would they love me?

***

Breakfast next day was quiet. Anson felt strangely dislocated from time, and had slept very poorly. The dream had returned again and again until he had risen and gone out to walk the night rather than keep his lovers awake. All three men were heavy eyed, and Alex was showing an alarming tendency to snap at anything and everything.

Fox was thoughtful, and Anson himself had retreated to somewhere inside himself where he didn't have to think, he could just be. None of them ate very much.

"I made us an appointment. It's the first stage." Fox's voice was almost apologetic, and at first Anson took no notice, sure that Fox hated him, but then Alex had reached over to take his hand, stirring him out of his waking sleep.

"We'll get you mended, baby." Anson darted wild eyes around, seeking shelter from the compassion he could see shining from the other two.

"Fuck off and leave me alone. I'm not broken." His anger, flaring out of nowhere, startled even him as he scooted his chair backwards thinking to make a run for it. The other two exchanged looks but said nothing further until their meal was over and the dishes put away.

Anson tried to fade away as the other two cleaned up, but somehow one or the other of them was always on hand to foil his 'melting' behavior. As the last item was stowed and the counter top washed, the two of them closed in on him while he froze, darting fearful glances at them.

"Time to go, baby." Again, it was Alex, normally silent unless he had something to say, who broke the ominous quiet. His voice was gentle, but to Anson's frayed nerves it was infuriating. He turned to deck the bothersome man, and before he had done more than make a fist, he found himself on the ground, Alex sitting atop him like Patience on a monument, a grin on his face.

"One day I'll teach you how to stop jerks like me from fucking with you, but not right now. Right now, we have places to go, people to see."

Anson glared up at him for a minute, and then relaxed, spreading his hands, palms up, in a gesture of defeat.

"Okay, you win, I'll try to play nice." Anson tried a weak smile on for size as Alex released him, standing up with the sinuous wriggle of his hips that was his trademark.

Nervous and disoriented, Anson allowed the other two to lead him out of the apartment and down to the car.

***

Seated on the couch in Dr. Heitz Werber's office, Anson felt a cold sweat break out over him despite the mild sedative he had been given. The words Dr. Werber was saying to him flowed over him like rushing water, and he felt sick.

"I want you to think of a place where you feel safe, in a time where you were happy." Anson frowned, racking his brain in his attempt to recall a situation such as the doctor had just described.

He couldn't. After much prompting, he settled on Fox's apartment in the present day as the nearest thing to a safe place he had ever known.

He was feeling more and more disoriented. Though he could hear Fox speaking to him, he couldn't make out the words through the nausea that crashed over him in waves. Dr, Werber's voice boomed, hollow and slow, and Anson felt a strange dislocation.

Then he was suddenly back there. He was right back there with his fear, and his dream.

***

He heard a shot and then another, and sat up in bed. He was afraid, though he couldn't have said why. It was today that Mom was going with him to buy some new baseball duds, wasn't it? Only it wasn't morning yet and he didn't know what the bangs were all about.

He threw aside the bedclothes and climbed onto the floor. It was cold against his sleep-warmed feet, and he groped for slippers before moving to the door to listen.

There were sounds, a soft laugh and then a tinkling as though someone had broken a glass and was now sweeping up the debris. He headed for Mom. He had been forbidden her room in the couple of weeks since she had remarried, and heaven knows, he hated his step-dad for that. So he stood, uncertain at the threshold before deciding that he had to push it open and go in.

Standing at the head of the bed, he could see his Mom and his unpleasant new Dad too, but in the shadows, everything didn't seem to be quite right. His Mom had her eyes open, but there was no smile for him. She was unmoving.

Gerard, his newfound dad, of whom he was very jealous, lay beside her, and he wasn't moving either. Anson wanted to make him take his arm from around his Mom, but he couldn't quite get up the nerve to speak. He whimpered, his voice high and young.

***

Back in the room where the four of them sat, the doctor leaned forward.

"What can you see, Anson?"

It was enough.

"It's my Mommy, and Gerard. Mommy won't close her eyes. I think she's dead." The words came in a rushed, high pitched whine that made both Fox and Alex start towards him, intent on soothing him, helping him, anything to bring him back from this.

Anson whimpered again, locked in his vision, one hand rising to cup his ear, and the other to place a thumb inside his mouth as he shrank into himself.

***

He stepped forward to go and touch his Mom, to make her sit up and tell him that it was all a joke, a splendid funny joke and he should laugh. 'Look this is tomato sauce, not blood,' but now he could see, and he didn't want to... did not want to, that there was a hole in Mommy's head, right in back, and the bright curls were all gone and... and...

A hand fell on his shoulder, making him jump and then shiver. A quiet, deadly voice cut through the panic.

"Well now, this is a bonus."

A hand with a gun."

***

In the room where Anson sat with his lovers, a thin wail of distress keened out, making the three men listening, sit up, and Dr. Werber say, "Anson, listen to me. It's all over and done with now. You need not be there any longer. Watch it only from your safe place."

He seemed to relax a little at that. Tears had streaked his cheeks, and were still flowing, but he made no move to wipe them away. Fox took his hand, stroking the palm gently as he tried to keep himself from breaking Anson out of this toxic memory. Only Alex prevented him, sitting behind Fox with his arm around Anson, soothing him with light touches.

"Anson, you're safe, safe in a place where no-one can harm you, and everyone loves you. You're safe, but now you can see what happened to you. Look through the window and tell us what you see.

Anson gave a hitch of breath and gulped. Then he nodded.

"What can you see, Anson?" Insistent, irresistible, demanding, the voice prodded him.

***

"The boy... he's afraid. He's so afraid. He knows his mom won't help him. He's seen this man before. He's the one... He gets the boy by the back of the neck and he... and he... " Anson choked suddenly, and sat, shaking visibly.

"Tell us, Anson. What does the man do?" Implacable, the voice came, battering Anson, who rolled his head from side to side against the couch where he half sat, half lay. Fox soothed, while Alex murmured encouragement.

"The... the boy is very scared. He wants to run but the man holds him, and he drags him to where his Mommy is, and he shows the boy the hole in her head, and... " Alex, normally stoical, blinked from suspiciously bright eyes as his brother continued, the tears running from his eyes as he spoke.

"He puts... puts th-the gun in the boy's mouth and... and he says to the boy, "You did it to her because you're bad, Anson. You're bad seed. She couldn't take you any more. It's your fault." And the boy, he's afraid. He didn't want to kill Mommy. He didn't, and he knows he's bad. The gun goes into his mouth and it tastes really bad, and when the man pushes it right into his mouth he's scared that it will make a hole in his head too."

Anson stopped speaking, and broke into deep, hiccuping sobs. Alex, his face set, moved silently around to sit beside him, and drew him into a firm embrace, holding him while he cried.

Dr. Werber's voice slammed into them like a juggernaut. "Let the poison out, Anson. Tell us what you see."

Anson's face was wet and shiny. His nose had begun to run now, and Alex, his face masklike and impenetrable was visibly restraining himself from putting an end to this.

Fox, head bowed, still clung onto Anson's hand.

Inside his dream, Anson watched his former self abused and intimidated; told them all in that scared, little-boy voice that he had been forced to stand there, looking at the bloody ruins of his whole life. The soft words had clogged his ears, and the gun in his mouth had caused him to lose it. He had wet himself, all control gone, and still the voice kept on. "You did it to her, Anson, you did it, you're bad seed, bad."

He told them of how, after the man had taken the gun away at last, and finally vanished back to the nether hell from which he came, he had stood, rooted to the spot, afraid to move while the urine pooled around him.

Through the remainder of that long night, he had stood holding his position, unmoving, and when the morning came they'd discovered him, small and defeated, his face set in a rictus of terror and his pajamas now merely damp.

They had tried to move him, tried to take him away from the charnel house where his Mom lay dead, and then he had fought them, his stiff limbs flailing.

All he'd been able to say when they came for him, and asked him what had happened, was "I did it to them. I did it. I'm bad."

Anson sat quietly, held close by Alex, while Mulder, tears rolling down his own cheeks, fumbled around, finally emerging with a tissue with which to wipe Anson's face. Nobody spoke. At that moment, nobody could think of anything to say.

They waited as the doctor gave Anson a check up and wrote out a prescription for the anti depressants and sedatives that he felt would be needed by the sad man-child he had just seen manifested. He attempted to persuade the other two to admit Anson into the hospital for further observation, but Fox was adamant that he should go home with them. He and Alex would take care of Anson themselves.

Dr. Werber, unhappy though he was, finally permitted them to leave. Medication seemed to have calmed Anson down a little, and he was now sitting, dull eyed but conscious, while the doctor discussed implications for his future. Fox was nodding, anxious to be off, while Alex, silent as was his nature, appeared to be listening to Dr. Werber.

Quiet at last, they took him home. He seemed to need Alex at that moment and they tacitly agreed that Fox would drive while Alex held Anson, soothing him and stroking him throughout the short ride.

Both Fox and Alex were appalled at the things that they had heard. Fox wanted to quiz him, find out who the hell it was that had killed the promise of the boy that he had been and crippled his life to come.

Alex held him, soothing, kissing, whispering soft and affectionate words in his ears, but from time to time he would catch Fox's impatient diatribe, catch his eye in the rear view mirror and nod.

If he could be found, the fucker would be punished.

Anson showed signs of sleepiness, and once home, Alex made him take the sedative Dr. Werber had prescribed for him. Then Alex led him back to bed, where the two of them undressed him, laid him down, and held him between them, stroking and soothing him as he sucked his thumb like the terrified child he had been.

Then he slept, unmoving, for the next 20 hours.

***

Waking the next day was a new experience for Anson. It was a gradual awareness of warmth and soft breathing, consciousness floating lazily upwards as he came to, and stretched luxuriously, cat-like in his enjoyment of the moment.

The other two were still sleeping, one to either side of him. Alex was on his right, buried under the blankets until all that could be seen were the short, feathery fronds of his hair above the white pillow. He lay with his back pressed against Anson in comforting warmth.

Fox, as usual, was wrapped around him. One arm was around his chest, and he had a leg loosely hooked into Anson's. Anson could see his face as he slept, his eyes flickering under their lids as he dreamed, his moist lips parted to reveal white teeth.

The happenings of the previous day rushed into overwhelm him. He could see the whole thing unfold now. How could something like that have happened to him and he not remember it? He couldn't comprehend. It had happened to him, and he had forgotten it somehow, that much was plain. He shuddered, eliciting a sleepy protest from Fox.

His first instinct was to banish it all from his mind completely, but then he thought for a moment.

//That's what I've been doing all these years, putting it off, and meanwhile, somewhere out there is a man who killed my Mom... killed me too, to all intents and purposes. Wonder who I could have been... //

A slight noise from his left made him turn his head, and he found himself gazing into grey eyes from which sleep was slowly clearing. Fox smiled lazily at him and tightened his grip over Anson's chest, pulling him forward until their mouths met in a kiss that was sweet, gentle, and promised things that Anson couldn't name, but wanted with all his heart.

Anson lifted a hand to cradle Fox's face, his lover's skin scratchy on his palm as he drew it softly over the rough skin.

Drawing back to gaze into sleep-soaked, tender eyes, Anson felt a thump in his gut that cranked his breathing up. Another kiss seemed necessary. He leaned forward and took it, morning breath and all, and then another, as he explored this strange new feeling that curled in his gut, seeming to squeeze his heart.

This man loved him, and scared as he was, he could live like this. He deepened the kiss, reveling in Fox's tongue as it slid and dragged against his own, while nimble fingers found sensitive spots to caress along his side, then his nipple, and then down... ohgodyes... down.

"Good morning, baby. Feel better?" All he could do was nod, feeling the crisp scratch of cotton sheets against his skin, counterpoint to the tweak and tingle of Fox's busy fingers as they danced over him. Fox's ministrations were rapidly inducing a spiraling rush of building pleasure that collected and pulsed in his body sending signals of the greater sensation yet to come flashing along neural pathways to suffuse him.

"F-feel good, really good, " he stammered out, and shivered as Fox rolled him over to lie on his side and slicked up his own penis. When he felt Fox's cock butting up against the tender bud of his asshole, he moaned, stretching out along Alex's strong back and bracing himself to push backwards. He gasped as the ready slide of Fox's erection impaled him, stretching him and filling him.

Alex, in front of him, squirmed back against his own hard and eager length, and Fox reached a slick hand around to play with Anson's cock, oiling it, pulling steadily on it until he could no longer hold back his moans of excitement. Alex, waking up to the feel of Anson's hand on his own shaft, wriggled into position, allowing Fox to center the dripping, throbbing length of Anson, and ease him into Alex.

He was heat. He was light. He was quicksilver, bursting through his skin with his every nerve on fire. He was a force that could not be contained as slick heat stroked the lightning in and out of him, tightening him, winding him higher and higher until he was helpless. He felt a gathering, and then at last an explosion on a rippling bright tide that streamed through him, flooding him while it made him believe that his heart was going to burst.

His hand on Alex flew. Scant seconds later, Alex moaned and spurted warm stickiness onto Anson's knowing fingers as Fox tightened his grip on Anson's hips and drove in hard, grunting as he came.

Lying limp and breathless as Alex rolled over to face him, Anson wondered how it had happened that he had finally had a lucky break. He didn't want to think about it in case it proved to be a dream.

He'd take it. He'd take it and run. Alex chose that moment to kiss him long, and hard, and oh, yeah, loving. He gave himself up to the moment.

Later in the day, the three of them sat together on the couch, digesting breakfast, and Alex - practical Alex - brought out the reports he had shown them previously. Anson felt his guts roil as he glanced through the papers.

"You think this is where I came from? Where we came from?" He asked, directing his wide-eyed stare at Alex, who seemed to be fascinated by the documents in his hand.

"Don't you see, baby? It all ties in. We're doubles. That doesn't just happen. There has to be some underlying cause. I found these in a search for my own identity. I've never known where I came from, only what was done to me. I want to know, even if you don't. I... I need to have somewhere to belong. I need explanations."

Anson's gaze met the eyes that were so like his. He read the soul that looked out from them and knew then that they were brothers, if not by birth, then by nature of the things that they had survived. Alex was as heartsick and battered as he was himself. He cupped the side of Alex's face with a gentle hand, and leaned in to kiss him, giving comfort rather than asking for it for the first time he could ever recall.

***

"It's okay, Alex. I'll help. I promise." The two of them sat, forehead to forehead, sharing a pact, lost in the resonance between their two souls as Anson saw loss, regret, hurt and hope in his lover's eyes, and understood.

Fox had stood back, taking no part in this communion, but he too understood. His face was full of sympathy and more, a keen and desperate desire to make things better.

Another soft kiss, and then they drew apart, returning to the study of the documents with more determination than ever.

"Where did you find this stuff, Alex?" Mulder's voice was the one that pulled them back to their task. Alex picked up the photo of the twin babies, appearing to be fascinated by it.

"I... uh.. borrowed it from the Consortium records. There were more, but I didn't have the time to get them. I may go back in sometime this weekend to try for the rest." Alex leafed his way through the stack, searching for only he knew what.

"The Consortium? What's the Consortium?" Anson's mild inquiry cut through the air, and Mulder began to explain the circumstances of his quest, his job, and how he had met Alex. At length, Fox led him over to his computer, sat him down, and booted up the files he had stored, leaving him to leaf through as he wished, while he, Mulder wandered back to collect the coffee mugs and go to make a refill.

Upon his return from the kitchen, mugs full of the fragrant stimulant in his hand, he placed one at Alex's side. He was as usual, sprawled on the floor, while he pored over his documents. Dumping his own mug on the coffee table, he brought the last mug to Anson, who still sat at the computer.

A quick look at his face made Fox forget the coffee and hurry over to see what the problem was. Anson seemed stricken, his face white and his breath coming in short, harsh pants.

"What is it, baby? Alex?" Fox was concerned. He placed a gentle hand on Anson's shoulder, and as he felt the tension in it, he stooped to encircle him, snuggling in beside his face.

On the screen was a picture of C.G.B. Spender himself, the Cancerman, and Anson appeared to be frozen, transfixed by the sight. Even as Fox began to talk, Anson was losing his fight to stay in control. He shivered violently and slowly curled up into a ball from which Fox found it impossible to arouse him.

Alex had seen what was happening, and run for the medication. His approach to Anson was brusque. With a quickly uttered 'Come on, Bud.' He took charge of the panicked man, and swiftly had him swallow the sedative. Finally, the pair of them sat beside Anson, one on each side, and held him. It was much later that he relaxed a little and lifted his head to fix his eyes on the screen once again.

"Cancerman... That's the Smoker I keep on telling you about, love. He's... " Fox's voice dwindled away.

"Him. It's him." The strangled croak from Anson had the other two exchanging worried looks. They knew that the Smoker was an evil man, but at this point they had no idea how he could have had any effect on Anson's life.

"What do you mean, 'him', babe?" Alex spoke softly, but there was that in his voice that made him sound dangerous even so,

"He..he's older here, but I know him. He speaks to me at night in my dreams. He was there that night. The one who... " Anson hunched down, hugging himself while the other two swapped speaking glances, subconsciously moving closer to him as he radiated distress.

For a while they made no further move, and then Fox said, "I think we'd better go and see him."

Alex nodded, a very sinister smile creeping over his face.

Fox turned off his computer, consigning the image of Cancerman to wherever such things go when the power is cut. Between the two of them, they managed to get the passive frame of their lover over to the couch, and sat with him for a minute or two more, while the pills that Alex had given him took effect. As he dozed off, they left him there and moved away out of earshot.

"The twisted bastard can't be allowed to get away with this, Alex. He's fucked up the lives of children. We have to do something." Mulder's eyes were flinty, and Alex nodded, his eyes bright with unshed tears.

"We'll do something, baby. The bastard's dead, he just doesn't know it yet. We need to get more information though. I only scratched the surface. There's so much more there that I couldn't get. I didn't have time. We need to go back." Mulder was nodding, his lips pursed and his hands on his hips as he planned.

"We'll do what we have to do, but you know what? I think that the Cancerman is going to meet up with our baby over there, and this time Anson will get the last word in." Mulder's smile could not under any circumstances have been called nice. The single word that Alex spat in response was not nice either.

They settled down to wait for the sedative Anson had taken to wear off.

A couple of hours later, Anson sighed, stretched, and then sat bolt upright on the couch. He seemed confused as he looked around him nervously, relaxing when his glance came to rest on Fox, who sat in the chair close by.

"Hey, lover, Alex and I are going to go visit with the Consortium types and maybe fetch home a little more information to help us get to the Smoker. I really need for you to stay here." Mulder's words were gentle, but Anson reared up.

"Hell, no! You aren't gonna leave me out? I've had a bum hand for all of my life, and I just found an ace. You gotta let me play it, Fox." Anson was twitching now with a sick energy that made his eyes gleam and gave Mulder shivers down his spine. He could feel the blood rush to his groin as he took in the sheer craziness that was being displayed before him.

"I don't know, baby. You might get hurt or something. Alex and I are trained... " Anson's face grew stormy, and then morphed into a grin that owed nothing at all to good humor.

"I was a fucking Marine, Fox. I can be as self-preserving as the next man. I took a course in exterminating civilians for fun and profit. You think I'm gonna let you down?" His posture was bristling with new, brightly minted anger, and he was obviously not going to stay at home. Mulder looked over to where Alex was lounging in the doorway, listening. Alex nodded and Mulder sighed.

"Anson? You gonna come with us and maybe lay these demons of yours to rest?" Fox asked. Even as he spoke, Alex had already gone to find his gun.

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

Some time later, the three of them stole into the Consortium's DC offices, courtesy of one time employee Alex Krycek. They had gone over routes and entry. They had each been assigned their role in the venture, and they were ready.

Alex's briefing had generated the basis of a plan, and now they were going to get the information that Alex had not previously had the time to collect the last time he had been here. The three of them were armed to the teeth, and there was a determination about them that they were not going to leave without the information that they had come to find.

Alex had drawn out floor plans, and timetables for the security guards. Then he had devised a means of admitting them to the building, using Alex's pass to admit them at a time when the place would be quiet. Now it was showtime.

Anson, who had been feeling almost euphoric since his emergence from the Fugue State, was now on a downswing. This wasn't going to be just an ordinary robbery. This was about his life. He didn't know if he could handle it or not. All he knew was that he had to do something or burst. Someone needed to pay. Someone needed to pay in blood. He was the taxman, and it was time to collect. He and his brother-he could almost say that now-were coming to claim back what was theirs. He was going to demand a reckoning, and payment would be bright red, spattered far and wide before he would feel it was enough. When he was finished with The Nightmare Man, the Cancerman, that bastard was gonna look like he had been juggling chainsaws. Anson could see it, smell the blood, he was jittering inside with the need to enact his vision. 'He had to do this, he had to do this, he had to do this... ' Was the mantra in his head now

The three of them arrived together, and Alex inserted a card with a magnetic strip into the door, keyed in a number, and then as the door slipped open, stood aside to beckon the others through.

Once inside the suite of offices, Alex held up one finger for silence, and listened for a minute before turning to lead the others down a corridor and through to another room that was lined with filing cabinets, and contained a workstation.

Following Alex, Anson had time to study and appreciate their different strengths. Alex, lean and graceful, walked on silent cat-feet, body sinuous as he prowled, black light in a negative world. Behind him came Fox, elegant and tall, looking as though he were striding through a political meeting, a half-smile on his face as he drank in his surroundings, gun held as casually as a bouquet. Fox wore jeans and jacket as if they were high fashion, his well made body lending a cachet to the simple clothing.

He, Anson, came last in the line. Last and, he thought, least, in his own eyes anyway. Sturdy, and quivering with barely controlled violence, each foot planted squarely as he moved, borrowing from his military experience for this wild ride on which he had embarked.

The last in, Anson closed the door behind him, and stood, head back, leaning against it.

"Now what?" His husky whisper seemed to roll like thunder through the tension charged air.

Fox took his seat at the computer, and Alex led Anson back through the room to where a cabinet was marked "Projects"

"Look under 'K' and 'G' for us in the personal files, or for references to "Project Tandem." You might find more about that over in that cabinet over there. It has all the project files in it." Alex glided quietly away, leaving the room and closing the door behind him just as the noisy dot-matrix printer commenced it's angry buzzing. Fox had evidently found something useful. The printer spat a skein of paper from the top.

Anson, spooked by the sudden noise, had dropped into a crouch with his gun extended. Now he relaxed and began to poke through the personnel files. A bulky file labeled 'Green/Anson #146b' was his first find, followed by another shortly afterwards that was labeled 'Krycek/Alex #146a'. A hunch made him check for Mulder's name, and he was rewarded with a large file designated 'Mulder/Fox #13a'. Did this mean he had a twin? What? He laid the file with his earlier discoveries, and moved to the place Alex had indicated earlier.

Try as he might, and he was certainly trying, he could find no reference to anything called 'Project Tandem', and he grew angry, throwing files down onto the floor and shaking with rage. As he was about to slam the cabinet through the wall, Fox materialized at his side, murmuring gentle words and reaching out to pet him, then drawing him close for a kiss while gentle fingers stroked and soothed him.

"Hush now, we're getting there. No need to worry, baby."

Anson growled, taking hold of Fox by the throat and bracing himself to shake him. Alex, who had been about to leave the room to go in search of something he had determined necessary moved back swiftly to Anson's side.

"Come on, baby. You don't want to hurt Fox. You love Fox. Let's get some stuff together, shall we?"

All of a sudden Anson found himself focusing again, really seeing Fox for what seemed to be the first time. He relaxed, still ruffled, allowing Fox to pull him in and hold him, finally whispering 'sorry' into Fox's mouth as their lips slid together in a kiss that curled his toes and made him moan. Alex left then, and silently closed the door on the two men as they held each other, kissing as though there was nobody else in the world.

Anson clung to Mulder as though the man were his last hope and when Mulder began to pull away, to go back and retrieve his printouts, Anson clung to him convulsively.

"Need you, Fox. Need you... Don't... don't let me go." Mulder sighed, pulled him even closer, waiting until the other man was back on an even keel, or at least as even as was possible for his poor, confused lover under the circumstances.

When Alex opened the door and ghosted in a minute or two later, it seemed as though Anson was now able to function once again, and Fox released him to go and collect his printouts.

As Anson quickly bundled spilled files back into the cabinet he caught sight of Alex's name on one of the files that he had strewn on the floor. Swiftly he gathered the leaves together and added it to his stash, before signaling readiness to the other two.

Finally, they were ready.

"The Smoker isn't here right now, but I know where he's gonna be later tonight. Let's take these and go through them. We can go and ask him about anything we don't understand later." Alex spoke mildly, but the other two could sense his deadly purpose, and the smiles they exchanged were not exactly nice.

Finally, as Alex checked the room and then his watch, he nodded to the others, opened the door, and they swiftly vacated the room, traversed the corridor, and left the building.

Once they were back in Fox's kitchen Alex collected together all the information they had gathered, spreading it out over the table. Fox had positioned himself behind Alex, and the two of them were carefully studying what they'd found.

Anson found himself drawn back to the computer and the Cigarette Smoking Man. The other two watched him covertly as he sat reading through the files again and again. It seemed as though he had somehow been entranced. The picture of the blandly smiling man had captured his thoughts entirely. He couldn't begin to guess why, only that he somehow needed this.

They left him to it then, allowing him to process what he had been experiencing during the past day or so. They appeared to be far more interested in the stuff that they had liberated from the consortium headquarters than they were in the behavior of their very disturbed love, but it seemed even so that there was always one of them at hand if he appeared distressed. He was paramount in their thoughts, and that was something that he was just beginning to realize.

"Alex, how come you never looked for this stuff before?" Mulder's voice was as ever mild and flat in tone, and Alex, who rarely took anything at face value, turned the question over in his mind before he addressed it.

"I don't know. I never cared before. It's just that now he's here." The chin indicated Anson, who sat brooding before the screen, locked in his own dark thoughts. "I've realized that they stole more than just my childhood from me. They stole a whole family, maybe even crippled us both forever. I need to know just why they fucked us up so badly."

Fox sat gazing at Alex, processing this speech. Alex had just bared his soul; something Fox didn't recall him ever doing before. Gently he put out his hand and stroked Alex's face. He had no words for Alex, but his love for him shone in his eyes.

Pieced together, the stolen documents told of a sad and cynical manipulation of two young lives. Selected for their genetic heritage, the two babies had been separated, placed in their individual, isolated programs, and taught, more or less from birth, to kill.

All had gone well for Anson until at the age of 8, the people he had thought to be his parents, had moved. His mother had not liked the turn being taken by his latest set of programming, and had run away from it, taking the boy Anson with her.

Half wild, possessing a number of skills that would be disastrous if beyond the control of the Consortium, it had reluctantly been decided to render Anson 'safe'. The enforcer who had been assigned to the case had applied a number of post hypnotic suggestions, arbitrarily separating the boy he had been from the man he would become. Then he had walked away. Reading the black and white of the things that had been done to Anson, the two of them sat aghast.

Turning to the files on Alex, they traced his story up until that same enforcer had issued a termination warrant.

Alex had been deemed too dangerous to live.

When Fox finally read the names of those who were responsible for the atrocities that had been perpetrated on the two boys, he broke down at last and sat with his face buried in his hands.

There had been many people involved in the crafting of what were to be two young killing machines, but there were two names that occurred over and over again.

One was the Smoker. That was no surprise. Mulder had always known him to be vicious.

The other name rattled in his head like wind in the bones of a hanged man.

Bill Mulder.

His father. His father had done this and Fox was ashamed now, ashamed of his genes. He was afraid to meet their eyes for fear of what they might read in them.

Alex waited patiently. Anson continued to stare at the screen, entranced. At long last, Fox lifted haunted eyes to Alex. The image of his father loomed like a rotting tooth in the face of his past.

"Did you kill him?" They sat, gazes locked for long seconds until finally, Alex nodded, yes.

"Alex, my love. Alex, what have I done to you? To Anson? You must hate me."

Alex stood, moving around the table with predatory grace to stand next to Fox. Stunned grey met burning green as eyes still clung. Alex seized Fox's shoulders, digging long fingers into them in an almost painful grip.

"This is not about you, Mulder." He was close to shouting, and for a brief second, Anson made as if to rise and come to his assistance. Both Alex and Fox paused, trying to radiate confidence that neither of them felt. Anson seemed reassured and returned to his contemplation of the screen.

"The sins of the father's... Is that what you believe, Fox? Are you to blame for the person your father was?" Fox sat unmoving. "Well, ARE you? Alex's voice was louder, and he shook Mulder.

There was another pause and then Alex forced Fox up out of his chair, pulling him into a fierce, tight embrace and clashing teeth at first, so eager was he to kiss him. He finally succeeded in sealing his mouth to Fox's, and bruised their lips with the intensity of their kisses.

When Alex finally released him, Fox stood for another minute more before pulling him back to hold him tight, laying his cheek against Alex's while he whispered over and over, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

"Yeah, baby, me too. Now, enough with the talk, I'm ready to do some damage." Alex was curt, and Fox made a face as he released that he was going to have a pair of wild creatures to control should they find the CSM.

Alex's response was to kiss Fox again, hard and bruising, until he could feel shudders running through Fox's body, and knew that he had, temporarily at least, allayed Fox's fears.

A thought occurred to him and he gestured with his chin, indicating Anson who was still strangely immobile in front of Fox's monitor.

"Are we gonna tell him?" He waited for Fox to consider, brows together as he thought the effects that their new knowledge might have on their disturbed lover.

"He's fragile at the moment, poor baby, he's been through so much. I think we have to though. It might help him come to terms with things, and besides, how would you feel if we kept this from you, love?" Alex nodded and then kissed Fox, softly this time, as he attempted to show through his actions, feelings he didn't feel capable of putting into words. Finally breaking apart, they turned as one to go to Anson.

Anson wasn't sure how he felt. The urbane smile on the face of the Smoker held him in thrall and he couldn't look away as he remembered.

***

He sat, muscles locked, every breath an effort as the nails on his fingers broke the skin on the palms of his hands and blood trickled, unnoticed, onto his jeans. The snake had mesmerized him. He knew that he would die. He sat, making small sounds of distress, the boy within him unable to get away from this image he had always known would someday return to claim him. Twice, Fox called his name but failed to register with him. It was only when Alex reached over his shoulder to turn off the monitor that Anson came up out of his seat, poised to fight until at last he noticed that it was Fox and Alex standing beside him.

"Come on, Anson. We need to go over some stuff with you." Nodding after a moment's thought, he allowed them to lead him over to the table and sit him down. As they laid the facts before him he found himself silent, brittle as anything, crackling with an unseen but still menacing energy as he nodded and smiled by rote. Alex nodded approvingly at his brother. He appeared to be doing well for a man who had seemed so incapacitated only minutes before. It was time he learned the truth at last.

The truth... He had been separated from his brother as an infant. The woman he had thought of as his mom had been a Syndicate psychologist, and the father he hardly recalled, who had put him through so many harsh and daunting lessons in his infancy, and who he had seen so rarely had apparently been Bill Mulder. The lessons he had been forced to learn as a baby were only now beginning to return to him as his tortured brain attempted to make sense of what he believed his life had been. His mind was reeling. It was too much. He would process this later, if he could. For now, he would wait, and his emotions would wait with him.

The mother had had some difference of opinion with Mulder senior about the reinforcement schedule they were using for her project, the boy that was believed to be her son. She had distracted the attention of the people in charge of the project and vanished from the DC area when Anson had been only 5 years old. She had taken Anson with her as insurance.

She hadn't known until the day that a bullet blew her head apart that the Syndicate didn't tolerate those who said no to them.

Anson had been terrorized into madness, or as the papers spread out before him said 'Project Anson had been satisfactorily wound up.' Then he had been cut loose to swim - or sink - on his own. The enforcement arm of the Syndicate had reached out and crushed him, and it had worn the face of C.G.B. Spender.

He received the news quietly, sitting at the table, while his brother...

//His brother!//

... Watched him carefully. He reached out for Fox when his lover began to murmur apologies and attempted a smile. He didn't know if it worked or not. He couldn't tell from Fox's face. He groped desperately for something to say that would make Fox stop, leave him alone. He was losing himself inside the morass of emotions that were looming, large and scary. He was sinking. He couldn't cope.

" I love you... " He was suddenly quiet, round eyed at his own words as he realized what he'd said. When he lapsed back into silence, the others weren't even slightly surprised.

They had moved on then to talk of a visit to Spender later in the evening, and Anson, though a little quiet, seemed fine.

At some stage, Anson had made dinner and after they'd finished, Fox had gone out for a run.

Alex fished his Stoli out of the freezer and poured a couple of hefty slugs, carrying them through to the living room and parking himself on the couch. He and Anson sat in companionable silence for a few minutes, then Alex turned to Anson.

"I'm... I'm glad I have a brother. I've always been so alone." He fell silent again.

"It's all different. I don't even know who I am." Anson sat, hunched in on himself as he spoke. His eyes were black, and inside him chaos roiled.

Alex turned to him, suddenly fierce. "You're mine. Hear me? My brother, that's who you are." And he reached out to pull the other man against him, distress evident in the jerky movements that he made.

Feeling Alex pressing his face against his shoulder, Anson gathered him into his arms and they sat together, silent, sharing comfort as each drew something from the other.

Feeling Alex's shoulders quiver Anson was suddenly amazed. Alex was so strong as a rule. Alex had always been unbeatable, unflappable. It hurt to see him vulnerable in this way. Anson dropped a kiss into his hair.

"God, Alex, they fucked us up. They fucked us up so badly," he said, and then he cried.

***

When Fox returned from his run it was to find the two of them sleeping, their arms about each other.

Noting the reddened eyes, and looking at the picture they made, Fox's heart went out to them. He checked his watch, and then took a seat in the chair opposite the pair of them, admiring the picture they made while he thought the whole thing out.

As always, Alex seemed to know that he was under observation, and Fox saw the cautious way he opened his eyes, checking through luxurious lashes first, before he revealed his awareness. Fox smiled.

"You are who you are, baby, and I love you. That won't change. It can't." Alex gave him a wan smile and stroked Anson's shoulder.

"I've got a family. I never knew I needed one 'til now." At that point, Anson woke up, grumbling a little until he realized where he was, then his attention changed.

"Are we going after him now?"

The three exchanged looks that were meaningful, feral as they chewed over their hatred. Alex was the one who voiced things for them all at last.

"Yeah. Let's go and ask him some questions."

***

It was close to 11:30, and M Street was deserted as Alex led the three of them to the door of CSM's in-town residence.

They'd watched from the shadows and seen the man return a scant 20 minutes earlier It had taken the two of them to hold Anson back from diving on him even as he stepped out of his chauffeur driven limousine. Anson, his face set and mutinous, was dancing like a boxer, and even now, Fox was holding his arm in an effort to get him to stay calm.

The lock yielded to Alex's ministrations, and the door swung open to reveal a dark staircase. Pulling the others inside, Alex gently re-closed the door and they stood, listening for any sounds from above.

The CSM's voice reached them as they stood silent, and Alex laid a finger on his lips to caution their silence, and then indicated the 5th stair. That one was the one that carried the alarm. They had already been told not to step on it.

At the head of the stairs, the three of them composed themselves, readying weapons that they had checked and rechecked repeatedly in the last hour. At last, taking a deep breath, Fox placed a hand on the doorknob and turned it quietly.

As he pushed the door open, the three of them burst through, guns bristling angrily. As they looked around to locate their adversary, all three of them wore such expressions of hatred on their faces that it seemed as though the object of their hate might spontaneously combust when he finally saw them.

He had shed his jacket and loosened his tie, and was sitting in an overstuffed armchair, in the act of removing his shoes as he spoke to someone on the phone. He raised his head at their entrance, and for the first time Fox could recall, his face showed consternation as he looked beyond Fox to the two that stood behind him.

"I'll discuss it at a later date. It seems I have visitors." There was no perceptible fear in his voice as he wound up his phone call and replaced the receiver, but it could be seen if you knew what to look for. It was evident in the sudden sheen of sweat that beaded his upper lip, and in the flicker as his eyes darted between Alex and Anson.

Fox still held him at gunpoint, while Alex had dropped his hand to his side and stood, his face closed and watchful, to Fox's left. On his right, Anson's face wore a shit-eating grin as he idly spun his gun around and around on his index finger, his every inch radiating malicious amusement, his eyes holes in the fabric of rational thought.

The seated man was wide eyed for a lengthy moment before pulling himself together and smiling urbanely.

"I see we have a family re-union happening here. Is there something I can help you with, gentlemen?" The voice was calm as ever, and he reached over to the coffee table to gather cigarettes and lighter, pausing to tap on out of the pack.

"I'm sure you're really happy to see us together after all these years." Mulder's tone was diamond hard, and he stepped forward intimidatingly. The Cancerman jumped a little as the menacing triumvirate moved in closer, his eyes resting more and more often on the sniggering figure of Anson.

The other two were menacing. Mulder's face showed anger, and Alex's a stone-cold, implacable hatred. These two he studied and passed over quickly. He had seen their like before.

Anson was different.

True, he was smiling. True, he appeared casual. That was until you looked, really looked at him, and then you could see past the grin to the depths behind his eyes where there was evidence of a boiling emptiness that had no seeming boundaries, an emptiness that threatened to rise to the surface, devouring any humanity that might have been within him.

His body seemingly stood at ease. His weight canted loosely over onto his left hip as he twirled his weapon on long, loose fingers. For all his apparent nonchalance, he was coiled tightly, and his left fist was clenched. Mulder had one hand behind him, laid on Anson's arm as if to hold him back, but made no real attempt to stop him as he took a step forward.

"Hello, Uncle Charles, it is you, isn't it? Amazing that we should meet after all this time." Alex's head snapped to his right to gaze at Anson, his expression unreadable even now.

"Anson, how interesting to see you. You've surprised me." The Smoker's face betrayed nothing as he spoke, but as Anson stepped forward to stand over him, a flicker of something diseased, something uneasy, something that never should have been gleamed in his eyes, and was abruptly quelled.

Anson, who had until now been playing with the gun he was holding, allowed it to nestle into a suddenly steady right hand while his left hand rose to brace it. The grin had left his face, and his eyes, wide and set, glowed like twin gateways into hell. He had somehow transformed himself into a creature from elsewhere, and somehow, it was apparent that they weren't in Kansas anymore.

His face, white and drawn, no longer appeared human in the lamplight. The Smoker cringed back into his seat, cigarette temporarily forgotten as he peered from side to side.

"What did you do to us? Why?" It was Alex who spoke, and heads whipped around in unison to face him. Strain had begun to tell at last, and now he, like his brother, appeared to have come from some other dimension, one where pain and misery were old friends.

The Smoker licked his lips and a shudder passed through him as he raised his cigarette to his lips with a shaking hand.

"You must understand, both of you, that you were part of a plan to save the world. Your lives were nothing next to the needs of humanity. We only did what we had to do."

"You son of a bitch." It was Alex again, voice low and menacing. He glanced to the side, taking in the sight of his brother as he stood, gun trained and implacable, on the man in the chair. "What right did you have to play God? You stole my life. You stole his life as well."

The Smoker smiled somewhat sadly, and gestured at the three men to sit.

"Please sit down. Let's discuss this like gentlemen. You were bred to be weapons, both of you, and raised as such. You too, Mr. Mulder, a weapon of a different kind. You must see, all of you, that you couldn't be allowed to run loose for the good of society. We had to have some controls or there could have been terrible repercussions for us all.

"You talk as if we were dogs or something." Anson spoke harshly, and there was a fury in his tone that seemed more deadly every second. "Who gave you the right to... to fuck us up like this? Are you God? Is that who you are?" The Smoker opened his lips to reply, but Anson didn't wait. Raising his gun with great care, he shot the old man in the left arm, part way between elbow and shoulder. "Well, I'm God too, and I say it's payback time for all the shit you've done to us. Alex lost his arm because of you. Let's start with that."

The old man had slumped back in his chair and was now raising a hand to the bullet wound, as blood quickly turned the sleeve of the white shirt to bright red.

Mulder had turned to Anson and now put his hand up to Anson's face, turning him to meet somber eyes.

"Don't kill him yet, love. I'm afraid we might still need him." Anson smiled savagely, putting another bullet into the smoker's arm before finally relaxing his fingers, twirling the gun once, and then thumbing the safety catch back on.

"I won't kill him this minute, Fox. I can wait. Ask your questions, love." Anson leaned forward, eyes glittering fever-bright, and reached out to cup the back of Fox's head, bringing their mouths together fiercely, sucking Fox's lower lip into his mouth to nibble as he slipped the gun back into his pocket.

Alex stepped forward then, hand out to dig his thumb into the wound that bloomed on the smoker's biceps.

"Where are our parents?"

Ragged voice and burning eyes filled the smoker's vision. Alex Krycek could have been a demon as he twisted his nails against the bleeding flesh. The Smoker screamed once, turned pale, and passed out.

Fox, who had been gentling Anson, turned to try and soothe Alex, who was now slapping the unconscious man's face, leaving bloody smears on the chalk-white skin.

Alex, love," Fox's voice cut into Alex's trance and he turned his head to look at Fox, his expression softening a little as their eyes met. "He's an old man and he's in shock. He'll die if we don't stop the bleeding. Then we'll never know the answers." Alex nodded curtly, and went to find something to bind over the wound, while Anson stood watching.

Leaving the brothers to try and staunch the flow of blood, Fox moved over to the old man's PC, and began to leaf through files, finally exclaiming and then delving beneath the desk to open the computer case and remove the hard drive in its entirety.

Alex had a bandage over the damaged arm now, while Anson had scooped him and taken him to lie full length on the couch with his feet elevated. Stepping into the adjoining bedroom, Anson brought back the quilt that had adorned the old man's bed, and tucked it around the old man's body before sitting back to await his return to consciousness.

As time passed, Mulder began to worry. He was about to reach for his cell phone to call Scully, when the elderly Mr. Spender moaned and opened his eyes, to find himself face to face with Anson.

"We've got plenty of time, but you haven't. If you don't get treatment pretty soon for that arm I expect you'll lose it. Amazing how single arms run in families, isn't it, Uncle Charles?" Anson seemed almost gleeful as he murmured, his husky voice caressing in a dreadful parody of solicitude.

"You know everything. Your birth parents are both dead, and you should both have been dead as well. We failed in what we planned. We had a weak link in Bill Mulder. He failed to follow through. When we sent you to kill him, Alex, it was because he had failed in the programming of the two of you. I suppose it's fitting that you think you can kill me too now, but because of me you two are still alive now, aren't you?" The old man gasped, his lips bloodless as he looked up at twin pairs of frozen jade eyes. "Your parents are buried together. They died not long after the two of you were taken from them, but they knew that you were never theirs. They knew that your genes were all that mattered. They were put together for the sole purpose of creating you. I never could see what their problem was."

Mulder had by this time removed the hard drive from the computer and strolled over to listen to what the Smoker was saying. As he did so, the brothers turned to him, identical stricken looks on their faces.

"What did you do to them?" Fox's voice teased tension to new heights.

"I did nothing. Why would I? They killed themselves. I should have known that they were weak, and that their weakness would be passed on. We should have aborted the program right then and there, but we'd sunk so many of our resources into it." The Smoker paused, coughing a little, and then cringed as he saw the expression on Anson's face.

Anson was fumbling for his gun once again, murderous rage on his features. As he brought it up to point at the Smoker's forehead, the old man started to speak again, this time to Alex.

"Your arm, Krycek. I know how we could give you... "

The noise of the gunshot punctuated this last, harsh attempt to buy time, and then a bloom of red appeared between the Smoker's eyes as the oily voice was stilled forever. Shot after shot, he fired, only stopping when the ammunition was all gone, and the Smoker's face was a bloody ruin. This was more than revenge, this was his vision, his dream, and he had to play it out. Turning to Fox, Anson reached for the gun that he carried.

"No! Oh, fuck, Anson... " Fox's voice was anguished as he fended off the man at his side. The other two turned to look at him. "He might have helped Alex. He was going to tell him... "

Anson's face went from bright anger to anguish in the ticking of a second. As it suddenly came home to him what he had done, he crumpled in on himself and slowly sank down to his knees beside Alex.

Alex grinned, diamond hard pain shining like new knives in the white of his teeth and the gleam of his eyes. He put out a hand to turn Anson's bowed head up until his face shone in the muted lamplight.

"Enough, Fox. He did what should have been done years ago. The old bastard's caused enough misery. He was only stalling for time. Now it's done. He won't cause any new grief." He turned to Anson. "Come on, baby, you did what you had to do." This last speech of Alex's had Anson slowly climbing to his feet to stand, as he surveyed the results of his mad blood lust.

He had no regrets. None. He'd done what he had to do. He'd killed the Nightmare man, and Alex still loved him. He tried to resist the whirling of chaos that surrounded him, but slowly sank back into a trance-like state. The level of emotion he had just experienced was proving too much, and he needed to rest. He turned to Fox, and allowed himself to be petted and stroked into calmness.

Fox checked his watch yet again, and grimly suggested that they search the place thoroughly. There would never be another opportunity.

***

It was 6 am by the time Byers had cracked open the hard drive and divested it of all its secrets. Anson and Alex had finally succumbed to fatigue, and lay sleeping, heads together as they slumped back on the old couch in the gunmen's office. Fox, as ever, had been unable to sleep, and prowled restlessly while Byers worked, until the bearded man threatened to evict him from the room. After that he had parked himself in a chair beside the computer and sat, eyes metallic as he stared with hypnotic intensity at every move that Byers made.

When at last the drive began to disgorge its secrets, Fox said nothing, merely leaning forward to scan each document as it began to flicker over the screen, curtly requesting printouts of certain pages as they passed.

By the time the two brothers began to stir, Fox had a sizeable sheaf of documents in front of him, and Byers, red eyed, was just returning from the kitchen with coffee.

Alex, being Alex, had come awake in an instant, and moved to fetch his own reviving drink before taking the stack of papers Fox had already perused and starting to leaf through them. Now, as Anson stirred, he was fetching yet more coffee, virtually hopping in his need to share the information they had discovered.

Byers, who had never been exactly comfortable in Alex's company, was now quite obviously terrified of him - a fact that Alex might have had fun with in another time and place, but which now merely served to irritate him.

As the last vestiges of information about the brothers finally spewed from the hard drive, Byers moved on to Mulder's files, and page upon page of facts and figures about Fox began to spin out. He had never understood the way his parents had behaved to him, or why he had been treated as he had during his childhood. He had not realized that Bill and Teena were not his parents. He hadn't understood - why should he? - that Sam, his beloved sister had not been related to him at all, and that they had been the unknowing subjects of experimentation in much the same way as Alex and Anson.

Alex was the one who found it in the end, the final link in a chain so badly tangled it was virtually impossible to find a way though the knots. They had all been programmed. They had all been enhanced, and they had all been driven like cattle towards a destiny that they would probably have embraced quite willingly, had they been given the choice.

Now they saw what their destiny was to have been. Quite simply, they were to have taken over the Consortium, and then to have used their skill and intelligence to drive out the alien colonists.

A few more hoops remained for them to jump through, these manufactured young men who had already known tragedy on every level of their lives. It seemed as though they might be able to set things right at last. The details were all there. It had all been laid out for them. The last few treatments that would activate special DNA, everything that had been intended for them, it was all right here, and available for them.

Wordlessly the three men nodded. It was not going to be all for nothing after all. They would finish the job and find peace at last.

End