This is an old story I finally got to finishing. It takes place
after the events chronicled in "Do Not Go Gentle Into that
Good Night." and
is rated 13 for M/M and F/F sugestiveness and a spot of necking.
It is part
of the "Shelter From the Storm" series...
Disclaimer: 1013 and Alliance will need to hash it all out together...I'm
just borrowing them for the evening.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to my tireless beta goddesses,
Paula and Frankie, all of whom are totally necessary for my continued
being. Thanks also to Nicole and Aries for their immoral support,
Rowanne for her threats...I mean requests for fiction!
OaT/X-Files X-over, for those who need more than one Nick per
Plot: Alex gets himself into trouble, and has to be rescued.
Spoilers: Terma of course...don't think there are any others.
Feedback: Always appreciated. gets you to me.
The Devil Makes Work for Idle Hands."
by Dr. Ruthless
"I hate the fucking winter!" Nobody was listening because
the only other
people in the room had heard him say the same thing six times
in the past
half-hour. Alex Krycek, tired of talking to himself, and irritated
nobody cared if he was bored, looked around for something to do.
He was still not particularly welcome in the FBI Headquarters.
reported his assistance in their recent case, and he had, for
basked in the mild approval of AD Skinner and the rest of the
crew. He was there pending the completion of Skinners report,
and had spent
most of his day dictating every last thing he could remember of
Cancerman's headquarters, and the contents of the files he had
to. He had not been reinstated however, nor did he want to be.
pursued his own hidden agenda, and his employer was not the FBI.
the Hoover building again made him feel edgy, as if he were caged
He gazed over at Fox, who was deep into writing his umpteenth
report and who
wore his glasses as a signal that to disturb him would be punishable
fate worse than death. Scully sat, self-contained as a cat, glasses
down her nose as she typed.
He prowled restlessly for a few minutes until Mulder finally snapped.
"Alex, for God's sake, go out and play! I can't work with
you fooling around
all over the place." Alex sulked for a second, and Scully,
turning her head, scored a direct hit on his cranium with the
she lobbed in his direction. Feeling more than a little aggrieved,
mooched off out the basement in search of something to occupy
Once out on the street, he turned up the collar of his leather
strode away from the warmth of the building. There was a fine,
that hit his face, and a wind that felt colder than Scully's welcome.
groaned and walked purposefully off into the weather, head down
fastened close against the cold and damp.
Five minutes later, he was shaking himself like a puppy to remove
moisture he had collected before wandering into the welcoming
warmth of the
pub he had found. He blew on his frozen fingers and stepped inside
where there were several pool tables and a large screen TV, currently
showing a hockey game. He ordered a beer, and once he had it in
his hand, he
drifted over and slouched against the wall to watch one of the
games of pool
in progress. It had been several years since he had come here.
around but could see nobody he knew. This was good; It meant that
should recognize him either. He cast his mind back to the first
time he had
been brought here.
The Cigarette Smoker had led him to a table at the back of the
bar and had
effectively directed him to the mission that would change his
"You will go to Agent Fox Mulder with this file. You will
remaining in charge of the case. When Agent Mulder attempts (as
he will) to
shake you off, you will persist. You will stay with Agent Mulder,
will make yourself indispensable to him. I'm sure you will be
able to think
of ways to do this, you're a very ...ah...bright young man."
looked him up and down as he spoke these last words, setting off
bells in Alex's head. He continued, "You will also ensure
that he does not
take a live suspect into custody. Do you have any questions?"
sitting beside him blew a cloud of evil smelling smoke in his
Alex gagged a little. He had heard of Spooky Mulder, as had everyone
division, though he had never met him. He had privately laughed
man's obsessions. Why live in a dark and demon inhabited world
were beaches, pretty girls, rock n' roll and fast cars? Alex lived
uncomplicated by commitment, with no more serious thoughts than
play football or basketball. He wondered where this assignment
and leaned forward towards his employer, forehead creased in a
"I'm getting the feeling that you aren't telling me everything
fixing the boss with his best 'trust me' look.
"I'm telling you everything you need to know. Suffice it
to say that I want
you to build a relationship with Agent Mulder, become his friend.
whatever it takes." A thought flashed through Alex's mind,
sides as it went.
"Um.... Is this Mulder guy gay? I don't do guys, Sir!"
The Smoker smiled and
stubbed out the remains of his Morley.
"I'm sure you will find it in yourself to improvise, Mr.
Krycek. Read the
file now, and be prepared to get in your claim as soon as you
can. I don't
have to tell you that this is very important to a future government
project." With that, he had risen from his seat and left
the bar, leaving a
thoughtful young agent to sit and speculate.
With a shudder, Alex came back to the present. Looking back over
four years gave him a sinking feeling he didn't like, couldn't
just at present. He had been betrayed by his employer...he should
ex-employer. He had fallen for the man that he had been sent to
dropped into hell by his own double-crossing boss. Mulder had
hated him. He
had spent years running,-not always certain from what, and lost
everything he held dear. His career, his physical perfection,
his ability to
tolerate the darkness were all gone. He was left with a smoldering
for the man who had destroyed everything he had valued in his
He closed his eyes for a second. The only good thing to come out
ordeal was Fox. He was grateful for Fox. The door to the bar swung
as Alex glanced idly across, he hissed a sharp breath between
his teeth and
drew back into the shadows. Cancerman was there, in the doorway,
a cigarette prior to finding a table. Alex wondered if he was
another young idealistic soul and how long it would take to corrupt
Lurking in the back of the bar, behind the pool table, Alex watched
nemesis as he ordered and drank a glass of something amber with
ice in it.
He hoped it was toxic! Nobody approached the smoker, and Alex
grew bored. He
was checking his watch for the time, when without warning, something
and cold was shoved into his back and a command was hissed into
"Don't move or you're dead." He froze.
Mulder had finished his ever-present paperwork. It had been a
hard slog, but
worth it. It meant that he and Alex could maybe go out on the
instead of being tied to the computer screen. He understood his
boredom, but he didn't know what he could do for the other man.
take time to get him reinstated in his old job, if it were possible
Alex had been back in his life for only a few days, but already
hooked. He couldn't concentrate on work for thinking of him. He
constantly. Always in his visions were the wide spaced green eyes,
lashes curling in a way that would send most women crazy with
certainly sent him crazy with lust!) the carefully molded mouth
perfect skin. Mulder leaned back in his chair, flexing the muscles
back and shoulders, and hearing them crack as he stretched. He
over to imagining the incredible things that beautiful mouth would
do to him
later. He shuddered as he ran a scenario in his head. Alex had
lips and the most inventive fingers. Mulder felt as if he were
once more. Despite his age, and his short-lived marriage, he had
experience with close relationships and tended to think of sex
as a solo
sport. Alex had proven to him that it could be fun for doubles
always a quick learner, Mulder was developing skills he had previously
suspected he possessed. He was learning things about himself lately,
most exciting of which was that he loved Alex more than he thought
ever love anyone. He tried to remember why the man had instilled
in him for so long, but all he could do was picture his face as
it turned up
to him for a kiss, eyes plaintive and lips parted. He gave himself
imagining sinking into that soft mouth and sighed.
As he zoned out, his partner glanced over at him and shook her
disapprovingly. She was feeling more than a little disturbed by
latest insanity. She could understand that Krycek was pretty,
and that he
had a certain amount of charm, but really! The man was a slippery,
crossing rat. He killed people without blinking and appeared to
out on a whim to just about anybody that would pay. Didn't that
make him a
whore? Why he was battening on Mulder she didn't know, but she
out, and when she did, he was going to be history. In a way, she
new, love-smitten Mulder. He was less argumentative, more considerate
altogether less of a challenge to work with. On the whole however,
wished she had her old, familiar, cantankerous Mulder back. She
quite given up hope that he would some day wake up and see that
desirable, and...well...desire her!
"Mulder, what are you doing tonight? Do you want to take
in a movie? I'm
going to go see "The Mighty". I'm hearing very good
things about it." She
tossed a pencil over at him, and it rebounded off his chin, making
in his chair and practically tipping him out onto the floor.
"Hmmm...?" Mulder righted himself but still wasn't right
there with her, she
could tell. "Sorry, I was just daydreaming there...what did
"Oh nothing, I was just asking if you felt going to a movie
with me." She
felt cross. He was ignoring her in a manner calculated to make
her feel very
inadequate, not something that sat well with her. She prided herself
resourcefulness and capability, so why should she feel so forlorn
nitwit in front of her sat mooning over a man with questionable
"Jeez Scully! I think my evening's all booked up. I'll have
with...." He broke off hurriedly as she jumped to her feet,
"Don't say it!" she hissed at him, causing him to cower
down in his chair,
pulling his tie safely off the desk and out of reach just in case.
getting really fed up with hearing about the one armed wonder
rat! You are
so besotted I can't stand you any more." She whirled on her
high heels and
stomped from the office, slamming the door behind her. Mulder
watched her go
in blank amazement. Slowly, he shook his head, and reached for
cell-phone. Pressing the speed dial, he waited for the response.
"Scully, it's me. What did I do?" He scratched his head
"Eat shit and die Mulder, I'm going on vacation!" came
the terse reply,
followed by a click and the dial tone. Mulder slowly put down
his cell phone
and surveyed the room. He was alone in it. Where did Alex go anyway?
to his feet, gathered up his coat and left the room in search
of his lover.
Dana Scully emerged from the office of Assistant Director Skinner
slightly better mood. She had gone in to request a few days leave
a conference on forensic medicine. She was not really hyped about
presentations themselves, but she knew that she needed a break
situation here in Washington. She had watched the man she thought
private property (ready for collection whenever she wanted him)
lose his head over a pretty, murderous sleazebag. Not only that
but he was
beginning to wear the sleek, satisfied look of a man who was screwing
himself into oblivion at every opportunity, while she was having
a hard time
trying to recall just exactly when she last got laid. She had
herself wistfully eyeing the bulge in Krycek's jeans this morning
as he had
prowled around the office whining. This was not a good thing!
She had found AD Skinner in a good mood. He had listened to her
time to attend the conference and grinned at her.
"So they are starting to make you nauseous too?" he
had said, and she had
relaxed as she realized that she didn't have to go through the
trying to explain her frustration. He understood. Wordlessly she
good old AD Skinner had swiftly OK'd not only the trip but also
account she had not dared to ask for. She trotted off to pack
little happier than she had earlier.
She had disembarked from her plane and was now standing in line
her rental car. She was feeling a little strange. Usually a careful
who meticulously prepared for every possible eventuality, she
was a little
unsure how she had arrived here in Canada merely because she had
annoyed. It was unlike her to storm off the way she had, and normally
prided herself on being the voice of reason, tempering the excesses
partner. Not this time, she grinned ruefully to herself. He's
going to think
I have a screw loose. I think I do too!
Picking up her car, she made her way through the underground parking
the rental bay. Tossing her small suitcase into the back of the
climbed in and adjusted the seat before putting it into gear and
of the berth. As she left the airport, she could see the mountains
distance, and on a clear, bright day like today she felt as if
heading for adventure.
As she approached the downtown hotel where she was to stay, she
of some commotion outside the car. There was the sound of breaking
followed by the revving of engines. She hastily pulled to the
side as a car
careered past her on the wrong side of the road, followed closely
motorcycle. As she craned her neck to see what was happening,
she felt an
ominous clenching in the pit of her stomach. It seemed as if she
the rider of the motor bike before. As the two vehicles disappeared
view, two more people could be observed running from the main
doors of the
hotel. She saw them climbing into a car parked on the curbside.
U-turn in the face of oncoming traffic, they took off after the
Scully shook her head and pulled in to the space that had been
Later, after she had checked in and found the schedule for the
that began the following day, she pulled on her jeans and sweatshirt
wandered down to the bar for a pre-dinner drink. The bar looked
out over the
inlet, and she could see the lights of distant boats and buildings
seat by the window.
There were several other people scattered around the room, and
if they felt as lonely and bored as she did. Noise erupted at
to the bar as a group of three entered and took a table on the
of the room. She looked up to see who was disturbing the evening.
lanky, fresh faced young man, eyed her shamelessly as he sat,
stretched out in front of him. An equally tall woman sat beside
they were both deep in animated conversation with a third person.
with his back to Scully, and she could see that he had short,
dark hair and
powerful shoulders. He seemed familiar, and she tried for a better
but could not see his face. The woman, a beautiful Chinese girl,
about something and was remonstrating with her companions. The
tall man who
sat beside her was apparently not worried about this and was behaving
manner calculated to drive her into total fury. The third seemed
although she could see that he spoke from time to time, for the
most part he
appeared content to allow the other two to bicker. Appeared so,
until he suddenly got up out of his seat and punched that tall
man on the
jaw, sending him crashing to the floor over the back of his seat.
looked on in blank amazement as the aggressor threw his hands
in the air and
then strode out of the bar. His body was taut with fury, and his
contorted as he stomped out of the room. The man she had felt
familiar was none other than Alex Krycek. She felt in her purse
for her cell
phone and hit the speed dial.
"Mulder!" The familiar voice of her partner answered
"Mulder, it's me." She smiled. She couldn't stay mad
at him forever. She was
going to give him a shock anyway, so she should stop behaving
pre-menstrual neurotic and just be nice.
"Scully, I thought you were out of town 'til Tuesday."
His voice sounded
puzzled, but she could hear stress in it and wondered what the
She thought she knew the answer. How could she check this out
worrying him unnecessarily?
"I am, but I just wanted to ask you if you've seen Krycek
"No, in fact I'm getting worried about him. Scully, what
do you know?" His
response came back in a rush. She could tell that he was very
already, and her heart went out to him. She was going to make
she could just tell.
"I'm not sure Mulder, I'll call you later, OK?" Hanging
up the phone and
stowing it back in her purse, she wondered whether she should
just have told
him or not. Oh well, time would tell.
Alex was cold. He didn't know how long he had been in his dungeon,
was frozen, hungry and thirsty. He also needed to pee very badly
stood huddled by the door, listening, occasionally banging and
wondering if he had been left there to die.
He had done jumping jacks and some tai chi forms to try and keep
warm in the
darkness, but the cold was really beginning to penetrate to his
and he no longer had the energy to keep moving. His nausea had
his head still hurt, and he knew that he had bruises.
He didn't know how much time had passed when he awoke. He was
so cold now
that he felt lightheaded, and his joints were stiff and sore.
He had leaned
up against the door to go to sleep, and now the door was pressing
his back painfully as someone on the other side attempted to open
Stumbling to his feet, he moved slightly to allow whomever it
passage. There was still no light, and he could not make out any
the person who was entering the room. The door, which he had expected
creak, opened smoothly and quietly, and the footsteps were also
Lurking behind the door, Alex prepared to pounce in the direction
had come in but was shockingly pre-empted as his arms were seized
and a hood
thrust roughly over his head. He struggled desperately, but to
no avail. He
was bundled to the ground, his arms secured behind his back, with
elbow and wrist, his feet hobbled together at the ankles with
only about six
inches of slack between his feet. Lying face down in the clammy
his head inside a hood made from some coarse, itchy fabric, and
kneeling on his back in just exactly the spot that made his full
agonizing, Alex wished he had stayed in bed that morning.
He wondered how his assailant could see to catch and truss him
"What do you want from me? Why don't you just let me go?"
As he yelled out,
he received a cuff on the back of the neck. Nobody said anything
to him. He
was starting to feel seriously spooked. He hated the darkness,
and he didn't
know why he had been apprehended. Why didn't they just put him
out of his
More footsteps came, and after a minute or two he felt himself
yanked to his
feet and pulled roughly.
"Hey, Guys, I'd really appreciate a bathroom at this point.
I'm in serious
danger of an accident here if I can't go pee." Once more
a blow to the back
of his head let him know his opinion was neither required nor
They pushed and pulled him for some feet before he stumbled against
a set of
stairs, smacking his knee into one of them. He bit off a cry and
climb. Sixteen stairs, there were sixteen. He hung onto the number,
insanely that sixteen was going to be an unlucky number for someone.
He suddenly felt light on his face through the cloth that covered
with lightness came warmth. He wanted to cry out it felt so good.
that was unmistakably a gun was thrust into the back of his neck,
felt the ties being released on his arms. He was pushed forward
and for the
first time heard the voice of his captor.
"Use the toilet. Any sudden movement and you're history."
Fumbling for his fly, blind in the claustrophobic hood, he shuffled
the urinal. The relief was incredible. He felt almost human as
jerked on his elbow, pulling him off balance and almost toppling
him as he
staggered backwards. He yelled out and once more received a blow,
so hard that he crumpled and fell.
The dinner had been OK, not great, not wonderful, but OK. She
to do to kill time until she felt sleepy. Emerging into the shadows
evening, she set off for a brisk walk to take in her surroundings.
down the staircase from the cafe on the mezzanine in her hotel,
sight of the tall couple she had seen earlier in the bar. The
tall man was
still irritating his beautiful companion, and she was standing
shoulder turned to him, every inch of her radiating annoyance.
up, spotting Dana, and they shared the rolled up eyes and shrug
them as a sisterhood who knew just what pains in the ass men can
grinned at her, and she wandered over to chat.
The woman would have made a wonderful model. Tall, lean and exotic,
on a very short skirt and high boots. Her short hair was slicked
her face, and she was stunning. Dana craned her neck upwards as
approached and smiled. She was happy and a little relieved to
there was someone she could talk to. She had been feeling very
unaccustomed to being totally alone and not sure if she liked
it. She wasn't
sure if she liked the feeling of not having a case to work on
were usually too many things filling her day, and she had forgotten
spend free time. Maybe this girl would be able to point her in
direction, and she would have fun after all.
"Hi! I think I saw you earlier didn't I?"
He was tense and angry. He had spent the past several hours trying
his partner understand that you just don't behave like a child
all the time.
It's all right to be carefree, but downright irresponsibility
Mac had deliberately placed a young woman's life in danger with
posturing, and Vic had been forced to put his own safety on the
order to save her. Mac had appeared to be completely uncaring
about the way
things had gone down and had laughed at Victor, as usual. When
mocked him this last time, right in front of Li Ann, he had come
to the end
of his tolerance. He had risen, punched the taller man full on
the jaw and
then left quickly before he could be goaded into doing anything
knew he wasn't the world's greatest brain, but he wasn't stupid,
resented the implication that he was.
Though not given to the quick flashes of brilliance that were
signature, Victor Mansfield was loyal, honest and fierce. He was
kind, methodical man who would not give up until he had solved
a mystery and
seen the wrongdoers behind bars. If he had a major fault it was
quick temper. He did not suffer fools gladly, and in his mind
at the moment
Mac was shaping up to being a prize asshole.
He strode out of the bar after he had knocked Mac down, not sure
was heading, but grateful to be away from the constant barbs that
man constantly planted. As he flung himself out of the door, he
that he was living a life of constant aggravation and fury. It
was only a
matter of time until he developed ulcers. He stomped down the
that led to the hotel's main doors, and was just making the turn
to go to
the parking lot for his truck when a low, soft voice cut through
"Victor, walk with me for a minute." He turned and stopped
like a mouse that
had just seen a snake. The Director was wearing a pinstriped man's
bowler hat and vest. She did not, however, look like a man. She
shirt under the vest, and her cleavage would have been most interesting
Vic if she had been anyone else. Vic swallowed, his mouth suddenly
the Director took his arm, he shuddered quietly, wondering what
"I expect a certain standard of behavior from my operatives,
voice never rose above a purr, but his stomach clenched at the
"What do you want me to say? I got that girl out of trouble
precious Mac decided that she was expendable. Did you want me
to just walk
away from it? I'm sorry, I can't do that." He spoke quietly,
matching the Director's, but his eyes flashed angrily, and the
the top of his nose reflected his irritation. Vic might be scared
woman, but he would never back down. "The man's a liability.
Can't I go back
to working alone?"
The Director didn't respond immediately. They walked on in silence,
Vic's stomach slowly began to churn as he waited for the blow
that was sure
to fall. When she did speak, it seemed to be totally unconnected.
"What do you know about cloning?" He did a double take
at that, but his boss
and nemesis appeared serene as they ambled along the sidewalk.
"Not a whole lot. I know it's been done with plants and some
there a sheep or something?" Vic frowned as he sifted through
of information he had stored in his brain.
"Very good, Victor. There was indeed a sheep. I want you
to take a little
trip for me, Victor. There have been some very worrying developments
field of cloning, and our sources show a tie-in between events
here in Vancouver and certain extremely dark developments that
occurring in Washington. Now for reasons I can't go into right
minute, the only person I can send to look into things just happens
you. However, I don't want you to think that this is some kind
of a reward
for your recent behavior. Let me remind you that you are mine
now, and you
will do what I say. You will return right now and apologize to
Mac, and then
you will complete your current tasks. I want you packed and ready
to Washington the day after tomorrow. Contact Dobrinski for the
we have on file about your upcoming assignment." She paused
and turned to
Vic, who was looking at her with a broad grin that hardly dimmed
mentioned apologizing to Mac. Patting his face with her slender
idly drew her index finger down his neck to fondle the ex-cop's
and Victor... Try to wear something a little more ...er... dressy.
after all, going to the US Capitol. See if you can impress them
beauty, if not your brains." With that parting shot, she
turned on her heel
and strode off leaving Vic looking after her with a faintly puzzled
expression on his face.
Shaking his head, he turned and began to re-trace his footsteps,
back to the hotel he had so recently left.
Standing in the hotel lobby, conversing with the beautiful Asian
was relaxing for the first time in a very long while. She was
right to take
some time away from her claustrophobic relationship with Mulder.
women had made a date to go out shopping the next afternoon and
discussing restaurants in the area. Dana had her back to the door
Victor Mansfield walked back into the hotel. Spotting Li Ann,
he made his
way over to her, hoping to find out where Mac had gone.
"Hey, Li Ann. Have you seen Mac? The Director wants us to
take that package
back in to HQ now, not tomorrow." A familiar husky voice
made Dana draw her
breath in sharply. Turning, she found herself looking at Alex
shook her head and tried to make the vision go away, but it was
when she looked back again. The man gazed at her incuriously.
Li Ann had
already indicated that Mac was still in the bar. The puzzled expression
this red-haired stranger was wearing finally sank in. Vic wasn't
he had done.
"Pardon me, do I know you?" Vic's voice was throaty,
just like Alex's. She
shook her head wonderingly.
"No, er...that is I don't think so. It's just that you look
so much like a
friend of mine back in Washington. You could be his twin."
Her voice trailed
off; he was looking at her with some interest now.
"Washington? Are you from Washington? Are we talking State,
or DC here?" His
smile was sweet. Dana decided that the difference between this
Krycek was apparent at this moment. Krycek smiled rarely, but
then to be
fair, he had not had many reasons to smile. She put out her hand.
"I'm Dana Scully. I'm here on a conference just for the weekend,
but I work
in Washington DC." she smiled. "Why? Do you know someone
"Nope, not a one. Sorry. I'm Victor Mansfield, and I'm only
because I have to go to DC next week. I've never been. Look, maybe
like to have a drink and tell me a little about the place."
Dana looked at
the man towering over her. He was cute. She found Alex sexy, but
had Alex's looks without the feral aura that Alex carried with
him like a
shield. Not only was he cute but he was looking at her with the
interest she had not seen displayed towards her for some time.
She looked at
Li Ann, wondering at the expression she saw flitting over the
face. It looked as if Li Ann was trying her best to decide whether
should be jealous or not. Making up her mind, Dana nodded. She
holiday, well, sort of, and she was damned well going to have
a good time.
Vic punched his very real left fist into the palm of his right
grinned widely. Holding out his hand to usher her before him,
her back into the bar leaving Li Ann who called out that she would
As he followed Dana into the bar, Vic studied her rear view. She
and elegant despite her casual clothing. Vic liked her clear skin
hair. It would be nice to make a friend down in DC if he was going
to go there. Pointing to the bar, he raised his eyebrow in silent
"I'll have a Long Island Iced Tea, please." She deserved
a little relaxation
and had decided that things were looking up. Vic held a seat for
then sauntered over to the bar where he speedily acquired drinks
for the two
of them. As he returned to where Dana was sitting, she spotted
the tall man
he had been arguing with previously zeroing in on him.
Vic appeared to be feeling better about the newcomer, or maybe
he was merely
on his best behavior, but he actually smiled at the taller man,
conversation appeared to go well. He put their drinks down on
the table and
sat, his ankle casually resting on his knee. Dana had time to
study him, and
he was certainly worth studying.
He was dressed casually in a black, V-necked sweater, and blue
were tight enough to display his nicely developed thighs. He moved
Alex did, constantly tapping and fidgeting. He also smiled a lot
noticed, and in many ways his smile was infectious. She felt herself
him in a way that she had never been able to warm to Alex. Leaning
she offered a smile of her own.
"So, Vic, what was it exactly you wanted to know about DC?"
He was cold. It was dark, and he had no clue as to where he was,
people wanted with him. He did not know what time it was or how
long he had
been in the dark. He felt lightheaded, but at least he was conscious
The drugs they had injected into him had begun to wear off.
He paced around his small, dark cell. He had felt around the walls
repeatedly but had been unable to find anything that might help
him. He had
measured out the cell by pacing it out and knew every ridge and
in the brickwork. It was no help. He had no idea how he could
get out. His
captors had relieved him of his prosthetic arm, ensuring that
he had no
spare gun and no knife. He still had the lock picks in the seams
jeans and a serviceable garrote coiled into his belt but would
them both for his knife.
He knew he had to do something to keep warm. He moved into one
of the Tai
Chi forms, pacing out the moves slowly and deliberately, not needing
as he balanced stretched and crouched, a flickering black flame
velvet darkness of the cellar. As he worked his way through the
felt his body warming and his head began to feel as if it belonged
He reflected on the happenings of recent months. He had found
desire, only to lose it again almost immediately. Never in a million
would he have imagined that Fox Mulder could have fallen in love
He could still not believe it. His mind wandered back to the brief
nights they had spent in each other's arms since they had finally
their love for one another. It seemed as if fate was conspiring
the keep him
apart from Fox. They had been separated in Vancouver after only
night because he had been shot. He had found his way back to Washington
was on his way to meet up with his lover once again when his ex-employer
used a strange weapon on him, sending him to a ghostly existence
or out of the real world. Alex had thought he was dead, and although
now alive and kicking, he had missed out on the loving encounters
been looking forward to. Following his return from the grave,
he and Mulder
had spent just one night together before he had ended up here,
godforsaken cellar, captured by Lord alone knew who.
If he only knew who it was that was keeping him here he might
be able to
formulate a plan. He sat in the corner beside the door, in the
area he knew
was drier than all the rest and began to think about the couple
of nights he
had spent with Fox. Staring into the darkness, he willed an image
of Fox to
float in front of him. His eyes grew moist as he recalled the
two of them
rolling about in fits of laughter after Mulder had managed to
forehead open with his teeth. He closed his eyes, picturing Mulder
beneath him, eyes closed and lips parted as Alex drove into him,
Alex lay back and unfastened his jeans, preparing to pass the
pleasantly as he could under the circumstances.
Fox Mulder had had a rough few days. He had fallen hard for a
cheating rogue with a pair of beautiful green eyes and a voice
stirred into brandy. He was not used to having anyone in his life
finding it almost impossible to think of anything except Alex.
The man had
betrayed him once, and as a result, Mulder had hated him. Not
only had he
hated him, he had beaten him, abused him and been the direct cause
loss of an arm. Mulder had not even cared about the mutilation
had somehow managed to get under his skin by confessing his love
Fox Mulder, brutal abuser.
Mulder could picture him as he had stood in the hospital room,
Mulder to hit him. He had not attempted to defend himself, until
in the end
he stood defiantly waiting for the blows to start and had ducked
his head to
kiss the fist that was poised to strike him. Mulder could not
say quite when
it had happened, but he had fallen in love with Alex Krycek. He
his heart when he should have known better. Now, the cheating
son of a bitch
had disappeared without trace, leaving him with an ache in his
felt like a stab wound. The rat-bastard had left him flat. It
seemed that he
had also alienated Scully, his best friend, before he had gone
was alone now, lonely, hurting and unsure whether he wanted to
He had searched almost every bar, pool hall and club on this side
city and was now very close to giving up. It had been three days
had left him alone to write that damned report. He had shown photos
to anyone who would stop to listen to him, and so far nobody had
having seen him. Mulder pulled the collar of his topcoat up around
and shivered. The wind was an icy blast that threatened to flay
from his cheekbones, and mixed with it was sleet, lashing like
knives as he
walked. He ducked into the bar that he had been aiming for, and
intake of breath attested to the momentary agony of thawing flesh.
Moving up to the bar, he ordered a scotch and leaned against a
stool for a
moment, luxuriating in the warmth that had begun to permeate his
body. After a few minutes watching the pool players, he sipped
at his drink
and turned to the man behind the bar.
"I'm looking for a man." He waved Alex's photograph
at him, watching
carefully for any flash of recognition. The man's eyes opened
momentarily, and Mulder felt a quick surge low in his belly.
"What do you want him for?" The man was cagey, and Mulder
grabbing him and pistol whipping the information out of him. Taking
of himself long enough to quell the rising tide of anger he was
experiencing, Mulder fixed the bartender with a soulful look.
"The rat-bastard owes me money. He owes me big time!"
The man nodded,
obviously buying into the fiction.
"Figures. He has shifty eyes!" Once again Mulder fought
back a surge of fury
and concentrated on extracting the information from the other
man. "Yeah, he
was in here 3 days ago. He got into a rumble with a couple of
other guys. I
guess you aren't the only one he owes money to?" Mulder nodded,
a sick leap
swooping through his stomach as he realized that he had at last
positive lead. " I guess he went with a couple of the regulars
in the end.
He didn't seem to be too happy about the arrangement, so it looks
as if they
were after the same as you."
Mulder closed his eyes, worry gnawing at his chest as he pictured
of trouble Alex might be in. "Do you know where I can find
any of these
guys? I'd be real happy to talk to them." He slid a 20.00
over the counter
towards the man, who made it disappear very quickly.
"Yeah. Ray over there is one of them." The bartender
jerked his thumb over
at the far pool table, towards a tall, heavy set man wearing a
and filthy blue jeans, who was idly taking shots at the pool balls
gulps at a pint of beer.
Mulder nodded his thanks as he moved off towards the back of the
found a table and placed himself so he could observe his quarry.
was racing. He was beginning to think that Alex was in trouble
after all and
that he had maligned him by assuming that he had just walked out
on him. He
wasn't sure if that was good news or not. He began to picture
dead or seriously hurt somewhere. His chest tightened as he envisaged
Sometime later, the solitary pool player slouched over to take
from the rack and left the bar. As he left, Mulder was right behind
The man left the bar and began to walk away down the street. Nobody
visible in the sodium glare of the streetlights. The sleet had
snow. Mulder did not feel that it was much of an improvement as
lashed small, hard pellets against his face. He quickened his
caught up with the other man, his gun held ready in his pocket.
"Ray, I want to talk to you." The man paused and turned
"Bite me!" He turned to walk on, and Mulder reached
for the back of his
collar, hauling him off balance as he swung against the back of
head with his gun. His captive reeled, and Mulder thrust the pistol
back, shoving him face first into the brick wall.
"No thanks, I haven't had my rabies shots! I want to know
everything you do
about Alex Krycek. I want to know where you took him, and who
has him now. I
want to know it right this minute, and if you are very co-operative
win a prize." The man heaved backwards at Mulder, and Mulder
put a bullet
into his shoulder.
"I'm not joking, you bastard! The next one will be your kneecap.
How do you
feel about artificial limbs? Think you'd like to try one?"
White faced, the
thug slid down the wall to sit in the snow at Mulder's feet.
"Don't shoot me. I'll tell you." The man was virtually
squeaking in his
fear. "We were paid by an old guy to take him and make sure
he was delivered
to an address out in the suburbs. We took him out there about
"Was he OK? What did you do to him?" Mulder had his
hand at the other man's
throat, and was raising his gun to hit him. The other man flinched.
"We didn't hurt him, honest. We injected him with a knockout
drug, but he
wasn't hurt. He was fine when we left him, honest!" He gave
address. Mulder stepped back, still holding the gun on the other
"Get up!" He staggered to his feet, and Mulder snapped
cuffs onto him,
shoving him in front of him to where he had left his car. "I
can't let you
go just yet. I don't want you warning them that I'm coming. You're
have to stay out of the limelight for a little while. He threw
man into the back of his car, secured the cuffs by clipping them
iron frame of the seat, and pulled away from the parking lot.
As he drove, his cell phone rang. Thumbing it open, he raised
it to his ear.
"Mulder, it's me. Where are you?" Scully's voice cut
through Mulder's dire
imaginings. "I just got back, and there's someone I want
you to meet."
As Mulder's car pulled up to the building where she lived, Dana
tugged Vic Mansfield's sleeve and pointed through the window.
fascinated to see how Mulder would react to her companion. Vic
had heard at
great length about Mulder and his theories, and despite Dana's
be supportive of her partner, Vic was expecting to meet a rare
was looking forward to it, knowing that he would be able to share
experiences on his return and looking forward to a good laugh.
Mulder approached the apartment block. Vic got an impression of
elegantly tailored man, dressed in a dark grey wool overcoat,
with a lighter
grey suit beneath. His hair was dark, and his face, at that point
set in a
scowl, was handsome, with a finely sculpted mouth and a pair of
eyes. Scully moved to admit her partner, holding the door so that
enter. He was already speaking as he came into her living room.
"I've got a lead on where Alex went, but I'm going to need
to get...." Mulder's voice stopped suddenly, gasping as he
caught sight of
Vic. With a curse, he moved swiftly across the room to pin the
ex-cop against the wall, running his hand around to the back of
his neck and
pulling his face forward to kiss him hard. There was a pregnant
Mulder thought things were looking up, and then Vic managed to
frozen brain in gear, and yanked Mulder away by the hair, coughing
spluttering as he did so. Mulder pushed forward with his forearm
Vic's throat. Vic kneed the hapless Mulder in the balls and as
he folded in
the middle, followed through with a vicious chop to the back of
that felled him neatly. Turning to Scully, he held his hands out,
"What? What the hell was that? What did I do?" He stood
while Mulder moaned and groaned in his heap on the floor.
Scully was hooting with most unlady-like laughter. Tears ran down
as she attempted to contain her mirth. She collapsed onto the
her sides as she laughed. Mulder slowly pulled himself up off
the floor and
stared at her, as indeed did Vic.
Finally, she was able to stop laughing long enough to gasp out
a few words.
"Mulder, meet Victor Mansfield. Vic, this is my partner,
Fox Mulder." She
went off into a renewed spasm of laughter while Vic and Mulder
Mulder heard the introduction, and blinked. He looked at Victor,
process the information that his Alex was not unique. He opened
and closed it again. The man in front of him was Alex; he would
swear to it.
He moved closer to the man before him, and Vic raised both hands
gesture that was part placatory and part threat. Mulder's eyes
widened as he
watched Victor's left arm bend up, and his very real left hand
clench into a
This was not Alex Krycek. Mulder shivered.
His head throbbed. He could hear a strange, high pitched sound
a little like
a dentist's drill, and there were muffled voices somewhere to
his left. He
had fallen asleep and was now waking to find that he had been
thought he must have been drugged because his head hurt and his
tingled. There was a hood over his head once more, and he was
on a hard surface. His chest appeared to be strapped down, and
his arm was
immobilized. He was laid in a spread-eagled fashion, and his ankles
fixed tightly, pulling his legs apart. He was naked.
He felt a faint breeze against his skin, and his senses swam as
off the effects of whatever drug he had been given. He had remained
comparatively cheerful up until this point, but he could feel
crumble as he visualized his predicament. As far as he knew, he
going to be rescued. Nobody knew he was here, and there would
be no rescue
attempt. He was helpless, trussed up like a turkey ready for the
with his clothing had gone his last remaining weaponry. He could
not see his
surroundings but was ready to bet that he was going to be put
kind of unpleasant ordeal. To crown it all, he was feeling very
really wanted to vomit very badly indeed.
He lay as still as he could, thinking that his captors might not
that he had awoken. His ears were acute and he attempted to sort
way of gaining information about his surroundings. At first the
echoed inside his head, making it swim, but gradually he became
the drilling sound was not right there in the room with him. As
opened and then closed, the volume rose and then dropped back
original level. He could hear several sets of footsteps and a
grating sound somewhere behind his head. He licked his dry lips
that he was thirsty. A moan escaped his lips.
Suddenly the door opened once again, and heavy heels clipped the
somebody approached him. A familiar, hated voice impinged on his
"Mr. Krycek. I'm so glad you could make it today. I've been
to seeing you again. I have one or two things that I need to discuss
you." The Cigarette Smoking Man lit a Morley. Alex heard
the rasp of his
lighter, and then, the familiar acrid smell of the smoke hit him,
fresh waves of nausea over him. He moaned again.
Footsteps behind his head made him jump a little, and then rough
untying the folds of cloth that were around his face, pulling
it away and
making his eyes water and screw themselves up following their
in the darkness of the cellar. For a while the strong light was
after the darkness that his eyes were no use to him. He could
make out only
vague shapes surrounded by rainbows. Desperately he tried to clear
vision, needing to see where he was and what threatened him.
Slowly his eyes began to tolerate the light once again, and he
began to make
out the crow-like silhouette of his ex-employer. He could turn
through a limited arc, and this was enough to let him see that
two large, ugly guards, one on each side of him. He could see
slender woman with her hair tied back under some kind of cap,
surgical garments. He could not see what she was doing, but it
involved her entire concentration. Finally, with a mental shrug,
his head back and fixed his eyes on his nemesis.
"What do you want from me?" His voice was cracked and
rusty from lack of
moisture. He began to cough and felt his gorge rising as he did
so. With a
supreme effort he swallowed his feeling of sickness, refusing
to allow the
old man looming over him to see how uncomfortable he was feeling.
just going to have me lie here and look cute?"
The smoker gestured expansively with his cigarette. "All
in good time, Mr.
Krycek. I have a proposition to put to you. Meanwhile, allow me
to make you
more comfortable." He gestured to one of the goons at Krycek's
side, and he
stepped forward with a water bottle and a straw. He placed the
Alex's lips, and as he began to suck, the water flowed, cool and
his dry throat, washing his mouth clean and improving his spirits
remarkably. For a moment he closed his eyes and gave himself up
to the sheer
bliss of a cool drink quenching his raging thirst. At last, he
gurgling sounds that indicated that the bottle was empty. He allowed
straw to fall from his lips, and mumbled a "Thank you"
to whoever might
choose to accept it.
The smoker had been standing back, eyeing Alex's body, displayed
for him on
the metal table where he was lying. Now he came forward to stand
"When you were first assigned to Fox Mulder, you were directed
to get close
to him in any way you could. Do you remember? You have been very
More so than I could possibly have hoped. Now it's time for you
your long delayed mission, Mr. Krycek." The smoker took a
long drag of his
cigarette, allowing the ash from it to fall onto Alex's belly.
not to react.
"What are you talking about? What are you going to do to
him?" Alex's voice
had begun to betray him. His fear for Mulder was now so strong
that he was
fighting back the urge to plead for him. He wanted to beg the
smoker to go
and find another target, to make him leave Fox in peace.
"That's not your concern. All you have to do is bring him
to us, at a place
and time to be appointed, and we will allow you to go free. We
return him to you once we have finished with him." The smoker
appeared to be genuinely amused.
"No! You can do what you like to me, but you can't have Fox.
I sold him out
to you before, and I won't do it again." Alex closed his
eyes. Sweat was
beginning to stand out on his forehead although the room was not
warm by any
stretch of the imagination. His mind raced over the possibilities
might come next and he was afraid.
"My advice to you is not to make your decision without careful
doctor here is with us only for another few hours, but she has
forward to seeing you again." Alex studied the nondescript
woman in the
white coat who had moved up to stand beside his tormentor. He
recollection of ever having seen her before and could not imagine
other man meant until he saw a film of black slowly curl across
eyes. Alex felt faint. He knew beyond a doubt who this was, and
feel a scream welling up as he recalled his last encounter with
that rode the doctor beside him. He turned his head away.
"What are you going to do to me? Are you going to make me
like her? Are you
going to put that stuff into me again?" His voice was trembling
and he cleared his throat. He wanted to go out with dignity if
he could but
suspected that it wasn't going to be possible after all.
"Oh, no! You are for some reason immune to the infection
or we would have
taken that course right away. It would have been so much more
don't you think? No, you are part of a large genetic research
we require your tissue for further experimentation. You and Mr.
have certain genes that we cannot allow to slip through our fingers.
decided that if you feel unable to co-operate with us regarding
requirements, there is no choice but to remove the tissue we require
it can be stored until it is needed, and then, ah... dispose of
surplus." Alex's mind was racing. They were going to remove
parts of him and
then kill him. They were going to remove parts of Fox too. Maybe
let Fox go, but he didn't think so.
"What are you talking about? What tissue are you going to
remove from us?
You're going to kill us both, aren't you? Why even bother having
conversation?" Alex was shaking now; he had never felt so
"Now, now, Mr. Krycek! You have proven very useful to us
in the past. One
hates to throw a good weapon away. It's always better to attempt
sharpen a dull knife, don't you think? The Consortium would like
to have you
working for us again, but there are of course questions about
We would need assurances of your continuing desire to be of service
Consequently, we are asking that you deliver Fox Mulder to us.
that we require is testicular, and we are aware that you do not
wish to lose
your testicles. Should you be willing to co-operate with us, there
methods we can employ that would leave you still able to have
sex if you
wish. If you remain adamant in your refusal, there is really not
discuss. You will not be requiring your gonads in the grave, will
black-clad man smiled as if he had made a joke, and Alex struggled
straps that held him. He knew it was hopeless, and a part of him
beat himself up for it, but he absolutely could not stop himself.
"How long do I have to think about it?" Alex was trying
to buy time however
"I think we can allow you to ponder your situation for a
short while. Shall
we say six hours?" The smoker lit another cigarette and glanced
at the alien
doctor for confirmation. She nodded curtly, and taking out a stethoscope
a number of other instruments, she began a complete physical examination
the quivering man on the table.
"It will take some hours to ready the cryogenic receptacle.
We can wait
until then. This specimen is healthy and will not deteriorate
in so short a
time." So saying, she covered Alex's body with a white paper
sheet, and the
two left the room together. After a minute or two, the goons who
guard over him during the conversation also turned and left, but
Alex had observed the tell-tale film of black oil that clouded
The two men drove off into the night, conscious of the fact that
there was a
large man on the back seat with a bullet in him. Vic had checked
captive out as they entered the vehicle and had secured him thoroughly
a roll of duct tape. The man was so trussed up now that he bore
resemblance to a silvery sheened mummy, and from time to time
he moaned. It
was not possible to do more than moan because his mouth had also
"You know, duct tape is the Force they were going on about
in Star Wars!"
Vic was grinning as he spoke.
"Hmmm...? How do you mean?" Mulder was driving fast,
taking chances that
made Victor wish he were behind the wheel. He wondered how he
over the responsibility of driving without starting a war.
"Haven't you noticed? It has a dark side and a light side,
and it binds the
universe together!" Vic waited for a laugh. None was forthcoming.
what? I've got an associate you really should meet! You guys have
so much in
common. His name is Nathan, and there isn't a conspiracy he doesn't
about. You really have to meet him." Vic sniggered inside
as he pictured an
encounter between the two of them. Glancing at Mulder, he realized
man was very worried and was not taking in much of what he was
felt a twinge of sympathy for him. He briefly patted Mulder's
took his hand away when the other man flinched. "Hey! We'll
get your friend
out. Don't sweat it. As soon as we take a look at what we're up
we'll be able to make some plans."
"I'm sorry! I'm just not good company. How long do you think
it will take to
get some kind of plan formulated?" Mulder's voice was harsh
Vic sensed that the man was seriously upset about what was happening,
fell silent, allowing Mulder the brooding time he so obviously
drove on in silence. Victor pondered what he knew of the situation.
all he was aware of was that the captive they needed to rescue
was a friend
of the man sitting beside him and that there was a resemblance
mysterious captive and Victor himself. He needed to know more.
The cell phone rang in Mulder's pocket, and he groped in his jacket
flipping the top one handed and grunting into it. Wordlessly he
phone to Vic.
It was Dana. She had heard from Mac, who had announced that he
was going to
be arriving in Washington at 6am. Glancing at his watch, Vic mentally
calculated how much time they had before they needed to go and
pick him up.
It was now 2am. He nodded to himself. That would be plenty of
time to drop
off their captive before they needed to go to the airport.
He came awake screaming. They were coming for him with hot knives.
going to cut off his arm. He could not move, and there was nothing
He slowly returned to reality. Nightmares were a part of his life,
had come to accept them. Usually he knew that he would get through
nightmare and be able to greet the day. This time it was different.
helpless, strapped to the table with no means of breaking free.
awaiting an alien to come and perform obscene surgery on him,
and he could
do nothing but wait for the end, knowing that he was alone at
He pictured Fox, sitting in the car with him, waiting for him
to take a
flight out of Vancouver. He could see his misery as he waited
goodbye, not knowing when, if ever, they would meet again.
He recalled Fox grieving for his supposed death, while he looked
helpless and unable to do more than watch him.
He pictured the man he loved lying in his arms, all passion spent,
half-closed in sheer bliss as he recovered from their lovemaking.
He had to
do something. He just had to.
The door was pushed open at that point, and the doctor-thing came
bearing a metal bowl. He felt a cold thrill of fear running down
his back as
he realized that time was running out for him.
The white clad woman twitched off the paper that was covering
Alex and began
checking his vital signs. Nodding to herself, she made a few notes
chart, and then taking soap and a razor from the tray, she proceeded
shave his groin. Alex opened his mouth to try and communicate
creature, but to no avail. She ignored him totally and continued
task. As she finished, she dried him off and then replacing the
disappeared through the door, leaving Alex behind to worry and
They were waiting for Mac. Mulder was dubious as to how this person
able to help him in his attempt to find Alex. He was by this point,
willing to take any help he could get. A study of the house had
guards patrolling large grounds, and an electronic surveillance
would certainly alert the occupants as soon as the boundaries
He had observed Victor in action as the two of them had checked
unknown enemy's headquarters and grudgingly been impressed.
Mulder knew he should not hold it against Victor that he happened
exactly like the man he loved, but he couldn't help resenting
the fact that
Vic still had two arms. He wondered what was going through the
head as he watched him pacing in an agitated fashion. Finally,
Mulder could not stand any more of Vic's restless behavior, Vic
and Mulder observed a cocktail of emotions flitting across his
face had lit up, making Mulder's breath catch in his throat as
him. Looking around he saw a tall, skinny guy with rather large
down on them.
//He loves that man. How strange that they should be so much like
As Vic waved, the other man loped up and gave him a gentle punch
"Thought you could handle everything without us, did you?
Hah! You can't do
anything on your own!" The man was soft spoken, and his eyes
malicious good humor. Mulder suddenly felt very tired.
"Come on. we need to go now. We'll explain everything in
the car on the
way." Mulder cut across Victor's protests. He was anxious
about his lover.
Watching the two of them together just made him miss Alex more.
"Hold on for one more minute. The others brought checked
should be out in a little while." Vic gaped at Mac.
"The others? What others? Did Li Ann come?"
Mulder felt as if he were attempting to knit fog. He could not
quite get a
handle on the conversation and was inclined to be a little peeved.
"You brought your girlfriend or something? Oh, that's just
great. And she
brought her holiday outfits with her no doubt. Terrific. I hope
a tux. We're certainly going to need to go over that wall in formal
Mulder gritted his teeth and snarled at the world in general.
As Mac and Vic processed Mulder's outburst, two women appeared
baggage claim area. They both carried slim suitcases, and both
be in a hurry. The one in front, a slender, elegant woman with
long red hair
and a set of incredibly long, sharp red fingernails, approached
"So you are Agent Fox Mulder." She put up her hand and
ran her forefinger
over Mulder's lower lip and down to his chin. "I'm very pleased
to meet you
at last. I've been studying your work on conspiracy theory very
"We should go." Victor gestured to the exit and started
walking, leaving the
others to follow if they wanted to. Mulder moved quickly, trying
to catch up
with him as he headed for the vehicle.
"Who are these people? What are they doing here? Are they
aware that they
are going to be in great danger? We can't have hangers on at a
this! Their lives could be in jeopardy." He was angry and
became even more
so as Victor flashed him a very amused grin.
"You don't need to worry about either of them. I'll introduce
once we get to the car. LiAnn is deadly in her way, but the Director..."
shuddered, leaving his sentence unfinished.
"The Director? Which is the Director? Doesn't she have a
name?" Mulder was
still mad. Vic, arriving at the car, waited for Mulder to unlock
then went around to the trunk to place the ladies' suitcases inside.
returned, the others were already in the car and had begun to
themselves to Mulder. Mulder appeared to be a little stunned.
Vic opened his sheaf of notes and began to go over the information
Mulder had gleaned during the night. The Director, who had listened
speaking, suddenly brought out a building plan, which she unrolled,
spreading it for them to study.
"I just happened to have this with me, and I thought it might
Coincidentally, Victor, this is the very case I asked you to look
could not have done better if you had actually been investigating
smiled at the compliment before suddenly spotting the veiled insult
The smile left his face and he tossed his head in irritation.
Mulder had been driving and had remained silent as the four other
of his very crowded car bickered. Now, as they arrived at the
the house they were targeting stood, he held up his hand for silence,
indicated the large gates of the property and the cameras that
on those gates. He caught sight of Scully's car, parked a little
the road, and pulled in behind it. The contingent climbed out
vehicle, and Scully came up to them, greeting LiAnn with evident
she did so.
The morning was still very gloomy, and a fierce wind was blowing
into drifts. Mulder had lost the concealment that nighttime would
afforded him and was now very worried indeed. It was just not
sneak in snow. The footprints gave you away every damned time.
how the hell they were going to get in unscathed.
He was shivering. His cool had long ago deserted him, and all
he could do
now was imagine the things that were going to happen any moment.
prayed. He had wept a little, for the first time since his childhood,
tried once more to find any way of helping Fox to escape this
fate. He knew
that he was now a goner but wanted to defy the Smoking Man one
last time if
he could. He could only see images of Fox, lying where he lay
waiting for the knife to fall on him. Visions of his Fox, castrated
bleeding, welled up before his mind's eye. Alex Krycek, sometime
triple agent and hired assassin, prayed in as many languages as
he knew for
the God he no longer believed in to save the only man living or
dead that he
The door opened, and the Smoker entered the room with a smile,
light up his latest cigarette. Alex closed his eyes and took a
It was showtime.
She was crouched around the corner from the gates of the mansion
attempting to raid. She could see the others close by, weapons
wondered how they would get to the house itself without the cover
The early morning light was barely enough to see by, and the drifting
made it unlikely that anyone would be passing by on a pleasant
The woman known as the Director approached the gates very confidently.
wore leather pants that were tightly molded to her slender figure.
spike heeled boots and a thick fur jacket made her look very warm
strode towards the gate.
Pressing the button on the intercom, she spoke confidently to
the guard who
answered, and following a brief conversation that Dana could not
the gates opened. The Director sauntered through, pausing just
got clear of the gates. The guard emerged from his shelter to
frail looking woman, and the two of them headed towards the shelter.
few moments, the Director emerged once more and beckoned the party
they entered the shed, the gates closed behind them.
Dana looked around the guardhouse and took in the surveillance
could see two recumbent forms stacked in the corner and was about
to go to
them when Vic pre-empted her, motioning her back before attacking
the duct tape, swaddling them in the stuff and grinning as he
"I go through so many rolls of this stuff. I should buy shares!"
He drew his
gun and moved over to where the Director was quietly issuing instructions.
Mulder suddenly exclaimed and pointed to one monitor, which showed
looked like a medical room. There were people moving to and fro
table, but what drew Mulder's gaze was a face he knew well standing
it. It was the man he thought of as Cancerman. He moved closer
screen, and with a sudden feeling of great horror, he realized
was a gurney beside the Cancerman, and that on the gurney was
a man who
looked very much like Alex. Even as they watched, the doctor came
and removed the sheet that covered him, leaving Mulder in no doubt
whatsoever that his lover was being tortured in some way.
She turned away and began to lay out a series of glittering blades
on a tray
beside Alex's head, and Mulder could stand no more. He made for
despite Scully's attempts to call him back. With a sigh, the rest
group followed him, and they ran for the house.
Arriving at the front door, Mac made short work of the lock, and
entered the building. A guard who had been sitting, dozing beside
door looked up in astonishment as they entered. Vic hit him behind
with his pistol, pausing to wrap a few turns of the ubiquitous
around him before moving to follow the others.
Mulder was running down the corridor, trying doors and flinging
them open as
he ran. At the end of the corridor there were two staircases,
and he came to
a stop, unsure where he should go next. Scully caught up with
him, and the
two of them looked at each other indecisively. Then Li Ann, who
sorting through the plan of the building, began to climb the stairs.
and Mac followed in her wake, and Mulder watched them around the
dogleg before turning to Scully.
"We'd better go down then."
Soberly she nodded her head.
"A wise decision, Agent Mulder." The voice was deep
and throaty, and Mulder
turned hastily, to see the Director emerging from one of the side
stuffing a bundle of papers into the bag she carried. "Let's
go down and
check if your friend is there. If the others find him, they wll
be able to
As they started down the stairs, Mulder heard Alex's voice, shouting
name. He turned.
"That was Alex." He spoke flatly.
"Mulder, how can you tell? It could have been Vic. They sound
had descended a few more steps as she spoke, and when a shot suddenly
out from below, she fired her own weapon. There was a hoarse cry
silence once more.
"No. It was Alex. He's the only one in the world who actually
calls me Fox.
He's up that way." They turned and ran up the stairs the
way that the others
had gone. At the top of the staircase, there was a commotion.
like a large crowd was milling about screaming. Mulder, waving
wildly and yelling that he was with the FBI pushed his way through
of humanity. The Director was rather more direct. Drawing a pepper
of her bag, she proceeded to render anyone in her path helpless
The three agents ran for the room at the back from which most
commotion seemed to be coming.
The doctor had laid out her tools very deliberately. She had washed
hands and donned a surgical mask, above which her oil-filmed eyes
sinister. Then she had left the room for a few minutes, only to
a large metal container on which Alex could see beads of condensation.
placed the container down beside the table where Alex lay, and
to look at the Smoker. He was in the act of lighting up yet another
cigarettes, and there was a brief pause. Then the Smoker approached
"Well, Mr. Krycek, we appear to have run out of time. Have
you arrived at
any kind of decision yet? The good doctor is impatient to begin."
benignly, and Alex felt the goose bumps rise on his skin as he
man's evil joviality.
"No deal. I won't give you Fox." He felt somehow clean
and empty once he had
spoken. There was no more now. He had given Fox his last gift.
if Fox would ever know.
He closed his eyes once more and lay, waiting for it all to be
over. He felt
the table on which he lay shudder a little, and then his legs
parted even further as they were raised high in the air. He had
quite so vulnerable. He concentrated on his mental image of Fox
time they had made love, hovering over him in the half-light as
he cried out
He felt cold moisture being drawn over his testicles and the smell
alcohol told him that the surgery was about to start. He screamed
out loud and then fell silent. What would be, would be.
The Smoker tossed his cigarette butt onto the linoleum, and turned
the door without speaking. The doctor came around to the tray
to pick up the
first of her blades, an evil looking scalpel. Alex felt the blade
the flesh of his perineum, and then suddenly there was a muffled
doctor fell to the floor. At this, the Smoker, who had been opening
door, turned and ran for another door at the other end of the
Alex was mystified. He opened his eyes to try and see what was
caught sight of a tall, beautiful Asian woman, wearing a kevlar
dressed in black. She was occupied at that precise second in beating
of the guards. Alex suddenly found himself renewing those desperate
as he hoped against hope that he was going to be able to get out
Vic had by now run out of duct tape and was improvising with the
supplies. He and Mac had enjoyed a brief battle with a couple
of guards who
had felt that they should not pass. Between them, they had accounted
five guards and one woman who appeared to be some kind of lab
had run screeching at them and attempted to dig her fingers into
Vic had shot her without any compunction, and Mac had flashed
him a brief
smile as they moved along the corridor. Bursting into the room
had seen LiAnn go, they were met by the sight of one comatose
very dead doctor, and no sign of LiAnn. At the other end of the
room a door
stood open. They both headed for it, but Vic turned back quickly
as he heard
a moan from the table beside the window.
Mac joined him as they moved swiftly to see what was making the
Together, they began freeing up the buckles and Velcro that held
prisoner captive. Mac suddenly froze. "My God, Vic, it's
you! Look at him,
he's exactly like you. The captive was attempting to sit up. It
obviously very painful for him and Vic was moving forward to help
Mulder burst into the room. Scully and the Director were behind
him, but he
didn't stop to wait for them. As he spied the naked man struggling
to sit up
on the gurney, he let out a cry and ran to his side. He threw
around the reclining man and glued his mouth to him, not heeding
that there were others in the room watching with great interest.
watched the two men kissing each other passionately, he felt a
jealousy, and then became aware of a very rapid hardening of his
He felt very strange, watching himself kissing another man. The
two of them
had forgotten about bystanders and were engaged in the kind of
that Vic could barely recall ever having the opportunity to experience.
was as sexy as all hell, but made him feel sad. He had nobody.
He turned to find Mac eyeing him speculatively.
"What? What's the matter?" He felt unaccountably nervous.
"Nothing's the matter, Victor, it's just...." Mac broke
off his speech and
grabbed Vic by his shoulders, pulling the surprised man in to
envelop him in
a kiss every bit as passionate as the one they had been watching.
the bottom drop out of his stomach as Mac's lips touched his,
and his cock,
already stiffening at the sight of Mulder and his lover, began
to ooze and
throb. He moved closer to Mac and allowed his lips to open under
relentless pressure of Mac's lips.
Scully, who had finally entered the room, stood watching the four
her expression was one of dismay. She had found her own version
of Alex, and
right in front of her eyes he was being stolen. Everyone seemed
someone except her. The Director stepped forward, placing a caressing
on Dana's shoulder.
"My dear Dana, you look a little upset. Don't be. You were
only going to get
second best with Victor, wasn't she, Li Ann?" Dana felt the
lightly scraping the skin on the back of her neck.
Li Ann came to stand on her other side, putting her hand up to
hair. "Oh, yes. The Director is always right. There are far
more things to
enjoy than just plain white bread!"