Red Tape
by Hattie

M/K slash, *NC17* for saucy words and squidgy doings Spoilers: None
Archive: Wherever, just tell me

Thanks: to Dr Ruthless, Nonie, Orithain and Russianrat for beta and commonsense.

Disclaimer: Apparently they,re not ours, or so someone was telling me...

Notes: Hey, I know it doesn't hold up to close analysis - Krycek's got botharms yet Spender's there. Go figure!


* * *


Scully's parting words of wisdom rang in his ears.

"...and for God sake don't eat anything Mulder, bring it back here,let me take a look at it first. And try to avoid allowing it to touch yourskin if possible, some fungi have powerful toxins which can be ingestedthrough the skin..."

"Yeah thanks Scully, next time I need a thesis on The Fucking ObviousI'll consult you." It was a cheap shot and he regretted it immediately.But hell, apparently it was snippy season at the moment, and anyway, duringan earlier venting session she'd informed him he was arrogant and self absorbed,an unfounded accusation which he'd mentally filed away for discussion withher at a more appropriate time.

He stomped off into the undergrowth, half a mind to get himself deliberatelylost, instigate a full scale search and rescue and end this madness now.The attempt to get him, Scully, Skinner and Spender to bond into a cohesiveunit in the face of adversity just wasn't working. Between them they compriseda team of such staggering dysfunctionality that they were more likely toend up eating each other *before* their rations ran out. What the fuck hadpossessed Skinner to agree to them being sent on this team building 'Experience'anyway? He recalled the evangelical exhortations of the brochure he'd foundin his in- tray weeks ago, the bizarre exchange he'd had with Skinner aboutit.

//Believe me Agent Mulder, I don't relish the prospect of this any morethan you or Agent Scully, but the Bureau's recent commitment to qualityassurance and customer satisfaction requires that we devote resources tomaking trust, teamwork and open communication a reality rather than a concept.//

Ahh yes, what was it the brochure had said again?

"When we dream alone, it is only a dream. When we dream together, it'sthe beginning of reality."

"More like a mass fucking hallucination" Scully had snarled.

Hhmm. He wondered whether he'd recognize magic mushrooms if he saw them.A nice little high would be just what the doctor ordered right now (Dr DScully excepting) - drop a couple of caps, mellow out, sleep through tomorrow,come up smiling on Sunday.

"...Open and flexible communication and decision making methods, andemphasis on creative problem solving are stressed...."

A free and frank exchange of views between Spender and Skinner over themisreading of map co-ordinates had merely resulted in the creative responsethat Skinner should "just fuck off and die." Mulder doubted thatthis heralded a glorious new era of openness and mutual respect betweenthe two.

"...Skills learned in the wilds and teams forged in the wildernessexperience produce cohesive, effective and creative employees and teamson their return to work..."

//Someone needs to design a *fucking* course to teach people how they'resupposed to actually get on with their jobs when they keep getting sentaway on *fucking* courses.//

He was cold, wet, hungry and badly needed a piss but stomped on throughthe undergrowth to put some distance between himself and his 'team', keepingan eye out for anything that looked edible and non-toxic. Less than twelvehours into the exercise Agent Spender had already been cruelly struck downby the shits, and although Mulder found this amusing, he had no desire forScully or Skinner to be similarly afflicted. Not yet, anyway...

He found himself in a gloomy clearing and stood up against a tree to emptyhis bladder, listening intently to the woodland noises. Some people foundthem unnerving, but he found them oddly comforting - evidence of nature'sperpetuity, despite man's interference. He wondered idly how many hundredpairs of eyes were focused on him at this precise moment, watching him performan act of nature that united them all. He heard an owl calling; it seemedto have been his companion since he left the camp. Maybe he hadn't comethat far after all. Should they try to catch fish when he got back? Surelybetween them they could fashion a hook, dig out some bait; and Skinner,he must have some survivalist techniques he could bring into play. Therewas that owl again. Odd. Standing there, taking a leak, cock in hand itsounded incredibly close and almost...lewd - the 'twit twoo' morphing intosomething suspiciously like...a wolf whistle.

In the split second his brain took to process each constituent piece ofinformation and conclude that Krycek was about to jump him, Krycek jumpedhim. Mulder fell forward, clutching at the tree, trying to keep upright,succeeding in slithering down its trunk, though having the presence of mindto cross his legs before the bark made contact with anything more tenderthan his cheek. Krycek straddled his back for a second before allowing himselfto be flipped over as Mulder wrestled him off. They eyed one another - Mulder'sblood pressure hiked up several notches, propelled by the smirk that playedon Krycek's lips.

"Krycek?! What the *hell* do you think you're playing at? What areyou doing here?"

"Jeez, Mulder, just saved you from the one-eyed trouser snake, a littlegratitude wouldn't go amiss".

"Christ, I thought we had an understanding!" Mulder began stuffinghimself into his pants. "Have you *any* idea of the trouble this couldmake for me if anyone-"

"Oh relax!" Alex was visibly irritated. "Christ, you're soself absorbed, it's always about *you* isn't it."

//Jesus, not you as well, Alex...//

Alex rested back on his elbows, assuming a disinterested air, examininghis ragged fingernails. "For your information I'm here for the samereason you are - just taking the night air before going back for a sessionof enforced bonding with my home boyz."

Mulder took a minute to make sense of this. The only thing more absurd thanfully trained, experienced law enforcement agents being forced to engagein this sort of touchy-feely crap was the thought of a bunch of psychoticthugs, answerable to a shadow government, engaging in it alongside them.

Alex registered Mulder's incredulity and grinned. "At the end of theday, we're all feeding from the same trough, Mulder. These days if you geta policy memo, chances are we've got it too. I'm here legit.

"So, I gather we're not allowed back until we've probed our inner childor something? Speaking of which, care to do a little probing of your own,hmm?"

Alex ran the palm of his hand suggestively across Mulder's stomach, snappinghim back to life. He slapped Alex's fingers away.

"Stop that! I only came out here for a piss and..." twitch oflips, anger fading, "...to gather the fruits of the forest to feaston."

They settled into a practiced routine of innuendo. Alex scooted up closer.

"Oh, so you were expecting me then? Strange, I don't see dinner."

"I couldn't see anything to tempt my palate."

"Well, allow me to slip you some meat."

"Down boy; Scully said I'm not to swallow anything without her takinga look at it first."

Alex shuddered. He picked himself up off the forest floor and began pacing,hugging himself. Mulder noticed that he was lightly dressed in a plaid shirt,his familiar jacket missing.

"Anyway, I kinda had Skinner pegged as the hunter-gatherer type. Howcome the big guy isn't out here wrestling wild boar with his bare hands?

"I left him fashioning a loin cloth out of his knapsack. We're takingturns to go a-foraging. Anyway, what happened to you, you don't look appropriatelydressed for outdoor pursuits?"

"They made a team decision to use my coat to rig up a sling for a bosun'schair, upstream. I'm fucking freezing my balls off."

Mulder reached into his knapsack, drew out an orange slicker. "Here,don't say I never give you anything".

"Ooh, orange nylon, always a good look on me." Mulder made totake it back, but Alex snatched it from him.

"You sure? I don't wanna put you out."

Mulder eyed him quizzically. "Careful, Alex. All this bonding's turningyou soft. Anyway, you're not putting me out. It's Spender's." The ideahad a certain appeal and they both snickered.

Alex took the orange monstrosity, tugged it on over his shirt. It unraveledto just above his knees. He pulled up the hood for effect. On a whim Mulderleant forward and pulled the draw strings tight, gathering the hood so thatit obscured Alex's eyes and chin. They giggled some more, easy with oneanother now. Mulder tugged Alex against him, still holding the drawstrings.

"What will you tell the others? They'll want to know where you gotit."

"The truth, more or less. I'll say I mugged some wussy Fed kid. That'skinda our unofficial team objective anyway."

Alex's arms encircled Mulder's waist. He rested his head briefly on Mulder'sshoulder.

"Christ, I've missed you." Softly, Mulder only just caught it.The sort of admission Alex would never make at full volume, or in full visibility.He cupped a hand under his head and drew Alex round to look at him. Thetightness of the hood meant that only that luscious mouth was visible, butthe erotic tableau this presented was offset by the fact that the rest ofhis face was obscured by that ridiculous orange hood. Mulder pulled at thehood. "Get that damn thing off - let me see you."

Alex pulled it back and off, grinning. It had started to rain lightly. Theyregarded each other for a second, then Mulder pulled him into an embrace,kissed him warmly. He felt Alex shiver and pulled him closer still. He knewAlex didn't need taking care of, but was grateful for the pretense the otherman allowed him to construct. He felt Alex's fingers on his face, his thumbinsistently stroking at his chin, his lower lip, even while they kissed.His other hand strayed down Mulder's chest, testing the firmness of hisstomach, resting on the waistband of his pants, then delving further.

He undid his fly button and slipped his hand inside, seeking the hardnessthe visible bulge in Mulder's jeans promised. His fingers teased their waytowards his cock, encouraged by his soft groans. Alex broke the kiss andbegan a familiar, breathy litany in Mulder's ear.

"So, you been missing me too then, babe?.. Yeah, course you have. See,I had a guy watch you while I been out of town, Mulder. You don't get muchaction when I'm not around do you, sweethea-"

Without warning Mulder grasped his wrist and yanked his hand violently awayand upwards, holding it in an iron grip at eye level, between them. He staredat Alex, his expression unreadable, intense, before turning to his capturedhand, studying it, then...breathing on it.

"Warm your hands first." He flashed a grin.

Alex let out the breath he'd been holding and closed his eyes, silentlycursing Mulder.

He felt Mulder's breath on his cheek. "What's the matter, Alex? I thoughtyou considered mind fuckery an essential element of foreplay?"

They kissed with renewed vigor, Alex's tongue now seeking submission. Hepulled his hand away from Mulder's, careful to place it behind his backin the open air, willing any residual warmth it had attained from Mulder'sgrasp to evaporate, before shoving it back into his pants and grasping himfirmly. Mulder all but shrieked at the icy contact and tried to extricatehimself from Alex's grasp. Feeling Mulder's excitement start to dwindleunder the cool touch, Alex let go and patted Mulder on the cheek.

"Never forget you're fucking with the master here, Fox."

Mulder made a noise of disgust and made to push him away.

"Aww, poor Fox, did the game get too scary?" Alex giggled. "Truce,Mulder, truce...TRUCE!" He managed to contain Mulder's struggles andeventually coax a reluctant grin from him.

"Fuck it, but you better warm me up, Alex, *now*. Feels like I'm packinga popsicle down there."

Alex kissed him once more, gently this time. "S'Okay. I'll take careof you".

He dipped down, freed Mulder's softening cock and took it into his mouth,sucking gently to coax it to hardness again. Mulder gasped at the sensation,at the delicious heat that curled around his thighs, across his stomach.His hands moved to cup the back of his lover's head, applying a welcomedpressure. Alex usually forced Mulder's hands away when giving head, pinnedthem behind his back, insisting on total control, but for now he was contentto let himself be guided, for Mulder to control his movements and shapethem to his own needs. He dropped his hands to entwine around Mulder's calvesand gave up his mouth to Mulder's thrusts. He felt a hand move from itssteadying position at the back of his head, and slip round to the frontof his face. Mulder was mirroring his earlier action, stroking his face,inserting his thumb between Alex's lips, relishing the feeling of both hisown hand and Alex's mouth on his cock. His fingers cupped the side of Alex'sjaw, measuring the strokes of his tongue and throat. He felt orgasm approachfar too soon, a delicious uphill drag that he both welcomed and tried tostave off before surrendering to, withdrawing his fingers and pushing himselfdeep into Alex's throat, holding his head steady.

When he recovered himself, Alex was still at his feet, head resting againsthis thigh, laughing softly.

"What?!"

"Just thinking, that's the only hot meal I'm gonna get today."

Mulder rolled his eyes, held out his hand to help Alex up. "C'mereyou."

He pulled him into an embrace. They held each other quietly for a few moments,Alex's head cradled into his neck, Mulder stroking his hair; a stolen momentof tenderness, unexpected and therefore all the more appreciated. Then thesilence was punctured.

"Krrrrrrrrycek!!! Where the fuck have you hid yourself, you lousy motherfucker?!Get back here, *now*!!!"

Mulder felt Alex scowl against him, and grinned. "Ahh, the covert Consortiumdistress signal, I presume? How can we possibly hope to triumph againstthe forces of evil in the face of such cunning."

His words, though meant lightly, drew them both up abruptly, emphasizingthe gulf that separated them.

Alex pulled out of his embrace, smiling ruefully. "I have to go, babe...Later..."He backed away, holding Mulder's gaze, looking more wistful and beautifuland dangerous than any man swathed to the knee in an orange, nylon waterproofhad a right to, then turned and sprinted off in the direction of his colleagues.

Mulder closed his eyes and rested against the tree a moment, cursing hiswords and willing Alex to retrace his steps, renounce his treacherous waysand run away with him to a brave new life where together they could fightthe forces of evil and fuck each other senseless in roughly equal portions.

After a couple of minutes, when it became obvious that this wasn't goingto happen any time soon, he rearranged himself, picked up his knapsack andwent in search of his team.


END