17-Feb-98

Chasing Kalifornia
Author: KMS!
Date: 2/17/98
Rating: NC-17
Classification: S
Spoilers: None.
Keywords: Crossover, slash, M/K
Archive: MKRA okay.
Summary: This is a crossover with the movie Kalifornia.
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. Can't afford to buy 'em.
Characters lovingly borrowed from Carter/1013/Fox and Polygram Filmed
Entertainment/Viacom Pictures/Propaganda Films.
Author's note: Parts of dialog have been lifted straight from the movie.
And if you don't like slash...well, as Monty Python would say, "Run away!
Run away!" Though why I'm telling this list, I have no idea.
Acknowledgments: Much appreciation goes to my beta readers Kal, Griffen,
and The Rathole's own, Ratgirl. Many thanks people. Of course, all the
errors belong only to me and my spell checker. Enjoy!



Chasing Kalifornia
by
KMS!
Kmspider@aol.com



Everyone chooses, at some point in their life, between right and wrong.
Good and Evil. Some walk close to the line, stepping on it occasionally,
hoping not to get caught. Others boldly leap over it, choosing their own
path, crossing swords with the rules of society. Others truly believe in
their own cause, never realizing their path is strewn with wrong choices.
Most of us lead the 'quiet desperate lives' that try to avoid all contact
with the line.

I don't think Early Grayce even knew there was a line to cross.

Some serial killers choose to become what they are, some are driven by
unimaginable impulses, some are forced on the path by chemical imbalances
and misfiring synapses, others are pushed by horrendous childhoods. Few of
us can fully understand what drives them. Most of us don't even try,
praying that Lady Luck and the 'long arm of the law' will see justice done,
and make sure that all accounts are in balance.

But I wanted to understand them. Their motives. Their fears. Their
impulses laid bare. I needed to understand them. What made this man do
this deed? If I could just understand their motives, then I could write
about them, capture their minds on paper. And then others would
understand, too. And maybe that was the answer. If others understood then
it would be easier to prevent the next outbreak. Like a vaccine, we could
control the spread of this disease.

___________________

--The Pursuers--


"Moll-da."

Fox Mulder looked up from his typewriter toward the voice that said his
name in that lazy, drawn-out, sexy drawl that Krycek used sometimes, and
all he could see was green. The flashing jade green of his partner's eyes.
Taking a deep breath, he pulled back his focus with a blink and the whole
room snapped back into clarity. He noticed that heads had turned in their
direction; other drones, curious at the seductive tone. Damn, he wished
Krycek wouldn't do that. That laconic delivery was going to be the death
of him. He could only imagine what everyone else was thinking. Do you
think Spooky and Good-Looking there are... you know? Wink, wink. Nudge,
Nudge.

"What is it, Krycek?" he answered sharply, letting a little of his
irritation creep into his voice.
Krycek smiled, unintimidated, tossing a wink over his shoulder at the old
women Mulder shared the office with. "We got a case. Pack your bags."

'Honey,' Mulder mentally finished for him. Oh hell, the man better stop it
or they'd be the talk of the Bureau by the end of the day. Mulder always
knew that his life was fodder for the rumor mill. His cases. His actions.
His insights. His clothes. And let's not forget the closure of the
X-Files. What he didn't need was to spark new rumors. 'Damn it, Krycek,'
he thought sourly. 'Do you have to do that?'

Then he had to grin at himself. But it did sound so cute when he did that.
Then again.... He could already see the heads of two blue-haired grandmas
pull together like magnets as new rumors were instigated.

"Be just a minute," he replied aloud, and turned his back, shutting down
his computer, tossing the headphones down, rewinding his most recent
audiotape, and locking his meager desk. He rose, snagging his jacket with
the end of one finger, and tossed it across his shoulder as he followed his
'partner' out of the room.

It had been bad enough when the rumors had involved him and Scully, but
now... But now 'Mrs. Spooky' was assigned to Quantico and here he was
still transcribing wiretap recordings. He never thought for a moment that
he would find himself grateful to be partnered with Krycek. Then again, it
beat a slow death wearing earphones. Even if the 'kid' seemed a bit too
eager at times.

Catching up to Alex, he asked, "So, what's up?"

"Interstate fugitive. And we're the lucky saps that get to track him down
and capture him."

Mulder nodded in agreement. Anything was better that audio surveillance.

___________________

--The Pursued--


God, he wished Kerry would just shut up. Brian Kessler stumbled past her
into the bathroom, wanting nothing more at the moment than to empty his
bladder. "I got to see a man about a mule," he asserted with a grunt.
Another phrase he had gotten from Early. Oh man, he couldn't believe what
had happened tonight.

Kerry had followed him into the bathroom and was still yammering in his
ear. 'Be still, Woman!' he thought. 'Let me pee in peace!' But still she
droned on. He tried again to concentrate on her words, mentally separating
them until each became something small enough for him to wrap his
beer-soaked brain around.

"He beats her, you know?"

"How do you know that?" he asked dismissively. He knew she hadn't (read:
wouldn't have) asked the question of Early himself.

"Because she told me. That's how I know that."

"Hrumph," he acknowledged. It must be true because he really didn't think
Adele would lie about something like that. Hell, he didn't think Adele
would lie about anything, there was such a childlike innocence about her.

But Kerry wasn't done. She wanted to dump their fellow travelers. He
couldn't believe it! "So what?" he asked drunkenly. "Do you want to sneak
out of here in the middle of the night?" What the hell was she thinking?

Her voice rose in response, escalating the argument. Probably just as
well. He wasn't going to get any nooky tonight. Or rather, any MORE
nooky. And it was probably best that she stay as far away from him as
possible. Because he just knew that he REEKED of sex. Not just sex, but
mind-blowing, capital letters, make-your-knees-weak, hot SEX. Sex with
Early Grayce. OH MY GOD! If she ever suspected, well, he would probably
be lucky to find himself and all his shit dumped unceremoniously on some
deserted back road in the middle of Arkansas, his thumb stuck in the air for
a hitch while she drove the black Lincoln Continental off into the sunset.
HIS black Lincoln.

Listen to her! Man, she hated Early. Kind of funny that he seemed to
admire her. 'Breeder!' Brian tried to remember to keep the smile off his
face. Lordy, if she had heard him call her that she would have a hissy
fit. Though maybe not as big a fit as she would have had if she found out
what he had done tonight.

How could he tell her that there was no way he was going to dump them
tonight? Could he just say 'Oh well, sorry, Kerry; the man may look like
poor white trash, but he fucks like an angel!' Yeah, that would go over
well. Could he tell her about the fight in the bar? How Early had come to
his rescue and saved him from getting his ass kicked? Well, he'd already
told her HIS VERSION. Not exactly the entire truth, but what the hell! He
wanted to look good, too. And he wanted to give her an excuse for
returning so late. And so drunk.

He had barely believed it at the time, how he had pointed out to the
waitress that she had brought the wrong drinks and she had left him
grinning with her sassy answer. Then the next thing he knew, someone was
in his face, belligerent, hostile, and aggressive. He tried to blow it off
but the guy had only gotten worse, making the threat real. Making the grin
run from his face. He remembered thinking to himself, 'Oh, fuck. You are
about to get your ass whooped.' But suddenly there was Early, like an
avenging angel. Distracting the man, engaging him in battle and then
thoroughly (and quite viciously) beating him to the barroom floor.

Brian had been stunned. Early Grayce (whom Kerry had secretly named
'Dis-Grayce') had come to his defense and fought for him. He had almost
felt like a medieval maiden having his honor defended. And while the other
patrons had stood by, as stunned as he, none had stepped forward to
challenge the winner. The stranger's friends had dragged his unconscious
body away and the waitress had somehow found the correct brand they had
ordered the first time and brought them another round. After all, their
last round had ended up in jagged pieces of brown glass on the barroom
floor after Early had broken them over the guy's head. Stupid bastard!
Served his ass right.

And then afterwards. How in heaven's name could he tell her about
'afterwards?' Well, let's see. It could go something like this. He could
just imagine himself just spitting it out and saying: 'Well, Kerry, we left
the bar thoroughly drunk and stumbled out into the parking lot and
continued drinking. We talked about you. By the way, Early thinks you're
a breeder. Isn't that nice? I thanked him for saving my butt. And then
he took a piss, drank out of my bottle and then shared a religious
experience he had had with me. Doorway into other dimensions. Isn't that
curious? Maybe he's related to Alice in Wonderland, ya think? And then we
were stumbling up, dragging ourselves off the pavement and headed for the
hotel. Except we didn't exactly make it back here without incident.

Did I tell you I let him fuck me?'

Probably not a good idea to mention that at the moment. Not while she's
standing there with her hands on her hips screaming at me to get rid of
their asses. Yeah, maybe this wouldn't be a good time to say it. Maybe
later. Or not.

'Oh yeah, Kerry, one minute we're headed back here, weaving rather
drunkenly, I might add, and the next thing I know, Early is pushing me into
a doorway and his mouth is covering mine. And, oh God, he tasted good.
Beer and peanuts. I could feel his tongue slide into my mouth, caressing
the roof, dueling with my tongue, slipping over my teeth. Is that what
death feels like? That complete surrender? My body melted. There is no
other way to describe it. It molded itself into his arms, feeling safe,
secure and dangerous, all rolled into one.

Early was nitroglycerin waiting to spark, but at the same time he was my
protector, my paladin. I'll admit to a bit of hero worship here. No one
had ever defended me like that before. Neither so thoroughly nor so
eagerly. I had stood by while he had beaten a man, a man who was well on
his way to a confrontation with me. I was fascinated with Early. The
different way he looked at life. His earthier philosophy. All the crap
stripped off until it was streamlined for practicality. Attitudes that I
had never run across before in my admittedly sheltered life. And he wasn't
stupid; I had already seen that. Merely uneducated. The man seemed to
possess a kind of natural instinct. Animal intelligence. Low cunning.
But the academic life had not prepared me for real life. Not life in a
barroom where someone picks a fight with you because a waitress flirted
with you. And no matter how much I studied, not the lives I was seeking to
understand on this trip. It wasn't a natural reaction for me. The minds
of serial killers. Harsh realities. Stark truths. But this man knew
them. Lived them. I could feel it in the way he moved, panther-like. I
could hear it in his speech, crude but effective. I could understand it in
his ideas, practical but not unimaginative. But mostly at this moment, I
could taste it in his kiss. I had never been kissed so thoroughly. So
aggressively. So possessively. I felt as if my soul had just gained a new
owner. I was just renting; the ownership papers were being transferred to
Early, even as I lost my breath and my mind to that single kiss.

And then he was grabbing my shirt and dragging me around the corner.
Clothes fell away as if their stitching had suddenly disappeared. A pile
of boxes made an impromptu bed and I was on my back, naked except for my
socks, which had somehow managed to be the only clothing that had stayed on
my body, my legs spread wide while Early knelt between them, guiding his
cock into my body.

You know I'd had sex with a man before. We had been participants at some
wild parties in our younger days, but this wasn't like anything I have ever
experienced before. This possession of the soul. Ownership stamped across
your mind with the thrust of a cock. I could hardly breath with the joy of
it, my body going into rapture.

Early eagerly pressed his cock forward and my body loosened to take him in.
He pressed again and was engulfed by the tight ring of muscle. The
pressure continued until my heated intestines enclosed him. Oh my, the boy
could fuck. I told you the boy fucked like an angel. I know because I
think I died and went to heaven a couple of times. He leaned forward and
took possession of my mouth, slipping his tongue back inside. My body
bounced on the end of his cock, rocking with his thrusts. His hand reached
forward and grasped my cock, stroking it in time with his thrusts. My head
was swimming, the beers, the fight, the kiss; all of it seemed to be
running through my head at light speed. I was passing warp, going
inter-dimensional. Stars stretched like ropes of light and exploded in my
mind and then I was cumming, exploding over Early's fingers. I cried
aloud, my head thrown back. My mind reclaimed its rightful place in my
body and it was only then that I noticed that we had been fucking under a
spotlight. Right in front of the unblinking eye of a security camera that
was attached to a warehouse.

And Early wasn't done yet. He pounded harder, his hips jackhammering his
cock into me. 'Oh, yes. Oh, yes.' I wanted to scream. There I was, in
public, in a back alley, in front of a camera, getting thoroughly fucked by
another man. My cock rose in a display of exhibitionism. "Fuck me, fuck
me," I chanted. And he did. Hips moving in a blur, he hammered his cock
into me, making me scream in pleasure. But he maintained silence by the
expediency of swallowing my scream into his mouth. And then I was cumming
again as his hips banged away their final cadence, racing me into ecstasy.
The charge of the light brigade was over, the enemy, vanquished.'

He stared at Kerry as she finally wound down. No, he didn't think he would
tell her about his evening. Without another word, he collapsed into bed
and (to Kerry's great disgust) promptly fell asleep.

___________________

--The Pursuers--


Fox Mulder followed his partner into the squad room. Surreptitiously he
watched the supple way he moved through the crowded room, which appeared
insane with activity. Mulder moved behind, thinking, 'What a great ass.'

His partner stopped briefly to speak with an uniformed officer. Throwing a
glance back at him, Mulder's eyebrow rose in questioning response.
Silently Krycek shook his head and the case folder that the officer had
given over was passed along before they continued their journey deeper into
the police labyrinth of official people and sanctioned furniture.

"God, this place is a mad house!" Mulder muttered.

"Organized chaos," came the chuckled reply.

Mulder grunted in doubt.

By the time they reached the desk of Detective Graham, they both registered
the drop in the level of noise in the room. Mulder looked around, noticing
that all eyes seemed to be focused on him. Unconsciously he stepped closer
to his partner, feeling suddenly defensive and wanting to close ranks.

Alex Krycek glanced around the room with a frown. What the hell was going
on? They were all looking at Mulder as if he were the Second Coming.
'Look, guys,' he wanted to shout, 'I know he's a hell of a profiler, but
still! Get the hell off your knees!'

Ignoring the rest, Alex stuck out his hand to the man sitting behind the
desk marked 'Graham.' "Detective Graham? Alex Krycek," he introduced
himself.

Graham, balding, heavy set, coffee stains on his tie, his belt fighting a
losing battle to circumscribe his gut, took his hand in a firm grip and
pumped it up and down. "Well, I'll be! You boys at the FBI do a hell of a
job. Bringing in the suspects before you even start on the case!"

Alex shook his head in confusion. "I'm sorry, Detective Graham. I don't
understand."

Graham was still pumping his hand. "Hell of a job! Where did you find
him?" Graham finally dropped his hand and rounded the corner of the desk,
zeroing in on Mulder, a faint predatory smile on his face. A look of
surprise and confusion passed over Mulder's features. He opened his mouth
to speak but was beaten to it by the detective who was yelling to a man
behind Mulder. "Andrews, please take Mr. Kessler into the interrogation
room."

"Wait..." Mulder began.

He didn't get much more than that single word out before someone was
tugging at his elbow and slipping handcuffs over his wrists. His eyes met
Alex's over the detective's shoulder. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

"Detective Graham..." Alex began.

Graham turned to him and clapped him on the back. "OUT-standing, son.
Where did you say you found him?"

"Detective..."

"Just take him into room two, Andrews. We'll be there in a minute." He
turned back to Alex, pumped his hand again. "You'll definitely have to
give me the name of your supervisor, boy. I want to call him and tell him
what a fine job you're doing!"

"But..." Mulder started again before he was hustled in the opposite
direction of his partner. Alex saw a leap of panic touch his brown-hazel
eyes.

"Detective Graham..." he started, his own confusion mounting.

"Hell of a job, son. Can I get you a coffee?"

"Detective Graham..."

"How about a donut?"

Alex felt like he couldn't get a word in edgewise. "DETECTIVE GRAHAM!"

Graham looked at him in mild shock. "Well, what is it, son?"

"First of all, Detective Graham, I'm not your 'SON.' And second, I would
like you to explain to me why in the HELL you are leading my PARTNER, Agent
MULDER, away in HANDCUFFS?"

Everyone in the room froze. Graham stared at him stupidly. "Partner?" he
nearly squeaked.

All eyes turned as one and locked on Mulder like an interplanetary tracking
system. TARGET ACQUIRED, SIR.

Mulder gave them a weak grin and raised his cuffed wrists in
acknowledgment, wiggling his fingers in an impuissant wave. Graham spun
around and stared at Alex again. "Partner? As in FBI partner?"

"That's how it usually works."

Graham turned again and glared at Mulder. "But..."

"Most people at least let him introduce himself before they feel the need
to lock him away," Alex added with quiet amusement.

Graham shot him a look. "Are you sure?"

Alex looked surprised. "That he's my partner? Well, I know he doesn't ACT
like it sometimes, but yeah, I'm pretty sure." Now Mulder was giving him
the evil eye.

"But... but..." Graham looked lost.

"Why don't you tell me what's going on and we'll try to straighten this
out. Oh, and you might want to uncuff Agent Mulder."

"Now," Mulder added blandly, but insistently, both mildly amused and mildly
irritated.

Graham motioned to Andrews with one hand while he sank heavily into his
chair. Reaching into the case folder still sitting on his desk, he pulled
out a video-captured picture. Mulder wandered back to the desk under the
bemused looks of the entire room. He arrived at the desk just as Graham was
handing the picture to Alex.

He leaned over to Alex and whispered, "You enjoyed that too much!"

Alex merely grinned in response, so Mulder snatched the photograph from his
hand. The photo was from a surveillance camera at a gas station. The
foreground showed a brown haired, bearded, twenty-something man staring at
the camera. Behind him, two women leaned against a black '68 Lincoln
Continental. Both had dark hair but the one smoking the cigarette had it
stylishly trimmed in a bob while the other gave the appearance of a
Raggedy-Ann waif. At the rear of the Lincoln, pumping gas, was...Mulder?
Alex peered closer at the picture. Well, except for the hedgehog haircut
and the stupid sideburns, then yeah, it looked like Mulder.

Alex leaned down to whisper in his partner's ear. "Jeez, Mulder, you didn't
even open your mouth and you managed to piss 'em off."

Mulder shot him a glare, muttering under his breath. "And you didn't help.
I thought you were going to just stand there and let them take me away."

Alex grinned. "I thought about it, but what would Skinner say. And the
PAPERWORK! UGGGH!"

Mulder's mouth pursed to keep from grinning. He turned back to the
sheepish detective. "What am I looking at here?"

Mulder lowered the picture to the desk and Detective Graham leaned forward.
"This is the man we're looking for. His name is Early Grayce.
Twenty-five. Five-eleven. Brown hair. History of arrests. Stone-cold
bastard. Out on probation. Did time for almost beating a bartender nearly
to death. Kills his landlord and buries him in the mobile home park in
Nassau County, just before he arsoned his trailer and his car. And it
appears that a little over an hour later, he hops a ride to California with
these folks."

He pointed to the waifish-looking girl. "That's his girlfriend, Adele
Corners. Kind of a woman-child by all accounts. These other two...." He
trailed off and looked up at Mulder again. "The guy pumping gas is Brian
Kessler. He's a writer. We've been in contact with his publisher. Seems
Mr. Kessler is writing a book on the sites of famous killings across the
United States. Well, he chose the right company for it. Grayce is
believed to have committed at least half-dozen murders. Random. Most for
petty cash. The other woman is Kessler's girlfriend, Kerry Laughlin.
Artistic photographer. Through to judge by what I've seen, more like
pornographer.

"Everyone's a critic," Mulder murmured under his breath.

Graham continued on as though he hadn't heard. "They found a body in the
bathroom, a Joseph Davies Robbins, where these pictures were taken. The
gas station was located in east Texas. Thank God for security cameras; and
Grayce's fingerprints were all over the place."

"Doesn't look like our boy is too shy about having his picture taken," Alex
added, staring at the close up of Early Grayce.

"No," Graham agreed. "I'm sorry about all that, Agent Mulder," he said,
gesturing to the ghost of the handcuffs that Mulder had worn moments ago.
"But you can see by the photos why we were mistaken. I can't believe how
much you look like Kessler."

Mulder dismissed the apology with a wave of his hand. "No need to
apologize." He stared hard at the picture of the man wearing his face.
"Kind of eerie. Looking at your own doppleganger."

"Except for the stupid-ass hair cut," Alex added helpfully.

Mulder glanced at him, noting the small smile creeping around Krycek's
lips. "I'll have to tell my hair stylist that you appreciate her efforts,"
Mulder added with a small smile of his own.

Krycek chuckled. "Any idea where they are now."

Graham ignored their banter and answered. "Well, we got lucky. Kessler is
using a credit card to pay for gas as he goes. Looks like they are headed
through Texas. According to his publisher he's headed for California.
Maybe Los Angeles."

"City of the Angels."

"Not after they get there," Graham responded with finality.

___________________

--The Pursued--


Brian leaned over the door of the Lincoln, hoping his heaving stomach would
retain its contents.

From the back seat he heard Adele telling him about her father's cure for
hangovers. As the list of disgusting ingredients grew he managed to lift
one finger in protest. Adele didn't notice, continuing on, oblivious to
his growing discomfort. 'Oh, please, stop,' he mentally begged.

He heard Early yell something incoherent to the other transient residents
of the seedy motel before jumping into the backseat and settling in. Brian
wished he wouldn't shake the car so hard. Adele droned on. He motioned to
her again, praying she would stop. No such luck. Finally Kerry started
the car and they moved smoothly out into traffic. At least the wind felt
good against his face. He dropped off to sleep before they were five miles
down the road.

___________________

--The Pursuers--


Krycek and Mulder looked up as the triumphant shout erupted from the squad
room, a sound that managed to rise above the usual din. The shout was
followed a second later by the appearance of Detective Graham at the door
of the conference room.

"We got a lead! Kessler used his credit card last night for a motel room."

"Let's go!" "What state?" they both managed to say at the same time.

"Little town in southern Texas. Stayed at a dive called 'The Crest' in
Seley. Just this side of the border. Our boy is still on the move."

Both agents moved to hastily grab their stuff as they rushed out the door.
"Why didn't we pick up on this last night?" Mulder asked on his way out.

They pushed through the double doors of the squat brick building and Graham
indicated the gray Taurus was theirs. "Because the manager didn't call it
in 'till this morning."

"Why didn't he call it in last night? Don't they usually check on that
kind of stuff when you first check in?" Alex asked, climbing in the front
seat.

"He would have, but there was a storm there last night and some of the
phone lines weren't working. We got the alert this morning when he finally
made it through. Kessler's credit card set off all kinds of flags."

"Do we know how far ahead of us they are?" Mulder inquired from the back
seat.

"Hopefully, not very," Graham growled.

Alex drew out the map from the glove compartment. "Seley. Seley. Here it
is."

Mulder leaned over the seat to study it while Alex held it up. His finger
shot out and he traced a path along the old highways before the interstates
were built. "That's right between Galtton and Mount Juliet. They're still
following the famous murder sites tour. If they stay on track, we might be
able to pick them up in Mount Juliet. The Leviston Abattoir is located
there."

Alex repressed an urge to wiggle as Mulder's finger followed the line of
the old highway and, beneath the accordioned paper, along his thigh.

"We should call the other local law enforcement and have them keep an eye
out on the list of sites that the publisher gave us. Sooner or later they
are bound to show up at one of those if we miss them at Leviston."

___________________

end part 1
___________________

--The Pursued--


Brian came abruptly awake in time to keep his forehead from impacting with
the dashboard. "What? What's goin' on?" he asked sleepily as Kerry
slammed on the brakes.

"Look."

"What?"

"Look!" Kerry indicated over her shoulder. There beside Early's sleeping
form lay a gun.

***


Ten minutes later they had found a deserted warehouse that easily served as
their target. Pop! Pop! Pop! Early shot the pistol, blowing out windows
with precision.

"Only thing my old man ever give me was this forty-five." Early took
another shot with a bitter laugh.

The girls stood away from him, staying by the vehicle, while Brian joined
Early in the middle of the field.

Then he was thrusting the handle into Brian's hand. "Go on and shoot it."

Brian raised his hands, refusing the weapon, but Early insistently pressed
it into his stomach until he gave in and took it. "No. No. I don't know
how to do it."

He tried a shot and Early instructed him from the sidelines in the fine art
of target practice. "No, bud, you're jerking it. Ya got to hold it soft.
Like your pecker," he said with a wink.

Well, you'd know about holding my pecker, Brian thought. He took aim
again.

"No, no." Early got up from his seat on the abandoned rust bucket and
stood next to him. "Aim." Brian took aim again. "Loosen up." Early
slapped his elbow up in the air. Brian tried again. "Loose." Early
slapped his arm down and Brian shot him an annoyed glance. "Breathe. Ya
got to breathe, bud. Hold it. Now shoot."

Early had been right. The shot was perfect and there was a gratifying
explosion followed by the tinkling of glass as it fell onto the concrete
floor of the warehouse. Brian was grinning and he heard Adele call out,
"Good one, Bri." He looked around for Kerry but she had disappeared.

Early offered him the gun, but he quickly refused. "Ya never know once we
get to California. There's a lot of kooks there. I'll get me another
one," he assured Brian.

___________________

--The Pursuers--


"We'll have to move fast if we want to catch them in Leviston," Mulder
said.

"I've called ahead. There's a biplane on stand-by waiting for you at the
airport," Graham informed them as he rounded a curve on two wheels.

Alex glanced at the overweight cop. "We appreciate all your help,
Detective Graham."

Graham looked over at him with a toothy grin even as Alex wished he
wouldn't take his eyes from the road. "We aim to be of service, son."

Alex grimaced at the appellation, ignoring Mulder's chuckle. Twenty
minutes later they pulled up to the airport in a cloud of hazy sepia-toned
dust.

The two agents scrambled out of the vehicle as Graham instructed them to
'catch that bastard and bring his head back on a stick!'

They waved at him in answer and sprinted for the plane.

__________________

--The Pursued--

Leviston Abattoir, Mt. Juliet, Texas


Kerry and Brian entered the old slaughterhouse alone, light and shadows
pockmarking the entrance. Brian had to force the boards off the entrance
so they could get through. Before wandering around he started the tape
recorder. He had managed to get a copy of one of the recordings the killer
had made while he was with his victim. The place was a nightmare. Kerry
quickly finished snapping her photos, and the next thing Brian knew he was
being challenged about the gun. "It was stupid," he said. "Kid's stuff.
Bang. Bang. I really need for you to take these photos."

"That's all that's important to you, isn't it?"

"That is such crap!" he spat at her. "You know you wanted this as much as
I did."

"No, I would have done anything to have gotten you OFF your ass and US on
our way to California, and there's a big difference."

He couldn't believe it. She may have had the idea to go, but it was he who
had made it all happen. He had come up with the ride-share. He had gotten
the advance for the book deal to pay for the trip. He had come up with the
idea of a book at all. He would write and she would photograph. Together
they would make it in California and then she could show her talents where
they might be appreciated. In California. The Land of Hope.

Kerry stormed out of the room and he let her go.

***


Outside, Kerry stumbled over Early and Adele screwing in the back seat.
God it was so raw, she thought. Without thinking she brought her camera up
and started to snap pictures, her presence obscured in the shelter of the
building. The couple changed positions and Kerry moved to keep them in
focus. She snapped picture after picture until Early raised his head and
stared straight at her. He stopped for a millisecond and then began
humping Adele again. This time slowly, sensually. Aggressively. And
staring straight into her eyes the whole time, a small smile spreading
across his face. Her breath caught in her throat. My God, it was as if he
were pretending that it was she under him, accepting his thrusting organ.
Kerry fled, never for a minute imagining that it was a memory of Brian that
filled Early's thoughts.

Racing back inside, she almost ran over Brian.

"What's wrong?"

"I want you to drop them off at the next stop."

"What happened?"

"Next gas station it's either him or me. It's up to you."

He tried to talk to her but she was stone. They piled back into the car
without another word and followed the old Route 66 to the next site.

___________________

--The Pursuers--


They missed them by at least an hour.

The Mount Juliet Police Department had missed them and now Alex and Mulder
were walking around the decrepit building hoping to pick up clues.
Hopefully enough clues to predict the path of their fugitives.

Krycek wandered around the abattoir wondering what the attraction was.
Below his dark lashes he studies Mulder. HE knew. HE understood the
attraction. He had started a running monologue about the events that had
taken place in that horrid building nearly ten years earlier. Alex
shivered as he listened to Mulder's soft voice describing events,
cataloging crimes and rationalizing the murderer's reasons. It was eerie.
And kind of creepy. How the hell did he know all this stuff? Everything
seemed to be stored somewhere in that library called the Mulder brain.

"Mulder!" Alex interrupted him.

Mulder looked up; his eyes out of focus a moment and then seemed to come
back to himself.

"We need to know where they'll go next."

Mulder nodded once and followed Alex out of that hellhole.

Alex forestalled Mulder and grabbed the driver's seat of the rental.
Mulder got in the other side without a word, seemingly oblivious to Alex's
preemptive move. Alex turned the engine over and pulled away. "Any
ideas?"

"They're headed to another site. I don't think they know what they've got
with them." Mulder looked up into the gathering clouds in the large Texan
sky. "They'll have to stop for the night."

"So will we," Alex pointed out.

Mulder nodded absently. "I think they're headed into Arizona. They'll
have to stop for gas soon," he said, almost to himself.

___________________

--The Pursued--


Brian pulled the big car next to the pumps of the cafe-slash-gas station.
Damn, he wasn't looking forward to this. The women got out and made their
way inside, ostensibly to use the restroom. That was true for Adele, but
Kerry stood beside the large picture window and watched the men in the car.
She wanted to make sure that Brian kept his promise and told those two
lowlifes that this was the end of the line. She could see Brian now,
turned around in his seat, speaking earnestly to Early. For a moment she
was distracted by the television as the sound and picture faded in and out.
The coming storm was raising hell with the reception.

And then she caught the announcer saying, "I repeat, there is a nationwide
manhunt for Early Grayce. Believed to have killed Joseph Davies Robbins in
this east Texas gas station."

Kerry looked outside again. Early was getting out of the car, his face
filled with fury. She turned back to the TV in disbelief as the
surveillance video showed their little entourage. She and Adele by the
car, Brian pumping gas, and Early interfering with the flow of traffic in
and out of the place. And then the front door opened and all hell broke
loose.

___________________

--The Pursuers--


Alex pulled into the small motel parking lot and turned off the ignition.

"I think we should go on, " Mulder repeated.

Alex turned in his seat. "Mulder, we've been on the move since two this
morning. I don't know about you but I'm beat. Even if we knew where to
look for them at this moment, I doubt either of us would have the presence
of mind to figure out what to do with them. Let's get some sleep and then
continue in the morning. You said yourself they would have to stop for the
night."

Mulder couldn't stop himself from answering with a yawn.

Alex grinned. "Graham said they found a surveillance camera in Seley with
Kessler and Grayce on it. He said he would have it sent up here pronto.
Made a point of saying it was quite interesting."

"In what way?"

"I don't know. He wouldn't enlighten me. If we're lucky, it's here
waiting for us."

Mulder nodded again and tried to stifle another yawn. "Yeah. You may be
right. I'll get out the stuff and you get the rooms."

Alex returned moments later with a room key. Holding it up in the air he
said, "They only had the one left. But the tape was here." He held it up
in triumph.

Mulder nodded tiredly and muttered, "Just so long as you don't snore,
Krycek," and made for the room.

He dumped their bags unceremoniously on the floor and grabbed his stuff for
a quick shower. Texas made him sticky. "Alex, ya got to go? I'm probably
going to be in here awhile."

Alex shook his head and stripped down to his boxers, waiting his turn for
the shower, and turned on the television. He listened as the water from
the shower hit the tiles, imagining Mulder standing naked under the warm
spray. He shook his head in disgust at his own imagination. Pulling the
video out of its Federal Express bag, he popped it into the VCR and then
settled down on the edge of the bed. He hit 'play' on the remote and
watched as the screen filled with light. It looked like the back of a
building in a warehouse district. Nothing seemed to happen for a while
until he saw two men coming around the corner. They were kissing and
frantically stripping each other of their clothes.

Alex listened closely to the sound of the water in the other room. The
sound had subtly changed. His mind presented him with the image of Mulder
masturbating in the shower, causing the water to strike the tiles in a
different pattern. 'Oh God.'

He turned back to watch the screen. 'What the fuck! It's Grayce and
Kessler.' He watched as Grayce laid Kessler on his back upon some
discarded cardboard boxes and proceeded to fuck him senseless. Alex was
shocked. And the growing bulge in his boxers was not helping his
concentration at all. 'My God, he looks like Mulder. It looks like Mulder
lying there with Grayce between his legs, sticking his big cock up his
ass.'

Alex glanced at the door of the bathroom. Firmly closed. He looked back
to the screen, imagining himself in Grayce's place. Fucking the man with
Mulder's face. His whole body flushed. With one last glance at the
bathroom door, he stood and reached into his shorts and began stroking his
growing erection. There was no sound with the video but he could almost
imagine Kessler/Mulder giving voice to the hard grinding fuck he was
receiving, somehow mixing with the sound of water splashing against hotel
tiles. Alex's hand moved faster, his climax mounting, the world around him
dissolving into the narrow focus of the video. He didn't even notice when
the shower stopped and his partner stepped out of the bathroom and stopped
in stunned silence by the picture before him.

Mulder pulled his eyes away from the image of his partner jacking off in
the middle of their hotel room to the TV set that held Krycek's rapt
attention. He blinked in surprise. That looked like HIM. HIM on his back
with some scruffy bastard pumping between his legs. He looked back at
Alex. God, he was beautiful! And oh, my God, he jerking off to a picture
of me(?) getting fucked!

Alex had worked his boxers down, exposing half of his ass and a good
portion of his cock and balls. His hard stroking was becoming a blur.
Mulder didn't wait another second before striding across the room, coming
to a halt before Alex.

At the presence of another body in front of him, blocking his view, Alex
froze. He opened his mouth to speak before realizing there was nothing he
COULD say. Instead he bit his lower lip, stumbling back until the backs of
his knees impacted with the bed and he sat down hard.

Mulder thought it was the cutest thing he had ever seen. He dropped to his
knees and pushed Alex's hands out of the way and licked the cock in front
of him before staring up into Alex's wide, shocked eyes. With a grin he
engulfed Alex's cock with his mouth. Alex groaned aloud and he closed his
eyes in pleasure. Mulder worked the boxers off and tossed them away over
his shoulder. Alex's hands flew to Mulder's head, twining his fingers in
the damp hair as his hips began to thrust forward. Oh God. So hot. So
wet. Oh... Oh... Oh, God, no! Yes!

Alex came with a shout, spilling his seed with a savage jerk of his hips.
Mulder swallowed it all until Alex's body seemed to float back down to
earth.

___________________

--The Pursued--


"I ain't riding the bus, bitch."

Early was in full fury. Kerry stepped back in panic as Early swept into
the gas station's cafe. 'Killer! Murderer!' her mind screamed.

Early looked startled by her reaction for a split second until he heard his
name on the television. The reception cleared for an instant and the
announcer clearly said, "We would like to repeat. There is a nationwide
man hunt for Early Grayce."

"Shit!" he cursed and grabbed Kerry by the hair, pulling her across the
room and shoving her to the floor.

She cowered among the cafe barstools.

Early left her and searched behind the checkout counter, grinning with
delight as he found the sawed-off shotgun used to deter robberies. "I knew
that boy would have a hog like this somewhere!" he said in triumph. He
cocked the weapon one-handed and opened the cash register. A moment later
a shadow fell over the door as the attendant returned.

"Hello. Get over here, boy!" Early aimed the weapon at him. He motioned
him to a secluded corner by the counter, turning back to the register and
emptying its contents.

Adele wandered back from the bathroom, taking in the scene and calling,
"Honey, what are you doing?"

"They gave us the boot, mama!"

"But, honey..."

"Get out there and keep Brian busy. I don't want him coming in here."

He didn't want to hurt Brian. Not if he could help it. He liked Brian.
Didn't want to see him involved in this mess. And heaven knew he was a
great fuck. And a lot easier to get along with than that bitch he was
sleeping with.

***


Adele stumbled out to the car, opening the door to the back seat and
sliding in.

"I just came to get my stuff, Brian," she said nervously.

Brian turned in his seat. "I just want you to know that your not coming
with us, it has nothing to do with you guys. It's something between Kerry
and me."

"That's okay, Brian."

He handed over a small object that she had left in the front seat. "Don't
forget your yo-yo."

Then they heard a small explosion from inside the building.

"What was that?" Brian asked.

Adele got out of the car, raising her hands to the fury of the storm.
"Nothing, Brian. It was just the thunder." She tried to distract him, but
it was useless when, a moment later, Early stumbled out the door, dragging
Kerry along with him by her hair.

"Hey, Early, what the fuck are you doing?" Brian's voice was high and
confused.

"Oh, you're gonna like this one, Bri! Get in there. Get on over here, big
fella. Adele you're driving."

"What are you doing?"

Early was in charge, swinging the gun around as he ordered everyone where
to sit. "Get over here, bud." He motioned Brian to the seat in front of
him as he pushed Kerry into the back seat.

"What happened?"

Kerry's strangled voice rose above her tears. "He shot him in the head!"
She was huddled in the far corner, in shock and weeping.

"What happened?" Brian asked again.

"He shot him in the head!"

"No, no." Adele denied the truth as she started the car and shot forward
into the rain.

"You shot somebody?" Brian asked Early.

"NO!" Adele careened all over the road.

"Everybody just shut up," Early assured them, taking back control. "Bunch
of squawking hens. I'll get you there, safe, to California. If Adele
doesn't kill us all with her driving first," he added with a snort.

___________________

--The Pursuers--


Alex fell back on the bed with a gasp, his brain stunned beyond thought.
The edges of his vision spouted fireworks, translucent shooting stars, and
invisible flashers.

A shadow loomed over him and he felt the bed shake as Mulder crawled over
him on his hands and knees.

"Hey, you okay?" Mulder's voice was pastel soft in his ears. Alex blinked
a couple of times, forcing his ocular lenses to focus again. When they
finally did, he stared up at Mulder, taking in his lover's grin.

The brown head was surrounded, back lit by the ceiling light, giving him a
halo. 'Well, that's appropriate,' Alex thought. 'An angel has fallen to
earth and has come to take me away.'

"Hey, you still with me?" The smile had not disappeared, but the hazel
eyes were showing signs of concern.

Alex took a deep breath and let it out with a smile. His hand reached up
and stroked the soft skin above him just above the right nipple. The
Sistine Chapel comes alive. He was Michelangelo reaching up to touch God
and Adam with his fleshy paintbrush. His hand trailed down the lean body,
brushing over the protruding slats of ribs until it encountered the
now-coarse fabric of the terry-cloth towel. His senses had become
unbearably acute and he pulled at the rasping fabric with a distressed
noise and a sliding finger. He loosened the material, tossing it away in
disgust. THIS should not be covered. This living satin of skin, warm and
breathing. Even the coarser hair over his abdomen and groin felt like
silken spider strands to the over-sensitized fingers. Alex felt a warm
gust of air caress his face, ruffling his hair, as Mulder let out a sudden
wheeze of air.

Alex reached up with his other hand, fingers trailing down Mulder's side,
even as his left hand scratched through pubic hair. Mulder made a small
sound. Muted yearning. Restrained. Almost sub-aural. A vibration in the
lungs passed along through flesh and bone to sensitized fingertips resting
against a single rib.

At this, Alex almost giggled. He wanted to hear that sound again. To
encourage and tease it out of the man hovering over him. He leaned up and
stroked over one nipple with a flat tongue. There! He'd done it again!
That half-pleading sound came again. Just to make sure, he caught the
nipple with his teeth and lightly pulled, stretching it, biting it. Mulder
moaned this time. Oh, that was a nice sound, too. He could almost hear
the crackle of lightning shoot along Mulder's nerves. Jittering and
dancing. Alex could see the arcs in his eyes.

He tasted clean. Slightly soapy. Soap and Arousal. Alex wanted to bury
his nose against his neck but Mulder was too high above him. Well, of
course, that was just the way it went with angels. Too far above you to
touch. Where'd you park the golden chariot? Ezekiel? Gabriel? Lucifer?
Where did you hide your wings? Or were they horns?

Alex smoothed his hands lower, past the bubble of a tight ass and over the
backs of his thighs, pressing there until he urged Mulder to crawl forward.
Forward until his hips lined up with Alex's head. The cock above him
dangled and jumped in eager anticipation. Hard and weeping. Alex drew his
hands over Fox's sides again, soothing and igniting. Fingertips trailing
over the belly, following the natural forest of hair to that hardening rod,
begging for his attention. When he finally touched it, it leaped.

Lightning had struck again, followed a second later by a thunderous moan.
Count the seconds. Measure the miles of distance by the flare of light and
the groan of thunder. 'We're close, Dorothy. The storm is coming. Grab
Toto and head for shelter.' Alex grinned as he licked and breathed on the
twin Totos. Hairy, heavy, filled with... love? Something. Something
sweet. And all for him. Mulder jumped at the contrast of humid heat and
cool air against his balls. 'Sorry, kid, looks like we lost the dog.'
Alex buried his nose in the apex between the parted legs. Crisp, clean,
and...Mulder. The Mulder scent. Stronger here than anywhere else after
the shower. Yummm. Alex wanted to lick him like a popsicle until he got
to the creamy filling. And no cheating this time, Mister Owl. This
definitely would not require a crunch. This was a slurp job. And slurp he
did. Down the side of the heavy cock and over the head. And then up the
other side. Mulder groaned, frustration building.

Follow a vein there, trace the crown here. Another lick at the balls.
Mulder's hips shifted downward. Ah, ah, ah. Naughty boy. Alex reached
between the legs and gave him a stinging slap to the left buttocks. Mulder
jumped and then stilled. Alex could hear the struggle to control his
breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Alex watched the smooth stomach flex with
the motion. Better? Let's try again. Rim the crown, down the side.
Tease the slit. Alex's tongue was on a roller coaster ride. And then he
heard it. That frustrated whimpering sound. It shot straight through him,
following a path into his ears and down to his cock.

The lightning had traveled, leaping conductors, lighting fires. 'Run for
it, kiddo, no one is safe now!' And then he couldn't wait. The pulsating
cock slid down his throat as if they had been made for each other. Latex
glove tight. A perfect fit. Alex swallowed him down, hungry for more.
Give them an inch... and they'll take nine! A ripple of laughter shimmered
in his throat, adding crashing waves of pleasure up and down the cock.

Mulder slowly began to thrust, and when no castigation was forthcoming,
moved faster. His pubic hair tickling at Alex's nose, his testicles gently
slapping at Alex's chin, the rhythm building. Mulder's eyes were closed,
his breathing harsh and just when he thought he might crest the wave, he
was unceremoniously flipped over onto his back. Mulder's eyes flew open in
surprise. Before he could protest, Alex was off the bed. 'WHAT THE HELL,'
he wanted to shout in frustration. He elbowed himself up and watched as
Alex disappeared below bed level and then reappear again, sporting a wide
grin. And not much else... well, that is if you didn't count a rather
impressive erection. Before he had a chance to voice his outrage at the
interruption, Alex jumped back onto the bed like Nadia Comaneci and
straddled him. One hand held a condom, the other lube. Mulder let his
head fall back with a groan. God, safe sex. Arrgh! But then Alex leaned
down and kissed him. And with one hand, opened the lube, squeezing out a
generous amount onto his other hand. He pressed the foil packet into
Mulder's hand, then reached behind him and greased himself. Mulder watched
as the body above him arched like a bow pulled taut as Alex prepared
himself. He thought it was the most erotic thing he had ever seen. Even
more so than Alex jerking off to Kessler getting fucked.

Alex stopped and stared down at him. "Do you need instructions on where
that goes?"

Mulder's eyes widened, his hand bringing up the forgotten condom and
wondering how it had appeared there. A second later the packet was ripped
open and Alex's hand was helping him smooth it over his eager cock.

"Just hold it steady now." Alex lowered his hips until he felt the kiss of
the latex between his legs. Mulder held himself near the base of his cock,
guiding and rubbing it over the tight opening, greasing it thoroughly.
Then Alex let gravity take over and, with excruciating slowness, sank onto
Mulder's cock.

Mulder's eyes closed and his body shivered. Alex held himself still then
slowly began to flex his ass muscles. He heard Mulder's breath hiss
between his teeth. Squeeze. Relax. Squeeze. Relax. Squeeeezzee.
Re-lax. He placed his palms flat against Mulder's chest, feeling him
beginning to pant in excitement. And then he started to move. Up. Down.
Long stroke. Down. Short stroke, short stroke. Down. Long stroke. He
kept changing the rhythm until Mulder grabbed his hips in frustration and
took control. Alex just smiled, watching his eyes, seeing the flash of
quicksilver lightning strike again.

___________________

--The Pursued--


The story had slowly poured out of everyone. Early had killed the man at
the gas station. And according to Kerry, for no reason.

"Ya ever kill anyone, Brian? No," Early answered for him. "Ya ever seen
anyone killed? Well, let me ask you, Big Time, how are you gonna write
about something you know nothing about?"

Brian heard the questions echo in his head, chasing themselves like a dog
chases it's tail. How could he write about it? He had to know. He had to
understand.

My God, what had he gotten them into.

___________________

end part 2
___________________

--The Pursuers--


Alex awoke to find the morning sun slicing through the blinds, cutting a
path into his vision. With a groan he buried his face in Mulder's
shoulder. Wow! Last night. Last night was unbelievable... heaven.

He snuggled closer, feeling Mulder's arm tighten around him, listening to
him softly snore. He leaned his head up and looked at the man holding him,
mentally following the line of jaw, up the plane of his face, to those long
lashes resting against his cheek. He let his hands trail over the lean
body, a soft stroke, a little squeeze, and a smooth slide. Mulder groaned
in his sleep, a little whimpering sound escaping from the back of his
throat. He wondered briefly if he could convince Mulder to desert his
pursuit, just for a day, wanting nothing more at the moment than to spend
the day in bed with his lover. Not that he thought that Mulder would go
for it, not even for a moment. Too damn dedicated. Too bad.

He shifted again, balancing himself on his elbow before sliding out of bed.
A quick shower and then a little breakfast. Time to get the day started.

***


Mulder found the note taped to the bathroom door when he finally roused in
the morning, reading it with a rueful grin:


Dear Auntie Em,
Kansas sucks.
Took the dog.
Dorothy

P.S. Went to get breakfast.


Mulder had to grin. He stumbled sleepily into the bathroom, turning the
jets to a less than warm temperature and soaped himself down. By the time
he got out, Alex had returned, bearing bagels and coffee.

Alex flashed him a grin, holding the bag aloft, and said, "We're not in
Kansas anymore, Dorothy."

"If we're going for literary references I thought Alice in Wonderland would
be more appropriate. You know, down the rabbit hole and on the other side
of the looking glass."

"Tell me this didn't feel like you've been through a tornado?" he answered
with a kiss, pushing the bag into Mulder's hands.

"Whatever you say, Wizard." He placed the bag on the bedside table and dug
into his overnight bad, dragging out his clothes.

The suit was a little rumpled, but a quick shake seemed to relax it just a
bit. He was a little surprised that he didn't feel any embarrassment this
morning, even while he dressed, knowing that Alex was watching him.

"I can't believe the way you treat your clothes," Alex observed.

Mulder shrugged, pulling on the white dress shirt. "It doesn't really
matter to me, as long as it keeps the higher-ups off my back."

"I'm surprised that no one has given you a citation for those ties. They
have GOT to be against the law. If only the laws of nature."

"You have no room to talk," he challenged, dropping the towel and stepping
into gray cotton boxer shorts and then his slacks. "Where the hell did you
pick up that suit?"

"Well, not all of us are clothes horses, Mulder. Did they give you an
expense account for those?"

"I wish."

___________________

--The Pursued--


Davidson Mine, Dew Cove, Nevada


Brian pulled the big Lincoln onto the pebbled parking lot surrounding the
old mine. He had been ready to drop all his research if getting to
California would help them get rid of Early and Adele, but Early had
insisted they continue on their pre-planned path, grabbing the fluttering
map and directing Brian down the quickest roads.

So here they were at the abandoned mine, the next stop on their journey
from hell.

He pulled to a stop in a cloud of choking dust and turned off the engine,
meeting eyes with Kerry, silently apologizing for getting them into this mess.

"Okay, let's go have us a look, people," Early said.

Kerry held Brian's gaze as they listened to Adele tell Early that she
didn't want to go in.

"Okay, darling. You stay out here and keep Kerry company. I'll take
pictures. Come on, Brian."

Brian stepped from the car, struggling with leaden limbs, reluctant to
leave Kerry. He heard Early slide the magazine, emptying the shotgun of
its shells, and then drop the weapon on the backseat. The pistol, he
tucked into the waistband of his jeans. Brian wondered idly if he was
walking to his own execution. It would be so easy for Early. Just one
shot to the head and no one would ever find him in the dilapidated
structure. He hesitated long enough to see Early lean in close to Kerry
and whisper, "You run and Brian gets it." Then he ruffled her hair
playfully and stepped away.

They walked forward, the warehouse door, an ebony gullet, looming larger
with every step, ready to swallow Brian even as Early trailed on his heels.

Brian felt a wave of darkness and fear shiver over him like a thundercloud
eclipsing the sun. He rolled his shoulders and released a defeated sigh,
letting the feeling wash away, powerless to prevent whatever was coming

"So, what happened here?"

Brian glanced over his shoulder, surprised to find Early interested. "Two
brothers, prospectors," he began the lecture, "lived here in the seventies.
They used to pick up hitchhikers. Young men. Brought 'em back here."

Early stopped, pretending to shudder. "This ain't gonna give me
nightmares, is it, Brian?"

Not like the one I'm living in, he thought. He stopped when he heard Early
tell him to 'hold on.' Turning around, he saw the scruffy man motion him
to the side and snap his picture with that silly instamatic of Adele's.

"When asked why they did it they said they wanted to be famous."

Christ, Early was like a kid on a field trip. They continued inside and
looked around a bit before Brian decided to ask the single question that
was burning in his mind. Even as Early continued to snap his picture,
asking him to step this way or that, he drew up his courage. "Why did you
do it, Early? Why did you kill that gas station attendant? You didn't
have to... so, why?"

When Early didn't answer, he pressed on. "Look, you're right. I don't
know shit about killing."

Early ignored the question and asked him to move to the left.

"Did it make you feel good? Powerful? Superior? Why?"

Early snapped another photo.

"Who are you angry with? Your mother? Your father?"

That finally got his attention. "You want to know about my daddy, do ya?"

Brian nodded.

Early moved closer, throwing a quick glance out the door to the women
outside. Then suddenly Early was pushing him into a dark corner, following
closely, his chest pressed against Brian's. They slammed against the far
wall, the breath whooshing out of Brian's lungs just before Early's mouth
clamped down over his, tongue thrusting in with brutal possession. Early
finally drew back and Brian gasped for air.

"You want to know about my daddy, huh?"

Brian nodded, too weak to struggle, even as he felt Early's hands begin to
strip him of his clothing. The shirt was roughly pulled over his head and
tossed aside.

"He was a mean son of a bitch," Early leaned down and bit a nipple, making
Brian jump. "He would always tell me how worthless I was," Early laved his
tongue down Brian's stomach. "And then he would beat me." Buttons of the
jeans were coming undone. "Beat me harder if I complained." The tongue
snaked out; lapping over the head of Brian's exposed cock. "Sometimes he'd
lock me up in a closet for days on end." The hot mouth slid down over his
erection and Brian groaned. The head bobbed a moment then withdrew.

Early pulled Brian down to the dusty floor, forcing him onto his knees, the
half-down trousers imprisoning his legs. His hips were pulled back and he
heard the rasp of a zipper as Early freed his own erection. Then he was
lying over Brian's back, guiding the hardening rod into Brian's rear
passage. Brian heard his grunt in his ear as Early pressed in without
lubricant, without hesitation. His body jerked forward, but Early had a
strong hand on his shoulder, pulling him back. "And when he got too drunk
he would come into my bed and put his cock up my ass." Brian felt the cock
being pushed deep into him with a vicious thrust of hips. He bit his lip
to keep from crying out. Early pulled back then thrust in again. "Every
time that son of a bitch got drunk, he'd come in and fuck me." Early kept
up a steady rhythm. "And the bastard drank most every night." Another
vicious lunge.

Brian's hips rocked in concert, his own dick beginning to leak with
passion. "It didn't stop until the night he died. Drunk in a car
accident." Brian felt Early reach around his hip and grasp his cock,
pumping it in unison. "I cried that night, Bri," he said as he thrust
deep, "And then I spit on his grave." Early came with a savage grunt,
masturbating Brian until he came too. They collapsed onto the dirt floor,
breathing hard, Early burying his face between Brian's shoulders. "I left
home the next day and never looked back." He kissed Brian tenderly behind
the ear and then pulled away. Brian looked up at him as he pulled his
jeans back up with a yank.

"Let's go before the women folk begin to wonder where we are."

Brian blinked, struggled to his feet and arranged his clothing.

He looked up again at the sound of a click and a flash. Early was grinning
at him stupidly as he took his picture.

___________________

--The Pursuers--


Mulder stood surveying the murder scene. A moment later Alex stood by his
side. "Owner reports all the money in the till is gone as well as a
sawed-off shotgun that was under the counter."

Mulder nodded absently, his eyes flicking to the television that was still
on. "That's what he used to kill the clerk."

"Yeah." Alex studied him closely. Mulder was getting that faraway,
out-of-focus look again. "What is it?"

"They know now."

"Know what?" he asked with exasperation.

"Middle of the night. No one else here. Just them. He wouldn't be able
to hide it."

"How do you know they didn't know before?"

"They didn't," he stated positively.

"Uh-huh." Christ, Mulder was going into Spooky mode.

"He's escalating. Something must have happened. He's killing in front of
them now." Mulder's eyes flicked over the television again. "They gave
the story to the news last night."

Alex nodded; thinking that Mulder was being incomprehensible, jumping
tracks mid-train. "Yeah..."

"Did they estimate the time of the murder?"

"Between ten and eleven."

Mulder stared hard at the screen. "Fox news comes on at ten."

Alex looked at the screen.

"He must have felt exposed. Nothing to lose. So he took control. They,
the couple, may have heard the broadcast, or the attendant did, and
challenged him. But if it was the couple I'm a little surprised he didn't
kill them. Then again we know he's fucking Kessler."

Alex grabbed his arm, grabbing his attention along with it. "Mulder!
You're starting to ramble."

Mulder merely nodded.

"Do we know where next?"

"The mine. We have to call the locals and try to catch them at the mine."

"I'll take care of it."

___________________

--The Pursued--


>From Brian's point of view everything seemed to happen in slow motion.
They left the mine, hearing the blaring music suddenly silenced, seeing
Kerry and Adele standing there with their hands in the air. And then Brian
saw the sheriff's deputy, feeling relief wash over him.

Then the shooting started.

Early was discharging his weapon, the explosion thunderous in Brian's ear.
The cop fell and Early raced across the sear landscape, firing at the other
officer. Brian ran to the fallen policeman, unsure of what to do. He
looked up, seeing the deputy by the car had gone down too. And then he saw
it. The officer's gun was not more than a few feet from him. He looked
again but Early was not looking at him. Behind him, Adele was crying and
Kerry was calling his name while they hid from the hail of bullets,
huddling beside the car. He could have the weapon. Defense! If he could
just... He sidled over to it, crouching down to pick it up when there was
another shot fired. Brian jumped back, sure that Early had seen him and
was firing in his direction, only then realizing his mistake. Early had
been finishing off the officer by the patrol car. He had missed his chance
to get the gun. Too late! Too late! Early was on his way back. Brian
closed his eyes, cursing himself before going back to the injured man.
Early was crowing in triumphant, swaggering back to them.

"Did ya see that? Got 'em both on a dead run!"

"No, no, no, Early!" Adele cried out, her voice anguished.

"Come on, mama," he called out reassuringly to Adele, casually picking up
the officer's gun on his way to Brian. Brian stood over the wounded man,
stunned.

"Tell me that don't hurt," he stated before pushing the flat side of the
gun into Brian's stomach as he stepped behind him. "Shoot him," he
instructed.

"What...?" Brian stammered, stumbling back, clutching the weapon with numb
fingers before he nearly dropped it in surprise. He felt the barrel of
Early's pistol push up against his skull.

"Got to put that creepin dog out of its misery."

Brian turned his head in disbelief, managing to tell himself he didn't
understand the order for one more silver, innocent moment longer. And then
he was trying to look past the enormous barrel of the pistol that filled
his vision to see Early's face.

"You want to know about it, you got to do it, son." Early taunted him.
"Shoot him." Early pressed the barrel tight against Brian's temple. "Come
on. Lay it on in there. Come on!"

Shakily, he raised the police revolver, pointing it at the downed man, the
weight of the revolver almost too great to lift. It was an empty gesture,
because he had no intention of pulling the trigger, but he wanted to keep
Early from killing him. Behind him he heard Kerry cry out his name while
Adele continued to weep aloud. 'My God, he wants me to kill someone.
Either this man is going to die or I'm going to be lying here with my
brains blown out. I can't do it! Oh, God, I can't.' He looked again at
Early, seeking an escape.

Early whispered like a serpent at his shoulder, while the women's voices
sounded as desperate as angels. "Come on. Do it! Shoot him!" he urged.

Brian swallowed past the lump in his throat. And then Brian understood
that if Early killed him, he would also kill Kerry. 'Just go cold,' he
told himself. 'You've read about this a hundred times. You know how they
think. Just let the ice cascade through your veins and pull the fucking
trigger. Don't think. Just DO it! You fucking wanted to understand. You
could do it and no one will blame you. Not your fault. No one could say
it was your fault!'

Brian pursed his lips, hardening his features along with his resolve.

"Shoot the dog. Shoot him! It's him or you, boy. Come on. GO! Go, mean
boy!" The cold tip of the barrel shifted against Brian's skin, slipping
down to rest behind his ear.

Brian tightened his sweat-slippery grip on the gun. 'Oh God, Early. Don't
give me a fucking CHOICE. Kill or be killed. I don't want to have to
choose. Him or me. Him or me. One of us lives. The other one dies.'
But it was already decided from the moment the choice was offered.

He threw the gun as far away from himself as he could, hearing a
satisfyingly dull thunk as it hit the dirt, knowing it his heart that his
action may have just cost him his life. He had the satisfaction of knowing
that it had not cost the life of another. Not at his hands. He fully
expected to feel a bullet shatter his temple and enter his brain. He
wanted to understand but he didn't have to become one of them to do that.
'Just make it quick. That's all I ask, Early. Just make it quick and I'll
meet you on the other side of one of those magical doorways of yours.'

Instead he felt a hand on his neck, pushing him away as Early muttered
'pussy faggot' in disgust. Then Early took aim at the cop.

What's the saying: That the only thing evil needed to succeed was for good
men to stand aside and do nothing? Brian had to do what he could to save
this man, this Stranger, even if it cost him his life. "Look at him. Look
at his face! He's not your father!"

"I know that, ya idjit. That there's a police in a world of hurt and this
here's a mercy killing." Without a second glance Early fired the weapon
and killed the man.

Brian turned and threw up in the dirt.

Early snapped one last picture for posterity, "Let's hit the road."

___________________

--The Pursuers--


"Mulder!" Alex called.

Mulder looked up from the gas pump to see Alex striding toward him. "What?"

Alex snapped the cell phone closed. "We've missed them at the Davidson
Mine. Two officers are down."

Mulder cursed silently and pulled the pump handle out of the tank. "How
far ahead are they now?"

"Best anyone can figure, they drove off into the Nevada desert."

"Christ! Didn't they know what they had? We sent out notices!"

"The locals are getting antsy. Sounds like they're ready to raise a
lynching party."

"We have to find them first."

"Well, get out your crystal ball and lead on, MacDuff."

Mulder snagged the keys out of his hand and headed for the driver's seat.

___________________

--The Pursued--


Early had chosen a house at random.

Using Kerry to get in, he had taken over the large ranch house and taken
the elderly woman hostage. Brian and Kerry, forced to sit on the floor,
had been handcuffed to the baby grand piano, whispering between themselves.

"You've got to try to talk to her. She looks up to you. She'll listen to
you. She respects you."

"I tried, Brian. I tried at the mine, but she just won't listen."

"Well, try again. I tried in the car but all she'd say was it was no use,
that I couldn't do anything."

Brian tugged again at the cuffs, his shoulders aching from hours of having
his wrists drawn taut behind him.

What neither of them had realized was that Adele had listened. In her
heart she knew that they were right, but she didn't feel that she could
make a move against Early. If they all just listened to him it would all
be okay. Early would protect them. He would take care of everything.

So when she walked through the living room and Kerry tried to get her
attention, she ignored the other woman. It would all be okay. They just
had to trust Early.

It wasn't until she had found hope in talking to Mrs. Musgrave that Adele
had lost faith in Early. She had gone in search of him, eager to tell him
that Mrs. Musgrave had offered them the use of the guesthouse, only to find
that he had murdered again. The body of Mr. Musgrave lay on the floor of
the study, his head brutally bashed in with a golf club. A moment later,
the screams of Mrs. Musgrave echoed through the house as she also
discovered the murder of her husband, promptly followed by a thud as she
passed out on the floor.

Early had brought the elderly woman to the living room, laying her
unconscious body on the couch while he wandered off to torment Brian and
Kerry. Adele stayed close to the woman, stroking her hand and keeping her
company until she woke up. When she finally did, Adele wandered off to
find Early. And what she found shocked her to the core.

Early had been sitting in front of the bound couple, deriding Kerry's work.
He must have gone out to the car and brought in her photographs. He
assessed each one, saying 'boring', 'dog shit' and 'crap' just before
tossing it to the floor. If he particularly liked one he would poke holes
through the paper and contribute his own ideas to the photos, thrusting his
tongue lewdly into the hole and pretending to lick the subject in the photo.

He grew tired of that when he could not get them to react. Well, he knew
how to break through those stony expressions. Adele watched as Early got
up from his chair and stepped close to Brian. Brian's head leaned back,
his neck stretched, as he tried to see Early's face. Early's hand rested
on Brian's cheek, a small caress, before he leaned down and covered Brian's
mouth with his own. Brian tried to pull away, bumping the back of his head
on the piano, but there was nowhere for him to go. Adele watched as Brian
finally relaxed, accepting the kiss, closing his eyes in rising passion or
resignation, she didn't know which. She heard Brian give a small groan and
Early released him with a victorious grin. Then she felt her body run cold
with his next words.

"I'll bet he didn't tell you that I been fucking him, has he, Kerry?"

Kerry's eyes were murderous but she held her peace. Adele watched as her
eyes left Early's shaggy face to land on Brian's with reproach. Brian
merely hung his head, sheepish with shame.

"Couple of times. Once after we went to that bar and again in the mine."

Adele couldn't believe it. While she and Kerry had faced the police
pointing guns at them, her lover was fucking another man? That bastard!
It wasn't bad enough that he was stepping out on her, but he was stepping
out with Brian. And she LIKED Brian. He had been sweet to them this whole
trip. And Early had seduced him. And then thrown it up in Kerry's face.
Rotten bastard! She'd show him.

Quietly, she walked back into the living room and woke Mrs. Musgrave.
Adele motioned to her for silence and then led her to the back door. "You
can go now." She held the door open for the elderly woman and watched her
walk away. Away from them, walking into freedom. A minute later the woman
had disappeared into the night and she heard Early call her name. She
heard his footsteps approach, knowing in a second he would discover her
treachery.

Inside the house, Kerry just stared at Brian. She didn't accuse him, just
stared at him, her eyes boring holes into him. And then they heard the
gunshots. Both looked toward the noise, and then she noticed Brian moving.

"What are you doing?"

Brian was drawing his body up close, trying to get his legs under him.
"I'm sorry, Kerry. I never meant to hurt you." He managed to get his body
in position and bunched all his muscles under him.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm gonna get the piano..." he let out a breath with a puff, "...up. Try
and slide you hands under." With a mighty groan and a Herculean effort,
Brian lifted the leg of the baby grand a few inches off the floor.

Kerry slid her bound hands free with a whimper.

"Run. Go!" Brian yelled at her. Another shot sounded from outside.

"No! I'm not leaving you here!" Kerry reached back with her hands and
tried to lift the piano.

"Go!" Brian screamed again. "GO!" At least she would be safe.

But then it was too late. They saw Early at the doorway at the same time,
his hand bringing up the pistol and pointing it at them.

Kerry gasped and then started calling for Adele, suddenly afraid for the
younger woman. Early groaned in pain, screaming at her to shut up and
slapping his head as if to dispel the pain. Then he pointed his weapon at
Brian, saying, "Looks like I need me a new woman." In that instant they
knew Adele was dead.

Early strode across the floor, raising his weapon until he had it aimed at
the head of the bound man at his feet. Brian had betrayed him, just as
Adele had. Adele had released the old lady and Brian had freed Kerry. He
pressed the barrel of the gun to Brian's forehead when Kerry slammed into
him from the side, screaming 'no, no.'

Early pushed her off him, watching as she landed awkwardly on the floor.
Again he lifted his weapon, sighting down the barrel at Brian's head. Then
he heard her pleading with him.

"No. Oh God, Early, I'll do anything. I'll go with you. Please! Please
don't kill him. Oh God, I'll do anything. Please don't kill him."

He pressed the barrel tightly to Brian's skull, watching him winch, and try
to turn away. For some reason the barrel would not stay pointed at him; it
kept sliding off. Early found he didn't want to shoot him and he allowed
Kerry's words finally filtered through and, without thinking, he pulled the
gun back and used the side of it to smack Brian against the head. Brian
keeled over with a grunt. Early grabbed Kerry and headed for the door.

___________________

end part 3
___________________

--The Pursuers--


Mulder raced the fleet sedan down the old highway, stirring up a cumulus
cloud of dust behind him. They had passed the Arizona border an hour
earlier and now were headed straight into the desert.

Alex watched the road, surreptitiously keeping an eye on Mulder as well.
The sun shown down on them, heating up the interior of the car even as the
air conditioner tried to combat it. He glanced again at Mulder, who had
surrendered his suit jacket to the heat, and had rolled up his sleeves.
His skin glistened with a fine sheen and Alex fought down the urge to
follow a bead of sweat down from his temple with his tongue. He could
imagine what Mulder might taste like. Warm. Salty. All Mulder. Alex's
tongue passed over his lips in anticipation, idly wondering if he could
convince Mulder to pull over for just a bit. Probably not. He would
probably shock Mulder with the suggestion. Alex's lips stretched into a
grin. Not that that would be a BAD thing. Shocking Mulder could become a
hell of a pastime. His favorite hobby. Right up there with renting videos
and cruising bars.

And then Mulder glanced over at him, making him catch his breath. Those
hazel eyes were so focused, the mind behind them spinning.

"What are you smiling at, Alex?"

"Um... nothing. Just sort of hoping they'll hole up for the night.
Again."

Mulder blushed at the implication. "I hope you remembered to pack the
video."

Alex felt a wave of panic pass through him and his hands flew to the video
sitting innocently beside him. He let out a small sigh of relief before
looking up to catch Mulder's smug grin.

"You did that on purpose!"

Mulder's smile widened. "You have to learn to take care of the evidence,
Alex. Wouldn't want to lose anything that could solve our case."

Alex repressed a childish urge to stick out his tongue. "You just want to
take it home and add it to your collection."

Mulder shook his head. "He's not really my type." Then he shot Alex a
leer from under half-closed eyelids.

Alex barked out a laugh. "Maybe I'll take it home," he paused for effect,
"as a momento."

Mulder's grin turned rueful. "Probably just as well. I'm not sure I want
that particular video showing up at the office Christmas party. With my
luck, they'll never believe it isn't me. They'll probably suspend me for
sleeping with a suspect."

"Well, I could always come to your defense and tell them that you're
sleeping with me at the time."

Mulder caught the wicked gleam in Alex's eyes. "And have all those women
in the office trying to poison my morning coffee? I've seen the way they
look at you, Alex. Like a fallen gazelle before the pride of lions."
Mulder reached for his warm soda and took a sip.

"You know what they say, Mulder: 'Pride goeth before the fall.'"

Mulder groaned at the truly bad pun. "I think we need to get you thinking
about work again. Call Detective Graham and see if he can give us an
update."

___________________

--The Pursued--


Brian came awake to feel a warm hand touch his face.

"I didn't think he left anyone alive," a voice softly whispered in his ear.

"Where's Kerry?"

Mrs. Musgrave helped him sit up. "They're gone. He took her with him."

Brian nodded his understanding, then pointed his chin toward the nearest
piece of furniture. "Grab that chair. When I lift the piano, slide it
under."

***


Brian followed the gray-haired woman out to the garage. He had managed to
lift the piano again and his back and shoulders were screaming from the
effort. Then he had wiggled and pulled until he was able to get his
handcuffs past his hips and legs until they were in front of him, giving
him some measure of freedom.

"He pulled out all the phone lines. The nearest one is twenty-one miles
away. He took the fire road west," she warned him.

Brian got in the old, beat-up pickup, his head pounding from the pistol
whip. The stainless steel restraints made it difficult to drive.

"Take your car and get to that phone. Call the police," he ordered her.

She nodded once, stepping away from the truck as he managed to get the
engine to turn over.

He didn't have much time. He had no idea how long he had been out. God
help Kerry. He had to reach them before Early killed her. And he knew
that sooner or later, she would push Early's buttons. And then she would
be dead. Brian drove like a madman, hampered by his lack of free movement.

***


Brian finally found the black Lincoln. At the last minute he noticed the
old World War II bomb that Early had found and managed to strap to the hood
of the car. But he was driving too fast on these unpaved roads to stop, so
he veered. Veered right off the road and off the berm, turning the truck
into the ditch.

The metal of the old truck groaned and the engine raced as he left pavement
and headed straight into an abandoned car. The truck did a complete
rollover, finally coming to rest on the passenger's side of the car. Brian
was tossed about like a ragdoll, coming to rest in a jumbled pile on top of
the passenger's side window. His bound hands prevented him from stopping
his movement and he hit his head with a whump, landing in a concussive heap
in the cab of the truck.

___________________

--The Pursuers--


"Mulder! They got a call! A Mrs. Musgrave reports they showed up at her
place."

Alex checked the map. "He passed along the address. It's about three
hours away."

"Lets go."

***


Mulder came to a screeching stop in front of the Musgrave house. Police
vehicles littered the driveway, lights flashing, surrounding the area in
lurid red and blue lights. Moments later, they found themselves facing an
elderly woman who recited her story, clearly and calmly, despite her
obvious grief. Mulder followed the local officers to view the body of Mr.
Musgrave in his study and then outside. The small waif-like girl from the
videos was laid out amid the cactus garden. Carefully, lovingly laid out
for her final rest. He crouched down, landing on one knee, studying her
pretty features. She looked peaceful, here among the harsh landscape, as
if she had finally come home. Mulder shook his head. Maybe she finally
had.

He stood up again and entered the house just as Mrs. Musgrave told the
officers where Grayce had gone. And Brian, hot on his heels. Damnit!

"We're going out there," he informed the sheriff.

"We're going to need more men."

"Join us when you have them."

"You'll lose them in the dark!"

"We need to hurry! Grayce's losing it. You'll have a bloodbath out there
if Kessler catches up with him."

"I'll call back to headquarters and see if we can get a chopper."

Mulder nodded and headed for the door, dragging Alex with him.

___________________

----Intersection----

Dreamland Nuclear Test Range
California/Nevada Border


Mulder drove carefully, picking his way down the abandoned dirt road in the
dark.

"The road is blocked, Mulder."

Mulder peered through the darkness; his eyes picking up the big black
Lincoln parked across the road.

"Let's stop here and have a look around."

Alex nodded while Mulder cut the engine and shut off the headlights.
Together they exited the vehicle, cautiously circling the convertible.
They both froze in their tracks when they heard a moan, followed by the
creak of cooling metal. Mulder motioned with his hands and he and Alex
moved off the roadway, following the sound to the over-turned truck.

"It's Kessler!"

The big red truck lay on its side like a wounded animal. Or a discarded
Tonka toy. The still form inside was crumpled, a tattered, forgotten toy,
pitched about and tossed aside.

Mulder pointed to the driver's door. "Can you get in, Alex?"

Together they opened the driver's door and Alex managed to squeeze in, all
but stepping on the semi-conscious man at the bottom of the cab.

"Think we should move him?"

"He looks pretty bad, Mulder. But I think we are going to have to... I
think I smell gas."

Mulder merely nodded and jumped off the truck to find a stick to keep the
door propped open.

Alex leaned down, marveling at the resemblance between the two men, even as
he checked Brian's injuries. Alex had to give the guy credit -- it was
harder than hell to drive while wearing handcuffs.

By the time Mulder had the door propped open, Brian had stirred to life,
staring at Alex through one bleary eye. The other had swollen closed.

"Who are you?"

"Alex Krycek. FBI."

"How long have I been out?" Brian looked around; it was dark out now.

"Couple of hours, I'd guess."

Brian suddenly sat up with a groan and a desperate cry. "KERRY!"

Alex put a restraining hand on his shoulder. "We know. It's okay. We'll
get her. Do you know which building he went into?"

Brian shook his head, reaching up to swipe the trail of blood coming down
from his temple, groaning softly when he moved his shoulder. "Not sure.
Got to be close. The car is here."

Alex nodded. "Do you think you can stand? We want to get you out of
here."

Brian nodded and moved to get up.

Alex restrained him again. "Wait a minute." He fumbled in his pocket a
moment and pulled out his keys. Quickly he uncuffed the injured man, then
called out, "Mulder! Heads up!" and tossed the cuffs up through the open
cab door.

Alex heard a muffled curse, then, "Damnit, Alex! A little more warning
next time."

Alex grinned, following Brian's eyes toward the opening. "That's my
partner."

A face appeared over the opening and Brian's eyes widened in surprise.
Alex grinned again. "Brian Kessler, Special Agent Fox Mulder." Alex
watched the two men study each other. Damn, they REALLY looked alike!
Even with the bruises on Brian's face, there was an uncanny similarity.

Alex broke the spell with a question. "Do you think you can get up?"

Brian motioned yes, shifting around in the small space until he could get
to his knees. Alex moved to offer support but dropped his hand when Brian
hissed sharply. "I think I dislocated my shoulder."

Alex nodded and held him firmly around the waist until Brian was on his
feet. "Mulder, see if you can help him at your end. Watch out for the
right shoulder."

"Got it!" came the muffled reply.

Alex squatted down, still holding onto Brian. "See if you can step up from
my knee. I'll hang onto you."

Brian nodded, placing his right foot on Alex's bent knee, and reaching for
the opening with his left hand. Long slim fingers caught his hand, guiding
him higher as Brian stepped up. When Alex felt the weight shift upwards,
he wrapped his arms around Brian's legs and lifted him skyward. He heard a
groan, followed by hurried shuffling as the men above him maneuvered
around.

With a start he realized his face was level with Brian's groin. For just a
second he thought of his lover and inhaled. But this wasn't Mulder. Not
bad, just not Mulder. The difference between cinnamon and cloves. Alex
grinned, ducked his head and grabbed at a dangling shoe, pushing it upward,
and then the weight was gone. He glanced up, seeing denim clad legs
dangling from the top of the cab as Brian sat on the frame and then they
disappeared altogether as Mulder hauled him back, leaving enough room for
Alex to get out.

Alex scrambled out and jumped free of the truck, turning around and holding
his arms out for Brian, startled again at the resemblance between the two.

Cautiously Mulder lowered Brian down to Alex, then followed Alex's example
and jumped down beside them.

Holding the injured man up between them, they reached their car and placed
him in the back seat before Brian began to protest.

"We have to get Kerry. He has her. He'll kill her!"

Alex made soothing noises as he checked him out. "Tell us what you can
about him, then we'll go in and get her." Dislocated shoulder, concussion,
nasty bump on the head - still bleeding, wrist swollen and rubbed raw from
the cuffs. "You ain't going anywhere just yet, so tell us enough to help
us get her out."

He heard the driver's door open as Mulder brought out the medical kit.
Mulder handed him swabs and antiseptic, taking up a position on his knees,
facing them from the front seat.

Brian nodded, wincing as Alex dabbed at his forehead. "He went nuts. He
killed Adele. Killed that woman's husband. And two cops and the clerk at
a gas station." Brian shivered as shock set in.

"We know. He also killed his landlord. Just before he started this little
trip. Do you know why, what set him off?"

"Any help you can give us into his mental state can only help," Mulder
interjected.

"He just went crazy. He thinks he sees doorways. Doorways into other
dimensions. He says they're bright. They just appear to him." Brian
stopped and hissed again as Alex touched a particularly sore spot.

"So, he's delusional as well as a psychopath," Alex said. "Mulder, hand me
your belt."

Mulder unbuckled and pulled the leather through the belt loops. Alex
wrapped it around Brian's torso, tightening it over his right arm. "That
should help it stay in one place until you can get your shoulder reset."

"But he didn't kill you," Mulder prompted.

"No," Brian stated flatly. "We... that is, he and I... um..."

"...have been having sex." Mulder finished for him, waving his hand
dismissively. "We know. You were caught on videotape. Presumably he was
also sleeping with Adele and he KILLED her."

Mulder's casual acceptance of the relationship put Brian at ease.

"I think she helped the old woman, Mrs. Musgrave, get away. He thought she
betrayed him."

"That's the way we had it figured. What made him kill in front of you? He
didn't do that until the gas station in Texas, right?"

"Yeah. Kerry wanted them gone, so I had to tell them to get themselves
another ride. Then he went in the cafe and all hell broke lose."

Mulder nodded in understanding. "That would have done it. You were safe
until he thought you turned on him."

Alex spoke up. "Mulder, do you think you can get the blanket out of the
trunk?"

"Sure," Mulder opened the door and slid out, returning a moment later with
an old wool blanket.

Alex draped it over Brian, tucking it in tightly around him. A moment
later, Mulder stuck his head back in, "Alex, can I see you out here a
moment?"

"Sure." Alex climbed out of the back seat and joined Mulder by the trunk.
"What is it?"

"I've got an idea."

"What?"

"I think we can use this," Mulder indicated his face. "The similarities
between Brian and me."

"How?"

Mulder opened the trunk again and rummaged around for his bag. He opened
it and pulled out a crumpled pair of jeans and a dark T-shirt. Holding
them out to Alex, he started to remove his shirt and tie. "I think I can
go in there as Kessler."

"Are you CRAZY?"

Mulder tossed the tie into the trunk and started on the buttons of his
shirt. "Look. It's unlikely that he will kill Kessler. He hasn't before.
It will give us a chance to find Laughlin. Do a little reconnoiter and,
if we're lucky, maybe get her out unharmed."

"There is no guarantee that he wouldn't kill Brian on sight!"

"I don't believe he will. And we look enough like twins that I don't think
he will spot the difference." Mulder took the black T-shirt and pulled it
over his head, then he began on his slacks.

"Mulder, this is crazy! We ought to just go in there with guns blazing.
Or better yet, wait for the Swat Team."

Mulder kicked off his shoes and pushed the slacks off, grabbing the jeans
and stepping into them. "Look, Alex, if he feels cornered, he'll kill her.
We already saw what happened when he feels pushed -- he starts shooting."

"You just made my argument for me! ...which is why it's not a good idea
for YOU to go in there."

"He doesn't see Kessler as a threat. I don't think he'll shoot at
Kessler."

"It's an awful big gamble."

"It's PSYCHOLOGY, Alex. It's what I DO."

"I still don't like it. Let me go in with you."

"No. You stay outside and come in if I need help. If he sees you," Mulder
gave him an enormous grin, his teeth glittering in the dim light, "He may
think I've dumped him for a new guy."

Alex snorted in disgust.

Mulder leaned forward and brushed his lips against Alex's. "Little does he
know, you're the only guy for me."

Alex shook his head. "If he tries to kiss you, I'm coming in like Dirty
Harry!"

Mulder pressed his lips again harder, "When this is over you can 'make MY
day', Alex."

"When this is over, I'm going to tie you to a bed and make you beg me to
write up the report on this mess."

Mulder reached into the trunk for his hiking boots. "Promises. Promises."

***


It didn't take long to find where Grayce had holed up. From what they
could see through the windows, Kerry was in one of the back bedrooms and
Early was in, what passed for, the living room. The place was decorated in
that unique style: Early American Nuclear Fallout. Early had shifted
around some of the mannequins so they were frozen in obscene parodies of
sexual acts. The site had originally been built to be a testing site for
nuclear bombs, complete with stucco homes and mannequins standing in for
the average American family.

The FBI men withdrew so they could discuss strategy.

"How do you think you're going to get in there? Waltz through the front
door and yell 'Honey, I'm home?'"

Mulder grinned at him. "That's an option but I had another idea. Remember
Kessler talking about Grayce seeing doors? Bright shiny doors?"

"Yeah?"

"Well, it's almost morning. The sun will be up in just a bit. I'm
thinking that if we use some of this glass lying around here, we can get it
to reflect really brightly off the morning light and make him believe it's
one of his doors. Maybe even draw him out."

Alex was nodding his head thoughtfully. "Not bad. Not bad. Could just
work."

It took two of them to position one of the heavy frames so the glass would
reflect the rising sun back toward the front door of the house.

When the sun's reflection had finally crept its way to the front door,
Mulder motioned Alex around the back. At the last minute, Mulder gave in
to the impulse to pick up a discarded shovel and carry it to the doorway
with him, tucking his weapon into the waistband at the back of his jeans.
Mulder took up position next to the door, wincing every time one of the old
floorboards creaked. His body went rigid when he heard Early's voice from
inside (talking about doors, YES!) and then the door was opened and Early
stepped out.

The impulse that made him carry the shovel took over again and Mulder swung
the spade in a wide arc, connecting soundly with Early's face with a
satisfying musical ring. Early yelped and stumbled back into the hallway
before toppling to the floor. Mulder entered cautiously, stepping over the
fallen man, tossing aside the shovel and picking up the discarded weapon
from the floor as he passed.

'One down,' he thought. 'Now where's the girl?'

"Kerry? KERRY?" He didn't hear a response and began a search. He found
her, quickly squatting down before her, trying to draw her attention, but
she pulled away from him, somehow recognizing that he wasn't Brian.
Trauma, he labeled the action. Her hands were cuffed to the metal bed
frame. He spotted Alex outside the window, and pushing the frame up
slightly, he called out, "Give me your keys. I didn't put mine in my
pocket when I changed clothes." Alex slipped them over the windowsill and
Mulder began to unlock the girl's hands, only managing to release one wrist
before Alex interrupted him.

"I'll get her, Mulder. Go get Grayce."

Mulder stepped away and returned back to the entryway. When he arrived,
Grayce's body was missing. Mulder mentally cursed himself. He held the
gun up, his eyes darting around before he was slammed from the side and
driven to the far wall. The gun landed at the end of the long hallway and
Early was grabbing his head, hanging onto him like a monkey, running him
headfirst into another wall. Dazed, Mulder was pulled away by a fistful of
his hair and slammed into yet another wall. He felt a knife slash across
his cheek and spun away from it, only to feel it sink into his right side.
He fell into an untidy heap on the floor. Above him he could hear Grayce
speaking to him, but words were beyond his comprehension.

"Bri came back." Early's voice was amused and surprised. "Hey, Bri. Ya
want to ask me some questions? BRI!" Early sent a vicious kick into
Mulder's side, flipping him over onto his back, his long legs thudding into
the wall as they swung a wide arc. Mulder struggled to turn over again,
trying to focus on the gun, feeling very much like a turtle stuck on his
back.

"Ask me some questions... Come on... Do I feel powerful? Do I feel
superior?" Early's voice was laced with scorn. "No. Bri?" Now he
sounded exasperated that 'Brian' was not paying attention to him. Early
kicked him again. Mulder grunted and tried not to throw up.

"No. I feel good!" Early sounded surprised at this self-revelation.
"Bri, you're bleeding," he pointed out helpfully, accompanying this
statement with another kick to Mulder's ribs.

"Bri! You're bleeding!"

'I know, you asshole. STOP KICKING ME!' Mulder wanted to scream at him,
but he was having too much trouble just drawing a breath.

And then he heard Early begin to sing/mutter: "Shall I wait for you... at
the pearly... Ah. Skynyrd!" Early remembered in triumph and rewarded
himself with another kick at Mulder.

'Oh, Christ,' Mulder thought. 'He doesn't know Skinner, does he? I'll be
on wiretap forever at this rate.' He attempted to crawl a few feet closer
to the gun before Early kicked him again. He was sure a couple of ribs had
broken with that last kick. But he was close. So close...

"Lynard Skynard! I like that one. Bri?"

Mulder reached out, just inches away from the weapon.

"BRI?" Early yelled down at him, raising his fists to strike at the downed
man.

'Oh God, please. Just another few inches,' Mulder mentally begged. He
could practically feel Early's hot breath on his neck. And then he heard
it. Early's cry as someone hit him, then Early's stumble and the thump of
a body hitting the floor. He reached the gun and drew it close to him,
cradling it against his body and pointing it in Grayce's direction. A
shadow fell over him as Early arose again like a phoenix and came at him
with the speed of a freight train. The house filled with noise as Early
let out a banshee's wail.

With a yell, Mulder fired, saw it blossom red on Early's chest and saw him
flail on his feet a moment before landing on the hardwood floor with a
crash.

Mulder let out a whoosh of air and gingerly rose to his feet. Beside him
he heard the thump of a mannequin arm fall to the floor and looked in that
direction. Kerry stood there, teetering on her feet, releasing the plastic
hand to the floor. One of her hands was still attached to the bed frame.
She had foregone her own freedom to help him.

"The key. It's around his neck." Her words were toneless as if she had
delivered this bit of news from a great distance. He saw that only one
hand had been released from her cuffs. The other still attached her to the
metal bars of the headboard. Mulder nodded to her and approached the body.
Kneeling down, weapon still trained on the injured man, he tried to assess
the damage. Bad. Very bad. Gunshot to the chest. If the medics didn't
arrive soon, Grayce was a dead man. And even that didn't guarantee that he
would live. Early was spitting up blood and still trying to talk.

Mulder leaned down to listen. Close. Closer. And then almost fell back
on his ass when another gunshot boomed through the empty house.

Mulder brought the revolver up, squinting at the silhouette standing in the
doorway.

"Relax, Mulder. It's me."

Mulder let out a breath and then looked down at Early. Alex's shot had
penetrated his skull and the body lay motionless. Mulder looked up as Alex
stood close to him, then down at Early again. "Why?" he asked, his voice
shaky.

"Look at his left hand, Mulder." Mulder glanced over, only than seeing his
own weapon still clutched in Grayce's lifeless hand. He had dropped it
during their fight and it hadn't even registered. 'I guess getting your
ass kicked will do that for you.'

"He was going to shoot you."

Mulder leaned his head against Alex. "I didn't even see it."

Alex pushed him off so he could kneel down beside him. "I'm not surprised,
partner," he said, brushing the hair out of Mulder's eyes. "Not with all
that blood in your eyes."

Mulder flinched and touched the bleeding, sore spot with one finger. They
drew away from each other as they heard the sound of sirens. "I guess we
won't need the Swat Team now."

"Not with Fox Rambo on the case," Alex chuckled. Alex stood and held out a
hand to help Mulder to his feet.

"Think you can help 'Rambo' to the ambulance?"

Alex grinned and tugged him up. Mulder swayed a moment and Alex wrapped an
arm around his waist to steady him.

"Alex?"

Krycek helped Mulder to the front steps and set him down. "What is it,
Mulder?"

"My hair hurts."

Alex released a surprise chuckle and patted Mulder's arm. "At least he
didn't break your sense of humor. Stay here. I'm going back in to get the
girl."

Mulder nodded, wrapping his arms around his ribs and tried to take a breath
without pain.

"Who was joking?" he asked the air.

___________________

end part 4
___________________

--Recovery--


Alex walked down the hospital corridor with a jaunty stride, stopping at
the nurse's desk just long enough to get directions to Mulder's room and
flirt a little with the nurses.

Pushing open the door, he stepped in and looked at his partner. The sound
of a basketball game blared from the nearby television set.

'Just like Sleeping Beauty,' he thought, and like Sleeping Beauty, Alex
would wake him with a kiss.

He leaned down and placed a gentle kiss just off-center of those full lips
then watched as hazel eyes blinked open.

For a full second, Mulder didn't react beyond surprise and then, in a
strained voice, squeaked, "Agent Krycek?"

Oops!

"Brian?" Alex's voice squeaked back.

Kessler relaxed and tipped his head to the pulled curtain. "Agent Mulder's
over there," he said grinning.

"Oh... thanks. Sorry about that," Alex shrugged his shoulders with a
sheepish smile.

"It's okay," he answered with a smile. "You folks at the FBI are a lot
friendlier than I thought." He paused, lost in thought, then continued.
"Kind of nice. I think Kerry has left me for good this time, so..." he
trailed off.

Alex patted his shoulder reassuringly. "I'm sure she'll come back to you.
Just give it time. You two have been through a lot."

"Yeah," Brian answered sleepily and let his lids slide closed.

Alex stepped quietly away and pulled back the curtain. Mulder lay in quiet
repose. When he heard the rustle of cloth, he turned his head and gave
Alex a welcoming smile.

"Hey," Alex greeted cautiously. "Almost had a case of mistaken identity."

Mulder chuckled. "Yeah. Kind of strange that they put us in the same
room. The nurses are in seventh heaven. They keep asking us if we're
twins."

"Have they mixed you up yet?"

"More than once. My only consolation is, if Skinner shows up, I'm hiding
under the bed and letting Brian take the rap."

Alex gave him a toothy smile. "You are an evil man, Fox Mulder...doing
that to Brian," he scolded.

"But Brian won't get fired if he tells him to blow it out his ass."

"With your luck, he'll still hold you responsible for whatever Brian says."

Mulder shrugged. "Hey, don't knock it. It's my best plan so far."

"So, when do you get outta here?"

"Looks like the day after tomorrow."

"Hey, did you hear Brian? He thinks Kerry left him."

"Really? That's too bad. Especially after everything they've gone
through."

"Hey, Mulder?" Alex asked, hesitation lacing his voice.

Mulder frowned in concern. "What is it, Alex?"

"Well, I was just thinking... if Brian is free..."

"What?" Mulder prompted.

"And... Well, you two look so much alike..."

"And?"

"And I was just thinking... um..."

Understanding suddenly hit Mulder and he started to laugh. "Oh, my God.
You want to do a threesome!"

"Mulder, not so loud!"

Mulder started to laugh harder, holding his bruised sides. "You want..."
he gasped, "an..." breath, "...an Alex sandwich!"

"Mulder, stop! You're going to hurt yourself!"

"Oh, my God, Alex," he tried to catch his breath. "Have you asked him?"

"No!" Alex hissed as him, horrified. "Stop laughing!"

Mulder's body quaked with residual laughter, then he looked closely at
Alex. "I think he gets out the same day I do."

"Damn it, Mulder. You are incorrigible."

"You can always ask. All he can say is 'no.'"

Alex straightened. "Maybe I will," he said defiantly.

Mulder grabbed his Flaming Red Power Tie and pulled him down for a soft
kiss.

"All you can do is try," he reassured sweetly.

***


Much to Alex's surprise, Brian said 'yes.'

And now, here he was, unceremoniously pushed into the hotel room, sitting
by himself, waiting for twin Mulders to exit the bathroom.

Mulder had something up his sleeve and, by the looks of it, Brian was a
willing coconspirator. Alex shifted nervously on the bed again. 'Damn! I
feel like a bride on her fucking wedding night.'

Mulder had ordered him to strip down to his boxers and wait for them, and
then he had dragged Brian off to the bathroom with him. What the hell was
the man up to? He could hear them talking in low voices behind the paneled
door. Their voices were so much alike that it gave Alex an eerie feeling
that Mulder had pushed over the edge into full-blown psychosis and was now
in an all-out Split Personality Spectacular Gala.

One Kessler/Mulder voice asked a question and another answered in an
equally low rumble. 'Spice lightly with muted Mulder chuckle. Sounds like
a damn recipe. Come on. Come on.' Alex mentally urged.

As if his thoughts had been heard, the door opened and a 'Mulder' head
poked out. Alex looked up expectantly.

"Alex, do you still have your tie?"

Alex glanced around the room, spying the silk tie hanging off the
television antenna where he had carelessly tossed it. "Yeah?"

"Get it."

Alex obediently stood and retrieved it. "Now what?"

"Blindfold yourself."

Alex looked at the piece of cloth in his had and then up at Mulder again.
"But I won't be able to see."

"Duh."

'Quick, Alex. Very smooth.' "But..."

"Just put it on, Alex. I promise you won't have to wear it forever."

Alex stared at him for a long minute and then sighed heavily. Without
another word, he wrapped the piece of silk over his eyes and knotted it in
the back.

"No peeking."

"Very funny."

"Don't pout, Alex."

"I'm not..." Alex sighed again. "Am I going to have to wear this all
night?"

"No. Can you see?"

Alex looked down, able to see only his bare feet against the brown shag
carpet. "No."

"Liar." But there was humor in the voice.

Alex took a deep breath and straightened up, closing his eyes. "Okay, my
eyes are closed." Alex heard another rumble of low chuckles and then the
door open. Two sets of feet swished over the carpet, circling him like
settling vultures.

One of them stood behind him and the other stopped in front of him. Alex
shivered in anticipation just as the one behind him petted his hair and
then tightened the tie just a little. He wanted to protest but became
distracted when a set of lips planted a kiss on his neck. The hands on the
tie fell away, gliding down his bare shoulders and down his arms. He
shivered again and drew a deep breath to steady himself.

He felt hands touch his chest, pinching a nipple, then soothing it with the
pad of a thumb. Alex felt his breath catch when the hand slipped down his
boxers and cup him through the thin material. Instinctively his hips
thrust forward, filling the warm palm with his growing erection.

"Ummm..." he groaned softly. The 'Mulder' in front pressed himself
forward, nibbling at his throat. He felt lips sucking at his Adam's apple
and he swallowed another groan, making the bob skip away from the warm
lips, then return. The one behind him pressed closer too and Alex wanted
to giggle. 'An Alex Sandwich, indeed!'

He quickly lost the urge when he felt a firm rod of flesh pressing between
his ass cheeks.

Neither of his lovers had said a word.

'As quiet as little mice on Christmas eve,' he thought, grinning again.
But which was which? There had to be a way to tell, but with neither of
them saying a word, it was impossible to say.

Alex thought hard. Maybe there was a way. If he recalled correctly, Fox
Mulder had a scar, high up on his thigh. He remembered running his lips
over it. With a wicked smile and a demented chuckle, Alex reached behind
him with his right hand and forward with his left. Both hands glided their
way over firm thighs, tickling and searching. Ah! There it was! Mulder
was behind him. Sneaky Devil!

Alex felt Mulder's chin rest on his shoulder and then the pressure lifted
away, quickly followed by the sound of two sets of lips meeting right next
to his ear. Brian and Mulder were kissing--and he was being left out!
Well, if you could say that, seeing how he was sandwiched between them like
leftover turkey the day after Thanksgiving. He almost protested aloud and
then decided to help instead. Leaning forward, he followed Brian's jaw
line, leaving wet, sloppy kisses to mark his path. And with a determined
thrust, he pushed his hips against Brian's. He heard Brian's groan,
muffled by Mulder's lips. He started to grin again before he felt sharp
teeth nip his ear lob. Mulder! He gave a startled yelp, which died as his
mouth was covered with soft lips.

Brian tasted...different. No salty sunflower seed residue, no bitter
coffee. The thought struck him again --cinnamon and cloves--similar but
not the same. Slightly minty from toothpaste. Brian's mouth opened and
his tongue slipped out, skimming Alex's lips, tasting, then plunging in.
Alex sucked hard, surrounded by caressing warmth. He felt hands thread
through his hair, holding his head in place as Brian plundered his mouth.
Then he felt the soft wet glide of a tongue trace the shell of his ear and
pass over the fingers resting there. The grip on his head tightened as the
tongue slid over the fingers, nipping and sucking, leaving a damp trail.
The wetness returned to his ear again and plunged into the canal. Alex
jumped, moaning with the sensation. Then one hand left his head and he
felt Mulder pulled forward into another kiss from Brian.

'Damnit, Mulder! I want to watch!' Alex gave a frustrated sigh.
"Mulder," he finally spoke aloud, his voice colored with a slight
desperation. "I want to see!"

Alex bit his bottom lip as he was answered by stereo chuckles.

"Impatient child," he heard whispered, but for the life of him, he couldn't
tell who had spoken.

Alex felt the side of his mouth pull down into a small frown even as his
hands raised in the air, moving to discard the impromptu blindfold. His
hands were caught midair, encased, as Mulder's fingers laced themselves
between his own.

"Hush," Mulder whispered the command next to his ear. His hands were drawn
back down and his arms guided around Brian's torso. Still entwined, the
hands slipped down to Brian's ass, kneading muscle, grasping peachy flesh.
Mulder released one of Alex's hands and traced a finger down Brian's spine.
Alex felt Brian shudder against him. Alex's free hand drifted to the
small of Brian's back, making small circles with his fingers. Alex liked
the way Mulder guided his hands over Brian's body, and together they would
explore its smooth surfaces and hard planes of flesh like surfers adrift in
tropical waters, warm and sunny, fingers rising and falling on currents to
the pulse of sultry bloodbeats.

"Mulder. Bed," Alex pleaded again.

Alex felt Mulder's lips press against the skin at his shoulder, pursing
into a kiss and then stretching into a grin. The warm nuzzle lifted away
and Mulder whispered, "This cannot go unpunished, Alex."

He groaned again as Mulder took each of his wrists in hand and pulled them
away from Brian's body. Then he almost cried as Brian's warm body stepped
away, feeling frigid air sweep into the empty space.

"But I'll...I'll be good."

"Too late."

His hands were returned to his own body and placed against his chest, then
released. "Let me see you pleasure yourself," the voice instructed before
Mulder, too, stepped away.

Alex felt as if he had been plunged into an ice bath, all warmth suddenly
removed. He heard himself whimpering and then heard Brian say, "Do it,
Alex."

Alex's fingers fanned out, rubbing over his chest, pinching his own
nipples, which were already standing erect. He wanted to be cocooned in
sweet, blessed warmth again and he would do whatever it took to get it
back. He wanted to argue against the abandonment, to rage against it. His
protest died when he heard Mulder instruct, "Show us, Alex. Put on a show
for us. Show us what you like."

The thought of being watched by these two excited him. He would give them
a show all right. He would show them how much they wanted him. The
exhibitionist would perform for the voyeurs.

Alex brought his fingers to his mouth and licked them, then drew the wet
pads over his nipples, making them tighten and darken in pleasure. His
other hand began a meandering trail down his stomach, slipping over firm
muscle and fine blond hairs before catching a finger in the edge of elastic
of the boxers and lifting, letting his hand slide inside. His erection was
hard and weeping. Alex went deeper, cupping his balls, then drawing back
and scritching fingers through crisp pubic hair, occasionally bringing
thumb and forefinger together to gently pull taut on a single strand,
lacing soft pain with his pleasure.

He could have done it. He could have continued on if he HAD suddenly been
struck deaf, but sound finally seeped into his consciousness and he was
undone.

It was the moan that got him. That tiny, whimpering moan of pleasure
coming from Brian's lips that was his undoing.

He ripped off the blindfold and focused on the men before him. Mulder was
standing behind Brian, one hand pinching a nipple, one scritching across
Brian's scrotum. Brian's head was thrown back, resting on Mulder's
shoulder as Mulder nibbled at an earlobe, pulling on Brian's earring, while
he studied Alex.

'Damn the man! He's imitating me!'

Mulder caught his eye and he released the gold hoop long enough to grin at
Alex.

Alex was struck by the contrast between these two men. These two lovers.

Mulder was about ten years Brian's senior. His body, firmer from hours
spent running to outdistance nightmares or drowning demons in the Bureau
pool. Mulder's body was that of a warrior. Battered, battle scarred,
flinty. His eyes, now alight with teasing illumination still carried a
darker, haunted look in their depths. Mulder had been punished, chastised,
reprimanded, forced to toe the party line. Tempered like a steel blade,
scalpel sharp, barbed and prickly, but set-jewel beautiful.

By comparison, Brian was untried, the baby fat not yet burned off, softer
around the edges; his adventures with Early giving him a mage-priest
knowledge of the world. Won by sacrifice and bitter magic. The first
layer of moss scraped off, uncloaking the prism of potential gemstone
beneath. He was the matched dagger to Mulder's saber, trimmed and pared
down to compliance. A demi-god to omnipotent Zeus. The variance marked
but not extraordinary.

Brian's cock was standing at attention, straining for a touch. Mulder
nodded and Alex crossed the empty chasm in two steps, dropping to his knees
and licking the handsome cock. He watched Brian's eyes snap open as Alex
took his cock in his mouth. Mulder pressed his body close to Brian's, not
intending to penetrate or distract him, just adding to the overall
sensation.

Alex heard another moan and took it deep; feeling Brian's hips thrust
forward. Alex felt Mulder's fingers caress his face and trace a finger
over his stretched lips, recording with his fingers the wet slide of hard
cock in Alex's mouth.

"OhGodOhGodOhGod..."

Alex smiled to himself. Yes, this was having a good effect but if they
didn't hurry, Brian wouldn't last long. Alex backed off, giving the crown
a final kiss and then looked up at the men standing over him.

Brian made a distressed sound and fruitlessly thrust forward.

Alex put a hand on his hip to steady him and ordered, "Bed! Now!"

Alex got to his feet and stepped close to Mulder, taking his mouth in a
sloppy kiss before pushing him onto his back onto the bed. Turning, he
took Brian by the hand and lay him over the lower half of Mulder's body.
"You're going to suck him and I'm going to fuck you."

Brian smiled happily and lay his torso over Mulder's knees and spread his
legs.

Alex heard Mulder chuckle, "I just love it when he gets all butch."

"Shut up, Mulder. The only thing I want to hear from you is the sound of
my name on your lips."

Mulder gave him a lax salute and snapped a smart, "Yes, Sir!" to accompany
it.

Alex leaned in close to his head and reached for the lube on the
nightstand. "Save that shit for Skinner, Agent!" Alex commanded, giving
him a quick kiss.

Mulder grinned again and then it suddenly froze on his face. A look of
surprise appeared and Alex looked down to see Mulder's cock disappearing
down Brian's throat.

Alex smiled. He greased his fingers and went about preparing Brian. "Not
too fast, Brian. We want to make him suffer a little for being so smug."

Brian backed off and grinned at Alex. Mulder moaned a protest. Alex's
finger slipped in, then withdrew. Then two entered, fucking back and
forth. Brian moaned and started to nibble on the penis below him. Two
fingers were withdrawn and Alex slowly inched three fingers in. Brian was
loose and ready for him. Alex slipped a condom on and he crawled between
his spread legs, nipping at Brian's neck, then pushed his cock downwards
for the right angle and popped the crown into the tight orifice.

He held the head in and then withdrew it, repeating the penetration several
times before Brian made pleading noises, petitioning the Gods to hurry.
When he heard that, he pushed in farther, forcing the thin flesh to part.
Brian's ass muscles flexed and Alex felt his cock sucked further in.

Oh God. Hot. Tight. Moist. Slick. He withdrew a little and pushed in
hard this time. Brian groaned around Mulder's cockhead and Alex felt the
shiver all the way to his toes. One more push and his pubic hair was
kissing Brian's asscheeks. A small withdrawal and another hard push had
him sunk in all the way. Alex opened his eyes to find Mulder staring
intently at him. His cock jumped in Brian's ass and he hissed, "Oh God,"
while pressing forward again. He looked down to see Brian's ass accepting
his cock, the muscle of his anus stretched tight around the base, crisp
hair smashed against peachy flesh. Slowly he pulled out, watching his cock
reappear before slamming it back into place. Brian moaned again. Alex
looked up again and found Mulder had never dropped his gaze, watching his
lover fuck the man who was sucking his cock.

"GOD!" Alex thought he might come right then, just from being observed.

With an effort, Alex stilled his body, feeling Brian's spincter wink around
his cock. "Kiss me, Mulder."

Mulder leaned up on his elbows and pulled Alex's face within reach, then
crushed their lips together. Alex started to fuck Brian's ass; one hand
reaching for Brian's shoulder, pulling him back into the hard cock that
plundered his body. And the other was around Mulder's neck, pulling him
into the hard kiss that plundered his mouth. Alex thrust his tongue in
deep and then pulled it out, imitating his hips and cock.

Mulder thrust up from his awkward position only to force the back of
Brian's head to bump against Alex's chest when his hips came off the bed.
Alex could feel the tension building; and then the orgasm broke over him,
soft as a wave, but with a vicious undercurrent that pulled at him. He
released Mulder, letting him fall back on the bed, pumping into Brian's
mouth. Alex's free hand gripped Brian's other shoulder and held him in
place while his cock spurted and spit deep inside.

Alex let his hands wrap around Brian's ribs as he collapsed, resting his
cheek against Brian's sweaty back, ignoring the jerking head as it, too,
swallowed cum. He listened as Mulder cried out, then settled with a
satisfied sigh.

The room was silent, save for exhausted breathing, until a quiet voice
said, "Guys, it's my turn."

Alex felt the bed shake with silent laughter and looked up to meet Mulder's
eyes. "Quite right. Quite right."

Ah, the advantages of an Oxford education. Alex snickered. "I'm done."

"Bastard," Brian swore softly, cursing Alex's lineage. "I'm not! You're
not going to leave me like this, are you?" He waved a hand to indicate his
straining erection.

Alex grinned and pushed himself off the bed. "Get those heels in the air,
Mulder."

A beatific smile appeared on Mulder's face and his limbs uncoiled like a
lazy squid awakening from the darkest depths of the ocean, all fluid grace.
He lay in wanton splendor, then reached above him, pulling Brian down, his
hips nestling the distressed body above him and his lips begging to be
kissed.

Alex blinked in surprise. They had released an impudent incubus with an
attitude, a succubus with a smirking smile. Given a megaphone to a siren
and broadcast her song to the world. Uncapped a libidinous genie who
indiscriminately granted wishes and sexual favors like passing out candies
from his pocket. "Damn," Alex breathed softly, more a prayer than a curse,
"God help us both."

Mulder's long legs entwined and braided around Brian's rangy form. Brian's
eager cock was captured between their bellies and he groaned from the
pressure. Mulder had one arm wrapped around Brian's neck and was kissing
him quite thoroughly.

'Tasting his own semen,' Alex realized with a jolt. He felt his own desire
starting to tighten like a spring in the pit of his stomach. Mulder
kissing Mulder. That's what it looked like. Mirror images in each other's
arms. Incestuous twins making love to one another. Kissing-cousin clones.
Alex looked down to see his own cock twitch back to life. 'Well, I guess
I'm not done after all.'

Alex grabbed the lubricant and greased his fingers, then lifted one of
Mulder's knees, sliding his hand down to the crack of Mulder's ass,
preparing him for Brian. Then he reached between them and slipped a condom
over Brian.

Brian's hips cantered forward and Alex reined him in long enough to grease
his cock thoroughly before releasing him. Brian edged forward again like a
skittish colt and sank down like a jockey does into a well-worn saddle.
Their bodies welded together, hips gaining speed, stallions racing to the
finish line. Alex was struck again by their beauty, thoroughbreds covered
in fine, burnished-gold skin of aristocratic palominos. He couldn't help
but touch them, feeling his hands slide over their bodies, shiny with
sweat, entranced by muscles relaxing and contracting in rhythm.

Too intent on minutiae, Alex failed to see the dangers until he was sucked
into the maw of the monster. He was tumbled, off balance, sucked down into
the dual embrace. He landed on his side, between the two, with a huff.

Brian had pulled out of Mulder and Mulder had turned to his side and
reached behind him to grasp Alex's erect appendage and guide him to the
slick crack of his ass. Behind him, Brian was imitating the motion,
guiding his own cock into Alex.
They writhed, en masse, as if someone had dumped a box of snakes on the
bed. Entwining, entangling, slithering, hissing. And like a rattlesnake
strike, each body in turn seized as if it had been bitten, pouring out
their sweet venom into the body next to them.

Almost as one they collapsed, seeking the warmth of the other's body,
snuggling like a clutch of kittens and falling asleep minutes later.

___________________

--Epilog--


In the end, they sent Brian back to Kerry. He was so obviously at loose
ends, feeling lost and abandoned without her, that Alex picked up the phone
and had placed a long-distance phone call to her.

It didn't take long to figure out that she missed Brian as much as he
missed her, and was not the same woman she had been at the start of their
trip. Their shared experiences had mellowed her, scraping away her harder
edges, and making her willing to forgive Brian's indiscretions in the face
of the bravery he had displayed in his attempts to save her. She even
admitted, albeit reluctantly, that Brian's involvement with Early was
probably the only reason that the psychopath had not killed either of them.

Satisfied that things would work themselves out, he passed along her
request to have Brian phone her.

He sat while Brian called her, listening to their quiet apologies and muted
assurances to try again.

Mulder came through for them. He phoned an acquaintance of his in Los
Angeles, who had a girlfriend who was a professional photographer, who in
turn was willing to talk to an art dealer associate, who was willing to set
up a show for Kerry's work at a local gallery.
A-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend kind of thing.


Alex discovered, much later, that Brian and Mulder had spent much of their
time in the hospital collaborating on Brian's book.

By the time of their release, Brian already had a full outline to work from
and Mulder had agreed to write the introduction. The sell of the book was
almost assured at that point. Mulder had even helped Brian detail the
investigation that had led to stopping Grayce's rampage.


Mulder and Alex packed up Brian's gear, and with a soft kiss from each,
they put him into a cab and told the driver to take him to the airport.

Mulder even had a bumper sticker made and had slapped it to the side of
Brian's luggage. In bold print, the legend proclaimed: 'California or
bust.'

___________________

--Excerpt from Brian's novel--


I'll never know why Early Grayce became a killer. I don't know why any of
them do.

When I looked into his eyes, I felt nothing. Nothing. That day I learned
that anyone of us is capable of taking another human life.

But I also learned that there is a difference between us and them. It's in
feeling remorse. Dealing with guilt. And confronting your conscious.

Early never did.

___________________

end part 5
___________________