The Beloved Disciple
by Merri-Todd Webster
"When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and
testified, and said, 'Verily, verily I say unto you, that one
of you shall betray me.'
"Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom
"Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples,
whom Jesus loved.
"Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask
who it should be of whom he spake.
"He then lying on Jesus' breast, saith unto him, 'Lord, who
(John 13: 21-25)
"You are working for me now, my boy. And I will not have
you dressed like *that*."
He was still filthy and disheveled from the explosion that had
not, fortunately, killed him. How like the smoker to indulge in
such a messy, gaudy means of assassination, and one so likely
to fail. No matter. The smoker's misjudgment had worked to my
good: Alex Krycek, filthy, dishevelled, and furious, standing
with bowed head and tensed shoulders in my library.
He exploded in anger, doing with words what my sturdy employees
would not allow him to do with fists. "I'm nobody's *boy*!"
"Ah, I forgot. You Americans use expressions so differently.
I assure you, Alex, that I was not referring to you as a slave
when I called you 'my boy.' " I smiled, a gesture which,
I could see, did not reassure him at all. "I'm merely displaying
a certain affection for you that your former mentor seems to lack.
Otherwise, he wouldn't have attempted that rather obvious car
bomb, would he? I, on the other hand, am offering you a position."
I studied him closely to see how he'd react. Mr. Krycek had come
running to me like a stray cat once the smoker had made it clear
that he was thrown out on the street. Now, however, he was as
sullen and resentful as a stray cat might be when it is taken
to the surgery for medical care.
"What do you want?" He was almost snarling, weak kitten
that he was. I signalled my guards to release their grip on the
young man. When he held still, I rose from my chair and approached
him. He smelled of the explosion, of heat and flame and burning
"I think you'll be surprised at how little I'm asking of
you, Alex. And at just how much you'll get in return."
I had only to look toward the door, and Tomkins came in. Sometimes
I believe he is telepathic. "Take Mr. Krycek to the guest
room in the west wing, and see that he's allowed to bathe, to
sleep, and to eat whatever he wants."
Poor hungry stray cat, I thought, as Alex shrugged and followed
my man out of the library. Do you even know what you're really
I did not send for Alex for three days. Occasionally I saw him
walking the grounds, a dark stormcloud passing among the carefully
tended prize roses. He had submitted to the instructions I sent
regarding him; his hair had been cut to my liking, his tattered
and stained clothes replaced with flattering items from Savile
Row. He was, in his own right, as rare and beatiful a specimen
as any of my roses; all the more beautiful for being strikingly
imperfect. His features are irregular, after all; his pedigree
is, at best, uncertain; and yet he is beautiful. Heartbreakingly
When I summoned him, at last, to the library, he was wearing a
moss-green pullover that made his eyes--irresistible. Smoky green,
with lashes that might rival Cleopatra's.
"How are you feeling, my boy?" I gestured him to a seat
on the other side of my desk.
"I'm fine. Sir."
"Good." I poured him a cup of tea--Tomkins knows when
to stay away--and offered it to him. To his credit, Alex accepted
the cup without protest and sipped it quite genteelly.
"I think you're ready to be told what your duties are."
The boy looked at me through those astonishing lashes. The lower
half of his face was masked by the poised cup.
"I have a lot to offer you, Alex. A home, an income, a certain--polish.
And knowledge that will place you in a very secure position within
the organization. As my... protege, you need not fear the smoker
ever again." I risked a smile. "But in return, I do
ask for certain privileges."
I received a wary stray-cat look. "I suppose it's about sex."
I frowned. "I can promise you, Alex, that I won't lay a hand
on you. Not in that way. However, I do have several expectations?
You will be present when I want you; you will dress as I ask you
to. And, although I will not touch you myself, you will understand
that I enjoy watching."
"What?" Sweet innocent boy, he actually looked puzzled.
"I am not a young man, Alex. I'm no longer able to do anything
I please. However, I enjoy watching attractive young men enjoy
themselves. And you are a particularly attractive young man, as
you no doubt know; I'm sure you've used it to your advantage often
He stared at me, now openly hostile. "I'm not a trained monkey.
What do you think I'm going to
do, perform on demand with someone I don't know?"
Sighing, I shook my head. "Although I believe that your former
employer did expect just that from you when you were handling
certain matters for him, I should hardly ask that of you. I simply
wish to be allowed to watch you pleasuring yourself. Do you think
you can handle that?"
I watched his reaction very carefully, the lowering of the eyes,
the way he bit his lower lip. How I should have liked to do that
myself... but one grows old. Then he nodded. I smiled encouragingly.
"I think we shall get on very well, my boy."
He was exquisite. More exquisite than I'd dreamed. A born performer,
with a body as unpredictably beautiful as his face. Of course
my person was not arousing to him--I should be a fool to think
it was--yet my presence was. The presence of the audience, of
the admiring gaze. I never took my eyes from him as he slowly
removed the elegant ensemble we'd bought together only that day,
the tie, the blazer, the shirt, and finally the pants, showing
me all that fine skin, so very white.... As I said, he was exquisite,
and no part of him was an exception. He could have been no more
surprised than I was that my body as well as my mind responded;
I had my first climax in, well, more than a few years. Not that
I betrayed it. But it must have been because Alex was so very
By the third or fourth time we'd trysted, I was certain I knew
what he was thinking. Who it was that he was seeing, remembering,
when I was viewing him.
"I'm aware that I've asked you to put on a show, as it were,
for me on occasion. I've laid claim to your body, even though
I'll never touch it. Your heart, Alex, is entirely your own, however."
"I beg your pardon?" Ah, how amusing. He was learning--even
beginning to sound like me.
"You think about him. When I watch you." He looked quite
astonished. "Your face, my boy. You're thinking of someone.
I presume it's your Mr. Mulder."
He dared a little insolence. "What if it is?"
I smiled indulgently. "You're a lucky young man, Alex. You've
had the opportunity to love someone." I could not help but
look across the drawing room to the picture of my grandchildren.
"Not everyone has it. I hope they will."
I saw by the characteristic lowering of his head that my words
affected him. He *did* love Mulder, strange as it might seem.
Not so strange that he should find Mulder desirable, but that
was clearly not all there was to it.
Nor were our late-night meetings all there was to our relationship.
Mr. Krycek was a wonderfully fast study, an apt pupil who'd never
before been properly educated. Already bilingual, in a few weeks,
he could ape my accent so skilfully, he could pass for my own
son. As I'd promised, I polished him, bringing out the gloss,
and I informed him, passing on everything he would need to know
to take my place in the game--without giving away to certain others
that he had done so.
And I took him to dinner, to parties, to the theatre and the opera.
I force-fed him culture as a mother bird force-feeds her young.
He'd no idea how he was starving for it, nor how swiftly and easily
he adapted to that larger world to which I introduced him. I wanted
him to see, after all, precisely what we were fighting for.
All too soon, it was over. Unlike some of my countrymen, I know
when to step aside, let the young have their day. All too quickly,
Alex was ready to play the role for which I'd groomed him. The
next move of the great game had to be made.
For the first time, I touched him, really touched him. I laid
my hand on his shoulder, and he placed his hand on mine, accepting
that touch, asking for more. I held onto his warm young flesh
for strength as I tried to explain to him what must happen.
"Should anything happen to me, Alex, you'll find that you've
been amply provided for. I shouldn't fear that."
He shook his head. His smooth chin brushed the backs of my fingers.
"No. That's not it. I mean is this necessary?"
"When my plans go into effect, dear boy, I'm afraid that
if I fail to disappear of my own volition, our friends may see
to it that I disappear through theirs. I prefer a choice in the
The dear boy must have known that it would be our last night together.
At dinner he sparkled more than the champagne; he was witty and
elegant and a great many heads turned, a great many eyes telegraphed
admiration, and envy. And now that I come to his room, he has
lit candles instead of the lamp, the creamy beeswax candles that
smell so heavenly as they burn, and some sort of incense. I am
walking into a pillar of cloud.
For the first time, he touches me. Alex takes my hand and kisses
it, softly, before undressing and lying down on the bed. I settle
myself in the armchair, as I normally do, and observe that he
has opened a bottle of massage oil. The smell of sandalwood floods
my eyes as he pours the oil out and rubs it between his palms.
As always, exquisite. I feel my tired old body stir a bit.
Then he smooths his hands down over his chest, over those little
dark nipples I have watched so avidly, down to his belly, and
something is different. For just a moment, he cups his genitals
in two oiled hands, and at that moment I realise: His eyes are
Ah, Alex, you make an old man weep. Tonight he is with me. Not
with the beautiful Mr. Mulder, not with his fantasies. With *me*.
And I am with him as he caresses himself, arouses himself slowly,
draws out his pleasure to pleasure the both of us. So very beautiful,
so exquisite, so perfectly imperfect. Once again, for the last
time, I reach my climax as he reaches his, one last gift from
this fragile, crotchety body, not so much to myself as a tribute
He lies panting on the bed, his warm breath stirring the flames
of the nearest candles. Biting my lip, I rise and go to him, pausing
beside the bed. "Alex--may I... my dear boy...."
He holds out his arms, smiling. Still with me. Shedding my robe
but not my pyjamas, I stretch out beside him--his embrace is so
warm--and cradle his head on my breast.