X-Files M/K An AU in another time
Title: Interrogation VI: A New Beginning Author: Orithain and Nicole S.
Rating: NC-17 for bad language, violence and m/m sex.

Archive to Allslash, Archive X, TER/MA, All Things Rat, Amothea's Angst Archive
Series/Sequel: Sequel to Interrogation I, II, IIa, III, IV and V
The entire Interrogation Series can be found at http://members.tripod.com/~ter_ma

Feedback please! Orithain may be reached at orithain@aol.com
Nicole at oscar204@aol.com

Spoilers: None.

Disclaimer: They don't belong to us, they belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and Fox. Please don't sue us.

Summary: The conclusion to Mulder & Krycek's journey, with some bumps along the way.

Comments: Angst, schmoop and good food - it's all here. Thank you to Sue for the psychological help. Thanks to Aries for encouragement.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mulder and Krycek emerged from the ship's hold to breathe in fresh air for the first time in three weeks. The warm night air greeted them, and a gentle breeze kissed their cheeks as they walked along the deck. The deck was a bustle of activity, the ship's hands busy unloading the hold of it's cargo. Not wanting to prolong their stay, Mulder & Krycek silently walked down the gangplank and off the ship.

They made their way down the dock, various other ships loading and unloading cargo. When they had made their way through the cartons and crates, they found themselves at a street with a church on the corner. Alex stopped under a streetlight and got a piece of paper out of his bag. This had directions and a map on it.

"We turn right and walk down this street two kilometres until we get to a square. We meet our contact at a café called El Matador. That should not be hard, hmmm?" He looked at Mulder who had an uncertain look on his face.

"Hey," Alex grabbed Mulder's hand and squeezed it for a second before letting go. "We are free. We have just begun a new life, don't be sad."

Mulder took a deep breath and smiled as cheerfully as he could back at Alex. He didn't feel right, something was wrong. Still, he walked alongside Alex, down the street to the square. People passed by them, enjoying a walk; couples in love, basking in the night air. Mulder's head turned this way and that, his heart racing. He was waiting for someone to stop them, to arrest them for escaping.

Alex looked at his lover, noticing his distress. "Fox, are you well?"

Mulder smiled weakly. //I don't know where I am. This place is so different, so foreign. What if the Nazis followed us here? What if the Americans find me and arrest me for being a traitor?// Mulder's breathing began to quicken, and sweat formed on his brow.

Alex recognized his lover's anxiety, and led Mulder over to a bench situated off the street. They sat down, and Alex took Mulder's hands in his and turned to face him.

"Fox. Fox, look at me."

Mulder gulped a breath and looked into his lover's eyes. The light from the streetlamps made them shine in the semi-darkness. He wanted to go back to their house in Germany; things were good there; they should have never escaped, they would have been safe; he was sure of that.

"Fox, I want you to calm down."

Mulder gulped air in again, beginning to hyperventilate.

Alex squeezed Mulder's hands and spoke calmly. "Fox, relax. If you don't relax, you are going to pass out." Alex was shocked at Mulder's reaction, though he hid it well. He'd known that he'd totally broken Mulder's confidence as he had done to so many others over the years that he was in charge of the prison, but this was the first time he had to face the results of his actions. The fact that it was the man he loved falling apart just from walking down a public street only made it harder for him.

Mulder nodded his head, and tried in vain to keep his breathing under control. He concentrated on his breaths, making them deeper and lasting longer.

"Good, good. Now close your eyes."

Mulder whimpered in panic and shook his head.

"Close your eyes, I won't let go of you." Mulder still hesitated, terrified, and Alex whispered, "Trust me."

Mulder closed his eyes, but his breathing was still quick. He clenched Alex's hands in his own, squeezing them so hard that they hurt.

"I want you to imagine a place. A place where only you can go to be safe."

"C-c-can you be there too?"

"No. This is just your place. You can go there, and nothing will hurt you." Alex had to struggle to keep his voice from breaking when Mulder's question showed that despite everything he associated safety with him. He vowed to undo what he had done and only prayed that Mulder would be able to forgive him. He tried not to think about the possibility that a strong, healthy Mulder might not want anything to do with him.

Mulder's breathing slowly started to ease.

"Now. You are in your place, your safe place. Do you like it, Fox? Is it a nice place?"

"Yes. It's...it's warm and it feels good."

"Good. Now, I want you to slow your breathing and relax. Can you do that for me, Fox?"

"Yes. I think I can." Mulder concentrated on breathing slowly in his safe place. This was good. After a few minutes, he started to release the deathgrip he had on Alex's hands.

"Relax, Fox. Relax your head, your neck, your shoulders. That's it. Feel yourself relaxing. Your lungs are opening up, taking large, healthy breaths of air, your back muscles are unwinding. Good, that's my Fox. Nothing is going to hurt you. We are safe now, no one is going to harm you."

Mulder opened his eyes and looked at his lover. "Do you promise?"

"I promise." He squeezed Mulder's hands again before getting out his handkerchief and wiping Mulder's face of sweat. He had never counted on this, on Mulder being so afraid. He would have to work on that later.

"I'm...I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me. We were walking down the street, and then I just started feeling funny."

"It's to be expected, Fox. You have not been out in the world for some time." Alex pushed a lock of hair back that had fallen forward onto Mulder's forehead, pressing a quick kiss against the skin. "Do you think you can continue? We do not have far to go. When we get to the café, we will have some wine, hmmm?"

Mulder nodded, the sweat on his body starting to dry in the night breeze. Slowly, they stood and continued their journey down the street. A few minutes later, they reached the square and the café. They sat down, and a waiter came over to their table. Alex ordered for them in flawless Spanish. Mulder looked at his lover in awe; this man's talents never ceased to amaze him.

Alex fumbled for a cigarette, then offered one to Mulder.

"No thanks," he whispered.

"Are you sure?"

Mulder nodded his head. He looked around. Argentina looked like a nice place. Good looking people everywhere, strolling around without a care in the world. It was hard to believe that war still raged across most of the world. The waiter came with two glasses of red wine. Alex picked his up right away and sipped it, his eyes closing for a minute.

"Mmmmmm, I've missed wine. Come, Fox, drink, it's very good."

Mulder reached out and brought the fragile glass to his lips, noticing he was shaking slightly. He took a small sip of wine, then another.

"Well? Was I right?"

"Yes, it's very good."

"Are you sure you don't want a cigarette?"

"No, thank you."

Alex reached over and grabbed his hand again, stroking it with his thumb. "I meant it when I said nothing can harm you here. We are an ocean away from what we left behind."

Mulder wanted to believe Alex, but he still had a nagging suspicion in the back of his mind that something was not right. They sat there, sipping their wine, enjoying the night. Mulder was just starting to fully relax when a man came to their table.

"Alex Krycek."

Alex stood and shook his hand. "Sir, so nice to see you again."

The man looked down at Mulder then back at Alex. "You have brought someone with you?"

"Yes. I could not leave him behind."

Mulder's pulse began to quicken again as the man sat down and joined them. He felt dizzy, and his breathing sped up.

"Fox?" Alex tightened his grip on Mulder's hand. "Fox, are you not well?"

"I'm...I'm okay. It must be the wine; it's going to my head."

"Why don't you close your eyes for a moment and regain your composure?"

Mulder nodded and closed his eyes. He thought back to what Alex had said earlier about his safe place. He imagined himself there, alone, at peace. He felt warm and started to calm down.

"Is your friend all right, Alex?"

"Yes, he is just a little shaken from our journey, as am I. It was a most -- eventful -- voyage, but he will be fine once he is rested."

"You should have told me you were bringing a companion, I would have prepared documents for him."

"I am sorry, it was...we left in haste." Alex took a sip of his wine to take the bitterness out of his mouth. He would never forgive himself for almost leaving Mulder behind. He looked back up at his friend. "Will it be any trouble to get him papers?"

"It should not be a problem, but it might take a few weeks."

"That will be more than adequate. Thank you."

The man slid two envelopes across the table to Alex. "One envelope contains money, the other your papers. Your funds will be transferred from the bank in Switzerland upon your request. The other envelope contains name of the bank and the manager there. Do not talk to anyone else about your situation."

Alex nodded his head.

"In the meantime, I have taken the liberty and booked you into a suite at one of Buenos Aires' finest hotels. I will give you a few days to rest, then I will have some houses for you to look at."

"Thank you again for all your help, I could have not done this without you."

"That's what friends are for, Alex. I will, however, require a favor next month. I have someone that will need a place to stay for a few days."

Alex nodded his head, "Yes, anything, just ask."

Mulder opened his eyes. He had missed the entire conversation, but he was glad both men were smiling at each other.

Alex turned and smiled at his lover. "Ah, he is with us once again." Taking Mulder's hand in his, Alex motioned from his friend to Mulder and performed the introductions, "This is my lover, Fox Mulder. Fox, an old friend of my father's, Malcolm Grey."

"It is an honour to meet you, Mr. Mulder." He reached across and shook his hand. "I hope you enjoy your new home here in Argentina."

"Thank you," Mulder said, his voice just above a whisper.

"Now, gentlemen, if you would gather your belongings and follow me, I will take you to your hotel."

They followed the man with the silver hair and smooth voice to a grand hotel. A red carpet stairway led to golden embossed doors, which were opened by a doorman dressed in top hat and tails. This led to a large, marble-floored lobby, laid with Persian rugs and expensive furnishings. The warm red richness of mahogany was prevalent throughout, from the front desk to the staircase banister. A young man sat at a grand piano in one corner, playing to entertain the people as they came and went.

A lady in a fur coat, despite the heat, passed Mulder and Krycek, a man behind her carrying a small poodle wearing a diamond-studded collar that matched her bracelet. The other patrons of this establishment were also well dressed, making Mulder feel like he was a pauper.

They checked in and went up to their suite, the decor was equally grand; marble floors, Louis XIV furnishings, velvet draperies. If Mulder wasn't in South America, he could have sworn that he was in one of the finest hotels in Europe. The silver-haired man tipped the bellhop, who quickly left the room.

"I will leave you now. I shall call for you on Thursday, after you have rested. Enjoy your stay, gentlemen."

Alex shook the man's hand again, "Thank you again, Uncle Malcolm."

"Again, it was my pleasure, Alex." The man turned and left, shutting the door behind him.

Mulder stood in the middle of the room, unsure what to do next. He felt Alex come up behind him and wrap his arms around him.

"We are finally alone." He kissed Mulder's ear. "We can do whatever we want, whenever we want, and not worry about anyone, or anything." He kissed Mulder's ear again, feeling the tension melt away from his body with his kisses.

Mulder leaned his head back, nuzzling it into Alex's shoulder. "What time is it? What day is it, for that matter?"

Alex laughed, "It is 9 in the evening, and it is Monday. Have you made plans, already? Do you need to be somewhere?"

"No, I...I just wanted to know."

Alex turned Mulder around so he was facing him. He gave him a fierce hug before letting him go. "I am going to call down for some supper. In the meantime, why don't we have a bath? Alex's eyes glittered green in the glow from the crystal chandelier.

Mulder couldn't hide his smile. He missed their nightly bath and what followed it. His cock started to harden as he thought of their wet bodies pressed against each other.

"Go start the bath; I will join you momentarily." Alex playfully tapped Mulder on the ass as he walked by. He called down for supper then joined Mulder, ensuring to tell the front desk to remind their staff not to disturb him in the bath.

The bathroom was unlike any Mulder had seen in his life. It was as big as a bedroom. A large, claw- footed bathtub with gold fixtures was in the middle of the room. There was an ornately carved dressing table with lights around the mirror nestled in a corner. A large, cushioned stool sat in front of it. Jars of powder and perfumes sat atop the grand structure. Against a wall, large towels were on a warming rack which also held robes and pajamas. A crystal chandelier was overhead, casting a warm glow throughout the room. Sheer draperies covered the window. Mulder stood there, staring at everything until Alex came in to join him.

"It is nice, isn't it? Come, I have been thinking about a bath for weeks." Alex strode over and started the taps, filling the large tub with warm water. Soaps and small bottles of bath oil were held in a golden basket along one side.

Mulder started undoing the buttons on his shirt. Suddenly, Alex's hands joined his and took over the process.

Alex leaned in and kissed Mulder, his tongue probing inside his mouth. His hands flew over the buttons on Mulder's shirt, making short work of them. He pulled the shirt back and practically ripped off the undershirt he was wearing and dove for the now exposed nipples with his mouth.

Mulder ran his hands down Alex's back and pulled his shirt off up, over his head then undid Alex's trousers. Alex did the same and soon they were naked, their heated skin rubbing against each other. Mulder molded his mouth to Alex's, his hands wandering freely over his body, cupping his ass, teasing his nipples. Soon, they were writhing against each other, the friction of their bodies threatening to set the room on fire.

Suddenly, Alex stood back, "Wait, Fox, wait."

Mulder pulled back and stared at his lover as if he was mad.

"Let's get into the tub before the water gets cold."

Mulder smiled and followed Alex into the warm water. He found a sponge alongside washcloths in a basket beside the tub. He held it under the water for a minute to soften it, ran soap along it, then began the ritual he loved so much. He washed his lover from head to toe, pausing to tease his nipples and other sensitive parts of Alex's body. He paid special attention to his cock, pulling the foreskin back and rubbing the sponge along the hard shaft.

"Oh, yes, Fox." Alex bit his lip. If he kept that up, he was going to come. As if he heard his thoughts, Mulder moved the sponge down a leg, cleaning and caressing all the way.

When Mulder was done, he surrendered the sponge to Alex, who began to do the same to Mulder. He could see the passion rising in Mulder's eyes from his caressing and rubbing the sponge along every inch of his body. Alex could feel the pre-cum start to come up out of his cock just from looking at him.

He leaned forward and started kissing Mulder on the mouth, moving down to his neck, lingering at his collarbone, marking him as his own. He then moved lower, to Mulder's nipples again, which were hard and ready to be sucked on. Mulder moaned and groaned, sloshing the water onto the marble floor as Alex played with a nipple and sucked on the other.

"Alex...Alex...I..." Mulder let out a moan then a sigh. White fluid began to show on the surface of the water.

"Are you a little sensitive, tonight, my love?" Alex stood, reaching for his lover to stand with him.

Mulder stood and faced Alex. They got out of the tub, Alex pulling the drain.

"I'm sorry," Mulder said as Alex handed him a towel.

"Nonsense. I take it as a compliment that I can make you feel so good. Besides, I will have fun bringing you to the same satisfaction again later. Although it may take longer. And that will be fun too." Alex grabbed Mulder by the back of the head and brought him to kiss him once again.

Mulder smiled as he pulled away, but then noticed the state Alex was in.

"What about you?"

"What about me? I am fine."

"No, you're not." Mulder immediately sank to his knees and took Alex's cock into his mouth. It did not take more than a couple of licks with his tongue until his lover was shooting a hot stream of creamy fluid down his throat.

"I think we both needed that." Alex brought his love up to kiss him, to taste himself on his lips. He smiled. "That made me very hungry. Are you hungry, Fox?"

"Yes." Mulder's eyes were full of satisfaction and love; he wanted Alex to throw him down and make love to him all night long.

"Let's eat."

Each of them toweled off, switching to towel each other off instead. When their rubbing forced a moan from Mulder, Alex stood back and reached for a robe. "We have to eat something," he laughed. He then moved closer and kissed Mulder briefly. "I want to make love to you properly, in a bed, then wake up with you in my arms." He did up the robe, a towel around his neck to catch the drips from his hair.

Mulder let out a frustrated sigh but put a robe on just the same. Alex was right, it would be better in a nice, soft bed. A flutter ran through his stomach as he thought of waking next to Alex tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that. He was so lucky he let him come with him to Argentina.

"Fox, are you coming?"

Mulder followed Alex into the livingroom, where a dining area was set up. Candles glowed in the centre, and a bottle of wine was open, breathing the nighttime air. Bread was in a basket before them, and an assortment of fruits and cheeses were laid out. They both sat as the table was set, across from each other.

Mulder lifted the large silver dome that covered his food. When he saw a bowl of soup in front of him, he frowned, then looked across to see that Alex had the same meal.

"We have not eaten in two days. The meals that we were provided in the past three weeks were not that good. As a matter of fact, most of them were quite inedible. I thought soup would give our stomachs a chance to get used to good food again."

Mulder smiled at Alex. "You're always looking out for me, aren't you?"

"Fox," Alex reached across and grabbed Mulder's hand. "I cannot tell you how much I want to take care of you, to treat you right. You mean everything to me."

Mulder blushed at the words, and he looked down at his bowl of soup. No one had ever said that he meant anything to anyone. "I...thank you for bringing me with you."

"There was never any question," Alex whispered. Perhaps if he told himself that enough times, he would genuinely believe it. Mulder stared at him, knowing perfectly well that Alex had intended to leave him behind almost up till the last minute, but he was so happy to be with Alex that he didn't say anything. "Now, let's eat our soup, before it gets cold."

They ate their supper and drank the wine, both of them soon yawning. Finally, Alex stood and offered Mulder his hand. He took it and followed Alex into the bedroom. This was also full of antiques and elaborate draperies. A window was open, bringing in the cool night air, the sheer curtains barely moving in the breeze.

Alex undid the tie on Mulder's robe and motioned for him to lie on the large bed. When Mulder was lying on his back, naked, Alex doffed his robe and towel, and climbed up beside him. He rubbed Mulder's feet with his hands, soothing him, massaging him. He then followed with his lips, kissing up Mulder's legs, first the left, then the right. He took his time, exploring his lower body with his hands, caressing the muscles. He lingered at Mulder's knees, bringing giggles when he licked and kissed the backs of them. When he got to Mulder's crotch, Alex merely placed a kiss on the tip of Mulder's hardening cock and continued on his journey up his body.

He kissed the palms of his hands and every finger. He slowly made his way up one arm, then another, as he had done with his legs, enjoying the fact that Mulder's elbows were just as ticklish as his knees. He was now at Mulder's chest, kissing and sucking on his nipples, licking the outline of his ribs and muscles. He lingered at his neck, marking him yet again at his collarbone. Finally, he got to his face, kissing each eyelid, his nose, his forehead, his chin. He looked down at his lover for a second; such bliss showed on his face. He sat back and reached down with his hands to spread Mulder's legs. He lay between them, holding his lover, caressing his face. Only then did he kiss his lips.

It was if electricity was passing between them, their lips parted so their tongues could dance together, searching, exploring now familiar territory. Alex started to grind himself against Mulder, their erections rubbing together, mixing their pre-cum in a sticky film across their bellies. He felt Mulder's hands come down to cup his ass again then move up across his back.

Alex started back down Mulder's body, tracing a trail with his tongue, until he was at his groin. He nuzzled Mulder's cock with his cheek, breathing in his intoxicating scent. He licked up the hard shaft, bringing a shudder from his lover. His tongue lingered at the top, swirling around and around before his mouth covered the member, sucking and lapping up the essence flowing from the tip. He then moved down to Mulder's balls, licking and sucking on them, bringing whimpers of ecstasy from above.

"Please, Alex, please."

"Does this feel good?"

"Yes. I can't stand it, it's so good."

"All in time, Fox."

Another whimper was heard as Alex grabbed Mulder's legs and hauled them up over his shoulders. His mouth came down on Mulder's balls again, sucking and nipping at the fragile skin. Lower his mouth went, to the perineum and finally to the puckered opening. He spread Mulder's ass cheeks with his fingers as his tongue dipped in and out of the tight hole, teasing and taunting so that Mulder was soon writhing on the bed.

"Oh, Alex...please, Alex, I'm begging you."

Alex smirked as he left the bed for a moment to retrieve the tin of lubricant from his bag. He climbed back on the bed and looked at Mulder in the throes of passion. His cock was purple and weeping large amounts of pre-cum, his nipples were tight buds, his lips swollen and kiss bruised.

Alex put Mulder's legs over his shoulders again before coating a finger with the lubricant. He entered it into Mulder's ass, stroking the smooth interior, spreading the jelly around. Mulder opened up easily in his state and a second finger easily joined the first. Alex caressed his prostate, watching him jump and writhe even more. The whimpers grew louder, and Alex could stand it no more. He slicked up his hard cock and drove home with one push.

Mulder cried out with pleasure as Alex entered him. He had been imagining this for so long, making love, real love in a bed with pillows and softness. A pair of lips were at his and he kissed them, his eyes closed, his legs spread wide. He dug his hands into Alex's shoulders as he started to drive into him strongly and with purpose.

"Fox, my beautiful Fox," Alex whispered into his ear. He had wanted to make this last a long time, but the feeling was too much, and he started pumping fast into his lover. He could feel the tingling low in his abdomen, and he knew it wasn't going to last long at all. He reached down and grabbed Mulder's cock, stroking in time with his thrusts. "Come, Fox, come for me."

Mulder let out a cry as his semen coated them both, moaning Alex's name. Alex let out his own cry, and he collapsed on his lover, his balls releasing his seed deep within his lover.

They lay there, joined for awhile, until Alex reached over the side of the bed to retrieve the towel that he dropped before and cleaned them up. Mulder barely felt Alex kiss him before he fell asleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning, Mulder was woken by birds singing and sunlight coming through the window. That had been his first restful sleep since they left Berlin. Actually, thinking of the bombings, Alex's occasional nightmares and his own, it was probably the first truly contented sleep he'd had since the night before he left on the bombing run that led to him becoming Alex's prisoner. Who'd have thought it would take a war for him to find love? He looked over at Alex, his face snuggled in his pillow, his naked form visible underneath the sheet.

Mulder pulled the sheet back and looked down at his lover. //So beautiful. Alex calls me beautiful, but he is the beautiful one.// He bent down and kissed his shoulder, licking his lips after he did so. The taste of Alex on his lips made him want more. He straddled his still sleeping lover and kissed his back and down, his hands caressing the muscles underneath the skin. Alex woke to Mulder's touch and moaned encouragement.

Mulder moved his mouth further down Alex's back to the base of his spine, nuzzling the fine hairs that grew there with his stubble-covered chin. He felt Alex jump as he moved down to his ass, kneading the round globes, his fingers probing inside the crack, teasing the opening.

Alex moaned when Mulder stroked the puckered opening to his ass. He knew what Mulder wanted, and he was going to let him do just that. He wondered why he'd been so hesitant to take that final step years earlier, then he realized that it wouldn't have been the same with anyone else. It was the love that he and Mulder shared that made it so pleasurable for him. He could never give up control like that with anyone else.

Mulder's mouth went down to where Alex's leg met his ass, sucking and biting at the skin, marking him as he had been marked the night before. When he was pleased with the large purple bruise, he moved on. He spread Alex's legs and reached for the tin of lubricant. He coated two fingers liberally, one pressing against the opening. With a little teasing, he was let in.

"Oh, god, Fox, that feels good."

Mulder only smiled as he lubricated the passage well. When he was satisfied that he could penetrate Alex with only minor discomfort, he pulled Alex up onto all fours. He hastily applied the lubricant to his cock and started to push inside.

Alex had been anticipating this, the time when Mulder instigated love making sessions, and he was not disappointed. He watched as Mulder reached over for the towel from the night before, positioning it to catch Alex's semen. He quivered as Mulder's cock inched inside him, his own hard cock dripping onto the towel below.

Mulder fully embedded himself in Alex with one final push, stopping for a second to catch his breath. He leaned over his lover, caressing his front and pinching his nipples, gaining whimpers from below.

"Fox...you feel so good inside me."

Mulder began to move in and out of Alex, slowly at first, but then faster and faster with every stroke. He could feel his balls slap against Alex's; he could smell his lover underneath him; he could hear the moans and whimpers coming from him.

Alex's arms gave way as Mulder reached forward to grab his cock. He could not remember ever being so aroused, so hard, so loved. He rested forward on his elbows, this angle giving Mulder a better connection with his prostate. He started to fuck Mulder's hand, driving Mulder's cock in and out of him at a rapid pace.

"Oh god...oh Fox...my Fox, I love you...oh god!" Alex came with a strangled cry, long streams of semen shooting out of his cock and onto the towel below.

Mulder continued to slam into Alex's ass, finally letting go, his orgasm making him shudder and shake. He collapsed to the side, still embedded in Alex. They lay there, joined together for a few minutes, until Mulder pulled out of Alex and cleaned them up. He returned to the bed, curling up around his lover before sleep claimed them yet again.

A few hours later, they woke, still in each other's arms, Alex caressing Mulder's hair.

"Good morning."

"Good morning."

Alex kissed Mulder on his sleepy lips, a grin replacing the pout. Mulder then snuggled closer, his head buried in Alex's chest.

"Fox, we should get up."

Mulder only groaned.

"What do you want to do today?"

"I don't know. What do you want to do?"

"No, it's up to you."

Mulder stretched and yawned then propped himself up on his elbow to look at Alex. He traced the outline of his face with a finger before kissing him again.

"Did you really mean it when you said you loved me?"

"Yes, I did."

Mulder smiled. "I love you too."

Alex returned the smile. "Now, what do you want to do today? You are avoiding the question."

Mulder sighed. "I think we need some new clothes. The fashions are different here."

"I agree. We should try to fit in as much as possible. I know a very good tailor in Plaza San Martin."

"You've been to Buenos Aires before, haven't you?" Mulder asked.

"Yes, I was here a few years ago with my father. He was interested in buying a hotel here and moving his business out of Germany. He was nervous when Hitler started to spread his propaganda. Unfortunately, he never realized his dream. He died in his sleep a few months after our trip. My mother also died a few weeks after that; I always thought it was of a broken heart." Alex stared off into the distance for a minute, before continuing. "He did, however, liquidate his assets and move them to a bank in Switzerland, where they still are."

Mulder caressed Alex's cheek with the back of his hand. "I'm sorry about your parents, you seem to have been close to them."

"I was. I still miss them terribly, after all these years."

Mulder hugged Alex, knowing the pain of losing someone close. No wonder Alex had been so harsh when they first met; losing both his parents, his wife and his only child in such a short period of time must have hurt him so much that he wasn't willing to let anyone else get close to him and take the chance of losing them too.

"Come on, Fox, let's get up. Buenos Aires is too beautiful a city to waste all day in bed." He kissed Mulder on the lips before adding, "Although I want to stay in bed with you very much." He grinned at Mulder. "But the anticipation will make it that much better when I get you back here."

Mulder blushed as he watched his lover roll over and get out of bed. This was their first morning together as real lovers, and it gave him a warm feeling.

Alex called down for some breakfast while they got dressed. After they ate, they went to the tailors, walking the few blocks to Plaza San Martin. Mulder was doing fine until they got to the Plaza itself, where the mid-morning bustle was too much for him. Alex sat them down on a bench while Mulder did his breathing exercises and tried to calm down.

Alex gazed at his lover who looked miserable. The sweat was pouring off of him, trickling down the back of his neck and his cheeks. Mulder's face also had this pale green tinge to it. He had to find a way to get rid of Mulder's paranoia and get him to regain his trust in himself, his confidence.

"Are you all right?"

"I'll be fine in just a minute." Mulder shook his head. "I...I'm sorry, Alex. I can't control it, it just happens...in the room, I'm fine, when I get outside, I...I..." He started to breathe rapidly again. He closed his eyes and tried, in vain, to relax.

"It is all right, Fox, take your time." He squeezed his hand for reassurance.

About twenty minutes later, Mulder was calm enough to continue to the tailor's. Alex and Mulder were measured for new wardrobes, picking a few ready-made pieces to wear until their clothing was ready. It took some prodding, but Alex finally got the colour and fabric choices out of Mulder that he wanted. He even managed to get Mulder to express a preference about some of Alex's own clothes, things that Alex intended to wear to please him. When they were done, it was mid-day and Alex was hungry.

"What do you say to some lunch? I know a great restaurant across the Plaza from here."

Mulder looked at the ground and did not say anything.

"What? What is it?" Alex put a finger under Mulder's chin and lifted it so their eyes met.

"Nothing. Lunch sounds fine," Mulder whispered.

Alex sighed in exasperation. "No, it is not fine. What is bothering you?"

Mulder chewed on his lower lip. While that action would have been sexy under any other circumstance, it sent off an alarm in Alex's head. He knew something was wrong. Alex smiled at his lover and kept his voice calm and soothing.

"Fox, if something is bothering you, I would like you to tell me."

"You'll get mad."

"I will not get mad."

"I..." Mulder broke off.

"Yes? Fox, please tell me." Alex wanted to grab him and hug him, instead he squeezed his upper arm with his hand.

"I'm tired. That...episode I had earlier wore me out. I want to go back to the hotel and get some sleep."

"Is that all?"

Mulder managed a tiny smile, but his eyes still had worry in them. "You're not going to punish me?"

"Punish you? For being tired? I want you to realize that you are not my prisoner anymore, you're my lover. We are free, you are a free man with free thoughts. If you are tired, I want you to tell me. Same with if you are hungry, or thirsty, or do not like something. I value your opinion." Alex decided to try a different tack. "You've told me before that you like to please me, that it makes you happy." He waited until Fox nodded before continuing, "Well, it makes *me* happy to please *you* too. Te quiero, mi hermoso Fox."

"Oh." Mulder smiled, his eyes still showing a hint of worry. "What does that mean?"

"It means I love you, my beautiful Fox."

Mulder smiled for real now.

"Come, let's get you back to bed."

They walked the short distance back to the hotel. Soon, Alex had Mulder dozing in the bed while he went into the parlor where he made two telephone calls. He then went back to the bedroom and sat on the side of the bed.

"Fox."

"Hmmmm?"

"Fox, I have some business to attend to. I will be back in a few hours. Will you be all right by yourself?"

"Hmmm. Yes."

Alex quickly kissed Mulder on the forehead then left the hotel. He walked back to Plaza San Martin where he joined his silver-haired friend.

"Thank you for meeting me on such short notice, sir."

"My pleasure. I have not been to this restaurant in weeks. How is your friend?"

"He's resting. He is still tired from our journey."

"If I were Fox Mulder, I would be tired as well."

Alex's face showed no expression, "What do you mean?"

"I have been following your notorious military career, Alex. I promised your father that I would look out for you, and I am fulfilling my duty. He never warned me, however, that you would turn into a heartless torture monger."

Alex's mouth opened then closed again. His eyes dropped to the linen tablecloth flapping in the breeze from the open windows.

"Why, Alex? Why did you do those things I read about? Not only Lidice, but Kharkov, Stalingrad...those poor boys you tortured for days. Not to mention your interrogation techniques in that prison..."

"I am aware of what I have done." Alex lit a cigarette, the blue smoke swirling around in the air.

"So many times I wanted to go back to Germany and find out what happened to the young man I met on that business trip, so full of hope and life."

"You know what happened."

"We all lost people in the war, Alex."

Alex's eyes snapped up to meet the other man's gaze. "You were not there. You did not see what was happening. You did not see your four year old daughter and wife get mangled by their own house collapsing on them from a mortar blast."

"Still, we did not all become monsters."

"Is that what I am to you now? A monster? Someone without feelings? When I wore that uniform, it gave me the power I needed to seek my revenge on the people that hurt me. I am no longer that man."

"I know what you did to Mulder in your prison. Rescuing him from death will not make you feel better."

"I did not rescue him to make me feel better." Alex kept his voice calm, but inside he was enraged. "I love Fox."

"I do not understand. One minute he is your prisoner, the next he is your servant, then he is your lover."

Alex took a long drag on his cigarette. He knew he was going to have this conversation with this man sooner or later. It was better to get it all out in the open at the beginning. His eyes dropped to the tablecloth again.

"The second I laid eyes on him, I wanted him. He did something to me that no other had, ever. I thought about him all the time. When I was beating him, I wanted to posses him, to own him. When I would try to sleep at night, I would see his face and want nothing more than to hold him in my arms. I would get so frustrated when I could not that I would beat him harder."

Alex's hands were now shaking as he took the final drag from his cigarette, and his voice fell to a whisper as he continued, "I have no excuse for my behaviour, other than it was war and a crazy time. Everyone did what they had to do survive, including me." He stubbed out his cigarette and reached for his glass of water, taking a healthy gulp. His eyes were still downcast and his voice still low. "I slowly came to realize that what I was doing to him was wrong, that I wanted to love him not hurt him. That's when I moved him into my house, so I could protect him from further harm. Now, I am trying to right my wrongdoing. But believe me when I tell you that I do love him. I have never felt closer to another human being since I met my wife." He looked up with a terrible sorrow and fear in his eyes. "I can only hope that he still wants to be with me when he's himself again.

Grey looked at Alex, expression still blank. "I am glad you can admit your faults, my friend. Let us hope no one tries to take revenge for your actions."

A shudder ran through Alex; he had not thought of that before.

"As for your American friend, I know you are telling me the truth. And now I know why you want this." He took a small package from his breast pocket and passed it over to Alex who put it in his own pocket.

"Thank you," Alex whispered. He looked up at his friend again and smiled.

"Be very careful, Alex."

"I will."

"Good. Now, let's have some lunch."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Later that evening, Alex was anxious to try and break Mulder out of his shell. With the serum that his friend had given him, it would be easier. They were sitting on a couch, Mulder in his arms, listening to the radio, when Alex broke the silence.

"Fox, I want to try something."

"Hmmm?"

Alex sat up and looked at Mulder. "I want to try and rid you of your panic attacks and anxiety, would you like that?"

Mulder nodded, "Very much."

Alex stood and turned the radio off. Then he motioned for Mulder to sit in a large, overstuffed chair. "Make yourself comfortable."

Mulder sat down and settled into the chair. Alex sat down in front of him.

"Close your eyes and go to your safe place, Fox. I want you to relax."

Mulder closed his eyes. After a few minutes his breathing slowed down, and his jaw went slack.

"Good." Alex opened the package that his friend had given him earlier, revealing a vial of brown liquid and a syringe. He opened the vial and filled the syringe part way with the liquid. He made sure there were no air bubbles in it before he spoke again.

"Now. I am going to give you something to relax further. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, I want you to tell me, okay?"

"Yes."

Alex pushed the needle into Mulder's arm and pushed the plunger of the syringe down. He removed it from his arm and set it aside, then sat back and waited for the drug to take effect.

A few minutes later, Mulder spoke. "I feel funny."

"Funny, how, Fox?"

"Like I'm floating."

"Are you still in your safe place?"

"Yes."

Alex took a deep breath. "Fox, I want you to tell me how you feel when you have your panic attacks. What happens to you?"

Mulder swallowed, his voice was calm, his words slow. "It only happens outside. I feel like the world is closing in on me. My chest starts to tighten and I can't breathe. There are too many people, too many things going on at once. I am afraid they are going to catch up to me and take me back to prison."

"Who?"

"The Nazis, the Americans."

"You think they followed you from Germany?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Because I betrayed my country."

"How did you betray your country?"

"When I went to work for you, when I fell in love with you, an SS officer, when I killed those American soldiers to protect you. I should have gone to a camp, to be a prisoner, not bask in luxury as your valet, as your lover. I should have hated you, killed you myself at the first opportunity, but instead I killed to save you and deserted to stay with you. It is desertion, you know. I could have gone back to the Americans; you told me so. But I couldn't leave you."

"I see. Do you feel guilty about leaving your brothers in arms back at the camp?"

"Yes. I was in a camp for two weeks. When they grabbed me and took me to the prison, they were all sure I was to die. I should have died."

Alex closed his eyes and took another deep breath. He knew this was not going to be easy. His specialty was breaking people down, making them believe they were garbage and filling their heads with propaganda. Building someone up and giving them hope was much harder.

"Do you still feel that you should die?"

"No. Not now. When I was being tortured at the beginning, I wished I was dead. But not now, now I want to live."

Relief washed over Alex's features at that remark. "Let's get back to the people you think that are following you. When do you feel like they are around you?"

"When we are in a crowd. Everyone is speaking another language, and I can't understand them. I know they're talking about me, they're whispering to each other that the American is here. I know they want to hurt me and take me away." Tears welled up in Mulder's eyes, "I don't want to be taken away again, please don't let them take me away."

"No one is going to take you anywhere, Fox. You have got to believe me when I tell you that nothing can hurt you here. Do you believe me?"

"No."

Alex pursed his lips together, his forehead a knot of concern. "Do you ever feel safe, Fox?" he asked softly.

"Yes."

"When do you feel safe?"

"When I am inside with you, or in my safe place. When I am being punished."

"You feel safe when you are being punished?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Because I know that you love me."

"Do you not think that I love you, otherwise?"

"Yes...but when you punish me, you devote all your energy to me."

Alex licked his lips. "Do you miss being punished?"

"Yes. I want you to love me."

"I do love you. Please realize that. I love you no matter what. I don't want to hurt you anymore. I'm sorry I ever did." He saw the fear cross Mulder's face. //What have I done to you, my Fox?// "Fox, pain isn't part of love. The war hurt me so I hurt anyone I could, and unfortunately that included you. But now the war is no longer our concern; we are lovers, not enemies anymore. Do you believe that I love you, Fox?"

"Yes, I know you love me." But he still looked unhappy.

Alex was silent for a moment. It was going to take many nights to clear Mulder of these feelings. He looked at his watch; the drug would be wearing off soon. He hadn't given Mulder very much on their first run, as he didn't want to cause him any harm. They would have to leave this for now and go back to it tomorrow.

"Mulder, I want you to relax again. Are you still in your safe place?"

"Yes."

"Good. I want you to remember what we talked about, about you not coming to any harm, about me loving you. I want you to feel safe and loved when you wake up, okay?"

"Yes."

"Good. The drug will wear off soon. I am going to be sitting here, right in front of you the whole time. You may feel slightly ill though. When you can open your eyes, I want you to look at me and let me know how you feel, okay?"

"Yes."

Alex sat there and watched Mulder as he slowly came out of his trance. Finally, his eyes opened and he smiled weakly.

"I feel like I've been drinking all night."

Alex reached across and took Mulder's hand in his own. "I think we are making progress, Fox. We have to keep up these sessions, though. Is that alright with you?"

"Yes, it's fine."

Alex smiled at him, "Good."

"I'm tired. I think I'll go to bed."

"Good idea, I will join you shortly." He squeezed Mulder's hand before letting go and watching his lover stand and wobble to the bedroom. Alex took the notepad and pen that was beside him and jotted a few notes down about this session and a reminder of what to ask Mulder in their next. He then retired to the bedroom to join Mulder in sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mulder and Alex were getting tired. They had looked at ten houses today, none of which seemed particularly interesting to either of them. Finally, they were on their last house of the day, located in a newer neighbourhood, a few kilometres from a busy Plaza.

"There are a lot of German couples living on this street," Grey said. "I know you want to live in a predominately Spanish neighbourhood, that is why I left this until last."

"Well, we have not had any luck at any of the other houses. Are you too tired to look at another one, Fox?"

Mulder shrugged, "It doesn't matter to me."

Alex rolled his eyes, out of Mulder's view. He was getting frustrated with Mulder's meek attitude today. Every time Alex asked him a question, he would respond with either another question or a noncommittal answer. Visions of his wife chastising him for not listening to her, or not replying adequately ran through his mind. //I now know what you meant, Gretchen, and I am sorry.// Alex offered up a silent prayer to her and Trudi in the back of the car making its way down the tree-lined street.

They pulled up in front of a large house with large trees out front and a slate walkway leading up to the front door. The style was clearly Victorian, yet there were indications that the house was not more than ten years old.

"This house replaced one that burnt down on this very spot. The owner kept the style of the house to fit in with the neighbourhood."

They departed from the car and walked up to the grand house. They opened the door and walked inside, touring around the main floor with its large kitchen, parlor and French doors leading off to a slate patio. A large garden filled with flowers was at the back of the lot. The second floor held three bedrooms and two baths. The master bedroom had an en-suite full bath with large bathtub. Alex looked at Mulder who actually blushed. They were about to go downstairs again, when Mulder noticed a door leading off the hallway.

"Where does this door lead to?"

"I don't know. It's listed as only a three bedroom."

Mulder turned the knob and swung the door open to a large room with bookshelves built into the walls. His face shone as he looked at the oak and pine shelves stained a rich honey colour, matching the hardwood floor throughout the house. Mulder stood in the middle of the room and looked at the room, the large windows that faced the backyard let in the setting sun, giving everything a warm, orange glow. Slowly, a look of joy came over his face.

"Do you like it?"

"I've always wanted a library." Mulder went over and stroked the wood with his fingers. "But it's your house, not mine. It should be what you want."

Alex felt rage build up within himself. He reminded himself to remain calm as he turned to his friend, "Could you please give us a few minutes?"

"By all means. I will be downstairs." The silver- haired man turned and left the room, shutting the door behind him.

Alex walked up to Mulder and held on to his arms, looking into his eyes. "Fox, don't you realize that whatever house we pick will be your house too?"

"I will work here, of course, but it will ultimately be your house."

Alex closed his eyes and bit his lip to keep from screaming in frustration. Instead he turned away from Mulder and went to look out the window to the backyard below. After a moment, he turned around again.

"Look. I don't know how many times I have to tell you this, I love you, Fox. You and I are together. I do not want you as my prisoner; I do not want you as my valet. I want you and me to be together forever. You are my mate. Is that clear?"

"Yes." Mulder looked down at the floor.

Alex was frustrated beyond belief. He would have to up the dosage of Sodium Pentothal for their nightly sessions. For three nights, he had hammered into Mulder's brain that he was an equal, and it wasn't getting him anywhere. Mulder just kept telling him whatever he thought he wanted to hear without actually believing it. //Patience, Alex. You made him this way, now you have to get him back to normal.//

He took a deep breath to calm himself. "Hey," Alex said softly before walking over to Mulder and kissing him on the lips. "I love you. Whatever you want, I want. Do you want this house? Do you like the library?"

"I love this house."

"Then we shall buy this house." Maybe if he just kept finding out and giving Fox what he really wanted, eventually he'd believe in his love.

They went back downstairs to tell Grey that they would take the house. He informed them that they could have it by the beginning of the month, a mere two weeks away. In the meantime, they should shop for furnishings, so when they moved in, they would have what they needed.

For the next two weeks, Alex and Mulder spent their time looking for items to outfit their new home, Alex even buying an automobile. He thought about buying one for Mulder as well but decided to wait until Mulder felt more able to deal with people. Right now it would be pointless. At night, Alex would hold his sessions with Mulder, ridding him of his paranoia, convincing him that he was his equal. They made slow progress, but now Mulder could go to the busy square alone, without suffering the panic attacks that once plagued him. He spent most of his time in a small bookstore, specializing in English texts, buying books for his library at home. In fact, he spent so much time there that Alex started to miss having him around whenever he wanted him and grew sulky. Though he didn't appreciate it at first, this led to the first real sign that Mulder was recovering from his abuse.

The day before they were due to move into their new home, Mulder spent the entire morning at the bookstore and stayed through lunch as well. When he did come back, Alex was pouting in the living room and muttered something about hoping he'd finish buying his damn books soon so they could spend some time together. Mulder lost his temper.

"Yeah, you were so anxious to spend time with me that you were going to leave me in the middle of Berlin while you saved your own skin!" he yelled, shocking Alex into silence. "Now suddenly it bothers you if I find something to do that doesn't revolve around you for a few hours?! Well, fuck that! And fuck you too!" He threw his latest bag of books down on the floor and stormed into the bedroom, slamming the door behind him.

Alex stood frozen, staring at the closed door between them. Slowly, very slowly, he sank to the floor where he stood, unable even to take the few steps back to the chair he'd been sitting in when Mulder arrived. Suddenly the door flew open again, and Mulder reappeared, anger radiating from every pore. Alex pushed himself to his feet, watching Mulder silently, which only seemed to enrage him more.

"And while we're on the subject, where the hell do you get off *whipping* me? I'm a human being, not some animal. Hell, I wouldn't treat any animal the way you treated me! You deliberately set out to degrade me!"

"Yes." The one soft word was Alex's only response.

Mulder let out a snarl of frustrated rage and punched Alex, knocking him to the ground.

That was more than Alex could take, guilty conscience or no, and he sprang to his feet with a bellow of rage. "How dare you!? How *fucking* dare you!?! I was doing my job, but you! Mr. O-So-Honorable American, what about you? You *raped* me!"

"You raped me first!"

"At least *I* made sure you enjoyed it!"

"I didn't want to enjoy it! I wanted to go home!" Mulder practically spit in Alex's face with that last yell since they were now standing toe to toe, both red- faced with anger, yelling at each other like children having a temper tantrum.

Mulder suddenly realized that he had just punched and was now screaming in the face of the man that only days before he had practically begged to beat him to show his love. He started to think about what was going on, remembering everything from his nightly sessions with Alex and comparing it with how Alex had treated him in prison at the beginning. He stared in amazement when all the pieces fell into place.

Alex stared back nervously, not knowing what was going through Mulder's head, but clearly something was going on.

"You're trying to undo what you did to me." Mulder made the statement with a degree of shock usually reserved for things like the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the sinking of Atlantis, Judgement Day and other things of that magnitude.

Alex looked away guiltily.

"Why?" Mulder placed on hand on Alex's cheek, turning him to meet his eyes. "Why would you want to do that? I would have done anything you wanted, so why undo it?"

Alex tried to take courage from the hand still resting against his cheek. "Because I love you. Because I want a lover, not a slave. Because it hurt me to see you so afraid and know that it was because of me. Because I'm the only one who could."

Mulder stared into frightened green eyes, seeing the truth of Alex's words, and he remembered that despite everything he loved this man. Under all his anger, and there was a lot of it, that truth was at the core of him. He loved Alex Krycek, and nothing could ever change that. He closed his eyes and sighed, leaning his forehead against Alex's.

Opening his eyes again, he took Alex's hand and led him into the bedroom where they lay together, just holding one another silently. They still had a long way to go, but for the first time Alex truly believed that Fox was going to be all right and was still going to love him and stay with him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Finally, the day arrived when they moved in. Everything had been delivered from their hotel, so they just had to go to the house with the clothes on their backs. Malcolm dropped them off, grinning at Alex as they left. He was glad that his friend's son had found happiness despite the horrors he had been through.

They walked in the house, shut the door behind them and embraced.

"Welcome home, Fox. This is your home. We are together forever."

Mulder kissed Alex, tears welling up in his eyes. He had never felt so loved. Suddenly, the smell of something cooking wafted up to his nostrils.

"Are you cooking something?"

Alex smiled coyly, "No, we have a cook and maid. Her name is Elena, and she comes highly recommended."

"What am I to do?"

"Do? Anything you want. You can read all day in your library, go for walks, whatever you please. You might even want to spend some time with me occasionally." Alex looked at Mulder through his lashes, grinning at his expression of exasperation. Mulder had to laugh. "There is a garden out back, if you are so inclined. Elena's brother, Ricardo will come to tend to the gardening if you have no interest."

"Oh."

"What?"

"I've never had...servants before, I don't know how to treat them."

"You treat them as you treat anyone. With respect. Now, come meet Elena."

They walked into the kitchen where a trim, yet husky woman of about fifty was bustling around the kitchen, checking an enormous pan that was simmering on the stove. She smiled and greeted Alex, speaking in rushed Spanish. She then gripped Mulder's hand and greeted him the same way.

Mulder smiled at her warmly and nodded. Everyone at the hotel had spoken English, and whenever he needed translation, Alex was there for him. Now, he needed to assimilate further and learn the language. He couldn't imagine spending the rest of his life in a country where he didn't speak the language.

"Alex, I don't speak Spanish. I need to learn."

"I've been thinking about that; we should get you a tutor soon."

Elena continued talking, looking back at them and smiling as she opened the oven and brought out some heavenly-smelling rolls. Alex answered her then led Mulder upstairs.

"What was that all about?"

Alex laughed, "She said to wash up, dinner is in ten minutes."

"It took her that long to say that?"

''Actually, she was also telling me that she has some nieces that would like to meet us."

"You mean, she doesn't know that we're..." Mulder laughed.

"No. She will find out soon enough. I do not want our relationship to be a secret. We are free and should live our lives as such." Deciding to match actions to words, Alex suddenly grabbed Mulder and kissed him, backing him against the wall as he made sure he didn't miss a single inch of Mulder's mouth in his explorations. Both were flushed and panting when they separated to continue up to their bedroom.

After they washed up, they went back down to the diningroom where they were treated to paella, loaded with seafood and vegetables. After Elena cleared up the dishes, she excused herself for the evening and went home. Alex and Mulder retired to the parlor where they listened to the radio.

"She doesn't live with us?"

"No. Family is very strong here. She comes in the morning to cook us breakfast and cleans. In the afternoon she leaves for a few hours to spend time having lunch with her family. She comes back later in the day to cook dinner. Whatever is left over, she takes home to her family. It is quite common here for them to do so."

"That's nice, she should spend time with her family."

Alex caressed Mulder's leg from the chair beside the couch Mulder was sitting on. After Mulder's blow up the previous evening, he'd been trying to give him some space that day. Otherwise he'd have been in his favorite position, stretched out on the couch with Mulder against him. "You know, Fox, we are a family now."

Mulder smiled, "I know."

When Mulder raised Alex's hand from his leg to his lips and kissed it, Alex moved over to sit beside him on the couch, his hand cupping his chin, his thumb caressing his lower lip. Gently, he kissed him, their lips pressing together before parting slowly to allow their tongues to pass.

Alex broke the kiss and caressed Mulder's lip with his thumb once more. "Come upstairs so we can make love in our bed."

Mulder grabbed Alex's hand and followed him up to the bedroom. The four poster bed was covered with crisp sheets and a duvet. Alex turned off the overhead light, the light from the moon streaming in the windows providing the only illumination needed.

Very slowly, they undressed each other, licking and kissing the skin as it was exposed. The heat radiating from their bodies was incredible, both men sweating from anticipation alone. Finally, they were naked and moved to the bed, caressing each other all over.

Alex nestled himself between Mulder's legs, pressing their erections together while he kissed him. Their tongues danced together, exploring each other's mouths, as they reacquainted each other with the details of their bodies.

Alex moved down lower, sucking at Mulder's neck, feeling Mulder's hands come down to caress his back. Lower he moved until he reached a nipple, which he sucked and teased, pulling it with his teeth.

Mulder was moaning now, his cock throbbing between his legs. He could feel Alex suck down the line of hair on his belly to where he wanted Alex's mouth to be.

"Alex."

"Hmmmm."

"Alex, I want to taste you as well."

Alex looked at his lover for a second before maneuvering around so he was resting on his side, his mouth in line with Mulder's cock, his own in line with Mulder's mouth. He covered Mulder's erection with his mouth, gently sucking, and licking. He breathed in sharply when he felt Mulder's mouth come around his own, lapping up the fluid at the head.

Both men sucked and nibbled on each other's cocks, bringing sighs and moans from each other. Mulder was caressing Alex's balls with his fingers, lightly stroking the underside of them. Alex had one finger inside Mulder, slowly fucking him in time with the pulls of his mouth. Both men, as if on cue, started sucking harder on each other, moaning, their bodies in sync as they came.

They licked each other clean before turning to face each other again. They kissed for a long time, their tongues mixing each other's essences within their mouths to create one unique taste. Finally, they broke free and just held on to each other before drifting off into sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Weeks passed, and Alex closed the deal to buy the hotel that he and his father had looked at years earlier. He spent his days there, sorting out the staffing and the plans he had for the business. He was making a name for himself in the business community, turning an obscure little hotel into a palace. The neighbours, were not so accommodating, however. Their prejudices ran deep, especially regarding homosexuality. While Alex and Mulder were cordial to their neighbours, their greetings were returned with fake smiles and disapproving glances. Alex shielded Mulder from it as much as possible. He needed to get him well before he dealt with the emotional burden of this new problem. He didn't want anything to jeopardize Mulder's progress, as slow as it was.

Mulder had been moody in the beginning, not sure how to act or what to do in his own house. This led to more than a few arguments, Alex glad that Mulder had the courage to now argue back. When they got started yelling at each other, Elena usually made sure all the kitchen knives were put away out of sight, crossed herself with a quick prayer for them and went home out of the war zone. After the first time in the hotel, they hadn't resorted to fists again, although Alex thought Mulder might have come close a few times. When he tired of screaming insults at Alex, Mulder would storm up to his library and slam the door, not coming out for hours. Once he calmed down enough to stop cursing Mulder, Alex would go up there once every hour and knock on the door to make sure he was okay. Mulder would tell him to leave him alone and then remain silent until the next time he knocked on the door. While he was relieved that Mulder was getting better, it killed him not to be able to take the pain completely away. It was to be expected that Mulder wasn't going to go right into acting normal again; the transition would be hard. Alex knew that, but he still couldn't help getting upset when Mulder was hurting, and that tension made him more apt to yell back at Mulder. This too, however, was passing. There had not been an argument or slammed door in days.

This week was also particularly good for Mulder. He had continued to visit the small bookstore where he bought most of the volumes in his library almost daily. The old man that owned it was going to retire soon and had no children to pass his business on to. Mulder thought about buying the business from him, but he didn't have any money. He agonized over asking Alex for a loan, and when he finally did, Alex went to the bank the next day and paid the owner the money for the store. In two weeks, Mulder would be running the shop, his name over the door.

He was learning Spanish, too. At the beginning, he had a private tutor come in every day. This man was not very nice, however, and after a week, Mulder asked for him to be replaced. The new tutor was also not kind; Alex came home one day to find him yelling at Mulder for using the wrong tense. He was forcibly removed from the house by Alex, with a threat on his life if he ever saw him again. Alex wondered what it was about Mulder that made men want to abuse him.

The best tutor turned out to be their cook, Elena. Mulder walked in the kitchen one day, just after she had arrived to start the evening dinner. She made Mulder a cup of coffee and asked him to sit down. From what little Spanish he had learned from his tutors, he realized that she wanted to learn English. They struck a deal that they would teach each other their native tongues while Mulder watched her prepare the evening meal. Alex was surprised at the speed at which Mulder had learned the language. He supposed Elena's offerings of cake and other baked delights helped with the lessons. Unfortunately, Mulder's attempts to learn to cook under Elena's tutelage were far less successful. After she arrived one morning to find that Mulder had started to boil eggs for breakfast, gotten engrossed in a book and forgotten all about them, she made him swear on Alex's life never to attempt to cook again. It took both of them nearly an hour to scrape and scrub the bits of exploded egg off the kitchen walls.

Elena took to the two easily, treating them as if they were her sons, not seeming to mind about their relationship. What they did not know, however, was that every Sunday, she prayed in church for God to take pity on them and grant them a place in heaven, despite their sins.

One day, Alex and Mulder were listening to the radio when the announcer said that the war in Europe was over and Hitler was confirmed dead. Before now, reports of Hitler's death had been denounced as rumours. There had also been reports of murder/suicides at the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin; apparently, Goebbels had taken his life as well as the lives of his wife and six children.

Both men stopped what they were doing, Alex reading the newspaper, Mulder a book. They both looked at each other then embraced, the tears flowing freely from both men.

"It's over, Fox. It's all over."

It seemed as if a weight had been lifted from Mulder's shoulders. He no longer had that nagging suspicion in the back of his mind that the Nazis would eventually find them and take them back to Berlin. The Nazis had been defeated, and Berlin was now in the hands of the Americans and the Russians.

Both men held on to each other for a long time, remembering those who had died, who had been left behind, the destruction that had destroyed a large part of Europe. They ended the evening by curling up, embracing each other in bed, kissing each other gently before falling asleep.

The next day, the word came from Grey that Alex's favour was due. They would host an escapee couple for a few weeks while they got settled. Elena prepared the guestroom at the end of the hallway for their visitors. Alex and Mulder told her they were old friends from Europe and nothing more.

Alex looked nervous. His friend did not tell him who his guest was to be, only that they had escaped from Germany and had spent the past month trying to get to Argentina. They were to arrive tonight.

Mulder and Alex were in the parlor when they heard the car pull up. They both looked at each other, nervous, yet excited at the same time. Together, they walked to the door as the knock came. Alex looked at Mulder one more time before opening the door to their guests.

"Pendrell!"

"Krycek!"

Both men embraced upon seeing each other, tears springing to their eyes.

"I thought you might be dead. When I heard of all the suicides and murders at the end, I thought the worst."

"I worried about you too, my friend. When I found out which ship you used for your escape, I feared for your life."

Alex looked away, not wanting to discuss what had happened on that ship. Recognizing his discomfort, Pendrell didn't press him.

The silver-haired man beamed. He knew this was the right decision. Now his promise to the senior Krycek had been fulfilled. Alex had a family again.

Alex and Pendrell embraced once more, glad to see each other alive, before pulling away. Alex gestured to Mulder, "Sean Pendrell, this is Fox Mulder."

"Ah, yes, so nice to meet you, finally. I am sorry that I could not introduce myself properly when I saw you last."

Mulder smiled and shook his hand, glad that Alex's friend was still alive. He knew that he meant a lot to Alex.

"This," Pendrell said as his hand moved into the shadows, "is Marita." Pendrell brought a blonde woman from around the corner, her piercing blue eyes assessing the situation.

She smiled at both men and held her hand out to them. "Herr Mulder, Herr Krycek, I am Marita Covarrubias. Thank you for letting us stay with you."

Alex grabbed her hand and squeezed it, "It is our pleasure. And please, it is Senor, you are in Argentina now."

Marita let go of Alex's hand as if it were on fire and grabbed Mulder's, her expression not changing. "Yes, how silly of me. I should learn Spanish."

"Come inside, both of you. Have you much luggage?"

"There are a few bags in the car. Fox, would you please help me with them?" Grey turned towards the car, Mulder following him.

Pendrell, Marita and Alex all went into the parlor to wait for Mulder. When he came into the room, they had opened a bottle of wine and were relaxing. He noticed that there was something that didn't feel quite right; there was a certain electricity running through the room, as if during a thunderstorm.

"Fox, where is Malcolm?"

"He said he could not join us tonight, but we are to meet him for lunch tomorrow."

"Fine. Come, sit, Fox, let me pour you a glass of wine."

Mulder sat down beside Alex on the couch, taking his glass of wine. Alex and Pendrell reminisced, laughing out loud at jokes. He looked at Marita, her icy blue gaze scanning the room. She was seated in one of the wing-backed chairs across from him, Pendrell in the other. She would occasionally glance at the two men, smiling and joining in the conversation, but not giving any indication of who she really was or what she was thinking. Finally, Mulder yawned after hearing the two other men talk for hours about people they knew. Alex reached over and put his arm around Mulder and gave him a squeeze. Marita raised her eyebrows and looked at the two men as if to say, "I knew it."

Alex put his wineglass down, "It's late, you must be tired from your journey. I will take you to your room."

Mulder bid them goodnight and cleaned up after them before making his way upstairs to the room he shared with Alex. They settled into bed, Mulder holding Alex in his arms. He kissed his forehead, "You're pretty happy to see that Pendrell's safe."

Alex sighed, "I tell you, Fox, it is a weight off my mind. I was so worried about him. I am so happy to see that he is safe."

Mulder hugged him closer, neither man saying what was really on his mind regarding Marita. He kissed Alex's hair, his hands caressing his back, moving down to wander across his buttocks. Alex moved his mouth up to greet Mulder's, biting on his lower lip, sucking it into his mouth.

Mulder moved his hand down and grasped both of their burgeoning erections, stroking them both into hardness.

Alex gasped as Mulder's thumb went from the head of one of their cocks to the other, teasing, spreading the pre-cum around. Alex moved his hand down to join Mulder's, stroking and caressing each other until they both came with a soft moan on each other's bellies.

Mulder kissed Alex before cleaning them up, Alex returning to his arms to sleep the night away.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next day, the four of them toured Buenos Aires, not forgetting to join Grey for lunch. He was going to take Pendrell and Marita out on Monday to look at some apartments, neither of them wanting a house.

Later, at dinner, Alex and Pendrell dominated the conversation, gaining steely glares from Marita. Mulder sensed that Marita didn't like Alex because he was always stealing Pendrell away to talk to him about something that left both men giggling uncontrollably. Mulder was genuinely happy that Alex was having a good time with his friend. He wanted to tell Marita that friendships like that didn't come along every day and she should be happy for Pendrell, but he did not. Instead he drank his wine and ate his dinner, watching her fume through the courses.

When the brandy and dessert came, Mulder rose and went to the kitchen to see Elena off, making sure that her brother came to pick her up. With her safely on her way home, he went back to the dining room to find Marita standing before them, icily stating that she was tired and wanted to go to bed.

Pendrell and Alex both stood, and Pendrell gave her a peck on the cheek, oblivious of her mood as she stormed out of the room and down the hallway.

Mulder watched Marita leave the dining room and go upstairs. When she left, it was if the tension had left as well. Sensing Alex and his friend wanted to talk, he also excused himself and went up to his library, shutting the door behind him. He opened the window and looked out at the stars, wanting to be flying up there in his airplane at that particular moment. He didn't like the feeling that was in this house since she arrived, the underlying tension. He and Alex had been through so much emotionally these past few months; they didn't need this right now. Her prima donna attitude would have to change. With Alex and Pendrell living in the same city, they were bound to be together a lot. Mulder shook his head. He didn't trust Marita; she was hiding something, and she had a different agenda than Pendrell. He didn't like her. He breathed in the sweet night air before settling down in his overstuffed chair with a book.

Alex and Pendrell walked out the French doors to the patio. Cicadas and crickets sang their night-time tune as they sat in the wicker chairs that faced each other.

"You have really made a life here for yourself, haven't you, Alex?"

"The house is very nice, isn't it? Fox picked it out. He loves books and wanted his own library. The neighbourhood isn't too bad, the people are...well, they try to be nice. They don't approve of me and Fox; they give us dirty looks when they think we are not looking. There is one particular troublemaker across the street. That Russian pig is such an asshole; he is trying to drive us out of our home."

"He can't do that."

"Well, he is certainly trying. He does not think two men should live together and we are immoral and wrong. They had a meeting at his house one night to plan his strategy. I invited him over to discuss the problem, to see if we could work it out, but he refused. Later, I heard that he moaned to everyone how he was not going to set foot in our house, lest he be turned into a homosexual."

"That is quite moronic."

Krycek spat on the ground, "Svoi mat! He is lucky that I have calmed down since the war. They all are."

Pendrell giggled, trying to make light of the conversation, "Do you still have that riding crop?"

"No. But if I did, I would not waste it on that filth."

They sat there for a few minutes, not talking. Pendrell was anxious to change the subject. He did not want his friend angry; this was supposed to be a good time.

"You are lucky to have found happiness for the second time in your life, Alex."

"Fox is a great man, and I love him dearly."

"I can see that."

Pendrell offered a cigar to Alex, who accepted. Soon, they were both puffing on the cigars, the sweet smoke wafting away on the light breeze.

"What is with Marita?" Alex asked.

"What do you mean?"

"The last time I saw you before the war, you had a young man on each arm and were leading them away for a night of exploration. Now you show up, at my house, in Argentina no less, with a woman."

"The last time I saw you before the war, you were married with a child. Then I see you running through the woods with your lover, who was your prisoner, and then your servant, and who is a man, no less."

"Touche." Alex puffed on his cigar.

"I like her, she's fun. She also sucks cock like a whore."

"That's nice, Sean, the first thing I do when I start a relationship with a woman is to compare her to a whore."

"We don't have a relationship, it's just fun."

"Fun? You bring her all this way for fun?"

"Actually, we have a deal. She played my girlfriend for the SS, and I promised to get her out of Germany."

"So it is business?"

"More or less." Pendrell took a long drag on his cigar, blowing it out slowly. "She's fine for a friend."

"Is she going to leave you soon?"

Pendrell sighed, "Probably. You know I cannot keep a relationship longer than a few months."

"True. Are you going back to men?"

Pendrell shrugged, "Man, woman, it does not make a difference to me. As long as I like them, right?"

Alex shrugged and looked up at the stars.

"Don't worry, Alex, I won't try anything with your Fox. I have to tell you though, he is a very fine looking man."

"Yes, and he is with me, don't you forget it."

"You have never forgiven me, have you?"

"Forgiven you for what? For making my childhood a living hell?" Alex laughed.

Pendrell snorted, "Need I remind you that you were the one who got me into trouble all the time? No, I am talking about Berlin and our trip when we were eighteen. Don't tell me you've forgotten about it? That was the best week of our lives."

"For you, maybe. You took my date and fucked him right in front of me!"

"Your date? Those two Italian boys? We all left together and were all going to fuck together, remember?"

"All I got was a handjob! You got to be sandwiched between two Roman gods."

"You passed out! Believe me, we tried to wake you," Pendrell smiled. "I couldn't let those poor boys go without getting anything, could I? I had to have them both myself. It was such a hardship."

"Hardship? You loved every second of it."

"Yes, it was a night to remember. For me, anyway. I could hardly wake you the next morning; you were dead to the world. Finally, you woke up in the afternoon, all hung over but ready to go out again. The next night you got lucky with that woman, you shouldn't complain."

"Yes, well, it wasn't the same, was it?"

Pendrell sighed then giggled to himself lightly. "The things we did when we were young."

"That we will never do again."

"Tell me about Fox, Alex. Is this it? Is he the one?"

"Yes, he is. I cannot tell you how happy he makes me feel. When I am with him, it is as if nothing else matters. I told our mutual friend that I haven't loved anyone this much since my wife, but even that's not true. I've never loved anyone, not even Gretchen, this much."

"I'm glad. It's about time we both had some happiness in our lives."

Mulder sat there in his library, listening to the two men talk below. He knew Marita could not hear them as the guest bedroom at the end of the hall faced the other way. While he was glad that he heard Alex admit his love for him to his friend, he was uneasy about the conversation about Berlin. Were Alex and Pendrell lovers at one time? He had noticed the glances from the neighbors as well, deciding not to mention it to Alex, so his temper wouldn't get the better of him. He sighed and shook his head, it wasn't fair, hadn't they left the fascists behind in Germany? He decided not to listen to any more, left the library, and went to bed.

About an hour later, Alex came to bed to find Mulder reading a book.

"I thought you would be asleep by now, it's late."

"No."

Alex got undressed then slipped in beside Mulder. He could sense that something was not right.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing."

"Yes there is, out with it."

Mulder put the book down and looked at Alex. "I could hear you from the library."

Alex's tongue snuck out to moisten his lower lip. "Yes? What are you saying, Fox?"

"Were you and Pendrell ever lovers?"

"Lovers? No, he is like my brother! We may have shared a few conquests, but I never had sex with him. He is my best friend, I value his friendship, his companionship, as much as I value what you and I have. Are you jealous?"

"No, I am not jealous, I've been thinking about a few things, that's all. I am happy that you have Pendrell back in your life, I really am."

"Then what is the problem?"

"There is no problem. I have been thinking about what friendships mean and what richness they can bring to your life." Mulder looked up at Alex. "I envy you."

Mulder stood and started to leave the room.

"Fox, where are you going?"

"I need to take care of some things. Don't worry, I won't be long." Mulder kissed Alex and left the bedroom. He went to his library, shut the door, sat at his small desk and started writing.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The weeks, then months passed, Alex and Mulder fitting in well with their business operations. Alex had hosted many events at his hotel, winning the hearts of wealthy travelers. Pendrell had found an apartment of his own, Marita leaving him for a wealthy Argentinean man soon after they arrived in Buenos Aires. Pendrell worked for Alex, helping him arrange the banquets and meetings that were held there. The three men often did things together socially, but Pendrell also let Alex and Mulder have their space.

Sadly, except for Pendrell and Malcolm Grey, Mulder and Alex had no other friends. The German community had closed ranks against them as soon as it became known that the two men were lovers, and Alex was growing more and more frustrated with each passing day. Finally he decided to confront the leader of the community, one Anton von Richter, a former confidant of Hitler's.

After his meeting with von Richter, Alex went straight home, knowing he didn't dare go near the hotel in this mood. He expected Fox to still be at the bookstore and was unpleasantly surprised to find him at home when he arrived.

"Alex!" Mulder smiled, delighted that they both seemed to be free unexpectedly for the afternoon. It had been far too long since they were able to just concentrate on each other. His smile faded when he realized that far from being pleased to see him, Alex could barely keep a snarl from his face. "What's wrong? Did something happen?"

"Did something happen?" Alex repeated. "Well, now, that depends, Fox. That depends on whether being told by a man I greatly respect and admire that I can never accomplish anything, never be accepted by my peers, by men who cannot even dream of becoming my equal, so long as *you* are in my bed. Yes," he snarled, "I think that something happened! And there you are, tripping along happily with that stupid smile on your face like everything's perfect. Do you care, do you even realize, that I have given up everything for you?! Of course not, you're happy so nothing else matters!" he yelled.

Mulder, at first stunned by this unexpected attack, quickly found his anger outstripping his surprise. "Well, maybe if you stopped treating me like a not-too- bright child and actually talked to me, I would know what was happening. And maybe *together* we could do something about the problem. But no, you have to be in charge, don't you? God forbid I might actually have an idea of my own that you didn't think of first!"

"That's not true and you know it, Fox! I've treated you as an equal even when you didn't want me to! But every time I try to talk to you, we end up screaming at each other. I fail to see how that could possibly be considered in any way helpful," he sneered.

"You don't talk to me; you either yell at me or talk down to me. I think you like me being dependent on you," Mulder snapped, totally ignoring the fact that Alex was the one who had helped build back his self- confidence. "But if my presence here is the root of all your problems, there's a simple solution!"

"Yes, that's right, run away. I don't need this. I don't need *you*!"

Suddenly realizing what they were saying, what their anger and frustration had driven them to say, both men fell silent. Alex's last words echoed in the room as they stared at each other in horror. They reached for each other simultaneously, clinging to each other as if to prevent anyone or anything from tearing them apart.

"My god, Fox, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it. I *do* need you; I love you. I don't think I could live without you. Please don't leave me; don't ever leave me. I couldn't bear it if you left me," Alex babbled.

Fox was no more coherent than his lover. "It's not true, Alex, I could never leave you. I love you so much, please don't send me away."

After a few more seconds of clinging to one another, they slowly separated just enough to move over to the couch. Alex sprawled in his favorite position, and Fox nestled into his embrace, still shaken by their argument. Alex stroked Fox's back continuously, needing the comfort of feeling his lover in his arms. The fear he'd felt at their words made it clear to him that if it was a choice between having Fox with him and having the approval of his compatriots, he could very happily learn to live without other friends.

Eventually Alex calmed enough to wonder why Fox was home in the middle of the day.

"Oh, the police have cordoned off the street near the store. They found a prostitute murdered in a nearby alley. Since no one could get to the store anyway for a while, I decided to just close up and take the afternoon off." He raised his head to see Alex's face. "But you know the strangest part, Alex? I actually knew her slightly back home." In response to Alex's clear surprise he continued, "She worked in the cafeteria at the base where I was stationed. I have no idea how she ended up here. Her name was Fulton... Fuller...no, Fowley, Diana Fowley. That's it. The poor woman had been knifed, probably by a customer who didn't want to pay." He shook his head sadly.

Alex shrugged as best he could with Mulder on top of him. "Strange things happen, especially during a war. We'll never know how she ended up here." He took one of Mulder's hands in his, just holding it. The two men lay together, thinking about the odd twists that fate could take until they dozed off.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alex thought that everything was settled after that last argument, but he didn't realize how many problems Mulder was having with the neighbors and the other Germans in Buenos Aires. Alex was snubbed for being homosexual, but Mulder was homosexual and an American, the enemy. He was constantly being insulted and denigrated, and they were starting to add physical assaults. He didn't want to tell Alex, not wanting to make things more difficult for him, but he didn't know how much longer he could take this.

After the third day of being tripped as he walked up the street, Mulder was ready to chew nails. He'd been in a bad mood for the last few days because of all this, and Alex was starting to ask questions. Today, some of the children had thrown dog turds at him. They'd missed fortunately, but he wasn't thrilled to have shit thrown at him.

Mulder was thinking about all of this and getting progressively more morose when Alex came home. Alex was in an absolutely foul mood after a day where everything seemed to have gone wrong. People quit without notice; those who didn't were sick; and the few who actually showed up were completely incompetent. He really needed a drink. After greeting Mulder, he went straight to the bar in the corner of the parlor.

"You are so lucky, Fox. You don't have to deal with many people, not like at the hotel. I'd trade places with you in a minute." Alex began to pour himself a drink.

"What? I'm *lucky*? Are you fucking nuts?! Oh yeah, I'm so lucky. Since the day I was shot down, I've been thrown into a work camp, sent to a prison, raped, beaten, sexually tortured, abused, dehumanized, nearly abandoned, raped *again*, lost my family, friends and home, betrayed my country and had shit thrown at me!!! Yeah, I'd call that really lucky!! And guess what? Almost every single thing that's happened to me can be traced back to one cause--you!!" he snarled at Alex.

Before Alex could say a word, totally shocked by Mulder's unprovoked attack, Mulder launched himself at him, knocking Alex to the floor and stunning him. The decanter of whiskey went flying out of his hand and smashed against the wall, leaving a golden stain to trickle down to the floor. Mulder swung wildly, hitting Alex again and again. "I hate you! I fucking hate you! I should have let them kill you, I should have killed you myself!" he sobbed, pounding Alex's head against the floor. He punched him again, hitting his ribs, his chest, his cheek, anywhere he could reach.

He rolled to his feet, starting to kick Alex now, hitting him repeatedly in the ribs, then dropping back down to his knees to punch him some more. His fists were never still, landing on Alex's chest, his belly, his jaw, his sides; not a single inch of Alex's body didn't get battered. Mulder looked at him with blind hatred and started to choke him.

Alex twitched feebly, trying to get away, but too dazed and in too much pain to move. He clawed at Mulder's hands when they closed around his throat, gasping Fox's name.

The nearly soundless cry of his name finally penetrated Mulder's fog of rage, and he released Alex with a cry of anguish. He flung himself away from the other man, curling into a fetal position in a corner of the room, sobbing and rocking himself.

Despite the agony pulsing through his entire body, when he regained his breath, Alex wobbled to his hands and knees and crawled to Fox's side, too disoriented to stand. He left a trail of blood across the room from the various scrapes caused by Fox's knuckles and his split lip. His nose was also dripping blood, but he didn't think it was broken. It didn't hurt quite as much as the rest of him. He collapsed beside Fox, reaching out to stroke his face.

Mulder cried out, shaking, and raised his head to look at his lover's bloody and bruised face. He reached out a trembling hand to touch the battered flesh, seeing the dazed look in Alex's eyes that told him he probably had a concussion. He couldn't believe that in as much pain as he had to be, Alex had dragged himself over to comfort him after Mulder caused him that pain. He pulled his hand back, afraid of hurting Alex more. //Dear God, what did I do?// He couldn't bear to look at Alex, to see the wounds he'd left on him, to see his marred beauty.

Mulder turned away again, sobbing wildly, feeling completely lost and alone. What was he doing here? Why was he here with this man who'd hurt him so much instead of at home? He didn't belong here. He'd come because of Alex, but why? Was he crazy to want to be with someone like Alex? The people around them were never going to accept their relationship, so they would never have anyone to depend on but each other. Mulder didn't know if he could trust Alex that much, enough to make him the center of his world. He didn't think he could walk away and never see Alex again though. He didn't know what to do.

Mulder rolled over, meeting Alex's eyes again, seeing the blood dripping down his face and the pain in the green eyes. He felt an unwilling satisfaction at seeing the damage he'd inflicted. //Is this what Alex felt when he beat me?//

Alex stared back at him, his eyes wide with fear. Despite the pain of his severely bruised throat, he had to ask, "Do you mean it, Fox? Do you hate me? Because if you do, I want you to finish what you started. Kill me. Because one way or another, I'm not going to live without you."

Mulder ignored that last statement; he wasn't up to dealing with it. " Sometimes I don't know if I love you or hate you, Alex. I hate what you did to me, but it hurts to think about living without you." He turned away.

"I love you, Fox," Alex stopped to catch his breath, his voice still a painful rasp, "and I swear to you that I will never hurt you again. I'd rather die."

Mulder stared at him, seeing the damage he had just inflicted in his rage. And he knew that he didn't want to do that again, didn't want to hurt Alex. And he especially never again wanted to feel that guilty pleasure that he'd gotten from hurting Alex. He could taste bile in the back of his throat at the thought of what he had just done. They were going to get past this somehow because he wasn't going to give up on them. The person who had hurt him, who he hated, was another Alex Krycek, the man who had worn the SS uniform. This Alex would never, could never, do that to him. Mulder *knew* that this Alex loved him, and he refused to let his memories of the past ruin their lives. He forced the images of a tiny prison cell and being beaten with a crop from his mind. Instead he thought of nights lying together, just holding each other, of Alex's laughter, of Alex forcing himself to eat something Mulder had cooked. That was the man he loved and wanted to spend the rest of his life with. "I love you, Alex."

That was enough for Alex, and he lay his head in Mulder's lap, nestling close. Mulder tentatively placed a hand on his head, gently stroking his hair when Alex didn't pull away. They remained like that for a long time, Alex drifting in and out of consciousness while Mulder held him. Mulder kissed the bruises and scrapes that began to form on his lover's face and neck over and over again, wishing he could wipe away the marks of his rage. Eventually Mulder woke Alex and urged him to his feet so he could help him upstairs.

Alex opened a bruised eye and looked at Mulder, wondering if this was all just a bad dream. Coughs wracked his body as he moved, blood coming out of his mouth. Mulder put his handkerchief up to Alex's mouth to wipe the blood and spittle off of his chin. Alex held on to Mulder for a minute until the room stopped spinning. He could only nod his head slightly to indicate that he was ready to try to move, and both men slowly walked out of the room and up the stairs.

Mulder was biting his lip, and sweat had broken out all over his body. //What have I done?// ran through his mind like a mantra as he helped his bruised partner up the stairs. An eternity later, they made it up to their room, Mulder gingerly placing Alex on the bed. He ran to get a warm cloth, which he used to wash Alex's face.

Slowly, he undressed his lover, tears springing to his eyes when he saw the bruising that covered most of Alex's body. They fell in heavy drops on the bed as Alex lost consciousness again, leaving his body limp and unmoving. "I'm sorry, Alex. God, I'm sorry," Mulder whimpered as he removed the remainder of Alex's clothing. He pulled up the covers and kissed Alex gently on the forehead before going back into the bathroom.

Mulder sat on the closed lid of the toilet, miserable and crying. He never ever wanted to feel again like he felt today. The sudden rush of adrenaline and almost joy at beating another man, his lover no less, to a pulp. His tears dried up and anger replaced his sadness, "Fox Mulder, you are one stupid asshole."

He stood and washed his face, the anger and self-hatred still welling up inside him. He looked at his reflection in the mirror, sneering at himself. "Fuck you." With that, he punched the mirror, breaking it into large shards that shattered in the sink. The blood flowed red as Mulder relished the pain, pain that would cover the hurt he felt inside. He stood there and watched the blood drip freely onto the bits of mirror in the sink. Calmly, he rinsed off his hand and inspected it - only superficial wounds. He wrapped his hand in a towel, securing it well so it would not come undone, before returning to the bedroom.

Alex was awake again when he got there, and at his insistence Mulder slid in beside him, and Alex snuggled against his side, trying to get as much contact as possible. After Alex fell asleep, Mulder lay watching him all night, never sleeping. He swore that nothing like this night would ever happen again, that he would never hurt Alex again.

That blow up seemed to truly signal Mulder's return to himself because after nursing Alex back to health, he settled down, arguing with Alex when they didn't agree, showing an incredibly stubborn side, but never again exploding into that bone-deep rage. They'd weathered the storm, and they were stronger for it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One day, Mulder received a letter. He recognized the handwriting immediately and tore open the envelope to reveal the letter inside. A smile crossed his face and a happy sigh left his lips as he read the letter. He looked at his watch; Alex was at the hotel until late tonight, so he would have to tell him the news later.

Mulder was sitting on the bed, reading, clad in only his robe when Alex entered the room.

"Hello, my love." Alex bent down and kissed Mulder on the lips, lingering for a second. "You don't know how good that feels."

"Hard day?"

Alex stood up again, raking his fingers through his hair. "The dignitaries from Brazil, Chile and Colombia arrived today. I had the staff bend over backwards for them all, but nothing was good enough. The services they want, they don't want to pay for, and then when someone does something they actually like, they don't tip!"

Mulder looked at Alex pace the room, gesturing wildly with his hands. "How long are they here for?"

"A week!"

Mulder started laughing, "You wanted this hotel so bad."

"Don't remind me." Alex stopped pacing and started to get undressed. "Tell me about your day, let me hear some good news."

"I sold some books, came home, ate dinner alone, came to bed, nothing special."

"Hmmm, is that all?" Alex padded to the bathroom in his robe to wash his face. Mulder followed behind him, leaning against the door frame.

"Actually, I got a letter today."

"A letter? From who? Is it good news."

"It's good for me."

Alex finished washing his face and began to towel off. "What do you mean?"

"It was from Dana."

"Dana? Who's...oh, Dana." Alex faced Mulder, his arms crossed in front of his chest.

"Yes."

"How did she find you?"

"Actually, I wrote her a few months ago. Looking at you and Pendrell reunited made me miss Dana terribly. I couldn't let her think I was dead or missing in action. I told her everything that happened in the war, the prison, us escaping to Argentina."

"Everything?!" Alex exclaimed, sounding horrified.

"Oh. No, not *everything*. I didn't give her any details about when I was in prison. I didn't want her to hate you. I just wanted to let her know that I was happy and well. What I didn't count on though, was that she wants to visit."

"Visit, here?"

"Yes, she actually arrives in two days."

"Two days!"

"The post is not as fast as we anticipated it to be."

"I suppose you want her to stay with us?" Alex snapped.

"Yes, I do. Unless you want to put her up in your precious hotel for free." Mulder snapped back.

"I don't know about this, Fox. I don't know her. How can you let a stranger into our home?"

"It was fine when Pendrell and Marita stayed here. I didn't know either of them!"

"That's different."

Mulder laughed, "How is it different? I think you're jealous."

"I am *not* jealous."

"Yes you are, you've always been jealous of Dana. How can you be jealous of someone that I have not seen in over a year?"

Alex sighed and started to pace throughout the bathroom. "How do I know you won't fall in love with her again when you see her?"

"I keep telling you, Alex, we were best friends. I only asked her to marry me because her mother told her that men and women can't be friends. She understood all that. We just wanted to be together; we had no one else, only each other. I didn't even sleep with her! I barely kissed her!"

Alex snorted and leaned back against the sink.

"Alex, for months you have been telling me that you love me, that you are mine. Well, have you listened when I have told you that I love you? Don't you believe me?"

Krycek looked at the tiles on the floor; Mulder was right. He looked back up at his lover, seeing the sincerity in his face. "Yes, I believe you. You are right, I'm being silly."

Mulder crossed the small space to where Alex was standing. "I like it when you're silly. Your eyes get all scrunched up in the middle, and you start to flare your nostrils."

Alex laughed, "Do I?"

Mulder wrapped his arms around his lover and kissed him. "Yes you do, and I love it." Mulder kissed Alex again, nibbling on his lower lip. He ground their hips together, feeling their hardness through their robes. With one swift movement, Mulder had both of them undone and falling to the floor.

Mulder kissed Alex one more time before spinning him around to brace himself against the sink. Alex leaned over, anticipating what was going to happen next. Mulder gently indicated to Alex to spread his legs while he searched in the open medicine cabinet for the petroleum jelly. He found what he was looking for and slammed the cabinet shut, suddenly looking into Alex's eyes in the reflection.

Mulder smirked at the reflection in the mirror, only their heads could be seen. He coated two fingers with the lube and started to caress Alex's opening, teasing with a few circular movements before plunging a finger into the heat.

Alex moaned at the sensation and bit his lip. He fought in vain not to buck back to embed the fingers farther into him, losing the battle after a few minutes.

Mulder took Alex's movements as a sign that he was ready and started to enter his cock into Alex's tight opening. He spread Alex's cheeks apart farther with his fingers, giving him full access to his ass.

"Yes, Fox, yes."

Mulder slid in to the hilt, not wasting any time. He needed to feel his lover in his arms, crying, begging for more. He met Alex's gaze in the mirror, the green a bare rim around the pupil. Mulder began to move in and out of Alex, holding his gaze while he bent forward to nibble on his earlobe.

Alex held onto the sink, leaning forward some more to give Mulder better access. He felt Mulder quicken his pace, thrusting into him with need.

Mulder started slamming into Alex, his arms wrapped tightly around him, moaning into his ear. He moved one hand down to grab on to Alex's cock, stroking it with his thrusts, using his thumb to rub just under the head.

Alex was the first to go over the edge, his eyes closing as he reached his peak. He came on the side of the sink, his cum dripping down onto the tile below.

Mulder was not far behind, his balls tightening for a brief second then releasing his fluid into Alex. He thrust a half dozen times more before stilling himself. He rested his head upon Alex's shoulder, his arms still holding him tightly. After a few minutes, he disengaged himself from Alex who turned to kiss him deeply. They cleaned up the bathroom, then themselves before tumbling into bed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alex watched Mulder pace in the small guest area on the tarmac at the airport. They had been here for half an hour, waiting for the airplane that would bring Dana. He leaned against the wall of the hangar, arms folded, collar turned up against the wind. Both men were dressed in camel hair coats, leather gloves and fedoras. A cold snap had hit this July, and it was chilly.

"I hope she brought a coat. I should have told her the seasons are reversed down here. What if she gets cold?"

"Fox, relax. You didn't know she was coming until two days ago, you could not have reached her, even if you wanted to. It's only cold to us because it's usually very hot here, to her it will probably seem very warm. Besides which, she is presumably an intelligent woman. She will know that the seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere."

Mulder stopped pacing for a second to think of what Alex just said but then continued to move back and forth across the small area.

Alex closed his eyes for a minute, "If she needs anything, we can just buy it for her."

"Right, you're right. We can buy her a coat." Mulder stopped pacing and turned to Alex, "Should we get her one now? Do you think there's time?"

Alex grabbed Mulder by the arms and looked him in the eye, "Fox, if you don't calm down, I'm going to have to do something drastic."

Mulder bit his lower lip. He hoped Scully liked Alex; hell, he hoped Scully still liked him! Alex was right; he had to calm down, getting nervous wasn't doing him any good.

Alex released his grip on Mulder, who turned away and immediately started pacing again. Finally, they could hear a plane overhead, the prop engines droning in the crisp winter air. They watched as the plane landed, then taxied to the waiting area. It seemed to take forever for the props to stop turning, enabling the ground crew to bring the stairs over to the door.

Mulder held back from running right up the stairs and into the plane. His heart pounded as he watched the door open, and the people started filing out. There were two women in front of Dana. He recognized her right away, her red hair glowing in the late afternoon sunshine. She looked up, saw him, and waved her hand from the stairs. Mulder strode out of the waiting area and walked briskly across the tarmac. Dana also walked quickly towards Mulder.

Alex's stomach began to turn into a big knot when he saw Mulder grab Dana into his arms and twirl her around once before putting her down. Alex noticed that she was much shorter than he was, Mulder had to bend considerably to hold their embrace. He also noticed that she was an extremely attractive woman, far more so than he'd expected from Mulder's description of his 'friend.' Then Mulder kissed her, on the lips, no less, lingering a little longer than Alex thought was appropriate. They broke the kiss and hugged again.

The passengers getting off the plane stole a look at Mulder and Dana, giving each other knowing smiles.

Alex held back his emotions as he watched the display, clearing his throat and adjusting his fedora. He promised himself he wouldn't get jealous and start a scene, but that kiss did something to him. He closed his eyes and quelled his inner rage for a few seconds; when he opened them, they were walking towards him.

She was quite attractive in her blonde cashmere coat with matching hat. Alex noticed her shoes matched her handbag and gloves. //She is at least stylish.//

Mulder was beaming as he held Dana's hand and walked towards Alex. He had been waiting for the day when the only two people that mattered to him could finally meet.

"Dana Scully, this is Alex Krycek."

"How do you do, " Scully said, offering her hand.

Alex held her hand and gently shook it, smiling as he did so. "It's an honour to meet you, Miss Scully. I've heard so much about you."

Dana smiled back, but there was something in her eyes that indicated her guard was up. Alex told himself that it was to be expected as he let go of her hand.

They enlisted a porter to help them with Dana's luggage, barely fitting it all in the trunk of Alex's car. Alex tipped the porter and watched him leave with his cart. Alex closed his eyes for a moment and tried not to think of what he had just seen: his Fox with his hand in the small of Dana's back, leading her through the crowded terminal, guiding her as if she was his wife. He could hear them laughing in the back seat of the car, he to play chauffeur to them for the journey home. He took a deep breath and finally slammed the trunk then went around to the driver's side and got in the car.

"Oh, Fox, really. He's not that bad."

"He's an idiot, Dana, I can't believe you let him take you to the movies!"

"What was I supposed to do? Every other man between the ages of seventeen and fifty was off fighting the war!"

"But, he's so....weird."

"Actually, he's very smart."

Alex pursed his lips together as he eased out of the parking lot and down the road; this was going to be a long month. All the way home, Mulder and *Scully*, as he called her when he wanted to annoy her, chatted and droned on about people Alex didn't know about, laughing about things that he didn't understand. Finally, they were home, and he was rid of her sing-song laugh for a minute, while he and Fox lugged her suitcases up to the guest room.

They left her to get freshened up and ready for supper, which would be in about an hour. Elena had prepared Turkey mole for their guest, a specialty in her family. Mulder himself watched Elena prepare the mole, grinding the sesame seeds, almonds and chiles into a delicious paste that would compliment the turkey.

Alex flopped down in one of the wing-backed chairs, watching Mulder fix himself a drink.

"I'll have a double."

"So, what do you think of her? Isn't she great?"

"Yes, she is very nice, and very attractive. I do think, however, that you two talk too much. I have no idea what you are saying half the time."

Mulder brought over their drinks and sat across from Alex on the couch. "Do you feel left out?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I do."

"Now you know how I felt when Pendrell first arrived." Mulder took a sip of his drink.

Alex raised the glass to his lips, then put it on the table as what Mulder said to him hit him full force. He licked his lips and looked up at Mulder who had a shit eating grin on his face. Alex leaned back and crossed his arms across his chest. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because I knew that you hadn't seen your friend in a long time, and I didn't want to ruin it for you." Mulder took another sip of his drink, swallowing before he started laughing.

Alex tried to be cross with Mulder but failed miserably; he started smirking, "That is not funny. You should have told me you were uncomfortable."

"And have you call me insecure? No way."

Alex grabbed for his drink again, downing it before standing up to fix himself another. He pointed at Mulder, "I'm going to get you for that."

"Oh, I'm scared." Mulder finished his drink and handed the glass to Alex for another. He was still giggling when Scully walked in the room.

"Did I interrupt something?" she said hesitantly.

Mulder stood to greet her, "No." He kissed her on the cheek then sat her down beside him on the couch.

Alex was still standing at the bar, squeezing the ice tongs in his hand so hard that his knuckles showed white. //Calm down, Alex.// He took a deep breath then smiled, "Drink?"

"Yes, please, whatever you're having."

Alex brought their drinks over to the coffee table, sitting across from them in the wing-backed chair. They had started giggling and talking about people he didn't know again. They asked each other a million questions, Scully fascinated that Mulder spoke Spanish. She made him promise to teach her all that he knew. All night this went on, Alex smiling at them, nodding at their laughter. He admitted their friendship was purely platonic, Mulder not holding back his language or bad jokes just because she was a woman. Still, he felt the jealousy well up inside him like a sickness.

He excused himself early and went to bed, having an early start the next morning. Later, he felt Mulder come to bed and lie beside him, snuggling next to him, spreading kisses along the back of his neck. He sighed and snuggled back, sleep claiming him once again.

The next day, Alex was out of the house before Mulder or Scully got up. He had to prepare for a breakfast meeting of some of Buenos Aires' most prominent businessmen, of which he was one despite the problems he was still experiencing with some of them because of his relationship with Mulder. He kissed Mulder on the head, wanting so much to get back under the warm covers and nibble on Mulder's pouty lower lip. Instead, he left the room, got on his hat and coat and went off to work.

Mulder had his assistant Henri running the shop for the remaining two days of the week, giving him and Scully time to catch up. He met her in the kitchen for breakfast, Elena cooking Huevos Rancheros, a treat that he loved so much.

"She is so skinny, Senor Mulder, are all American girls so skinny?"

"Most of them."

Elena clucked her tongue against the top of her mouth and muttered something about bearing children and needing hips.

Mulder nearly rolled his eyes but did not for fear that Elena would catch him. She had scolded him and Alex many times for being rude in her presence. She even cuffed Alex upside the head once for a rude remark made at the dinner table. He watched her bustle around the kitchen; she was beaming that they finally had a woman living in the house with them. He knew what she was thinking, but she was going to get an awful surprise when Scully went back to America.

Elena offered up a small prayer to God to help turn Senor Mulder around and marry this woman, even if her hips were small.

After breakfast, Scully went upstairs to freshen up, while Mulder waited for her in the parlor. She came downstairs soon after.

"What do you want to do today?"

"I was hoping you would quit stalling and tell me what's going on here."

"What do you mean, Scully?" Mulder tried to play innocent, but she wouldn't have any of it.

"We need to talk about what happened to you and why you are here, living with this man. And don't call me Scully."

Mulder sighed and motioned for them to sit outside on the patio. It had warmed up considerably from yesterday, and he suddenly could use some fresh air. They sat in the wicker chairs, facing each other.

"You know, it's such a long story, Dana, I'm not sure you want to hear it all."

She sat back, folded her arms across her chest and raised one of her eyebrows. "I'm here for a month, I have the time."

Mulder sighed, "You want me to tell you everything?"

"Everything." Scully looked at her watch "You'd better get going, you've already wasted 30 seconds."

"C'mon, Dana, it's not for the faint of heart." He looked at her, trying to use his best downfallen expression.

"Fox, when have you ever known me to be faint of heart? I tell you everything. I even told you about Frohike."

"True." Mulder chewed on his lower lip for a second while he thought about the gravity of what he was about to reveal to her. "I want you to promise to remain calm until I'm finished the whole story, okay?"

"I promise." She looked at her watch again, "One minute and counting."

"Okay, but you asked for it."

Mulder licked his lips and began from when he was shipped overseas. He told her about the bombing runs that were no more than routine flights for him, returning to England afterwards for beer and pats on the back. The mood in England was high, almost jovial. No one doubted they would win the war, and every man who fought was a hero. Then the awful day came when his plane was shot down, and he had to jump out of his burning bomber with a parachute strapped to his back, and little else for survival. Her eyes grew wide as he told her of his attempts to reach France, the cold and rain hampering his efforts. He almost made it, but was captured by the Germans instead.

They were interrupted once by Elena who brought them a pot of tea and a plate of baked goods, before returning to her home to cook the mid-day meal for her family.

Mulder poured the tea and continued to tell his tale. His descriptions of the camps and the conditions made her reel in horror and wonder aloud how human beings could treat each other this way. Then came the prison. Mulder hesitated, chewing on his lower lip for a minute before he told her what tortures he was subjected to and who did it to him. He tried to make it clear that Alex had just been doing his job, but he knew she probably wouldn't be able to understand that.

Mulder watched as Scully turned a paler shade of white with each description of what Alex had done to him. Her mouth was open and he swore she was trembling when he explained about the deals he had made with Alex for food, cigarettes and water. She shook her head when he described how he was turned into his servant, and the tenderness that followed. He noticed she was now getting angry, the initial shock over. He related how he shot the two American soldiers to defend his lover and how Alex's friend, Pendrell, helped them escape. Two spots of red showed high on her cheeks as he described the horrors on the ship and their subsequent arrival here in Argentina.

His tone changed and his voice softened as he spoke of Alex trying to help him with his anxieties, his fears. How the nightly deprogramming sessions had made him a stronger man. He did not leave out the arguments, or the fights that they had as their relationship progressed. He ended his tale by telling Scully how much he loved Alex, and how they planned to spend the rest of their lives together.

They sat in silence for a few minutes before Scully took a deep breath and began to speak. "Fox, while I am happy that you are alive and well after such an ordeal, I have to ask you with complete sincerity if you are out of your mind!"

Mulder looked down at the small table between them, his heart sinking when he heard those words. While he didn't expect her to embrace what he had just told her, he didn't want her to be so angry.

Scully collected her thoughts and calmed down before speaking again. "When you told me in your letter that you had fallen in love with another man, I was against the idea. I was taught that men don't lie together, that it is a sin. I didn't know who I could talk to about this, about what had happened to you. I finally decided to consult my priest who also said it was a sin. He told me to pray for you and to feel sorry for you, because you have fallen. I didn't dare tell my mother; she is still grieving for Melissa who had been killed in France working as a nurse just before you left for Europe. She was heartbroken when you were put on the MIA list; she sobbed for days that there would be no wedding. For weeks, I wondered what would lead you to this decision to be with another man. I wondered if it was something I did, something to drive you away. Then one night, I had a dream. I dreamt that Missy came to see me, and she said that you were safe and in love and I should be happy for you. That's when I decided to write you the letter and come to see you. I needed to see for myself that you are genuinely happy, that this is not some sort of temporary phase."

Scully stopped talking for a minute and traced the rim of her tea cup with her finger. "My mother, by the way, thinks that you are in a hospital with amnesia. It would kill her if she knew the truth. Thank god she has a house full of grandchildren and a daughter-in-law to take care of while Bill is at sea to keep her mind off of this."

Mulder winced when Scully told him that she had lied for him. She never lied for anyone.

She took another deep breath. "Slowly, I came to realize that your happiness means more to me than the prejudices I may have inside. I can accept your relationship with a man, but not this man. Fox, you are living with the man who raped you and beat you and kept you as a pet for his own pleasure; have you gone mad?"

"Dana, it's...it's not like that anymore, Alex is different now." He saw her face change from composed anger to rage.

"I can't believe I'm hearing this. Fox, he tortured people for a living!"

"It was war, Dana. If you get right down to it, the bombs I dropped probably killed hundreds, maybe thousands, more people than he did. So which of us is worse?"

"You were a soldier doing your duty. He looked into people's eyes and killed them!" Like so many people, Dana apparently believed that killing from a distance was somehow cleaner, more humane, than up close. "But even aside from that, you fell in love with your captor; it's not right. He forced you into this relationship."

"He didn't force me into anything; as a matter of fact, he made it well known that I could leave at any time. I know it sounds strange, but Alex really does care for me. Why do you think he worked so hard to get me out of prison?"

"So he could have you when he wanted you and not have his superiors looking over his shoulder! Why do *you* think that he moved you into his house?"

"So he could protect me."

Scully snorted, "Bullshit."

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me, bullshit!"

Mulder was too shocked to say anything. Whereas she was used to hearing profanity, she rarely let those words pass her lips. He knew he should not have told her; he knew she wouldn't understand. He also knew that Alex was not going to be happy about this. He put his head in his hands and looked down at his shoes for a good five minutes before speaking again.

"Look, Dana, I really want you to understand. I really want you to see that Alex is a good man. We went over everything that happened together and agreed that the past is the past. Yes, agreed, he was a bastard, but he is *not* a bastard anymore. He loves me, Dana, and I love him. Unfortunately, whatever you say isn't going to change my mind. I am dedicated to him."

Scully got out of her chair and went back inside the house.

Mulder sat there for a minute until he heard the front door slam. He ran through the house and out the front door, catching up with her as she put on her coat and hat. She was walking quickly down the street, ignoring Mulder's presence beside her.

"Where are you going?"

"Leave me alone."

"Dana, don't leave, don't be this way, let's talk." He grabbed her arm.

She stopped and looked down at his hand on her arm, then back at him. "Fox, if you want to keep your male anatomy intact, I suggest you let go of my arm. Now!"

Mulder quickly let go of her, shocked again that words of that nature would pass her lips. He watched her storm off down the street for a few minutes, until he put his hands in his pockets and turned towards his house, noticing the curtains in various windows along the street ruffling shut. //Great, more rumours and gossip for them to spread.//

Two hours later, Elena returned to cook the evening meal, finding Mulder sitting by himself in the parlor. She made him a cup of coffee and patted him on the head, not wanting to know what happened between him and his lady friend. She sighed to herself and offered another silent prayer before starting the preparations.

Mulder was getting worried. Alex would be home soon, and he didn't want to have to explain what had happened. Finally, she came back and went up to her room, shutting the door behind her. Mulder knocked on her door.

"Dana? Are you alright?"

"Fox, I need to think about what is going on here. I want to be alone."

Mulder bit his lower lip again and cursed silently. "Okay. Do you want anything?"

"No. I can't eat. Please, just leave me alone."

"Okay. If you need anything, just ask..."

Silence.

Mulder turned and went downstairs to pour himself a stiff shot of scotch. What the hell was he going to tell Alex? Might as well start with the truth. He sat Alex down when he got home from work and confessed what he told Scully. He was not pleased.

"What ever possessed you to tell her such things!" Alex hissed at him. "Pendrell doesn't even know those things!"

"I wanted to come clean, to tell her the truth. I've never lied to her before, and I wasn't going to start now."

"This is different. That was a crazy...fucked up time that no one will understand except those that were there."

Mulder sat on the couch, his head in his hands. Alex paced for a minute, his hands clenching and unclenching before sitting down beside Mulder and rubbing his back. While he understood Mulder's need to tell the truth, he was still angry at him for revealing their private secrets. They decided that now that it was out in the open, there was nothing they could do about it.

They hardly ate their dinner, gaining disapproving looks from Elena, then went to bed early, the events turning over and over in Mulder's mind, keeping him awake. Finally, he got up and went to his library to read, falling asleep in the overstuffed chair.

Alex woke up alone in the middle of the night. He felt the sheets beside him; they were cold. He struggled on with his robe and padded down the hallway to where he knew Mulder would be. He shook his shoulder, "Fox. Fox, wake up."

Mulder looked up at Alex, reaching up to grab the hand that was at his shoulder.

Alex sunk down beside Mulder's chair and put his head on his lap. "Come to bed; I cannot sleep without you beside me."

Mulder stroked Alex's hair, tracing his fingers along the outline of his ear. He loved Alex's ears; they were small and tapered at the ends, and they fit his face so perfectly. "I keep thinking about Dana. She hates me."

"I'm sure she does not hate you. Don't punish yourself for my wrongdoings, Fox; she is mad at me, not you."

"She is mad at me for loving you."

Alex squeezed Mulder's legs as he spoke into Mulder's lap. "I can see why she would question our relationship; it did not start out in a normal way. Nothing about us seems to be normal in other people's eyes."

"I think we're normal."

"As do I, but you know how people let their prejudices, hatred and misunderstandings blind them."

Mulder sighed, heavy tears about to fall any minute. "I want her to accept me, to accept us."

"Fox, you are not going to change people's attitude's overnight, we have witnessed that first hand. Unfortunately, all you can do is wait and hope that eventually she accepts you for who you are."

Mulder was weeping now, the tears falling on Alex's head. "All I ever wanted was my friend back. I wanted what you and Pendrell have; you got reacquainted and slid right back into the routines that you had before the war. I missed Dana so much; I wanted to share our happiness with her. And now...now I fear that I've lost her forever."

Alex moved up to sit in Mulder's lap, his arms around him, rocking him gently. He kissed his hair and squeezed him tight. "Ssssshhh, don't cry, my love." He was silent for a moment, "I wish I could do something, Fox. I wish I could take your pain away." Tears sprang to Alex's eyes as he listened to his lover sob.

He rocked Mulder some more and kissed his forehead, "You know, Fox, Pendrell understands because he was there. He does not question our actions, because he had to face the horrors of war as well. Dana, however, is just experiencing it now, as many other people are. For the first time, people are coming home from the war and telling their families and loved ones first hand what really happened. It is shocking to the person who has not seen it for themselves. We should never forget what happened, yet at the same time, we should not let what happened control our lives. We have understood that and moved on. You need to give her time, Fox, time to analyze what happened to you and what you have become. I am sorry to say though that she may never accept you, or me for that matter; it's up to her."

Mulder sniffled and wiped his nose on his sleeve.

"Tell you what, Fox. If she wants to stay, she is more than welcome to stay in our home; I will never turn her away. But if she wants to go, you should let her go. And, alternatively, if she wants to stay in Argentina, but not in this house, I have a suite at the hotel she may use."

"Thank you."

"Nonsense, anything to make my love happy again. Look at you, your beautiful eyes are so red and sullen. I cannot bear to see you unhappy. My beautiful Fox, I love you so much." He kissed Mulder, his face swollen from his crying. "I will talk to Dana, if you like."

"No," Mulder sniffed. "No, don't. I want to work this out with her myself. Tomorrow I'll ask her if she wants to go home."

Alex kissed Mulder's lips again, "I hope she stays. I know how much she means to you."

They sat together, embraced until Alex stood up. "Come, Fox, let's go to bed. Maybe things will be better in the morning." Alex took Mulder's hand and led him down the hallway to their bedroom, shutting the door behind them.

Dana Scully hid in the shadows in the hallway, tear tracks staining her face. She too wanted Mulder to be happy, but she couldn't let Alex into her heart. Those things Mulder told her were just too much to bear. She silently walked back to her bedroom and shut the door, lying on her bed until morning.

~~~~~~~~~

Alex had left for work early again, wanting to give Fox and Dana some space. He hid in his office, not wanting to talk to anyone until Pendrell came in. When he finally did, he took one look at his friend and started to worry. Alex's eyes were red-rimmed, his face was puffy, and it looked like he didn't sleep a wink last night, which was the truth.

"Alex, are you okay?" Pendrell sat down in the chair across from him, concern in his eyes.

Alex put his head in his hands and sighed miserably, "No."

"What's the matter? Did something happen to Fox?"

"No, not exactly. He told his friend Dana everything about our life in Germany, which she is not pleased about. Now, she is angry with him for staying with me, and very angry with me for doing those things to her friend. She does not understand."

"He told her everything? The camps, the prison, the escape?"

"Everything. Including how we met and every single thing that happened between us while he was my prisoner. He wanted to be honest with his friend."

Pendrell let out a whistle and sat there looking at his miserable friend. While they never shared the intimate details of what they did to whom, Pendrell knew Alex was ruthless with Mulder. He had heard that he had done terrible things to him in exchange for food and cigarettes. When he found out that they were lovers, he was shocked, but that wore off quickly. He had known Alex all of his life and knew that once he had made up his mind to do something, nothing was going to stop him. He also knew that if he loved someone, he loved them with an intense fierceness and passion.

Pendrell let out his breath, "It does take some getting used to, seeing you two together after what happened."

Alex sighed again, "I told Fox to give her some time, maybe she will come around."

They sat there in silence for a few minutes before Pendrell spoke, "Tell you what? Why don't I come over for dinner tonight, to break the ice, maybe I can lighten the burden of you having to talk to her."

"You just want a free meal."

"I *am* getting sick of restaurant food."

Alex grinned. He felt so lucky to have such a good friend, "Okay, come distract us all from our problems, even if it will only be for a couple of hours."

~~~~~~~~~~~

Mulder came downstairs to find Scully in the kitchen drinking coffee. He had actually gotten some rest, falling asleep just before Alex got up to go to work. He poured himself a mug of coffee and sat down across from her at the table, sunlight streaming through the window, making her hair glow in a red halo around her head.

"Where's Elena?"

"She said she was going to start on the laundry. There are muffins if you want one for breakfast."

"Thank you." Mulder took a few sips of coffee before he decided to speak, "Look, Dana, if you want to leave, I'll understand..."

"Fox, wait," she cut him off. "I did some thinking last night. When you told me all the terrible things Alex had done to you, I was so angry. I was angry at him for doing them to you, I was angry at you for being with him, I was angry there was ever a war. I'm not pleased that you are living with Alex, but if it is what you want, then I can't stop you."

Mulder looked up at her with tears in his eyes, "Thank you."

"Fox, I want you to do something for me, I want you to look me in the eye and tell me you love him."

Mulder looked across into Dana's eyes, "I love him with all my heart."

Scully knew he was telling the truth. She reached across and squeezed his hand for a moment, then let go. "It's almost noon, why don't you get dressed and take me somewhere nice for lunch?"

"Gee, Scully, you're getting a little pushy. Shouldn't you let the man ask you out to lunch?"

"Hmph, if I did that, I'd probably starve to death, and don't call me Scully. By the way, I'm not going anywhere until you show me every inch of this city."

Mulder snickered to himself as he finished his coffee. He then went upstairs to change. He was glad Scully had thought about things. That was the great thing about her, she was very analytical; she thought things through and looked at them from every angle before making a decision. He just hoped she wouldn't hate Alex for the rest of her life.

They went for lunch and shopped the rest of the day, slowly winding their way down the streets, taking their time. He wanted to stop in and say hi to Alex, but Mulder thought better of it. He didn't want to ruin the mood.

They were in the parlor when Alex came home from work. He greeted them, telling them and Elena that Pendrell would be joining them for dinner. Mulder followed him when he went upstairs to change.

"How was your day? You look terrible."

"Thank you, I love you too." Alex gave Mulder a kiss. "I'm just tired. How was your day?"

"Interesting."

"I see you both are talking to each other."

"She's still mad at you, but she wants me to be happy, so she has called a truce."

"Thank god for that. I don't care if she hates me, but I don't want you to suffer because of it."

"I don't want her to hate you, though."

"Like I said last night, she will need time."

Alex hugged Mulder, grateful that he and Dana had worked things out. Earlier today, he had been debating whether to start working late nights to avoid confrontation. He was glad that it wasn't going to come to that since he didn't want to give up his time with Mulder. "Look, I have an hour before Pendrell gets here, I am going to lie down until then. Please give my regards to Dana and wake me when he gets here, okay?"

Mulder kissed Alex and left him in their room to rest while he went back downstairs. Pendrell arrived an hour later with a bottle of wine. Mulder led him into the parlor, where he stopped still in his tracks.

"Dana Scully, meet Sean Pendrell."

Scully held out her hand, "It's nice to meet you."

Pendrell grabbed Scully's hand and kissed it, causing her to raise her eyebrow. He held her hand for some time before dropping it. Mulder noticed that Pendrell was sweating and was unusually quiet. Finally, Pendrell found his voice, "It is a great pleasure to meet you."

Pendrell shoved the bottle of wine at Mulder and sat down beside Scully on the couch. Mulder put the bottle of wine on the bar and went to fetch Alex, leaving Pendrell and Scully to get acquainted, making small talk. Soon the four of them were around the dinner table, Pendrell being quite the gentleman, pouring wine for Scully, holding out her chair for her when they sat down. He was practically ignoring Mulder and Alex as he chatted with Dana.

Mulder and Alex traded glances over the dinner table, watching Pendrell trying to woo Scully.

"Sean, that's not very German, is it?" she asked.

"My mother is Irish."

"His mother isn't Irish, she's a sadist," Alex said.

"What do you mean?" Scully asked.

"She would make life miserable for poor Sean, making him do all sorts of chores as punishment for the smallest of infractions."

"She was very strict."

"Strict! She made Ghengis Kahn look like a choirboy!"

Pendrell looked at Alex, his eyes narrowing into a glare. He knew he was trying to throw him off his plans to charm Scully.

"My mother was from Ireland. She met my father when he was working there as a farm hand. When they got married, they went back to his native Germany to live. She was a very angry woman..."

"That's an understatement."

Pendrell threw Alex a look that could have killed him. Alex took a sip of wine and let his friend continue, his eyes mocking him.

"She was very angry for many reasons. She missed her home in Ireland, she produced seven girls then waited five years after the last girl before I came along. They wanted a boy so badly, they just kept trying until they got one. My father died when I was young, leaving her with eight children to raise by herself. She had a lot to be bitter about."

"Seven girls?" Scully asked.

"Yes, and they all took after their father, large boned, strong. That combined with inheriting their mother's temper made life a living hell for us. Ours were the only two houses at the end of a country road on the outskirts of Danzig. They had nothing to do but chase us and torment us, until they got married off, one by one." Alex smirked at the memory.

"It wasn't *that* bad, Alex."

"Hmph, I was black and blue until I was twelve years old!"

"Where is your mother now?"

"She went back to Ireland when the war started."

"And she is probably still unhappy."

Pendrell rolled his eyes and continued the tales of Alex and him when they were young. Mulder was happy everyone was getting along so well. When it was time for Pendrell to leave, he got nervous and stumbled out the door to his car, his feet seeming to fail him. Alex shook his head as he shut the door.

Later, in their room, they laughed over Pendrell's obvious attraction to Scully. Mulder felt uneasy, however. Pendrell had been around, had loved many men and women. What was to say that he wouldn't love and leave Scully in the same way. He confessed his fear to Alex, who held him for a moment before speaking.

"Fox, Dana is a strong woman, she won't let him do that to her."

"If he does, I swear, I'll kill him."

"I think she'd beat you to it." Alex kissed Mulder on the forehead. "You know, that's how she feels about me."

Mulder thought about it for a minute, "I guess you're right. I realize now that she wants to protect me."

"Exactly. Now, we should get some sleep, as we will have him tagging along tomorrow for our drive in the country, we are going to need energy for that."

Mulder chuckled, nuzzling against Alex's throat. "Just how tired are you?"

"That depends on what you have in mind," Alex gasped, rolling onto his back to give Mulder better access.

"I thought I'd like to make love to the man I love," Mulder murmured around his mouthful of Alex's throat. "I want to show you how much I love you so you can never doubt it."

Alex moaned.

Mulder raised his head to grin evilly at him. "But don't forget Dana's just down the hall, so you have to be quiet."

Alex groaned. "You are a truly evil man, Fox, a torturer in fact."

"I learned from the best," Mulder replied, surprising Alex with his ability to make jokes about the subject. Alex took that as a sign that Mulder was truly healed now. That was his last coherent thought for some time since Fox decided to move on by swallowing his cock to the root in one motion. He nearly screamed at the sensation, only Fox's hand over his mouth preventing him.

Alex jerked uncontrollably under Fox's ministrations, already on the brink after only a few moments of his Fox's mouth. Fox suckled on him, his tongue never still as he drove Alex into a frenzy. When he could tell that Alex was about to come, he pulled off, grinning at Alex's groan and curses.

"Shh, lover," he soothed, "trust me. Hold on a little while longer until I'm deep inside you, until we can come together. Just imagine how it'll feel if you can wait for me."

Alex shuddered at Fox's words, breathed directly into his ear, and he spread his legs wide for his lover. Mulder hastily applied lubrication to Alex and to himself, then pressed again his entrance. He stared into Alex's eyes as he thrust, seeing the flare of pleasure as Alex shoved a fist into his own mouth to prevent a scream of pleasure from escaping.

They moved together, Fox driving deeper with every stroke and Alex trying to get closer still. Fox reached for Alex's hand, intertwining their fingers, and he leaned down to kiss him, his tongue plunging into Alex's mouth in time with his cock in his ass. No matter how much they wanted to prolong the pleasure, soon it overwhelmed them, and they came together, Fox driving so deep that he thought they might merge forever.

After a few minutes Mulder forced himself up just long enough to clean them up, then snuggled down beside Alex, his warmth and caresses soon soothing him into sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~

For the rest of Scully's visit, they toured around, showing her the sights and the shops. She met their friend Mr. Grey, and he tried to charm her as much as Pendrell did. During the week, she would go for walks, often visiting Mulder in his shop and staying throughout the afternoon. Pendrell heard about this and would often come over to take her out for lunch. Mulder was amazed at Pendrell's restraint and gentleman-like manner; he hadn't even tried to kiss Scully yet. He knew this because she had grumbled to Mulder by the third week that even Frohike gave her a kiss after the fourth date. Mulder tried to hide his relief with a laugh; he didn't want him touching her until the fortieth date!

One morning, Alex went downstairs late, to get a coffee and read the newspaper. He had worked very late the night before and told his staff he wouldn't be in until noon. He saw Scully on the patio, reading a book, enjoying the mid-morning sunshine. He hesitated for a minute before opening the French doors and stepping outside to join her.

"Good morning."

"Good morning."

Alex sat down and opened his newspaper. He sat there, staring at the page, not reading the words, //This is stupid.// He put the newspaper down on the table.

"Dana, why don't you stay?"

Scully put down her book and looked at him, her blue eyes like chunks of cold ice. "Stay?"

"Yes, stay. Fox is already dreading your leaving. Not to mention that Pendrell's heart would be broken if you left."

Scully raised her eyebrow, "And you?"

"Me? Whatever you decide is fine with me." He looked away, then back up at her. "I'm not going to lie to you, Dana. You and I are not friends and may never be, but you are important to Fox and that makes you important to me. I want him to be happy, even if that means accepting your disapproving presence."

"Fox told me what happened over in Germany."

"I know."

"I hated you. I wanted to kill you for what you did to him. The only thing that held me back was that I didn't want to hurt him any more than he had been hurt already."

Alex swallowed; Dana Scully was definitely a force to be reckoned with. "And now?"

"Now, I am starting to like you...slightly. I see how happy you two are together, and I don't want to take that away from Fox; he deserves it." Scully then leaned over the small table that separated them, "I'll tell you this, though. If you *ever* hurt him again, I *will* kill you."

Alex's eyes widened. No woman had ever talked this way to him before, but he didn't doubt her threat. He watched as she sat back and crossed her arms across her chest, as calm as if she told him the weather forecast for today.

"I am never going to hurt him again, Dana; I can promise you that. I love him more than I have ever loved anyone." Scully's gaze cut right down to his core, and he felt a shiver go up his back.

"Good. I have actually been thinking of staying in Argentina for over a week now. My mother is happy that Fox is well, and she does not have any qualms about me being here with him. She will never, ever know the truth, however, not if I have anything to do with it. Yes, I'll stay, but I'm not staying here. Not only do I not want to overstay my welcome, but I like being on my own. I will need my own apartment."

"Yes, of course, I'll call Grey, he can help us find you something quite suitable, I'm sure." Alex rose to use the telephone.

"Alex?"

Alex turned to face Scully, "Yes?"

"Thank you."

"You are quite welcome." He stepped inside and visibly shook for a second before picking up the telephone.

Mulder was ecstatic that Scully was staying. He tried to help her choose an apartment, but Pendrell beat him to the punch, guiding her around, leading her with his hand in the small of her back. A twinge of jealousy rose up inside Mulder, she was his friend, not Pendrell's. But then he saw them together and understood the bond that had formed between them. Soon, she was moved into her apartment and started working for the United States Embassy.

The day after she moved, Mulder walked around the house; it felt so empty without Scully. She had only been here a month, but her presence had been powerful. He returned downstairs to Alex, who was listening to the radio and reading a book. Mulder had ordered some books in German for him, giving them to him for his birthday. He settled down across from Alex in one of the wing-backed chairs and started to read the newspaper.

Soon after, Alex reached over and stroked Mulder's arm, "I'm going to bed. I think I will have a bath first."

Mulder grunted, engrossed in the newspaper.

Alex frowned, reached forward and tore the newspaper out of Mulder's hands, "I said I am going to bed and I am having a bath."

Mulder's eyes widened. "Oh!"

Alex swiftly stood and grabbed Mulder's hand, leading him upstairs. With their guest in the house, they had not had a bath together in over a month. Quickly, they arrived in the bedroom, both men flushed at the anticipation of what was to happen next.

Mulder's hand went up to cup Alex's face, his thumb dragging along the stubble that had grown there since this morning. He smiled at him before leaning in and kissing him gently, making the kiss last for a long time. Hands moved across backs and down to untuck dress shirts and up to unbutton them. Ties were undone and flung over a chair and trouser buttons were popped with one hand, while the other undid zippers, soon leaving each man clad only in their tented boxers. Slowly, these were removed as well, heated skin pressing up against heated skin, erections rubbing together.

Alex finally broke the kiss, his pupils dilated, his breathing quick. He once again took his lover's hand and led him into their bathroom. He turned the taps, located in the middle of the tub, ensuring the water was warm before they stepped in. While they waited for the tub to fill, they explored each other's bodies with their hands and mouths, moaning when it was time to submerge themselves in the warm water.

They washed each other, as always paying special attention to the sensitive parts, moaning and sighing until they were clean. Then each man sat back at opposite ends of the tub, legs down the length, crossed over each other's to give them room.

Mulder and Alex sat there, facing each other, teasing each other with their feet. Mulder had one foot under Alex's ass, rubbing the back of his scrotum with his big toe. Alex had his foot in Mulder's crotch, stroking his cock with his foot, making him bite his lower lip and close his eyes. One look was all that was needed to tell each man that they were ready to leave the sanctuary of the water.

They got out of the tub and proceeded to dry each other off, rubbing each other briskly with the towels, until they could stand it no longer and fell into bed. There they began their explorations again with their mouths and tongues, taking nipples between teeth, teasing them into hard buds, stroking erections harder, marking each other, claiming each other as their own.

"Love me, Fox."

Mulder leaned over for the lubricant and prepared him and his lover. When he was ready, Mulder plunged into Alex and felt his legs come to wrap around his back. Together they rocked their way into bliss, moans of contentment leaving each mouth. Then they were at rest, kissing each other, wanting to taste more of each other. Finally, the kisses lessened in intensity and became less frequent, both men smiling at each other. Strong arms wrapped around each other and legs entwined as they settled down and into sleep, grateful they had each other to wake up to in the morning.

THE END OF INTERROGATION