Title : Closing Time

Author :The Riticulan Amanuensis

Warning : NC-17 - Strongly Cautioned - m/m sex ahead

Paring : Mulder/Krycek

Spoiler :Tunguska and Pusher II

Legal : All things X Files belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, andFox Broadcasting. No copyright infringement is intended. I just take Foxand Alex out for a while to play with them, when I am done I give each akiss on the cheek, place them back on their shelf to await Mr. Carter'sreturn.

Summary :Krycek and Mulder come to an understanding

Feedback : Oh, yes! Please. All comments, good or bad, answered at mrlark@hotmail.com

In Appreciation : To my beta reader, without whose work - above and beyondthe call of duty, I might add - this story would never have seen the lightof day. Griff, to you I give my heartfelt thanks.

Closing Time

So we struggle and we stagger
Down the snakes and up the ladder
To tower where the blessed hours chime.
And I swear it happened just like this:
A sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
The gates of love have budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since,
It's closing time.
I lift my glass to the Awful Truth
Which you can't reveal to the ears of youth, Except to say it isn't wortha dime
It's closing time.

* From "Closing" Time by Leonard Cohen


St. Petersburg
===============
The extreme northern latitude of this, mother Russia's great imperial city,causes the daylight to strike the earth in such a way that everything isbathed in an ethereal light; giving a crispness and clarity to everythingin its path. All who visit this place come away with this impression andit stays with them for quite a while.

All that is, except for one. For high up in a full-length third floor windowof his apartment stands Alex Krycek, rat bastard. He stands alone, transfixed,as if seeing everything, but actually seeing nothing. He was never a manprone to extended bouts of introspection, and he knows that his currentmood is the first sign of depression but he just doesn't care. There isone thing on his mind, and one thing only. And that thing is a tall, willowyFBI agent - Special Agent Fox Mulder - an ache he can never cure, an itchhe can never scratch.

"Get a grip, Alex," he thought. "What in the hell are youdoing to yourself?"

If he was seeing anything right then he would see, reflected back at himfrom the window, green emerald eyes burning with passion. He would see impossiblylong lashes brushing against pale skin made flush by his memories. He wouldsee thin lips pulled back over teeth in a perfect grimace of pain; but hewas seeing nothing right then.

He was thinking about loss - lost opportunities and lost happiness.

His hand snaked through his hair as if he were in agony. Alex Krycek washaving regrets!

"Alex, boy," he said to the room, "you don't regret anything.Never did. Never will. You had a job to do and you did it - never mind whoit hurt...they were players, you were a player; this is the price you pay."

But Special Agent Fox Mulder was not part of his budget, his feelings werenever supposed to be part of this equation.

In his mind's eye he could see short silky brown hair and large hands.
Sophisticated hands. His mother once told him that smell was the sense thatwas most closely linked to memory. And he could remember smells, Ivory soap- how typically Mulder, fresh and clean and sunflower seeds...lots and lotsof sunflower seeds. And he could still remember that Mulder scent. In hisbed, alone, that memory would make a mad dive for his groin.

"But here you are, Alex. Now what are you going to do about it?"He looked down at his arm - once flesh, now nothing more than steel andplastic - and started rubbing it as if that action could smooth away thepain he so often seemed to feel. But the aspect of his face began to change,the gears in his mind began to turn, thoughts began to form.

"Yep, sounds like a plan to me", his lips muttered and his eyessmiled. He smoothed his leather jacket over his chest; combed his hand throughhis hair; grabbed his duffel bag and was out the door stopping only longenough to lock his small utilitarian apartment.


Six Days Later, Washington, D.C.
=============================

"Mulder," Scully asked as she breezed into the office, "whodo you know in Vienna?"

"Huh?!"

"Austria, Mulder. I met the mail guy in the hallway with this packageaddressed to you personally."

"I dunno, Scully, who's it from?"

"No return address, just this drawing of a rat." Dana's eyebrowsarched skyward.

"Shit!" Mulder recovered quickly. "I don't know, let me seeit."

"You're not keeping any secrets from me, are you Mulder?" theteasing was evident in her voice. Her pose was classic Scully - her legsplanted firmly on the floor, her hands slightly framing her hips. The lookon her face just dared Mulder not to tell her the truth, the whole truth,and nothing but the truth.

"Secrets? Who, me?" Fox replied sheepishly.

Fox took the package from her outstretched hands; slowly and deliberatelyas if it were somehow dangerous, contagious, or might explode at any minute.Intellectually he knew that this couldn't happen as every piece of mailcoming into the Bureau was checked for just such a possibility.

The only thing on the package, besides his own name, were the words "glass","fragile" and "handle with care".

When he opened the package and pulled back the paper, his eyes opened wide- unbelievably wide. "Alex fucking Krycek!" he quietly mumbledto himself, half curse, half oath to ward off evil spirits.

Dana stopped in mid stride. "What did you say, Mulder?"

"Has to be from Krycek," he said. "Come look."

Dana crossed the room quickly and what she saw Mulder pull from the boxsurprised her. Surprised her, yes, but the meaning was nothing short ofremarkable, she thought. In Mulder's hand was a small glass figurine, expensiveVenetian crystal no doubt, of a fox with a rat on its back.

"Jesus!" Mulder said. "Scully, do you know what this is?"

"Is Alex reading Aesop these days? Other than a very expensive toy,no, Mulder, I don't."

"Look at it, Scully."

She did letting out an almost imperceptible gasp. "Could it be, couldit really be?" she thought. The figurine had a small plug in the bottomand floating around inside the clear glass was a black, oily substance whichseemed to have a sentience all its own.

"You know what this is, Scully! Mulder almost shouted. "We finallyhave some proof of extraterrestrial life, or it could be one of Alex's sickjokes."

"I vote for the latter," she said. "Come on, Mulder, we havethat meeting with Skinner, we don't want to be late."

Mulder carefully placed his prize in his desk drawer, locked it and gotup to leave.



Assistant Director Walter Skinner's Office, Ten Minutes Later ===========================================================

Everyone in the bureau had heard about their latestcase - Modell and his sister - and the A.D.'s treatment of Mulder. EvenSkinner's assistant seemed more solicitous than usual. Not once did shelook at Scully with that pitying look in her eyes or think that the femaleagent must feel like a squirrel gathering nuts. And for once the wait wasn'tlong.

Not once did Mulder speak - Scully did all the talking. Not once did Mulderlook at her. Not once did Mulder look at him. He just sat there fidgeting,with a look of profound discomfort on his face. Skinner even asked him ifthere was anything he wanted to add to the report and he replied, "Nope,that should cover it."

His boss even did the unexpected - asking him to stay behind after the meeting.Skinner told him that everyone else was wrong, Mulder was right. He toldMulder that he had won and Pusher and his sister had lost, had lost bigtime. Even though it was very unusual for the A.D. to tell an agent thathe did a great job, it had no effect on him. All Mulder could say was, "Whydo I feel like I lost?"

Skinner couldn't say that he hadn't expected this. He and Scully hadn'ttrusted him, hadn't believed in him. He had asked for Mulder's gun and badge,and Scully had backed him up. Mulder had a highly honed sense of trust andloyalty, and once he had given these precious gifts to someone he expectedsomething similar in return; he hadn't gotten it from the A.D. Skinner knewthis, understood this, but what he didn't know was how to fix it.

Skinner walked back to his desk and sat heavily in his chair as though defeated,somehow. His hand reached up to his wire frames; removing them he gentlysqueezed the bridge of his nose to help elevate his ever-present stressheadache. "This is going to be one long, long day," he thought.

"Kim!" he barked into the machine.

"Yes, sir," came the reply.

"Kim, hold all my calls for the rest of the day. And, if anyone shouldinquire, the Assistant Director has been struck with a mysterious case ofdeafness. All medical evidence points to a complete recovery by 7 a.m. tomorrowmorning, understand?" Walter's eyes twinkled for the first time thatday, and a gentle playfulness was evident in his voice - a playfulness hehad to hide all too often in his day-to-day life at the bureau.

"Yes, sir!" Even Walter could hear the sparkle in her voice.


Fox Mulder's Apartment, 3 hours later
=====================================

Fox Mulder laid sprawled across his leather couch dressed in his usual sweatsand T. His gun was placed within easy reach on the coffee table. The TVwas blaring the usual drivel, more to keep his mind occupied and at restthan anything else. But tonight that strategy wasn't working.

His face reflected his intense concentration. He was playing with his newtoy; he would stare at it for minutes on end then would turn it over andlook at the plug in the bottom of the fox and rat. He would toss it in theair and lightly catch it as it fell. All the while wondering what Krycekwas up to this time. He was looking at the figurine but what he was seeingwas that fresh-faced young agent of what seemed like so many years ago.

He was seeing those puppy dog eyes. He was hearing that husky voice, sofull of adoration. If Mulder had been thinking straight he would have realizedthat something was missing. There was no anger; there was no hate - therewas only regret. And this would have mystified him and he would have beenworried.

His trance was only broken by a knock on his door. /Who knocks on that door?People usually break it in./

Grabbing his gun from the nearby table he walked stealthily to open it.

"Agent Mulder, are you in there?" came the gruff voice he wasall too familiar with.

"Sir, what are you doing here?"

"Mulder, just a few minutes of your time, please."

"Come in then," Mulder replied.

Mulder quickly placed his gun in its usual place in the drawer of the smalltable by the door. The expression on Mulder's face was all that was neededto tell the A.D. just how unusual Mulder thought this situation was.

"I'd like to talk with you about this afternoon, Agent Mulder."

"Why?" Mulder asked. "Nothing more to say, sir."

Why indeed; it was just that question that the A.D. was pondering all afternoon,and during the drive over here. Sure Mulder was one of his better agents.He had nothing but respect for his intuitive powers. He was in awe of someof the cases Mulder had solved when everyone else had thrown up their handsin defeat. But even this wasn't enough to explain his presence here.

"I'm worried about you, Mulder. And Agent Scully is worried about youtoo."

"Why should you worry, sir?"

The A.D. was dreading just this question. Don't go there, Walter, his mindscreamed at him.

Skinner was staring intently at the younger man's face. There was no embarrassmenthere, no one looked away, no one blinked. The A.D. went on.

"I worry about you, Mulder. I know you take things seriously...I havea sense of responsibility for the people under my command. I should havetrusted you when you said that Modell's sister was behind all of this. Ishould have trusted you, but I didn't and for that I am sorry."

It seemed to Skinner that an eternity passed and the only sound heard inthat apartment was the burbling of the fish tank. Still Mulder stared athim - mystified.

"Mulder, I want you to take a few days to think about this. Use thosedays to regroup. Use those days to reflect and to know that you still havemy faith and respect. I'll put the paper work through first thing in themorning."

"Okay, fine," was Mulder's simple reply.

The A.D. would not have been more surprised if Mulder had gotten up offthe couch and punched him hard in the face. For a few seconds he was speechless.

"Okay, sir, I'll be in the office on Monday."

With that the A.D. walked to the door and quietly closed it behind himself.He stood in the hallway for a few seconds, took off his glasses and rubbedthe bridge of his nose. He turned around once and looked at the closed door,pensively, and silently shook his head.

The look on Fox's face was priceless - mystified by the A.D.'s actions -but still the look on his face showed that his mind was working at fullspeed. He strode resolutely to the phone and dialed a well-known number.

"Frohike, turn off that damn machine, it's Mulder."

"Yea, Mulder what's up?"

"I have a job for you. I need you to track someone down for me quickly."

"Okay, Mulder." Frohike was clearly puzzled by this time, "whois it?"

"Alex-rat-fucking-bastard-Krycek," was all that Mulder said.

"Enough said, Mulder; but it's going to be all but next to impossibleto find him."

"Not this time, Frohike - this time the bastard wants to be found."

"Got ya, I'll get back to you as soon as I get anything."

Mulder severed the connection; stood there immobile and simply stared atthe wall, scratching his head.



The Eternal City, two days later
================================

Hide in plain sight, Alex thought. That's what people had said. He hopedhis luck would hold this time; Lady Luck was a bitch goddess, he knew. Buthe loved this hot Roman sunshine. He reveled in it. Loved the feel of itsoaking into his body - too long used to the cold he guessed.

He was glad that Vasili had offered him the use his apartment if he wasever in Rome. And here he was watching and listening. He smirked at hearingthe old Italians talking with each other talking - no, more like screaming;these people are so passionate.

Italian was one of the languages he spoke - one of the many. No conspiracieshere. No black lunged bastard to contend with. Nothing to worry him - wellnot much, anyway.

Alex smiled that toothy smile and his eyes twinkled. If Alex was ever happylately, and for the life of him he couldn't remember any time recently,he was happy now. He knew for a certainty that something was about to happen.


<<<<>>>>

A cab slowly approached and old, dignified-looking apartment building.
Disgorging its dark-haired passenger, it slowly sped away.

Mulder looked it over amusedly. /Rome, Alex. Next thing I'll find out isthat you're a special advisor to the Vatican, and I'll believe it./ He chuckledto himself and was surprised by it.

It had only taken Frohike one day to track Alex down. Even Mulder was surprisedby this. He didn't know how the Lone Gunman could do this, and in fact hedidn't want to know.

He just pushed on the front door and, as he expected, it opened to his touch.Mounting the long, narrow stairs he soon came to the apartment he searchedfor. Apartment Number 42; the irony of this was not lost on Mulder. /Sloppy,Alex. If I can find you so easily, so can they. What dangerous game areyou playing at, anyway?/

He just stood there, staring at the door for some minutes. Wondering ifhe was going to have to break in. He didn't want to do that. How would heexplain to Skinner about being arrested for breaking and entering in a foreigncountry.

Throwing caution to the wind he just turned the doorknob and, to his completesurprise, the door simply opened.

/Well, like a lamb to the slaughter,/ Mulder thought as he cautiously enteredthe apartment and closed the door behind him.

<<<<>>>>

As soon as Alex started to mount the stairs to his apartment he realizedthat something was wrong. He had long wondered if he had the gift; his grandmotherwas said to be psychic - at least, he was told that.

No, something wasn't wrong, something was right. Better than all the perfumesof 'Araby' was Mulderscent. And there it was blooming in his hallway. Thesmell of a recently rubbed and buffed Mulder was unmistakable.

Alex entered his apartment slowly as Mulder held back in the shadows.

"Got my present, I see. Get it analyzed yet, Mulder?" Alex asked.

"Gave it to Scully," was Mulder's simple reply.

"Ah, yes, Dr. Watson."

Alex turned swiftly and caught the frown which was just then stealing Mulder'sface.

"Tell me, Mulder," Alex asked, "how long do you think thatScully is going to be willing to play Dr. Watson to your Sherlock?"If the agent only knew how much Alex's sarcasm was coloured by his jealousyof Scully's relationship with Mulder.

This time Mulder's expression was a full-fledged scowl.

"What are you playing at this time, Alex?"

"What, Mulder, can't a guy just give you a present? I don't know whatto tell you. Could be three things, I guess. Maybe I want to help you bringthose bastards down. Maybe I want to give you the evidence of extra-terrestriallife that you so actively seek. Or simply, maybe, I just want to fuck withyour mind." Alex was quiet then, just looking at Mulder.

For a tall man Mulder could move quickly. Before Alex knew what was happeningor could move to protect himself, Mulder roared across the room and caughtAlex in the face with an open-handed slap.

Alex's head jerked to the right, spittle mixed with blood spraying acrossthe room. "That," Mulder said, "is for Scully."

Before Alex could even catch his breath Mulder's fist smashed into Alex'sgut, forcing the air out of his lungs. "That's for my father,"Mulder screamed.

Alex's automatic reflex was to double over in pain as he tried to get airback in his lungs. In a flash Mulder's knee connected with Alex's chin andslammed his head back into the wall. "And that, Krycek, is for me!"Alex stood perfectly still then; stunned, his head was spinning.

"Fight back, you bastard. Why don't you fight back?" Mulder screamedat him.

Alex righted himself slowly and just stood there, straight and proud. Staringintently into Mulder's face. He made no move to protect himself further.After a few seconds Alex discovered that his throat might just actuallywork.

"I can't, Mulder." Alex's gaze was locked with Mulder's. "Ijust can't." It was said so softly that Mulder almost didn't believewhat he was hearing. He knew that Alex could take down bigger men than himwith just one blow - he'd seen him do it. But he never tried anything withMulder, never defended himself, not once. Mulder couldn't understand this.

Mulder moved closer and grabbed his arms to shake some sense into the man.Alex looked at Mulder's face in horror. He could see every emotion thatthe older man was experiencing written across his face. Alex knew the exactmoment when the agent realized that one arm didn't have the same soft giveas the other. He saw it register there. He saw Mulder's thoughts, almost.He knew when Mulder remembered the horsemen and what they had offered him.He knew the exact instant that Mulder realized that Alex wasn't so lucky.

Alex saw Mulder's expression shift, at break neck speed, from realizationto horror; from horror to pity; from pity to something Alex couldn't puthis finger on, but dreaded nonetheless.

Alex couldn't move; he was like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncomingcar - he was in mortal fear of what he would see written on Mulder's face.A single diamond-shaped teardrop escaped Alex's eye. Before it made it halfway down his face, Mulder's long index finger captured it and slowly, everyso slowly, raised it up to his eye level and gazed at it intently. Mulderlooked at the tear on his finger, then he looked back at Alex, and thenlooked at the tear again. Before Alex could even register what was happeningMulder deposited the tear on his own tongue, tasting his nemesis.

Mulder's mind was a riot of disparate emotions. His very essence was screamingat him to be careful. He knew that he didn't feel horror or pity about Alex'slost arm, he knew he didn't feel hate now - far from it. His mind was continuouslyposing questions to itself on what was happening to him. What was the natureof the situation he found himself in.

Mulder's eyes never left Alex's. They were joined now, locked in somethingindefinable. Something unstoppable. Would it be soul destroying or faithaffirming, he didn't quite know. But he knew that he couldn't stop it now.He realized too that he was trapped, like a moth to a flame; realized thathe had no free will as far as this man was concerned. He realized that thiswas the case from the first moment that he had laid eyes on Alex. It wasonly a matter of time - an inexorable trip to this moment in time.

Blood trickled down from Alex's nose where it had come in contact with Mulder'sknee. Quick as a flash Mulder's finger trapped some of the blood as well.He held it aloft and looked at it. Again tasting the salty, coppery essencethat was Alex Krycek. Mulder sighed.

Mulder took his thumb and gently traced the outline of Alex's lips, whichnow gently parted for him. Moving his face a little closer to Alex's, hecould almost feel the man breathing as he gently traced the outline of hisformer partner's large, perfect teeth.

Alex was audibly moaning now, lost in his own siren's song of pleasure.He couldn't think - hell, he was barely able to breathe. This was Fox Muldertouching him; Fox Mulder - his heart's only weakness. Mulder's eyes werestill locked with his, neither looking away, neither even blinking.

Mulder moved his face in closer. His hand straying to the back of Alex'sneck, holding him, caressing him. He continued ever so slowly, as if timestood still. He was so close now he could feel Alex's breath on his lips.Mulder's tongue gently stroked Alex's lips as he came in for a kiss. No,not a kiss, a lover's benediction. Fox claimed Alex so softly and gentlythat the younger man's mind went into overdrive with the sheer pleasureof it. The sweetness of Mulder's mouth, so long imagined, was far more thanAlex had ever thought possible.

Alex yielded to Mulder and gave him total access to his mouth. Mulder lickedand sucked at his lips, tasting all the drying blood there. Alex was issuinga continuous grown now; he couldn't help himself, he was so lost in sensation.

"Jesus, Mulder," Alex said, his voice breaking with emotion. "Maybe...weshouldn't do this. I've done some things...terrible things...ugly things-"

Mulder put two fingers up to his lips as though to silence him. "Shush,Krycek, let's just not think about this. Let's just do it." Alex stifledback a sob as Mulder caressed his cheek with his own. Alex felt the slightburn from the stubble on Mulder's cheek as it rubbed against his own. Sodifferent from the feel of a woman's cheek, but so erotic; Alex felt a directlink from his cheek to his cock.

Mulder's tongue kept up its exploration of Alex's cheek, finally trailingaway to the small gold stud Alex wore in his ear. He took the earlobe intohis mouth, gently biting and sucking on it at the same time. Alex's eyeswere wild now in rapture as Mulder's tongue found his ear canal and gentlyimitated the age old thrusting motion - in and out it went.

Nuzzling Alex's throat, Mulder began to bestow on him soft butterfly kisses,at once gently sucking and then biting him hard - hard enough to mark Alexas his own for life.

Alex's breathing was now hard and laboured, showing Mulder the exact stateof his arousal. The agent's hazel eyes locked again with Alex's green asthough to ask permission to proceed.

"Oh God, Mulder, yes, yes, yes!"

Without hesitation Alex claimed Mulder's lips again for a deep, passionatekiss. He put everything he had into that kiss - years of pent-up desireshowing itself in this one kiss. Both men's tongues battled for ascendancy,each exploring every crevasse of the other's mouth, both sighing audibly.The kiss only ending when the need for breath made itself painfully felt.

Mulder pulled Alex into a tight embrace, and Alex just folded into Mulder'sbody - becoming a part of him. Erection pressed against erection, chestagainst chest, cheek against cheek; each one bucking against the other softly.

Mulder broke the embrace first, Alex's hand still firmly planted on hisshoulder. Mulder quickly got on his knees and snaked both hands up underAlex's T-shirt. Noting the fine collection of dark brown hair on his stomach,showing the promise of richer things to come. Mulder's hands explored thebroad plane of muscles on Alex's abdomen, each stroke confirming what hiseyes were telling him - a vision of classic male beauty standing beforehim.

Alex was insensate now, groaning and sighing at the same time. Finally Mulderfound his chest. Stroked it, loved it. Each of his thumbs found a nippleand adoringly played with each while his tongue laved Alex's navel, exploringthe small dimple he found there. Each of his lover's nipples in turn becamehard and nubbed.

Mulder's tongue was licking Alex's stomach clean, like a cat would cleanher kitten. His mouth found the hardened nipple and suckled there. Alexpulled Mulder's head in harder, lost in the sensation of it. Mulder movedon to the other and licked it with his tongue.

"Oh Christ, Krycek!" were the only words Mulder could get out.

"Call me Alex, please!"

"Okay, Alex."

Mulder straightened up then and reclaimed Alex's mouth as his own. Ravishingit. Abusing it.

Alex's mind was reeling now, but he realized the moment of truth had arrivedas Mulder was trying to get his shirt away from his good arm and over hishead. He was dreading this - dreading the moment when Mulder would haveto look at his mutilation, at this butchery. He knew that the older mancould do nothing but turn away from him in disgust and horror. With theshirt rolled over his head and the remains draped over his prosthetic arm,Alex froze like a statue. He had to turn his face away, he had to look anywherebut at his dark angel, knowing the look he would find in his eyes.

Mulder would have nothing of this. He took Alex's face in both of his handsand forced him to look into his eyes. No lies here, no deceit - not now.What he saw there shocked him. Shocked him hard. Alex, so brash usually,was now so needy and vulnerable. Mulder realized, for the first time, thathe could hurt Alex now, hurt him bad - far worse than any of his blows hadever done. He thought of Scully now, of her disapproval, but dismissed it.His own personal guilt - that little person at his core - spoke to him now.It began taking some of Alex's pain inside itself.

"It's okay Alex. It's okay. I want to see you. I want to see all ofyou. You are beautiful, you know, all of you is beautiful. Nothing anyonecan do will change that." His tone of voice spoke of soothing a hurt,battered child. Alex just stared at him in horror but let him proceed.

Mulder very gently removed Alex's shirt and threw it to the floor and asgently untied the straps attaching Alex's arm to his body. The younger manwas in a full panic now, Mulder could see it in his eyes. Eyes that hidnothing.

Presented with the full evidence of this butchery, Mulder's face betrayednothing. Alex stood perfectly still, but when he put out his hand to touchthe stump Alex pulled away. Mulder pulled him into a tight embrace as thoughmaking an attempt to wash away Alex's pain - an impossible job even forhim and he knew it.

"It's okay Alex. You're beautiful. You're beautiful to me." Muldercould feel the tension leaving Alex's body as he relaxed against his chest."Alex, we all have our scars, yours are on the outside, that's all."

Mulder again reached out to his lover's stump, only this time his partnerlet him - receiving his absolution. His hand lovingly caressed what wasleft of Alex's arm, his fingers finding and memorizing each and every scarhe found there. His eyes still locked with Alex's as though to assure himthat it was alright.

He moved his head slowly down and planted soft pliant kisses there, sendingshivers down Alex's spine. This simple act of acceptance sent Alex's spiritsoaring; soaring far higher from this than anything else Mulder could havedone or said. This simple act of loving kindness, he knew, would go a longway in his own acceptance of his disfigurement.

Alex was giddy. He knew that he had that goofy smile on his lips as he buriedhis face in the fold of Mulder's neck. Just lost in the ambrosial smellof the older man as he sucked in his breath in anticipation when he realizedthat Mulder was undoing his belt buckle. Mulder's hand slowly reached insideand took a firm grasp on his manhood, playing with the folds of skin hefound there.


"Alex" he said, "I see your arm was your only amputation."Mulder's smile was evident in his voice. He looked down and saw the thickeningcock in his hand he said, "Alex, your cock is beautiful."

Mulder pushed Alex's jeans all the way down to admire the view. Alex pushedhimself out of his shoes and stepped out of the jeans. Standing before Mulderas naked as the day he was born, he reached over to the hem of Mulder'sT-shirt and started to lift it up.

"Don't you think that one of us has way too many clothes on?"

Mulder laughed and agreed by quickly removing his shirt and jeans with verydeft motions. Alex noticed the fluidity of these movement, comparing themwith his own, but said nothing.

Alex sucked in his breath at the beauty of the man. Standing before himwas the long, lithe body he had so often dreamed of. Sparse chest hair leadingin a straight line to the riot of hair surrounding one of the most luxuriouslooking cocks that Alex had had the pleasure of seeing in quite some time.He couldn't help himself, he just had to touch it, to feel its silky essence.

Mulder pulled him into an embrace again, had to feel Alex's skin againsthis own. Had to feel Alex's chest against his. Had to take Alex's lips again.He gently bucked into Alex's hand as each man bespoke his own pleasure withaudible sighs and groans.

"Feels so good, Alex!"

As Mulder continued to move into Alex's hand, both of his own found placeson his lover that Alex didn't even know he possessed. How could an arm,a back, a thigh be an erotic pulse point, Alex didn't even know. Couldn'teven think about it.

The kiss, finally broken, the lovers studying each other's faces, Alex'shand left Mulder's cock and found its way to his face. Lightly grazing theflesh he found there, following the contours of the bone, reverently caressingit, studying it. Mulder leaned into the caress like a cat. The intelligenceof Mulder's eyes was replaced now; replaced by something known only to passion,to pleasure. His arousal was so strong, so hard now that it was painful.Still Alex's hand was exploring, caressing.

How Alex wished that he had two hands to worship this man, which was hisdue. He experienced every inch of skin that Alex touched. Mulder felt lovedat this moment, maybe for the first time in his life. He felt Alex's handcaress his thigh. /Oh, Jesus!/ Mulder's mind screamed.

And when Alex's hand scraped against his balls, caressing them, rollingone and then the other, teasing them, loving them, Mulder's mind shut downcompletely - giving itself over to pleasure, pure sweet pleasure.

Suddenly Alex began licking his face. Long slow stokes, tasting him, collectingthe salt he found there. Alex was consuming him, his chin, he ear, his eyelids,each lick sending massive pulses of pleasure into Mulder. All at once, itseemed, Mulder's fingers were in Alex's mouth. He suckled each in turn,swirling his tongue around each, sucking, loving. When Alex began to lickthe palm of his hand, the sensation was channeled directly to the dark man'scock.

Mulder broke the embrace. He had to taste this man. Getting down on hisknees again, he looked up evilly at Alex and grinned. He nuzzled his noseinto Alex's groin, smelled the manly scent of him. He took one ball intohis mouth, gently teasing it. Rolling it around with his tongue. Then hereplaced it with the other, wetting it, rolling it, experiencing it.

He took the bulbous tip of Alex's cock into his mouth, swirling his tonguearound it. Finding the oh, so sensitive spot on the back where the skinjoins the glans, he tortured it. Alex sucked in his breath with an audiblehiss. His hands finally found Mulder's hair, gently twining silky strandsaround his fingers.

When Mulder finally took him, whole, into his throat, all he could do wasscream.

"Oh, sweet Jesus, Mulder!"

Mulder let Alex's cock drop from his mouth, looked up at him and smiledsweetly.

"You can call me Fox."

That did it for Alex, that finished him completely, the precum was oozingout of his slit. Mulder captured him again. Drawing deeply with his lips,he swallowed his partner to the root. Alex couldn't help himself, this wastoo much. Mulder's lips traveled the length of Alex's cock a few times,he was bucking gently into Mulder's mouth now. His legs were growing weaker;Mulder, sensing this, supported him with his other hand. "I'm gonna'come, Fox!"

Mulder still didn't stop. Alex exploded into the back of his throat andMulder greedily swallowed every drop of his essence.

Mulder stared up at the stoned look on Alex's face and smiled knowingly.He raised himself up and captured his lover in a crushing embrace. Alex'stongue found and tasted his own seed on his lover's tongue. He was lostnow, helplessly lost. He melted into Mulder's body as the agent held himerect.

"Bed, Alex!"

Still locked together, they managed to get to the bedroom and fell, as onebody, onto the bed.

"You know, Alex, this isn't over. I'm not finished with you yet."

Alex's only response to this was to pull Mulder closer to him, feeling Mulder'sprodigious erection pressing between his legs, his mouth pressed even closerto Mulder's throat. "A guy can always hope, can't he?"

Mulder could feel Alex's sweet, hot breath on his neck. That sensation sendinghot pulses to Mulder's groin. He could feel Alex's words before he couldhear them. So soft, so pleading. "Fox, I need you. I need you in me- please, Fox - please."

He raised his head up so that he could see Alex's face more clearly, seethe expression of need there. Mulder's heart was full with what he saw -the complete look of trust on his lover's face.

Alex nodded complete agreement, his hand motioning to the bed-side table,indicating where Mulder would find the necessary supplies. All at once,he felt Mulder's hands on his body, everywhere. Exploring him, caressinghim, torturing him with sweet, sweet pleasure.

Mulder saw that Alex's body was writhing with need beneath him, and amazinglyhe noticed the beginning of another erection on his lover. Raising himselfup on both arms over Alex, he noticed, for the first time, the quickly reddeningimprint of his own hand on Alex's cheek, the slight split in his lover'schin where his knee had caught him, and the beginnings of a deep, dark bruiseon Alex's classically muscled stomach where his fist had connected.

Alex noticed the guilt quickly stealing away with his lover's face. "No,Fox, no! Don't. Don't think about it. It's all right." As though inanswer to Mulder's silent wish for forgiveness, Alex raised his head upfrom the bed and caught Mulder in a deep, hard kiss. Letting his mouth speakfor his soul. Letting his forgiveness wash over Fox like an absolution madeflesh.

Fox slowly returned to him, smiling; knowing that this small part of hisguilt, anyway, had just been washed away by Alex Krycek.

Alex was ready now, he knew. The sated look on Alex's face was replacedby one of pure rapture when Fox sought and found the small, puckered openingbetween Alex's ass cheeks. And at the first slight touch of Mulder's indexfinger Alex arched into him.

"Please, Fox. Please!"

Alex's breath came in short, sharp rasps now, and Mulder warmed lube andcoated his finger. Alex moved to get on his stomach. Mulder reached outa gentle hand to restrain him. "No Alex, I want you on your back, Iwant to see your face." Nothing anyone had ever done or said to Alexhad touched him this way - and nothing ever would again, he knew.

Settling back, Mulder continued his ministrations. His finger gently pushedon Alex's opening and Alex was lost to the sensations as the finger wentin him, knuckle deep. A long, satisfied sigh escaped Alex's clenched teeth.Mulder continued the in-and-out motion while adding more lube to his finger.First one, then another finger. Mulder saw the look of pleasure on Alex'sface turn to one of deep need as he fingers scraped against Alex's pleasurepoint.

"Oh, my God. Now Mulder. Now!" Alex howled.

Deftly, Mulder ripped open the condom, applied it to himself and lubed itup. He mounted himself between Alex's legs and allowed one long, languorouslook at his lover. Soaking him up. Touching him everywhere. The long gracefulneck, the beautifully muscled chest, and neat trim stomach were each touchedand caressed in turn.

Alex took his one hand and reached out for a pillow and placed it underhis hips, allowing Mulder easier access.

The head of Mulder's cock touched Alex and he shuddered. Mulder appliedgentle pressure and Alex opened to him, like a flower. He could see thelook of pain on the younger man's face and he stopped.

"No, Fox, don't leave me like this," Alex pleaded. "Now!"

Mulder continued. The slow even pressure, the small in-and-out strokes finallybeing rewarded when Mulder began to sink deeper and deeper into Alex.

Buried to the root in Alex, Alex's keening moans were continuous now, hishead swinging from side to side uncontrollably, the awareness completelygone from Alex's beautiful, green eyes. He was lost in his own world. Hearched his back up to meet Mulder's downward thrust.

"Oh Fox, fuck me, fuck me hard!"

Fox reached out and grasped Alex's turgid cock. Establishing a rhythm withhis hand matching the age old movements of his hips. His own moans of pleasurewere becoming audible now, and he heard himself quietly repeating his lover'sname, over and over again, like his own personal mantra. The measured self-controlhe had achieved was slipping now. His groin slapping into Alex's ass. Hiscock searching for and finding his lovers A Spot. His sweat mingling therewith that of his lover.

He could feel Alex's organ become larger and he knew that Alex was close.He wanted his lover to come first. He opened his eyes then, had to soakup the look of pure rapture that was evident on Alex's face. Had to memorizeit. Had to feel it. He silently thanked whatever beneficent deity that wouldallow them this.

Alex came then with the scream of his lover's name on his lips. Shootingthick, sticky cum on their chests. Mulder couldn't describe the sensationsas Alex's internal muscles were bearing down on his cock, milking him, begginghim forward. With a groan he came hard. Could feel it start deep withinhis ass, feel the pin prick of sensations as they exploded inside his beinginto this feeling of bliss. He could feel himself spasm again, and againinto the tiny bit of latex separating him from his lover. How he silentlywished this precaution wasn't necessary - he wanted to be able to add hisseed to Alex, marking him forever as his own.

Exhausted, he collapsed onto his lover. Alex's cum mixing with his sweat,and then attaching itself to the hair on his chest. He loved the feeling.With his own erection fading he emerged from Alex and threw the used condominto the waste.

He gently touched Alex's cheek as though in a prayerful thank you. No wordswere necessary between the men now, and none were spoken. Hands did thetalking now. Each man reached out to the other to touch, to feel still-tinglingflesh. Mulder touched Alex's seed and brought some to his lips, tasting.

He claimed Alex's mouth now in a long, slow kiss - a lover's kiss. Theyonly broke when the need for air expressed itself as pain in their lungs.

"Tell me something, Alex," Mulder breathed softly into his lover'sflesh.

Alex was dreading this, knew it was coming. Knew it had to come.

"Why, Alex, why did you set up Scully?" Mulder asked, not threateninglyas he usually did.

The pleading for the truth was evident in Mulder's voice. Alex was surprised.This was not the question he'd expected. No, not the question at all.

Alex slowly shifted his gaze up to Mulder's eyes. Saw the need for the truththere; deciding in a heartbeat that he would give it.

Slowly he opened his mouth, found the words, but they wouldn't pass histhroat. Struggling to get the words out he simply said, "Jealousy."

"Jealousy?" Mulder whispered. The shock in his voice could notbe hidden.

"Yeah, Jealousy." Cautiously he went on, his eyes speaking asloudly as his voice. "I was jealous of you, I was jealous of her, Iwas jealous of what you had with her. I could see it, Mulder, even fromthe beginning. I knew that I would never have what the two of you shared.I wouldn't have it with you, and I wouldn't have it with anyone else, either."Alex's face twisted as if in pain. "A bad date, remember?"

"I didn't set it up, Fox." The flood gates were open now, andAlex couldn't stop himself even if he wanted to.

"I simply told that black-lunged bastard that Scully was a problem.I told him that being far from a solution to his problem with you, Scullyhad only intensified it. I said that to get you away from the truth he wouldhave to separate you and Scully, permanently. He simply told me that everyproblem had a solution."

Alex paused for a moment, as if reliving that distant memory held him inthrall; looked up at his lover and saw the pain evident in his face.

"I swear to you, Fox, I didn't know what they were planning to do.I wouldn't do that to anyone - I wouldn't do that to Scully. I wouldn'tdo that to you. A bullet would have been kinder. They had it all set upand simply told me to keep you away from Skyland Mountain. I didn't killthe tram operator, either. He was alive when I left him."

"Confession good for the soul, Krycek?" Mulder sneered.

Alex couldn't help but wince at Mulder's use of his last name. In a heartbeatMulder's mood softened then. "Why the gift, Alex, why 'the Fox andthe Rat'?"

"Thought it was cute, couldn't bring myself not to appreciate the symbolism.I thought: with all I've done to him, why not. Maybe I will give him someof the evidence that he's so occupied trying to get.
Why not? Why not give him something that might help him bring those bastardsdown?"

Mulder considered this quietly for a moment. Decided to take Alex at facevalue. Maybe a man could change - maybe. Maybe Alex was getting soft inhis old age. He looked at his lover again, gauging him, studying him. Searchinghis eyes - eyes cannot lie, he thought.

His only answer was to hug Alex closer to him, not in forgiveness, but inacceptance. Perhaps forgiveness will come later - maybe not. With a finalkiss, Mulder reached down and pulled up the blankets to cover them. PullingAlex tighter still, wrapping his legs amongst his lover's, they both greetedsleep, peacefully, happily.


The More Things Change the More Things... =========================================

The warm Roman sun was streaming through the crack in the half-opened curtains.Inching forward, gently heating the room as it went, the streak of sunlightfinally reached Alex's face. His eyes slowly fluttered opened, and he metthe day with a feeling of inner peace and contentment - emotions with whichAlex Krycek was not overly familiar.

Lying in a tangle of sheets, his nostrils were assailed by the scent ofMulder; moving ever so slightly his body came in contact with the crystallizedevidence of the previous night's passion.

Raising his only hand to smooth back his short, cropped hair and rub thesleep from each eye in turn, he knew the Mulder wasn't in the bed besidehim. He didn't have to call Fox's name, he knew he was gone - the stonecold silence from the apartment told him that.

Rising slowly from his bed and dressing, the knot of pain in the pit ofhis stomach growing tighter; he steeled himself against the sting of tearsin his eyes, willing them back.

He entered the living room half expecting to find the note he saw drapedacross the arm of the couch. Picking it up he read:

Alex:

I hate leaving this way, Alex - I hate leaving you. But it's the only way.We can never be together, not this way. It's too dangerous for you, it'stoo dangerous for me. But know this, Alex Krycek - I will remember lastnight until I no longer remember anything else - I will remember this.

I don't hate you, Alex, I don't think I ever did. I believe you - I believethat you didn't kill my father, I believe that you didn't kill Scully'ssister. I guess, Alex, I believe in you.

Take care, Alex, watch your back - for me please. When I get your sampleanalyzed I'll have some evidence, at least, maybe enough to bring some ofthose bastard down. Thank you, again.

Fox

Alex smiled with a wry humour. /Dammit,/ he thought to himself, /he signedit Fox./

Folding the note lovingly, he searched for the black satchel that he alwayscarried with him. Finding it, he placed the note in one of the pockets.

>From a concealed compartment he withdrew the picture he always carriedwith him. All these years he carried this; at first he really didn't knowwhy.

Alex withdrew it and looked at the glossy 5x7; staring back at him was afresh young FBI agent, dressed in a terribly bad suit and smiling a big,toothy grin standing next to Special Agent Fox Mulder. He didn't even rememberwho took this picture or how he got it.

After staring at it for some minutes he took out his black-tipped marker.In explanation, perhaps, for what could have been - for what he had lost- he slowly drew small pear-shaped teardrops trailing from both of his eyesdown his face.

Krycek replaced the photo in its secret hiding place. Packed the rest ofhis meager possessions. Completing his task he slowly scanned the apartmentone last time, and with his head held high, he walked stridently towardsthe door and then was gone.


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End, for now.
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