Warnings: This one is very dark, so be fully warned.

Spoiler: The Red and the Black stuff and Sleepless

Except for Anton, I do not own these characters. They belong to
1013 Productions and Fox Broadcasting. No infringement is
intended. Lyrics of "Children of the Night", written by T Bell
and L Creed, is also used without permission.

I would also like to thank Griffin Grimes for his editing of this
story, his help is invaluable and beyond price.

Please archive at will as long as the above is posted with the
file. Just drop me a line so I know where my babies have come to
rest.



The Rose Trellis
The cool night breeze caressed his cheek like a gossamer wing. He
was beginning to enjoy the night - he could hide in it. He didn't
have to put on his 'Consortium toadie' face - doing exactly as he
was told, when he was told to do it, never being able to give
voice to his inner doubts about what they had him do. In the night
he was free - free to become the Alex Krycek that he had once
been, long ago before his life went to hell in a hand basket. And
dammit, he enjoyed this feeling, missed it really.

Deep in the night, even the loss of his arm didn't bother
him...much. He would delude himself that the passersby couldn't
notice it - he could pretend he still had two arms, and he would
be whole again for a little while. Even his face took on a
smooth, youthful look - so in contrast to the look of fatigue and
world-weariness which were permanently etched into his features
during the daylight hours.

The taste of Mulder was still on his lips. He was surprised that
Mulder had fallen for that puerile little trick - 'things are
looking up', he had written on his note. Mulder had fallen for
that, in more ways than one. And the kiss - the kiss and what
followed was his only unrehearsed act of the night. No one was
more surprised than he when that kiss was given...and received.
Passing the gun over to Mulder like that - God, what was that all
about? He counted himself lucky that he wasn't lying in some
hospital right now with a bullet in his back, or worse - in the
morgue. Did he trust Mulder that much?

But that had been hours ago and he had been walking since then -
hours of thinking and hours of wondering and hours of missing
Mulder and hours of wondering where to go from here.

His mind was jarred awake by a very strange sound. In this
neighbourhood of up-scale apartments and condominiums, sounds like
this are not what he would expect to hear. He heard, or thought
he heard, a low but insistent - almost inhuman - moan of agony, as
though some animal were caught in a trap. But no, it was
definitely human. Alex was in full fight or flight mode now. He
looked around him but could see nothing. But there it was again,
louder and more soul rendering this time.

He was in front of a low-rise apartment building and heard it
again. He looked up and saw its source. A man, a mythic Nordic
creature - long blonde hair growing to his shoulders, he was naked
to the waist. His fair, light skin was glowing white in the pale
moonlight. Alex could see the man's well developed chest crowned
with nipples the size of half-dollars, and oddly, the color of
chestnuts - totally at variance with the ethereal shimmer that the
moon's glow gave the rest of his body. The stranger was in such
pain that his knuckles glowed white from the death grip he
maintained on the railing of his balcony. Alex was amazed that the
wrought iron itself didn't buckle from the pressure he exerted.

His eyes locked with Alex's and held them for what seemed like an
eternity. Those eyes spoke volumes to Alex of the inner mental
anguish this man suffered. No words were spoken - they didn't have
to be - and no embarrassment was shown either.

Suddenly the eye contact was broken and with an audible sob the
man backed into his apartment. Alex noticed the vine trellis
leading up to this man's balcony. He noticed, too, the drainpipe
about a foot from that trellis. Alex realized that even for a
one-armed man it was possible to scale that trellis by resting his
back against the drainpipe while using his only arm to gain a new
purchase on the wood.

As quick as a flash, throwing all caution to the wind, he decided
to investigate. Curiosity had always been one of his faults that
he needed to change, but it had saved his life on more than one
occasion.

With some effort he managed to haul himself up to the balcony and
vaulted over the railing. Everything was quiet and he saw low
glowing lights from within the apartment. Slowly he entered.
Nothing looked out of the ordinary. He could sense no danger
here, but neither could he find the man in sought in the living
room.

Cautiously he looked through the apartment but his quarry was
nowhere to be found. It looked like your typical male's apartment
- sparsely furnished, but adequate. At last he came to the last
room in the apartment and the door was closed.

He drew his gun and cautiously opened the door, scanning the room.
His quarry was sitting on the bed, his face registering no
surprise at the sight of the gun; it was as though he expected it,
welcomed it.

There was no fear evident in his face, and no backing down
either. He was totally naked, sitting on the bed with one hand
playing with his own nipple. Alex was surprised - his nipples
looked even larger and darker in the light of the bedroom. His
other hand was busy stroking his erect cock. Alex saw the massive
muscles ripple, from his broad shoulders to his tiny waist.

He looked at Alex and simply said, "Anton, my name is Anton."

"Well, Anton," Alex replied in kind, "mine's Alex."

"Hello, Alex!"

He took his hand from him cock to offer it to Alex, and looked at
it and smiled. Alex reached out and shook it with a bemused look
on his face. Instantly the tension was broken, but Alex could see
the tracks of the tears on Anton's face.

Alex stepped closer to the bed. Anton looked up at him full of
pleading and need. As Alex opened his belt buckle, Anton reached
out his hand to take it from him, loosing the belt from Alex's
black jeans - slowly, one loop at a time, as if the passing of the
minutes held no meaning for him - all the while never ceasing the
pleasuring of his own flesh.

He brought the belt to his nose and inhaled deeply; closing his
eyes for a moment he took a long sobbing breath into his lungs. A
broad, pink tongue snaked out of his mouth to moisten his lips
seductively. Anton brought the belt to his mouth and placed
feather light kisses on it, discovering the finely grained texture
of the leather. He placed the tip of the belt into his mouth and
applied a gently sucking action on it, wetting it completely. His
eyes never left Alex's, never wavered at all.

Amazed, Alex watched as Anton took the belt further and further
into his mouth, totally moistening it. Anton removed the belt from
his mouth and used it as a sling for his balls, gently drawing the
belt back and forth in a sea-saw motion. Alex watched mesmerized
as the muscles on Anton's arms and chest rippled from this simple
action; he noticed, too, the painful erection between Anton's legs
- its glans purple from the rush of blood. Anton threw back his
head, exposing his throat and moaning in pure wanton pleasure.

Anton stood then, draping the belt around his neck like some
talisman to ward off evil. He looked Alex directly in the eye and
placed the palms of both hands on Alex's chest. He maintained eye
contact as he slowly moved in and placed a hungry, desperate kiss
on Alex's lips. If he noticed Alex's newest arm, his face didn't
betray that knowledge.

Alex didn't back away, but returned the kiss. He grasped Anton by
the shoulders, trying to get some idea of what was happening
between them. Anton's large hand trailed up Alex's arm and
finally reached his hand. He took Alex's gloved hand gently in his
and lifted it to his face - nuzzling it with his cheek and
inhaling deeply of its smell. He slowly removed the glove and
threw it on the bed.

Their eyes were still locked. Anton's hands went to the lapels of
Alex's jacket and started to remove it. Alex didn't resist as
Anton placed sweet, appreciative kisses all over his neck. Anton
placed the jacket on the chair next to his bed.

He stood back a bit, admiring Alex and wondering. Alex's verdant
eyes were gleaming as he stretched out his hand to Anton's fully
erect cock and gave it a loving caress. Anton moaned and pulled
Alex into a tight embrace. Two men expressing a need, finding
solace where they could. Alex's hand roamed over Anton's back and
finally rested on his well-developed ass. For the briefest of
moments Alex's mind flashed on Mulder's face, and his heart
skipped a beat with regret and longing.

"What do you want, Anton? What do you need?" Alex spoke the words
directly into his companion's ear.

Anton moved back a bit. He raised his fingers to Alex's mouth as
though to shush him. In a deep, melodious voice he answered. "No
words, Alex. No words."

Anton backed into the bed and sat down heavily on the edge. He
was beauty personified and Alex could feel the heaviness growing
in his jeans. He could smell Anton now, all sweat and male and
sex. Anton took Alex's belt from around his neck stared at it and
caressed the tip. He slowly raised it to his mouth again and
sucked on it greedily; his other hand was caressing his chest and
stomach, ever so slowly proceeding downward.

Alex's face was flush from his own excitement. You are a slut,
Alexi! He toed off his boots and removed his jeans to give himself
some comfort.

At the sight of Alex's erection Anton smiled. He took the belt
from his mouth and passed it to Alex. His eyes told Alex what he
wanted; Alex wondered if he could give him this, but knew that he
would, that he had to.

Anton flipped himself over on his stomach and offered his back and
ass to Alex. Alex felt a lump form in his throat; this kind of
trust was rarely shown to him. His own sexual arousal was
becoming painful and he couldn't help himself - he couldn't help
himself from imagining Mulder in this situation. Seeing Mulder on
his stomach with his supple, beautiful flesh offered to someone -
not him - in the manner of this supplicant's need for atonement.
At once it sickened him - this idea of Mulder with tortured,
bruised flesh - but then he found it grossly sexually exciting.

He closed his eyes, as if in prayer, and moved slowly to the bed,
suppressing a heart-felt sob as he went. He reached out and
brushed against Anton's flesh from his ankles to his shoulders -
caressing it, gently, learning its every contour, its every hill
and valley - trying to impart a flesh to flesh communication, a
flesh to flesh promise that he wouldn't hurt it. You are so
beautiful, so beautiful and so wounded. His nails etched long
tracks into the whole length of Anton's body, slowly, sensuously.
Alex moved in and pushed Anton's long blonde hair to one side and
placed a hungry but chaste kiss on Anton's cheek. Anton smiled,
giving encouragement.

So now it begins.

Alex raised his belt and gently tapped it against the sole of one
of Anton's feet and the man sighed.

"One," Alex counted.

Again, a little harder each time, to the backs of Anton's calves,
his ankles, his knees, and his thighs.

"Ten," Alex announced quietly, almost under his breath.

Anton was pushing his raging cock into the bed - seeing some
friction, some release, but saying nothing. Alex's every muscle
was honed and tense as he raised the belt high in the air. He
felt the tiny beads of sweat form on his upper lip as his hand
came down and the belt connected with Anton's ass with a
resounding crack. Alex could see the red evidence of Anton's
warming flesh with each crack of the belt.

"Seventeen," he announced.

Anton's eyes were shut tight, but Alex could see the evident
moisture escaping through his lashes. Anton unfurled his hand
from the sheet he was clutching and reached for Alex's leather
glove on the bed. He balled it up and put it in his mouth and bit
down hard.

Crack, crack, crack went the belt - from his ass to his shoulders
and all the way back again. Alex was giddy now, and each breath
was deep and full.

"And with his stripes we are healed," he said as the belt made
contact with Anton's flesh - again. His lust-crazed eyes opened
wide, as though remembering. Jesus! What a time to dredge up
Sunday-School lessons. Wouldn't Mother be proud?

"Twenty-five," Alex shouted.

The welts on Anton's body were becoming more vermilion and angrier
looking with each crack of the belt. In his mind's eye, Alex
could picture some perverse scene out of the Spanish Inquisition -
with himself as the Inquisitor. He wasn't examining dogma here -
so what was he examining? His own erection was rock hard and
painful and pointing and weeping accusingly at the man on the bed.

"Thirty," he shouted.

Alex's face was wet and bore a grimace of pain and lust. His eyes
were dark green seas of jade, rich and frighteningly compelling;
he knew he dare not touch himself, not even with his fake hand.
His eyes were seeing Anton, but his mind was seeing Mulder -
bruised and tortured and crying - on the bed. For what? For
nothing. The thought was making Alex physically sick. He'd
betrayed Mulder and lied to him, countless times, but physically
hurt him - never. He couldn't bring himself to do it, and was
silently thankful that he had never had to disobey a direct order
to so do.

Anton was grinding himself into the bed with more and more vigor -
vainly attempting to reach a release he knew would not come, not
yet.

Crack went the belt. "Thirty-one," Alex moaned. With each strike
Alex said over and over, "With his stripes we are healed," like a
mantra, as the belt went snicker snack over Anton's back.

"Thirty-five," Alex roared. Alex's own tears were streaming
freely down his face; he saw Anton through his own emotional
moisture as he would see him through a rain-drenched window. This
is not sex...this is spiritual. He thought of Mulder - here like
this - and his heart ached, threatened to break. To break into a
thousand charred pieces and scatter to the wind. What have I done
to him?

Crack, crack, crack went the belt with all of Alex's might.

"Thirty-eight," he cried.

Anton's abused body was shaking on the bed as he bit into Alex's
glove. His moans were not those of pain, not physical anyway, but
those of pleasure - those of a tortured soul reaching toward the
ultimate goal of eventual mental release. His head reared off the
bed and he opened his sky-blue eyes, urging Alex on.

Alex was near his breaking point, and he knew it. He raised the
belt high above his head and brought it down with a telling blow
onto Anton's lower back. Anton spit out Alex's glove and screamed.

"Thirty-nine," Alex moaned, his voice on the cusp of insanity. He
wasn't thinking now, his face was totally vacuous, his mind was
pleasantly empty - a mind intent on his purpose, and nothing was
going to sway him from that purpose until it was achieved.

As if in slow motion, Alex's arm raised the sweat-stained belt
over his head and time stood still for him. His mind saw - more
than commanded - his arm deliver the final blow to Anton's still
quivering body.

"Forty," Alex keened as the belt dropped from his hand. His legs
were no longer able to support him and he collapsed onto the body
of the tortured man and just lie there, unmoving.

------------------------------------------------------------------

One of the problems of an eidetic memory is that it can take a
pin-prick of reality and expand it into an eternity of tortured
remembrance. That was just what Mulder was doing: he was caught
in the looping kinescope from hell - viewing the same scene over
and over and over - seeing the same demon's green eyes, the elfin
ears, the broad, toothy smile which was sex itself. He was feeling
the demon's sweet breath time after time, feeling the same silky
lips on his cheek, smelling Alex's sweet, heady odor - so long
remembered, feeling the same scratch of another man's beard on his
flushed face. Another man - that other man that he...loved?
hated? dreamed of?...dreamed of constantly, but loved? He
couldn't deny the feelings - not anymore. He couldn't deny them,
but he couldn't name them either, but right now he couldn't summon
up much hate.

That evil kinescope in his mind flipped reels. He was back to the
night of the Augustus Cole killing. Standing before him was a
fresh young agent, haunted-looking and shaken. He had taken a few
steps closer to Alex to comfort him, to ease his pain somewhat.
What Mulder saw in the other man's eyes shocked him, scared him,
and woke him up inside. As Alex closed the distance between them
and placed his hands on Mulder's shoulders, he saw the hunger in
those eyes - the hunger reflected in his own. Alex looked scared
as he leaned in and kissed him on the lips, full and sensuous, and
Mulder returned it in kind with a groan deep in his throat. If
Alex had looked scared before, he looked terrified now.
Betrayal after betrayal, plots within plots, conspiracies within
conspiracies, Mulder could live with that. That night Mulder was
an empty vessel, dried and cracked, and he didn't even know it.
Alex filled him up, filled him to brimming, to overflowing. Then
all that was taken away - that Mulder could never forgive.

You're fucked up, Mulder.

He again heard Alex speak of alien invasions, resist and serve,
and watched Alex's face travel the slight distance between them
and caress his cheek. He lifted up his hand to touch the spot -
still burning. He felt his own lips, he still tasted Alex there -
did it happen or not, he wasn't sure.

Still he sat there; time slowly ticking by, unnoticed, uncared
for. He slowly traced his finger over the trigger of the gun Alex
had passed back to him as the reel in his head played back from
the beginning. Foolish, Alex, really foolish! I could have killed
you with this gun. Why did you do it, Alex, why? Do you want me
to kill you?

Mulder filed these and other questions away in his mind for
another time. The tingling on his cheek remained, the flutter in
his stomach continued, his heart still went pitter-pat,
occasionally missing a beat as he moved out of his sitting
position.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Time slowly returned to Alex, as did his ability to move. He
looked at the man beneath him, noticing the welts on his body.

"You okay?"

Anton nodded his head as Alex got up from his prone position.

Alex wet his tongue and began to lick Anton's wounds. Slowly and
thoroughly laving each of Anton's red stripes. Anton moaned low in
his throat as the feeling slowly returned to his abused flesh. He
lifted he head to peer back to see Alex's tongue wash the wide
expanse of his shoulders.

"Fuck me, Alex!"

"Easy boy, easy," Alex replied, relieved to see that there was
still some life left in the man.

Almost as an afterthought, Alex grabbed his recently oiled jacket
from where Anton had dropped it on the chair and draped it over
Anton's back. He rubbed the leather over his partner's flesh in
ever increasing circles. Anton's whole body quivered with barely
concealed lust and passion. Anton was speaking in tongues now,
wild and out-of-control, primordial noises - sharp and visceral.
Alex replaced his jacket on the chair and gently stroked Anton's
ass cheeks as his companion bucked his turgid, erect penis into
the bed.

"I need it, Alex. I need it now. I need it hard."

Alex pried Anton's ass cheeks apart and made a swift swipe of his
tongue against the tight ring of muscle. On the downstroke he
licked Anton's almost hairless halls, which were drawn up tight to
his body. Alex knew that the man was close, very close.

"How do you want this, Anton?"

"Dry, Alex, dry," came the reply, without thought.

Alex's guts clenched.

"No. Anton, no. I don't want to hurt you - anymore."

"You won't hurt me Alex," Anton's voice broke when he replied. "I
need it. Please!"

Alex separated Anton's ass cheeks again and resumed his deep
tongue lashing, but this time the moans came from him. Alex was
preparing the tight channel with the moisture from his own mouth.
When his tongue penetrated that chasm, deep, Anton hissed with
barely concealed pleasure. Alex reached down and removed some of
the moisture collecting at the head of Anton's cock and coated his
finger with it.

A gentle probing of that dark orifice and his finger was allowed
entrance up to the knuckle. Alex was surprised. Pleasantly
surprised. Alex was shocked by the muscle control that Anton
possessed as his finger disappeared into that hot spot. Alex soon
joined that finger with another. Anton's ass was fucking them
back, adding all the movement that was necessary.

Alex looked at the wanton display set before him, and he got even
harder. He thought that Anton looked more like a single muscle of
pleasure tumbling headlong into bliss than a mere man.

Alex took his fingers away and Anton complained. "Anton, I need
some help here." He struck his prosthesis against the table,
causing a distinctly metallic click as though in emphasis. Anton
understood. Like the athlete he probably was, he executed a
perfect back flip without even seeming to move a muscle. He
reached into the drawer and removed a condom and with one swift
movement opened the foil package, extracting the latex; he passed
it to Alex. As though allowing Alex to keep some measure of
dignity, he didn't apply the condom to Alex's cock, but instead
let Alex do it himself.

Alex reached down and grasped Anton's cock and harshly gave it a
couple of rough pumps. Anton collapsed onto the bed and raised
his groin up to meet Alex, groaning with pleasure.

Quick and dirty, it is.

Anton was on his hands and knees waving his ass at Alex
provocatively. Alex's T-shirt was soaked with sweat and he could
smell himself, and he could smell Anton as he got onto the bed and
moved himself into position. All thoughts were forgotten now,
save for one: his own need for release. Anton was ready for him,
and Alex thought that the man was made for this' almost no
resistance at all, but he was hot and he was tight, unbelievably
tight.

Anton was lost to all but sensation, and when Alex's cock scraped
his prostrate his body shook with pleasure. Alex's one good arm
was holding on to his shoulder when he started his pumping and he
maintained this hand-hold as his pumping motions picked up speed.

"Touch yourself, Anton. Come for me!" Alex said through gritted
teeth.

Each man was tumbling to his own pleasure, his own bliss,
listening to his own blood's scream for release. When Alex placed
his head on Anton's shoulder and bit hard into the muscle, Anton
came, came hard.

Alex felt Anton come and the movement deep within the body of this
man caused his own complete release. To Alex's shame and regret
for the man he was with, there was but one face in his mind - one
name on his lips. "Fox," he moaned, softly, as he collapsed
forward onto Anton's back.

As both men's breathing returned to normal Alex slipped from Anton
and quickly disposed of the condom. Anton flipped himself onto
his back and held his arms out to Alex, quickly levering Alex onto
his chest with a loud thud.

He looked into Alex's heavy-lidded eyes, searching. He raised
both of his large hands to Alex's head and smoothed back his hair.
His hands then cupped Alex's face and he just looked at him, long
and hard, trying to fathom what was behind those searing eyes.
Apparently satisfied with what he found, he brought Alex's face to
his for a long, lingering kiss. He wrapped his legs amongst
Alex's and pulled him in close to his chest.

"Alex, thank you!"

Alex just looked at him, ashamed with what he had done.

"Alex, come on, don't spoil this. Smile. I really needed this."
Anton's eyes spoke of his need for Alex's acceptance.

"Who's Fox, Alex, did he hurt you this bad?" Alex shook his head,
imperceptibly slightly, from side to side. Anton stroked the
prosthetic. "Did he do this, Alex?"

"No! No!" Alex screamed and tried to get away. "Don't you ever say
that," an implicit threat was evident in his voice.

Anton held on tight, refusing to let Alex move even the slightest
distance away from him. Alex's face withered away and he
collapsed onto Anton's chest with an audible sob.

"No, Anton, Fox didn't do any of it. I did it to myself." All
fight gone from himself now. "I am to blame for it all, I made bad
choices, and I paid, and I'm paying for it still."

Anton moved one of his large hands and caressed Alex's ass and
applied gentle pressure to push their groins together.

"It's alright, Alex. No one deserves this, not even you, I don't
care what you've done. Shush, baby, rest now." His words soothed
Alex, and inexplicably his voice dried all the tension from Alex's
body and he relaxed.

One atop the other, both men folded into the contentment of the
closeness, the contentment of finding one another in the night,
the sheer pleasure of the flesh to flesh communion. Soon each man,
ensconced in the world of his own thoughts, drifted into sleep
still wrapped around the other.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Slowly the sunlight steaming through windows awoke Alex. He felt
strangely at peace with himself for once, and hoped fervently that
it would last.

He quickly dressed and looked back at the sleeping man on the
bed. Memories of the previous night quickly invaded his mind.
Memories of pleasure, memories of pain; the two aren't much
different, he thought to himself. The man looked like an Adonis,
as beautiful in repose as he was in wakefulness, Alex thought.

When he got to the balcony doors Alex straightened up, puffed out
his chest. No, not this time! He turned then and went to the
door, opened it and went into the hall with all the appearance
that he had a perfect right to be there.


end


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Riticulan@mailandnews.com

Late at night
When all the world is safe within their dreams
I walk the shadows
Late at night
An empty feeling creeps within my soul
I feel so lonely
So I go into the darkness of the night
All alone
I walk the streets until I find
Someone who is, just like me,
Searching for some company
Children of the night

Late at night
A restless feeling takes control of me
And I can't find love
Late at night
I feel the need for someone who,
Just like me, needs understanding
Once again
I'll search the darkness of the night
All alone
I'll walk each street until I find
Someone who is, just like me,
Searching for some company
Children of the night

* Children of the Night by Cassandra Wilson