August 13, 1999.

I'm busy writing a long story for a zine and wanted a break. Being in that
kind of mood, I decided on some cuddly BDSM to distract me. Pics of pretty
boys in handcuffs are always an incentive too, of course:-) This one hasn't
been beta'd.

As you know, I don't *do* Krycek. I think Nick Lea is lovely, and the
character of Krycek is wonderful, but I just don't see him in a loving,
consensual relationship with anyone. Luckily, that isn't a problem in this
story ;)

For mab, although I'm not sure she'll thank me for it.

WARNING: GRAPHIC AND VIOLENT BDSM SEX. Don't read on if you're delicate, or
prone to writing angry emails about the use of lubricant/whips/teeth/rats.

SPOILERS: SR819, Tunguska. Xanthe's motto: Canon is just an excuse for the
characters to have sex.

SHADOWPLAY

BY XANTHE

He came out in the dark, as all rats do.

"Did I wake you? I'm so sorry." A twisted grin. The lamplight caught the
flash of feral green eyes, and smooth black hair. The scent of leather hung
in the air between them as darkness emerged from shadow.

"I won't ask you how you got in." Skinner sat up in his bed, naked torso
silhouetted. "Just why you're here."

"To collect." The rat moved close, and reached out a hand, black leather
stretched taut over plastic, to touch the other man's face. Skinner sat,
unmoving, unflinching in the shadow cast by his enemy's body.

"What do you want?" Big body tensed, poised, ready to jump, feline paws
closed, ready to swat.

"You." The rat smiled, moved his head in close, sniffed his prey's jaw and
down to his throat, sharp, white teeth baredA big hand closed around the
intruder's neck, pushed him away, back onto the bed, making him lose his
footing. The rat lay there for a moment, breathing heavily, looking into
Skinner's eyes - brown on green, green on brown. "Good." Dilated pupils swam
in green silk. "I knew you'd get the idea."

Skinner swept the sheets aside, and stood up, legs long and lean, clad only
in black boxer shorts. "I presume you've come with your demands. Just tell
me what you want, and then go."

"Demands" The rat scuttled back to the shadows, and returned with a black
leather case. He laid it on the armchair in the corner of the room, and
unlocked it with the sparkling silver key that he wore around his neck.
Skinner stood, close to the door, fists curling and uncurling in an
unconscious expression of his desire to take the rodent's neck in his hands,
and squeeze. Hard.

"If I don't call in, giving the correct code word, by 6 am, then this" the
rat turned back and held up a small device, "instructs your nanocytes to
start partying. You already know how that feels so I won't labour the
point." Straight white teeth gleamed in that twisted, sensual mouth.

Skinner straightened. "Don't threaten me, Krycek. Just tell me what you
want, then leave."

"All in good time. Sit." Krycek pointed at the bed. Skinner glared at him
for a moment, struggling with the unfamiliar role of helpless victim, and
then, with a sigh, he sat.

"We go back a long way, you and I." Krycek pulled something sleek and dark
from the case, and laid it against Skinner's shoulder. It was cool, long,
coileda whip. Skinner shifted uncomfortably. "Do you remember how far back
we go?" Krycek knelt on the bed behind his prey, and ran the whip along the
big man's chest, and down the side of his face. Skinner could feel the other
man's warm breath on the side of his cheek. "I was just a green young double
agent when I first saw you. I still remember the effect you had on me. You
made me feelsmall." Krycek placed one thumb, encased in black leather,
against the back of Skinner's neck, and traced a line up to the bald scalp.
Skinner's muscles bunched into futile implosions of silent anger. "You were
so sure of yourselfgrowling and snarling and pacing. Using that big desk
like a prop in your attempts to intimidate. When you gave me an order
yousnapped" Krycek clicked his teeth shut next to Skinner's ear with a
resounding clack, then opened his lips and moistened them with his tongue.
Skinner felt a warm wetness on his earlobe, and shuddered. "I used to look
at your teeth and imagine them eating me." The rat raised himself up on his
hindquarters, and Skinner felt hot breath on his naked skull. Two hands, one
real, one false, descended on his shoulders - a light touch, keeping him
down, keeping him still.

"This is about sex." Skinner shifted, grunted. The heat burning into his
naked flesh from the hand on his right shoulder contrasted with the coolness
of the artificial hand on his left.

"No." Krycek said. He brought the hard handle of the whip up under the other
man's chin, where it bit deep into flesh, forcing Skinner's head up. "It's
about power." Krycek hissed, his cheek pressed flat against Skinner's so
that the big man could feel the stubble. "And I haven't finished. When I saw
you, big and invulnerable, in that stairwell, I enjoyed sinking my fist into
your flesh. I looked into your eyes, and needed my revenge."

"Revenge for what? Giving you orders?" Skinner spat. "I hadn't done anything
to you."

"You existed." Krycek whispered. He lowered the whip, got up, and went to
Skinner's nightstand. With a sweep of his prosthetic limb, he cleared it of
everything except the lamp. Wirerims, a novel, and a glass of water went
flying. Krycek placed the whip reverentially on the nightstand, then turned
back to his case. He pulled out a set of leather cuffs, with rings on the
outside, and brought them over to the bed. He knelt again, behind his
captive, and held one cuff against his nose.

"Smell it." Krycek commanded.

Skinner sat, resolute, ignoring him.

"I said," Krycek repeated in a low, insistent tone, "smell it." Skinner
lowered his head a fraction, took in the pungent aroma of freshly polished
leather. "I oiled it to myself - to perfection." Krycek informed him, his
arms hanging loosely across the front of Skinner's naked torso. Skinner
could feel the cool leather of the other man's jacket pressed against his
back. "It smells good, doesn't it?"

"If you say so." Skinner shrugged.

"I do." Krycek nuzzled his lips briefly against the big man's neck.

"Maybe I lack your obvious, uh, appreciation of leather." Skinner observed.

"That's a shame. It'd be a good look for you," Krycek murmured. "Now, as I
was sayingyou existed. So big, and strong, so sure of your power. Memories
of you haunted me. I thought I'd cured myself of you when I caught you in
that stairwell. I thought that by hurting you, by sinking my fist into your
flesh over and over again until you were on your knees, that I'd wiped out
your power over me. I was wrong."

Skinner closed his eyes, opened them again.

"The nanocytes - you did all that just to come here, and show me that you
have power over me?" He barked out an ironic laugh, and Krycek traced one
cool leather finger over his cheek.

"No." Krycek whispered, ignoring the question, and continuing with his
narrative. "That wasn't the end of it. I thought I was free of you - of
dreaming about you, of wanting you, of the power that you wield so easily,
but you robbed me of my peace, Skinner. You took it from me in the darkness
on a cold night, and now I can't forget you. Do you remember that night?"

Skinner sat frozen, the leather cuffs still pressed lightly against his
chest.

"Mulder brought you here," he murmured.

"Yes!" Krycek's breathing was fast and urgent. "Mulder brought me here, in
handcuffs, and youyou came to the door looking like some kind of erotic
god. You told him to bring me inside, and then you" His voice cut off
abruptly, as if the memory was too intense to share.

"I slugged you in the gut." Skinner shrugged. "What do you want me to say?
I'm sorry?"

"No. You don't understand." Krycek hissed. "You dragged me outside,
handcuffed me to the balcony, then you looked into my eyes and I knew then
what I wanted."

"You want revenge." Skinner said in a low, disinterested tone. "All this is
about revenge. Well, now you take your revenge, Krycek. Here." He plucked
the cuffs from Krycek's hands, and turned to face the other man. "Put them
on me. Do whatever you need to make yourself feel more of a man again, to
even the score, and get your own back. I'm in no position to argue, as we
both know. Do your worst, Krycek. Use any of these little instruments of
torture you've brought with you, and indulge your sick fantasies. As my
alternative is death, I have no choice but to endure." Skinner's tone was
hard and angry. He scanned the other man's elusive green eyes but he wasn't
prepared for the way his former agent threw back his head and laughed.
Finally, enraged, Skinner put one big hand in Krycek's thick dark hair, and
held him down, looming over him. "Come on, you sick fuck, let's get this
over with," he growled.

"No." Krycek lay still under that big fist. His face seemed pale and eerie,
cast half in light, and half in dark by the lamplight. One green eye, one
dark eyebrow, one lock of hair curling over his forehead, one half of a pair
of sensuous lips, twisted into a feral smile. "You don't understand. I
didn't come here to hurt you." Krycek shook his head, the tip of his tongue
moistening his lips, his eyes dark and sharp. "I came here to make you hurt
me."

There was a long, silent, moment in time, marked only by the ticking of a
clock, and the beating of hearts. Skinner's hand gradually relaxed its hold
on the other man's hair, uncurling the fingers until they were limp. His
dark eyes were shadowed and confused.

<What?> His mouth opened soundlessly.

"You heard. I want you to tie me, to beat me, to fuck me. I want you to
unleash that power, and use it on me. I want you to abuse me until dawn -
and then" Krycek wriggled under the weight of Skinner's body, "then, if
you've performed well enough, I'll make the call. If notwell, a reminder of
who's in charge might be in order - and the nanocytes will get their little
party."

"What the fuck?" Skinner stood up. His body was taut with tension. The
lamplight cast shadows over his broad chest, and long legs, and Krycek ate
up the vision with undisguised lust. "You're saying that you want me tobeat
you, and totofuck you, and if I don't do it well enough, you'll punish
me?" He asked, incredulously.

"Yes." Krycek's green eyes held a challenge. He got up, pressed his sinuous
body close to Skinner's unmoving, solid flesh, and rubbed himself against
him. "Top - sy. Turvy." He grinned. "Master," he added, as an afterthought.
"Come on, Skinner. You know you want to. You've wanted to bury your fists in
my flesh ever since I spent the night on your balcony. You promised me
something that night. You said that punch was a start. You said we weren't
even yet" Krycek licked his lips. "And then you left me there all night.
You left me there, fantasising about what you'd do to me next. All night,
thinking of you lying up here in your bedroom, your naked body pressed
against warm sheets. All night, imagining what those strong arms would feel
like wrapped around my chest, restraining me, imagining how you'd order me
to kneel in front of you, and suck you off, your fist in my hair." Krycek's
voice was almost evangelical in tone, and his eyes glowed like emeralds in
the half-light. "It was a delicious torture. You kept me waiting all night.
You kept me hoping all night. Then, in the morning, when you walked out of
that door on your way to work, and I knew it had all been empty promises"
Krycek exhaled, a harsh rush of air that was almost a sob. "I almost fucking
wept from the disappointment. I knew then, that I'd make you deliver one
day. And now that day has come." He was so close that Skinner could smell
the sweet scent of his breath, and the musky sweat of his body.

"You're a fucking pervert." Skinner backed away, and that sinuous, sensual
body followed him, the buckle of the other man's jeans digging into his
naked flesh.

"Oh yes." Krycek smiled. "And so, Master" he paused, making the inflection
on that word ironic, "are you. You just need someone to show you how to
unlock what you want most - because you do want this, Skinner."

"Don't damn well flatter yourself." Skinner growled, his back flat against
the wall, muscles tensed, poised, ready to spring.

"And even if you don't," Krycek continued. "The beauty of it is - that it
doesn't matter. You do what I want, because you have no choice. Refuse and"
His eyes wandered over to the device in his case.

"I've never" Skinner found that his mouth was dry. He met Krycek's eyes,
and drowned in a sea of green. He surveyed his old enemy, wondering what it
would be like to force this man to his knees, to stand over him, dominate
him, take from him roughly, and brutally, without giving anything back. He'd
never made love in this way beforeno, not making love, fucking. Rutting -
overwhelming and overpowering someone else, using their body for his own
pleasure with no thought for theirs. Skinner felt the sweat breaking out on
his skin. "I can't do it," he whispered.

Krycek smiled. "You have to." He stated implacably.

"It's a physical impossibility." Skinner pointed out. "I can'tfuck you if
I'm not aroused. And I'm hardly likely to get aroused by whipping the shit
out of you."

"You underestimate yourself." Krycek ran a dark finger over Skinner's lips,
then pushed it inside. Skinner tasted bitter leather on his tongue, and
fought back a desire to bite down. Hard. "Come on, Skinner. Last time I was
here you roughed me up, and then you handcuffed me to your balcony. If
that's not a statement of intent, what is?" Krycek laughed. "Tell me,
Skinner, what do you feel like doing when you have a pretty boy all trussed
up and at your mercy? No, don't tell meshow me." Krycek whispered.

"You're wrong." Skinner folded his arms across his chest, and glared at his
uninvited guest. "You don't know the first thing about me, Krycek."

"And you don't know the first thing about yourself." Krycek snapped back.
"But I'm going to show you."

Skinner's eyes flashed angrily in the shadowed lamplight, glowing embers
dancing in burnished black tar.

"And what will you discover about yourself, naked, trussed up, under the
whip, screaming?" he hissed, goaded by his enemy's words. "What will you
find out, Krycek? Nothing? Is that what scares you? The emptiness? The lies,
and deceit? Do the screams compensate for every dead body, every person you
ever killed, or betrayed, in your miserable, pointless excuse for a life?"

Krycek turned away. "There's nothing to discover. I know all there is to
know about myself." He plucked the cuffs off the bed, then turned, his
expression savage. "This won't be the first time. I've been to that dark
place a hundred times before. More. Only this time I want you to be the one
to take me there. There aren't any surprises there for me. I know what I'll
find. You on the other hand" Krycek grinned, his white teeth gleaming. He
moved into the shadows again and emerged, close to his victim. "You know,
I've always had a certainaffinity with rats, and you" He traced a
leather-clad finger over Skinner's broad, naked scalp, down his neck, and
along his arm, tracing the line of muscle. "You have always reminded me of a
panther. A sleek black panther. All dark fur, and feline grace, dangerous
claws sheathed in velvet" His finger ended up on Skinner's hand, and he
pulled it up to his mouth, and sucked Skinner's fingers into his mouth, then
let him go again. "Prowling, poised - ready to pounce. It's ironic isn't it,
that the rat has the cat in a trap?" He laughed out loud, and Skinner closed
his eyes, and laid his head back against the wall, sickened. "Come, my caged
panther. I have you leashed." Krycek placed his hands under the waistband of
Skinner's shorts, and allowed his fingers to caress the other man's naked
body, sliding his paws over taut, tense buttocks. Skinner's self control
snapped, and he reached out with a growl, buried his fingers in Krycek's
hair, and forced him to the ground.

"Then hold onto the leash tightly." Skinner hissed, bending over the
kneeling man. "Because if you let it go - I'll strike."

"Strike, Master." Krycek grinned holding out the two cuffs, as an offering.
"I'm yours. Hit me, hurt me." His eyes glowed green with need, and the
half-light caught the moistened flesh of his lips. Skinner closed his eyes,
trying to find some place he could go to in his head to make sense of this.

"Just think of me as a gift." Krycek purred. "Offered up to you on a plate.
So now you can do everything you've ever wanted to do to me. Visit your
anger upon my naked flesh, Master. Hurt me. Leave thought behind, and become
instinct, my enemy. Give into it. You know you want to."

The night was dark, and there was no sound in the room as Skinner loosened
his hold on sleek black hair, accepted the cuffs, and fastened them tight
around his enemy's wrists. He loomed over his captive, his captor, the
outline of his broad, solid cock clear inside his shorts. Krycek let out the
smallest of whimpers, and pressed his head in close, mouth open, and found
his way blocked, and a finger placed across his lips.

"I'll say what. And when. Boy."

Krycek blinked, and his entire body trembled with excitement under Skinner's
fingertip. "Yes, Master."

"Undress." Skinner snapped.

Krycek nodded, and undid his black jeans, eased them down his thighs, and
kicked them away. He wasn't wearing any underwear. Skinner stood back, arms
crossed over his chest, wordless and expressionless, save for one raised
eyebrow. With a sigh, Krycek shrugged off his black leather jacket, and then
stood expectantly. Skinner motioned with his head, an almost imperceptible
movement, to the other man's white tee shirt.

"This?" Krycek gestured, plucking it between forefinger and thumb.

"Yes. Or don't you want me to see this." Skinner traced a hand over the
prosthetic, but Krycek just laughed.

"I don't care what you see. I'm yours, Master. If it pleases you to see my
scars, then go ahead." He tugged the tee shirt over his head, and stood
naked before his master, before his slave.

"Move into the light. Where I can see you." Skinner knocked the leather case
to the floor and sat down in his armchair, in the shadows, watching as
Krycek stepped forward, his naked body catching the lamplight.

The other man's flesh seemed dappled, pale and strong, the hard muscles
rippling under the skin, and Skinner took a sharp intake of breath, finding
some nugget of arousal tugging at him, deep inside. Men's bodies had rarely
aroused him before, but then he had never had one offered up to him like
this before, with its owner in cuffs, awaiting his next instruction. Could
this be a secret desire he had hidden so deep in the darkest recesses of his
heart that he had barely been aware of it before? Skinner flinched, facing
Krycek, facing himself. Just put on a showto save your life but what if,
in pretence, he discovered some part of himself that he feared, and had
always fought to control?

The cat took his time, seated in the shadows, psyching himself up for the
part he would play in order to save his own life. He surveyed the rat, eyes
lingering over a lean muscled stomach, and a solid chest. He glanced down at
the slightly curved cock, swinging in its dark nest of wiry curls. Krycek
shifted impatiently, annoyed by the scrutiny, clearly craving action.

"Am I keeping you waiting, boy?" Skinner growled, and Krycek twisted his
mouth, and shook his head.

"No, sir." He said, his tone half an inflection away from insolence.

"Good. Come here."

Skinner leaned forward, and watched as the other man knelt before him. He
noted the way Krycek's head nuzzled against his knee, and reached out a hand
to brush one dark curl of hair away from his slave's face. His fingers
fondled the bare flesh of Krycek's naked shoulder, and then dropped down to
linger on the prosthetic arm.

"You'll have to lose this. I want the real you, without artifice." Skinner
ordered, not sure why, just that he did.

Krycek raised his head, and looked with cold eyes into Skinner's face. "No."
He stated firmly.

"Yes." Skinner replied implacably.

There was silence for a long moment, then Krycek got up.

"My arm is part of me. It stays," he said. "Without it I'm"

"Vulnerable?" Skinner got up, circled him. "I thought that was what you
wanted, Alex."

"Don't call me that." Krycek's flashed an angry green.

"I will, if I want. Isn't that what you're really asking for?"

"Don't push me on this, Skinner!" Kryeck snapped. "You're here to do what I
want."

"And you want me to be in charge." Skinner said mildly, stopping in front of
the other man. "You can call this off, Alex, it's your game, but I have to
play it as well as I can. My life is at stake after all. You have nothing at
stake - so how can you get the thrill if you don't let me off the leash?"

"And if I let you off the leash, you'll strike. Isn't that what you said?"
Krycek hissed.

"Don't you want me to strike?" Skinner asked, raising a quizzical eyebrow.
"Forgive me, I thought that was why you were here."

Krycek glared at him, and they stood, unmoving, pale flesh and tan flesh,
facing each other, both caught in the shadows.

"Come on, boy." Skinner moved in close, angled his head, felt a strange fire
surge through his veins. "Leave thought behind and become instinct, my
enemy. Give into it." He repeated Krycek's words back to him, and watched
the thin sheen of sweat break out on the other man's body. "How can I give
you what you want, if you won't give it up?" Skinner murmured into Krycek's
ear.

"I can't." Krycek looked up at him, green eyes almost moist. "I never can."
His head hung limply. "I glimpse it," he said desperately to Skinner. "I see
what I want, but I can't give myself to it. I don't trust. It isn't in my
nature."

"But you can trust me. You've given me no choice but to be trustworthy.
Yes?" Skinner's tone was soft, almost kind, like a caress. His fingers dug
into Krycek's shoulder, eliciting a wince from the other man.

"Subdue me then. Make me yours, but I won't be willing flesh - I enjoy the
battle too much." Krycek's eyes were a challenge. Skinner's fingers dug into
his other shoulder now, and he was forced back down onto the floor, one
reluctant knee bending, and then the other, until he was humbled once more
before his master.

"I can't tell you that you can trust me not to hurt you, because I will."
Skinner lifted Krycek's chin, and looked into those stubborn eyes. "I'll
hurt you badly, I'll hurt you until you scream and beg, and then I'll hurt
you some more. I'll make you mine, boy. You'll be mine, body and soul, until
your screams merge with your worst nightmares, and you lose yourself in my
power. And when you finish screaming, I'll still be here. There is no
escape. There's only me."

Krycek trembled, and Skinner felt a heady sensation of power running through
him. He was clearly doing something right, and it felt good. It felttoo
good.

"Now" Skinner bent his head back down to Krycek's ear. "Take off the arm,
and let me see you naked. Really naked, Alex."

Krycek licked his lips nervously, then nodded, unable to meet Skinner's
eyes. He undid the prosthetic, and threw it down on the floor. He didn't
look up, as Skinner traced a finger over his stump.

"Do you think it makes you ugly, boy?" Skinner asked.

"I wouldn't care if it did. I can buy what I need, or just take it." Krycek
snapped.

Skinner slapped him hard across the face. "Watch your tone, and lose the
attitude, Alex," he warned.

Krycek licked the blood away from his torn lip and nodded, sullen.

"I know about boys like you." Skinner's hand kneaded into Krycek's neck.
"Always pushing, always insolent, goading. Disobeying orders, challenging,
forcing me to get rough."

"Oh yeah." Krycek's head snapped up, a laugh in his eyes. "I'll be him if
you want, Master," he said. "For just the next few hours I'll be him, and
you can do what you've always wanted to do to him. Just imagine I'm
himPlease" He rubbed his face against the side of Skinner's leg. Skinner
stood still, fists clenched. He was frozen for so long, that Krycek finally
looked up - and saw the shock on the big man's face.

"Oh, you didn't know? You didn't know what you want in your heart?" Krycek
laughed. "I know. I've always known. You want him as much as I want you. It
hurts, doesn't it?"

"Don't make me see this, don't make me be this" Skinner turned away
abruptly, but Krycek was there, naked, willing, insinuating his sensuous
flesh against Skinner's body.

"We can both have what we want - don't you see?" Krycek purred, nuzzling at
Skinner's neck. Skinner's muscles were corded with tension. Krycek plucked
the whip from the nightstand, and knelt again at Skinner's feet, offering
him the whip, naked save for the leather cuff around one wrist. "I'm yours,
Master. Use me." He implored.

Something inside Skinner snapped, and he found himself taking the whip,
moving fast, in a frenzy of activity. He picked Krycek up and hauled him
over to the bed, pushed him so that he was lying face down, consumed by the
desire to hurt.

"I'm not going to tie you, boy." Skinner snarled. "I'm going to whip you,
and you're going to take it, without moving."

"Yes, Master." Krycek's words were muted, buried in the pillow.

Skinner raised the whip and brought it down with a hiss on the other man's
naked flesh. It left a livid red weal, and made his captive gasp. "Did it
hurt?" Skinner leaned forward, grabbed a handful of dark hair, and looked
into pain-filled green eyes.

"Yes, Master." Krycek panted.

"Good." Skinner dropped him, and ran the whip lovingly over the younger
man's lean, solid flesh. He trailed the whip over his buttocks, watching
Krycek flinch as it touched the sore welt on his ass. The next blow snapped
down without warning, warming the flesh, stroking it, and painting another
deep red welt onto the pale skin. Krycek gasped again, and Skinner smiled,
enjoying the flawed beauty of the body writhing beneath his whip. He swung
the whip again, and again, and Krycek's gasps turned into low moans of pain,
his body convulsing with each burning caress.

"Be still." Skinner thundered, one flat hand descending on Krycek's head,
pressing him down into the pillow. Now the whip swirled its lightning flash
over the younger man's back, lashing across his shoulders. Krycek screamed,
his cries reverberating around the room.

"Please, stoppleasestop" he panted. Skinner paused, searching his mind
for knowledge of these rituals. He recalled something about safe words, and
negotiations, and dismissed them with a snort. Their only negotiation had
been the threat of death this man held over his head. He redoubled his
efforts, snapping the whip back again and again, seeking his vengeance, and
visiting every last ounce of his frustrated hatred onto that willing body,
until Krycek's voice had dissipated into a series of incoherent moans. Only
then did Skinner stop, surveying his captive with a dispassionate eye.

"Get up, boy, and serve me." He commanded, throwing the whip down, and
seating himself in armchair once more. Krycek eased himself gingerly off the
bed, walked unsteadily over to the chair, and knelt at Skinner's feet. He
reached forward, and tugged Skinner's shorts down, then grinned in triumph
as the hard, eager cock rose up in front of them both. Skinner growled in
anger, his own words reverberating in his head I'm hardly likely to get
aroused by whipping the shit out of you. Damn, the ratbastard for being
right, for knowing him better than he knew himself.

"I see Master took some pleasure in his slave's distress." Krycek purred in
a goading tone.

"Shut up." Skinner backhanded the other man hard across the jaw, then
grabbed hold of Krycek's face, pushed him down roughly towards his cockand
hesitated.

Krycek's eyes were still swimming from his recent ordeal, the salt water
dissolving the green into a hazy, red-rimmed aqua. His lips were swollen,
and his face was streaked with tear-stains. Skinner sighed, and shook his
head, gentle fingers wiping the tears away. Krycek froze beneath his hands.

"Don't be fucking kind to me" He growled.

"Poor boy." Skinner placed tender lips against Krycek's forehead. "Why do
you need to torture yourself like this? How many things do you need to be
punished for?"

"Fuck off." Krycek pulled back, but Skinner was too strong for him, and the
other man held his shoulders tight, keeping him crushed against his big
chest.

"Poor, sweet, slave boy." Skinner murmured, lips nuzzling Krycek's swollen
mouth, stealing a kiss. "Where does it take you? What do you find under the
lash?"

"This isn't what I want." Krycek struggled to be free. "Have you forgotten
what I'll do to you if you don't get this right, Skinner?"

"Master." Skinner corrected mildly. He placed his lips against Krycek's
again, and plundered deep inside, tongue finding tongue, pushing in. He held
the other man's body down while he explored his mouth, forcing his reluctant
companion into the embrace. Finally Krycek's body relaxed, and he opened up,
returning the kiss vigorously, pressing his lithe body against the wiry
curls on Skinner's chest. "You're mine, remember," Skinner murmured, when he
released his slave.

"Yes, Master." Krycek replied meekly.

"Suck me." Skinner sat back in the chair, and waited.

"Make me. I like to be forced." Krycek demanded.

"Suck me." Skinner leaned forward, and brushed the damp, sweaty hair out of
Krycek's eyes.

"I saidmake me." Krycek challenged. Skinner held him close, ran light
fingers down Krycek's back, caressed his welts, explored each one with
blunt, cruelly probing fingertips. Krycek yelped and tried to draw back -
only to find, once again, that Skinner was too strong for him, and he was
held fast. "ThathurtsMaster" Krycek panted.

Skinner wrapped a big paw in the younger man's thick, dark hair, and licked
a line of sweat from his exposed throat, ending up at his ear.

"Good," he whispered. "I enjoy hurting you. Now I won't say it again - suck
me." The fingers of his other hand dug savagely into the welts on Krycek's
buttocks, and Krycek melted into him with a low moan, lowered his head, and
took Skinner's cock into his mouth.

The big man was surprised by how quickly his cock swelled in that willing,
moist embrace. Krycek gave head like the expert he undoubtedly was, licking
the base of Skinner's cock, sliding his tongue along the shaft, then
flicking at the crown, before swallowing the thick penis whole, straight
down his talented throat.

"Shit!" Skinner's hands dug deep into Krycek's welted shoulders in shock,
then recovered, relaxing into the pleasurable sensation. He wrapped his big
thighs around the kneeling man, and pulled him in even closer, keeping him a
captive there, one hand still holding that bountiful dark hair tightly
within a bunched fist.

The younger man brought Skinner to the edge of climax, then settled back on
his heels, with a look of triumph in his eyes.

"I wouldn't want Master to come before he's fucked me," he said with that
twisted smile. Skinner's fists clenched, but he ignored the veiled order,
and got up, his erection bobbing in front of him. "There's other toys we can
play with," Krycek smirked with glee at how easily Skinner's arousal had
been accomplished. "I brought other stuff. Look." He retrieved the case from
the floor and pulled out some items. "Ball gag, nipple clamps, cock rings"
He held them up. Skinner ignored the proffered gifts, his eyes fixed on
Krycek's naked body as if surveying a tasty meal.

"I don't need them." He snapped.

"But" Krycek's eyes narrowed. "I enjoy playing with them."

"I said, I don't need them." Skinner repeated. He sat down on the edge of
the bed, and beckoned. Krycek considered the unspoken command for a moment,
then crawled over sullenly, and knelt between his knees again.

"Why would I need clamps when I have my mouth?" Skinner asked, and he bent
his head, and took one of Krycek's nipples between his lips, while his hand
played with the other. Krycek gasped as Skinner's teeth closed around the
sensitive nub of flesh and nibbled - then bit down hard.

"Shitplease" Krycek pushed back, struggling to free himself, but Skinner
had him trapped again, those solid thighs encasing his flesh. "Please" He
pushed with his arm, only to find it captured in one of Skinner's paws, and
levered up behind his back. Skinner's mouth moved to Krycek's other nipple
and he bit again, harder than before, making the younger man squirm
frantically in his grasp. "Hurts?" Skinner drew back, looking into those
green eyes, swallowed up by Krycek's need.

"Yes. Hurts." Krycek panted.

"Good." Skinner ducked his head down and bit again, savagely, ignoring
Krycek's moan of pain that turned into a shrill shriek of agony as Skinner's
teeth plucked the nipple and pulled it away from his body, then snapped
tighter. The fingers of his hand meanwhile pinched Krycek's other nipple
hard, between thumb and forefinger. Krycek opened his mouth and roared,
bucking against Skinner's thighs. Finally Skinner released him, and looked
down on the other man with a grin of pure malice.

"Why would I need a gag when I enjoy hearing these pretty lips scream so
much?" He asked, tracing a finger over the swollen lips.

Krycek rested his head on Skinner's knee, still panting, but his eyes glowed
as Skinner spoke those words, and he nuzzled against his master, and licked
at his flesh, trying to capture that large cock in his mouth again. Skinner
stopped him. "What do you like, boy?" He asked.

"I like to be tied." Krycek replied.

"And why would I tie you when I enjoy watching you writhe?" Skinner told him
urbanely. "Lie on the bed. I enjoyed biting you, boy. I want to do it
again."

Krycek struggled against invisible bonds, fought against the subtly
disturbing skill of the man he held at his mercy, then gave in, and nodded,
the tears still flowing freely from his eyes. "I'm yours, Master. You can do
what you like with me," he whispered.

"I know." Skinner smiled, took hold of Krycek's face between his hands, and
kissed the other man's forehead. Krycek stiffened.

"Don't." He pushed back, but Skinner held him close. "I don't want to be
loved, or understood, orpitied." Krycek spat.

"I know." Skinner said again, brushing gentle fingers over the younger man's
tear-stained cheeks.

"I don't fucking need it." Krycek growled.

"Yes. I know." Skinner bent his head, and tenderly kissed Krycek's mouth.

"I fucking hate you." Krycek moaned, hanging limply in Skinner's grasp.

"I know. I hate you too." Skinner nipped a line of kisses along Krycek's
jaw, lovingly swept down to his wet eyelashes and kissed them dry, then
captured Krycek's waiting lips with his own. "Now go and lie down like I
told you to." Skinner pushed him towards the bed.

Krycek lay on his back, and watched as Skinner prowled towards him. The big
man's body was lean and muscled, with thick curls of hair on his chest. He
was so strong, and so completely masculine that Krycek groaned with need.
Skinner's cock was still hard, and Krycek longed to take it into his mouth
and suck. Instead he remained still as Skinner lowered himself down onto his
body, and pressed his mouth gently over one his tortured nipples. Krycek
stiffened, expecting pain, another bite, but Skinner just licked, warming
the flesh, and healing it beneath his tongue.

"Fuck you" Krycek pulled Skinner down, wanting to be abused, covered, and
possessed by someone bigger and stronger.

"Down. And don't move, or that whipping I gave you earlier will seem like a
walk in the park compared to what I do to you," Skinner warned. Krycek gave
into the thrill that command created in his gut, and settled back down.
Skinner's head dipped once more, and licked his other nipple, then moved to
his shoulder and bit gently, on to his arms, biting - little nipping bites
that didn't break the skin, that just hurt enough to make Krycek sob, but
not enough to make him scream. Frustrated, Krycek pulled at Skinner again.

"I meant it." Skinner told him, his dark eyes flashing a warning. "Now roll
over onto your front, and stay still."

Krycek did as he was told, tensing as he felt that hot mouth descend on his
body, nip his flesh, and then move elsewhere. Those cruel teeth dug a little
deeper now, stayed a little longer, and when he cried out, Skinner's big
hands held him down on the bed until the spasm of pain passed. Finally,
Skinner ended up at his buttocks, and trailed a line of kisses over them,
soft, sweet, and gentle. Krycek relaxed, giving himself up to the tender
caress, then screamed for an eternity as Skinner's teeth dug in hard, and
stayed there. He was still screaming minutes later, when Skinner released
him.

"Did that hurt?" Skinner wiped the damp hair from Krycek's sweaty forehead,
and smiled down into his pain filled eyes.

"Yes it fucking hurt." Krycek whimpered.

Skinner laughed like a vengeful god claiming a sacrifice. "Good."

He kissed Krycek's earlobe, and the younger man tensed, expecting another
bite, and being rewarded with a gentle sucking that sent shivers down his
spine. Skinner trailed his mouth along to Krycek's lips and kissed him
gently, opening his mouth. Krycek moaned, enjoying the feel of Skinner's big
body pressing on top of his, holding him down. Then, unexpectedly, Skinner's
teeth found his bottom lip, and he bit again. Krycek struggled to move,
gasped out his agony, but Skinner was too strong for him and held him pinned
beneath him. When Skinner finally released him, he could feel the blood
running down his chin.

"Come here." Skinner placed a hand on Krycek's neck and pulled him off the
bed. "I haven't finished with you yet, boy." He pushed Krycek onto his
knees, then sat down on the bed, picking up the whip. "I want you to jerk
yourself off." Skinner nodded at Krycek's stiff, neglected cock, and the
other man looked up in surprise. "Do it - and look at me the whole time.
Remember - I own you."

Krycek's eyes flashed angrily, spitting fire.

"Do it." Skinner flicked the whip negligently, and it burnt a searing line
across his body.

He wrapped his hand around his cock, every muscle in his body shouting his
outrage, fighting his bondage as much as he welcomed it. He slid his hand
along his hard penis, back and forth, then closed his eyes, remembering the
feel of Skinner flogging him, his hard body holding him down, his mouth
devouring him He gave a startled yelp as the whip flicked across his chest
breaking into his reverie.

"Keep your eyes open," Skinner said. "I told you to look at me, and I meant
it." The big man caressed the whip threateningly with his hands, and his
dark brown eyes never left Krycek's green ones as the younger man continued
to jerk off. Krycek moistened his lips with his tongue, putting on a
display, as he knelt there on the floor in the shadows, his hand moving fast
on his cock, his eyes locked in a bitter glare with the man seated on the
bed.

"Call my name." Skinner commanded, twining the whip in his hands as he
watched. "Call my name when you come."

"Damn you!" Krycek roared, his cock responding to Skinner's words even as
his mind screamed its defiance. He almost laughed at the irony of his
situation, needing Skinner to dominate him, hating himself for the need,
hating Skinner for being what he most wanted him to be - and for not being
what he could not dare ask for. "Damn you, Skinner!" he cried out - and he
came. His body convulsed as he came with Skinner's name on his lips. Krycek
sat back on his heels, feeling drained, savouring the raw sensation of
delicious pain that spread from a host of different wounds throughout his
entire body, caressing him, eating him up.

Skinner grinned, his limbs loose and relaxed, like a big cat. "Do you want
me to fuck you now?" He asked casually. "Is that what you want?" He got up
and went to crouch in front of the other man.

"No. I want you to rape me." Krycek growled. "Do it. Force me, take me"

Skinner shook his head. "Beg me." He whispered in Krycek's ear.

Krycek howled in anger. "No, fuck it. That isn't what I want. I want you to
force me, get hold of me, and take me, Skinner. Make me. I don't want a
choice. I don't want to choose"

"Beg me." Skinner said again.

"No." Krycek's green eyes were sullen.

Without warning he found himself on his front, his one arm clipped to the
headboard of the bed. The whip flashed down like a streak of pure molten
fire, burning into his flesh, and he screamed out loud in a long, keening
wail of pain.

"Does it hurt?" Skinner asked, bringing the whip back down over and over
again on the sore flesh.

"Yes, fuck you, yesit hurtsit hurts" Krycek gibbered, flailing around in
his bonds, his body writhing.

"Good. Now beg me to fuck you." Skinner said, raising the whip again.

Krycek steeled himself to refuse, tried to force himself to be quiet, but it
was no good. He would have agreed to anything as he descended into that
furnace of pain, consumed by the whip that flashed like lightning over his
flesh, covering his body with fine red welts. Between them, Skinner and the
whip took him so far into his own pain that he entered that other realm,
that realm he craved, and he opened his eyes dreamily, his pupils dilating
as the endorphins kicked in and transported him away on wave after wave of
almost orgasmic pleasure.

Skinner paused, glanced down at Krycek's tortured flesh, enjoying the way it
moved and writhed. Then he resumed his painful caress. He became one with
the whip, enjoyed its sibilant hiss as it arced through the air, and the
snap as it sliced through the younger man's flesh, leaving its livid
imprint, marking him, as if he were property. He felt some age-old instinct
rising in his blood, searing him with its heat, and claiming him as he
claimed the body of this beautiful, dangerous, damaged man on the bed
beneath him.

"Please" Krycek sobbed. "Please fuck me. Pleasefuck me. Fuck me, fuck me
now. Please" Skinner's arm slowed, and he grabbed Krycek by the neck, swung
him off the bed, and pushed him over to the case.

"Get me lube, and condoms," he snapped.

Krycek shook his head. "No lube," he whispered. "Make it rough. Hard. I
don't want lube."

"Don't be a fucking idiot." Skinner roared. "It could tear you up"

"I don't fucking care." Krycek yelled back.

"Well I do." Skinner rummaged in the case, one hand still on Krycek's neck,
found the condoms, then dug further, and found some lube.

"Damn you - do it my waydo it" Krycek's words were swallowed up as Skinner
threw him physically across the room, and thrust him down over the back of
the armchair, kicking his legs apart.

"Are you ready for this, boy?" Skinner hissed, leaning over him. "Are you
ready for me."

"Fuck me. Just do it." Krycek snarled, and Skinner slapped on a condom, and
slicked lubricant over his cock. He covered Krycek's body with his own,
prised his buttocks apart, and rubbed one rough finger up inside the other
man.

"No, your cock. Now - I want it now." Krycek demanded. "Use me, fuck me."

A heat rose inside Skinner, and he abandoned reason, wrenched Krycek's
buttocks open with his hand, and then thrust into him, burying himself deep
inside the slick heat of the other man's body in one fluid motion. He placed
his hands on Krycek's shoulders and levered himself in even further,
enjoying the little whimpering sounds his captive made as he was so brutally
impaled. Skinner thrust once, twice, then lowered his head to the back of
Krycek's neck and bit - hard. Krycek screamed, his body bucking under the
hard caress, but Skinner took his time, marking him with the bite, enjoying
the feel of Krycek's muscles clenching around his cock as the pain engulfed
his squirming prey.

Krycek sobbed, his breathing coming in frantic gasps. He felt owned, used,
overpowered. Skinner's big body was like a furnace, pressing down on top of
him, hot and heavy, and his thick, hard cock was buried deep inside him. He
gulped for air as Skinner withdrew, releasing his captive's neck, and
sliding his cock back out. Krycek braced himself, as Skinner clasped burly
arms around his chest, bending his crushed body even further forward over
the chair, and then the big man thrust back into him, harder than before,
his cock lancing deep inside Krycek's tortured flesh. Krycek screamed again,
no longer sure who or what he was, lost in the frenzy, in the blood rush, in
the raw, primal act of sex, and an age-old rite of submission. The older,
stronger male dominated the younger, weaker one: Skinner's fingers were on
his nipples, clamping down hard, pinching them in time to the thrusts of his
body as he visited every ounce of his rage on Krycek's body. Krycek felt the
pain of Skinner's hard cock tearing into him, crushing him beneath that
powerful, muscled body, possessing him as he'd never been possessed before,
and his mind flew, embracing the moment, and the pain, even as his body
cried out for respite.

"Is this what you wanted, boy?" Skinner demanded, his tone a low growl in
Krycek's ear, his body moving insistently in a vicious rhythm of conquest.

"YesMaster" Krycek panted, feeling the hard, upholstered edge of the chair
dig into his midriff.

"Does it hurt?" Skinner asked, thrusting back deep inside Krycek's waiting
body, and causing him to scream again. That big cock was too solid, too
real, forcing its way hungrily into his very soul, demanding his attention,
commanding his worship.

"YesMaster" Krycek repeated, holding onto the chair, his knees giving way.

"Good." Skinner thrust again, and again, picked up speed, his large body
covering the younger man, slamming into him repeatedly. He wrapped a hand in
Krycek's hair, pulled his head back so that his throat was exposed, and then
bit the side of Krycek's neck. Krycek gave a strangled gasp, and Skinner
thrust deep one more time, before coming.

Krycek passed out for a few seconds. When he came to, he was still lying
under Skinner's sated body, listening to the other man's laboured breathing,
and he could still feel his master's cock resting inside his body. They lay
there for an eternity, complicit in what they had shared, joined for a
moment in an exchange of power that had been raw, brutal, and exciting.

Then Skinner withdrew, and threw the condom down on the floor. He glanced
down at the body he had just pounded into, and shook his head, trying to
clear the frenzied thoughts, to purge the sensation of power he had just
enjoyed. It was addictive. Krycek was covered in welts, and bruises had
started to emerge alongside the livid weals on his pale flesh. Skinner
fought to feel his usual hatred and contempt for his old enemy, combined
with a healthy dose of a very real fear, but instead felt only pity.

"Alex." Skinner's hands caressed the other man's head, gently wiped a streak
of blood from his mouth. "Was that really what you wanted?" He asked, his
dark eyes struggling to understand. He crouched down beside his enemy, and
lovingly stroked his back, kissed his neck. Krycek lay helpless under this
tender assault, unable to move, his eyes registering his hatred of the act
of kindness, and the pity that lay behind it.

"Yeah. Oh yeahI wanted it." Krycek allowed Skinner to help him up, and
guide him to the bed, then he fell down, his body still quivering in the
aftermath of the ordeal he had stage-managed for himself.

Skinner sat, looked at the younger man's battered, bleeding body, and shook
his head. He lay down on the other side of the bed, feeling tired and
drained, and closed his eyes. A few seconds later, he felt a wet mouth
nuzzling at his cheek, and a bruised body made its way into his arms, taking
them, and wrapping them around tortured flesh, until he was holding his
enemy tight, in a loving embrace.

"Poor boy." Skinner murmured, brushing a kiss onto Krycek's damp forehead.
"Is it so hard to be what you are?"

Krycek closed his eyes to block out his own pathetic need, and angled his
face up, wanting, needing the kisses, and hating himself for it - hating his
old adversary even more. This wasn't what he wanted, wrapped up here, kept
safe in a pair of big, strong, loving arms. This wasn't itit wasn't The
tears fled silently down his face and he clung to his tormentor, buried his
head in the strong chest, and hung on to the solid flesh until the moment of
weakness passed, and he fell asleep.

Skinner watched over him for a long time, then relinquished his hold on
Krycek's body. He reached out a hand, gently touched it to the sleeping
man's dark hair, then got up and pulled a blanket over him, before leaving
the room and going to take a shower.

Skinner scrubbed himself for what seemed like hours, removing the raw stink
of sex that clung to him, permeating every pore in his body. He placed his
weary scalp against the tiled wall and wondered what had happened here
tonight. How darkness itself had seeped into his lair, and claimed him for
its own, taking and shaping him into some beast he couldn't begin to
understand, still less control. He remembered the feeling of that body
beneath him, of losing all sense of himself as he pounded into it, of
Krycek's sensuous limbs moving in time to the whip, and he turned the shower
to cold, dampening down his newly burgeoning erection.

Skinner returned to his bedroom, a towel wrapped around his waist, to find
the bed empty. He glanced around, and a figure emerged from the shadows,
collecting up items, and returning them to their case. Krycek was already
fully dressed, the clothes covering all the marks on his body, save for his
bitten, bloody lip, and a newly forming bruise on his jaw.

"How did I do?" Skinner asked. He leaned against the wall, and watched his
enemy scuttle back and forth in the shadows.

Krycek shrugged. "You don't get marks out of ten." He snapped.

"No, but do I get to stay alive?" Skinner demanded.

"For now." Krycek nodded.

"I have to give a repeat performance?"

Krycek straightened up, and held out his wrist so that Skinner could remove
the cuff.

"Would it seriously upset you if I said 'yes'?"

There was silence between them for a moment, then Skinner shrugged, and
removed the cuff.

"I thought not." Krycek smiled, his white teeth gleaming in the half-light.
He returned the cuff to the case and snapped it shut. Then he turned and
without warning clasped Skinner's jaw between his fingers, holding the other
man's face tight in a savage, iron grip. "Just remember this - I own you."

"How could I forget?" Skinner replied with a mocking incline of his head.

"You forgot - for a while. See - I told you I'd show you something about
yourself."

"And I showed you." Skinner murmured softly.

"You showed me nothing." Krycek snarled angrily. "You gave me what I wanted,
what I made you give me. That's all."

"Is it?"

"Yes." Krycek grabbed his leather jacket, and pulled it over his prosthetic
arm before shouldering the rest of his body into it.

"I don't think so." Skinner stepped in close, too close, his body trapping
Krycek against the wall. "I think" Skinner murmured, "that inside you're
just a little boy, Alex. A little boy who wants to feel safe, and you hate
that weakness don't you? You hate it enough to want to punish yourself for
it - or to find someone else to do the punishing for you. You want to force
your weakness out - as brutally as possible, but it never works. It always
comes back." Krycek's face was expressionless, and he made no answer. "So
you devise your little traps," Skinner continued, "trying to get what you
need, without risking yourself, and in the process not getting what you
truly want."

"And that is?" Krycek raised an eyebrow.

"To be loved." Skinner shrugged. "What else?" Krycek's green eyes flashed
angrily. "It's ironic isn't it? The rat gets caught in one of his own traps.
You'll never trust anyone enough to get what you need, so you'll never be
satisfied."

"And neither will you." Krycek stated with a sly grin. "And we both know
what, or should I say who that is." The color drained from Skinner's face,
as Krycek's barb hit home. "And while we're on the subject of animal alter
egos," Krycek leaned close, and Skinner could smell the stink of sex that
clung to him, "I think that tonight, for the first time, you freed that
beast you've always kept hidden before."

"Maybe." Skinner's dark eyes glowed with a bitter self-knowledge.

"And, what's more, you liked it." Krycek's sensuous lips were mocking.

"Yes." It was a simple statement of truth.

"I took you there, I showed you what you are." Krycek taunted.

"We could both be more than this. We each have something to offer that the
other one needs." Skinner said, his dark eyes intense.

"You don't seriously think me redeemable?" Krycek laughed. "Do you honestly
imagine that you can drag me into the light?"

"No." Skinner shrugged. "But you won't drag me into the dark either."

"Well then, we'll both have to exist in the shadows won't we?" Krycek
grinned malevolently, and picked up his case. "Next time, I want to be
whipped for longer," he told the other man.

Skinner shook his head. "I didn't go easy on you. You're covered in welts.
You'll sure as hell feel it tomorrow, when the rush fades."

"I can take more. I want more." Krycek insisted. "And you'll give it to me."

"All right." Skinner shrugged. "Whatever you say. You're in charge."

Krycek smiled, and patted Skinner's cheek. "That's right. I am. Remember
that."

"And remember that if you set me free, for even one second, I'll turn on
you, and kill you with my bare hands." Skinner murmured. Krycek nodded,
grimly. He dropped a hard kiss on Skinner's mouth, and the big man tasted
the blood from his split lip. He watched dispassionately as Krycek exited
his apartment, and then he wandered over to the window, and glanced out:
Daybreak. Rats everywhere were slipping back to their sewers.

Skinner stood at his window, and watched his savagely mauled prey disappear
into the shadows far below. He absently fingered the invisible leash around
his neck, and then, with a brief, low growl of defiance, he prowled back
into the shadows of his cage.

THE END

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