by Cody Nelson <>


Mulder made his way slowly down the stairs in the dark, feeling his
way carefully over the creaking boards, left hand on the wall, not
trusting the rickety bannister on the other side. Krycek was right behind
him, hand resting on Mulder's right shoulder, warm breath on the back of
Mulder's neck.

He paused for a moment, the board of the step below wobbling
uncomfortably under his outstretched foot. Caught unaware, Krycek
continued down, his knee clipping Mulder in the back of the thigh, and
very nearly pitching them both forward into the blackness. But Krycek
shifted back at once, planting himself solidly on the step, firm hand on
Mulder's shoulder holding him upright.

"Jeez, Krycek," Mulder whispered harshly. "Watch it, will you?"

Krycek's giggle was moist in his ear. "Sorry. Everything okay?"

"Next step's a little wobbly. I think it's okay, though." He reached
up to grasp the hand on his shoulder. "Hang on while I check it out."

"Sure thing. --Are you sure there's a light at the bottom of the
steps? Should have brought your super-G Man flashlight."

"Didn't think I'd need it, just to go down to the basement of my own
building. But yeah, there's another light down here."

"If it's not burned out, too."

"If it is, we'll just go back up and get the flashlight. Or, hell,
call the super and tell him to fix the lights in the basement--we're not
going to be able to carry boxes up the stairs in the dark, anyway."

"All right, lead on."


So they continued, step by careful step, Mulder now gripping Krycek's
hand over his shoulder, and telling himself that the sudden spark of
awareness in his body was nervousness over the rickety stairs, not
excitement over the hot presence behind him. There would be time for games
with Krycek later. Right now, he just wanted to get his files back
upstairs. And Krycek might as well make himself useful, for a change.

He came up short at the bottom of the stairs, shocked when his foot
suddenly met the floor, and Krycek was once again caught by surprise, and
found himself plastered against Mulder's back. And in no hurry to back
off. The prosthetic arm came around to grip Mulder's ribcage, while his
other hand still held Mulder's, and his hard crotch ground into Mulder's

Heat streaked through Mulder's cock, filling his groin, shivering
through his arms and legs, making his knees turn watery. He sucked in a
deep breath and leaned back, closing his eyes. He pulled Krycek's hand
around to his mouth and pressed his lips hard into the palm. Then he
laughed, a little breathlessly. "Get off, damn it. We've got work to do."

"Mm," Krycek moaned into his ear, then kissed his cheek wetly and
began to disentangle himself. "I don't know why we couldn't have fucked
first, and carried boxes after."

"Because," Mulder said firmly, stepping away and turning around, "if
we started fucking, there wouldn't =be= any after." He felt along the
wall, finally finding the light switch and flipping it on, only to find
the sight of Krycek's huge, thick-lashed eyes and full, soft mouth only
inches from his own sending another bright flick of need through his cock
and balls. "Believe me," he said, his voice gone soft and achy, "I'll make
it worth your while."

"Oh, Mulder." Krycek grinned and shook his head. Then he stepped back
and gave himself a shake. "I think I'll hold you to that. Now, where are
these damned boxes?"

Mulder turned, indicating the tall pile of cardboard file storage
boxes lined up against the side wall.

Krycek swore softly. "Jesus, Mulder, I thought you said a =few=
boxes. Where do you think we're going to put all those?"

"In the bedroom. That's where they were before."

"But Mulder--there wasn't all that furniture in the bedroom before.
They'll never fit."

Mulder stared at the pile of boxes. "Sure they will. We'll just have
to stack them up against the wall."

"Mulder. Be serious. If you want the boxes upstairs, you're going to
have to get rid of the waterbed first." His mouth curled into a barely
suppressed grin.

"Shut up. I still think it was you who did that stealth redecorating
in my apartment while I was gone, anyway."

"Christ, Mulder, give me a little credit for taste. If I were going
to sneak a load of furniture into your bedroom, it wouldn't be some
schlocky retro-disco lounge lizard's gear. Besides, you know that waterbed
makes me seasick."

"Yeah, you probably would have done it all in black leather and
chrome, with a rack instead of a bed."

Krycek just grinned at him. "And you know damn well, =I= wouldn't
have carried all this junk down here."

"Yeah, well, there is that." Mulder sighed. "You're right, there's no
room for it all." Well, it had seemed like a good idea at the time. Damn
it, he wanted his files back! And when Krycek had turned up, it had seemed
like an ideal opportunity to get some help carrying them all back up to his
apartment. He just hadn't thought it all through, which unfortunately
seemed to be a common occurrence when Krycek was around.

"We could take some of them. Or line some of them up against the wall
in the living room, or something." Krycek was at his side now, head lowered
so that he was looking up at Mulder through those ridiculously long
eyelashes, the very picture of unsullied innocence, fresh-faced and eager
to please. It was a gorgeous picture, no doubt about that, and Mulder
couldn't help responding to it, but as always, there was a little spike of
anger beneath the lust. Idly, he wondered whether the anger would ever
really go away. He wondered whether he even really wanted it to.

"No, forget it. It was a bad idea."

Krycek shrugged and wandered away, to begin poking through the other
boxes, old suitcases, cabinets, and abandoned equipment that littered the
basement, while Mulder stood staring longingly at his files. Then he heard
Krycek sneeze--and turned to find that he was nowhere in sight. "Krycek?"

"Back here," came the voice, from behind a row of cabinets. "Hey,
Mulder--there's a goddamn ping pong table in here!"

Half smiling, Mulder went to find him--and sure enough, back in an
old forgotten corner of the basement, a dusty ping pong table stood.
Krycek had found a paddle, and experimentally slapped it against his
thigh. The loud =thwack= of rubber-covered wood on denim-covered flesh
resounded through the air.

Mulder caught his breath. Damn it, it wasn't fair of the man to be so
incredibly, unselfconsciously sexy. "How is it?" he asked, mentally cursing
the wobble in his voice.

Krycek grinned and tossed the paddle to him. "Not bad. Try it." Then
he was digging in a box under the table, coming up with another paddle,
and then a couple of ping pong balls. "Hey, Mulder, how about a game?"

Mulder could only stand there, shaking his head. Ping pong? In the
middle of the night, in the basement, with Alex Krycek?

Well, hell, why not? That was what the relationship with Krycek was
all about, wasn't it? A truce between himself and all the stresses and
horrors of his life? A time to relax, to forget everything else, to do
things that had no rhyme or reason in the light of day? Not that he would
ever have thought that =ping pong= might be one of those things--and that
was all the more reason to go ahead and do it.

"Sure." And while they were at it, throw caution entirely to the
winds.... "How about a little bet? Just to make things more interesting?"

Krycek's tongue flicked out to lick his lips. "What did you have in
mind?" His voice smoked. Mulder remembered the smack of the paddle on
Krycek's sturdy thigh.

Mulder lifted the paddle, spun it in his hand. "Winner paddles the

Krycek's eyes went dark. His chest rose sharply, and fell. "You
hustling me, Mulder?"

Mulder laughed. "I haven't played ping pong since I was twelve.
Anyway," he felt his face go red, "I have a feeling losing might be just
as good as winning."

Krycek grinned. "There is that. Okay, you're on. Flip for serve?"


Mulder wondered briefly whether he might turn out to be the one being
hustled. But as soon as they began to play, that fear was laid to
rest--neither one of them was particularly good at the game. Krycek held
the edge in the rally, but the prosthetic arm hampered his serve. They
were more or less evenly matched--or would have been, except that the
closer they got to twenty-one, the louder the crack of the paddle on the
ball sounded in Mulder's ears, the more vividly the image of paddle
cracking against flesh glowed in his mind, and he carelessly bobbled two
easy returns, and suddenly the game was lost, and Krycek was standing at
the other end of the table smiling silkily across at him, slapping the
paddle against the palm of his hand. "Game," Krycek said softly, a voice
that was velvet over sharp edges. "Time to pay up."

Mulder laid his paddle on the table. His throat had gone dry. "I...
where... where should we... ?"

Krycek came around the side of the table and walked up to Mulder,
slow, sinuous steps, the paddle held at his breast with both hands like an
offering, eyes wide and impossibly innocent. "I think right here would be
just fine." He reached out his prosthetic arm, and brushed Mulder's paddle
away towards the center of the table. "You know what to do, don't you?"

Swallowing hard, Mulder just managed to nod. Too embarrassed to wait
for Krycek to put him in position, he leaned over the table, arms spread
wide to grip at the sides. The edge of the table hit him just under his
hip bones, and was of a height that he had to spread his legs to stand
steady. The rough surface of the table rubbed at his face as he lay on the
table, and at his chest through the thin cotton of his tee shirt. He felt
the sweat trickle down beneath his armpits, and he knew it was not from
the exertion of the game.

"Mulder." Krycek's voice was gentle, indulgent, but there was an
undercurrent of cold steel. Mulder stiffened, overwhelmed by the heat in
his face, in his groin, trickling up his spine, alternating in his limbs
with icicle shivers.

"What?" Mulder could feel his throat pressing against the table as he

"You've made a mistake. What is it?"

More heat. Mulder's jeans felt suddenly many sizes too small in the
crotch. His fingers clutched desperately at the edges of the table. And
this had been his idea? God, he'd had no idea, he'd thought it would just
be a silly game, like all the others, but not like this, like... whatever
it was this was.... And he was horribly sure he knew what his mistake was,
but there was no way in hell he could make himself say it. "I don't know."

"Mulder. Get up."

He forced himself to let go of the table, to push himself to his
feet. His lungs gasped for air.

Krycek's cold grin softened suddenly, relieving the tension that had
been growing unbearable. "Mulder," he said good-naturedly, "Don't tell me
that, if I'd lost, you would have been content to paddle me through my

Mulder found himself able to manage a small smile. "No, I don't
suppose I would have."

"Well, then."

Mulder nodded shortly, reaching resolutely for the buttons of his
jeans. But then he stopped, turning to look uneasily toward the stairway.
"Krycek... what if someone comes down here? I mean, I know my neighbors
already think I'm pretty weird, but...."

Krycek just shook his head. "You're stalling, Mulder. Nobody's going
to come down here, and you know it. It's nearly three in the morning, and
besides, it looks like no one's been down here in years. Now, are you
going to take what's coming to you or not?"

It was crazy. It was ridiculous. And, despite the fact that Krycek
was right and the chances of anyone coming down to the basement at this
time of night were slim and none, it was still a risk. Which was probably
at least part of the reason Mulder's cock was throbbing so hard it was
making him dizzy. And god, he wanted it. He wanted it so badly it scared
him shitless. It had been his idea, but he'd had no idea how badly he
really wanted it. Or how damned good Krycek would be at giving it to him.
"Krycek, I... if it gets to be too much... ?"

Krycek shifted the paddle into his prosthetic hand, and reached out
to stroke Mulder's cheek. "As soon as it stops being fun, we stop. I
promise. Do you want a safe word?"

"A safe word?" Somehow, the thought of needing a special word to make
things stop just scared him more. "How about, you know, 'Stop'?"

Krycek chuckled. "Fair enough. Now, are you ready?"

As ready as he'd ever be. Mulder nodded. He unbuttoned his jeans with
hands that were only slightly shaky, and pushed them down, along with his
briefs, over his butt to his thighs. Then he leaned over the table, once
again lying flat on his chest, arms reaching out to grip the sides, legs
spread wide. His naked buttocks felt shamefully exposed, sticking out over
the end of the table, while his face and chest pressed into the table's
rough surface.

Krycek's hand rested on Mulder's shoulder. "All right. I was going to
give you twenty-one swats--one for each point in the game--but since you
misbehaved, I'm going to punish you and add five more swats. Twenty-six
altogether. I'm not fooling around, Mulder--I'm going to hit you hard, and
I want you to hold still and take it as best you can. If you need to ask me
to slow down or ease up, you may, but I want you to try not to do it unless
you really need to. Okay?"

Mulder nodded, feeling the table's surface rub against his cheek. His
cock and balls hung heavily in the air between his legs. He felt horribly
naked, even with his tee shirt and jeans on, more naked than he'd ever
felt, bent over this table with his pants down, waiting to have his bare
butt paddled, like a naughty little boy.

"Say it out loud," Krycek instructed.

He had to swallow twice before he could get his throat to work.

"Good." Krycek lifted his hand from Mulder's shoulder and moved down
to the end of the table. Mulder stiffened, steeling himself against the
expected blows--but the first thing he felt was paddle placed gently on
one buttock, and then the other, then stroking him in easy circles,
beginning over his anus and slowly widening to cover his entire bottom.
The surface of the paddle was rough and scratchy, and it felt =good=,
rubbing his butt, like a loofah sponge or something, and it was still
embarrassing to be laid out like this, but pleasant, almost soothing.

"Just getting you warmed up," Krycek murmured softly. Then he lifted
the paddle and tapped it against Mulder's butt, just the barest suggestion
of a slap, and continued in that way, covering Mulder's bottom with light,
prickly little taps, warm and teasing, still far too gentle to be anything
that could be called pain. Mulder shifted a little under the soft rain of
blows, sighing, almost moaning, relaxing into it. Whatever else happened,
this was delicious, unequivocally enjoyable.

"All right," Krycek's voice was still soft, gentle, "I'm going to
start out easy with the first five swats, and work up to it slowly." Then
the paddle lifted, and struck sharply, and Mulder jumped--but only because
the stinging blow felt so good, and filled his already-throbbing cock with
even more heat. Then the second blow fell, just a little harder, and
Mulder felt himself laughing softly with the pleasure of it, and drawing
in his legs to lift his butt higher, to reach into it. The third, fourth,
and fifth swats were likewise dizzily sweet, hot and good on his ass.

"Harder now," Krycek said. "But not too hard." The sixth swat came
down with more force, making him jump again, and whimper. Pain was mixed
with the pleasure now, and his fingers tightened on the edges of the
table, and his breath came in short gasps. Twenty more to go, and it would
get worse; tingles of fear trickled through him. Seven, eight, nine, and
ten came in rapid succession, each blow a little harder than the last,
each one eliciting a small whimper, and a jump, making his cock and balls
bob between his legs, swollen like ripe fruit hanging from a tree.

Then there was a pause. He could hear Krycek's harsh breathing.
Mulder felt his buttocks inflame, felt them grow tender, felt the pain
intensify as he lay there. Sixteen still to go. He took deep breaths and
tried to prepare himself for the rest.

Krycek squeezed his shoulder, quickly--so quickly Mulder couldn't
tell if the hand was plastic or flesh. Then, Krycek's voice, cool and
smooth as flowing water: "It's time."

Mulder stopped counting somewhere after fifteen. The pain of the
paddle striking his sore buttocks was astonishing; and yet somehow it had
become wonderful, and so sweet he never wanted it to end. He didn't want
to know how many more swats he had to receive; he only wanted to float
within the sticky hot throbbing sensation for as long as it lasted.

The blows stopped. Mulder felt himself turn to jelly, fairly melting
onto the table. Was it over? He was almost sad, even though his buttocks
burned like liquid fire.

"That's twenty-one," Krycek said.

Mulder sucked in air. No, it wasn't over. He couldn't help the little
whimper that escaped his throat.

"I know," Krycek said calmly. "These last five are your punishment,
and they're going to be the hardest of all. I think you're ready for them
now. But before I give them to you, I want you to tell me why you're being

Mulder felt his guts twist with shame. Hot tears flooded his eyes.
The pain in his butt was suddenly shocking. He didn't think he could
speak. =Stop,= he thought. He could tell Krycek to stop, and it would be
all over. He didn't have to say the humiliating words.

Five more. The hardest blows of all. He could stop now... but then he
would never know where they would take him. He cleared his throat,
swallowed, and forced the words out between sobbing breaths. "Because... I
didn't... take... my pants down."

Krycek stroked his shoulder. "That's right, Mulder. That's right.
Now, tell me, why am I =really= punishing you?"

It hit him as suddenly as one of the blows. He almost laughed.
"Because--I want you to."

Krycek bent down and kissed Mulder's cheek. "Yes."


Krycek straightened up. "All right, this is going to be hard, but I
know you can do it. I want you to relax, Mulder, as best you can. Don't
hold your breath--remember to breathe, slow, deep breaths. Remember your
safe word?"

" 'Stop.' " Mulder said softly.

"Good. Don't be afraid to use it if you need to. Are you ready?"

"Yes. I'm ready."


One. The paddle came down so hard it drove Mulder's pelvis into the
edge of the table. The resounding =thwack= echoed in his ears. Tears
spilled unnoticed from his eyes.

Two. Slightly higher on his ass, where the padding was thinner, the
paddle slammed into him even more painfully. Mulder forced himself to
breathe, forced his shoulders to relax, and raised his butt proudly to
take his punishment.

Three. The paddle struck solidly on his right buttock. Mulder
squeezed his buttocks together, relaxed, felt the harsh pain of new blows
spreading through old, felt the impossible heat fill his body.

Four. A matching blow on his left buttock, raising even more heat,
more pain, more tears, more desperate whimpers.

Five. Low and centered, right on the sweet spot, and Mulder cried
out, as much with triumph as with pain.

Then Mulder collapsed, sobbing, his muscles all turned to jelly,
sinking into the glorious fire that was sizzling at all his nerve endings.
He was hardly even aware that he had begun to slide back off the table,
until he felt Krycek's arm under his, pulling him to his feet. So he fell
into Krycek's arms, kissing his soft mouth, laughing through the tears. He
held Krycek tightly, feeling the stiff bulge of Krycek's cock through the
denim of his jeans, grinding against his own still-hard cock, and it was
unimaginably good. "That was... really amazing."

"Mm. Glad you liked it." Krycek breathed into his ear. "I really want
to fuck you now."

That sounded like an absolutely wonderful idea. "Go ahead."

Krycek chuckled. "I don't suppose you've got lube and condoms on you,
do you?"

Oh well. "No. We'll have to go upstairs. I don't think I can walk."

"Well, there's no place to sit. Not that you want to sit down right
now. So you'll just have to hang onto me for a bit, till you get your legs

"Okay." Mulder felt quite thoroughly agreeable. Endorphins, he
thought. Kind of like after a really good, hard run. Only more so. Way
more so.

"Think we could sort of start to head for the stairs?"


They turned, and slowly, with Mulder still hanging onto Krycek's
shoulder, they began to walk towards the stairs. "I'm still going to make
you help me carry those boxes back upstairs. One of these days."

"No problem," Krycek grinned at him. "And we'll have to play ping
pong again, too."

"I'm going to practice," Mulder said. "Next time I'll beat you."

Krycek didn't seem the least bit worried.