Author's note: I once swore I'd never write Spenderfic, I believe. Then I saw AD Kersh, and knew that THAT was the depth to which I wouldn't sink, that "even Spender" was slashworthy, maybe. Then I saw "Two Fathers." I am now a K/Sp convert. And I thank Chris Carter (this may be the only time you hear that from ME) for giving me cause twice now to believe that Krycek could be a semi-good guy.

For Drovar, who deserves it. Thanks to Wicked Zoot for beta.

"Troubled the Land"
by MJ

"Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land; see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey." I Samuel 14:29

I shove the chair underneath the doorknob. I've already locked it and bolted it, but you can't be too careful these days. I checked for bugs and video feeds earlier.

All to keep my own people away from me. Just to get privacy for a couple of hours.

I was glad the bug sweep didn't turn anything up. I've normally been safe, but since the Brit died and I've been working for that old asshole Spender, I've realized that anything could happen. The Brit trusted me, and I respected him, but I'm now personal assistant, gofer, chauffeur, and trigger finger for the bastard of the century. I don't owe Spender shit. He's tried to kill me. But I've been in this shit up to my neck as long as I can remember; I don't know anything else to do. So I work for the smoker, I wear suits and sound like an authority until he tells me to shut the fuck up.

Jeff tells me that the bastard told him he's not the man Fox Mulder is. Well, he may be Mulder's natural father, but he's not the one who raised him, and for all of Bill Mulder's problems, Spender isn't half the man Bill Mulder was. Spender turned his own wife into a genetic experiment, blackmailed Bill Mulder into sacrificing one of his kids - hell, you want to know why Bill Mulder drank? You'd drink too if you'd spent your career doing what you thought was the right thing and got rewarded by being forced to sell one of your children into biomedical slavery. With a father like Spender and a mother who's been experimented into mania, you'd have problems too.

And trying to turn a guy who was a sensitive, bookish kid into a guy like me doesn't cut it. My father trained me to shoot. My mother taught me a few tricks I'm not going to mention. The Consortium gave me the rest. I was raised for this kind of work. Jeff was raised to get good grades, go to college, win a law school scholarship, and get a good job. He doesn't know the strings that were pulled to make his professors steer him towards Quantico. He still believes in free will. I only wish I could. His whole life's been one of two sets of manipulations - either by a whining, neurotic mother or by the man who made her that, deliberately.

I'd never liked Jeff. I'd only heard about him, seen him from a distance, but I saw and heard nerdy straight arrow. Not my type, or I didn't think so. Then the smoker sent me to take his kid to kill that fucking alien. He knew Jeff couldn't do it, knew Jeff didn't understand killing. Knew Jeff was soft, knew he was a mama's boy. I had to get my own spike, plug the damn thing myself. But then, Spender had never told Jeff about anything even close to the truth. Hid himself from his son until he thought it was expedient, then told him pretty, sugarcoated lies about how he could get his son ahead in the Bureau. Then wanted his son to be the Anti-Mulder. It doesn't work that way.

I'd loved Fox Mulder, missed my chance at him. I'd thought Jeff was a weak, squirming idiot. I didn't get to see what Jeff was about until the killing in Silver Spring. Jeff wasn't weak, but he didn't know that thing was an alien, couldn't find a reason to kill other than his father's unexplained orders. He could kill if he had to, I could see, but he wasn't an order-taking assassin. That's my department. His mother had taught him that life was worth something; my parents had taught me to measure life in what it was worth my while to take it. He was a little closer to Mulder's type than I thought. And - up close - he was pretty. Mulder was pretty, but so was Jeff, in a different kind of way.

And then, while we were watching the alien dissolve, I got to tell him the truth. Nothing that I could be called on the carpet for by the smoker, just a brief explanation of what was going on, and who his father really was. Oh, and what his father had done to his mother. There was Jeff's weak spot.

I knew he'd come back.

He did.

He came back, pale, sweating, flustered. Trying to understand, wanting more information, having trouble processing it. Needing comfort, desperately. I gave it to him. I'm not unselfish; I wanted him now, and I had my chance. A better body than I expected, under the clothing. Slim, hard, firm legs - a runner, not a swimmer like Mulder. A cock you could do paintings of. You could frame it and hang it in a gallery - I prefer it attached to its owner, however. He didn't resist - at first I thought it was because he wasn't in shape to resist; then I realized that he wanted it as badly as I did, but he was too shell-shocked and scared of everything to know what to do. And he was vaguely afraid I'd tell his father about it.

As if. There are things - plenty of them - that son of a bitch doesn't need to know, has no need to know. That his tame pet killer's fucking his precious little son is one of them. Don't take me wrong. That sounds like an insult to Jeff. It's not. That's just how the smoker would see it. And then he'd probably take it into his head to kill both of us. He gets that way, and to Spender, no human is inexpendible. Even Jeff, and especially me. No one except for Spender himself, and maybe Fox Mulder, because everyone needs an enemy.

My grandfather studied the Bible, an activity my parents found foolish. He would sit in the corner by the fire and tell Bible stories, which my parents told me to ignore. But I remember one he told, about a king named Saul, who had a son, Jonathan, and a general named David. Jonathan loved David, but Saul wanted him to die. Jonathan begged Saul not to kill David, though he'd already tried to. Saul said he'd stop, because of Jonathan, but he kept on trying to kill David anyway. Spender's already tried to kill me once in my life, and I not only don't think Jeff could stop him, I think he'd only find it better reason to try again. After all, nothing's stopped him from trying to kill Jeff, eitherÖ and both of us together would only be to him the same threat against him that Jonathan and David together were to King Saul. I don't flatter myself that I'm Spender's best general, but I'm something he seems to find useful and occasionally needed, and Jeff is the son he would have groomed. Maybe my grandfather had a point to telling those stories.

Jeff is something Spender can't imagine - a human being. Flawed, oversensitive, tied to the memory of who his mother was before Spender turned her into a Thing. He still sees the world in terms of people, not of grand plans. In terms of relationships, not of interplanetary negotiations. In terms of right and wrong, not of expediency. Conscience - that's the word I'm looking for. He may be, has been, misguided about right and wrong sometimes, but he's believed. That's the thing - he can still believe in something, the same as Mulder. They might not believe in the same things, but, like Mulder, like my grandfather, he believes in something, and he has a cause. My grandfather believed in God. Mulder believes in Truth. Jeff believes in Justice, in Right and Wrong, the way he used to believe in consensus reality before the alien. He could play Spender's games with Mulder because he believed that Mulder was wrong. Now he knows what's going on. He's a fast learner, he is.

AndÖ I love him. He's not Mulder, he'll never be Mulder, but I'll never have Fox Mulder. I have Jeff. He's solid, he's real, he's not a fantasy or a failed dream. He makes me feel connected to things I've lost. Things like belief, things like other human beings who don't want to be made into alien drones. Things like love. We hardly get to see each other, and sometimes when we do, like today, it's only for a few hours at best. I can't afford to take chances, and neither can he. It's worth it anyway to be with him, to undress that racehorse body of his, to take him to bed, to make love with him for the brief time we've got together.

Is this really too much to ask for? Apparently, it is. That cancerous old bastard really wants everyone else to be as miserable as he is - and make no mistake, whether everything goes his way or not, he is miserable. Talk about someone who needs a good fuck. He doesn't know what the word "happy" means, and he'd just as soon make sure no one else does, either. He's ground everyone else who works for him into the ground, and the only reason he's never done it to me is that I'm just too damn tough; I'm not one of those corporate or government pussies he's used to intimidating. And I know about being happy. I've been there. When my father and I would hunt together, I was happy. When I killed my first man and realized I'd never be taken for it, I was happy. When I thought I had a chance with Fox Mulder, I was happy. And I'm there again. I'm there when I slide down that beautiful, smooth skin of Jeff's and I take him in my mouth and I make him scream. When he kisses me, when he tells me he loves me, and I feel like my damned arm doesn't matter, because it doesn't matter to him.

They say politics makes strange bedfellows. That's about as literal as it can get in our case. I'm college-educated, as far as that goes, but I'm a streetwise, school-of-hard knocks graduate, killer. Jeff's a mama's boy with a graduate degree and a badge. He couldn't survive five minutes if he lived in my real world full time, and I don't want his white-bread, cable-TV life; I'd die of boredom. But his asshole father's fucking interplanetary political intrigue brought us together, and it brings us together for a few hours, a day, a weekend here or there when we can both get the hell out of those worlds, drop the masks, let ourselves go. We order food in, from places where I know the delivery guys; we can't even afford to be seen together either by the Bureau or by my handlers. We'll probably get sick of the shit someday, make a wrong move. If I've been happy for five more minutes because Jeff was with me, I'll take that risk. The old bastard won't live forever; if we just get past that point, I figure we'll be okay. Maybe I can help speed things along a little; it's been a while since I tried that, and he won't expect it from me right now.

The door. It's Jeff. Faded jeans, turtleneck, leather jacket - on me they look sinister; on him, they scream "college boy." Soft lips, beautifully shaped, hard against mine; tongues dancing with each other as we wrestle with clothing. My cock hard, his even harder, up against his stomach. I'm not all that old, and I can't manage that. My prosthetic off, me on my knees, my arm around the curve of that ass, my mouth on that erection I could keep with me forever. Next time, plaster casting, Jeff. I want him inside me, if we can make it to the bedroom, where I've got the lube.

Jeff bends down himself, an arm around me, helping me up. Missing an arm fucks up your balance. I hate it when I look needy. A killer doesn't need help to get around. Jeff doesn't care about that rule; he helps me anyway. I don't complain; it just makes it that much easier for me to grab him myself.

Try telling me Jeff's not the man Fox Mulder is, Spender. See what I do if you even try. You fucking think you run the whole damn world, but you're a miserable bastard in a tiny apartment, with old clothes, no money, no love, no one even knows who you are. Does your life have a point? Jeff's got something he believes, a job he doesn't need to hide from the universe, his memories of his mother, and - for what it's worth - me. Try telling me you're half the man your son is. You may even get to see me laugh before you die.