Disclaimer: I borrowed my toys from TenThirteen Productions. No copyright infringement intended but Chris Carter needs to learn to take better car of his stuff, especially Alex. If he keeps breaking his toys, we'll just have to take them away from him.


Synopsis: Krycek checks in with Scully, and runs into Mulder.


NC17 for slash. This means M/M sex! No minors squeamish people allowed!


Author's Note: This story contains deliberate continuity errors from Uncertain Allies I and II. I made changes to the time line only, and not the actual events. Hey, if Chris Carter can do it, why can't I? ;-)


Special thanks to Ratgirl and Jill for the wonderful job they did beta reading.


Previous Uncertain Allies stories are available on my homepage -






Uncertain Allies III - Liasion


by Rat Lover (ratlover@imadethis.org


Completed Feb 14, 1998



Scully gave a deep sigh and relaxed in the bed. She had been feeling so ill for so long that she had forgotten how good it felt when she was well. She had been healed, but at what cost? One of *their* implants was back inside of her, and would be a permanent part of her for the foreseeable future. But at this point, being alive was enough.


She closed her eyes and let herself drift towards sleep. The overzealous nurses had shooed out Skinner, Mulder and her family once visiting hours were over. It felt good to be alone for the first time in several hours. She didn't open her eyes when she heard the creak of the door being opened. "Mulder?" she mumbled sleepily. <It would be like him to sneak back in and watch over me,> she thought.


"It's not Mulder," an all too familiar voice said.


"Alex!" Scully's eyes flew open wide to stare into Krycek's green ones. The young man stood there, watching from inside the doorway. He looked very much the same as she had last seen him in Mulder's apartment. Only now he had two arms, both hands covered in black leather gloves. <One must be prosthetic,> she thought. "How did you get in here?"


"Two twenties. Despite what HMO's tell you, nurses are notoriously underpaid." Krycek waked over to the chair beside the bed. "You could have told me it was a lie, Dana," he said somewhat sadly as he sat down.


So much had happened in the short space of seventy two hours - Mulder faking his death, her finding Krycek in Mulder's apartment, Krycek's revelation that he and Mulder had been lovers, her collapse as she tried to accuse the government that she worked for of giving her this disease, Mulder finding a cure, and learning of the supposed death of the Cigarette Smoking Man; was a shock, to put it mildly. "Alex," Scully said softly. "It was important that *they* believe that Mulder was dead, even if only for a few hours." She closed her eyes, exhausted.


Noting her tiredness, Krycek mentally cursed himself. <Scully's dying, and here I am causing her more pain. Shit, can't I do anything right?> he thought. "I'm sorry." Krycek took one of her hands in his. "I haven't been able to find a cure."


Scully opened her eyes and cocked her head at him. "You don't know, Alex?" she asked. "I'm in remission. There is no trace of the cancer in my body."


"You're healed?" Krycek blinked and let go of her. One part of him felt wildly glad, as if her healing had shriven him of part of his sin. But another part felt despondent, that she would only accept Krycek because of her need for a cure. "I guess you won't be needing my help then."


Scully thought for a moment and then chose her words carefully. "We exposed Blevins, Alex. But there are more of Them out there. We could use your help."


"Not we, you," Krycek said with a sardonic laugh. "Somehow I don't think Mulder will accept me with open arms. Closed fists are more likely."


"You and Mulder shared something special, Alex," Scully protested. <Something he and I haven't shared,> she thought with a bit of jealousy.


Krycek shook his head. "But you know Mulder, quick to love or hate. And once you've earned his hatred, there's no going back. Have you heard of Phoebe Green?"


Scully nodded. "I know who you're talking about."


"Then you know how that bitch hurt him." Krycek sighed and looked down into his lap. "And I hurt him even more. I shouldn't be here," he said, changing gears abruptly. "They are probably watching you and sending people to assassinate me even as we speak." He stood up. "I should go." Stroking Scully's hair back from her eyes with his right hand, Krycek leaned forward to kiss her, as he had that first time. But this time he chickened out at the last moment. But before he could pull back, Scully put a hand behind his head and pulled his lips to hers.


It was a chaste kiss, just a brushing of closed lips. Krycek seemed perfectly comfortable with this intimacy, until Scully reached for his left hand. At that point he pulled back. Scully understood his discomfort and eased away.


Krycek stood up. "Remember, just because They want you alive now doesn't mean that They won't change their mind later." There was no threat in his voice, just cautious reminder.


"I know, Alex. And the same applies to you. Be careful." Scully watched as Krycek nodded once, and then turned and walked out the swinging hospital door. She sighed, confused about her feelings towards this man. Her head said that he was a lying rat bastard that couldn't be trusted, while her heart was strongly attracted to his dangerous good looks. And then there was what she felt towards Mulder - an affection stronger than mere friendship, but she was not ready to tell him that she loved him. <I have a lot of thinking to do,> she thought. <But first I have a lot of healing to do.>



After being shooed out of Scully's room, he hadn't gone home. Mulder was still deliriously happy that she had been healed. But his reaction to the news of the Cancerman's supposed death was mixed - joy that his nemesis was dead, and despair that he may have lost his only hope of finding Samantha again. Unable to believe that both realities had come to pass, he stayed at the hospital, avoiding nurses and constantly peeking into Scully's room to verify that she was still alive and well.


He was coming out of the elevator into the deserted corridor, just having gone to the cafeteria. <Food's just as bad as the Bureau's,> he thought, heading towards Scully's room. He wasn't going to disturb her rest, but watch over her for his peace of mind. But his peaceful illusions were shattered when he saw who was leaving Scully's room. His hand automatically went to his hip holster when he saw Krycek slip through the door. Krycek glanced in his direction, and locked eyes. Both men were frozen for a moment. Then Krycek bolted like a frightened deer into the stairwell. Mulder pounded after him. Taking a flying leap down four stairs, he crashed into Krycek and pinned him on the landing. Mulder had Krycek by the throat, his gun centimeters from the skin between Krycek's eyes. "What did you do to her!" he snarled in Krycek's ear.


"Nothing! I did nothing!" Krycek choked out. "I've been trying to help her."


The gun traced over Krycek's cheek to press against the underside of his jaw. "And why the hell should I believe you?" Mulder gritted out between clenched teeth. You've done nothing but lie to me since we first met."


Krycek's response was as honest and sincere as he could make it. "I didn't lie to you about one thing."


Mulder's grip on Krycek's throat tightened, causing the young man to gag. "If you value your life, Krycek," he hissed. "Don't talk about that!" At the moment, the last thing he wanted to discuss was their sexual relationship. Mulder looked around, trying to decide what to do. He appeared to come to a decision. "You are going to stand up and put your hands into your pockets. Then we are going downstairs to the parking lot. If you move your hands or try anything funny, consider yourself dead."


Krycek nodded and rose cautiously. The gun started traveling again. It slid down his neck, never breaking contact with his body, to trail over his shoulder to come to rest in the small of his back. Krycek shivered as the gun was pressed against his spine. He and Mulder walked down the emergency stairwell. Although Krycek showed every sign of complying with his orders, Mulder did not let his guard down for a moment. He guided his former partner downstairs and into the parking lot and to his car. "On your knees, Krycek. Hands on your head and cross your ankles."


Krycek obeyed. When Mulder pulled out a set of standard issue handcuffs and began snapping them on his wrists, both flesh and plastic, Krycek couldn't resist the urge to comment, "You were always kinky, Mulder."


Mulder hauled Krycek roughly to his feet. Before Krycek gained his balance, he kicked the younger man square in the ass, making Krycek stumble and fall. Because his hands were cuffed behind him, Krycek couldn't catch himself and landed hard on his face with a loud grunt. Mulder calmly put a foot, and most of his weight on Krycek's back, and proceeded to unlock his trunk. Krycek cautiously lifted his scraped head, his nose already changing colors. "What are you doing, Mulder?"


"Can't have a rat like you running loose in the front seat, can we?" Mulder again lifted Krycek to his feet. "Get in."


"No way, Mulder!" Krycek planted his feet and shook his head violently, leaning backwards. Even before the silo incident, he had been uneasy when alone in small, enclosed spaces, a legacy of being locked in a closet as as child. "No fucking way! Handcuff me to the steering wheel. Hog tie me in the back seat. But don't lock me in there."


Mulder cocked the gun and placed it to Krycek's temple. "I'm not giving you a choice," he said, perversely taking pleasure from Krycek's obvious distress.


"Mulder, please, don't make me do this!" Krycek, despite the gun, was twisting backwards and away from the car. He had broken out into a cold sweat. Mulder shoved Krycek forward again and cocked the gun. Krycek shivered and froze, obviously trying to decide which he feared more, being killed or being penned in. And while he was thinking, the butt of the gun impacted with the back of his head. Caught off guard, Krycek reeled and briefly blacked out. But when he came to, he was curled in the trunk, staring up at Mulder. Mulder started to lower the lid. "C'mon, Mulder. Don't close it. Just tie it off so it's open just a bit. Mulder don't do this. Mulllllllderrrrr!" The lid closed and the lock clicked. Now Krycek was in a dark, quiet place, almost womb-like, except Krycek was far from an innocent babe.


<He's not going anywhere,> Mulder thought. Then he rushed back up to Scully's room. Scully was half asleep when he opened the door. Before she could say anything, Mulder standing was above her. He bent down. "I just wanted to make sure you're okay."


"I'm fine, Mulder," Scully whispered as his lips brushed her forehead. "I just need some sleep." <And I'm not about to tell you who was here just a few minutes ago.>


"Okay." He stepped back and eyed the machines keeping track of her vital signs. Everything looked normal. <Maybe he's telling the truth.> "I'll see you tomorrow." But Scully was already asleep.


So Mulder went back to his car and got into the driver's seat. Krycek was making no sounds that he could hear. He sat there for a few minutes, weighing his options. Taking Krycek back to his place was out of the question. <God only knows how many bugs there are there.> If he took Krycek to jail, his erstwhile partner would be dead before dawn. He did not want a repeat of what happened when he went to Skinner for a safe house. So there was really only one option. Mulder turned over the ignition, now certain of what he was going to do.



The ride to wherever they were going was a nightmare for Krycek, while he was awake and asleep. Both states blended together in the darkness. For the first hour, he struggled against his restraints, but only succeeded in pulling his prosthetic arm out of contact with his shoulder. The rest of the time he spent silently screaming in terror of the close darkness, taunted by the ghost memories of his father. But he would *not* give Mulder the satisfaction of hearing him suffer. But near the end of the journey, he fell asleep, exhausted by his fears and phantoms, but not finding a safe haven from them while unconscious.


It was dark when Mulder pulled up to the cottage in Quonochontaug, Rhode Island. He had thought long and hard about what he was going to do during the lengthy drive. He got out of the car and went to the trunk. Mulder opened the trunk and stared down at the half-conscious man. <All we shared was one night,> Mulder thought. <And he was probably ordered to do it. So why the hell am I giving him another chance to hurt me?> "Up and at 'em, Krycek," he said with false cheerfulness, jerking his former partner out of the trunk. "I thought a rat like you would be nocturnal."


Krycek, legs protesting and cramping, shot Mulder a dirty look and let himself be guided up the steps. Stumbling, Krycek tripped over the threshold. Mulder, acting on instinct, grabbed at Krycek's left wrist to keep him from falling. And to his horror, the arm held still but Krycek kept falling. Startled, Mulder let go. The younger man landed with a thud, and made no attempt to get back up. Mulder had completely forgotten about the prosthetic, and how he probably got it. Mulder nudged Krycek with his foot. "Get up," he said, kicking the door shut.


Krycek, having regained some of his composure now that he was in open air, slowly rose to his knees. Once back on his feet, he turned and glared at Mulder. "I'd at least like to keep my dignity. Mind reattaching my arm?"


The plea was actually a power game. Krycek was trying to force Mulder into acknowledging what had happened in Russia. Without a word, Mulder unzipped the jacket. The prosthetic arm slid from the sleeve and dangled lifelessly from the handcuffs. Roughly jerking the leather away from his captive's body, he pulled it over Krycek's right shoulder and down both arms. Then he repeated the process with Krycek's shirt. Despite telling himself that now was not the time nor the place, Mulder found himself staring at Krycek's chest the way he had when they had been lovers.


Even though he had been on the run, Krycek had taken good care of himself. The muscles before him were even more well defined than before. But two things marred the perfection - the truncated limb and the angry red blisters from where the prosthetic rubbed the flesh raw. Something inside of Mulder eased. <He's suffered as much as I have. Maybe even more, because he has no one to turn to,> Mulder thought. His eyes then rested on the empty sleeve. <But for the grace of God...,> Mulder thought with sadness. He reached out and touched Krycek's left shoulder gently, fingertips barely grazing his skin. "Tunguska?"


"What do you think?" Krycek snapped and looked away. He knew Mulder's moods could shift faster than quicksilver. He could stand being beaten by his former lover. But he would not be able to survive Mulder treating him tenderly and then kicking the shit out of him. Instead he did a quick scan of the room he found himself in. "Where the hell are we?"


"Someplace safe." Mulder looked around the summer home. After ransacking the place for whatever his mother was trying to tell him, he had come back and cleaned up. He had mixed emotions about being back here, knowing what probably happened here between his mother and the Smoking Man, and that this was where it probably had happened. But the Cancerman was probably now dead. And it was the only place he could think of off the top of his head to stash Krycek for the moment.


Krycek shook his head in disbelief. "You just don't get it, Mulder. Do you? No place is safe for us." He took a step towards Mulder. "Because of who and what we are, there is no safe haven for us. Not for me, not for you, not for your precious Scully. The only thing we have is the illusion of safety. You're an idiot to think otherwise."


As he felt his anger flare anew at the insult, Mulder realized what was happening. Krycek was trying to provoke him into attacking and probably killing him. Mulder had once said that he would live long enough to do that, but found that the words had been and empty threat. The anger turned in a heartbeat into pity. "And you don't even have that, do you, Krycek?" Mulder whispered huskily. "For all you know, I brought you here to kill you."


"Ever since you found those damn Morley butts in my car, you've wanted to kill me," Krycek said, staring Mulder in the eye. "So why don't you just get it over with. Avenge your father's death. Eye for an eye and all that shit."


"You have answers I need, Krycek. Even if I wanted to kill you, you're more valuable to me alive." Now Mulder reached up to stroke Krycek's cheek. "You've developed a death wish, Alex. You want to die."


Krycek turned away from Mulder's intense gaze and gentle caress. "I don't have any reason to live."


Gentle fingers forced Krycek to look back at Mulder. "Let me give you a reason." He closed the distance between them, intending to bestow a gentle kiss.


Krycek ducked away from Mulder's head. "You don't want me. You're just trying to get me off guard so you or a Consortium assassin can finish me off."


"Jeez, Alex! You sound even more paranoid than I do." Mulder shook his head. "I need answers only you can provide. And I would never work with *them*."


Krycek's eyes narrowed suspiciously. <There is no way Mulder could still care for me,> he thought. "Then it's a pity fuck," he said, gesturing with his truncated arm.


"Sorry, I'm keeping all my pity for me at the moment." Mulder gently stroked Krycek's hair. "You just can't accept the fact that I might still have feelings for you, despite everything you've done."


"You don't mean that," Krycek said dully, not daring to hope.


Mulder shook his head. "You're the liar in this relationship, remember? You were so distraught that you even forgot to put on your arm" His voice was a rough burr. "I know why you came to my apartment when you thought I was dead. But I want to hear you say why."


Krycek held himself tensely away from Mulder's body, although all he wanted to do was to sink into his former lover's arms. "I can't, Mulder. I just can't." He had been running for his life, and from his feelings, for too long to become instantly vulnerable.


"It's okay," Mulder soothed, taking Krycek in his arms. He wasn't sure he could verbalize what he felt for this man. Scully would say that his feelings had to do with an unconscious desire to punish himself, to self-flagellate to make up for 'failing' Samantha. But it had taken him even longer to realize that the truth was even more complicated. To distract the two of them, he nuzzled Krycek's neck, tonguing where shoulder met neck. "Ever have the fantasy about making out in your parent's bed without getting caught?"


Krycek buried his head in Mulder's shoulder and repeated what he had said in the parking lot. "You always were a pervert, Mulder."


Mulder began sucking on the skin behind Krycek's ear. "That wasn't the question, Alex."


Krycek arched against Mulder's body as a warm, wet tongue invaded his ear. But still he fought against giving in to his desire. "You can't find me sexy. Not after..." He turned away from Mulder and walked over to the window, staring into the distance.


He jumped when he felt Mulder's arms go to either side of him, palms resting against the wall. He was effectively trapped between Mulder's body, and the wall, a trap he had no desire to escape. Mulder pressed forward, nestling the bulge in his jeans against Krycek's ass. "Feel what you've done to me, Alex." He lunged his hips forward, making Krycek moan and squirm. "You made this, Alex. This is pure unadulterated lust for your body. " Mulder's voice was a mere whisper in his ear. "Now answer my question. Have you had the fantasy about making out on your parent's bed without getting caught?"


Krycek bowed his head. Mulder was certain he was going to be rejected when he heard Krycek's reply. "You know I have." Mulder swore he could hear tears in Krycek's voice, although his eyes were dry. "Do you want to make it a reality?"


As an answer, Mulder hustled the younger man to what was once his parents' bedroom. Krycek though he would pass out from the pleasure being inflicted on him. Mulder's hands seemed to be everywhere at once, cradling his head, brushing his lips, toying with his nipples, cupping his ass, tugging at his fly. Mulder slowly lowered the zipper, delighted to find that Krycek was still wearing the boxers Scully had loaned him from Mulder's clothes.


And soon Mulder had rid Krycek of them. He stepped back to admire the young man. Krycek's cock was fully erect, the head of his cock glistening with precum. His balls, heavy with seed, hung beneath the pointing organ. Mulder tore his gaze away from Krycek's genitals, not without a sigh, to map the rest of the planes and angles of his lover's body. Krycek blushed under the intense scrutiny, reminding Mulder of a shy teenager, uncertain about his looks, who was naked in front of his partner for the first time. <He's not comfortable about his loss, yet,> he thought sadly. The old Krycek he knew would be displaying his body, provoking an onslaught of feverish kisses. His eyes caressed Krycek's abdomen, working their way up past the heaving diaphragm to follow the flow of muscle down Krycek's right arm, admiring the long, slender hand and elegant fingers. Then he noted something. "Do you want it on?"


Krycek blinked, confused by the question. "What are you talking about?"


Mulder took a step closer. "You asked me to reattach it earlier." He gestured to the artificial arm, still dangling from Krycek's by the attached handcuff. "Do you want it on while we fuck?"


Krycek pondered the question. He loathed the prosthetic almost as much as he loathed the stump, both were constant mocking reminders of his actions and their consequences. To have his arm on would put him in a position of power - he could remind Mulder with an artificial touch of what he had been through. In fact he could hurt his lover, claiming that he wasn't able to sense how hard he was squeezing. But he mostly found himself not wanting to hurt Mulder anymore. <Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.> And the temptation would be great since a dark corner of his soul still blamed Mulder for the loss of his arm. If Mulder hadn't attempted the Great Escape, as Krycek thought of it, he would still have his arm. Or so an inner voice argued, competing with the one that cried out for Mulder's affection. "Off," he whispered, making his decision. "Off is best."


Mulder nodded. He kneeled, producing the keys to the handcuffs. He unlocked the shackles, and tossed the keys and cuffs, artificial arm still attached, onto the table beside the bed. But he did not let go of Krycek's hand. Instead, he pulled the young man closer, nuzzling and kissing the bruised wrist, before taking Krycek's waist between his hands. Krycek's eyes closed and his breathing quickened. <I don't deserve this,> he thought as Mulder's tongue brushed against the tip of his cock. Krycek twisted away. But instead of Mulder pulling him forward, as Krycek expected, he was pushed backwards. Stumbling, his legs hit the mattress behind him and Krycek fell onto the bed. And Mulder went down with and on him. Krycek continued to squirm, not able to stand the onslaught of Mulder's talented mouth, but not wanting it to stop.


The whimpering noises Krycek was emitting made Mulder smile. <You've had the power in this relationship too long,> he thought. <Time for some payback.> So he concentrated on sucking on the cock in front of him, teasing the underside of the head with light flicks of his tongue, scraping his teeth gently along the throbbing vein, and sucking hard as if Krycek were a piece of hard candy and he had were breaking his diet. He was highly gratified by the sounds escaping Krycek's mouth - soft moans of pleasure.


But that wasn't enough for Mulder. Despite Krycek's groan of protest, his lips left Krycek's cock and Mulder kissed his way up to his head. He hovered over Krycek's face, forcing the man beneath him to make the next move. Krycek's hand traced Mulder's cheek to start fumbling with the buttons of his shirt. Mulder held still, forcing Krycek to awkwardly deal with this obstacle. Soon the shirt was dangling off Mulder's sides, the dark nipples erect in mimicry of Mulder's cock. Krycek arched up and covered the nipple with his mouth. Mulder sat up, cradling his lover's head against his chest. Krycek sucked fiercely and reached between their bodies. Mulder's breath sped up more as Krycek's fingers danced over the erection hidden behind his fly, freeing the other man's cock. He grasped both Mulder's and his and began stroking. Krycek broke away from Mulder's chest when a second hand descended to tighten the grip and speed up the rhythm. His lips blindly sought Mulder's.


Mulder groaned. Krycek was a master fucker of both mind and body. He would bring Mulder to the brink, and then slow down, no matter how Mulder tried to force his hand to speed up. Mulder eventually pulled Krycek's hand away. Kneeling between Krycek's legs, Mulder scooped up Krycek's ass and began licking Krycek's cock and balls. And then his tongue went lower, tracing the perineum until he reached the puckered opening. With a reverent kiss, Mulder ever so slowly pushed his tongue inside Krycek's unprotesting body.


Krycek shuddered, tossing his head back and forth. <I can't take this,> he thought in desperation, hand clutching the sheets in a sweat drenched fist. He had expected a hard and quick rut, not this worshipful tenderness. He almost lost it when he felt the vibrations of Mulder's mouth when he said something with his lips still pressed against Krycek's ass. He sucked in a desperate and shaky breath. "Whhhhhhhat?"


Mulder kissed his way back up to Krycek's mouth, his hips making small rotating movements. "I don't have any condoms. Do you?"


Krycek shook his head. "But I'm clean," he blurted out. <Please believe me, Mulder.> He wouldn't be able handle stopping after being so near to having Mulder inside of him.


Mulder stared deep into Krycek's grass green eyes. <He's sincere. But he doesn't know if I am,> he thought. <You're living too dangerously, Alex.> But he didn't voice any of these thoughts. Instead, Mulder gathered the fluid weeping from Krycek's cock in his fingers. "You're sure?" Krycek nodded and closed his eyes. Mulder gently, slowly, slid one finger inside Krycek's ass, savoring the heat. Just as slowly, he pulled it out, making Krycek writhe. Then he repeated the motion with two fingers, spreading them as he withdrew.


"You *are* planning to kill me!" the younger man hissed, twisting as Mulder hit his prostate. "You're going to fuck me to death!" Krycek lifted his head, half glaring, half pleading. "Just do it to me!"


Mulder smiled at the snarl in his lover's voice. <That is the Alex I know,> he thought with satisfaction. He sat up and stroked his precum over his own cock, barely wanting to touch himself for fear that he would end this prematurely. Then Mulder snaked along Krycek's body, impaling his lover in one smooth motion. Both men moaned, savoring the sensation of being impaled or sheathed. But that only lasted for a second before Mulder began thrusting, relishing the slap of his balls against Krycek's perfect ass. Krycek reached for his own cock. Mulder pulled the hand away, entwining his fingers in his lover's. His other hand went to the back of Krycek's head, cradling the younger man in his arms. Experimentally, Krycek clenched his sphincter slightly, making Mulder cry out and thrust with wild abandon.


Afterwards, neither man could say who came first. Both men came at almost the same moment, silently and desperately in a deep kiss. But even as the orgasm faded, the kiss did not. Without breaking lip contact, Mulder pulled the sheets over their still, sweating forms, wrapping them in a cocoon of warmth. Once the kiss ended, there were several equally long and tender follow-up kisses. The gentle exploration continued, both sets of fingers reacquainting themselves with skin and muscle they thought they would never feel again.


Eventually they ended up curled together spoon style, Mulder taking the outer spoon. He nuzzled Krycek's neck lazily. "Alex?"


"Yes, Mulder?" Despite himself, Krycek, while not exactly falling asleep, was fighting the relaxed sensation that would dull his instincts and possibly lead to his death.


"Don't leave." The arm around Krycek's midsection tightened possessively, and warningly. "I don't want to wake up alone tomorrow."


"Mulder, I..."


"No excuses, Alex. We can figure some way to keep you safe. And we have to talk about Scully."


Krycek's head shifted fractionally. "What about Scully?" he asked, although he had an idea where this conversation would head.


"I know what happened between you two in my apartment."


<The kiss,> Krycek thought. <He's jealous about the kiss.> "I thought you were dead," Krycek said in mild protest.


<I shouldn't have brought it up now.> Their relationship was complicated enough, without adding Scully to the dynamics. Mulder laid his fingers across Krycek's lips. "We'll talk about it in the morning. Just go to sleep, Alex."


Krycek nodded. There was no further conversation, for fear of breaking the fragile truce they had constructed.



He could feel himself stretched out in the bed, his left arm stretched over his head. The room smelled of sex. Mulder could also feel the warmth of the sun streaming through the half drawn shades of the window. <At least he took the wet spot,> Mulder thought with a lazy smile. Catlike and still half asleep, he yawned and stretched his right above his head.


And became fully awake when he couldn't retract his left arm. Mulder opened his eyes and realized that he was alone in the large bed. He sat up a bit and squinted. His hand was handcuffed to the headboard. "Alex?" he called, trying to ignore the queasy uneasiness that was rising from his stomach. Not hearing any response, he began to twist onto either side, searching for the key. Finding it on the bed stand, he unlocked the cuffs. But the prosthetic arm was missing from the table.


He got up and grabbed his jacket. His gun was still in its holster. The nagging certainty would not leave him alone. He pulled on his slacks and went out to the living room. It was the same as when he opened the door. Except for the note laying on the couch.


"Mulder," was written in Krycek's precise handwriting. "I told you last night that there was no safe place for us. I was wrong. Last night I felt safe in your arms for the first time in a long time.


"But last night is not this morning. If I stay with you, we would both be dead within a week. Please believe me that this is not how I wanted things to be between us. I never meant to hurt you in any way.


"I couldn't say it last night. But I can write it this morning.


"I love you.




Mulder stared at the note for several minutes and then looked out at the late morning sun. He crumpled the note in his fist, trying to formulate a plan for what he would do the next time he crossed paths with Alex Krycek.