Brothers by Choice 7 : The Boys of Autumn
By The Riticulan Amenuensis
X/Files Pretender Crossover Pairing The episode Sk/K

The Usual Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, but if I did I'd, treat them better. In particular I'd give certain characters larger roles.

This is the Seventh part of a continuing series, although I consider each as stand-alone, they might be better understood if you were familiar with the previous chapters.

Plot Summary: Krycek goes to visit Skinner with a threat an a deal

Warning: This chapter contains a sex scene which some might find a little kinky, so please be warned-A littlie huliation between friends. Consider all episodes of each of these series as being spoiled.

Archivists: Please archive where you will, just let me know where my babies have come to rest.

For those of you who would rather read the stories in their complete condition instead of multi-part postings, this story is up at my site :

I would like to make a special thank you to Mace for making some very nice book covers to go with these stories. You might want to check out her pictures page at: there you will see lots and lots of beautiful pictures.

I would also like to give a thank you to a person that some of you may know as Fox Mulder, for giving me some great help with this story.

Thanks for M A Bostron for the beta.



Brothers by Choice 7 : The Boys of Autumn


Before he was promoted to Assistant Director, 'meeting' was such a nice word: meeting your family for lunch, meeting a lover--now it has an entirely other connotation. Meetings with the money men all morning and then meeting with Mulder and Scully in the afternoon and their requesting to open a investigative file on mermen in New Orleans. That one was so ludicrous that he wasn't even able to speak beyond the word 'no'. An AD's lot is not a happy one. He was so stressed out that even his eye-sockets hurt, and he didn't want to even think about the pain radiating down his neck all the way to his legs.

The Assistant Director was looking forward to three fingers of Scotch, his soft, comfortable couch and nothing more to occupy his mind beyond the decision to perhaps have another Scotch.. When he opened his door and saw the dark figure with the gun trained on him, it didn't faze him at all.

"Evening Walter," Alex said in a perfectly conversational tone. "I know the gun is unnecessary, but old habits are *so* hard to break."

Skinner's smile wasn't a pretty one. "What do you want me to do this time?" There was no heat in his voice, no resentment; it sounded as banal as if he was talking about the necessities of life like eating and breathing.

"I left the high-tech enforcer at home," Alex explained with the most sang-froid he could muster. "But you know the drill--it's on a timer, if I don't check in at a certain time, well..."

Walter knew only too well.

"How are the veins, Walter? Are they itchy with all those little beasties running around in them?" Alex's tone was nasty.

The AD knew a rhetorical question when he heard it and didn't respond. He reached up and removed his glasses; the deep pools of his eyes showed nothing. They seemed bone-weary; they appeared dead. He looked at Alex as though he wasn't even seeing him.

"How does it feel, Walter, to be so not in control, so vulnerable?"

The big man replaced his glasses, looked directly at Krycek. "What do you really want, Alex?"

"Nothing, Walter, just a little company."

"A little company," Skinner mimicked, unable to keep the surprise out of his voice.

"Can't a guy drop by to visit an old friend?" Alex was enjoying this, enjoying this a lot.

The AD moved slowly to his couch and plopped his large frame directly opposite the chair Alex was sitting in. He hoisted his feet and laid them on his coffee table. "I hate you, Alex. You're a lying, murdering, traitorous son of a bitch."

"None of that's been proven, Walter." Alex said without heat.

"You're probably a spy to boot," Skinner replied.

"What about your fair-haired boy, Walter? Your Fox!" Fox was pronounced with some venom. "What about his crimes and misdemeanors? They don't count, do they, sir? In his quixotic search for 'the truth,' for his sister, they don't count, do they? The search justifies everything, doesn't it? I bet he's never told you that he basically kidnapped me and dragged me to Russia."

Alex stopped to let this sink in before going on with his coup de grace. "He never told you, did he, about the murder he witnessed, the execution-style slaying of one of the consortium's operatives--a friend of mine, by the way--Mulder watched his informant murder the man in cold blood. He did nothing to stop it, did nothing to bring this informant to justice." Alex's green eyes blazed fire.

The younger man didn't need an answer, never expected one really. His former boss was so shocked it was written all over his face.

"Fuck you, Krycek!"

"Not tonight, Walter...been there, done that." Alex laughed.

"I hate you, Alex." It was said with all the finality of a well-thought-out position.

"It wasn't always so, Walter." Alex's eyes darkened with some unreadable emotion. "You know, I learned everything I know about making love to a man from you. You taught me well."

"You were always a quick learner."

"Why'd you pick me up, Walter. Barely 19, just out of high school, first year of college and as lonely as hell. My first gay-bar for god's sake. Why'd you do it? Did I act like I was looking for a dad, or were you just searching for a son? You don't strike me as a chicken-hawk!"

The AD didn't answer, couldn't answer him. The look of amused pity of his face only made Alex mad, his voice lowering to it's most sultry level.

"What a man of honour!" Alex spit out the words at him. "Haven't told your current boy-toy have you? Bad choice of words--your current man-toy!"

"Why the trip down memory lane, Krycek? Is there a point to this?"

Alex ignored him. "You were such a coward about it, too. You never told your wife about me, did you? You certainly didn't tell me you were married. I only found out...well you know how I found out. I'll tell you this, the smoker gloated over that--the holier than shit AD Skinner under suspicion for murder...a hooker no less." Alex clucked. "Jesus, Walter, whatever possessed you?"

Skinner may have to do certain things for Krycek, but answering his questions wasn't one of them.

"You know I waited for you--that last time--for hours, in the never showed. You never even had the guts to tell me."

Skinner was pissed, the rising colour of his face told Alex that. He started to get up from the couch to re-arrange the younger man's face, but thought better of it.

"I'll never forget the look on your face when Mulder dragged his new green partner into your office that first time. I nearly busted a gut trying to keep the laughter in."

"You're one to talk about honour, Krycek, you traitorous bastard! What about Mulder's father?"

Krycek's eyes glazed over at this, the litany of his crimes now being repeated by this man. "Not proven, Walter...I didn't kill him."

"You aided in Scully's abduction," was Skinner's next assault.

"I never had a hand in it, Walter--all I did was make sure that Mulder didn't get abducted too, a fact that my employers didn't miss noticing, and weren't too happy with, either."

"And Scully's sister, and that beating in the stairwell. That beating was personal." Skinner was calm and controlled, although he did sneak his hand up to brush off the sweat gathering on his baldpate.

"Walter, come know I didn't shoot Scully's sister. Not that I wouldn't have shot Scully if she'd showed up. And the stairwell...well that was work, nothing personal." Alex smiled at him with such force and brilliance that coming from any other may it would have been beatitude.

Alex held up his prosthetic and looked at it. "You know, Walter, if I still had my wrist, I'd still be carrying the scar from hanging over your balcony."

"Sorry, Alex, work...nothing personal." Walter's eyes laughed for him.

"Yeah work, Walter. I guess your little nocturnal visit to the balcony was work too. Yeah, your unique efforts to warm me up were work related. You must be really popular at the lock-up." Alex's dripped sarcasm.

"You enjoyed it," the AD delivered in a perfectly deadpan voice.

Alex stayed quiet for a moment as though reliving the memory. "Yeah, I guess I did. A lot. Walter, you were always an accomplished man at the back door."

"What about those nanocytes? Am I supposed to thank you for that, Alex? You killed me!"

"I brought you back, didn't I. It could have been worse, Skinner. The smoker carries a grudge, and I'm intimately familiar with his idea of payback. He thought he had you, thought you were in his pocket, but then you rebelled. That 'thank you for not smoking' sign was a good one, Walter."

Alex stopped to see the effects his words were having on the older man.

"You've never told Mulder!"

Alex's smile looked putrid to the older man. He couldn't answer him, he couldn't even look Alex in the eye; he just stared at some indiscriminate spot on the carpeting.

"What a pair you make! He's never told you I'm *his* source, has he? The secrets you keep from one another."

"Well, I'll be damned," Alex laughed.

Skinner sat stiffly on the couch staring directly at the younger man. His jaw was clenched and his eyes were cold. He said nothing. "When the technology became available, they needed a test subject. The smoker chose you, but it was supposed to end differently. He wanted payback, and he wanted it big time. I was never supposed to bring you back."

"Ah gee thanks, Alex, how am I ever going to repay you," the AD sneered.

"I'll think of something."

And Walter knew that he would. Skinner raised himself up from the couch, rubbed his chin and yawned. "Alex, I can't say that this trip down memory lane was enjoyable, because it wasn't. I'm tired. I'm going to bed. Turn out the lights and lock the door when you leave."

Skinner walked toward the stairs and stopped when he heard Alex speak.

"Want some company?"

"Do I have any choice?"

"You always have a choice, Walt. The question is: are you willing to live or die with the consequences of making the wrong one." Alex's eyes didn't waver; he looked so innocent that butter wouldn't have melted in his mouth.

"I thought as much." Skinner looked resigned.

Walter turned slowly, studying the man's face for any indication of what he was thinking--what he really wanted--but couldn't see anything. All those years in the military, all those years in 'Nam and his training as a Marine had taught him one thing: offence is the best defense. After all, there was a time when Alex was mere putty in his hands--the paint on his palette.

He walked towards him like he would a dangerous animal--judging his chances of coming out of this encounter alive. He studied Alex's face but there was still nothing there to see. Slowly Skinner brought his lips against the other man's and licked them. The probed lips opened slightly; the younger man's breath, smelling sweetly of vodka and cinnamon, felt hot and humid against his lips. Walter kept eye contact with his companion; the green eyes staring back at him were inscrutable and mystifying.

Alex deepened the kiss, opening fully to Walter's tongue, his moans swallowed by the older man's mouth. The years dropped away from him, the hurt, the pain, and he was that young man again, being kissed, being aroused for the first time by another man--his heart pounding out of his chest, the blood loud in his ears. A silent thrill went through his entire body from the memories.

Walter trailed his hands down Alex's leather jacket, not stopping until he palmed the younger man's crotch. He could feel the obvious signs of arousal. He threw caution to the wind--it couldn't be helped now--he'd find out what Krycek really wanted...eventually.

Skinner had no difficulty with the zipper of Alex's jeans, he reached in and fondled the man. He felt the shiver going through the man in his arms. He broke the kiss and laid his forehead against that of the other man. "Take off your pants, Alex. And your boots and your socks." His tone of voice would brook no rebellion. "But keep the jacket and the shirt!"

Krycek separated from him slowly, looking at the older man's face. Wondering. Wondering what to expect. He did what he was told. Slowly opening the button of his jeans, slowly pushing them down his thighs, stopping just momentarily at the point when his turgid cock would be freed and flap against his belly. He looked at Walter and gave him a teasing smirk.

He continued pushing his jeans down, and Walter could see how aroused he was. He toed off each boot in turn and hooking a large toe, in turn, with each sock stripped them from his feet.

Skinner's face showed his appreciation. He got down on his knees before the younger man and licked his belly, slowly tracing with his tongue, the dark hairy line from his belly button to his public hair, leaving a wet track in his wake. He took Alex's cock in his hands pumped him a few times, and put his tongue to better work on the head of the cock he remembered so well.

Alex moaned. When that talented tongue sucked at his major vein, his knees almost buckled. The older man handled his balls and he moaned again, pushing into the caress.

Alex placed his hand on Walter's shoulder, gently kneading sore and tired muscles. "Seems like old times, Walter, and we had some good ones."

Walter palmed his companion's balls, rolling each one from one finger to the other. His other hand was stretching the hairy flesh, heating it, pulling at it, making it pliable. He hand closed around the flesh, forcing the balls down, filling out the flesh they now inhabited. He slowly dropped the cock from his mouth and got up from his knees with the younger man's balls still in his hands. He turned towards the stairway and tugged them gently along with him. Alex had no choice but to follow.

"Ow!, Walter that hurts! What the hell are you doing?"

Walter's smile was priceless. "Why Alex, just what you're doing to me. I'm leading you around by the balls. And unless you want to start a new career as a boy--soprano, I'd suggest you keep up with me."

Alex followed the AD like a shadow, trying to anticipate Walter's every step as best he could. When he got to the bedroom, he looked around noticing the regimented neatness of the place. Although Alex had been to the older man's apartment on a number of occasions, this was the first time he'd made it to the 'inner sanctum.'

"Okay," he said sharply, "stop, this is far enough. Your attempt to control this...this situation is over!" His face became hard again and he looked like a man totally in control, no question. Alex is a man who likes to keep people *off balance*.

The older man released Alex's balls and turned to look at him, standing tall and proud.

"This is how it's going to work, Walter, tonight you're my dog, my fuck toy. You won't speak unless I ask you a direct question? Understand?"

Skinner shook his head in ascent.

"What did you say Walter, I didn't hear you!"

The AD opened his mouth as if to speak and shut it immediately. Alex's eyebrows rose in a question. The older man gulped. "Yes, Alex, I understand."

"Fine. Now go stand over by the bed. And Walter, don't move, put your hands down at your side. Leave them there until I tell you otherwise."

Skinner had never seen Alex's face shine with such a brightness, such an intensity. And his own face flaming red--the indication of his own humiliation. He could feel the sweat trickling down the trench of his spine.

"You can stop this any time, Walter, just say the word, and I'll stop." Alex waited for a reaction from the older man, but none was forthcoming. "Now stay perfectly still, don't move a muscle. I'll be right back."

In a smaller amount of time than Walter thought possible, Alex was back, fully engorged cock swaying back and forth between his legs like an accusing eleventh finger. He was carrying a small black bag that Skinner failed to notice when he had first came into the apartment. He throat went dry just thinking about what it contained.

Walter's eyes spoke volumes. He opened his mouth to speak but no sound came. "You have a question, Walter? Ask it."

"Why are you doing this, Krycek. Why?"

"You're a fine looking man, Walter, even at your age. You've looked after yourself. Why am I doing this? Because I want to, but mainly because I can, and mostly because you'll let me - willingly. You can stop this at anytime -- anytime, Walter. All you have to do is say the word, but the consequences might be...drastic" Alex sneered.

If Walter could kill with a look, Alex would be a dead man.

"Now I want you to remove your tie, slowly, seductively. I want a show Walter. With a body like that, you must be able to move it nicely."

Alex wantonly stroked his cock, slowly, watching the older man, waiting for the show to begin.

Skinner didn't leave him long to wait. His hands slowly traced up his own chest to the knot of his tie. Stoking the silk of the thing like it was the most erotic thing in the world. His fingers slowly untied the knot and he drew it through his shirt collar, swaying it from one side to the other, finally pulling it free, he looked for spot to place it.

"Come on, Walter! I want a show here. Are you made of wood? Move those hips!"

Skinner's eyes shot daggers at him but he complied. Barely. He moved his hips from side to side, almost imperceptibly.

"Jesus, Walter--have you no music in your soul? Image...imagine that you're Ricky Martin on steroids," Krycek's voice was nasty, menacing; Walter got the picture.

He swayed his hips is a greater arc this time and obviously Alex was satisfied--he may not be getting Chippendales, but at least Skinner was doing his bidding.

"Throw the tie on the floor over there," Alex pointed towards the far wall, "we're not going to be neat tonight."

Skinner slowly brought his hand up the sleeve of its opposite number, feeling the cool, expensive feel of the material. He did the same to his other sleeve, going all the way to his shoulder. He closed his eyes as though in ecstasy. His hips swayed as his fingers caressed the material of his lapels, his fingers pulling the material from his body and tossing the jacket toward the wall to join his tie.

He looked at Alex for his approval, and it was swift in coming.

"Now the shirt, Walter. Do it slow, I want to see each button as you open it. "

Alex was running his fingers through his own pubic hair, letting his hand trail up his stomach, under his shirt, to caress his nipples. He didn't miss a movement as Walter continued opening his buttons. Skinner pulled the shirt from his pants when he was about half way and his hips swayed again. Alex's breath caught in his throat when Walter slipped his hands in his shirt to feel his own chest, rubbing his pectoral muscles in a wanton display, stroking his nipples to erection. Krycek did not fail to notice the tenting in Skinner's pants and he finished unbuttoning his shirt and removed it from his body, tossing it in the pile of his other clothing.

Alex's hand was back caressing his own balls by this time.

Skinner remembered exactly what turned Alex on-his muscles. With one hand on the hard muscles of his stomach and the other caressing his own chest, he turned in a perfect circle on the balls of his feet to give the younger man a complete view.

Alex saw the muscles of his back ripple as he did so, his chest muscles flexing as he raised his hands up and placed them behind his head.

"Still as beautiful as I remember, Walter. A little more grey in the chest hair, but just as beautiful. "

Skinner was startled when Alex opened his little black bag, sorted through the things he had brought and took out a little diamond-studded collar. He left his chair and walked the few paces to where Skinner stood. He reached up and fastened the collar around his companion's neck.

"Lovely, it suits you."

Walter's eyes were wild, his hands clenching into fists behind his head; every muscle in his body tense and fired up-he wanted to pound this man into the ground, but he said nothing.

Alex reached up and dragged one of Skinners hands to his mouth and kissed the back of it. He placed three of the older man's fingers into his mouth, sucked on them hard, played with them with his tongue. His fingers had undone the clasp of Walter's pants and he thrust his hand in quickly past the band of his boxers and handled him roughly. He noticed the half-hard condition of Walter's cock and smiled around the fingers in his mouth. He toyed with the skin, the head, cupped the balls, rolling them from finger to finger as if he owned them. His eyes never left Skinner's, daring him, taunting him to say something. Walter disappointed him.

He spit Walter's hand from his mouth and walked back to his chair and sat down.

"Now, Walter, take those wet fingers and play with your nipples, I want to see you get them hard and wet."

The AD did so and had to stifle his own moan as his nipples responded to his ministrations. His other hand strayed to the tight, hard muscles of his stomach, rubbing himself. He slowly moved his hand toward the band of his opened pants, almost reaching it.

"Stop!" Alex shouted. "Don't touch yourself."

The big man pulled his hand away as though it were slapped.

"Good, you've been listening. Do you want to stop?" Alex's eyes redoubled the challenge in his voice.

Walter forced the bile back down his throat. ", I want to continue."

"Get naked for me," Alex commanded.

Skinner quickly knocked off his shoes, removed his socks, and slipped his open pants to his ankles. He placed his thumbs in the band of his boxers and quickly slipped them down his legs. He stepped out of the clothing, gathered them all together and threw them toward the wall to join the others.

Alex's eyes were glued to the AD, appreciating the naked, Greek perfection displayed before him. "Come here!" Alex commanded. Walter complied and quickly stepped toward the younger man. Krycek's hand rubbed over Walter's thigh and he looked into the big man's eyes. "Just as I remember, long and thick. Mulder must love screwing himself onto that!"

Skinner made an ugly noise.

Alex continued roaming his one hand over the older man's body: caressing here, pinching there, tweaking a nipple, letting the older man know just who owned him this night. Alex inched his mouth slowly toward the swollen cock in front of him, never taking his eyes from the AD, never lessening the challenge in his own and when Alex's tongue made first contact, the AD had to stifle a groan. Alex licked unmercifully, thoroughly, not missing any of the fire points that he knew so well. When the younger man swallowed him whole, in one quick and dirty thrust, Walter couldn't stifle his voice any longer and he practically shouted his encouragement. Alex sucked him ravenously, his perky nose buried in Walter's pubic hair and his finger exploring the crack of the older man's ass. Walter thrust his hips forcefully against his tormentor.

"Jesus, Alex!"

Krycek laughed around the cock in his mouth, using his tongue to swirl around the rod of muscle, driving Skinner even wilder with desire. He slowly drew the cock out of his mouth, noticing the size of it: fully erect and ready.

"No talking Walter, unless spoken to, but I'll let this one pass."

The AD closed his eyes slowly in agreement.

"Walter, you do have a lovely ass! Perfect, in fact. I think it would look great in these." Alex reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a silky jock strap. It didn't take Skinner long to notice that the dam thing was fur lined. His heart leaped. "Put them on!"

Skinner reached out a shaky hand to Alex and took the proffered garment and put them on quickly; his body shook when he forced his erection against the fur of the lining.

"Put your fingers in your mouth, Water, suck them, lick them, make them good and wet," Alex said in such a perfectly normal voice that it scared Skinner.

"Touch your hole, Walter. Rub that finger against it, in circles. But turn around and let me watch you do it."

Skinner turned around, and bent over giving the younger man a good view. He reached behind him and did just what he was told. Drawing lazy circles around the sensitive knot of muscle. His mind thinking of something else entirely, he rubbed himself, feeling his own warm spit on his finger, and he felt damned to hell that his cock got even harder, more aroused--the fur against the head of his organ, driving him nuts. He didn't know how he was going to hold on.

"Push it in Walter, right up to the knuckle."

Walter was shamed, but it felt so damn good, so fucking horny.

"You're enjoying this, admit it big man!" Alex's voice was matter of fact.

"Yes, I am enjoying it, Alex."

"Add another one, Skinner--add another one up that hole."

Skinner did as requested. He winced with the burn of it, the intrusion of that second digit into his tight passage. Alex laughed and Walter felt shamed all over again.

"Now a third, Walter, add that third finger. Get yourself ready for me, I'm going to fuck you tonight, and you're going to love it." Alex spit the words at him.

Out of the corner of his eye he could see the demon reach into his bag and remove a condom and a small bottle of lube. He watched Alex deftly hold the foil wrapped packed in his teeth and rip it open. He was amazed at the skill Alex displayed in rolling the condom on his own over--stimulated cock: a neat trick for a one--armed man. Alex snapped the cover off the bottle of lube and oiled up the latex.

"Take your fingers out of your backside, Walter, and hold them out."

Walter did what he was told and couldn't help but notice the self--satisfied look on Alex's face. Alex placed a good dollop of slick on the out--stretched hand.

"Now oil yourself good, big guy, I wouldn't want to hurt you." Alex snickered. "What would Mulder think?"

While Walter did this, he noticed Alex reaching into his toy box again and pulling out something pink. It was in the shape of a tube and looked like it was made of some sort of pliable plastic; he could see some sort of ridges on the inside. Alex placed in on his lap, stood it up and braced it against his stomach and poured some of the lube inside it. Skinner's mind was in a state of riot, wondering what Alex was going to do with that, surely it wouldn't fit inside him--it was too wide.

Alex noticed the look on his face: "Oh, you're going to enjoy this Walter, you really are. Now go over to the bed, lie in the middle of it on your stomach, spread your legs and lift your ass slightly off the mattress."

Skinner slowly straightened up and walked to the bed and laid down on it, raising his ass slightly as Alex had instructed. Krycek quickly followed him and reached around toward his stomach with the pink tube.

"You'll have to help me here, Skinner, hold your cock at the base."

Skinner did, and nearly screamed when Krycek slipped the tube over his erection hard and fast, slamming the other end of it into his pelvis. The tube totally encased him, and as the ridges on the inside of the toy rubbed against the head of his cock, every muscle in his body screamed out for release: he almost came on the spot.

"Oh my god," Walter said.

>From behind him Alex laughed. "Told you! Now lay on your stomach, Walter."

Walter did, and when his abused flesh slid home inside its confinement, he almost cried from the pleasure of it.

"What's it feel like, Skinner...tell me!"

It felt like Mulder, It feels like I'm buried deep in him, he thought, but he simply said, "It feels great."

Alex spread his ass with his hand and angled his cock at Skinner's hole with his plastic one. One swift movement of his hips and he was half buried in the older man, and Walter moaned with pleasure. The feeling in his cock totally obliterated the pain in his backside. When Alex thrust in all the way, the jolt of it sent Skinner sliding up the full length of the plastic tube. His body screamed its desire; his whole body was one huge sensuous, lustful nerve. His body was singing an elegy to pleasure, but his mind was another matter. He thought of Mulder, his lover, and the look of pure, raw disgust that would take over that face if he knew of Walter's debasement. Those eyes, those bedroom eyes would hate him, he was sure.

Alex held onto Walter's hip and began to thrust, hard. Each withdrawal of the younger man's cock pulled him back along the tube, each new thrust drove him into the tube again. Skinner's mind was quickly turning to jelly, it felt like fucking and being fucked at the same time--without any of the work.

"Fuck me hard, Alex, harder."

Alex laughed an ugly laugh and complied.

Skinner was in sex heaven, his ass filled to overflowing, his cock being worked with a vengeance by the tube encasing it. He felt his balls draw up, felt the burn, felt his body shudder violently, felt his ass clench around the younger man buried so deep inside him.

When he began to shoot his seed into the tube and onto the duvet underneath him, he heard Alex moan his name, and felt Krycek's own orgasmic contractions deep in his ass. Skinner knew that his heart should stop or at least beat its way out of his chest. He was sucking ever increasing amounts of air into his lungs trying to satisfy his need for oxygen.

Alex pulled out of him and quickly disposed of the latex and its contents. With a final smack to Walter's ass that made him jump into the tube, made his overly abused flesh send a fresh jolt of sensual pleasure through his body, Alex flopped down beside him.

"Told you you'd like it." He smiled evilly.


"Takes one..." Alex sang.

Alex turned his head and looked up at the ceiling. "I feel like Monty Hall tonight. Let's make a deal."

"What?" Walter asked with a sleep muffled voice.

"I can turn off the nanocytes, Walter. I can reprogram them. The old men won't know what's happened. They will think it's a malfunction of the technology, and they won't be able to fix it." Alex turned back towards the AD with that. Sincerity shining in his eyes.

"You'll be free, more fears, no more black thoughts in the night wondering just what they or I will want you to do next. No more wondering who you'll have to betray--have to betray next. No more wondering what state secrets you'll have to give away. No more wondering if they are going to ask you to kill someone...some certain someone."

Krycek turned his head again so that he was staring at the ceiling again.

Walter just stared at Alex's profile. He looked so young, so innocent in this light, turned away from him like that. Walter didn't have to see the tight set of is jaw, the look of a man who has done too much, a man who has seen too much and lived to think about it; he didn't have to see the look of a man who had to spend his lonely nights thinking about what he knew.

Walter could almost believe him in this light. Almost.

"Skinner, we're on the same side. We're working for the same thing--to bring those bastards down, to stop this invasion."

Skinner paused for a moment. The only sound in the room was the sound of the two men's breathing, two hearts beating as though in tandem.

"And what would I have to do, Alex. What would I have to do?"

"Nothing, would have to do nothing. It's what you don't do that will guarantee your continued existence."


Alex spoke slowly, deliberately. "I want you to leave Mulder alone. I want you to kiss him off."

"Why?" Skinner's throat went suddenly dry.

"I want him. I always have."

The silence between the two men was almost deafening

"I know. I've always known that you did. " Walter spoke with a quiet, resigned voice.

"I need him, Skinner. I need him to help me. I need him to stop this." There was a pleading tone in Alex's voice.

Walter was still and quiet as though deep in thought. Alex continued to stare at the ceiling, not really seeing anything but lost in his own thoughts.

"I don't know if I can, Alex. I don't know if I've got it in me." Walter's voice was soft; it was a voice that was already in mourning.

"You know what I'm capable of Walter. You know me; you know me probably better than anyone else alive. So don't take too long to decide." The note of menace was already back in Krycek's voice.

Walter shook his head in agreement. "Yes, I know." He flipped himself over on his back. Slowly he raised his hands to his neck and unhooked the collar, passing it to Alex. He smiled now, evilly. He reached down and pulled the pink tube from his totally flaccid cock, bringing it up and putting it under his pillow. "But this stays with me!" Bright smile.

He stole a quick look at the man beside him. He saw the hardened features of this creature of the night. Even in repose Alex was not at rest. Skinner remembered an earlier time when this was not the case. He remembered a beautiful boy, so full of energy, so full of hope, ready to take on the world and ready to take his place in it. And he remembered Alex's first betrayal, remembered the pain deep in his gut when Mulder laid out his accusations at his feet, and relived his own deep denial that Alex would do this.

He gathered the younger man into the fold of his arms and placed the most tender of kisses on his lips-for old time's sake. They were both men, men who knew what this fight for existence was all about; both men who knew what they wanted and knew how to take it, if need be. And tomorrow is another day--one where hope may truly exist.

Skinner rubbed his hands over the younger man's head, smoothing the sweat-soaked hair back and down into place. His hand strayed to Krycek's plastic and steel hand and pulled it around him. He whispered in his ear: "You can stay the night if you want, but lock up when you leave."

He pulled the duvet over them both and settled his body against that of his abuser and settled down to sleep.

Krycek settled his head on Skinner's shoulder and reached up to kiss his ear. "Don't take too long to decide, Sir!"