By Viridian5

RATING: R. M/K. If m/m interaction bothers you, run away! SPOILERS: teeny,tiny one for _The X-Files: Fight the Future_ SUMMARY: Krycek ponders thepros and cons, costs and rewards.
DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere, as long as you ask me first. DISCLAIMERS: All thingsX-Files belong to Chris Carter, Ten- Thirteen, and Fox. I'm just sharingand not making a cent off this. No infringement intended. Suing me wouldbe a waste of time and a mean thing to do. I have no money. At all. FEEDBACK:All feedback can be sent to Viridian5@aol.com NOTES: Inspired by a threadon the nick-fixx list, this one is for Te, who immediately coined the term"Alexeibellei" after hearing part of my idea. You'll see.
Thanks to Te for whipping this puppy into shape during the beta process.


By Viridian5

I always figured I could get used to anything. It seemed to be true. Thatability kept me alive and mostly sane through shit that would break andkill almost anyone else. Now it's part of the problem.

My current situation didn't seem to be sanity or life threatening. On thesurface.

Mulder burrowed deeper into my side, gently pushing me further toward theback of the leather couch. After being on assignment somewhere in Wisconsinfor a week, he'd come home tonight battered and bruised, so tired he couldonly change into an old pair of sweat clothes before collapsing on the couch.When I'd joined him here, he sighed contentedly and mumbled that he didn'tsleep well without me.

I'd needed that week. I'd gone back to life-as-usual--or what used to be--dancingon the edge between legal and illegal, between life and death. Reestablishingcontacts, trading secrets, threatening people who needed to be threatened.Occasionally killing people who needed to be killed.

I did a lot of walking and thinking, staying away from the apartment. Atleast, I tried to stay away from the apartment. I couldn't help droppingby every night to see if Mulder had gotten back yet, even as I hated myselffor it. I never checked the answering machine or hung around, though. Itried to see that as a sign of independence and not just a reaction to hisabsence.

Mulder's hair, cut short by some nutjob captor two cases ago, tickled myneck. When he'd come home with it that first time, I'd threatened to killthe bastard, but said bastard had already died under paranormal circumstances.Mulder had tried to assure me he hadn't been injured, that the haircut wasn'tthat bad. Of course, one of our common bonds included the occasional tendencyto butcher our hair, just because. He pretended to be upset when I startedcalling him porcupine.

Three months ago I'd showed up at his apartment, badly injured and worndown. My patron had gotten himself barbecued, and it was Krycek season allover again. After the traditional fight with the trading of insults anddouble entendres, Mulder took me in. Imagine my surprise. Imagine my furthersurprise when he decided to take up my care and feeding. Treated and bandagedmy wounds, spoke to me without yelling or trying to punch me, started teachinghimself to cook...

I'd decided that if this Mulder was a pod person, he was at least treatingme well. Very well. The second night I'd seduced him, or he'd seduced me,whichever. I never knew he could be so sweet and savage at the same time,or that he--or anyone--could make noises like that. He'd turned out to beevery bit as talented with that mouth as I'd hoped. We started a new tradition.

So, my stay here had just been about getting great sex and the other basicnecessities, right? Food, shelter... warmth...

I'd healed, started to put on enough weight that I no longer looked transparent.My forays outside got me the knowledge that the war had quieted down a bit.I could have left, if I wanted.

I stayed, and Mulder slowly lost that look he used to have every time hecame home. The one that said he was surprised to see me still here.

But very pleasantly surprised...

I wish I could say for sure when my plan had started to go so wrong. Theclosest thing I could put my finger on was the first time I cleaned theapartment. I'd gotten bored and didn't feel like going out, so I went towork. Clutter was fine, and Mulder seemed more comfortable in the middleof an environment of controlled chaos, but he'd been letting the apartmentreach a new state of filthiness.

When he had gotten home and seen what I'd done, it seemed to mean somethingto him I hadn't intended. At least, I hadn't *originally* intended... Oh,no.

Seeing how uncomfortable I'd become, he started cracking jokes. Said I'devicted some dust bunnies he'd been on a first name basis with and disruptedthe experiment in evolution he'd been conducting in the refrigerator, butthe jokes provided only a light cover for what we knew had started to happen.

And I still stayed, and I still cleaned. I'd gotten used to being clutchedtightly in my sleep, waking up for Mulder's nightmares, and sleeping throughhim getting up to run or go to work. To steady meals. To indolent Sundaymornings of eating breakfast together at noon and reading the paper at thekitchen table. To checking for bugs. To nights of popcorn, beer, awful movies,and often mind-blowing sex. To wanting to kill the people who tried to hurtand kill him and figuring out which ones I could get away with and whichones I shouldn't even try. To having an enthusiastic bed partner any timeI wanted him. To him, to the point where even his annoying tics were startingto seem cute. To snuggling, for God's sake. To having someone around andnot wondering when he'd stick the knife in my back...

I'd never expected this. This wasn't me.

"Alex, what's wrong?"

With his hair sticking up in spikes and his eyes trained on my face likethe laser scope on a rifle, Mulder was a rumpled vision of care and concern.I wondered how long he'd been awake and watching me. Coddled and safe, Iwas losing my survival instincts.

The resulting flash of terror made me say, "I'm going soft."

"Not to my knowledge." The leer couldn't hide the fear in hiseyes. He knew what I meant.

I pulled up my T-shirt. "Look at this, I'm getting fat." Afteryears of living hand to mouth, my body seemed to have settled into starvationmode, still trying to create reserves even after months of plenty. I stillworked out, but I now had a bit of stomach.

I knew I was dancing around the issue.

Mulder slid down and rested his head against my belly. The short hair brushingagainst my bare skin made me squirm. "It's only a little tummy, Alex,and I like it. I could tap out a tune on your ribs when you first showedup."

"You *like* it?"

When he looked up at me, I saw sparks in his deep green eyes. "Oh,yeah. I think it's sexy." Then the bastard started to tickle me.

Completely helpless, unable to catch my breath through the laughter, I struggledand made incoherent death threats that only seemed to goad Mulder on. Mentioningknives and guns and the things I would do with them only made him hotter.My own fault for taking up with someone as kinky as he is.

Eventually he stopped tickling and started kissing, worshipping my stomach.Soft lips and a rough tongue ravaged me. The mixture of his warm breathand the cooling trails on my skin where his mouth had already been mademe shiver. As he tongued my navel, I let myself dissolve under him.

I knew what had happened to me. Once upon a time, I had come to his doorfor food, shelter, and a bit of petting, gleeful in the thought of how easilyI was taking advantage of the poor sap. Still getting what I wanted, I'dstayed. I made the mistake of starting to *need* these things, to need him,and freedom and independence looked less and less inviting.

You might as well put a collar with a bell on me.

Mulder stopped and pulled away. "I was thinking of getting you a blackone with little rhinestones." He got off me and perched on the edgeof the couch, eyes down. He looked desolated. My fault.

Shit. My instincts *are* shot.

"I didn't-- I never meant to take ownership of you or make it harderfor you to use me." Mulder laughed bitterly. "You can do whateveryou like, Alex," he said softly, "whatever."

It actually hurt me to see him so hurt. "Mulder."

"What?" He wouldn't look at me, but I saw misery in his everyfeature.

A week alone hadn't decided the issue for me. Seeing him now, like this,seeing how it made me feel... It forced everything into clarity. I knewwhat I had to do.

I leaned forward and turned his face toward mine. He looked at me like hewas waiting for me to take the next shot that would put an end to us, tosay the words that would split us back into just me and him.

I was scared, but I always faced my fears head on. And kicked their asses.

I swallowed. "Own me."

***********************THE END**********************