Factory Fresh
By Ursula

Rules sometimes must be broken. Beat me. I dare you!

 

Another dinner at Scully’s, Great! Mulder brooded. He watched Mack Scully bearing a large tray from the kitchen. He wore a black sweater and jeans so tight that they seemed painted on. A frilly apron covered the front of his clothing. The android leaned down and kissed Scully’s cheek as he set the roast beef and vegetables down. "I’ll just go check on Jeffy before I sit down, Dana."

"Isn’t he just the prize?" Maggie Scully enthused. "Little did I know that my garage sale habit would find me such a perfect son-in-law. He mows my lawn, takes me to my sales, does all my mechanical work, and programs my VCR."

"Yeah? Are you sure he and the VCR aren’t having a fling on the side?" Mulder asked.

"Oh, that’s a joke, isn’t it? Dana says you are the king of one liners, a regular FBI Henny Youngman," Maggie remarked. She carved the roast into neat piles of slices with a touch as deft as her daughter slicing a human liver for the microscope.

Why the hell did he come here? Oh, yes, his birthday, Mulder couldn’t stand one more birthday alone. If only he hadn’t fought with Alex and told him to get the hell out of his life forever.

Mack Scully, who taken Scully’s last name, having none of his own, arrived with a smiling baby boy in his arms. The biological father of Scully’s baby was Alex Krycek…not by scientific means but, as Mulder had proved in an X File, Jeff had died a virgin. His last thought had been of his desire for Scully and he had returned to after-life as an incubus. As Jeff had also secretly lusted over Krycek, he had visited the agent provocative immediately before seducing Scully in her dreams. In traditional succubae fashion, Jeff had impregnated Scully with the seed of a living man.

After the shock, Scully had been rather smug. The resulting baby was so adorable that when her old fashioned doctor had slapped the baby’s bottom to stimulate breathing, his nurse had taken the baby from him, handed him to the proud mother and punched the doctor. In the resulting criminal assault suit, the jury had viewed the baby in evidence and fined the obstetrician for child abuse. The case was still winding its way through the courts.

Grandmother Maggie reached for the baby and said, "Have you ever seen such a cute baby…such long lashes and pretty green eyes! Give grandma a kiss baby."

Mulder could have sworn the infant winked smugly at him. Mack Scully filled a plate and sat down next to Dana. Frohike’s successful programming had succeeded in making him heterosexually inclined although he still flirted with all genders.

"Stop sulking, Mulder," Scully scolded. "It just so happens I had an anonymous tip and have finally found the place that made Mack. In exchange for my promise of silence, you can go and order a Mac 27 of your own,"

At this, Maggie Scully blushed. She was of a generation when such things were not mentioned publicly. However, she contented herself with quietly feeding the adorable little Jeffrey Charles Alexander Scully and making grandma points by skipping the squash and concentrating on the mashed peaches.

"Scully, you shouldn’t have," Mulder purred. "When do I get him?"

"You can order him tomorrow," Dana said, "They’ll meet you in the third abandoned warehouse on Factory Street with a group from which to choose."

His own Alex…one that would never run away, smirk at him, or punch back…the things Fox could think of that idea.

* * *

The warehouse was the same as all the others on the street, rundown, strips of paint peeling away like a mangy dog’s fur. Boarded up windows lined the street and the loading bays in back were surrounded by barbed wire. Mulder had to press a very cracked white plastic button very hard to gain the attention of a security guard who confirmed his appointment and led him inside.

Mulder had spent the previous night jacking off to feverish visions of row after row of naked Kryceks; blond ones, versions with red hair and blue eyes like a combination of Scully and Alex, and ones with Tunguska crewcuts. He had dreamed of Hispanic versions, one-armed ones with hooks, and two-armed baby Kryceks with goop in their long hair…all of whom he had to test-drive before making a decision. Now, he was hard and hoping that some part of this was his dream come true.

The lobby was small with a bored looking receptionist who shortly ushered him into a medical examination room. A man with red hair and a baby face entered and asked, "Physical first or the psychological?"

"What?" Mulder asked.

"That’s how we match you to a model and program it to suit you," the man said. He offered his hand and said, "I’m Dr. Gaydarre. You can be assured that we will have the best product to meet your needs."

Hating doctors as he did, Mulder was half way out the door before giving in to his fatal attraction. He returned and tried to decide which intrusion to tolerate first.

About an hour later, Mulder sat punching keys in front of a computer program. He had been prodded, poked, measured, erected, subjected, and inspected. Dr. Gaydarre and he ought to be engaged by now. Now his penis was in a condom- like measuring device and he had sensors on his pulse and over his heart. A small tube like a Breathalyzer was less than an inch from his mouth.

This program, however, was interesting. He did get to see lots of versions of Krycek and could punch up more all the time. He keyed in his fantasy of red hair and blue eyes…pretty, but not for him. Pausing for a long time at the android image that seemed to be a copy of the Alex Krycek he had first met, Mulder signaled for the young agent Krycek to undress on the screen. His finger trembled over the ‘confirm order’ button, but he hadn’t seen them all yet.

Tunguska Krycek or GI Alex was a temptation. The baseball cap begged to be knocked off the crewcut head. The battered jeans looked butter-soft as if Mulder could rip them right off the sleek body. The leather jacket, worn and dirty, would have made a lovely addition to his fetish collection…but still, Mulder was determined to see every version. He wished he were allowed to have them all, a Krycek copy for every occasion, versatile, ever adapting beautiful rat…

Mulder at last came to the final version of the object of his desire…sophisticated Krycek in a suit. Nice if he could have had more than one, but if he must choose…

Clicking back, Mulder found the one that looked like Alex the night he had broken into apartment 42. Green fire eyes, soft full lips that trembled against his cheek, warm male scent wafting from his memory…this one. He would order one like this, but with two arms. Sadly, Mulder clicked on the naked version. Alex Krycek or as near to him as being no different stood proudly on the screen. His small chin was up. His eyes radiated defiance at the camera. His left arm ended in a lumpy knot of flesh and scars radiated up from the wound. Tears flooded Mulder’s eyes and he touched the screen, touched the bits that made up the picture of the wounded but undefeated man that he had fought with, cursed, desired, and lost. "I’m sorry, Alex, so sorry…"

Drying his eyes, Mulder placed the order. He had completed a voluminous psychological and sexual practice questionnaire. Now, he just had to wait for the perfect Mac 27 to be delivered to his door. The one thing he promised himself was that he would not make the mistake that Scully made. He certainly would not fall in love with a mere machine, no matter how pretty. It was a sex toy, pure and simple.

* * *

By Friday, Mulder’s cock was sore from jerking off. All he could think about was owning something that looked exactly like Alex, but which would not run away or mouth off to him. The knock at his door made him instantly hard…a fact that had made the last person, a religious missionary, back away as if Mulder had greeted him with a pitbull instead.

This time, it was Alex…sleek, eyes glowing, lips faintly parted, pink and lush lips that were like tender rosebuds. His black hair was ebony satin, begging to be touched, to be grabbed. Mulder grabbed him and pulled him in. "You’re my Mac 27?"

Downcast eyes, but a glitter of light shining from beneath the false modesty, the Mac 27 said, "I am for you, Fox Mulder."

Damn, just like Classic Star Trek…hmm, wonder if they made other versions, a Spock for instance?

A glimmer of paranoia was Mulder’s next thought but of course, you’re not paranoid if they’re really out to get you. Mulder said, "Undress…"

"Yes, Muhlllldheer," the android replied. Black leather jacket shed onto the floor followed by a black sweater. The pants went a moment later. He was pale as the first light of day, mysterious and white gold. Jet black curls made a crisp patch from which bloomed the heavy, faintly rosy cock. His legs were downy with scattered hairs, strongly muscled. Even his naked feet seemed too beautiful to tread the earth, arching proudly and beautifully shaped.

As Mulder examined his present, he could see only one obvious difference between this Mac 27 and the real thing. The left arm was intact. What if Alex had some how fooled him? Mulder took out a small sharp knife and said, "Hold out your right hand."

Quickly, Mulder made an incision and saw a momentary spill of red, but when he parted the skin, beneath was a thin flexible covering. Mulder saw circuitry and grunted, relieved. It was exactly as promised, a Mac 27.

"Sorry, did I hurt you?" Mulder found himself asking.

"I experienced sensory disruption as a result of the damage. Is that pain?" the Mac 27 asked.

"I don’t know. I guess so. Do you have a name?" Mulder asked.

"I am Mac 27," the creature said.

"Well, you’re all Mac 27…" Mulder said, "I’m going to call you Alex. Do you like that?"

"Alex is a good name," the android said.

Smiling, Mulder said, "We’re going to be good friends, Alex. Would you like to come to bed?"

"Yes, Muhllderr," the Mac 27 said shyly.

In all his imaginings, he had not thought about kissing the Mac 27. What would it taste like? Oil? Mulder shuddered, remembering Krycek’s blank expression when the alien had ridden him.

However, the Mac 27s mouth tasted like mint and honey…sweet and fresh. As Mulder’s tongue gently explored a soft moan erupted against his lips. So realistic, so perfect, he thought. He had dreamed about being rough, about games of rape and violence, but instead he found himself feeling tender, gentle. He brushed his finger through Alex’s hair. It felt warm, soft, clean, and human, not like a wig or something artificial.

"You’re so perfect," Mulder whispered, "just as I thought he was. It’s not your fault that he hurt me. He was cruel, but I can be kind. Make love to me, Alex, take me in your mouth."

Just as Scully’s Mac 27 did, this one needed no buttons pushed. It understood English and responded appropriately. He was everything that Mulder was sure that he wanted but he was not Alex…

However, this was the best that Mulder could have. The real Alex was lost…he had appeared and disappeared, but this time, it seemed the bond had been broken. Krycek was not drawn back, did not appear with mysterious changes in the way he looked and new shadows in his eyes.

Soft kisses rained on his body, gentle and sweet. Mulder opened to them, yielding for the moment like the earth warming to a spring rain. His hand caressed a cheek, fingertips easing downward to find the delicate chin and incline it upward. The lips were wet with saliva or was it some other lubricant? They seemed ruddy and real. Innobotics had thought of everything; Alex was perfect in every detail. Green eyes danced and the lips curved in a sweet smile.

Alex said, "I want to make you happy."

Mulder’s fingertips swept back a straying lock of hair. He said, "Yes, Alex, make me happy." A tear ran down his cheek though and he yearned, how he yearned…

His mouth was expert. Mulder tried to remember if Alex could ever have taken him so long and deep. It seemed as if he had, but surely the Mac 27 could do it better. After all, they didn’t need to breathe. Mulder arched up, reaching with both hands and pushing Alex’s head down firmly over his pulsating cock. The android’s mouth felt hot and wet; hard to believe it was all a clever simulation. It was almost tempting to come this way, but he wanted to claim this Alex as he had the other.

"Stop!" Mulder commanded; roughly now, demandingly, he turned Alex on his back and knelt between his legs.

The pamphlet at Innobotics said that the anal passage was self-lubricating and would ready itself. Mulder spread the legs wide and set the feet flatly against the bed. He said, "Lift up so I can get a pillow under you."

My God, the Mac 27 was erect. A glistening spherule of moisture was at the tip of the royally colored cock. The inside of the thighs was velvet over steel. Mulder almost laughed at his fancy…that was probably true although the infrastructure was an alloy stronger and lighter than conventional materials, but the flesh felt warm, moist with perspiration, very real.

Leaning over the android, Mulder tasted the fluid, again it tasted real, salty tang with just a hint of something acrid underneath. He looked up into the face. Eyelashes fluttered against sharp, delicate cheeks. Lips parted for the sibilant sips of breath. There was even a blush over the face and extending to the chest. Each deep rose nipple had unfurled to peaks of desire. Mulder remembered the first time that Alex had let himself be taken this way. It had felt like capturing something wild and supernatural as if a god had plummeted to earth and he mere clay profaned him yet worshipped him in an act of love.

* * *

How bitter that they had simulated every detail…Jealousy stung him as Mulder imagined scientists hovering over Alex, arousing him, taking him, measuring his every reaction as they plundered him. Oh how he hated them for having what he was now denied!

Angry now, Mulder forced a finger inside the clean entrance. As promised, the android was lubricated and ready. He was a sick bastard to do this…to make love to an animated doll, but his desire would not ease. He needed Alex, but this would have to do…this flawless copy with only two differences: that he could never betray Mulder nor ever love him.

Softer than the skin of a perfect peach, as lush as ripe fruit, Alex’s ass welcomed him. Mulder closed his eyes as he was encased in the heat within. The thighs trembled against his flesh, legs holding him dear. He tried to compare, tell whether there were differences, but soon he lost the will and found only rapture. They moved together and Mulder forgot that he did not really have his lover back. His ardor ignited him. He rode faster and harder, Alex’s flesh his chariot to ride to immolation…oblivion, a nirvana of one dazzling merging of Fox Mulder with every cell of life in the universe.

And afterwards, he was a wingless falcon, a tamed wolf, weak, soft, lost in a grief that knew neither comfort nor explanation. Without an order, Mac 27 stood up and went to the bathroom. Mulder had rolled onto his back; his arm covered his eyes. One hand rested defensively across his still sensitive cock.

Water ran in the bathroom and the android returned with a cloth, wiping Mulder’s sweating body clean. With perfect timing, he washed Mulder’s spent cock just when the last sensation had faded.

"It’s not your fault that you’re not really Alex," Mulder murmured. He had planned to just order the Mac 27 into the closet when he had finished with him, but it seemed too cruel. "Do you want to lie down with me?"

Lashes billowed gently up and down like black waves over the green sea of his eyes. Mulder’s gaze followed the smooth temptation of the round ass so much better to soothe him to sleep than any dream of electric sheep…

When the Mac 27 returned to his bed, Mulder wound around the lithe form, possessively. "You belong to me. No one can ever take you, not Spender this time…no one."

"Only to you," his new Alex replied, "Only to you."

Mulder fell asleep holding the android close. Sleepily, he realized that the makers had even gone so far as to simulate a heart beat. So perfect…if only he really was Alex.

The days sped by at amazing speed. The Mac 27 was Alex. He spoke like him, laughed like him, and walked like him…that ribald slightly swaying grace that seemed to beg to be tackled and taken. Alex, the android, was programmed with the same books that Alex had read. He liked the same music, the same food, and even moaned in sex just like Mulder’s vanished lover.

Saturday afternoon, Mulder sprawled on the floor watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He turned to Alex and said, "Do you remember the first time we saw this together? It seems like yesterday, love."

Abruptly, Mulder remembered that it had not been this Alex…it had been Agent Krycek. It had been the first time that they had made love. He had silenced the laughter shaking Alex from head to foot with a kiss. His hands on each shoulder had pinned him down for a moment as he stared down entranced at a face grown wild with passion. God damn it, Alex! How could you ever leave?

For a moment, he was filled with hate for the Mac 27 because he had forgotten for one moment that Alex had not returned and Mulder’s heart was filled with grief for his lost one. Somehow through all the hatred, the battles of words, the physical struggles, it had always been true that they remained connected, locked in an inextricable relationship as he once said to Scully. Yet, he had never told her the full true truth that it had been a relationship that reached for heaven and fell to the cold black depths of Hades.

Shoving Mac 27 away, Mulder had said venomously, "Get your things. I’m taking you back."

Humbly the android had bent his head and said, "I will not need them, master. I was made for you. Scully’s Mack was illegally sold. We are made for just one person, not to be reused unless totally wiped and reprogrammed. So I am ready now. I am sorry that I did not please you."

Tears flooded Mulder’s eyes and he shook his head. "You did please me, Mac 27. That’s the problem. I’m sorry. You don’t have to go back. Could you go…shopping or something. Get groceries and give me some time to think?"

Taking his hand in his own, Mac 27 kissed the back of it and then went out the door. Mulder curled on a corner of the couch, chin resting on his bony knees. He shut his ears to the movie yet made no move to turn it off.

* * *

His mind replayed the taste of Alex. He remembered Alex’s touch sometimes delicate and sometimes demanding, his hands evoking with their touch almost madness. Alex’ had known his needs better than Mulder knew them.

"I’ll never have anything like that again," Mulder mourned.

Two hours later, the Mac 27 returned with groceries and went into the kitchen. He prepared a passable Chicken Kiev, served Mulder, and stood as if waiting for permission.

"You eat human food, don’t you?" Mulder said, recalling the hastily read manual.

"Yes, Mulder," Alex, the Mac 27 said.

"Well, sit down and eat. Then we’ll clean the kitchen and whatever…"

Whatever turned out to be that Mulder forgot that the Mac 27 was there and spent two hours on the computer, researching a rash of reports of odd objects, falling from the sky. He reluctantly concluded that all the incidents coincided with flight times of a rather careless major airline and that they were far from being an X File.

To his surprise, the Mac 27 chose to read during this time. Somehow Mulder expected that the android would turn off when not in use, rather like a computer going into sleep mode. He wondered what a glorified computer made of Don Quixote?

* * *

On Monday, Mulder realized that he really didn’t know what to do with the Mac 27. He had envisioned putting the android away when he wasn’t playing with it, but now he realized how realistically human the creatures were. Finally, he shrugged and said, "Well, I guess you don’t need to go to a daycare center even if you are only a few days old. I’ll call before I come home. Do you plan to make dinner?"

Alex said, "Sure, Mulder. Don’t worry I’ll keep myself busy."

After an uncomfortable moment during which Mulder pondered whether he was supposed to give a Ward Cleaver smooch to his domestic partner, he decided to merely wave and go to work.

* * *

Dana was already at her desk, the one that used to be Doggett’s, before NASA recruited him for top-secret security purposes, reputedly a project having to do with time travel. She seemed happy, positively glowing. She beamed at Mulder and asked, "Is yours as good as mine?"

"Better," Mulder stated, "Exactly what I ordered."

"That’s good. I always knew…" Scully said.

"Knew what?" Mulder returned, thumbing through a stack of interdepartmental memos. Those that do, take action. Those that can’t, write memos. The one with the suggestion that everyone save the FBI money by bringing in his or her own cups for the water cooler was really a beauty.

Looking around as if the walls might have ears, Scully whispered, "You had a thing with Krycek."

"You brought one home first," Mulder commented.

"That was different. Mack was homeless. I bought him out of a sense of compassion," Scully replied, a blush calling her a liar.

"I didn’t have a thing for Krycek," Mulder argued, holding two fingers crossed beneath the cover of the desk. Besides having a thing with Krycek was not the same as having a thing for him.

Rolling her eyes, Scully resumed busily tapping out the report on their latest case, a sudden dance craze among over-weight middle aged females, disappointingly traced at last to ergot in a batch of Slimfast bars. Scully had strutted her stuff over making the breakthrough on the case. Mulder wouldn’t exactly have been proud if he had solved a case by accidentally stumbling over the evidence in his purse.

Taking out his longhand notes, Mulder worked on the case before that, a consult on yet another serial killer case. Soon he was on a dark path again, buried in the thoughts and the labyrinth psyche of the killer. There was so much satisfaction in bringing one of these human sharks to justice yet every time he worked this type of case, he could not sleep and found his thoughts dark as the souls of the killer.

At times, Mulder believed that Alex Krycek was like that; a shark, cold blooded, perfect in its way, a killing machine of enormous power and remorseless grace. Hard to believe that he had loved that…

His hands frozen on the keys, Mulder realized the monitor screen was blurring. He covered his eyes as his brain tormented him with perfect recollection of Alex’s face, gazing at him with passion and regret. Why had he never asked him what he hid behind azurite eyes?

Finding the phone in his hand, Mulder dialed his apartment. The Mac 27 answered, "Mulder’s residence."

"Hey, I thought I’d check and see how you were doing?" Mulder said.

"I’m fine. I was cleaning the refrigerator," the android answered.

"Oh, shit, hey if you find a baby food jar with masking tape on it, leave it alone. It’s a specimen I was bringing to Pendrell," Mulder explained.

"Agent Pendrell was killed February 23, 1997," Mac 27 said.

"Well, I was saving it for sentimental reasons," Mulder said. "How did you know that?"

"Mac 27s have a large bank of periodical reports in our data base. Would you like to have the text of the news report?" The Mac 27 challenged.

"No thanks, well, can I pick anything up from the store?" Mulder asked.

"Ice cream? Chocolate ice cream?" the voice returned hopefully.

"Can do," Mulder promised, "Talk to you later."

After he hung up, Mulder sat back in his chair and stretched. At least, he would not return home to a lonely apartment.

Scully asked, "Are you all right, Mulder?"

"Fine, Scully, just fine," he replied.

A quart of Chunky Monkey in his hand, Mulder found himself humming as he bounced on his heels in the creaking elevator. As the elevator hitched between floors, he tried a little Elvis spin and sang out:

"You look like an angel
Walk like an angel
Talk like an angel
But I got wise
You're the devil in disguise
Oh yes you are
The devil in disguise

You fooled me with your kisses
You cheated and you schemed
Heaven knows how you lied to me
You're not the way you seemed"

Damn, Mulder thought, I wonder if Krycek was cheating on me with Elvis too?

* * *

There was a little smear of chocolate at the corner of the Mac 27s mouth. Mulder picked up his napkin, which said, "Joe’s Delicious Deli", and leaned forward to pat the evidence away. Hell no! Mulder caught the Alex’s face in his hands…it felt so real, faintly rough with beard stubble, supple, and the lips which parted for him were moistly shining. A swipe of his tongue robbed the Mac 27 of the chocolate and then Mulder found that which was sweeter, richer, the flavor of Alex, the heat of him…how could they have known? What magic had wrought so exact a copy?

A soft groan sang against his ravaging mouth. A word escaped from the Mac 27, "Please? Take me?"

Was it a program? Was it that simple to reduce passion to patterns? Could anyone have taken Alex and gotten the same response?

Too much thinking, Mulder, way too much, he chided himself as his hand drew away the black tee, unbuttoned the tight fly, and pulled the clothing open. His own shirt was flung away and his pants shed. He lay naked, pinning the Mac 27 under him on the couch. The shirt was still snagged on one hand. Mulder impatiently jerked it free. Mac 27 arched and tugged on the jeans which constrained him.

"Don’t, I like the contrast…" Mulder said, bare thighs and erect cock meeting his, the denim imprisoning Alex’s lower legs and sending textured messages to Mulder’s brain every time his flesh encountered the rough fabric. He’d had so many chances to do this. Why hadn’t he? He was sure if he had tried that Alex would have melted beneath him and welcomed him as hotly as this simulacrum did.

* * *

"Struggle with me," Mulder invited. "Fight me a little as if you were trying to get away."

Was that a hint of amusement in the green eyes? Mulder couldn’t be sure, but the Mac 27 cooperatively arched and heaved, never strongly enough to dislodge Mulder, but it was so damn good that it took a minute to realize that he could have more, have it all.

Standing, Mulder straddled Mac 27 and looked down at him. Cleverly, the android tilted his head away, not meeting his eyes. Alex to the very moistness that hinted at tears in his eyes. "You are so damn beautiful, so perfect," Mulder said. He finished undressing this automaton of desire and said, "Let’s go to bed."

This time, although the manual said it wasn’t needed, Mulder prepared the Mac 27 as if he were human, lovingly stroking him open before slowly claiming him again. The Mac 27 lay on his side, his leg lifted, allowing Mulder to take him in slow shallow strokes. Mulder held him tightly. This Alex was his, his forever. He would not ever leave.

Mulder’s clever hand found the hard shaft. If he closed his eyes, his memory could clearly recall the feel of Alex Krycek in his hand. His every nerve cell sang with the certainty that this was he. Yet, knowing it was all a lie, Mulder moved faster, losing the pain and fear, the loss of so much in this building pleasure until his body stiffened and he keened both sorrow and delight into his lover’s elfin ear.

"We need a shower," Mulder said long moments later.

Curious again, Mulder explored the torso. He couldn’t even distinguish the line where the control panel sealed. Contract void if user attempts to break seal. Mulder’s need to know for once did not exceed his common sense. He could not bear to lose this Alex too.

Snuggling unashamedly later, Mulder said, "I love you, Mac 27. I miss him and I know you can never really be him, but you make me as happy as I can be without…"

Without Alex…but with this Velveteen Rabbit of a sex toy. It was not everything, but it was what he had…and must be enough.

* * *

Mulder was asleep. Alex had always loved to watch him sleep. It eased away the barriers and defenses, leaving only a curious little boy frown on the noble forehead. Mulder’s sensuous mouth was slack. Lower lip pouting. The smell of sex was still ripe and enticing in the room. Just looking at him made Alex hard again. He wondered how far Mulder was willing to go with what he thought was a mechanical man? Would he let Alex have him? Would he allow Alex to do what he had only been allowed a handful of times before he had no choice but to run?

It had been an impulse. The only reason Alex had been at the Innobotics’ clinic was to have a final check done on his replacement arm. When Alex had learned about this hidden project, he had immediately thought of the possibility of having one of the alien based technologies’ limbs joined with his nervous system; after all, the first idea the Consortium funded researchers had considered was perfect prosthetics. Alex was correct. A little pressure and here he was, two armed again. The left one was capable of nearly as much sensation as the right one. It felt and looked real. With the Mac 27 technology, you couldn’t even see where flesh blended with the pseudo-skin.

Alex had been about to leave when he caught sight of Mulder wired up in the customer service chair. It was typical of Spender to see more than one way to skin a rat. By ‘selling’ the Mac 27s to particular customers, he made money, had built in spies, and garnered good will. At the same time, he built his private army, an army that could not be taken over by aliens and would not be affected by the green vapor that resulted from killing a morph. It must have given his deeply twisted brain infinite pleasure by providing him with hundreds, thousands of Kryceks that could not defy him.

At first, Alex was sickened, especially when he learned that the Mac 27s contained human brain matter, replicas of his brain cells harvested from illegal use of both cloning and fetal cells. He had intended to have them all destroyed until he had met one and realized they were more than machines. He was ruthless, but never without cause, without the best of causes, to wage a war with heaven as he had told Mulder so long ago. In the end, Alex agreed that Spender in his twisted way was right. The only thing that he had done in the end was to make sure that the androids were all with people who cared about them. Give the poor bastards what circumstances denied him.

However, when fate brought them both to Innobotics on the same day, who was Alex to fight it? He was weary, almost too tired to fight anymore. One of the few things that kept him going was his blind, bitter devotion to the man who was the Achilles heel in his ability to think and act with the incisive remorseless tactics that he believed was humanities’ last chance. It was so hard to try to keep Mulder safe and he had already gambled and almost lost him forever.

Hiding in the guise of a Mac 27 while allowing the rumor of his death to spread had been brilliant move. Alex was not fool enough to believe that Mulder would grieve. He’d be lucky if Mulder didn’t look for his grave just to dig him up and spit in his eye. It only surprised him that Mulder still had enough lust for him to order a copy of him. He had been a little worried that Mulder actually had faked the response test and intended to slowly torture his double. However, unless you count being fucked to death as torment, things were hardly life threatening.

Now Mulder gasped in his sleep and said, "Alex…Alex…no, don’t leave me. Never leave me."

Settling down, his arms protectively enclosing his love, Alex said, "I won’t. I’m here. Never going to leave you this time."

Mulder settled, turned around and hugged him closer; his face nestled more trustingly than Alex thought possible in the crook of Alex’s neck.

If only…if only Mulder could really forgive him, accept him back in his own person, believe that if he had ever had another choice, he would never have taken the paths he had walked.

If only…then Alex could bear another lifetime of bruises given instead of kisses, blood instead of love, if only Mulder were a stronger man who could live with the truth when the lie was so much sweeter.

If only…

 

Garage 3: Made to Order