"Take a deep breath, Alex" Alex Krycek told his image in the mirror. He hated the haircut and the suit. If he had to wear a suit, it should be silk or linen or soft imported wool. At least, his tie was a good color to bring out his eyes. Not that his eyes needed to be highlighted, Alex thought. He blinked his lashes. There were people who thought he wore mascara. Bull, every fraction of them was genuine Alex. He blinked them for practice and looked at his mirror image to see the jade green of his eyes peer from black lashes. Too bad that Mulder was colorblind. He wouldn't get the full effect.
Alex wrinkled his nose and rubbed at the v-shaped crinkle. He had a cute nose. Mulder had a Cyrano job, unflattering if caught at the wrong angle. Alex practiced a sincere expression and decided he was cute even with the bad hair. He smiled with his pretty lips; heart shaped bow at the top, fuller bottom lip, and a tiny crease, that men and women just wanted to kiss. Mulder had a drooping lower lip. Alex wanted to suck that in and taste it. Mmm, Mulder looked like Caramel syrup and honey over vanilla ice cream. He looked good to eat and Alex hoped he would find out how good soon.
Alex straightened his tie, combed his hair and he was on, on stage for the biggest game yet. So far, his life as a secret agent hadn't been all bad. The worst part was over, he hoped. The smoking bastard who owned him might leave him free of his greedy demands for sex and the pain he inflicted on Alex, when the man's frequent impotence kept him from satisfaction in the ordinary ways.
By the end of the first day, Alex was pissed. Mulder refused to shake his hand, dumped him at headquarters, and rolled his eyes when Alex almost vomited in the autopsy bay. That bitch, Scully had acted as if Alex was not in the room. Alex had finally gone down to the car to report in and then to sulk. Mulder didn't apologize when he finally strolled up. He said, "Give me the keys, Krycek. I made reservations at a hotel so we can continue those interviews tomorrow. What do you say to some Chinese food? I'll buy."
Alex said, "God, yes, we never stopped for lunch. I need to pick up a couple things if we are staying over night, some cheap department store so I don't strain my budget, okay?"
Mulder nodded and grabbed the keys. Alex wished he were out of this suit. He wanted to eat, shower, and get in a workout. His interest in Mulder as a sexual object had worn off with exposure. The guy was so rude.
Alex chose starred items on the menu. Hot and hotter were his favorites at sex and food. Mulder tried his choices and drowned his reaction in tea. He said, "Green agent with the hot mouth." Mulder suddenly blushed as he realized that might be taken as a sexual innuendo.
Alex laughed. Maybe, Mulder would be fun. Alex said, "I like it hot." He smirked and shot Mulder a challenging look.
Mulder just looked back at the menu and said, "Almond cookies and egg tarts. That's what I want for breakfast."
Alex leaned forward and said, "I would kill for a good egg tart."
Mulder grinned and said, "Oh, good, I'll give you my list, starting with Ms. Richards in reimbursements. Just wait until you file your first expense report. The rack in her office plays hell with designer suits."
Alex sourly commented. "Mine deserve to be tortured."
Mulder sympathetically asked, "Student loans?"
Alex said, "Something like that." Actually, it was Spender's idea of looking innocent.
Mulder followed Alex around as he picked up some jeans, a tee shirt, underwear, and toiletries. Mulder bought some more sunflower seeds and a magazine. At first, Mulder didn't talk. Alex couldn't understand why the man hadn't just waited in the car. Then Mulder picked up one of the tabloids and was off, babbling about UFO's. Alex listened, curious as to why this intelligent man was so focused on the things. The old men always talked about aliens too, but Alex had decided that they were all insane. Alex thought they were weird old psychopaths on power trips. Mulder was almost convincing. It was easy to feign belief and interest. Besides, that east coast, flat, and somewhat nasal voice really turned Alex on for some reason.
Back at the hotel, Alex finished his reports quickly and shut his laptop. He stripped down and put on jeans and a tee shirt to bring his suit to the twenty-four hour dry cleaners. That done, Alex lay the clothing aside, wearing only black silk boxers. He was not going to wear cotton for all that it would have fit Spender's stupid stereotype of a green agent. Alex spent a moment composing his body before beginning a warm up.
Alex lost every care when he did his forms. His slightly bowlegs were still beautifully made. He felt their smooth strength as he planned his moves to fit the space.
There was not much room, but he could glide and glide; then spin and kick. He thrust his arms out, enjoying the freedom of his workout. He really loved his body like this. He felt like he could fly. He felt as if he had no cares and could lose his self in the movements. Alex kept going until he felt sweat pour from him then he slowed into a cool down. He ended in a meditation posture and then arose with a satiated sigh. Mulder was looking at him with humor and enjoyment.
Mulder said, "Bruce Lee, I presume."
Krycek said, "Aikido not karate or kung fu. I do those too, but Aikido is my favorite. It's really good for unwinding. You should try it."
Mulder answered, "I'd trip on my own legs. I am just not a graceful man."
Alex said, "I'll teach you. Anyone can do part of it."
Mulder said, "No, thanks, but I enjoyed watching."
Alex shrugged and went in to shower. He had forgotten fresh boxers and did not want to put on the sweaty ones. He walked back out in a towel and got a pair. He dropped the towel and stretched again, enjoying his own skin. Naked felt good. He saw Mulder's looking again, Oh, so hungry! Good! It was strange because Alex had given no more thought to seduction tonight then he gave to breathing. Alex put on the boxers and curled up in bed. He said, "Good Night, Mulder."
Mulder said, "Good night, Alex."
Krycek felt pleased by this ending to his day. It was almost like being a real person and it was a comfortable skin to wear. He briefly wished that he would wake up in the morning and his biggest problem would be getting along with a new partner.
Oh, shit, Alex woke with the echoes of screams in his hurting throat. He felt a strong set of hands smoothing circles on his back. He leaned back, not caring whom it was. He just wanted the comfort. He wiped tears from his face. Mulder's voice, suddenly kind, asked, "What happened to your family, Alex? You were screaming something about them."
Alex said, "All murdered. They were shot."
Alex shuddered as he remembered the day. He had been fourteen years old. After school, Alex had an argument with his father about being on the football team. How could a junior high football team affect the secrecy in which the family lived?
Father said, "Alex, don't be selfish. This is to protect Kolya and you."
Alex had bowed his head and said, "Okay, papa."
Alex had sneaked into Kolya's room to giggle with her. Kolya was only a year older then him. They were doubles for each other, like twins in appearance and as close as twins were supposed to be. Alex had been able to tell Kolya anything. She knew that he liked boys as well as girls and she didn't think that it was sick or crazy.
That night, Kolya tried her make up on Alex. Looking at his made-up face, Alex felt a dizzy rush of excitement at the perverse image. He made Kolya swear never to tell on the dire threat of revealing the existence of the sexy pushup bra that his sister wasn't supposed to have. Alex heard some voices and ran to clean his face. He was going back to his room when he heard the muffled thump and whine of a gun. He saw his mother staggering on the stairs, her long black hair floating as she fell.
His father stumbled into sight. He was bleeding. Men in black masks and black clothes came close behind Alex's father. They jerked at papa's hair, pulling it back to meet the barrel of a gun. Alex saw his father's head explode. He could see all the redness of meat, the white fragments of bone, and yellow globs. He inanely heard the Beatles singing, "I am the Walrus, I am the Walrus, yellow matter custard dripping from a dead man's eye" and that was it. The one eye hanging and the yellow brain all mixed.
After the funeral, Alex had never seen Kolya again. They would never answer him when he asked where his sister was. The old men never answered any of his questions about anything. The family friends were told that the two children were going to live with relatives. Alex went to a consortium foster home. He hoped that Kolya had too, but he couldn't get any information out of his master's. He had once or twice tried to break into the computer system to look her up, but he had never succeeded in getting past all the safeguards. Once or twice, another of the old men had promised him information if he performed special favors. They had laughed at him. They had lied.
Thinking about the old men and their games pushed Alex over the edge. He wrenched from Mulder's hands and ran to the bathroom. He spewed up his supper and gagged until the heaves nearly toppled him. Mulder had followed and he held Alex firmly. Mulder said, "Alex, it's okay. What ever happened is in the past. It's not here." Then Mulder added with an interesting hesitation, "I'm here, Alex. I'm here for you."
Alex felt something melt inside of him. Mulder was wonderful. Mulder held out one of the plastic cups and said, "Here, rinse."
Water was followed by mouthwash and then Alex rinsed with more water. His mouth felt clean and his stomach stopped turning. Mulder said, "Talk about it, Alex. Tell me." Mulder looked calm and centered. Alex wanted to tell him everything in that moment.
Mulder took Alex's arm and led him back to the bedroom. Alex balked as they moved toward his bed in the hotel room. The memories awaited him there. Alex leaned back against the dresser, feeling the hard edge against his hands and ass. He stared at the smooth calluses at the edge of his feet. That ought to tell him that he was a fool. He was no boy anymore. He could defend himself with all the skills his parent's murderers had taught him.
How strange that Mulder did not let go of him. Mulder still held Alex's arm in a firm grip. Mulder said, "Next time when I wake up screaming, you can do this with me. Trust me, Alex. Tell me."
Alex found that he did want to trust Mulder. He hated the way that it felt. It was like a pressure pushing inside him, battering until the all of his walls might give way and, God, it was not safe to remember and feel what Alex had inside him. "There was so much blood. There were bones sticking out and it was yellow, the brain was supposed to be gray, but it looked yellow to me. My mama's hair was all bloody and my dad's face was gone. Just the one eye not connected. You understand Mulder? How could that one eye just be there like someone had just dropped it?"
Alex shook his head and said, "That's all. Please, no more." Alex shivered, thinking how many times since that night he had said those last pleading words. They never did, you know. They never stopped just because you asked.
Mulder's eyes were accepting. He said, "Come on, Alex. Let me put you back to bed."
Alex said, "You're going to report me on this, aren't you? I can do this job. It's just nightmares." His legs had stopped shaking although cold sweat still made him shiver. Alex couldn't quite bring himself to remove Mulder's hand from his arm. The only place he was warm was where their flesh touched.
Mulder said, "Alex, I'm the last man in the world to report someone else for night terrors. It's okay. What can I do to help?"
Alex said, " I think I will go out. I don't want to sleep alone."
Mulder said, "It's the middle of the night. What are you going to do? Pick up a hooker?"
Alex said, "There's always someone." Alex smiled. Yeah, that was true! Sometimes he wondered what it would be like to be a less perfect object of desire. Alex hid his smirking thought of 'As if, I would ever have to buy it' and softly said "Hookers cost too much for the whole night."
Mulder asked, "Do you need sex or just company?"
Alex said, "Someone to hold me. I need someone to hold me." The word hung in the air, so raw and needful, not like Alex wanted to be, but an echo of the victim that he had been.
Mulder said, "Then, I'll take care of you. I'm your partner."
Alex considered that and then said, "Okay."
So he curled in the bed with Mulder and they did not have sex. Mulder's hands, in uncertain tenderness, stroked his hair and were gentle on his skin. Alex was torn between attacking this threatening consideration and changing it to more familiar pleasure. Somehow, Alex accepted the comfort and so they slept with longing between them, blanketed with this strange warmth.
In the morning, Alex woke first. He startled for a moment. Who was he with? What had happened? He didn't feel the hint of an ache and his muscles lacked the strained memory of passionate contortions. Alex sat up carefully to catch Mulder unguarded for his memory. Spike haired and stubbled, his lower lip shiny with a hint of slack-mouthed drool, Alex still thought Mulder was the most beautiful man he had ever seen. He knew that was crazy. He had wrapped Adonis-like youths around his conniving fingers. He had taken evil pleasure in the conquest of a straining Atlas, sometimes literally grinding column-like necks beneath his foot. What was wrong with his eyes that he saw such perfection in this gangly and odd featured man?
Mulder woke and stared with confusion. Alex said, "Good morning."
Mulder blinked, his eyelashes were almost as beautiful as Alex's were. The bit of sleep matter at the edge of the hazel eyes did not turn Alex off at all. He wanted to groom Mulder like a cat, exploring all the salty, sweet, and hot flesh with his velvety tongue. His mouth salivated to taste all the different flavors of Mulder.
Mulder smiled and stirred. Alex followed the drape of the blankets as they fell away. Mulder caught a blankets and his leg shot up to conceal the evidence that his thoughts had not been as chaste as their actions. Alex decided that sweet was better then demanding for now, despite the strong urge just to grab for the prize and forget the stalking game. He turned around and buried his face in his pillow, saying, "You can shower first, Mulder"
Alex admitted to himself that this was pure torture. He could hear the choked sounds even over the rush of the shower and he knew Mulder was robbing him of the pleasure that they could have shared. Alex strained to listen, wanting to hear the gasp of his name. Oh God, Mulder did it and Alex came like a horny teenager, barely even having to touch himself when he heard that.
Alex was fine after until he shot Cole. He had been cataloging experiences for his secret hoard. This is what it felt like to have Mulder sitting close to spar with words and hammer out a theory they could both accept. This was what it felt like to run, heart racing, to try to do something unambiguously right. Alex felt the sting of terror as he became attached to this taste of life free of his keepers. He would fucking do anything to keep it, anything!
Mulder went off to talk to Scully in private after he made his report about the shooting incident. Alex went to the hotel room after a brief stop to pick up vodka, orange juice and pepper crackers. He set his supplies down and removed his suit jacket. There was blood on the sleeve. Alex took it and tossed it in the hotel wastebasket. He looked down and there were spots of blood on his pant legs. He threw them away too. He threw away every stitch he had been wearing, swallowing gulps of vodka in between. Alex went in the shower and scrubbed hard. He had to wash himself free of the blood. He wanted to annihilate the smoke. Wash his life clean.
Alex scrubbed harder. It hurt and he hoped the pain would take away the worse pain underneath. Then, Mulder came in. He turned off the water despite Alex saying, "I have to wash the blood off of me." Mulder led him out and dried him. Alex felt the rise of desire. To feel that was so much better then remembering. To touch flesh, especially Mulder's flesh would make the horror fade. He went to take another drink of vodka. Mulder took the bottle and swallowed some then poured orange juice and made Alex drink a glass. Alex reached for the vodka. Mulder said, "No, let me help you, Alex. It was okay. You thought there was a gun. You were trying to help me."
Alex said, his voice husky and frenzied, "Fuck me. Fuck me and help me not to think." He clutched Mulder, willing the expensive suit away. He opened his mouth and sank it into Mulder's. The lip tasted good. Alex sucked it in and chewed on it gently. He sucked in on Mulder's tongue. He tasted vodka and salt. Alex's hands stroked Mulder's back all the way from neck to his ass. He felt good to Alex. Alex said, "Please."
Mulder didn't push him away. He took his hand and led Alex to the bed. He guided Alex down, so sweet to be controlled by this man, Alex knew desire now. Oh, shit, was this what he did to so many others? It felt horrible yet there was something about it, something wonderful about wanting anyone so much.
Mulder undressed and went to Alex's bag, finding the lube and condoms as if he knew they were there. He must have searched Alex's belongings earlier. Alex had just left the file where the smoker had told him. 'He doesn't trust me' Alex thought. Then a burst of glee, 'fucking right' Alex capitulated. 'Don't trust me, Mulder. I'll take you in me, but not in. We'll get that sick old puppet master, together.'
Mulder stroked his hair and asked, "Are you sure this is what you want, Alex?"
Alex said, "Yes, Mulder, yes!"
Mulder was long and lean. He had runner's legs, defined by an incredible hardness. Swimming had developed his shoulders and arms. Mulder's stomach was soft, so vulnerable. Mulder smiled at him and said, "You are so beautiful, Alex."
Alex just drank in the vision of Mulder above him. The eyes were hazel and warm. Mulder's smile trembled. He traced Alex's body, hands kind yet so persistent and greedy. Mulder clutched the lube. He focused on it as if looking for directions. Alex almost giggled. When Mulder still hesitated after taking the cap off, Alex squeezed the tube hard, sending a jet of the musk scented concoction spilling. Mulder jumped then he grinned. He scooped the stuff off Alex's stomach and held it in his hand.
Alex drew a pillow underneath his back and stretched wide, holding his legs up as if about to somersault. Mulder knelt on the bed. His first tentative touch on Alex's ass shook. Mulder paused again so dear and uncertain that Alex felt emotions that were almost totally alien to him. 'What the fuck was this?' Alex questioned himself. 'Alex, you are not in control of this anymore and you are sinker deeper.'
Acceptance flooded Mulder's face. He was eager now, still clumsy, but fingers invading with near painful stretching. Alex wasn't sure if he was ready physically, but he couldn't wait. "Now!" he begged.
Mulder loved that demand. Alex saw how it made his partner feel and it was strange that he was no longer thinking about how to use this. Alex spared a thought about how he planned to hide this event from the smoking man. Then Mulder was invading him in one slow, relentless push and crumpling every barrier with which Alex had ever fortified himself.
Mulder stroked him from the inside. So strange to feel the weight, the heavy, hot, hard length inside of him. Alex rocked with it. The mechanics didn't matter. What mattered was that he and Mulder were one thing. Each of them an extension of the other's flesh. Their sweat was mingled. They breathed of each other. They were bone and muscle to each other. Their racing hearts had the same beat. Alex drew a gasp of air. Don't end it. Don't come and separate us, but it did. There was no use holding. Mulder slid away.
Mulder got up, cleaned them and then gathered Alex up. He kisses Alex's eyelashes. Alex fluttered them, giving butterfly kisses. Alex looked for regret in his lover's expression. There was none. For one moment, Mulder's face held no blankness. The sadness was gone. Mulder looked as if he had found a place of peace.
Alex explored his lover's lanky form, finger painting him with the traces of sweat and come. 'Mine!' he wanted to say, 'Mine' Alex frowned, afraid. The old men never let him keep anything. How was he to hoard this treasure? Damn it! It wasn't fair, Alex thought, and he almost laughed at himself. As if fair was anything that he expected. Lessons learned long ago, you can't keep anything, even your private thoughts. They would reach in and steal anything you tried to conceal. Alex felt the tears seeping.
Mulder explored his face with kisses that lingered and tasted Alex. His tongue delicately drank a tear. Mulder's voice was that funny, flat tone that Alex knew he would always equate with passion from this day on. He said, "Alex, what's wrong? Regrets?"
Alex said, "Not unless you count regret that it can't be forever."
Mulder said, "Why not? Do you have someone else?" Alex heard the touch of jealousy and he blessed Mulder for it.
Alex said, "Not any more. What about you? I thought that Scully?"
Mulder said, "Mmm, not yet, and if it happens, we'll work things out. Alex, we don't really know each other, but I want to know you now. Let's make this good."
Alex looked at Mulder with his wide, devouring eyes. Hell, yes, If Alex was a serpent in Eden, then, he knew. He might teach the old men. A viper held by the tail can still turn and bite.
Alex was on stage again the next day, but he was playing from another script. He stood at the end of the long table with downcast eyes and made his report. He heard the way it was going and he felt a stir of panic. They couldn't kill Mulder, but how could he stop them? Neutralize him? How could he convince them that Mulder was off their track? Alex decided he would throw them Scully. He didn't know her. She was just a woman in a lab coat who refused to shake his hand.
Alex fluttered his eyelashes and said, "Scully could be more of a problem then you suggested. I've outlined some options."
Alex suggested stationing her at a field station remote from Mulder. Give Scully a perfect sex object, put her in charge of something, and swamp her with challenging assignments as often as she could catch her breath. She would stop supporting Mulder. Alex sighed as the old men argued. Mulder had invited him over and Alex was in a hurry to go there.
Whatever his wizened puss was, the man who smoked incessantly, asked, "What about Mulder? Have you seduced him?"
Alex said, "Him? Oh, far from it. I was doing my Aikido stuff in just a pair of boxers and you would have thought the guy didn't even notice. Either you are picking all the wrong types or he is just a neuter. Some people are like that you know. " Alex said, "Maybe you ought to see if one of the aliens will date him. Maybe he will get off on that!" Alex looked at the clock and said, "Mulder invited me over for some kind of male bonding stuff with pizza and beer. I gotta go or I'll be late."
The old ass face puckered up on his cigarette. Alex hid a grin at the disgusted expressions around the room. Some were for Alex. Homophobia was alive in the consortium too although Alex was an equal opportunity kind of guy on the job or off. Some of the old guys didn't mind Alex's open mindedness or his open legs either.
Alex drove with all his windows open to rid his clothing of Spender's smoke. He picked up the pizza and hoped Mulder remembered the beer. Actually, Alex could have gone hungry longer, but they had research to do first so they may as well eat as they probed the Internet. Alex preferred to focus on thoughts of being probed by Mulder.
Alex tried to discipline himself and keep in character. You are ambitious, Alex, he scolded himself. Ambitious driven young men do not grab the paperwork out of their senior partner's hands and throw him on the floor, wanting to ravish him or be ravished. They don't do it even if that partner's tongue is flicking up and darting at a spot of shine on his upper lip.
Alex moved, trying to concentrate. He felt his own tongue imitating Mulder's. It was so hard, Alex could have laughed; no kidding it was hard. Alex was about ready to beg for mercy when Mulder heaved the paperwork aside. Mulder was leaning toward Alex. Alex waited, letting Mulder finish the move. Mulder plucked off the tie that Alex had left loosely fastened. Everything else came off in a flurry of tangled hands.
Alex was still not sure if he was Mulder's first male lover, but, hell, yes, Mulder learned quickly if that was true. Alex admitted that he didn't need the Kama Sutra from Mulder, anyway. Mulder was an aphrodisiac all in himself.
* * *
As they lay together afterwards, Alex took a deep breath and asked, "Can I sleep with you tonight?"
Mulder grinned and said, "We already have."
Alex tried not to sound as if he was begging, but he did sound fragile and needy even to himself. Damn, that was pathetic. He said, "You know, I want to spend the night. Sleep in your bed."
Mulder's face was unreadable. His voice was as caustic and indifferent as it was on the day that they had met. He said, "I can't imagine why you think..."
Alex thought he would kill Mulder if what came next was what he feared to hear. Mulder's eyes danced and he continued "Why you even imagine that I would let you leave. Don't you dare, Alex! If you ever even try to leave me, I swear I'll hunt you down and I don't mean just for tonight, Alex.
Alex's knew his eyes were wide as a child's eyes. He practiced that expression all of the time. It was useful. Now, it had come unbidden to his face. Mulder's words made him shudder with delight. Alex asked, "Would you hunt me down and kill me?"
Mulder said, "No, I would hunt you down and make you a part of me. I want to take care of you, Alex."
Mulder looked at Alex as if he expected to be kicked. Alex couldn't answer. He was terrified. He should run now. He knew it was going to be worse then the most terrible punishment that the smoking man had ever devised for him. Alex was an idiot because he didn't grab his clothes and get out of there. He should laugh and make sure that Mulder writhed in humiliation. He should pass on the lessons of hate Alex had learned so well from the old men. Alex knew that Mulder would loathe him when he found out whose boy Alex was.
Alex, you idiot, this isn't the play. It isn't in the script!
But Alex brought Mulder's hand to Alex's face. His lips almost brushed the fingers. He bowed his head as if in prayer. Mulder smiled then and took his hand back only long enough to bring them together, holding on so tightly that Alex thought Mulder really did understand.
Alex believed. Somehow, it was going to be all right. Mulder would save him from Spender and the rest of the old men. Alex let Mulder take him across the edge until his body was a nova of pleasure and his mind just let go of everything but joy.
The next day, Alex felt everyone could see what had happened. Even Skinner smiled at him. Okay, maybe that was because, Alex had finished all of the paperwork that was due and had even resurrected long lost and half completed case reports, turning them all in. Still, Skinner did smiled. Alex tried not to look at Mulder too often. He didn't want to hurt Mulder and there were already jokes about Mulder's big-eyed boy. He hoped they were just teasing. He tried to be careful in the building.
Mulder insisted that Alex go to lunch with him even though Scully was in town and already invited. Alex felt sure that Scully would hate him, but she was a different person. He saw her give a knowing look and a soft smile as Mulder leaned over Alex to get a napkin. Mulder kept forgetting what they were talking about and just staring at Alex. Alex felt beautiful and happy. He was even willing to share. He didn't mean to flirt with Scully, but it happened. Mulder just grinned and Alex could just see those deliciously evil thoughts in his eyes. Well, Alex thought, anything Mulder wanted.
Alex was happy. He entered the stage ready for a Greek Tragedy, but now, he was starring in a love story. That was the best role of his life and he wanted to be playing it forever!
Onto Curtain Rising