Trust Book 2: Trust, Love and Happiness, too. Pt 11

by Nikita

Title: "Trust, Love, and Happiness, too." Chapter 6

By: Nikita

Series: 11/?

This is a sequel to my first series: "What We Need Now is Trust." Available at Down in the Basement, Slashing Mulder, or at my own website: http://www.koukla.net/nikita_slash

Spoilers: Season 7.

Disclaimer: I do NOT own the X-Files or any characters, plot lines, etc. They belong to Chris Carter, Fox, and the wonderful actors themselves. This is an unauthorized story for entertainment purposes only. I'm but a poor humble grad student struggling to make ends meet. Writing this stuff and keeping a website actually costs me money. But I do it as a labor of love.

Warnings: Slash. M/M relationship, sex, language. Schmoop, angst, plot, all the good stuff. Mpreg., aliens, etc. etc.

Feedback: Yes, please, may I have some more?! nik_cleo@hotmail.com

Authors note: I'm currently finishing my two Master's degrees...meaning I'm writing two thesis papers at the same time for the next several weeks...please be patient if my writing slows, although it may not as this is my stress reliever and I'm unbelievably stressed. If only thesis writing was like fanfic writing...

Also, I'm sick so I managed to finally finish this part while wired with cough medicine! I blame all mistakes on the meds!! : )

^ Still means telepathic communication ^

' still means internal thoughts '

and just to confuse you some more...

Alex and Mulder LIKE to dangle off of cliffs. Honest.

And now for our feature presentation...

XXX

8:00 p.m.
Mulder/Krycek Home.

"Alex?"

Mulder stepped out of house but came no closer. Alex steeled himself, making sure the shields were firmly up before he walked up to the hybrid. Alex was surprised to see Mulder's eyes were glistening in the light spilling from the front door. Mentally shrugging he nodded, "Who else?"

XXX

"What about the other reported missing? Have they returned home, too?" Mulder glanced over at Alex. His lover was sitting on the couch stiffly, eyes staring out the living room window, but Mulder knew without a doubt he was listening to his conversation.

"Not that I've checked with so far. I have a list of at least 248 who are officially missing. All in the same manner as Alex and none have reported their return and I've called several of them myself...still missing. What has Alex said? What happened?" Scully was exasperated.

"Not much...I'll have to get back to you on that. You'll let me know if any other cases turn up?"

"Of course. Mulder? Be careful..."

Mulder smiled grimly as he stared at his lover. "Not to worry." He hung up and glanced at Kat's door. It was still shut. She'd been asleep when he'd heard Alex pull into the driveway for which he was grateful...they needed to talk first.

Mulder made to sit on the couch next to his lover but hesitated for a moment before sitting on the chair instead.

"I noticed you neglected to mention that how you've decided to celebrate my return home, Mulder." Alex jiggled his cuffs behind his back with a sneer.

Mulder shrugged, "I also neglected to mention that you tried to attack me. I'd rather not worry her. So, Alex... How about we discuss what's wrong here."

Krycek cocked his head. "Wrong? Nothing's wrong, 'hybrid.'" The word came out as a nasty hiss. A shiver ran down Mulder's spine. This was NOT his lover.

Not that he was alien, either. It was Alex's body, but his mind was another matter. After checking his blood and then his eyes, Mulder was satisfied that he was neither morph or oilean. And the link...it was still there, but strongly blocked.

As for the man's actions... When Alex had first approached him at their front door Mulder had pulled him into a firm embrace, torn between squeezing him to death and shaking him out of frustrated relief. It had taken a full moment to realize that Alex was stiff as a board in his arms. Pulling back, he'd led Alex into the house. As they'd entered, Mulder had pulled his gun and stiletto at the same time that Krycek had struck. The stiletto went flying, but Mulder held onto his gun, pointing it at his lover's panting face.

After restraining him he'd checked him out and then called Scully. Now he stared at a face full of hatred. Alex glared at him, eyes cold and flinty.

"There is something VERY wrong here, Alex. You leave without a word, disappear for days and then come back and attack me. Why? What happened? Was it the rebels?"

A hint of surprise flashed on Alex's face before it quickly disappeared behind his cold mask. "And what would 'you' know of the rebels, collaborator?"

Mulder jerked as if slapped, "How can you say that? You know full well I'm no collaborator. Anymore than you are."

Alex shrugged, "I have nothing more to say to you, Mulder. I have my orders and I intend to follow them." Alex finished with a determined set to his face.

Mulder continued to question him, but to no avail. He was considering bluffing Krycek with the gun when a little voice banished the idea from his head.

"Papa?" Kat stood in the door, one hand clutched Kisa in a hold that the kitten obviously wasn't happy with. She stared with big round eyes at her returned father before dumping her pet on the ground and rushing up to the couch. "Papa!"

Mulder was torn between protecting his daughter and watching Alex's face agape with shock. Kat was halfway into the restrained man's lap before he stopped her.

"No, Kat. Wait."

Kat swung her head up to Mulder. "Why?"

Mulder sighed but set her down, he wished he still had a lap to set her on, but he was too far along. Kat was a very smart child and had grown up under less than normal circumstances. He knew that he couldn't possibly hide the problem and she needed to know to be careful.

"Something is wrong. Papa's not well. He isn't behaving right. You remember last time Papa wasn't really Papa?"

Kat darted a fearful look at Alex once more and then looked back at her other father nodding seriously. "He isn't Papa? Is he going to hurt you again?" Her voice was tiny and it broke Mulder's heart. 'Oh, Alex. What is this doing to her? We have to stop this interference in our lives. No child deserves such nightmares.'

Out loud he spoke in a reassuring voice. "It's Papa, not the oil, but there's something wrong. And I'm not going to let him hurt anyone. He's tied up now and we'll have to keep him like that until he's better, okay?"

Kat nodded sadly and still looked scared. Alex was completely silent, staring at the girl with intense interest. Noticing Mulder's observation he quickly adjusted his expression to studied disinterest. What had they done to Alex? Did he even remember their little girl? So many questions and theories whirled in his mind.

He sent Kat off to bed, promising to come tuck her in again before she fell asleep.

Alex ignored her departure, eyes firmly planted on the rug in front of him. "You don't remember her, do you, Alex?" The soft words jolted him from his reverie.

"What are you talking about, Mulder?" Alex tried for his earlier cold nonchalance, but he was tired and it came out wearily.

"Your daughter. She's our daughter Alex. And these..." Mulder put a hand on his stomach, "are our sons. We had a life together. This is our home. And the link...you're blocking it. Everything we had together. How much do you remember?"

Mulder's words resounded in his head, his daughter, sons, a home, a life together, the words struck something deep within him. But then the anger surged, hate...Mulder was a hybrid. An impure being. He must be brought in to the rebels. He was a collaborator...he lied. It wasn't important what he said...

For just a moment the link opened. Mulder could feel his lover's confusion for just a second and then a wave of hate and anger flared as the link slammed shut.

"I told you, I have nothing further to say."

XXX

Mulder cuffed Alex to the radiator in the bedroom to tuck Kat in. Afterwards, he led Alex into the bathroom, leaving the cuffs on in front of him. Alex clenched his jaw at having to pee in front of the other man, but Mulder refused to leave him alone.

"You're a very resourceful man, Alex. I'll be damned if I'll give you a chance to free yourself and hurt us. Now just go ahead and get it over with, it's not the first time I've seen it." Mulder smirked and Alex had to remind himself that he wasn't supposed to actually kill the hybrid, only capture him.

After he'd used the facilities, Mulder silently handed him his toothbrush and then pointedly dropped it back into the cup with his own on the sink. Alex noticed the two brushes resting side by side with little interest. Mulder then led him into the bedroom. Ordering him to strip down to his shirt and boxers, he then cuffed Krycek's hands to the headboard before returning to the bathroom.

Krycek tested the cuffs, solidly locked, too tight to pull his wrists through. The cuffs clanked against the metal frame, and it too was solidly welded together. He sighed and let his head fall back on the pillow. Glancing around the room he noticed the muted colors, soft beige walls, blue curtains, oak furniture. Mulder's clothes were in small piles, scattered throughout the room. Books lay on the bedside table on the other side of the bed. Papers stuck out from in between them and there were a few sunflower seeds scattered on them and even a few trailed onto the sheets.

'Mulder's still a pig. Some things never change. His eyes rolled over to the table next to him. An alarm clock, the watch he'd taken off earlier. And something small, metallic. He rolled over and looked closer. An earring, his earring. He'd gotten it years ago. And he 'hadn't' been wearing it earlier. Meaning...Mulder had had it. And it was 'here', in the house Mulder said was theirs, on the bedside that was supposedly Alex's. Anger flared and he closed his eyes, ignoring it.

The toilet flushed and the sink ran. A few minutes later Mulder came out. A robe around his rather large body. He walked around the bed and flung back the covers on his side.

This wasn't happening, Mulder couldn't actually be expecting to get into bed with him. "Mulder...what do you think you're doing?" Alex put as much contempt as possible in his voice.

"Going to bed. I'm tired and this is my bed...OUR bed. You've been gone for days and I missed having you in my bed. I've gotten rather used to you here." Mulder sounded almost wistful. An almost fragile quality to an otherwise strong voice and will. Mulder shrugged off the robe and toed off his slippers.

"And just what do you plan to do, Mulder?" Alex sneered. "Leave me tied up in your bed until I succumb to your wiles? It won't work."

Mulder smiled almost sadly. "I'm not sure. Tactile memories are often the easiest to recover. Smell, touch, they can echo lost memories and help them to surface. Also familiarity. But if nothing else..." Mulder slipped into the bed next to his captive and pulled the covers back up over his growing belly, "...I'll know if you start to escape." With that, Mulder switched off the light and snuggled up close to Alex.

So close that Alex found his nose buried in Mulder's hair for a moment. He smelled like ivory shampoo and a hint of clean sweat. Just enough to make the scent distinctly Mulder. It was...almost familiar.

Alex jerked his head back so his face was clear of Mulder's hair. The other man didn't stir, though Alex knew he must still be awake. Mulder lay on his side, one arm thrown over Alex's chest, pinning him lightly and making it clear that if Krycek moved, Mulder would know.

It had another effect, though; against his side Alex felt a shift and a bump followed strange squirming sensation. Glancing down he could make out the lumpy bundle that was Mulder and realized it must be the other man's stomach. 'God, how disgusting. Having two squirming parasites in your stomach. To think that Mulder actually seems fine with it.' More than fine. He knew that Mulder was most protective of those lives. Unfortunately, in moving his face down for a look, he also brushed Mulder's hair with his nose again. He turned his face to the side and the trailing hairs tickled his nose unbearably.

With his face turned completely away from Mulder's he twitched his nose slightly to try to assuage the maddening sensation. Useless. With his hands cuffed above him he would have to try to forget it. Damned if he'd say anything to Mulder. Was the man asleep yet?

He struggled to think of other matters and ignore the itch. All of a sudden, a finger scratched his nose 'exactly' where it itched. As if it was his 'own' finger. His hands twitched in their cuffs at the unexpected sensation, reminding him that it most definitely 'wasn't' his fingernail.

Just as quickly as it relieved the itch it disappeared and Mulder snuggled his head on his chest. "Better?" He husked sleepily, not bothering to look up.

Alex let out a puff of exasperated air and tossed his head against the pillow facing away once more. He felt rather than heard the chuckle from Mulder and then all was still and quiet once more.

XXX

Alex was awoken by a jolt, the bedsprings squealed as something jumped onto it. Opening his eyes, he squinted against the morning light to see Kat staring at him shyly, a tentative smile on her face. "Morning, Papa."

Krycek groaned and tried to stretch his stiff muscles, he winced as the cramps in his arms and shoulders let themselves be known. At his groan the bathroom door opened.

Mulder stepped out, already dressed. "Oh good, you're up. Kat, why don't you go set out some cereal and juice downstairs, I'm going to help Papa get ready and we'll be down in a few minutes. Don't forget to feed Kisa and Sasha." Kat bounced off the bed and thumped down the stairs. A ball of fur raced out from under the bed as the kitten raced her down to the food dish.

Mulder carefully uncuffed him from the bed but quickly recuffed him with his hands in front of him once more. Alex glared but stretched his arms as best he could. He shuffled into the bathroom and this time Mulder gave him more privacy, leaving the door open but staying outside the room until he was finished.

Afterwards was a shower, a brief and awkward one with his left hand shackled to the towel bar and Mulder watching just outside. It wasn't all that different from when he'd lost his arm, only he had to ask Mulder to hand him the shampoo when he couldn't reach it. Mulder simply uncapped it and squirted some in his palm. He handed him a towel when done and kept his eyes politely averted.

Clean, dressed and seated at the breakfast table, Alex looked forward to a chance to turn the tables on Mulder. He should have known better. He remained cuffed, hands behind his back and Kat was given the duty of feeding him pancakes and bacon.

Needless to say, Alex was not in a pleasant mood by the time breakfast was over. Kat went out to play after Mulder told her to remain in the yard and within eyesight from the window. They sat at the table quietly, Kat's laughter and footsteps echoing outside.

"You can't keep me cuffed like this forever, Mulder." Alex snarled, trying to keep his voice down since what he really wanted to do was shout.

Mulder stared at an empty juice glass. "I know. I'm hoping that isn't necessary. But for now...I can't trust you. You'll just have to live with it."

Alex stretched his arms as far as the cuffs allowed, which wasn't much. "That's easy for 'you' to say, Mulder." His arms ached and his shoulders were bunched up.

Mulder stood and walked around to the back of his chair. Warm palms suddenly rested on his shoulders, startling Alex who jumped slightly.

"Relax."

Alex opened his mouth and then quickly shut it. No sooner had Mulder touched him than his shoulders eased. The pain melting away and Mulder lightly massaged the muscles. It felt so wonderful. He let out a little groan before he could catch himself. He stiffened at his breach of control and pulled his body forward, out of Mulder's hands.

Mulder chuckled softly but let him go.

XXX

Krycek should have known better, Mulder dropped his hands from his shoulders but he then seized the opportunity to interrogate him while Kat was busy outside.

"What happened onboard the morph ship, Alex?" Mulder sat down next to him, his profiler eyes prying into him.

Alex shifted slightly away, but said nothing.

"You were separated from the other humans, the morph put you in another room...what happened then?" Alex's head jerked up and he stared wildly at Mulder, but still didn't speak. His breathing quickened.

Mulder forged ahead. "The room...it was cold. Very cold. The table-"

Alex stood up with lightning speed, his chair flying out from behind him. Mulder couldn't help a reflexive move back in his chair, he was suddenly grateful that Alex's hands were cuffed 'behind' him. "Stop it! Just stop it! Stay out of my mind, hybrid!"

Mulder stood, but was careful to keep his distance. "I'm not in your mind, Alex. You're still blocking me. I'm only telling you what I saw last night. You dreamt of that room, Alex. They did something to you and you need-"

"No!" Alex took a threatening step at Mulder ready to attack.

"Papa, don't!" Alex whirled around at the little girl's voice and Mulder rushed forward, putting himself in between her and Alex, even though he didn't think he would really harm her.

"Calm down, Alex. It's okay."

Krycek closed his eyes, the anger still seethed within him; he struggled to control it once more. Flashes of a morph face leaning down on him. A needle, pain, a voice...the anger swelled until black dots appeared before his eyes and a red haze blurred his vision. As he fell he could hear Katerina crying.

XXX

He blinked, muted light filtered through blue curtains as he struggled to keep his eyes open.

"Hey, how do you feel?" Alex turned his head and saw Mulder propped up next to him on the bed, leaning against a pillow. Mulder's hand reached over and brushed a lock of hair from his forehead and his fingertips trailed lightly over his forehead before withdrawing. It felt soothing and he felt an odd sense of loss when they dropped away.

"Wha'happ'n'd?" It came out as a croak and Krycek cleared his throat.

Mulder reached over and handed him a glass of water, Alex was startled to find that his hands were free. He gratefully drained the glass.

"You collapsed. I think you might have remembered something, but the conditioning kicked in...You had a sensory overload and passed out."

Alex looked up at Mulder and noticed his face was gray, his eyes tight with pain. Mulder noticed his observation and shrugged slightly, "The link opened up a bit. Anyway, you've been asleep for hours. Hungry?"

Sitting up, Krycek nodded to the bathroom, "Actually..." Mulder nodded and stayed where he was.

Alone in the bathroom for Alex closed the door and quickly whirled around, opening the medicine cabinet he pulled out what he was looking for. Looking down at his arm he worked quickly and quietly.

XXX

Mulder heard the toilet flush and the faucet run. Alex stepped out of the bathroom dressed in the clean sweat that Mulder had left for him on the sink and Mulder's heart gave a tug at seeing his lover's hair rumpled and the sleepy expression on his face. It would be so easy to forget the stranger that lived behind that face now. The stranger that even now peered at him with cold hard eyes. "What is it?" Alex's voice was cold and indifferent. He smoothed his sleeves, although they were already down and stared at Mulder with a cocked eyebrow.

"Nothing. I was going to make a quick dinner if you were hungry." Alex shrugged and nodded, heading towards the door.

Mulder regretted having to do it, but he couldn't let his guard down now. Alex's conditioning obviously went fairly deep.

"Uh, Alex?" Krycek turned back and scowled as Mulder held out the cuffs. He sighed and then held out his hands.

XXX

Dinner over, they retired to bed early. Mulder snuggled close once more. His leg trapped both of Alex's underneath him and his arm lay draped over him. Mulder's stomach was wedged between them as before.

This time Mulder fell asleep quickly and Alex lay still. The warm body draped over him was heavy, but he didn't feel confined. Mulder snuffled and rubbed his chin on his chest, "Alex." The word was a breathy sigh, barely audible.

Long hours stretched by, but Alex couldn't sleep, Mulder sighed and shifted, trying to move even closer than he already was. It was physically impossible with the big belly between them, but Alex found himself nuzzling back slightly.

He stopped and stiffened. He was losing his objectivity, letting the hybrid seduce him. He couldn't afford to fail on this mission. Alex turned his face away from Mulder's and eventually fell into a restless sleep.

xxxx

Breakfast was an exasperating event like the day before. The little girl insisted on calling him papa constantly and feeding him her sugary kid's cereal. Mulder watched with an amused look on his face while he made his own bowl of cereal.

"Open, Papa." The little girl stood on her chair and waved the dripping spoon precariously in front of his mouth. He had little choice, eat it or let it plop in his lap in another minute. He opened his mouth and clamped down on it, not letting her have it back, his teeth firm. The girl was brave; he'd give her that. Startled at first, she then calmly called out to Mulder.

"He won't give me the spoon back, Daddy."

Mulder turned and carried his bowl to the table, sitting down across from them. "Now that isn't very nice, Alex. Give her back the spoon or she'll dump the bowl in your lap, dearest." Mulder gave him a little flutter of the eyelids and then a stern glare that told Alex he meant business.

Alex opened his mouth and let the spoon drop to the floor. Mulder ignored him, looking at his bowl as he took a bite. "I think that's enough, Kat. He must be full. Are you finished with your breakfast, hon?" He glanced up at his daughter who nodded and then scampered off to play.

Mulder finished the bowl of cereal with zeal and then filled it again and continued eating. The silence became awkward and Alex shifted in his chair, handcuffs grinding against his wrists at his back. He decided to distract himself and watched Mulder polish off the second bowl, pop a piece of toast and then grab a banana. "Geez, Mulder."

Mulder glanced up with a mouthful of banana, "Whah?" and then swallowed with a grin. "The twins are hungry. Want some juice?" He held up the jug of juice he had just poured his own glass with.

He couldn't deny his thirst and he hoped this would be his chance. "Yes," he replied, jiggling his wrists slightly so the handcuffs rattled. Mulder filled another glass and then scooted closer, holding it to his lips. Alex glared, but took a long swallow of the pineapple-orange juice.

Mulder was so close...his knuckles brushed against his cheek as he tilted the glass and his moss-green eyes were staring intently into his own.

--Small sips, don't want to get sick.--

Krycek blinked, what the hell was that? A voice...his voice had echoed in his head...a memory?

Mulder finally broke the staring contest and set the glass down. "Well, you didn't eat much. Want some toast?" Krycek shrugged so Mulder got up and popped a piece of cinnamon raisin bread in the toaster. He watched Mulder butter it and then hold it up to his mouth. He chewed a bite and avoided Mulder's stare, looking at the refrigerator door, it was covered in childish drawings and colorful magnets.

Mulder sat down and held the toast out again for another bite.

Yeah, what's that?

Damned if I know, tastes like Styrofoam and about as filling. All we got right now, they should bring warm food soon, though. --

Alex choked on the toast and as Mulder thwacked him on the back he gave him an odd look. "What?" he asked irritation increased by the hoarseness of his voice.

"You're remembering, aren't you?"

"Remembering what? Get out of my head, Mulder." Alex glared at him before turning his head away from him once more. Mulder stayed quiet for a moment and then got up and left the kitchen.

XXX

Dinner was eaten without handcuffs for the first time. Mulder had a gun tucked into a holster under his sweater, but there was an unspoken truce between the two of them. Alex enjoyed the freedom, knowing he'd likely be back in cuffs for bedtime once more.

Pepperoni, mushroom and black olive pizza for the grownups and a small cheese pizza for Kat graced the table along with a salad. Alex and Kat dived in with relish, but Mulder picked at his food.

Mulder finally finished half of a slice but claimed his stomach wasn't agreeing with it. After dumping his plate's contents into the trash, Mulder then walked over to a cabinet and opened it. He glanced at Alex with a furtive look, as his hand groped at something the younger man couldn't see.

Swallowing a bite of pizza, Krycek gave an exasperated sigh, "What?"

Mulder jumped and looked guilty for a second before shrugging with a nonchalant face. "Nothing."

He shut the door and sat down at the table, a shiny foil packet in his hand. Unwrapping it he pulled out a blue iced poptart. He bit into one with obvious enjoyment and looked up at Alex once more.

Krycek rolled his eyes and finished his slice. The phone rang and Mulder grabbed the cordless handset and disappeared into the living room to answer it. Alex wondered at this display of trust until he reached for another slice of pizza and noticed that Mulder could see them clearly through the doorway where he sat on the couch with the phone.

Kat daintily wiped her mouth clean and then climbed up in her chair in order to lean in and whisper into his ear. "You never let him eat those poptarts. You say they're bad for him and the babies and you only got them for me. But he always sneaks them anyway." Satisfied in disclosing her childish, but serious secret, Kat hopped down from her chair and raced off to play in her room. Kisa followed her.

Alex shook his head, imagine he, Alex Krycek, a mother hen clucking after Mulder's eating habits. Not that they weren't deplorable. Mulder hadn't eaten any of the salad at dinner either. He guessed that someone 'should' keep an eye on the man's eating habits. His thoughts were interrupted by Mulder's return to the kitchen.

Mulder hung up the phone with just a little more force that strictly necessary and started cleaning up the plates and napkins. "Done?" Mulder asked, his eyes on his task and his movements jerky.

"What's wrong? Was that Scully?" Alex felt a surge of inexplicable concern.

Mulder dumped the plates in the sink and then leaned on the counter. His eyes were cold. "Well, there's been some signs of unusual break-ins and evidence of abandoned unauthorized labs. There may be more missing people, there were signs that patients were taken, but no records to verify. Sounds like consortium labs being ransacked and some of their guinea pigs stolen. This wouldn't sound familiar to you, would it, Alex?" Mulder crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows expectantly.

Krycek shrugged, "Should it?" He was under no obligation to explain the rebels' actions to a hybrid.

"Well, I'm thinking that the other missing members were also rebel agents as you once were. Am I close? And their task was to round up other possible hybrids for the morphs just as you were sent to bring me in."

Another shrug. "I suppose that's possible."

"Why, Alex? Are they killing them? Experimenting? What?"

Krycek shook his head with exasperation. "And what does that really matter, Mulder? You let the colonists experiment on you. The morphs are simply cleaning up the collaborators and their work."

Mulder's face was white with shock and anger, "What the fuck is wrong with you, Alex? What did they do to warp you like this? I've never been a collaborator and I didn't 'let' anyone experiment on me. The colonists may have started the hybridization, but it was your own rebel friends that finished it. And as much as it hurt and as much as it changed me...there's also a part of me that can't help but be a little grateful for it. We never would have had Katerina otherwise. Or be able to have our sons. So I can live with the changes, I can even find good in them. But don't you EVER call me a collaborator again!" Mulder's voice had started icy and low but it ended with a passionate hiss that stabbed Alex to the core.

Was he telling the truth? The morphs were experimenting with hybrids? And Mulder...was an unwilling participant? Alex couldn't shake the feeling of truth that permeated Mulder's words. It rang true in his heart if not his mind.

Mulder sensed the confusion and decided to up the stakes. "Perhaps you need a little visual. Want to see how much they changed me?" Mulder raised his shirt, revealing the pregnant swell of belly. Alex stared, shocked at the sight before finally noticing a small slit above the belly button.

Unthinkingly, Alex reached a hand and touched the swell. A flash of memory, Mulder reluctantly revealing it to him for the first time. Mulder moaning as his fingertips rubbed the edges of the opening. The feeling of making love to him there...

"Oh god..." Alex jerked his hand back and Mulder dropped the shirt once more.

"So Katerina..."

Mulder shook his head. "No, actually we hadn't...been together yet. I didn't have the slit then...the morphs...they were experimenting with me. They impregnated me and used your DNA as well. They planned to terminate us."

Alex visibly swallowed at that, unsure of how to respond, but feeling a horrible churning in his stomach at the thought of Mulder...and his...daughter being killed.

Mulder sensed the break in Alex's shields and his lover's hurt and confusion.

"Yes, the 'rebels' did that. They were curious about hybrids, but didn't want to keep them. They thought of us as nothing more than guinea pigs. Just as 'you' were thinking a minute ago. Are you still willing to kill your own children? They aren't going to just kill me. Kat and the boys...they'll be hybrids, too." Mulder leaned closer, his words hissing accusations, "After all...they're 'impure.'" Mulder hurled the last word as an curse. Alex flinched.

Mulder leaned back again, feeling only the slightest bit of satisfaction at finally breaking through Krycek's stoic barrier.

Alex swallowed hard, he knew that Mulder was speaking the truth and it was time. Time to experience the truth as well. He opened the link willingly for the first time and let Mulder into his swirling and confused mind.

Fear, anger, hate and frustration ebbed and flowed without consistency. As Mulder reached out and joined him in his mind he sensed Mulder's own fears and worry but also a far warmer emotion emanated. Love. It glowed like a golden ribbon that weaved in and around Alex's emotions, warming them until Alex felt a growing peace and happiness that he hadn't felt since...since before the morph signal had called out to him. Memory of that day began to come to him in snatches, brief moments flashed by, unconnected and incomplete.

Mulder's hand was warm on his knee. When had Mulder moved? It didn't matter; he concentrated on the warmth seeping into his leg. He felt a brief touch on his face and he glanced up and saw Mulder's eyes staring intently into his own. Fingertips brushed his cheek and the warmth in his mind flared hot...passion, love, desire, empathyunderstandinglovesadnesshopefearwonderhappiness...the thoughts and emotions bled together as one.

Alex leaned forward, his hand on top of the one on his knee so as not to lose contact as he brushed his lips against Mulder's...against Fox's. The kiss was soft and tentative until the other man leaned into it, deepening it before finally breaking it. Leaning their foreheads together they breathed hard as if they had run a marathon, their thoughts swirling around, incomprehensible to anyone but to each other.

"I'm sorry, Lisa. Oh, god, I'm sorry." It came out broken and Alex struggled not to let out the sob that threatened within him. He breathed through his mouth, struggling to keep the emotions within him from building to the crescendo they were rising to.

"It's okay. It wasn't your fault. Shhh..." Fox stroked his cheek then moved his hand to the back of Alex's neck. His other hand was still clutching Alex's knee with Alex's hand on top of his. Neither one could bear to lose the contact.

"I-" Whatever Alex was going to say was lost in the loud splintering of their front door. Two bounty hunters, a smaller morph and two humans stepped through the doorway.

Mulder struggled to his feet and dived for the stiletto he'd hidden in the lamp next to him. The hunters were quicker; he was trapped between the two in an iron grip at both elbows. The third morph stepped forward and jabbed a needle into Mulder's arm. Mulder immediately felt the effects, his pulse raced with adrenaline, but the drug's effects made his eyelids heavy and he felt a numbing heaviness seep into his bones.

"Alex!" The cry was weak but desperate. He struggled to keep his eyes on his lover.

Krycek straightened and nodded with cold calm to the two hunters holding his struggling lover. "Took you long enough."

Mulder faded but not before the feeling an icy clench of his stomach.

XXX

To be continued...


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