by XScribe

TITLE: Conversion
SPOILERS: Duane Barry
SUMMARY: Sequel to Unexpected Behavior. Did Krycek exact retaliation?
DISCLAIMERS: No infringement intended on the legal ownership of these characters.
SPECIAL NOTES: Infinite thanks to Cerulean Blue for her fantastic, invaluable help and to everyone who encouraged me to pen this sequel.
FEEDBACK: Always very much appreciated. Please email me at



Reassurance and unconditional understanding from a caring partner was an important step toward recovery after a mental and physical violation as traumatic as sexual assault. But up until then, Mulder had only been able to recognize the step theoretically. He came to discover that the theory worked surprisingly well.

Meticulous cleansing as a means of purification was one thing, but when assisted by someone -- a man, no less who had no trouble being attracted to the victim despite the circumstances -- wasn't just reassuring, it came off as more meaningful than a simple partnership. That the same partner who'd seemed entirely straight would make advances on Mulder, was a rush. Up to that point, all Krycek had ever imparted was a desire to learn the ropes of the job. Yeah, he'd looked up to Mulder, but every dedicated agent knew the that only way to learn was to observe those with more experience.

Yet Krycek evidently found Mulder attractive, even after what they'd both been through in the last three days. Krycek's reaction came as a total surprise. He'd just learned Patterson had an unhealthy preoccupation with his former apprentice and there Krycek was, exhibiting blatant desire along with fondness and concern.

Being nuzzled by that pretty mouth, caressed by those strong, impressive hands even when they were traversing areas where they shouldn't, was a hell of a turn on. Maybe even more so because of what Mulder had just endured. He'd fought hard against Patterson for attempting what Mulder found himself willing to turn over to Krycek.

What he must have thought and felt when he'd walked in and seen his partner tied spread-eagle on Patterson's bed, no doubt well-exposed. At the time, Mulder had only been pissed, but now realizing Alex may even have been aroused at the sight only induced further excitement. After which Krycek had then quietly taken Mulder home, never showing any sexual interest. Christ, they'd even slept chastely in the same bed.

As for Mulder, he'd always enjoyed the sight of a good-looking nude male. Acting on this admiration was another matter, but he definitely appreciated the visuals. And Krycek was an excellent example, too. Smooth, slender pecs, pale, erect nipples, flat, supple abs, dark but thin pubic hair, and a handsome, thick cock with a distinct coronal ridge. Damn, did that body stir Mulder.

Amidst the washing and handling, Krycek crouched down with one knee on the shower floor tile. After sensuously rinsing the soap from Mulder's spontaneous erection, his partner broke restraint and took over with his mouth.

In shocked awe, Mulder steadied his drug-intoxicated balance by holding the walls. Son-of-a-bitch. Gripping the base of the shaft, Alex wantonly worked the glans deep toward the hot confines of the back of his throat. Where soap may have failed in washing away any residue of psychological taint, Krycek's lavish ministrations succeeded.

By the time they'd finished showering and were bundling into towels, both were unabashedly erect.

In bed, Mulder gave heated response to Krycek's impassioned kissing. They didn't say much. They didn't have to. With Krycek on his knees, holding Mulder, their cocks brushed. The result was electrifying; Mulder felt his penis lunge in reaction and Krycek's do likewise.

"Jeezus," Krycek cursed in surprise, seizing his cock. "I almost came."

Nothing that day had amused Mulder much until that announcement. He couldn't keep from laughing. Gently, he tried to take over custody of Krycek's organ, but was warded off.

"I told you -- don't fucking make me come yet."

The only light in the room was that furnished by the bedside lamp; it was enough for Mulder to be able to look down between them and see what was going on. Despite his drugged state, he had to wonder why Krycek was so eager, but if lack of sex with a partner was the reason, Mulder was suffering from the same. The other question was whether Krycek had ever been with a man before and how much experience he had at that kind of encounter. But Mulder wasn't about to ask that, either.

Curiosity fell by the wayside; after quickly collecting himself, Krycek leaned back over Mulder to rekindle the kissing. The intensity resumed almost immediately. While Krycek kissed, his hand stole over Mulder's chest, pausing to cup his pec and pull on his nipple. The sensation of that strong male hand coursing slowly over Mulder's body made him shudder.

With even less reserve, Krycek was soon pulling and stroking Mulder's erection and taut testicles to the point of discomfort. Once again, Mulder was reminded of the abuse he'd taken earlier that evening.

"Watch it," he cautioned. "That asshole roughed me up while he was getting his rocks off."

"Oh . . . Sorry," Krycek murmured as he kissed. "Mm, you do have a good-sized schlong on you . . . "

So Mulder had heard, but he knew better.

In moments, Krycek's thick, pretty penis was poking at Mulder's crotch. The gesture was nowhere was abrasive and insulting as what Patterson had done. If anything, Mulder had always found stimulation in that area highly erotic. He just wasn't sure if he was ready for intercourse yet.

Intervening, he caught Krycek's cock and guided it upwards between them again.


In what seemed like only moments after passing out from the exhaustion of the evening, the phone rang, jerking Mulder awake. Hoping it would quit, he tried ignoring it and going back to sleep, but it kept ringing, prompting his partner's deep, sleepy inquiry. "You want me to get it?"

Without waiting for a reply, Krycek took the receiver off the hook and handed it to his host.

Wearily, Mulder turned slightly away, holding the receiver to his ear. "Yeah."

"Mulder." It was Scully, sounding far more awake and anxious than she should. "Where's Krycek?"

"Huh? Why?"

"Agent Patterson was assaulted last night after we dropped him off. He's in the hospital. He named Krycek as his assailant."

"What?" Sliding onto his elbow, Mulder glanced back at the form beneath the blankets, beside him. "Patterson . . . ?"

"The police were just here looking for Agent Krycek. Patterson told them he was riding in the car with me, so I was the last person to see him. There was no mention of you."

"Me . . . ?" Rattled, Mulder rubbed his face.

"The police didn't find him at his apartment. Do you have any idea where he went?"

"What? Why? What did you tell them?"

She hesitated a moment. "I told them I dropped him off at his place and that was the last time I saw him."

"Good answer." Again, he glanced toward Krycek. "I'll talk to him."

"You know he did it."

"It isn't hard to figure why. I'll get back to you."

Returning the receiver to Krycek, Mulder gestured to hang up. Then got off the bed. The cool temperature in the room struck him. He opened the chest of drawers for something to wear.

"Who was that?" Krycek drew himself up against the headboard, frowning in the lamplight as he watched Mulder. "What are you doing? Where are you going?"

Not until he'd pulled the pants on and took out a t-shirt did Mulder answer. "You know what the call was about."

Appearing effectively innocent and baffled, Krycek responded. "What happened? The bust didn't stick? They released Grant?"

"It had nothing to do with the case." Reluctant to look at Krycek, Mulder pulled the t-shirt on and drew out the long tresses. It was hard to imagine that a partner of such a brief duration would go to such measures. Not that Mulder hadn't wanted to do the same to Patterson and if not for the drugged haze, may very well have. But in Krycek's case, the repercussions would be severe. "You know it was about Patterson. You shouldn't have."

"Shouldn't have what?" Raised eyebrows added to the innocence so expressively painted by the big, pretty eyes and long lashes.

"The police were at Scully's apartment." Mulder returned to the other side of the bed. "They're looking for you. Come on; you couldn't have thought he wasn't going to report it."

"What? Report what?"

"Don't bother playing stupid."

"I don't know what they want. I'll call the local precinct and find out what's going on." Krycek reached for the phone again.

"What? You can't call them." Climbing over Krycek, Mulder snatched the receiver and slammed it back on the cradle. "Not til we figure out what to tell them. They'll arrest you."

"Arrest me?" Krycek still sounded appropriately baffled. "For what? On what grounds?"

"For beating the crap out of Patterson," Mulder snapped, weary of the charade.

"Someone beat the crap out of Patterson? Good. After the shit he pulled last night -- Oh, what?" Krycek looked up, feigning revelation. "He said I beat him up?"

Mulder exhaled. "You know you did."

Leaning back against the headboard, Krycek clucked in thought. "Huh. I wanted to. Serves the bastard right."

"Oh, cut the crap."

"What crap? I was with you and Scully the last time we saw Patterson and I've been here with you, since then. When was this supposed to have taken place?"

Ready to pounce, Mulder reconsidered and closed his mouth. He knew then that Krycek had expected to rely on his colleagues for an alibi. That was a hell of a lot of unsolicited responsibility to shove on them. None of it was Mulder's fault but there was no fighting his sense of loyalty and commitment to his partner or arguing the camaraderie that had been developing between them, and -- hell, beyond all that, he was so fucking attracted to Krycek . . .

Drawing to the other side of the bed, Mulder tensely remained seated, thinking. "How bad was he when you left him? He had to have been conscious or he wouldn't have reported it so fast. You didn't do anything to cause any internal injuries, did you? Did you do anything to help cover your tracks? Like take his wallet? To make it seem like a mug -- ?"

"I didn't do anything to him." Krycek was frowning again.

"Look." Restless, Mulder got up again. "You're gonna get dressed, and we're gonna go into the station and report the circumstances. You were with me and Scully. There was absolutely no opportunity for anything to have gone down between you and Patterson. We dropped him off at his apartment. No one else got out of the car."

Krycek cocked an eyebrow. "Why haven't the cops come here already? Didn't Agent Scully tell them I came up to your apartment?"

"No one's mentioned me at all, so far. All she thinks is that you left here after you made sure I was okay. But we'll tell them it was late and you were tired, so you stayed here. I'll remind Scully that no one but Patterson got out of the car at his place. Come on. Get dressed."

Exhaling, Krycek got up, obediently. "This is bullshit. I'm still tired. Do you really think that asshole is worth losing a night's sleep over?"


Hours later, they concluded their statements. By then it was daylight. Rousted from her apartment at Mulder's urging, she hadn't been pleased. She'd made some noises to the affect of "perjury" on the phone, but then agreed to corroborate the story -- only on behalf of Mulder, she assured him.

The police referred to the incident as assault and robbery. Patterson's wallet had been found in some bushes on the grounds of his apartment, emptied of cash. No fingerprints other than his own had been identified on it. Evidently, Krycek had had the presence of mind that Mulder had hoped for to provide credibility to the crime. The police finally decided to turn the matter over to the Bureau to police their own and called in the VC A.D.

Uncomfortably, Mulder and Scully awaited Skinner's arrival at the station. The last time Mulder had seen the A.D., it had been under the guise of a lot of makeup and ladies' clothes. At the very least, in loose, casual pants and a sweater thrown over his t-shirt, Mulder could face his supervisor without feeling like a joke.

Sans Krycek's presence, as he was being held in lock-up, pending Skinner's arrival, Mulder and Scully reiterated their story to the A.D. Being scrutinized a little too closely through those lenses was mildly unnerving. It seemed as if Skinner was paying too much attention to Mulder's person, rather than the case at hand. However, Skinner dispelled the notion once he spoke, indicating that his focus had been where it belonged.

"Did Agent Patterson get a good look at his assailant?"

Scully fielded. "According to the police report, he's purporting that he did."

"Do either of you -- " Skinner glanced up the hall, as if insuring their private conversation was not being overheard " -- do either of you have any idea why he may make an allegation like this against Agent Krycek?"

Suppressing a scoff, Mulder shifted. "Patterson's always gotten off on intimidating and harassing his subordinates. Don't pretend you're not aware of it."

"Have you seen evidence," Skinner went on, "of any personal vendetta he may hold against Krycek?"

"I've seen him do it to everyone he works with," Mulder replied. "But I can't state any specifics about Krycek, no."

"I'm afraid that doesn't help Krycek's case," Skinner said. "The matter will go to the OPC. We'll need your statement there. If you can think of any incidents between Agent Krycek and Pat -- "

"I don't think Alex had any intention of reporting -- " Mulder began.

"But, sir," Scully suddenly blurted.

"Yes, Agent Scully?" Skinner looked to her.

Declining to divulge her thought, she backed down. "We'll be there, sir." Then she subtly ushered Mulder to the exit. In the parking lot, she stopped before him to squint up at him in the early morning sunlight. "Listen, I think . . . " Pausing, she smiled. "I can't get over how remarkably good you look with long hair. I - if you don't mind my saying so," she added quickly. Then resumed her train of thought. "I really think we need to tell the assistant director what happened with Patterson last -- "

Instantly, Mulder recoiled at the idea. He looked away. "No -- "

"Yes," she stressed. "It would go a long way in helping Agent Krycek's case. If A.D. Skinner needs some real proof as to what lengths Chief Patterson would go to harass the agents below him, that would provide excellent argument."

"You know what I'd have to go through."

"I'm well aware of what you'd have to through. But," she wavered slightly, her tone becoming momentarily bitter, "if you want to stick up for your new partner, you're going to have to do it for him. Without a doubt, Patterson deserves to be taken down. Only Agent Krycek went about it a little too over-zealously. Covering for Agent Krycek is not on my list of priorities and I really needn't bother to offer any services on the case, whatsoever. After all, I have no idea what he did or where he went after I dropped the both of you off at your apartment."

Doubly disturbed, Mulder headed for his Buick.

"I'm serious," she tagged after him. "It's only because I believe in what he did that I got involved at all. But if you really want to help him, that's what you'd have to do."

"It's too late, anyway." Mulder dug through his pockets to find his keys. "I must have taken three showers since last night. I've washed away the evidence."

"Don't worry, it wouldn't have to be a formal case against Patterson. I'm sure he had to use force; he must have left contusions, abrasions, or at least fingermarks from your struggle. Agent Krycek and I can readily testify to what we saw Patterson trying to do to you in the back of the car. In fact, if we hurry up and call it in, we can make sure the car's searched for further incriminating evidence."

Keys in hand, Mulder hesitated. "You know what could happen to Patterson's career."

"Precisely. But from the way you describe him, I'd say his career should have been ended a long time ago."

"You're right. Not just for Alex, but for everyone else who's ever had to train under Patterson."


In the holding cage, Skinner found his agent seated on the bench. His hair was somewhat ruffled but he was shaven, and he was dressed very casually in black jeans and a flannel shirt. Arms folded, lids lowered, he leaned against the wall, appearing resigned. There were a couple of other prisoners present, too, who looked a lot more shaken than Agent Krycek. But then, they didn't have the benefit of his training and stamina.

The guard had accompanied Skinner to unlock the cage. Krycek looked up. The door to the hall opened again, halting all of them when Mulder and Scully breezed in, attended by another guard.

"Sir," Mulder said with some urgency. "I - I have further evidence to prove this was a frame-up."

"Oh?" Skinner addressed his other two agents.

Before they left to speak privately, Mulder paused to assure Krycek through cage mesh. "Don't worry. We're gonna get you out of here."

In the hallway, unaccompanied by any of the guards, Skinner was momentarily mesmerized again by the sight of Mulder. The truth was, Skinner hadn't recovered from the sight of his subordinate's astonishing appearance the night before. Even without the makeup, dress, and high heels, the long hair made him look spectacular. Distracted, it took a few moments for Skinner to grasp the allegations being laid out before him. Though the two agents spoke quietly, he cut them off in a sharp whisper, glancing around the vicinity. "Do you realize what you're implying?"

"Y - yes, sir," Mulder said innocently. "Which is why I was so reluctant to bring this to your attention, earlier. That was a mistake."

Swallowing, Skinner ventured, "Do you have physical evidence?" If there was one thing about this agent, it was his unswerving integrity. And he'd never been prone to confabulate complaints.

Sighing, Mulder exchanged a look with his former partner, then continued to Skinner. "Like I told Scully, I think I showered about three times since the incident. But I have plenty of bruises to show for it."

"You -- " Skinner's gaze went over both of them. "You'd both be willing to testify about this?"

"I would, sir," Scully answered immediately.

Mulder nodded.

"Sir," Scully added, "I strongly suggest you have the car in which the incident occurred impounded and searched for more evidence. I'm sure they'll find signs of the struggle. We left the car in a rural area outside the city within ten miles from the residence where we made the arrest on the Delaney case last night. Between Agent Krycek and I, I'm sure we can point out the location on a map."

Knowing Mulder, any question of veracity was nil. The idea that he'd make such an accusation under false pretenses was ludicrous. Still, Skinner was smitten with the urge to insist on seeing proof of the evidence in advance. Not because he doubted Mulder, but oh, for the opportunity to see him . . .

Abruptly reviving, Skinner cleared his throat. "All right. You two get over to the Bureau to file charges and for pictures. I'll phone impound and you can give them directions. I just need to get Agent Krycek's statement, then I'll release him on his own recognizance. He's still going to have to attend the OPC review tomorrow, as will you two."

Biting the inside of his lower lip almost petulantly, Mulder stalled. "Do I have to file charges? Isn't it enough that I'm informing you of the incident?"

Swallowing, Skinner's gaze swept over Mulder again. "I understand your reluctance, but I'm afraid so. You know as well as I. I don't have to stand here and explicate the severity of the charges involved here. Not only are they criminal offenses, but you're a federal officer."

"He's right," Scully pointed out gently. "Patterson needs to be stopped. To insure he never subjects you or anyone else to such unconscionable treatment again. The only way to do that is to file formal charges. I'm sorry, Mulder." She took his elbow.


Lacking any appetite, Mulder went straight downtown. Intrepid as always, Scully stuck through the process right beside him. While he filled out the paperwork, she ducked out to bring back sandwiches. She prodded him until he took at least a few bites. His dry-mouth rendered the food relatively tasteless.

It took a few explanations to impart to the medical personnel that technically, he'd not been raped in the assault. Still, he had to undergo the scrutiny of a physical examination. He was doubly thankful that he'd showered so many times to preclude any point in seeking saliva or semen samples and that he'd not permitted Krycek's advances to follow all the way through.

Flustered over the issue of propriety, Scully declined to attend the physical exam or the photo session, though she was plenty qualified to assist. For some reason, she also deferred studying the photos to offer a medical opinion.

"I - I'm afraid I couldn't provide an impartial statement," she'd said.

She did, however, offer to follow him home so he'd not be alone.

Alone was precisely the company he felt like keeping the rest of the day so he negated her offer. Upon arrival to his apartment, he recognized Krycek's black Camaro parked in front. He was waiting inside the car and got out to meet Mulder in the carport.

"I see they sprung you," Mulder remarked tiredly, starting for the rear apartment entrance.

"Thanks for helping me out." Catching up with Mulder, Krycek went on at a quiet volume. "I know it took a lot of balls on your part to turn in Chief Patterson. It's not exactly the kind of case that's easy for a guy to admit. I told them I'd testify to what I saw. Did you tell them about the night before, too?"

"Yeah," Mulder admitted, unlocking the door. "I figured I should. Especially after they discovered the faint rope burns on my wrists and ankles. I hadn't even noticed them." Though he'd not meant to have any company, he couldn't very well ask Krycek to leave. "It doesn't change facts, but at least it'll cost Patterson a lot of credibility."

The Sunday paper still lay in front of the apartment door. Mulder picked it up and let Krycek in, then threw it on the table by the door. After they'd hung up their jackets, Mulder entered the bedroom to be reminded of his unmade bed. And the black leather dress, stockings, ladies shoes, and handbag he'd thrown on the chair. "Shit," he mumbled. "Sorry I'm not gonna be much of a host," he called to Krycek. "I've gotta do laundry. There should be some cold Heineken in the fridge, though, if you want to help yourself."

In a few moments, Krycek entered the room with two open, frosty Heinekens. He brought one to Mulder. "Don't worry about playing host or doing the laundry. I'll help you."

Instead of taking a drink, Mulder set the bottle down on the nightstand and began to strip the pillows. "You wanna help? You can start by taking the junk Patterson got me for the job out to the dumpster. And I mean all of it. Make up, stockings, the junk in the closet -- "

"Junk in the closet? You mean the blue outfit?" Automatically, Krycek set his own drink down and began on the pillows on the other side of the bed.

"Scully took that one to the cleaners yesterday. You can dump the rest of the stuff now. I think there were a couple of other outfits or something. I don't know. Just get rid of it. I don't even want to look at it."

"Yeah, but I do." Carrying the pillow he was working on, Krycek went to the closet. It took him only a second to click on the light to scrounge around. "Oh, shit," he remarked. "This stuff is hot. Do you have any idea how fantastic you'd look -- ?"

"Fantastic, my ass."

"Yeah, your ass. Hey, this stuff is designer. You know how expensive it must be?"

"No," Mulder said dangerously. "And I don't want to. Just get rid of it. In fact, never mind the dumpster -- take it down to the furnace."

"And destroy the chance to see you done up like Ms. Foxy again? Come on. You can't be that cruel to me. Besides. That asshole owes you plenty. He can start out by footing the bill on these clothes."

Impatiently, Mulder threw the things in the chair on the carpet to pile the bedcover and blankets there, instead. "You like 'em so much, you keep 'em, then."

"What would I do with them?"

"Wear them yourself, for all I care."

Apparently detecting the contempt in Mulder's tone, Krycek snapped off the light in the closet and returned to quickly resume stripping the bed. "You got the hair for it. Not me."

"Yeah, well I'm gonna go get it cut off as soon as possible. This afternoon, if I can." Mulder checked the clock.

Looking hopeful, Krycek raised his eyebrows. "Aw, don't do that . . . I'm serious. I'd really like to see you in them some more." As soon as he found that the clothes had been dumped on the floor, he picked them up. "Do you realize these stockings alone probably cost twenty bucks? When was the last time you paid that much for a pair of socks?"

Surprised, Mulder cast his partner a look on the way back to the bed. "How do you know so much about the price of stockings?"

"I was with a girl once when she had to buy some. I don't remember the details."

"I can imagine," Mulder smirked.

"All I'm saying is, you treat this stuff like it's worthless. Ladies' dress shoes have to cost as much as guys'. And the dress? Who knows? You know how expensive designer junk can be."

With the bed stripped, Mulder went into the bathroom to sort the contents of the hamper onto the sheets. Destroying Patterson's acquisitions would be a start toward payment for his crimes; unfortunately, it wouldn't even come close to fulfilling the debt he owed.


It was around 4:00 in the afternoon when Skinner made the trip to the hospital, well within visiting hours.

Ascertaining that one of the names ascribed to the room read "Patterson, William", Skinner tread the remainder of the short distance over the glossy tile floor. It wasn't surprising to find Patterson alone, watching TV. He'd been married once, but his wife had long since divorced him. He even had a kid or two, but none of them were present.

Whoever had attacked Patterson had done a nice number on him. Without his glasses, the wounds were all the more apparent. His head, face, and jaw were battered with obvious swelling and bruising. He had IV's taped to his arms and a catheter bag fixed to the bed. That meant the injuries had been deemed serious enough by the medical staff to confine him there.

"Walter," Patterson said, placing aside a drink he'd been sipping through a straw.

Hands in the pockets of his open suede jacket, Skinner nodded toward Patterson. "So what are the damages?"

"Nothing that's going to keep me in here for long. They're only insisting I stay another night."

"Oh?" Skinner cocked an eyebrow. "Why is that?"

"Something about my kidneys. You know doctors," Patterson enunciated drily. "They all have this insatiable superiority complex with a compulsion to appear as if they have some esoteric insight beyond everyone else."

"I talked to the nurse. She said you had three broken ribs and a fractured cheekbone."

With as little movement as possible, Patterson shrugged. "All the more reason to slap that insubordinate punk in prison where he belongs."

At the foot of the bed, Skinner smirked. "When we catch the guilty party, we will. But in the meantime, I have a warrant for your arrest." From the inner breast pocket of his jacket, he held out the papers.

Starting, Patterson jolted in attempt to sit up straighter. His grimace bespoke his agony. "What the hell . . . ?"

Reading off the first sheet, Skinner provided, "The charges are sexual harassment, assault, sodomy . . . against a federal officer. Need I go on?"

"This is insane! I demand to know who the hell filed those charges. Surely, you don't believe any -- !"

"Shh." Skinner indicated the other patient and his visitors on the other side of the curtain. "Don't forget: discretion is policy."

"I don't give a damn about policy!" Patterson made another lunge to get up but was stayed by both pain and the various tubes and needles coursing into him. "Dammit," he hissed. "Who the hell was it?"

"Oh, you know who." Casually, Skinner paced to the bedside table and dropped the papers. "Consider yourself served. I wouldn't worry about hurrying back to work if I were you." He saw his way back to the hall.


Impatiently, Krycek tagged after Mulder, offering assistance with the laundry and straightening up the apartment. It gave him the opportunity to gain some insight into the Mulder psyche. Plus, he was understandably tired. They'd both had very little sleep the last two nights and both endured more than the usual amount of stress over the last forty-eight hours.

Once they'd gotten some of the housework out the way, while they waited on the last load of laundry, Krycek drew Mulder down on the neatly-remade bed with a pretense about resting for a while. Yeah, Krycek was fatigued, too, but being around Mulder -- observing him -- was a hell of a turn-on. While he channel-surfed, beer in hand, Krycek turned to Mulder, threw the long tresses out of the way, and kissed his jaw.

"What are you doing?" Mulder asked, gaze on the TV.

In answer, Krycek slid his mouth to those beautiful, curvaceous lips.

Setting the bottle down, Mulder responded minimally, then tried to end the kiss way too soon. "I'm tired. Aren't you tired?"

"Yeah. But not that tired."

"Well, I am that tired."

"You don't gotta do much . . . " Krycek kissed those supple lips again. "I'm sure I can do something . . . that'll help you . . . catch your second wind . . . "

"We'd be talking third wind by now, and I don't have it in me. It's enough I've still got to go downstairs for the last load of laundry and put it away, plus shower, all before I go to bed. I'm exhausted just thinking about it."

"I'll go get the last load and put it away. Then help you shower. How's that?" He kissed the cleft in Mulder's chin.

Sighing, Mulder settled against the headboard. "I'd be eternally grateful. But I still won't be able to get it up."

"Don't worry about it." Moving in for a deeper, more consuming kiss, Krycek slipped a hand beneath Mulder's t-shirt to trace those sweet abs.


It was amazing, but Mulder was just as sexy when he was tired. Just the fact that he was unresisting and yielding to suggestion was remarkably erotic. He let himself get stripped down to nothing and opened his long legs without protest. The only thing he did insist was that Krycek not get completely undressed because he had that last load of laundry to attend.

Only because he'd promised, he arrested his foreplay to replace the flannel shirt and make the quick trip down to the basement. When he returned with the basket, he found Mulder had turned onto his side and fallen asleep. What a goddamn beautiful picture. Totally nude, he'd flexed one knee to hide his lap, but in doing so, displayed that sweet apricot ass, the neat little waist, and the thin, strong shoulders, draped with the cascade of hair . . . Jeez, what Krycek wouldn't give for a camera.

In a hurry, he folded and put away the laundry, using one part logic and the other part guesswork. Then he switched off the TV and put the basket in the closet again before switching on both lamps. At last he returned to the bed.

Admiring that exquisite, model-perfect figure lying there, Krycek hastily doffed his own clothes. Carefully, he mounted the bed behind Mulder -- though there wasn't much room -- and placed a leg between his thighs.

Instantly, Mulder stirred. "Oh, sorry," he mumbled in his soft, near-adolescent voice. "Told you I was tired . . . " Compliantly, he slid toward the center of the bed to give Krycek room on the mattress. Even better; this offered greater access to the tempting curves of that ass.

Soon after Krycek began a sensual oral exploration between the cheeks, Mulder woke again to murmur quietly. Seeming a little breathless, he opened his legs wider, turning toward his belly. With the lamps on, Krycek was given an exhilarating view -- when he could bring himself to back off from time to time -- of Mulder's apparent pleasure. This was really evident through his tensed muscles and the well-defined delineation of the generous testicles in their taut pouch.

The more extensively Krycek nuzzled and licked, the more labored Mulder's breathing became, eventually developing to pants and quiet moans. Other than for a couple of beers, he was almost sober compared to the night before. Yet, not only was he obviously enjoying the activity, he had no objection to their like gender. More assurance that his compliance hadn't just been based on the mickey.

When he slid up onto his knees, he clearly indicated his want. Without wasting a moment, Krycek got right up behind his partner. Damn, what an ass. Knowing the path was well lubricated, Krycek took his aching hard-on to guide up against that same little entrance he'd just had his tongue in. It didn't want to give very easily, but with enough perseverence, he forced it open.

Through the process of taking Krycek on, Mulder panted harder, but made no protest. Gripping the bedcover with his left hand, he slipped his right beneath himself, and tightened down. The effect was fucking dizzying, but Krycek didn't want to finish up just yet. God, how Mulder could do things to Krycek.

Finding his own breath ragged, Krycek managed, "Relax some . . ."

The small of that straight, sleek back dropped as Mulder began to relent. That was all Krycek could stand; he couldn't hold off plunging deep into that heavenly tight canal a second longer. Seizing Mulder's hip, Krycek bent over his partner, bucking in blind ecstasy. In homage to the unrivaled pleasure embracing his cock, Krycek fumbled beneath the little hips to play. He found Mulder's right hand tucked against his lower abdomen rather than engaged in self-satisfaction, as expected. It wasn't as though he wasn't turned on; there was no way to miss the impressive stiffy Mulder boasted. And here he'd been certain he wouldn't be able to get it up. Tsk - tsk.

All Krycek did was tug once on that perfect staff of Mulder's and every freaking muscle in his pelvis lunged. Forget it -- Krycek was in Nirvana. Another tug and he was yanked into searing, uncontrollable orgasm. Jeezus. Gripping Mulder's healthy organ, Krycek pulled with each incredible contraction he was experiencing. In desperation, Mulder redirected Krycek's heavy stroke to the perfect head. He was rewarded with a near-instantaneous, hot payload that proceeded to pump out with each stroke.

With the finality of his own climax, Krycek should have gone soft. But this was all different. Everything about holding his lover with his pert little ass in Krycek's lap felt so damn good he got hard all over again.

The second Mulder was fully milked of every last drop, he struggled to get away too forcefully for Krycek to fight in his exhausted state. He let his lover go, then collapsed on the bed to recover.



Because they'd worked Saturday, they had Monday off. It wasn't too late in the morning when Krycek woke, judging by what he could see through the minimally-cracked mini-blinds. Considering that they'd both fallen asleep before 9:00 p.m. the night before, that wasn't surprising.

Though Mulder was turned away, still sleeping, it was a hell of a treat to wake up beside him. Sliding up close, Krycek tucked himself against that awesome little ass, then reached around in front. Sure enough, he found the morning stiffy he was seeking.

This woke Mulder, causing his erection to soften before he was conscious enough to appreciate arousal. He stretched but made no effort to get away. "Mm," he mumbled into his pillow. "What time is it? We gotta get ready for work . . . "

Nuzzling through the long hair, Krycek located one delicate, slightly tapered ear. "Not today," he whispered. "We worked Saturday, remember?" He kept pulling and the velvety soft organ began to fill out and become rigid all over again.

For a few moments, Mulder remained silent while his cock continued to slowly respond. Then he released his breath, pressed back, and shifted his thighs apart to allow Krycek better access. " . . . If you wake me up like this every morning . . . I don't think I'm gonna let you leave . . . This beats the hell out of an alarm clock."

As far as Krycek was concerned, just waking up next to Mulder precluded any need for an alarm clock, period. Encouraged, he continued to pet while his own erection prodded the cleft with rising conviction. When he couldn't stand it any more and his hips instinctively ground in coital gesture, Mulder made a move to get away.

"Much as I'm enjoying this," he near-panted, "I've really got to pee."

Though Krycek had been trying to ignore the same sense of inconvenient fullness in himself, he sighed and released his partner.

Damn, Krycek was never going to be able to shower again without Mulder. Not without all the sensual massaging and lathering to make a whole new experience of the tired task. And god, what a body. Wasn't it some sort of an infraction of the law to look that good?

There was no faking their mutual arousal; their cocks shot up just about instantaneously and remained that way throughout the shower. It was only when Krycek made to soap down the cleft of Mulder's round ass that he reacted adversely.

"Ow!" he hissed, promptly turning around. "Lighten up."

"What? I didn't -- " Krycek began.

"You think that fat dick of yours didn't hurt?" Already, Mulder's hard-on was daunting by degrees.

Hm. The sign of a novice. Or at least someone who hadn't had anal sex in a while. "Did it?" Pressing close, Krycek licked his lover's criminally curvy upper lip. "Does your pretty little asshole hurt?" Krycek slid his wet, soapy hands over Mulder's ass to tease down the cleft.

"Don't!" Mulder jerked. "I told you. How could it not with what you've got?"

"You seemed to like it at the time . . . " Krycek turned the lick into a kiss.

"You had doubts . . . ?"

"Well . . . " Krycek prompted another kiss. "From the way you kept coming . . . "

"I made a fucking mess all over the bedcover, I know . . . But I'm sore now. Let me wash up, myself. You're going at it like a bucket attendant at a truck stop."

"No, I want to," Krycek insisted, laughing. "I promise to be careful . . . "

All things considered, Mulder was probably not a virgin but he couldn't be far from it. Anyway, judging by the way he hissed as Krycek gently fingered that swollen, mildly rosy entrance. A sight so fucking inviting, after rinsing off the soap, Krycek took the job over with his tongue. And damn if Mulder didn't open up his stance and hug the shower tiles harder. There was no question; Krycek cupped the heavy balls that had tightened up to straddle a nicely-revived stiffy.



Feeling very much alone, Krycek entered the smoke-filled room. It would take a few moments for his vision to adjust to the darkness and thin rays of sunlight that stabbed the murky shadows through a single, cracked blind. Still, he was well aware of all the figures seated around the massive table.

Even after his years in the police department, he couldn't help feeling nervous in front of the group. This was a different league. Their standards were light years beyond the now seemingly-lowly expectations of ordinary law enforcement. That they'd inducted him into their fold was still something of a fantasy. Up until then -- though he'd held his breath many a time -- they'd expressed a satisfactory attitude over his work.

Up until then.

The murmuring amongst the group dropped off. The collective penetrating gaze that followed was freaking tangible.

At the furthest end of the table, Spender spoke up. "You know why you were called in, don't you?"

Having been hit up with similar questioning by his father since the age of 2, Krycek answered in the best way he'd learned how. "Sir?"

A waft of smoke drifted up in the late afternoon light that sliced through the blinds. "You were given a job. A singular, well-circumscribed job. Yet you took it upon yourself to improvise. From day one, you've been cautioned against such measures, haven't you?"

With a faint nod, Krycek acquiesced. "Yes. I realize that . . . "

"So then why did you do it?"

"Because . . . Because sometimes improvision is the only way to get the job done. There are always rules, but sometimes rules have to be broken. Because gut instinct isn't a myth -- sometimes, it's the only lead -- "

"We admire your instinctual aptitude," Spender conceded. "Don't misunderstand. But in this job, orders have to take precedence beyond all else. You were given a specific task to perform within the FBI. If you can't honor the job you were given -- and only that -- we'll find someone else who will."

"Sir," Krycek interrupted. The thought of the assignment being casually shifted to someone else's discretion was disturbing. "I was working on Agent's Mulder's behalf, as ordered. It seemed pertinent to intervene with the lascivious molestation by some old queer to mess with the prime targ -- "

Spender's tone hardened. "If we'd wanted your intervention we would have notified you. If there had been any changes in your assignment, you would have been informed."

"Sir -- "

"Your actions were entirely inexcusable. You assaulted the well-respected chief of the Investigative Support Unit. Of course he filed charges against you. If you recollect, you were instructed that it is absolutely imperative you keep your position in the Bureau as low-key as possible. Yet, suddenly now you have criminal charges filed against you by the ISU chief, Agent Mulder has filed counter-charges against him -- the next thing we know, you'll all be making an appearance an one of those afternoon talk shows."

Trying to gather his patience, Krycek shut his eyes. "You don't understand -- "

"But we do!" Spender snapped. "We know precisely what's going on. You've become too infatuated with Mulder and can't leave him alone. Evidently, it turned out Patterson has an infatuation with him, as well. You both got so excited at the sight of him in a dress, you took all leave of common sense."

Eyes still shut, Krycek turned his lowered head away. He'd known the job would heavily pervade into his personal life.

"You've deeply jeopardized your position with the Bureau. You're now expected to appear in front of the Professional Conduct committee and attempt to convince them that you didn't beat the holy hell out of the revered Chief William Patterson. All you have in your defense is the testimony of Agent Scully, whom you were supposed to be surveilling. But instead, you found chasing after Agent Mulder's ass far more important. It never occurred to you that by becoming too entangled with him, it would corrupt any testimony he could have provided on your behalf? As for Agent Scully -- "

"Do you honestly think he would have covered for me if I hadn't?"

An ugly moment of dead silence passed.

Another thick waft of smoke drifted above Spender. "If you hadn't gotten so involved in your project in the first place, you never would have been compelled to commit the assault."

"I wasn't -- " Krycek caught his breath. "I wasn't involved. I was looking out for him. Those were my orders."

"You were instructed to watch him and nothing more!"

"Yeah, well all of a sudden I don't give a damn about orders. As of right now, you can go to hell. I resign." Pushing from the table, Krycek turned to walk out.

Behind him, he could audit the buzz around the table. Spender spoke up. "Alex. You know you can't just walk away."

"Fuck you," Krycek stated, not looking back. "You and your organization can all go to hell." The slam of the heavy door punctuated his last word.


On his way to the rental car in the parking garage, Krycek considered the overall atmosphere of the meeting. All right, fuck it. It struck him as a monumental disappointment, as well, but he had to accept that he just wasn't cut out for the task. He'd committed one of the worst possible blow-its; he'd fallen for his charge. There was no way in hell he could follow through with the orders. Orders that would completely destroy the hopeful foundation of the relationship he'd actually managed to establish with Mulder, so far.

While unlocking the driver-side door, Krycek caught a peripheral glimpse of Spender rushing up between the aisles of parked cars.


Ignoring his former employer, Krycek opened the door to get in.

"Alex." At the right front fender of the car, Spender stopped to catch his breath. "Let's take a ride."

"I've got nothing to say to you." Krycek ducked into the driver's seat.

Before he could hit the auto-lock switch, Spender caught the handle on the passenger side and opened the door. "Oh, but we have some important matters to discuss." Uninvited, he climbed in, and slammed the door shut. "For instance, from the beginning it was sufficiently imparted to you that this isn't the type of occupation you can just casually walk away from. Your fortitude and aptitude kept you in the program. You know how few trainees ever make it thus far. And you know how much we have invested in you."

"No matter how much money you have, there're no guarantees you'll ever be able to have everything you want. Life's a bitch that way. So you may as well get out of the car, old man, 'cos I've got a shuttle to catch back to D.C."

"I'm afraid it's not that simple." Spender reached into his trench coat for his pack of cigarettes. "If anything, you've indebted yourself even deeper to us. We'll be taking the necessary precautions to deal with your foolish mistake to eliminate the pending repercussions. But keep in mind it should never have occurred. In this profession there's no margin for error. We don't look kindly upon employees who lack good judgmental skills -- that includes conceding to hormonal urges."

"The situation was being handled. I wasn't worried about it. Whatever you did, you took upon yourselves."

"Surely you haven't forgotten the matter of the IA investigation you were undergoing with your previous employers. You probably would have wound up pushing pencils at some lowly civil servant job making a lousy thirty thousand a year, the rest of your life, if it wasn't for our magnanimous offer."

"I'm sure I could have beaten the rap without your help."

"Perhaps, but perhaps not. And with your temperament, it probably wouldn't have been long before you found yourself in trouble again."

Releasing the keys in the ignition, Krycek turned on Spender, frowning. "Look, if you think I'm such a fuck-up, why are you out here trying to talk me out of quitting?"

With a flare from his lighter, Spender lit his cigarette.

Pointedly, Krycek cranked the ignition to power the windows. He lowered the one on the passenger side.

"Your rebellious determination is precisely why you were recruited. It's always anticipated that it could potentially lead to problems, but the facts are, the job requires individuals with that kind of nature.

"But let's just cut to the chase. I certainly shouldn't have to enumerate all the ways in which you owe us. You know well what they are. The bottom line is, we all know we simply cannot afford to let you return to your new partner with the intelligence you've been entrusted with."

Instantly, Krycek whipped out his firearm. Because Spender didn't move other than to go on languidly smoking, Krycek swiftly engaged a three-hundred and sixty degree survey around the area through the windows of the car.

He saw no one.

"Oh, don't worry," Spender went on, unperturbed. "I haven't lost all faith in your ability to make the right decision."

Hunted, Krycek's mouth moved, but he didn't speak.

"You know, your conquest with Fox took us all by surprise."

Defensively, Krycek kept the mirrors under surveillance. "Befriending him? It turned out he really isn't like a lot of people think -- "

"I mean your conquest in sleeping with him."

Scoffing, Krycek readjusted the rearview between the visors, when he saw movement. A couple of women a distance off, entered the garage. "I never said anything like that. I don't know where the hell you got an idea like that."

"You know we have our resources."

"Yeah, I'm well aware of it. I was your resource."

"Surely you don't think you're the only one keeping tabs on Fox Mulder."

For a second, Krycek's blood chilled. He tried to remind himself of Spender's skill at the art of deception. "What? So your other source reported Mulder and I spent a few nights at the same place?" Krycek sparked up the engine and threw the transmission into reverse. "I don't know where your other source grew up, but even in this country, just because two people of the same sex sleep at the same apartment, that doesn't automatically make them turn queer."

Impatiently, Spender exhaled and tapped some ashes out the window. "Don't feign stupidity, Alex. You've already been acquainted with at least some of our technical monitoring capabilities. There are plenty more you don't know about. Unlike you, our other resource was performing his job."

What the hell was that supposed to mean? They'd snuck microphones in Mulder's shower? Under his bed?

Apparently, Spender took Krycek's silence to denote guilt. Appropriately. There was no point in further denial. "You see, we really had no idea he was interested in men. What did you do to coax him into it?"

Out of the parking garage, away from headquarters, it was easier to look for a single tail than to sit, awaiting an ambush that could come from anywhere. "Whatever the hell did or didn't go down between me and Mulder is none of your business. Particularly now since I'm not your employee any more."

After raising the window to only a crack, Spender took another puff on his cigarette. "Don't make any hasty decisions yet. Consider your options. Or option, as the case is, being as that's really the only one you have."

"I'm not gonna fucking stab Mulder in the back. That's all there is to it."

"Then what should we do with you? We can't trust that you'll keep your mouth shut while you're lying in bed with him at night. Not if you feel this strongly about him."

Waiting at a traffic light, Krycek briefly closed his eyes. Then remembered how imperative it was for him to remain vigilant. "I already told you what you wanted to know. They've stuck him indefinitely in the TSS, pulling crap surveillance on drug trafficking. Yeah, Scully keeps in close contact, still working with him in any obscure way they can manage. I'm going to stay on with the FBI, but I won't tell Mulder what I know. How can I? He'd freak if he found out I'd been posted to spy on him in the first place. One thing about him that's true are the rumors about his paranoia. Of that, he's adamant. It wouldn't behoove me to mention one word about the Consortium to him. The way I see it, he can't know anything about how I came to be his partner. Because I'd really like to keep that position, you can sure as hell bet I'm not going to tell him."

"You'd really be willing to give up your earnings from the Consortium?"

"Yes, dammit. I can live with what I make through the Bureau. I've lived off less."

Cigarette spent, Spender crushed it out in the ashtray. "It shouldn't take long for common sense to supercede infatuation. I'll give you some time to rethink your resignation. You can drop me off anywhere. We'll be in touch."



Patterson's status within the FBI, and his injuries, bought him a quick arraignment after he was released from the hospital. He was charged and suspended from duty, then sent home until the trials would begin. Once there, he used the next few hours to check on Mulder's whereabouts to insure that he'd not gone out town on business.

On painkillers to deaden the ache in his side and head, Patterson arrived at the Hegal Place apartment building at a quarter to five. There, he jimmied open the doors to wait inside.

During the wait, he went through the apartment, searching for the small wardrobe he'd invested in for the Delaney case. Considering Mulder's contempt for the articles, it had occurred to Patterson that they may very well have been discarded. His search turned up nothing -- not so much as a stocking or tube of lipstick.

The wait actually took more than an hour. The daylight visible through the blinds was fading. A candlestick lamp in the living room had been on when he'd arrived, and he'd left it that way. The rattle of the keys in the lock awoke him from the minor drowsiness brought on by the codeine.

In another moment, Mulder entered the livingroom in a business suit, the long mane of hair gone. Carrying his mail, he nearly dropped it when he discovered his visitor. "What the hell are you doing here? Shouldn't you be in the hospital? Or better yet, jail?"

"You know damn well what I'm doing here, you little shit." Patterson stood to bring himself up to height.

Unimpressed, Mulder proceeded into the bedroom. "You should have saved yourself the effort and stayed in bed. Looks like you had the shit kicked out of you. Unless you want a B&E charge added to your list of violations."

Seething, Patterson followed. "Where are the clothes I bought?"

"Huh?" Mulder tossed the mail onto table beneath the window, then switched on one of the bedside lamps. "Oh, those. I threw 'em in the furnace."

"Dammit, Mulder," Patterson raged, head beginning to pound again. "I spent hundreds of dollars on those things! You'd better goddamn well pay me back every cent."

Unbuttoning his blazer, Mulder chuckled. "I don't gotta pay you anything."

Suspecting he may go for his holster, Patterson drew his own handgun, first. That punk Krycek had stolen the piece Patterson ordinarily carried for work. "Don't even try." He gestured at Mulder to keep his hands in sight.

"What are you going to do? Shoot me if I don't pay you? You're in enough trouble. I wouldn't push things any further if I were you."

"I want those clothes or I want the money."

"I don't think they would've fit you . . . " Mulder pretended to size up Patterson.

Again, Patterson waved the gun. "Take off the holster."

"Oh, you think you're going to threaten me?" Mulder laughed.

"Take it off!" Patterson released the safety.

Heaving, Mulder unfastened, then removed the holster from his belt.

"Throw it on the floor over here by me."

Without further arguing, he complied. "Look, Bill. The clothes are gone. I don't have the money to pay for them and even if I did, you can't honestly believe I would. If you want to sue me from prison, go right ahead and try. But this is ridiculous. My partner's going to be here pretty soon with dinner; if you just quietly get the fuck out now, I won't report -- "

"Though I'm sorely disappointed about those clothes you looked so divine in, my main objective in coming here was to cut a deal with you. I doubt it was your idea to file those charges against me. Surely, you have no desire to face the OPC panel and delineate every detail of the matter. What if I agree to drop the charges against Agent Krycek if you agree to drop the charges you filed?"

The pretty, little boy features turned mildly stunned. "You're right; I didn't want to file the charges. But I decided not to cover up for you any more. Not just over the crimes you committed against me, but of the mental torment you've caused just about every agent who's trained under you. I'm sure there have been plenty of other agents you've tortured in a similar way and worse."

So. The little boy was really growing up. He'd always been headstrong -- never obsequious. His first days in the BSU, he'd been polite, but outspoken. When everyone else had the sense to keep their mouths closed, Fox wouldn't. "You know your new partner will be thrown out of the Bureau . . . "

"I wouldn't be so sure. Reprimanded, maybe. Maybe kept on probation an extra six months at the end of his term. But it's more likely the OPC will find him innocent. It's going to be awful hard for them to believe the testimony of an agent in a supervisory position who abuses his command. The fact that the abuse was homosexual in nature is going to make them even less sympathetic toward your case." Relaxing, Mulder unbuttoned his cuffs and loosened his tie.

Goddamn clever prick. He was way too damn smart. Any other agent would have been groveling for forgiveness. Despite the short term of their partnership, Fox had gone out of his way to save Agent Krycek's fledgling career in a way so commendable it was disgusting.

Strategically, Patterson lowered the gun. Unfortunately, the codeine was beginning to lose it's blunting edge; the pain in his side was making itself known on a permanent basis again. "Well, if honesty is such a crucial criteria to you, then perhaps I should mention the way you pushed your little ass against me, when we were on my bed, prompting me to lick even deeper. And the erection you -- "

Defensively, that show of relaxation Mulder had demonstrated a moment ago instantly reversed. "I did not!"

"Come now, Fox. You don't remember? You really amazed me. The second time, you were a little too drugged to get an erection, but you did admit to some rather forthright confessions -- such as how your wife often used strapon dildos in your lovemaking."

The triumph in seeing Mulder's luscious mouth work in stunned uncertainty was enough to stir Patterson, despite his discomfort from the injuries.

"You don't really want the OPC to hear all the details, do you? But of course, if you insist on taking the case to trial, I'd be just as obliged to divulge these pertinent facts, too."

Obstinately, Mulder frowned. "No one's going to believe you. Plus, I was drunk the first time and drugged the second. I couldn't be held accountable for my actions."

"Nevertheless," Patterson pointed out. "It was abundantly clear how much you enjoy a good rim job. I've no doubt that will cost you some sympathy, yourself. Mind you, I could say anything, since your recollection of the incidents was obscured by various agents, but I have no reason to embellish. Once your sexual proclivities come into question, that should be reason enough for them to reconsider the charges."

Gold-flecked eyes flashing, Mulder took a step forward. "More likely they'd believe you're inventing lies just to save your own cowardly ass! You've got no argument, Bill. You've got nothing!"

"A seed of doubt is all it would take," Patterson said evenly, readjusting his glasses. "You know that as well as I. I'd tell them nothing but the truth about your actions and confession. But I'd really rather not divulge any of this to the OPC. I'd much prefer to keep your sexual predilections private, as I'm sure you would."

The sight of Mulder's heaving chest even beneath his dress shirt was arousing. It wasn't just the rise and fall of firm male pecs that had no business being so damn sexy; he knew he'd just been called upon truths he couldn't deny.

Subtly, Patterson folded one arm to gingerly support his aching ribs. "Now, I'm perfectly willing to drop the charges on your partner and keep all this information strictly between us."

Mulder narrowed his eyes. His head jerked slightly in his aptly cunning way.

Impatiently, Patterson heaved. He gestured with the gun again. "All right, at least allow me to finish what I started. Allow me to satisfy you. You'll see my aim was quite the opposite of what you purport. In turn, I'll drop the charges against your partner."

The pupils widened. "Get the hell out of my apartment."

This was not the response Patterson had anticipated. He almost dropped his gun, but then attempted to promptly regain his composure. "Don't be an idiot. You know what you like and you know what you'll be put through in front of the OPC. What I'm offering is sheer pleasure, as opposed to -- "

"Your pleasure maybe, but not mine." With no regard for the gun, Mulder advanced closer. "You get yourself and your goddamn perverted, twisted delusions the hell out of here, because I'm calling the police. Go right ahead and shoot me if you want, but you'd better goddamn kill me! Because I'd rather be dead than have sex with you."



The anesthesia of another couple of Tylenol and codeine tablets had kicked in. Along with everything else Patterson faced, he was restless from the unaccustomed routine of having no job to attend. Dammit, he had loads of work pending that he knew none of the incompetents in the CIU could handle in a million years. Instead, he sat at his kitchen table in the middle of a weekday morning, drinking coffee, thumbing through the latest Newsweek magazine. The prescription in his old glasses wasn't strong enough, which had aggravated the existing headache from the injuries. He had to await a new pair to replace the ones destroyed in the assault.

Upon his return from the hospital, he'd found the TV cable service had gone out. According to the landlord, the problem was localized to the wiring to Patterson's apartment only. There had been no complaints from any of the other tenants. After he'd phoned, the cable company had actually been cooperative enough to promise to send someone out the next morning. The boredom of inactivity was bad enough, let alone he should have to face it without cable service.

As usual, he'd been given a time frame in which to expect the service call. He heard the knock on the front door several minutes into the start of the second hour.

Setting down his coffee cup, he got up. Before opening the door, he looked through the peephole. A workman from the local cable company replete with the requisite company logoemblazoned baseball cap waited in the hall. Patterson yanked open the door. "At least you didn't keep me waiting -- "

All he had time to register was the sight of a gun aimed point blank in his face. Then the flash.


Inundated with still more paperwork, Krycek was busy at his desk when he was aware someone approached. With a glance at the digital clock on his desk, he realized it was 12:25 p.m. Lunch. He looked up to see Mulder in his shirt sleeves, his suit jacket thrown over his shoulder.

Without a word, he dragged over the closest steel-framed chair and perched on the edge.

"Just a second," Krycek said, trying not lose his train of thought on the report he was assembling.

As soon as Krycek began gathering up some of the papers on his desk, Mulder leaned forward. "Did you hear what happened to Patterson?"

"What's he claiming now?" Of all the crap Krycek had been trying to manage at once, the last person he wanted to hear about was Patterson. As long as he hadn't come within a six mile radius of Mulder, that was all that mattered.

"He's dead. He was shot in his apartment this morning."

Startling, Krycek raised his head, open-mouthed. Spender's words flooded back. The Consortium would be taking the necessary precautions to eliminate the pending repercussions.


Spoiled. That was the word that drifted to Krycek's mind. He couldn't seem to sleep without Mulder. The phenomenon had been going on for less than a week -- and not every night since then, either -- but Krycek had never felt that way about sleeping with anyone before. Usually after sex, he pretty much preferred to get back to his own bed. But not with Mulder.

It was just as well they'd not spent the night together, because Krycek's head was pounding. The idea of having Mulder see Krycek when he wasn't at his best didn't seem right. The pounding had actually stirred him from his restless sleep, he realized. That and an odor. A strong, foul odor that become increasingly intense as he become more conscious.

Rising to his elbows, a wave of dizziness and nausea swept over him. Just then, he recognized the sulfurous smell.

Stumbling from bed, he threw open the nearest window for a breath of real air. He could barely keep his balance, as the floor and his surroundings all seemed to shift, surrealistically. Too dangerous to use a phone. Thank god he'd thrown his clothes on the chair by the bed. Seizing them, he shoved the window sash open the rest of the way and climbed onto the sill of his third floor apartment. Before he could make the jump to the first floor portico, he heard an ominous rush of air, then the blast hit him. He was thrown.

Stunned, it took him a few seconds to orient himself. Somewhere behind him, he heard the shatter of breaking glass and muffled screams and turmoil from inside the building. Fumbling, he managed to get into his pants, before reaching the edge of the portico to make the final jump to soft grass. At least the nausea began to ebb slightly. Wasting little time, he pushed himself off his knees and made his way to the sidewalk, furtively surveying the area. Where the hell had he parked his car?

Glancing back toward the glow from the building, he saw flames leap through the broken windows. The aftermath of an explosion that had been intended to target him. Goddamn Consortium didn't give a fuck how many lives it wasted.

From the neighboring houses, residents had been awakened. When he saw two try to rush the apartment building, he somehow had the presence of mind to warn them of the gas leak.

At the trunk of the Camaro, Krycek threw it open. Did he have his re-packed overnight? Yes. That and a garment and shopping bag. Though he couldn't recall having left them there, he was grateful the clothes on his back and whatever was at the dry cleaners weren't the only possessions he had left. Shit, he couldn't remember anything. It was a wonder he'd found his car.

In the distance, he heard the sirens of the emergency vehicles approaching.



From the sofa, Mulder was awakened by a summons at his door. The TV was on, barely audible above the soft, familiar sounds from the fish tank. Tossing aside the blanket he'd covered up with, he sleepily made his way to the door in pajama pants and a t-shirt.

Because the summon wasn't desperate or demanding, he casually opened the door to look out. Krycek stood in the hall, his overnight case on his shoulder, appearing completely disheveled. He wore his leather jacket over his bare chest and his belt buckle was unfastened. His hair was a ruffled mess, falling over his forehead.

Backing, Mulder immediately allowed his caller in.

Adding to Krycek's weird, glassy-eyed, harried look, his feet were bare and he limped.

"I - I kinda need a place to stay," Krycek explained, mildly out of breath. "Tonight, anyway . . . " He carried his overnight case into the livingroom and set it on the chair. "I'll figure -- "

"What's going on?" Mulder followed Krycek. "What happened to you? You're limping."

"I am?" Krycek glanced down at his feet.

"And you've got no shoes on. You drove here like that?"

Sitting down on the chair with his overnight, Krycek went on. "There was a gas leak . . . My apartment building . . . I was climbing out the window . . . when it blew . . . "

Alarming, Mulder switched the candlestick lamp to the brightest setting to check his partner for wounds. Sure enough, his palms were scraped and he had tiny visible cuts on his ears and neck from flying glass shards. Some remaining fragments glittered in his hair. "I better get you to the ER."

"No, I'm all right . . . "

"What are you talking about? You're not all right. Your apartment building explodes and you think you're all right? You shouldn't have driven over here, you should have let the paramedics take you to the nearest hospital. Or called me."

"No cell phone . . . too dangerous . . . to dangerous to take out of the charger."

Good call. There wouldn't have been any chance for escape had the slightest arc of electricity been generated between charger and phone. Kneeling in front of his partner, Mulder checked Krycek's feet for injuries. Ignoring the immediate resistance, Mulder found more glass cuts. "I'm taking you to the hospital."


It was only a matter of time, Krycek knew. Only a matter of time before the Consortium caught up with him. If he had had any sense, he would have made a clean break beforehand. But now they didn't trust him not to tell Mulder about their existence, and they never would. The only way they'd ever be assured of Krycek's silence was to kill him.

At the hospital, they treated him with oxygen, x-rays, antibiotics, and a tetanus shot since he couldn't recall when he'd received his last one. He was also told he'd sprained his left ankle and scraped both knees, but nothing that required hospitalization.

On the drive from the hospital, Mulder spoke up. "Look, why don't you stay with me until you get everything together again? You were lucky you had your credit cards and I.D. with you."

"I don't want to inconvenience you . . . "

"You've been staying over off and on, anyway." Mulder hesitated. "I've already called in to the office; they're not expecting us to be in today. We can drive over to your place right now to find out if anything can be salvaged."

Relieved, Krycek quietly released his breath. Staying with Mulder was actually the only safe place to be. Over the weekend, Krycek could figure out just what the hell he'd do after that. Unless Mulder was offering a permanent move-in, but even so, 'round the clock protection by his presence would be utterly impossible unless Krycek apprised his host of the situation. And he couldn't do that; Mulder would lose all sympathy and understanding once he learned his lover's initial motive was one of espionage. "I doubt it. And anyway, I didn't have anything of much value. Right now, I'm just tired."


In fact, when Krycek woke later in the afternoon, he discovered Mulder had been in and out of the apartment. The only factor that may have spared Krycek thus far was that the Consortium were awaiting word on any victims of the gas explosion.

According to Mulder who'd spent the day restocking supplies, the clothes in the trunk of the Camaro had turned out to be the outfits from the Delaney case. Of all the belongings in Krycek's possession to have been spared, Mulder had smirked without amusement. Still, Krycek had his overnight and a few sundry things that had been overlooked on his overnight visits.

The minor discomfort from the cuts, contusions, and sprained ankle were easily forgotten with a couple of Tylenol. Despite Mulder's remarkable willingness to render care and assistance, Krycek wasn't about to take advantage. He hardly deemed his injuries as anything requiring nursing. Over all practical efforts, anyway. After dinner, Krycek finally took up Mulder's insist offers for aid.

"You really want to do something for me?" Krycek questioned in front of the TV.

"What do you need?" Mulder picked their empty dinner plates up off the coffee table. "Another beer?"

"Never mind the beer. I can get my own. What I would like . . . " Krycek paused, gathering his nerve. Swallowing, he leaned against the backrest of the leather sofa to toy with his empty bottle. " . . . Well, I'd really like it if you put on one of the dresses."

"The dresses?" Mulder smiled, disarming and crooked. Then promptly destroyed the moment when he scoffed. "I'm not putting on another dress, as long as I live. That was work. I never -- "

"Then why offer to do me any favors? I think it was pretty amazing that I kept forgetting to take those things out of the trunk and into the apartment. I mean if I had, they'd be toast along with everything else I own. There would never be any replacing them. But there they are, hanging in your closet again. Can't you just humor me and put one on?"

Getting up, Mulder downed the rest of his beer on his way to the kitchen.

Fearing the excuses, Krycek got up and limped after. Perhaps he played up the limp just a little, but he made sure to reach the refrigerator in time to get his own beer. "Come on, Mulder. Please?" He raised his eyebrows.

Annoyed, Mulder snapped open his bottle, practically scowling. "What for? It'll only make you horny and we can't do anything, fucked up the way you are."

"I'm not gonna be standing up when we do it. And if you get on my lap, I won't have to get on my knees."

"What? I don't know how to do it like that."

Nice admission. That, along with a lot of other hints further confirmed Krycek's suspicion that Mulder wasn't very experienced along these lines. Stepping closer, Krycek ruffled the golden brown hair on Mulder's forearm. "I'm sure we can figure it out . . . "


It took some patience, but the end result was worth it. Restless and horny, Krycek found a million-and-one excuses to limp into the bedroom and bathroom on Mulder to make sure he was dressing as promised.

When he made his entrance, despite his short hair and lack of makeup, he was spectacular. He was wearing the tight, form-fitting, amethyst-colored, jacard velour dress along with the stockings and high heels.

Before coming to the sofa, he veered to the kitchen and brought back more drinks. By then, he'd dipped into the fancy scotch in the cupboard.

After they'd both taken a sip, Mulder remained standing. "All right, you've seen it; now can I go take it off?"

"Oh, hell no." Krycek gestured. "Turn around for me. I want to look at you all over."

Sighing, Mulder obeyed unceremoniously. That didn't stop him from looking utterly fantastic. When he was done, he started for the bedroom again, glass in hand. "I'm gonna go put my pants -- "

"No, wait," Krycek lamented, about ready to ease down his zipper and release his throbbing cock. "Give me a chance to enjoy." Catching Mulder's wrist, Krycek drew his partner to stand between the sofa and table. "Go ahead and put your glass down."

Unwittingly, Mulder obeyed that command, too. He failed to realize how short the dress was on him. It wasn't proportioned for a guy who stood six feet tall; it hiked up in back to show plenty of skin above the lace tops of his black stockings.

Before he could straighten, Krycek made his next request. "Wait -- don't stand up. Face the coffee table and put both hands on it."

Thinking differently, Mulder stood anyway, taking his glass with him for another stiff drink. "Is that the way you want to play?" he smirked.

"I could have looked at the hanger if my only motive was to see the dress."

After downing another good swallow, Mulder turned away again and bent over to set the glass, then his hands on the table. Lacking any underwear, a peek at the lowest curve of his bottom was tantalizingly exposed. That wasn't all, either; his healthy male organs could be seen hanging beneath him.


Sliding forward to the edge of the leather cusion, Krycek attacked his partner. He threw the skirt up and buried his face between those cheeks, his tongue as deep as he could probe past the muscle. All of sudden, Mulder made every effort to accommodate -- if anything, he relaxed and pressed back for more.

What finally halted Krycek was the bind of his pants -- both against his knees and his blinding hard-on. He finally had to stand up to alleviate the problem altogether.

Mulder looked back, mildly panting, slightly flushed. When he saw that Krycek was struggling to get out of his pants, Mulder straightened. "I'll get the K-Y."

When he came back, the skirt was standing up in front like the prow of a ship. The clingy velour amethyst-colored fabric draped to provide a magnificent description of everything underneath. Even when he got down on the carpet on his knees in front of Krycek to lube him up, through the black lace on the neckline, the shapely cleavage of smooth male pecs could be seen.

At the last moment, Mulder set the tube aside and applied his mouth instead.

That mouth. The full, sumptuous lower lip and lethally curvaceous upper one. Up until then, Mulder had demonstrated some provocative gestures with his tongue. Gestures that were enough to get Krycek so excited he had to launch straight into intercourse. He was practically at that point already, but just then, Mulder gave a formal introduction of his tongue and the deep recesses of his mouth. Abruptly, the game stepped up a whole new level.

Once he proved he knew how to arch his tongue to drive against the underside of the head of a cock, he opened his throat to ease Krycek down deep.

That was too much. Gasping, he had to hold Mulder off. "How - how the hell do you know how to do that?" But inevitable orgasm took priority; Krycek yanked Mulder up from the floor. "Get on my lap!"

No resistance, no argument. Mulder got on his knees on the sofa, facing Krycek, hovering over him. That nice, long erection stood up unabashedly beneath the skirt, the cleft sparkling wet.

When Krycek tried forcing Mulder down in place, he fumbled for the tube of K-Y. "I'm not wet enough anymore."

Once he'd coated himself, he eagerly eased down onto Krycek, facing him. Oh, yeah, those tight, fat nuts were crushed as the fully erect cock jammed between them, against the velvety fabric of the dress. Mulder didn't give a damn; he was as hellbent to climax as his partner.



After returning from his meeting with Agent Kazdin at the Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Richmond, Mulder returned home to finish the report on the Duane Barry case. The meeting supplied an interesting footnote to the bizarre case -- a footnote Agent Kazdin, herself had a hard time comprehending.

Another quick shuttle ride both to and from Richmond made a short trip of the meeting, thus providing Mulder and Krycek the whole evening off. The thunder storm which had moved in from the north provided a good excuse to stay home. At 10:00 p.m. they were on the bed making love under the lamplight.

Again yielding to Krycek's stocking fetish, Mulder had obliged in one of the new pairs of black suspender-styled nylons. After much foreplay, when Krycek was well-lubricated, Mulder trapped his lover's hips in place for entry. With Krycek on his back, his blushing, fully erect genitals were in plain view -- as was the passion and ecstasy that creased his brow as he was penetrated.

"Oh, jeez," he gasped, sounding pained, but then hooked his long, slender legs over Mulder's arms and yanked him in.

Making love with a man was a little different from the frontal position and Mulder had little expertise at the maneuver to draw from other than the crash course he'd had in the last week with Krycek. But Krycek seemed to have no objections. He caught his thick, bouncing cock in his right hand and hastily pulled. In no time, he was gushing over his smooth, abdomen and chest. The rhythmic squeeze of his bone-crushing muscles milked Mulder to climax, immediately.

Only then were they reminded of the thunderstorm by a flash of lightning stealing in through the partially open blinds.

Backing from Krycek, Mulder slid down between the open thighs to lick the spilled, creamy white fluid from his lover's belly. Softly exhaling and gasping, Krycek made expressed his enjoyment.

Then the phone rang.

Damn. Mulder had forgotten to turn on the answering machine.

In utter annoyance, he crawled back up Krycek and fumbled for the phone. "Yeah."

"Mulder, it's Scully. I took that piece of metal from Duane Barry to Sci-Crime today."

"You did? So did Agent Kazdin. We'll talk about it tomorrow at -- "

"The most incredible thing happened with it a few minutes ago. I ran it through a scanner at the store and some kind of serial number came up."

Slightly off of Krycek, Mulder rubbed the inner corners of his eyes, in no mood to discuss the case at the moment. "A serial number? Look, I'll tell you tomorrow what Agent Kazdin -- "

Apparently she wasn't listening. "What the hell is this thing? It's almost as if . . . it's almost as if somebody is using it to catalog him."

Still hot, wet, and slippery, he sat up on the edge of the bed. A silent streak of lightning from the storm dimmed the lamps. "Did you get a print-out or something?"

There was a pause, then Scully gasped.


The shatter of glass followed.

"Mulder!" Scully cried. "He's here! I need help!"


The power was out for several blocks around Scully's neighborhood. They arrived at a dark building. Another bright flash from the clouds revealed only broken shards of glass where the paned-glass window had been.

Trenchcoat hastily thrown on, Mulder drew his gun and gestured at Krycek. "Apartment 35. You take the front door -- I'll take the window."

With a nod, Krycek, also in one of Mulder's long coats, headed for the main entrance.

Beneath the noise of the driving rain, Mulder heard a struggle going on inside the apartment.

Against the bricks, he peered in the gaping window. He saw two forms by the sofa -- one on the floor, the other hunched over the first.

Enraged by the sight of his former partner being beaten into submission, he took dead aim through the empty frame. "Federal agent! Freeze!"

The larger form looked up, clearly a man.

Aided by another flash of lightning, Mulder recognized Duane Barry, wearing the gown from the hospital. He leveled a weapon at Mulder.

He scarcely had time to duck before a round was squeezed off.

"Don't you try and stop Duane Barry!"

Inside, the front door crashed open. To lay cover, Mulder scrambled upright. The tactic left no margin for error; when Barry instantly turned to confront the intruder with another round, Mulder was given a full, unobstructed target. Both he and Krycek fired, blasting Scully's assailant with lead.

When it was safe, Krycek rushed to kick the gun from Barry's reach, then to Scully.

Risking mutilation on the jagged glass, Mulder quickly climbed in through the window.

To silence her, she'd been gagged tightly, and her hands bound behind her. Krycek did his best to release her, while he kept watch on Barry who lay still, only a few feet away. Krycek glanced up. "Call for backup."

Already, Mulder was seeking his pocket for his Magna-Lite. Kneeling next to Scully, he switched it on and set it down. Instead, he passed the cell phone to Krycek to hastily release the gag from Scully.

Heart pounding, Mulder was further alarmed when he found she was dazed and disoriented. "Scully," he prompted while Krycek made the call. "What did he do to you? Did he hurt you?"

Closing her eyes, she winced in pain. "My head . . . "

Her wrists had been bound with the pull cord from the destroyed, wooden blinds, strewn across the floor. As Mulder struggled to untie her, he saw a spot of fresh blood on the carpet from the back of her head. Hurting for her, he winced, too. Once she was free, he gingerly checked through her hair and located an oozing gash.

"He's dead," Krycek announced from where he'd moved to ascertain Barry's status. Looking over Scully, Krycek shut down the phone. "Help's already on the way. She okay?"

"She's got a head injury," Mulder reported. "Don't try and get up," he instructed Scully, gently pressing her back when she tried to sit.

"Why do you think he came here?" Krycek asked. "Even if he did see Scully at the site yesterday, how the hell did he know where she lives?"


Leaving Mulder at the emergency room with Scully, Krycek returned to the apartment. In the few days since the fire at his previous quarters, he'd not acquired much. That was the way he preferred to travel, anyway -- light.

Hanging the borrowed coat in the closet, Krycek packed what little he'd need to get by into his overnight, then drew on his leather jacket.

He knew who'd really been abducting Duane Barry -- knew the kinds of government-sanctioned experiments he'd been subjected to. He was a burned-out military vet and ex-FBI agent who'd used up all his purpose. Not only was he expendable, but no one would lend any credence to his mad ravings. Targeting Scully hadn't been any random act; Barry had been ordered to go after her, for the purpose of eradication. He was too brain-damaged to know the difference. However Krycek knew. He also knew it was only a matter of time before they'd catch up with him alone, away from Mulder's innocent protection.

Overnight case thrown over his shoulder, Krycek paused for one last look at the messy bed he and Mulder had just shared. Damn, the job had been a hell of a lot more complicated than had ever been described to him. And in time, had become a hell of a lot harder to walk out on than he'd ever meant for it to be.

Exhaling, he steeled himself. Then headed out the door.

He knew he'd never be back.


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