Characters and situations are the property of Cris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and Fox Broadcasting. Used without permission and no infringement is intended. All other contents are copyrighted to the author. Contains graphic m/m sex.
MKRA OK


Down In The Silo
by Cody Nelson <codyne@netwizards.net>

Mulder lay on his stomach, mylar survival blanket beneath him to protect him from the hard, snowy ground. Propped up on his elbows, he held binoculars, trained on the missile silo half a mile distant, to his eyes. Around the silo, four vans, three Jeeps, and a helicopter clustered. Black-clad troops in combat gear stood on guard at the door to the silo. By the van, several more men huddled over a sheaf of papers. Another talked on a field telephone, gesticulating wildly.

The door of the silo opened, and more uniformed men rushed out, carrying several body bags. These were loaded into the vans, and the uniformed men went back into the silo.

Mulder lowered the binoculars for a moment, rubbing his eyes, and glanced at his watch. Four hours he'd been lying here, behind the closest thing to a rise that this flat North Dakota plain provided. It had taken another hour to walk here from where he'd left his rental car, several miles down the road behind a small copse of trees. Six hours before that since the cigarette smoking man and his troops had released Mulder and Scully at the Minneapolis airport, since Mulder had told his partner he'd meet her back in D.C., rented a car and headed back to Black Crow. Another six hours since he and Scully had been taken into custody, right here in front of this very silo, hustled into a van and taken away, told that they'd seen nothing, knew nothing, would gain nothing here. It was now six o'clock in the morning of the day after they'd come here, in search of Alex Krycek, in search of the UFO, in search of answers to their questions.

Mulder lifted the binoculars and resumed his watch. He didn't know what he expected to accomplish here, exactly, he only knew he couldn't just go home and forget about everything that had happened. The answers were here, and Krycek was here, and he wouldn't go home until he'd exhausted every possibility of getting to them.

He shifted, reaching into the pocket of his jacket for one of the sandwiches he'd bought at the drug store in the nearest town. Rubbery egg salad on stale white bread. He chewed and swallowed without tasting it. Eating was just something that had to be done, fuel for his body, so he could continue his quest.

He watched on into midmorning, as the sun grew higher and gradually warmed his shivering body. He grew stiff and aching, watching. Every hour or so, he got up and paced around, flapping his arms and shaking his legs, until a little life returned to his sore muscles, and then he returned to his post.

Two of the vans left first, at around ten o'clock. The Jeeps left one by one, at intervals of about an hour. The helicopter lifted off soon after the vans. Finally, just after noon, the last of the men climbed into the last two vans, and drove away.

Mulder had counted the men as best he could, but the way they milled around in their identical black uniforms, it was impossible to know for sure how many there were. But it seemed a pretty safe assumption that they wouldn't leave troops here without transportation. There might be another Jeep hidden from Mulder's view behind the silo. He would circle around before approaching, but if there were no more vehicles there, he would conclude that the silo had been deserted and it was safe to approach.

He waited another fifteen minutes. Then another ten. No one returned. No one emerged from the silo. It was time to go back, to see what could be found there.

As he stood, stamping his feet to get his circulation going, he pulled his cellular phone from his pocket and dialed Scully's number.

"Scully," she answered. There was a touch of weariness in her voice, and exasperation.

"Scully, where are you?"

"I'm in Fargo. Where are you? Are you at the silo?" So she hadn't gone back to Washington. Mulder couldn't say he was surprised.

"Yes. The last of the troops pulled out around half an hour ago. It looks deserted. I'm going in."

There was a slight pause. "Wait. I'll come and go in with you."

"I've been waiting here for almost twenty-four hours. I'm freezing and I'm stiff and I'm going in. I'll be all right, there's no one here any longer."

"I can be there in three hours. Mulder...."

"I'll see you in three hours, then." He disconnected before she could protest further. She was right, he knew, but when did that ever stop him? There was a deserted silo waiting, with a UFO inside it, and Alex Krycek somewhere in its depths. Scully was right, but he was going in.

He circled the silo slowly, and found nothing. The lock on the silo door was still broken. With his gun in one hand and flashlight in the other, he entered, retracing his steps from the day before. He listened for footsteps, searched shadows for movement, but by all evidence he was alone in this man-made underground cavern. He found the corridor where the radiation-ravaged bodies had lain. There was no sign of them now. He followed the faint yellowish glow of a sodium lamp to the end of the corridor, where he found the source of the light, illuminating a door, labelled "1013." A small window in the door was bright with glare from the lamps high on the corridor walls.

Mulder approached the door slowly, and peered in through the window.

There it was: the UFO. Sleek and elegant and so other-worldly. Mulder's breath quickened. So many times he'd been so close, but never had he seen anything like this. The craft was triangular in shape, with a sinuous bulge in the middle. Elegant swirls were etched in its smooth blue-grey skin. Mulder's hands pressed against the door, yearning towards the softly glowing gun-metal hull. It was beautiful, and it had not come from this Earth.

His gaze swept the interior of the silo, looking for any sign of life. There was none. The huge space was calm and silent and unmoving. The alien had gone back to its ship, and where was Krycek? Probably he was one of the bodies Mulder had seen earlier, being brought out in bags and loaded into the back of the van. He'd stolen the DAT tape, and was selling secrets from it; secrets the smoking man's Consortium would kill to keep hidden. He'd served his purpose, bringing the alien back to its ship, and Cancerman wouldn't simply walk away and leave him here. No doubt he was dead. Mulder tried to feel some satisfaction from that conclusion, but it was a hollow triumph. There was no justice in it, only more coverup and death.

But the UFO was here, and there was nothing to stop Mulder from seeing it, and touching it, and filling his senses with it.

He took a step back, to give himself room to turn the wheeled latch of the door. He could feel his pulse throbbing in his throat and hands and belly and groin. He felt his body rocking from the pounding of his heart. It was a delicious feeling, and he savored it.

The wheel turned easily and silently, as though it had been recently oiled. It opened outward, presenting Mulder with a more expansive view of the glittering craft before him. The interior of the silo was lit with clear white globe lights, mounted high on the walls in strands like Christmas lights. He slipped the flashlight into the pocket of his jacket, and with his gun held loosely at his side, and his heart full of wonder, he stepped in.

It was beautiful, in a way that nothing else Mulder had ever seen was beautiful. The smooth metal surface reflected a deep, almost hypnotic glow. It reminded Mulder of samurai swords he had seen, the metal tempered and worked and polished to unearthly perfection. The elegant designs on its surface recalled the huge carvings on the plains of Nazca. Mulder took another slow step toward the alien craft, breath sighing in his throat, his hand reaching out to touch its gently glowing skin.

He caught a shadow of a movement out the corner of his eye. Before he could do more than begin to turn toward it, a blow hit the back of his head, sending a shower of sparks across his vision. He stumbled forward, falling to his knees, his gun flying, hands clutching for balance at the alien ship. Shaking his head groggily, he turned, falling back to sit on the hard ground, one arm resting along the smooth metal of the ship.

Alex Krycek stood over him. Breathing heavily, fists clenched, big eyes wild and glowing in the reflected light of the UFO. His face was streaked with oil.

Mulder swallowed. The man had looked desperate and on edge two days ago in Hong Kong; now, he seemed barely sane. How long had he been locked in here? Had Cancerman left him here to die, slowly, alone and in the dark? Mulder eased one hand to the ground, and slowly began to gather his feet under him, never taking his eyes from Krycek's face.

Krycek broke, suddenly, dashing towards the open door to the corridor. Without thinking, Mulder launched himself after him, tackling him around the knees just as he reached the door. Krycek grabbed the door latch; Mulder, determined not to let him get away again, held on, digging his knees painfully into the rough ground, and heaved backwards. Krycek fell back onto him with a frustrated cry that was half-shout, half-groan.

The door fell shut with a reverberating crash.

They both lay sprawled for a moment, blinking in shock. Then Krycek flung himself at the door, rattling the latch, and pounding desperately at the thick steel. The door remained solidly shut. With growing horror, Mulder pushed himself to his feet. The door latch didn't work from the inside. They were both locked in now. He was locked in an underground silo with his worst enemy.

Krycek whirled on him, his face a mask of raw hate. "You idiot!" he screamed. "You stupid fool! You locked us in! Now we're both going to die here!"

Mulder took a step back, glancing surreptitiously around for his gun. Krycek was crazy; he might very well kill them both before rescue could come. "Take it easy, Krycek. We're not going to die. Scully's on her way. She'll be here in a couple of hours, and she'll let us out."

Krycek turned, and gave the door one more thump with the heel of his hand. Mulder took the opportunity to pick up his gun and slip it into his holster. He didn't want to have to shoot Krycek, not just yet anyway, but he did want the gun safely out of Krycek's reach. "It's okay, Krycek." Absurd to be reassuring this man, this enemy, but the last thing he needed was to be locked in a silo with a hysterical madman for the next three hours. "We're not going to die in here."

Krycek's shoulders heaved once, then he turned to Mulder, leaning against the door. "Scully's coming," he repeated flatly.

"Yeah."

"Shit." Krycek peeled himself away from the door and stalked off. Once around the UFO, arms crossed in front of himself, head down. "Couple of hours," he muttered as he walked. "Couple more hours." He stopped short in front of Mulder, pulling himself up. His sea-green eyes stared into Mulder's. "Then what?"

"Then we get out of here." Calm, Mulder thought. He had to stay calm. Keep Krycek from freaking out, or he would have to shoot him, and lose all that lovely information locked up in his treacherous head. And then he would have to sit here trapped in a silo with a corpse, waiting until Scully could come and rescue him. Or worse, a badly injured man, bleeding and dying and accusing Mulder with every pain-wracked breath. So just keep calm, and keep Krycek calm. He wasn't going anywhere. Only a couple of hours, then Scully would be here.

Krycek's mouth tightened. His lower lip was round and red, with a dark line of oil around it. "Then what?"

Mulder paused for a moment. "Why don't we worry about that when the time comes?"

Krycek laughed shortly. "Sure, Mulder. When the time comes." He walked over to the door and stood staring through the small window. "Why don't you just go ahead and shoot me now? Get it over with. That's what you came here for, isn't it? To kill me?"

Mulder shifted uncomfortably. Not that the thought hadn't crossed his mind, but it wasn't a subject he really wanted to pursue. He remembered Krycek in Hong Kong, urging Mulder to kill him. =Go on, Mulder, finish it. Do it to me.= Life on the run hadn't been good to him.

But Krycek wasn't the only reason he'd come back to the silo.

"I came for this." He moved to stand by the UFO, still silent and glowing. "I want to know where it came from, what it's doing here. I want to know about the creature who came here with you. Where is it now? Has it gone back into the ship?"

There was a long pause, while Krycek stared out the window. When he finally began to speak, it came out in short, ragged bursts. "When I went into the bathroom in Hong Kong, I was just... standing there when this woman came in. She grabbed me by the neck and lifted me right off the floor." He giggled, a choked sound that cut off sharply. "That's all I remember until I was on my hands and knees on top of this thing, puking black oil all over the place. It was in my throat and my nose and my eyes...." There was a rising tone of horror in his voice. "It disappeared inside the ship. Then I was here. That's it, Mulder." He turned from the window. His face was crumpled like a paper bag someone had stepped on. "Where are we, Mulder? What the hell is going on?"

"We're inside a missile silo in Black Crow, North Dakota. That woman in the bathroom in Hong Kong was the wife of one of the French divers who went to find the UFO from the information you sold to the French government. You really don't remember any of it?"

Krycek blinked and shook his head. "How did I get here?"

"The alien was trapped at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean with its ship. It transferred itself to one of the French divers, then to the diver's wife. It followed your partner, Jerry Kallenchuk, to Hong Kong, where it transferred itself to you. Then it came back to Washington, D.C. with me." Mulder chuckled softly. "I sat beside an alien during an entire transcontinental airplane flight. I thought you were acting pretty weird, Krycek, but it never occurred to me it wasn't really you at all. We were separated after we arrived. A couple of operatives ran us off the road. I was knocked out in the crash, and the alien escaped. It traded the tape for its ship's location, here in North Dakota, where your ex-boss had it brought."

"The tape?" Krycek swallowed. More pain twisted his face. "It gave back the tape?"

"Yeah," Mulder said softly. "It's gone back down the black hole of secrecy and disinformation."

"Damn."

"I agree."

Krycek seemed to deflate before Mulder's eyes. Even the madness drained out of him, leaving only the hopeless, ragged shell of a man. He blinked, then his gaze trailed away to nothing, and he turned blindly to stagger away and sink down to the ground, with his knees drawn up and his back against the silo wall.

It was hard not to feel sorry for him. Mulder was even a little annoyed with him for looking so pathetic sitting there, grimy and pale and streaked with oil, huge eyes reddened as if from tears, soft round lips slightly open, eyelashes so long and thick they made a shadow on his face in the overhead light. Well, if you were going to be trapped in an underground silo for three hours with your worst enemy, you at least wanted to be able to enjoy the sight of him finally brought low by his own treachery. You didn't want to have to think about what it must have been like for him, assaulted in a Hong Kong bathroom and then waking up in this pit of Hell, lost and alone and helpless, with black oil oozing out of every orifice in his body. With a muttered curse, Mulder dug in the pocket of his jacket for the water bottle he'd tucked there, then stalked over and held it out to Krycek.

Haunted red eyes stared up at him for a moment, then, with a slight nod, Krycek reached out to take the water. Deliberately, still staring at Mulder, he uncapped the bottle and drank. Mulder tried not to think about what those round, red lips looked like curled around the neck of the water bottle, or the way his throat stretched, exposed, from the collar of his black leather jacket as he lifted his head to drink.

He finished the bottle. Mulder didn't begrudge him--he'd had plenty to drink while he'd been waiting and watching up top, and it was only a few hours before Scully would be there to let them out. He wouldn't want to drink after Krycek, anyway, he told himself, dirty as the man was--although the thought of placing his lips where Krycek's had been stirred feelings other than disgust in him.

Krycek set the empty bottle aside, still looking up at Mulder with a slight question in his eyes. Asking if there was any more water, Mulder realized. He frowned, half-shook his head. He'd left his gear up top; the only bottle he'd had on him was the one in his pocket. Krycek closed his eyes for a moment, and nodded.

Mulder suddenly felt uncomfortable, although he wasn't quite sure why. But that brief, wordless exchange seemed to mean something: evidence of an ease of understanding between them, perhaps, or an acknowledgment that concerns of survival sometimes outweighed personal vengeance. Or just the fact that it was still possible for them to deal with each other as human beings, with all their complexities and needs and motives, not simply as Betrayer and Avenger.

He turned, then, and walked back over to the door, and stared out the small window. There was nothing to see out there, of course. The blank, gray walls of the corridor; the glow of the yellow sodium lamps, harsher and brighter than the thin white light inside the silo. Three hours seemed like a long, long time.

He heard Krycek shifting. Hand on his gun, he turned again. But Krycek had only slid down along the wall a little, and stretched out one leg. He looked marginally better now that he'd drunk a little water. But his face was still desolate.

"That tape was the only thing keeping me alive," he said. He spoke in a low monotone. He sounded a little like he had when the alien had been in control of his body. But it was hopelessness, not inhuman emotion, that was draining the feeling out of his voice now.

"Then why were you selling secrets from it? That wasn't very smart."

Krycek sighed. "I wasn't, Mulder. I told you. The tape's encrypted--I couldn't read it."

"The information you were selling was on the tape."

"Maybe it was. You know more about what's on the tape than I do. But that isn't where I got it. It was just... a few things I picked up here and there. I had no idea--Jesus, if he thinks I broke the code and started selling off the tape, I'm really dead." He laughed shortly. "Not that I'm not dead anyway. Guess it doesn't matter how dead." He laughed again, swallowed, then continued. "I wouldn't have done it at all, but I was desperate. He kept sending people after me, I couldn't stop anywhere, I couldn't get away clean. I needed a stake so I could get some decent papers, maybe some plastic surgery, a way out that wouldn't leave a trail. The tape--that damned tape--that's why he didn't just have me killed outright, but it's also why he'd never back off and leave me alone. I guess it's just as well I don't have it any more. Too bad...." He stopped, with a furtive glance at Mulder.

"Too bad what?"

Krycek shrugged and stared at the floor. "I was hoping to pass it to you before he got to me."

Mulder wanted to hit him. "Now, why should I believe a thing like that?"

Krycek just shrugged again. "No reason."

"You're a liar. I don't know why I'm wasting my time talking to you." Deliberately, he turned his back on the man on the ground.

The alien craft was oddly soft to the touch, and warm, more like skin than metal. Not yielding, though, or malleable, but solid. Mulder ran his hands along it, from the point of the bow to the squared off end of the stern. There wasn't a seam or break in it anywhere that Mulder could find, only the sinuous swirls of the etchings patterned in its hull. Mulder picked at it with his fingernail, but made not even the slightest scratch in it. He laid his ear against it and closed his eyes. Was that a low thrum he felt emanating from deep within, or just his imagination? What was it like inside? What manner of accommodation would a creature need, that could live for fifty years at the bottom of the ocean, use diesel oil as a medium for its life-force, assume control of whatever body it entered? If they sliced the ship open, would they find anything within that they could recognize?

Mulder studied the designs in the ship's hull, memorizing them, filing them away into the capacious depths of his mind, until the day he might need them. He knelt at the ship's side and braced his palms under the edge of it, then heaved upwards. The ship remained immobile, as if bolted solidly to the ground. But it was curved underneath, the same as above, and seemed to be balanced only on a single bulging spot. He rapped its surface with his knuckles, and heard only a solid, muted thump.

All the while Mulder studied the craft, Krycek sat against the wall, watching silently. Finally, Mulder returned to stand over him. His hands worked at his sides, tingling with the remembered feel of the UFO's smooth skin. "What was it like, having that inside you?" he asked softly.

"I don't know."

Mulder knelt, took Krycek's face in his hand and pulled it toward him, staring into the wide green eyes. "You know. Tell me."

"I don't remember." He pulled away.

Krycek's face was rough on Mulder's fingers. Unshaven and slick with oil and hot, as if with fever. Not smooth and unyielding, like the ship, but the touch still tingled. "You must remember something. Tell me."

Krycek's face hardened, and he stared straight ahead, at the alien ship with which he was trapped. Then suddenly he turned to Mulder, with an angry smile. "It gets you off, doesn't it? God, you're a pervert."

Mulder hauled off and slapped him, hard, across the face. He watched Krycek's head snap around, bounce off the wall of the silo, then stop facing carefully away from Mulder. He saw tears of shock and pain start in Krycek's huge green eyes, and his round mouth form into a hard line. He saw the rage erupt, then just as quickly bank down to a tightly controlled anger. He saw Krycek shrink in on himself, refusing to fight back.

Mulder got to his feet, a little shakily. Adrenaline, he told himself. The palm of his hand stung from the blow. =Stupid, Mulder,= he upbraided himself. Satisfying as that had been, it was a foolish indulgence. And he didn't like being faced with a Krycek who had better control of himself than he did.

He rubbed his hand on his jeans, and walked away from Krycek. Glancing at his watch, he came again to the small window in the door, and stared out into the corridor. Still hours before Scully would get there. God. Would she find them lying dead on the ground with their hands locked around each other's throats?

He returned to the UFO, and began to study it again. Of course, now Krycek's nasty remark played in his mind as he stroked the sensual, skin-like surface of the craft. His face burned, but his mind refused to let the images go. What would it be like to lie naked atop it, arms and legs outspread, feeling that warm skin along the length of his body? Would the alien come out and flow into him, filling him with its essence, overwhelming him? Then, when it was finished, would the oil spurt out of him, and be absorbed back into its ship, leaving him empty and spent?

"I really don't remember," Krycek's low voice, slightly agitated, broke in on his reverie. Mulder stared across the UFO at him, startled. His face was open now, fragile with pain, but no longer angry. The red handprint stood out on his pale cheek. He continued, quietly. "There are just scattered images, like a dream. I can see myself walking, watching my legs move, not consciously moving them. I remember a bright light, and men screaming. I remember you--sitting beside you, wishing I could... say something to you. I don't remember... it. The alien--there's nothing there, nothing at all."

He paused, but seemed to struggle with something. Mulder waited, still, not even blinking. Finally, Krycek swallowed, and nodded to himself. "Except... when it was leaving. When I was on top of that thing, feeling it coming out of me. Then, there was something. Just the slightest impression... of happiness. Not like you or I would be happy, but something bright and sharp and cold. It was like ice, and it hurt." The wide eyes were haunted now, staring at the ship.

"It could have come out easy. It could have been gentle, but it was with its ship and it was happy and nothing else mattered. So it came out hard, and it hurt."

Then he drew up his knees, and pulled in on himself, and was silent.

Mulder felt ashamed. What right did he have to ask Krycek for that? Krycek had truly been through hell, and he was still living it, trapped in here with the alien that had violated him....

But Krycek was a murderer and a traitor, and he deserved whatever he got. At least he was still alive, although that wasn't likely to last much longer. And Mulder had every right to plumb him for whatever information he had, as long as he had him.

And right now would be a very good time to press his advantage, while Krycek was vulnerable and inclined to talk. Mulder went over to Krycek and sat beside him, close but not too close. For a few moments, he just sat there, giving Krycek a chance to get used to his presence. Then quietly, in as non-threatening a voice as possible, he said, "Tell me about my father, Krycek."

Krycek stared at him dully, then just as quietly replied, "Believe me, Mulder, you really don't want to know."

"Yes, I do. I know you did it, you don't have to tell me about that. Tell me the rest of it, though. Tell me why they sent you to kill him."

"Mulder, please. There's no reason for you to hear about this." But there was a hopeless tone in his voice, as though he'd already resigned himself to giving in to Mulder's badgering.

"I have a right to know. He was my father."

Krycek laughed, a short little gurgle, strangely cut off. Mulder stared, and was opening his mouth to speak, when Krycek cut him off. "I wasn't sent to kill him. I was sent to kill you."

Mulder shifted angrily, half-lifted his arm. Krycek flinched from the expected blow, and Mulder crossed his arms with an exasperated grunt. "That's ridiculous," he spat. "At my father's house, with my father in the next room? Why would they send you to kill me there?"

Krycek still looked frightened. But he went on doggedly. "Your father was in on it. It was his idea to bring you there, he thought it would be easier to make sure nothing went wrong. And I think... he wanted to talk to you first. Maybe he thought he'd at least let you die with the truth. It was hard for him, I don't say it wasn't. He looked terrible when he let me in."

"=He= let you in." Lies, it had to be all lies. He ought to just tell Krycek to shut up, pull out his gun and shoot him, his father would never do this to him. He was a cold bastard, yes, and he'd let them take Samantha, but he wouldn't....

"I was with him when he called you. Do you want me to tell you what he said? 'I need to see you right away. I'm at home. How soon can you be here?' "

"No." Anyone could have guessed his father would say something like that. But those were his exact words....

"I was supposed to wait in the bedroom. He'd tell you everything he wanted to tell you, then convince you to spend the night. I'd steal some things from his bureau, make it look like you'd interrupted a robbery when you came in. But I couldn't do it."

"What did you tell them? Your boss, and the others?" It was all so horribly plausible. But it had to be a lie.

"I told them that your father had had a change of heart. That he told me not to do it and sent me away, then went into the bathroom and shot himself."

"But that isn't how it happened."

"No. He didn't have any change of heart. He was going to go through with it. I hid in the bathroom, instead, and when he came in, I shot him." Krycek stared at his knees, frowning. "He didn't try to stop me. He looked... almost relieved when he saw me there."

"I don't believe you." The protest was unconvincing, even to him.

"You don't have to believe me." Krycek's smile was gentle, and terribly kind. "Believe yourself. You know the truth."

And he did know. God, it hurt, but it was the truth. It made sense, in a way that he hated but couldn't deny. There had always been a ruthlessness in his father, a willingness to do whatever he thought was necessary, no matter the consequences. A sense that personal ties were a weakness, always to be sacrificed for the big picture. And Mulder had gotten too close to the secrets his father protected. His father had meant to kill him, and Krycek--Krycek had saved his life. "Why? Why didn't you just do what you were assigned to do?"

Krycek looked away and shrugged. "I don't always just follow orders."

Tears burned in Mulder's eyes. "I trusted you." Now, somehow, it was the worst accusation he could make.

Krycek shrugged again. "I know. I liked it. Maybe too much."

=Too much.= The words echoed in Mulder's ears as he pushed himself unsteadily to his feet. Yes, it was all too much, and he couldn't hear any more. He took two awkward steps over to the UFO, and sat heavily on it. There was not the slightest bounce in it, when he let his weight fall onto the smooth, curved surface. He leaned back and spread his arms. =Come and take me,= he thought. =I don't want to live in my mind any more. You can have it.= Tears streamed down the sides of his face, across his temples and into his hair. =My father tried to kill me.=

Krycek sat beside him, on the alien craft. Through a haze of tears, Mulder could see the stiffness in Krycek's body as he steeled himself against his fear and distrust of the alien to allow himself to touch the UFO's surface. Why had Krycek done what he'd done? The answer was staring him in the face, but he still couldn't bear to ask the question.

"I'm sorry," Krycek said. "I shouldn't have told you."

"No. I wanted to know the truth."

"The truth... is more than just a collection of facts."

Mulder pushed himself up onto his elbows. "The truth is, you're not the enemy I thought you were."

Krycek looked away, his eyes clouded with pain. Then, his brow furrowed slightly, and his mouth opened, as he stared at the surface of the craft, just by Mulder's head. He reached out to take Mulder by the shoulder. "Look," he said, gesturing towards the UFO with his chin. "Your tears."

As Mulder turned his head, another drop fell from his eye to land on the ship's smooth skin. It sat glinting in the light for just a moment, one round teardrop, and then it was gone, absorbed into the ship's body.

"It's just like the oil," Krycek said. His voice was low, but there was a rising current of panic in it. His hand gripped Mulder's shoulder tightly.

Mulder touched the spot where the tear had been. It was dry and smooth and slightly warm to the touch. Mulder ran a finger along his eyelid to scoop up another tear, and let it fall, and watched it disappear into the ship, just like the other. "It's incredible. What sort of material can this be? I wish I had some way to take a sample, to get it analyzed." He looked up at Krycek with an excited grin, and took him by the shoulder. "You don't have a knife on you, do you?"

Krycek shook his head in exasperated wonder. "It traveled through space. It spent fifty years at the bottom of the ocean. And you think you're going to slice bits of it off with a knife?"

And then it hit him. =Really= hit him. He was at the bottom of a missile silo, lying on top of an alien space ship. With Alex Krycek. They were gripping each other's shoulders. The craft was warm and smooth and silky beneath him. And Krycek had killed his father to save him.

He'd never been so turned on in his life.

It was crazy, he knew. But then, what about their situation wasn't crazy? Mulder laughed softly, letting his hand slide up Krycek's shoulder to curl around his neck, and pulled Krycek to him. He covered Krycek's soft mouth with his own, pressing his tongue against the round lips. The faint tang of oil only added to the spice. Krycek was delicious; he wanted to devour him here and now.

Krycek started at the kiss, but only for a moment. Then he opened his mouth and was kissing back, just as hungrily. They wrapped their arms around each other and grappled on the rounded surface of the UFO. Strangely, although the ship's skin was smooth, they didn't slide. The ship seemed to be holding them, cradling them, almost like a third partner in their joining.

Then Krycek was pulling away, untangling himself from Mulder, face twisted unhappily. "Jeez, Mulder. You really are a pervert." But he was trembling; his lips were wet and parted, and his chest heaved beneath his gray shirt.

Mulder just grinned at him. He knew disinterest, and this wasn't it. He glanced at his watch, and said, "We've got at least an hour and a half before Scully gets here. Can you think of a better way to pass the time?"

Krycek stared at him as if he'd gone stark, raving mad. Well, perhaps he had. "It might be nice if I thought you were even half as interested in me as you are in this thing."

Mulder pushed Krycek flat onto his back, then slid on top of him, grabbing his wrists and pinning them to the UFO. A trace of fear flared in Krycek's eyes, but he didn't fight. He never fought back, did he? Outside Mulder's apartment building, the night after his father died; at the airport in Hong Kong; here in the silo--he resisted, but he didn't fight. Mulder thought it was very pretty. He brought his face close to Krycek's. He could still see the red mark where he'd slapped him.

"I'm very interested in you, Alex Krycek. I'm interested in why you didn't try harder to get away from me in Hong Kong, and why you wanted to give me the tape. I'm interested in why you risked yourself to defy your orders and kill the wrong man. And I'm interested in why, when your life depends on my good will, you still didn't want to hurt me by telling me the truth about my father."

Krycek swallowed. His voice was husky. "Seems like you've got it all figured out."

"The truth is out there," Mulder whispered silkily. He felt wild and implacable. Krycek's fear and reluctance were only adding to his determination. Yes, there was part of him that still wanted to punish Krycek. And part that didn't give a damn about Krycek, but just didn't want to spend the next hour and a half sitting here thinking about his father. Not to mention part of him that was incredibly aroused by the feel of an alien space craft lying under him. And, hell, part of him that thought that no man ought to be allowed to have eyelashes like that. He lowered his mouth and kissed Krycek breathless.

When finally allowed to come up for air, Krycek gasped out one last protest. "Can't we at least move off of this thing?"

Mulder grinned at him. "You're scared of it, aren't you?"

"Jesus, Mulder. Anybody who didn't have an alien fetish and a death wish would be."

Mulder released one of Krycek's wrists to run his thumb along Krycek's full lower lip. "Krycek, if the alien decides it wants you back, I don't think it's going to have any problem finding you." He felt Krycek flinch, enjoyed the feeling for a moment, then relented. "But it doesn't want you any more. You said yourself--it's the one thing you remember--it was happy to be out of you and back in its ship. That's what it wanted."

Krycek seemed a little reassured. "But what if it doesn't want its ship rocked?"

Mulder shifted, threw his weight forward and back, deliberately trying to rock the ship. As always, it remained immobile. "This thing's solid as a rock. It's been through space, do you think it's going to mind a couple of puny humans humping away on top of it? Anyway, it liked my tears." He ran his hand down Krycek's chest, over the front of his jeans, and cupped the hard lump at Krycek's crotch. "Maybe it would like some of this, too."

Krycek arched up at the touch, gasping, then collapsed back with a choked giggle, only slightly desperate. "God, you're a pervert." He reached out to take Mulder in his arms. "And who're you calling puny?"

Momentum carried them through the process of undressing (along with the slight distraction of taking their clothes off on the gently curved surface of the alien craft), and clothing sailed cheerfully over the sides of the ship (save for the leather jacket, which ended up hanging from the point of the bow), but once they were naked, sitting on their haunches and blinking at each other, Mulder found himself staring a bit awkwardly at the man he'd proposed to have sex with, down here at the bottom of a missile silo with an alien space ship in attendance, and wondering just what the hell he thought he was doing. =This is Alex Krycek you're about to fuck,= he told himself, not quite knowing whether that was meant to dampen or encourage his ardor. His body was quite willing--insistent, even--and the sight of the oil-streaked form before him did nothing to dispel his desire. Krycek had always been shy about his body, hiding it under bad suits, baggy shirts, heavy leather and denim; Mulder hadn't known quite what to expect. Tattoos? Whip scars? A third nipple? There was none of that, though--just a well-formed male body, strong and solid and muscular, but with slender wrists and long-fingered hands, pale skin and not much body hair. A lovely combination of hard masculinity and delicate features. And an alien had had him, and left its trail of oil on him, on his neck and belly and between his legs. Mulder reached out and ran a hand down Krycek's ribcage, and along one hip. He was hot and slick.

And what was going through Krycek's mind? That Mulder might be mad, but he was Krycek's only way out of this hole, so he'd better play along? That he was probably going to die anyway, and he might as well have one last fuck before the end? Fear, desperation, pain, disorientation, and anger all stirring together into lust? Just possibly that he'd been dying to get into Fox Mulder's pants since the day he'd laid eyes on him, and to hell with the circumstances, he was going to take the finally offered opportunity? Or perhaps some combination of all of the above?

Not that Mulder's own motives were any more clear or sensible. He chuckled, reaching for Krycek's arm. "Are we crazy?" he asked softly.

Krycek blinked, and a slight smile curved his mouth. His voice was a seductive murmur, like the imagined thrum of the alien craft. "We've always been crazy."

=That just about sums it up,= Mulder thought, as he pulled Krycek in for a kiss.

=We've always been crazy....= They lay side by side, stretched out along the UFO, kissing, touching, exploring. Krycek's whole body was covered with a fine sheen of oil, making him slippery and wet. His mouth was tangy with it, and his small, delicate ears and his long neck had oil in their creases. It didn't taste like motor oil, though (at least as far as Mulder could tell)--it had been changed somehow, altered by Krycek's body, or the alien's, so that it was no more than some sort of exotic massage oil. Perhaps he should be worried about ingesting it--but then, Krycek's mouth was full of it, and it didn't seem to be harming him.

Mulder slid a hand down Krycek's spine, over his tailbone and between his buttocks, and found that he was oily here, too. Mulder growled in his throat, pulling Krycek closer, and slipped a finger into Krycek's anus. Pre-lubed and ready to go--how thoughtful of the alien. Krycek's hips worked, his hard cock rubbing against Mulder's. A thin moaning cry began to emerge from Krycek's throat.

=You helped them take Scully,= Mulder thought, as he turned Krycek onto his stomach, and worked two fingers into his ass. Krycek's legs opened, falling along the curve of the craft. One of the swirls etched into the ship's skin lay under Krycek's balls, nestled into the angle between his legs, like the decoration on a plate, like an invitation. Mulder let his hand slide free, and took Krycek's balls into his palm, squeezing them gently. =I've got you by the balls,= he thought, and that was right where he wanted him. He slipped his thumb into Krycek's anus, still working the testicles with his fingers. Krycek's breath quickened, causing his broad back to rise and fall.

=You killed my father.= He moved to kneel between Krycek's legs, spreading Krycek's cheeks with his hands, watching the oil glisten in the crease between his buttocks, making the brown bud of his anus shine in the soft white light. Holding the buttocks open with one hand, Mulder watched his finger slide into that brown bud. The moist heat inside Krycek's body was intoxicating. The feel of Krycek's muscles flexing on his finger was heady and fine.

=You betrayed me in a thousand ways.= Mulder lowered himself onto Krycek's back, one hand bracing himself on the UFO's surface, the other guiding his cock into that hot entrance. Krycek's hips rose up to meet him, taking him inside. Krycek groaned as Mulder's cock worked into him. He gasped and pounded the UFO with his fist, thrusting his hips and rubbing his slick cock against the skin of the alien craft. Mulder gripped him by the shoulders, planted his knees firmly on the surface of the ship, and settled in to fuck him thoroughly.

Krycek's face looked beautiful, gleaming with oil, long lashes fluttering over eyes half-closed with passion, one cheek crushed against the smooth metallic skin of the alien ship. Mulder might be mad, but Krycek was beautiful, and this felt so good he could barely breathe. Mulder felt the pressure build in his groin, as his thrusts became more urgent, and his heart felt as though it would pound right through his chest. And then he was coming, and after a moment Krycek was, too, and =You saved my life= played across his unfocussed vision as he collapsed onto Krycek's back in a still-throbbing heap.

They collected their clothes in silence, stumbling as though they'd lost their way in the dark, at once self-conscious and intimate. Once they'd dressed, Mulder sat on the ground with his back against the silo wall. Krycek stood watching him for a few moments, a troubled look in his eyes, and then he came to sit beside Mulder, their shoulders just touching. Mulder knew the question even though Krycek didn't ask it. He didn't have an answer.

"It will be all right. We'll figure it out. Once Scully gets here, we'll talk about it."

Krycek didn't look at him, but he nodded once. "I'm hungry."

"I've got food up top. When Scully gets here...."

There didn't seem to be anything more to say. Mulder leaned his head back, letting himself drift into after-sex drowsiness. =My father tried to kill me= intruded on his half-aware mind. A heavy sigh that was half a sob filled his chest as he fell asleep.

Mulder woke to the glare of light from the hallway, and the creak of the heavy silo door opening. Squinting, he made out Scully's form in the bright halo filling the doorway.

"Scully--" He started to rise, then realized that Krycek was still dead asleep with his head in Mulder's lap, and Mulder's hand curled around his shoulder. He fell back down with a thump.

Scully stood in the doorway with her hands on her hips. Mulder could barely make out her expression, but he hardly needed to see her to know what it would be. The =What have you gotten yourself into this time?= look: part exasperation, part wonder.

"Well," Scully said, a trace of amusement in her studied tone, "I'd wondered if I'd find you two at each other's throats. This is an improvement over that, I suppose."

Krycek, who was beginning to stir, lifted his head and mumbled something Mulder hoped he hadn't heard correctly. Mulder grinned. "I have some things to explain to you."

"Yes, you do," Scully agreed drily. "But let's get out of here first, shall we? This place gives me the creeps."

"You should try spending three hours locked in here." Mulder pushed Krycek gently out of his lap, and got to his feet.

"No, thank you." Scully watched with a curious look on her face as Mulder took Krycek's hand and pulled him to his feet. Krycek seemed content to stay out of it.

Scully stepped back to allow the men to pass. Mulder saw Krycek's shoulders straighten as he stepped beyond the door of his silo prison, free at least from this particular horror.

Mulder himself paused in the doorway to look back at the UFO, still gleaming quietly in the soft light, still mysterious and other-wordly, still beautifully sleek and elegant. There was no sign that it had been used as a platform for the coupling of two men who, while not yet friends, were no longer quite enemies. No fingerprints, no smears of oil, no patches of dried semen. But Mulder still felt it on his hands and on his cock, and tasted it in his mouth. Somehow he knew he would go on tasting it for a long, long time.

With a mental goodbye to the ship and its alien occupant, he pulled the silo door shut. Then he turned to his partners, past and present and future, and the three of them walked away.

end