Darkness and light, part 2 of 2

by laurel


Notes: Based on the movie Ladyhawke with Alex and Walter recast in the title roles. Mulder and several other familiar characters appear.

Spoilers: AU, so therefore none, but Alex does lose his arm

Warnings: Angst ahead in this part

Archive: Okay to DitB, WWOMB, Full house slash, anyone else just ask first.

They had bedded again for the night. They had been held up for several days by rain including a storm in which hailstones rattled down on the trees. It was a miserable time for both of them, foraging when the weather permitted but otherwise holed up in a make shift shelter of fallen branches from oak trees which were covered with pine branches that fanned over their shelter to provide cover from the rain.

They were unaware they were close to a farm and not far from a small village. They made themselves as comfortable as possible and both fell into an exhausted sleep.

During the night Alex woke and rose from the bedroll to investigate a noise. The scents of wild animals spurred him on. They were so close to farmland that the smell encompassed chickens and hogs as well as those of wild animals that lived in the woods such as foxes and wild boars, hooting owls and scurrying mice.

Even though he was careful on his sojourn so close to humanity the wolf unfortunately stepped right into a trap set for foxes intent on devouring the inhabitants of the henhouse.

The wolf shrieked and cried with the pain, his left leg painfully and irrevocably trapped in the fierce jaws of the trap. He howled and tried in vain to lift his leg up.

All the commotion woke up Walter, made their horse whinny and stamp his feet and eventually the farmer's sleep was disturbed too.

Walter knew it was Alex. He stuffed his shoes on hurriedly and grabbed the short sword, running towards the source of the terrible noise.

The farmer had his own weapon with him and wielded it in front of him while screaming about his chickens. The yelling and howling roused the farm animals so that the din seemed so loud as to be heard in the next county.

Walter found Alex in the trap and his heart leapt at the agony on his face. He tried to gentle the struggling animal. "It's all right now. I'm here. I'll get you out of there but you must try to stay quiet so that I can think." He approached warily, studying the trap in the bright light of a full moon.

The farmer found his trap and a tall, broad man hovering over it. "Who the hell are you?"

"Who are you? Is this your barbarous trap?"

"This is my property. Now get off of it before I start swinging this sword and take your head clear off!"

Walter stood up from where he knelt and menaced the man with his own sword and his dark countenance. "This is my wolf and I'll see you in this vicious trap first myself!"

The farmer was taken aback. "What do you mean it's your wolf? Why, it's a bloody wild animal, a demon who would eat my livestock and myself included! He can damn well rot in that trap and show his kind a good lesson to stay clear of my farm!"

Walter whipped the sword up so that the edge brought droplets of blood to the surface of his neck. "Help me get him out of there. He's a domesticated hybrid and my companion. Pry it open or I'll put you in his place."

The farm's face blanched so that he resembled a full moon himself.

After several minutes of hard struggle they managed to open the trap and the wolf limped away, whimpering. He lay on the ground gingerly licking at his hurt leg.

Walter demanded his way into the house and carried Alex inside. It looked as though the leg was broken. The farmer was forced to rouse the village doctor. He made his reluctance known but did as Walter bid.

Walter put a blanket beneath the injured leg and examined it, carefully wiping blood away with a towel soaked in water. He kept pressure on it even though Alex whimpered and cried. Walter tried to soothe him the best he could.

The farmer took a long time to return and the doctor was quite perturbed at being roused at such a late hour. He was scared motionless at the sight of the wolf. "What in God's name?" he finally managed to whisper. "I'm a doctor, man. I won't examine a horse much less a wild beast."

Walter jumped off the bed and took hold of the doctor's tunic He twisted it around the physician's neck until his face resembled a turnip's dull color. "He is not a wild beast! You will examine and care for him as though he were human otherwise I'll stuff you into that trap. Now get to it!"

The doctor was apoplectic. He spent a minute huffing and muttering under his breath, organizing his clothes and soothed his rattled nerves with liquid courage.

Walter shoved him forward, impatient with his delays and tossed the man's medical bag at him. Walter then kicked his legs out from under him so that he collapsed to his knees, now at eye level with the wolf. He gave Walter a dirty look but the dark glare the man fixed on him made him gulp and hastily open the bag.

His touch was wary and therefore gentle as he felt the left leg. "It's broken," he pronounced.

"I knew that. Can you mend it?"

"It's beyond broken. It's crushed. Best to put the animal out of its misery." He turned to the farmer. "Is this the thief that's been stealing your chickens?"

The man shrugged. "It may have been. Serves the bastard right," he said self-righteously

Walter's anger grew with each off-hand remark until he reddened with rage and screamed at both men. "He didn't kill any of your damned livestock! We only came here this evening to bed down for the night and if he dies I promise you will both join him!"

The farmer and doctor shrank back in terror.

"Fix him, damn you!"

"But he can't be fixed. His leg is crushed. I wouldn't be able to set it. If you want I could take the leg. There is a small chance he could survive the amputation and heal. After all, there's a three-legged dog in town. Little Willie is his name. He got run over by a carriage and lost his leg but it was a clean wound and he survived the accident and adapted to running around on just three legs. The wolf may be able to adapt too."

Walter grew pale. "No, you cannot do that."

"I can give you some ointment to apply to the leg afterwards to prevent infection and a potion to keep him quiet and free from pain while he heals."

"Just give me some medicine and I'll take care of him. How close is the village? I'll need a carriage in which to carry him and I will stay at the local inn until he starts to heal."

The doctor was startled, both by the refusal to amputate the leg and at the angry man's request to bring the beast to an inn in order to recuperate.

"I'll let you have my carriage to rent for a price," The farmer offered. "Of course I'll also factor in the cost of that ruined towel and blanket as well as waking me in the middle of the night and all the trouble you've caused."

Walter threw some coins at him. They fell in his feet in a sprinkle of dull gold. "I hope that'll do," he replied coldly. "Stay right here until I return with our belongings and my horse."

Walter retrieved their clothes, food and other provisions, packed everything tightly in their sacks along with his long jeweled sword and set out back in the direction of the farm on Alex's horse.

He wrapped Alex up after the doctor administered the sleeping potion and loaded him into the carriage. He followed the doctor to town in the pitch black night.

Walter spent the night taking care of Alex. He slept on peacefully with the aid of the potion. As he slept, Walter penned a letter, carefully outlining everything that had transpired. His hand shook and his eyes blurred several times but he blinked the tears out of them. The ink smudged and dripped in places.

It was only when he was finished that he curled up under the covers, carefully holding Alex, that he gave in to his emotions and wept. His sobs echoed in the tiny room.


Luckily Mulder showed up by the next day. They had gone by an alternate route when the arthritis in John's bones indicated rain and they managed to side track the weather pattern.

His instinctive sense of direction and a sense of dread had spurred him to ride long into the nights, even when John had begged him to stop for lodging in comfortable inns which were brightly lit with warming fires.

Alex was still asleep and unaware of what had happened. The news of the incident was consuming the residents of the village and in stopping for only a short and quick breakfast, Mulder and John learned of what had happened and instantly surmised that Walter and Alex had been the unlucky visitors. Mulder inquired politely after the odd couple and found their location.

John fainted dead away and collapsed on the floor at the sight of the bloody bandages wrapped around Alex's arm. Fox paled and gasped, stopping only long enough to place a pillow beneath John's head before he went to examine Alex.

On the bedside table was Walter. The bird clucked in an agitated tone, but quieted at Mulder's presence.

He slowly unraveled the bandages and was sickened by the sight. The clean up was done well and he could smell the strong scent of antiseptic ointment the wound had been smeared with. The limb was crushed, the bone broken and his flesh was torn and looked angry even though it was no longer bleeding.

He fumbled through his cloth sack that held medicinal supplies. He was dead tired from the long and arduous journey and the horrible news of Alex's accident compounded his already guilty conscience.

He found a pot of the ointment he used as an antiseptic and carefully applied it. He rewrapped the wound in clean, dry dressings and pinned the cloth carefully.

John woke from his faint with a groan and Fox called the serving boy to fetch some cold water. He opened the window so that the bird could fly a while and perhaps feed as well.

When Alex finally awoke, he was disoriented and feverish. He was surprised at Mulder and John's appearance and looked at his bandaged arm in dismay when he regained his senses from the induced sleep. He sat up with his friend's help and touched his arm briefly. "What happened?"

"There's a letter Walter left you. Here, read it."

Alex let out a sigh that held tears when he finished. Fox sent the boy to get food and more water, carefully shielding the inside of the room so that he wouldn't see a man, instead of a wolf lying there.

Fox told him haltingly of his diagnosis. The arm could not be saved. The longer they waited to remove it, the stronger the chance of infection and eventually death.

Fox managed to get some food into Alex, who was now listless and depressed over his condition. Fox's tears fell into his soup and he knew he couldn't swallow past the lump in his throat.

He began to cry and slid down onto the floor as the sobs shook him. "I'm so sorry Alex. This is my fault."

Alex petted his thick hair. "No it isn't. It was an accident that no one could have foreseen." He smiled wanly. "I would sacrifice myself one thousand times over so that the bishop wouldn't harm your daughter or wife. God only knows what he is capable of. As a matter of fact I'm surprised the church doesn't fall down on his head at God's command," he joked. "I've heard rumors of the sorts of deeds he has committed and he makes the Borgia family's exploits look like child's play. Do not distress yourself further. You need to remain strong for your wife and the child she is carrying. And I need you to help look after me and Walter."

Fox was inconsolable. "Please forgive me Alex. I cannot bear it. If it wasn't for Dana, Emily and the child I hope she will carry to term as well as the hope of finding a cure for this awful affliction I should have killed myself already."

Alex joined him on the floor and hugged him. "Hush now. If you tried to harm yourself I'd kill you myself. No more talk like that. You will do what needs to be done and we shall find this Roderick and together we will wring the spell from his throat to reverse this curse."

Fox dried his tears on the bedding and helped Alex back into bed. He began to mix the tea that would put Alex to sleep.

John entered with dinner trays and opened the window to let Walter back inside. One grim look at the doctor and he knew a decision had been made.

John excused himself before Walter and Alex changed and went for a long walk in the village.

Fox had a difficult conversation with Walter, dissolving into tears again as he explained the prognosis after the operation was complete. Walter asked only a few questions but otherwise was his silent, gruff self. He kept vigil over the wolf all night, finally falling into an exhausted sleep just a couple of hours before daybreak.

Fox was still asleep when Alex woke. John was up and in anticipation of his needs. He helped him shave and wash his face then brought him some breakfast. They ate in near silence, John cutting up his food when Alex needed help. Alex wrote a letter to Walter of his decision.

Fox woke late, cursing at himself for having slept so long but Alex didn't begrudge him. His friend was exhausted. It was evident in his blood shot eyes and the smudges underneath them. After a short breakfast he asked Fox to find the deck of cards in his sack and so indulged him in games of chance all afternoon.

When the sun set Alex changed form, though he was unaware of it, being unconscious from the sleeping potion. Fox handed Walter the letter after he'd dressed. John fetched supper for all three of them.

Walter folded it and sighed heavily. Fox's eyes filled with tears at Walter's deep sorrow but he remembered Alex's words and he straightened his shoulders and wiped his tears away.

Walter knew that Alex had reached the decision through logic. It was the only way to save his life. He agreed that was the most important point. Anything to keep him alive. He would adapt to his disability. Alex could survive anything. He had journeyed far to this part of the world and he was a good soldier, a quick learner and above all else a survivor. They would face this great hurdle together. And yes, he penned in his letter back to Alex that John sealed so that it was for his eyes only, he would still love him even with just one arm.

Fox had sent John to fetch his brother Richard. It was less than a day's journey. Richard had once apprenticed to be his assistant before he had set off on his own. It was a loss for Fox because he had proven to be quite adept and though he was working now with an apothecary his skills were far from rusty.

The tall gaunt man had long blond hair, which he pulled back from his face. He was the exact opposite of his brother, who was quiet and introverted. Richard by comparison was extroverted, bordering on boisterous.

He had been briefed as to the needs of the doctor and told of the spell cast upon their friends and the subsequent terrible accident that had necessitated the surgery.

On the journey back, John told his brother of his courtship with Mary, a pretty, shy maiden in the village. Richard wasn't settled yet since it was difficult to find a woman to match his intellectual endeavors and his intense emotional mind but he didn't lack for female company. He had taken a page from their older brother Melvin in that respect.

Walter was present for the operation. John brought out Fox's tools and cleaned them while the physician mixed medicines. Walter made another jug of sleeping potion at Fox's instructions.

John excused himself during the actual amputation. He couldn't stand the sight of blood. Richard hid his smile at his brother's delicate stomach.

Fox spoke quietly, as he asked Richard for various instruments, for dressings and ointments. His voice was lower than his usual monotone which made Richard strain to hear him. Together they wrapped the remaining part of his limb, which was smeared with healing ointments.

They were at a loss as to what to do with the arm. It couldn't simply be discarded. Perhaps they could hold a funeral service.

Walter watched over Alex all night, finally falling into an exhausted sleep just a few hours before dawn. Richard stayed on with them for several days before returning home. He planned on visiting Melvin before he returned to his village so that he could bring him news of John's life.

After a few weeks had passed in which time the three men took great care of Alex, they decided to journey on to London, to find Roderick and confront the bishop.

The trio headed east. Fox sent Richard homeward to tell Dana the news about Alex's condition and their plans. They left under cover of night. Alex was much better, his fever had subsided and the arm was healing but he was still weak.

They were stopped by the guards who took great pains to search their carriage. They were startled by the sight of the wolf in the back. The guards interrogated Fox and Walter at length and the wolf was shoved into a cage where he snarled and growled in protest.

The guards were amused by the beast's fury, but not for long, as a nip to one guard's finger taught him to keep his hands clear.

Fox and Walter were hauled away screaming and shouting. Fox was locked up quickly and Walter was much more reluctant. He broke free from the burly guards that surrounded him and screamed until the tendons stood out on his thick neck. He barreled down the hallway with the bloodied and bruised guards in pursuit. He called out Alex's name and heard an answering howl but before he could find him he was tackled by what felt like the whole English Army. He was dragged away kicking and cursing and thrown into a cell.

"Go tell the bishop Walter is here and he would like an audience with him. Damn you all to hell if anything happens to the wolf!"

The guards cursed him right back and nursed their wounds. One had a broken nose which only added to his ugly looks, another a split lip and dislocated shoulder and the other two had cracked ribs.

Spender snapped at the messenger for not bringing word of his visitors at once and fetched a guard to bring Alex to him the following morning. The man was startled by the appearance of a naked man crammed in the cage where a wolf had once paced and snarled.

Alex asked for food, water and a chance to relieve himself and perhaps wash up.

"What sort of witchcraft is this?" the guard asked in a hushed voice.

"The worst sort. Now fetch me something to eat if you please. I'm quite famished."

The guard allowed him to bathe with a damp towel and urinate. He brought him a cup of water as well and performed these tasks with a wary eye on the prisoner as if he might turn into a wild animal again at any moment.

"You can eat with the bishop. He has a feast being prepared."

The bishop was delighted at the sight of a naked Alex. The guard had provided him with only a blanket but no clothes. The boy looked a little thin but that could be quickly remedied with the sumptuous meals his chef prepared. He twisted his heavy gold ring and feasted his eyes on his prize. He had expected a visit from Alex or his brute of a lover sooner. He had increased his bodyguards in case of an unexpected visit from either of them and the expected retribution.

"Here my boy, eat something." The bishop fanned his hands over the table laden with food. Alex picked up an apple and bit into it all the while glaring at Spender. He washed it down with more water then picked up a rich pastry. When he was finished, he let the blanket fall from his shoulders.

Spender gasped. "What is this? What's happened to your arm?"

"You happened. While I was in wolf form I stepped into a trap outside a farmhouse and Fox had to amputate it! Look at it! Don't turn your face away, my lord," he said sarcastically. "Take a good look at what you've done to me." Alex undid the gauze and stepped towards the bishop menacingly. "You have caused nothing but grief to me, Walter, Fox and his family. Now you will tell me Roderick's whereabouts so that he can reverse the curse."

"But I cannot." The bishop cringed and stepped back.

"You will tell me now. Either way you are a dead man." Alex looked at the ceremonial spears hanging from the wall.

Spender followed his gaze. He was going to call for his guards posted outside but Alex had seized him by the throat with his remaining hand and no sound emerged.

Alex released his hold long enough to let the man speak. "He is dead. I had him killed," Spender confessed.

Alex's eyes held tears of utter despair but also rage and his fist once again closed on Spender's neck.

Fox raced down the corridor with two guards in pursuit. He had tricked the guard who had brought him water and stale bread into the cell and managed to lock the man inside. He had then found Walter and unlocked his cell door.

Now they were both being chased down the hallway, Fox racing like a marathon runner and the eagle flying just above his head. They managed to evade their pursuers and they found the Bishop's apartment.

Fox struggled with the bodyguards while the eagle pecked and clawed at the men's faces until they ran in the opposite direction. Fox burst in, out of breath and heaving with his exertions and the eagle flew inside and shrieked.

The bishop's face was turning purple. Alex's face was set in stone, cold and pale as he slowly killed him.

"Alex, no, they will execute you!" Fox warned.

"It doesn't matter Fox. Roderick is dead and there is no way to reverse the curse. I will kill the bishop, then myself. You must kill Walter while he is still in bird form. I cannot bear to do it and you must do me this final favor." Alex turned to look at his friend. The latter had been spoken so quietly and his expression so resigned that Fox found himself nodding.

The bishop was now on his knees as if praying. His face was colored in shades of red and purple and he gasped for air.

Behind them the sun shone brilliantly through the stained glass windows, setting the room on fire. Above them a small glass window set into the ceiling let the fierce light inside as well but in the next moment a dark shadow fell across the rug and they all looked up and around them. A shadow crossed the sun and eclipsed its white orb.

Alex let go of the bishop while he stood in wonder. Fox gasped. "It is an eclipse." The bird squawked nervously on his roost at Spender's splendid desk. In moments the room was black. Alex wondered if the world was coming to an end. If so, he hoped it would bring them peace and that he would be reunited with Walter in heaven. The bishop gasped like a dying fish on his expensive rugs and felt his bruised flesh.

The shadow glided past the sun and the light returned. The room was again flooded with brilliant light and the red and blue tones of the stained glass was cast against the walls.

Spender cowered on the rug. Perhaps God had seen his wicked ways and was warning him to stop. He looked at Alex's bare feet and reached a hand out to touch the pale skin.

"Don't touch him," a deep gruff voice instructed.

Alex turned around and saw Walter sitting on the desk. He gasped at the sight of his lover sitting there naked and in human form. Fox began to cry at the sight. He looked up at the ceiling glass and clasped his hands together. "The spell is broken. It is a miracle." Alex began to cry silently, tears spilling down his cheeks as he gazed at his beloved.

Spender struggled to get up. Walter was the only one who seemed capable of action and so he grabbed one of the spears from the wall and with all his might he slammed the point into Spender who was still kneeling on the floor. The weapon was thrust into him through to his spine. He groaned once and then slumped forward.

Walter wiped away the blood that had spattered on him and turned to Alex. Even with one arm he was magnificent. His muscle tone was softened by his time spent recuperating and the arm was still tender and raw where his arm abruptly ended and even with tears flooding his sea green eyes, he was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen.

Alex cried out wordlessly at seeing Walter whole and human again. Walter raised his arms and Alex ran into his embrace. He hastily wiped the tears from his eyes. Walter's figure had become blurry through the moisture and he wanted to feast his eyes on his love.

Walter hugged him tightly and Alex responded by nuzzling into Walter's neck and smelling his familiar scent. They made wordless noises of joy and longing. Fox quietly retreated to the hallway to give them privacy. He raised his eyes heavenward again and thanked God, the spirits, Mother Nature, whoever was responsible for bringing them back together again.

The guards let the trio leave. After all, no one could stomach the bishop and his cruel nature. Another, hopefully less obnoxious and dangerous one would take his place.

They found clothing for Alex and Walter and retreated to the comfort and safety of a nearby inn. News of the bishop's demise spread quickly and not many mourned his passing. Already his successor was preparing his thank you speeches and a eulogy.

Fox went to his comfortable room next door and flopped onto the bed, falling into an exhausted sleep.

Walter sent the innkeeper's son to fetch a big breakfast. A long overdue celebration was to be held. He tenderly fed Alex by hand as his lover had once done for him. They ate pastries and rolls, fresh eggs scrambled in rich butter, sausages and hams and drank them all down with clear, cold water as if they were thirsting in the desert.

Alex cuddled into Walter's embrace and sighed with deep longing now sated. He would never leave his lover's arms again. Walter read the letter he had written back, ending with the thought that Alex wanted to hear most: he would love him forever, even with one arm.

Alex wiped his tears away and sat up on the bed. "Show me again how much you love me," he commanded in a voice grown husky with desire and emotion. "Make love to me."

"You are still weak," Walter protested.

"Does this look weak to you?" Alex asked and gripped his hardening cock.

Walter smiled and laughed at his lover's entreaty. "No, it most certainly does not." Walter grabbed the thick shaft in his hand and squeezed it gently until a pearl of fluid emerged from the slit. Alex groaned and fell forward into his arms.

Walter kissed him deeply. It had been so long since he had touched his lips and it was a revelation to feel them on his mouth again. He let Alex stay on top, cradling him now that he had just one arm to balance with. They nuzzled and kissed each other, exploring each other's bodies as if they were novices at love, finding all those places that made them sigh and squirm and groan in pleasure.

Walter pushed Alex down onto the soft bed and slid down his body to kiss his chest and stomach, ending at the quivering cock that bobbed enticingly before him. He suckled the thick shaft, then kissed his way down to his strong thighs and nibbled the skin there where it was most sensitive. He made Alex moan and shiver with delight until his lover tugged at him. He knew what Alex wanted and looked around for something they could use as a lubricant.

There was a blob of butter on the plate so he scooped that up. The substance was rich and slippery. He applied a generous amount to Alex's tight hole and was rewarded with a cry of pleasure as he breached the passage.

Alex was sobbing with pleasure and urging him up frantically by the time he was thoroughly relaxed and coated with the rich butter.

Walter pulled his legs up and let them wrap around his waist, found his opening and ever so tenderly and gently, entered his lover. Alex groaned as he pushed in smoothly and urged him to thrust deeper and harder.

He wrapped his arm around Walter's neck and began to kiss and nip at his lover's face and throat. He could never get enough of Walter's kisses. His rich earthy scent, now mingled with their combined sweat and the musky smell of the often used room where unwashed lovers had tumbled in the sheets urged him on to higher levels of pleasure. He moaned in Walter's ear and pushed up violently, meeting each downward thrust of Walter's until the bed shook and threatened to collapse. It wouldn't be the first bed they'd broken and it probably wouldn't be the last.

Alex came first, howling and crying like a farm cat in heat. Walter couldn't resist the tight ass clenching around his cock and shouted his own completion. He collapsed on Alex, mindful of his still healing arm.

They were too spent to speak and simply lay together, breathing heavily and sighing, nuzzling and kissing gently until Walter finally rolled off of him and set about cleaning up the mess they'd made.

They had fresh water to clean themselves off and untangled the bed sheets into a semblance of order. Alex settled against Walter's comforting muscular body and wrapped himself around him, their legs tangled together. Walter chuckled at the satisfied grin on his lover's face. He had seen the male cats that farmers employed to keep the mice population down and it looked something like that.

Epilogue:

Dana gave birth the following spring after an uneventful pregnancy. It was a boy they named William, after his father and grandfathers. Fox was so proud of his healthy son that his wailing in the middle of the night brought smiles to his face rather than cursing for having been woken. Dana and Emily doted on the boy and she and Fox took his birth as a sign to try for another child. They certainly practiced enough for the odds to be in their favor.

Alex healed remarkably well and adapted to his disability with grace and patience. He and Walter bought a farm near Fox's home and the former soldiers retired there to raise chickens and grow vegetables. Alex took an interest in the medical field and devoted some of the garden to medicinal plants, to Fox's delight.

John married his maiden and Mary was with child a few months after the ceremony.

Richard and Melvin moved to the village to be close to their brother, the only family they had left and they both broke the hearts and hymens of several maidens. Neither of them would settle down easily with one woman. Richard went into practice again with Fox and Melvin was busy as always juggling women and money making schemes.

They had a proper burial for Alex's arm and from time to time he would visit the site to mourn what he had lost. Walter was always there to help him stand up and wipe away the inevitable tears and together they would walk home, Walter singing ballads to his love, their faces to the sun as it shone fiercely before it inevitably set. Their sorrow was always assuaged by the fact that it would rise again in the morning and they would face the world again together.
 

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