Dual Meditations on a Kiss I
by Ekiedro

Category: M/K
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Red and the Black
Disclaimer: They belong to CC, 1013, and Fox. We all know this. Done for fun, not for profit.
Summary: An alternate scene from The Red and the Black.
Note: This came about after some discussion on the list about the MSR take on the kiss.

Dual Meditations on a Kiss I
by Ekiedro

Dana Scully was worried about her partner. This was not an unusual thing for her to do, but in this case it was different. Usually she worried about him getting shot while breaking into military installations, getting eaten by an alligator while chasing lake monsters, or getting fired for any one of the stunts he pulled on a regular basis. But this was different. He looked uncertain, and he was never uncertain. No matter what the rest of the universe thought, he was completely certain in his beliefs. What he believed was true, and that was the end of it, even if it was diametrically opposed to what he had believed the day before. He believed and that was all that he needed. Except, suddenly, it looked like he didn't know what to believe.

Uncertain was a very mild way of explaining Mulder's state of mind. A chaotic maelstrom was closer to the truth. He had been certain that all of the mysteries he had been exploring were part of a secret government operation. He was also certain that Alex Krycek was a lying, murdering bastard that he hated with all of his heart. Five minutes alone with Krycek in his apartment, and suddenly he had no idea what he believed about anything. Many of Krycek's actions had always been inexplicable to him, but never before had they turned his world upside down. And that kiss...

Scully saw that Mulder was getting lost further in his thoughts and decided to bring him back. She put a hand on his arm and gave it a gentle shake.

"Hey, you still in there?"

"Yeah, I guess so."

Despite his reply, it didn't seem that Mulder was really paying any attention to her. He still had the faraway look in his eyes that had been there since she entered the apartment. Was he confused about her, suddenly believing in aliens? Did the hand holding at the doctor's office make him wonder where he stood in relation to her? Scully decided to clear matters up for her confused partner and show him exactly where she stood. She turned to him, and kissed him.

Mulder responded to the kiss. Maybe this was what he needed. He was just lonely, desperate for human contact. That was why Krycek's kiss had rattled him so. He would have Scully, he wouldn't be lonely, and all the thoughts swirling in his head would sort themselves out in an orderly fashion. The world would be restored. Except, it wasn't happening. Scully was warm and soft and welcoming above him. And that was the problem. She should be hard, muscular, clothed in leather. The cheek next to his should be rough with stubble, not smooth. Mulder pulled away, and in that moment, the world resolved itself with sudden clarity. He wanted Alex Krycek. Had wanted him for a long time, and had finally realized it. And Krycek wanted him. Previously inexplicable events became clear. And he believed all that he had been told about the aliens. They had to get to the base before it was too late.

Scully was shocked when Mulder pulled away. Then she looked at his eyes. All doubts were gone and she could see his mind working at a feverish pace. She had done the right thing. He felt the same way. Now they could be together, and there would be no more confusion. When he finally spoke, it was worse than if he had physically hit her.

"We can't do this. It's not right. And anyway, we don't have time. Krycek told me about the aliens. We need to go find them, now."

He had been thinking about *Krycek* when she kissed him. What did that mean? He had responded and then stopped and said it was wrong. And now he looked like his old confident self, and was trying to pull her out the door. She felt as dazed as Mulder had looked before.

Mulder's mind was far too busy to notice his partner's distress. He was occupied with warring alien factions, downed space craft, and above all that, the feel of Alex Krycek's lips on his cheek. They had to find the alien and clear this up so he would be free to find Alex and finally sort out exactly what was between them.




Dual Meditations on a Kiss II: One Kiss, Two Kiss, Red Kiss, Black Kiss
By Ekiedro

Category: M/K
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sex. Don't want to see that, stop right here.
Spoilers: The Red and the Black
Feedback: Send it to Ekiedro@aol.com, I love it all.
Disclaimer: They belong to CC, Fox, and 1013. Done for fun, not for profit.
Summary: Sequel to "Dual Meditations on a Kiss". Mulder tries to patch things up with Scully and find Krycek.
Thanks: Huge thanks to my betareaders feklar and witchqueen (who also came up with the title) for all of their hard work.

Dual Meditations on a Kiss II: One Kiss, Two Kiss, Red Kiss, Black Kiss
By Ekiedro

If Mulder weren't so curious, he'd give it up as a lost cause. He had to know answers; that's why he kept going, even when answers seemed unlikely. Getting explanations about his trip to the air force base looking for the alien rebel seemed even more unlikely than usual. The mindwipe was just too complete. No matter how hard he tried, the memories wouldn't come back. As he had before, he abandoned the fruitless chain of thought. Instead, his mind wandered to the events that preceded the trip.

Two visitors to his apartment and two kisses, resulting in a restoration of belief and a stunned realization of his desires. One person he wanted to see, to explain his revelation, the other he wanted to avoid, so he wouldn't have to explain. The problem was that the person he wanted to see, Krycek, had vanished into the mist, while he was forced to see Scully every day. So far, he had been able to bury himself in work, avoiding all attempts to discuss what had happened. He knew that if he wanted to continue with the partnership, not to mention their friendship, they would have to talk about it, but he feared that talking would destroy them completely.

The more Mulder thought about Scully's actions; the more baffled he became. His business was the inexplicable, but her actions utterly transcended the degree of inexplicability he was able to deal with. Why had she kissed him? He had, occasionally, over the course of five years, wondered about the two of them getting together, but for him it had never moved past idle speculation. He had wondered, but the thoughts had always been easily dismissed, and he had never actually considered action. Obviously, though, Scully had thought a great deal further than that. What did Scully think was between them that moved her to kiss him?

When he first thought about it, he had wondered how much of his response was due to Krycek's visit. It was easier to lay all of the blame on him, but it wasn't the truth. The truth was he had always been attracted to Krycek, no matter how much he had tried to deny it to himself. He had never really desired Scully. He had never done more than wonder, and even those times had only come when he was at his lowest and loneliest, craving human contact. At times when things were better, he knew that their friendship was the most important thing and that he didn't really need or want to be physical with her. Explaining everything to Scully was necessary, but he was terrified that he would screw it up and ruin everything they had.

The part of the impending conversation that worried him the most was telling her about Krycek. How do you tell someone that the reason you stopped kissing her is that you were thinking about someone else? And even if he didn't tell her about that (probably the wisest course, but he was never one to choose wisdom), explaining why he believed Krycek would be difficult. He hadn't noticed it at the time, being too wrapped up in a maelstrom of emotion; but when he mentioned Krycek's name, she had become very angry. And he had only said that Krycek gave him the information. Scully hadn't asked, but Mulder knew she wondered why he trusted Krycek at all. He couldn't explain why he trusted the man, he just did. It was like his hunches on a case, he just knew it, and he would wait for Scully and the evidence to bear him out. The problem was there was no evidence this time, and since he couldn't remember the trip to the base, he couldn't use that as proof. The only thing concrete he had was their exchange in his apartment, and telling Scully about that was not something he wanted to do.

If he were to convince Scully of anything, he needed more than belief. He needed a rational, logical argument. The problem with that was threefold. First, and most obviously, he had no way to know that Krycek was being honest with him. Second, rational arguments had never been his strong suit, and third, all his meager attempts at rationality went out the window when he started to think about Krycek. Even Scully had noticed his behavior the last time she had seen them together, before the trip to Tunguska. And what could he say about that, "I don't want to beat him up, I want to beat him off." She'd have him committed before he could explain that statement.

And if he did get the chance, how would he explain it? Every time Scully had seen the two of them together after they had been partners, Mulder had tried to kill or at least hurt Krycek. His new attitude was certainly a radical departure from that. He knew how he had gotten there, but explaining it to Scully? There had always been something underlying his exchanges with Krycek that he didn't understand, and now in the light of recent events, all of their previous encounters made sense. How could Mulder tell her that he believed Krycek when he said he hadn't killed Mulder's father? Yes, Krycek had worked for their enemies, and Mulder was quite certain his hands were not clean, but now he knew there was some underlying motivation for Krycek's actions. He needed to find out what Krycek's cause was, and he needed to know exactly what he had meant by that kiss. He needed to find Alex Krycek, but he couldn't do that without help. The Gunmen were out of the question. His recent disbelief in all things alien had caused problems. They wouldn't be willing to help him without a lot of apologies and more than a little bribery. So that left Scully, as usual. And he wouldn't get Scully's help until they talked (and possibly not even then). So they would talk. He just hoped that this talk wouldn't make things worse than they were.

He picked up the phone, and dialed the familiar number. She answered after only one ring. Maybe she had been sitting and thinking, too.

"Scully, it's me. We need to talk."

"I agree Mulder, but I'm not the one who's been avoiding it."

"Yeah, I know. I had to figure some things out, but now I'm ready. Should I come over there, or do you want to brave my place?"

"And be attacked by killer mutant dust bunnies, I don't think so, Mulder. I'll be expecting you." With that she hung up.

She had made a joke, which was a good sign. Meant she was in a good mood (he hoped). Or she thought his apartment really was a pit. He needed a good sign to get him ready for this conversation, so he decided it had been the first.

He had driven to Scully's many times before, but the drive had never gone so quickly, despite his scrupulous observance of the speed limit. He knew it was just his perception, and his wish to stall, but he couldn't believe he was already there, parked in front of her building. She had seen him. That meant he couldn't sit out here stalling any longer. He tried giving himself a mental pep talk, reminding himself of all of the dangers he had faced. The problem was he kept coming back to the time Scully had shot him (and of course, Krycek had been there that time). He decided thinking was a bad idea altogether, and concentrated on the actions of getting out of the car and into the apartment.

As Scully opened the door, Mulder scanned her face, hoping to get a clue to her mood. He wasn't sure, but it looked like she was nervous too. He could just be projecting his fears onto her, though. On the other hand, she was the one who initiated the kiss, so maybe she had as many reasons to be nervous as he did. He followed her in and sat on the couch. They both sat there, avoiding the other's eyes. Finally, Scully broke the silence.

"You're the one who called me, Mulder"

"Yeah, I did, I just have no clue how to start, and no good way to say it, so I'll just ask you. Why'd you kiss me, Scully?"

"Why did I kiss you?" Scully's face had an incredulous look on it. It was somewhere in between her "Mulder, those are false vampire teeth" look, and her "If you don't start making sense I'm going to shoot you again" look.

"They didn't teach you about kissing at Oxford? I find that hard to believe."

Mulder was exasperated. No matter the situation, it seemed like Scully was incapable of believing him.

"Scully, I don't know why you think I have some insight into your actions, but I don't. Pretty much everything that happened to me that day is unexplainable. I was hoping you could shed light on at least part of it."

Scully ignored on his implied request, and instead pounced on the one part of the statement he'd hoped she had missed. "What else happened that day?"

This line of conversation could only lead to a discussion about Krycek, and he really wanted to avoid that, especially after seeing what kind of mood Scully was in.

"Never mind, it doesn't matter."


"OK, OK. You tell me why you kissed me, and I'll tell you what else happened that day."

"It was Krycek, wasn't it? What did he do to you?"

"He gave me information." Mulder hoped that she would let it go at that, but that was unlikely. Scully was tenacious when she was searching for answers. It made her a great partner, but right now it was just annoying.

"That's not all, is it? What is it between you two? Why did you believe him after all that's happened?"

"Stalling, Scully? I would have thought that was beneath you." Mulder didn't think the distraction would work, but maybe if Scully got ticked enough, she'd abandon her line of questioning. She was obviously upset. If he pushed her over the edge, she would lose her rationality and simply attack him. Unfortunately, she usually didn't take the bait. She was too focused.

"Mulder, one kiss is minor compared to what he did. He was the one who sent you on the wild goose chase to the air force base. You could have been killed, and yet you still trust his information? What did he say to you? I tell you that it was aliens, nothing. Skinner says aliens are more plausible, and again nothing. He tells you something, God knows what, and suddenly you're convinced it's aliens. I need to know Mulder, what exactly happened between the two of you?"

Underlying Scully's statement was a tone of hurt and bafflement. Mulder realized why she was hurt. It wasn't so much that he believed Krycek, it was that he believed Krycek and not her. He had been so tied up with his own problems, he hadn't noticed Scully's hurt and anger. They hadn't worked well together in a while; it wasn't surprising, considering the distance between the two of them. Between her hurt and his avoidance, it was amazing they had been able to get anything done at all. Maybe it would help if he explained why he hadn't believed her. If he got really lucky, maybe he could explain the whole thing without mentioning the kiss. They could straighten things out, he could get help finding Krycek, and Scully wouldn't have to know all of the reasons he needed to find him.

"Scully, it's not that I didn't believe you . . .Well OK, that day I didn't. Now I'm not sure, and it has nothing to do with you. It's the regression that I don't trust. I can't trust my own memories anymore, so I'm having a hard time believing anyone's. If you had remembered any other way than hypnotic regression, I would believe you no matter what you said. I don't trust the memories, not you. You, I'll always trust."

As Mulder spoke, Scully's face started to loose the expression of hurt and exasperation that it had held since the beginning of the conversation. "Thank you. You had been behaving very oddly, flip-flopping wildly in your beliefs. I didn't know what to think. And then I went to that hypnotherapist. I can see why you are doubtful, but I believe that what I recovered is what really happened. And that terrifies me. I've always been skeptical of your beliefs Mulder, but at that moment I understood how you believe with such certainty. I do believe, despite myself. And that's what the kiss was about. I was scared and confused and half-convinced I had lost you. You looked confused and were going on about inexplicable relationships. In the state I was in, it seemed like the perfect answer. But you were right, it was wrong. What we have between us isn't and wasn't ever about sex. It's about trust and a mental connection, except that in my confused state I tried to substitute a physical connection, which was not what I wanted. Are you OK with this?"

Mulder gave an internal sigh of relief. This was the best of all possible outcomes, and much better than any of the scenarios his paranoid mind had concocted. He quickly reviewed Scully's explanation, and decided he was more than OK with it. It even had the added bonus of entirely avoiding the question of why he had stopped things. Scully had just assumed that he had things more under control than she did at that point. He hadn't even had to mention Krycek. He could tell Scully about the conversation, skip the kiss, and she would never suspect. He broke out of his reverie and realized that Scully was looking intently at him, waiting for his answer.

"Sorry, Scully. We're OK. I don't know what to say about your memories about what happened on the bridge, but since I can't remember what happened at the air force base, I'm in no position to complain. I have been thinking about your regression and some of it does jive with what Krycek told me."

"What exactly did he tell you?"

Mulder told her the whole tale, only omitting one minor detail. "...the part at the end, that's what convinced me. He gave me the gun, knowing very well that I could have killed him. And the Russian, I only caught one word, 'tovarisch'. Between the meaning of it and the tone, I just believed him. I hope you don't want me to explain why, because I can't. I just did."

He hoped Scully didn't ask for more, because the more he tried to explain, the more likely it was he would get caught in an evasion. It was true that the gun and his words helped to convince him, but the kiss had been the clincher. The other parts were just confirmation of something that he had been certain of the moment Alex's lips had touched his cheek.

"All right, I won't ask you why you believe him. I still have a problem with his motives, but what he told you makes sense with what we've seen. I don't trust him at all, but he obviously possesses information that we need. Do you think we could find him and get the whole truth out of him?"

Mulder was thrilled. He wouldn't have to coerce Scully into helping him. She wanted to find Krycek. "I've been thinking about that. I think I can find him if I call in a few favors, just give me a couple of days."

"OK. Now, not to be rude, but Mulder, go home."

"What, you're already tired of my sparkling personality?"

"Oh, never, but unlike some people, I need sleep if you want me to be of any use at work tomorrow. Good night" This last was accompanied by one of Scully's famous (or infamous) glares.

Mulder put his hands up in surrender. "I'm leaving, I'm leaving. 'Night Scully."

(End Part 1)

(Part 2)
Two weeks passed and he had nothing more than a few hints. Mulder ran himself ragged looking for Krycek, but had no luck. A case took both of them out of town, and Mulder was distracted from his search. Alex Krycek was the last thing on his mind when he returned to his apartment late at night after a week and a half spent tramping around the wilds of northern Wisconsin.

He opened the door, moving on autopilot, looking forward to the familiar sanctuary of his couch. He was almost on top of it before he realized someone was sitting in the room. He started to reach for his gun and then stopped. He wanted this meeting to be different from all of the other times. He removed his hand from his jacket and looked at Krycek, waiting for him to make the first move.

"I heard you were looking for me. I thought I'd save you the trouble. So, what was so urgent that you were turning over rocks looking for me?"

For the past two weeks, Mulder had been thinking about what he would say to Krycek when he saw him. Well-rehearsed speeches and cleverly planned insults had been constructed, weighed, and then kept or discarded. A whole library of options were stored in Mulder's brain. Despite his careful planning, what came out of Mulder's mouth was "Why did you kiss me?"

"You're a smart guy Mulder, are you trying to tell me you don't know?" This was accompanied by Krycek's annoying little grin, the one that made Mulder want to hit him.

Mulder was exasperated. "No, I don't. I wouldn't ask if I knew. What is it with people, they, they kiss me and then expect me to know why? First Scully and now you."

"Scully kissed you?" Alex raised his eyebrow at that.

Mulder realized that this meeting, like every other time he saw Krycek, was quickly spiraling out of control. Usually, he tried to wrench it back on course, failed dismally, and ended up beating the shit out of Alex. He decided to go along with Krycek in hopes of having this encounter turn out differently.

"Not that it's any of your business, but yeah, she did."

Krycek's face had lost the amused expression it had held at the beginning of the conversation. It had taken on a hard blank expression, one that reminded Mulder of earlier, more unpleasant encounters. The silence stretched on. When he finally spoke, it was in a low, harsh, grinding tone, as if he was forcing the words past a barrier. "So, did you fuck her?"


"You heard me."

"Why the hell do you care?"

Krycek didn't answer him. Mulder realized he'd never get anywhere unless he answered the question.

He spat out the word, "No."

Despite his good intentions, Mulder was having a hard time keeping a reign on his temper. He looked over at Alex, who had lost the hard look, and was starting to look amused again.

Krycek was shaking his head. "Mulder, Mulder, Mulder. For such a smart guy, you sure can be dense."

Krycek's swing from amused to angry and back again had Mulder all turned around. His confusion must have been evident, because Krycek continued to speak, amused exasperation evident in his voice. "Well, knowing you, you've spent the last several weeks trying to figure things out. And despite your skill as a detective, you haven't had any luck. And now I've confused you even more. But I'm in a generous mood, so I'll spell it out for you."

As Krycek spoke, he left his seat and moved across the room. When he finished, he sat down on the couch, right next to Mulder. He had never been so conscious of Krycek's body before, not even the time in Hong Kong when they were pressed up against the phones. Krycek was overwhelming his senses. The smell of the leather jacket, the sound of his breathing, the mere sight of the man. For several long minutes, Krycek just sat there watching him. Mulder was starting to growimpatient with this scrutiny. He opened his mouth to speakand in that instant Krycek moved, covering Mulder's mouth with his own.

Somehow, despite the shocking nature of Krycek's action, Mulder wasn't surprised. As before, when Krycek's lips touched his, things began to make sense. He was going to use the moment of startling clarity to sort things out, but his body had other ideas. Under the pressure of the warm tongue, he opened his lips and returned the kiss with enthusiasm. As they broke the kiss, Mulder found that he was sprawled across the couch, pinned under Krycek. Normally, this would be a cause for concern, but Mulder was enjoying the feel of another body on his far too much to worry about anything. It had been a long time since he had been in intimate contact with anyone, let alone another man. His nerve endings might short out from pleasure before this was all over, but that was a price he was willing to pay. Krycek moved from his lips to his neck, kissing his way through the intervening space.

As Krycek was nuzzling his neck, he began to speak, "So have you figured it out yet? Because if you haven't, I can stop and we can talk about it."

"Don't you dare stop!" To emphasize his point, Mulder began to respond to Krycek's caresses. Mulder felt Krycek's chuckle against his neck. "I always knew you could figure it out, given the proper hints." He pulled away and looked Mulder in the eye. "One more thing, though. The next time Scully kisses you, you damn well better tell her you're taken."

Mulder studied Krycek's face, and realized he was serious. He was jealous of Scully. This was something they probably needed to talk about, but he was in no shape to conduct a complicated conversation, so he settled for "I doubt it'll happen again", and pulled Alex's head back down for a long hard kiss.

Krycek broke the kiss, and got up. Mulder moaned at the sudden lack of contact. Alex reached down and started to pull him off the couch. "C'mon, bedroom."

That sounded like the best idea Mulder had heard in months, years even. He sprang up and started to pull Alex along. Despite his hurry, the short trip to the bedroom took awhile since Alex started removing his clothes as soon as he stood up. A trail of clothes led from the couch to the bedroom, ending at a boxer-clad Mulder.

Mulder decided that undressing Alex, who was still fully clothed, would be a good place to start. He reached to remove the leather jacket, but stopped when he noticed Krycek's suddenly rigid stance. From past experience, Mulder knew that figuring Krycek out was nearly impossible, so he just asked. "What is it? Having second thoughts?" Despite himself, Mulder could not stop a plaintive note from creeping into his voice.

At his question, Alex relaxed a little, but not enough that Mulder felt free to continue removing his jacket. Alex slowly answered him. "No, no second thoughts, I've wanted this, you, far too long for that. It's just . . ." he trailed off.

"It's just what? You have no problem with breaking into my apartment, pouncing on me, kissing me more seriously than I've been kissed in years, and stripping me nearly naked, but you can't talk to me? Just spit it out."

Krycek took a deep breath, and visibly prepared himself to speak. Mulder wondered what it was that had him so unwilling to answer. He also wished that he would hurry up and say it. While his mind was willing to take it slowly, his body was screaming at him to hurry things up. He was a master at ignoring the messages his body sent him, but he didn't think that he could hold out much longer.

Finally Krycek said, "Remember our little trip to Russia? Well, unlike you, I didn't get out entirely ... intact."

It took Mulder a minute, but then he remembered the one-armed peasants in the forest outside Tunguska. His narrow escape had shaken him more than he had been willing to admit and his recent encounter with a malevolent AI had returned all of those fears to the fore. Quite a few of his recent nightmares had revisited this territory. His mind started worrying at the idea, trying to decide how to react. Luckily, his body sent him a reminder of its opinion before he could get lost in his thoughts. "Alex, right now I don't care if you're possessed by an alien. Just get back over here." With that Mulder pulled Krycek over to him, and again started to remove the leather jacket. This time Alex was very cooperative and soon both of them were nearly naked.

In the face of Mulder's enthusiasm, Alex's aggressiveness returned. He pushed Mulder down on the bed, and began to attack the body splayed beneath him. Alex blanketed himself over Mulder, who gasped at the contact of skin on skin. As Alex moved above him, Mulder realized how on edge he had been the whole time, and how close he was to coming.

"Alex, stop."

Green eyes looked quizzically at him.

"Not like this, I'm too close."

Alex just grinned at that and lowered his head again. A hot mouth on his nipples distracted Mulder, and so he missed how Alex managed to get his boxers off. Under other circumstances, Mulder would have been quite curious how he had managed it with only one hand, but as Alex's clever mouth moved toward his groin, his mind moved in other directions. Knowing Mulder's state, Alex was kind and didn't tease. Mulder couldn't remember anything that felt as good as Alex's mouth on him. Alex proceeded to give him one of the finest blow jobs he'd ever experienced. He tried to warn Alex that he was going to come, but orgasm overcame him before he could say anything. Alex didn't let up until Mulder was completely spent. Mulder felt like his muscles had turned to water and he would have been perfectly content to lie there until his body regained solidity. Alex, however, wasn't willing to let Mulder vegetate. He was too out of it to fight when Alex rolled him over. It wasn't until Alex spread his legs and felt something cool between his buttocks that he realized what Alex had in mind. Mulder felt a brief moment of panic, did he trust him enough to let him do this. He quickly realized the question was moot. He had trusted Alex with everything else, at this point changing his mind would be ridiculous. Anyway, Alex's clever fingers had penetrated and found his prostate. Suddenly he didn't want to object. He was thrusting back onto Alex's fingers.

Alex chuckled, "Guess that means you have no objections, hmm?"

"God no!" Mulder was impressed with Alex's skill. With just his fingers, Alex was rousing him again, something he hadn't thought possible after his previous orgasm. Mulder was surprised to hear himself say, "Fuck me Alex, fuck me now."

"Jeez Mulder, you sure are pushy. We're getting there, hold your horses." Mulder groaned as Alex withdrew his fingers. "You wanted me to get on with it, and now that I am, you're still complaining." Mulder could hear Alex rustling around on the floor, some muttering in Russian, and finally a triumphant "A-ha!"

Mulder felt Alex's weight settle back on the bed, "You want this? I could use a hand here."

Moving still seemed like a bad idea, but Alex sounded insistent, so Mulder complied. The sight of Alex made moving worthwhile. On other occasions Mulder had noticed, despite himself, how good Alex had looked in jeans and leather, but that was nothing compared to Alex naked. Even the missing arm did very little to detract from his beauty. It had been a long time since Mulder had seen a naked body that wasn't dead, so he was thoroughly enjoying himself. Alex interrupted him from his study by pressing a condom packet into his hand. The physical presence of it in his hand suddenly made everything very immediate. Everything had happened so quickly, it hadn't really seemed real, more like a dream. Mulder was glad of the reminder of reality. This was something he had wanted for a long time and he didn't want it swallowed up by the air of unreality that seemed to permeate so much of his life.

While a small part of his mind was pondering the nature of his life, the rest of it had put his body on autopilot and taken care of business. He was about to lay back on his stomach when he was stopped by Alex's hand on his shoulder, pulling him to lie on his back.

"I've waited a long time for this, Mulder. I want to see you, so I can convince myself that it's really happening, and not a dream."

He laid back on the bed, adjusting his sprawl so that Alex had easy access to him. As Alex moved to enter him, Mulder felt a sense of contentment that was quite alien to him. It felt right, in a way that almost nothing, including the kiss with Scully, in his life did.

The feeling of rightness was still there afterwards, with a sleepy Alex tucked against his side, both of them drifting into sleep.

Alex roused himself enough to ask Mulder, "Weren't there some things you wanted to ask me?"

"It can wait until tomorrow. Anyway, Scully needs to hear it too." And with that, Mulder fell asleep.