torch, 1998

Disclaimer: what, again? For Te and Alicia, because I can too let him be happy. Do not archive this story without permission.

After such dreams

He shifted, and the movement brought awareness; blinked and then closed his eyes again abruptly against the brightness of the sun. Heat on his face, almost on the verge of sunburn. Wind in his hair. He dragged a hand up slowly to shield his face and looked again.

He was sitting, or rather sprawling, in the driver seat of a convertible, the leather of the seatback soft against the back of his neck. The car was parked at the edge of a cliff. Less than a yard away from the front wheels, a sheer drop of harsh rock face. The sea rolled down there, in brisk, choppy, glittery waves; stretched out towards the horizon, almost lost in the distant sun haze, unbroken by islands or boats or windsurfers. Sky above him, blue, smudged with a few thin clouds, a huge arching vault, so fucking big and still it seemed to hold only him and this place, this strange sunny beautiful solitude.

Alex Krycek shifted his shoulders under his leather jacket. He shrugged out of it, sighed as the breeze coaxed the sweat-soaked t-shirt to fall free of his skin. His mouth was a little dry, but nothing hurt, and he still had all the body parts he remembered having before he'd woken up here. Opening the car door, he swung his legs out and stretched before pushing himself upright and stretching again. There was a dirt road leading up to this place, almost blending in with the dry grass and the few flowers. And there was a house that the road led to... more of a driftwood cabin, actually, grey and faded, ramshackle. Looking deserted.

Walking up to the edge of the cliff, he looked down at the sea, and at the strip of narrow beach. Dark shapes... seals? Then perspective readjusted itself. Sea lions. He took a deep breath, smelling the air. Paranoia and fear wouldn't come, only perverse cheerfulness. The sunshine was warming the tension out of him. He sat down with his legs dangling over the edge and just breathed for a while, squinting out over the water, trying to identify the birds that flew by, knowing his nose would be red and peeling tonight.

There was something about being here that made him feel safe.

After a while he remembered that he'd had a pair of sunglasses in an inside pocket of his jacket at some point. He got back up, went to lean over the side of the car, and saw the grocery bags in the back seat. Two of them, very well filled — the top items that he could see were bread and strawberries and grapes. Krycek shook his head slowly. His stomach rumbled. He reached out, plucked a grape from its stem and ate it. Then another. And another. Then he worked a chunk of bread loose and tore into it. It tasted wonderful. He dug deeper into the bags, found sliced, garlic-heavy salami, sheep's cheese, a jar of artichokes in marinade. A pineapple. Toothpaste.


He managed to pick up both bags, looked down the road again and found it as empty as before, and went towards the cabin. The path was well-worn, walked smooth, and the cabin door was unlocked, yielding to his simple push.

The inside was one single room. To the left, a small window over a sink, a countertop, a stove, a few cupboards. Ahead, a scarred wooden table; he went to it, put the bags down. To the right — the far wall, facing the cliff and the sea, wasn't a wall at all, was glass, windows, half of them open to the sun and wind. And the sunlight fell in over a large bed platform that took up nearly a quarter of the available space. White sheets, comforters, blankets lay piled high and spilled over the edges like whipped cream on an extravagant cake. Somewhere in the middle, a dark head on a pillow, and as he watched the sleeper turned and flung off the covers and lay in a nearly naked sprawl, sun dappling the bare skin of his back.

Krycek walked closer, heedless of the way the wooden floor creaked under his boots. There was no mistaking this sleeping figure, the sleek body, the back of the neck, the edge of the jaw barely visible, face buried in the pillow. "Mulder," he said, his voice raspy and unused.

"Mmf." Fox Mulder stirred and turned over on his back again, yawned, opened his eyes. Smiled. "Hey, you're back. Did you find any strawberries?" He reached up and grabbed hold of Krycek's belt, and pulled him down.

The breath went out of him as he landed and Mulder wrapped himself around him, naked, sleepy, warmer than the sun. "What," he tried to say, but then Mulder kissed him. The high blue sky outside bleached white with heat. It was easy to ignore the slightly sour taste of sleep. Easy to just kiss him back, soft, soft lips, eager, wet tongue, a deep and luscious and incredibly familiar touch.

"You've burned your nose in the sun, Alex." Sleep-raspy chuckle. "I told you to use the suntan lotion. Did you get any strawberries?"

"Yeah," he managed to say, and was kissed again, a rich reward for the speaking of a single simple word. Kisses wandered over his face, along his jaw, touched down on his ear and he shivered. "I—"

Mulder sucked at his earlobe. "I get so damn horny when I sleep in the daytime," he said. Warm hands tugged at Krycek's belt. "I think that's why you keep telling me to take another nap—"

He whimpered, completely stunned by a sudden intimate caress, lying here almost fully dressed in a square of sunlight with Mulder moving over him, stroking through his clothes, under his clothes, undoing a bare minimum of buttons to free hard flesh and touch it tenderly, teasingly. "Please," he whispered.

"I love it when you get that look in your eyes." Mulder wriggled down, bent his head, flicked his tongue out, and Alex tried to swallow his cry of shocked delight. He arched up into the wet heat of Mulder's mouth and squeezed his eyes shut against the sensation.

Oh, God. God, so good. Better than anything had ever been. Alex fought for breath, and at the same time he wanted to laugh out loud, to shout with joy, fill the whole blue vault of the sky outside with a cry of love and delight. He didn't know where he was, when he was, was losing grasp of who he was. He didn't care. This was heaven, and he intended to stay.

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