Hard as hell

torch, May 1998

Disclaimer: This is a piece of non-profit fan fiction wherein characters I do not own behave in ways their creator won't allow them to in public. M/K first time, second season, 7000 words, no supporting characters. Not tested on animals. Thanks to Anna, Misha, Shoshanna and Susie for being my support system and for disagreeing on what kind of story this is, anyway.

For Sarah, in an attempt to distract her from the way I'm procrastinating on other things. (And Alicia, do I get to pick my bath gel now?) Do not archive this story without permission.

Hard as hell

This is not the worst moment of my life.

There have been others more painful, more embarrassing, certainly more threatening to my life and safety. The time Miss Crickard caught me cheating on the math test, or when I went flying over Dancer's head at the third jump and knocked out two teeth. The time my father caught me shoplifting, the time my mother caught me jerking off... the times I swore no one would ever catch me at anything, again. (I was very young then.) When Laurie threw her drink in my face at the prom. The night in Algiers when I got the scar along my ribs, and then caught the ferry back across the Mississippi and stayed on Bourbon Street until dawn, weaving my bleeding way through the crowd.

The pleasant breakfast date with the Invisible Man when he told me I was going to work for him, and why.

All those things were worse than this. At least, I'm pretty sure they were. I list them in my mind over and over, staring up at the ceiling, keeping my eyes fixed on one particular curve of shadow to keep them from drifting. Sheets lie loosely tumbled over my legs, and my hands itch to pull them up so I can hide under them. I want to put the pillow over my head and smother myself into oblivion. I don't want to be here. I want it all to go away.

"Seduce him," he said when we met in the parking garage this afternoon, blowing the words in my direction on a cloud of smoke. "You're just his type." He made it sound like a request to mail a letter for him. The same tone of voice he used the first time he asked me to kill.

"He's not my type," I said. His lack of reaction did not invite further explanation, but I said it anyway: "My type doesn't have a Y chromosome."

"Alex, what is more important to you, loyalty to your country or to your sexual preferences?" A delicate smoke ring. "Your type," more smoke as punctuation, "is whatever I say it is."

But it isn't as easy as that. Some things just don't change no matter what orders you're given. I went back, I ran around with Mulder for the rest of the day, I kept on looking adoringly at him, telling myself firmly that it would go no further. I guess I wasn't telling myself as much as I was telling my absent boss. It wasn't going to happen. No way.

Although sex with him wasn't on either my job description or my personal agenda, I quite like Mulder. He's not a bad guy, or half as sarcastically obnoxious as he's painted. Well, maybe half as, but no more. His social skills are seriously underused, but his professional talents are sharp. Mulder's a good agent, even when he's dealing with the Bureau's most boring cases instead of the insane adventures that used to make up his life before they closed down the X-Files division. I wonder if he had to take a pay cut when he stopped being division head, and if he did, how did he dress back then, for God's sake? No wonder people think he's arrogant, what with that manner and those suits. I thought so, too, before I got a glimpse of what goes on inside his mind.

But liking someone is a far cry from wanting to jump his bones. I don't do guys. The way I see it, it's enough that every female in the Bureau who doesn't think he's a nutcase, and some who do, wants to get into his expensive pants. Christ, people make passes at him when he's out working on a case, they look at him in the street. If he ever relaxed enough to smile, they'd probably grope him in crowded elevators.

I watched him more closely that afternoon, wondering what it would be like to be someone who felt that way about Mulder. It was an interesting mental exercise. We were driving back from interviewing the staff at a post office in Annapolis when he glanced over at me, as comfortable behind the wheel of the car as I've ever seen him anywhere, and asked casually, "You want to come over and watch the game? We could pick up some beer, order a pizza."

My first thought was to wonder what the hell he was up to. Yes, a while back he'd stopped looking at me like I was something he'd stepped in and he was trying to figure out how to scrape me off his shoe, but this display of friendliness was both unexpected and uncharacteristic. Maybe it meant that I'd finally made him accept sweet young Alex Krycek, the Mulder fan, in his life and that he was prepared to open up a little. That could be useful. If Mulder started to take me into his confidence, my boss might forgive me for overlooking his orders. On the other hand, maybe it meant that he was getting suspicious and was planning to pry some information out of me, using the pizza as an interrogation tool. Tell me all you know, or I will stuff an anchovy up your nostril!

"Sure," I said, hoping I hadn't been silent too long. "No anchovies, though."

Extra cheese on the pizza, and we spent fifteen minutes arguing about the damn anchovies. It made me wonder if he really had been planning to use them for some nefarious purpose of his own. Then we spent another fifteen minutes arguing about the beer. "I'm the senior agent," he muttered.

"Doesn't mean you can get me to drink Budweiser. Not in my free time."

Mulder said something about presenting me with a six-pack when we got to the office tomorrow, and I thought I caught a hint of something suspiciously like a grin. It didn't quite fit with my impression of him so far that he'd drink watery American beer and like it; I'd had him pegged mentally for the kind of guy whose favorite expensive import is only sold in two stores in the state.

His apartment wasn't what I had expected, either. I'd seen it in photos, on a couple of surveillance tapes, but they hadn't conveyed the true ambience of the place. I had thought it would be depressing, a dusty comfortless untidy bachelor den, but there was something curiously home-like and cosy about it — the well-worn couch, the colorful fish, the books piled on the coffee table, even the litter of papers and candy bars and loose change and coffee mugs and unlabeled disks around the computer. When the pizza arrived he shoved the books out of the way and went to the kitchen to get a roll of paper towels. Coming back again, he tossed me a can of Coke. I looked up at him.

"It's that or the Bud," he said a little smugly.

And then we settled down to watch the game.

I have no idea who won. Hell, I have no idea who played. There was so much else to keep track of. Pizza, Coke, inventory of the apartment, Mulder. Mostly I was wondering how I would have been reacting if I'd been who I said I was. Would I be more shy, or more chatty? Would I actually like Budweiser? Would I think that this was a natural development, or would I ask Mulder what was up and if he was over his hostility? Would I be a baseball fan?

Mulder didn't talk much, apart from stray comments on what was happening on the TV screen. I thought he'd lean back once the game was over to begin a detailed dissection, he seemed like such a fan. It would have been a good way to lead him into some relaxed conversation. Instead he stretched, and stood, and wandered over to his collection of video tapes without saying anything.

That made me a little nervous. I mean, I've read the files, I know what he's got there, and if he thought I was going to sit on his couch and watch alien autopsies or some multilimbed lacy underwear extravaganza with him... He picked out a tape, waved it in my direction without explanation and popped it in.

It turned out to be A Night at the Opera.

His choice raised even more questions for me. He hadn't even asked me if I wanted to stay, let alone watch a movie, let alone watch this movie. He wasn't really talking to me. Just settled down on the couch again, his face blandly unreadable for once. It made me nervous. And I kept getting distracted by the Marx brothers, too. It's hard to laugh and drink at the same time. My professional demeanor was suffering, but at least the reactions were in character.

When I'd finished choking on a mouthful of Coke and straightened up again, wiping my eyes, I caught Mulder's eyes on me; he had that thoughtful, focused look that generally means he's about to pull a mutated rabbit out of a hat and present it as a solution to whatever is troubling you. I damped my grin down to a more modest smile and gestured at the TV screen. "Is this some kind of personality test, Mulder?"

"Yeah," he said, his voice so flatly serious that he had to be kidding. "Which of the Marx brothers do you identify most strongly with?"

I would have choked again if there had been anything in my mouth to choke on; instead I just giggled weakly. "Nobody identifies with the Marx brothers," I said. Then I looked more closely at him. "Maybe people who drink Budweiser do. Wait, Mulder, don't tell me. Harpo, right?"

For a moment I thought I was going to get to try out what a cold pizza face mask could do for my skin, and then he started laughing too. "And I thought you didn't have a sense of humor."

"So that was the real test?"

"No, the Budweiser was the real test. You already failed." He shook his head in mock regret. "Cheap beer built this great country, Krycek. You're denying your true heritage."

It was a good thing I didn't have to try to explain my sudden chuckle. We settled down again and went on watching. I sipped my Coke and darted the occasional quick glance his way out of the corner of my eye. After a while I became aware that he was watching me, too, more than the movie, in fact. Our sideways looks would collide, I'd let my eyes skitter away, he'd keep watching a little longer, more calmly.

The thing about acting like a shy, geeky kid for long periods of time is that if you're not careful, you start to feel like a shy, geeky kid.

He got up and went to the kitchen, came back with another Bud in his hand and settled on the couch again, stretching his free arm out along the backrest. His fingers were, just barely, brushing against my shoulder. I could feel those small points of warmth brush up against the static electricity of my mostly synthetic shirt. People who write romantically about a touch being like an electric shock have never experienced a touch that is an electric shock. I twitched.

"Sorry," he said, but he didn't take his fingers away. He let them drift forward, until his hand was curved loosely around the back of my neck. Well, that settled the question of why he'd decided to invite me over. If there hadn't been a game on, would he have asked me to come see his fish? Or his etchings? The Invisible Man was right about me being Mulder's type, apparently. Oh, joy. For a moment I even entertained the suspicion that he was out there somewhere, laughing at me.

I wondered for a moment if pizza, beer, baseball and the Marx brothers were a normal prelude to a seduction between men, or if this was just Mulder being his endearingly wacky self. Then I recognized the thought for what it was, an attempt to distract myself, and shoved it resolutely aside. I had to decide what to do, how to respond. Leaping off the couch and slugging him wasn't an option, not if I intended to keep my assignment. Pouncing on him and saying 'What took you so long?' wasn't an option either, no matter what my boss would say. There had to be a way of conveying that I was straight but friendly, uninterested but unoffended.

While I racked my brains to come up with something to say, Mulder brushed his fingertips through the short hair at my nape. The movement was sensual more than sexual, almost as if he was petting a cat. I turned my head to look at him, try to figure this out, and found that he'd given up all pretense of watching the movie and was contemplating me instead, waiting for me to react to what he was doing. He seemed so calm, not nervous, not scared of rejection. Maybe I'd been overdoing those adoring looks a bit.

Mulder set his beer can down on the coffee table, then leaned forward towards me. His hand slid around to the side of my neck, thumb brushing up against my jaw, catching on the mid-evening stubble. I had time to think, 'oh shit, he's going to—' and then he kissed me.

His lips brushed over mine, softly, and I was tensing my muscles to pull back when his hand gripped me tighter and his mouth pressed down on mine and his tongue licked its way inside, pushy, aggressive. Women don't kiss like that. At least, no woman has ever kissed me like that. I didn't know what to do. I realized after a while that pulling back to say 'hey, what the hell are you doing' wasn't going to sound convincing, so I kissed him back, trying not to hear the Invisible Man's laughter at the back of my mind.

The moment I responded he was all over me like spilled coffee over a freshly printed report, pressing me against the back of the couch, sucking the air out of my lungs. I couldn't breathe. I lifted a hand to push him away and found myself gripping the front of his shirt, holding on for dear life.

It wasn't as though I was surprised at the intensity of the unleashed passion, per se. I've seen enough of Mulder to know what lies just underneath the surface, flaring up as anger all too often. But to have it directed at me — that was hard to understand and harder to deal with. I wriggled in his grip, he released my mouth and I rediscovered oxygen.

"Mulder—" I didn't know what to say, but I had to say something before he did that again. "Look, I've never — with another guy—"

I couldn't even finish the sentence, my tongue kept getting tangled up with my teeth, but his hands gentled on me. That soft touch at the back of my neck again, small soothing strokes. "Never?" A soft kiss to the corner of my mouth, another, absurdly, on the tip of my nose, and I had to smile a little. "We'll take it slow, Alex." Mouth brushing over my neck, just below my ear. "Nothing you don't want."

To keep myself from laughing hysterically at that, I took the initiative and pressed my lips against his again. If I'm ever on a camping trip and forget the matches, I'll get Mulder to put his mouth on the firewood. He made a pleased little sound and then his tongue was stroking mine and he was pulling my shirt free of my pants with one hand and tilting my head back with the other. If this was his idea of taking it slow, he must be a menace to life and limb when he's in a hurry. He shifted on the couch, mouth still on mine, turning to settle himself across my legs. I ran a hand over the curve of his spine to figure out where he was and how he was sitting; he arched into that simple touch as if his back was an erogenous zone. Maybe it is.

The weight of his body pressed me down. His groin pushed into mine, and I could feel that he was hard, which didn't exactly come as a surprise. Leaning forward again, he bit my neck. The hand that had pulled my shirt up slid inside, tracing over my chest, fingers resting for a moment right over my heart. Then he flicked his thumb over my left nipple and I jumped, or I would have jumped if there hadn't been a six-foot Federal agent sitting on my lap. "Mulder," I hissed without thinking, and he laughed a little and buried his face in my neck again, licking and sucking and biting and kissing. Well, I knew he was orally predisposed. When I started to worry that he was chewing through to the jugular, I tugged his head up, and he took that as a signal to kiss me.

There was more kissing than I had thought there would be. And his hands didn't stray below my waist while we sat there, although he made the most of what he did allow himself to touch. His hips moved, grinding against my pelvis. It was like having Elvis perform a lap dance. I didn't know what to do with myself, with my mouth, with my hands. I touched him, awkwardly; I responded to what he was doing to me, even more awkwardly. I had already told him that this was my first time with a guy, so it wasn't as though clumsiness would surprise him. I didn't think I could tell him I was saving myself for the wedding night, though.

Long, dizzy moments later, he surfaced to look into my eyes, thumb rubbing along my jaw. "Bedroom," he suggested, and his voice had gone from fine-grade sandpaper to rough, scraping against my eardrums. "If that's okay with you."

I opened my mouth to say no, better not, it was too soon, I was too shy, let's take a rain check. I couldn't get the words out past the obstruction in my throat. Looking at him mutely, I willed him to understand what I apparently couldn't say.

He kissed me again.

If his apartment had ever had air conditioning, it wasn't working. A window stood open to let in the muggy August night air. The humidity made my clothes cling to me, the way Mulder clung to me, uncomfortably tight, driving my temperature up. Then he slid backwards, releasing my mouth, and got to his feet. He hooked his hands under my arms and simply hauled me upright; I lost my balance, he lost his, and we stood swaying between couch and coffee table for a moment. Mulder chuckled in a way that invited me to share the joke and then moved away, clearly expecting me to follow.

I knew where the door was. I could go now, walk away from him and out of this apartment and this situation. In doing that, I would also walk away from my assignment, my job, and the protection of my boss. Mulder glanced at me over his shoulder, a bright and almost joyous look. Drawing a deep breath, I accepted that I was going to do this. Try to do this. If I thought hard enough about Laurie in the back seat of my first car, about Karma in her San Francisco apartment, about Jen in her grey business suit on the desk in her office...

The collar of my shirt was choking me.

He went into the bedroom, and I followed him. I knew the floor would be there under my feet when I put them down, but it was like standing at the top of a mountain, feeling the terrible pull, and finally deciding to jump. I told myself that I could make a few sacrifices for my country and my career, that I could take it, that Mulder was too considerate, in his own weird way, to actually hurt me. I told myself to remember to breathe or I'd pass out on the floor at his feet.

He grabbed me before I could fall, and pulled me down on the bed, winding himself around me. His mouth moved over me, my neck, throat, face, eating me like candy, sucking the sweat from my skin. The twisting movement as he kicked his shoes off rubbed his erection against my hip, and it was as if I could feel the pleasure he got out of that shooting through his whole body, could feel it tingle up from him into my hands, resting on his back, although he didn't make a sound.

With newfound determination I worked one hand in between us and started to unbutton his shirt. Mulder pulled back a little to make it easier for me and watched me intently. His eyes are actually more green than brown, at least in certain moods. I shivered despite my efforts to hold still. This wasn't going to work. I had to make it work. I stroked his chest, brushing lightly over the sparse hair, rubbing the callused edge of my thumb against a tightening nipple. He arched, soundlessly, as when I'd stroked his back, so I did it again. I hoped he wasn't going to ask me what the calluses were from.

After a few more moments of exploratory caresses, he pulled back more, to shrug out of the shirt, bend down and slip his socks off. I realized I was still wearing my shoes, but my move to get them off was interrupted by the sight of Mulder taking his pants off. He slid them down, kicked them onto the floor and looked at me. I was staring at his hard cock outlined through a pair of tight grey boxerbriefs. It all seemed unreal, and even more so when he took those boxers off. Not provocatively, not at all, he just pulled them off like they were something irrelevant that happened to be in the way of what he wanted. It made my breath catch in my throat. My heart was pounding.

Mulder smiled at me, very sweetly, and rolled over on top of me.

I could feel his warmth much more clearly now that there was one less layer of clothes between us. No, not warmth. The air was warm. Mulder was hot. He rubbed himself against me, still smiling, and I thought crazily that he'd smiled more at me tonight than I'd ever seen him smile since I met him. He kissed my chin, my Adam's apple, the hollow of my throat, and started to undo my shirt, kissing and licking at the skin of my chest as it was exposed. It all seemed to go very slowly, as if there were suddenly more of me to touch and caress than I'd ever been aware of before.

When the shirt was off, he slid down to take care of my shoes and socks, and he kissed my feet, my absolutely disgusting sweaty feet that had been tramping around in those shoes since seven-fifteen that morning. That was more of a shock than anything had been so far. "Mulder, you're a pervert," I blurted out.

He laughed and sucked at my toes. "This comes as a surprise to you?"

I knew what was going to happen next. He was going to take my pants off. He was going to take my briefs off. This was all going to go to hell. It was too much, too distracting; I couldn't concentrate on summoning up the fantasies of former sex partners that I'd counted on to sustain me, couldn't forget who I was in bed with. He pushed my legs apart and draped himself between them, over me, his face pressing against my belly, tongue dipping into my belly button. It made me jerk and suck my breath in and he did it again. I didn't notice he was unbuttoning my pants until he pulled the zipper down and his hand slipped inside.


"Nervous?" he asked me softly, fingers closing around my more-than-half-hard cock and pulling on it with firm knowing strokes. I was pushing into his touch before I even knew I was going to move. Then I wanted to pull back, but he was holding me, and drew his tongue along the waistband of my briefs before continuing, "It's okay, Alex. Just relax. Tell me if I'm doing something you don't like." And he hooked my briefs down and went down on me, swallowing me whole.

I don't think anyone has ever told him he was doing something they didn't like when he was giving head. Most of them probably weren't able to speak. I bit my lip until I tasted blood, clutched at the covers so hard my fingers started to cramp. Part of me wanted to scream and jump out the window. Part of me wanted to grab his head and fuck his mouth, hard, punishing him for how he made me feel.

Part of me wanted to just lie there and moan with pleasure at his touch.

It seemed to go on forever. He was slow and thorough and very patient. Eventually I started to realize, through the haze in my mind, that he wasn't trying to make me come. He went from sucking to licking and nibbling, and I could reclaim some of my thought processes — enough to wonder what was going to happen next. I wasn't going to do this to him. I couldn't. But I wanted him to keep on doing it to me. So I liked blow jobs, that didn't change anything about me. He was just a mouth to me, a really good mouth.

And my partner.

And my assignment.

And a guy I happened to like.

Who was now tongueing my balls and working my pants down my legs. I squirmed. His mouth followed my briefs down, sucking at the inside of my thigh, kissing my knee cap, the sole of my foot. When I was naked he moved up again to lie half on top of me, and the full body contact made me hiss through my teeth. There's nothing soft about him, he's hard and lean all over, but his skin is like silk. He kissed me and I clutched at him, trying to hold him still, but he was moving over me, pressing into me, rubbing us together. Rubbing our cocks together while he kissed me.

I tried to think of anyone I could turn to later to say, I didn't think it would be like this. But there isn't anyone, and I could never talk about it anyway, I know that now. I buried my face against his shoulder and tried to choke down the sounds in my throat. Mulder stroked my hair, the back of my neck, and moved down to lick at my nipples. It gave me time to catch my breath again. Until he bit down, gently and then not so gently, and I couldn't stop myself from crying out. And once he'd heard that he wouldn't stop, he went on and on, shifting from one nipple to the other, the sensation almost bordering on pain.

Gasping for breath, I clutched at his head with one hand, unsure whether I wanted to shove him away or hold him closer. My fingers tried to find a grip in his hair, but it's too short. I was terrified. My cock rubbed against his taut stomach and I was suddenly on the verge of coming. I don't know if he felt it in the way I tensed up, but he moved, rolling away from me and leaving me alone and panting, cut off from the heat of his skin and dimly aware that this ought to bring me back to my senses. Pushing myself up on one elbow, I looked at him and saw him rummaging around in the drawer of the bedside table.

Warning bells started to sound in my head. Mulder turned back with a plastic tube and a strip of condoms in one hand and every muscle in my body tightened up at once. He looked at my face and desire turned to concern in his eyes; he moved closer again. "Mulder, don't, I can't, I don't want to—" I was babbling.

He reached over me and put the stuff down, pulled me in close. "It's all right, Alex, just relax. I told you, nothing you don't like." Clever mouth on mine, on my throat, brushing over my nipple again, cutting the terror with terrible excitement. Hand stroking down my side, my hip, moving in to close around my cock. I couldn't help it, I pushed up against his palm. He curled up over me, kept touching me, lips, one hand, the other hand. Then I heard the rip of a condom package being opened and jerked my head up to see him take it out and toss the foil aside. He caught my eyes and smiled warmly before bending his head and applying his concentration to putting the condom on me.

I was lost. I'd never been so passive in bed with anyone before, but he didn't seem to mind. He picked the tube up and uncapped it, squeezing out a dollop of clear lubricant to smear over my latex-covered cock, then another dollop. He was kneeling over me now, and reached around behind himself, his eyes steady on mine. I knew what he was doing. The thought made me blush. He was unashamed, moving his hips against his own fingers; a drop of precum fell from the tip of his cock to land on my thigh. I looked at his eyes, his mouth, his body over mine. I could do this. It couldn't be that different. I could cope. I could handle it.

Mulder moved forward and steadied my cock with his lube-smeared hand as he began to lower himself. The resistance I felt seemed far too firm, but he kept pushing against me, slowly, and then I felt muscle yielding and I began to slip inside, into a devastatingly tight grip. He worked himself down on me at his own pace, and I lay unmoving, breathing shallowly. The words weren't working any more. 'Tight' and 'hot' had changed their meaning, been redefined. I was gripping the covers again.

"Ah," it was no more than a soft exhalation as he settled fully onto me, tilting his head back. He sat like that for a little while, keeping me firmly buried inside him, and then he moved up, down, shifting his hips as if searching for the right angle, and moaning when he found it. His movements grew more determined, and I pushed my hips up to meet him as he sank down.

It wasn't a sight I'd ever thought I would see. Mulder naked, gleaming with sweat, face open with pleasure, rocking back and forth with a cock up his ass.

My cock.

I couldn't think about it. I couldn't think about how it felt, it was too much — no, it was just fucking, just my dick pushing into a tight hole, I could handle this. This was just what my boss had asked of me. Except that he'd asked me to seduce Mulder, and Mulder had seduced me. Was curling forward over me now, pulling my head up to kiss me. I met his tongue with my own and tried to push my hips up at the same time, tried to bury myself deeper in him. He groaned into my mouth.

Reaching back, he held the base of my cock and lifted himself up, off. "No," I panted, in sudden unstoppable protest.

"My knees are killing me," he said with breathless laughter and lay down next to me, rolling onto his side. I spooned around him and he drew one leg forward, and I pushed against him again, guiding my cock inside, more easily this time. His muscles clutched at me, hips pushing back. "God, that feels so good, Alex..."

Lying like this, I controlled the pace and the hardness of my thrusts. I went faster, deeper, a little rougher. He hooked his leg back around mine and drove himself against me. I could see that he was jerking himself off at the same time, at the same pace, the movements of his hand on his cock echoing those of my cock in his ass. He was twisting against me and I gripped him harder, in case he twisted away. I was so deep inside him, he was so tight around me, moaning, panting, and then his hand moved at its own wild speed and he went rigid, crying out, and spasmed—

—all of him, all his muscles clenching, the muscles of his ass clenching down on me hard enough that it was almost pain and squeezing my cock and I slammed into him and it was so tight hot fast—

I bit the back of his neck when I came, my fingers gripping his hip hard enough to bruise.

He relaxed against me bit by bit, muscle by muscle, until he was lying almost limp, drawing deep, slow breaths. My fingers were still digging into his hip, but he didn't complain. I let go, and circled my cock instead, holding the condom in place as I pulled out. Mulder made a small sound suggesting faint discomfort. Rolling over on my back, I closed my eyes and wondered if this was what my boss had had in mind. If so, what was I supposed to do now? Ask leading questions and hope that Mulder, in a state of post-coital lassitude, would let some incriminating answers slip?

I was in a state of post-coital lassitude myself, and the questions in my mind had nothing to do with classified military information.

After a while he turned around to face me, pulled the condom off me with careful hands and got up off the bed, walking towards the bathroom. He looked more comfortable walking around naked in front of me than he had behind the wheel of the car. He looked more comfortable than I'd ever seen him. He looked satisfied. Two thoughts arrived at once: that I'd made him look like that; that he'd used me to make himself look like that.

I wanted to get up and leave. It might be in character for shy, awkward, I've-never-done-this-before Krycek to just run away, overwhelmed by the experience. Then I sighed to myself. Shy, awkward, I've-never-done-this-before Krycek was presumably attracted to men, had admired Mulder for a long time, had just had sex with him and found it a mind-blowing experience. He was more likely to find a flower and start plucking the petals: he loves me, he loves me not...

When Mulder came back with a damp washcloth I'd drawn the pillows together and was leaning against them, half sitting up. He smiled at me, one of his warm and open, unguarded smiles, and sat down by me on the bed, wiping my cock gently. No one had ever done that for me before. It felt weird. I looked at Mulder, at the relaxed look in his eyes.

"Maybe I'd better go," I said.

He shook his head. "Not yet," he said. "You look too tense, Alex. You look like you're going to go home and brood and regret things." And he tossed the washcloth aside and leaned forward to kiss my forehead, my eyebrow, my eyelid, my temple, cheek, jaw, the corner of my mouth. "I know all about that." Chin. "And it's not." Throat. "A good." Light, fleeting touches. Shoulder. "Idea." The hollow by my collar bone. Then he looked up briefly. "Try smiling," he suggested and went back to planting kisses down my body.

Lips against one of my sore nipples made me twitch. He'd chewed them almost raw before. Now he was gentle, lapping softly, and I was so sensitive the feeling was almost more intense than when he'd bitten them. But—

"Mulder, I just — we just — I won't be able to—"

"Ssshh," he said, apparently speaking to my breastbone, and went on. Only when he had thoroughly soothed my nipples did he continue on down, fluttering so lightly over sides and belly that I almost giggled from ticklishness. He kissed my hip bone, ran his fingertips along the inside of my thigh. It felt good. His tongue came to lap at my balls, then moved up to the base of my shaft. "You're a healthy young man, Alex." The words sent vibrations through me. "Don't worry, the night isn't over yet."

And he went on, licking, kissing, working on my cock with his soft lips and flexible tongue. The way I was lying, it was easy to look at what he was doing. Mulder's mouth on me. Mulder's fingers stroking my thighs, my balls. He was right, I was getting hard again, and he sucked me inside, swirling his tongue around me.

I could have closed my eyes and pretended he was someone else, but I didn't. I did close my eyes; the sensations were getting intense. The random thought floated through my mind that if he started asking me probing questions right now, I might well answer. But he wasn't going to ask anything — his mouth was full. I couldn't believe he was crazy enough to do this without a condom; couldn't find the air to question him on that.

His fingers pushed my balls up and his thumb stroked along the strip of skin below, making me shiver. When his hand moved away I missed it, though his mouth sucked harder as if to compensate. I noticed that one of my hands was curved around the back of his neck, although I had no memory of putting it there. Mulder's fingers returned cool and slick, brushing against my asshole, and I tensed up abruptly and tried to pull away.

"Sorry," he said softly, breathing on the head of my cock. "It's okay, Alex, I'm not going to roll you over and fuck you, not now, not tonight. I just want to make you feel good." One finger touched me again, drawing a light circle, making me aware of just how sensitive I was there. I looked down at Mulder, relieved to find that he wasn't looking at my face but pushing at my foreskin with his tongue instead, and remembered him fingering himself and enjoying it.

He sucked my cock, and went on sliding slippery fingers around my hole, increasing the pressure so gradually that I didn't notice until the tip of one finger pushed inside. It startled me enough that I gasped out loud. But it didn't actually hurt. And his mouth, God, what he was doing with his mouth...

I lay there, letting him do this to me, letting him touch me like that, and then I very carefully drew one of my legs up just a little bit to make it easier. He made a sound around the head of my cock, tiny vibrations, butterfly wings. His finger pushed in deeper, twisted, rubbed against — something

I nearly screamed. He did it again. His mouth tightened around me and his finger moved, in and out, stroking that place inside that sent heated pulses into my cock, up into my brain. It was impossible not to push back, not to want more.

Panting, overwhelmed, I arched up into his mouth and he deep-throated me, taking me inside himself yet again, and pushing a part of himself inside me. I could see it even with my eyes closed, his head between my legs, his hand, and then he stroked me again, inside.

I came so hard I saw stars. And I had no shoulder to bite down on. I came screaming his name. It seemed to still echo from the walls of the room as I realized what I'd done.

This is not the worst moment of my life. It just feels like it. I stare at the ceiling and try to erase even the memory of pleasure from my body, my mind. I don't do guys; this was work, nothing else. Something I had to do.

He kisses my softening cock one last time and comes up to lie beside me, pulling the covers along. I can't hide from him. Mulder curls around me, pulling my head into the crook of his neck, wrapping his arm around me. "You can stay here tonight," he says quietly into my hair. "You can borrow a clean shirt from me tomorrow." I can't look at him. I can't say anything to him. I don't want to lie like this, but my arm goes around him anyway, automatically. "You taste good, Alex." A soft chuckle. "Sweet dreams."

His chin is digging into my temple and I shift to get comfortable. The only way to do that is by snuggling in closer. Snuggling. My boss would approve of this, of all of it. I don't want to think about that. I can't explain to him that this was not a job well executed. I can never tell him just how it all went wrong.

I want to cry. Instead, I fall asleep.

* * *

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