torch 1997

Disclaimer: I wish they were mine, but they aren't. Mulder and Krycek belong to CC and 1013. I added the smut and the bad jokes. Title cheerfully stolen from Dylan Thomas' Fern hill. Written for Nicci's Mulder-in-enclosed-space-with-naked-Krycek challenge. Admittedly they don't stay there very long, but I hope it counts anyway. This is another back-when-they-were-partners story, just because... well, because I wanted a nice sweet tale without any aggression, fist-fighting, name-calling and all that other bad stuff. ;-) There's a remarkable lack of safe sex in here. I wasn't up to writing condoms this time.

Comments are very welcome. :-) Do not archive this story without permission.

In the lamb white days

"There's purple goo in your hair."

Mulder spat. "No kidding. I feel like I've got purple goo between my teeth."

"Let me have a look," Krycek said seriously. Mulder laughed and shook his head, and felt some of the goo slide down his neck. "Maybe it's poisonous."

"I doubt it, or we'd have found dead foxes around those cows — don't say it," he added hastily as Krycek looked up with a glint in his eyes. "Stupid case."

"You're the one who tripped and fell."

Mulder looked at the remains of the dead cow, now mostly a steaming purple heap. Something was killing these animals and turning them into Slime [tm], some mysterious force that had it in for bovines, some bored alien who thought 'moo' meant 'kill me now' or just had a really perverted sense of humor. Or maybe it was a side effect of the latest brand of weed killer. "You didn't even help me up."

"Would two ruined suits be better than one?"

"Nothing can make that suit of yours any worse," Mulder said in resignation. He reached out and grabbed Krycek by the arm and tripped him up neatly, sending him sprawling into the purple mess.

Krycek stared up at him, stunned. "What the hell—"

"You were laughing at me," Mulder intoned seriously.

"I was not!"

"Oh yes, you were."

"I was not!" Krycek insisted, although one corner of his mouth was starting to twitch.

"You were, you were laughing at me, Krycek, and now you have to suffer for it."

"I'm suffering." Krycek wrinkled his nose and laughed at the same time. "I'm suffering, all right? God, this smells horrible. Help me up." Mulder pulled his partner to his feet. "Can I assume you'll be paying for the damage to the car seats?"

Damn. He'd forgotten that they had to drive back to the motel. And they weren't even supposed to be investigating dead cows (Mulder closed his eyes for a moment, picturing the look on Skinner's face), he'd just heard of it and thought it sounded interesting, and they were here anyway, and the killer they were supposedly chasing most definitely was not. He raised his eyes to the skies, hoping for a little rain to take the worst of it away, but no such luck.

"The farm," he said finally, nodding his head towards the house in the distance. "They'll let us use their bathroom."

"If they're home," Krycek said pessimistically. "And having an FBI badge doesn't really entitle you to use up other people's hot water, you know."

"Yes, it does," Mulder said firmly. He grabbed Krycek by the arm again, turned him around and started to drag him along across the field. "This is an emergency situation. I'll shoot myself if I have to walk around smelling like this much longer."

They trudged across the field, passing several more extremely deceased cows. Even the flies stayed away from the purple mess. Mulder looked at Krycek, who had a purple smear across his forehead and whose suit was practically plastered to his body. Then he had to admit he looked just as bad himself.

At least the lights were on. Someone had to be home. They rang the doorbell and didn't have to wait long; a plump, grey-haired woman opened the door, and the smell of fresh bread that wafted out almost overpowered the stench of the purple goo. "Oh, you poor boys!" she said. She wore an apron and had a dot of flour on her nose; at that moment, Mulder felt she was the girl of his dreams.

"We're Federal agents," Mulder said, fishing around for his ID. The slime had gotten into his pockets, and the picture resembled nothing so much as a special effect in a Fifties horror movie.

"And we need a shower," Krycek added piteously, fixing the woman with a pleading puppy-dog stare that looked damn near lethal.

The woman all but dissolved into a puddle of goo herself. "Of course you do!" She opened the door a little wider, as if to invite them in, then a remnant of sense asserted itself. "Wait right there." They waited right there while she bustled off and a moment later returned with a pile of towels. She opened the door to the right and went in there. Mulder caught a glimpse of porcelain tiles. He yearned for them. "We don't have much hot water," the woman said as she came out again. "You'll have to take turns." She held the front door open wider. "Hurry in now, and try not to drip on the floor."

Both of them at the same time? Mulder shrugged. He was the senior agent. He had first dibs on the shower. Krycek could just suffer, again, although it would be a bit too unkind to make him stand outside the house and suffer. Besides, it would mean that he finally got to see Krycek out of that ugly suit, a prospect that held more than a passing interest for him.

They dashed across the hall and into the bathroom; Mulder closed the door.


He turned around to see what had caused the smile in Krycek's voice, and beheld a huge claw-footed tub, with a yellow rubber duck perched on the rim. Definite wow factor there, and the duck was cute. There was no shower curtain. There was no shower, period. Just the tub. "We'd be better off pouring buckets of water over each other," he groused.

"It might be better to start that way," Krycek agreed in that disconcerting way he had of sounding perfectly serious when Mulder was trying to make a wry joke. His hands were already tugging at his tie, unbuttoning his shirt. "Do you see a bucket anywhere?"

"No." Mulder looked around anyway, but found that his spontaneous answer had been the right one. When he turned back he saw that Krycek was stripping, completely unembarrassed. He looked like the product of a thousand locker-room hours, when taking your clothes off was just something that you did, a necessary preliminary to putting on the team shirt, or getting in the shower. On his pale skin, the purple smears stood out like bewildered refugees from an abstract painting.

Mulder started to untangle his tie. The goo made it squish unpleasantly between his fingers. He felt silly. It wasn't that he minded getting undressed in front of someone else. But none of his scenarios for getting Krycek out of his suit had included purple goo and little old ladies, or Krycek asking for a bucket. Thinking about it, he had to suppress a snort of laughter.

Krycek, still wearing briefs and socks, paused in his undressing to turn the water on. Mulder had been told repeatedly by lovers who'd sounded pretty damn sure of what they were saying that nothing was less sexy than a man who took off his pants before taking off his socks. To his amazement, he was just discovering that they had been completely wrong. Krycek was bending forward over the tub, adjusting the water temperature. Oh... God. Briefs, socks and purple goo made for the hottest combination Mulder had seen in his life. And if he'd had any idea of just how good those shoulders looked, and those legs, and that — Mulder swallowed — that ass, he'd have ripped the clothes off his partner a long time ago.

"There isn't enough hot water to run two baths," Krycek reported, still using that matter of fact voice.

"I get to go first," Mulder said immediately, wadding his shirt up and using it to wipe off the worst of the mess. He took his pants off as well, and looked sadly at the remains of what had been a very nice suit once. No use crying over ruined clothes, and besides, it would be a full-time job. Instead he stripped off underwear and socks and climbed into the tub. "Ah. There is a heaven after all."

"I never imagined heaven would be full of dead cows," Krycek said, throwing his socks on top of the pile of clothing. "You're going to need someone to wash your back." Mulder was still trying to work out the connection there when Krycek got in the tub with him. "Hand me the washcloth."

It was a big tub, but not so big that two tall men could share it without bumping into each other. Mulder felt he ought to say something, possibly along the lines of 'what the hell do you think you're doing?' Instead he handed Krycek washcloth and soap, and moments later Krycek was washing his back. Mulder sighed; he should have known that there was no real limit to how surreal his day might get. "And do you expect me to wash your back in return?" he asked.

"Of course," Krycek said. Hang on a moment, Mulder thought. No one could possibly be that matter of fact in a situation like this. He tried to squirm around, splashing some water over the edge of the tub. "Mulder! All the hot water will end up on the floor if you jump around like that."

The washcloth slid across his shoulders and down across his chest. "Krycek, stop it."

"But you're not clean yet." The soft touch hovered right over his nipples before returning to his shoulders again and sliding safely down his arms. Mulder cursed silently.

"That's not what I meant." He made an effort to turn his head 180 degrees, but only caught a glimpse of Krycek over his shoulder before his muscles protested. "You can drop the oblivious act. You know and I know that this is not standard behavior for field agents."

"I'm just trying to be helpful," Krycek said, in a tone of faintly injured innocence.

"Yes, but—" Mulder had to catch his breath as the washcloth returned to his chest and grazed his nipples, sliding down towards his stomach. "Actually, there is something I need you to give me a hand with."

"Really?" Before he could turn around and smack his partner, Mulder felt a warm touch on the back of his neck, lips and tongue and teeth, a caress that set him shivering. "Just a hand?"

Mulder laughed and finally allowed himself to lean back; arms came up around him and Krycek went on nibbling on his neck. He could feel Krycek's erection pressing into the small of his back. Surreal or not, this was turning into a really good day. "Maybe that purple stuff is an aphrodisiac," he speculated, tilting his head back to give Krycek better access.

"No," Krycek disagreed with absolute certainty. "But it's a very good excuse." The washcloth had been abandoned and Krycek's hands stroked along Mulder's sides, curving up around his ribcage, fingers dancing along the skin to play with his much-teased nipples. Krycek flicked his tongue in Mulder's ear. Mulder closed his eyes with a contented moan, only to open them again abruptly as the bathroom door opened and their hostess came in.

"Sorry to disturb you," she said brightly, "but I thought you'd need some clean clothes. They're my son's, but he left them behind when he moved. I'm sure he wouldn't mind."

Somewhere Mulder found the presence of mind to say "Thank you," and she smiled at them and walked out again. "I thought you locked that door."

"You went in after me." Krycek's teeth nipped at his ear lobe. "I think we'd better get back to the motel."

Mulder could only agree. They rinsed themselves off quickly and got dressed as best they could in worn jeans that had to be belted in at the waist and huge checked flannel shirts. Mulder looked up from fiddling with the buttons to find a look on Krycek's face that he could only describe as extremely amused. He smiled; the shell had finally cracked, it seemed. "It's not really you either, you know."

That got him a look through long eyelashes that was positively flirtatious, before Krycek left the bathroom to go ask for plastic bags for their clothes. Mulder was about to suggest that they leave them there and ask the woman to burn them, but then he remembered he had some stuff in his pockets, and he might talk someone into doing an analysis of the goo. He emptied the tub, dug out the car keys and hefted the plastic bag Krycek gave him without too much distaste.

Not much was said between them as they walked back to the car, prudently going around the field this time, and turning now and then to wave good-bye to their benefactress, who seemed determined to stand on the porch and watch them for as long as she could. Mulder wondered if she found FBI agents necking in her bath tub on a regular basis, or if she was, perhaps, extremely myopic.

When they got back to the motel they left the plastic bags in the trunk. Mulder felt suddenly uncertain. He looked at Krycek, who even in jeans and an outsized shirt was managing to appear every inch the young and proper agent once again. Was this the man who'd licked his neck half an hour ago? And how could he be induced to do it again?

"Come on," Krycek said as he caught him by the wrist, dragged him inside and shut the door. "If anyone walks in on us now, I'll shoot them." Apparently that wasn't going to be a problem. Krycek pressed Mulder against the wall and drew a finger slowly down the side of his face. They looked at each other for a long moment and then Mulder leaned slightly forward and caught Krycek's mouth with his own.

There was a brief moment of uncertainty, and then they were kissing, really kissing, a kiss that obliterated everything in Mulder's mind except the need to get as close to Krycek as was physically possible. He wrapped his arms around Krycek and held on tight, then gradually let his hands slide down to cup the ass he'd admired earlier, pulling them even closer, groin to groin, hardness teasing hardness through several infuriating layers of cloth. He couldn't even think coherently about what he wanted. There were so many wonderful possibilities, and the way Krycek kissed was melting his brain.

"Bed," he said when they took a much-needed oxygen break. Krycek was leaning back just enough to get a hand up to unbutton his shirt. Once he was done with that, he pressed in close again and ran the tip of his tongue delicately around Mulder's ear before chewing on the ear lobe. Mulder tilted his head back and closed his eyes. "Bed?"

"Not against the wall?" Krycek bit his neck. "Or on the floor, or across the table, or in the shower..." Warm hands slipped inside his unbuttoned shirt and stroked across his skin. "We could probably manage on the chair, too."

Mulder pushed himself away from the wall and tugged Krycek along, incapable of letting go of him long enough to walk normally; after a few staggering paces they hit the bed and fell down on it. "Bed first," he said. "Then the shower. And against the wall, and across the table, and on top of the TV set if you like." He pushed the shirt aside and kissed the hollow above Krycek's collar bone, and then the slighter indentation below it, licked at his skin to learn the taste of him. Mulder let his tongue trace a slow path down Krycek's chest, pausing to lick lazily across a nipple until he heard a moan. "You taste good."

"Purple?" Krycek was kicking off his shoes and a moment later he was divesting Mulder of his — someone's — checked shirt. Mulder retaliated, and found it was a lot more fun to undress Krycek than to watch him strip. He was so warm, pleasantly muscular, and his skin was like silk.

"No." Naked, skin to skin, they both gasped. "Just good." Another kiss, and Krycek's thigh between his own, their cocks sliding against each other. That felt almost too good. Mulder slid a hand down to Krycek's hips and held them still with an effort. "Not yet," he whispered, biting Krycek's shoulder.

So they spent a long, slow time kissing, licking, tasting and touching, fingers and tongues learning shape and texture. Krycek felt good to touch, Mulder thought as he explored, and good to be touched by, too. Somehow he had expected the other man to be a bit awkward in bed, or even jittery, but out of his clothes, Krycek was sleek and dangerous and completely uninhibited. His hands moved with quiet assurance, finding all the right places. Mulder felt an unexpected twinge of jealousy, imagining all the other bodies that had taught those hands their skill. Then he shrugged it aside and caressed right back, enjoying his partner's response. They teased each other, rolling across the bed, until Krycek called a halt to the game by holding Mulder tight and freezing him in place with a kiss.

Mulder had one hand free and he ran it down Krycek's back, tracing the spine, scratching lightly with his nails. He drew his head back and looked into Krycek's eyes, saw dilated pupils and green fire, the same deep, sweet ache that filled his own body. When he stroked Krycek's ass he couldn't hold back a low growl, and he saw an answering flash in those clear eyes, laughter and desire. "Yes," Krycek said, moving closer and licking at his ear. "Oh, yeah. Fuck me."

He could barely breathe, but his cock grew impossibly harder. Mulder pushed two fingers into Krycek's mouth and then moaned as his partner sucked at them, licked, ran his tongue up and down. Krycek was panting, too, as he rolled towards Mulder and pushed his leg in between Mulder's, giving him better access. Lubricant, he thought distantly and then he was touching Krycek's ass again, fingers moving in towards the tight waiting heat. He heard a gasp, felt a shudder, and worked a finger gently inside. Teeth grazed his neck.

A second finger caused a low keening moan, and the sound of it set his blood on fire in a slow conflagration that started at the back of his neck and flared up in his cock. Krycek was moving, rocking slowly against Mulder's fingers. "Lube," he managed to say, grateful that he could get the word out when all he wanted to do was roll Krycek over and fuck him senseless.

Krycek drew a deep, slightly ragged breath and rolled over on his back, letting one hand fall over the edge of the bed. A little later he brought up a battered tube; Mulder watched as he opened it, squeezed out a generous amount of clear gel and reached down to smear it all over Mulder's fingers and his own stretched opening. Mulder pushed his fingers in deeper, spreading the lube around. Then he felt warm hands and cool gel on his cock and froze, growling again; he couldn't help it. No more waiting. He rolled up to kneel between Krycek's legs. Krycek pulled his legs up and raised his hips invitingly. The last coherent words in Mulder's mind were, he can't be for real, and then he pushed inside slowly, slowly, slowly.

Looking up, he saw that Krycek was lying with his head thrown back, mouth slightly open. Mulder tried a slow thrust, and Krycek moaned in total and unashamed pleasure. He sank forward, deep inside that slick heat, and Krycek caught him there, ankles locking behind Mulder's neck. "Come on," a soft purr, "do it, do it to me."

And he did, again and again, long deep gliding strokes, and Krycek moved with him, rising up to meet him, making soft throaty sounds that threatened to burn every last shred of control out of him. He was only aware of sensation and desire, hot tight wonderful more, and time slipped away as he tried to hold off the final pleasure a little longer.

Then Krycek twisted up against him more forcefully, back arching, and Mulder felt the added tension and thrust in deep. Krycek stiffened and came with a raw sound like a sob, tightening almost painfully, and that pleasure-pain ran through Mulder and ripped him wide open. "Yes." Was that his own voice, only faintly heard over the thundering of his pulse?

He had barely enough strenght left to control his forward motion and lie down on Krycek's chest rather than fall flat on it. Arms wrapped around him. They were both slick with sweat, but clung together, ignoring the heat.

When Krycek finally spoke his voice was almost back to its usual matter of fact tones. "Do I get to call you Fox now?"

"No." Mulder rested his head on Krycek's shoulder. He didn't think he could open his eyes. Maybe some time next year.

Krycek shrugged, not easy for someone lying down and squashed almost flat by another man. His hand curved around the back of Mulder's neck, then moved upwards, fingers rubbing at the scalp in tender soothing motions.

Then the hand stopped.

"You still have purple stuff in your hair."

* * *

Green and carefree

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