A Boy and His Rat, Part 10

by C. M. Decarnin


Mulder had amused himself imagining the kind of car Krycek would be driving. Actually he was used to thinking of him as encased in some sort of military vehicle, but not today surely, and the stick shifts would be problematic. The same consideration ruled out any of the murderous sleek sports cars he might have matched up with Krycek's swath of predation. A menacing black sedan with dark windows?

The last thing he had expected was the oatmeal-colored Corolla.

Rigorously anonymous, when it blended into the commuter traffic it would be all but invisible.

It made sense.

But still.

He got in. Taking the first glimpse of Krycek's face like a blow, the shock of him sheeting down the front of Mulder's body. That look like an eagle spotting prey from the air.

"Where to?" Krycek asked. The voice sending a deeper shock through him.

Mulder gazed at him. He watched Krycek pump up inside like a Coleman fire, their eyes locked by the magnetism that drew his cells to his lover's. Mulder closed his eyes, faced forward and breathed.

"Head toward Falls Church," he said faintly. I'll never make it, he thought. Neither of us will.

It was a friend's house. The friend was away. He'd fallen all over himself offering to water the plants.

They did make it, and Mulder let them in.  Locking the door behind them he led the way to the back hall, and into the master bedroom.

Krycek came through the door slowly, looking.

"Wow."  His eyes swept the room, and stopped again on the object in the middle.  "A bed."

He looked at Mulder and saw that now, in this pointedly appropriate setting, the guy got awkward.


He could fuck like a wild thing on mink coats and Rolls Royces but not properly, on a California king bed.

Or maybe it was just too declasse.

Maybe obscene wealth turned Mulder on.

Or maybe in this citadel of normality he saw how deeply, darkly, Krycek didn't belong.

He suddenly felt like a wild animal brought into this suburban home, infernal, a piece of the night, forever other.  Slinking along by the wall, alert to the surrounding threat, alien scent, presence.  He might invade,
but he would never den where humans lived.

He licked his lips.

Mulder had slid his hands into his pants pockets.

A minute ago they had been so hot they could hardly wait.

Should he go over to Mulder?  Let Mulder come to him?  Quiet panic: were they not going to fuck at all then?

His eyes met Mulder's with desperation.

And saw the shyness and understood. It really was the normality that was fucking with Mulder's head.  Reinserting social standards in between them, of how things were done, the polite ways to segue from standing around in clothes to naked, grunting, sweating, nailed. Moves. What Mulder had never been
good at.

What Krycek was very, very good at.

He knew a hundred ways from now to then, he was a time traveller. A shift of weight, a stroke of his own fingers beside his crotch, a lift of his chin. Words. He knew words that could bring a man to his knees, have a man's cock in his mouth in seconds, make a man beg and think it was his own idea.

He wouldn't.

Not to Mulder.

To his shock he understood in a bolt of insight how twin he was to Mulder in his ignorance. When had he ever come to a sexual encounter without either his tricks or a lust so pure it barely saw another?

Neither of them knew what the fuck they were doing.

Mulder was spiralling helplessly into an abyss of awkwardness when suddenly Krycek gave him a brilliant smile, and their eye-contact locked into Fuck Me mode, and it was okay, he knew what to say again.


With that wariness that was still a part of every look he gave Mulder, every move he made around him, Krycek came to him.

"I want to take your clothes off." Krycek's mouth opened, but he only breathed through it. He let Mulder unbutton him from collar to crotch, and push his jeans down. Mulder knelt, crumpling the jeans down further and pulling off Krycek's clumpy boot; stroking along under the sole of the foot before he pulled off the sock. Krycek tried to kneel then, and frantically sought his mouth. Mulder pushed him back up, and Krycek had to settle for pulling Mulder's t-shirt up his back, one-handed, and slowly tearing it up over head and arms.

Mulder finished taking off Krycek's clothes, leaving the shirt for last, parting it slowly and looking down at the erection it unveiled.

"Get on the bed," he whispered. "Kneel," he added. "On the edge." He felt Krycek jerk slightly back; and then comply more slowly. "No. Facing me."

He saw relief in the way Krycek looked at him. He set his hands on the naked flanks and eased Krycek to him. "Mm. Mm-hm."  He retreated, brought Krycek further toward him, and then rolled his pelvis into the hollow created between Krycek's thighs. "Oohh." He had to close his eyes a moment; the feel of Krycek's soft skin; under it, rolling strength -- wanting more, his hands slid down the delicious shapes, down hips and buttocks, around the thighs. Krycek nuzzled in against him. Mulder lowered his head and tasted the skin of Krycek's nipple, and Krycek straightened up again with a shudder.

Mulder pushed in, his jeans abrading across Krycek's erection, and Krycek arched backward, his naked thighs and loins open around Mulder. He twisted toward the left, the right, Mulder drinking in the sight of the beautiful delicately pelted skin, soft and vulnerable and human looking, he moved one hand around onto Krycek's abdomen and Krycek cried out softly, turning between his hands, eyes closed, face filled with anguished joy.

It was Krycek's muscles that were keeping him half-upright, a rigidity that dissolved when the back of Mulder's hand brushed against the nude defenseless penis. Mulder had to grab and pull him in. He rammed savagely into the nakedness and felt a shudder travel under his hands, up the undulating torso, ending in a hiss of breath, and clenched teeth. "Mulder!" he moaned, and the helpless plea in it made Mulder tenderly brutal, slamming him again, knowing it hurt, his cock now wanting it, wanting to open and plunge into the struggling body's softness and strength, to hurt, instruct, enforce the terms of Krycek's surrender. Suddenly, intimately, he knew what it was to have too few hands. He couldn't bear to release his grip and let Krycek fall away from his seeking loins, but that meant he couldn't get jeans off, prepare, and feel Krycek being slowly impaled on his huge, hot hardness. Groaning and grinding in with sweet frustration, he felt Krycek losing it, little shudders and jerks of his crotch fanning electroconvulsive
throes out his entire body, Mulder had to lean his weight back to support the sudden abandon. He liked the tiny whimpers of submissive pain as he continued to rub denim against the softening genitalia, and Krycek finally pushed a begging hand against him, but he bucked harder, and Krycek reared up and threw his arm around him, then let his head fall back again in utter relinquishment.

"Hold on!" Mulder gasped, and with great difficulty got the jeans half-unfastened and worked down off his grinding hips. He reached into the pocket for a condom, got it open and rolled it onto the tip of his jutting cock. Getting it on smoothly made him set his teeth and almost hold still, not helped by Krycek's moan of realization and pleading kiss. Mulder lifted him higher.

"I can't," Krycek gasped, and Mulder used one hand to position, and thrust in.

"No! -- oh -- oh --"  The tiny breaking cry spurred Mulder, his length entered harder into the hot, tight mystery while Krycek writhed in his imprisoning arms.

"Sure you can," he breathed. "See?" He bucked in deep.

Krycek arched away from him, and whispered, "It hurts."

Mulder rubbed one hand up the irresistible torso, up over the left nipple, brushing across it again and again. Krycek's lips opened.

"Wrap your legs around me," Mulder instructed, dragging him forward. With moans of pain and submission Alex enfolded him. He staggered a little as the weight hit, pulled a couple of pillows over and lifted one knee to the bed, turning their bodies so his legs wouldn't have to hang over the edge. He lowered Alex painstakingly down, till his hips were on the pillows, and let him slowly fall back. His cock was so stiff and hard that when he pulled back and pushed it deeply in, he thought he was going to come then and there. But he wanted to make Alex acknowledge him, take him in the truest submission, the subjection of desire. He brought his hand around to Alex's soft cock and gripped it fiercely. Krycek cried out. He bent down and kissed Alex's lips, and felt him respond, arching toward him, clutching across the bare skin of his shoulders, and hardening a little in Mulder's fist.

"I want you to put your tongue in my mouth." Krycek's eyes opened. "Go on." His lips opened Krycek's, and he waited. His thumb ran up Krycek's cock. The soft tongue touched his lips. His hips slid slowly side to side. Alex's tongue met his. He gently licked the underside of it, then sucked it carefully. Slowly he closed his teeth on it.

Alex stopped breathing.

Mulder made gentle bites down to the tip of Alex's tongue, then kissed it and let it carry his own tongue into Krycek's many-flavored mouth, licking gently before he drew back to give him breath. "I need you," he whispered against Alex's mouth, and the cock in his hand hardened and stretched. "I need to hurt you." He felt Alex tremble even as he arched to him. "I need you to let me hurt you." Alex's body undulated beneath him and he felt himself pulling back preparatory to gouging into him at full length. "Now," he whispered, and plunged himself deep into the open, unresisting body. Alex's cry whipped around his soul, exploded sensation the length of his tight-held cock, and drove his hips as he stabbed into him, again, again, and a rhythm savaged through him, brutal, faster, tearing the man he needed to destroy to love, carrying his cock's pleasure to ecstasy. Alex's shaft shuddered in his fist, the cries dragged out into anguished bliss, and "Fox -- Fox -- Fox --!" became the name of god in his mouth, and Alex coming and
worshipping pulled Mulder's orgasm through him like lightning illuminating every cell of his body. He loosed Alex's spurting cock to make him want him more, held him down, and alternately paralyzed and convulsed, finished his stroking, thrusting, lust into the conquered body, soul, and heart of his true lover.

Spent, his cock still lodged, holding Krycek deeply open, he slid his tongue between the panting lips, worked it deep, refusing to let him breathe, stroking his hair, his neck, sliding his hips, working himself into another hard-on, because he could never, never have enough, taking Krycek was beyond everything he had ever known or dreamed. He felt Krycek respond with astonishment and fear to his insatiate probe, and began a rolling, thrusting slide, insistent and determined, to which Krycek whimpered, "Mulder!"
unbelievingly. He continued the motion inexorably, his resurrected cock sending bolts of joy back to his balls. "I want you forever!" he gasped, and began penetrating again, deeper, thoroughly, long, slow, veering slides, making Krycek suffer his possession consciously, looking deep into his eyes and taking the shame and pain and love there for his own.  When Krycek's lips twisted, Mulder covered them with his mouth, drinking in the signs of suffering. He thrust steadily, on and on. He seemed unable to come, unending exquisite pleasure fastening him like chains, the slow ravishment of his lover his only universe.  Krycek began to whimper steadily under his mouth, and finally pleaded, "Please -- Fox -- I can't anymore --"

"You have to," Fox answered roughly. "You promised. Anything I want. Anything I need."  He rocked on. "I love you, Alex. I hurt you when I love you. It's the way I'm made." He whispered, "Feel how much I love you." Alex's arm tightened around him and he broke rhythm. He resumed as Alex's thighs slid up and down his body, the soles of his feet on the backs of Mulder's legs. He thumped a few hard strokes in and gripped tight.  "Let me hurt you, Alex." He was breathing hard. "Give me this pain and let every time be a wedding night, let me have a maidenhead every time I take you, I'll make you mine again every night."  Krycek's steady moaning broke to a "No!" and he began to struggle. Resistance lit a fuse, and Mulder started to fuck hard, tripling his speed, and, knowing joy, power, ecstasy, he fountained deep inside Krycek's darkness, fear, and pain.

After the last spasms of bliss left him rag-limp, he clasped Alex and rolled onto his side, withdrawing and cradling Alex to him when he tried to pull away. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I should have stopped.  I'm sorry."

He could feel that Alex was shaken and withdrawn. He pressed his lips against the sandpapery cheek. In a voice soaked with distress, Krycek blurted, "I don't think I can do that again."

Gasping and sweat-drenched, Mulder gave a half-laugh. "Don't worry. I know I can't. I'm pretty sure that was a once in a lifetime event." He held Krycek closer. "I never wanted anyone so much in my life," he panted."I didn't want to stop, ever -- and..."

"I know." Krycek's voice was stronger. Mulder realized he had rolled off him the wrong way, pinning Krycek's only arm, and made a mental note. The voice went frail again. "It just -- makes me remember what I am. That I should no more be with you than... some rabid wolf with a champion border collie. I'm infecting you."

Mulder had run a hand down Krycek's back, over his butt, and now rubbed himself up against Krycek's thighs. "Yeah, I got the disease," he teased. He reached up and stroked Alex's hair.  "No.  I think maybe any male lover would bring this out in me. I had -- issues with my father. I spent half my life enraged at him..."

He stopped, and when he went on his voice was softer, more somber. "Your betrayal... that you attacked Scully -- it brought a fury up in me that was like it had been waiting there, all this time...  And the more I
thought about it the more I realized, I knew, the whole time.  I knew my father knew what happened to Samantha, knew he'd betrayed all of us... somehow. That night... he didn't scream at me, he didn't hold me responsible -- and right then I knew. Something was wrong. And the way my mother looked at him --  I couldn't believe it, I couldn't stand to believe it, I buried it... And there were other things. But the antagonism between us after that... Then my parents' separation... I hated everyone and everything. No one and nothing could be trusted." He stroked the soft hair again. "That's not your fault, Rat." He smiled.  "God, you must have been just a baby back then. Suddenly I feel like a cradle-robber."

He buried his face in the crook of Krycek's neck. "I'm sorry. God, how could I have done that?"

"I did think "maidenhead" was a bit over the top."

Mulder groaned. "I did not say that."

"I know," Krycek soothed. "It was your evil twin. The one with the really bad feel for dramatic license."

"If I ever get too rough again, just quote that back at me and I'll wilt from shame."

"It would probably just turn you on. You're such a stud."

Mulder lifted his face, eyebrows raised. "Now that turns me on." Krycek raised his own eyebrows.  "Mentally," Mulder explained. He looked into Krycek's eyes. "Did... did I really hurt you?  Should I take you to a doctor?"

Krycek shook his head silently.

"Are you sure?"

Krycek nodded.

"Let me look."

"You wouldn't be able to see anything."

But Mulder urged him over on his stomach and Krycek let him.  Gently he parted Krycek's buttocks, but his eye was caught by smears further down. "There's blood on you!" he said, upset and suddenly queasy.  The circle of wrinkled puckers looked swollen and redder than he thought was natural.  He knew the size of his cock, and swallowed, thinking of something that wide stretching this invisibly small aperture. "Oh god.  I should take you somewhere." Krycek lay quietly, then pulled away and turned over on his

"It happens," he said. "Most likely it's nothing. There's not much blood, right?"

"Well -- not a lot.  But --"

"I'll live, Mulder."

"I can't do this to you again.  I won't."

"Listen.  There's a lot to be said for spontaneity and surprise parties. But I can show you some stuff that will make this a lot easier, starting with the bedside tube -- or in your case, tub -- of lubricant. Okay?"

"But -- I wanted to hurt you."

Krycek was quiet a moment. "I know." He smiled quizzically. "We're totally sexually incompatible. I can't understand how you get me so hot. I feel things with you that I never felt with anyone before. I think I'd let you kill me if you kissed me while you did it."

"Don't say that." Mulder's lips nibbled at Krycek's shoulder. Then, "How are we incompatible?"

"One. I hate pain. Two. I'm always on top. Always. Three. I'm fast, done and outta there and you want to fuck all night. Four --"

"You're on top? Really?"

"Always. Unless it's a job."

Mulder contemplated him. Then he said, "You feel like you're on top. Even when you're not."

"Because you're new at it and I know what I'm doing. You won't feel that way much longer."

"You mean I'll be masterful and dominating?" He slid a leg over Krycek's. Krycek smiled at him, making him feel about as masterful and dominating as a four-year-old.

"You'll be my master," Krycek said.

Drawn, irrevocably, Mulder kissed Krycek's mouth, softening his tongue against the sweet parted lips.  Accepting the responsibility. Tasting surrender.

Sweet god.

He had never felt anything so powerful. A huge urge to protect and shelter, a sense that he could defend this loved body against the universe, that he could keep him from all harm, and at the same time...

...plow him into pain, sow obedience, reap ecstasy. Love shivered over his skin. He suckled on the sweet mouth, letting his soft tongue fill it, then beckoned the response. He took Krycek's timidly obedient tongue between his lips, sucking and licking it with lovingkindness, feeling the fright and passion under his hands, finally drawing his mouth off with a final suck like Krycek had given his cock that first time, that feeling he would never forget, nor his flash of gratitude and humility at such a gesture of need, or love, after what he had done.

"Yes," Krycek gasped; and moaned, "Yes...  Baby --" He groaned and pressed an erection against Mulder's thigh, and Mulder felt a huge smile that seemed to beam through his whole body.  "Please -- please baby please --"

"Tell me what you want," Mulder crooned. Krycek's arm clutched across his back. "Tell me."

"I can't hold you," Krycek whispered. "I can't hold onto you."

"That's okay, baby."  Mulder slid both arms around Krycek's naked back. "I've got you." and felt the hot spurt as Krycek desperately and silently arched into him.  Mulder tightened the embrace securely.  Krycek gasped and struggled in his arms, like some gigantic landed fish, suddenly slick with sweat and half-crazy with passion. Frantically Krycek glued their mouths together and Mulder immediately penetrated him, with his tongue hard and thrusting, holding tight as Krycek's body thrashed and he cried hard into Mulder's muffling tongue and mouth, the sounds of his love like a music Mulder had waited all his life to hear. He wrenched his mouth free to breathe, crying, "Oh, god," and held the panting, squirming nakedness as
hard as he could.  "Alex. Alex."

Hard-drawn breaths filled his ears as Krycek slowly grew limp, and heavy, in his arms. He laid him down onto the bed.

The skin under his hands was hot and damp, but would rapidly cool in the unheated room. He dragged the bedspread up from the other side of the bed and tucked it around him. Krycek looked up at him with such a look of exhausted love in his heavy-lidded eyes, adoring, as made the small gesture seem like the only kindness anyone had ever shown him.

Someday when the work was all done he was going to have to think about just how insane this all was, how insane they both individually were, and what it meant that their insanities meshed like mating paramecia.  How sick it was to take advantage of someone like Krycek, emotionally crippled, defenseless
against love; how dangerous, like playing with moulting pit vipers, their beautiful new skins still shrouded in the opacities of the old, blinding them to the distinctions of friend, foe, or food. If Krycek ever thought
himself betrayed, would he simply, reflexively, obliterate Mulder?

Would Mulder betray him?

Did betrayal even have any meaning between them?

They were two different species, that shouldn't be mating at all, in the natural scheme of things. He knew too much about the role of habit and example to wonder that Krycek had become what he was; and he knew too much, now, about the conspiracy to wonder that murder should seem their inevitable tool.  Everyone who thought their cause greater than the lives of individuals inexorably reached that same conclusion, and what cause had ever been so great as this... the preservation of the human race from slavery or obliteration.

He had seen in Krycek's voice and eyes, always, logic and reason as the cornerstones of his soul, the fountains of his passion. Nothing could move Krycek but what he saw as rational and sound. His smallest act based on the big picture, how each brush-stroke would affect the whole.

Till now.

What had Krycek seen that could possibly include love of Fox Mulder as a necessary element of that picture? Nothing. It was as if he were present at the birth of a dormant part of Krycek's being, that Krycek was trying to integrate as if it belonged right there with all the rest, unable to see how alien it was, like a segment of hybrid DNA.


Mulder felt a visceral frisson.

...had he?

Seen something?

Krycek had fallen asleep.  His lashes lay against his cheeks like black fans, his face relaxed and innocent.  How long was it since Krycek had fallen asleep in someone's arms?

If he ever had...

It was true some people seemed born to be alone.

Maybe that was what they really had in common...

What had made Krycek love him?

Was it just that he'd had all the props kicked from under him when the Consortium was ambushed?  But even before that he could remember... so many times... that look in Krycek's eyes. Already saying everything Krycek had only later confessed to Mulder in words. Krycek had wanted him, longed for
him, wretchedly knowing it could never be, that it contravened all logic and both their entire existences.  And never had he offered even the slightest sexual violence toward Mulder; as if mere sex had been irrelevant to his desire, what he wanted so much huger, so desperately requiring Mulder's participation.

He wondered if Krycek had ever raped anyone. Would he do that, too, for hire? Or when he was younger, with less control over his sickness?

It would be part of the classic pattern, yet somehow Mulder had a hard time picturing it. Seduction seemed more in Krycek's line. Getting, Mulder suddenly realized, the other person to participate.

That was interesting.

The same dynamic in love and work? Krycek did not hesitate to kill. But... Aggression and sex kept separate. Distant.

How unlike the home-life of our dear Queen, Mulder thought bitterly.
Mulder's own aggression turning out to be so intimately entwined with sexual need, a thing he had never known about himself. Was it why he was so alone? So he didn't have to find this out?

Was Krycek alone so he wouldn't have to find out how much he needed to love?
The most dangerous thing he could possibly do?

Mulder had always believed his physical incompatibility had kept him from seeking women. He didn't want to hurt them, and -- like light breaking the thought dawned -- not hurting them was so goddam frustrating. Holding back, taking care. Diana and his few other encounters so burdened with anxiety that it was just finally much easier not to try. He had tried with Diana -- after all it had been she who left him -- but though he had been seared with pain by their parting, it had never been the sex that he mourned. It had been awkward and unsatisfying for both of them, and that had made him feel guiltier than ever, in a spiral of inadequacy he had always felt was the true cause of their breakup.

And now?

He had vowed he wouldn't hurt Krycek again.

Did that mean their physical communication would end?

But... Alex had said it would be all right.

Alex knew about sex.

Of course this was all beside the point of how insane it was to begin with.
Mulder and Krycek.  Sitting in a tree.  K-i-s-s-i-n-g.  First comes love...

The rhyme thickened in a vision of Krycek skipping a rope turned by two little girls in nineteenth century frocks. Somewhere, though he couldn't see it, he knew there was a white picket fence... One the Consortium members were busy whitewashing while Krycek played with girls.

In his sleep, Mulder laughed, and followed the dream into unconsciousness.

They woke in the night and prowled the house for lubricant, not finding any that was water-based.  Krycek drove him to a 24-hour drugstore and they got three brands and assorted condoms. Mulder gave him cash and made him pay for it while he lurked out of sight, and by the time they got home Krycek
was all over him, pushed him up against the door as soon as it was shut, panting and grabbing, and fastened on Mulder's neck like a heavy, swooning vampire. Mulder petted him to an electric, drugged calm, and lured him, shushing and caressing, through the house to the bedroom again, a long, slow
trip during which Krycek tried to seduce him onto the floor at every other step, a trail of abandoned clothes paving their route. By the time they reached the coveted mattress their only possession was the plastic drugstore bag, and Mulder knew they were not going to get a chance to use anything in
it, and let it fall. Krycek's hot skin under his hands seemed endless, the muscles that pushed and rammed and sought against him heavy, strong, in ceaseless motion. He got his hand down and caressed the palm up Krycek's heavy erection, and Krycek ejaculated, humping frantically against Mulder's effort to keep upright, and then crashing half-conscious to his knees.

They hadn't made it to the bed after all.

Mulder held the big male body in his arms, Krycek capable of little more than rubbing his head, in half-spent passion, along Mulder's shoulder. His own arousal subdued, Mulder wondered for the thousandth time what he was doing holding a man -- this man -- to his naked body; kneeling beside
packages of goo and condoms in the wilds of Fairfax County surely the last place he had ever expected to be, at this age, about to take fucking lessons from an amputee assassin who couldn't keep a hard-on for more than two minutes.

Life could be strange.

Krycek's single hand settled warm, gentle, on his half-soft phallus. A tongue-tip started tracing his carotid.

Life could be, in sober fact, downright astounding.

After three hours of instruction and hands-on internship that left Krycek begging for mercy and Mulder just begging, bodies hot, sweat-soaked, moving in rhythms deeply pleasure-driven, they finally wobbled and slid into their final collapse, where consciousness welcomed the embrace of solvent sleep.

Self-awareness crystallized.

He could feel the other body.

Lying not touching but snuggled toward him.



Under the tips of his left fingers the beat of a pulse.

Warm skin. Beneath it the life of this man. Bumping his touch. All that was fragility, going on as if it were strength, busy as if life were immortal. The very word for death that paradoxically defined alive: mortal.  Someday, Krycek would die. So would he. But it seemed more imminent, inseparable from Krycek, as if the little siren swells of blood at the base of his throat had already caught Death's fascinated notice.  Krycek was so much bigger than life, had shed the anonymity, the delusion of safety people wore like camouflage. Mulder opened his eyes and in the drape-dimmed light Krycek's beauty was supernal, outlined in shadow around mouth and eyes and cheekbone, fingers relaxed in sleep, heavy musculature covered by the sheet like warm treasure hidden in costly silken wrappings. It was as if he were lying beside a foredoomed demigod, targeted by ancient myth to be transmuted into stars.

Mulder pulled his fingers back from the pulsebeat of impermanence.

Krycek had given him sex he had never known, even at his own hands, sex that pulled his soul forth and made it a garment of light.

Pinning Krycek and fucking him an ultimate he didn't understand, hearing Krycek come for him Elysium, jetting cum into his rolling, rocking body a sweetness that paralyzed him, like honeyed lightning, a thousand celestial hummingbirds' tongues emptying him of nectar, and leaving him for dead. Except he rose again, at Krycek's invocational touch, or tongue, or look, or voice, and made the man once more his kingdom of heaven.

How it was possible that he would accede to this he did not know. But having once entered Krycek's body, his life's goals had shifted precipitously, to prioritize getting back there again, and again, and again.
He heard "Addicted to Love" on the radio and got such a hard-on he had to pull off the road.  Halfheartedly subliminal ads on tv made him giggle in complicity. He smiled so much at work that Scully had threatened to make him pee in a bottle. And now here he was tucked in someone else's bed, a
weekend hideaway with America's Most Wanted.

Every time he tried to work out the morality of his situation, his thoughts dissolved like Jell-O in the sun.  Maybe because he knew there was something Krycek had never told him: his own motive in the things that he did. That he saw the human race in a fight to the death, Mulder believed; but what was his real strategy, if he even had one? The Smoking Man had tried twice to exterminate him -- why?  Mulder had interviewed -- covertly -- Marita Covarrubias after Jeffrey Spender had managed to get her out of the
Consortium research center, and he'd been struck by her quoting Krycek's delirious crow, "I could rule the world!" as she'd let his body beg for hers. Did he really harbor such trivial aims, or had it been a case of --
Maidenhead Syndrome?

The mystery in him. Irresistible deeps.

The blue-grey eyes opened and blinked. He watched Krycek fill with memory, and the play of an almost invisible smile flickering like lightning around his eyes and mouth.


It still made him feel as if the earth had slid out from under him.

Krycek reached and stroked down the side of his head.



Tenderly protective, utterly selfless. That look in his eyes.

That such a thing had awakened in this man seemed more dangerous than anything Mulder had ever faced before. Darkly billowing, unpredictable, uncontainable.


He turned and kissed the inside of Alex's wrist. Turning back in time to catch the fleeting thrill in Krycek's expression.

Mulder whispered, "I want to know everything about you."

A silent little laugh. The voice that came out was slightly rough, like a cat's tongue, from sleep. "Now I know you really love me.  I'm an X-file."

"You're my most X-rated file," Mulder assured him. "Ow," he added as an afterthought. Slight movement had betrayed imprinted memories all over his body.

A tiny sparkle of amusement showed in Alex's eyes; but he only maneuvered himself up to sitting, and said, "I need to pee before you start any interrogation."

Mulder realized he needed to do the same, and moseyed in search of the other bathroom, carrying a toothbrush and trailing his robe.

He found his penis was kind of tender and there were bruises where bones lay close under the skin around his crotch. He swayed back a little, eyes widened, when he caught his reflection in the mirror. Krycek had marked him. Little bite-bruises in a sinuous trail from the right side of his neck down around and onto his left nipple. "Krycek!" He laughed. "You rapscallion you."  It had been done over the course of hours, he hadn't realized there was a pattern, he mostly remembered the final little kiss-bite of his nipple as he was coming, turning him inside out like a flower opening.

Remembering, his spine arched and his lungs pulled air.

Knotting the belt of his robe, he left the bathroom and wandered toward the kitchen. In the daylight it felt weird walking undressed among other people's inexplicable possessions. There were no sheaves of paper, no books, no strewn clothes other than the trail they themselves had left, no clutter anywhere to be seen.  How did people live like this?  There were photos of children but no toys. Two kids. A boy, a little sister...

He was holding the framed picture when Krycek ambled into the room, and came up close beside him.  He felt Krycek look up at his face, and back down at the photo.

Mulder asked, "Do you want kids someday?"

Krycek gave him a look as if he had gone crazy.  "Why?  Do you?"

"Doesn't seem too likely.  Maybe I'm too stuck in the past to take that kind of step into the future.  If there is any."

"You'd even consider it?  The way things are?"

Mulder set the photo back on its niche.  "Guess not." He looked Krycek up and down. He'd put on jeans and t-shirt, but was barefoot and without his prosthetic. "What with one thing and another."

"You'd create a baby that would become a slave?" He could hear under the natural softness of Krycek's voice the edges of something very upset.

"You're really sure it's going to happen. You'd abandon your whole future for it."

"That's never been any part of my future. They sterilized me when I was in training. But if you and I don't put our whole lives into this, it's not going to be anybody's future."

Mulder hardly heard the agitation and controlling determination in Krycek's tone. A hot wave had rolled up in him, dark liquid pain.

"Alex." He said it before he realized. He put his hands out, and Krycek let him touch him, though with an uncertain look. He drew the firm, warm body against him.  Breathing into the dark hair, he tried to find the words. "God.  The way your body has been so -- used. Always subject to someone else." He stroked his fingers down the back of Krycek's head.

"That's what it is to be a slave, Mulder."

"And now I'm doing it to you."


"It's the same thing."

Krycek drew back, intensity radiating at Mulder from every square inch of him. "It isn't. What I give you I've never given to anyone in my life. It isn't anything like the same."

"Can you be sure?  Subconscious --"

"Believe this, Mulder. Nobody knows the difference like I do." He pulled further out of Mulder's arms.  "My body was enslaved. But I'm not. I never was. I never will be. Inside, I always resisted. And ever since I've known what was happening, ever since they showed me, when I was eighteen, all I've done has been to try to stop colonization, and stop the men who would hand the earth over to them. They'll always be out there, Mulder, there is no future in our lifetimes, except resistance."

"Are you always this cheerful in the morning?"

Krycek stared him down.

He raised his hands.  "Okay, okay.  Scratch the two point three kids and the minivan." He moved away toward the kitchen. And murmured, "We can always adopt."

He felt a hand yank his arm and he was whirled back into a devastating embrace. The strength of Krycek's single arm crushed the air out of him. He put one arm around Krycek's neck and the other hand on his lower back and ground his hips in. Krycek shoved him up against a wall, and found his mouth.  Second by second their desperation became gentler, and gentler, until they came against each other with a tender intensity that melted Mulder soles to crown. Krycek had to hold him up for long moments while he
wanted nothing... nothing... nothing.  But to be Krycek's.

Reluctantly he felt skeleton and musculature return, and took responsibility for his own weight. Krycek's breath was warm against his collarbone. His form solid, warm and breathing in his arms. Mulder's hand under the unfastened clothes smoothed across the curve where buttocks started, and Krycek straightened, breath hissing.

"Hoo," Mulder cooed. "Is that an erogenous zone I feel?"

Krycek's head came down against his again. "Don't ever talk about leaving me. If you're going to do it, just do it, don't make me dread it."

Mulder reminded himself that Krycek, being crazy, saw matters straight to their heart. "I'm sorry." He held him close, trying to apologize to all of him at once. "Rat. I'm not going anywhere."  He rubbed his face against him. "Maybe I'm just... saying good-bye to all that."

Krycek kissed his cheek. Like the very first time. But without pulling away.


He felt ambition swell.

"Do you like scrambled eggs?"

Krycek kissed him again.

The scrambled eggs were a culinary triumph, with bacon, golden brown toast with real butter, coffee with real cream. Scully would have read him the riot act at such a cholesterolfest. He smiled sinfully and set the ketchup bottle and salt shaker on the laminated dark-grey table. Krycek had started a list of all the things they'd need to replace, including brand names, and while Mulder had been cooking he'd also started the sheets through the washing machine. That early KGB training. Make somebody a good little wife, if they didn't mind the occasional corpse in the rumpus room.

Sadness, guilt, depression and anger slowly filtered into him. He stopped eating and looked into his coffee cup. Krycek noticed immediately.

"Ask," he said, looking up from spreading jelly on his toast. He had his eyes fixed with that burning intensity on Mulder's face, and that look of almost impatience. Krycek had always thought of him, he suddenly realized, as not quite with the program.

"Who killed those people in the nursing home in Florida?"

"An agent named Peskow. On my orders."

Mulder's eyes closed. "Why."

"I sent him to sterilize a situation. What he found was a bunch of infected patients just lying there, no security, not even any safeguards against transmission. A feeble old woman simply walked out the door.  And what they were doing could only call alien attention to the search for a vaccine, after one had already been perfected. The only other way to stop them would have been to expose them. Impossible. I know that's not good enough for you. It's probably not good enough for anybody. It's the way it is. We're
fighting for our lives." He stopped, looked down, and started eating his toast. After a few bites, he said, low, "Trust me, Mulder, they wanted to die."

Mulder thought of the geologist he had met in Tunguska. But there was no use arguing the point.

"Why do you remember what it was like and I don't?"

"You were sedated. And it was dying in you. From the vaccine."

The real question still unspoken. It should have been trivial next to so many deaths, but it made Mulder's breath unsteady. "Did you tell them to nfect me?"

"They were going to do it anyway. I just told them to take you next."

Mulder swallowed. They had been enemies. He must have pounded his fist into Krycek's face dozens of times...

Krycek leaned toward him. His lips were parted. Eyes burning again. "I told them to show me that it worked. I couldn't very well tell them to just immunize you."

Mulder sat stunned.

"You're immune, Mulder. You're going to survive. Even if we fail. If one of them invades you it's going to be in for the surprise of its viscous life." Krycek smiled, and Mulder thought he had never looked quite so
palpably insane as at that moment.

He drew back, and the look in Krycek's eyes changed totally. In his own world of hurt and confusion, Mulder still realized he had Scully. Skinner. His mother. Even the Lone Gunmen, relatives, people at work and on email. Who did Krycek have?

The answer was violently apparent in the abyss endless and dark behind Krycek's gaze. Krycek lived in a universe without relationships. It was horrifically possible that Mulder was the only soul he had, or had ever had.

Mulder made the effort, to come back into that space. "Why did you care if I survived?"

Krycek desperately gripped back onto the communication they had built. "The Smoker always wanted you to live. I'd come to understand. You were a -- skirmish line. A possibility, if we failed."  Krycek put down the corner of his toast. "And... I just... I didn't want to have to be in a world without you.  It..."  Krycek seemed uncharacteristically stuck between feeling and word. He smiled a little, flicking a glance up. "You were the hope in my life. Something I'd never felt before, and I wouldn't give it up. Even..."
He stuck again. "I mean I knew -- I thought... nothing could never happen. I didn't even -- exactly -- picture it. I just wanted you to be there. To see you. To have you touch me again, someday."

"Hit you, you mean." Appalled and fascinated.

"Whatever." Krycek sat looking at him, as if waiting for him to say something, ask something. Mulder gazed, as if he were the mesmerized snake and Krycek the fearless one, the dextrous snakecharmer, luring him with the movements and sounds he could not help but follow. Entranced at the halting admission... the lights it played on the past... what Krycek was... "Why do you love me?"

Krycek looked into his eyes. "Because you're an honest man." His expression took on shyness. "It's sexy."

Mulder felt his lips curving. "You think I'm sexy, Alex?"

The subject was clearly a fraught one. For such a passionate man, Krycek seemed to have kept to a very narrow repertoire of emotions. Yet at times he could be so open; nothing at all between anger or pain and its expression; a sexual wild-child -- till you did something he didn't like; in his own way, Mulder realized with surprise, also an honest man:  his lies invariably conscious, purposeful, not a part of his personality but a weapon with which he had become expert. Lightning parries and misdirection and then suddenly he was there -- inside your guard.

He still hadn't answered the question, and Mulder understood. They weren't talking about a passing, "nice ass", kind of sexy, but about the sexiness that woke the deepest and most vulnerable desires. That left you pinned open like a worm on a dissection tray. Only alive. Squirming at being seen, even by yourself.

"You're what sexy is, Mulder."

Or he could get inside your guard like that: that watchful, wide-eyed honor. Pierce you to the middle with this warm surprise.

"You fight for the truth. You suffer for it. For your sister. You seek it out instead of running from it. You don't bow down to anyone. You're not afraid of anything." Krycek took in shaky breath. "Makes me hot just thinking about how brave you are.

"And how you understand things. You don't think like other people. The first time I met you. You wouldn't touch me. I stood there with my hand out and you looked in my eyes -- and I knew it was impossible but -- I felt like you knew what I was. This -- superstition -- that I could never hide from you.  Then pretty soon... I didn't want to.

"I wanted you to find me.

"I wanted you to know me."
Krycek's hand on the table closed partway, and relaxed. His eyes lowered.
"I'm not a killer, Mulder. I mean that's -- not all I am.

"I don't get off on it," he said softly. "I've never killed anyone for fun, or even out of hate. I'm not -- wanton, like Cardinal. Or messianic, like the Smoker." His body shivered, once. "He's sentimental about what he does. He can justify anything, any cruelty, as heroic. Never trust him, never believe anything he says. He shot Jeffrey Spender to death, his own son, executed him, because Spender finally saw through the lies and deceit and sided with you. Yet at the same time he calls you --"  Krycek licked his lips. "He calls you his spiritual heir, and exalts what you do. If he decides to kill you he'll call it a sacrifice." His voice vibrated with revulsion. "He's psychotic."

Mulder volunteered, "I never planned to walk into any dark alleys with him."

Krycek held his eyes earnestly. "You never planned to walk into any with me, either." Mulder frowned a little, curiously. "He's the original Serpent. He can convince you of anything because he can believe anything. He has no -- core. It's all surface, all shifting, all deceit. Don't let him get near you."

"You don't think I can resist his blandishments?"

Krycek reached over and curled his fingers into Mulder's hand. "He has so much that you want. All the knowledge. He knows how much you want it. But nothing he ever gives you will be the truth. He hasn't got that in him. He's like the Nazis crying over schmaltzy lieder at night and in the daylight gassing Jews and queers and gypsies. You understand about that? He sees himself as noble."

Mulder held the warm fingers in his hand. He wasn't really sure what Krycek was afraid of. Krycek had seen the Cigaret Smoking Man up close. Krycek was pragmatic, analytic and might well have C.G.B.'s number; but why did he think Mulder likely to walk into that web?

"I'll try not to take any wooden pfennigs," he said. I'm making it with a murderer, he thought. A killer who loves me. He holds my life, my job, my relationship with Scully, all in his hand. He realized, fully, how utterly compromised he was now. Nothing could save him if Krycek did not hold true.

Remembered caresses, kisses, devotions, told him Krycek would die for him. Was it possible to lie, with the body, the breath, the primitive elemental voice, like that? No. He couldn't believe it. Krycek held him as if cradling priceless treasure, submitted to him as to the law of God.

He lifted Krycek's hand and sucked at the knuckles.

Krycek came around the corner of the table, fell to his knees and parted Mulder's robe. The cock there rose higher.

Mulder had turned to meet him. As Krycek's head bent, Mulder's hands on his shoulders brushed up his throat, and met to cup his chin.  Krycek raised blazing eyes. All the questions, doubts, and impossibilities hung between them.

Mulder released him, and he lowered his face. But he didn't bend again to the quivering organ. After a long moment he looked back up at Mulder.

"There isn't any way I can ever prove myself to you." His voice was a whisper. His gaze fell again.  "You know what I'm capable of."

Mulder stroked a hand through the dark hair, once. And again. "Time," he suggested softly.

Krycek still didn't look up. "Do you think we have that?"

Mulder bent and kissed his head, not answering. Krycek's lips fell on the underside of the upright penis, and his hot tongue licked onto an inch of it. Mulder straightened up in his chair, head back, as Krycek took over his mind, his heart, and his soul.

End of Part 10, A Boy and His Rat

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