Alexi

by J. Love

Title: Alexi
Author: J. Love
Fandom: X-Files
Pairing: Mulder/Alex
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: Mulder, Alex, Skinner and Dana belong to 1013 Productions and I'm only borrowing them for a little fantasy. I promise to return them, if a little reluctantly. Feedback: This is my first attempt at an X-Files story, so please I would love to hear what you think. Please send feedback to jl_foxy@pris.bc.ca Author's Note: While there is hitchhiking done in this story, I personally don't consider it a safe way to travel. We live in a dangerous and strange world today. Summary: Alex is a rock star who disappears and Agent Mulder is sent to find him.

Alexi leaned back on the couch in his dressing room. He still saw his face in the makeup mirror. To look at it, you would not be able to tell that he was exhausted. If it wasn't for his manager telling what city they were in each night, he wouldn't even know where he was. This grande tour would be the death of him yet. His face was expertly made up for the stage lights and his emerald green eyes were highlighted and emphasized. Even in his bone deep weariness he had to admit that he looked good. A shimmering jade silk shirt half unbuttoned tucked loosely into skin tight black leather pants. A silver chain encircled his lean waist resting high on his right hip and sloping to halfway down his left hip. His low slung black boots completed the outfit. Alexi brushed back his hair from his forehead. He knew that the hairstylist would throw a fit if she saw him doing it, but he didn't care. Besides with so much mousse and hairspray in it, he doubted that a single strand would dare stray out of place. At times he wished he could cut the long locks, but it was in his contract that he couldn't cut his hair any shorter than three inches below his shoulders. His jewelry was simple despite the urgings of his manager to wear more flamboyant pieces. A simple diamond stud winked from his right ear and a silver braided chain with an engraved pendant hung halfway down his hairless chest. Many a reporter wanted to know what was inscribed on it, but he always refused to divulge it.

Henri, his manager, poked his scraggly blonde head around the door. "Five minutes, Alexi."

"Yeah, I know," Alexi waved a hand offhandedly in the direction of the door.

"You remember where we are?" Henri asked, slipping inside the door. He was starting to get worried by the listlessness of his star.

Alexi flicked a glance at him before nodding.

"Where?" Henri prompted.

Alexi frowned slightly and sighed. "Phoenix."

"Good, just wanted to make sure," Henri said softly.

A knock sounded at the door. "Two minutes, Sir," a disembodied voice called out.

"Come on, Alexi," Henri coaxed, holding out a hand. "It's time to shine."

Alexi glanced once more at his mirrored image and grasped Henri's hand, letting him pull him to his feet.

Henri grabbed the black vest with silver and jade embroidery on it and held it out for Alexi to slip into it.

Alexi silently shrugged into it and pulled his hair out from under the collar. He was as ready as he could be.

Henri led the way the right wing of the stage. Alexi saw that his backup band was already warming up on stage. They were a good band even if he was not really close with any of them. Henri had hired them shortly after he made it big. The reasoning was being something about a strong vocalist needing a strong band to back him up. No matter the reason, the band wasn't exactly opening their arms to include Alexi in plans they made.

Henri handed Alexi the wireless microphone and gently pushed him out onto the stage.

Alexi slowly walked to centre stage. The bright white stage lights were blinding him. He couldn't see the audience but he could certainly hear them. The screams and whistles that swept over him were deafening. Alexi raised his left hand and waved. The noise from the audience stilled.

"Hello, Phoenix. I'm glad to be here tonight," he huskily told the audience.

Clapping and hollering swelled again almost forcing him back. Alexi swallowed hard and closed his eyes for the moment. The band began the intro to his first song. The audience grew silent as they waited for him to sing.

Alexi swayed softly in place as he listened to the intro. The embroidery on his vest and his diamond stud was winking in the bright lights. Alexi opened his eyes and began to sing a sweet haunting love ballad.

~>~>~>~>~

By the end of the night, Alexi was drained. He had sung two encores at the urging of Henri. Halfway through his performance, he had shed the vest. The heat of the stage lights and the amount of people crammed into the auditorium were stifling. The jade shirt clung damply to sweat soaked skin.

He handed the microphone to a roadie and let Henri lead him away. Alexi felt that he could sleep for a week but was well aware that if he managed to catch six hours, he would be doing good.

"Great performance, Kid," Henri enthused. "The house was packed."

Alexi shrugged carelessly. He only wanted to take a quick shower and crash.

Henri was not put off by Alexi's uncommunicative actions. "I bet we could stay another night here and still have a full house."

Alexi looked silently at Henri for a moment. Was he truly considering spending a second night in one place?

"However, we are expected in Tucson tomorrow. The plane is waiting to take off," Henri steamrolled on, hardly pausing to take a breath. He went on about how much the souvenir stands had made prior to the concert and what was the estimated take by the time the last of the crowd had hit the stands that night.

Alexi sighed as he was hustled into a waiting limousine. Sharp eyed fans spotted him and swarmed around the car asking for autographs. Henri always scheduled an autograph signing in the afternoon before the concert. Police stepped in and kept back the fans until the limousine was clear and on the way to the airport. Alexi was sure that they would have to run the gauntlet to get on the plane again. To think that he was so enthusiastic when Henri offered him the singing contract two years ago. Has it only been two years? It felt so much longer than that.

Once on the plane, Henri handed Alexi his leather jacket.

Alexi grimaced slightly at putting it on over his sweaty shirt. However, his skin was already starting to chill as his sweat dried. Alexi gave up hopes of a shower until they landed in Tucson. He shrugged into his jacket and did it up completely. It would help hold off the chill for a little longer. Alexi buckled in and turned to the window. He could see a faint reflection of his face in it. Sweat added a sheen to his face that wasn't there before.

Soon they were taking off and the window afforded Alexi a view of star studded black sky. Here were the true stars in Alexi's opinion.

Alexi drifted off into exhausted sleep on the plane.

~>~>~>~>~

For the next month, Alexi had continued to visit a city a night. It was always the same pattern of landing in the middle of the night, checking into a hotel, a quick shower and a few short hours of sleep. Henri awakening him to let the stylist and makeup artist do their magic. A short time spent at a local mall signing autographs. Then he would be whisked back to the hotel where changed into his stage outfit for the night. Alexi assumed that Henri checked them out when they left the hotel the second time since they never returned again. The rest of the time spent in the current city was at whatever auditorium they were playing at. Alexi would spend an hour or two relaxing in the dressing room before giving his performance. It was little wonder that Alexi was beyond exhausted. He consoled himself that there was only another month before this six month tour was done. Then he could retreat to his home to rest up and compose songs.

~>~>~>~>~

At last the month was almost up; only three more concerts to go. Alexi kept his sight trained on the end of the exhausting round of concerts that Henri had set up.

~>~>~>~>~

Three nights later, Henri came into the dressing room where Alexi lay back relaxing prior to the concert. This time, Alexi was wearing a blue-green silk shirt with balloon sleeves.

Alexi opened his eyes as he heard the door opening. He silently watched Henri, wondering what he wanted now. Henri had been acting strange the last couple days.

"Alexi, there's been a change in plans."

Alexi arched an eyebrow but refused to comment yet.

Henri looked around the small room at anything and anywhere except into Alexi's eyes.

"Just spit it out, Henri," Alexi finally demanded huskily.

Henri glanced at Alexi before turning away to face the mirror. He swallowed hard before blurting out what he had to say. "I've extended the tour for another month."

"What!" Alexi yelled, shocked. "Why in world would you do that?"

"There have been so many requests for a concert. At the rate we were going, it was the only solution."

"We've been doing a concert a night in different cities for the last six months. It can't be done any faster," Alexi bit out.

"It's already done," Henri stated with finality. He looked at his watch. "You are on in ten minutes."

Alexi glared at Henri's retreating back. This was too much. He was more than ready for a break. The last six months had been exhausting.

~>~>~>~>~>~

Alexi allowed Henri to herd him onto the plane after the concert as usual.

"So where's the next stop?" Alexi asked, as he closed his eyes. His tone was banal and bored.

"Kansas City."

Alexi gave the briefest of nods and settled into sleep.

Henri was pleased. It looked like Alexi was going to fall in line with his plans.

~>~>~>~>~

Henri checked them into the hotel near the auditorium. He had almost changed hotels when he saw the amount of fans besieging the sidewalk and lobby. However, with the aid of the hotel security, he managed to get Alexi safely to the suite.

Alexi stumbled into the bathroom for a quick shower before hitting the sack. He only wore black silk pajama bottoms to sleep in. Within minutes, he was asleep.

Henri checked on Alexi and nodded silently to himself. It would be okay. He quickly made a few calls and left the suite. With security patrolling this floor, Henri had no fear of leaving Alexi to sleep unattended. Alexi rarely woke up any earlier than noon and he would be back by ten at the latest.

~>~>~>~>~

Alexi sat up and rubbed sleep from his eyes. He still needed more sleep but for his plan to work, he had to get up. Alexi grabbed a pair of jeans and a navy blue tank top from the bottom of his duffle. He quickly dressed without removing his pajamas and tied on his sneakers. He grabbed his jacket. The only thing left was to find some cash. Alexi only had a hundred on him but he knew that Henri kept a few thousand around for emergencies. Alexi didn't have time for neatness while he looked for the money.

Alexi glanced back once more at the suite before slipping out the door. He experienced a brief pang for disappointing his fans but he can't continue the tour at this time. The last six months had sapped any energy he had.

He had to hide behind the ice machine for awhile so the guard would not see him. Alexi quickly slipped down the stairs and exited two floors down. He was still on the sixth floor. He carefully watched and noticed a room service employee taking an unmarked service elevator. Alexi waited a few minutes before following. The elevator opened near the kitchens. Alexi could smell the appetizing aromas of breakfast and sighed. This was not the time to stop to eat. He noticed a staff break room off to the right. There is no one inside but off to the right on a table is several baseball caps advertising the hotel. Alexi quickly grabbed one and pushed his hair up inside the cap. He pulled the brim low over his eyes.

Alexi carefully moved through the back hallways avoiding anyone. Soon he came to an exit and slipped out into the alleyway. Alexi headed away from the hotel on foot. He kept his head down and avoided the fans still camped out on hotel's front steps.

He checked for the address of the local bus depot at a street phone booth. It was not far. Alexi decided to go the depot as fast as he could. He would take the first bus out no matter where it was headed.

Alexi entered the terminal and looked to see what destinations were available. There was a bus heading to Wichita in ten minutes. It would do. Alexi wasn't sure how long he had before Henri discovered him gone.

~>~>~>~>~

The bus pulled into the main Wichita depot. Alexi woke up as he heard the other passengers shifting around getting ready to leave the bus. He looked outside the window and noticed several other buses in the huge garage. Already there were several people milling around claiming luggage or handing it over to be stored in the large compartments under the buses. Alexi briefly considered trying to stow away in one of these before ruthlessly dismissing the idea. He had no way of knowing where the bus would go or even if it was safe to ride in the underbelly.

Alexi joined the others leaving. He noticed that some people were giving him odd looks when he didn't join the queue for luggage or even carry a duffle bag. He had best take care of that before going any further. Alexi's stomach rumbled softly. Alexi smiled wryly and decided it could wait until he had something to eat.

The terminal had a fast food place on the main level. Alexi shrugged. It would have to do. He quickly placed an order for a burger and soft drink to go. Alexi took his small meal to the park nearby. He grimaced a little at the greasy flavor of the burger but ate it anyway. The semi-flat taste of the coke wasn't much better.

Alexi wandered through the paths for a while until he came to a phone booth that had a directory still attached. He had already decided that going to a department store was not a good idea. The news of his disappearance might already be hitting the streets. He flipped through the yellow pages until he found the listings for thrift stores. There was a Salvation Army nearby within walking distance. Alexi wished he knew what time it was but judged from the sky that it was late afternoon or early evening. He would have to hurry.

~>~>~>~>~

Alexi entered the Salvation Army and smiled a little when he realized it was almost empty. He quickly picked up some flannel shirts, a few t-shirts and a couple pairs of jeans. His last purchase was a battered old duffle bag. Alexi decided he would buy underwear and socks at the next stop. While waiting in line, he noticed a watch in the display cabinet. It was a cheap variety but it would be perfect. He silently pointed the watch out the sales girl. He smiled softly at the girl and paid the price she quoted. Alexi waved away the plastic shopping bag she offered and put the clothes into the duffle.

Alexi headed back to the bus depot. Wichita was too big a city for him to stop in. Besides he had given a concert here a month ago or so. He wasn't entirely sure but he vaguely remembered Wichita being one of his stops.

Alexi entered the bus depot again and went to the public washrooms. He quickly removed the price tags from the clothes and changed into a red and black flannel shirt. Alexi stuffed his own shirt and leather jacket into the duffle. He put on the watch. It was a wind up instead of a battery. As he exited the washroom, he noticed a large clock over the doorway. He wound up the watch and set it.

At the ticket line, he read over the available destinations. There was a bus heading into Colorado in two hours. It might be a little longer he wanted to wait around for. However a bus heading for the south was leaving in a half an hour. He would take that one. It was a smaller town and perhaps he could catch a ride with someone.

~>~>~>~>~

The bus turned out to be a milk run stopping at several different towns heading the southeastern direction. This was not Alexi had hoped for. He decided to slip off at the next stop and try to hitchhike. Perhaps there would be a trucker heading west willing to give him a ride.

The bus pulled into Independence. The driver said they would be only stopping for a half an hour and suggested that anyone continuing on remain on the bus. After the driver left and was talking to someone outside and to the rear of the bus, Alexi looked around at his fellow passengers. Most of them were asleep. He quietly grabbed his duffle and slipped out the open door. Alexi moved from shadow to shadow until he was out of sight of the bus. He looked around to get his bearings and headed to a truck stop a short distance away.

Alexi entered the cafe and ordered a cup of coffee. It was strong and black, just what he needed. As he slowly drank, Alexi overheard a trucker telling the waitress he was on his way to Dodge City. He glanced at the trucker and saw that he was about forty-five and had a kind face. Although, Alexi knew that appearances could be deceiving, he decided to chance it. He followed the trucker out of the cafe.

Near the trucker's rig, Alexi called out to him. "Would I be able to catch a ride with you?"

The trucker turned around and looked Alexi over. "What's your name, son?"

Alexi was a little startled by how the trucker addressed him. He quickly thought up a name, knowing that he would probably change it later. "Allen Kry," Alexi trailed off on the second name. He didn't to give his last name but habit had him starting to say it.

The trucker chuckled softly. "Well, Allen, I'm only going as far as Dodge City but you're welcome to tag along. My name is Matt Groggins."

"Thank you," Alexi said softly. After Matt unlocked the passenger door, Alexi clambered up into the truck.

Matt got in and started the rig up. He waited until they were on the highway before starting a conversation with his passenger.

"So, Allen, where are you heading?"

Alexi glanced at Matt. "I'm going to visit some friends in Fort Collins."

"You still have a ways to go yet. Why not fly or take a bus?" Matt asked kindly.

Alexi shrugged slightly. "I'm scared of flying and don't have enough money to take a bus all the way. Besides, it lets me see more of the country this way."

Matt nodded silently. He understood where Allen was coming from. He had hitchhiked across a few states himself when he was younger.

Alexi yawned suddenly. "Sorry, I guess I'm more tired than I thought."

"Why don't you take a nap then," Matt suggested.

"I think I will," Alexi said with another yawn. He settled into the passenger seat and quickly slipped into a deep sleep.

Matt smiled fondly at the young man next to him. In some ways, Allen reminded him of his own son, Kevin. Matt figured they should reach Dodge City sometime tomorrow. Until then, he would let Allen sleep. It looked like he could use it.

~>~>~>~>~

It was late afternoon when Matt and Alexi reached Dodge City. Alexi felt refreshed by the long sleep he had taken.

"Well, Allen, this is as far as I go. I'll be heading back home in the morning."

"Thanks for the ride, Matt," Alexi said as he shared a strong handshake with Matt.

"You be careful if you intend to continue hitchhiking," Matt gently admonished Alexi.

"I will," Alexi assured him with a smile.

Alexi said his goodbyes and walked into the centre of Dodge City. He stopped for a late lunch and decided it was time to make a decision on how he was going to continue. While Dodge City was nice, he really wanted to go to Colorado.

~>~>~>~>~

After lunch, Alexi caught another bus to Garden City. From there, he hitchhiked to Dighton. Again he was lucky and the driver who picked him up was able to take him into Colorado. Anita was heading to Castle Rock to visit family and was glad of some company on the long drive. Of course, she wouldn't mention to her family that she had picked up a hitchhiker.

~>~>~>~>~

At the edge of Castle Rock, Anita dropped Alexi off and continued onto to her parents' house.

Alexi dropped by a tourist information booth and picked up some pamphlets about Colorado. It was time to decide where he would lay low for awhile. He knew he had to return to his life as a rock star sometime but not yet.

He quickly discounted Fort Collins and Denver as possible locations. He was almost sure one of these was a stop on his concert tour and he didn't wish to be recognized. However, he would have to pick a fair sized city to hide out in.

Alexi briefly considered Aurora but decided it would be too risky. With so many tourists passing through it, he would be taking too big a chance in being recognized.

He finally decided on Pueblo City. He could take some university courses at the University of Southern Colorado. While the age group at the university might be of the ages who attended his concerts, he was certain that he would be able to blend in more easily. Although it was smaller than Aurora, it did look like the better choice.

Now all he had to do was get there and decide what name to call himself.

~>~>~>~>~

In the end, Alexi decided to catch a bus to Pueblo City. On the trip he mulled over what name to use.

~>~>~>~>~

The bus pulled into Pueblo City late that night. Alexi went to the nearby motel and checked in. In the morning he would go to the University.

~>~>~>~>~

The phone rang the next morning at seven a.m. as he had requested when he checked in. Alexi groaned softly and picked up the receiver. Annoying music echoed through his skull and he quickly dropped it back into its cradle blessedly silencing it. He rolled onto his back and sighed. He missed being able to sleep into noon, but he had to change his habits if he wanted to hide out for awhile. Alexi tossed off the covers and sleepily dragged himself to the washroom. He adjusted the water temperature to his liking, just slightly above warm. Alexi took a quick shower, waking himself up completely.

Soon a blue flannel shirt over faded blue jeans covered his lean body. He ruthlessly brushed his hair back and tied in into a low ponytail at the base of his skull. The hairstyle caused his features to show up in sharp relief. Alexi briefly considered getting colored contact lenses but decided against it. His vision was 20/20 and he didn't want to fool around with his eyes. Besides they would be a hassle. Alexi looked at his reflection in the mirror over the dresser and debated on whether to wear his leather jacket. It was well-worn and wouldn't look out of place on a student hopefully. He had had it since before he was discovered in that rundown saloon. Alexi thought back to those days of taking gigs wherever they would give him a chance to play so he could pay rent and eat. Admittedly he could've worked in some minimum pay job but he loved his music so much. He didn't get much chance to play for the fun and write songs. Maybe that could change now.

Alexi finally shouldered into his leather jacket and decided to hell with it if it made him out of place. The comfort that the jacket lent him was worth it. His last item before leaving the small room was to shoulder a battered book bag.

Perhaps it was a little careless of him, but Alexi still wore his pendant under his shirt. He had changed his stud to a simple silver ball. After all, many young people had their ears pierced, not to mention other parts of their bodies. Alexi grinned wickedly as he thought of a piercing that would drive Henri crazy. Maybe he would do get it done before returning. Henri deserved a little shaking up for planning to put him through an extended tour without even asking him first. Alexi shook his head sadly as he walked down the sidewalk toward a bus stop that would take him to the University of Southern Colorado.

~>~>~>~>~

Once at the University, Alexi wandered around for a bit familiarizing himself with the campus. Luckily no one recognized him. Perhaps his plan was going to work. Alexi headed for the Administration Building.

The Registration desk was busy so Alexi joined a line to wait for his turn. While waiting, he continued to discard possible aliases and flipped through the summer class catalogue. He didn't pay much attention to the book because he had already decided which course he was going to take.

When it was his turn, he signed up for the computer course. The secretary directed him to where he would get his picture taken for his student ID card.

~>~>~>~>~

For a month, Alexi's studies went well and his real identity remained undiscovered. However, Henri was insisting that his star was in danger and something must be done. Eventually the FBI was called in on the possible kidnapping.

In a large conference room within the Washington, DC branch of the FBI, Skinner held a meeting with the thirty agents assigned to the task. Most were agents whose partners were either on medical leave or vacation.

Skinner looked over the assortment of agents seated before him, his eyes narrowing slightly as he caught sight of Fox Mulder near the back of the room. While Mulder was a competent agent most of the time, he needed to be kept on a tight rein. Scully usually managed it to some extent. However, she was taking a month off due to family. Skinner sighed silently and began the meeting.

"Agents, you are going to be assigned to the possible kidnapping of Alexi Krycek, the rock star. He's been missing for just over a month. Each of you has a folder that details what the local police in Kansas City found the day he disappeared. The room was in an disarray and Alexi was gone. His manager, Henri Conover, insisted he had been kidnapped. There have been reports of sightings over Kansas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma and Colorado. The FBI believes that someone in one of these six states have seen or been in contact with Alexi. I'm assigning five agents to each state. In your folder, you will find a list of names and which state each agent will canvass. Is there any questions?"

Routine questions are asked and answered.

Finally, Mulder pulled himself from his slouch and stood up. "Is there any real proof that he was kidnapped or did he just run away?"

"The scene left behind lends itself more to a kidnapping. Alexi was on a grueling tour of the States when he disappeared," Skinner explained carefully.

"How long had the tour been when he disappeared?" Mulder asked laconically.

"Six months and another month of concerts scheduled," Skinner said after consulting his notes.

Mulder curled one corner of his mobile mouth in a partial smirk. He was pretty sure he knew what happened to the missing rock star. Mulder dropped back down into his chair and waited for the meeting to end. It would a waste of time although, glancing through the folder to see where he was being assigned, there might be some redeeming features.

Skinner waited a couple of minutes to see if there were any more questions. When none were forthcoming, he went on to the last bit of information he had to give before dismissing the agents.

Skinner signaled to an agent at the rear of the room to turn on a projector. The projector sent an image of Alexi onto the white screen at the head of the room. It was a publicity picture but it would have to do.

"Alexi is in his late twenties, six feet tall with green eyes and black hair worn long. He wears two pieces of distinctive jewelry, a stud in his right ear and medallion pendant. Unfortunately, Mr. Conover wasn't unable to provide any details on the medallion itself nor does the press have any information other than it exists. Alexi's hair is written into the contract he signed so it is unlikely to have changed much. It is shoulder blade length and layered in the front."

One of the agents in the front row raised his hand.

"Yes," Skinner prompted the man.

"What is in the contract regarding Alexi's hair?"

"It cannot be cut shorter than shoulder blade length or dyed. As per the contract, the only change that is allowed would be to grow it longer."

"Is it likely that it could be longer?" the same agent asked.

"That information is not available. Mr. Conover left that to the hair stylist he had hired. The stylist is not available to answer questions. She was killed in an automobile accident two weeks ago."

Skinner paused for a moment. When no further questions were asked, he continued.

"Alexi was last seen by Henri Conover in Kansas City Hotel. Mr. Conover left him sleeping while he did some errands. He was wearing black silk pajama bottoms at that time. The only notable missing items discovered in the room were a few thousand dollars and Alexi's leather jacket. You will find plane tickets in each of your folders for your assigned destination. Check in with the local offices and make your reports directly to me. Agents, you are dismissed."

Skinner put his notes back into his folder and left the room. The agents hurriedly left to grab their bags and went to the airport. Some of their flights were leaving within the hour.

~>~>~>~>~

Mulder after checking his ticket and confirming that he didn't leave for four hours decided to check on points of interest in his assigned state.

At his desk in the basement, Mulder pulled his file on Colorado. There was the Buckley Air National Guard Base in Aurora. However, Agent Phillips was going to Aurora. Mulder leaned back in his chair and put his feet up on the desk. It was kind of freeing not to ignore the pointed stare that Scully always gave him when he did this. He pulled open the top drawer on his desk and pulled out a bag of sunflower seeds. As he began the rhythmic motions of slipping a slightly salty seed into his mouth to crack open and suck out the chewy prize within, Mulder idly flipped through his folder. Suddenly he sat upright with a jarring motion; there was a possible saving grace of being sent to Pueblo, Colorado. His eyes quickly scanned and memorized the information he had. Although it was a slight chance, there might be some useful data on the Consortium in the logistic center for the U.S. Army. It was only a short distance to the east and once he checked out the useless leads on Alexi, he would be free to investigate his choice of assignments. Of course, Skinner didn't need to know what he planned.

Mulder glanced at the clock and left to catch his flight.

~>~>~>~>~

Upon arrival in Pueblo, Mulder picked up his sedate grey sedan and drove to the local FBI branch to report in. He hated this part of out of town assignments. He never did get along with other branches of law enforcement or even other branches of the FBI. His detested nickname of Spooky seemed to follow him wherever he went. Just because he could see the larger picture more clearly than other people didn't mean there was something wrong with him. Mulder shrugged his shoulders lightly inside his black suit jacket. Since there was no way of avoiding it, he decided to push it from his mind.

Mulder entered the FBI offices and looked around silently. It was always the same, no matter which of the smaller branches he was in. Mulder snagged the attention of one of the agents.

"Where can I find ASAC Jefferson?"

The agent pointed the direction offhandedly and hurried on with his current task.

Mulder grimaced slightly. While the silent answer was unusual, it was a little better than the agent telling him that he was that Spooky Mulder as if he didn't already know that.

Mulder carefully picked his way through the busy office to the glass door at the back of the room. He knocked and waited for the response.

"Enter," barked a voice.

Mulder took a deep breath and wished he could eat a few sunflower seeds to calm himself down a little. He opened the door and went in.

"ASAC Jefferson, my name is Fox Mulder. I've been assigned to Pueblo to check out the leads on a missing person, Alexi Krycek."

"Ah yes, SAC Skinner phoned me to let me know you would be coming. There have been reports of sightings, but nothing concrete has turned up." Jefferson said as he looked over this infamous agent. He had heard reports of incredible profiling abilities. It seemed a shame to him that such a promising agent was put into a fluff division like the X-Files. Jefferson found it hard to believe in some of the things he heard that this division investigated. He found the lanky agent to be a little strange, but perhaps that was the result of the preconceived ideas he had when he heard that Spooky Mulder was coming.

Mulder tilted his head slightly and looked at the ASAC. He knew that the man was trying to size him up. Mulder briefly debated with himself if that was even possible when at times he couldn't do it himself.

"Where were the sightings?"

"Local malls, downtown, and a motel by the bus station but nothing concrete has turned up yet. Agent Wilkins has the list of locations. Wilkins' desk is just to right outside my door. He will be able to give the folder with the information. I'm afraid I can't spare a man to help you."

Mulder shrugged, not in the least disappointed. "That's okay, ASAC Jefferson. I will be able to handle this on my own."

"Then I will leave you to it, Agent Mulder." Jefferson's words were clearly a dismissal.

Mulder turned crisply and left. The sooner he checked out the leads would be better. He had plans to check into the Army logistic center.

Wilkins was at his desk and as soon as Mulder said who he was, he handed over the file. In his opinion, there were more important cases to look into than a missing rock star. He briefly considered requesting that Agent Mulder look at the case he was handling, but ruthlessly dismissed the idea. He couldn't see what good Spooky would be able to do.

Mulder sensing the agent's attitude towards him, sighed inwardly. He took the folder and left for his hotel. He would look it over in the privacy of his own room. He briefly wished Scully was here, but knew it was not possible at this time. Her family needed her right now.

~>~>~>~>~

Once in the hotel room, Mulder shucked his jacket and pulled out the city map he had picked up in the lobby. He marked out the list of sightings on the map and sat back to look at it. There was a bit of a pattern to them. Why had no one picked up on it? His anticipated trip to the army center was forgotten as he developed an interest in the current case. Mulder rolled up his sleeves and pulled out the ever present bag of sunflower seeds as his agile mind began to work on the puzzle before him.

An hour later, Mulder sat back in satisfaction positive that he knew where Alexi was. He looked at the phone and briefly considered calling Skinner before dismissing the thought. When he found the singer, it would be soon enough.

As if thinking about Skinner summoned him, the phone rang.

"Agent Mulder, do you have anything to report?" Skinner asks abruptly.

Mulder's lips quirked a little bit.

"No, sir. I've reported to ASAC Jefferson and picked up the file on the possible sightings. I'll start checking them out in the morning," Mulder obfuscated smoothly.

"I expect regular reports, Agent Mulder," Skinner said sternly. He hoped, perhaps uselessly, that by stressing Mulder's status as an agent, it would keep him in control.

"Yes, sir," Mulder replied. Already, his mind was slipping away to mull over why Alexi would've run away. He was even surer of that now.

Skinner hung up with Mulder absently doing the same.

Looking at the map again, Mulder decided he would check out that motel this evening and the University of Southern Colorado tomorrow. He didn't expect much from the motel, but it made a good starting point. Most of the sightings concentrated around the University.

~>~>~>~>~

At the nondescript motel, Mulder spoke with the night desk clerk. As he had suspected, the information was sketchy and old.

The clerk vaguely remembered someone close to that description checking in over a month ago. However, he wasn't sure if it was Alexi. The guest had checked out the next afternoon.

Mulder thanked the man and left. He hadn't really expected much here. The place seemed to attract the more transient of the population.

~>~>~>~>~

The next day, Mulder decided that he might get better responses at the University if he didn't go in a suit. He dressed in faded tight blue jeans and a black T-shirt without anything written on it. His well-worn runners completed the ensemble. While the suit might have gendered more cooperation from the Student Administration, Mulder was more interested in blending with the student body.

~>~>~>~>~

Mulder entered the Administration building and went to the Student Registration desk. When he finally managed to catch the attention of the harried clerk, she wasn't able to help much. She explained with an annoyed tint to her words that a month ago the University had started their summer courses and hundreds of students had passed through the Registration Office. She went on further to complain to him that she couldn't be expected to remember one long-haired student out of that many. Especially, since the young men of today couldn't get decent haircuts nowdays. Mulder was glad to leave behind the spinsterish woman. He had the suspicious feeling that if he hadn't cut her off, she would have continued to rant about what she continued proper dress and etiquette. Her beliefs were firmly tethered in the fifties.

Mulder stepped out of the Administration building into the bright sunshine no better off than when he had entered. He leaned back against the warm bricks of the building and soaked up the heat. Mulder was positive he would find Alexi on this campus somewhere. Unfortunately, it was rather large.

A young man, about nineteen, interrupted Mulder's musings.

"Quite an old battle axe, isn't she?" he said with a small smile.

"What?" Mulder asked, puzzledly.

"Mrs. Stevens, the Administration clerk. She's been here about twenty years. Don't feel bad about how she talked. She does it to everyone. As grouchy as she is, my Dad says she is invaluable here."

"Your Dad?" Mulder questioned.

"Yeah, my Dad is the Dean. My name is Stewart. I'll be starting school here in the fall. However, till then, I just hang around the campus."

Mulder looked the young man over hopefully. "My name is Mulder." He purposely didn't give his identification as an agent. "Perhaps you could help me. I'm looking for a guy. I have his picture here," Mulder trailed off as he dug in his zipped binder for the press folder picture. Alexi's name had been removed from the picture so it could be used in the search.

"Sure, if I can. What has he done?"

"Nothing, I'm just looking for him." Mulder handed the photograph over to Stewart.

Stewart looked at the picture carefully before handing it back. "I think I've seen him. You could try by the computer building. You sure he's not in trouble?"

Mulder nodded absently. "Yeah, I am. Thanks for the help, Stewart."

"No problem, I should get back. I'm supposed to be helping Mrs. Stevens today."

Mulder watched silently as Stewart slipped back into the Adminstration building. Perhaps, he would be able to wrap up this case today.

~>~>~>~>~

Mulder consulted the campus map on the board and headed off toward the Computer Sciences building.

~>~>~>~>~

Mulder entered the building after not seeing any sign of Alexi in the study courtyard near it.

Perhaps unfortunately for Mulder at the same time he was entering the front doors, Alexi was exiting through the rear of the building. His final class for the day was finished. Alexi raised his face to the bright warm sunlight and breathed in deeply. At times, the hermetically sealed classrooms with the airconditioned air was a little too stifling. It reminded him too much of the endless concert halls. That is why Alexi preferred working on his laptop and studying outside whenever it was possible. Despite his busy school schedule, Alexi finally felt relaxed and able to breathe more freely after a month on the campus. Alexi glanced at his watch and hurried off. He still had to go to supermarket and restock his groceries before tackling all the assignments given to him today.

Mulder walked through the hallways and glanced into the occupied classrooms. However despite the nagging feeling that his quarry was near, he couldn't spot him anywhere. After an hour of searching, Mulder decided to check out the other reports of sightings at the local mall.

While Mulder checked out the mall, Alexi was just finishing up his grocery shopping two blocks away.

Mulder returned to his room that evening not much further ahead than when he started that morning.

~>~>~>~>~

Mulder took a shower and ordered a meat lover's pizza for himself. He flicked on the TV and settled in to watch an old sci-fi movie. Mulder couldn't shake the feeling that he had spent the day just missing Alexi. Feeling even more determined to find the missing man, Mulder put in a wake up call for seven in the morning. He would stake out the courtyard and Computer Sciences building tomorrow.

Soon after his supper arrived, the phone rang.

Glancing at the clock on the bedside table, Mulder sighed. He had a sneeking suspicion that he knew who was on the other end.

"Mulder," he answered the phone sharply.

"Mulder, you were to give regular updates." Skinner remonstrated his recalcitrant agent.

"There's been nothing to report, Sir. All the leads so far have turned up nothing."

Skinner sighed over the phone line and Mulder felt a brief moment of remorse before resolutely deciding not to divulge any of his suspicions. After all, there was no need to further foster his reputation as Spooky Mulder even if he was usually proved right.

"Very well, Agent, and you will report any developments that you find." Skinner prompted Mulder, not really expecting any obedience in the matter.

"Yes, Sir," Mulder said smartly.

Skinner disconnected the call leaving Mulder to listen to light drone of the dial tone before he hung up as well.

Mulder grimaced slightly at the phone before dismissing it from his mind. He had plans to make for tomorrow and it looked like he had found an sci-fi marathon on the TV.

~>~>~>~>~

The next day, Mulder arrived at the campus just as the first students were arriving. He stationed himself in the courtyard where he had a good view of both the courtyard and the front doors of the building. He had a book with him for cover but didn't really intend on reading much of it. Mulder surreptitiously scrutinized every student as they entered the building for their classes.

Alexi was late today so he entered through the rear entrance which was closer to his first class.

~>~>~>~>~

At lunch, Alexi and another student exited the front doors discussing a computer problem from their class. At the base of the steps, they said goodbye.

Alexi stretched and looked over the courtyard to pick a good location to relax in. He noticed an slightly older man looking at him. Alexi did a quick once over and found the man to be very attractive. He sighed in regret. Despite his attraction, it wouldn't be fair to have any kind of relationship even if it was an one night stand. After all, he was still in hiding and he would eventually have to return to his former life. Alexi adjusted his computer bag on his shoulder and walked to a shaded bench at the far end of the courtyard.

Mulder waited until Alexi sat down and pulled out a laptop before going over to him.

"Do you mind if I have a seat?" Mulder asked in a low voice.

Alexi looked up into his face and noticed it was the same man who was looking at him. With him so close, it was more apparent that he was in good shape. The figure hugging blue T-shirt and tight jeans outlined the sleekly muscled torso and revealed slim hips. His lanky build suggested that he was either a runner or a swimmer. Thick dark brown hair dipped slightly over his forehead in a thick wave. Haunted brown eyes were smiling at him. The large nose might have been too large for his face but instead added an endearing quality.

Mulder tilted his head and waved absently to the empty bench beside Alexi.

Alexi grinned shyly and nodded. "Sure, have a seat."

Mulder sat down next to Alexi close enough that their thighs were touching.

Alexi flushed slightly and slided away a little bit.

Mulder's lips quirked in an lopsided smile as he noticed Alexi shifting away. He also didn't miss the sharp intake of breath that Alexi took when he pressed his thigh against Alexi's.

Mulder held his hand out to Alexi.

"My name is Fox Mulder."

Alexi looked down at the outstretched hand and somehow knew that if he touched this man, he would be lost. Alexi sighed softly and accepted the handshake.

"I'm Eli Keryck," Alexi huskily offered his assumed name.

Mulder cocked his head slightly at the introduction and let his smile widen. So that was how Alexi had remained hidden for so long.

Just then, a passing student jossled the two men slightly.

Mulder frowned slightly as he glanced around the courtyard. It was becoming crowded as the students got out of classes and were taking advantage of the good weather to study outside. He turned back to Eli and put on his best persuasive smile.

"Perhaps we could have coffee or something somewhere more quiet?"

Eli pressed his lips together as he tried to decide. Getting involved with anyone was dangerous. However, despite his busy schedule, he was getting lonely. After all he had spent the last few years being surrounded by people who knew who he was. Eli decided to take the plunge and damn the consequences.

"Okay, but I don't think the student cafeteria will be any better right now. I don't have any classes this afternoon, so why don't we head to an off campus diner?"

Mulder smiled in agreement and stood up. "That would be great, Eli."

Together the two men walked to the bus stop. Mulder asked Eli about the courses he was taking.

It was easy to tell by Eli's tone of voice and mannerisms that he enjoyed his studies.

Mulder experienced a brief tug of remorse that he would be responsible for ending this time for Alexi, or Eli as he now called himself.

As they reached the bus stop, Mulder silently groaned as he saw the large queue waiting for buses.

"Eli, how about we take my car? It is just parked a little ways from here," Mulder suggested cautiously. He had thought that taking the bus with him, he would allay some of the uneasiness that Eli couldn't quite hide.

Eli silently calculated that it would be at least an hour's wait until they would be able to catch a bus. The bus service to the University was good but mornings, afternoons and evenings tended to overtax it a little. Eli looked Fox over and decided that it should be safe.

"Sure, that would be find. Lead the way," Eli said holding one hand face up and away from his body.

Mulder drove away from the University.

"So where's a good place to grab a coffee that wouldn't be crowded?"

Eli gnawed his lower lip endearingly as he thought. He mentally discarded all the usual hangouts of the University students and of course the malls' food courts. The remaining few were depressingly substandard in the quality of service and coffee that they provided. Eli had never really considered how much the students frequented the better and more reasonable establishments in Pueblo. Eli glanced at Mulder out of the corner of hs his eye before gathering courage to make his suggestion. While he felt that there was something that Mulder was hiding, Eli trusted his gut feeling that it wasn't anything really dangerous or life threatening. Eli's lips quirked for an moment as a though struck him that the only real danger might be to his virtue.

"How about I make coffee at my place?" Eli offered softly.

Mulder silently crowed in victory. Yes! Perhaps, he might be able to get to know this intriguing man more intimately before convincing him to contact his manager and ultimately return to the life of a rock star. Mulder experienced a brief flash of regret when he considered that he probably would lose contact with Alexi after he returned to his old life.

Alexi gave directions to his studio apartment to Mulder. He hoped that he wasn't making a mistake.

~>~>~>~>~

Alexi prepared a pot of coffee and set some cookies on the table.

Mulder spared a quick glance at them. While they were chocolate fudge creme cookies, Mulder really hoped that something mor tasty was on the menu.

Alexi could feel Mulder's gaze on him as he retrieved the sugar and real creme from the fridge. While he was used to being stared at in his Alexi personna, he found it a little disconcerting now. A small smile touched his lips briefly as he mused that at least he could say he had been undressed with eyes now. Eli knew that if he expressed the opinion that he wasn't interested, Mulder would back off on the seduction attempt. But did he really want that? He had overheard some of the girls on campus talking about him. So he knew he was attractive to the opposite sex and apparently to males as well. His long hair seemed to inspire interest as well as his body. So far Eli had discouraged any attempts made to pick him up. Perhaps it was time to allow it.

"So Eli," Mulder said as Eli sat down after pouring them each a cup. "Are you involved with anyone?" Mulder smiled slyly at him as he finished saying these words.

Eli choked a little on the mouthful of coffee he had just taken. He quickly swallowed and set the cup down a little shakily. Despite thinking about it, he had not expected Mulder to be so abrupt.

"Uh, no," Eli stammered.

"Good," Mulder said silkily. "So you wouldn't mind if I kissed you?"

Eli's mouth opened and closed several times as he tried to come up with an answer.

Mulder arose and walked around the edge of the small table and pulled Eli to his feet. Lightly holding the still stunned man around the waist, Mulder brushed a light kiss on his lips. When no protest was forthcoming, Mulder decided to go for it. His head dipped close to Eli's again and he kissed him with more pressure. Mulder's tongue darted out to lick at Eli's lips requesting entrance.

Eli's hands fluttered upwards to touch Mulder's chest. There they lightly rested as if he was unsure whether to push Mulder away or pull him closer. Eli sighed and opened his mouth.

Mulder swept in and claimed his prize. He was right in that Eli tasted far sweeter than the cookies ever could.

Eli's fingers curled into Mulder's T-shirt and clung helplessly as his mouth was plundered.

Mulder broke the kiss and nibbled lightly on Eli's jaw.

Eli moaned softly and offered his neck.

Mulder dragged his lips down and licked at the hollow of Eli's throat. He savoured the slightly salty taste of the skin here before moving up to nibble gently on Eli's right ear lobe.

Eli's fingers curled convulsively on Mulder's shirt and he arched his pelvis into Mulder's.

Two aroused cocks rocked against each other through the twin barriers of their jeans.

All thoughts rushed out of Eli as he grasped Mulder's head to pull him into a kiss.

Their mouths meshed together muffling the soft moans rising out of both men.

Mulder pulled back to look into the low-lidded green eyes surrounded by an adorable flushed face. He no longer cared about the Army Logistics Centre or anything else. This aroused man in his arms was the only thing he wanted. Mulder licked his lips savouring the taste of Eli.

"Are you sure?" Mulder whispered.

"Yes," Eli huskily murmured.

Mulder gently pulled Eli over to the double bed resting invitingly against the far wall. He pulled off Eli's shirt and played with the small pink nipples gracing the hairless chest. The medallion that was in his briefing rested between these two treasures but Mulder paid no attention to it.

Eli arched into his touch surrendering himself to whatever Mulder wanted. His hands pushed up at Mulder's T-shirt wanting to feel his bare skin against his.

Mulder pulled back and quickly stripped, being careful to conceal his ankle gun with clothes. It would cause too many questions that Mulder didn't have patience to answer at the moment. He then helped Eli out of his remaining clothes.

They toppled entangled onto the soft bedspread. Mulder landed on top and quickly proceeded to give Eli a deep open-mouthed kiss while grinding down against him.

Eli's soft moan was swallowed by Mulder. He bucked upwards firmly pressing their hard and leaking cocks together.

Soon sweat and pre-cum made things easier as they steadily humped together toward their climaxes.

Mulder spared a final fleeting thought toward that he should have planned ahead better and had lube on hand.

Soon all thoughts on both of their parts were restricted to reaching their shared ectasy. Tongues tangled as their cocks dueled.

First Eli came with a soft whimper and then Mulder with a low crying of Eli's name. Neither man was a screamer but then again it is a little hard to scream when you are liplocked with someone.

Mulder rolled off of Eli and pulled him into an embrace. Neither cared at the moment that the sticky evidence of their release remained cooling on their stomachs. Mulder lazily kissed Eli as they shared the post-coital bliss. Hands slowly stroked the other's back.

Mulder reached up and finished releasing Eli's hair from the tie he was using and spread his out across his shoulders. The silky strands caressing and tangling with his fingers.

"Eli," Mulder started to say something just as his cell phone rang.

Eli looked towards the sound. "Is that yours?"

Mulder sighed and rested his forehead against Eli's. "Yes, but I'm not going to answer it." He had a stong hunch that he knew who would be on the other end.

"Why not?" Eli asked, pulling away a little to look into Mulder's face.

"Because I know who it is and I don't want to talk to him."

"Him?" Eli asked apprehensively.

"No, Eli, it's nothing like that. I just think its my boss," Mulder reassured Eli.

The phone finally stopped ringing.

"Eli, would you be mad if I asked you something?" Mulder asked as he started to play with Eli's medallion.

Eli glanced down at Mulder's nervous handling of his necklace. "No, Mulder, you can ask anything. I just won't guarantee I'll answer it."

Mulder grinned at Eli. "Considering what we just did and where were are, you can call me Fox." Mulder knew that he normally wouldn't offer that but Eli was special.

"Okay, Fox," Eli smiled as he huskily carressed Fox's name with his voice. "What is your question?"

Mulder sighed and closed his eyes briefly. Perhaps this promising relationship will be ruined but there was no way he could not ask it. It would be worst later if it came from someone else.

"Eli, I know I should have said something before we went to bed but I wanted you so badly when I saw you. I know it's not any excuse."

Eli pulled away slightly out of Fox's embrace. He wasn't sure if he liked the way Fox was talking.

"You don't have any diseases, do you?"

"Oh, no," Mulder hastened to assure him. "It's nothing like that. It's just that I know who you are."

"Of course you do, I told you my name."

"No, I mean your real name. I know that you are Alexi Krycek. That's why I wanted to talk to in a quiet place. Your manager has reported you as kidnapped." Mulder's words stumbled to a halt as he noticed how pale Eli had gotten. "Please don't pull away. Who you are changes nothing for me. I still think you are beautiful and I want to have a relationship with you if you'll let me." Mulder reached out a hand to cup Eli's face.

Eli stopped the hand before it reached its destination. "So what are you going to do now? Report that you have found me? Who are you really?"

Mulder sat up and grasped one of Eli's hands in his. "It's up to you. I understood that you needed a break even if the ones around you didn't. You had a grueling schedule prior to your disappearance. I stall on any reports I have to make. I'll just say I haven't found anything yet." Mulder took a deep breath before continuing. "As for who I am, I'm still Fox Mulder. I still want a relationship with you."

"Why do you have all the information on me? Are you a detective?" Alexi asked softly, already resigning himself to give up his life here.

"Not really a detective, I'm an agent with the FBI. All kidnapping cases get the interest of the federal government. When the local police could turn nothing up on it, your manager, Henri, appealed to them to bring in the FBI. I was one of the agents assigned to the case." Mulder reached out one hand and lifted Alexi's face so he could see into his eyes. "My job was to check into possible sighting reports here in Pueblo. The local office couldn't expend the extra manpower so I was sent in. There are agents scattered around checking out other possible sightings. It was just my incredible good fortune to find you."

"So you can turn me in?"

"No, so I could meet you. I care for you. You!" Mulder stressed. "Not your superstar personality. Whether you go by Eli Keryck or Alexi Krycek, I'm still interested in you, the individual."

Alexi looked carefully into Fox's eyes. "Truly?" he asked hesitantly.

"Yes, just you," Mulder whispered as he leaned forward and lightly kissed Alexi.

Alexi sighed as he finally accepted that Fox meant it. "Fox, I don't want to go back yet."

"Then you don't have to. I'll stall Skinner, my boss. You can go back whenever or if every you want too."

Alexi smiled and then chuckled lightly. "I guess you can call me Alexi. To be truthful, I prefer it to Eli."

"So do I, Alexi," Mulder whispered as he kissed Alexi again.

Mulder's cell phone rang imperiously interrupting the two new lovers again.

Alexi pushed slightly at Mulder. "You better answer it, Fox. I don't think he's going to give up."

"Probably not," sighed Mulder. He bent over to pick up the cell phone from his pants.

"Mulder," he answered the phone.

"Why didn't you answer the first time?" Skinner asked impatiently.

Fox grinned at Alexi. "I didn't answer because I was indisposed at the time."

Alexi grinned back, fighting to hold his laughter in.

"What do you have to report?"

"I'm still checking out the possible leads. I spent the morning staking out a possible location with no success. I would have called tonight with the report, Sir." Mulder told Skinner, a little hurt that he ddn't trust him to do it.

Skinner sighed and went on to reassure his most irksome and special agent. "I know you would have, Agent Mulder. However, there has been pressure from the higher ups to solve this case. I will be phoning all the agents assigned to it. We can't afford to expend the amount of manpower we have on it indefinitely."

"Yes, Sir," Mulder said relunctantly. He felt a little bad for lying to Skinner especially since he did try to help him whenever he got into trouble.

"Report any findings when you can, Agent," Skinner ordered before disconnecting.

Mulder slowly closed his cell. Despite his promises to Alexi, he hadn't expected it be so hard to lie to Skinner.

Alexi rubbed Mulder's back. He could see that Fox was having a hard time in lying to his boss. Perhaps there was a way to compromise.

"Fox," Alexi hesitantly began.

"Yes, Alexi," Mulder asked turning to face him more fully.

"What if I called Henri and told him I was alright but wasn't coming back yet?"

"It might work but even if he didn't ask for it, the Bureau would want proof that you were not doing it under duress."

"Would your boss be willing to see me and let me finish what I want to do here first?"

Mulder bit his lip and sighed. "It probably would work then. However wouldn't Henri start pestering you to return sooner or even show up here?"

"Not if he didn't know where I was. Could it work out?"

Mulder nodded slowly. "Maybe, but I don't want to call Skinner back and say I just found you. It would be like offering my ass for him to chew on."

Alexi laughed. "No, that wouldn't be good. Besides, I have plans for that part of your body as well as others."

"Perhaps I have other plans," Mulder countered with a leer.

Alexi and Fox went to share a shower and clean up before going out to shop for some supplies. Their teasing of each other continued as did their stolen kisses. Neither man was willing to give up touching the other yet, especially after coming so close to losing their budding relationship.

~>~>~>~>~

They returned a couple hours later after shopping and a brief stop at Mulder's hotel. Mulder had checked in with desk and asked to forward his calls to his cell after picking up a change of clothing.

Pizza was called in since neither really felt like cooking. After eating, Mulder watched some TV on low volume while Alexi finished up his school assignments.

~>~>~>~>~

Alexi joined Fox on the couch and cuddled up against him.

"You know, Fox, there are more interesting things than the TV."

"Yeah, like what?" Fox questioned with a leer.

Alexi laughed and lightly slapped Fox's arm. "Get your mind out of the gutter, Fox. I mean there's museums, art galleries, theatres and that's just naming a few things."

"Is that all?" Fox pouted, giving Alexi his best hound dog expression.

Alexi tried to look stern for a moment and then gave up. "No, my Fox, there is also this," Alexi purred softly. He pulled Fox over him and kissed him.

Fox pulled away breathlessly. "Ah, that is a lot better suggestion. Shall we retire to the bed?"

Alexi grinned and pushed gently at Fox urging him to get up.

Fox arose and stood with his hand out. Alexi grabbed it and was pulled up into Fox's arms. Not surprisingly, the TV was ignored for the rest of the night.

Fox kissed Alexi on the tip of his small nose before leading him the bed. Once there, they quickly divested each other of their clothes. This time, Mulder's gun was placed into bedside table where their supplies rested on top in anticipation of the night.

Mulder rolled Alexi beneath him on the bed and slowly made love to him paying acute attention to every detail. Alexi was moaning and bucking against him in response to this slow sweet torture. With as much attention as Fox ever gave to any of his X-Files, he expended even more in making this even enjoyable. He cherished every sound, no matter how slight, that Alexi made.

"Fox," Alexi moaned. "Please, I need you now!"

Alexi's fingers clutched at Fox urging him closer. He was slowly being driven out of his mind. No other lover had cared this much before.

Finally Fox reached for the condoms and lube. His prey and lover lay panting below him. Alexi's eyes were half closed and glazed with the lust he felt. His nipples were pert and moist from the attention Fox had given them.

"Alexi, are you ready?" Fox whispered in one perfect shell-like ear.

"Yes, Fox, please enter me," Alexi pleaded breathlessly.

Fox opened the lube and coated his fingers liberally. He knelt between Alexi's widespread legs and teased the rosy entrance until it winked eagerly at him. Fox entered with one finger and carressed the silky interior walls of Alexi. He moaned softly in response as he entered Alexi with two fingers and he was squeezed and released. Fox's arousal spiked suddenly and he was even more eager to be inside. However, he would take it slow even if it killed him. He didn't want to take any chance on hurting Alexi.

Soon Alexi was taking three fingers easily and bucking back encouragingly. Fox removed his fingers and quickly put on the awaiting condom. Alexi groaned at the sudden emptiness and raised his hips up in silent pleading.

"Soon, Alexi, soon," Fox crooned to him, even as he slicked up his cock.

Fox placed himself against Alexi's spasming entrance and slowly entered into the silky warmth of his lover. Fox moaned softly as he sank into the tender embrace awaiting him. He gritted his teeth as he fought back his orgasm as the incredible feeling around him.

Alexi opened his eyes and green fire met warm hazel eyes in shared enjoyment of finally being one. Who knew that their soul mate would be so close and yet so far away. Alexi reached up and pulled Fox down for a kiss. Each groaned into the other's mouth as the angle changed and Fox brushed against Alexi's prostate.

Unable to hold back any longer, Fox began a easy rocking motion that slowly drove both to their climaxes. Just the feel of him inside and moving was enough for Alexi. As each of their orgasms exploded through them leaving their bodies tingling, they cried out their lover's names for the world to hear their joy.

Fox collapsed onto Alexi who pulled him into a tight embrace. Neither were willing to separate yet.

After several minutes, Fox raised his head to look into Alexi's eyes. "I should move. I must be too heavy for you."

Alexi sighed and slowly nodded. "As much as I wish we could stay this forever, I guess we should."

Fox gently pulled out of Alexi and fell beside him. Alexi moved into his arms and they fell asleep.

~>~>~>~>~

Waking up refreshed and happy, if you didn't account being glued to each other, Alexi and Fox kissed. They pulled apart with Fox grimacing slightly as a few hairs were yanked out.

Alexi chuckled softly. "I guess I'm glad that I have so little body hair. Might I make a suggestion for the future?"

"Be my guest," Fox offered as he rubbed at his stomach.

"It would probably be best if we cleaned up before going to sleep in the future."

Mulder's eyes glowed as he heard Alexi confirming that were going to be sharing a future. "I agree," Fox leaned forward to kiss Alexi.

They cleaned up before changing the sheets and then returned to bed to cuddle.

Fox played with the medallion resting over Alexi's heart. "You know everyone is curious about this medallion?"

Alexi shrugged in an offhanded manner. "It was personal and I didn't feel that they needed to know everything about me."

Alexi watched carefully as Fox lifted the medallion to read the words inscribed on it. Fox read the upper side that faced the open air first aloud "Someday my love will find me and..." He looked into Alexi's eyes and noticed the smile and love reflected in them.

"A gypsy gave it to me when I was thirteen and told me to wear it close to my heart always. I vowed then to wait until I met the person she was talking about," Alexi explained huskily. He gently turned the medallion over in Fox's hands. "I'll finished inscribing it today. I started it a year ago."

Fox looked down to finish reading it. "His name will be _ _ _." Fox looked at the three spaces waiting to be filled in and up into Alexi's eyes.

"I knew you were coming and that your name was three letters long. However, my fortunes that I had done would only reveal it was a man and the name was related to an animal."

"You knew I was coming and you waited for me?" Fox asked astonished. Although he believed in the most strange of things, he was still a little poleaxed that his Alexi knew he was coming.

"Yes, I did and I must say you sure took your time." Alexi said with a smile.

Fox laughed and accepted this. It looked like happiness had finally found him. "If you had kept in one place sooner, I would have found you faster."

Fox and Alexi cuddled together and shared more details of their lives with each other. Later in the night, Alexi returned the favor and made love to Fox until he was a liquid pool of satisfaction.

~>~>~>~>~

The next day, they went to a jewellery store and bought a second medallion like Alexi's. They had the jeweller inscribe the same words onto Fox's. The only difference being the final word: Alexi in elegant script on Fox's and Fox in the same script on Alexi's.

~>~>~>~>~

They returned to the apartment after collecting Fox's luggage.

As they sat at the kitchen table, Fox looked at Alexi. "I guess we can't put it off any longer. I should call Skinner."

Alexi rested one hand on Fox's while he made the call.

"Skinner, would you be able to come to Pueblo?"

"This isn't the best time, Agent Mulder."

"I understand, Sir, but it is important. It involves the case."

Skinner's sigh could be heard over the line clearly.

"Very well, Mulder, I'll be there tonight. Pick me up from the airport."

"Yes, Sir."

Fox squeezed Alexi's hand after he hung up.

"I guess that's it. It will all work out," Fox reassured Alexi.

"I know, but it still feels strange to being a step closer to returning to my old life." Alexi said with a shrug. "I'll wait here and cook supper while you pick up Skinner."

"Okay," Fox agreed knowing that Alexi needed the time alone.

~>~>~>~>~

Later that evening, Fox left Alexi behind with a kiss when he went to pick up Skinner.

Alexi threw together a simple pasta meal. He knew he wouldn't really feel like eating until everything was settled. He only hoped that this Skinner was as reasonable as Fox believed. Alexi silently scolded himself for not believing in Fox. He took a deep breath and calmed down. It wouldn't do to get into a panic.

~>~>~>~>~

By the time Fox and Skinner arrived, dinner was ready to set on the table. Fox opened the door with the key Alexi had given him earlier.

"Alexi, we're here," Fox called out.

Alexi turned from the sink where he was setting the used pans. "So I see. Welcome Mr. Skinner," Alexi said as he wiped his hands off. He then held out his hand to shake.

Skinner looked over the missing rock star and noticed how at home he looked in soft black jeans and T-Shirt. The diamond stud was replaced with an simple green one. Skinner shook Alexi's hand noticing the firm grip. "You caused quite a stir when you disappeared, Mr. Krycek."

Alexi ducked his head momentarily before squaring his shoulders. "I didn't mean to. The original length of the tour was done and Henri had added more to it without consulting me. I was exhausted and felt I wasn't able to give my best anymore. I never meant for anyone to think I was kidnapped. When Fox told me, it was the first I'd heard of it."

Skinner's head jerked in Mulder's direction when he heard Alexi calling him Fox. He would have sworn that Mulder would never have let anyone call him Fox.

Fox grinned when he noticed Skinner's startled look.

Skinner quickly gathered himself as he watched Fox set the table while Alexi put out the food.

"Have a seat, Mr Skinner," Alexi waved him to the far chair.

Fox sat near Alexi silently offering him support.

Skinner smiled at the pleasing aromas that greeted him when he sat down.

"Didn't you see any newspapers or anything on the TV?"

"No, I didn't. I purposely avoided the newspapers and rarely watched the TV. I'm taking a summer computer course at the University of Southern Colorado. I would really like to finish it. I will return to my career as a singer once I'm done." Alexi waited anxiously for Skinner to speak. Fox reached under the table and squeezed Alexi's knee.

Skinner looked carefully at the young man across from him. "How much longer is the course?"

"Another month," Alexi responded hopefully.

Skinner looked down at his plate for a moment while deciding. "Okay, I don't see any reason you can't finish it."

Alexi broke out in a wide smile which quickly changed as Skinner continued to speak.

"However, you will have to contact your manager, Henri. You will have to tell him you are safe and not kidnapped," Skinner said sternly.

"Okay, but I will not tell him where I am. He will only sweep in and insist on me returning sooner than I'm ready to," Alexi countered.

"Would it be okay if you vouched that Alexi is safe and not under any duress, Sir," Fox contributed.

Skinner looked carefully from Alexi to Mulder certain that he was missing something. "I don't see why not. However, Mulder, you will stay here and guard Alexi to make sure he is not kidnapped for real."

"Certainly, Sir," Fox agreed with a smile. For once he was not going to argue with an order.

"Thank you, Mr. Skinner," Alexi said happily. "Everyone dig in."

Supper was consumed and appreciated by all. After supper, Alexi made a quick call to Henri as agreed and had Skinner confirm his safety. Alexi assured Henri that he would return in one month to Kansas City. However, he did make it clear that he wouldn't do another whirlwind tour like before ever again. Henri while dissatisfied that his star wasn't returning immediately was happy that Alexi was going to come back.

~>~>~>~>~

Skinner moved to Mulder's hotel room for the night leaving Alexi and Fox to celebrate in private. While Skinner certainly suspected what their relationship was by the end of the evening, he said nothing. Secretly he was glad to see Mulder looking so happy.

~>~>~>~>~

Fox and Alexi spent the next month living together. Their love grew and while they were a little unhappy at the upcoming separation, they were determined that they would weather it.

Alexi planned to spend his free time with Fox in DC and Fox made plans to move to a more secure environment. There would be no more unexpected guests welcome in his new place.

~>~>~>~>~

A month later, Alexi had aced his finals at the University and ASAC Jefferson had contributed Mulder finding Alexi as another instance of Spooky at work. Although there was some resentment in the Pueblo office of Alexi being found there by Spooky when none of the agents who had looked were successful.

~>~>~>~>~

In the dressing room of the coloseum in Kansas City, Fox helped Alexi prepare for the concert he was supposed to have given over two months before.

"Damn, Alexi, you look hot in these leather pants," Fox told him as he helped him smooth them into place.

Alexi moaned softly. "Careful, Fox, these pants don't allow much room for growth in certain areas."

"I could help with that," Fox glanced slyly up at Alexi.

Alexi clutched at the emerald green silk shirt he was going to put on. "Fox," he growled warningly.

"Yes," Fox smiled innocently at him.

"You can drop the innocent act. There isn't time for that right now. There several hundred fans waiting for me."

Fox stood up and helped Alexi into the shirt. He smoothed down the fabric over the flesh of his lover. "Oh, I don't know. I think it could be worked in somehow."

Alexi sighed and shook his head sadly. "Please, Fox," he pleaded for restraint on Fox's part.

Fox moved to his front and buttoned the shirt so that the top four buttons were undone and the medallion flashed in the deep vee. The balloon sleeves of the shirt were cuffed tightly at Alexi's wrists. Fox stepped back to look over Alexi. "You know it would look better tucked in a little."

Alexi recognizing the look in Fox's eyes. "I'll do it."

"No, let me. I promise be good," Fox said as he quickly moved to Alexi's side.

"That's what I'm afraid of," Alexi said with a smile. He knew that despite his protests, both and Fox were having too much fun to stop.

Fox unbuttoned Alexi's pants sparing a quick thanks that he had convinced him to go commando. He quickly engulfed Alexi's half hard cock and worked to bring him in the short time he figured they had.

Alexi shouted Fox's name as he climaxed. He sagged a little into Fox's arms while he struggled to gather himself together.

Fox grinned wickedly up into Alexi's sexy and satisfied face. He loved the half lidded look that Alexi always got after climaxing. Fox quickly tucked Alexi and his shirt into the leather pants. He then guided his placent lover over to the chair where he helped into black leather half boots. The final garment he carried as he led Alexi from the dressing room to back stage.

At the edge of the stage, Fox helped Alexi into the black leather vest with silver conches on the front. "Go knock them dead, Alexi. I'll be waiting for you here," Fox whispered into Alexi's ear.

Alexi finally shook himself enough in awareness to realize where he was. "You are so going to pay for that, Fox," he threatened, albeitly not too seriously.

"Looking forward to it," Fox said with a sly grin. "Your fans are waiting."

Alexi took a deep breath and stepped into the stage lights. Alexi dedicated his first love ballad to Fox. He planned on continuing this new tradition even though he had never done it before. Of course, the media was going nuts trying to find out who Fox was ever since he had mentioned him two days ago.

None of Alexi's fans resented his disappearance once he had explained in an interview that went nationwide. He also insisted much to Henri's protests that he would give two concerts in the same city until all of the booked concerts were given. The first concert would be free to anyone who purchased a ticket for the first booking and their money would either be refunded or donated to a local charity. Of course, all the concerts would be done at a more leisurely pace.

~~The End~~


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