Endless Night

by Joleigh


Sept - 1998

Despite the fact that they were in Bumfuck, Utah, where the most exciting thing going was the view, and that his X-File was folding like a cheap paper bag, the day was beautiful. Crisp, clear, and no humidity at all.

He'd left Scully at the Comfort Inn to do whatever while he went to the bank. He was also required to bring back lunch, and he eyed Mel's Drive Thru as he passed it. Then it would be a long trip to the nearest airport and back to DC.

The bank was small, and there weren't many cars parked out front, which was great, because he had no desire to stand in line. He actually found himself whistling as he left his car and stepped into the bank.

He stopped whistling the second the door hissed closed behind him. A man, wearing dirty jeans and a ski mask, was pointing a rifle at him. Mulder couldn't be sure of the model, but it sure as hell looked loaded. There was another man, with another ski mask, also armed, standing behind the teller's desk, and there were three people laying face down on the floor.

"You," the man with the dirty jeans said, "get away from the door."

Mulder raised his hands close to his body, trying to keep his shoulder holster from view as he obeyed. "No problem," he said in his calmest voice. "Whatever you say. You're in charge."

"Shut the fuck up, and get over there."

Over there was across the bank, right next to the little desk where one could fill out a deposit slip or a cash withdrawal. His head was going a mile a minute, but no plan formed as he made his cautious way. Behind him, he heard a whimper, the snick of a drawer closing. Someone sneezed.

The man with the gun on him followed, then shoved him in the small of his back to move faster. Again, Mulder complied. He figured he'd be face down in a minute, and then maybe he could think. Had anyone from the bank pressed the magic button? Did they have silent alarms in such a small town?

"Hold it, right there. Don't move a fuckin' muscle."

Mulder nodded, tried to appear non-threatening.

The man paid no mind, just turned to his partner. "Come on. We got to go."


"Fuck almost. We got to go now."

A siren in the distance made them all freeze.

Mulder took a step toward the robber nearest him. "You'd better go. That's the police."

The man spun on him again, and for a hideous heartbeat, he thought it was over, but the rifle didn't go off. Instead, Mulder was shoved toward the back of the bank. "You, open the door."

He did as he was told, setting off a piercing alarm as soon as the latch clicked. The next thing he knew, the business end of the rifle pushed him out the door, where an old van, engine running, spitting out exhaust, waited. The door was open, and as Mulder was shoved inside, he smelled beer and rotting meat.

One robber climbed in, then the other, and before the van door closed, they were gunning it out of the back lot.

Mulder was pushed down, flat on his belly. He was horribly aware that the rifle was still jammed in his back and that the rotting meat smell originated in the carpet.

No one talked as the van turned a corner, then another. They had to be going damn fast. Mulder listened for sirens, but he couldn't hear above the engine noise. Another corner, and shit, this was not good. He'd been a hostage before, most notably in a travel bureau, but this felt infinitely more dangerous. There were no trained FBI agents across the street, no snipers waiting to take out the bad guys. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and if they found out who he was, he was undoubtedly dead.

"How much you think we got?"

It was "his" robber talking. He recognized the phlegm in the man's voice.

"Enough to get us the hell out of Dodge," the other said. "What the fuck you take him for?"


Mulder shifted, and the rifle poked him harder.

"Anyone following us?"

Another voice, this time from the front of the van. "They don't know this road. We'll be fine."

"You get the plates?"


"Maybe you could let me out before you make your clean getaway?" Mulder said.

Pain was his answer, a sharp whack on the side of the head. He nearly blacked out, but struggled to keep it together even as the blood trickled down his face.

"God damn, Jim," phlegm guy said. "I got me a wicked boner."

"You always were a sick fuck."

"You telling me your johnson ain't strainin'?"

"I don't get no hardons from bank robbing, you freak."

"Well, shit. I got it bad."

"Don't look at me, ya faggot."

"Don't worry, I'm not."

Mulder bit his lower lip, trying to think. This was not looking good. And he couldn't for the life of him figure out what the hell to do about it. If the police weren't following, his chances of getting out of this in one piece were damn slim. And it appeared, if the pointy end of the rifle sliding down his back was any indication, that his masked friend was thinking impure thoughts in his direction.

They continued to make sharp turns, going God knows where. Mulder's ears popped, and he wondered if they were headed up to the mountains he'd admired so much this morning. He heard paper rustling, Jim counting softly. Then the rifle moved lower.

"Hey," he said, which got him a sharp poke right in the ass. It wasn't just blood trickling down his face now, but sweat. He did not want to get fucked by the man in dirty jeans. He wasn't exactly a virgin, but it had been so many years that he'd feel like one. Just the thought of it made the bile rise so violently that he had to swallow hard not to vomit.

"Shut up," Phlegm said, poking him again.

"Ah, man, can't you at least wait till we're there?"

"Fuck you. You don't like it, don't watch."

"Count on it."

Oh, Jesus. Mulder was shaking now, trying to figure out how to get to his gun without getting a bullet up his ass.

"Cover me," Phlegm said.


"You heard me. Point it at his head."

Jim sighed. "Just hurry the fuck up."

Mulder heard the man shuffle next to him, then felt hands at his waist, hoisting him up to his knees. "No," he said, his desperation making his voice high and tight. "Please."

Hands at his belt, rough, tugging. Knees straddling his hips. Oh, fuck.

He reached back, searching for his gun, but his hand was stopped by the bastard's knee. He cried out in pain, in desperation, but nothing stopped. His zipper was yanked down so hard the material ripped, and then his pants were pulled down along with his boxers and his ass was naked in the stinking van, with the feel of filthy denim rubbing against him.

"No! Stop!

He was slapped, a broad palm, right where the rifle had hit him before, and it stunned him for a moment. He came back to his senses in time to hear a second zipper, the rustle of denim on skin.

"Don't try anything," the man on his back said. "You just be real quiet. Just so you know, I don't mind fuckin' a corpse."

Mulder tasted hot copper on his tongue. He couldn't move his left hand, which was still underneath the man's knee, and all he could do with his right was clench it so tight it hurt. He shook with rage, with shock, that this was really happening, that this fucker's hands were on him, spreading him. He gasped when the sick bastard spit right on his asshole. He bucked as the blunt end of a hard cock poked his entrance, clenched like he'd never clenched before. Another whack on the head, this time with something much harder than a palm, and all he could do was scream at pain so intense he wanted the rifle to end it.

He struggled, but he was crushed beneath the robber, hands gripping his hips, as the man pushed inside him,

He couldn't move, he couldn't scream loud enough, he couldn't stop it, and the pain nearly made him pass out. He tore up the carpet as his breath left him voiceless, as the man began to rape him in earnest.

More than the pain was the fury, greater than the earth was the rage, and still he couldn't move, couldn't make it stop.

He had no idea how long it lasted. The agony went on and on. He felt the cock tear him up, move in and out, heard the gasps behind him. Laughter. His own sobs.

A hard push, impaling him, killing him, and the voice behind him in a long, blissful moan, "Ah, fuck."

And then, quiet, when it was just the sound of tires on pavement. He lay there empty, open, bleeding.

Phlegm moved off him, falling heavily to the side.

All Mulder wanted to do was cover himself. And shoot the son of a bitch until he ran out of bullets.

Mulder woke with his heart pounding so hard he could barely breathe. It was the same fucking nightmare, the one that had plagued him ever since that day in Utah. It had been two months, and he thought he might be going insane.

He pulled himself up off the couch and made him way to the kitchen. A glass of water didn't help much. Neither did the knowledge that he had to go to work in three hours. That Scully was getting really worried about him, and when she was in mother mode, she could be relentless. Of course, he hadn't told her what had happened in the van. That would go with him to the grave, but if he didn't get his act together soon, who knows what she'd do?

Why the hell couldn't he at least dream it till the end? To the road block, to the police who'd tailed the van, to the shootout where Mulder had gotten his wish and killed the bastard who'd...

But no. The dream hardly varied in it's horror. Night after night, after doing his best to not sleep at all, he was back on the stinking carpet, and his pants were pulled down. God the sound of that prick spitting.

He walked back to the couch and found the remote. Nothing but infomercials and the weather channel. Jesus. He yawned, feeling dizzy from his lack of sleep. He could go running, but he just didn't have the energy. He picked up the second remote, the one for the VCR. He hit play, and the tape started somewhere in the middle. It was an old reliable, lots of busty blondes with high libidos and low morals. If he could just jerk off, he might be able to get a couple of hours sleep. Without the nightmares.

His hand went under his sweats as he fast forwarded to a particularly nice fuck. Two gals, one happy guy. His dick wasn't responding in its usual fashion, but he'd give it a minute.

He brought his hand back out and reached under the couch for his handy bottle of aloe. After slicking up, he resumed the position, and watched, turning the sound down to a whisper.

Nothing. He was limp as a wet noodle, and no hope in sight. Closing his eyes, he concentrated on the feel of the lotion. As he stroked, his mind shifted from naked blondes to a filthy carpet. His ass cheeks being pried apart by calloused hands. He grimaced, but he kept on stroking, his cock hardening as the images played across his mind. Horrified, he wanted to stop, to go blank, to stop the tightening of his balls. The memory of that disgusting cock plowing into his ass.

He came with a gasp, come smearing over his hand, his sweats. He opened his eyes, staring up at the ceiling. Shame swallowed him whole.

He'd given up fighting it. Succumbed to his own sick mind. At least he was sleeping these days. Of course, he was also drinking too much, but screw it. When he was drunk, he didn't get hard. Much.

Five months had come and gone since he'd jerked off to the rape. Things had gone downhill from there.

He'd always like to masturbate. Hell, for all intents and purposes, it was the only sex he had. At least it was with someone he cared about. Only, he wasn't caring so much for himself these days.

It was the nightmares that had him avoiding the mirror. Sick fantasies that got more brutal and degrading with each passing night. At first it was just a replay of the van. Then things got even uglier.

It wasn't that he wanted to make up disgusting scenarios. It was that he had to. He couldn't get off to anything else, and he needed to get off. Couldn't sleep without it. Except when he was drunk, but that caused repercussions, and work was shaky enough with hangovers.

But dammit, it made him ill. At least when his hand wasn't on his dick.

It was late, nearly two, and it had been a long week. He hesitated closing his eyes, knowing what was about to happen, but shit. He was so tired. It was a useless fight anyway. He might as well get it over with.

He turned on his VCR, although by this time he already knew he wouldn't actually watch the movie. The pictures would all be of his own creation, in living color in the miasma that was his brain. It started in the bank parking lot. Him whistling a happy tune. Once inside, the facts blurred. There were four men now, all with filthy jeans, all with ski masks. And there were fifteen-twenty hostages. All ages, men and woman. All of them on the floor, shaking, crying, scared shitless.

Phlegm man, whom he'd learned was called Toby, had the rifle pointed straight at Mulder's gut. But there was no move to take him away. Instead, Toby got his 'wicked boner' right there at the bank. With the security cameras running, with the sirens in the distance. With all those people staring.

He pushed Mulder over small table, the one with the deposit slips. Ripped his pants down with those large, sweaty hands.

Mulder could feel his breath on the back of his neck. He strained on the couch as Toby spread his ass cheeks, knowing all the hostages were watching him get raped. Degraded.

His cock got harder, pre-come leaking to mix with aloe vera as, in his mind, he got fucked. Fucked and fucked, listening to the other robbers laugh, to the hostages gasp, to the sirens get closer and closer. It hurt so much, in his body and in his head, but his hand kept pumping and then his muscles corded and he arched off the couch and he came like a son of a bitch.

He was back in his apartment. Not in Utah, not displayed across that table. Home. Where he should feel safe.

He curled onto his side, praying that tonight he would sleep without an instant replay. That he would wake in the morning without come all over the bed..

Feb - 1999

Mulder sat on the floor in the dusty corner of his living room. It was late and it was dark and he couldn't stop shaking. It had been hours since he'd awakened on the couch. From the nightmare. Only tonight, it had all changed. Not the rape, no that had become routine. Not the bank, not the hostages. Yeah, his mind had managed to up the stakes, always more degradation, more pain, more humiliation. He'd almost gotten used to it. But tonight...

Tonight, the rapist had taken off his ski mask. Tonight, the man spitting on his asshole before his cock entered him wasn't Toby.

Tonight, his nightmare had a name. The man who'd fucked him had been Alex Krycek.

April - 1999

Mulder ran. The rain made his Nike's splat on the sidewalk, splashing water back onto his shins. He was soaked, and he had to keep wiping his eyes to see. He didn't care. He needed not to think.

He was losing it. Scully was back on his case. He'd started taking sleeping pills, and they were making him fuzzy during the day. He'd gone back to drinking. Not enough to make him pass out, but enough to screw him up at work.

He was desperate. He was having nightmares about his nightmares. And Alex Krycek was the star of every one.

He understood, in some weird way. Krycek had betrayed him. He was someone Mulder hated, reviled. Who better to be the main attraction in the humiliation of Agent Mulder? It was perfect in its own twisted way.

But the truth was, he couldn't take it any more. He just couldn't. The images would come to him at the most inappropriate times. It was affecting every aspect of his life. Something had to give.

The only thing stopping him was Scully. He cared too much about her to make her deal with his suicide. There had to be another way. Something he could do. He just couldn't figure out what.

Alex Krycek sat in his apartment, a cool beer in his hand, watching his favorite show on a black and white monitor. Muldervision, he called it. Only he wasn't having a very good time.

He hadn't been having a good time for months now, and it was starting to really worry him. Mulder was losing it.

He watched him, as many nights as he could, via the very small, very expensive camera hidden in the smoke alarm across from Mulder's couch. It was something of a ritual. Mulder turns on the porn, his hand goes down his pants, or, if Alex was very lucky, his pants come off, and then it's Dick and the Master Baiter Show.

But something had changed. in the last few months. Mulder still beat off a hell of a lot, but he was drinking, too. Alone. More than he should. Taking pills. He'd had also taken up crying. Sobbing, actually, if his video feed could be believed.

What the hell was going on?

Someone was screwing with Mulder big time, and dammit, that was Alex's job.

It wasn't the consortium. He'd made sure of that. Oh, they weren't ignoring Mulder, but the only one who had enough finesse to fuck with Mulder this severely had his focus elsewhere.

Alex got up, went to his little fridge and pulled out a fresh beer. Mulder was in his crying phase, which meant he'd take a pill soon and go to sleep. Which meant Alex could sleep, too. He needed it. Damn, it had been a rough week.

He walked back to his couch, leaned over to turn off the monitor. But he froze. Mulder wasn't fucking taking a pill. He was sitting in the center of his couch, looking at his Sig Sauer like it was the perfect answer to a real hard question.

Alex grabbed his jacket, and was out the door in three seconds flat.

Mulder turned the pistol over in his hand. He noticed a bead of congealed semen between his thumb and finger and wiped it on his pants. He should clean the weapon before he used it. No sense giving the crime lab more clues than they needed. He should take a shower himself, wipe away all traces of what he'd been doing. Jesus, he hoped they wouldn't take any swabs of his couch.

He still couldn't figure out what to do about Scully. He'd put her through so much. It wasn't right.

Despair welled in him until he bent over, clutching the gun to his stomach. This could not go on. It couldn't. He was losing his mind nightmare by nightmare. He even thought about castration. But he'd read the studies. It wouldn't stop the memories. Or the fantasies.

He'd considered a shrink. Made appointments. But he never went. He couldn't. It made no sense. He was a fucking psychologist for Christ's sake, but he just couldn't face talking about it. To anyone.

Fuck it. Maybe when he was dead, he'd find out about Samantha. That would be a good thing, right?

Or maybe he'd just come right back here to hell.

Still, the gun felt good in his hand. Better than a bottle. Better than those little orange pills.

He held it up, put the barrel to his temple. Slid the safety off.

And then his door opened.

He turned the weapon to the light. A reflex. He was on his feet before he even blinked.

"Mulder, put the gun down."

"Krycek? What the...?" He wondered if this was just another nightmare, but then the man took another step, and Mulder knew it was real.

Krycek had his hands out in front of him, appeasing, empty. Both the real and the plastic. "Put the gun down, Mulder. I just want to talk."

"You ever hear of knocking?"

"Yeah, but it seemed so mundane."

Mulder wondered briefly if killing Krycek would stop his nightly appearances, but with his luck, things would just get worse. He lowered the gun, sliding the safety back into position. "What do you want?"

"Let's sit, okay?"

"You want me to make you some tea, too?"

"Yeah, that would be good."

"I was being facetious."

"I know, but make it anyway."

Mulder's mouth opened, but he couldn't come up with anything good enough. So he went to the kitchen. "What is it this time? Another rebel I won't find? Maybe a trip overseas?"

"Make the tea, Mulder. I like it with honey."

"Tough. I've got sugar. Deal."


Mulder heard the sound of leather on leather as Krycek sat on his couch. He got the kettle and filled it with water, idly noticing that he was shaking quite a bit. Odd, he hadn't shook when he brought the gun to his head, but now that his leading man was here, he was goddamn Katherine Hepburn.

He put the kettle on the stove and turned on the fire. As he got the Lipton tea bag down from the recesses of his cupboard, a thought occurred. A brilliant one. He didn't have to kill himself. He could get Krycek to do it. Now that could work. It would solve so many problems. Of course, Scully would still have to deal with his death, but at least she could get the satisfaction of watching Krycek go down for the crime.

Now, all he had to do was figure out a way to get Krycek pissed off. Really pissed off. Shouldn't be too hard.

Krycek studied the man in the kitchen. Anyone who didn't know him would think things were hunky dory, but if there was one thing Krycek was an expert on, it was Mulder. And things were definitely not right. His hand shook like a palsy victim as he'd filled the kettle. Even worse, he was being civil. "So what's going on, Mulder? You haven't threatened me once. I'm starting to get worried."

Mulder frowned. "Cut the crap, Krycek. Why did you come here?" He walked back into the living room, his sweats riding low on his hips. His T-shirt stained. He hadn't shaved and his hair was sticking out like he'd just gotten out of bed.

"You look like shit."

"Next time you break in, I'll put on my tux."

"What's going on?"

"The Knicks suck. Skinner's threatening to cut the X-Files budget."


"What? What the fuck do you care what's going on with me? Shouldn't you be out killing someone? Selling state secrets? Fucking up people's lives?"

Alex was about to respond when Mulder's whole demeanor changed. Just like that. Mild mannered reporter to madman in a flash. Presto, chango.

He came at Krycek, his shoulders hunched forward, his face a mask of rage.

Krycek stood, willing to go so far, and no farther. He'd always taken it from Mulder, taken it because he had to. He still wasn't sure why. Except, perhaps, because he'd fallen in love with the twisted bastard.

Mulder's shoulder hit him in the solar plexus. The air gushed out of him as he hit the couch. He couldn't even gasp. Mulder didn't let up. He hit him in the jaw, Split his lip. He pulled back, came in for another, but this time, despite not being able to breathe, Krycek's hand stopped him. The fake one.

Mulder swore, pulling back with his wounded hand, and finally, Krycek was able to get a breath. It burned all the way down, but he wasn't going to pass out. He stood up, forcing Mulder back against the coffee table where he sat, teetered, and fell on the hardwood floor.

Krycek jumped over the table and straddled the swearing lunatic beneath him. "What the fuck's the matter with you," he screamed. "I came here to talk, Goddamnit!."

"Fuck you, Krycek," Mulder said, but his voice was raw, high. Tears flowed from his eyes, his nose ran, and his whole body trembled violently.

"What the hell's gotten into you? You get drunk, you take pills. You're fucking everything up."

"What do you care? You did this to me, you asshole." He was screaming now. Screaming hard enough to tear his throat out.


"This is what you wanted, isn't it? Why don't you knock on the neighbor's doors, get your audience. You can use the coffee table." Mulder scooted back, pushing with his bare feet. His hands went to the waistband of his sweats and he pushed them down.

"Mulder, what-?"

"Here, you prick. Here it is, just like you like it."

His sweats where at his knees now, and Krycek gasped as he saw Mulder's erection. The man was losing it, spit flying from his mouth, the tears pouring non-stop, and he was so hard his cock brushed his stomach.

Mulder scrabbled to his feet, still shaking like crazy. He didn't reach for his pants. His eyes were shaking too, like he couldn't focus. It scared the shit out of Krycek. He held out his hand, but Mulder jerked away.

As Krycek stared, unbelieving, he turned, went to his kitchen table and fucking laid himself down on it. Chest down, ass up. "Here, you fuck. Take it." His voice rose another octave. "Finish it, Krycek. Do it!"

Krycek took a tentative step, totally out of his league. Maybe he should call Scully. Or an ambulance. Jesus. Did those bastards spike his water again?

Mulder's screaming had stopped, but the crying hadn't. His whole body shook with his sobs. As much as Krycek had always wanted to see Mulder's ass, he was sickened by this. Embarrassed and shaken more deeply than he knew how to handle.

It got worse as he got closer. Because Mulder was whispering now. "Fuck me or kill me Krycek. Fuck me or kill me."

"Oh, Christ." It hit him like a blow. "You were raped."

Mulder turned his head away, but he didn't get up off the table. He didn't stop those soul-wrenching sobs.

"Who did this, Mulder? Who hurt you?"

His head turned back, and for the first time since the outburst, Mulder's gaze focused. He looked Krycek right in the eyes. "You," he whispered. "Every goddamn night. You bastard. You fuck."

Krycek tried to breathe, although it was almost as hard now as it was when he'd taken the hit to his gut. "Mulder, I've never touched you. Not like this."

Mulder's eyes squeezed shut. His mouth opened in a silent cry. Nothing. No words. And then a keen that nearly brought Krycek to his knees.

But he didn't fall. He walked, very gently, to Mulder's side. He touched him on the small of his back. Lightly, so lightly. Then he reached down and pulled Mulder's sweats up, covering his nakedness. "Come on, Mulder. It's okay. It's gonna be okay."

The kettle screeched, making them both jump, but Krycek just walked into the kitchen and poured some hot water into the cup Mulder had already prepared. He put in a shitload of sugar, then brought the cup back to the coffee table. Then he went back to Mulder.

He was still leaning over the table, but he'd come up on his elbows. The shaking wasn't quite as violent, but the tears, the tears kept falling.

Krycek moved like a shadow, quiet, easy. He made sure Mulder could see him, see his hands. "Come on, Mulder. Let's talk, okay? Let's just talk a little." He touched the man's shuddering back, and while his muscles twitched, he didn't bat him away.

"Stand up, Mulder. Let's go to the couch, huh? Will you do that?"

Mulder sniffed loudly. It didn't do a damn thing to help his wreck of a face, but he stood. Not the steadiest he'd ever been, but it was progress. A couple more sniffs, a swipe with the back of his left arm and then he was moving. Slowly, he made his way to the couch. His bare feet made no sound. But when he sat, the air went out of him in a sigh that was halfway to a sob.

Krycek schooled his own breathing as he went to join the man. He sat close, but not actually touching. Waited for a long moment, not wanting to say the wrong thing. Not having a clue what the right thing would be.

He looked at Mulder's face, finally. Wished he'd brought some Kleenex. But he didn't dare move. Not yet.

"Mulder? There's tea."

Mulder just shrugged.

"You want to tell me what happened?"

A shudder was his only response.

"Someone hurt you, Mulder. I'm not real sure where I fit into it, but if I can, I'd like to help."

It was the wrong thing to say. Mulder tightened like a bow string and he was on his feet. "Help? You don't know anything. You've helped me into blowing my fucking brains out."


"Don't you speak to me, you shit. Don't say my fucking name."

"Okay. Okay. Just calm down."

Mulder leaned toward and him and Krycek got ready to defend himself. But Mulder didn't hit him. He spit. Right in Krycek's face.

It was all he could do to keep still. If it had been anyone else...

"Remember that, you prick?" Mulder's voice was hoarse, and the whisper sounded like death.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Krycek said, amazed that his own voice was so calm.

"The bank. You spit on my- Why don't you just do it? End it?"

"Because I don't want to hurt you."

"You want to fuck me. You've always wanted to fuck me."

Krycek took in a quick breath, tried to keep steady. It was true. He'd wanted Mulder for years. But not like this. "I'm not a rapist."

"Interesting moral distinction, asshole." Mulder stood up straight, waved his arm in an accusing arc. "You can stick a bullet into someone but not your cock? Is that in some assassins' code, Krycek? I'll kill you but I won't fuck you?"

"I won't do this, Mulder. I won't."

Mulder lurched down and grabbed his gun. "Then do what you're good at. Shoot me, Goddamnit! Just fucking pull the trigger!"

Krycek wrested the gun from Mulder's hand. It wasn't hard, the older man's fingers were shaking so hard he probably would have dropped it in a second. But Krycek wasn't taking any chances. He took out the magazine and put it in his pocket.

"What good are you, then?" Mulder asked. "Get out of here, Krycek."

"I think we should talk."

"I don't care what you think. Get out."

Krycek stood. Again, he wasn't sure what to do. If he left, Mulder could hurt himself. If he didn't, Mulder could hurt himself. "There are people you can talk to, Mulder. Not me. Good people. Scully."

"Get out!" he screamed. "Just get out of here before I fucking kill you."

"All right, all right." Krycek backed away from him, toward the door. "Just think about it, okay? If not Scully, then someone. Talk to someone, Mulder. You can get through this."

"You don't know shit."

"I know you're killing yourself, and dammit, Mulder, you can't do that. You're needed. We all need you, Mulder. So if you can't do it for yourself, do it for the others. Do it because you have work to do. No one else can do it for you."

Mulder looked at him curiously, as if he was a bug on a slide. But he didn't say a thing. A few seconds went by in silence, and he just shut down. All the anger, the rage, the fear, gone. No one was home. He shuffled to the couch and laid down. His arm went over his eyes.

Krycek, more scared than he cared to acknowledge, slipped out the door.

Mulder was quite still for a long time. He'd blown it. He'd had it all figured out, and he'd screwed it all up. He was alive. So fucked up. So tired.

And still, the thoughts came. The images.

And still, his traitorous cock got hard.

Krycek. Alex Krycek. Bastard.

He got through the next two weeks without being sent on sick leave or to the funny farm. But it was a close call. Scully was at her wits end, and it was starting to seriously affect their working relationship, not to mention their friendship. She knew he was keeping something from her, but he simply couldn't talk to her. Not about this.

The only surcease was the work itself. He didn't care what the case was, as long as he had to think to solve it. He didn't even care if Scully shot his theories all to hell. He just needed to get outside himself. He stayed at the office late, came in early. But he had to go home eventually.

Back to the couch. Back to his cock. Back to his dreams. Back to Krycek. It didn't change much. Except that every time he came, he couldn't stop crying.


He looked up. He hadn't even heard Scully come in. "Yeah?"

"We got a call. It's a hostage situation."

"Why would they want us for a hostage situation?"

"I don't know. We'll find out when we get there. Come on."

He got up, and followed Scully, praying for something long and complicated.

It wasn't an X-File. No one could explain why he and Scully had been requested, or by whom. But it was complicated.

A man, a soldier, had locked himself into a 7-Eleven with five hostages. He had an impressive arsenal, but so far, no one had been hurt. It was going on ten hours now, and Mulder had finally gotten the medical records.

Captain Joshua Alan had been a prisoner of war in Iraq, held for over seven months in a filthy hole of a prison. He'd been used as a tool by the Shi'ite radicals in pictures that were shown on national television and internet propaganda sites. All the locals wanted to do was talk him down. No one wanted to hurt him, he was a war hero. But they couldn't get him to answer the phone, to communicate in any way.

"It's clear his experience traumatized him beyond his abilities to cope," Scully said. "They're doing the right thing, Mulder."

The 'right thing' was bringing in a sniper.

"Those people could die."

"They won't die," he said. "That's not the point."

Scully's brow rose. "What do you mean?"

He went to the laptop he'd set up in the back of an FBI crime van. "Look at this."

Scully joined him. Looked at the sites as he clicked through them. Then she looked at him. "What?"

"Look how he's tied."

She studied the pictures again, then glanced back at the 7-Eleven. "It's exactly how he's tied the hostages."

"Right. Exactly. Those aren't typical knots, and look," he pointed. "He's wrapped the torn sheets around their eyes twice. Each one. With that same weird knot in the back."

"So what does this give us?"

"He's reliving his experience in Iraq, Scully. It's his own nightmare, made real."


"Because he's helpless. Helpless to change anything about his captivity. It's something I've read about with trauma victims. They recreate the experience, mostly in dreams, but in other ways, like drawings or paintings. They elaborate, change details, but the situation remains the same."

"For what purpose?"

"To control it."

"I don't understand."

"They can't go back and change the way it was, but they can change who's in charge. If it's their dream, their drawing, even if the outcome is the same, they're in charge. They own it."

"How does that help?"

"The worst feeling, Scully, isn't fear. It's impotence. Not having any say. Subconsciously, this makes them feel less helpless."

"Mulder, are you okay?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. I just need to talk to him."

"What are you going to say?"

"I don't know yet. Come on."

It ended three hours and five minutes later. No one had been hurt, although there were five very sore bystanders who needed plenty of care. Captain Alan was going to get help at a psychiatric hospital. Mulder knew that he probably wouldn't be cured. It didn't work like that. But perhaps he would get better. Not want to hurt himself or others. He also knew that it was no accident that they'd been requested on this case. And who had pulled the strings.

He left Scully back at the Hoover building, then he went home. He had a lot to think about and he didn't want to do it on his fucking couch. He changed into jeans and a shirt, then went out. He walked. For one hell of a long time.

What puzzled him most was how he hadn't seen. He'd recognized the pathology in Captain Alan, but he hadn't had a clue in himself. He was a psychologist, and as blind as a bat.

It made no sense. He'd been in hell for so long, and the door had been right in front of him the whole time. Something else to add to his list of humiliations.

The worst of it, though was that Krycek had seen it. Had stepped in. Had helped.

God damn him. That bastard never stopped screwing with his life. What right did he have to help. Shit, anyone else, it would have been bad, but this. This was intolerable.

But maybe, God, please, maybe now that he understood, he had a chance. He could work on this. Like Captain Alan, his memories wouldn't go away, but he could work on it. Read the texts, figure out the therapy protocols.

For the first time since last September, there was hope. And there was some business he had to take care of.

It took a long, anxious week, but the following Saturday night, Mulder heard a gentle knock. He'd left messages in some conspicuous places with help from the Gunmen, and it had paid off. He got up, went to the door. "Come on in."

Alex Krycek looked at him warily. Finally, when Mulder went back to the couch and sat down, Krycek walked inside, closing the door behind him. He stood right there, with his hands in his pocket. Mulder had no doubt that there was a gun in there, too.

"It's your nickel, Mulder."

"Why'd you do it?"

"Do what?"

"Tell you what, Krycek. Just for once, can we skip the bullshit?"

"I don't know, can we?"

"You want that tea?"

Krycek quirked his head. "You get any honey?"

"Nope. How about a drink, instead."

"Sure Mulder."

"Take a load off." Mulder crossed to the kitchen and got two glasses from the cupboard. The scotch was already on the coffee table, although Mulder hadn't had any for a week.

By the time he got back to pour, Krycek had taken off his jacket, which was now beside him on the couch. He didn't look exactly comfortable, but Mulder figured no one was in immediate danger.

He sat down on the other end of the couch. They drank in silence for a few minutes. Mulder waiting. Krycek staring.

"You were in trouble," Krycek said, finally.

"Which is why some people would have helped. Why did you?"

Krycek grinned. God, it changed his whole face. Made him look young, innocent.. No wonder he was so good at what he did. He'd never met anyone who could change his persona so completely, so quickly. He'd met many of the Krycek's but there were still surprises.

"I told you," Krycek said, his voice low, almost shy. "You have things to do. Can't have Mulder going 'round the bend."

"I'd think that's something you'd want a lot. Me, out of the picture."

Krycek sipped his scotch, then leaned back. "Not even close."

"Care to explain?"

Krycek gave him another look, this time from under his lashes. "I don't think so. Secrecy is part of the assassins' code. A slight moral distinction, but one that matters."

Mulder winced. "Yeah, about that."

"Forget it."

"I can't. I wish I could, but I can't. For what it's worth, I'm sorry."

"I said, forget it."

"Easier said than done." He drank, letting the scotch warm him. "Will you tell me one thing? How did you know what to do?"

Krycek smiled again, but it held no humor. "Been there, done that."

"You were raped?"

"In a way." He glanced down at his arm. The plastic one.

"Oh, shit."

"Yeah. It sucks when you can't stop it."

They sat in heavy silence for a long while. Mulder thinking mostly about what Krycek had gone through, how it must have been for him to be held down, to have his body mutilated, his arm discarded like so much scrap.

Krycek shifted, and for a moment, Mulder thought he might leave. He couldn't let that happen. Not yet.

"I went to deposit my check," Mulder said, staring at his glass. "We were on a stupid case, going home that night. It could have been anyone. It was just my luck to walk in on this little... bank robbery."

"They took me hostage. I don't mind telling you I was scared shitless. They put me in a van. I just figured I'd be killed, you know? Shot. Left at the side of some road. But the guy, this guy with dirty jeans and a ski mask, he got hard from robbing banks. Just my luck."

Mulder took a deep breath, tried to stop his hands from shaking. "I killed him. Not in time, mind you, but in the end I shot that fucker until he bled out. Turns out, it wasn't enough."

A hand, flesh and blood, touched his thigh. Krycek was right beside him. He hadn't even heard the man move. "It gets better, Mulder. I swear to God."

He turned, his face inches from the other man's. "How?"

"Day by day."

"It's not the days that have me worried. It's the nights. The endless nights."

Krycek was very still. Just looking. His breath was warm on Mulder's face.

"You entered the picture. Because..." Mulder swallowed. This was harder than the rest. But he had to say it. "You were there because I've been powerless around you. What you've done-"

"I know, Mulder. And I wish it could have been different."

"The thing is, because of all that, in my dreams you had to be the villain. I don't think I had a choice."

"Jesus, Mulder. I'm so-"

Mulder leaned forward, stopped the words with his lips. He wasn't sure, even when Krycek sighed into his mouth, why he needed this. He just did.

Krycek's lips parted, and then it was wet heat, welcoming, sharing something so foreign, so other that Mulder had to touch the man's face to make sure it was real, and not a trick of his mind.

Krycek's moan assured him as much as the soft skin under his fingers. His tongue, thrusting, exploring, pulled him to a new earth, a revelation. He pulled back, not to end it, but to look at this man who offered a strange salvation. The eyes that stared back at him were as needy and desperate as his own. Were searching for the same grace.


He closed his eyes as the molasses of Krycek's voice slid past his last defense. "Help me," he said. "For all that's gone before, do this for me now."

When he looked up again, Krycek nodded. His eyes glittered as he stood up. As his flesh fingers went to his shirt.

"I need you here," Mulder said, touching the couch.

"Anything," Krycek said, as he pulled his shirt open and let it fall off his shoulders. Then he pushed away the coffee table and knelt between Mulder's legs.

Mesmerized, Mulder watched as that one hand came to his own shirt. As Krycek pulled the material up, he lifted his arms. A gentle hand flat on his chest pushed him back on the couch. With infinite patience Krycek undid the buttons of his jeans. It couldn't have been easy, considering how tight they were at the moment, but he persisted with an intensity that had Mulder swallowing hard.

When his pants were fully open, Mulder stood. Krycek leaned forward so his hot breath cloaked his cock. He moaned, carded his fingers through the dark hair of the man on his knees. He heard a soft whimper, a murmured plea.

Mulder bent over, meaning to lift Krycek to his feet. Instead, his arms circled the naked back, his lips kissed the trembling head. He closed his eyes, breathing clean for the first time in forever. After a long moment, he rose, bringing Krycek up with him.

It was Mulder's turn to unbutton, to strip away. Everything. He ached when he saw the damage of Krycek's limb, but was pulled back to the moment by Krycek's flesh and bone hand. With his gaze on eyes that never wavered, they stood, touching. Mulder's hand went to his chest, feeling the hard muscle, the warmth of skin, the whisper of a hidden heart.

The hand on him was just as gentle, just as tentative, but the connection was complete between them. He wished, for both their sakes, that there were two hands on his body. But nothing could change the past. Only the future wasn't written.

Krycek pulled him close, kissed him deeply. The feeling of his body from chest to knee, changed him yet again. And when his cock slid against Krycek's, he had to gasp for air, hold himself still so he wouldn't come right there.

Krycek didn't look too steady himself, but he managed somehow to turn them around, to sit on the couch, lie back, stretching himself out, languid, sensuous and more beautiful than anything Mulder had ever seen.

Mulder draped himself over the reclining man, fitting his legs neatly between open thighs, bracing the bulk of his weight on his arms. Krycek's smile welcomed him into a kiss. It was everything his nightmares were not. Soft, gentle, yet urgent. Give as well as take. There was nothing cruel, nothing perverted. Just two wounded souls taking comfort where they could. Where there was an understanding that went beyond reason and logic.

Beneath him, Krycek lifted his knees, opening himself. Mulder's heart beat faster as he reached under his couch for the bottle of aloe. He pushed himself up, kneeling. He opened the bottle, spreading the viscous liquid all over his fingers. But instead of rubbing it on his cock, he reached behind his own body.

"Are you sure?" Krycek asked.

Mulder nodded. "I need this."

Krycek's expression changed into one of complete understanding. "Of course."

"Condom," Mulder said.

"My jacket."

He grabbed it without losing purchase. Krycek took the small packet from him and ripped it open with his teeth. While Mulder continued to stretch himself, Krycek covered his own cock. Then he held out his hand so he, too, could use the lotion.

When Mulder felt comfortably stretched, he wiped his hand on his T-shirt, then met Krycek's gaze unwaveringly. With straining muscle and held breath, he lifted up.

Krycek bit his lower lip, held his cock firm as Mulder lowered himself. Slowly. Feeling not an intrusion but a welcome heat. He was filling an emptiness that went far deeper than his ass. Changing, transforming. Becoming.

"God, Mulder."

He opened his eyes to see Krycek writhe beneath him. Lips parted, panting breath, sweat glistening on his face, his chest. It was like connecting to a live circuit, the energy flowing between them was outside his experience, outside anything that had happened to him before.

He moved then, rising and falling, feeling the long, thick cock with his nerves and his skin. It made him tremble, gasp for every breath. He threw back his head and cried out, "Alex. Alex."

When Krycek heard his name, he couldn't lay still a moment longer. He would have chopped off his other arm before he hurt Mulder tonight, but he had to move. His hips rose to meet every downward thrust as Mulder rode him. He looked up at the long neck, glistening with sweat, but it was his name, that plaintive cry, that changed him.

It was everything he'd ever wanted. But more than that, it was a fucking benediction. Mulder needed this. Needed him. He could hardly bear it, and the only thing he knew how to do was give it up. All of it. All of him.

Mulder's head came down, and he looked right into Krycek's gaze. And as they fucked-As they made love, Mulder's face broke. Tears fell down his cheeks, his lips trembled, and we wept. But it wasn't the crying of a man in torment. It was blessed release.

It was more than Krycek could take. He gripped Mulder's arm with his hand, strained forward with his stump, and he came. He screamed Mulder's name, the cry careening off the walls. His heart nearly burst as he slammed into the man above him again and again.

Finally, he was empty. Mulder collapsed atop him, and he felt the deep rise and fall of his chest, the heavy breath on his neck. They lay like that until their hearts calmed, until Mulder grew heavy.

Mulder didn't want to move, but he knew he was crushing Alex. With a loud groan, he pulled himself off, shifted his position. Krycek moved to his side, and Mulder slipped in next to him. There was hardly enough room for them both, but with his arm around Krycek's back, they made it. Close. Tight. Pressed body to body, it was the most comfortable Mulder had ever been on his old leather couch.

He kissed the moist lips that were so near his own. Sighed as he came back to the world.

"Thank you," he whispered. "Maybe it'll be different now. Maybe I can sleep again."

Krycek hitched in a deep breath. "That's kind of funny."

Mulder lifted his head so he could see Krycek's eyes. He watched as a tear slipped down his pale temple. "What do you mean?"

Krycek touched the side of his face gently. "Because in my dreams, you're the hero."

"I don't understand"

"Every time, Mulder. You're there. You stop them. You get rid of the knife, you chase off the peasants. You save me, Mulder. Every fucking night. And then I wake up."

Mulder's chest constricted. It took him a minute before he could speak. "Maybe... Maybe it can change if you wake up here."


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