Something Dark

Debra Fran Baker

dfbaker@panix.com

It was all over. The arguments, the late night phone calls, the grand flights of fancy, the sunflower seeds, all the million and one things he did to annoy her were over. She never wanted it to happen like this. She wasn't sure *how* she wanted it to end, or even if, but not this way.

Shaking with emotion, Dana Scully upended the container of ashes, the ashes of two men, into the wind of the New Mexico desert. She'd been like this since she'd found them. She didn't like that she couldn't control her emotions, but she couldn't help it. Dana Scully was angrier than she'd ever been in her life, thanks to Fox Mulder.

**************

Alex Krycek was in Fox Mulder's apartment, waiting for him to come home from work. Mulder knew it as soon as he opened his door. There was the humidity of a recent shower in the air, and a scent of coffee coming from the kitchen. It could only be Krycek, since no one else ever bothered showering there, besides himself. Everyone else had their own places and didn't need the indifferent cleanliness of his bathroom.

But even without those signs, Mulder would have known who it was. Krycek had an aura about him that no one else ever did, a combination of danger and sensuality that resonated within Mulder. He hated this man, but there was something else there. Something that made his cheek burn.

"It's about time you got home, Mulder. I was getting lonely." Krycek came out of the kitchen with a cup of coffee. The left sleeve of his T-shirt was empty. Mulder stared. He knew that the man had lost his arm, but the last time he'd seen him, there'd been a prosthesis and it wasn't obvious. Krycek smiled sweetly. "And you have absolutely no food in your house."

"Get out, you bastard. What gives you the right to break into my house and steal my coffee and my...my shower gel?"

"I admit to the shower gel, but the coffee is mine. All you had was instant. As to what gives me the right..." He put down the cup and walked to Mulder, where he stood far too closely for Mulder's comfort. Mulder tried to get himself to move, but his body didn't listen. In fact, it had far different plans.

Krycek gently put his hand on the other's face - right where he'd planted a kiss not so long before. Mulder shivered and covered it with his own. To his disgust, he found himself nuzzling the hand as if he were a cat.

Mulder hated himself for wanting him so much, but no one had ever touched his soul or his body the way Krycek had. For a moment he thought to fight the feeling the way he'd done for years. He would hurt Krycek, make him suffer in body the way Mulder did in mind. Then he remembered the empty sleeve. And Alex's hand felt so good on his face.

He stepped back slowly.

"You hungry?"

"Starving." Krycek looked hungry - but possibly not for food.

"Chinese or pizza? And don't touch me again."

"Pizza. And that's my line." They both smiled at that. Krycek's eyes glowed with humor.

While they waited for dinner, they chatted, or pretended to. Mulder was exquisitely aware of the man with him. He kept telling himself this was stupid and dangerous, but that didn't help. Krycek was unreadable. He just kept smiling and looking hungry.

The food arrived. They spread it out on the floor. That's when Mulder, with exquisite timing, decided to confront him.

"Why are you here?"

"For you." Mulder felt a chill.

"Are you going to kill me after dinner?"

"I'm not going to kill you." He closed those eyes briefly. "I could never hurt you. Haven't you figured it out yet? I *can't* hurt you."

Mulder thought back. "You did hurt me, though. My father..."

"Wasn't my idea or me. I couldn't do that to you."

"What are you trying to say to me?"

"God, Mulder. You know. You feel the same way. I feel it with every blow."

Mulder sat back, his pizza forgotten.

"God does have a twisted sense of humor, doesn't He? Damn."

"Truly twisted. I wouldn't have chosen this, either. That's why I've stayed away, but I can't stay away." Krycek put his slice down and moved closer. Mulder stayed where he was.

"I think about you sometimes. A lot of times. I see you at night. Your face is in half my dreams. You haunt me, you bastard. As if my nights weren't hard enough."

"I look forward to my dreams of you, Mulder. It's all I have that's good."

Mulder reached out a hand. Krycek took it and caressed it with his thumb.

"You did come for me."

"It may be our last chance. I had to take it."

"What do you mean?"

"I have to go away soon, and I don't think I'm going to be coming back. It's getting hot out there. If I didn't take this chance, I might not get another."

"Maybe I can protect you?" Mulder couldn't breathe.

"You? You can't protect yourself. If it weren't for that partner of yours, you'd be dead several times over." There was grudging respect in Krycek's voice. Mulder couldn't argue about that particular truth.

"Why do you hate her so much?"

"Jealousy, pure and simple. She was always your partner, even when it was supposed to me. And she's beautiful and female and...I'm jealous."

"Krycek, she's a woman. You don't need to be jealous of women."

"Then there's your boss." Mulder was silent. "I guess that's something I should worry about. God, when I saw him in his apartment. I almost enjoyed getting beaten up."

"Let's not talk about him or work."

"Let's not talk." With that, Krycek leaned forward and kissed him gently. Mulder didn't want gentleness. He deepened it, thrusting his tongue passionately into Krycek's mouth, crushing his body toward him. It felt odd to only have one arm around him, but he got used to it.

*This is Alex Krycek. Why am I doing this with Alex Krycek of all people? * He broke away for a moment. *Because he is here and beautiful and I've wanted this almost since the day I met him. And because I'm a fool. And an idiot. And because he tastes like Paradise. Can I survive Paradise?* Krycek moaned in frustration and pulled him back. *I don't care.*

The pizza was pushed away as they ripped their clothes off.

Both were hard as rocks. Despite this, despite the urgency they both felt, they had to explore each other, make this first time real. Mulder had to see if all of Krycek tasted like Paradise. As Krycek gasped in pleasure, Mulder worked his mouth down the other man's body, licking and kissing and sucking gently. He knew he had no need to mark this body to make it his. The mere fact that he was *here* was proof enough of that. Krycek flinched and relaxed when Mulder got to where the left arm had been, but Mulder just continued to kiss and caress.

When Mulder got to Krycek's genitals, he paused and inhaled the clean scent of his own shower gel overlaying the rich musk that was his lover's alone. He was right - Krycek tasted like Paradise all over. He licked all around the erect penis and the scrotum, touching only now and then to feel Krycek twitch and hear him moan.

"You are a damn tease, Mulder!"

Mulder didn't answer. His mouth was too busy. He was between Krycek's legs now, nuzzling and sucking. He spread those long legs and dived into Krycek's rectum, stroking his firm buttocks. He could hear Krycek stifle a scream, and smiled to himself. He still remembered what to do to a man even after years of using only his own hand. Then - down those legs and on to the feet - two perfect feet, perfectly proportioned to his height. As Krycek kicked and whimpered, Mulder sucked on each toe.

"I should have known you'd be so oral." Krycek's voice was hoarse and he was breathing heavily.

Mulder paused for a second. "The most sensitive nerve endings on the body are in the mouth. I'm making use of what evolution gave me." He returned to the toes.

"Remind me to thank Darwin. No!"

Mulder stopped. He'd finished with the toes and decided it was time for dessert. He had just wrapped his mouth around Krycek's penis. He let go, but put his hand there instead.

"What's wrong?"

"Mulder, you don't know where that's been."

"Krycek, are you..." He couldn't say the words.

"I don't know. I haven't been tested."

He had to do things to survive. Mulder knew that. He felt himself flag slightly, but then he saw the concern in Krycek's eyes, and decided that Krycek's past was not important just then. He rubbed his cheek over Krycek's still hard penis and gave it a gentle kiss.

Then he laid Krycek on his back, pillowing his head on some discarded clothing, and stretched his own length on top of him. Both gasped as their manhoods made contact and Mulder began to move, first slowly and then faster, harder, building and building until first one and then the other exploded and Mulder collapsed upon Krycek, sobbing.

Krycek carefully rolled them over until he was on his left side. He held Mulder close to him, stroking his hair, his back, soothing him as best he could.

"Are you all right?"

"I've been dreaming of this." Mulder's voice cracked. "I've been dreaming of making love with you since the day I saw you. I couldn't stop myself. And now it's happened." He took a breath. "Oh, God, I'm a fool and I'm going to regret this, but this is what I wanted. No, I'll never regret it, or any other moment I spend with you, so long as we're allowed to have time together." He wrapped his left arm around Krycek.

"Never regret anything, Mulder, but especially not this. I just need to hold you for a while."

Mulder started kissing Krycek's face. With the urgency gone, he had time and energy for gentleness. Krycek just sighed and held on as tightly as one arm would let him. Neither wanted the moment to end, but it had to.

"The pizza's getting cold, Mulder."

"I guess we should finish it."

"Yeah." He pulled himself free with an effort. "We're sticking together. I'll get a washcloth."

Mulder watched him gracefully get to his feet and walk naked to the bathroom. Then he gathered the food and took it to the kitchen to nuke it.

This time they leaned on each other while they ate. Mulder found himself feeding bits of topping to Krycek. At one point, Scully called, but Mulder told her he was home and fine, and watching television. He even offered to tell her what he was watching. She didn't want to hear.

They shoveled off the bed together, piling books and magazines on the floor. Then they made love once again. Mulder found himself deep inside his lover, surrounded by his heat and his flesh, looking into those soft green eyes. Despite the long lashes, Krycek never looked soft before. It took a little time, but soon enough they achieved their orgasms, Krycek's sending Mulder over.

Later, after another cleanup, they lay together on the bed.

"It's a good thing I had supplies with me." Krycek spared a glance at the used condom.

"I'll see if I can get more tomorrow. Oh, God. It's been so long since I made love to anyone. I wish you would let me do without."

"I've never made love before."

Mulder grinned. "Krycek, I may not be the world's most experienced guy, but I could tell you were no virgin."

"I've had lots of sex. I've even sold it. It's never meant anything to me. Until now."

"This was a mistake."

"No regrets, Mulder. I have to leave, but leaving is the last thing I want to do. I feel like I just found you."

"Let's not talk about it. I'm tired."

They fell asleep together, Krycek's arm wrapped protectively around Mulder.

The next few days were a blur. Mulder left Krycek alone in his apartment. He purchased condoms and lube and groceries with cash so it couldn't be traced. He could barely concentrate on work, and he hated lying to Scully about why he was late in the mornings. He could hardly say that his lover was especially beautiful just after he woke up. Nor could he say that he was leaving early because that same lover was making dinner. So he invented a car that stalled and bad traffic and being tired.

She also noticed something else.

"What's going on, Mulder?"

"What do you mean?"

"You are more moody than ever. I don't know whether you'll be sad or giddy."

"I am not giddy."

"Oh, yes. Do you have a new girlfriend you're not telling me about?"

"You don't tell me about your girlfriends."

"Mulder!"

"Or your boyfriends."

"Point taken. Does she make you happy?"

"When we're together. But this person is not staying long. When I think about that, it hurts. I can't tell you how much it hurts. I don't want to talk about it."

Scully seemed to decide to let it go.

That night, Mulder came home to the smell of roasting meat. There was Krycek, a towel wrapped around his waist apron style, setting out nice paper plates on the coffee table. The other man's face lit up at the sight of his smile. He went to the door and kissed Mulder hello.

"What's going on? You cooked?"

"Anyone can toss a roast in the oven. Even you. I got tired of take out, so I went to the grocery store and got real food."

"Was that safe?"

Krycek shrugged awkwardly. "No one knows I'm here yet, and I wasn't gone long. I even paid cash. Can't be traced. And I kept that thing covered." He indicated his prosthesis, lying neglected on the TV.

"I'm glad you don't wear it in the house."

Krycek just smiled. "I'll need you to slice the meat." Mulder nodded.

Ten minutes later, they sat down on the floor to eat. Mulder, who was distracted by the homemade meal, took a few moments to realize that Krycek was staring at him.

"What? Do I have ketchup on my nose or something?"

"If you did, I'd lick it off."

"Scully never does that. She just looks exasperated. Why are you staring at me?"

"You look different. You look happy. Mulder, I've never seen you happy before."

"Scully said I was giddy." Krycek's lips tightened. "I know you don't like her, but she's still my partner, and she'll be around when you disappear."

"I'm not going to disappear. I'll have time to give you some sort of notice. You won't just come home to an empty apartment." He gave his head a brief shake. "And I'm glad she'll be there. I hate thinking about this."

"Then let's not. Let's just eat dinner."

"Well, you still look happy."

Mulder sat still. "It's been such a long time, I'd forgotten. Happiness has never been an important goal in my life. Proving the existence of aliens and finding my sister seemed easier to attain. I've had moments."

"Moments?" Krycek barely dared to speak. He acted as if he were gentling a frightened animal. Maybe he was.

"When Scully was found. When she recovered. When her cancer went in remission. I was happy for her. And a little happy for me. She's the only person I trust. I need her." He didn't notice Krycek's flinch. "Moments like that. When my mother got well. Last time I saw my mother, she slapped my face. Last time I saw you, you kissed it. There was a brief moment then, too. I wanted you to kiss my lips instead, you know."

"I had something else to say."

Mulder nodded. "I know. You had to turn my world upside down again. For these past few months, I've been adrift on a sea of confusion. My life's goals were gone, and I had nothing to replace them with but an uncertain partnership with a woman who was and is determined to keep her life separate from mine. What life I've left her after infecting her with my obsessions. And you are here, and suddenly I don't feel lost anymore."

"They are real, Mulder."

"The little gray men? How do I know that? I saw them, Krycek - rows of little gray men in the secret rooms. Where did they come from? Is this another layer to what you say, or have they fooled you, too? How do I know they're real? How do I know *she's* real?"

"'She?' Who are you talking about?"

"My sister. I saw her, Krycek. While Scully was sick, after I faked my suicide, after I nearly...I saw her."

"Your sister is alive?"

"If that's her. I didn't check her blood. *He* brought her to me. That black-lunged bastard. She said he was m..her father. And she thought that both of our parents were dead, and she wouldn't see Mom, and ... Krycek, I'm an uncle. She has children. And then she disappeared again, and I can't find her again. And he's supposed to be dead. She's safe and happy, and has no place in her life for me."

"Crack the whip."

"Exactly. The guy standing still has just let go, and I'm flying everywhere, and I can't stop. But you're here now, and I can hold on to you for a little while."

"What about that partner of yours?"

"You sound like her brother, the way he talks about me. Scully...Scully doesn't need me. She can manage, sometimes I think better, without me. You...I think you need me."

"I do, Mulder. I wish I could say..." He broke off. Mulder was crying. He moved closer to the other and cradled his head against his chest. "It's all right, Mulder. I'm here now. And now is all that matters, or ever could matter."

"Yes, you are here, aren't you?" Somehow, the tears became a cheerful leer. Krycek felt good in his arms, and his body responded. He kissed him, and Krycek kissed back, sucking on Mulder's lower lip. Absently, he wondered why people always did that as he began to remove various articles of clothing as they came to hand. The food was rather cold by the time they got back to it.

Later that night, Krycek crawled into bed beside Mulder, who wrapped himself around him, tangling their legs together and nuzzling up to his left shoulder, just as he'd done every night since Krycek had arrived. Krycek draped his arm over Mulder and kissed him on the forehead. He then settled back to feel his lover relax and fall asleep. "No nightmares tonight, tovarish." He said the words softly. Mulder, already asleep, didn't hear.

The room was dark and silent except for Mulder's breathing. Krycek didn't sleep, not yet. He listened to Mulder and felt his heart beat, and just for a while lived in the now, where all was, not safe, never safe, but good. Where he belonged with this man, and where they fit together like two halves of one soul.

He would have to leave soon - perhaps only a few days. This was a mistake. The woods are cold after you warm yourself with a fire, and he was even now dozing in Mulder's brilliance and fire, drowning in the spark of darkness that existed in Mulder's soul, the twin to his own.

At least here, when he gave his body, it was not for money. He'd told Mulder the truth, both times. He wasn't a boy, but sometimes pretty green eyes and long lashes make up for youth. Until now, he didn't care. His body, his eyes, they were just tools like his gun, to be used as needed. And if letting a stranger use his body gave him a couple of day's food or shelter, well...why not? And if they preferred it without protection, he didn't care either. He figured if he made it to Mulder's age at all, he'd be lucky.

They both knew it couldn't last. Krycek would have to go, or Mulder would be sent out of town, and then it would be over, perhaps forever. But neither talked about it. They built themselves a fantasy world and lived in it as long as they could.

Finally, though, the bubble burst.

Go to Part 2.