Hold Tight

Debra Fran Baker

dfbaker@panix.com


He wondered again how it would feel to have Mulder's naked flesh pressed against his own even as he tightened his grip on the man's restless sleeping body. There was barely room on that futon for one man to sleep, so the other remained awake.

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

"Why do I even bother locking my door?" Mulder tossed first his briefcase and then his overcoat on the floor as he walked into his apartment. His face, as usual, would be unreadable had it not been for his eyes, and even those were cloudy now. Krycek stood and wrapped his arm around him, held him as closely as he could.

"You want to give me a challenge. This would be more impressive if you actually changed your lock once in a while." He felt those two strong arms hug him briefly.

Mulder stepped back. "You're thinner. And *that's* new." He reached out to touch the bruise Krycek knew decorated his eye. "You aren't going to tell me, are you?"

Krycek just shook his head. "You're thinner, too. I could feel your ribs just then, even through that armor."

Mulder shrugged. "I've been eating." He pulled Krycek down to couch and gathered him in his arms again. Krycek buried his head in a shoulder padded only by the suit jacket. "I'm a fool, but I miss you, Alex. Traitor though you are." He felt Mulder's fingers ruffle through his hair. "And it's still too short."

"Not you. Not in anyway that counts, Mulder. Never." That lip brushed his ear gently...as gently as Mulder could.

Sometimes, like now, he wondered how that lip tasted.

If Krycek could have stopped time, he would have stayed in that position forever, but time moves, bodies tire and someone had to take care of Mulder even for just a little while. He let go as slowly as possible.

"Pizza? Chinese? Indian? What continent will supply us dinner tonight?"

"You decide. I'm not hungry. Not for food." Mulder ran his finger down Krycek's back over the t-shirt.

"You're getting food." Krycek found the telephone under the usual pile of papers and books and called the first number that came to mind. Pizza...easy to for him to handle. He ignored Mulder's grimace as he got it loaded with everything possible, except the abomination of pineapple. Then he stood up and got a couple of beers from the fridge. They weren't hard to find, since Mulder's refrigerator held little else. The beer was probably the safest and most nutritious item there.

Before he walked back to the living room and his...and to Mulder, he did a quick survey. It too neat. There were no empty take out cartons, and the garbage held nothing but several days' worth of used coffee filters.

He handed both bottles to Mulder, who opened them and handed one back to him. Krycek took a long drink, but Mulder just held it.

"How's your partner, Mulder?"

"Scully's fine. She'd kill you and me both if she knew you were here, but she's fine. Skinner's grooming her for a promotion, I think."

"Just...grooming her?"

Mulder grinned. "Now *that* would be a picture. I don't know."

"He keeps her busy, doesn't he?" Dammit. Doesn't she know I need her to...

"Why are we talking about Scully?"

"Something to do until the pizza gets here?"