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Il Traviato, Act One


Contains explicit male/female and male/male sex.

Pairing: Mulder/Krycek

The Mulder and Krycek saga, very loosely based on the opera, La Traviata. Covers episodes “Sleepless” through “Apocrypha.”

Disclaimer: The X-Files is copyright Fox TV, Chris Carter, and Ten-Thirteen Productions. No infringement is intended.


Quando non s’ami ancora.
[As long as one is not in love.]

il traviato, act one

“Agent Mulder.”

Fox Mulder looked up from the desk where he sat transcribing his wiretap recordings, and pulled the headphones down to rest around his neck. “Yeah.”

The young agent standing in front of his desk smiled a brief greeting and held out a file. “It’s your three-oh-two. Assistant Director Skinner just approved it.”

Mulder took the file with an inward sigh of relief. Finally, a real case again—not just this endless eavesdropping on pathetic losers. The death of Dr. Saul Grissom had all the earmarks of an X-File—a man calls 911 to report a fire, and is found dead in a completely unburnt apartment. But…?

“There’s a mistake here. There’s been another agent assigned to the case.”

“That would be me.” The young agent thrust out his hand. “Krycek. Alex Krycek.”

Mulder ignored the proffered hand, and sat back in his chair. “Skinner didn’t say anything about taking on a partner.”

“It wasn’t Skinner. Actually, I opened the file two hours before your request, so technically, it’s my case.”

Mulder rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “And you already talked to the police?”

Krycek fumbled in his jacket pocket for his notepad. “Yep. Just hung up on the officer in charge a few minutes ago. Detective named… Horton. Turns out Grissom called nine-one-one to report a fire.”

“I heard the tape.”

“Did you hear that forensics found a spent fire extinguisher on the floor? Grissom’s prints were all over it.” He leaned forward to point to the police photos in the file on Mulder’s desk. “The walls and floor in his living room were covered with ammonium phosphate.” There was an eager enthusiasm in the young agent’s voice.

Mulder found the man’s attitude vaguely irritating, although he didn’t know quite why. Was it because Scully, at this point, would be dryly insisting that there was a perfectly logical explanation for why Grissom thought there was a fire when there wasn’t? “But no trace of fire.”

“Not even a burnt match.”

“Is that all you know?”

“So far.” Krycek smiled. “What do you think it means?”

Mulder sighed. He looked up at the earnest, fresh-faced young agent standing over his desk and bit his lip. It was bad enough they wouldn’t let him work with Scully any more, now they wanted to saddle him with this wet-behind-the-ears plebe with a two-dollar haircut and a Kmart suit. “Listen, I appreciate the show and tell, and… I don’t want you to take this personally, but I work alone. I’ll straighten things out with Skinner….”

Mulder got up, snagging his suit coat from the back of his chair, and brushed past the young agent.

“It’s my case, Agent Mulder.” The determination in Krycek’s voice stopped Mulder in his tracks. “Look, I may be green, but I had the case first. I’m not going to give it away so quickly.”

Mulder turned back, prepared to pull rank, ridicule, threaten—whatever it took to get Krycek off his back and out of his life. But the words dried up in his throat. Was it the angle, or some trick of the light? Suddenly, it was no longer an innocent youth standing in front of him, but a hard-edged fallen angel, with cold intelligence shining out of those long-lashed eyes. His face was so sweet it tore at Mulder’s heart. Yet there was a calculating hardness in his stare that made Mulder shiver. The shiver was not quite fear; not quite lust. It was the inevitable thrill of the unknown, beckoning to Mulder: This man was not what he seemed. Mulder’s paranoia bells began to ring, at the same time that those deep, curtained eyes drew him in. He did not know which way to run.

Away. “All right, I’ll tell you what. I’ve got some work to finish up around here. Why don’t you go down to the motor pool and requisition us a car, and I’ll meet you down there?” He felt hopelessly foolish, ditching the man this way, but he didn’t know how to deal with this exotic creature, who changed from an innocent puppy to a mysterious cold-eyed beauty in the blink of an eye.

Krycek shook his head slightly. “That’s all? I mean, you don’t have a problem with us working together?”

“Hey, it’s your party.” Placating now, wanting only to soothe the beast back into the puppy, to get him out of here before he changed into something else.

Krycek nodded, obviously flustered by the easy capitulation. The moment was gone. “Well, um… I’ll get the car.” He swept past Mulder with his head down, a tight smile on his face.

Mulder smiled faintly after him. Then he took a deep breath and headed for the stairs, pulling his cell phone from his pocket and calling for a cab along the way.

From Alex Krycek’s diary:

I met Fox Mulder today. What a jerk. Brilliant, he may be. Good-looking, definitely. Seriously lacking in social skills, without a doubt. I thought he was going to fight me tooth and nail about being his partner on the case—then he just crumbled. He stared at me like he was seeing a ghost, then he told me to go requisition a car, and took off in a panic. I thought it was strange, but I did what I was told. Good little Krycek-puppy, that’s me. Then he ditched me. God, it was every high school nightmare come true. Didn’t take any effort at all to play the hurt-feelings don’t-be-so-mean-to-me I-want-to-believe hero-worshiping little twerp. Creepy how easy it was. Almost like I really believed it.

Mulder really ate it up. I swear, his tongue was almost hanging out. It’s pathetic—he wants to be believed in so badly, yet he’s scared to death to trust anyone. He’s set himself up to be hurt, over and over again. Touch of masochism, there, Mulder? Or just too deep in your obsession to see what you’re doing? He’s got a psychology degree, you’d think he’d be able to figure it out.

And I met the famous Scully. She was about as friendly as Mulder. Did they go to the same Academy I did? “Treat everybody like you would like your mother to be treated.” Apparently Mulder and Scully skipped that class. Hell, it’s not my fault the X-Files got shut down. I’m just a guy trying to do a job. Trying to keep Mulder out of trouble. It’s all Scully’s fault, anyway. If she’d done her job in the first place and kept Mulder on a leash, they wouldn’t have had to make the two of them go sit on opposite sides of the room. And brought me in to clean up. If Mulder’d just learn to let go every once in a while, forget about that damn sister —he wouldn’t even know her if he saw her today anyway—and stick to his ghosts and goblins and werewolves and things, we could all go home and get some sleep.

Mulder prowled around his apartment restlessly. He stopped himself, for the third or fourth time, from picking up the phone and dialling Scully’s number. She had never been fond of these late-night phone calls, and now that they were no longer partners, she’d gently but firmly made it clear that she wanted them to stop. But he needed to talk to her. The ideas spun so quickly through his mind that he couldn’t get hold of them. He just needed someone to talk to, to help him get his thoughts calmed down and in order so he could settle down and get some sleep.

He stopped at the aquarium and dropped a few flakes into the water. His two fat gold-and-white goldfish bobbled quickly to the surface and sucked the food into their wide, round mouths. “You’d think I starved you,” he said affectionately, adding a few more flakes to the tank. “So tell me, Mie and Kei, what do you think about this case?” The fish regarded him with their inscrutable, unblinking eyes, and declined to answer.

Mulder wandered back over to the phone. Well, it wasn’t Scully, but he did have a partner. Alex Krycek hadn’t turned out to be so bad after all. After the first day, they’d settled into a steady routine. The strange transformation from raw puppy to cold beauty had not occurred again. Mulder began to think he’d imagined the whole thing. Too many sunflower seeds, maybe. Too much paranoia. Krycek was no more than he’d first seemed—green as all hell, and charmingly enthusiastic. Mulder still had an aching desire to haul the kid off to a good tailor—but he was bright enough, and worked hard, and seemed open to extreme possibilities. He certainly was eager. Would he still be eager at one-thirty in the morning?

He picked up the phone and dialled Krycek’s home number. The phone rang four, five, six times before a sleepy male voice answered.


“Krycek, it’s me. Mulder. I was thinking about the case….”

“Mulder, it’s the middle of the night.”

“One-thirty A.M., to be exact. Past your bedtime?”

“Mulder….” There was an exasperated sigh. “I just got home a little while ago. I had a very nice time and I’d kind of like to leave it that way.”

“What did you do?”

Another annoyed little noise. “I went to the opera.” His voice was belligerent, daring Mulder to make fun of him.

“Which opera?” So Krycek liked opera. Mulder smiled slowly to himself. He liked poking into people’s psyches, finding out what made them tick. He especially liked it when they revealed unexpected aspects. He hadn’t expected opera from Alex Krycek.

“La Traviata.”

Classic Verdi. Not terribly revealing. “Isn’t that the one where the woman dies at the end?”

Krycek giggled. It was a nice, throaty giggle, with a just the suggestion of a squeak. “Mulder, that’s like saying it’s the Schwartzenegger movie where a bunch of people get killed.”

“So what else happens?”

“Mulder, you don’t really want to hear about…?” Now his voice had a charming breathiness.

“Sure I do. Tell me all about it.”

“Well… it’s about Violetta. She’s a Parisienne courtesan.”

“Mmm. Sounds kinky.”

“It’s opera, Mulder. Of course it’s kinky. Prostitution, incest, blasphemy, intrigue, betrayal—you name it, opera’s got it. Anyway, Violetta’s giving a party. Alfredo tells her he’s in love with her, but she says she can’t love anyone.”

Mulder closed his eyes and heard the strains of the brindisi—the drinking song in which Alfredo expresses his love for Violetta. It was one of the most well-known and well-loved melodies in opera. “Because she’s a courtesan.”

“Right. But he sings to her so beautifully, she can’t help falling in love. That’s the first act.”

“Not much action.”

That giggle again. “Well, you know, they tend to spend more time singing than racking up a body count in opera.”

“Second act?”

Krycek gave a good-natured sigh. “I’m tired, Mulder. You know, some of us actually sleep at night. I thought you wanted to talk about the case.”

“Well… I really just wanted to talk for a little while.”

“Oh.” A pause. “Don’t you have friends you can call? I mean, why me? I didn’t think you even liked me.”

“You’re my partner. Didn’t I tell you? Late-night phone calls are part of the job.”

“No, that wasn’t in my job description.”

“Special X-Files charter. Junior agent is at senior agent’s beck and call twenty-four hours a day.”

Krycek yawned into the phone. “Well, you’re going to have to let me get some sleep every once in a while, or I’ll be wacky as those Marines.”

Mulder smiled. “Okay. Sleep tight. Sweet dreams.”

Krycek giggled. Mulder was glad he didn’t giggle like that while they were together. It was heady enough over the phone. “Fuck off, Mulder.”

It was the nicest thing Krycek had ever said to him.

* * *

Mulder leaned back in his chair and rolled his head, stretching his neck and eliciting several satisfying cracks.

Suppressing a yawn, Krycek returned from the coffee station with fresh cups of coffee for them both. Well, refilled cups, anyway—you could hardly call the coffee fresh any more at this time of night —it had been cooking in the urns for hours. Krycek smiled at Mulder as he handed him a cup and sat down. He’d drawn the chair up sideways to the desk, leaning back against the file cabinets, and rested his elbow on the desk to doodle on his notepad. Nothing pertinent had been written there in several hours.

Mulder took his cup and sipped. Krycek had learned right away just how much whitener Mulder liked in his coffee, and made it perfectly every time, no matter how strong the coffee was or what sort of creamer was on hand, all the way from fresh half-and-half to the cheapest powdered stuff. Definitely one of the perks of having Krycek for a partner —Scully would have laughed in his face if he’d ever even suggested that she bring him coffee. Scully had never been anywhere near as deferential as Krycek, from the first day she’d walked into his office. Of course, as a woman in a hidebound old boy’s club like the FBI, she’d been forced to assert herself early, to project confidence whether she felt it or not, to defer to no one. Krycek, with no such gender expectations to overcome, was free to stare at the floor with a tight, sweet smile on his face as though he was trying very hard not to grin foolishly in the presence of his senior agent; to gaze up at Mulder from under those incredibly long, dark, thick eyelashes and hang on Mulder’s every word; to bring his partner coffee and treats from the vending machine as though it was his due. Every senior agent should have such an adoring young partner at least once in his life.

Krycek ripped the doodled page from his notepad, and carefully folded it diagonally. Creasing the long end with his fingernail, he tore it off to leave a perfect square. The pink tip of his tongue poked from between rounded lips as he concentrated on his task. Mulder gave up any pretense of trying to think about the case and watched his partner fold the square of paper in half, first diagonally, then turning it over, folding it lengthwise as well.

Once you got past the bad haircut and worse suit, Krycek was really quite attractive. There were those eyes, of course, large and wide-set and thoughtful and framed by lashes most women would die for. His lips were full and round and plushly inviting. The slightly breathy quality of his low voice could sometimes make Mulder’s spine tingle. His body —well, that was a problem under those awful suits—one couldn’t really tell what kind of shape he was in. But on the occasions when Mulder had taken Krycek’s arm, he’d found firm, hard muscle under his hand. Probably he worked out. Perhaps he could be induced to accompany Mulder on his morning swim sometime. Of course, he’d most likely wear those horrible baggy cotton swim trunks, if his fashion sense in swimwear matched his taste in suits. Make it an impromptu invitation, and lend him one of Mulder’s Speedos, then. He looked to be a bit broader than Mulder. The Speedo would be tight.

Mulder sipped his coffee and watched Krycek folding the piece of paper in ever-more-complicated patterns. A hazy smile spread unheeded across his face. Too much caffeine and too little sleep— Mulder was definitely getting punchy. But he allowed the fantasy to continue. He provided his mental image of Krycek with a smooth, white, firmly muscled body and a snug, nicely filled Speedo. Not red, that was Mulder’s color. Blue, that was better. He pictured Krycek stepping out of the pool after some hard laps, chest heaving as he caught his breath, body glistening with streaming drops like sweat, his hair plastered flat. He’d lick the water from his lips and his eyelashes would be wet and spiky….

Mulder sat up abruptly and cleared his throat, embarrassed by the rushing heat in his groin. Krycek glanced up, eyes narrowed suspiciously. The piece of paper had become a small, delicate bird. His fingers gripped it tightly.

“I, ah, didn’t know you knew origami.” Mulder hoped the catch in his voice wasn’t as obvious to Krycek as it was to him.

Krycek shrugged. “I have a Japanese grandmother, on my mother’s side.”

“The crane is supposed to be lucky, isn’t it?”

The smile crept back onto Krycek’s face. “Yeah. But you have to fold a thousand of them to get your wish.”

“And what do you wish for?” Mulder asked.

Krycek’s smile faded. “It doesn’t matter. I’ll never fold a thousand of them, anyway.” Abruptly, he crushed the small paper bird in his hand, and tossed it into the trash.

“Hey!” Mulder protested. “It was pretty. You shouldn’t have thrown it away.”

Krycek looked at him curiously for a moment. “Never mind. I’ll make you another one.” He got up and walked away.

Mulder sat back, heaving a deep breath. Careful, Mulder, he warned himself. Having sex fantasies about your partners was all well and good—Mulder had a rich, full fantasy life and didn’t mind making anyone fodder for his wet dreams—but he’d better be a bit more discreet about doing it in the sex object’s presence. He hadn’t any intention of acting on it, anyway, any more than he had with Scully. They were partners and all that, and in Krycek’s case there was the added worry that the man might be offended and start screaming “Queer!” and get Mulder fired. Hmm. Mental note to casually root out Krycek’s attitude towards same-sex activity one day soon…. Not that there was any real reason to know. But it would be interesting to find out just how far that innocence extended. Was Krycek as inexperienced in bed as he seemed in other areas? Perhaps he needed a senior partner to season him between the sheets, as well….

Krycek was back. Mulder firmly put that train of thought aside. Later. Much later. Meanwhile, Krycek had resumed his seat and was opening the candy bar he’d bought from the vending machine, carefully unfolding the inner foil wrapper. Absently, he broke the candy bar in two, handing half to Mulder and nibbling at the end of the other half himself before setting it aside and turning his mind to the task of folding a crane from the foil paper. He worked quickly, with practiced ease, and had soon created a shiny gold foil bird.

With an ironic flourish, he presented it to Mulder. “Just for you, Agent Mulder.”

Mulder took it with a grin, his face burning. “Thank you, Agent Krycek.”

“Well.” Krycek blushed furiously. He stared at the floor for a moment, then sat up briskly, putting his notepad in his pocket and unrolling his sleeves. “It’s late, and we haven’t gotten any work done in over an hour. You can stay here all night if you want, but I’m going home to bed.”

“Good idea.” Sweet dreams, Agent Krycek. I know what I’ll be dreaming about.

* * *

Mulder wasn’t even all the way to his car when the fantasy began again. It would be late, a night like tonight, when they were tired and a bit punchy from too much chocolate and caffeine.

How about a little swim before we call it a night? It’s a great way to unwind after a day like this.

Krycek would blush prettily. I don’t have a suit.

You can borrow one of mine. Or—this time of night, there won’t be anybody else at the pool. We can skinny-dip.

Krycek would protest, but in the end he’d allow Mulder to herd him off to the swimming pool. The pool would be empty, except for them. Not even a janitor, or night watchman. Krycek would insist on undressing in private, and come out of the locker room with his hands over his genitals, and his face would be that same charming shade of red it had been when he’d handed Mulder the golden crane. Mulder would be matter-of-fact and hearty at this point, pretending not to notice Krycek’s discomfort, allowing him to relax in his senior partner’s presence. And they would swim—long, lazy laps at first, just enjoying the sensual feel of the water caressing their naked skin. He’d dive underneath and watch Krycek from below, his flaccid penis streaming along between his powerful legs as he stroked his way across the pool. After a while, Mulder would start swimming alongside Krycek, urging him to keep up, teasing him into showing off. Unused to this kind of exercise, Krycek would overexert himself. Perhaps he’d get a cramp, or just a small stitch in his side.

Grimacing slightly, Krycek would pull himself out of the pool, hand pressed to his side. Mulder would follow, concerned, taking Krycek’s arm. What’s wrong? Do you have a cramp?

Distracted by the slight pain, Krycek would be unconcerned with his nakedness. Just a little. Shouldn’t have drunk all that coffee, I guess.

Come in here and lie down for a little while. There would be a lounge area off the locker room with massage tables. Mulder would lead him there and help him up onto one of the tables. Spread out on his back, soaking wet and vulnerable, Krycek’s self-consciousness would return. But Mulder would press him firmly down onto the table with a hand on his chest, murmuring, Just lie still. I’ll rub it for you. Show me where it hurts.

In an attempt to keep it on the level of a friend helping a friend with a cramp, Krycek would guide Mulder’s hand to the offending pain, trying to relax. But the feel of Mulder’s strong fingers stroking his wet skin would stir other feelings, and his helpless cock would begin to rise. Mulder would ignore it at first, continuing to pretend he was only interested in rubbing the cramp. But the circles his fingers made over Krycek’s side would widen slowly, until his fingers were brushing the pelvic bone, and his thumb dipped into the sweet puckered navel.

Krycek by now would be unmistakably erect, and he would clench his fists in an effort to suppress the unwanted arousal. Mulder would take one hard fist in his hand, stroking the tender area at the base of thumb and forefinger, and allow his other hand to lightly stroke the underside of Krycek’s penis.

Arching off the table, Krycek would cry out helplessly. Mulder, what are you…?

Shh. It’s all right. I want to make you come. Just relax and let me touch you.


But the cries of protest would soon turn to cries of pleasure, as Mulder would continue to fondle the warm cock, and tickle the tender balls. He’d keep holding Krycek’s hand, as Krycek would now be gripping it hard, refusing to let go. The fine sheen of water would evaporate from the smooth white body, to be replaced by a finer sheen of sweat. Krycek would moan, his head tossing from side to side, and his cock would thrust into Mulder’s hand.

Oh god, Mulder….

When he judged the boy to be ready, he would bend over the table and take the silky head of the cock into his mouth. He would taste the pre-ejaculate on his tongue, mixing with his saliva, and he would spread the fluids around the hard shaft of the cock, taking it gradually deeper into his mouth, until he felt it swell and Krycek’s hips stiffened as he gasped and thrust and warm, salty semen flowed into Mulder’s mouth….

* * *

Mulder jerked the steering wheel roughly, pulling the car over to the side of the road and slamming it into park, rear wheel still several feet from the curb. Swearing, he fumbled in the glove box for a tissue, while working at the clasp of his trousers with the other hand. He was only a few blocks from his own building, but he couldn’t wait a second longer or he was going to explode. It was late and the street was deserted—it should be safe. He unzipped his pants in a frantic hurry, pulled his throbbing cock free and held the tissue over it while he pumped it furiously. Only moments later, he threw his head back and whimpered as his body arched, his thighs jammed against the steering wheel, and his semen flowed into the tissue.

* * *

Mulder smiled to himself as he walked up the front steps of his apartment building. God, he never even got the chance to finish his fantasy! He’d meant to pull Krycek down to the end of the table, lift his legs over his shoulders and fuck him raw after he’d sucked him off. Well, that just left more to think about for later. He hadn’t had this much fun in a long time—probably since the early days of his partnership with Scully. He’d had a hot-and-heavy affair with her in his mind for months, until their friendship settled in and became too real to brook fantasies like this.

Scully. He hardly ever saw her any more. He still missed her, every day. Much as he was beginning to enjoy Krycek’s company, he still ached for Scully’s cool competence, her dry humor, her down-to-earth logic, her compassion. Was the end of their partnership going to mean the end of their friendship as well? He didn’t want to think so, but they were both so busy with their work, and he had never been any good at keeping real relationships going. He’d have to call her, soon. Too bad it was so late, he daren’t do it now. Maybe tomorrow, if he and Krycek finished at a decent hour. Or maybe he could meet her for lunch, if she wasn’t too busy at Quantico. He’d call her in the morning.

As he went through his evening routine, he thought about early days with Scully. They’d gone to Oregon on their first case. Students were being abducted and then returned with strange marks on their bodies. A panicked Scully had burst into his hotel room in her underwear, demanding to know what the red marks on her back were. He had reassured her, and then they’d talked. He’d told her about Samantha, and the effect his sister’s disappearance had had on his family. She’d told him about her family. They’d begun the long process of learning to trust and care about one another. It had not occurred to him at the time to take advantage of her attack of nerves, but later the incident had become the jumping-off point for many pleasant fantasies.

Settled on the couch in a tee shirt and sweat pants, with an old movie playing quietly on the television, he relaxed and let his mind wander. One hand slid under the waistband of his sweat pants and curled around his quiescent cock in a familiar routine.

They’re just mosquito bites, Scully.

Are you sure?

He smiled. His fingers rested lightly on her sides as he knelt behind her, inspecting the three small red marks on her lower back. Her red robe lay hanging from her waist. Her skin was creamy and soft. Her muscles jumped slightly as his thumb touched the waistband of her panties.

I’m sure. Relax, Scully. You’re fine. This time, he would not stand up and move away from her. He would not hold himself uncomfortably still while she threw herself into his arms in relief. He would remain kneeling behind her, holding her gently. He would blow cool air over the tiny red marks. She would shiver, almost imperceptibly, but she would not pull away. They’re just mosquito bites. They must itch. Let me help.

He would touch one of the bites with the tip of his tongue, stroking it gently, moistening the tiny swelling. Then he would kiss it, and begin to suck. As he licked and sucked her tender skin, he would pull her robe away, letting it fall to the floor. Then his fingers would slowly work her panties down her hips.

Agent Mulder….

You’re too uptight, Agent Scully. You need to relax. I just want to make you feel good. He would expose the silky white rounds of her bottom, kissing and nipping lightly at the firm cheeks. A slight moan would escape her. I have so much to teach you, Agent Scully. Open your mind to extreme possibilities. He would continue to caress her round bottom with his lips and tongue, while his hands explored around the sides of her hips to reach the soft, fuzzy hairs beneath her belly. He’d run his fingers through the luxuriant thatch of hair that protected her intimate folds, letting his fingers gradually explore lower and lower.

She would whimper ever-so-softly, and her body would warm to his touch, but still she wouldn’t move. Finally, he’d run his middle finger lightly over her clitoris, then trail it down to stroke the outer folds of her vagina. Slick wetness would seep onto his fingers. She’d gasp and twitch in his grasp. She’d press forward, rubbing herself into his hand. He would open his palm against her and let her stroke her swollen clitoris on his hand, choosing for herself the pressure and speed that satisfied her. He’d rest his cheek against her bottom, his arms encircling her, one hand holding the firm curve of her belly while the other covered her wet entrance. She’d moan as she thrust against him, her buttocks flexing beneath his cheek.

Presently, he’d slip two fingers deep into her vagina. Her head would fall back and she’d moan her pleasure. Slowly, still holding her firmly, he’d stand, pressing his body against her back and hips. She was so tiny, he’d have to crouch down in order to mold himself to her. (Here was where Krycek had the advantage—he was practically the same height as Mulder. One could just walk up behind him and…. Well, that was another fantasy. For this one, assume Scully was about eight inches taller. Or standing on a box.) His hard cock would poke between her legs. (Wait a minute, what about his clothes? Never mind—let him be naked.) He’d lean back to give himself enough room to unhook her bra, then slip it down one arm and then the other, tossing it into the floor with her robe, while his other hand remained impaled in her wetness. He’d take her full breast into his hand, catching the nipple between his fingers and rolling it erect.

Then he’d turn her around and urge her onto the bed on her stomach, still holding her by the breast and crotch. He’d slide on top of her, savoring the silky softness of her skin, damp with the heat of arousal. He’d kiss the back of her neck, nuzzling her earlobe and jaw. She’d smile at him over her shoulder and sigh.

He’d release her then, leaning back onto his knees, and take her by the hips, pulling her up slightly so that he could enter her from behind. His hard cock would slide into her soft wetness, and she would thrust her hips against him, and he’d settle his weight onto her, sliding into her with increasing heat, while he reached around and stroked her clitoris with his fingers, bringing her to completion with him.

* * *

Mulder was hot and sweaty and his cock was hard beneath his pumping hand, but he wasn’t quite there yet. He needed another fantasy to finish off with…. How about The Bet? He and Scully would bet on whose theories would be proved correct on the next case. Loser bares his or her bottom and bends over the desk in their office. Winner applies corrections as desired. Let’s see, should he win or lose this time…?

From Alex Krycek’s diary:

I like Mulder. This is not a good idea. It’s too easy to forget I’m just playing a role. I can’t let him get to me.

I’m good at my job. I’m going to succeed at this. I’ll do what I have to do. My boss told me that Mulder was so paranoid, he’d probably never really trust me. I told him, just give me a little time, I’ll have him eating out of my hand. And I did. I thought it was going to be a pain, fawning over Mulder and waiting on him and pretending to be a believer. But he’s so eager for the attention—he tries to pretend he’s so cool and above it all, but I can tell. He loves it. And he likes me, or at least he acts like he does. Calls me at all hours of the night, just to talk. Keeps me at work till neither of us can keep our eyes open. God, he must be lonely. Still spends too damn much time with Scully, though. We’ll have to do something about that.

And he’s just too damn gorgeous for his own good. Big sad eyes and pouty lips. If he weren’t the mark I’d have a run at him. The way he looks at me sometimes I half think I’d have a chance at it. Of course I never would. Don’t fall in love with the mark—that’s rule number one. It’s just a job. Remember that, Alex. Never fall in love with the mark.

Later, Mulder decided that it had to be the full moon that made him act so crazy. There was just no other explanation for it. Of course, he missed Scully. He missed her horribly and he knew he was gradually losing their friendship by working late so often and never having time to spend with her. Every once in a while he could get her to do the odd autopsy, help him with research, bounce an idea off her—but he had to get used to the fact that she wasn’t his partner any longer. She had her own work—she didn’t want to be bothered with his. And poor Krycek was obviously resentful of the preference he showed her. But Mulder wanted more than the occasional hurried lunch date or late-night pizza. He wanted her around on a daily basis, as she had been when she shared his office.

Perhaps it was also those stupid fantasies, started up again after so many months. He’d reminded himself of just how lovely she was—her warm, intelligent blue eyes; full, sensuous mouth; soft, womanly figure. The attraction he’d always felt for her became strong and demanding. He’d kept a lid on that attraction while they were partners—their working relationship had come first, and their friendship had been enough to satisfy him. Now she was no longer his partner. The closeness he needed was fading away. And there was no reason to deny his attraction any longer.

He’d even managed to convince himself that she must feel the same way.

* * *

It was after two in the morning when he showed up at her door. Scully was yawning and disheveled in a sweatshirt and jeans. She looked at him with a combination of exasperation and indulgence, then stood aside to let him in. She settled him on the couch and went to make tea, leaving him to fidget nervously and wonder what the hell he was doing there. It had all seemed so clear when he’d started out. But now that he was here, he wished he hadn’t come. What was left of his good sense told him that he should get up, apologize to her and leave.

Scully returned with two cups of tea. She handed him one and then went to sit in the easy chair across from him. He’d hoped she would sit on the couch with him. This was even more awkward.

“What is it, Mulder?” She was not quite impatient, but it was clear she was not entirely happy about this late-night visit.

“I hardly ever see you any more.”

She smiled faintly. “I’d like to see more of you. But not necessarily at two in the morning.”

“Scully….” He supposed he should have been cooler about it. Made a little small talk, led up to it gradually. How could he expect anyone to respond favorably to a bald, blurted-out proposition? But he was floundering, already convinced it would be a disaster, and just wanted to get it out and over with. He leaned forward, took a deep breath, and plunged. “I want us to be more than friends. We don’t work together any more. I miss you.”

She put her cup down on the coffee table, with a slight shake of her head. “Mulder, what are you talking about?”

Mulder got up and went to stand in front of her. “I want us to be together, Scully—Dana.”

“Together, as in…?”

His face burned. He bit his lip, and nodded.

She just stared at him. “Mulder, what’s this about? What brought this on?”

“Nothing. I mean, I’ve always thought you and I… but we were partners, and couldn’t do anything about it. Now we’re not. Since the X-Files have been shut down, we hardly see each other. I don’t want to lose you.”

She shook her head. “Mulder, you just want the X-Files back. You want our partnership. I want it too, but….”

“No, Scully. I want you.”

She stood, and stepped close to him. The expression on her face was kind, but her answer was clear before she spoke. “I’m sorry, Mulder. It’s not for us. When you think about it, I’m sure you’ll see I’m right.”

“But Scully—it’s been so hard lately—there never seems to be time—”

She smiled faintly. “We don’t have time to be friends, so you want us to be lovers?”

He shook his head helplessly. It was all going wrong, and he didn’t know how to say what he was feeling. “No, it’s not like that.”

Scully took him by the arm. “Mulder, I’m your friend. I’ll always be your friend. We don’t need anything more to stay together.”

He pulled away from her. “We could do it. Why couldn’t we try it?”

“Mulder, it wouldn’t work. You know it wouldn’t.” She stopped his protests with a hand on his arm. “You look tired. You know how you get when you don’t get enough sleep.”

He shrugged. “I’ve been working late a lot.”

“Your new partner isn’t taking care of you. I’ll have to have a word with him.”

He managed a smile. “Hey, he brings me coffee. You never brought me coffee.”

“Well, he should be telling you to go home and get some sleep, instead of feeding you caffeine.” She returned the smile briefly. “Mulder, I’m your friend. That isn’t going to change. I’ll always be here for you. Now, why don’t you go home and get some rest?”

His choked laugh had a slight tinge of hysteria. ” ‘I’m here for you, now go home’ ?”

“Yes.” Her smile was warm and kind and understanding. It made him feel like a complete idiot.

Suddenly, he felt extremely tired. And extremely foolish. He nodded and headed for the door.

* * *

Mulder swore at himself in frustration as he pulled up in front of Krycek’s apartment building. Wasn’t it bad enough that he’d made a fool of himself with Scully tonight, now he had to inflict himself on Krycek too? It was nearly three o’clock. Scully was right, he should just go home and try to get some sleep. But he couldn’t bear the thought of his empty apartment right now— and he knew he wouldn’t sleep anyway, not after what he’d just done. He’d worry and fuss about it for hours. Unless he talked to someone for a little while. He could go home and call Krycek—he’d called him this late before —but here he was, he might as well go up.

Krycek answered the door yawning and rubbing his eyes, rumpled and groggy in a ragged white vee-neck tee-shirt and shapeless gray sweat pants. Barefoot and sleep-tousled, he looked far too young to be an FBI agent. Dark eyelashes batted against his cheeks as he blinked the sleep out of his eyes. Mulder’s breath caught in his throat, and he knew he’d made a terrible mistake coming here. Days of unrestrained fantasies about the man, along with the pain and humiliation of his earlier rejection—he was on the edge of his control already, and here was Krycek, blinking sleepily at him and looking irresistibly fuckable.

If he had the least bit of sense left, he would apologize and leave immediately. Instead, he pasted on what he hoped was a hearty smile, and shouldered his way past Krycek into the room. “Hi, Krycek.”

“Mulder, what the hell are you doing?” Krycek spoke wearily, padding after Mulder, who was inspecting the furnishings of Krycek’s small apartment with mock cheerfulness.

“Just happened to be in the neighborhood,” Mulder replied airily.

“Mulder, for god’s sake. Go home. Don’t you ever sleep?”

“Sure. Once or twice a week, at least. Nice couch.”

Krycek came up behind him, put a hand on Mulder’s shoulder. “Mulder. What are you doing here?”

The hand burned him like fire. The false heartiness drained out of him. Tears stung his eyes. “I was at Scully’s.”

“And she kicked you out too? I’m not surprised.”

“No, she….” Mulder paused, rubbed a hand over his forehead. “I made a major fool of myself. I… I made a pass. She turned me down.” He pulled his arms around himself and bit his lip to keep it from trembling.

“Oh, Mulder,” Krycek sighed. “You big jerk. I’m sorry.” The hand slipped across Mulder’s shoulders.

Mulder turned, blindly, and slid into Krycek’s arms. Krycek, startled, stiffened for a moment, then relaxed into the embrace, and wrapped his arms tightly around Mulder’s back.

Krycek’s body emanated a delicious heat. Mulder felt warmly encased by the strong, hard arms. His hair caught against the roughness of Krycek’s unshaved cheek as he buried his face in Krycek’s neck. It was nice, for a change, not to have to stoop to embrace someone. A bit strange to press against a flat, muscular torso. Krycek’s maleness was comforting, in an odd sort of way, just by its unfamiliarity. It did not remind him of Scully, and what he’d wanted from her. Mulder was aware that his erection was hard against Krycek’s hip, but he didn’t care. Krycek was a man; he would understand that these things happened.

As a matter of fact, Krycek was hard, too. Mulder pressed his thigh against Krycek’s groin, enjoying the feel of the stiff cock pulsing against his leg. Krycek’s chest was heaving, and his grip tightened until Mulder thought he’d crush the air out of his lungs. Mulder smiled; and the movement of his lips against Krycek’s neck caused fingers to dig fiercely into his back. Oh, this was good. His young partner was aroused by his touch. Krycek wanted him. And it felt so damn good to be wanted.

For long moments, he just stood there, reveling in the embrace. He fully intended to pull away before things went any farther; to wrap himself up in this little moment and take it home to keep him warm on his lonely couch. But then the subversive thought hit him—Why should he leave? This was no fantasy—Krycek was here, and real, and stiff with need. Why not take him to bed? He could never have done this with Scully, but it was different with another man. They could enjoy a night of friendly sex without all the emotional trappings of a male-female relationship. Sure, Krycek was his partner, but they could handle this. It was just a buddy-fuck, nothing to get upset about. And he just couldn’t go home alone and frustrated again. His cock was so hard it hurt, and he was thoroughly tired of living on fantasies and his own right hand.

Mulder took Krycek’s face in his hands, and covered those soft, full lips with his own. Krycek’s lips opened and his tongue met Mulder’s.

His mouth was warm and sweet, just as Mulder had imagined it. Mulder closed his eyes and poured all his need, all his frustration, into the kiss; letting his tongue roam deep, taking possession as if it was his right. One hand slid under Krycek’s tee-shirt, kneading the hot, muscular flesh of his back; the other moved down over the sweat pants, gripping one round buttock tightly. They kissed until Mulder thought he’d faint, and he was forced to pull his mouth away, sucking in great gasps of air.

“Bedroom,” Mulder managed to choke out.

Krycek pulled away. “Mulder, wait. We can’t….”

Mulder took him by the shoulders, and stared into the half-lidded eyes. “Don’t tell me no.” He pulled Krycek to him and kissed him again. His lips were so perfect, so warm and soft. How could he expect anyone not to kiss him? Especially when he was groaning and kissing back with such ferocity.

Krycek broke away again. He stood, breathing hard, mouth working. There was a desperate look in his eyes. “Mulder, please don’t.”

“I want you. You want me. Why can’t we do this? Tell me why.”

Krycek just stood, shaking his head. Shy. A little scared, maybe. Well, Mulder wasn’t going to hurt him. But he wasn’t going to go home rejected twice in one night, either.

Mulder kissed him again, gently this time. “It will be all right, I promise. I just need somebody to hold me, Alex. I can’t be alone tonight. You understand.”

Krycek clung to him. “Oh god, Mulder. All right.” His voice was a breathy whisper.

Mulder’s cock throbbed. That beautiful, sexy, low voice—he wanted it whispering dirty words into his ear. He wanted to hear it moaning and begging for his caresses. He pulled out of the embrace, smiled reassuringly, and nodded. Krycek folded Mulder’s hand into his and led him into the bedroom.

A streetlight just outside the window shone through miniblinds, lending a dim light to the room. The only furnishings were a cheap chest of drawers and an unmade bed. It reminded Mulder of a hotel room—cold and impersonal. Krycek stood hesitantly by the bed.

Mulder reached out for him, started to pull him in for another kiss. But Krycek turned his face away. Bewildered, Mulder stepped back. In the dim light, Krycek seemed to harden before his eyes. Mulder watched in fascination and perhaps a little fear as his sweet young partner disappeared, and the cold, beautiful, heartless angel briefly glimpsed at their first meeting returned. Then Krycek was on top of him, pushing him back onto the bed, kissing him fiercely.

He let Krycek have him that way for a while, thinking it was nerves that were making him suddenly aggressive. Let him work it off, settle down a bit before Mulder took over again.

Then he took Krycek by the arms and firmly flipped him over onto his back. The move took Krycek by surprise, and he lay quietly, staring at Mulder, wary and a bit sullen. His beauty was breathtaking, but there were dark thoughts roiling behind his troubled eyes. Mulder felt as though he’d captured some fairy creature, fey and lovely and not quite human. The sweet mouth hardened, then trembled. Mulder kissed the trembling lips gently, stroking the jawline, running his fingers through the short, dark hair. Patiently, he soothed the wild creature, stroking and taming him with tender care. Finally, with a groan, Krycek opened his mouth, slipped his tongue under Mulder’s, tightened his arms around Mulder’s shoulders, and yielded.

The fey creature melted away, and Mulder’s sweet innocent young partner was back. The body trembled slightly, but there was no resistance in it. Open and accepting, his wide eyes stared up at Mulder. Mulder sighed, giddy with relief. Now he would have what he wanted. First, he sat up and began to undress, leaving his clothing piled carelessly in the floor. Krycek watched him, dark-eyed, lips slightly parted. Naked, Mulder sat on the bed, and began to pull Krycek’s tee shirt up. Krycek pushed himself upright, lifted his arms over his head, and allowed the shirt to be removed. Then he lay back down as Mulder eased his sweatpants down over his smooth, muscular hips and legs. Mulder drank in the sight of Krycek’s nude form by the pale glow of the streetlight outside the window. Yes, he worked out. Perhaps indulged in a few too many chocolate bars, and didn’t burn it off in nervous energy like Mulder did. That was all right. The smooth contours softened his appearance, enhanced his apparent youth. (He was in fact only a few years younger than Mulder—Mulder had checked his file, of course, within days of being assigned to work with him. But Mulder enjoyed thinking of him as a child, and his wide-eyed sweetness did nothing to dispel that notion.) His bottom would be nice and cushiony. Mulder ached to turn him over and slide his cock between those round cheeks.

But he’d better not. The poor kid was nervous enough simply about kissing. Keep it simple—lots of hand and tongue and pleasant friction. Perhaps a blow job. Nothing too intense to deal with in the morning.

His inspection complete, Mulder stretched out at Krycek’s side, kissed him again, and whispered into his ear, “You’re beautiful.”

“Oh, Mulder….” There was as much protest as passion in his breathy voice. The voice that sent delightful tingles down Mulder’s spine.

“Tell me I’m beautiful. I want to hear you say it, even if you don’t mean it.”

A pause, then a sigh. “Mulder. You are beautiful.”

Mulder slid on top of the still-acquiescent body, surprised when Krycek opened his legs for him. Was he offering…? But still, Mulder would not take more. Not this time. He took Krycek’s face in his hands and kissed him again. Krycek kissed like an angel, completely open and yielding. His arms curled over his head, and his legs lay apart. The only motions of his body were the searching of his tongue in Mulder’s mouth, and the tiny rotations of his hips as he ground his groin into Mulder’s. Mulder found the total surrender unutterably sweet. It was wonderful to stroke his burning cock against Krycek’s. He wanted more than ever to sheathe his cock in this angel-beast-child’s pliant flesh. But his need was driving him too hard—he was already near the brink, just from rubbing his cock against Krycek’s body. If he was going to do anything but rub himself off, he’d better stop now. Right now.

Gasping, Mulder tore his mouth away and buried his face in Krycek’s neck, while his hips thrust spasmodically and his semen spurted between them. Krycek’s arms came down to circle his back, stroking him gently, petting him like a cat, while the waves of his orgasm subsided. Nice. Very nice. He snuggled closer and nibbled at Krycek’s small, delicately-shaped earlobe. Krycek’s cock was hard under him. He considered what to do while he recovered from his own release. Hand? Mouth? Maybe he should just ask.

“What do you want me to do?” he whispered into that small ear.

“Go home.” Krycek’s breathy voice blew warm air across his cheek.

Mulder chuckled. He slid half off of Krycek and trailed his fingers down Krycek’s side, to run them along the underside of the stiff cock. Krycek moaned and writhed at Mulder’s touch. Just a slight touch, and his eyes were turning back in his head. It was so sweet being able to provoke such a response. He still didn’t understand why Krycek resisted it. He gripped Krycek’s cock tighter, and began to work his hand up and down.

“Still want me to go home?” he whispered.

“God, Mulder….”

“Is that a yes or a no?”

His only answer was a tortured groan. Smiling, Mulder left off teasing and moved down until his face was by Krycek’s hip. His own semen still pooled in the hollows of Krycek’s pelvis. He touched his tongue to it gingerly, then decided to let Krycek clean himself up. Maybe he’d swallow Krycek’s, though. He knew he shouldn’t, but he wanted to try it, just this once. Krycek seemed so innocent—he must be safe. A bit tentatively, he ran his tongue up the shaft of Krycek’s cock. In his fantasies he gave great blow jobs, but in reality he’d had few cocks in his mouth. Carefully, he placed his lips around the head, stroking it with his tongue, still gripping the shaft with his hand. He licked the tender underside just behind the crown, where his own cock was particularly sensitive. Apparently, Krycek’s was too. His fists pounded the mattress at his sides. A small, keening sound emerged from deep in his throat. Mulder had never heard anything quite like it. He pulled the cock deeper into his mouth, and applied his tongue with more vigor. The keening turned to a wail; then Krycek stiffened, the cock swelled in Mulder’s mouth, and warm, sticky fluid was flooding onto his tongue. Mulder swallowed, shuddered, and swallowed again. It was strange and bitter and he wasn’t sure if he liked it. But he liked Krycek’s sobbing gasps and quivering belly, and the small throbbing spasms in his cock. He held the cock in his mouth until it started to soften, then let it slide from between his lips and made his way back up to the head of the bed.

Krycek was pretending to be asleep. Mulder sighed, and touched Krycek’s shoulder, stroking it with his thumb. He didn’t want to just leave—but Krycek was making it clear he wanted no more of Mulder that night. Better let him be. Gently, he kissed the stubbly cheek and murmured softly into the delicate ear. “Good night, Alex. I’ll see you in the morning.” That was only a few hours away now.

Mulder slid from the bed, pausing to pull the covers up over Krycek’s naked body, smoothing the sheet over his chest. Krycek remained motionless, although his breathing was too measured for sleep. Mulder searched the floor for his clothes. Cold reality was already starting to set in as he dressed. Poor Krycek would probably be in Skinner’s office first thing in the morning, demanding a transfer. Or worse, filing sexual harassment charges. Mulder’s gut went cold. Oh god, this had been a mistake. What should he do? Apologize? Beg for forgiveness? Plead with Krycek to say nothing?

He sighed. It was so late. Let the poor kid alone. Talk to him in the morning. He paused at the bedroom door to look once more at his young partner, tousled and sated and precious. Krycek still hadn’t moved. And, god help him, Mulder still wanted to fuck him.

“Good night, Alex.” He pulled his jacket around himself and left.

* * *

The morning after was just as painful and difficult and humiliating as Mulder had known it would be. Krycek was already at work when he arrived, sullen and pasty-faced. He’d cut himself shaving; the small red cut stood out sharply against the pale cheek. When he saw Krycek’s grim, angry expression, Mulder’s gut twisted in fear, wondering if Krycek had been to Skinner’s office already, but his question was answered with a sharp “No.” Mulder’s sick relief only slightly alleviated his worry.

Krycek refused to refer to the events of the previous night at all. He cut off Mulder’s pitiful attempts to apologize with curt demands to “Forget it.” He snapped and growled and changed the subject repeatedly.

Mulder was too shaky to press the issue. Maybe it would be better just to let Krycek stomp around a bit, get it out of his system. They could talk later, after he’d cooled down a little. God, he was angry! But at least he was here, still trying to work. They ought to be able to work it out eventually.

Two hours later, they were on their way to Lynchburg, following up a lead in their case. It was a long drive, and a very grim one. Krycek sat pressed against the passenger-side door, staring out the window, unspeaking. Mulder had even offered to let him drive—Krycek’s only response was a disgusted grunt.

This was why sexual relationships between partners were not allowed, Mulder thought miserably. Misunderstanding, resentment, hostility. How could they work like this? Someone would take a potshot at him while he was distracted by worry and fear, and he’d end up in the hospital, or worse. Krycek’s fury would cause him to hesitate in a crisis situation. Or even if their lives weren’t in danger, they would miss clues. Their thinking would be cloudy. This could not go on.

Mulder pulled the car off at the next exit. Krycek glared at him, a question in his face but not spoken aloud. Mulder just ignored it, until he found a convenient pullout on a frontage road. Then he stopped the car and waited.

“What?” Krycek demanded flatly.

“We need to talk.”

Krycek shifted in his seat. “Let’s just get back on the road. We’ve got work to do.”

“No.” Mulder turned to look at him directly. “We need to settle this. Now.”

Krycek groaned in frustration. He refused to look at Mulder. “Look, Mulder, it wasn’t… it was just… the heat of the moment. Can’t we just forget it?”

“Heat of the moment, huh.” Mulder sighed. “Maybe. It’s just that you’re really, really, really pissed.”

Krycek closed his eyes tightly, lips pressed together for a moment before answering. “I’m mad at myself. For letting it happen.”

“I didn’t exactly give you a lot of choice.”

“Mulder, I’m a big boy. I know how to say no.”

“Then why does it upset you so much? I know I’m your partner and we shouldn’t have done it, but it’s more than that. Is it because I’m a man?”

The choked noise that emerged from Krycek could have been a laugh. “I’ve had sex with men before. A lot more than you have.”

Mulder flinched slightly, but let the dig pass. “So it’s just me you’re upset about ending up in bed with.”

“Mulder, we’re FBI. We could lose our jobs. And it’s not like it meant anything,” Krycek snapped. But his voice had gotten husky on that last retort.

Mulder sighed. Krycek was feeling used, and well he should. Mulder had practically announced that Krycek was taking Scully’s place for the evening. But it hadn’t really been like that. And surely, once they were in each other’s arms, all thought of a small, red-haired female had gone completely out of his mind.

Then he supposed he ought to tell Krycek that. “Alex, I know you think I was just there because Scully turned me down, and I guess I wouldn’t have been at your door at three in the morning if she hadn’t, but that wasn’t all there was to it. I mean, if all I wanted was a Scully substitute, I think I could get a lot closer. You don’t even have red hair.”

Krycek’s short laugh wasn’t quite as choked this time. Encouraged, Mulder continued. “Maybe… the only reason I was at Scully’s in the first place was that you’ve been driving me crazy lately.”

“You’re such a fucking liar.” But that tight little smile was on Krycek’s face.

Mulder smiled back. “I’m sorry, Alex.”

Krycek shrugged. “Never mind.”


“Yeah.” Finally, he looked at Mulder. “It’s not going to happen again.”

Mulder nodded. Maybe. But now was not the time to pursue it. He started the car and headed back for the freeway.

From Alex Krycek’s diary:

Never fall in love with the mark. Oh god. But they don’t tell you how to do it, do they? Especially when the guy shows up at your door at three in the morning, rejected and crying, and throws himself at you. I tried to say no—yeah, right—but hell, it’s three in the morning and he doesn’t want to take no for an answer and I’ve been wanting this guy since the day I set eyes on him—so I caved. Thank god he was awkward and inexperienced and didn’t go for anything more than a little frottage and a blow job. And lots of kissing. God he can kiss. Still it was a hell of a lot more than I was ready to deal with.

So we had sex. That doesn’t mean I have to fall in love with him. Except he’s so pathetic. So hungry. Does it like a straight guy, all sweet and gentle, like you’re made out of glass. Like he’s going to freak if you move. (Then asks me if I’m upset about doing it with a man—no, Mulder, are you?) Obviously hasn’t had much practice. But I’ll give him an A for effort. He even swallowed it, though it just about made him choke, the stupid fool. I know I’m negative so I let him do it, but he didn’t know that. God. Then this morning he lied his head off to me about how it wasn’t just because Scully tossed him out on his ear and how crazy I make him. Liar. Liar. Because if it isn’t a lie, I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do.

Like I know what the hell I’m going to do anyway. I already liked him way more than I should. He’s just a dumb jerk with a cold bastard for a father and a doormat for a mother and a missing sister, and he’s hanging onto his Truth and his “I Want to Believe” and his “Extreme Possibilities” for dear life, and he doesn’t mean any harm, he’s just searching for something to hang onto, just like the rest of us. And here we are sneaking around behind his back, doing everything we can to make sure he never finds what he needs. Acting like the world would come to an end if he ever found his sister. I can’t do it any more. I don’t want to do it any more. He’s been hurt enough.

But what the hell am I going to do about it? If I go to my boss and tell him I’m out—well, I don’t think this is the kind of job you quit. I’m in this up to my ears and they’re not going to let me just walk away. And even if I could, they’d just get somebody else to spy on Mulder. Somebody who wouldn’t care like I do. Somebody who’d pull the trigger if they told him to. I can’t tell Mulder, either. He’s so paranoid, he’d never believe I’m on his side now, he’d turn me in and my boss would find out and I’d be in the same trouble, except worse. I’ve just got to hang on here. Tell my boss only what I have to and try to protect Mulder and hope to god he never finds out. Thank god they don’t want Mulder killed. He told me Mulder won’t be killed unless it’s absolutely necessary. As long as they don’t ask me to kill him I guess I can stand it. I’ve got to be careful not to let Mulder get too close—that’s going to be the hardest part. I told him it wasn’t going to happen again, but I don’t think he’s given up on the idea. Mr. Obsession—once he gets an idea into his head, he doesn’t let go. I should never have played the hero-worship angle so hard—but how was I supposed to know he was an equal-opportunity sex maniac? The files all said he was straight. So much for my employer’s thorough background research.

The irony of it is, my boss would absolutely love this. It would be a perfect way to get Mulder discredited, get him tossed out of the Bureau and derail his work without any danger or violence or stirring up his high-level contacts. Just another night like last night, with a strategically-placed video camera. I bet Skinner would get off on the tape as much as he’d get off on kicking Mulder’s ass out of the Bureau. But I’d never do that to Mulder. Never. Even if I didn’t care about him, I’d never use his sexuality against him like that. He’s got a right to his private life, it’s nobody’s business but his. And mine now, I guess.

Damn it, Mulder. Never fall in love with the mark.

But I did.

continue to Act Two