BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS
I look up on the porch to see him sitting in his rocking chair, whittling a piece of wood. He does that a lot. This is a rabbit for the kid. Yeah, she's a cute kid, but her mom's gotta go. Then again, it's a trip to watch Walter get all flustered and blush talking to her while I'm loading up whatever we bought into the Jeep. She's got it bad for him. He's got to tell her.
I'm not sure how to start this, really. I know Walter's already regaled you with how I got him in the first place, and how he took me back. We don't talk a lot about it. He just assumes that I'll stay and I assume he wants me there. We'll say when it's different. I suppose we'll do that quite loudly, the way we do everything.
The dog is jumping around, waiting for me to sail the ball into the air again. I love this dog. Giving him to Walter was the smartest thing. He still doesn't know that I was the one who led Bosco to the cabin in the rain. I damn near ended up with pneumonia, but I knew Walter needed a friend. And when I found the dog, his mate and pups slaughtered in the lab, with all the other test subjects, I knew I couldn't leave the poor thing there. My fellow humans laughed at me. And the Rebels, well, they didn't quite understand. They don't have pets on their planet. Animals are food, exclusively. Well, what they know of as animals. It's very complicated.
They just didn't see why I would share my rations with a dog. But when I disappeared with him, and returned alone, they knew I was giving the dog a home. That's how Bosco knows me. That's why Walter let me back into his life. He trusts his dog. If the dog likes me, well, I'm OK, then.
Soon enough, we're both tired and we sit with Walter on the porch. He laps lazily from his bowl of water as I drink from the bottle I'm handed by my lover. My lover. That is the best phrase in the world. I can't say it enough, in my head, that is. We don't talk like that. Well, he doesn't. I was taught not to. But before they got their hands on me, I did.
They. I was recruited in college by a professor. He saw in me potential to be something. Oh, I'm something all right. That's how I know Walter. I'd seen him long before I was partnered with Mulder. We were both there often and we were both part of the life.
'There' was Mannerly's estate. His estate in Cheshire was the place where we would all vacation to relax. Well, I wasn't there to vacation. I was there as a party favor, at first. Oh, yes, Alex Krycek did not start out double agent and murderer extraordinaire. No, I started out as a body for use. The "salon" was always kept separate from the rest of the estate, so that those not wishing to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh were not tempted. Walter was one of the not tempted. Although, he'd been in the room to talk to certain people.
I can't say that I was embarrassed at first to have him watch me give head to one man while another plowed into my ass. It was what I did, what I was assigned to do for them. His eyes kept drifting to me, and I looked at him a few times. He was sitting on a sofa next to a man who was heartily enjoying the show. I would look up at him once in a while, to make sure he was watching. When I focused on his face, I saw disgust, pity and maybe I'm wrong, but there was a touch of lust in his eyes. But as soon as he was done with his business, and the two "fellows" were done with me, he left the room. I tried to see if he'd become erect, but he moved away too quickly.
After that, I didn't see him again for a while. When I showed up for the 302 for the Grissom case, he acted as if our meeting was the first time he'd ever seen me. But I saw the spark of recognition in his eyes. Then I saw a hint of color bloom in his cheeks. He was embarrassed by the memory of how he'd seen me, mouth and ass full of cock.
Over our time together, we've talked about nothing; not the Consortium, not the nanobots, nothing. I don't want to remember being that person, and he doesn't want to, either. Now, we spend our time working, playing with the dog, fucking and sucking. That's my favorite part, the sex. He gives himself permission to pleasure me. But he goes back to the closed-mouth man when we're done. He told me there was time for words, but we never get to them. One day, I'll get him to say the words.
I look up at him. I know we've put off the food shopping long enough and I nudge his leg with mine. We're in matching rocking chairs that he made. His hands are amazing. He can take pieces of square and rectangular wood and with saws, glue, nails and a lathe, make the most exquisite furniture. Or he can take the same wood and create solid and spacious structures for our neighbors. We have a new bathtub now, because he put an addition on the plumber's kid's playhouse. *That* was truly fun. We both stood in her yard, working shirtless, matching nipple-rings gleaming, and I swear, I could hear all of those proper ladies squish as they walked.
The tub is nice, big enough for us both. I lie against his big body and let his warmth relax me. I'm Russian, cold doesn't bother me much, but the warmth is in my soul. But like I said, we don't talk.
He finishes his project and shows me. The bunny is real cute, with details I didn't know he was capable of. The piece of wood is only about five inches long, but it's incredibly life-like. Walter never ceases to amaze me. He nods at my feet and I get up to put socks and sneakers on. I have since given up black jeans for blue, boots for sneakers and I usually have a flannel shirt on until it's too cold and he forces me to don a parka. My leather jacket still lives in the closet, but I rarely wear it anymore. It's just a reminder of where I've been and how far I've come.
We ride down together in the Jeep. He never lets me drive it. I don't let him drive my Hummer. Hey, I need power just like he does. I just choose to do it in a vehicle from this decade. I love his Jeep, but it's twenty-five years old. My Hummer, when we put the plow on it, will make sure we can get down the mountain next winter.
Yeah, I plan on being here next winter. We haven't discussed it yet. We don't have to. He built me a huge closet and a dresser for my clothes. They're made from the same oak that his are, a matching set. My initials are carved into the doors of my closet the way his are, in a decorative relief. I don't think Walter would go through that much trouble for something if it wasn't meant to be around for a while.
At the store, I trail him with the cart as he grabs things and throws them in. We don't look at sales, we just buy what we want. Between the money he's made in investing and the money I've got stashed away, we're set for as long as we like. We don't spend money too much. It's just nice to know it's there.
Of course, as we're walking toward the Jeep, Anabelle Mitchell walks over with her daughter, Shannon. She's cordial to us both, concentrating on Walter. Shannon is probably the cutest little girl I've ever seen. Looks like my little sister...can't think about that. I continue to put the bags in the Jeep as Walter reaches into his shirt pocket for the bunny. Shannon's squeals of delight are like music. I've always had a soft spot for kids. William is a treasure. He is easy to get along with, knows when to not bother adults and is always good for a laugh. William knew when the adults needed to be distracted, too.
Shannon is hugging Walter and he's got her sitting high on his hip. They look cute together. I wonder if he regrets never having children. Another thing we don't talk about. This one I'm content to let go. I like kids, but I don't want one.
Anabelle is standing next to Walter, her hand on his biceps, looking up at his face as he looks at Shannon. I think he's asking her if she wants friends for her new pet, Fluffy. It's wood, for Christ's sake. Fucking Fluffy. I shake my head and walk over. Shannon looks at me, her head a little higher than mine. She doesn't smile, she just stares at me. Then her hand comes to rest on my cheek and she says, "You take good care of Mr. Skinner, OK?"
I smile then, cover her hand with mine and say, "And he takes good care of me, too."
She smiles then and reaches for her mother. Anabelle looks at me strangely. I nod to her and give her a bit of a mock bow. I'm not too keen on Southern gentility. I turn to the Jeep and open the door, climbing in. Walter hands Shannon back to Anabelle and makes his way to the driver's side. She watches as he gets in and I recognize the look in her eyes. She's horny for him. We drive away, but I watch her carefully in the mirrors.
"Alex, you can relax." That's all he says. But I know what he means. Those four words mean, 'I have no interest in any other person but you, man or woman. We're going home together and nothing is going to ruin this if I can help it.' Sometimes I long for all the words. Mostly, I'm grateful that he didn't throw me back out in the snow.
I fought my desire for Walter for a long time. I pushed it down and tucked it away with the pain of the loss of my life. I gave up everything when I joined the Consortium. My entire family is dead, killed by the experiments. Nice going, Dad. We all thought we were doing the right thing. Then we understood that not only were we selling out each other, but the rest of the world. There's a rumor that my littlest sister got away. She would have been 12 at the time. The rest of the Kryceks are gone. They didn't survive the tests for the vaccine. Fucking asshole, Dad.
I can't worry about that, now. I don't think about her, and I don't tell Walter about it. Like I said, we don't talk. But Katya is something I want to share with him. I look over at him, as he's concentrating on the road. But he notices me looking at him.
"What's up?" he asks. He doesn't look at me. The road is twisty, and even though he's driven it for five years, we don't take any chances. That means road-head is out of the question.
"I'm thinking about Shannon."
"Cute kid." There's a small, wistful smile on his face. I had seen Dana sign her letters to him as his daughter, but I never knew that he really felt that way. I have to know.
"You ever wanted kids?"
He takes his time answering. Then just shakes his head. There's a sad smile on his face. I know that look.
He nods slightly. Looks like that conversation is over. He continues to drive, speeding up a little. I know what that means, too. It means we'll go home, he'll pour a glass of scotch he won't finish, and my ass will be sore in the morning. I don't mean to pry, to push, but his solitude is unnerving. Sometimes I want to talk. Mostly, I don't want to push him.
We arrive at the house and begin to unload all of our purchases. We're quiet in the kitchen together. He sits at the table, waiting for me to bring him a beer. I never mind this. We've got a routine. I pop the cap off and place the bottle before him. He takes a sip. Then he holds his hand out to me. I take it and he stands. We walk to the bedroom and I watch as he sits on the edge of the bed. He's got his ritual. He undresses, then helps me, and we make love.
I watch as his shirt comes off, then his jeans. His boots have long been lost. He uses his toes to drag his socks off. But he doesn't move. He stands in our room, looking out of the picture window. He loves that window. I never thought he would put curtains up, but there are these really nice ones around it, long sheers in hunter green. The room is green and brown. Like wood and leaves, all different shades. His eyes and my eyes maybe. Whatever he wants it to be, he stands up and touches those sheers, looking out at the other mountain across the ravine. I walk up behind him and pull my shirt off. I'm anxious for skin-to-skin contact.
I slip my arms around his waist. He turns to me and kisses me. It's a desperate kiss. He's all over my mouth at once. Don't get me wrong, I love kissing him. But I like to kiss him, not have him try and taste my lunch. We fall to the bed and his hands slide over my skin, grabbing and squeezing me. This will be quick. I'm not averse to a fast fuck. He pulls me to my knees and my jeans are peeled down my ass. My heart is pounding and I can barely breathe. He slips his lubed finger into me. I'm not even sure of when he pulled the bottle out.
I move as two fingers slide in and out and scissor inside me, opening me. He's unusually quiet, not telling me how beautiful I am. I do my best making up for it by moaning as he brushes his fingertips over my prostate. Three fingers are plunging into me and I'm almost on the edge. Oh, that hand moves in me, his other is fondling my balls and his mouth is doing lovely things to my back. I know I'll have two purple marks and I don't fucking care. If he keeps this up, I'll come.
He pulls away abruptly and I can't help but let my disappointment out in a whimper. But he's lubing his cock to slide into me. I can't hide my sigh of pleasure as he fills me and presses his balls against mine. I feel so full with him, not just my ass but my soul. I move against him, out of pure need, since he isn't moving on me. I don't know why and I'm not really thinking straight. But again, he pulls away from me and sits back. I look back at him as he sits back.
He looks as if he's thinking about something, trying to work through a problem in his head. "Walter?"
He doesn't look at me, but over my head, looking out the window. I turn and crawl over to him. "Walter, are you OK?"
He looks at me and says, "I'm sorry I was thinking about something."
"Oh," I say as I begin kissing his neck. I let my lips travel over his throat, his collarbones and down to his delicious nipples. I pull on his gold nipple ring, the one I made him get. He wouldn't get two like me, but the one is nice. I pull on it with my teeth and I hear him groan. I kiss my way back up to his mouth and straddle his lap. He's still hard and I grab him to sit on that thick, lovely cock. He looks at me and says, "We never talk."
I look down at him, not moving. I sigh, dropping my head to his shoulder. "You wanna talk?"
"Yeah..." He sounds so sad, like he's lost and needs me to help him find the way.
"Well, can we do this with your semen running out of me in about fifteen minutes?"
He looks into my eyes and the smile returns to his mouth. I cover it with mine and continue sliding back down on him. His arms snake around my body, pulling me against his chest as I settle against his thighs, taking him to the hilt. Oh God, he's so fucking big! We move together, back into rhythm, sliding against each other. The hair on his chest tickles me, and I rub my hard nipples into the thatch of bear fur I love so much. His mouth has latched onto my neck, marking me at the curve of my neck, where it will hide behind a t-shirt. His hands slide up and down my back, kneading flesh, squeezing my ass, holding my hips as I slide up and down on his shaft.
Our mouths meet frantically, sharing our breaths, tasting his tongue, biting my lips. I sit back so he can grab my cock and stroke me, which also positions me to hit my prostate. It doesn't usually take Walter long after that to bring me off, and this time is no different. The shooting stars behind my closed eyes and tingling fuzziness in my ears floods through me as I squirt come on his chest and belly. I know the pulsing around him brings him to climax and he begins shooting into me. We jerk together as his body contracts in orgasm and he pulls me against him.
I rest my head on his shoulder and let him stroke my back. We move and lay side by side on the bed to kiss and cuddle and come down together. Walter surprises me regularly, being a cuddler. By nature, I'm not. But for him, I'll be anything he wants me to be. Holding him, stroking him, kissing and touching after sex, with him it doesn't feel like an intrusion on my inner self. He just wants to spend close time.
He rolls onto his back, and I follow, leaning above him on my hand. The other traces patterns on his chest through his hair.
"You wanted to talk, Walter?" I look down into the chocolate eyes that are fixed on the ceiling. He turns to me and smiles. Then his eyes close. So much for talking.
We lie together a while, dozing and thinking. Then in the middle of my fantasy of him taking me in the stream half a mile down the mountain, he speaks.
"Did you ever want children, Alex?"
This is new. Children...hmmm...I need to think about that a second. But I'm not too long in thinking.
"No, Walter, I never seriously considered having them. I like Shannon, and William is probably the sweetest little boy I ever met. But my own, no, never thought I would ever have them, so I just didn't want them."
"I did. When I was younger. Right out of college, I wanted to get married and have babies. I didn't marry Sharon until I was in the academy. Then I was a field agent, and we had no money.Then...after a while, when I was recruited by the Consortium, I pulled away from her. And we stopped sleeping together."
"Then there was the hooker..." And as soon as I say them, I regret my words. He turns to me and stares at me hard. I shrink back. Not because I'm scared of him, but because I want him to know I don't mean any harm by my careless statement. He rolls to the edge of the bed and gets up. He doesn't look at me as he dresses again and leaves the bedroom. I lie there a moment, cursing my loose lips. Then I get up and walk to the bathroom to clean up.
After dressing, I find him sitting on the couch, remote in one hand and his beer in the other, watching the Atlanta-New York game. How he can stomach American League baseball, I'll never understand. The designated hitter is the ruination of the game. Mulder and I could argue for weeks about this point. But Walter would just dismiss my comments with an irritated glance. I sit with him a while, the silence a thick blanket around the room. Even Bosco is affected and begs to go outside. I opt to join him and we sit on the porch to watch the sunset.
After about half an hour, I smell the grill going in the back with cooking meat. Walter must have a couple of steaks going for us. That man will grill in the snow if he can. I walk through the house to see him dishing the steaks up and using the tongs to get the baked potatoes out of the coals. I sit at the table and watch as the salad bowl is placed down and two beers are opened and served. He sits opposite me and we begin eating in silence. I watch him as I eat. He only looks up from his plate to give bits of steak to Bosco.
OK, enough is enough. I hate it when he pulls away. He wanted to talk earlier, so we will talk now. I slam my fork down, startling both of my dogs. Walter looks at me, as well as Bosco. The dog is smart and goes in the other room. I drop my gaze a moment, then look back at him. "I'm really sorry for what I said earlier. I thought you were past all that."
He puts his fork down gently. Our eyes are locked on and gradually his soften to the same light sparkle I hope he sees in mine. He smiles slightly, but I can see his ears move so I know he's trying. We continue eating. It's OK that the conversation died. I know he forgives me. Maybe men are just smarter than women. We know when we think something.
We spend the night on the couch reading. He's begun a book by some New York City lawyer who writes crime fiction and I'm rereading Dostoevsky in the native Russian. There's an old Russian proverb: To not read Dostoevsky is a crime, but to read him is a punishment. Walter marvels at my ability to read Cyrillic. This is how I learned to read. English came later in my home.
Bosco sighs and we both look at him and each other. That's our reminder to go to bed. Walter has the job of turning out the lights as I set the security system. Yep, even though we're pretty sure we're safe up here, you never know. We retire to the bedroom and each undress. I slide under the covers while he strokes the dog a little. That's how he works. He needs to touch base with the dog before knowing he can sleep. I guess since Bosco can't understand English, he wants the dog to know he's loved before Walter falls asleep. I love the dog, too. Bosco usually ends up sleeping across my legs. I don't stop him. I think we may need to dispose of this full-sized bed.
He gets in beside me and immediately reaches for me. I slide over into his arms and we hold each other for a while. His skin is warm and delicious. I kiss his neck. In the dark, without his glasses, with the silvery moonlight bathing our bed, he is the most beautiful sight I've ever seen. I rise above him and stroke his cheek. "You're so beautiful, Walter. I know I never tell you..."
His hand comes up to shush me, but I pull back. "No, I need to say the words. You don't have to say anything back. I wanna say the words, to make them real and not just understood. I know what you feel. You're not a complicated guy. I'm not, either. But, sometimes, don't you wanna hear the words? Just to know that it's true?"
He looks away a moment, swallows hard, then turns back to me. "I love you, Alex." And that's all he says. And I know that was a lot for him. I lower my head to kiss him, tenderly and gently at first. I just let my lips brush over his, getting the feel of his mouth as if for the first time. He lays back and lets me take charge, making love to him. I search his mouth with my tongue, tasting him as if I'd never done so before. I want to feel him completely tonight. I want it to feel new and exciting.
He lies back, his hands caressing my back and shoulders as he lets me control the kisses. Our tongues meet and play between our mouths. He is delicious and I love every taste I get of him. I rub my chest against his and the feel of his nipples against me is electrifying. My hands slide over his chest, tangling in the hair and I tug on his nipple ring. He bows up toward me, and I know he loves it, so I grab it in my teeth and pull it again before letting my tongue sneak out to taste the hard nipple around it. I suck on both nipples, alternating, making him moan under me. His deep bass rattles from his chest through my whole body.
One hand snakes down to his cock and I stroke him. His hips follow my movements and I stroke slowly. My mouth continues down his body, raining kisses and licks and nibbles down his chest to his abs. When I first found out that he was just a little ticklish, I was surprised. Then I learned his ticklish spots and now I play them to his torture. One spot, well two really, are his love handles. They aren't much, more muscle than anything, but they're delectable. His chuckle is music to my ears as I scrape my teeth on him. His hips are moving under me, rubbing his thick cock into my chest. I explore his navel, shallow as it is and taste it thoroughly.
He's moving faster, grinding harder into me so I move down as far as I can go and run my tongue over the tip of his cock. He bucks up into me, bumping my nose with the head. I lick the salty bitter moisture from him, and my skin. He moans again. I cover his cock with my mouth, taking him deep on the first swallow. He rears high off the bed, thrusting into my throat. I take him down, swallowing rhythmically to squeeze the head with my throat. He doesn't give up power often, but when he does, it's complete.
I pull away, knowing he'll come soon, and I want him to come in my ass. I kiss and lick my way up his body, pausing again at his nipples to take my time with them. I pay closer attention to the unpierced one this time. One hand has made a permanent home in my hair and the other is pulling at the blanket. He's panting and huffing with each breath, as I nip and press it with my lips firmly. His heartbeat is strong and I can hear it in the still mountain air. I kiss my way up to his neck and nibble at the skin there. I make my way to his ear, sucking on the lobe, licking the shell of it gently, then inhaling sharply but silently. He loves when I do this. It pulls all the heat from his ear, giving him chills. He tells me it turns his whole body into the head of a dick. I'll take his word for it.
I reach into the nightstand for the lube and I smile in my kiss at how smart Johnson and Johnson have become about their tubes of K-Y. A flip-top cap and plastic tube makes all the difference when you're desperate to get fucked. I slick my fingers to reach between my legs. But a heavy, strong hand clutches my wrist. I look at him, watching his eyes, as he guides my hand between his legs. I touch his hole, and he hisses in my ear. My finger slips inside and I move it in him. I do this frequently to him, but only one or two fingers. I can count the times on those two fingers that I've fucked him. Time for another finger.
I kiss him more, sucking the air from his mouth, sliding the second then third fingers into him. The last thing I want to do is hurt him. I'm not as endowed as he is, but then again, I'm not tiny. He moves on my hand, jerking hard in my arms as I scrape over his prostate. But after a few more seconds of this, he's grabbing at my hand. "Fuck me, Alex. Hard."
I pull away and settle between his spread thighs. I hook my arm under one of his knees and pull him back. He's not as limber as I am, but one leg won't hurt him. He likes the burn of soreness to remind him of the pleasure. I lay my cock against him and wait, wanting him to be sure. He isn't like me. He was straight. He never knew he wanted this. He knows he likes fucking me. He knows he likes to suck my cock, but he doesn't know he likes to be fucked. I need to let him decide that for himself.
A hand on my ass pulling me toward him is all the signal I need to push into him slightly, working my way past his tightness, into the hot tunnel I prepared for myself. I used just enough lube to make the friction good for me. Friction will make me come fast. Then he won't be hurt so much. I've never even come inside him.
I begin moving, sliding inside his tight ass, and I kiss his throat, licking the warm, salty flesh. Tasting him is my ultimate joy. When I'm done fucking him, I'll blow him until he's shaking and screaming my name. He said the words. He never says the words.
I begin moving faster in him, but he grabs my hips and stops me. I look up from the patch of skin I've been sucking on and ask, "What's wrong?"
"Burns. Not enough lube. I don't want you to come yet. I want you to take your time, the way I do for you." His eyes are sparkling, moist, as if unshed tears were there and have retreated. I reach over for more lube and reenter him, slicker and needier. He pulls me down to lie on him, holding me to his chest, and I just rock my hips slowly, dragging my cock in and out of him. He's grunting softly with each slow thrust, as if he were singing to me. His moans and gasps are music to me in our ballet of lovemaking.
We move together what seems for hours, but can't be that long. I lose track of time with him. Sometimes we make love until we begin to hear birds again, and when we have a job in the morning, it becomes particularly exhausting. But thrusting into him, feeling how he uses his heavy muscles to squeeze me and tease me into teasing back by jostling his prostate occasionally, this endless worship of each other would be enough for me to do without sleep forever. I don't slam into him, knowing I would make him come, but tap it, making him jump a bit and squirm under me. He's looking at me and his eyes are telling me things, some things I don't think I've ever seen before. His mouth opens and I wait to hear his moan.
"Alex, you fuck like a god," he whispers.
"Like you have so much to compare it to," I quip back, nibbling his shoulder. His big paw swats my ass and we laugh. I still a moment and we kiss again. I begin moving again in him, and I angle toward his prostate, leaning into it. I press down on him, making him almost squeal. That's a sound I would love to hear: Walter Skinner squealing in pleasure. That's my goal in life.
But the more I press into him, the more he squeezes me. It's getting hard to hang on. I want him to come first, but I want him to beg me for it. I stroke inside him again, whispering to him," Your tight ass is heaven to this fuck god, Walter."
I take him mouth in a kiss again, and press down hard on his prostate. He bucks under me and he's panting in my mouth. I know he's close. I love making him feel young by making him last longer and longer. He tears his mouth away and looking into my eyes beseechingly. "Alex, please...stop torturing me."
"What do you want?" I murmur against his throat.
"Please, Alex, let me come. Please?"
His pleading is too much for me so I grab his cock and begin pumping it gently in time with my rhythm as I thrust into him. It's only a few more strokes to make him come. He explodes in my hand, shouting out my name and other deities, squirting onto his belly and mine, squeezing and milking my cock. I hold on a few more thrusts, to ensure he's still coming before letting go inside him. His name is on my lips as I come hard. I grab his hips tight and pump my hot fluid into him. I feel his hands slide up my sides to pull me onto his chest.
I lay across him, panting for breath, still buried deep like he stays with me. One hand slides down my back to my ass to cup it gently. I press my face to his, hot, sweaty cheeks together. The stubble is rough on both of us. But I turn to him and smile, kiss him again and settle down.
In the morning, Walter seems like a whole different person. He's awake long before me, making breakfast. He's only wearing a pair of silk boxer shorts, in burgundy, and he's got three pans going. One is frying bacon and sausage, one has eggs and one has those damn grits he eats. He's grated cheddar cheese for them and everything. I know toast will be on soon, so I get the juice out and milk for the coffee. As I pass him in the kitchen, he leans back and kisses me soundly. It's a good morning.
We finally sit to eat and he's smiling. "OK, so I decided that today I'm going to start a new bed for us."
"I was thinking about that last night. A Queen sized one."
He's shaking his head as he sips his coffee. "No, that room is large enough for a California King. I'm going to look up the dimensions on the internet. I want you to help me with the basic pieces, but I'm going to carve the head and footboards myself. And I'll spin the posts on the lathe. I think it'll be good for us. Building our bed together."
The sparkle in his eyes is amazing. I'm troubled by his words. The bed we'd been sharing is the first bed I had put in this cabin. What made it special to me was that it was where we first made love, if you can call that first time we were together making love. I count it that way. I guess he doesn't. He notices my face.
"What, Alex? Did I say something wrong?"
"The bed. I mean, it would be nice to have a new one. But that bed...it's the one where..."
He puts his fork down and wipes his mouth on his napkin. He's trying to get his thoughts together. He does this when we have debates. This is the first time he's ever done this to tell me how he feels.
"I know. But that first time wasn't what our first time should have been. That first time was wrong. It hurt for a very long time. I know it hurt you, as well. It's time to put that to rest. I'm serious. I got upset with you yesterday because of something you said, the way I did that day, and just walked off, the same way. No discussion, no inch for apology, I just closed up and escaped. No more. Today, I want to start fresh. I don't want to hide inside myself anymore. I have no one to hide from."
He knows. He can tell I want to hear the words. So he's saying them.
"Yeah, you're right. We can start on it whenever you like." I can't contain the smile on my face. A new bed, a new beginning.
We sit on the porch together, drinking iced tea and waiting. It's hotter than hell, but the mountains always have a breeze. The trees filter the air so it never feels like the wet, dirty heat of the cities. New York in the summer is disgusting and DC is brutal. I like hiding up here in this weather. We try not to schedule too much work in July and August, but sometimes, you can't help it. Roofs leak, pools collapse and people want things done while they're on vacation. Sometimes you can't help it.
But we don't have anything scheduled. We're expecting company. Mulder and Scully are bringing the boy to visit us. It's gonna be difficult, but I think we'll manage. Walter has built a Queen-sized futon bed for the den and they assure us it's fine. It had better be, we spent an enormous amount on that mattress. William will sleep on the couch, and knowing Bosco, the dog will be the blanket. The nights get cool in the mountains and I don't think Mulder has prepared his son for that.
Walter is all a-twitter for three days preparing himself for the visit. He bought two more fishing poles, one child-size for William and one adult-size for Mulder. He knows better than to ask me to fish. I don't mind sitting with him, but I have no patience for it. I'd rather hunt. But we've come to a truce. I read while he fishes and he helps me clean whatever animal I bring back from my day of hunting. He refuses to allow me to mount antlers in the house. We give them away to neighbors, along with tons of venison. We can't eat or keep all of it. It's usually good to keep the neighbors happy.
I take our empty glasses into the kitchen to put them in the sink when I hear the minivan pull up. Standing at the sink, I take a few deep breaths and settle my heart. Granted, my relationship with Mulder and Scully became easier when we all went on the lam to destroy the Colonist labs, and I spent more time in a regeneration vat than I ever wanted to because of them. I knew ensuring their lives would make Walter happy, and if I couldn't be his lover, at the time, I would be his children's protector.
I walk out to see Walter holding William high on his hip with one arm, and crushing Scully to his chest with the other. Mulder is standing back to take a picture. I just wait. But Bosco barks from the porch and everyone turns to me. William rescues me again. "ALEX!" The screech echoes off the surrounding trees, and mountains, and he squirms to be put down to run to me. Walter and Scully laugh as William makes his way up the stairs to me. I can't help but swing him into my arms and hold him tightly. Something about children make it easier to give up the bullshit and get on with it.
Mulder and Scully walk up toward us and I get the patented Mulder shake and nod, but Scully puts her arms around my lowered neck in a small hug. I think it's more for William's benefit than mine that she acts so friendly. She and I had a mutual respect and warriors trust between us, but it's clear she will never forgive me for what happened to her sister, or Bill Mulder, or what I did to Walter. I don't blame her. But I wish she would at least let herself move on from it.
We move into the house and Walter reaches for William again. The next few days flow by me in a jabber of little boy speak and Walter explaining everything under the sun to him. It's amazing to watch my lover shine under the attention of this child. "Grampa" has become his favorite word. And the way he chases after the boy, it's no surprise to me that he falls fast asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow.
This doesn't bother me. Scully had actually taken me aside and asked if Walter and I had planned on sharing a bed while they were with us. I looked at her and asked, "You haven't explained homosexuals to him yet?"
"Alex, it isn't that. We have visited with Byers and Langly, after all. I just wanted you two to be mindful of William outside your room. I mean, just keep in down until he's asleep." The blush that spreads over her freckled features is absolutely priceless.
"Scully, rest assured, your son will not witness two fags buggering each other." The shock and anger that washes over her face makes the bad boy in me happy.
"Must you be so antagonistic?" She is righteous in her anger and I love her this way. Her anger reflects her redhead's temper. If she were a man, I'd be in love. But as it is, she sees the smile creeping into my face, since I can't hide it, and she smiles as well. She turns to leave, but looks back at me. Then she reaches up and hugs me and kisses my cheek. The absolute look of shock replaces the smile on my face. Then she blushes and says, "I want to thank you for making Walter happy. He has never smiled so much in his life. And it's not only William. He has that same look when he gazes at you. Only there's heat and lust in that look. He loves you very much."
To say I'm shocked by Scully chancing these words on me wouldn't begin to cover it. But I won't make her feel bad for opening up to me by closing off to her. Like Walter, I'm not gonna hide anymore. I've no reason to, either. She took a chance on me. I owe her the same. "I love him, too, but for purely selfish reasons. He's hung like a fucking bear." I whisper the last part, and the snort and blush she leaves me with on the back porch is a picture I'll keep of Scully at her finest in my head for the rest of my life.
And of course, Walter's sweetheart finds a way to end the visit with a lovely evening of Southern Belle charm. From what Walter tells me, when he returns and her car is following the minivan, she invited herself to dinner by insisting the children, who do get along well, should play more. She smiles brightly at me, but I just nod at her, smiling like a fool. William and Shannon run off and chase Bosco around the yard. Anabelle makes herself comfortable on the porch, in my chair, and pats the chair next to her for Walter to sit. She looks at me and says, "Alex, can you get a couple of chairs for Dana and Mulder?"
She's ordering me around in my own house. Yes, I know, Walter's name is on the title, but this is my fucking house. I force a smile and walk into the house for the chairs. Mulder follows me. He grabs my arm in the kitchen. "What's this all about?" He means Anabelle.
"Don't you know? I'm sure Walter told Scully all about it."
"That doesn't mean she told me." And we laugh at that. Scully is great at keeping secrets. And we both know that very well.
"Anabelle has designs on Walter. She thinks he's the shit. And she gets off on being rude to me, I think."
Mulder puts his arm around my shoulder and squeezes me sideways. He's a good man, really. I'm glad he was finally able to trust me. We each carry a chair out to the porch. Mulder holds Scully's for her, and I hold his for him. Walter looks at him and says, "You didn't get a chair for yourself. Where are you going to sit?"
"Your lap, big boy," I drawl, affecting my best Mae West impression. I bump his shoulder with my hip and announce, "No, Walter, someone needs to start dinner, doncha think? Anabelle, I'm sure you and Shannon would like to eat tonight before dark?"
She laughs the high-pitched belle-laugh that gets under my skin. Hopefully, the irritation isn't showing on my face. But she looks at the kids playing and says, "Alex, you can take your time in the kitchen. I'm sure those kids don't care a fig about eating right now while they're playing with Walter's dog."
I turn and walk into the house muttering, "That was my fuckin' dog before I gave him to Walter." Scully follows me in and says, "Would you like some help?"
I'm head and shoulders in the refrigerator and answer her, "No, that's OK. Go and sit out with the Designing Woman out there. I'll bring some iced tea out when I've got the pasta on. How's Alfredo with chicken? Or would you like something else?"
I close the refrigerator door and she's still standing there, with a guilty look on her face. I turn to the counter and plop the package of boneless chicken breasts down to clean and prepare them. She doesn't leave. "Scully, either you help or you leave, which is it?" I know I'm surly with her, but I'm getting upset.
"Alex, I'm very sorry about Anabelle. She somehow talked me into inviting her to the house. And Walter gave me the same look you are. I didn't mean this to hurt you. I had once encouraged Walter to seek her out, not realizing you were going to return to him. I had thought you would go your own way once the war was over. I'm really very sorry."
I laugh. "Red, you got nothing to worry about. Walter said the words. He trusts me enough to talk to me. I don't think that Anabelle is gonna destroy that in one dinner." This seems to make her feel better and she retreats to the safety of the porch to watch the kids play and talk with the adults.
By the end of the night, I'm about ready to beat this woman senseless. She sits on one side of Walter while I sit on the other, but also next to William, helping him with his pasta. It gives Scully a chance to relax at a meal with her husband. And I've grown to love this kid a lot. Sensing my discomfort, Mulder pipes up with "family" news and *this* news is bound to make Anabelle bristle a little. He looks at Walter and says, "Well, the Gunmen wanted me to tell you that they're willing to come up and increase security out here when you feel it necessary."
"Oh? What do they think will happen up here?" Walter's eyebrows shoot to where his hairline should be.
"Not that something *will* happen, but anything *could* happen. I mean, with them, all possibilities are open."
"How are they? Is Byers pregnant yet?" We all laugh at Walter's joke. Anabelle looks up at him with questions in her eyes, feigning interest. He knows it's his turn to explain. Maybe once she hears who they are, she'll understand. "The Gunmen are actually friends of ours. Journalists who publish a newspaper called the Lone Gunman, which exposes government and corporate conspiracies and plots against innocent citizens. They're also technological masterminds. John Byers and Ringo Langly are married and Mel Frohike is their partner in crime, so to speak. How is his son, Michael? Is he getting better at his vocation?"
"Michael is happier than he thinks. He just wanted his dad to love him. The friction is mostly gone. If Melvin would back off the boy a little, he'd see the genius we've noticed."
I look at Anabelle and I can see the unease in her face. I know I can pounce here.
"You ok, missy? You look like you're gonna pass out," I say as I'm wiping the Alfredo sauce from William's cheek.
"Oh, just all this talk about two men being married. It isn't proper in front of the children."
Dana looks pointedly at Anabelle and says, "My son knows about homosexuality. These men are his family and William absolutely adores them. We're not ashamed of them."
Anabelle just smiles and says, "Let's not argue and just change the subject, shall we?"
After dinner, Walter walks with Anabelle, carrying a sleeping Shannon to her car seat as the woman watches. I can hear her voice drift up to me as she says, "You're so good with her. Not like her good-for-nothing daddy. You know, I've been lookin' to replace that snake, Walter. Shannon deserves a good daddy. Don't you think?"
I hear his answer after a chuckle. "Anabelle, I think Shannon will know her new daddy on sight."
"Maybe she already does." She leans into him, probably to kiss him, but he steps back to close the car door. Always the gentleman, my Walter, he holds Anabelle's door for her and she takes the hint to get in. She waves demurely as she drives down the driveway. He watches until her car is out of sight before climbing back onto the porch and standing in front of me. Mulder and Scully are still in the kitchen, and I know they finished the dishes a long time ago. William is sacked out on the couch.
I drop my gaze to the porch slats, but a large hand comes up to stroke my cheek. "I'm sorry about her. You know the way she is."
"Yeah, I know," I say, only half believing my own words. His mouth comes down to mine, trying to make me believe. It isn't until we are in bed that night, quietly making love for the first time in four days that I realize he wants only me in his life. No man can be this enthusiastic about sucking cock without really wanting to be with another man. His technique has improved over time with me, and he knows how to bring me off fast, or to savor me for a while. Tonight, he tortures me. We aren't going to get into each other's asses tonight since the bed is still settling, and with the wood being so new, it still squeaks a little. The last thing we need is a curious William walking in on us. He's already asked if we're married, like Uncle John and Uncle Ringo. I looked at my blushing lover, waiting for his answer. Why the hell weren't we married? It was a federal fucking statute that allowed same-sex marriages in all fifty states, after all.
Scully saved us by saying we didn't need to be married like that. It didn't bother me that Scully is lying to her son, that's her business. I would rather she had the truth to tell him, though, that we *are* married. I always feel that way. I know it's a stretch to think that Alex Krycek thinks about marriage, but this is Walter we're talking about. Who wouldn't want to be married to him? I thrust Sharon's grave from my head, and the monthly pilgrimage we make, rain or shine, unless we can't get down the mountain. She should just tell him that Walter is an old, closeted, stick in the mud, but he's not my child to raise.
By the time they leave us, Walter is ready to reacquaint himself with my ass thoroughly. We take time this evening, lots of kissing and touching. And he's very chatty, telling me how beautiful each part of my body is, tasting it thoroughly and making sure he's mapped all of the terrain completely. I'm about ready to lose my mind, and my load, when he finally turns me over and pulls me up onto my knees. I grab the high headboard and brace myself as he enters me swiftly. We'll make love late into the night, as many times as we can go.
After the trying time I had with Anabelle the other night, and Mulder and Scully with us five days, I'm plenty ready to be fucked so hard I can't sit for weeks. But for some reason, I feel something is going to happen. Maybe I'm paranoid, but my "Spidey sense" is tingling. I ignore it and allow my lover to pull me against his chest and slide in and out of me slowly. He's stroking my cock and nuzzling my neck, whispering against my skin that we were made to be together, our bodies fit together perfectly and he should make an honest man of me. His words make me laugh and I turn to kiss him. That's when I see her, hand over her mouth and red-faced. I thought heard the dog barking.
Anabelle makes a sound of distress from behind her hand, alerting Walter to her presence. He turns to her and shouts, "SHIT!" But she isn't in the room to hear him. He pulls out of me and scrambles to get his jeans from the floor. As he's running out after her, I lie back on the bed and wait. I can hear her gathering up Shannon and saying, "Come on, baby, we have to go home now." Shannon is screaming her protest wanting to play with Bosco a little longer.
Walter is calling her name, but her car starts up and off she goes. I can hear the gravel of the driveway knocking against the porch the way it did that time Walter drove away from here, before... I'm determined not to let those feelings creep in on me.
He walks back into the cabin, but doesn't come back to me and sits on the couch. I walk out to sit with him, still naked, but he's sitting with his elbows on his knees, head in his hands, breathing deeply. I sit beside him and put my hand on his shoulder. He jerks away. "Walter, are you OK?"
"Alex, she walked in on us fucking. Why didn't she knock?"
"I don't know. But it serves her right for walking into our home. I don't particularly care."
His eyes pop wide open and the look of shock cannot be hidden. "How can you not care? I mean, she's going to..."
"Going to what?" I know there's color flooding my face and I don't fucking care. "It's about time that uppity bitch got a fucking clue. I mean, if the folks in this town haven't gotten the idea yet, they must be stoned or stupid."
"Gotten what idea?" I don't know if I should be amused or hurt by his ignorance.
"Walter, we've lived together for over a year now. We purchase copious amounts of K-Y lube. We have matching nipple rings. As far as I'm concerned, we *are* married and *these* are our wedding rings." I finger both of our nipple rings, purposely on the left. He looks up at me and his words from before about making me an honest man must be flooding back into his head. Then he smiles again and kisses me.
"You're right, Alex. Serves her right for walking into our home like that. I guess she felt that since she's sweet on me, and I treat her pretty kindly, she can just do what she likes. Very Southern of her."
"I thought all the Southern folk were polite to a fault." Sometimes people still amaze me.
"Most are. But this is also a small town. And a Southern Belle will try to rule any roost she can get her feathers around."
"Well, fuck her." The disgust is heavy in my voice.
"I'd rather fuck you," he whispers, leaning to nibble at my neck. His hand is on my cheek, moving my face in to kiss him. We rise and he leads me back to finish what we began before we were rudely interrupted.
I'm not sure what I'm expecting, but it's not what happens three days later when we go into town at the peak hour of 1:30 PM on Saturday to get some groceries and supplies for the next contracting job we have. Walter is also off to get that specialty coffee we like. I offer to go to the post office for the mail.
I should expect it. I let myself get soft and comfortable in this place, letting my mask of indifference dissolve after giving up my combatant lifestyle. Not being a Rebellion fighter or Consortium member, I forgot how to ignore fools. And I'm shocked to hell when it hurts.
Anabelle has been busy. As I walk into post office, I get the dirtiest look from Mrs. Mayfield. She's the town botanist. She gives all the new families a basket with seeds, a book on horticulture and a few potted plants to make them feel welcome. Apparently, I am no longer welcome. She scurries out of the post office. Mike Elliot looks up at me and nods his usual greeting. As I'm cleaning out our mailbox, I look out the window and see the Hendricksons notice me, and then turn abruptly to go in the other direction. Anabelle has apparently outed us. I take a deep breath. I didn't think it would hurt, but it does. These are our neighbors. These are people who used to hand us the keys to their house and say, "Make yourselves at home if you need to," when we would go over to work on the balustrade of their front stairs. We are seriously fucked.
"You never mind them dumbasses, Alex," I hear Mike saying behind me. It is little consolation. I turn to him and he gives me a wink. Mike is good people. I meet Walter back at the Jeep, after all the errands are run and we silently load the back. There are more hard stares at us. I'm tempted to take Walter in my arms and kiss him while humping his thigh, but that's not our style. Walter was always the model of propriety and I fade into the shadows. Besides, with the look on Walter's face, the way he's focused on getting the bags and boxes into the Jeep, I can tell he doesn't give a flying fuck about anyone. He looks up at me and winks and moves to the door of the Jeep. I smile.
On the drive home, he looks over at me and says, "The few people who came near me gave me the dirtiest looks."
I look over at him. This is rather new to him, open contempt from the masses. I'm used to it, whole groups of people hating me. He only got it briefly from Mulder and Scully. But they soon began to trust him, which was what you did with Walter. He was easy to trust because he was honest and good, everything I wasn't. But now we're just a couple of dirty fags, buggering bastards who live up the mountain. There goes business.
At the house, we find a message from the Timsdales, telling us that they won't be needing the sun porch enclosed this year since summer was part way over and they didn't see the need for us to turn their place upside-down in the heat. Well, that leaves a whole week open for us.
As the weeks go by, the jobs we have scheduled all go the way of the dinosaur. That's actually fine by me. Between what I socked away from my days in the Consortium, and Walter's investment money, we have plenty. We're going to become recluses again, now as a couple instead of the solitary reclusive lives we had once led. We have each other now. We we're in love with each other and it's going to be fine.
BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS
We are sitting in the living room one night, watching the news. We're prone to stay up later and later since we aren't working as regularly and not getting as worn out in the days. There is a hurricane warning in effect for the coastal areas, from the Gulf to Long Island. We are far enough inland to not be affected, unless it decided to take a funky turn. Hurricanes will do that. But Walter and I are confident that we're safe up the mountain. Manassas proper might just get a ton of rain and some heavy winds. We have about four days until the weather would turn. We'll hit the stores in the morning to stock up on essentials.
In town, the next day, I go to the post office while Walter starts into the supermarket to shop. I check the box while Mike is helping the Timsdales, who scurry out the door. I shake my head as I watch them go. Then, the worst thing that could possibly happen occurs. Anabelle, sans Shannon, sashays into the post office. She sneers at me and walks to the counter where Mike is. She asks for a book of stamps. Then she turns to me and smiles so sweet, my cavities ache.
"Michael Elliot, will you look at that! One of the faggots has come off the mountain! I didn't think he still honestly believed he was welcome down here. Or should I say she? Isn't that how you were getting it, sweetie?"
I turn to her to say something truly scathing. But then I catch Mike's eye. He looks at me and winks. I smile back at him. Mike surely *is* good people.
"Anabelle, I do believe you're jealous," Mike says to her.
"Pardon me, Mr. Elliot?"
"Mrs. Mitchell, it seems to me that Alex getting the high hard one from the man you've been pining over for the last five years makes you crazy. And you wouldn't nearly be as angry if Alex was a woman, but it hurts more that not only is Walter taken, but you'll never have your chance. You haven't got the right equipment!"
"Mr. Elliot, if you weren't the post master around these parts, I'd never wish to speak to you again. As it stands, I will only come in here for business. And I will not bring my Shannon here ever again." And with that, she stomps out of the post office. I look at Mike who's looking back at me with the most peculiar look in his eyes.
"Hey, Mike, thanks. That was pretty cool of you, considering..." I say, but he gets a funny look, one I've never seen on him before.
"Alex, I should be the one thanking you. Don't you never worry about what I think of you. Cuz of you, my son and me are talkin' again."
I shake my head. He looks peaceful. Not his usual peaceful, but a sort of bone-deep peaceful. Maybe he was different before I got here. I don't know.
"OK, Mike, spill it. No one's gonna walk in while I'm still in here. Talk to me."
He takes a deep breath and a sip of his coffee. "I have a son, good looking boy."
"Like his old man," interrupt with a smile. He returns it.
"Thank you. Well, about twelve years ago, he tells me he's gay. Known all his life and hid it from me, 'fraid of what I'd say to him. I never said two cross words about nobody before, not people of color or Russians or nothing." He says the last bit for my benefit. Mike once told me about his own father going on and on during the Cold War in America and I told him my public lie about my parents being Cold War immigrants. He bought it to my face. Whether he really believes me is anyone's guess.
"I turned my back on him. Felt like he wasn't a man, you know? That's my boy, not some New York City princess. I thought, I didn't bring him up to be like this. Then Walter moved to town and he's a good man. We all knew that from the beginning. And he gets all that official mail and all. I never thought of him as anything else. Then one day, there was you. His story is you're a former agent and you didn't work out at the bureau and you're staying with him. I bought that at first. Then, I heard about the nipple rings." This is where Mike laughs to himself and shakes his head. "I'm not a stupid man. Most folks around here didn't put that together. They thought you was just citifying Walter. I knew where he was from and aforn that."
"Aforn?" I ask. Mike slips up into Hillbilly sometimes when he talks.
"Hush, yungun! I'm talkin'!" God, I love this man. "Now, Walter was brought up country, like me. You know that, I s'pose. Anyway, I put it all together. And there was the thing about the lubricant, but that was jokes that Walter uses it on the wood and give it to the dog. I ain't stupid. And Walter's a good man. And so are you. You never cheat a customer, and you do a job right the first time, and I never seen you charge extra when you made a mistake. And you're both gay. And then I started thinking about my son. Michael is still living in the same place. And I called him. And we talked."
"Have you seen him?"
"Yep, spent the 4th with him. And Labor Day weekend. His beau is a nice boy, too. Reminds me of you. Well, it's nice to have my boy back. Thank you, Alex."
I take a deep breath. I nod and leave the post office before I feel the tears prickling my eyes. Fucking Mike.
I meet Walter in the supermarket, cart half full. He's looking through the frozen stuff. I grab the Death by Chocolate ice cream I love, and Neapolitan for him. That's my Walter, not strictly vanilla, but not really wild either. We walk through the store and get our things. We know what we each like, so he takes one side of the aisle and I take the other when we do this. It's efficient and it works.
One thing I like about supermarkets in the 'burbs, the liquor is in it's own aisle. No need to go to a separate store for it. Except when Walter gets his red wine. He knows all this stuff about wine and scotch. Not me. I get my vanilla Stoli and I'm set. He grabs a bottle of Glenfiddich and we leave the aisle, but not before I grab two sixers of Molson Canadian bottles. He laughs at me. But he knows that it's to remember that day, the better part of that day. Maybe he'll even bite my shoulder.
We get to the check out and Walter walks ahead to start bagging the groceries so we can get out faster. Most cashiers are teenage girls who don't give two shits about our sexual identities and are usually cordial to us without being openly nice. Poor girls still have reputations to look out for and can't be seen talking to the fairies. But this girl is new. Most of her hair is dyed bright red. And not Scully-red but a dark Crayola red. She sports a barbell in her eyebrow and a ring in her nose. I let a little laugh out at the dog chain around her neck with it's small padlock in the middle like Sid Vicious. She has heavy black eyeliner with matte red lipstick, and under plain blue smock is a Sex Pistols t-shirt. When she bends down to get more bags to hand to Walter, I can see the red and black plaid kilt around her thick middle, black fishnet stockings and black Docs up to her knees. I always had a soft spot for chubby punk girls.
She looks at me thoughtfully a moment and says, "You're a cute one. What do I have to do to date you?"
I smile at her. Ah, to be openly hit upon again, at my age. "You have to be him, dear." She looks at Walter who wiggles his blunt fingers in a dainty wave to her. Then her eyes pop open. "Oh, you're them!"
The smile retreats from my features. I look down at her hands that haven't stopped working, running our items over the scanner. I nod briefly. "Yep, that's us. The fucking fags."
She smiles at me. "I can see why Anabelle is so pissed about you two. You're hot."
Then I smile again. "Anabelle wants my husband."
She looks at Walter and giggles. "All the better. Hey, if you guys ever wanna come off the mountain and like, hang with people who don't give a shit who you fuck, you can come to the old roadhouse on route 23, the one that was like dead forever. Some buds of mine converted it to a gin joint for the 'alternative scene.' If I see you, I'll buy the first round." She leans in to whisper to me, "So long as my ex-girlfriend isn't there. Then she'll be up my ass." She winks at me, then at Walter.
I pay her and say, "I may just take you up on that. What's your name?"
"Patty Simpson. My grandma, Patrice, left me her house. So, I'm new here. But I lived in D.C. and shit for a while."
"Patrice Simpson was your grandmother? Oh, I'm sorry she's gone. She was a damn fine lady. Didn't get a chance to see her while she was in the hospital. But then again, I don't think she would have wanted my company."
"Who do you think told me to get people out here to start the club? Grandma didn't like that her favorite boys were being ostracized. Let me give you a tip, the nipple rings give it away." I laugh with her at this. She's a real pistol, this one. I like her. I may even talk Walter into getting that beer with her. I see her boss giving her the sign to keep things moving and I shake her plump, little hand and leave. Hell, if we go to the gin joint, I'll even dance with her.
We load the Jeep and start the long drive back up the mountain. I have to tell him about my chance meeting with Anabelle. He needs to know. And I sure as hell have to tell him about Mike Elliot. He'll laugh his ass off at that. I look over at him and say, "Anabelle came into the post office while I was there."
He doesn't even change expressions. "What did she say?"
"She ribbed me about bottoming to you. Called me a she. Then Mike told her off."
"Mike Elliot? Why would he do that?"
"His son is gay. They didn't talk for twelve years until you and me got together. Wanna know how he figured us out?" I can't wait to tell him. The wind has picked up and I see the late summer leaves blowing around wildly. Rain tonight.
"Tell me, Alex. The suspense is killing me." His face hasn't moved a muscle.
"The nipple rings. He heard about them. Put two and two together, as he put it. Well, I guess that Anabelle must be really saying some harsh things about us if people already knew and are still turning away from us. Ah, fuck 'em."
"Didn't we have this conversation?" And he reaches over to grab my crotch. He gives it a little squeeze and an evil grin creeps over his face. He's actually doing something distracting while driving, I'm fucking shocked. I reach over and stroke his denim-covered bulge. It will be difficult to put the groceries away, thinking about fucking the shit out of each other, but we have all day to make love. And we do, reacquainting with each other's bodies. I map each square inch of his broad back, his long, thick legs and his flat belly. I taste every wrinkle in his anus. I explore every vein of his cock. For four days, we enjoy ourselves, through the rain and winds and thunder and lightning. The residual storms from Hurricane Leelah are horrific in some places. Even inland, the towns are pummeled with torrential rain and heavy winds.
We can't get down the mountain yet--well, Walter can't. My Hummer will drive over the downed branches toward the bottom of the mountain easily. We are settling in for another day of sitting on the porch and watching the sun walk across the sky when the phone rings. Walter gets it. I can barely hear him, until I hear my name clear as a bell being shouted.
I walk in and find him putting on his work clothes. "What's going on, Walter?"
"We gotta go down the mountain and we need your Hummer. There was a roof caved in on a house and Mike Elliot says we're needed."
I stop in my tracks. I look at him tying his work boots as if he's insane. But he isn't looking back. "Who's roof caved in?" I have the feeling I know who he's going to say.
"Fuck no, nuh uh, no fucking way am I fixing that cunt's roof!" I haven't sworn so much in a long time.
"Alex, think about Shannon. They were in the basement for the storm. It destroyed the baby's room and part of the living room. She doesn't have a big house. Mike's trying to get other folks to help, but he knows our supplies are the driest and we had the least damage to mobilize the fastest. She is all alone. What if it was Dana when Mulder was gone?"
Motherfucker has to play the Scully card, doesn't he? He can't think he'll get away with it. I make no move to change from my comfy waist-tie black linen pants into my work pants and boots. He stands and strides to me purposefully and says, "Can I borrow your Hummer? I'm not sure of the Jeep with the downed branches and everything."
He holds his hand out to me for the keys and it's shaking. His hand is actually shaking. I step forward to take it in mine and pull him into my arms. I kiss him gently on his lips and say, "They're under the visor. Gimme a few to change."
He leaves me and I make haste into my clothes, actually slipping on boxer briefs like I always do when I'm serious about working. He's really scared about Anabelle and Shannon. Walter is at his best when he has someone to care for.
When I get out, I see him hauling lumber back and forth so I pitch in and we get the tarps, the tarpaper and the extra roof shingles we keep in the barn. We're fast and precise and we get moving in less than twenty minutes. Our one-hour drive down the mountain becomes twenty minutes and we're doing ninety miles an hour through town to Anabelle's house. Artie and Stuart, the local patrol officers flank us and Walter swears. But I see the hand out the window signaling us on, as if they were waiting to be our escort, lights and sirens and everything. For once, it's a trip to see that.
At the house, we get out and look at the damage. Anabelle is next door with the Ramsey's and doesn't see us at first. I see the electrical issues in my head as we walk through Shannon's room into the living room. The roof has two branches through it. There isn't as much as we thought, but we'll have to work fast before the next storm comes through. Then I hear the commotion.
As we had pulled up, the neighbors were around looking at the house. It's a small town and this is big news. But Anabelle is now out there screaming about the faggots and how she doesn't want them in her house. And she's out-cursed me for the day. Walter walks out and watches as she throws a fit, with Mike Elliot and Jim Ramsey holding her back.
"Hey, Anabelle, Walter and Alex wanna help you. They didn't have to come down here. I called them." Mike is screaming at her, but she keeps spitting her venom. I step before them and say, "Mike, let her go. We can take off. A contractor can be out here in a few weeks. With all the damage on the coast, it'll be a while. Walter, come on, we're leaving."
Then I hear it. And I know she hears it. And Walter is already on the way there. Bosco had stowed away in the Hummer and is barking. Shannon is hugging him around his neck, crying. Walter kneels before her and pets the dog to quiet him. She looks up into his face. "Why is Mommy so mad at you, Mr. Skinner?"
"Because I wasn't honest with her. I'm sorry, sweetie."
"Why did you lie? What did you say?" She's so young and innocent. How is he going to get her to understand?
"I didn't tell her something important and she's mad about that."
"That you love Alex?" Oh, God, she knows. That's what she meant. When Shannon told me to take care of Walter, she knew. Children never cease to amaze me.
"Yes, that's it. I should have told her from the beginning and she's angry with me."
"But you're gonna fix the roof, right?" Her little eyes are bright and wide open.
Anabelle stands behind Walter, gently touching his shoulder. "Yes, baby, they're gonna fix the house. And you're gonna sleep in my room until it's done and I can get you a new bed."
I step back and look at my watch. It's 10:30 AM. Mrs. Ramsey hands me a mug of coffee. We'd better get started.
BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS
Walter and I have just finished cleaning up after dinner and are settling before the fire with mugs of hot chocolate. He's got Bach playing in the background and Bosco is snoring in the corner. It's been a year. A whole amazing, beautiful, frustrating, redeeming year. He cooked dinner and I made dessert. We drank wine, watched the snowfall and made love all afternoon. After we've sat and rested from dinner enough, we'll go to bed and make love again. But before that, we exchange gifts. He gives me my gift, which is a massive book: The Complete Works of Chekov, Dostoevsky, Pushkin and Tolstoy. What makes it even more special to me is it's in Cyrillic. This will lull him to sleep when I read to him in Russian.
I hand him the set of carving knives I had hand-made for him. They are all the tools he could possibly use to carve more bunnies and puppies and kitties for Shannon Mitchell and all the other kids in the town. He can't do the heavy work anymore, so he's contented to do the small woodworking, and has become quite skilled at making chessboards.
We've stopped contracting work since Walter's hernia. We worked so hard on Anabelle's roof, he barely noticed the pain in his belly. But when I had to lay him out in the back of the Hummer and drive him to Prince William hospital, I knew something was dreadfully wrong. He was not too happy that they brought him in from the truck on a gurney, but he couldn't walk. After you've sweated so much from pain that you have no piss, I think you're allowed to give in a little. Those were the worst four days of my life, getting him in, getting him diagnosed and then convincing him that he actually needed the surgery. It was the fight of my life. I think that when he woke up and found me crying, he realized how scared I was.
It was surreal, actually and I can remember it like it was yesterday. I'm sitting here, like I'm sitting there, beside his bed. And I'm holding his hand while he sleeps, and all I can think about is that herniated bowel rupturing. He'll die within hours of peritonitis, unless they override his objections and take him to surgery against his will, which I'll whole-heartedly support. For now, I can only sit and wait. And the emotions get to be more than I can bear and I cry. I've cried after particularly frightening nightmares, which still plague me rather regularly. I can't help it, and Walter is so easy to open up to now. We talk for hours and hours and I cry and cry.
This time, I hold his hand, and weep into my other palm. I feel him squeeze my fingers gently. I look up and his chocolate gaze is burning into me, a sparkle and smile in them. "Walter, I want you to have the surgery. I don't want to lose you."
He just nods and whispers, "I love you, too."
Walter standing and moving toward the bedroom to start the fire to warm the room interrupts me from my trance. I poke down the fire in the living room and add some wood so Bosco doesn't get cold in the night. He usually stays in the living room until we fall asleep, then he jumps on the bed to sleep over my legs. I've come to realize he's protecting me, because when I start to dream and move around, he wakes and barks, waking Walter to wake me. We've avoided many nightmares that way. Some can't be helped though.
I check the doors and windows, set the security system and turn off all the lights to go back to the bedroom. I find him sitting naked before the fire on the newly laid fake fur rug. He turns to me and lies back, inviting me to join him with an extended hand. I'm quick to shed my clothing and join him, slipping into his warm embrace. We lay together on the floor, and I just listen to his heart beating with my eyes closed. I have found heaven with him. I never thought I deserved this. And now I know I'd fight with my life to keep it.
I think about the past year with the visit from the Mulders, the discovery and subsequent outing of Walter and I and the redemption of our characters when we rebuilt the roof. Walter made Shannon a new bed, dresser and toy box while I paid to have new rugs laid in the living room and bedroom and to have mattresses, linens and toys brought in for the little girl. They'd lost so much and had so little to begin with. Anabelle had a hard time accepting our gifts, but Walter was succinct. "We have so much money, Anabelle and no one to spend it on. We're men, we don't require much. Don't think of it as charity, but of an old man taking care of his daughter and granddaughter." She didn't expect that, but relented. She isn't friendly with us anymore, but she isn't vapid. She leaves us be and we leave her as well. But it kills her that Shannon calls Walter "Grampa" now.
Walter brings me from my thoughts and kisses my hair. "I love you, Sasha," he whispers to me. He only calls me this when we're being romantic, knowing it instantly makes me hard. I look into his twinkling eyes and say, "I love you, too, Vlad." He's only just begun to allow me to call him that. I know it takes a lot for him. We've both come so far. And we have a way to go. I'm just happy that I don't have to do it alone. Not ever again.
I have a bunny in mind, but I'm not sure if you like this universe. Please let me know!