They had been on the run for almost two weeks, subsisting on vegetation and water from puddles and streams.
They wore tatters of clothing now, shoeless, their shirts ripped, stained and their pants torn. Their beards were beginning to grow well beyond stubble.
Krycek had a knife and no left arm; Mulder had a plastic bottle tied in his shirt, and a remaining few matches. Otherwise they had no possessions.
The best they could figure was they were in a wilderness reserve, possibly a national park, hopefully in the US, although it could be Canada. They had not seen anyone else, or any sign of habitation. They had no idea how far they were from civilization and hoped the late summer would last. They had no protection from exposure if the weather turned cold.
Never heavy to begin with, now they were lean, although not starved, and the fitful sun had bronzed and roughened their skin.
They did not argue, fight or bait one another. Most of the time they were quiet. Silently they each believed it was better to attempt to survive together, rather than alone. They shared what food they found and bandaged each other's wounds.
Mulder continued to believe Krycek had the capacity to betray him, and Alex believed Mulder would have him arrested if the opportunity arose. Otherwise, they had achieved the intimacy of men alone, except for the other, against the elements and the enemy. The rest of the world and their typical concerns were distant.
When they found caves, and could blockade the entrance, they slept apart, sprawled with fatigue and muscle aches. When they had to sleep on open ground, they did so side-by-side, arms touching, tense, subliminally aware of each other and alert to danger.
Neither being particularly modest to begin with, they gave each other privacy for bodily functions, but otherwise stayed together even when the opportunity to bathe arose.
Krycek, to Mulder's surprise, knew a great deal about plants and found various leaves, roots or sap to ease their discomforts. He'd found wild, almost peppermint flavored leaves that they used to scrub their teeth, and another, more acrid smelling, oily plant which they used, liberally, to ward off biting insects. From another kind of plant they used the precious matches to roast some stalks and eat the flesh, which Krycek said contained a lot of nutrients and a caffeine kind of boost. They chewed on the bits and pieces Krycek found constantly, both to avoid thirst and to feel as if they were getting enough to eat. They had not, as yet, managed to catch and kill an animal to eat. They had both totally given up trying to catch fish, either barehanded or using their shirts as nets and strips of cloth as line.
They both wished they had a vessel to boil water or make soup.
They'd stopped running after the third day, realizing they were using up precious reserves of energy and risking serious injuries in their heedless dash. Now they walked doggedly measuring out the day in lengths of flatland, rocky hillsides, unavoidable mucky swampland or twisted undergrowth.
When the blade of the knife broke off and sliced Krycek's good hand, the first waves of real despair took hold. Mulder tore off another edge of his shirt and bound the cut, and applied pressure within seconds. "Shit, oh, shit," he said over and over, trying to keep the panic from his voice. It was a wide, deep cut across the palm, the kind that required stitches. Once he could stop the blood, if he could stop it, it would take days to scab over. Krycek's hand would be virtually useless in the meantime, and painful long after that.
Krycek made soft keening sounds as Mulder worked on his hand. Otherwise he seemed to be in shock, his face had paled, belying the recent tan and scraggly almost beard. The bones in his face seemed suddenly sharpened and his left shoulder twitched uncontrollably.
Continuing to apply pressure, he chivvied Krycek out of the sun, away from the rock they had been using as a surface to cut up the fruit they had picked earlier, and into the cooler shade of the trees. Using his other hand, he struggled to get the water bottle from the knot in his shirt. Krycek could not seem to grasp the concept of taking a drink, so Mulder simply poured some over his head and took a hurried drink for himself.
"Snap out of it, Krycek," he said. "Let's sit down here for a minute. We'll figure out what to do. It's not so bad; the bleeding is stopping, see?" He crooned on and on, as much for himself as for Krycek. He tied the bloody strip on Krycek's hand and ripped off another from his rapidly dwindling supply of shirtfront. He folded it into a pad and quickly exchanged the soaked one for the new one. The blood was congealing slightly, and he gave a small sigh of relief.
"It really is beginning to clot," he said more assertively. Krycek finally looked at him with a sort of lost dazed expression. "Here drink some water, you're kind of out of it, Krycek, and I need you to focus." Mulder did not like Krycek's demeanor; he would trade it for an annoying smirk and a wiseass 'know-it-all-asshole' expression any day.
"You should kill me," Krycek said expressionlessly, although his eyes were open and bereft. "I will slow you down. It's the smart thing to do, Mulder."
"Shut up. Shut the fuck up!" Mulder pressed harder on the damaged hand, and Krycek paled even whiter. "Maybe that's what you would do. It's not what I do. Never."
"Why not? You've tried to kill me before. Nothing's really changed, you know. This situation is only temporary. Back to civilization and back to the same-old, same-old crap. So now, when you finally have a good reason, a fucking real reason, you get all wimpy and shit."
"What 'real' reason Krycek? You're wounded, but you can still walk and talk and think and keep watch."
"Yeah, well you think about how much good that does for you when you have to feed me and wipe my ass." Krycek began to laugh; the sound of it chilled Mulder. He recognized incipient hysteria.
"Look, Krycek," he began, deliberately keeping his voice somewhat harsh and assertive. He knew Krycek couldn't accept either empathy or pity right then. "You know what there is to eat and how to find it. You are alert to danger, and I need that extra pair of eyes and ears. Okay, okay, this will be tough, and a pain to put up with, and that you're scared. Is that it? Big bad Krycek is scared and feels helpless? Well, get over it. We will keep going at whatever pace we can, we haven't seen hide or hair of pursuers in days, so maybe we've bought some time." He kept talking and kept the pressure on the wound. Slowly Krycek relaxed, and his combination of pain and emotional shock gave way to a restless sleep.
Mulder tore off one last strip of his shirt. They would have to start using their pants legs next. He was relieved to see the clotting had taken hold. He hoped Krycek knew of a medicinal plant that could be used as a poultice. He desperately hoped no infection set in. They needed to find a place to stay for at least one, maybe a few nights. He got up and scouted the area, careful never to lose sight of Krycek completely.
He found a shallow overhang, its protection enhanced by some low hanging branches. It was, thankfully, high enough for Krycek to walk under; crawling without hands would be a problem.
There was a small stream within a few hundred yards, so water wouldn't be a problem. The vegetation was lush, and there were even apples left on a few trees. He saw a wide leafed fern Krycek had previously told him to use when they washed. It made pale green foam when crushed and mixed with water. Mulder hoped it could also be used to bathe the wound and perhaps what was left of their clothing. A few hundred feet in the other direction, at the widest point if the stream was a smooth section of grass open to the sun. It was warm enough for them to spread out their clothes and have them dry within hours. He thought it might be a good idea for them both to rest for a day or so as well.
Krycek woke and saw Mulder scrambling around the undergrowth in the distance. His hand hurt badly, but the bleeding had indeed stopped. Ever since his incarceration in the silo, he'd seemed to heal rapidly, it was the only way he had survived the loss of his arm under those terrible conditions.
He considered his state of helplessness. Helpless and with Mulder was a combination he would have put near the top of his all time worst scenarios. Helpless with Mulder in the middle of nowhere ranked an even higher place. Helpless, Mulder, in the nowhere, and injured certainly ranked first place.
A scant two weeks ago, unaware of the coincidence, one minute they were each doing their thing at a government facility. He'd been hacking the database for information on an informant who was withholding vital data for a higher payment; Mulder had been trying to bully the hapless clerks for entry into that same database. He'd seen Mulder through the blind- covered window of the supervisor's office. The supervisor was taking an unscheduled nap, courtesy of a mild blow to his head, on the floor behind his desk. He knew if Mulder succeeded in barging into the office the jig, as it were, was up. So, he copied files as fast as he could and hightailed it out of the office through the back door. Unfortunately, Scully was making her way to the office via the back stairway.
Confronting Scully was not a wise move. She was always quicker to pull her weapon and handcuffs than Mulder, who wanted to make a more physical production out of their encounters. He'd opted to return to the office and try to get by Mulder through the front door. If only two young clerks hadn't been trying to hide from Mulder's demands behind a bank of filing cabinets, he would have made it. When he burst through the door, they'd looked up at him with surprised horror. He'd been taken aback to find someone in his way. They screamed, of course, and Mulder had come running, and then it had all gone to hell.
Jumping on the back of the truck that was pulling out of the driveway was not, in retrospect, a good idea. Mulder, as always, ran faster, and he'd jumped on too. The truck had sped along for a good while during the initial fight between them, and then the driver must have become aware something was happening in the back. He'd attempted to pull over but the cavalcade that appeared behind the truck, shooting at it, made the driver panic. He'd sped up instead of slowing down, and the mountainous terrain had been too much.
He and Mulder had jumped. He was cursing the whole time, déjà vu all over again, jumping off a fucking truck. This time the cavalcade had caught up with them.
It wasn't immediately apparent who these guys were; they weren't friends of either of them, and they weren't inclined to ask for explanations.
Mulder had tried his "I'm a Federal Agent" shtick, but the men hadn't stopped to look at his ID.
By some strange unspoken agreement, suddenly he and Mulder were fighting together against the men. They'd made it to a vehicle and tried to get away. Caught again, they were stripped of their weapons and coats and thrown into the back of yet another truck.
The truck drove for hours, and they were constantly buffeted, rolling back and forth inside the empty container. When the truck finally stopped, nothing happened. After it had been quiet for a long time, both of them worked together to break through the door. They got out only to find themselves on tarmac near a hanger. There were no other buildings in sight. They could hear voices and smell food coming from the building. They headed back toward the road, keeping to the wooded side.
Their breakaway was short lived, and soon they were being chased. They'd run into the forest, and kept going.
They had an unspoken truce. Krycek was glad he wasn't alone, and he was sure Mulder was glad not to be alone as well. Mulder was an enemy, but he was a known quantity. He hadn't tried to explain himself or his most recent or past activities. Mulder had made a few halfhearted attempts to get Krycek to give up information and answer questions, but ultimately hunger and exhaustion carried the day, and his ire became muted. When Krycek had found the only edible food in sixteen hours, Mulder had given up on the last of the snide remarks and, having shared the food, shared the water bottle. Since then they had simply gone on together.
Krycek tried to reach the water bottle, but his hand was too injured to grasp it and the pain spiked like a bitch. He felt the helplessness wash over him again. It wasn't Mulder having control that was the issue. It was, and he faced it squarely for the first time, that with this injury Mulder would have to touch him.
Touch and Krycek had been strangers for a long time. Long before the loss of the arm, long before his months on the run in Hong Kong, touch had been a rare commodity, brokered occasionally when he was still young enough and hopeful enough to believe he could stop the madness and be safe enough to have a life.
It wasn't issues about modesty or privacy or even sexuality. Unending violent interchanges, threats, some actual sexual harm, interrogations, and injuries had long since erased any residual attachment to normal embarrassment or self-consciousness on his part.
It was simply that while Mulder could fight him, beat him up, try to shoot him and threaten him endlessly, now - during this mutual need to survive - Mulder would be careful, if not actually kind, and touch him with sincerity.
He didn't doubt for a minute that Mulder's life had been less empty. Sure he 'touched' people. He often had a hand on Scully's shoulder or waist, probably got laid once in a while, and had an occasional hug here and there from his friends. But essentially, for a person as needy as Mulder, that wouldn't constitute anything near the contact his nature cried out for.
He just knew Mulder would find some of that need fulfilled taking care of him, and he also knew that he was helpless, fucking helpless to resist needing it in return. Danger signals flashed warnings in his head. He didn't want to need anyone, and he didn't want anyone to need him.
Mulder returned to find Krycek slumped over, but not asleep. Silently he tilted the water bottle and Krycek drank thirstily.
"There's an area we can use, just up the hill. It's protected and looks relatively rain and wind resistant. The stream is close enough for fresh water, and there is even a small, flat spot to keep watch from. I think we should stay here for a day or so and regroup. Your hand can heal some, and we can get clean and rest. There are apples and a few other edibles around. I could use some time to rest as well and try to think this predicament out. What do you say?" Mulder asked.
"Sure, fine, Mulder." Krycek paused, "There is something you should know."
"The wound will heal, probably not even leave much of a scar, and I won't get an infection, although I might run a fever or something. I was in that silo, after the alien used my body. Ever since then, I seem to heal more rapidly than normal and ward off all but the most virulent of infections," Krycek explained.
Mulder sat down, bemused for the moment by Krycek's revelation. This was no lie, no game and no exaggeration. Son-of-a-bitch actually dropped the beginning of something resembling truth and answers right into his lap. He controlled his impulse to squeeze the shit out of the wounded hand and make Krycek tell him more. He calmed himself and drank more water. "Ever since Tunguska," he said, "I seem to 'heal' in similar ways."
"Well," Krycek said matter-of-factly, "makes sense, since you were exposed as well."
"No shit," said Mulder.
"No shit," Krycek replied dryly.
"Don't expect me to thank you for it," Mulder couldn't resist adding.
Krycek turned his head and looked out over the hills.
Mulder helped Krycek to his feet and picked up the water bottle. They headed to the enclosure that would be home for a few days. When they got to the stream, Mulder had Krycek soak the wounded hand, and then he peeled away the makeshift bandage. The wound had indeed begun to solidify into a thick scab. "What say you we wash up now while the temperature is warm, and before you really pass out? I saw some of those ferny things just over there," Mulder pointed to the bank.
"Okay," Krycek replied, dreading the onset of Mulder's concern. He stayed passive as Mulder helped him out of his rags and into the cool stream. Mulder undressed as well and went to get a large handful of ferns. He brought the ferns and the clothes into the water with him and started rubbing it all together. Krycek made a gesture as if to stop him, and Mulder looked up. "You should clean each thing separately and squeeze out the excess water. They'll dry faster that way. When you have a shirt all soaped up, use it to scrub yourself clean, too."
Mulder grimaced, "I am not a housewife," he muttered under his breath, but laid the clothes on the bank and washed them the way Krycek instructed. When he got to what was left of his shirt, he soaped it up and washed himself and then approached Krycek. He felt awkward. This was the first time he was going to actually assist the man instead of attacking him. It was going to be the first of many in the next few days, so he covered his unease with his usual half-assed attempt at humor and cooed, "Bath time, Alex."
Krycek took several stumbling steps backwards before he realized he had done so. Mulder laughed. He neared Krycek and kept the bullshit going. "I'll be careful to not get soap in your eyes, don't worry." Krycek stiffened, but held ground. "Are you ticklish? Have any preferences, you know, front first, face, toes?"
"Bastard," Krycek said, and Mulder pushed the soapy rag in his face. "Now, now, *Alex* be nice. This isn't the time to piss me off, you know." Mulder smirked, "I have you at my mercy at the moment."
"I really, really hate you," Krycek spat out, with the soap scum from his mouth.
"I know," Mulder laughed. "I hate you too."
Krycek stood still, and Mulder got more up close and personal with the rag, keeping the sass going the whole time. It took Krycek a moment to realize Mulder was as uncomfortable as he was, and that the teasing was impersonal. Mulder never actually referred to the particulars of his body at all, and he did not touch him with his hand, only the cloth, never getting close enough to bump into him.
He was relieved. When it was done, he leaned his arm on a rock and immersed himself to rinse. Neither had anything to dry off with, so when Mulder helped him out of the rocky stream, he sat in the sun by the bank, and Mulder, after he laid out the clothing and refilled the water bottle further upstream, joined him.
It was peaceful and warm. After a while, Mulder lay on his side, propped up on his arm and looked at Krycek, really looked at him, for the first time. The remainder of his left arm was a ruin, but the shoulder itself had not atrophied. It was obvious Krycek's upper body had filled out and become stronger to compensate. His legs were well shaped and strong and the hair on his groin and legs was a lighter brown. The scraggly beard was a softer shade as well. He catalogued Krycek without pity or prurience.
Krycek, his attention no longer caught by a pair of eagles that had flown too high and far to follow, turned to see Mulder watching him. He stayed calm. He realized he was going to need Mulder to stay alive, and reacting in an affronted way would only serve to key Mulder into his lack of ease.
Instead, he looked at Mulder steadily. Mulder had changed since the bygone days of their brief partnership. Still lean, he was more muscular and sported his own array of scars. The one on his thigh must have been a hell of an injury. It looked liked a bullet wound that must've clipped the femoral artery. The round one on his shoulder, he already knew the circumstances behind. He'd been there, after all.
He considered the track record in pain that showed on their bodies, wondering how much more was unrevealed, carried deep inside as unhealed sores and nightmares. As if he sensed the bleak direction of Krycek's thoughts, Mulder turned and lay on his back, bending his knee, foot flat on the ground.
When Mulder began to speak, Krycek realized his façade was all for nothing because Mulder managed to shock the hell out of him anyway. "Scully was jealous, you know, back when. She resented anyone who encouraged me to believe in the paranormal as being possible. When you refused to concede that Cole did not have a 'gun', no matter what the evidence proved, she took it as a personal affront to her scientific methodology and thought you were sucking up to me so you could replace her. When I refused to back down regarding my thesis that Cole could manipulate minds telepathically, she thought I was turning against her as well. The file, of course, disappeared, and all her copies magically vanished too. Left with nothing to take to Skinner and having to fess up to working on an X-File when she had been reassigned didn't sit well with her at all. The more cases you and I worked, the more resentful she grew. She started gently, with gibes about how young you were and how eager. I didn't pay much attention, just went along with it. After all, you did seem very young and very eager. She became more pointed when, after I lost another tie that time, you stopped at a sidewalk vendor and bought me those cheap polyester ones for two bucks apiece. Later, she actually complimented me on one and I told her the 'joke' about the purchase. The tone of her references to you changed. She started hinting that you were coming on to me, and I'd better be careful as senior agent, lest your 'crush' went too far."
Mulder sat up and fingered one of the cloth bandages to see if it was dry. Krycek hoped it was still wet so Mulder would not want to put it on his wound.
"I was fairly blown away by these confidences. Scully and I had grown close and had a trusting relationship, but the type and tone of these talks was something different altogether. When I took time to think about it, I got pissed. First and foremost, because I wasn't the naïve idiot she seemed to be implying. Second, because nothing in your actions or attitude even hinted at homosexual blandishments. And third was the backhanded implication that maybe I would be flattered or even welcome such enticements, had they been offered. So, I did what I always do when I feel emotionally threatened, I shut down, let her think what she wanted, and failed to profile the reasons behind the personal attacks."
Mulder went back to patting the various pieces of clothing. Krycek wanted to be anywhere but here. A voluble Mulder was certainly a dangerous Mulder. He could talk himself around and about and decide that the most unsupported, bizarre theory was the only possible solution. Krycek felt hounded. Personal confessions and confidences from anyone, shit, certainly from Mulder, were the last things he wanted to get into, ever. Ever - especially lying around wounded, nude, and dependent.
"Mulder," Krycek said in what he hoped was a placating tone, "this really isn't the time, you know. We have a lot to do just surviving. I mean, we need to get some food gathered and attempt to secure the space we are going to slee... stay in and all that."
Mulder simply looked at him and continued, "So Alex, were you coming on to me as part of your young agent persona or not?"
"No," Krycek said. "I was supposed to be wide eyed and bushy tailed, and impressed by the great Agent Mulder. I was supposed to get him to trust me enough to eventually break off with his partner, the sublimely impartial and effective Agent Scully, and want to work with me."
"Hmmm," Mulder murmured, "but did you want me anyway?"
"No!" Krycek yelled surprising both of them. "No." He said again in a more moderate voice, "I am not gay, and while I'm sure you're a fine specimen, Mulder, you are not my type. Don't start anything, because I am not your type either. Damn-it! Why do you have to go off on these weird tangents? Isn't the vast array of our more immediate problems enough for you?"
Mulder picked up the dry bandage and came towards Krycek, took his hand and wrapped it tighter than necessary. Krycek refused to cringe. Mulder laughed, "Got you!" he said, and when Krycek looked at him in shock, continued, "Took your mind off your hand, didn't I?"
Mulder put on his own bits and pieces and then brought over Krycek's stuff, helping him to stand and then dress as though it were routine. "I hate you. I really, really do," Krycek said, not being able to think of a more pithy remark.
Mulder laughed some more, "Come on, tell me what's good to eat in this joint, and I'll go get it. I'm starved."
They lay, not touching, on a bed of soft moss beneath the overhanging rock and tree limbs. The moon made the night more shadowy than truly dark. Neither of them was asleep. Both were processing the Pandora's box Mulder had blithely opened earlier. The intimacy of the past two weeks on the run had subtlety changed to more personal bonding. Food, rest, and the lack of immediate pursuit or rescue dulled some senses and sharpened others tonight. Both of them thought that if they had been friends, they could have joshed about being horny men lost in the wilderness, made a joke about the movie Deliverance, and maybe they could have talked sex and women and gotten their vicarious jollies that way. Not being friends, each thought that anything he could say at this moment might be misconstrued and open to sarcastic rejoinder.
That, in the comfort of the evening and after such a long stretch of fear and harsh conditions, both were aroused, was something they each acknowledged in the other. They could smell it amidst the pine and apples.
Krycek finally fidgeted and rubbed his shoulders on the moss to scratch an itch somewhere he could relieve. He heard Mulder take a deep breath. He held his own. Mulder turned on his side and he met Alex's eyes in the semidarkness. He said in a harsh whisper, "I guess you need a hand." Alex didn't breathe because the world, and everything he knew, was whirling. "Do you want a hand, Alex?" Mulder whispered again and put his right one down the front of his own pants. Alex panted a choked intake of air and nodded. Mulder nodded back and slid his left hand into Alex's loose waistband and closed his eyes.
Alex watched Mulder's face as he grasped his cock and then himself. Mulder's eyes were closed, not squeezed shut as if to deny what he was doing, more as if blind, he could concentrate better. Alex arched into the large warm hand as it expertly fingered his length, softly cupped the smooth head and then began a slow relentless tempo. Saliva pooled in his mouth and goose bumps broke out on his arm and back. He felt young and scared and hot and cold all at once. The sensation of getting 'there' got stronger, and he didn't care if he came in a flash like a kid, it was good, very good... too good. He moaned, and Mulder arched into his own hand and sped up the pace. They were both breathless and panting. Such an innocent thing, he thought, a warm hand on his hard dick. Such a simple thing, pumping into the hand as it pumped his cock. It was such an easy thing - floating on touch and testosterone. "God! Mulder!" he said and came in a gush. "Fuck!" he heard Mulder moan a brief second later and heard the wet slap of Mulder's last jerks.
Mulder withdrew his hand from Alex's pants and casually wiped it on Alex's shirt before doing the same with his other hand on his own shirt. The odor of semen was strong and dense in the warm enclosure. Alex desperately wanted to lean into Mulder and kiss his mouth.
They were silent as their breaths slowed down.
Mulder looked at Alex again. Alex was wasted; faint sweaty trails ran down the sides of his face and neck, gleamed in the half-dark. His eyes were drowsy, but he wasn't smiling in post orgasmic bliss. Mulder watched as he awkwardly turned on his side, face away from Mulder, and continued to watch as his shoulders shook. He heard the faintest catches of breath. After a while the quiet sounds lessened, and he knew Alex slept.
Mulder desperately wanted to curl up against Alex's back. He didn't do it. Instead, he thought about what he'd just done. He'd known, somehow, that he was going to do something earlier in the day when it dawned on him that he and Alex were truly alone. He needed his company - injured, traitor, and assassin, whatever. He'd known when he faced the fact that Alex was alive and warm and, very possibly, beautiful.
It had been so long since he had truly been alone with another person who needed him as much as he needed someone. He thought he'd rid himself of the attachment to such personal emptiness but, he supposed now, he'd only repressed it along with a hundred other things he labeled as 'vulnerable' or 'lonely' or 'emotionally dangerous'. The sex was both the most of it and the least of it. The 'most' perhaps because it was Alex, and Alex was a man, and his enemy. The least because, what did it really matter who it was under these conditions, and because it was, after all, only sex, and sex didn't have to mean anything.
Ah, Mulder, you are an ass, he thought to himself. He reached out and gently touched the bare skin at Alex's waist. It was smooth and firm. His cock had been smooth and firm, wide at the head and thick at the base. It had pulsed in his hand, and he'd felt the tremors in his abdomen. It had been exciting, knowing the sameness and the differences between himself and Alex at the same time. He thought about Alex's dick pushing its way into wet pussy, the same way he'd fucked women, and he felt a second flush of arousal wash over him. He wondered what it would feel like to have that wide, smooth dickhead push its way into his mouth, maybe into him. He listened as Alex breathed. He left his hand at his waist and went to sleep.
Alex slept well into morning, and Mulder rose early. Rested, he went on a scouting mission and returned with a surprising amount of food, having found several kinds of edible berries, apples, and some wild scallions. He put some of the berries into the water bottle and shook them into mush then added more water. It was a treat to drink something flavorful.
Alex woke, and Mulder helped him to the streamside. He undressed both of them, careful to stay neutral. Alex waded into the water, and they rinsed off. Mulder held the juice for him, and he drank, and then ate pieces of apple and berries from Mulder's hand. The sensuality and intimacy of this act, what happened the night before, and their nakedness combined and finally overwhelmed Krycek. All that went through his brain, or was it his heart, was - I didn't get to touch him... I want to touch him... taste him... know him...
Without conscious volition he wrapped his arm around Mulder's neck and kissed his mouth. The tart berry flavor melted to sweetness as the lay together on the grass. Alex lay atop Mulder, bracing himself with his forearm and made a feast of his neck. Mulder spread his legs and they rubbed their wet bodies together.
The awareness of the night before took hold of Mulder's aroused mind. He thought how similar they were and how much confidence it gave him to know Alex was experiencing the exact same sensations. "Feels so good, Alex," he said aloud and let the thoughts take shape in words of encouragement. "You and me, so much the same. I can feel your cock slide against mine, and I know how it feels, cause I feel it too. Just the same as you... come on, Alex, just like that." He went on and on, talking them higher.
Alex felt his grip on what he had understood as his sexual reality shift and wondered if anything else could have ever felt this good. "Yeah, yea..." he husked out, encouraging Mulder to keep talking. He felt Mulder's sharp hipbones pierce into the soft weight of his scrotum, and he pressed harder. Mulder shifted so his own hard thigh pressed his dick tight against his leg.
Mulder wrapped his legs around Alex's torso, straining to make the contact harder, hotter, and fiercer. Alex twisted, and his cock prodded between Mulder's ass-cheeks. They both froze. Mulder said, "Kiss me." Alex kissed him, and he tilted his lower body, angling it so Alex's penis rubbed and slid against his anus.
"Fuck, Mulder, oh, fuck..." Alex ground out at the slippery contact, and the lure of penetration. His body jerked hard, and he came. Mulder rolled over and kneed Alex's legs open. He too found the hot groove of Alex's ass and humped himself fast in it. He ejaculated hard and collapsed.
"We've come a long way, baby." Mulder said when speech was possible.
"This is crazy," Alex said.
"Yeah," Mulder replied, "crazy. But in a good way."
"Yeah," Alex shook his head and smiled, finally meeting Mulder's eyes, "in a good way."
They rested and ate and talked about how they could make their way out of the forest. They agreed on finding the highest peak they could safely climb, and doing a lookout from there. Alex's hand healed to a tight scab, and they both took care not to do anything that would tear it open. Alex soaked it as much as possible to try and keep it flexible. He managed his own bowel movement and cleaned himself downstream. They slept, sprawled in their enclosure, with Mulder's hand at Alex's waist.
They awoke, in tandem, early. Without words, Mulder positioned them and they sucked each other's morning erections to awkward, quiet, and quick completion. They gathered what food they could carry tied in the remainders of their shirts and headed north toward the higher hills.
The day was hot and sweat stung Alex's wound. He called a halt and had Mulder wrap his hand with damp leaves under the bandage.
It took them two days to reach the top of a peak with visibility beyond the other hills. It was almost sundown, and they mutually decided to wait until the next morning to attempt to decipher the panorama.
They bathed in a freezing river; keeping close to the bank, then lay beneath the denser pines for the night. Alex's hand was now flexible enough to use, although it was still wrapped with a single layer of cloth.
He initiated the sex for the first time. Mulder allowed him, and Alex found he was not tentative at all. He simply went with his instincts, which were to do everything to Mulder that he'd always enjoyed or lusted for himself. He didn't much care which of them was going to end up fucked, only that someone did this time. He wasn't afraid because this wasn't about pain. It was about completion.
He made love to Mulder inch by inch. He used his tongue and fingers and nudged with his chin and forehead. Mulder groaned and whispered encouragement. "More," Alex said, "keep talking, say anything, get dirty, Mulder, I like it."
Mulder almost came when Alex encouraged him to talk dirty. He'd always wanted to do this freely, without worrying about sensibilities or asking for too much. Sometimes he pleaded, "Alex, suck there, fuck, please, oh... harder use your teeth, fucker..." Sometimes he demanded. Together, their lust grew exponentially with each word and grunt.
They rolled over, somewhere along the line, and Mulder sucked and bit his way down Alex's taut chest and soft underbelly. "Do you want this?" Mulder demanded. "Do you want me in your ass? Do you want me to fuck you?" He licked his way down and spread Alex wide and pushed his tongue in. Alex made incoherent sounds, and Mulder added his thumb to the push of his tongue and got it inside. The heat of it amazed him. He rose, grabbing his cock, and just thrust in, blind to everything but fucking that hot hole.
Alex choked out a strangled scream when Mulder penetrated him. He'd been floating in a daze of sensation and lust. The pain of penetration surprised him. He refused to think of backing away or pushing Mulder off, instead he flexed against the huge intrusion and took more.
"Fuck you, fuck you!" Mulder yelled, "Jesus, I'm fucking you, Alex." He was beyond control and thrust in and out, as wild as any mammal in heat. Alex let him, meeting the punches of cock inside him just as mindlessly. Mulder came screaming invectives, then subsided. The flood of heat inside him finally turned Alex's erection back on, and the ache of it throbbed.
He smacked Mulder, hurting his hand. "Sit on my cock, Mulder. Do it now, right now. Get me in, bastard. Do it," he commanded.
Mulder felt Alex's hard body beneath him, and the burning rod of his erection against his navel. He took a deep breath, summoned the strength in his legs, and moved to straddle Alex. The pine needles and small rocks poked into his knees and the faint discomfort made him more aware of what he was doing. Alex's body was in an agony of need, and he was determined not to refuse him.
He reached behind and took hold of Alex's thickness, pushing back. It was awkward, and it hurt from the moment of contact, but he impaled himself anyway. Alex thrust up hard and tore into him. He screamed this time, and Alex lost his mind.
Alex felt the primordial instinct to rut himself to orgasm with same entirety he'd felt his fear of the Oilean and the pain of the butchery to his arm. He bared his teeth and bit Mulder's chest and came.
Mulder rolled off of him, and they lay as if they had fallen to earth from high above. It took them a long time to recover. Everything hurt - hand, knees, backs and asses, and everything felt wonderful at the same time.
Mulder slowly got to his feet and helped Alex to his. They washed in the icy water and drank deeply. The morning sun was bright by the river. They dressed in their tatters and, gathering what supplies remained, began the climb to the summit.
The last thicket of pines began to thin, and Mulder stopped. Alex stopped too. After the next few paces the view below would either show them the way out, or not. Out and they would return to the world and themselves. Not and time together extended itself. The both wished, simultaneously, for both things.
Mulder fingered the bite mark on his chest and then the bruise on Alex's neck. He felt his own face, the shape of his forehead, nose and half-grown beard. He looked at his feet and at the rough, torn toenails. He willed himself back into himself. He was Agent Fox Mulder. He was dedicated to finding his lost sister and the truth about quasi government conspiracies and proving the existence of extraterrestrials. He had a trusted and beloved partner and a place he called home.
And the one armed man was his enemy, and the one armed man was his lover, and the one armed man was Alex Krycek.
Alex watched Mulder process the inevitable onset of return. He knew how it felt. He'd done the same to survive. For Mulder reclaiming himself this way was survival as well.
He began to mourn internally because he understood this man had to hate him, had to distrust him, and loved him anyway.
They held hands tightly as they took the final steps to the clearing.
The panorama revealed a logging path to the southwest. They could see a tiny cluster of buildings and vehicles down the way on the road.
Alex said, "Mulder," and stopped.
Mulder looked at him and his body shook with the effort not to hold on and turn them both back in the other direction.
"Alex," he said in return, and spoke no more.
They let go of each other's hands and began the descent to make their way to the road.