Title: Catching Him
Pairing: M/O, M/K/O implied
Disclaimer: Fox Mulder, Alex Krycek, Walter Skinner and all the other X-Files characters belong to Chris Carter, Ten-Thirteen Productions and 20th Century FOX Broadcasting. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made from their use. Stephen belongs to me.
Notes: Beta done by Gaby again and of course, thanks for the videotape, I do think some of the inspiration is from there. Beware children this is no peachy lovey-dovey relationship story, it's sort of rough in places, so step out if it isn't your thing.
"Are you thinking of him, too?"
His voice rings loud in the room, his hands on my arms before I can even answer, his head on my shoulder, the wetness dripping from his eyes and running down my shoulder slowly, his hand fisting my hair now. The sobs that rack his body painfully, constrict my chest and force moistness to my eyes until I am clutching him the way he does, a death-grip causing bruises that will still be visible the next day.
'I do.' But I don't need to say it out loud. He knows. The other's face has been the one constant in our minds since we have woken up. Both of us have been anxious for days knowing we couldn't prevent this one from coming anymore than we can turn back time and change what's happened in the past, change these fateful days that made him vanish from our lives without a look back. He walked out and it was the last we have seen of him, a dark silhouette in the hallway.
Fox lifts his head from my shoulder, his face is tear-streaked, red-rimmed eyes staring at me, pain-filled, his nimble fingers shakily tucking a stray strand of hair behind my ear, then his fingers slip down in a caress along my jaw-line, brushing my lips with his thumb, parting them easily, a soft kiss at first, then he smashes his mouth to mine with desperate brutality, intensity, a starving man in a sea too big to swim in and survive.
Three years now, that's the time of his second, still on-going absence. The first one, the betrayal, the stinging pain of worry and fear for him that so very soon had to turn into disbelieving shock, contempt, hate, hurt and always more pain. The first betrayal, for Fox more than for me, such a low blow that a new start had been unthinkable, that even the possibility of allowing him back into our safe haven had only been worth a weak laugh. He had been Fox's partner before that and it's been him who introduced Alex into our relationship, the missing piece, such a sweet, inexperienced, innocent child-like man, and I have to admit I liked him, lusted after him and just the day we found out about Alex's true involvement had I allowed myself to admit a strange kind of admiration, affection and love for that man. Fox's desperate words on the phone, the soundlessly crying bundle in my arms all through the night, the fading man at my hands for weeks crushed the image I had carefully constructed, pieced together for my other lover and eventually that hate kicked in, turning into a feeling of loss whenever I was looking into the void in Fox's eyes, but we managed, we got through it strong and clear.
"Stephen, please," Fox begs me, breaking my line of thought as his kisses carry a sense of urgency with them now, his hands tearing at my clothes.
It worked well between the two of us. We adjusted to the emptiness, to the thought of someone missing every time you turned, slept, ate, breathed. We adjusted to the loss of the completing piece and our relationship grew in intensity and importance, gaining a depth that was new to both of us. We were happy, almost happy anyway, the ability to laugh, to joke and to live with the regularity that is everyday life. Until Alex appeared once more, not the innocent babyboy anymore, and the sudden change made both Fox and me question his truthfulness all those months before.
Seven months after the betrayal, after the end of our relationship he had the audacity to sit in our kitchen when we came home one evening, gun drawn, pointed at us. He said something and it ticked off Fox who lunged himself at him, sprawling both of them to the floor. I saw Fox lift his fist to strike but one flash of the green eyes underneath him and he felt his mouth drawn to the lips of the dark and dangerous man. They kissed and then Alex got up, came over to me, kissed me and there we were hands roaming over each other's bodies, drinking in the scent, the feel of our missing piece. Call us naive, call us lovesick, but Alex was back and with his first words our mistrust against him vanished, he had explanations and it made my heart weep to see the flicker of happiness gleam in Fox's eyes again, drinking in his every word and touch.
I suppose we just wanted to forget what had transpired. Of course Fox asked all the important questions and our pain was in plain view for everyone, even for Alex to see, pain he had caused. But he managed to weasel his way into our hearts again soon with his looks, his attitude, assuming a place in Fox's life that no other man before and after has managed to take. Alex had become a thug, a low-life, that was in plain view, and it was turning Fox on to see that side of him, to feel it first-hand when the two were acting out their rougher desires and I satisfied myself by either watching or leaving the apartment when petty jealousy and the thoughts of doubt about Alex threatened to take over. Alex was my lover too, but the things between him and Fox have always been different.
"Stephen, please do it," Fox urges me on, my shirt in shreds already. Ever since Alex left and caused that hole in him, he needs it to be filled and there is no-one else who could be in this relationship with us now, there hasn't been any other person Fox feels he can trust. So it has become my duty. Actions that are the opposite of everything I feel, except for the knowledge that it caters to Fox's needs, that it's something he needs as much as air and water.
It's safe to say that Fox got addicted to Alex's roughness. It nudged the boundaries of safe, sane and consensual at times, but always stayed within them. Sometimes I wonder whether Alex kept it to that level, knowing full well that I would have intervened, had it crossed that at any point. Needless to say, it has always been consensual, and Fox has become a pain-addict, needing more, harder and faster every time and Alex delivered it, recognizing these needs and steering them to a generally sane direction and still satisfying Fox, filling the void, taking care of the guilt in ways I wouldn't have had either the expertise or experience for, in ways that made me shake my head in amazement. Where was the knowledge coming from? I guess we will never know.
"Stephen, I need it now." And he has sunk to his knees, these pleading eyes on mine, the need too much to take for me and for him. And I force myself into a hidden corner of my mind and close the door, unable to deliver what he needs in a fully aware state of mind. My mind is blank now, my actions mechanical without any feeling, only focussed on him, on his needs, his pleasure that even for him is not pleasure in itself anymore but a dependency that he can't stop.
It was this one night. Alex and Fox had been through an intense session and Fox was bleeding, the welts on his back broken, an ugly mass of blood and skin but he was flying, out for the count on the bed. Alex turned to me, told me he had to leave. Absences were nothing new, I nodded at that, knowing he'd be back the next day or maybe even next week. No, he replied, you don't understand, I'm going to leave for good. I looked at him blankly. He kissed me, then Fox who mumbled incoherently and then he vanished. I took it all for a fluke, a momentary absence of rational thought on his part, a small sense of fear of this relationship being serious maybe settling in. I bandaged up Fox's wounds in silence. I thought he'd be back.
"Fox." My voice sounds strange even to myself now, taking on an attitude that I don't possess, an act that scares me so much that I am cringing in that room of mine. It's all for Fox now and he reacts to that. Easily. His rapid movements, the heart-wrenching clawing stops and he stills, his eyes expectant, and the eyes gleam with the promise of what is to come. I draw the belt from the loops of my jeans, a sturdy black one, picked out for that purpose this morning, knowing with dread that I was going to need it, willing myself to put it on with shaking hands, clenching and unclenching fingers, in the on-going mantra of, 'It's what he needs'.
I was right about Alex. He was back. One night he was back. Fox was ecstatic and clinging to him as soon as he saw him standing in our apartment in front of one of the windows. Alex didn't kiss back, didn't hug him, and I felt a deep and dark suspicion rising within me. He addressed Fox in a hard tone, allowing no word of protest. He told him what he had told me some nights before. He said he had to leave for good, for our protection. And he said we didn't really know him, never had. Fox stared at him in disbelief, and as Alex moved away from him he felt the last shreds of the rock-solid man he had been clinging to slip through his fingers. A nod to me and Alex was out through the door down the hallway.
A few days later Fox found out about his true involvement and a world was shattered for good. We stopped seeing each other for a while, Fox told me he needed some time alone and he retreated into a shell, went out to find something, someone and then I was there to catch him. Now, every few months now he needs this something that I am about to deliver, more than ever before.
The belt cracks down onto his shoulders, his back, his buttcheeks, inflaming them in a red that is fiery, grinning at me, mocking me. Harder and faster my arm is coming down, the sounds, his groans, everything is making me scream internally, screams of pain ripping from me. After a while he starts flying, the groans lessen and he moves in rhythm with the licks, blissed out, peaceful almost while the blood's running down his legs, dropping onto the ground, leaving stains I will barely be able to get rid of hours later. This is his show, my obligation to him, as a lover, as his boyfriend, his soul-mate. It keeps him grounded or he would have gone mad before. I stop as he slumps, and slowly I open that door within me and appear again, the belt falling from my hand in horror, the full implication of what I have done becoming apparent now. I carry him to our bedroom, lay him down on the bed and tend to his wounds, carefully, delicately cleaning him, then bandaging him up, softly, gently. I kiss him once more with the knowledge that he'll be out for hours.
Then I leave, take the car and drive off, to a forest near DC, the middle of nowhere only a few miles from the suburbs. There is no-one but me, only a few bears far enough not to disturb me. I park the car at the edge of the forest and walk deeper into it, stopping at a clearing, surrounded by high trees. At first my body is racked by dry heaves until a guttural scream rips from my throat, the birds lifting from their resting places, taking off into all directions. All the pain, all the hatred, all the tension is in that scream, all the guilt that threatens to wear me down. And then I collapse on the ground, the grass wet against my shirt, and the tears roll freely down my face. I am weeping for Fox, for us, for me, for Alex, for the way things are and how they can't be changed. I'm weeping still as the tears have long dried and the sun has set. Then I get up and walk back to my car, drive back home. Fox is still sleeping. I undress and lie down beside him, pulling him to me, careful not to irritate his wounds, and I kiss the top of his head with fierce determination, hold him close with my jaw clenched and tears once more stinging my eyes. He mumbles incoherently and spit drips on my bare chest.
We're gonna make it through. Some say it's not healthy and that I am insane to remain in a relationship with this bundle of psychoses but he is my lover. He loves me and I love him. And if these...beatings are what he needs it is my job to deliver them.
Every year on the same day the hate for Alex is flaring up again, the contempt, the sickness, the raw hatred for what he did, and I often wonder how things would have been. But the thoughts are unimportant because fact is, that there won't be something like before again and we will make it. I know we will.
I kiss him, ruffle his hair softly, not disturbing his sleep, and close my eyes drifting off to sleep, too. It's only when I hear the click of the door falling shut that I realize Alex's been here, watching us.
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