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Dream Weaver

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Dream Weaver by Nightcloud

Title: Dream Weaver---Alexian Nights Challenge 2
Author: Nightcloud
Date: 01/00--05/00
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: M/K-See I promised. And I always keep my promises.
Summary: AU-this story followed canon up until Aprocypha and took a slight turn, blame it on my adoration of Urban Fantasy, and a pair of gorgeous green eyes.
***Author's Notes:-- This story is a sequel to "Praying for a Miracle" which is archived at RatB. Fair warning, I got a bit silly with this one. And I know that wolves don't act like Keiren does, his behavior is inspired by actual behavior from the Collie and three Chow Chows I've owned. Also incase it's not clear Keiren is a beta not an alpha. And hey he has been hanging around with our beloved Ratboy so anything goes, right? Right! Everything inside \\ // denotes something said in Elven.**
Disclaimer: Alex Krycek and Fox Mulder belong to CC and 1013. Dream Weaver belongs to Gary Wright, High Wave Music, Inc and WB Music Corp. Gavin is mine, and the wolves belong to themselves. If you sue me you'll fulfill my life long dream of having some rich person pay off my debts.
Beta: By Carol S. Any remaining mistakes are my own.
Feedback: Oh yes please!


Dream Weaver
By
Nightcloud

Ooooo dream weaver
I believe you can get me through the night
Gary Wright


No endorphins remained. He'd run beyond them. Only pain remained. Each stride an effort. Each breath an agony. Each heartbeat labored. Images flashed, bodies strewn over the floor. Some bleeding, most not. Poison didn't leave a mark, bullets did. A temple turned into a nightmare. Temple of Seven Stars; tomb of over a hundred. His fault. He'd failed. Again. Always failing. One face rose stronger, clearer. Melissa. Her name had been Melissa. A mystery. A question. One that would remain forever unanswered. His fault that too. Had he helped her at all? Could he have done more? He ran on. Feeling the rain soak his clothes. Cold seep into his abused body. He ran to atone. He ran to punish himself for failing yet again. The faces of the newly dead followed. Joining those that were older. His ghosts. His mistakes. His uselessness.

One thought burned bright, renewed his rage, "Such a damn waste." For just a moment the anger burned clean. The images receded. Then his right foot struck the wet black top wrong, twisted and he was falling.

Strange, he thought seconds later as he lay on his belly. In a fire fight he could remember each word, each gunshot, every second sorted and categorized stored forever in his brain. A fall during a run however, which had to take at least thirty seconds seemed to happen in a millisecond. He was aware of feeling dazed, a little disoriented, his heart which had skipped beats during the fall settled slowly into a more normal rhythm.

For a while he lay still, feeling his sweat suit become heavier absorbing the water from the puddle fate had decreed he'd land in. His palms and knees burned the skin scraped as they broke his fall. He was aware of his jaw aching; he'd struck his chin when he landed. "Lucky I didn't take off part of my tongue," he mused silently. Groaning softly he rolled over onto his back. It had begun to rain harder, already soaked he'd become chilled soon. Still he didn't have the energy to sit up and check his ankle which was letting him know that it wasn't happy about the run.

Minutes later he was still laying there, dragging air into his still heaving chest, beginning to shiver slightly, when a face and form he knew far too well, appeared looming over him.

"Mulder," Alex Krycek said. "What are you trying to do to yourself now?"

He grimaced at the other man, "Just when I think nothing else could go wrong; it does."

A faint smile touched Krycek's mouth, "I'm happy to see you, too. Come on, let's see if you can stand?"

"Nope," Mulder shook his head, absorbing more of the puddle into his hair. "Think I'll just stay here for a while."

Another shape emerged from the darkness, the wolf that had been with Krycek the last time they'd met came to stand opposite the assassin. Before Mulder could back away or move, the animal's head drew close and a warm tongue caressed the side of his face.

"Ugh!" he sat up trying to wipe the away the canine kiss.

Krycek laughed, "I think he likes you."

"Yeah. Fine, just keep him from doing that again," the agent tried to stand, but when he attempted to put weight on his injured ankle it protested strenuously.

"Damn," he groaned. "Just what I need."

"Here, let me take a look at that," Krycek reached for ankle.

"Don't," Mulder snarled. "I can...,"

"You can what?" the ex-agent asked smugly. "Stay out here in the rain? Face it, if I wanted to harm you, I would have by now. Let me make sure it's not broken, then we can get you home."

The assassin waited for a moment, when no more protests were forthcoming he quickly and efficiently examined the ankle.

Mulder studied the younger man. Gone was the haunted fugitive he'd caught up to in Hong Kong, Krycek's hair was longer, falling beneath his collar now. Apart from the long hair though he was clean-shaven and clean from what Mulder could see, even the ambiguous leather jacket looked recently cleaned. He was startled by the gentleness with which Krycek examined his ankle, the former agent's hands were warm, the heat easing the pain somewhat.

"I don't think it's broken," he pronounced after a few moments manipulation. "I'll help you stand."

With the younger man's help Mulder got to his feet. Leaning heavily on Krycek, Mulder limped out of the park.

Krycek guided him to a dark car was parked near the entrance to the park. "I walked here," the older man protested. "I can just walk home."

"Not on that ankle, you can't," Krycek said reasonably. When Mulder looked like he was going to protest further, the ex-consortium agent sighed. "Look, Mulder, I'm only going to drive you home. Nothing else." Still seeing the mistrust in the other man's eyes, he reached behind his back and pulled out his gun. He flipped it so the butt was toward Mulder. "Take it," he said. "If I deviate at all from the route back to your place you can shoot me."

Mulder took the gun, "I won't hesitate to shoot you."

The other man gave him a slight grin, "I know, Mulder, I know. Just get in the car."

The trip to Mulder's apartment was completed in silence, neither man feeling the need to speak. Krycek pulled to the curb and parked. He climbed out and made it to the passenger side before Mulder was able to figure out how to exit without putting his weight on his bad ankle. The assassin gave him a hand up and steadied him, while the wolf that had been in the rear seat emerged from the vehicle.

Mulder started to protest then shrugged; he didn't feel like arguing right now. His life was lousy enough. If his enemy wanted to bring a wolf into his apartment, he'd let his neighbors complain.

Leaning on the younger man, he took a few steps forward then stopped. He pulled the gun Krycek had given him from his pocket, after staring at it for a few seconds he glanced up at his companion who stood watching him. It was a matter of seconds for him to pull the clip and check it; it was loaded. He looked at Krycek again, "You can still do that thing, can't you?"

"What thing, Mulder?" the ex-consortium agent asked falsely innocent.

"That...*thing* you did last time, stopping the gun from firing..." Mulder's eyes glared.

"Yeah." The younger man looked up at him from underneath incredible lashes. "But I knew I wouldn't need to do that tonight."

"And why's that?" Mulder demanded. His lethargy was quickly being replaced by anger. Something that normally would have felt good but this time it was just making him tired.

"Because you know I didn't come here to hurt you, Mulder," Krycek said looking directly at him. "I'm done with that." When Mulder didn't say anything else, Krycek continued, "Come on let's get you inside. You're shaking."

With Krycek's help Mulder was able to navigate the steps to the door of the apartment building. Although the warmth of the building hit the shivering FBI agent like a furnace and made him aware of just how wet and cold he really was once inside the going was easier. The trip on the elevator was blessedly short, and the two men accompanied by the wolf made it to number 42 without running into any of Mulder's neighbors.

Krycek deposited the older man on the couch, wrapping him in the blanket that was balled up on one end. "Stay here, I'll be right back."

Mulder could barely nod; his teeth were chattering hard and the shivering had turned into all-out shakes as his body fought to warm itself again. Krycek disappeared, and a few moments later Mulder heard the water in the bathtub begin. A few more minutes and the younger man reappeared.

"Come on," he said. "You need to warm up."

Mulder didn't resist as the other man helped him up and into the bathroom. Krycek tried to remain as impersonal as possible as he helped pull the wet sweat suit off the older man. He helped Mulder lower himself into the warm water, then said, "Relax, I'll be back in a minute."

Mulder acknowledged the statement with a slight nod, letting his body soak up the warmth from the water.

The ex-consortium agent had been in Mulder's apartment on more than one occasion. Never with the other man's permission or knowledge of course, but Krycek was familiar enough to quickly find a warm dry set of sweats for Mulder to wear. He returned to the bathroom carrying the clothes to find that Mulder had nearly fallen asleep in the tub.

"Come on, Fox," he said kneeling beside the tub. "Let's get you clean and out of here."

The older man roused slightly, his hands beginning to make a less than coordinated effort at finding the washcloth. As he almost slipped under the water, Krycek caught him, sighing, "Never mind, I'll do it. Just concentrate on not drowning."

Although the Mulder was nearly dozing, he was awake enough to watch as the younger man found the cloth and gel, and began washing him. As the bath progressed the muscle in Krycek's jaw began to jump. Mulder watched fascinated, as the ex-consortium agent became increasingly agitated, even mumbling softly to himself a little. The bathing finished and Krycek closed his eyes briefly then raised them only to find that he was being watched by a pair of wide-open hazel ones.

"We're...we're done here," he managed to say. "Up you go. I've got clean clothes for you."

Even as weary as he was, Mulder managed to dredge up a small smile at the younger man's discomfiture. He was heartened to see that the cocky double agent wasn't as self-assured as his attitude indicated.

Krycek noticed the smile, "Not a word, Mulder. Not one word. Or I let you limp out of here on your own." He helped the older man to his feet and then out of the tub, waiting until he was sure Mulder was balanced on his good leg before releasing him.

Mulder's smile broadened at the half-growled threat. "And here I was just beginning to think you cared." The only answer he received was a towel and a glare. Deciding not to push his luck too far he chuckled slightly. "Thanks for the help, but I think I can finish on my own."

"Uh huh," Krycek nodded. "You're still shaking, if you don't get dressed soon, you'll be chilled again. Stop being stubborn and let me help."

Already beginning to feel the cold seep back into his body, Mulder relented and accepted the younger man's help. Once he was dressed the two made their way out to Mulder's couch.

The agent groaned with relief as he settled into the familiar leather. Krycek had brought more blankets from the bedroom and tucked them around him. "You becoming my Mom now, Krycek?"

"Someone needs to," green eyes glinted up at him. "Scully shouldn't have to do it all on her own."

The mention of his partner darkened Mulder's mood, "Why are you here, Krycek? Were you following me?"

"I was looking for you," the other admitted. "I thought you might go for a run after...after what happened at the Temple of Seven Stars."

"What do you know about that?" Mulder's tone was suspicious.

"Only that nothing that happened was your fault," Krycek moved to sit on the coffee table, bowing his dark head he admitted. "I do check up on you, Mulder. I know what happened there, I know you tried to stop it."

"I don't need consolation from you Krycek," Mulder snapped. "You've done as much as anyone to make my life miserable."

"I won't argue with you, Mulder," green eyes met his again. "I'm not here to argue..."

"Why are you here?" the older man interrupted.

"Well, I had a reason for looking for you," a grin lit the other man's face. "But for the moment I'll just help you get warm and see if I can do something about that ankle."

"I can wrap it myself...."

"I didn't say anything about wrapping it," was the cryptic answer. Mulder startled slightly as Krycek gently pulled his injured ankle into his lap. Before he could protest further a welcome warmth began to spread over the injury, bringing relief from the ache which had been growing.

"That's it, Mulder," Krycek's husky voice spread over his mind while the pain receded from his ankle. "Just relax...relax. It'll be better when you wake up. Just go to sleep now."

Mulder was puzzled by the way he wanted to follow Krycek's suggestion, he knew he shouldn't be so trusting of the younger man. He found that it was just too much of an effort to continue to fight. He was so tried of fighting, so tried of always hurting. Never seeming to have anyone really and truly on his side. Scully loved him, was his best friend and would always back him up. He knew that, counted on it, but she didn't always believe in him, in his theories. He needed that sometime, childish as it was, he needed someone who believed as surely as he did. Krycek, even though an...enemy...believed.

Krycek continued his gentle ministrations to Mulder's ankle; Galen had been surprised to find that the part elf had more healing ability than most full elves. As the healing energy did its work on the stressed tissues, his soft voice encouraged Mulder to relax. Soon the agent was asleep, his mind at rest, his body warm and healing. The ex-consortium agent continued speaking for a few more minutes then placing the leg under the covers and making sure they were snug around the sleeping man, he rose.

"\\ Stay here, //" he told the animal. Leaving the apartment he went down to his car, returning in a few moments carrying several grocery bags. He went into kitchen and unpacked them in Mulder's refrigerator. "Well, at least there was plenty of room in here," he grinned to himself. "Mulder, Mulder, Mulder, when are you going to start taking care of yourself?"

He went back into the living room and stood watching the sleeping man for several minutes. "\\ I know //," he said to the watching wolf. "\\ I'll leave him a note, he doesn't need another argument right now.//" The animal cocked its head at him, "\\ I will be back in two days, like I told you. Just stay with Mulder, and keep him out of trouble, will you?//"

A wolfish grin was his only answer, "\\ All right, I left enough food for you, and him in the refrigerator. Maybe he'll even eat for once. Take care of him, I'll be back.//"

After finding paper and pen and leaving a note for Mulder on the coffee table, he walked to the front door. With a final glance at the man on the couch, Krycek left the apartment making sure to lock it behind him.

** ** ** **

Mulder woke up with the sun shinning through the dirty haze covering his windows. At first he wasn't exactly sure what had awakened him, he usually woke with a start not this gentle gradual return of consciousness. He caught sight of a piece of paper left propped up on the coffee table by a book, and he reached over to pick it up. Still lying on the couch he read:

Fox,

I know, I know don't call you Fox. Hit me next time you see me. Your ankle should feel almost as good as new when you wake, sorry about the sleep thing but you looked like you needed it. I've left some food for you in your refrigerator. Try to eat, will ya?

About the next time you see me, it should be in two days. Until then I'd really appreciate it if you'd take care of Keiren for me. I've left food for him..


Mulder glanced up away from the letter, a frown forming between his brows, "Keiren? Who or what the hell is....Oh, no..no. Krycek, you bastard, you didn't?" From where it had been lying quietly on the floor, the wolf sat up to gaze back at him amber eyes not looking at all innocent.

"I should turn you over to the zoo," Mulder snapped at the animal. The wolf bared its teeth at him, but didn't bother standing. Mulder narrowed his eyes at the animal who just glared back, then muttered, "you're just like him aren't you?" Receiving no answer he continued reading Krycek's note.

...in the refrigerator. He doesn't need much attention, just a couple of walks, (long ones) every day. Other than that he usually finds ways to entertain himself. He's good company, and since you're off for the weekend, you could use the company; stop thinking about your job for once.

See you in two days.

A

Mulder crumbled the letter into a ball then threw it at the wolf who caught it like a ball and brought it back to him. The agent stared at the animal for several seconds then took the now slightly soggy paper and tossed it into the wastebasket by his desk. The wolf obligingly trotted over to it dipping his head down, "Oh no, you don't," Mulder shouted, "what's in the basket stays in the basket!"

He swung himself up off the couch, planning on intercepting the animal's grab for the ball of paper. As soon as he was standing however, the wolf dodged to one side then moved to the front door where it sat on it's haunches and stared at him, tongue lolling. Mulder groaned, lying back down he tossed the covers over his head. His reprieve only lasted a few minutes, the blankets were pushed aside and a cold wet nose easily thrust itself into his face. Warm very doggy breath fanned across his cheeks and nose.

"Ugh!" he gasped sitting up quickly. "Figures you hang around with Krycek, you root like a pig and smell bad. What has he been feeding you?"

He sat up, looking for his sneakers as he did, finding that they'd been placed neatly by the front door. He groaned as he moved across the room to pick them up, coming back to the couch he pulled them on then laced them. The wolf watched this all with his head tilted to one side. As soon as Mulder was finished, he stood up, wagging his tail and whining.

"Quiet!" Mulder said. "This is a no pets building. You want to spend the next two days at the pound? Did Krycek leave your leash?"

His answer was another growl, "Guess not. Let's go."

They managed to get out of the building without being seen, Mulder headed toward the park he'd been in the night before. On the way to the park, the wolf walked beside him as if he were on a lead. The minute they stepped foot on the path Mulder normally ran on, he took off.

"Hey! Come back here!" Mulder yelled. Without thinking he took off in pursuit. The animal ran ahead for a few yards then stopped and turned around waiting until the FBI agent had almost caught up before taking off again. Mulder continued to follow the animal, running full out then slowing each time the wolf stopped and let him almost catch up.

Finally he stopped, panting he said, "Enough! I'm not chasing you across this park. If you don't find your way back Krycek can just find you when he gets back." He turned and began to jog off at a slight angle from his original path. After a few minutes the wolf began to lope after him, catching him effortlessly. Mulder jogged for several miles, the wolf staying with him for the most part. Every so often the animal would move away to take care of physical needs, easily rejoining the human after each stop. After the earlier sprints trying to catch the animal, Mulder kept his pace steady and much slower than his normal running stride. His ankle felt fine but he didn't want to risk a second injury so soon after the first.

Eventually he turned back towards his apartment, one of his neighbors was exiting as the two jogged up the steps, the elderly man shot Mulder a dirty look but didn't say anything.

"Just watching him for a friend," the agent explained apologetically. "His owner will be coming to pick him up tomorrow."

The older man didn't say anything just grunted, continuing down the stairs, giving the pair one last dirty look before heading on his way down the street.

"My neighbors don't think much of me," Mulder told the wolf. He actually felt better after sleeping most of the night and the run. "How about some breakfast?" he asked his furry companion. The animal followed him into the kitchen and stood observing as he opened the refrigerator. "Jesus!" the agent swore. "When did he buy all this, which one of us is supposed to eat it? Do you have any idea what's yours and what's supposed to be mine?"

The animal snorted in what sounded suspiciously like exasperation, and moved to stand beside Mulder at the open door, pushing the agent to one side, he grabbed a plastic bag filled with meat of some kind. The wolf carried the bag a few feet away then dropped it, placing a foot on it he started to rip it open.

"Hey, wait a minute," Mulder said. "I don't know what's in that, but cleaning blood off the floor isn't one of my favorite chores," Without thinking he pulled the bag away from the wolf before it was torn. He backed away quickly when the animal growled. "I'm not going to keep it, just give me a minute." He searched in a nearby cupboard finding a large crystal bowl. "I don't think my mother had this in mind when she gave me this." He opened the plastic bag and poured the contents into it. The meat was cut into large chunks, a deep red in color unlike any Mulder had seen before, his curiosity got the better of him and sniffed at the contents. "Ugh!" he drew away quickly. "What did Krycek kill now? I suppose I could take it into the lab and have it analyzed, but then I'd have to find something else to feed you." He sniffed cautiously again, "It doesn't smell human I've smelled enough of that, so I suppose you can eat it." The wolf was looking at him gaze traveling back and forth between the human and the bowl. When Mulder placed the bowl on the floor, the animal stared at him for several moments then walked over to it and started eating.

Mulder scrambled a couple of the eggs Krycek had left, adding toast and coffee for breakfast. He finished the food then returned the dishes to the kitchen, pouring himself another cup of coffee he went to his computer and turned it on. His report on the Temple of Seven Stars was due Monday morning. He had intended to get started on the report, but the temptation to just avoid the events from the past week and do a little surfing was too hard to resist. Four hours later, he cut his connection removing his glasses he rubbed his eyes for a moment, then feeling himself being watched he looked over to the wolf who was gazing at him.

"What do you say I get some lunch," he asked the animal. "From what I found on the Net you don't really need to eat more than once a day." Mulder grinned. "But since Krycek has so kindly provided me with more food than I've had in here in a year, I think I'll see what's there for lunch."

He padded into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. He easily located the makings for sandwich, outrageously healthy sandwiches. "When did Krycek become such a health food nut?" he asked. He withdrew a bottle of organic carrot juice from the refrigerator he handled the can as if it were the first piece of evidence in an X-file. "Carrot juice? He left me carrot juice, what's this one, quava?" He pulled a third bottle out. "Papaya? What is this, Krycek?" Replacing the bottles back in the refrigerator he closed the door and stalked back into the living room, grabbing his jacket from where he'd thrown it that morning. "No beer. He brought everything but beer." He moved to the door, stepping back as the wolf suddenly appeared in front of it. "No. Not this time, I'm going alone." He pushed the animal back, glaring at the soft growl. "You know, I'm getting real tired of the back talk. Krycek's not here and I doubt that you know how to do what ever it is that stops my gun from firing." He continued to glare at the wolf, who dropped his gaze after a few minutes, turned and walked away.

The animal moved back into the living room, Mulder went threw the door, giving the wolf one more glance. Grumbling about missing assassins and their pain in the ass pets, he jogged down the stairs to his car, heading to a nearby liquor store for beer.

He was still grumbling when he walked back through the door half an hour later. The sound petered out and died at the sight that greeted him. Starting at the door and leading into the living room, was a trail of fabric scraps. The scraps were all that remained of his favorite suit. It had been his favorite suit only by virtue of surviving for several years without being stained by blood, ooze, slime or some other kind of substance. He wouldn't have to worry about that anymore, not one of the scraps was longer than two feet or wider than two inches. He followed the trail into the apartment, mouth hanging open, case of beer completely forgotten. Finally he reached a larger pile, that seemed to be the majority of the suit, he bent and picked up what was left of the jacket, small pieces of fabric and stuffing from the shoulder pads fell as he lifted it. Wolf teeth had shredded and torn the fine fabric as efficiently as sharpened metal.

He picked up a part of the pile and found that he could no longer say that the suit had never been covered with something, the fabric was wet with saliva, some just a bit damp, other strips almost soaked through. Evidently, Keiren had lain and chewed parts of the suit for some time. Mulder looked around the room for the wolf, not finding it in the immediate area he stood and went looking. The apartment was small not many places for an animal the size of a wolf to hide. Still it took him several minutes to locate the animal curled nose to tail in a corner of the bed room.

"You're not fooling me for a minute," he told the animal, sharply. "You're about as innocent as that rat who left you here. At least he comes up with better attempts at looking innocent than being asleep."

The wolf opened one eye, stood slowly, then lowered his front legs, stretching his back, then stood and shook himself, before turning to look at Mulder with a happy gleam in his eyes.

"I don't suppose you can tell me why you ate my suit?" the agent asked with his own tone innocently mild.

Keiren moved closer to him and before Mulder could back away the wolf lifted his head and licked his face.

"Ugh," Mulder exclaimed. "Is it really necessary for you to do that? And stop trying to pretend we're friends, doesn't work for Krycek, won't work for you. You ate my favorite suit."

Mulder turned, leaving the bedroom, he went into the kitchen deciding to have one of the nearly forgotten beers and a sandwich. The wolf followed, seeming to want the human's company. The agent was having none of it, "Go lay down, or something," he snapped. "You've made a nice bed in the living room, go lay in it." The wolf sat and tilted his head at Mulder. "Don't try to act cute, it won't work." Mulder finished making himself a sandwich took a bottle of beer and headed to the living room, he walked around the remains of his suit, then stopped and looked at it and then back at the wolf who was still following him. "What about `go lay down' don't you understand? I'd rather not see you right now."

The wolf stopped looked up at him then dropped into the middle of the large pile of suit fabric, whining softly. Mulder proceeded into the living room, dropping down onto the couch and placing his meal on the coffee table. Searching between the cushions he located the remote and flipped the TV on. A few minutes of channeling surfing let him find a basketball game, and he settled to watch.

Despite the amount of work he still had to do, Mulder found that he had absolutely no motivation to do any of it. He spent the remainder of the afternoon, watching two basketball games back to back and surfing the net. He did manage to discover a few curious stories which could lead to X-files but even that failed to move him out of the lethargy he'd fallen into during the previous night. He did eventually place the remains of the suit into a plastic garbage bag. Then went back to watching TV, finding an old horror classic to watch. Keiren tried to capture his attention several times throughout the day, only to be rebuffed by the human. Finally the animal seemed to give up, curling into a ball near Mulder's desk. The agent tried to ignore the wolf, but every time he glanced at that part of the room, hazel eyes were caught by golden ones that tried hard to look remorseful and sincere. Mulder hid a smile, Keiren was actually better at it than Krycek, well the sincere part anyway.

As evening approached however, the wolf abandoned his post by the desk and began moving around the apartment restlessly. He'd pace for a bit, then stop and lay down with a sigh, only to be up a few seconds later to come and stand looking in Mulder's face. "Go lay down," the agent said several times.

Finally Keiren realized that this human had no clue; he went to the door whined loudly for a minute than began to scratch at the wood. When this failed to get a response he started to scratched in earnest. If Mulder was too stupid to take him out he'd take himself out, no barrier of mere wood was going to stop him.

Fortunately, before Mulder found himself having to have the door to his apartment replaced, again, the reason for the animal's behavior dawned. Grabbing his running shoes he said, "All right, all right I'm coming."

Not trusting that the human would actually release him, Keiren continued to scratch at the door. He stopped and began whining again when Mulder finally rose from his seat on the couch. Grabbing his sweat jacket, Mulder opened the door, the wolf bounded out racing up the hallway ahead of him.

"Wait a minute," Mulder whispered harshly. "We have to be quiet." Seeing that the animal wasn't paying attention to him, he jogged to the stair well and the two ran down the stairs together. They reached the front door and Mulder was able to keep the wolf from scratching at this one by opening it a fraction of a second after the two reached it. Keiren bounded out, leading the human to the park this time. Mulder had to jog to keep up with the animal who was intent on his own needs as well as being very restless from being in the apartment for most of the day.

They reached the park and the wolf took off, racing away from Mulder before he could think about calling the animal back. For a few moments Mulder thought about chasing him. "No way," he grumbled. "If Krycek has a problem with his pet not being here when he gets back, too bad." With that thought firmly in place he began his own normal route through the park.

He ran for about half a mile before Keiren rejoined him, the wolf loped in front of him easily spinning in place every few yards. It was obvious to even the inexperienced FBI agent that the animal was attempting to play. Mulder was still unhappy about the suit and the fact that the animal had run off. After one more of the spinning maneuvers, Mulder slowed his run and came to a stop. "I'm mad at you," he stated hands on hips. "First you eat my favorite suit, then you run off. Why should I play with you, you're a pain. Go find someone else to annoy." Resuming his run, he moved around the wolf who had sat to listen to him and continued his run.

Keiren watched the retreating human for a bit then shaking himself he ran and caught Mulder easily, passing him he came to another smaller path and took off down it. A few seconds later Mulder ran by the spot, he slowed again, peering down the path he saw no sign of the four footed thorn in his side. Shrugging slightly he continued on his run.

Minutes passed and Mulder turned to begin the run back, he was telling himself that he really shouldn't be worried about the animal. Guilt however was an emotion that he was all too familiar with and against his will, he began slowing his pace, giving the animal time to find him again. It wasn't until he'd nearly reached the entrance to the park however that Krycek's pet decided to reappear. Tail lifted high the wolf came toward Mulder who could see that the animal had something in its mouth.

"What..." he started to ask. Panting slightly from his run, he stopped and the wolf came and laid the gift at his feet, then retreated a few steps to sit on his haunches and gaze at the agent expectedly. Mulder glanced down, then did a double take. At his feet, full blossoms and buds still intact, brilliant pink shinning even at dusk, was a complete rose bush, roots and all.

Mulder stared at the bush at his feet for a few seconds then back at the animal, then back at the bush. Deciding that maybe if he ignored it, both the four footed fiend and his illegally acquired plant would vanish he stepped around the bush and wolf intent on getting out of the park and to his apartment before anyone saw him.

Keiren was having none of it however, and he carefully picked the bush up in his jaws again and holding it aloft followed the puzzling human again. Mulder continued to ignore the animal, walking with seeming nonchalance back to his building. Coming through the door, they were confronted by the same elderly man who'd seen them that morning, this time however, the man's equally elderly wife was there as well. Unlike her husband, she didn't let the agent by with a simple glare. "Mr. Mulder," she stated, thin lips compressed into a disapproving line. "Are you aware that this is a no pets building. I would think that a young man in your position would have more respect for the law."

"I do, Mrs. Mason," Mulder said. "He's only here for the weekend. I'm just watching him for a...um friend."

"Well, be that as it may, you should have him on a leash and not let him into other people's gardens," she peered at the bush closer. "My goodness that's one from the park, you let him...." she placed a hand on her chest in horror.

The wolf tired of standing there and wanting his evening meal, moved past Mulder and the elderly couple heading for the stairs at a brisk walk. "I know he shouldn't have...the bush," Mulder stammered. "I'll try and....I have to go, nice seeing you Mr. And Mrs. Mason." He moved past the gaping couple running to catch up to the wolf who had bolted up the stairs when yet another of his neighbors had opened the door.

Mulder didn't catch up to the animal until the fourth floor landing. As he looked down at his furred companion he didn't know whether to be angry or amused. "You know if I don't end up being evicted and fined for this stunt of yours it will be a miracle. But then it's been a long time since anyone's given me flowers," he said beginning to smile slightly. "Bringing the entire bush is a little over the top though."

Given into amusement at last, Mulder relented and took the bush from the animal, noticing that it was one that though originally domesticated had now gone wild. "Well, that explains how it has flowers in November," he said. The scent from the bush was also stronger than what was normal, or at least to his memory it was, it had been a long time since he'd bought roses for anyone. He led the way into the apartment and Mulder headed for the kitchen. He laid the rose bush on the counter turning to hunt for something to cut the flowers from it, when he noticed Keiren standing looking at the refrigerator expectantly.

"Hungry?" he asked, moving closer he opened the door and took out another of the plastic bags containing the meat for the wolf. He opened the bag, pouring the contents into the same bowl he'd used that morning. Placing it back on the floor, he stood and watched for a second or two as the wolf began to eat, the animal looked up at him after a moment. Mulder found himself grinning, "go ahead and eat," he said. His smile broadened as the wolf lowered his head to the food once more.

Mulder returned to looking for something to cut the flowers with, after a minute he found a pair of kitchen scissors he'd forgotten he had. With a smile he began cutting roses from the bush. It took a while but by the time he was done he actually had just over four dozen roses. He turned to look at the wolf who had long since finished his meal but stayed to watch.

"It's been a long time since anyone gave me flowers," he said.

He found containers and filled them with water, placing the flowers in them, he was no florist but each of them was full enough that they were attractive when he was done. He placed the remains of the bush in the trash with a faint twinge of sadness. Sighing he picked up two of the make shift vases and carried them into the other room. After placing one on the dining room table, the second one by the computer, he went back into the kitchen and retrieved the last two which he also carried into the living room. He put one on the coffee table, but after doing that he realized there were no more places in there, on a whim he carried the fourth container into the bedroom and put it on the nightstand.

Going back into the living room on his way to the kitchen he saw that the wolf had made himself comfortable again on the floor. Mulder grinned and proceeded into the kitchen, finding the makings for his own dinner he happily began cooking. Krycek knew that Mulder's culinary skills weren't chef level, but he was more than capable with simple things like steaks and potatoes. The assassin had left several packages of ready made salad's as well. Mulder had a meal fixed and ready in no time at all. Carrying a plate and another bottle of beer out to the living room he flipped on the TV again.

For a while Mulder flipped through the channels, then he stumbled on an old monster movie, grinning at the large obviously rubber beast ravishing Tokyo he settled back to watch and eat his dinner. The movie ended and another began, this time one of the modern psycho-slasher films. Taking his plate back into the kitchen, and grabbing another bottle of beer, Mulder laid on the couch, drinking the beer and watching the movie. He knew he should be working on the report, Skinner would want it by Monday. He just couldn't force himself up off the couch, the lassitude that had been with him all day still plagued him. He watched the movie and the hosted horror show that followed, before feeling his eyes beginning to droop, for a few minutes he considered simply pulling the blanket from under him and falling asleep where he was. The two beers he'd had during and after dinner convinced him to get up, flipping off the TV. He headed to the bathroom, emptying his bladder and brushing his teeth then stripping off his sweat clothes he decided to take a shower before heading into the bedroom for once and laying down on his seldom used bed.

As he settled himself for sleep, Keiren came into the room laying down at the side of Mulder's bed the wolf also settled down for sleep. When the human reached over and stroked him the wolf sighed with pleasure, acknowledging the attention by licking Mulder's hand. Unlike earlier the canine kiss only brought a smile to Mulder's mouth. He was still smiling as he drifted into slumber.

** ** ** **

After breakfast and a long run the next morning Mulder at last settled at his computer and began the report on the events at The Temple of Seven Stars. Trying to be objective about a case that had affected him so deeply, took a long time and before it was completed the sun had set. When he saved the file for the last time, Mulder looked up noticing that the entire day was gone. He looked over at the wolf who had settled quietly near the couch and stayed there all day. "Let's get out of here for a while," he said. "Maybe a run will clear my head." Not waiting for an answer he rose from the desk, put on his jogging shoes and motioning to the wolf headed for the park. "I hope you need the exercise," Mulder said taking a few minutes to stretch. "We might be gone for while."

Keiren didn't stray from his side as they entered the park. Unlike the day before when the animal had seemed to want to entertain, today the wolf had been a calm presence. Now except for brief forays to take care of physical needs he ran beside the agent pacing him perfectly.

Like Friday night, Mulder's mood pushed his run, if asked though he couldn't have said if it was anger or grief that drove him. He hoped that the exercise would alleviate the churning emotions which filled him.

** ** ** **

Alex Krycek turned the knob to number forty-two, letting himself into Mulder's apartment with the ease of someone who had done the same many times. Closing the door behind himself he set the large bags he'd brought with him down on the floor. Putting the lock pick away, tucking the case into a jacket pocket, he surveyed the room. "Gone out Mulder?" he grinned, continuing to speak aloud, he asked, "Let's see what you've been up to this weekend?" His glance fell on one of the containers of roses and his grin grew to a smile.

He removed the jacket, draping it over a chair, picking up one of the bags again he moved into the kitchen, opening the refrigerator, he smiled, commenting to the empty room, "Well, I see that you made a bit of a dent in the food, Mulder. Good boy. From the looks of things you haven't had dinner yet, let's see what we can do about that shall we?" Krycek had been in Mulder's apartment enough that he knew the contents of the agent's kitchen well. In no time at all he had the two game hens he'd brought roasting. Once that was done he cleaned up then went into the living room. He'd noticed that the computer had been on when he came in, now he sat down and began to read the report still on the desktop.

He found his mood much bleaker when he'd finished. "Mulder," he sighed. "Even a simple ATF case manages to contain something to bring you pain."

He sat for a minute thinking, then having come to a decision he rose and headed to the bedroom.

** ** ** **

It had begun to rain while he ran and now he was soaked to the skin again, as he and Keiren jogged up the stairs of his building he commented dryly, "At least I didn't sprain an ankle this time." Still he was shivering by the time he walked into his apartment, pausing just inside the doorway he stopped to remove his shoes, deciding for once that he didn't want to be walking in cold wet spots for the rest of the night. The wolf who was just as wet, chose that moment to shake, water flying from his heavy winter coat.

Mulder sputtered at the fresh drenching, "You couldn't have done that in the hall?"

He was about to say something else when he finally registered what his nose had been trying to tell him as he walked in. Before he could do more than sniff though, the wolf bounded away from him heading to the bedroom. Before the canine had moved more than a few feet though a dark clad form emerged. Krycek staggered a little as the animal stood on its hind legs to greet him.

"\\ I'm happy to see you too //," Krycek told the exuberant animal. "\\ Get down now.//" Mulder watched as Keiren dropped back to all fours, a part of his mind trying to decipher the language Krycek used. The assassin turned to him. "Hi Mulder. Miss me?"

For several seconds Mulder didn't answer just stood looking at his...he wasn't sure what to call him, enemy...guest...neither seemed to fit. Before he could stop himself he resorted to their established pattern of confrontation. "No. I didn't miss you, Krycek. Where do you get off leaving your mutt here all weekend," Mulder moved nearer the other man as he spoke. "He ate my suit. Did you know that? He. Ate. My. Suit."

Krycek's eyes widened slightly then he glanced down at the wolf, "\\ You didn't....you did.//" He turned back to the agent. I'm sorry Mulder...I'll pay for it."

Mulder stared at him, after a minute Krycek continued, "I do have money Mulder. Quite a lot of it actually."

"Murder pays well these days," Mulder snapped.

It was the younger man's turn to stare for several heartbeats, softly he murmured in that strangely sibilant language Mulder had heard him use before. Then he said clearly, "I'm not here to fight with you Mulder. I won't fight with you. Say whatever you feel you have to. Accuse me of everything you think I'm responsible for."

The agent looked at him hazel eyes narrowed, "what are trying to pull Krycek?"

"I'm not trying to pull anything Mulder," Krycek told him, his own eyes weary. "I want us to just be two guys for once."

Mulder's eyes widened, eyebrows lifting and Krycek smiled ruefully at the look the older man gave him. "All right. We're *not* just two guys...we're..." Krycek's voice trailed off and he glanced away, biting his lower lip. Mulder watched, part of him wanting to do just what Krycek had suggested, begin the same old dance they normally engaged in. Another part of him, a newly emerging part could see that the younger man was sincere.

Surprising himself he said, "Look Krycek, I'm going to go get dry. Then we can talk, okay?"

Still biting his lower lip, the ex-consortium agent nodded, as Mulder turned away to head into the bathroom for a towel, he said, "You hungry? I...I...umm..I cooked dinner."

Mulder stopped and looked at the younger man, a caustic remark was on his tongue when he was stopped by the look in Krycek's eyes, "when the hell did his eyes get that big and sad?" he asked himself. Aloud he asked, "Is that what I smell? Smells good." Giving the younger man a small smile and a slight nod he turned and continued into the bathroom to dry off.

He emerged a few minutes later in jeans and sweatshirt, still too chilled from the run for a T-shirt. "What did you do to my bedroom, Krycek?" he asked spotting the younger man near the dinning table.

"Cleaned it?" the other man answered lightly. Seeing Mulder's eyes narrow, he quickly added. "Come on, this will taste better while it's still hot."

Mulder glared for a second, the room was more than just clean, but he was damned if he could put his finger on just what it was that was different. It had felt almost like there were two rooms, one somehow existing in the same space as the other. He didn't know that much about spatial relationships but he was pretty sure that two objects couldn't occupy the same space and time. It was obvious that the younger man wasn't going to discuss it right now though. The FBI agent shrugged slightly and moved into the dinning room, and came to a complete stop.

"Did you rob Lord & Taylor's on your way here," He asked dryly, then he simply stared at Krycek, as the younger man slowly blushed.

"No. I didn't rob any place, it's..."

"I happen to know that I don't own any of this," Mulder interrupted.

"I brought it with me," Krycek admitted. "It's not much really."

Mulder took in the fine china, crystal, linen and silver on his table. That and the candles made the room look different somehow, although not in the same way that the bedroom had felt. He was intrigued and puzzled, it was obvious that the younger man was trying hard to...to do or prove something, Mulder just couldn't fathom what it could possibly be. He looked at the other man who was watching him, "Well, if you've decided to poison me, at least you have the class not to use paper and plastic."

Krycek looked at him for a second then chuckled, "I wouldn't dream of it, Mulder. Now will you come eat?"

Mulder entered the room and sat down at the place Krycek indicated, he watched bemusement growing as the younger man served him roasted game hen with herb roasted vegetables and new potatoes, a crisp salad and hot dinner rolls rounded out the meal.

"When did you have time to do this?" he asked, when Krycek finally sat down.

"While you were out running with Keiren," thick sable lashes dropped to hide green eyes. "It didn't take long really."

Mulder again found himself intrigued, Krycek was being charming, more shy and self effacing than he'd been during his short stay at the FBI. Thinking of that agent Mulder was surprised when he didn't feel the usual surge of anger, instead he found that he was simply sad. Impulsively he asked, "Why'd you do it? Why did you work for *him*?"

Krycek looked at him, then gently laid his fork down, his eyes were direct. Emerald laser beams that caught and held Mulder's, the sadness the older man felt reflected and intensified in the younger man's gaze. "Look, Mulder, let's not go there. Not tonight. Some day, some night I'll tell you everything, but not tonight, okay? For tonight, let's just both of us try and forget the burned bridges and all the water under them. We both know what kind of monsters live in those waters."

Mulder found that he couldn't argue with the younger man, but his curiosity wouldn't let him stop asking questions, glancing around the room his eyes fell on what was probably a safer subject. "Then tell me about him," he pointed to the wolf with his fork. Keiren saw him and made as though to stand and take what looked to be an offering.

"\\Lay down//," Krycek told the animal.

"And what is that language?" Mulder asked.

Krycek's green eyes looked startled for a minute then he smiled, "I'm sorry...I forget that I use it now...let's just say it's old for now."

"Krycek..."

"I thought you wanted to know about my friend over there?"

"Your friend who eats other people's suits," Mulder corrected.

Krycek titled his head at the older man, one side of his mouth curving upwards slightly, "What do you want to know about him?"

"Where did you get him, why do you have him?" Mulder spoke around a mouthful. "Just the usual questions about a traitor with a wolf."

Krycek only grinned at the insult, taking the time to finish a mouthful of his own dinner. "I'm not going to argue Mulder, no matter how hard you try to start one. I'll tell you about Keiren though," he stopped to bring another fork of game hen to his mouth.

Mulder found himself watching the food disappear between bowed lips, to distract himself he tried to growl, "Well? Go on."

The ex-consortium agent smiled, "First of all I didn't get him, he decided to come with me. You may have noticed that he's got a bit of a mind of his own. What did you do to make him eat your suit?"

"Nothing," Mulder said real innocence coloring his voice. "I left to get some beer; since when have you become such a health nut, by the way? When I came back he'd made rags out of my suit."

"He doesn't like to be left alone, Mulder. Wolves are *social* animals, unlike some FBI agents," Krycek told him.

"I'll remember that," Mulder said dryly. "So he decided to come with you? From where?"

The younger man smiled, Mulder in full investigative mode had to be one of the wonders of the world. "We met in North Dakota," Krycek said. "He seems to have adopted me."

"How did you meet? What were you doing in North Dakota?"

"Mulder, I'm not going to tell you everything," the younger man smiled. "I'm not sure you'd believe me anyway. Let's just say it was the last time I had anything to do with my former bosses and leave it at that?"

Mulder's eyes narrowed, and for a moment it looked like he was going to continue to ask. Then much to the other man's surprise he seemed to deflate and began paying attention to his dinner.

For a few minutes the two men ate in silence, neither of them exactly sure where the night was going. For Mulder the entire weekend had a surreal feel, from the time he'd gone to the park the night he'd returned from the Temple, to now nothing felt quite right as if the entire world were just a bit segued. Then he realized that every time he and the ex-agent interacted things were off center, this time was just stranger than normal.

Mulder watched as green eyes shielded by sable lashes glanced at him when Krycek didn't think he was watching. The older man would have given a lot to know what was going on in a mind he had to admit was as faceted as his own. Mulder had long ago admitted to himself his attraction for the younger man. He knew that a large part of his anger with Krycek was brought about by his feeling of betrayal, he'd wanted to believe the puppy like worship the double agent had exhibited when they'd work together. That it had all been a lie had fueled a rage that had surprised him. Now he found himself wanting to understand this enigma that sat eating with him. Some stray thought brought a smile to Krycek's face and Mulder asked, "What's so funny?"

"I was just thinking about you actually and how without even knowing it, just being yourself you've been the root cause of every major event in my life for the past few years except one."

The FBI agent stared at the younger man as if he'd grown a second head, slowly and with exaggerated care he placed the wine glass on the table. "Krycek, have you finally lost what little mind you had left? How the hell can you possibly blame me for the mess your life is?"

"First of all I didn't say I blamed you, I don't," the younger man said some of the anger he was beginning to feel coloring his voice. "I *said* that you had nothing to do with any of it, no knowledge of it." He stopped and gazed into his own wineglass, after drinking from it he turned to the older man again, his voice calmer, "You know that day you ditched me, driving up to the clinic in a cab?" He looked over at the older man, at Mulder's nod, he continued, "I told you that some of us at the academy followed your work. That wasn't quite true."

"I'd never have guessed," Mulder quipped.

"*I* followed your work," Krycek continued. "I was intrigued by the guy who'd been the darling of the VC, only to chuck it all and move to the even more strange cases of the X-files. What was even more of a mystery was why this was causing them all to shake their head and mutter so much. I mean if you'd simply lost it, burned out, why should they care. I figured there had to be something more to it than that...unfortunately my curiosity brought *me* to the attention of the wrong people."

"Cancer man," Mulder stated.

"Got it in one," the younger man agreed. He chuckled slightly, "You know I don't know which of his stories I bought into, the one where I was protecting the country by keeping you under surveillance, protecting you so you could do more for the country, or just protecting you." He looked at the wine remaining in his glass for a few seconds, then drained it. "Didn't matter much how he put it, protecting you was the clincher, he didn't have to say anything more than that."

"Protecting me?" Mulder stared at the other man. "Do you think I'm going to buy that?"

Krycek stood, beginning to gather the plates, when he was about to go into the kitchen with them he turned back to the older man, "No Mulder. I don't expect you to." For several seconds neither man spoke or moved, hazel eyes glared into remorseful emerald depths. The tableau was broken when the younger man lowered his eyes taking the dishes into the kitchen.

Mulder also stood, he considered following Krycek, pursuing the argument, but that course of action no longer appealed to him. Maybe it was the week just past, maybe it was that he was weary, or perhaps he admitted to himself, it was the look in Krycek's eyes. Whatever the reason, he went into the living room sitting on the couch. After a few moments he found the remote and turned the television on. The flickering images washed over him, for once not bringing solace. Other images filled his mind's eye, a collage of pain, death, fear and tragedy. His life. Regrets, loneliness, crippling powerlessness, he knew there was more than that, there were bright spots, high points he had accomplished some things. The one thing he wanted, hell, needed though was beyond him, perhaps forever, vindication.

He was aware that his emotions were all over the place, he'd been on an uncomfortable roller coaster ride for a long time, the Temple of Seven Stars had just brought him to a new low, with it's opposite and dizzying high. The trouble was that there was nothing to anchor him this time, he'd firmly decided *not* to call Scully, his anchor most of the time, his rock, a constant in his always influx universe. It wasn't fair to her, had never been.

He leaned his head against the back of the couch, eyes closed, outwardly unaware of the silent tears which leaked from beneath closed lids. The sounds coming from the kitchen continued, muted background noise, providing a counter point to the inane ramblings of the television. Strange, he thought fleetingly that such an unfamiliar sound could be soothing. Wrapped up in his own thoughts he didn't actually notice when the noise stopped.

Krycek put away the last of the dishes, moving back into the living room he thought that he would get Keiren, his jacket and leave. The sight of Mulder stopped him cold, however. The light from the softly playing television cast a glow over the agent's features clearly showing the tracks left by the tears. For years the assassin had done things without thinking them through, a life course which had landed him in a missile silo in the wilds of a North Dakota winter. Since then he'd been trying to think an action through before taking it, he wasn't always successful, but this time he paused. Mulder was still unaware of his presence, he could clear his throat, make some other sound which would let the older man know that he was no longer alone. That would allow him to leave, ending this...whatever, the night was. On the other hand he could go to the man now, and do what he'd wanted to do for so long. He glanced over to where Keiren lay, gold eyes bored into his, the animal raised his lips in a silent snarl then stood turning his back on the human before laying down again. One corner of Krycek's mouth lifted in a brief smile.

Silently he moved to where Mulder still sat, head back, throat bared. For a time neither man moved, then Mulder opened his eyes, a small frown began to form between his brows as he looked at Krycek.

Gracefully the younger man sank to the floor, kneeling between Mulder's spread legs. The ex-agent grasped one of the older man's limp hands with both his own. He kept his head bent, staring at their joined hands. "I can't make all the pain vanish in one night, Mulder," he said, his always soft voice deeper than normal. "If...if I could, I would. In a heartbeat. You and I both know that the past *is*, and once something is done, it can't be undone. All the I'm sorrys in the world won't undo it."

He paused, raising his head he looked directly into Mulder's eyes, "We can push it all aside for now though. No one says that we can't have a time of peace, of pleasure, just once, just for tonight. Will you let me give you that tonight, Mulder? One night, free of pain and fear and sorrow. One night we can both hold in our hearts when everything is dark again."

He didn't wait for an answer, a small part of his mind feared that the older man would knock him flat on his ass and tell him to leave. He raised the hand he still held to his lips holding it firmly he began to gently kiss, nibble and lick the back of it. His mouth traveled from the wrist to the first knuckle where he placed a small bite before licking and nibbling his way up the index finger. When he reached the tip he pulled it into his mouth, sucking briefly before traveling down the inside of the finger to lick the rougher skin of the palm. He used his teeth to pull gently at the base of the thumb. His tongue soothed the small pain, before he placed butterfly kisses on the soft skin of the inner wrist. His lips tracing along the line of the pulse. His other hand caressed the forearm from wrist to elbow, fingers lightly kneading muscle.

Mulder watched the younger man, head bent in concentration, eyes hidden by thick sable lashes, Krycek's complete attention was centered on what he was doing. A part of the older man wanted to pull away, knock the other away, tell him to get out. The FBI agent was somewhat shocked to realize just how small that voice was. His ex-partner was right; they would have this. One night where no conspiracy, no scheming parents, bosses or old men would rule them. One night of pleasure amid all the pain and death.

Lifting the hand that wasn't being held captive, he raised the younger man's chin. Using his thumb he stroked along the lower lip, his fingers resting lightly against the now exposed throat. A part of him was pleased when Krycek smiled slightly and leaned into the hand at his throat, Mulder might not be quite as well trained as the assassin was. Nevertheless, the hand at the throat was a threat, one which they both acknowledged. In a way it was the younger man's acceptance of his danger that let Mulder release the last of his reservations. Bending forward he held Krycek's chin still while firmly pressing his lips to the younger man's.

Krycek moaned softly, pressing forward to be nearer Mulder, arching his neck to give the older man better access. His mouth opened and Mulder's tongue swept inside, laying claim to his mouth.

Mulder didn't know what he'd expected from the younger man, a primal kind of sexuality, certainly. There had never been any doubt in his mind as to how sexy Krycek was. However he felt the younger man reveal more with the kiss, Krycek whimpered softly, surrendering even further to Mulder.

The agent pulled away, breaking the kiss, hazel eyes searched the younger man's face, noting the panting breath, slightly swollen open lips, eyes dark with passion. For once the masks were stripped away, only Krycek....no Alex looked back at him. He grinned, his own eyes glowing, "One night?"

The skin beneath his fingertips warmed as the younger man blushed, "For now," was the breathy response.

"Show me."

Rising a bit unsteadily to his feet, Krycek pulled Mulder up after him, keeping a hold on the hand he'd never released he led the older man to the bedroom. As they reached the doorway, Krycek turned taking both Mulder's hands in his own, he walked backwards to wards the bed.

Mulder's eyes searched the younger man's face, captivated by the sweetness he saw there. He started to say something, but forgot it as he noticed the room for the first time. "Alex...what?" he asked.

"It's an illusion," the other man told him, voice shy. "Do you like it?"

The older man looked around, the other room he'd sensed before was now revealed. Hundreds of small lights flickered everywhere, lush foliage surrounded them, the bed was a moss covered mound under an archway of flowers. Mulder grinned, "It's beautiful." He looked back at the man in front of him, his smile grew broader, "It's all beautiful. But how...wh...?"

A kiss interrupted him. Alex drew back to whisper, breath teasing Mulder's lips, "It's a dream. Another kiss touched an eyelid, "Just." Lips touched the other eyelid. "A." This time the lips touched Mulder's cheek, "Dream." Another kiss to the other cheek. "To." Lips touched lips again briefly. "Remember." Soft kiss against his chin. "In." Mulder arched his neck, exposing his throat to the mouth that was slowly driving him insane. "Place." Krycek's teeth nipped the skin above his adam's apple, his tongue soothed the small hurt. "Of." The mouth stopped to suckle the skin where neck met shoulder. "The." The mouth moved up to lick at the tender flesh behind Mulder's ear. "Nightmares."

Krycek raised his head to gaze directly into Mulder's, "A dream, Fox. It's only a dream. It doesn't have to be anymore real than that."

"I don't know, Alex," Mulder's mouth curved slightly. "My dreams are often more believable than my waking world." While the younger man was trying to understand what he meant by that, Mulder caught Krycek's face between his hands began to devour the almost pretty bowed mouth with his. His tongue stroked over the soft lips, asking for entrance. With a soft moan, Alex's mouth opened and Mulder's tongue thrust inside, seeking it's mate.

Tongues stroked each other, twinning together, teasing, luring each into the others haven. Krycek's hands traveled down Mulder's sides, slipping under the sweatshirt, pushing it up, he broke the kiss to push the shirt up farther. Mulder' helped him backing up long enough to allow the other man to drag the shirt up and over his head. Mouth's claimed one another again, and now Mulder's hands tugged at the younger man's clothes. Impatient fingers seeking skin beneath the layers Krycek wore, in exasperation he pulled away, growling, "Where are you?"

A husky chuckle answered him, and Alex pulled away long enough to grasp the two t-shirts he wore by the hem with both hands. A quick movement of crossed arms and the shirts were off and thrown somewhere to the side.

Mulder's eyes lit up, his hands raising to stroke the pale skin revealed to him. He chuckled slightly when the younger man preened under the scrutiny. "Vanity thy name is..."

"Hush," the other man mock snarled, drawing a laugh from Mulder. "Come here," he said. Placing his arms around Mulder again he moved them toward the place where the bed was again. When he reached the mound he sat, pulling the older man to stand between his knees. He ran his hands over Mulder's chest, fingernails scraping lightly over taut nipples making them harder. He leaned forward kissing the other man's stomach, licking a trail down to the belly button. He smiled as the muscles quivered under his touch. He dipped the tip of his tongue into Mulder's navel, tasting the sharp tang of sweat. He could smell the scent of the soap Mulder had used earlier.

He lifted his face, emerald eyes gazing up at Mulder as his hands slid around the older mans waist, fingers slipping under the waist band of the sweat pants.

Mulder's hands stroked Alex's face, fingers combing through the heavy silk strands of the long sable hair. He leaned forward and claimed Alex's mouth, the kiss shocking them both again, with its intensity. The need for oxygen drove them apart and Mulder gasped a laugh as Alex pushed his sweatpants and shorts down. "In a hurry?" he teased.

"You had entirely too many clothes on," the younger man smiled. Seeing that Mulder was going to speak again, Alex leaned forward to lick down the length of Mulder cock. The older man gasped and arched slightly, his cock filling, lifting upward. Krycek pulled the head into his mouth, sucking gently. He flicked his tongue over the slit, tasting the first bitter drop. With an evil grin he let the organ slip from his mouth, he stood slowly body rubbing against Mulder's. Sealing his mouth to the luscious one in front of him, he turned them around so that Mulder was up against the seemingly moss covered mound. He ran his hands over the older man's chest, strong fingers kneading the muscles over Mulder's ribs. Lips and teeth worrying a nipple he pushed the older man back, lying him on the bed.

Mulder groaned, the mouth exciting his nipples was warm, as were the hands which seemed to be everywhere. His back was cool though, the bed, or what his bed seemed to be smelled fresh and green. He had no idea how Krycek had created this, but he decided to simply enjoy it. He tangled his fingers in the long sable hair, dragging the other's head up to claim a kiss. Krycek responded enthusiastically, hips swaying over Mulder's, rubbing their erections together. The kiss deepened, both men using their tongues to discover the taste and feel of the other's mouth.

Mulder moaned, Krycek tasted like a forest, something fey and wild. He gasped as the need for air finally drove them apart. The younger man drew away, mouth and hands traveling down the older man's body. He kissed the tender spot under Mulder's chin, then proceeded to make a feast of the exposed throat. He bit slightly just below the collarbone, sucking gently, Mulder arched closer, moaning, "Yes...." he hissed. The part of his mind that could still think realized that he had been resisting, still wary of the younger man. He watched Krycek sit up to survey the mark he'd just left, green eyes filled with a feral light. Mulder gazed into their depths, something in them promised...he wasn't sure exactly what it was, but it allowed him to push aside the last of his reserve.

He grinned up at the younger man who was watching him, "Running out of ideas already?"

Krycek growled softly and his head dropped, his teeth and lips latching onto Mulder's left nipple. He bit and pulled the small nub bringing it to aching hardness. His tongue licked a path to the other one which he treated in the same manner, when both were tight and hard he continued exploring the body beneath him. As he moved lower his hair trailed over the older man's sweaty skin.

Mulder was so sensitized that he thought that he could feel each individual strand. He moved his hands running them through that soft silky mass over and over again.

The younger man raised his head to look at him, "Like my hair?"

"Yeah," Mulder smiled back at him. "

Grinning Krycek dropped his head again, returning to exploring every inch of the agent's body, with teeth, tongue and lips.

Sharp teeth nipped the skin at the edge of his belly button and Mulder gasped, a warm tongue soothed the sting, then dipped inside tasting him. Krycek moved lower, he ignored the straining erection, biting gently at the softer skin where torso met leg. He kissed his way further down one thigh. His teeth clamped down suddenly and he sucked at the spot hard.

"Jesus," Mulder gasped.

The not quite small pain was eased by the busy tongue, the mouth traveling up again. When the mouth drew his testicles into the moist warmth, Mulder cried out incoherently. A husky chuckle reached his ears, barely discernible over the sound of his own harsh panting and pounding heart. Krycek let his balls slip from his mouth, lightly blowing on the now moist fuzz covering them. He began kissing and nibbling his way down the other inner thigh, drawing another wordless shout from the older man when his teeth clamped down. After sucking hard on the flesh held tightly in his teeth, he laved the mark with his tongue, then worked his way back to Mulder's groin.

Mulder's head rocked back and forth, his hands clenched in the moss covering his bed he wanted more than anything to grab the younger man's head and force that tormenting mouth where he needed it most. This was obviously Krycek's show though, so he was reduced to moaning and whimpering. Those whimpers turned to a loud growl when that mouth suddenly descended on his aching cock, licking the underside from base to tip before withdrawing completely.

"Damn you...." he snarled.

"Shhh," the other man soothed, "I need to..."

"To what?" Mulder heard the impatience in his own voice and didn't care. He raised his head slightly to see Krycek more clearly. The younger man was kneeling over him, braced on one arm, the other hand behind himself. Mulder was struck by the look of concentration on the other's face.

"Get...get us...r.ready, " he panted.

Mulder watched as the younger man brought the hand that had been behind him to the front again. The agent then noticed the small jar that was lying on the bed, Krycek dipped his fingers into it and then stroked something slick and cool over Mulder's erection.

Krycek reached behind himself holding Mulder's cock in position, there wasn't much green left in the eyes that stared into the older man's. The dark pupils seemingly enormous, for Mulder it was like gazing into the night sky, deep and filled with mystery. He swore he could see stars appear and then vanish from those eyes as the younger man slowly impaled himself.

By the time Mulder was completely engulfed in Krycek's hot slick sheath, they were both panting, hoarse breaths rasping from two throats as they fought for composure.

Mulder watched as Krycek's eyes slowly closed, dark depths hidden by the long lashes, as neat white teeth sank into the younger man's lower lip. The pale skin was slick with sweat, tense trembling muscles were gilded by the candlelight. For several pounding heartbeats the younger man was still, until Mulder thought he'd go mad unless one of them moved. Then Krycek's eyes opened slowly snaring the hazel ones watching him; the ex-agent began to move. He kept his pace tortuously slow, hips undulating. Mulder could tell by the gasping moans that accompanied each down stroke that Krycek's prostrate was being hit. He raised his knees giving increasing the angle and the younger man smiled his moans becoming louder.

The older man growled as Krycek's body lifted, internal muscles clenching, stroking his cock, then releasing as Krycek lowered himself again. It was evident in the way that the younger man was trembling that he was using every bit of self control to keep the pace slow. Mulder bit his own lower lip, whimpers of need escaping as he fought against his body's desire to thrust up into that heat. Their breathing became harsher as each fought to keep the rhythm they'd established. Mulder felt his body begin to tighten, as it seemed that a tingle started in his head and toes simultaneously rushing toward his groin, gaining in strength until it felt like an electric current was being run through him.

He began to pump the younger man's erection his hand moving with the slow thrusts of their hips. As they both lost the rhythm beginning to pound into each other however, he milked the other's cock frantically, wanting Krycek to come with him. Mulder's hips drove upward into the hot channel that surrounded him repeatedly. Krycek's hips bucked as he fucked Mulder's fist and drove the older man's cock deeper inside himself. Krycek's mouth opened and he drew in a long groaning breath as his body went tense all over then he was bucking wildly, a snarl escaping clenched teeth, his cock emptying itself over Mulder's hand and stomach.

The sight of Krycek and the feel of his organism was enough to send Mulder tumbling into that abyss as well, the electric charge built until it was almost unbearable, he screamed as he came, feeling like his cock was shooting liquid fire into Krycek.

Mulder opened eyes he hadn't been aware of closing, to see Krycek still straddling him, panting, body still shaking slightly. The agent reached out and gathered his spent lover to him. The younger man sprawled over him for a few minutes then reached and pulled a cover from somewhere.

After covering both of them, he snuggled closer to Mulder and fell asleep. The older man lay for a while gazing at the face of the man laying in his arms. A small smile curved his lips as he stroked the dark hair. Placing a kiss on the shinning silk, he whispered, "a dream to take the place of the nightmares." He was still smiling as he fell asleep as well.

** ** ** **

Sunlight filtered its way in through the grime on the window hitting Mulder's face. He woke up, immediately realizing that he was alone, he was surprised that he had expected it. The previous night had been a time outside of time, when everything had been put on hold. It would never have lasted in the light of day. He spotted an envelope on the nightstand, picking it up he found a note and a large wad of cash the note read:

Fox,

I know don't call you that. Sorry, to leave without saying good-bye but it's back to work for both us. This should cover the cost of the suit, get something that's not gray.

Don't know when I'll be back to DC, maybe I'll look you up when I do. Take care of yourself and have a dream or two between the nightmares.

A

Mulder smiled, aloud he told the absent ex-consortium agent, "You do the same.... Alex."

** ** ** **

Two months later
Out side Mulder's apartment building

"Agent Mulder?" a voice stopped him in his tracks as he started up the stairs of his building.

Mulder turned staring at the figure that moved toward him. For a second he thought it was Krycek, but as the man emerged he saw that this was someone he didn't know.

"Yes, I'm Agent Mulder. You are....?"

"My name is Galen, Agent Mulder," the other man smiled drawing nearer. As he did two other figures emerged from the shadows, one of them was familiar.

"Keiren?" Mulder asked, eyes darting between the wolf he'd last seen with Alex Krycek and this stranger."

"This is Keiren, Mr. Mulder," Galen smiled slightly.

Mulder's eyes narrowed suspiciously, "Why is he with you? Where's...."

"Alex?" the other man's smile vanished. "He's the reason I've come. He's missing."

The End? (wanna make a bet?)

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

The words to Dream weaver by Gary Wright.

I've just closed my eyes again,
Climbed aboard the dream weaver train
Try to take away my worries of today,
And leave tomorrow behind

Ooooo dream weaver
I believe you can get me through the night
Ooooo dream weaver
I believe we can reach the morning light

Fly me high through the starry skies,
Maybe to an astral plane
Cross the highways of fantasy,
Help me to forget today's pain

Ooooo dream weaver
I believe you can get me through the night
Ooooo dream weaver
I believe we can reach the morning light

Though the dawn maybe coming soon,
There still may be some time
Fly me away to the bright side of the moon,
Meet me on the other side

Ooooo dream weaver
I believe you can get me through the night
Ooooo dream weaver
I believe we can reach the morning light

Dream weaver
Dream weaver