"You shouldn't squeeze the trigger so hard," Alex said. Mulder shook his head a little, as if trying to clear it. Alex molded himself a little closer to Mulder's back and asked, "What's wrong?"
Mulder loosened his grip on the rifle in their hands and said, "I just had the weirdest moment of déjà vu. I could swear you were about to say..." He stopped.
Mulder grinned and spoke with a thick, Southern drawl. "'You gotta hold it soft, like yer pecker.'"
Alex snickered. "Uhm. That's not the word I would use, but--"
Alex tended to step carefully around Mulder's odd and patched-together mindfield but had to ask, "Past life?"
Mulder laughed. "Oh, fuck you."
Alex rubbed himself against Mulder's back. He was so close that he could smell tropical fruit with a faint undertone of chemicals from his accomplice's recently dyed hair, now a glossy black with natural looking burgundy and red highlights. Cared for the right way, it was supposed to feel perfectly soft again in a few weeks. At least Anya had sworn so as she put the sealer in. Given the choice between products for chemically treated hair that smelled like flowers or fruit, Mulder had gone for the fruit. Alex had learned not to say it smelled like pina colada just to avoid his partner answering something about getting caught in the rain.
Mulder loved the new color and seemed to like his new name, though it would take Alex a while before he became "Ray" mentally as well as in public speech. Or maybe he never would, all the way; maybe he could still be "Mulder" in Alex's head, with it being the secret true name that, revealed, made him vulnerable to evil magic...
//A little late to become a romantic, Alexei.//
Alex was killing Fox Mulder, but not in a way he'd ever feared he might. Mulder himself was helping. They were burying the old while rewriting and rebuilding him into someone new. A collaborative project, one Alex couldn't help being proud of.
//He's mine, mine in a way no one has ever been before.//
Mulder rubbed back. "I'd rather hold your gun again."
Mulder made it so hard being so easy... "Later." After a more persistent rub, "I swear. Rifle practice first."
Mulder re-aimed the rifle at the largest stain on the peeling wallpaper of the latest abandoned building they were staying in. The deserted areas and condemned buildings gave them privacy and opportunities for indoor target practice. Alex didn't want to draw any attention.
"I know how to shoot," Mulder said.
"A handgun. If you're going to cover my back, you have to become a sniper." The very thought made Alex hard.
They stood so close, wrapped in one another, that Alex could feel him smile. "You sure this isn't just an excuse to cop a feel?" he asked.
"Since when do I need an excuse?"
A short, sharp beep had Alex stepping back from Mulder. "Someone tripped the alarm."
Mulder trembled for a moment before his face went dead blank. "I'll die before I let them take me back to fuck with my head again."
//Never.// Alex felt a surge of protectiveness and homicidal intent. "How 'bout we make them die instead?" He couldn't banish all of the terrors that afflicted Mulder, but he could sure as hell slaughter the ones he could get his hands on.
Mulder gently put the rifle down and picked up a Sig before giving Alex a warm kiss. "You always know the right thing to say."
They ducked behind the fraying couch that faced the door and waited, guns ready. A quiet clicking told them that their invaders thought they were being sneaky, picking the lock to get in. Also, that the goons knew exactly where their intended prey was. As soon as Alex and Mulder heard the door open, they popped up just enough to see and started to fire.
Alex couldn't help a proud smile at the sight of Mulder mowing the targets down with no hesitation, tranquil amidst the roar of gunfire and death. Alex had told him to think of the bastards as obstacles to be blown aside, just like in a shooting game. Mulder had replied that he saw no problems in killing whoever he had to, but his words could have been bravado.
Now he was proving he'd meant them, shooting quickly but efficiently, like a machine. Well, not quite like a machine; in fact, he looked like he was enjoying himself. //No guilt or regret in him. He really is my partner...
//Get mushy later, idiot. Right now, you have work to do.//
A minute later, not a single person remained standing at the door. Mulder glowed. "Alex..."
"Later. We've been compromised. We have to get out."
"I know. I love you."
"Love you too." Partner. Alex had everything he needed.
Your to-do list becomes extended and a big pile of postponed chores
catches up with you. Don't let it get the better of you, take it
one step at a time in order to maximize your results. This is not a
good time to go stirring up trouble so keep yourself from adding any
input into a tension filled mix. Pass the day by turning the quick
and efficient dispatching of your responsibilities into a game. You
set the rules and you run your own plays. You may be surprised at
how good your coaching abilities actually are.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The bit about how to hold your gun comes from Kalifornia (courtesy of Dominic Sena). I just couldn't resist...