Title:  Penance, Chapter One: Agony
Author:  Zoë
Website:  http://slashfactory.com/
Fandom:  X-Files
Pairing:  Krycek/Mulder
Rating:  NC-17 for m/m sex (and everything in the warning)
Warning:  Very dark, violence, physical, mental and emotional abuse and/or torture, disturbing thoughts and images. Please proceed cautiously!
Archive:  Please ask
Spoilers:  Canon through season five
Summary:  Krycek seeks redemption
Beta Thanks:  Helen & Ursula
Special Thanks:  Alex, thanks for the early encouragement. I wouldn't have continued without you

Disclaimer:  Alex Krycek, Fox Mulder and all other X-Files characters belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions. No infringement of rights is intended. All the rest belong to me



Agony   by Zoë

**

The woman whimpers pitifully as I break another of her husband's fingers. He screams. That was the third one. Seven more to go. I hope it's not necessary.

I wish they'd cooperate sooner rather than later. They all try to hold out, but I break them in the end. It's supposed to get easier... the killing. These days, it seems to be harder. Every new corpse heaped on the scales of my life feels like an intolerable weight. Having to torture them first is especially gruesome. In this moment, I feel like it can't get any worse.

She strains to reach her husband, knowing she'll never touch him again, but she's looking at me. She knows death is paying them a visit. I realize it could be worse... at least they don't have any children.

Funny, as a child I never said, 'I want to be the Grim Reaper when I grow up.' I guess it's not a career you plan for.

I stroke the side of her face with the gun. "Are you ready to talk to me yet?" She has the information. He's just a tool. A device to encourage her to talk.

She shakes her head, but it lacks her conviction of 20 minutes ago. I sigh with disappointment and break his fourth finger. He screams. She cringes.

I pull up a chair and sit in front of her, blocking her view of her husband. "You know you're going to die. It's inevitable. But how much you suffer, how much he suffers, depends on the information you give me." I purposely gentle my voice. "Tell me who you sold the research to and I'll kill you both quickly... painlessly. I promise."

I can tell she's not ready to talk yet, but her determination is slipping. She must really care about him. And that's why he's useful. If she didn't care about her husband, torture would be pointless. Still, I don't want to keep torturing the blind fool who had nothing to do with her betrayal.

Rubbing my forehead, I try again. "I'm breaking the first five fingers nicely. The second hand will be much more unpleasant. Talk to me." Violating my own policy. Usually only one opportunity between penalties.

She clenches her jaw. Resigned, I shake my head sadly and turn back to the handcuffed man. I break his thumb.

Tears form in her eyes. I'm close. Maybe I won't have to do much more of this. "Give me the name."

The shake of her head is barely a twitch. Her resolve is wavering. Unfortunately, so is mine. Which of us will crack first? She will. I'll get to crack later.

I gesture for my backup to change positions. He's a little slow to move. I give him an assessing glance. He looks a little green--not quite matured to this work yet--but keeps his gun trained on the two people bound to their own kitchen chairs. I don't care if he pukes, as long as he keeps his weapon pointed in the right direction.

After retrieving my hammer from my bag, I pull a small table close to my targets. I tie his broken hand to the chair and release the other hand. He struggles with me briefly, but it's pointless.

Using my much stronger prosthetic hand, I hold him by the wrist, pressing his hand flat on the table. My gaze collides with hers. "You can't betray us and not expect this. But you don't have to suffer before you die." I nod to his hand. "Crushed bones will hurt worse. Tell me what I want to know."

She stares at the hammer in my right hand and breaks. "Don't..." And she starts to cry.

I'm such a hypocrite. How many times have I sold out the Consortium? It's not even amusing any more.

I wait for her to quiet down. "Give me the name now, or I start with his thumb."

She gasps out the name. Instinct tells me she has told the truth. I drop the hammer and pick up the gun. A bullet to the brain puts him out of his misery.

Her expression is torn between relieved and distraught. They're not exactly innocents... you can't get in bed with the Consortium and not be prepared for the consequences. We all know what we're doing. And who we're doing it with. I keep waiting for the consequences to come my direction. At first, I feared it. Now, I grieve the absence.

She looks at me expectantly. Waiting to see if I'll keep my promise and kill her without pain.

I meet her gaze unwaveringly and softly say, "Thank you." For stopping my own agony. I give her what I promised.

**

The night is chilly, but I barely notice it. The hooker sets a price and I agree, not even hearing what she asked for. It doesn't matter.

Without thinking, I follow her to the grimy hotel room. She asks for the money up front and I count out bills. She pulls the pink spandex top off, revealing her average-sized, slightly droopy breasts.

She looks around the room. "How you want me, honey?"

I stare at her. She smiles and crosses to me. Her long blonde hair is so bleached, the ends look like straw. It annoys me. I wonder what she'd think if I pulled out my knife and cut it all off. No doubt, she'd scream in terror and run. They all run.

At my continued non-response, she reaches for me, sliding her hands up my chest. My fingers encircle her wrists. With a startled expression, she looks down at the prosthetic hand, then back at me. I yank her close. I can smell her clientele at this distance. That's the penalty for trolling for sex at this late hour. The girls are well used.

"How can you do this?" I snarl at her. I wasn't planning to say that.

She puts up a show of being tough, but I see the fear. She tries to pull away, but my grip is firm. "Listen buddy, I don't have to take no crap from you. It's my choice."

I could laugh. She thinks I'm criticizing her occupation? As if I have the right. Can't she see what I'm asking? How she can stand to touch me? How can she be in the same room with me?

I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a far-off mirror. I cannot believe what I've become. I know I'm cracking. I need something to take me outside of myself. Make me forget.

It's too much, and yet, not enough. I can't stop. "Why would you choose to be anywhere near me?"

"What? Listen, Mister, you paid me to be here. But... but, I don't do no rough stuff." She gives another tug, testing my grip. It's firm.

I shove her down on the bed. She tries to scramble away. I catch her ankle and then wrestle her to the mattress. Why doesn't she fight back?

My temper snaps. "What the fuck is wrong with you? Hit me, you stupid bitch."

She looks terrified and goes completely still. I slap her. She freezes and whimpers. I could scream. I'm so tired of the sound of whimpering. Fight back. Rage at me. Hit me.

I slap her again. "What the fuck are you waiting for?"

She's trembling, the smell of fear pouring off her in waves. I hate that fucking smell. And I'm so goddamned sick of it. I release her and rise, standing at the foot of the bed. Giving her an opportunity to fight back. She runs for the door.

That's the way they all respond. Get away from him before he hurts you. They don't strike back. They never strike back.

I feel defeated.

I watch her scurry away, then leave the dingy motel. My feet turn in the direction of the one person who doesn't try to get away.

Standing outside his apartment, I wonder at the sanity of this. I have two guns and a knife on me. I can defend myself if need be. I just need enough to make this ache go away.

His apartment is dark. I wonder if he's even home. I cross the street and head inside. I quietly and efficiently pick the lock. I always picked locks one handed, so I didn't have to re-learn this skill after Tunguska.

Cautiously, I open the door. Darkness. I slowly step inside. The blow to my jaw is a surprise. I'm on the floor and scrabbling for my gun, but Mulder's ahead of me this time. I hear his gun being cocked as I close my hand around the grip of mine.

Fuck.

The light flicks on and I see his face. Recognition flashes across his features, followed by a sneer. "Krycek."

He gropes in my jacket and yanks out my gun, tucking it in his jeans as he keeps his weapon trained on me. He doesn't bother checking for my holdout. Come on, Mulder, hit me.

Mulder steps back and gestures with the gun. "Get up."

Come on, Mulder. Be you. I rise to my feet. He gestures to the couch. "Sit." What?

I should go for my holdout, but his reaction is so odd, I find myself sitting on his worn leather sofa. When I look at him closely, I notice how... blank he looks. As if he's shrouded in a blanket of apathy.

"What are you doing here, Krycek?"

I shrug. No way to explain why I'm here.

He looks exasperated. "You don't have any equipment, so you're not planting bugs. You must have come here..." His voice trails off and he's looking at my left hand. "What the fuck?"

I don't bother to respond, busy looking for an opportunity to get out of here.

Mulder looks away, his expression unreadable. This is my chance, but his words stop me. "What happened in Tunguska?"

"What?"

He looks back at me. "Not your arm. I can figure that out. What was it all about?"

I know what he's asking, but I paste a confused expression on my face.

"Goddamn you, Krycek." His voice rises to a near yell. "You were playing me from the day you arranged to get caught. WHAT WAS GOING ON?"

I shake my head. "I can't-"

In a blink, he moves forward and backhands me. My body's instinctive reaction is to move away, but the tension begins to ease a little.

Thank you, Mulder.

"You can!" For a moment, I thought I caught a flash of contentment in his eyes. He visibly restrains himself from hitting me again.

Damn you for suddenly having self-control, Mulder.

I sneer at him. "You won't be able to beat it out of me, Mulder." But, you can try. Please try.

His mask slips again and I see his anger, then he's back in control. He takes a few deep breaths, then lowers the gun. "Get out of here, Krycek."

I gape at him. "What?"

"I said, LEAVE!"

Lurching to my feet, I desperately try to make sense of this. "Mulder, what the hell?"

He makes an expansive gesture toward the door. "I'm letting you go. Now, run away."

"Why aren't you trying to arrest me or... hit me." Too close to home. I try a different tactic. "Don't tell me you've found forgiveness."

Mulder turns away, muttering, "I can't."

Hesitantly, I step closer to him. "Can't what? Forgive?"

I can barely make out his faint whisper. "Can't hit you."

Oh no. He's running away, too. "Why?" I barely manage to keep the panic out of my voice. When I've had nothing else... when I was truly desperate, I could always come here.

"Because I need it too much... don't think I could stop this time. So, I have to let you go." He turns back, looking confused. "Why do you care? It's not like you came here wanting to get beat."

It hits too close to the mark, and I feel my face freeze.

He cocks his head to the side and then his eyes widen with shock. "Oh, god. You did."

I shake my head and start backing away.

Mulder's expression turns feral and he advances on me, gun up and in my face. "Why did you come here?" His tone is strident.

I shake my head again, trying to mend the fissure in my control.

Without warning, his expression becomes soft and he whispers, "Why do you want me to hit you?"

His tone of voice seeps past the breach in my defenses, and the fissure widens. "You don't know..." my voice cracks.

"Don't know what?" Same soft tone.

I close my eyes, so I can't see. "How much I hate it."

"Hate what?"

"What I've become." I open my eyes. His expression is blank.

He steps closer, to within six inches, the gun touching my cheek. "So stop." His tone is too flat.

"Can't."

Mulder drops his blank expression and I see the rage. "You came here so I could hit you... beat you... absolve you of your sins."

"No."

"No?"

"Not absolve." I should stop talking. And shaking. When did I start trembling?

"Then what?" His voice is almost a hiss.

I grapple for a way to explain it. "Penance." The word surprises me a little, but I knew. I've always known.

He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. I should run. Now.

"You won't go anywhere, Krycek." His eyes are still closed. "I have what you need."

I sneer. "Bullshit!" Anyone's fists will do. I turn away. Let him fucking shoot me.

He whispers, "Forgiveness."

And I stop dead. I can't breathe. Oh, please... no. I can't afford that kind of hope. Don't give me something to cling to when I'm so used to having nothing. Especially since it's a lie.

I will my feet to move, but nothing happens.

From behind me, he says, "Penance only helps the ache for a while. But what good is it without forgiveness? The forgiveness will take the pain away."

"You lie." He has to be lying. Mulder cannot possibly forgive me. And I don't deserve it anyway.

"How do you know?"

I turn back and give him a withering look. "Are you offering to forgive me, Mulder?" The cynicism drips from my voice.

"Yes."

Please, please don't do this to me. Wrapping my arm around me as if the room were cold, I reply, "I... you... no. I don't deserve it."

"I know. But you will. I'll hurt you, Alex. Then you'll be forgiven."

I can't believe he called me Alex. The denial is my lifeline right now. "You've gone off the deep end."

"No, Alex. You have. But I can bring you back." He sounds so calm. So sure of himself.

Fuck. What is he seeing? I hate the way his brain works... how much he sees. And now my mind is clinging to 'what if.' What if he forgave me... for any of it? What would that be like? Can I stand to find out?

Can I stand not to?

But how could this possibly work. "So, what, you're gonna beat me up now?" Somehow, this doesn't have much appeal... planning it this way.

"No."

I roll my eyes and turn away.

"Alex." His tone is barely a murmur.

God, Mulder, don't use my fucking name. I can't stop myself from turning to face him again. He sets both guns on the coffee table and approaches me.

"Are you listening?"

How can I not? I nod.

"You're going to give yourself to me."

I barely manage to whisper, "What the fuck are you talking about?"

"You're mine now. I'm going to make you pay, and when it's all done, I'll forgive you. It'll all be better. For both of us."

I shake my head. "You just said you wouldn't beat me." This is insane. I can't believe I'm talking about this.

"I won't let you sneak into my life and steal something to make you feel better. I won't let you deny me what's mine."

I try to muster up a disdainful expression, but it feels insincere. I want what he's offering too damned much. "And what would that be?"

He grabs my shirt and yanks me close, hissing in my face, "Your pain."

It's a lie. I know it's a lie. But my breathing accelerates and I need to see if he can deliver. I need it more desperately than I need air.

Now Mulder can see the widening fissure and he pulls it apart. "Do it."

"What?" My breathing is erratic.

"Give yourself to me."

I shake my head. "I don't know what you mean."

"Just say it." His voice is a whisper.

My mouth opens and I know I won't be able to do this. It's not possible. And even if I say it, it's just words. It doesn't mean anything.

"I'm yours."

I feel my façade shatter into a thousand pieces. I can't even focus on Mulder and I think I'm going to hyperventilate.

"Take your clothes off."

"What?" I'm so startled, I can barely think. "Why?"

He backs away from me, his face twisted into a mask of distaste. "You don't get to question my orders. Now strip, or get out."

I should go. Leave while I can. But the lure... the promise... it's more appealing than heroin. Can he really hurt me and take my pain away? Please, please, let it be what he says.

I shrug out of my jacket and take off my shirt. I wonder if he's going to make me remove the prosthetic. I toe off my shoes and fumble with my jeans, kicking them away after I push them to my ankles.

I wait, wondering if the plan is to whip me.

He says, "Underwear, too."

A thousand questions, but I need to see where this goes. See if it can salvage what little life I have left. If it can't, Mulder will have ripped a hole in my psyche too big to ever be mended. Maybe that's his intent. Maybe that's the best revenge. But it may be a revenge I cannot live through.

After pushing down my underwear, I kick them toward my jeans. I feel beyond naked. Completely exposed. I've admitted my worse secret to this man.

And then I realize what I've done. Shit, shit, shit. If his apartment is bugged, Spender is already ordering my termination.

His voice startles me out of my panic. "Get on your knees."

It seems like the natural thing to do. I'm shaking so badly, and as soon as my knees hit the floor, I know I've lost another part of myself. Now Mulder has a piece.

Mulder approaches me and I feel his hand on my hair. "What was that brief panic about."

I shake my head in denial. He sees too fucking much. Does it really matter anymore if the consortium kills me? In truth, they've been killing me for years. Maybe I'm already dead.

He hunkers down in front of me. "Tell me."

Free-will. I have it. I should use it. Instead, I answer the question. "They'll kill me for talking to you."

"How will they know?"

"How do they ever know?"

His expression turns grim when I answer his question with a question. "You think they're listening?"

I nod.

Mulder shakes his head. "No. I did some house-cleaning today. Your dirty little secret is safe. And so is mine."

Unable to stop myself, I ask, "And what dirty secret would that be?"

He stands up and looks down on me. "That I need your pain as much as you need me to give it to you." I try to absorb that, but he continues, distracting me. "You need forgiveness. But it's up to me what you have to endure to earn it. Are you heterosexual?"

I give a start of surprise. "Huh?"

His open palm connects with my cheek. "Answer the question, are you heterosexual?"

Surprised by the slap, I reply, "Yes." I guess. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it. My core identity is killer not straight man.

"Anything with men? Jacking off, kissing... anything?"

"No. Why?"

He slaps me again. I cringe, but something inside me relaxes just a little more. "No questions, Alex. Ever."

Mulder moves away and sits on the sofa. He contemplates me for a long, long time. I'm shivering by the time he finally murmurs, "Come over here."

I start to stand.

"No, on your knees."

Reluctantly, I crawl forward. He gestures me to kneel right in front of him.

"Me, I don't really have a preference. Sort of whatever's convenient and easy." If my orientation is killer, his is probably aliens. He gives me a humorless half smile, which quickly morphs into blankness. "Servicing me is part of your punishment for tonight." He strokes his cock through his suit pants and I finally notice that he's erect.

My eyes widen and I start to move back.

"Don't you fucking move." His tone is implacable.

I freeze. No way am I doing anything sexual with him. But the part of me that drove me here tonight has already surrendered. I deserve anything he wants to do to me. And probably a few hundred things his conscience would prevent him from doing.

"It would have been easier for you if you had some experience with men, but it's nicer for me that you don't. More torture for you." He lowers his zipper and reaches in to pull his cock out. Pants still buttoned, everything obscured but the rigid shaft.

He has a very long, thick cock. I can't... do this.

I close my eyes and shake my head in denial.

His soft voice penetrates the darkness. "You're going to suck my dick."

My eyes slip open. "Please don't, Mulder. Not this. Hit me... beat me. Whip me if you have to. Just not this."

For the first time in my life, Fox Mulder looks at me with an expression of tenderness. "It doesn't help. Hitting you. Not in the long run. I need you to suffer." He strokes the side of my face. "And you suffer so beautifully. It's been all over your face tonight. So exquisite."

Leaning forward, he lightly presses his mouth to mine. My only absurd thought is that I didn't expect his lips to be so soft.

His words are a breath against my lips. "Suffer for me, Alex."

I feel a sob rise up in my throat and ruthlessly control it. The way he said it... I know I can't deny him. If he had said 'Die for me, Alex' in that tone of voice--with that tenderness--I know I would reach for my gun and shoot myself.

Feeling as if I can't breathe, I lower my head to his lap and cautiously take the head of his dick in my mouth. There's precum at the tip. The taste makes me gag, but I keep his cock head in my mouth. I can't believe I'm doing this. For a second I don't know what to do. But I've received blowjobs. I just need to concentrate on what I'm doing... which is the last thing I want to do.

Mulder takes any action away from me when he abruptly stands. Only his hand tightly fisted in my hair, keeps my mouth in proximity to his dick. Too much of my body weight is pulling on my hair as I struggle to regain my balance. I barely have my knees back under me, when he slams his cock all the way down my throat. Any vestige of tenderness completely gone.

I gag and push at him, fighting to breathe. With unexpected strength, he holds my head in place as the clenching muscles of my throat work his cock. I can't get air and start to fight. Abruptly, he yanks his dick out of my mouth and releases me.

Collapsing back on my hands, I take deep gulps of air. Mulder's hand is in my hair again, yanking my head painfully far back. Leaning forward, his face a mere inch from mine, he hisses, "If I want to choke you to death with my dick, you'll take it and die grateful."

I'm unable to suppress the whimper of distress. Distress because what he says is true. "I don't know how not to fight, Mulder."

He releases my head again. "Then you'll have to learn." Mulder steps back a few paces. He stands before me, his cock red and throbbing. A symbol of my downfall. "Crawl to me."

I close my eyes. "I can't."

"You can. And you will. And I want to see the agony it causes you. Look at me and let me see you suffer. I need it, Alex... need to see your pain." His voice shifted from stern to nearly reverent. As if my torture is a sacrament.

Almost without free will, I drop to hands and knees and crawl toward him, keeping my head up and letting him see that he's ripping out my soul.

His expression is nearly rapturous. As I reach him, he whispers, "Kneel up."

I rise to my knees and he steps forward. He strokes my head, then, without warning, slaps my face with his erection. I cringe and twist away.

"Don't move." His voice is cold.

I force myself to stay still and he does it again... uses his cock to slap my face. Over and over. It doesn't hurt, but it's humiliating. He plans to punish me with this part of his body... the part I least wanted to have any contact with. Debasing me with his dick until I'm happy to suck him all night long if he'll just stop.

"Please let me suck it." Anything, Mulder. Just please stop.

He slaps his erection against my cheek again, then trails the head across my lips. I open my mouth and he pulls it away. I whimper a protest. "What was that, Alex?"

"I said, please let me suck it." The pleading tone in my voice is agony.

"Suck what?" Another slap, the other cheek this time. It feels so hot against my skin.

I hate you, Mulder. "Your dick. Let me suck it."

He begins tracing my features with the smooth head. I fight the urge to jerk away. "Do you deserve my cock, Alex?" His voice sounds almost sweet.

My mind rebels at the reality... I don't deserve any part of him. Even his hatred. I choke out, "No."

"Open your mouth."

I do and feel his cock head tease my lips.

His voice is a whisper I have to strain to make out. "You're right. You don't deserve it. I have to degrade myself to let you touch my dick." He pushes the head into my mouth. "Suck."

I close my lips around the flesh in my mouth and apply suction. It's not so awful.

His voice continues, "You come here, wanting to make yourself feel better and I have to contaminate my dick with your mouth to make you feel good. To take your pain away."

I realize it's all true. He's lowering himself to give me what I deserve. I nod faintly.

Mulder's hand is at the side of my face again. "So I can choke you on my dick if I want... isn't that right?"

I give a faint nod again, keeping the suction on the head of his dick.

His hand impacts the side of my face and I release his cock. He leans down, placing his mouth near my ear. "I don't need your permission. You are mine now."

Then he's forcing his cock back into my mouth and brutally slamming it into my throat.

Over and over he draws back, then shoves his cock back down my throat. I feel bruised... my jaw aches, but something deep inside begins to unwind.

I stop focusing on the pain and notice that my own internal agony is lessening. With every slide of his cock into my throat, I feel more... human.

Without conscious thought, my hand slides up his wool-covered leg and rests on his hip, encouraging him to take me wherever he wants me to go.

Mulder moans at the touch and whispers, "Anything I want..."

Yes, Mulder, anything you want. A day without this agony is worth anything you want to do to me.

Abruptly, he pulls away and pushes me backward.

"No..." The word is out before I can stop it. I look up at him. He's still dressed except for his open fly, and he's got an almost serene smile on his face. His thick cock an angry shade of purplish-red.

He reaches out to touch my cheek, it's sore to the touch. "It's so easy to own you, Alex." Then he pushes me backward until I'm on my ass on the floor in front of his sofa.

I continue to watch, feeling strangely calm as he advances on me.

Mulder pushes my head back until it's resting on the sofa cushion and my neck is painfully arched. He looms over me, bracing his arms and guides his cock back to my mouth.

He doesn't even have to say it. I open my mouth. It's not about sex. It's about giving him my pain.

Without hesitation, he rams his cock back into my throat. This angle is worse and I'm constantly gagging. It doesn't deter him in the slightest.

My neck aches.

My throat is bruised.

I'm at peace.

Abruptly, his body tension increases and he thrusts hard into my mouth, holding my head as he begins to come. All I can do is gag and try to swallow.

My eyes are closed and I'm breathing hard. I continue to swallow, trying to get the unfamiliar taste out of my mouth.

"Look at me."

His quiet voice startles me and I look up. He's zipped up his pants and looks much the same as he did before this all started.

I simply look at him.

Mulder watches me for a long time, looking relaxed. Then, he moves to sit on the sofa. Saying nothing, he guides me to curl up around his feet as if I were a pet.

I say nothing. I don't look at him. I simply lie there, clasping his ankles and trembling.

Time has no meaning. He's still and quiet. And so am I.

Eventually, he murmurs, "Get dressed, Alex."

Now feeling numb, I rise to my feet and clumsily get into my clothes. When I'm fully dressed, he comes up behind me and wraps his hand around my throat as he whispers in my ear, "I need time to think about what to do with you. What to do to you. Come back in five days... 8:00 P.M."

I nod, the movement partially stopped by his constricting hand.

He removes his hand and then steps back. "You may go now."

I focus on breathing.

"And, Alex..."

Staring at the door, I manage to whisper, "Yes?"

"For all the times you've broken into my apartment?"

Cautiously, I reply, "Yes?"

"I forgive you." His tone is perfectly sincere.

My chest tightens and I reach for the doorknob, letting myself out of the apartment. Such a stupid thing to forgive me for.

But, it feels like it means everything.

I close my eyes and lean against the wall, feeling unwanted tears stinging my cheeks.


** End Agony **

18 June 2004

If you made it past the warning and read this story, please let me know what you thought.

Zoë


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