Title:  Penance, Chapter Six: Anamnesis
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:  The final test for Krycek, but it may be more than he can handle.
Beta Thanks:  Ursula

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



Anamnesis   by Zoë

**

My mind races, trying to figure out how I'm going to get through this. The sensation of the leather on my dick is tingly, but I know that won't last. I'd give anything to not have this blindfold on so I could see what's coming.

When I no longer feel it touching me, I tense, waiting for the inevitable.

The impact when it finally comes causes my body to jerk in shock. Then I register that I barely felt it. It was a big nothing. The reaction all came out of my anticipation. I take a couple gasping breaths and feel my muscles relax a little.

The second blow is the twin of what I felt on my thigh, multiple stinging bites on the tender skin of my dick. When the fire sets in I groan, back arching off the bed. The sensation burns deep. I open my mouth to beg him not to when another blow lands. I bite back a scream instead.

Several more times the leather bites into my flesh, moving along the length of my cock. Mulder never lessens the intensity, each stroke bringing fresh fire.

The next strike is on the head of my cock and I can't hold back the scream. It feels like my dick is on fire. The darkness seems to amplify my pain.

Mulder's hand clamps over my mouth and I feel his weight on my chest. "I love to hear you scream," he whispers in my ear. His voice sounds funny, but I'm having a hard time focusing on why. "But my neighbors aren't going to be so accommodating." The breathy, tight sound of his voice finally registers with me. He's aroused. "Keep quiet!" he hisses at me.

His weight and hand are gone. Before I can tense in preparation, another blow lands right on the head of my dick. I bite my cheek to keep from screaming. He's vicious and methodical as he works up and down the length of my cock with the little torture device.

When he adjusts my cock and strikes the underside, I scream again. Anything to get him to stop. The hand over my mouth and his weight on my body are blessed relief.

He speaks right into my ear, "Scream again and your thighs are going to get a workout with my cable slapper." He must mean the horrible instrument of torture. "Do you understand me?"

I nod quickly, anything to avoid another session with that awful thing.

"What are you supposed to be doing right now, Alex?" His voice is suddenly tender.

My mind races, trying to figure it out. I'm not supposed to scream, and? Then it occurs to me. "I'm supposed to think about you fucking me," I whisper. Unbidden, images fill my mind. What I've been most scared of since this started, and it suddenly doesn't seem so bad.

"Yes." Fingers move gently over my face, teasing the edges of the blindfold. "What else are you supposed to be doing? What did I teach you about pain?"

"I have to accept it." My mind is now fixated on the idea of Mulder fucking me. Him flipping me over, pushing his cock into my body.

"So do it." His weight is abruptly gone and I feel its absence for some reason.

I'm braced for another blow, body taut with anxiety. Nothing happens. Then Mulder, asks, "Are you scared of the dark?" The question is punctuated by an impact of the torture device with the underside of my dick.

I bite back the sounds of pain, trying to process his question. "No. Not scared."

Another blow lands, I fight my restraints. "Why does the blindfold bother you?"

The leather bites at my skin again. "It's too much."

"Too much what?" The question is punctuated by new pain, but I realize I'm not fighting it as much.

"Too out of control." I register the stillness in my body at the next flare of new pain. My muscles slowly relax.

"More so than the restraints?" Mulder increases the speed at which he strikes my dick.

My breathing becomes deep and even. It takes me a couple seconds to come up with an answer. "One or the other," I manage to mumble.

"You could accept the blindfold or the restraints?"

"Yes," I barely manage.

He begins to focus solely on the head. Blow after blow. "Do you have a choice?"

I'm trembling, but not in resistance. "Your choice," I gasp out.

I'm drowning. There's no other way to explain it. Pain. It's in my eyes, it's what I hear, it's what I breathe, it defines what I am. I take it in deeper, letting it suffocate me.

The painful lashes at my cock have stopped, but I cannot pinpoint when. The sound of my own labored breathing is all I hear.

Something slippery is probing at my ass. My head rolls to the side, belatedly making sense of it. Mulder's finger slides into me. It moves gently, in and out, searching. Pleasure lances the pain. Gasping, my back arches off the bed, all semblance of relaxation gone.

My cock stirs, hardening. Oh, fuck, it hurts. "No," I groan in protest.

"Yes," his whisper glances across my cheek. Then his touch is gone.

My legs are freed and Mulder pushes them together. Muscles burn, tender skin protesting any movement. The cuffs are taken off my ankles, then the one on my wrist. Light suddenly assaults my eyes as the blindfold is ripped away.

"Up." Mulder leans over me, hands braced on either side of my head. "Bathroom, shower, then join me in the living room." He's gone before I can reply.

Carefully, I get to my feet. Movement is extremely unpleasant, but the discomfort is tempered by the relief I feel when my cock begins to subside.

In the bathroom, I find a small pile of toiletries sitting on a clean towel; razor, shave gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, enema. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, refusing to have any feelings about it.

I find that I'm staring at my reflection. I look so normal. It seems impossible considering how I feel. Day's growth of beard, wild hair, but my body looks relatively normal. Except my dick... that looks red and very angry. From the way it felt, I expected to find myself bleeding, skin flayed off. But it's just red. It's both a relief and a disappointment. For that much pain, I should have something to show for it. But I'm very grateful that I don't.

Twisting my right leg, I get a look at my inner thighs. Not so normal. The redness and the bruising validates the pain. Some of the bruises have a somewhat circular shape, making me wonder once again what he's been using on them. They're so painfully tender and raw, I'm certain any more torment will completely strip the skin away.

My eyes wander back to my face. Something's different, but I can't quite figure it out. Shaking off the ruminations, I reach for the toothbrush.

When I emerge from the shower, I catch another glimpse of my face in the mirror. It finally gels what's different. I don't look so haunted anymore.

Refusing to think beyond the moment, I drape my towel on a rack, then turn off the light.

Mulder, now wearing jeans, is seated on the couch, a small table pulled next to him. It's got a few bottles of water on it, along with a varied selection of food. He gestures to the floor next to him. I'm sure sitting on the hard floor is just what my ass wants, but I say nothing and take a seat.

He's staring at the TV. There's no sound, but it appears to be some sort of documentary about penguins.

Without any change in focus, he hands me a bottle of water. I open it and take a sip, then suddenly realize how thirsty I am and down the entire thing. Another bottle is handed to me, then his hand appears in front of my face, holding a small piece of meat. As I'm wondering if I'm supposed to take it from him, he nudges my lips. Guess not. I open my mouth, so he can deposit the food on my tongue.

We continue like that for more than half an hour. Mulder never looks away from the TV, but randomly extends his hand with something for me to eat. I shift from annoyance to acceptance to apathy to annoyance. Finally, I just wish I better understood what's going on inside his head.

Out of the blue, while still staring at the TV, Mulder says, "You're not going to like what's coming next. Are you going to just accept it, so we don't have to jump through a bunch of hoops just to face the inevitable?"

"I..." My brain spins through every horrible thing I can imagine. "Yes." Like there was any other answer.

He finally looks at me. "Bedroom."

I sense him behind me as I return to the room. Turning to find what he wants me to do, I'm surprised by the impact of his hand in the center of my chest, shoving me onto the bed. I land hard, and though my ass and back protests, I take the cue and lie supine.

Mulder briskly reattaches the restraints, including the spreader bar, which he uses to force my legs even further apart than before. My groan of pain as my inner thighs stretch is more acknowledgement than complaint. My mind skips from worrying about a blindfold, to wondering what's next, to not really caring about any of it. It's too hard to concentrate because I feel completely off-balance.

Once he's satisfied with the leg restraints, Mulder reaches above me, adjusting the lead on the wrist cuff, so I can barely move my arm. He frowns at me when I test the restraint and I still automatically.

Seated on the bed, still in his jeans, he watches me thoughtfully. I'm surprised by how little concern I have. After what he's already done, I'm confident I can handle whatever's coming. Even if that means he's going to fuck me, because I've already accepted the inevitability of it.

"Tunguska," Mulder murmurs softly.

I was wrong. I'm not ready for this. "Let me up," I whisper while staring at the wall, in an attempt to not betray the sudden tumult of emotions.

"No." His hand encloses my jaw, forcing my face back toward his. "You have no choices here."

I blank everything out and make the only choice I can for my sanity. "You said I have the choice to end it." Something new and precious inside me begins to die. "I'm ending it. Let me up."

His fingers bite into my cheek. "I lied," he hisses. "No choices. You're mine."

I know I'm physically incapable of breaking these restraints. The only thing I can do is not respond.

Mulder shakes his head and rises. He removes something from his dresser that looks sort of like a short rug beater. Back at the bed, he rests it gently on my left inner thigh. He just stares at it, drawing my gaze to my own leg. I stop breathing when I realize the circular braided leather fits perfectly into the bruise pattern. This is the instrument of torture. My guess would be that there's a heavy piece of cable contained within the leather.

In a panic, my eyes meet Mulder's. His eyes are blank. "I really don't think you can handle any more of this. It's too bad really... you have very nice legs." He raises his arm.

"Don't," I gasp, "pleas-" The brutal impact on my already abused skin hurts worse than anything I've ever experienced. Almost anything, memories of Tunguska mock me. I scream into a hand I didn't even feel cover my mouth. The fingers slip away and I gasp around sobs, "Please, I'll tell you... anything. Please don't."

Fingers are gripping my jaw again, forcing me to look into Mulder's still blank eyes. "Tunguska," he repeats firmly.

"What part, who, when..." I gibber frantically. "Wh-"

The fingers are over my mouth again. "Start with the truck."

"Huh?" My panic is subsumed by confusion. "What truck?" My mind races. "The bombs? I thought you already knew ab-"

"No!" He yells over me, then takes a deep breath and sits on the bed. "I know all about that. The truck at the gulag. I stole it. You were in the back. Pick up from there."

Now I'm really confused. The part of me that's kept me alive all these years wants to make a smart-ass remark, but my legs are more interested in a different kind of self-preservation. "I don't understand what you're asking. You got away from the gulag... out of Russia."

Mulder watches me intently. "You know that I already know that. Tell me what I don't know."

I try to figure out what he wants. "I, uh, I had loose ends to tie up, but there was nothing noteworthy."

"Tell me what happened between the truck and loose ends."

I really don't like where this is going.

His hand settles gently on my chest and I glance down, eyes following his hand as it slides over to a part of my body he's left alone thus far... the remains of my left arm.

"I don-" I begin to protest.

His eyes harden. "Don't push me, Alex. Answer the question."

Reluctantly, I call up memories long suppressed. "I wandered the woods for a bit, eventually ran into some locals, who were very concerned that I might be from the prison."

Mulder's hand remains on my stump, just above the prosthesis. "You persuaded them otherwise?"

"Uh, yeah." I pause to clear my throat. "I told them I was lost... escaped, whatever. They bought it and said they'd help."

"And then?"

I think I know what he wants to hear, I just can't figure out why. "They fed me. Promised to lead me to a phone... transportation. But not before they 'protected' me from being tested if captured by the gulag."

"And that protection was?" he asks benignly.

Why does he want me to say it? I refuse to let this hurt me. The words certainly can't damage me more than the event. "You know what it was. They cut off my arm."

"Did you know before we went to Russia that this was how the locals were 'handling' things?"

"No." If I had, I might have preferred to stay handcuffed in the car.

"Tell me about when they cut off your arm." He squeezes my stump lightly

"Wh-why?"

"Because I want you to," he offers tonelessly.

"I-I was asleep..."

He frowns. "Asleep?"

"Yes. Everyone had gone to sleep. Or that's what I thought. I woke up to hands holding me... it felt like hundreds of hands holding me down. I couldn't move no matter how I tried." I twitch, trying not to fight my present restraints as I'm immersed in painful memories. Mulder's still frowning, but I continue, unable to stop now that he's turned on the switch. "They heat the knife in the fire to cauterize as they cut. For a brief moment I thought they were touching me with something cold. Then I felt the burn." I swallow hard. "The burn... it was much worse than the cutting. At least until..." The memory is so vivid I feel queasy.

"Until what," a voice softly prompts.

"Until they got to the bone. They used the point of the knife like a pick... hit it with something to snap the bone. That was bad." And that was the worst thing I've ever felt, but I don't usually choose to remember.

"What happened after?"

"The last thing I remember is the smell when they tossed my arm on the fire. I slept... or passed out. In the morning they took me to a village. The rest is..."

"Irrelevant," the voice supplies. "So, to the end they thought they were helping you?"

I blink away the past and consider Mulder's question. "Yes."

"Alex, you deserve a lot for the things you've done."

I nod, accepting the truth of it.

He grips my jaw, turning my face so I have to look at him. I close my eyes.

I already agreed, Mulder. It's why I'm here. I don't want to see your condemnation right now.

"Open your eyes, Alex."

Reluctantly, I open them, but don't find what I expected. His eyes are sad.

"You did not deserve that."

There's a lump in my throat and I can't swallow or breathe around it. I register compassion in his eyes. And I don't want it. His kindness is steel band around my throat.

"Alex, listen to me... You did not deserve that." Mulder watches me closely.

I want to kill him.

"You're not breathing." He stares at me intently, concern darkening his eyes. "Stop it!"

Die.

"Breathe, Alex."

I HATE YOU!

"Breathe!" He shakes me hard.

I hate me.

"Dammit, breathe!" His hands cover my cheeks, holding my head tightly. "You have to breathe."

I can't.

"Alex, it wasn't your penance. You have to breathe!"

I don't want to.

"It was a mistake. Just a mistake!" Another shake. "BREATHE!"

The edges of my vision start to blur, all I can see are his eyes. Worried eyes. Damn him.

"Fuck!" He lifts my head. "You didn't deserve it!" he screams at me.

I did...

"God dammit, Alex!" Mulder rattles my head, bouncing it off the pillow. "If you won't breathe for yourself, breathe for me!"

The air filling my lungs feels like fire. I choke it down; gasp after gasp. He's moving, but I don't know why. When he pulls at my body, I realize my restraints are gone. I keep breathing, even though I don't know what he's trying to get me to do.

Then he's just holding me, whispering in my ear. "It was a mistake."

My arm comes around him, fingers clenching into his back. "You don't know..." My voice gives out. I swallow, fighting panic. "Don't know what I've d-done."

"It doesn't matter. Not about this." One hand is stroking my hair. "It wasn't penance. It wasn't fate. It wasn't atonement. It was a mistake. Just a fucking mistake."

Whatever protection I had, however thin, is burned away, leaving nothing but ash to cover me.

"It was a mistake," he whispers over and over.

I try to hold back the tears of grief, but can't. I told myself I wasn't going to grieve for my arm, and now Mulder's taken that away, too.

My body convulses with sobs, as every fucking minute of that horrible night is cried out in his arms. He maintains a steady mantra softly in my ear... "It was just a mistake."

I couldn't feel bad about it if I deserved it, but he's given me permission to hurt about what happened by telling me it was a mistake. It's okay to be upset about a mistake.

Eventually, I'm so wrung out, I don't know what's going on. I could be crying, but I don't know. I expect him to push me away, but he doesn't. I expect him to say something, but he doesn't do that either. Time has no meaning. My body is limp with exhaustion, and I have no emotion or feeling left in me.

Words come from somewhere. I don't understand them. They keep coming. It's soothing, but I don't know what it means.

"Alex..."

I'm Alex.

"Sleep." The words make sense now. So compelling. I follow them into oblivion.


** End Anamnesis **

16 September 2005

Anamnesis: n. A recalling to memory

I hope you enjoyed Anamnesis. This story has had a long sabbatical, but it's moving forward again. The next several chapters are in various stages of editing and beta and will be published in the near future.

Zoë


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