Title:  Penance, Chapter Three: Angst
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:  Mulder gives Krycek an ultimatum
Beta Thanks:  Helen & Ursula. You guys are the best!

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



Angst   by Zoë

**

Tuesday, 9:32 P.M.

I slip the key into Mulder's lock and twist. The room is pitch black, but I know from the sound under my feet that there's still plastic on the floor. I pocket my key and grope for the light switch. I probably shouldn't be surprised to find Mulder sitting in the middle of the room, but I am.

He's in a grey suit, tie gone, sitting on... sort of a chair. I'm so distracted by the bizarre apparition that I forget anything else for a moment. It's like a straight back chair, except the back is about six feet high, with rungs every ten inches or so, like a ladder. It's a muted grey metal with a solid seat. The chrome eyebolts are highly visible and contribute to the oddity. They're spaced about every six inches along the back. There are also eyebolts on all four legs and at all the corners of the seat.

"You're late," Mulder observes tonelessly.

Remembering why I'm here, I force myself to ignore the strange chair. "Yeah. Life sucks." I let the black duffel slide off my shoulder and heave it toward his feet.

He blinks at it a few times, his expression blank. "I take it this means you didn't do your homework."

"Fuck you, Mulder!"

In a surprisingly graceful move, he gets to his feet, eyes flicking toward the scanning equipment. "Not likely. But, if you don't remember the rules, you could be." He turns on his heel and disappears into the kitchen.

My jaw is clenched so tightly it makes my ears ring. I want to chase the little bastard down and strangle him. But he's right. If the Consortium is listening, I will be the one getting fucked.

Anger makes my movements jerky and uncoordinated as I scan the apartment. I hit the kitchen last, because that's where fuck head is. I find him leaning against the counter, shirt open and hanging loose under his jacket, drinking a beer.

When I'm finished scanning, I unceremoniously plunk the equipment on the counter next to him, then step back a few feet.

Mulder continues to sip his beer, one hip hitched against the countertop, acting like I'm not in the room.

Fine. "You think I'm going to find any 'joy' in gay sex? You think I'm going to just lie down and take it when you send me home with stuff to shove up my ass? Think again, Mulder! I'm not your personal sex toy."

He carefully sets his beer bottle on the counter, then appears to be contemplating his fingernails. I close my eyes and take a steadying breath. He's so fucking anno-

Mulder's fist connecting with my jaw is a complete shock. I'm registering the pain as I crash back into his table, then struggle to get my bearing. My arm is suddenly in a viselike grip as I'm being hauled into the living room. Before I can process what the fuck is going on, he's shoving me out the front door. The black duffel lands at my feet.

I blink at it, then gape at Mulder, who's glaring at me, but otherwise seems to be in complete control. He braces his hands on either side of the doorjamb, causing his entire chest to be exposed. He's more muscular than I thought... what an irrelevant thought.

Leaning forward, he whispers, "One rebellion, Alex. That was it. You don't get another. Come back Friday night at 8:00 with your homework done, or don't ever come back."

Then I'm staring at the closed door and listening to the snick of the deadbolt.

Fine. See you in another life, Mulder.

But my feet don't move when ordered. Fuck! I grab the hated bag and head for the elevator.

I need time to think. But first, I need to get really drunk.


Wednesday, 6:15 A.M.

I am so fucking hungover. This headache makes me wish I had a normal job, so I could call in sick. Despite feeling like I'm already six feet under, I make it to the rendezvous five minutes early. The surveillance van is already there. I grab my case and tap on the side door. I'm quickly given entrance. One techie and the driver.

My backup is ten minutes late. I glare at him as he's climbing into the van. He starts to make an excuse. "Just shut up," I bark at him.

As we get on the road, he settles quietly in the corner, deferring to my bad mood.
The hours of surveillance are tedious. I have to keep fairly close watch on the monitors, but I have plenty of brain cycles for thoughts about last night.

Anger is my predominant emotion. I'd really like to bang his fucking head against a wall. But a part of me I normally keep very well suppressed is screaming at me... Also angry, but angry at me for nearly fucking up with Mulder.

I know he was serious... if I go back, it's all his way. If I can't live with that, never go back. So, I'll never go back. Because I can't live with it. It's impossible... giving him complete control over me. I... no, it won't work.

Though I try desperately to push them away, memories of Saturday night haunt me. Not memories of what he did, but of how I felt after. Or rather, didn't feel. I want that again with a desperation I don't know how to control. I don't need to feel good, or happy, or any other 'positive' emotion. I just don't want to feel my life any more. I'm so fucking, goddamned sick of the face in the mirror.

Still, I know myself well enough to know that I can't just give it up. No matter what I said that first night, I have to stay in control of me. Promises be damned. It won't be the first time, nor the last.

So, I hate myself just a little more, and turn my full attention to my job.

An hour later, our mark is doing just what we were afraid he would do. Fucking moron. They always think we don't know.

I tap out a number on my cell. When the voice answers, I tersely net out the situation. "Adams just met with the judge. They exchanged a standard-sized envelope and spoke for two minutes."

"Take them both, retrieve the envelope. We're sending another team to Adams' house for cleanup."

"Received."

I expect him to hang up, but instead, he adds, "If the judge makes it home, take care of it."

"Done." The line goes dead.

I glance through the file. The judge has four children, a wife, a live-in mother with cancer and a housekeeper. Fanfuckingtastic. Gesturing toward the door, I order my backup, "Stay on Adams, check in with me every 15 minutes. Make no move without my order."

When he's gone, I tell the driver to follow the judge. "Let's get him before he gets home." The easiest way to take him out is to do it at home, but I can't do it. Today, I can't handle killing an entire family and their unfortunate maid. "Try for the parking garage, I don't want a shootout on the freeway." I pull on a ski mask--it's likely I'll be the only one caught on camera today. Range will be too close for a rifle, so I pull out my 9mm and attach the silencer.

The driver is good. He manages to navigate traffic smoothly enough to get us into the parking garage just as the judge is reaching for his car keys. When the van is stopped, the driver opens the side door by remote and then I'm face-to-face with the judge, whose expression is shifting from curiosity to fear. A quick double-tap to the head and the judge is taken care of. It only takes a couple seconds for me to locate the envelope in his coat pocket, but it will be the tensest two seconds of my entire day.

My phone chirps as the van pulls out of the parking garage. "Yeah?"

"Adams is heading north on 14th, still on foot."

"The man is so predictable. He's heading for his favorite bistro. I'll be there ahead of him. You stay with him and let me know if he changes course."

"Got it. Out."

Once we reach the bistro, I tell the driver to wait around the corner, then head inside. Adams will order, then go to the bathroom to piss and wash his hands. I take up position at the payphone outside the men's restroom and wait.

I know so much about Adams because we've worked together before. He provided me intel for a couple of previous hits. We've had lunch here twice. He's one of the few people in this biz who has managed to keep a decent sense of humor, so I always kind of liked him.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see him approach the bathroom. He finds the door locked and whistles softly while he waits for the prior occupant to emerge. The tune is vaguely reminiscent of something by Kool & the Gang.

I'm hyper-alert, carefully measuring the situation. The timing is really dicey. The other patron has to round the corner before I can... there! I shove hard against the bathroom door.

"Hey! There's someone in h-" Adams' briefcase clatters to the floor and he stares at me in shock.

I push my back against the door until it's closed, then turn the deadbolt.

"Krycek." He's trying to look pleasantly surprised, but it's forced. He knows.

"What the hell are you doing, Tom?" Breaking my rules again. Never talk to the mark.

He shrugs helplessly. "I, uh..."

"What was the last thing I said to you after the embassy hits?"

Adams looks at the floor, then meets my gaze. "Never do anything to make them send you after me." He's wringing his hands, his body turning in on itself protectively. "I didn't think they'd know."

"You fool."

He lifts his hands, palms out, trying to appease. "Look, Alex, we can work this out. There are other options."

I feel impossibly tired. "No. There are not."

His head snaps back from the force of the bullet. But his body seems to hang in midair for a moment before crumpling to the ground. Eyes open, he stares sightlessly at the tiled wall. They always look surprised. I pull a notepad out of his briefcase and scribble 'Out of Order' on a piece paper. Exiting the bathroom carefully to ensure I don't have to kill anyone else today, I find the hallway clear. I slip the paper partially between the door and the frame. A toilet flushes in the women's bathroom. I head for the exit.

Back in the van, I direct the driver where to pick up our missing team member. Once we're headed back to the rendezvous point, I call to check in again. Mission accomplished, nothing more to do. And so my workday comes to an end. With plenty of time to mull over just what I've accomplished.

No options, Tom. Not for you, not for the judge. But for me? Well, there might be one for me. It might kill me, but it can't be any worse than the way I'm dying now.


Thursday, 7:30 P.M.

I prowl around my apartment, fed up with my own thoughts.

No official work today, so I continued my monitoring of Consortium activities, trying to stay one step ahead of them. That didn't take long enough. Plenty of time left to think about tomorrow night. To think about Mulder.

There's this sense of inevitability about the whole thing. I'm going back tomorrow, because that's what I need to do. But my will screams at me not to.

Still, that first night... something got loose. Something deep inside I thought I'd battered into submission. I'm having no success at putting it down again. The Consortium could beat me, lock me in a silo, put a gun to my head and they wouldn't wake it. Mulder said the magic word... 'forgiveness.' Like opening a door to my soul. No one else could give what I most desperately need. Absolution.

Mulder was right... penance alone isn't enough. It just creates a cycle of needing more and more to achieve the same high, or low. But two nights with Mulder and some of that pain has finally been put to rest.

I stop my pacing and rub my hand over my face, then through my hair. I can't envision taking the steps necessary to go back. But the idea of never having his hands on me again, makes me feel like there's a dull knife being twisted in my guts.

How can I not go back?

I turn to face my bed. Lying in the middle is the book, just waiting for me to make up my mind. If I don't read it, the decision is made. If I read it now, I still have time tomorrow to make the choice.

So, I climb onto my bed, stuff some pillows behind my back and settle in to read the book. The chapters appear to be arranged alphabetically by topic, but I don't verify, because I think it's better not to know what I'm getting myself into.

Okay, first chapter... 'Aids.' See HIV. Easy enough.

Next is 'Anus.' I read, and when I'm finished, I carefully set down the book and find a bottle of vodka.

With a filled glass handy, I resume my reading. The next few chapters aren't too horrible, then I flip the page and come face-to-face with 'Blow Job.' Images race through my brain in a very film noir kind of display. The memory of Mulder's cock taunts me. I can too easily see my hand circling his hard flesh. My stomach flips over and I close my eyes. But that only makes the images more intense. Mulder's cock disappearing into my mouth. Opening my eyes, I stare at the ceiling trying to see faces or airplanes in the acoustic tiles. Mulder's cock covered in semen, my tongue...

I'll just read the damned chapter! Whatever comes next has got to be better than this.

'Body Fluids.' Oh, kill me now.

I read on with an intensity born of a desire to forget. The chapter on Bondage is mildly titillating. I've tried that with women a few times. A memory of shiny eyebolts on a ladder-back chair intrudes. Okay!

Next.

A few easy chapters help to relieve some of my tension, though I pause on the chapter about celibacy. Not because it's especially interesting, but because if I'm truly going through with this, I'm celibate on Mulder's whim. The day after our last session, I fucked the first woman I could find, because to hell with Mulder and his rules. But now... I just have to put the thought out of my head, because there's nothing I can do about it.

Keep reading, Alex. Only 180 more pages.

'Domestic Violence' makes me laugh, though not in amusement. I wish.

When I get to 'Effeminacy,' I reach for my vodka. Why does he want me reading this stuff?

The alcohol makes it easier to continue, but a mere two chapters later, I get to 'Fetish.' If I drink the entire bottle all at once, I'll probably die of alcohol poisoning. So, I make a rule; no more than one drink per chapter. The next three chapters are so dull, I forget to drink and try very hard not to yawn.

When I finish reading 'Fisting' I decide my rule has to be a little flexible. I can have the four shots from the last four chapters all at once. That's better. But I'm getting a little bleary-eyed. So I think about fisting until I can see clearly. Only one drink per chapter, dammit.

Nothing new in the next several chapters. I want to relax, but I know the worst must be coming. Gay politics, gyms, kissing... blah, blah, blah.

Letting Go. I sit up and read carefully. Though their subject matter isn't exactly on point, the parallels are too obvious to be ignored. If I'm going back to Mulder's, I have to be able to do this. But it's just not in my personality to let go, to give it up. A soft voice reminds me that I've already done it. Twice.

My mind cycles on the conundrum. Why were those two instances different from what I have to do tomorrow? Because letting go in response to something with Mulder is simply different than letting go before I ever walk in the door. I wish he'd asked anything but that. Don't make me give up hours before I even see you. Hours before the promise of the impact of your hands on my flesh.

I put the problem aside, knowing I'll be back to it before long. I can't have what I most want if I don't deal with this.

The book beckons. There are so many benign chapters in a row, I relax again. The section entitled 'Noisemaking' elicits an actual amused laugh. We need an entire chapter on this?

Orgies, Parents, Phone Sex, Piercing... Piercing? A couple photos and descriptions have me crossing my legs and feeling reluctant sympathy for the recipients. Ouch.

The rest of the P's are pretty boring. I figure Mulder knows quite a bit about the 'Pornography' chapter.

I turn the page and the heading 'Rape' jumps out at me. I stop breathing, my entire body rigid with tension. Not going to think about it. I skip two pages without reading and find myself in the section on 'Rimming.' Hmm. Well, I have now forgotten about everything that came before this page.

Mulder's comment from Saturday night comes back to me. 'So, unless you also want to find yourself with your tongue up my ass, I suggest you get your fucking clothes OFF!' A name to put with the activity.

Eight pages later, I'm at 'Scat.' Vodka. Maybe I'll brush my teeth.

When I return from the bathroom, I face the rest of the 'S' chapters. 'Sit on My Face' and 'Sitting on It' seem really self-explanatory. Maybe if I critique the authors, I won't have to think about why I might be reading this material.

At page 208, I'm desperate for this to be over. I know there are only 215 pages, so please let the last seven pages be dull.

'Water Sports.' And that's not about scuba diving. My glass is empty. I measure out one more shot and down it quickly.

All the booze is making me sweat. I want to get out of my clothes, but won't do it just yet. I have three pages left to read and I don't want to be naked while reading this book.

The last few pages are boring, so as I'm stripping off my clothes and getting into the shower, water sports is what's stuck in my mind.

Lying in bed an hour later, I find sleep elusive. Normally, if I can't sleep, I beat off, just like every other man on the planet. But tonight, I can't seem to muster the interest. No matter what I try to think about, the book comes back to the forefront.

I flip over, trying to find a comfortable position for my mind. Think about tomorrow. Okay, I've read the book, now all I have to do is make it through the front door and get my damned clothes off. Then I remember the enema. FUCK!

Mulder, you are the most sadistic bastard. I hate your fucking guts.

My gun is in my hand and I empty the clip into the other side of the mattress. In this neighborhood, no one will even notice.

Now completely twisted up in my sheets, I flop onto my back and give up on sleep.


Friday, 5:05 P.M.

I haul my aching body out of bed, because the moment of truth is at hand and I have to make a decision.

In the bathroom, I contemplate my reflection. My ribs are starting to bruise spectacularly, I have a little cut above my left eye and I desperately need a shave. The B&E this morning went awry. Supposed to just be a little information retrieval, but one of my lookouts fucked up, so I wound up rib to fist with a security guard. Now I've got a few bruises, a cut and another dead body. Yeah, I'm going to see Mulder.

The little box next to the sink beckons. This can't be harder than anything else I've done in my life. The directions are simple. Put it up your ass, lie with your butt in the air and your head on the floor until you absolutely need to... whatever.

I realize I'm breathing through clenched teeth. There's no doubt in my mind that if I don't do this, Mulder will end it. I saw it in his eyes. If a little degradation is the price, it's cosmically insignificant. So, don't think about it and just do it.

The tile floor is cold so I lay down a towel, then slide to my knees. Reaching back, I carefully probe with the lubricated nozzle. Something's not right... this isn't working. It takes me a minute to realize it's because my legs are clamped together like they're coated with superglue.

Taking a shaky breath, I force my legs apart and try again. When the tip is barely touching my anus, I'm certain this cannot possibly work. I don't want this thing up my ass.

With perfect recall, I remember the sense of contentment at the end of our last session. A profound longing washes over me, so I push, and accept the feel of this thing invading my body.

Once all the cold fluid is inside, I slowly lower my chest to the floor. I have nothing to do but stare at the wall, wait for the minutes to tick by and deal with the embarrassment.

Ten minutes seem like eternity. When it's time to get off the floor, I feel close to giving up--to fleeing from Mulder and his damned forgiveness.

One foot in front of the other, Alex. It'll be over soon.

Twenty minutes later, I'm finished with my shower and almost done shaving. I contemplate my reflection one last time, then flip off the light and get dressed.

It's five minutes to 8:00 when I reach Mulder's neighborhood, and that's cutting it close because I have to be sure I'm not being observed. My watch says 8:01 when I reach his door, and ticks over to 8:02 as I'm turning the key in the lock.

Once again, I'm faced with a dark apartment. I flip the light switch. No Mulder this time. But the same weird chair, and the floor is again covered in plastic. I take a deep breath, then another. Fuck, I'm nervous. I didn't feel this way last time. There's no time to think about it--I've got three things to do; scan, strip, kneel. I have to focus on that.

On top of the scanner is a note:

--
When finished, turn the lights off, kneel facing the windows, don't move.
--

I swallow hard, stick the note in my pocket and pick up the scanner. It takes 15 minutes to scan the apartment, during which time I realize why I'm nervous. This fucking homework issue, so now I have to prove to Mulder that I'm serious about this. It feels like a fucking interview.

One foot in front of the other...

I shed my clothes, leaving them folded on a side table, with my weapons on top. This feels so damned stupid. Flip of the switch, and the room is dark. Then I'm on my knees, on plastic sheeting, facing away from the door, a few feet from a very weird chair.

Never in my life have I had a problem with nerves. But I have the problem in spades right now. My weapons are too far away to be useful. I'm naked and on my knees in Fox Mulder's home. I could be caught at any minute by the Consortium, Skinner, Scully, the Lone fucking Gunmen.

I've just about nerved myself right out of here, when I hear a key at the lock. Not Consortium or Skinner or Gunmen. Maybe Scully, though.

The door closes, the lights come on, there's that lovely chair, and... nothing else. Not Scully, then. There's a faint rustle of fabric, like someone taking off a coat. Another sound kind of like two pieces of fabric rubbing against each other. Ah... tie coming off. Then nothing. Complete silence.

I feel like a complete fool when I start trembling. I'm balancing on the edge of a knife and I've had about as much of it as I can stand.

Without warning, I feel fingers card through my hair.


** End Angst **

22 June 2004

Many twists and turns lay ahead... please drop a line to let me know what you think of the story.

Zoë


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