Challenges of Everyday Life 8
Giving Thanks


November 1998

Disclaimer: They all belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions, but I let them have more fun. So don't sue me.

"Ow, dammit! Are you sure this thing's dead?"

"I'd say the lack of a head and the fact that it was frozen when we bought it pretty much guarantees that it's dead, yes," Alex responded dryly. "Why don't you let me stuff the turkey?"

"I am perfectly capable of putting stuffing inside a turkey, Alex!"

Alex's only response was a raised eyebrow as he looked from his lover to the turkey lying on its back halfway across the countertop where it landed when it shot out from between Mulder's hands.

Mulder glared at the younger man before transferring his irate gaze to the innocuous-seeming turkey. "How hard can this be? Millions of people do this every year."

"Yes, but most of them learn how to cook before trying it the first time, Mulder. Look, it's bad enough you have Scully and Skinner coming over here without warning them that the man you're involved with is me. Could we please not poison them too?"

Mulder sulked, letting his lower lip tremble slightly. He knew it drove Alex wild.

Alex's eyes riveted on that lip, but he refused to allow himself to be distracted. They'd had to go to five stores the night before to find the damned bird; he was not going to let Mulder ruin it. Still, he had to clear his throat twice before he could force words out. "Let me make the dinner, and I'll do anything you want."

Mulder's whole face lit up. "Anything?"

Alex wondered what he was letting himself in for, but he repeated, "Anything."

"Okay, dinner's yours. What do you want me to do?"

Alex eyed Mulder dubiously, seriously uneasy at his ready acquiescence. "Uh, you can peel the potatoes and carrots, and do the green beans. You do have enough pots for all this, don't you?"

"Sure, my mom gave me a set when I moved in here. I think I put them in there." Mulder pointed at the corner cupboard.

Alex rolled his eyes. "How long have you lived here, Mulder? Never mind, just find four pots."

"Four? You only mentioned three vegetables."

Alex groaned. This was going to be a long morning. "Cranberry sauce, Mulder."

With a minimum of chaos considering he had to deal with Mulder, who was as curious as a puppy and constantly sticking his nose into things, Alex got everything prepared and the turkey into the oven. Shortly afterward, the kitchen was sparkling clean and everything put away again. He couldn't say it didn't look as if he hadn't been there since it had not sparkled before, but he felt they could relax now till Scully and Skinner were due to arrive.

"Mulder? What time did you invite Scully and Skinner to come over?"

"I asked them to come over around 3:00. I wanted to have time to talk and for them to calm down before dinner. Tension's bad for the digestion you know."

"Fuck, Mulder, it's 2:30 now! And I still need to shower." Alex jumped up and ran for the bathroom, muttering imprecations all the way. So much for relaxing. He took what might well have been the fastest shower on record and went back into the bedroom to get dressed. He found Mulder waiting for him, sitting on the bed beside his clothes with one hand out of sight.

"Okay, Alex, time to pay up. You promised me anything," Mulder announced.

Alex stared in dismay, visions of Skinner and Scully walking in to find them fucking passing through his head. While it might be a better way to go than most, Alex wanted to live with Mulder for years, not die today at the hands of one of Mulder's friends. "Uh, Fox, we don't have time before they get here."

Mulder grinned lasciviously. "I know that, lover. But I want you to be thinking about it all evening."

"You want me to be thinking about us while your boss and partner are here?" Alex wondered if the water was drugged again.

"Yup. I want them to see just a taste of how beautiful you really are."

Alex gulped.

Mulder crooked his finger and Alex approached him with dragging feet. Mulder stood up when Alex was in front of him, his body stroking the length of the younger man's still naked form as he did. He ran his fingers through Alex's damp hair, holding his head still for the loving kiss Mulder pressed upon him.

Alex moaned into Mulder's mouth, shuddering against him. He could feel his cock swelling as he pressed into Mulder. His hips twitched involuntarily, and Mulder's hands came down to cup his ass, pulling him in tighter. He whimpered when he felt Mulder's fingers stroking down the valley between his cheeks. He was so hard now; he wanted to come.

But Mulder stepped back, leaving Alex moaning and thrusting yearningly toward him. "Alex. Alex. Come on, listen to me, Alex." The younger man looked at him through heavy-lidded eyes. "You have to stand still for me for a minute, Alex." Alex didn't know if he could, but he would try, for Mulder.

Mulder sat back down on the bed in front of Alex, reaching behind his back to pick up... something. Alex stared at the small mound of leather and metal in his lover's hand with suddenly wide eyes while Mulder lightly ran a teasing finger the length of his cock. Alex groaned, but Mulder was concentrating on his task.

He slid the small cage over the head of Alex's erection and fastened the leather bindings below it around the lower part of the shaft, making sure they were snug but not painful. Not yet anyway. Finally, Mulder settled the last two straps around his lover's balls, restraining them and making it clear to Alex that this was going to be a very long day. Mulder reached a finger through the cage to stroke briefly over the head of Alex's cock, drawing a whimper from the younger man.

"No," he mused aloud, "it's not quite right." He reached behind him again, this time coming up with a fine chain. He attached it to the small ring on top of the cage around Alex's cock and fastened the length around Alex's waist, supporting his erection while still leaving some give. He tugged lightly on the chain to make sure it was settled properly, making Alex moan at the sensation.

"You expect me to stay like this all afternoon while Scully and Skinner are here?" Alex couldn't believe it.

Mulder nodded emphatically.

"But they'll be able to see it!" Alex wailed.

"No, they won't," Mulder soothed. "It's Thanksgiving, Alex. You have to dress up a little. Jeans won't cut it. And your dress pants fit more loosely, so with them and a sweater, you'll be camouflaged. Besides, you promised."

Alex sighed shakily and nodded, reaching for his clothes to dress while Mulder went for a quick shower. They had just made it back to the living room when they heard a knock at the door. Shooting a panic-stricken look at the door, Alex mumbled something about having to baste the turkey and bolted into the kitchen. Mulder sighed, shook his head, and went to let his friends in.

Scully greeted him with a kiss on the cheek and a hug. Skinner fortunately contented himself with a smile and handshake. After Mulder hung up their coats, he turned back to find Scully looking around curiously. Realizing Mulder had caught her, she shrugged and smiled.

"So where's this special guy you've been seeing, Mulder? I thought he was going to be here today."

"He's in the kitchen. Something about having to baste the turkey."

Scully sighed with relief at finding out that Mulder wasn't doing the cooking. "Well, go get him out here, Mulder. We're dying to meet him."

"Uh, sure, hang on. I'll go see if he's done." Mulder escaped into the kitchen, suddenly nervous and wondering if this had been such a good idea. But he didn't want to keep hiding Alex as if he was ashamed of him or something.

When Mulder went into the kitchen, he found Alex backed against the far wall, looking extremely nervous. Mulder sighed and went across to him, drawing the younger man into his arms. "Come on, love, time to tell people about us. What's the worst that can happen?"

Alex glared at him. "One or both of them can shoot me!"

"Don't be silly, they wouldn't do that. Besides, I checked. Neither of them is armed." Mulder admitted that he'd been a little uneasy on that score himself. Deciding to distract Alex, he wrapped his arms tightly around him, sliding one hand up under his sweater to tug gently on the chain around his waist.

Alex gasped, his hips jerking forward against Mulder at the intense pleasure he felt. But the cage prevented him from getting the friction he wanted, and he whimpered quietly. He rubbed his face against Mulder's chest, finally settling with his head tucked under his chin. He rested in his lover's arms for a moment before pushing back, knowing that they had to go out and face Scully and Skinner soon. He looked into Mulder's eyes. "Promise you won't let them kill me?" he asked wryly.

Mulder grinned. "I swear. I have plans for you tonight." With that he took Alex's hand and led him out of the kitchen.

Scully looked up with a smile as Mulder entered the room, a smile that froze on her face when she saw Alex Krycek behind him. She stared in disbelief at their linked hands, noticing Krycek's white-knuckled grip on her partner's hand. She also realized that Krycek was keeping Mulder's body between him and them. She dragged her eyes up to meet Mulder's gaze, seeing the fear he was trying to hide. That stopped her. With everything they had been through, she couldn't remember ever seeing fear in his eyes before. Pain and sorrow, yes, when he thought he might lose her, but never fear. And it wasn't fear of losing her or his job because of her or Skinner's reactions. It was fear for Krycek, fear of what they might do to him. She could see that.

Skinner lurched to his feet, fists clenching as he took a single step in Krycek's direction. The movement drew Mulder's attention, and his head snapped around toward Skinner, stopping the other man in his tracks.

"Mulder?" Scully's soft voice reclaimed his focus.

Skinner subsided back into his chair, staring intently at the two men before him. Mulder was gnawing on his lip, and Krycek was jittering behind him, occasionally shooting yearning glances at the door.

Mulder pulled his reluctant lover over to the sofa, where they sat down facing Scully and Skinner with all the enthusiasm of convicted criminals facing a firing squad. Mulder sighed, deciding Alex had been right. He should have warned Scully and Skinner beforehand. He unconsciously moved closer to Alex, seeking the comfort of touch.

Scully's eyes narrowed observing Mulder's actions. She noted his move and watched Alex shift his position slightly to accommodate him. Without conscious volition on either of their parts, they ended up pressed together from shoulder to toes, Mulder almost in the younger man's lap. One of Alex's hands rested on Mulder's thigh, and Mulder brought his own hand up to cover it. Their body language told her more than words ever could. Whatever Krycek had or had not done, Mulder loved him, and he loved Mulder. She wondered if either of them had admitted it yet.

"I guess I should have told you first, huh?" Mulder finally spoke.

"Would you care to explain, Agent Mulder, why you are consorting with a wanted felon?" Skinner's voice was hard and cold as arctic ice.

"Wanted for what, Walter? When you come right down to it, there is no evidence implicating Alex in anything. Well, aside from attacking you in the stairwell, but I think we can agree you made him pay for that."

"Alex Krycek is wanted in connection with your own father's murder, the murder of Melissa Scully, your partner's kidnapping, and probably espionage! That'll do for a start."

Alex groaned, it was the usual litany even if coming from Skinner this time. "God, I'm tired of hearing that. Okay, once and for all, yes, I shot William Mulder. He was going to kill Fox, so I killed him."

Skinner interrupted before Krycek could go on. "You expect us to believe that William Mulder intended to kill his own son?" he scoffed.

"No, he intended to kill the man he knew was not his son and who was disrupting Consortium plans," Alex snapped. Mulder flinched, but he had heard it before and was coming to grips with it. "Secondly, I did not kill Melissa Scully. I was there, but when I heard the door open, I didn't know what to do. My orders from my real superiors did not include killing innocent women, and I froze for a second. It was then that Cardinale shot her. And Scully's kidnapping was arranged by the Consortium. I never knew anything about it until after the fact. I wasn't exactly involved in their high level planning sessions. Besides, I would have told them that attacking Scully would only make Mulder more determined. It was a move destined to backfire. As for espionage, yeah, okay, I'm Russian and was a member of the former KGB. But my mission was always to infiltrate the Consortium, find out what their interest in Mulder was, why someone was protecting him. I never passed on any information in any way detrimental to this country." Alex didn't say a word about his assault on Skinner in the stairwell, and his glare made it clear that he didn't regret a moment of it.

Skinner glared back, and Scully sighed at the macho posturing. For the first time, Krycek's story rang true. She believed he was telling the truth. And he was making her partner happy. She'd been able to see the difference in Mulder recently. He actually smiled most of the time now. As long as Krycek kept that up, she could put up with him. She relaxed back into her chair, waiting to see how Skinner reacted.

Mulder watched Skinner anxiously. He could see that Scully had accepted the situation, but he wasn't so sure about his boss yet.

Skinner grumbled under his breath, but he knew his agent. Mulder was committed to Krycek now, and if Skinner pushed him, Mulder was likely to resign. With Krycek's skills and his strange friends, he'd be able to continue his fight from outside the Bureau, so he'd be willing to give up his job. Skinner intended to keep a close eye on Krycek, but for now, he had no choice but to accept him and his position in Mulder's life.

Mulder read Skinner's decision in his posture and relaxed finally. His gamble had paid off. If they had known Alex would be there, Scully and Skinner might not have come, but by springing it on them, he'd won their acceptance, even if only grudgingly.

Alex slid free of Mulder's embrace, getting to his feet to head back into the kitchen. He still had some things to do if they wanted to eat that evening. Mulder followed him moments later.

Alex turned to Mulder with a question in his eyes. Mulder's own eyes twinkled mischievously as he approached like some wild animal stalking its prey. He looked like Alex usually did.

Mulder pounced on Alex, pushing him against the wall and pressing up against him. He caught Alex's wrists in his hands, holding them over his head while he caught Alex's lips in a possessive kiss. He probed inside the warm cavity, tasting his lover and catching his whimpers in his own mouth. He stroked Alex's tongue with his own, enjoying his unique flavor. He transferred his grip on Alex's wrists to one hand, bringing the other down to pull up the younger man's sweater. He nuzzled against the chest now exposed to his gaze, rooting for a nipple while he kept his eyes on Alex's face.

Alex wore a look of pleasure that never failed to arouse Fox. Passion-glazed green eyes watched his lover play with his body while he panted for air. He writhed under Mulder's knowing touch, continuous moans falling from his lips. When Mulder caught a nipple between his teeth, Alex arched into his touch, the movement catching the chain around his waist against the wall and rolling it. The resulting pull on his cock dragged a long groan from him. "Dammit, Fox, if you make me scream when they're out there, I'll kill you!" He caught his lower lip between his teeth when Mulder bit down harder on the nipple and simultaneously slid his hand inside his slacks to cup his restrained balls.

Mulder continued to play for a while longer, loving the sound of Alex's moans and whimpers. Finally he pulled back, rearranging his lover's clothing as he did. He claimed another kiss from Alex, swiping his tongue over the other man's abused lower lip to lick away the blood. Alex hadn't screamed, but he had nearly bitten through his lip holding it back. Fox sucked that lip into his own mouth, soothing it with more swipes of his tongue before seizing Alex's mouth again. He ground his own erection against the younger man's belly, cupping Alex's ass to pull him even closer.

Mulder released his lover finally, turning to pull a bottle of wine out of the fridge and grabbing the corkscrew and some glasses. When the bottle was opened, he glanced over at Alex, who still leaned against the wall for support. Alex's face was flushed, his lips swollen, his eyes heavy lidded, and occasional tremors of arousal still wracked his body. Perfect.

"Come on, love, grab that veggie platter you got ready this morning, and let's offer our guests some refreshment." Mulder took hold of the wine bottle and glasses himself.

After shooting a disbelieving look at his lover and finding that, yes, he was serious, Alex pulled the platter out of the fridge and followed Mulder back into the living room.

Scully and Skinner stopped talking at the men's return, watching them curiously. Both gasped involuntarily when Krycek finally turned around. He was beautiful in his arousal and exuded sex appeal. Visions of him and Mulder together flashed through both their minds.

Alex couldn't meet their eyes. He knew it was obvious the state he was in. He never had been able to hide what Mulder did to him, and it was worse now that he knew that he'd have the other man eventually. Or Mulder would have him. Another shudder ran through him at the thought.

After providing everyone with a glass of wine, Mulder claimed a corner of the couch, sitting at an angle with one leg stretched out along it and the other foot on the floor. He held out a hand to Alex, who accepted it, settling into the cradle of Mulder's body. He lounged with his back pressed to Mulder's chest and both legs stretched out on the sofa, ankles crossed. As soon as Alex was settled, Mulder drew his other leg up, bending the knee so Alex could rest his wineglass on it. He also enjoyed the caresses of Alex's fingers as he held the glass steady. Mulder held his own glass in one hand, the other on Alex's shoulder, his fingers stroking the nape of his lover's neck. Alex arched into the caress like a cat, practically purring.

Scully hid a smile behind her wine. It was amazing to see Krycek domesticated. Even as she thought that, a car backfired outside, the noise bringing Krycek to instant alertness before he identified it and relaxed back into Mulder's embrace. So Krycek wasn't tamed, he was simply gentled to the touch of a single person. Realizing that, Scully moved beyond acceptance and began to be glad Mulder was involved with Krycek. The younger man would protect Mulder to his last breath, and if, God forbid, something did happen to Mulder, Krycek would make sure that the person responsible paid. Mulder had probably never been safer in his life.

Looking at the two of them again, Scully had to hide a grin. Judging by their expressions, Krycek's in particular, their sex life had to be pretty incredible too. Just imagining that was going to fuel her fantasies for a long time to come.

Skinner watched the two men in amazement. He had noted Krycek's sudden tension at the noise as well, but unlike Scully, he found no comfort in the idea of Mulder's pet killer. He was certain that one day Krycek would turn on Mulder, and nothing would be able to save the agent then. He promised himself that he'd keep on eye on them. This had to be another trick.

Mulder was watching Scully and Skinner, and from their expressions, he had a good idea what each was thinking. He had seen their reaction to Alex when they first came in from the kitchen and enjoyed it. He really loved watching people get a good look at Alex, knowing that he was the only one Alex would allow to touch him. Scully's reaction had been everything that he had hoped for, and Mulder thought that eventually she might even become Alex's friend. Smirking into his glass, Mulder decided that it was practically inevitable if he offered to let her watch them sometime. He could just imagine Alex's reaction to that. It might even be worth mentioning it to Alex just for the reaction. He loved it when Alex got violent.

Skinner, though, Skinner was going to be a problem. Mulder could see his suspicion and disbelief. He was never going to accept the two of them together. Mulder wondered whether it was Alex or himself that Skinner wanted without admitting it to himself. He couldn't tell from Skinner's reactions; it might even be both of them. It didn't matter since neither of them would ever be in Skinner's bed anyway, but it would make it easier to deal with the AD if he was sure.

Alex shifted slightly, reclaiming Mulder's attention as the move rubbed against his half-hard cock. He pushed against Alex's ass, wishing that they were alone. As much as he was enjoying torturing Alex, he was torturing himself at the same time. Seeing Alex's arousal just made him want him all the more. And it had been a long time since he'd had to sit this close to his lover and not touch every part of him. Mulder dropped a kiss on the side of Alex's neck, unable to resist.

Mulder lowered his hand from Alex's shoulder, stroking his back out of the others' sight. When he got to the base of his spine, he wormed his hand under Alex's sweater, tracing one finger along the chain there to warn Alex before tugging on it.

Alex choked on his wine, coughing to clear his lungs. He threw a glare over his shoulder at Fox, nearly groaning out loud at the devilish gleam in his lover's eyes. He tensed every muscle in his body, fighting to keep his hips still as Fox continued to play with the chain.

Skinner hadn't noticed anything, being occupied with putting his glass down and heading down the hall to the washroom. Scully, however, could see that Mulder was doing something to Krycek, although she didn't know what. When Skinner left the room, she couldn't restrain her curiosity any more. "Mulder?"

"Hmm?" He knew perfectly well what she wanted to know, but he wasn't going to make it easy for her either.

Scully briefly reconsidered, but seeing the sweat break out on Alex's face and his tension, she had to know. "What are you doing to him?"

Alex groaned.

Mulder grinned. "I'm just having a little fun with him. Isn't he beautiful like this?"

Alex glared over his shoulder again. But at least Mulder wasn't giving any details.

Scully just nodded. It looked like this was going to be a very interesting evening.

By the time they sat down to dinner, Alex was practically vibrating with tension and panting rather than breathing, Mulder had a permanent evil grin on his face, Skinner's scowl seemed to be etched in stone, and Scully eyebrows had nearly disappeared into her hair. When Mulder asked Alex to carve the turkey, the younger man seriously considered using the knife on his lover.

Rather than having Alex across the table from him, Mulder had seated his lover to his left, Skinner at the foot, and Scully across from Alex. This way Mulder was able to touch Alex whenever he wanted, and in fact, spent most of the meal with his leg pressed against Alex's.

Scully complimented the two men on the dinner, saying it was delicious.

"Thanks, Scully," Mulder smiled, "but I'm afraid all the credit has to go to Alex. All I did was watch and peel some vegetables. I think I'm going to have to take cooking lessons if I want to keep up with this guy. Do you know he even got up this morning and baked two pies? Amazing!"

Alex shrugged. "My grandmother insisted that boys had to know how to cook too. When I was a kid, I was always in the kitchen with her, learning. My dad wasn't real happy about it, but what babushka said, went. I still miss her." He turned to Mulder with his heart in his eyes. "She'd have liked you, Fox. But I'm not sure even she could have taught you to cook!" he grinned.

Scully laughed. "I'm going to have to agree with you there, Kr- Alex. Mulder's a lost cause in the kitchen."

Alex nodded. "Would you believe his pots were dusty?"

"You're kidding, right? You're not kidding," at Alex's shake of the head. "Oh, Mulder!"

"Hey, quit ganging up on me! Those who can, get others to cook for them!" he finished haughtily, provoking laughter from everyone, even Skinner.

After dinner, they all returned to the living with glasses of brandy. Alex and Mulder claimed the sofa again, reversing their positions this time with Mulder lying in Alex's arms, his head on his shoulder while Alex combed his fingers through his hair. Mulder sighed contentedly, shifting around till the cage Alex wore didn't dig into him.

The four of them chatted for a while, enjoying the quiet. Even Skinner unbent enough to respond to a comment Alex made. But eventually it got late, and Scully and Skinner left. Scully glanced back at the apartment as she left and saw the two men standing in the open doorway, Alex in Mulder's arms, her partner's chin on his lover's shoulder. They looked so right together.

Shutting the door, Alex turned to his lover with a grin. "Well, they're gone now. Are you going to give me what you've been promising all day?" He thrust against Mulder for emphasis.

"I don't know, Alex. We still need to clean up the kitchen." Mulder was enjoying prolonging the anticipation.

"Fox!" Alex managed a very impressive whine. "The dishes are in the damn dishwasher, the leftovers are in the fridge. Anything else can wait till tomorrow! I need you to make love to me now!"

"Go wait for me in bed, and I'll be right there." Mulder didn't want to wait any more either. After flicking off the lights, he followed Alex to their bed, stopping at the sight that met his eyes.

Alex was lying on the bed, naked except for the restraints on his cock, slowly stroking his nipples with his eyes closed. Sensing Fox's presence, he opened his eyes partway, green eyes gleaming in the dim light. He writhed under his lover's heated regard, desperately wanting his touch.

Mulder shed his clothes quickly, nearly as eager as Alex. He crawled onto the bed, straddling his lover on hands and knees. He lowered his head to kiss Alex, smiling at the moans from his lover. He shifted his position, ending up kneeling between Alex's legs. He stroked the thighs spread wide in front of him, caressing the soft skin in the crease where they met the pelvis. He leaned forward, blowing lightly on Alex's belly, ruffling the fine hairs there. Alex groaned, his hips jerking sharply.

"Please, Fox," he moaned. "Take this thing off me. I need you. Please. God! I can't ... oh god, stop ... stop ... don't stop, yeah Fox ... so good..." he trailed off into wordless moans as Mulder continued to work his fingers inside him. Alex pushed down, fucking himself on Mulder's fingers, feeling the pleasure build and build as they raked over his prostate. His heart was racing till he couldn't believe he didn't have a heart attack, but Fox's little toy prevented him from coming. He was going to die. But what a way to go! He screamed Fox's name when the other man pushed inside him.

Fox pushed into Alex, plunging to the hilt in one long, smooth motion. Alex's scream showed his appreciation of the tactic. When Fox pulled back, Alex wrapped his legs around his waist, pulling him back in. They established a hard, fast rhythm, Alex moaning every time Fox withdrew. Fox knew he couldn't keep this up for long, he'd been too aroused by teasing Alex all day. He reached between them, fumbling slightly as he freed Alex from the cock cage and straps. He timed it perfectly so that he rammed into Alex, striking his prostate at the exact moment he was released.

Alex came instantly, so hard he actually passed out at the overload of pleasure. The combination of Alex's cries and his muscles contracting in orgasm made Fox come too, and he slumped over his unconscious lover. Alex came to moments later, feeling Fox still inside him and moaned his name. They shared a loving kiss, before Fox carefully climbed off him. After grabbing a towel from the floor beside the bed and cleaning them up as best he could, Mulder stretched out beside Alex, pulling him into his embrace. He felt Alex smile against his shoulder.


"I was just thinking that now I really have something to give thanks for."

They laughed together before drifting into sleep, their hands entwined on Mulder's chest.



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