Disclaimers and warnings: These characters are not mine; I am only using them for fun, not for profit. This story is rated NC-17 and involves two men touching each other a lot, so if that bothers you, don’t read on.

Series: In the Dark of the Night (X-Files/Buffy)

Pairing: Angel/Krycek

Spoilers: Potentially for up to season 6 X-Files and season 3 Buffy

Summary: The first meeting of Alex and Angel. Takes place after 6th season of X-Files and 3rd season of Buffy.

Permission granted to archive wherever, just let me know, please.

Any comments, questions, or criticism can be sent to bwebb@frontierz.com

 

"The Witching Hour"

 

by Barbara J. Webb

The shadows clung to Angel like a second skin as he moved through the night-busy streets of Los Angeles. Long ago, when he was younger, it had taken thought, effort, to move through the shadows, unobtrusively skirting humanity’s pulse. Now he barely thought about it – the darkness followed him when he moved; they danced together even in the neon brilliance of the city. This city. City of Angels. Now his.

She came alive at night, this city. It was not like Sunnydale, where a nameless dread sucked the energy from the town with the fading of the sun’s rays. Angel already loved that about her. It was a change, and change was good. Necessary. Sunnydale needed to be put away, stored in the labyrinthine vault of Angel’s memories, driven back like the demons that so often haunted its streets. If this was going to work – if leaving was going to work – Angel would have to stop thinking about Sunnydale, about the past few years, about *her*.

Buffy. There was no escaping the fact that he would love her forever, but for both their sakes he needed to exorcize the desperate need of her that even now threatened to drag him away from this throbbing, vital city and drive him back into her arms. Every reason he had given her for his needing to leave was still true, as were the many he could never say; it would be no good to either of them if he went back. Especially her, and that was what mattered. Angel would sacrifice his eternity for her, but nothing was worthwhile if his presence was causing her harm.

So he let the City of Angels call to him, took in its scent, felt it’s rhythm begin to pound through him – the city’s own lifebeat to replace the one he lost so long ago.

He was still in the process of re-familiarizing himself with the territory. This young, fickle city had changed since the last time he was here. Names had changed as fads had risen and fallen; centers of life and energy had shifted; the power ran differently. Tonight, Angel and the darkness drifted through the old-new streets, learning the new scent of the city.

Los Angeles was awake and thriving; week night or no, people were out in force. With only the slightest rustling sound, Angel had found a perch on the second level of a fire escape set in an alley across the street from a club he had found the night before and wanted to observe a bit more closely. He crouched down on his heels, a position no living man would have been able to hold for hours, but undead tendons didn’t stretch; undead muscles didn’t cramp; undead bones didn’t ache at the unusual pressure put on them.

Minutes passed – twenty, thirty, forty – and Angel remained motionless in his vantage point with all the patience of the damned.

And then he was no longer alone in the alley. Four men, wearing dark denim and leather. Too old to belong here, too nervous to have good intentions. Only one looked up as they took unobtrusive positions behind boxes and piles of assorted trash, but the possessive darkness kept him hidden away like an illicit lover.

An ambush, then. Each assailant carefully inspected a massive sidearm, kept it close at hand. Angel had to wonder what creature they were expecting that was so dangerous it required five well-armed men to bring it down.

They waited. Angel waited. The men were quiet – almost as noiseless as Angel. Professionals, probably. Most men would be fidgeting a great deal more, shuffling, talking, but these sat still, patient.

A woman came into the alley, head bowed, steps hurried. Angel watched, but she traveled the length of the corridor undisturbed; the men never moved. More waiting. Two black men came from the other direction. Again, they passed the trap undisturbed. As the clock in the bank across the way approached midnight, Angel was on the verge of slipping away, leaving this mystery to the City, when a fourth person came into the alley at the far end.

Immediately, Angel could tell there was something wrong about him – something about the way he walked, the motion of it. His arm – the left one – hung stiff, didn’t swing; as Angel focused on it, he decided it must be artificial. The wariness that radiated from this man, from his darting eyes, the tension of his every move, this was the next thing Angel noticed. Like a hunted animal, he seemed ready to fight or flee at the first hint of danger. But, thus far, he seemed completely unaware of the immediate danger awaiting him within the alley.

The last thing that occurred to Angel was that this young man was beautiful, truly beautiful.

Outnumbered, outgunned, and seemingly oblivious to the threat he was walking into, despite his wariness, the man kept going until he was almost directly under Angel. Here he paused, as though he sensed something. Taking a step back, he reached into his jacket with his real arm, presumably for a gun, but it was a moment too late.

They had him surrounded. Two of the goons jumped him from behind while a third grabbed at his arm. Five against one – he struggled gamely, but was quickly subdued after taking several solid blows. They pushed him down to his knees, a goon on each shoulder and another to the side with a gun leveled at the man’s head. Of the remaining two, one stepped back, moving to a vantage point where he could see the near entrance of the alley. The last grabbed his victim by the chin, forcing his head up. "You shouldn’t have run, Alex."

Angel continued to watch, trying to divine what was actually going on. This man was the quarry – the dangerous prey. One man, one man with one arm. Five men. Hardly fair odds. Angel shifted carefully, gauging the distance between himself and the man with the drawn weapon.

The young man stared at his captor defiantly, but said nothing. His eyes betrayed none of the fear Angel could smell radiating off him. "The old man wants you to come back. You come quietly, and he’s says all can be forgiven."

"He’s crazy. It’s over – they’ll get him too. If you were smart, you wouldn’t go back either." The voice was low, soft, sensuous, even around the lip split by his attackers.

Angel dropped from the fire escape, striking at the man with the gun. Caught by surprise, he didn’t even try to dodge Angel’s blow. As he crumpled, Angel spun to face the other four. The speaker had fallen back, reaching for his weapon. Angel was on him before it had cleared the holster. Peripherally, he saw the victim push to his feet, nearly knocking down one of the men holding him. A shot rang out, and Angel felt a searing pain in his abdomen. The bullet passed right through him – that was going to leave a hole in his coat – and into the speaker, who fell back into a pile of boxes.

Angel kicked back at the man coming up behind him and turned in time to see their prey knocked against the alley’s brick wall. He fell to the ground, unmoving, as another shot was fired by the man at the head of the alley. This one went wild.

The noise was drawing attention from outside. This couldn’t continue much longer; two were down, three still standing. Angel advanced on the two close to him, both going for guns. Grabbing the closest thing with any weight – a box filled with...Angel didn’t want to know what was causing that smell – Angel heaved it at the man on his right. Anticipating the gunshot from the other man, Angel ducked to the side and came up next to him, grabbing the arm holding the gun and twisting. There was a satisfying snap, and the man howled in anguish. Four dealt with.

The fifth man was gone – fled into the night. Angel wasn’t going to waste any time looking for him. Over at the wall, the crumpled object of Angel’s rescue was still breathing. They both needed to be gone from here, and quickly. Pulling the man up, Angel slung him over his shoulders and faded into the city.

* * * * *

Alex struggled up from unconsciousness, fighting through the waves of panic. Panic was unsafe; it would kill if you let it. He didn’t struggle, didn’t move more than a quickly suppressed jerk of surprise as he came awake. Too late – it seemed he had alerted his captor/s to the fact that he was regaining awareness; a heavy weight pressed down on his chest, holding him there. Alex made his body relax, go limp: just harmless little Alex Krycek, weak as a kitten after the horrible assault, no threat to anyone. Not that Alex felt like he was going to be causing anyone too much trouble – his entire body ached from the pummeling it had received.

Cautiously, slowly, Alex opened his eyes; that, at least, was not immediately painful. He was on a couch – yes, that thick springy stuff under him was a couch cushion. There was a man leaning over him; it was his hand that was the pressure on Alex’s chest. Strong. Attractive. The first thought was important for survival; the second was simply a distraction.

He was watching Alex intently, bottomless dark eyes flickered over his face, inscrutable in what they found there. The attack in the alley had all happened so fast, the memory of it was shadowy, but Alex was fairly certain this was not one of his attackers. "Who do you work for?"

The man leaned back, removed his hand from Alex. "My name is Angel."

An evasion. Alex was fairly certain the man wasn’t in the employ of the now defunct conspiracy – the few still loyal, who had rallied around the old man, were all agents Alex knew, old-timers like those men in the alley. All but the most intensely loyal had scattered at the death of the council, doing their best to disappear – much like Alex himself. So that left...KGB? Not likely. They couldn’t find their asses with both hands, much less Alex. A free agent? But who, other than the old man, would care enough to hire someone to track him down.

At least he wasn’t dead, so this guy hadn’t been sent to kill him. And Alex was a firm believer that where there was life, there was...well, not hope, per se, but opportunity. "Where am I?" Back to basics, reconnoiter.

"In my apartment, on my couch." The man was tall – even with him sitting, Alex could tell that – but he moved with the speed and grace of a striking snake when Alex lifted his hand, catching at Alex’s wrist. Alex froze, wary. "Your head – I bandaged it. You shouldn’t touch it." Then his hand was released.

Bandaged. Not only was this man not here to kill him, he’d brought Alex into his home and given him medical attention. What kind of good-fucking-Samaritan nutcase was he dealing with? "Thanks." This was crazy.

Angel stood up, left Alex’s line of sight. "If you want to stay the rest of the night, that’s fine."

The implication of that statement left Alex reeling – he could stay if he wanted...or go. "You’re going to just let me go?"

"There some reason I shouldn’t?"

Sitting up slowly, Alex was able to contain the rush of dizziness. "This is really your place? Why did you – what are you doing?" Turning, he saw Angel in the small kitchen, washing what was probably Alex’s blood off his hands. Standing, the man was incredibly tall – looming was the word that popped into Alex’s head. Dark, with a melancholy that hung around his towering frame heavier than the black trench coat he was still wearing. The goth chicks probably fell all over themselves trying to get close to him.

"Five against one didn’t seem fair."

Rule number one of life as Alex Krycek – if it seemed too good to be true, it probably was. "Right, well, I can tell you’re a man of few words, so I won’t hang around to chat." Standing wasn’t easy, but it was possible. A fragile man would never have survived Alex’s life; he’d been through worse and survived. Any landing you could walk away from....

Automatically, he checked for his gun, and was shocked to find it in its holster. After alien possession, global conspiracies, and secret research bases dedicated to combating the threat of extra-terrestrial invasion, few things phased Alex, but this was all just a little too weird. This man had rescued him from the old man’s goons, brought him back to his own home, cleaned and dressed Alex’s wounds, left Alex his gun, and was about to let Alex walk out the door without asking anything in return – even so much as an explanation.

Still at the sink, Angel pulled his shirt up; once the black material was moved, Alex could see the blood smeared over Angel’s skin. It looked, to Alex’s jaded eye, like a gunshot wound. "You okay?"

"I thought you were leaving."

Alex didn’t answer, only moved to the sink, took the washcloth from Angel’s hand. If he had been the sort of man that demanded the world make sense, this would have been driving him crazy, but Alex could play this game too. He was patient. Answers would come, or they wouldn’t.

Angel’s skin was cool to his touch, soft. He didn’t flinch as Alex expertly cleaned the wound, both front and back. "You’re lucky; the bullet went through and it looks like your clothes helped it clot. Gut wound like this, if it were going to kill you, it would have already."

"I’ll be fine." Up close, Alex couldn’t help but notice how young this man looked. By his face, he couldn’t be much past twenty; only his eyes betrayed – something. Age, experience. Young he may be, but he’d been through...Alex could only imagine. Life in the nineties; the world today left scars.

"What can I use to wrap this?"

"Cabinet, to the left – first aid supplies."

Carefully, he placed bandage pads over the two holes, wrapped several tight layers of gauze around Angel’s abdomen. Two years of practice, and he hardly even noticed any difficulty performing this act one-handed. Angel offered no help, did not comment on the artificial hand Alex used to hold the bandages in place while he applied the gauze.

"Thank you." Angel pulled his shirt back down, stepped away. "Are you hungry? I don’t have much on hand, but I think there are some delivery places still open."

Rule number two of life as Alex Krycek – never turn down free food. Eating could quickly become a rare enough event. "Sure. Pizza sounds good."

As lunatic as it seemed, Alex was finding himself relaxing a little towards Angel. If this man meant him harm, his methodology was so convoluted even Alex couldn’t work his way through it. Against every instinct honed by years of being hunted by nearly every dangerous organization in the world, Alex went back over to the couch and lay down.

"What would you like on it?"

"Anything. Everything. I don’t care."

* * * * *

Angel ordered the pizza, using the pay phone across the hall. By the time he’d cradled the receiver and glanced back into his apartment, his guest had fallen asleep on the couch. Angel had practically been able to see the tension drain from him as he’d dressed Angel’s wound – an unnecessary procedure, but any explanation for why it was unneeded would only have raised more questions. More at ease, it seemed exhaustion had overtaken the man.

Asleep, his face relaxed into an almost innocent expression. He lost the wariness, the sharpness of expression and carriage that had been there since Angel had first seen him come into the alley. There was a softness about him when he slept that was completely absent when the man was awake. Something about him evoked every protective instinct Angel had. Maybe it was because of the ambush; maybe it was because of the way he seemed ready to flee at the slightest threat; or maybe it was the combination of softness and counterphobia that reminded Angel just a little of Buffy.

Five men. Someone considered this creature so dangerous as to require five men to catch him. It was an interesting mystery to Angel, but he could hardly consider the man a threat. Dangerous, probably, but there had been a gentleness when he’d cleaned Angel’s bullet wounds that convinced Angel there was something here worth saving.

He watched his guest sleep, taking in the soft fall of his short cropped dark hair, the even rise and fall of his chest, the slight flush of his bronze skin – it was possible he had a slight fever. All things put together, this man was beautiful, missing arm and all. It was not a very gentlemanly thing to be thinking about; this was a guest in his house, very much at his mercy, but it was a difficult thing to overlook.

* * * * *

The pizza guy’s knock on the door woke Alex back up with a start. He rubbed his eyes blearily with his good hand, watched as Angel paid the boy and set the box down on the coffee table in front of Alex. "Here."

Alex opened the box, snagged a slice, and was halfway through it before he realized Angel was making no move to eat. "Aren’t you having any?"

"I’m not hungry."

"So you’re just going to watch me eat?"

Angel shrugged – a beautiful motion that rippled along the well defined muscles of his – no. Alex was not going to allow his thoughts to move in that direction. Just because it had been a long, long time since anyone had shown kindness to Alex, and just because this gorgeous, brooding stranger had offered him sanctuary, and just because the small spark of humanity that still burned in Alex Krycek despite his efforts to quench it still craved the simple connection of touch – it was still too dangerous. To lower his guard like that, even once, would dull him. The hunters had found him once already; there was no reason to give them any additional edge. "If it makes you uncomfortable, I could go in the other room."

"No," Alex smiled. "No, it’s fine." The smile, friendly and guileless was one Alex had spent so many years perfecting, it came to him naturally. He knew it looked real, made him look friendly, harmless. He’d worked hard, hours in front of mirrors retooling the expression until it was just so. It was impossible to tell if the smile had any effect on Angel – he remained as stoic as when Alex had been swabbing at the hole in his gut.

The pizza was almost entirely gone by the time Alex felt full. It had been a while since Alex had felt safe enough to stuff himself, and cash was tight since his employers had gone up in alien-induced bursts of flame. Pizza was considered a luxury item these days, and not on his budget, causing it to taste like the most wonderful thing Alex had tasted in years.

Fed, comfortable, relaxed – Alex simply couldn’t recall the last time he’d felt this way. "Is there something you want from me, Angel?" It was the only question Alex cared about any more, the only one that mattered. He was ready to hear the answer now, prepared to face whatever would be asked of him. Rule number three of life as Alex Krycek – everything came at a price.

But Angel didn’t seem to be playing the game, didn’t seem to know the rules. "Nothing." His face cracked then, just slightly, but there was the barest hint of a smile, of amusement. "Well, maybe one thing."

Here it was. "What’s that?"

"You could tell me your name."

"Alex." It popped out without a second thought, the request was so unexpectedly simple. "Alex."

Angel nodded at that. "Good. Alex, as I said earlier, you’re welcome to stay–"

"Why?" He couldn’t hold it back, couldn’t figure out the game Angel was playing. "Why are you doing this? What do you want?"

"I told you; I don’t want anything. You just looked like you could use some help."

It was impossible, unthinkable, that anyone’s motives could be that pure. "You do this often? Wander around the city till someone sends up the bat signal and then you drop in and rescue them?"

"I was there; you needed help; I helped you."

"You don’t even know me."

Angel picked up the pizza box, folded it with an ease that reminded Alex once again how strong this man was, then stuck it in the trash. "I didn’t think that while they were beating you was the best time to ask for an introduction."

"Okay, I can see your point." The entire situation was insane, and Alex was tired of fighting it. If Angel was determined to be inscrutable, then that was fine; Alex didn’t need to understand. He’d just accept that this was all crazy and move on. The entire world was crazy; what was one more lunatic citizen to Alex Krycek?

Crazy. Alex felt like laughing. That impulse, he bit down as the obvious sign of lunacy that it was. He was on the edge – on the edge – on the edge, but he had confidence that if he hadn’t cracked yet, he probably wasn’t going to. Although sometimes he wondered if he’d just give in and go quietly – or loudly mad, if he wouldn’t be a whole lot happier. After all, it seemed to have worked so well for Mulder....

Another bad direction to be thinking. Maybe he should take Angel up of the offer of shelter for the night. He was exhausted, edgy, far from the top of his form. Here, in the presence of this enigmatic Titan, for whatever unfathomable reason, he felt somewhat safer than in the world outside.

Alex stood, faced Angel. "I’ll stay."

Angel nodded, as though Alex had finally conceded a point Angel had been arguing all night. "In there, the bed’s yours, if you want it."

"Where are you going to sleep?"

"I don’t sleep much."

He didn’t sleep much. This man randomly rescued one-armed expatriate conspirators from corrupt thugs, brought them back to his own living room and offered them pizza. On top of it, he didn’t seem to mind bullet holes in his side and he didn’t sleep much. Sure. Why not? "Me neither."

"I can tell."

"Yeah, well, my active lifestyle is wreaking havoc on my boyish good looks."

They stood silent, staring at each other, tension hanging heavy in the air between them. Then Alex did laugh, pulling a smile from Angel. "You haven’t asked me anything – anything at all. Why is that?"

"I didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable."

"Sure. Of course. I mean, that’s the obvious explanation." Too close; Alex was standing to close to this man, smiling, laughing. Too much.

Alex flinched back, his hand automatically reaching for his gun, as Angel lifted his hand to Alex’s face. Angel didn’t act as though he even noticed. Blunt fingers brushed across the bandage that circled his forehead. "You’ll want to change that tomorrow before you go. I think the bleeding’s stopped, but it’s almost soaked through."

"I’ll be sure and do that."

The hand lingered, and there was the barest hint of a stroke down his cheek, then Angel pulled away suddenly, withdrawing from Alex. "You should get some sleep."

"Yeah." Alex retreated into the bedroom, needing to escape from that moment of intimacy – needing it to go on and on – needing – needing to sleep, to find some sort of inner balance again, to plaster over the cracks that Angel was pounding into his defensive walls.

The room was small, but uncluttered. Alex had noticed Angel seemed to take a fairly minimalist approach to furniture and decorating. Basement apartment, there was only one small window that looked like it opened into a storm drain. At least he wouldn’t have to worry about being awoken by the sun in his face. There was no mirror that Alex could see. Just as well; he wasn’t sure he wanted to see how bad he looked right now, ragged, beaten, dragged out. He worked his way out of his jacket, tossed it in the corner. More carefully, he took off his shoulder holster, slid one gun under the pillow and lay the other one, still in its holster, on the floor beside the bed. "Hey, Angel?"

"What?" Angel called back from the other room.

"Would I be straining my welcome to ask to borrow a shirt or something so I don’t get your bed dirty?" Any other piece of clothing Angel owned probably would never fit, but a baggy shirt was still a shirt.

Angel came into the room; his eyes flickered up and down Alex. He opened the narrow closet door, pulled a shirt from what seemed to be an endlessness of black, tossed it at Alex. "Thanks." Ignoring the way it pulled at his bruises, Alex jerked off his own torn, bloody, dirty black t-shirt. Angel’s gaze went to his arm, the stump now clearly revealed where it strapped into the artificial limb. There was no revulsion in his eyes, merely curiosity.

"An interesting story there."

Angel looked up almost guiltily. "I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to stare."

"No problem. Doesn’t bother me." Those endless dark eyes on him, watching unflinchingly. It made Alex feel strangely vulnerable – a fact that made no god-damn sense. Alex had no modesty to speak of, and had certainly been in positions of greater helplessness around this man this evening. But something about the way Angel was looking at him, something about standing there half-dressed, unarmed – both figuratively and literally, just...something. He picked up the clean t-shirt.

"When did this happen?" Angel took a step forward, lifted his hand hesitantly to touch the joint where Alex’s arm met the plastic.

It was such an intimate gesture, full of gentle care – how long had it been since anyone had touched Alex like that, with any hint of familiarity or warmth? The hand holding the fresh shirt dropped to his side. "About two years ago. I was in Russia – these...terrorists were running experiments on the local populace. The group I was hiding with, they believed it all had something to do with small pox; if you had a vaccination mark, you could be taken for the experiments. Their solution was to...eliminate any chance they could tell if you’d been innoculated." Angel’s fingertips were following the line of a tendon, up the short remains of Alex’s bicep, over his shoulder. "They...they held me down...cut if off with a scalding saw."

His eyes flickered to Angel’s face, trying to read what they saw there. Once again, this man could have been a statue for all the reaction he showed to Alex’s story – a statue of marble and alabaster carved by a master for its beauty. There was no shock, no horror. "Does it hurt?" Even the question held only curiosity, concern, none of the disgust or dismay Alex had come to expect from people.

"Not any more." Who *was* this man, with the hobbies of Mother Theresa, the face of a dream, the touch of a saint, and a world-weary look in his eyes Alex had not seen since the last time he looked in a mirror? Maybe this was what happened when you went mad – all those people who wandered the streets talking to unseen companions – maybe Alex was one of them, still lying in that alley and experiencing some kind of fugue state.

This simply couldn’t be real. But if it was – oh, God, if it was....

He lay his right hand over Angel’s where it was still stroking – yes, stroking – his shoulder. Twining the fingers with his own, he brought it to his cheek, closing his eyes as Angel’s fingers brushed down, slid under his chin. Alex couldn’t remember the last time he’s willingly – fearlessly – closed his eyes with another person in the room with him. "Alex –" When had his name become so sensuous? "This isn’t why I brought you back here, why I invited you to stay."

What was it about Angel that when he said that, Alex could believe him? Maybe it was the hesitancy, the way he’d been handling Alex all night as though he were unbearably fragile, the way, even now, he was holding back.

But Alex was anything but delicate, and maybe it was time to explain that to Angel. If Alex wanted – and Jesus, he wanted – he was going to have to invite Angel to take some liberties. The best way to do that, Alex had discovered, was to start taking liberties of his own.

His hand released Angel’s, and Alex moved it to Angel’s chest, slid it downward, over Angel’s hips, and down his thigh. The leather of his pants was soft like skin under his touch – expensive. "The question, my Angel, is not whether or not you brought me back here for this; it’s if you’re going to kick me out because of this."

"No." The answer was spoken in that same soft, sensuous voice, and Alex decided his one goal for the night was to evoke...something on that beatific face.

He slid down to his knees before Angel, letting his hand trail over Angel’s ass, down the outside of his leg, around the calf. He rested his cheek against Angel’s crotch, tilted his head up to draw his tongue across the line where leather became flesh under Angel’s shirt. There was the coppery taste of blood, and Alex kissed away the last traces he’d missed with the washcloth.

One-handed, the tight pants proved to be a challenge. Once he had them unfastened, it was difficult to work them off Angel’s hips only being able to pull on one side at a time. At the point he smacked himself in the face with the free-swinging buckle of Angel’s belt, Alex gave up on both independence and stubbornness. Dignity was best reserved for times when he wasn’t trying to hurry along the process of getting laid. "A little help here would be nice," he growled.

As though he’d only been waiting for the request, Angel immediately had his hands on the seams, managing to squirm out of the leather with more grace than Alex would have imagined possible for such a feat. With his boots still on, the pants could only go as far as Angel’s ankles, but that was far enough for Alex. He had a hold of Angel’s cock in half a second; it was in his mouth by the next.

Alex had always thought there was something intrinsically sleazy and wonderful about the feel of a man’s cock hardening between his lips. He stroked with his tongue, resting his hand against Angel’s solid thigh to balance himself. Letting it slip from his mouth, Alex rubbed his face against the now solid erection as he ran his tongue over Angel’s balls, nibbled at the soft skin at the top line of Angel’s leg, kissed over the pulsing vein that showed in sharp contrast against the pale skin of Angel’s thigh.

Angel’s legs were locked, but he reached for no other support. Good. Alex admired a man who could stand and take a blowjob. But this wasn’t quite what he wanted. He unfastened his own pants, rolled to his feet. "You wanna–" The words were choked off as Angel grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him close for a kiss. It was almost the most frightening thing to happen to Alex all night. Sex was one thing – dangerous, but still a basic human response and sometimes handy to clear the brain. Alex was far too practical to obsess over mistakes already made. But this was...this was much more dangerous. Kissing was what you did to seduce enemies, never something to be done with someone Alex didn’t hate. It was too much closeness, too much – God, the way this man kissed – making Alex’s knees buckle. Intense and desperate and powerful...but there was still that hint of restraint. Angel was still holding back on him.

Locked in Angel’s embrace, his tongue warring with Angel’s for dominance, Alex managed to shed what remained of his clothing. Angel also managed to kick his way free of both footwear and legwear, as Alex pushed the coat back from Angel’s shoulders, worked his hand in under Angel’s shirt. He pulled Angel back towards the bed, conceding it might have been an impossible feat if Angel hadn’t been willing – the man had more than a few inches and pounds on Alex, and was so fucking incredibly strong. They fell, and Alex felt Angel wince as Alex’s knee hit his wounded side, but Angel’s kisses didn’t lose any intensity.

Alex fought his way free of Angel’s mouth and slid back down to continue his attention to Angel’s erection. Running his tongue up and down the shaft, Alex rubbed his thumb around the head, smearing the pre-cum around. This was garnering a response – low, throaty moans from Angel which bit off into a gasp as Alex took the whole thing in his mouth. He pulled back again, and this time Angel’s hand on the back of his head kept him from going far. Twisting, he looked up at Angel’s face – now narrow eyed and open mouthed with pleasure. Score one for Alex. "I want you to fuck me."

"I don’t have any–"

"I don’t care. Fuck me." Working himself into position, legs spread, beneath Angel, Alex wrapped his legs around Angel’s waist, pulling him down. Angel hesitated for a moment, searching Alex’s face, then thrust into him.

Saliva was hardly proper lubrication. It hurt – shit, it hurt. But pain was good; it reminded Alex he was still alive, still in the game, despite the efforts of the entire world. He cried out, throwing his head back, locking his legs tight when Angel tried to withdraw. "Harder," he demanded through clenched teeth.

Angel complied, thrusting farther in with every stroke. His lips were on Alex’s neck, Alex’s mouth, Alex’s jaw. Lines of pleasure began mingling with the pain, making Alex writhe against Angel in waves of sensation. He bit at Angel’s shoulder as his climax exploded inside him, screamed against Angel’s skin, held on desperately to Angel, searching for some sort of anchor.

Angel wrapped his arms around Alex, stroked his hair, eased him back down onto the bed. "You should sleep."

"I’m still not sure I believe in you." Mulder would laugh if he were here – everything Krycek had been through, and he was still a skeptic.

"Worry about it tomorrow. For now, just let me believe in you."

It made no sense. Nothing made sense, and Alex was so goddamned tired. For the first time in forever, he let himself surrender to the feel of warmth surrounding him, the soothing touch of a lover, the exhaustion that had been his constant companion for what felt like years. Everything faded away as sleep claimed him.