Title: We'll Be Ok

Part: 1 of 3 (maybe more...give good feedback and we'll see)

Author: MF Luder

Category: Mulder/Krycek, utter AU.

Keywords: slash, multiples

Time Frame: from once the Elders get burned to 'current' time four years later

Rating: NC-17

Spoilers: Everything up to One Son

Disclaimer: Never mine. I don't have that kind of luck.

Summary: The war's over and Mulder gains a new perspective finding out he can forgive an enemy.

Feedback: Of course!! Mulder_Loves_Scully_Forever@hotmail.com (yes I know it doesn't seem appropriate for this story)

General Notes: Made for the The Nursery Files' Merry Multiples Challenge at the urging of Neoxphile at Haven.

Beta thanks: Thanks to my stalwart beta, Kim K. Again, she went out of her way to look over this fic; not only was it slash, but she also did it in record time. I didn't force her to read the NC-17 part though, so any error in that is mine.

Inspiration:...Gay men are every bit as emotionally closeted as their straight counterparts. Instead of just one partner being distant, uncommunicative and emotionally stunted, both are.--Minotaur

 

 

April 1999

"God, Scully. They're gone. All of them. It's over."

"Can we be sure, Mulder?"

"Even if some of the old men survived, the rebels have destroyed everything. The burnings world-wide...it's the only thing we can assume. They've taken all evidence, there's no way the aliens can colonize now. There's no one left to help them. Much as I can't condone their actions, or the way they went about it, I'm just relieved."

"Me too, Mulder."

It was two months after the Consortium had been torched down by the rebels. He and Scully were watching the news about the day before on their tiny TV in the X-Files office. Of course the reporters had seen no sign of the rebel aliens. By the time they had gotten there, the aliens would have cleared out. Mulder knew they were gone for good though. He had been receiving emails from a source that had listed every place that would be burned, where evidence would disappear from. A week ago, he had received an email stating the very last Consortium lab would be burned soon, a place in Tunisia. That was what had happened yesterday. A supposed oil explosion, a new well, had caused the fire. Now, the country would become richer than before and it was all over. No colonization.

He glanced at Scully who was enthralled with the program on CNN. She turned towards him and smiled.

"Come here, Scully," he said, emotion thick in his voice.

She walked over and he wrapped his arms around her, resting his chin on her head. After a moment, she let herself relax. They stood like that for a minute, letting it soak in before he placed a kiss on her head and gently held her away from his body.

"What are you—we going to do now?" she asked, tone serious.

He bit his lip and thought carefully.

"I, well, I suppose there's still enough creeps out there for me to maintain the X-Files. And I still haven't found my sister, despite this," he gestured helplessly. He calmed his hands down by placing them on Scully's arms again. "But you, you, Scully. You can finally practice real medicine. You can find a job that doesn't suck away your whole life. You could start a family." He smiled at that thought. He'd seen Scully around Emily, she would make a perfect mother.

"Oh, Mulder. I don't know..."

"Shh," he cut her off, looking her right in the face. "You don't have to make a decision now. We've got all the time on the world. And if you want, for some strange reason," he grimaced, "to stay with me, I would be honored by that. But now, you can choose. That's what matters."

He pulled her in for another hug and felt her smile against his throat.

**************************************

He'd been at home for several hours, finishing a final report for Skinner. His last official alien X-File, he hoped. He sat, sleeves rolled back to his elbows and barefoot. He'd just unbuttoned the collar of his pressed shirt and was loosening the strangling tie off when he heard a knock on his door. He glanced at the clock, ten thirty. Would Scully come over this late? Maybe she'd brought pizza, he thought, smiling.

He shoved his chair back, walking towards the door and opening it without even glancing out the peephole.

"Scully, I hope you brought foo--"

What he saw made him gasp and reach for the gun he still had holstered out of habit. Alex Krycek stood there, leaning casually against the door frame looking exhausted but with something lighting his eyes on fire, wearing his usual tight jeans and leather jacket.

"Expecting someone else, Mulder?"

Mulder held the gun in front of the man's forehead, grabbing him by the lapels and pulling him into his apartment out of sight of nosy neighbors, shutting the door with his foot using a little more force than necessary.

"Why couldn't you have died with the others, Krycek? Come here to torture me even after it's over?"

The man's shoulders were hunched over and the tension that usually ran through his body wasn't there.

"Don't you see, Mulder? That's why I'm here." He looked into Mulder's tortured gaze, green meeting swirling hazel. "It's over," he announced in a heated whisper.

"What do you want, Krycek?" Mulder let the man go, but kept his gun trained on him, feeling too tired, too happy, to let his usual rage against Krycek gain control of him.

Krycek suddenly dropped onto his knees, taking a submissive position, yet not looking the least bit submissive. Instead, his eyes shone with what looked like hope, hands resting calmly on his thighs. Mulder was so surprised he felt his fingers release the gun and vaguely heard it crash to floor, absentmindedly grateful the safety was on. He backed up till he felt the couch hit his knees and he sank onto the arm.

"Mulder, it's over." Krycek fumbled around in his pocket, pulling out a set of discs, setting them on the floor and shoving them towards Mulder with the fake arm. Mulder rolled his eyes away from that, not out of disgust but out of guilt. Why he felt guilty over that, he didn't really know, he just couldn't push the feeling away.

"What are they?" he asked, wary.

Krycek looked up again, still sitting straight up on his knees. "It's yours, Mulder. All the information you've ever wanted. It's a compilation of all the information I saved before the labs were burned down. Mulder...Mulder, I even think the final information about your sister is on there." Earnest eyes pleaded with Mulder, wanting him to believe.

"Then you, you were the one..." Mulder shook his head. He was confused. This man, the one who betrayed him, hurting him to the core, he was the one?

"Yes, Mulder. I sent you the emails, letting you know. What I told you that last night I saw you, it was all true. And I was the point person for the rebels efforts here. And now that it's over, I've come to make my final amends, and to collect what I want."

"What?!" Mulder lept off the couch, beginning to pace, wanting to reach for his gun but knowing Krycek could reach it first. "You've come here to collect? After all you've done? What could you collect from me? What haven't you taken away from me? You took my trust with your act, you took away Scully, you've taken information away from me, you almost took my arm. You've given me a dead father, my best friend's dead sister, and information I could never use, or remember for that matter. You can take nothing else from me."

"But don't you see Mulder, it's all been for you, for your cause, for humanity." His face was still calm, voice shaking only a little, its raspy tone reaching Mulder's ears and making his groin waken up. No, he couldn't afford that right now. Shit. Krycek was still speaking.

"I can't give you back your father, or Scully's sister, and frankly I can't say I'm sorry about your father. But all I want, Mulder, is to make peace with you. Now that it's over, that's all I want." At that, his chin fell onto his chest. Mulder didn't know if it was from the same exhaustion he was feeling, or humility. Mulder snorted at that. Humility, yeah right. Mulder looked away, trying not be distracted as he always was by the man's good looks, the pale skin, upturned nose, and the lashes that caressed his cheeks.

"Don't you see? I never wanted to be partnered with you--"

"Oh, that makes me feel all warm and tingly, Krycek."

"Because," Krycek continued, ignoring Mulder's snide comment. "I knew what was going on. I was already part of it. But I was truthful, I did respect you. I watched your work for them, but came to appreciate your efforts. Someone had to play the hero, and you were perfect. I wanted a hero. I wanted to believe someone could save us from what was coming with morals and good intentions. So I didn't want to work with you and stop you. But I did my job. And the whole time I hoped I could find a way to make it up to you, and I really hoped it would all lead to this day, when it could end.

I had no qualms about taking Scully, because she had been a set up like I was. And we even have to take down our own. But then I saw what it did to you. And I couldn't do that. Out of respect. And other reasons...Why do you think I let you take the keys that day? My employers thought it was a mistake. That was before they found out I don't make mistakes. Sure, I was punished for my 'mistake' but it was worth it to not have to betray you any more.

And all the times it seemed I was after that, God, Mulder, I was helping you. I don't expect you to ever understand me. How could the good guy empathize with the bad? Why do you think I never fought back when you hit me? Because I deserved it."

He heard Krycek take a deep breath and stopped pacing.

"Mulder, can you ever forgive me? I promise, read the discs and you'll come to understand. It's my last offer to atone for the other things I've done. While I'll never be a good guy, I hope this helps. And as for collecting, I can see now that'll never happen." His voice suddenly turned bitter. "Not even on my knees."

Mulder turned with wide eyes towards Krycek, watching the man stand up, a graceful movement despite the lack of his arm. What did he mean, on his knees? Had that not been a lie back then, when one night he told Mulder he was attracted to him? The man grabbed the discs and placed them on Mulder's coffee table before starting to leave. Something in Krycek's dejection yet refusal to give in to whatever was causing his pain, made Mulder reach for him.

In a tender voice, that he hadn't expected to come out, he said, "Krycek, you're right. It is over. I don't know if I can forgive you, not for what you did to me, but what you did to Scully. But I'll at least look at the discs, and try. If you really...God, I just can't imagine you always having had noble intentions."

The warm skin of Krycek's right wrist burned into his fingertips, and Mulder looked down at his hand trying to decipher what it meant. And wondering why Krycek wasn't pulling away.

"God, Mulder," the man's voice taken on a pleading tone. "Aren't you tired yet? Tired of hating me, of being so damn paranoid? I am. I don't understand your need to continue on in this manner, but I accept it. You won't take what I'm offering so just let me go and I'll leave, forever this time. Please, Mulder let go...just let go." The last came out in that tortured whisper again.

What was he offering? Then it hit Mulder. Let go. Just let go. He felt a wave of exhaustion and relief wash over him and he suddenly felt at peace. It was over. And he wasn't going to let something he'd wanted for so long walk away. It was one thing to have it taken, and another to let it leave. He felt Krycek trying to pull his hand away finally, but he just held on tighter, forcing the man to turn back.

"You're right, Krycek. It's time to let go. I am tired. But I want to collect too. I am going to make you pay for everything you've taken from me." He saw a look of panic creep onto the other man's face and he started tugging harder to get away. He continued, "And then I'm going to forgive you. I can't forget, but I can forgive. It's time to. I think too, we both want to collect the same thing, Krycek. Tell me this isn't what you wanted, Krycek."

At that, Mulder reached his other hand out to grab Krycek's waist and pull him in close, first kissing him on the cheek, a parody of that night so seemingly long ago, then moving to rest his lips on Krycek's. He just held them there, mouth slightly open, breathing. He knew what he wanted now. He wanted a life just as much as Scully. And while he wouldn't get a family like her, and his want-to-be lover might be a little on the strange side, he wanted to be happy too for once. If only Krycek would follow through.

A moment later, he felt the man's lips fall open and he stopped trying to get away. Another moment and suddenly Mulder found himself being pushed up to the couch again, hips grinding into his own as he got his first taste of what he'd dreamed about for years, even after the betrayal.

After one heart-stopping kiss, they both broke apart, chests heaving and Mulder whispered, "I'm so sorry, Krycek. I haven't been any better than you, despite all my intentions. Good guys are supposed to be above everyone else, but I'm not. I never made it easy on anyone. And while you might deserve some things for your behavior, you deserve to be forgiven too. You are only human. I'm sorry too." Mulder rested his head on Krycek's shoulder feeling years of tension fade away. He had to forgive himself as well.

"God, Mulder. I never wanted...I've always wanted..."

Mulder laughed at Krycek's stumbling words. He lifted his head and stared into Krycek's face, eyes following lines he'd memorized years ago. He watched Krycek squirm at his close study before settling his gaze straight on. He saw the man was tired, but he saw strength too. Strength that was his now. Things weren't solved between them, but Mulder felt hope that they could be. Oh boy. This was going to be tough to explain to Scully.

"It'll be fine, Krycek. It's not yet, but it will be."

Krycek tried to keep a smirk on his face, but soon it turned into a small smile, and Mulder felt the tension that had gathered while he'd been trying to get away, leave Krycek's body. The man moved his face forward, capturing Mulder in another breathtaking kiss. Mulder let his hand let go of the man's wrist and grabbed his other hip, forcing their bodies together tightly. He felt a hand run through his hair and the feel of Krycek's fingers grabbing his neck and pushing them closer still, made Mulder moan. He was rapidly getting hard here, and he could tell Krycek already was.

He let his hands roam onto Krycek's ass and felt a knee push his legs apart. He let them, bringing them back together around Krycek's leg. Oh yeah, he was hard.

He heard Krycek mumbling something against his lips. "What?" he asked.

"I just never thought, well I guess I thought, but I had never hoped you would accept me. No, Mulder," he said, stopping Mulder's reply. "Wait till later, please?"

"Ok."

Krycek leaned away for a moment, shrugging out of his leather coat and fought for a moment with his white undershirt before it came off too, leaning back in for another kiss. Mulder let his hands glide up, one over the hardened back muscles, his left up the other man's bicep. Mulder felt Krycek's leg slide up to rest a knee on the couch arm, supporting Mulder with his fake arm while beginning to hump him.

"Can I assume you top?" Mulder asked, finding his own hips pushing right back at Krycek's.

"Yes."

"Alright."

He felt Krycek's hand reaching up and grabbing the top button of his dress-shirt. Then in one swift sixty-dollars-down-the-drain rip, Mulder's shirt was open and olive skin was touching pale skin in a desperate attempt to get closer. Mulder reached for Krycek's belt knowing that if he did it, it would go faster. This would be a quick hard fuck. There would be time later to be more careful, evaluate emotions. Right now, it was all about sex and the scent of Krycek's skin and the warmth he felt pulsing beneath his hands made Mulder glad for once he was going to bottom. He had a sudden insane need to be filled by this man. After all the emotional pain Krycek had given him, Mulder would be glad to let it go with a good fuck. It made no sense to his logical brain, but in his heart, or whatever it was, it seemed right.

Krycek had lowered his leg and was stomping on his heels vainly attempting to get his boots off. Finally he gave an exasperated huff and sat on the couch arm, shoving Mulder out of the way. While working on the laces one handed, he asked gruffly, "You clean?"

"Yeah, I think so."

Krycek nodded then grinned in triumph as the second boot popped off. As he stood, he undid his zipper and his pants slid down, revealing black boxer briefs that molded to the man's erection.

"Get yours off too, Mulder."

"Yes sir!" Mulder said, grinning as Krycek just rolled his eyes. Mulder undid his own belt and slid the trousers down stepping out of them standing in his tented plaid boxers and ripped shirt. He moved to take the shirt off too, but Krycek stepped close stopping him.

"Don't take it off. It looks good like that."

"Very Risky Business, eh? Got any sunglasses? I'll dance for you."

A low growl was his only answer as Krycek began backing him up to the desk. Mulder let himself be pushed knowing what was coming and shoving the chair out of the way. Once his butt hit the desk, Krycek grabbed the waistband of Mulder's boxers and ripped them down too. He gazed at Mulder for a moment, before reaching out and giving the penis Mulder was offering up for the taking two good pumps, then flicking his thumb over the tip, wet with pre-cum. Mulder saw the other man's erection raise up another notch before his own head lolled back in pleasure.

"Bend over, Mulder," Krycek whispered huskily, voice full of lust, into Mulder's ear. Mulder hastily obliged, finding the desk slightly too low and adjusted by folding his arms onto it and leaning down, face on the cool wood. The position made Mulder's ass higher in the air than if the desk had been a decent height.

He listened to the sound of fabric sliding down a body and wished he could see, but as he felt strong thighs touch his and a large penis hit his perenium, he decided that could wait. He just wanted the damn thing in him now. Mulder pushed his butt back a little and got a groan mixed with that growl.

"Lube, condoms," Krycek managed to grunt out as he slowly slid against Mulder.

"Right next to you in the drawer," Mulder's answered was muffled by the desk.

Krycek paused in his ministrations.

"You keep your supplies in the desk drawer?" His voice was light and mocking.

"I don't sleep in my bed. Makes no sense."

"Does Scully know you do your business on the couch that she sits on when she comes over?"

"I clean," Mulder said sulkily.

Krycek let out a single hoarse laugh. As he reached into the drawer he asked, "You going to be ok if we do this fast?"

Mulder, already raring to go, penis hitting the underneath of the desk, spoke with a little more force and need than he'd wanted to. "Just fucking get to it, Krycek."

He needed no more than that. Mulder gasped as a finger coated in cold lube was shoved up him. He let his legs take a wider stance as two fingers assaulted him. God, it hurt like hell. He whined a little, but it wasn't entirely out of pain either. Krycek slowed his finger's movement a little, stretching more and letting Mulder get used to the feeling. When Mulder let out a breath and pushed back a little Krycek slid a third in.

Lights were starting to dance in front of his eyes. The feeling of slightly rough wood on his penis and the stimulation was going to put him over the edge soon.

"Krycek," he started, "I swear to God, if you don't fuck me now I am going to kill you."

Another laugh and then Mulder felt Krycek's head spear him, shoving in all the way to the base on the first thrust.

"Gaahh!"

"Oh, fuck, Mulder!"

Mulder breathed deep urging his ass to adjust fast. Not thirty seconds later he felt it happen and knew Krycek could too. Krycek's live hand came to rest on the desk next to Mulder's arms and Mulder turned to look at him, smiling his go ahead. Krycek's eyes were black with desire and he let out his own breath at Mulder's look. He drew back slowly, eliciting a long moan from Mulder before slamming back in. Mulder felt the whole desk shake and briefly wondered if it could put up to this kind of abuse before a second thrust made him forget everything except the feel of Krycek's long cock shoved up his ass. He squirmed, urging Krycek to go faster.

The other man leaned down quickly, kissing Mulder's neck before moving his hand and letting it reach under the flaps of Mulder's shirt to grasp his penis. A slightly high pitched noise escaped Mulder's lips that he was embarrassed at but seemed to make Krycek thrust faster, unlike Mulder's squirming. He felt Krycek's sweat slicked lower body grind against his, hand now sliding over Mulder's penis, and knew Krycek was just as close as he.

"Krycek, please, harder...faster...oh God, please harder!"

And he felt Krycek comply, definitely slamming into Mulder now. With a finally grunt-groan Mulder felt himself spill into Krycek's hand and with his last thoughts shoved his ass back to meet Krycek's oncoming pump. Krycek came, yelling out, "Mulder!" before collapsing on top of him, hand having gone back up to the top of the desk to support himself. They stayed like that for a moment or two, before Krycek pulled away, walking towards the bathroom.

Mulder slowly pushed himself upright, back cracking as he did. Oh, God. He was getting too old for this type of activity. As a twenty-year-old, he could have gone five rounds like that. He saw Krycek coming out with a washcloth, already clean, and gratefully took it from him. Mulder then pulled up his boxers and went to rinse the washcloth.

He came back out to find Krycek in his underwear again, the black outlining his buttocks and strong thighs nicely, hanging up the phone. Mulder looked questioningly at him.

"I uh...figured you hadn't eaten, and I'm starving. I got Chinese. You still like lo mein right?"

"Yeah." Mulder smiled to think Krycek had remembered that after all these years since they'd been partners. He noticed Krycek shifting his feet, looking a little uncomfortable.

"What is it?" Mulder asked as he moved closer.

Krycek ran a hand through his hair, and Mulder felt saddened that he couldn't use the other. That had been his fault. Like he'd told him, he really was no better than Krycek. Even if Krycek had brought a lot of it on himself.

"Not second thoughts, Krycek?"

The man looked up and seemed guilty and horrified at the same time. "Mulder, you're not..."

"No. No, I'm not. And I don't want you to either. Come here."

Krycek approached, a little nervous, but seeming more confident. Mulder grabbed him and pulled him in for a kiss. Krycek immediately opened and then took control. Mulder would have to teach him a little give and take. He didn't mind bottoming to Krycek, the man's power was amazing, but he couldn't control everything. After a moment of tasting the warmth, Mulder pulled back, hands resting on the other man's waist, thumbs gliding over the toned muscles there, which were making him slightly weak-kneed.

"Krycek, I don't know what's going to happen. How we're going to work this out. But you came to me. You convinced me. So I think we can work it out. I know I want to try. And I know I don't want to hit you anymore. Hell, I never did, you were too pretty." He smiled. "But my gut reactions just took over and I had to release my anger and hurt somehow. It hurt so much when you left. I don't think I liked you then...maybe I was attracted to you. Ok, I was very attracted to you. But you gained my trust and then blew me off so casually, hurting the only person that had mattered to me since Samantha."

He paused, realizing he was gripping Krycek's hips too hard, though the man wasn't complaining. He took his hands off and knelt to kiss away the future bruises. Krycek just looked down at him, then lifted his hand and placed it on Mulder's head.

"And so, I just...I just went about it all the wrong way. You have no idea how sorry I am about your arm."

"Mulder, I don't want your fucking pity." Krycek's voice was cruel.

"It's not pity. It's remorse for my own actions. I am such an ass. And I caused you unneeded pain." He took a breath. "Can you forgive me?"

"Oh, Mulder," Krycek sighed, relaxing. "There's nothing to forgive. We both did what we thought we needed to do. No one's all good or all bad. And it's in the past now. It's over."

Mulder smiled and buried his face in Krycek's crotch, breathing deeply before Krycek jumped back, trying to get away.

"Jesus, Mulder!" Mulder saw his penis was half-erect again.

"My, my Krycek. You are younger than me. Look at how fast you get it up again." He followed Krycek, not letting him get away, nuzzling in again.

"Mulder, I'm warning you..."

"You're right, you're right," Mulder said laughing. "I'll wait till after we eat, I need to refuel anyways. Mine is not a full service station."

Krycek blushed, causing Mulder to only laugh harder. He got up off his knees, listening to them crack like his back had, and pulled Krycek in for a hug, resting his chin on his shoulder.

"We'll manage. You know what I'm afraid of the most?"

Krycek shook his head.

"Telling Scully."

"Shit, Mulder. Do you have to?" Krycek's face was pure panic.

"Yep. If you want to stick around, she's going to know one way or another. And I'd prefer to tell her right away instead of her coming over one night and using her key."

That managed to elicit a terrified gasp from Krycek, who then shuddered. "Fine, Mulder. I guess we'll have to tell her. But you'd better have my back or I won't be leaving that discussion alive." He looked down. "What I've done to her..."

"Shh. We'll be fine. Scully's more forgiving."

He pulled back, grabbing Krycek's hand and leading him towards the coffee table. "Let's look at those discs while we wait for the delivery boy. He reached down and felt a hand wrap around his waist and a kiss press into his hair and heard an "Okay, Mulder."

Everything would work out. Somehow.

 

Title: We'll Be Ok

Part: 2 of 3(maybe more...)

Author: MF Luder

Category: Mulder/Krycek romance, utter AU.

Keywords: Slash, multiples

Time Frame: From once the Elders get burned to 'current' time four years later

Rating: PG-13 for language and intimations of m/m sex

Spoilers: Everything up to One Son

Disclaimer: Never mine. I don't have that kind of luck.

Summary: Mulder finds a surprise on his doorstep and he and Krycek find that love comes in small packages

Feedback: Of course!! Mulder_Loves_Scully_Forever@hotmail.com (yes I know it doesn't seem appropriate for this story)

General Notes: Made for the The Nursery Files' Merry Multiples Challenge at the urging of Neoxphile at Haven.

Author's Notes: To pick out a name I used this site: http://www.sca.org/heraldry/paul/index.html, specifically this section to find proper form: http://www.sca.org/heraldry/paul/zgrammar.html Also, this is normally not the type of slash I would write. I'm not generally sappy towards these characters. But for some reason, this one is. I don't apologize either. Weird as it is, I think it fits the whole weird plot.

Beta thanks: Thanks to my stalwart beta, Kim K. Again, she went out of her way to look over this fic; not only was it slash, but she also did it in record time.

Inspiration:...Gay men are every bit as emotionally closeted as their straight counterparts. Instead of just one partner being distant, uncommunicative and emotionally stunted, both are.--Minotaur

 

December 24th, 1999

Mulder shuffled from his bedroom, rubbing sleep out of his eyes. He looked around and, sure enough, saw a note on the table. Before going to answer the door, which had been knocked on a moment earlier, he stopped to read it.

Mulder,

I hated leaving you this morning. You looked so peaceful and I know how stressed you've been with Scully lately. I wanted to stay. But you know my job. Had to run to my apartment and then do an errand. Plus a little shopping. Hope to be back by 2.

-A

Mulder sighed. Well at least he'd be back today. Sometimes he left for days. He sniffed the air. Yep, Alex had set the timer on the coffee machine too. How he always knew at what time of day Mulder would wake, he had no clue. Today, he looked at the clock above the stove, it was ten. He grabbed a mug calling out, "Be there in a minute!" before pouring himself a cup. Mmmm...he loved Saturdays. Shopping...why was that nagging him?

Mulder swore, burning his lip as he remembered. Fuck. It was Christmas Eve. They were going over to Scully's tonight.

Strange, there had been no more knocks on the door. He continued his shuffle over to the door, loathing the gift wrapping he'd have to do without Alex here. He was never good at wrapping presents. Sure, he could sort through evidence with ease, but paper and tape? He normally ended up with paper cuts and tape everywhere.

He opened the door and was surprised. There was no one there. They must have given up. Guess they didn't want him too bad. Then he heard a noise and looked down.

What in God's name?!

Staring up at him, one of them making a gentle cooing sound, were two babies in infant carriers and two huge diaper bags, one decorated with tiny ballerinas on it, the other footballs.

Was this a joke? He looked up and down the hall but saw no one. The one baby started cooing louder.

"Shh," he said. Shit. He'd have to bring them inside before a neighbor came out. He reached down, grabbing the handles of both carriers and setting the babies on his table before running out to grab the diaper bags, searching the hallway again. No one still. Shit, shit, shit. He set the bags down and stared at the tiny things taking up his table.

Who and what were they? He edged closer. One, wrapped in a pink blanket with a tiny pink hat, was sleeping, hands balled into fists. The other, in a blue blanket and hat was staring at Mulder avidly with a serious expression, making no noise now. Almost as if he was sizing the man in front of him up, judging him. Mulder didn't like that feeling, He'd never been good around kids; the one time he'd been handed a baby he'd been terrified he would drop it on its head. He stared back at the kid, refusing to lose the staring contest, only then noticing his eyes. Green. A strikingly familiar green. Now he was even more confused.

He moved to grab his cellphone and called Alex, using his non emergency code. Two rings. Twice. Mulder plopped down in the kitchen chair. Staring. He couldn't function. What was going on? Thank God they were being quiet.

He started as his phone rang shrilly.

"Mulder."

"You rang?"

"Good, you weren't busy." Mulder sighed in relief before glancing at the babies and tensing up again. "Say, you weren't expecting a package of any kind were you?"

"A package?" Alex's confusion was clear over the phone.

"Yeah something small, coming in a pair?"

"Uh, no, I wasn't Mulder. What did you get? Is there a note?"

A note! Mulder could have kicked himself. He inched closer, looking for anything resembling a note. There. Right next to the boy. Mulder reached out gingerly with his fingers, not letting himself touch the baby, receiving a glare from it in return.

Jeez, Mulder thought. It not only has his eyes, but he acts like Alex as well.

"Mulder?"

"Oh yeah. Sorry. Yeah, there's a note."

"Well, does it seem like whatever it is is going to explode, contaminate you?"

Mulder almost replied yes, but decided not to freak the other man out. Yet.

"No, no it doesn't."

"Ok, why don't you let me go and read the note. I'll try to get back sooner. Is that ok, Mulder?" He sounded both concerned and a little harried. Well, Mulder was surprised he'd even responded to the call.

"Yeah, ok. But Alex?"

"What, Mulder?"

"Get home soon, please?"

He could hear Alex's smile as he said, "Sure thing," and hung up.

Mulder sat in stony silence for a moment judging the letter in his hand. This kind of thing only happened in movies, right? Mysterious children showing up on doorsteps...He glanced at the boy. His eyes had closed, obviously deeming Mulder not important enough to stay awake for. Great. Even babies thought he was harmless now. He just didn't have the power he'd once had.

Before opening the letter, Mulder thought about his life right now. He and Alex had been—what were they? A couple? Lovers? Life partners? It all sounded like shit—he and Alex been together since that night back in April. Seven whole months now. And he'd never been happier. He let himself review the past.

**********************************

When he and Alex had invited Scully over one night in May, Alex had been scared shitless and Mulder nervous as hell. What was Scully going to think? She knew he'd been seeing someone for a month now, even knew it was a man. That had been an awkward enough conversation.

"But Mulder, weren't you married?"

"Yes."

"To Diana."

"Yes."

Silence.

"And now you're with a man."

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Scully, it's just something that never came up. I never felt my being interested in both sexes would be something of interest or importance."

"I see."

"Does it bother you?"

"What bothers me, is that you never told me. I mean, how am I supposed to feel now, knowing my partner liked men all along, is seeing one and never told me? How would you feel, Mulder?"

"I don't know, Scully."

"I see."

"Dammit it, Scully!" He'd yelled, rising from his office chair and pacing. "What is the issue?"

"Oh, Mulder. Can I help it if I feel protective of you?"

He'd paused, digesting that before realization hit him. "Wait. You think a man's going to treat me worse than Diana ever did?"

She blanched. "When you put it that way...But it's just, I had a few gay friends in college and med school and a lot of what I heard wasn't savory or very emotional. And I don't want you to get your heart worked up, only to get thrown out."

"Trust me, Scully, we've hurt each other equally, and no, not like that. That's very kind of you to be concerned, but it isn't like that with Alex."

That had been the first time he'd called Krycek, Alex. It had felt good. And Scully had no clue.

"No, Scully. I can't say it's love. I don't know what love is. But whatever it is, it's just us two. No S&M parties, no sex clubs, no multiple partners."

"Alright, Mulder." She had stood up and walked over to him, giving him one of her small hugs. God, he loved this woman. That he was sure of. He just didn't think his heart could know romantic love. "I trust you. He must be very special for you to want him. I'd like to meet him sometime, Mulder."

"Yeah," he'd replied, nervous again. "Sometime soon."

When Mulder had been stroking Alex's back that night, whose head rested on Mulder's chest, Mulder had told him about the conversation.

"You called me Alex?"

"Yeah, yeah I did."

Alex had looked up, now balancing on his chin. "That means a lot to me, Mulder."

"Well, don't think that means you can call me Fox now."

He'd shuddered. "God no, Mulder. Never."

"Good," Mulder had said smiling, vindicated.

"Mulder?"

"Hmm?"

"Will you call me my name? To my face?"

Mulder had looked into those fathomless green eyes, stunned by the man's emotions. He normally didn't ask for anything.

"Sure, Alex."

Alex had wrapped his single hand's fingers around Mulder's.

"Will you call me that always?"

"Well, I can't promise I won't slip up. Habit, you know." Mulder had said, trying to be cheerful and lighten the heavy feeling in the air. He wasn't comfortable with an emotional Krycek yet. Fortunately, he wasn't often.

"Thank you," he'd gotten before Alex had kissed him hard and rewarded him with their most mind-blowing sex yet.

The night Scully had come over, Alex had dressed up. He went out shopping the day before, buying a silk dark green button up that matched his eyes, dockers, and brown shoes. Not his usual black or leather. Mulder approved. They'd both attempted to cook, in the end getting more food on each other and it still not tasting wonderful.

They'd cleaned up by the time Scully got there and when she knocked, Alex had hung back.

"Hey, Scully."

"Hi, Mulder."

She'd brought a small cake. It had been rather pretty even. Mulder was so proud of her for trying. He only hoped once she saw who it was, she'd still be as nice. He'd grabbed the cake, just in case.

"Where is Alex, Mulder?"

He'd stepped out of the kitchen then, chewing on his delectable lower lip. Mulder was taken aback for a moment, surprised at how...human, Alex looked. And entirely beautiful. Then Scully had noticed him.

"Krycek!!? Alex Krycek, Mulder?"

She'd had a gun trained on him just as fast as Mulder'd had back in April, eyes lit with hate.

"Scully..."

"Mulder, what are you doing? What is he doing here? Is he holding something over your head? What does he have over you?"

"Nothing, Scully! You've got to calm down! Look at him. He doesn't have a gun or anything!" Mulder tried to calm himself, Scully didn't listen to irrationality. Even when she herself was being irrational. But he really didn't want Alex shot.

Indeed, Alex had just stood there, one hand held up in a surrender gesture, still chewing his lip, though his eyes were drilling into Scully's and his feet were braced.

Scully had lowered the gun, really looking at Krycek.

"Why him, Mulder? What happened to your hate?"

Mulder sighed, "I got tired, Scully. And if you sit down and eat with us, you'll understand. And after dinner, I'll show you the discs I've waited till now to show you. Because I want you to accept Krycek. Alex," he'd corrected, tossing an apologetic glance at the other man. Alex's eyes never left Scully. "Please, Scully. For me."

She'd eventually put her gun away and they sat down to an uncomfortable dinner. When Mulder took the discs out, he let Alex explain. She had to hear from him. He'd started out hesitantly, then gained confidence, knowing he'd done what he thought best. Finishing, Scully had been silent for a moment.

Then, "My sister..."

"A mistake. Not on my part. I was the one to call 911. And I wish I could bring her back. I do, Scully. But if wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

Scully had nodded at the words of wisdom she'd heard in church so long ago.

"I was sent there to kill you, Scully. But I wouldn't have. I'd already seen what abducting you had done to Mulder. To kill you...I had been planning on making my break then. The door opened just as I was about to turn and shoot Cardinale. In his panic, he shot without looking. Trust me, I was punished for that one too."

Alex and Mulder had shared a look while Scully absorbed it all.

"So you...you didn't want to kill me because of Mulder? And you gave him the key, and vaccinated him?"

"Yes."

Scully had shut her eyes, presumably counting to ten then opened them and looked directly at Alex.

"Thank you," she'd said, and Mulder knew it would be all right. It wasn't yet, but it would be.

*******************************

Mulder shook himself out of his reverie. Fortunately, both babies were still sleeping. He had no clue what to do if they woke up. Change a diaper? Feed them? Let them cry?

"Ahhh," he said quietly, wanting to scream for real. He scrubbed at his face with the hand not holding the letter.

Both babies had dark brown hair peaking out from under the hats. The boy had black eyelashes, while the girl's were blonde. Pouty lips and small, squishy looking noses on both. But he figured they'd grow out of those. He turned to the letter in his hand, taking a breath before reading.

Mr Alex Krycek and Mr. Fox Mulder,

This letter will come as a shock, if the babies haven't already put you into cardiac arrest.

Oh, a comedian, Mulder thought sarcastically.

To make a long story short; they're yours. Both of them. Still breathing?

No! Mulder wanted to cry out.

Now the long story. Almost two years ago, during the throes of the Project, the men were trying to create children with special abilities and immunities. They used test victim women, not unlike you, Mr. Mulder, saw the elderly women being used as. I assure you however, that while I cannot tell you the identity of the mother, she was young, perhaps twenties, and not eighty. What the men did directly involves you and Mr Krycek. This woman was used to bear twins, one created with your genetics, the other with Mr. Krycek's. These children are fraternal twins, but with separate fathers. So congratulations and Mazeltov. Although I'm sure right now you're not feeling too happy.

Not particularly, no. He had a kid? And to think, his sex life had been dead until seven months ago. A miracle.

They used your genetics because both of you are immune to the virus, as was the woman. So had colonization occurred, your children would have been immune, as would many other test babies. In fact, their bodies would kill the virus. Some of what you term "junk DNA" has been activated as well. Not enough for you to worry about, I believe.

How did these children come to you? I worked at one of the labs run by the Consortium. I am not proud of what I've done, but I felt it needed to be done. I am grateful everyday I worked at the one with your children, because not only was I able to save them, but I also know there are no others belonging to you and that they have not been 'tampered' with. I had advance word that our lab was to be torched soon by the rebels and began cleaning out everything important. There were several babies in my lab, but the rebels came sooner than I thought and I had time only to save these two, as I knew both of you would want to know someday. I have kept them for almost nine months now. I wondered what I would do with them. I am not a person with a life fit for children. It has been a struggle and at first I was afraid I would have to send them out for adoption and I loathed to split them up, neither ever knowing their origins.

I had been watching you, Mr. Mulder and saw one night Mr. Krycek come to you and not leave immediately. This gave me great hope for the future of these children. I have studied you both throughout the months (no cameras, just basic spywork, to relieve your fears)--

Mulder decided he would still have Alex scour the apartment down soon. This was entirely too creepy.

--and have decided that you two are ready for these miracles. They may not have been created willingly by either of you, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve love and family, either. They deserve to know their fathers as they can never know their mother who was killed not two weeks after she gave birth. I know as FBI, Mr. Mulder, you will be able to trace who the mother is by a simple blood test. Hopefully you will be able to actually get to know her, through whatever past she may have had.

I have some money, not a lot when you think about what it costs to raise children these days, but hopefully enough to get you started. In the few months I've had these babies in my home, I have grown to love them as my own but as I said, I am neither fit nor am I their parent. The account number is 0036421013 in a Cayman bank under the name Purity and the password is little angels. I know you'll find it through your other friends.

I almost forgot to mention. The little girl is Mr Mulder's and the boy is Mr. Krycek's. Neither one were ever given names and I continued that once I saw you two were together, that is the right of the parent. I don't think this could have worked out better if Fate Herself had intervened, the two of you being together. Perhaps She did. In the diaper bags you will also find lists of what you will need to care for these children, as well as their favorite foods, nap prerogatives, and much more. They were born on December 25th, 1998 at 1 pm and 1:16 pm, the boy being born first. Tomorrow they will be exactly one year old.

I can only hope you will both find room in your hearts and lives for these tiny creatures of yours. Please, take care of them. I shall have no further contact with you, nor will I watch. It is time for me to move on. I am trusting them to your care. Please, do well, as their creators would not have.

My greatest blessings

Mulder finished the letter and folded it back up, running his hands unconsciously up and down the folds. Who was this person who would save his and Krycek's child? Shelter them for months, then decide he and Alex were fit to take care of two children? They were hardly fit to manage themselves half the time. Old issues refused to die and while Mulder was dedicated to Alex, it didn't mean it would always be this way. Who knew when one of them could die? Both of their jobs were full-time and dangerous. They'd never be home to care for children. He'd never wanted to be a father anyway. These babies would have been better in a family with time and real love. Not a gay couple who had serious issues.

He set the letter down and looked at the sleeping babies again. His. He scooted his chair closer to the little girl and stared down at her. His hand came up and he touched her cheek with a finger. She was so soft and fragile looking. He almost laughed as she squirmed and blew a spit bubble in her sleep, but kept it to a smile, still unsure what he would do if they woke up crying.

He let his hand drop and supported his head in his hands. He had a lot to think about.

*************************************

Sometime later he heard a turn of a key in the door and he sat up. He didn't know how long he'd sat like that. He walked out of the kitchen to see an anxious Alex in his leather coat coming in the door.

"Mulder. You're safe."

"Yeah."

"I got back as soon as I could."

"I'm sure," Mulder smiled to show he understood. He walked up to Alex, pulling him in for a long kiss that started out slow and tender and was on its way to becoming heated when the other man pulled back.

"Mulder, not only do we have this package to deal with, but we have to get ready to go to Scully's. And you know we have to go early. She's in no condition to do all the work herself."

"When did you start caring about Scully so much, Alex?"

The man looked at Mulder with a serious expression and said quietly, "When I saw what not caring about her did to you."

Mulder didn't want to get into that right now.

"Well maybe your newfound domestic leanings will help with this problem we have."

"What is it, Mulder?"

Mulder led him towards the kitchen, leaning against the wall and gesturing grandly at the table before turning to watch Alex's expression. He wasn't disappointed.

Alex's eyebrow went up, then shock settled over his face, he turned red, purple, and then made a choking laugh.

"You're kidding me, Mulder."

At the new voice, the boy's eyes popped open and stared at the newest intruder. Mulder watched Krycek start, knowing he could see the green eyes.

"Gah," gurgled the kid.

"Mulder, what are they?"

Mulder hid his smile. Oh, this had to be better than his own reaction. He cleared his throat and with a straight face said, "They're babies, Alex."

"No fucking kidding. What are they doing here?"

Mulder moved to grab the letter from the table as he said, "I found them on the doorstep this morning. Well, outside the door. I don't really have a doorstep." He handed the letter to Alex, watching the man open it and read it quickly. When he was done, he moved to collapse in the chair, staring at the tiny things in front of him. The boy's eyes were still trained on him, but instead of glaring as he had at Mulder, his eyes were shining happily.

"Any first responses, Alex?"

"I'm stunned."

"Now you know why I called."

"Yeah."

"You know, this wasn't on the discs. Did you know?"

"I did, not about us having kids, but about there being experiments. But everything I gathered led to my belief that they were all destroyed by the rebels."

"And it seems they were. Except these two."

Silence for a moment before, "Mine. He's mine. I have a freaking kid. What a messed up life this is."

"Indeed." Mulder couldn't have said it better himself.

"And what? This person expects us to suddenly move into a big white house with a fence and raise kids? Even now, most gay couples don't adopt."

"I know a few. But that's not what worries me. First off, I have no clue how to take care of children. Second, our jobs. I mean, I'm not like Scully. I'm pretty sure I can't take maternity leave."

"Yeah." Alex still sat quietly holding the letter loosely and watching the boy. His eyes shifted to the girl. "She's beautiful, Mulder. Looks just like you. Minus the huge nose."

"Yeah, she'd better hope she got her mother's."

They laughed awkwardly, looking at each other. Alex grabbed Mulder's hand and Mulder laid his other on Alex's shoulder.

"You know, Mulder, even if I wanted a kid, how could I take care of it? From what I've heard taking care of kids is a four armed job practically. I only have one."

"Alex, I think that's less of an issue than our emotional status."

"Yeah..." Alex's voice trailed off, he seemed enthralled by what lay in front of him.

"Alex? I was wondering...will you look at me for a minute?"

Alex turned, staring directly into Mulder's eyes, almost making him wish he hadn't said anything. Green eyes swirled, mixed emotions fighting with his standard Krycek coldness.

"I've been thinking. Maybe we could ask Scully. I mean she's always wanted more than one kid. And I think she'd take pity on us. I don't know about Tom though..."

"You want to give them away? Your own kid?"

"Well, I never wanted to be a father. And I don't think I'd make a good one. And the two of us as fathers...they'd grow to be messed up."

"Thanks, Mulder. Nice to know you think so highly of me." The coldness was winning.

Mulder's voice rose, frustrated he said, "What? You think we can raise two kids? When honestly I could die tomorrow from some crazy mind controlling guy or you could just up and leave? What kind of life is that?"

"You think I'm going to walk out? What are you implying? That you're more dedicated to this relationship than I am? What the fuck, Mulder! If I remember right, I came to you, with my life on the line and intentions on my sleeve."

Mulder sighed. "Let's not get into this now, Krycek."

Alex stood seething, forcing Mulder back. "Krycek again, huh? You don't think I can take care of a kid? I may be messed up, but maybe I want someone who would want me unconditionally, unlike some people. Maybe I would want to do right by the kid, make up for my mistakes. Well, fine Mulder. We won't get into it right now, because I am going for a walk."

With that, he spun away from Mulder, walking out the door, and leaving Mulder gaping at him.

Shit.

Then he heard it. Oh, no that wasn't...

"WAAAHHHHH!!" echoed off the apartment walls.

Mulder practically scurried to the kitchen to find the little girl had woken up, and seemed very unhappy.

"What do I do?" cried Mulder to no one in particular. He reached for her, unbuckling the strap around her. He lifted her up, scared to hold her but knowing he had to do something. For a moment the crying only got louder. In that moment, the other one woke up and joined in, creating a chorus.

"Aw, hell."

Mulder reached out a hand, undoing his buckle too, shifting to hold the girl on his left shoulder while he picked up the boy with his right arm. He held them both, whispering little shushes, and breathing them in. They smelled so sweet. He knew they wouldn't always, but right now...

No, Mulder. Stop it.

He held the two for several minutes, waiting till they calmed down. When he moved to set them back down they both began whimpering again. Sighing, he went to sit on his couch, somehow managing to grab a diaper bag as well. Placing them both in the crook of one arm-how tiny they were!-he unzipped the bag and found papers on top, each conveniently labeled with their topic. Finding one titled "Feeding Schedule", he glanced at it and then the clock. Sure enough. It was noon. God, only two hours since he'd discovered them? Why did it feel like a lifetime?

Mulder found another sheet labeled "Bottle Instructions" and followed them, grateful the children let him put them down for a minute. He didn't think his telling them to just wait and he would feed them actually sank in though. Maybe it was his quiet tone. Who knew? He wasn't cut out for this.

Half an hour later, fed and sleepy, Mulder was able to lay them down and gently rocked them to sleep. Standing up again, he stretched. And realized he had to pee. And shower.

Walking out twenty minutes later, towel wrapped around his waist and feeling much refreshed, he found Alex standing at the apex of the bathroom and bedroom.

Mulder didn't say anything and tried to ignore his rapidly rising erection, towel feeling coarse against his sensitive skin. This wasn't the time for that. Then Alex moved forward, grabbing the towel as he kissed Mulder hot and hard. Then again, maybe it was.

Sometime later, legs still entangled, Alex spoke.

"Mulder, I've been thinking. If you want to ask Scully to take them in, I'm fine with that. You're right, we're not fit. Emotionally or knowledge-wise." His voice was wistful.

Mulder stared at the man he'd known to be ruthless, a liar, a betrayer, and wondered how he could have so much compassion for something he'd never dreamed of. Something that didn't affect the entire human population. But then, Mulder was still surprised the man felt anything for him.

They didn't lounge in bed much longer, instead cleaning up and beginning to wrap the gifts. It was going to be an interesting Christmas, Mulder hoped it wouldn't be as uncomfortable as it seemed it was going to be. It would be their first big Christmas. Scully, Scully's mother, Tom and his family, which he'd heard was pretty big, Tom's best friend and his partner, him, Alex, and now it seemed, two babies. And of course the one in Scully. Did it count?

He sat on the floor holding the boxes while Alex expertly wrapped one handed better than Mulder ever could with both hands.

"What is it, Mulder?" Alex asked, looking up and noticing Mulder's faraway look.

"I've just been doing a lot of remembering today."

"Well 'tis the nostalgia season."

Mulder laughed, "Yeah."

"What about?" the other man asked, trying to appear uninterested. He didn't fool Mulder.

"Well, earlier it was about when I first told Scully about us and the dinner."

"Oh. That nightmare." Alex shuddered.

"Hey, it wasn't that bad."

"You didn't have a gun held to your head by a spitting redhead."

Mulder laughed outright. "No, I didn't. But I've been there. At least she didn't shoot you. If I recall correctly, one of the times the three of us have been together, she took you over me."

He got a smile this time. "No, she didn't shoot me." He paused. "And what are you thinking about now?"

Mulder laid a hand on Alex's calf. "Just that it seems we've lived a lifetime in less than a year. I mean you and me. Scully and Tom meeting in June, getting married in August, and now she's got a bun in the oven."

"Well, I'd like to think we all deserved a little happiness considering our lives for the past oh, five to ten years. Especially you and Scully."

"And then how for the longest time, although she'd forgiven you, Scully was still wary as hell about you. Until that night she found out she was pregnant and you gave her that huge hug. Her face, Alex," Mulder chuckled. "She was so shocked, and then suddenly she was hugging you back and everything worked out. Just as I'd hoped."

"I knew how much it mean to both of you that Scully was able to have children. I'm just glad the invitro worked."

"Me too."

As Alex put the last piece of tape on the box that held a small chenille baby blanket, Mulder leaned over to kiss him. Pulling him closer, Mulder let his hands trail over Alex's chest, still amazed at the rigid muscles the man had. He'd perfected one handed push ups. Mulder was strong but still couldn't do more than ten before crashing while Alex got in fifty—after doing pull ups. Mulder sighed into the other man's mouth. Youth. It was so unfair. And yet, it was one of many things Mulder enjoyed about Alex.

A soft cry caused them to separate.

"I think someone's calling us," whispered Mulder.

"Yeah. Hey, you take care of them, and I'll get everything ready to go, ok? We should leave now, to help Scully."

Mulder nodded and stood up, walking towards the kitchen as Alex began gathering various items. Fifteen minutes later they were at Mulder's car which was much more conducive to 'family outings', unlike Alex's baby. Like a typical man, Alex had to have a power car, in his case, a silver porsche. Mulder of course, was satisfied with his government issued Taurus. Not that it wasn't manly, he defended to himself.

"Uhh, Mulder?"

"Yeah?"

"We don't have car seats...don't they need car seats?"

"Shit. I don't know."

They stared, alternating between the babies and the car.

"Ok, Alex. Tell you what. I'll let you drive and I'll sit in the back and hold both carriers."

Alex snickered. "Sure thing, Mulder."

Mulder glared before putting both still sleeping children on either side of the backseat and climbing in after them. He buckled as Alex pulled out, holding one arm in front of both babies, and pouted. He must look ridiculous. He saw Alex still smirking in the rearview mirror. Bastard.

****************************

Arriving at their destination, both men sat in the car. Alex turned around to face Mulder.

"Are you ready, Mulder?"

"I think so. I'm just nervous. About us."

"Why? I don't understand. I mean you don't seem to mind Tom seeing us together and you were certainly eager to tell Scully."

"I know. It's just...well, Scully's my best friend and I knew she'd accept it no matter what. And Tom, well even if his best friend wasn't gay, he'd accept it if he loved Scully enough. But it's just..." Mulder was torn. It seemed so ridiculous to his rational brain but that didn't stop his nerves.

"Are you ashamed of being gay, or being seen as gay?"

"No..."

"Then it's me you're nervous about. Afraid they won't accept me? That they'll what? See through some persona to the true me? The ruthless, heartless killer?" Alex said the last in a voice tinged with sarcasm and bitterness. This was a fight they kept having.

"No, no. No, I guess I am afraid, not so much of being seen as gay, but I don't want these people to hate me—or you. It means so much to Scully...they're her family now."

"Look, coming from me I'm sure this doesn't mean a thing, but you have to let them accept you for you, all of you. And if they can't deal with the fact that you're in a relationship with a man, it's their problem. If you really want, I guess I can go back." Voice flat, Alex turned around to face the steering wheel again, hiding his emotional face from Mulder. But Mulder knew.

Mulder sighed knowing he was being an idiot. For many reasons. He leaned forward wrapping his arms around Alex's shoulder's, lightly kissing him on the cheek before resting his chin on the other man's shoulder.

"I'm sorry. I don't know what I'm worried about. You're right. And don't ever think it's you. After all, without the leather coat, you look almost like a normal citizen—of America even."

Alex laughed tightly, before relaxing slightly and turning his face to return Mulder's cheek-kiss.

"We should get in there," Mulder said.

"Yeah."

Getting out, they each grabbed a child and Mulder tried to grab most of the bags as inconspicuously as possible, but got a warning look anyway. Which he ignored. Halfway up the walk, Alex's boy started to whimper. Alex lifted the carrier up higher, towards his face.

"Shh, don't worry little guy. It's going to be all right. It'll be fun. And hopefully we'll find you a good home."

Mulder stared sideways. Alex looked so comfortable like that. Very weirdly like a dad too. Mulder could almost hope...but no. Again, they were two men. What type of life was that for a kid growing up?

They stepped towards the door of Scully's new home, a large brick house with a red door and a giant wreath, Alex slightly rocking the carrier as Mulder rang the bell, prepared for the worst reaction. This was going to be extremely awkward.

Scully opened the door, looking very tired, big as a house, but radiantly beautiful. She'd let her hair grow into a slightly longer bob that framed her face, making it appear rounder, but not unpleasantly so.

"Wow," Mulder breathed.

"Oh, thank God you guys are here. You have no idea what a mess it is trying to make dinner for twenty-one guests when you've never done it." She glanced over her shoulder. "Tom!! Darling, Mulder and Alex are here!"

"Great!" They heard the deep baritone yell out from inside the house.

"Here, let me take some of those as you come--" Scully stopped staring avidly at their hands.

"Mulder, what are those?" She asked, eyebrow raised.

"What is with everyone asking that today? And you, Scully, you went to med school. Surely you know a baby when you see one?" Mulder asked, deadpanned.

Alex smiled, "Long story, Scully. We'll explain in a minute, but right now can we come in?" He actually asked and Mulder knew his arm must be bothering him.

Flustered, Scully gestured them in. "Yes, come in. Set the gifts down by the tree in the living room."

Alex slipped past Mulder bringing the food he held towards the kitchen while Mulder headed for the tree, Scully waddling confused behind them. Tom came out from the bedroom at the same time. He was a tall man with dark brown hair, a stern-seeming face, but a huge smile. He always reminded Mulder of a cross between Skinner and a lumberjack. The man was huge. Mulder had originally feared for his life, being so tall and lean, he was afraid the man would mistake him for a tree and chop him right down. Fortunately, Tom had the warmth of a teddy bear; he would make a great father.

"Mulder, Alex," he said, walking over to shake hands, coming to a standstill when he noticed the carrier in Mulder's hand. Alex had just walked out of the kitchen, only carrying the boy now.

"You going to explain now, Mulder?" Scully asked, obviously dying to know. "I mean they're not yours, so are you babysitting on Christmas Eve?"

Mulder and Alex exchanged looks. Did they want to tell the whole story to Tom? No one had ever told him about the alien conspiracy. It just seemed too much of a hassle. And he'd never understand. Sure he knew Mulder and Scully worked on weird cases and Scully would talk about autopsies with him; he was an anthropologist they'd met on their first new X-File after the burnings. But how much to tell him now? One look, and they both decided they'd have to clue him in on the whole situation, minus the alien bit.

"Why don't you two sit down. We'll try to do this fast, since I'm sure you still have preparations to do."

Scully nodded, but curiosity filled her eyes. They took seats on the various couches in the living room and Mulder noticed Scully squirming.

"Yes, Scully?"

"Oh, Mulder, can I hold her? Please? I just..." she trailed off.

Mulder bent and undid the buckle, lifting the baby up, who promptly woke up and gurgled at him. Giving her cheek on playful tap, he handed her over to Scully.

"Oh my God, Mulder. She's beautiful. You know," she looked thoughtful, "she looks like you. The hair color and those eyes..." Scully moved to take off the hat for the first time and Mulder was shocked to see a ton of hair in comparison to the few babies he'd seen. And it was his exact shade.

"What color are her eyes, Scully?"

"You don't know?" Scully looked up from attempting patticake.

"She's been asleep most of today. And uh, Alex and I, well, we've been a little stressed."

Scully nodded sagely, before replying, "An amber, Mulder. And they look like yours do when you're excited about a case. So bright."

Mulder and Scully shared a smile, while the other two men shifted uncomfortably.

"Mulder, maybe you should..." Alex started.

"Right."

As Mulder told the days events and contents of the letter, keeping all aliens references out, knowing Scully would know the whole story and figuring he could explain more later if needed. Alex stayed quiet, at one point undoing the other baby's buckle and lifting him out, gently cradling him. Tom nodded at one point and Alex passed him over. The mans hands practically engulfed him, and they all had a good laugh over the look on Tom's face. He seemed awed by the tiny thing in his arms. It was his turn to share a special smile with Scully.

"So, Mulder," Scully said, "she really is yours?"

"Yeah. Who knew I'd have a kid before you. I never planned on one ever. In fact, I want to talk to you about that, but later."

"Alright, Mulder. What are you going to tell the other guests? I think Tom deserved to hear it and possibly my mom could, but Tom's family?"

"I know. I was-Alex and I, were thinking, we could just say we are babysitting for an out of town couple."

Tom looked thoughtful for a moment then nodded his head. "I think they'll except that. But you said they don't have names. They'll have to for tonight. If I know my mother at all, that'll be her first question."

"Shit," Mulder said quietly.

"How about something generic, easy to remember? Carrie and James?" Scully suggested.

"Sounds good for now. Alex?" Mulder looked over at the quiet man, wondering what was going on with him. Normally he talked more. Well, it'd been a hell of a day and the party hadn't even started.

"Fine with me."

As they all stood up, Scully said, "Oh, I found out why I am so big."

"You mean there's a reason for it? Are you pregnant or something? And here I just thought you decided you liked the jelly doughnuts at work," Mulder teased.

Alex snorted as Scully punched Mulder's arm. "Ha ha, Mulder. Very funny." She took a breath and Tom reached for her hand. "Actually, I just found out...I am having triplets."

"What?" Mulder asked, dumbfounded, mouth hanging open.

"Yeah. I uh, I guess the invitro worked really well." She looked up at Tom, who smiled and pulled her in as close as possible for a hug.

Alex stepped forward, resting a hand on her arm. "That's wonderful, Scully. I'm so happy for you."

"Thank you, Alex. I just don't know how I'm going to manage three at one time. I mean, I wanted more than one, but not at the same time." She laughed, something Mulder loved hearing her do. "Now boys, you're not allowed to spoil this. I am going to make an announcement at dinner. Even my mom doesn't know yet."

After mock crossing their hearts, hoping to die, Scully shooed them to the kitchen to finish preparations.

*********************************

As they were finishing cleaning up, making it Mulder's turn to feel domestic, he and Scully were chatting amicably. The party had gone well. Everyone in Tom's family seemed as open and accepting as he; not a single comment had been made against Mulder and Alex. And the women had of course, loved the babies. The dinner announcement had gone over well, too.

The highlight had occurred when Scully noticed Alex sneaking some of her homemade peppermint ice cream to the babies.

"Alex! You can't feed that to a baby! You don't want them to get a sugar high do you?"

Alex had looked sheepish and the guests had laughed. They had laughed even harder when "Carrie" had spit it back up and "James" had grabbed the spoon out of Alex's hand, only to lob the scoop of ice cream on it right at Alex's face. Mulder had never wanted a camera more than at that moment. It was better than seeing a UFO.

All in all, a good night. It was just them and Scully's mom left, now.

Mulder forced Scully to take a seat as he finished the last few dishes.

"Scully, I wanted to talk to you now."

"About the babies, I'm assuming." Scully sipped on tea.

"Yes. I don't feel Alex and I are capable of taking care of kids."

"Are you thinking about putting them up for adoption?"

"Possibly." He sat down. "Actually, I was wondering..." This was harder than he thought. He put his head in his hands for a moment, collecting himself. "I was wondering. Well, I was wondering if you would want them."

Scully's eyebrows shot straight up as she asked, "What?"

"Well, it's just," Mulder picked up speed, words practically tripping on themselves. "I know how great of a mother you would be, will be, and you would love them and give them a decent home and a mother and a father and--" She cut him off.

"Mulder, first off, I am pregnant. With three children. Three! I certainly don't need your two as well. Second, even if I only had one, I still wouldn't take them in. Not because I don't want to but think about it, Mulder.

You're taking the easy way out. A miracle drops into your lap and all you want to do is get rid of it, like a hot potato. The minute something seems emotionally involved, you won't work for it. Especially relationships. Did you ever think you could be a good father? I saw you with Emily. You were natural. You're kind and giving when you want to be. And when you love something you give it your all. You don't think your child deserves that love?

And what about the son of the man you love? Ah." She held up a finger to stop Mulder's protest. "It's my conversation and as dumb as you are to not see it, I can see you're in love with the man."

She paused again. "Did you even think to ask him what he wanted?"

"Of course!" Mulder said, voice raising slightly. "He said it was for the best."

"Mulder, did you listen to him? You know he's not very vocal and his face doesn't show too much expression. Even now, he doesn't think he can be Alex around you, he still feels the need to be Krycek. Not to impress, but to keep himself safe from you. He hides. Just like you hide your deeper meanings in jokes. So you know, you have to pay attention to the little things. Look at the way he was holding the babies earlier. Not a complaint or grimace about his arm. He was so happy, Mulder. That's the happiest I've ever seen that man. And that's huge for him. Maybe, he'd like to keep his son.

I personally believe you two would make great fathers. And why give up the only chance of kids you may have? I don't understand how you could want to give them up."

"Because I can't do it, Scully! I wasn't meant to be a dad. If I can't even take care of my sister, I couldn't stop the Consortium from taking you, and Krycek...If I can't do that, how can I be expected to take care of a baby? Something completely defenseless and dependent on me? I'd only fail!" He'd risen to his feet and Scully stood next to him, glaring him down.

"Mulder, listen to yourself! It's natural to be scared. You don't think I'm not? I'm terrified! But with Tom, I know we can do it. And with you and Alex as honorary uncles and my mom, my kids are going to be so loved, they're going to feel smothered. Don't you think you could open your heart for once? I know you don't want to get hurt, but what could be a greater reward than getting the love of two children? Alex's is as good as yours as well. You said awhile back you didn't know what love was. Maybe if you try, you'll find the wellspring of love I know you have in you. Think about it, Mulder. It's Christmas. What could be better? Maybe someone up there is trying to teach you a lesson and give you your reward finally.

Mulder, you deserve love. Don't ever think you don't. And you have so much to give. Don't you think, if you care for Alex, maybe it's time to give it to him? Oh, Mulder." She sighed, running a hand through his hair. "Don't save it all for the day you see Samantha again. She would want you to love others too. Don't you think she'd be thrilled to have a niece and a nephew by proxy? Don't hold it in too long, Mulder, or you'll lose it all. I'm going to go out there now, play with your kids and talk to my mom and Alex before you all leave. Thank you for the wonderful gifts."

She kissed him on the forehead and moved to leave the room, pausing and turning back.

"Mulder, think of another child that was born on this day who had no control over it. Think of what He did for the world. And what He gave us. Merry Christmas, Mulder."

And she left the room, leaving Mulder sitting there, stunned, mind doing triple flips.

**************************

He was silent the entire car ride home, once again holding the babies with his arms. Alex kept quiet too, glancing occasionally in the mirror before focusing on the road.

Arriving at Mulder's apartment, they made their way up the stairs, fortunately with less parcels, though they'd both received gifts from Scully, Tom, and Maggie. Tom's mother had even bought them both something. Coordinating scarves and gloves. Mulder had laughed and Alex had immediately put them on, joking that he was cold anyway so what a perfect opportunity.

Once they got in the apartment and put the children on the table, they sat down and stared at them.

After a bit Alex asked, "So Scully. Was she willing to take them?"

"No."

"I see. Adoption then?"

Mulder stared at the girl. She was his. And despite his efforts to reject it, her adorable sleeping habits and spit bubbles were worming his way into his heart. And she was so beautiful. Maybe Scully was right. Maybe he needed to stop holding back. Was that why he thought he couldn't love? Was he saving it for Sam? He didn't know.

As he stared, he saw her eyes open and the heartfelt gaze and coo she issued sunk him. It wasn't unlike the night Alex had won him over. Let go, he'd said. I'm sorry Sam, I hope Scully's right and that this is what you want, he said in a silent prayer to her ghost. And Mulder let go. He suddenly found tears springing to his eyes as his heart overfilled with held back love, for the little girl in front of him, for her brother, and for Alex. Oh yes, he did love the man. He didn't know if he could ever tell him, as he didn't think Alex loved anyone, and how could he love Mulder? Fuck him, yes. Love him? No.

But he felt his own love for the man wash through him and a grin settled on his face.

"Mulder?" Alex asked, concerned, hand on Mulder's thigh.

"Actually, Alex. I was thinking, maybe we should keep them. I mean who better than their parents to keep them?"

"Mulder, what..."

"Oh, Alex. Why the hell not?"

"But I thought..."

"Do you not want to keep them, Alex? I mean I'll understand."

"Oh God no, Mulder. I don't know why, but for some reason since the moment I saw them, I've wanted them. I don't know why but, it's just like..." Alex was staring at the little girl who stared back.

He slowly reached out his hand. She grabbed at it, pulling a finger into her fist and smiling happily before sticking it into her mouth, chewing on it, making contented noises.

"God, Mulder. Look at her. She's so beautiful."

"And she likes you."

A half smile crossed his face. "Yeah, she seems to doesn't she?"

Mulder placed a hand on Alex's back. "So you don't mind then?"

"Not at all," the man said quietly, still enthralled. He turned to look at Mulder. "How are we going to manage?"

"Well, money's not an issue. I couldn't think of a better way to spend their grandfather's money."

"Mulder..." Alex trailed off. "You mean her grandfather's."

"No, theirs. His dad is my," Mulder made a face at the choice of words, partly because it sounded silly and partly because they couldn't describe what he really felt now, "life partner. If he'll have me. If both of you will have me. Of course he really has no choice though. How can he reject his sister's dad? I just hope his father won't mind.

Anything beyond that, well, our mantra seems to be it's not all right yet, but it will be. And Alex, it will be. Hell, we can take lessons to learn how to be parents. It's love that matters, right? And suddenly I have so much to give." Mulder looked at Alex then, staring into his eyes, trying not to confess his love outright.

"Mulder..." Alex slipped his hand away, quickly grabbing a toy from the top of her diaper bag and handing it to her, before turning to Mulder. Mulder felt the younger man pull him in for an embrace, resting his head on his shoulder for a moment before lifting his head and kissing Mulder with such passion, Mulder thought he might simply float away.

After an eternity in heaven, with a few gropes in the process, they broke apart, foreheads resting against each other.

"We should name them," Alex said softly.

"Yeah. Say," Mulder said separating from Alex's full embrace just keeping an arm about his waist, "why did I get the girl anyway? You're so much prettier than I am."

That earned him a punch in the gut.

"Oomph. Parental abuse," Mulder said, pouting.

"Yeah, well suck it up, Dad."

"Oh, man," Mulder shook his head, "that's going to take some getting used to."

"No kidding."

They shared another kiss.

"Names," Mulder panted.

"You have any clues?"

"Well," Mulder rested his head on Alex's shoulder, holding out a hand to slowly rock the carrier his baby was in. "I was thinking. The two most important people in my life...until you. They're both women. Dana Samantha."

"Dana Samantha Mulder. I like it. Just promise you'll never let her go by her last name. I couldn't deal with two Mulder's in the house."

Mulder threw his head back in a laugh. "No, no I wouldn't do that to her. And note: I gave her a normal name. Nothing like Fox. What about him? Got any ideas?"

Alex sat in the chair and went quiet for so long, Mulder thought he went to sleep or at least dazed. Then he spoke.

"Nafanail Alekseev Krycek."

"Nathaniel?" Mulder asked, brow scrunched up, a little confused.

"Nafanail," Alex pronounced in a thick Russian accent. "It's the Russian version of Nathaniel. So when here he can go by Nathan, and not be too embarrassed either. Like me."

"And the middle name?"

"It's his patronymic. Taken from my name. My full name is Aleksei Ivanov Krycek, but I go by Alex, obviously, here in America. It means, "to defend". My patronymic is Ivanov, my father's name being Ivan. Complicated Russian naming. I'll explain some other time." He looked up, nervousness playing across his features, lashes fluttering slightly. "You don't mind it do you?"

"No, I think it's a great name. A strong name. Aleksei Ivanov Krycek and his son Nafanail Alekseev. It's perfect. And it's nice to finally know your full name, Krycek," Mulder said teasingly.

"You think they'll find it weird, having different last names, despite being brother and sister?"

"Well, hopefully they won't think about that until they're old enough to understand our...situation. As in our past and their origins."

"We'll see, I guess." Alex stood up. "I have to get something quick."

"Ok." Mulder looked at the now two sleeping babies, both turned to face each other, close enough to touch almost. Mulder made a silent promise to himself that Nafanail would never have to cry over Dana or lose her as he'd lost Samantha. They'd be split up over his dead body. And he thought, over Krycek's too, who was much more dangerous than Mulder. "To defend". How appropriate. Isn't that what he'd been doing all the time? Defending Mulder, humanity, and now his son.

Alex came back, having stripped out of his sweater, and Mulder felt his libido rared it's not so unattractive head. Alex looked almost bashful as he walked in. Not second thoughts? Surely not...

Alex tossed a small box at him, nonchalantly, then scurried over to absorb himself with the sleeping babies. Mulder looked at the box.

"Oh, Alex. This isn't that earring is it? I told you I didn't want to--" Mulder cut himself off. Alex snuck a glance at him.

Inside the box was a bronze man's ring, its design simple and bold.

"Uhhh..." He had no clue how to express what he was feeling. No clue whatsoever.

Alex walked over and tried to grab it back, saying, "Oh it's nothing, I just saw it the other day..."

"Wait. Don't take it back." Mulder whispered, hardly daring to believe. "Don't ever take it back, please." He looked into Alex's eyes and felt himself falling.

"You mean, you don't, you don't mind?"

"Not at all. I couldn't have guessed..."

"I mean, I know it's probably weird. And you don't have to...I mean I don't know if you want other people knowing, assuming, whatever."

"Alex," Mulder grabbed the man by the waist, pulling him closer. "Shut up." Now Mulder understood the man's passion earlier. He'd been given hope by Mulder's words.

"If you can do this, and I know how hard it was, then I can say this I think." Mentally preparing himself, Mulder said, "Alex, I think, no, I know. I love you."

For once, Alex's face lost its coldness completely.

"Mulder, you have no idea how long I've waited to hear that."

Mulder couldn't resist, he pulled Alex in for another kiss. Their mouths met with a hunger and something entirely new. The taste of love. Mulder never needed Alex to say he loved him as long as he always kissed just like this. It was sweet and powerful and wet, and desperate, neither one wanting to let the other go.

Finally separating, Alex spoke. "You know, I could kiss you like that forever. Anyone ever tell you you're a great kisser?"

Mulder pretended to think. "Nope, I don't think anyone has. And to get continued performances, I think I'll need to hear it a lot more." Alex laughed.

Mulder slipped the ring on, right onto his wedding finger. Weird, but right.

"Merry Christmas, partner. No screw that. Merry Christmas, love." Mulder said, deciding not to be wussy again.

Hands resting on each other's waists, Mulder leaned his head onto Alex's chest. Both of them stared at the bundles, Nafanail and Dana.

"You know, we're going to have to go shopping day after tomorrow."

"Yeah, we are," responded Mulder, glancing at the clock. "Actually tomorrow. It's Christmas Day now."

And they both stared, taking in their slightly messed up, non-standard family. Mulder couldn't help but listen to Alex's strong heartbeat and think that while things seemed awkward right now, he knew with love they'd make it through.

Maybe there was a God. One could start to believe on Christmas Day.

To Be Continued



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