Challenges of Everyday Life 16
Keep the Home Fires Burning
Disclaimer: We all know that they don't belong to me, and
I promise to put them back when I'm done. The X-Files, Mulder, Krycek et al.
belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions. Just let me win the lottery
Even wrapped in blankets that Sarah had brought and pleasantly full of
her homemade beef barley soup, Alex was still chilled. He squirmed closer to
Fox, worming his way under the other man's arm, but he'd spent so long out
in the rain that he couldn't seem to get warm. Not that he regretted a
single moment. He'd loved being out in the rain alone, and it had only
gotten better when Fox had joined him. There had been something wild and
primitive about their joining while the rain beat down upon them, and he was
going to treasure that memory for a long time.
But right now he just wanted to be warm.
He shivered miserably, huddling still closer to Fox, and his eyes fell on
the fireplace only a few feet away. His face lit up, and he stood up and
headed for the perfectly laid fire, intending to light it. Mulder watched
him calmly until he realized what Alex was doing, then he yelped,
Alex jumped, losing his blanket as he did. He tripped over it and nearly
fell headlong into the fireplace, but Sarah stopped him in midair. He
hovered there in defiance of gravity for a moment before he settled gently
back onto his feet. As soon as he was firmly balanced, he turned a
fulminating glare on Fox.
"What the hell was that about? You nearly killed me!"
Fox was already on his feet and reaching for Alex, grabbing him and
yanking him into a fierce embrace. "Oh my God, Alex, I'm sorry! I never
meant to hurt you! I didn't expect you to jump like that. It's just that,
well, you know. I had to stop you, you understand, don't you? It was almost
too late, and that would have been awful, and...."
Alex shook him sharply. "Fox, stop it! You're babbling." And
starting to scare me.
Fox looked at him out of huge hazel eyes, lower lip trembling, and Alex
groaned. He sank back onto the sofa, drawing Mulder down with him, and
wrapped his arms around his trembling lover. He got really worried when Fox
simply tucked his head under his chin and huddled close. That was not
Mulder's usual method of dealing with problems. Running headlong into
situations that would make an angel quake was more his style than burying
his head in the sand and hiding from life.
"Fox, talk to me. Tell me what's wrong," he begged.
Mulder took a deep breath and sat up straight, noticing that Alex was
shivering again. He leaned down and grabbed Alex's blanket, wrapping it
around the younger man. He could also see that the thermostat had been
turned up. Sarah was watching over them as usual. He sighed, knowing he was
avoiding answering Alex, and turned to face his worried lover.
"Surely in all the files the Consortium has on me, someone noticed
that I'm afraid of fire? Diana certainly knew. She was completely pissed off
when her attempt to set up a romantic evening ended with me flipping out and
running out into the snow. It pretty much ruined the mood."
Alex looked surprised. "Amazing as it is, I don't think she told
anyone. I've never seen any reference to it. I'm sorry, babe, I didn't know,
or I never would have tried to light a fire."
Mulder laughed miserably. "Shit, Alex, you shouldn't have to
apologize for wanting to light a fire in a perfectly functional fireplace.
People have been using it for centuries. Literally. You don't think I'd like
to find out what the mystique is about making love in front of a roaring
fire? Everyone else talks about how the ruddy light of the flames gilds
their lover or something. I scream hysterically and curl up into a
fetal position." He groaned, his head dropping back against the sofa,
and he stared blindly at the ceiling.
"Fox! You've had to deal with a lot of my baggage, so I think I can
handle one little quirk." Alex stroked the soft brown hair, relieved
when one of Fox's hands clasped his free one.
Mulder eyed him wryly. "'One little quirk', Alex? I can't even stand
to look at a lit match."
"Have you always had this fear of fire, or was there a specific
"Oh, there was a cause all right," Mulder laughed bitterly.
"Would you tell me about it?" Alex asked hesitantly.
Mulder turned into Alex's arms, needing the familiar comfort of his
embrace. They stretched out along the couch, Mulder half on top of Krycek,
his head pillowed on the younger man's chest.
"I was just a kid," Mulder began, "almost thirteen years
old, when my friend Harry's house burned down. I was sleeping over that
night, and I was scared to death when his mom burst into the room in the
middle of the night and pulled us out of bed. For a minute I thought it was them,
come to take me too.
"But it was a fire in the house. They found out later it was faulty
wiring, but at the time, all I knew was that something awful was happening
at night again. I guess that made it worse." He shrugged as if it was
no big deal, but Alex could feel the tremors coursing through his body.
"Anyway, we all got out fine, and the firemen managed to get the
fire under control before too much damage was done. By the time it was
completely extinguished, it was after dawn, and Mr. and Mrs. Turner were
exhausted. Even though the fire had been stopped before very much was
burned, there was a lot of smoke and water damage, and they couldn't sleep
there. My parents offered them a room, and Harry and I were left to keep an
eye on the house to make sure it wasn't vandalized."
"The adults left two kids in a house in that condition, in their
pajamas?" Alex demanded in disbelief.
"What? Oh. No, my mom had brought over some of my clothes for both
of us, and the yard was completely untouched. We were supposed to play there
while the Turners got a couple hours of sleep. I'm sure they were in shock.
"So, anyway, we were playing in the backyard when we heard something
inside the house. We ran over to the window to look inside, and sure enough,
there was a man inside. We both started to yell, and the guy jumped and
started to run away. He tripped over something, a table I think, and fell
down. I'm not sure what happened next, but somehow the fire flared up again
- probably another faulty circuit or something that was jarred when he fell.
It must have started right behind him, right where he was leaning against
the wall, because his jacket caught fire before he realized. He was still
tangled up in whatever it was he tripped over, and I guess he panicked. He
started flailing around and, of course, the flames spread. He burned to
death right there in front of us." Fox shuddered and had to stop, the
memories overwhelming him.
Alex gasped and held him tightly, feeling sick as he imagined how
horrific that must have been. That would traumatize an adult, never mind an
impressionable twelve-year-old boy who had already had his sister torn away
from him. He stroked Fox's back until the shudders slowly ceased, then just
held him lovingly.
"God, baby, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to make you remember
something so awful. I'll be more careful now that I know. I swear I'll never
light a fire around you," Alex vowed, wanting to help Mulder in some
"But I don't want you to have to do that!" Mulder nearly wailed
in frustration. "I don't want to be afraid. How stupid is it to be
scared of a match?"
Alex frowned, once again rubbing Mulder's back soothingly. "Do you
really mean that? I mean, you could go your whole life without having to do
anything about it. Hell, almost no one has ever even noticed your
"Doesn't mean it's not there. And I'd really like to make love to
you in front of a fireplace sometime. Maybe on a bearskin rug," Mulder
grinned. "It sounds wonderfully cliched. Besides, any excuse to get you
naked is a good thing in my book." He laughed softly, the memories once
again tucked away, out of his conscious mind.
Alex chuckled in turn. "You don't need a fire to get me naked, Foxy.
In case you haven't noticed, aside from a couple of blankets, we are
naked, and there's not a fire to be seen."
Fox stroked a hand along the chest beneath him. "Oh, I noticed, all
right." He nuzzled against a nipple, teasing it to hardness. "But
without that fire, it's chilly and we need the blankets. I really want to
get over this," he sighed in exasperation.
Alex eyed him closely. "Okay, then. Do you trust me, Fox?"
"Of course I do!" Absolutely no hesitation.
"And you know I would never hurt you?"
"Then come over here with me," Alex asked, holding onto
Mulder's hand as he slid to the floor and moved a little closer to the
Realizing what Alex had in mind, Mulder drew in a deep, shaky breath but
followed without protest. Alex shed the blanket draped around him and
stretched out flat on his back, then tugged on Mulder's hand to pull him
down on top of himself. Fox dropped his blanket as well, wanting to feel
nothing but Alex against his skin. He flinched when a small fire suddenly
sprang up in the hearth, but Alex squirming under him distracted him.
He had to try twice before he managed to get a word out, but he was proud
of the steadiness of his voice when he did. "Unless you've suddenly
developed pyrokinetic powers, I think we have an audience."
Alex chuckled. "As usual."
"You're a dirty old woman, Sarah Mann," Fox called.
Sarah faded into visibility, comfortably seated on the corner of the
hearthstone. "So what's your point?" she asked, laughing.
Mulder bit the inside of his cheek to hold back his own laughter.
"Don't you have anything better to do?" he asked sternly.
Sarah's eyebrows rose almost to her hairline. "Have you looked in a
Fox blushed, and Alex howled with laughter.
"Don't let me interrupt you though. Carry on, boys," Sarah said
airily, waving a hand at them.
Alex grinned. "Don't mind if I do." He was grateful to Sarah
for that bit of by-play, which had distracted Fox from the fire. He intended
to see if he couldn't distract Mulder a lot more. He reached up, pushing
Fox's bangs out of his eyes. He loved them, and he'd pouted at Mulder until
the older man had agreed to let them grow again. He might not have the
advantage of Fox's gorgeous mouth, but he could manage a great pout when he
was inspired. A sudden nip at his chin refocused his attention on Fox.
"Hey, remember me?" Fox pouted.
Alex chuckled, raising his head to lick quickly at Mulder's lips. "I
was thinking about you, you vain man."
"Oh, well, that's all right then." Mulder grinned. "But
I'd much rather you did something about it." His eyes darted over to
the fire then resolutely focused on Alex's face.
"I think I can handle that," Alex murmured. He'd noticed that
quick glance at the flames, and he was determined that Fox wouldn't be
thinking of anything but him by the time he was done. It would take a long
time to get him over his fear of fire, but Alex was sure that he could at
least keep it from being the center of his attention.
With that in mind, his hands slid down Mulder's back to cup his ass,
curving around the firm globes to pull him closer. Mulder's eyes slid half
closed as he felt his waking cock press against Alex's hardness, and he
squirmed slightly. A tiny smile curved the corners of Alex's mouth, and he
allowed his fingertips to fall between Fox's cheeks, lightly grazing the
sensitive ring of muscle. He heard Mulder's gasp, and he arched his back off
the floor slightly, pressing harder against the older man. As he sank flat
again, he raised one hand to Fox's head, tangling his fingers in the silky
hair, and pulled him into a kiss.
Their tongues rubbed together as frantically as their groins, both once
again desperate for each other despite their recent lovemaking in the
orchard. Their mouths parted only briefly to gasp in air, then resealed,
separating again to seek a new position. Mulder's hands were clenched on
Alex's upper arms, seeking to anchor himself as he was lost in sensation.
Intoxicating as the contact was, however, it wasn't enough for either of
them, and Fox let his head fall to Alex's shoulder, whimpering softly.
"Sit up, Foxy," Alex urged, and when he did, Alex's eyes played
over him as hotly as the heat of the flames behind him. The fire cast a
ruddy light over him, and to the man beneath him, Fox looked like a bronze
sculpture, every muscle sharply delineated by shadow. He was beautiful.
Nor was Alex any less so to Fox. Though he remained tensely aware of the
fire mere inches away, he wasn't proof against the sight of Alex in
firelight, light and shadows, even his eyes appearing pools of darkness, fey
in the chancy light. Mulder had often teased Alex about being some being out
of Faerie, stroking his slightly pointed ears as evidence, and looking at
the younger man now, for an instant, he wondered if he hadn't been more
right than he knew.
Then Alex moved under him, and all thought flew out of his head, leaving
only sensation and want. His eyes focused on Alex's, and he gasped once more
at the heat he saw there. Fox felt Alex's erection nestled between his
cheeks, but he wanted more. He wanted to feel Alex as deep inside him as he
had been inside Alex earlier.
Alex saw the lust in Mulder's eyes, and he bit his lip to hold back a
wanton moan. Then he remembered that their clothes had been left in the
kitchen, along with the lube in a jacket pocket, and he groaned in dismay.
Suddenly, a tube appeared before him, floating above his face, and he
snatched at it, grateful once again for Sarah and her propensity for
watching them. He heard Fox chuckle and thank her, but his entire attention
was focused on applying the gel where it was needed.
Mulder shivered slightly, whether with increased arousal at Alex's touch
or from the coolness of the gel Alex neither knew nor cared. He knew that
Fox was ready for him, and he was more than ready as well. Once they were
both slicked, he grasped his cock in his fist and held it steady.
"Sit on me," he rasped, eyes once again fixed on Fox's, and he
saw the rush of heat in the other's gaze.
Mulder rose slightly and shifted back, then lowered himself so that
Alex's cock was pressing against his entrance. He shifted his hips the
minutest fraction from side to side, teasing them both with the sensation.
He waited until Alex snarled at him, frustration plain on his face, then
pushed down, taking Alex inside himself, wrenching hoarse groans of pleasure
from each of them. He rode Alex, rising and falling, slowly at first, then
with gathering speed as the pleasure grew beyond what he could bear. His
hand fell to his neglected erection, pulling it, drawing himself ever closer
to climax, then Alex's hand covered his, urging him to move faster.
"Come for me, Foxy," Alex urged harshly, fighting to hold back
his own orgasm. "Let me see you come, feel you..."
Mulder moaned, not proof against the sound of Alex's voice, and he cried
his name as he came, his body's spasms driving Alex over the edge at almost
the same instant, pleasure raging through both men to leave them spent and
satiated in the aftermath.
Long minutes later, they lay on their sides, Alex spooned behind Fox,
facing the now blazing fire. Mulder opened his eyes and looked at the
flames, then rolled over to face Alex, unwilling to face the fire but not
running away from it either. Alex shifted onto his back, pulling Mulder
closer, and they fell asleep there, arms 'round one another, as a blanket
floated over from where they'd dropped it and covered them.
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