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Perfect Partners
by Megaera


From the manifesto of Professor Simon MacKenzie.......

For years, my wife, the government and certain moral authorities have made my life a living hell. I have decided to use my genetic engineering skills to get my revenge on them all. By the time this letter is received by he Washington Post, I will have completed plans that were ten years in the making.

At midday today, I will go to the Washington Monument, and empty a small container of white powder into the wind. Within moments, it will contaminate the air and water in our capital city. The powder is a virus which has only one purpose. It will deliver a sequence of DNA into your cells, one I carefully designed. On infection, you will seek out the nearest suitable person to you, and..... well, you'll see. I foresee that the consequences will shatter the vile hell we call family life, and bring down the moral hypocrisy we call government....

Oh, and don't bother looking for me. As soon as I complete my task, I plan to shoot myself.

###

Alex Krycek glared furiously at Mulder down the length of his gun. Mulder was just as cautiously holding a gun on him. It was an uneasy stand-off. Someone had tipped Mulder off about Alex's whereabouts and Alex had found the agent waiting for him in the corner of his hotel room, just after midday. Alex could have really done without this complication in his life. only his reflexes and a natural caution had saved him from an immediate capture.

Now he would have to kill or disable Mulder, which was a pity. Mulder was so predictable that he was useful. Give him some information, point him in the right direction and he could usually be relied upon to make himself useful. Unfortunately, someone else had caught Alex in the same trap. Damn it. He really didn't have time for this!

Somewhere in the distance, came a sound of tyres squealing in the street, Then the sound was repeated, along wit the rising sound of many police sirens. Mulder's eyes flickered sideways as the commotion outside grew louder, resolving itself into yells and screams. Whatever it was, it was coming closer.

Alex took his chance. As Mulder was momentarily distracted by the noise, Alex lunged forward and smacked his hand into Mulder's arm. The blow was designed to incapacitate rather than kill, and with a yelp, Mulder dropped his gun. Immediately, he shoved Alex backwards, and lunged for the remaining weapon. Too late. He froze as Alex pressed the muzzle of his gun against Mulder's cheek. The noise outside grew louder, until it sounded as if there was a riot outside. Alex was not fool enough to let it distract him.

"So shoot me!" Mulder growled at him, brown eyes challenging Alex. The younger man grinned, secure in his victory.

I'm tempted...." he admitted. "But maybe I could just beat you to a pulp instead...... Tough decisions today......!"

He pressed the cold muzzle so hard against Mulder's cheek that it dug in painfully. Mulder's eyes blazed with fury as he glared at Alex, and the gun which could so easily blow a hole in his head.

"I swear, Krycek, one day, I'll....."

Whatever he was going to say was lost, as someone in the corridor outside the hotel room howled in what might have been pain. A second voice answered, a formless yell that was immediately followed by a crash against the door, which shook but held fast.

"What the hell......." Alex said, trying to follow the sound of the two men outside. But he couldn't hear more over the noise of the air conditioning, not without taking his attention away from Mulder.

Small white particles began to filter into the room, aided by that very equipment.......

###

Report to Senate Investigative Committee making enquiries about the so called "Partner" virus....
Sequence of Infection: Stage 1.....

Within moments of the virus entering the bloodstream as an airborne particle, it is carried to the brain in the blood. Immediately, it targets the hypothalamus and the medial pre-optic areas, which are associated with human sexual and emotional behaviour. An immediate sign of this infection is the characteristic huge dilation of the subject's pupils. By a mechanism we do not understand, this acts as a signal to another infected individual of sexual receptiveness.....

###

The strange noises outside continued unabated. Mulder wasn't really paying attention to anything now except the gun in Alex Krycek's hand. How in hell had he let Alex get the drop on him so quickly? But then, it wasn't the first time Mulder had underestimated Alex. The man had blindingly fast reflexes, despite his arm. Mulder cursed his stupid mistake again. If it hadn't been for that noise outside, he would be taking Alex in. He doubted whether Alex would make the same mistake that he had.

The cold muzzle of the gun suddenly pressed under his chin, and Mulder drew in a breath in alarm. He hadn't thought Alex would really kill him, but the younger man had the oddest expression on his face.

"Listen!" Alex growled, his voice low and hoarse.

Mulder realised that the sounds outside had taken on a new note, something strangely animal in nature, almost sexual......

The room seemed brighter suddenly, as if the light filtering though the window had become harsh as a spotlight. The gun slipped from Alex's hand abruptly and clattered to the floor, fortunately not firing as it landed. Dizzily, Mulder stared at his opponent. Alex was sucking in great lungfuls of air, as if he had been running, and he stared back at Mulder. His eyes were so very black, their normal green only a faint, thin rim round his hugely dilated pupils. Mulder didn't understand that his own eyes mirrored those of his enemy.

A man the corridor outside began to moan in a rhythmic sequence that made it obvious what he was doing. Then Alex lunged for Mulder, his fingers seizing Mulder's hair as he pulled the agent to him for a fierce, lip bruising kiss. And his eyes! Mulder felt himself drawn into their ebony depths as a strange heat seemed to invade his body. He was kissing Alex back with all the strength he possessed.

###

Report to Senate Investigative Committee making enquiries about the so called "Partner" virus....
Sequence of Infection: Stage 2

Intense Sexual activity will take place for periods of two to six hours, depending on the fitness level of the individual. A certain level of the reproductive hormones Testosterone or Oestrogen must be present in the bloodstream to trigger this stage. Hence those individuals outside childbearing age or with certain metabolic disorders do not progress to this stage but become carriers. Adult males show particularly strong responses to infection and previous sexual inclinations or partnerships appear irrelevant........

###

It was as if a firestorm had been ignited inside him. He was hard and he could feel that Alex was too, as the younger man ground himself against Mulder, making frantic sobbing noises as he fought to bare his skin in wild urgency. Mulder felt Alex's fingers clawing at his shirt, and barely felt the buttons pop as it was ripped from him. It could have only been moments since that first, explosive kiss, yet already they were skin to skin, frantically rubbing their bodies together.

No words were spoken. There were none to describe this need that took over their minds and bodies. With a growl of desire Mulder pushed Alex backwards, following him down so that he landed half on top of the other man. Alex cried out, the sound more like a cry of passion than of pain. Their mouths locked together with crushing violence, tongues probing and entangling, uncaring that they bruised each other in the heat of their ardour.

Mulder couldn't stop his hands raking across Alex's body in rough caresses, even as Alex dragged him closer, fingers raking his back. Mulder's head dipped as he licked his way down the writhing man's flat stomach, moving lower until he found his face level with Alex's prominent erection. He sucked it in, instinctively needing the taste of it as Alex howled and writhed from the pleasure that assaulted his senses. Mulder's mouth was suddenly flooded with salty fluid.

His hands pulled Alex's strong thighs apart, finding the younger man all too willing to comply, and he plunged his aching cock into Alex's eager body, One orgasm hadn't slowed Alex down at all, and he wrapped his legs tightly round Mulder's waist as he was fucked energetically.

His lover was so hot and tight, Mulder couldn't hold himself back for long, and as he exploded, he felt Alex moan and shudder again as a second climax came. They clutched each other, still breathing hard and within a short time, they felt their bodies re-arming, readying for the next round.

Mulder knew what he wanted, and strangely, so did Alex. Without words, Mulder moved off Alex and positioned himself on his hands and knees, moaning softly as his penis filled and hardened, in anticipation of the things Alex was going to do to him. He didn't have to wait long. A soft touch against the back of his thighs made him instinctively raise his ass and spread his legs further. Then came the long, slow burn of Alex slipping into him, and steady, deeply satisfying thrusts which made him scream with pleasure.

He would never know how long he was fucked, or quite remember the sequence of what happened next..... Alex riding him, face transfigured with ecstasy....... A moment between orgasms when their tongues played together.... The blissful smile Alex gave moments after Mulder had come in his mouth, as he laid his head on Mulder's shoulder.....

It all became a blur. Sexual heat mingling with the aftershocks of orgasm and the scent of their passion. All eventually fading into nothingness.......

###

Report to Senate Investigative Committee making enquiries about the so called "Partner" virus....
Sequence of Infection: Stage 3...

After coital activity is concluded, both partners having exchanged bodily fluids, deep sleep follows. We theorise that this is the period in which the pair bonding occurs, since widespread synaptic repatterning has been observed, and tests have shown that the partner's DNA is incorporated into the individual's own genetic sequence. In male-male pairings, the potential for mutual penetrative ejaculation may be particularly significant in DNA alteration, and hence in the intensity of the bonding ......

###

Mulder drifted in a sweet haze. He had slept for hours and hours, enclosed in the soft warm cocoon of someone's embrace. As his mind drifted towards consciousness, he was dimly aware of a body half beneath him, the gentle rise and fall of the other's chest a soothing rhythm. Finally he opened his eyes and stared in bleary incomprehension at the early morning light that filtered into the room.

Morning....? But it had been noon! And now he appeared to be lying on a bed in a hotel room, with.....?

He sat up rather unsteadily and winced. His body ached in some unexpected places. His inner thighs.... his balls...... oh god, his ass!

He shivered in nameless fear, then slowly turned to see who he was sharing the bed with. Almost simultaneously, Alex opened his eyes and looked at him......

They stared at each other in horror.

Mulder made a small choking noise and shook his head in disbelief, trying to deny the evidence of his own eyes. The vision didn't go away. He was still looking at Alex Krycek. But this Krycek had bruised and swollen lips and small bite marks scattered across his chest, and of course he was naked.... As those green eyes watched him with wide astonishment, Mulder abruptly had a flashback. A memory of those eyes blazing with passion as they kissed each other....

With a moan, he fled towards the bathroom and slammed the door behind him. Shaking, he put his head in his hands and shivered in shock. There was no possibility of doubt. He and Krycek had spent the day and most of the night having sex!

His reflection in the mirror only confirmed what he already knew. His mouth looked as kiss bruised as Krycek's, and Krycek's fingers had left scratches at some point in the night on the side of his chest. And he had what looked like dried semen on his belly and thighs.....

He plunged himself into the shower and turned it on full, and within moments, was scrubbing the evidence off his skin. Why did he feel so good, so complete? It was irrational and perverse. He lost himself in the heat of the water and desperately tried not to think about what he had done. And who with.

###

Alex just couldn't understand it. How had he gone from holding a gun on Mulder to having sex with him? He had confused memories of...... He flushed in recall. Last night had been spectacular from the bits he remembered. No wonder Mulder looked so upset. Alex had always thought he was straight.

Unfortunately.

What had happened to turn a cold and hostile FBI agent into a wild and passionate sex fiend? Not that Alex felt the need to complain. He had known so many long and lonely nights over the years that last night was like Christmas and the Fourth of July all rolled into one!

He pulled the sheet around him and made his way over to the window to look out. What he saw in the street made him cry out softly as he looked at something unbelievable. Apparently they weren't the only ones affected by the event. There were bodies everywhere in the street. Some wandered aimlessly, nude or partially clothed. Some were curled round each other in sleep, or were making love to each other in full public view. Men and women, men and men, women and women..... Alex gasped and let the curtain fall. The sights outside had stirred something inside him that scared him in its intensity.

The door to the bathroom opened and Mulder walked out, his body wrapped in a concealing towel. He wouldn't look at Alex. Instead, he knelt and began to search through the chaos of the room to find his clothes.

"Mulder....." Alex said softly.

"Just forget it happened Krycek!" Mulder snapped. His voice sounded brittle. "We're just going to walk out of here and..... never talk about it again...."

"Mulder.....!" Alex said. "Just look outside the damned window!" The agent flushed, then hesitantly edged past Alex to do as he said, his fear of touching the other man more than obvious.

"Oh!" Mulder said after a moment. "Then it wasn't just us....." He stumbled back from the window, and turned back to Alex, almost pleading...... "What's happened to us...?" He sounded bewildered.

Mulder was his enemy. Yesterday Alex had considered shooting him. He had pressed his gun against Mulder's skin leaving a bruise he could still see against the agent's cheek. But now everything had changed. In some way that was more than sexual, Alex felt connected to Mulder. When he considered harming the man, or even walking out of the door, it was as if a knife twisted in his guts. It was unthinkable to walk out on Mulder. And judging by the confusion and distress that Mulder was vainly trying to hide, he felt the same.

Alex found himself reaching out automatically to the anguished man and catching hold of his shoulder. Mulder flinched and tried to pull away. It was as if, with the last shred of resistance in him, he tried to deny the new thing that had woken between them. But it was far too late for that. Then Mulder was falling towards Alex, his arms going round his former enemy as they clung to each other. And somehow Mulder's lips were beneath his and he was kissing and kissing again.....

Mulder felt his knees give way as he fell backwards onto the untidy bed in the middle of the room, the weight of Alex firmly on top of him, the diamond hard pressure of Alex's erection against him. Was it instinct or some strange effect of this new sickness that made his legs open wide for Alex, his body arching against his enemy? Whatever it was, he couldn't stop himself, for he was no longer in control of mind or body. There was a total rightness about Alex's touch, as if their bodies had been divinely designed to fit together in this new and intimate form of fusion. His mind was in meltdown, no longer able to think or feel. There was only Alex in his mind, to the exclusion of all else. Only Alex could make him feel whole. Only Alex could make him burn with desire like this.....

Thought dissolved into a maelstrom of soft caresses, small moans and intertwined limbs.

###

They had sex again of course. Many times over the next day or so. Not the frantic fucking of their first encounter, but a slow, sensual meeting of minds and bodies. Learning each other's rhythms and what each enjoyed and needed. Their previous animosity had vanished. How could Alex hate a man who felt like a part of him, who cried out his name with such wonder, whose fingers sought his as they lay together in the aftermath of their lovemaking.

It was strange and wonderful and new.

It was frighteningly addictive.

"I have to report in!" Mulder said softly. "The city's in chaos..... They broadcast a call for all law enforcement personnel...." He punctuated his words with small kisses which he planted on Alex's chest. The younger man nodded.

"I know!" Alex said softly. "But you'll come back."

They both knew it was true.

###

Report to Senate Investigative Committee making enquiries about the so called "Partner" virus....
Sequence of Infection: Stage 4....

The pair bonding is complete. Individuals become intensely emotionally dependent on each other, display increased sexual responsiveness to each other and sociopathic responses to any other individual who threatens their bond. Studies have shown that sexual arousal now only occurs within the pair bonding, and separated individuals seldom thrive, often becoming pathologically aggressive or suicidal......

###

Daily Situation Report of the Centre for Disease Control, Atlanta .......In the three days since the release of the terrorist Virus in Washington, several facts have been established about the infection.
1. It is unknown in Nature, so is probably an engineered virus.
2. The virus is airborne. Fortunately a rainstorm shortly after its release limited the spread of the infection.
3. There is no known cure.
4. Over 8 million individuals have been infected. The city is at a standstill and all essential services are hampered by the infection of key personnel. It is estimated that there is an infection rate of over 90 percent......

###

Krycek's hotel was at the junction of 22nd and M Streets, a considerable distance from the FBI building, through streets blocked by abandoned cars. Mulder knew immediately that he would have to walk the distance. He fell easily into an easy jogging pace and headed downtown. Everywhere he looked, he could see evidence of the..... whatever it was..... Maybe group madness? There were few people on the streets now, giving the city an eerie feel, too quiet now, as if to compensate for its earlier madness.

What the hell had happened to them all? Mulder could barely take in what had happened in his own life and it was likely that there was a whole city filled with people as confused as he was. The local cable channel had finally offered some explanations that morning, alleging that a terrorist had claimed responsibility for the attack, a viral infection of some sort. And a quarantine had been imposed on the city. It was just another episode of strangeness in what had prove to be a surreal couple of days.

If everyone had been having sex for days, then the consequences were frightening to contemplate. Washington was the capital of one of the world's most important and influential countries, so what must America and the world think? And what about all those unsuitable liaisons, like his, that must have taken place?

Mulder blushed as his eyes flickered towards the slightly too tight sweats he was wearing. As he had dressed, he had found to his embarrassment that the clothes he had been wearing before the.... madness were literally torn to shreds and unwearable. As far as he could judge, he or Alex must have ripped them off in the rush to have sex. Alex had grinned as he held up the shredded shirt and had tossed him some of his own clothes. His expression had been one of satisfaction at a job well done. And Mulder certainly felt well used. The unaccustomed sensitivity in some delicate parts of his body proved that.

Mulder knew he wasn't gay. He had never wanted or been attracted to men. Not ever. Alex though probably was. Mulder had sometimes been distantly aware of the younger man's hot gaze on his butt when they worked as partners. Yet they had unhesitatingly fallen into bed together and it had been incredibly good. Not just in that first wild need, but later, when they had both supposedly been in their right minds. Mulder now considered his actions to have been totally crazy, and yet......

He couldn't help smiling. He couldn't explain why Alex made him feel so good, but it was true. Though it wasn't something he was ever going to admit to anyone. How he was going to explain away the last couple of days was something he dreaded. He worked in a building with some of the finest investigative minds in the world, for whom curiosity was a natural trait. The gossip was intense and often vicious. In a few days time, everyone would be taking bets on who had ""accidentally" slept with whom. The speculation about "Spooky" Mulder's partner would be intense.

###

As he approached the FBI building, he saw a few signs of life. He headed for the employees entrance and saw a crude, hand written sign tacked to a door, directing him to the first floor auditorium next to the firing range. He passed through the security checkpoint at the entrance to the building which was manned only by a single officer.

From the moment Mulder walked in through the door, he could see the signs of chaos. Papers littered the floors and there were still remnants of clothing scattered around and fortunately unidentifiable stains on floors and furniture. A dozen agents were already present and Mulder was relieved to see that all of them looked as if they'd had a rough couple of days. It was easy to tell who had been affected by the virus. People had the same slightly stunned appearance, and many still showed the bruises of their passion on exposed parts of their body. Mulder knew he certainly did. He wouldn't look too out of place then.!

Scully was there too. Mulder breathed a sigh of relief, she seemed well. In fact, she was positively glowing with well-being. He nodded to her across the room, even as AD Skinner entered and headed to the front of the room. He smiled grimly.

"You're all aware by now of the seriousness of the situation we face. We now believe a terrorist released an airborne virus in the city, with the consequences you all witnessed. We should be vigilant against more attacks, but in the meantime, our first priority has to be the safety of certain VIPs present in the city at the time of the "disturbance." He flushed slightly, and it occurred to Mulder that Skinner too looked a little rough round the edges, as if he hadn't shaved for a couple of days.

"I'll divide you into three teams, one team will be looking for evidence of these terrorists. That'll include you, Mulder, and Scully, because of her medical expertise. Another group can track down the three supreme court judges we know are in the city this week,. I'll head up the third group, we'll be checking on the safety of those Members of Congress in the city. Good luck people."

Skinner nodded to Mulder in passing, then paused and studied the agent carefully, noting the too conspicuous signs of Mulder's recent debauchery. "Are you able to do your job Mulder?"

An interesting question. Mulder nodded, not really trusting himself to speak. He had been away from Alex for less than an hour and already he wanted to race back to the green eyed man, fling himself down on the bed and pull Alex down on top of him.....

###

Mulder requisitioned a van from the car pound, reasoning that at least they could nudge cars out of the way if necessary. And there were four of them, which would make things a little cramped if they had to transport a prisoner. He let Bailey, an experienced older agent drive, partnered with the younger Fullerton. He found himself sitting in the back of the van with Scully. She looked him up and down and chuckled softly.

"Mulder! Do you know what you look like?" He flushed slightly. "You look as though you've been at an orgy Mulder," she said bluntly. "Your mouth is all bruised and you have a bite mark on your neck! And as for that bedroom hair...."

She looked impeccable, as usual. Mulder glared back at her, discomforted.

"So who did you wake up with this morning?" he growled back at her before she could get on to the topic of who he had been with. A neat little diversion, he thought. She coloured a little.

"Someone sweet and wonderful!" she said a little primly.

"Anyone I know?" Mulder asked. Scully smiled secretively.

"I may tell you one day!" she said.

And that was the end of that conversation.

###

Their first stop had to be the WWXT Cable Station, who claimed to have knowledge of the terrorist. Here, as in the FBI building, there were signs that people were trying to act normally, doing their jobs and trying to ignore their temporary lapse in behaviour. Some of them did look as if they were having trouble concentrating.....

The girl at the front desk in the reception area immediately phoned her boss when Scully produced her credentials. Minutes later, they were ushered into his office, and typewritten note was being offered to them. Mulder placed it carefully in a clear plastic evidence bag, then studied it carefully. "He even gives his name, Scully!" he said in surprise.

We've had our reporters checking him out!" The president of WWXT said smugly. "Professor MacKenzie was a professor of Genetic Engineering at Berkeley for a while, then he took a transfer to Yale and for the last five years, he's been teaching there. The word among his colleagues is that he would have been nominated for the Nobel prize if it hadn't been for his rather radical views about social engineering....."

"What sort of views?" Scully asked.

"You know! Left wing, communist type stuff! Get rid of the Government and rule by Internet democracy....." He sighed tiredly. "Apparently he couldn't wait for his precious democracy to change things so he decided to speed things up a little!" He frowned. "Is that all, because I have work to do....."

"Yes. Thanks." Mulder said.

###

"We need to find out where the Professor might have had his lab," Scully instructed. "There could be some information on how he put this virus together. It would help in finding a cure if we knew what DNA sequences he used and where they came from?" Seeing the men's mystified looks she explained further. "If we can get a pure sample of the virus, it will speed things up by weeks or even months!" The address they had for the Professor was an expensive apartment complex in the diplomatic district. The sort that had armed security and good views over Capitol Hill. It was unoccupied, and according to the security guard, the Professor and his wife hadn't been home in days. There was no option but to place surveillance on the place and wait for someone to return home.

Bailey and Fullerton decided to check with the hospitals and police to see if the Professor's body had been discovered, if the suicide threat had been carried out.

###

As Mulder and Scully pulled up outside the Professor's building, there was a terrible commotion coming from the entrance to the old apartment building, a restored Victorian style townhouse. As Mulder and Scully watched, a burly man came out of the entrance, dragging a much younger man of about twenty by the hair. the feebly struggling young man was utterly naked and they were followed by a woman in her late forties who looked as if she had been pretty once upon a time.

"Uh oh! Trouble," Scully said. "Looks like the husband just got home and found his wife had been playing around..... Not that any of us have had a choice in the matter over the past couple of days!" Mulder blushed slightly as he felt Scully glance at him in unconcealed curiosity. He pretended not to notice, watching the human drama opposite instead. The husband threw his rival down on the ground and drew back his foot to give the interloper a vicious kick.

"We should intervene!" Scully said, and started to open the car door. Too late. The big man's foot connected hard with the fallen man's head with a sickening crack.

"Shit!" Mulder said. He scrambled for the door handle of the van. So much for staying incognito. It was then that they had a big surprise. The small, drab looking woman screamed in fury, grabbed something off the sidewalk and advanced fearlessly on her enraged husband.

"Leave him alone!!" she screeched, but he ignored her and prepared to kick his victim again. Then the small woman brought the tire iron down on the back of his skull. Her husband went down as if he'd been hit by a truck. Then she began to rain blows down on his limp body with her metal weapon with a maddened strength, her lips drawn back in a rictus grin of hatred.

"Stop! FBI! Drop your weapon!" Scully yelled.

Slowly, as if wakening from a dream, the woman let the tire iron drop and knelt next to her young lover.

"I couldn't let him get hurt!" she moaned, and pulled him close to her, tears streaming down her face. "I just couldn't!"

###

"Forty three cases in the last twelve hours!" Skinner said grimly. "All of them involving former spouses or partners who tried to intervene in sexual encounters caused by the virus...... And in all cases, every single one of them, the angry spouse is killed or seriously injured by the cheating partner. Three kicked to death, 24 beaten severely or fatally, four pushed out of windows and two vehicular homicide and even a decapitation! Are you sure these statistics are correct, Mulder?"

Mulder nodded. Then Scully spoke up.

"Sir, I think we have to consider the possibility that the virus is causing this aggression. And there could be other unforeseen complications.... I'd like to run some tests..."

Skinner agreed.

"Do that Agent Scully." He turned to Mulder and the others. "Tomorrow Agent Mulder, I want you to go to Professor MacKenzie's university offices and find out all you can about him. Agents Bailey and Fullerton can continue the surveillance on his apartment."

Mulder privately thought it was a useless errand. But was imagining as he left, a certain warmth in Skinner's eyes as he looked at Scully? No. That was impossible! Wasn't it?

###

He could have headed for Alex's hotel. He didn't. The Metro was working again so he headed home to his apartment instead. In fact, people seemed to be trying to live their lives as normally as possible. Though if they tried to exit the city, they would have been politely but firmly turned back. Perhaps there was no panic because no one had come to harm, they had just behaved oddly for a while. And were still affected by the virus, if what Mulder felt was any guide.

He had to fight against this slow, consuming madness that seemed to be taking over his life. He had managed to spend the day away from Krycek, now he had to find the strength to spend the night alone. For already, he could feel his body betraying him, aching for Alex's touch. He couldn't seem to stop thinking about that warm body wrapped around him.....

He had to be strong! Alex was a criminal. A Consortium killer. A man..... And Mulder was an FBI agent. The single fact that his lover had been a man was probably enough to severely damage his career.

Before this virus, he had hated Alex. He just had to wait until he recovered, that was all..... He sank down into the soft leather of his couch and wrapped his arms around himself, shivering without knowing why. Yes, his addiction to Krycek was an illness..... He would get over it!

Eventually.....

He felt a strange wetness running down his cheeks and scrubbed fiercely at his face to get rid of the tears. Symptoms... Then, supremely miserable, he grabbed the tv remote control and started flicking through the cable channels, desperately trying to distract himself from the sudden desperate loneliness that filled his mind and heart.

###

At about ten thirty, there was an unexpected knock on his apartment door. He tiredly moved to answer it. All his energy seemed to have seeped away, perhaps as a result of his energetics over the past few days. He opened the door.

Alex stood there, looking every bit as miserable as he himself felt. In his wildest dreams, Mulder had never dreamed that Alex would come to him. For some reason, he had assumed that Alex hadn't taken their encounter very seriously. It was so difficult for him to read Alex's emotions. And they were from separate worlds. It wasn't logical for them to be together. Or so Mulder had rationalised to himself.

"Mulder......?" Alex said very softly. His eyes were unexpectedly vulnerable.

All his resolve vanished. Mulder caught Alex in his arms and clung to him very tightly. He felt Alex's arm clutch at his back, and the younger man leaned against him, and sighed in a way that said more than any words could.

It felt so good to be holding Alex. As if he was only complete here in his lover's arms. More than that, they had an immediate physical response to each other. Alex had an erection. Mulder could feel its hard length against his belly. Despite his tiredness, he could feel himself stirring in response. It was irresistible to drop to his knees before Alex, hearing the other man hiss in surprise and pleasure, and then he was tugging on Alex's zip. Alex fumbled with the buckle on his belt, and Mulder tugged down his jeans to reveal what he sought. He covered the glistening tip of Alex's erection with his still bruised lips and sucked in.

Alex groaned softly, his fingers threading through Mulder's hair as Mulder began to draw him in deeper. He hadn't done this before he had met Alex, but now it seemed as instinctive as breathing. To let his tongue probe just so into the slitted opening. To lick down the big vein on the underside, and pause at a particularly sensitive spot just below the crown..... To squeeze his lips around the head in a pulsing motion. Alex tasted good. He wanted more.....

"I want you..." Alex gasped, almost as if he had read Mulder's mind. Mulder grinned and gave Alex a particularly strong suck that made the other man cry out and clutch at him unsteadily.

Mulder pulled away after a moment, and Alex sighed in appreciation as he began to pull down the borrowed sweatpants to reveal his own swollen cock and shapely ass. He stayed on his knees, turning to offer the rounded globes of his rear to Alex, and wiggled it in invitation. Alex chuckled and knelt behind him, then he gently began to caress the tempting flesh that was his to conquer. Too gentle and too restrained. Mulder could feel the heat building inside him as Alex worked his fingers inside and moaned in impatient protest. Then it came. The pressure against his opening, then he was pierced by the blunt length of Alex's erection, filling him up in a way that was beyond satisfying. He cried out Alex's name in desperate desire.

If someone had told him, a week ago that he would be on his knees letting Alex Krycek take him...... He would probably have decked the speaker.

It was sublime. To feel that hard, blunt length sliding into him so fully, to feel Alex's arm around his waist as the younger man thrust energetically, moaning softly as he grew closer to his own climax. To feel his own cock bobbing against his belly as he yielded the control of his body to his lover. Alex could have done anything he wanted...

It was too much.

With a sobbing cry, Mulder felt the orgasm wash over him. For a moment, only Alex's arm around him stopped him from sagging forward. Then he braced himself, knowing what was about to happen. "Fox!" Alex cried out his name, and with a shudder, climaxed deep inside him. Panting hard, he bonelessly settled on top of Mulder, and he rested his head on Mulder's back for a moment. Mulder felt his skin warm where Alex breathed on him, but the younger man was a little heavy.

"On the couch!" Mulder murmured.

Alex slowly dragged himself to the couch and sank down onto it. Mulder followed him, and within moments, their previous positions had reversed. Mulder was lying with his head pillowed on Alex's chest, totally relaxed, with the only movement being the gentle motion of Alex's hand as he stroked Mulder's hair. It seemed to be soothing for both of them. For a while they drifted in a post coital haze of pleasure.

"I thought you didn't want me!" Alex said quietly after a while.

"I tried to stay away from you!" Mulder admitted. "We can't be together. No matter how much I want it...."

"I know," Alex said. "But we can't be apart...... Tonight, I..... I just had to see you...." The need in his voice was unmistakable.

"I think this virus changed us in ways we haven't begun to understand!" Mulder said. He found himself telling Alex about his day, about the strange behaviour of some of the infected people and the facts he had learned about the Professor's career.

Green eyes sparkled with intelligence. Mulder had forgotten how clever Alex was. All of those statistics he had quoted when they were partners.... And the ingenuity to survive all that had happened to him.

"It sounds as if you're right...." Alex pondered the problem. "I think maybe it alters something in the brain...? Maybe there are hormone changes too? You should try scanning the brain, or do some blood tests..."

"How would you feel if someone tried to hurt me?" Mulder said curiously. He sensed the wonderfully firm muscles of Alex's abdomen tense beneath him.

"Annoyed!" Alex said after a long pause. Perhaps it wasn't wise to delve too deeply into some things Mulder sighed, and for a while was content to rest his head on its comfortable pillow. Alex's abdomen was really taut.....

"Do you work out...." Mulder murmured with sleepy curiosity, patting his lover's belly lightly.

"Oh Mulder....!" came the reply.

###

World Health Organisation Genetic mutations caused by viral infection:-

The Partner virus is certainly not the first infection in history to cause large scale genetic mutation. The influenza pandemic of 1918 has left sequences in our DNA that can still be detected today. But nothing could have prepared us for the consequences of a virus deliberately targeted at the Human Genome.

Those victims of the Partner virus display genetically programmed behaviour similar to that of certain animals, specifically a "defence reaction." There is an instinctive and uncontrollable urge of one bonded partner to defend the other when threatened. A guilt free reaction, it frequently results in the homicide or severe injury of the threatening party. The consequences can be imagined if this proves to be transmissible to the next generation.....

###

Street sayings.....

Don't try to love Partners...... They only see each other.....!
Don't get between Partners..... You'll die!
Don't threaten Partners..... You'll die quickly!

###

Mulder woke to find he had spent the night asleep on his couch. Nothing new there, but he certainly wasn't used to the feel of another body curled up behind his, or the softly regular sound of breathing close to him. He sat up and the other man stirred. Memory returned, and Mulder smiled as he remembered falling asleep gradually with his head on Alex Krycek's chest. Definitely an experience he had never before anticipated, but he was determined to repeat it.

With a smile, he turned to the younger man. Green eyes opened, slitted in drowsy contentment, and Alex returned the smile sleepily.

"Mulder..." he purred, the rough growl of his voice sending a thrill through his lover.

"I'll get coffee," Mulder said hesitantly. He wasn't really sure how to behave towards Alex. The sex was fabulous and it was easy to talk in the intimacy that followed. But in the cold light of morning, Mulder found himself uncertain of how to behave. He wasn't even sure if Alex intended to stay in his apartment today. He made Alex the promised coffee then paused to watch his naked lover in amazement.

Alex was moving in a complex sequence of moves that were both beautiful and graceful to watch. Some kind of martial arts practice that began slowly, but gradually got faster and more complex, with a suggestion of deadly power and grace. It mattered little that he had lost his arm. It was a hypnotic display.

It was only when Alex ended his workout and tuned to grin at him long minutes later, that Mulder realised he was standing with his mouth open like a fool. He blushed, realising too that he was hard as hell. Alex's movements had been charged with eroticism. The younger man drank down the coffee gratefully, and put down his cup so that he could wipe the sweat from his forehead.

"What are your plans for today?" he asked. Mulder forced himself to pay attention to the conversation, not the view.

"I have to go to the university and check out the Professor's workplace," he explained.

"Alone?" Alex asked. Mulder nodded. Alex seemed to hesitate for a moment then made a decision. "Want some company?" he said nonchalantly.

Mulder stared at him.

"Shower?" Alex inquired innocently. A certain part of Mulder's anatomy made his interest known immediately. As Alex had known it would.

###

Another surreal day. Mulder had helped Alex strap on his false arm and now his former enemy was sitting next to him in his car in broad daylight. Even more incredibly, Alex had liberated one of Mulder's suits and flashed him an apparently genuine set of FBI credentials, perhaps even the ones he had earned years ago. Alex looked spectacularly good in dark grey Armani, and he had acquired shades from somewhere to obscure his identity. He looked cool, sophisticated and dangerous. The very essence of a G-Man.

Mulder wasn't sure exactly how Alex had persuaded him to take part in this little deception. It was probably something to do with the way Alex had rubbed up against him in the shower. Mulder would have agreed to anything in the world, with that thigh sliding rhythmically between his and their hard cocks pressed together......

He appeared to have acquired a new partner. Or depending on which way you looked at it, an old one.

###

Alex sat next to him as he risked the still chaotic road network and drove slowly towards the University campus. The traffic was almost at a standstill, progressing in feet per minute. Mulder couldn't help glancing at his companion every few minutes. Alex noticed.

"Over sixty five percent of Americans claim to have had sex in a car." he said coolly. He had always had a flair for statistics. Mulder blushed. Then Alex turned and rested his right hand on Mulder's knee, his thumb gently rubbing......

Mulder groaned. He felt himself becoming hard. He wanted Alex to lean over and free his erection. He wanted to feel those talented lips around him., sucking him to orgasm, draining him dry.

"Oh god, Alex.... Please.... Stop!." he managed to gasp out. It was one of the most difficult things he had ever done. Despite the fact that he was in a public place, he was so very receptive to Alex's touch. Alex withdrew his hand with a smirk. He knew he could drive Mulder mad any time he wanted to. After a few stressful minutes, Mulder had recovered enough to speak clearly.

"Promise me that you won't tempt me like that while we're working together!" he begged. "Please.... "

Wicked green eyes gleamed with amusement.

"Mmmm," Alex said. "Wouldn't want to bring the FBI into disrepute, would we?"

###

Report to Director of the FBI:- Concerning the Terrorist viral Outbreak

The recent viral attack in Washington has had unfortunate consequences for the five thousand FBI employees working in the area. The infection caused formerly virtuous and upstanding individuals with a high security clearance to engage in sexual activity with others in their immediate vicinity, with no regard for decency, common sense or even the normal boundaries of good taste. As a result, a number of possibilities have to be considered.

1. Two FBI employees had sex. (heterosexual or homosexual)
2. An FBI employee had sex with a member of the public (of either sex).
3. An FBI employee had sex with a person with minor criminal convictions.
4. An FBI employee had sex with a known felon.
5. Obviously, there are disciplinary consequences to some of these actions. Actions 1, and 2 should be ignored, since the persons were acting under an involuntary outside influence. The agent's disciplinary record should reflect this.

However actions 3 and 4 are more serious and open up the possibility of blackmail or worse. Those agents who were actively interviewing or apprehending criminals on the day of infection may have made unfortunate sexual liaisons so it is recommended that ALL FBI employees record details of their "partners" as soon as possible for security purposes. Where the liason was with a high risk individual, a report should be prepared for a disciplinary hearing.

###

Alex had managed to neatly divert Mulder's attention several times already this morning. It was ridiculously easy. All he had to do was hint at sex, and Mulder turned to putty in his hands. Admittedly, he tended to get a little steamed up himself when Mulder touched him, the man was astonishing in bed. All of that repression finally finding release, after years of loneliness....

Alex grinned. Mulder wasn't very experienced yet, but he sure loved to learn what Alex liked. Teaching him was a delight. So was the unexpected pleasure of waking in the morning with a cuddle from an FBI special agent. Alex had NEVER been a cuddler. Not until now... Perhaps it was the wonder of having Mulder? Crazy, beautiful Mulder! It would be so easy to surrender himself to Mulder's charms and forget all of his problems...... His present occupation... But his bosses posed a problem.

It was fortunate that they were away from Washington at the moment, and the quarantine would delay their return. If they found out who Alex was sleeping with, he and Mulder would both be at risk! Time to divert their attention from his choice of partners.

###

Mulder had hoped to find someone at the university who knew the Professor and his habits. Perhaps a research student or a secretary? But as in the FBI building, things were chaotic. There were far fewer people here than normal, and most of them had that slightly dazed, unbelieving look about them that most people seemed to wear these days. It was noticeable too, that many of them went about their daily work in pairs.

Alex by his side, Mulder followed the signs that pointed the way to the Department of Genetic science. There they found the place eerily empty, not even a secretary or a campus security member on duty. Alex shook his head.

"They've all gone, Fox. Maybe they were involved in it and knew it was coming, or maybe they were warned off?"

Mulder nodded absently, then paused as he realised how well they seemed to work together, as if they matched each other's thoughts. And who else would he allow to call him Fox? Alex had patiently followed Mulder round the university all morning, seemingly content to let him take the lead. As with everything he and Alex did together, it felt good.

"Sooner or later, we're going to get lucky...." Mulder said.

Alex snorted sceptically.

"You should check out their files....."

Mulder nodded and walked down the corridor towards the Professor's office, intending to access his computer.

"I'll see if I can find anything in the main lab," Alex called. He had seen some likely looking equipment through the glass partition that separated the corridor from the larger room beyond. The sort of place that may hold refrigerated samples and microscope samples. He knew a little about labs.

Mulder grinned at the way Alex had casually given him orders. This time, they did seem to be thinking along the same lines, but sooner or later Alex would have to be corrected on a few issues. Gently but persuasively. He smiled in happy anticipation, then dragged his mind reluctantly away from sex.

He switched on the expensive looking computer and sat down in front of it, waiting for the system to initialise. As the data began to scroll in front of him, he checked out the contents of the two drawers of the Professor's desk. The first desk held nothing more interesting than the usual pens, pencils and paper-clips. But the second held a box of neatly labelled floppy discs. Mulder grinned. This at least was worth checking out.

The door opened silently behind him, and the woman moved towards him, holding a syringe filled with yellow fluid. She aimed it towards Mulder's neck and her lips drew back in a snarl of hatred.

###

Scully examined what felt like her hundredth slide under the microscope. All blood samples from those FBI staff who had showed up for duty today, and all showing roughly the same thing. Signs of infection were present. An elevated white blood cell count. She knew too, that if she were to perform a DNA analysis in the FBI's infamous genetic fingerprinting lab, there would be a particular sequence added to the victim's own. She had observed such a sequence in her own blood, and that of her partner.....

Walter Skinner.

She had been discussing a report with her boss when the very efficient air conditioning systems of the J Edgar Hoover building had started to draw in small, white, noxious particles from the street. They were so close to ground zero that infection was in progress within a few minutes of the release of the virus.

She had heard screams from the street, and had risen to her feet, unable to comprehend how the sounds could reach as far as the upper floor office, unless it was something exceptional. Then it had hit.

After that, things got a little hazy. She had woken up a day later, naked and curled up against Walter, on the large sofa in his office. Crazy of course, but wonderful too. To have someone in her life as supportive and caring...

"What have you found?" Walter came up behind her and put his arms around her in a quick hug.

"What we expected. Wide scale infection and no signs of any natural immunity. I'm afraid that infection will be almost 100 percent at this rate. I don't think it'll be easy to find a cure!" She shivered slightly, oddly reluctant to contemplate being rid of her new partner. "I need a pure sample of the virus to run tests. I suspect the terrorists may have added sequences of genes to our DNA... There could be future side effects we haven't seen yet, apart from the aggressive episodes and the sexual behaviour...."

"That's not our only problem!" Skinner said grimly. "The President has ordered the army onto the streets because of the violence we've seen. There's going to be a curfew from tonight! And a strengthening of the blockade around the city. We can expect input from Army Infectious Disease experts too! And probably a dozen federal agencies!" He sighed. "I hope Mulder finds something we can use to keep them off our backs!"

###

Mulder frowned. There were several interesting file names on the very first computer disc he had put in the disc drive, but opening them required a password. He would probably have more success if he took them to an expert. or rather, three experts....

"Down!" Alex screamed at him suddenly, with a tone in his voice that Mulder had never heard before, part horror and part desperation. Without even pausing to glance behind him, Mulder flung himself sideways out of his chair, landing on his hip, and rolling instinctively sideways. His trust in Alex was total. He felt something sweep past him as he moved, within inches of his body, to impact against the chair with a crunching sound.

Sprawled on the floor, he heard someone give an animal sound of rage, then a foot connected hard into his ribs and he instinctively curled up to try and protect himself from further blows. A brief glimpse told him that a strong looking woman was his attacker.

Someone else growled in fury. Surely it couldn't be Alex making that sound.....? Then there came a thud, a crunching noise, and more impacts, these sounding duller, as something wetly spattered under the blows.

No more attacks came his way, and Mulder slowly lifted his head dazedly to check out the scene before him.

Alex continued to beat at the fallen form with something wooden that looked vaguely like a chair leg, and certainly the scattered pieces of wood around him would suggest he had picked up something like that, to hit Mulder's attacker with it. There was a burning rage in his partner's eyes that slowly seemed to fade, even as Mulder watched. Alex dropped the piece of wood, and stared dully at his blood splattered hands as if uncomprehending. Then his wits seemed to suddenly return and he shivered slightly, wiping his hands against his already blood marked jacket to clean them.

Alex moved decisively towards him and dropped to his knees before his partner. He reached out to Mulder and gripped his fingers tightly.

"Are you hurt? Did she jab you with that hypo?" There was a desperate fear in Alex's eyes. "Are you all right Fox....?"

"Yes!" Mulder said. "Just bruised I think..." He stared at the corpse, whose head had been almost completely pulped. "Alex...."

"Yeah" Alex whispered softly. "When you told me about all those homicides you thought the virus caused, I thought you were just theorising......." He took a deep breath, and his fingers tightened painfully over his lover's. "I couldn't help it. I had to protect you..... I wasn't in control... I couldn't have stopped, even if I'd wanted to...." Then softly he whispered, "I'm not sorry.."

He looked so lost and anxious.... As if Mulder's good opinion of him was the only thing in the world that mattered. It was the only time Mulder had ever seen him vulnerable in the years they had known each other. He pulled Alex closer to him and hugged him, heedless of the bloody splatters on Alex's clothes.

"You saved me! We're together. That's all that matters now."

And in that moment, it was.

###

She was, according to her student I.D., one Mary Cooper, a research student in the Genetics department who was under the supervision of Professor MacKenzie. A quick search of the department's administration office turned up a copy of the personnel file which listed her speciality as "Comparative DNA analysis of the Primates."

"One of his students," Alex said quietly. He had been subdued since the attack. Mulder frowned. "She came back for something, and I bet I know what it was!" He indicated the box of computer discs. "She didn't expect us to be here....."

"There's a bad smell about this whole business!" Alex suddenly snarled. "We haven't found the Professor, despite his suicide note! And the way they've all disappeared without a trace....."

"I know." Mulder said. Alex pulled away from him when he tried to soothe the younger man. For some reason he had suddenly become agitated again. But then, Alex Krycek was beautiful, wild and as unpredictable as ever. "Why don't we go find out what's on these tapes!"

"You're forgetting something!" Alex jerked a thumb towards the corpse. "I can take care of this..., clear up the mess so we won't have problems later on..."

Mulder stared at him. With all of the things that had happened this week, he had all but forgotten what Alex was. It was the first time he really had to face it. For a moment he considered turning himself and Alex in, but the idiotic thought was gone almost as soon as it came.

"All right." He nodded. "Do what you have to do." He saw the flicker of warmth in Alex's eyes, that his partner would place his safety above the law. And relief, as if he hadn't expected Mulder to acquiesce so quickly. "Meet me at this address in a couple of hours." He said and scribbled the Gunmen's address on a scrap of paper pressing it into Alex's hand. "Be careful!"

"Always!" Alex replied.

###

Alex was more afraid now than when he had defended Mulder. Yet how could he tell his lover the real reason for his fear. All of this time, he had hoped to buy off his Consortium colleagues with inside information on the virus, it was the reason he had accompanied Mulder. Perhaps he could make himself so useful that Mulder would be safe too. But then something had occurred to him..... His bosses were themselves out of Washington, an almost unprecedented occurrence.

Was it a coincidence? Was the virus released now by accident? Or.....

Alex didn't believe in coincidences. Especially convenient ones! He knew how ruthless his employers could be. He knew that if it suited their plans, then the virus could have been delivered under their orders.

Maybe he was getting paranoid?

Maybe not, He needed to know more. He would be as eager to see the files opened as Mulder. And he knew certain names to look for, if Consortium labs were at the bottom of this chaos. He really needed to take advantage of an Internet connection to check out some ideas too.

But what would he do if his suspicions were true?

###

The Lone Gunmen's home was in a quiet suburb of D.C., a little run down so the properties were cheap. The hi tech surveillance camera in the entranceway was the only clue that this wasn't just another beat-up town house. The camera swivelled to follow Mulder as he reached for the intercom button.

"Hey guys! Let me in. I need to run some stuff by you."

There was no reply, but the lock clicked open. Mulder entered and made his way into the inner sanctum. The place seemed to be in semi-darkness. Mulder squinted, trying to make out their figures in the gloom. They generally liked the lighting low to hide the clutter, but this was ridiculous! Eventually he caught sight of Byers, sitting on a chair with his head in his hands. After a moment, he seemed to register Mulder's presence, and lifted his head. The Gunman looked as if he had been hit with a brick, his expression was so stunned and horrified. There was no sign of the others.

"Do you now what I did?" he asked Mulder in a strained tone. "I still can't believe it... I... I slept with... someone... inappropriate!"

Mulder sighed. Byers really didn't need to say any more for Mulder to get the picture. The virus had hit nearly everyone in Washington, so why had he expected his friends to be different. From Byers reticence, it was obvious that his sense of propriety had been offended by his choice of partner. Mulder wondered if it had been Langly? Or Frohike? Now there was a frightening thought!

" You think you have problems!" he told Byers. "You ought to see who I woke up with...!" Curiosity replaced the unhappiness in Byers' face. "Uh... lets just forget it," Mulder said evasively. " I have this computer disc..."

###

Memo to all FBI employees

As you probably realise, the recent virus outbreak has had unfortunate consequences for all of us. Some employees will have unfortunately had inappropriate liaisons with felons. New medical information also suggests that these liaisons may be of a more permanent nature than was first supposed.

All employees are asked to provide details of their partners to the FBI if they wish to maintain their security clearance.

###

FBI Inter-office memo: source Anonymous

Who slept with whom? Current odds offered on selected personnel... Partner for AD Skinner: Kimberly 5:1, AD Kersh 15:1 The Director 50:1 Partner for Dana Scully: Spooky Mulder 2:1, AD Skinner 5:1, AD Kersh 20:1 Partner for Spooky Mulder: Agent Scully 2:1, AD Skinner 5:1, AD Kersh 10:1, A monster 25:1, An Alien 10:1, No-one 15:1....

###

Alex eyed the run down building dubiously. Mulder wanted to meet him here! One of his secret hideouts maybe? Alex grinned and pressed the intercom button.

"Mulder?" he purred.

The door's electronic lock clicked open and Alex headed inside. In the dimly lit room, he saw Mulder sitting next to a computer, whilst a bearded man worked on a series of code filled screens. The stranger turned and stared somewhat apprehensively at Alex, then glanced at Mulder for reassurance. Alex grinned in a way he hoped was sinister and predatory. Beard gulped visibly so it was a definite success.

Geek friends! More or less what he had expected from Mulder. The agent was so good looking, yet he seemed to have less of a social life even than Alex, which the younger man found astonishing. Mulder didn't realise how hot he was!

Yes, Mulder was incredibly naive in some ways. Yet his very innocence in bed was one of his most endearing qualities. His wonder, when Alex used his far greater experience to bring him to orgasm... The way he touched Alex now, not just during sex, but whenever they were together. Fingers on his knee, a hand in the small of his back, arms round his waist...

Alex realised he was smiling at his lover in a slightly sappy way and flushed. He was glad it was dark in here. He didn't want to advertise the fact, even to his lover, that he had developed a significant weakness...

He seemed to have fallen hard for Mulder. And as far as he could tell, he was still falling!

"Mulder," he said softly.

Mulder must have heard something in his voice, for the agent flushed slightly

"Alex..." he replied.

It was all Alex could do not to fall on his partner and fuck him right there and then. It had to be the virus! He had never, in his entire life, wanted sex so much and so frequently, not even when he was a horny teen.

He took one step towards Mulder, then another. He was so hard for Mulder that he felt as if he was going to explode. He wanted to see those full, pink lips wrapped around him right now...

Mulder knew. Alex saw his partner smile knowingly, and the tip of Mulder's tongue showed briefly between his lips, then ran moistly over his lower lip. He was watching every move that Alex made, and his fingers almost, but not quite accidentally, strayed towards one nipple. Alex growled very softly, wanting to touch Mulder there himself. Mulder's index finger slipped between those full lips and he sucked on it slowly and teasingly. Alex watched, hypnotised, as the glistening wet finger worked unhurriedly in and out of his lover's mouth....

"Er... yeah, guys. I see...."

Both men turned in surprise towards Byers, their mood broken. They had forgotten their companion. Alex scowled at him and Mulder blushed fiercely.

"I guess I know who you were with when the virus hit!" Byers grinned. "Never thought you were into men, Mulder!"

And you?" Mulder said, trying to pretend he wasn't embarrassed by this whole conversation.

"I was in the drugstore down the street," Byers said. "I met this lady trucker in the frozen food section.... It was unexpected! Scary even! Frohike and Langly were here. They're... together now. Though it was a bit of a shock to Frohike! They went somewhere private to try and work things out." He studied Alex apprehensively for a moment "I know who you are!" He frowned. "You realise that the FBI isn't going to be happy with you, Mulder."

"That's my problem," Mulder said coolly. "Tell Alex what you found on the tapes when you cracked their password."

"Lots of biological stuff," Byers said. "But a couple of things you might find useful to track those bastards. Firstly, there's mention of several doctors who were involved in the synthesis of the virus. Then there are full details of its genetic code. Scully should find that all useful. And finally, there were full details of the virus's symptoms and consequences..." He sighed. "It was designed to change human sexuality and make us monogamous for life! They thought its effects were permanent, Mulder. And there's no known cure!"

"Then this is forever!?" Alex said softly, immediately realising the implications. He stared at Mulder.

To be forever bonded to Fox Mulder. The thought was strange. Somehow, though he had enjoyed being with Mulder, he had never, ever, thought of a permanent partnership with him. All of his doubts returned in full force. He could see that Mulder was as stunned as he was by the revelation.

"We need to talk!" Mulder said hesitantly.

"Later!" Alex said coldly. "I have things to do!" He turned abruptly and strode out of the room.

###

Mulder had returned to work in a state of shock. It was difficult to take in what he had learned. Alex plainly, had found the idea of a relationship disturbing. But Mulder welcomed the idea. The past week had been better than anything he had ever known. He sighed. Alex was used to being alone too. Perhaps that was why things got so tense between them sometimes.

He made his way through the debris of the past few days, down to his basement office in the depths of the FBI building. He hissed in shock as he walked into the small room. It looked like a whirlwind had hit the place. With a scowl, he pushed the worst of the mess from his desk on to the floor. He really didn't want to know what made many of the files stick together.......

It was going to take weeks to sort out this mess!

He put his printout down on the desk and with a sigh, began to work his way through it. The decoding of the computer disc had been easy for an expert like Byers. A mere four hours to break its code. But the vast quantities of numerical data it contained were incomprehensible to him. Maybe Scully would be able to interpret it for him. there were a few documents too, but they were filled with biological jargon that made his head whirl. Deoxyribose and hox genes and transcription and so on....

What he really wanted now was Alex and some hot Chinese food, and warm fingers easing the tension from his neck with a gentle massage. An interesting set of thoughts. He wondered if Alex was quite that domestic? He really didn't know his lover very well yet, despite their easy intimacy in the bedroom. And Alex seemed a wildcat in many ways. Mulder sighed. Being with Alex was like holding a tiger by the tail: no telling when it was going to turn around and attack you. He didn't know where the younger man had gone, but every moment was a challenge with Alex. Mulder intended to explore his partner's character in far greater depth over the months to come...

Months? When exactly had he started to think of his liaison with Alex in quite those terms? Mulder shivered slightly. Since Byers had told him the virus had affected him permanently? The thought of being with Alex long term was disturbing. But kind of seductive too. What would it be like to wake up every morning and see that dark head on the pillow next to his. To have wild, passionate sex, and warm arms around him at night. With Alex Krycek as a partner, it would be challenging!

If only...

He sighed, and picked up the phone to call Scully. Time to forget his silly dreams and get on with solving this case.

###

Alex stared out at the city as the sky began to darken. Streetlights began to flicker on automatically in the city beyond. The viewpoint from the Iwo-Jima Statue was one of his favourite places in the city. Peaceful and quiet most of the time, even during the busiest times of the day. He came here when he needed to think.

He didn't know what he was going to do about Mulder. Was it just the sex? The virus giving him a huge sexual appetite which Mulder was only too happy to relieve? At first, he had thought so. Then Mulder had been threatened, and he had come to his senses, standing over the ruin of a woman's body, with a bloody chair leg in his hand, unsure of how he had come to be there... Animal instincts, sex and aggression. Like the virus had plugged itself into his brain and flicked those switches inside it.

He watched the gleaming light flash on top of the Washington Monument.

If he continued to see Mulder, what would his employers think? Was there anything he could do to protect him? He hissed as he felt those same protective instincts begin to surface again.

If the Smoker had engineered this virus release, then he was going to get a surprise. If it took animal passions to protect Mulder, then there were few more dangerous creatures than Alex Krycek, when roused.

At least the quarantine area around the city gave them some time to breathe. A safe period in which they could be together. He was surprised at how much he wanted it.

The mist began to roll in from the river, and Alex rose to his feet, heading back towards Georgetown. Better get home before the curfew came into force.

Home....

Mulder's place!

###

Mulder rode the elevator up to his apartment, unsure of what he would find. Would Alex be there? He opened the door and knew immediately that the apartment was empty. Alex projected a kind of energy, so he filled any room with a kind of sexual charge...

Not now. The place was dark and cold and depressing. Unhappily, Mulder flicked on all of the light switches, and turned the tv on, set to a higher volume. Anything to try and ease the desolate feel of the place.

At a distance, a strange siren noise echoed out over the city. The first curfew was coming into force, and anyone on the streets would be shot by the army. Mulder supposed that some areas of the city needed protection from looters after the recent chaos, but what about Alex...?

The door flew open, and Alex burst into the room, panting as if he had been in a race.

"Made it!" he panted, "Damn! I had to run to beat the curfew!" He gave a wry sort of grin at Mulder. "Did you think I was going to miss your cooking tonight, Foxy?"

"I wasn't sure..." Mulder said. "I never am, with you..."

"Yeah, well. If I was predictable, I would have been killed long ago!" Alex retorted. He saw the hurt look on Mulder's face. "I... I'm sorry. It's just... I'm not good with relationships."

"Is that what we have?" Mulder said quietly. "I need to know..." Alex fancied he saw a gleam of a tear on Mulder's cheek. "I don't know where I stand with you. I... like you... a lot..."

Alex sighed. He really wasn't used to this. Normally, or at least, before the virus, his relationships had been of the "quick fuck in a dark alley" type. Sexual release without complications. Not Mulder's gentle intimacies, and loving kisses. He definitely needed practice at this.

"I want you!" he said decisively. It was demonstrably true. They had moved gradually closer to each other while talking, and Alex was having an inevitable physical reaction to his partner's closeness.

"Why?" Mulder persisted in his awkward questioning, though he was smiling now. Alex growled.

"Why don't you just leave it at that?" he said.

"Please..." Mulder pleaded. One hand gently rested on Alex's chest, and seemed to accidentally brush one nipple.

"Fuck!" Alex snarled. "Because I'm falling in love with you! Now leave it alone and get over here. You're going to show me what you meant by that finger sucking trick...!"

"Yes Alex," came the very quiet, demure reply.

Not that Alex was at all fooled.

Mulder's brown eyes took on a mischievous glint as he moved closer, and dropped to his knees before Alex. The younger man caught his breath. The sight of Fox Mulder looking up at him with his moist lips parted in open desire was enough to send a rush of blood to his cock. Mulder eyed the growing bulge with satisfaction, and far too slowly, in Alex's opinion, began to pull his zipper down. His cock sprang free of confinement.

"You like to live dangerously," Mulder purred, when he saw that Alex wasn't hampered by underwear. He gripped the base of Alex's erection firmly and his partner moaned.

"You make me decadent!" Alex groaned softly. In answer, Mulder lowered his mouth to the glistening tip of his erection and sucked in the swollen red tip.

Alex bucked forward, pushing himself in as deep as Mulder would allow. The sight of Mulder's mouth parted to take him in was an incredible turn on. He still found it incredible that Mulder loved doing this. He had never thought that Mulder would enjoy giving blow jobs so much, but his partner seemed to relish the sense of power it gave him, so controlling of Alex's reactions. As for Alex, it made him feel that Mulder was his.

Could he get used to fucking Mulder for the rest of his life?

Yeah. Definitely!

With a small cry, he felt his body finally answer the demanding suction of Mulder's mouth, and he spent himself with a shudder. Mulder rose from his knees, sporting an impressive erection of his own, and Alex allowed himself to be dragged into the bedroom and bent over the edge of the bed so that he could be fucked senseless. Mulder was well endowed and his technique was getting better all the time. Some days it was like that between them. No words were needed when they touched each other....

###

Much later, Mulder gently nibbled on Alex's shoulder as they lay curled up together in each others arms. The younger man gave a mock growl and twined his fingers in Mulder's hair, tugging at it gently.

"Don't..." he purred.

"Then you'll have to do something for me!" Mulder said playfully.

"Yeah?" Alex said. He pushed suddenly, agilely pinning Mulder down onto the bed and moving astride him. "Does this do anything for you?"

"Uh, that's not what I meant....." Mulder protested lamely as Alex gently slid one firm thigh between his.

"What did you have in mind...?" Alex breathed against his neck, as he lowered his head to lick at the sensitive skin.

"I wanted to know what you liked for breakfast....." Mulder protested.

The licking stopped. Mulder found himself rather disappointed that it had ceased.

"Explain that!" Alex said. "Why would you want to know that?"

The younger man's body was applying pressure to his in some very intimate places. Mulder sighed reluctantly. Evidently the delightful initiative Alex was taking would not continue until Mulder answered his lover's question. Alex knew quite well how to manipulate him.

"We've been... lovers..., but I don't really know you." Mulder replied. "Do you realise, I don't even know whether you like coffee in the morning. I don't know what you like to eat... I don't know you very well at all, and I really want to. It just seemed like a place to start!"

Alex considered this, his body still, then leaned over Mulder and kissed him. Not their "normal" wildly passionate kiss, but a slow, unexpectedly gentle melting together of their lips. When they pulled apart, Alex was smiling.

"Coffee," he said. "Sweet things. And waffles with syrup!"

Mulder wondered what had just happened between them. A hint perhaps that Alex was finally opening up to him, offering him more than just sex, good though that was. And he definitely wanted more! Like sleeping close to someone through the long and lonely nights, .....and having lots of wild sex! He rested his head close to his partner's and closed his eyes.

###

Scully sighed and switched off her desk light. She had been reading Mulder's retrieved files for hours, trying to reconstruct the details of Mackenzie's experiments. The man was brilliant in his field, but there was a certain callousness to some of his work. He had evidently experimented on some of his students, and had totally ignored the government ban on experimentation with human foetal tissue. But worst of all, he had implanted a mixture of human and animal DNA sequences in his virus.

"You should get some sleep!" Skinner caught hold of her hand and drew her towards their now shared bedroom. "There are three other scientists working on this, in the FBI labs, and we've forwarded all the information to the Disease Control Centre. It'll keep them happy for a while and off our backs. Don't burn yourself out like this."

She smiled at him, grateful that she had found a man like that. Things could have been a lot worse, in the lottery of chance that the virus had created. And now she knew he was going to be her mate for a very long time, if Mulder's documents could be believed.

"All right," she said. He was so concerned for her welfare. It was wonderful. She was so used to watching out for Mulder that it was nice to have someone who had only her welfare in mind. Hmmm. She had worked three days non-stop. Perhaps she did need a break. She should really see how Mulder was coping with the aftermath of the virus.

And exactly who had he been sleeping with anyway?

###

Mulder carefully eased out off bed, trying not to disturb Alex. The younger man mumbled something with a smile and turned onto his side. Every day that they were together, Alex seemed to relax more in his company. A few days ago, Alex would have jerked awake, his hand going for his gun. Now he was relaxed enough to trust Mulder. And why not. The virus had changed so many things. Alex now knew that Mulder would never harm him, and would defend him to the death without hesitation. They were a unit, a partnership of equals, though admittedly, Alex did try to manipulate him sometimes.

Mulder chuckled to himself softly. Alex could be managed if you used the right tactics. Like yesterday when he had teased his lover. And now, by making him breakfast. Mulder sensed that Alex wasn't used to someone caring about him, and would be off balance if Mulder did something romantic. He showered quickly, then headed for the kitchen.

Coffee was easy, but how the hell did you cook waffles?

###

Scully made her way slowly through the crowded streets to Mulder's apartment. As soon as the curfew had ended at 7a.m. Large numbers of people had come onto the streets, heading for work or their own homes. She had decided to drop in on Mulder and ask him to breakfast in one of the many Georgetown diners. Maybe she would even get to meet Mulder's mysterious partner. After yesterday's revelation that their new partnerships were permanent, she really should introduce herself to his partner.

Mulder had been very secretive about her. Not that it came as a surprise to Scully. From single status to practically married in one week, possibly with someone who had been a total stranger. She rode the lift up to Mulder's floor and approached his door. She knocked, but there was no reply. Perhaps he was in the shower? No matter. She had a key. She opened the door quietly and entered the apartment. A clattering and the sound of Mulder cursing made her grin. He was busy doing something in the kitchen.

"Owww!" She caught a glimpse of him shaking his hand as if he'd burned it on something. The noises continued. Then the bedroom door began to open. Startled, she stepped back into the shadows near the door and watched in open curiosity, wanting to see the new person in Mulder's life. She gasped as a familiar, dark haired form came into view, and moved towards the kitchen. Almost instinctively, she found her gun in her hand, and followed him silently. Incredulously, she watched as Alex Krycek moved up behind Mulder, put his arm round him and kissed him. Then Mulder kissed him back, slow and sensuous.

The implication of that gesture was inescapable. They were partners!

She stepped forward, gun held in her hand, but lowered now so that it pointed towards the floor. "Mulder...? I think you have some explaining to do!"

###

Presidential Decree, June 2001

The so called Partner virus has a level four biohazard rating due to its highly infectious nature, the aggression it causes under certain circumstances, and the fact that it has no known cure. It should be treated accordingly.

Where government employees have unfortunately bonded with known felons, their status will be reviewed by the FBI, and amnesty for the partner may be offered in certain cases. It is recognised that such partnerships are permanent and a loss of government personnel in our nation's heartland could prove disastrous in these troubled times.....

To ensure the stability of the Nation, it is also recommended that a new law be passed, legalising all new "partnerships" and dissolving all former marriage bonds of infected persons, provided that all children are financially and emotionally supported.

###

Extract from FBI Confidential File: Report of disciplinary proceedings against Special Agent John Isherwood.

Agent Isherwood has reported to the Board of Investigation that when the Partner Virus infection occurred, he was interviewing the serial killer, Edward Sawyer in connection with his duties as profiler with the Behavioural Sciences Department. Agent Isherwood and Sawyer engaged in a most unfortunate liaison and appear to have formed an emotional attachment to one another.

When a local law enforcement officer attempted to remove Sawyer back into confinement, he attacked the officer, inflicting serious injuries. Agent Isherwood refused to assist the officer, barricaded himself in the interview room with Sawyer, and indeed, was involved intimately with the prisoner for a further twelve hours,

Agent Isherwood has since attempted suicide on two occasions...

###

Alex stared at Dana Scully, who was holding a gun in her hand as she studied him. She looked as though she had unexpectedly found some disgusting species of bug under her foot.

"Well, Mulder?" she said icily. "You want to tell me how he got to be here?"

Mulder stared back at her, unresponsive. Close to him, Alex felt him trembling, his fists clenched and his eyes wild, seemingly focussed on the countertop. He studied Mulder for a moment, then suddenly he understood why Mulder was acting strangely.

"Put the gun away, Scully! Can't you see it! You're a threat to me. He's trying not to attack you!" Mulder moaned softly, and his hand shakily began to extend towards the knife which rested close to him. Scully gasped, then hurriedly shoved her gun back in its holster.

"It's okay. She's not trying to hurt me. See..." Alex gently reassured his lover.

Mulder drew a deep breath, and his fists slowly unclenched. He rested his head for a moment against Alex's, their foreheads touching, then he sighed softly and turned to Scully.

"Sorry!" he said shakily. "I couldn't stop it! Just.... Just don't threaten him again.... Please... I don't want t hurt you! But I can't let anything happen to him..."

More than anything else, it was a small gesture that Alex made that convinced her to abandon her anger. His fingers reached out to cover Mulder's and squeeze them gently.

"Together!" she heard him whisper. Mulder seemed too draw strength from it. He gave Alex a small, secret smile, then turned to her.

"I picked a stupid time to try and arrest Alex! Right before the virus came," he said. "But what happened to us after that wasn't his fault!" He sighed, knowing how his dependence on Alex must look to her. "What are you going to do, Scully? Are you going to report this?" he asked anxiously.

"I don't know!" she said unhappily. "I really don't know. But you'll have to tell Skinner soon. Or you'll lose your security clearance. I'll try and talk to him..." Seeing his puzzlement, she shrugged. "He's my partner, Mulder!"

He stared at her. It was unexpected. But possibly a source of hope. It would have to do.

###

Alex stared moodily out of Mulder's apartment window after his lover went to work. Not entirely wise perhaps, to stay here. If anyone chose to place surveillance on this place..... But why should they? Mulder was as confined as the rest of them, in a quarantined city guarded by troops in bio-suits. Anyone who tried to leave would be shot and their body burned. Besides, the only thing he wanted at the moment was to be near his Fox. If only he could drag Mulder somewhere where they could be safe together...

Alex was as trapped in the city as everyone else, but he seemed to feel the bars of the cage more clearly than most. Why had he been placed in the city at this time? Why had he been ordered to meet a non-existent contact? Why had Mulder been tipped off about his location at exactly the time the virus was released?

Something stunk about the whole situation.

Mulder was naive. He thought it was just a coincidence, but Alex didn't believe in those any more. Didn't Mulder realise how vulnerable both of them were now....? Threaten Alex, and Mulder would do anything to save him! Including kissing the ass of a certain smoking bastard! The virus had effectively caught him in its web.

It worked both ways. The increasingly independent Alex had been leashed, tied to the erratic and very possibly insane Fox Mulder. A subtle but highly efficient form of control for both of them. He would do anything to protect his lover. Kill.... Maim.... Get down on his knees if need be....

The black lunged monster was probably laughing right now.

Alex hoped he would choke on it.

###

The presidential address had take them all by surprise that morning. The place had been alive with speculation and gossip when Scully arrived at work. New laws promised to protect partnerships, and a suggestion that the government would not penalise employees in inappropriate partnerships. Scully shivered. The country must really be in trouble, if the President was willing to take such a controversial stance on the issue. And troops still patrolled the streets of Washington.

At least it promised a ray of hope for Mulder.

She knocked on Skinner's door then opened it, He looked up from the pile of papers he was analysing and smiled at her. They had left together at the same time that morning, he to work, and she to Mulder's place. They kissed. She relaxed into his arms for a few minutes, then pulled away from him reluctantly, and sat on the edge of the desk.

"I met Mulder's partner!" she told him. She saw curiosity flare in his face. When she didn't immediately answer him, he frowned.

"That bad!" he asked perceptively, knowing how much she cared about Mulder.

"Yes." She chose her words carefully. "He's a wanted criminal that Mulder was taking into custody when the virus hit!" Skinner let out a long breath. "It's not his fault! And I think his partner genuinely cares about him!"

###

Sitting at his desk, Mulder could feel his cheeks burning with humiliation. Despite all that was going on in the city, there were still colleagues who liked to play games with his head. The memo had been slyly sent to his in-tray by an unknown but malicious correspondent. It appeared to be a cleverly drawn cartoon of him bending over with his legs spread, while an alien enthusiastically took him from behind.

He wondered exactly how many copies of this thing had been passed around in the building. There seemed to be two groups forming among the agents who had been exposed to the virus. The elite, who had highest security clearances because they had formed partnerships with other agents, and the rest of the world. Many of those sycophantic ass-kissers had eagerly declared their partnerships. Mulder was one of the increasingly few agents who hadn't dared to reveal the truth.

At least sexuality wasn't an issue any more. With a high percentage of male employees in the FBI building, there had been many homosexual pairings.

Scully was right though. He was going to have to tell Skinner soon, before the big man found it out for himself. Mulder was one of the few FBI employees who hadn't yet received security clearance. With a sigh, he picked up the phone and dialled Skinner's private extension number. He may as well get it over with. He didn't have to tell Skinner who his partner was... Maybe.

Skinner answered straight away, and to his surprise, asked Mulder to come straight up to his office. Apprehensively, Mulder put the phone down and rose to his feet. Then quickly, he pulled his mobile phone out and dialled Alex's number.

"Yeah?" Alex purred. Mulder suppressed a shiver of desire at the sound of his familiar tones.

"I'm going to tell Skinner about us" he said softly. "I just wanted to hear your voice...."

"If you want to feel good, think of our first time!" Alex said warmly. "The first time I kissed you. And what I did to you after that!"

"I.... Alex... I..." Mulder said uncertainly. He had felt his need for Alex growing with every passing hour. He thought it had become something else now. Deeper and more intense. More like.... Love?

If this was the last time he was going to hear his lover's voice..... If Skinner decided to take action against Alex....

"Be careful!" Mulder said decisively. "I need you safe!... I care about you." The words he really wanted to say were still too strange and new in his mind.

"I'll be careful, Fox." came the warm tones of his lover.

###

"I know why you're here," Skinner said, when Mulder entered his office. "Sit down, Mulder." The agent did as he was asked, then waited. "Scully told me your partner is a felon, Mulder," Skinner said. "Would you like to tell me exactly what his crimes are. I'm afraid I have to warn you that from this moment, your security clearance has been revoked." He sighed. "I'll do my best to help you, Mulder. But you have to be honest with me."

Mulder took a deep breath. Two explosive little words, a name, but full of meaning.

"It's Alex Krycek, sir!"

"Oh my God!" Skinner stared at him, obviously shocked. "You have to spend the rest of your life tied to that murdering, traitorous son of a bitch?" He saw Mulder open his mouth to protest and silenced him with a furious gesture. "There's something you should know," he snarled, the words clearly a source of frustration. "There are no records of Krycek's crimes in the FBI computer. His employers made sure he was untraceable. No one is going to come looking for him from the law enforcement community. The only problem you have is me!"

Mulder stared at him uncertainly.

"If it wasn't for Scully asking me to help you, I'd turn him in myself!" Skinner said coldly. He flung something red across the desk at Mulder, and the agent picked it up. A new security pass, red edged, restricting Mulder's access within the building...

"You don't trust me?" Mulder said slowly, disbelievingly.

"Damn right I don't!" Skinner said. "As far as I'm concerned you're sleeping with the enemy! Now get out!"

###

Mulder tried not to show his feelings as he made his way slowly from Skinner's upper floor office towards his basement refuge. He was as close to tears as he had ever been, contemplating the loss of Alex. Skinner couldn't have Alex arrested? Could he?

Desperately worried now, he could barely restrain himself from grabbing the phone and calling Alex again. But his partner was so independent and self-reliant.... He would think Mulder was over protective and neurotic. That much he knew about Alex.

Mulder wanted so much to be with the other man, but he knew that Alex would not suffer fools gladly. Earning his wayward lover's respect was just as important as finding out what he liked for breakfast. Taking their relationship forward in small, hesitant steps in the elusive search for security and happiness.

Skinner was right in one thing only. The prospect of being with Alex for the rest of his life was scary. Not because he was an immoral rat bastard........ which he probably was. No, it was because there were so many things that could go wrong. And he wanted it so much!

###

Alex bowed his head, his green eyes blinking furiously to try and hold back the stinging tears that threatened to come. Of course, it was inevitable in the end. The miracle was that Mulder had concealed the truth for so long. He probably would have concealed the truth indefinitely, if not for that bitch Scully.....

Pity Mulder wouldn't let him kill her.

The ringing tones of his cellphone brought him back to the present. With a sigh, he reached into his pocket and pulled it out.

"Yeah?" he said cautiously. He was always careful not to give his name; these things could be heard by scanners.

"Alex!" A familiar, voice spoke, sounding uncharacteristically jovial. "You have been busy! I've been hearing some very interesting things about you and your... partner." There was a chuckle, which made Alex shiver despite the June warmth. "Just when were you planning on telling me?"

"Bastard!" Alex snarled. The triumph in Spender's voice told him that the smoker knew his secret.

"I've just been watching your partner confess all!" came the smug reply. "I think you forgot something, Alex!"

"Shit!" Alex swore. "The surveillance on Skinner's office!" How could he have been so stupid? Alex cursed softly to himself. He now had a very public weakness that could be exploited, and he had let Mulder tell the world about it.

Damn Mulder for the honest streak he had. The urge to confess all to his superiors in the FBI, as if he was a penitent in need of absolution. It would have been far better to kill Scully and maybe Skinner. Alex sighed. Oh Mulder! One of his partner's irritating little habits that he would have to change. Honesty just brought too much trouble!

"Get your butt over to 1531 Adam Street right now, Krycek!" Spender snapped. "You wouldn't want your pretty new toy to have an accident now, would you? Kill the man who lives there!" He chuckled as Alex's curses rose in volume. "Who's going to die, Alex? The target or Mulder? It's your choice!" He laughed.

Alex seized the phone and threw it blindly at the nearest wall, screaming with frustration. If Spender had been there at that moment, he would have been ripped apart. But the sly old devil was certainly miles away from Washington. But as for his influence... Alex knew that his boss could call in a hundred different operatives if necessary, to target his lover.

Slipping on his shoulder holster, he began to arm himself with his guns and knives. He would have to kill the target. But that didn't mean he was going to be Spender's lapdog for long. The next time they met.... Alex grinned savagely. The smoker would die!

Mulder might even be persuaded to help...

If Alex mentioned how he had been threatened by the Smoker. Well, Mulder had protective instincts too, if this morning's little scene with Scully was any indication.

Then again, the Smoker was dangerous. Perhaps it would be better to keep quiet for now. He would never do anything to put his Fox at risk. Not ever. He would wait and watch for an opportunity. Then he would take great pleasure in killing the son of a bitch.

Revenge was a dish best served cold.

###

Alex hadn't shown up at his apartment. At first, Mulder had blamed his absence on caution. If Skinner should make a move... But Alex would have left a message for him. And why had he thrown the phone at the wall. Surely not because of what he had said? Trying to figure Alex out was like learning a foreign language. By ten o clock in the evening, Mulder was becoming frantic with worry. Alex had known how anxious Mulder was over his safety. He would have shown up if he could! Mulder was certain of it.

Though they had been together for so short a time, he thought he had begun to convince Alex how much he wanted their partnership to work.... How deep his feelings had become already.... He shivered, not wanting to think of the possibilities. If Alex had been caught by the FBI? But Skinner would have called him, if only to yell at him.

Where the hell was his lover? Maybe he had got it wrong? Maybe his increasing displays of affection had scared Alex off?

There was another possibility. One he had half expected and half dreaded. Alex's sometime employers may have contacted him.

Alex would take his guns if he was in trouble. Despite his worry, Mulder suppressed a grin at the thought of the other night when they had practically fallen into each other's arms as soon as the apartment door had closed.

Undressing Alex had been a surprising voyage of discovery through the arsenals of the world. A Russian knife secreted in the small of his back, a second smaller blade strapped to his thigh.... Not to mention the deadly .45 he wore in a shoulder holster and the smaller .22 in an ankle holster. No doubt, his teeth could do damage too! A deadly lover, but Mulder didn't fear him. He could never be afraid of Alex. Not now.

He scrambled for the closet. He had to know if Alex had taken his deadly cache from where he had hidden it in the apartment. Because if he had, then he was working...

But who for, and why?

###

Extract from FBI Confidential File: Report on terrorist group known as the Dawn Alliance

The Dawn Alliance is a group dedicated to the use of genetic manipulation to improve humanity and our environment. Their leader is believed to be Professor MacKenzie, and most members are respected scientists. The group is believed to have high level government connections. These terrorists are highly dangerous and may have extensive biological warfare capabilities.....

###

Alex sat outside the target building for some time before he decided to make his move. He would have to take care afterwards as there were regular army patrols in the area. Twice already he had hidden as they passed by in high powered four-wheel drive vehicles.

It was a small, detached house, in a cottage style that had been popular fifty years ago. The sort of house now popular with young professionals as an investment property. He had spotted the most promising entrance into the building and planned to be in and out within a few minutes.

It was a simple task to use a glass cutter to make a hole in the window and put his hand in to unlatch the window. It was accomplished in moments, almost silently. Then he attached the silencer to his gun and crept through the house.

There! The sound of the tv led him towards the target. He crept up silently behind the grey haired man, raised the gun and fired once, twice, at the other's head. With barely a sound, the stranger toppled forward, almost certainly dead.

The attack from behind was stunningly unexpected. Fool that he was, Alex had never considered the one possibility that should have been obvious. His target, like the majority of Washington's inhabitants, had been infected by the Partner Virus and of course, had a mate. An individual who was now psychotic with rage in defence of his partner A middle aged man, not in the best shape, but more than making up for it with the fury of his attack. He had picked up a big kitchen knife and brought it down on Alex's arm. If it hadn't been the prosthetic left arm, Alex would probably have been seriously maimed in the first moment. As it was, the strong metal and plastic of his left arm caused the knife to slide past without harming Alex. The older man screamed in rage as he stumbled past Alex, momentarily off balance.

Alex staggered backwards,, his shoulder bruised and aching from the impact. The man turned furiously, then flung himself at Alex again, still screaming. Too fast! Before he could even raise his gun, the raging madman was attacking him, stabbing downwards with the knife in an arc that started high above his head. Alex flung his right hand up instinctively to protect himself, his gun still clutched in his hand. There was an explosive impact.

Alex fell backwards, his bloody hand clutched to his chest as he watched the older man topple over. The knife had collided with his gun and the weapon had discharged into his attacker's face at close range. Alex no longer had an attacker to worry about. But the sharp edge of the knife had sliced deep into his palm and blood was trickling freely from the gash.

Dazed, Alex looked around for something to wrap round his hand. Then he started to check the room out, making sure he had left nothing incriminating at the scene. Then he caught sight of the target's face!

Shit!

His target was MacKenzie, the man Fox had been looking for. The one man who could have told them everything about the virus. Dead by order of the Smoking Man. And all his secrets with him! Alex had never felt more like a pawn. He began to search the place in earnest. He needed whatever information he could get now, every possible advantage...

###

Much Later....

Alex slipped into Mulder's apartment in the early hours of the morning. Unlike the old days of conflict, he now had his own key. He moved silently into the darkened apartment, wanting only the warmth of his lover against him, curled up against his side in the warmth of their bed.

"Where were you?" A hoarse voice asked from the direction of the couch. "I was worried. You didn't tell me where you were going..." Mulder reached out to switch on a lamp.

"Mulder..." Alex said guiltily. "I can't tell you everything. It's not safe for you to know some things...."

Mulder rose from the couch and closed the distance between them. He put his arms round Alex's waist and hissed as he felt the shape and weight of the gun hidden in the small of Alex's back.

"You were working!" he accused.

"Yes," Alex said simply. Then Mulder caught sight of the makeshift bandage Alex had wrapped around his hand.

"Oh god! You're hurt!" Mulder's brown eyes widened and he frantically began to unwrap the younger man's injury. His brown eyes were filled with a mixture of concern and fear for his lover, as he practically dragged Alex towards the medicine kit he kept in the bathroom.

No one had worried about Alex for longer than he could remember. It felt odd. Good. And his cut hand had neatly diverted Mulder's attention from where Alex had been and how he had come by his injury. Alex felt a little guilty at that, but he couldn't see Mulder accepting the truth. He was too honest. No FBI agent would approve of a little assassination, even if it was done to keep Mulder alive. So why tell him?

Alex sat and let Mulder fuss over him, cleaning and dressing his palm with absolute care while he muttered endearments. No doubt Mulder would demand to know what had happened to him, but for now Alex's well-being took precedence. When his hand had been bandaged, he was treated to a stern little lecture on being careful, which soon degenerated into small kisses and arms wrapped around him tightly.

Alex sensed Mulder's body tense after a few minutes, and realised what was about to happen. As Mulder opened his mouth to ask Alex how he had been hurt, the younger man covered Mulder's mouth with his own. Then he slowly moved lower with his mouth. He knew by now what was likely to distract Mulder. And luckily, he didn't really need his hand for what he had in mind. His mouth was quite suited to this particular activity.

Watching Mulder go down on him usually gave Alex an incredible thrill, so he was generally the recipient of Mulder's attentions. To have an FBI agent, his former enemy giving him oral sex.... Incredible! And Mulder knew it!

But the sly young assassin knew what he could do to Mulder when he reversed their usual roles. His Fox certainly wasn't going to ask any questions tonight.

He wouldn't have breath left over for talking...

###

The Smoker watched the newly acquired video of the two men together with fascination. The sight of Alex Krycek on his knees before Fox Mulder was intriguing. He hadn't thought Alex could lower himself like that, to take the more servile role in their relationship.

Certainly, the Smoker had engineered some part of this evening's debacle. He had known all about the impending viral attack, and had retreated from Washington in good time. And the opportunity to gain leverage over Alex Krycek had been welcome. Alex had shown tonight how very useful he could still be.

He had indeed made sure that his rebellious young associate had been in Washington during the attack. But he couldn't claim responsibility for Alex meeting Fox Mulder at just the right time. Coincidences did still happen!

Mulder and Krycek!

Unexpected!

Not a combination he felt comfortable with. The potential for trouble that the two of them posed, if they should ever begin to work as a team.... Alex's deadly effectiveness combined with Mulder's brilliant insight and intuition....

It was obvious from their behaviour together, that they were growing closer, bonding together.... Beginning to trust each other....

Definitely trouble!

Time to take some preventative measures.

To be continued.......?

###

Finis


Megaera's Fanfiction

Perfect Partners
By Megaera
December 2000
M/K
This started as a handcuffs challenge story, but I guess it went in other directions. I wondered what would happen if a terrorist released a virus that changed human DNA and bound Mulder and Krycek closer than handcuffs, so it's not exactly a challenge story.......

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