M/m sex, discipline, spanking. If the idea of a discipline relationship between consenting adult males offends you, so will this story.

ELIZABETH MARSHALL STORIES

Retired

Walter Skinner, retired.

Walter Skinner, bored.

Walter Skinner, retired and bored, booked a condominium apartment in the Florida Keys for three weeks.

Walter Skinner sat in his Florida Keys condominium apartment, retired, bored and annoyed.

Who would have expected Mulder and Krycek to be living in this particular condominium complex? Who would have expected them to be living in the apartment above his own?

Certainly, Walter knew Mulder and Krycek had ended up together. He had participated in Krycek's sham murder for Mulder's sake, knowing it was the only way to get Krycek off the radar screen permanently. He had accepted Mulder's decision not to tell Scully the truth.

He had wished Mulder well. He had wished Krycek well away.

Well, now he wished Mulder quiet! He wished Krycek quiet! He wished Mulder and Krycek in couples therapy, he wished Mulder and Krycek in the ocean, in short, he wished Mulder and Krycek anywhere but in the apartment above him.

Mulder and Krycek fought non-stop. Door slamming, objects crashing. Loud shouts, louder curses. Despite closed windows and blasting air-conditioning, the sounds of the couple's troubled domestic life percolated through Walter's ceiling.

Walter complained to the concierge, who murmured apologetically that the gentlemen concerned were "the property owners."

At least that explained the missing Consortium millions.

Walter left four messages with the feuding couple's voice mail:

Apologetic: "Mulder, Krycek, could you possibly be a bit quieter? Thank you."

Annoyed: "Mulder, Krycek, the noise from your apartment is excessive!"

Angry: "Mulder, Krycek, keep it down, I'm Trying to get some sleep!"

Ominous: "Mulder, Krycek: Stop fighting Or Else."

Bang! Bang!! Bang!!! Walter pounded grimly at the door to Mulder and Krycek's apartment. The raging fight within had obviously drowned out the buzzer.

BANG!

Mulder opened the door clad only in shorts.

"Sir, I didn't expect--"

"Me here. Obviously. Close the door, Mulder," Walter Skinner said, stepping inside and fixing Mulder with his best AD glare.

"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. I can explain, sir." Mulder took a deep breath.

Walter's eye was caught by a flash of red at floor level.

Alex Krycek was sprawled against the wall, his nose gushing blood.

Walter strode across the room and crouched beside the former triple agent.

"Put your head back, Krycek," Walter directed, pressing his fingers to the bridge of Krycek's diminutive nose.

Krycek winced.

"I'm not trying to hurt you, Krycek, I just want to stop the bleeding. Mulder, get me some ice in a towel. Now!"

Mulder didn't dare argue.

"Here, Krycek, lie back on the couch," Walter said quietly, helping Krycek to his feet.

Krycek obeyed without his usual supercilious sneer. Mulder returned with the ice-filled towel, and Walter pressed it gently to Krycek's nose.

"Hold this," Walter said, placing Krycek's good hand on top of the cold compress. Walter suppressed a wince at Krycek's other, empty tee shirt sleeve. Even the alien healers had their limits, apparently.

"Don't feel sorry for him," Mulder said, seeing Walter's slight gesture. "He doesn't need two arms to behave like the bastard slut he is."

"Shut up, you fucking prick," Krycek responded.

"Enough!" Walter roared. "That's it. Krycek, don't say another word. Do you understand me?"

When Walter spoke in his AD voice, men listened.

"Yes, sir," Krycek responded.

"I mean it, Krycek. Mulder, in the bedroom."

"Yes, sir," Mulder said. He knew better than to argue with Walter Skinner in battle mode.

Walter closed the door behind them.

"Agent Mulder, would you like to explain to me why your lover was lying on the floor with a bleeding nose?"

"I don't suppose you'd believe it was an Xfile, sir?" Mulder hazarded a witticism.

Walter's glare made it clear this was no joking matter.

"Mulder, did you hit him?"

"I might have," Mulder allowed sullenly. "But only because he provoked me. He called me Spooky."

"Fox William Mulder! Do you mean to tell me you believe it is okay to physically assault your lover, your partner, because he called you by a nickname you dislike? Agent Mulder, I expected better of you." Walter's chocolate brown eyes stared down Mulder's hazel orbs.

"I know it was wrong, sir. But Alex and I have a complicated history. Violence is part of how we relate to each other." Mulder's excuse sounded pathetic even to his own ears.

Walter shook his head sadly.

"Mulder, Mulder, Mulder. The war is over. I can't believe you would want to continue it in the privacy of your own home. I really expected better of you."

"I'm sorry, sir," Mulder said. "I wish I knew how to stop. I can't stand the way he looks at me, waiting for me to hit him. I'm not like this, sir. I'm really not."

Walter took a deep breath.

"Mulder. You need help. You need to break this cycle of violence."

"I know, sir. But Alex and therapy...it just isn't out there."

"Damn it, Mulder, I'm tempted to give you a taste of your own medicine," Walter said, his frustration obvious.

"Go ahead," said Mulder wretchedly. "Hit me. You're right, I deserve it." He raised his jaw bravely, giving Walter a clean shot.

"I'm not going to hit you, Mulder," Walter sighed.

"Please, sir. I deserve to be punished," Mulder begged.

The truth was finally out, Walter thought to himself. Mulder certainly did deserve punishment. He was taking advantage of Alex's hopeless infatuation with him to abuse the younger man.

"Fox William Mulder, will you accept whatever punishment I think is appropriate?" Walter asked.

Fox William Mulder studied Walter Skinner. Saw only kindness and concern in the former AD's face.

"Yes sir, I will," Mulder said softly.

Slowly, Walter unbuckled his belt. Slid the supple inch and a half thick leather from his belt loops. Doubled the dark mahogany strap in half.

"Take down your shorts and underwear, Fox." Walter said in a tone that brooked no disobedience. "Bend over and brace your hands on the bed."

As if hypnotized, Fox Mulder obeyed.

"I am going to tan your ass with my belt, Fox. Before I begin, I want you to tell me why you are being punished."

"I hurt Alex," Fox whispered. "He's my lover and I hurt him. I hit him. More than once. I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry. I deserve to be punished, Walter. I deserve to be strapped."

"All right, Fox," Walter said kindly. "You know what you did wrong. Now I am going to give you a very good reason not to make the same mistake again."

Bracing his left hand against Fox's back, Walter brought the doubled leather belt down hard across Fox's taut bottom. Fox jerked at the impact.

"Stay still, Fox," Walter chided.

"Yes, sir," Fox gasped. "Sorry, sir." He braced himself, head down, for the next stroke.

Walter laid the next half dozen strokes down hard and fast, leaving six red stripes across Fox's vulnerable buttocks.

Fox's breathing roughened, but he didn't cry out.

Steeling himself, Walter continued to turn Fox's ass a deeper, darker red.

As the individual strokes of the belt merged into a solid sheet of fire, Fox began to cry. Softly at first. Then, as the strapping continued, loudly and without any dignity whatsoever.

Walter dropped his belt on the bed and gently helped Fox straighten up.

With a gasp, Fox threw himself into Walter's arms. Sobbed bitterly against Walter's chest, soaking the thin cotton of his shirt with hot, remorseful tears.

"I'm sorry, Walter, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt Alex, I'm sorry! I'll never do it again. I'm so sorry!" Fox wailed.

"I know, Fox, I know," Walter said, rubbing Fox's back in soothing circles. "Shh, it's all over, you'll do better next time. I know you mean well. You're a good man, Fox. You just let your temper get the best of you. You won't do that again. Shh, it's all right. Shh..."

"Is Fox going to be okay?" a worried Alex Krycek asked softly from the doorway.

"He'll be fine. He'll be better than ever," Walter said. "Come here, Krycek, help me get him into bed."

Walter eased Fox down on the bed on his stomach.

"I'm sorry, Alex, I'm sorry," Fox sobbed. "I shouldn't have hit you. I was wrong. I'll never, ever do it again. I'm sorry, Alex, I'm sorry."

"It's all right, Fox, it's all right." Krycek curled next to Fox, stroking Fox's tearstained cheeks with gentle fingers. "I forgive you. I know I'm a shit sometimes." He sounded near tears himself.

Walter watched the two men with mingled pride and regret. Pride, that Fox had accepted his punishment so bravely and seemingly learned so much from it. Regret, that Fox had Krycek, and that he himself was alone.

With a sigh, Walter reached for his belt and threaded it back through his belt loops. His brief disciplinary intervention was finished. It was time to return to retirement.

"Please, Walter, don't go," Krycek said softly, shifting over. "We're no good on our own, Walter. I say things that hurt Fox. Fox does things that hurt me. Stay with us, Walter. We need you."

"Krycek, I don't think--" Walter began.

"Alex. Please Walter, after everything we've seen together, surely you can call me Alex."

"Alex. I don't think--"

"Don't think, Walter," Fox said softly. "Listen to your heart. Alex is right. We need you. The two of us are no good by ourselves. But the three of us together could be great."

Walter's heart beat faster at the thought. Truth to tell, he was not certain whether he was more excited or more nervous at the prospect of joining forces with Fox and Alex. But Walter Skinner had never shied away from a challenge before, and retired or not, he was not about to shy away now.

"Very well," Walter said. "I'll stay. But there are going to be rules, and there are going to be consequences for breaking those rules."

"I understand, sir," Fox said, touching his smarting ass gingerly.

"I understand, Walter," Alex said, eyeing Fox's red rump with a chastened expression.

Walter Skinner smiled to himself. He might well be retired, but he would most certainly not be bored.

 

***FIN***

Written for Mary Ann on her birthday, with admiration for her courage in the face of adversity. EM