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


Game Over

Alex Krycek lay sleepy and contented, his head in Walter Skinner's lap. His eyes were closed. Patiently, gently, Walter brushed Alex's thick, dark hair, smiling as it took on the sheen of well cared for fur.

"Come on, sleepyhead. Get going. I'll make breakfast," Walter said. Alex sat up reluctantly. He had begun to walk to the drugstore early each morning for their newspapers. Walter's ongoing search for ways to ameliorate Alex's moodiness had convinced him that regular walking would be good for Alex. Alex didn't see much point in it, but Walter was insistent.

Through the drugstore window, Alex saw the man. His hair gone white. The aquiline nose, the scar along his cheek. The light eyes.

Alex froze. Reflexively, he reached for the gun he no longer carried, cursing Walter's prohibition on weapons. Carefully, Alex turned sideways, making himself a less visible target. Drew back cautiously.

Alex caught another glimpse of the man leaving the store to return to his car. He was unsurprised to see he had identified him correctly. The well-manicured Englishman. There was no forgetting that face.

Surprisingly to Alex, after his initial shock, he felt nothing more. Nothing at all. Absolutely nothing. He bought the papers, returned home. Said nothing to Walter. Ate breakfast at Walter's urging. Went upstairs to the bathroom. Vomited. Felt nothing at all.

Walter studied Alex carefully. Something about him seemed off. It took him just a few seconds too long to manage his part of their conversation. He ate almost nothing for breakfast, a fact he tried to disguise by pushing his food into new piles on his plate. Disappeared upstairs; returned white-faced.

Walter knew from hard experience to trust his subtler instincts regarding Alex's emotional state. The times he had ignored them, he had regretted it. Alex had spun way out and pulling him back in had been rough on both of them.

Wanting Alex's attention, Walter reached towards Alex's arm. Alex reared back sharply. Walter caught his breath at the expressions flitting across Alex's face. Sheer terror. Fury. Panic. A mask of no emotion at all. Alex only resorted to that when he was truly afraid...

"Alex, easy," Walter said, trying to keep his voice steady and soothing. "Breathe, Alex. Whatever it is, it'll be all right. I promise." Alex's blank expression didn't change.

Walter was worried. Alex's tantrums were one thing, Alex's silences, quite another. Already Alex was slipping away into some impenetrable interior wilderness.

"Come with me, Alex," Walter said, his voice quiet, but very firm. "Now, please." Alex rose obediently. Walter nodded to the stairs.

"You're taking a hot bath and then you're going back to bed, Alex," Walter said decisively. Alex's face remained impassive.

"Yes, sir," he whispered. Only years of iron self-control kept Walter from gasping audibly. Walter felt as if someone had just drenched him in ice water. Alex never, ever said "sir" to him, not since their very earliest days together. Neither in jest, nor when he was punished. Walter knew something had seriously spooked his lover. Wherever Alex was, it wasn't here. This was bad, very bad. Where are you, Alex, Walter wondered silently. What are you remembering? How can I help you?

Walter started the water running in the tub. Alex stood by, his face a virtual blank, his eyes watching the flowing water expressionlessly.

"Alex?" Walter said gently. No movement. No response at all.

"Get undressed, Alex," Walter said, seriously worried now by Alex's total lack of affect. Wordlessly, Alex slipped out of his tee shirt, folded it carefully and put it on the wicker bench alongside the tub. Unzipped his jeans and stepped out of them, folded them with equal care and placed them atop the shirt. Removed his boxers, folded them in quarters and added them to the pile. Walter watched grimly, noting Alex's sudden compulsive neatness. Meanwhile Alex stood motionless, naked, his eyes cast down.

"Should I take this off, sir?" he asked, touching his prosthesis. Walter winced. "Sir," again. Shit.

"Sir?" Shifting his prosthesis slightly, Alex waited nervously for an answer.

"Alex, easy," Walter said, trying to find a way to connect with his absent lover. Trying to sound casual, he teased Alex gently.

"Come on now, Alex, it can't be that bad. You didn't kill anyone, did you?" Alex shivered. The room wasn't cold. Walter sighed.

"Yes, Alex, take off the arm and step into the tub now," Walter said, realizing that this was going to take some time to sort out. Alex unstrapped his prosthesis, placed it atop his clothing. He stepped into the warm water and froze again. With a gentle hand, Walter maneuvered him into a seated position. Alex's breathing was harsh and audible. His eyes followed Walter's hand miserably as Walter reached for the wash cloth.

"Please, I'll be good, I promise," Alex whispered. "I'll do anything you say. Please don't hurt me anymore." Walter was sickened by the note of raw fear in Alex's voice.

"Alex, I would never hurt you," Walter soothed. "Alex. Do you know where you are?" Alex eyed him blankly.

"Walter?" Alex whispered. "Walter, are you real?"

"Yes, Alex, I'm real," Walter said, cupping his hand around Alex's jaw and coaxing the green eyes to meet his brown ones.

"What's going on, Alex? Something happened this morning while you were out. Alex, I need you to talk to me!" Walter watched miserably as Alex flinched at even the controlled emotion in his voice.

"I don't know," Alex said, looking blankly at him. "I don't remember anything."

Walter knew Alex had to be lying, but whether only to him, or to himself as well, he wasn't sure.

"I wish you would trust me, Alex," Walter said softly. Alex hung his head, his eyes blank and remote.

"I trust you, Walter," he said in a voice Walter barely recognized.

Seemingly, the warm bath worked some transformative magic. Alex rebounded fast. By the time he emerged from the tub, he was talking. He was Fine. No, he wasn't upset. No, he didn't want to go back to bed. Everything was Fine. He flatly refused to discuss the morning's panic attack. To Walter's dismay, Alex withdrew completely, allowing Walter neither to comfort nor confront him. If Walter entered a room, Alex was just leaving. Shortly before lunchtime, Alex snagged his car keys from their hook and vanished without a word.

Walter ground his teeth, frustrated. What the hell happened this morning, he asked himself for the millionth time. Well, whatever it was, Alex needed to lose this attitude. Or there would be some rather uncomfortable consequences.

Alex was gone several hours. Just as Walter's annoyance was beginning to tip towards anxiety, Alex returned.

"Mad at me, Walter? Am I going to be able to sit down for dinner?" Alex asked, only half-jokingly. "Please, Walter, I know I'm in trouble. I know I should have left a note. Let me make it up to you." He licked his lips, eyed Walter's crotch lasciviously. Walter sighed. It depressed him no end when Alex offered sex in exchange for forgiveness.

"No, Alex, we've discussed this before. This is not how you behave. Making love is an important part of how we show we care for each other. You do not have sex with me to avoid being punished. I thought that was clear?" Alex nodded ruefully.

"Come here now, Alex," Walter said. "Bring me the hairbrush."

Alex laid his head in Walter's lap and gave himself over to the familiar pleasure of having his hair brushed. One of the many things he loved about living with Walter was this soothing ritual. Usually, nothing made Alex feel safer. Today, though, the ritual's charm was insubstantial against the memory of the pale, cold man in the drugstore. Alex shivered involuntarily. No one was going to deprive him of this safe haven. No one. He snuggled closer to Walter.

"Alex, next time you go out when you're upset, I want you to tell me where you're going and for how long. I was worried about you," Walter said, continuing to brush Alex's hair.

"Understood, Alex?" Walter asked.

"Yes, Walter. I'm sorry," Alex whispered. Walter frowned. He disliked the idea of discussing punishment when Alex had had this bad a day, but he wanted to be sure he was clear.

"Alex. I need to know where you are. Especially when you're this upset. Tell me where you're going next time, or I will punish you. Understood?"

"Yes, Walter," Alex whispered, trembling a little. Walter put down the hairbrush and rubbed Alex's back soothingly.

"I'm not trying to frighten you, Alex. This is about keeping you safe. Shh, it's all right, I'm not angry with you. Easy, Alex, easy." Walter rubbed Alex's rigid shoulders slowly, trying to relax the tense muscles. Made himself comfortable on the couch and tucked Alex closer to him. Gradually, Alex's eyes closed and he slept.

Walter was lost in thought when the phone rang.

"Walter, it's Melvin. We need to talk. How short a leash do you have Alex on?"

"I don't quite know what you mean, Melvin. What's wrong?"

"Ringo bought some assault weapons today on line. Untraceable. No serial numbers. No license needed. Apparently Alex is going to teach him how to shoot. Walter, something's really off here. Alex has got Ringo going through local real estate transactions, running license plates and downloading schematics for cars. He's hunting, Walter. I don't know who or why, but Alex is hunting someone, and I don't think it's a game." Melvin's voice was grim. Walter gripped the phone so hard that his hand cramped.

"Jesus. Melvin, thank you. I'll be in touch. I need to talk to Alex right now." But how, Walter wondered? He hadn't a clue to what was going on with Alex. Since this morning when Alex had called him "sir" and asked him in all seriousness whether he was real, Walter had done nothing but worry about Alex. Now, looking at his sleeping lover lying trustingly in his lap, Walter couldn't imagine what was going on inside that beautiful head. As if sensing his gaze, Alex's eyes fluttered open.

"What's wrong, Walter?" he whispered anxiously.

"Assault weapons? Real estate titles? License plates? Car schematics? Who, Alex, who? Who's worth risking everything over?" As Walter's voice rose in frustration and fear, Alex cowered into a small heap of misery.

"Why don't you just go ahead and beat the fucking shit out of me now, Walter, if it'll make you feel better. I've got nothing to say! Nothing! OK?" He spoiled his defiant speech by sniffling abjectly. All Walter's anger dissipated at that one small sound. Walter had wanted to strangle Alex, or at the very least, spank him, purely from frustration. Now all he wanted was to hold Alex in his arms until the small, incoherent whimpers of fear ceased. But to help Alex, Walter would need answers.

"Who is it, Alex?" Walter asked.

"I don't know what you're talking about, Walter," Alex said, his voice very soft, his eyes very hard. Walter knew Alex was lying. He had interrogated enough suspects to feel quite confident about his instincts. And he also knew that Alex was probably never going to willingly tell him the identity of his target. For a moment, Walter was almost glad. He knew how lethal an assassin Alex could be. He was sure Alex would fool a polygraph test without a hitch, and that he, with his overdeveloped conscience, never could. Perhaps they would both be better off if he honestly didn't know anything when they found the body, Walter thought morbidly. Said conscience, and a lifetime in law enforcement, intervened.

"I think I'm going to have to spank you, Alex," Walter said softly. He knew instinctively that Alex needed to be punished, but he wasn't sure quite why. He sighed. This whole thing was backwards.

"Why don't you tell me what this spanking is for, Alex?" Walter asked, hoping Alex's answer would somehow provide some clues. Alex nodded sadly.

"OK, Walter," he said. Then, in a whisper, "For lying. For tricking Ringo into helping me. Please Walter, I'll tell him I'm sorry I got him in trouble. But don't make me tell him everything. Don't make me tell him I used him. I'm sorry. I'll never do that again. But I don't want him to know. I don't want him to hate me. Please, Walter? Please?" His tone showed how truly unhappy he was over having abused his friendship. Walter nodded.

"OK, Alex. For his sake, you understand? Because it would hurt him a lot, maybe more than you even realize. But you're going to take a few extra swats in exchange for me doing you this favor, understood?"

"Yes, Walter," said Alex in a subdued voice. Then, sadly, "I never got spanked when I was a kid. I got whipped. I got paddled. I got beaten with a belt. When I got older and I got transferred to the Englishman, I got caned. Those fucking canes. Oh god Walter, I hated those fucking canes. Walter, look I know you're going to spank me and I know I have it coming. But could you hold me first? Just this one time? Please..." His voice trailed off uncertainly, but his eyes stayed locked on Walter's face. Walter knew how much the request cost Alex.

"Of course, Alex," Walter said. "Come here." He hugged Alex gently. It wasn't enough for Alex. He curled himself into a tight ball, trying to fold himself into Walter's lap. Walter had never seen Alex do this before and it concerned him. It struck him that Alex was acting very, very young. Finally accepting that nothing short of a full, skin to skin body hug was going to do it for Alex, Walter gently shoved Alex from his lap.

"Upstairs, Alex," Walter said quietly. "Take it easy now. I'm not going to spank you when you're this upset. We're going to bed." He led Alex upstairs.

In the bedroom, Walter stripped off his shirt and jeans.

"Get undressed," he said softly to Alex, who obeyed silently. If Walter had known Alex less well he would have missed his slight quiver. As it was, it confirmed his worst fear, that Alex was really in free fall emotionally. Walter tilted the blinds closed, turned down the covers and slipped into the bed.

"Come here, Alex, " he coaxed. "Let me help you." Alex lay down cautiously on the far side of the bed. Pulling the covers over both of them, Walter rolled Alex to him. Maneuvered Alex's head onto his chest. Threw his leg over Alex's. Kissed his dark hair gently, rubbed his shoulders.

"It's all over now, Alex. Shh. You made it through. You survived. Shh. You're safe now, Alex. Shh, that's it, I'm here now. You're safe." Alex was absolutely silent, his eyes dry and distant.

"I know, Alex, I know. It was bad." Alex didn't seem to hear anything he said, Walter thought. Then, suddenly, he sagged against Walter and began to cry.

"It was him, Walter. The English bastard. He's here. I saw him when I got the paper. Oh god oh god oh god..." Alex cried harder, his words garbling as he sobbed bitterly.

"I hate him, Walter. I hate him so much. Make him go away, Walter, please. Just seeing him again hurts. Oh god Walter, the way he used to treat me. He hated me. He's a bastard, Walter. He liked hurting me. Please, Walter, I can't live like this, not knowing if I'll see him or not. I need him gone. I need this, Walter," Alex begged.

"You're mine," Walter said, wrapping his arms around Alex. "I won't let anybody hurt you again. I promise, Alex. You're safe with me. It's all right now. It's very, very good you told me." Alex sniffled.

"Are you still going to spank me?" he asked forlornly. Walter shook his head, too overcome with emotion to speak. Swallowed, got himself under control.

"Alex. Let's not talk about that now. You had an enormous shock. What you need to do now is rest. Take it easy. Let me handle this." Walter was already contemplating who he might call. Was the Englishman in some witness protection program, or had he evaded custody? In any case, Walter had banked a lot of favors during his FBI career. He would call some of them in, find out what the situation was, and proceed from there. Satisfied that this was a resolvable problem, Walter adjusted Alex's position so the Alex was cushioned comfortable alongside him.

"Sleep, Alex," he crooned, stroking his dark hair lightly. Alex lay motionless. What could Walter really do, he wondered? He repressed a shiver. I need the bastard gone, he thought. I need the bastard dead.

Walter awoke suddenly, disoriented, from a nightmare of shots and confusion. He shuddered, reached for Alex's warm body. Found only empty space.

Alex held the newly procured weapon close to his side. He watched the door, willing the man to appear. He remembered how much the man loved routines. If he had left his house early for the paper once, he would do it again.

Alex knew the safest, quickest thing would be to shoot him as he appeared. But something made him hesitate. He needed to speak with him. He needed to know.

The man opened the door. Silently, Alex materialized before him. The man squinted into the early morning light.

"Alex Krycek. It has been awhile," the Englishman said in his soft voice. "Does your G-man know you're playing with guns? " Alex started at the question. The Englishman smiled mirthlessly.

"Oh, yes, I've kept track of some of my favorites. I trust your early training makes you a pleasant diversion at least. Since you seem not to be working anymore."

Alex looked at the man blankly, unable to defend himself against the man's cruel assurance. The Englishman smiled urbanely.

"Not as pretty as you were, Alex, but still, there is something about you. Tell me, Alex, why are you still holding that weapon on me? Can you really be planning on killing me? I wasn't all that cruel to you. You were a very difficult young man. I had work that needed to be done, quotas to meet. Product to produce. You caused me a lot of trouble. Come now, were my little spankings really that bad? After all, I never fucked you myself. Not like Charles, hmm?"

Alex couldn't speak, couldn't move. The Englishman had counted on this. Still smiling, he slapped Alex cruelly across the face.

"Go away, Alex," he said. "I have nothing else to say to you." He turned and walked away.

Alex stood, stunned, his mouth bleeding from the blow. All those years and the man still got to him. He was unprepared for the combination of sick fury and terror he felt. He could kill the man. But what would Walter say? He looked at his weapon longingly. Touched his bleeding mouth. Felt himself falling away, past and present blurring. Walter. I need Walter. Walter will know what to do. He began to walk alongside the road. Walter. Home.

Walter had notified the Gunmen that Alex was missing. A guilt-ridden Ringo had taken the van out, intent on finding Alex. He had the list of recent house sales he had generated for Alex; decided to use those as a guide. To his enormous relief, he saw a familiar figure along the shoulder of the road near the second house on his list.

"Hey, Alex," called Ringo from the van. "Need a lift, buddy?" Alex eyed him blankly.

"Alex?" Ringo asked uncertainly. "Alex, are you OK?" Alex looked at him uncomprehendingly. Ringo drew on inner resources he hadn't suspected he possessed. He remembered how he had seen Walter and Melvin handle a stressed Alex, and tried his best to imitate their commanding tones.

"Alex. Get in the van. Now," Ringo said, trying to sound as if he knew what the fuck he was doing. Slowly, dazed, Alex walked to the van's open door. Stepped in and slumped wordlessly into the seat alongside Ringo.

Back at the bunker, Melvin helped Ringo half coax, half bully Alex out of the van. Ringo himself was close to tears. He had never seen anyone he cared about in a state like this in his life. It totally unnerved him.

Melvin pushed Alex's closed eyelids up gently with his forefinger. The green eyes were totally blank.

"Alex? Alex Krycek! Look at me, Alex," he said, relieved to see Alex's eyes refocus. "Jesus, Alex, you scared us."

"Don't tell Walter," Alex whispered. "Please, Melvin, he'll kill me! I won't be able to sit for the rest of my life. Oh shit, I should have known you'd stick together," he sighed, as Melvin held out the phone.

"Either you tell him, or I do," Melvin said. Alex sighed miserably.

"Walter? I did something bad. I can't tell you!" He thrust the phone back at Melvin and fled deeper into the cluttered bunker the Gunmen lived and worked in.

"Take it easy, Walter," Melvin said. "Your getting upset isn't going to help him any. I'll hold onto him until you get here. His face is bruised, but I don't think he's hurt badly physically. But whatever that bastard did or said left him totally disoriented. He was in orbit when Ringo brought him in. The quicker you can get here, Walter, the better."

Walter thanked Melvin and Ringo humbly and sincerely for having rescued Alex. Hugged Alex tightly.

"Damn you," he muttered, turning Alex's face to his and kissing him soundly despite his embarrassed efforts to squirm away.

"Go on, get in the car, Alex," Walter said. "We'll talk about this at home. Melvin, Ringo, I owe you both." Alex ducked his head and dropped his gaze, hearing the mixture of caring and aggravation in Walter's voice.

Home! Alex's sense of relief was short-lived. Walter took his good arm and marched him into the living room. Seating himself on the couch, he maneuvered Alex in front of him.

"So you went to see him alone, Alex? Without a word of where you were headed? Without any backup? Goddamnit, Alex, how purely stupid was that?" Walter said accusingly. Hurt by Walter's tone, Alex shrugged.

"About what you'd expect from a piece of shit like me, wouldn't you say?" Alex answered bitterly. Walter felt his heart break. It's too soon to spank him, he realized. I need to calm down. Alex needs time to recover before we do this.

"Alex. Alex, please, I'm sorry. Come here, it's all right, I love you. I have you now. You're safe, Alex, safe." As Alex came tentatively into his arms, Walter hugged him tightly. Smoothed the matted dark hair.

"OK, OK," Walter said tenderly, feeling Alex tremble tensely.

"Are you going to hurt me?" Alex whispered. Walter closed his eyes, tried not to react hastily. "Hurt." Again, Alex was back in the past. It was as if all those days and weeks and months of love and care counted for nothing. Angrily, Walter shook off the sense of despair he felt. Not true, not true, he told himself. Don't go there. If you let yourself believe that, those bastards in the Consortium have won. Alex needs you to believe he can get past this. Don't give in. Walter took a deliberate series of deep, centering breaths.

"I'll never hurt you, Alex," he said clearly and calmly. "And I know you know that. That's not what punishment is about."

"But I didn't do anything to him!" Alex wailed. "I left him alive, the fucking bastard!" Walter waited until Alex stopped screaming.

"That's not the point, Alex. I'm not punishing you for wanting to kill him. I'm punishing you for putting yourself in danger. That you didn't get hurt was sheer good luck." Alex shivered.

"He asked me if his 'little spankings' were that bad, Walter. They weren't spankings, Walter. They were beatings, with his fucking canes. He had these fucking rules. Count the strokes. Thank him. Don't beg. It hurt, Walter, it hurt, it hurt so bad. Please, Walter, please. I'm scared I'm scared I'm scared. I don't want you to spank me. Not now. Please, Walter? You said we had to agree. Please say it's OK if I don't agree. Oh, please..." Alex was crying softly. Walter stroked his hair, his heart aching for his lover.

"He did hurt me, Walter," Alex whispered. "All the time. I was bad, he punished me, and it hurt. Oh god did it hurt." Alex looked sick. Walter eased Alex's head gently into his lap.

"Shh, just stay with me now," he coaxed. "Shh, Alex, it's all right now. I've got you. You're safe." Walter ran his hand over Alex's lean body, glad to note that Alex turned trustingly, allowing Walter to pet and stroke him. Feeling Alex push into his hand, seeking more contact, Walter reminded himself how far his lover had come from the days when a gentle touch made him cringe in anticipated pain. Looking at Alex, he felt a wave of tenderness. Alex's good hand had crept between his lips and Alex mouthed it unconsciously. The gesture always reminded Walter forcefully of just how young emotionally Alex was, and how needy. Gently, Walter tugged Alex's hand free and substituted his own, cupping Alex's jaw in his palm, stroking his thumb gently over Alex's lips. Alex opened his mouth slightly and Walter let his thumb slip inside. Tugged Alex's jaw open, felt the sharp edges of his teeth.

The little ritual of trust meant a lot to both men. Alex relished the slightly scratchy feel of Walter's thumb on his inner lip, the gentle penetration, the way Walter's touch claimed his mouth for his own. Walter reveled in Alex's demonstration of tameness, how he allowed his lover to explore his mouth. Like a lion tamer putting his head in his lion's mouth, he thrilled to the knowledge that Alex would never bite him. It was good for Alex to know Walter trusted him so fully. The little ritual filled a lot of needs.

Finally, Walter withdrew his hand. Stroking Alex's cheek gently, he sighed. Alex stiffened.

"What are you going to do to me, Walter?" he asked fearfully.

"What should we do, Alex?" Walter asked. He looked lovingly, regretfully around the living room of the home they had invested so much effort into.

"Move?" Walter suggested. Alex looked shocked. He had been sure Walter was going to insist on spanking him.

"But you love it here, Walter," he said, confused. "You would hate moving. Running. No."

"Alex, I'm very serious. How bad is it for you, seeing him again? Having him living close by? Because I'm not going to have you hiding inside for the next however many years. And I'm not fielding any more emergency calls from Melvin. Alex. Alex, what were you thinking? Were you even thinking at all?" Walter shook his head.

Alex leaned over and pushed his head into Walter's groin. Began to nudge his zipper down with his teeth. Seducing Walter suddenly seemed a very attractive alternative to talking. He resisted Walter's careful but persistent efforts to shove his head aside. Walter didn't want to hurt Alex.

"Please, Alex. Not now," Walter said gently, knowing how desperate Alex was to do anything at all other than talk. Alex ignored Walter, knowing where this line of questioning was heading, and not wanting to go there. Walter hooked his hands under Alex's arms and rose to his feet, pulling his lover upright alongside him.

"No, Alex," he said very firmly. "It's time to talk. Let's keep this simple. I want that gun, along with any other weapons you have stashed. You do not go near him or his house again. You stay here, in our house or on our property, unless I specifically give you permission to go somewhere else. No walks. No visits to the Gunmen. No runs for newspapers, choocolate, ice cream, videotapes or anything else your clever little imagination can fabricate. You're grounded. Disobey me in this and I will definitely spank you. No more second chances. Is that absolutely clear?" Alex nodded.

"Do you agree you will follow these rules?" Alex nodded again.

"Do you understand that I will punish you if you disobey these rules even once? That I will spank you?" Alex nodded again.

"Why am I insisting on this, Alex?" Walter asked. Alex shrugged.

"Alex. That's not an answer," Walter said.

"To keep me safe," Alex whispered.

"That's right, Alex. To keep you safe. Tell me what we've agreed on, Alex. In your own words."

"I stay here unless you give me permission to leave," Alex said softly.

"Or?" Walter prompted.

"Or you will spank me. Hard, probably," Alex muttered sulkily. Walter laughed. He couldn't help it. Alex looked outraged.

"You've got that right, Alex," Walter said. "Now, if you're still interested, let's go upstairs. I can think of better uses than spanking for this." He patted Alex's ass suggestively.

With a relieved grin, Alex headed upstairs. Reaching their bedroom, he threw himself face down on the bed with a sigh. Walter closed the bedroom door behind them. Closed the blinds. The room was dusky and cool. Walter undressed slowly. Stretched out alongside Alex. Stroked Alex's tousled black hair gently, twirled his fingers through the short, soft hairs at the nape of Alex's neck. Brushing his hand up Alex's hair, he kissed the back of Alex's neck gently. Licked the salty skin. Trailed his hand between Alex's shoulder blades, down to his waist. Coaxed his shirt out of his pants. Tugged until Alex lifted his torso and allowed Walter to slip the garment off his arms, over his head. Walter smiled appreciatively at the sight of his lover's finely sculpted shoulders and almost hairless chest. Gently, Walter unstrapped the harness that held Alex's prosthesis in place, laid aside the artificial arm. Massaged the reddened spots where even the best-adjusted harness inevitably chafed. Alex took a deep breath.

"That's so good, Walter." Walter nuzzled his lover gently.

"Roll over, Alex," he coaxed. Alex sprawled loosely on his back, curious to see what Walter would do next. Walter straddled his waist, knees on either side, keeping his weight on his own muscular calves and thighs. Leaned forward, tangled his hand in Alex's hair and kissed his forehead softly. Kissed Alex's eyes, the tip of his nose. Alex laughed.

"Tickles, Walter. You're being silly!"

"Oh, am I?" Walter asked and kissed Alex fully on the mouth. Used his tongue to part Alex's lips. Welcomed Alex's tongue in his own mouth, sucking it gently until Alex shivered beneath him. Released Alex from the kiss, noting with satisfaction that his eyes were hazing over with pleasure. Watched Alex lick his lips reflexively. Turned his attention to Alex's darkening nipples. Tongued the tender flesh, used his fingers to coax goosebumps around the sensitive nubs. Alex arched his back and moaned, his cock rock hard against his jeans, beneath Walter's s thighs. Walter undid the button and zipper, eased jeans and boxers down Alex's narrow hips. Alex raised his buttocks helpfully, efficiently kicked his legs free of his clothing.

Walter adjusted Alex's heavy cock between them, running his finger around the head, across the sensitive tip. Spreading the clear fluid at the top over the silken surface with a knowing hand. Walter's own cock was full and rigid. Snagging the lube from the night table, Walter snapped the tube open one handed, coated his fingers in a practiced gesture, and stroking the puckered ring of muscle, began to work his index finger into Alex's tight ass. Alex groaned with pleasure and bore down, widening himself, wanting Walter inside him. Walter refused to be rushed. He massaged the tight opening carefully, inserting a second slick finger, as Alex writhed and pleaded for more.

"Shh, Alex, let me take care of you, you'll get all you need, I promise. That's it, relax, open for me now, good, that's it." Walter wanted to fuck Alex long and deep, and he wanted it to bring his lover only pleasure. For that to happen, Alex had to be very relaxed and very well prepared. Accordingly, Walter slowly worked more lube into the tight channel, at the same time playing with Alex's cock. Alex was panting with excitement when Walter finally lifted his legs over his shoulders and eased his slick, glistening cock deep, deep inside. Walter thrust slowly, gently, keeping his eyes on Alex's face, reassuring himself that Alex felt good, as he buried himself deeper and deeper inside his lover. Alex arched his back, gasping, as his cock pulsed and his cum spurted over his belly, his chest, Walter's chest. Walter smiled and allowed his own orgasm to take him. Alex moaned as Walter's hot cum made its way even deeper into him.

"Love you love you love you love you," Alex gasped. Walter quieted him with a gentle kiss.

"I love you, Alex," he said, slowly easing his now flaccid cock out of Alex. He rolled onto his back, pillowed Alex's head on his chest. Alex snuggled into the dark fur, inhaling the clean, familiar scent of his lover.

"Don't ever go away, Walter," he whispered.

"Never. What would I do without you, Alex?" Walter said. "I love you just so much." They fell into a blissful, sated sleep.

Alex awakened slowly. Walter had taken him gently and completely. Alex stretched; contracted his muscles. Walter had fucked him thoroughly. He felt altogether wanted. Altogether safe. Altogether possessed.

Lying on his back, Walter grinned with satisfied lust. Alex had lost himself in their lovemaking with enthusiasm. Walter doubted he himself had the energy to ever move again. Luckily, his Alex was within kissing range. He turned Alex to him, ran his tongue over Alex's luscious lips, savored the taste of the mouth that opened invitingly to him.

"Mine," Walter said with satisfaction. Alex nodded, his voice soft and sleepy.

"Only yours." Alex's eyes closed again. Walter held his sleeping lover carefully. He wondered at the miracle that Alex had walked away, leaving the Englishman standing. It wasn't that easy to take a life, he guessed. Except that it had been easy for Alex in the past, Walter realized. Yet this time, Alex had faltered. And though he had loved his murderous, ex-assassin lover without compunction, Walter suddenly realized how much he not only loved, but also respected this new incarnation of his lover, who had forgone his revenge on the man who had tormented him.

As if Walter's thoughts had somehow penetrated his dreams, Alex awakened, crying bitterly, choked sobs that were as painful to hear as they were to produce.

"He hurt me, Walter. So many times. I tried so hard to be good. He told me if I was good, he wouldn't hurt me. But he did hurt me, over and over. Walter, he loved it. When he beat me, his eyes were so bright. It was fun for him. It hurt so bad. He told me I deserved to suffer. That I was bad. That I would burn in hell." Alex closed his eyes, utterly done in by his memories. Walter rubbed his back, his own heart pounding, until Alex fell into an uneasy doze unlike his earlier relaxed sleep. Exhausted by the emotional roller coaster, Walter too slept lightly.

Walter bolted awake as Alex screamed, over and over. Walter called his name and shook Alex, not wanting to slap him awake. He finally managed to get

Alex to surface. Alex's eyes were distant and terrified.

"Am I going to hell, Walter?" Alex sobbed. "Am I going to hell?" As Walter watched, horrified, Alex's sobbing became gagging and he began to vomit, his absolute terror plain. Walter forced himself to move. He hugged Alex, trying to support his heaving body. To Walter's real shock, he recognized the sharp ammonia tang of urine mingling with the smells of vomit and sweat. This was bad.

Stripping Alex of the sodden sheets, Walter pulled the still dry comforter from the bed and wrapped Alex in it. Seating himself in the armchair in the corner, he rocked Alex in his arms like a child, murmuring promises he only hoped were true.

"No, Alex, no. You're good; nothing bad's going to happen to you. No, Alex, I promise, you'll be OK."

""He said I would burn in hell, Walter," Alex sniffled. "He said I'd never get out of the Consortium alive and that if I tried to kill myself again he would let me die. And that I'd burn in hell forever. That God punished murderers and suicides, worse even than what he'd done to me. Please, Walter, I'm so scared. Are you sure I'm not going to hell? Are you sure?"

"I'm sure," Walter said firmly, his chest tight with fury. To use religion that way was truly blasphemous. Poor Alex. No one had shown him any mercy. No wonder the concept of a merciful God was alien to him.

It was a long time before Alex quieted. He clung to Walter, pale and unhappy.

"Come on down to the kitchen with me, Alex," Walter said kindly, knowing Alex would find being left upstairs in his shaken state intolerable.

"We never had dinner. I'll make us some sandwiches, how does that sound?" Alex shrugged. His stomach hurt, his arm ached, and he wasn't hungry. But anything was better than being left upstairs alone.

Realizing there was no hope of conversation with Alex, Walter switched on the television, clicking to the local news. It looked exciting.

"The body of a local man was pulled from the burning wreckage of a luxury car earlier this evening. The victim was identified as a recently retired English gentleman new to the community. No additional information is available at this time," concluded the announcer. Alex stared, mesmerized, at the flames shooting from the car. Hell. He fled the room.

Walter heard Alex gagging in the bathroom. Mechanically, he helped Alex rinse his mouth. Stroked his hair. Wondered.

Alex was back in his nightmare, shaking, his teeth chattering.

"I'm scared, Walter, I'm scared of the fire. I don't want to go to hell, Walter. Please, please help me? Can you help me? Walter? Don't let him hurt me! Please, Walter, I'll be good. I promise, oh god Walter please...."

Walter was certain of only one thing. Alex was terrified. Putting his arm around Alex, he spoke soothingly.

"No, Alex, no, you're not going to hell. It's all right, Alex, I promise. No one's going to hurt you. Poor Alex, it's all right, I'm right here. Shh...Alex, what happened? Can you tell me?"

"I didn't do it, Walter! I swear I didn't. I wanted to, but I wasn't sure how. I studied the schematics, but I wasn't sure I could make it look like an accident. Please, Walter, I'm not lying, I'm not. You can beat the shit out of me if that'll make you believe me. Please, Walter, please, I didn't do it, I really didn't, oh Walter, you have to believe me, please Walter! Walter!!"

Alex began to scream. Back in Vietnam, Walter had seen a man cross the line from sanity to madness, and he recognized instantly that that was where Alex was hurtling. He grabbed Alex's shoulders, put his face in Alex's and shook him hard. Used every skill he had to force Alex to listen.

"Look at me, Alex," he demanded. "I said, look at me! Now! Alex! Look at me, right now! Good. Stop screaming. Good. Take a deep breath. Now. Alex, I said, breathe. Deep. Good." To his enormous relief, Alex stopped screaming. His breath came in short, rapid pants. Hugging him, Walter could feel how fast his heart was beating.

"Shh," Walter said, very calmly. "It's all right, Alex, I'm not going to let anything happen to you. You're safe, Alex, you're safe. Alex, breathe. Think. You're not the only one who had reasons to want him dead. Not even close to the most important."

The doorbell rang. Alex bolted for their bedroom; upstairs suddenly seemed safe. Walter answered the door. It was Melvin Frohike.

"Come in," Walter said. "We were just watching the news." Melvin looked at Walter for a long moment.

"Amazing, how little is really confidential these days, Walter. Especially government files. A lot of people would kill for the information in some of them."

Walter sat down suddenly on the couch, his head spinning.

"You know," Melvin said conversationally, "I never understood some of the Consortium's policies. Mulder. His father. Samantha. Fucked up leadership. But the files John found...let's just say the bastard deserved what he got. I just hope it wasn't quick." He punched Walter's shoulder lightly.

"Shit happens, Walter. Information gets out...it can't be helped. Alex's hands are clean." Melvin looked at Walter hard.

"Surely you've heard of the federal Freedom of Information Act, Walter, even though it's not your department. I only helped bring some files into compliance." Melvin gave his friend another gentle punch.

"Go up to Alex, Walter. He needs you."

"Melvin--" Walter said, then stopped. How could you thank someone for giving your lover his life back? I owe him forever, he thought.

"Thank you, Melvin."

"Walter. Alex was only a pawn. The game's over now. Let it go."

Alex was remaking the bed with fresh linens when Walter came upstairs.

"I'm so sorry, Walter," he whispered. "For everything. Spank me, Walter. Please." He sounded almost eager.

"Is that what you want, Alex?" Walter asked.

"What I need," whispered Alex, almost inaudibly. I'm just so tired..." Walter took in Alex's pale face, the dark smudges under his green eyes. He was tired, too.

"Tomorrow," he decided. "Right now, Alex, we're just going to sleep."

"I love you, Walter," Alex whispered gratefully. Walter stretched out, drew Alex to him, and both men subsided into exhausted sleep.

Alex scowled at the bright morning sun. Now that the day of reckoning was here, he was a lot less sure he wanted this spanking. Walter made coffee, poured juice, put out cold cereal and milk. He seemed his usual cheerful and relaxed self. Well, why not, thought Alex sourly, poking at his cereal. He's not about to be spanked.

Walter correctly read the emotions flitting over Alex's face. He tactfully refrained from reminding Alex that this spanking had been his idea. Walter knew that Alex craved firm boundaries, and that although he hated being spanked, he loved the security of knowing Walter would enforce his limits. Being let off a punishment only unnerved Alex, Walter reminded himself. Walter would have been just as glad to write this spanking off.

Breakfast finished, Alex followed Walter reluctantly into the living room. Walter seated himself on the sofa. Alex stood before him, eyes downcast. Walter took Alex's good hand.

"Alex," Walter said calmly, "I am going to spank you. You need to understand that you are never, never to do anything this risky again. You're not alone anymore. You can come to me if there's a problem. You do not carry a weapon. You do not go off on your own without telling me what you're planning. Imagine what would have happened if the police had gotten involved, Alex. With your previous record, carrying an illegal weapon could land you in prison for life. I'm serious, Alex. You have to think. You have to talk to me. If you won't do it for yourself, do it for me. I love you, Alex. I need you. I don't want to lose you. If you're not going to be sensible for your own sake, be sensible for mine. And because you enjoy sitting comfortably, which you won't when I'm done spanking you, that I can promise. Do you agree you deserve to be spanked?" Alex gulped.

"Yes, Walter," he said bravely.

"Then tell me what this spanking is for," Walter said sternly. Alex gulped again.

"This is for everything, right? For running to Ringo without first talking to you. For tricking Ringo into helping me. For carrying a weapon. For going to the Englishman on my own. For not thinking about what the fuck could happen to me. For not thinking about how my behavior could affect you." Then, softly, "You love me, Walter, right? That's why you're punishing me?" Walter swallowed hard. He waited a moment to be sure his voice was steady.

"Yes, Alex. I am punishing you because I love you and I want you to be safe. This is for everything. This clears the slate. Come now, Alex. Jeans and boxers off all the way. Over my lap. That's it." He rubbed Alex's lower back gently, made sure he was positioned securely. That his damaged arm was well supported.

Taking a deep breath, Walter brought his bare hand down hard across Alex's fine white ass. He was determined to make this spanking memorable. The depths of Alex's disregard for his own safety had shocked him. Walter covered the pale buttocks with sharp, methodical smacks, watching the flesh redden.

Alex was breathing hard. Walter continued to apply his hand to the now rosy butt, each smack turning Alex's glowing bottom an even darker shade of red. Alex was crying in earnest, his discomfort clear. Still Walter continued to spank him.

"Please Walter, no more," Alex begged. "Please, I'm sorry, I'll be careful, I promise. No more Walter, please it hurts. No more." Walter rested his red, aching palm against Alex's red, aching rump.

"OK, Alex, OK. Take it easy now. It's all over. Shh, that's it, come here, I got you." He helped Alex straighten up. Hugged him tightly, mindful of his tender bottom. Alex buried his tear-stained face into Walter's chest, soaking his shirt. Walter stroked his damp hair lovingly.

"All over. All forgiven. You were very, very brave, Alex," Walter said. "You can be very proud of yourself."

"You think so?" Alex sniffled. "You don't think I'm a fucking asshole to let you do this to me?" Walter turned Alex's face so that their eyes met.

"I think you're a very brave, very special man. I'm honored that you trust me to set limits for you. I love you more than anyone or anything in the world." He kissed Alex gently.

Alex continued to cry, but they were good tears, necessary tears.

"I love you, Walter. I never thought anyone would ever love me. I never even imagined anyone would ever take care of me." He snuggled closer to Walter.

"I'm glad he's dead, Walter."

"So am I," Walter said grimly. Gradually, Alex's breathing steadied.

"Do you want juice, Alex?" Walter asked. Alex shook his head.

"Take me upstairs, Walter. Please. I need you." Carefully, Walter helped Alex to his feet.

Walter undressed and stretched himself full length on the bed, shoving an extra pillow under his head. Alex removed his tee shirt and curled sideways next to Walter. He winced as Walter gently checked his scarlet bottom.

"Ow," Alex said sulkily. "Stop that." Walter ruffled Alex's hair affectionately. The two men lay side by side in companionable silence. Alex was soon hard, his cock straining against his flat stomach. Alex touched Walter's cock experimentally, tilted his head questioningly.

"Come here, Alex," Walter said gently. He kissed Alex deeply, lingeringly.

"Let me do this for you." Walter wet his palm, took Alex's cock in his hand. Stroked him slowly, firmly, until Alex's back arched and his cum covered Walter's hand.

"Oh god Walter, I needed that so bad," Alex gasped. Walter grinned wryly.

"So I noticed. You are inexhaustible, Alex."

"Not so," Alex protested. "I'm exhausted now, Walter. Hold me?" Walter took Alex in his arms and smiled with satisfaction as Alex snuggled into his embrace.

"I've got you, Alex. Go to sleep. You're safe now."

"I love you, Walter. I'm all yours." The green eyes closed trustingly. Walter shook his head ruefully. Caring for Alex was a full time job. He stroked his lover's dark hair lightly, traced the fine cheekbones, the dark lashes. Already half asleep, Alex smiled at his gentle touch.

"All yours," Alex whispered.

Walter waited until Alex's breathing deepened, then eased himself free and headed for the kitchen. In his experience, a well spanked, well loved Alex usually awakened hungry. He knew just what would tempt Alex's uncertain appetite.

Humming to himself, Walter began assembling lunch.



Untitled Return to Elizabeth Marshall Stories Home