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


Trust Someone

Midnight, dark and still.

Stealthily, Alex slipped from Walter's arms and rolled from their warm bed. He fished for his sweats; dressed swiftly and quietly.

"S'matter, Alex?" Walter asked. "What time is it?" He turned to look at the clock.

"Let me go on line awhile, Walter? I'm really not tired."

"Forget it, Alex. It's the middle of the night; come back to bed." Walter's tone brooked no argument. With a sigh, Alex lay down again. He twisted uncomfortably.

"Settle down, Alex," Walter said, his voice warm and soft. They had just made love. Walter felt sleepy and sated. He looked at Alex's tense, strained face.

"Your arm's bothering you," Walter said quietly. "How bad is it?"

"Hurts," Alex said miserably. Walter stroked his dark hair gently.

"Come here, Alex, I'll rub your shoulder for you," he said wearily. Alex looked at him despairingly, lines of pain around his eyes and mouth.

"It doesn't help, Walter. It hurts all the time," he said piteously. Walter cupped Alex's jaw in his hand.

"It's been worse ever since your good hand was bitten, hasn't it?" Walter asked. Alex looked away.

"No?" he said tentatively.

"You need to see the doctor again, Alex. This isn't any good. Shh, I know you don't want to," he added soothingly, feeling Alex's shiver. "Stay in bed. I'll be right back."

Walter padded downstairs. He poured a hefty shot of rum into a tumbler and brought it up to Alex.

"Here, drink this. Medicinal purposes."

Alex gulped it down, made a face. Rum was his least favorite drink, which was why Walter had chosen it. The alcohol would ease the pain; the taste would make sure Alex wouldn't make a habit of it.

"We'll figure this out tomorrow morning," Walter promised. "Try to sleep now." He plumped the pillows, arranged Alex carefully so that his damaged arm was adequately supported and free of pressure. Stretched out alongside Alex, traced his eyebrows with a gentle finger. Stroked his hair back from his forehead.

"Sleep, Alex. Everything's going to be all right. Sleep."

Alex swallowed hard. Closed his green eyes.

"Hurts, Walter."

"I know, Alex, I know. We'll get you better, I promise. Sleep."

Neither man slept well. Breakfast was a somber meal. Alex clung to his coffee mug like a drowning man to a life preserver. Walter downed two cups in quick succession, wincing as his stomach protested. Ulcer be damned; he needed to wake up.

"I'm making appointments with Dr. Lebeau, Alex. For both of us."

"No, Walter," Alex said implacably. "Make one for yourself; it's probably a good idea. I'm not going."

"Alex, I know you hate doctors. But you saw Dr. Lebeau before, when you got bitten. He's a decent man. If he can help you get some relief from the pain, wouldn't that be good?"

"I'm not going to a doctor, Walter."

"This is not negotiable, Alex. You are going to see Dr. Lebeau. Tomorrow. Defy me on this and I will definitely spank you." Walter knew he sounded mean, but he couldn't think of any other way to ensure Alex cooperated in his own care. He knew too well how fast and deep Alex could sink in a maelstrom of pain.

Alex shook his head numbly. His arm hurt, his feelings were hurt and he sure as hell didn't want his butt to hurt, too.

Fuck you, Walter, he thought silently. Fuck you.

Walter reached for the kitchen phone, dialed the doctor's number. It took a few minutes negotiating with the receptionist to work out a mutually convenient appointment for the next morning. By the time Walter looked up, the small task completed, Alex had vanished. From the table, from the kitchen, from the house.

Goddamn him, Walter thought. He put in a reluctant call to the Gunmen. Alex wasn't at the bunker.

When I catch him, I am going to kill him. He is not going to sit down until next week.

Walter cleared the table with angry efficiency. Glanced at the clock.

Alex had better be back by this afternoon, or I'll make that next month.

The Gunmen shared Walter's concern. Melvin had a strong suspicion he knew where to find Alex.

Despite the morning sunshine, the inside of the bar was dark. Melvin squinted across the room at the dark-haired man tossing back shots of vodka and sighed.

"Alex," Melvin said softly, careful to announce his approach. "Just how long did you plan on hiding out here?"

"I don't know," Alex said, tossing back another glass of vodka. "Forever might be good. Or at least till I'm so drunk I won't feel a fucking thing when Walter spanks me."

"He'll probably put it off until you sober up," Melvin pointed out.

Alex groaned.

"Shit. " He was silent. "I'm in it up to my neck, huh?"

Melvin nodded.

"I hate doctors, Melvin. I don't see why Walter gets to make me go. And he wasn't fair. I said no nicely, and he just got mad. Shit. I hate this."

"He hates seeing you suffer, Alex. No one likes seeing someone they love in pain, but Walter's particularly concerned because the last time it got this bad, you ended up with a broken arm. What is it about doctors, Alex?"

Alex shrugged.

"I hate them. Why the fuck can't Walter understand that?"

"What about them do you hate, Alex?"

"They're pricks, Melvin, all of them, with their fucking white gowns, their fucking instruments, their fucking latex gloves. They don't give a shit about anyone. My fucking arm hurts so bad. All I need are some good drugs; Walter fucking knows that. He could get them from Scully! Why the fuck do I have to go the whole nine yards? That fucking prostate exam... After everything I've done, can you believe that some doctor putting a finger up my ass scares the shit out of me? I'm a fucking asshole." He grinned mirthlessly at the awkward epithet.

"So tell the doctor, 'no prostate exam,'" said Melvin.

"I can do that?" Alex asked. He looked surprised.

"Alex, it's your body. You may be the patient, but you're also the customer. You write the check. You can refuse any treatment you don't want." Melvin shook his head.

"It wasn't that way when I was coming up. And I bet Walter won't see it that way, either," Alex said miserably.

"Alex, this is something you can negotiate with Walter. Tell him what you're afraid of. Tell him what you just told me. Come on now, let me drop you home. Alex. I really don't want to have to call Walter and tell him I found you here."

"Shit." Alex ran his good hand over his face, raked his hair out of his eyes.

"Come on, Alex. I'll take you home."

Docilely, Alex let Melvin lead him to his ancient Honda.

"Thank God," Walter said fervently, seeing Melvin and his reluctant passenger pull up.

Alex brushed past Walter, into the house and up the stairs without a word or a look for either him or Melvin.

"Thank you, Melvin," Walter said heavily. "Sometimes I wonder if I know what the hell I'm doing."

Melvin hesitated a moment.

"He's shit scared," Melvin grimaced. "Trust yourself, Walter, you know what's best for him." Melvin clapped Walter affectionately on the shoulder.

Shaking his head ruefully, Walter closed the door behind Melvin. Alex must have been in bad shape, for Melvin to look so concerned. Walter took a series of deep breaths, wanting to center himself. Then, slowly, he mounted the stairs to the second floor.

Walter stepped into their bedroom; did a double take at the empty bed. Heard rustling beneath it.

What the hell? This was unexpected; there was no reason for Alex to overreact this way.

"Alex, I know damn well you're under there," Walter said shortly. "Out! You have a spanking coming and you know it."

Alex emerged from under the bed.

"Shit, Walter. I really wish you weren't going to spank me."

"You sure as hell should have thought of that before you ran off. What did you think I was going to do when I found you, Alex? Come here, let me look at you." Walter took Alex's good arm and pulled him into a firm hug.

Alex pressed closer, thrusting his groin against Walter's. Alex was hard; Walter stiffened in response. A cocky grin suffused Alex's face.

"Sure you want to spank me, Walter? Maybe there's something else you'd like to do with my ass?" Alex rubbed his hand over the bulge in Walter's jeans and dropping to his knees, used his teeth to tug at the zipper. Moaned.

Walter froze at the sound.

Shit. Goddamnit to hell. He does it so easily. Alex, you faker, I am going to kill you.

"Cut it out, Alex," Walter said softly, lacing his fingers through the dark hair. "I mean it. Stand up now."

Alex was not so easily deterred. He pressed his lips against the seam of Walter's jeans, exhaled a warm, moist breath.

"No." Walter tugged Alex's hair a little harder. "I'm not kidding around, Alex. Up. Now."

With a groan and a scowl, Alex obeyed.

"You're no fucking fun, Walter," he complained.

"And you're not being fair. You don't use sex to avoid being punished. We've discussed this before, Alex." Walter's voice was cold. He found Alex's willingness to use their sexual connection to manipulate him unnerving. Alex tilted his head, hearing the undertone of anger in Walter's voice.

"Walter?" Involuntarily, Alex shivered. "I know we talked about this, but I don't get it. What did I do that's so bad?" he asked hesitantly.

Alex's tentative question tore at Walter's heart. Perhaps Alex's hiding under the bed and then attempting to seduce him was not just Alex being manipulative?

Walter caught his breath sharply. Ah, goddamnit, he'd almost missed it. Alex really was scared. The hard cock he had felt when he had embraced Alex was the adrenaline fueled fear response Alex had learned young to translate into sexual arousal.

Walter felt the familiar, sick fury the realization of the damage the Consortium had done to Alex always inspired, followed by an intense need to comfort and care for his wounded lover.

"Come here, Alex," Walter coaxed. He drew Alex towards the bed, snagging the hairbrush from the dresser as he did so. Easing Alex down, he gently settled Alex's head into his lap as Alex curled his legs up on the bed. Walter began slowly to brush Alex's silky black hair, in a wordless gesture of apology and protectiveness. Alex moaned again, but this time the slight sound was genuine and expressive.

"I'm not going to go to see Dr. Lebeau, Walter," Alex said softly.

"Yes you are, Alex," Walter said, without pausing the soothing strokes of the brush. "You're in pain. He can help."

"I don't want him to touch me, Walter," Alex said. Then, very softly, "Melvin said I could tell him not to touch me. If you said it was OK," Alex added diffidently.

Walter was puzzled. How the hell did Melvin figure that the doctor could examine Alex's arm without touching him? Walter hesitated. "Touch," there was something in the way Alex said "touch"...ah. Not the arm, then.

"Touch you how, Alex?" Walter asked gently, knowing the answer in his gut.

"My ass...his finger...you know," Alex said shyly, his voice breathy and uncertain.

Walter continued to smooth Alex's black hair with the brush, willing his voice to be steady when he spoke. Alex sounded like a frightened child. What those bastards did to him, Walter thought sickly.

"All right, Alex. If skipping the prostate exam will make the rest of the exam easier for you, then by all means, tell the doctor "no."

Alex sighed heavily, resentfully.

"How the fuck did you and Melvin learn all this shit, Walter?" Alex asked sulkily. He scowled. "I know how to take out anyone. I know how to get answers out of anyone. I can fucking get in anyplace. And they never taught me anything that's worth shit to me now. Motherfuckers. " Alex shook himself like a dog coming out of the rain. Walter almost expected to see drops of anger and frustration spray off him like water.

"Fuck them, fuck all of it," Alex muttered. "I don't give a shit anyway." But the naked despair in his voice belied his angry words.

Walter continued to brush the dark hair, now smooth and glossy from his careful ministrations. As he'd hoped when he began, Alex's tight body was relaxing as the familiar rhythmic strokes continued. Alex seemed to derive enormous comfort from this simple ritual.

I wish I didn't have to spank him, Walter thought wistfully, but I do. He cannot run off like that.

Always adept at reading Walter, Alex lifted his head from Walter's lap. His eyes met Walter's.

"You're still going to spank me, aren't you? "Alex whispered, abashed.

Walter felt his chest contract at the mixture of trust and resentment he heard in Alex's voice.

"You know I am, Alex." Walter took a deep breath and held out his hand.

Alex let Walter lead him downstairs.

Seating himself on the couch, Walter maneuvered Alex before him. He wanted to be sure Alex was clear on why he was being punished.

"Tell me what you think this spanking is for, Alex."

"You're mean and you hate me," Alex said sulkily.

"Second time, Alex. Why am I spanking you?"

"Because I don't want to go to the fucking doctor." Alex glared at Walter.

"Try again, Alex."

"Fuck you, Walter, just do it already," Alex said bitterly.

Walter sighed, trying to remain patient. He reminded himself of just how frightened Alex was of doctors. Alex dropped his eyes.

"Shit, Walter. Sorry. You need to know where I am. I'm not allowed to run off by myself, especially when I'm upset." Alex fumbled at the button to his jeans. "Shit, I can't--"

"Shh, Alex," Walter soothed, restraining Alex's good hand. "Let me help you?"

Alex nodded. Walter carefully undid his button and zipper, eased the jeans down Alex's narrow hips. Alex shuddered.

"Are you going to hurt me, Walter?"

The question was almost inaudible. Walter sighed again. It had been a long time since Alex had needed to ask that question; that he did now demonstrated, more clearly even than the attempted seduction and the hiding under the bed, just how upset Alex was.

"I'll never hurt you, Alex. You do know that. My hand, only my hand. But you need to remember that no matter how upset you are, you Do Not run away from me, Alex. Over my knee now, that's it." Walter eased Alex down. Hooked his finger under the waistband of Alex's boxers and sent them after his jeans. Ran his hand gently over Alex's lower back, seeking the slight depression at the top of his buttocks. Massaged the tender spot carefully.

Alex took a deep gulp of air. Walter traced knowing, reassuring circles on his back; his muscled thighs felt solid and warm. There was comfort in knowing Walter had him firmly in hand. Alex's breathing steadied. He was safe. He was loved. He was Walter's.

"I'm going to spank you now," Walter warned. Without even a second's hesitation, he cracked his palm down across the fine pale buttocks. One hard spank followed another in a series of sharp stinging swats that reddened Alex's fair skin and left no doubt in his mind that Walter was seriously unhappy with him.

Alex sniffled. Being spanked always hurt even more than he remembered.

Walter gritted his teeth. Alex's small, unhappy sounds made him want nothing more than to take Alex in his arms and soothe the hurt away. However, Alex needed this punishment. Needed to remember this the next time he was tempted to take off. Needed to know that there were limits, that he was no longer alone.

"You do not take off, Alex. You do not run away from me. You talk to me when you're upset." Walter accompanied each sentence with a series of crisp, rapid spanks that emphasized every word.

It hurt to be spanked, and it hurt even more to know he deserved it. Alex began to cry.

Walter forced himself to finish one final circuit of spanks; rested his very sore hand on Alex's very sore rump.

"All done, Alex. It's all over. Easy now, I've got you."

Walter carefully helped Alex slide to his knees and straighten up. He hugged Alex tightly. Alex buried his face in Walter's shoulder.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Alex wept. "I was coming back, Walter. I wasn't running away."

"I still need to know where you are, Alex." Walter pressed Alex gently back on the couch, adjusting his position so that he rested easily on his side. He traced the tear tracks on Alex's cheeks sadly.

"I'm going to get you a drink and a washcloth."

Alex's eyes widened anxiously.

"Easy, Alex," Walter reassured him, "I'll be right back."

Alex nodded fractionally. He could feel his heart pounding.

True to his word, Walter returned swiftly with a half glass of ginger ale and a dampened dishtowel. Seating himself on the couch, he propped Alex upright against him. Helped steady Alex's hand as Alex sipped the sweet soda gratefully.

Walter mopped Alex's sodden face. The mixture of sweat, tears and snot bore mute witness to just how distressed Alex was. It was seldom that he cried so unrestrainedly.

"Come, Alex, upstairs now. That's it, Alex, I've got you."

Walter shepherded Alex into their bedroom. He tugged Alex's tee shirt over his head, carefully released his prosthesis. Shed his own shirt, slipped off his jeans and boxers. Backed Alex towards the bed. Alex resisted sitting down, shaking his head mutinously.

"Walter, no, I'm too sore," he protested.

"I won't ever let you get hurt, Alex," Walter reassured him. Lying back on the bed, he drew Alex over him like a blanket, face down.

"My Alex." Walter ran his hand lightly over Alex's hot backside, feeling him flinch at even the gentle contact.

"Poor Alex," Walter said, kissing him lightly.

Alex's mouth opened in pleased surprise, and Walter sucked gently on his tongue. Alex shuddered with pleasure.

"First you spank me, now you're making me hard. You're fucking with my head, Walter," Alex groused. "Come on, isn't there another part you want to fuck with?"

"Come here, Alex. Let's see what you've got." Walter rolled over, depositing Alex next to him. Lying on their sides, the two men explored each other's bodies. Careful touches led to deeper caresses, more intimate and more intense. Walter captured both their hard cocks in his hand, working them against each other until the increasing friction had Alex's back arched and his breathing roughened. Shifting his grip to Alex's cock, Walter brought him to a shuddering orgasm with a few knowing strokes. As Alex panted, exhausted, his head on Walter's shoulder, Walter brought himself off quickly and efficiently. Heaved a deep sigh of mingled relief and satisfaction.

"Love you, Walter," Alex mumbled, pressing soft, desultory kisses onto Walter's sweat glazed skin. "I'm yours, right?"

"All mine, Alex. I love you," Walter said, rubbing his cheek against Alex's thick black hair. "Mine forever."

"Walter? Please, please don't make me go to the doctor," Alex said softly. "My arm's really not that bad."

"This isn't negotiable, Alex," Walter said firmly. He tipped Alex's head so that their eyes met. "I know how scared you are of doctors. You don't make good decisions where they're concerned. Last time I let you refuse medical attention and you ended up with a broken arm. You're too afraid of doctors to think logically about this. I'm not giving you a choice this time, Alex. You are going to the doctor. Tomorrow. Period. "

"I'll go because you want me to, Walter," Alex said resignedly. "That's the only reason. Just so that's clear."

"That's my good Alex." Walter snuggled Alex against him, pulling the covers over his shoulders.

On the edge of sleep, Alex tried once more to make Walter understand.

"The doctors hurt me. They tied me down and they touched me, Walter. I-I cried. They didn't even notice. I didn't exist for them. They hurt me bad, Walter."

Walter rocked Alex gently, willing his muscles to remain soft, willing his voice to stay steady.

"It's all over, Alex. Think. You know Dr. Lebeau was not one those doctors. No one will ever hurt you like that again."

"You're going to let the doctor touch me."

"Touch, Alex. Not hurt. Touch."

"All right," Alex said doubtfully, sleepily. "I don't like this at all, Walter. I really don't."

Walter stroked Alex's hair, rubbed his back, made soothing noises, and finally, Alex slept.

So many layers, Walter thought sickly. Alex had been a test subject, and the Consortium's doctors had conducted the experiments with no thought for his pain and fear. Alex had been abused, and the Consortium's doctors had shrugged at his tears and bruises. Alex had been tortured, and the Consortium's doctors had seen to it that he stayed conscious to feel it.

I would hate doctors, too, Walter thought bitterly, falling into a troubled, restless sleep.

Breakfast was quiet and quick. Alex merely rearranged his food into new piles. Walter didn't have the energy to reprimand him.

"Alex," Walter reminded him softly, "We're doing this because you're in pain. Let's see if Dr. Lebeau can't give you some relief."

"How the fuck did you get an appointment so quickly, anyway?" Alex looked at Walter, bemused.

"He had a cancellation." Walter sighed. There wasn't going to be an easy way to do this. "Car, Alex. We need to get going."

As they pulled up in the doctor's parking lot, Alex huddled deeper into his seat. Walter took a deep breath.

"Come on, Alex, be good now," Walter coaxed.

Reluctantly, Alex unfolded himself and followed Walter into the building. The peculiar scent of medical offices, compounded of alcohol, sweat and acetone, assaulted their nostrils. Alex flashed a blinding, flirtatious smile at every man and woman he passed. Walter winced at Alex's automatic display, well aware that Alex was terrified.

Walter considered whether a quick trip to the privacy of the men's room and a few well-placed swats would settle Alex, but decided not to risk it. It might work. It might equally well send Alex into the stratosphere.

"I'm Walter Skinner. This is Alex Krycek. We have appointments with Dr. Lebeau," Walter told the receptionist. Alex stood silent, his eyes blank and fever bright.

"You can go ahead in, Mr. Krycek," said the receptionist. Alex looked pleadingly at Walter, plucked at his wrist.

"Walter? Walter, come with me," Alex whispered.

"Dr. Lebeau prefers to see his patients alone," the receptionist said.

"Oh, no." Alex turned away abruptly, narrowly avoiding colliding with Dr. Lebeau.

"Mr. Krycek? Do you want Mr. Skinner to stay with you?" Dr. Lebeau asked gently, watching Alex's face carefully.

"Yes, sir."

Walter winced. Sir. Always a bad sign with Alex.

Alex stood stiffly, his breathing audible, his face pale. His eyes fixed on something only he could see. Dr. Lebeau studied Alex for a long moment.

"Mr. Krycek? Look at me, please?" Dr. Lebeau asked softly. There was no response. "Walter, you do realize we have a problem here?"

Walter nodded grimly. He took Alex's good arm and guided him into the examination room. Dr. Lebeau followed, shutting the door behind him.

"I could sedate him and examine him while he's out," Dr. Lebeau offered tentatively. "I've done it at times, with profoundly retarded patients. It's not ideal, but it's a viable option."

"I can't agree to let you take away the last vestige of control Alex has over his body, no matter how good your intentions. I don't have that right. I don't want you to examine him that way," Walter objected.

The doctor studied the two men, hoping his instincts would guide him to another solution. Alex Krycek's abject fear made him seem very young. The doctor remembered how Alex had huddled quietly in Walter's embrace while his dog bite wound was treated.

"See if he'll stay calm if you hold him, Walter."

Walter swallowed hard. He seated himself and drew Alex into his arms and onto his lap.

"Mr. Krycek," the doctor began. Walter shook his head.

"Alex. He'll respond better to Alex," Walter said softly.

"Alex, can you understand me?"

"Yes, sir," Alex whispered. Walter's lips tightened. Sir. Again. Damn.

Alex eyed the doctor nervously as he snapped a small plastic cone onto a pointed metal instrument. Dr. Lebeau held the otoscope out to Alex.

"This lets me check your ears and nose. All you'll feel is a bit of pressure. Turn your head please, Alex."

Quite suddenly Alex knew he was going to die here.

"Deep breaths, Alex," Dr. Lebeau said, "I promise not to touch you until you're ready."

Alex shivered violently. The doctor stepped back. Time for another approach.

"Walter, I think it might help Alex if he watched me do your physical. Would that be all right with you?"

"Of course," Walter said.

"Why doesn't Alex take the chair, and you can hop up onto the table," Dr. Lebeau suggested.

"All right, Alex?" Walter asked, pushing Alex gently out of his lap and standing up.

"Sure. Fine," Alex said, in a flat tone that Walter unhappily recognized as the detached style that had served Alex so well in his past life as a Consortium assassin.

"Here Alex, hold these for me?" Walter handed his wire-rimmed glasses to Alex, who took them tentatively, turning them meditatively in his hand. He knew how little Walter saw without them. Having them off left Walter very vulnerable. Alex shivered again.

Alex watched with horrified fascination as the doctor retrieved the otoscope, turned Walter's head to the side and inserted the evil-looking instrument into Walter's ear.

Alex gagged involuntarily; forced the bile down hard. Walter and the doctor exchanged strained glances. They both recognized the slight sound.

"I'm OK, Alex," Walter said softly. "Are you?"

"Whatever," Alex muttered, trying to sound indifferent. Shit.

The doctor looked back and forth between the two men.

"Get undressed please, Walter, and put the gown on, opening to the back. I'll be back in a few minutes," he said, tactfully leaving the room.

"Are you all right, Alex?" Walter asked again, very gently. Moving slowly so as not to spook his lover, Walter slipped his arms around Alex and hugged him. He could feel Alex's heart pounding. Alex was terrified.

"You do it like it's nothing," Alex said bitterly. Walter took a deep breath.

"It is nothing for me, Alex," he tried to explain. "I don't have your memories."

"The doctors let them hurt me, Walter. So many times. You don't understand. You'll never understand. They could have made the pain stop, but they never did. I hate doctors, Walter, I fucking hate them," Alex said, his voice trembling with intensity.

Walter sighed. They had been over this ground before. It was harder for Alex to forgive the doctors who had chosen not to intervene, than to forgive his actual torturers. In the constantly shifting power alliances within the Consortium, screwing over a former comrade-at-arms was all in a day's work. Who Alex resented were the doctors, seemingly autonomous, who had overseen the experiments, allowed the abuse, facilitated the torture. Who had willingly bowed their necks for the Consortium's yoke.

Walter tucked Alex's head against his chest, rubbed his back and shoulders soothingly.

"Remember why we're here, Alex. You need to get some relief for your pain. Stay in the present. Remember the breathing exercises we practiced? That's it, inhale..."

Walter had always been suspicious of what he considered New Age snake oil, but there was no question that the therapist's breathing exercises helped calm and ground Alex. Even as Walter began to count out the now familiar rhythm, Alex's breathing steadied. Walter felt Alex's tight muscles softening under his hands. Finally, Alex took a deep breath and looked at him.

"You think I'm an asshole, Walter?" Alex asked softly.

"No, Alex, no. You're a brave man. I'm proud of you."

Dr. Lebeau reentered the room just as Walter finished changing into the blue exam gown.

"Shall we continue?" he asked cheerfully. "Walter?"

Walter nodded his agreement. As Alex watched, his face blank, Dr. Lebeau widened Walter's open mouth with a tongue depressor and checked his throat. Used his stethoscope to listen to Walter's chest and back. Had Walter lie down on the table and palpated his abdomen.

"OK, Walter, roll over on your side and bring your knee up, I want to check your prostate."

Alex licked his lips reflexively as the doctor rolled on a fresh latex glove, lubricated his finger and entered Walter. His own asshole contracted in sudden fear. For Walter to submit to this...

"All done," the doctor said. Walter sat up. He saw Alex's expressionless face and realized that Alex was overwhelmed.

"Alex," Walter said. "Alex, look at me now. Can you do that?"

Alex's eyes were bleak and dark.

Walter sighed. Alex was almost beyond reaching at this point. The only thing to do now was to mitigate the damage.

"Give us another few minutes, Doctor," Walter said quietly. "Please."

Dr. Lebeau looked back and forth from Walter to Alex and shook his head unhappily.

"I'm not going to be able to examine him today, Walter. I'm sorry. Alex has to decide if he wants to do this. I'm not going to be able to examine him unless he's able to cooperate."

Walter nodded sadly.

"I'm sorry, Doctor. I thought he could do this. It was my mistake."

"Walter. You did your best; so did Alex. So did I. We'll try it another time." Dr. Lebeau met Walter's eyes. "His terror is real, Walter. Think of the worst thing that's ever happened to you. That's how this feels to Alex." Dr. Lebeau turned to Alex. Softened his voice.

"Mr. Krycek. I appreciate how hard you tried." He extended his hand. Alex shook it numbly. With a farewell nod to both men, Dr. Lebeau left the room.

Alex stood motionless. Walter carefully took his good arm. Alex flinched.

"Easy, Alex, we're going home."

Walter opened their front door with a sigh of relief, matched by an equally deep sigh from Alex. Both men laughed weakly.

"Go back to bed, Alex. I'll make you some cocoa."

Alex smiled ruefully. Walter knew how much the sweet chocolate drink soothed him.

"Go on, Alex. I'll be right up."

Their bedroom felt safe and warm. Alex shrugged out of his clothes. Undid his arm. Propped his pillows against the headboard and leaned back into them, savoring their familiar feel and scent. Tried not to think about the morning.

Walter seated himself alongside Alex and handed him the mug of cocoa. Alex sipped it meditatively.

"Do you think I could manage it next time?" Alex asked after awhile, setting the empty mug on the night table.

"It's worth another try, Alex."

"Walter? How does it feel? When the doctor touches you?"

"It's just a neutral touch, Alex. Neither good nor bad."

"I don't get it. I hate when people touch me." Alex shuddered.

Walter thought about it. Alex put his money on the counter, rather than into cashiers' hands. Picked up change the same way. Shook hands only if he had to. Was fastidious about not brushing against people in public places. Except for John, Ringo and Melvin, Walter could not remember Alex ever allowing another person physical contact.

Walter rubbed Alex's back gently.

"We're going to have to work on that, Alex."

Alex jerked free.

"Fuck you Walter, forget it. So I hate being touched. Big fucking deal!"

"Another rude word out of your mouth and I'll spank you, Alex," Walter warned.

"Go fuck yourself, you fucking bastard!" Alex bounded from the bed and headed for the door.

Walter tackled Alex, his superior weight pinning Alex firmly to the carpet.

Alex writhed desperately, trying to dislodge Walter. Gasped for air in deep, shuddery breaths.

Walter held on grimly, knowing Alex would eventually give in.

Gradually, Alex's struggling subsided and his breathing evened out. Alex sighed tiredly.

"All right now?" Walter asked, rolling off Alex and helping him up.

"Oh, yeah, I'm just fine Walter. I just had the day from hell and now you're going to spank me. Oh yeah, I'm just great." Alex sounded thoroughly discouraged.

"Shh, Alex," Walter said. He really didn't want to spank Alex.

"Just do it already," Alex said resignedly. "I just want to get it over with, Walter."

Walter turned Alex gently to face him. Alex sighed unhappily.

"Why am I going to spank you, Alex? Tell me, please."

"I'm not supposed to curse at you. Ever. Words like that are hurtful and don't belong in our relationship. They don't solve anything and they don't improve our communication," Alex recited by rote. They had had this discussion many times before. "I'm a fucking asshole, Walter, OK?"

I'll be damned if I'll spank him, Walter thought to himself. He knew how much being let off a punishment unnerved Alex, but this felt all wrong.

"Alex," Walter said. "Listen to me very carefully. You do not ever, ever curse at me. Is that very clear? No exceptions. Don't do it again. I reserve my right to spank you in the future. I'm just not comfortable with spanking you today."

Alex shivered. This was not how they usually did things.

"I'm scared, Walter," Alex whispered. "I don't know who I am anymore."

"You're my Alex," Walter said, his voice calm and certain. "You're a brave, deeply wounded man who's been brutally abused, and whose feelings have been dismissed and ignored. You're scared of being touched and you're scared of doctors and yet you let me touch you and you go to the doctor because I tell you to. You've had a rough day; I'm not going to spank you on top of everything else you've been through. Shh, it's all right. Shh..." Walter hugged Alex close.

Alex was crying, real tears, as soft and sincere as if he had been spanked.

"I love you, Walter," Alex whispered. "Don't go away."

"Where would I go without you, Alex?" Walter asked gently. "Alex, you are my heart."

Alex shivered involuntarily. Walter ran his hand gently over his sweaty back.

"Come on, Alex. A warm bath will help you feel better." Alex nodded obediently.

Walter blessed the day he had decided to invest in the deep, luxurious tub. He seated Alex on the adjacent wicker bench, draping a towel over his shoulders to ward off any chill. Unbuttoned his own shirt, took off his jeans and boxers.

Alex had entirely lost his fear of the enormous bathtub. He inhaled happily as the hot running water filled the room with clouds of steam.

"Let's have that bath now," Walter said, extending his hand to Alex. Leaving the towel on the bench, Alex dropped his boxers and slipped gratefully into the warm water along with Walter. Walter sank back in the tub, and Alex arranged himself in his favorite position, between Walter's thighs.

Alex relished the gentle, thorough scrubbing Walter gave him. His eyes closed with pleasure as Walter worked the soapy washcloth over his shoulders and carefully down his damaged arm. Across his flat stomach. He leered at Walter as Walter carefully washed his stiffening cock and heavy balls.

Alex leaned his head trustingly back against Walter's chest with a sigh of contentment. Walter worked shampoo through his dark hair, massaged his tight scalp. Walter rinsed the shampoo from Alex's hair with extraordinary care, careful to keep the suds from Alex's eyes. Wringing out the washcloth, Walter rinsed the last traces of soap from Alex's body.

Alex whimpered involuntarily.

"What's the matter, Alex?" Walter asked, concerned.

"I don't want this to end, Walter," Alex said softly. "I love this. I feel safe here. I wish I could stay here forever."

"Hmm," Walter smiled. "That would be nice, Alex. Come on, let's go back to bed. I'll make it worth your while."

Alex let Walter help him from the tub and wrap him in the soft terrycloth towel. Walter dried him carefully. Quickly toweled himself off as well. Propelled Alex back to their bedroom with a gentle hand at the small of his back.

Alex stretched happily across the bed. Wiggled his ass temptingly. Walter groaned.

"Don't do that if you don't mean it, Alex," Walter said, laughing at the picture Alex made. "Have you any idea how gorgeous you are?"

"Shut up and fuck me already, Walter," Alex demanded. Walter stretched out alongside him.

"Shh, Alex, don't rush this," he soothed, running his hands down Alex's back, over his ass. Alex pressed into him with a moan.

"Please Walter, I need you to fuck me," he begged, all levity gone. "Oh, please." He seized the lube from the night table, handed it to Walter. "Please, Walter."

Walter took a generous portion of lube on his fingers. Spreading his taut buttocks, he worked his forefinger in a careful circle around Alex's anus, waited until the round muscle twitched open before slipping his finger inside. Massaged the tight passage, carefully added a second finger. Savored the feel of the strong muscles that gripped his fingers, drawing them deeper. Alex arched into his caress.

"Oh god, Walter! Please," Alex begged.

Walter withdrew his fingers and replaced them with his lube-slicked cock. Reaching under Alex's belly, he took Alex's cock in his hand. Worked his cock deeper in Alex's ass, ran his thumb teasingly over the head of Alex's cock. Alex moaned incoherently.

Walter smiled at the delicious sound. It was a pleasure to see Alex so happy. He intensified his strokes, feeling Alex's ass tighten in anticipation. At the same time, he worked his hand skillfully, knowingly, over Alex's hard cock. Once, two, three hard strokes and Alex came with a sob. Walter let his own orgasm take him. Lowered himself carefully alongside Alex, and rolled Alex into his arms.

"All mine," Walter said with deep satisfaction.

"All yours, Walter," Alex agreed. "I don't know why you want me, but I'm all yours." He cuddled into Walter's chest, traced little circles in Walter's dark curls of fur. "Please Walter, don't make me go back?"

Walter sighed. Alex just wouldn't give up.

"I love you, Alex. And you do have to go back. You need help. Dr. Lebeau can help you. I'm going to make you another appointment."


"All right, Walter." Alex said resignedly. "It's your call. But this time, let me talk to the doctor alone, Walter."

Walter sighed again. Much as he wished he could monitor Alex's medical care, Alex was a grown man. He had the right to see his doctor alone.

"Fine, Alex if that's what you want. I'll see how soon he can fit you in."

Neither Walter nor Alex knew whether to be happy that there was an appointment available the next day. Neither man slept easily.

Dr. Lebeau greeted Alex with a warm smile, as if there had been nothing untoward about their previous encounter.

"How can I be helpful to you, Alex?"

"You told Walter you could sedate me for the entire exam," Alex said softly.

Dr. Lebeau nodded.

"What would you do to me while I was out?" Alex asked tentatively.

"The same exam I did with Walter."

"I wouldn't feel anything?" Alex asked.

"Not while you were under," the doctor said, watching Alex carefully for a reaction.

"Could Walter stay in the room with me for the exam?"'

The doctor closed his eyes, understanding the larger meaning of the question.

I don't trust you. I do trust Walter.

"Yes, Alex. But let me suggest that you could tolerate this, awake, and you would probably feel better about it in the long run."

"What would you do if they asked you to treat someone who was being tortured?" Alex asked suddenly.

Dr. Lebeau looked at Alex for a long moment.

"What's the right answer to that question, Alex?" he asked quietly.

Alex shrugged.

"Good drugs," he said flippantly. Then, dropping his eyes, "I'm sorry. I don't know. Forget it."

"I don't think this is a casual question, Alex. Does this have something to do with why you feel the way you do about doctors?" Dr. Lebeau asked gently.

"Yes?" asked Alex, his green eyes searching the doctor's face for some sign.

The doctor sat quietly and let himself be watched. Something in the lines of his face reassured Alex.

"I'll try it awake," Alex said. "You stop if I ask you to."

"Understood, Alex. I will not do anything without your permission. When you say stop, I stop."

"And," Alex added in a very small voice, "No prostate exam." He held his breath.

"Fine. It's your call. You're a young man, there's probably no need to be concerned about that anyway." Dr. Lebeau was taken aback by Alex's sudden burst of fury.

"Shit! Shit! Shit!" Alex hit the wall, hard. "How the fuck does everyone in the whole fucking world know this shit but me!"

Walter came in just as Alex kicked a chair across the room.

"Stop that, Alex. Right now! Control your temper, or I will spank you."

"Fuck you!" Alex glared at Walter.

Walter took his defiant lover firmly by his good arm. Alex froze.

"Walter, they hurt me, they let them hurt me," Alex babbled, rapidly, desperately. "I didn't know anything. They knew that. They didn't want information. They wanted to teach me a lesson. They wanted to hurt me. Walter, don't let them hurt me again. Please!" He shook free of Walter.

"I can't do this, Walter, I can't. I won't. No! I won't let him touch me!"

"Trust me, Alex," Walter said softly, his heart breaking at the sure knowledge that this would never be past for Alex. "You can do this. It's not going to hurt."

"A moment, gentlemen?" Dr. Lebeau interjected. Glancing at Alex's pale, sodden face, his anguished eyes, he shook his head sadly.

"I'm sorry, Walter. There is no way Alex can tolerate a physical exam."

Walter slumped visibly.

"Walter. I'm not abandoning him, or you. We need to set up another appointment to discuss Alex's options. Massage and other touch therapies have proven efficacious in helping torture survivors rebuild trust. But a physical is out of the question at this point." Dr. Lebeau sighed.

"I'll talk to his psychiatrist about increasing his dosage of antidepressant; antidepressants are often effective treatment for chronic pain. I will give you a prescription for a new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory; let's see if it gives him any relief. I will also give you some acetaminophen with codeine for bedtime; I want him to sleep and I don't want him drinking. You will need to closely monitor how much he takes. It's far from an ideal course of treatment, but it's the best we can do under these circumstances. "

Walter nodded resignedly. Seeing Alex mired in physical and psychic pain was hard; accepting Alex's absolute limits for medical intervention was harder.

Walter settled Alex carefully into the car and headed for home. Alex remained silent as Walter led him into their house and put him to bed.

"How do you feel, Alex?" Walter asked solicitously.

Alex was bitterly embarrassed by his inability to endure a simple doctor's exam.

"I feel like fucking shit, Walter. Don't touch me. "

Walter stiffened. After a time, Alex spoke softly, apologetically.

"Shit. I'm sorry. You want to spank me, Walter?"


"You want to fuck me?" Alex's voice was flat, hopeless.

"No, Alex," Walter said tiredly. Alex's attitude hurt.

With a deep, unsatisfied sigh, Alex descended into exhausted sleep.

A dark corridor. A bright light. A man supine on a hospital bed. A sheet over his face.

Alex turned the bloody sheet back. The man's face beneath was swollen and distorted. Dried blood blackened his mouth and nostrils. It couldn't be. It couldn't be!

"No, Walter, no! No!! No!!!"

"You're dreaming, Alex! Wake up! " Walter shook Alex, trying to rouse him.

"Not you, Walter, not you! Oh, no!" Alex screamed over and over, his voice anguished.

"You're dreaming! Alex, wake up!" Walter shook Alex more urgently.

Alex's eyes opened abruptly. He broke off mid-scream. His throat was raw.

"I dreamed you were dead, Walter," Alex whispered hoarsely. He vomited violently, uncontrollably, his stomach emptying itself in the first few heaving gasps. Alex retched, gagging and struggling for air.

"Easy, Alex, easy. Shh, that's enough. It was only a dream." Walter rubbed Alex's back, trying to soothe him. Alex's dry heaves continued.

"Pull yourself together, Alex. Now!" Walter said sharply.

The slight harshness achieved what no amount of kindness could. Alex gulped one final time, closed his mouth obediently and sank back against Walter, exhausted. Walter stroked his sweaty hair.

"I deserve every fucking thing they ever did to me," Alex said sickly. "I remember now. I hurt people. I killed people! Oh shit, Walter, I don't want to remember. I don't want to live anymore."

Walter forced a calm he did not feel.

"Listen to me very, very carefully, Alex. You do not hurt yourself. Ever. Anything you do to yourself, you do to me. And I know you don't want to hurt me."

Numbly, Alex shook his head.

Walter cuddled Alex, his warm brown eyes soft with empathy.

"I don't know why you give a shit about me, Walter," Alex muttered sadly.

"Alex. You did what you had to to survive. You had very few choices." Walter took a deep breath.

"What you did was different from what they did to you, Alex. They had choices. You were only a child. Nothing that happened was your fault. Children are dependent on their caretakers. Yours betrayed you."

"I studied the records the Gunmen found, Alex. There were a good number of Consortium-reared children like you. Many of them died in the course of the experiments you remember. Others were forced into prostitution and pornography, just as you were. You were unique in that you were promoted into the Consortium's hierarchy through your association with Charles Spender. You're a survivor, Alex. There's no shame in that."

"I know your hands aren't clean, Alex. You did your share of interrogations. You did your share of executions." Walter swallowed, hard. Recalled Vietcong prisoners, bloody and broken. He, too, had seen things that haunted him. He, too, had spent nights mired in dreams of cruelty and pain.

Resolutely, Walter shook off the black memories. Now was not the time to examine his own conscience. Alex needed his clarity, needed his love. Needed his trust in the essential goodness of life.

"There are support services available for survivors of torture," Walter continued. "I know you don't see yourself in that way, Alex, but it might help you to see you're not alone. There are even avenues through which torturers can make reparations to their victims. You are not the only man who can't forgive himself."

"What good would any of that do, Walter?" Alex asked in a very small voice.

"It might give you a context in which to understand what was done to you. It might give you a context in which to understand what you did." Walter watched Alex carefully, uncertain whether he had said too much, or too little.

Alex seemed to crumple into himself.

"Walter," Alex said hesitantly, "I'm so scared I'm going to wake up and find myself back there again."

"It won't happen, Alex," Walter said softly. "Trust me. This is your real life now."

"Walter?" Alex asked wistfully.

"Yes, Alex?"

"Do you ever wish we could start from the beginning? Then I could always have been yours."

Walter winced. He understood the reasoning behind Alex's fantasy, but it had little appeal. Still, if it comforted Alex, he wouldn't spoil it for him.

"Suppose that were true, Alex. What would I do?" Walter asked gently.

"You do most of it already," Alex said dreamily. "Feed me. Give me baths. Cuddle me. Brush my hair." Alex licked his lips. "Spank me when I need it. Teach me what's right. Keep me safe. Yeah, I guess you do all of it."

Walter tucked Alex closer. That Alex trusted him this way was sweeter than he'd thought.

"But don't call me 'baby,' Walter," Alex warned nervously. "I'm Alex."

"I know that, Alex. Only Alex. My Alex." He stroked Alex's hair lovingly.

Alex sighed with contentment.

"Shit, Walter, I love you so fucking much. Why you keep someone as fucked up as me around, I don't know."

Walter chuckled at Alex's reflexive profanity.

"I love you, Alex, despite your atrocious language. I'm all yours. You're all mine. Trust me, that's all you need to know."

"OK," Alex said doubtfully, not quite certain why Walter was laughing. "I'll trust you. If you're sure."

"I'm sure, Alex. I've never been so sure of anything. You're all mine, I'm all yours, and I love you." Walter kissed Alex, hard. "My Alex."

"I love you, Walter." Alex opened his mouth, deepening Walter's kiss. "I'm all yours."



For Lorelei, with best wishes for renewed health and strength. EM

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