If the idea of a discipline relationship between consenting adult males offends you, so will this story.
ELIZABETH MARSHALL STORIES
Trick or Treat
Goddamn kids and their Halloween pranks!
Walter was not having a good day.
He had remembered too late the need for Halloween candy for trick or treaters and had thus been stuck for twenty minutes on line at the supermarket while a cashier with spiked hair and studded appendages attempted to turn her mind from cruising to customers. He had left his car in the supermarket parking lot, only to find it had been coated with eggs and shaving cream in his absence.
And now someone had left an old scarecrow on the doorstep to his house. Delightful.
Walter scowled at the slender figure. It was not a real scarecrow, but rather a hodge-podge of old clothes held together with duct tape. The wrists had been wrapped securely and taped to the waist. The ankles were also taped together. The head was nothing but a white mask duct taped below a black wig, with closed eyes and a mouth securely taped shut.
Sighing, Walter tugged the figure down the steps.
It moaned. Green eyes flared open, glaring angrily.
"Krycek!" Walter nearly dropped the man.
"Mpffing mpff ff mpff," Krycek swore. There was fury in the vocalizations, but also terror.
Walter hoisted the bound figure over his shoulder in a fireman's carry, opened his door and proceeded inside. Closed and locked the door carefully behind him, ignoring the muffled squawks from his captive. Deposited his unwilling houseguest face up on the couch.
"Krycek, listen to me," Walter said, taking the duct wrapped chin in his hand and turning the eyes to meet his. "I am going to get you out of this mess, but I need you to cooperate. The only way I know to take off duct tape is to slice through it. You must hold still, do you understand me? I don't want to hurt you."
Krycek froze, his eyes searching Walter's, looking for something. He must have found what he was looking for, for he nodded.
"OK then," Walter said. "I'm going to get a box cutter; I'll be right back."
Krycek held himself rigid as Walter sliced through the tape binding his ankles together. Straightened his legs involuntarily, groaned as the muscles spasmed.
"Easy, Krycek, Alex. Take it easy," Walter soothed, sensing rather than seeing the expression of pain. "We'll get you out of this tape and into a warm bath and you'll feel better. Just trust me."
Alex closed his eyes. A warm bath. It sounded like heaven.
It sounded like utter bullshit. What the fuck was he thinking, trusting Walter Skinner? A warm bath...yeah, only if he plans to drown you, Alex thought miserably. He twisted as Walter reached for his bound arms and torso.
"Alex, hold still!" Walter said.
Alex squirmed further away.
"Swear to God, Alex, move again and I'm going to spank you," Walter groused, trying to keep hold of Alex without hurting him. He sawed at the duct tape holding Alex's wrists to his waist.
Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no. Not spanking games. Not Walter too?
Walter was astonished to see real tears tracking over the duct tape that sealed Alex's mouth.
Alex gagged, unable to breathe, choking loudly. The tears caught at the back of his throat. He heaved forward, vomiting, but the duct tape trapped the vomit inside.
Walter made an instant triage decision. Lacing his fingers through Alex's hair, he inserted the point of the box cutter under the layers of tape on Alex's face, sharp edge facing out, and sliced. Grasped the free edge of the tape and yanked the entire layer free.
Alex vomited repeatedly as Walter held his head over the side of the couch.
"It's all right, let it out, you're safe," Walter said over and over. Alex Krycek might be a double or triple agent, might be a rat bastard punk, but at the moment he was a desperately sick and frightened young man, and Walter's heart went out to him.
Stomach empty, Alex gasped for breath.
"Ow," he moaned, "Ow, that hurt. Ow. Ow."
Walter looked at the smooth red patches along Alex's cheeks, where the abrupt removal of duct tape had effectively depilated his beard, and winced.
"I know it hurt, Alex, but you were choking," Walter said. "I didn't do it to hurt you."
"I know," Alex said, his voice hoarse, his throat raw from the vomiting. "I know. You saved my life. Thank you." He closed his eyes. "What are you going to do with me now, Walter?" There was dread and resignation in his low voice.
Walter sighed. Halloween was his least favorite holiday, and this one had just gone from mildly irritating to majorly disruptive.
Alex waited silently, afraid to move.
"I'm going to finish cutting you loose," Walter said, aware of the tension in Alex's body. "And then I'm going to run you a hot bath and you can soak until your muscles loosen. And then we are going to have a little talk."
Alex sagged. It was much, much more than he had counted on. Much more than he deserved.
Walter finished removing the tape. Alex's hand was white and useless; he had been bound overly tightly, with no concern whatsoever for his circulation. Walter rubbed the abused flesh gently.
"How about that bath, Alex?" Walter said gruffly. Damn it, the rat deserved this. Probably. Maybe.
Walter was hard-pressed to think of anything anyone could do, that merited this kind of torture. And torture was what it amounted to, he thought grimly.
"I can't walk?" Alex whispered. "My legs, it's been a long time..."
"I'll carry you. You don't weigh anything anyway. When was the last time you ate regularly, for crying out loud?" Walter concealed his distress under an unusually sharp tone of voice.
"There's not a hell of a lot of work for one-armed assassins, Walter, now that the Consortium's been demolished," Alex said ruefully.
"You should have stuck with the FBI; at least you would have had a pension," Walter said, only half-joking.
Alex looked sad.
"I was already dirty," he said, not meeting Walter's eyes. "I was dirty when I went in. I never could have escaped from them, Walter, ever. I figured the best thing to do would be to tip you off. That way, you'd know I was a mole and you'd be able to limit the damage I could do."
"I always knew the cigarettes weren't an accident," Walter murmured.
"They were a warning," Alex said. "You don't have to believe me. Mulder never did."
"Mulder doesn't trust anyone, Alex. But I believe the truth is out there. And I believe what you just told me is the truth."
"Thank you," said Alex simply. "Listen, Walter, I know I don't look like much now. And I don't have any money to repay you. But give me a few days here to recover and I'll pay you in kind. I'm good, I promise."
Walter's head spun.
"Alex, are you offering your body to me, in exchange for a hot bath and a few meals?" Walter asked, astounded.
"I take it you'll include a warm bed," Alex said, trying to be flip and failing.
"You were my agent once. I don't desert my people, no matter what they do. We'll get this sorted out. Meanwhile, I am going to put you in that bathtub to soak while I pull together some food." Ignoring Alex's faint protests, Walter lifted Alex in his arms and carried him down the hall.
Alex looked around the bathroom in surprise. Shit, that was some bathtub. It looked like it could fit three men. Who would have suspected tough AD Walter Skinner of being such a sybarite?
Walter started the water running.
"Would you like help undressing, Alex?" Walter carefully kept his voice neutral.
"Yes, please. Thank you." Alex attempted to match Walter's matter of fact tone.
Walter eased him out of the tattered remains of shirt and pants. He wore no underwear. Carefully, Walter lifted Alex and lowered him into the tub of warm water.
"Feels so good." Alex sighed with pleasure. The water was heaven to his racked and contorted muscles.
"You stay put while I heat up some food. Don't even think of getting out on your own," Walter warned Alex.
"I'll be here." A smile ghosted over Alex's face.
Walter shook his head. He had no reason to like Alex Krycek. Yet what he had said was true, he did feel a sense of responsibility to his former agent. And the shock of finding Alex, trussed in duct tape, on his doorstep, had awakened his strong care-taking streak.
Walter warmed soup and bread and placed them on a tray. Hesitated a moment, then opened the door. Retrieved his grocery sacks from the foot of the stairs. Withdrew a handful of Halloween candy and arrayed it about the plate.
After all, he reasoned, it was a holiday. What harm in a little levity, a little treat. He smiled as he placed the tray on the bedside table.
Walter helped Alex out of the bath. The warm water had revived Alex sufficiently that he could stand, albeit unsteadily.
"Thank you, Walter," Alex whispered. "I don't deserve this kind of care, but I do appreciate it."
"If we all got what we deserved, Alex, we'd be living either in heaven or hell. I'm not sure which, myself," Walter said. He escorted the towel wrapped Alex into the bedroom.
Safely ensconced in bed, pillows at his back, Alex accepted the tray of food with a grateful smile.
"Halloween candy, Walter?" he asked. "What am I, your holiday trick?"
"No, Alex," Walter said, his voice kind, but very serious. "You are not anyone's holiday trick, ever again. You are my treat and I am going to treat you right. Welcome home, Alex."
For Ursula, who consistently brightens my holidays and everydays. EM