Title: Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide
Author: Peach
Email address: peach1250@hotmail.com
Fandom: X-Files
Pairings: Skinner/Krycek/Mulder
Warnings: This story contains explicit m/m sex. If these things bother you *GO AWAY NOW* Description of child rape. Graphic violence.
TISSUE ALERT: Josan has declared a four hankie warning.
Rating: NC17
Date: 07/30/01
Archive: DitB, RatB, SKSA, WWOMB, SlashingMulder. Others just ask
Disclaimer: The characters of Skinner, Krycek, Scully, Kim, Mulder, and the lone gunmen and the X-Files belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the Fox Network. No copyright Infringement is intended no money is being made.
Summary: Alex's past disrupts his present.
NOTE: For my sweet Ursula on her birthday. Special thanks as always to my wonderful BB. Without her I would be lost.

Alex had an afternoon meeting so he had told Walter and Fox that he would meet them at the restaurant. The two of them were deep in conversation as they pulled into the parking lot across the street. Looking over, Walter saw Alex barrel out of the restaurant door with a man close on his heels. The man reached out and grabbed Alex's arm and before either of his lovers had opened their car doors, he had knocked the man down and run off down the street.

"Fox, go after Alex."

"But what are you going to do?"

"I'm going to talk to the man who put his hands on our Alexei. Find out who he is."

"Walter, maybe I should go talk to that guy and you go after Alex. You know he listens to you more than me."

"No, Fox, I need to find out who he is and make sure he knows that Alex is ours."

"Don't kill him, ok?"

"I won't. Go after Alex."

Fox started the car and pulled out to follow Alex as Walter jogged across the street to the man who was leaning against the wall, pressing a handkerchief to his lip.

"Hey. You ok? Boy packs quite a punch, doesn't he?"

"Yeah. You sound like you know him."

"Slightly. He belongs to me."

"Who the fuck are you? And what do you mean he 'belongs' to you?"

"My name is Walter Skinner. Alexei is my husband, lover, partner, significant other, piece of ass...take your pick. That's what I mean by he belongs to me."

"If he's so important to you, why are you here? Why didn't you go after him?"

"I sent Fox to round him up. I wanted to make my position clear to you. If you think Alexei packs a mean wallop, you really don't want to become acquainted with me. I am curious though as to why you followed him out and grabbed him that way."

The menace in Walter's voice was evident, even to this man who had never laid eyes on him before. Surprisingly, he laughed.

"Why don't you come in and have a drink with me? I'll tell you things about your Alexei you never dreamed of. I'm quite sure he's never told you about me. By the way, who is Fox?"

"Our other partner."


Fox drove slowly watching for his lover's familiar form. Even from a distance so far away that he couldn't make out his face, he could pick Alex out by the way he moved. He finally saw him, no longer running but moving with purpose all the same. Fox pulled up beside him and rolled down the window.

"Alex, get in the car."

"Fox, how did you find me?"

"We were in the parking lot across the street when you hit that man."

"What? Where's Walter?"

"He sent me after you and stayed to talk to the man. You know him. He's probably in a pissing contest with him right now. At the least he'll know not to mess with you again."

"Oh my god! I've got to ...."

Alex turned and veered into the park. Fox stopped the car, killed the engine and followed Alex. When he caught up to him, he matched his stride knowing better than to grab at him.

"Alex, come on back to the car. We need to go back and get Walter before he gets himself in trouble. You know how territorial he is."

"No! I can't! I have to get out of here. I...when he gets through telling him about me, Walter...he won't want me around any more. Fuck! I knew someday something would......"

Fox reached for him then, wanting to hold him and try to get to the bottom of the problem. Alex turned to look at him under the streetlight and Fox realized he was white as a sheet. Fox had seen Alex in pain, but nothing like this. The naked agony he saw in his lover's eyes lanced through him like a knife.


"Tell him I'm sorry. I'll always love you both."

Fox never saw it coming. Alex's hand connected and Fox dropped to the ground. Alex disappeared into the shadows. Fox came to with a policeman crouched down beside him and a crowd of people talking around them.

"Hey, buddy. You ok?"

"Where did he go?"

"They said he ran off toward the north side of the park. Think you can describe him? I have paramedics on the way to check you out."

"I'm fine. He just wanted me down long enough to get away. Believe me, if he was trying to hurt me, I'd still be out. I don't need to see a paramedic. I just need to get out of here."

"You've been assaulted. We need to get some information so we can track the perp."

"You won't find him. He's an expert at disappearing. Now I need to go. I have someone waiting for me."


Walter followed the man back to his table in the restaurant because he wanted to know how and when this asshole had known his Alexei. He waited while the man asked the waiter for some ice. Walter smiled at the waiter reassuringly. He had waited on Walter and his boys often so he must have been concerned at the way Alex had torn out of the place earlier.

"So, how long has little Alex been living with you, sugar daddy?"

"I'm not his sugar daddy. I told you, we're in a relationship. An equal partnership."

"Sure you are. Alex serves up that ass and you feel like a king every time you fuck him."

Something in his tone told Walter that he wanted him mad and careless. Walter was an old hand at those games and wasn't going to fall for that. So he went on the offensive.

"Actually, it's my ass that gets fucked. Alex is quite good at it."

That one scored a hit. The asshole's eyes narrowed.

"Really? And I went to so much trouble to teach him how to use his ass with men."

"Well, tell me more. I'm always interested in hearing about Alexei's past."

"He was nine when Spender brought him to me. I don't know where Spender got him. I never asked where he got the boys he brought to me. All I asked was how he wanted them trained. Alex was a skinny little kid but beautiful all the same, with those big expressive green eyes. Spender wanted him taught to make dirty old men happy."

"Happy as in 'serving up that ass'?"

"Don't forget his talented mouth. Surely he's done that for you?"

Walter ignored the question. "Please, do continue with your story."

"I followed my normal routine with the boys I trained. Alex was younger than some, tighter. He bled a lot that first time. Screamed louder too. Of course, after that, he cowered away from me. It took several beatings before he got the point that pleasing me was his only way of avoiding the pain of a beating. They all learn eventually that the pain of the sex is far less than the pain of my paddles or crops."

Walter's hands were clenched into fists in his lap but he held a tight rein on his temper. He wanted to know everything before he killed the son-of-a-bitch. Walter felt a momentary twinge that he would be breaking his word to Fox. The man had signed his death sentence when he told Walter he raped a nine year old Alex.

"I spent several months working with Alex. He was so beautiful and I enjoyed his lessons so very much. But all good things end. Spender showed up one day and took him off for the weekend. He brought him back bruised and torn. Left me with orders to get him cleaned up and to let him know when Alex could be used again."

"At first, he would give him a couple of weeks to heal. One time they brought him back and I had to get a doctor in to stitch him up. I went off on Spender then. They had bruised his face that time as well. I didn't intend for his face to be disfigured. It takes more than a tight ass to attract the higher paying clients. Alex had everything I knew he needed to make a lot of money."

"You said at first?"

"Yeah, by the time he was ten, he was being passed around at house parties every weekend. Spender made a lot of money off him back then. All the old guys loved getting their hands on him."

"So there were lots of men who used him?"

"Are you kidding? Half the eastern seaboard fucked that boy. The only reason the rest didn't is they couldn't afford Spender's prices."

"Did he ever fight you, try to get away?"

"Yeah, he ran away the first time when he was twelve. It didn't take them long to find him. I beat him with a rubber paddle and locked him in a closet for three days with a bucket of water and a bucket to pee in."

Walter knew then that the silo wasn't the start of Alex's fear of confined places. His nails dug crescent marks in his palms with his rage at what had been done to his lover. But his face showed nothing of what was going on in his head. He waited for the dead man across from him to continue.

"The second time he ran, he was sixteen. Killed one of Spenders goons in the process. He didn't realize he had killed him. Was very upset when I told him weeks later. Spender took care of his punishment that time."

"What did Spender do to him?"

"I got all the details later when I got to watch the film they made. They transferred it to video later for the kinky crowd. Spender even made money from his pain. I could probably get you a copy if you want. I know all Spenders men got to fuck him whenever they wanted for the time he was there. Spender used electricity, the burns took a long time to heal. The boy he brought back had dead eyes. He only stayed with me long enough for his body to heal then Spender sent him to be trained as a killer."

"So, based on an accidental death, which was probably in self- defence, Spender decided he would be a good assassin?"

"That and the fact that he had killed a part of the boy's spirit. You know, of course, that Alex is Russian? It's amazing how the right incentives will help you learn anything. Even flawless English. Most of his training after that took place in Russia. I didn't see him again until they were getting ready to send him to work for you."

"You do know who I am. I wondered why you hadn't asked me any questions. Why did you see him then?"

"Remedial sex education. I was told he was going to need seduction skills. You the one they sent him to seduce?"

"No. If I had been things might have gone in a entirely different direction."

"How so?"

"Not important. What is important is that Alexei belongs to me and you will stay away from him."

"Are you sure about that? All I have to do is say the word and, like the well trained slut he is, he'll spread that ass for me."

"Wrong, that ass only gets used by the two of us."

Walter didn't need to turn around, he had felt Fox's presence. The asshole looked up at Fox standing behind Walter and grinned.

"You must be Fox. God, aren't you the pretty one, too! What are two pretty boys like you doing with an old fart like him?"

"Walter, should I give him Alex's explanation for it?"

"Go ahead."

"Alex once said Walter is hung like a bull and can fuck all night."

"I thought you said Alex fucks you."

"He does. I also told you we have a partnership. We take turns. Alex isn't a sex toy in our bed. He's our lover."

"Walter, can we get out of here? The atmosphere is rank tonight."

Walter let his fists relax and got to his feet. The bastard stood up, too.

"Tell *Alexei* that I'm at the Mayflower. That I expect to see him there later, for a...drink." He smirked, then just grinned.

"He can scream down the house for me."

Walter reached to grab Fox without thought, knowing that the remark would make Fox want to punch the prick out. Walter heard the man laughing as he dragged Fox out of the restaurant.

In the car on the way home, Walter told Fox everything the man had told him. Fox's first reaction was to go back and beat the crap out of the fucking asshole. Even though Walter wanted that too, he had no intention of letting the bastard off so easily.

As they got nearer to the house, Fox filled Walter in on what had happened in the park. Walter's heart bled a little then, already knowing that they wouldn't find Alex at home. He felt guilty too. Had he gone after Alex with Fox then Alex wouldn't have been able to run.


Alex doubled back to get his car. As he raced to the house, he calculated how much time he could reasonably count on before Fox recovered and went to get Walter, always assuming that Walter wasn't trying to kill Quentin at the moment. He prayed that Walter wouldn't lose his temper but knew how Quentin always seemed to find the right buttons to push.

He had arrived at the restaurant earlier than he'd thought he would and gone in to order a drink. When the hand had fallen on his shoulder, he'd looked around, expecting it to be Fox or Walter. The man standing there was the last person on earth he wanted to see.

He automatically catalogued the changes in the hated face in front of him. The last time he had seen him his hair had just started turning silver, now silver had been replaced with white. He was even thinner then before. Didn't seem as tall as he once had, but maybe that was because Alex was so used to being with Fox and Walter, both tall men. The blue eyes were still as sharp as ever, the smile still as cruel.

Alex had suddenly felt like a helpless little boy again and all he could think about was running. So that's just what he had done. But the asshole had followed him out onto the sidewalk and grabbed his arm. So he'd hit and ran. At that point, all he wanted was to get away. Had he seen Fox and Walter he might have gone to them but he hadn't.

When Fox had found him and he'd heard that Walter was with Quentin, he had known he had to leave. Walter and Fox knew he had been whored out but they didn't know the extent. Now, they would and they wouldn't want a used piece of garbage like him in their bed.

Worse they might try and pretend but he knew that eventually he was going to lose them. Better to go now than to see disgust in their eyes or hear it in their voices.

At the house, he went directly to his office, opened the small safe he had installed. Old habits diehard and he had passports and cash stashed there. Grabbing everything, he filled his pockets then headed for their bedroom.

He entered the closet and grabbed the daypack he used when they went hiking, hurriedly stuffing clothes into it. Walking over to the bed, he threw back the covers and stripped the pillowcases off Walter and Fox's pillows and shoved them in with his clothes.

The last thing he grabbed was his laptop. With that he could finish up the project he was working on no matter where he was. The job had been given to him because the head of the company was an old friend of Walter's. Alex didn't want to shame Walter by not completing it.

All told, he was in the house for half an hour. Pulling the car out of the driveway, he headed south, figuring that Fox and Walter would expect him to go north toward the heavier population centres or straight to the airport.

He didn't even realise he was crying until he rolled down the window for some fresh air and the wind hit his wet shirt.


It didn't take long for Walter and Fox to understand Alex had run. Fox stood staring at the bed, for once his profiling skills failing him.

"Why would he tear up the bed?"

"Fox, our pillowcases are gone. He took our scent with him. We're going to have to track him down. He won't come back on his own."

Fox turned to look at Walter, his face grief stricken. "I thought he understood how much we love him. We knew they'd used him as a whore. It doesn't matter. It wasn't his fault."

"He must have thought that bastard would say something that would make us turn away from him. Instead it only made me understand him better. It shows what a good strong man he actually became. Fox, we have to face the fact that it won't be easy to find him. And that when we do, it won't be easy to convince him to come home."

Fox had moved closer to Walter as he was talking and Walter now gathered him in his arms. They clung hard to each other for a long minute.

"Let's go see those geek friends of yours and get them started on watching for his trail."

"Yeah, that's a good place to start."

In the car on the way, they discussed every place they knew Alex had hidden in the past, both knowing he probably wouldn't go to any of them. But they would check them all just in case.

The Gunmen seemed a little surprised to see Skinner with Mulder. Fox normally came to visit them alone. They knew Skinner appreciated their skills but basically thought of them as weird. Fox had come out to them about his relationship with Walter when they had decided to live together. They had accepted that as they had all their friend's other foibles.

"So, Mulder, what's going on?" Frohike looked pointedly past Mulder to Skinner.

"We need your help."

"Sure, man. What do you need?"

"Alex took off tonight and we need to find him."

"You guys have a fight?"

While they accepted Skinner in his life, they had never understood about Alex. No one did.

"No, we didn't have a fight. We ran into an old acquaintance of his tonight. Alex was afraid of how we would react to what the bastard had to say."

"You know, Mulder, maybe you two are better off without him."

Byers and Langley seemed to be in agreement, both nodding at what Frohike said.

Walter's face turned positively purple with rage. He pushed past Mulder. Frohike found himself dangling a foot above the floor, his face turning red, two strong fists gripping him by his shirtfront, as Skinner glared into his eyes. Langley and Byers looked as if flight was becoming an attractive option but they didn't know which way to run. They had never seen Skinner out of control.

Walter's words were harsh and clearly enunciated. He wanted no misunderstandings. Although near the end, they could hear the pain in his voice for the little boy who had been so ill used. "Understand this, Frohike. Alex is a part of us now. Without him we're incomplete. If you had heard what I heard tonight, about how a nine-year-old boy was raped and tortured to twist him into what they wanted him to be, you would be amazed that he survived. Now, if you are Fox's friend, you *will* help us find him."

He dropped Frohike down on the floor none too gently and realised that the other two geeks were staring open mouthed at him.

Byers croaked out. "Nine?"

Fox took over then because Walter was shaking with his anger and pain.

"Yeah. We ran into the piece of filth that *trained* him. He even offered to get us a copy of a video they made when Alex was raped and tortured for running away. Told us Spender made money off that, too. Walter is right. If you're my friends, you'll help us find him."

Langley spoke up then. "Come on." He led the way toward his computer.

"Tell me every alias you know he's used. Everything you can think of that might help us narrow the search."

Langley settled at his computer and typed furiously as Mulder gave him everything that terrific memory had stored.

Walter wandered away from them and pulled out his cell phone. He had plans of his own to make and Fox didn't need to know about them. His friend Steven was surprised to hear from him but more than willing to let him use the cabin in a remote area of the mountains for a couple of weeks.

His second phone call was to Kim's voice mail, leaving instructions for her to draw up paperwork for him to take all the vacation he had coming to him and to tell her he wouldn't be in the next day.

The third call was to an old buddy from the service who could acquire almost anything.

"Got all that?"

"Yeah, Walt. When do you need this?"

"An hour from now."

"Walt, get serious. I can probably get most of it by late afternoon. Do you need help? It's not like you to... fuck, Walt, you're an AD with the FBI, for god's sakes. What's going on?"

"You don't want to know. Just believe me when I say it's necessary. If you were in my shoes, you'd be doing exactly what I'm doing."

"Ok, come by around...say three. I'll do the best that I can."


Mulder called his name just as he disconnected from the call. He hurried back to where Mulder and the geeks were standing around Langley's computer.

"Walter, is there anything you can think of that I might have missed?"

"I doubt it. Your memory's better than mine."


Alex stopped at a rest stop about twenty-five miles from the house. Parking at the far end, he got out and opened the compartment for the spare tire. Hidden underneath were the plates that his lovers didn't know about. He had known the time would come when something ended the life he had with them so he had made preparations. It took only a couple of minutes for him to change them.

He got back in his jeep, thinking that he should have left it. Fox had brought them all new cars when he had sold the screenplay rights to his book. But he needed it to get away quickly. He figured all he had to do was keep moving around for a few weeks. Give them time for what they had learned to sink in. They would come to the realisation that they were better off without him. Then they would quit looking for him.

He wanted to conserve his funds so he stopped at a seedy motel when he was too tired to drive anymore. He stripped, pulled the pillowcases out of his pack, crawled into the empty bed and clutched them close, not realising that he was adding the scent of his tears to their scents on the cases. Finally, he fell into a dream filled sleep. Dreams of the happy times, followed by dreams of them turning from him in disgust at what he had done.

He stayed there for almost a week. Forcing himself to work on the job for Walter's friend. Dreaming of them every night. Then he headed north again. After a month of wandering he ended up in New York.

He went to a restaurant that he had gone to with Fox when the two of them had come up to sign Fox's book deal. Sat at a table in the corner and remembered how Fox had groped him under the table all during dinner. Smiled at the memory of his clothes being ripped off as soon as they had got back to their room. And the laughing, fumbling attempts to find the cell phone in the mess of clothes to get Walter on the line for phone sex.

Without thinking he pulled out his cell phone and hit the speed dial. When he heard Fox's voice, he panicked.

"Hello-----Hello who is------Alex, is that you? Talk to me, Alex, please. We want you to come home."

Then Walter's voice gruff and deep.

"Alexei, come home. Or tell us where you are and we'll come there. We love you, please come home to us."

Alex made a deep strangled sound and disconnected the phone.


The day after Alex left, Walter sent Fox to check with the geeks, telling him he had some favours to call in. Fox didn't want to be away from Walter but understood that they could cover more territory if they split up. And he knew Walter wasn't going to leave him. The one constant reliable thing in his life was Walter Skinner.

Walter's first stop was his friend with the cabin. He gave him a story about having a friend who wanted to disappear for awhile. Chatted over coffee and left an hour later with the keys and the assurance that no one would need or come up to the cabin until Walter brought back the keys.

Walter then did some shopping. His next destination, the cabin. It didn't take long to get everything ready for his guest there. The basement of the old place had a packed down dirt floor, no windows, the only exit being the door at the top of the stairs. The support beams were strong and heavy. There were hooks and rings that had been used in the past for hanging herbs to dry. Those would work nicely with the chains he had purchased at the hardware store.

He knew keeping a grown man confined would be harder than it had been to lock up a frightened, beaten twelve year old boy.

He measured the length of the chain carefully and set the bucket of water barely within reach. The other bucket he just left next to it. Once he had everything set, he headed back to town. Getting back in time to meet Doug at three.

"Walt, I got everything you wanted. I don't know what you're planning but I hope you know how much of this stuff to use. You could kill someone if you get the dosage wrong. You're the last person I ever thought would ask me for drugs. Can't you take care of what ever it is some other way?"

"Doug, don't ask. You've known me a long time. Can't you just trust that I'm doing what needs to be done?"

"But what if you get it wrong? Can you live with it if you kill someone?"

"I can live with what I'm going to do. Don't worry, the drugs won't kill anyone. I know all about dosage. How much do I owe you?"

"You paid me a long time ago, more than I could ever pay you back. Walt, if you need me to do anything else.... I will, you know."

"I know. Thanks. I need to go. I have a lot to get done today."

"Walt, be careful."

"I will."

Walter had dinner ready when Fox got home that night. Made him his favourite after-dinner coffee blend that had a carefully measured dose of a strong sleeping drug added. Coffee hid the taste of this drug quite well. Once he had Fox safely in bed, he headed out for the Mayflower. By the time Fox woke up in the morning, that bastard would be chained in the basement at the cabin.

Quentin showed no sign of surprise when he opened his door to find Walter Skinner standing there. Quentin stepped back and, with a sweeping motion, invited Walter in. That was his last mistake in life.When the staff found the room empty the next day, they just assumed the customer had left for his own reasons.

As he was closing the door, the needle found its target in his throat and he slumped to a heap on the floor. Walter left him lying there while he packed anything he thought belonged to the man. Kneeling by the body, he stripped all personal effects from his pockets as well. The bag went down to the car first. Walter waited patiently for it to get late. The amount of the drug he had given Quentin would keep him out for hours.

When he felt the hotel was settled pretty much for the night, he hauled the unconscious man down to his car. He saw no one on the trip down but was prepared to tell them that his friend had too much to drink in another friend's room and he was taking him home so if he puked, it would be on his own floor.

Dumping the bastard in the back seat, he headed for the cabin. By the time Quentin came to, he was naked and chained on the dirt floor. Walter was waiting patiently on the bottom step. Funny how calm a man could become when he was doing something he knew to be right. Animals like this didn't deserve to live. Not just for what he had done to Alexei but for all the other boys as well.

Quentin tugged at the chains not being awake enough to remember yet. He was spread-eagled on the floor. The metal cuffs tight enough that, if he struggled very much, they would cut into his wrists.

"They're new and strong. You won't get out of them."

Quentin's head turned toward the sound of Walter's voice, his eyes trying to focus on the man sitting a few feet from him.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing? People will be looking for me. You won't get away with this."

"Oh, I don't think you'll be missed much. They'll find a new piece of garbage to take your place. There's always another one out there. You, however, won't leave this place alive." Something in Walter's voice must have convinced him Walter was sincere. Later, Walter would admit, to himself anyway, that he felt a certain amount of satisfaction at the fear in the eyes and voice of the naked man on the floor.

"Look! I can get you all the boys you want. Alex wasn't the best piece I ever trained. And he's maimed now. I can get you a younger, better looking, two-armed boy to do whatever you want."

"You don't get the point. This isn't about sex. This is about love. This about what you did to the man I love. It's payback time and payback is a real bitch, especially when you have so much to pay for."

"What are you planning on doing to me?" Fear had been replaced by panic.

"Nothing much for a few days. I'm going to give you time to think about how you made a scared little boy feel. Have *you* ever been raped?"

"You wouldn't." A stunned whisper then.

"Not with my dick, no. That only goes up Fox and Alexei. But I bought a new toy for you. One that should give you the same delights you gave a nine year old child."

Walter reached to pick up an object on the step next to him. A dildo he had purchased earlier in the day.

"This is called the John Holmes. Remember him? It's twelve and a half inches long. I'm so sorry that you'll only get to enjoy ten inches of it. But you'll be glad to hear it has a circumference of eight wonderful inches and it's two and a half inches thick. It was the biggest one I could find on such short notice. I do apologise, if I'd had longer to prepare I might have found something better suited for the task."

"You're bluffing. You won't do that! You work for the fucking FBI for old's sake!"

"God has nothing to do with this. And my job has nothing to do with what I will and won't do. This is about revenge. But you'll be glad to know I won't quote Shakespeare to you."

Quentin screamed until his voice gave out. Walter yanked the bloodied dildo out of Quentin's body. He pulled on a pair of rubber gloves and checked quickly to make sure the prick wasn't going to get off easy by bleeding to death. Opening the cuffs on the left ankle and wrist he left him lying there. Headed toward the stairs only to hear a croaked voice.

"Aren't you going to kill me now?"

"You don't think I'll let you off that easy, do you? Your water bucket is within reach. I'd go easy on it; it'll have to last you a few days. How long did you keep Alexei in the closet? Three days? A grown man ought to last four, maybe five. See you then."

Walter closed and locked the door at the top of the stairs, flipped off the light switch leaving Quentin to contemplate his fate in darkness. True to his word, Walter didn't return until four days later.


Alex stayed in New York for several days after he called them. They had sounded sincere about wanting him to come home. But he knew they had probably been trying so hard to find him that it still hadn't sunk in. He spent his days working on the project, nights either drinking to get to sleep or thinking of them and staring at his gun lying on the table next to him.

One night, he couldn't face it anymore so he went out to a club, again a place he had gone to with Fox. He wasn't sure why he wanted to go there except he had found peace for a few minutes at the restaurant they had eaten in. He ordered a drink and found a small table in an out of the way corner.

He was watching the dancers when suddenly he saw a bald man lead a younger brunette with an ethnic nose onto the floor. If he squinted his eyes, Alex could pretend that it was Walter and Fox. He didn't realize they had seen him watching until they came over to his table.

"Can we buy you a drink?"

Up close, the only real similarity the speaker had to Walter was being bald. He was shorter, with blue eyes and thin. The other one had the hair colour and a nose like Fox but he too had blue eyes and his lips were too thin. But they would be a distraction and he needed that.

They moved to a quieter area of the bar so they could talk. They told him they were long time lovers who liked to *play* sometimes. Then invited him home. His loneliness led him to say yes. He tried. But he couldn't go through with it. As he was stuttering through an apology, the older man interrupted him.

"Why don't you call them?"


"Walter and Fox. That's what you called us. I'll bet I'm Walter, right?"

"You do have the same hair stylist. I can't call them."

"Why not? You obviously love them. Do they know where you are?"

"Yeah, I love them. No, they don't know where I am. They're better off without me."

"I bet they don't think that. Call. At least give them the chance to ask you to come home."

"They did once. But they've probably changed their minds by now."

"You're a fool if you don't try. Love doesn't come along often in this world and you need to hold on to it when it does."

The phone was pushed into his hand. The two men went into the bathroom and he heard the shower start. Dialing slowly, he waited for the connection and almost hung up when he heard Walter's voice.



"Alexei! Where are you? Please come home. We miss you so much."

"I can't, Sergei. I know Quentin told you about me. I knew it was just a matter of time before my past came back to take everything away from me."

"Alexei, he'll never hurt you again. Do you hear me? I love you and I won't let anyone come between us or hurt you ever again."

Alex had heard that tone before. It was the same hard tone Walter had used when he had told Alex about a man he had killed in Vietnam when he'd caught the bastard raping a little girl. Walter's voice had been cold, his eyes dead as he told Alex about finding the prick pounding into the girl as she screamed. Of how he had pulled him off her and used his knife to castrate the bastard. How he had carefully picked up the girl and carried her away from the screaming man he had left to bleed to death.

Fox had been away on a book signing tour. Alex didn't think Fox knew about it. Walter had never asked him to keep it to himself, he just had. He had tucked it away in that place with his other *private* Walter memories.

"Oh god, Walter. You didn't.....Please say you didn't...... What have I done? Now I've dragged you down, too."

"You've done nothing. You were a victim. Come home to us where you belong. Please, Alexei."

Walter's voice had changed to pleading. Alex had never heard him sound like that. Then Fox's voice came on the phone.

"Please, Alex. Come home."

Alex couldn't listen any more. He had to get away. Europe! He'd go and get money out of one of the accounts. All he could think of was escape, run. Sooner or later Walter would take a look at what he had done and that, combined with Alex's past, would make him hate the man he had once loved.

What Walter had done in the past was different. That was in country, it was war. He had seen that girl being hurt. It had nothing to do with the real world, with the decent life Walter had made for himself. Alex was just a whore, not worthy of Walter soiling his hands and risking everything by killing Quentin.

Alex dressed hurriedly and left. When his hosts of the evening came out and found him gone, they assumed the worse. The older man having once lost someone he truly loved decided to interfere. He picked up the phone and hit redial.


Fox yelled with frustration when the phone clicked in his ear. Walter stared at the hole Fox's fist left in the wall and he hoped they wouldn't be spending the night at the hospital getting a cast put on it. The phone rang again and Walter picked it up before the first ring was done.


"No, this isn't Alex. Sorry. You don't know me, and you can tell me to fuck off if you want. My partner and I met your Alex at a bar tonight. We talked and invited him home. We knew he wasn't interested in us when he called us Walter and Fox. Which one are you by the way?"

"This is Walter. Will you ask him to talk to me, please?"

"He's gone. We were in the shower when he called you. We were trying to give him some privacy. Wish I had listened at the door. Do you want him back? Cause if you don't, there's no reason for us to talk anymore."

"God, yes, we want him back. There was no reason for him to leave, except in his mind. Where is he?"

"New York City. We saw a key for the Carleton with his clothes. And before you ask, nothing happened. He couldn't. Not even when he closed his eyes and called us by your names."

"Thank you. I have to go. We need to get a flight out. You don't know what this means to us."

"Just take care of him when you get here. Save the yelling for later. I wish you luck."

Walter disconnected the call and immediately dialed the airline that he knew had commuter flights every hour to New York. While he was making the reservations, Fox was calling Kim and Scully to tell them where they were going.


Four days after Walter had left Quentin at the cabin, he again made Fox's favourite coffee for him after dinner. Once Fox was in bed, Walter headed back to the cabin to check on his guest. He didn't use the dildo this time. But the crop he had purchased at the sporting goods store brought out a deep red on the skin of the man who had beaten more little boys than Walter would ever know.

Walter's revenge was cold at this point. Part of him was appalled at what he was doing. Had they been successful in finding Alexei, he might have given the bastard a quick death. But every day that Alexei was gone made his anger at the pervert spike higher. Every day making him think they might never find their Alexei.

The civilized Walter stayed at home with his Fox. The animal he had made himself become to survive in a jungle far from home was taking revenge for his lover. When he left the bruised and battered body lying on the floor, he emptied the buckets, filling the one with water as before. Left some food near by. He didn't want the son of a bitch to die too soon.

Walter made two more trips to the cabin before he gave the pimp the release he was now begging for. When he was dead, Walter put his body in the body bag he had brought there for that purpose.

The body and all the things he had used on the man as well as the luggage went into an industrial furnace at a factory owned by another friend. This friend owed Walter his life too, so he didn't ask what Walter needed to burn in the middle of the night. He just met Walter opened the door for him and disappeared into his office until Walter came for him.

That was Friday night. On Sunday, Walter went back for the ashes. The ashes were carefully disposed of by dumping them off the back of a speedboat into the river.


Walter and Fox went straight to the Carleton when they got to New York. Alex was gone. He hadn't hesitated once his decision was made. It took them two days to figure out that he had gone to Europe. They knew he wouldn't be using the same passport any longer, but they gave the information to the Gunmen just in case he got careless.

They used Alex's car to drive back to D.C. Leaving instructions that if someone came looking for it, they were to be called.

Alex had stopped in Switzerland just long enough to make a withdrawal. Then using a different passport, he entered Russia and got lost. His days spent working on the project, his nights drowning in vodka to find oblivion. His dreams haunted by the men he loved, but mostly Walter. Walter was the first man he had ever loved and though he had come to love Fox, it was harder being without Sergei.

He hadn't expected to love Fox. He had been willing to fuck him because he'd thought that was the only way to have Walter. Fox had been equally surprised to find himself loving Alex. Walter had just been happy when it happened. It made his life more complete to have the two men he loved, love each other.

It took a week for Alex to stop dreaming that Walter had been arrested and sentenced to death for killing Quentin. He knew that hadn't happened. Knew that Walter would have covered his tracks. But his guilt brought the dreams.

He had been gone for almost two months when he thought it was safe to *call* in a progress report. He had been sending weekly email to the man he was working with on the project. It never occurred to him that he would be found because of that.


Walter and Fox arrived home to a ringing phone, the trip from New York quiet and glum for them both. Walter grabbed the phone hoping to hear Alex's voice. Even though he was pretty sure Alex wouldn't call again for a while, if ever.


"Hi. Where have you guys been? I've been trying to reach you all day."

"We just got back from New York. Is everything ok?"

"It's fine. We were just checking to be sure you were still coming out for the Fourth. You can still get away, can't you?"

"Edward, I'm not sure we can."

"Dad, your grandson wants to see his grandfathers. He keeps asking when 'lex and Fox are coming again. You know how they spoiled him last time."

"I know, Edward but its.......Alex is gone. We don't know where he is. We were in New York because that's the last place we know he was. We managed to find out that he went to Europe."

"What happened?"

"We ran into someone from his past. He took off before we had a chance to tell him that nothing the man could ever say would stop us loving him. So we've been trying to find him for over a month now."

"Dad, I'm sorry. Is there anything I can do?"

"No, I don't think so. We have some of Fox's friends who are computer geeks watching for him to use any of the names he used in his former profession. They also have a trace set up in case he uses any of his credit cards. But that's not very likely. He knows what we'll be doing to try to find him. All we can do is hope he gets careless or decides to call us or come home."

"I wish I could help in some way. I know how much you love him. He loves both of you, too. Maybe he'll come home on his own. What will you do if you find out where he is?"

"Go after him, of course. I think once we were face to face he would see that there's nothing to worry about. He was hurt so badly as a child, Edward. He expects to be rejected."

"But you guys have been together for a long time. If you were going to change your mind, it would have happened by now."

"I wish he knew that. I'll let you know when we hear something. We've had a long drive so I'd like to get to bed."

"Sure. I understand. If he calls or anything, feel free to use the grandson card, if you think it'll help."

"Don't worry, your dad isn't afraid to fight dirty when it's this important. I'll call you in a few days."

After Edward hung up, he went in to see what his wife was doing. He knew she would remember, her memory was like Fox's. The next day Edward put an ad in the personals of a magazine he knew Alex read regularly. It said simply:

Alexei Skinner. Your grandson wants to see you. Come home.

He paid for it to run in the next four issues and hoped it would help.


Walter went back to work. Fox couldn't concentrate to work so he spent a lot of time driving Frohike, Byers, and Langley crazy. They now wanted to find Alex just so Mulder would go away. A depressed Mulder was absolutely no fun.

And in Russia, Alex made plans to check out once he had completed his project. He didn't want to live without them and he was sure they had stopped looking. Sure they had stopped loving him.

It was late summer when Walter ran into his friend at lunch time one day. Alexei had been gone for four months. Walter and Fox were trying to get on with life but everything reminded them of him. They had gone to see Edward and his family and little Sergei had broken their hearts asking over and over where *his* 'lex was.

"Walter, it's been ages. Hey, I've been meaning to call and tell you thanks for recommending Alex. My project manager thinks his work is fantastic. He's bugging me to see if Alex will accept a more permanent position with us. Do you think he would?"

"What?! You've heard from him, when?"

Walter grabbed Charles by the arm. Charles was shocked at the pain he saw in Walter's face. So he pulled him into the restaurant and pushed him down at a table.

"Ok, Walter, what's going on?"

"Charles, he's been gone for four months. We've tried everything to find him. Tell me, when did you hear from him last? When do you expect to hear from him again?"

"It's been a week. He's due to check in tomorrow. Walter, why did he leave?"

"It's a long story, Charles, just let me call Fox and we can set up equipment to trace him when he calls in."

"No, Walter. Not until you tell me why he left. If he had a good reason and doesn't want to see you, I won't help you. We've been friends a long time, Walter. I know you'll tell me the truth."

So, Walter talked. He told Charles that Alex was more than a friend. To which Charles responded 'Do you think I'm blind!' Charles ordered drinks about a third of the way into the story and Walter was heading toward drunk by the time it was finished.

"Do you have your cell phone, Walter? Let's call Mulder."

Walter fumbled it out and pushed the speed dial. Charles reached for the phone and Walter gave it to him.


"No, this is Charles. I'm afraid I got Walter a little drunk. Mulder, you need to bring your friends and whatever they need to my office. Alex is supposed to be checking in tomorrow and we can maybe trace him. I'll bring Walter with me and meet you there."

"You mean he's still been working on that project?"

"Yes, if I had known what was going on, you would probably have found him by now. Now get off the phone and get moving."

An hour later, they were in Charles' office and he was telling them that Alex had actually been sending information weekly but was due to send a partial download the next day. It should keep the phone tied up at least an hour. If not, they would tell him there was a line problem and ask him to resend.

Frohike's commented. "If he were on the moon, we could trace him in an hour."

The guys got all their equipment set up for the next day. Then Fox took the still drunk Walter home to bed. Neither of them slept much that night. They talked a long time about how they would get Alex to come home. What they should say.

The next day, they waited for the call to come in. The man who Alex had been working with was unaware that the phone line was tapped. Walter told Charles that Alex might pick up on any changes in the man's behaviour. They couldn't take the chance that the man might give it away.

The conversation between Alex and Charles' tech was short but the download took about the time Charles had estimated.

Langley looked up from the computer he was using, "Mulder, he's in Georgia."

"Great, we can be there in a few hours. What city?"

"No, Mulder. I mean Russia."


"Fox, calm down. We'll go there. Langley, can you pin down the city?"

"Sure, but what if he goes somewhere else?"

"Then we'll be on the same continent at least and you can trace his next download. This is going to work, I know it."

"Didn't you hear the depression in his voice? He's finishing this because he doesn't want to let Walter down. He probably doesn't have the energy to run any more. And if we don't get to him before he finishes the work, we may be too late."

"Mulder, you don't think he would kill himself, do you?"

Frohike sounded concerned. His attitude had changed over the last months of watching his friend suffer. Watching the lines form, seeing the dark circles under the eyes from lack of sleep. Skinner didn't look any better. He was turning into an old man.

A few minutes later, Langley had a city name for them and Walter actually picked him up in a bear hug.

The next day, Walter and Fox left for Russia. The trip itself was difficult as they both felt such a need to hurry. The small town wasn't even on the map they bought. So they spent some time getting lost with the directions they received. Finally they arrived to find that there was only one hotel and Alex wasn't there.

So they settled in to wait for the next download. The time seemed to crawl. They made love with a desperate need to keep the connection they had to each other. Both praying that Alex was still near by, that they could get to him quickly when he sent the next download.

The time crawled but finally it was time for the next download. Fox was on the phone with Frohike and Langley on the computer again. Walter was pacing the small area available in the room they were in. Finally Fox looked up at him with a smile on his face.

"What? Where is he?"

"He's here. In the hotel."

"Here? Are they sure?"

"Yes. We just need to find out what room."

The two of them hurried down the stairs to the desk. Walter who knew more Russian flashed Alex's picture at the man asking if he had seen him. He pointed toward the restaurant across the lobby. The two of them practically ran across the lobby.

There, sitting in a corner next to the phone line hooked into a computer, was Alex.

They walked toward him. He didn't even look up, just ordered vodka in his flawless Russian. A magazine was open on the table in front of him. As they watched a tear fell onto the magazine and he whispered in English 'my grandson'.

"Your grandson misses you, Alexei. And so do we."

Alex's head jerked up at the first word. Walter and Fox assessed the man in front of them. He had lost weight; his face was almost grey from a bad diet that consisted mostly of cheap vodka. He saw the changes to both the men in front of him. Saw the new lines in Fox's face. The age that had crept into Walter's.

"How did you find me? Why did you bother?"

They moved then to sit on either side of him. Making sure he wouldn't get away.

"We found you because Charles is very pleased with your work. He wants to know if you will consider a full time position with his company. He's my friend, Alexei. Did you think I wouldn't talk to him at some point?"

"I figured you had plenty of time to realise that you don't need trash like me in your life. I didn't think you would be looking any more."

"Alex, Walter and I love you, you idiot. Haven't you figured that out? I've been driving the Gunmen crazy having them look for you. We've been out of our minds with worry."

"Alexei, please just come home. We need you home with us."

"How can you want me knowing what I am, what I did?"

"What you *are* is our lover. What you *did*, you were forced to do. You were a child, Alexei. You were as helpless as little Sergei."

"Did you put the ad in here?"

Alex pushed the magazine toward Walter. Pointing to the ad in the personals.

"No, Edward must have. He asked if there was anything he could do. He knows how much I love you. He wants his father to be happy."

The restaurant was becoming crowded and a band started to play. The music was beautiful and Walter hoped that the words to the love song might come to pass for them before the night was over. The song an old one that Walter's mother had sung to his father at their wedding. Why his mother had picked a gypsy love song he didn't know, but every year she sang it again to his father on their anniversary.

"Alexei, do you understand the words to the song?"

"Yes. She's singing to her lover. Telling him how she longs for his arms to hold her. How he has touched her soul. She's telling him that their love is as old as time. That she will die without him. Then she begs him to make love to her."

"And what does he do, Alexei?"

"He takes her away to be his lover, making love to her as no one else ever did."

Fox leaned in close to them.

"Alex, come upstairs with us. Let us make love to you. Please, Alex. Walter and I need you so much."

Alex looked from one to the other. One last time, he thought. I can lie in their arms one last time and pretend it's going to last forever. Then I'll slip out when they go to sleep. The project is finished and my gun is waiting. Once I'm dead they can get on with their lives.

He nodded slowly. "Can we wait until the download is finished? Then I'll go up with you."

They smiled at him and nodded. Walter told them he would arrange for food to be sent up and be right back. Fox put his hand on Alex's leg under the table and squeezed gently. Alex's hand covered his. They sat quietly listening to the music.

Walter did indeed arrange for food but he also made a phone call.

"Charles, it's me."

"Walter, did you find him?"

"Yes, he's with Fox. I left them to call you. Something is up. He's agreeing too easily. Please ask your tech how much information he's getting in the download. Call me back when you know."

"Sure, Walter, no problem."

"And, Charles, thank you for your help. Tell the geeks I owe them."

"Will do. Call you as soon as I know."

Walter went back in to find that Fox and Alex were disconnecting the phone line for the computer and packing up Alex's things.

They got to the room just as Walter's cell phone started ringing. He stayed in the hall as Fox pulled Alex into their room.

"Walter, John tells me that it's complete. Everything Alex needed to do was transmitted in this download. Do you think he'll try to run again?"

"I hope to prevent that. I'll talk to you when I can. Thanks again."

Walter disconnected and entered the room. Fox was wrapped around Alex kissing him deeply and Alex was clinging to Fox. When he walked up to them, they turned their bodies to make room for him. It may have been over four months since they had been together but their bodies remembered. When Fox let go of his mouth, Alex turned his head seeking a kiss from Walter.

They stood there, in their three-way hug taking turns kissing Alex until the waiter came with the food. Walter insisted that they sit down to eat. He knew Fox hadn't been eating well nor had he and Alex looked positively malnourished.

So they ate and talked. Walter telling Alex about the guy in New York who had called then. How upset they had been to find him gone. Fox telling him that he had driven the Gunmen crazy, demanding that they find him. Told him that little Sergei had asked and asked for him during the Fourth of July holiday.

Like typical men they talked about everything but what needed to be said.

When the food was gone, they pulled Alex to his feet, hands gentle as they undressed him. Kisses raining on his skin as it was exposed. When he was naked, Walter led him to the bed and lay beside him, kissing and stroking, while Fox undressed. When Fox came to the bed, Walter rose to undress himself.

Soon the three of them were forming an old well-loved pattern on the bed. Alex was in the centre, his lovers spooned around him, every inch of his body being kissed, licked, and sucked on. His body was responding like the desert during the first rainfall of the season. His voice hoarse with his need for them.

After Walter prepped Alex and started to enter him, he spoke for the first time.

"Aren't you going to use a condom?"

"We stopped using those years ago, remember?"

"But...you trust me to still be clean?"

"Alexei, I know no one has been in you since the last time we were."

"But you talked to those guys in New York."

"They told us that you couldn't."

"And you trust that I haven't been with someone here?"

"Alex, you aren't listening. Walter just told you we *know* you haven't cheated on us. You belong to us."

Walter pressed forward, pushing his cock into Alex slowly. Hissing at how tight Alex was. Alex reached up to pull Fox down into a kiss. When Walter was tight against Alex, he stayed still to let the other's body remember him.

He smiled down at his two lovers kissing. Had they been watching him they would have seen the years the last four months had put on him dissipating. He knew that Alex was planning to run or worse. But Alex didn't know that Walter had no intention of letting that happen.

He pulled back and felt Alex's muscles tighten, trying to keep him inside. That brought a bigger smile to his face.

"Alexei, if you do that again, I'm gonna shoot before you have a chance to know I'm in there."

Fox raised his head and smiled the kind of smile that hadn't graced his face for over four months.

Alex looked into Walter's eyes and made an effort to relax around the cock he had missed so much. Walter picked up the lube from next to Alex's hip where he had placed it. He squeezed out a large enough portion to coat Alex so Fox could ride him.

Fox had gone back to kissing Alex and moved without letting his lover's mouth go when Walter tapped his leg. With Walter's help he climbed on and Walter guided Alex's cock into Fox. Fox raised up for a minute and rubbed his back against Walter's chest, smiling down at Alex.

He realised that Alex's eyes were bright but made no comment. Just turned to kiss Walter before bending back down to suck a nipple into his mouth. Alex moaned as the two men above him began to move. Walter stroking in and out of his body as Fox lifted up off him then dropped back down to take him in. They went slowly, wanting it to last. Four months was a long time to be without someone you love.

When Alex began babbling at them, they picked up the pace. Alex pressed Fox's face closer as Fox bit him the way he loved. Then he heard Walter's beautiful voice commanding them to come. It had only happened once or twice before but all three men exploded together each with their own sounds of pleasure.

Walter was the one to go get washcloths to clean them up. He moved his two exhausted lovers under the covers. Alex was good and out when Walter joined them in the crowded bed. He was so out of it he didn't feel the lined cuff that Walter fastened around his ankle with a chain leading to one around his. The key left safely on the dresser out of reach.

The looks Alex gave Walter early in the morning when he tried to sneak out would have blistered paint. When Fox had the audacity to laugh, he took a swing at him, which caused him to end up with his ass swatted by Walter's big hand.

"So, what? Am I a prisoner?"

"If that's what it takes to keep you with us until you understand that we love you and you belong to us and with us." Walter's voice was in full AD mode and he wasn't backing down.

"Kurite moju trubku, pizd'uk."

"Right now? I thought we were fighting."

Walter grinned and put his hand in the middle of Alex's chest pushing him down on the bed. Then twisting, he pulled Alex's cock into his mouth.

"Damn, Alex, I need to learn Russian if it gets that kind of reaction from him." Alex moaned, but again gave in to them. The last four months had been so lonely. What would it hurt to just enjoy them? They seemed to want it and his gun would still be there later. He was still telling himself that two days later as he lay cushioned against Fox's chest while Walter fed them dinner.

Walter had refused to let anyone in. He would push the dirty linens through the door and take clean ones from the maid. Of course, he was also giving her big tips, which made her mumble about crazy rich Americans. It certainly didn't matter to her that the crazy man preferred to change his own sheets. The young man who brought up their food saw marginally more of the trio. That only because the food trays couldn't be pushed through as small a space as towels and sheets.

On the third morning Walter decided it was time to take their Rat home.

"Alexei, I want you to tell Fox how to find the place where you've been staying. He'll go get your things and you can help me pack here."

"Sergei, I can go get my things. Fox doesn't speak the language and it would just be easier if...."

"No. Fox can handle it. You aren't getting out of my sight until I'm convinced that you won't run off again."

Fox had learned when Walter needed time to talk to Alex alone. So he jumped up and headed for the shower. When he came out Walter kissed him and whispered to take his time. He nodded. Going over to where Alex was sitting by the window he kissed him. Without a word he took the paper with directions from Alex and left.

Walter stood looking at Alex for a long moment. The time had come. Confession they say is good for the soul. But is that still true if it costs you the man you love? Taking his courage in both hand and drawing in a deep breath he walked toward Alexei.

"Time to talk, Alexei. It's just us here. Ask whatever you want and I will answer. But know that when we leave here and go home, we leave it all here, too. I never told Fox what I told you about Vietnam. Not because I didn't think he would accept it but because he would have never done that. It's not in his nature."

"But it is in mine?"

"At the time I thought that. I know better now. That bastard told me everything he did to you. Everything Spender did to you. Anyone would do what you did to escape the torture. I don't have that excuse."

"You did kill him didn't you?" Alex's voice was a horse whisper in the quiet room. His eyes fixed on something outside the window.

"Yes. And I would do it all over again. A monster like that doesn't deserve to live. I would have killed him for raping you alone, but the other things....."

"How did you manage without Fox finding out? Because he doesn't know right?"

"No, he doesn't know. I hope he never has to know. I drugged his coffee and did it while he was sleeping. I took the prick up to a cabin that a friend owns. It's remote enough that I knew on one would hear him scream."

"Did he scream a lot?"

"Yes, I took it back for you."

"God! Sergei you didn't......"

"Alexei, look at me please!"

Alex turned then and Walter saw the tears flowing down his face. "The only part of my body that touched him was my hands. I would never have soiled myself in his body. How could I be with you and Fox ever again if I did that."

"But my body is soiled, fuck soiled, it's filthy from him. How can you want to touch me knowing what you know? All the men who used me. I don't deserve you. I'm a whore!"

"You will never use that word to describe yourself again. Do you hear me? You were a *child*. Children are not responsible for the wrongs done to them by adults. You did nothing wrong. You survived and you got out. You deserve love and happiness." Walter tone had started angry but held his love at the end.

"I'm glad he's dead. I just wish you hadn't dirtied your hands with him."

"He gave himself a death sentence when he told me he raped you. You are mine and I would kill, steal, lie whatever for you. Can you....."

Walter wasn't even sure what he was trying to ask but Alex was up and out of the chair climbing Walter and holding on tight as he sobbed against his lover's neck.

"Promise me you'll never run away again. Promise you'll stay and let us talk it out. I know we aren't the best at that but I love you. I will *always* love you. Nothing will ever change that."

"I promise. Make love to me to seal the deal."

"Sounds a lot better than shaking on it."

When Fox got back, he found them snuggled, asleep in each other's arms so he undressed and crawled in beside them and slept better than he had in months.


They had stopped for two days in New York so Alex could get the money he had left in a bank there. Walter had insisted that he wanted to meet the man who had called him to try and help them. Walter had laughed when he was told what Alex had said about them having the same hair stylist. They had gone out to dinner and enjoyed each other's company, finding they had a lot in common.

Walter had also made some calls from London on the way back. He wanted Alex to know that other people had missed him too. So Alex arrived home to have a toddler run from the house screaming "My 'lex my 'lex." As he jumped up to wrap his chubby legs around his grandfather's waist.

The Gunmen, Scully, Kim, Charles and of course the family had a welcome home celebration ready for him. After he was bruised from the hugs, and even the Gunmen hugged him, and stuffed to the gills, all the women saying he was much too thin, he slipped away and Walter found him on the back porch.

"You ok?"

He leaned back against the broad chest of his lover.

"I was a fool to run away from you, from this."

"Well, just see that you remember that the next time you are tempted."

"I won't be tempted. I gave someone who loves me my word."

"Your grandson was looking for you. You know he doesn't think the rest of us know how to read."

"Kiss me and I'll go get him settled."

Walter gave him a long slow kiss.

"By the way, Alexei. Edward and Miranda are going to have another baby. Little Sergei wants them to name if after you. I told them that would be great. I didn't think you would mind."

"No, I don't mind. Thank you, Sergei, for giving me such a wonderful family."

The End

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