Walter Skinner sat down wearily at the bar and ordered a Scotch, not even bothering to check out the other patrons. It was Christmas Eve. He had been through a long week of powerplays and endless paperwork, not to mention having to deal with Mulder, and he was looking forward to some peace and quiet. As he sipped his Scotch, he looked out the window at the last minute Christmas shoppers, rushing by with their festively wrapped packages. The store windows were lit with pretty lights, and Skinner watched as one couple stopped in front of a store with a Christmas village in its window. The man and woman turned and kissed before walking on down the street. Skinner felt a pang of loneliness but pushed it away, concentrating on the bartender, who was wiping glasses behind the bar.
"So, do you come here often?" Came a husky voice from his right.
Skinner turned, a look of disbelief on his face. "Krycek?! What the fuck are you doing here?"
"Shh, Walter, keep your voice down. Don't cause a scene," Krycek said placidly.
"Don't cause a scene? I should shoot your ass right here!"
"Walter. People are looking. And can't you find something better to do with my ass?"
Skinner, his blood pressure steadily rising, reached for Krycek's arm. "Suppose I just arrest you?"
"You know you don't have anything you can hold me for. Why bother? And don't bring up Melissa Scully, or Bill Mulder. Are you still pissed about the beating in the stairwell? A sucker punch and a night freezing my ass off on your balcony don't even things up?"
"No. I told you we weren't even."
"Look, Skinner, we've both lost things, okay?" Krycek said, tapping his prosthetic arm against the bar. "Let's call a truce, okay? For Christmas? Even people in the middle of a war do that."
"I don't think so," Skinner said, but Krycek saw his posture relax a little.
"Let me buy you a drink. Scotch, right?"
"I don't want you buying me a drink, boy," Skinner growled.
"Then you buy me one," Krycek said calmly. "And don't you think I'm a little old for the ‘boy' stuff? Even though it is sort of a turn on."
Skinner scowled at Krycek before signaling the bartender. "Another Scotch, and... whatever he's having."
"Vodka," Krycek said with a smile.
After the bartender set their drinks down, Skinner turned back to Krycek. "So what are you doing here? What do you want?"
"You can't believe this was just a coincidence? That I came in for a drink and don't want anything?"
"No," Skinner said firmly.
Krycek affected a hurt look before saying, "Well, okay... I followed you."
"And what do you want? Not that I'll do it."
"Aw, Skinner, don't be such a tightass! Keep an open mind."
"About you? How much did you have to drink already?"
"I am not drunk. I don't get drunk."
Skinner snorted. "Are you going to tell me?"
"Why don't we go somewhere a little more private?"
"How about a nice, cozy interrogation room?"
"Dammit, Skinner, be serious."
"I am deathly serious. I'm not going anywhere private with you."
"Come on, Skinner, you can check me for weapons, you can make sure we're not being followed... let's go to my motel room."
"Use your imagination," Krycek said with a smile.
Skinner's eyes widened. "Now I know you're drunk. You actually think... there's not a chance in hell I'd fuck a consortium whore like you. God only knows who, or what, has been in your ass," Skinner said cruelly.
Krycek, unprepared for Skinner's sudden vitriol, was unable to mask the hurt in his eyes before he turned away. He drained his glass quickly and stood up, throwing money on the bar before turning back to Skinner, his face emotionless. "You're right Skinner, what was I thinking?" Krycek said tonelessly before he walked out of the bar.
Skinner finished his own drink, took a deep breath, and headed out the door. Krycek was on the street corner, the collar of his leather jacket turned up against the cold. He looked up as Skinner approached. "Think of some more insults? Go ahead, Skinner, let it all out," he said cooly.
"Look, Krycek, I'm..."
"You're what? Sorry? Don't bother," Krycek said, walking off.
"Krycek, wait!" Skinner said, catching up with him. "Look, if you want, come home with me. You shouldn't be in a motel on Christmas Eve."
Krycek looked at Skinner, eyes narrowed. "Don't fuck with me, Skinner."
"I thought that's what you wanted," Skinner said smoothly.
"I don't think I want to go to your place. Last time I was there, the hospitality sucked."
"I'll be more hospitable this time."
Krycek stood staring at Skinner, considering. "You sure? Because I'd rather be in a nice warm motel room than on your balcony."
"Will you give that a rest? You would think I lock everyone who visits me on the balcony."
Krycek gave him a look that clearly said he thought that was a possibility, but he said, "All right, Skinner. I hope I don't end up regretting this."
They drove to Skinner's place in silence, Krycek staring out the window, Skinner concentrating on driving.
Once there, Skinner unlocked the door, letting Krycek enter first. Krycek looked around Skinner's apartment, which was completely devoid of any holiday decoration.
"Yeah, this is much more Christmassy than a motel room. You really went all out with the decorating, huh, Skinner?"
"Fuck you, Krycek, go sit down."
"Ah-ah, what did you say about being hospitable?"
Skinner grimaced. "Fine. Won't you please sit down? Can I get you anything?" he said sweetly.
"Yes, thank you," Krycek said, unfazed by Skinner's attitude. "I'll have whatever you're having."
Skinner came back to find Krycek sitting on the couch. He handed him his drink, then settled into an armchair with his own.
"So, what are your plans for the holiday?" Krycek asked.
"This is pretty much it, relaxing."
"That's depressing, Skinner. Don't you have family?"
"That's none of your business," Skinner said coldly.
"Okay, friends, someone to be with?" Krycek pressed on.
"My personal life is that, Krycek. At least I have friends. I guess you can't say the same, since you're here."
"Okay, but where are your friends? You spend more time with Mulder and Scully than anyone else. Where are they?"
"They have lives of their own."
"Did either invite you over for Christmas? Give you a gift? Say ‘Merry Christmas'?"
"Drop it, Krycek."
"Skinner... do they even know, do they have any idea how much you've compromised yourself for them? Do they care?"
"I didn't do it for the recognition, Krycek. I did it because it was the right thing to do. I never asked them for thanks."
"But if they cared, they'd be there for you. They wouldn't let you. . . be alone all the time. What have they ever done except make your life more difficult? And accuse you of being a traitor when you wouldn't do exactly what they wanted you to?"
"What the fuck have you ever done except make my life more difficult?" Skinner asked, getting angry. "And I don't recall Mulder and Scully ever beating me up on a stairwell or anything like that."
"No," Krycek agreed quietly. "But I bet what they did hurt worse."
Skinner stood and advanced on Krycek, pulling him up by his upper arms. "We're not discussing this any more. I figured you were just trying me when you made your ridiculous request," Skinner said in a low, tightly controlled voice. "Now, get out. "
"Dammit, Skinner, I don't want to argue. It's Christmas Eve. I thought we could help each other."
Skinner let Krycek go, laughing bitterly. "Help each other? Not likely," Skinner said as he went back to his chair and sat, picking up his drink.
Krycek sat back down. "I watch you, Skinner. It's part of my job. I know how often you go out. I know how often you get laid. You always go to an out of town bar, pick up some guy, go to a motel, and after sex, you send him on his way."
Skinner's face reddened as he slammed his glass down hard enough to break it. "So that's what this is all about! You came here to blackmail me on behalf of your employers."
"They don't know. I've never told them. I was making the point that you haven't really formed a relationship with anyone."
"So? Sex is easier, no strings."
"See, that's how I feel. And I thought, since we know each other..."
Skinner laughed. "‘Since we know each other?'"
"Fine. Pretend I'm one of those guys you pick up. We can fuck. And we won't be alone on Christmas Eve."
"Get out," Skinner said with soft menace.
"Oh, come on, Skinner. You know you want me. I want you. You're one sexy motherfucker, Skinner."
"Krycek," Skinner growled.
"Skinner, what could it hurt?"
"Since I'm sure this is a setup, it could hurt me."
"You still think I'm trying to set you up?"
"How can I prove I'm not?"
"I don't know. I could look for the surveillance equipment."
"Damn, Skinner, you really are paranoid. Besides, I wanted you to come to my room, remember? I didn't know we were coming here."
Skinner considered that. "Are you saying I'm not always under surveillance? You just said it was your job to follow me."
"Yeah, but we haven't had anything here for a while."
"You really want this?" Skinner asked doubtfully.
"I really do. I have for a long time. I'll consider it my Christmas present."
Skinner snorted. "Okay, but we do it on my terms."
"Skinner - - " Krycek said in annoyance.
"My terms. Or, you could get out. Find your Christmas fuck somewhere else."
"Fine," Krycek said, taking off his leather jacket and laying it on the couch. He slipped his sweater off and it joined the jacket. Krycek toed his boots off, then leaned down to pull his socks off. Then he unbuttoned his jeans and pushed them down, bending to retrieve them and add them to the growing pile on the couch.
"The arm, too?"
"Up to you," Skinner said, his voice decidedly weaker than before as he watched Krycek intently.
Krycek shrugged and unstrapped the prosthetic arm, laying it gently atop his pile of discarded clothing. "The straps dig into my shoulder. I'm more comfortable without it."
"As an important consortium employee, I would think they would get you a more advanced model."
Krycek laughed bitterly. "Yeah, well, our health plan sucks. I'm lucky they didn't shoot me, like a horse with a broken leg. Now what?"
"Upstairs. And you go first. That way I can keep an eye on your ass."
"I knew you had a thing for my ass," Krycek smirked.
"Don't flatter yourself, Krycek. I want you where I can see you."
"Sure, Skinner, whatever you say."
"In here," Skinner said, directing Krycek to the bedroom.
Krycek went to the bed, stretching out and looking expectantly at Skinner as he turned back from switching on a lamp.
"What?" Skinner asked.
"Aren't you going to strip for me? I did it for you."
Skinner shook his head, marveling at the way his evening was turning out.
"Come on, Skinner. I can see you have something impressive under there," Krycek said, nodding to Skinner's obvious erection. "Let me see."
Skinner smiled in spite of himself, and quickly undressed. As he slipped off his briefs, Krycek gave a low whistle.
"Impressive was an understatement. Nice, Skinner. I guess I'll be walking funny tomorrow."
Skinner tried to glare at Krycek, but only managed a grin. "Krycek, you're not right." Then he paused, unsure of what to do next.
Krycek looked up and sensed his uncertainty. "Pretend I'm one of the guys you pick up. What would you do?"
"Krycek, I don't want..."
"Come on, Skinner. We're not in love here. It's just sex. Want me to suck you?" Not waiting for an answer, Krycek rose from the bed to kneel before Skinner.
Skinner put a hand on Krycek's shoulder. "Krycek, wait. Stand up."
Krycek got up, sitting on the bed as Skinner directed.
Skinner joined him. "Krycek, this isn't how I want it to be," Skinner said quietly. "I know you're right, we're not in love. In fact, far from it. But... I want tonight to be different."
"Tell me what you want."
"Could I kiss you?"
Krycek grinned and nodded. "Yeah, kiss me."
Skinner leaned over, pressing his lips to Krycek's tentatively, as his hand went around the back of Krycek's head. Krycek responded to the kiss, parting his lips, encouraging Skinner to kiss him deeply. When Skinner released him, both men were breathless.
"That was nice," Skinner said.
"Yeah," Krycek said. "Do it again?"
Skinner laughed. "Yeah, but let's get comfortable," he said, stretching out on the bed. "Come here."
Krycek joined him, turning to face Skinner as they stretched out.
"Somehow, I didn't think this would be so awkward when I suggested it," Krycek said lightly.
"Yeah, it feels sort of like the first time I had sex," Skinner said ruefully.
"I want to hear that story sometime," Krycek said. "But right now, you promised me another kiss."
"I did, didn't I?" Skinner said, reaching out to pull Krycek close, taking possession of his mouth again.
Krycek moved his hand to Skinner's neck, kneading the skin there as the kiss deepened. Krycek moaned as Skinner broke the kiss, until he realized that Skinner was merely moving down to his neck, licking a path to his collarbone and back up, sucking lightly.
Krycek leaned in, whimpering as Skinner captured an earlobe, biting gently. He heard Skinner chuckle, but couldn't make any comment other than another whimper as Skinner sucked at the tender lobe he'd just bitten.
"Were you like this your first time?" Krycek asked weakly as Skinner released him.
"Hardly. I couldn't even get my girlfriend's bra off I was so nervous."
"Huh. You improved."
"I like to think so. Besides, you're very inspiring, with the moaning and whimpering. And you're even more sexy when you're aroused."
"Fuck you, Skinner."
"Good idea," Skinner said, moving to Krycek's other ear, then down to his chest to give equal attention to each of Krycek's nipples while reaching down to capture Krycek's cock, which was now erect and leaking precum. Skinner used his thumb to rub it over the head, eliciting yet more whimpers from Krycek. He pumped the shaft lightly, still worrying Krycek's nipples with his teeth, until Krycek gasped, "Skinner, wait, you're going to make me come, I'm too close."
Skinner released Krycek, moving back. Krycek, panting, his face flushed, lay there for a few seconds before saying, "Now it's your turn," and sliding down to use his mouth on Skinner's huge cock.
Skinner gasped at the first contact, and arched up from the bed as Krycek went to work. Using his talented mouth, he took Skinner deep in his throat before taking his mouth away to move down and suck at Skinner's balls, making Skinner groan.
"You like that, huh? And to think, you didn't want to do this at first."
Skinner meant to growl something at Krycek, but it was lost in another groan as Krycek took his cock back into his mouth, moving steadily up and down on it, sucking gently.
Now Skinner stopped Krycek. "That's about all I can take, Krycek."
"Okay," Krycek said, looking up at Skinner. "Will you fuck me now?"
"How do you want me?"
"On your knees? Is that uncomfortable for you?"
"No. Stack up some pillows, it'll be fine."
While Krycek got into position, Skinner got condoms and lube from the bedside table. Skinner was tearing open one of the condoms when Krycek put his hand on his. "Listen, Skinner, are you clean?"
"Yes, I get tested regularly, and I always use a condom."
"I'm clean, too. You trust me on that?"
After a few seconds, Skinner nodded. "Yes."
"Good. Now fuck me."
Skinner laughed as he reached for the lube. "You do want me to use this, right?"
"With that monster of yours? Definitely."
Skinner laughed as he spread lube on his fingers. He pressed a finger to Krycek's anus, easing it in and loosening the tight opening. Krycek shuddered.
"That's good, Skinner. Give me more."
Skinner pushed a second finger in, rotating both fingers, encouraged by Krycek's moans of pleasure.
"I can't wait anymore, Skinner. I want you now."
Skinner, almost past the point of waiting himself, slid his fingers out. He lubed his cock before slowly entering Krycek.
"Jesus, Krycek, you're tight," he hissed as he pushed in a little more. Soon, Skinner was in, sighing as he bottomed out against Krycek's ass. He thrust gently, pushing all the way in, then almost pulling out before going deep again.
"Oh, God, Skinner, that's good, but do it harder." Krycek gasped.
Skinner was glad to oblige, ramming himself into Krycek over and over, both of them grunting with the impact. Skinner stopped after a while, and Krycek craned his head around, concerned.
"Skinner? Everything okay?"
"Yes. Would you mind turning over, Krycek?"
"Um, no, I guess not." He pushed the pillows aside, and lay back. Skinner reached out and pulled his legs up, pulling him closer in the process. He reentered Krycek, watching his face as he did so. He was nearly overcome by the look on Krycek's face, a mixture of exquisite pleasure, and something else. A look of intense desire and deep yearning. And he felt a need to fulfill it for Krycek.
Krycek looked up, catching the look on Skinner's face. It was one he'd never seen before, certainly not directed at him. There was want in Skinner's look, but... much more. Not the look of want he was used to, but maybe like Skinner wanted more, not just a quick fuck. He decided not to think about it too much, or read too much into it.
And he didn't have to when Skinner started to thrust against him, not the slow rhythm from the beginning of their lovemaking, and not the hard and fast one of a few minutes before, but an unhurried, deliberate pace that was somehow more intense than before. They rocked against each other, lost in the intensity of their coupling, willing it not to end. They held back, prolonging it all they could until finally, they couldn't hold it off any longer. Skinner felt himself start to come, and reached out to stroke Krycek, so that they both cried out their pleasure, shuddering against each other.
Afterwards, they lay there trying to catch their breath. Skinner glanced at the clock. "It's Christmas," he commented.
"Hmm," Krycek murmured. "I must've been a good boy. I got what I wanted."
Skinner chuckled. "I don't know - - " he started to say, before he was interrupted by a low rumbling sound. "Krycek, was that you?"
Krycek looked over at Skinner, embarrassed. "I never had dinner. My stomach's growling."
Skinner smiled. "Neither did I. Let's go see what we can find."
They went downstairs and raided the refrigerator, finding pizza, which Skinner heated up while he directed Krycek to get beer from the refrigerator. They went back upstairs and ate in bed, sitting side by side against the headboard.
"Tell me what Christmas was like when you were growing up," Krycek said when they were finished.
"It was a big deal. We - - my younger brother David and I - - used to go with my dad into the woods behind our house, and we'd cut down a tree and drag it home. My mom would pull out the wood ornaments my dad made for their first Christmas together. We would decorate it, then have hot chocolate and my mom's sugar cookies."
"That's nice, Skinner. Like an old fashioned, all American Christmas thing."
"Are you being sarcastic?"
"No, Skinner, I mean it," Krycek said softly. "Tell me some more."
"Well... we used to make gifts. David and I always did it together. My dad taught us. One year we made birdhouses for everyone. My dad was amazing, Krycek. He could take a piece of wood and make these wonderful things." Skinner sighed. "I miss him."
Skinner nodded. "It's been... fifteen years. He was never the same after David died."
"Oh," Krycek said. "How did your brother die?"
"Car accident. A drunk driver hit him head-on."
"I'm sorry, Skinner. I know that must've been tough."
"Yeah. My mom was diagnosed with cancer a few years later. After she died, my dad just... lost interest in living. That's why I don't celebrate Christmas. We used to make a big deal out of it, right up until David died."
"Skinner, I'm sorry about what I said before, the decorating crack I made. I didn't know."
"I know, Krycek. It's all right," Skinner said. "What about you? Did your family celebrate Christmas?"
"Yeah, but we weren't exactly the Waltons. We lived in an apartment, and we always had a fake tree. My mom had this awful white one until my father made her get rid of it. He said a tree should be green," Krycek chuckled. "But we always had fun decorating it. My dad would put it up and string the lights, and my sister and I would decorate it. Last thing, my dad would hold Katya up so she could put the angel on top."
"You have a sister?"
"Yeah, a few years younger than me."
"Do you... I mean, where is she?"
"She's married and lives far away from here. I don't see her, Skinner. She's safer that way."
"I'm sorry, but... that's sad."
"Knowing she's safe makes it easier."
"What about your parents?"
"They died the year I graduated from college. Their apartment building caught fire, and they lived on an upper floor. The smoke got them."
"I'm sorry. But's that's all the more reason you should have a relationship with your sister. If it was me, I would."
"Are you sure? Think about Samantha Mulder. Melissa Scully. The people we love are better off without us, Skinner."
Skinner was quiet for a minute. "I see your point, I guess. Go on, tell me about Christmas."
"Yeah. Well, we never made any presents. We didn't really have a lot of money, but Mom and Dad always made sure we got the presents we really wanted."
They were quiet for a while, lying in each other's arm in the soft light from the lamp.
Skinner broke the silence, saying quietly, "We have more in common than I realized."
Krycek drew back. "Did you really say that?"
Skinner pulled him back. "Yes, I did."
"What did you think? I came from some awful home, my folks beat me, maybe, and I tortured pets for fun or something?"
"Yes. No, maybe, I don't know." Skinner hesitated. "How did you end up... doing what you do?"
"You want me to tell you I had to do it to support my sister? I wish I could. I did help her out. Truth is, they approached me not long after my parents died. I was angry and confused, and... what they said sounded really good. What they could do for me, the money, the power, you know what I mean. I was weak, Skinner. And after they hook you, by the time you realize what you're into, it's too late."
"I don't believe that."
"You've seen their power. But I'm... I have options. I'm not always going to be where I am. I have plans."
"For moving up in the consortium?"
"Skinner... let's not talk about this, okay? I know what you think of me, of what I do? And you're right, okay? Couldn't we just pretend a little longer?"
Skinner sighed, wrapping his arms around Krycek. "Yeah, of course we can."
A few minutes later, Krycek asked Skinner softly, "This hasn't been such a bad Christmas Eve, has it?"
"Not bad at all."
"Is it okay if I spend the night?"
"Of course. I'd like that."
Krycek snuggled up closer, Skinner held him tighter, and they both went to sleep thinking that this had ben a really nice Christmas Eve, and hoping Christmas Day might prove to be even better.
Title: Comfort and Joy
Website: Maddie's Fanfiction
Feedback: Yes, please!
Warnings: This story contains a m/m sexual relationship.
Spoilers: Assume everything through S.R. 819.
Archive: Full House, RatB, DitB, WWOMB
Disclaimer: All X-Files characters belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made.
Summary: Celebrating Christmas
First Published: in the Christmas 2004 Skinner/Krycek Zine, December 2004
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