In Christmastide

by Polly Bywater

Christ Almighty," Walter Skinner muttered, rubbing his forehead wearily as he took a deep breath of the night air.

"You said it, brother," John Doggett grumbled, while Dana Scully limited herself to a tired sigh, burying her face in Doggett's upper arm.

Walter and John exchanged a grimace.

Inside the farmhouse, Mulder and Krycek were ferociously bickering. Skinner doubted they'd even realized he, Doggett, and Scully had stepped outside; too absorbed in their longstanding argument, which had become a constant in all their lives once everyone – including Rebel-resurrected Krycek - had started working openly with the Resistance.

Everyone else had managed some kind of peace with Krycek - after all, when the ends were as huge as the fate of all mankind it was hard to keep quibbling about the means - and there was no question that the man was a definite asset to the cause.

But not Mulder.

Any time he and Krycek were around each other, the fight was on, although it had finally stopped coming to actual blows after Walter had threatened to handcuff them together with ball gags in their mouths between meals and missions.

Krycek had given him a long, rather speculative look then nodded, holding up his hands – Jeremiah Smith had restored his arm along with his life – and promised he wouldn't land the first punch but he would insist on the right to defend himself.

They'd been working together long enough for Walter Skinner to appreciate the fact that Krycek rarely made promises, but the ones he made, he kept, so that was good enough for him.

Besides, Walter was well aware Krycek was never the one who threw the first blow anyway.

This left Mulder, who was, Walter was sorry to say, the instigator about ninety percent of the time. Without a physical outlet for his frustrations, Mulder's behavior had degenerated to the level of a temperamental four-year old. The harder Krycek tried not to let Mulder get to him, the bigger Mulder’s tantrum would escalate ... until Krycek got sucked into snapping back in an icy tone that the rest of them could just see stepping on Mulder’s last nerve.

The last explosion Walter had mediated had begun with Mulder's outraged cry of 'he's looking at me!' - much to Walter's last-straw aggravation.

"Suggestions?" He asked his unfortunate companions and nearly fell off the porch at John Doggett's sour reply.

"They need to fuck each other and get it out of their systems," John drawled softly.

"John!" Scully gasped.

"Come on, Dana, you agreed with me last night," John said. "In fact, you’re the one who told me-"

She lifted one elegant eyebrow in his direction and John closed his mouth in mid-sentence, staring right back at her.

Walter’s mouth twitched when Scully's cheeks pinkened along with Doggett’s ears.

"Well, I've had time to think about it since then. I don't believe that's the whole problem, although certainly, that's a large component," Scully said pedantically, turning to stare thoughtfully at Walter, who held his tongue. "I think they're jealous."

"Jealous." Walter felt his eyebrow go up.

"I'm not so sure about Krycek-"

"Who is?" Doggett interrupted, rolling his eyes while Scully continued fearlessly.

"-but Mulder is eaten up with jealousy. I know Mulder. I can tell."

"Not because of you and me?" Doggett questioned with some apprehension, and Scully smiled up at him and petted his chest.

"No, sweetheart. Mulder's jealous of any attention that Walter and Krycek pay each other." She turned that level blue gaze on Walter. "I think you need to take them both to bed, Walter."

"Oh my fucking god," Walter said, and sat down on the plank porch with a mighty thump.

"Damn, Walt, you okay?"

"Walter, are you hurt?"

Before he could answer, Mulder and Krycek stormed out, weapons drawn and eyes wild.

All Walter could do was laugh, semi-hysterically, and accept the hands that helped him up.


Two nights later - after two days filled with relatively low key sniping and snarking between Mulder and Krycek - Scully caught Walter alone while he was standing outside the kitchen door, looking up at the stars in the clear winter sky. Like a gangster in a B movie, she sidled up beside him to mutter from the corner of her mouth.

"Have you been thinking about it?"

"I haven't been able to think of much else," Walter admitted with rueful honesty - once he'd taken a cautious look around for potential eavesdroppers. "What gave you this insane idea?"

Scully laughed; a good, heartfelt laugh, the kind they heard too seldom lately.

"Walk with me?"


They went deeper into the back yard that abutted a vast fallow field.

"It's the way all of you watch each other," she admitted very very quietly. "I pay attention. Mulder-"

"Mulder can't decide who he's more jealous of, me or Krycek. You were right," Walter concluded. It seemed rather obvious to him now that he'd known what he was looking at and he wondered how he'd missed it before ... except he'd closed certain possibilities so firmly out of his mind that he just hadn't let himself consider it.

"I don't think he's wrapped his mind around the concept of having you both." Scully smirked. "Mulder's a little vanilla."

Astounded to hear that particular assessment from Dana Scully, of all people, Walter rubbed the back of his neck and concentrated on not gaping.

"And I don't think Krycek is opposed to the handcuffs and ball gag," she added, eyeing him sideways.

"Jesus, Dana."

"That was your suggestion, Walter."


Another long week had gone by, made notable by a successful termination of yet another clone lab and the assassination of yet another collaborator and yet another safehouse, this one deep in the dense southwest Missouri woods.

Walter was no nearer deciding how to get his boys - as he'd come to think of Mulder and Krycek – both in bed with him, but he no longer questioned that he would.

He just had to pick his moment.

As a result, he'd made an effort throughout the week to spend equal time with each of them, separately and together. His boys had practically blossomed, reminding him ridiculously of his grandmother's rose garden.

Alex, the American Beauty; frozen short of full bloom and curled in on himself, closed and wary despite his cautious acceptance of Walter's attentions. Mulder, always showier, like Fire and Ice; his brilliant edges a distracting contrast from his pure, vulnerable core.

A week of wordless negotiations; a week of Walter’s thoughtful, evenhanded care and concern ... all in an effort to prompt his boys into an emotional truce. When the time came, Walter didn’t want a lot of anger in bed with them.

And his efforts were paying off, he believed.

Now, when the three of them were together, Mulder would respond to Walter with his once typical rambling open-ended conversation – as opposed to merely baiting Alex.

Alex, on the other hand, had grown even more quiet than usual, occasionally watching them with his lakewater eyes, that deep green gaze so full of hopeless, wistful regret that Walter felt it like drowning.

Especially after the most recent missions – Alex had come back from his and begun regarding them as if something was over; like he'd been reminded of who and what he was and knew he would never deserve anything good.

Walter hated that expression.

And finally, finally Mulder had started noticing. Just in the last day or so, he'd stopped being defensive long enough to pay attention and analyze what he was seeing, even making a visible effort - to Walter, anyway - to speak to Alex more neutrally.

Even if it didn’t last, Scully had muttered at Walter privately, at least it was a nice break for the holidays.


Christmas Eve eve, and it was looking to Walter like the moment was upon him. He was alone with his boys, Dana and John having taken a second plush vacation cabin several hundred yards away from this one. Dana had seen the three of them settled in, informed them all she had big romantic plans that they'd better not disturb or else! and left, John winking at Walter on his way out the door behind her.

Obvious, but Walter could certainly forgive them for arranging such a golden opportunity.

He wasn't going to waste it.


"How're supplies, Alex?" Walter asked, watching as the younger man prowled through the kitchen, his step so quiet it was almost soundless.

"Not bad," Alex said, peering into the refrigerator and pulling out three beers, passing two of them to Walter instead of handing one to Mulder directly. He popped the top of his own before closing the door. "There's a turkey in there."

"Do we even know how to cook one?" Mulder wondered dubiously, strolling up behind Walter and accepting his beer before circling Alex to look in the refrigerator for himself. "Damn, it's big, too."

"Good," Walter said, pleasantly surprised. "Plenty of leftovers. I can roast a turkey," he added for Mulder's benefit.

"So can I," Alex volunteered unexpectedly.

"I didn't know you could cook, Krycek," Mulder said, in what for him was a fairly nonconfrontational tone.

"Turkey's not hard as long as you remember to take out the giblets and neck," Alex offered and actually quirked a grin at them both. "I forgot, the first time."

"So did Sharon," Walter said with a faint smile for the memory. "She cooked the big family dinner the Christmas after we got married. She was so embarrassed about ... Well. It was a long time ago."

He sighed, flashing on the scene when his mother had calmly pointed out to his young wife - who'd burst into tears - that the giblets and neck - discovered when Walter carved the turkey, at the table, in front of everybody - were supposed to be removed prior to roasting.

He'd defended Sharon immediately, informing them all that it certainly hadn't ruined the turkey itself, which was juicy and tender. Sharon had looked at him like he was her hero.

It was one of the few times Walter could remember getting it right.

God help him not mess it up this time.

"You miss her," Mulder's voice commiserated gently, surprising Walter into looking at him, then Alex. His boys looked sad for him and Walter couldn't stand that.

"I miss being in a relationship," he confided, seizing the moment. "I'm tired of sleeping alone. Waking up alone. I miss making love. Being close. I want that again. I'd like to have it with both of you."

Alex flinched - actually flinched - and started for the door. Walter intercepted him, blocking the exit.

"Alex, are you leaving because you don't want those things with us? With me?" He asked, briefly catching Alex's stormy eyes.

Not answering, Alex pivoted and headed for the outside door. Mulder stepped in front of it, favoring Walter with an unusually sunny smile.

"You always were quick," Walter said to Mulder over Alex's shoulder, amused when Alex moved as far from both of them as he could and glared at them. His nostrils were flaring just a bit and Walter thought it was a good look on that proud, suspicious face.

"I can put up with Krycek to get you, Walter."

Walter could hear the audible tease in Mulder's monotone words but it was instantly obvious Alex hadn't heard it at all. Biting down on his bottom lip, Alex turned his face aside like he'd been slapped, going paste-pale.

Then that chin lifted and he straightened his shoulders, cold eyes regarding Mulder with glacial indifference.

"Don't put yourself out, Mulder. That won't be necessary. He's all yours," Alex drawled. His weight shifted as he assumed a defensive stance, bristling with the automatic, unconscious attitude of someone who felt threatened. Someone who wouldn't hesitate to protect himself by any means necessary; someone getting ready to go right through you if that's what it took.

"Alex, that was a joke," Mulder said, ignoring the very evident threat and moving fearlessly into Alex's personal space. His hands landed on the counter on either side of Alex, trapping him in place without touching him, and Walter thought Mulder must have a lot of faith in Alex never throwing the first punch.

Fortunately for Mulder, Alex had frozen at Mulder's use of his given name. Walter took the opportunity to go to them both, one hand going to Alex's warm nape for a gentle rub. He was prepared for the instinctive backwards jerk Alex gave - preventing a nasty whack to the back of Alex's head courtesy of the upper cabinet - when Mulder leaned into Alex's chest and put their faces together.

"I've had this fantasy of having you both for over ten years," Mulder whispered, trailing the words across Alex's cheek towards his ear, momentarily leaning his head on Walter's forearm. "Don't mess it up for me, Alex. It's Christmas," he added before he licked Alex's earlobe and winked up at Walter.

Alex gasped audibly and shuddered under Walter's hand, his own fingers white-knuckling the counter's edge.

He was hard. Walter didn't blame him.

"You- you're crazy. You can't- you both don't want-"

"Oh, I think you'll find we do," Walter said, putting his arms around his boys. "But not in here. I'm going to have to cook in this kitchen."

Walter was vastly reassured when Alex relaxed enough to snicker at that.

Mulder put his hand up, ignored Alex's reflexive twitch, and traced the curve of that lush lower lip.

"Please, Alex? Let us have you?" He begged so prettily that Walter groaned, the sound coming out like a long low growl as his own cock hardened.

Alex swallowed, breathed, and then nodded, eyes still wary ... but not unwilling.

Walter could work with that.


Before they could change their minds, Walter herded his boys up the stairs into the loft bedroom - the only bedroom, he'd noticed, mentally wishing John and Dana a good time in thanks for the fact.

Shamelessly fondling the two fine, fine asses in front of him, Walter was looking forward to getting them all naked. Alex stilled at Walter's touch, turning to look at him.



"Walter. L-look. Are- are you sure this is- is- is this a good idea? You don't need- the two of you can- can- we have to work together, you know?"

"You've been stuttering since Walt made his move. It's kinda cute," Mulder noted before Walter could answer, grabbing Alex's upper arm and pulling him along as Walter pushed, palms curving to fit firm cheeks. "And we do work, together."

This time the meaning behind Mulder's tone was clear enough even for doubtful Alex.

"I bet I can make you stop speaking in words," Mulder added as they hit the top of the stairs.

Walter expected that was a sure thing.


Turned out they worked very well indeed and to be fair, none of them were in any way articulate after a certain point.

Turned out, they didn't need more than to put their skins together to say everything they'd ever needed to say to each other, making no more than harsh sounds of animal pleasure after that.

Mulder ended up propping himself against the headboard on a number of pillows, Alex splayed across his body like some kind of offering ... his cock up Alex's ass as high as he could get it, rocking, powerful thighs inside Alex's, holding Alex open for himself as much as Walter, who settled himself between their legs and touched them both, feeding his hands on their skins.

Then he started to taste and pretty soon Alex was screaming and crying and shaking and so damned beautiful, lost in passion. Mulder came with Alex, with Walter's fingers in his ass, nearly passing out when Walter had knelt up, fisted his cock twice and come with a roar, hard and long over them both.

Marking his boys.

Alex wept after, the sheer force of his pleasure leaving him completely unguarded in its wake.

Worked? Understatement.


And as Mulder said two days later, best Christmas ever ... something all three of them said to each other every year after that.


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