Best Long Story


In all my life, I've never seen a more amazing competition than this one. Five wonderful stories pitted against each other made for a very close race. None of the stories ever gained more than a few votes over the others, and the winner wasn't clear until the last vote was in. This all testifies to the quality of the finalists.

The nominees are:

Any Weapon by Brenda Antrim

He'd done some background checking on his favorite target as soon as he'd had a half hour alone and access to his intelligence web. Mulder'd been okay, if withdrawn, over the past year. Scully had had some strange moments, including an unscheduled field trip with the cigarette smoking bastard and flirtations with Buddhism and New Age crap. There'd even been an over-nighter at Mulder's apartment, with inconclusive results. If they had slept together, it hadn't made much of an impression on either of them. They'd had an outing to Hollywood, and kept separate suites. Going by the results his moles gave him, Mulder showed more signs of having an affair with Skinner than Scully. Krycek grinned.

Shaking off his usual preoccupation with Mulder, he lowered his binoculars and picked up his cell phone. Punching in numbers from memory, he waited for the caretaker to give the telephone to his nominal boss. When the breathy rasp came over the line, he growled at it.

"In spite of a great deal of effort," he fucking *hated* the woods, they brought back too many memories of bloodthirsty Siberian peasants, "no one seems to be able to find this UFO of yours." If it exists outside your diseased imagination, he implied.

"Of course they can't," the old man wheezed. Krycek nearly cursed him, but forced himself to reply calmly.

"You know why? 'Cause it's *not here*." Heavy sarcasm laced the words.

"It's there, Alex. I'm certain of it." The words were clearly a struggle to get out. Krycek sincerely wished the bastard would choke to death. "Hidden in plain sight."

Bullshit. "You listen to me. If you're gonna play games, the two of them, Mulder and Scully, they're gonna beat me to it." If it actually existed, Mulder would find it. And Scully would authenticate the damned thing.

"Are you saying that Mulder and Scully are looking for the UFO?"

No shit, Sherlock. Krycek closed his eyes briefly. Dealing with the old man was like trying to hold fog, only instead of it dissolving in his hand, it would *dissolve* his hand. "They're looking for a missing deputy."

"Well, they're looking for the right thing, but in the wrong place." "You sent me looking for a ship." Krycek was fed up with the old man's games.

"Find the deputy, find the ship."

Before Krycek could tell the old bastard precisely what he thought of him, a click sounded and he found himself listening to a dial tone. It was just as well. A year in the pestilence of that prison had shortened his patience, and he needed to regain it if he was going to survive this. He had an alliance to rebuild, if it was at all possible. For the future of the goddamned planet, not to mention saving his own sorry ass, he'd do his best to make sure it was possible.

A Gentleman's Word by Loren Q

"Uh, Krycek, why don't you lie on your stomach? It'll be easier to do your back that way.

"Yeah, okay." He moves carefully in compliance.

I move to the side of the bed. He's lying there, his face turned away from me. His right arm out and over his head.

Aside from the new cuts, scrapes and bruises, his back is smooth and well developed.

His shoulders are broad and his back tapers nicely to narrow hips. Even under the towel I can see how rounded his ass is.

He turns his head to me. "Mulder, are you just going to stand there?"

"Sorry, I was..." I shut up for my own good.

I sit on the bed and start applying the ointment on his cuts. It must sting. He tenses a little, causing his muscles to bunch.

"Hey, I didn't say it, but I really appreciate the chance you took out there," I tell him as I finish up.

"Are you thanking me?"

"No, just telling you that you did a fine job."

We're both on edge. I can almost hear smart ass remarks forming in his head. // Forming in *my* head. //

He rolls onto his right side, elbow propping him up. He's facing me.

His face is open, almost vulnerable. His eyes are soft and deep. A slow smile starts.

"Thanks for noticing."

"Are you going to be all right?" I ask as I stand up.

"Probably be a little sore..." He sits up; looking down, he adds, "and stiff."

I look down. His erection is jutting out under the towel. Mine is pushing against my sweats.


I look up at him. His expression is an invitation, crossed with awe and fear.

"We can choose to ignore this. It's your call." He stands. Our bodies are so close, we're almost touching.

My hormones override my instinct as I lean forward to kiss him.

Hijack* by Draig

Once at the airport, Krycek was in two minds as to whether to hit his lover... or his boss. He had again been left guarding their bags, and could only glare at the way Skinner was leaning into Mulder's personal space, while they both studied at the television hanging from the ceiling to check their flight departure gate. He decided that it was Skinner he really wanted to hurt - badly.

Krycek drew in a deep breath and slowly began to count to ten, then switched to hundred and Russian. When Mulder had bounced into their apartment the previous Monday and informed him that they were going to a profiling seminar in Denver the following weekend, Alex had been pleased and excited. Pleased because it seemed as if they never really got any time together, and excited because it had been awhile since they HAD really got any time together.

Ever since Alex's unexpected reinstatement into the FBI by the Cigarette Smoking Man, it seemed that AD Skinner had taken great delight in assigning Mulder any case that took him, and his pretty young partner Dana Scully, out of State. Additionally, he had placed Krycek on transcribing surveillance tapes in the bullpen, an almost impossible task with the amount of noise and bustle that went on in the large office.

The end result had been that Mulder was returning home after several nights' absence, dead tired, cranky and not in a very loving or understanding mood. Meanwhile, Krycek was getting frustrated with the boring, tedious type of work he had been assigned. He was getting a pounding headache everyday from listening to moaning, chit chatty bimbos who spent two thirds of their air headed lives discussing nail paint, and the other third chewing gum while their slobbering lovers drooled over their pillows. Krycek was then left to stew in jealousy all night, with the knowledge that while he was away from home, Fox was sleeping in a room, with an connecting door to his very lovely, very accessible partner. A partner who would do practically anything to get him, Fox, away from Alex, that all Krycek wanted to do was either hit his head against a hard wall or even better yet hit Skinner's head against the wall.

Add to that, Alex did not like airports, had in fact grown to hate them, as they now always made him nervous and edgy. He swallowed hard, if he was truthful it had only been since his last visit to Hong Kong airport. He sighed and turned his attention back to his lover and their boss. They had obviously decided that their flight had not been cancelled, and was in fact due to leave on time from the gate listed on the departure screens.

Krycek snorted. He had been informed over the weekend, on more the one occasion when Fox was not around, that he had only been invited to the seminar because Mulder had put his foot down, and had insisted that Krycek take up one of the other positions available to the Washington division of the FBI. At first Skinner had refused, but then Mulder had really gone into stubborn mode and whatever he had said in the AD's office must have worked because Krycek's name had been added to the list of attendees. It had helped their case slightly because Mulder had been one of the invited guest speakers, so Skinner's hands had been pretty well tied. Now that was a thought that Krycek would work on for a while; he allowed visions of tying the AD up to keep him happy whilst they wandered towards the departure gate.

Words Left Unspoken by Phyre

"Muul-derr," Krycek purred.

Turning toward the direction of Krycek's voice, and for a span no longer than a heartbeat, he felt the whole meeting a mistake. // Dear God. What the hell are we doing? What am I doing? //

He met Krycek's intense stare with his own. // Jesus. I'm drowning in those eyes again. Why? //

Replacing the safety, he regarded the man with cold indifference; silently admitting he had his answer.

// Because I want him. //

// Again. //

// We all have addictions. //

"You're fucking late." The bitter smile never reached his eyes.

"Bad mood tonight, eh, Fox?"

"Don't start, Alex, let's just go." Mulder walked away.

"Taking me some place special, honey?" Stinging sarcasm laced Krycek's voice as he followed in step.

"My place."

"Your place? Jeez, why all the secrecy? I could have just met you there. I hope you changed the sheets."

"Who said we were using a bed?"

The silence screamed volumes.

Stealing a sidelong glance at Krycek's face Mulder saw how his eyes had widened, how the set of his jaw had hardened. He saw fear and smiled again, this time allowing it to reach his hazel green eyes. // Gotcha. //

Turning abruptly, giving Krycek no time to think beyond the reflexive movement of pulling his hands up to deflect whatever blow might land, Mulder looked at the poised hands and nodded coldly. // Oh yes, black leather gloves. Good boy. // His cock twitched in response. They were his favorite accessories in Krycek's wardrobe. Soft, black leather that hugged like second skin, warm, supple, nearly alive, marking every tendon, elongating already long, slim fingers, concealing a world of strength, talent and dexterity. A ghost of a smile crossed his lips. // What those hands could do--covered or exposed, real or plastic. //

Cocking one eyebrow, Mulder pursed his lips and blew a kiss.

"Jesus Mulder, you are one sick fuck."

"You should know, Alex. You should know." Turning, he walked away leaving Krycek the choice to either stay or follow. Satisfied with the sound of footsteps, he picked up the pace. // Good. Very good. //

The short walk to Mulder's apartment building was steeped in a silence that, to the casual passerby, might have seemed companionable; but closer inspection, by a less casual eye, would prove that silence to be a tense one, radiating friction, dissension and enmity. A silence that seemed to say they knew all there was to know about each other, rendering small talk unnecessary and unwanted.

Yes, Alex by Loren Q

Krycek's emerald gaze drills into me. Sunday. This ends Sunday at 10 P.M. At 10:01, I beat the crap out of him and at 10:15, I arrest him.

"You will be both my servant and plaything. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Si... Alex." Alex, call him Alex, at least for now. But think 'Krycek.' // Or asswipe. //

The Colonel's voice breaks the moment. "Gentlemen." Just from the tone, he's addressing the Top Men only. "You have free reign of this home and your assigned property. There is a buffet service and, if you wish, a full kitchen and staff at your disposal. A schedule of optional events is available in each of your rooms." With that, he leaves.


I look at Krycek. "Yes, Alex."

Stepping back, he sits in an overstuffed chair. Resting his chin in his hand, he looks me over. "Take off the shirt and shoes."

I stare at him uncomprehendingly. "M, I will not repeat myself."

I strip off my T-shirt and unlace my boots. Then look around for a place to stow them. Not finding anyplace obvious, I place them on the floor next to Ale... Krycek's chair.

"Done, Alex."

"Fetch me some food. An assortment, but light on cheese. And when you return, kneel here." He points to the floor, by his right knee.

What the fuck am I doing? Better yet, why am I still here? An officer of the law // without gun or ID // as the property of a known felon.

I've got to think here. This is an undercover assignment. // Okay, good so far. // My role is to infiltrate and, at the right time, subdue the perpetrator. // I can live with this. //

I smile to myself thinking of Monday morning. The father-killing rat bastard will be in custody. I'll be able to interrogate him on the consortium and, who knows, I might have a good time this weekend.

As I fill a plate from the buffet table, the rebellious part of me considers spitting on his dim sum.

And the winner is...

Any Weapon by Brenda Antrim
Yes, Alex by Loren Q