Challenges of Everyday Life 14
Change of Venue

Orithain

August 1999

DISCLAIMER: Legally, Mulder and Krycek belong to CC and 1013 Productions, though I firmly believe they belong to each other.

"Alex?"

"Mmph?" The reply was muffled since Alex currently had his face tucked into the curve of Mulder's neck. He'd landed there when he collapsed atop his lover and saw no reason to move. He liked lying on Fox.

"Let's get a place together."

Now Alex had to raise his head to give Mulder an incredulous look. "Uh, Foxy, in case you haven't noticed, we do live together. I've been living with you for months."

"That's just it. You've been living with me. I want a place that's ours. And preferably one that isn't used as a training ground for every spy wannabe on two continents," he grumbled.

Alex snickered. Fox had a point though. Living in this apartment was like living in a goldfish bowl. "Okay, what kind of place did you have in mind?"

"I dunno. We could get a condo."

"Or?" Alex prompted, knowing perfectly well that Mulder had a preference.

"Or we could get a house outside the city. The commute wouldn't be bad, and we can certainly afford it."

Alex sighed, picturing hours of tramping from one boxy house to the next. Only for Fox. "Okay, I guess we're going house hunting. How do you want to do this? Check out ads, drive around looking for 'for sale' signs, what?"

"I think we'd be better off using a real estate agent. I don't want us getting frustrated and giving up because we aren't seeing the right kind of place."

Alex heaved a mental sigh of relief. This might not be so bad. Of course, it wasn't going to be nearly as much fun as his original plan for this weekend, which had involved so much sex that neither of them would have been able to walk by Monday. Still, a change of locale might be fun. And it would be nice to have a place they'd picked together and where there was a decent kitchen. Maybe a fireplace or two. Definitely a yard, preferably one that was private enough that no one could see what they did in it.

Fox watched Alex with a smile. He could see that he like the idea. Mulder could almost see the wheels turning as Alex considered options.

"We'll be a lot more successful if we actually get out of this bed and go see a real estate agent," Mulder pointed out, making Alex laugh.

A little over an hour later, they'd showered, dressed and eaten and were on their way out the door. The first real estate agent they tried was clearly anti-gay, and Mulder rushed Alex out of the office before anything unfortunate could happen. He'd been tempted to let Alex do his worst, but the jerk wasn't worth going to jail over.

They had better luck with the next agent they tried. This one, a fifty-ish woman named Sally, thought they were the most adorable couple--they knew because she told them so--and flirted with them both outrageously. Once she established that they were looking for a house, not an apartment in the city, her face lit up.

"Do you have a preference as to location?" she wanted to know.

"Yes," Alex spoke up. "We want something out in the countryside, with a lot of land around it, not stuck in the middle of some suburban development."

"Maybe an old farmhouse that's been renovated," Mulder added.

Sally frowned.

"Is something wrong?" Alex asked immediately.

"There is a house available," Sally said slowly, "but I'm not sure."

"Why? What's wrong with it?" Alex questioned.

Sally sighed. "It's haunted."

Alex groaned and dropped his head back against his chair. When he opened his eyes again, it was to find Fox pouting at him and Sally looking bewildered. "Where do we sign?" he sighed.

Mulder kicked him. "We would like to see the house."

"I'm sorry, am I missing something here?" Sally wanted some answers before this went any further.

Rather than replying, Mulder asked, "Why were you so hesitant to mention this house? Don't the owners want to sell? Or is because we're a gay couple? Is that going to be a problem?"

"What? Oh, no, I never meant to give you that impression. And the house is mine. I inherited it when my great aunt died a few years ago. My husband and I have our own home where we raised our children, and we have no desire to move. But the house has been in my family for generations."

"So who's the ghost?" Mulder asked.

"My many times great-grandmother, Sarah Mann. She was quite a character apparently. She came to the house as a young bride in 1762, and she died there in 1843. She lived to an incredible age for a woman in those days, 96 years old."

"And you don't think an eighteenth century woman would have a problem with our relationship?" Alex asked in surprise.

Sally laughed. "I've read her diaries. She lived through the Revolution and the War of 1812. She believed that any form of love was to be cherished. She was also quite fond of some young soldiers who sheltered in her home at one time before they headed west to someplace without people where they could be together."

"She sounds like an extraordinary woman," Mulder smiled.

"She was," Sally agreed. "Now, why did you both react oddly when I said the house was haunted?"

Alex snickered, ignoring the dirty look he got from Mulder. "Mulder is an agent with the FBI, in charge of investigating X-files." At the woman's questioning look, he continued, "Those are cases involving some aspect of the paranormal."

"Oh. I see. So, the ghost would actually make you more interested in the house?"

Mulder nodded emphatically.

"Well, then, let's go see what you think of it."

Approximately 45 minutes later, the three of them stood outside an old farmhouse. Alex and Fox looked around at the huge, fenced-in fields on either side of the laneway at the front, at the meadow full of fruit trees they could see out back, at the lovely old house, and both of them instantly fell in love. They looked at each other, then at Sally.

"With or without a ghost, whatever the price is, we want it," Alex stated emphatically.

"Don't you want to see the inside?" Sally asked, startled.

"Yes, of course we want to. But we don't need to. This feels like home." Mulder hugged Alex happily as he answered.

As they turned toward the house again and started up the steps to the porch, the front door suddenly swung open invitingly. Sally blinked in surprise; she'd brought a few other people to see the house the last couple of years, and none of them had gotten that reception. Fox and Alex just smiled and stepped through the door, stopping in surprise when they found themselves face to face with a young woman. She appeared to be in her mid twenties and was wearing clothing typical of the mid-18th century.

"Hello."

"Ulp." Sally gaped in total disbelief. She'd believed that the house was haunted because nothing else explained the noises and smells and furniture moving by itself, but this was the first time she'd actually seen Sarah. And she knew it was Sarah. She looked almost exactly as she did in the miniature of her done when she'd come to the house as a young woman.

Sarah gazed at her descendent, a merry twinkle in her eyes. "What, you thought I'd look like the old crone I was when I died? That would be a horrible way to spend eternity, now wouldn't it?"

Alex snickered. He couldn't help it. He already liked this. . . woman. He couldn't think of her any other way.

Mulder reached out a tentative hand to touch her, almost surprised when his finger went through. She looked so solid. Then he found out that she could indeed be solid when she smacked his hand away. He blinked at her with such astonishment on his face that Alex howled with laughter.

"I've been a ghost for more than 150 years, young man. I've learned how to interact with the world around me. Now then, does no one have manners any more? Introduce yourselves."

Alex stopped laughing finally. "It's a very great pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Mann. I'm Alexei Krycek, and this is my partner, Fox Mulder. Please, call me Alex."

Sarah smiled at him. "And you may call me Sarah. Are you going to live in my house?"

"If you don't mind, ma'am," Mulder joined the conversation finally.

"I look forward to it, Fox."

Mulder flinched at the name. "Most people call me Mulder."

"How very rude of them." Clearly, Sarah had no intention of doing the same. Mulder sighed and gave up without a fight.

Mulder suddenly laughed. At the quizzical looks he received, he explained, "I was just thinking how this is going to drive Scully, my partner," he added for the women, "nuts. She does not believe in the supernatural or ghosts or anything except science."

"Your partner?" Sarah asked in confusion, glancing from him to Alex and back again.

"Sorry, I guess it is a little confusing. Dana Scully is my partner at work. We're both FBI agents. Alex and I are lovers," he said bluntly, wanting to be sure Sarah understood before they were committed to living with a potentially displeased ghost.

"Ah, I see. Well, I must say, you seem perfect for each other. I think we're all going to get on very well." Sarah smiled at both of them.

"So you want to buy the house?" Sally suddenly spoke up, having gotten over her shock and assimilated the fact that she was observing a conversation with her long-dead, many-times-great-grandmother.

"Yes," Mulder stated definitely. "Name your price and give us the papers to sign."

Sally smiled at them. "We have to observe the legal processes, but as far as I'm concerned, the house is yours now. You can move in whenever you like."

"Thank you. We'll write you a check today."

"That'll be fine. Why don't you look around for a while," Sally suggested. "If you'd like to keep any of the furniture, just let me know. Otherwise, I'll arrange to have it all removed as soon as possible. I know I should have taken care of that years ago, but I could never bring myself to take anything out of the house." She paused suddenly, turning a suspicious gaze on Sarah, who giggled in response.

After a quick glance at Alex, who nodded, Mulder told her not worry about it. "Everything seems to belong here. Just add it onto the price. It's not like we have all that much furniture to bring in anyhow."

Sally nodded and led them through the house, pointing out various features and hard put not to laugh when she saw how they eyed the old four-poster speculatively. The fireplaces in nearly every room made their faces light up, and she thought Alex was going to weep with joy when he saw the huge, sunny kitchen. It had every modern convenience but still somehow maintained the old fashioned charm of the house. Alex inspected the old, pot-bellied stove that stood in one corner, nearly jumping out of his skin when Sarah suddenly appeared behind him and informed him that it was hers. Fortunately, only Sarah and Mulder saw the gun that appeared briefly in Alex's hand when she startled him. The ghost gave him a look that said she was going to get an explanation, but she let it go while Sally was there.

They went out the kitchen door into the backyard. As far as they could see were only orchards and fields.

"Aren't there any neighbors?" Fox asked curiously.

"There are the Andersons about three miles up the road and the Grimsbys about the same distance in the other direction. And if you cut across the fields, the Fletchers are about five miles thataway," Sally gestured toward the green expanse before them.

"No one closer than that?" Alex was surprised.

"This place started out as a working farm, and unlike a lot of others, my family never sold off any of the land." She cast a jaundiced eye in Sarah's direction. " Every time someone even thought about it, the strangest accidents started to plague them. My great-great-grandfather actually got as far as drawing up a deed of sale for several acres, but while he was reading through it, a sudden gust of wind knocked a candle over, setting fire to the deed and singeing his eyebrows right off. That was the last time anyone tried to sell any part of the land."

The men turned astonished looks on Sarah, who smiled sweetly.

"But you've had the place on the market," Fox pointed out.

"The entire property," Sally explained. "I never even considered trying to sell it piecemeal. And believe me, I've had a lot offers for some of the land. Even at that, you're only the third people I've brought out to see the place. "

"So why us?" Alex wanted to know.

"Because it was exactly what you were looking for, and I knew you'd take care of it the way it deserves. Besides, I thought great-grandma Sarah would like you and not drop a piano on you."

"A piano?!" Mulder yelped.

"I did not drop a piano on anyone," Sarah stated with dignity. "I merely raised it several inches off the floor and set it down somewhat closer to the blamed fool. Who'd ever have thought that a grown man could produce such a shrill screech?" she mused with spurious amazement.

Her three companions burst into laughter. "I'm very glad you decided we were acceptable," Mulder chuckled.

"I'm actually quite looking forward to having two such handsome young men around the house."

Alex wanted to know more about the piano-dropping episode, so he let Mulder's blush pass without comment. "What did this person do that was so awful you almost dropped a piano on him?"

"He was going to kill a spider."

They gaped. She looked defensive.

"A spider."

"Yes, Fox, a spider."

"This could be a problem. I hate spiders."

"Come with me." And she led them back toward the house, veering off to one side of the kitchen door and pointing upward. "See that spider web?" She waited for them to nod before continuing, "When my Rupert first brought me here, I was determined to make this a proper home for him, and I cooked and cleaned every hour of the day. I got rid of the mice and killed the spiders, and I swept away all the spider webs too. But it was the strangest thing. Every day this one spider would have rebuilt her web in exactly the same spot, right here, and every day, I would sweep it away again. We kept this up for months before I began to feel a grudging admiration for her determination, and finally, I decided to leave her web be.

"Now you may think I'm a crazy old woman, but I'll swear that same spider has had a web in that spot since the day I set foot in this house."

"The same spider," Mulder repeated.

Sarah nodded.

"That would make it close to 250 years old. Now I'm no spider specialist, but I'm pretty sure that's more than a little longer than they usually live."

Sarah smacked him, exactly like an aggravated mother disciplining an unruly little boy. "You'll believe in a 150-year-old ghost, but not a 250-year-old, live spider? Silly boy."

Mulder just blinked at her in dumbfounded amazement. "You hit me!" he sputtered.

"You deserved it. You remind me of my third son. When he was two."

Alex was doubled over with laughter by this time, and Sally was biting her lip, desperately trying not to laugh at Mulder's offended expression. He looked remarkably like a cat who'd just gotten wet.

Sarah just shook her head and faded out of sight, leaving the humans to their own devices. Sally left shortly afterward, saying she'd be back the following day with the papers for them to sign. Once she was gone, Mulder threw himself at Alex, knocking him over onto the daybed behind him. Fox grinned down at his lover with the most purely happy expression Alex had ever seen on his face.

"I can hardly believe it. We bought a house!" If he'd been a dog, his tail would have been wagging so hard that he'd have fallen over.

Alex smiled up at him, curving a hand around the back of his head to pull him down for a kiss. Their lips met softly as Mulder settled himself more fully on top of Alex, then raised his head to stare down anxiously.

"Do you really like it? Are you sure you want to do this?" He was suddenly worried that Alex was only going along for his sake.

Alex laughed. "Yes, Fox. I really like it. I wouldn't tell you I did if I didn't. I'm going to be living here for a good, long time, after all."

Fox grinned. "We have a house and a ghost. All that's left is kids and a dog."

Alex choked. "A dog, okay; kids, never! Jesus, Fox, can you imagine how screwed up a kid raised by us would be?"

"Good point. Okay, no kids. I'll just have to make do with you." He kissed the tip of Alex's nose, chuckling at the disgruntled look he got in response.

"Don't do me any favors." Alex tried to look insulted, but it was hard with Fox lying full length on top of him and certain parts starting to wake up and take notice.

Fox smiled at him, feeling him grow aroused. "You don't want my favors, babe?"

A snort made them both jump, Mulder actually blushing as he stared up at Sarah, He started to get to his feet or at least off of Alex, but he immediately realized that would display their erections to her and subsided.

"Sorry," Alex offered. "We didn't know you were still here."

Sarah grinned wickedly. "I was married for 77 years, had 13 children and 62 grandchildren. You don't have anything I haven't seen before."

"Maybe not in general, but you haven't seen ours before," Alex responded dryly.

"I haven't seen them yet either. Though I get the impression that it's only a matter of time. It doesn't bother me if it doesn't bother you."

Alex groaned, and she looked at him curiously. "My Foxy has a bit of an exhibitionistic streak. You have no idea what you've started."

"Hey!" Mulder was scarlet with embarrassment.

Alex kissed him quickly, grinning.

"But we need to establish some ground rules," Alex continued. "Since seeing us doesn't bother you, that'll work out fine, but we need to be assured of privacy sometimes. Are you willing to accept the bathroom as being off limits and our bedroom if the door is shut?"

"Sounds fair to me," Sarah nodded. "I'll try to remember to stay visible when I'm around you. I'd hate to scare you to death."

Remembering some of the things they'd seen over the years, the men chuckled at the idea of being frightened by Sarah. Mulder suddenly squirmed, making Alex gasp and Sarah's eyebrows shoot up.

Alex snickered a moment later. "I wonder if Scully has any idea that being scared, or even thinking about being afraid, makes you horny?"

"I've always thought that was why she kept her distance." Mulder licked at Alex's lips while his long, clever fingers were busily untucking and delving beneath the golf shirt his lover wore. He pushed it up so he could flick his fingers over the pink nipples, watching as they rose to attention and Alex squirmed. He shifted downward slightly so he could take one between his teeth, scraping it lightly, then just blowing on it while Alex shuddered under him. He could feel Alex's cock hardening against his belly, and he pressed his closer, his own erection pushing against Alex's thigh. Alex spread his legs wide, letting Fox settle between them, their cocks pressed together and their bodies rubbing against one another. He clenched his fingers in Fox's hair, pulling his head up again so he could reach his mouth, his own fastening onto it, catching the pouty lower lip between his teeth and nibbling lightly. They parted momentarily to tear each other's shirts off, then sank back down again, wrapped around each other.

"Would you two like to be alone?" a dry voice asked.

This time Fox didn't jump but simply smiled up at her, looking sexy enough to eat. At least Alex thought so, but then again, he was probably prejudiced. "Up to you. Feel free to stay and watch if you like."

Sarah blinked in surprise, then met Alex's amused gaze. "I see what you mean."

Alex smirked, then threw his head back with a groan when Fox's fingers found their way inside his jeans. He thrust up into Mulder's grip, squirming lewdly. His hands clenched on Mulder's ass, pulling him closer, then he started yanking at Mulder's belt, trying to get his clothes off. He was a bit uncoordinated as a result of Fox's hand on his cock though, and Mulder eventually took pity on him - and himself! - and yanked off his own jeans, kicking his sneakers across the room as he freed himself from his clothing. Naked, he crouched over Alex, his cock rigid against his belly, a single drop of precome gleaming at the tip.

"Don't you think you're a little overdressed, baby?"

Alex snarled, twisting under him to rip his jeans off, leaving himself as naked as his lover. "Come on, Foxy, let's christen our new home," he moaned.

Mulder laughed shakily. "This is just one room. Did you happen to count how many rooms are in this house? Not to mention the barn and fields and everything else."

Alex whimpered, and Sarah fanned herself, eagerly anticipating countless hours of viewing pleasure. These two were gorgeous together.

Alex stared up into eyes as green as his own, pulling his legs back and holding them, offering himself to Mulder. "Take me, Foxy," he rasped, his tone as velvety hot as Mulder knew his ass would be.

Mulder shuddered, his hand reaching between them to rub Alex's ass, one finger, slicked with both their fluids, sliding inside easily, making Alex moan and arch upward, trying to force him deeper. "Now damnit!" Alex begged.

Mulder laughed. "Patience, babe," he taunted.

"Fuck patience!" Alex snarled, suddenly flipping them over so he was on top, glaring down at his smug lover, who was now exactly where he wanted to be. "You think you're so smart, don't you, Foxy? Not this time, babe." And Alex straddled the still smirking man, hastily running a hand over Fox's cock to smear the precome along the length, then positioning himself against the rigid shaft and slowly lowering himself onto it. "This time I get you inside me," he hissed.

Mulder moaned, amazed once again at how little it took to drive him into a frenzy of wanting Alex, of needing to have him. He wondered how he had stood out against his lust for so long before Alex had taken the choice out of his hands, then Alex twisted his hips slightly, and he stopped thinking at all.

Mulder arched up into Alex, their bodies slapping together as they moved. Alex's hands hit the thin mattress on either side of Mulder's head, and Mulder raised his hands to interlace their fingers, their heavy lidded eyes fixed on each other as they came closer to ecstasy with each passing moment. Neither of them wanted a long, gentle lovemaking this time; they wanted it hard and hot, and that was exactly what they got.

When he felt himself teetering on the brink, Mulder freed one hand and lowered it to Alex's neglected cock, jerking the rigid shaft. The sudden sensation of Fox's hand on him made Alex yell his name, and he exploded, covering Mulder's belly and chest with his semen. Feeling Alex's spasms milked Fox's orgasm from him, and he arched up into his ass, driving deeper as he thrust again, then again, shuddering as he came.

Alex slumped down over him, moaning in protest when he felt Fox slip out of him. He smiled crookedly when Mulder's arms came around him, holding him tightly, and he snuggled closer, burying his face in Fox's throat, inhaling the scent of their lovemaking.

Alex opened his mouth to say something, yelping in surprise instead when two glasses of cold lemonade suddenly appeared in the air in front of him. As they stared, Sarah faded into visibility in front of them, one glass in either hand.

"Go on, take them," she urged. "I wouldn't want you to get dehydrated."

Both men blushed faintly this time, and she chuckled. "I see the inhibitions come back when you're done."

They couldn't meet her eyes.

"Fox, Alex, look at me," she ordered, waiting until they obeyed to continue. "You have nothing to be embarrassed about. You made love in the privacy of your own home. Much to my pleasure, I might add. You're lovely together."

They grinned crookedly. "This is going to take some getting used to," Mulder griped.

"Fortunately, we have a long time," Sarah said brightly. "And lots and lots of rooms. I think maybe it's time to have that extension built on at the back," she mused, moving away to the sound of their laughter.

END

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