Farside of the World

by Laura

Rating: Adult written for the 2004 Sk/K Christmas Zine

Notes: AU, As always canon is optional. A special thanks to Ursula, who sent me lyrics to remind me of a song by my favorite singer, Jimmy Buffet and offered it as story fodder. This story is dedicated to her, for all her support and mentoring, and for noticing such a small detail like Jimmy being my favorite singer.

After he fired the last bullet, Walter Skinner stood stunned at what he had done. What he had been forced to do. What he was a party to. Mulder barely glanced at the fallen man before them as he turned on his heel and slowly walked out of the Hoover Building's garage.

The silence dragged on until Skinner heard a car start in the distance and then he listened as the sound faded into the night as the car drove away. He ticked the minutes off in his head until he was pretty sure it was safe.

"Mulder's gone. You can get up now Krycek." He watched just a little triumphantly as Krycek struggled to his knees and then to his feet only to sway for a moment and then lean heavily against the support beam nearest to him. Krycek rubbed absently at his forehead, his eyes squeezed slightly shut from the obvious pain.

For the ruse to appear real, the blanks had to compact precisely to explode the fake areas properly. Mulder was smart. Any hint of the shooting being faked, he would have noticed. The 'bullet' between the eyes had been the most self-satisfying to Skinner, no matter that it wasn't real and Krycek would have one hell of a headache for a while. Skinner's lips narrowed in a grim smile. On one hand he was glad to be so close to finally having his life back, on the other, he was surprised Krycek trusted him enough not to put 'real' bullets in his gun and end it once and for all.

"Did it work? Does Mulder believe," Krycek's choked just a little on the last words, "I'm dead."

"No way to know for certain. Mulder's smart but it appears he was fooled by it." Skinner pinned Krycek to his spot as he marched toward him. "We're finished. I held up my side of the bargain. Hand it over."

Krycek reached into the pocket of his leather jacket and pulled out the palm pilot. He paused just a moment before placing it in Skinner's outstretched hand.

"And this is the only one?" Skinner asked for what felt like the hundredth time since making his deal with Krycek.

"Yes," Krycek replied tiredly. "It was the one and only prototype. After Oretga the project was ended."

Skinner turned the little machine over in hand, pondering the ingenuity for a moment and resisting the urge to smash under his feet. He literally held his own life in his hand. "The rest, Krycek. How do I deactivate the nanos?"

"You don't." The corner of his mouth curling into the hated smirk Skinner had grown to loathe over the years. Deal or no deal, if this had all been for nothing, he would beat the little ratbastard to death with his bare hands.

Krycek recognized the fury in Skinner's eyes when the man to a menacing step forward and he quickly held out a placating hand to stall Skinner. "The nano's deactivate themselves if unused for more than eight weeks. Have the good doctor Scully check it out or those geeky friends of Mulder's. It was a fail-safe built in by the designers, incase the activators fell into the wrong hands."

Skinner's eyes widened in realization. He had been had all these months. Krycek had only threatened to activate the nanos and Skinner had bent. He had been free of the cursed things for months now all the while still dancing to Krycek's tune. He thought briefly 'deal be damn' and would beat the boy anyway, but Skinner above all was a man of his word. With a resigned sigh, Skinner said, "Just get out of here, Krycek."

An indecipherable look quickly flashed across Krycek's face surprising Skinner. He wasn't sure but on any other man he would have thought he had hurt the other man's feelings. Krycek's face became blank again before he started towards the exit. Skinner watched the retreating leather jacket clad man. The physical exertion the scene had called for was evident in every step Krycek took although Skinner could tell the man was trying to hide the pain. Skinner felt a little reluctant admiration for the boy. He had stamina and a fierce will. Most men would need help just to walk after this.

"We're even now, boy." Skinner mouthed the words, his eyes boring an imaginary hole in the back of Krycek. Krycek stopped as if he actual heard Skinner. Slowly he turned his head and looked at Skinner over his shoulder. Skinner was once again struck by the depth of emotion shining out the clear green eyes, visible even in the dim light of the garage.

"Thanks," Krycek whispered. His husky voice was soft but echoed in the empty garage. A faint smile passed over his lips before he turned again and disappeared into the night.


Time seemed to pass more slowly when he was no longer on the run and constantly watching over his shoulder. It had surprised him when he realized three months had already passed. Alex had left DC and America behind. And Skinner. The intrigue, the politics, the games were just a bad memories that haunted his mind in the form of various nightmares, frequently starring Walter Skinner.

In some of those dreams, when Alex went to Skinner and confessed, things had turned out differently. Skinner had protected him from Spender and Alex was still in the FBI. To often though, the dreams reflected reality and when Alex had wanted to trust Skinner in the beginning and in desperation had went to his office after leaving Spender's cigarette butts in his ashtray to come clean and ask Skinner and Mulder to help him. He has waited, pacing around the office like a caged animal when he spotted the Morely butts in Skinner's ashtray as well. He always woke at the moment he saw the butts, knowing Skinner was just as caught in Spender's web as he was.

In some of those nightmares, the nano's had failed and he wasn't able to revive Skinner as he had planned. Sometimes the nightmares were that Skinner had used real bullets and reliving that night was his own private version of hell. But in the mornings, the nightmares were gone and it left his days free to just live full of regrets but finally able to start over. And maybe this time do it right. It was to be his second chance and he had boarded the first flight out of the country with no particular destination in mind.

He never even bothered looking at his ticket. Alex crawled into his seat, accepted a pillow and blanket from the stewardess, wondering if he would wake up in Amsterdam or Rome before he fell into an exhausted sleep. The same stewardess gently woke him up somewhere over Spain as the plane started to make it's descent. They landed in Madrid as the sun was peeking up over the horizon. Alex stood on the tarmac and took a deep breath. The airplane fumes did not detract from the relief he felt at finally being free.

By the time he had made it into the heart of the city, the streets were filling quickly with citizens and visitors. All of them complete strangers and not one of them wanting a piece of him. Alex ambled aimlessly along with the throngs of people going about their lives, stopping at an outdoor cafe for a strong cup of coffee; he sat and watched. And wondered what his life would have been like if he had taken any of the forks in the road, instead of the path he had ultimately chosen. He wondered if his simple fantasy of being with his superior might have come true. Alex would never know, it had all turned into such a mess.

Eventually as the morning gave way to the afternoon and then embraced the evening, Alex started looking for a place to spend the night. Walking down the boulevard hoping to see something that caught his eye. The fact it was the train station that caught his eye surprised him, but he took it in stride, bought a ticket for Seville and spent the night with the rumbling of the train lulling him into a deep sleep as the it crossed the country along the Spanish highway taking him closer to the coast. Alex wasn't entirely sure where the thought came from, but he decided at some point he would head to the Canary Islands.

A short flight on a charter plane that had seen better days and Alex was in Betancuria. Or Isla de Fuerteventura as the small population of citizens sometimes still referred to it. Alex didn't think about the fact he had ended up in a town that had survived countless attacks by pirates, burned to the ground, pillaged and yet still surviving in the twenty-first century.

He made his way around the island and took a ferry to next island, following some preordained route playing in his mind. He spent nights in bamboo shacks and ate his meals from the shops in the squares of the small quaint towns throughout the islands. Alex took a liking to his fish being roasted inside banana leaves, the flesh flaky and white. The days turned into nights and the nights into days and the next thing Alex knew he was on a charter boat to Morocco.

He had lost weight, not on purpose but forgoing meals during the day and only eating small meals at breakfast right before dawn for a month had slimmed him down. But Alex felt healthier than he ever had while on the run and only eating sporadically. Sure the little breakfasts seemed liked they couldn't possibly supply him with enough energy to last a day, but his body had adjusted.

But Ramadan was over with the coming of the new moon and Eid Al-Fitr was already in full swing by the second day. Alex walked up and down the market place filled with the aromas and colors he now would associate with Morocco. Any thing you needed could be found at the market and shoppers and vendors bargained and bartered. Children weaved in and out of the shoppers, playing endless games of chase, stirring up the dust and filling the air with laughter. The poorer ones begging and some selling their own wares, too young to have a booth.

A horn beeped out a warning and Alex turned his head toward the sound. A quick glance over his shoulder he spotted a jitney filled with travelers headed to the next town over. The old 'bus', rusted, churning out small puffs of black smoke from an overused engine was trying to move past a reluctant goat in the middle of the road.

It was filled to the brim with travelers headed home with their purchases, or perhaps traveling to the next town to visit family. Wherever they were headed, they were packed in like sardines. Alex remembered taking a jitney when in the Philippines on assignment for the Consortium. Once had cured him of ever riding again. Walking seemed to be a much better choice. The charm was lost as the jitney had bumped and jostled him, coming to screeching unprepared for halts whenever one of his fellow passengers had yelled out 'Stop'. He had marveled at the time the bananas piled on top had not flown straight into the street ahead of them.

Another beep sounded, breaking Alex free of his memories. The goat had finally moved to the side and the bus sputtered off down the dusty road, reminding him although he wasn't on a time schedule, it was time to leave Morocco behind. He made his was through the crowd to the train station. Reading the departures sign reminded him of the places he'd been, and of the places he never wanted to be again. A train was leaving at two o'clock for Timbuktu. It had a ring to it. He bought a ticket and boarded it to his next adventure.

Mali was a smorgasbord of surreal landscape with it's castellated mosques made entirely of mud, pink sandstone villages carved into cliff faces, and undulating desert views that look like outtakes from Lawrence of Arabia. But it was also being swallowed up by the desert and it was still suffering the aftershocks of a drought that had brought along with it plague, pestilence and famine. It didn't take long for Alex to feel the despondence of the improvished nation seep into his pores, so he made his way to Dakar, hopefully to take a charter boat to the Cape of Good Hope. He liked the sound of it. He needed good hope.

Cape Town had proved to be everything Alex thought he needed. The grandeur of the town was unlike anything he had experienced in Africa. His memories of his year spend in Tunisia were washed away by Cape Town's hospitality and beautiful scenery. The Table Mountain backdrop, the beaches and vineyards. In its rugged landscapes and strange and wonderful plants and animals, Alex immersed himself in the cultural scene. The people were open minded and music was everywhere.

On a street corner and handsome young man had taken his hand and danced with him 'til midnight. The young man, Gebre, had made it clear, even with his limited English that he wanted Alex. Alex had almost taken him up on the offer, it had been too long and all the sights and sounds could not wash away the loneliness. Alex had smiled and politely turned Gebre down and in the morning left Cape Town behind. On a train to Tanzania he decided to make his was to Zanzibar. After the holidays, maybe Madagascar.


Walter listened to the heavily accented voice of the international operator as she struggled to make the connection. He squinted against the glare of the sun. The fedora protected his head from sunburn but was proving ineffective at keeping the bright South African sun out of his eyes.

He had bought the hat in Casablanca on a whim. He had found himself there after working his way from Paris to Tunisia, on a half remembered statement, stated offhand in a honey laden voice before it all had went to hell. It was his only lead. Visions of Bogart's dashing figure saying goodbye at the deserted airport filled Walter's head. But he wasn't here to say goodbye. Walter dug into the pocket of his khaki vest for the clip-on aviator shades while cradling the phone between his shoulder and ear. Maybe if he could just block a little more sun, his headache would cease.

A series of clicks and finally ringing on the other end of the line. By the fourth ring, Walter was cursing his luck to a time to call when no one was at home. He checked his watch again before deciding he should just hang up when a sleepy wonderfully familiar voice croaked out 'Scully'.

"Dana, did I wake you?" Walter asked knowing full well with a sudden dawning that he had miscalculated the time difference.

"Walter?" Dana started, half in disbelief. "Where are you?"

"Africa. Kenya specifically." He replied. Squinting to read the hotel sign he followed up with, "Hotel Utalii in Isiolo." He could see Mt. Kenya hovering in the distance. A majestic backdrop to the wonders about him

"I thought at first it was just a chance to get away from it all for awhile. The politics. The Bureau. Just take sometime to clear my head."

"We thought you were in the Caribbean, soaking up the sun. How did you wind up in Africa?" Dana was worried, but still amused at the thought of her former superior and now trusted friend globetrotting.

"I...uh, ran into and old friend and after sharing a bottle of rum, he invited me to visit his home in Paris. It was good to see him and to talk about anything that didn't involve the syndicate and aliens. It was nice. Peaceful. I started putting my plans on hold when... " He chuckled good naturedly before clearing his throat and continuing. "My friend gave me a book, by St. Exupery, I wasn't sure what he was doing giving me a children's novel but the next thing I know I was on a plane to Africa."

"Ah, 'The Little Prince', I remember reading it as a child and wanting to follow the pages on my own excursion to Africa and see the world."

Dana considered her next question carefully. She didn't quite know how to ask except to be blunt. She took a deep breath and plunged into something that was only her business because Walter was her friend. "Have you found him?"

"No...not yet." He marveled at Dana's intuition. She was still living up to the moniker 'Mrs. Spooky' for more reasons than just her husband. "Dana, how did you..."

She interrupted before Walter could finish. "Mulder suspected it first. After the shooting and when the body came up missing, he went back to look at the tape. He didn't say anything at the time but he said he knew something was wrong about the whole thing."

"I confronted John, first on the premise that I needed to examine the remains to make sure there was no chance it was a supersoldier. John did a good job covering for you, near perfect in fact. But not perfect enough. Mulder and I exhumed the remains and after determining we were not dealing with a potential supersoldier, I ran a DNA map. It was a match to what we had on file. A match, Walter, but the sequencing had signs of being tampered with and after all we've seen, I knew what I was looking for."

"So you know it was a clone. How long have you known the truth?"

"Like I said, Mulder suspected right away but we didn't have the proof. When you left, we started looking. The DNA only proved it wasn't the real Krycek that was buried. What we didn't know was why. Why the deception and the elaborate coverup."

"John claimed he did it out of loyalty, no questions asked. It wasn't until Mulder had the Gunmen look at the tape that we found out the truth. Or at least part of it."

"Dana, it's complicated."

"I'm sure it is. Maybe if you say out loud. I'm not going to judge you, Walter."

"It's a long story and I'm sure this call is already approaching the national debt," he let out nervous breath. In all the years he had been married to Sharon, he had never bared his soul as much as Dana was now asking him too. Maybe it was time.

"From what I understand, money is no object," Dana said interrupting his thoughts with another piece of his life he thought he had hidden well.

"That. Yes, well that in itself just added to the multitude of reasons I started looking for him."

"And the others?" Dana urged, she knew aversion tactics; Mulder was the King of directing the conversation towards more comfortable topics.

Walter drew in a deep breath and the words flooded out. He told her of being attracted to his new young agent, but nothing more than wanting to protect him. He told her of the night he left a feral young man handcuffed to his balcony thinking warm thoughts but not giving him the chance to explain. He told of the nights he regretted not trying to help a dirty desperate Krycek, whose eyes were dying more each time they confronted each other.

He told her of the nano's. How Krycek had killed him only to bring him back and threaten to do it again if Walter didn't cooperate. And then how later Walter had found out Krycek had defied his handlers by reviving him. How his 'orders' to Walter had ultimately helped the x-files instead of hindering. He finally told her of the deal, he had accepted out of desperation to be free of Krycek's control and then what he had found out later.

"It's almost Christmas. When are you coming home?" she asked. Walter felt his insides grow warm.

"I don't know, Dana. I just don't know."

"Take care yourself and remember, we here for you."

"Thank you for understanding. I think you understand better than I do. You're...you're a good friend."

Walter hung up the phone, but his hand lingered on the receiver for a few minutes longer. He took a deep breath before hoisting his backpack and his guitar over his shoulder and took off down the road. The night before, in a saloon full of friendly drunks, Walter had inadvertently overheard a conversation about a beautiful green-eyed stranger traveling with the wind and sand and stars. He had finally figured out from their broken English, and with the help of the bartender, that the man they were speaking of was headed to the Indian Ocean.

He hitched a ride with an old man in a jeep headed to Tanzania. Walter had experienced enough exotic travel back in Tunisia. Camel rides were something he was glad he took the time to try but he quickly had decided it was something he could live without.

Erasto Mollel was going to visit with his daughter for the holidays. They spent the ride talking about the traditions of his people and the new traditions of his daughter, who had married an Anthropology professor at Oxford before moving back to Africa.

The three-day trip was both exhausting and informative. Exhausting because of the seemingly endless nights curled up in sleeping bags around a small fire. Informative because Erasto was a gracious host and eager to share his knowledge of the land with Walter.

Erasto waved goodbye to Walter and wished him luck with his journey as they parted ways at the edge of the Serengeti in the little tourist town of Arusha. Erasto had invited Walter to join him, but Walter's heart was pulling him deeper into the country. He stared for a while at Mount Kilimanjaro wondering if he might take the time to climb to the summit. Another time perhaps, for now he wanted to spend one last night in a hotel before heading into the desert.

Walter settled in for the night deciding a shower would be first on his list of things to do. He stopped and studied his reflection in the bathroom mirror and at the changes his journey had brought. The time spent outside had enhanced the color of his face, well what little of his face that could still be seen. He fingered the graying growth on his chin. After weeks of going without shaving his beard had filled in. The gray mixed with tawny brown and sprinkled with rich dark brown and bright highlights made for a colorful addition to his look.

He started to shave and then suddenly decided a goatee was in order, only he had not brought a shaving kit with him for either endeavor. Walter called downstairs to the front desk and inquired about obtaining a razor. The clerk directed him to a local barbershop in the square. He decided that it would be a delightful indulgence and he would head there after a long hot shower.

By the third day of his hike into the desert, Walter was beginning to wonder if he should have taken Erasto up on his offer. The ground was hard and the cold seeped up through his sleeping bag, and even with a small fire outside the tent, he did not stay warm enough to get a restful sleep. The nightmares and dreams didn't help either.

As he gathered wood for a fire before the sun could disappear completely for the evening he was struck by a slight change in the wind. A flicker of light in the distance caught his eye. Curiosity won out and he repacked his backpack and moved on toward the lights. Drawn like a moth to a flame, he followed the twirling embers lighting up the night like orange fireflies sprinting towards the endless sea of stars.

Around the fire where the sparks were originating, Walter found a group of men who had made camp near a Sausage tree. The embers dancing from the fire intertwined with the rich maroon blossoms making the tree look like the African version of a Christmas tree. The men smiled and waved Walter into their camp. Their bright red clothing stood out against the night, enriched by the flames of their fire. The men eagerly helped Walter set up his tent before having him take a seat next to the fire.

Walter sat mesmerized by the sparks twirling off towards the cosmos. It was hypnotizing and he started to become dizzy from watching them. The Masai surrounded him and insisted he join their dance. Walter started to refuse, but the magic of the moment caught him and he soon found himself twirling around in a pale imitation of the embers.

He couldn't understand what the Masai were saying but message was clear. They were celebrating his arrival to their land and the success of his journey. Walter didn't think his journey had been much of a success so far, but dug into his backpack for a bottle of banana rum that he had carried with him from the Caribbean. He also pulled out his last bottle of Burgandy from his short stop in Paris before he had decided Africa was where he was headed. The men greeted his gifts with much enthusiasm and soon tin cups were filled and toasts, or at least Walter assumed they were toasts, joined the men in their dance and the magic of the wisemen took on a new meaning.

The heavy crevices of the lead Masai face deepened as he grinned a toothy smile and pointed to Walter's guitar case. Laughter bubbled up from Walter's throat, aided by the rum and wine, and without hesitation Walter removed the beloved instrument and started to play. He wasn't sure where the melody strumming from his fingers was born from, but it filled his heart and the Christmas night with music of a promise of hope in the New Year.

The morning sun rose lazily on the horizon, and Walter woke slowly, basking in the first warmth of the new day. He rubbed his arm briskly trying to brush off the last of the night's chill and wondered why he couldn't quite remember falling asleep on the ground rather than crawling into his tent. He cast a quick glance around the campsite, noticing for the first time all his companions were now gone. When his eyes fell on his tent, Kirori was sitting just inside, crossed legged and the flaps wide open. He still was grinning the smile from the night before.

Kirori offered a water skin to him and Walter took it gratefully. Walter took a long sip of the cool liquid before handing it back and stretching his arms towards the sun, getting the last of the kinks worked out of his back. He grinned back and Kirori, not knowing what to say. Kirori rose gracefully from the ground and stood before Walter. He didn't quite reach Walter's shoulders, but his presence made up for the lack of height.

The two men locked eyes for a moment and the Kirori pointed at Walter's chest and the gestured towards the southeast. Walter was confused by what the wise man wanted. Kirori patted Walter's chest again. Finally Walter pulled out the faded and torn photograph from his chest pocket. It was a small black and white picture from Alex Krycek's FBI file when he was still playing the green young agent. Kirori made motions between the photo and Walter and extended his hand out once more towards the southeast.

Walter shrugged, there were a lot of cities where Kirori was pointing and with the language barrier, he had no way of truly understanding what the man was trying to tell him. Kirori shook his head a little disappointed in Walter's lack of understanding. After thinking for a minute, Kirori smiled and said, "Zanzibar."


It was New Years Eve and Alex felt like celebrating for the first time since he had left college and his promising future behind. The lure of power and the promise of saving humanity had filled his idealistic young mind with visions of being a hero. The dreams had died when he realized the truth in Spender's clever lies. Alex was not going to be a hero; he was just a pawn in the elaborate chess game Spender had been playing with the human race.

Alex had done what he needed to survive, at the cost of his soul. His soul that he had puked up while down on his hands and knees, alone, trapped in Silo 1013 and watched it slither into an alien spacecraft. He had thought he would die there, but he didn't and afterwards he tried to come clean and help Mulder only to feel the sting of betrayal when Mulder callously slugged him and dismissed his words as lies. He couldn't really blame Mulder for not trusting him. Just like he didn't blame Skinner.

Babu and his friend took him up stairs to the roof above the bar for a private party. They watched the stars and tried hard to get drunk on champagne. Finally, the trio joined the partygoers downstairs. They each grabbed a drink at the bar and tried not to lose it as people danced into them.

Bodies were pressed up against Alex, all undulating to the chipper beat of the music. He felt a strong arm circle his waist and start to lead him away from the bar, presumably to the official dance floor wherever that might be. Going with the flow of the celebration, it wasn't until he felt a large hand take a firm hold that he looked up at his dance partner, Walter Skinner.

Walter didn't utter a word; a small knowing smile graced his lips. He reached down and grasped Alex's hand while leaving his right arm cradled against the small of Alex's back. He brought their hands up between them resting it against their hearts.

Amidst the gazelles leaping around and dancing on the tops of tables and the bar, and as the loud jamboree continued to celebrate the arrival of the new year, Walter lead Alex in a slow dance. The people laughing and wildly twirling around them, faded into the background to a white noise.

An air raid horn sounded and bells began to ring; signally the New Year had been accepted and welcomed. As Walter lifted their laced fingers to Alex's face, he loosened one finger from the grip and gently tilted the smallish chin upwards slightly. Walter paused to drink in the sight of Alex's sweet pink lips, that had haunted his dreams for months. He could still see vividly in his mind Alex's mouth forming the words 'thank you'.

The moment passed and Walter descended on the plump lips. At first sweet and gentle, Walter soon became lightheaded from the taste. Champaign mingled with something else, something unique, a flavor that burst forth on his tongue and made him crave more. A taste that Walter knew he could never live without.

Walter ravished Alex with a kiss that left no doubt that the New Year was a new beginning for both of them. Alex realized suddenly, that although he had thought when he left the garage that night, that it was the beginning of his second chance, he had been wrong. His second chance was in Walter Skinner. A man who had every right to hate him, yet in Walter's warm brown eyes, Alex found forgiveness and hope.

Babu sidled up to them and pressed a key into Walter's hand before laughing and disappearing back into the crowd. Alex shrugged. Who really knew what Babu and the boys were thinking.

Alex tried to ask, but Walter placed a gentle finger against his lips and then removed the finger only to replace it with his lips. The kiss was sweet and gentle and full of promise. Alex felt his knees weaken and his heart stop. This was the kiss of lovers. The kiss of destiny. A kiss to end all kisses and he didn't deserve it, no matter how much he wanted it. No, he didn't deserve perfection; he didn't deserve a second chance at least not with this man. But in a small room above a bar with partygoers ringing tin the new years Alex had accepted the offer and he didn't care whether it was deserved. He didn't even care if it was an illusion. He would live out his dream in the arms of Walter at least for one brief moment in time.

The soft mattress beneath him only gave him a moments pause before he was pressed firmly against the sheets and the world blacked out. Alex opened his eyes when the warm words whispered in his ear finally registered. "Are you back with me now, Alex?"

It wasn't a dream. It was real. Alex reached his arm around the broad shoulders and drew Walter hard against his chest. Passion gave way and clothes were tossed carelessly aside. The heat of Walter's skin almost burned, but Alex was drawn into the warmth, he had been cold for so long. He felt a hand cup his ass and large fingers stroke the crevice. Alex spread his legs wantonly, encouraging more exploration.

Walter was surprised at Alex's eagerness, especially after the short blackout, he had feared he had read the signs all-wrong. But as his finger rubbed circles around the puckered entrance and was delighted to find how easily Alex opened for him, he took it as a sign that the want and need was mutual. His right hand left the beautiful face briefly to fumble in his khakis still hanging precariously on the side of the bed for the tube of lube he had placed in there for no other reason than hope. It was going too fast. Walter wanted to spend time worshipping the boy beneath him. To explore fully the ripe young body, but the need burning within him promised there would be many more chances to map Alex's body. Tonight was for ending the exile and for finally making right what should have never gone wrong.

He lifted the thick thighs over his shoulders and pressed them to Alex's chest. He wanted to see Alex's face. To watch the eyes light up with ecstasy instead of pain. He wanted to be able to plunder the perfect lips as he eased his way into the tight heat of Alex's passage.

Despite the urgency of their combined need, their lovemaking was slow and burned to a climax that left them both exhausted. Walter rolled Alex over onto his chest, nestling his head in the soft sable hair and breathing in Alex's scent. Imprinting it on his heart as he fell asleep.

"Alex, it's time to go home," Walter whispered. His breath, a soft warm breeze in the other man's ear. Alex shivered from the contrast of the cold air surrounding them and the warmth of Walter's body and breath. He turned his head slightly, meeting Walter's eyes.

"I don't know where home is." Walter gazed unwaveringly at the sadness permeating from Alex's face. Alex's second chance had not erased the memories; they were etched like hieroglyphics in the jade of his eyes and the small wrinkles creeping from around them. Walter had seen Alex's eyes change many times and in many forms. From the cold blank stare of an assassin to the frightened yet resentful prisoner on his balcony. So many different faces that only by looking directly into his eyes could you see each manifestation of Alex. Yet in all the incarnations, Walter had never seen the truly lost sad soul of a wander looking desperately for a place to call home.   He pulled the younger man deeper into his embrace. Grasping hold of Alex's right hand, he moved it from around his waist and placed the flattened palm against his heart.

"It's right here." The silence seemed to grow between them. Walter first thought he had made a mistake and then Alex buried his face in Walter's neck. Walter could feel Alex's lips moving against the tender skin of his neck, the faint form of words tickling and sending chills down his spine.

"Alex, what is it?" Walter asked when he no longer could take the suspense of what Alex was trying to say.

"Who would of thought it?" was the murmured response.

"Thought what?" Walter continued rubbing his hand up and down Alex's back.

"That I would find a home on the farside of the world."

The End.