November, 1999
Originally written for the M/K Fight Club.

Sweet Liberty

by Kest

Independence Mall
Near the corner of 6th and Chestnut Sts.
Philadelphia, PA

12:17 a.m.

Pain exploded on the side of his face, muscles and skin and bone protesting the impact. He reeled with it, staggering as the balance of the world upended itself, dragging him along in its whirling motion. Hot blood tricked down his cheek; he reached out for it with his tongue as he regained his footing.

"Jesus, Mulder, you fight like a girl."

That infuriating voice - it triggered lightning flashes of rage behind his eyes. He tracked its source by the echoes still ringing in his head, fist snaking out with the precision of intuition. Satisfaction gripped him when it collided with the hardness of the other man's stomach; Alex gasped out, doubled over from the blow.

"At least I didn't learn all my moves from kickboxercise," he snarled back.

Alex expressed his amusement by grabbing him viciously by the throat, squeezing in a warning rhythm. Flailing out against the clenched muscles of the arm that had him in its grip, Mulder struck the other man's chin with the edge of his knuckles. The pressure on his throat relaxed and he twisted out, gasping and breathing hard, the bright lights of anger and oxygen deprivation flashing over his vision like spots of blood.

When he could see again, the fist was already coming at him; he ducked and the blow glanced off the side of his head, catching in his hair. He felt the swift, sharp pain of hairs ripping out, and tears sprang unbidden to his eyes. Fucking bastard, his mind hissed in rage. Just try that again.

His evasion had carried him a few steps away from the other man. He turned back to face Alex, who was breathing harshly. Their eyes met across the shadowed feet that separated them, and Mulder saw his own expression mirrored in the other man's face: contortions of adrenaline and violence, utter capitulation to the purity and freedom of anger. It magnified in pulsing waves between them.

Attack, he whispered cunningly in his head. Attack, you son of a bitch. Alex grinned as if he could hear him, but stood still.

Mulder couldn't help it, he broke the impasse first. With a rasping growl he lunged at the other man, aiming for his right side and pulling him viciously off balance as Alex struggled to compensate for the weight of his missing left arm. Then Alex was down and he was sprawled on top of him, fist connecting repeatedly with the lines of cheekbone and jaw beneath him until his knuckles were streaked red with both their blood. His arm muscles sang exquisitely with the strain, the song echoing unadulterated pleasure through the rest of his body.

It seemed an eternity before his fist stilled; he gasped for breath, faced bowed over the prone form beneath him.

It was a mistake. Pain shattered in his nose and he howled with it, rolling reflexively off of the form beneath him, putting up a hand to staunch the flow of blood. He lay on his back, trying not to choke on the hot liquid that was trickling down the inside of his nose and throat. That fucking bastard.

But the anger was already draining from his body. It left him both empty and fulfilled, delightfully complete. Skin tingled with the aftershocks of adrenaline and pain that slid through his veins, offering him up as a willing supplicant on a bed of nails.

"Mulder," the voice to his left croaked. Alex hadn't moved from his previous position. They both lay still, coming back to themselves on the grassy expanse of Independence Mall.

"All I wanted to do was see the Liberty Bell," Mulder croaked back. He gestured to the glass building behind him, or at least he did in thought. His arm seemed incapable of movement.

"It'll still be there tomorrow," Alex answered grumpily. "Besides, it's closed for the night." His hand creeped up to brush over his own face, smearing blood into his skin absently, studying it on his fingertips. Then he pulled himself closer to Mulder, who was staring pensively up at the stars, watching them blink in and out of his vision. It distracted him from the throbbing agony in the center of his face.

"Mulder, your nose is growing huge," Alex observed.

"That's because you broke it, you asshole," Mulder hissed back. The words came out in a predictably muffled, nasal twang. Alex giggled a little, then moaned as the vibrations of it pulled against the cuts and bruises scattered across his face.

Mulder thought about scowling, reconsidered. Something soft was pushed into his hand; he lifted it as far as his strained arm muscles would allow to peer at it from the corner of his eye.

"You carry a handkerchief?" he asked in disbelief. He started to laugh then choked it off when he tasted a new surge of blood on his lips. He managed to press the cloth against his nose.

"Fuck you, Mulder," Alex replied, but with no particular animosity. He groaned and shifted himself closer to the warmth of Mulder's body. The chill of approaching winter had begun to seep under his skin.

Mulder turned on his side to study him, lowering the handkerchief from his face. "Mm," he said thoughtfully. Then he leaned over to lick delicately at a cut spiking jaggedly from the corner of Alex's mouth. The blood tasted like his own, coppery and sweet.

Alex hissed out a breath and wriggled beneath the tongue that licked its way to the line of his jaw, lapping at the streaks of redness there. Then Mulder's lips moved to his own and he opened his mouth to receive them, tongues snaking out to brush against each other in slow, exploratory movements.

"You're hard, aren't you," Alex whispered against the other's lips.

Mulder gave a low chuckle. "What do you think?"

"You are so fucking sick."

"Why, because beating you to a pulp makes me hard? Give me a break."

"Mulder," Alex broke in. "You did not beat me to a pulp."

"Hm…lovely pulp. Abstract expressionist pulp."

"Don't even compare me to art," Alex warned. His hand slid down to grip the bulge pushing insistently against its denim cage. Mulder pushed against his hand, his lips moving to Alex's ear, nipping lightly at the lobe.

"Not art, aesthetics…" he whispered, then laughed. "You're looking very aesthetic tonight, Alex."

Alex decided that wasn't worth responding to, so scooted down to bite at Mulder's chest through the soft cotton of his shirt. He found the bump of a nipple, grazing over it with his teeth until he could sense the prickle of goose bumps on Mulder's skin. Mulder let out a breath, then inhaled sharply as the flesh was bitten through the cloth.

"So who won?" Mulder asked, his breathing erratic.

"I did, stupid," came the exasperated reply. "I hit you last."

"'Last' doesn't necessarily imply 'best'."

"No, 'best' implies 'best', and I bested you big time. And once you shut up, you'll get the best fucking sex you ever had."

"Alex," Mulder mourned. "That wasn't funny at all."

"I wasn't trying to be funny," Alex lied.

"Yes you were. Don't lie to me."

Alex laughed. "Let me tell you what I'm going to do to you," he suggested in a low, smoky voice. Mulder groaned as Alex's hand once again convulsed cruelly on the bulge in his jeans. Then Alex pulled himself up to whisper something into Mulder's ear, and bumped against the swollen lump of his nose instead.

"Fuck!" Mulder screeched hoarsely.

Alex doubled over himself laughing as the other man released a string of muttered curses.

"I can make you feel better," Alex promised breathlessly between his gasps of laughter.

"The mood is already ruined," Mulder muttered darkly through the pain, but Alex wasn't listening to him anymore. He grasped Mulder's zipper in his fingers, pulling it down roughly as Mulder bucked up against him.

"Don't fucking move," he warned as he pulled down the other man's jeans.

"Public indecency…" Mulder groaned as his boxers swiftly followed the path of his jeans. Alex nuzzled the musky, hard shaft that sprang out, leaving wet trails with his tongue to chill against the skin.

"So we'll give the bums a show," Alex muttered against the smooth flesh. "No one else is around, Mulder. Just you…" He leaned down, swallowed the cock in front of him as Mulder released a frantic, keening cry. He drew back, kissed the tip. "And me," he finished.

"Fucking do it, you bastard," Mulder rasped out, his hands reaching down to clutch at Alex's hair.

Alex smiled, shook his head free. He continued to tease as Mulder cursed him in a soft, continuous stream of invectives, then swallowed hard, squeezing tightly with his lips until he could feel the bite of teeth against the flesh inside. Mulder released a strangled cry and thrust upward, twisting helplessly, shooting down the other man's throat. He lay there gasping for air, his hips still twitching reflexively.

Alex withdrew, licked his lips clean of the pale, sticky liquid. "Feel better?"

"Hm…" Mulder replied, his eyes still closed.

"Good. That was round one," Alex murmured smugly. "And I believe it goes to me."