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Title: Four Times CGB Spender Thought He Was In Love and One Time He Knew It
Author: memories_child
Rating: NC-17(ish)
Warnings: None
Word count: 1,843
Kinks: Very mild BDSM
Disclaimer: There would be very little point in suing me.
Author's notes: This was written for heavenlyblack as part of the 2013 xf_santa gift exchange. heavenlyblack said that character pieces on CSM, Krycek, and Skinner would be nice, especially if you could work some romance or sex into them. I didn't quite manage the slash I was thinking of, but I hope that this works instead.

Summary: Love is a curious word. Heavy. Unweildy. It speaks of promise and hurt, relies on faith not logic. Things he has cautioned himself against.

i. He is five, maybe six. Old enough to remember his father but young enough to believe that one day he'll come home. He doesn't believe the playground taunts, the Chinese whispers from someone's brother's girlfriend's father's friend. His dad is a hero, fighting the Commies, and one day, when his dad returns, he'll show them all.

At lunchtimes he hides under the monkey bars with his best friend Jack. The bars have an invisibility shield so they can see out but no one can see in, and Charles knows it works. No one sees him at lunchtime, sitting with his friend Jack. And how else could they miss him except for the shield?

"If you had one wish, one wish at all in the whole world," Jack asks, "what would it be?"

He is lying on his back looking up at the blue sky so Charles lies down too. Their hands rest side by side.

"I'd wish for an airplane, maybe. Or X-Ray glasses. Or a giant banana split covered in butterscotch."

"You wouldn't wish for your pop to come back, Charlie?"

Jack is the only person Charles lets call him Charlie. Even his mother uses his full name.

"Don't need to. He'll come back one day."

Jack sighs. "That's not what my momma said."

"Your momma's stupid."

"She's still my momma. And she says we can't be friends with Commie pigs."

Charles isn't sure what a Commie pig is, though if his dad is fighting Commies he reasons it can't be a good thing.

"For one, I'm not a pig. For two I'm not a Commie. My dad's out there fighting them and he'll come back one day just you wait and see."

Jack sighs again and flutters his fingers against the back of Charles' hand. Charles turns it over, palm side up, and waits for Jack to dance his fingers like butterflies over the smooth skin.

"You can't come round for supper no more. I'm supposed to tell you that."

His fingers rest for a moment in Charles' palm. Long enough for Charles to consider closing his palm tight, so tight that Jack can't get free and keeping him there. Then Jack taps them once, twice, three times and sits up.

"I guess you just did." Charles pulls himself upright too, his head spinning from the harsh sun.

"I guess," Jack says. The bell rings on the other side of the yard and kids line up for afternoon class. Neither boy makes an effort to move.

ii. This is the way it happens, though he doesn't expect it to. Hands touch, briefly, over the cold silk of a gun barrel. Part and touch and part again; moths to a flame. There are glances; when he is not looking, when Charles can drink in the long taper of his neck, the day old stubble grazing his jawline. There are nights spent alone, each thinking of the other, and shuddering breaths in shuttered rooms.

This is the way it happens, though he doesn't expect it to. Charles walks across the library floor. The lights are off, bar the low lamp that illuminates his desk. He sits staring at his reflection in the black window. The Quantico running track is beyond that, and further the woods, the trees, the ocean, a beach somewhere far away. He doesn’t start when Charles touches his shoulder, though Charles realises he must have seen his reflection, when he crouches in front of him, when he takes his hands in his.

This is the way it happens, though he doesn't expect it to. He drives him home, tyres swishing over wet tarmac. He fumbles with the key and Charles takes it from his stuttering hands. He lets himself pause then, swipe his scarred and battered knuckles before opening the cool apartment and ushering him in. They sit on the couch, staring into space. He says nothing.

This is the way it happens, though he doesn't expect it to. His hands are soft as they touch him. He slides off his jacket, his blouse; his skin blooms pale in the silver air. He grazes his collarbone and he shudders, long and lingering. His tongue flickers over his lips. His eyes dart across his face. He leans into Charles and his hair smells of smoke residue and gun powder.

This is the way it happens, though he doesn't expect it to. His fingers dance down his back, flat over the planes of muscle and sinew. His lips are on Charles' neck and he moans as he nips the tender skin. His nails graze his shoulders leaving dark red furrows. Charles pulls him closer, cupping his neck, tangling his fingers in his hair. He pulls him into him, feeling the bulge of his slacks against his thigh.

This is the way it happens, though he doesn't expect it to. He is silk beneath him. Moonlight dances over the rise of his ribs, dappling her grey and silver. He laps at the dark skin of his nipples as he arches his back and slides his pants down. He is warm and hard and he gasps as Charles' lips close around his cock. They move together, tongues lapping and fingers entwining; shuddering breaths in shuttered rooms.

This is the way it happens, though he doesn't expect it to.

iii. The call wakes him at midnight, the harsh ring echoing through the empty house. He throws off the weight of the blankets and stumbles to the bedroom door. Dull moonlight taints the floor. He takes the stairs one at a time, almost willing the phone to stop. Its ring continues to cut through the air.


"Congratulations, Mr. Spender, it's a boy. You have a son."

He holds the phone to his chest until the dial tone buzzes through the room. He lowers it slowly, staring through the window to the dark woods beyond. There are things he should do: get dressed; call his driver; visit Cassandra and his son. But his feet are reluctant to move. He breathes in the quiet of the house, the creak of the porch roof in the wind, the ticking of the clock in the hallway. These are the things that he knows, their familiarity a comfort. He cannot imagine, if he lets himself admit the truth, this stillness being broken.

He lifts the phone again and calls his driver.

Thirty minutes later he is holding his son in his arms. Cassandra lies in bed, exhausted. She smiled at him wanly when he arrived, groggy from the pain and the drugs. His son was lying in the bassinet, wrinkled face red from crying. The nurses cooed over him, patting his puffy cheeks as his small fingers curled and grasped at the air.

"You'll want to hold him, Mr. Spender?"

The nurse assumes that he does, of course, and a lifetime of keeping up appearances makes him acquiesce. She hands the baby over and he shifts uncomfortably. The boy feels heavy in his arms, fragile and delicate. He squirms, his small legs kicking as though trying to free himself already.

"Does he have a name?"

He doesn't look at Cassandra as he answers. "Jeffrey. Jeffrey Spender."

The nurse nods and bustles away. He watches his son's fists curl into balls and waits to feel something.

iv. He can see the doubt in Bill's eyes when he tells him he has another Mason's meeting. Bill never accepted his invitation to join, something he should be pleased about, but they have enough friends in the society for Spender to know that one day Bill will figure it out. He shurgs to himself. When that day comes - if that day comes - he'll deal with it then. For now he throws his coat over his shoulders, waves a cheery goodbye and pulls the office door closed behind him.

He knows that Teena takes care to never slip out of the house, to never ease the door closed behind her; lying to Bill is enough and her actions are deliberate and loud. She tells him where she's going, when she'll be back, nods when he asks her to pass his regards on to old friends. Spender picks her up in his unmarked sedan at the hall next to the 7/11. A small shop with garish lights lit day and night. Like her he keeps his actions deliberate - hails her from across the road and offers her a lift. He has enough subterfuge in his day job to need it spilling into his nights as well,

But when he slides the bra from her shoulders and his lips caress her skin he forgets about Bill, his son, the meetings he is supposed to be attending. Nothing exists except him and her and her hands on his back and her breath in his ears. He buries himself in her, blocking out the conspiracy, his fragile wife, the plans he has to make. She half gasps his name as she orgasms, and whispers again and again that she loves him, and he waits until the next time to lose himself again.

v. She doesn't see him as he sits in the dark shadows, visible only in the small light of his flickering cigarette. She never sees him as he hides in the darkness the follows her wherever she goes. He has studied her for years, watched her attraction to powerful men and the guard she keeps around heart.

She is drawn to him, he knows, as he is drawn to her. He could hurt her - has hurt her already, directly and indirectly, if one were keeping track - and he knows the fascination that dangerous men hold. At some base, animalistic level she feels the attraction and it frightens her. He is not afraid to admit that thought arouses him; the combination of terror and excitement in those ocean blue eyes turns him on, and he sees the future that could be.

He would not be rough with her, but not smooth either. She has a dark side, a wild streak that he knows he could tap into and his movements, in the dark bedroom in the thick of night, would leave her aching for more.

He would bind her hands, using silken rope, tease her with his rough tounge and after he has come inside her (after she has called his name, his real name - not the epithet afforded him by Mulder) he would light a cigarette, her hands rubbed red where they rest on the bed. He would untie her when it suited him, no sooner, and would enjoy the flush on her cheeks when they passed each other in the corridor later.

Rarely does he admit such attractions, even to himself. The conspiracy leaves little time for fantasy and darks plans are always afoot. Love is a curious word. Heavy. Unweildy. It speaks of promise and hurt, relies on faith not logic. Things he has cautioned himself against. But with her? With her he thinks he could use it.

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