DISCLAIMER - From Eroica With Love and its characters is the copyright of Yasuko Aoike and Princess Comics. Alex Krycek belongs to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen and Fox. No infringement is intended. The story, such as it is, is copyright Karen Colohan November 2001.

Author's notes - This is something of an Eroica/X-Files crossover, a PWP with knives and mushy stuff!

A huge debt of thanks is owed to Filigree who was kind enough to beta this story for me. Her suggestions were invaluable and helped bring some kind of order out of chaos! Thank you.

At the time it had seemed like a good idea.

Eroica, more formally known as Dorian, the Earl of Gloria, wondered how many people down through the course of history had found themselves thinking exactly that. It certainly wasn't the first time he'd found himself in a situation that merited the thought. And it usually happened for one of two reasons. Either it was because he saw some piece of artwork he simply had to have - or it was because a beautiful man had caught his eye.

This time it was the latter.

Only, it wasn't the man who usually claimed all of Dorian's attention when he was contracted by NATO Bonn to lend his skills to one of its missions. Not that he hadn't been glad of the chance to spend to spend time with his beloved major. But the fact was that Klaus von dem Eberbach didn't return his affections. Dorian was used to that by now. And just being around Klaus for a while was generally enough to raise Dorian's spirits for weeks afterwards.

At the conclusion of this particular mission, though, Dorian had been in need of something more tangible. And it had been offered to him in the very agreeable shape of Alex Krycek - hired assassin. Although it had soon become apparent during the course of the mission that Krycek was much more than that. By his speech the man was American, but he also spoke Russian with complete fluency and a flawless accent. And, Dorian had noted with some curiosity, strangely for a man in his profession, Krycek had only one arm. The other was a sophisticated looking prosthetic. All in all, Dorian didn't know quite what to make of him.

He still didn't.

The warehouse was quiet now. As far as Dorian knew, it was deserted but for himself and Krycek. The assassin's footsteps echoed hollowly on the bare floor as he stalked towards Dorian with an intent look in his eyes. The thief felt his mouth go dry as he stood his ground and waited for Krycek to come to him. That green eyed stare was disquieting and Dorian had no idea whether he could trust the assassin or not.

Well, it was too late for doubts now. And Dorian still had his own needs to satisfy. Trustworthy or not, the man moving closer to him with purposeful strides held the promise of everything he needed - beautiful, confident, dangerous...

Though Dorian had already found himself more intimately acquainted with danger on this mission than he generally liked to be. The resulting rush of adrenalin suffused his body even now. Although, as often happened, the thrill of excitement had now transmuted into something decidedly more sexual.

As if reading his mind, Krycek spoke. "Well, that was very nearly the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Wouldn't you agree?"

Krycek had been in the thick of things as soon as the bullets started flying. He seemed to relish the violence just as much as Klaus did. Though Dorian doubted that the two men derived quite the same kind of enjoyment out of their respective jobs. The major only killed to fulfil his duty.

"You like to kill then?" Dorian retorted sharply to Krycek.

The assassin grinned. It wasn't a nice expression. "It's what I do. What I'm paid for."

"What you're good at?" Dorian shot back at once.

An ironic bow acknowledged the point. "I don't believe in false modesty," said Krycek carelessly.

"Obviously not." Dorian's voice was cool, belying the heat flushing his skin. "But personally I prefer le petit mort. So much more agreeable, wouldn't you say?" Dorian tossed his blond curls artfully as he tilted his head in question.

"Oh, I like death in all his guises," replied Krycek, his green eyes glittering. "He's a stimulating companion."

"Is that so?" Dorian's voice remained steady, but he could feel his pulse beginning to race and his breaths came more unevenly now. The thrill of a dangerous situation and its pleasurable pay-off...

Krycek was stalking him again, lithe and sleek in black leather and well-worn denim. He rather reminded Dorian of a panther, and was doubtless just as deadly.

At close quarters, Dorian was even more aware of just how beautiful the assassin was - those looks, after all, were what had first caught Dorian's eye. But this close it was also all too clear that the strikingly attractive exterior was far from the whole story.

Krycek's eyes - a cool, brilliant green with no warmth in their depths - betrayed him as a ruthless, conscienceless killer. And given the unholy gleam currently lighting that vivid gaze - quite different from another pair of greyish-green eyes that Dorian loved to stare into - the thief was starting to seriously wonder if he'd made the biggest mistake of his life.

Almost without thinking, Dorian began to back slowly away from Krycek.

And the sudden reminder of Klaus was not a thought Dorian wanted to entertain in this situation. For preference he would have liked to assuage his danger-induced arousal in the arms of his beloved major, but he doubted Klaus would ever have noticed that he was aroused. Even if he had, there was no real likelihood that he would have fallen into Dorian's waiting arms. It was far more likely that he'd have started yelling at the top of his lungs about how much of a pervert Dorian was to want such a thing.

Having resigned himself to that fact and its corollary - that the best he could hope for was the limited pleasure of his own hand - Krycek's overtures had not been unwelcome to Dorian.

That said, Dorian had then, and still did now, feel a pang of regret for what he had agreed to do. He had been faithful, more or less, to the major since he'd first realised the depth of his feelings for Klaus. And it had never mattered that those feelings weren't returned... well, he hadn't let it matter, at any rate. But there was only so much celibacy an innately sensual man like Dorian could handle without a lapse or two, and he had reached his limit for the present. Regrets or not, Krycek had seemed like a very satisfactory consolation prize.

Uncomplicated sex - that was what Dorian needed right now, and the assassin could provide it. At least, that was what Dorian had thought earlier...

To the untrained eye the scene in the warehouse might have looked chaotic, but Major Klaus von dem Eberbach knew better. Each one of his men had a purpose and was fulfilling it as ordered. The mission was all but over and it had been completely successful.

That said, Klaus still wasn't sure exactly what kind of operation he and his Alphabets had broken up here tonight. At the initial briefing, the Chief had called the people they were going after terrorists. After the event, Klaus wasn't so sure. Most of them hadn't seemed the type. He watched as A, B and Z hustled a number of confused, nervous-looking men out into the cold night air. Clad in white coats, bespectacled and earnest they looked exactly like the scientists they had claimed to be.

There had been others, though, of a kind Klaus was much more familiar with. They had been quick to draw all manner of weapons as soon as he and his team had entered the building. The resulting firefight had been short and bloody and while his own men had all emerged from it virtually unscathed, several of their opponents had not been so lucky. G, dressed for once in appropriate clothing, was currently tending to the most seriously wounded of them.

Klaus didn't want any of them dying on him before they could be properly interrogated. He wanted to know what had been going on here. Why was so much of what they'd recovered clearly scientific, maybe even medical, in nature? Klaus wasn't ruling out the possibility of biological weapons of some kind.

What he did know for certain was that the operation had spanned the USA as well as Europe. It was also clear that the assassin, Krycek, who had been assigned to work with his team had had inside knowledge of the set up. The information had, without doubt, proved invaluable, but Klaus didn't like the man who'd provided it. He was amoral and dangerous - a loose cannon - and Klaus didn't care for his kind. On top of that was the fact that Krycek was a double agent. As such, how could he be trusted? If he could turn traitor once... Still, Krycek had been professional and focused during the whole operation and Klaus couldn't hold that against him.

Glancing round, Klaus sought out the man. He hadn't seen him since the bullets stopped flying. Klaus snorted disgustedly; he might have known... The leather jacket clad figure was leaning casually against a wall, watching Eroica as he knelt beside the last unopened safe.

The blond haired thief, together with his whole unsavoury team, had also been contracted to lend his skills to this mission. However, he'd nearly got more involved in the action than he'd bargained for when a stray bullet had flown in his direction. Fortunately for Eroica, Z had seen the danger and yelled at him to duck. All the same, the thief had barely got out of its path in time. He had been noticeably pale and unusually quiet for some time afterwards.

Klaus supposed any period of subdued behaviour from Eroica was to be counted as a blessing. And the close call didn't seem to have impaired his efficiency. Eroica was still getting the job done, after all. It was going to take Klaus and his men a very long while to sort through all the documents and files Eroica was revealing behind the door of each safe he unlocked.

Frowning, Klaus watched as Krycek leaned down towards Eroica, clearly saying something to the thief, though Klaus couldn't hear what. The blond head was still for a moment and then tilted up to look at the other man.

Klaus' frown deepened. It wasn't the first time in the course of the mission that he had caught Krycek hovering around the thief, or watching him from a distance. And the looks Krycek cast Eroica's way were unsettling. They reminded Klaus of the way Eroica sometimes stared at him.

For just a second the intense green gaze turned in Klaus' direction and he felt an involuntary shiver run down his spine as those eyes locked with his own. That expression... There was something almost hungry in that sly regard. It was rather like Krycek was a predator sizing up his prey. Somehow, Klaus knew that look wasn't meant for him, though, and that worried him vaguely, for some reason.

It didn't seem to bother Eroica, Klaus noticed. The thief also looked his way for a moment, blue eyes following the direction of Krycek's gaze. Then he was looking up at Krycek again, before turning his attention back to opening the final safe.

Klaus scowled. He had more important things to worry about than what Eroica and Krycek were talking about behind his back. At that moment, A reappeared in the warehouse and Klaus put all thought of the thief and the assassin out of his mind. Instead he marched over to his subordinate to demand an update on the state of their captured terrorists, scientists or whatever the hell it was they were.

Alex Krycek watched from out the corner of his eye as the major stalked away. The man was a bloody nightmare to deal with, ill-tempered and impatient. Krycek wondered how the poor sods who worked under him survived the experience; and he'd thought the black-lunged bastard he'd worked for was demanding and ungrateful.

Dismissing the major as undeserving of further consideration, Krycek turned his full attention back to the man kneeling on the floor in front of the bank of safes. Two were open and had already been cleared of their contents by several of Eberbach's alphabetical subordinates.

Eroica was still working on the third and final safe. He seemed to be taking longer this time, his concentration broken once he had noticed his overly attentive audience.

"You seem to be having a little trouble there," offered Krycek helpfully. "Are you sure you don't need a hand?"

Dorian glanced up quickly once more. His cheeks were a little flushed, though whether from annoyance or some other cause it wasn't clear. "No, thank you, everything is fine. I just don't like being watched," he replied tartly.

"Well, that's a pity," Krycek drawled. "From what I've seen so far, I'd say you were well worth keeping an eye on."

Long, fair lashes dipped, veiling the bright blue gaze. "Is that so?"

"Oh yeah," agreed Krycek. He lounged against the wall at his back, still watching Dorian. "I've heard how skilled Eroica is supposed to be. I thought I might learn a few tricks."

Dorian's eyes widened at the words and his gaze locked with the assassin's. Dark hair and green eyes... And wasn't that particular combination of colouring a truly lovely one.

"Oh, I'm sure I could teach you a thing or two - if you'd like..." Dorian let his words trail off, but the invitation was unmistakable.

Krycek's lips turned up in a slow smile. "Yeah, I'd like that... if you have the time to fit me in."

"I really have to finish this," Dorian replied, with a nod towards the safe. He had no wish to invite Klaus' displeasure any more than was absolutely necessary. "But soon..."

Krycek nodded quickly in acknowledgement, "I'll be waiting." Then he turned and stalked away.

Dorian watched him go, his heart beginning to beat a little faster in anticipation. Then, with renewed motivation for his task, Dorian turned back to the balky lock on the last safe.

As soon as it was practicable, Dorian and Krycek had each contrived to slip away from the others. With everything that was going on - the sheer number of agents bustling around clearing equipment and paperwork from the building - it hadn't been that difficult. Dorian remembered the location of the area used by their former quarry as sleeping quarters and he quickly led Krycek up the stairs to the second floor.

It wasn't the cleanest place Dorian had ever seen. Indeed, he didn't generally approve of a dirty warehouse floor as a venue for sex at all. Dorian was something of a hedonist in that respect. He liked to have a soft bed, silk sheets and all the appropriate accompaniments. But such comforts were too far away now. The one refinement he had insisted on was the packet of condoms he had slipped out of his pack before Bonham took it away. He might be reckless at times, but Dorian wasn't stupid.

And so it had begun... That cautious, circling dance as they sounded one another out. But now Dorian had reconsidered his earlier views. Whatever Alex Krycek had to offer, the one thing it certainly was not was uncomplicated.

Dorian's body thrummed with the steady pulse of arousal, and he could feel the same heat shimmering off the dark haired assassin. He had stopped his retreat in the faint circle of light cast by one of the unshielded bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Now Dorian struck a pose and looked at Krycek. He allowed an expression of invitation to grace his fair features. The need was still driving him and Dorian let it override whatever doubts remained in him.

Krycek chuckled, a deep, throaty sound that wasn't entirely pleasant. He looked Dorian up and down in blatant appraisal, finally letting his emerald gaze rest on Dorian's face.

"Well, well, thief," he purred, and his low voice sent shivers down Dorian's spine. Green eyes glittered in the dim light. "It seems that you and I are more alike than I originally thought. Both of us are alley cats at heart - we don't care who we fuck, just as long as we fuck."

Speak for yourself, thought Dorian, hiding a grimace of distaste. He didn't give voice to the thought, though. After all, just for tonight it was true.

Krycek continued, "When I first saw you, I took you for just another pretty boy - nothing worth speaking about, except your looks. I wondered why NATO would waste its time with someone like you... But it seems there is more to you than meets the eye after all; at least, that's my theory. Shall we put it to the test?"

Dorian bristled with indignation. Oh yes, he certainly wasn't averse to using his striking looks to his best advantage, but he definitely did not like to be dismissed as merely decorative by his partners - even casual ones. Those he wished to steal from were another matter, of course; then it paid to be underestimated.

For now, though, Dorian wasn't at all sure he liked the assassin's arrogance. It would be nice to take him down a peg or two, show him just what he was capable of. Still, in the circumstances, sex was sex and it wasn't as if he had to see the man again after this. It was merely expediency, a way of burning off the unrelieved sexual tension simmering through his body. He couldn't let the comments go entirely unremarked, though.

"If you thought I was nothing more than a 'pretty boy', well, that's your opinion, of course. But if it really were true, do you honestly think NATO would have kept hiring me for all these years?" said Dorian. His eyes narrowed in annoyance as he glared a challenge at the other man.

"Actually, I heard you just turned up whether they hired you or not," retorted Krycek maliciously. "Some of my old comrades believe that you and that tight-arsed major have had something going on for years..."

"They what?"

That did startle Dorian for a moment. Oh Klaus, have all your protests just made people think you really do have something to hide? I know your Chief has always wondered... It wasn't a comforting thought. If Klaus ever found out that there were others who believed he and Eroica were lovers... Much as Dorian wished it were the truth, he knew the major would never forgive him if such rumours were indeed common currency.

Reflecting on Krycek's words, Dorian found himself focusing on the very precise use of the word 'comrades'. Did Krycek know Mischa? Or his successors, at any rate. He blinked rapidly, even more unsure of the hard-eyed man.

Krycek grinned at Dorian's reaction to his comments. "It's no skin off my nose either way. Besides, you're here with me, not him. As for that pretty boy image of yours, I'm sure it suits you to have people think you're harmless. And yeah, when I first saw you I almost fell into that trap. Watching you pout and pose and flutter your eyelashes at Eberbach the way you do, who wouldn't. But I've done my homework; when I'm going to be working with someone I want to know all about them. And I know everything there is to know about Eroica... At least, everything that's in the files."

Dorian didn't bother to ask how Krycek had managed to get access to the files on him; he didn't have to.

"I know your reputation," Krycek continued. "And you've more than lived up to it these past few days. One thing I hadn't realised, though. I didn't know you were quite so much the adrenalin junkie."

"Oh, I like danger well enough," Dorian retorted.

Quickly he decided that attack was the best form of defence against this man. And he knew what his greatest weapon was in a situation like this - himself. So he slipped effortlessly into full Eroica mode, fluttering his eyelashes, smoothing down his wayward curls with one elegant hand and flashing a disarming smile. Maybe Krycek did know enough not to buy into the facade, but that didn't mean he didn't want a taste of what Eroica had to offer. So...

"If I didn't like danger, would I be here with you?" Dorian purred, twirling one curl around a long, slim finger. He tilted his head to one side and cast his most disingenuous look Krycek's way.

"Well, I'm glad you recognise that I'm dangerous." Krycek gave a feral grin, showing off perfect white teeth. "I'd hate you to be under any illusions."

"Oh no, no illusions at all," replied Dorian as lightly as he could manage, though his heart had started racing. And wasn't that the absolute truth...

What exactly had he got himself into? Dorian wondered fleetingly if Klaus or any of his Alphabet were still downstairs. Though it would hardly enhance his reputation with the major if he were to scream for rescue like some virginal teenage girl who'd got into a situation beyond her experience.

Yet, in spite of everything, Krycek's intent stare didn't really seem to be threatening precisely, more - hungry... and Dorian, apparently, was the banquet on which the assassin intended to sate his hunger.

Dorian glanced at Krycek through his lashes, bestowing upon him his best seductive look. It had worked with just about everyone he'd ever tried it on - with one notable exception... Klaus. At any rate, the assassin seemed to be impressed, smiling back at him wolfishly. And, as Dorian looked down, Krycek's arousal was very obvious, thanks to the skin-tight jeans he wore.

"Oh yeah, very pretty, thief - and is the rest of you as appealing when you flash it around as those baby blues?" Krycek seemed almost amused. "Shall we find out?"

Almost quicker than Dorian's eyes could follow, Krycek's hand dived into his leather jacket. Seconds later it reappeared, now holding a small but wickedly sharp-looking knife. Dorian gasped, but at the same time felt his cock harden noticeably. A delicious thrill of anticipation began to coil low in his belly. Oh yes, this man certainly was dangerous to him... in more ways than one.

Unfortunately for Dorian - or not, depending on how he cared to look at it - Krycek had inadvertently stumbled across one of his more closely guarded secrets. A button that the assassin had just pushed to rather devastating effect.

His liking for knifeplay was one of Dorian's darker pleasures, not often indulged - and not at all in recent years. Just being around Klaus and his hot and often violent temper was generally inspiring enough to fulfil Dorian's cravings without seeking out anything more. That hadn't dulled his reaction to the thrill of danger such games offered, though. But he didn't know Krycek. Could he trust him with this? After all, the man was a killer.

Good sense was fighting a losing battle in the face of his body's response to the sight of the knife. Dorian's mouth had gone dry and his breathing had speeded up as his arousal grew. The need he had felt before was nothing to what he was feeling now. His body sang with awareness of the other man and Dorian was all but ready to throw himself at him, anything to taste that promise of pleasure.

And Krycek, damn him, knew exactly the effect his latest move had had on Dorian. His smile became even more feral - predatory even - as he closed in on the thief, forcing him into a shadowy corner until his back hit the wall and there was nowhere else for him to go.

Krycek leaned in closer still, invading Dorian's space now that he had him trapped.

"You want this," he hissed, breaking the silence which had fallen between them at the moment he pulled out the knife. "You like this..." He turned the blade, letting the limited light glance off the polished steel.

"Yes," admitted Dorian finally, his voice ragged with need. "Yes, I do."

"Oh, I know that," said Krycek lazily. "But lest there be any doubt..."

The hand holding the knife disappeared out of view. A moment later the flat of the blade was pressed firmly against the hard swell of Dorian's erection. It rocked and turned, the edge dragging against tightly drawn fabric for just a moment.

The thief gave a deep moan and his head fell back, banging heavily against the rough wall behind him. Dorian didn't care; all he could feel was the glorious pressure at his groin.

Krycek didn't waste his opportunity. He closed with the other man and hooked the point of the knife under the collar of Dorian's tight catsuit. With a single swift motion he slashed downward, the clingy material parting easily in the wake of the knife's passage.

Cold air abruptly hit Dorian's skin from neck to crotch. He gasped and shivered violently - not just from the sudden chill. Mindlessly he arched up against Krycek, inviting the caress of the sharp-edged blade. His chest found the cold metal and pressed more firmly, reddening the knife with a faint smear of fresh blood. Dorian's eyes closed as the illicit pleasure gripped him, but a vague, disquieting thought nagged in the back of his mind...

Klaus. Oh God... What would he say if he could see Dorian now? If he'd thought him and his sexual preferences perverted before... Dorian forced his mind away from that line of reasoning. No, he couldn't do this if he was thinking of his beloved major - and he wanted to do this, needed to desperately. But it was nothing to do with his feelings for Klaus. That was love, whether Klaus ever acknowledged it or not. This was simply fulfilling a need, a hunger - over and done with in a few minutes. And God, it was going to feel good...

Dorian moaned again, helplessly, as Krycek pressed full length against him.

The knife continued to trace patterns over Dorian's skin - the coolness of the blade followed by the heat of flesh being scored and blood beading up on the surface. The cuts weren't deep, but they stung as sweat began to rise on his skin and the resulting tracery of red was burned into his nerve endings. But the pain was transitory, and when Krycek sank down to follow the pathway he'd mapped across Dorian's chest and stomach with the very tip of his tongue it was reborn as intense, focused pleasure.

Needing no touch other than that, with a low, wordless groan Dorian came. He shuddered, his semen splashing across his belly to mix with the remaining traces of blood.

Crouched down in front of him, Krycek looked up at the thief through the dark veil of his lashes. His lips curved in a satisfied smile - that had been even easier than he'd expected - as Dorian's knees gave out and he began to slide down the wall towards the floor. Krycek steadied him, easing him down so that he ended up on top of the pile of discarded sleeping bags their prey had left behind.

Still pliant after his orgasm, Dorian made no effort to resist as Krycek stripped him completely and then arranged him on his back with his thighs spread apart. The assassin then stood and slid off his own jeans and briefs. Lowering himself back down, he stretched out over the pale body, slim but respectably muscled. The man was no pushover, but right now he had no fight left in him, it seemed. Not that Krycek cared either way. Laying the knife aside, for the moment, he curled his fingers around his own cock, preparing himself to complete his conquest of Eroica.

No matter how successfully a mission had gone - and the thoroughness of the clean-up operation notwithstanding - it never hurt to double check everything before leaving. Just in case... It was always possible some important piece of information had somehow been overlooked. As a result, Klaus was making a final search of the out-of-the-way warehouse which had served the scientists-cum-terrorists as a base of operations. With people as organised as these ones had clearly been, he couldn't afford to miss anything.

Klaus prowled through the shadows - only a few dim, unshielded bulbs provided any illumination - alert for danger and searching for anything, or anyone, that might have escaped notice before. He was working his way through the second floor when a faint sound - voices, he realised - caught his attention. His gun was in his hand in a second, the safety off. He began to steal closer, moving as silently as possible. How had they managed to miss these people? And why were they being so incautious, making all that noise?

When he came as close to the source of the sounds as he dared without giving himself away, Klaus got the answers to his questions. On balance, he rather wished that he hadn't.

In a shadowy corner of the warehouse two bodies were writhing together, utterly oblivious to his presence. They were naked, but immediately recognisable. At least, one of them was. Klaus would have known that mass of decadently blond curls anywhere... Eroica.

A moment later Klaus also recognised the other man. It was the assassin - Krycek. And it was quite obvious what the two were doing.

Klaus was appalled.

All at once the memory of that hungry look he had seen in Krycek's eyes earlier leapt into his mind. So, that was what the man's attentiveness towards Eroica had signalled. And Eroica had clearly responded to that attention.

For some reason, that realisation shook Klaus, bringing with it an unwarranted sense of loss. Which was ridiculous; he had lost nothing. Eroica wasn't his; he had never even wanted him. Klaus frowned, shaking his head to dispel the unwelcome thoughts. For just a moment he was on the verge of stepping out of hiding and demanding of the two what they thought they were doing. The mission wasn't even over yet and their behaviour was utterly irresponsible.

But Klaus couldn't do it, couldn't break the spell cast over him by those two pale, athletic bodies...

He found that he was frozen in place, horrified, unwillingly fascinated and - with mortifying suddenness - crushingly, embarrassingly aroused. No matter how much he wanted to look away, Klaus found that he couldn't take his eyes off the tableau created by the two men. Sex - in all its perverted glory. It was the most disgusting, compelling and utterly - beautiful thing he'd ever seen.

He'd known Eroica for so many years now, but abruptly Klaus realised that he'd never really seen the thief at all. Or perhaps, rather, the thief was all that he had seen. Eroica - the facade, the surface appearance, the mask which, just occasionally, would slip for a moment to reveal the man underneath. But he had never let himself really see those glimpses of what lay beneath the flamboyant exterior... because he had feared that he might actually like what he found. And Klaus had been right to be afraid; that man - Dorian - was beautiful.

He was stretched out wantonly on a makeshift bed of sleeping bags, his golden hair spread out around his face like a halo. The other man, Krycek, was moving over Dorian's body, the flash of a knife blade catching the faint light as he drew it sensually over the thief's pale skin... skin that should have been flawless, but instead was marked by a tracery of thin red lines.

Klaus was utterly scandalised by what he was seeing, and even more shocked by his own reaction to it. He was simply standing by and watching while Dorian let another man cut his skin to ribbons, as if it were a perfectly normal thing to do while having sex. As if having sex with another man wasn't perverted enough...

It was all totally disgusting, and he'd been running from Dorian and his perversions for years. After this, Klaus could see why - he wanted no part of anything like that. Except... if that were true, why hadn't he already put a stop to it? Technically, the mission wasn't over yet and he could still command both Eroica and Krycek, so why didn't he? And, perhaps more to the point, why did he now find himself achingly hard at the sight of the thief consorting with another man. Klaus didn't bother to deny, even to himself, that it was Dorian he was responding to. And yet, surely it didn't mean that he was actually - interested in Eroica, not like that...

Klaus took a deep breath and finally found the strength to answer that question honestly. The one he had been evading for years. Glancing back at the wantonly sexual display, Klaus at last told himself the truth. Irrespective of whether or not he was a pervert like Dorian - the word is homosexual, he chided himself - he was attracted to the man; he wanted him. But it seemed the thief no longer wanted him. Klaus had waited too long and now Dorian had found someone else, someone who hadn't hesitated to respond to his advances.

On the verge of backing away, sick to the stomach at his belated realisation, Klaus suddenly caught the sound of Dorian's voice. The ragged, breathy moans seemed to work their way inside his head, sending a pulse of pure desire straight to his cock. He froze again, undecided. Propriety insisted that he leave at once, stop watching what he hadn't been invited to see, but Klaus had never really been one for social niceties. And now he simply had to see, had to know what his fears and hesitations had cost him.

It was wrong; he shouldn't watch this intimate display, but Klaus couldn't make himself turn and walk away. He retreated half a step, securing his gun and putting it back in his shoulder holster. Then he simply sank down onto the floor, easing himself into a more comfortable position - one that put less pressure on his aching cock. An old packing case screened him from the two men and Klaus leaned against it, resting his cheek on the rough wood so that he had a clearer view. He pushed away his guilt and, instead, focused on the deliciously shameful display going on in front of him.

As Dorian slowly came back to himself he realised that he was now flat on his back, lying on an impromptu bed, which appeared to be fashioned out of sleeping bags. The remains of his catsuit had been taken from him and he was totally naked. Looking up he found himself meeting Alex Krycek's green gaze. The man looked insufferably smug. Then again, he was the one on top - and he still had that damnable knife close to hand, with its sharply erotic promise of more pain turned pleasure.

"So, I think we can take it that you liked that," Krycek purred. "Ready for something more?"

There was no mistaking his meaning. Krycek was half naked himself and his hand was curved around his cock, slowly stroking it to full hardness. Given the way he had Dorian pinned it was clear enough what he wanted from him. Well, turnabout was fair play and Dorian had certainly taken his pleasure already. The least he could do was reciprocate and, with some prompting, he could ensure that it was pleasurable for both of them.

"Oh, I'm sure I can accommodate you," replied Dorian archly, Eroica persona once more to the fore. "But if we're going to do this I have a couple of conditions - nothing you need worry about," he added, to forestall the protest he could see in Krycek's eyes. "First, I want to be able to see you properly as well." Dorian reached up and tugged meaningfully at Krycek's leather jacket.

"No!" said Krycek, the refusal instant and absolute. His voice was tight and harsh with anger. "That's not part of the deal."

"Then there is no deal," said Dorian calmly, his blue eyes serene. "I know why you don't want to, and it doesn't matter - at least, not the way you think it does. Now, take it off."

Green eyes narrowed in suspicion for a moment, but Dorian kept his gaze steady and eventually Krycek conceded, shrugging out of the jacket. The prosthetic that Dorian had noted before was now revealed to extend much higher up the assassin's arm than he'd first thought. His eyes formed a question, but Krycek shook his head firmly.

"Don't ask," he snapped.

"All right, I won't," replied Dorian, his expression softening. The man had shown him a measure of trust; it was enough. "Here, let me," he added, sitting up so that he could help Krycek get his T-shirt off as well.

Krycek allowed the assistance, but Dorian could sense his reluctance. He made no further comment on the prosthetic, not wanting to push the other man. An injury like that was a very personal thing. It probably hadn't been wise to ask Krycek to strip.

Making sure that he didn't stare, Dorian ran his hands in a slow tease over Krycek's torso, feeling the strength of the assassin. Clearly the loss of his arm wasn't a serious handicap - he was still strong and capable. Leaning forward Dorian placed careful kisses on Krycek's chest. Then he licked and sucked both nipples to full hardness, softly biting the taut peaks. He was rewarded with a soft moan from the other man and, satisfied that he had diffused any potential discomfort from making Krycek reveal his disfigurement, Dorian lay back down on the sleeping bags.

Expression still cagey, Krycek glared down at him. "Why'd you do that?"

"Because I wanted to." Dorian gave a faint sigh. Was the man going to question everything he did for him? "Now, do you want to make me ready, or should I...?"

"I'll do it," Krycek growled. "I don't need your pity."

"Pity never entered into it," replied Dorian sharply. "I just thought you might like to watch."

Without waiting for Krycek's reply, Dorian scooped up some of the come that still smeared his belly. Then he arched his back gracefully, reaching between his legs to slide first one slick finger, then two, into his body. He moved them with care, stretching the opening slowly. He held Krycek's gaze the entire time, calm blue facing down angry green.

The assassin didn't relax his guard, not even when the fingers of Dorian's other hand reached out towards him and curled around his swollen cock. They moved up and down its length with practised strokes and, while he didn't respond, he didn't stop Dorian either.

When Dorian was satisfied that he could take Krycek without undue damage, he withdrew his fingers. "And now my second condition..." He reached out blindly with his hand until he encountered his discarded catsuit. A little judicious scrabbling enabled him to retrieve the small package from a pocket. "Nothing personal, I hope you understand," continued Dorian as he tore the packet open and deftly rolled the condom onto Krycek's cock. "There..."

He settled both hands on Krycek's hips and pulled him in closer. "I'm ready, darling," he breathed.

"And so am I," said Krycek impatiently. He braced himself over Dorian, angling the thief's hips in a more convenient position. "But I hope you're not expecting me to make love to you, darling, because as far as I'm concerned this is just fucking."

The almost angry, feral expression was back on Krycek's face as he steadied his cock and then thrust into Dorian with one rough lunge. Soft flesh parted for him and he buried himself balls deep in the thief's body.

Dorian drew in a sharp breath as Krycek slammed into him, hard and fast. It hurt like hell, in spite of his preparations, but Dorian knew it might have been a lot worse. Krycek could have taken him dry and torn him to pieces in the process. Wanting to distract himself from the sharp ache, Dorian began to move and Krycek quickly matched him, thrust for thrust. As they found a rhythm the pain began to ease and Dorian let his eyes fall closed, allowing the visceral pleasure of the act to take him over.

Krycek was rough, but not cruelly so - and he was skilled. His thrusts soon found Dorian's prostate and the assassin made sure his cock continued to brush the sensitive spot, sending the thief into a spiral of shuddering delight. As Dorian writhed enticingly underneath him, Krycek brought his knife back into play as well, drawing the blade sensually over the sweat-slicked and heaving chest.

Loud moans forced their way out of Dorian's throat. There was no pain now, only pleasure, and his cock was stirring with renewed interest. The sharp tip of the knife circled the still flawless skin of his neck and the semblance of a beaded ruby necklace sprang into being. Then the blade trailed lower, lightly scraping over Dorian's peaked nipples. He thrust up with more urgency, meeting Krycek's forceful downward strokes. He could feel the assassin's control beginning to slip away and slid a hand between their bodies to grasp his own cock and pump it hard, bringing release closer.

Krycek found the peak and slipped over into orgasm, his final thrusts erratic and uncoordinated. He felt his cock pulse inside Dorian's heat and then the thief's body contracted around him, milking the last of his come from the softening organ. The wetness that suddenly spread between their bellies told Krycek that Dorian had also climaxed, for a second time. The thief had stamina.

Both men collapsed into a boneless tangle of limbs. Their breathing was harsh and loud in the stillness of the warehouse as they tried to control their racing hearts and recover enough energy to part their bodies.

Dorian was content to lie where he was, his eyes closed. At least that way he could preserve the illusion of a pleasant afterglow. If he opened his eyes and looked around he'd be forced to confront the reality of what he'd done. He had betrayed his feelings for Klaus and let himself be fucked by a stranger who didn't give a damn about him. It wasn't, Dorian reflected ruefully, one of his finer moments.

Krycek stirred and quickly pulled out of Dorian's body, discarding the used condom. He looked at the thief for a long moment, but the other man didn't move or open his eyes. Well, that suited Krycek just fine. It was time he made himself scarce. He scrambled to his feet and, with the ease of long practice, quickly dressed.

"See you around sometime, pretty boy," said Krycek, his tone derisive. It wasn't his problem if Eroica didn't much like himself just now. "Next time you want a taste of danger, or get the urge to play with sharp, shiny, dangerous things, perhaps..."

When Dorian still didn't respond, Krycek crouched down beside him and drew the blade of his knife across a nipple in a parting caress.

Spent and oversensitised as he was, the gesture still drew a gasp and a weary shudder from Dorian.

The reaction seemed to please Krycek. He reached across and wiped the knife clean on the tattered remnants of Dorian's catsuit before returning it to its hidden sheath. Then, without another word, Krycek stood and retreated on cat-quiet feet.

Dorian really didn't care that Krycek had gone. He was simply too exhausted and wrung out to move. He lay utterly still and tried not to think about anything at all.

Klaus shrank further back into the shadows behind the packing case which had shielded him from view as he watched every last disgracefully perverted moment of Eroica and Krycek's performance. He stilled his breathing and didn't move a muscle as Krycek strode towards the stairs, a satisfied swagger in his step and an insufferably smug smile on his face.

In an ideal world, Klaus would have swept out of hiding like an avenging angel and wiped that unspeakable smirk off the assassin's face; but he didn't. He didn't dare reveal himself and have to admit to what he'd just done - what he had witnessed. So he forced himself to sit motionless until Krycek's steps had retreated beyond the range of his hearing.

Leaning his head back against the packing case, Klaus closed his eyes. The images of Eroica and the assassin, moving together, entwined, still burned on the inside of his eyelids, vivid, disgusting... arousing. Klaus wondered if he'd ever be free of them, or the sound of the deep, desperate moans that had come from Eroica's throat as he arched up into the caress of the knife. Who would ever have imagined that Eroica, that decadent fop, would enjoy indulging in such dangerous games.

Klaus tried desperately not to think of it, but his body now burned with the knowledge of an entirely different Eroica; not a fop or a coolly professional thief, but a beautiful and sensual man who found pleasure in danger. Strangely, Klaus found that he could relate to that Eroica, all issues of gender aside. Besides, any protestations of not being 'like that' seemed specious at this point in time.

Every shameful second of what he'd seen had fascinated Klaus, and his body was still ablaze with arousal. His cock was so hard it hurt, but Klaus had refused to touch himself to bring relief from the insistent ache. Watching had been bad enough; to do that seemed, somehow, to cross some invisible line the major had set in place. He retained some sense of decency, at least, and the arousal would fade in time. It was just a matter of discipline.

Aware of the fact that he really ought to leave, Klaus risked sliding forward far enough so that he could glance across at Eroica. He was still lying where Krycek had left him, naked and unmoving. When the man got up, dressed and left, then Klaus would also be able to go. To move while Eroica was still here meant too great a risk of discovery.

But long minutes passed and still Eroica didn't move or make even the slightest sound. Eventually, Klaus began to worry. Was the thief all right? Had Krycek done more damage with that knife than had been apparent? He was torn between wanting to know that Eroica was alive and well and acute discomfort at having to reveal he was still here and had witnessed Eroica's tryst. After more seemingly endless minutes with no sign of the thief stirring, concern won out.

Klaus stretched and then rose with slow caution from his cramped position. If he had hoped to accomplish a stealthy approach, it was not to be. At the first slight sound he made, Eroica sat bolt upright, instantly alert.

"Krycek..." the thief began and then gasped, startled, as he saw who was walking towards him. "Major?"

Shock and horror mingled in Dorian's voice as he glanced behind Klaus and realised where he had stepped out from - and, in turn, what that hiding place implied. Klaus knew; he'd seen...

"Major, I - I thought you'd left." Dorian tried to put a brave face on things, without much success.

"Clearly so," said Klaus steadily, trying to ignore the misery in Eroica's tone.

As the major stopped beside him and looked down at his naked, marked body, apparently unmoved, Dorian huddled away from him. He managed to pull a corner of one of the sleeping bags up to cover himself and waited for the yelling to begin. Dorian was utterly mortified - this wasn't at all what he'd imagined it would be like, the first time his beloved major saw him naked. Blue eyes dulled with despair. As distant a possibility as it had been before, it was certain that Klaus would never want him now, not after seeing him bruised and bloodied, with the marks of another man's passion on his skin.

Klaus frowned, surprised when Dorian shrank away from him and covered his body as if he were shy of it. Eroica would not normally have wasted such an obvious opportunity to throw himself at him. Then again, this was hardly normal, even for them. Did Eroica imagine Klaus was going to be angry with him for doing this - as if it were any of his business in the first place? Or was that guilt in blue eyes that suddenly lowered almost demurely?

"Eroica, I am not angry with you," said Klaus finally, when it was clear that the thief had no intention of speaking. "What you do in your own time is your business - this has no bearing on the mission. You do not need to fear that I will hit you or yell at you."

The reassurance did nothing to relax Dorian from his tense wariness. "But you saw," he said, the words not quite a question.

"Yes." Klaus could not lie, not about this. There were answers he needed.

"Oh God." Dorian slumped, burying his face in his hands. His blond curls fell forward, obscuring his expression. "Major, go away - please!"

"Why?" Klaus looked startled by the request.

"Why?" Dorian gave a muffled laugh. "How am I ever supposed to face you again after this, knowing what you saw...?"

"It's all right, I - I won't censure you for it. Only... Eroica, tell me, why did you let him do this to you? I don't understand it." Klaus sounded strangely unhappy.

Caught by the tone of the major's voice, Dorian looked up. He tossed his curls back out of his face and looked Klaus squarely in the eyes. "Do you really not know?"

Klaus blinked, trying to read behind the question. Dorian's eyes were steady now and he found it hard to meet the level blue gaze. It only seemed to remind him of the ache that still throbbed dully in his groin.

"Is this - is it because of me? Because I would not - could not - give you what you wanted?" hazarded Klaus. It was difficult to find the right words and he stumbled over them. "Is that what you're saying? Surely you understand that, all other considerations aside, I could never give you - this." A sweep of Klaus' hand indicated the knife cuts still clearly visible on Dorian's skin.

Dorian laughed shakily. "It wasn't about the knife, Major. I didn't even know he had it at first, let alone that he would enjoy using it on me. That kind of play isn't everyone's cup of tea, after all. No, that was all just - chance. What it was about was me wanting you - desperately. I needed you... and I couldn't have you. You know, until I met you I was never much good at self-restraint, but I learned it - for you. All the same, I'm not made of stone and he seemed to want me too. So, when he offered..."

With a shrug of his shoulders, Dorian indicated the choice he had made. "And if I didn't think too much, I could almost imagine he looked like you, just a bit. But his eyes... they weren't really like yours at all." Dorian managed a faint smile as he searched Klaus' face, wondering how he would react.

"I am - sorry," said Klaus, not entirely sure what he was apologising for, but feeling the apology was necessary all the same. "I do not like to see you hurt," he added with conviction. "Especially not by someone like that."

Ignoring the fact that Krycek hadn't hurt him, not really - at least, not in ways he hadn't wanted to be hurt - Dorian asked accusingly, "So why did you just watch then? Why not stop him? For that matter, what right did you have to be watching at all? I never took you for a voyeur, Major."

"I - none," admitted Klaus. He glanced down at his hands, which were clasped loosely together in front of him. It was easier than looking at Dorian. "I should not have stayed when I realised what... what you and he were doing."

"So, why did you?" Dorian really needed to know.

"I found..." Klaus paused for a moment, asking himself the same question. "I could not help myself. I wanted to."

Dorian's eyes widened at the strained confession; even in the dim light they were very blue. There was a hard edge to his voice as he asked, "Major... are you saying you actually liked watching two men having sex together? That you enjoyed seeing something so - perverted?"

"It wasn't like that," Klaus insisted, automatically defensive. His head came up again and he glared at Dorian, daring him to disagree.

"No?" Dorian was relentless. "So, what was it like?"

Klaus looked and sounded somewhat confused, but he did not back away from the truth this time. "It was - it was because it was you."

Impossibly, Dorian's eyes widened still further, startled. He felt a strange fluttering begin in the pit of his stomach. Was it possible...?

"Klaus, are you saying...?" Dorian paused, still not able to really comprehend the possibility that he had finally found a way inside Iron Klaus' barriers. He took a deep breath and ploughed on, "Do you mean you liked watching because it was me that was naked and having sex with another man? No other reason than that?" He shook his head, curls flying. "No, I don't believe it!"

"Eroica - no, Dorian, please... It is the truth. I would not lie about something like this, nor make a joke of it." Klaus dropped his gaze, unable to bear looking into those vivid eyes - now filled with a naked hope - any more. "I did not want it to be so, I won't lie to you about that either, but... You were - beautiful and I had to see. I'm sorry..."

"Oh, Klaus, no - please don't be sorry! I do believe you, but... Well, I've hoped and then been disappointed before. Do you understand?" Dorian moved swiftly, dropping the sleeping bag he had been covering himself with and rising to his knees, gloriously nude. He reached out a tentative hand towards Klaus, not quite daring to touch.

"Have you any idea just how long I've been waiting to hear you say something like that? My dear Major, I don't regret a second of this if it helped you to finally see... Oh lord, I don't know what to say." Dorian ran out of words and simply sat back on his heels, gazing at Klaus in wonder, his eyes full of a familiar adoration.

"A rare occurrence indeed," observed Klaus wryly. Though privately he thought that Dorian had hardly been short of words thus far.

Dorian managed a slight smile. "What now, then?" he asked. Long fingers that reached up to toy with his disordered curls telegraphed his uncertainty.

"I'm not sure," admitted Klaus. "But, at the least, we should leave here. I could take you back to your hotel," he suggested diffidently.

"Oh, Major, would you? I'm afraid I sent Bonham and the others away when... well, you know." Dorian felt his spirits soaring, but kept them in check as best he could. He didn't want to frighten Klaus off, not now, not when he was so close to getting what he'd always wanted. "Umm, there is one small problem, though."

"What is that?" asked Klaus, frowning.

Dorian looked embarrassed. "It's my clothes, Major. He - ah, he cut them to get them off and, well, they're rather more revealing now than even I'm comfortable with."

Remembering how he had watched the assassin slice the tight catsuit off Dorian's body, Klaus flushed.

"Of course... here, take my jacket," he said abruptly. Anything to distract his mind from that line of thought... Klaus shrugged out of it and handed it to Dorian, who accepted the offering with a blinding smile.

He set it aside for just long enough to struggle back into the remains of his catsuit, pulling the cut edges together as best he could. Then Dorian slid the jacket on over the top. It was too big - Klaus' build was quite a bit broader across the shoulders than his own - but that allowed him to wrap it close around him to hide the damage underneath. It was still warm from the heat of Klaus' body and it smelled subtly of the major too. Dorian drew in a deep breath, thrilled by what Klaus was doing for him.

He glanced up and found that Klaus was watching him covertly from under dark lashes. Oh God, it was almost perfect...

"Are you ready?" Klaus asked. His voice was gruff, covering his embarrassment as he realised he'd been caught staring.

"Oh yes, Major, quite ready," replied Dorian, his normal teasingly flirtatious manner reasserting itself. "I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate this..."

"Then don't," Klaus interrupted brusquely. Did the man always have to talk everything to death?

He wondered briefly what the hell he thought he was doing and exactly what he'd got himself into. Ah well, it was too late to back out now. Besides, he hadn't actually agreed to anything beyond taking Dorian back to his hotel, had he? But while his brain applauded his caution, Klaus found that his body was telling an entirely different story as he slowly followed the thief down the stairs and out of the warehouse.

All the while that he was securing the building - shutting off the lights and locking the exterior doors - Klaus found himself flashing on a succession of images of Eroica. They only served to remind him that his body had appreciated the sight of Dorian naked all too well and, as a result, Klaus was left nursing an erection that stubbornly refused to fade.

They walked side by side to where Klaus had left his car. Almost without thinking he held the door of the Benz open for Dorian.

The thief positively glowed as he climbed into the car and settled himself in the passenger seat, Klaus' jacket wrapped tightly around him.

It was only as he was sliding into his own seat that Klaus realised what he'd done - and how Dorian had doubtless interpreted the unconscious gesture. Well, he couldn't go back and change it now. Eroica would just have to think what he was thinking, there was no help for it.

The journey to Dorian's hotel - one of the most expensive and stylish establishments in town - was completed in silence, but there was nothing oppressive about it. Klaus might almost have called it a companionable silence. At any rate, he was grateful for the breathing space it gave him; he needed the time to consider what he did next.

He knew what Dorian was expecting him to do, now that he had admitted to the appeal the man's body held for him. But when it came down to it, Klaus wasn't sure that he could - or even if he wanted to. Though the latter was a lie, and he knew it. Klaus had known it from the first moment he'd seen Dorian tonight, naked and writhing in the arms of Alex Krycek. All the years of denying that he felt anything at all for Dorian had gone for nothing in that second. He couldn't deny it any more.

No matter how much it went against Klaus' preferred perception of himself and his own sexuality, he could no longer convincingly insist that he was unaffected by the thief. He most certainly had not been unmoved as he watched Dorian in the throes of passion - his groin still ached and his cock remained hard, reminding him of the fact constantly. And he could smell Dorian in the close quarters of the car, the scent of sex strong on his skin. Klaus shuddered. He felt out of his depth. This was Dorian's territory, not his. He had no idea how he ought to behave, and Klaus didn't like the feeling of uncertainty.

His thoughts still hadn't resolved themselves by the time he pulled the car up outside Dorian's hotel. He shut off the engine, then sat and watched as Eroica got out and closed the door, without looking back at him. The decision had been left entirely in his hands. After a moment's further consideration, Klaus climbed out as well and handed his keys to a valet. His actions won him another of Dorian's sun-bright smiles.

He followed Dorian into the lobby, hovering near the lifts and trying to appear as inconspicuous as possible. He noted that Dorian was careful to keep the borrowed jacket wrapped tightly around his ruined clothes as he quickly retrieved his room key from the front desk.

They didn't speak as they got into a lift together and rode up to Dorian's floor. Still in silence, they walked side by side along the corridor to the door of his suite. Neither of them relaxed their guard by so much as a fraction until they were safely inside the room with the door closed and locked behind them.

At once Dorian let out a deep, heartfelt sigh. "Thank God that's over," he said, relieved. "I was sure the receptionist would notice something was up." He giggled a little giddily and fluttered his lashes in a deliberate tease. "Well, strictly speaking, I suppose something was. Thank goodness your jacket is quite long or the poor girl would have got such a shock! Here, thank you for letting me borrow it," he added rather more soberly as he slipped out of it and handed it back to Klaus.

The major accepted the jacket, but didn't put it back on. Instead, he draped it carefully over the back of the nearest chair. He tried not to notice the faint scent of roses that now clung to the material. "Think nothing of it," he replied absently.

Klaus concentrated on not thinking about the 'something' Dorian had so archly implied had come up. He could hardly mistake Dorian's meaning and it disconcerted him more than he would have liked, especially as it reminded him of the 'something' of his own which had so stubbornly refused to be tamed. It was difficult to know where he could safely look - certainly not at Dorian, not with the indecent amount of pale skin which was once more being revealed by the ruined catsuit.

"What now, Klaus?" asked Dorian. His expression was serious as he walked over to stand directly in front of the major. He wanted him to look, to see what he could have if only he was prepared to reach out and take it.

"I don't know," admitted Klaus, his voice unusually quiet. He looked up, watching Dorian's face, hoping to find an answer there.

A slight frown crossed the expressive features. "Whatever it's to be, I want you to be sure. I won't have you blame me or deny me in the morning. Do you understand?"

"Yes, but... If we do - this, you know we must be discreet." Klaus was quite firm on that point.

"Klaus, I've had years to think through all the ramifications of a relationship with you." Dorian's smile was a little sad as he thought of just how many years it had been. "I know and understand them all very well - and I do know how to keep secrets. After all, Eroica is still at liberty, his identity, by and large, unknown; do you think that would be true if I couldn't keep a secret? So, as far as I am concerned there's only one thing that really matters. Tell me honestly, Klaus, do you want me?"

"I - yes... I think so." Klaus looked troubled.

"Well, that's as clear as mud," said Dorian wryly.

"No, I'm not saying it right." Klaus forged on, determined to make himself understood. "I do, but... I don't know how..."

Dorian's expression eased at once. "Is that all? Don't worry about that, darling. I'll show you anything you want to know. All I ask is that you just be certain you won't regret this. I'd rather it never happened than have you hate me afterwards."

"I won't..."

Dorian reached out, laying a finger gently across Klaus' lips, effectively silencing him. Klaus blinked in surprise.

"I'm going to take a shower now," said Dorian slowly. "Then you can do the same. When we're both done I'll ask you again. You don't have to decide until then. That way you'll have some time by yourself to think. Now, I won't be long; help yourself to anything that you want."

With that, Dorian smiled warmly at Klaus, then turned and retreated into the bathroom. A few minutes later the sound of water running filtered out into the main room of the suite.

Klaus sank down into a comfortable chair and rested his head against the high back. Eroica was being unexpectedly considerate of his uncertainties. Somehow it wasn't helping; Klaus would have preferred not to have time to think. If Dorian had simply tackled him, as he'd thought he would, overwhelming his doubts with the sheer force of his physical presence... This way Klaus had to face his doubts, and it made him acutely uncomfortable.

Closing his eyes, Klaus forced himself to consider the options. But his thoughts just kept circling around and coming back to the source of his confusion - Dorian. Eroica wanted him to be sure. Well, Klaus could understand that. Dorian had been waiting for him to surrender for a very long time. If it was finally going to happen, it was only reasonable that he should want it to be unconditional. And so Dorian wanted Klaus to be equally certain that this was the right thing to do. Klaus just wasn't convinced that he could find that certainty in himself.

Part of him was still screaming insistently that it was totally wrong to even contemplate this - an affront before God and decent men that would surely see him consigned to the fires of Hell for all eternity. Then again, Klaus hadn't really believed in God for a very long time and, truth be told, Dorian was one of the most decent men he knew. As to Hell, well, Klaus had no doubt he was already doomed to burn anyway, given the things he'd done in his life. So why not make the journey there a little more pleasant along the way?

Klaus sighed. When it came down to it, he wanted what Dorian was offering. For now, that would have to be enough.

When Dorian had finished his shower he emerged from the bathroom wearing a red silk kimono-style robe. His golden hair was damp at the ends and all of it had been affected by the steam, leaving it to curl more tightly than usual about his face. He looked around the room somewhat anxiously, an expression of relief crossing his features when he saw Klaus sitting in one of the overstuffed armchairs. Dorian had been half afraid the major would take the opportunity to leave.

"Your turn," he said lightly, walking across to the wardrobe and sliding it open. He pulled out a more sober black robe and offered it to Klaus. "Here, you can use this if you like. It only seems fair after you lent me your jacket."

Klaus accepted the robe and got to his feet. He took a moment just to look at Dorian, taking in the entire six foot package, from damp blond curls to long, slender feet, bare on the soft pile of the exquisite carpet. It was still undeniably true. He found Dorian beautiful, his body stirring in response as he studied the man. He gave a brisk nod, as if he had just found the answers to his questions.

"I shall be ready shortly." The words sounded too formal to Klaus' ears, but he didn't know what else to say. He turned on his heel then and retreated to the welcome refuge offered by the bathroom.

Dorian stared at the closed door for several seconds. Did that mean Klaus really was going to stay? He wrapped his arms tightly around his chest. Oh God, how he hoped so. To be this close... Dorian began to pace, nervous energy refusing to let him be still. He watched the bathroom door with anxious eyes. He couldn't wait for it to open again so that he could see if Klaus emerged in the borrowed robe, or dressed once more in his own clothes. Would he stay or go? Dorian couldn't recall the last time he had waited for anything with quite this much anticipation.

Eventually the door began to open and Dorian held his breath. Then Klaus stepped out - wearing the black robe and, apparently, nothing else. Dorian let out the breath he had been holding in a long, sighing exhalation. Klaus intended to stay.

The major held a neatly folded bundle - his own clothes. He walked over and set them down on the chair he had hung his jacket on. Then he turned and approached Dorian.

"You would not let me say this before," he said firmly, "but I want to do this - and I will not regret it."

"Oh, Klaus, of course you won't!" Dorian cried in delight. "I plan on making absolutely certain of that."

"What would you like to do, then?" Klaus asked. He was venturing into unknown territory and his uncertainty showed.

Dorian smiled blindingly. "I want to do everything," he breathed, "but perhaps we should start with the basics."

"The basics?" Klaus sounded doubtful.

Dorian giggled, inordinately happy. "Hm, something I'm sure even you must have done before. I want to kiss you, Major. May I?"

"If you wish to."

Klaus stood stiff and unmoving as Dorian glided into his personal space. One long-fingered hand rose to brush against Klaus' cheek softly, then it slid further, threading into the dark silk of his hair. The fingers curved strongly around the back of his head and drew him closer to Dorian, inch by inch. Klaus could feel the warmth of Dorian's breath feather across his lips a scant moment before the more tangible caress of mouth on mouth.

Dorian's lips were warm and surprisingly soft. The pressure was light and not at all unpleasant. Klaus felt his eyelids drift shut as he gave himself over to the novel experience of being kissed by Dorian. The thief's other hand came to rest at Klaus' waist, drawing them together until Klaus could feel his own erection pressed up against an answering hardness, nothing but two thin layers of silk separating them. The realisation drew a ragged moan from Klaus' throat, his lips parting to release the sound.

And Dorian made the most of the opportunity, deepening the kiss. He opened his own mouth over Klaus', letting his tongue steal out until the tip was just tracing the soft skin inside Klaus' lower lip. He felt the body in his arms shudder and dove in deeper, twining his tongue with Klaus' intimately. The major pressed back and Dorian urged him to explore, coaxing him to taste Dorian's mouth.

After a moment's hesitation, Klaus did. His tongue flicked briefly at Dorian's lips and then plunged inside hungrily.

Dorian moaned happily and wound both arms around Klaus, pulling him closer still. He could feel the major's arousal and rubbed against him eagerly, cat-like and playful. He was gratified when Klaus finally brought his hands - until then clenched into fists at his side - into play.

Klaus dove his hands between their close-pressed bodies and tugged at the belts holding their robes closed. They gave at his insistent pulling and the fabric gaped open, allowing them to touch, skin to skin. Klaus slid his hands inside Dorian's robe, rubbing them slowly up and down the long, smooth back. He could feel that the skin there was flawless, contrasting with the angry-looking welts on Dorian's chest.

Unreasoning fury welled up in Klaus as he thought of how those marks had got there and the man who had hurt Dorian. He only controlled his temper with an effort, the fierce protectiveness he felt shocking him. If Krycek had been within reach at that moment, Klaus would cheerfully have killed him.

But Dorian didn't seem to notice anything amiss and Klaus' touch simply made him arch against the major, increasing the pressure of their swollen cocks. And now there were no barriers between them, just the friction of flesh on flesh.

Klaus gasped, tearing his mouth from Dorian's to draw in a much-needed breath. The sensations were almost overwhelming and drove all thoughts of anything but Dorian and the absolute necessity of touching him from Klaus' mind.

Dorian seemed to take the release of his mouth as carte blanche to latch onto Klaus' neck instead. He nipped and sucked at the smooth skin, licking away drops of sweat that had formed there. Klaus tasted divine, clean, salty-sweet and utterly delicious. Dorian couldn't get enough of him.

"Stop, Dorian..." Klaus begged. Somehow Dorian had managed to home in on the precise spot on Klaus' neck that was guaranteed to reduce him to a gibbering wreck in seconds. If Dorian didn't stop doing that, this was all going to be over before it got properly started!

"Don't want to," said Dorian breathlessly, between sucking kisses. "We can do this more than once you know..."

And then he slithered out of Klaus' grasp, moving steadily down the major's body, exploring avidly with hands and mouth as he went.

Klaus had never had anyone kiss and suck his nipples that way before. Not that he'd ever encouraged such intimacies. Sex was just - sex; something to be dealt with briskly, dutifully, certainly not to be drawn out or, necessarily, even enjoyed. Only, with Dorian it didn't feel that way and especially not when he touched him like that!

Pleased with his major's responsiveness, Dorian licked at the tender flesh until it peaked. Then he bit the roughened buds softly, until he had Klaus groaning steadily. He suckled each of the swollen nipples a final time before moving on, lower still, his hair ghosting ticklishly over Klaus' stomach. The random caresses made him tense and Dorian paused to admire the strong muscles which the movement threw into relief. He scattered kisses lightly over the smooth skin, enjoying the ripple of muscle against his mouth, before he continued downward, to finally reach his ultimate goal.

"Mm, beautiful," breathed Dorian, tilting his head to look back up at Klaus with a beatific smile. The man's eyes were squeezed tight shut, but his face wore an expression of almost desperate anticipation. It only made Dorian's smile grow wider. "And I'll bet it tastes just as good as it looks," he whispered. "Better, even..."

The last two words were barely more than softly exhaled breaths as Dorian leaned in close and licked Klaus' thick cock experimentally. One long swipe with his tongue, all the way from the heavy balls to the flared head. The taste of pre-come exploded in his mouth and Dorian couldn't resist closing his lips over the tip, teasing at the slit with his tongue in search of more.

"Ach, Dorian!" Klaus protested as he felt that glorious mouth claim his cock. Hot, wet, enticing... It took all Klaus' considerable control to put a stop to the madness, digging his fingers deep into Dorian's hair to pull him away.

"What's wrong?" asked Dorian, startled at having been robbed so forcefully of his prize. "Don't you like this? I thought..."

"Yes, I like it - a lot... too much! I may not be able to stop myself," said Klaus awkwardly, feeling his cheeks heat.

"Is that all?" Dorian sounded as relieved as he felt. He'd feared Klaus was about to back out of their arrangement, but it seemed the major was just embarrassed. He wondered if his repressed darling had ever let anyone do this for him before. Probably not, so no wonder he was unsure about the etiquette of such things. "I don't mind if you can't," Dorian assured Klaus, smiling warmly at him.

Klaus still looked doubtful. "But shouldn't you - use something?" he asked with a frown.

"Oh, Major, is that what's bothering you?" Dorian finally understood the root of Klaus' concern. It was a valid one - or would have been with just about anybody but Klaus. "For this, I don't think it's necessary. If you don't mind me saying so, you've never struck me as the kind of man to sleep around. I'm quite sure you're clean, darling. And in case you're worried, I am too - I make sure of that regularly." Dorian raised one eyebrow in question. "So, are you going to tell me anything different?"

Klaus flushed. "No, but..."

"But nothing, Klaus. I want to do this." And with that Dorian turned his attention back to the swollen cock in front of him.

Klaus would have protested further, but the renewed sensations were just too wonderful. Heat and wetness engulfed him as Dorian closed his mouth very deliberately over the head of his cock, sucking firmly. An agile tongue curled around the shaft, setting his nerves on fire. And when Dorian's hands moved to cup and squeeze his balls as well, Klaus was lost.

He'd been on the brink for too long and the combination of Dorian's actions was just too overwhelming. His hips moved convulsively, thrusting into the welcome warmth of Dorian's mouth. Klaus filled his hands with the softness of Dorian's curls as his world exploded around him. He still tried to pull away as he spilled, but Dorian wouldn't let him, moving to hold him with a surprisingly strong grip. As a result, Klaus had the added pleasure of feeling that long throat working, drinking him down.

It was like nothing he'd experienced before - and, better yet, it was Dorian. Dorian, the infernal tease and nuisance... the fiercely loyal friend who'd stood beside him no matter what. The man who had so often told him that he loved him, and now seemed set on proving it yet again - this time with all the resources of his body.

The intensity of his climax was slowly fading and Klaus swayed a little unsteadily on his feet. But Dorian was there to hold onto him, keeping him from falling.

Slowly Dorian let Klaus' softened cock slip from his mouth. He couldn't quite stop his lips from curving in a pleased smile as he tasted the last traces of his darling major's come on his tongue. Finally! And God, it had been worth waiting for. Klaus was everything he'd hoped for, and then some. Dorian climbed gracefully to his feet, pulling the uncharacteristically relaxed body against him. Klaus allowed the liberty and Dorian snuggled closer, content.

Klaus' green eyes looked faintly dazed as they locked with Dorian's. His arms slid around the slim waist, not wanting to risk losing the contact. It felt - good.

"Did you like that?" asked Dorian, his eyes fixed on the major. They were lit with a distinctly seductive gleam.

"It was - pleasant," conceded Klaus, inwardly acknowledging that as the understatement it was.

Dorian merely smiled knowingly.

With a sigh Klaus pulled Dorian even closer, then frowned as he felt the press of a still-rampant erection against his hip. At once he dropped a hand to touch the heated flesh, confirming to himself that Dorian had not yet come.

At the gentle brush of his fingers Dorian gasped sweetly, "Oh, that feels nice, don't stop."

"Didn't what we did before please you?" asked Klaus, the uncertainty back in his voice.

"Of course it did." Dorian smiled. "Just not that way - yet. I was rather hoping for more from this evening and I can be patient, you know."

"I want to please you," said Klaus, and was surprised to realise it was the simple, unadorned truth.

"Then come to bed," said Dorian, his voice husky, "and we'll find a way to put this -" His hand covered Klaus' where it rested on his cock for just a moment. "- to good use, shall we? Nothing complicated, but something to please us both, I think."

"Yes," agreed Klaus.

There was a somewhat lost look in the grey-green eyes as they met Dorian's. But after a moment Klaus pulled himself together enough to allow Dorian to slip away from him and then catch his hand, leading him to the large pillow-strewn bed.

Dorian shed the red silk robe without a thought and stood before Klaus gloriously naked, his cock long and slender - and hungry. He looked to Klaus, expecting him to reciprocate, but the major stood as if transfixed, his eyes locked on the fine red lines which criss-crossed Dorian's chest.

In that moment all Klaus could see were the knife wounds, still red and fiery, marring the beauty of the pale skin. They stood as a testament to his continued failure to treat Dorian as he had deserved. He should have protected him; prevented this from happening. That Dorian said he had gained pleasure from having those marks inflected on him was irrelevant. He had wanted Klaus and been refused so many times that he had turned instead to a man who was capable of this. Klaus reached out, a fingertip distractedly tracing the line of one of the deepest cuts.

Dorian gave a slight flinch at the touch, watching Klaus with a sudden wariness in his clear blue eyes. "Are you angry with me for - this?" he asked tentatively.

Klaus shook his head, the spell broken, and looked up to meet Dorian's eyes. "A little, but moreso with him. This isn't right - you shouldn't be hurt..." He broke off, aware of the fact that he was ignoring the times he'd hurt Dorian himself.

Acknowledging the contradiction with a faint smile Dorian countered, "I do appreciate the sentiment, darling, but I am what I am... and I like what I like."

"I know." Klaus had had a great many years to come to terms with the truth of that. Dorian had never been less than totally honest about what he was... unlike Klaus.

Taking the words to refer solely to his taste for knifeplay, Dorian hurried to assure Klaus, "It doesn't mean I don't like other things too, though."

Klaus nodded slowly. "I know that too. But is it enough?" Am I enough?

"Oh, Klaus, if it's you, of course it is. Don't you see? That's what really mattered, always - that it should be you." A touch of Eroica's sly smile broke through then. "Just remember to yell at me, loudly, every once in a while and you'll keep me perfectly happy."

Klaus snorted, "I knew there had to be a reason why you followed me around for so long."

Lilting laughter greeted that comment. "Oh, there was, and it had very little to do with you yelling. Would you be frightfully offended if I told you your best side was your backside?"

Klaus growled his displeasure at the remark, but his heart wasn't really in it. How could it be when Dorian was looking at him like that? As if he were a coveted work of art or a gift for his birthday and Christmas rolled into one, just waiting to be unwrapped.

And Dorian didn't want to wait to unwrap him any longer. "I want to see all of you, Klaus," he said softly. "Please..."

With less assurance than Dorian had shown, Klaus shrugged out of the black silk robe. It slithered to the floor, letting Dorian get a proper look at him for the first time. Klaus knew he was in good shape, fit and well-muscled; it was a matter of pride to him that he should be. Still, he couldn't help wondering if Dorian would like what he saw. As it was, he needn't have worried.

"Oh, Klaus, you're beautiful," Dorian breathed with reverence as he slowly circled the other man. Periodically his hands stole out, to touch and stroke the firm body and smooth skin with almost proprietary intent.

Klaus bore the touches in stoic silence. Though he was perilously close to voicing his pleasure at some of the more intimate caresses.

"Hm, delicious..." murmured Dorian as he wound himself around Klaus like a vine and began to kiss him with admirable thoroughness.

As Klaus responded to the kiss he stiffened, his whole body tensing as he realised that he was tasting himself on Dorian's lips and invading tongue. It was shocking, illicitly pleasurable.

"Relax," said Dorian softly, his lips moving against Klaus' mouth. "And come to bed."

He tugged at Klaus, pulling him closer to the bed and tumbling them both down onto it. The deep mattress cushioned their fall and Dorian rolled until he was on his back with Klaus sprawled on top of him. It was exactly where he'd wanted to be for a very long time. He grinned up at his beloved major happily, blue eyes sparkling with delight as he let his erect cock slip between Klaus' strong thighs.

Once he got over the shock of finding himself prone on the bed, his arms clutching an exuberantly naked Dorian, Klaus was quick to get the message. He tightened the grip of his thighs around the smooth flesh so that Dorian could thrust between them. Heat rose where their bodies pressed together and skin quickly became slicked with sweat, easing the friction of their movements against one another.

With his own cock trapped between himself and Dorian, Klaus could feel the first stirring of a new arousal as his lax shaft rubbed against the rough hair growing low on Dorian's belly. It burned less hot this time, not so frantic, but it was a pleasing warmth that slowly uncoiled inside him. He bent his head to kiss Dorian, to share the warm feeling with him.

Dorian responded with delight, knowing he was getting close now. Klaus' tongue was exploring his mouth deeply and Klaus' thighs were offering just the pressure his cock needed, his movements aided by the fluid now leaking steadily from its tip. He would have liked to be buried deep inside Klaus' body, but he doubted that the major would be ready to consider that possibility just yet. Better to keep things simple until they were properly comfortable with one another - one step at a time. But Dorian now felt confident that they would take those steps, and soon.

With that pleasant thought in mind, Dorian let go. He thrust up hard a few more times before his cock began to spill, hot fluid smearing Klaus' thighs as they continued to rock together.

Feeling the warm wetness on his skin, Klaus gathered Dorian closer, rolling them again until the thief was on top. The new position let Dorian move against him in a most enticing way as he rode out the waves of his climax, moaning softly. And the sticky residue of his come trickled down between Klaus' thighs, promising future explorations in the same direction. The thought of that still frankly terrified Klaus, but it no longer repulsed him.

Dorian, Klaus discovered, was heavier than he looked. Especially when he was sprawled fully on top of him, utterly relaxed and sated.

The thief made small sounds of contentment as he snuggled close, nuzzling at the hollow of Klaus' throat. His breath was hot and sweet as it feathered over Klaus' skin in slow, steady puffs.

"Mm, thank you, that was lovely," he said sleepily. "You feel so warm..."

"And you feel too heavy," Klaus informed his companion sternly. He tipped the clinging form off of himself onto the mattress, ignoring Dorian's squawk of protest. The cries quietened as Klaus drew Dorian back against his side, settling the blond head on his shoulder. "That's better." Klaus sounded rather pleased with himself.

After only a moment's peace, Dorian's head popped up from its pillow on Klaus' shoulder and sleepy blue eyes regarded him with a thoughtful expression.

"Does this mean you're going to stay?" he asked. The question was cautious, but hopeful.

"So it would seem," replied Klaus. "Now, be quiet; we should sleep."

Dorian obeyed, plastering his body along the length of Klaus', enjoying its strength and warmth. Silky wisps of the major's dark hair brushed his cheek and Dorian smiled contentedly. He lay quiet for some time, but in spite of his tiredness sleep refused to come. He sighed, frustrated.

"Klaus, are you asleep?" he asked in a small voice.

"No, because someone will not be still."

"I'm sorry, but... Are you really OK with this, truly?"

Klaus sighed, knowing he would get no peace until he found some kind of a reply for Dorian. He answered as honestly as he could. "I don't know for certain... but I think so. I - liked what we did tonight."

"Enough to want to do it again?" Dorian still sounded uncertain.

"Yes, but not now." There was a definite note of finality in Klaus' tone.

"Good God, no, that wasn't what I meant," Dorian was quick to assure him. The thought of it was not unpleasant, but Dorian knew his body was beyond further exertions for the time being.

"I am pleased to hear it," said Klaus drily, "now sleep."

"All right..." There was a moment's pause. "Klaus..."

"Enough, Dorian!"

And to reinforce the command Klaus leaned over, covering Dorian's mouth with his own and neatly kissing him breathless. It was, he discovered, a most pleasant - and effective - way of silencing the garrulous thief. It was a shame, Klaus reflected, that he couldn't employ the same tactic in the course of a mission. The thought brought an unexpectedly pleased smirk to the major's lips. He closed his eyes and put his arms more tightly around Dorian. No, he had no regrets.

Klaus began to hum softly, the familiar refrain of 'Mary had a little lamb'. He had barely completed the first couple of bars, though, before he fell soundly asleep.

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