Hard as Hell

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Title: Hard as Hell
Author(s): torch
Date(s): May 1998
Length: 7,000 words
Genre(s): slash fanfiction, noncon
Fandom(s): The X-Files
External Links: Hard as Hell (the flambeau factory)

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Hard as Hell is a Mulder/Krycek story by torch. It's a first time story set in the second season.

Summary: Krycek has to decide how far he's willing to go in order to be a successful double, or is it triple, agent.

The story was translated into Hungarian by costa.[1]

Recs and Reviews

A heterosexual Alex Krycek got an order to get Agent Mulder into his bed. Also, “Russian Roulette”.[2]

Mulder/Krycek. This story gets bonus points for angst and ambiguity. An elegantly written noncon scene without an obvious perpetrator.[3]

M/K Sooooo good. Krycek has been ordered into Mulder`s bed, no surprise there, but his reaction is fairly atypical though, and totally delicious.[4]

An amazing short story in which young and ambitious Agent Krycek is rudely awakened to just what his job entails – and then goes on to find out things are even worse than that. That's what you get for failing to read the small print.[5]

Why this must be read: Because gaps in knowledge between characters are what makes the X-files fun and this story captures that gap, although from a different angle and on a different topic than is usual for the show. Here we have a very young, very straight agent Krycek who is told seduce Mulder. The tension between Krycek's misery at the role he is forced to play, the enthusiasm of that role and Mulder's obliviousness makes for an captivating story.[6]

Darkfic Rating: Espresso macchiato. I asked friends for M/K recommendations, and this is the first one I read. I hated it because it hurt, and loved it for the same damn reason.[7]

If rape=non-consensual sex, then who’s the rapist: the one doing you, or the one who insisted you offered yourself up to be done.[8]

Twisted. I love it. Krycek is orderd to seduce Mulder. One problem. Kyrcek is straight. What follows is sexy as hell. I wished she wrote a sequel, becuase I've always wondered what happened next.[9]

...holy hannah was that hot! [10]

I adore torch... reminds me what it was I loved about XF...[11]

Torch’s characterizations in “Hard as Hell” are just inside the parameters of believability. This Krycek is more innocent and sympathetic than I prefer; this Mulder more…predatory, shall we say. But we know how relentless Mulder can be in the pursuit of what he wants. And I am prepared to believe in a Krycek who is dedicated enough to The Cause to take one for the team. Or the other team, in this case. Torch’s writing is as always excellent.[12]

XF Book Club Discussion

Well, the obligatory disclaimer is that I don't usually like slash. I did like this story, though; most of it, anyway. As andrea_deer said when she nominated it, it is certainly a refreshing change from the idea of Krycek as the big bad seducer. This was a Krycek with whom I could actually (God forbid!) empathize with a little bit... a Krycek who wasn't always cool, wasn't always assured, and wasn't always in control. This version of him interests me a lot more than the others that I've seen, either in fics or onscreen.

The story's portrayal of Mulder also rang true for me, or at least I was willing to accept Krycek's take on him. It does a nice job of building up characterization points.... Nerves! Awkwardness! This part of the story manages to be both funny and somehow touching. It seems to me that people on first dates often feel like this, even if they belong to the same sexual orientation as their partner, and even if they actually fancy them. Maybe women do this more than men, trying to gauge their partners and react in the right way. In any case, I was definitely with Krycek here...... After that, we get to the sex, and frankly this is the bit where I will never be a slasher. It's not that I thought it was badly written or anything--I probably didn't read it closely enough to be able to offer an opinion one way or the other. Just not that interested. Just not my thing.

I did want to discuss the bit at the end, though. This bit:

My boss would approve of this, of all of it. I don't want to think about that. I can't explain to him that this was not a job well executed. I can never tell him just how it all went wrong.

I want to cry. Instead, I fall asleep.

How did it go wrong for Krycek? Is the implication that he really didn't want to do it? That he was disgusted by the fact that he actually enjoyed it? That he enjoyed it physically but still wishes he hadn't done it? Or what? Very interesting.[13]

I'm glad the story I recommended worked out. And I think I got the glimpse of "not-slashers" view on the slashy situation ^^

I agree that in this story Krycek creation and his whole nervousness is the most important point. that's why I thought it would be good to read even if there is a sex scene some may not enjoy.

I have to say this was one of the first stories Mulder/Krycek I've read... Earlier I've read Krycek/Mulder and switch roles was hard to imagine for me. But it worked. Now I read almost only Mulder/Krycek, altough that innocent Krycek we see here is still something I can't totally believe. And, I must confess, I don't want to believe...[14]

I will get the standard disclaimer over with first. I am a noromo, who liked the show as it was written, up to but not including Requiem and Seasons 8 and 9. I accept the show as it was written as canon, even if I personally didn't like it. I have read and enjoyed stories in all genres, including slash. I do not enjoy reading lengthy descriptions of sex acts, of any sort. I find them- boring. There are very few writers of erotica who can keep my eyes on the page. I will just fast forward through them once my eyes start glazing over, if the story is short enough. If it is long, and the sex seems really egregiously out of character, I bail.

I agree with narrahttbbs that the most interesting part of the story was its characterization of Krycek. The other interesting characterization, though, is of Mulder. I am prepared to believe in a Krycek, who is dedicated enough to The Cause to take one for the team. Or the other team, in this case.... That "try smiling" makes me feel a bit ill. I think Mulder knew exactly how he felt. That didn't stop him from picking up where he had left off. Mulder forced him to respond, again, and nearly against his will, Alex does. I think because this is a slash fic, we are inclined to give Mulder a pass on this behavior. Why don't you substitute a female character, for Krycek, and read the same scenario. Substitute Scully into this story. I like it a lot less. Because it definitely isn't okay to seduce your female subordinate. It certainly isn't okay to ignore her clear signals of discomfort, and tell her that she shouldn't go yet, and then f__k her again. It just isn't, at least it wasn't when I was dating, and it wasn't when this was written in 1998, and I am pretty sure it isn't today. I didn't feel turned on by this story, I felt angry at Mulder.

This is not the only Sexual Predator!Mulder story in the fandom, by any means. This is subtle compared to some of the M&S versions I've read. The elements are always the same, though. They all make me uncomfortable about what they reveal about Mulder. Because, he is kind of relentless when in pursuit of something that he wants. And, he can be conveniently oblivious to the feelings of other people, even those he cares about. I don't think he is very worried about Krycek's feelings. I don't like what this story reveals, but, leaving aside the whole issue of- is he or isn't he- the characterization does seem just this side of plausible. Unfortunately.

Good story. Yes, I did fast forward a bit through the more graphic parts, more due to psychic discomfort, than boredom. Creepy, but good is my final verdict. Definitely worth discussing.[15]

I'm afraid I do not agree with you about that Mulder didn't give a damn about Alex's discomfort and just went ahead with what he wanted to do. That he used Krycek. I think he can be read like that, but I also think it's not feelingless just the way Mulder seems to be. He's not good with expressing his feelings and when he noticed that Alex is feeling bad about theirs encounter and the fact he enjoyed it so much, Mulder tried to stop him from brooding and getting used to the fact that he may like it. When I read this story I was under the impression that maybe Mulder went through something simmiliar, when he was younger.[16]

First of all - I Am a Slasher.

I read everywhere (in every fandom) and have really little boundries that I do not cross. When I joined this community and I noticed that there's possibility to discuss slash I made it my mission to find a slash short enough to not bore the not-slashers, innocent enough to not disgust them and good enough to worth discussing.

And I remembered about this fic I read some time ago and found one of the most interesting I've ever did. (Not my favorite tough, my favs are far too long ^^).

Anyway. Back to the story and my opinion.

I think this fic is worth reading, because of different way of showing Alex. Even if the pairing is Mulder/Krycek and Alex is more submissive in the relationship, he rarely is shown as someone unsure of situation. And - forgetiing for a moment about the slash - he rarely shows it, even, when he is unsure and lost in the situation. That's why this fic is something different.

I personally can't buy Alex being this innocent and unsure and I'm not sure if it's because of the fanfiction I read or maybe that I always liked in him that attitude he's oviously lacking in here.

Still I enjoy different creation, and I very much enjoy Mulder's character. Even if slash suggested in the series (oh, come on! Even Nick Lea said that Krycek is gay) was always with Krycek being too much interested and Mulder not being interested at all. But, that's what we have fanfiction for, right? :) [17]

I don't mind a little slash fic, or PWP for that matter, but I confess that I've never seem Mulder/Krycek as a pairing. Mulder/Skinner yeah, but not Krycek.

Still, I enjoyed it. It's interesting the way that Krycek is the passive character in this fic - if a little OOC, as I'm sure that even if Krycek were playing the innocent, his internal dialogue would be far more calculating!

Saying that, I enjoyed the conflict in Krycek, very endearing - not normally a feeling I'd associate with Krycek *lol* [18]


  1. ^ POKOLI NEHÉZ, via Wayback: 30 July 2007. (Accessed 01 June 2013)
  2. ^ Flesh Wounds: Mulder/Krycek Recommended Fics. (Accessed 23 March 2015)
  3. ^ Rushlight. Rushlight's Recs: The X-Files. (Accessed 01 June 2013)
  4. ^ LilyCharlotte. The Blanketfort's Fic Rec Page: X-Files. (Accessed 03 April 2015)
  5. ^ Worlds Enough. Sylvia's X-Files Slash Recs. (Accessed 03 April 2015)
  6. ^ lapillus in crack_van: Hard as Hell by Torch (NC-17), 15 January 2006 (Accessed 13 April 2015)
  7. ^ Darkfic recs, November 2000, laura jv
  8. ^ Sandy Herrold. Issues of Consent: Sandy’s mostly"Slash Without Consent" link page, via Wayback. (Accessed 09 May 2015)
  9. ^ comment by ellie at Hard as Hell, Archived version, 2006,
  10. ^ comment by nehellania at Hard as Hell, Archived version, 2006,
  11. ^ comment by addonchaid at Hard as Hell, Archived version, 2006,
  12. ^ 201 Days of The X-Files, Archived version
  13. ^ xf book club, emily shore, December 17, 2007
  14. ^ xf book club, andrea deer, December 18, 2007
  15. ^ xf book club, wendelah1, December 18, 2007
  16. ^ xf book club, andrea deer, December 17, 2007
  17. ^ xf book club, andrea deer, December 17, 2007
  18. ^ xf book club, leyosura, March 16, 2008