TITLE: "Midnight Angel IV: As Heaven Is Wide" (1/1)

AUTHOR: Isahunter

RATING: PG

CATEGORY: V, WIP, Krycek/Other (No slash)

SPOILERS: SR 819

TIMELINE: Set in the winter of '99, but in this story the events of the episode "Biogenesis" never occurred.

ARCHIVE: Yes, with my name and all headers attached

FEEDBACK: Isahunter@aol.com

DISCLAIMER: Although the other characters are of my own creation, Skinner and Krycek technically belong to Chris Carter, Ten-Thirteen, Fox, Mitch Pileggi and the wonderful Nick Lea. No infringement intended.

SUMMARY: Who would dare betray the betrayer?

NOTE: This is a continuation of the "Midnight Angel" series, available at the eXpositions web site: http://www.aliens.mcmail.com/isadiadem/

For Bori. Thanks for being such a dear friend, and always knowing how to put a smile on my face faster than Godiva Pecan Caramel Truffle ice cream.

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No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.

--Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

Assaulted by loud music and the smell of sweaty smoke-ridden bodies, Alex pushed his way through the crowd. Gorgeous girls, barely dressed and shimmering in the flashing lights, pressed up against him, trying to entice him to dance. The pulse of the song, vibrating through his body from his head to his feet, was about as drugging as the heavy fog of marijuana and tobacco lingering in the air. He might have stopped to take advantage of the women offering themselves to him so freely, but he barely noticed them. Purposefully making his way to the back of the club, staring directly at his target through the mirrored lenses of his wrap-around sunglasses, Alex lightly caressed the delicate piece of machinery in his pocket.

Sitting alone in a shadowed booth far from the crowd, Walter Skinner looked more than a little uncomfortable. Wearing a T-shirt and wind breaker, a far cry from his FBI regulation suit and tie, he was obviously working on his second drink for the night. It wasn't surprising that the man was unsettled. Alex literally held his life in his hand.

Upon spotting him, Skinner slid a large Manila envelope across the table. Alex didn't sit down, nor did he touch the envelope. He merely stared, intimidating the man with an icy gaze he could no doubt feel, but couldn't see.

"I got what you asked for, Krycek. Can I go now?"

Finally relinquishing his control of the palm pilot in his pocket, Alex flipped open the envelope and spilled its contents on the table.

"Jesus, do you have to do that here?"

"What's wrong, Skinner? Afraid someone might see you handing over Top Secret documents to the enemy?"

"You son-of-a-bitch. You had me go behind the backs of people who trust me, and for what? Information on smallpox inoculations. What the hell do you want with this stuff, Krycek?"

"You know what you need to know."

"This is for 'him' isn't it? C.G.B. Spender? He didn't die at El Rico like the others, did he?"

Satisfied that all the evidence he'd asked for was present, Alex slipped the documents back in the envelope. One step closer. True, he had no problem fucking with Skinner. The man was of no consequence to him. But as long as he was useful, Alex planned on keeping him on a tight leash. And completely in the dark. He didn't need to know anything more than he already did. And besides, the Assistant Director was a hell of a lot of fun to toy with.

"What the hell do you care, Skinner? You got the X-Files reopened. If you're so worried about Spender, have your agents find him."

"Even if you did tell me where to find him, I'd never believe you. You're a pathological liar."

Alex had to grin. He couldn't deny it. Lies served him well, as long as he kept his story straight. Still, Skinner was no saint either.

"I'll be in contact when I need you again."

"What does it mean, Krycek? First nano-technology that almost kills me just to prove some point...now smallpox. What the hell are you planning?"

He didn't bother to answer. He had the man under his thumb, and didn't give a shit about his complaints. One day he'd tell Skinner exactly what was going on, when the moment was right. When it served his purpose. Until then, he left him sitting there in that dark booth, drowning in scorching whisky, deafening music, and his own misery.

She wasn't sure quite how many days had past since she'd last seen Alex, but as Sabryn sat on the roof of her apartment catching the last rays of the dying sun, she missed him. Her lap top computer sat open on her thighs, the cursor blinking at her impatiently. The small patio area on the roof, accessible from the fire escape outside her window, was a nice place to escape...if one didn't mind the smell of hot tar in the summer time. These days, with the long winter nights, she barely ever made it up here. Night was the one time she would never set foot on the roof.

Releasing her lip from the vicious grasp of her teeth, she finally typed a message into the small window and hit send.

Lailah: I called my brother last night and asked him for money.

Strgazr73: i'm sure that was difficult for you. what did he say?

Lailah: His wife is pregnant again, and he needs to buy Christmas presents for the kids. He's short on cash himself.

Lailah: I'm really worried. I haven't sold a painting in weeks, and my rent will be due soon. I have no money. I've been living on crackers lately.

Strgazr73: have you been painting?

Lailah: Yes. I painted a portrait a few days ago, and after a few touch-ups, I thought it looked pretty good. But I don't dare sell it.

Strgazr73: why?

Lailah: I didn't get permission from my subject.

Strgazr73: him?

Lailah: How did you guess?

Strgazr73: you still seeing him?

Lailah: I wouldn't really call it that. He barely tolerates me.

Strgazr73: lose the bastard.

Lailah: I think I already did.

Strgazr73: you're probably better off. about your rent--could you get a job somewhere?

Lailah: I have no qualifications. And I doubt anyone around here is going to want to hire a high school drop-out anyway.

Strgazr73: what about fast food...temporarily?

Lailah: I know...I just hope it doesn't come to that. I guess I'm just a stubborn, spoiled girl, but I never wanted to do anything but paint.

Strgazr73: i can understand. look, i have to go, but keep in touch. if nothing else picks up, i'll pay for your rent myself.

Lailah: Very funny.

Strgazr73: you think i'm kidding?

Lailah: You're a very strange man.

Strgazr73: i get that all the time.

Lailah: Oh, this is crazy...you remember what you said the last time we talked?

Strgazr73: i said i want to meet you, and you said no.

Lailah: I think I've changed my mind.

Strgazr73: you name the time and place, and i'll make sure i'm there.

Lailah: =) Give me some time. I'll let you know the next time I talk to you.

Strgazr73: all right. later.

Sabryn closed her lap top, unable to stifle her grin. Even so, she was nervous. Meeting her friend would be a big step. She didn't even know his name. But the little she did know about him was comforting. He understood her past better than anyone. He was truly interested in getting to know her, and wanted to hear her story...not to laugh at her ridicule, but in hopes of understanding her better. It was the first time in her life she felt truly accepted.

Picking up her empty water glass and her computer, she started to make her way to the fire escape, only to freeze in mid-motion. She could hear someone climbing up the ladder. Only accessible to the street by pushing something under it and climbing up, the fire escape was only really convenient to her apartment. She swore under her breath, wishing she'd thought to bring her gun with her. She had the urge to yell out "freeze," but she had nothing to back up her command.

Backing away from the ladder, she was about to find a place to hide when she saw the unruly thatch of dark blond hair. She let out a heavy groan and dropped her armload back onto the lawn chair.

"Damn it, Johnny, you scared the shit out of me!" He peeked over the low wall surrounding the roof and gave her a guilty smile.

"Sorry. I yelled, but I guess you didn't hear me."

"I gave you that key for emergencies, not so you could break into my house."

He dug into his pocket and pulled out a large wad of bills. "I thought this was an emergency. You need rent money, don't you?"

She literally squealed, rushing over to him as finally stepped onto the roof, and hugged him until he was nearly choking.

"Oh, God, thank you! You have no idea what a life saver you are." Suddenly pulling back from him, she looked him in the eye. "But what about Carly and the kids?"

"This money isn't from me, it's from Mom and Dad. They wired it to me this morning."

Sabryn backed away from him altogether. "Mom and Dad?"

"Mandy, I know you said you didn't want to take money from them--"

"Don't call me that."

"Sorry...Bryn. They're worried about you, you know."

"They could have been a hell of a lot more worried a long time ago, but they didn't give a damn about me then."

"They're old fashioned people living in an old fashioned town. What did you expect?"

"I expected to be believed, God damn it!"

"Don't yell at me, I'm on your side."

She collapsed onto the lawn chair, burying her head in her hands. "I'm sorry. I'm just so angry. I don't want anything from them but respect, but that's the one thing they won't give."

He knelt down in front of her, running a hand over her hair. "I know, Bryn. It's not fair, and I'm not defending them...but you need the money. Take it. Pay your rent, and when you sell another painting, you can pay them back and not worry about it again."

She met his gaze with burning eyes, fighting the suffocating knot in her throat. "Ok."

"They do love you, no matter what they believe about that night."

Sabryn merely looked away, unable to bear his piercing stare.

Clearing his throat, he stroked her hair once more before gingerly settling down onto the bird-dropping speckled folding chair next to her. "I saw your new painting down there. Who is he?"

Uh-oh. Johnny was curious. That was never a good sign. "Just a friend, John."

"You certainly didn't paint him like a friend." She had to laugh.

"Oh really? And how did I paint him, naked and tangled in sheets?"

"Have you seen him naked and tangled in sheets?"

She gasped, punching him in the arm. "No, I haven't, but I'm sure he'd look wonderful!"

"Does this 'friend' have a name?" he asked, rubbing his arm. "Alex."

"Just Alex? Like Cher?"

"I don't know his last name."

"Hmm." Sabryn could almost see the wheels turning in her brother's head. "And yet you painted him anyway. What does he do for a living?"

"I don't know."

Johnny's eyebrows rose. "I imagine I don't have to tell you to be

careful."

"I'm not stupid. I keep my gun loaded, like a good little soldier."

"This isn't funny, Bryn. I'm serious."

"So am I. I'm twenty-five years old, John. You don't have to keep treating me like that little seven-year-old."

"I'm just watching out for you," he said, standing up. "That's what big brothers do."

Sabryn followed him to the fire escape, carrying her computer, grabbing his arm before he started for the ladder. Pulling him into her embrace, she planted a kiss on his cheek. "I know, and I thank you. You've always believed in me."

"And I always will."

Pulling away, he grasped the ladder and started climbing down. Waiting until he got halfway down, she did the same. He stood on the fire escape below her, and grasped her waist to steady her as she got closer to the bottom. Taking the computer from her, he held her wrist as she stepped inside the window and then followed her into the apartment.

Sitting in the cab of the jet black Dodge Durango, Alex stared up at the fire escape with his jaw clenched. Irrational anger burned like acid in his throat, filling his stomach with flames of rage. And even though the platform two stories above the street now stood empty, he could still see her standing there. Her arms around a tall blond man, her perfect lips brushing his cheek. He could see the man's hands on her and she climbed down the ladder. So possessive. So familiar. So fucking nauseating.

So much for innocence.

Logic told him to start the truck and go. To forget what he'd seen along with the girl. But bitter vengeance made him want to rip the man in half. Still, he'd been betrayed enough times to know that wouldn't help matters any. And more importantly, the girl meant nothing to him. He'd been suspicious about her interest in him, but now he knew truth. She already had a lover. Her interest in him had been purely "professional." She wanted something from him. And he'd be damned if he didn't find out exactly what it was.

Despite the urge to rush into things, he waited until the other man left. Stepping out of the stairwell and climbing into a beige sedan, he didn't look the type to carry on a torrid sexual relationship. But appearances could be deceptive. Releasing his tight grip on the steering wheel, Alex opened the door and stepped out of the truck. He shut the door behind him and locked it with his key chain. His long strides took him across the street and up the stairs in seconds.

Sabryn had barely closed the door when she was nearly startled out of her skin by the loud pounding. Her gaze skipped to the box under her bed, which contained her pistol, but she decided against it. In all likelihood, Johnny had just forgotten something.

"Who is it?"

"Alex."

Her heart fluttered in her chest like a bird trying to beat its way out of a cage. Her fingers fumbled as she quickly turned the lock and opened the door. She winced at the shakiness of her own voice, as she said, "Long time, no see."

"And I'm sure you were just waiting for me to return." Tugging absently on the thick braid of hair resting on her shoulder, she stepped aside and motioned for him to come in. "

I'm afraid that if you've come to demolish my painting again, the paint is already dry."

"There's more than one way to destroy something." Sabryn felt an absurd little shiver at the sound of his voice. There was something almost dangerous on the edge of that husky whisper, something lethal in the dark glitter of his eyes. She ignored the silly impulse to take a step backwards. She couldn't remember ever being quite so uncomfortable in his presence before.

His gaze swept over her face in an almost palpable caress. But he didn't make a move towards her. "Who was he?"

"Who?"

"You know who I'm talking about. The man that just left here."

"Spying on me again?"

"Who was he, Sabryn?"

"My brother, Johnny. Not that it's any of your business."

"He had blond hair."

"That's right. He takes after our father. Any more questions, Spy Man? Do you want me to take a lie detector test?"

"You little smart ass." She barely had an indication of what he had in mind before she was dragged from where she was standing and slammed against the solid wall of his chest. Her fingers encountered the buttery-soft leather of his jacket, and she couldn't help the little fists she made in the fabric.

Toe to toe with him, she could barely see over his shoulder without lifting herself up. Staring up into his potent gaze, she didn't bother holding back the shiver that raced up her spine.

"What do you want from me?" he asked, his breath stirring the hair over her forehead.

"I hate to tell you this, but you're the one who grabbed me."

"You talk too much."

"Yeah, well you're no GQ Man Of The Year, but you don't hear me complaining about it."

"I don't like you."

Judging from the sensation of his jeans pressing so tightly against her stomach, that was one hell of a lie. Fine. She could play along.

"I don't like you, either."

The words were barely out of her mouth before her lips were smothered beneath his own. She closed her eyes, surrendering to his voracious appetite. Her fingers clenched his jacket, holding on for dear life. Kissing Alex was about as sweet and innocent as a tornado. He bit and sucked at her, thrusting his tongue into her mouth with the slightest parting of her lips. His right hand slid down her back, his fingers curving under her ass and lifting her up the length of his body. Christ, he was strong. And determined. The moment she wrapped her arms around his neck and hooked her ankles behind his legs, he was on the move. She didn't bother to pull away from the intoxicating kiss. She knew exactly where he was headed.

Straight for the bed.

END.

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Hello, my name is Isabelle, and I'm addicted to feedback...Isahunter@aol.com eXpositions: http://www.aliens.mcmail.com/isadiadem/