TITLE: "Midnight Angel VI: Shadows Of The Night" (1/1)

AUTHOR: Isahunter

RATING: PG (language)

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

SPOILERS: ? Up to "One Son" S6, just to be safe.

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, all characters from "The X-Files" belong to Chris Carter, Ten-Thirteen, Fox. No infringement intended.

SUMMARY: What happens when the past starts catching up with you?

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

For Diadem and Ginny, my sublime beta girls. I owe you each a box of chocolates.

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"If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

--Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

"Have you lost your mind or did you start takin' drugs?" Sabryn peeked her head around the glass-brick wall of the bathroom and laughed. "Neither."

Olivia Jordan folded her arms over her chest and sat her plump rear down on the bouncy bed. "You slept with a man you just met, and you don't think that's crazy?"

"You're telling me you've never done that?"

"I'm not *you*, Sabryn. I'm not the one who blushes every time a man looks at me. And now you're going off to meet some other man--what the hell has gotten into you?"

Holding the unzipped halves of her dress together, she stepped out of the bathroom. "What do you think of this one?"

"I liked the other dress better."

"The red one? It was too tight."

"What do you care? You're seein' two men at once."

Sabryn rolled her eyes. "I told you, he's a friend I met on the internet. I'm not dating him. And I'm not dating Alex either."

"No, you just slept with him."

"There wasn't any sleeping involved."

"I can imagine." Olivia tossed her braids over her shoulder, creating a terrible clatter as all the little beads clashed together. "If you don't plan on 'dating' this 'friend,' why do you care so much about what you're wearing?"

"Well I don't want to look like a lazy slob. If I show up in paint-splattered jeans and a dirty T-shirt, what is he going to think of me?"

"You're just hopin' he's good lookin'." Olivia slid off the bed and walked over to the painting that was leaning against the wall. "Mmm mm mm. Is this him?"

Sabryn stepped out of the bathroom again, in yet another dress, and glanced fondly at the portrait. "Yes. That's Alex."

"You're gonna have to tell me where you've been hangin' out when you leave work."

"I didn't meet him at a club, Livie. He followed me home." Olivia turned her wide brown eyes on Sabryn.

"You fucked a man who followed you home like some stray dog?"

Sabryn grabbed the painting and turned it around to face the wall. "Do you like this dress or not?"

She barely gave coffee-colored slip dress a second glance. "It's nice." "Gee, thanks for your help."

"I just think you oughta be careful, girl. It ain't gonna do you a damn bit of good to fall in love with some man you barely know...especially when you're runnin' off to meet another one."

"I'm not in love, Livie. You don't have anything to worry about."

There was something so appropriate about sitting in a darkened room of the Watergate Hotel, waiting for a viper to arrive. The curtains were drawn to smother the morning sunlight, the bed neatly made and the room freshly cleaned. Still, there was a familiar smell in the air, that of stale perfume and tobacco, and he had to breathe through his mouth to keep from sneezing.

Gaining entrance to the room hadn't been a problem. He'd picked enough locks in his lifetime to make it almost second nature. Actually walking in the room had been another problem altogether. He hadn't known if she'd be present...or if she'd be alone. Luckily, the place was empty.

He'd already searched the room wearing his leather gloves. Not because he was afraid of leaving fingerprints, but rather because he didn't especially want to feel Diana Fowley's underwear against his flesh.

Not quite an hour later, the sound of her key turning in the door alerted him to her presence. She stepped through the door, wearing a navy blue business suit, her lipstick worn except for a narrow line around the edge of her lips. Her dark hair was still in the same classic style. The woman probably wore so much hair spray that it never moved. Alex flexed his hand on the arm of the chair, waiting for her to notice him, meeting the scent of her Poison perfume before her gaze. She was reaching to turn on the nearby lamp when he spoke.

"Where have you been, dear? I've been worried." She started, letting out a sharp gasp. "Jesus. What the hell are you doing in my room, Krycek?"

"Waiting. Late night?"

She flipped on the lamp, causing him to squint in the orangy glow. She tossed her purse down in the nearby chair and unbuttoned her jacket, making it very clear that she was carrying her weapon.

"What I do is none of your business. Now get out." He stood up slowly, certainly not in any hurry. Walking over to where she stood, he gave her an appraising look that caused her eyebrow to arch.

"You smell like cigarettes, Diana. Do you like the taste of him in your mouth?"

"Depends on which taste you're speaking of." He nearly gagged.

"Do you have a thing for old men, or just this one in particular?"

Shrugging off her jacket, she hung it over the back of the chair and headed for the door. "I told you to leave."

"Surely a beautiful woman such as yourself could do better. Maybe someone better looking...a little less geriatric?"

She laughed. "You?"

"I don't see Mulder beating down your door."

"You bastard. Get out."

He stepped closer, nearly touching her, staring down into those defiant brown eyes. "I could make you cum harder than Mulder ever did. And I sure as hell know I'd be better than that dried up old prune."

She let out a shuddering breath, refusing to back away from his dominant stance. "What do you want from me, Krycek?"

"What makes you think I want anything other than this?"

"Because I have a brain in my head. You don't do anything unless there's something in it for you."

"I'm not the only one. I admit I'd do a lot of things to save my own ass, but fucking Old Spender isn't one of them. Tell the truth, Diana. You don't want him. He's just your ticket to freedom when the colonists come. You'd rather be his whore than slave to a bunch of little gray men."

She raised her hand to slap him, but he caught her wrist. "Fuck you."

"You learn to play the game, get in with the high rollers, and walk away with the chips, isn't that right?"

"You should know better than I do, Krycek. You've been playing a lot longer than I have."

He released her wrist, waiting for a slap that didn't come. Holding her gaze, he flipped open the top button of her blouse, revealing even more of her long neck. She shuddered at the touch of his knuckles sliding down the length of her throat.

"Don't you think it's time both of us had a little reward?" She licked her lips, removing just a bit more of that lingering lipstick. Sliding his thumb along her jaw, he tilted her head up and leaned forward, until their lips were almost touching. His whispered words made her breath catch. "I guarantee you won't regret it. You won't even remember the old man after this."

Diana shoved her hands between them, pressing against his chest. "Why the hell is this any different than what I'm doing to Spender? Fucking me just to get back in the game is pretty low, even for you."

"I never said I wanted anything from you. Just a good lay."

"Don't patronize me. What do you want?"

"Just this."

He kissed her then, hard and deep, making her fingers curl in the fabric of his shirt. She didn't try to fight him, didn't scream. The taste of tobacco in her mouth nearly obliterated the sweet flavor of Sabryn's kisses, and for a moment he almost felt guilty. The unfamiliar sensation burned in his gut, before he forcefully pushed it away...nearly as hard as he slammed Diana up against the wall.

She moaned then, rubbing up against him like a kitten. So she liked it rough. The sudden vision of her squealing in delight as C.G.B. Spender spanked her was almost enough to make him laugh out loud.

Pulling away from her mouth with a suctioned pop, he nibbled his way down her long, creased neck. Listening to the sound of her trembling breath. Pressing her hard against his body. Praying like hell that she thought the erection in his pants was because of her.

"When are they coming, Diana?"

"...hmm?"

"The colonists...when do they arrive?"

She shoved him away from her once more. "Is that what this is about? You want to use me for information?"

"You know what I want to use you for. I'd just like to know how many nights we have left."

She smiled, her lipstick-lined lips puffy from his attack. "You only want me at night?"

He smirked. "Hungry, aren't you?"

"New Year's day. The millennium. Isn't that ironic?" Fuck!

"What about Cassandra? They need her for the hybrid genes..."

"We have enough of her genetic material from the testing. Besides, I've been told she will be found before then. It's only a matter of time."

She started reaching for him when he abruptly pulled away. He spit the

nauseating taste of her out of his mouth and reached for the door.

"You son-of-a-bitch! Where the hell do you think you're going?"

"Certainly not to your bed. A man would have to be insane, or just out of prison, to be desperate enough to fuck you."

Diana pulled her gun out of her holster, aiming it straight at his back and cocking it just as he turned the door knob. He turned his head slightly, unable to hide his smirk.

"We wouldn't want to ruin this nice carpet, now would we?"

"Don't beg, Diana. It's so unattractive." He stepped out into the hallway, shut the door behind him, and walked away. The vicious scream that followed his retreat was sheer poetry.

Sabryn stepped out of the cab, wishing she'd saved some money and just taken the bus. Still, it was nice to have a little time to herself as she nervously rode into downtown Washington. It had given her a chance to calm down. But now as she stepped onto the curb and felt the chilly wind blow her blazer away from her, stirring her thin skirt around her thighs, her sudden shiver wasn't from the cold. She was as apprehensive as hell. But she'd gotten herself this far, and she wasn't about to turn back now.

Just this morning she'd made plans to meet her internet confidant on the bench in front of the American Cafe. She thought it was about time she told her story to someone who was ready to believe her. Someone who knew what she'd gone through. Having met him in a chat room discussion almost four months ago, she knew this was a man she could trust. He knew exactly what it was like to face the ridicule and doubt that came along with claiming to have experienced alien contact.

She swallowed heavily, settling down onto the wooden bench and tucking her purse close to her side. Nestled in the little bag was the pistol her brother had given her the day she moved to Arlington. She may have been brazen by meeting this man, but she wasn't stupid. She wasn't about to put her safety in someone else's hands. She made sure she met him in public, and wasn't about to let him take her elsewhere until she knew him better.

*You slept with a man you just met, and you don't think that's crazy?* Olivia's words rang in her head, sounding so much like her mother's that she almost cringed. But her friend was right. She'd been foolish. Her strictly careful conscience had been nowhere to be found last night. She'd been reckless and wild. Out of her mind, and seemingly out of her body. But, damn, it had been wonderful. And even though she'd since showered and changed her sheets, she could still detect the scent of him. Lingering, haunting her with visions of his body driving into hers. His deep, consuming kisses. His slow, appraising looks that traveled the whole length of her body, caressing every inch of her flesh...

"Lailah?"

Sabryn snapped out of her reverie, looking up at the man who stood before her. She had to squint in the cold winter sunlight. Standing before her, almost awkwardly in his designer suit and tie, holding out his hand to her with a gentle smile, he wasn't anything like she'd imagined. She expected to meet some long-haired, Sci-Fi convention-attending trekkie...not a handsome man with well groomed hair and intelligent eyes.

Clearing her throat, she took his hand and stood up. "I think I should introduce myself properly. Sabryn Jaegar. I take it you're Stargazer 73?"

He gave her a sweet smile that no doubt charmed the socks off of the woman he worked with. She had a hard time resisting it herself.

"It's nice to meet you, Sabryn. But there's no need to be so formal. I think it's safe to tell you my real name."

"Which is?"

"Special Agent Fox Mulder."

She swallowed heavily. "You're an FBI agent?"

"Is that a problem?"

"I--I just thought--"

"You didn't expect someone Federal to show up and talk to you about alien abductions."

She bit her lip.

"I don't blame you. Look, why don't we step inside and get something to eat, and then I'll explain myself. I guarantee you won't regret it."

She glanced back at the curb where she'd departed the cab, wondering for a moment if it was too late to flee.

"All right. Let's go in."

Nearly thirty minutes and half a sandwich later, Sabryn wiped her mouth with the paper napkin. She tucked a loose strand of hair over her ear and watched Agent Mulder take a sip of his iced tea.

After listening to his explanation of his job, she was still just as baffled as ever. But she was also highly intrigued. She'd never imagined half the things he'd claimed to have witnessed. And his almost detached description of the night his younger sister disappeared made her heart ache. It was obvious by the way he spoke he still cared very much for the missing girl, even if he was trying to hide it.

"Samantha was abducted in 1973...that's where the 73 in your screen name came from?"

He nodded, taking another bite of the giant meatball sub. "And she's part of the reason you became so interested in the X-files...and the UFO phenomena chat room where we met?"

Swallowing, he nodded again. "Most of the time I just 'listen in'. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that a lot of those people are lying about their experiences."

She didn't comment, but a spontaneous irritation itched the back of her throat. "Those people that do have real experiences, however, are worth every hoax and vicious liar. I was just waiting for a story like yours to come along. Which, of course, is not to say that I completely believe your claims. I want to...but I have no proof that you're anymore sincere than anyone else. I really have nothing but a gut feeling."

"I understand."

"Still, there are certain things about what you've told me that caught my attention. I definitely don't meet with every single person I've talked to."

"Why did you want to meet with me?"

"You don't have to sound so worried. You aren't under investigation."

"I'm sorry, this is just awkward for me. I've told you so many things about myself, without ever really knowing who you were. If I'd known you were an FBI agent..."

"You never would have told me anything."

"Maybe."

"I'll be honest with you. You remind me of my sister. You have ever since I first heard your story. I've spent every moment since she disappeared looking for her, around every corner I turned. And if there's even the slightest chance that your experience can help me find her, I'm willing to take the risk."

She certainly couldn't say no to that...especially not when looking at that slightly pouty lower lip of his.

"Does that expression work on your partner?"

"On Scully? All the time. She can't resist me."

Sabryn laughed. "All right. What do you want to know?"

"What do you remember about that night? I know you've described it to me before, but sometimes if you say it out loud, you can remember things you might have left out."

She took a deep breath. She was forced to relive that night, over and over, every time she dreamed. Nothing ever changed. And she certainly didn't want to talk about it now. But she'd hoped in coming here that she might relieve the terror of that night by speaking of it to a person who understood. She hoped that impulse had been a good one.

"It was April, and my parents had just bought my brother a new tent because it was on sale. He and my father planned to go hunting that summer. But Johnny didn't want to wait to try out the tent, and he decided to sleep out in the field over night. Being the nuisance that I was, I wanted to do everything my brother did...so I begged my mama until she finally relented and let me sleep in the tent too.

"I was only seven years old, and I'd never slept outside before. I was still afraid of the dark, and it was so cold outside. I laid there shivering in my sleeping bag, wanting so badly to go back in the house, but knowing that Johnny would call me a wimp. He didn't even want me out there to begin with. But I was so scared. I--I thought he was asleep, and I was awake all alone, and I started crying."

She reached for her water glass, picking it up with a shaky hand, nearly sloshing it all over herself. After she was done sipping, Agent Mulder took the glass from her and handed her a fresh napkin.

"Thank you." She cleared her throat. "Johnny heard me crying and started laughing. He was always so mean to me. I don't know if he was planning it all along, but he grabbed my teddy bear and took off running. I'd had that bear since I was a baby and I carried it with me everywhere. So I ran outside, barefoot, chasing him through Daddy's field. The shadows were so dark, like looming monsters, and I was crying so hard I could barely see. Johnny ran ahead of me, and when he got to the top of a small hill, he threw my bear into the creek that ran through our property.

"Neither one of us noticed anything was wrong until it was too late. It was so quiet. It may have been a cold April night, but there should have been some noise. We didn't even hear any wind blowing through the trees. It was just dead silent. And the creek was so warm. For a moment I almost thought I'd wet my pants or something."

She blushed slightly, looking away from his intense gaze. When he reached across the table and touched her hand, she nearly flinched.

"I looked up at the sky. Johnny had stopped laughing and was looking up like he was seeing a ghost. But it was worse than that. I'd been around airplanes before, because my uncle was a pilot, but I knew this wasn't just an ordinary plane. There was something very wrong. And it was only a moment later that some...some *force* hit me in the chest and knocked me on my ass. I landed in the creek water and Johnny screamed. I'd never heard him sound so scared. And I felt myself being lifted, flying through the air like an angel. I thought I was dead."

"And that's all you remember?"

Sabryn nodded.

"How did you get home?"

"I--I don't know. The next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital room. My entire family was there, and Johnny still looked so scared. They asked me what happened, and I told them what I remembered...but they looked at me like I was crazy. I tried to get Johnny to tell them, but he wouldn't say a word."

"He never told them what he saw?"

"He did, later. After a few years. By then the whole town knew my story and they thought I was a liar. Johnny tried to defend me, but it was too late. No one believed him either. They just thought he was playing along. But it was me they blamed for the hoax. I was the one they glared at for bringing all of those reporters into our sleepy little town. I was the one the other kids made fun of, and called the 'Martian Girl.' I was the one my parents didn't believe, and got punished for making our family the laughingstock of town. If we hadn't been so poor, we might have moved to another town. But that wasn't an option."

Agent Mulder squeezed her hand, offering her a sympathetic smile. "I know what that feels like, to grow up a loner...a 'liar.'"

She coughed, trying to ease the tightness in her throat. ìI don't tell my story to very many people. They never believe me, anyway."

He set his napkin on the table and pushed his plate to the side. "Did your parents ever go to a fertility clinic?"

"No."

"You're certain? No fertility treatments with an OB-GYN?"

"Not that I know of."

"Did you ever have any strange illnesses as a child, something they might have taken you to a specialist for?"

"No. Why?"

"I'm just thinking out loud for a moment."

"I was rarely ever sick as a child. All I had were the nightmares."

"Did you see a psychiatrist? Have you been through any sort of memory regression therapy?"

She shook her head. "Do you think that would help?"

"I don't know...but if you're willing, we could give it a shot sometime. I know several good doctors. Or if you're more comfortable with me, I could try it myself. My specialty is criminal behavior, but I am a licensed psychologist. I've had the necessary training."

"I--I don't know..."

"I'll let you think about it. I'm going to have to get back to work, anyway."

She started to reach for her purse when he waved her hand away. "I'll pay for this."

"No, it's all right...I have money now." "Good. Save it."

"Agent Mulder, I can't let you do that."

"Yes you can. And please, call me Fox."

"I thought you told me over instant messaging that your partner calls you Mulder."

"She does. That's different."

Sabryn raised an eyebrow, but didn't comment. As he paid for their meal and led her outside to catch her a cab, she couldn't help but notice how comfortable she suddenly was. Her initial shyness had all but disappeared.

"It was nice finally meeting you, Fox."

"You too, Sabryn." Opening the door of the cab for her, he handed a folded up wad of money to the driver. "Take her wherever she wants to go."

"Will do," the driver said, grinning.

Sabryn could only shake her head. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." Before he put his wallet away, he handed her his business card. "Keep in touch. If you remember anything else, no matter how small the detail, call me."

"I will."

He grinned, tapping on the roof, and gave her a wave as the cab drove away.

END.

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