Recovering from the Consortium
by Julia Zettl (pixychix@hotmail.com)

Rated: PG-13; for a sexual situations and mild language.

Synopsis: Kryceck falls on hard times and finally sinks low enough to ask someone for help; and remembers things of the past and decides to move to the future.

Keywords: Kryceck Romance (with another spy ooh, that's a first.)

Disclaimer: Alex Kryceck belongs to Chris Carter; used shamelessly without permission. I can't afford Kryceck, so I can't buy him (how I wish I could, though). I thank Chris Carter and 1013 Productions with the bottom of my heart for creating Kryceck, and I also must beg him not to sue me. Demona Launce is my own character, so I would appreciate it if you asked me before you use her for a story of your own.

Archive: Go ahead, just keep my name on it.

Author's Notes: See it two ways; an alternate universe story, or a story set before the time when the Consortium was burned to death by the faceless rebels. It's a fictional story just written, caution thrown to the wind, not really following any TV timeline. I tried, really, to keep it as realistic to the show as I could, but I still didn't bend over backwards to fit it to line up exactly with the X Files. ** Another note. This story is one in a multitude of ones that I have written (most unfinished) in a series of more than three. The one that you might want to read is one that I have finished, entitled "Save the Enemy." It is not archived with Ratlover because it is mainly from the POV of Demona Launce, which really wouldn't make it Kryceck FanFiction. If you would like a copy of "Save the Enemy" email me at the address located next to my name and I will email you a copy with it. The disclaimer and the archiving notes as above apply with "Save the Enemy." **I'd like to thank you for reading my work, and I would appreciate anything that you would have to say; good, or constructive (key word *constructive*) criticism. I will reply to your letters asking questions if you might have any.


* * *

Part 1/6

Kryceck let the doors of the airport glide shut behind him, shutting him out of JFK Airport; cutting him off from where he came, too. He had a single bag, the bag that he had taken with him from his old place, the only thing that had stayed salvageable. In it, he had another shirt, another pair of jeans, two pairs of socks and three pairs of underwear that had been cleaned in airport sinks.

He promised that he would never go to her. He knew that what she had was hers, and he had no right to ask her for what she had. She had made that money the same way he had, but she knew how to hold onto it better.

He had her address scribbled on a piece of napkin in the pocket of his jacket. He had arduously searched for it in newspapers, wanted ads and old haunts of theirs. He had to see her, and he had to beg her for her mercy.

How was he supposed to get to Manhattan from here? He had no money left, and he had pawned off every remaining valuable thing that he once possessed. He supposed he could walk, but after all the walking and wandering that he did, he only wanted nothing more than for someone else to do the transporting for him.

He decided to hitchhike to her place, then see what would happen. It wasn't too far.

He found a guy willing to drive him to Manhattan Island. He could think of nothing snide, his energy spent, he couldn't even hold up an end to a conversation. That seemed okay, he held up both their ends very well.

"So, where were you planning on going," he asked Kryceck.

"To an old friend's," Kryceck said, simply, tiredly.

That seemed to satisfy him, he continued talking about his wife and kids. Kryceck leaned his head on the side of the window, lulling himself to sleep. When he woke up, they had crossed the bridge into Manhattan.

"You want a ride all the way to your friend's place?"

"No," Kryceck didn't feel like asking anyone for anything else, he didn't want to be any more of a beggar. "I think I can walk."

"You sure," he insisted, "It would be of no trouble to me."

"No, really, that's okay," Kryceck insisted. He dug into his pocket, hoping something was there, his fingers brushed against something metallic. He pulled out an old coin and examined it, it was one of the last worldly possessions he had. "Here, this is all that I have left."

"Then I can't take it," the man smiled a toothy smile, one of them was missing. "You go to your friend's, and do what you got to do."

"How will I be able to pay you," Kryceck was so poor that he could no longer take his running off for granted. He knew what it was like to have a twenty pressed in his palm from a kind hand. It felt good to get a little money to burn for food.

"You don't have to, I know what you are going through, I was broke once. Poor as a gutter rat" Kryceck decided not to take offense "you gotta eat, though, so you know what I'm saying." Kryceck nodded solemnly, he could not thank this man with words.

"You eaten anything," the driver asked.

"Not today," Kryceck said. The mere thought of food make his stomach leap for joy.

"Here, have a couple of these," the driver handed him three sandwiches.

"I can't take these," Kryceck said, his stomach asking him what the hell was wrong with him.

"Come on, no time to be polite, boy," He pushed the sandwiches into the pocket of Kryceck's bag. "You don't have to eat them now, just make sure that you eat them."

"Thank you, you don't know how much this means to me" Kryceck extended a hand and had enough strength to shake it firmly.

"Your look is thanks is enough. Maybe I'll see you around."

"I hope so," Kryceck was genuine.

The walk to her place was long, he ate the first sandwich quickly, filling his screaming stomach. It was roast beef, with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and mustard. His new favorite. It got him a little messy, but it was nothing to what he looked like to when he had escaped his apartment. The second, he ate more slowly, nibbling the lettuce around the edges and picked out the tomatoes and eating them. Then, he just took tiny bites of the sandwich.

The air started to nip at him, and he pulled his jacket tighter. When he was going to get between the buildings downtown, he would get warmer. He continued walking down the busy street, looking somewhat in place, so he didn't really need to be inconspicuous.

He laughed dryly, inconspicuous. He used to be so good at it, very good. He couldn't remember when he last needed it. The Consortium had abandoned him, left him for dead, not caring if he was. He lost his money soon after that, spending money left and right, in denial of his unoccupied state. How stupid, he thought with great despair.

The apartment complex was quite beautiful, The Highview. Fifteen floors of sheer beauty, sheer sleek, sheer swooping. He suddenly felt very small, very contradictory to how he felt six months ago.

He forgot her had ever known her what? nine months ago? She had equally let him know that she didn't care to know him; not then, not ever. It didn't hurt. Not really. He had feelings for her; they were not overpowering, but he still felt a chill run through him when she had touched him, intentionally or not. He never found out if she felt the same way.

Their only kiss was unintentional on her part, and his, too. They both had shared a moment when her grief came when she found out the person had trained her had passed away. He could do nothing to console her mentally and verbally, so he reacted the only way he was good at: physically. The kiss was sensual, and soft. Her tongue sought out his and they were caressing each other's tongues with their own. It had ended to soon for Alex, he liked the sample and he wanted more, but she had no intention of being a supplier.

What now? He had nothing left, his dignity gone, so were his female connections. They found out he was broke, they dropped him like a bad datecome to think of it, he was. What made him think that she was going to turn a kind eye on him.

Maybe the fact that he still had faith in her and maybe she still had faith in him. He hoped this was the case, he hoped to his dying day that this was.

He stepped inside with some bravery, and looked down the list of inhabitants. D. Launce. She lived in apartment 1103, on the eleventh floor. He couldn't press her doorbell, so he pressed another.

"Who is it," a tinny voice asked on the other end a couple of moments later.

"An old friend," Kryceck lied.

"Okay, come on up." Kryceck smiled. Score!

End 1/6

* * *

Part 2/6

Demona Launce sat at the dinner table, enjoying her cheese-filled perogis. She was enjoying her wealth. All $40 million dollars of it. She earned it through her work, and she was retired for the moment, there was really no telling weather or not she wanted to go back to being a spy. She owned a beautiful apartment in Manhattan, she had beautiful art works, many friends, a library of books (about 25,000), four cats, she had a Rolls Royce, two motorcycles (she liked them more for show), a house in Montana, and a rented-out condominium in Hawaii.

Her cat, Mirguai, rubbed against her legs and she picked him up. Tomorrow, she was going to meet with another art collector and go out to dinner with him, she couldn't wait. The restaurant was probably one of the better ones at a country club that the art dealer was a member of.

She sighed happily, she was contented. Ten months agothree years agoshe wasn't comfortable or happy. She was miserable, and she still thought back on those times with a shudder.

It was not really her work that made her crazy, it was only partly that. It was the fact that if she stayed with her work, she would have gone insane; if she stayed living the way she had that would have made her insane, it was the people she worked for who would have made her go insane.

Kryceck. Immediately, she pushed him out of her mind altogether. She had a little bit left in her mind of him. She wasn't sure how much of it she still wanted to keep. He accused her the last time she saw him as a conniving, deceptive, worthless bitch.

She had been hurt, even hearing the words for a man that she had no feelings for. No, that was not entirely true, she did feel something for him, but that was shot to hell when he told her exactly what he had thought of him. No, that was not true either, she still had a pang or two when she though about him. She refused to go running back to him. She had almost wondered what it would be like to see him again, but she didn't entertain her line of thinking with that.

She placed her used dish in the sink, she would do the dishes later. She didn't hire a maid; she had the money, but she didn't want to get too extravagant. She did her own housework, her own cleaning, her own cooking. She hadn't really done these thing since she was about nineteen. Then, she went to work with the man who trained her to be a spy who had a maid of his own, then she usually ordered room service while she lived out of hotel rooms.

She then placed her leftovers in her refrigerator, she would eat them for lunch tomorrow. She placed in next to the shrimp salad, the lobster leftovers and the filet minion for a banquet thrown at the museum for her as a benefactor.

She had moved on. She told herself every evening. She had left being a spy, she had left living in ratholes, she had left the existence that had threatened her sanity. She got up, left and moved on.

The Consortium had threatened to kill her. They had stalked her for three months. She smiled, she was smarter than they thought. She faked her own death, made the pictures so real, made the articles so real, made the funeral so real. Even the body they dug up to make it real was good. A doppleganger, of course, only the best when she was going out in style.

She thought about choosing a new name, but that would really be quite insipid. Remind yourself of what you fought so hard to get away from; changing your name every time you changed your location. No, she kept her name, but changed her credit card numbers, her personal checks, her PO box, her address. She paid for a lot of things with cash, she received no loans she used an out-of-country bank, untraceable. She made sure that the Consortium wouldn't find her and try to kill her. But, just to tease them a little bit, she didn't move far from their headquarters.

She heard a knock at the door. She frowned, puzzled. She couldn't think of anyone who was supposed to visit her today. Maybe it was the Super, she had been having trouble with the sink in one of her two bathrooms.

She opened the door a crack and looked out at the man standing in the hallway. "Oh no! No way! I got rid of you a long time ago and I'm not willing to let you start to ruin me again!" She went to slam the door on him, but she wasn't sure if she was going to be able to forget him.

"Please," Kryceck stuck his foot in the doorway, "at least listen to me before you turn me away."

"Why should I? I remember what exactly you thought of me. Are you coming back to run it in deeper?" Her voice was on the edge of hysteria, and she wanted nothing more than to forget this. But, she realized, she still felt that tingle, seeing his face again.

"No, Demona. I need your help," this was Kryceck's last hope and she turned him away, he had no idea where he was going to go. Insane probably, he thought sardonically.

"Kryceck, I can't."

"Why can't you? Feel like turning a blind eye on me? Because it doesn't suit you?" he knew that he wasn't going easy on her, but she was his last hope and he wasn't going to slip through his fingers like he had let his money.

"Kryceck, don't lay that crap on me. You know exactly why I won't allow you in my house," she was starting to get a bit frightened. He was standing out there, mad as a hornet, and could still maybe physically force his way in.

"Please, Demona, I need your help, this is serious, I don't know what else to do," Kryceck in turn was getting frantic, he was almost on the verge of tears.

Demona listened to him, she could hear the anguish in his voice. She held a war in her brain. She could not do this to even him. She opened the door. "I suppose I can let you in and listen to what you have to say."

"That's all I ask," Kryceck said. He stared at her apartment. She had really known how to live up her wealth. Her apartment was beautiful, the view was tremendous, she had art, she had a life he would die for.

Then he looked at her. For the first time, he had seen her the way she was meant to be seen. Her hair long and sweeping, braided and draped over a shoulder lackadaisically. Her clothes were graceful, sleek and loose. She was living the good life and he was living out of a leather carryall.

Demona felt a emotion she thought was dead inside her, she sill had small feelings for him. She still remembered the night that they had preyed upon each other's lips in that one moment. She could still feel his breath against her skin, and she barely remembered how much she had enjoyed it.

She went into to the kitchen and Kryceck followed her in. She bade him sit at the table while she went in the refrigerator, "How hungry are you?"

"I haven't eaten all day, save two sandwiches." He traced his finger over the top of the mosaic tiled table, enjoying the flowing blue, the bright yellow, the mellow green and the fierce red. He couldn't believe what she was heaping in front of him: lobster meat, shrimp salad, perogis, yogurt, cottage cheese with pineapple chunks, orange juice, water, milk, beer. He felt like a king returning home. But this is not my home, and it will never be my home, he thought despairingly.

Demona watched him wolf down his food, using one hand to shovel it in, and the other one to wash it down. He seemed to refer the perogis over the other food, and the beer over the other drinks. She was half disgusted, and she looked out her kitchen window onto the Manhattan skyline while she tried to figure out what to do.

She would listen to what he had to say, she would listen openly, she would not throw away what he had to say. She was unsure of what she wanted to do after that. Her instincts had kicked in already, and she didn't want to have him forcing himself on her. She didn't think she could be able to forget him this time. Not as easily.

"So, tell me your story," she ordered when he was finishing.

Alex told her. He told her about the night when hired thugs from the Consortium went through his apartment, sending the place up in flames, he told about being kicked out of the Consortium. She stared at him, not hard, but with consideration, listening to all the details. He told her about spending all of his money, having nothing left now. Sleeping in other's homes, in train stations, in airports. He told her how he had to bathe using sinks and a sock, about having one set of clothes, about being hungry all the time.

She looked at him with more compassion as he continued. He wouldn't go to welfare because the Consortium could find him and finish him off. How he had gotten pneumonia and had to walk around for a month with it, someone finally found him passed out in an alleyway and had taken him to a charity hospital. He told about the other wound he had gotten, being chased off some guy's property and had to climb under a barb wire fence to escape the dogs that tried to rip him apart.

He found it easier for him to tell her everything. People had offered him jobs, none of which he could keep for more than a week. He had stood out on street corners like every other bum and asked people if they could give him the time and money. How degraded he felt when he did.

Demona was moved by his story. He had grown very sober at the end of his testimony and he couldn't look at her after he told her. She really didn't want to get dragged into his mess, she wanted to life happily as she had been. She showed herself the moment he had spit on her and insulted her, telling herself that this was the man who would rather have her dead.

But she could not just tun him away with a full stomach and a hundred dollars. Kryceck looked like a mess, the pneumonia obviously taken its toll on him, the way his five o'clock shadow was more of a two week shadow, his skin looking more hollow and the spark in his eye had definitely smoldered into nonexistence.

"When did you have the pneumonia?"

"I got out of the hospital two weeks ago," he replied, peeling the label off the beer bottle.

"And how long were you in for," she asked, taking his dish away and washing it along with hers that she had abandoned.

"A week and a half."

"Did they give you anything?"

"Yeah, the doc gave me a prescription, but I had no money to fill it. I traded the prescription for a bed to sleep in that evening." He remembered pressing the folded prescription in to an addict who had snatched it up like it was forgotten gold. He offered a couch with fallen out springs for Kryceck to sleep on.

Demona shook her head and it killed him to see her like this. She was caught in a mental situation, Kryceck was not that stupid to see that. The last time he saw her, he had verbally abused her and abandoned her. Now he was telling her the true but definite sob story of the century.

"Look, if you don't want to help me, I understand, but I would appreciate it if I could get a place to sleep tonight." He felt his hope being smothered as he waited for her to reply.

"What would you want me to do to give you help? Money? My hard-earned money? The money I made that I nearly went insane to get?" She hadn't meant saying the last part, but she did, and Kryceck immediately looked at her, his ears perked almost like a puppy's.

"What?" his reply held dubiousness.

"You don't know this, Kryceck, but by the time I was through dealing with the Consortium, I was nearly institutionalized. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I never left the boarding house I lived in. The lady who ran the place finally called the cops because I was a `suspicious character who doesn't belong in her boarding house.' Those were her exact words," she was on the verge of tears.

"I didn't know," Kryceck apologized.

"Of course you didn't," she replied wrathfully. "You were to busy patting yourself on the back for a job well done, getting rid of me so skillfully." She finally was in tears, and Kryceck all but kicked himself in the head.

"I never wanted anything to turn out this way," he replied, feeling slightly harassed. "Do you think that I wanted to be out in the streets, poorer than dirt, sick as a dog and utterly alone?"

"Do you think that I wanted to live the same way? Do you think that I chose to be nearly insane with worry, looking over my shoulder for invisible men trying to attack me? That's what they were, Kryceck; the Consortium was like an invisible evil that was everywhere, but I couldn't see them! No one could see them. But I was afraid anyway. What you can't see does hurt you!" she screamed, sending his beer careening across the kitchen and shattering against the wall, golden liquid stained the white wallpaper. Kryceck could only stare at her a she silently cried into her arms on the counter.

"I knew you weren't dead," he told her softly, unable to move from his spot. She stares at him, her eyes red and puffy, her nose running and her hair was mussed. "I knew you weren't dead," he repeated, to assure himself.

"Really," she said sarcastically. "How did you figure that one out?"

"Your doppleganger was missing a couple of things," Kryceck said. "A crooked middle finger on the right hand, when you broke it; the roots of the doppleganger's hair was blond, your hair is natural brown; and there was no freckle on the nape of her neck where you have one."

"I thought I had gotten it down pretty well," she admitted.

"I noticed those things," Kryceck's voice dropped.

"No!" her bust startled him. " I know what you trying to do. Don't try to fool me sexually into helping you!" She blew her nose into a Kleenex from the box she kept handy.

Kryceck was starting to get frustrated, she was twisting everything and it was driving him crazy. "Demona, you're not getting it. The choice is up to you. I'm maybe influencing you a little bit, but if I had to do it sexually would not be the best way."

Demona remained silent, contemplating his next move. Though she was not willing to admit it, Kryceck knew that Demona knew how he worked. How he made a gameplan to get what he wanted. But she had miscalculations, he didn't use sex to what he wanted; if he did, he'd be richer than Demona.

"What is `help' to you?" She stood defiant, arms crossed and knees locked.

"I need money, a place to sleep, and a job," Kryceck confessed.

"How much money?"

"How much can you spare?"

"That depends," Demona said. She was not sure how she liked the way that this conversation was going. She waited for him to drop the bomb.

"Depends on what," Kryceck demanded.

"Depends on how much I feel like giving you." Kryceck suppressed a yelp, then realized what he had been thinking earlier. He had no right to ask her for what was hers. He waited patiently.

"Kryceck, I frankly don't know what to do. You show up on my doorstep looking like a mess and tell me your tale of woe. I don't know whether or not to believe you. The last time I saw you, I was pretty sure you wanted nothing to do with me," she paused. Kryceck actually looked humbled for once. "I was hoping that I had finally forgotten you existed, and well, you come into my life with as much fireworks as you had left."

"I couldn't forget you, Demona," Kryceck said. "I read your death and I believed it. I had to see the doppleganger for myself, and I was relieved when I knew it wasn't you." He looked down at his hands guiltily, remembering how they had almost choked her to death. "I wondered where you went, and by the time I was broke, I needed to find you. I was sure that you would hear me out, but I was never sure whether r not you would help me. And I have accepted that if you will no help me."

Demona could barely keep her tears in her eyes. She had once let Kryceck into her heart, even if for a brief period of time. She liked what little spark he had pushed in. She never wanted to forget his kiss, but she wanted to forget everything else. "I suppose that I could let you stay for a little bit."

Kryceck's eyes brightened, "Thank you, Demona."

She nodded, and felt very weak and empty.

End 2/6

* * *

Part 3/6

"The bathroom is the third door on the right. The sink is kind of messed up, so you'll have to shave in the shower. There is a mirror in there," Demona said.

Kryceck felt all of the grit and sweat rubbing against his skin and he couldn't believe that he was finally going to have a hot shower for the first time in two weeks. The charity hospital had a shower room for all of the patients, but the water came out only lukewarm. He thought he had died and gone to heaven.

He stripped himself naked and stood under the hot jets of water. He didn't care if he was turning tomato red, it felt good to let the grime wash away. The water that pooled at his feet was a watery brown, and he was sure that Demona would have a fit that he was getting her white tiled shower dingy.

He scrubbed with all his might with the washcloth and the soap, as if this was the last bar of it on earth. The cut on his stomach from the barbed wire stung, but it felt better then the numbness that he had felt for the last six months. He hadn't felt clean the first time, so he lathered and rinsed again. He then washed his hair with something generic, but smelled pretty interesting, so it must have come from an organic store.

He scoured his clipped hair twice, and was amazed to see what rinsed out. He never knew all that stuff that had settled in his hair. The shampoo was as dingy as the soap.

He shaved in the shower using the mirror and a Bic razor. Demona probably never used this bathroom, but there were others who had, so he was a little wary of it. Days worth of beard collected in the bottom of the shower and clung to his newly-cleaned feet.

When he emerged, he found clean clothes set on a chair just out of sight of the shower. He smiled wanly, Demona must have left them for him. He smelled the clean smell of detergent and felt how soft and warm and inviting they were. His clothes had been so worn thin that he could have pressed his finger through them and ripped in them.

They were a bit large, but they felt quite good on his skin. He loved the feeling of warmth that he got after being in a hot shower. There were also white sports socks to put on his feet, and a new fresh college baseball cap. He appreciated the little things that Demona would do for people.

* * *

Demona listened as the water stopped running in the second bathroom. She had left the clothes for him and she knew that he would find them. They were from another neighbor, Mr. Ria, who lived down the hall. She had trouble explaining why she would need them, but when she showed him $50 he was willing to part with them.

She hadn't peeked, although she really wouldn't have minded if she accidentally saw. She was pretty sure that he had a great body, she remembered the muscles on his arms that bulged out whenever her held onto anything. She was rather certain that the rest of his body looked like that underneath.

She waited for the door to open. And then what? What was she going to do? She had already planned for him to sleep in the second guest bedroom. But it was still only about nine at night. She didn't go to bed until eleven, and she wasn't sure how tired Kryceck was. She was still in no mood to entertain Kryceck.

And tomorrow? What was she going to do tomorrow? She had to go to dinner and run an errand or two. Was she going to take him? Wouldn't that be interesting? A man who knows almost all the secrets of the universe and he comes to get cat food and dry cleaning. That would prove interesting.

Would she leave him here? She almost laughed. That would have been stupid, he probably would walked off with one of her antiques and sold it off to get the money he wanted. No, she would have to take him with her, as much as she didn't want to admit.

She started to worry more. And then after that, what? What kind of job was he going to get? Maybe one of her art friends needed someone to look around the place, or move things. It was up to Kryceck; she would find him a job once, if he couldn't hold it, tough luck.

"Stop worrying," she finally chided. Things would just have to roll along, she cross the bridges when she came to them.

Kryceck must have been looking for her, because he suddenly popped out of nowhere and sat down in a chair across from her in her study/studio. "Thank you for the clothes."

She nodded, she closed the book that she had failed miserably at trying to read. "Are you tired now?" She didn't mean it to come out like she was hoping he would go to sleep, but it did.

"Well, yes, sort of," Kryceck was somewhat glad she had offered. He had a full stomach, clean clothes, and now he wanted to go to sleep comfortable. "Where can I sleep?"

"There is a bedroom across the hall from the bathroom, that one is yours. I'll wake you in the morning." He nodded and slipped out of the study and Demona went back to her reading.

The bedroom was quite large and spacious. The bed had a feather mattress and a white quilt on the top of it. He didn't realize how tired he was until he slipped under the covers.

He couldn't believe his good fortune. This all seemed to be a dream. He wasn't sure if he really expected Demona to help him out, but he had always saved a place in his mind hoping and wishing she would.

She hadn't offered him more than half a glance that seemed more than cordial. He remembered how he felt when she looked at him after he kissed her. The warmth covering up the icy flecks of her green eyes; the way the light sparkled differently as she smiled at him. That was gone now, and he was beginning to accept it for what it was.

That night, he dreamed for the first time in months.

End 3/6

* * *

Part 4/6

Demona made breakfast for herself and for Kryceck. She wasn't going to wake him up until she was pretty sure he wasn't going to rip her head off. Her cats all sat licking their chops, waiting for a morsel of bacon to drop.

"No, you can't have any. I already fed you four," she said, scooping the eggs onto two plates. When was the last time she had set two plates? Was it when Geoff was living with her? She couldn't really recall exactly.

"Talking to yourself, Demona? That can't be healthy."

"Damn you," she cursed, whiling around. "Why the hell do you have to sneak up on me?"

"I didn't, I just walked into the room." Kryceck looked at the two plates. "What's for breakfast."

"Eggs and bacon," she said.

Kryceck nodded. He remembered the last time he saw Demona, she looked a little like she did now, tired, worn out, distraught. He also remembered how he had finally told her to pack her bags and leave. The Consortium was hot on her trail after that, Kryceck was probably the main person looking for her. When he was going to meet up with her, he didn't know if he would slaughter her or atone for his actions.

He ate his breakfast quietly. Truth be told, he was still feeling a little woozy from the pneumonia. he never got the prescription, and he had to swipe cough medicine from drug stores. He was incredibly lucky he didn't see his own face on wanted posters. Of course, he really wouldn't have been surprised.

"Do you have any cough medicine or anything," he asked.

"Yeah, it's over the sink. Your pneumonia, right?"

He nodded. "Never did get that prescription filled."

"Well, you had a place to sleep," she replied, pouring him some of the cough syrup and a glass of water. He accepted it gratefully.

He swallowed the cough syrup and made a face. Demona smothered a smile.

"Did you ever think that you would be this rich," he asked her.

"No, not really. I only hoped that I would have enough money so that I could go to school and get a job," she told him.

"What, with all that money you were making that the Consortium was giving you," Kryceck asked. "Leave the bacon, I'm still hungry."

She narrowed her eyes at his latter remark. "No, before I was a spy, when I lived in Russia. Before my parents were killed."

"They were killed?"

"Yeah, my father's boss staged some hit men to kill my father and mother. After that, I went begging and found Vtialy. You know, the man who trained me to be a spy," she took the eggs from the table and washed the plates. She ignored the golden stain on the wall.

"So what did you plan on being, if not working for the Consortium?"

"I wanted to be a scientist like my father," she said. Her eyes looked past him an into her distant past. He wanted to reach out to her.

"Hey, listen, I got some errands to run today, you want to come with me?"

"Sure," Kryceck said, "why not?"

* * *

Kryceck held a bag of cat food under one arm, and a hanging planter of flowers dangled from his wrist. He didn't really expect to be doing this, but it as better than her turning him out on the streets. The last time he was doing manual labor was before he had passed out in an alleyway, after that, he resorted to stealing and pawning.

"Now, I have to drop off my dry cleaning," she said. Kryceck wasn't listening. He was trying to picture Demona's life as it had been after the Consortium. He saw the boarding house, her rocking like an idiot and repeating things in monosyllabic. Then he saw her buying an apartment, and signing the papers for this car and the two motorcycles she bought.

Demona stared at him and was forming words, she had obviously been trying to talk to him, "Kryceck? You okay?"

"Yeah," he replied, running a hand through his cropped hair. "Just sort of blanked out there."

Demona shot him a funny look as they pulled into the parking lot of the dry cleaners. "I think I'll stay out in the car," he said. He really didn't feel like getting up or going anywhere.

Demona nodded and took her clothes into the building. From there, Kryceck started fumbling with things in her car. He opened the glove compartment and a crisp white envelope with gold embossment slid onto his knees. The initials "GHM" curled and floated over the paper. He opened the letter after making sure that Demona wasn't coming out yet.

"My dear Demona; thanks for the wonderful month, but I think that it's time for you and I to both move on. I have some issues to settle back at home. I love you so much and I want you to know that I will always be here for you. Call me sometime and we'll get together for lunch. I love you; Geoff."

Kryceck's nose wrinkled. He assumed that Demona was going to move on with her life, but it was an entirely different thing to have it staring up at you in blue ink script.

"Who's Geoff," he asked when she came back to the car.

"Who are you to be reading my things," she demanded.

"It fell out of the glove compartment," he lied.

"And fell out of the envelope and into your open hands, where you couldn't help but read it as you put it back in the envelope," she said angrily.

"I didn't mean to read it," he said.

"Bullshit."

"Will you at least tell me who Geoff is," he asked.

"You should now using an educated guess," she shot.

"Why did he leave you," he asked.

"We just had problems with the relationship," she replied. "He had lived with me, but then he moved out."

"So, did you sleep with him," he asked. He wasn't sure how he was gong to handle the reply, he knew it to be true, but he wanted to hear the truth from Demona's lips.

"Yes," she looked into her lap.

Kryceck remained silent, he didn't know how to react When she kissed him, for that one instant when she wasn't busy despising him, was she looking into the face of another man? Was she kissing the man that she was sleeping with?

"I have had sex before," she said.

"And when we kissed, what?"

"What do you mean?" she was stunned that he had brought up the subject of their kiss.

"I mean, was the kiss for me or for someone else?"

"God dammit, Kryceck! Why do you always have to turn things around on people?"

"Excuse me?" Kryceck burst out.

"You're trying to make it seem like I wouldn't have kissed you if it was only you that was on my mind that night! It wasn't! That kissthe one time that my lips pressed to yourswas meant for you, and no one else. No matter how much of a mistake it was, it was for you!"

Kryceck winced. He felt Demona's sharp eyes boring a hole into him. He wasn't sure what he had wanted out of her response to what he had said. He wanted really for her to tell him that yes, the kiss was for him, and she was sorry that she might have led him on. He wanted her to admit the fact that kiss was not for him and then he would have been able to distance her more easily.

Demona leaned her head onto the steering wheel. They had brought it out into the open. She didn't know if she wanted to drive him home or if she wanted to kick his ass out of the car. She gritted her teeth angrily.

"Who are you seeing now," he asked her.

"It hasn't occurred to me to ask you if you were seeing anyone," she growled.

"I'm not seeing anyone. If I were, I would be with her," Kryceck said. "So answer my question."

"The answer to your question is I'm not seeing anyone."

Kryceck couldn't say anything. What would he have said, "Too bad."? He just kept quiet so that Demona wouldn't get the urge to choke him to death. It would have been pretty easy for her to snap, her jaw was clenched tighter than a dog's on a bone.

"Kryceck, a guy like you and there isn't any girl that you can go running to?"

"They found out that I had no money and they dropped me," he told her.

"Wouldn't have been the first time that a girl dumped a guy for that reason," Demona mused.

Kryceck nodded soberly. He knew how true that statement was.

End 4/6

* * *

5/6

Demona applied the scarlet lipstick and mashed her lips together. She looked at her watch and hopped from foot to foot nervously, waiting for her date. He was supposed to be there at 7:20 in the front of the Pine Ridge Country Club.

She chose a beige ensemble comprising of a short form-fitting dress with no sleeves, and a single-breasted jacket that fell just above the hemline of the dress. She put a locket around her neck given to her by a friend. In it was a picture of her and another of Geoff. She had never had the heart to throw it away.

Kryceck went for a walk in the afternoon and he hadn't returned. She watched him leave and let him go, she didn't even care. She couldn't look at him since he brought up their kiss. She had thought that he had forgotten and when she knew that he didn't, she felt miserable.

She wasn't sure if she wanted him to remember. It was disenchanting to the entire fact that they had kissed. Maybe she was a romantic, but she wanted everything to be perfect in that frozen state of her mind's eye. The fact that Kryceck still remembered it sort of ruined for her.

Her date came up to the bar and tapped her on the shoulder.

"Hi Geoff," she smiled, kissing his cheek.

"Demona, hey. How are you this evening? You look beautiful."

"Thank you, did you get a table?"

"That's what I want to tell you, I didn't get one, because I wanted to talk to you," he said, pulling himself onto the barstool. Demona noticed that he was nurturing a goatee.

"About what?"

"Us," he ordered a drink and took her hand, she unwillingly let him grasp it. "I want you to know that I miss you."

"Geoff, I " she trailed off as he took her eyes.

"Listen, I love you, and I rue the day that I walked out on you," he sipped the drink. "Do you feel the same way about me?"

"Geoff, I love you too and I thought a lot about the day you left," she admitted.

"Good. What do you think would be the best thing?"

"I don't know, really," he mind floated back to Kryceck.

"Let me help you think," Geoff kissed her softly on the lips. Demona saw Kryceck's green eyes staring back at her. She withdrew softly but firmly.

"I know it's been a while, Demona. I know that I went out with a bang, but I want back into your life again. We can make it work, it just takes time," he said.

I don't know if I want it to work, Demona thought. I don't know if I want you at all. She stared down at her locket.

"I love you," he said. "I want us to be together again."

I love you too, Geoff. But I didn't see you when we kissed. I saw someone else, she screamed at him silently. "Geoff, I don't know if I can make that choice"

"I know you need time? A week? A day? An hour?" He pressured.

"Ever," she finished. His face fell and he looked bewildered.

"But, Demona, I love you."

"Geoff, I thought I loved you too. I did love you once, but when you walked out and just left a note, how was I supposed to react? Geoff, I don't love you the same way that you love me. I'm still your friend, but I can never be your lover." She took off the locket. "I'm sorry, Geoff," she pressed it into his hand.

He stared down at it, his whole face a mirror of his heart. "I'm sorry too, Demona."

She left the bar quietly and headed home. She couldn't bear to watch him open the locket and wipe at his damp eyes.

* * *

Demona let her purse slide to the floor and looked about her apartment. She nearly had a heart attack seeing Kryceck sitting on her couch. She took a deep sigh of relief.

"You're getting jumpy," Kryceck said. "You're sure that the Consortium isn't still after you?"

"When did you get back, I didn't know you had a key," she ignored his latter comment.

"You shouldn't leave a spare key behind the door ornament," Kryceck threw something shiny, and it hit the coffee table with a clink. Demona winced, she should have known someone as dedicated as Kryceck was going to find it. "You should have known," he said, reading her thoughts.

"Well, I don't always expect the next Joe walking up to my door to be able to find a needle in a haystack," said, flopping on the couch next to him.

"Not only jumpy," Kryceck started.

"I don't want to talk about it," she snarled.

"Okay, okay," Kryceck said.

"Where did you come from anyway? Yesterday, I mean," she asked.

"JFK Airport," he said.

"How long had you been there?"

"Three days. Demona you don't know how much more interesting it is to sleep in an airport. Everyone is doing something and it amazed me how many people there really are in the world," Kryceck said.

"Don't get philosophical on me, Kryceck," Demona said. She meant it in harsh rebuff, but it came out weak, forceless. She sighed heavily.

"So, where were you," he asked.

"I went out to dinner."

"By yourself."

"No. I was supposed to eat with Geoff tonight, but he had other plans," Demona said, she shuddered trying to hold her misery.

"What'd he do to you," Kryceck proclaimed. He swore to God if that bastard had touched her, he'd

"Nothing of that sort," Demona assured him. "He wanted to move in with me and I told him I couldn't." I don't think you'll ever understand, she told him in her head.

"Why not? It seemed like you were happy with him," Kryceck couldn't believe the nonsense spilling out of his lips. What was he doing? Assuring her that he wanted nothing of her?

"I couldn't do it, I don't have feelings for him anymore. I like him as a friend, but " she was so exhausted that her hand fell from her face. Kryceck gently touched it.

He touched of her fingers, massaging each one gently. She didn't have a trace of a callous anymore. It must have taken months of manicures and massages to get her hands baby fine again. The first time he had touched her hand, he had definitely rough spots on each of the knuckles on the inside of her palms. Her skin was still infinitely soft, and now he knew how soft they really were now.

Demona was perched absolutely still as he curled her fingers around his and she allowed him to keep her hand there. Her breathing quickened and then slowed, showing her slight anxiousness. "Why couldn't you move in with him?"

"I didn't love him. How could I live with him if I have feelings for someone else," she said. Her breath caught and Kryceck moved in closer to her face to hear her hushed voice.

"And who is it you have feelings for," his lips brushed her ear.

"I think you know," she said, feeling his lips kissing her ear.

"Kiss me," he beckoned.

She did. Her lips were soft and warm. Kryceck could feel her blood in her lips as they pressed against his. She was so gentle, her kiss was different, her lips moved differently more experienced; but it was still her kiss.

He pulled her back on his chest on the couch in mid-kiss. She stained his face with her scarlet kisses, begging him for more, but holding him back. He wanted her for his own, and it was mutual.

His hands touched her skin, soft and smooth, and prickled with goosebumps. Her tongue caressed his Adam's apple, and he could barely hold in a moan of ecstasy.

"You know how much I have wanted to feel your lips and your hands. You don't know how much I wanted to see your face again. You came to my door and I couldn't refuse you," Demona whimpered.

"I know," he said. "I can never forgive myself for nine months ago." He kissed her cheeks, her nose, her mouth.

"Why did you do it, Kryceck?"

"Because, I had orders to get rid of you. I wouldn't kill you, I wouldn't. I had to make sure that you couldn't work with us. I made it impossible for you to see me without getting upset. That's how and why I did it."

"Kryceck, I want you here with me. I can't have you for very long. You go where you are needed more," she admitted.

"You can have me now. You can have me for this moment," he said.

"That's all that I ask of you," she replied, slipping his shirt above his head.

End 5/6

* * *

6/6

Demona rolled over and rubbed her eyes. She felt warm and prickly all over. She took a few deep breaths and rolled onto her feet.

She remembered last night. She and Kryceck had slept together on her Italian leather couch. She couldn't recall how it al started, but it did. She didn't regret it.

She needed Kryceck to make love to her. She needed to feel him inside of her, to make her feel like her passion was not in vain, that it could be returned. A part of her had been dead, he had revived it inside of her.

She had hated him when she first met him. She couldn't stand sitting next to him for a long time. He was egotistical, self-righteous bastard. But then he kissed her, he showed her compassion, and she let him into her head. She had loved him.

She moved into the kitchen, thinking he was there, but he wasn't. There was a white folded paper on it.

"God damn!" she said as she picked up the paper from the kitchen table. "Not again," she murmured.

I'm sorry Demona. Not for last night, but for coming to you and asking for your money and your charity, I have to do things myself. You were right, I have to go where I am needed more. Maybe I'll see you around.

Demona drew in a shaky breath, then slid to the floor in tears.

* * *

Kryceck approached the intersection and waited. The cold nipped at his ears, but it wasn't as harsh two days ago. He waited.

He had to leave Demona, he had feelings for her, he loved her, but he couldn't love her the way she needed to be loved. He couldn't just sit and be the boyfriend who could be at her side every other minute of the day. He had to work, he had to be able to move and be free.
He wanted back into the Consortium. He knew the secrets of the government, and he knew the truth about aliens. He was too used to being on the verge of death, in the hands of the enemy, destroying those who couldn't be trusted. That was what came easy to him; being a lover was not.

He left her before dawn, placing a kiss on her rose lips and then leaving. He left a note, and thought it a little bit ironic that the note sounded like the one Geoff left her.

He stole $50 from Demona's purse and departed. He felt only a slight pang of guilt as he slipped the crisp bill into his pocket. He took a cab across the bridge and back into New York City, where he called an old friend. He now stood waiting for that person.

He saw who he was looking for, wrapped in a trench coat, and busily working on a cigarette. He stopped in front of Kryceck.

"Mr. Kryceck," he said. Kryceck nodded.

"We are glad that you called, we still need your help," CSM said, taking a long puff on the cigarette, then grounding it out on the pavement.

Kryceck nodded again, "I knew you couldn't get along without me."

"Well, we wouldn't have thought of you without your call. Where were you staying?"

"Old friend," Kryceck replied simply.

"Demona Launce," CSM replied. "Tell me; is she in good spirits?"

"She is. She hasn't told a soul about us. She doesn't want everything that comes with us brought back on her," Kryceck warned.

"We are not interested in her anymore. She chose to leave us, she did a very good job of hiding herself. The doppleganger would have had us fooled had you not told us it was not her," CSM lit another cigarette.

"She is happy with her life, that is all that needs to happen with her," Kryceck warned. She recovered from the Consortium.

"Welcome back, Kryceck," CSM replied. Out of the trench coat pocket, CSM pulled a roll of hundreds out of his pocket. "Are you willing to start again?"

"I have been for the last six months," Kryceck said.

"We have the same threat, the Faceless Rebels. Mulder and Miss Scully are back in the X-Files. You know what to do," CSM said.

"I know," Kryceck replied and they both disappeared into the crowd of E. 46th street, Ney York City.

END

* * *

Thanks: To my father, who always knows how to encourage me to write and change and rewrite. To Lynnie, who had to listen to my constant yammering about the latest changes in my fanfiction. Thanks also to the readers, who make me feel appreciated. And to my stubborn streak, that never lets me settle for what I think is less than what I know I can do.