TITLE: "Morning Glory II: Believe The Lie" (1/1)
AUTHOR: Isahunter
RATING: PG (Language)
CATEGORY: V, WIP, Krycek/Other (No slash)
SPOILERS: Up to "One Son," S6
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 do you believe when truth is stranger than fiction?
NOTES: This story is a continuation of my series', "Midnight Angel," and "Morning Glory." It is necessary to have read those stories first. They are available at: http://www.aliens.mcmail.com/isadiadem/

For Allison, my dearest friend, who makes me believe the impossible. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out."
--Russian proverb

"I don't know where he comes from, or where he's been, but he was a liar from the very beginning."
Sabryn tightened her hands around the steering wheel, staring at the road before her as if in some sort of trance. She couldn't look at his face.

Somehow, hearing the story from a distance, it was easier to pretend Mr. Skinner wasn't talking about Alex. Not *her* Alex.

"He came to me five years ago, green, fresh out of Quantico. Your typical blue-flamer. Ready to kiss anyone's ass. Little did we know that he was working for the wrong team the whole time." She could feel his eyes on her, but didn't flinch a muscle. "He'd been sent to spy on Agent Mulder, to find his weaknesses. And when he did, he took full advantage of them. We have very strong reason to believe that Alex Krycek was involved in the abduction of Agent Scully."

Startled, she turned to stare at him. "Abduction?" "I assumed you knew all about this. Mulder briefed me on your own abduction experience before we left Maryland."

"I--I didn't know anything about Agent Scully." He sighed heavily, clearly uncomfortable with the subject. "She was kidnapped by a man whose case Mulder and Krycek had been working on. They were partners."

Partners. Jesus. She could only imagine the animosity Fox must have felt when Alex turned against him. The expressions on their faces, when they met once again in Alex's apartment, became that much clearer. And she shuddered as another wave of guilt washed over her.

"The most likely scenario is that Krycek told Duane Barry where to find Scully, and told him to take her...that he'd be saving his own life by sacrificing hers. She was abducted that night on Skyland Mountain, and Alex Krycek disappeared from the Bureau."

"The most likely scenario...you mean this is all hearsay? You don't even know? How can you accuse someone of something if you don't have the facts?"

His voice became deeper, huskier, tightly reined as he spoke. "You have no idea who you're dealing with, Miss Jaegar. This man isn't some misunderstood hero. He's a highly trained counterintelligence agent and a skilled assassin. I suggest you remember that."

She swallowed heavily, feeling chastised. "He never lied to me." "Silence is every bit as deceptive as a lie, wouldn't you say?" When she didn't answer him, he went back to his story. "He wasn't seen or heard from again for nearly half a year...but when he came back, he made his presence known. Tampering with the water supply in Mulder's apartment building, he set him up to take the fall for his own father's murder. But that was his doing, as well."

"You're saying he killed his former partner's father?" "That's right."

She felt like she was listening to one outrageous lie after another. This wasn't possible. Sure, he was a spy. But her friend wasn't cold-blooded, was he? The man who looked at her the way Alex did couldn't possibly be the one Mr. Skinner was describing. She couldn't help the blatant disbelief in her voice.

"What possible reason would he have to do such a thing?" "Like I told you, he's very good at following orders. Someone wanted Bill Mulder out of the way. And with the chance to take Agent Mulder down with him, it was too good to pass up."

Glancing in the rear-view mirror, Sabryn was suddenly glad her brother wasn't aware of this conversation. She'd never hear the end of it.

"Do you have proof of his involvement?"

"These men don't leave proof. Garnet agents are ghosts. They vanish." "Garnet?"

"Global black operations specialists." The smile he gave her held no trace of humor. "The man you're so quick to defend is involved with a group even the CIA can't touch. But even with the fancy title, the Garnet boys are little more than glorified assassins and bodyguards. The real power lies in the Majestic Project. They're the ones orchestrating the alien takeover. Krycek is merely a thug."

"But he said--"

"He'll tell you anything to get you to believe the lie. That's his job." Arguing with him was pointless. The story only got worse. The only thing she could do was concentrate on the road and drive.

"Mulder had Krycek once, and damned near shot him. If not for Scully's intervention, Mulder might have been accused of his murder as well."

Once more, his voice took on a solemn tone. "Krycek and another man were also involved in the death of Melissa Scully. They were waiting in Agent Scully's apartment. She'd been warned that someone wanted her dead, but they ended up killing her sister by mistake."

Sabryn was starting to feel sick.

"I met up with Krycek a few days later, when he and his friends decided to beat the shit out of me and steal a digital tape containing stolen MJ documents. I don't know what happened after that," Skinner continued, "but I imagine they tried to get to him. He disappeared again and only resurfaced after he was found selling secret documents to the French."

"'Get to him'...you mean they tried to kill him." "Exactly."

She closed her eyes briefly. "I don't know if I want to hear anymore." "We can't stop now. The story is just getting interesting."

"C'mon guys, open the door."

Alex fought the urge to shake off Mulder's hand as he stood impatiently in the darkened hallway. He could hear a scuffle on the other side of the door, and he stared up at the little camera above him with a smug grin. He could only imagine what Mulder's little toadies were thinking.

After a lot of clicking, what sounded like five or six locks being opened, the door swung ajar. Peering out with beady eyes, behind thick glasses, the blond-haired man stared at them down his pointy nose. Alex had to fight the urge to ask him when Wayne's World started filming.
"Let us in, Langly," Scully said, impatiently, pushing on the door. "What's *he* doing here?" The blond nodded his head towards Alex. "He's our prisoner, now open the door."

Standing back, the gangly man let them pass...never taking his eyes off Alex. From his long hair to his butt-rocker T-shirt, he looked to be stuck in the 80's. Then again, as the other two came forward, they all were. His troll-sized companion, complete with pony tail and finger-less gloves, gaped open-mouthed at Alex, while the business suit-clad narc stood with his arms crossed in the background.

"What the hell are you doing bringing him here? You trying to blow our cover, Mulder?"

Although Alex knew them well, through hours of video surveillance in several locations, he'd had no idea they were aware who he was. Then again, he wasn't particularly surprised. They had a knack for knowing things they weren't supposed to.

"This isn't about him." Scully stepped forward. "This is about the favor I asked of you."

The three men shared an uncomfortable silence. Obviously, whatever this favor was, Mulder hadn't been privy to it.

"It's all right. He knows," she said. "I told him this afternoon, just after we finished talking to Diana Fowley."

"The Foul one?" Langly asked, a hushed voice. "Just get on with it," Mulder demanded, irritably. "What have you found?"

The man in the suit, Byers, if Alex remembered correctly, stepped over to the computer and swiftly began typing. Within a few moments, a whole new spread sheet came up on the screen. "Aside from what we've already shown you about the abductees and Diana's whereabouts, there have been several other developments of late--"

Fuck! He had to bite his lip to keep from laughing. They were spying on Diana Fowley. Jesus, some people were so dense.

"You know, if you wanted to know about Diana's activities, all you had to do was ask."

Five pairs of eyes turned to look at him before staring at each other. Once again, the shortest man said, "What the hell is he doing here?"

They weren't in the least bit comforted by the cuffs he was still wearing. They watched him as if they thought he might be keeping a running tab with some sort of photographic memory.

"Krycek has told us that not only is the invasion imminent in less than two weeks, but that Diana is also the Smoking Man's mistress."


"The point is, we have no proof to back it up. That's where you three come in."

"If you're hoping for some proof of Fowley and Smokey doing the skinny shimmy, you can just forget it, Mulder." The short man scratched the back of his neck, his stubby fingers sticking out of those cut-off gloves like little sausages. "Even if we had such a tape, it wouldn't be safe for human viewing."

"What do you have?" Scully asked.

Turning his attention to Mulder, Byers said, "After the last threat of invasion, Scully kept us watching Diana. We didn't mean to go behind your back, but--"

"Just get on with it," Mulder growled.

"In the hopes that something might come up in conversation, we bugged Diana's hotel room and her former partner's home."


"Yeah. However, shortly thereafter, Spender resigned and hasn't been heard from since...but that's not the end of the story. His residence is still being paid for, and there's someone living there."
Scully frowned. "Couldn't there have been a change in renters?" "Not as far as we could tell. The lease is still under his name." "Then who is there?"

"Whomever it is doesn't want to be found. They never leave the apartment. Their groceries are delivered and the payment is always slipped under the door. They don't answer the phone, they don't go on-line, and they haven't received one single visitor."

"So Spender quit his job and decided to become a hermit. What's so unusual about that?"

"Unless Spender grew breasts, not a thing," Langly interrupted. Mulder stepped forward, all but forgetting Alex behind him. If the door hadn't been triple locked, and his hands in cuffs, he could have easily made a break for it. Still, his curiosity was piqued.

"I thought you said no one had seen who was staying there?" Mulder asked. Byers used his mouse to open up a file on the computer. "Early one morning we were working surveillance and managed to get a picture. She only had the curtains open for a split second, and the capture is blurry, but this is it."

Mulder and Scully squinted at the picture, looking like a couple of cartoon characters. And even though he didn't really need to know, Alex stepped a bit closer. Then closer still. Peering over their shoulders, he had to blink several times to make sure his eyes weren't deceiving him.

Jesus. It couldn't be.

"Do you know her?" Byers asked.

Mulder nodded. "That's Marita Covarrubias."

The steady drip, drip, dripping of the faucet was the only other sound in the tiny motel bathroom. Sitting in steaming water, her right leg covered in soapy foam and propped up on the ledge, Sabryn stared off into space. The pink razor in her hand made slow, even strokes up the length of her calf. But she wasn't watching what she was doing. She barely noticed the narrow line of blood sliding across her skin, only to fall like newly shed tears to the milky water below, disintegrating in little pink puffs in the water.

*They'll turn you against me...*


But he knew better than she did, didn't he? He'd never lied to her. But he didn't tell her the truth, either. For several more long hours, she'd sat in that truck with Mr. Skinner, her senses bombarded, listening to him tell the horrifying story of Alex Krycek. From the murders to his own inhabitation by an alien life form. From his escape from a missile silo to an apparent alliance with the Russians. He made deals, stole, cheated, lied, killed, and tortured. Most hideous of all was the deliberate cruelty he'd shown in nearly killing Walter Skinner just to get the man under his control.
He'd done it slowly, methodically, painfully, and all with his victim's knowledge and utter helplessness. He was walking evil. And she'd fallen for his charm.

Shuddering slightly, she glanced down at the cut on her leg. She hadn't even felt the pain until it was far too late. Washing away the drying blood, she finished shaving her leg and lay back in the warm water. She was freezing...didn't know if she'd ever be warm again.

A sudden knock on the door made her start. "Sabryn?" her sister-in-law called out. "We bought a pizza. I thought you might like some."

She could barely summon the energy to reply. "I'll be out in a little while."

They were stopped in Des Moines for the night. They'd gotten three rooms in a cheap motel; one for her and the kids, one for her brother and Carly, and one for Mr. Skinner. She was grateful the children would be staying with her. She didn't want to be alone tonight.

With a shaking hand, she traced her fingers over the bruises dotting her flesh. She'd been attacked by a stranger, just for knowing Alex Krycek. It would seem she'd already paid a stiff enough price. But that wasn't where it ended. She'd grown to care for him, and in doing so she'd made a grave mistake. She was just lucky he hadn't tried to kill her like the others.

Swearing, she sat up straight and wrapped her arms around her tucked legs, resting her chin on her knee. She'd sworn to him she wouldn't stop believing in him, and now she was doing exactly that. The shame she felt was as comparable to that she often saw in her father's eyes.

No, God damn it. That wasn't the man she knew. He wasn't the one who had held her when she cried, who had told her some of his darkest secrets...who had taken her into his sanctuary even when it meant risking his own freedom. Alex hadn't walked away from the shadows of her past, and neither would she walk away from his. Doubt was one thing...full blown denial was another. Surely there was *some* good reason for what he'd done. And she couldn't pretend she hadn't seen the goodness in him.

Rising out of the water, letting the droplets run over her like little fingers, she unplugged the drain and reached for a towel. When she was dried and had gotten dressed, she wrapped the towel around her head and opened the door to the pungent scent of mozzarella.

"We were beginning to wonder if you were ever coming out of there." Carly and the kids were sitting on one of the beds, an open pizza box at their feet. Jolie was flipping through the cable channels with the remote control, while Chris played with a long string of cheese. Sabryn had to smile. Those kids were two of her favorite people. They didn't judge her, and they hadn't ever let her down.

"Where are John and Mr. Skinner?"

"They both headed to their beds early. I guess driving took a lot out of them."

"I can sympathize."

Sabryn sat down on the bed next to Carly, her back against the head board. Taking a piece of pizza, she was content to eat in silence, but her sister-in-law had other plans.

"How are you doing, Bryn?"


"No, really. John told me about that man you were seeing. I'm really sorry."

"I know." Seeing that the kids were engrossed in the Jim Carrey movie on the television, Sabryn turned her attention to the other woman. "Do you think it's possible to be two different people at once?"

"What? You mean like split-personalities?" "No. I mean...well, with different people, I tend to put on a different persona. With Mom and Daddy, I'm always defensive; with you and Johnny, I'm honest; with the kids, I'm playful. But it rarely ever mixes. You know what I mean?"

"I guess so. But it's all you. Whether you're Amanda, Mandy, Bryn, or Sabryn, you're always the same. You can't change who you are. No matter how hard you try."

Sabryn shifted uncomfortably and nodded. "I was afraid you'd say that."

Feed me! Isahunter@aol.com
eXpositions: http://www.aliens.mcmail.com/isadiadem/