Dana Scully sat on her sofa, flipping through the latest Reader's Digest magazine and bored out of her mind. Mulder had dragged her halfway across the damn nation, to California. His even more pathetic source had told him that there were Cultist Vampires stealing information from business men in order to create a secretive empire.
It had turned out that the 'vampires' were actually just the business men's wives, trying to get their husbands to pay more attention to them. The secret information had been simply misplaced.
However, due to their little expedition, she and Mulder had been put on probation for two weeks. Mulder was now off somewhere in Ohio, on a lead about Elvis showing up at a club, while she sat at home on her sofa, sipping coffee.
What had happened to her life? She sighed, shaking her head and sinking down on the sofa. When she looked over at the clock, she was barely shocked. It was already three PM, which nearly proved to remind her that her social life was nonexistant.
Vaguely, she remembered a time when she would have gone out, been able to have a good time. Not many people knew it, but Dana Scully loved clubs. She liked the guys, and the drinks. The music, the way if you lied about something, nobody would know. You'd likely never see these people ever again, so for all they knew, you weren't even human.
She groaned softly. Now she was starting to sound like Mulder! She sighed and flipped on her TV, flipping through the few selection of channels. Being an FBI agent tracking down little green men didn't leave much time for entertainment, so there was no point in having cable.
Relaxing back into the soft cushions of her couch, she closed her eyes and tried to get Mulder out of her mind. This was like a vacation, if only she knew how to enjoy one. She started to drift off, and almost succeeded.
A sudden knock at the door made her jerk up on the sofa, her leg hitting the coffee table, spilling hot coffee all over her new carpet. She cursed softly, getting up and hoping whoever was at the door had insurance.
She walked to the door and opened it, frowning instantly when she saw who it was. A woman, about as short as she was, with longer and brighter red hair stood there in a disgusting outfit. Special Agent Dana Scully cringed, but said nothing.
Not waiting for an invitation, she walked on inside, pushing the other woman out of the way. "I've come with an offer."
Scully snorted softly and took a seat on her couch, getting comfortable since she could tell this was going to be a long conversation. It *would* give her something to do, for the moment anyway, however....
Mac Ramsey sat in the small office that happened to belong to his boss and looked around. Normally, he was the last one to arrive, but today, he was the first. Either someone had forgotten to tell him that they had the day off, or the rest of the world had been wiped out by a viral infection.
Victor walked in, looking somewhat smug.
"Vic, Vic, Vic. Haven't you learned that if you come in here looking like some happy giddy school boy, you're bound to wind up in detention?"
Mac didn't have time to dodge the red apple that was thrown his way, or prepare himself for the sight of the Director in a cream white blouse, unbuttoned to show more than he ever wanted to see. She also wore a dark tight blue skirt, which fell down to her ankles. "How's my little trouble maker today?" she asked, arching a brow at Mac.
Vic quickly sat down, not caring if he was beside Mac or not and hoping that he'd escaped her eagle eye. He looked the Director over, fighting off a cringe. Sometimes, the Director was just too much. She was far far too old to be wearing that shirt... especially with that amount of cleavage visible.
Mac smiled brightly, then it faded and he gave her a serious look. It was very rare to see that expression on the younger man's face, Vic thought, smiling to himself. "I'm doing just fine... Considering I was shot at last night!"
The Director frowned, reaching out to run her nails under his chin. He winced as she drew a few droplets of blood from him. "Ah, did my baby get hurt?"
Mac glared at her. "I wouldn't have gotten shot at if Vic was doing his job. We need some protection, of some kind. With Li Ann and Jackie in the hospital, we have no backup. I don't wanna end up with them."
Vic sighed. "I tried, I really did. But it's kinda hard to shoot at someone who's 30 blocks off. You were *supposed* to be at the coffee shop! That's where we said we'd meet!" The younger man never failed to get on Vic's nerves.
Mac frowned. "No. *You* agreed to meet there."
Vic looked ready to pounce when the sound of a whip slapping cool metal got their attention.
The Director was staring at them, eyes narrowed. "Boys, don't fight. Or I'll personally make sure you end up in the same hospital room as Jackie and Li Ann."
Both men straightened in their seats, instantly. The thought of Li Ann fighting with some bimbo chick would have normally gotten them interested, but lately the fights had become more recent and deadly And besides that, Jackie was...
The ex-mob queen wore far too expensive high heels and her English was, like, totally, like, messed up.
"Vic, did you do your homework?"
The question caught him off guard, and he had to think for a moment what she meant. "Oh... Ya, I, uh, did." He held up a list full of names of everyone that had been at the same hotel he and Mac had been staying at the first time they had been shot at. Now, though, there was another place he was going to have to ask around at. His shoulders sank and he heaved a sigh at the thought of that.
The Director smiled coyly. "My second star pupil is about to get a reward for the hard work. I've called in... other resources to help with out little protection problem."
Mac smiled and clapped, slamming his hand into Vic's back, for a 'pat'. "There may be hope for you yet, Mansfield! Just keep doing all the work!"
Vic just cringed, rubbing his back a little.
The Director smiled. "She has agreed, but she's your responsibility. And you are *not* to talk about work in front of her, is that understood?"
Both men nodded.
Dana Scully sat at the table at the restraunt, wondering where the hell these Victor and Mac guys were at the moment. She checked her watch and shook her head a little. They were thirty minutes late.
A tall man, probably about 6'2", walked in. He was cute, she had to admit. He was lean and obviously in excellent physical condition despite his lackadaisical demeanor. She prayed to god he was either Mansfield or Ramsey.
Brown eyes met blue as she smiled at him.
He smiled back at her, heading over to the table. Another man followed behind him, dressed in black, with dark sunglasses over his eyes. Scully eyed him, frowning. He looked like ... no, couldn't be.
The first man, the taller one, took a seat beside her, and the other man sat across from her and pulled off the sunglasses.
Scully growled, suddenly on her feet, gun aimed at his head. The other man, Krycek she assumed, frowned, reaching for his gun, but then thought better of it. She'd shoot him for sure then.
The first man smiled and looked around the room, biting his lip and looking about ready to laugh.
"Dana Scully?" asked the older man.
She nodded slowly. "Krycek, you son-of-a-bitch, you know who I am."
Vic smiled weakly, then looked at Mac for a split second, then back to Dana. "Yes, but only from my boss. And my name isn't Krycek, it's Victor Mansfield."
Scully laughed, hard. "Oh? Am I supposed to *believe* that? Ha!"
Victor's smile faded and he sighed, looking her in the eye. "Alright, Ms. Scully, I see I can't fool you. I'm not Victor Mansfield, I'm the Easter Bunny, and I was just looking for my little cotton tail. Have you seen it, by chance?"
Scully's sudden violence was unnerving. Victor had expected the blow, but it still felt odd. He had to fight the urge to reach up and rub his red cheek.
"Shut up, Krycek. Stop the games. You've had your fun, you fooled me."
Mac coughed, as if reminding them that there was a third party there. "I hate to interrupt... but for the last two years at least, this man *has* been Victor Mansfield. Not this... Krycek."
Scully didn't risk taking her eyes off Vic, afraid that he might turn the tables and have enough time to pull a gun on her. No, that wouldn't do. "Oh? And who are you?"
A smile played at Mac's features, and he ended up looking *much* cuter when he smiled. "Mac Ramsey. His partner at ... well, our 'office' has no name besides the Agency."
Scully looked him over, though for no more than a second, then quicky back to 'Alex', 'Vic', or whoever he was. "How do I know I can trust you?"
He sighed. "You don't, I guess. But I promise you, Ms. Scully, the reasons we need you are not to kill you. We need help."
She sighed also and looked into his eyes, noticing a deeper shade of green than she had ever seen in Krycek's eyes... Not that she'd ever spent a great deal of time looking at Krycek's eyes.
This was a risk... "Fine."
Mac, Vic, and Dana went to their hotel, where they'd be staying for the evening. It had been agreed by all three that a hotel would be the safest place to stay.
They got one room, to save on costs and so Dana could keep a better eye on them. It was a suite though, with two beds and a sofa. The two beds were small, but would do for the short time they'd be staying. The sheets were a silky pink, the sight of which making Mac cringe.
There was a nightstand seperating the two beds, and the only two things which sat on it were a lamp and a clock, in some deformed shape with half of it's buttons gone. Mac arched a brow, hoping that it at least was a clock. The only other electronic in the room was a TV, which had no cable and nearly no reception. It sat on a long dresser which was bare except for a cheap tray holding four plastic-wrapped cups and an ice bucket.
Above the dresser a cheap copy of a painting was bolted to the wall. Looking closer, Mac decided the figure in the painting was a dancer.
Victor sighed and took in the room, and noting the ugly shade of blue the walls were painted. "If this is the suite, I'd *hate* to see a regular room."
Scully looked between the two men and the room. It wasn't that bad, compared to half of the hotels her partner had dragged her to. She was amazed that they even had a TV ... a color TV! With a remote.
Before Victor could make a move, she laid down on one of the beds. The two men traded a look and dove for the other bed, tussling with each other for possession of said bed.
Dana shook her head, grumbling how men acted like five-year-old's too much. She leaned her head back, staring up at the ceiling.
Mac finally ended up kicking Vic off the bed, after a comment from Dana that if they couldn't play nice, she'd make them share the bed. Vic had reluctantly taken the sofa, but he'd brought the remote with him.
He turned on the television and flipped around, muttering when he found nothing on. "Can we leave the hotel?" he asked hopefully, looking over at Dana.
She looked between the two men once more, debating quickly. If she was to watch them, it'd be much harder out in the open. Her best bet would be to make sure they stayed in her sight at all times, or ... she could just get leash for the two men. She smiled at the thought.
Mac groaned softly, sitting up. "I'm not staying in here for 24 hours, lady. And you know what, I don't have to listen to you." He got up and walked towards the door, grumbling to himself.
Victor watched him from the sofa, curiously. If his partner made it out to a cab, he probably could too. However, when Mac opened the door and scanned the area, he noticed several people dressed in black, and judging from the bulges in their pockets, they were armed.
Mac smiled and started to walk towards the elevator, doubting they'd shoot at him. They wouldn't be stupid enough to alert the whole damn hotel that they were there, with guns. And likely, they weren't even looking for them. They were looking for one gunman, not a group.
Mac walked to the elevator and pushed the down button, but one of them grabbed his shirt and put a gun to his head, growling slightly. For a moment, Mac thought his senses had been worn down and he'd best just bolt without trying anything, but....
The ex-thief sighed, shaking his head. "Watch the clothes. And get some decent ones yourself." He jerked his shirt back, then spun around, quickly, and shot his leg outward. The other man fell, throwing his gun up into the air. Mac caught the gun, and did a small 'tsk, tsk' when three of the others came towards him. "I hate to shoot and run..."
He raced towards the door, firing one shot and hitting one of the men on the shoulder. He got to the door and opened it quickly, almost sliding in. He quickly shut it and put a chair under the handle.
Mac put his ear to the door, and could hear the sound of sirens not far off. No doubt, the men hadn't been looking for them, but still... He smiled and turned around, then slumped against the door.
Scully smiled, somewhat smugly. She sat up and arched a brow, watching Mac curiously. "You still wanna leave?"
Alex Krycek lay in bed, staring up at his ceiling, when he heard a knock at the door. He couldn't really figure out who it might be, since he was supposed to have the week off, no interruptions. Or least that's what Ol' Smokey had promised. But when did the old man ever keep his promises?
He got up and walked over to the door, looking in the peephole and sighing. He hadn't seen her in ages, but still, she hadn't changed at all. It really wasn't all that surprising.
He opened the door and stared at her, then stepped back, as a sign for her to enter. She wore a red blouse with a dark leather jacket pulled on over it. She also wore leather pants, tight ones at that. He hated the way it made her look younger, but still disgusting. However, no one could ever match her fashion style, and Alex figured that was why she chose that attire.
The Director stepped into the room, looking around the apartment and wrinkling her nose. "You and one of my employees would get along wonderfully. Ever heard of a housekeeper?"
Alex grumbled softly, shooting her a glare. "I don't have time for this."
She smiled somewhat coyly, the grin spreading from ear to ear. It reminded Alex of a cat, knowing it's prey was caught and there was nothing it could do now.
"Sure you do, you're on vacation."
He growled and nodded. "Vacation. My boss said I was not to be disturbed, do you know what he could do to you?"
The older woman yawned and shook her head in amusement. "Alex, Alex... Are you really that blind? I can do whatever I want, with *whoever* I want."
Alex shook his head no. "Not with me, you can't.
The Director's smile faded, and she pulled a folder out from her jacket. "Oh, but I can Alex. And you're going to do this for me."
"I owe you nothing."
The Director arched a brow. "Are you so sure of that, Alex? Who do you think covered up the Tullos case?"
Alex pursed his lips, thinking quickly. She had a point there, he might, might, be dead now if it weren't for her. But then again, he might live longer without her.
He snatched the folder from her, flipping through its contents and smiling. "I'll do it, but never again. We're even, got it?"
She nodded. "Even."
Alex Krycek sat in the downstairs bar of some cheap hotel. He watched, from a safe distance of course, a redhead and two men. Both men looked somewhat cute, though he hadn't really gotten a good look at them.
He brought the glass of scotch to his lips and took a small sip, wondering why the Director wanted him to watch the trio.
Krycek was used to watching Agent Scully, he even enjoyed watching the petit redhead on occasion. but, he'd never had to sacrifice his vacation time in order to do so. He sighed softly and and ducked back behind his newspaper.
Mac could feel eyes on them, but stayed silent. It had taken him hours to convince their 'bodyguard', Dana Scully, to let them go anywhere in the new hotel. He didn't want to have to move to *another* hotel.
Victor could also feel the eyes on them, but figured it was simply because Mac looked out of his element in the shabby surroundings. The younger man seemed to prefer, and look better for that matter, in some expensive museum, or walking down the sidewalk in a ritzy area.
After dodging a few not so subtle attempts of men hitting on her, Scully was ready to leave. However, the other two men didn't look so ready. With a side-glance over towards them, she confirmed this, and decided to just stay silent.
Mac noticed some people dancing to the band on the small stage in the middle of the room, and turned to Scully. "Dance with me?"
She looked him over, debating her answer for a minute. "I don't dance."
Just like Li Ann. It took a lot to get her to dance with him.... He sighed and shrugged, then grinned and turned to Vic. "Dance with me?"
The older man grunted, thinking he was joking. But when he saw Mac hadn't moved and was still holding his arm out, he stuttered for a moment, mouth wide open. "N-Wha.... N-no..." he finally got out.
Mac laughed softly, amused. Then he pouted and gave a fake cry. "Nobody will dance with me!"
Alex decided he had had enough of this and that he didn't have to do anything for the Director. It hadn't taken much debating to come to that conclusion, either. He got up and walked towards the door, however he heard what the youngest man of the trio had said and decided to make a move. It might end up being fun, who knew? He turned around and walked over to Mac, flashing him a bright smile. "I'll dance with you, Mr...?"
Mac looked over at him and was about to say something, but then he saw Alex and frowned instantly. He looked between Alex and the back of Vic's head. "What the ... Vict-.... But..." he stuttered, then finally formed a sentence. "W-who are you?"
Alex smiled and held out his hand. "Krycek. Alex Krycek."
Mac looked him over, then gulped and took a step back. Scully had thought Vic was this man, and he could see now why.
A few seconds later, Scully turned around and growled. "Krycek..."
Alex sighed and shook his head. Then he noticed Vic had turned around and deep green eyes that matched his own stared at him in shock. Alex turned halfway to see Vic. "Why you must-" he stopped instantly once he saw the mirror image of himself.
Vic let out a sound between a groan and a 'huh' before he fainted.
Mac sighed and looked between the two doubles once more, then shook his head. He knew he had to get his partner up to their hotel room, to save himself the yelling later.
He turned to Alex, eyeing the man suspiciously. "You wanna help me get him up to our room?" He motioned to Scully. "She's probably not strong enough." He hadn't seen the smaller woman in action yet, so he wasn't sure.
Alex looked down at Vic and shrugged, then picked up his legs. "Fine."
Mac grabbed Vic's shoulders and began to walk backwards in the general direction of the elevators. Agent Scully walked ahead of him, and pushed the up button.
Vic sure as hell wasn't light, but with two people he was manageable. Mac grunted slightly as Alex loosened his grip. Maybe he wasn't so manageable.
The elevator doors opened with a bing, and they all crowded into it. Dana once again pushed the button and watched the doors slide shut.
"God Vic... You're going on a diet after this," Mac muttered, trying to get a better hold of the older man's shoulders.
Alex smiled a little and shook his head. He tapped his foot impatiently as he watched the numbers above the doors change every few seconds. Five... Six... Seven... Ding.
Mac stepped off the elevator and began to head towards the room, letting Alex go backwards this time. He looked at Scully, hoping she'd unlock the door for them.
The woman arched a brow and shook her head. "No, no, he's not coming in there." Alex sighed and let go of Vic, then stepped closer. "Ah, come on, Scully."
The woman growled once again, reaching for her gun. However, Krycek was faster. He slammed his fist into her jaw, knocking the woman backwards and out cold. He smiled again, then dug around in her pockets until he found the key. Looking at Mac, he shrugged.
Mac watched him, wondering just how pissed off Scully would be later and if her jaw was broken. But he was more worried right now about his shoulders breaking due to the weight he was holding.
As if suddenly remembering, Alex grabbed Vic's feet again and hurried inside. He helped Mac put him on the bed, and then dragged Agent Scully into the room and set her in a corner, an ice pack on her jaw.
Now, there was nothing to do but wait for Vic to wake up. He sighed and sank into a chair.
When Vic came to, he found himself staring into the face of Mac Ramsey. "I just had one of a dream..." He paused, and then let out a yelp as he spotted Alex sitting in a chair.
Alex smirked and shook his head. "Vic, Vic, relax. My name's Alex Krycek."
Victor looked him over, now understanding how Scully could have gotten them confused. He checked his pulse, then felt his forehead. He wasn't sick...
Alex took a step closer, and Mac let out a low growl. The ex-thief took a step closer to Vic, an almost possesive look in his eyes for only a moment, but then it faded.
Vic arched a brow, but stayed silent. Alex smiled and looked the two over, wondering if the two were more than friends and work partners.
"I don't bite, Mr. Ramsey. Unless you want me to," Alex said, a suggestive smile plastered on his face. He wiggled his brows for more of a reaction. The younger man cringed once more and paled.
He chuckled softly and was about to ask Mac something work-related when he heard a click and felt a gun being placed at the back of his head. Scully had apparently woken up.
"Ah, the plot thickens." He reached back, and in a split second had a tight grip around her neck. If he squeezed just a little tighter, he probably could have snapped her neck in half, but he only wanted to show her who was boss.
She gasped, trying not to struggle too much and dropped the gun. She hadn't expected him to move that quickly. "Let go," she choked out, and he did after a few more seconds.
The youngest man in the room, Mac, shot Alex a glare and sat down in a chair by the bed. He and Vic exchanged nervous and somewhat concerned glances.
"Krycek, what are you here for?" Scully asked, rubbing her neck a little.
Shrugging, Alex flashed her a grin. "Tell you the truth, I'm not really sure myself. Wanna help me out?"
She sneered, wondering if she would have been better off with Mulder and his Elvis lead. "Cut the crap, Krycek. Why the hell are you here, you bastard?"
Jumping back, Alex's eyes widened. "Agent Scully, cursing? Someone call the news station!" That got him a slap, a hard one, on the right cheek.
Alex grabbed Dana's hand, growling angrily. "Don't do that again, or you'll regret it. Let that be a warning." He pushed her away quickly.
Mac watched the two, suddenly wondering just who Alex Krycek was, how he knew Scully, and why he was there. Several hundred other questions swam through his mind, but he stayed silent.
"Back to the original question?" Vic suggested, eyeing the two warily. "Why are you here?" he asked, turning his full attention to Krycek.
"Some lady asked me to keep an eye on you all," Alex replied, yawning and checking his watch.
"*What* lady?" Now it was Mac's turn to join in.
Alex shrugged. "A little shorter than me, loves leather, long read hair. About forty or so, I'd say."
Mac and Vic exchanged looks again. "The Director," they said in unison.
The evening dragged on, and the foursome mostly just sat in awkward silence. Scully was obviously needing sleep, but refused to fall asleep with a murderer in the room. Finally, Mac asked her to get ice just to get her out of the room.
Once she was out, Alex locked the door, leaving her out for a few hours. When he did open the door again after the pounding had stopped, he saw she was sound asleep on the pavement. He sighed, then picked her up. After he laid her on the bed, Krycek sat back down on the other bed with the two men.
Victor yawned, tired from the day's events. He was used to being on the run, but he was getting a bit too old to work like this. It was then they realized the older sleeping arrangements wouldn't work.
None of the men were willing to sleep in the same bed as Dana Scully, and they were afraid that if they woke her up she'd continue to glare at them as if they were vultures.
The front desk said they didn't have a rollout available or anything of that sort, since they had overbooked and they had had many other requests for extra things that night.
"I'm *not* going to sleep in the same bed as him!" Mac declared, motioning in Vic's general direction.
"Good! I'm taking the sofa, remember?" Vic arched a brow.
"Well, then the guy that looks like you, can sleep with you," Mac said, smiling as he sat down on his bed.
Alex sat silently on the floor, enjoying this. The two men acted a lot like little children, but they were fun to watch.
"Wha? Noooo!" Vic waved his hands around wildly. "The bed has more room than the sofa."
"But... He's probably in your family, not mine. You can even take the bed!" Mac offered magnanomously.
Finally, Alex spoke up. "I sleep alone, I'll take the sofa. You two take the bed."
Vic and Mac exchanged looks and both cringed.
Vic's double chuckled and shook his head. "Too bad." He hopped down on the sofa, pulling the one blanket over him and looking over at the two men for a reaction. It would be worth sleeping on the sofa for.
The older man slowly turned to face Mac, a disgusted look upon his face. "You can't do this to me, Alex! I refuse to sleep within two yards of... of... *him*!"
Mac glared at him for a moment. "You're no winner yourself, Vicee."
"At least I don't smell like I took a bath with perfume," Victor growled.
Mac frowned, then grinned and batted his eyelashes. "Ah, Vic! You noticed! Tell me, do you like this scent?"
The other man in the room burst out laughing, shaking his head. "You two are either incredibly funny, or just pathetic!"
"Shut up," the other two said in unison.
After a while, they gave up and agreed to sleep in the same bed. Or more, they were too tired to argue anymore.
Vic slid into the bed, grumbling softly. He shut his eyes, very thankful he had gotten the shower first.
The sound of water hitting porcelain lulled him almost to sleep. When the younger man came out and sank into the bed, Vic didn't even notice.
Or he didn't until he felt skin brushing up against his thigh. He was still in a half sleep, and in his mind he was somewhere off with Li Ann. He felt a foot gently rub his leg and he smiled wider. "Mmm... Li-"
Li Ann wasn't a cuddler, she never had been. And her foot wasn't that big, now that he thought about it. Vic jerked into a sitting position, awakening Mac who had been sleeping soundly.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Vic hissed.
The younger man arched a brow. "Nothing. What the hell is wrong with *you*?"
Vic sighed and shook his head. Perhaps Mac had been dreaming of Li Ann also.
As Mac looked over him, Vic almost thought he saw something in the younger man's eyes... Nah. "Relax, Vic," he yawned. "There aren't any monsters under the bed." He laid back down and shut his eyes.
The older man shot him a glare and also laid back. "Shut up, Mac." But the other man was asleep again.
Author's Notes: I sounded a bit desperate the other day, likely due to stress. Either way, thanks to Megan for forcing me to get over my writer's block a few months back, Sue for the beta-read, and Annie for keeping me in a good mood.
Scully was the first to wake up the next morning, well rested but still sporting the dark circles she'd had under her eyes for the past four years. Chasing around after little green men didn't leave that much time for rest.
Sometimes, she almost thought she loved Mulder. That had to be why she was so willing to follow him into the fire, blindly, with no one to hold her hand. But then again, she thought that perhaps it was just because she knew he was the only one that hadn't turned their back on her at least once. He was her only true friend.
Wrapping her arms around herself, she crawled out from under the comfort and warmth of the covers, shivering at the sudden loss of heat. She then headed for the bathroom to take a shower.
Her thoughts went back to her partner, wherever he was now.
Mulder had always been there for her, yes, but sometimes he was too much. He could be clingy, so much so that she wanted to scream and kick and call him a *baby*.
When she cried, or felt awful, he somehow managed to make it look as though he was the victim. Her partner *was* a baby, wanting attention. Maybe he hadn't always been there for her, perhaps it had been the other way around.
She slid her clothes off once the door was shut and sighed. Mulder had ditched her countless times, often not telling her where he was going. He had slept, or tried to at least, around with a lot more people than she had.
There had been that Bambi girl, the Detective White, Diana, and she was sure there were many many more.
For her, the list was much shorter. Ed Jerse, almost Eddie Blundht with an 'h', and that was really it. There had been a few more almost's, but nothing really serious. And she'd known Ed was a mistake when she'd met him, but she had needed some human contact that evening, and she had gotten it.
Scully turned on the water and slid into the shower. She pulled the curtain closed, and then turned on the water.
The instant the cold water hit her, she yelped, and quickly adjusted the temperature. Smiling, she shut her eyes, letting the hot water hit her back.
She washed off quickly, then stepped out of the shower and grabbed a bathrobe.
Opening the door, she stepped out tying the robe. She bumped into Alex Krycek, who let out a soft yelp.
Scully growled, reaching for her gun. It was, of course, in the pillow on her bed. She sighed and shot him a glare.
"If we're gunna be roomies-" he started.
"We're not gunna be roomies, friends, partners, or anything to that extent."
Alex nodded slowly, then grinned. "And what about bed-mates?" That got him a glare and another growl, followed by a slap. "Or ... not."
Mac woke up around ten, then got dressed and brushed his teeth. When he stepped out of the bathroom he saw Vic again and smiled, then quickly shook the smile off. He hated the man...
He shook his head and slid on a shirt, then black slacks, and zipped them up. Taking a seat in a chair, he turned on the television and began flipping around on the nine channels until he found a news station that would come in.
With a sigh and a quick look around the room, Mac came to one conclusion: he was bored. Bored bored bored boredboredboredbored. He hadn't even been up for more than a few minutes, but his man's attention span had never been up to much.
He sighed again, trying to decide who was after him, and why. He couldn't think of anyone he'd ticked off - not recently at least. On their last case, he and Victor had been shot at by a group of circus freaks who had actually been escaped-convict killers, but they were all behind bars, and so was their leader.
He had been worried when he realized they were going to shoot, and though Victor had never known it, he was more worried about the older man than himself. He was younger and could take care of himself.
Victor on the other hand was getting old. In a few years he would probably have to retire, and the younger man might almost be sorry to see him go. Vic was reliable in a fight, he just wasn't as fast as he had been.
He'd be damned if he let Vic know it, but he did like the older man. Not sexually, or it hadn't been that way a few months ago, but just a friend. The entire time Mac had known Vic, he had always teased the older man about everything in every way he thought possible.
However, lately, the teasing had become a bit more ... playful, for lack of a better word. He could tell by the way Vic flushed, he was enjoying the teasing. Or at least some part of him was.
A knowing smile appeared at Mac's features, and he chuckled softly, imaging the older man in the shower jerking off, thinking of him. It was nearly impossible to imagine, seeing as the ex-cop just had to be straight.
And even if he wasn't, Mac was. Sure, he liked to tease men, sometimes he enjoyed experimenting and playing around with them, but never anything like he had done with women. It was all sex, no real seduction, just ... sex.
He shook his head, making the thoughts disappear, for now at least. He had a job to do, or ... he thought he did. His 'mission' right now was to stay alive, and keep Vic alive also.
A few minutes later, Victor Mansfield woke up to the sound of several people talking. He rolled onto his stomach, throwing a pillow over his head and hoping that whoever it was would go away.
But the voices continued, and Vic realized the sounds weren't from real people, it was the television. With a sigh, he moved the pillow and sat up to come face to face with his partner, who's eyes were wide.
The older man let out a yelp and jumped back, surprised. "Jesus Christ Mac, did you *have* to do that??"
Mac smiled and shook his head no. "No, but I wanted to." He brightened. The other man sighed and shook his head, grumbling what a child his friend was, if you could call him a friend.
"It's eleven... I'm hungry," Mac declared after a moment of uncomfortable silence.
Victor looked him over, brow arched. "So go get some food, Mac..."
The ex-thief shook his head no. "I was ordered by General Scully," he smiled at that, "not to let you out of my sight. Or I'd be ... burnt at the steak and she'd make sure each of my organs was taken out very slowly, then fed to some cannibals."
"Oh... Well, go! Now!"
Mac shot him a glare and grabbed his arm, pulling him towards the door quickly. "I wanna eat, old man, and you're coming with me, Vickee!"
"Fine... But Mac?"
He turned to look at Vic. "What?"
"Can I get dressed?"
A little while later they sat in the restaurant downstairs. This hotel had a much nicer club than the one before. Long tables with red cloths draped over them were scattered across the dark wood floor. To the far right there was a stage, set up for a band playing that evening.
Though the stage was empty now, a banner hung limply above it, advertising some local river band. A darker blue cloth was placed on the table closest to the stage, with a small reserved sign on it. The lighting was dim, and it was supposed to create a romantic 'glow'. However, they had the bar lit up like a Christmas tree.
The smell of the room was intoxicating, due to the heavy amount of perfume. Almost the instant the two men had entered they had wrinkled their noses and had to fight hard not to cough or sneeze.
Mac sighed, taking a sip of his coffee and wondering if Vic planned on staying silent. He had tried to make small talk, but his partner refused to answer in more than a yes, no, or shrug.
Finally, Vic did speak up. "Why are we here, Mac?"
The younger man looked over at him, arching a brow. "What do you mean, old man?" The nickname had always bothered Vic, which was why Mac used it.
"Well, I mean... Why are we here, instead of at our apartments?"
Mac stared at him blankly. "Vic... We were shot at...."
The older man rolled his eyes and sighed. "Really? I knew that, Mac, but that happens almost *every* day. What's so important about this time?"
Vic had a point, Mac realized. He sighed and tapped his fingers, thinking. "Vic, shut up and don't think so much. We're getting a free vacation. No Director, room service, we can do whatever we want without knowing we're gunna get killed later for not doing our job."
The older man nodded, a little, not sure if he agreed or not. His eyes scanned the room, wondering if their 'friends' in black had followed them here. He didn't spot anyone looking out of the ordinary, but he did get a few glares. Vic just wasn't cut out to be a good spy.
Mac also scanned the room, but for different reasons. He spotted a woman in tight black pants and a tube top, then grinned and got up. "Watch and learn from the Master."
"Of what?" Vic asked, looking at him curiously.
Mac Ramsey ignored his partner's remark, and walked over to the girl, giving her a sly smile. "Can I buy you some coffee, or something?"
The girl, Tracy, looked him over and sighed. "I..." Then she smiled. "Sure." She shot a look around the room, thankful the man had finally noticed her. One more minute in that God awful shirt would have killed her.
She let him pay for her coffee, then took a sip, doing her best to give him a run for his money.
As eleven o'clock rolled around, right on the dot, music began to play overhead. The restaurant would be closed now for two hours, leaving only those who wanted to dance.
Vic didn't move from his table, and he didn't notice the two men coming up behind him. And neither did Mac.
"So, where are you from?" Mac asked, settling down on one of the bar stools and smiling at the girl, Tracy, as she had called herself.
She smiled at him, crossing her legs and taking one more sip of the hot coffee. "I'm from California, actually. What about you?" she asked, flashing him a wide grin.
Mac smiled and nodded. "I live in Vancouver, though I travel fairly often."
She nodded also, then stood up. "Well, it was really nice to meet you, Mr. ?"
"Ramsey," he replied, also standing. "Mac Ramsey. I'm in room 304 if you ever wanna talk." He held out his hand, which she shook.
"It was nice talking to you, Mr. Mac Ramsey." She waved to him and walked off, disappearing into a small crowd of people dancing.
He watched her and sighed, then looked around to where Vic had gone. He frowned, noting that the older man was no longer at the table. Oh well, he probably just went to the bathroom.
Mac went and sat down at the table, looking around and waiting for Vic to come back. When twenty minutes passed and there was still no sign of Vic, Mac began to worry.
Standing and surveying the room, he still didn't spot Victor, not even in the new crowd at the bar. He walked towards the exit, wondering if his partner had gone up the room, since he had complained about still being tired.
Mac paid the bill for the coffees, then headed to the elevator. He got on, along with about ten other people, and waited until the elevator stopped at his floor. When he got inside the hotel room, he frowned at the sight before him.
The room had been destroyed. Clothes were scattered everywhere, the television lay in two pieces, and the furniture was all misplaced. The lamp had been smashed against the wall, and papers were thrown about, turning the floor into a sea of white.
He sighed and looked in the bathroom, which wasn't that much better. The mirror had broken and the glass fragments lay on the floor. He wondered where his three companions were, but as he began to pick up the glass, he found a note that had been taped to the mirror, before it had broken.
Alex had gone the hotel's real bar, and dragged Agent Scully along for the fun of it. He sighed and threw it in the trash along with the glass, glaring at the few small cuts he now had on his hands.
Where could Vic be? He had a sinking suspicion he really didn't want to know.
Alex sighed and sat on the bed in the hotel, back from breakfast downstairs. He had run into the two men, Mac and Vic, on his way up. They had been bickering, as it seemed they always were.
He stared at the TV, wondering what he was watching. It had been years since he'd been interested enough in a show to watch more than five minutes of it. The news, or some shoot-'em-up movie was about all that could catch his attention these days.
Dana Scully came into the room, back from her walk. She shot a glare in Krycek's direction and headed towards the bathroom, grabbing new clothes to change into.
Alex watched her, smiling. Her reactions to him had always amused him, as did most other's reactions. They all seemed to believe that he was some sort of a monster, and that if they didn't glare or snarl at him every five seconds, he would gobble them up.
She came out of the bathroom a bit later, in a white blouse and jeans, something he'd never seen her wearing before. "I think the world is coming to an end," Krycek grumbled as he looked over her attire.
She snickered softly and headed for the other bed, sitting down on it and pulling a book from a drawer in the dresser. She put on her glasses and leaned back, trying to ignore his intense stare.
Finally, she couldn't stand it and longer. With a glance towards him, she noted the blank stare he was giving her. He had a poker face on, as usual, but yet he still looked smug. "*What*?"
He shook his head and looked away. "Nothing ... I just think you'd ... Nevermind."
That got him one more glare, which he was growing accustomed to. "Krycek, just shut up and let me read." She turned on the lamp near the bed and went back to her book.
It didn't take long for Krycek to get bored with watching her, and he got up off the bed. He began to pace, turning the television off and on.
Scully looked up at him, growling quietly. "Sit down or get out. I can't concentrate when you do that."
Alex nodded slowly, then grabbed his gun, sliding it into his holster. He slid on his leather jacket, looking over at her and suddenly grinning. "Come with me."
She arched a brow. "What? Nooo. I'm not going *anywhere* with you."
"You can make sure I don't shoot up any civilians?" he suggested.
She rolled her eyes, sighing. "Krycek, get lost." But he didn't listen, and somehow, she had expected this from him. Instead, he grabbed her arm and jerked her off the bed, pushing her out the door and to the elevator.
She struggled, yelling at him to let go of her arm. "I don't wanna go, you son of a bitch! I was reading a book, I was happy."
"I'm sure you were," he replied dully as he pinned her to the wall of the elevator and smiled. "But you'll be happier with me." He rubbed seductively against her, until she pushed him away.
"Get away from me!" she screeched.
Alex laughed softly and pushed the button for the bottom floor. "All in good time, Ms. Scully."
Scully growled, taking a step away from him. She then moved back and took a swing at him, just as the doors opened. Alex ducked, grabbing her wrist and squeezing. "I told you not to that again."
Her little legs kicked up at him, but it was easy enough for him to keep out of her range and block the blows that might have hit him. He smiled, looking like he had just been handed a million bucks. "You're going to regret that, Ms. Scully, in more ways than one."
He placed a hand on her stomach, moving it down slowly. She sucked in a deep breath, still trying to struggle away from him. Just as she thought she might actually have a chance to hit him, the doors opened and Alex jumped away.
"God damn you!" she snarled, moving quickly towards him.
Alex ignored her, and snatched her arm, pulling her in the direction of the bar. "What? You wanted me to continue?"
She shook her head no quickly, tugging at his arm in the hopes that he'd let her go back to the room. It was useless though, and she gave up after only a short moment.
He led her to a room with soft music playing overhead. The bar took up at least half of the area of the room, although few people were gathered in the room.
She looked around, and sighed softly. "I really don't want to be here, can't I just go?"
Before Alex could answer her, Mac hurried into the room, looking out of breath. "Vic's gone."
Author's Notes: Thanks to Sue for the beta and Megan for putting up with my rants about Kindred. This was gets a little weird, and if you haven't seen Kindred, I'll explain the show as I go along. For those who have: I've given Cash way too much credit, but it's hard not to.
Vic awoke with a pounding headache, his body pressed between crates and a hard wall. He groaned softly and tried to sit up, but it proved to be a mistake.
Quickly, he jerked back down, hitting his head on the concrete floor. He let out a soft grunt and was about to reach behind him to rub his head when he was greeted by a low silky voice that made him shiver.
"Welcome back to the living, Mr. Mansfield."
Vic sat up, slowly this time, and realized his hands and legs were cuffed to the ground. He looked up towards where the voice had come from, but saw nothing. Not being able to see his captor, he decided that simply not moving might be the best plan.
"What do you want with me?" he asked, moving his arms slightly to test the resistance of the cuffs. However, they appeared almost to be cemented into the floor, and they were sure as hell not loose enough to slip off, not if he wanted to leave all fingers intact anyway.
A man in a navy shirt and black leather pants stepped out of the dark, eyes gleaming with mischief. "That's for me to know ... and you to not question me about." With that, he turned around and disappeared back into the darkness, leaving Victor alone with his headache.
Victor watched him disappear, and cursed himself softly. Maybe Mac would find him ... or maybe even Alex.
Mac sat on the bed in the torn-apart hotel room, staring at a spot on the wall as he had been for the past hour. He needed to think: who might have taken Victor? There were so many possibilities.
The Tangs, remembering him and wanting revenge upon Mac for destroying the family. Any of the criminals they'd busted over the past two years or so, and then even the Agency if they wanted Vic gone.
Finally, he stood up, and began to look around the room for anything out of place. They wouldn't have taken Victor without some sort of reasoning, and he could only hope that the reasoning involved a note left behind, some sort of a hint.
He began to pace, ignoring the glares from the irritated Krycek. They had searched every inch of the hotel, and then split up to search the areas around the hotel. It had been five hours, and still nothing.
Mac worried about where on earth his partner might be, and if he might even be dead. In five hours, almost anything could have happened. Vic could have been on some plane, flying overseas...
"He could be hurt," Mac mumbled, to no one in particular.
Alex looked up at him curiously, slight smile playing at his features. "And why do you care? I thought he was just a thorn in your side."
Mac had to think on that one, trying to decide on how to answer. Maybe he wanted Vic found because he had feelings for the old man, or possibly he just liked Vic's company. Either way, that wasn't the point, so he just shrugged. "He's my partner; we still watch each other's backs."
Alex nodded. "So that's why you were staring at some woman's chest while he was abducted."
The ex-thief sighed and sank back onto the bed, now looking as irritated as Alex felt. "Just shut up Alex, we just need to find him. Maybe they left a note since they went to all the trouble of destroying the room..."
Alex nodded again. "It doesn't make any sense, really. They would have messed up the room at the same time Victor was taken, meaning there was more than one of them. But even an idiot would know a 30-something year old wouldn't be able to fit into a dresser drawer, so they had to be looking for something. Unless they just wanted to rattle you up..."
Mac paused for a long moment, then agreed, ignoring the last part. "True, but what?"
As if on cue, Ms. Scully stepped into the room, holding up an envelope with Vic's name written in block letters on it. There appeared to be no return address, and whatever was inside didn't look to be very thick.
The younger man snatched the envelope from her and tore it open, pulling out a key from its contents. "Amazing, it's a key."
Alex rolled his eyes slightly. "Really? Gee, you're so smart, Mac. Now, wanna tell us what it's a key to?"
Mac shrugged, looking it over for the name of a hotel or an address. Finally, he found a symbol, barely visible on the left side. He showed it to the other two in the hopes that they might recognize it. Alex only shook his head, but Scully nodded.
"It belongs to some Cultist Group that usually tend to slaughter cows."
Mac grinned. "We're not in Oklahoma or anything, so finding one local farmer, and only one, shouldn't be that hard."
Alex sat in the front seat of the small foreign car, grumbling softly. He'd pushed the chair back as far as it would go, but he still had to sit in an awkward position for his feet to fit.
Dana Scully sat beside him, arms crossed with her evil 'don't-mess-with-me' glare plastered across her features. Sometimes, Alex thought she had been born with that expression on her face, a negative demeanor for all times.
"What the hell is taking so long?" he grumbled, staring out the window into the darkness. The only lights were from a small home's porch lights and a few street lamps. He glanced at the house Mac had gone into, and shook his head. The ex-thief shouldn't have been taking this long.
"This isn't right," he said, trying to remember why they were even here. He almost knew that this had to have been a set up, but every time he had tried to protest, Mac had interrupted him and he hadn't ever been able to finish the thought.
Dana shook her head no. "Of course not, they wouldn't just send us to him. There's probably someone in there right now beating Mac to a pulp, or sending him to join his partner. It'd serve him right, too."
Alex rolled his eyes. "Actually, if that's what's hap-You know, you really should go and check on them." There was no hint of emotion, a smile, or anything in his voice or expression, which made Scully wonder if he was kidding or honestly telling her to go and check on the younger man.
There was the sound of a loud crash from the house, and Alex grabbed his gun, ready to bolt if he heard anything else, but after the noise faded, it became eerily silent again.
After a few more moments of total silence, Dana let out the breath she didn't realize she had been holding. "What the hell was that?" she hissed at Alex, whispering.
He gave her an odd stare and shrugged. "You can go ch-Look, you see the van pulling out of the drive?"
She nodded slowly. "A little hard to miss, Krycek. Think we should follow it?"
Not answering, he started the car, thanking Mac silently for providing an older vehicle. Although he had no room whatsoever, at least the headlights didn't stay on 24/7.
He moved closer to the window, trying to watch the van and the road at the same time without the use of lights. It wasn't as easy as he'd hoped, but he managed.
Alex made a mental note that the van seemed to stay clear of every highway and possible busy street. However, at this hour, even in Toronto, there was not likely to be much of anyone out on the streets. It was too late to be going shopping or working, and the drunks and club-hoppers were usually only to be seen at the night's high peak.
They tailed the van for nearly an hour, thinking they'd been spotted at least a dozen times. But each time, nothing happened. No high thrill speed chase, and no fast cuts. Just a clean, slow ride in the dark. Alex wondered again if maybe they were going so slowly because they *had* been spotted.
His mind was still pondering on the question when the van pulled into a driveway, and Alex kept going straight on. He caught sight of the address, and repeated it to Dana, who filed it away in her memory.
They circled the neighborhood, staying out of the line of sight of the house for about twenty minutes, before parking two blocks off. Then they climbed out and began to walk in the direction of the house.
Dana shivered, pulling her jacket closer to her body. The cold wind whipped at them, sounding like the long howl of a wolf. She shivered again, unconsciously moving closer to Krycek for warmth. When she realized what she was doing, she didn't entirely care, mostly because they'd reached their destination.
From their hidden spot in the bushes, Alex could see a fire going on inside a barn, and three rather large men dragging along a body. His eyes scanned over it and confirmed that it was Mac's body. But was Vic's near by?
"That's him," Alex whispered, searching for a way in without being noticed. If they waited too long, they might leave again, or possibly kill Mac
"We've gotta move fast," he murmured, still watching the figures closely. They stripped Mac, and put new clothes on him, then began to drag him out of the barn and towards what appeared to be a storage house, possibly a warehouse.
"Think Vic's in there?" Dana asked, straining to hear most of what Krycek was saying. "Can't we just make our move, already?"
He flashed her his teeth and a snarl, which made her back up. "We'd just get caught and taken to wherever it is Mac is off to. So you just sit tight."
She rolled her eyes, but obeyed. She shivered there in the cold, watching for any more sign of movement, but nothing happened. The fire went out in the barn, leaving it almost pitch black.
Alex cursed softly, then got up and grabbed Scully's arm. He began to tug her in the direction of the storage house, hoping there would be a light above the entrance, but it was in vain.
Scully smiled smugly, although Alex couldn't see it. "What's the matter, Alex? Can't find your way in?" she hissed, laughing silently. "You can't even find a door?"
"Oh, and what are you doing to help?" He kept on feeling along the wall, and no sooner were the words out of his mouth than he did find the door. Grinning, he slowly turned the knob and stepped inside, grabbing her arm again and pulling her along inside with him.
Once he had quietly shut the door behind him, the lights flicked on, and they were greeted by about 10 rather large goons.
"Somehow," Alex sighed, "I don't think this was supposed to happen."
Mac opened his eyes and moved slightly, noticing two bright green eyes staring intently at him. He smiled slightly, figuring he was dreaming, and knowing exactly who those green eyes belonged to. "Well, hello."
The eyes looked away, and Mac finally got a chance to look around the room. This wasn't like his normal dreams; he had never been turned on by pain. He tried to move his arm up, and cursed softly when he realized he couldn't.
"Vic? Where are we?" Once again he focused his attention on Victor, arching a brow. "And why?"
As if on cue, the man from earlier, with the black leather pants came into the room. He looked over the two, and smirked. He shielded his eyes from the bright lights above, and reached over to turn them down. With that done, he made his way into their line of view.
"Glad you're both awake, now." He grinned widely, and Mac thought he saw a flash of something, possibly silver, on the teeth.
The ex-thief nodded. "Oh yes, I am too. I live for being cuffed down to the floor." He pulled at the cuffs, wrists already sore. "What the hell are we here for?"
The man, Parnell, licked his lips, grinning wider. "You are going to work for me, along with that *gorgeous* man that looks like you," he replied, motioning his head towards Vic. "As for the girl, well, I think she'll make a wonderful asset to my collection."
Mac cringed, trying to wipe the images that provokes out of his head. "Lovely," he mumbled.
Parnell moved closer to them both, and it was now that Mac realized what the silver was. Their captor apparently had fangs.
"Go left!" hissed a voice from above Alex, and he looked up. He'd been sitting there alone for what felt like hours, watching Dana. They hadn't bothered to knock him out, but she had struggled. Years of being a double agent taught a man how to act unconscious.
"It's right!" snapped a female voice, from around the same area as the other voice had come from a moment before. Alex arched a brow, looking around for the source. Finally, he spotted a vent, being opened slightly.
A head with long and curly brown hair poked out of the vent once it had fallen to the ground. She looked at him for a moment, pursed her lips, and then climbed out onto the hard wood floor.
The girl, who looked no older than 22, was wearing bright red lipstick and a killer outfit. She moved away from the vent so her partner could get out. Her partner, Cash, was about 5'9" with gel spiked blond hair.
Cash shook his head slightly and shot a glare at the girl. "I told you it was left, Sasha." The girl snarled softly, shooting him an annoyed look.
Alex sighed softly and cleared his throat, reminding the two that he was there. He doubted that they would be of much harm, judging from the fact that they had snuck in through the vent system. But, you could never be too careful.
The man looked at him, and grinned. "Oh, uh, hi. I'm..." he paused for a moment, and the girl rolled her eyes, looking somewhat amused though.
"He's Cash, I'm Sasha. We're here to spring you."
There was a groan from Dana, but Alex paid it no heed. Instead, he only nodded. "And, uh, why?"
Sasha smirked slightly, and Cash suddenly looked worried. "Uncle Julian said to, so we're doing it. Just to prove we can." Cash opened his mouth to say something more, but Sasha cut him off once more. "You cuffed down?"
Alex nodded and tugged slightly at the cuffs, not wishing to get his wrists all bloody for no reason. Sasha nodded and turned away from him, then she and her partner stared at each other for a long moment. When the girl turned around, her eyes glowed a bright green, and claws appeared on both hands.
She moved closer, slowly, and raised her hand. Alex shut his eyes, expecting her to slash him, but instead, she slashed the cuffs. When he raised his hands, there was nothing on them. He laughed softly, and motioned to Dana. "Don't forget her."
Sasha nodded slightly and slashed the cuffs off of Dana also. Then, with Cash's help, Alex picked up her body and began to walk towards the door. Sasha went in another direction, heading towards Parnell and the two agents. While Alex and Cash took Dana out to the car, Sasha mumbled to herself as she continued to walk.
"I better actually get paid in cash this time."
Mac watched in horror as his partner was knocked out with a single blow to the head. Vic's head jerked back against the hard wall, then everything went black for him.
The ex-thief looked at his captor nervously, still only guessing at their fate. Before he even tried to speak, Parnell had silenced him with a slap. He leaned Victor's neck back, looking at Mac with an evil glint in his eyes. "Shall I kill him first?"
"What?" The question, though it had been rolling over and over in his mind for what seemed like hours, still managed to catch him off guard. "No!" he quickly shouted, once he realized what their tormentor was asking him.
"No? Why not?"
"Because, uh..." Once more, the young man was at a loss for words. However, this time, there was a very good reason. Approaching slowly and very silently behind Parnell was a young girl with curly black hair pushed back behind her face, and carrying a knife.
It wasn't the average Swiss army knife that most women might carry around for protection against the horrors they'd so often heard of in the news and in books. No, this was more like a hunting knife. Its only uses were for skinning an animal and killing.
Parnell never took his eyes off of Mac, but looked strangely smug. Just as the girl swung the knife at where he had stood, he ducked. The silence of the room was filled only with the swishing noise the knife made as it missed its target.
The pretty woman cursed softly and, before Mac knew what was happening, the two were punching and kicking at each other. The last thing he heard before he blacked out, just as his partner had, was a scream.
When Victor opened his eyes, he found himself staring up at four intense eyes. He recognized one pair instantly as that of his partner, Mac Ramsey. The other pair, however, he could not place.
Slowly, he sat up, noticing that he was now in a bed and his wrists were not bound to the floor. As he looked over the owner of the second pair of eyes, he found himself smiling.
Whoever the man was, he had a nice build. He had a well-toned body with a bit of muscle on him. The hair was short and spiked, giving him an 'I still wanna be 20' look. The bright blue eyes stared back at him intensely, seeming to scan him over for bruises. Black leather was obviously the man's preference, as everything he wore was made of the material.
"How are you feeling?" His voice was like silk, it passed through the air with such a grace and beauty that Victor was almost afraid to speak, afraid his own voice would sound inferior in comparison.
So, Vic only nodded weakly.
Cash sighed and shook his head slightly. Either the man sitting beside him had no voice, or he had some major insecurity issues. Oh well, he'd make him forget about them all soon enough.
Mac smirked and shook his head, then turned his attention to the woman Vic had yet to notice. "How long before we actually get somewhere we can consider safe?"
The girl never turned around to face him, she just merely shrugged. "Who knows? We've got Sabbat on our trail by now. Possibly not for weeks."
The ex-thief pursed his lips together, brows knitted together in confusion. "Uh... What?" A soft giggle came from the girl, Sasha, and she waved him off.
In the meantime, Dana lay in the passenger's seat of the front, still sound asleep. She had barely moved, and if Alex hadn't known better, he might have suspected she were dead. Only the slight movement of her chest going up and down proved she was still living.
He glanced at the other passengers of the van and cringed. Cash was trying to get Victor to talk, who looked both in lust and in shock at the same time. A bemused grin flickered across his face for no longer than a few seconds, and he shook his head.
Mac, on the other hand, was content to sit in silence much as Alex was doing. The young beauty driving the van had barely spoken since he'd first seen her, but he decided not to hold that fact against her. In fact, he was rather thankful for it, although the silence filling the van left too much time for thinking, it was a nice change to the busy and loud city streets he was used to taking shelter in.
Letting his eyes slip closed, Alex wondered just how long it would be before he saw a real bed, with a decent mattress that didn't have insects using it as a home. Come to think of it, he could barely remember a time in the past when he'd had such a luxury before the past week. By now, sleep was barely a necessity. He didn't have the time, being on the run. Hard cement grounds had provided a decent enough bed in the past, and he assumed they would in the future. That was, if he lived that long.
Cash kept staring at Victor, now wondering if the other man could speak. He ran a finger through his bleached spikes as he licked his lips, already feeling the beginning tremors of the Hunger. The noise was little more than a soft buzz at the moment, but it was bound to become worse as time went by.
Taking in the fellow travelers, he doubted any of them would do. He needed a stranger or someone he could trust, not someone in between. No, he'd go hunting as soon as they had comfortable accommodations. Hopefully the guests wouldn't notice his absence too much.
The rough voice from his new companion startled him, as it was the first time he had heard the ex-cop speak. "Who was that man, that had us?"
Cash stiffened slightly, not really wanting to answer that question truthfully. For even if he did, they'd never believe him. Not yet, anyway. "Parnell. He's... just bad news, really. He's on one side of a silent war, my employer is on the other."
"Oh?" This caught Vic's attention, and for the first time that night he wondered if the two were more than they seemed.
Cash nodded. "I'm a bodyguard for Julian Loona, perhaps you've heard of him?"
Vic gulped softly, now almost certain that these two were more than met the eye. He'd heard the stories of Julian Loona, who owned nearly half of San Francisco. More than 20 successful businesses, but no one was able to trace the money he had for keeping these places open. He had to have outside help, but the question had always been if it was legal help. There are at least 12 deaths Victor knew of that could somehow be linked to Julian, or at least one of his corporations.
Whether he was a murderer or not, he was still a very powerful man, and someone Victor hoped to stay clear of. Now, though, that left another question to be asked. Why would the bodyguard of a powerful man be helping them out? Perhaps on the Director's orders? However, he left this question to himself.
Cash continued staring at him, more intently now, with the words just on the tip of the other man's tongue. He knew exactly what this man was thinking, and with little effort he had peeked into every crevice of his mind. By the time one reached Cash's age, it was more easily to do so unnoticed.
Once more, the man licked his lips. He wanted the blood so badly now, but for some reason he found himself feeling something for Victor also. Not knowing yet if it was just his blood, or perhaps a weak lust for the man's old fashioned ways and knowing eyes. He loved the old fashioned ways, and missed them deeply.
Sasha had no way to regret or miss the olden days, as she was still a young fledgling. His own Sire had had a few years to train him, while hers had taken barely more than two hours. The Brujah were cruel, but nowhere near the Sabbat's level of cruelity. Even with their differences, the two clans often had to come together for the good of the Camarilla. With the Sabbat growing stronger every day, and more and more of them leaking into their cities, there was little time for pointless argument between clans.
He spent much of his time alone thinking of the old days past, wishing for their return. He remembered the clothes he had grown up in, and noticed lately that they seemed to be coming back into fashion. He wasn't very old compared to many of the other Primigan, but he knew enough to survive in this new world.
Times change, he thought bitterly. Not always for the best, either. But then, the present was a better time than when Caine had first brought the curse along to his childe.
As the van rode deep into the darkness, Cash fell asleep, with the thoughts of what was to come. Thoughts of sweet blood to bounce on his taste buds, from the man seated beside him. His thoughts in slumber were of none other than Victor Mansfield.
End Of Part Three