Fade Chapter Thirty-two

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Based on an original series and alternate future by Sonny & Ais called In the Company of Shadows.

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Slash (M/M), het (M/F) and graphic language, violence and sexual situations. Not intended for anyone under 18!


Book One: Evenfall See Evenfall chapter list.

Book Two: Afterimage
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Fade Chapter 32

Uploaded on 9/26/2012

An hour later, Tech was chain-smoking with trembling hands as she watched Sin prowl cagily around her small apartment. They watched his agitation and impatience rise steadily before Emilio finally broke the tense silence.

"Call the bitch back."

Tech shook her head silently.

Emilio stood from his sprawl in the flimsy director's chair next to the television, and crossed the room. He pulled his gun out and brushed it against her mouth, tugging her lower lip down when she released a startled gasp.

"Call her back, or I'll kill you and go round her up myself. It'll make shit a lot messier, but at this point I'm sick of you and all of your stupid little friends. I figure it's only fair if one of you dies."

"What? No! Please, I--" Her dark brows drew together, and she pressed the back of her head against the sofa to get away from the gun. She swallowed, and narrowed her eyes at him. "She'll just take longer if I rush her. That's how she is."

"Sounds like a real bitch." Emilio dragged the gun down the side of her face, smirking when her slender body tensed up. "And why is it y'all hang out with her again?"

"Free Pandora," Sin said shortly.

"Ahhhh, now it makes sense. That why you couldn't remember shit about that night? Too fucked up?"

Tech's lips tightened as the gun slid down the side of her neck. "Maybe."

"Mmm." Emilio raised an eyebrow, and tipped the gun against the collar of her tank top. He tugged it down slightly. "Got any now? Could make waitin' a lot more interesting."

Sin's jaw clenched. "Stop."

Emilio tsked, and backed up a step although his eyes didn't leave hers. "Don't worry your pretty little head, sweetheart. I'm not into the non-consensual stuff. But you better hope she gets here soon, because I'm seriously out of fucking patience."

Tech looked over at Sin, but he just stared back indifferently. A flash of anger crossed her face. "What the hell is wrong with you? Were you putting on some really goddamn elaborate act all of this time, and you're actually a psychotic toon?"

Sin turned to the window. "Something like that."

"So, what? You just fucking stand there and let this guy put a gun in my face? What if it was Kayla or Roz-- would you let him torment them, too?"

Emilio scoffed. "If you think this is torment, you haven't seen shit."

She ignored him, and remained focused on Sin. "Well?"

"You should be more worried about what I'll do to every single one of you that ran your mouth if this goes bad." Sin inhaled slowly, and stared down at the front of the building. "You, Roz, Taz... And anyone else that wasn't smart enough to not name me as the only witness in a murder investigation. As far as I'm concerned, all of you are responsible."

Tech flinched at the words and finally dropped her eyes.

A tiny, red sports car pulled up outside of the building, and Sin glanced at Emilio. "She's here."

"Good." Emilio gave Sin a sidelong stare. "And don't bitch out on me. We need to get back. There's no time to play nice."

They stared at each other until Sin inclined his head in agreement. He could hear the click of Edie's stilettos approaching moments later, but her hand barely grazed the door before Emilio jerked it open.

Edie stared at him with irritated confusion.


Emilio jerked her inside, kicked the door shut, and then shoved her across the room. She cried out as she tripped over the crate that was doubling as a coffee table, and fell on top of Tech.

Edie scrambled to an upright position, and looked at Emilio furiously. "Who the hell do you think you are?" she snarled. Her eyes opened wider when she finally seemed to realize that there was someone else in the room but instead of appearing surprised, she just glared at Sin.

"And where the hell did you crawl back fro--"

The feel of the gun pressing against the side of her head silenced Edie, and she froze.

"Shut the fuck up. You're giving me a headache already." Emilio sat on the crate in front of the two women, and leaned forward. "Let's cut the shit, kitten. I know your daddy finances Janus, and I know you've been entertaining the motherfuckers for the past two summers when they come to town."

Edie stared at him for a moment before swinging her glare to Tech. Without a moment's hesitation, she reared her hand back and smacked the smaller woman across the face hard enough to leave a red mark the shape of her hand.

Emilio burst out laughing and Sin watched with growing impatience as Tech instantly retaliated. Instead of a smack, she busted Edie's lip open on her fist.

"You stupid bitch!" Edie shouted. She attempted to lunge again, but Emilio caught her by a handful of hair and yanked her back. Still laughing, he hauled her up and shoved her into the director's chair.

"As much as I love a good bitch-fight, let's focus this shit for a minute."

Edie wiped her arm across her mouth and panted as she glared at Tech.

"What the hell did you want me to do?" Tech demanded. "Get shot in the face for you?"

"Uh, yes."

Sin growled in frustration and strode away from the window so that he was next to Emilio.

"You can beat the hell out of each other later if he doesn't shoot you both first. We know who your father deals with, and we know they came around asking questions about the girl who died. I want names, and I want them fucking now."

Edie tossed her hair over her shoulder, and straightened her blouse. "Do you seriously think--"

"I seriously think your father is already fucked dry up the ass now that we know about this, so forget him and worry about yourself," Emilio interrupted. "Now start talking, or you'll be the one getting fucked next."

Edie blinked, and seemed to falter. Her hands fisted and just as she opened her mouth to speak, the door burst open behind her. Oliver appeared in the room, but all he managed was a look of alarm before Sin reacted.

"Fuck this shit."

Sin yanked the Sig out and pulled the trigger, shooting Oliver in the thigh. Three screams rang out, and Sin turned to Edie again. "Every time you fucking stall, I shoot him somewhere else. Got it?"

"Jesus Christ, Danny!" Tech shouted, drawing herself up on the couch as she pressed herself into the corner of it. Her eyes darted to the door as if she wanted to attempt an escape, but she didn't dare to leave the couch.

"Do you fucking get it now?" Sin shouted, looming over them. His mouth twisted in a snarl, and his eyes blazed at them furiously. "This is not a fucking game."

Edie nodded jerkily, and for the first time since she'd entered the apartment, she appeared truly frightened. Her eyes were focused on Oliver, and her face was pinched and much paler. "What-- what do you want to know?"

"Who from Janus was there? I want some fucking names," Emilio said. "How many of them were there?"

"Just a few! But the main ones were Trenton and Dana," Edie said, her words coming out rushed. Sin's eyes narrowed, and his chest tightened. "They were... They were in charge of whatever they were doing down here. I don't know the details, okay? They were trying to get people to join this political organization. But Dana was asking all of the questions. Trenton was just the flunky as far as I could see."

Tech stared at Edie, seeming to have forgotten that Oliver was laying on the floor bleeding. Her eyes had widened slightly as if she was surprised, but Sin only vaguely registered that.

Emilio nodded shortly. "We know they were down here recruiting kids for their bullshit cult. Where do they take them ba--"

"Wait," Sin cut in sharply.

Edie flinched, but managed to look him in the eye.

"Dana, what does she look like? Is that the Indian woman?"

"Yes. Indian, long dark hair, she has these burn scars on her that she usually hides. She was the one who was contacting my dad for the money to fund their recruit--"

Sin stepped around Emilio and leaned down, placing a hand on either side of the chair that Edie sat in. "Tell me what you said to her. Every single word. Start to finish. Or I'll blow Oliver's kneecaps out."

Edie recoiled from him and tried to scoot back in the chair, but there was nowhere to go. Her breath began to come out in harsh pants, but she looked down to where Oliver was groaning quietly.

Emilio aimed his gun at Oliver's knee. "Start talking, kitten."

"I-- she was asking about that stupid girl Leens. I don't know why, they didn't tell me every single detail of their damn plans. But when Roz and Tech mentioned you and started singing your praises about how fucking clever you were, I got annoyed because I cannot. Fucking. Stand you."

"Just go on," Tech urged. "Don't make this shit worst."

Edie cast her a withering glare. "A couple of weeks later I was at my father's house, and I walked in while they were talking. They were asking about different places around the city, I don't know why, and then your name came up. So I said I'd just seen you at my party, and mentioned that you didn't even seem to care about any of that stuff with Leens. When they asked what I meant, I told them that you were too busy partying and being all over my boyfriend and some girly-looking blond for the whole world to see in my own goddamn bedroom."

Sin froze, and for a moment he couldn't speak. His hands tightened on the flimsy wooden armrests, and he could feel them warping in his grip.

"And then what did Dana say?" he asked, voice low.

Edie frowned and looked at Emilio and Oliver again. "Nothing at first. But then Trenton asked if I meant Taz and I said no. I told him you were with some really androgynous, blond kid named Boyd. I told him that I'd never even met Boyd before that night but apparently he's been lurking around the diner and trying to buddy up with your friends. Trenton got kind of suspicious about that and asked for a more detailed description-- height, eye color and stuff. When I told him, Dana jumped up like I'd lit a fire under her ass. She started asking me a million questions about him, none of which I even knew, and whipped out her phone to show me a picture. It was Boyd but with red hair."

"Oh, motherfucker," Emilio swore quietly.

"What?" Edie demanded, looking at him in alarm. "What does that mean?"

"You stupid fucking--" Sin broke off with a feral-sounding growl, and yanked Edie out of the chair. He practically threw her across the room, and she wailed before slamming against the wall and collapsing to the floor.

"Stop!" Tech shouted, and finally got up from the couch. "She doesn't even know what's going on! None of us do!"

Sin began pacing again, his hands curling and uncurling into fists. Rage was cutting off his ability to speak, to ask any more questions, and to even think straight. Dana. Fucking Dana from Hale's mansion. Dana who had put the hit out on the Kadin Reed imposter. Dana, who Boyd had left alive in that goddamn mansion.

"What else?" Emilio asked flatly.

"Nothing else," Edie said, her voice muffled as Tech tried to help her up. All of the bravado had fled the tall, brunette girl and now she was sobbing openly.

"I swear. I don't know where they take the college kids for their little gatherings, I don't know where they're staying, and they leave almost always after the fucking semester begins. All I know is that after I said the picture was Boyd, I got kind of worried about where the conversation was going but Dana just ignored me and dragged Jon out of the room. I didn't talk to them--"



Edie looked from Sin to Emilio, her mouth crumpling as if she was afraid of what she'd said now. "Yeah, he's this Irish guy. I'd never seen him before that day, and I didn't see him after that."

Emilio seemed to rally himself before Sin could, and took a step forward. "Describe him," he said darkly.

"Just... Irish, dark haired, good looking except for some scars on his face. He didn't do much talking until Boyd came up, and then he stared at me like I said I'd seen Jesus."

Sin's hands were trembling, and Emilio put a steadying hand on his son's shoulder.

"We need to go. Now."

Nodding mechanically, Sin put his own gun away but he couldn't seem to make his feet move. His mind was reeling. Jon. Dana and Jon. Jon and Janus.

"If I find out that you're lying about any of this, I'll cut your throat," Emilio said in the same flat tone. "I know where all of you live, where you work, and I'll be keeping an eye on every single one of you."

He looked from each of the girls and then down at Oliver, who seemed to have fainted from the pain. Emilio's lip curled in disgust, and he hauled Sin out of the apartment without another word.

Sin let himself be guided to the car, and stared straight ahead as Emilio revved the engine, and sped out of the parking lot. The smell of burning rubber filled the air as he peeled out, but Sin barely noticed. All he could see was the shell of Boyd's house, and hear Carhart's emphasis that it had looked personal; that it hadn't fit the pattern. And he'd been right.

"Fucking Logan is the mole," Emilio snarled. "I can't even-- And before the Investigator bitch was even gutted, I think. Christ almighty, how did you let that little punk get the drop on you before he killed her?"

Gritting his teeth, Sin let his fingers dig into the leather of the seat. "Because being on the compound makes me fucking sloppy. I didn't react when he came in. I didn't even turn around. I figured it was a guard or something, and then I lost consciousness."

"Fuck." Emilio slammed his hand against the wheel, and hunched his shoulders forward as he drove. "Jesus fucking Christ, Zach is so screwed. If that bitch finds out that they promoted the fucking mole-- he is so royally fucked."

Sin blinked, and looked over at Emilio. The older man looked close to panic, or as much as Emilio could ever look panicked. His knuckles were white as he gripped the wheel, and he was breathing fast.

"Calm down. No one knows but us yet."

Emilio exhaled loudly, and stared at the road. His driving was getting more reckless by the moment. He nearly clipped a motorcyclist as he switched lanes, going around vehicles as the speedometer steadily ticked past 100 mph.

"We have to confront him," Sin said curtly. He glanced at his father again, and knew without a doubt that Emilio's mind would start going towards a quick, dirty murder if it meant snuffing Jon out before he could be exposed to Seong. "He might know where Dana is. Where Boyd is."

A muscle in Emilio's jaw ticked, but he nodded shortly. "Think of something good, kid. 'Cause right now I'm ready to go open his throat."

"Goddammit." Sin raked his hands through his hair, heart pounding as he looked out the window.

It was more information than he could have hoped for. More information than he'd expected. But the first spark of hope that he'd had in awhile was almost overshadowed by the anger that wanted to explode out of him. Jon had betrayed them, had betrayed Boyd. It kept circling in his mind until the disbelief gave way to grim acceptance.

"We have to cover up how long he's been rogue. Make it so he won't have a chance to be interrogated," Emilio said from between grit teeth. "If they get that little bitch on the Fourth, they'll make sure he sings. And if he does, Zach is dead. And it can't be none of us that reports it. She'd know something's shady."

"Harriet," Sin said quickly. "We can use her."

"How?" Emilio asked doubtfully.

"She's helped me before, and she'd want a stake in this since he played her too." Sin's eyes narrowed in concentration as a haphazard plan formed in his mind. "I need to get in touch with Kassian."

"Do it," Emilio said. "'Cause this shit is going down tonight."

Kassian picked up after three rings, and Sin put the call on speakerphone.

"Trovosky," he said curtly. "Is your location secure?"

"Yeah. What's up? News on Boyd?" was the automatic reply.

"No, but we might be getting fucking closer," Emilio said as he swerved around a truck. "We got the name of the mole. It's Logan."

There was a brief silence that was only interrupted by the sound of traffic on Kassian's end.

"Are you positive?"

"An informant IDed his fucking Irish ass," Emilio growled. "And he was there when Janus got a heads up about Boyd being down in Annadale. Shit's gonna get real in a few hours, Blondie. Get in touch with Harriet because I'm driving to her house now, and she better be ready to get in on this, 'cause we can't take it to the top without terminations."

Kassian parsed Emilio's vague, slang-filled words with ease and agreed grimly before hanging up.

"We should have killed those three kids," Emilio said flatly when Sin had pocketed his phone. He looked at his son with a dark, hooded expression.

Sin looked out the window. "I know."

Emilio scoffed in disgust and lit a cigarette. "Chingón," he growled at the car's computer system. "Get me out of this fucking traffic."

"You already told her?" Sin asked as Kassian led them down the short hallway to Harriet's living room.

Kassian nodded and stopped just inside of the room. Sin saw that Ryan was sitting on the couch with Harriet in the dimly lit room. After going over the plan with Carhart and Vivienne, they'd been cleared to bring Ryan in. If their plan was going to work, it would take someone who was a lot better at discretion when hacking than Emilio.

Harriet looked at them but said nothing. With the exception of a weary expression and slightly red-rimmed eyes, she looked the same as she always did.

"Well, you seem to be holding up just swell even though you just found out that I'm about to cut your boyfriend's throat," Emilio said.

"Jesus Christ, Emilio," Ryan exclaimed. He gestured at the older man incredulously. "Can you tone the asshole factor down a notch?"

"It's fine," Harriet cut in gruffly. She stood up and straightened her shirt. "Let's just get this over with. I already called him, so he'll be here within the next thirty minutes. Hopefully you two have a plan because all Kassian told me to do was get Jon here."

Sin and Emilio exchanged glances, but neither of them spoke. Sin didn't know if his father was thinking along the same lines as him, but if Emilio was, then her calm acceptance was like a red banner waving over the situation.

"Wait," Sin said sharply. "He's right."

Ryan shifted uneasily. The movement combined with the fact that R&D agent's gaze automatically flicked over to Kassian was enough to alert Sin to the fact that there was information between them that he didn't have.

"What the fuck is going on?"

When Harriet hesitated, Emilio's eyes narrowed and his hand twitched. Sin knew what would come next if someone didn't start speaking soon, and as close as he'd gotten to these people in the past couple of years, he also knew that he wouldn't do a thing to stop Emilio from making a move if they started playing games. The concept of trust was tenuous at best, especially when Sin was just getting back in the game after over a year.

When it came down to it, Boyd was his priority just like Carhart was Emilio's.

"Someone better start talking or this is going to go to shit very fast," Sin said evenly.

Kassian tensed beside him and stopped waiting for Harriet to volunteer information. "She didn't know it was him, but for the past several months, she admitted that she's had suspicions."

"And you told no one," Emilio said flatly. He was looking at her like he wanted to put her through a wall. Or put a bullet in her head.

"I wasn't sure," Harriet said defensively. She crossed her arms over her chest and looked between Sin and Emilio with an unsteady frown. "I started tailing him months ago because I suspected he was cheating on me. It turns out that he was, but I saw some other things too. Weird meetings, odd traveling-- and he was borrowing equipment to keep things covert like jammers and scramblers."

"And you told... no one." Emilio's mouth had turned down into a scowl as his jaw clenched and unclenched. He looked up at the ceiling briefly, his face fixed in incredulous anger. "Wow. I ought to knock the fuck out of this simple bitch right now."

"Just relax," Kassian said.

Ryan spoke almost simultaneously, "Guys, we don't have time to fight with each other."

"I tried to talk to Doug about it," Harriet said, not taking her eyes off Emilio. Her posture had shifted into a defensive stance. She seemed to be very aware of the fact that at the moment, Emilio was the immediate threat. If he didn't like her answers or explanations, he was going to react.

"Maybe it seems stupid to you, but I don't have close friends in high places like you people do. I don't have a mom who's an Inspector, or a boyfriend or surrogate father who's the goddamn head general."

"Oh shut the fuck up with your whining," Emilio snapped. "What did Douglas say? Better yet, what'd you tell him? Because he ain't never mentioned shit to me."

Harriet exhaled slowly before replying. "I told him that I'd been following Jon, and I noticed him engaging with some shady looking people. But all he said was that Jon is a level 10 now, and he'd be doing a lot of weird things that I don't know about."

"That's all you told him?" Sin asked incredulously. "That he was engaging in-- all that makes it sound like is that he could have been buying fucking Pandora or something. Are you an idiot?"

"Yes, I'm a fucking idiot. Is that what you want me to say?" Harriet demanded, voice rising. She jabbed her finger in his direction sharply. "What would you have liked me to do? Go running to the Marshal with this half-assed information? And what if he had been on assignment? I was supposed to admit that I was stalking a level 10 agent because I thought he was fucking someone else?"

Ryan stood up at that point, and put a hand on her arm. Harriet started to yank away from him but wilted under the touch after meeting Ryan's wide, indigo eyes.

"She has a point," Ryan said quietly. "Can you two lay off? I'm as worried about Boyd and Zach as the two of you are, but attacking Harriet isn't going to change anything."

Emilio scoffed and yanked a crumpled pack of cigarettes out of his pocket. "Fine. But that bitch is dumb as fuck."

"Yeah, we got that from you already," Kassian said impatiently. "So what's the plan?"

Sin crossed his arms over his chest. He did not ease up on the glare that was currently directed at Harriet. "Did you at least gather any intel? Or did you just do completely useless stake-outs?"

She narrowed her eyes at him, but nodded stiffly. "I started documenting things after the second time that I noticed him doing something strange. I don't have access to a lot of the technology that he seemed to have, but I got some pictures of people, and I started keeping track of where he went on downtime. And before you say a fucking word--"

Harriet threw Emilio a warning look. "I didn't show Doug because I didn't know what was sensitive material and what wasn't. I still didn't know what I was witnessing."


Sin stared at her for a long moment before shaking his head in disgust. "Fine. To make a long story short, we need to know what Logan knows, and now what you know. There needs to be a false electronic trail that is not traceable any further back than the first assassination or major event that brought the mole to Seong's attention."

"So Seong gets her mole, and Vivienne and Zachary can't be blamed for it entirely since it started under the new administration, and it was Connors that vetted Jon to begin with," Ryan said, nodding. "I get it."

"Can you do it?"

Ryan frowned slightly, and rubbed his hands against his blue, corduroy pants. "I can create a fake history trail, but I need information to do it. We have to hope that we have something, because Harriet's testimony alone won't be enough to convi--"

"Wait, what?" Harriet demanded. "My testimony?"

"What, did you think you were here because we were dying to break the bad news to you?" Emilio asked, sarcasm heavy in his tone.

"Why am I here?" she asked shortly, looking from Sin to Emilio. "What's my role in all of this?"

Emilio walked further into the room, stopping right in front of Harriet. "Your man has to die. If they take his bitch ass to the Fourth, they'll use every mindfuck available to make him talk. The plan is to set the fake trail and for you to tell Seong that you found out it, confronted him, and then took him out in the fight that followed."

Her expression didn't change, but Harriet turned away. Emilio reached out as if to grab her shoulder but she deflected his hand without even looking at him, and focused on some point out the window.

"First of all, don't put your fucking hands on me, Vega." The words came out even and controlled, and she didn't so much as twitch as she finished speaking. "Second of all, no one's going to believe that I killed Jon without him putting up a fight."

"It will look like he put up a fight," Sin said. He swept his gaze over the group in the living room, watching their reactions as he spoke. "You'll have to take some damage."

"From you?" Ryan asked, face aghast as he gaped at Sin.

Harriet shrugged, still staring out the window with the same flat expression. "It doesn't matter."

"You think that, but Superman here will fuck you up something awful. Nah, can't have that even if you is a simple bitch," Emilio drawled. "I'll do--"

Kassian shook his head at that, cutting Emilio off. "No, I'll do it."

She finally moved her gaze from the window, and met his eyes. Kassian's mouth was fixed in a deep scowl as he crossed the room and put an arm around her shoulders. Unlike with Ryan, Harriet didn't flinch away from Kassian's touch and for a moment there was a glimmer of hurt in her face that was quickly masked.


"How fuckin' sweet. You know you is in a room full of agents when the dude offering to smack a ho is deemed the white knight."

Sin shot his father an impatient glare. "Can you shut the fuck up?"

"No offense Emilio, but yeah, your commentary isn't helping," Ryan said. Emilio reached out and smacked Ryan in the back of the head, causing the R&D agent's glasses to slide down his face.

"Get it together," Sin snapped, shifting his glare between the two of them. "This isn't a fucking game."

Emilio snorted softly, and cast his son a withering glare. "Aiight, fine. So let's get this shit together. Kass and Ry, you need to beat it upstairs before Logan shows up. The dude is fucked but we don't need a circle jerk."

"Are you--" Ryan paused, lips turning down slightly. "Where... How are you going to do it?"

"After he talks, he dies," Sin said flatly. "Only a few know about what's going on with the Agency administration, and we will use that to our advantage. He won't know exactly why we're not turning him in if he doesn't realize that Vivienne and Carhart would be in danger." He started to turn his gaze to Harriet but before he could, his phone emitted a sharp beep. "I'll need one of your knives."

The statement was met with silence, and three sets of eyes stared at him for a long moment before the small group broke apart. Ryan grabbed his backpack and followed Kassian and Harriet further into the house, mumbling about needing actual intel.

"Text?" Emilio asked as Sin took his phone out.

Sin nodded shortly and unlocked his phone. It was a text from a number that he didn't recognize.

Vega, we need to talk. -Blake.

Eyebrows drawing together, Sin stared at the text for a moment. He had no idea why Adam Blake was communicating with him. Instead of dwelling on it, Sin shoved the phone back into his pocket.

"We good?"

Sin nodded, and put his confusion aside for the moment. "Let's get this done."

He looked over his shoulder at the sound of footsteps returning to the room, and saw that Harriet had returned. She'd tied her hair back, and seemed to have completely schooled herself into mission-mode. Even the minimal traces of sadness that had been showing were gone.

"I'll bring him to the bedroom," she said quietly. "You two can wait there. I don't know how you plan to do this, but I don't want to be there for most of it. Please. You won't need me after he's here."

"Fine." Sin walked over to one of the windows and peered through the slats in the blinds.

Emilio didn't comment on that. "Knife?"

"I keep a knife strapped to the side of the bed frame, and there's a gun in the side end table."

He seemed impressed by that, and toned down his attitude some. "Good girl. Now listen, did he ever come over or meet you right after one of his shady deals or trips out of town?

Harriet nodded. "Several times."

Sin didn't look away from the window as he asked: "Did he carry anything on him that might have contained intel?"

"Yes, I noticed that whenever he had one of his trips he'd always be carrying a tablet but..." She frowned, shaking her head. "I went through it, and I searched everything in his pockets, in his bags, and I never found anything. No files, no flash or hard drives. There was never a trace of anything."

"That doesn't mean it doesn't exist," Sin said, finally looking at her. His eyes narrowed slightly. "He might encrypt so heavily that you can't find it. Or he may keep it online, also heavily hidden and protected. One thing they figured out about the mole is that he's a good hacker. He showed that when he framed me for murdering the Investigator."

Harriet's eyes widened slightly at that and her mission-mode mask cracked. "You don't think that was him, do you?"

"Yes, I do think exactly fucking that. He framed me and murdered her. I have no idea why, but it was him."

She stared at him silently at first, and then dropped her eyes to the floor. "I can't-- No. I can believe it." Something in her expression and posture hardened, and when she looked up, she was composed again. "He's not who I thought he was. Actually, I never knew who the hell he was."

Harriet shook her head, eyes flashing as she looked towards the direction of the window as well. "And I really just want to get this over with."

"So do we," Sin said shortly. He turned to the window again but this time, he could hear a car driving down the quiet street. "He's here."

Harriet froze and stared out the window as headlights appeared in front of her house.

"Get it together, Harriet. At least until he's in the house."

She nodded after a brief pause, and cleared her throat. Sin watched her for a moment longer before he and Emilio headed to the master bedroom at the back of the house. He wasn't sure where Kassian and Ryan were waiting, but he wanted them to stay there and out of the way.

They had barely entered the room when Jon's quiet voice could be heard coming from the living room. Sin could hear them talking quietly and to Harriet's credit, she gave nothing away. She sounded tense and angry but judging from the way Jon immediately started placating her, that didn't seem to be anything new in their relationship. As their voices got closer to the bedroom, there was a moment when they sounded so much like a normal couple having a heated disagreement that it gave Sin pause. The last hour replayed in his mind, and he realized that he hadn't acted remotely compassionate to Harriet despite what they were asking her to do.

But then the voices were right outside of the door, and his thoughts scattered and refocused on the fact that Jon was the mole. Jon had been playing against them for almost two years now. Jon was responsible for Boyd's disappearance.

When the door opened and Jon stepped into the room, his eyes immediately fell on Sin and Emilio. He froze for a beat as he looked from one Vega to the other, and then shifted backwards to the door.

Jon grabbed Harriet's arm and started to yank her around so that she was between him and the other two men in the room. She twisted out of his grip and swung her elbow back toward his face but he caught it. Shoving her out of the way and toward Emilio, Jon started to throw himself backwards as one hand dropped to his gun.

Emilio dragged Harriet to the side of the room and out of the way as Sin reacted. He'd hesitated just long enough for Harriet to get out of the way, but it'd been long enough for Jon to fire. A gunshot thundered in the otherwise silent room, but Sin shifted out of the way and it missed his stomach by centimeters.

Jon swore and started to fire again, but one of Sin's hands wrapped around his wrist and wrenched it around hard enough for a crunch to echo in the room. A muffled groan tore out of Jon's throat, and the gun clattered to the wooden floor. Even as his eyes teared with pain, he lifted his knee to slam into Sin's solar plexus. He made contact but it was just a glancing blow, and Sin reared his other hand back to slam it into Jon's face.

Falling backwards into the wall, Jon used it as leverage to slam one booted foot into the side of Sin's knee. It didn't do more than cause Sin to falter, but Jon managed to evade from the flurry of blows that followed.

The Agency would never believe that Harriet would have been able to inflict the kind of injuries that Sin wanted to damage Jon with, so it lasted longer than it should have. Even then, Jon held out longer than most, but it still wasn't long enough. He had barely managed to escape the hallway before Sin had him pinned to the floor with one hand crushing his throat. Jon gagged as Sin hauled him up and dragged him back to the bedroom.

"Well, that was cute," Emilio drawled when they re-entered the bedroom. Jon was disheveled and his nose and mouth were bleeding despite the fact that the fight had barely lasted half a minute. "I really don't even fucking get why you people try to fight my boy. He's a maniac."

"Better than giving up easy, yeah?" Jon panted as Sin shoved him against the wall. His blue eyes focused on Harriet and his lips twisted to the side slightly. Eyebrows drawing down, Jon tilted his head back against the wall. "Fucking hell."

It was Harriet who spoke first, even though she had edged to the door as soon as Jon and Sin returned to the room.

"You were the one this whole time. Since before training, before everything."

Jon exhaled slowly, and reached up to press a hand against the angry, red marks that marred his neck where Sin had grabbed him. "Not the whole time, Harry."

"Does it matter?" she demanded incredulously. Now that Jon was in front of her, all of the calm had disappeared. She strode forward and released an ugly laugh as her mouth twisted in a sneer.

"You were never who you made yourself out to be. Since training you've been lying. And it was you who tortured that prisoner during interrogation training, not Cade. Wasn't it?"

"It was," Jon said flatly as Sin began stripping his outer clothing off, and patting him down. Sin removed a knife, a tablet, three cell phones, some wire, and a glass cutter.

"God fucking damn you." Harriet turned away from Jon, her body coiled and tense. She strode a few paces towards the door and just stood there, her body trembling slightly although she didn't appear to be crying.

"Okay, well, now that we've cleared that up." Emilio made a face at Harriet's back, and moved over to where Jon was standing with his back pressed against the wall. "Let's make this easy, peach. Spare me bullshit and I'll make it easier on you. We know you're the mole, we know you was in Annadale Beach with Janus, and we know you fucked over Boyd."

Jon looked at Emilio evenly. Despite the fact that his face was smeared with blood and he'd been exposed, his expression gave nothing away. "Why not run to Seong, then? She's in your pocket, isn't she?"

Emilio opened his mouth to reply, but Sin interrupted. "I want to talk to him alone."

Harriet paused only long enough to spear Jon with another cold, betrayed look before disappearing out of the bedroom. Her footsteps moved quickly down the hall. Emilio though, hesitated. He raised his eyebrows at Sin questioningly.

Jon too, was staring at Sin with a mixture of suspicion and surprise. Other than that, he didn't move.

"You got this, kid?"

"I know what I'm doing."

"Aiight, well, don't fuck it up. That's all I'm saying."

Sin glared at his father until the other man left as well. The door clicked shut behind him.

There was a brief silence as Sin turned and focused completely on Jon. "You're taking this well."

"Well what the fuck do you think I should do?" Jon's voice came out in a low growl. His body was completely tense now, and his shoulders had hunched forward slightly. "You going to take me in, Vega? Work me over before turning me in to Shane and his crew on the Fourth to be torture-fucked? Get one back for the Investigator? Your boyfriend? I really fucking doubt you care about the rest of it."

There was a slow inhale of breath as Sin flexed his hands. His eyes narrowed slightly, and it was a struggle to not reach out and crush Jon's throat for so casually mentioning Boyd.

"This is what's going to happen," he said, voice coming out in a low rumble of menace. "I'm going to ask you a question, and I'm going to tell you to do something, and if you don't do them the way I want them done, I will drag you to the Fourth and let Seong turn you into Shane's bitch for months. Even if you don't talk, they'll keep you on life support for as long as they can just to keep torturing you until you're pissing in a catheter and shitting blood after all of the sexual humiliation they'll inflict on you. You will be begging to die."

Jon kept his expression impassive but he began breathing faster, and his hands pressed harder against the wall behind him. There was a slight flaring of his nostrils, and a subtle intake of breath that made it clear that the words meant something to him. If Harriet was right, Jon knew how to torture which meant that he knew exactly what kinds of things that someone like Shane, someone who made it an art, would do to him.

"The alternative?"

Sin walked around the bed and unstrapped the knife that Harriet had directed him to. It was 8 inches with a fixed, serrated, titanium blade. He skimmed his thumb across the surface, and returned to Jon. "I do you now. Clean."

"Why?" Jon demanded, his eyes focused on the knife. His breath hitched slightly, and he dragged his gaze away to focus on Sin's face. It was only then that his expression changed, and the desperation could be seen in the way his breath became more ragged, and his eyes grew rounder. "Why would you do that for me?"

"I don't give a fuck about you," Sin said coldly. "But I want to know what you know. And some people don't want Harriet being made into a target because you're a fucking piece of shit."

That had nothing to do with his motivation, not truly, but when the words left his mouth he realized that it was true. She would be endangered if it came out any other way than what they had planned.

"I kept her out of it," Jon snarled, shaking his head. "She has nothing to do--"

"Who's going to believe that?" Sin demanded with condescending impatience. "I wouldn't be surprised if they interrogated her to be sure, and then had her be in the room with you while Shane has his fun."

The look of horror on Jon's face couldn't be faked, and neither could the way it turned into naked fear. "You can't let them. She's innocent. She's a good person."

"So tell me what I fucking want to know, and you'll die here, and she'll be the one to turn your information in. She'll be safe."

They stared at each other for several minutes, and neither of them spoke during that time. Sin didn't break his stare, didn't look away, and didn't let Jon see how desperate he was to get this over with. Every minute wasted felt like Boyd was moving further and further away from him.

"I was never working for Janus or any other of these cocksuckers," Jon said finally, his voice coming out flat. "I was not a traitor from the go. But when the Agency was fucking invaded by some shite group of guerrilla terrorists, I saw that they could be vulnerable, and I took the opportunity to benefit from that. The information they have, the classified shite, the intel your unit has on Janus? It's worth a goddamn fortune."

"And you work alone?" Sin demanded, eyes narrowed. "You're not under anyone else's orders?"

"No. I don't know what that git Ivan got himself up to, but it ain't got nothing to do with me."

Good. Then they wouldn't have to go round up anyone else. Sin picked up the tablet from where it had been discarded on the bed.

"You want this plan to work? I need data. Something concrete for Harriet to bring back to them."

There was a flicker of unease in Jon's expression, and Sin narrowed his eyes.

"If you're lying to me about working alone, I'll personally make sure that the Agency suspects Harriet anyway."

"You're a cold motherfucker, Vega." When Sin didn't respond to that, Jon wet his lips and nodded shortly. "I work for no one, but the Agency does not need to know where the money goes."

Sin didn't bother to ask anything more. It was fairly clear enough, and likely would be to the Agency as well if they figured out that Jon was more than a greedy opportunist. Most people knew that he'd been vetted from Final Front of Ireland, a terrorist group that had fallen apart years ago. It wouldn't be surprising if he was trying to establish another organization in his home country, or to help restore FFI.

"I don't give a fuck about where your money goes. I want correspondence, bank account information, a copy of the directory, something we can use to get Janus."

Again, Jon hesitated, and Sin was starting to lose his patience.

"Do it. Or she's fucked."

A low snarl escaped Jon but he snatched the tablet and turned it on. His fingers moved over the touch screen quickly, and Sin hovered over him to ensure that he was bringing up files instead of deleting them. In the end, it turned out that he'd been right: Jon kept all of his data heavily encrypted in a digital dropbox.

"Start an upload to Harriet's private e-mail account."

Jon frowned slightly, but began putting together the data. Afterwards, Sin took the tablet and tossed it onto the bed.

"Now tell me about Boyd."

At that, Jon actually frowned and he shifted from foot to foot. He pressed one hand against his ribs, and tilted his head back against the wall again.

"It was a case of wrong place, wrong time. I got in contact with this Janus bird-- some Paki named Dana. She was hot for dirt on American organizations, real hot for it. I met her down in Annadale to negotiate for the directory, and happened to be there when some other cunt came striding in running her fat mouth about you and Boyd because apparently you lot ain't never learned about low-profile."

"Get on with it," Sin said from between grit teeth. Every time Boyd's name left Jon's mouth, the urge to gut the man flared up. Sin's fingers tightened on the knife.

"Dana pieced it together somehow, I haven't a fucking clue how, and she started showing the girl pictures of Boyd. The cunt IDed him, and as I'd just sold Dana the fucking directory of civilian addresses, she found his name on it easy enough."

A scoff left Sin's mouth and he took a step closer to Jon. "And you had nothing else to do with it? That's what you're saying to me."

"I didn't have shite against the kid," Jon snapped, eyes narrowing. "I didn't have shite against you either, Vega. I tried to take you down because I wanted your spot in that unit, but it didn't pan out and I left you alone. This thing with Boyd was a coincidence. That fucking Janus bird hounded me for more information on him and the Agency, but I wouldn't sing. I didn't want them invading the compound, and I didn't want them knowing more than what I gave them: just the parts of the directory with administration and the civvie addresses of high ranked agents. I led them to believe the compound was based elsewhere in the States, somewhere remote."

"And they believed you?"

"As far as I could tell." Jon shrugged stiffly, not breaking Sin's glare. "No one knows I'm part of the Agency. They think I'm just a good hacker with ties to organizations, and got lucky. But that Dana was real paranoid. Even with his location, she didn't trust going straight to the house, said it felt like a trap. Since I knew she was hot for him specifically, I gave her the access codes to his security system so she wouldn't follow the fucking kid around and be led to the compound. It was still a risk, but I couldn't do anything else."

Sin's teeth grit together as his jaw clenched. "That's it?"

"Yes. I don't fucking know where Boyd is, I don't know where Janus is. All I know is the name of the person who negotiated with me. Dana."

The brief flare of hope that Sin had felt down in Annadale fizzled and disappeared entirely. He stared at Jon, and felt his chest start to constrict as the overwhelming sense of loss began to assault him again. No Boyd. No lead on Boyd. No leads on Janus. Just the first name of a woman that he was already aware of.

His lips tightened and he looked away. He tried to keep his face void of the crushing fucking defeat that made him want to explode with rage and sorrow. Every time he thought there could be something to lead him to his lover, the bits of information sifted between his fingers and disappeared. He was always two steps behind, too fucking late, and for the first time he wondered if he would ever find Boyd.

Sin's eyes were burning as he stared into space, blinking rapidly and breathing hard as he tried to keep himself together.

"Vega," Jon said sharply.

Sin looked at him, eyes wild and face twisted in anger.

It was Jon's fault. His fucking fault. He'd sold the directory. He'd put Boyd in danger. He'd given the codes. He'd sacrificed Boyd for the fucking integrity of the Agency. If they'd attacked Boyd in public, there may have been more of a chance of Boyd escaping, or getting back-up. Fuck the Agency. Fuck the compound. Sin would rather someone blow the place to pieces rather than let somebody take Boyd.

"I did what you want. Now do what you promised," Jon said flatly.

Sin's eyes narrowed into slits and he didn't hesitate. He swung his arm out and cut Jon's throat open, not flinching when the blood sprayed across his face.

Continue to Fade Chapter 33...