In the Company of Shadows

This site is..

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

The story contains..

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
See Afterimage chapter list.

Interludes list

Book Three: Fade
See Fade chapter list.


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Evenfall Epilogue

The wind was surprisingly warm when it blew past Boyd, ruffling his clothing and lifting the short, jagged ends of his hair into the air. With the sun slowly sliding behind the scattered hi-rises, staying hidden behind the ever-present sheen of clouds, he could see the muted shadows idly expanding along the ground until they started to bleed into each other, until the surrounding debris and cement was starting to mimic the progression to darkness in the sky above.

The weather was mild and calm for the time of year but he would have been at Crater Lake anyway, even if the temperature was below freezing. Even if the very act of staying there could be dangerous to his health.

He had been out there for hours, perched with his legs bent in front of him and his arms resting across his knees, balanced comfortably at the top of the mound of debris. His gaze was distant as he stared at Crater Lake below; the algae had continued to grow until the stagnant water was more colorful than it had ever been before. The wind pushed light ripples across the pond; the algae rocked with the movement, creating a mesmerizing pattern.

Several weeks had passed since the compound had been under attack and with everyone scrambling to get things back in order, there hadn't been adequate time for his unit to decrypt the files he'd downloaded at Hale's. They still didn't know if he'd even gotten anything useful or if he had, how useful it would be.

For now it was a game of wait-and-see, which wasn't as bad as it could have been considering Janus activities appeared to have slowed to a lull. Whether they were recovering from the breach in their once impenetrable community or plotting payback, no one knew for certain, but the lapse in movement gave them time to recover as well.

But for the Agency, a complete recovery would be a long time coming. The only thing that was taken care of quickly and cleanly was damage control with the local media when some civilians had complained of what sounded like gunshots and explosions going off deep within the compound going uninvestigated by the police. A community watch group had urged a local paper to look into it but Vivienne had swiftly taken charge of the situation.

The cover-up was that a highly organized group of infiltrators had attempted to rob the labs that were supposed to exist within the walls of the compounds. The story had been accepted with little problem; it actually served to further validate why the Johnson's compound had such high security in the first place.

The story was not far from the truth besides the reason for the attack, and it provided answers for any future questions that may occur when the actual rebuilding process began.

Three of the main residential dormitories had suffered severe structural damage and would have to be rebuilt, either partially or entirely, which resulted in hundreds of agents having to temporarily live in the bunker shelters. The casualty count hadn't been as high as initially feared but the number of seriously wounded and disabled employees was staggering. Many had been wounded in the destruction of the buildings; most who'd come in contact with the enemy hadn't lived to tell of the experience unless they were non-combatants, who'd been terrorized but otherwise relatively unharmed.

The safe haven that had once been the compound had suffered a blow that would never quite be repaired. The consensus among most of the employees, especially residents, was that it was no longer safe. Although his mother was taking steps to make changes in the security, no one really felt secured when the perpetrators hadn't even been identified. Fingerprint scans from the corpses of fallen intruders hadn't proven very useful other than the fact that most of the individuals appeared to have had very colorful criminal records but their identities just led to more questions and dead ends. Their only real clue was the girl that Sin had detained in the Tower and according to whispers, she would be a tough nut to crack.

Over the past two weeks things had gone from chaos to slowly becoming business as usual and missions temporarily slowed; he'd spent most of his time on the compound helping out but there was only so much he could really do. Things for he and Sin were temporarily stagnant but despite that, he still felt somewhat uneasy about the state of their partnership.

With Connors gone, the threat was lessened considerably but he still had no idea what his mother had in store for them. Although one door was closed, Vivienne's control of the Agency only opened others with more questions but there was nothing to do but sit and wait.

In the downtime he'd found himself preoccupied by thoughts that he'd either been trying to avoid or hadn't been able to put in proper words before.

Before that night in Monterrey, he had been so obsessed with Lou's death that it was as if everything related to Lou in his mind had been as stained by the violence of his murder as the pavement had been by his blood.

If he'd taken the time to actually consider his life, he would have had to acknowledge that he'd let the things he'd wanted slip through his grasp without much of a fight just because he no longer believed in goodness, in happiness. He'd done the opposite of what Lou had always wanted him to do.

Lou had always pushed and cajoled him through his life, kept him moving forward when he otherwise would have stagnated. Lou had forced him to live through the little pleasures in life until he'd gotten to the point that he'd believed in a future, he'd actually started to expect that his tomorrows would be worthwhile and his yesterdays wouldn't be filled with regret.

For a little while it had seemed possible after first meeting Sin. Especially after Monterrey. But after the torture and seeing the images of Lou being murdered over and over again, it had almost happened again.

He'd once again allowed himself to wallow in the helplessness, the guilt and the fear. The small part of him that had cracked and thawed after his time with Sin had quickly frozen over and once again he'd forgotten all the good and had tried to focus on the bad. He'd become exactly what he'd been before coming to the Agency and once again he'd blocked out the memories of Monterrey just like he'd blocked out the good memories of Lou.

Boyd didn't want to be like that anymore. He didn't want his life to move on and this time to pass only for him to later look back with regret regarding decisions he made from now on. He didn't want to lose Sin, to lose what he felt when in his presence. He didn't want to push him away just because he was scared.

The wind picked up again in the other direction, whipping his hair around so that it tickled his ear. His eyes burned and it was only then that he realized he'd been staring so long that he hadn't even properly been blinking. He blinked a few times and glanced down at his watch, temporarily drawn out of his reverie. He'd invited Sin to leave the chaos of the compound, and it was almost time to go pick him up from the compound.

He closed his eyes, tilting his face against the wind, and just breathed in. The scent was familiar although not something he could properly identify other than to say it smelled like the city and, to an extent, memories. When he finally slid his eyes open again, he couldn't help a sudden nostalgic smile as a memory resurfaced. It hadn't been warm by any means but it had definitely been intermittently windy like this day when Lou had first kissed him, in the same spot he was now sitting.

He looked down, and the slowly undulating ripples in the water mesmerized him as he stared at Crater Lake, studying the color of the algae as it danced upon the waves. He continued to sit there, just staring into space and once again allowed his mind to wander. He was so lost in his own thoughts that he didn't even realize that anybody was near him until Sin was already up the mound, standing beside him and surveying the area.

Boyd looked at him, thoroughly startled. "What the-- How did you get here?"

Sin glanced down at him and raised an eyebrow. "I walked."

"No," Boyd said patiently. "How did you get off the compound? Don't tell me they left the tunnels unsecured again already..."

"Oh, that." Sin sat down beside him, green eyes flicking down to the water as he studied the colors in it. "I was kind of surprised about that too. Apparently I'm allowed to roam free from now on."

"Wow," Boyd said, impressed. "That's quite the change, although I can't say I mind. Is that what the meeting was about?"

Sin nodded and stretched his long legs out in front of him, looking over at Boyd finally. "They took the collar off too."

Boyd blinked in surprise and looked down at Sin's neck automatically. He reached out and let his fingers trail along Sin's skin, the skin the collar usually covered. "Indefinitely?" he asked, not looking up.

Sin shrugged, a casual roll of his strong shoulders as he idly tilted his head to give Boyd's fingers better access. "That's what was implied but you never know what will happen later on. I don't expect much." He paused and raised an eyebrow slightly. "Apparently it was your mother's order."

Fingers pausing, Boyd met Sin's eyes with a significant look. "Really." He said it as a statement more than a question. Well, that was certainly one more aspect pointing toward her changing, although he couldn't say he minded the direction she seemed to be going. "Did she say why?"

"I didn't actually speak to her but Carhart told me all she said was that she thought it was unnecessary for the time being. Which implies it might be used again some time in the future if she deems it necessary but I'm not too worried about it at the moment. I'll just have to be on my best behavior," he said with a smirk.

Boyd couldn't help a grin from growing. "I don't know," he teased, drawing the words out. "Are you even capable of good behavior? I have my doubts."

"It depends on what you think is good," Sin replied with a snort. "What I think is good is vastly different from a normal person's idea of it." He leaned forward slightly and pulled his legs up, resting his arms on his knees as he went back to looking down at the water. "Have you seen Ryan lately?"

Dropping his hand down beside him, Boyd stared at the water as well and shook his head once. "I haven't been able to see him since the attack. As soon as he was in the Infirmary, Ann blocked all visitors and since I'm not family, they won't give me much information."

Another low gust of wind rocked the algae within Crater Lake and pulled at their clothing. "They did tell me that he's recovering and he recently regained consciousness. He's still weak, though, and they expect him to remain in intensive care for awhile." He paused. "But he's alive, so I'm relieved. I was really worried for awhile; he looked horrible when we were transporting him."

Sin nodded and absently picked at a rip in his cargo pants. "Carhart said foreign material from the dust and debris made it into his lungs and worsened his condition. I asked for details but even he can't get in to see him. I suppose Ann is feeling overprotective since Ryan is the only person resembling a family member she really has left."

"Maybe," he said belatedly, not honestly caring that much about Ann's place in the whole thing; he had too much else on his mind.

Sin looked up finally and glanced over at Boyd curiously. "Why did you want to meet here anyway?"

Boyd looked over at Sin, studying him closely for a moment. Sin's hair was still too short for his taste. He preferred it longer so that he could tangle his fingers in the strands but his long, dark eyelashes still contrasted to the vivid green of his eyes in a way that he would never get tired of looking at. He reached out, his palm sliding against Sin's cheek to pull him closer, and leaned over to kiss him.

The sun had completely disappeared behind the buildings around them, the shadows growing longer and deeper, and the clouds were spread in hues of red, pink and orange that faded between each other. Crater Lake reflected the color of the sky, making the algae blend in with the warm tones and creating what looked like a secondary sunset.

Although Boyd usually would have avoided any public display of affection, he didn't really think about that at the moment. It was growing dark and Crater Lake was in an emptier part of the city. There was no one around who was likely to notice or care about what they were doing, any more than anyone had when Lou had reached over and quickly, cautiously kissed him that first time, in this same place. Now, Sin's familiar scent and taste overcame him, along with the strength that seemed ever-present in his body and personality.

Even sitting in the same place around the same time of day, kissing Sin was not like kissing Lou had been. Even with similar circumstances, the two were entirely different. Lou had been awkward gentleness and shyness hidden behind bravado; Sin was intense and thorough, reckless and addictive.

Boyd's fingers curled against Sin's cheek and when he finally pulled away, he couldn't help smiling.

One dark eyebrow rose and Sin leaned back slightly to study him. "You wanted to meet here so that you could kiss me? Not that I'm complaining."

"No," Boyd said with a light chuckle as he stood. He looked down at Sin, tilting his head thoughtfully. "It's a long story. Do you mind if I tell you over dinner? Are you hungry? I know a great place in the area that sells ice cream, if nothing else."

"Well, you know I'm always ready for ice cream." Sin stood up and gazed at Boyd for a moment before shaking his head with a crooked smile and turned. "Let's go then," he said as he started to make his way down the mound.

Boyd hesitated a moment, balanced at the top of the pile of debris as he stared down into Crater Lake once more. Then, turning, he slid and jumped his way down the mound and followed Sin.

Book One: Evenfall end.

Continue to Book Two: Afterimage, prologue