Chronological Disorder

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Based on an original series 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.

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Book Three: Fade
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Chronological Disorder

Interlude 3.8

Uploaded on 7/5/2009

The moon cast the only light on the still, silent streets. The street lights had long ago been destroyed and even if they hadn't, electricity was unavailable in many parts of the city. Garbage and debris were strewn along the sidewalks, the pavement-- the entire place gave the impression of a ghost town.

Sin's footsteps seemed to echo around him in an almost spectral manner. The only sound for miles around was his boots making faint splashing sounds in the puddles-- his jacket rustling as he walked.

But then the silence was ruptured by a screech and a hiss-- Sin turned his head, hand on his gun, but the culprit appeared to be a creature that vaguely resembled a cat. It had whiskers and a tail but its fur was gone and its eyes were nearly white-- the thing's size was unbelievable and he could only assume it was a mutation due to the poisoned and irradiated land.

The cat-creature hissed at him, fangs protruding dangerously, but it scrambled away faster than he could track.

The abandoned apartment building loomed before him. The walk seemed shorter than he remembered.

The door to the building was rusted and worn, a large hole in the center despite the fact that it was chained shut. He shoved against it and made enough space to squeeze beneath the chain before taking the steps two at a time to the top floor.

It wasn't a safehouse so much as a recon point-- from this angle they could see clear across the broken city. They could see the old nuclear plants and the activity that was going on in them now.

The entire building seemed deathly still but when he got to the top floor, a faint sound seemed to echo down the hallway.

He walked faster-- alarms going off in his head, automatically tensing as he prepared for what he would find--

The door opened easily, the lock long ago having been removed. It didn't matter-- no one lived in the city, no one inhabited the building; a heat-seeking satellite had only picked up their own bodies and the rebel group congregating in the nuclear plant.

Sin entered the apartment and walked through the empty living room. Water stains colored the white walls brown, the carpet was torn and dirty and stained with blood--

The sound was louder now, more rhythmic, a slapping sound, harsh breathing and breathless moans--

Sin pushed the bedroom door open slightly, soundlessly.

Boyd was on his hands and knees, completely naked as Kassian crouched behind him and fucked him. Their bodies were soaked with sweat, Boyd's hair damp from it, his face flushed and lips swollen, hanging open as Kassian rode his ass.

"Fuck me," Boyd growled, his eyes squeezed shut as he pushed his hips back. "Harder-- Ah-ahh-- harder!"

"You like that?" Kassian's hands were tight on Boyd's waist, a smug smirk on his lips as he snapped his hips forward relentlessly. "You want me to make you fucking scream?"

"Yes-- Yes!" Boyd panted, although it was unclear if he was answering or just lost in the moment.

Sin's mouth fell open slightly, his eyes narrowed at the sight. His gaze remained fixed on Boyd as he fucked another man as vigorously as he'd once fucked Sin.

Boyd's blond hair was loose and jerked with every jolt of his body, every time Kassian pulled his cock out and slammed it back in. Every muscle in Boyd's sleekly toned body was glimmering with moisture, his back arching and chest heaving as he panted and moaned uncontrollably. Boyd's face was tilted down at first but when Kassian shifted his grip on Boyd's hips and suddenly changed the angle of his thrust, Boyd threw his head back with a desperate, sexy moan that was wrenched out of him and filled the room.

"Oh God-- ohh yesss--"

The husky growl of Boyd's voice went straight to Sin's cock; made him run his eyes along the length of Boyd's body. Boyd's dick was swollen and hard and leaking precome from between his legs, yet he didn't reach down to touch himself; he seemed too lost in the moment of being fucked. Boyd's face was a picture of ecstasy, his pink tongue flicking out to lick his lips as Kassian began moving faster-- His fingers were curled against the crumpled sheets, his arms straight as he shoved back against Kassian's cock with all his strength--

Sin couldn't look away from Boyd's face; from those swollen lips that he knew felt as amazing wrapped around his cock as they did worshiping his mouth when they kissed. Sin's dick stiffened at the sight of it, at the sound of those loud, familiar moans and the way Boyd wordlessly begged for more.

But then Boyd's eyes slid open, the golden brown darkened with lust-- and his gaze fell directly on Sin. A spark of panic flooded his expression.

"Sin--" Whatever sentence he was about to form was broken off by a loud groan when Kassian changed the angle again, fucking Boyd so hard that Boyd partially slid across the bed. The mattress squeaked beneath them, a loud and insistent accompaniment to Boyd's desperate moans.

Boyd's golden brown eyes were intense on Sin's face, Boyd's lips dropped open and his breath quickening faster-- and even as he shook his head back and forth, he kept slamming back on Kassian's dick with all his strength.

"Fuck-- I can't-- I can't-- it feels too good!" he finished in a near wail, mouth trembling and face contorted as he and Kassian began fucking faster, the mattress bouncing beneath the two. Sin could feel the rhythm of their movements even through the floorboards; the vibrations traveled up his legs and seemed to go straight to his groin.

Sin's breath caught in his throat, cock hardening almost painfully, and he looked up to meet Kassian's stare. The older man's lips were twisted in a ghost of a self-assured smirk but his eyes appeared to be feasting on Sin's body.

"Come over here, Vega," Kassian rumbled, his voice low and throaty.

Sin's feet moved of their own accord.

"Suck his cock while I fuck you," Kassian murmured to Boyd, running his large hands up and down Boyd's back.

Boyd didn't question the order, although judging by the way his gaze had been intense on Sin since the moment he noticed him, he'd probably already wanted to do that. He supported himself on one hand and yanked at Sin's jeans with the other. He was looking up at Sin with lust-filled, hungry eyes as he panted through his mouth, eyebrows arched and drawn together as Kassian continued to pound his ass.

Those loud gasps and moans surrounded Sin seductively. Boyd's fingers were warm and when they grazed Sin's skin as Boyd jerked his pants down, Sin felt it like an electric jolt straight to his cock.

Boyd's eyes were like black holes that drew Sin in, watching Sin relentlessly even as Boyd slid his mouth open and briefly ran his tongue along the head of Sin's cock. Sin jerked slightly, green eyes darkening and focused intently on that face, before Boyd suddenly and with obvious skill took Sin to the hilt. Boyd's mouth was hot and wet and felt incredible when it encased Sin's cock, and it was even more incredible when that tongue started to move.

"Ahh..." Sin hissed, eyes rolling back in his head as Boyd began deep-throating him vigorously, sliding his mouth up and down the length of Sin's dick as Kassian continued to fuck him hard and fast.

Sin could feel Boyd's mouth rocking with Kassian's movements, could feel the low, ecstatic moans that vibrated through Sin each time Kassian or Sin fucked Boyd especially hard. Boyd's body was arching between the two, sweat glistening along his skin and hair catching against the side of his face. His moans grew louder and more desperate as Kassian did Boyd rough, just the way he liked it.

"Yeah, baby," Kassian encouraged breathlessly, his eyes focused on Sin's large cock slamming in and out of Boyd's lips faster.

"Fuck his fucking mouth, Vega," Kassian hissed, eyes narrowing and mouth dropping open as he began fucking Boyd harder, his pelvis slamming against Boyd's ass, a continuous slapping sound that picked up in pace. Boyd let out a pleased, muffled moan that went straight through Sin, making him even hotter for Boyd, for this, for finally feeling this again--

Sin felt almost out of control with how turned on he was, with how good that wet, hot mouth felt sliding up and down his dick. Boyd tried to pull away from Sin briefly, probably intending to take a deeper gasp as Kassian slammed into him, but Sin didn't let him.

He gripped the back of Boyd's head, jamming his cock in Boyd's mouth, down his throat, feeling Boyd gag but not caring. Boyd moaned desperately but didn't complain-- His eyes were on Sin the entire time even as saliva slid down the sides of his mouth, as Sin's thick cock shoved through his lips forcefully; even as he groaned around the length of it each time Kassian brushed against his prostate.

"I need to come," Kassian muttered, both of his hands gripping Boyd's waist as he slammed the younger man back on his cock. His movements became more frantic as he watched Sin and Boyd, his need becoming more urgent.

Boyd shook his head back and forth as best he could while Sin fucked his mouth; obviously not wanting Kassian to stop, not wanting to stop being fucked--

Kassian shouted loudly as he came, jerking his hips against Boyd twice before sitting back with a gasp. He watched Boyd and Sin through narrowed eyes as he fought to catch his breath-- watched as Boyd leaned up and grabbed the base of Sin's dick with one hand, bobbing his head up and down faster and faster.

Sin moaned loudly, digging his fingers into Boyd's hair, clutching the back of his head, "Uhh-- oh God..."

"Don't make him come," Kassian uttered, his lips parted and dry as he watched Sin's spit-covered cock move in and out.

Sin's eyes slid open to glare at Kassian but Boyd actually obeyed, backing off and releasing Sin's dick with a slow slide of his lips, wet with saliva and precome.

"Take your turn, Vega," Kassian said in the same low, gravelly voice, eyes narrowed intently on Sin. "Do him."

"Yes," Boyd breathed, eyes widening slightly, running his tongue over his swollen lips. Sin's gaze was caught on those lips, his cock hardening even further before he looked up to meet Boyd's intense gaze.

Boyd's cock strained between his legs and he idly ran a hand along it a few times.

Sin didn't hesitate to follow through with the suggestion.

Boyd laid back on the bed, starting to lift his legs up even as Sin crawled onto the bed, erection still wet from Boyd's saliva. Boyd adjusted his position, his breath coming fast as he watched Sin with golden brown eyes heavy with lust. He seemed consumed by an almost out of control horniness that made him beg both men to take turns fucking him--

Sin took position, but rather than entering Boyd immediately, he briefly ran his callused hands along Boyd's smooth skin from his thighs up to his knees.

Sin's lips were slightly parted as he stared down at Boyd with eyes like green fire. He gripped Boyd's knees almost painfully and jerked Boyd's legs up further, getting a better angle to shove the tip of his cock in Boyd's hole.

Boyd groaned and panted, "Yes, yes," seemingly without realizing he was talking. Boyd was still slick from Kassian's come and his body didn't resist Sin's straining cock; if anything, that tight, hot hole sucked him in. Sin's mouth dropped open and he let out a low groan, gaze intensifying on Boyd even more before he suddenly shoved all the way in.

Boyd's back arched, his toes curling, and he let out a loud, guttural moan. His hands slid against the mattress, tangling in the sheets, chanting incoherently, "Oh God, oh fuck yes, oh please-- fuck me, please--"

Sin didn't need any further encouragement.

Boyd's body was tight, hot, and willing beneath him, and Sin started slamming into Boyd without thinking. Boyd practically screamed in pleasure, writhing against the mattress, arching his back and begging for faster, for harder, for more. The bed squeaked loudly beneath them as Sin fucked Boyd hard and fast, pulling his dick out far enough each time to slam it back in as far as he could. They moved together frantically, hungrily, and Sin was only encouraged to go faster each time Boyd pleaded for more.

Sin gripped Boyd's waist, slamming him down as Sin rocked his hips forward, mouth falling open as ragged pants escaped his lips. He could feel another pair of hands on him-- Kassian's hands--caressing his back, rubbing his shoulders, and Sin tensed but didn't stop moving against Boyd, in and out of Boyd.

Kassian's lips brushed against Sin's ear, running his tongue along it and Sin couldn't help a shudder, fucking Boyd even more violently in response.

Boyd's fingers dug into the mattress; he was screaming with ecstasy as Sin's thick cock filled him, rubbing against every nerve and driving him insane as he hissed incoherently, encouraging Sin.

"Pound his ass harder," Kassian said against Sin's ear, his deep voice husky and hands still sliding up Sin's shirt before sliding back down his stomach and further-- absently cupping and lightly squeezing Sin's balls before releasing them.

Sin grunted hoarsely, grabbing Boyd's legs and shoving them apart for a better position. He leaned forward, forcing his dick inside Boyd's tight hole at a different angle, fucking into it harder-- harder--

"Oh God--!" Boyd shouted helplessly, straining against Sin, his chest heaving even as his body arched and jerked.

Sweat soaked Boyd, making Sin's fingers slide against his skin even as he speared into Boyd harder, harder, faster-- more violently and with more strength than ever before. Boyd shuddered along his entire length, near-sobs escaping his wide open mouth, his head thrown back and fingers digging into the sheets even as half-closed eyes watched Sin intensely.

Sin could see how hot Boyd was for this, how much he wanted more, more--

"Oh fuck, oh fuck," Boyd was nearly whimpering, barely able to get voice out between his harsh panting and the wrenching moans. His hands reached up toward Sin, sliding along Sin's skin and leaving a fire in their wake that burned into Sin and made him move even faster.

The mattress was bouncing beneath them now, squeaking violently each time Sin's hips snapped forward as he took Boyd as roughly as he could. The slapping sound of skin against skin was overrun by Boyd's loud, pleasure-filled shouts and Sin's harsh grunts and moans.

Sin snapped his hips even faster as Kassian pressed his body against Sin's back, rubbing his once again stiff cock against Sin's ass.

"I wanna fuck you, Vega," Kassian rumbled in his ear.

Sin shook his head, unable to say anything coherent, and Kassian yanked his head to the side-- capturing his mouth in a wet, sloppy kiss. Sin didn't respond at first although he didn't stop Kassian from exploring his mouth thoroughly. But after a moment, he began to kiss back, intoxicated on sex and unable to think clearly as Kassian tangled his fingers in Sin's black hair.

Boyd moaned even louder in the background and started grinding his hips harder against Sin.

Sin could feel Kassian's cock pressing against his ass, sliding between the cheeks and forcing its way insistently in his hole. Sin yanked his mouth away breathlessly, eyebrows drawn together, hands still focused on slamming Boyd against him as Boyd's loud shouts filled the room.

Kassian must have used spit because it didn't hurt quite as much as it should have when his thick cock forced its way inside him. Sin grunted and hips slowed and nearly stopped against Boyd, who twisted beneath him, his face flushed and lips red.

Boyd's eyes were squeezed shut and head thrown back even as he panted with a wide open mouth. "Ah--Ahh--"

Kassian groaned into Sin's ear, his muscular body pressing against Sin's back. "God, you're tight," he muttered appreciatively before he drew his hips back then snapped them forward.

Sin groaned as that hard dick speared into him with enough strength to rock him against Boyd, who moaned in pleasure.

"Fuck yeah," Kassian growled, one hand sliding up beneath Sin's shirt again while the other dug painfully into Sin's hip. He rocked forward again and started moving faster, faster, until he was fucking Sin hard.

Sin gasped helplessly, too lost in sensation to think coherently as his hips began moving with Kassian even as his own dick slid in and out of Boyd. The double pleasure of fucking while being fucked made Sin nearly crazy with lust and he leaned back, his dick ramming up into Boyd while his back was crushed against Kassian's chest.

"You like that?" Kassian demanded in a low smug voice, pulling his cock out almost entirely before slamming back in so hard Sin cried out. "You like taking my hard dick?"

"Ahh, fuck," Sin groaned in overwhelming pleasure that made sparks shoot behind his eyes. His blood ran hot within him like molten lava that set every nerve on fire in its wake.

"I've always wanted to fuck you," Kassian whispered as he pulled Sin hard against him even as his dick shoved harder and deeper into Sin. "I wanted to ram into you; make you scream." He rode Sin faster. "Make you take this dick so far up in you and fuck your hole so bad I'd tear you apart and make you beg for more."

Sin gasped hoarsely, shaking his head back and forth as Kassian said, "You're mine right now, Vega. Fucking mine."

There was a moment of harsh groaning before Sin managed, "You wish."

Kassian was undeterred by the comment. He jerked Sin's head to the side and they started kissing again; a wet, hot kiss that was almost equally tongue action.

Boyd arched his back and opened his eyes, and he was apparently incredibly turned on by the display because he started vigorously pumping his hips against Sin. "Oh God," he hissed in ecstasy, reaching down to grip Sin's waist with his hands. "Oh-- yes, yes..."

His honey brown gaze was so intense it nearly burned through Sin, who pulled away from Kassian with a wrenching groan when Kassian started spearing him straight in the prostate.

Kassian pushed Sin forward for a better angle and started fucking him harder. Sin panted harshly, his dick slamming even faster into Boyd as he got lost in the sensation.

"Getting enough, Boyd?" Kassian murmured and Boyd nodded voicelessly, breathing heavily as he stared hard at them and rocked his hips against Sin.

"You like being used like a dirty fucking whore, don't you?" Kassian smirked when Boyd nodded again as he slammed himself harder onto Sin's dick.

"That's right, baby," Kassian growled as he started fucking Sin so hard that the momentum of both their bodies rocked into Boyd, who threw his head back and screamed, his body nearly arching off the bed entirely. "Take his big fucking cock."

Boyd was practically sobbing from pleasure and his dick strained seemingly painfully between his legs. He started jerking himself off frantically even as he rocked his hips faster against Sin.

"Oh God-- oh fuck yeah, oh fuck me..." Boyd whimpered, his voice low and helpless. He moaned long and low as he shook his head desperately. "Make me come, Sin," he begged hotly.

Sin leaned forward and jerked Boyd up, continuing to move his dick in and out of his partner as he crushed their lips together. Boyd moaned loudly and clutched Sin's shoulders, opening his mouth and immediately sliding his tongue into Sin's mouth.

Sin started fucking Boyd harder and each time he snapped his hips back, he speared himself on Kassian's hard dick, and each time he snapped his hips forward he drove deep into Boyd.

He felt almost out of control with the desire to fuck and be fucked so much that it made him shout hoarsely.

Boyd's panting started to increase exponentially. "Yes, yes, make me come," he was chanting, his gaze centered solely on Sin; as hot and intense on him as Boyd's body was around Sin's dick. "Please, baby... I want you, oh God I want you so fucking bad..."

The words, combined with Kassian riding him hard enough to cause a twisted sensation of pleasure mixed with pain, made Sin's stomach clench tightly. His body was burning with desire and he felt his orgasm build from the very depths of him-- growing and stretching until it made his mouth drop open, his own panting and moaning rising in speed and volume as he slammed into Boyd and back against Kassian desperately.

White hot pleasure built almost painfully within him and Sin was groaning, he was begging without words. He could feel the pressure building uncontrollably within him and he hissed harshly-- He knew he was going to come so hard in Boyd, harder than ever before.

It was almost here, just barely out of his reach-- He threw his head back but kept his gaze intense and locked on Boyd.

It was so close, he couldn't stand it. He was going to come--









Sin sat up straight abruptly, eyes opened wide as he stared around him blearily, clothes damp with sweat with an uncomfortably hard erection pressing against his black pants.


Sin broke off and shook his head back and forth, pressing the heels of his palms against his eyes as he banished the vivid images that danced behind his eyes. The dream hadn't been that bad up until the point where his subconscious had allowed Kassian to fuck him. Sin could still see Boyd sweating beneath him, looking up with darkened golden eyes, his mouth hanging open and begging for it...

Sin shuddered and stood up, forcing the mental image of an incredibly sexy and horny Boyd out of his mind and instead focusing on the horror of dream-Kassian's dick forcing its way into his ass. The effect was like an instant bucket of cold water and Sin scowled, annoyed with his brain for allowing such a pathetic dream to occur, let alone so vividly.

Irritated by the dream and himself for being turned on by the sight of Boyd fucking Kassian, Sin looked around the dank room.

It was the same location from the dream-- the same recon point in bombed out Hunt's Point and even the same filthy bedroom and stained mattress that the threesome had taken place on. For some reason the knowledge irritated Sin further.

Even knowing it had been a dream, something dredged up from the depths of his obviously disturbed brain, it bothered him. Was this some kind of subconscious desire? Did he secretly think the idea of Boyd and Kassian was hot? Did he secretly want Kassian to fuck him?

Sin could have gagged at the notion.

Maybe not.

Maybe it'd just been a product of way too much time spent with Boyd and Kassian in small safehouses for multiple missions one after the other in the past few weeks. Sin was starting to wonder if Carhart was deliberately sending them out on assignments that had a lot of recon just so they'd be stuck in a room together constantly. Maybe he wanted to see if one of them would kill the other at some point.

Sin slid his hand down and squeezed his erection, wincing at how nearly painfully hard it was. Reluctantly, he pressed his back against the wall and undid his jeans, freeing his swollen cock and grimacing slightly as he reached down to wrap his hand around it.

There was no way he was going to traipse out into the other room with a huge erection but the idea of jerking off was incredibly unappealing given the origins of his arousal.

Licking his lips as his eyebrows drew together, Sin squeezed his eyes shut and started masturbating roughly but flickers of the dream kept coming back and every time he heard Kassian's phantom moans, it was horrifying enough for Sin's arousal to dampen considerably.

The sound of Kassian and Boyd talking floated through the wall and didn't help Sin's concentration on trying to ignore the memory of his nightmare. In the end, he gave up on jerking off, thought about something incredibly unarousing and stood against the wall for several long moments as his cock slowly softened.

The sound of raised voices in the next room broke Sin's reverie and forced him to focus on the hushed conversation he'd been ignoring on the other side of the door.

Sin shook himself, fixed his pants and wiped himself off. He tried to appear normal and not like he'd just been having a dream/nightmare about wild sex with the two bickering agents in the next room.

If Carhart was testing them to see how they interacted on long missions, Sin was starting to seriously believe that the test was to see if Kassian and Boyd would ever get along.

Although it had started out with Sin and Kassian on the verge of violence with Boyd as the voice of reason, that was no longer the case. Whereas Sin and Kassian had managed to settle on a mostly civilized relationship, still exchanging smart-assed retorts and annoying each other but never very seriously, Kassian and Boyd couldn't seem to agree on anything.

It was the third consecutive mission that the two men had erupted into an argument over differing viewpoints, differing tactics and a tug of war over who should make the decisions-- the official team leader or the person with more experience.

Kassian's easy release of the reins of team leader had come to a halt as the possibility of him becoming an actual part of the team grew more realistic. And Boyd's sometimes deferential attitude toward Kassian was fading fast as he became more confident in his abilities and decisions.

It was actually kind of amusing to behold and Sin found himself feeling slightly smug to be the only person on the mission without an attitude problem.

Sin opened the door and stepped out into the main area of the tiny apartment, looking at Kassian and Boyd as they glared at each other, secretly glad that this was happening now. It would have somehow been more disturbing if he'd woken up from that hideous dream to find them all chummy.

"I'm not going to stand here arguing all day," Boyd was saying with finality, crossing his arms and looking irritated. "We're not getting anywhere and I'm tired of it. My way makes the most sense so that's what we're doing."

Kassian stared at Boyd and an incredulous laugh escaped his mouth even as his light blue eyes narrowed. "You think your way makes the most sense because you're too fucking hardheaded to see my point and the fact that you have the balls to give me orders is pretty astounding."

"You won't even acknowledge the flaws in your own plan," Boyd retorted in obvious annoyance, straightening his back and meeting Kassian's gaze evenly. "So don't talk to me about being hardheaded. And I'm giving you an order because as the team leader I've looked at the options and this is what works best."

Neither of them glanced at Sin as he observed quietly and Kassian scoffed. "Whatever delusions of grandeur you have at the moment have no basis in reality, Boyd, especially since you refuse to see that key parts of the way you want to go about this mission are completely unnecessary. And if I really thought your idea put this mission at risk instead of just unnecessarily complicating it, I'd knock that team leader hat off your head and do things my way."

Boyd's eyes narrowed and his jaw set. "First of all, I wouldn't put the mission at risk so your scenario isn't going to happen. Secondly-- Just try it. Carhart put me in charge, not you, and if you have a problem with that then take it up with him."

Kassian crossed his arms over his chest and stared at Boyd. "I don't care what Carhart says. He isn't here. I am. And as far as I'm concerned, when it comes down to it, just because someone gave you a title doesn't mean you have the chops to back it up, kid. And you know that, so don't try to throw your weight around and act like it means a goddamn thing to someone with more experience than you. I'm getting sick of tiptoeing around this issue with you and I'm done with it."

Sin's eyebrows rose slightly and he moved across the room to stand near the window, squinting across the river at the plant as all memory of his dream faded in the face of the argument.

There was a brief moment of silence and when Boyd spoke, his voice was low and angry. "Fuck off, Kassian. I know you both have more experience, I know that promotion was bullshit. I know the title means shit. I know in any other circumstances you'd be the one in charge and not me."

Boyd gave Kassian a narrow-eyed glare as he continued stubbornly, "But that doesn't mean I'm going to give into you just because. Maybe it's fucked up that I got this position but I'm still going to take it seriously, I'm still going to try to do my best. Even if the team leader position had nothing to do with this, I wouldn't give this up. I've compromised before and I'd do it again but I'm not convinced this time. And just because you have more years on the job doesn't necessarily mean you're better at everything, that a different way of doing something can't be more efficient. I don't care what my real level should be; my way could still work just as well if not better."

"I don't need to convince you because you're not my superior," Kassian replied flatly. "And I'm frankly getting tired of playing this game and allowing this charade to go on. You don't have the qualifications or background to give me orders and you know that. You know it! But just because you're technically the team leader on paper, you still have the audacity to try to tell me that I don't know how to do a job that I've had a near perfect success rate at for fourteen years. Fourteen years and no failed missions but Team Leader Boyd isn't convinced that I know what I'm doing? Give me a fucking break."

"How the hell am I supposed to learn anything or improve if I always just deferred to you because you're Senior Agent Trovosky and know so much?" Boyd retorted in frustration. "I haven't even lost us a mission, yet you're acting like it's inevitable just because I haven't been at the job as long as you."

Sin's attention, which had been wandering as the initial interest in the argument dwindled, snapped back into place and he looked over his shoulder. "Now now children, are time outs in order until everyone is in a better mood?"

Boyd gave Sin a brief, hard look, clearly unamused by the comment. He shifted his gaze to meet Kassian's eyes but addressed Sin when he replied, "I don't think mood even matters anymore. This isn't going to change."

Kassian shrugged and didn't seem in any rush to disagree with the sentiment. "Sorry Vega."

Sin scowled at him. "What?"

Kassian just shook his head and didn't bother to reply verbally.

Boyd sighed, looking highly frustrated and irritated, and turned away from both of them as he ran his hands back through his hair, his shoulders tense and body partially slouched forward.

After a moment he straightened, dropping his hands at his sides as he looked over at Sin with eyebrows drawing down and genuine regret in his eyes. "I'm sorry, Sin. I can't do this. This whole situation is bullshit and we all know it. We tried but it just isn't going to work."

"Whatever." Sin turned away again and glared out the window again.

"Well since the two of you are getting along again I don't see what the problem is anyway," Kassian said.

Sin just made a face. "It wasn't really about that anymore. That was just the start of it."

"Then wha-- Oh. Right. I forgot about him." Kassian frowned, actually looked mildly sympathetic but he didn't seem any more inclined to change his mind.

Boyd looked between the two of them and sighed, dropping into one of the chairs by the table and leaning back. The poorly constructed wooden chair creaked quietly in the process and his gaze shifted to focus on Sin. "I know you wanted to get out but you never know; they may decide to cut the unit down to only one or two stationed 10's."

"Just forget it," Sin replied, still scowling. "I don't want to talk about it anymore."

He'd had a feeling this was going to happen and even though it was disappointing, it didn't come as a complete surprise. Ever since Kassian had realized that Sin had stopped harboring complete animosity towards he and Boyd over their sexual relationship, there had been indications that Kassian didn't think there was a point in Sin leaving anymore.

"Let's just get this mission over with," Kassian said after a moment, changing the subject. His face was still drawn in an annoyed frown but it seemed as though he was washing his hands of the entire situation as he added to Boyd, "I'm pretty sure I'm done with this so honestly, just do whatever you want."

Boyd nodded and leaned forward, looking at the blueprints again with a frown.

Continue to the next interlude: 3.9, Sift