Welcome To The Harem

Final Truths by Lexy Torell and Psi Fi Part 2 of 4
Summary: Deslea's rec: "This Krycek/Other love story is a little sweeter than my usual tastes, but it meshes with a strong mytharc-based intrigue. Well-developed almost-original character and a nice balance of schmoop and angst. Mulder is a strong supporting presence."


Andrea ran to the park, still crying. She moved to
the water, feeling emotionally shattered and trying to
pull the pieces of what she had always believed and
what she had discovered into a unified picture that
she could live with. So far, the two refused to mesh.
She stared blankly at the water.


She glanced over towards the voice; not registering
who it was at first. Fox Mulder gazed down at her,
with a warm, concerned smile.

"Hey, what's wrong?"

Andrea took a deep, steadying breath, trying to focus
on him through the tears still in her eyes.

"I'm fine. Nothing's wrong."

Mulder gave an ironic grin, and then deadpanned.

"Oh, good. I'd hate to think I had to break my date
with the president in order to comfort my girlfriend!"

Andrea gave a shaky laugh, smiling weakly.

"C'mon," Mulder urged. "Tell me what's wrong."

"Oh, god," Andrea groaned at that, turning to face the
water again.

"Hey," Mulder urged, smiling gently. "You're not going
to tell me you have some husband that just returned
from the grave, are you? Personally, I prefer bad
movie cliches to wait until evening to put in an

Andrea bit at her lower lip and shook her head.

"No...nothing like that," she assured him, then took a
deep breath. "Fox...tell me about your sister."

Mulder frowned, slightly, confused by her choice of

"Samantha? What brings her up?"

"Please? Just tell me about her...what was she like?
How did she disappear?"

Mulder's eyes became distant and sad.

"She was eight. I was twelve. Our parents were gone
for the evening. We were arguing over the television.
There was a bright, white light and I couldn't move.
She was taken away. I never saw her again."

"What was she like? Were you close to her?" she asked,
still staring off at the water, not sure she is ready
for the answers.

"Yeah. I love her. I miss her, still. It's been
about twenty years and I think of her every day. I
don't know what she was like. She was only eight,
y'know? She hated carrots, loved stuffed animals, and
didn't want to let me watch The Magician!"

Andrea choked back a short laugh as she swayed on her
feet, her mind forming the image...seeing him. The
image was so real...

"Zorro," she whispered, still focusing on trying to
capture the image in her head.

Mulder's head jerked up.

"Excuse me?!"

Andrea shook her head, moving away from him, realizing
where she was again.

"Nothing. I...I have to get out of here...I can't..."

Mulder moved towards her, trying to prevent her from

"Wait! How did you know that?! Only Samantha knew
that! Do you know my sister?" Mulder demanded,
his voice growing at once anguished and eager.

Andrea groaned and shook her head, frantically.

"NO! I don't *know* her...and I'm *not* her! I can't
do this," she insisted, backing away from him.

Mulder froze.

"What do you mean you aren't her? Did someone say
you're Samantha? Are you?!!"

"No! I don't care what he said...it isn't true! My
father wouldn't..." she trailed off, pausing, then
whispered, "would do anything for *them*!"

She stopped dead in her tracks, staring at Mulder, who
lowered his voice trying to soothe her and coax her
into talking.

"Andrea? Who is your father? Did he tell you that
you're Samantha? What's going on?"

"No, my *father* would never say I was Samantha. He's
the one who sent me here...to you."

Mulder paused, reflecting on Krycek's warning. He'd
played along with Andrea; waiting for signs of
treachery...he just instinctively had sensed the holes
in Andrea's cover story. Yet he still hadn't believed
Krycek had been sincere in his warning.

"Then your father is Cancerman. Did Krycek tell you
that you're my sister?"

Andrea covered her face in her hands, trying to make
sense of everything flashing through her mind...and
failing miserably.

"Andrea!" Mulder pleaded. "Am I right?!"

She heard his tone, her heart wincing, and shook her

"I won't tell you that," she responded, her voice now
devoid of emotion, her mind still in overload.

Andrea knew instinctively that Mulder would go after
Alex and maybe hurt him...or worse.

"You just did," Mulder informed her in a flat,
determined voice. "Ratboy's gone to far this time."

"He was protecting both of us..." she defended weakly,
before drifting off. "I have to go...I can't stay

"You can't trust him. You got that right, if that's
what you meant. He warned me about you, y'know.
Before we met. He's a traitor to everyone."

Andrea glanced sharply at him in surprise.

"I should have guessed, but why did you..."

"I don't know what game that black lung s.o.b. thought
he was playing, but tell him I'm not taking the bait.
Krycek told me to play along and I did mainly because
I didn't believe him and he didn't tell me who to look
out for!"

Andrea paused.

"I trust him with my life."

"If you're naive enough to trust Krycek, you're not
going to be around long! He gave me just enough
warning to stir the pot, but not enough to help me."

Andrea nodded, slowly, glancing over at him. She was
beginning to get a clearer idea of the relationship
between Mulder and Krycek.

"You probably didn't give him a chance to tell
you...let me guess..you had a gun in his face?"

Mulder nodded sharply, not at all embarrassed by her

"I think he killed my father and he's tried to kill me
more than once! Besides, for us, it was actually a
civil conversation...I did ask who to look for."

"Anyway, I have something I have to check
on...and...I'm sorry," she whispered, moving away from
him once again, then ran like she was trying to escape
a demon chasing her.

Mulder watched her go, angry, confused, and grieving.

"Krycek, I am going to kill you!"

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Mulder burst in the door to Andrea's apartment, still
fuming and confused, yelling, "Krycek! You rat
scumbag, where are you?!"

Krycek turned quickly from the window, looking at
Mulder as if he were a madman.

"What are you doing, just breaking in here like that?"
he inquired, keeping his tone low and calm, hoping to
defuse some of Mulder's rage.

"You treacherous, untrustworthy, callous...How could
you not tell me?!"

"I assume you're speaking of Andrea?"

Mulder answered in a deadpan that hid the killing fury
he felt towards his former partner.

"Yeah, I guess you could assume that."

"At the time, she didn't even know...I wasn't about to
tell you, so you could slip up and tell her. She
wasn't ready to know now as it is," he claimed.

"Who made it any business of yours?" Mulder argued,
his voice tight with anger and pain.

Krycek looked down, then back up at Mulder.

"I suppose she did."

"She did? You said she didn't even know. How long
have you known? How long have you kept her from me,"
Mulder grated out in a tortured voice, years of
torment shining from his eyes. "Is she even really
Samantha? Is she some clone made up for your
amusement, Ratboy?"

Krycek swallowed a heavy sigh, burying his own pain,
so he could handle Mulder with cool calm.

"I've known for a few months," he answered. "Yes, she
*is* Samantha. Of that I am sure."

Mulder grinned humorlessly, his eyes still full of

"You know, either way, you've proven just how low you
are. Either she's Samantha and you kept her from me,
*knowing* how much she means to me, or she isn't
Samantha and you're playing some sick game messing
with my head!"

Krycek looked at Mulder in wide-eyed shocked. He
shook his head in disbelief, not understanding how
Mulder could think he was cruel enough to callously
toy with the agent's emotions.

"What the hell are you talking about, Mulder?" he
asked. "I was just waiting until a time when she was
ready to hear it..."

"You could have told me when you first warned me about
dating her!" Mulder screamed, twenty years of
frustration clawing at him.

"You know, she's involved in this as well. Andrea
wasn't ready for all that! She still isn't. You've
obviously seen her if you know what is going on...she
wasn't ready," Alex insisted, trying to appeal to
Mulder's concern for his sister, his own voice
raising. "You aren't the only one involved in this
situation, Mulder!"

"That wasn't your decision to make. When did you get
a psych degree, huh?"

"Andrea was my first priority in all of this, Mulder,
and *that* is why I didn't say anything."

"You're a murdering thug, who doesn't care about
anyone!" Mulder hissed. "All you had to do was tell me
she didn't know...and I would have found a way to help
her! I'm not stupid, Krycek, the last thing I want is
to cause her more pain. But you just can't stop
playing double and triple agent can you? You had no
right to keep that knowledge from me!"

Krycek shook his head.

"Listen to yourself, Mulder. Someone throws hints
about your sister and you go off the deep end. Do you
think I'd risk having you rush in headlong and throw
this at her? Would you have been able to keep away?
No, Mulder, I couldn't take that chance. Depite what
you think, I *do* care about at least one person in
this world...her."

"*You* care," Mulder repeated with bitter sarcasm.
"You're not the one who's spent the last twenty years
wondering if she was dead or alive...you're not the
one who has nightmares every night about allowing her
to be taken!!"

Mulder sat on the couch, his eyes filling with tears.

"You're not the one who's lived with the guilt over
not being able to save her. She's my sister and *I'm*
the one who cares about her..."

"You were twelve years old, Mulder, you couldn't have
saved her if you tried," Krycek tried to assure the
older man, allowing some sympathy to enter his voice.
"I won't apologize for doing what I thought was the
best decision at the time. I would have told you as
soon as I could, you know. It was never my intention
to keep her from you."

Krycek's mouth tightened. He didn't voice the thought
that he *still* wasn't sure telling her was the right
decision. She was still too caught up in the web of
lies that tar-sucking bastard had wrapped her in. He
was surprised Mulder was accepting that Andrea was
Samantha without further proof. His main reason for
not telling Mulder before, which he would never
confess, was that he knew Mulder would not have
believed him, not without proof that Krycek lacked,
and the knowledge would only have hurt Mulder more.
Mulder stood up again, his anger renewed, cutting
through the pain.

"You're missing part of the point, Krycek," Mulder
growled. "It wasn't your decision to make!"

"I had the information and had to *decide* what to do
with it. So, it was at the time, wasn't it?"

"I don't want my sister's fate in the hands of someone
I obviously can't trust at all!"

"Where did you see her, Mulder? Where was she
headed?" Krycek asked, tired of discussing it.

Mulder pouted, sullenly, turning away from his

"Why should I tell you anything? You didn't trust me
enough to talk to me!"

Krycek's voice went very quiet, as he tried to hide
his anger.

"Look, Mulder, I will find her with or with you.
Either way I have to know where she is. So why don't
you just tell me where she went?"

"Why?" Mulder asked, flatly. "What is it to you?"

Krycek's worry and anguish fueled a sudden spark of
rage at Mulder's obstinancy. He grabbed Mulder by the
chest and slammed him up against the wall.

"I'm not going to play games with this, Mulder," he
informed him in low tones of quiet menace. "She isn't
in any condition to be going off on her own right now,
and you know it!"

Mulder snapped. He brought his knee up, connecting
with the lower part of Krycek's abdomen. He then
punched him in the face knocking him, struggling
for breath, to the floor. He punched him again
in the gut and face, before Krycek managed to shove
him away. Krycek moved quickly out of Mulder's way,
placing the couch between them. Mulder stood,
glaring, drawing deep lungfuls of air.

"She wouldn't be missing if it weren't for you!" he
accused, then sneered, "You didn't exactly do a good
job of breaking it to her! Did you, now!?"

Krycek answered in a voice dark with pain, anger, and
self-recrimination, "You have no idea...now, where did
she go?!?"

"I don't know, you stupid rat bastard!" he shouted,
exasperated and enraged. "You think I'd be wasting
breath on you if I did?!"

Krycek quieted his tone, trying to sound reasonable.

"Then perhaps we should quit fighting each other and
find out."

"I have contacts. I don't need your help."

"Fine...except that where she will eventually end
up...you can't get in."

"I've done pretty good against you people so far! Are
you going to let me look around or do I need to get a

Krycek motioned expansively.

"By all means...she won't be coming back here now, I'm

Mulder began looking around the rooms. Krycek stood
still in the same spot in the living room, not moving.
Mulder ignored him for a while, then disappeared into
the bedroom, slamming the door shut. Krycek watched
the door close, then moved over to the couch and sat
down. He waited, brooding, for Mulder to come out
again. He was sure he heard sobbing. Fifteen minutes
later, Mulder emerged, looking haggard.

"Come clean, Krycek. Why are you even interested? Or
pretending interest, I should say..."

Krycek sighed, glancing out the window, before

"Because I love her," he replied, watching for
Mulder's reaction and ready to move quickly if

Mulder blinked; sure he had misheard.


"I love her," Krycek repeated, quietly.

"C'mon, Krycek, you can come up with a better lie than
that! You've had plenty of practice!"

Krycek looked Mulder in the eyes, just staring
earnestly, not hiding his feelings behind his usual
bland mask. Mulder held his eyes with discomfort, not
willing to trust.

"If I let you help me, and I only *might* for my
reasons, I want complete honesty from you."

"And you have it where she is concerned."

"I mean it, Krycek," Mulder rumbled, threateningly.
"You tell me everything as soon as you know it!!"

Krycek nodded in acquiescence, knowing now was no time
to push Mulder.

Mulder continued in a quiet, dark voice, "You've
betrayed me twice, Krycek. Don't do it again!"

Krycek didn't reply. The first betrayal he hadn't
known Mulder, had thought he owed allegiance to
others. Krycek hadn't meant this as treachery at all;
he hadn't expected Mulder to feel betrayed. It seemed
Mulder was going to cast him in the role of traitor no
matter what he did. He refused to make
promises that he couldn't fulfill.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Cancerman burst into his office with a small
complement of his best-trained guards.

"Andrea!" he exclaimed, shocked to find his "daughter"
digging through files without any authorization or

Andrea jumped. She had been so engrossed in the
files; she had neglected to keep an ear open for
approaching footsteps. She groped for her weapon,
but stopped herself before pulling it, glancing at the
two guards. Her father watched her with a stunned,
disappointed expression.

"Andrea, what are you doing here?"

"I'm looking for some information...information that
has been kept from me for the past twenty years,

C.G.B. Spender dismissed his henchmen and sat down
behind the desk. He calmly lit up a cigarette and
took a deep drag.

"What information is that?"

Andrea sat down slowly in the chair in front of the
desk, dreading the coming confrontation, but eager for
some sign that her entire life hadn't been a charade.

"The fact that I am not who I have been told I am..."

"Really? And who told you this...that you're not who
I say you are?" he inquired blandly, any irritation
or concern carefully hidden.

"It was an anonymous tip...it had enough of a ring of
truth to it for me to check into it. Whoever it was,
they were right."

"I see," her father drawled, his voice becoming
cooler. "So, you've taken the word of some anonymous
stranger over me."

Andrea sighed, saddened by her recent discoveries.

"No, I took actual DNA evidence as word over yours,"
she claimed, glancing down at the desk, then looked up
a bright shine to her eyes. "Am I Samantha Mulder?"

The smoker puffed away, calm and cool, unruffled by
the emotion-laden charges aimed at him.

"And what if it is true? What if your DNA does match
that of Samantha Mulder. What then? You know the
importance of the cause and your importance to
it...both as an operative and as my heir. Sacrifices
are often necessary...your work here outweighs any
other considerations...as far as anyone else is
concerned; you are my daughter Andrea Spender. Mere
DNA doesn't change that."

She looked up, staring at his eyes, her own filled
with pain.

"And what about to you?"

Cancerman shrugged, nonchalantly.

"What about me?"

"As far as everyone else is concerned, I am your
daughter, but...what about you? How do you feel?"

He pulled slowly on his cigarette.

"I raised you as mine, didn't I? No one forced that
on me, it was my decision. I am your father."

Andrea leaned back in her chair, not feeling as
comforted as she had imagined she would.

"Why? Why was I taken from them?"

"You were given to us, to contribute to the cause.
You had and still have vast potential."

"I see," she sighed. "I have to tell you that I feel
completely betrayed. I've suddenly found out that my
life was a complete lie!"

"Nonsense," he remonstrated, lighting another
cigarette. "Your life is what I, at first, and later
you, made it. You are who you have always been...a
soldier and contributor to the cause."

"What about Mulder?"

"What about him? He fails to see the importance of
our work...he blindly pursues a justice that will kill
us all."

"He's my brother. Part of the reason he's like he is,
is because of me!"

Cancerman stamped out his cigarette, twisting out the

"I don't think so. He made his choices. It's been
twenty years. He could have chosen to get on with his
life. Like the rest of us."

Andrea stared off into space, not really convinced,
but knowing this was the best she was going to get.
She could already feel him growing cooler, losing
patience with the conversation.

"Perhaps you're right."

He nodded, serene, convinced of her surrender.

"Of course I am. Was there anything else?

Andrea ran her hand over her face, trying to ease the

"No," she whispered, and then continued, still
quietly, "I suppose I should ask for new orders."

"We'll talk more about that later," he dismissed.
"And Andrea? Don't betray the trust you've been given
here again."

She looked up into his eyes, shivering at the coldness
she saw there.

"I won't."

He smiled without emotion.

"Good. That's all I wanted to hear. You're tired.
You should get some rest."

"Yes, I believe I will do that," she agreed
obediently, standing and moving to leave, still

Cancerman watched her go, unmoved.

***** ***** *****

Alex stood outside the door to Andrea's quarters
within the Consortium stronghold and knocked firmly.
Inside, Andrea sat staring into space, but the loud
rapping brought her back to reality.

"Come in..." she called.

Krycek walked in and stared down at his love.

"Well, well...look who's home..."

Andrea stood suddenly, glaring at him and on guard.

"What do you want?" she inquired, and though her eyes
were bright with indignation, her voice sounded dead.

Alex smiled sadly, sensing her hurt and despair.

"Is that anyway to greet me? What do you want me to
want?" he asked softly, wondering why everyone he had
met in the Mulder family insisted on asking him that
with such venom.

Andrea's mouth tightened; she didn't want to be
reminded of her feelings for him.

"Shouldn't you still be in Washington?"

Krycek smirked.

"I am definitely not Mulder's type," he joked,
referring to their abandoned assignment, as he sat
down in the chair next to her couch. "C'mon, Andrea.
You're a professional who knows this place inside out.
All I'm suggesting is that you let me take you out to
lunch to relax for a little."

Andrea glanced down, nodding, "Okay."

"Good, let's go," Alex encouraged, stroking her cheek
gently, trying to reassure her. "Trust me..."

She pulled back from his hand, her glance sharpening.

"I did that already."

She glared up at him and he could easily read the
barely controlled anger behind her defeated
appearance. He sighed, suddenly tired.

"Are you going to tell me I betrayed you too?"

"How long did you know before you told me?" she
countered, raising an eyebrow.

Alex stared intently at her, trying to gauge her
willingness to listen, his own emotions blazing
unconcealed from the sea of his eyes.

"I've known for quite awhile, actually...I wanted you
to see past some smaller lies first...so it wouldn't
be such a shock."

"Yeah, that's what I thought. Look, let's not discuss
this here...we'll continue, when we get to the

Krycek shrugged, recognizing mannerisms similar to her
brother's that stated she didn't want to be argued

"All right."

Andrea grabbed her coat and led the way out to her
car, Krycek following silently. She got into the
passenger's side of the car and waited for him,
putting her keys into the ignition. Alex climbed in,
adjusting the seat for his much longer frame, and
started the engine.

As soon as the car started to move, Andrea resumed
speaking in a friendlier tone.

"I haven't had a chance to check my quarters for
bugs...and right now I wouldn't trust it," she

Krycek smiled assuringly.

"Yeah, I know. I was trying to be careful."

Andrea shook her head.

"You didn't do a great job at it then."

Krycek shrugged, unconcerned.

"He doesn't trust me anyway...We have a very uneasy
truce that's preventing a bloodbath on both our
parts," he admitted candidly.

Andrea stared out the window at the passing scenery,
not wanting to hear of the hate that existed between
the man she loved and the only father she could
consciously recall.

"I refuse to be the reason that your situation erupts
into violence, Alex."

Alex entered a public park that had paths for cars,
where you could drive and enjoy the scenery. He knew
the car wasn't bugged and following the meandering paths
would give them a chance to talk.

"Andrea," Alex husked, knowing he had to change the
subject. "Look, I'm sorry. I couldn't just blurt out
the truth without any evidence to give you and no
forewarning. And...you've been so devoted to the
cause and to *him* that I wasn't sure you'd care."

"And you think I do now?" she demanded sharply,
glaring at him now.

"I hope so...I think so. The arrogant Ms. Spender I
first met on this case might not have, but the Andrea
that I watched over when she had bad dreams, that I
held in my arms, and that ran from a
photograph...yeah, I think she cares."

Andrea closed her eyes, turning from him, not wanting
to hear that.

"Andrea? Don't let that tar-sucking monster make you
something less than human...not even in the name of
saving humanity."

"I am who I have made myself to be...I have made my
choices. And this is the life I have chosen...the
cause I have sworn to protect!"

Alex winced, becoming quiet, and feeling a bit
ashamed. He remembered too clearly his own, misplaced
trust in the old man and his dedication to a cause he
had not understood.

"I understand that all too well, but I've learned some
hard lessons. I was possessed by one of the aliens
we're collaborating with...it was..." he gulped,
trying not to allow the memory to take over, "an eye-

She looked at him, intrigued and horrified. She had
never heard this before.

"What happened?"

"It used me to get back to its ship. I was in a
bathroom in a Hong Kong airport. A woman walked in
and attacked me. The next thing I knew, I was in an
abandoned missile silo with oil running out of my
mouth, my ears, my nose, and even my eyes. It
was...horrible. I'd been locked in there...alone
except for this alien thing...to die. By your

"He wouldn't..." she broke off, staring out the
window, contemplating just what her father *would* do.

Krycek smiled sharply.

"You see? I've done some pretty harsh things for the

"I suppose he would do anything in the name of the
"cause"...but...this doesn't excuse the fact that you
lied to me for so long, Alex."

"It's not meant to. Like I said, I just wanted to
ease you into it. I didn't want it to be the painful
shock you experienced. I wanted to get you used to
the idea that some of your ideas, like about your
father and Mulder, were wrong."

"Speaking of...where is Mulder?"

"I didn't make excuses or apologies to Mulder and I'm
not going to make any to you. I think he's checking
out some sources of his. Probably getting information
on you."

"I can get him the proof he needs..if he wants it."

Her mouth thinned again. She was still unsure where
she was headed with all of this...and still angry at
Krycek. He smiled ruefully.

"Oh, he believes. He hesitates over it, but deep
down, he knows the truth has finally come out..." he
assured her, then smiled sadly. "He's found his holy

"So, what will he do now?"

"What he's always done...keep looking for you in an
attempt to return you to his and his mother's sides.
I told you, finding out you're alive would only focus
his determination."

"I can't do that."

"No? What has the cause got to do with your personal

"They'll never allow it...you know that. *He* will
never allow it."

Krycek smirked, answering, "I'm living proof that they
don't have absolute control, Andrea. Have you asked?"

"He would kill me before he would let me go to
them," she insisted, then muttered, "I did ask, sort

She paused, realizing for the first time, just how
true those works probably were. The man she
considered her father *would* kill her, before he
allowed anyone else near her. She watched Krycek's
features go blank and hard, recognizing his killing

"Not very fatherly of him. I don't think I could
allow that."

"Alex, don't put yourself up against him. It isn't
worth it."

Alex's cold, green eyes focused on her intently and
his gaze became warmer, though no less dangerous.

"You are. And I've been up against him since I saw
the blinking clock sign warning me the car was going
to blow up."

Andrea looked into his eyes, just as intently, then
looked away.

"Dammit!! Why did you have to do this to me?!?"

"For your sake. For Mulder's," he answered calmly.

"I won't go against the Consortium."

"I never said you should...the Consortium's goal is to
save humanity...but it's methods may be changing."

"I don't know what you mean."

"The conspiracy is breaking apart. There are factions
developing. Some want to continue to
collaborate...others want to join the rebel aliens.
Resistance is becoming possible. We may not have to

Andrea shook her head.

"No. I've served them my whole life...I can't change
that now."

"You want to be a toady for a conquering race set on
enslaving all of humanity?"

"That's not what we're fighting for!"

Alex glanced sideways at her.

"Yes, Andrea, it is. A few men like your father will
have relatively easy and secure lives. The rest of
humanity will be turned into clones and used as cheap
labor. That was the bargain the old men made in an
attempt to preserve humanity."

"You don't know that," she protested, not wanting to
accept it, shaking her head and looking at him as if
he were nuts.

Krycek sighed, knowing he had to make her face some
hard truths.

"Of course I do. I've seen these things, Andrea. I've
seen what we're accomplishing."

"Then why haven't *I* ever seen it? I think I'm smart
enough to notice these things...don't you?"

"I've been possessed by one of the aliens and I know
exactly what it thought about me and humans. You
never went on the run, struggling to survive...looking
for bargaining chips."

"So far, I haven't ever had to. I've never betrayed

She drifted off leaving another "so far" hanging
unspoken between them.

"And, you had a *father* to protect you and redirect
your attention."

"Are you saying I just allowed myself to be
manipulated like a puppet?" she demanded, her anger
coming out again.

"I never betrayed them, until they betrayed me first,"
he reminded her, then spoke assuringly, "No. I'm not
saying that. You were raised in the Consortium. You
never had any reason to question the loyalty or
affection of the smoker. He's careful, Andrea. He's
a master player."

"You should have seen his eyes...so cold, unfeeling.
I never noticed that before. He doesn't look on me as
his daughter, just as a means to an end. I just don't
know what that is yet."

Krycek grimaced.

"All killer's develop that look sooner or later. I've
seen it in the mirror a few times...it's unsettling.
Yet look how easily you set out to drive an innocent
man over the edge of insanity."

Andrea closed her eyes in pain at the memory. She'd
given no thought, no compassion to the man she had
planned to ruin.

"Yes, all because of loyalty to a man I thought loved

Alex gazed calmly, almost reassuringly, at her.

"All because you thought you were helping save the

Andrea studied him, smiling just slightly, wanting so
badly to believe him and his assurances.

"I need to see Mulder."

Alex nodded, relieved that he didn't have to convince

"I can arrange that from the restaurant."

"All right," she agreed, feeling the beginnings of

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Mulder entered the private dining room that Alex had
commandeered. His eyes were dark with concern.
Krycek placed his hand on Andrea's and nodded at

"Mulder," he greeted.

Andrea bit her lower lip and gave Mulder a small
smile, obviously nervous. She didn't acknowledge
Alex's hand, not quite sure if she was still mad at
him or not.

"Andrea," Mulder addressed her hesitantly, "I...I know
this is hard on you."

She nodded.

"It is, but...I'll survive," she allowed, but then
muttered, "maybe."

Mulder flinched visibly, deep pain evident in his
eyes. Krycek squeezed her hand, a little ungently.
Andrea sighed, glancing at Krycek, then back to

"Why don't we sit...and talk?"

Mulder nodded slowly.

"I saw the DNA proof. Um, here," he offered, fumbling
in his coat and drawing out a photo of their mother.
"I thought, well, I thought you might like to have

Andrea reached out and took the picture, her hand
visibly shaking as she took it and sat back down.
Krycek shifted uneasily.

"I, uh, told Andrea what we know about the Consortium
and it's goals...and about the rebels."

Andrea sat in her chair, just looking at the picture,
biting at her lower lip. The woman was the mother
from her dreams, older now, with short, silver hair,
rather than long, brown tresses. Still, it was her.
Just as the boy in her dream was the boy in the photo
Alex had shown her. But, except for dreams, she could
not recall her. Andrea couldn't remember calling her,
or any other woman, mother.

"Andrea," Mulder pleaded. "Please say something.
Did, did he, your, uh, *father*...he didn't hurt you
did he?"

Andrea's eyes flew up, surprised at his suspicion, her
eyes sad, and shook her head.

"Not physically, no."

Mulder looked extremely relieved.

"Good, that's good. Um, please, tell me about
yourself. Where were you taken? Where did you go to

"I don't remember much of anything from before I was
about nine. I was placed in a girl's boarding school
in Europe for a while and then I was brought over here
when I hit fifteen...to another private boarding
school. Then I went on to Harvard. Not much to tell,
I suppose."

Mulder felt a flush of pure, hot anger at the cold
upbringing she had received. His own hadn't been
great after Samantha disappeared, but at least he
hadn't been shipped off. He'd had a mother to come
home to.

"So, he didn't really raise you."

She shook her head, startled by his anger.

"He was there...off and on...but, his job..kept him
traveling. I was always told that he was saving the
world...and...I believed him," she explained, then
muttered, "Stupid, I suppose."

Mulder shook his head, a tender smile on his lips.

"No, just terribly young and misled by someone you

"I honestly thought he was my father," she sighed. "I
believe that right after they took me, they did some
brainwashing before placing me in the Boarding

Krycek nodded.

"Oh, yeah, almost definitely. Along with DNA tests and
who knows what else. I mean, you went missing when
you were eight and can't remember anything before you
were nine."

"Lost time," Mulder mumbled.

Andrea looked at Krycek and nodded.

"Yes...and, I honestly thought that the things I saw
happening could never happen to me."

Mulder smiled sadly.

"Yeah, we all think that..."

"Tell me what happened...please?"

Mulder nodded, sighing deeply.

"I thought, I still think, that you were abducted by
aliens. Probably the same beings that your *father*
collaborates with..."

Andrea nodded, agreeing, "Probably."

"We were arguing about what to watch on TV. We'd been
playing Stratego. Suddenly there was this bright
light and I couldn't move. You floated away. We never
talked about you. It drove us all apart. Mom and Dad
divorced," he broke off briefly to glare at Krycek.
"He died two years ago."

Andrea glanced back and forth between the two, not
knowing what was going on between them.

"Died? How..."

"He was murdered. I can't prove who did it, though I
have my suspicions," he growled, staring hard at

Andrea glanced up at her lover.


Krycek sighed.

"I didn't kill him. I was supposed to warn him not to
talk to you. I was hiding in the shower and the
bullet came from the window!" he explained, staring
blandly back at Mulder. "I'm not responsible for
everything that goes wrong in your life, Mulder."

Andrea sighed in relief, not wanting any more reasons
to be mad at Alex.

"Alex thinks I need to spend some time with you
and...our mother. I'm almost afraid to do that."

Mulder reached across the table and held her hand.

"But you don't have to be afraid of anything anymore.
You're not alone! I know you need time to adjust, but
I need you to know that I am always there for you! I
always have been," he vowed, smiling sadly. "I just
couldn't find you."

"You're right...I do need time to adjust. I'm so
confused right now. I don't even know what to

Andrea looked down at their joined hands, letting him
hold hers, but not returning the hold. Mulder started
to speak, but stopped, not sure what he could say.

"He's already basically told me that he wouldn't just
let me go, without actually saying so, that is."

"Andrea, I know you must...care...about him. But I
have to make him pay! Not just for taking you away,
but for all of the people he has cruelly murdered and
destroyed...for betraying the human race for his own
ends," Mulder stopped, abruptly, not wanting to hurt
her. "I'm sorry, but that's how I feel. He's hurt me
too much"

Andrea closed her eyes and sighed.

"He isn't the only one guilty of all that and I'm not
completely sure I believe in all of what I've been
told...the Consortium...I thought we were trying to
save humanity...not destroy it."

"I know better...I've seen what these people do. Why
do you think they want to dispose of me? I've seen
the truth...I just can't prove it. The Consortium
seeks to enslave humanity to an alien race, securing
positions of power for themselves..."

"I told her some of what I had seen," Krycek
interjected. "Take it slow, Mulder. She

Andrea stood abruptly, moving back and forth, pacing.

"I can't just...turn against them."

"I told you, Andrea," Krycek reminded her, "you don't
have to betray the Consortium."

Mulder glared hard at Krycek.

"Yeah, Krycek, we know how deep you are in with them."

Andrea stopped her pacing to glare at Mulder.

"Will you stop it?" she snapped, a bit irritated at
having to deal with their animosity at that moment.

Mulder looked up from his chair with an expression of
hurt innocence.

"What? Why is it my fault?"

She raised her eyebrow.

"I believe because you are the only one throwing
around nasty comments and looks at the moment."

"Well, if you had to put up with the same stuff from
him that I do, you wouldn't like him either," Mulder
grumbled, then accused, "He handed Scully over to be

Andrea put up a hand.

"I'm not prepared to get into that right now."

Mulder sighed, knowing his sister did not need any
more problems to work through.

"Okay, I'll ignore him..."

"For him, that's an improvement," Krycek offered,

"Alex, you too," Andrea warned.

He smiled with disarming charm.


Andrea returned her attention to Mulder.

"Look, right now I need to go back, do my job, and
figure some things out...check on a few things and
decide where I am with all of this."

Mulder nodded, not wanting to see her go, but willing
to do what was best for her.

"I know, but please, think about things and look into
what's happening...and...try not to hurt anyone, ok?
Try to protect the innocent," he pleaded.

Andrea lifted her chin at that.

"I never felt I was hurting anyone who was innocent.
That's where the problem lies, isn't it? Everyone has
a different definition of innocent."

Mulder sighed, saddened and disappointed by the
coolness of her response.

"My definition of innocent is anyone who has not been
convicted of a crime after being given a fair trial in
a court of law. These men hurt innocent children,
Andrea. They abduct housewives and teenagers. I've
seen that myself."

Andrea shook her head, horrified by the claim.

"I won't believe that until I have proof."

"I understand that. I've been trying to get proof and
I'll find a way to get you what little I do have."

She nodded.

"I'd appreciate that. I've already been caught
snooping once. I don't think they'll take too kindly
to it again."

Mulder paled a little.

"Be very careful, Andrea. These men wouldn't hesitate
to kill you. Dad was one of them once and they didn't

She nodded sharply.

"I know."

"Don't worry about it, Mulder," Krycek assured him.
"I'll handle the Consortium. You just worry about
your...personal relationship."

Andrea sat down again next to Alex.

"Thank you, Alex," she whispered, smiling slightly.

Mulder nodded, hesitantly, not wanting to thank
Krycek, but unwillingly grateful that someone was
there to watch over his little sister. Andrea ran her
fingers through her hair.

"I need to get back. They're going to wonder where I
am and come looking for me soon."

Krycek nodded.

"Plus, we need to find out what our new orders are
going to be. I may even be able to get us some help.
Mulder, I'll contact you when I can...if I have
anything for you."

Mulder nodded, sighing, and looked intently into
Andrea's eyes.

"Please, be careful."

Andrea smiled slightly, nodding.

"I will."

Mulder got up and left, not wanting to watch his
sister walking away with Krycek. Andrea sat, staring
at the table for a few minutes.

"Andrea? Are you ready?"

She look up at him and nodded, pulling out of her

"Yeah, I am."

Alex smiled gently, placing a hand on her shoulder.

"It'll work out. You'll see. It'll be better than
either of you imagine...if the right people win the

Andrea looked at him, wistfully.

"And how can we be sure the right people are winning
the game?"

Alex smiled, enigmatically.

"Well, I think you need to see some proof, before I
can answer that question."

"I think you're right."

Krycek smirked.

"Odd admission, coming from a Mulder," Krycek mumbled.
"Wonders never cease."

"Just get me home...I need some rest."

Alex nodded and led her out the door, guiding her
gently by the hand. Andrea didn't fight the familiar
touch, enjoying the feeling. He walked silently to
the car, sensing she was talked out and needing time
to adjust.

***** ***** *****