Title: A Traitor in their Midst (4/?)

Author: zarah

Rating: PG-13 because there'd be some swear words, buddy!

Spoilers: None. Takes place two years after the end of Season One, so none of those things that happened in Season Two actually happened here. Please take note of that so there'd be no confusion.

Dedication: This chapter is dedicated to Victoria. Thanks, hon! You're so very sweet.

Chapter Four

Sinead kept a blank expression on her face as she went back to her room to change. She had plans for this evening, for there was just no chance in hell that she was going to allow those freaks to remain healthy while two of her friends were writhing in pain on their beds. She was personally going to see to it that the members of Mutant X were going to pay dearly for what they had done to Bryn and Glenn.

She pulled the door open, and found to her surprise that someone was already there. "Gabriel," she called, the blank expression on her face replaced by confusion, "what are you doing here?"

Gabriel flashed her a slight smile. "Sinead," he drawled deeply, "just the woman I went home to see." In a matter of moments, he had already walked towards her and had already gathered her in his arms. "Aren't you going to give me a proper 'hello'? I did come home for you, after all."

Sinead flinched at his nearness, but never let her expression convey that. She immediately gave him a kiss on his cheek and said a hurried "Hello," before she stepped out of his hug and went towards her closet.

The moment she awoke from her supposed 'comatose', the first face she had seen had been Gabriel Ashlocke's. She had been told, time and again, by her friends and by the other members of The Strand, that he was her savior, that he had saved her from the accident that completely wiped away her memory. He gave her a new identity, a new life, as Sinead Red. She supposed that she owe him her life, but she never liked the way he always looked at her, as though she was just another of his things, just another of his prized possessions.   

And right now, he was looking at her just like that.

Gabriel chuckled at her act. "Still playing hard-to-get, love?" he asked, his tone amused.

"I'm not playing anything," she quipped dryly as she retrieved a blouse. She was planning on taking a shower first but Gabriel being inside her room kind of placed a damper on things.

"Could've fooled me," he told her. He then nodded at the blouse she was holding. "Going out again?"

Sinead only looked at him. "So you heard about what happened to us last night?" she asked, without answering his question first.

Gabriel crossed his arms in front of him as he made himself comfortable. "News involving you travels fast," he said. "So," he continued, "you've finally met the infamous Mutant X."

Sinead snorted. "I would hardly call them that, but yes, I've seen them. I'm not yet acquainted with the molecular and the telempath, but I made sure that I formally introduced my foot to the elemental's ribs."

Gabriel grinned at that. He would have been very handsome had his eyes been free of the malevolence in them, and of the sickening triumph in their very depths. "That's my girl."

Sinead hesitated at first, but then she went on. "Gabriel," she said softly, absolutely hating what she had to say next, "I need your help. I need to know everything about Mutant X."

"Oh?" he inquired silkily, "and may I ask why you have to?"

"Because payback's a bitch," Sinead said, cocking her head to one side, "and I like to be the one to give them just that."     

*

"So let me get this straight," Jesse said as he and Emma walked towards his car, "Ashlocke's tricking Brennan?"

"I believe Adam's terms were 'Ashlocke's playing with Brennan', but yes, that would be correct."

He frowned as he opened the door on the driver's side. "And Adam would know that how?"

Emma rolled her eyes. "How would I know?" she asked back, as she went and sat on the passenger seat. "But whatever it is that Ashlocke's planning on Brennan, we have to make sure that it won't work. For Brennan's sake, as well as ours."

She quieted down when Jesse started the car. But when they got out into the streets, she asked him, "Do you have any idea where he might be?"

Jesse shook his head. "He could be anywhere."

"Or in any bar," Emma said dryly.

He turned towards her and smiled. "Now there's an idea if I ever heard one." He stealthily turned the car towards the direction of the most popular discos and pubs in the city.

"You know, this would have been very easy if that idiot didn't turn his comlink off," Emma said, the anger in her tone apparent. "I mean, we could've just tracked him down like—"

"Emma," Jesse said soothingly, "calm down. The guy just needed some break, that's all. He's just messed up."

"More like insane. Insisting that Shal's still alive, that's just…" she shook her head, and her tone quivered a bit, "…crazy," she finished softly.

"Hey," Jesse placed a hand over hers and held it tight, "you okay?" his tone was tinged with concern.

Emma nodded slightly. "Yeah, it's just that—" she looked at him, "It's just that I can't help but ask myself, what if what Brennan said was real? What if Shalimar's still alive? And it's… it's just too painful to hope."

Jesse squeezed the hand he held. "I know," he said, "but we all know the truth, don't we? And frankly, it's quite pointless to hope."

She nodded at the truth in what he said.

"Right," He squeezed her hand again before he let go. "Now let's find Brennan and get him the hell out of wherever he is."

"And give him our own version of hell."

"Exactly."

*

"Chuck," Brennan said, as he raised his hand, and motioned for the bill.

The bartender nodded, wrote something on a paper and handed it to him. "You're leaving?"

Brennan looked at the bill and then fished out seventy dollars from his jeans. "Yup," he said, as he gave Chuck his payment. "Break time's over."

Chuck just grinned at him. "I'd be seeing you soon?"

He shrugged. "Sure." Brennan then left his spot on the bar and walked away.

The night was freezing cold when he stepped out. Brennan figured that he needed a long walk just to sort things out. The Double Helix was safely covered up on a free spot, so he didn't have to worry about that being discovered accidentally. He looked at his comlink, and debated on whether or not to turn it on. He decided on the former. As he did, Adam's voice boomed out of it. "Brennan!" he said sharply, "where are you?"

Brennan just sighed. "I'm out here, Adam,"

"Out where?" Adam demanded.

The elemental then realized he made a dreadful mistake. "Just out," he said shortly, his patience wearing thin.

"You know very well that you should never turn your comlink off," their leader admonished him, "what if something happened—"

"Look, Adam," Brennan hastily cut in, "I just needed some space, okay? As you can see, I'm fine."

"I wouldn't be too sure of that if I were you."

Brennan looked up immediately, and his jaw dropped open in surprise.

Standing in front of him, with a triumphant look on her face, was the feral he fought earlier.

"…Shal?" he whispered, almost disbelievingly.