This is a Third Season story, but Diana is involved because I always liked her as a character.

My favourite fanfiction is the crossover

Included here in you will find characters – not mine – from Dick Wolf's Law and Order SVU, Beauty and the Beast (obviously) and characters inspired by James O'Barr's Crow – as well as Kenneth Johnson's television series, Alien Nation (for those unfamiliar, simply assume that in 1994, a space ship carrying a quarter of a million aliens crash landed in California… the Tenctonese, or New Comers, have slowly been integrated into American society, although few have made it as far East as New York.)

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This story is rated M. There is some strong language, adult situations and violence – mostly centred around my Crow character (who is indeed mine, although her concept comes from James O'Barr's wonderful graphic novels, which of course inspired an equally wonderful movie. Above all, I have endeavoured to remain true the original characters – and I hope that you will enjoy what I've done with them!)

Please also allow me to apologize in advance for the formatting fubars in this one... it was the first thing I posted here and I honestly have not been able to make the time to go back and fix some of the misakes.

As always, I appreciate reviews both positive and negative, especailly on older pieces like this. That said, I wrote the original version of this over 20 years ago (SVU charactesr were added later). I'm not especially likely to change it just because someone says I should.

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So Cold the Night

a retelling of the beginning of the end…

The original episode, entitled Though Lovers Be Lost, aired in December of 1989

Some areas of the story presented here may be truncated because it happens exactly as the story as it was already presented. Rather than throw the original script back at you, I've chosen to abridge certain areas to get to the "new stuff".

Dedication: in honour and loving memory of my Grandmother,

Mrs. Helen Garzia Braund

-

Prologue:

April, 1989

We walk the narrow path

Beneath the smoking skies

Sometimes we can barely tell the difference

Between the darkness and the light

Do we have faith

In what we believe?

The truest test is when we cannot

When we cannot see…

I hear the pounding feet in the streets below and the women cry and the children moan and there's something wrong and it's hard to believe that love will prevail…

It won't rain all the time,

The sky won't fall forever

And though the night seems long

Your tears won't fall forever…

Jane Siberry

"Look, kid, I can't help you if you won't help yourself!" The big dark skinned cop slammed his open palm on the table, frustration and anger showing clearly on his face and in the tone of his voice. He knew the kid was innocent – that bastard Moreno was railroading him. Seventeen and the death penalty was being argued – the system was screwed. The kid was being screwed – and he seemed content to just sit back and take it.

"Don't know what you want me to say," the boy shrugged, nonchalantly; he looked bored. He was a good looking kid - or at least he used to be. It didn't really look as if he'd been taking care of himself; he clearly hadn't shaved in over a week. The effect was more scruffy than grown up.

"Tell me you didn't kill your sister!"

"Evidence says I did. Guess evidence don't lie."

"Damn it – you're on trial for your life – doesn't that mean anything to you?"

Andy Zito lowered his voice, leaning in close. "Look, you're a good cop. Stay out of it. For your own good. YO!" the last was yelled to the guard outside the door. "I'm ready to go back to my cell. Peace," he told the detective as he walked out.

"Yeah, man, peace."Odafin Tutuola - Fin to his friends -watched the kid go. There was no way in hell he was going to drop it. No way in hell.

-

Fin sat at Kate Zito's grave; the girl had been fourteen. She'd been tortured, raped and doped up with so much morphine she died of an overdose. The soil over her grave was still fresh from the burial; it was damp from last night's rain. The earth crumbled through his fingers, smelling of green moss and grass. Damn it. Damn it all to hell and back again! Fin's gut told him that the kid was innocent - told him that something, somewhere, was very, very wrong.

But the evidence pointed the other way. Zito's prints were on the bottles of morphine that he denied were his, despite their being found in his room. There was no blood on his cloths and none in his basement, where the body had been found but what did that mean, really? Cloths could be desposed of, blood could be cleaned up; hell, maybe she had been killed somewhere else and dumped there. It sure looked that way - not that it seemed to matter to anyone else.

Fin and his partner had been called in because of the morphine connection; IAB was poking around too. They'd been sniffing around for a while - Fin knew that something was up. Then he and his partner got told to go mind their own business; Andy Zito, who had been protesting his innocence to anyone who would listen, had suddenly clammed up, making the D.A.'s case look stronger. Now, Zito was cool. He was collected. He was silent. He was ready to die – but Fin could see in his eyes that he hadn't given up. It just didn't make sense. "This whole god damned city doesn't make any sense any more" he said to the big black bird that was watching him from the branch of a big old sycamore tree. It squawked, as if in agreement and Fin laughed at himself for talking to a bird. Hell, some days he thought he was screwed up.

"So why is your brother so eager to die?" Fin asked the grave. "If you're dead – and got no family – what else is worth dying for? A girlfriend, maybe?" his pager went off. What now? He recognized his captain's home number, and frowned more deeply. The place wasn't that far from where he was, so he drove the fifteen minutes to talk to her in person.

-

"Something told me you'd show up instead of calling," Joanna Avery opened the door to admit the detective.

"What's up?"

"I wanted to be the one who told you. Andy Zito's dead."

"Dead – how?"

"He killed himself. Slit his own throat. Looks like it's over."

"It ain't over. It won't ever be over - not til I know what really happened to Kate Zito."

"Do you need to take a coupla days off"

"No. I'll be fine" he lied. It started to rain again.

-

Fintook himself home – he kissed his sleeping son's forehead and climbed into his own cold bed; outside, the crow sat perched on his window sill…

Not over. Not over...still not over…but the next chapter wouldn't be written for some time. Time, needed to heal. Time, needed to get strong.

Time. There was always time. And until the time was right, there was only watching and waiting…the big black bird flapped away to the grave of the dead girl…to wait…until she was ready to return…until she was ready to kill the men who had killed her…the men who had killed her brother…men who would kill and kill again until someone was strong enough to set things right…

Gabriel, the crow whispered to the girl's spirit. His name is Gabriel. He's dead already – he may not know it yet, but he's dead already…isn't he?

-

Chapter One

December, 1989

When the dark wood fell before me

And all the paths were overgrown

When the priests of pride say there is no other way

I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see

Though you came to me in the night

When the dawn seemed forever lost

You showed me your love in the light of the stars

Cast your eyes on the ocean

Cast your soul to the sea

When the dark night seems endless

Please remember me

Then the mountain rose before me

By the deep well of desire

From the fountain of forgiveness

Beyond the ice and fire

Cast your eyes on the ocean

Cast your soul to the sea

When the dark night seems endless

Please remember me

Loreena McKennit

Pregnant. The word echoed in Catherine Chandler's mind, even though the reality of it still hadn't settled on her. Pregnant. She was pregnant. With Vincent's baby. There was of course no other possibility – yet the possibility seemed impossible to wasn't as ifthe basic concept of the birds and the bees waslost on her – and in the heat of the moment things had happened – wonderful, magical things…things that might be more wonderful if he could remember them. If they hadn't come at the end of such a cold and terrible darkness in his life. It was a darkness that had nearly consumed him – even so, he was still suffering it's after effects. Perhaps she should wait to tell him – wait until he was better. And yet – what would this pregnancy bring?

-

She could tell, even as she stepped into his chamber, that something was wrong. Vincent looked up. Ever since that night in the Darkness, he had looked upon her with mixed joy and sorrow. And there seemed to be no cure for his pain. "I need to talk to you," Catherine began, uncertain exactly what it was she wanted to say.

"I can see that," he told her gently; everything about Catherine's body language told him that something was amiss – yet he could not feel it. He could not feel her. He hadn't been able to feel her since the night he succumbed to the Darkness; and still he had no memory of it, only waking up in her arms. She was a stranger to him – a stranger whose face he knew, whose heart he trusted – but he had not even remembered her name until she told it to him. Though she had promised she wouldn't let him forget, he wondered, looking at her now, if she wasn't having second thoughts about them. After all, she was beautiful – more, she was normal. Her world was far above them, in the city…his was Below. He would always be confined to the Tunnels and the Darkness…how could this radiant creature of light bear to be in his company? "There was a time when I would have come to you," he tried to express what he was feeling, knowing that there had been a time when she would just know, just understand – when he would know what she was feeling. A time when he would have known for sure that she wasn't thinking of ending their fragile relationship.

"What do you mean?" Catherine took off her coat and came to sit next to him – to be near the man she loved more than life itself. He was so broody – so much a shadow of himself. Would her news bring delight – or dread?

"Catherine, I look on your face and I can see your unrest. There was a time when I could have felt it, here," with gentle fingers, he touched her heart. She did not flinch or back away. "There was a time when I felt what you were feeling, everything...across a city...across a continent. Now I have to wait for you to tell me. There was a time when I could feel you coming to me, feel you nearing the tunnels. There was a source of great joy radiating from you, filling me with joy. Tonight, I waited until the sentries sent me a message to tell me that you were here. I had no other choice. I did not know you were here."

"I don't understand – what's different now?"

"Its gone."

"What's gone?"

"Our connection...our connection, our bond."

"You've been through a great deal. It will return with time."

"No. I don't think so," Vincent shook his head, sadly.

"Have faith that it will."

"It is lost to me. Everything has a price."

"A price? Price for what?" She asked.

"For this new peace – this contentment that has come over me. But Catherine, what have I lost? I have become so accustomed to feeling you – and now there is only emptiness. What if what I lost is more important that what I've gained."

"I don't think that it is lost. Even if it is, it was a gift. It came to you in a life when it was needed, you used it, and perhaps it is no longer needed."

"More than once it saved your life."

"Maybe the gift will return to you in another form, something you never dreamed of. Vincent, your power was extraordinary, but it has nothing to do with what we are together, what we feel for each other, that is our connection. And if one gift is lost, there are other gifts waiting to be found. Believe me, Vincent, there are so many gifts waiting for you...all you have to do is...just open your arms and receive them," she leaned in closer to him, rewarded by the strength of his arms around her slender shoulders. "So many gifts," Catherine murmured, listening to the quiet beating of his heart. He was so troubled – still hurting from what had happened. No, she decided, tonight wasn't the time to tell him. There would be time – plenty of time. At least three months before she began showing – she wouldn't wait that long, but a little longer wouldn't hurt.

"What was it you wanted to tell me?" Vincent asked, after a long while of enjoying the warmth of her body against his.

"It isn't important that I tell you now – it can wait until next time. I should go – I have a lot of work to do tomorrow – don't worry," she leaned up and kissed his cheek. "Everything is going to be fine."

"If you say it will be fine, than I believe you."

Catherine smiled, "I brought you a gift," she handed him the simply wrapped book.

"Catherine," he began – her generosity was overwhelming. "A new journal?"

"It seemed appropriate."

"Yes. It is beautiful," Vincent opened the front cover. She had written a message to him:

With love all things are possible –

forever, Catherine. Forever?

Hope swelled in his heart. "Forever"

"Yes. Forever." Catherine smiled up at him.

Forever. He pulled her close.

"I should go soon - it's getting late."

"I'll walk you home."

"I'd like that," Catherine snuggled into his arms for another delightful moment. Each time she left him, it was harder to go – perhaps with this new development she would come Below. She thought about the possibility, as they began the long walk towards her home Above. Her friends, Jenny, Nancy, Rita – Joe. She would miss them, especially Joe, but even moving here, she wouldn't be gone forever; she would visit. This would be her home, and Above would be the place that she visited… and there was at least the possibility that the child would look like his or her father, so really there was no choice, no way Vincent could argue with her over the decision… perhaps she should call Peter Alcott in the morning. He would tell her to talk to Father, of course – and she knew that she should. But first she would talk to Peter – find out if she should quit now or if she could keep working, at least until they got the s.o.b. who hurt Joe. Then she would quit.

But before that, she would tell Vincent about the baby, and together they would tell Father. That was the way these things should be done. Then, she would find some way to say good bye to Joe, at least for a little while – and she would come Below, to have her child. And everything would be all right.

"You seem happy," Vincent observed, as they walked towards the catacombs beneath her apartment building.

"That's because I'm with you. I love you, Vincent."

Her words melted his fears and he pulled her close to him, his arm around her shoulders as they walked; perhaps the Darkness was indeed behind them…

-

"Pregnant, Cathy, are you certain?" There was only one possibility of who the father could be and it scared him. And yet…a child. Vincent had such a gentle heart…but that was assuming Cathy actually wanted this baby…

Catherine laughed into the receiver, "Of course I'm sure. I gave blood – a nurse told me that I shouldn't have in my condition. That's how I found out."

"What are you going to do?"

"That's why I called you. What are pregnant women supposed to do?"

"Catherine – I meant, are you going to – carry to full term?" Peter held his breath. Of course if she didn't want to carry the child, he couldn't blame her. He would be more than happy to see to the details – no, that wasn't true, he would hate to do it. But he would do it, as a friend and as a doctor, and to protect the secrets of those Below.

Catherine stopped short. She'd never considered any other possibility but carrying the child to full term. She said as much to Peter. "Why wouldn't I?"

"I don't think I need to warn you about all the possible complications. We don't know – we don't know much of anything about Vincent or how he came to be. Have you told anyone else yet?"

"No. I was going to tell Vincentyesterday – but I couldn't find the words. Please don't say anything to anyone, especially Father."

"I suppose this could come under the umbrella of patient doctor privilege – but you can't keep this a secret for long."

"I won't. I promise. What should I do in the mean time?"

"Get plenty of rest – make sure to eat sensibly – no caffeine, no alcohol, no excess sugar or salt, no artificial sweeteners, try to avoid situations where people are smoking and try to avoid stress. I know there's a lot going on at the D.A.'s office right now – but you have to take care of yourself. You and the baby come first, now, understand?"

"Yes."

"Good. I'll phone in a prescription for some pre-natal vitamins and we'll see about getting you in for an ultrasound after hours. Just in case."

"Just in case," she agreed - there were so many things that 'just in case' covered... "Thank you, Peter."

"You're welcome. How was Vincent, when you saw him? Is he doing better?"

"His memory seems to be returning – there are still some gaps. I think – I may have to – tell him what happened, in the cave. I don't think he remembers. But I think the Darkness is really behind us. This baby – this could be a new beginning for both of us." Reflexively, she touched her stomach. Catherine knew that she wouldn't be able to feel anything there for some months, but she knew that there was a new life inside of her. A new life and a new hope.

"I'm glad. I'm glad you're happy about the baby. I was afraid – you might not be. This is a very tumultuous time in your life. There are a lot of women who might not welcome a child at a time like this."

"Nothing could make me want to give up this baby. Nothing."

But of course we all know that the Darkness was far from behind them…as she is heading to her car in a parking garage, Catherine is kidnapped by the enigmatic "Gabriel," and Vincent of course is unable to sense her and has no idea of what is happening. Peter Alcott is the first person to realize that something is amiss – but other than reporting her missing to both those Below and the authorities Above, he keeps his word and his silence regarding her pregnancy for several weeks…until he can bear the silence no longer.

"Peter – how long have you known? Are you absolutely sure?" Jacob demanded in hushed tones – hushed for fear that someone might over hear.

"Two weeks. I know I should have said something sooner – but I was hoping that with all the stress maybe she'd just gone to stay with one of her friends for a couple of days. She sounded like she needed some time to think."

"About what?"

"About how to tell you, for one thing."

"You mean – she was planningon keepingthe baby?"

"Nothing could have made her do otherwise. She loves him, Jacob. More now than ever."

Jacob Wells felt shame for thinking otherwise; of course she wouldn't have wanted to terminate the pregnancy. "I'm almost afraid to tell him. But I'm more afraid not to."

"Do you want me to come with you?"

"No – he's not here now, anyway. Ever since she vanished, he's been searching. For all the good it's done. He can't sense her, Peter. He used to be able to feel her – to find her wherever she was. Now there's nothing – maybe it's the pregnancy. He's had dreams – terrible dreams – we were afraid the illness was returning. But – oh who knows. We know so little about where he comes from or who he really is – who his parents were and how he came to be. There seem to be no answers to be had."

"Than we'll just do the best we can."

The two men made their way to the Great Hall for the Winterfest celebration; it was the most subdued Winterfest that either had ever seen…no one wanted to celebrate and no one felt festive.

-

"A child?" Vincent nearly fell into his chair.

"Your child, Vincent. Your child."

"How is this possible?"

"It must have happened that night when she came to you alone in the cave," Jacob replied, helpless. "The night the Darkness overtook you. You remember nothing"

"It does not matter that I don't remember. I will find them. I must."

"I know you will," Jacob rested his hand on Vincent's shoulder. Please, Dear God, silently he prayed, I've never been a terribly religious man - but if you are looking out for us - look out for Catherine now. And the baby she carries...bring her back to us before it's too late. Bring her back to us...bring them both back to us.

Outside, Above, the snow began to fall...

-

In his apartment, far across the city, Elliot Burch drank a third glass of scotch; his shirt lay unbuttoned, his tie undone. He stared out at the brightly lit city, able to see only the darkness through eyes made blood-shot by tears and by lack of sleep. He let the glass fall from his hand as he walked to the window; she was out there somewhere, he could feel it in his bones...but where?

So far the private investigators he'd hired to find her had turned up nothing - and the more time went on, the worse it looked..."I won't give up on you, Cathy. I won't" he promised the darkness.

-

"Devin? What is it? What's the matter?" Seeing Devin standing there at the threshold, his jaw slacked open, it was obvious that something was very, very wrong. He held something in his hands – it looked like a letter - and his hands were shaking. It didn't look like a bill or solicitation…Jonathon Hancockknew just enough about human emotions to see that Devin lwas ready to cry, even though he knew his roommate well enough to know that that wasn't likely to happen. Human males were strange that way.

Devin Wells looked up at his roommate, a young Tenctonese man (well, young by their standards, he was ten years older than Devin), as if he was suddenly aware of the Jonathon's presence – he truly hadn't noticed it before. He'd started reading the letter walking back from the mailbox – and the more he read, the colder the pit of his stomach became. Missing. Cathy missing…and with child. "It's my brother – this is from my brother," he said weakly. It had been a while since he'd heard from Vincent – since he'd written. But it was like that between them – there could be months of silence and still all was well…only this time things weren't well.

"You never told me you had a brother. Do you not get along with him?" Jonathon Hancock asked.

"No. I mean – no we get along. It's hard to explain. I have to go away. He needs me."

"Oh." Devin Wells had been the first human to truly accept him. Sure, others tried – they meant well. But when he had arrived to answer the room for rent ad, he hadn't expected the human to actually rent to him. Four others had turned him down already – they weren't allowed to, according to the people at the relocation centre. But they did anyway. Devin hadn't even looked at him as if he was different. It was like Devin didn't look at his outsides – he just smiled and asked Jonathon about his job and about school and if he could pay the rent on time or minded that he didn't want a lot of loud parties. That had been two years ago. While he wasn't sure whether or not Devin thought of him as a friend, he had come to cherish the quietness that they shared; Devin didn't ask him a lot of questions and in turn, he respected his roommate's privacy, even when it seemed a little strange. Like now. "When will you be back?"

"I don't know – but look, I've got enough money in the bank to cover my half the rent – don't worry, I wouldn't just run out on you."

"That's not what worries me, Devin. I've never seen you looking so despondent before."

Despondent – there was a good word. "I'm not sure I've ever this despondent before."

"Where does your brother live?"

"New York."

"That's a long way. It's cold there. Will you call me when you arrive, to let me know you've made it safely?"

Devin had to smile, despite himself; Johnston was the first person outside the Tunnels who had really taken an interest in his well-being. He was the first person – other than Helpers and people like Cathy Chandler – who seemed more concerned for others than for themselves. "I'll call. I won't be able to keep in much contact – but I'll call when I get there to let you know I've arrived in one piece."

"That is good. I don't think humans are meant to function if they are in more than one piece."

Devin laughed, "No – no we aren't." He went to begin packing, surprised at being followed.

"Devin – do not worry about the money. I have some saved too. You'll need money for your trip."

"Not much. Just enough for the flight. I'm going to write you a check for the next couple month's rent. If you don't cash it, I'm going to be really pissed at you."

"I don't want you to be mad – but are you really going to be gone that long?"

"I don't honestly know."

"Can you tell me what's happened? Is your brother all right?"

"Not really."

Pilgrim, how you journey
on the road you chose
to find out why the winds die
and where the stories go.
All days come from one day
that much you must know,
you cannot change what's over
but only where you go.
One way leads to diamonds,
one way leads to gold,
another leads you only
to everything you're told.
In your heart you wonder
which of these is true;
the road that leads to nowhere,
the road that leads to you.

Will you find the answer
in all you say and do?
Will you find the answer
In you?
Each heart is a pilgrim,
each one wants to know
the reason why the winds die
and where the stories go.
Pilgrim, in your journey
you may travel far,
for pilgrim it's a long way
to find out who you are...
Pilgrim, it's a long way
to find out who you are...

Enya

-

The night was cold and dark - and Devin was not at all surprised to find his brother waiting for him at the strom drain entrance, in the park.

"Devin" Vincent greeted him with one, pain filled word.

"Vincent."

They stared at one another for a long and painful moment, before accepting the warmth of friendship and all that it might hope to offer. "I'm here," Devin made no more attempt to hold in his tears. "I'm here. I'll help – anything I can do, I'll help you find her." He held his brother tightly - and was held up by Vincent's great strength. Together - together at least they could hold each other up.

"You're here. That in itself is a help. Thank you."