Disclaimer: I don't own anything associated with The Gates- only the circumstances of the story

Author's notes: Takes place between Monster Within, and Repercussions. Spoiler alert is on for both those episodes.

2. Pieces of dialogue have been lifted from the actual show.

Summary: An alternate scene to the one in Repercussions where Nick and Dylan met in the coffee shop


Title: A Secret Revealed

"I think you know what I am." Dylan stood in the darkened woods, breathless. Nick blinked, no longer sure.

"Take our daughters home, and I'll hide the body." Dylan instructed the other man. Nick backed carefully away, never breaking eye contact with him. When he reached the end of the woods, he turned around and began walking. The girls waited just inside.

"We want to go home," Dana informed him. "Where's my dad?" Emily added.

"He had to go take care of some business," Nick readily lied. He smiled at the girl.

"You're come to my house anyway; a sleepover right?" Nick asked. Emily nodded. He led the way to the car, and both girls got in.

"Hey maybe we can watch a movie when we get home." Dana was excited. Nick functioned on autopilot until the girls and Sara were in bed. He didn't join his wife, instead staring out at the rainy evening.

The images were seared into his brain. Teresa forcing him into the woods at gunpoint, and then seeing this streak change into a man. And the man, bite into Teresa's throat.

Dylan stood there panting with the woman's blood on his face. "You know what I am." The words echoed through his mind. Did he? Admitting it was a different story. Admitting it was the same as believing in ghost stories; that the things that go bump in the night were real.

"Vampire," he tried the word on for size, and nearly started laughing out loud. This was crazy- such creatures didn't exist. And yet there's a dead body and a man with blood on his hands that begs to differ. He was startled by his phone- noisily buzzing away on the breakfast Island. He made his way over, and picked up noticing the name: Radcliffe, D on it. He briefly considered ignoring it, but knowing his luck the man would just keep calling.

"I've gotten rid of the body, and cleaned up the crime scene." Dylan's tone was all business.

"Okay. Now what?" It seemed the next logical question.

"We need to meet. Do you think Sara would mind keeping Emily for a few more hours in the morning?" Dylan asked.

"That's no problem; they're pretty much inseparable anyway. I'll meet you at the coffee shop just outside Franklin." Nick agreed, and the call ended.

Dylan set his phone down on the desk inside his office. After all their hard work; trying to live a normal life for Emily's sake it was going to come down to a meeting with an unpredictable police chief. Reforming, and moving to the Gates was part of their attempt to mainstream. They could exist, hold jobs, and raise children just like the rest of Middle America. Dylan gave an ironic laugh; here he was worried about Clare telling their secret, and now he'd gone and saved his neighbour's life. There was no way he could avoid coming clean. He'd done it because... he didn't really know why. One minute he'd come to an understanding with him, and the next... he was saving the man's life. It put him in a position of power when asking him to keep a secret.

After a few hours of tossing and turning, Nick left the house driving. He stopped briefly outside where the incident took place. He knelt down in the fall leaves to look for evidence. Finding none, he sighed. "The guy really knows how to clean up a crime scene," he muttered to himself. There was no sign he'd nearly been murdered- no footprints leading into the woods, no stray blood spots anywhere.

He drove to the cafe and parked, looking through the window. He wasn't the only one with the thought to get there early. Dylan sat in a booth at the rear of the restaurant. Nick entered, sliding into the booth followed closely by a waitress. "I'll take a coffee," he ordered. The waitress left leaving the pair alone.

"Let's make this easy. Holy water doesn't affect me. I can go into churches, eat the occasional food with garlic." Dylan started off.

"Are there any more of you?" Nick asked, still unable to say the word.

"That's not pertinent to this discussion." Dylan answered. Nick sat back, sipping his coffee and appraising the man opposite. It was clear to Nick he wouldn't be getting anything out of Dylan. His tone became desperate:

"I need to know my family's protected."

"They are." Dylan responded, his tone leaving no reason for doubt. They were silent while the waitress came to refill Nick's mug.

"What about Clare?"

"That information isn't necessary." Dylan told him.

"My wife is with her right now, and you're telling me it doesn't matter," Nick angrily remarked.

"Clare can control her appetites. Sara will be fine." Dylan said. Nick read between the lines, and nodded.

"I can't emphasize enough the need for secrecy. Nobody can know, not even Sara." Dylan read the confusion in the other man's face.

"I'm taking a big risk trusting you. It would've been so easy to just let you die."

"Why didn't you?" Nick was suddenly curious. Dylan took a deep breath, choosing his words carefully.

"My daughter... she barely knew me when I was turned. I eventually contacted a family friend who told me she would put a candle in the window, hoping I would find my way home. It made it easy to put myself in your situation, and imagine what it would be like for Dana."

Nick stood up, wanting to end the conversation.

"I'll keep your secret, if you keep my family safe."

"Agreed." Dylan put out his hand to shake on their agreement. Nick took it, never letting go of the other man's gaze. They'd struck an uneasy accord. Nick put his money on the table and walked out. 'This town is full of secrets,' he thought to himself.

The End


Reviews as always are welcome

-AB