Title: "London Fog"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "Alias"/"BtVS"
Rating/Classification: slash, crossover, Sark/Ethan Rayne.
Disclaimer: Grrr aaargh! Bad Robot!
Summary: Not *quite* an answer to Te's "Get Ethan Laid" Challenge...more like a bizarre interlude between "Angels & Ropes" and "Sunlight in the Mirror" that may explain future events.

The glass cage that takes up nearly a quarter of the facility makes them all nervous. He sees that when they shove him out for transfers a little too roughly with the points of their rifles. When he comes back from the stale, smoky, conference rooms where Deputy Director Kendall and Jack Bristow administer their slaps on his chafed wrists, he watches his green-clad shadows give The Crystal Ball, as they call it, an extra wide berth.

"Who's in there?" he asked one of the sober grunts once, seeing only the flash of a dark head, a lean man, on the few occasions he's noticed someone up and around from the reinforced cot.

"Someone worse than you," the dour young man had snapped before biting down on his lip and remembering that he wasn't supposed to fraternize with the likes of Patriot Act detainees. But it was an opening...and Sark knew, better than most, how to widen a tiny tear into a gaping wound.

"I'm pretty awful," he'd reminded, arrogantly. "Not just a pretty face, you know. I've killed more people than you could possibly imagine. I'll wager you haven't seen any action since the back seat of your car at your high school prom."

Sergeant Miller...and, really, if you were a Sergeant, what *were* you doing escorting boys in orange jumpsuits around a high security military prison?...bristled, his blue eyes going sharp and cold. "You have no idea," he'd assured, shoving him into his own tiny glass-encased cell. If the mystery being's quarters were a crystal ball, his was a crystal ash tray. "His name's Rayne. He thinks he's a sorcerer."

And as the reinforced door slid shut, the ever-so-helpful Miller added... "And he just might be."

Rayne. He tests the name on his tongue and finds it tastes cool and faintly coppery. Like London fog in the early morning. He's picked up more details over time. The sorcerer is English, like himself. Utterly insane. Which he hasn't yet become. Pompous and self-important. All right, there is that. A "queer." That didn't come from his personal bodyguard...who appears to have some secret left leanings of his own...but from somebody in the corridor speaking while he was coming back from a rather fun questioning session with darling Sydney.

Sark is nothing if not challenged. And intrigued.

And perhaps a tad homesick for the world outside his temporary confines. For streets that shift and turn. For darkness that covers all sins and all bloodstains.

Coordinating a visit is not as difficult as he anticipates. The clearance codes on Rayne's cell are easily memorized the next time he passes the Crystal Ball and someone in a radiation suit is punching in numbers. Those for his own, he figured out weeks before. Slipping out past the surveillance and the shift of guards is as simple as blending in with the shadows. He wonders what Daddy Jack would do if he knew his darling stepson could escape his prison at any time and was just cooling his heels for lack of anything better to do.

Possibly burst a blood vessel. Maybe consider having an actual expression.

When he slides inside the infamous Crystal Ball, the air almost seems to change. Heavy, charged, weighted down. And the source of his curiosity is tragically unsurprised to see him.

"So, you're the other one?" The man says, smirking slightly, looking up from the metal bunk where a copy of the Holy Bible is spread out before him with relevant words and phrases blacked out with dark crayon. He's younger than Sark expects. Only hints of gray in his hair...not so many lines on his face. Mid-forties. Lean and hungry. No...not hungry. Ravenous. "I was wondering when you would pay me a visit."

"Biding my time," he says with a careless shrug. He hates it when his devious efforts go unappreciated, but he'll survive. It's what he does best. "There was nothing on the t.v. so I thought I would nip in and ask if you fancied a cuppa." He slips mockingly into the nuances of the country he hasn't lived in since he was a child.

"How old are you?" Rayne asks, as if he can read his mind. *Sorcerer*, he thinks, as a tiny chill races up his spine that he tries to ignore. "Nineteen? Twenty?"

"Twenty-five," he says, stiffly.

And Rayne laughs. A low, rasping, sound...oddly full of delight. "Oh, my, but you *are* a lovely boy, aren't you?" he asks, silkily, as he rises from his abandoned project. "So sure of yourself. So utterly arrogant. You expected me to be impressed that you could get in here, did you?"

Sark does not back up. He does not. He's not a coward. So, perhaps, he trembles just a little. Inside. Where no one can see. As he leans away from the door, his body saying "come on, bring it."

The man is suddenly close. Too close. Breathing against his skin. No, not breathing. Inhaling. "Foolish child...do you think you're the only one who can leave this place at any time?"

Too late, he realizes the dangers of giving one's self challenges. Of peering into crystal balls to see what lies in the murky depths of the fog within. Too late, too late, too late, and oh...too perfect.

The efficient Sergeant Miller is right. There is sorcery at work here. In the lips on his pulse. The tongue flicking out to stroke each beat. The hands finding his hips beneath the baggy orange coveralls. Orange, he thinks, hazily, has never been his color. But suddenly he feels ripe and fraught with tart-sweet juice. Bursting on Rayne's tongue like midsummer.

"Have you...?" Rayne purrs, palming his hair, pulling just a little too tight as their mouths meet, as he is pinned to the wall and things are unsnapped ...pushed aside...taken in hand. "Have you seen any action since the back seat of your car at your high school prom?"

There is a moment of pure, unadulterated bliss before the searing pain. Mouth-and-fingers-and-yes-and-no. *No*.

And when he wakes up in the Ash Tray, he pushes up the sleeve of his rumpled orange jumpsuit, drags his tongue the three-pronged brand still fresh on his wrist, and goes up in smoke.



June 20, 2003.

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