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Note: Part of a much larger AU universe that I cannot remember for the life of me.

Better To Rule In Hell
...than serve in heaven

Even on the edge of collapse things moved slowly in the Centre. Time warped itself within its walls, people walked at brisk pace, carefully not running. It wouldn't be becoming. Even with the FBI trying to break down the front door.

All around her fires were alight. Paper burned. Computers were smashed. All that had been done was lost; they destroyed without prejudice. Most probably did not know nor care that lives have been lost for that data; blood spilled.

Brigitte stood among the panic amused and rubbing her stomach idly. They run like sheep - all apart but yet together at the same time, she thought. She twisted her lollypop around her mouth, savouring the strawberry taste and took another look. The smell of burning invaded her senses as the air conditioning went down.

Lemmings. All of them.

The flames made red and orange dance off the fountains. There is no colour quite like fire red, Brigitte reflected. Perhaps if the baby is a girl she'll call her Scarlet or something equally as pretty. She scowled slightly as her husbands words of 'it will be a boy' echoed back at her. Though this is no time to be thinking about that.

Three sweepers who she could not name to save her life waited behind her. Mr Parker - her husband - assigned them to her. For protection of course. Brigitte removed her lollypop and used it to point at the most intelligent looking one. It was a tough choice. 'Is everything as I ordered done?'

The sweeper nodded.

'Good. You may return to my husband and tell him so.'



The sweeper hesitated for a moment longer before good sense won out and he fled.

'You,' she pointed at the taller of the men left. 'Go and find out what's happening. If you can't find someone to tell you then turn on a television.'

The man didn't bother to hesitate; just ran off.

'And you can go to my office and see that everything is in order.'

Just as his companion the man did not raise protest and ran off, leaving Brigitte alone for possibly the first time since she'd become pregnant.

Not quite. 'I don't know why you bother giving them jobs to do,' Lyle sneered. 'I just tell them to piss off and have the ones who don't transferred to sis.'

Brigitte did a quick about face and regarded her stepson coldly. 'If I do that then they'll go straight to your father and tell him.'

'And?'; Lyle asked pointedly.

He raised a good point, damn him. 'I'm fond of this outfit and bloodstains only look good on you.'

Lyle smiled in delight. 'You really are wasted upon that man you know?' he said. It was more of a statement to the universe than to her.

'I'd be wasted upon you too.'

Lyle smirked dangerously. 'I seem to recall you have been.'

Brigitte glanced around quickly out of sheer habit. While Lyle didn't seem to care as long as he wasn't flirting with her right in front of Daddy Dearest, he didn't realise just how many spies the chairman had. Most of them watching her.

'Come,' Lyle said, having seen her quick glance, 'we'll go somewhere safer, the Federal Bureau of Idiots will be here anytime and I loath the idea of spending the night in a cell.'

He grabbed her arm in one hand and removed her lollypop with the other, quickly throwing away the sweet. 'Hey' Brigitte protested, moving her now-empty hand to hold her bulging stomach.

'You know I only like the cola tasting ones,' was his absent reply.

'Exactly why I prefer the strawberry.'

They walked the elevators; the screen was politely telling them that in the event of fire they shouldn't use the elevator. Lyle swiped his security card through and the door hissed open. 'Our chariot awaits.'

'Do you think even Jarod knows about this?' Brigitte asked, absently swirling her hand around her bulge in the absence of a lollipop.

'Not likely, I killed all the people who knew about it myself.'

The elevator doors closed and the sounds of mayhem stopped.

'That's exactly why you’re my favourite stepson.'

Lyle moved quickly, even for a trained operator like her. He'd pinned her hands and his tongue was forcing entry to her mouth before she could even blink in shock.

He pulled back as she started to respond. 'Don't think I buy for a second your latest act and I know that child is mine.'

Brigitte rolled her eyes at him. 'Believe what you will, darlin', but your father and I have a very special relationship, I couldn't expect you to understand.'

Lyle dropped her hands. 'I know what he offered you, even if he doesn't. And I have a better deal.'

He continued at her expectant look. 'I have been controlling what the Tower knows for quite some time now, especially on this issue. Your sweepers were intercepted and my own replaced them. They told my father that you were dead. With no reason to remain, my father will join the helicopter leaving from the Tower. Unfortunately it is going to meet with an ... unfortunate accident, none will survive, my father included. And when this all blows over, and it will blow over, I'll rebuild the Centre from my rightful place as head of the Triumvirate.'

Her husband ... dead. The Tower personnel ... dead. Damn, she thought bitterly, I slept with a lot of men for absolutely nothing.

'How?' she murmured.

Lyle smiled, as if this were his favourite part. 'The only failing Jarod ever had was that he wanted to trust people, especially anonymous tipster's who want to bring down The Centre.'

The elevator stopped and the doors hissed open revealing another burnt and destroyed floor. Brigitte made to take a step and Lyle stopped her, a second later an explosion rocked the floor nearly pushing her to the floor. With as much dignity as she could muster Brigitte got back up, turned to Lyle and said: 'You’re right, it is your child.'

Lyle smiled, scarlet and red reflecting in his eyes. 'I'm always right.'


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