Tell Me No Lies
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: I did not like the original version of this story. I decided to rewrite it and fix the grammar. So please read and review.
His entire life had been a lie. The DNA test proved it. Case stared at the DNA results in front of him. This had been the last thing he expected.
Months ago he had decided to find his mother's family. Case's father had not contacted them in years. He wanted answers about who his mother had been. He needed to have some type of connection with her.
"You know Case you really should stop asking questions about your mother. It's been five years," Charlie said.
That was all his father would say on the subject. The average ten year old would've accepted that and given up. Case wasn't the average ten year old though.
He had noticed the differences between him and the other students around him. In school he learned things faster than everyone else. He was a better athlete. He could multi-task better than most people his age.
Case hid this from everyone. He noticed his father's uncomfortable looks whenever he answered a question too soon. He noticed the tightening of his father's jaw at the mere mention of his mother. Her name was unspoken in their household.
He could barely remember her. It was the little things that he remembered the most. He remembered her smell and how she braided her hair. He remembered her hugs and her kisses. He remembered the feel of her arms around him. He remembered her stories. He remembered the sound of her voice.
He remembered bits about her family. He remembered his Aunt Max and her friend Logan. They had been in Seattle. There had been another man at Logan's penthouse. Case remembered how his mother would not look at that man. She had respected him though.
Instead of answering questions the results from the clinic had created more. Case had been so careful when it came to the clinic. He knew that his family had a dangerous secret. It was obvious by the way his father was always moving. They had lived in over ten different houses in the last five years.
Case had given the clinic a false name and age. He had hired an actor to pretend to be him and drop off the samples. The actor hadn't even known he was working for a ten year old. Case had the money wired into the actor's account. He had even ordered a post office box for the results to be shipped to.
He had given a sample from his father and some locks of his mother's hair. He didn't know why his father had saved his mother's hair. Case gazed back at the results once again reading the words.
SUBJECT 1: BIOLOGICAL MOTHER 99.9 percent accuracy
SUBJECT 2: NO DNA MATCH
He knew that there could be no mistake. He had pulled the hairs from Charlie himself. If Charlie wasn't his father than who was?
Case had paid extra to have all samples mapped. He had wanted to know exactly what he and his parents were. Case examined the map of his mother's DNA. He could see things that weren't standard in human DNA. His mother had been a transgenic.
It all made sense now: Charlie's reluctance to contact his mother's family. The fact that they always moved around. The vague memories he had of his mother doing back flips and martial arts.
Case turned towards his own DNA map. He compared his DNA to Charlie's. There was nothing there indicating that he had any connection to Charlie. He didn't even have standard human genes either. Case almost fell over when the realization hit him. He was pure transgenic. His father would have to have been transgenic too. He wasn't even human.
Case ran home with the results still clutched in his hands. He wanted to know who and what he was. This morning he had been Case Michael Smith. His parents had been Penny and Charlie Smith. He was no longer that person.
Charlie was still at work when Case got home. Charlie had been working as a construction worker. It provided enough money for him and Case to live comfortably. Charlie was never home though. He might see Case for up to an hour a day.
Case glanced at the door to his father's office. Charlie had forbidden him from going in there. But Charlie wasn't home. Charlie wouldn't know if Case entered the office. Case picked the lock on the door easily. He had taught himself how to pick locks years ago.
He raided through everything. In the filing cabinets he found a lot things. There was a specific file on his mother. Case read the information greedily desperate for answers.
He discovered that Penny Smith had never existed. Penny wasn't even her real name. Her name was Tinga. Her fairytale had been true. She had been twelve years old when she escaped from Manticore, a government lab. She had been one of twelve.
Case glanced through the mug shots of the male '09ers. One of them had to be his father but which one? Did his father even know about him?
Case found the marriage certificate. His mother had married Charlie right after getting pregnant. It was evident that she was trying to protect her baby. But why go to Charlie instead of his father? What could Charlie provide for Case that his father couldn't?
Tinga felt her hormones surge through her body. She hated heat like all her sisters did. She had been the first to experience it. She shuddered at the memory. She had jumped some poor guy in the street. She had been disgusted with herself afterwards.
Tinga shuddered as she started licking her lips. The guy next door looked good. So what if he was in his thirties? So what if he was married? In her right state of mind Tinga would've been repulsed. That guy was a real sleaze bag.
She slapped herself across the face. She didn't want to feel this way about anyone. She didn't want to look at the average male walking down the street like he was a steak. She was hungry and she wanted a man. She could just find some random guy and get it over with. There would be no problem then.
Tinga ran into the shower with her clothes on. She turned the water on cold. She couldn't go find some random guy. She had Charlie to consider. She had been with him for two years. She could go to him but they had agreed to remain celibate until marriage.
Tinga sighed. She had clicked with Charlie instantly. He was the perfect guy. Their relationship was beautiful. To everyone else including Charlie their relationship was perfect. Tinga knew better.
The relationship was imperfect because of her secret. She had tried to tell him but he had freaked out. She didn't try again. She had to hide everything from him. She had to hide what she truly was.
Maybe she should just admit it to herself. She knew why she had chosen Charlie as a boyfriend. He was tall and blond. He had blue eyes. It all fit. He was a replacement for someone she couldn't have.
She didn't want to remember the stolen kiss after the escape. At twelve a kiss isn't supposed to mean anything. That kiss, however, had meant more to her than any kiss from Charlie ever had. It was special because it had only happened once and would most likely never happen again.
Brin and Tinga had fled from the West Coast. They had been hiding in New York for a few months. It wasn't easy for the two of them to remain together.
It had been a late night. Brin was at home asleep and Tinga was walking the streets. She knew it wasn't safe. Desperation had made her ignore the risks. She needed to find a job or a place to rob soon. She and Brin had picked a few pockets but they were running out of money fast. A steady income or a heist would ease her mind for a while.
She had been walking in a bad neighborhood when she saw the police ushering him into custody. He had chosen to rob a liquor store. At first she was in shock but then his eyes met hers.
He made a quick hand signal telling her to stay there and wait for him. She waited five hours in that dangerous alleyway for him to come back. She knew that Brin would be worried but she needed to find out what had happened.
He broke out in four hours. Prisons weren't built to contain super soldiers. He took the extra hour to make sure he hadn't been followed. She stood up when she saw him.
"You look good Tinga. You should keep your hair longer," he said.
"You look good yourself, Zack. I haven't seen you in two months."
"She's at the apartment. I couldn't sleep I'm trying to get some money."
"Show me where you're holed up," he said going back into CO mode.
Tinga led him to the apartment. They were both twelve and yet they were older than that. Manticore had robbed them of their childhood. Sill Tinga was comforted by the fact that "Big Brother" was in town.
Zack stayed with them for a few days. He eventually sent Brin to live in Philadelphia. He wanted them to separate. They would be safer that way.
"You know the contact number?" he asked as he got ready to head out the door.
Tinga nodded. She refused to look him the eyes. For the first time in her life she would be alone.
"I'll stop by when I can," Zack said.
Gently he turned around. He wanted to comfort her somehow but he had no idea what to do. He stroked her face and he held her for a moment. It was then that she kissed him. It wasn't a simple peck either. Something inside of the two of them just snapped as they went through an all-out make-out session. When it ended they didn't talk about it. He went back to his mission and she went back to her life.
Tinga sighed as she showered. She didn't want to admit that it. The fact that Charlie looked similar to Zack had been the reason why Tinga was attracted to him. Tinga met Charlie when she was fifteen. He was so sweet so innocent. She liked him right away.
They started out as friends. Then they dated. They went steady. But Tinga had refused to go further than that. They had known each other for two years now. Right after high school they were going to get married.
Tinga was beginning to hope that she never graduated. She was realizing the horrible truth. She loved Zack not Charlie.
As Tinga showered she didn't hear the door to her apartment open. She headed towards her bedroom to find someone already there. He eyes lit up at the sight of Zack sitting on her bed. He looked slightly tired.
Zack was immediately affected by the pheromones. Her heat had come a week sooner than expected. He kissed her sharply and that was all Tinga wanted. She looked at her CO her heat taking control of her.
Tinga never forgot that heat soaked night when she and Zack made love. She didn't forget the feel of his hands or the way he smelled. She didn't forget his smile or the fact that she told him she loved him. She didn't forget being with him.
There had been fire and ice between them. One minute they were hot and the next minute they were cold. All passions worth fighting for were like that Tinga figured. He was rough with her and then gentle. It was a strange rhythm that they set together.
When it was over he slept beside her. Tinga watched him sleep. He looked so beautiful and so peaceful. She touched the bite mark on her shoulder. In his sleep Zack pulled her closer to him. Tinga smiled as she drifted off to sleep the beat of his heart serving as her lullaby.
The light of morning however made the outlook harsher. He had to leave and she knew that. He had the others and his mission to contend with. She had her life and Charlie to go back to.
She didn't beg. She didn't plead. She just held her head high and hugged him when he left. They pretended the heat never happened.
She understood then what it meant to love Zack. It meant that she would have to understand that he was a soldier first. He had his duty and his mission to contend with first. He rarely acted on his feelings. She would never be able to pry the words, "I love you," out of him. To love him was to love a soldier.
She made love to Charlie the following night. She wanted to know what it felt like. It was cold and frigid compared her time with Zack. She felt no passion for Charlie. But Charlie was satisfied.
She had known that night that she was pregnant. She had known before she even let Charlie touch her. It was the pregnancy that made her decision for her. She would marry Charlie. Zack would never know that it was his baby. It would be easier that way. She wouldn't be forcing him to make a choice between her and the others. She wouldn't need to face rejection. It would be alright.
Tinga avoided Zack during her pregnancy. She would call the contact number and report that she was alright. She missed him. She wanted to be near him but she knew it was better this way. It was better that Zack not know.
She loved her baby. He was a piece of Zack that she could keep. She marveled as she saw her stomach grow rounder. She smiled the first time the baby moved. When she found out that she was having a boy she yelled with joy. She was having Zack's son.
She went through four hours of labor with Case. It was quick and relatively painless. She had felt pain a lot worse. She didn't even call Charlie though to tell him what was happening. Later she would tell him that it happened so quick that she didn't have time.
They had married less than a month into the pregnancy. Tinga had worn a white wedding dress. She had said the vows. She tied not think of Zack but all she could do was think of him. She wasn't marrying Charlie because she loved him. Charlie was a good friend to her but she didn't love him like she loved Zack. She was doing this for her baby. Charlie could provide a safe home for her baby. Charlie was happy and Tinga was a good actress.
She cast herself in the role of Penny Smith. Penny Smith worked at the bakery. Tinga pulled a few heists at night. Penny loved her husband. Tinga love her CO. Penny was the perfect wife. Tinga was an AWOL soldier.
Tinga didn't pretend with Case though. Her son knew her for who she really was. She loved her baby full heartedly. He was the most beautiful and wondrous thing she had ever seen. The only thing that told her he was Zack's was his smile. Case had his daddy's smile.
She and Charlie always agreed about Case. The only time the ever argued about the boy was when it came to naming him. The first name they were in agreement with. It was the middle name that was the contention point. It was tradition for the middle name to be the father's name. Charlie had argued for Charles. Tinga held firm though and in the end she won. Her son's name was Case MichaelSmith. Charlie couldn't understand why the name was so significant to her.
Tinga lived her two double-lives without problems. She was happiest when she was with her son. He was the best thing she had in her life. He was her constant reminder of Zack. Life was good until their locations were compromised. She had to run. She debated on whether or not to take Case. She decided it would be safer to leave him with Charlie. She would come back for her boy later.
She learned later about what Manticore had done to Zack. He told her while they were in Canada. She felt guilt as he told her the details. She should've told him then about his son. But she couldn't.
He would hate her for what happened. She couldn't bear the thought of him rejecting her and Case. She needed his acceptance and his faith in her. It was better that he didn't know. Case was safe. She missed her son but she was happy staying in Canada with Zack for those two months.
It was when she saw the milk carton that she turned around. She needed to get to Charlie and Case. Zack wouldn't let her leave. The fight that had resulted was brutal. They had both yelled themselves hoarse.
"I have to go back," she yelled, "my son is in danger."
"You go back and you lead Manticore right to them," he yelled back
"I have to warn them. I'll never forgive myself if something happens to my son.
"They'll just slow you down."
"They don't deserve to he hunted. They're my family."
"Family isn't an option for us."
"I'm going back with or without you," she yelled as she slammed the door.
She left him there in Canada. She cried as she drove away from him. She loved him but she loved their son too. She should've told him then. He would've gone back with her if she had. She knew he wouldn't abandon his son.
She returned to Portland where she and Max took care of her son and her husband. She was grateful to Max. Max had come to protect her baby. Zack too showed up. He was angry but he had come back for her.
She told Charlie the truth at Logan's penthouse. She told him about being transgenic. She watched his face change. He didn't want to know this new her, the real her. He was happy with Penny. He didn't trust Tinga.
She went back to her son. She had never lied to her baby. She couldn't look at Zack. It was strange having her two boys in the same room. She put Case to sleep.
She was on her way to the kitchen for some food. It was then that she overheard Logan and Charlie's conversation.
"When she first went missing I couldn't deal. I almost sent Case to live with my sister in Phoenix. But I figured it out. I'm not saying it was easy. It wasn't the same without Penny--Tinga. But then, it's not the same now that she's back," Charlie said to Logan.
"And it's never going to be," Logan replied.
"You know what I was thinking before you walked in? That maybe I ought to just take Case and get out of here," Charlie replied.
Her heart froze when he said those words. She wanted to shout, "He's not your son!" But she couldn't. Instead she went back to her son and found him burning up.
Lydecker was behind it. She agreed to the trade, herself for her son's life. In those last few moments she did a lot of things she never thought she would do. She talked to Charlie. She didn't tell him the truth. She just lied and said she loved him.
She had an hour to go when she finally managed to corner Zack.
"We have to talk," she said.
"How can you trust Lydecker?" he demanded.
"I don't but I have to for my son's sake. I know that you think family isn't an option for us."
"It isn't," he replied. "You know that it isn't. You have made some poor choices. You should've told me you were pregnant. We could've made a plan."
"Is that 599 talking or is that Zack?" she demanded. "I want to talk Zack not my CO."
He stared at her.
"I never forgot that kiss or that night," she said softly. "What you and I have was indescribable. I'm always going to love you. You don't know what that's like. You have no idea what it is like loving you. You are a soldier first and yourself second. You have no idea how much I regret not taking my son with us to begin with. I should've told you about him when I was pregnant. Maybe then I wouldn't be in this mess."
She was trying not to cry but her resolve crumbled. Zack said nothing as he pulled her close. She buried her head in his chest. She inhaled his smell fixing into her memory. She felt that rightness of him holding her. She just wanted time to freeze so that she could stay with him forever. He held her for a while and then he looked her in the eyes.
"We don't have much time," he said. "Charlie will wonder what happened to you. Go wait with your husband and son."
She nodded and then she kissed him. It was a hard kiss. It started gentle and then it became rougher. He pulled away.
"Go back to your husband and your son," he said evenly.
"Zack," she said softly. "Promise me something, okay?"
"What do you want me to promise?" he asked.
"If I don't come back promise me that you won't do anything stupid. Promise me that you'll give the contact number to Charlie so that nothing happens to Case."
He looked her in the eye. "I'll do my best regarding your son."
She turned back towards him and kissed him once more. "I love you," she whispered as she headed back to Charlie.
She never got to tell him.
Case finally found a phone number for his aunt Max. He listened to the phone ring. Please be there, he thought frantically.
"Hello," a woman said.
"Is this Max?" he asked.
"This is her. Who's calling?" came the reply.
"Aunt Max, it's Case."
He heard her breath pull in. "Case? Are you in trouble?"
"I have to get out of here. Are you still living in Seattle?"
"Yes, I'm still in Seattle. Case, can I talk to your dad? He can explain the situation to me."
Case thought quickly. Did he even consider Charlie his dad? Charlie and Case hadn't had a good relationship in years. Then he thought about the DNA results.
"I don't know where he's at," Case answered honestly. "Listen, I'm going to Seattle. I'll see you there at the bus station."
Before she could reply he hung up the phone.
Case went upstairs and grabbed his money jar. He had over two thousand dollars in that jar. He worked odd jobs and made bets. He was an expert at gambling. He knew he shouldn't but betting on horses was easy. Besides he needed the money. He saved it for emergencies and to pay for big things like the DNA testing.
He hurried out of the house towards the bus station. He rode several buses until he finally reached Seattle. He sighed when he saw the run-down city. The last time he had been here he was five years old and his mother was still alive.
Max stood at the bus station impatiently. She had managed to trace Case's call. She had called the house back several times until she finally reached Charlie. Charlie had gotten home late. He hadn't even noticed that Case was gone until Max called. The fact was Charlie didn't notice Case most of the time. Case was a painful reminder of his dead wife.
Charlie had gotten on the first plane to Seattle. He had met Max at the airport. At first he had wanted nothing to do with the transgenic woman. But Max was stubborn. She was determined to see her dead sister's son. She wanted to make sure Case was safe. Max led Charlie to the Seattle bus station. They had been waiting there for a few hours.
Charlie glared angrily at his son. "Case, what on earth are you doing here?"
Wordlessly Case handed the DNA results to Max. Charlie too gazed at the folder. Charlie's blood went cold as he saw Case's gene sequencing. It was almost identical to his mother's.
"I'm not you're son," Case said looking Charlie directly in the eyes.
"He's right. He's a pure X-5," Max said shock running through her system. "Tinga never told me anything about this."
"Glad to see I'm not the only one she lied to," Charlie said bitterly. "She was nothing but a two-timing whore."
"She was nothing of the kind," a cold male voice said.
Case stared as two men came out of the shadows. He had seen the one before. It was the man that his mother wouldn't look at. The other man was smaller. He had dirty blond hair and hazel eyes.
"Going to try to kill me again Zack?" Charlie demanded.
"If I do you won't be living to tell the tale," Zack answered coldly.
Alec smirked at Max. "How goes it Maxie? Happy to see us?"
"I told you two to stay put. I said I'd deal with it but as usual you don't listen. It's like you don't trust me," Max grumbled.
Alec only laughed. "It's not that honey. I only came because Zack did. I trust you completely. I'm here to stop Zack from committing murder."
Max tried not smile at her mate. Alec could always cheer her up.
"You said he was pure X-5?" Zack asked looking at Max.
Max nodded as she handed the file over to Zack. "His father has to be someone in our unit," Max said.
Alec stared at Case. "I'm Alec. What's your name kid?" he asked.
"Case Michael Smith," Case replied evenly.
"Michael?" Zack asked looking at Case.
"Yeah, his mother insisted on that. I wanted it to be Charles," Charlie said. "In my family it's traditional that the father's name is the middle name. This Michael must be the kid's dad."
"There were no Michaels in our unit," Max said.
"It was an alias," Zack said.
"It was a what?" Alec asked. He was trying to make sense of this.
"An alias," Zack said. "Michael Hanover was an alias. She did it so that she would always be reminded who the father was. She didn't want to use his real name."
Zack walked over to Case. He looked at him for a long time.
"You take after your mother," he said softly. "You don't look a thing like your father."
"Penny always said that he had his father's smile," Charlie said defensively.
"Smile for me kid," Alec said.
Case smiled a small smile.
Max felt her heart pound harder. Alec too recognized the smile. He looked curiously at Zack but said nothing.
"I don't know what I'm going to do about you, Case," Charlie said.
"I want to find out who my father was. I want to know about Mom," Case answered.
"Your mother lied, Case. I don't think anyone knew who she truly was. As for your biological father I don't think you should seek him out," Charlie replied.
"Why are you afraid of me finding out who I am?" Case demanded.
"They both abandoned you," Charlie replied. "She's dead, and he left her."
"He didn't leave her. He didn't know she was pregnant," Zack said suddenly. "He had no idea that Case was his son. She never told him."
"That doesn't matter," Charlie said. "She left Case with me. I'm obligated to take care of him."
"Is that what he is to you? Some obligation?" Zack asked coldly.
"He's not mine. I don't really want to keep him but in memory of Penny I will."
"Her name was Tinga. Penny didn't exist. She was an illusion."
"I don't care. He doesn't know a thing about her. We don't speak of her."
Zack moved closer to Charlie. "Case, can stay in Seattle," Zack said coldly. "You don't have to worry about him anymore."
Charlie stared at Zack. "I don't think that's a good idea."
"Do you want a repeat of last time?" Zack demanded. "Tinga isn't here to stop me from killing you. You're not his father. You don't want him so leave him here."
"We're her family," Max said. "A member of our family is his father. Tinga died to save Case. She died so that he would know he was loved. He isn't an obligation to us."
Charlie huffed and turned to leave.
"I can see why she loved you," Zack said causing Charlie to stop. "You were reliable. You were the family type."
Charlie turned back. "The boy's father wasn't I take it. What if he comes into picture? What makes you think he's changed?"
"He grew up," Zack answered. "He would've become the family type if she had told him. She didn't give him a chance though."
Case stared at Zack as Charlie left. "Why didn't she tell him?" he asked.
"I don't know. Maybe she thought he wouldn't stay," Zack answered.
"Did my father love her?" Case asked as he followed Max, Alec and Zack.
"Yes, he did," Zack quietly replied.
Zack had never told her he loved her but he did. He loved her enough to go back to Manticore for her. When he shot himself in the head it wasn't just to save Maxie. He knew that if he died he'd be with her again.
Why had they never told each the truth? Why had he never told he loved her? Why had she never told him about their son? He would've done anything to protect them if she had told him.
"I want to know about my mother and I want to know about my father. Will you tell me about both of them?" Case asked Zack.
Zack stared at Case for a second. This was his son. Zack marveled over the fact that he had a son. Part of him was angry with Tinga for never telling him. Part of him knew that she had her reasons. Whether he would agree with those reasons was an entirely different matter. He would tell Case everything if he could.
"Max, Alec, go home. I'll meet you guys later. Case and I need to talk," Zack said.
Max and Alec glanced at each other. The pair said nothing as the headed out of the bus station. Zack would have to explain it to them later.
Zack led Case to the Space Needle. They picked up some food as they went buy. Case gobbled his hamburger quickly. He hadn't eaten since he left home.
"Make sure you swallow," Zack said as he watched Case eat.
The pair remained in silence overlooking Seattle. It was beautiful and strange to be staring down on the city. Finally Case couldn't stand the silence anymore.
"Which one of you is my father?" Case asked. "I know you know."
"I should know," Zack answered, "considering I'm the only '09er male you mother had contact with."
"It's you?" Case asked softly as the implications of Zack's words sank in.
"Yeah, I'm your father. "
"You didn't know that I was your son until today did you?" he asked causing Zack to look up.
"No, she never told me," Zack said.
"Did you love her?" Case asked. "Did she love you?"
"Her last words to me were I love you. I loved her more than I ever loved anyone. I never told her I loved her and I should've," Zack answered.
"So where do we go from here?" Case asked.
"You and I get to know each other. I'll tell you about your mother," Zack answered.
"And then?" Case asked.
"We'll see," Zack said. "I'm not going to leave you though. You're my son. I'll try to do what's best by you."
Case supposed that was the best offer he was going to get. He watched Zack for a second. So, this was his father.
"So, what was Mom like as a little girl?" Case asked.