As the Rose
My first Alias fic…
Once, she was a princess, draped in diamonds.
"Where did you live?" He cocks his head worriedly, places his hand on her shoulder. "It's protocol, I'm sorry."
Sometimes she forgets details about the past…specific elements like the scent of the magnolia trees that she's certain grew on the property – one hundred of them, stretching from the front door of the old mansion to the very tip of her mile and a half long driveway. 25014 West Carter Lane. The third bedroom on the second floor. Her walls were blue.
He frowns and she wonders if she gave too much detail. She doesn't know who these people are. "Where did you go to school?"
Northfield Elementary and High School. She was an Angel. Blue and gold. Glory to God. The nuns hated it when the cheerleading routines were too racy.
He picks up the phone. Makes a call. She can't hear what he says, and doesn't really care, either. No one will miss her when she's gone. "How long have you parents been dead?"
Eleven years. They brought her for a drink -- her first. She was too tipsy to help them when the Covenant came. She didn't cry afterwards. It's not like they could hear her.
This time his voice is quiet, less demanding. "Are you ... involved ... with anyone?" He meets her eyes, and this time she can see that he's a little desperate.
She was. But he's dead now too. They came for him a year after her first job; she begged them not to, told them that she'd end it anyway so it didn't matter and it's not like he knows anything anyway so please please no leave Danny alone --
Men in green gowns. She doesn't even fight the IV. The poison sleep is welcome.
"Do you have any idea who I am?" He kneels before her, taking her hands into his own.
She doesn't recognize his face, except that he looks a lot like a boy named Will that she used to run with at college. An English major. They had sex once, after Danny had died, because her heart was splitting and he was so kind.
Later, they wanted her to kill him. Another test of loyalty. She doesn't remember the deed, but she stayed with the Covenant so she must have followed through. His blood was red, so red.
There are tears in his eyes. His voice is rough. "Do you have any idea who...this is?"
How could she forget? Every detail sharp and hot in her mind. That woman was an extension of herself, so much so that sometimes she responds when the name 'Sydney' is mentioned. Second cell to the left. She died skinny and pale and tired and that's why she joined the Covenant in the first place.
Revenge is sweeter when it comes from a friend.
"What -- what is your name?" He holds his breath. She looks up at him, puzzled.
Julia. Julia Thorne.
"Sydney." She opens her eyes -- slowly at first, and then faster to see who is speaking.
Sydney's dead. She watched her die. That's when the anger set in, the cold and burning anger that feuled her desire to live, to hurt, to kill.
Glory to God. Some sins cannot be forgiven.
"This is Jack Bristow. He wants to talk to you." The old man looks sad. Looks broken. It's a relief to see someone down on her level.
She'll talk. Her secrets don't matter now. What do you want to know? She can begin where it started. In the front yard of her Catholic school. She was fifteen -- sleeping with one of the seniors on the basketball team. Still an Angel, even though her wings were clipped and her her halo hung around her neck like a noose. The nuns' yardstick was sharp on her back. Fear is the heart of love,the woman had promise.
Well, love's pretty fucking terrible, then, she'd answered nastily, and almost relished the pain that came after. Her friends were impressed; beautiful and cold Julia Thorne, dangling her diamonds before the nuns and asking, Where's your God? Where's your God?
"I'm not interested in your past, Sy...Julia. I'm interested in your future. Will tells me that the last man you remember being involved with was named Danny. You don't remember anyone named Vaughn? Micheal Vaughn?"
She smiles. Of course she does. Micheal Vaughn. They met in Prague -- she had a hit on someone or other (their names and faces blend together into an unrecognizeable blur) and he must have been a guest in the hotel; another detail she can't recall. She loved him -- every night for weeks, until the job was done.
I'm sorry we won't make it to Santa Barbara.
I've never really liked the beach.
"They say you call yourself Julia now."
Julia Thorne. The nuns told her she was true to her name -- beautiful and sharp.
"Well, they were right about the first part, anyway. Perhaps the second as well."
They didn't get a whole lot right, those nuns, except teach her advanced Calculus and the art of telling lies. One of these would come in handy years later. I am Kate Jones. I am Lisa Faegan. I am Caroline Koste. I am Sydney Bristow.
No, that last one wasn't right. Sometimes it's hard to remember.
"I loved Sydney very much."
She's sorry she used that alias with him now. It hurts her just to look at him, to see him look at her and think of Sydney.
Where was Sydney born? Did they go to school together?
This she cannot recall.
She cannot hear their voices, but luckily they speak clearly and she can read their lips.
She's too far gone. We can't make her remember.
Not an option. Her brain is programmed perfectly; the details that they could not erase, they changed. Of course she could never forget you and Will -- so they convinced her that yes, you existed; she knew you as Julia. Even her name she held onto -- so she tricked her into believing that Sydney Bristow existed as someone from Julia's past. If you try to convince her that she's really Sydney ... she might not be able to handle it. Julia Thorne -- is not a good person. Sydney Bristow could never accept that she did what Julia has done. Perhaps that's why the programming stuck. It's a self-defense mechanism.
I want Sydney back. Jack ... how can you -- how can you even suggest that we leave her -- ?
I would rather have her changed but alive than dead, Vaughn.
Sydney is dead, Jack. Julia Thorne? Julia Thorne is what killed her.
They're confused about who she is. That's okay. She gets confused sometimes, too -- it's the details that get you in the end. They're a killer.