Disclaimer: I own none of the characters nor Kiefer Sutherland. These characters come from movies and tv shows that Mr. Sutherland has been in. You don't have to know them all I think. You'll learn what you need to know through the story.

Note: Interested in a trailer? Go to youtube and look for " 'the Actor's Rift' trailer" done by an alternate persona of mine: SilentShadow1308. Reviews and comments for both are appreciated.

The Actor's Rift

When you become an actor, you know you're going to affect people's lives somehow. They'll come see your play, movie, show, whatever and be moved either to like or dislike you. If you're any good, it'll be in the way you want them to feel. If you're lucky you'll end up with a good fan base, maybe some people who come to your set and scream your name. What they never tell you in show business is that sometimes you do more than just entertain and move. Sometimes you can blur the lines- the definitions- of fiction and reality. Sometimes you create life... And sometimes you destroy it. -Kiefer Sutherland (1)

I: Introductions

Two men stood side by side on the nighttime street outside a high end motel. One was a middle-aged blond with short cropped hair bearing a frown. His hand rested on the holstered standard issue handgun on his hip normally hidden beneath his suit jacket. Just to his right stood his opposite, a pale young man in his late teen years, his bleach-blond mullet reminiscent of an earlier decade. He wore a long black trench coat and in one leather gloved hand he held a pack of cigarettes. His expression was that of semi-amusement. Despite their difference in age and style there was a great deal of similarity in their physical features, more so than a father and son.

The younger one pulled a cigarette from the pack, slipping it behind his ear before offering the box to the older man who glanced at it a longing moment before declining and looking back to the building before them.

"So? What do you make of it?" the bleach blond in the rock band apparel questioned.

"I … don't know. If it was just you, that'd be one thing, but now another?" The elder shook his head.

"I know what you mean. Looks more like you than me though."

The older man snorted and glanced to his companion. "I've had some pretty weird days. Days that didn't make a whole lot of sense when they started. But this…"

"I don't know. I'm still debating."

"What could've happened to you that is stranger than this?"

"Well… There's the day I died. That was a pretty freaky night," the younger one replied casually.

"You look pretty alive for a dead man, David," the other said.

"I get that a lot," David said as he tucked the pack of cigarettes away.

Behind the curtains of the room they were watching, a shadow moved.

"You think he knows we're here?" David asked, flipping his lighter open and shut absent mindedly.

"I didn't know you were here."

"No, I mean here here. Standing outside. Not here as in existence. I don't think he'd be expecting us outside either, though it would be nice to find someone who can explain all this," David replied.

"All what?"

"Exactly."

The man shook his head and slid his hand off his gun. "I'll be right back."

"What, you're just gonna go ask him? What the hell are you going to say?"

"Just stay here and don't move."

The teenager frowned darkly, but remained where he was.

The older man strode up to the motel room and paused only a second before rapping loudly on the wooden door. He waited a moment, but could hear no movement. He knocked again, more roughly than before and this time the door opened, slowly as if it hadn't been properly closed. The room was dark, though it hadn't been when he'd begun his walk to the room. The man was immediately on edge and his right hand snaked down until it grasped the weapon at his side. He removed it from its holster but kept it close to his side, barrel down.

"Hello?" He called as he took a step inside. He was about to say more when a shadow moved by the bedside and a familiar voice shouted at him.

"Put down your weapon now or I will shoot!"

The man tensed, but did not comply.

The shadow remained where he was, behind the protection of the bed. "You are breaking and entering, so I suggest you do as you're told."

"Alright. Calm down. That was an accident. Your door was ajar. I'm putting my weapon on the floor." Slowly the man crouched and did just that before standing and stepping away. "I'm with the police and if you'll let me, I can show you my badge."

The shadow stood slowly, moved to the table at the bedside and flicked on a lamp. As soon as they adjusted to the brightness, both men's eyes widened. The pair were near mirror images of each other. The former shadow with the gun frowned deeply.

"Identify yourself," he ordered.

The intruder swallowed hard, then slowly pulled his jacket aside to reveal the golden badge on his belt. "My name's Detective Michael Hayden. Mick's just fine."

This answer didn't seem satisfactory to the gunman, though it seemed he wasn't sure how to phrase why. Mick understood. Staring at your face on someone else is an odd thing. At least he and the kid had the age difference. This man seemed pretty much the same age as he and though Mick didn't often stand in front of a mirror while pointing a gun, he was pretty sure that he'd look just like this stranger if he did.

"Let me see that," the stranger ordered, motioning to the badge with his weapon.

With one hand still up non-threateningly, he took a few slow steps closer to the stranger and tossed the badge down on the bed.

"Your turn," Mick said.

The stranger picked up the badge, weapon still pointed, but out of Mickey's reach. Once he was convinced it was authentic, he tossed it back at him, making Mick fumble to catch it.

"Federal Agent Jack Bauer," the man replied, showing him his own badge. "I work with the Los Angeles Counter Terrorist Unit. Why are you here?"

"A federal agent?" Mick sighed and ran his fingers through his short hair. Before he could say any more, a voice came from the door, surprising them both.

"So I guess he's not the one we're looking for, huh?"

Jack was silent as the kid strode boldly into the room, glancing at Mick's abandoned gun before passing it by.

"Well, well. Two dogs of the law. Guess I'll have to behave myself."

David looked rather out of place. An 80's style rocker or motorcycle gang member between two modernly and averagely dressed adults.

Mick rolled his eyes and glanced back to Jack who was watching David with confusion only slightly visible in his serious expression. David met the man's gaze straight on, a smirk playing on his lips. Mick didn't like that. There was something about David that seemed… wrong. Something that went deeper than his eccentric appearance. It radiated off of him like a field of energy. It was almost unnoticeable, but it was there. And when it came to feelings like that, Mick had learned to trust his instincts.

"He looks just like you," David replied, looking to Mick. "Hope you don't mind if I get you mixed up."

Jack looked annoyed. "Who is this and what are either of you doing here?"

Mick took a breath. First things first. "This is David."

"Your son?"

David chuckled darkly and Mick shook his head. "Not mine. He isn't yours is he?"

"Are you part of a missing persons case, Detective?" Jack questioned in irritation.

"No… Well maybe. We are looking for someone. Someone who may be involved… with all of us somehow."

Jack glanced momentarily at David who watched quietly, that smirk still on his pale lips.

"What do you mean?" Jack questioned.

"Has anything strange happened to you lately?"

"Including or not including this?" Jack asked.

"Oh, this counts, I think," David replied, taking the cigarette from behind his ear and going to light it.

"Not in here," Jack ordered, his tone leaving no room for debate. David looked up at him in annoyance, the cigarette in his mouth, then continued to watch for his reaction as he lit the thing anyway.

Jack grimaced. "I thought kids these days were supposed to know better."

David sucked in deeply then let the smoke out in a puff. "Old habit."

"Look, we've got more important matters to think about," Mickey declared.

"Yeah, like why you two are twins who look like aged versions of me," David said.

"Or whether or not Agent Bauer has had those dreams."

"I haven't had time to sleep in a while," Jack said flatly.

"What are you doing out here?" Mickey asked.

Mickey didn't miss Jack's frown, as if he himself weren't quite sure. "I'm on business," Jack replied.

"Are you looking for someone?"

Jack said nothing for a moment. "Why don't you tell me first?"

"Yes, we are looking for someone," David replied sharply, obviously becoming annoyed with Mickey's less than direct tactics and Jack's less than open responses. Their personalities at this point seemed the same side of the same coin as far as David was concerned and frankly, he didn't care for it. "Apparently he's behind the meeting of myself and Mickey here, taking us away from our daily, and nightly, routines. Perhaps he's why you're here as well. We're looking for another guy who looks like us whose fate decides our own."

Ashes fell as David tapped his cigarette over the metal garbage can. Then he continued. "You don't happen to know a man by the name of Sutherland, do you? Kiefer Sutherland?"

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End Chapter

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(1) The Sutherland quote is not an actual quote. Just something I made up for the story.