DISCLAIMER: Not the owner, not a profiter. Just a fic author having some fun.



It is a whisper, and barely that. More a thought that's turned slightly audible by a manipulation of the air.

"Lisa. My middle name is Lisa."

But even that much is useless, meaningless. Just a middle name. It is what he asked for, but what's a middle name? It's just an afterthought, reduced to an initial most anywhere. It wouldn't even register in some far corner of her mind if she heard it, unlike the chance moments she had heard her true name called in malls and parks. Then there was the beep. Never able to show it, always able to ignore it, but ultimately the beep was always there for her. Hopefully always would be. But Lisa? It is a far away notion, vaguely connected to the name she knew as her own but without the connotation. It is just a middle name.

Just a middle name, and even that she has to whisper.

And even then, only when he walks away. Why does she say it all? It means nothing if he doesn't hear it, less than nothing if it meant nothing before. Is it just so she could say she said it? So she could say that this boy with the goofy smile and the goofy hair and the goofy spirit has affected her this much and here is her proof? The only one she wants to prove it to is him and he is one of the billions of people to whom she can't. Just a middle name, and yet she can't tell any person alive. Can only whisper it a safe distance away.

Guilt, that is what it is. It is impossible not to feel guilty with Chuck, with this boy with no reason to trust and yet does everyone, every time, building it over again if and when it gets stripped away. How can she not? His room is bugged, his car is bugged, his desk is bugged, there isn't an inch of his day that isn't captured in a microphone. Every private, minute aspect of his life, constantly revealed -

And she can't even divulge her middle name.

But she can whisper it when he walks away. She can pretend that out of her sight, as she focuses on the frayed patch on the carpet, that he looks up from his olive-less pizza, and turns to her. That he whispers too, just as quietly, tasting it on his lips and trying to connect the image of a girl middle-named Lisa to the one who can kill a man before he even knows she's there.

But in the end, she knows the truth, feels it when her voice breaks. Just a middle name.

A middle name can't carry that weight.