In answer to a request for a Five Things fic, this is what entered my twisted mind.


It's tough being an undercover agent, having to change your identity every time you turn around. Using the same name for more than three months is a treat. Learning a new one can be tricky. Responding when your cover name is called, not responding to an old one, that kind of thing.

Casey never had much trouble with names, professions, fabricated personal backgrounds. That was a piece of cake. He could always come up with some kind of mnemonic. Like on this job, for instance, baby-sitting the Intersect. Easy.

I – Irondequoit,

N – New York – place of birth

T – Thirty-nine - age

E – Ex-husband – marital status

R – Republican - politics

S – Salesman - job

E – English major - education

C – Casey, John - name

T – Tom and Toni - parents

The harder part was keeping memories of things he didn't want to lose from his real personal life, and he had developed a system that the NSA hadn't even found out about. He was afraid if they did they might take it from him: his boxers.


There were only five things about his real life that he didn't want to forget:

1. Clovers

His Irish heritage. In the mid-1800s, during the potato famine, ancestors from both sides of the family had come to America. They found low-paying work in textile mills in New England and somehow survived through the succeeding generations, moving west and finally prospering financially and socially.

2. Purple paisley

These ones brought the memories of his mother. The pointy end of the paisley swirl was her sharp tongue and equally sharp wooden spoon on his backside; the rounded part came to be her warm, comfortable flesh as she held him in her arms and sang softly to him; and the purple was the light, soothing smell of the lavender toilet water she used only on church days and other very special occasions, like his birthdays.

3. Red and black stripes

These bold colors were the colors of his high school and held the memory of his girlfriend, Mary-Sue. Well, not his girlfriend, really. She was the girl he had really wanted but couldn't get. With his cocky manner and football captain physique, he had had lots of girlfriends, but the one who captured his interest wasn't hooked and he had been too full of pride to do anything about it.

4. Desert camo

His first deployment to the Middle East. He had been so young and full of energy and excitement. He had come out of it all better than most at the end but he didn't want to forget his fellows. They had gone through so much together. He couldn't always remember their names now and sometimes had to struggle to recall their faces but he wanted to never forget.

5. Baseballs and bats

This one was the most difficult. It was for his little brother, who died at the age of six. Tom, Jr. (not his real name) loved baseball. He would have played it in his sleep if he could have. Then suddenly he was gone. A fever, his mother had said. It had all been so unfair. They had both gone out to play in the snow. Why had Tom gotten sick and not both of them? Why hadn't Tom gotten well again?

There were two more in the weekly rotation, both plain white. Those spots were held in reserve, just in case he stumbled across other memories he wanted to capture from here on out.