Better is Worse
by pari106;
Disclaimer: not mine; Rating: PG-13; Spoilers: "The Berrisford Agenda"
Summary: A look at Alec…and the end scene of this episode…through the eyes of Robert Berrisford.

A/N: Review, review, review. Please! I had an idea of how I wanted this whole thing to work out, but now
that I've gotten it written down the various parts seem disjointed to me. I don't know. But I wanted to post
it so that I could gather everyone's helpful criticism. So please provide some! :) And, as always, thank
y'all for continuing to read my work.

Better is Worse
by pari106

I always thought the hardest thing one can endure…is a child's death.

But I was wrong.

Watching Rachel these last two years, watching my child, live without really living… has
been hell.

And I thought finding her killer – the man who hurt her, used her, killed her – would be
difficult. But facing him is so much harder. Facing his blank expression, as I stand here
trying not to cry, training my gun on him.

I always thought the sweetest privilege one can obtain…is justice. This is justice. I
thought its sweetness would make the pain better. But somehow…

It's worse.

**** ****

I am gazing down at the face of a killer. My daughter's killer.

And I wonder now how I could have ever trusted that face. How I could have thought he
was young; good-looking. I'd understood when Rachel had fallen for him. I hadn't
approved…but I'd understood. Now I'm clueless. How could my angel have fallen for
this devil?

He is the devil. Or, at least, he's as close to him as I've ever been. He's evil; I know it
now. And evil like his is ageless. Faceless, really. That charming face he'd used to
seduce my Rachel wasn't even his. It was a mask; a pretty disguise. One of many, I'm
sure. Monsters like him are good at donning disguises, I imagine. But now the mask is
off. And I see him for what he truly is. Cold. Hard. The man who'd killed my child;
my Rachel, who'd cared so much for everyone. Even him.

Especially him.

"What are you waiting for?" he asks me, drawing me out of my reverie. "Do it!" he
screams. I don't know why. And now my hands are shaking.

What the hell does he want? To confuse me? To upset me? Maybe he's just crazy and
he really doesn't care whether he lives or dies. Someone who can so carelessly bring
death to a woman as beautiful, inside and out, as Rachel can't have a very high opinion of
life. Maybe he doesn't think he can die. Maybe he's right.

I don't know. Maybe I don't care. Or maybe I care too much, and that's why I can't pull
the trigger. Either way, I'm still standing here, and he's still sitting there, staring at me.
Staring at me with that goddamned unreadable face, waiting to die.

And I can't! I just can't do it…I can't pull the trigger.

Because I do care, damn it. I care. I care about my little girl, lying on her deathbed
upstairs. I care that she'd cared about this man. God knows he doesn't deserve it, and I
know he should rot in hell because he doesn't appreciate it… But she'd cared.

And I care about what's going on in that twisted mind of his. I care whether or not he
cares if he lives or dies. I care whether or not he's crazy or just mean. Whether or not
there's a reason he can do the sorts of things he does, or if evil like his simply exists and
that is all.

I care because I don't think he can care. And suddenly that seems wrong. Suddenly I
realize that isn't what I'd wanted. I'd *wanted* him to care. Maybe it was foolish of me
to expect that, but I'd wanted… Okay, I don't know what I'd wanted. Revenge,
certainly. Justice. But what kind of revenge is killing him if he doesn't even give a damn
that he's about to die? What kind of justice is there…if those are tears welling up in his
wide eyes.

Tears? What…

"What are you waiting for?" he demands. "I deserve it! Kill me!"

His demand is so harsh, so commanding…so sudden, I jump because he's startled me.
Not just with his words, but with his eyes. Tears… Why the *hell* are there tears
welling up in his eyes? This isn't right. This isn't the way it was supposed to be. This
isn't possible, damn it! He's a monster. He killed my baby and he doesn't even care. He
can't possibly be about to cry. Not as I stand here…on the verge of obtaining the revenge
I've sought for so long…my own tears finally escaping my reserve.

"Damn you…" I try to choke out at him, but I know nothing is passing my lips but an
unintelligible sob.

There are tears welling in those cold, blue eyes of his, but his face looks just the same to
me as it did before, and I continue to train my gun on him. Only now…my finger
tightens on the trigger, shaking even more strongly.

I prepare for the moment that finger will finally descend, and the gun will go off…but it
never comes. Blackness envelops me. And his face fades from my view along with
everything else.

**** ****

I am standing over a grave. My baby's grave.

I can still hear his footsteps as they fade into the distance; as he walks away. Just like he
did two years ago, only now it's because I asked him to leave. And not return.

I am standing here, trying to get a grip on all that has happened since the day he showed
back up in my life. But I don't think I can. I don't think I understand.

I don't understand why I found Rachel's locket lying by her side, that night I awoke and
realized her murderer had escaped again. I think she started to slip away that very
moment. As though these last couple of years she'd only been hanging on waiting for its
return. Or for the return of something else. I don't know. I don't understand what that
means. But, to be honest, I don't think I want to understand. Not right now. While my
grief is still too strong to comprehend, itself.

I don't understand why its relief I feel for not having killed that boy, instead of remorse.
I don't know where my hunger for revenge has gone. At the moment I suppose it's
receded to that place inside of me where every other emotion has gone, now that Rachel
has died. But I don't think it will remain there long. In fact…You know, I think it
doesn't remain at all. And I think I know…no, I do know why. Because of Rachel.
Because of my child. I want to be good for my child. Even now that she isn't here to
see. I want to do what is right. And killing that boy wouldn't have been right, even if it
would have been just. Because Rachel wouldn't have felt it was right. And she is what
all of this has really been about.

I want to remember that. I meant what I told "Simon". I don't want to be like him. To
him, Rachel was just a mission. But to me she was everything. I would have done
anything for her, and now I want to prove it. I want to do what she would have wanted
me to do. Even if that means doing the hardest thing I've ever done: facing the devil,
facing her killer. And walking away. And not looking back.

**** ****

I always thought that it was the good things in life that made good people better persons.
A good home makes a good father...a good wife makes a good husband…

But I was wrong.

The moments in my life that have made me better have all been bad.

I never realized I wasn't a good husband until I lost my wife. I never really knew what
being a good father meant. Until now that Rachel, too, is gone.

Being a good father means being better. Better is harder…but it isn't so bad. In some
ways. But in others…somehow…

It's worse.