A/N: This one is almost more of a plot bunny than a real "other life" but it had such possibilities that I really thought it belonged here.

Other Lives

Turning Point

Alright, Sydney, Miss Parker thought, maybe just this once I can take a chance. She'd had no one to count on, cling to, rely on, no one but herself, not for a very long time, not since her mother had died.

But maybe she could, now. Maybe she had a brother, after all, in the form of her thumbless, crazy, sadist twin. He'd wept over their birth - she'd heard him. Maybe they should have been together since then.

She tried to imagine him hiding in the corners with her and Jarod and Angelo, tried to think of him sitting next to her at the ornate and untouched dinner table, knowing their father should have been home hours ago, knowing he would never come. Would brother Bobby have protected her? Or would she have become even tougher than she was now, from looking after him?

Oddly enough, the only realistic image was of a single moment in time. The Tower elevator bell chimed. The door opened. Miss Parker moved toward Mr. Lyle, her brother, as a alternate world presented itself, clearly and vividly, inside her head.

Shots rang out in her mind's eye, familiar shots while she shrieked for their mother, while a large, faceless sweeper held her back. Bobby - her twin, was smaller, faster, angrier. It was Sydney himself who caught the boy at the last possible second, before the last shot rang out, while Jarod got away from him on the other side, fought to get to her. It was Sydney who dragged them all away, Bobby shrieking with rage while his sister cried in pain and, for the first time, Jarod was allowed to hold her.

It was Bobby who fiercely informed their father that he blamed Dr. Raines, and would kill the man for this, eventually, and with his bare hands, too.

Miss Parker smiled. She liked that kid, that imaginary brother. Someone to silently adore and hate their father with, someone to disappear for hours with, someone to share secrets with, so she wouldn't have gone to Jarod, and wouldn't have bared her soul to him, and maybe wouldn't have... Never mind.

The point was, she had him now, and their father was up to something, and Lyle could share it with her, help her, and she could help him. They could work together, learn to trust each other. (She didn't want to say "like she trusted Jarod", but that didn't make it less true.)

Mr. Lyle was standing in the lobby, right in front of the Tower elevator, as Miss Parker approached. He had a wary but welcoming smile, his soap opera star looks complimenting her own runway model perfection. They would have stormed the world, the brazenly beautiful Parker twins, they could have conquered everything.

"There's something I need to discuss with you," she murmured, ignoring Sydney who had just appeared behind them. "It's about our father."

Lyle looked stunned and concerned, exactly like she would have expected a real person to look actually, concerned because the secretive old man was their father, stunned because she was admitting it. Their eyes locked, blue to blue, Catherine Parker's eyes.

There was a loud, lurid, unnatural bang, as a single shot rang out over the lobby.

Screams filled the air, people dropping, grabbing onto loved ones or leverage, the smell of Sydney's familiar cologne. Miss Parker, frozen, could only watch in a detached sort of utter bewilderment as blood bloomed like a rose from a hole she couldn't understand, suddenly there in Lyle's forehead.

Time froze as her blood thawed, fear and adrenaline a chemical cocktail that brought a tidal wave of comprehending rage. The light of secrets and life went out in the astounded eyes before her and then Lyle's body fell backwards - right into the elevator. There he lay, sprawled and broken, dead like his mother, fallen where she fell.

She'd had a brother, Miss Parker had. For two minutes, she'd had one. It was long enough, just long enough, to alter the fate of everything. It was just one gunshot enough to change the world.