A quick drabble, based on a thought I had waking up this morning, and touching on a few headcanons I have regarding Sierra and Alejandro.

Alejandro never steps up to Sierra and flat-out tells her, I am not afraid of you.

He lies about it to himself.

He tells himself, he doesn't have to, that there is no need to deal with her in such a distastefully up-front fashion. That she is a weak link, that there is time enough to deal with her. That until then, she is of little consequence and less threat.

He tells himself, that he doesn't avoid talking to her or even being around her because there's no point in speaking with her. That his reluctance to be around her has nothing to do with the knowing that she saw right through him almost from the moment she was on his time for that brief time in Egypt. Just one look, the way she watched him flirt with the other women and one by one engineer their defeat, and how aggressive she became whenever he was forced to speak with her for one reason or another.

He is a gentlemen, he tells himself, and Sierra is a misfortunate social reject quite content to chase a weakling who is rather more her prey rather than a love interest. (In his own feelings regarding how relationships should work, with an aggressor firmly directing things, and his own belief that this is nowhere as satisfying as two strong-willed people directing their synergy to ever greater goals, he might feel a bit of pity for Cody if the boy's complete refusal to use a resource like Sierra when she so blatantly suborned her will to his agenda didn't annoy him so gravely.) She is, he says, of no consequence.

He can't lie about the chill of fear when she stands over him, and it is clear to him that here is a woman not only taller than he is, but big in general. She's stronger than him, vastly stronger, and here is a cast of women that are already abnormally strong. That it unnerves him to have to tilt his head back until his gaze meets night-dark eyes that have little interest in his mind games or, inexplicably, his own charms (and it's a long and bewildered night when he ponders why she has no interest in him, even for base physical appeal, and concludes that she has a truly warped sense of appeal for the smaller and weaker boys). Having to look up into a woman's face, least his eye-level view rest upon assets most inappropriate for a gentleman to leer at, is unusual enough without the unnerving awareness that she knows perfectly well that he is not to be trusted.

She acted friendly enough when they had first met, in that brief moment when she was the sole woman on his team. Bubbly, obnoxious energetic, and sickeningly sweet when it suited her; it was like a female Owen, and he loathed the thought of such a burden. Two of them at the same time? One was terrible enough.

Only later, witnessing her single-minded determination and total inability to acknowledge a realistic obstacle to her goal of claiming Cody for her own, seeing that she had a truly nasty temper when the mood took her, and was possessed of a slightly cracked mind, did it occur to Alejandro that perhaps he was more fortunate than he suspected getting that woman off his team so easily. His usual tactics wouldn't have worked on her at all, and bending her to his own agenda would have been a nasty trick; unexpected complications were a truly unpleasant surprise. Sierra struck him as being one of those rare people that, no matter what they did, invariably wound up being the proverbial wrench in the plans of everyone around them.

So, he tells himself, Sierra is just a complication. Just a lady to tread very lightly around. She's not a genuine threat. Not an actual possibility of harm to his person...

Even so, he treads even more lightly with Cody, promising that he won't do anything excessively harsh to the boy until Sierra is out of the game or incapacitated. It would be-

(And a moment of cold turns his back into a mass of shuddering chills, the very thought of that woman turning upon him with righteous indignity and unfettered wrath; he is a strong boy, he knows that for sure. Athletic, capable of fighting many others his size, but Sierra is larger than him, stronger than him - he knows that for sure - and in the event that she honestly believed that he meant Cody harm-)

-Unwise, he thinks, trying not to shudder worse or flinch when Sierra happens to walk past him with that overly easy swaying saunter she seems to employ, like a building moving of it's own accord and unexpected power. She turns back at his grunt of dismay, frowning faintly at him. He pretends to look out the window of the plane, this small antagonistic moment unnoticed by anyone, and Sierra goes on her way, chatting amiably with Izzy.

Alejandro is silent, trying not to stare at the back of this giant of a woman that has him so on edge.

He is not, he tells himself, actually afraid of her. Merely unsettled.

It's a lie. He knows it for a lie, and when Sierra glances back, a faint knowing smirk curling the edge of her dark lips, Alejandro wonders grimly how much of a genuine threat to his game she is.