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ALIAS: Past Bewildered (APO ensemble)

vaznetti and monanotlisa organized spy_santa. I volunteered to write a back-up for simonvsvaughn, who requested the S5 APO team trying to celebrate the holidays in a traditional fashion.

Title: Past Bewildered
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Alias
Characters: Sydney, Jack, Tom, Rachel
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: A hectic night of goats and compasses.
Notes: S5, no spoilers

i. skating backwards tells another story.

They have very plausible reasons for knowing each other, should anybody ask. It helps that Carrie deflects for them, though she only knows half the story.

There are kids running through the room, half of them barefoot. Tom flinches whenever they stampede past him. Rachel knows he has a weapon, because his hand jerks to his back when a little girl yells, "Bang!"

The fourth time it happens, Rachel lays a hand on his shoulder, a steady slide of fingers against his sleeve. "I can't stand the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers either," she says.

"The what?" Tom frowns, but at least he stops eyeing the kids like enemy combatants.

"It's a kids' show," she tries to explain, then shakes her head. "Forget it. Just play nice, okay?"

Tom hangs his head, and Rachel laughs.

"Come on," she says, and tugs at his elbow. "There's nog in the kitchen."

ii. two naughts we've learned make one astonished 0

Sydney's making rescue me eyes at her, so Rachel slides past Carrie's second best friend from high school, murmuring about eggnog. Sydney's sitting with another pregnant woman, a woman breastfeeding, and a three-year-old girl sporting three ponytails.

"--your feet must be watermelons," one of the mothers is saying. "Tell me you get to sit all day. You'll break my heart otherwise."

Sydney smiles, the smile she uses on white-collar criminals. "I like keeping active."

"Swimming?" The pregnant woman raises one of her feet, rests it against the coffee table's leg. "Shopping with extended breaks?"

"Kind of, yeah." Sydney places a hand on the small swell of her belly. "A little walking, sometimes."

"Sydney?" Rachel picks out the best spot to hover over her, and holds out a cookie like it's uranium. "You have got to try one of these."

"Yeah?" Sydney levers up from her armchair, then shrugs at her companions. "I have got a killer sweet tooth lately."

The women wave goodbye, and Sydney bumps shoulders with Rachel.

"I owe you," she whispers.

Rachel marks the tally in the air with her finger, and Sydney steals the cookie out of her other hand.

iii. a way to walk on water and not drown

Tom dips the ladle into the bowl of eggnog, yet again, and drizzles another half-cup into the flimsy plastic tumbler.

Beside him, Jack clears his throat.

Tom holds the ladle up. "Nog?"

"Sure." Jack extracts a cup the leaning column of plastic and holds it out.

The eggnog is thick and creamy, flecks of cinnamon and nutmeg swirling through it.

Tom fills Jack's cup to within an inch of the brim. "How's that?"

"Good," Jack affirms.

Tom replaces the ladle, takes a sip from his cup.

Jack does the same, then scans the room. "It's a nice party."

"Yeah," Tom replies.

They drink again.

iv. scratched by the skater's multiplying math

Sydney finds her dad hiding in a corner of the kitchen. He's staring at the green Jell-O mold, a wreath oddly garnished with cranberries.

"It tastes better than it looks," she tells him, and he doesn't startle.

Instead, he nods. "I know," he replies. "Every year, somebody would bring one to the house for Christmas."

"Yeah?" Sydney picks up a loose spatula, pokes the wreath to watch it wobble.

"Yes." He takes the spatula out of her hand, sets it on the counter. "Your mother hated them. I told her she could make dessert, if she objected so much."


"And we had Jell-O every year."

Sydney laughs, and Jack chuckles along with her. On a whim, Sydney slides her hand into his, and he squeezes tightly.

"Merry Christmas, Dad."

He smiles, and kisses her on the forehead.


A/N: Title and summary adapted from Cynthia Zarin's Skating in Harlem, Christmas Day. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

Linked on spy_santa and here.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2006 07:44 am (UTC)
I loved this.
I really did. Again I feel bad for not catching that you'd posted this earlier.

You captured the awkwardness I was looking for in my request and did a great job with the agents, keeping them all in character. It made me smile, their attempts at being normal and how Rachel would accomplish this the easiest.

The tender moment between Sydney and Jack at the end was well done.

Thank you so much!
Dec. 18th, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
Re: I loved this.
You're welcome! I am thrilled you liked it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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