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07 April 2007 @ 10:32 pm
Burial Ground (The Rambaldi Remix), Alias, Sydney Bristow, Arvin Sloane  
Title: Burial Ground (The Rambaldi Remix)

Author: selenak

Summary: Sydney Bristow, Arvin Sloane, and two dead bodies.

Rating: PG 13

Fandom: Alias

Thanks to: resolute for beta-reading.

Spoilers: For all five seasons. The original story was written between seasons 4 and 5 and thus by necessity is an AU; I thought it would be interesting to make the scenario it presents work with later canon at the same time.

Title, Author and URL of original story: And the cicadas sang by kangeiko.

It always came down to this. The two dead bodies, herself, and him. And she never understood that she had been there before until he told her.

This time, it was twilight, and Sydney felt the child in her body move while watching Arvin Sloane sit down next to her. The coffins were right in front of them; all that remained of her family, save for her unborn daughter. If her mother wasn’t here, today of all days, she had to be dead as well.

Sloane being there, on the other hand, was something she had never doubted. It had not been easy, getting the permission. After all, he was still supposed to be serving his sentence. But the fact he had come to her father right away after Prophet 5 approached him carried some weight with the authorities.

She found herself wishing he hadn’t. She wished he had taken the deal Prophet 5 had offered. It would have been one more betrayal, and definitely far from the worst of those he had already committed, and it could have saved her sister’s life. If Prophet 5 actually had a cure, of course, but judging by what her father had found out before he died, they had not been bluffing in this regard.

Nadia would be alive. Her father would be alive. If Arvin Sloane had committed one more deception, one more betrayal, one more devil’s bargain. Just one.

Sydney knew it was the one accusation she could never voice towards him, and so, to punish herself and him, she took his left hand in hers. She had not touched him out of her own initiative for a long time. He, of course, had never stopped touching her, but that was different. His hand felt warm in hers, dry and warm, and she felt more than saw the faint scarring across one of his fingers. She remembered that day, the galling irony of having to save SD-6, and the odd sensation of pity she had felt when seeing him stand there, pale, hand wrapped. She had even asked him whether he was alright before giving herself a reality check and thinking of the many people who had lost more than limbs due to Arvin Sloane.

“I didn’t think you scarred,” she murmured.

She had hated him for such a long time that the absence of hate that had crept up on her at some point during the last year made her feel listless and empty. There were others to hate; everyone responsible for the death of Vaughn, for the death of her father. It wasn’t that she was lacking targets. But there was no intimacy in that hostility. They never betrayed her; she had never believed in them.

“Not because I thought you were particularly strong, you know. Well, maybe at first. When Emily was ill – when my dad was away – back when I didn’t know you. Maybe I thought you were too strong to scar. Maybe I hoped you were.”

The twilight is blurring out all the edges, and the cicadas made her think of Emily’s garden. Of sitting there, allowing herself to be enveloped in the affection of a childless couple and admiring Emily’s grace in adversity, and Sloane’s open and unwavering adoration for his sick wife. It was the time before, and she had tried to cut him out of those memories since then; tried to remember Emily only, not the man who had Danny’s blood on his hands, that hand she was clasping now, tighter, still dealing out punishment.

“My dear…” he says softly, and she interrupts him.

“Later – once I found out what you are – then I thought you couldn’t scar. That maybe you weren’t human enough. That you could cut out your entire heart and it wouldn’t matter. It wouldn’t matter at all.”

He tried to pull his hand away. That was a first. His hand on her shoulder, his hand on her back; he never missed an opportunity, and it always somehow looked natural. Not just with her. Sloane was the only one Sydney recalled dealing out casual touches to her father.

She tried not to think about how many years she found it difficult to share something as simple as a meal with her father while he and Arvin Sloane shared offices, secrets and ongoing betrayals. She tried not to wonder whether without Sloane joining the emerging Alliance, her father would have still continued as an agent. Looking ahead, she sees the coffins lowered into the ground.

“I thought I had you all figured out.”

The root of all evil; the monster whose fault all the tragedies in her life were. He should have remained just this; but he was never content with remaining any certain definable thing, was he?

“Let go, Sydney,” he said, and his voice sounded as level and calm as it had done an average day in the office. There was nothing left of the terrible grief she had heard when he had shot Nadia on the roof, or of the gratitude when she told him she had arranged a first visit. “Let go of my hand.”

He must have wondered what would have happened if he had shot her instead of Nadia. If he had made the deal, later, to save Nadia. Why hadn’t he made the deal?

Sydney opened her hand, and her fingers find each other over her belly as Sloane slowly gets up. She didn’t wish herself dead in Nadia’s and her father’s place; there was the child inside her, the child she knew would be a daughter, and this child would not grow up raised on regrets and lack of life. Still, she wondered how he could avoid wishing her in one of those coffins.

She watched Sloane walking to the grave, despite the fact the preacher was still in the middle of his sermon. He took up soil and she closed her eyes, not wishing to see it thrown on the coffins. It didn’t help. The noise the earth made seemed doubly loud because she could not see it. There was something about the sound of falling earth and Arvin Sloane that fit together, though; which was another reason why he had to be here.

Opening her eyes again, she found him returned to her side. His hand, still warm, with traces of the dust that covered her father and sister on it, returned to hers, and she accepted it.

It always came down to this. The other one of Rambaldi’s inventions hidden in the tomb, and he had had eternity to master it in the darkness: the reversal of time. But no matter how often he returned, and no matter what he did differently, it always came down to this: The two dead bodies, herself, and him. And she never understood that she had been there before until he told her.
Current Mood: busybusy
kangeiko: sloanekangeiko on April 22nd, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
This rocks my socks, OMG, it's absolutely brilliant! *stares & loves & stares some more*
Selena: SydSloane - Perfectdayselenak on April 29th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
I'm really, really glad you liked it. I loved that story of yours!
prufrock, before he got famous: cyclopspraiselikeadeuce on April 22nd, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
I love the complexity of her thoughts on betrayal. . .

Nadia would be alive. Her father would be alive. If Arvin Sloane had committed one more deception, one more betrayal, one more devil’s bargain. . .But there was no intimacy in that hostility. They never betrayed her; she had never believed in them.

A great look at Sydney and Sloane, and at poor Jack and Nadia and even Irina, in absence.
Selena: SydSloane - Perfectdayselenak on April 29th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
"The intimacy of betrayal/hostility" is a phrase that keeps coming back to me whenever I think of the Bristow/Derevko clan and Arvin Sloane. Thanks for the feedback!
Nicparanoidangel42 on April 25th, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC)
I love this look at Sydney's feelings about Sloane, and the way you've fitted it into S5 canon
Selena: SydSloane - Perfectdayselenak on April 29th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
The relationship between Sydney and Sloane has always fascinated me, and I was glad to have the opportunity. Thank you for the feedback!
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