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Title: Underneath it All
Fandom: Alias
Disclaimer: I don't own Alias, it belongs to JJ Abrams.
Spoilers:
Through season 3
Pairings: none
Summary: Sydney thinks about her father over the course of her life.
Rating: PG



"Underneath it all, your father loves you." [...] Now I think it was more complicated than that. It may have been a warning. It may also have been a burden. Even if love was underneath it all, there was a great deal piled on top, and what would you find when you dug down? Not a simple gift, pure gold and shining; instead, something ancient and possibly baneful, like an iron charm rusting among old bones. A talisman of sorts, this love, but a heavy one; a heavy thing for me to carry around with me, slung on its iron chain around my neck. " - The Blind Assassin

-8-



“Underneath it all, your father loves you.”

My nanny has been telling me this ever since Mom and Daddy left. She says Mom’s in heaven now, because of the car crash. I don’t like cars, they take people away. Mom’s watching over me. Her love isn’t underneath anything, it just is. She didn’t mean to go away, not like Daddy.

Daddy left in a car, too, but he’s not in heaven. He was gone for so long that I thought maybe he was, but then he came home. Right now he’s off at work again. He makes airplanes. Whenever he comes home, he brings me presents. I want to tell him that I’d rather see him than get another doll, but that would just make him sad.

I don’t like the presents very much anymore. I didn’t see Daddy on Christmas this year, just presents. My nanny said he had to leave before I woke up. Things were different before Mom left. Then we always had Christmas together. Mom made breakfast and sang carols with me, and Daddy smiled. He never smiles now.

I think his love is still underneath all the water where the car fell in.

-18-



“Underneath it all, your father loves you.”

Francie’s mom tells me that all the time. She actually told me that tonight, my graduation day. I spent all evening worrying over whether or not he would come and see me give the valedictory speech. He promised me that he would, but I’ve learned over the years not to trust his promises. He’s missed most of my ballet recitals, awards dinners, even my birthdays since Mom died.

Mrs. Calfo never says what she means by “underneath it all,” but I know. After the accident, Dad was never really the same. Grief over Mom probably makes it hard to be around me. People who knew her tell me that I look more like her every day, so maybe seeing me makes him miss her too much.

I should be keeping my mind on what I’m going to say, since I have to speak soon. But I almost don’t want to give my speech anymore, because as much as I wrote it for my graduating class, I also wrote it for him, my dad, and there’s no point if he’s not going to care enough to hear it. He isn’t here. I’ve scanned the crowd almost a thousand times since the ceremony started, and I don’t see him.

The principal is reading out my name. I blink back the childish sting of tears – I should have known he wouldn’t come – and step up to the podium. I can hear Francie cheering really loudly for me, which is kind of embarrassing. I clear my throat – speaking in front of crowds has always made me kind of nervous – and begin my speech.

“We’re gathered here today on our last day as high school students, before venturing out into the – to be honest, rather frightening – world of adulthood. As we go into the future, we should not forget to acknowledge those who have helped us to find our path.”

As I speak, I look out at all my classmates’ faces, feeling their excitement, and then up to the crowd again. That’s when I see it. A man in a suit goes through one of the auditorium doors, and then stands next to it to watch. I can tell just by his stance that he’s my dad. No other dad stands like some kind of soldier in the doorway.

I can feel a smile spreading across my face, and I continue the speech with much more confidence. My dad is here. He loves me. And if he understands what I’m trying to say tonight, he’ll know I love him, too. Maybe it’s not too late.

-28-



“Underneath it all, your father loves you.”

And that’s what will kill him, in the end. Even though my captors, the Covenant, now believe that I really am Julia Thorne, I can’t see him. I can’t tell him that I’m all right, or he could be put in so much danger. But from what my contacts have been telling me, his life might be in peril anyway.

My father, whose whole life has always been the Agency, has quit his job to look for me.

I haven’t been able to find out much about what he’s doing, which is good, really, because it means he’s keeping it from the Covenant, too. But I’m so worried. I don’t want him to die because of me. I want him to be at peace, to move on, like . . . like everyone else. I’ve never really let myself believe that my father loves me. And now, faced with the undeniable truth, that he loves me more than anyone else in my life, I’m not allowed to acknowledge it at all.

I’m pretty much damned either way, I guess. If I don’t tell him I’m alive, he’ll run himself into the ground looking for me; and if I do tell him, the Covenant will kill us both. I don’t know what to do . . .

Maybe, if I can leave him a message somehow, to show him that I’m alive but irredeemable – to make him think I really am Julia Thorne – he would give up. He would be heartbroken, I know, but he’d be alive. I’m sure it won’t be too hard to release a copy of the surveillance footage from my charade with Lazarey to a place where he would find it.

He’ll find it. He’s my father.
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