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[personal profile] non_horation
Title: Broken Doll
Fandom: Alias
Disclaimer: I don't own Alias, it belongs to JJ Abrams.
Spoilers:
None.
Pairings: None.
Summary: A childhood memory
Rating: PG


For her sixth birthday, Sydney's mother gave her a small stuffed clown. It ad a lovely, hand-painted, smiling face, and a large silver key in the back. The little girl was delighted when her mother turned the key and the little clown played a song.

"It made me think of you," her mother said, smiling and stroking her daughter's hair. As she curled up in her lap to listen, Sydney could not imagine a more beautiful woman in all the world.

After that day, Sydney took to listening to the clown's lullaby every night before she went to sleep. When her father was home, he would come into her room and help her wind the big silver key. Not that she needed the help, Sydney was a big girl, but she loved spending the time with her father. He would smile and sit with her until the song had ended and she was fast asleep. She didn't think that there was a girl anywhere who was luckier than she was.

Six months later, her mother was dead. Sydney shut herself in her room and listened to the clown sing its tinny little lullaby until she was too exhausted to turn the key in its back again. Her father, though he tried very hard, could only rarely draw her out of her bedroom, and even then only to eat.

He looked at her differently now. Sydney couldn't understand why she suddenly made him feel so sad. But he was there to comfort her, and when she saw how he shared her grief, she clung to him like a rock in a storm.

Just as things were finally starting to get better again, her father disappeared one night without a word. She thought at first that it was another one of his business trips, but as the weeks dragged by, she realised that he wasn't ever coming back.

It was because she was bad, she decided. She had somehow driven them all away. If she never loved anyone ever again, then she would not cry when they all left her alone.

On Sydney's seventh birthday, her nanny threw her a huge party, inviting all of the children in her class. Sydney stayed in her room until they went home.

Later that day, her nanny found the stuffed clown lying face-down in a puddle, its beautiful porcelain face smashed. Dismayed, she picked it up and tried to wind it, but it would now only play a few mournful strains, a mockery of its former melody.

Sydney received a sound scolding for breaking her toys, and the clown retook its place on her shelf among her other things. She never listened to it, or even looked at it anymore.

Now that she's grown up, she sees her mother sitting in that glass cell with that impenetrable smile on her face, Sydney hears that broken melody in the back of her mind. Her mother acts like her disappearance was nothing, that it didn't affect Sydney at all.

Today, after their mission-related conversation is over, Sydney draws a cloth-wrapped bundle from her jacket, to present to her mother. It has been carefully inspected by guards, and is again now, to make sure that the prisoner can't use it as a means of escape, and then passed into her cell.

Her mother, surprised by the gesture, unwraps the bundle, only to look into the shattered and mud-encrusted face of the musical clown. A dissonant chord sounds from within the bedraggled toy and her mother seems to blink away tears. She looks at her daughter questioningly. Sydney shrugs.

"It made me think of you."
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