idontreallyspar: (Grace Bar)
Renting movies and ordering in for pizza two weeks running was more than Tom could take. And lucky for him, Rachel was in the same boat.

It wasn't like they'd been doing it every single night, but after staying in nearly half the time in that fourteen day period, he was starting to feel OMCS...Old Married Couple Syndrome. He knew Rachel was feeling it, too, because every time he sat down to get some work done she was either over his shoulder, which bothered him, or in his lap...which led to a lot of necking, bare minimum...or doing something annoying. Which, of course, didn't *really* annoy him, but he growled and snarled at her just the same.

And naturally, none of it fazed her because she knew he was full of shit.

But Saturday night was upon them again and Tom had actually gotten his latest stack of reports done and handed in. Still, he was at his desk, messing around with an idea about something and trying to hide it from Rachel, who was once again behind him, arms around his shoulders and chin atop his head to watch what he was doing as she chattered on about doing something fun or exciting.

"Okay, how 'bout this," Tom finally drawled, leaning back in his seat and tilting his head up, resting the top against her stomach after dislodging her chin, her arms still around his shoulders. "We go out, get drunk, and we get you to the local tattoo parlor...right smack dab in the middle of your left ass cheek we get you a real pretty heart with a banner across it that says 'The Love Butt.'"

Once the flurry of laughter and smacking had subsided into another round of Rachel in his lap, reminding him just how much he loved the fact that she was oral as hell. When they finally parted, he grinned, quirking an eyebrow.

"Okay, so no Love Butt." he conceded. "But I ain't exactly kidding about the tattoo part, and we could definitely throw in getting drunk. Could be fun. Besides, I been thinkin' about getting another one...you could get one, too."
idontreallyspar: (Tom and Rachel - Lost Boys And Golden Gi)
[locked to those without WITSEC clearance]

My life has never been a peaceful one. I raised all kinds of hell when I was a kid, for any number of reasons. I even got into trouble with the law, yeah, but never too much to get me barred from the Academy, know what I mean? Then I get the wrong summer job, and it ends up costing me everything.

I’ve been up and I’ve been down...I’ve been all over the world and back again. I lived, I loved...I died, I lost, I did everything. I endured a lot of shit and I came to learn that it’s all part of living in general. Life’s a pretty terrifying roller coaster ride with no way out except through death or an end to the solitude.

That’s when Rachel came along.

I only wish to God that I’d met her a few years earlier. I went through some dark times after my wife died...if I’d known Rachel back then, maybe if I’d met her before I met my wife...things could’ve been different. Maybe Rachel would have survived that shooter, gotten away or seen danger coming. I mean, we’re trained for this stuff.

My life has never been a happy one, but with her? I tend to look at it as more of a blessing than a curse. And as of late, I’ve come to realize just how quickly that life can end.

Which is why I intend to enjoy it...hang onto it as long as I can.

Live it the way I want...with *who* I want.

And you can take that however you’d like.

No Easy Way Out by Wayne Kramer )


Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: ALIAS
Words: 269
idontreallyspar: (Tom Groovin)
[locked from Rachel and all those without WITSEC security clearance] )

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: ALIAS
Words: 470
idontreallyspar: (Grace Dark)
I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did? I’d say in a previous life, I *really* screwed up. Couldn’t tell you who I was for sure, but given my life so far? I can just about point out to you the kind of person I was on my first go around.

I know I was a criminal...I had to be for all the time I’m doing now for crimes I’ve never committed. That and the fact I gave my parents more than a little hell when I was younger...guess I still haven’t learned my lesson. I also know I was probably never married, and I didn’t have a lot of respect for women in general...might never have been in love, either. Or maybe I was...had a good woman and lost her when I could have prevented it. Only reason I can think of that my wife had to die because of who I am.

[locked from all except Rachel Gibson and those with WITSEC security clearance]

I think in my past life, I had no regard for family...none. Maybe I killed them or something, I don’t know, but I had to have hurt them badly...because my punishment this time was being helpless except to sit by and watch them grieve my death when I was still alive. I didn’t even get to actually watch them, because it wasn’t safe for me to go anywhere near my hometown.

[/locked]

I was a rotten person in my past life, I’d wager...it’s a wonder I didn’t come back as a zit or something. Then again, I guess if reincarnation was real? Coming back human’s the biggest punishment you could ever lay on a person. After all, what’s worse then having to come back and pay taxes for another seventy or eighty years, know what I mean?

Still, if I believed in this stuff, and I don’t...then all this past life crap also means there’s something to karma, right? And if karma’s real, I guess I earned some good with the bad...earned myself a reward in spite of all the shit I must’ve done.

After all...I did find Rachel. And if she’s all the good karma I’m allowed? I’m totally okay with that.

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: ALIAS
Words: 380
idontreallyspar: (Grace Dark)
It had been three months and he was still wearing it.

He sat in his new apartment…a small, stark, fairly depressing affair, and stared at the platinum band around his left ring finger, marveling. In so many ways, it symbolized his whole damn marriage…it was the one thing of any real value or beauty he owned.

It was the one really good thing he had.

Taking off the ring meant he wasn’t married anymore…and if he wasn’t married anymore, it meant that she was dead.

Tom shut his eyes, bending his head forward to rest against his own fist, feeling the cool solidity of the metal, the ring digging into his forehead almost painfully. It was a pain he welcomed, a pain he needed. It was physical and real and tangible, not this hot writhing burn in his gut and chest that had nothing to do with pressure on skin or damage to tissue or flow of blood.

Getting attached meant losing, he’d always known that…known it since he was twenty one and left home to start a new life for himself. He’d killed himself only to be reborn, and he’d learned…he’d learned that friendships in the field led to pain when those friends died. He learned that girls who got too close asked questions and demanded answers, answers he wasn’t ready to give anyone.

Then she came along…the girl that didn’t push. Didn’t ask, didn’t care about anything but what she saw…fuck, he couldn’t even *think* her name right now…

His other hand came up to rub his fist, his head lifting just enough so his fingers could curl together…smoothing over cool metal turning warm under flesh, platinum that never got a chance to wear with the passage of time…

He wasn’t quite aware of taking it off, only that his finger felt suddenly cool at the base, slightly damp from perspiration beneath the ring.

It was almost hot in his palm, laying there…like a living thing that was no longer alive. It felt that way, too, as it slowly turned cool, the heat of his palm not enough to keep the wedding ring warm.

Soon it was cold in his hand…cold as death.

And only then was he really a widower…only then was his wife really dead and gone.

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: ALIAS
Words: 381
idontreallyspar: (Grace Dark)
I couldn’t live without Rachel Gibson, and that’s pretty damn literal…reason being she saved my life and all.

It’s not something I can get into, but that’s a pretty clear-cut summary of the situation…my ass was on the line. She saved it. Next case. But, I suppose if you want to do more than scratch the surface, Rachel’s become even more important than that. She did more than save my ass, she’s taught me a lot about life in general…made me learn to appreciate it, I guess.

I’m not exactly a fun guy…never have been, much anyway. Then I met Rachel…to be blunt, she’s kind of a dork. But I don’t mean that in a bad way and I’m not saying that just to stop her from smacking me later.…she’s nine kinds of quirky, ten kinds of goofy, and most of the time she’s not even totally aware of it. And I think that’s incredible…that she can wear qualities like that so well, and be more attractive because of them. Even when she’s awkward or uncertain, she shines, and she encourages it in other people.

I worked Special Forces for years. I’ve stared death in the face more than once…and I’ll be the first to admit, I’m afraid of looking like a fool. She’s not, she never is…no matter how much she protests to the contrary. It’s a brand of fearlessness that doesn’t get enough praise, in my opinion…and I both respect and love her for it. She makes me do crazy stuff, and *want* to do crazy stuff…I say stupid shit around her. I do goofy things…and she makes it okay. It’s a gift, the kind of freedom I have around her, because with Rachel…being goofy or crazy *isn’t* being goofy or crazy. It’s just…being alive, and enjoying it, you know what I mean?

Rachel saved my life…but I’ll tell you right now, my life wouldn’t be worth as much to me if she wasn’t in it. And you can take that straight to the bank.

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: ALIAS
Words: 337
idontreallyspar: (Grace Bar)
If I could change history...I’d have been there instead of her.

The day my wife died...she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, a place *I* should have been in instead. I should have been there...been *with* her. But I wasn’t...and I lost the first good thing I’d had since my childhood as a result.

The stuff that happened before the Agency...I don’t talk about it. I can’t. But my wife was the one bright spot I had...quite possibly the *only* bright spot I had. If I’d been there, I’d have been dead...I know that. And in spite of everything...my life now, and even Rachel...

She was an innocent. A complete innocent...she didn’t choose the life I lead. She didn’t even know who I really am. She knew nothing, did nothing but good things...she drove me crazy and she was no saint, but in a crunch, she had the most ungodly ability to make the right choice no matter what. She did the right thing without even thinking when it came down to the nitty gritty of things...and she died for no reason.

I can kill without remorse, maim and torture without batting an eyelash...it’s part of my job. Innocent people do die in this business all the time, it’s a hazard.

But my wife’s death...that one innocent casualty...that’s one I’ll never be able to shake off my conscience completely.

Because she wasn’t a casualty of war...nothing was gained from her death. She had nothing but me to die for...and even with Korman dead, I’ll spend the rest of my life trying and failing to make sense of the whole fucked up thing.

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: ALIAS
Words: 291
idontreallyspar: (Grace Hat)
[locked from all those without APO security clearance]

When I was a kid I used to have this dream I was being chased. Running through the streets of my hometown, there’d be something on my tail. I could never look back to see it...to be sure...the fear of whatever was stalking me was just too paralyzing, too intense. I could just...feel it behind me. A splash of a footfall against wet pavement, a soft gasp of air from my back...it was all I had to know that I was running from something, and I was sure that if it caught me, I’d be worse than dead.

I started having that dream when I was really little...six years old, maybe. Always scared the shit out of me, because I didn’t know what was after me. I stopped having the dream, of course...but life goes on, shit happens, and you think about things. You evaluate your life, and you wonder if you could have done things different, the usual bullshit.

You look back at things you saw and heard...things you did...and you wonder if you could have avoided things by paying a bit more attention.

I sometimes find myself wondering if that dream wasn’t some kind of foreshadowing...if things would have been different if I’d listened, avoided certain things.

I used to have regrets, thinking stuff like that...until I started working my latest assignment here at APO. Being here...meeting people like Rachel Gibson...*especially* Rachel Gibson...it’s done a lot to change my thinking. I always believed somewhere deep down that if I stopped mourning the past, I’d forget it...I’d be turning my back on who I was...who I used to be.

Rachel made me realize I was wrong...it’s ‘cause of her I’m still here, and it’s ‘cause of her I realize that there’s nothing wrong with turning away from the past. It just means you’re looking in another direction. If you’re smart, you’re looking to the future...and if you’re lucky, you’re looking around at the present because it’s something worth paying attention to.

The future’s all well and good...but with Rachel here, I think the here and now is a little more appealing.

[/locked]

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: ALIAS
Words: 368
idontreallyspar: (Grace Bar)
Tom was really starting to wish that government agents had a higher salary, because if they did he wouldn't be here...with It

He didn't talk about It, or even mention It to anyone because as far as he was concerned, It didn't exist. At least until he had to pull It out of storage because the rental fee was cutting into his budget.

So his one day off had been spent bringing everything from storage home and stowing it in his apartment, or his alloted space in the garage downstairs. Now all that was left was It...and in some inherent, fucked-up way, Tom knew he had to look through It. It just...seemed the thing to do. Especially since It hadn't been opened since the day It came into existence.

Standing in the middle of his living room, he stared at It, arms crossed and features inscrutable. It was rather benign...a simple four-by-three foot locker with three decals splashed across the side...a KISS sticker, a Willingsboro Police Department logo, and a bumper sticker of the Jersey Polytechnic High mascot, the Polytech Parrot.

He was trying to decide how he felt about It before he actually did what he had to...then trying to decide if that even meant anything. The meaning...the things It held were so far removed from his life that they'd ceased to matter at one point, and finally ceased to exist in his world.

So why did he still have It?

Time passed. Tom didn't know how much.

It continued to sit there. To exist.

Finally taking a deep breath, Tom uncrossed his arms and walked towards It, sinking down to sit on the floor alongside It. He hesitated, then reached out for the combination lock that sealed all the secrets It kept so carefully hidden away.

The combo was still 1004...a date that no longer mattered to him.

His fingers spun it into place with a practiced ease that startled him...frightened him, just a little.

But before he could open the lock, a knock came at his door...a swift, efficient rat-atata-tata-tat he knew all too well.

Cringing inwardly, he simply winced, then released the lock, hauling himself to his feet. "It's open, Rachel!!"
idontreallyspar: (Thomas Grace)
From a newspaper clipping at the bottom of a foot locker located in a storage space leased to Thomas Grace

* * * * *

Anthony Martin Venomecci
October 4, 1976 - November 18, 1997


Anthony Martin Venomecci was born to Thomas Diego Venomecci and his wife Grace Joanne Miller-Venomecci in 1976 in Willingsboro, New Jersey. Anthony was a devoted son to his parents, a loving and devoted boyfriend to girlfriend of six years, Miss Christine Deseas, and a well-respected member of the local community. With his life, Anthony was proof that even bad seeds can bloom into something magnificent.

Just two weeks after being accepted to the local police academy, Anthony’s life was cut short in an explosion at Outrigger Sporting Goods on 5th and Oakley. Initial findings ruled the explosion to be accidental, but further investigation showed the cause to be arson. Owners of the store were arrested for the fire, and for the murder. The two men were turned over to federal authorities stemming from charges relating to their previous employer, a West Coast bank called Credit Dauphine. (see complete story on page A7, “Local Cadet Murdered in Explosion”)

Anthony’s childhood was troubled, leading him into a great deal of his teen years spent flirting with the wrong side of the law. After more than a few run ins with the police, Anthony developed a certain respect for those on the force, and with the encouragement and support of his parents, got his life back on track. Though his application to the Academy at eighteen was three years too soon, Anthony devoted himself not only to getting involved with his community, but in making up for his misspent years both in school and in his personal life.

Anthony is survived by his parents, his girlfriend, and a community that will be forever changed by the example he left behind...that no matter how bad life gets, there’s always time for a second chance . Closed casket services will be held at Our Lady Of Snows on Friday with graveside services to follow. In lieu of flowers, his parents are requesting donations made to the Red Cross or the Willingsboro Police Department’s Widows & Orphans Fund in Anthony’s name.

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: Alias
Words: 340
idontreallyspar: (Grace Dark)
[locked from all members of APO except Rachel]

You want a secret? Seriously? Pick one. Man, I’m a goddamn *spy.* There’s not much in my life that’s *not* a secret to someone or other. My wife knew I worked for the government, but she never knew the full extent of what I did. The early days, when I *used* to have friends outside work? They had no clue how I really spent my time between punching in and punching out.

My life is all about secrets…they’re what keeps my world turning.

Still, even from some of my own co-workers, people I call friends, I have a secret or two…like killing Allan Korman. Rachel’s the only one that knows and those mad hacker skills would REALLY piss me off if she wasn’t so damn cute about it and that’s the way I intend to keep it. Not out of fear for the repercussions, not by a long shot. Since he died, I’ve really been able to sleep at night for the first time in years.

I like to think that I got a small measure of retribution for my wife…that wherever she is, she can rest a little easier.

That she knows what she meant to me…that I never meant for any of this to happen.

It’s a hell of a thing…when the dead are gone, there’s really nothing you can do to show them you still care. Unless, of course, they’ve been murdered…and if you’re in a position to do something about it? You have a rare chance to make things right.

And now…somewhere out there, I like to think she knows now…what I would have done to keep her safe if I could have. What I *will* do…because now that I’ve found someone again, as God as my witness, I’ll do a hell of a lot more than just kill to protect her.

[/locked]


Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: ALIAS
Words: 306
idontreallyspar: (Thomas Grace)
Well, that’s broad.

Sex…I take it where I can get it. I don’t do one nighters, though…it’s just too damn hollow for me. I do two or three nighters…have my fun and move on. Nothing complicated, but more than just a ‘wham bam thank you ma’am.’ I need a little bit more…I gotta like the woman I’m with, at the very least. If there’s no chemistry, I could have a better time with Rosie Palm and her Five Sisters, if you know what I mean.

It’s not as honorable as it sounds…I’m not really into the whole relationship thing. That’s why I hang on so hard when I *do* find a girl I have enough chemistry with to make me want to stick around. It’s why I married my wife…one day melted into the next, and being with her was doing a hell of a lot more than just blowing my mind.

Lately? I’ve had another girl on my mind…someone that I didn’t want to stick around for. *She* wanted *me* to stick around instead…bad enough to face down a bomb to save my ass.

It’s one thing to want someone, but to *be* wanted…

It’s more than chemistry. It’s magic.


Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: Alias
Words: 201
idontreallyspar: (Grace Not Prepared To Run Away)
For a lot of years, I worked as many deep cover assignments as I could get my hands on. Now deep cover for the most part? Puts you in a place where you’re about as alone as you can possibly get. The CIA might know most of what you’re doing...but if you get into deep shit, nobody’s coming to save you. You do what you have to in order to stay alive.

I’ve done that kinda shit...anything to survive an op. And the hell of it is, a lot of that translates into everyday life. It weeds out most, if not all of your moral scruples until you don’t have many left. You’ll do anything to achieve your goals, ethical and otherwise. You stop caring *what* you have to do, because it ceases to matter.

The means just go away...and the end is all that’s left. The end is all that matters.

I can have anything I want in the world...’cause there’s nothing I won’t do to get it.

Nothing.

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: Alias
Words: 174
idontreallyspar: (Thomas Grace)
Babbling.

You know...people who get nervous and start talking about anything and everything just to break the tension? Then it just makes things worse, ‘cause it doesn’t fucking work. Ever. So they *keep* babbling, and soon I just feel like strangling them.

There’s only one thing that bugs me more than people who babble...and that’s people who can get away with it.

My wife was one of those people, to an extent. She didn’t babble when she was nervous, she did it just to fill those uncomfortable empty silences. They really got to her...me, they don’t bother. It’s the noise I can’t stand. But when she started in, her eyes would sparkle and she’d wrinkle her nose in this weird little way...I wanted to kill her ‘cause I *enjoyed* it.

[locked to Rachel]

And Gibson...she babbles to fill the quiet *and* when she’s nervous. And, like my wife, she gets *away* with it...in a different way, but she can pull it off, and it bugs me. Because it *doesn’t* bug me, if that makes any sense. She gets this little smile, and her voice is just so unique...it’s the kind of voice that could read the phone book and make it sound almost sexy. Rachel, she rides that line between cute and sexy, and I can never quite decide which is which on her...maybe *that’s* what drives me so batshit nuts about her.

[/locked]

Other than that? When you talk to me, you better have something interesting to say, or odds are? I’ll be walkin’ off before you can spit.

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: Alias
Words: 263
idontreallyspar: (Grace Dark)
[locked to all personnel at APO]

I’ve already done it.

I killed Allen Korman…my reasons are various and somewhat complicated, but it all boils down to one thing.

I had to do something to make it all right.

It wasn’t just Korman that killed my wife…it was me. Who I am, what I do…she took the bullet that should have been mine. She died and I was spared, and I don’t know why…I probably never will. But I know I was responsible…and in the life I lead, the work I do, there’s only one real way I know to get justice.

There was only one thing I could do for her, and that’s give a little dose of karma to the man that pulled the trigger.

One of them, anyway…I had my death wish, but Gibson got in the way of that. I know it sounds a little harsh, but that’s not how I mean it. See, I felt responsible for my wife’s death for too long…I honestly believed I deserved what I got, that I could even the scales going out with a good deed to sort of wash away my sins.

There’s an old adage that says living well is the best revenge…I think maybe living, *period*, is the best revenge. God knows it’s a lot harder than dying.

I’ll pay for my sins that way, I figure…that includes Korman. Still? I don’t think I’m really going to suffer many consequences, because there *is* a reward in all this…something to win, to deserve if I can manage it.

At the end of the day…there’s the blue-eyed guardian angel I’ve got at my shoulder.

[/locked]


Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: Alias
Words: 269
idontreallyspar: (Grace Not Prepared To Run Away)
For years, I was in real close quarters with pain...ever since the day my wife died. I’m not sure what I can tell you besides the obvious...but I can tell you for certain that for me? Pain meant ignorance during that time. Not knowing the reasons behind it...why she had to die, what reason there was for taking her life instead of mine. I went to Hell in a handbasket, trying to find out the truth. I thought finding Korman and the reason the Cardinal went after her, a schoolteacher that never hurt anybody...

...I thought that pain was in the lack of knowledge...in the wondering.

I was wrong.

And the worst part is, I knew I was wrong. It’s the whole reason I rigged that car to blow...I told myself it was a precaution, in case he ran out on me, but the fact was I knew I wouldn’t like his answer. I knew it would hurt more, because I knew deep down that *I* killed her.

She was no target...she was a bystander.

You might expect vengeance to be pretty dominant in my mind, but that’s not the case. I’m a big believer in karma, especially the kind *I* can deliver...I knew one way or another, I’d get mine. Paths cross and uncross in this business, I knew my day would come. What I needed all along were answers, or so I thought. I thought that knowing the truth would bring peace of mind...an end to my suffering. Instead...I found out my love, my *life*, is poison...and a deadly one at that.

Some say that ignorance is bliss? Brother, they don’t even know the *half* of it.

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: ALIAS
Words: 288
idontreallyspar: (Grace Dark)
I’ll admit, I don’t read much Shakespeare? But I gotta agree with whoever said that right there. There’s a lotta people who surf through life, thinking this is all just a game...fat chance.

Putting up appearances, making a big deal out of the small stuff...it’s all so much bullshit. You gotta get your hands dirty if you want to get anywhere in this world. People who think they can skate by without paying a price for anything are either high or idiots.

You pay for what you want, and if you can get to the top without busting a few heads? You don’t deserve to be there. Now I’m not saying that you *have* to hurt people to get anywhere...physically, anyway, but in this day and age? Ambition and power are seriously frowned upon, if you get my meaning. You don’t take bullshit and you get called an asshole...you slug someone for talking shit? You’re a loose canon.

You have to be willing to make a mess if you want to survive, and if you are? Sometimes the mess is avoidable. But if it’s not...you do what you have to and you move forward.

locked to all personnel at APO

And if you have to hide things from the people you care about in order to do it? Well...like anything, sometimes it’s just a necessary evil.

/locked

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: ALIAS
Words: 226
idontreallyspar: (Thomas Grace)
It’s not a well-known fact, mainly ‘cause I don’t advertise it...but I’m Catholic. *Real* Catholic...or at least I was raised that way. At the present, I’m not exactly religious, but just the fact I was raised in that kind of environment left me riddled with more than just guilt to spare. I developed a lot of weird little habits I’ve never really been able to break.

If I go into a church, I genuflect in front of the Eucharist, sometimes before I even realize I’m doing it. I tend not to say ‘goddammit’ unless I’m too pissed to see straight...sets my teeth on edge. I don’t eat meat during Lent...my mother was old school, what can I say?

I also cross myself whenever I hear a siren...throwback to grade school, St. Joseph’s. Whenever a fire truck, ambulance, or a cop car passed by, the nuns made us stop and say a prayer for everyone involved in whatever they were heading for. I don’t pray anymore...but of all the crazy church stuff I still find myself doing sometimes, that one I just can’t break myself of. I don’t even realize I’m doing it, even if the gesture is almost totally meaningless.

I know...it’s weird hearing this kinda shit from someone in my line of work...but all in all, I don’t think it’s that unusual. With all the crap me and my co-workers see every day? In the end, we all need a little something to keep us human.

Even if it is just a stupid Sign of the Cross.

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: Alias
Words: 265
idontreallyspar: (Grace Dark)
Do I believe in ghosts? Absolutely. Do I believe in spirits? Now that’s a little trickier.

I loved my wife...probably more than I should have. So much so that I forgave her when I found out she was cheating on me. A string of guys, all while I was out on different assignments. I still remember the night she came clean...crying, sobbing, holding onto me like her life depended on it.

Even back then, I’d been going for the deep cover missions that kept me away. I was in no real position to condemn her, so I didn’t.

To this day, I still remember just how fabulous the sex was that night. Funny thing is? It only got better every time. I took a break from the heavy stuff, accepted a few short-term assignments. We’d never been closer...there were days when I actually felt halfway human. Guess all that shit about forgiveness is the real deal...it *is* divine. Once the air was clear, we were happier than we’d ever been...maybe even really happy for the first time.

Lasted all of six months before she died.

Now? The only ghosts I see are in my sleep...black and white, no shades of grey. Death-white skin and jet black blood, burned into my memory from crime scene photos. White face, black eyes, all from a mugshot in a file folder.

And in the time since her death, her ghost stalks me in the form of the men she fucked...all of them have managed to track me down in the years since she was murdered. Verbal beating or physical, her face is in their eyes...each and every one of them.

[locked to all personnel at APO and within the CIA]

Then I finally stood before the last man who had her...and ghosts in black and white swirled around me, chanting vicious encouragements without saying a word. Black blood, white flesh, a face in a photo from a file folder and a computer screen, complete with an address.

I don’t know about the kind of ghosts that live with the monsters under the bed...but I do believe in Death, in all his glossy black-and-white glory. If ghosts are real, they answer to him, and he sat there eating away at my brain as I stood before the man who murdered my wife.

But instead of reaching for my gun as he stammered and stuttered out a half-assed explanation, I retreated yet again...safe behind my walls, inside my head, because even revenge wasn’t worth risking the suffering.

It wasn’t worth risking my freedom and my job...the only real security blankets I had left.

And at the moment...I had a message for The Cardinal.

[/locked]

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: Alias
Words: 450
idontreallyspar: (Thomas Grace)
You can’t get far enough away, no matter how hard you try. There’s no distance you can cover, no country that’ll hide you, no set of coordinates to Peace Of Mind you can triangulate and set a course for.

You just can’t handle the demands of the many, because they’re all you want.

You liked people, once, until an assignment went wrong and good men died. Before that, you were good with them...people interested you, charmed you, engaged you in a way that made you a star no matter where you went.

An assignment went wrong, good men died, and the kind of people you liked turned out to be responsible. You have no control over dirty agents...but your blind faith isn’t easily forgiven.

So you ran...hard and fast, tried to hide from people on the whole in every aspect of your life. You even tried to marry, to abandon humanity in the flesh of one single person...but even love let you down.

So you give it up. All of it. People...including yourself.

The field came damn close to what you needed...deep cover assignments, losing yourself in one alias after another, isolating yourself from even the Agency for months at a time. If only you didn’t have to come back...you would have found it.

Still felt good, though...every time you left the apartment you never used, the people you didn’t talk to unless you had to...it felt good to shut down, to get away, to be with the only person you could trust: yourself.

But even he dropped you after a while.

The man you once were is not the man who’s trying to learn the meaning of the word ‘teamwork’, trying to fit into a unit with the kind of ties you used to have, used to care about...you can never be that man again.

And you know, regardless of how much easier it gets or how well you integrate yourself into this organization...you don’t want to be.

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: Alias
Words: 339
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