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 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: (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
idontreallyspar: (Grace Dark)
I didnt start out like this. )

Muse: Thomas Grace
Fandom: Alias
Words: 567
idontreallyspar: (Grace Dark)
Not really sure how I got talked into this…but according to the likes of Gibson, I’m too uptight. So, here’s me…trying to be…not uptight.

Sorry…I’m really no good at this crap.

Judging by the fact there’s CIA personnel files on file here, along with some of my co-workers airing out their classified dirty laundry, I guess I can speak freely here. I’m a member of APO, a black ops division of the Agency. I signed on not too long ago, fresh out of Special Ops. Jack Bristow approached me…God knows why, my record’s not exactly squeaky clean.

Anyway, I met the guy and I liked what I saw…guy didn’t waste any time, and he didn’t mince words. He may be the man in charge, but he didn’t deal with me like a bureaucrat, and that I respected. Hell, we may get along yet.

There’s been more than a little tension around here since I showed up…I don’t work well with others as a rule, but it’s more than that. I came in replacing two guys…well, I guess you could say two guys with ‘tenure’. One’s dead, the other got transferred…the dead guy was my boss’s future son-in-law.

That’s my professional story…as for my personal info? None of your business.

Okay…if you must know? I like the occasional beer with friends, when I have ‘em…I hate ketchup. Horseradish gives me hives. I’m divorced…married a gal when I was just getting started, but we didn’t work out. At all.

And that’s all I got to say…I’m outta here.
idontreallyspar: (Default)
1) What is one thing you have learned from your past?

Tom flew back as the fist that flew caught him, sending him flat on his back. Pain erupted through his spine and his head...a pain he welcomed, to a degree. He ought to have seen this coming a long time ago, but what reason did he have to think that this would be easy?

Rough hands caught the front of his shirt, then grunted as he was slammed against the wall. Narrowing his eyes, he glowered at his attacker...Bill? Phil? Hell, he didn’t even remember the guy’s name anymore...only that he didn’t like the guy. And Bill/Phill didn’t like him right back.

Figures that he’d walk right into the bar where his ex’s new soulmate was knocking back a few.

Tom finally made a move as if to speak, panting heavily as he raised a hand. “Seriously, something has to be done about your breath.”

“Oh yeah? How about this?”

As Bill/Phil smacked him again, Tom had to wonder just how many more of these guys he was going to run into. It had been three years, but apparently *she* couldn’t leave well enough alone. Bad enough she’d snapped him in two, emotionally, now every guy she fucked seemed to think that Tom was the bad guy. Then again...he wasn’t really surprised.

The dull smack of his body hitting the table, then the floor, didn’t really surprise Tom any more than the outbreak of the fight had. Couldn’t be the bad breath remark he’d made...maybe it was the comparison of Bill/Phil’s dick to the toothpick on the olive in his martini...nah, that couldn’t be the reason he got pissed...

“Jackass.”

Tom lifted his head just enough to watch Bill/Phil straighten his coat, turn and walk out the door. //Yeah...see if you’re laughing when she fucks *your* life up.// he thought to himself.

By now, Tom knew he was just another notch in his ex-wife’s belt, and after three years he was okay with that. If nothing else, it had taught him that trusting anybody but himself was a recipe for disaster. The past always came back to bite you in the ass, especially when it came to women.

Rolling over on his back, he stared up at the ceiling for a moment, trying to get his vision to dim from pain-filled red to normal when a figure appeared, looming over him.

“Thomas Grace?”

Tom blinked, frowning curiously...or as curiously as he could, as bad as his head was pounding. “Who wants to know?”

The man over him just stared, features inscrutable and hard. “Let’s take a walk.”

Tom thought only a minute before accepting the hand that was extended down to help him up a second later. Whoever he was...he liked this guy already.


2) Describe a dream that you've had. How did the dream make you feel?

I don’t dream much...guess I’m just not a real imaginative guy or something. I don’t usually remember them enough to talk about them afterwards...they have some common threads, though. When I dream, nobody has a face. Every person I talk to...features blur and lines fall away until I can’t see who I’m talking to, but I *know* who I’m talking to. It’s just...something in my gut. Still, it spooks me a little when I can’t look someone in the eye...even if it’s in my own head.

My dreams make me feel detached, too...out of place, alien. They happen in locations I’ve never been, and they’re wildly disproportionate. I might be in a room no bigger than an office cubicle, and so far up I’m lost in cloud cover, or in a field filled with grasses twelve to fifteen feet tall. Might be funny if it were a cartoon, but it’s always so goddamn real it scares me.

You want to know how my dreams make me feel? They drive me into work...the only thing that distracts me. It’s funny, but I never do dream about work. It’s like a safe zone, if that makes any sense. Ain’t that a fucking riot...I feel safer dodging bullets than I do in my own head.

Lotta times these days it drives me into the gym down at APO when I’m pulling a late one...usually I end up going to the mat with Gibson. She’s a nice girl...she’s different. She’s a techno geek in her bones, and a rookie if I ever saw one...but she’s got an edge. Just needs to be honed.

Know how I know? I dreamed the other night...and her face was the only one I could see.
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