Love or Money

by Vanzetti

She doesn't wake up until the safety clicks off, and just for that--a burst of adrenaline-fueled anger driving her awake--she deserves to be shot in the face. There is a gun, and a hand holding it, and a man who has a reason to kill her.

"If you think I'm going to call you Prince Charming, Sark, you're shit out of luck."

"Believe me, Sydney," he says, "you cannot possibly have been as surprised as I was."

Her hands are trapped under the sheet, which Sark has tucked tight around her. She might be able to tangle him in it, if she can get the momentum, but he is shifting his weight until he's straddling her, using his body to keep her down. The gun in her face never moves. This is not good. Really not good. Her whole body is tense and she doesn't like the way he's sitting with his weight on her hips and staring at her.

"I've become a rather untrusting person," he says. "One does, in my position."

She's about a second away from telling him that if he doesn't like his position he can get the hell off of her--and she could swear that he not only reads the thought in her eyes but also the effort it takes to repress it, because his mouth lifts in the faintest imitation of a smile before he's serious again, all back to business.

"And I started to wonder, Sydney, why exactly you decided to pay me that visit in prison. Why exactly you wanted me to believe that you don't remember anything you did in the last two years."

He's waiting for her to make excuses, she thinks. Some kind of protest, maybe a little pleading. The hell with that. "You've got to be kidding me," she says. "Seriously. Do you actually think that I care whether or not you know I killed Lazarey? Why would I? Did we stop being enemies while I was gone? Because I missed that memo."

She's staring up at him, trying to ignore the gun, trying to read the expression in his eyes. He's silent for what feels like a long time. "So you did kill him," he says. Just that. Barely any emotion in his voice.

Oh, hell. Maybe now would be a good time to make those excuses, but she's damned if she's going to apologize to Sark, even if he *is* sitting on top of her and holding a gun to her face.

And just like that it's gone and Sark's weight has shifted back and off of her. He's standing by the bed, the gun held loose at his side. He doesn't react as she sits up, the urge to hold the sheet over her losing out to the need to keep her hands free. Anyway, she's wearing a tank top.

It's hard to see his face in the dark. "I don't remember," she says. "I saw it on tape. My father showed it--" and breaks off.

"Your father showed it to you." He completes the sentence for her, his voice gentle.

She clears her throat. "Yes." She ought to go for him now, while he's distracted. "It was me." If he moves his gun arm, she'll have to attack him.

He doesn't move. "Logic suggests that Covenant was behind Lazarey's death."

This isn't right: her admission, his acceptance. She retreats to antagonism. "What is this, free advice? Or are you trying to set me up against the Covenant?" That would be like Sark, the Sark she remembers.

"Of course. I do want my inheritance." He's standing a little straighter now; she's surprised at how reassuring she finds this.

"Let's get one thing straight, Sark," she tells him. "When I take down the Covenant, it'll be for what they did to me. Got it?"

"I'd expect nothing less of you."


She tenses as he moves, but it's only to put the gun away and take a step back. "I'll be in touch."

She really, really ought to tell him to get lost. "Next time, try knocking."

She can just trace the smile on his face in the darkness. "I can't imagine your neighbors would approve." A few more steps and he's backed out of her bedroom. She gives him five minutes to be gone before she gets up to check all the doors and windows.


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Thanks to Brix for a speedy beta.  Alias is owned by JJ Abrams, Bad Robot Production, and ABC. No copyright infringement intended, and no profit made. Original story elements my own.