22 April 2011 @ 11:02 pm
Dollhouse fic: There was a time you had it made (Everything was going your way); Part 2  


IMPRINT: JULIET


“Ma’am.”

She blinks and takes in her surroundings. Where is she and what is she doing here? She glances back at the man in a nice suit. Her brows furrow slightly, but a sense of calm washes over her, and her confusion abates.

“Good morning, Mister…” She knows him but she’s drawing a blank. “Please forgive me,” she says and tilts her head to the side, “but I can’t seem to remember your name.” This is strange, considering that she’s very good with faces,

“It’s Dominic, ma’am,” he says, in an almost taciturn manner. “Shall we…?” he asks and motions to the door.

“Of course.” She slides off the chair and acknowledges the two other people in the room before following the man who introduced himself as Dominic out of the room.

As she walks beside Mr. Dominic, she becomes aware of the fact that she’s not wearing any type of footwear whatsoever. A quick glance at what she’s wearing tells her that she’s in her pajamas.

“Obviously, I can’t go to work looking like this,” she wryly notes. They stop in front of a lift and Mr. Dominic swipes a card on a sensor and pushes a button before turning to her.

“Obviously not,” he dryly replies, putting his hands behind his back.

“Where are we going?”

“Wardrobe, hair, and make-up.”

It is an odd answer, especially coming from him. However, instead of voicing her bewilderment, she quietly observes him as he looks straight ahead, waiting for the doors to open. He’s striking and she likes him—something of an oddity as she’s not the type to like someone right off the bat. Something also tells her that he’s a very serious man.

The elevator doors open and he lets her go in first before stepping inside himself.

Too bad; she’s serious enough for two people and she likes her men smiling. But she finds her gaze being pulled back to him and at first it seems that he doesn’t notice. But then, she realizes that he’s deliberately trying to keep himself from looking back at her.

A playful smirk tugs at her lips. “I don’t bite, Mr. Dominic.”

This gets his attention. “That’s good to know, ma’am,” he answers in a rather droll manner, which somehow reminds her so much of…. She drops her gaze down to her bare feet. He’s been away for almost three weeks and he’s not due to arrive for three days. She misses him.

The lift comes to a halt and the doors open once again. She lets him take the lead, walking a step behind him. She has no idea where they’re headed.

“Hello, Dominic.”

She hears a high-pitched male voice greet them cheerfully. She stands by Mr. Dominic’s left side and sees a man in a lilac shirt watching her.

“And who are we today?” he asks her as Mr. Dominic hands him a tablet. She takes a quick appraisal of him and no, she doesn’t need to answer his question.

He reads whatever it is on the device that Mr. Dominic gave him and whistles.

“Hello, Ms. She-Who-Has-No-Name.”

She raises a brow. Clearly, that isn’t her name, but it appears as though the man is content refer to her as such. She doesn’t mind at all.

“Oh, you. Always so serious. Give it all back to Mr. Dominic. Serious suits him better.” The comment elicits a small smile from her. Well, if she needs someone (aside from her) to put a somber mood in a room, she now knows who can assist her.

The man in the lilac shirt ushers her to the redhead beside him. “This is Tanya. She’s at your beck and call.”

Adelle steals a look back at Mr. Dominic before going with Tanya. He has taken a seat on one of the chairs.

He’s going to wait for her. She’s not going to dally around then.

~*~

“Are you certain we haven’t met before?”

She keeps her hands clasped on top of her lap. It’s been difficult not to stare at Mr. Dominic for the past fifteen minutes. She’s trying desperately to remember at what event she might have possibly encountered him. It’s the one thing that’s keeping her from noticing the bumpy ride.

“No, ma’am. I don’t believe so.”

Mr. Dominic’s sitting near the metal table, on alert. His gaze is firm and she can feel his blue eyes pierce her as she considers his response.

“You’re lying.”

If he’s surprised with the accusation, he doesn’t show it. “I would think I’d remember someone as…” he trails off, ostensibly uncomfortable with what he’s going to say next, “…beautiful as you, ma’am.”

“Then why do I recognize you?” she counters, her left brow lifting just a bit.

He shrugs. “Maybe I just have one of those faces.”

Adelle purses her lips. He doesn’t have that face – as he’s suggesting – far from it. She doesn’t accept his explanation, but she decides not to say anything.

They fall into companionable silence. She sneaks a glance at her watch. If they maintain their speed, she’ll reach the lab just in time. She’s hoping one of her assistants is already there, working on the research.

The van slows down and Mr. Dominic makes a move to open the doors to assist her out.

“Thank you, Mr. Dominic. Have a good day,” she tells him, bidding good-bye.

He responds with a terse nod. “Have a good day too, ma’am.”

She smiles at him and strides to her lab.

~*~

She has three research assistants and none of them are present. She is welcomed by the drone of the air conditioning unit and an empty laboratory.

This irks her more than she cares to admit.

She trades her peacoat for her white lab coat before making her way to her office and unlocking the safe to take her notes. She’s thinking of changing the targeted enzyme (which calls for changing the formula entirely) — it initially stops the deterioration, but they have to maintain its effects. It had occurred to her prior to change the targeted enzyme but…

Her thoughts trail off. She can’t remember why she changed her mind, although thinking about it, she’s quite positive this is the first time she’s thought of that solution.

Adelle sinks in her chair and reads her notes. She browses through several pages and notices something odd about them. She immediately disregards the observation though, and grabs a pen to start writing her hypothesis.

Now, all that’s needed to be done is to restructure the formula, extract a sample of an entirely new enzyme to test it on, and then watch the effects under a microscope.

She takes a sweeping glance at the empty lab adjacent her office and sighs. This would be easier if one of her assistants were here. It would cut the time in half.

Knowing Harding, he’ll probably keep on stealing her assistants from under her nose. She has a sneaking suspicion that he doesn’t want her to finish her research, thereby keeping her at Rossum. When she finishes this and gains from it financially, she’s going to break away from the company. She’s always had qualms about Rossum (they’re all colourful rumours, really. Although the more she stays with them, the easier it is to see that the truth is just as colourful), but they were the only company who was willing to finance her.

Maybe things would have been easier if she’d stayed in the stem cell business, growing body parts in laboratories. Most people put a premium on having the assurance that they can get extra body parts anytime they need, rather than have a healthy mind as they grow older.

Alzheimer’s proving to be a very worthy challenge. She can’t say she’s not enjoying it.

She rises up from her seat and starts the day.

~*~*~

“How’s the research going, Adelle?”

She keeps her focus on the microscope. There isn’t a slide underneath, but it isn’t too obvious from where Harding is standing.

“It’s coming along well,” she answers, her tone non-committal. She’s at the verge of a breakthrough, but he doesn’t need to know that now.

“How’s Roger?”

She looks up, baffled with the line of inquiry. Harding is leaning over the metal banister, watching her keenly, as though a king surveying his new land.

“Roger’s fine.” She takes a pen from the table and begins rolling it in her fingers. “He’s been in London the past several weeks.”

“Business is good?”

“You would know more about that than I, but yes.”

A wide and unsettling grin appears on Harding’s face and she feels the hair at the nape of her neck prickle. She puts her pen down and flashes a pointed expression at him. “Is that all, Mr. Harding?”

“Well, yes. I should probably leave you to your work,” he says and clasps his hands together.

Adelle forces a smile and waits for Harding to leave. When she hears the doors snap to a close, she rolls her eyes and shakes her head. What a bizarre encounter.

The buzz of the machine separating the threads of her formula punctuates the silence. She keeps herself busy by going over her computations. Her hypothesis is sound and she finds herself going back to her previous notes, curious as to why she hadn’t thought of it before.

There’s a knock on the door.

“Enter,” she calls out. It isn’t Harding; Harding never knocks.

“Good morning.”

The mere sound of his voice fills her with astonishment and elation. She looks up and her heart is all aflutter when she sees Roger standing by the banister, beaming.

“Surprise, darling.”

She rises up as he smoothly glides down the steps. He’s careful not to touch any of the lab equipment as he approaches her.

“You’re back.”

“Did you miss me?”

He stands closely in front of her, his lips just a few inches away. She catches a whiff of his aftershave and instantly feels assured and safe, and so very happy.

Adelle lifts her chin and kisses him. Three weeks feels like such a long time.

“What a silly thing to ask,” she murmurs afterwards. She gives him a pleased smile and straightens his coat. “What about you? Did you miss me?”

A devilish grin appears on his face and he slides his hands around her waist. “I can see why it’s a silly thing to ask,” he replies and tilts his head to kiss her again, deeper and rougher this time around. She responds eagerly, clutching the lapels of his suit, pulling him in and pressing her body against his. She hears him groan.

Suddenly a very insistent beep fills the air. Adelle reluctantly pulls away and sighs.

“What is that sound?”

She straightens his tie and rests her head on his chest for a moment before taking a step back. “Work beckons.”

Roger makes a face. “And here I was, thinking that I could whisk you away for a very early lunch.”

She prefers a late lunch, but he knows she’s going to give in to his request. “Let me fix this first,” she says. “Then we can go.”

He seems pleased with her response. “Do you mind if I…” He motions to the nearest lab bench.

“Oh, no. Not at all.”

He looks around and takes a seat on one of the stools. “And where are your lovely assistants?”

“Gone,” she replies and goes to her work station. She then looks back at him, still not believing her eyes that he’s actually here.

“You fired them?”

“Of course not. Harding stole two of them, the other one’s out sick.” His observation brings about a spike of irritation. Maybe she should pare the number of her assistants down to one; it would spare her the aggravation of absences.

“Do you want me to have a word with Matthew?”

She purses her lips. “You're pushing your luck,” she remarks as she switches off the machine.

“I think I can pull a few strings, darling. I still am an investor in this company.”

Adelle studies him from a distance. He has kind eyes and this sometimes makes her forget that this man can – and will – take delight in mercilessly crushing an opponent.

“Thank you, but no. I can handle Harding.”

“Perhaps you can scare your assistants into staying?”

She chuckles and decides not to respond to him anymore, not until she finishes with this task.

Adelle takes a vial out of the machine and transfers a droplet onto a small slide for analysis. She toggles the microscope and studies the sample.

After appraising the quality of the sliver of liquid she’d extracted, she neatly labels the first vial and proceeds to take another one out of the machine to repeat the process.

It takes her more than an hour to finish the first batch. She transfers eight to the freezer and puts the other two for disposal.

She glances at her watch. So much for an early lunch.

“It’s fascinating, watching you work.” Roger remarks, his voice echoing in the lab.

He hasn’t moved from the stool and he’s watching her with a hand under his chin. The posture he had adopted makes him appear boyish in spite of the expensive suit. It reminds her of that time in Monte Carlo when…

Her line of thought falters.

They killed him.

A wave of terror rapidly grips her.

“Your dedication is astounding.”

Simon’s dead and they killed him. This is all a ploy for you—

Adelle squeezes her eyes shut and takes a deep breath. The panic swiftly dissipates. When she opens her eyes a second later, she finds Roger walking towards her.

“Do you still want to go out for lunch?” she asks in a light tone, going back to her work desk to pick up her notes. Her brain is overworked and she’s hungry. Those are the only possible reasons for her outrageously morbid thoughts. He’s alive and he’s here. What would possess her to think of something so awful?

Roger flashes a quick smile, which almost makes her sigh in relief. He didn’t notice.

“I thought you’d never ask.”

~*~

“Let’s take a month-long vacation. Two weeks in London, and then we’ll go to Rome and maybe Paris? Or maybe you’d prefer an island paradise, We could rent a villa and laze in bed all day?”

She considers his words carefully. The thought is enticing. Four weeks of rest and nothing but him and her. There wouldn’t be any talk of work, of absent assistants, or of the interfering Matthew Harding.

“A vacation,” she repeats with reservation. “That sounds nice.”

“It is. And it’s something that doesn’t involve wearing lab coats, probing under microscopes or torturing those poor mice. It’s something everybody needs.” He stops walking and adds, “It’s something you need.”

Dread inexplicably settles within her. Adelle leans forward. “I’ll think about it,” she says softly before kissing him, hoping that it will ease the anxiety in the pit of her stomach.

It doesn’t.

~*~

She loves the way he tells his stories. The tone he uses is always intentionally flat but his facial expressions are priceless.

“So, basically, this very large, drunk woman lunges at Rick, and…”

Without meaning to, her gaze drops down to his palm, her eyes seeking the long and deep scar he obtained from a minor boating accident a few years back. He was terribly self-conscious about it at first, saying that it was grotesque, but he became fond of it later on, when he discovered that he could use it as an icebreaker for potential investors (a product of a horrid shark attack, he’d jokingly say).

She reaches out and gently twists his hand. But the scar isn’t there.

“Addie?”

The scar is on his right hand. She’s touched it so many times, seen it every single day since it first marred his hand, and it isn’t there.

“Addie? Is something the matter?”

Simon’s dead. They killed him.

A slight tug. “Adelle, what’s wrong?”

The concern in Roger’s voice permeates through her thoughts. She looks up and blinks.

You can’t give them what they want.

“I… don’t know.” She gradually pulls her hand away from his. She gives him a searching stare, trying to look for an answer to a question she doesn’t even comprehend.

Adelle shakes her head. “It’s nothing.”

“Really now?”

She doesn’t answer him. She’s having a very strange day and she’s afraid that if she tells him what’s happening to her, he’s going to barge into Harding’s office and demand that she be given a month-long leave starting at that very moment.

Adelle takes a deliberate sip from her wine, stitching up the lie that she will tell to the man in front of her. God bless him, he can’t always tell when she’s lying. And in the case that this isn’t one of those instances, she needs to make sure he won’t have the chance to ask any questions.

“Oh, all right,” she starts, dropping the volume of her tone to a whisper. “I may have figured out what I’m doing wrong with the current formula I’m working on.”

“And how does it work?”

Adelle proceeds to tell him her epiphany, but impulsively leaves out a few crucial details. Especially if—

“If I get it right, there’ll be an immediate change in the mice’s behavior. On the other hand, it’s also possible that I might kill them faster.”

She doesn’t tell him that she’s confident about this new solution. It feels right, keeping this information from the person she trusts the most. It doesn’t make sense, but her instincts tell her that it will be better off this way.

~*~

The only audible sounds in the lab are the hum of the air conditioning unit and the sound of her breathing, which is a bit strained. A mild headache has started to throb at the back of her head, something she ignores.

She concentrates on her work. It’s surprisingly easy, rebuilding the formula. She can probably finish the first sample by the day’s end. If only her head would stop aching.

Adelle rejects the thought of taking medication, feeling the urgency to have something viable by the end of the day. The pain gnaws at her for a few more minutes and she finally stops working when her vision begins to blur.

She lets out a resigned sigh as she closes her eyes and pinches the bridge of her nose. Maybe she should take the afternoon off, she thinks, rubbing the base of her neck. The day has been very peculiar so far and she doesn’t want to experience what her brain might think up next.

Adelle opens her eyes and sees nothing but chaos.

Color drains from her face. The entire lab is in disarray. Black smoke rises up from the damaged computers. Shards of broken glass are scattered across the floor and the workstations. And her papers are strewn on the floor, some wet, some still burning.

Then, all of a sudden, blinding pain from the back of her head paralyzes her. Adelle blindly clutches her table for support. Her chest tightens, her muscles spasm uncontrollably.

“We can’t get what we want from you if you’re dead.”

She forces herself to open her eyes again and sees that everything is back in order. She forces herself to straighten her back and begins to look around. This is the first time she’s noticed the four security cameras installed in the room.

Simon’s dead, this isn’t her lab and she isn’t herself.

And somehow she knows that knowing these things and (accepting them, whatever they are) signifies something bad for her.

Then destroy everything. Don’t let them get anything useful.

Without questioning the thought, she rises up from her chair and takes all the samples to the sink. She dumps the contents of the vials in the sink before turning on the tap and letting the water wash away all traces of what she was working on.

Now get out.

She whirls around and the lab is in shambles once again. She takes a deep breath and calmly goes to her workspace to take her notes before going to her office to take her purse and coat.

She doesn’t run. She goes up the steps and walks out of the door, acting as though it’s not an unusual time for her to leave.

No one takes notice of her and everything is going fine until she steps out of the building. Bile rises up her throat and her heart starts beating faster by the minute, making her dizzy.

She quickly hails a cab as her panic starts swelling. A yellow cab stops right front of her and she opens the door with a shaky hand. She doesn’t dare look back.

“Where to lady?”

The driver is eyeing her through the rearview mirror. Adelle blurts out the first address that comes to mind.

“And I’m guessing you need to get there as soon as possible?” the driver asks with slight disdain. Even though she doesn’t have a clue where she just directed him, she can tell it’s a bit of a distance from where they are.

She smiles grimly at him. “As soon as possible.”

~*~


“Ma’am—”

“—oh, for God’s sake. Stop calling me ma’am,” she snaps. She’s sick and tired of hearing him call her that every time he opens his mouth. “Those people…” she breathes out, massaging the side of her head. “I don’t know what’s happening to me. There’s something very wrong, Mr. Dominic. And I can’t work out what it is.”

Why does he have that horrified look on his face?

“I don’t know what I’m searching for, but it’s here. I hid it in this house.” They probably have it already. But she has to be sure; she can’t let them have it – whatever it is – it’s her leverage against them.

“But why this house?”

“I live here.” She probably shouldn’t tell him that. What if he’s one of them? “I’m a researcher…” She trails off and scrutinizes his face carefully.

Everything’s going to be all right.

“I’m researching…” she starts, but stops herself. She looks at him again, her brows drawn together. She trusts him, despite not really knowing him “… enzymes.”

He extends his arms to her. “Everything’s going to be all right.”

“… don’t let anything awful happen to me. Watch my back, as they say.”

“Of course.”


Adelle takes a step backwards. He’s different. She can depend on him. He’s watching out for her.

But what if he’s not?

She frowns. “Now that you’re here.”

“Do you trust me?”

She doesn’t say anything— doesn’t want to say anything.

“Juliet, do you trust me?”

If you make a mistake, you will die.

“With my life.”

A look of relief becomes visible on Mr. Dominic’s face. He touches her arm. “It’s time for your treatment.”

She hears a slight buzz in her ears and she suddenly feels cold, but considerably lighter. Adelle looks at Mr. Dominic and nods her head. Treatments are very painful, but she likes them nonetheless.

He gently touches her hand and she’s reminded of the way Roger took her hand a few hours ago. But this one makes her feel safer.

“If you want, I can come back here and find it for you,” Mr. Dominic tells her as he leads her out of the room.

She can’t hear that insistent voice in her head anymore. “You don’t know what it is I’m looking for.”

“I’ll know it when I see it.”

~*~

She takes his seat, something he isn’t pleased about judging from the expression on his face. But she feels the need to unsettle him and this is the most practical way of doing it.

Adelle digs into her purse and takes out her notes; keeping them close seems prudent.

“So,” Mr. Dominic starts, as the van begins to move down the road smoothly. He’s seated at the other end of the van, nearer the doors. “Can you tell me what happened back there?” he asks, finally. He looks at her warily, as though this prodding is borne out of necessity.

“I was merely confused, Mr. Dominic," she replies all too quickly, clutching her handwritten notes tighter. “There’s no need to worry.”

“It’s my job to worry, ma’am. About you.”

It sounds laughable – someone being paid to worry about her – but he says it with such seriousness that it seems to her that he actually believes it.

Adelle leans back on the chair and decides that it probably wouldn’t hurt if she tells him a bit of the truth. “I can’t explain it.” She takes a deep breath. “And even if I could, I don’t think you’d believe me.”

He crosses his arms across his chest. “Try me.”

And what can she tell him? ‘I’ve been hearing voices in my head that have been telling me that this day isn’t real; that I probably shouldn’t trust you’?

She stares at him. She does trust him, but she can’t tell him what she knows. Something also tells her that he doesn’t want to hear her answer.

Mr. Dominic frowns.

“I don’t know what happened.”

She breaks eye contact and gazes downwards. The man knows when she’s lying and the problem with trying to unsettle him is that he might try to turn the tables and unsettle her.

When it appears that that won’t be the case, Adelle flips through her notes for the nth time today. She focuses on the last page, where she wrote her hypothesis. The rest of what she had written on these pieces of paper – things that totally contradict the last page – is inconsequential.

Adelle traces the spine of the notebook. She’s done this before; pretty soon she won’t have any pages left to tear out.

Once she’s torn the page out, what will she do with it? She takes a look around the van. The computers are turned off and the metal table is empty, save for a folded newspaper. Adelle reaches out and takes a glance at it. It’s today’s crossword puzzle.

She tears the hypothesis from her notebook and crumples it with her left hand before taking her pen from her purse. She writes rubbish on the page and makes sure the solution is far removed from the actual answer. She does ensure, however, that what she’s writing has scientific basis. She doesn’t want them to think that she’s gone completely bonkers.

“Ma’am?”

She looks up in the middle of what she’s doing and finds Mr. Dominic watching her. She tilts her head to the side and raises a brow inquiringly.

“What are you doing?”

She waits for a beat. “I’m re-writing my notes.”

“Why?”

“Why not?”

His cheek twitches a little, however his face remains expressionless.

Adelle shifts in the seat and looks at him with narrow eyes, realizing something. “You keep calling me ma’am,” she remarks. “You don’t know my name, do you?”

Mr. Dominic blinks. “No, ma’am,” he slowly says.

“I see,” she replies. She won’t ask why, though it is undoubtedly strange that he’s worrying about someone whose name he doesn’t know. “Adelle DeWitt.”

Surprise evidently flickers on his face but he recovers quickly. “Ms. DeWitt.”

“That’s better. At least now I know who you’re talking to when you say ‘ma’am.” She then goes back to writing her fake hypothesis and hides a smile.

After a while, the vehicle comes to a halt.

“We’re here, Ms. DeWitt,” he tells her. She likes the way he said her name, even if it sounds like he’s saying it begrudgingly.

Mr. Dominic gets out first and opens the door wider for her. She follows him out and waits for him to finish talking to another man in a suit.

“You should bring her back to the lab yourself. There’s a bit of a situation downstairs.”

After that short (and one-sided) conversation, they head towards the elevators in silence.

The elevator is designed to accommodate six people, but since they are the only ones in the garage, Mr. Dominic hits the close button immediately.

She turns to him and notes that his tie is crooked. Adelle brushes her hand against his suit and reaches out to fix the errant knot. “By the way, it’s endobiotic.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“A parasite that lives in the host’s tissue. It’s endobiotic.” She pats the knot and adds, “Your crossword puzzle.”

He touches his neck almost self-consciously. “Right.” He makes a face. “Thanks.”

The lift stops at the imprinting lab. The boy from this morning gives them a tired (and rather anxious) smile.

“Come on, Juliet. Let’s have your treatment.”

Adelle glances at Mr. Dominic before taking a seat on the chair.

Today has been the most terrifying day of her life, but today, she fought. Today, she’s done something good for herself. When she comes back—

The blue lights flash and Adelle DeWitt’s gone.





He answers the question as succinctly as possible while Costley polishes off the rest of the Scotch. He’s feeling ambivalent towards the turn of events; it would be nice to get a promotion, but the position is – more or less – cursed.

“Thank you for your candor, Mr. Dominic. You may go,” she tells him after a few seconds of stifling silence.

He nods his head and quickly leaves. When he closes the door of the office, he sees Langton standing at the end of the walkway, watching the floor below them. Laurence glances to the side and sees Echo and Juliet sitting on the sofa, waiting. The rest of the Actives have gone to their sleeping chambers.

At least Costley thinks that finding a replacement for her chief of security is of utmost importance.

He walks across the bridge and joins Langton.

“How did it go?” Langton asks.

“I’m thinking she’s probably drunk,” he replies. Echo waves at them and Langton gives a small wave back. “Friendly girl,” he remarks. Juliet, on the other hand, just stares at him.

“And you got the serious one.”

He doesn’t say anything. It’s true; Juliet seems to be the most serious Active in this House.

“You think you’re up for the job?” Langton asks after a few seconds.

Laurence shrugs. “It has more responsibilities, but I think I’ll do fine,” he says reticently. Rumours have it that the heads of security of the LA Dollhouse have a very short shelf-life. Does he think that he’ll die earlier if he accepts the position? Yes. Will he accept the position? Probably.

He turns to Langton. “What about you? Think you’re up for it?”

“Well, I got through this day. I think I’ll do fine,” the older man dryly answers as he clasps his hands in front of him.

Langton isn’t a bad choice. The man turns into an overprotective wolf when Echo’s threatened in any way (serial killer, stalker fan, the Attic… you name it, Echo’s been threatened with it). If Langton can motivate himself to be half as involved with the new position, the house will probably find itself in good hands.

They stand there in that spot for a few more minutes, talking about nothing.

When Carter, the officer in charge of the security room during the evenings, approaches them almost thirty minutes later, Laurence immediately knows that Costley has made her decision.

~*~

He steers his car inside a seven-level garage and makes his way to the third floor. He drives around the level, looking for a suitable spot and parks his car at a corner, away from the prying view of the security cameras.

Laurence turns off his engine and waits.

Minutes later, the headlights of a parked car flash twice. After two minutes, they flash again. Laurence glances at his watch and stays in his seat.

He carefully makes a mental rundown of important intel to pass on. There are only two pieces of vital information that need to be passed on to the NSA, and even though they won’t be pleased with the first one, the second one will probably make up for it.

He takes another look at his watch. This time, Laurence steps out of the car and walks towards the silver sedan parked several feet away. His head is down, his face partially hidden by his coat and by the shadows. He walks silently across the garage, and with very little movement, slips into the backseat of the car.

Laurence sits directly behind the driver’s seat and looks at the rearview mirror. Charles Cooper, his NSA handler, is looking somberly at him.

“How are things on your side?”

He leans back in his seat. “There’s been a change in management.”

“So I’ve heard.”

“I got passed over for the position. Boyd Langton’s the new Head of Security.”

“Any signs that you’ve been compromised?”

Laurence shakes his head. “No.”

“And Sterling?”

“Costley sent him to the Attic.”

Cooper grunts in response. No one knows what happens to the people in the Attic. According to Topher, anyone who goes in, never gets out.

“Anything else?”

“Yeah,” he replies. “I found Adelle DeWitt.”

There’s a moment of silence.

“She’s real?”

His mouth twists into a frown. “She’s been imprinted into my Active at least five times in the past six months. The wedge comes from Washington and her engagements are being flagged as romantic engagements.”

“You still think she’s an actual, honest-to-goodness, human being?”

“The guys upstairs think she’s real.”

“They think the formula’s real, not her,” his handler retorts. “You have anything concrete?”

He shakes his head. “Not yet, but I have a few leads.”

“Well, put your plans back in the can. I want you to lay low for a while.

“For how long?”

“Six months.”

A flash of annoyance crosses his face, which quickly disappears. Cooper doesn’t want him to contact the agency for six months. “All right,” he says, as though he has a choice.

“I mean it, Agent Dominic.”

Six months is a long time. A lot can happen in six months. “Yes, sir.”

Laurence opens the door of the car and steps out. He’s barely five steps away when the sedan’s engine roars to life and screeches away.

He walks back to his car.





FIN
 
 
mood: ecstatic
music: Diaspora Oratorio - Bear McCreary
 
 
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[identity profile] oltha_heri.livejournal.com on April 22nd, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
AND NOW I REALLY WANT MORE!

This was just really awesome. I love where the plot is going with Juliet's background and I love your characterizations (as always). Dominic really, really kills me in this.

He doesn’t like it that people have started calling him Dom without even asking him if he wanted to be called Dom. But then, he supposes Dom is better than Larry. And Lorenzo.
I love the irritation that has an undercurrent of humor.

AND GOD THIS WAS AWESOME I LOVE THIS AND YOU.
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[identity profile] derevko-child.livejournal.com on April 23rd, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you love it. I was dreading about its length-- I thought you might think the pacing is too slow halfway through.

After writing this + short beach excursion, I might write one (or two) more (beach = plotbunnies. Lots of plotbunnies) I also have a snazzy title for it (yay for browsing my WIP folder!)

Thank you for enabling me. ♥♥♥
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[identity profile] shikabane-mai.livejournal.com on April 23rd, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)
“Yeah,” he replies. “I found Adelle DeWitt.”
HOLY CRAP. OMG. This was such a giant twist that I literally screamed out loud when I read this line! He and the NSA are looking for Adelle! <3 I WAS SO NOT EXPECTING THAT. Now I’m so curious to find out why! Dominic still doesn’t know that the woman during the wish-fulfillment exercise was actually Adelle, so I can’t wait to see what he’ll do if/when he finds out!

I loved this alternate version of 1x09. Everything was so damn epic and I’m loving Adelle’s backstory with Rossum and how this is the way they’ve been making her continue her research to benefit the corporation. Adelle subconsciously realizing that something was terribly wrong was fantastic. Yay for keeping Harding/Rossum stumped by changing her research notes! And yay for Adelle remembering a little bit of her conversation with Dominic during the wish-fulfillment meeting. Roger/Adelle was also really sweet and I’m happy that Ms Lonelyhearts is still Adelle in this AU.

Gosh, everything’s so intriguing. I love this AU so freakin’ much and this latest installment was definitely very favourite.
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[identity profile] derevko-child.livejournal.com on April 23rd, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
HOLY CRAP. OMG. This was such a giant twist that I literally screamed out loud when I read this line!

I am immensely pleased about this reaction. Very pleased. :D

I still haven't worked out Dom's reaction when he realizes that Adelle DeWitt's been with him all this time. But he will discover who she is. Let's just see if I my muse hangs around long enough for that (but I have to find her first)

Thank you for your lovely comments. It was slightly difficult to balance real!Adelle with imprint!Adelle. And it delights me that you found Roger/Adelle sweet because writing that made me want to roll on the floor and cry.

I'm glad you found this intriguing. I kinda want to continue this series after all (I've always thought I'd stop at this AU's version of ASitHoL... lol)

Thank you again :D

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[identity profile] darling-ashes.livejournal.com on April 23rd, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)
Holy crap!!! That was phenominal!! I loved the changes that you made with canon; Dom looking for Adelle, Adelle being imprinted with herself to research, Roger sill being her companion and Adelle realizing that something is terribly wrong. I loved it!

I can't quote what I liked best because then I'd be quoting the entire thing.
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[identity profile] derevko-child.livejournal.com on April 24th, 2011 10:36 am (UTC)
I'm glad you love it. And I'm loving the reaction I'm getting (even though at the moment, there are only three of you. lol).

Thank you ♥
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[identity profile] lalenapeike.livejournal.com on April 25th, 2011 08:20 am (UTC)
This is completely brilliant. Took me a bit to come up with a coherent response other than WOW.

The differences between this and canon are so interesting and believable. Loving this version of events and people.

Yay for the elevator rides and for her fixing his tie. So cute.
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[identity profile] derevko-child.livejournal.com on April 25th, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you :D I am relieved and happy to hear that you enjoyed it (I thought I would scare away everybody because of the length)

Thanks for reading ♥
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[identity profile] rogoblue.livejournal.com on April 25th, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
Length doesn't scare people away if the story is interesting, which this clearly is. I have to go back and reread the earlier bits as my memory isn't what it used to be.

Liked the little things. Ivy going home after being accused of being the mole. Adelle giving Dom his crossword puzzle word. Him being uncomfortable that she straightened his tie.

Fun.
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[identity profile] derevko-child.livejournal.com on April 26th, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
Length doesn't scare people away if the story is interesting, which this clearly is

Thank you. ♥ I've always had this fear that anyone reading the fic would get bored in the middle (I always have thought of, 'but I swear, the ending will make up for it!' lol)
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[identity profile] dreamaway78.livejournal.com on April 25th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
I love this verse of yours.

I love how Adelle/Juliet is aware and she is trying to stop them from getting what they want.

Really whats not to love.
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[identity profile] derevko-child.livejournal.com on April 26th, 2011 03:01 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you ♥
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[identity profile] devida.livejournal.com on April 27th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
i read this last night after work.

WOW.

I don't know which is more impressive, the fact that i can 'see' this in my head playing out like an actual episode or your actual construction of the whole thing both as an AU of Spy in.. as well as your own creation?
It's the same but different, and it's blisteringly good!

This is something like I hoped the second season would have been, seeing that I saw it almost 8 months after everyone else and pondered for a long time whether Adelle was a Doll or not.
C'mon, who here didn't have that cross their minds at some point?

On a personal note I'm glad you wrote about the 'handler's lounge'. It's reminded me to post the rest of my fanfic about a handler poker night. And I still can't fathom the fact that Ramirez only appears in ONE episode of the show, bonkers.

Finally, tell me you're going to continue this?????? and the DH writing in general, your stuff is the best. And I say that honestly, and not just you write colour not color.
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[identity profile] derevko-child.livejournal.com on April 29th, 2011 03:34 am (UTC)
Your comment made me feel giddy. Thank you ♥

I never once considered Adelle to be an Active. However, I did speculate that she was the one sending the messages to Ballard, and one of the many spies inside the Dollhouse. i09.com had an article about everyone in the Dollhouse probably being a doll.

Glad you liked the handler's lounge bit. Hee. Ramirez appears in 2 eps, I think? Needs and the flashback scenes in Omega. :D

Yes, I am continuing this. Up to when is still a question, but yes. And thank you ♥. (I live in a country where American spelling is King, but I cannot accept the weirdness of a U-less colour, saviour and... another word that I automatically spell with a U, which I forgot.) :D

Thanks for leaving a comment ♥
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