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10 May 2009 @ 11:59 pm
Dollhouse Fic: After Alpha  
Written for dollhouseflash Challenge #012 – Possess


Title: After Alpha
Pairing/Characters: Adelle, Boyd, Paul, Echo, Alpha, Claire, Topher, Victor's Handler, OC
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Season 1
Summary: The aftermath is different for everyone
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


“What about plastic surgery?”

Adelle looked up from her desk, her demeanor as brisk and impersonal as if they were discussing a damaged automobile not a human being, and shook her head.

“I understand your affection for Victor as his handler, but I'm afraid his career as an Active is over. Our clients pay a great deal for perfection. I highly doubt they'd overlook lingering facial scars no matter how expertly a surgeon repaired them.” She turned her attention back to the paperwork before her. “We didn't do it for Whiskey,” she continued, no emotion in her voice. “We're not going to do it for Victor.”

“But..”

Adelle signed the final paperwork processing the release of Madeline's contract.

“That will be all...”

**

“This card key will get you into the elevator.”

“And set off a whole slew of warning bells each time?” Paul accepted the card with a wry look of suspicion on his face.

“Actually, yes.” Boyd offered him a genuine smile. “Would you let someone like you have a free pass if you were in my position?”

“Not a chance.” Paul tapped the card on his hand, hedging for a moment. “Listen, I know I'm public enemy, well, two in this place...”

Boyd huffed, amused. “Trust me, even if Alpha's number one you're not even in the top ten. Adelle's thought of dealing with you more as preventive maintenance than a real threat.”

“She dedicated an Active to spying on me, manipulating me,” Paul pointed out. “She must have thought I was some sort of threat.”

Boyd shrugged. “A misinformation campaign, designed to use you to plant false information about the Dollhouse's existence in Federal databanks. All it takes is one agent who nobody takes seriously and a world of actual evidence can be discredited.”

Paul scrubbed his face with a sigh. “Yeah, well that plan certainly worked. Still...” He gave Boyd an appraising look. “I believe you now. I honestly think you're in this to help protect the Dolls, to protect Caroline. I still think you're wrong – all of you – and that you're part of the problem, but at least on this one thing we agree.”

“That's enough of a basis for us to work together.” Boyd handed Paul back his gun, minus the ammunition, with a nod of respect. “I firmly believe that if we're going to catch Alpha and keep him from coming after Caroline or Echo we need to call on everyone who cares about her to keep that from happening.”

They headed out of the security office as they talked and Paul went to the railing, watching Echo cross the open space, a vacant yet peaceful look on her face.

“Do you swear that keeping her here will keep her safe? Because that's the only reason I have for not walking out of here with her right now.”

Boyd pulled out his own gun, checked the clip, then put out his hand to escort Paul to the elevator.

“I swear on my life.”

**

Someone should clean it – her – up, Topher thought, staring at the remains of the wedge drive that had once held the backup of Caroline's original self.

Ivy wasn't around, she'd missed the whole thing, lucky her. For once he missed her, if only to have someone to rail to, to yell that Paul should be punished for bringing this disaster down on him, that Boyd should be out hunting Alpha now for what he did to his computers and wedges, that Adelle should have listened to him when he said the Dr. Saunders imprint didn't need to be that tech savvy.

At least Claire knew now. It had felt weird from the beginning, pretending she was just another coworker when they'd had no history together until she rose from his chair for the last time.

He ran his hand through his hair as he stared as his beautiful systems, his babies, all but raped by Alpha in his pillaging of the Dollhouse.

He flopped down on the sofa and stared up at the ceiling.

Curse Paul as he might for helping Alpha break in, a tiny part of him was grateful he wasn't conscious for all that went down.

Lesser of two evils indeed.

**

Claire knew she should leave, go home, yet knowing she had a home outside of the Dollhouse felt strange now, wrong somehow.

The computer in the corner taunted her. No longer a source of basic information it was a key that held secrets about her, her past, her identity.

She kept glancing at it even though her decision had been made. She knew enough to know she didn't want to know. Her world had already collapsed the first time Alpha attacked her. But now? The rest didn't matter. They could put any brain in this body and she wouldn't care.

Some things could never be wiped away.

She wandered over to her instrument tray, the scalpel glaringly absent from the layout. She hovered her fingers over them, but the tools she'd used so many times in her work – her work, she thought with a silent humorless laugh – were now foreign to her.

She hadn't always wanted to be a doctor. Alpha was right about that. Now she really didn't want to be one.

She just didn't know what else to do.

**

Alpha had prepared three separate lairs – one of them even out of state – so where he went after Omega was already set. He just hadn't expected to need his backup location so soon.

Carl would never have been this smart, planned this well, but even the best laid plans apparently really did go awry.

He paced. He fumed. He cursed her names – all of them.

He'd get her back. She'd be his again.

And oh, how he'd enjoy making her pay.

Slowly, he imagined. He'd take his time and do it properly next time.

**

Echo crossed the room, smiling at Sierra as she passed her coming from the pool.

A swim. That sounded nice. She liked to swim.

“Hello, Echo. Have you come for a swim?” The attendant handed her a bathing suit to change into when she nodded.

“I like to swim. Exercise is good. It helps me be my best.”

The attendant just smiled, handing her a nice soft fluffy towel.

“It's important to be your best.”

*****
 
 
 
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on May 11th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful. You have captured the aftermath of Alpha's rampage. Poor Victor. I wonder what'll happen to him.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 11th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I hope, like Claire, they find something for him to do. Enver, the actor, is really talented so it would be a shame to lose him. I thought he did a great job impersonating Reed Diamond as Dominic in the chair in that one episode!