Nov. 27th, 2005

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She finds the message in the personal ads of a small underground Canadian paper, two lines of code she knows like the streets of Moscow where she grew up. She deciphers it quickly. It is one of several dozen they use and change at random, and the words form easily in her mind.

Venice. Two days. -J

Meeting is dangerous, but it always has been. She's always been willing to take the risk, and never more so than now. More even than needing to see him, she needs to know what is happening. She needs to know if her youngest daughter's condition has changed.

Venice never seems to, though she knows the ocean is closing in on it. She finds the city as she'd left it last, and her husband waiting for her as the fog rolls in.


"Hello, Jack. Miss me?" She smiles, and he smiles back, but there is something not quite right...

"Yes, I did."

She sighs softly. "Nadia?"

"There's been no change. Arvin tells me her doctors don't think... that there is any hope."

"Of course. They don't understand her condition at all, what hope would they see?"

It's been six months since she set out to find a cure. Six months, and she is still looking. She no longer speaks of her own hope, but she will not stop searching.

Jack does not answer, but he reaches for her, and she lets him pull her close. The fog swirls around them, leaving them two blurred shapes to those passing by, and often not even that. She can let down her walls here, and no one will see but Jack. Jack, who has seen her broken so many ways, that if she lets herself shatter a little now, it hardly seems to matter.

Even now she does not cry. Tears are things of grief, and she is not willing yet to accept that they might be necessary.

"How is Sydney?" she asks, after a long moment of silence.

"It's been difficult for her, but I think under the circumstances, she's doing well."

Irina nods. It goes without saying that she wishes she could be there- for both of her daughters. It goes without saying, too, that she can't.

"Tell her- tell them both..."

The messages never really change that much. Tell them I love them. Tell them I'm still looking.

He nods. "Of course."

She does not doubt that he will do it, that he will even whisper her words to Nadia, though in her condition, she will not respond.

Tell them I have faith.

She wonders if Nadia will remember these things when she wakes.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 441


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Irina Derevko

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