irina_derevko: (Spyfamily 4.0 (cartographies))
When I was a child, with my sisters at my mother's feet, I was not alone. When she died I was not alone. I had no time to be alone; there was work to do, and no one else to do it.

When I was sent to America, when I married Jack, I thought that I would always be alone. I learned, slowly, that I was not.

When I carried my daughters, bore them within me for nine months, I was never alone. Carrying Sydney, and Nadia, then holding them in my arms when they came into the world, I was not alone.

When I came home, and saw those I had loved and betrayed again at last, I knew I would not be alone. I knew they did not want to love me, that they did not want to allow themselves to. And yet they did.

When I opened my arms to my eldest daughter, when I held Sydney close to me and felt her embrace, I was anything but alone.

And when at last my daughters pulled me from a darkness so deep I had thought I would never know light or free air again... When they brought me home... When I looked at Nadia's face, the face my heart had always known, I knew... I was not, would never be again, alone.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 225
irina_derevko: (Fallen (_ladydisdain))
Dear Mama,

More Than Destiny )

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 1,193

Seeking

Jan. 5th, 2006 03:48 am
irina_derevko: (Would You Stay? (_ladydisdain))
Seeking )

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 2,038

Kindness

Dec. 30th, 2005 12:04 pm
irina_derevko: (Her Mother's Daughter (cartographies))
Horizon spoilers )

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 522

Letter

Dec. 9th, 2005 10:58 am
irina_derevko: (Default)
Dear Irina,

You are so young now that much of what I will say to you will seem no more than a dream. I understand that. You may not believe a word of this, and I understand that as well. You may choose to ignore my advice, to do nothing differently. Perhaps, instead, you will correct some of my mistakes. We shall see.

You are the eldest, and you have always been told that this makes you responsible for your sisters. You understand this to mean that if any harm comes to them, you will be blamed for it. You're right, but do not carry this too far. Do not assume you are always responsible for what they do. They will grow up, and the choices they make are theirs alone.

What affection your mother feels for you, she will never show in a way you will understand. She is harsh, perhaps too harsh, but you will learn strength from her. You will learn who you are, and you will always remember the things she taught you.

Your father will be most noticeable in his absence. In time you will earn his respect. Accept that it is the most he will ever give you.

You will grow up to become what you want most to be, and it will change your world. You want a chance to prove yourself, and you will get it.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much will change, from that moment.

Trust in yourself, and in your own judgment, even above that of your superiors. They will never know everything, and it is best that way. They need you. Do not let them forget it.

The year she turns eleven, you will want very badly to hit Elena. Do it. Perhaps it will help, though I doubt it.

Many years from now, you will find a work by a man named Milo Rambaldi; Il Diluvia. Do not read it. Examine it only enough to identify it, and then destroy it. This will have consequences; reading it will have even greater ones.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 348
irina_derevko: (Default)
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.

"Irina."

"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

Shame

Oct. 26th, 2005 01:18 pm
irina_derevko: (Default)
For a long time in the dark, all she feels is shame.

Reading the Diluvia manuscript, Irina had known it was the one her sister Elena was seeking- and the one thing she must never find. It is nothing less than Rambaldi's blueprint for the end of the world, and in Elena's hands, his vision would come true.

She can't allow that to happen.

She burned it slowly, setting fire to each page, watching it burn, sifting through the ashes to be absolutely certain nothing is legible. One fragment's survival is too much.

But even with the pages burned and the ashes scattered, she knew she could not afford to think that it was over.

She had been running for almost a year before Elena's men found her. She knew that one day they would; her resources were not inexhaustible, and once they learned whom she was running from, many of Irina's own contacts were unwilling to help her. Most who knew Elena Derevko's name feared her. Her sister Irina was not one of them, but Irina did fear what Elena could do with the knowledge she possessed.

They found her in Moscow, in a neighborhood that still remembered too much of the old days to risk asking questions, or even to risk warning the strange, dark haired newcomer that men with military bearing were watching her apartment.

Irina killed half a dozen before the other six managed to overpower her, and somewhere inside she was laughing. Twelve of Elena's men sent to capture her. Overkill, particularly when one considered that they were Elena's fanatics, those who believed as she did, rather than the mercenaries who worked for pay alone. None of these men would dare to kill the mother of Rambaldi's Chosen One, not for any order her sister might give.

"Irina."

"Hello, sis." She gave Elena a long look, then turned away, meeting the eyes of each man in turn. "You could have knocked."

"Where is the manuscript?"

"I destroyed it."

Elena's eyes narrowed. "You wouldn't dare."

Irina quirked a brow. "Wouldn't I?"

"You fool!" Elena gestured sharply to the men holding her sister. "Bring her."

*

Elena's first attempts to extract information from her are crude, and easy to resist. It is only pain, and for a woman who has given birth to two children, this is nothing much. But slowly Elena begins to refine her technique, and somewhere in the back of her mind, Irina begins to worry.

Little things begin to slip out, minor points only, but she covers them with lies as quickly as she can. This works for a time; they believe that the pain is making her incoherent, and Irina is allowed to rest.

One of her guards, tending to her with the reverence of a true believer, advises her to cooperate. "You should tell her what she wishes to know."

"And you should remember where your loyalties lie, Sergey. The last time I looked, you worked for me."

He sighs. "She says that you have gone astray, that you must be led back."

Irina chuckles. "Is that what she calls it? You know me, Sergey. You know what I believe."

"Elena says you are blinded by love. That you care too much for Rambaldi's chosen to do what must be done."

Irina sighs. "She never did understand."

"Please- tell me what she wishes to know. I will tell her, and she will stop hurting you."

She shakes her head. "No, Sergey. I will not help her willingly."

It was, she realized later, a mistake to say this.

"Tell me," Elena says after the first time she has stopped Irina's heart, "where you are next meeting Jack Bristow."

Six hours later, she whispers, "Vienna," and it begins.

*

In the end she tells her sister everything, all that she remembers of the Diluvia manuscript. She tells her how to destroy everything Irina has worked so hard to protect, how to force her children to do battle despite all she has hoped to do to bring them together.

When she has betrayed everything she knows, and all that she loves, Irina is taken to the jungle, to a small dark pit, and tossed into it. She looks up in time to see the last sliver of sky as it is sliced away when they close her in, and then she is alone in the dark. Alone with her shame.

She should have fought harder, longer. She should have defied her sister until Elena's new-found patience wore thin, and she did what Irina had been expecting all along. She should have forced her sister to kill her, long before she ever betrayed those she loves. The power to destroy them, to destroy everything, is in Elena's hands now, because Irina has given it to her.

She wonders if she will ever see the sky again. She wonders if she has any right to.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 817
irina_derevko: (Default)
She has lived a life of betrayals along with her lies, for many years now. Her marriage was a betrayal; her motherhood perhaps less so, but in the end, Laura Bristow was a lie she told to those she loved, those who loved her, a lie they believed. She has always had her reasons for these lies, these betrayals. Perhaps they cannot justify what she has done- perhaps nothing can. But she always had her reasons.

She has her regrets, too, though these have been doubted. She does regret those first betrayals, the first and the greatest of them. She regrets the lies she told Jack, both before and after she married him, and the lies necessitated by these, which she told to Sydney over the years. She regrets these things because there was no justification for them, not really- only a duty to a country that would all but cease to exist a mere handful of years after she returned to it.

That country had betrayed her upon her return. She had done exactly as they had instructed her to, had immersed herself in American culture, had played her role as she had been taught until Jack Bristow believed she was in love with him, and had used him to steal the secrets of the CIA. And because she had done these things, because she had been for so long the Motherland's dutiful daughter, they had not trusted her. They had welcomed her home, taken the information she had gathered for them... and thrown her into prison.

She made certain, after her escape, to personally thank each of her superiors for their help in making a difficult decision much easier for her to make. Irina Derevko has never forgotten a betrayal, not a wrong done her nor those she has wronged. And they had betrayed her. But what she had done to them, that was no betrayal, only a balancing of accounts.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 323

Never Gone

Jul. 29th, 2005 12:25 pm
irina_derevko: (Jack/Irina (urbandruid))
Love was a dagger that cut both ways. It was a weapon she had been taught to wield, and it was not expected that she would wield it so clumsily that she, too, bled for it.

When he comes back to her, she will not allow herself to believe that he needs her still. It is her help that he needs, rather than she alone. And for this, for the memory of their daughter, she will give it. She will ask nothing in return, not for this, though there is much she wants of him, and much that she needs. For once she does not think of debts owed and paid. She knows that he will not expect it of her. This is a thing which goes beyond their tangled past; this is the tie that binds them forever. This is about Sydney, and all that her parents can do for her now.

His forgiveness is a thing which she wants desperately, but she will always be too proud to ask for it. He is not nearly so much of a fool as she had once thought. He is wise enough to understand this. She has begun to wonder if either of them truly know how to forgive, or if they have only learned to do what they must, in spite of the unforgivable. Whatever the years have wrought, whatever truths have been revealed, vows spoken when neither of them knew the truth of the other, still bind them. She would have it no other way, now.

They move through the night together, a pair of shadows chasing whispers. She does not look back, but she knows he is with her; a touch of his hand upon her shoulder, his breath warm on her neck.

Somehow they have become more to each other again than allies of necessity. She can never hope to list all of her sins, but somehow Jack Bristow knows them all. He knows them as she knows his, and at the deepest place amongst the secrets that have lain between them all these years, there is neither forgiveness, nor any need for it. Between them there is necessity's absolution, a balancing of scales, a setting aside of old wounds and old sins. Today, tonight, these are the important things. Their work, their quest, is what matters most- it is all that matters, now.

She has never stopped loving him, nor, she suspects, has he stopped loving her. This is how they can hurt each other so badly, how they might wound and betray, swear that one day they will be each other's downfall, and yet in the darkest moments, when the truth weighs heavier than what is easy, they may turn to each other, offering what is needed without words, without question. This is what love is, what love does.

She can tell herself that her life would be easier if she had killed him years ago, or if she had stayed away forever. These things may even be true, but she does not believe them. She has never believed them. There is no reason to this; love such as this is so much beyond reason that there is no meaning to it. This love is passion, and need, but it will never be reason.

It does not have to be. What it is, is enough. This is partnership; elemental and absolute. Question and conflict may linger upon the surface of this, but at the depths they do not matter, and they cannot touch the heart of what this is.

There is a part of her which has never been gone from him, nor he from her.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 611
irina_derevko: (Default)
The human body is at its weakest in the hours between midnight and three AM.

These are the hours when Irina has always felt the strongest. In the motherland, those were the hours when her comrades made their arrests. She, too, has done some of her best work during those hours, though it was often different.

In dark and in false dawn she interrogated prisoners, first under the eyes of the masters who taught her, and later, when she had proven adept enough, alone. In the hours when her prisoners were weakest, she was strongest.

In the hours after midnight in America, Laura had often found it hard to sleep. She would slip soundlessly from Jack's arms, move silently past Sydney's room, to the study where her books were kept. She studied literature and the invisible, encrypted marks, reading by moonlight. She had learned early to leave the lamps dark. The light woke her husband, who came to keep her company until the insomnia left her.

She killed in the night, stealing silently from her home, disappearing into the city night until her tasks were done. She cleansed the blood from her skin before returning home, washing with unscented soaps. More than once she caught herself wishing that the sin washed easily as clean.

Nights when the weakness of the hours struck even her, when desire and longing to be only Laura, with none of the complexities and contradictions of Irina's life overwhelmed her, she turned on the light. She would sit, with her husband's arms around her, until the moments of weakness passed. Sometimes praying they would never come again, sometimes praying that such moments would never leave her.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 280
irina_derevko: (Default)
Irina grew up in Moscow, in her mother's shadow. She grew up, too, in parts of the United States which she has never seen. In her dreams, she walks the streets of another woman's childhood. She stands beneath a street light's amber glow, waiting, watching the night as it passes. She has wished so often that she might return to these simpler times that never were, has wished she could go back to places she has never been.

Long ago her mother taught her the difference between the lies such as she told to her husband and her daughter, and the truth of who and what she had been born. How well she remembers Illeyna's voice, as her mother explained, With the well crafted legend, the lies strong enough that they will believe, there is always the temptation to believe them yourself.

How foolish this had sounded to her, thirty years ago when she and her mother watched the snow fall on Red Square.

I will never forget who I am, Mama, Irina said. It had seemed impossible then- who she truly was, was one thing of which Irina had been sure.

You think so now, her mother said. Wait. One day it may be different, and then you will see.

She does not believe, before she began to remember Laura Bristow's childhood, that she ever truly could have taken the meaning of these words. Yet she knows them now. She has not forgotten who she is, but identity is far more a complex thing now. She reminds herself that she was Laura Bristow for less than a decade. It does not change her dreams of American streets and American towns.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 281
irina_derevko: (Default)
Only A Woman )

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 1,309

Blue

Jun. 22nd, 2005 08:34 pm
irina_derevko: (Default)
Blue is the color of the water on the night Laura dies, a deep midnight blue, velvet and ice enfolding her, holding her close. The river is navy shadows and a shimmer of gold as the sun goes down. Blue is the twilight in which she waits.

Blue is the color of Sydney's favorite jacket, left behind in the car's backseat, a jacket she will have to mourn the loss of now along with her mother. Sky blue, bright as a summer day, wool lined fabric keeping her daughter warm.

She wishes, just for a moment, that she could take it with her.

Blue is a feeling, more than the paint color of the Volkswagen one of her contacts arrives to pick her up in, or that of the bus, another Volkswagen (her handler is getting predictable again, dangerous especially for an extraction, but he's not the one the Americans will execute for treason if they're caught, so what does he care?) in which the extraction team waits for her.

They welcome her with smiles and open arms- unprofessional, perhaps, but they have been comrades for years, and this, for them, is the moment of crowning achievement. For years they have watched her steal some of the Americans' greatest secrets; now they are about to help her get away with it.

"Welcome home," they say, and she'll never tell them that home is not where she is going but where she has been, the things she has lost tonight that she will never be able to get back. Home is what Laura Bristow was going home to, and it is a thing the woman who killed her no longer deserves, and will never find again.

"Thank you," she says, because it is what she must say. She has not bothered even to try to dry her hair, and she is glad of it now; river water trailing down her face masks her tears, sweeping the tears along as they fall down her cheeks. Though perhaps it would not matter so much if they did notice her tears.

They would think, of course, that she is weeping for joy at returning home to Mother Russia.

She wishes it were so.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 369

Alone

Jun. 20th, 2005 02:59 am
irina_derevko: (Default)
What Irina Derevko knows about being alone is no longer something she speaks of in words. It has gone beyond that, has settled into her bones and blood. She has no more reason to speak of it now than she does of her need for air or water, and no one is listening now in any case. She believes that she understands alone, that she has grown used to it. That she can survive it.

And then comes the betrayal which she is only too well aware she should have seen coming- but Elena has changed since the days of their childhood. She is more patiant now, but more ruthless too, and neither of these things were expected.

She loses track of how long she sits in absolute darkness, buried, all but forgotten, until the time comes when her sister thinks of something else she wishes Irina to tell her. She's given up deluding herself that she will be able to keep things from Elena; she will still try, but failure is something she accepts now. Her best hope had lain, before, in the certainty that Elena's temper would get the better of her. That her sister would simply get angry and kill her, and that, at least, would be an end to the truths she can't stop telling in place of the lies.

Now that she understands Elena is patiant enough, now, to continue this as long as it suits her... Now, she knows what alone is. Knowing her sister is posessed now of a pitiliss focus and this unending patiance, knowing there will be no end to this, and that no one will ever come for her, because everyone who might ever have loved her believes she is already dead...

This is what it is to be alone.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 300

Pride

Jun. 7th, 2005 03:13 pm
irina_derevko: (Default)
Her daughter saved the world tonight. Everything Irina Derevko has done since the early years after Sydney's birth, all the sacrifices she has made, all the sins committed for which there can be no forgiveness- all of it has been leading to this moment.

To this day she does not know if she told the truth in Mexico, if Sydney was in fact the Chosen One, or if she had lied. For all that she has studied the mysteries and enigmas of Rambaldi's work, Irina is no closer to that answer now than she was years ago. But she told Sydney that she had been chosen.

For once, whether she spoke the truth or not does not matter. What mattered then, and what matters now, is that Sydney began to believe, then, with her mother's words, that she might, in fact, be the Chosen One.

She began to believe, as after that year she had begun to trust, so that when the time came, there was no hesitation, no doubt. Years ago Irina had asked her daughter to trust her, and tonight, in Sovogda, she has done it.

Irina remembers holding a baby in her arms, remembers meeting nearly thirty years later a bitter girl- and sees now the beautiful, strong young woman her daughter has grown to be, and she is proud. Proud to have had a hand in raising her, proud of all Sydney has done.

Proud, more than anything else, of all that Sydney is, all that she has become.

She has never in her life felt more pride than she does tonight, looking at her daughter, at her family, one last time before she walks away.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 280

Fish?

May. 23rd, 2005 02:57 pm
irina_derevko: (Default)
A fish hardly seems the most effective weapon- it would be better, easier, to simply shoot these people- or at least to hit them. But one must use what is ready to hand sometimes, and I can improvise.

Neither of my sisters, sadly, is famous enough to qualify as an answer to this question. Which is truly a pity. For the look on her face alone, hitting Katya with the fish would be worth it. As for Elena... Well. The fish would likely be a small distraction meant to catch her attention while I solved that problem more permanently.

I am tempted to say that I would hit Milo Rambaldi with this trout. Thirty years ago, his work was an intriguing mystery. Why did a four hundred year old drawing have my face? Now, when some of the pieces have begun to fall into place, I think being hit with a fish could have done him good.

But I find that the person I really want to hit- with anything close to hand, be it a trout or something else, is Arvin Sloane.

Rambaldi has complicated my life for years. Sloane turned his back upon everything, betrayed Nadia, betrayed my family, for his obsession with Rambaldi. And I don't blame Rambaldi for this- I blame Sloane.

He deserves much more than to be struck with a fish, but it would be a good beginning.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 234

Icefall

May. 20th, 2005 12:05 am
irina_derevko: (Default)
'Icefall' - spoilers, s4, 'Search and Rescue' )

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 2,586
irina_derevko: (Default)
Blood, Enemies )

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 1,969
irina_derevko: (Default)
Sentiment weakens her.

It weakens her, leaving a chink in her armor that her enemies can strike at. But it also strengthens her, gives her something to fight for on the days when she might otherwise be tempted simply to give up. Not that she is in the habit of letting go of things- She holds on, perhaps past the point where she should.

Sentiment. Her affection for her daughters, her desire to protect them. The complex and sometimes contradictory things which she feels for Jack. Her desire to protect him, as well. She knows they do not need her, but this is the desire of the wife and the mother who still sometimes resides in her, to see her family safe.

Sentiment is a flaw in her world, but she cannot let it go. Her enemies know by now that to wound her they may strike at Jack, at Sydney or Nadia.

But they know, too, that they will only do so once.

She may cling to emotions of what should have been someone else's life, but Irina Derevko is absolutely unforgiving.

She tells herself that this is necessary, to guard the flaw she knows so well that she possesses. She tells herself that if she did not exact revenge for those who reached to strike her where she is vulnerable, they would see how deeply they might wound her. She tells herself this, but sentiment is not enough to blind her to the truth.

She enjoys hurting those who have harmed the people she loves.

Muse: Irina Derevko
Fandom: Alias
Words: 257
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