Summary: Sydney meets an old friend of Carrie’s, who is connected to her ways she never thought possible.
Timeline: Mid-season 3.
Disclaimer: Alias belongs to JJ Abrams, Bad Robot, Touchstone Television and related entities. Made-ups are mine and mine alone.
Sydney Bristow arrived a little late to the christening reception for Marshall Flinkman and Carrie Bowman’s six month old son, Mitchell Bowman Flinkman. “Sydney!” Marshall’s chipper voice called over the din of the crowd. Sydney smiled self-conciously, smoothing her hair, as she literally hopped off the plane from the last mission in Tokyo and drove straight over. She recognized a lot of people from headquarters there, Dixon and Vaughn among them. Vaughn sent a smile towards her, which she returned out of politeness. Lauren was nowhere in sight, oddly enough.
Marshall was beaming, leading Carrie towards Sydney, who was holding the young child in her arms. Carrie leaned over and kissed Sydney on the cheek.
“Thanks for coming!” Carrie said cheerfully.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t attend the christening,” Sydney replied apologetically, gazing down at the small bundle in her arms.
“Oh, it’s okay. We know you were busy,” Carrie offered, waving her comment from the air.
“Carrie! My turn!” a cheerful young woman in a black dress with flowers painted on it appeared suddenly in their circle. She looked Oriental, but maybe half of something else. The woman looked oddly familiar. “I want as much time as I can with my godson before I leave.”
“Be careful!” Marshall warned, watching the exchange.
Carrie rolled her eyes and carefully placed the baby in the woman’s arms. “Sydney, this is my best friend Apple de los Santos. Our dads were in the FBI together,” Carrie introduced them.
“Sydney!” Apple blurted out loudly. The baby tittered in her arms at the sudden noise. “Sorry sweetie,” she said, dropping her voice a few octaves. Apple grinned at Syd. “I’ve heard so much about you from Carrie and Marshall.”
“Good things I hope,” Sydney replied, not at all turned off by the woman’s effusiveness. Apple grinned. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but is Apple your real name?”
Carrie and Apple burst out laughing. “You don’t know how many times I get asked that!” Apple said happily. “My real name is Teresa. My dad used to call me the ‘apple’ of his eye. People overheard him calling me that when I was a kid and now everybody calls me Apple.”
“Can I hold him now?” Marshall whined slightly, hovering over Apple’s shoulder like a fly.
“Marshall!” Carrie admonished him irritably, as Apple complied.
“‘Tis okay, Carrie. He’s just being a proud papa. Besides, my arms are numb!” Apple said happily. She took off for a glass of punch.
Across the room, Eric Weiss was standing by the wall, talking to his best friend Michael Vaughn. “I don’t know, should I ask her?”
Vaughn glanced around the semi-crowded reception room and his eyes fell on Apple. “Yeah, what’s the big deal? You haven’t talked to her all night, but you’ve been gossiping about her like a girl.”
Weiss switched his weight around uncomfortably. “Whatever.” His eyes went back to the food table and she was gone again. “Damn! Where’d she go?” he muttered, his eyes scanning the crowd.
“Just go ask her when she gets back from the bathroom,” Vaughn encouraged him.
“Who said she was in the bathroom?” Weiss asked.
“My fine skills of deductive reasoning, duh,” Vaughn replied. Neither man noticed when Apple appeared from behind Weiss.
“Excuse me, would you like to dance?” her strong voice interrupted them.
Weiss tried not to jump, when Apple’s smiling face looked up at him. “Okay,” he squeaked out. Vaughn tried not to laugh, gulping down punch and choking slightly.
A slow song came on and Apple shimmied close to Weiss’s body and he tried to control himself. The girl was beautiful; he couldn’t deny it. Her eyes were watching his face, which was turned away from her.
“I noticed you looking at me, even during the christening,” Apple began softly.
“Yeah, I hope I didn’t look too weird,” Weiss replied, looking at any place but her face.
“Do I make you uncomfortable?” she asked seriously.
“No! Not at all, it’s just, uh,” Weiss trailed off, glancing at her piercing brown eyes before looking away again. She smiled knowingly and laid her head on his shoulder. Apple liked the kind of guy who wouldn’t come out and tell her they liked her. She liked the chase. But she saw something more beneath Eric Weiss’s strong exterior.
They spent the rest of the party getting to know each other. Turns out he was related to the other Erich Weiss, AKA Harry Houdini and was a pro with yo-yos. She told him about her absentee mother, who thought that for missing most of her childhood, Kate Gibson (who never married her father, Francisco), would take Apple on trips around the world. Later that night, Kate would be picking her up for yet another trip.
“Why don’t you tell her how you feel?” Eric asked carefully.
“My mother’s stubborn. I get it from her. If I told her that all I wanted in the world was her and not these whirlwind weekends in Madrid and Cannes, she’d lose it. Mom would never understand,” Apple replied.
“You’re right. You are stubborn,” Weiss teased her. She pushed him away playfully, when her cell phone rang.
“It’s Mother. I know it. I told her I’d be here and she said she’d pick me up,” Apple explained, sighing plantively. She peered at the phone that was flashing the name. “Yep.”
Weiss sat quietly beside her, as Apple’s tone took on an almost professional lilt. “Yes, alright. I’ll be out in a moment,” Apple said flatly. She ended the conversation abruptly.
Weiss chuckled. “You should’ve seen the look on her face when you were talking to her.”
“Did I look totally put-out? ‘Cause that’s what I was going for,” said Apple. Weiss laughed. Most of the party had left, including Vaughn.
“I guess this is au revoir,” Apple said. She leaned over and snapped her fingers from the air beside Eric’s right ear. In her hands, there appeared her card with her phone number on. “You’re not the only one who knows magic.”
“Whoa,” Weiss marveled. “I’m so in love with you right now.” He blushed, realizing what he had just said.
“You know, I get that alot,” she said, blushing slightly too. “Call me when I get home. We’ll have dinner sometime.” Apple gathered up her coat and clutch purse.
“Apple! Was that your mom?” Carrie called, holding the baby again.
“Yeah. She’s waiting for me outside,” Apple replied.
Carrie came over and hugged her best friend goodbye. This was a typical thing between them now. Apple licked her thumb and massaged the baby’s foot. “Is that a Filipino thing?” Marshall asked, scrutinizing the baby.
“In all your inifinite wisdom Marshall, I thought you’d know!” Apple said, leaning over to kiss his cheek. “Yeah it is.” Her hand stayed on his shoulder and she looked at him pointedly. “You take care of these two while I’m gone, okay?” Marshall nodded and grinned proudly. Apple turned to Sydney, who was also lingering at the nearly dead party.
“Sydney, I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk more,” Apple began.
“It’s okay,” Sydney replied. She had watched Weiss and Apple dance and talk the night away. Sydney was happy that Weiss had found someone.
“Maybe we can get coffee when I get back,” finished up Apple.
“Okay, sounds good,” Sydney said.
With a final wave, Apple left the reception hall. Weiss followed her to the front of the building. “Do you want me to go with you?” Weiss said.
“I’m a big girl, Eric. Go back to the party. I’m fine,” she said. Apple leaned over and kissed him gently. “Remember, dinner when I get back!” she said, pulling on her coat and leaving him in a dream-like state.
The black stretch limo was idling by the curb and Apple put on the fakest smile she could muster. The driver hopped out and opened the door for her and she maneuvered her way inside.
“Hello Mother,” Apple said dryly, taking in the familiar face of her distant mother.
Katya Derevko looked at her only daughter with a smile and familiar glint in her eyes. “Hello darling.”