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13 February 2009 @ 10:16 pm
Fic:Imprint  
Takes place a little in the future of Dollhouse, with Ballard having figured out that Dollhouse isn't your normal kind of human trafficking ring. I may mentions of events from the first two eps of Dollhouse, but no major spoilers for those eps, only for the premise of the show. If/When it continues, there will most likely be more spoilers.


Imprint

Ryan walked into the empty house, and smiled at his Handler, John Sheppard. "I'm ready for my treatment," he said.

"Let's get you home," Sheppard replied.

As they left the house, neither noticed Sandy stopped down the street, watching them as a van pulled up and Ryan climbed in.

~~~

"Hello, Charlie," Echo said as she saw her friend. She liked Charlie, he was nice to everyone, except... well, she didn't really remember the 'except', only that there was one.

"Hello, Echo," Charlie replied, smiling. "I fell asleep during my treatment again."

"I always do," Echo agreed. "It's... funny. But I think maybe it's better we fall asleep."

Charlie frowned, but nodded. "I think so," he said. "My stomach hurts, but I don't remember eating anything bad."

"That's okay, my leg hurts, but I don't remember falling," Echo said. "Maybe a massage will help."

"Maybe," Charlie agreed, following Echo towards the tables.

~~~

"Wait, go back," Sandy said, watching closely as the Private Investigator he'd hired did as he said. "There, stop and go forward." The digital video played for a few seconds, then Sandy saw who he was looking for. "Stop, right there," he said, leaning in closer to skim his fingers over the very familiar face that was captured on just a couple seconds of video, partying at a club 3 weeks after Sandy had watched Ryan get into the van. "Where is this?"

"Las Vegas," the PI said. "The people who directed me to the club said his name's Jake, and he's a real party animal, boyfriend of the blonde girl. The night before this video was taken, the girl's father reported her missing. Two days after it was taken, she showed up crying that she'd gone to Vegas to party with her boyfriend, but then he started talking about getting money from her dad and he handcuffed her to the bed, held her hostage and told her all about how he was going to kill her if her daddy didn't pay up."

"No, Ryan wouldn't do that..." Sandy began.

"I don't think he is Ryan," the PI said. "Mr. Cohen, have you ever heard about a place called 'The Dollhouse'?"

~~~

"Why is Charlie's face scratched?" Echo asked as she walked into the infirmary and found her friend asleep on one of the bed's, the doctor carefully spreading medicine over the cuts. "Did he fall?"

"Yes, Echo," Dr. Saunders said, looking up briefly before returning to her work. "He'll be fine, though."

"Will his face look like yours?"

"No, the scratches will heal and you'll never know they were there," Dr. Saunders said, smiling when she looked up this time. "Don't worry, Echo, he'll be up and around in a little while."

"Good," Echo said. "Charlie is the best with new friends, and Juliet just joined us."

"I know," Dr. Saunders said. "He'll be making friends with her soon."

~~~

"So, you think you know something about Dollhouse?" Agent Paul Ballard asked as he sat down across from Sandy.

"Yeah, I do," Sandy said, setting a pile of photos in front of the other man. "On top is Ryan Atwood, 15, in and out of the system for most of his life, spent 2 days staying with my family a few months ago. Under that is Jake Simpson, 17, dated a rich girl, then kidnapped her and held her hostage while demanding a ransom, that was 3 weeks after Ryan stayed with my family. Under that is Harry Eckles, 19, hired body guard for a 5 year-old girl, he successful kept her from being kidnapped on two occasions 3 months before Ryan stayed with my family."

Ballard flipped through the pictures, then laid them out side by side, studying the faces that were almost identical, only the clothes and hair different. "I knew it," he said.

"Knew what?"

"Have you heard the rumors about experiments in 'imprinting', erasing one mind and replacing it with another?"

"Yeah, I have," Sandy said. "I'm guessing that's what you think is happening here? Ryan's... one of those people?"

"As far as I can figure, they're shells, empty shells, until they're imprinted. Ryan Atwood doesn't exist, neither does Jack Simpson, or Harry Eckles. They're all creations of Dollhouse that were put into his head for jobs."

"Why my family?" Sandy said. "My wife and I sure as hell didn't call 'hire a kid'."

"Anyone you know with enough money to do this?" Ballard asked.

Sandy hesitated, then his expression turned dark. "Yeah, I know one person."

~~~

"But I don't understand why they tried to kill me," Eddie insisted as Sheppard lead him towards the chair for his treatment. "Why did they try to kill me?"

"Sometimes people do bad things, but just forget about them for a little while, it's time for your treatment," Sheppard replied, relieved that in a few minutes Charlie would be back, and he wouldn't remember any of what had just happened. "And after a good night's sleep, this will all seem like a bad dream."

"Yeah, right," Eddie said as he sat in the chair, his expression still worried and scared. "Like I'm gonna forget this."

"Hey, you trust me, right?" Sheppard asked.

"With my life," Eddie agreed, leaning back.

"You'll feel a pinch," Rodney McKay said as he fiddled with the controls.

A moment later, Eddie let out a pained gasp, his body shaking slightly for a few moments before relaxing again as the chair moved upright again. "Did I fall asleep?" Charlie asked Sheppard.

"Yeah, but treatment's boring, no one blames you," Sheppard replied with a smile, helping Charlie up. "You fell, he explained automatically when Ryan put weight on one leg and it almost buckled. "A massage and some sleep and you'll feel better."

"Echo and I keep getting hurt," Charlie said. "But we never remember how we did it."

"You're clutzes," Sheppard teased. "Come on, let's go see Dr. Saunders."

"Then can I go see Juliet before bedtime?" Charlie asked.

"You wanna go see Juliet?" McKay asked, surprised.

"I like Juliet," Charlie said. "She's nice. And she's pretty." He turned and slowly limped from the room, heading for the stairs to go see Dr. Saunders, leaving Sheppard and McKay behind.

"He's not suppose to think anyone is pretty," Sheppard said.

"He's not suppose to have any kind of thoughts that could be considered attraction," McKay replied, brows furrowed in worry. "DeWitt isn't going to like this."

"Then don't tell her," Sheppard said, shooting a glance at McKay.

"Sheppard..."

"McKay," Sheppard countered. "You know what she'll do, and this could be all it ever is. A fleeting bit of hormones from a 17 year-old boy. It's not like we castrate 'em."

"They'd be a lot less useful if we did," McKay said, a tinge of disgust in his voice. "If she finds out, I'm telling her you threatened my life."

"You do that," Sheppard agreed before hurrying after Charlie.

~~~

"I found three more," Ballard said, placing a file in front of Sandy. "Your father-in-law has been a very good client of Dollhouse's."

"Why am I not surprised?" Sandy said when the very first picture in the file was Gaby, Caleb's 'supermodel' girlfriend, who was also apparently a race car driver and a back up dancer. After that was a man Sandy vaguely recognized as 'Matt', a former employee at the Newport Group who had almost destroyed the company while Sandy was running it while Caleb recovered from his heart attack, and was also the arm candy of a European jet setter who had wanted to make her estranged husband jealous. And then came the woman Sandy had hated on sight, even if Kirsten liked her. "Charlotte," he said, slapping the folder down on the table as he saw she was also implicated in an assassination the year before she'd entered their lives. "What the hell has Caleb been doing?"

"Spending a lot of money to get what he wants," Ballard said. "His first contract with Dollhouse, as far as I can tell, was 'Ryan', after that, it looks like he became a regular customer. I can't tell the motives on all of them, but I can make some guesses after what I've found out from you. 'Gaby' was just to make him look good, virile. 'Matt' was probably to discredit you, so that the board of investors wouldn't give control of the company to you after he recovered. And 'Charlotte'... probably she was suppose to drive a wedge between you and your wife."

"Sounds about right," Sandy agreed, getting up to pace. "You're sounding like the PI I hired now," he added.

"Every bit of information I get takes me a little closer to Dollhouse," Ballard replied. "I've got feelers out, people have pictures of 'Ryan', 'Jake', 'Harry', and 'Eddie'..."

"Eddie?"

"Most recent one," Ballard said, holding out another folder. "Eddie Baker... apparently a very wealthy man wanted a special 'toy' for a weekend. It turned out to be the same weekend some very pissed off men decided to kill the guy and Eddie got caught in the crossfire, beaten pretty badly before Dollhouse Handlers showed up to end things quickly."

"Shit," Sandy said, looking at the still images from what had to be a security camera of a badly beaten 'Eddie' being helped into a van by the same man from the Atwood house. "I want this place taken down," he said.

"That's the plan," Ballard agreed. "If we can find it."

The Temporary End

I say 'Temporary End' because I don't yet know exactly where to take it in terms of how Sandy and Ballard bust up Dollhouse... lol...

I'm toying with this idea that instead of beiong a girl named 'Caroline', Echo's real identity is Faith Lehane, and she initially joined Dollhouse as part of an undercover gig, not knowing that her memory would be erased. That's why she's 'special', because naturally she has all these extra Slayer abilities, and that's also why the Imprints aren't holding entirely in terms of her other memories leeching in. And it could make for an interesting bit if I kinda made this part of one of my various Ryan Winchester!Verses, and Dollhouse basically kidnapped Ryan from the Winchesters, and because they took his memories, he doesn't know enough to escape.... but again, just toying with the idea...

Juliet is Brooke Davis, or rather the 'shell' version of her.
 
 
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Kat: Manhandlingkatwoman76 on February 21st, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
Poor Woobie.

Reading this makes me watch more Dollhouse.
So I will take a look at last nights episode now.
chrisearchrisear on June 4th, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)
hey nice beginning..I dont really get though since I have never watched dollhouse, but I ll read up on it