To The Altar
The Invaders fanfiction



Disclaimer: The Invaders, its universe and characters belong to their legal owners, who unfortunately aren't me. This is an unofficial fanfiction that is not officially endorsed in any way. It was written solely for enjoyment and I make no money with it.

Title
To The Altar
Status
Completed (5th January 2021)
Genre
Drama, science-fiction
Rating / warnings
Reference to potential murder.
Spoilers
Huge spoilers for The Trial. This is a prequel to the episode.
Characters
Janet and Fred Wilk
Summary

Janet and Fred have immediately taken to each other. Nobody's surprised when they get married after just a few weeks –but it's all a lie. From their meeting to the vows, both of them reflect on their reasons to marry.

This was written for a prompt by Crimson_Square on AO3:

Fandom of your choice.

Someone gets married for decidedly non-romantic reasons: Tax reasons, wanting to stay with a platonic friend, getting their family of their back, having a good excuse to stay close to a partner-in-crime (-solving)... anything.

The outside world assumes the relationship is The Most Romantic One Ever (Tm) - whether that's a deliberate deception or an accident is up to you.

The people involved never fall in love.

This story is also available on AO3.

Table of contents

  1. Janet
  2. Fred

Janet

Breaking up with Charlie was the hardest decision in Janet's life. Moving to a different city doesn't help; meeting new people, only slightly. Among them, she is grateful for Fred and his sympathetic ear, and she hangs on to him like a lifeline. She pretends not to hear their friends' ill-founded –if well-meaning– allusions to their getting involved.

Until her life shatters a second time. The first day her menstruation fails to come, she shrugs it off. The second day, she prays. The third, she despairs. She can't ignore it anymore: she's kept more than memories from Charlie. His child grows in her womb and in a few months, the infamy of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy will be apparent for the whole world to see.

She succeeds in hiding the shameful secret for another week until, during a quiet evening with Fred, she bursts into tears.

"What's wrong?" he asks with a perplexed frown.

And she tells him. She explains how she was engaged for years before moving, how she kept hoping for a proposal that never came, how she eventually abandoned herself in her fiance's arms, and still he refused to commit, and how her life is now ruined and no man will marry a woman carrying the child of another. She doesn't dare meet his gaze.

Incredibly, though, he smiles with more encouragement than judgement in his eyes. When he shakes his head, it isn't at her: "People can be so bigoted sometimes. I don't mind, and you shouldn't, either," he stresses. "Just ignore what they'll say. There are more important things in life."

But she can't. She just can't.


Their friends' clueless attempts at matchmaking become harder to bear until two days later, Fred offers her an unexpected chance of salvation.

He's again smiling as he holds out to her a ring casket: "I told you I don't mind. Janet, do you want to be my wife?"


The wedding comes as fast as they can organise it. Janet is grateful her pregnancy won't have time to show, but still, she wonders. Will Fred be a good father? He'll have to: Janet couldn't bear the disgrace of being a single mother. Fred is at least willing to claim the child as his own. A more daunting question, perhaps, is whether she can forget the biological father.

For a split-second before she walks to the altar, Janet's smile wavers and she can't help but briefly bring a palm to her stomach. Thankfully, nobody notices.

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Fred

The aliens can be quite charming when it fits their pretend persona, and Fred is no exception. Freshly arrived to Earth and fully trained in playing human, he integrates with ease into his new city of residence. Becoming personnel manager at the plant his people seek to hijack is easy. So is cultivating useful friendships.

The identity he aims for wouldn't be complete without some female presence, and chance brings the perfect opportunity: a newcomer in the city herself, Janet is eager for company –albeit for very different reasons. His friends' assumptions suit him just fine.

"Janet's quite fetching, I'd say," Allen Slater smirks knowingly. "And she likes you. I'm almost jealous. Beware I'll find some crime to pin on you…"

Slater believes he's joking, of course, and Fred is happy to keep him in the dark. A presumptuous county attorney is the last person who should learn about the aliens' existence and purposes. As for Janet herself, her lingering love for another man makes her less likely to seek intimacy. An ideal situation for Fred's cover. He plans to make it last without change for as long as he can.


Janet's impromptu admission about her pregnancy comes as a surprise, even if she'd indeed seemed distracted for a while. The whole situation is so… human. Fred feels sorry for the woman, caught between her emotions and her people's expectations. I don't mind, and you shouldn't, either, he tells her –and he means it.

Once he's comforted her enough and she's left for the night, he takes the time to think.

As adept as they are at mimicking human appearance and behaviour, the aliens are limited by their own biology. And while two of them can fake a chance meeting, engage in romance and marry, they can't produce a credible human-looking offspring. Raising Janet's child would offer Fred a unique opportunity to conceal his true self.

The risk she'll discover his nature, however, would soar up with domestic proximity. Should he hurt himself accidentally, she'll see the lack of blood in his flesh. Small mistakes in everyday life, insignificant taken in isolation, might add up to a general sense of suspicion that leads her to unveil a worse truth than she would suspect. And of course, no matter how much he tries, he can never fulfil his conjugal duty. Sooner or later, she could forget her ex-fiance and expect more.

He looks out of the window at the human world outside, this foreign world he needs to blend in. The aliens have ways to silence those who know too much. Efficient ways. Definitive ways. He feels the pocket where he keeps his weapon. Just a few seconds of applying the disc on Janet's neck, and she'd fall dead. Cerebral hemorrhage. How terrible to die so young.

Still, Fred would regret having to eliminate Janet. He might not even get the chance before she's already exposed him. He turns away from the window. It's best to sleep on it, the humans say.


Fred mulls over his options for a couple of days.

Maybe it's their friends' meddling. Maybe it's his confidence in his ability to handle whatever comes his way. Or maybe it's the shadows under Janet's eyes, and the future that awaits her.

As he stares in the mirror at the image of a man who doesn't exist, Fred finally makes his choice.


Fred doesn't second-guess his decision to marry Janet. Nonetheless, he doesn't forget the danger living together will pose, either. He can't ever let her unmask him. If she were to suspect the truth, he'd have to put his pity aside and dispose of her –not that he'd hesitate; his people's future takes precedence, always. For better or for worse, they say. If they knew.

For a split-second before he walks to the altar, Fred's smile freezes and he can't help but briefly bring a hand to the pocket containing his deadly disc weapon. Thankfully, nobody notices.

THE END

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Why did Fred marry Janet, actually? Canon doesn't bother to give an answer. He doesn't even seem to have needed the cover so badly to take this risk. Janet doesn't particularly give Fred access to a given target either; from what we know, she might as well have been a housewife. Moreover, what little we learn about him in the episode seems to indicate he truly dislikes Charlie Gilman. So I'm going with the idea he actually took pity on Janet and wanted to shield her from society's contempt for unmarried mothers, on top of indeed improving his own cover.

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Laura+web@Espezon.org

The Invaders fanfictions.
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Last update: 5th January 2021.