Author: Vesper (Regina)
Category: Romance, angst.
Keywords: Jimmy Bond, Yves Adele Harlow
Summary: Choosing names.
Disclaimer: "The Lone Gunmen" property of 20th Century Fox.
Archival: Permission to the AAJY Archive (Archive Central), anyone else please link to my website.
Notes at end.
She asked her mother once, "What's my name mean?"
At four, Lois couldn't understand the way her mother's face grew still at the question, the way her eyes shifted away from her, the way her mouth began to tremble. She didn't know why her question should make her Mum so sad, only that it made her sad too.
Before Lois could start crying, her mother gathered her closer in her lap and smiled. She said, "It means better."
Better. Esther had always prayed for things to be better. Yves wonders sometimes how bad things had been for her mother to choose such a name for her daughter, when she knew that a name couldn't change anything.
Her mother had been too beautiful and shone too bright to escape any man's attention for long, but she'd never learned to use it as a weapon. Yves pities her now for losing her light. Esther could not keep her star alight, and when she died, all of Yves' hope died with her too.
She hated her mother's name, and the one she'd been given.
She has chosen so many names for herself. It was part of the game she played, the one that kept her safe, the one that enabled her to live for another day. Some meant something, others nothing. Yves Adele Harlow was just an anagram, another permutation of a name infamous in history. She's never really considered why she always used Lee Harvey Oswald's letters to form her next alias, only that it was convenient, solid and dependable, one of the few things in her life that was.
She found herself in a bookstore one day. She hardly remembers why she was there...it's hardly important, now. She thinks maybe she'd been keeping an eye on an informant.... She had just chosen the name that she's used now for five years, and spying one of those sentimental baby name books, she'd picked it up and found those two names.
She made a small scoffing noise and shoved the book back on the shelf. She looked up and around, seeing other customers, with their normal not-black clothes and their normal lives, thumbing through the books as if they owned them, and ignoring her. Good. No one had seen her moment of foolishness. She looked back down at the book, at the horrendous pink and blue cover, considering for a moment the other meaning of Yves, that with the traditional spelling, shook her head and left.
She does not put her trust in those meanings. Over time, she has come to belive that names do not shape the future of those who bear them, do not create personality or imbue certain facets of character. Not at all. If that were true, her husband would not be what he is.
She smiles up at him, now, a shaky smile, but a sincere and bright one, despite the circles beneath her eyes and through the fatigue that's making her want to sleep for days.
Jimmy smiles back at her, with not a little bit of unsettled fear lurking at the back of his eyes.
Yves asks him, "How do I look?" certain of his answer.
Jimmy, with perfect candor, answers, "Really tired." Yves smiles at that and he tries to cover, "But beautiful."
"Thank you," she murmurs and breaks eye contact.
That is Jimmy in a nutshell...not a lying bone in his body. He tries, but he's the complete opposite of what his name means. He could never deceive, not to the extent that she has in the past, never lie with effortless skill she has acquired.
They are both not what their parents named them, but that doesn't matter. What matters is what they are now, what they do with what they have been given. This precious gift.
She looks up from the bundle in her arms, from the small, squished tomato face of the most beautiful baby girl she's ever seen. She looks into the proud, fearful eyes of the only other person she's loved more than herself, finally understanding her mother, and says, "I want to name her Esther Tikvah."
"After your mom."
"What does it mean?" he asks. Yves smiles again to herself, a small fleeting one.
"It means 'star of hope'."
"Oh." He blinks and relaxes just a little bit, tension leaving his shoulders. He leans forward, whispering, "Esther," and reaches out to run a careful finger down his daughter's cheek.
Notes: Yes, Vesper wrote baby-fic. It had to happen sometime. I suppose this story falls into my "Chasing Shadows" universe, but it can be read alone.
Name meanings: Yves means archer, Adele means noble, James means deceiver, Esther means star, and Tikvah means hope. The alternative spelling of Yves, Eve, means life.