Author: Bookworm
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Celebrate Vaughn & Syd, a relationship that always leaves us wanting more...

"Love is a meeting of two souls,
Fully accepting the dark & the light within each other
Bound by the courage to grow through struggle into bliss"

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Five & Ten ~ Part 1

June 21, 2014

Today is our wedding anniversary. Officially our 5th – but Vaughn always likes to consider us married since 2004; given he was originally going to propose in late 2003, if I hadn't been taken from him. I would have said yes and this would have been our 10th then.

The number really doesn't matter, when two people are soul mates. It may sound cliché but I feel like I've loved him a thousand years; and I won't stop loving him for thousands more.

Special occasions are made for reminiscing though. We've been casually recalling events from our past over our dinner at Trattoria de Nardi.

I'm surprised we've never really talked about this all these years…

"So when did you know?" I scoop a piece of freshly made pasta from his plate as I ask.

"Know what?" He looks up and I love that those green eyes still sparkle like they did when I first noticed them a dozen years ago.

"That you were in love with me." I smile teasing.

"I told you – October 1st, the day we met."

"Oh, c'mon, you knew in hind sight. Tell me when you actually realized you want me in your life?"

"Mhmm," he picks up my hand and places a soft kiss on my rings, "I'll tell you if you tell me…"

2002

Vaughn

I couldn't talk her out of going to see her mother.

I know it's going to be Hell for her. I know because it was for me.

I want to spare her but there is nothing I can do now.

I can only keep an eye on the monitor that surveils the cell.

Sydney

My mother is intimidating. Maybe I've just let her defeat me, knowing full well she has had a strong hold on me the past twenty years.

Pitting the ideal I held about Mom against the reality I face with the woman who merely gave birth to me was unfathomable. I've never felt so small in my life.

Two minutes were all I could handle. No matter how well I was trained to compartmentalize.

At least I didn't break down in front of her. But why do my legs feel so heavy, just as I walk away from her cell?

Vaughn

She's leaving her mother's cell. And I take off immediately.

I rush past other personnel and swing open the door just in time to catch her hunched over sobbing.

I instinctively gather her into my arms. And I can feel the weight of her body against me. I think I'm the one holding her up.

At this moment, I wonder if heartbrokenness is contagious. I've felt similar sensations the last few months – they all involve a teary Sydney Bristow.

How she despaired after she found out the truth about Noah Hicks.

How shaken she was when she returned from Paris having exposed her true identity to Will Tippin.

Even those moments pale in comparison to what I'm feeling now.

Her brokenness sips through my suit into my soul. My heart hurts so badly for what she has to go through.

No more denying, Michael. Sydney has your heart and she has had it for a while.

Sydney

I don't know how long I have been sobbing.

My mind is cloudy and my vision blurry.

I only remember being overwhelmed by the onslaught of thousands different emotions.

I tried to open my mouth to cry but I couldn't hear my own sobs.

I wasn't sure if I was breathing. I felt my legs suddenly go limp and everything went dark.

But I didn't fall. I was caught.

I knew it was him. That familiar embrace. And I held on for dear life.

He is holding me up. He is giving me strength. He is my rock.

What would happen to me now if I didn't save him in time in Cap Ferrat? Who would be brave enough to save me from the devil?

Vaughn

I feel she has calmed down slightly and I want to take her away from this hallway.

"Syd, let me take you next door."

She reluctantly peels herself away from me, wiping at her eyes. I wrap my arm around her shoulder and lead her from Detention into an adjacent meeting room. I had made sure the room would be available once I found out the time she planned to come in to see her mother.

I sit her down and she starts to sob again, burying her head in her hands.

I sit quietly in front of her. Feeling utterly helpless.

I tried to take this pain away from her. To take her place in front of that prison cell.

I'd rather face the monster who killed my father than see her spirit crushed by her own mother.

I no longer care about the line I swore to never cross.

I lost my dad to that woman. I could have lost Sydney too. And that scares me.

I should have been there to protect her when she was shot at, point blank range. I wasn't.

Nothing can stop me from being by her side when she gets fired at again, this time emotionally. I am not going to let her do this alone. Especially when her father's presence could only complicate matter and her friends cannot begin to understand the condemnation that is Irina Derevko.

I move to sit next to her, putting my hands on her shoulders to turn her towards me. She throws her arms around my neck instantly and rests her head on my shoulder.

I will give my life to be her refuge from the storm.

Sydney

My eyes hurt from crying and the tear tracks on my face sting.

Everything around me has been spinning, out of control – and I can't stop it.

But he came. He stayed.

And I'm in his arms again.

The tears keep coming – but for a different reason now.

I am not alone. I don't have to do this on my own.

He understands. He has been there – for my sake.

When I heard what he did for me, I was moved.

But resting on his shoulder now, I finally grasp the extent of his sacrifice.

I am his father's murderer's daughter. Why would he put me in front of himself? What have I done to deserve him?

I can't care about all that right now. I am safe and loved – and I don't want to let go.

I close my eyes, and my surrounding fades. I only have awareness of the two of us in this moment and space.

If I can freeze time, I would.

I can stay forever here. Where there are no rules, no history, and no outsiders that can stop us from wanting to be with each other. Where the ugly realities can't touch us.

Vaughn

It's crystal clear now.

My purpose in life. I'm holding in my arms.

I still want to serve my country. I still want to fight the enemies. Those are given.

What I need to do, until it's done, is to clear the path. To remove the evil forces and evil doers around us that stand in our way.

So that we can have more of this – what we have right now.

So that I can tell her how I feel, how much she means to me.

So that I don't have to stay in the shadow, so that we don't have to stay in the shadow.

At the risk of disturbing the moment of peace she seems to have now, I say softly, still with my hand on her back, "Syd, let me get you some water. If you're feeling better, I'll take you to freshen up. I think Kendall is waiting to hear what you found out from your mother."

Sydney

I look up and see those concerned green eyes. They are like my pain killers. I've used them before and they worked every single time.

This time is no exception.

"Peter Fordson. My mother said to start with Peter Fordson."

"Why? Who is he?" He asks, like I did.

"I don't know. She wouldn't say."

He lets out a small sigh, as if he's unwillingly letting go of something precious. "We can stay here a bit longer if you need more time." He gets up, walks over to grab a bottle of water and hands it to me. "Screw Kendall. He can have his intel when you're ready. You don't owe him anything."

And it dawns on me.

He's right, I don't owe the CIA anything. But I need their help.

I need the CIA to help me get rid of SD-6 and the Alliance. That's how I can have more of what I have now. That's how we can have more of what we have now, I hope.

I want him in my life, without worrying about looking over my shoulder.

I take a few sips from the bottle before replying, "I'm fine now. Thank you." And I lean forward to hug him again, savoring my new realization.

"Sydney, I'm always here for you. Whenever you need me. Nothing will change that."

Those tears seem to find their way back. I break apart from him and wipe my face with my hands. "I'd better go clean myself up before Kendall gets too impatient."

"Okay. I'll go tell him to start looking up everything we have on Peter Fordson."

.


AN: Double-post for Sydney & Vaughn's wedding anniversary in my fanficdom - told in real time (as much as possible). I hope to post consecutively over the next 5 days, if my muse cooperates.

There are a few missing scenes that I've been wanting to write for a long time. I see them as pivotal in the SV relationship but the show didn't explore their dynamics far enough.

Vaughn's decision to face Irina to spare Sydney must have helped him realize how much she means to him, even though she is the daughter of his father's killer. Likewise, experiencing the emotional toll from seeing her mother for the first time must have made Sydney appreciate how far Vaughn is willing to go for her. Putting what really matters at stake advanced their relationship beyond sexual tension. I like the gradual build up in Season 1 but I see this as their point of no return - they cannot want anything less after.

On screen, we see how distraught Sydney was outside Irina's cell. Then she looked composed and on the ball in the next scene where she discussed Peter Fordson with Vaughn and Kendall. What happened in between? Vaughn was the only one that could have helped her through the ordeal. She wouldn't have let anyone else in, for starter. And there is no way Vaughn didn't keep an eye on her and made sure he was there for her, knowing she was there to see Irina.

I'm experimenting a different writing style in this fic to allow both their voices to come through. I hope my readers can follow.

This fic will probably become part of Soul Mates' Tales at some point. But I'll keep it as standalone for now for the occasion.