Kiss From a Rose

(A/N:  Well, we have no school on Monday for Veteran's Day and none on Tuesday because the boiler is broken!  And I got to stay home on Friday!  Four days off from school (including the weekend) - sweet deal!  Some people have - Marshal rocks! - Ahem.  As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, some people have pointed out to me that it is extremely unlikely that Vaughn would end up at Sydney's house.  *Sigh* How many times must I pound this into your heads?  No shit Sherlock!  The entire point of these little stories of mine is to indulge in my little fantasies that could never be.  And - *grin* thirteen minutes, and it hasn't even really started!  I love this show!  Anywho, someone said they though Will had his own place.  I'm 90% sure I heard he was staying with Sydney and Francie while he was in rehab, or something like that.  Please tell me that was Will!  I wasn't paying attention again!  D'Arvitt!  I think it was Vaughn!  Oh, shit that's bad.  I'm assuming it is, unless someone tells me different.  Jesus Christ, I swear, if he dies…R/R/E)

"Please come now I think I'm falling
I'm holding on to all I think is safe
It seems I found the road to nowhere
And I'm trying to escape…"
            Creed - 'One Last Breath'

            Sydney sat at home, alone, on her bed.  Her knees were tight against her chest, her arms locked around them.  Her face was pale and drawn, the stress clearly showing.  Without her bidding, her mind began to go over the events of the recent past.  This started her shaking uncontrollably - she should be talking about this with Vaughn, as was their new habit.  But she couldn't, because…
            Sydney shook her head to rid that thought.  Yet, her mind still played the memories.  It started with trying to watch the opening statements of her mother's trial.  But that didn't work, because her mother had apparently pled guilty to all the murders, and been sentenced to death.
            She could not have that on her conscience, so she tried to turn in her father, for what he had done, but he beat her to it.  And it didn't have the intended effect - he was going to jail and her mother was still getting a lethal injection.  So, she (sort of) kidnapped the Senator, and lied to him.  Derevko was now back in her cell, and Jack was not going to jail.
            If anyone ever found out, she was dead.  Go directly to Jail, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.  But… it was the only thing her conscience would allow.  Her thoughts turned to less happy ones now.  Her fingers tightened until her knuckles were white and her nails where painfully cutting her skin.  But Sydney didn't notice.  She didn't notice in the least.

"At times life's unfair and you know it's plain to see
Hey God I know I'm just a dot in this world
Have you forgot about me?
Whatever life brings
I've been through everything
And know I'm on my knees again…"
            Creed - 'Don't Stop Dancing'

            She and Vaughn had been exposed to that damn virus.  They had to be quarantined.  The upside of this was that when she woke up the next morning, the first thing she saw was Vaughn's smiling eyes. She had thought it quite possible they were both going to die.  If they did, she didn't want to have never said those three little words out loud to him.  She had been about to tell him that she loved him, but the damned doctor came back and said she was fine - she could leave.  Vaughn got out a little while later.
            Everything was fine and dandy - they said he was just fighting off a cold.  They had told Vaughn he was just fighting off a cold - that was all.  He only had a cold.
            Sydney broke out in silent tears.  The salty moisture streamed down her face.  IT wasn't fair!  What did God have against her?  Against him?  What had they ever done?  Why?

"Hush my love now don't you cry
Everything will be all right
Close your eyes and drift in dream
Rest in peaceful sleep…"
            Creed - 'Lullaby'

            She had just been informed that they had been wrong.  Vaughn was sick.  He was going to die.  The hemorrhaging under his fingernails had started.  Sydney sobbed uncontrollably until she could no more.  She had never said it out loud.  She had never told him she loved him.  She was sure he knew, she knew he knew, but she had never said those three little words out loud.  And it was eating her up inside.
            There was a cure.  But, the only way anyone could get it for Vaughn was if she killed Sloane.  She had to kill Sloane.  Sydney was grimly resolute.  If that was what it took to save the life of the man she loved, so be it.  Arvin Sloane would die by her hands.


"I'm just sitting in my room
With a needle in my hand
Just waiting for the tomb
Of some old dying man…"
            System of a Down - 'Needles'

            Irina Derevko lay in her tiny cell, her face to the wall.  Nobody could see the satisfied smile on her face.  Nobody witnessed the cold cruelty in her eyes, so similar to the eyes of her daughter as Sydney plotted Sloane's demise.  Nobody heard the oh-so quiet, oh-so diabolical chuckle that essayed from her slightly parted lips.
            In her head, Irina Derevko was completely alone.
            These last events had confirmed her long-standing philosophy - no good deed goes unpunished.  She had tried to help, and she had been repaid by being set up.  She was done playing the bullshit game of the good side.  She would humor them, until she could get a godly amount of them killed at once.  Then…
            She had pled guilty to all the murders, knowing that Sydney would be watching.  This accomplished two things.  Her daughter would not see the brutal pictures of what she had done to the agents she's killed - especially the sandy-haired one's father.  She had a feeling that particular picture would destroy any sympathy she had managed to gain.  Now, she seemed like the victim.
            Second of all, it meant her daughter would seriously attempt to get her out of the fix.  If she knew anything about he woman her daughter had become, it was that she would do her best to prevent her mother from dying.
            And Irina Derevko had been right about that.  She was back, where she could wreak havoc as retribution for the wrongs committed against her.


"Walk with me my little child
To the forest of denial
Speak with me my only mind
Walk with my until the time
And make the forest turn to wine
You take the legend for a fall
You saw the product…"
            System of a Down - 'Forest'

            Jack Bristow stared bleakly at the shot in front of him.  He was spending far too much time in bars of late.  It was not healthy for him, not at all.  He picked up the glass and gazed at the liquid within.  What had he done?
            That was a stupid question - he knew what he had done.  He had fucked up royally.  No doubt about it.  He had destroyed any relationship he had the chance to have with his daughter.  There was no doubt about that.
            Why wouldn't she believe him?  He was telling the truth.  Jack was hit by a brief memory.  Back in the mid-nineties, he had watched a few episodes of a Canadian TV show - 'Forever Knight'.  Now, he knew exactly how Lacroix felt when dealing with Nick.
            Jack had been dead serious.  When Sydney was little, he had wanted to train her so that she would never be blinded as he had been.  He had honestly meant to recruit her to the CIA when she finished college.  Every day, he cursed himself for allowing SD-6 to get to her first.
            When he looked at her, he did see the biggest mistake of his life, but not in the way she thought.  The mistake was not her birth, never that.  Although she would not believe it, he cherished her as the most precious thing in his life.  No, never would he regret the day of her birth.  Never would he regret that she was a part of him, that he had helped to make her.  If that day ever came, he hoped God would strike him down where he stood before the thought could take full hold.
            No, his biggest mistake, the one that stared him in that face every time he saw his beloved daughter, every time he watched her work, was that he had even tested Project Christmas on her in the first place.  She was right.  She was too, too right.  He had condemned her to the hell she now had to live in - had condemned her to his hell - the life of a double agent.  He had no right to take away her choices, her freedom.  And every day, he damned himself for that.  Every time he saw her work, he screamed at himself on the inside.
            It was his fault she could not love Vaughn, that Vaughn could not love her.  They thought no one knew, but he could see it in their eyes.  His soul was truly lost, truly forsaken, and there was no hope of redemption for his corrupt being.


"You always reached out to me and helped me believe
All these memories we share
I will cherish every one of them
The truth of it is there's a right way to live
And you showed me
So now you live in the words of a song
You're a melody…"
            Creed - 'Stand Here With Me'

            Vaughn lay in the quarantine chamber and let the fear wash over him.  HE still felt relatively okay, but… Dear Lord, he was dying.  Sydney was fine, but he would soon be dead.  And it wouldn't be happy and peaceful.  He would suffer.  No, that was wrong.  He wouldn't suffer, he would SUFFER.
            Vaughn's hands started to shake, so he sat up and wrapped them around himself.  This wasn't right!  They had said he only had a cold.  They had told him he was fine.  What cruel trick of fate was this?  His eyes were on the bed Sydney had occupied during their joint stay.  He was positive she had actually been about to say it, actually been about to utter those three little words.
            Vaughn's mind regressed to times before.  He saw all the late-night meetings with Sydney.  He saw all the times he had kissed her during those, had stroked her hair.  He saw all their meetings in the warehouse.   He remembered that one night in her house.  They had both fallen asleep on her couch, him holding her after she had discovered what her father had done.
            Vaughn smiled as he remembered that morning.  The first thing he saw was her, still wrapped in his arms.  She had looked at him and smiled sleepily.  Then she had tilted her head up and kissed him, a good-morning kiss.  He could see in her eyes that his wish was echoed there - then wished that this was how it could be every morning.
            Vaughn lay back down, relaxed for the time being.  He was saddened that he would never get to kiss Sydney again, and never get a chance to say those three magic words to her.  Yet, still there was hope.  He had heard them speaking of a cure, a cure that would have his belovéd Sydney in a facedown with Sloane…

I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the gray
The more I get of you
The stranger it feels, yeah
And now that your rose is in bloom
A light hits the gloom on the gray…"
            Seal - 'Kiss From a Rose'

(A/N:  Well that is darker than I usually write.  Everyone knows I have a compulsion to do happy endings (books and TV shouldn't be like real life - they should always have happy endings), and this is kind of…indecisive.  Anyway, it's currently ten of one in the morning.  Monday morning.  I'll post this as soon as I am able.  Any weirdness is accounted for by the hour and that I just finished watching 'The Body' with Antonio Banderas.  That was a good movie.  And now, I plan on watching 'Quills' until 3:05, while I find lyrics for this thing.  Thank you, my friends, for reading.  I hope you'll review, and I pray you enjoyed!  You know, one of life's problems is its lack of a soundtrack…)