Title: Firsts & Thoughts
Author: UConnFan (Michele)
E-Mail: LoveUConnBasketball@yahoo.com
Story Summary: Sydney's thoughts during THAT shippy (not so shippy?) scene in "The Abduction"
Authors Note: I LOVE my reviews! You guys are SOOO nice & sweet and GREAT! Daddy Vaughn is SOO much fun to write! This is just a brief break from "Trying Normal" - I haven't forgotten, promise! Please review this; it's brief but I felt that SOMETHING had to be written after the past few eps that J.J. has offered us. There are so many angles to tackle during these eps, but this is the one I chose. Oh, and LOTR:Two Towers comes out tomorrow & we're going to see it THURSDAY! YAY!
Oh, yeah. Alice IS going to be appearing in "Trying Normal" but I PROMISE any siblings that Jackie has will be FULL siblings. Although I confess that I now have a story brewing in my head (I don't know whether or not to write it, but damn angst is so much fun - I already have the summary - "When your in love with a man whose with someone else, what is the worst possible news you could here?" . . .okay, I'm not even sure it's going to get written, if you DO happen to read this extensive AN & have an opinion on the possible story, let me know!)
Dedication: For Gata & Maggie.

As unbelievably as it may sound, I felt him before I saw him. Some sixth sense that I have yet to fully discover picked up on him before I even heard or saw him.

That was the first time that had ever happened.

Then again that was the first time *several* things happened.

I saw Vaughn in public, actually *looked* at him - of course a CIA agent was sent to get the tape afterwards.

It was nice to look at him in public, although Alice's presence did something to damper the occasion. The same thing applies to the knowledge that I finally called him Michael. Admittedly I didn't actually *call* him Michael, I just *referred* to him as Michael, but I think it's the first time he's heard me refer to him in that way.

He looked handsome when he walked in. Don't get me wrong; I would never turn down the opportunity to see Vaughn in a suit . . Or jogging attire . . Or even sick in the hospital, his face ashen. Seeing him in casual clothes had to be my new favorite.

Part of me, however, hated it. Not all of it had to do with seeing him with Alice - although a large part of it did. I wasn't jealous; instead I felt something far different in my heart. A part of my heart went numb, and I still have yet to feel it again.

Another reason I hated it was that I had to be 'Rita', which might as well have been 'Fake Sydney'. Fake smile, fake laugh, I swear my voice even sounded slightly different. Never before did I have to be like that with him. Although I'm positive he saw through the mask - I'm certain he could see through any mask I could possibly throw his way - it still pains me to know that the one relationship I had been honest with, the one where I had always been the real Sydney in, was now briefly tarnished.

On all accounts Will had understood far more then I could have ever imagined. Going along with 'Rita' and everything. As much as I enjoy being able to freely discuss my life with him, I hate the possibility that telling him too much could end up harming him. Plus, no matter how open his ear or supportive his shoulder is, he's not - and never will be - Michael Vaughn.

The whole entire ninety-three second event was a nightmare. Not only did I feel fake, but also I felt as though Vaughn was fake . . . . Every torturously long second was full of tension and deceit. My condolences to Alice were sincere - admittedly I have yet to really lose a parent, but I remember the pain that I endured when I was six and believed I had lost my Mother. Seeing Alice in the hospital after I had sat holding his hand, after I thought we were really on the same page - no matter how wrong that page was - was painful enough. Having them walk in while I was talking to Will was something that I only pictured in my worst dreams.

Then Alice had to become all clingy. Not that I blame her; girlfriends are clingy by nature. Admittedly if I was Vaughn's girlfriend I'd want to spend most of my free time cuddled up next to his side *too*, but seeing *her* made the world shrink down to just the four of us. Why had I said that he was an amazing man? Not that it's a lie, but the rest of the world doesn't need to see my opinions on Vaughn drooling down my chin. I need that about as badly as I need a tattoo on my forehead reading:

'In Love with Michael Vaughn'.

I really don't want to think about that though.

Will had the best timing. If we had stayed any longer I'm afraid to consider what could have transpired. Something about meeting friends - what friends? The only friend we really had was Francie and she seemed to think that we had some secret affair going on. Plus she had a restaurant to run, so her free time was limited. The only one of us with excessively free time was Will, and if things went well he might soon be an employee of the CIA. Either way, I had never been so grateful that Will was my best friend.

I kept on my plaster smile and brightly said that it was nice running into them.

About as nice as the time I was nine and walked barefoot onto our back porch and an old screw drove right into the bottom of my foot.

I'll admit after he told me he was no longer with Alice . . After he told me I looked really pretty . . Even as often as after he went to Taipei with me . . . At night - only in my own bed, you never know who could be listening to your thoughts in a hotel room - I'd let my mind toy with different scenarios. If we met by accident outside of the office, would it be too much to pretend that we just met and hit it off? Then we'd at least get to socialize . . .

I tended to ignore the logical part of me that told me it was still too dangerous.

In my mind I never ran into him with Will, and certainly never when he was with Alice. During the rare scenarios that my mind had me out with a friend it was always Francie, pushing me forward to introduce myself to a handsome 'stranger'. Sometimes he'd be with Eric, sometimes with some friend I don't know, even once with his Mother, who I pictured to be an albeit short but attractive woman with light brown hair that showed signs of gray.

Unfortunately my imagination has been known to get ahead of my logic. Once upon a time I had even optimistically pictured that I could take down SD-6 in a few months. Obviously my logic had ignored the reasoning that my Father had been working to bring them down for *decades*. Instead I charged ahead believing that I, Sydney Bristow, could bring them down solo in less then a year.

Now I know it'll take years, and I know I cannot do it alone. I need my Father; I need the CIA. I might never admit it aloud, but I need Vaughn.

Alice is not forever - I checked and saw no ring of any kind on her left ring finger. Surely Vaughn *would* have mentioned *THAT*. She called herself his girlfriend, but never once has he referred to her as such. It's a tiny shred of hope, but a shred nonetheless. Just like Alice, SD-6 is not forever. Vaughn, my Father and I have already made tremendous progress.

Then one day SD-6 will be gone . . . Alice will be gone . . . And the truth is I'll still need him.

Hopefully some part of him - no matter how small - will still need me too.