Simple Promises

Bluebird8311 doesn't own this story, I publish it because I loved it and can't find it online anymore.

Author:

Jude

Rating:

PG

Summary:

Vaughn's thoughts during the club scene in Milan and after.

Spoilers:

Nemesis

Disclaimer:

Not mine. They belong to ABC, Touchtone, Bad Robot, and JJ Abrams. I'm just a total insomniac and have to have something to do at 2AM.

Author's Note:

My 'therapy' for Nemesis. I think it went a little too far, but hey, it's *my* therapy. *g* What a wonderful thing a warped mind is. *g*

Written:

3rd November, 2003

Thanks to KJ for looking at the first page and assuring me I should continue. The other four pages are my fault. ;)

Simple Promises

It almost seems like old times tonight. The awkwardness we feel around each other since her return seems to have dissipated. She looks beautiful. There is no way I can deny that. No one could. She owns that dress. Watching her as she moves around the room, confident, assured, and determined reminds me of one of the reasons I fell in love with her in the first place. When she is in agent mode, she is simply the sexiest woman on the planet.

I couldn't help but run my fingers across her shoulder earlier after I put the necklace on. Part of me yearned to know if her skin was still silky. Of course it was. When I felt her shiver at my touch, I knew despite the two years, that in some ways nothing between us had changed. The reality though, was that everything changed. I changed. The only problem is, my feelings for her haven't.

We're bantering just like we used to, and it's wonderful to see a smile on her face again. I haven't seen it enough since she came back. Of course if I was in her place I'm sure I wouldn't be smiling very much either. She's handled all of this so well, but I know inside she's dying. It's only a matter of time before she can't keep it inside anymore. I just pray that someone will be there to catch her.

My smile fades as all hell brakes loose. I chase after Allison, but she disappears. I find her again in the elevator shaft and when she disappears I hurry down to back up Sydney. "Sydney I'm on my way down. Allison has left the elevator." That familiar sense of panic grips me when I don't get a response. "Syd?"

"Sydney talk to me!" I yell as I race down the stairs, the fear and terror now running rampant. Oh please don't take her from me again.

I push open the stair doors and run around the corner and I stop dead in my tracks. "Oh God!" I cry as I see her lying crumpled on the ground.

I quickly move to her, falling to my knees next to her. "Syd," I plead. "Sydney." I'm relieved when I don't see a pool of blood around her and no visible wounds. I place my index finger on her neck, and let out the breath I was holding when I find a strong pulse. "Syd," I whisper as I brush the hair off her face and find a red mark near her eye. It doesn't look serious enough to knock her unconscious, so I carefully move her head and am worried when I feel wetness on my fingers.

"Sh*t," I swear, pulling her wig off, finding the back covered in blood. I feel the wound and lump there and recognize the telltale signs of a blunt blow from a gun. Even though part of me knows she'll be okay, the other part wants nothing more than to pull her into my arms and never let anything harm her again.

The practical side takes over knowing I need to tend to her wound. I can hear back up coming down the stairs and as soon as I see them, I bark orders to them to find Allison and call for an ambulance. The scatter in different directions with one coming to stand by Lang. "Un altro elevatore?" I quickly ask looking around, desperate to get her out of here.

The officer quickly answers and points to another hallway and I don't waste anytime. I gently pick her up and inform the officer to tell the ambulance I'll meet them on the street by the van. She doesn't even flinch and that scares me. Could her wound be worse than I think?

Finding the other elevator, I step in, pushing the button to get to street level. Of course it seems to move slower than any elevator I've ever been on. "Come on, come on," I plead, looking down at her limp form.

After what seems like an eternity, the elevator doors open and I bolt out, seeing the ambulance pull up outside. I meet the medic at the door and inform him, "She has a blunt force wound to the back of her head."

"Has she been responsive?" the medic asks in broken english as we approach the transport.

"No. She's been out about five minutes," I advise him as I gently lay her on the stretcher. I carefully remove the necklace and put it in my jacket pocket. The sight of the blood on my hands in the light of the ambulance scares me more than I want to admit.

The ride to the hospital is quick and I don't take my eyes off her. I insist on going into the exam room with her citing security concerns. I watch as they clean her wound and check her over for other injuries. I see a few glass cuts on her legs and bruises already forming on her arm.

I feel helpless when they take her off for x-rays and I am forced to sit and wait. After five minutes I can't sit anymore and get up and start pacing. A nurse convinces me to clean up and shows me the bathroom. As I wash the blood off my hands, I'm shocked at the man I see in the mirror. It's not the Michael Vaughn who is married to Lauren. It's the Michael Vaughn that was in love with Sydney Bristow and nearly died when he lost her.

Returning to the waiting room, I'm told they are suturing up the wound and will be moving her to a room shortly. I want to go back in, but they assure me she's okay and they'll come and get me as soon as she's moved. I reluctantly nod and walk over to a pay phone and call Dixon and brief him on what happened. He arranges to have my PDA picked up right away so it can be analyzed, requesting I stay with Sydney until she's able to travel home. It's a good thing those were his orders, I wouldn't have left her had he told me otherwise.

I hang up the phone and start to call Lauren to leave a message, but stop. What am I supposed to say to her? I decide to just wait unless it looks like I'll be here for more than an extra day. Hopefully I'll still beat her home and this will just be a notation on the debrief. Just another lie. Maybe Weiss was right. I know I'm not the first man to lie to their wife, and I certainly won't be the last. I tell myself it's for her own good. What she doesn't know can't hurt her, right?

Forty five excruciating minutes later, the nurse finally gives me directions to the room they've put Sydney. I arrange with the officer that reported here shortly after we arrived to put a continuous watch outside the hospital as well as her room. I'm still not sure why Allison didn't kill her, but I'm not going to let her have a chance to get near her again.

I speak to the doctor outside that assures me she's okay. She regained consciousness briefly before falling asleep. The wound only required four stitches, but it was quite deep. She has a slight concussion, but she should be okay to leave in the morning. I'm more than relieved and quietly push open the door and walk inside.

My heart tightens as I walk toward the bed. My hand automatically reaches out and brushes across the wound near her eye as I sit down in a chair. My hand moves down her face and onto her shoulder and I squeeze it, more a reassurance to myself that she's here, and she's okay. I leave my hand there and settle back in the chair.

"Vaughn," she rasps, and I jerk awake. My eyes meet hers, half open and struggling to stay that way.

"You're okay, Syd," I assure her. "Just rest."

"Allison?" she questions.

"She got away," I reluctantly inform her.

Her brown furrows and she flinches in pain. "What's the damage?"

"Four stitches and a slight concussion. It was a deep cut though. Otherwise just bruises and abrasions," I say leaning forward. My hand moves down and I grasp hers.

"Why didn't she kill me?" she asks, squeezing my hand.

"I don't know. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that you're alright," I easily confess. "Just rest, Syd."

"I'm sorry," she murmurs, her eyes closing. "For everything."

"I know. It's not your fault," I reassure, knowing her apology isn't just for tonight.

"You don't have to stay," she sighs.

"I'm not leaving until you're ready to come with me," I declare without a doubt in my mind.

She turns her head and looks at me almost puzzled. "Why?"

Her words cut my heart. Does she really think I don't care what happens to her anymore? Did my intent of staying away to cause her less pain backfire? "Syd," I respond, shaking my head. "I'm still your ally. I'm still your friend." I brush the hair off her forehead. "You still matter to me."

She smiles slightly and nods, wincing as she moves her head. "I'm so tired."

"Go to sleep, Syd. I'll be here when you wake up," I answer honestly.

"Promise?" she whispers, half asleep.

"I promise," I vow, wishing I could give her more than that right now.

A minute later she is peacefully sleeping again and I stand up and place a lingering kiss on her forehead. I sit back in the chair and realise how simple that promise is. The simple promise to be here so she won't wake up alone. It's not much, but it's a start.

Our entire relationship started with a simple promise. From the moment she sat in my office and I promised I wasn't playing her. We built from there, a foundation of trust built on simple promises that merged, and created a bond that even death and a marriage couldn't completely sever. The foundation may be a little cracked, but I'm determined to fill it in.

One simple promise at a time.

fin