Author: The Wanlorn Title: Masks 1/1.5 Summary: They meet by accident and talk. Angsty S/V. Rating: PG13 for Adult Language Spoilers: 'The Getaway' Distribution: Ask, and ye shall receive. Take, and ye shall die. Disclaimer: Everything, save the plot, belongs to JJ Abrams. Oh, yeah, and the poem at the end is mine, too.

(Pre-A/N: Sorry about the mix-up the last time I tried to post this frellin' thing. Frellin'! Whenever I try to upload an .htm, that frellin' shit would come up! I'm gonna find the frellin' people and kill them! So, this is a .doc file, which I frellin' *hate* uploading! Sorry once more.)

(A/N: This fucking TV! I want cable in my room! Say, has anyone read that fic by Aeria? Not 'Wish List', but the other one. LOL. Which other one? It's Irina/Jack, Sydney/Vaughn, and *extremely* well-written! I highly recommend it. This dood should write *real* shit (read: non- fanfic). Yay! Car chase! Go faster! Weave! Dodge! Shoot! Make it interesting! LOL. I'm a *huge* fan of 'The Fast and the Furious', obviously. Do I want to do that when I grow up? Hell, yeah! I love that flashy red light thing! So, I finally filled up my other notebook - I'm writing in a new one, now. Sweet deal! Woooooah! 'Seeing Alice again'! Vaughn fucked up the only good thing going for him once more! Okay. Flip to 'Law and Order: CI' during the commercials and risk missing parts, or watch commercials. Well, I've always said the commercials were the best part! Unless - MIME! - it's 'Alias' of course! Sloane's a lying fuck. Big Brother is watching you.LOL. , Irina! Oh! Brainstorm! They *like* each other. They want to *hug* each other. They want to *kiss* each other. They want to *love* each other! Purple hair! I was going to dye my hair purple, but then I remembered - tell her! - that I had an interview later this January/February. Oh, Good Lord, I want that pickpocket thing! .I have an outfit like that.fishnet, choker, and all. Dinner! Don't be an ass, Syd! Happy Syd! Happy Syd! *Fuck*! Not Dixon? Romance! Uncomfortable, but there! They're gonna be caught! *Fuck*! *No*! Yes! Say yes! Oh God, I'm going to kill myself if they kill Vaughn. Kiss her, you ass! Oh. And she walks away. IF he does that, I'll kill him. Get replaced. GO Weiss! Good reasoning! 'Miracles' looks good. Sodium pentathol, I bet. Ha! Tol'ja! Thank the gods! For once, I love Sloane. KISS HER YOU JACKASS!! No! Don't *say* that Sydney! I love that bald guy. Oops, never mind, it's a blonde crew cut.and now he's dead. She's alive! And he's sappy.uck. This is a sequel to 'Pipe Dreams', sort of. R/R/E!)

His cell phone captivated his attention more and more as of late. All he had to do was pick it up and dial a number, and he would get to see her. It was a simple call for him to make. So simple. He merely had to speak two words. Two simple words, and he could drive there. What was stopping him? Why didn't he just pick up the phone? How simple was this?

Oh, yeah. That was right. Those three little syllables, and the other two. Pro-to-col and dan-ger. Dinner was a bust. A total and complete bust. It just proved that the danger was too great. If they couldn't do something as far away as France. What was the hope? Until SD-6 went down.and ever then, there was still protocol. He was doomed. Why was he always doomed? Why did Fate hate him?

He needed to smell her . She was a drug, a highly addictive drug, and he needed his fix. Maybe that would make him feel better. More likely worse, but wasn't that what a drug was supposed to do? He only had to drive - they were there so much that her scent clung to the place, to the fence where she tended to lean. All he had to do was drive there.

The winding road he had to take to lose tails was long. Too long. He needed her. And the closest he could get was their meeting place. He couldn't call her for a random meeting, just to satisfy his addiction. She was angry with him, he could tell. And making her needlessly worry was never a good thing. She needed a break, after that latest fiasco, and he hoped those bastards at SD-6 would give it to her.

His fingers drummed on the steering wheel. Ten more minutes. Then more minutes, and he would be there. Ten more minutes until his addiction would be fed. He was hopeless. Hopelessly addicted. What was he going to do? He wasn't allowed to touch her, and it would eventually drive him insane. He wanted to be able to enter her personal space, to hug her when she was having a bad day, to brush the hair out of her eyes when he was giving her the counter mission, to kiss her goodbye before she went off and almost got herself killed again.

He pulled into the alley beside the warehouse. He almost had a heart attack when he saw there was another car already there. More importantly, it was *her* car. His heart rejoiced, for about five seconds. But then his mind began catching up to his heart. Why was she here? Was she okay? Had she tried t call him? What was wrong?

Should he still go in? Did she come here because she needed some private time where she didn't have to worry about bugs? Would he be intruding? But he wanted to see her; he needed to smell her perfume. What were the odds of this happening? What were the odds that she would be here just when he needed his fix?

He opened the car door quietly, easing it shut. He'd scope everything out first, before going in. Easing inside the warehouse, the sounds of sobbing immediately assailed his ears.


She drove to the warehouse, going well over the speed limit. The warehouse was the one place where she could be herself. In the warehouse, there were no lies. There were no falsehoods. She only needed the most minimal of masks when she was there. She was herself more than she was anywhere else. It was her escape. But not today. She could *not* escape from her reality, from the life she lived today. Today, the lie was better.

It smelled like him. All she could smell was his cologne, the spicy scent assailing her nostrils. He was not here, but she could see him. She could see him sitting on his crate, leaning against the fence, pacing the back of the cage. She could be herself here, something she clearly needed, but it was also rife with reminders of him, the last thing she needed.

She sat down on his crate, where the scent of his aftershave was the strongest, and the tears started to glow. She could not gold them back any longer. Her friend had taken her out for cocktails, but it did not work. It did not help her forget. She wrapped her arms around herself and began to rock back and forth, sobbing, her heart breaking.

She wanted him. She wanted him badly, to the point of pain. She wanted him to hold her after a rough mission. She needed him to be able to kiss her, to hug her after a bad day. She needed to be able to touch him when she wanted. She needed to be able to go out for dinner without being shot at.

She needed everything she couldn't have.

The restaurant had been the most fun, most enjoyable date she had been on for a long time. Of course, it wasn't a real date, because he was still with his girlfriend. Her tears burned in her eyes. Why was she doomed in love? Why couldn't she find a nice, normal guy? This time she would remember to keep her mouth shut.

All she wanted was him. All she wanted was the one man she couldn't have. Her sobs wracked her lithe frame as all the emotion she usually kept bottled up came pouring out.


He didn't know what to do. Every instinct screamed 'Go to her!' But she was here because she knew she would be alone. Did he have a right to intrude on her privacy? It sounded as though her heart was breaking. Maybe if she had someone to talk to. He couldn't just listen to her cry like that, or just leave her there, knowing what she sounded like.

He stopped skulking in the shadows and walked up to the cage they met in. She was sitting on 'his' crate, rocking herself with her back to him. She did not hear him, did not turn around. The door/gate was left open, so it did not make any noise as he passed through. Inside, standing behind her, he paused. Should he say something? Should he move in front of her? Should he hug her? He had not come here anticipating on having to deal with this. The dim bulb glinted light off her chestnut hair. It cascaded like a waterfall down her back - straight, smooth, and silky. She was wearing a pale purple sweater and blue jeans. What was he supposed to do?

He went for the relatively dangerous choice and touched her shoulder. Her reaction was immediate, sweeping her leg out and knocking his feet out from under him. He ended on the floor on his back, looking up the barrel of a gun.

"It's just me, Syd," he said, not moving until she had putt he gun away. She immediately turned around so her back was to him, and scrubbed a hand across her face, trying to erase her tears.

"Sorry," she muttered in a watery voice.

"Are you okay?" he asked, getting up and touching her shoulder.

She nodded silently, taking a deep, shuddering breath. "I'm fine. It's just overflow of emotion. You know, my dad in danger, and almost giving our status away. Us almost getting caught. You know." The lies tasted bitter on her tongue. She hated how easily they rolled off, especially when talking to him.

"Bullshit," he said quietly. "Your eyes never lie to me. What's really wrong?"

"Nothing. It doesn't matter. Why do you even care?" She tried to meet his eyes steadily and give nothing away. She couldn't be sure of her success.

"Because I l-" He quickly caught himself before he could make that mistake. "I am your handler, and judging by the way you were sobbing your heart out, this is going to affect your job. Which means it concerns me." He could see more tears filling her eyes, tears that she refused to shed, and knew that he had hit something.

She tried to pull a mask down over her features, but couldn't quite pull it off. She still looked like he had stabbed her through the heart. Fuck protocol. Fuck the danger. What about her mental health? What about *his*? He pulled her, unresisting, into his arms.

"Jesus, of course I care." She clung to him fiercely, sobbing again. "I care about you. I care more than I should. I can't sleep on nights that you're out in the field. I lie awake, worried that something's going to happen to you, that you won't come back." She was warm, *real*, in his arms. He ran his hand through her silky hair, trying to commit the feel of her to memory. This was all he would have in days to come, a memory.

"What about your girlfriend?" she sobbed brokenly. She couldn't even bring herself to say the name. It felt so good to be in his arms, so good to feel him trying to comfort her. Why couldn't they be normal people? Why?"

"A failed attempt to take my mind off you. I'm sorry." He longed to kiss her, to kiss the tears off her face. He wanted to know what she tasted like. He burned for her, and had to deny himself. He was already pushing his luck, just by holding her.

She wanted to stay like this forever. She wanted him to hug her, to hold her until the end of time. Just being near him was calming her. Strength radiated from him and made her feel safe. She wanted to stay, but she couldn't. She needed some sense of dignity, some sense of professionalism, to be left when they met so he could give her the counter missions. Reluctantly, she pulled away and turned her back to him. Her arm came up and rubbed her eyes, scrubbing away the tears.

"It doesn't matter anyway," she said morosely, refusing to turn back around. "We would never work. France is evidence of that."

He hadn't wanted to let her go, but he had to. He had no right to holding her. He had a girlfriend, he was merely her handler. And he wanted to deny her statement. He needed some kind of hope, something to pray for. Even though he knew she was right, he wanted to refute it with something. Anything.

"That." He groped for something to say, something to make her look at him. "That was a freak of chance. It was only because of the investigation on your father, and they were getting suspicious of you, too, just because you were his daughter. But now that Kane took the fall. Sloane won't have anyone following you like that anymore. He trusts you, and your father. I mean, while he's gone, your father's in charge of SD-6. That will never happen again." He mentally pleaded for her to turn around. He knew the power of his eyes on her. If she only met them, he could convince her of anything.

"What of the no agent/handler relationship rule?" she asked, turning. "And what if they are still suspicious?" She hung her head, shaking it. "No, it's hopeless pipedreams. God, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have-"

"Yes, you should have," he cut her off. "Having a *we* is not a pipedream. Not even close. We obviously work well together. Especially with this attachment. Maybe. I could talk to my boss. Get an official turn of the head."

"It would never work," she moaned, but a spark of hope lit up her eye. "And what if that got you replaced?"

"What if it didn't? What if you convinced your father to talk to him?" He was grasping straws, now. He hadn't come planning to have this argument, but it had become an all-consuming thing in his thoughts as of late. He had to talk her into.whatever. Her eyes were filled with sadness and regret.

She dragged her eyes up to meet his. He must be desperate to be suggesting that. "My father hates you."

He reached out to her, but she stepped back, out of reach. "Please don't. Don't make this harder for both of us. Can't we just go back to before?"

He stepped forward swiftly and grabbed her arms so she couldn't move. "No, we can't. You don't want to, I don't want to. So what's the point? We can figure something out. Or just be extremely careful."

His puppy dog eyes compelled her to say 'yes'. She wanted to agree, badly. He was leaning forward slightly, staring into her eyes. Unconsciously, she, too, was leaning forward to meet him. His hazel eyes were trying to make her stay silent, to force her to straighten up a little and meet him.

She stepped back and he let her go. "Let it go. It will never work. Go back to her, and be happy." She turned and walked away.

"Why are you giving up so easily?" he yelled after her retreating back. "You, who never gives up, is letting this go without a fight! I don't want her, I want you!

"I don't love her, I love you," he whispered.

*Fin (sort of)*

(A/N: Yes, there is an alternate ending that I'll post tomorrow. If you're lucky. I liked them both a LOT, and couldn't decide which to use. So, if you like this sad, sad, horrible ending, then stop here. But if you're a true 'shipper, like me, wait until tomorrow for the TRUE end, that leaves a HAPPY S/V.)