Title: This Tear

Author: SydGillyKC

Author's Note: Wow, the final chapter! I can't believe it! I've been working on this story for more than 18 months now and it's really spanned a very important time of my life. I just want to thank everyone who's read and reviewed, especially those of you who have been reading from the beginning. This is the first story (out of many written) that I've ever posted for feedback so you guys have really meant the world to me. I hope the ending doesn't disappoint. I just wrote what I felt was the way it should end. And make sure to read the author's note at the end for something important. Hope you enjoy!


Vaughn looked frantically from Aly to Sydney. Would she want them to let her go or would she want to keep fighting? And suddenly it struck him. Sydney had never given up or let go of anything in her entire life. Sydney was a fighter. He had his answer.

"Do it. Get her back," Vaughn said simply. Aly nodded and the medic took the paddles and pressed them to her chest.



Chapter 43: The End... And the Beginning

Vaughn watched in horror as Sydney's body jerked under the paddles. The line on the monitor jumped with her body, but returned to the flat line it had previously been. Vaughn's heart felt like it was literally stopping with Sydney's. They'd come this far... it seemed wrong that it would end this way.

"I'll give her an amp of EPI. Charge again!" Aly ordered as Vaughn saw her drawing liquid into a needle. Vaughn looked back down at Sydney, finding it easier to focus on her face than on the chaos going on around him. He suddenly realized that in all the commotion, he still hadn't let go of her hand. He squeezed it tightly.

"Please don't leave me, Syd. Please," he begged quietly.


Again, there was a jump in the line. Again, it soon became flat.

"My guardian angel."

"Go again! Charge 300!" "They're playing the Islanders next week. We should go."


"When I saw you behind that door, I swear to God, I thought you were dead."

Jump. Flat.

"Phil is certainly no funnier than Doug."

"Again! Another amp of EPI!"

"Seriously. Don't explain."


"Me too."

Jump. And then it started beeping.

Vaughn's head jerked up to look at the monitor. There, he saw a steady pattern of spikes.

"We got her back," Aly said, obviously relieved. The medic set down the paddles and proceeded to check Sydney's blood pressure. Aly looked up at Vaughn. "She's one hell of a fighter."

Vaughn couldn't help but smile. "You have no idea."


They arrived at the hospital several minutes later and were quickly brought in through the emergency exit. They proceeded up to the third floor immediately, where the medic explained that Sydney would be put on a respirator and treated in isolation. Vaughn jogged to keep up with Aly and the medic as they pulled the gurney through the halls. He still clutched Sydney's hand and refused to take his eyes from her face. Finally he felt them slow down and come to a stop. He glanced up and noticed that they were a few feet in front of set of doors. Behind him, he noticed a waiting room. The look on Aly's face only served to confirm what he had already guessed.

This was where he and Sydney had to part.

"Jack and the others know to meet you up here. Once they arrive, you'll be taken to a private waiting room where you can talk freely. I'll observe Sydney's treatment and I'll come update you whenever I can. As soon as we know anything, you'll know," Aly assured him.

Vaughn nodded. "Thank you." He turned his attention back to Sydney for what he knew might be the last time. He tried frantically to blink his tears back as he leaned down and pressed his lips to her forehead. He backed away a little, brushing the hair away from her face. A single tear managed to escape from his eye and fall onto her skin. He quickly brushed it away with his fingers. "I'll see you soon," he whispered into her ear. "I love you."

He backed away slowly and nodded at Aly. She gave him a sympathetic look and reached out to grasp his hand briefly. She then turned to the medic and nodded her permission. Together they pushed the gurney through the set of doors, which quickly swung shut behind them, leaving Vaughn alone.

He took a deep breath and somehow staggered to the area of chairs to wait for the others.


Two hours later, they all sat in silence in the private waiting room. The atmosphere and mood in the room reminded Vaughn of the vigil that had, only hours ago, been set up by Sydney's bedside. They rarely spoke to each other, though Vaughn found himself meeting eyes with each person in the room every couple of minutes. He knew they were in as much agony right now as he was. He could never remember waiting being this difficult. Then again, there had never previously been a situation in his life where so much was at stake.

He took a minute to look around at everyone in the room. Will and Francie now gripped each other's hands. Francie still had dried tear-tracks on her face, though her crying had subsided for the moment. She looked blankly at the ground. Will sat next to her, hunched over. His chin rested in his hand and his eyes were slightly red-rimmed. Vaughn suddenly realized how crazy it must have been for them to be thrown into this chaos so suddenly. Not long ago, they knew nothing of Sydney's life except that she was in hiding. They had every reason to hope that some time would pass and life would eventually return back to normal. They'd had no idea of what would come to them with Sydney's return. And now here they were, waiting in the silent agony that most of them had had months to grow accustomed to.

Aly sat beside Will. She had rejoined them while the solution was being administered. Afterward, she explained that she would go back and forth to monitor Sydney's progress with the doctors. Her hands were clasped in her lap and she stared down at them now, hiding her face from the others. Like Will and Francie, she had been thrown very suddenly into their world. The difference was that she'd never previously known the woman that world revolved around. She'd never known Sydney as a strong, vibrant, and incredibly valuable double agent. From the moment she met Sydney, she had known that Sydney was dying. She hadn't dealt with the unbearable news the way the rest of them had. She had, nonetheless, become a part of their world. And there was no denying that she'd come to care for Sydney, for all of them. She'd been a true friend and confidante. Vaughn only prayed that she would soon have the chance to get to know Sydney the way the rest of them had come to know and love her.

Beside Aly sat Weiss who sat far back in his chair, leaning against the wall behind him. His eyes were closed, but Vaughn knew he wasn't asleep. Every couple of minutes, Vaughn heard him take a deep breath and release the air in a sigh. Vaughn knew he was trying to calm his nerves. Beside him and Sydney, Weiss was the only one who'd been through the entire journey since they went into hiding. He'd experienced nearly everything that Vaughn had. Though Vaughn was aware that Weiss and Sydney hadn't been particularly close before the time the three of them spent in hiding, he also saw that they'd grown to become good friends. Weiss had confided in Vaughn that he cared very much for Sydney, even if it wasn't in the same way that Vaughn did. Seeing him now, the sweat beads that now formed on his forehead, Vaughn knew he'd been speaking the truth.

Between Weiss and Vaughn sat Jack, who now stared upward at the clock on the opposite wall. His face was the emotionless mask that Vaughn had grown so used to over the past few years. His eyes gave him away, though. They were fearful and wary as they watched the seconds tick by on the plastic clock. His fingers were laced together tightly enough so that Vaughn could see the whiteness in his hands. Vaughn couldn't help but wonder if in some discreet and unique way, Jack were praying. Vaughn would never have pinned him for a religious man and still wouldn't, but he knew better than anyone the lengths that Jack would go for his daughter. After he'd run out of people to point a gun at and connections he could use, perhaps he would be desperate enough to turn to prayer. Maybe that really was the only thing that could save Sydney now. Maybe that was all any of them had left in them.

And then Vaughn thought of himself, sitting and examining everyone else in the room. Dare he turn the inspection inward? He didn't think he could express the thousands of thoughts running through his mind even if he wanted to. This may very well be the most important day in his entire life. If the solution failed, Vaughn knew it would likely be the last day that he and Sydney would ever be together again. If it succeeded... it would be the beginning of the rest of their lives. Vaughn was completely aware that no matter the outcome, he would never meet another woman like Sydney during the course of his lifetime. No matter how many years he had left in his life, he knew that if Sydney passed away today, he would spend every day afterward looking back on the time he'd spent with the woman who was undoubtedly the love of his life.

The door to their small waiting room opened suddenly. Everyone in the room looked up anxiously. A doctor stepped inside, and Vaughn assumed it was the same doctor Aly had said she met previously. This was the man in charge of Sydney's treatment now. This was the man who held so much in his hands. The expression on his face unreadable. Everyone remained silent, waiting for him to speak.

"They'd administered the solution and they're monitoring her in isolation now. There's no change yet, but she's hanging in there. So for now, we're just going to wait," The doctor explained to them. He looked sympathetically and encouragingly at each of them before ducking back out of the room. Aly nodded at them before getting up and following the doctor out of the room.

And then the room returned to silent anticipation.


Three hours crept by in silence. Three hours that every member of the room would only remember as a blur when they reflected back on it. But during those hours, every thought and memory was incredibly vivid for those six people. Vaughn felt as if he'd never been more present in his own life as he was in those painful hours. He wasn't even sure if he truly knew what that meant, but he was certain that it was the truth. And he had a feeling that everyone else was experiencing that same elusive feeling.

After those three hours passed, Aly re-entered the room and received the identical reaction the other doctor had gotten previously. She told them that Sydney had just returned from x-rays and that they would have the results of those shortly. She told them she would be back to talk with them as soon as she knew anything.

At 1:13 that afternoon, the results of the x-rays revealed that the tumors in Sydney's brain and back had shrunk.

At 2:25, a bone marrow aspiration done on Sydney came back negative for the presence of cancerous cells.

At 3:04, a repeat x-ray revealed that the tumor in Sydney's back had seemingly vanished, but that the one in her brain, although shrunken, still remained.

At 5:09, Sydney's vital signs indicated that her coma had lifted, though she was kept sedated to allow the Rambaldi solution to run its course.

At 6:19, Sydney was extubated to find that she was breathing well on her own.

At 7:12, another x-ray was taken to show that the tumor in Sydney's brain remained.

At 7:18, a cafeteria-worker arrived in the waiting room, informing them that he'd been asked to bring some food up for the six of them. He set down a tray of plastic-wrapped sandwiches, pre-made salads, and chips. They thanked him before he left. No one made a move to touch the food.

At 8:09, Aly returned to the waiting room and told them painfully of the doctor's concern that there may not have been enough fluid. Every trace of cancer had disappeared except for the tumor in her brain. Basically, Aly explained that she was in the exact condition she was in over a year ago when she was diagnosed. She told them that if there were no further change, Sydney still wouldn't survive. If she endured the same treatments all over again, she would probably live another year. Basically, they would all be at square one as if none of this had ever happened. As much as Vaughn longed for even one more year with Sydney, he didn't think any of them had it in them to endure this all over again. Though it made him physically sick to do so, he prayed to God to take her rather than leave her to such painful fate.

At 8:51, Aly explained that they were going to perform one more x-ray. If there were no change, her doctors had agreed that the best thing would be to perform surgery in order to explore her tumor to determine if it had the same properties as before. That way, everyone could be better informed to plan the next course of action.

At 9:21, Aly returned, tears in her eyes. Vaughn's heart froze, waiting for her to speak. She took a deep breath before looking directly at Jack, then at him.

"It's gone. The tumor's gone."


An hour after they'd discovered her tumor was gone, Sydney's doctors agreed to remove the order for sedatives. There was not a trace of cancer anywhere in her body. She was officially in remission. Everyone involved in the case would forever refer to it as a miracle. Everyone who knew Sydney wouldn't dare call it such a thing. Miracle or not, she would soon wake up to a world where she would be healthy again. To a world where she would be expected to live for a very long time.

Her doctors had agreed to allow the six people who had waited nearly twelve hours the chance to finally see the woman they all cared about so much. As a precaution, though, only one person would be allowed in with her at a time. Again, Vaughn had assumed that Jack would want to be the one, as her only present family member. Again, Jack insisted that Sydney would want Vaughn to be the first one by her side. Vaughn shook his hand in thanks before turning to follow Aly to isolation.

"Agent Vaughn," Jack called, halting them. Vaughn turned around. "Do me a favor."

"Of course," Vaughn replied.

"Stay with her until she's awake. Tell her the good news. Then come get us," Jack requested.

Vaughn stared at Jack for a minute, surprised. He suddenly felt extreme empathy and gratitude toward the man in front of him. Together, in this waiting room, it became apparent how similar their interests really were- perhaps for the first time. Unable to speak, Vaughn simply nodded. Jack nodded back. Vaughn turned and, for the first time in nearly twelve hours, exited the small waiting room.

Aly led him through the same set of doors that he'd had to part with Sydney at before... before, when he didn't know if he'd ever see her again. She led him down a hallway and then turned down another short hallway before reaching a large, metal door. She swiped a card through a small slot on the side and the door unlocked. She opened it and allowed Vaughn to enter first. Vaughn found himself in a fairly large room with a computer, several other medical devices, and a rack of various protective coverings to protect against germs. Across the room, he saw several doctors examining different x-rays on the lighted board. A few of them turned when they heard Vaughn and Aly enter.

"This is Agent Vaughn. He'd like to go in and sit with Agent Bristow. Should he suit up or do we think she's out of the woods?" Aly asked, now standing beside Vaughn.

"No, I think it'd be fine if he just went in as is," one of the doctors replied.

"Okay, thanks," Aly replied. She motioned for Vaughn to follow her and she led him across the room, a few feet away from the doctors where he saw a set of automatic glass doors. Once he was close enough, Vaughn noticed that there was yet another set through the first. And through those, he saw Sydney.

She was lying on her back on a bed in the middle of the small room. Her eyes were closed and a nasal canula sat under her nose, but Vaughn could already tell that she had some color back in her face. He couldn't believe how quickly this was all happening. He suddenly felt panicked, as if he needed to step back from the whole thing and take a deep breath, to assure himself that this wasn't simply a dream.

Aly must have noticed. "Are you okay?" She questioned.

"It just doesn't feel real," he replied softly.

"I know. It's a lot to deal with in a short time. I bet it was the same when she told you she was sick. But you know what? This time it's good news," Aly assured him. "And it is very real."

Vaughn nodded, realizing that she was right. He knew that as soon as he stepped into that room and resumed his familiar position at Sydney's side, it meant the end of this journey, this journey that he'd been on with Sydney for over a year... but it also meant the beginning of the rest of their lives. Their life together.

"Ready?" Aly asked.

Vaughn nodded. Aly reached over and pressed a button on the side of the door. The doors slid open and Vaughn proceeded into the small room between the two sets of doors. As soon as the first set slid shut behind him, the second opened, allowing him access to Sydney's room. He slowly made his way to the side of her bed, where a chair conveniently sat. He dropped into it, forcing himself to take deep breaths as he looked at Sydney. Only now did he realize how much he'd expected never to see her again. Now that she was here in front of him, breathing on her own, sleeping peacefully, he was certain he'd never see a more beautiful site in his entire life.

He felt hot tears begin to stream down his face as he took her hand in his. With his other hand, he reached out to touch her face, running his fingers lightly across her forehead and then the side of her face. He soon took her hand in both of his and brought his forehead down to rest on their joined hands. His eyes slipped shut as he silently thanked whoever it was that had brought her back to him. He remained like that, repeating his silent prayer several times.


Vaughn's inhaled sharply, his eyes snapping open. The whisper had been so soft, he was afraid he'd imagined it. He took a deep breath before raising his head.

Sydney was awake.

She looked at him through heavy lids, her head now turned slightly to the side. Despite the tears still streaming down his cheeks, his face automatically lit up in a smile. He'd never been happier to see those beautiful brown eyes looking up at him.

"Hey," Vaughn finally managed. Sydney looked up at him questioningly.

"What's wrong?" She asked, her voice soft and scratchy from being intubated earlier.

Vaughn's smile grew as he looked down at her. "Nothing's wrong. Nothing at all," he replied with a short, disbelieving laugh.

Sydney's eyes traveled the room suddenly, realizing for the first time that she wasn't in Malibu anymore. "Where are we?"

"We're at the hospital, Syd. You've been out for a couple of days," Vaughn replied. Sydney's eyes abruptly stopped searching and she looked at him, shocked.

"Coma?" She asked.

"Yeah," he replied, still slightly choked up.

"The solution," she whispered as she realized what had taken place. She took a shaky breath. "Did it work?"

Vaughn nodded slowly. "It worked."

Sydney closed her eyes and let out a breath, tears beginning to spill down her cheeks as well. "Oh my God," she whispered.

Vaughn reached out, brushing her tears away with his fingers. She opened her eyes and looked at him. A million things passed between them in one instant. "The cancer's really gone?" She asked, needing the assurance.

"You are 100% cancer-free and officially in remission," Vaughn replied.

"It's over?" She asked as he laced her fingers through his.

He shook his head. "It's not over... it's just beginning," he replied, smiling. She smiled back with as much energy as she had in her. He leaned down and kissed her softly, holding his lips to hers for a few seconds before moving up to brush his lips against her forehead. He then backed away so that he was only inches away from her face.

She smiled at him, reaching up to brush the hair away from his forehead. "I love you," she whispered.

"I love you, too."

They spent almost a full minute just looking at each other, taking everything in, before Sydney's hand fell back to her side, her body still weakened from her long battle. A battle she'd finally won.

"Get some rest," he told her. "We'll have plenty of time to talk later."

"All the time in the world," she whispered, still smiling.

"All the time in the world," Vaughn repeated as her eyes slipped shut.

And Vaughn would never take a single second of that time for granted again.


Sydney was released from the hospital a week later and was ordered to take it easy and allow her body to recover for the next several weeks. She moved back into her house with Will and Francie, who doted on her every second for the weeks that she was recovering. Vaughn also spent every night of those couple of weeks at Sydney's house, still reluctant to leave her side so soon after he'd gotten her back. The house became a flurry of visitors, everyone wanting to see for themselves that Sydney was really okay. One by one they came and shared in the celebration.

Before they knew it, Sydney was fully recovered and eager to go back to work. Now that SD-6 was gone, she was to become a full-time field agent for the CIA. When she'd returned from the hospital, Vaughn had broken the news to her about Sloane's escape. He'd expected her to be angry for not telling her, but she told him that she understood. She told him that, given everything that had happened the last few weeks, she felt grateful that she'd even been allowed to live to pursue him. She assured him she was not going to dwell on the fact that he was on the loose. She'd been given a second chance at life. Vaughn knew she wasn't going to waste that chance obsessing over the past, over things she couldn't change. That wasn't Sydney. Instead, she was going to fight for what mattered. She was going to fight for her future.

On the morning that Sydney was to return to work, Vaughn was surprised to wake up alone. He immediately began to panic, rushing into the living room to find Will and Francie sitting on the couch and drinking coffee. They immediately looked up and saw the frightened look on his face.

"Calm down, she's okay. She just went for a run. She said she needed to clear her head. She said something about needing to see the bank, to convince herself that everything was real," Francie explained. Vaughn let out a deep breath, relieved, before nodding.

"Thanks," he said, turning and heading back to Sydney's room. He quickly changed into a suit and gathered everything he needed for work. He said goodbye to Will and Francie and headed out to his car.

He arrived at Credit Dauphine shortly and parked his car in the garage. The entire bank had been closed after the takedown, but there was a team still investigating the building, so his car wasn't the only one there. He proceeded to the front door, where he presented his badge to the guard. He was allowed entry and walked to the elevators, imagining Sydney walking this same path every day for nearly a decade. He reached the elevators and called one, pressing the down button. The door opened immediately and he stepped inside. The normally hidden buttons were now revealed, the panel that usually covered them having been removed after the takedown. He pressed the button for sub-level 6 and felt the elevator begin to descend. When the doors opened, he proceeded through the white room and through the doorway whose actual door had been removed.

He found himself inside the nearly demolished offices of SD-6. He quickly took in the lights on the ground, the holes in the wall and the floor. He smiled to himself, realizing suddenly why Sydney had needed to come here today. Seeing it now, falling apart and filled with CIA agents, gave Vaughn a definite sense of closure. With Sydney so sick during the actual takedown, it had been hard to celebrate the fact that they'd achieved the goal they'd been working toward for years. Now, it was all too easy to celebrate it. There was only one thing missing.

He searched the room, the groups of agents, until he saw her in the middle of the spacious room, facing away from him. She was wearing a red tank-top and track pants. Her hair was French-braid. Though Vaughn couldn't see her front, he could almost picture her, standing there with arms folded and her eyes searching the room in disbelief. He smiled to himself before taking a few steps toward her.

"They told me you were here," he said, causing her to turn. She smiled brightly at him. His heart skipped a beat the way it always did lately, seeing her looking so beautiful... so healthy.

"I couldn't sleep. I went for a run. I ended up here," she told him.

"I was worried when you weren't there this morning."

"I'm sorry-" she began, but he waved his hand, cutting her off.

"Don't be. It'll just take some time to get used to," Vaughn replied.

"I know," Sydney said, nodding in understanding. She looked at him for a moment, this amazing man standing in front of her. She suddenly felt like the luckiest woman in the world. In a way, she realized, she was. Not many people got a second chance at life once they were at death's door. And not many people had someone as amazing like this waiting for them when they came back.

She smiled at him again. "I was thinking," she began, "I can actually go to the CIA through the front door."

"And I can actually give you a ride."

She nodded as they continued to smile at each other.

And suddenly, Vaughn felt the world tip right back into place.


A/N: Okay, so if you didn't get it, everything picked right back up (with the few modifications I made) at "Double Agent." And that's what you'll need to know for, that's right, the sequel! I've been planning a sequel for several months now, but I didn't want to say anything until the story was over because I didn't want to give away that she was going to live. I hope that made most of you happy. I hope you were satisfied with the ending. But be warned, the sequel is going to be ten times angstier and more depressing hahaha. I'll hopefully get a chapter of that done soon and I'll send out PMs. And thank you EVERYONE for reading and sticking with this unbelievably long and crazy story. I really hope I didn't disappoint. And I hope you'll all stick around for the sequel!