Disclaimer: I own none of this. It all belongs to other people of whose name I'm not certain. However no infringement is intended.

Author's note: This is my first Alias fic, so please be gentle. Feedback and constructive criticism is really and truly, greatly appreciated.

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Sydney Bristow groaned in frustration. This was all she needed. Her day had gone from bad to worse and when you're an international spy wanted by some of the world's most dangerous people that's just not good.

It had all started that morning when she had gotten into a stupid little fight with Vaughn. They weren't a couple that fought often, they were far too aware of the fact that each precious moment of life should be savored because it could all be gone in an instant. This morning though, she had argued with her father over the details of the operation and then Vaughn kept siding against her.

It had all deteriorated from there. She hated leaving for an op. like that, still angry with Vaughn and her father, but she didn't care. Something else was bothering her today, something she couldn't quite think of and it was driving her crazy. And now this.

The mission had been going perfectly fine until she had gotten into the underground tunnel. Of course, it was a tunnel, she thought, it had to be a tunnel. It couldn't be somewhere like, oh say, a nice well lit open field, now could it. No, it just had to be a tunnel, a tunnel that had caved in behind her no less.

"Vaughn," she called out to her former handler as she flicked her hand light around the place. "Vaughn," she called again as she assessed the situation. She hadn't been hurt and the tunnel seemed to be stable so she was in no immediate danger. She could probably continue the mission but her exit would probably be much more complicated now. She didn't even bother to try to contact Vaughn again. He would notice when she didn't check in or answer, but it was likely that her signal wasn't even getting out with all of the interference.

She crept along, flush with the wall, her light in one hand, her pistol in the other. Sydney wasn't one to act on intuition, in her line of work information and cold hard facts were all that mattered, but she had a bad feeling about this.

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Irina Derevko resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Sark was getting on her nerves. Despite having been a part of her organization and partially trained by her, he was at times incredibly incompetent. It was also tiring, the necessity of constantly guarding her true thoughts and emotions and watching for potential threats. After months spent with Jack and Sydney where she only had to appear mysterious and she could let her guard down at least partially, it was tiresome, but necessary, she reminded herself. It was a means to an end and that was all that mattered, except for Sark's incredible blunder.

He had apparently- from her current situation trapped down here with no immediate way out- neglected to make sure the tunnel was stable or failed to notice a new threat. She sniffed disdainfully again as she began picking her was down the tunnel again and towards the Rambaldi object and allowed herself the thought that if Jack had been with her, this would never have happened. Of course, it would never have happened because he would have strangled her on site, but it was still a nice.

As both women approached the artifact from different sides of the tunnel neither were aware of the other or of how much they were alike, they simply headed for the object or their missions without looking back.