Disclaimer: I don't own Alias or any of it's characters. It all belongs to folks like JJ Abrahms and Bad Robot.

Two weeks later

Jack Bristow paused for a moment as he stepped into the living. He took a moment to look at the young woman sleeping on his couch. Sydney looked so much like her mother. It was a fact that he had once cursed. A constant reminder of the illusions that he had once cherished as a beloved reality. His love for his daughter, however, went far beyond any physical similarities that she shared with Irina. It was what had motivated him to become a double for the CIA, to work so hard to destroy people like Arvin Sloane, and to seek help from Irina. He would do anything for his daughter. He wondered if she knew that.

So much had changed in the last two weeks, he reflected as Irina came up behind him. He half turned to face her and easily returned the embrace that she offered. Together they stood for a moment simply watching their daughter sleep. It was eerily reminiscent of similar incidents from Sydney's childhood. Exhausted from school and play dates with friends she would have fallen asleep on the couch as her parents finished up the dishes in the kitchen. Now it was jetlag from a recent mission that had sent her into an exhausted slumber.

"Have you called Michael?" Irina's voice was quiet as she barely tilted her head to look up in to Jack's eyes.

He nodded, still displeased with the fact that his daughter had moved in with her former handler only days after she had returned to Los Angeles. Apparently her capture by Sloane and the destruction of his organization, had encouraged Sydney not to waste anymore time in his life. "Agent Vaughn should be here in a moment to take Sydney home." His words were clipped.

"You know, Jack, one day you will have to forgive him for stealing your little girl's heart, especially once he becomes your son-in-law," Irina reminded him a little too happily for his taste.

He suspected that she liked to rub it in because she knew it irritated him. Jack sighed slightly. Since Irina and Sydney had worked together to free him, they seemed to be trying to give him a heart attack. This seemed to be Irina's newest attempt. At least he hoped that it wasn't true. Michael Vaughn was nice enough, but he certainly wasn't good enough for Jack's daughter.

"Has Sydney told you something?"

Irina seemed to be amused by his protectiveness. "Not yet, but Jack, really it's only a matter of time." She paused and then smiled, leaning in to kiss him, "Some things are simply inevitable."

He kissed her back without hesitation. The past two weeks had been both full of difficulties and wonderful moments. Convincing the CIA that Irina had actually been working with him in secret since her apparent betrayal in Panama, had been a difficult task. The evidence that Irina's agents had fabricated to support their deception had been very helpful. It had helped also helped that Sydney had once again threatened to quit and this time with the loudly stated intention of joining her mother's organization. Kendall had been almost apoplectic with rage and seemed to only be capable of bellowing loudly at frightened new agents until he had calmed down enough to grudgingly sign the papers guaranteeing Irina's pardon.

Jack had actually spent the rest of the week on vacation from work. He had spent the time with Irina and had been amazed at how little he knew about her. He had studied Irina Derevko, Master Spy and Criminal for over thirty years, but he had never taken the time to study Irina the Woman. He had been surprised at both how similar and how different she was from Laura. So much about her was the same, yet he never seemed to forget that this woman was not the woman who had pretended to be a simple school teacher. Irina was so much more than that.

The first time Sydney had come over for dinner with them had been nearly disastrous. Sitting down at a table and attempting to eat a traditional family dinner seemed almost impossible. None of them were used to the idea of a traditional family meal and the conversation had floundered badly. Jack had begun to wonder if they actually had anything to talk about when people weren't trying to kill them. It was hard to find a topic of conversation that didn't bring up painful memories or touch on a sore subject for anyone. It hadn't taken long however, for all three of them to relax. After that the dinners had become an almost nightly ritual when Sydney wasn't away on a mission.

Nothing was perfect, Jack knew. Thirty years and a myriad of lies and betrayals stood in between he and Irina. They had attempted to destroy one another at various times and worked for opposing governments and organizations covertly or overtly for most of their adult lives. In that moment, however, knowing all that he knew about Irina, none of it seemed to matter. They had a history. It was what bound them together and tore them apart. Irina was unquestionably right, however. Some things, like his love for Irina, were simply inevitable.


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