Discliamer: I do not own Alias or any of the characters. They belong to JJ Abrams and Bad Robot. However I have recently made it a habit of borrowing them. I'm still writing Truth Belongs To Everyone. But I couldn't pass up such a wonderful opportunity to be creative. Ends immediately after the end of "The Telling". Enjoy!!!

Masks of Time

Hong Kong- CIA Safe House

Sydney stared in shock at Vaughn. Her mouth opened and closed slightly and her breath hitched in her throat. She was not able to comprehend the passing of two years without her knowledge. She was not able to comprehend two years with out Vaughn.

She was tempted to ask him if he was joking but the torn and tortured look marring his wonderful face said that joking was the furthest thing from his mind.

"Syd," Vaughn's voice was husky and deep. "Do you remember anything from the past two years? Anything at all?"

Still unable to get past the raw feeling tightening in the back of her throat, Sydney shook her head negatively.

"Are you hurt anywhere?" Vaughn began scanning her body for any signs of physical pain.

Sydney gawked at such a question. She hurt from the inside out. There were no physical lesions or wounds, that would have been easier to deal with. Instead she was faced with a life that was spinning completely off its axes. She wasn't sure she was going to be able to grasp the infinitesimal amount of sanity still within her reach.

Vaughn reached out with his left arm to touch her, in hopes of assuring her presence in his mind. When the cool metal of the band he wore around his finger made contact with Sydney's arm she shuddered. There was a bizarre feeling of being frozen and burned at the same time. The contrast was the force able to break her of her spell and speak.

"You haven't answered my question." Her tone was even and measured.

"Syd, so much has happened since you have been gone. There is so much I have to tell-"

Vaughn was interrupted by Sydney's sudden bolt for the door. "I have to get out of here." Her rushed speech did nothing to calm Vaughn's frayed nerves. He beat her to the door and held it shut with his arm.

"Sydney, you can't just leave. We have to get on a plane back to L.A. in less than an hour. It isn't safe for you to be out wondering the streets of Hong Kong."

"You're patronizing me. I can take care of myself and you obviously don't need to be looking out for me." The bitterness made Sydney shake and she instantly regretted her words. He was right, she didn't know where she had been or who had kept her and without that information it was not safe to be out in Hong Kong alone.

Suddenly Sydney was gripped with the need to get home. To see her father and everything that was familiar. Vaughn was no longer familiar; he had another life, and by his choice of words most likely another job.

"Vaughn, I want to go home." Sydney looked up at the man she loved. Vaughn saw the weariness and pain etched in her face. He grabbed her tight to him and whispered.

"Come on. Let's get out of here." He held Sydney close against his side as they made their way out of the building and into the car parked out front. For a moment in time Sydney believed that no time had passed at all and Michael Vaughn and she were on their way to Santa Barbara and then the ring he wore glinted in the dimming street light.

CIA Jet- Over Pacific Ocean

Sydney had remained quiet as they boarded the plane. She was still trying to get her mind caught up with the shift in time. She wasn't sure what to say to Vaughn or what questions to ask. He hadn't offered any more information and she was reluctant to broche the subject looming over her head.

"Can you give me a little information on the past two years so I'm not walking into something that completely resembles the Twilight Zone?" Her meek words were not something one would associated with Sydney Bristow but then most would not associate terrified and helplessness either and she was feeling those in spades.

"I tried to tell you earlier but you weren't ready. I didn't want to push you." Vaughn paused and watched Sydney nod her head in understanding although apprehensively. "When I came to the apartment that night, I found a mess and two bodies. Francie I found first and she was dead, two gunshot wounds directly to the chest. I happened upon Will while I was looking for you. Francie or Allison had run cold water into the bathtub to quell the smell of blood. She had used ice cold water and it served to slow the bleeding of Will's chest wound. I called CIA dispatch immediately when I realized he still had a pulse and then began searching the house for you. But you weren't anywhere to be found. For the next six month the CIA searched for you, there were no leads and Sloane made no contact or moves. By the ninth month Kendall closed the investigation down. Weiss, Dixon and I continued to search but Kendall eventually found out we were using CIA resources to find what he deemed 'a lost cause' and put a stop to it. I couldn't stay with the CIA any more so they offered me the chance to get out." Vaughn paused and starred longingly at Sydney.

"There was nothing for me at the CIA anymore. When I was truly being honest with myself I know I felt as though the CIA had let me down and in turn I had let you down." He instinctively knew Sydney was about to opened her mouth to retort and butted in. "I was still a target making it necessary for me to start over completely if I were to leave." Sydney looked down at his left hand and wondered what starting over completely had entailed for Vaughn.

"It took me a while to finally decide to leave. I was terrified that if you returned you wouldn't know where to find me, but I got assurances from Kendall that if you were ever located that I would be recalled as an acting agent. I finally left seven months ago. I moved out of California to Connecticut. I think Dixon thought, understandingly, that I needed time to grieve and made sure my new persona was listed as a widower." Vaughn held up his left hand and wiggled his fingers.

Sydney glanced up sharply and noticed his movements. "You mean you're not- "

"You didn't give me a chance to explain in Hong Kong and I think I am actually thankful for that. I wanted to be truly alone before I began telling you everything." Vaughn smiled with a closed mouth.

Sydney's smile stretched out across her face as she realized that Vaughn was not lost to her. She got out of her chair and move rapidly toward him, capturing him in a long kiss. He returned the kiss for a while then pulled back. Sydney's smile immediately faded.

"I'm sorry. Two years, you may not be married but I still don't know if you're seeing-" Vaughn silenced her with another kiss seemingly drawing her essence into him.

"Sydney Bristow, you are not an easy person to get over. You could have been gone another twenty or thirty years and I would still be here waiting for you. I always knew in the back of my mind that you weren't dead, I just wasn't able to prove it." He kissed her again this time leaving them both breathless and laughing gently.

"Twenty or thirty years Michael Vaughn, that's it." She asked him smiling.

"Well, maybe a little bit longer." He smiled brilliantly for the first time in two years.

"Oh really, how much longer?" Sydney's coy tone and playfulness so quickly hid the angst and pain of two lost years.

"How does eternity strike you?" Vaughn pulled her even closer and whispered into her ear.

"Wonderfully. I'm sorry for thinking that you had-" He cut her off again.

"Consider it forgotten. You were confused and I didn't exactly send you the right message. I completely forgot to remove the band before I saw you, but I was so preoccupied with the possibility of seeing you again. And the ring has been a kind of link to you for the last few months. Here, Weiss had it engraved for me." Vaughn showed Sydney the inside of the band that had minutes before been the bane of her existence.

Sydney scrutinized the inside and found an S and V beautifully intertwined with the words 'the heart knows no boundaries' beside it. She was so moved, her eyes began to fill with tears. She clung to Vaughn and laughed through her tears to let him know she was indeed okay.

"He is definitely getting some sugar when we get home." Vaughn laughed at Sydney's choice of word and remembered that day so long ago for him.

"Vaughn, before when you were explaining what had occurred in my obvious absence, you didn't mention where my father was." Her voice had once again regained the tentative infliction. She was not comfortable with the look Vaughn was giving her.

"Vaughn, where is my father." She asked again when she met his silence.

"Syd, I- your father is."

Please Review (-:

Oh, I am definitely getting better at this cliffhanger thing. I am begging for reviews. Please, Please, Please. I swear they totally motivate me to write. I get up in the morning and check to see if I've got any reviews. (- ;