A/N 1: Finally got to watch ALIAS and fell in love with it. Decided to write this story because I couldn't get the premise out of my head. I know the show has been over for a very long time now, but people (like me) are just now discovering it.
A/N 2: This is an Alternate Universe story. There will be variations in the lives and backgrounds of the characters, but I'll try not to have them be OOC. Also, Rambaldi doesn't exist in this story.
Pairings: Jack Bristow/Will Tippin, Sydney Bristow/Michael Vaughn
Warnings: M/M relationship, violence including torture and murder (because spies), bad language (I'll try not to over use any cuss words, but they will be used throughout), adult situations and relations, sexual content (nothing explicit). If I think of anymore I'll try to remember to pre-warn, but if you can handle all the warnings listed so far I think anything else I might come up with would be okay.
Rating: Mature T (for subject matter and warnings)
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, but I do own what I've created.
Prologue: The Three Options
Central Intelligence Agency
Jonathan "Jack" Donahue Bristow has always been a logical man. It was in his nature. Some have said that there was a disconnection somewhere between his head and heart. However, there were three, and only three, people in his entire life who had the special ability to connect that missing link in order to make him feel that he could love and be loved. They were also they only people he would die for, or, burn the entire world down for.
The first person in his life he'd ever loved was, of course, his mother. She had an ability to see him, and understand him, even when he didn't or couldn't understand himself. Her love had been explicit and unconditional, as a parent's love should've been. His father, on the other hand, he believed caused his disconnection. His father never accepted him, never loved him. His mother told him once that his father never held him as a baby. He held very few memories of his father. Even when he'd been around, his father hadn't been "there".
His father's love and respect had been things he would have to earn, according to his father. Jack thought that, from a father to a son, love and respect were things that were a given. After all, he was his child. Yet, his father wanted him to earn those things. It never came. And his father died without ever telling him that he loved him. For that, he didn't attend the funeral. And he didn't feel his father's loss. He felt nothing.
When his mother died, it felt like a part of him also died. He lost the only person who had shown him that love was possible between a parent and child. With her gone, the pain he'd felt was unlike anything he'd ever felt in his life. That had been the first time he'd turned to the bottle to drown out the pain.
The second person he'd ever loved had been his wife. Laura had the same ability as his mother in which she made him believe that he was someone that could be loved. Like his mother, she also accepted him, even at his most distant. She'd built a bridge between them, one meant for him to cross when he was ready. And, oh, how did he make her wait. There had been no judgement, no anger, only acceptance and understanding when he believed that none was possible. Even when he questioned whether or not he should have ever loved her at all.
He'd struggled with his sexuality for years but it hadn't just been fear that kept him from accepting it, but hate. The hate wasn't just external but internal. The conflict raged between his heart and mind to the point where he did the only thing he possibly could with thoughts or feelings that troubled him, he compartmentalized. He took those desires and buried them deep down with no intent of digging them back up; leaving him in complete and utter denial.
The third person he'd ever loved had stolen his heart in a way he didn't think possible. Due to his distance, his nature, and how his father responded to him, he feared becoming a father himself. He actually feared being exactly like his father. All those fears left him the moment he met his daughter Sydney. The moment he grabbed her up in his arms the fury he'd felt for his own father's lack of love and acceptance had deeply intensified. There was nothing on earth he would not do to ensure the life, happiness, and safety of his daughter. To ensure that she knew how much he loved her. He would do anything, kill anyone, even give up his own life, for her and to hell with the consequences.
Sydney had become his entire world. He couldn't fathom a reason why he would ever give that up. To be her dad had been the greatest gift he'd ever received. So why was he doing just that? Why was he considering leaving his child to be raised by another man?
Quite simply, he had no other option. His wife, the second person he had ever loved in his entire life, had betrayed him. She never really loved him at all. And now, his life was over. His life as Sydney's dad had to come to an end, or else...
Jack tried not to let his emotions show. Tried not to break down as he waited for the door to open. He tried not to regret his decision to agree to the C.I.A's plan.
It was either this, or life in a federal maximum security prison, or death. Like he said, there was no other option.
He heard the door open and looked up to see his best friend and fellow C.I.A. agent enter the dark room. Arvin Sloane walked over to the table and pulled out the chair and sat across from him. He'd known Arvin since 1971, eleven years, and he'd quickly became someone he could trust. He trusted Arvin with his life, but most importantly, he also trusted him with his daughter's life.
And that was why he wanted to see him now.
"I would ask if they've treated you well, but..." Sloane shook his head, "you look like hell, Jack."
"Well, six months in solitary confinement hasn't really helped my tan."
Sloane smirked but didn't laugh. This was painful for the both of them. Nearly a year ago Jack had found out, along with the rest of the C.I.A., that his wife had been a KGB agent. He fell in love and married a Russian spy. American agents lives were jeopardize and they had been murdered, all because of him. Not only did he unknowingly supply her with the books the KGB used to pass along the agents names, but he willingly entrusted to her, while in the privacy of their own home, classified information. He'd shared secrets with enemy.
Due to his love and trust for his wife, he was now considered an enemy of the United States. He would be dubbed a traitor. He would be executed as such or imprisoned for life. Hence, why he asked to see Arvin Sloane.
"It's not the tan I'm worried about," Sloane said. "That long of a time alone in the dark-"
"Arvin, I'm fine."
Though he knew he wasn't. No one would be. Six months in federal prison was brutal enough, but all that time isolated with only your own mind to keep you company was in itself torture. Nothing killed a man faster than his own mind. He would be lying if he said he hadn't had moments of pure insanity. No amount of compartmentalization could prevent delusions, hallucinations, and pure delirium in solitary confinement. Time didn't exist when you were trapped between four walls with no windows.
There were only so many techniques he could use to prevent a complete mental collapse and breakdown. He used every single one of them, but they weren't enough. What truly kept him from breaking, the image in his mind that demanded him to fight, had been that of his daughter. Sydney's smile, her laugh, the poems she recited and the stories she told, kept him from collapsing completely.
He really would have welcomed death if it had been his only other option. But they had given him three options. He picked the one that ensured his freedom, but in doing so, he would have to burn his entire world down. He would have to leave that world behind for, quite possibly, the rest of his life.
He would never have a relationship with his daughter ever again.
"We don't have a lot of time-"
He cut Sloane off as he said, "I need you to promise me something. When you go home tonight, you give Sydney a big hug and kiss for me. Tell her it's from her dad. You tell her that I will always love her." He tried not to cry, he tried but, for him, killing was easier. A tear broke from his eye and he instinctively reached up to wipe it away when he arms caught and jerked to a stop. He was handcuffed to the table. His fingers couldn't reach his face, so he left the tear to roll down his cheek and fall to the table.
"Arvin," he said as he stared over at him. "After you do that," he continued, "I want you to stop talking to her about me, and her mother. Make her forget all about us. Whatever pictures you have of me, you burn."
"Promise me," he snapped in anger. "I don't want my daughter to grow up with the burden of who her parents were on her shoulders. I want her to be free of this. You burn everything," he stressed. "You and Emily adopted her. You understand? Me and...Laura," he nearly choked on her name, "are dead to her now."
Sloane was quiet for a long moment, staring at him, and then he finally gave a nod. "I promise. But, you have to have hope that you will see her again."
"They're going to execute me," Sloane went still at those words, "for treason."
Again, no words from his friend. No movement. Only a quiet consideration. Then he asked, "Are you guilty?"
Swallowing hard, he gave a curt nod. He watched, and waited, as Sloane took all that in. There was something at work behind his head. Jack always knew there was something else going on inside Arvin's head, he just never had time to figure it out. He was all out of time now.
"I don't regret our friendship. I promise you that Emily and I will love Sydney and do everything we can for her, as if she were our own child." Jack knew he would. Arvin was a man of his word. He suddenly stood and headed toward the door. Before he opened it, he stopped and turned to him. "I have no idea what to say to bring you comfort or absolution. What do you say to man you know is about to die?"
Jack stared over at him a long moment, considering his past, everything he's done. "I've killed a lot of people in my life and not once did I ever take into consideration what they wanted to hear before I killed them. Don't coddle a dead man, Arvin, especially one who knows their death is deserved. It's disrespectful."
Sloane stared at him a painfully long moment before telling him, "I am sorry, Jack. I truly am." Then he opened the door and left.
After what felt like an hour, the Director of Clandestine Service of the C.I.A., Derrick Xander, walked back into the room. The man was taller than him, wide shoulders, with an immaculate suit jacket over a rumpled shirt and tie that was loosened around his neck. That told him that Xander was the type of man who took his suit jacket off often to roll up his sleeves in order to get the job done.
Director Xander stood on the other side of the table looking down at him. "Do we have an agreement?"
Jack stared over at the Director as he told him, "We do."
"You do understand that this mission will be so secret, so covert, that only one person will ever know of its existence?"
"I understand." Jack gave a nod and then asked, "Not to sound obtuse, but what happens if you die?"
"Then the next Director who is appointed will have sole clearance and access. And, so on and so forth. If there ever comes a time when you need to break cover, or when the mission is completed and you need to be pulled out, your code name is "Raptor". Jack, I'm not going to lie to you, Operation Rubicon could be the-"
Rubicon. Jack smiled and even felt himself laugh.
"What's so funny?"
He sat back in the chair and stared up at Xander as he told him, "In 49 BC, Julius Caesar led his legion south over the Rubicon River from Cisalpine Gaul, making his way to Rome. By doing that single act of crossing the Rubicon, Caesar deliberately broke the law on imperium and made armed conflict inevitable. War was coming to the Roman Republic. Caesar betrayed Rome in order to save it. If he hadn't, he would've been stripped of his command, losing his immunity, and imprisoned for being a war criminal. I think that given the nature of this mission and my present circumstances, "Rubicon" is the perfect name for this operation."
Xander huffed out a laugh as he shook his head. "Always with the history lesson." He looked around the room then back at him, saying, "As I was saying, this operation could be the most important mission not only of your life but in the history of the C.I.A.. It's going to be difficult. You aren't going to have any backup, no allies in the agency-"
"I understand, Director Xander. I will do everything I can to ensure its success. No matter how long it takes."
"That's all I need to hear. Good luck, Jack, and God speed," Xander said before he left him alone with his thoughts.
In less than 48 hours, he would be declared legally dead by the C.I.A.. Not by execution, but due to a failed escape attempt on his way to Federal prison where he would have been executed for treason.
His body would never be recovered.