Disclaimer: I don't own it. Yeah it's all JJ's, but a girl can dream!


It had been almost five years, and they had gone by surprisingly fast; especially the last few. Nicole barely recognized him as he walked into the office. She watched him through the glass window which separated her office from the main one. She closed the shades slightly so that he couldn't see her watching him. He hadn't changed much. He still looked amazing in a suit, and still kept his hair short, and his face stubley. He walked straight to the receptionist, and showed her a picture. She had to assume of course that it was of her. She had told the receptionist previously that if anyone had called or come into the office looking for a "Sydney Bristow," or with her picture, she was to tell them she knew nothing.

Sharon, the receptionist, had been very nice about the whole thing. She didn't ask any questions but followed her instructions perfectly. Nicole watched as he asked Sharon again and again if she knew the woman in the picture, but she denied it very believably. He was visibly frustrated; however he finally gave up and stalked out of the office. At first she was unsure of what to do. Should she follow him? Should she reveal herself? She decided against the latter, but did indeed follow him as he left the office. With a quick nod to Sharon, she was out the door. He walked swiftly out to the parking lot and got into the passenger side of a black sedan. In the driver's seat was a nondescript young man, who she assumed was another agent. She watched from behind a bush as they drove off.

When she re-entered her office Sharon looked at her quizzically. She didn't have the energy to explain, so she gave her a half hearted smile, went into her office, and closed the door. As she sat down at her desk, she looked at the large picture, framed and positioned on her desk. The little boy looked so beautiful sitting among a field of flowers. She'd taken the picture herself, and had realized a never before seen passion for photography. She assumed that it was a trait she inherited from her mother. She thought about the boy, and the day that she had taken his picture. He was watching a butterfly pass overhead, and then looked at her yelling "Look mommy, a flutter-bye." She snapped the picture immediately. His look was of intense joy, and amazement. This look was the one she often found on his face, for to him, everything was a wonder.

He was constantly seeking out knowledge. He was always asking questions and taking in the world as quickly as possible. He never ceased to amaze her. He was so intelligent, and quick to assimilate new information. He was much more astute than any of the four-year-olds she'd encountered. Of course, he'd always been very smart. He'd learned to walk, and talk much earlier than any of the books she'd read predicted. And he was learning to read at an incredible rate. He was her son alright; always quietly observing, but never afraid to jump in and be in the middle of the action. He was everything to her.

But the unexpected visitor at her office today worried her immensely. She doubted that the negative reply from the receptionist was going to deter him from his search. She was amazed that he'd found her here, she'd covered her tracks so well. But that was Michael Vaughn. She should have known that he would never stop looking for her. Even after all these years, he was still in hot pursuit; and this was what worried her most. He hadn't come close to finding her in the early years. She only had to move when she felt it was necessary. But he had never been able to catch up to her. In fact the times that she had backtracked she'd discovered that he'd reached her location only to find that he was four or five days too late. She was good at what she did, and she knew that he knew that. She just thought that he would have given up by now. Evidently he hadn't, and she was now having to contemplate weather to pick up and move her life again. This time tough it was more than just moving her life. Ryan had established a life here too. He was attending pre- school. He had friends, and play dates. He went to birthday parties, and had friends over to play. He loved it here, how could she change his world so drastically? Before it had always been her life, but this time they had been able to stay long enough to put down roots. She liked knowing where the grocery store was, and knowing the quickest way to yoga class. They had lived here almost nine months and she was enjoying actually having a life. Ryan was supposed to start soccer in the spring, and she was already a few months into the semester. She was teaching now, sixth grade. She taught English, Social Studies, and several before school language courses; she even filled in for the gym teacher on occasion. She loved her job, and the school she worked at. But in the true form of her life, something had to come and mess up her complete happiness.

Lookout Mountain, Colorado. It was only twenty minutes from Denver, but also up high enough to breathe the fresh mountain air. She loved the mountain breeze, and the road, and she even loved the snow. It was different from any other place she lived. Totally opposite of LA or Texas, Atlanta, or Washington D.C. Here, she could lose herself.

Nicole decided. She would do everything possible to keep the life she had built here with Ryan. She would only move if absolutely necessary. She would go about her business, but keep special care to watch for nondescript black sedans, and men in unusually starched suits. She looked at the clock. 3:47, damn, she was late to get Ryan. He was in a pre-school program that went from 8-3:45 every day. Some days she would leave him in aftercare, in order to finish u some work, but most of the time she liked to pick him up on time. She hurriedly got her things together and made her way to her car. She took a quick visual sweep of the parking lot, and surrounding area, before heading across the lot to her recently purchased, used, black Pathfinder.

Twenty minutes later she and Ryan were pulling into the garage of their house. Well, actually it wasn't a house it was a town-home, but it was home.

"Mommy can I watch a moobie?" Ryan said as she unbuckled his car-seat and he scrambled down to the ground.

"I suppose you could watch a movie, which one would you like to watch?"

"Umm.I think the one about the monsters." He ran toward the garage door and let himself in, yelling "Monsters, monsters", the entire time. She grabbed her bag out of the front seat and walked down the driveway to get the mail. It was late October and the air was getting colder. She shivered a little as she opened the mail box. After retrieving the mail from inside, she looked around and checked for any signs of suspicious activity. She then headed into the house and put on Monster's Inc. for Ryan.

"Mommy can I have some popcorn?"

"No sweetie mommy's going to make dinner soon, and you know what it's your favorite!"



"P-sketti! Yay!" He said as he jumped off the couch with his arms spread out like an airplane.

Late that evening she was working on perfecting the spaghetti sauce while Ryan finished up his movie, when the phone rang. She reached for the cordless phone while adding a dash of red wine to her sauce.


"Nicole, hi it's Sharon." She put down the bottle of wine.

"Hi Sharon, how are you?"

"I'm good, I was just calling to make sure you were alright though."

"Oh thanks but I'm fine. Thank you for covering for me, you have no idea how much I appreciate it."

"It's really no problem hun, I just worry about you and Ryan, that's all."

"Well thank you, but we're doing just fine. I'll see you at work tomorrow?"

"Yes of course dear, I'll see you tomorrow. Bye."

"Bye." She hung up the phone. It was sweet of Sharon to call and check up on her. No one else was there to do it, that was for sure. She stirred the sauce again, as her mind drifted back to the man who was looking for her. For so long part of her had wanted him to find them. She'd wanted him to come to her rescue and take her back to the life she'd had before. But now any hope of that was gone. She'd resolved herself long ago to keep running. Well, to keep her distance from that life. She wasn't Sydney Bristow anymore. She was Nicole Callaway, a teacher, and a mother. Sydney Bristow had been ditched along time ago in LA, along with the CIA, and all the screwed up pieces of that life.

She had been so rapped up in her reverie, that she hadn't heard the timer go off.

"Mommy, Mommy I can't hear turn off the o-ben!" Ryan squealed from the living room. She quickly turned off the timer and opened the oven to find the garlic bread, a little on the crispy side. She set the bread and the plates out on the table and then served herself, and Ryan a plate of spaghetti. She heard Ryan turn off the TV.

"Ryan, sweetie dinner's ready."

"Yay," he yelled, " I'm hungry!" He ran into the kitchen and sat down at his usual spot at the table.

Nicole laid the plates down and took her usual spot at the table as well. Ryan took one bite and Nicole knew that he didn't like it.

"What is this?"

"It's spaghetti goofy, eat up!"

"It tastes funny!"

"Do you want other sauce instead of mommy's special sauce?"

"Yes please." He said smiling a big toothy grin.

Later, after the fiasco of dinner. Sydney sat down to read Ryan a book before bed. She actually wasn't the one doing the reading. Ryan read beautifully, but she was still working on the correct way to say movie, and watermelon. But he was learning so fast. She was amazed by everything he said. Finally when they were done reading Ryan climbed up into his bed and grabbed his elephant. For some reason a teddy bear just didn't do it for him, he had to have this particular elephant. Nicole lightly kissed his forehead and turned off the light.

"Mommy..I love you!" he said as he nodded off to sleep.

"I love you too, sweetie." She closed his door.

Nicole didn't have to make it fully down the stair to realize something was wrong. She hadn't left the curtains closed, and she certainly hadn't set the deadbolt on the door. She paused for a moment still three steps from the bottom, and listened. Someone was in the kitchen. Carefully she made her way back up the stairs and into her bedroom. She quickly found her cell phone and dialed 911, but instead of pressing send she pocketed the phone. It was ready to call the police if need be. Next she reached into the top drawer of her nightstand and withdrew from it a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.