by Whitelighter Enchantress

Chapter 1: Two Years

A/n: I hope this idea hasn't been covered before, but I'm really sorry if you've done it. I didn't copy you, honest!

The rating I gave it is PG, which should be suitable throughout the whole fic (it's only for mild swearing). And I said Drama and Romance for the genre, but I guess it's got some Angst too. I'm going to start it when Vaughn was dropping Sydney off at her house just before the big fight scene. Enjoy...

Disclaimer: JJ Abrams owns Alias, but I got my computer.

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Vaughn reluctantly pulled away from an innocent kiss with his girlfriend, Sydney Bristow. She had, of course, been talking about work again. And a kiss was simply the only way that he could keep her from discussing it further. Then he remembered...

So I did it, he said, as if she knew what he would be talking about.

Did what? she asked in reply, exactly like he expected.

I booked the hotel.

No you didn't.

Yes I did. Why would I lie to you, Sydney? he thought.

You did? Was it so hard to believe? They worked, lived, and breathed the CIA. True, he hadn't taken a vacation since he started working there, and neither had she. Vaughn strongly believed they were quite overdue.

Santa Barbara. She said it with signs of relief, happiness, and curiosity, allowing Vaughn to know that he had made the right choice in making the plans without her.

Three nights starting tonight. I mean, it was probably the greatest phone call I ever made.

Well, you're a genius.

He leaned his head in and let his burning lips meet Sydney's. This kiss was no different than any other, but there was something Vaughn felt that wasn't quite right. He brushed off the feeling and pulled away from the kiss; the last kiss he would have for nearly two years. But he had to let go. Work had repeatedly controlled his life, and now it's cycle had started anew. So after the debrief I'll come and pick you up.

Vaughn had never spoken such false words.

Sydney slipped out of the car, and Vaughn watched her walk until she had shut the door to her apartment and was no longer in view. He sighed contentedly and pulled back out into the street. His content was swept away by a wave of sorrow as he remembered where he was driving to: debrief. Possibly the most boring thing in the world, but only because he wouldn't have Sydney to gawk at the entire time. He could stare at Sydney for hours on end and never once have the urge to look away. The way her brown hair curled slightly at the tips, her slender fingers, her warm chocolate eyes, the way her smile and laugh could light up the darkest room, how she was perfect in every way; Vaughn loved it all. This was exactly the reason he wanted to escape to Santa Barbara. He would wait for the perfect moment when they were down on the beach, and her eyes would meet his green ones, and he would tell her that he loved her. And, if everything went as planned, she would tell him the same thing.

he hissed under his breath as a black SUV cut him off. He slammed on his breaks. Just then, out of the corner of his eye, headlights became closer and closer, he tried to pull out of the way, but the SUV in front of him would not move. Intense pain took over his body as the headlights and car collided with the side of Vaughn's car; the sound of smashing metal was enough to make him scream, let alone his newfound wounds.

He couldn't move. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't even think. Was he bleeding? Probably. Did he brake anything? Most likely. But what was the strange sensation taking over his body? And then, everything went black...

His head throbbed to no end. An infinite misery of quakes and shivers followed. He felt the stinging as his cuts and bruises brushed over the cool pavement. Pavement? I must have rolled out of the car, he thought. He found it odd, however, that he did not remember doing so.

He forced himself to painfully open his eyes, which immediately drew to the flashing lights in the distance. It's okay, it's just the ambulance, he told himself. But how could he have rolled that far away from his car? He tried to stand up, but failed in doing so, falling back hard on the ground. Noticing that he was in an alleyway, his eyes took better observations of the lights in the distance. It was city with neon signs. And where was his car? But better yet, where was he?

Once more he tried standing, though more slowly. He found his balance point and took a few swaggering steps towards the lights, leaving the dark alleyway behind him. He was sure that he had been wearing a suit during the crash. Staring at the lights with more inquiry, he realized that they weren't in English. They were in Chinese.

He moved as fast as his legs could carry him to a nearby phone booth and dialed for the CIA.

a woman's voice said calmly.

This is officer 2300708, calling for connection. Confirmation: looking glass, he replied, breathing heavily.

Stand by.

He looked around the city frantically before he heard, This is Kendall.

Vaughn didn't know where to begin. I just woke up in Hong Kong. I don't know how long I've been here or how I go here. He closed his eyes. What could have happened to him? There was a long pause in which Kendall didn't speak.

Get to our safehouse at Chwing Chausse Way as quickly as possible. You remember how to get there?

Of course I do.

I'll make sure they are expecting you.

He hung up the phone, and began to massage his temples. His head felt like someone had stomped on it, hit it ten times with a sledgehammer, and then kicked it for extra fun. In fact, his entire body wreaked with this sort of torture. Leaning his head back against the phone booth, Vaughn allowed his body to slide down to the ground in a slump. He sat resting for a moment, knowing that a lot of walking would be ahead.

* * * * * * *

He was pacing in his room again. That was all he could do. Pace and think. How long had he been at the safehouse... minutes, hours, days? He hadn't slept at all and it didn't matter. Only one thing was on his mind: what had happened that night of the crash? He replayed every action in his head. Starting with his last kiss with Sydney, and ending with blacking out. He could still not conclude how he got from Los Angeles to Hong Kong.

Okay, okay, he said silently again. I kissed Sydney good-bye and told her that I'd pick her up after debrief. I started driving to the CIA Joint Task Force Center, when somebody cut me off and another car crashed into mine. That's when I blacked out, and woke up here. But did I black out when I was still in the car? Dammit, I just can't remember. How long has it been since the crash? I'm sure I had a broken arm, or maybe I didn't. God, what about my weekend in Santa Barbara with Sydney? Sydney...

Was Sydney hurt? Did she know about the crash, or even that he was in Hong Kong? He didn't want to think about the possibilities of any of the questions he asked himself. Suddenly he heard the door open behind him.

It was Sydney. Sydney, thank God, he said, hurrying over to her and pulling her in for a close hug. She was all right. She was standing in front of him – alive and seemingly unharmed. What happened? How did I get here? How long have I been gone? I'm just so confused. No one will tell me anything.

You... Sit down. He obeyed, but was skeptical. For some reason unbeknownst to him, she refused to meet his gaze. And this was Sydney Bristow, the woman who would look back at him any chance she could. Why wouldn't she now? She looked to the ground.

We thought you were dead. They asked me to come back to... to explain.

Thought he was dead? Come back to explain? Come back from what? What are you talking about? She was only raising more questions from him, and she knew it. She lifted her left hand to rub her eye; to make sure her welling tears would not fall. As she lifted her hand, Vaughn watched closely. Her perfect hand, which was so soft and comforting, was clouded by a ring. A single diamond ring. On her left ring finger. Sydney... why are you wearing that ring?

Vaughn... since that night... you were missing. You've been missing for almost two years.

His heart skipped two beats. Two years? Days, he expected, maybe even a few weeks at the most, but two years? And Sydney and the rest of them had declared him dead. So she had gone off and gotten married, or so he assumed. Maybe she was just engaged, maybe there was still time. The ring, Syd?

She still wouldn't – still couldn't – meet his gaze. Really, it's not what you think.

Not what I think!? he asked, raising his voice. Not what I think? he repeated, almost laughing at the absurdity of her answer. What am I supposed to think? It's a diamond ring on your left ring finger. I think I know what that means. God, it's only been two years, Syd, two years.

Vaughn, I –

How could you? I was only missing. Surely you couldn't have thought I was dead. I mean, there wasn't a body and –

Vaughn, listen! she shouted, making sure she interrupted him and that he stopped. He stubbornly closed his mouth and crossed his arms. He thought by now she would stare him back in the eye, but no, she was looking right over his head. I'm not married, she added more softly.

Are you...

Engaged? No. Vaughn was confused, and a little regretful of the words he chose to say earlier. So it hadn't been what he thought. He looked back at her inquisitively, hoping she'd explain further. It's... it's a ring they found when they were going through your stuff, after you were missing. I hope that you don't mind that I took it...

No, that's okay. I mean, I was probably going to give it to you eventually anyway.

Her eyes took a sharp dart and finally met his gaze; a look to her that would usually make her go weak in the knees. She was frozen on the spot; speechless at first. If she wasn't careful she would allow herself to cry, something she couldn't do in front of him. Finally, Sydney's eyes blinked awkwardly and fluttered away from Vaughn's. I wear it because... because I like to be reminded that my guardian angel was watching out for me always. But now, I don't know what to think.

No one could speak anymore. Vaughn couldn't. There was so much confusion; too much confusion for him to ask questions. But most of all, why was Sydney acting so strangely? That was the only question he could ask himself. He didn't care about his insomnia, or why his head still hurt every now and then, or how he had gotten to Hong Kong, or what happened to him during those two years. Vaughn's head began to ache more. She wasn't married or engaged. Kissing each other, holding each other, that was what they should be doing. Sitting and waiting for somebody to say something, was not.

Vaughn winced as he noticed the steadily increasing pain in his head. He grunted as he grabbed the sides of his head. he managed to say before the pain was unbearable. Go... get someone...

Oh my God, she said, hurrying to get up.

Vaughn heard her walk out the door shouting for someone to come, but he couldn't hear anything clearly. He was quickly lying on his side on the ground, writhing in intense pain and agony. The last thing he saw was Sydney coming back in the door, but then everything went black again.

A/n: Yeah, I used lines from the episode. The ones you recognize obviously aren't mine. Sorry if some of it is a little different (it's been a while since I've seen the actual episode). I hope I'm off to a good start... PLEASE REVIEW!
~Whitelighter Enchantress