Little Child Lost

Chapter Twenty-Two

Believe

            Sydney and Sark hadn't moved in five minutes.  She had finally calmed herself after the situation with Sloane, though she was nowhere near all right.  They remained curled together while staring at Sloane's dead body in the pool of congealing blood on the floor.  The quiet was almost disconcerting given the murder that had just taken place.  Sark leaned away from Sydney to get a better view of her face.  The tears had dried, but the shock had not left her.  He supposed there had been no way to prepare Sydney for Sloane's coming.  He also had a feeling that Sloane's words about Rogan had unsettled her.  Sark didn't know how to comfort her.  He'd never really been one to comfort someone.  Besides, he'd just realized his life's pursuit could be a lie.  Irina had taught him to revere Rambaldi from a very young age.  It was practically second nature for him to search for Rambaldi's truth.  But The Prophecy had been wrong.  Sydney had survived her confrontation with Sloane, due to him, but unlike Rambaldi had predicted.  Could Rambaldi be wrong?  Could everything he'd predicted be wrong from now on?  Was the entire future of the universe different now that Sydney had been reunited with The Passenger and she could raise him.  Rogan was safe from his destiny.  At least that was what Sark had concluded.  If that was so, the Rambaldi truth no longer existed.  There was no Rambaldi truth.  He was stuck between what he'd been taught and what he now assumed to be true and he didn't know how to move on.  What was he supposed to believe in now?  Irina had been wrong.  Irina had even been willing to change the future's history for her daughter.  Sydney tended to invoke that reaction in a lot of people.  He would have very easily given everything up to ensure Sydney's safety, as foreign as the feeling was.  He didn't need Rambaldi anymore.  He didn't have to follow a dead prophet's words.  Even with the new clarity Sark was receiving, he didn't want to think about the complications Sloane's death was bringing to his life.  He just wanted to think about Sydney.  Sark brushed Sydney's hair out of her face gently, trying to clear his thoughts.  Sydney either cleared his thoughts or confused them.  Sydney glanced up at him, her eyes surprisingly trusting of him.  Sark studied her for a moment before speaking.

"Sydney, about what we spoke about before…"

"You don't have to say anything about that.  I was a little overly emotional earlier.  I don't ex-"

"I love you, too, Sydney."

Sark took a deep breath; almost surprised that saying the words hadn't killed him.  Sydney grinned at him, not opposed to what he had said.  She tilted her head upwards, her pink lips pliant and ready to be kissed.  He complied, taking her mouth to his and both lost themselves in that kiss.  They were so oblivious to the world around them they didn't hear the door open or the various guns cock, ready to fire.

            "I don't believe this."  Vaughn was the first to speak.  The other CIA agents stood in shock at what they saw before them.  A very dead Sloane and Sydney cradled in Sark's arms in what looked to be a passionate kiss.  Sark jerked away from Sydney, jumping to his feet, ready to run.  Unfortunately he was surrounded by guns of four angry CIA agents.  He had let his defenses down with Sydney.  He'd lost himself in her and now he was paying for it.  He would go back into custody and he would never see Sydney again.  Had she even planned this?  No, he couldn't start mistrusting Sydney now.  She'd put her faith into him, so he'd have to do the same.

"What exactly is it that you don't believe, Mr. Vaughn?  Sloane's dead body lying here on Sydney's floor?  Or finding her in my arms?"  He had to admit, it was fun to patronize Agent Wrinkle.  Granted, it may not be the brightest thing he could be doing at the time, but he really couldn't resist. 

            Vaughn started to charge forward, ready to shoot Sark, but something stopped him.  Instead, he narrowed his eyes into what he hoped was a self-confident, warning glare.  Weiss was uncharacteristically silent, unsure of whether he should lower his gun or not.  He knew that Sark had helped Sydney a great deal during the past few months, so he didn't know if Sark was the enemy exactly.  Jack stood stoically by the door, not surprised by the scene before him.  Sydney and Sark had spent a lot of time together and he knew they had a great amount of chemistry and understanding between them. 

"Why are you guys here?"  Sydney asked from the floor.  She hadn't moved, or even tried to explain what they'd walked in on.

"A neighbor reported a gun shot fifteen minutes ago after a short man with white hair had entered the house.  We knew it was Sloane and we were coming to protect you.  Apparently, you already had someone here."  Jack said calmly. 

Dixon stepped forward, not lowering his gun, but retrieving some handcuffs from his pocket.

"Mr. Sark, you are under arrest for espionage, terrorism, and kidnapping.  If you move, we will shoot you.  Just put your arms out nice and slowly.  You have the right to remain silent-"

Dixon rattled off the Miranda rights as Sark stood there, considering how surreal the arrest seemed to be.  Suddenly, Sydney was up and in front of Dixon's gun. 

"You can't arrest him, Dixon."

"I can, Sydney.  Why are you trying to protect him?"

"He came here to help me.  He would never have gotten caught again if it weren't for me, Dixon.  He wanted to save me and Rogan from Sloane."

"Move, Sydney."

"I can't.  You'll have to arrest me first.  I won't let you take him in."

Sark stood, almost stupefied.  Sydney was trying to protect him.  He'd thought she would push him to Dixon and let him be arrested. 

"Sydney, don't do this." 

"Sark will walk out of here.  Please, Dixon."

Dixon didn't seem to be budging from his decision.  Still, Sark didn't regret coming to help her.  She loved him.  She didn't want him to be arrested.  That was enough for him.

"Dixon, under the circumstances, I think we should let him go."  Jack's voice came from behind Dixon.  His gun was pocketed, though his facial expression hadn't changed.  It was deadly, but understanding.

"Jack, this guy is a wanted terrorist.  He'll just go and kill again."

"If he does, we'll catch up with him.  For that reason.  He came here for Sydney."

"Yes.  If he hadn't come, I wouldn't have been expecting Sloane.  Actually, Sark is the one who killed him.  To protect me.  Dixon, please."

Jack continued to try to convince Dixon while Sydney turned to face Sark.  Their gazes locked and a plan was formed between them without a single word being spoken.  Sark glanced around the room.  Agent Weiss was standing between him and the bedroom, but Weiss didn't seem to intent on stopping him.  In fact, Weiss had also pocketed his gun.  Sydney glanced at Weiss, her amber eyes pleading and Sark knew he was going to get away.  But without her.  He captured her gaze once more, trying to convey what he felt for her, even though it would likely never be safe for them to be together.  Then Sark slipped away quietly while Jack distracted Dixon and an extremely interested Vaughn with a constant slew of reasons as to why they should let Sark go.  By the time Dixon looked back to the spot Sark had stood, Sark was gone. 

"Jack, you were distracting me!"

Jack shrugged carelessly.  "I was just trying to reason with you, Director Dixon."

Dixon narrowed his eyes at the almost mocking use of his title.

"You can't do that, Jack.  You're still an agent of the US Government."

"Yes, and I'm still loyal to Sydney as well."

Dixon realized he'd been defeated.  He glanced at Sydney, who looked both heartbroken and relieved at Sark's disappearance.  Dixon knew he had to let this go.  Just once.

"I won't let this go again, Jack.  I'll have you arrested for aiding a fugitive if you and Sydney do this again."

"Okay."  Dixon turned to leave, slightly irritated, leaving Sydney, Weiss and Jack alone in the living room.

"I'll have someone pick up Sloane's body, Sydney."  Dixon said quietly before completely exiting the house with Vaughn.

            Sark was at a small hangar outside Los Angeles.  He was in a reflective mood and he didn't really feel like talking to anyone.  He just wanted to figure out what he was supposed to do about Sydney.  They couldn't stay together.  He didn't know if he would be able to give up the life he'd grown up in.  He'd been spying since he was young.  He'd been chasing after Rambaldi for years.  He had no desire to cut a deal with the government or turn himself in.  But he wanted Sydney.  He had a deeply welled desire for that woman.  He didn't expect her to leave Los Angeles, the place that held everything she'd ever known.  She was patriotic and dedicated to her work and there was no way he could ask her to leave it.  He didn't know what to do, and that was the first for him.  Sark pulled out his cell phone and dialed the number he knew so well.  Irina's familiar voice came over the speaker.

"Yes?"

"It's done."

"Sydney is safe, then?"

"Yes.  So is Rogan."

"And Sloane?"

"Shot dead in Sydney's living room."

Irina fell quiet, contemplating the news. 

"You aren't with my daughter, are you, Julian?"  Irina's voice comforted Sark.  She was the closest thing he had to a mother, since his had been murdered.  She had that tinge of a Russian accent in her voice that made him want to smile and relax.  Of course, she was one of the deadliest women he'd ever met, but that didn't matter to him at the moment.

"No.  She's at home."

"You did tell her how you felt."

"Yes.  And she feels the same."
"Then why are you not with her?"

"The CIA came after a neighbor reported gunshots at her house.  I barely escaped.  It will never work between Sydney and I."

"You sound like you've given up, Julian, and you don't give up easily."

"Maybe I'm just realistic."

"Maybe you're afraid."

"Why are you so interested, Irina?"

"I want to see my daughter happy."

"Why is it that I sense there is more to it than that?"

"Good bye, Sark."

Sark sighed as he flipped the phone off.  Irina.  She never could be trusted.

            Sydney smiled bitter sweetly at her father and Weiss.  The loss of Sark was overwhelming her.  She had gone to retrieve Rogan after hearing him cry out for her.  Jack was studying his grandson cautiously, as if he didn't know what he was supposed to do with the child.  Weiss stayed back, trying not to intrude on Jack's meeting with his grandchild. 
"Thank you for helping Julian escape, Dad."

"I won't do it again, Sydney.  He has to stay away.  But I figured he could have one get out of jail free card since he did help you end Sloane."

"I know, Dad."

Weiss put his hand on Sydney's shoulder and squeezed.

"Do you love him, Syd?"

Sydney nodded, unable to voice it.  Weiss nodded again, not trying to understand how she could love that man.  He was a murderer and a terrorist and none of that seemed to affect Sydney anymore.

"Then I don't regret helping him escape."

"Thank you, Eric."

He smiled boyishly before turning to leave the father and daughter alone.

"I'll see you later, Sydney.  I think I better try to do some damage control at the Operations Center.  I bet they've figured out I let Sark walk out of here."

"I hope you don't get in trouble."

"Eh, it'll be no big deal.  A little interrogation by Dixon, I'll be all right."

Sydney threw her arms around Weiss in a sudden show of her appreciation.  Weiss returned her embrace before leaving.  Jack looked up at Sydney, holding Rogan in his arms.  "Are you all right, Sweetheart?"  He sounded gentle, surprisingly so.  He rarely called her sweetheart.

"I'm okay, Daddy.  I've got Rogan."

"But you don't have Sark."

"No.  I don't.  But I'll be all right."

Sydney reached down to take her son from Jack.  She kissed Jack's cheek. 

"I think I'm going to go for a walk."

"I'll take care of the body." 

"Thanks."

Sydney placed Rogan in the stroller and pushed it out the door, making sure to keep her cell phone with her.

            Sydney stared straight ahead as the breeze ruffled her hair.  The day was beautiful, so beautiful the world seemed oblivious that one of its greatest evils had just been killed.  Rogan gurgled and cooed at everything in front of him, enjoying the world in a way that only babies did.  The environment around them was quiet except for the occasional bird's call or leaf tumbling on the pavement.  Her phone ringing broke into the peacefulness of the surroundings.

"Bristow."

"Hello, love."

She closed her eyes, allowing the sound of his voice wash over her.  She already missed him.  She'd been around him everyday for months, 24/7, and now she didn't know when she'd see him again.

"Julian.  Are you safe?"

"On a plane headed for Cyprus."

"Sounds wonderful."
"It would be if you would come with me."

"Is that an invitation?"
"You always have an invitation to come with me, Sydney."

She smiled, wishing she could see his face.  Her tone darkened as she brought up the topic they had both wanted to avoid.

"What are we going to do, Julian?  About us?"

"I can't leave this Rambaldi pursuit behind.  I need to know if the future is changed because of what happened today."

"I can't leave the CIA."

"I know.  I wouldn't dream of asking you."

"Even if you want me to?"

"Even then.  Just as I know you won't ask me to turn myself in to the CIA and cut a deal."

Sydney knew he was right.  She wouldn't ask him to give up some of his freedoms for this.  They didn't even know if their relationship would last.

"I have to raise Rogan."

"Yes and I'm sure he'll be a happy, healthy little boy."

"I think he misses you already."

"I think he hardly knows who I am, Sydney."

She laughed slightly, but she wasn't able to keep the bitterness from coming into her voice. "We won't be together, will we, Julian?"

"One day.  I do love you, Sydney, and I honestly don't think that will ever change."

"Same here."

"So it appears we are at a stalemate, love."

"What to do?"
"Throw in our weapons and surrender."

"To what?"

"Each other."

The line fell silent as the heaviness of their latest predicament hit each other. 

"Julian?"

"Yes?"

"You'll call me, right?  And visit?"

"As long as you'll do the same."

"We could meet in Whitechapel."

"Seems appropriate."

The both sounded heartbroken and hopeful at the same time, which was quite a combination considering who was feeling it. 

"You'll find out about Rogan's destiny, too."

"I'll call you the moment I find anything out."

They knew they would have to hang up soon.  They couldn't stay on the line forever, despite what they wanted.  They were cursing the way their lives had unfolded.  If they'd been normal, there would be no problem with their love.  Rogan would be a regular child with no destiny decided by a fifteenth century prophet and they could be happy.  They could be the quintessential family.  But if everything were that easy, they wouldn't be them.  There would be no fire in their relationship.  And normalcy was overrated.

"I'll talk to you soon, Julian."

"Soon.  And Sydney?"

"Yeah?"

"Believe."

They stayed on the line for a bit more, neither willing to hang up first.   Finally, they both did, with a loud sigh and a heartbroken look.  And then Sydney took a deep breath and pushed Rogan on down the street just as Sark settled into a plush leather seat on his private jet.

Fini.