Title: Crimson Fog

Author: Mango

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: I know I said I would make an epilogue for on of my other stories (Just Feel) but I still am having trouble getting through it. I'll continue to plug my way through it, but in the meantime … please review, I would love to hear what you think.

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She could see him out of the corner of her eye and he had yet to speak when he walked in on her in her work out. She had pretended not to see him, to feel him, when he walked in on her pounding out her frustration on a defenceless punching bag. But when she stopped minutes later and he was still there, she had to say something. Anything.

"You're a fantastic agent and I'm the last person that you should take advice from, I will give you those two thing. But I'm warning you now, Vaughn, you want to stay away from me if you know what's good for you. I have a lot of pent up anger, and heaven forbid it should be you that I snap on." Sydney said, eyes square on the punching bag as she wiped sweat from her brow.

"I'm not here for a fight, Sydney, you have a visitor." He sounded half amused and half irritated. She gave the bags a few good jabs before responding.

"I'll be out in a minute." She responded taking the tape off of her hands.

"Be quick, we have a briefing in twenty minutes." She turned and gave a mock salute before heading toward the showers.

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When she walked out with hair wet on the back of her CIA issue t-shirt she stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Agent Jim Lennox talking to Lauren and Vaughn. He glanced over quickly and did a double take when he saw her. She started laughing and launched herself into his arms. "Jim! God, it's so good to see you!"

"You too. God, look at you. You look fantastic!" She looked down and blushed. "I mean, especially for someone who's been dead for two years." He paused slightly and lowered his voice. "How are you doing?"

She couldn't help but smile and beam at him "I'm okay. Everyday is a little better, you know?" She looked over his shoulder and could see Vaughn looking at her. Her breath caught in her throat before she could stop herself.

"Yeah, I know. Really, though, you look incredible." She returned her attention to Jim and couldn't help but giggle.

Sydney's cheeks grew flush just as Dixon called them into the briefing room. She led their way into the room and felt Jim's hand rest lightly on her back guiding her through the door. She smiled at the comfort and when she took her seat across from him he gave her a quick wink, as if he knew something she didn't.

Vaughn couldn't stop staring at them, she noticed and couldn't help but take some satisfaction from it.

At the end of the meeting Dixon stood up to give orders. "Now, as you can see this is a delicate mission that needs a quick extraction of intel from a computer on the fourth floor. Sydney, you will go in posing as a guest of the gala accompanied by your boyfriend. Vaughn, because you just returned from sick leave, you will be in the van, and Jim you will be Sydney's boyfriend for the evening. Get packing, you leave in two hours for Paris."

They stood simultaneously and Marshall came up to Sydney. "Syd, hey. I was thinking of the … of the party thing tomorrow night … but anyway, umm … I was thinking that you might wear that black dress. You know, the black dress, it looks, like, wow on you. I mean, not that everything doesn't look wow on you. But I thought for the black dress, so I made these earring and necklace, earrings are your comm units and the necklace, well, it looks like black onyx, right? Very stylish, you know black onyx, they say it's the new diamond. But it's not black onyx, it's an infrared camera. Nifty hey?"

"Yeah, Marshall, that's great." Sydney gushed, trying to sound as grateful as she could. "Thank you." She added as she accepted the jewellery box.

Vaughn quickly pulled Sydney away and settle them into the corner of the room that people were milling around. "Syd, are you sure you're comfortable with Jim? I mean, to do a mission. I'm sure I can convince Dixon to put me back on …"

She looked at him, glaring slightly. "Yeah, Vaughn, I think I can handle myself, thanks."

"I just …" He looked into her eyes then, with those green eyes that after all this time could still make her knees weak. But not this time. This time she was stronger.

"You just don't want somebody to take you place?" She asked bluntly. When he didn't say anything and just looked at her she had her response. "Yeah, well, neither did I."

She turned and walked away and a smile grew across her face. She could feel the power surge through her and she relished in it. This time, he was not going to win. She was not going to give in on his behalf and she would not back down.

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