Author's note: This story contains the normal timeline up until the end of Season 3: Episode 10 Remnants. Lauren isn't evil nor do I intend to make her evil at this point.
Who would ever have guessed he'd be the one that finally got to her.
A feat that no other man had really mastered.
Some had come so very close. But none had been able to break through and erase the failures created by the others.
First there was Todd, her best friend in grade school and high school. He was the first boy to kiss her. They were ten. He promptly told her afterward that she needed to practice. She thought that he was just perfect. That never changed.
In high school, she loved him silently; content to be the one he turned to for relationship advice, not the one he needed advice on. Confidence wasn't one of her strengths back then. She still thought she could live in a fairy tale world where she knew that eventually one morning he would look at her and realize what he was missing. That was what happened in every movie. Why couldn't it happen in real life?
Now she knows real life isn't like that. Real life is abandonment and broken promises. Real life is being left behind and destroying chances. Real life is not a fairy tale.
Todd left her behind as soon as high school ended. He went to the University of Colorado and never looked back. She pined for him through her whole first year of college. A lesson had been learned, but her heart would always hurt when she thought about her first love.
Which was why when Noah Hicks came into her life she was skeptical. He was this big shot agent, and she was a rookie who didn't know anything and kept getting them into trouble. Which was why she was so surprised when he showed interest for her. And respect.
This is probably the moment she could pinpoint where she began to develop the confidence in herself that had gotten her through so many of the tough times looming in her future. He helped her believe that she really could be anything she wanted and that she didn't need a man to tell her that. Noah Hicks had turned her into the super spy that she was today. For that, she would always be indebted to him.
When she first felt herself fall in love with Noah, she really tried to believe this wouldn't be like her first "relationship". Noah had promised that he would never leave her without warning. This was a man who never lied to her, not once. She trusted him with all her heart.
Her heart was betrayed when he disappeared without a trace, going against the one promise he had made her. No one would tell her what had happened or where he had gone specifically no matter how much she demanded. After a period of inconsolable grief, she let the memory of him go. In place of that memory was the knowledge that her view of their relationship must have been completely different than his. She had been willing to give it all up just to spend the rest of her life with him. He was willing to give her up just to keep with the spy life.
Funny enough, the truth was Noah had viewed the relationship the same way as her. He had sent her an e-mail the day he disappeared telling her that he wanted to give up his work and run away with her. Only she hadn't learned that until it was too late.
And now he's dead.
That was a reoccurring theme in her life. Men she loved were either killed by her own hands or her words.
The worst was Danny.
The love she felt for Danny Hecht dwarfed the feelings she had once had for Noah. The only thing missing in their relationship, as far as she was concerned, was the truth. He knew everything about her except the truth.
Danny had loved her for who she was, not what she did. The fact that he didn't even know the risks she took to keep their country safe and he still adored her blew her away. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and made it official in the most embarrassing but utterly romantic way. Life between them was as perfect as she had ever known.
And she had to destroy all that. She couldn't live with the lie. Because of that, she had killed him.
She had killed many men in the line of duty, for her job. It was in the job description and a necessary evil if she was to keep the world safe. Never had it been an innocent man, though. Never had it been unintentional. Never had it been someone she loved so fully.
The image of his lifeless body in their bathtub would haunt her for life.
It would also teach her that her love was lethal.
Will Tippin had learned that the hard way.
Will had been the most stable thing in her life since she could remember. He was the one she went to crying each time her life fell apart. She couldn't count the number of times she ended up on the couch in his arms, pouring her soul out to him. Lying to him. Always there with an open heart and open arms, he was her rock, her foundation.
She could honestly admit that out of all the men in her life, he loved her the most. He was the one that she had the hardest time lying to. He would do anything for her. He had done everything for her.
And as a thank you, she destroyed his life.
It had started out simply enough. When Danny died, he found the whole situation a little sketchy, and he knew the pain that it caused her. For her benefit, Will investigated his death. His concern for her left him without a job and branded as a heroin addict.
But he still loved her.
She had gotten him a job with the CIA as an analyst. His life improved and he gave credit to her. She was too much of a coward to point out that he would still have had a normal life if it weren't for her. He had a new job and a new relationship with their best friend, Francie. Against all odds, he rebuilt a life that was better than the first one that was destroyed.
Because of the connection he had with her, she put him and his new life in danger continuously. His continued love for her rewarded him with an arrest by the NSA and a knife in the stomach by the woman he thought loved him.
But he still would have had faith in her. If only she wasn't dead.
For a second time, he formed a new life, this time as a construction worker in Wisconsin. Everyone had told her that he had finally found something that made him happy. When she was told that, in the back of her head, she knew she would end up destroying that, too. Everything and everyone she came into contact with was damaged by her in some way.
When she contacted him and pulled him out of the Witness Protection program, he gave her someone to talk to and someone to love unconditionally.
She gave him a ticket back into a life where every second is spent deciding if someone is trying to kill you.
But he still trusted her.
The last man she loved was Michael Vaughn, her CIA handler, her lover, her guardian angel. His betrayal of her hurt more than any of the previous men.
She had first met him when she was still distraught with the death of Danny. He was a harsh wake up call to the direction her life was beginning to take. In the beginning, she thought of him as her Will of the CIA world. He had a constantly open ear for her to talk to. He seemed to trust her unconditionally.
It didn't surprise when their relationship grew into love. What surprised her was the fact that she was willing to give up her life for a man for the third time. They had both worked so hard for their relationship that she couldn't help but surrender to it.
And this time, unlike Noah or Danny, she knew she would get it right. She would never betray him or put him into any danger. Not as long as she lived.
Which was where everything went wrong. She didn't live. She died.
And he gave up on her. He gave up on their love.
And it hurt her more than words could say.
It hurt her almost as much as it hurt him to see her alive and well two years later.
That chapter of her life died when she first saw Lauren Reed and realized that he had moved on completely. There was no going back for him. He was lost to her.
And she… she was just lost.
She thought she would never find love again. In her lifetime, she had found one lifelong companion and three true loves. That was above and beyond the ordinary allowance.
But she was wrong.
Sydney Bristow found love again on a rainy day in Rio de Janeiro in the eyes of the most unlikely person.