Disclaimer: Surprise surprise, I don't own Alias.. or the characters.. or anything else related to the show. And I stole the title from a song by Thursday.. which also happens to be my favorite song, so don't sue meh.
A/N: This is my therapy until January. The first five or so chapters are done, but I won't post them unless people care to read them, so let me know if you want them. It basically picks up from Wittenberg, forgive the flashbacks, there won't be very many. This is my first fic, and I was really hesitant to post it, but some people talked me into it, so be nice :) Oh yeah, the first chapter is kinda long :P
Tomorrow I'll Be You
A million thoughts raced through Sydney Bristow's mind as she fumbled for her house keys. The thick blanket of darkness, coupled with the onslaught of tears pouring down her face, was making it difficult for her to distinguish one key from another. Frustrated, and giving into the pounding that was wrecking havoc on her skull, she started shoving any key she could grasp into the unforgiving lock until she finally found the right one. With a heavy sigh and a few stray sobs, she stumbled over to the couch where she made a valiant attempt to sort her thoughts.
The tears had started in Wittenberg. They were accompanied by feelings that Sydney knew all to well: loss and betrayal. The headache shortly followed, accompanied by a familiar ache in her heart. Needless to say, the plane ride home had not been pleasant, and she was exhausted. Each memory of the last forty-eight hours fought to be the center of attention, shamelessly pounding the others out of the way; struggling to stay in the front of her mind. Trying her best to ignore the mind-numbing ache inside of her head, Sydney drifted into a restless sleep. Unfortunately, at the very same moment, the victor emerged from the jumble of thoughts, and chose that time to present itself in an all too graphic fashion..
Sydney sat in the rather cold chair, poring over file after file. As tired as she was, it only took her a few minutes to realize what she was looking at. Lauren had been right.
She knew the tears were there before she actually felt them, just waiting for the right moment to release themselves. And they did, one after another in a race to the finish, leaving salty, mascara-laced stains in their wake. Each line of the black paper cut a little deeper than the last; and each breath was a little more painful than the one before it. Her life wasn't real. It wasn't hers. It belonged to her employer.. and her father. So caught up in her revelation, Sydney didn't notice the other occupant of the room until he spoke.
"Sydney," he started, "You were never supposed to have found this."
Looking up from the files, she could just make out the blurry, distorted form of her father. But at this moment, it seemed so fitting. As if she'd never seen him clearer before in her life.
"How-" she began, her words tripping over the lump in her throat, "How could you?"
"Sydney, you have to understand-"
"Understand? Understand what? The fact that I'm not real? That.. that," her voice disappeared and her eyes wandered back to the files, but the questions and realizations continued to materialize.
"I did what I thought was best, Sydney. You need to understand that."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean? You know what? Fuck you. You took everything from me! Turning me into a spy is bad enough, but you stole my life.. you need to understand that."
"I never wanted-" Jack tried to explain before Sydney cut him off.
"You never wanted me to find this, yeah, I got that," she finished angrily, "Is this why you wanted Vaughn to get rid of Lauren, dad? To hide another one of your disgusting secrets? She almost killed him! Or was that maybe what you were going for?"
"Enough!" Jack bellowed, "I had no intention of harming either of you."
Sydney's confusion was quickly turning into anger, and she was certain that if she didn't get out of the room, she would do something she would surely regret. She rose from her seat abruptly, discreetly slipping the few black pages into her purse while letting the metal chair scrape loudly against the floor. She wasn't sure what caused the painful look to creep over her father's face; her words, or the chair's scraping, although she was almost certain it was the latter.
"You also need to understand," she concluded, "that I never want to see or speak to you again."
She turned into the elevator, letting the doors shut her father out of her life once and for all. In her hurry to leave, she missed the single tear that made its escape over Jack's cheek.
The shrill ring of her cell phone pulled Sydney from her sleep. After a few choice words and an occasional whimper, she found the phone, not even bothering to look at the call screen.
"What," she answered, a little harsher than she had intended.
"Syd? You okay?" came Weiss's hesitant reply.
"Yeah, I'm sorry. What's up? Is Vaughn alright?"
"Actually that's why I'm calling.."
Momentarily, Sydney could have sworn the world had stopped spinning and her head had started.
"Syd? Are you there?"
"What happened? He's not.." she couldn't bring herself to complete the thought; it wasn't an option.
"No! God, no.. sorry. I just need to get home; Alan's probably sleeping in is own shit by now. I was hoping you would stay here with Vaughn, someone should be here when he wakes up."
Relief flooded Sydney's features and she let out a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding, "Yeah. I'll be right there."
"Thanks. And Alan thanks you, too. They moved him to room 214, see you in a bit."
She ended the call and made her way to the bathroom. She definitely didn't need Vaughn to see her in her current state. Making a mental note to do the laundry, she scoured the cupboards until she found a clean washcloth. Slowly and steadily, she rubbed the remainder of her disguise away, half- tempted to keep scrubbing in hopes of finding any trace of a real person. She knew her father had many secrets, but surely he wasn't capable of doing something like this? After all, he did have a conscience, didn't he? Or perhaps it wasn't in working order. It was hard for her to believe that the sweet, loving father who would act out Sydney's bedtime stories with Laura Bristow would choose a life of betrayal and deceit for his only child. She was his only child, right? Throwing that thought in the pile forming in the back of her mind, she grabbed her keys as she threw on her coat and quickly made her way out the door, anxious to see the one true thing in her life.
Sydney arrived at the hospital in record time and greeted the desk nurse with a quick smile as she made her way to the elevator and pushed the button. Patiently awaiting the elevator, she wondered whether or not he'd be sleeping. Secretly, she hoped that he wasn't, they had a lot to talk about; although, she knew he needed to rest as much as possible. The elevator doors opened, and she was relieved to see it was empty. She stepped in and pressed the button that would take her to the second floor. After what seemed like hours, the doors opened, and Sydney took a deep breath before she stepped out and made her way down the hall.
She knocked softly on the door to room 214 and pushed it open. The first thing Sydney saw was Vaughn's still form sleeping on the bed, wires and tubes flowing in every direction. Despite his surroundings, Vaughn looked much better than the last time she'd seen him.
Sydney and Vaughn had lost track of time as they stood in their comforting embrace, tears flowing freely from both of their eyes. Sydney's head lay in the crook of Vaughn's neck, her arms wrapped carefully around his waist. Vaughn rested his head on Sydney's, holding her as tightly as he could, never wanting to let her go. Neither wanted to move; yet both knew that their time was limited, and with a final squeeze, Sydney pulled away.
"Vaughn.. you're bleeding. We need to get you to a hospital," Sydney started softly, wiping away her tears before gently stroking his cheek.
"I know. Just," he trailed off, slowly walking over to the shaft where Lauren had fallen, pulling Sydney with him, "Do you really think she's dead? I mean.. with Allison and everything.."
"Even if she survived the shots, she couldn't have survived the fall.. it's over three miles deep," Sydney reassured.
Vaughn gave her a questioning look.
"I overheard her talking. I don't think they even found anything," she quickly explained.
Walking over to the gaping hole, she pulled out a flashlight and peered into the shaft. As deep as it was, she could still make out a body at the bottom. Turning back to Vaughn, she carefully put his arm over her shoulder and helped him into Lauren's abandoned jeep.
Noticing Vaughn's labored breathing, she quickly called her father and explained the situation. Noticeably pleased by Lauren's fate, he told her there would be a plane waiting at a nearby airfield, and that he would send someone to retrieve Katya. She bit her lower lip, worry and concern etched over her face.
"How are you doing? There's a plane standing by," she glanced over at Vaughn, reaching over to run her hand through his hair, "Do you think you can make it?"
He carefully pulled her hand to his mouth and placed a soft kiss into her palm before bringing it to his cheek, "Yeah, I'll be okay. Just.. please don't leave me, Syd."
"I would never leave you," she stated quietly, intertwining her fingers with his.
As the jeep approached the airfield, Sydney saw the small, waiting plane. With the help of the pilot, she secured Vaughn in one of the seats, claiming her own seat beside him. She noticed him wince as they gained altitude, and did her best to comfort him by gently rubbing his back, being extra careful of his injury. When it was safe to stand, Sydney disappeared to the back of the plane, only to reappear seconds later with a first aid kit, and she got started checking and redressing Vaughn's wound. She couldn't help the tears that fell when she noticed how angry and red the deep gash was and silently prayed that it wasn't infected. She placed soft, delicate butterfly kisses around the stab wound as she taped a new patch of gauze over his skin.
They both rested for the majority of the flight, holding on to each other as if afraid they might disappear. Periodically, Sydney would gently massage Vaughn's shoulders in hopes of releasing some of the unbearable tension. She smiled as he let out a soft moan and gratefully leaned into her.
An ambulance was waiting as the plane touched down in LA, and Vaughn was rushed to the O.R. As Sydney paced the waiting room, Lauren's taunts continued to replay over and over inside her head. Did the CIA actually know where she was for the last two years? Why did Lauren stay with Vaughn after she returned? Was the whole thing planned? Surely her father wouldn't have allowed that. Is that why he was imprisoned? She knew the only place she would find answers was in Wittenberg. Afraid she might be walking into a trap, Sydney called her father to let him know of her plans.
"Bristow," answered the gruff voice.
"Hey dad. Vaughn and I are back in LA," she greeted.
After an awkward pause, Jack said, "Is everything alright?"
"Yeah, we're fine. He's in the O.R.," hesitating slightly, she continued, "Listen, I overheard Lauren talking about a few things, so I'm headed to Wittenberg for confirmation."
She didn't get an answer right away, and wondered if it might be a bad connection, "Dad?"
"Yes, Sydney, I heard you. You could be walking into a trap," came her father's reply.
Sydney smiled at his concern, "Yeah, which is why I'm calling you. So you know.. if.." she trailed off.
"I understand, I have a few things to take care of. I'll see you at home," Jack quickly finished without leaving her a chance to reply.
Sydney put her phone away, slightly puzzled by her father's behavior. But she quickly shrugged it off when a nurse entered the room and informed her that she could see Vaughn.
They had moved him into recovery for a short while as they readied his room, and as she approached his bed, she noticed how deathly pale he was. Her tears started again when she realized how much pain he would be in when he woke up, and she briefly reconsidered going to Wittenberg, but after a short debate she decided that it was no use putting it off; the curiosity would kill her anyway. She called Weiss to tell him of her plans as well as to ask him to stay with Vaughn.
Knowing that Weiss was on his way, Sydney placed a final kiss on Vaughn's pale, clammy forehead and left the room, selfishly hoping that he would wait until her return to wake up.
She quietly made her way over to the side of Vaughn's bed, not wanting to disturb him, and pulled up a chair, draping her coat over the back. Some of the color had already returned to his face, and she reached her hand out to softly stroke his cheek. Oblivious to the other person in the room, she leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on his forehead before she began running her hand through his already messy hair. She hoped it was as soothing a gesture for him as it was for her.
"Hey Syd," Weiss began, startling Sydney.
"Hey," she smiled, "I didn't see you there."
"Yeah, that's what I figured. You want me to get you anything before I go? Coffee, maybe?"
"No, thanks though. And thanks for staying with him. Sorry I took so long," she returned apologetically.
"Don't worry about it, I'm just glad he's okay," Weiss said glancing at Vaughn. He turned his gaze to Sydney, noticing she seemed different and asked, "Are you okay?"
Sydney turned her gaze back to Vaughn, still absently stroking his hair. She wanted to scream a resounding 'NO!' She wanted everyone to know what they'd done to her; everything they'd taken from her. But it wasn't the time.
"I'm fine. Just a little tired," she offered with a small smile.
Weiss didn't buy it, but let it slide. Gathering his things, he walked toward her, "Alright, I'll see you later, probably in a few hours. Let me know if you need anything." He gave her a quick, but reassuring hug, accompanied by a 'he'll be fine' and left the room.
Pulling her chair as close to Vaughn as possible, Sydney placed a loving kiss on his forehead before running her hand over is cheek. She then took her seat and resumed combing her fingers through his hair with her right hand, while her left hand searched for his. He'd been through so much, and a few soft sobs escaped her lips as she considered the possibility that he may never get past it. 'How could anyone do something so horrible to such a wonderful man? How could anyone not love him?' Sitting there, the events of the past few days were finally catching up with her, and as much as she wanted to be awake when he woke up, she couldn't keep her eyes open. So, she laid her head next to their entwined hands, and drifted into a dreamless sleep.
A few hours later, Vaughn slowly awakened, confused by his surroundings. Then it hit him, Katya stabbing him, holding Weiss "hostage", shooting Lauren. Shooting Lauren. She was really dead. Still groggy, his eyes finally rested upon the sleeping woman at his side. Even after everything she'd been through during the last few days, she still managed to be the most beautiful creature he'd ever laid eyes on. Part of him wondered if he was dreaming, and he'd wake up to find Lauren by his side again. Shaking those thoughts from his mind, he turned his attention his love.
Carefully, he extracted his hand from her grip and ran his fingers over her smooth forehead, dropping his fingers over her closed eyelids. They remained there for a short while, as if he was memorizing every lash, curve, and marking. After he was satisfied, he continued the journey to her nose, reveling in the softness of her skin as he gently ran his fingers over to her cheeks, and rubbed the tear stains away. He couldn't help but smile when she unconsciously leaned into his touch, and a small mass of her silky hair fell over her face in the process. He combed his fingers through the beautiful brown hair before he tucked the strand behind her ear in true Sydney fashion. His face grew pensive and serious as he ended his journey at her lips, and as if entranced, traced the outline of her lower lip, indulging in its fullness. It had been so long since he'd really been able to look at her, and he was enjoying every minute of it.
At that moment, her eyelids fluttered open and she was greeted by his intense gaze. She felt her face flush at his obvious scrutiny and slowly lifted her head.
"Hey," he struggled through his parched throat.
"Hey," she breathed sleepily, "How long have you been awake?"
"Not long," he lied.
"Your voice is scratchy. Do you want some ice?"
She stood up and walked into the small bathroom, and returned seconds later with a cup of ice, "How do you feel?" she asked, as she placed an ice chip in his mouth and reclaimed her chair.
"All things considered.. surprisingly well. I've missed you."
Tears welled in Sydney's eyes. Despite the massive amount of pain he was surely in, he was still able to find ways to be incredibly sweet. "Vaughn.. I've missed you, too. So much," she whispered, leaning over the bed to give him a tender hug.
She placed a soft kiss on his temple, and as she pulled back, she lost herself in the pools of green that openly searched her own eyes. She briefly wondered what she would of done had she lost him for good, but before she could take the thought any further, his voice coaxed her back into reality.
"I was so worried," he began, wiping the few tears from her eyes, "I don't know what I would have done if I'd lost you again."
Deep down, they both knew what probably would have happened. But instead of dwelling on it, Sydney took the opportunity to claim his lips in a passionate, needy kiss. Neither was willing to pull away until they heard the distinct clearing of a throat. Sydney pulled back slightly, and after one final kiss, turned around to see Weiss standing in the doorway. An older gentleman, whom she assumed was the doctor, accompanied him.
"Hey buddy," Weiss casually made his way to Vaughn's side, opposite Sydney, and gave Vaughn's shoulder a squeeze, "You sure don't waste any time, do you?"
"Hey, Eric," Vaughn sighed, with a roll of his eyes.
The doctor made his way to the foot of Vaughn's bed where he surveyed the man before him, "Agent Vaughn, I'm Dr. Adams. It's nice to see you're awake and unarmed," he said, with a hint of a smile.
Vaughn smiled sheepishly, glancing at Sydney who gave him a confused smile and began playing with his hair once again.
"I didn't get the chance," Dr. Adams continued, "to fully brief you on your condition before. So, before you begin planning your next escape, I'd like to get that taken care of."
Sydney's hand stilled as Vaughn gave the doctor a nod.
Glancing at his chart, Dr. Adams began, "The first time you were brought in, you were suffering from pneumothorax of the left lung. We inserted a chest tube to help it re-expand; you're to stay on the oxygen at least until we take the tube out, then we'll see how you do. The second time you were brought in was pretty much damage control," after a slight pause, he questioned, "How is the pain level? Would you like me to get you something for it?"
"I'm fine," Vaughn replied, "I'm just a little tired."
"That's to be expected. I'll be back for a chest x-ray after my rounds. A nurse will be in shortly to disconnect your IVs, Agent Weiss knows how to reach me if I'm needed," Dr. Adams stated as he left the room.
Sydney glanced at Weiss, then Vaughn, "I feel like I'm missing something," she started, hoping they would let her in on their little joke, "What did he mean, 'awake and unarmed'?"
Vaughn opened his mouth to explain, but Weiss beat him to it, "Vaughn held me hostage," he stated matter-of-factly.
As Weiss relayed the story to Sydney, she held Vaughn's gaze with her own look of confusion, which turned into amusement, and then morphed into a loving gaze. She couldn't believe he went through all of that just to make sure she was okay. She wasn't thrilled that he had risked his own health for her safety; however, he saved her life, and she couldn't have been more grateful to him.
Sydney was still searching for words when Weiss's cell phone started to ring. He glanced at the call screen and made his way to the door before turning around and addressing Sydney.
"It's Dixon," he stated, "Did you find anything in Wittenberg or was it a dead end?"
"No. There was nothing," she said quietly.
Weiss nodded and left the room. Sydney chanced a glance at Vaughn, confusion written all over his face.
"Wittenberg?" he asked.
[12 hours earlier]
Halfway around the world, Katya slowly found her way back to consciousness. Realizing what had happened, she cautiously sat up in an attempt to regain her bearings. The last thing she remembered was finding Sydney, and then Sydney shooting her with a tranq dart. Katya silently commended her niece, she didn't think Sydney had it in her. She was definitely Irina's daughter. Unaware of how long she'd been out, she assumed that it had been awhile because the sun was beginning to rise, she sat up. As she moved to stand, she felt the cold, metal barrel of a gun press into her temple.
"Don't move," instructed the steely voice.
A/N: Okay, so let me have it.. yay or nay? And I wasn't sure how the dog's name was spelled, my neighbor's dog's name is Alan and that's how he spells it, so forgive me if it's wrong :P Constructive criticism is always welcomed and appreciated, please review.. don't make me beg :(