Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine. They belong to JJ Abrams, Bad Robot, and
A/N: This is my first Alias story, which I've posted anyway. I originally planned to
submit this to the FFWF challenge but I didn't make the deadline, so I just decided
to post it in parts. Feedback is welcome and appreciated!
Special dedication to Lexie-chan (because she demanded it).
The stars were bright, millions of them blinking down happily at the lone figure, his only light in the dark. They were a rare sight in Los Angeles; stars were usually swallowed up whole by the smog and lights of the city, hiding them from view.
Not in this park. In this park where there were very few streetlamps, and cars rarely passed by late at night, it was always quiet, only the rustling of leaves, the chirping of crickets, and the hooting of owls breaking through the quiet of the night. The light of the stars often peeked down through the trees and in the clearing of the park, nothing hid them from view.
Michael Vaughn loved coming here at night. At 21 years old, this park still held the same magic that it did when he first discovered it at 15. He had just moved to LA from France with his sister and his mom and although he loved them both very much, he just wanted to be by himself sometimes. This was the perfect getaway spot.
Michael was leaving for France again, this time without his sister and his mother to accompany him, they were staying in LA while he took a job in Paris. And although he knows that he should really be spending his last night in the States with his family, he couldn't help but crave the peace of the park.
So there he was at 11 o' clock at night, lying on the hard wood of a picnic table, staring up at the heavens above him.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" A voice suddenly cut through the silence.
Michael sat upright, peering through the darkness for the owner of the voice. She sat down beside him and Michael knew right away who it was.
Sydney?" Michael asked disbelievingly. "What are you doing here?"
"I went for a walk. I ended up here." She was gazing up intently at the stars, not even bothering to look at him.
"Syd, it's 11 o' clock. You just fancied a walk at this time of night?" Michael smiled in spite of himself. Sydney was his little sister's best friend, he's known her for 6 years. He could tell when she was lying. The next thing she was going to do was change the subject.
"What are you doing here so late?" Sydney asked.
Michael's smile grew wider. Gotcha.
Sydney finally turned to look at him and Michael's smile faded. Sitting there so close to him, her features bathed in moonlight, the light of the stars illuminating the sparkle of her brown eyes. Sydney suddenly didn't look like just his kid sister's best friend anymore, the 9 year old he had met 6 years ago had grown up. She looked older. She looked…different.
"Michael?" Sydney's voice snapped Michael out of his daze.
She was looking at him with concern etched on her face and he realized she'd been waiting for an answer. An answer to what?
"I'm sorry, what was that again?"
"I asked you what you're doing here so late. Don't you have an early flight tomorrow?"
Michael looked away, finding he couldn't stand the intensity of her gaze as she studied his face in the darkness, searching for any hint that something might be wrong.
"Yeah, I do," he answered. "I just, you know, needed to get some air."
"Amelie and Ella threw you one rockin' going away party?" Sydney asked, naming his mother and sister respectively. They could both be very excited and a little overenthusiastic about things sometimes. Not that they were excited about Michael going away, they were just happy he got the job he's always wanted.
"Yeah, something like that."
"They're really going to miss you, you know," Sydney said.
He turned to look at her, "Do you think I'm doing the right thing?"
"This is a great opportunity for you," Sydney said earnestly.
Michael nodded and lay back down on the table. Sydney looked down at him for minute before lying down on her back beside him.
"You really shouldn't be out here this time of night," Michael said.
"You're here. I'm safe."
"You had no way of knowing I'd be here," he replied.
Sydney was silent. "I'm going to miss you too, you know," she confessed.
Michael grinned at this. "I thought you said I was nothing but a conceited jerk."
Sydney laughed as the memory of she had called him that hit her. "Well, you can be sometimes!"
"And I also recall a time when you called me a stubborn asshole," he turned his head to look at Sydney. "You had quite the vocabulary for a 13 year old."
"You should hear the vocabulary I have now. Ella even taught me some French swear words."
Michael laughed at this.
"And you're really one to talk," Sydney continued. "You've called me some not so nice things too over the years."
"Like what?" Michael asked innocently, pretending not to know what she was talking about.
"Like a bratty tag-along."
"You were 10 at the time, and you and Ella would follow me and my friends wherever we went. Totally not cool."
"Yeah, especially when you were trying to make out with your girlfriends."
Michael looked affronted. "You make it sound like I was some sort of player or something."
Sydney raised an eyebrow. "And you're saying you weren't?"
"I only had 3 serious girlfriends in high school."
"And in college?"
Michael averted his eyes and Sydney grinned smugly, knowing that she had him cornered there.
"Syd?" Michael asked, completely serious now.
"I'm going to miss you too," he said honestly.
She opened her mouth, as if to come back with a smartass comment. But then changed her mind and closed it again when saw that he was actually serious. She smiled, a full blown Sydney smile, with dimples and all. The smile that Michael had always had a hard time resisting.
As Michael looked at her, the light from the moon and the stars reflecting themselves in her eyes, he was suddenly overcome with an urge to close the small distance between them and kiss her. It was inexplicable, the way he was feeling right now. In all the years he had known Sydney, he had never seen her this way before, never felt this way towards her before. But he couldn't do it; he couldn't kiss her because he shouldn't be feeling this way. She was only 15 for God's sake! Not to mention he was leaving for France tomorrow.
Instead of doing what he really wanted to do, which was kiss her, Michael took her hand in his, entwining their fingers together. The air between them had changed, it was cackling with electricity and he knew she felt it too. She stared deeply into his eyes, and he could tell she understood. Together, they turned their heads to look up at the stars above them, letting the silence of the night envelope them, not wanting to ruin the moment by speaking.
Michael gripped Sydney's hand tightly, and in that moment nothing had ever felt more right to him than just lying there with Sydney. It was like he was seeing Sydney for the first time that night, and in some ways he truly was. That night he saw a shadow, a glimmer of the amazing woman Sydney was going to be, its like pieces of the past, present and future had pieced itself together before his very eyes and the product promised to be something absolutely wonderful. That night Michael's heart had made a silent promise, he just wasn't aware of it yet.