CHAPTER 38 DAWN: NAVAL HOSPITAL

"You two go home. Get some sleep. Lazarey's on heavy guard until he's ready for questioning." Jack joins Sydney and Sark. "No one but who Dixon allows is to see him. Have to make sure he stays alive to clear everything up."

"Thanks Dad." Sydney kisses her Dad's cheek.

Jack watches as they walk away.

"Are you sure about not staying to talk with your father?" Sydney asks once they're in the car.

"I'm sure."

"Are you going to ignore his existence?"

"No. Just not ready to deal with him." Sark reaches out and lacing their fingers, he brings her hand to his lips as he drives.

"You aren't the type of person to just let things sit." Sydney remarks. "You usually just say what's on your mind." She looks at him, "Are you scared to face your father?"

"No" Sark says quickly.

"Then what?"

Sark shrugs "Not sure. I just need to think about this."

"I get it." Sydney squeezes his hand.

HOUR LATER: HOUSE Sydney looks at Sark, "You OK?"

"Mmm" Sark brushes her hair behind her ear. "I'm fine."

"Did you love Alison?" Sydney asks curiously.

"No. Things were always too complicated for it to be anything other than physical. I loved you and only you."

"As much as I know that's the truth it still bothers you, doesn't it?"

Sark nods, "Ali and I spent a lot of time together. We were as close as we could be without love being involved."

"I think she loved you."

"Perhaps a part of her did but she knew it was nothing more than sex and a... twisted friendship between us. I don't think she was fully capable of the emotion." Sark admits

"She felt something close to love because she blamed me for you walking away from everything."

"She wanted power. Irina would never have allowed Alison to have the power on her own. She knew Ali wasn't stable enough to keep things under control."

"How long were you two together?"

"On and off for six years. She cheated on me, I cheated on her. It was the way things were with us." Sark shrugs "We never discussed anything more... it wasn't an option anyway." He brings Sydney's hand to his lips, "I knew who I wanted... always have."

"Ever cheat on me and I will hurt you." Sydney warns

"Not a problem." Sark assures with a smile. "Besides I know how hard you hit."

"And don't forget it." Sydney kisses his nose.

"Come on lets get some sleep."

COUPLE HOURS LATER Sydney turns her head when she hears chattering coming from the crib. She smiles seeing Caleb standing in his crib. She slips out from under the covers and walks over to the crib picking Caleb up, "Morning baby." She kisses him. "Let's get you changed huh?"

"Syd come back to bed." Sark yawns

"I will. Just need to change his diaper."

Sark lies there watching Sydney quietly talk to the boy as she changes his diaper, 'God she's beautiful. I can't believe I'm married to her.'

"There." Sydney drops the dirty diaper in the garbage can then wipes her hands clean with a diaper wipe. She picks him up and grabs his stuffed dog from the crib then rejoins Sark in bed, "Going to say hi to Daddy?" She watches as the two stare at each other knowing that look well. 'Caleb's figuring out if he can trust his Daddy. Julian is trying to figure out how to encourage Caleb to trust him.'

Slowly Caleb inches closer to the man his eyes never leaving the man's, after a few moments of silence he grins, "Daddy"

Sydney releases her held in breath and smiles at Sark. 'He called him Daddy.'

Sark smiles "Good to hear that." He looks at Sydney then back at Caleb, 'He called me Daddy.'

Caleb snuggles against his Daddy hugging his bear.

Sydney blinks back tears at the sight, 'My boys together, finally.' "I've never seen him relax that fast."

"He knows I'm not going to hurt him." Sark gently runs his fingers through Caleb's curls smiling as the boy looks at him, "You know that, right?"

"Mommy Daddy safe." Caleb says solemnly.

"Yes." Sydney smiles "We're going to keep you safe." She watches as Sark hugs the boy. 'The best things I've ever seen is Julian with our babies for the first time. He's such a different man with them... sweet, kind, gentle... adorable. Hard to believe Mr. Sark is a sucker for his kids.' She brushes her knuckle down Caleb's cheek then kisses Sark sweetly. "Love you." She whispers

Sark smiles, "Same."

WHILE LATER Hearing the bedroom door open Sydney turns to see Ava trudge into the bedroom rubbing her eyes, "Morning sweetie." She pats the bed.

Ava climbs onto the bed joining her brother between her parents. "Where'd you go?" Ava asks sleepily.

"It's complicated." Sark hedges

"Are you leaving again?" Ava demands

"We're not sure." Sydney answers. "Hopefully we'll be home for a while... but we don't know"

"If we do leave it shouldn't be for long." Sark assures as the cell phone rings.

"I'll get it" Sydney grabs the phone off the nightstand and flips it open. "Hello? Hi Dad."

"How has school been Ava?" Sark inquires

"Oh good. Uh yeah, I'll see. Thanks." Sydney hangs up after a moment.

"Its OK." Ava shrugs "Same as always. Are we going back to London?"

"I doubt it... at least not for a while." Sark answers grabbing Caleb before he falls off the bed. "Be careful Caleb." He warns. "Don't want you falling off the bed." He tickles the boy getting a shriek of laughter. "What did Jack want?" Sark questions

"Lazarey's fine. He's conscious."

Sark nods "Do they want us in?"

"Not now. Dad convinced Dixon to give us the day off."

"Good." Sark laughs as Ava pounces on him. "Hey what's that for?"

"Nothing."

Sark grabs the girl tickling her getting her to laugh hysterically. He looks at Sydney who is cuddling Caleb.

At that moment there's a knock at the door, "Come in." Sydney calls

Francie enters the bedroom, "Hey breakfast is ready. Are you guys hungry?"

"I am." Ava scrambles out of bed bounding out of the room.

"I got one." Francie laughs. "How about I take him?"

"Sure." Sydney hands Caleb over who doesn't protest. "We'll be right out."

"All right." Francie closes the door behind her.

Sark looks at Sydney, "Morning." He kisses Sydney sweetly.

"Morning." Sydney grins

"You know we have a few minutes alone."

"It's not going to happen honey." Sydney kisses his nose then rolls out of bed. "Now get your butt out of bed."

"The things I do for you." Sark sighs heavily getting out of bed. As they head to the door he grabs Sydney's arm turning her around he presses her against the door kissing her passionately then trails his lips across her jaw and down her neck. "God I love you."

Sydney moans tugging on his hair she pulls his head up meeting his gaze, "I love you too." She kisses him sweetly. "And as much as I'd like too we have two kids to take care of. Francie and Will have been taking care of them a lot lately." She rests her forehead against his "I'll make it up to you."

"When? It's been almost three days." He grumbles

"Horny huh?"

"As much as I hate that word yes."

Sydney smiles "So am I but we have two very active children who really want to spend time with their Daddy."

"Alright." Sark kisses her forehead.

EARLY AFTERNOON Sydney smiles seeing Sark read to Caleb as the boy sits on his lap listening intently. 'My boys.' She looks at Ava who is drawing at the kitchen table, "Ava put your clean clothes away please." She sets the laundry basket on the table next to Ava.

"I'll do it when I'm done."

"Now Ava."

Ava huffs "Oh fine." She sets her pencil down and picks up the laundry basket walking away.

Sydney heads back to the laundry room picking up the second basket and walks back to her bedroom and puts the basket on the bed, 'I have my family. That's what I've wanted since the moment we met.'

In the living room Sark watches as Caleb points to a picture, "What is that?"

"Dog." Caleb grins

"Right."

"Cat" Caleb points to the next picture.

In the bedroom Sydney smiles as Ava walks into the bedroom and flops on the bed, "Hey sweetie."

"Hi"

"Why so glum?"

"I wanna play chess with Dad but he's reading to Caleb."

"I'm sure he'll play chess once Caleb is down for his nap." Sydney assures "Daddy and Caleb have a lot to catch up on. Just like you did."

"But I didn't see Daddy until I was nine. He doesn't have that much time to catch up on."

"Age wise no but attention and trust wise he does." Sydney says gently. "I know you want to spend time with Dad and you will. Just give Caleb a little leeway."

Ava sighs heavily. "OK"

"Good. Now are your clothes in their right places?"

"Yes."

"Caleb is going down for his nap soon so in the meantime why don't you clean your room." Sydney suggests

"Oh fine." Ava huffs as she walks out of the bedroom.

Sydney shakes her head in amusement.

30 MINS LATER Sydney smiles seeing Caleb asleep against Sark's chest. "He's out huh?"

"Just fell asleep."

"I'll put him down. You are wanted elsewhere."

Sark stands carefully handing Caleb over to Sydney. "Where is she?"

"Bedroom."

"All right." Sark kisses her quickly then gently touches Caleb's head. "He's incredible."

"Yeah he is." Sydney smiles at her husband stroking Caleb's back. "Now go. She's feeling left out."

"What about you?"

"I am going to take a nice long bath. You are in charge for the next 45 minutes to an hour." Sydney walks back to the bedroom.

Sark heads to Ava's bedroom, "Sweetness what are you up too?" He asks as he finds Ava sitting on the bed looking through a book.

"Nothing really."

"Why don't we play some chess?" Sark suggests

"Where's Mom?"

"She is spending some time alone. Caleb is taking a nap. So we have time for a game or two."

"OK" Ava grins

THAT NIGHT Sark looks at Sydney who is fast asleep beside him and smiles, 'I have my Sydney... I finally have my family.' He leans down kissing Sydney's cheek. "I love you." He says softly then lies down next to her. 'Soon I'll have to face him.'

NEXT EVENING: NAVAL HOSPITAL Andrian Lazarey looks up as the door opens and his son enters, "Hello Julian."

Sark winces "Don't call me that. Only she called me that." He says coldly.

"Then what should I call you?"

"Sark. Mother and Grandmother are the only ones who had the right to call me Julian."

"Fine then Sark." Lazarey nods

"You helped Sydney collect the evidence about the Covenant. Why didn't you help her escape?"

"I offered but she refused to leave the boy where he was. We didn't have the man power or the time to get him out. I disappeared and she went back."

"And you didn't even think of contacting Jack or myself to tell us they were alive?" Sark demands. "We would have found them."

"All of you would have died in the process. The Covenant was prepared for the possibility you would find her."

"Yet you helped her gather all of the items."

"Because I knew the possible consequences of their plan. If they had managed to go through with it who knows what would happen. Same with any agency that knew about the Prophecy."

"We stopped it."

"Now what?"

"Dismantle the Covenant and retrieve your money."

"It is yours. My will stipulates disappearance and death the money goes to you."

"I don't want it. Besides, I am not allowed to have that much money, it's written in my pardon agreement. They fear I will start my own terrorist organization if I had the money."

"Would you?"

"No. Before finding out about Ava, then yes I would have but now, I have no interest in doing that."

"Then the money will be divided amongst your children."

"What makes you think they want it or need it?"

"Someone will need to take responsibility for the legacy."

"And if I say no?"

"I would still put the money in trust for your children." Lazarey replies, "First the money needs to be found."

"Just because its found doesn't mean they will return it to you." Sark warns

"Yes well I have to prepare for the possibility."

Sark walks to the window and leans against the wall looking out at the night sky, "Did you love my mother?" He turns to look at Lazarey who winces at the question.

"Yes I loved her."

"Why did you disappear on her?" Sark demands. 'And me?' He adds silently.

"She was worried for your safety and sanity and so she ordered me to stay away from both of you. She feared that my presence around you would trigger memories of your time in the Program."

"It hasn't. I still remember nothing about the Program or much about being in Russia."

"I guess that is good." Lazarey says relieved. "How are your children?"

"Fine. It will take a while for all of us... especially Caleb to adjust."

"Julia... Sydney" Lazarey corrects "informed me of his dislike for people."

"Dislike... more like distrust. He's doing as well as can be."

"Good."

"Sydney wanted me to tell you that she will stop by tomorrow." Sark says walking to the door.

Lazarey watches as his son walks out the door, 'I wish life had been different Julian. Perhaps things with you and your children will be better than they were for us.'

HOUR LATER: HOUSE Sark enters the house and stops in his tracks when he sees Sydney carrying Caleb while trying to pick up toys as Ava helps, 'My family. I have what I've wanted since I was a boy.'

Ava grins "Hi Dad."

"Hello sweetheart." Sark sets his car keys on the counter and his gun in the top cabinet.

"How'd it go?" Sydney asks curiously.

"Fine." Sark shrugs

"Can you take him?" Sydney requests nodding at Caleb, "He's half asleep but not ready to go down yet."

"Sure." Sark carefully takes the boy who briefly protests. "Its OK Caleb." He says softly.

"Ava I want you to pick up your room before you go to bed."

"I will."

"Is all your homework done?" Sydney questions

"Yep."

"Good." Sydney tosses the toys in the laundry basket.

"Dad where did you go?" Ava asks curiously.

"Just had to go see someone." Sark replies with a shrug.

"Oh"

"Its almost time for bed." Sydney announces. "Go and brush your teeth."

"OK" Ava skips out of the living room.

Once Ava is out of the room Sydney looks at her husband, "Well?"

"Nothing."

"Julian"

"He is making plans for when and if the money is retrieved."

"Did you tell him?"

"Yes. He wants to put it in trust for the kids."

"And that bothers you."

"No... yes. I just don't know. It's a lot of responsibility and how do we know that in the future this won't happen again to get the money?"

"Like you said if the money is retrieved. I doubt they'll find all of it."

"True." Sark shifts Caleb in his arms, "I guess we'll just have to see."

LATE THAT NIGHT Sark brings Sydney's hand to his lips kissing the ring on her finger, "How long are we going to hide this?"

"Until things calm down. Once everything is dealt with we'll tell them."

"Good."

"Dad is going to flip his lid." Sydney sighs looking at the ring on her finger, "Hell everyone is going to freak out. Francie is going to be pissed off."

"We had our reasons for marrying in secret." Sark looks at the rings on their fingers.

"Yet how long will it remain a secret." Sydney sighs

"Our lives are filled with secrets."

"I know. I just wish this one didn't have to be one of the secrets." She looks at the rings. "I wish all of them would be able to accept this when we tell them."

"They won't be able to. I'm still a wanted assassin."

Sydney brushes her fingers down his jaw, "You're more than that now Julian."

"Its still what I am though Sydney. We can't hide from it."

"And we aren't hiding from it."

"What are we going to tell the kids when they are older?" Sark wonders. "Are we going to tell them I used to kill people?" He brushes her hair back, "I don't want to hide the truth from them Sydney. I'd rather have them find out from us than someone else."

"When they are old enough we'll tell them... everything."

"Good."

"Now all we have to do is get through all of this." Sydney sighs

"And we will."

EPILOGUE 2 YEARS LATER: HOUSE Sydney sits on the couch watching as Sark helps the now 13 year old, Ava with her homework while five year old Caleb sits nearby. Sydney looks at the open journal on her lap and begins to write.

'It's been over two years since everything happened. We're a family now, happy and safe.

Caleb is five now and growing fast. He still has blond hair and slight curls. He's still apprehensive around strangers... especially adults. He startles easily when surprised. He is such a sweet boy and so inquisitive. He's always asking questions. He's still a little clingy especially in unfamiliar situations. He loves to read and be read to. He likes going to the zoo and the beach. He's about ready to start first grade, which is going to be interesting.

Now Ava is turning into the typical thirteen year-old. She's still a Daddy's girl, loves playing chess with her Daddy. She's doing well in school... highly intelligent. She loves going to the mall with her friends as much as she likes being home with her family.

Dad is doing well, still his stubborn self. He works too much but he's learning to relax. I think it helps that the kids force him to relax; he takes them a couple times a month so Julian and I can have a break. Dad and Julian still argue... a lot. Dad still threatens to have his pardon revoked especially after he found out we were married but he accepted it after some time. I think he realized that I wasn't going to back down on my marriage and being with Julian.

Mom... I hear from her every so often. She's still being decently good. She's semi retired but she does have a tendency to get involved in things. The CIA is still looking for her but she's not considered much of a threat now.

Julian is great... God I love him. These last two years have been great. He still works for the CIA but he's mostly doing intel and analysis. He does do field work from time to time but not as much. He still has issues with his father but he puts up with him for the sake of the kids.

Andrian visits the kids as much as he can. He's a doting Grandfather just like Dad is. He really wants things to be different between he and Julian but he knows it won't happen. Julian has too many issues with him.

Me, I've pretty much retired, I still go out into the field when they need someone to go with Julian and only because I don't want my husband making out with another woman. After THEY were stopped, I decided to go back to school. I managed to finish graduate school and am currently an assistant English Lit Professor at UCLA. I like my job and I love being Mom and wife.'

Sydney looks over at her family and smiles, 'Everything is perfect.' She walks over to the table and drops a kiss to Julian's head.

"What is that for darling?" Sark inquires with a faint smile.

"For being right."

"About what?" Sark questions curiously, "You never admit that I am right."

Sydney smiles, "We met again."

Sark smiles remembering his words at the airport 13 years earlier. "See next time believe me when I say something... after all I am always correct." He says arrogantly.

Sydney rolls her eyes "Funny."

"I love you" Sark says seriously.

"I love you too." Sydney returns

"Dad" Ava says annoyed

Sydney laughs watching as Sark turns his attention back to Ava. 'All is well.'

THE END I hope you liked it.