Summary: When a mission goes wrong six agents are forced in to taking drastic measures to escape.
Disclaimer: I don't own Alias, J.J Abrams has that pleasure.
A/N: I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and just found it again on my computer; I really need a better filing system. Like most of my stories this is contains non-graphic femslash. S/V and SL.
"We won't all make it." Sydney's tone leaves no room for argument. "Chances are none of us will…but that doesn't change anything…we still have to try." The five others in the small room with her nodded or murmured their agreement, but no one spoke besides Sydney.
"I don't want to die any more than any of you do. We all have things to live for, our families and children, our friends, our work, the people we love…but it's our duty towards our country. If any of you think differently then go now, hand yourselves in, turn on the rest of us and live. It's your choice."
Dixon looked to Jack and the eldest men nodded in solemn agreement. "I'd follow you to my death Sydney…my children will understand." Dixon replied. "They'd want me to do the right thing."
"You're all I have Sydney, I won't turn my back on you." A brief adoring smile touched Jack's lips as he addressed his daughter.
"I don't want to die…I'm scared and I can't hide or ignore that." Weiss spoke from the corner of the room. "But I trust you Sydney, I'm in."
They looked to Vaughn and Lauren who sat holding each other. Vaughn had been shot in the shoulder and had bled profusely before they had been able to stem the blood flow and bandage his damaged shoulder. His face was pale and he could barely sit up, he clung to Lauren just to be able to sit up and address the others.
"What have I got to lose?" He asked, his eyes dark and sad looking straight at Sydney. "I have no children, no family and most of my friends are sitting in this room. I'm scared and I'm tired and I can barely stay conscious from the blood loss…Even if we ran, let them win this battle and lived to fight another day, I wouldn't. I'd never be able to walk let alone run…I don't have any other choice but to stay. I'll set the bomb, then you five can run like hell and get out of here."
"Michael…" Lauren began but was cut off as Sydney spoke.
"Thank you. You're a good man Vaughn." He smiled weakly and felt Lauren cling to him.
"I won't let you do this." She cried, her mascara running down her face in black lines of despair.
"I don't want to leave you sweetheart, but I'm not going to make it. You have to let me do this. I don't want to die in some ambulance as you cry over me. I want to die with dignity and honour, I want to die for my country, like my father."
He kissed her gently on the forehead before Sydney and Dixon raised him to his feet. "If we don't destroy this lab then the virus they've created will be released in twenty-four hours, the US government will not negotiate with The Covenant, and the ninety-seven percent of Americans who aren't immune to it will die, then they'll release it over Europe…we can't let that happen." Jack stated from the door of the room. "Sydney and I will take Vaughn to the main lab where we will plant the small amount of C-4 we have. Weiss and Dixon take the dynamite we have and plant it in the three floors above us, that will start a chain reaction once the C-4 goes off, the immense heat created by the explosion will kill the virus…"
"And Vaughn." Lauren added bitterly. "My husband will die, while I do nothing but watch?"
"I have to do this, we have no detonator and someone needs to manually set off the C-4. I won't make it to a hospital Lauren, if you tried to take me with you I'd slow you all down and get you killed. This is the best way sweetheart. I love you and I always will but you can't stop me from doing this."
"I want to take Jack's place." Lauren demanded, an expression on her face which left no room for argument." Sydney looked to her father who nodded and gathered up the dynamite to divide it between himself and Dixon.
"You and Weiss take the floor below us, I'll take the one above. It's three thirty-six a.m. Vaughn will detonate the bomb at three forty-five exactly, Sydney, Lauren, make sure you're out of there when it goes off. We'll meet at the safe house three miles from here, if you're not there by seven a.m. we will presume you dead and be extracted. Understood?"
"Understood." The others chorused. Sydney and Lauren pulled Vaughn to his feet and supported him. As they went to leave the others said their goodbyes to Vaughn.
"You're one hell of a man Vaughn." Weiss hugged him.
"Thank you." Dixon shook his hand. "You'll be awarded the highest honour I can get you, you have my word Vaughn. You're a loyal and good man." He and Weiss left with only one glance behind them at Vaughn as Weiss' eyes clouded with tears that he tried to blink back.
Jack was the last to stand before Vaughn. He looked sombrely at Vaughn as he held out his hand, which Vaughn took. "I told you that I didn't believe you were good enough for Sydney, and that you were a coward…I was wrong."
"That almost sounded like an apology Jack." Jack Bristow smiled at the man who had stolen his daughter's heart and with once last glance at Sydney he left to plant his explosives.
Sydney and Lauren managed to get Vaughn to the lab where the virus was stored undetected and they helped him to the floor beneath the case the virus was held in.
Sydney got to work placing the C-4 while Lauren sat with Vaughn. "Michael I…"
"I know." Vaughn muttered without looking at her. "Just look after each other ok?" Upon hearing Vaughn Sydney stopped working and looked at her watch.
"We have five minutes." She informed them, her eyes not meeting Vaughn's. After she finished placing the explosives, with a few well place flammable chemicals beside them she knelt down so she was beside Vaughn and with tears in her eyes she finally looked him in the eye.
He smiled weakly. "I've got four and a half minutes to live, Sydney the last thing I want to do is be mad at the two women who made my life so happy…It hurt when I found out…but I want you two to be happy." Lauren held his hand as she looked guiltily at Sydney.
"We never meant for it to happen…it just did. I am so sorry Michael." He leant up and kissed Lauren.
"It's ok. I love you both and I know you'll take care of one another. Lauren, you need someone to look out for you and keep you safe, and Syd you need someone to care about you…and you have that with each other." He kissed Sydney last and whispered in her ear.
"I'll always watch over you." Sydney smiled through the tears that marred her face.
"My guardian angel…we've got three minutes. We better go. I love you Vaughn."
"I love you too Michael." Lauren released his hand and stood up with Sydney.
"Go." Vaughn ordered. "Look out for each other…and be happy." He looked close to bursting in to tears but he continued to hold his head high as Sydney handed him a lighter.
The two women gave him one last look and then ran from the lab through the network of corridors, which led to the exit. When Lauren suddenly stopped Sydney grabbed her arm. "Lauren, we have to get out."
"We can't leave him!" Lauren screamed. Sydney held a finger to her mouth.
"The guards are looking for us, we can't get their attention…we have two minutes, now move it. I can't lose you and Vaughn in the same day."
Lauren tried to pull back. "No, I can't…Sydney please we have to…we could save him…he can't die!" Without warning Sydney punched Lauren knocking her out cold. She placed her over her shoulders and ran as fast as she could to the exit.
As Vaughn watched the seconds count down on his watch, he felt his life slipping away, oozing out of his wound. He almost laughed at the irony of his situation. He was dying so that his wife and ex could live and enjoy their lives together. He'd found out what they were doing two weeks prior to the mission. He'd arrived home early from a mission and found Sydney lying in his bed with Lauren beside her and their clothes tossed carelessly around the room.
He had been hurt, but not surprised. Sydney had changed since she returned from being Julia Throne, but one thing still remained, she needed to be loved and Vaughn had not had the guts to love her so she had found someone who could.
When the alarm on his watch screamed out in the silent lab he took one last breath and summed up enough courage to drop the lighter in to the chemicals that surrounded the C-4.
Two days later Vaughn's family, friends and colleagues sat in a church in Fleury, Normandy, France, where Vaughn had been born. After the memorial service it was only Sydney and Lauren left alone in the church.
They hadn't spoken since Lauren hadn't woken up after Sydney knocked her out. "I'm sorry." Sydney apologised, her words echoing in the silent church. "I couldn't let you die." Lauren stood silently and walked over to Sydney. She stood before her defiantly and slapped her face.
"I deserved that."
Lauren's silent tears continued to fall as she took hold of the other woman and lay her head on her shoulder. "He was a good man and we hurt him…"
"He wanted us to be happy." Sydney muttered as she held on to the woman she loved for dear life as though she would disappear from her life like everyone else Sydney had loved.
"This would be easier if he had of hated us." Lauren cried in to Sydney's shoulder. Sydney sighed as she looked at the large photo of Michael Vaughn's smiling face that sat at the front of the church.
"He was too good to hate us." Sydney choked through tears. "He wanted us to take care of each other though, we owe him that much…"
Lauren stared down at where Sydney's hand rested only millimetres from her own. She took hold of it and with one last look at Vaughn's photo they walked hand and hand out of the church as he watched over them. "You're still my guardian angel." Sydney whispered as they left the church to head back to their lives in L.A, only now Vaughn wasn't a part of that life and they both had to accept that.