Crumbling Promises

By Hold-Out Trout

Disclaimer: I do not own Alias, or I would never have made season three the way it was. I don't, however, think I could have done much better. I have a tremendous amount of faith in J.J.

Author's Note: I don't know why Nadia strikes me as such a good voice to use—maybe because she has more of an outsider's opinion, or maybe just because she's there. Anyway, enjoy my little ficlet about lost and found love. Because I'm still a romantic. Oh, and this takes place pre-season 4 finale.

I did not see at first what she saw in him. He was good-looking, of course, but I knew what he had done, done to her, and I knew I would not have been able to look past it. He did not impress me.

He seemed cold, and distant. It seemed like he calculated every glance, every move, every touch.

I could not see past his—I do not know what to call it. It was like a window, and he only opened the shutters enough to let some of his life out. He was entirely unlike Weiss, who never hid anything from me. I wonder if Weiss knew how charming that openness was in my world. Probably.

After that first mission, I saw Sydney start to fall.

Piece by piece her promises to herself, muttered in the evenings over tequila and ice cream, broke. I won't let him in the door for a couple of months. I won't kiss him for at least six. I won't sleep with—and here she would actually blush.

I could not understand it. I know how strong she is. How did it happen? How did he get in so fast?

I got a glimpse the day we came back from a mission. Sydney was radiantly happy, in a way I'd just realized came only from a successful mission. He met us at the gate. When he saw her, all the walls came down and he grinned back at her. It was only a moment, but I saw all the love and the hurt and the laughter and the caution that they had had to grow over the last few years. And I realized that he was only like that around her—only her, when no one else was there, or when no one else mattered. Like at the gate.

And in the face of that utter honesty, it was easy to see how her promises could crumble.