Disclaimer: Alias is not mine.

oo00oo00oo00oo00oo

He tastes like ashes, and for the first time Sydney thinks she might have moved on while mourning him. Because he tastes like ashes, and she feels like she's suffocating when his lips are on hers. There's no passion in his eyes, either, and the love they once shared is now scarred beyond recognition, beyond redemption.

Because he tastes like ashes, cold and dead, and there are no embers yet smoldering in their hearts; there's nothing left to be ignited into the blaze of need and desire they once felt for each other. They've burned themselves out and nothing remains but an aching, hollow emptiness when they kiss.

She won't admit it at first, and neither will Vaughn. They can't help thinking that if they give up on this - on them - then Lauren and Sark and Sloane will win. If they let go of the past, let it sink into its long-vacant grave, then the enemy will triumph.

But Sydney can't help thinking that victory should taste sweeter than ash.