Disclaimer: Alias isn't mine.

Beta'd by the amazing-ul Dress-Without-Sleeves. And ZP might have had a part...

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Sark was almost relieved when he learned that Lauren was dead. He'd cared for her as much as he cared for anyone, but his association with her had ultimately been detrimental to him and his plans.

She had been useful, of course, but her use to him was outweighed by the dangers of his growing attachment to her.

He hadn't loved her - he wasn't certain he was even capable of that emotion - but he had felt a certain fondness for her. After all, from her blonde hair to her cold eyes, she was a reflection of himself. Not quite the same; she wasn't as good in the field, and she allowed her emotions too free a reign, but she was just as faithless, just as self-serving, and nearly as resourceful. When he looked at her, he saw Narcissus smiling back.

But it wasn't until he heard of her death that he recalled Narcissus' fate. The man had been lost forever, enthralled by his own image, drowned in his reflection.

Sark prided himself on learning from others' mistakes.

His attraction to Sydney Bristow was an entirely different, though no less troubling, matter. There were times when he could almost see himself in her, times when he thought she was no different from him, from Lauren, from Irina and Sloane. He'd even felt a moment of triumph when she'd agreed to help him murder Sloane to save Agent Vaughn, before he realized that she actually felt guilty for what she'd done.

Sydney actually cared about people. She didn't see them as tools; she saw others as individuals worthy of respect and affection. It was a weakness that should have made her predictable and easily exploited...yet somehow Bristow turned that weakness into a strength. She was a mess of contradictions - selfish and selfless, caring and cold - and she fascinated him.

He remembered a rather mediocre poem he'd once come across while working with Irina. The poem itself had been utterly forgettable, but his nearly-perfect recall dredged up two lines that seemed to fit his predicament.

And everything you are to me

Is all that I can never be

Utter tripe, yet he couldn't erase the words from his mind.

Sydney Bristow was everything he wasn't, everything he scorned in himself and others, everything that disgusted him.

Yet even when he'd been with Allison, and later Lauren, she'd been everything he wanted.