DISCLAIMER: I don't own any rights to characters other than the ones I create. I do not have any rights to Once Upon A Time In Mexico or the character of Sands. This is all from my own head and my imagination, if it resembles any real life incidents it was totally by accident. Any original characters are of my own creation, please respect that. Thanks!

Sands didn't waste any time after the Day of the Dead; he found a doctor on the streets that had previous success with eye transplant surgery. He had the guy checked out thoroughly, he knew everything about him-just in case.

They agreed upon meeting in a location that neither knew, so nothing would be rigged. Sands would pay in cash and the doctor would perform the surgery, give him the drugs and instructions he needed and then would leave. Neither would even talk to the other again, unless in the case that something went terribly wrong-then something else would be worked out, no doubt.

Sands had chicle boy escort him to the room and paid him a nice sum of money to never speak about any of the events ever again. The boy happily obliged.

Sands sat down on the bed in the room and faced the door. The doctor would have to check in at the main desk downstairs and display identification in order to get the room number and a key, that way there wouldn't be any chances of foul play-or at least significantly less.

Sands heard a key turn in the door lock and heard the door creak open. The floorboards creak as someone came in-wait, there were two people. The squeaks in the floorboards told him that much.

"Are you Jeff?" The doctor asked. 'Jeff' was the only name he would give him, to insure he didn't sell him out.

"Who's with you doctor? This deal was between you and me." Sands said, pulling out his gun.

"It's just my assistant, Chelsea." He said quickly.

"He's telling the truth sir." She said with a thick accent.

"We didn't discuss this." Sands said simply.

"I thought you would realize, I need an assistant, this is a very difficult procedure." He said, Sands was sure he shrugged.

"Alright, but I will need to know her full name and address, just a precaution." Sands said with a tight smile.

The nurse gave him her full name and address as the doctor started setting up. She casually ran her hand over his arm as she prepared to inject him with the anesthetic and antibiotics.

Sands fell out of consciousness as the doctor took his sunglasses off to assess the damage. "Amazing…it's a wonder what happened." He heard the doctor mutter.

As he drifted out of consciousness, his mind went back. He thought about things he hadn't thought about in a long time, past events that he would never forget, but kept tucked away…

Sands sat at his usual table at one the several morning cafés he was well known at in New York City. His eyes swept over the room. It wasn't full, but there were plenty of people there, several beautiful women.

A waitress in her late 30s walked over and poured him another coffee. "So who do you want the scoop on today?" She asked casually.

Sands smirked. "You act like you know me so well."

"You only come in here 3 times a week to scope out the women and you eventually start asking about one." She shrugged.

"Alright, you're right." He conceded. "What's the story on the brunette in the red dress by the window?" He asked.

The waitress smiled. "Ah her. Well she's been in here every morning for about a week. She works for some legal firm as a paralegal, Barson and Bradick, I think." She shrugged.

Sands nodded. "Thanks Joyce." He said, flashing a smile to her, before looking back to the brunette…who happened to look up and meet his eyes, holding his gaze with a confident air about her.

By the time Sands walked towards CIA HQ he already had the brunette's number and a date for that night. It was a pattern, if the woman was good maybe he'd see her another time, but by the end of the night or rather the next morning, she knew how he worked, and didn't expect to hear from him right away again-maybe some night they would run across each other in a bar and rekindle old flames, but that was the extent of any 'relationship'.

But Sands knew the experience with the brunette was nothing special, it blended in with all of the others. But one stuck out, one was different than all the rest.

It was a warm, sunny June morning. Usually he wouldn't notice or remember these things, but he remembered because the sun made her light blonde hair glow, demanding your attention. When she looked up from the book she was reading her skin even glowed in the light. Sands certainly was no mushy man that was caught up by a 'glowing' woman, but he had to admit, the way the light landed on her certainly drew attention. He couldn't help but look at her. When she caught him watching her, she blushed and looked away self-consciously, and fiddled with her hair-a clear display of her self-consciousness.

"Joyce, who's the blonde by the window? What do you know about her?" He asked as the waitress filled his coffee cup.

"You mean Claire?" She asked with a smile. "She's a regular, more so than you even. I'm surprised you haven't noticed her before. Lovely girl. She's an art curator at the art museum downtown." She said with a warm smile. "She's not your type though, let it go Sands." She added, almost with a hint of warning.

"What do you know about my type?" He demanded, his eyes still on Claire.

"You look for a beautiful woman, usually one that is confident and provides a challenge-one that doesn't fall for the usual compliments of ordinary men; a woman that is looking for love perhaps, but will settle for a passionate night. That's not Claire." She shrugged and moved on.

He watched Claire stand up and move to the register to pay for her french vanilla cappuccino and muffin. He echoed her movements and was soon standing behind her, waiting to pay for his own coffee. He attempted to make small talk with her, in his usual way, but Claire simply smiled shyly. He bit his lip, she was a shy one, Joyce had been right: she was different and different called for a new approach.

Usually he would have moved on without a second glance, but for some reason he couldn't do that. His mornings became a new pattern, a challenge to see how much attention he could get from her. It was a new thing for him, he was used to the women wanting his attention, not him chasing for that of the woman. Now don't think he had given up his old ways entirely, he was still finding passion and lust at night, though it wasn't the same, he found himself thinking what Claire would be like. What it would be like to feel her soft skin against his, instead of the woman who was there at the moment.

One morning, as he was pondering how to shift the tables in his favor, an idea came to his mind. They had been officially acquainted on a first name basis two days before; he had at least that much in his favor, but nothing more.

"You know, Claire, I was thinking…well every morning you drink your cappuccino alone and I drink my coffee alone, and actually we're taking up extra space, but maybe you'd care to join me tomorrow?" He asked, finding it surprisingly difficult to talk to her, yet surprisingly easy. He wanted to talk to her, yet he was afraid that she wouldn't agree.

"That would be very nice. Thank you." She smiled warmly; he really liked that smile.

It became a daily thing, for them to meet in the morning for their drinks and just to talk. Sands found himself slightly impatient at the idea that it had taken a week for him just to be able to sit down to a conversation with the woman, yet he was at ease with the way things were going-she wasn't a one night stand, he knew that, she was much more than that.

One afternoon Sands found himself at the art museum Claire worked at. He wasn't sure why he was there. He didn't have any particular interest in the Monets or the Picassos, but he found himself studying the works. It was easy for him to fake interest, he did it all the time for undercover assignments, but he actually wanted to see these artworks-well he actually wanted to see her, but he might as well impress her too. He saw her in a group near a large landscape painting, their eyes just happened to meet and he saw a smile cross her face.

He waited for her near a bench, when the group had moved on she walked over and joined him. "I'm beginning to wonder if you are stalking me." She said with a teasing tone.

"No if I were stalking you, I wouldn't let you see me." He pointed out.

"True." She said with a smile. "Well, since we've both seen one another, what do you say we grab some lunch? I'm starving." She said with a smile.

Needless to say, he didn't recall every meal but every one up to this point way significant, it was his trial period and apparently he had passed, because that lunch led to lunch dates and soon dinner dates. And before long Sands realized something unique was happening, he was actually in a relationship, and the surprising thing: he liked it.