Thanks to my friend Claire who re-wrote about half of this! I couldn't have done it without her. huggles

So...this is my first attempt at angst, I normally write fluff so this is sort of flangst. The title is very random and really has nothing to do with the story and this is only a one parter and there will not be a sequel. Oh and I don't own Alias but you already knew that.

On with the story!


The Key

Vaughn didn't know what he was doing.

He was standing at her door in the bitter cold. The black sky mirroring his dark mood. He didn't know why he was there. It was three in the morning. The lights were off but he knew she probably wasn't asleep.

She never was.

He sighed as he walked around to her bedroom window.

He shouldn't be doing this. He shouldn't even be here.

His fight with Lauren was spinning around in his mind, the thoughts unable to find an escape as he stepped toward the window. The inner battle was still raging on in his head, the answer still undecided between the opposing sides of his conscience.

Vaughn didn't know what to do anymore.

He was lost without her.

He had to see her.

But he couldn't.

He had to check if she was okay,

But he knew she wasn't.

He had to watch her sleep.

…Just like always.

What was he thinking? He was married for crying out loud!

Everything was so screwed up and it was all his fault.

Vaughn slowly took the last step toward her window. Like before, her curtain was opened slightly and he could see her at long last.

His Sydney.

But she wasn't his anymore.

She wasn't anyone's.

She was alone.

He let a single tear fall and trace its way down his darkened features.

He should be with her,
Holding her,
Calming her,
Kissing her,
Making love to her,
Telling her everything's would be okay…because they were together.

Again.

Tears clouded his vision as he slumped against the house wall, sliding down the cold damp barrier to the grassy floor, hiding his head in his hands.

He did this.

He made her pain worse when he should be easing it.

He should be with her.

He raised his head slowly from his hands as the rain gently started to glide down from the sky once more, realisation spreading across his features.

He couldn't fight his heart anymore.

He couldn't keep doing this to himself.

To them.

He told Lauren he wanted a separation earlier that night. At the time he thought he did it out of rage but was their marriage really going to work?
Why was he forcing something that wasn't going anywhere?
Why was he fighting a losing battle?
Why is he fighting his heart?

Why!

He wanted to be with her.
Holding her,
Calming her,
Kissing her,
Making love to her,
Showing her how sorry he is and how much he needs her.

Vaughn pulled himself off the ground and ran to her door.

He couldn't do this anymore.

He fumbled through his keys until he found the one he was looking for; it was the key Weiss gave to him.

He slid it in the keyhole, quietly pushed the door open and entered her silent house. He shook his shoes off so as to not wake her and crept to where he knew she slept.

He paused at the door and let his eyes close for a couple of seconds, gathering his thoughts.

After this there was no turning back.

Maybe he should have officially ended things with Lauren before he did this.

That would be the right thing to do.

But would it be the right thing for him?

An agonised scream interrupted his doubts.

Sydney

He turned the handle, not fast enough as,

her muffled screams continued.

He pushed the door open;

he saw harsh trails of sweat trickling down her face and mingling with bitter tears.

He walked through the doorway, her once beautiful face looked achingly drained.

He closed the door behind him; he didn't remember her frame looking so fragile as he watched her toss and turn.

Vaughn stood there in a daze, while her face twisted in agony. In terror. He didn't know what to do. It had all seemed so much clearer outside, but the fact was that he had been away from Sydney for almost three years. Hadn't held her, talked to her, comforted her in all that time. He didn't know if he could do it again. He didn't know if she would want him to. In truth - he was afraid.

Another blood-curdling scream tore from Sydney's throat and he quickly found himself far more scared for her than he was for himself. At that point, instinct took over and Vaughn did what he naturally would have done a couple of years ago - he threw off his coat and socks and crawled into her bed wearing only his old t-shirt and sweatpants.

He tried to hold her still, his arms firmly around her waist as he pulled her closer. She whimpered and tried to push him away, her movements becoming more erratic. He loosened his hold and instead began to run his fingers through her hair in a way that he knew calmed her.

Once or twice she almost hit him more than once he put himself between her flailing arms and the bed frame to prevent her from hurting herself. He didn't care and drew her closer to him and began to whisper in her ear.

"I'm here…it's just a dream…it's all over…shh…wake up sweetie…Je suis ici, c'est bien maintenant."

Vaughn found himself lapsing into French, knowing the soft language would do more to calm her than speaking in English would. He felt a tear of his own fall at her pain and gently placed a kiss on her feverish temple.

"C'mon sweetie, wake up. Wake up for me. Vous êtes sûr, vous êtes sûr"

At his words her fingers wound tightly into his t-shirt and she pushed her face into his chest. Her body continued to shake violently, but her erratic movements had stopped. He could tell by her shallow breaths and the sudden gasps she continued to make that she was still in the grips of her nightmare. It was after almost half an hour of whispering soft words to her and rubbing gentle circles on her back that her body finally relaxed and she slowly opened her eyes, sweat mingling with fresh salty tears.

"V-Vaughn…?" She mumbled, her voice hoarse and broken. She looked up into his emerald eyes and he saw doubt cloud her own. "You're not here, you're never here!" A new spring of tears erupted as she tried to push him away "Let me go!" she pulled herself away from him, turning her back to him and curling up into a foetal position where she began to rock herself in a vain bid for comfort.

Vaughn lay there in shock, paralysed for a moment by her rejection and by the sight of her looking so small and broken. He couldn't bear to see her like this. He did the only thing he could think to do.

He pulled her around and gave her the sweetest and most gentle kiss he could, gently caressing her cheek before moving his arms back around her waist, not wanting to scare her.

He tenderly drew away, leaving a speechless Sydney gazing up at him.

"How…you…you're real…why are you here?"

"I finally figured it out Sydney."

She looked hesitantly at him, the fear and hope in her eyes testament to what was running through her head and he knew she needed a better answer. She deserved a better answer.

"This is where I'm supposed to be. I've been trying to have a normal life since you left. But I can't, I don't want to…unless it's with you. It's always been you." He reached over and gently cupped her cheek in his hand. "Lauren and I are separating, I'll finalise it tomorrow, I just want to be with you right now. I need to be here with you"

Sydney gave him a hesitant smile before her face sobered. "What's she going to say when she wakes up without you?"

Thinking about it, he found he didn't know the answer to her question.

He was such a lousy husband that he had no idea how his wife would react.

"I guess…she'll realise what I've done," Vaughn looked down into her eyes, "I know I shouldn't be here, especially not now…but I can't stand it anymore. I've been lying to myself, to her, since you returned…since before you returned. We shouldn't have married in the first place, but I can't change the past. All I can do is work for a better future. I love you Sydney Bristow. That's all that matters, now. I think…I think Lauren understands that, too."

Tears were still streaming down her face as he went to tenderly wipe them away with the pad of his thumb. At that moment, something clicked and the world shifted just for them.

"I…I love you too." Her voice broke on the last word and she buried her head in his chest, suddenly feeling truly safe for the first time since her return.

"Go to sleep." Vaughn whispered in her ear.

"Promise me you'll be here when I wake up?" Sydney snuggled into his embrace and slowly closed her eyes. He placed a kiss on her cheek.

"I promise. I'll always be here for you. Always."

They fell asleep in each others arms, finally at peace.

They had found each other again.


Replies are welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read.

- Katie xxx