Disclaimer: I do not own Alias, the characters and every brand you recognize. The original characters are mine, though. MINE. lulz.
Sometimes, she'd wish that everything turned out to be a little different – she'd wonder if Jack and Irina would be doting grandparents to her children, or if Nadia would be an indulging aunt. Sometimes, she'd wish that Irina… her mother… didn't turn out to be as deranged as Sloane. She'd sometimes wish that her mother didn't die on that building.
There was a little part of her that actually believed that if everything had been different, they would have a semblance of a happy family. There were times when she'd wish that she could go back and change some things, even though she knew that it would never happen.
But sometimes she'd catch herself wondering.
Three hours after Dixon left
Sydney slowly traced the hard ridge of the photo album and stared at the yellowed pictures in front her. Her parents' beaming faces looked up at her and she suddenly felt sadness overcoming her whole being.
Why did she always do this? Every time she saw Dixon, she felt compelled to pull out her family pictures - the ones with her dad, her mom and her sister - and gaze at them for hours. It always made her feel sad and it also made her feel guilty because there was a part of her that felt she caused their deaths.
'Syd, stop doing this to yourself.'
"So, Jack's asleep and Isabelle's in bed." Vaughn sank beside her on the couch and leaned back.
"Hmm…" She replied but didn't tear her eyes away from the photographs.
Vaughn observed her. Sydney seemed to be in her own world when she's looking at her old family albums. There were times when she'd share a memory about a picture, but most of the time, she'd be quiet. He must admit that sometimes, this behavior worried him but every time he brought it up, she'd smile at him and tell him that everything was fine.
"Syd?" he said softly after a few minutes.
Sydney blinked before focusing her attention on her husband, "I'm sorry, what did you say?" she asked, a bit confused. Did he ask something or did he just say her name?
"I didn't say anything. I'm only… worried about you." Vaughn answered, "Again." he added and gave her a grin.
She saw his concern and she replaced the serious expression on her face with a small smile, "I'm fine. It's just that…" she trailed off and her face turned serious again.
"What is it?"
Sydney took a deep breath and sighed. He would get upset after he hears what she's going to say, "Recently, I've been feeling down and I can't help but feel…" she trailed off and shook her head, "Everything is going smoothly and perfect and I don't know, I can't explain it, but something not right."
Vaughn's brows knotted as he shook his head. He cupped Sydney's face with his hands and gazed directly in her eyes, "Don't do this to yourself, Syd. It isn't fair."
"They shouldn't have died."
"But they did. And we can't change that." He paused and caressed her cheek, "Your dad… Nadia… they wouldn't want you to beat yourself up with what happened."
Tears began to pool in Sydney's eyes, "I miss them. Even mom." She whispered, as if ashamed of what she just said
Vaughn kissed the top of her forehead. Sydney came from a dysfunctional family, but it made her into a wonderful person. She shouldn't be ashamed if she missed Jack, Nadia… and Irina.
"You won't be able to keep yourself from missing them," he replied, "Even if it's been almost six years."
"I know." She answered and closed the photo album. She smiled at her husband before she kissed him. Vaughn pulled her in an embrace.
She didn't tell him, however, that she also felt like something's going to go very wrong.
(Somewhere around the world)
There was already a long-stemmed rose lying by the gravestone when they arrived. She bit her lip and swallowed the lump of tears on her throat before putting the basket of wildflowers by grave.
"I see that Julian got here before us."
She glanced at the older woman beside her and nodded her head. She then took out the candles from her bag, lighted them and placed it by the grave.
"Are you alright, child?"
She nodded her head again. It's been 40 days since the death of the woman she considered to be her mother and she hadn't uttered a complete sentence to anyone since then. When her parents died nine years ago, she didn't talk to anyone for almost two years; this loss might impel her to live a life of a mute forever.
"Julian told me that you haven't talked to him or to anyone else for five weeks now."
She didn't say anything and looked down on the ground instead.
The older woman sighed, "Don't do this to yourself."
Tears flooded her eyes. She tried to blink them back but they fell down on her cheeks anyway.
"I know you miss her." The accent in the older woman's voice was soft and somewhat soothing, "I miss her too."
She glanced up and saw the same sorrow reflected on the woman's face. She suddenly felt worse when she realized that she was being selfish again. She was so full of herself that she forgot about the people around her.
"I'm sorry…" she murmured sincerely, "It was a selfish thing to do."
"You don't have to apologize. We all handle grief differently. I just thought it would be more helpful to you if you talked to someone." Her gaze was soft as she caressed the girl's cheek.
"Okay." She answered, "Who do you want me to talk to?"
"Anyone you want."
She didn't say anything after that. After a few minutes, they both stood by the grave in silence. She didn't pay attention to the sounds around her and focused on quietly saying prayers for the dead.
'…I know I shouldn't feel sad because you're in a better place now, probably with the guy you loved so much… Jack, right?' her thoughts wandered off even before she said Amen. She didn't really believe in heaven or in hell since you can't believe in just one (how can you do good things if you know that whatever you do, you'll end up in heaven?). Catholic upbringing told her that saintly people go to heaven; the wicked go to hell. The person she was thinking about, the person she was praying for… she was neither.
In her opinion, people create their own afterlife.
'…I know you're happy. And safe.'
Her companion gently touched her shoulder, "The car's here, sweetheart."
She glanced behind her and saw a black Pontiac coming round the corner. She then brought her attention back at her companion, "Okay."
Both of them looked at the gravestone again.
22 March 1951 - 12 May 2012
"See you soon."
Her companion wrapped an arm around her shoulder before they turned around and walked away.