A/N: So this is my first stab at an Alias story. I love the show (I think it took me all of like four months to watch all five seasons) and I started this story last year, before I discovered FFN. Since I have a couple of chapters blocked already, I thought I'd put this out there to see if there is any interest. This first bit is short, but it's only the prologue; the other chapters are quite a bit longer.

This story is slightly AU. I had originally started writing it as a separate story with some of the names changed slightly so that it wasn't directly an Alias story, so the plotline isn't 100% concurrent with the way things go in the show.

With regards to a timeline, the best place realistically to slot it is right at the beginning of S3, but there are some things (possibly quite a few things) that happened differently during S1, S2, and the gap in between S2 and S3. First off, Sydney and Vaughn met as kids because Sydney grew up with her grandparents (Jack's parents) in Maine. So during the time on the show where Sydney and Danny were in a relationship, that relationship is actually Sydney and Vaughn. SD-6 still recruits Sydney, but because she's dating Vaughn who already works for the CIA, she's a double agent from the start. Most of S1 progresses the same way, but after they take down SD-6, Vaughn and Weiss get asked to go on a deep-cover assignment for four years. Sydney isn't happy when she finds out and they break up. She starts dating Danny after he leaves.

Another thing that's different: Sydney never got kidnapped by the Covenant. She still worked with them, under the alias of Julia Thorne, but the circumstances are different. In fact, she quits working for the Covenant shortly before any of this takes place. It may seem confusing at first what she does with the four years that Vaughn is gone on assignment, but it'll all be made clear. All you really need to know is she quite the CIA and worked with the Covenant under alias.

I mixed in a little bit of S4 here too because I figured they needed a secret group to take down the Covenant, so don't be surprised if APO crops up before it's supposed to. Sloane's not running it, though, he's still in his S3 role, and so Kendall's in charge instead.

And that whole Frnacie doppelganger thing? That never happened. Ditto with the Will on drugs.

ANYWAY, that was a really huge note, so I'll stop now and let you read. Sorry if I may have confused you!

Let me know if there's any interest!


Outside Los Angeles


August 2005

THE JEEP ROARED ALONG THE winding country road, leaving the metropolitan city centre of Los Angeles behind. The man driving the Jeep was approaching middle age: early thirties or so. His brown hair was cut short, but not short enough that the natural curl was lost. His grey eyes were creased at the corners, and the little sprigs of premature grey hair at his temples gave him the appearance of someone older. He was casually dressed: jeans and a T-Shirt. His overall appearance was very casual and relaxed, making you automatically assume that he was very casual and laid-back in life.

His companion, on the other hand, seemed much more meticulously prepared. Sure, her clothes were casual, but there was a subtle purpose, a scheme, to her attire. Her just-past-shoulder-length brown hair rippled back in the wind, drawing attention to the delicate, defined structure of her face. Her complexion was fair, despite the fact that she'd lived in Los Angeles for the last eight or nine years. Her brown eyes sparkled, and her shoulders were relaxed, something that anyone who knew her could tell you never happened very often. She wore a blouse, blue and loose fitting, with a pair of non-descript, khaki capris. She seemed to be the kind of person that would always be prepared in for any kind of scenario; she seemed to be very neat and organized. She also seemed to be very collected, just the sort of person you would want to have around in an emergency, because you wouldn't see her type panicking, but rather calmly and coolly analyzing possible options.

The woman tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear—though the wind would only blow it back again—and surveyed the landscape. The California countryside was beautiful, though between work and school, she had never had time to enjoy it. It was nice to be able to relax, knowing she had a weekend off in Palm Springs and no job to rush back to on Monday. Classes didn't start for another month, so she could just relax and enjoy some time with her friends—something that hadn't happened in a long time.

The sounds of the Bob Seger song playing on the radio was drowned out by the wind, making the woman feel the need to raise her voice in order to be heard; the words would otherwise float away on the wind.

"I still can't believe we're doing this."

The man shook his head. "What's so hard to believe? It's a weekend in Palm Springs to celebrate you finally quitting that accursed job of yours. I've been meaning to do this for months."

The woman sighed. "I know, Danny, it's just that it feels so…liberating."

He laughed. "That just means you need to take more holidays. Which we'll do now that you're no longer employed."

"But what about when you start working? You'll be at the hospital all the time, and we'll have no more romantic weekends."

"All the more reason to take them now." He paused. "Do you mind looking in the glovebox for a sec? I think the map's in there."

She shook her head, protesting that they didn't need a map, but opened the glove box anyways. There was no map, but something small and round wrapped in paper caught her eye. She hesitated for a fraction of a second, and then ducked down for a closer look.

There was a spit of gunfire, and the car lurched out of control, swerving madly off the road. For the woman, the next few moments were a blur, as the car rolled and spun off the road. For a few seconds, she thought she would die, but after the car stopped rolling, the agony she felt all over confirmed that she was very much alive.

"Danny?" Her voice was a croak. When there was no answer, she tried to turn, despite the airbag wedged against her chest. Danny was beside her, but he was slumped over the steering wheel, his face drenched in scarlet. Red, wet, and sticky, blood covered his face and her hands as she tried to move him, ignoring the protests from the rest of her body.

When she thought back on it later, the next few minutes were very vague. She tried to check vitals, but her hands were too shaky. She must have blacked out, because the paramedics were suddenly swarming like flies. She blacked out again, and when she woke this time, she was in the ambulance. Someone was holding her hand. A man. A very familiar man.

"Vaughn," she whispered, and then blacked out.