Title: Easier Author Lisek16 (lisek16) Disclaimer: If you think I own the rights to Alias you need your head checked. Rating: PG-13 for language Summary: Irina makes a good point and Vaughn tries to tell Syd how he feels --- It was 9:57 on a rainy Monday evening. I paged her and I paced around the warehouse. I couldn’t meet her at the CIA facility because this seemed more like home. I liked the privacy. The feeling that no one was listening, not even the ‘good guys’; made it easier to do what I had to. ------------- After I recovered from my bout with near death, I thanked her. I thanked Irina, and I kept my promise. I answered her personal inquires. I confided in her that no matter what I felt, I had to keep Sydney at arms length; I had to treat her in a professional manner and not get distracted by her. Irina raised an eyebrow and she knew. I never had a good poker face. I could manage concealing little things, but nothing more than who ate the last donut, and even then usually I’d confess. This was different because lives depended on me hiding the truth. I had been doing an okay job but then Sydney found out about Alice and I chased her down a hallway for a chance to explain. It was probably for the best that I didn’t catch her because a confession of my feelings for her in front of assistant director Kendall might have ruined the moment. So when Kendall told me he needed Sydney briefed for her counter mission I was more than happy to be a company man. I paged her in front of Kendall and told him I was meeting her on my own terms. I actually said “it will be more convenient for Sydney” to meet outside the facility in another location. He bought it, I suppose, and I drove off to the warehouse. I paced, and waited for her. I must have glanced at my watched a dozen times in the brevity of my wait. I finally heard her traipsing into the warehouse and looked up. She smiled as she made her way into the gated storage room. “It’s clean.” I said in a rushed tone. She nodded her head and I noticed she looked different. She wasn’t donning a black suit this evening; she was wearing a low cut navy blue dress with a choker. Her hair was swept up in a fancy up-do and she was chewing on bubble gum. This wasn’t the Sydney I was used to. “Did I interrupt you?” I asked awkwardly. “One of Francie’s hostesses called in sick at the last minute and I was filling in.” she answered as she blew a bubble. “You look nice.” I said. She looked a little taken aback and said “Thanks, you don’t look so bad yourself.” Then her entire face flushed and we both darted our eyes from one another. It’s really awkward, because she saves my life, and I save hers and after one clandestine glance or smile the moment ends and we are just handler and agent. For once I wish I knew what it felt like to not have to suppress my feelings or hide from her. I decided to break the silence with some formality. “I didn’t mean to interrupt your evening, and I really didn’t want to drag you out here this late, but Kendall…” “We all know Kendall’s an ass” she said. I smirked, partly because she was right and partly because I was thinking the exact same thing. “Yeah.” I said. “Kendall wanted me to make sure you understood the counter mission we discussed yesterday…” “My father briefed me this morning.” She said. “Oh.” My voice was flat. “Is that really why you called me?” she asked as she moved herself to sit atop the metal table that lay dormant in the dimly lit room. “I had a question. Several actually.” I said. I was debating telling her. I was debating revealing the one secret that could ruin everything, but it was now or never... Carpe Diem. “Shoot.” She said. So I shot. “If you had to tell someone something that could change everything would you? Would you tell them?” “Yeah, I would.” I had been counting on her saying that. Just as I was about to tell her everything, she elaborated. “I told Danny the truth last year, because I couldn’t stand lying. I knew it would change everything but I told him anyways. I’m glad that I did, even though it ruined everything. I mean my honesty got him killed. I regret that, but I don’t regret the other results; finding out about SD-6, learning about my mom, my father, even meeting you. I guess every cloud has a silver lining… What’s the life-changing question?” I gulped and shook my head. I couldn’t tell her, because at that moment it would have been inappropriate. Here she was grieving over Danny and there I could be saying ‘gee you’re pretty, and I think I’m infatuated with you? What do you think?’ It wasn’t the right time and it never was. “Hypothetical question.” I responded. “Anything else I need to know.” She asked smirking probably at the stupidity and the failed execution at my attempt to tell her how I felt. “Nothing else comes to mind. Good luck in New York tomorrow.” I responded. “I’ll be careful.” She responded, as she got up from the table, and was about to leave but she turned around suddenly. “I forgot to ask, how are you feeling?” she asked. “I’m feeling better every day.” I said flatly. She didn’t notice. “I’m glad. You really scared us last week.” She said; I was waiting for her to pat my head and call me scout. Sometimes I was glad this was the way things were, it was almost easier to be alone.