Rating: PG (angst)
Spoilers: All the way through the so called series finale, ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD

Summary: Sydney gains back a priceless heirloom she thought lost forever.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Alias or its characters, because if I did then Jack Bristow never would have been killed off in such a pointless way! I have made NO money off of this and I expect NOT to be sued for writing or sharing this with my fellow Alias fans on the internet!

Author’s Note: This is likely the only time ever I will ever acknowledge Jack Bristow’s death as they presented it at the end of Alias as I truly hated the way he died since I saw it as being so pointless!

This could be considered slightly AU and you’ll see why, though for the most part I am sticking to canon.

This story takes place two months after the series finale.

“Miss Bristow?”

Sydney looked up at the secretary from where she sat thumbing through a magazine like she would at the doctor’s office, “Yes?”

“Director Devlin will see you now,” the secretary said, rising from behind her desk to act as an escort. Sydney followed her deeper into the office until both were standing outside the director’s door. “Just go on in, Miss Bristow. The director is expecting you.”

Sydney nodded, and watched as the secretary started off towards the front. She waited until she was out of sight before she raised her hand to knock on the door. After receiving Devlin’s muffled permission, she entered his office.

Devlin looked up at her from the other side of his desk with a smile. Rising as she approached, he extended his hand in greeting, “Sydney, so good to see you again.”

Sydney nodded, “Likewise.”

He motioned for her to sit down in a chair across from his desk, “Can I offer you something to drink? Coffee? Water?”

“No, thank you.”

“Let me just say again that I was sorry to hear about Jack,” Devlin said. Until now he hadn’t had a chance to offer his condolences to her in private and in person, “Your father was a fine man, and one of the best agents I ever had the privilege of working with.”

Even as he spoke the words, Devlin couldn’t help the flash of memory that went through his head of the last time he saw Jack. Jack had essentially held all of the directors short of the Director of the CIA, hostage trying to find out who was Prophet Five’s mole, and therefore could tell him where they were holding his daughter prisoner.

At the time Devlin remembered being angry at the implication one of them was involved with a terrorist organization, but that view changed when he looked back on it. Now he very well understood Jack’s actions as being one that of a father desperate to find and protect his child from very evil people. With that understand he couldn’t blame Jack for his actions as Devlin knew he would have done the same thing to protect one of his own children from those same evil people.

“Thank you,” Sydney replied quietly.

“Now, what can I do for you?” He listened as Sydney explained her request, and sadly he shook his head as she finished, denying her. “I’m sorry but I can’t give you’ve asked for.”

“Why not?” Sydney asked.

Devlin frowned slightly at her question, “You were in the Agency for almost 15 years. I shouldn’t have to remind you about the classified nature of the work we do here. I’m sorry, Sydney, I can’t help you.”

Sydney wasn’t ready to let the matter go just yet. “Mr. Devlin, all I am asking for is to have one picture of my father from the CIA, not his entire history as an agent! One day I want to be able to show my daughter her grandfather’s face when she asks me who he was since she’ll never know him for herself by firsthand experience.”

Devlin sighed, “As the risk of sound repetitive I wish I could help you, Sydney, I really do. But you know as well as I do there’s a reason the Agency classifies all materials regarding our agents, even after their death. It’s to protect the agents they worked with and more importantly their families.”

Sydney didn’t try to hide her frustration and disappointment, “I know.”

“You have not one single picture of Jack at all?” Devlin asked.

Sydney shook her head, “No I don’t because if you’ll remember everything I had from when I was a child was destroyed four years ago when the Covenant set fire to my apartment. My family pictures were included in that blaze.”

“Did you try looking in Jack’s apartment for pictures he may have had?”

Sydney nodded, “Yes but as you can imagine, Mr. Devlin, the only pictures he kept were of me or my daughter and not of himself.”

“You never had a family picture made?” Devlin asked.

“How could we with our lives being as insane as it was first with me and my father not on speaking terms, and then SD-6, then the Covenant, then finally Prophet Five?”

Devlin shook his head remembering all of the insanity of the Bristows’ lives, and he felt regret for what he had to say, “It’s a shame that everything was always conspiring against you like that but I am afraid my original answers has to stand. I can’t help you.”

With tears in her eyes, Sydney accepted his words, “Thank you for your time, Mr. Devlin.”

To Be Concluded...


Author's Note: My apologies for the delay in posting the conclusion of this story - I had planned to post it sooner but I got sick and then my muse seemed to want to take a long unauthorized vacation.

See disclaimers and notes in Chapter 1.

Five months later…

“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Is-a-belle! Happy birthday to you!” Sydney placed a small cake before her 1 year old daughter, kissing her head before the baby dove face first into it. Everyone laughed a few seconds later when she came up and Vaughn snapped a picture, the flash making her eyes go wide. The crowd who had gathered to celebrate Isabelle's first year was a small one since the only people her parents had only invited were all the surviving APO family members: Weiss, Dixon, Marshall, Carrie, and Rachel.

Sydney hadn't long finished serving cake and ice cream to everyone waiting until they were all preoccupied before she slipped into the kitchen. About a month after they married, Sydney and Vaughn had moved their family out of her apartment into a more roomy house in a quieter part of L.A. They had both decided to leave the CIA since Sydney had made the decision to take up teaching and Vaughn had didn't see the point of staying in without Sydney there as well.

Now Sydney leaned against a cabinet that was out of everyone's line of sight, fighting back tears as she listened to everyone talking and laughing. Oh she was happy and couldn't believe that Isabelle was already a year old. But someone was missing from the celebration and more importantly from their lives. Sydney couldn't help the aching sadness that present and causing her to wipe away tears now.

“Just came to grab something to drink. I'm out,” Dixon said, walking into the kitchen.

Sydney quickly turned to face away from him, and began busying herself with some nonexistent task. Speaking in her best cheerful voice she said, “Sure, go ahead and help yourself to anything we've got.”

Dixon stopped moving all of a sudden, recognizing her forced overly cheerful tone, “Syd, what's wrong?”

Sydney went on with loading up a few dirty dishes into the dishwasher, careful not to let him see her face, “Nothing's wrong. Why do you ask?”

“Because I can tell you're crying,” Dixon replied, going up behind her. He turned her around to face him and he saw the drying tears there. One look in the eye is all it took for her pretense to crumble, and her face contorted as the tears began again. Dixon just pulled his friend to him and hugged her while she cried. He asked gently, “What's wrong?”

“I miss Dad.” She pulled away to grab a paper towel to wipe her eyes with. “I know we're celebrating my daughter's first year of life, and I should be smiling not crying but this hit me like a ton of bricks. When I was watching Isabelle, I started to think about when she was born, about how we'd never made it through that if Dad hadn't been there.” Sydney paused to take a deep shuddering breath before continuing.

“And then I started to think about how it isn't unfair that he's not right here right now to celebrate his granddaughter's birthday!” The tears started flowing again but this time Dixon didn't have to pull her into a hug as Sydney sought him out herself. Dixon just held her and let her cry knowing from experience that sometimes you just had to cry for the now gone loved one you missed. He knew because he had spent a lot of his own tears for Diane.

They stayed like that for a couple of minutes until Weiss stepped into the kitchen, “Uh, Syd, Mike wants to know if you'd like to start opening up Isa -” He stopped talking when he saw Sydney pull away from Dixon, wiping her eyes.

Sydney gave a smile of gratitude to Dixon, “Thank you.” He smiled and nodded a reply at her before she looked back to Weiss, “I'll be out in a second.”

Weiss nodded, “Okay.” He left the kitchen.

Dixon resumed getting himself a drink while Sydney washed the drying tears away off her face. She exited the kitchen first, followed closely by Dixon where they rejoined the others in the living room. Vaughn sat on the couch with Isabelle in his lap with gifts from their friends to the baby sitting on the coffee table before them. The others had found seats all around, and were waiting for Sydney to take a seat beside Vaughn.

One by one all the gifts were opened with Isabelle immediately latching onto the ear of the stuffed dog she'd received from her Uncle Eric. The last gift received was marked as being from the Flinkmans, and Marshall seemed somewhat serious when Vaughn picked it up to start helping Isabelle open it.

Marshall spoke up, “Uh, I think Sydney should be the one to open this one.”

Vaughn looked at him and nodded, “All right.” He handed the flat package over to her, and watched as she carefully began to tear away at the paper.

Sydney gasped loudly when she tore off enough of the paper to see what was inside. In a beautiful yet simple wooden frame was a picture of Jack in which he had one of his rare smiles gracing his face. Tears immediately flooded Sydney's eyes, streaming down her face as she jumped out of her seat, and went over to give Marshall a hug.

As she pulled away from the abashed Marshall, Sydney asked, “Marshall, how? Devlin told me every picture the CIA had of my dad was classified and that he couldn't let me have any copies.”

Marshall nodded, “Yeah I heard it through the grapevine that Mr. Devlin had denied your request for a picture of Mr. Bristow, and I thought that was just wrong they wouldn't give you a picture of your dad. Uh, so I started to comb through the old Alliance archives looking for a picture they wouldn't object to you having a copy of.”

Dixon spoke up here, “I hate to have to say this but Syd, Devlin has a few stipulations about letting you have this picture.” Following Jack's death in Mongolia, Dixon had been appointed the new director of APO.

“Which I'll gladly agree to,” Sydney replied.

Dixon actually took out a piece of paper for her to sign and smile apologetically to his friends, “Sorry but Devlin insisted.” Sydney nodded, and grabbed a pen to sign the paper. “You have to sign it too, Vaughn.”

After they had both signed and returned the paper to Dixon, Sydney approached Marshall again, this time giving him a kiss on the cheek, “Thank you so much.”