Illusion Of Sin

Oct 12, 2003

A/N If you're confused while reading this don't worry just continue, all will be explained no worries! and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Kewii who beta'd this for me and did such an amazing job. And To all my test readers, Cathy, Kathryn, Christina, Stacey and others.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Illusion of Sin</span>

Life was twisted in such an ordained manner that she could no longer tell you what was real or illusion. She couldn’t tell you the difference between black and white, love and hate, good and evil. When the line dividing right from wrong is shattered, the consequences come with out warning. And with nothing left and no one left who speaks the truth, there’s only one thing she can do. Revenge is all that keeps her breathing. Only one choice left now: Fight back or allow the lies to kill her soul.

Part One
Crossing The Line

Memories are like the ocean on a calm spring day. They wash over you at unexpected times leaving a small path in their wake. Sometimes they are gentle treasures that bring a smile to your lips and other times they are so harsh you would do anything to forget.

She remembers being four years old and in all her childhood innocence asking her Daddy, why all the other kids in her pre-school class had Mommies, but she didn’t.

She remembers being five years old and coming home from afternoon kindergarten crying. Through hiccuped gasping sobs she’d eventually told her father why. All the other girls mommies braided their pigtails, but her mommy couldn’t. She didn’t have one and Daddy doing it just wasn’t the same. It made her different from other kids and she didn’t like it.

She remembers being six years old and refusing to go to school. She kicked and screamed until finally she’d told her pleading father why. It was Mommy day at school. All the other kids’ moms were coming to spend the day with them at school. She was the only one in her class who was left out. It hurt to be different and at six years old, that was the last time she’d cried over it. It hurt too much to see the sadness in her father’s eyes.

She never had a mother. Growing up her father never married, nor had any serious relationships. He raised his daughter by himself, but the lack of female influence upon her was not lost. Occasionally she had wondered if her father was even interested in the opposite sex. But in the same instance, she would remember all the times he’d said how much he loved her mother. He didn’t talk about her often, but when he did his eyes lit up, replacing the sadness the thought of her mother usually brought.

As she sat on the cold damp ground, she couldn’t help but wonder if the lies had begun when she was four. When her persistent questions about her mother, had forced her father to finally abandon his longtime story of the stork dropping her on his doorstep. He’d told her the truth, her mother died several months after she was born. She’d like to believe that was when they started did. She’d like to have believed that all the lies and half truths that followed, were only a product of her desire for knowledge, but if she did- she’d have been believing a lie. She could no longer allow her desire for closure to outweigh the truth. The truth was that the lies began the moment she was born and were solidified the moment she had spoken her first word, Daddy.

She was vaguely aware of Zack’s nervous chatter in her ear and it pulled her mind out of the past. He was trying to keep her calm and keep her mind off the upcoming meeting by talking about the Kings’ latest hockey game win, but really she knew it was also a tactic to ward off his own feelings of uneasiness. Zackary Weiss was risking everything to help her. She’d never had a more loyal friend than he. The feelings of guilt consumed her knowing that he was risking not only his life, but also his career, his future, and reputation, but she was also grateful, knowing that she could not do it alone. He was just simply put, a good man.

She tried to tune Zack out. Tried to concentrate on the simple act of breathing, but it wasn’t easy. The image of her father flashed through her mind. She had his eyes. Her father always told her how much her mother loved the ocean and her eyes reminded him of the ocean, and in turn reminded him of her mother. She had her fathers eyes, but she was every bit her mothers daughter.

She’s only ever had one real picture of her mother. She took it out of her pocket and unfolded it. It was an old photograph, creased from being folded so many times. She knew she shouldn’t have brought it on the operation, but it was impossible to leave behind. The stakes were too high. She needed her mother with her on this one. Examining it carefully she ran her fingers over the worn edges. It was of her mother and father, taken when both were in their late twenties. They were at a party, their arms around each other and they looked so happy. Even though the picture was nearly twenty years old and the image worn and faded, her mother’s eyes still seemed to sparkle as if knowing a secret she would not share.

She kissed her index finger and gently pressed it against the picture before reluctantly it was folded back up and placed into her pocket. Concentration was necessary. She needed to get her head in the game. Agonizing over what never could have been would not do anyone any good. Her contact assured her that her mark was to be meeting an unknown associate at exactly 3 AM. It was almost 3AM. She adjusted her wig slightly, glad she chosen the dark red one with bangs to conceal her identity if caught.

Zack informed her of an approaching car and she quickly checked her gun and then set the camera into position. Her left hand immediately sought the gold cross hidden beneath her black sweater and wove the chain between her fingers. It was the only thing of real value that she had of her mothers and it left her neck only when she was on operations. She brought it to her lips, kissing the cross briefly, before tucking it back under her top. The floor of the old warehouse was cold and damp and it only added to the chill she felt as a car drove in. She’d picked a good hiding spot behind some crates, in the shadows, which obscured her presence from any other person in the warehouse.

The man stayed in his car and she aimed the camera, but the tinted windows prevent any visibility. A few minutes passed and Zack alerted her to the presence of another vehicle.

With building anticipation she swallowed hard and trembling hands aimed the camera. Zack’s voice was reassuring in her ear. He was set up in the next warehouse over and he was her only back up. The operation was not sanctioned by the CIA. Though he was her only backup, she had warned him that he was not to leave his post to assist her. This operation was personal for her and she would not put him in any more danger than she already had. Her mark needed to be punished and through him she was determined to find the sole person responsible for her mothers death.

Her mark stepped out of his car first, accompanied by three guards. He was dressed in a crisp, dark, designer suit, with dark glasses and the way he carried himself implied a high level of authority. He stood at the front of his car, flanked by two guards. All three men were armed, but with their guns in their holsters. The third guard stood off to the right, gun drawn in case something went wrong. She had three guns, extra ammo and two knives. Even with that amount of protection, she was clearly out numbered.

As the engine of the second car was cut, Zack told her to calm down. Her heart rate was erratic, and the blood rushed in her ears, but his words were lost. They sounded hollow and far away as if lost on the winds of a blustery day. All of her concentration was on the scene in front of her. It took every ounce of will power she had left to prevent herself from shooting her mark in retribution for everything he has done. All the harm he had caused. If she had done it, she’d have never make it out alive, and any hope of extracting information from him regarding the whereabouts of the individual she sought would be lost.

She’d never considered herself a vengeful person. Growing up her father had instilled in her passiveness and forgiveness to be a very powerful tool. She was ashamed to admit that forgiveness was the last thing on her mind and that frightened her. She hoped that some day her father could forgive her.

The door of the second car opened and her mark stepped forward extending his hand to the occupant inside. Long legs encased in stockings and black high-heeled shoes slipped out. To her, the world seemed to progress in slow motion as the woman came into view. Long slender legs, a deep blue skirt and jacket. Long dark hair with a sweeping of silver elegantly woven through the strands. The woman stood reigning authority over the other man and an innocent bystander might have thought her to be royalty. The two obviously knew each other well and their guards stood back allowing them to speak freely. The man retrieved an envelope containing photographs from the breast pocket of his suit and showed them to the woman.

She felt numb. She hadn’t expected this. It was supposed to be simple reconnaissance, when had everything getting so screwed up.

They moved and she shifted her position slightly in an attempt to get a better angle; bad move. Her leg was asleep and she fell forward. The camera broke as it dropped from her hand and her forehead smashed into the concrete. Putting her hands out in front of her she braced her weight and lifted her upper body off the ground. She couldn’t go far as the pressure of a gun against the back of her skull stilled her.

Hands grabbed at her, twisted her arms behind her back and pulled her to her feet. The pain in her head was excruciating and the world seemed to dance in front of her. Zack’s voice rang in her ears. ‘Stay silent if you’re okay. Cough once if you’ve been captured.’ She coughed. Mentally she was screaming at him, telling him to get out, to leave her; to do what she told him and she prayed he would.

As she was pulled to her feet, her pockets were cleared any weapons and she blinked her eyes rapidly in an attempt to clear her line of vision. Two guards pushed her towards their employer and the woman. They all had their guns drawn aimed at her. She was vaguely aware of the blood dripping down her forehead, cheek and chin, but she no longer felt pain as she looked at them.

Their expressions were cold and stoic, and she looked at them hard, defiance etched in every inch of her being.

“Who do you work for?” Her mark stepped forward. His voice was low as he cocked his head to one side, his arms crossed over his chest.

“Go to hell.” Her voice was a similar contrast, deep and husky She spat at him, the bit of spit landing on his polished black leather shoe. He looked down at it and then raised an eyebrow. He turned back to the woman and they spoke quietly for a moment.

“She’s CIA,” one of the guards interrupted and handed him one of her guns after recognizing that it was CIA issued. “What would you like us to do with her Mr. Sark?”

Sark walked towards her, his arms still crossed in front of his chest. “Now why would the CIA be interested in me?” he shrugged nonchalantly and one hand reached up to scratch his clean- jaw. He looked her up and down. “Obviously gone rogue, lack of backup, lack of equipment I mean really it’s almost humorous. What is your name?”

“What do you care.” She rolled her eyes and decided to give him a bone to play with. “Susie-Q”

“Apparently you fail to understand the seriousness of your situation, Miss. Susie-Q.” Sark emphasized the use of her name. He stood only inches from her, his right hand rubbing his neck and cheek in a repetitive manner. “A young CIA Agent stakes out my meeting, in my warehouse, without any apparent back up and expects to get away with it.” He held up his hands in pure disbelief of the situation.

“You think quite highly of yourself,” she scoffed.

“Do you know who I am?”

She didn’t answer, but it was very clear to him that she knew exactly who he was. He turned his back on her and walked away, his steps echoed on the cement floor. He looked back momentarily. “Put her in the car,” he ordered his men.

“Sark no!”

Her eyes flashed to the woman as she stepped into view and Sark looked to her curious as to the reason for her interruption. The woman had been silent until now, standing back and allowing Sark to deal with the intruder. The woman now approached her, the heels of her shoes clicking methodically on the concrete floor. The agent tried to pull away but the guard only twisted her arms tighter. It hurt, but she could not let the pain show. She would not give them the satisfaction. Their eyes met and the woman tucked a lock of hair behind her left ear before extending a long finger. The agent watched as the finger travelled up the front of her sweater and touched the gold cross. It must have come loose in the struggle. Their eyes met once more; cold dark and icy blue. Her voice was low and Sark had to step forward to hear.

“My mother gave this to me when I was born,” she lifted the cross with her finger, allowing it to rest in the palm of her hand. “I gave it to my daughter when she was born and-“ The woman’s fingers suddenly abandoned the cross and tugged the red wig from the agents head. Long dark hair spilled around her shoulders and the resemblance between the two women was clear. “Aurora Francine Summers, what are you doing here?” Her voice was cold lacking any warmth that she might feel.

“And then she gave it to me,” her voice trembled as she finished the story and her eyes filled with tears. She couldn’t keep them from spilling down her cheeks, but she didn’t care. “Hello Irina.”

“You shouldn’t be here Rory.” Irina shook her head as she spoke, as if scolding a young child, not a grown woman.

“What do you care,” Rory looked up, her eyes met Sark’s and suddenly he waved off the guards and she was released. Surprised she rubbed her aching arms and her gaze reverted back to the woman in front of her.

“You are Sydney’s daughter-“

“Don’t speak her name,” Rory held up a hand in front of the woman. “Don’t you dare speak her name. You have no right-“

“I have every right! I am her mother-“

“You killed her!” Rory shouted no longer trying to keep her composure. Her eyes were filled with the pain and anguish of loving a woman she’d never known and then loosing her, severing any chance they could have ever had to meet. “How could you do it? How could you kill your own daughter?”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about young lady-“

“Don’t patronize me,” Rory laughed bitterly. “You’re a lunatic who murdered her own child.”

Rory’s words were answered with a sharp slap across her cheek. The crack echoed throughout the near empty warehouse. She swallowed hard tasting the blood in the corner of her mouth. Silently she looked up at Irina.

Irina took a handkerchief from Sark’s outstretched hand and gently dabbed at Rory’s split lip. “I’m sorry,” she said softly. “I did not want to hurt you.”

“You don’t care who you hurt.” Rory glanced at Sark briefly before turning her gaze back to Irina.

“That’s not true-“

“You killed my mother.” Rory said simply unable to emphasize her point any further.

“No, I didn’t,” Irina shook her head and used the handkerchief to dry the tears from her granddaughter’s cheek, before dabbing once more at her lip. “Ask yourself Aurora, how could I harm the one thing that I love most in this world.” Irina pocketed the handkerchief and once more wiped Rory’s cheeks with her thumb. She smoothed her granddaughter’s hair and tucked it behind her ear. “I love your mother sweetheart. She is my world, just as you are hers.”

“But the pictures…the video, I saw what you did?” Rory looked up at Irina, pain and confusion etched across her face and for the first time she saw the tears in her grandmother’s eyes. “You pointed a gun at her back and pulled the trigger.”

“It was a ruse.” Sark’s voice seemed to come out of nowhere as he stepped towards the women.

“What?” She took a step back. He was a little too close for comfort.

“It was imperative that everyone believed Sydney was gone,” Irina explained gently taking Rory’s hand in her own. “Those closest to her, even you.”

“I-I don’t understand.”

“Your mother is alive Aurora,” Sark took another step towards her and this time she could not move. “But her situation is precarious and she needs your help.”

Rory’s eyes shifted between the two people standing in front of her. She was confused. Part of her was hopeful and the other part dared to believe it the truth. She couldn’t breath, everything seemed to be closing in around her as she looked at the photographs and she began to believe. Aurora Summers was about to be thrust into a world more dangerous than she could have ever anticipated.

Her eyes connected with Sark’s as he explained their actions and the reasoning for his participation. She stood frozen allowing him to explain without interruption and when he removed his dark sunglasses, she felt as if she were looking into a mirror.

She didn’t have time to react to his words. Out of the corner of her eye she suddenly saw Zack, his arm raised and pointing a gun at Sark. The guards saw him at the same time and a scream of terror escaped her throat as they fired. She tried to run to him but Sark grabbed her by the waist. He covered her body with his and pulled her to the ground, out of the line of fire. She landed hard on her shoulder, heard the snap as the bone broke and saw Zack go down. Sark tried to hold her back but she kicked him away crawling on her hands and knees towards the fallen agent.

“Zack, Zack please, please,” Rory half begged and cried as she reached him. He was still alive, but with two bullet holes in his chest. “What were you doing? I told you to leave. Why didn’t you listen Zack? Why weren’t you wearing your vest? Please be okay,” she sobbed. “Just hang on.” Her hands fumbled in his pockets searching for a cell phone. She found one in a cargo pocket and began to dial but Sark grabbed it away from her.

“What are you doing?” she screamed trying to grab it back. “He’s still alive, he has a chance. Please,” she begged. “He’s a good man. His name is Zackary Weiss. He’s only twenty five years old.” she wiped the tears from her cheeks with the back of her wrist and only succeeded in leaving a trail of blood across her face. “He has a family. I care about him. Please just give him a chance.” Ignoring the searing pain in her arm, her hands covered the two holes in his chest, putting pressure on them trying to slow the bleeding. “Please Zack,” she begged kissing his cheek. “Please just hang on for me.”

“Sark,” Irina walked over to them and took the cell phone, handing it to Rory along with a blanket and first aid kit she’d pulled from the car trunk. “We’ll be gone, before they get here.”

Sark backed away and began ordering his and Irina’s men about. They got in their cars and Sark and his men left immediately while Irina’s waited for her.

Irina knelt beside Rory and helped her position the blanket over Zack and press gauze bandages to his wounds. Rory began dialing the CIA emergency number on the cell phone.

“Agent Weiss?” Irina questioned fingering the CIA ID card she’d retrieved from his pocket.

“Yeah,” Rory nodded. “You shot his father remember?”

She didn’t wait for an answer and Irina didn’t bother explaining that it had been an accident, and she hadn’t actually shot Eric Weiss per say.

Rory’s trembling hand held the phone against her ear. “This is Agent Summers. Code name: White Rabbit. ID 6692-3259743. Confirmation: Mad Hatter. I need immediate medical assistance I have an officer down. My location is Warehouse four, sector 7, Pier 47, Los Angeles. Agent Weiss ID 5521-5632155 is down with two gunshot wounds to the upper chest. Our location is secure send immediate medical assistance.” Rory pulled Zack’s head into her lap and tried to wipe some blood from his hairline. She only succeeded in making it worse as her hands were covered in his blood. Her efforts to stop crying were futile as her tears mixed with the blood staining her face. “Get out before I change my mind,” she shouted and Irina straightened and walked away.

“Your mother needs your help.” Irina turned back and planted a kiss on the top of Rory’s head. “We’ll be in touch,” she whispered in her ear and with a final glance at Agent Weiss she got into her car and peeled out of the warehouse after Sark.

Rory kissed Zack’s cheek once more and did her best to cover his wounds with one good hand. “I told you to stay away,” she sobbed. “Why didn’t you listen, you stupid, stupid man.”

Zack’s eyes fluttered open. “I had to do something,” he whispered through gurgled breaths. “I couldn’t let them hurt you.”

“God, Zack,” She pressed her lips to his forehead.

“You need to find her Rory. You need to find your mother.” Zack closed his eyes. “I’ve got one for ya,” he smiled slightly opening them again. “Victory belongs to those who believe in it the most and believe in it the longest.”

Rory forced a smile. “That’s an easy one, Col. Doolittle, Pearl Harbor, 2001.”

Zack smiled back, “just keeping you on your toes. That’s you Ror, you’re victory” He began coughing up blood and Rory turned his head to the side so he wouldn’t choke on it. “There’s something you need to know, if I don’t make it-“ he whispered.

“Don’t talk like that,” Rory shook her head. “You’re going to be fine. Besides if you’re gone, who am I going to watch spy movies with and agonize over their unrealistic plots?”

“I love you,” he whispered seriously through choked breaths.

“Zack you-“

“I love you,” he repeated his dark eyes large as he struggled to continue breathing. “I know what I’m saying Ror, I need you to know that.”

“I understand,” she nodded threading her fingers through his hair. “You’re going to be okay, you have to be okay.” Leaning over she pressed her lips to his and using all the strength he had left Zack kissed her back.

Reluctantly Rory pulled away and kissed his nose. She watched as his eyes closed and he lost consciousness.

“Zack, please hang on. Don’t leave me. Not like this Zack please not like this.”

~ ~ ~

The shot of morphine she’d been given been dulled any pain she might have felt and with her broken wrist wrapped and plastered and a bullet graze in her arm stitched up, Rory sat on the pew in the small chapel, unsure of what she was really doing there. Up until an hour ago, the lines between good and evil had been so clear and concise. But now with the realization that her mother was alive, and out there somewhere in the vast world, those same lines seemed blurred, gray and out of focus. She’d allowed the enemy to escape, and here she sat talking to God while her best friend lay near death

Since her mother’s supposed death, twenty years earlier, both Sark and Irina Derevko had lain low, emerging every once in a while for something minor. Both individuals were still wanted by the CIA and in a selfish decision she’d had allowed them to escape. Rory knew she could have pulled Zack’s gun and shot both of them before they’d have had time to react. It would have been for the greater good. Two less bad guys walking around free in this world. But that would have been the end of her life as well as Zack’s, and the end of any chance of finding her mother. She kept repeating Sark’s words over and over again in her mind. “It was all a ruse, your mother is alive.” They just seemed too good to be true and she wouldn’t have dared to believe it so, were it not for the photographs. They were the tangible evidence of her mother’s existence.

Since she’d transferred to LA, Rory’s life had spiraled out of control. Zack had been her grounding point and now everything was so inconsequential as he lay on an operating table fighting for his life. She slipped the gold cross over her head and fingered the chain, allowing it to thread between her fingers. She had exactly three things of value from her mother. A photograph, a Third Edition Alice in Wonderland and the gold cross. The necklace meant the most. She’d had it since she was born and for the longest time, it was all she had. She pressed her lips to it in silent prayer and fell to her knees, ignoring the aching jolt in her arm.

“Please fight Zack,” she whispered. “I can’t do this without you.” She looked down at her hands still stained with his blood and figured the rest of her must be the same. She felt sick to her stomach looking at the dried blood under her fingernails. There had been so much blood; so much she wondered if he even had any left inside him. “Dear God, please let him live. Please don’t take him from me. Give him the strength to fight.”

She slipped the necklace back on and fisted the pendant. Her eyes looked up to the large wooden cross at the center of the front wall and whispered a promise. “I’ll find you mom. Wherever you are, I’ll find you.” And as she’d done so many times before, she asked her mother for strength and guidance.

“Agent Summers?” a male voice called to her from the doorway of the chapel bringing her out of her daze.

“Yes?” Rory quickly wiped her eyes gaining composure before she turned to look at the Agent.

“Director Dixon, Agent Weiss, Agent Bristow, and your father are here. They’re asking for you.”

“Thank you,” Rory stood and held her head high as she soundlessly walked with the security agent down the hallway ignoring the stares of curious onlookers.

She was quite the sight. Barefoot, tangled dark hair, red swollen eyes, a split lip, and two large bruises forming on her cheekbone and forehead were only the beginning. The sleeve of her shirt had been torn off at the shoulder and her arm was wrapped in thick gauze and plaster. The blood had seeped through her black sweater and when the doctors cut it off, her white t-shirt was stained red. Blood was already beginning to seep through the bandage on her arm, and it still remained partially on her face and hands.

Her arm in a sling, she walked quickly down the corridors. Instantly spotting Eric Weiss’ worried face and she felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. She was the cause for his anguish. She had put his son’s life in danger. She ignored Director Dixon’s questions and walked straight to her father and grandfather who were deep in conversation.

“You lied to me,” she accused them not even taking a second glance at their shocked faces. “Mom’s alive, I have proof, you lied to me, and now I know the truth.” Rory shouted the words not even caring who heard. She wanted so desperately to force as much pain onto them as she was feeling. Tears fell freely down her cheeks and to look at her, she was that of a broken woman. A broken woman so far damaged, one could wonder if there was even a chance for repair. Rory threw the pictures at them. Jack tried to catch them, but he was far too surprised and the photographs, stained with the blood of Zackary Weiss spilled onto tiled floor. Jack bent and picked one up; holding it between his fingertips his eyes met hers.

Rory’s gaze reverted back and forth between her father and grandfather. She watched as her father, numbly took the photograph from Jack’s hand, his mouth open in surprise and the color drained from his face. That was when it hit her and she realized the truth. “You didn’t know Mom was alive,” she whispered her voice broken off by a sob. She turned to Jack. “But you did.”

Her tearful blue eyes were filled with the hurt and anguish only betrayal could bring and as Jack looked into them he was reminded of his own daughter 25 years earlier. The wild terrified look in her eyes and the blood from her fiancée that covered her body, face, and hands. The betrayal, she’d felt when he’d told her the truth about SD-6. Betrayal was such a common theme for their family. “Aurora-“

“Don’t you Aurora me.” She spat the words from the tip of her tongue as if they were distasteful and bitter. “How could you do it Grandfather? How could you keep that from me? She’s my mother. She’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted in this world and you kept her from me.”

“Sweetheart, it’s going to be okay,” her father finally spoke his words pulling her away from the anger she felt. “We’ll find her, I promise you.” He spoke numbly. His words seemed hollow and insincere as if he didn’t really believe them himself. He was cut short as a doctor in hospital scrubs exited the operating room. “Stay here,” he ordered her and she obeyed standing next to her grandfather as they watched the doctor speak with Eric. Her father stood beside his friend, a hand on his shoulder offering any emotional support he could give as the fate of Eric’s son was revealed.

“This isn’t as clear cut as you may think,” Jack said softly staring straight ahead. “There are circumstances that you can not even begin to understand-“

“And the cost?” she couldn’t even look at him. “Was it worth it? Was it high enough? How can I believe anything you say to me ever again.”

“She is not the woman you want to know. This was done for your protection-“

“That was my decision to make. Mine. Not yours. Your words are nothing to me.”

Rory stood unmoving as her father turned back to her. He took several steps and then stopped, looking as though he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.

“What is it?” she asked fearfully. “Is Zack going to be okay?”

He opened his mouth but no words came out and all he could do was hold open his arms. She flew into them, whispers of questions that went unanswered. Jonah Summers, better known as Will Tippin, could do nothing, but hold her in his arms and thank God that his daughter safe. She might never be able to trust him again after what he had to tell her, but she was alive and that was all that mattered. His daughter meant more to him than life itself and he would give anything to make all the hurt go away.


Hope you liked it. I have no idea how frequent the updates will be for this story so if you liked it and want to continue reading make sure you ask for a PM and I'll add you to the list for this story.


Nov 28, 2003
i was really confused at the beginging especially this
She never had a mother
She remembers being four years old and in all her childhood innocence asking her Daddy, why all the other kids in her pre-school class had Mommies, but she didn’t.

She remembers being five years old and coming home from afternoon kindergarten crying. Through hiccuped gasping sobs she’d eventually told her father why. All the other girls mommies braided their pigtails, but her mommy couldn’t. She didn’t have one and Daddy doing it just wasn’t the same. It made her different from other kids and she didn’t like it.
that wasn't Sid, i was just going to skip reading it {i was that confused} , then i skimmed ahead,
“My mother gave this to me when I was born,” she lifted the cross with her finger, allowing it to rest in the palm of her hand. “I gave it to my daughter when she was born and-“ 
  “You are Sydney’s daughter-“
“Aurora Francine Summers, what are you doing here?” Her voice was cold lacking any warmth that she might feel.
And then she gave it to me,”
“Hello Irina.”
So i started over and read it. Wow that was very good. i kept trying to figure out who zack was then i saw he was a weiss. But i couldn't figure out who her father was even after i read her name. so will raised her. (y) im guessing he knew it was not his kid, but did he realise it was Sarks? :o
Her eyes connected with Sark’s as he explained their actions and the reasoning for his participation. She stood frozen allowing him to explain without interruption and when he removed his dark sunglasses, she felt as if she were looking into a mirror.
one more thin. Yes he did try to save her
He covered her body with his and pulled her to the ground, out of the line of fire.
but he seems really cold to her. Is that just me? does he realise its his kid? Or did i read it wrong?
Oct 12, 2003
Yep you're supposed to be confused, i was hoping the desire to figure it out would attract readers lol.

But no worries, the story actually backtracks after the first part and everything is explained.

I wanted the chapter to reveal everything as it was happening, thus not revealing who Rory was until Irina figured it out and not revealing that Sydney was alive until they told Rory, (mind you there are clues in Irina's dialogue.

[/QUOTE]So i started over and read it. Wow that was very good. i kept trying to figure out who zack was then i saw he was a weiss. But i couldn't figure out who her father was even after i read her name. so will raised her. im guessing he knew it was not his kid, but did he realise it was Sarks?
Zack, well he was the only character who was actually stated. somewhere in the first few paragraphs I mentioned his name, but everyone else was a mystery.

Now I never said Sark was her father did I. He could be I suppose or It could be Will there aren't any clues either way. Guess you'll have to read to find out lol :D

Glad you liked it!


Nov 28, 2003
Now I never said Sark was her father did I. He could be I suppose or It could be Will there aren't any clues either way.
But, But, But............
, she felt as if she were looking into a mirror.
if thats not a clue, what is it?! :blink: and i did catch Irina's dialogue about Sid, so i kept waiing for her to say "but she is alive" :D
Glad you liked it!
Loved it, it was great, and ive always loved the name Aurora....... so that helped ;)
Oct 12, 2003
Ah well Eve, guess you'll just have to wait and see
I love the name Aurora as well
Completley off topic and conincidental but whatever--- when i first wrote the story I chose the name Aurora/ Rory well the other day when I was casting the fic (picking actors/actresses to represent characters) to make a title pic the girl i chose to portray Rory is Alexis Bledel who plays the character Rory on Gilmore Girls.

ah well rambled enough now
Oct 12, 2003
Illusion of Sin
A/N yes this next chapter backtracks, don’t be confused! Also I rewrote history a little so that Weiss’ son Zack would have been born very soon after the season three finale (but before Syd went to the bank in Wittenburg)

Illusion Of Sin
Chapter 1 Recap
Rory stood unmoving as her father turned back to her. He took several steps and then stopped, looking as though he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.

“What is it?” she asked fearfully. “Is Zack going to be okay?”

He opened his mouth but no words came out and all he could do was hold open his arms. She flew into them, whispers of questions that went unanswered. Jonah Summers, better known as Will Tippin, could do nothing, but hold her in his arms and thank God that his daughter safe. She might never be able to trust him again after what he had to tell her, but she was alive and that was all that mattered. His daughter meant more to him than life itself. He would die for her.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Illusion of Sin
Part Two
Field of Innocence
One year earlier

Rory Summers balanced the cordless phone between her ear and shoulder with practiced ease as she began unloading a box of books into the built in wall shelving. “Dad, I know you wanted to be here, but I couldn’t wait the apartment opened up and it’s right on the beach. I love it. Yes I can afford it, no I don’t need any money I’m doing fine.”

“I still don’t see why you had to transfer, and so quickly.” Her father’s voice was stubborn on the other end of the phone.

“Face it Dad, you’re just upset because you hate LA and your little girl moved even farther away from you, and you couldn’t help her move.” Rory flopped down on the only available chair and kicked her shoes off sending them flying into the wall. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for me dad. At this publishing company I can actually make decisions as opposed to just shuffling papers around like I did in Nevada.”

“What about school?”

“Daddy, we’ve been over this six billion times. In the fall I’ll start distance studies from UCLA. I can work at my own pace, do more courses in a shorter time span and it will mesh so much better with my work schedule.”

“I just don’t want this job affecting your education.”

“You know more than anyone how much I want to be a high school teacher. I am not about to let my job with the publishing company stand in the way of that goal.” Her voice was firm giving no further room for argument. “I’m okay, I promise.”

“I know sweetheart,” her father sighed heavily. “I just want you to do better than your old man.”

“Dad, you did great, so what if you didn’t have a university education. You raised me the best you could and you are a wonderful father. Mom would be proud”

“And you are too kind,” her father laughed lightly. “I hope she would be.”

“I know she would be. Will it make you feel better if I told you that I miss you terribly?” Rory said sweetly.

“Maybe just a little,” her father admitted.

“Good, because I do, and I have to go, I have a meeting at work. I’ll call you tomorrow okay?”

“Alright, bye sweetheart.”

“Bye Daddy.”

Rory hung up the phone and checked her watch. She had thirty minutes before she had to leave. Just enough time for a quick shower. Glancing around the room her heart fell. She’d moved the day before and still she had yet to unpack the majority of her stuff. Boxes were stacked all over the room and she couldn’t find a thing she was looking for. Walking over she spotted the shoes she’d kicked off before and found a box she’d been looking for all morning. Opening it carefully she removed a framed 4x6 photograph. It was of her mother and father. The only photograph she had of her mother.

Carrying it into her bedroom, she sat on her bed and studied the photograph. It wasn’t by any means the best photograph, but it was a copy of the only one she had and the most treasured possession she owned. She traced the outline of her mother’s face and hair smiling as she touched her dimples and wide smile. Wiping a tear away with her knuckle, she swallowed the lump in her throat and set the photograph on her bedside table. Time for her first day of work.

~ ~ ~

Rory sat on the leather chair glancing around the well-furnished office. After passing through all the security measures she’d been led to the directors office where she had been waiting for the past forty-five minutes. As the door opened she stood and turned.

“Agent Summers I presume.” A tall dark skinned man with graying hair entered carrying a handful of files that threatened to spill onto the floor.

Rory caught a handful with ease as they slipped from his grasp. “Yes, she nodded and handed them back to her superior.

The man dumped them on his desk and turned to face her. Perching on the edge of his desk he extended his hand and she shook it. “Director Dixon,” he introduced himself. “Have a seat,” he motioned to the chair and picked through the mass of files on his desk for hers. “I’m sorry for keeping you waiting,” Dixon apologized. “We just got a major breakthrough on a case we’ve been working on for about six months and things are a little chaotic to say the least. Which is why I’m happy you’re here. This case deals with a lot of coding and linguistics, your area of specialty so you’ll be right to work in no time.”

“Sounds exciting,” she said truthfully.

“Well you might regret saying that,” he laughed and opened her file. “Well Agent Summers I am very impressed with your history. Graduating at the top of your class, nothing but impressive remarks from your superiors. Nevada was sorry to loose you and we are happy to have you here, I’m sure you’ll fit right in.”

“Thank you Sir.”

“Now I know you’ve read and signed about 800 non disclosure forms yesterday but for my own knowledge, what is it that your friends and family think you do?”

“It’s just my dad and I,” Rory explained. “He thinks I work for the Klarix Publishing Company and that I was just transferred from the Nevada to the LA Branch.”

“Lying to those you love is not easy,” Dixon sympathized and Rory nodded in agreement. “But you understand how important anonymity is, particularly with this office. The work you will be doing here is much more complex and dangerous than working as an analyst in Nevada.”

“Field work is what I want,” she nodded confidently.

“We’re lucky to have you.” Dixon stood and opened his office door gesturing to her to follow.

“Thank you Sir.” Rory followed him into the rotunda, which was a bustle of activity. She surveyed the scene before her, breathing deeply, excited and nervous at the same time. This is what she’d been waiting for, for the last two years. A chance to be where the action was. No more pushing papers and analyzing reports like she did at the office in Nevada. This was where the real work was.

“This is Agent Weiss.” Dixon introduced her to a man around her age. He’ll show you around and get you started. If you need anything, just ask.”

“Thank you Sir.” Rory shook his hand and turned to the other agent.

“Call me Zack please. Agent Weiss sounds like my father.” He stood with a grin and extended his hand.


“Interesting name,” he commented stepping out from behind his desk.

“It’s short for Aurora,” she explained quickly shaking his hand. Both looked down as their hands lingered for a moment before parting. She looked up taking in his appearance. He stood taller than she did by three or four inches with thick dark hair and light hazel eyes that she couldn’t seem took look away from. He had a nice smile with slight dimples that showed and he seemed to be a genuinely nice person. She had a hard time deciding if the butterflies in her stomach were from nervousness or the fact that he was extremely good looking.

Zack was fully aware of how much longer than necessary he’d held on to her hand and he didn’t think she minded in the least. The first thing he noticed was her eyes. They were this brilliant shade of blue. They were captivating and he had a hard time looking away. “It’s nice to meet you,” he said finally. His lips broke into a smile as she blushed and tucked her hair behind her ear, her nose wrinkling slightly. It was cute. She wasn’t wearing a ring. Not that he’d expected her to. She seemed young, his age or a year or two younger.

“I’ll show you around.” Placing a hand on the small of her back, Zack led Rory to the middle of the rotunda. “Welcome to the JTF.” He watched her, bringing a smile to his lips as she slowly turned round in a circle taking it all in, excitement dancing in her eyes. He leaned in close to her and whispered in her ear. “It can be heaven or hell, depending on how you look at it.

“I’ll have to take your word on that.” She laughed again and turned to face him. It was at that moment that Zackary Weiss quickly realized how difficult it was going to be, not to fall in love with her.

~ ~ ~

The weeks passed by quickly for Rory. Director Dixon had been right. She was immediately put to work and it seemed the lengthy coded files, full of different languages would never end. Her desk sat opposite Zack’s and in many ways he was her saving grace. Or her saving sanity might be a better term. If not for him, she’d have probably run from the building screaming after her first week on the job. She hadn’t however and Zack did everything he could to make her feel welcome. She didn’t make friends easily and her new job was of no exception.

In school she’d skipped several grades already creating herself an outcast by sheer age in High School. She wasn’t loud or perky nor did she fit any of the regular school stereotypes. Growing up she’d have rather run a five-mile jog than go to a football game and scream her lungs out.

Zack seemed to understand this and didn’t take offense when she refused his invitations to join himself and others for lunch. Instead he would invite her out again the next day, just the two of them or when work didn’t permit they’d eat at her desk pouring over the latest Intel together.

Rory Summers was unique.

She could speak more languages than he could keep track of. She bit her lip when she was nervous or self-conscious. She wore glasses for reading and chewed on the lids of her pens. When she was angry she would lapse into French. Russian if she was annoyed. Spanish if she was frustrated. And Italian if she was upset. She preferred burgers to salads hands down and wasn’t afraid to get a little dirty. She loved reading murder mysteries but she also loved the classics, and always had a soft spot in her heart for Alice in Wonderland. They had a lot in common including their enjoyment of films, especially the classics and old black and whites. Every day he seemed to discover something new about her.

It was at the beginning of her second month at the JTF when things began to change. She was assigned fieldwork and with that a partner, ten years her senior named Byron Richards. She also performed many solo assignments and for that Zack was appointed her handler.

He was her handler and she was his asset.

He speced out the missions. He went over the details with her. She carried them out.

There was nothing more than that.

There could never be anything more than that.

He was her handler and nothing more.

If she was nothing more, then why did she haunt his dreams at night?

He had a recurring nightmare every time she went on a mission. It was based on the result of a previous one. Two months into their handler/asset relationship she went solo on a simple operation.

It was supposed to be a simple mission but she was captured. They lost communications. It was two days before any information was recovered. An extraction team was arraigned and she was found. A little battered and worse for wear but she was alive. It was the first time since he’d become her handler that he hugged her. With two black eyes, bruised ribs, a split lip, and a sprained wrist she stepped off the helicopter and had gone straight to him. She was quiet and he held her squeezing tight until she whimpered in pain. He pulled away and checked her over quickly promptly declaring that she needed medical attention. She refused wanting only to go home and go to bed. Debrief could wait until the following morning. He relented and drove her home.

After dropping her off at home he’d gone to his apartment. The sleeplessness of the last two days caught up to him and he was out cold in no time. An hour later the phone rang. He answered to dead silence. He was about to hang up when she whispered his name. It felt like his heart stopped until she said it again, this time a little louder and clearer than the first. It took a lot of coaxing to get her to even say another word.

He knew there was something wrong the moment she’d stepped off the helo. There was something in her eyes that her capture aside, told him something was very wrong. He arraigned to meet her on the pier. She didn’t even hear him approach.

“Rory?” He touched her bare shoulder and she near jumped three feet in the air.

He saw the absolute look of terror in her eyes and the tears on her cheeks. It was worse than he thought.

She was crying. Aurora Summers was the strongest woman he had ever met. It wasn’t that he didn’t think she could cry, but for the first time he felt like he was seeing the true her. He’d never seen her lose even the slightest bit of control. He’d never seen her cry.

She was the epitome of what every good agent should be. Smart, resourceful, adventurous, clear headed, caring, in control. She was everything. But now, he was seeing her for the person she really was. A woman, who despite all her remarkable strengths, was also incredibly vulnerable.

“Rory, what happened?”

She tried to say his name. She couldn’t. She couldn’t even look at him.

He took her arm forcing her to turn away from the midnight ocean. Without the railing to hold on to, she couldn’t stand and he grabbed her as her knees buckled, going down with her.

“Please tell me.” He begged her quickly checking her body for any physical ailments other than the ones he already knew about. He could find none. No gunshot or knife wounds. No broken bones or burns. Nothing that could physically explain her change in behavior or the significant amount of pain she appeared to be in.

He held her. There was nothing more he could do. Kneeling on the old wood of the pier he cradled her body against his and allowed her to cry into his chest. He rubbed her back lightly in small circles, stroked her silky dark hair, rubbed her arms and whispered anything he could think of. Anything to calm her down and momentarily take her mind off what ever pained her. He told her everything would be all right. Promised to help her and together they would fix what ever was wrong. He ran out of things to tell her and so he told her of his childhood.

In quiet whispers he told her how his father would take him to the beach when he was a child. They’d build sandcastles too close to the shoreline knowing full well the tide would wash them away. His father was always busy with work but whenever it was a trip to the beach he knew that the day would be uninterrupted. That was what made it so special. It wasn’t about the sandcastles or playing in the water. It wasn’t about watching the sunset or building a fire and roasting marshmallows. It was that for that one day to his father, Zack was the only person who mattered and watching the tide wash their castles away just seemed right.

He told her about his first hockey practice and his first game. He thought he even heard a small laugh come from deep within her when he told her about the first and only time he’d been suspended from hockey for a seemingly innocent practical joke the night before a big away game. He told her stories about his first two wheeler bike, how he’d broken his wrist when he was nine attempting to climb up the side of his house and even the first yo-yo his father had ever given him.

His words became few and far between. She was calmer now, but still gasped for breaths and hiccuped as she choked back a sob. He sat on the pier holding her until her eyes dried and her breathing regulated. Neither spoke. A thousand thoughts were going through Zack’s mind. A hundred questions he wanted to ask but didn’t. She didn’t need that now. She needed to feel safe and secure and realize that whatever demons haunted her she could fight.

Slowly Rory regained control and pulled away from him. “You must think I’m some kind of a crazy person calling you up in the middle of the night.” She smiled apologetically and stood wiping the residual tears from her cheeks. She shivered slightly from the night air and leaned against the rail overlooking the water. She was dressed in a pair of grey cotton pants and a light blue spaghetti strap tank top.

“Actually I’m glad you called me. I want to help if I can.” Zack stood and slipped off the long sleeved shirt he’d hastily thrown over his undershirt as he’d left his apartment. He draped it over her shoulders noting the burn mark near her shoulder blade from a stun gun and the dark bruises and scrapes on her back and arms. “Rory, can you tell me what happened?” he asked quietly as she slipped her arms through the sleeves of his shirt.

“I don’t know,” she whispered stretching her arms over the rail as if trying to fly.

“Rory, as your handler, I need to know what happened in Peru. If those circumstances will affect future performances, your safety or your work with the agency, I need to know-“

“Why are you always so business,” she sighed propping her chin up in her palm. “Why can’t we just be friends.”

Zack leaned over the rail slightly so that he could see her face. “I’m not asking just as your handler Rory- I’m asking as your friend too. I thought we were friends.”

“We’re not friends Zack.” She gave a light laugh and turned to face him. “We work together. We’re colleagues. That’s all we are.”

“Well apparently I misunderstood our relationship because in addition to working together I was under the impression that we were friends-“

“No. We work together; we’ll never really be friends. Not really.”

“Well I’m sorry you feel that way.” Zack was indeed sorry. He had honestly felt that they were friends. “That aside, as your handler, I still need to know what happened in Peru.”

Rory nodded. She opened her mouth to tell him but no words came out. “I don’t know if I can,” she whispered.

“You can,” he said confidently a hand on her shoulder squeezing it lightly. “Just start at the beginning.”

“I-I can’t do it.” Rory turned and ran from the pier down onto the sandy beach below. Zack chased her and caught up with her near the shoreline. He walked beside her in silence an arm resting casually on the small of her back hoping that the light touch would prevent her from bolting again.

“Rory, I know you’re scared,” he said softly, his gaze cast at the miles of endless sandy beach ahead. “I think that something horrible happened in Peru.” He took a deep breath and grasped her hand forcing her to stop and turn to look at him. “I wonder if maybe someone hurt you. If… maybe they did something to you that is difficult to talk about.”

Rory looked down at their clasped hands. She knew she should pull away, it wasn’t right, but she couldn’t. Their hands seemed to be molded together. His eyes were dark and full of a concern that could only be described as pain. She almost wished she could allow him to believe that she had been harmed in that manner, then he wouldn’t know the truth. He’d never learn the truth about what she’d done. She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t lie to him.

“It’s not what you’re thinking. No one hurt me like that.” His grip on her hand lessened a little and she felt his relief.

“Then what?” Zack’s hands came up to her face and brushed a wayward tear from her cheek with his thumb. He titled her head up to look him in the eye. “You were captured and interrogated, I know that much, but there is something else. Why are you so scared? Why are you in so much pain? Tell me.” He released her hand and brought it up moving her hair out of her face and tucking it behind her ear. “Please Aurora.” He cupped her face in his hands and waited.

Rory closed her eyes; fresh tears appeared on her cheeks. Inside her head, her thoughts were screaming but her lips couldn’t form the words to tell him what had happened. “There was so much blood.” Her words were soft and her voice quivered slightly. “I never knew that someone could bleed that much.” She opened her eyes looking into his. Her voice trembled as she told him what she’d done. “Zack, I killed a man.”

She was trying to be strong, he knew it. But he also wanted her to know that she didn’t have to be. He pulled her to him and wrapped his arms tightly around her. It all made sense now.

“I took his life,” After a few minutes Rory pulled away from him and wiped her cheeks. “He came out of nowhere and he had his gun pointed at me. Everything was crazy. There were alarms and guards chasing me. The codes wouldn’t work and he was shooting at me and I shot him. Then they caught me.” Her hand shook as wiped furiously at her cheeks. “I never shot anyone before Zack and I killed him.”

“Rory, I know this won’t make you feel any better, but you were just doing your job.” Zack put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed it gently. “I won’t lie by saying that I know what you’re going through. I’ve never been in that position, but I do know that you did what you had to do to survive and that doesn’t make you any less of a good person.”

“It doesn’t make it any easier,” she shook her head sadly. “He had a family, maybe even children. I don’t know what I’d do if I ever lost my dad. He means everything to me.”

Zack nodded understanding completely. Rory had once confessed to him that her father was her best friend and often her only friend. Growing up hadn’t been easy for her. Her mother had died when she was a baby and they moved frequently due to her father’s work, usually not staying in the same state for more than two years. That made it quite difficult to forge friendships. Zack could understand and sympathize with her. Growing up his father was always busy with work, going away on many business trips so it was often just him and his mother. When he was twelve, his mother died of cancer and his father gave up the travel lifestyle of the CIA. They were all each other had and the closest of friends.

“You may not think we’re friends, but I’ll always be here for you Rory.” Zack crossed his arms over his chest. “You have my number, whatever you need, when ever you need it. Just call. This stays between you and I, unless it affects your safety or work performance.” He paused for a moment to consider his next choice of words. “That said, I will make a request that you see Dr. Barnett. However, if you do not I will have to order you to do so. There are things that you need to talk about and Barnett is good.”

Rory nodded appreciative of the fact that he was keeping this between the two of them even if the trade off was having to see a shrink. “I’ll make an appointment tomorrow.”

“Good.” The two turned around and began walking back towards the pier. “I just don’t understand what went wrong, why those security codes failed.” Zack had gone over every possible outcome when he’d designed the operation to obtain old KGB documents from a hidden safe in an underground club in Peru. All of his secondary safeguards had been overridden. Rory was destined to fail the moment she entered the club.

“They knew I was there,” Rory said softly.

“What?” Zack stopped dead in his tracks and looked at her.

“They were waiting for me. That’s why the whole operation went to hell.” Rory’s eyes were burning with anger. “Zack they knew I was coming.”

“But how is that possible-“ he asked himself not wanting to say the answer out loud.

“They were waiting for me. Zack, I was set up. That was the other thing I needed to tell you. That was why I wanted debrief postponed until tomorrow.”

“You’re saying-“

“Yes.” She nodded firmly. “Zack they knew my name. Someone in the CIA told Andrei Slother everything. When I was coming, where I would be and what I was after.”

“Are you sure?” he asked in disbelief.

“Zack, he knew my father’s name.”

“Alright.” He took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he analyzed the situation. He took a pen from his pocket and wrote an address on her hand. “Meet me here tomorrow at 7 AM. It’s an old warehouse. It’s secure. There’s someone I want to talk to about this before we tell Dixon.”

Rory nodded. They reached her car and she opened the door. “Thank you for coming and talking with me. I didn’t realize that it would be so hard. This isn’t like me. I don’t just call strange men up in the middle of the night and cry on their shoulder.”

Zack waited until she’d closed the car door before speaking. “You have my number. You can always call me Rory, no matter what. I’m here for you. I’ll be wherever you need. But call Barnett tomorrow.”

“I will,” she nodded. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Drive safe.” Zack waved her off and waited until her car was out of sight before he collapsed into the driver’s seat of his own. He pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and dialed a familiar number.

“Hey Uncle Mike, it’s Zack… Sorry for calling so late… I need to see you, it’s important. Can you meet me at the warehouse tomorrow morning at 7… alright see you then.”

He sat in his car for several minutes deep in thought before starting the engine and beginning the drive home. There was a mole within the CIA and he’d gotten his information directly from Zack. Rory nearly lost her life and it would have been his fault.

Thanks to everyone who responded with feedback. I hope you’ll continue reading and responding! If i missed sending you a PM let me know


Sep 18, 2003
me like!

i don't think will is her real dad.
it's probably either sark or vaughn.

hmmm... what's up with vaughn?

zack and rory! aww!

why is sydney away?

Oct 25, 2003
Fairbanks/Anchorage, Alaska
I just noticed I had gotten a pm for this like 2 weeks ago. No idea why I didn't read it then, but I love it. The mystery, the forbidden love, oh I can just tell its gonna be wonderful. Thanks for writing a new story and giving me the chance to read it. Update it again soon. Vaughns gonna be in it!!! :D


Jan 2, 2004
WOW!! I love this fic!! At first I was so confused, but like you said, everything played out.

I can't wait for more!! please post soon! Thanks for the PM!!

J. :D
Oct 12, 2003
A/N--> First Off Welcome new readers and thank you for reading. Here is Part Three and Thank you so much to my incredibly awesome beta Kewii who is just fabulous~! Please leave a review and tell me what you think! And if your lurking why leave a review and tell me what you think, good or bad!

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Illusion Of Sin
Part Three: Past Crashes Into Present, Or Does It?

He hadn’t been able to sleep for the remainder of the night. Every time he closed his eyes images of what could have happened to Rory on that mission flashed through Zack’s mind. Forgoing sleep for the night he sat down at his desk with a pad of paper and began making notes. He examined the mission from all angles, going through every step of pre-planning. Analyzing every choice made and making notes on anyone who had access to the information. Rory had been compromised and he had to find out how the information had been leaked.

He arrived at the warehouse well before the scheduled time. His father had given him the address several months before, when he’d left to work for a term at Langley. All he’d said was that it was a safe place to meet. This was the first time Zack was using it. He was a little hesitant about withholding the information Rory had provided from Director Dixon; but he also felt better discussing it with Uncle Mike first. He heard a door slam and stepped out of the chain link box. It was Rory.

“Interesting place,” she commented looking around the enclosure.

“My uncle used to use it years ago for something,” he said with a shrug. “All I know is that it’s secure.”

“Dixon called and told me to come in at lunch for debrief,” she explained gesturing to her casual attire, consisting of blue jeans, glasses, a sleeveless black top, baseball hat and her hair tied back into a ponytail.

“Good,” he nodded and opened a metal chair for her to sit on. “How are you feeling?” he asked watching as she slowly eased herself down on the hard chair.

“Alright… sore,” she admitted mindful of her aching ribs.

“No bruises?”

“You’d be surprised at what a pound of concealer can accomplish,” she added with a knowing smile. “Look Zack, I’m not so sure about this. Maybe I should just talk to Dixon, tell him what happened right away.”

“No.” He shook his head firmly leaving no room for further argument. “If there is a mole in the agency, than everyone is a suspect. Anyone from the analysts to tech ops to secretaries and security guards. We need to keep this quiet until we have a plan.”

Rory grimaced slightly as she shifted her aching body and leaned forward in the chair. “I know you’re right,” she said. “I’m just not at ease with keeping this a secret.”

“It won’t be for long,” he assured her. “We might even tell him today, but I need an objective opinion from someone with experience before we make a move. You’re not in this alone,” he added.

“I kno-“

“Zack?” a voice interrupted her mid sentence as a man stepped inside the chain link box.

Zack jumped up to introduce the two and Rory slowly followed suit. “Rory this is my Uncle Mike—uh Agent Vaughn,” he corrected himself. “Agent Vaughn, Agent Summers.”

“Nice to meet you.”

Rory extended her hand to him but Vaughn didn’t budge.

Vaughn couldn’t move. He seemed to be rooted to the spot where he stood since the moment he set eyes on her. Her eyes, which were barely visible below the brim of her hat, were a startling clear blue, captivating a pretty face with high cheekbones and a light brush of freckles dancing across her nose. It was at that instant that he saw her, at that point, in that very place that held such important memories for him, that he didn’t see her at all. The memories overpowered him and all he could see was Sydney. Brown eyes replaced blue. A slightly darker complexion replaced pale, but the dimples remained.

He could still see Sydney standing by the door, verbally outlining her orders from SD-6 and sitting on a chair as she chewed her pen lid while reviewing her CIA counter mission. He could almost hear her voice, smell her perfume and see her in his mind as if she stood right in front of him. The visions were more than painful.

“Agent Vaughn, are you alright?” Rory asked apprehensively and lowered her hand with a quick glance at Zack.

Her words barely registered in his mind. He felt numb and unable to grasp hold of anything concrete as his past crashed into the future at such an alarming rate that he could not decipher what was real and what was not.

“Uncle Mike?”

The presence of another voice in the enclosure pulled Vaughn from the reverie, forcing him to focus on reality. Sydney was dead. She had been for over twenty years. Returning to their warehouse for the first time in over fifteen years had spiralled the whirlwind of emotions that he was feeling out of control. They shrouded his judgement and impaired all aspects of his senses into believing something that just wasn’t there.

“I’m fine.” The words didn’t seem to come from him, yet they spewed from his lips without thought or care. He moved to the table, set his briefcase down and took several deep breaths before turning to face the two younger agents. “Agent Summers?” he held out his hand and tentatively she reached for it shaking it firmly. “My apologies. You have a slight resemblance to someone I used to know.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” she said with a light laugh. She was relieved that that had caused his odd reaction towards her. She’d feared it was something much worse. “I get that all the time. I guess I just have one of those faces.” She added with a nervous smile as she remembered who Agent Vaughn was. She’d heard his name mentioned around the office numerous times. It appeared the senior officer was quite a legend. Most recently he, along with Zack’s father and several others, had been heading up a special project and introducing it to Langley. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She looked down at their still joined hands. His grip was painfully obvious. Plastering a smile on her face she slowly wiggled her fingers and then managed to pull out of his tight grasp. Her hand moved behind her back flexing her fingers to allow the circulation to return.

Vaughn watched her pull her hand from his as if it was happening in slow motion. Part of him wanted to cling to this girl and to the memories she’d stirred inside him. He stopped himself from looking at her; he needed to regain control of the situation.

“Zack, how are you?” he turned to his best friend’s son and forwent the usual handshake in exchange for a brief hug. It had been 5 months since he’d last seen his godson.

Zack hugged him back, still perplexed as to Vaughn’s unusual reaction towards Rory. He pushed it to the back of his mind, though. Now was not the time. “Great,” he replied. “Any news on when my dad is coming back?”

Vaughn shook his head. “We hit a few snags and this project is taking longer than we anticipated. Marshall will be back in a few weeks and I expect it will be some more time before your father returns.”

Zack nodded. His father had created the project in question. His father, along with Vaughn and Marshall had been sent to Langley to supervise the implementation.

“Over all it’s going very well, we’re seeing significant results already.”

“Good.” Zack motioned to the chairs and the three sat down.

“What’s up?” he asked seeing the nervous look on the girl’s face. He watched as she stood and paced the cement ground. The rubber soles of her shoes scuffed against the concrete with each painful step she took. Zack took a quick glance at her as well before beginning the story.

Vaughn sat back in his chair allowing everything to sink in. “You acted correctly by coming to me first,” he said after a few moments of silence. “I understand that by doing so you are breaking protocol, but I have experience with this type of thing. I want to check out a few ideas before you tell Dixon.” Vaughn made a few notations on a notepad before turning to face Rory who had finally sat back down. “You’re positive about everything that happened?”

“Absolutely,” she nodded. “Someone informed Andrei Slother that I was going to be there, there is no other explanation.”

The rather anxious looking face told Vaughn there was something more. “What else?” he pressed her.

Rory fiddled with the ring on her right hand and took several deep breaths before looking up at their expectant faces. She opened her mouth to speak, but all words were lost in the process and her gaze reverted back to her lap.


Zack called her name. Rarely ever did he use her full name. Only when he demanded her attention. Looking closely he saw the slight tremor in her hand and the fear that her eyes held. “Agent Summers, what didn’t you tell me?”

He wouldn’t understand why she hadn’t told him. Keeping it from him had given her control over the life that was slowly slipping from her fingers. It had given her control over the fear that suffocated her. The fear was not for herself, but for others.

Vaughn’s voice broke through the thick layer of silence. “Agent Summers, I can not help you, if you are not truthful with me.”

“When I told you that he knew that my father’s name is Joe, that was the truth,” she said honestly. “But he also knew other things…” Her voice trailed off into silence as she stood and turned away.

Zack stood to go to her but Vaughn held up his hand silently telling him to sit back down. “What other things?”

“I like coffee ice cream,” she began softly. “I can’t stand to eat fish. I had a goldfish that died two weeks ago. I sometimes talk in my sleep. I haven’t finished unpacking from my move four months ago.” Her voice trembled slightly as she continued but she remained in control of her emotions. “My mother died when I was a baby. I’m really close with my father. Growing up, I moved about every two years, sometimes more. My water heater is on the fritz and sometimes I have to hit it with a pipe to get it to work properly. I jog two miles every morning. He knows what I wear to bed, right down to the pattern on the pants. I have a bubble bath every night and I have a birthmark-“ Her voice broke off midsentence. No one needed to hear the rest of it, in order to know that her privacy had been invaded. She turned to the two men looking as calm and cool as ever.

“He also mentioned two more names. My handler was a junior agent – Zackary Weiss and also a woman’s name I didn’t recognize. Alison Reeves.”

Vaughn had been taking notes during her speech and as she sat down he stole a glance at Zack’s shocked face. It was clear she’d told him nothing of this. His gaze travelled to Rory who was doing her best to appear normal and not admit to the fear that clung to her every breath. She seemed so strong. So in control of everything despite the major upheaval that surrounded her present life. She reminded him so much of- Stop, he ordered himself.

“Agent Vaughn, should I be worried for my father’s safety? He doesn’t know what I do.” Her face was stoic but her eyes told volumes.

Vaughn shook his head. “I don’t believe so, at least not yet. Slother is testing you with mind games. He wants you to be vulnerable. He wants you off guard. He wants you to know that he’s watching. Clearly some of the things you mentioned could possibly have been obtained visually.” He shuddered slightly at the thought. Rory Summers might be new to the field, but she certainly wasn’t stupid. Whoever had been watching her had done a good job. “Obviously you cannot return home, either of you.” His comment had caught Zack off guard, who’d been quiet until then.


“I’m placing you both in a safehouse under 24 hour surveillance. At least until we determine the source of the leak. You both will report to work as scheduled. The last thing we need is for the source to think we’ve identified him or her.”

“I can’t imagine who is doing this. I’ve only been here for four months, I couldn’t possibly have any enemies.”

Vaughn stood a slight smile playing on his lips. “Agent Summers, you may have only been working at the JTF for four months but during that time I have been stationed at Langley and believe me when I say that you have built up quite a reputation for yourself.” He held back a laugh at the surprised look on her face. “I do believe the words, ‘Hot shot Rory gets it done Summers,’ come to mind in description of your repeated successful missions. I believe you’ve had more than enough time to gain a few enemies.”

Had Rory not been wearing layers of concealer to cover the bruises on her face, he would have seen her blush a crimson red. Praise like that was not something she was used to, particularly from a Senior Agent. She opened her mouth to say something but shut it quickly as no words came.

Vaughn stood. “Both of you, go home, pack your bags and then report to the office. I’ll have instructions for you both by noon.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Zack stood and shook Vaughn’s hand. “Thanks Uncle Mike.”

Vaughn smiled at his godson before leaving the enclosure and walking to his car at a brisk pace. After getting in his car he finally allowed himself to let out the deep breath he’d been holding. His hand shook as he attempted to insert the key into the slot and start the car. Unsuccessful he angrily tossed them onto the passenger side floor. His hands clenched the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white and only then did he allow himself to let go and his thoughts returned to Agent Aurora Summers.

After hearing her speak, he’d remembered why her name had sounded so familiar. He’d heard it mentioned at Langley numerous times. She was a young up and coming hot shot agent. She’d been desk-trained as an analyst at the office in Reno, Nevada. A year after her recruitment, she successfully became a field agent and transferred to LA. She’d easily garnered herself a good reputation and earned the respect of her colleagues by being a meticulous, hard working and effective agent. She was daring, a risk taker and always got the job done without breaking her cover. Given that she was a soft spoken and quiet person, most agents were surprised when they saw her in action finding it hard to believe that she was a thrill-seeking daredevil. Before leaving Langley the day before he’d heard talk that Agent Summers had finally gone too far and somehow had been caught. Naturally they didn’t know the full story as he now did; Agent Summers had been set up.

His breath caught in his throat remembering the fear in her eyes when she asked about her father. She was in a dangerous position caught between two forces with no idea who her attacker was. She was also very naïve. She reminded him-. Damnit! Why today of all days had Zack summoned him to the very place he wanted to forget? The warehouse held painful memories for him. It was the last place he’d ever seen Sydney alive.

It was twenty-one years to the day that she died. Already it was turning into a nightmare. He reached across the seat and retrieved his car keys from the floor. Starting the engine, he drove to the parking lot exit and chose left instead of right. Right led to the office. Left led to Jack Bristow. Whether Vaughn wanted to or not, he knew Jack was the only person to be trusted when Zack’s safety came in question.

Zack was like a son to him and he’d never forgive himself if anything happened.

~ ~ ~

Rory closed her suitcase with a heavy sigh and glanced around at the sparsely decorated white walled bedroom, which was to be her new home for an undetermined length of time. Hers and Zack’s. Apparently the CIA had never thought to invest in an interior decorator.

Following her meeting with Zack and Agent Vaughn, she’d followed his orders, returned home and packed her suitcase before returning to the office. The rest of the day was a whirlwind of chaos. She and Zack had both managed to avoid Dixon until Agent Vaughn had shown up at lunch and it was then that they’d told Dixon the truth. They spent the majority of the afternoon in his office devising a plan to determine the extent of the damage. There was a leak in the CIA. Someone who was intent on allowing Andrei Slother to destroy or to possibly take Rory’s life.

The entire situation scared her and that wasn’t easy to admit to. Her privacy had been invaded. Her daily activities recorded and that information given to a German arms dealer by the name of Andrei Slother. She felt invaded, dirty and her stomach churned at the thought of knowing that the SOB bastard had somehow seen her.

She had to get clean.

She had to rid herself of the filth.

Clutching her stomach as the thoughts overwhelmed her, Rory ran to the adjoining bathroom and fell to her knees in front of the toilet. She purged the contents of her stomach until there was nothing more but the burning in her throat. She held onto the wall for support as she stood.

The shower faucets were stiff, having not been used for so long. After she’d managed to pry them into use, a new bar of soap was retrieved from the cabinet and she stepped into the hot water. It scalded her skin but she didn’t seem to notice. She didn’t seem to feel the heat as the bathroom filled with hot steam and clouded the mirror. All she could think of was trying to get clean.

She scrubbed at her skin, hoping that by some miracle she might manage to peel away a layer and be left refreshed. It would have been a miracle, not that she counted on any.

The tips of her fingers touched the small teardrop birthmark on her left breast. Touching it made real tears mix with scorching water. During the past four months that she’d been a field agent, Rory had done her fair share of undercover operations. Many of these resulted in having to wear outfits she’d never have even considered for herself. Her father would have been mortified to know she’d even looked at them. Dressed in them she was Monique, Angela, Tessa or some other alias, but never herself. She’d never felt degraded in them. All she was in them, was an actress playing a part. They weren’t her and she had no reason to feel ashamed.

Never, until now, had she felt degraded as herself, as Rory. She’d always worked very hard to keep her work and private lives separate. Aliases were always just that. Women who didn’t really exist. They didn’t follow her home and invade her thoughts as she tried to sleep at night. The thought that someone may have observed the most private routines of her daily life made her feel worthless and no matter how hard she scrubbed her skin, she could not feel clean.

She scrubbed her skin until it was red and raw and the hot water had long since turned to ice. She took her time blow drying her hair and dressing in comfortable sweats and a University of Reno sweatshirt. Despite the fact that it was the middle of an unusually warm spring Rory felt cold and numb. Chills ran through her body and she couldn’t seem to get warm.

She could smell dinner from her room. Zack had knocked on her door ten minutes before telling her it was there. The aroma wafted throughout the bungalow, attacking her sense of smell until her stomach growled with hunger. She was hesitant to leave the room. It was just her and Zack in the small house and that in itself was proving to be an odd situation.

The house was under 24-hour surveillance outside, but inside the cameras had been turned off to at least give the two the illusion of freedom. They would continue to work as usual. Each morning they would be driven to the office in an armoured van, but that was the only trip outside that they would be allowed. Everything including groceries and supplies were to be brought in by security guards. They were preventative measures. No one was entirely positive at the moment if either she or Zack were in any real danger. Only time and information, she hoped, would quell those fears and both could return to their normal lives. Well as normal as they could get.

Deciding she could no longer prolong the inevitable, she left the safety of her bedroom.

Zack was talking to Agent Vaughn in the living room. Seeing her, Vaughn stood to go but not before handing Zack a file folder. Rory was curious as to what it contained but she didn’t have the chance to ask. Immediately Zack slipped it in his briefcase and turned to face her. “Hungry?”

She nodded silently and followed him into the kitchen. “You cooked?” she was surprised looking at the disarray of the sterile kitchen.

“I cooked,” he said with an amused smile and retrieved two plates he’d kept warm in the oven.

Rory sat down at the table and eyed her plate hungrily. She wasn’t much of a cook and living alone, her nights usually consisted of TV dinners or takeout. It had been so long since she’d had a real dinner.

She took a tentative bite of the chicken and pasta laced with garlic and alfredo sauce. It was good. It was actually really, really good.

Zack watched with mild amusement as she took her first taste. He knew that she would assume he’d ordered in, but while she’d taken a forty-minute shower he’d whipped up an easy, but delicious dinner. He smiled, watching her take an even bigger bite. She had to be starving, neither of them had found the time for lunch that day.

This certainly was a side of her that he hadn’t seen before. He couldn’t understand why she wasn’t overheated in sweat pants and a sweatshirt, but dressed in them she appeared to be completely comfortable. He was used to seeing her at work- at the office, or on a mission in a disguise but never relaxed in sweatpants and socks.

“This is really good, you’re an excellent cook,” she praised him taking a sip of the red wine he’d found hidden away in one of the cupboards.

“Thanks.” He took a sip of his own wine before continuing. “My dad made sure when I was growing up that cooking was the one thing I knew how to do. Screw laundry. Every Sunday we’d cook dinner together. He makes a wicked pizza from scratch.”

“What about your mom?” she asked realizing that she really knew nothing of this man named Zackary Weiss.

“It was just me and my dad,” he explained. “Mom split when I was two. Dad was always there, except when he wasn’t,” he added with a laugh. “I can’t tell you how often I would wake up in the morning in someone else’s house, or going there in the middle of the night and not remembering. My Uncle Mike, Marshall and Carrie’s, Mike’s sister, Dixon’s daughter Robin, was my babysitter for years and some of my dad’s other friends from work. They all pretty much raised me when my dad couldn’t.” A grin traced his lips. “Up until I was five or six, my dad would often have just brought me to work with him if he had to go in, in the middle of the night.”

Rory had to hold back a laugh at the conjured image of a four-year-old pyjama clad Zack walking around the JTF holding his teddy bear and blanket. “That must have been difficult though, the instability.”

“It was,” he agreed. “Sometimes it was kinda cool, but mostly I really hated my dad for it. We never had the easiest relationship. It wasn’t until I was older that I really understood how important his job was to him. It wasn’t the work, but what it meant to him and to me. Now I’m doing what he did. We get along better now than ever. No secrets.” Zack took a bite of his pasta. “You’re close with your dad right?”

Rory nodded. “My dad is, I guess, what you’d call a free spirit. We moved around a lot, never staying in the same city for more than two years. I hated it growing up but I understand now. He wanted me to experience life. It was difficult to make friends but I doubt I’d be the person I am today if not for it.”

They ate in silence for a few minutes longer before Rory set her fork down and asked him point blank. “What was in that file Agent Vaughn gave you?”

“You cut right to the chase don’t you,” he said with a nervous laugh.


“Alright.” He stood and retrieved the file from his briefcase placing it on the table. “It’s the results from the analysis they did on your apartment.” Rory’s hand immediately went to pick the file up, but Zack covered her hand with his preventing her from grasping the pages. “The results were conclusive, there were cameras and bugs all over your apartment. They knocked out any bug killers you had in place.”

She paled slightly. “Everywhere?”

He nodded. “I’m sorry. They were obviously planted after you moved in and analysis managed to trace the receiver to a computer located in an abandoned warehouse in Watts. They got all the information but they don’t have any leads on who did it yet.”

“I don’t understand.” She whispered. “How could I have not known.”

“They were well hidden,” Zack explained. “It took the guys hours to find them all. They’re not even sure if they’re all gone.” He removed his hand from hers and stood. “I’ll give you some privacy. I’ll be watching TV if you need anything.” He refilled his wineglass and squeezed her shoulder gently as he passed by.

Rory pushed her plate aside, no longer hungry as a sickening feeling invaded her stomach. She topped off her glass of wine and took several sips while she stared at the unopened file marked Agent Aurora F. Summers. She wished that the floor would just open up and swallow her whole, and then this whole nightmare would be over.

Prolonging the inevitable she was sure was a far worse punishment than seeing the results; so she opened them.

The records were meticulous. Whoever had been watching her had paid attention to every detail. Every aspect of her home life and schedule had been recorded right down to which bubble bath scent she preferred. The burning sickness in her stomach intensified as she looked at the photographs and she took a gulp of wine, hoping to give her senses something else to worry about. It didn’t work. She filled her glass again.

Whoever had put the report together had been polite enough not to include any private photographs and she was sure she had Agent Vaughn to thank for that. The photographs did show the precise placement of the numerous cameras in all areas of her apartment including her bedroom, living room, kitchen, office and bathroom. Andrei Slother had indeed known exactly where the tear shaped birthmark on her body was located.

With the contents of the file spread over the table, Rory reached for the bottle of wine, but found it empty. She sighed. It was going to be a very long night.

A/N—You Like? Yes no Please review, it makes me write faster!
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