Chapter 1 He walks into the warehouse, but she is already there. She’s always there first. He wonders how she manages to shake off tails so easily. “Next time, I’m going to be the early one,” he thinks to himself. At the sound of his steps, she lifts her head from the files she was staring at. “ Long time no see,” he says with a smile. She doesn’t return it. “ Yes. Good work on the last assignment,” she replies in a very professional tone. “ What? No welcome back?” he jokes. He has been in a good mood since his last mission had ended. He didn’t know how much more of it he could take. It wasn’t the most thrilling assignment. Actually, he was bored out of his mind by the second week. He was counting the seconds he could return to LA. “ I wasn’t expecting you to be back so soon. My dad just told me two hours ago that you were coming back, and that I needed to brief you on your next assignment . . .” she stops. She really doesn’t want to give it to him now. She’s sure he wouldn’t like it. She’s even pleaded with her dad to let someone else take the assignment. “ I don’t even get a resting period? Fine, where am I off to now?” “ Actually, you’re staying right here in LA,” she says quietly. “ Really?” his voice raises in excitement. Then he notices her quiet demeanor and quickly retracts. “ That’s great, isn’t it?” he adds on in an uncertain tone. “ It’s a long term op.” “ You’re still my handler right?” She nods yes, and he lets out a sigh he didn’t even know he had and she continues, “ Do you recognize this?” as she hands him a picture. “ Uh yeah, it’s a bank. I pass by it many times since living in LA.” “ It’s not just a bank. It’s a front for SD-6,” she stares at him waiting for his response. Just as she had known and dreaded, he completely turns a one eighty. “ NO! Absolutely not!” he spits out. “ I thought you knew I want nothing more to do with The Alliance since . . .” he doesn’t finish. “ Since what?” she questions. “ Why won’t you tell me what happened?” “ Nothing. Nothing happened. I just, I just thought I was done with all sections of The Alliance.” “ I know. You want them to be destroyed don’t you?” He sighs and gives her a look of you know I want that. “ Well, we need another double inside SD-6. With your background at SD-4 years ago, it is an easy cover for you to be just a transfer. One of their key agents just died on a mission. You need to take his place. With you there, it will be so much easier for us.” her tone has suddenly changed into one of authority. He knows she means business when she talks as his handler, and not as a friend. “ I don’t know, ” he finally says. She turns to the table and grabs all the papers. “ This is a cover story for you. Read it over . . .and this . . .I did some more research on your dad. How he died. And you working inside SD-6 will bring you closer to finding who killed him.” “ You mean someone inside SD-6 . . .” “ I didn’t say that.” she cuts him off quickly, “ but just read some information in here,” she points to the folder. “ Look, I know you don’t want to do this. We’ll give you a few days to think it over.” He takes the papers from her extended hand and heads out to leave. As he takes a few steps, she calls out to him again, “ Hey!” He turns around. “ Welcome back, Agent Vaughn,” she gives him a smile. “ What a welcome Agent Devlin” he says sourly with his back to her. Though he doesn’t want to admit it, they both know he’s going to take the assignment. * * * * * Meanwhile on the other side of town, a funeral takes places. A young woman sits quietly as tears flow down uncontrollably. She thinks to herself. How is it possible that the best and worst week in her life both be the same week? The week started out blissfully happy. The man she loves with all her heart had proposed. She was going to be Mrs. Daniel Hecht. Then a night while they were celebrating with a delicious dinner, the phone rang. “ Oh Sydney, ” the voice on the other end of the phone sobs. “ It’s Marcus. . .” She thought she couldn’t breathe. Her partner at SD-6 had been shot all because she wasn’t there. As she clings to her engagement ring, a feeling of self-loathing overcomes her. She blames herself for what happened. She knew her partner Dixon needed her on that mission, but she was selfish and wanted to spend time celebrating her engagement with Danny. She hates herself. Dixon understood her and persuaded her to stay home; he said he could do it on his own. If she had been there, he would have had ample back-up. “ Sydney,” her boss Arvin Sloane puts a hand on her shoulder. “ Dixon was a good man.” She slowly lets the words out, “ I . . . I don’t know if I can go back to work after . . .” “ I understand,” he says in a calm voice. “ Take as much time as you need. When you are ready, we’ll have a new partner for you.” “ What??” Sydney couldn’t believe her ears. How could he just replace Dixon so quickly? No one can take his place. “ Dixon can’t be replaced.” “ I understand. Take some time, and we’ll talk when you decide to return to work.” Sloane says in a fatherly manner. “ No, you don’t understand. I don’t WANT another partner,” she says in a threatening voice. A/N: Hey guys, I started writing this idea before Phase One...now it seems as if being a double agent isn't a part of the show anymore, but it still is in my story. AS you can probably tell...this is an alternate universe....in which Sydney never found out about SD-6 because she never told Danny and Danny never died. I know sometimes AU is hard to follow, so if you have any questions...feel free to ask. Thanks for reading.