Title: Reconaissance Author: musically83, aka kate Rating: PG/PG-13 Disclaimer: the only thing in here that's completely mine is the idea...most of the characters I am borrowing from JJAbrams, BadRobot, etc. Spoilers: Takes place after The Telling Summary: Vaughn comes to Hong Kong to bring Sydney back after 2 years...what happens next? What did we miss? Read...and I will explain AN: the title is French for gratitude...I thought it was appropriate. I have several installments done, but I want to know what you guys think about them before I get too far. So, without further ado...... <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'> Chapter 1</span> FRA[N]CE *phone rings* Vaughn grunted, and slowly rolled over. *ring* He swore that if it were possible the phone was getting louder with each ring. *ring* He reached over the still sleeping body of his wife and answered the phone. "Allo?" "Allo, Monsieur Veredoque?" "Oui..?" "Je suis Madame DuBonnet, et je voudrias confirmer votre appointement avec Monsieur Stowrib cette matin a dix heures." (I am Mme. DuBonnet, and I would like to confirm your meeting with M. Stowrib today at 10am) "Merci. Au revoir." There was a faint click at the other end before he could put the phone back on the receiver. He glanced outside--no sunlight yet. He looked at his watch. Damn. One of these days he was just going to have to give in and fix his father's watch. He rolled back onto his side of the bed, and stared in disbelief at the clock. The CIA must have a darn good reason to wake him from his well-deserved rest after that mission last night. <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>-----FLASHBACK------</span> A black stretch limo pulled up behind the ten or twenty others waiting to enter the Chateaux's compound. Finally, it was their turn to get out and go through security. Marie exited the car first, it was due to her that he got to go to this party at all. She was the personal assistant to the head of the French Communist Party, Marie-George Buffet, who was throwing this gala. Michael had to take a deep breath to stifle the intense hatred he felt for these people. Not only did they espouse values far different from their own, but they were also one of Derevko's front companies. Tonight, he was to find the latest piece of intel that would lead him to Derevko, and...he hoped...someone else. Marie had handed their gilded invitation to the guard and was starring quizzically at him. "Michel, allez-y!" (Michael, come here!) He snapped out of his reverie and took his wife's hand. He was just another spouse here, no one gave his now-blond hair and brown eyed visage a second glance. Marie still turned heads, in her tight blue gown with Marilyn Monroe hair. Across the room, Marie-George waved to Marie, calling her forward. Halfway across the room, Michael was stopped by a 300-pound man; obviously this wasn't a pleasure meeting. He kissed his wife's hand, motioned to the other side of the room, and walked away. When he got to the base of the staircase, he checked back over his shoulder and saw the Maries commiserating...they would be busy for at least five minutes. This was his window of opportunity. "Boyscout to base ops, I'm going in." He raced up the stairs, pausing for only a moment on the landing to straighten his tie and make sure he had everything he would need handy. He took a deep breath and continued up the stairs. The first guard was right at the top of the stairs, subdued with a small dose of Morphine, the second two steps behind and just as easily stopped. He put his ear to the door of the study, heard nothing out of the ordinary and opened it. With his back to the door, Michael began to work on unlocking the safe. Every five or ten seconds he'd look over his shoulder, sure that he had heard footsteps in the corridor. He still wasn't used to doing this stuff by himself. His brow was covered in sweat by the time he finally cracked open the safe and found what he had come for: a small box with engravings on the top: <o>. "Boyscout to base ops, I have the artifact." "Boyscout, get out of there now. We have reason to believe K-Directorate is there with you. You cannot blow your cover." "Copy that. Going radio silent." Dammit, this never got any easier. He closed the safe, packed up his gear, put the box in his inside jacket pocket and left the study. He was most of the way down the stairs when he heard a voice behind him. "Do I know you?" He turned around, startled by the English. "Excusez-moi, je ne parle pas anglais." (Excuse me, I don't speak English) "I guess not." The woman with the <o> tattoo walked up the stairs. Marie was waiting for him when he got back to the party. "Mon cherie, where have you been?" "Searching for the W.C. I feel sick, darling, can we go home?" "Mais oui...I am finished here." She sounded so loving...he felt awful for deceiving her, but it was his job. He offered her his arm, and they left the party two minutes before Anna Espinosa returned empty-handed. <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>-------End FLASHBACK-------</span> Michael rolled out of bed and walked into the bathroom. He splashed ice-cold water on his face and shivered at it's touch. He began shaving, never forgetting the morning when he began to show symptoms of "the disease." He let his mind drift back...to the woman who had visited him...who had saved him. He had left L.A. to try and get away from her memory, she'd been gone for almost two years already, but it didn't help to be halfway around the world. He jerked back to reality as his blade nicked his soft skin. He needed to find a way not to think of her every second of the day, how she had disappeared, simply vanished from her apartment. Every day he kicked himself for letting her go home alone, especially after another encounter with her mother. He should have followed his impulses and driven them all the way to Santa Barbara, protocol be damned. They could afford to buy clothes when they got there, they could have cemented their life together, but instead he went by the book and promised to come back after the debrief. He felt a hand on his shoulder and he jumped. "Michel, what is it you are thinking about?" Marie had such a distressed look on her face; she must have been watching for a while. "Mon cherie, I must go in to work, I'm sorry darling..." he put one finger to her mouth to silence her protesting, "...but this cannot wait. You understand, right darling?" She pouted. "But we were going to la plage today, to sun and relax." "You know that my job is as important to me as yours is to you...and I promise, I will be back as soon as I can." Her sad eyes provoked no emotion in him, he hated hurting her, but knew that she had hurt him as much, if not more. "All right. I am going back to sleep and then will carry on without you I suppose." She kissed him, trying one last time to force him to stay, but he placed his firm hands on her shoulders and withdrew. "Thank you, mon cherie. I will see you soon." She returned to bed and it was all he could do not to brush his teeth, just to get the taste of her out of his mouth. Instead, he showered, dressed in a tan dress suit with a white half-buttoned shirt underneath and grabbed an apple on his way to the train station. When he let himself, he loved being back in France, living in Provence. He didn't let himself feel happy very often. He greeted the station master and bought a one-way ticket to Nice and today's copy of Le Monde. He looked up at the clock, and it was barely 6:30, the sky to the east only beginning to lighten. From the west, one bright light steamed towards him. The train stopped, and he quietly found a seat in an empty car, and opened the paper...trying with all his mind not to invoke the memory of her. So whaddya think so far? read...review...constructive criticism REALLY appreciated because this is my first attempt at a fanfic. All will be revealed as the story continues, but if you need help I'll post the next sections...most questions linking this to the last episode will be answered in them. Thanks!