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Shades of Gray

Discussion in 'Creative Writing & Arts' started by agent_pigtails, Feb 26, 2003.

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  1. agent_pigtails

    agent_pigtails Scout

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    So - I have no idea what happened, but apparently this topic got deleted. Rrr. So, I'm reposting, and Part 5 will be up on Thursday.


    Title: Shades of Gray

    Author: Samantha Greene



    ------PROLOGUE--------

    Sydney’s POV



    “We’re alike, you and I. We have more in common than you think.”

    The idea haunted me, and repulsed me, and at the same time made me curious. Sark has said the same thing on the last three missions we’ve been on. I want to brush it off, but it echoes through my mind.

    “You know nothing about me, Sark. Let’s leave it that way.”

    “I knew your mother. For several years, actually. You remind me of her.”

    It’s just genetics, I tell myself. We share nothing but a few strands of DNA. Except now I remember my mother’s apology, her description of herself as she was recruited into the KGB. It reminded me of when SD-6 recruited me. What if I never learned that SD-6 wasn’t the CIA? Would I have eventually become my mother?

    Sark is staring at me, trying to guage my reaction. He smirks as he sees the truth flicker through my eyes. I angrily shake off the thoughts.

    “In case you forgot, I barely knew my mother. So I cannot be like her. And you, you’re a monster. We have nothing in common.”

    But he just gazes knowingly at me, and I can feel his eyes boring into me.

    “Everyone has a dark side, Sydney. We’re not angels or devils. Life is shades of gray, no decision purely evil or innocent. And contrary to your protestations, we do have something in common.”

    “Project Christmas.”


    ***********
    ***********




    Part 2

    Sydney’s POV

    I wanted so badly to ask him for details. Was Sark also programmed? But as I was contemplating whether the answer was worth giving Sark the satisfaction of knowing I wanted something, four guards came barreling around the corner, and we had our hands full trying to take care of them. Only two guards were down when the alarm went off, and Sark and I quickly finished off the remaining guards and went our respective ways.

    Two days later I’m still faced with the same dilemma. My father, Vaughn, and Will have all asked if I’m okay, so apparently I’m not hiding my inner turmoil very well. Around eleven I head to the pier, hoping to calm down. The moon is just a small sliver, and in the dim light, I can’t see anyone else out here. Normally standing on the pier brings my thoughts to Vaughn, but I’m too worried right now to think of anything but Sark. I hear a voice behind me and startled, flinch.

    “Miss Bristow, what a coincidence to meet you out here.”

    I still can’t bring myself to ask Sark about Project Christmas, so I merely nod and turn my gaze back out to the pier. He shrugs brings his own gaze onto the water, silent for a moment.


    “I know you have no reason to trust the information I’m about to give you. But if you can get level 6 access to the CIA database you’ll find this information.”

    “Sloane hasn’t given my that kind of access.”

    ”No, Miss Bristow, I mean the real CIA database. No need to pretend, I’ve known of your double agent status for some months now.”

    He knows. But he hasn’t told Sloane. THis is not something I want to deal with right now. As if sensing my thoughts, Sark speaks again.

    “I’m not going to tell anyone, Miss Bristow. However, you persist in turning down my job offers, and before you do that again, I want you to know who you’re turning me down to work for.”

    Suddenly I’m confused again. I thought this was about Project Christmas, not about me working for Sark. Sark motions to the manila envelope in his hand and continues.

    “As I said earlier, this information requires level six access. However, you will find the information quite worth your time.”

    Level six access is what Devlin has. Probably only ten people in this country have level six access. Only an incredibly good hacker could get past all the firewalls, but what truly alarms me is not how to access the information, but what the information actually is. What could possibly need to be hidden that well? For all I know, Sark could be lying, and the information could just be forged. However, I have to admit Sark seems sincere, which is extremely strange. I’m used to seeing his trademark smirk and cocky grin, but today his expression showed nothing but sincerity, and strange as it may seem, sympathy. Finally I nod and Sark hands me a thick manila envelope.

    “Project Christmas wasn’t a new idea, but this was the first time that extensive progress was made so quickly. Your father did as much work at home as in the office, so you mother had direct access to any and all information. Because of the importance of the project, your mother was relaying information as fast as she could, and the KGB turned around and improved the ideas to form their own project. They began to take unwanted orphans from throughout Europe and test them. With no family to search for the children, no time limit to work on them, the KGB project went much farther than Project Christmas. They didn’t bother to erase memories, began to make training more intensive and more dangerous than the CIA did. Fully one fourth of all the children died during training.”

    Sark tells me all this with an expressionless face, but his voice sounds suspiciously hoarse, and I realize he’s reliving old memories.

    “You were one of those children, weren’t you?”

    Sark nods slightly, then glances away, and for a split second a look of pain flits across his face, but a second later the mask returns, and I wonder if I imagined it.

    “How many children did they take? How many people were involved?” I wonder, and Sark smiles mirthlessly.

    “I was in the program for four years. During that time at least three hundred finished the program, and that’s not counting everyone that died during training. There were probably 50 ...teachers,” he finishes, for lack of better word.

    “You said that was while you were in the program. How many were there altogether?”

    “I haven’t gotten the records on the first two years, but at least two thousand people.”

    “Two thousand?! How could that big a project be hidden?”

    “The project was being simultaneously conducted in fifteen countries. But you’re right, something that big can’t stay a secret for long. A number of moles, from the CIA and other countries, managed to infiltrate the project. This was the primary reason the project was scaled back so far.”

    My mind is buzzing, and a scary thought comes to mind, but I can’t bring myself to voice it. Finally I ask, “When did the CIA become aware the KGB had a mole, that they were developing their own project?”

    “Open the envelope.”

    On the top of a sheaf of papers is a stack of memos and reports between the head of the CIA at that time, and his two senior assistants, one of whom was Devlin. One month into the development of project Christmas, the KGB project was discovered. CIA operatives in deep cover in both England, Russia, and Ukraine immediately attempted to infiltrate the program. Four operatives had successfully joined by the end of the second month. Simultaneously, the CIA began to investigate the US project to find the mole. In two weeks, all CIA officers had been ruled out, and in three more weeks my mother was revealed to be the mole. A quiet investigation was started, a file opened. My mothers file was under the papers, and when I see the date the file was started, I gasp.

    “Sark, this date is over a year before my mother faked her death. I don’t understand!”

    “Keep reading, Miss Bristow.”

    Under her file are another set of communications, these between the CIA director, the head of the FBI, and the president. Based on recommendations by the heads of both the CIA and the FBI, the president decided that my mother would not be brought into custody yet. Derevko could lead the CIA back to the core of the KGB, and it was thought that catching the leaders was more valuable than bringing one KGB operative into custody. CIA moles within the KGB programming project were also sending back valuable information, and a push was being made to introduce this information in Project Christmas. Irina Derevko was already know to have killed eight CIA agents, but it was decided that their loss was not great enough to outweigh the information gleaned from the KGB project, and from the possible KGB heads my mother could lead them back to.

    I gasp in horror and grasp the rail of the pier for strength.

    “They knew she was a... those officers,dead...they knew and...”

    I can’t continue, and Sark gauges my face for a minute before replying.

    “Yes, Sydney. The CIA knew your mother was a KGB agent for an entire year before she disappeared.”

    Suddenly this is too much, and I feel the tears begin to build in my eyes. The government I’ve been risking my life to protect has betrayed me. I turn and run from the pier before Sark can see the tears streaming down my face.


    ****************
    ****************




    Sydney’s POV
    ******************


    They lied to me. The CIA knew my mother was a mole, and they let her continue her charade for an entire year.

    No matter how I say it, no matter how I think it, the horrible truth remains. It replays in my head as I wander aimlessly, although perhaps my body knew something my head didn’t, because forty-five minutes later I found myself on my own doorstep. I’m desperate to barricade myself in my room, where I can think in peace. Unfortunately, Francie is in the kitchen, cooking and humming to herself. She looks up and smiles at me.

    “Syd, come try these portabello mushrooms, I think the seasoning may be little too strong...sweetie, what’s wrong?”

    Tears are leaking out of my eyes, and I can’t seem to come up with a lie.

    “Fran, I...I can’t talk right now, okay? I’ll tell you tomorrow.”

    And I run to my room before Francie can form any objections. A few minutes later I hear the phone ring, but ignore it, knowing Francie will eventually answer. Soon the phone stops ringing, and I hear Francie’s voice float into the room, although she is speaking in hushed tones.

    “Yeah, Will, she’s here, but she can’t really talk right now...No, she’s really upset, she won’t tell me why...No, she didn’t say anything about her work, you think that’s what it is?...Why don’t you come over, I’m really worried about her.”

    A few minutes later the doorbell rings and I head Will’s voice. A minute later a soft knock comes on the door, and Will’s head pokes in.

    “Sydney, do you want to talk about what’s wrong?”

    He mouths “SD-6” to me, but I shake my head, and realize that as much as I want to confide in someone, it would only endanger Will more if he knew.

    “No, Will, I’m just tired. I don’t really want to talk now, okay?”

    He nods, looking disappointed that I won’t confide in him, then turns and leaves my room. I bury my head in the covers and fall into a deep and exhausted sleep.

    ************

    Fortunately, Sloane has no new mission for me, so I spend the next couple days away from Vaughn. I feel guilty for not telling him, but I really don’t know how to broach the subject, and Vaughn might not believe what Sark says. I don’t know precisely what it is that makes me believe Sark, but seeing that he has an unhappy past makes me feel a connection to him, and him knowing my secret adds to the connection. Even though it scares me, there really isn’t anything I can do to stop Sark, so I finally decide to hold another meeting with him, to see if he is going to use the information in any way. And I want to know if Sark has revealed his true motives for giving me the information. However, since I haven’t been on any missions lately, I don’t know how or where to see Sark.

    By midnight my tension hasn’t subsided, so I decide to return to the pier and hopefully calm down. After a few minutes of staring at the water, I hear soft footsteps approaching the pier, and turn to see Sark confidently striding up.

    “Miss Bristow, imagine seeing you here again. What a coincidence.”

    The smirk is back on his face, and for an instant I feel uncomfortable, but gathering my courage, I speak.

    “Look, Sark, I didn’t come here for small talk. You told me about Project Christmas for more reasons than you’re letting on, and I still don’t know why you haven’t told Sloane I’m a double. Just tell me.”

    The end of my statement, which I meant to come out as forceful, sounds weak to my ears. I expect Sark to relish his victory, but instead his gaze softens.

    “Miss Bristow, I have no intention of turning you in. You may not know it, but we’re working toward the same goal.”

    I stare in shock at him, and he allows a brief genuine smile before continuing.

    “Three days ago Arvin Sloane formally presented me to the Alliance. Although I won’t be a member of SD-6, I will be a partner to both SD-6 and the Alliance in recovering Rambaldi artifacts, and in discovering Rambaldi’s true aim. Sloane has promised that when the Rambaldi mystery is solved, our organizations will continue combining resources and working together.”

    “I still don’t understand how I fit in.”

    “I didn’t tell you everything about Project Christmas. When I told you that the KGB took their project further than anyone else, I was very serious. After a few years of just taking average orphans, they decided that gifted children should be identified and targeted. They began testing children, and for some especially gifted children, they would be put through an accelerated and intensive program. What’s more, they started to take children from their families, or even killing families so that the children would be orphans and have no one to come after them. At that point though, the KGB didn’t have enough people to carry out such a large search, and to cover up so many crimes. So they hired out the kidnappings and murders.”

    ”Were you one of-”

    He cuts me off with a gruff nod and stares stormily at the water for a minute.

    “I was 12. I can still remember my family, seeing them killed in cold blood. And although the assassin didn’t see me, I saw him. His face is burned in my memory.”

    He pauses to level his gaze with mine.

    “It was Arvin Sloane. He killed my family.”

    Sadness and anger flicker across his face, but he quickly regains his composure.

    “I will get Arvin Sloane, no matter how long in takes. Bit it will go a lot faster with some help.”

    He glances sidelong at me, and I can feel the question in his eyes.

    “I’m offering you a chance at a real life, Sydney. Since I’m Sloane’s partner, he would accept if you came to work for me. We’de still see him a few times a month, and to him it would seem we’de still be working for him. Also sharing the artifacts.”

    “Only-”

    “Only he wouldn’t be getting the real artifacts. He would be receiving forgeries.”

    “That’s exactly what I’m doing right now”

    “Except you’re going on missions twice a week. When was the last time you saw your friends, got to have an honest conversation with them? I’m offering you a chance at a life, Sydney. You won’t have two jobs, just one. You’ll have time for your friends, family, school.”

    “Sark, I, I can’t. You’re a wanted man. How can I trust you?”

    “How can you trust the CIA? The people who let you live with you mother for a year, knowing she was a mole? Knowingly let her kill CIA agents?”

    His intense gaze once again focuses on mine.

    “They have blood on their hands, too, Sydney. It’s all shades of gray, no organizations is all good. We’re both working to take down SD-6, we’re similar, except my methods are more...unorthodox. But I get the job done faster.”

    “You kill people, Sark.”

    “So does the CIA. And if 10 people die to eventually save the lives of hundreds, isn't that justified?Sydney, once Arvin Sloane and SD-6 are gone, you will have a normal life, no lies, no killing. If you work or me, you can get there faster. And in the mean time, you can have a more normal life.”

    His arguments are so reasonable, and I feel myself longing for the regular life I haven’t had for so long. But I would be betraying my father, Vaughn, Will, the CIA. As if reading my mind, Sark speaks again.

    “You’re still working to take down SD-6. You’re not betraying anyone.”

    “But Sloane, if he tells my father I’m working for you...and I can’t just quit the CIA for no reason.”

    “Sloane knows that leaving SD-6, where your father works, to work for me would put a serious strain on the relationship. He’s agreed not to mention it. And the CIA can’t force you to work for them. You can tell them this is too much to handle, that you’re returning to school and a normal life.”

    I wanted to take Sark’s offer so much, and enormity of how much better my life would be wars with my loyalty to my father, Vaughn, Will, the CIA, yet I think of how the CIA betrayed me, and the disgust I feel with myself for endangering my friends, for lying to them. Tears well up in my eyes and drop down my cheeks before I can brush them away. Sark looks at me with sympathy I am unaccustomed to.

    ”Sydney, it’s all right. Everything will be okay.”

    Suddenly I’m in his arms, not caring who he is,what he has done, knowing only he’s a comforting pair of arms and that he’s trying to help me. I feel more sure than ever before, and when the tears stop, I lift my head to stare up into Sark’s eyes.

    “All right. I’ll work for you.”

    He smiles a genuine smile at me before letting go. Unexpectedly, I feel a sense of loss, but speak quickly to cover my uncertainty.

    “Look, they may notice if I’m gone. I should probably go-”

    “It’s fine, Sydney, I know you need time to get used to the idea. I’ll contact you next week, we can set up a private meeting with Sloane to tell him of these changes.”

    He smiles warmly at me, and I return to my car, feeling happier than I could have expected when I first came to this pier.


    *******
    *******


    A lone blond figure remained standing on the pier, staring out into the water, apparently deep in thought. After a few moments he removed a cell phone from his suit and dialed a number.

    “This is Sark. I just spoke with Agent Bristow.........No, I told her we would meet with you next week......Yes, of course she took the bait, didn’t suspect a thing. I’ll be in tomorrow to give you the details....Goodnight.”



    **********
    **********



    3 Months Later

    Sydney’s POV

    I was halfway through my mission report when Sark stopped off at my desk.

    “Miss Bristow, I just returned from a meeting with Sloane. He just received intelligence on a Rambaldi artifact in Russia. It’s the key to several Rambaldi artifacts, not all of which Sloane has.”

    “Who has them?”

    “K-Directorate mostly. Your mother had two of them, but I’m not sure what happened to them. And a few other less prominent Rambaldi collectors have the remaining seven.”

    “Seven! How many artifacts does this key open?”

    Sark sighed and rubbed his forehead.

    “I’m not sure. Sloane seems really desperate to get it, but he hasn’t said much more than that. He’s insisting that we fly to Kiev tonight. We’ll be attending a private party of a collector that owns the key. Apparently they haven’t realized the importance of the key, because they still have the key stored in their safe.”

    Sark grimaced and pinched the area between his eyes. Worry seems to be etched deep into his eyes.

    “Sark, what’s going on?”

    “Rambaldi always had a purpose. If he made a single key for so many artifacts, they would be linked together. The thing is, I don’t have access to any of these artifacts. They’re all from Sloane’s personal collection, and although he is sharing information about them, I don’t have physical access to them. And I don’t know if Rambaldi used a literal key.”

    “You don’t know what the forgery should look like.”

    He nods tiredly.

    “Normally I could just get the real thing and make a fake later. But Sloane is sending two of his operatives with us on this mission. There’s not going to be very much time to switch keys.”

    “There’s more, isn’t there?”

    Sark sighs again.

    “Sit,” I insist. “I’ve never seen you this stressed out. What’s going on?”

    “Sloane knows I have more than enough operatives to complete this mission. Sending his own operatives is his way of saying that he doesn’t trust me.”

    “Do you think that he’s realized the you’ve been giving him forgeries?”

    For an instant a look of guilt flashed across Sark’s face, but a second later all that is there is tiredness.

    “I doubt it. If he knew he has a warehouse full of forgeries, we would both be in the conversation room right now.”

    His words are careless, but I can’t help but notice the slightly nervous tone to his voice. Sark has been acting a bit stressed these last few weeks, but he hasn’t opened up, and improved as our relationship is, he probably won’t take to kindly to me prying into his moods. So I content myself with giving him a slightly puzzled look but remaining silent. To my surprise, he continues talking.

    “Miss Bristow, would you care to get dinner with me?”

    **************
    **************

    “That’s your disguise?” I laugh, ten minutes later, as Sark emerges from his office. He’s wearing khakis, a crème turtleneck sweater, and has slung a messenger bag over his shoulder.

    His eyes crinkle up as he smiles at me.

    “Miss Bristow, the CIA thinks I’m in Europe right now. I’m not disguising myself, I’m merely trying to match your attire.”

    Well, he certainly looks like a college student. But he still hasn’t explained the messenger bag. I comment on this, and he raises his eyebrows, amused.

    “Miss Bristow, surely you don’t believe I would go into a public place without a backup plan. And these clothes simply do not have the carrying capacity that suits have.”

    I’m shaking my head, more amused.

    “I don’t even want to know what you have in there. And why are you calling me Miss Bristow? You’ve been calling me Sydney for a month.”

    Sark merely shrugs, and motions toward the parking garage.

    “Very well then, Sydney, ready to leave?”

    Unable to understand or follow Sark’s mood, I follow him out the door toward his car.

    *************
    *************

    “And what would you like to drink with your meals?”

    Sark shrugs and gestures to me.

    “You choose.”

    “Some Petruse. ’82.”

    Sark glances quizzically at me as the waiter leaves our table.

    “I didn’t know you like Petruse.”

    “And that’s all I know about you.”

    Sark shrugs nonchalantly.

    “We’re spies, Sydney. Openness is a liability.”

    I glare at him, rather frustrated.

    “We’re on the same side, Sark. It’s okay to open up once and a while.”

    He appears thoughtful for a moment, but finally nods.

    “Sounds rather fair. What were you wanting to know about me?”

    I grin and jump at the chance.

    “For starters, your name would be good.”

    A brief look of surprise covers his features, but he quickly covers it.

    “I’ve just been Sark for quite a while now. Since I don’t use my first name, the information would not do you any good.”

    “That’s not how this works, Sark. Why can’t you just answer a simple question?”

    He sighs and leans back in his chair.

    “What happened to my relaxing evening?”

    “It would be a lot more relaxing if you would tell me your name.”

    A soft, somewhat sarcastic laugh emerges from him.

    “You’re nothing if not persistent. But perhaps my name is the wrong thing to start with. I can tell you I’m from England, and I’m 26.”

    This draws a laugh from me.

    “I know you’re from England, Mr. British accent.”

    He smiles self-deprecatingly.

    “Okay, I guess I was asking for that one.”

    Sark thinks for another minute before speaking again, and his gaze deepens into seriousness.

    “I never wanted to be a spy. I always pictured myself as a professor.”

    “A professor! Of what?”

    “History. Or maybe English. Your mother was very persuasive.”

    “My mother? She wanted you to get out of the business.”

    Sark shrugs again.

    “She was a strange boss. She knew she would eventually get out of the business, and when she saw my unhappiness, she tried to convince me to get out, as well. To be honest, I don’t think she enjoyed the intelligence world any better than I did.”

    He gazes deep into my eyes, as if searching for a response.

    “You’re getting out when SD-6 goes down, aren’t you?”

    I try to give Sark a simple answer, but after some prompting, it turns into a full-blown history of the last few years, ever since Sd-6 recruited me. I tear up as I remember losing Danny, and Sark reaches across the table to softly brush a tear from my cheek. He doesn’t remove his hand, and we both lean in, our lips inches apart. I ‘m not sure where this came from, or where it’s going. But I feel myself falling into the depths of his eyes, and know only that this feels so right.

    “So, I have your orders! Who had the salmon?”

    The waitress’ cheerful voice interrupts, and we both pull back, the magic of the moment lost.


    ***************
    ***************

    After dinner, Sark and I go our respective ways to quickly pack and return to the plane. On the plane, I find I am tired, and I lean my head back, close my eyes, and quickly fall asleep

    When I awake several hours later, Sark is asleep next to me, and I am glad to not have to talk to him. The awkwardness following our aborted kiss still seems to hang in the air, and I don’t know how to fix it. My mind keeps returning to the fact that I’ve developed feelings for Sark, but I can’t imagine having a real relationship with him. It would be too dangerous. Leave it alone, Sydney, I tell myself. You got over Michael; you can get past this a lot easier. Except my eyes keep returning to his sleeping form, and my mind keeps thinking of the gentle concern in Sark’s eyes as I told him of my past. Forcing the thoughts from my mind, I close my eyes and drift off into a troubled sleep.


    After we land, Sark and I catch a cab to our hotel and quickly prepare for the party to take place in less than an hour. We meet Sloane’s operatives outside the building. Sark quietly slips me a pair of earrings, and as we all separate at the party, his voice quietly sounds in my ear.

    “Sydney, Sloane’s operatives are covering the security system. They aren’t going to be in radio contact, so we can talk this way. Simply press on the center diamond to talk.”

    “Have you figured out what to do about the key?”

    “I have several forgeries with me. I can only hope the original looks reasonably like one of them. The guards appear to be on twenty minute perimeter sweeps, so if you can get in right now, you’ll have time to crack the safe and get out.”

    “I’ll meet you on the foyer when we can make the switch.”

    I quickly make my way to the safe, and open it without setting off any alarms. The foyer is only two halls away, and Sark is already waiting there when I arrive. He sighs with relief when he sees the key.

    “Perfect, it looks a lot like this one.”

    Handing me the key, he pockets the original and motions to the door. Once inside, we duck into a hallway to take the back way out of the house. Suddenly an entire contingent of guards round the corner and shouting, start after us. Sark and I turn and run, sprinting down separate corridors and force the guards to split up. I hear Sark’s voice crackling in my ear as I run.

    “Take a left at the next corridor. From there the next exit is ….eft…wait, guards ar…..”

    “Sark? Sark?!”

    The only response I got was crackling in my earpiece.

    “Sark?”

    I randomly choose a direction and continue running, only to run into eight armed guards and the owner of the key with them. Realizing the futility of fighting right now, I slowly lift my arms in surrender.

    “Good,” the owner comments. “Now I want my key back!”

    The guards quickly search me, and find the forgery. The owner angrily throws it back at me, and without thinking I thrust the key into my handbag.
    In the silence of the room, my earpiece suddenly crackles as Sark’s panicked voice comes through.

    “Sydney, the guards are heading toward you. Turn back!”

    The owner motions to my earring, and I silently hand the earring to him. He stares at it in disgust for a moment before speaking into it.

    “I have your partner. If you want her back, you will bring the real key to the far eastern corridor. You have five minutes.”

    It’s less than a minute later when Sark rounds the corner, breathless and slightly flushed. His eyes are wide with concern.

    “Sydney, are you all right?”

    I nod as the owner angrily requests the key again. Sark passes the real key to him as we are forced rather unceremoniously out of the building. The guards reenter the building as Sark grasps my arm.

    “Are you sure you’re okay?”

    The adrenaline seems to be gone, and I sag tiredly against Sark’s arm. He gathers me in his arms and murmurs into my hair, “I know the feeling.”

    This draws a slight laugh from me, but my expression sobers as I stare up into Sark’s eyes. The concern and sympathy in them is real, and I reach up to run a hand along Sark’s cheek.

    “Really, I’m okay.”

    He nods and speaks softly.

    “I know. I was just afraid I’d… that you were …I knew the guards were coming…”

    “It’s okay,” I soothe him, and he relaxes slightly and smiles down at me. I feel the magnetism of his eyes, and he brings his lips down to mine for a tender kiss. After much too short a time he pulls back.

    “Sydney, I-“

    He cuts off and we jump out of each other’s embrace as Sloane’s operatives rejoin us.

    “Did you get the key? Our system crashed, so we couldn’t monitor the security cameras.”

    Sark and I exchange glances. We know why we were caught, but it appears they don’t know we don’t have the key anymore. Sark throws a sidelong glance at me before quickly speaking.

    “Agent Bristow has it in her bag.”

    I hand them the key and silently hope that Sloane doesn’t realize the difference. We turn to leave and I realize that Sark and I are going to have a lot to talk about on the plane ride home.

    ***********
    Sloane’s POV

    2 Days Later

    I sat in my office, thoughtfully staring at the key Sark had returned to me. I had tried it on several artifacts, and found it worked on none of them. Which led me to the conclusion that either Sark had given me a forgery, or he had stolen the wrong key. A loud knock sounded on my door and the head of security section entered.

    “The tapes that you requested, Sir.”

    I quickly insert the security tape into my VCR and fast-forward until I saw Sark and Sydney separate and run from the guards. I gasp as I see Sydney detained by the guards; Sark never mentioned this in his report. The owner retrieves a key from Sydney but quickly throws it back. I surmise it must be the forgery.

    Sark next runs on the scene, and he tosses a key to the owner and the guards release them. The cameras switch to an outside view, and I see them embrace and kiss, then jump apart as my operatives return. I angrily turn to my head of security section.

    “Its obvious Sark is no longer loyal to me, if he ever was. I want you to send security teams to both his home and Sydney’s. I want them brought back here as soon as possible. I want them alive, but don’t hesitate to use force otherwise.”

    He nods and exits, as I sit back in my chair, anticipating what this night will bring.

    To Be Continued . . .
     
  2. twinzz2003

    twinzz2003 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Yeah it seems like a lot of the posts were deleted, but as always I love this fic. Keep Going. :D
     
  3. kleverkitten

    kleverkitten Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    You write really well, but I'm a Vaughn's girl, so I'm reading this thinking 'How can she kiss Sark??!!' But keep going, because you have so much skill in writing.
     
  4. agent_pigtails

    agent_pigtails Scout

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Shades of Gray - Part 5

    Author: Samantha Greene

    Disclaimer: I don’t own any of Alias. All belongs to the genius JJ Abrams, and Bad Robot, ABC, etc.

    Distribution: Blue Room, Dark Enigma, Cover Me. All others please email me first. (agent_pigtails@yahoo.com)

    A/N: Yay, the end if almost here! Actually, this story was a lot of fun to write, so its sad to end it, but the storyline really does call for a stopping point here. If you want a sequel, please let me know- I’m not sure how many people are reading this. And Review please!

    *********
    *********

    Shades of Gray - Part 5

    Sydney’s POV

    ********

    When I got home that evening, I was grinning so widely that Francie couldn’t help but smile back.

    “Syd, I haven’t seen you this happy in a long time! What’s going on?”

    She gave me a conspiratorial look.

    “Did we have a hot date?”

    Perhaps not the right description, but then its hard to describe anything between Sark and I. Leaving school that afternoon, I’d run into Sark, who claimed that he was in the neighborhood on “business,” although his eyes had taken on the familiar gleam they got when he teased me. He’d insisted on taking me out for coffee, and after talking for three hours, we’d wound up walking into a small bistro for dinner. Somehow Sark seemed to be off his guard, especially after the food had been cleared away, and we talked softly across a candlelit table.

    “Sydney? Hello? Syd!”

    I snapped back to the present with a laugh.

    “Sorry, Fran, don’t know where I was there. Just thinking about ... well ... let’s just say it was a very nice night.”

    Francie just shakes her head, amused and delighted.

    “It’s about time you met someone. So who is he? When do I get to meet him?”

    My smile falters as I think of Will. And not just him. Good motives or not, Sark is still a wanted criminal.

    “He’s...I don’t know how serious this is. Just give me some time, okay?”

    Francie shakes her head indulgently.

    “I’m not waiting forever, Syd.”

    I make my way to my room, by good mood dampened by the realization that this relationship would never be something we could make public. Although perhaps after Sark takes down SD-6, we can just leave and start over somewhere else. This leads me to shake my head al myself. You’ve been on three dates, Sydney. I don’t think you she be planning for the future quite so soon.

    I paused once again, recalling the one incident that had marred the evening. Sark had nervously been tapping his fingers on the table, finally grasping my hand and looking directly into my eyes.

    “Sydney, there’s something I need to tell you.”

    He stopped, trying to gauge my reaction. However, I had no idea what he was about to say, so mild puzzlement and concern were the only things written on my face.

    “When we started working together, I...About working with Sloane...”

    He paused again, the silence almost painful, and an instant later his pager went off. Looking at it, he cursed softly.

    “It’s Sloane. He says it’s an emergency. I’m sorry, Syd, I need to head back to the office.”

    My dismay must have been obvious, because Sark’s expression changed from worry to guilt.

    “I’m sorry, love, but I don’t have any choice. I promise I’ll talk with you tomorrow.”

    “Of course,” I responded, trying to mask my disappointment. Then I realized all he had just called me.

    “Love?”

    He smiled, embarrassment dancing in his eyes.

    “It just slipped out-”

    He may have continued, if he had the chance, but I planted my lips firmly on his. After a moment I pulled away, cheeks flushed. Sark regarded me, a tender look on his face. A second later, though, his eyes darkened, and guilt flooded across his features.

    “Sydney, you know I would never hurt you.”

    “Of course, Sark, I don’t understand why you’re asking me this.”

    He paused again, as if deciding how to answer the question.

    “We’ll talk tomorrow.”

    Again his expression softened.

    “And Sydney - my name is Andrew.”

    With that he strode briskly away, leaving me both elated and concerned, completely unsure of what he would tell me, and yet sure of my feelings for him.

    *****
    The ringing of my cell phone jolted me from my thoughts, and I answered it quickly, intrigued when my caller ID indicated Sark was calling from his cell phone.

    For an instant I heard the loud roar of engines before Sark spoke.

    “Sydney! Get out of there now! Sloane sent a security team to meet me. He must know about the forgeries! I-”

    He was cut off by the screeching of tires, and a moment later I heard rough voices ordering him out of the car. Then the phone went dead.

    ***************

    I stared in shock at the phone for a second before grabbing my keys and racing to the car. On the front porch I ran straight into Francie and Will, home from a late night of working at her restaurant.

    “Sydney -what’s the hurry? Where are you going this late?”

    Near tears, I looked pleadingly at Will.

    “You both have to go now. I can’t tell you why, but you’re in danger. Will, contact my father, he’ll take care of you both.”

    Francie was staring at me in shock, as Will nodded somewhat resignedly.

    “You never quit working, did you?”

    I shook my head, pushing them back out toward Francie’s car.

    “I’m so sorry, but you have to go now. I’ll explain later.”

    Seconds later a shell shocked Francie and Will were racing away, as I jumped in my own SUV and started the engine. Backing out, I got only half a block before four security vehicles blocked me in. At least 20 agents withdrew, all pointing automatic rifles at me.

    “Ms. Bristow, we have orders to bring you will us.”

    Realizing the futility of resisting, I slowly exited my vehicle and followed them to their waiting car.


    *************
    *************


    2 Hours later

    I’d been taken back to SD-6, locked in a room, and left. Unfortunately, my legs and arms were handcuffed to the chair I was in, so my only option was to wait for Sloane. Horrible visions of what he had done to Sark filled my mind as I waited.

    Finally, the door creaked open, revealing Arvin Sloane, wearing a smug smile on his face.


    *************
    *************

    Sloane’s POV

    Sydney stared at me, both terror and determination on her face.

    “Miss Bristow, how good of you to join me. Unfortunately, Mr. Sark escaped from my security team, so he won’t be joining us tonight.”

    She stared back at me, expression unfathomable, except for a slight smirk.

    “I have nothing to say.”

    “I expected nothing less. No doubt you are waiting for your precious Mr. Sark to rescue you. However, once you realize his real affiliations, you will know how ridiculous that hope is.”

    Sydney glared in response.

    “He isn’t working with you. He’d never work with you.”

    “Ah yes, I forgot. He’s working against me, isn’t he? Because I killed his parents all those years ago.”

    Sydney’s expression faltered for a second.

    “How did you know that?”

    “Did you really believe him? His whole story about working against me to avenge the death of his parents? He’s just playing games with you, Agent Bristow. All he wants is the Rambaldi artifacts.”

    I allowed a self-satisfied smile, which discomfited Sydney.

    “Although judging from your mission to Kiev, I’d say he wants something from you personally.”

    Sydney’s expression hardened.

    “I don’t believe you.”

    “Of course you don’t. Although you’re probably wondering how I know all this information. How I know about Project Christmas, Sark’s secret agenda. Maybe you’ll believe me after you see this.”

    Turning on the television on the table next to her, I pushed a security video into the VCR and hit play. Sydney stared, recognizing the quality of the recording indicated that it couldn’t be a forgery.

    ///////

    In the film, Sark entered my office, a smirk on his face.

    “You wanted to see me, Sir?”

    “I did. You may or may not be aware that Sydney Bristow is a double agent for the CIA. Obviously, this presents a problem for me. As easy as it would be to kill her, Agent Bristow is my best field agent. Her success in recovering Rambaldi artifacts is unsurpassed. Therefore, I’ve developed an alternative to dealing with her. That’s where you are involved.”

    Sark’s smirk deepened, his eyes gleaming.

    “What did you have in mind.”

    “I don’t want to confront Sydney directly. I’m afraid if I threaten her to make her work for me, she’ll just run. So here’s the offer - Sydney will work for you. We’ll invent a partnership, where it appears that I would allow Bristow to leave SD-6 to work for you. Your cover story will be that you are working against me as revenge of some sort - we’ll sort out that story later. As far as she will know, she will be working against me, still getting Rambaldi artifacts to you, but you will be passing forgeries to me.”

    Sark smiled at the idea.

    “An intriguing idea, sir, but with all due respect, Sydney doesn’t trust me. Why would she believe I was telling the truth. And why would she be so willing to leave the CIA? She appears to be very loyal.”

    “Just leave that to me, Sark. I have to the perfect cover.”

    /////////////

    I turned off the video, observing the tears pouring down Sydney’s face as she stared at the black screen.

    “He lied to me,” she whispered to herself.

    I smirked, realizing I had broken her. Just then, the lights switched off, and we were left in darkness. Grabbing the phone on the wall, I dialed my head of security.

    “What’s going on? Why are the lights off?”

    “Sir, someone hacked into our system and turned them off. Most of our security countermeasures are off. No cameras.”

    Just them the door burst open, and Sark entered, gun drawn.

    “Let her go, Sloane!”

    Turning, he stared concernedly at Sydney.

    “Syd, are you okay?”

    She glared at him with anger that even the dim light couldn’t mask. Recognizing the look, Sark turned to me in horror.

    “You told her, didn’t you?”

    Still pointing the gun at me, he ordered me to undo her handcuffs. Rubbing her wrists, Sydney stood, staring uncertainly from the gun to me to Sark.

    “Sydney, you have to trust me,” Sark begged. “If you stay here, Sloane will kill you.”

    I saw my chance and jumped at it.

    “I have video footage of you working with Sark in Kiev. If you attempt to leave with him, I’ll release the footage to the CIA. They’ll know you’re working with him. You’ll have to run.”

    Sydney stared back and forth, her expression one of confusion.

    “Sydney, please,” Sark begged, the desperation twisting in his voice. “I can explain everything.”

    Finally Sydney found her voice.

    “I guess my choice is pretty obvious, isn’t it? I choose


    To Be continued......

    A/N: I know - how mean am I? The end is coming Monday. And be prepared for some more twists. Now please review!
     
  5. twinzz2003

    twinzz2003 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Wow! That's really good. I hate that you will be ending it, but I guess it has to end sometime. I must say though it's my favorite fanfic on this board. I just love it.
     
  6. agent_pigtails

    agent_pigtails Scout

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Title: Shades of Gray - Part 6

    Author: Samantha Greene

    Distribution: Dark Enigma, Adventures of Blue, Cover Me. All others please ask.

    Disclaimer: None of Alias belongs to me. All property of JJ Abrams, ABC, Bad Robot, etc.

    A/N: Well, here’s the end. Thanks to all of my faithful reviewers, I really appreciate it! I’ve already begun working on a sequel, so keep your eyes pealed - it should be out in a week or so. And please! tell me what you think of the end of this one. Thanks!



    SHADES OF GRAY - PART 6

    Sloane’s POV

    ***********
    ***********


    “Sydney, please,” Sark begged, the desperation twisting in his voice. “I can explain everything.”

    Finally Sydney found her voice.

    “I guess my choice is pretty obvious, isn’t it? I choose not to work for you, Sloane. Earlier you admitted you cooked up this whole scheme because you thought I would run if you merely threatened me. You’re right - I won’t work for you. I’d rather spend my life running than spend it working for a monster like you. And ... and if that means running with Sark, then I guess I’ll have to.”

    Her eyes, troubled and disturbed, turned toward the door, and I knew I was about to lose her. Desperate, I tried one last point.

    “You’ll be a fugitive by tomorrow, Sydney. A traitor of the United States, probably one of the most dangerous, because you hold so much information. Huge rewards will be offered for you. Do you think Sark, who betrayed you, will hesitate to turn you in if the reward is large enough?”

    I know I’ve gotten to them. Sydney’s eyes widen slightly, as she takes in a whole new angle she hadn’t thought of yet, and Sark glances fearfully at her changing expression. Finally he frowns and speaks.

    “Sydney, a security teams is probably on their way. We need to go now.”

    Sydney nods, somewhat dazed, and exits a few steps ahead of Sark. He turns, giving me one last look of disgust and loathing, before following her.

    Minutes later, the power is back on, and my head of security is once again awaiting my instructions.

    “Send out the tape immediately. Once they have to run from both the Alliance and the CIA, they may get sloppy, make mistakes. And when they do, we’ll be there.”


    ***********
    ***********

    Sydney’s POV

    Sark and I quietly enter the nondescript black SUV he’s driving. After a few silent moments, he tentatively attempt to speak.

    “Syd? We need to talk about this. I need you to know everything that’s going on here-”

    I cut him off, tears of hatred brimming in my eyes.

    “I trusted you with my life. I trusted you...”

    I stops for a moment, the emotion thick in my voice, then continue again, bitterness in my expression.

    “My mother, my father, Sloane. I’ve been betrayed so many times, you’d think I would have figured out how to tell lies from the truth my now. But here I am, in the same place I always am. But I’m here because I have no other choice, not because I want to be. I’m not your friend, I’m not your ally, I’m not your partner. And I don’t want excuses for what you’ve done. Just get me to the airport and leave me there. I’ll find my own way from that point.”

    He’s frowning again, unhappy with this new arrangement.

    “You have no passport, your bank accounts will be frozen, and no allies. Sydney, it would be dangerous and unwise to run alone. I know it appears I’ve betrayed you, but right now I’m your only ally. At least allow me to explain before you end our partnership.”

    I am, however, ready for this argument.

    “I saw the video tape, Sark. You were Sloane’s partner long before you were mine. Although you must have been double crossing Sloane as well, because if you had really shared the artifacts, we wouldn’t have been in there. So what happened? Did you get greedy, decide to keep all the information to yourself? Or is there someone else involved in this that I don’t know about?”

    Sark sighs, his eyes downcast, and a moment of silence passes before he finally answers.

    “I’m working for your mother.”


    ***********
    ***********

    Will’s POV

    Francie and I managed to get in contact with Jack in a matter of minutes. He immediately had wanted to send us to a CIA safe house. However, when I informed him that Sydney was still working, and it didn’t appear to be for the CIA, he decided that he would not yet notify his superiors, so Francie and I became temporary residents of his apartment. Francie, angry at being left out of a secret, but far too scared to speak to Jack when he was in so foul of a temper, had to settle for giving him disgusted glances, and chewing me out for not telling her what was going on. Once we were all settled in, Jack approached us.

    “If you two can postpone the pleasantries for a moment, I’d like to speak to Will. Alone.”

    Without waiting for an answer he stalked off to his study, leaving me to follow and wonder how terrible Jack’s interrogation was. Fortunately, Jack seemed more angry at himself, than at me. Finally he calmed down enough to send a few of his private contacts descriptions of both Sydney and the car she was driving. Minutes later, he received a phone call.

    “Yes, this is Bristow....No, I don’t know who she was running from. Did you check to car for fingerprints?...Well, only hers won’t help much. Okay, pull the traffic surveillance in a ten mile radius, and let me know if you find anything suspicious.”

    As he hung up, I couldn’t help but notice the worried pull to Jacks mouth, the concern floating in his eyes.

    “What did they find?”

    “Sydney’s car was found abandoned just down her street. The door was left open, and the keys were lying on the drivers seat. It’s a wonder the car wasn’t stolen.”

    “What about fingerprints?”

    “Only Sydney’s. I have them pulling the traffic surveillance, but it’s a large radius, and I can’t get the CIA involved in going through them...”

    I hear the unspoken question and nod immediately.

    “Of course, I’ll be happy to help however I can.”

    Jack nods his thanks and rises.

    “A courier should be here in a few minutes. In the meantime, I’m going to visit Irina. Hopefully she has some idea what Sydney was doing and who she was working for. If she has anything to do with this, so help me...”

    He walks away, muttering threats under his breath, and looking more out of control and scarier than I’ve ever seen him. Of course, I can fully understand that. My concern for Sydney is underscored by the fact that we may be helping a traitor. But I can’t turn my back to a friend, and Jack would certainly do anything for his daughter. A few minutes later, Jack comes back downstairs, car keys in hand, and looking back to the controlled and cool agent I am used to. The dangerous glint in his eyes remain, and I am somewhat happy when he finally leaves.

    Half an hour later a harried courier arrives, carrying a stack of tapes for me. I quickly begin fast forwarding through them, desperate to find out where Sydney is. Aside from the traffic surveillance, Jack had wired several cameras into the buildings surrounding Credit Dauphine, and they show a large black van enter the parking garage. This is followed a few minutes later by another large black van, and I suspect that Sydney may have been in one of them, but the tinting is too dark to see any passengers. Finally another car pulls up, this one occupied by Arvin Sloane. Knowing he wouldn’t come to the office that late unless it was something very important, I am more convinced that Sydney is in the building, but no more traffic is seen coming or going from the building, and I’m just about to turn the tape off and call Jack when I spot a familiar face and just about fall off my chair. Quickly rewinding, I confirm that it is Sark that enters the building, and a few minutes later I suffer a second shock as I see both Sark and Sydney exit the building. Quickly I dial the number to Jack’s cell phone.

    “Jack? You’re never going to believe who Sydney’s working with.”


    **********
    **********

    Jack’s POV

    One of the major benefits of being a ranking senior officer is not having to explain strange late night visits to prisoners. Irina seemed surprised to see me, but she appeared alert, and immediately requested the reason for my late night visit. After quickly outlining the few facts that we knew, I ask if she has any idea who Sydney could be working for. She appears to be considering her answer carefully when my cell phone rings. Will relays his startling news, and angry at what I am hearing, I snap the phone shut and angrily face Irina.

    “Sydney was taken to Credit Dauphine. She was seen leaving a few minutes later with Sark. You planned this, didn’t you? All this time, and you were just manipulating your own daughter to work for you.”

    Irina’s mouth tightens, but her face reveals nothing else. Finally she speaks.

    “Jack, Sark is still in my employ. But what he’s doing has nothing to do with infiltration of the CIA. It’s partially about infiltrating Credit Dauphine.”

    I immediately know her tone.

    “You said partially? What else is it about?”

    Irina frowns once again.

    “I know what it should be about, but it appears that somewhere the plan went wrong. I need to speak to Sark before I can tell you anything else definitive.”

    Desperation and worry war with my months of suspicion of Irina. Finally I acquiesce. Since Kendall isn’t here, I have the authority to allow the Irina access to outside material.

    “Fine, you can have your phone call. But I’ll be monitoring it, and if you appear to be passing any messages, I’ll terminate the call immediately. And the immunity deal you signed will be void. I’ll personally make sure you’re convicted for all your crimes.”

    Irina nods, unperturbed, and I have the guard lead her to a secure line. Her few minutes of conversation with Sark leave me nearly bowled over with shock.

    “I knew there was more to it, but that much! How long have you been working on this?”

    “Nearly a year. I realize you’re anxious to talk to Sydney, but I need to make my deal with Devlin first.”

    I nod my assent.

    “I’ll contact him immediately.”



    ***********
    ***********

    Sydney’s POV - 45 minutes earlier

    Once Sark revealed his affiliation with my mother, I was so disturbed that I wouldn’t allow him to speak anymore. After a few more useless attempts at an explanation, Sark realizes he’s not getting anywhere, and silence settles back over the car. We finally reach a small hotel near LAX airport and check into our room under aliases. I ponder where I’m going to get a fake identity in time to buy a plane ticket when Sark hands me a sheaf of papers. Among them are a passport and birth certificate. Angry, yet still grateful for the unexpected assistance, I nod somewhat angrily and turn to enter my room. Sark grasps by arm in an attempts to stop me.

    “I know you’re angry, Sydney, but you have no idea what’s going on. You must allow me to explain before you leave.”

    Shaken by Sark’s insistence that he is still working with me and his apparent help, I turn back for a moment. Then I think of the life I am losing because of him, and angry both at him and at my moment of weakness, I jerk my arm from his grasp and enter my own room, slamming the door shut behind me.

    ***********
    3 Hours Later
    ***********

    Sleep was difficult, and it seemed like I had just drifted off when I was awakened by the insistent ringing of my cell phone. After a few minutes I was answer somewhat grumpily, only to be shocked to hear my father’s voice on the line.

    “Sydney, are you still at the hotel? Is Sark still with you?”

    Shocked that he appears to know what’s going on, I can only mutter a sleepy yes.

    “Thank god!” he exclaims, completely surprising me.

    “Dad, what do you mean? I’m with Sark! I’ve been working for him, he tricked me. And he’s working for Mom!”

    “I know,” he responds, calm once more. “She told me everything. Or at least as much as she knows. I think I’ll have to talk to you and Sark for a more complete explanation.”

    “Did you get Sloane’s tape?”

    “Yes, it was delivered about an hour ago. Devlin and I have both reviewed it. I must admit I have some concern over your relationship with Sark, but Irina knows him better, and she doesn’t seem too concerned.”

    After these startling statements, I can only stare at the phone in shock. After a moment my father speaks again.

    “Sydney, you don’t seem to be taking this very well. Are you all right?”

    “Dad! All right?? I’m on the run with a criminal who’s secretly had me working for mom for months, and you’re only ‘concerned’ that I had a relationship with him? I’m going on the run! Who knows how long until I see you?”

    Now it’s Dad’s turn to be surprised.

    “Sydney, I thought you and Sark had talked. Do you know anything at all about what’s going on besides the fact that Sark is working for your mother?”

    I’m instantly angry that my father appears to know more, and at the fact that all his statements do not appear to be angry at either my mother or Sark.

    “Dad, I don’t know what Mom told you, but she’s probably lying. And know, I haven’t talked to Sark. He’ll just lie again.”

    I can almost see my father frowning on the other end.

    “Sydney, I can’t begin to explain everything that has happened. I’ll just say that Sark and your mother appear to have your best interests in mind, and I really do think it would be best if you talked to Sark. And I’ll be by in a couple hours with a security team. So stay put.”

    “You’re leading the team to take arrest me?”

    “Sydney, no!” my father sounds hurt. “You’re not being arrested, you’re being brought into protective custody. Your mother and I will explain when we get to your hotel. Just stay there, and talk to Sark”

    “My mother is coming? Why isn’t SHE in custody?”

    My father sighs, an irritated sound.

    “Sydney, I can’t explain it all right now. Would you please just trust me?”

    After reassuring my father that I will speak to Sark, I hang up and think.
    I’m still angry at Sark, but my curiosity and confusion far outweigh them, so ten minutes later I find myself knocking on Sark’s door. He appears, wearing black slacks and a blue dress shirt, a surprised look on his face.

    “Miss Bristow, I must admit I am surprised to find you knocking on my door at this hour. Was there something you needed?”

    “Yes. I want the truth.”

    Sark smiles, a mixture of relief, but with a trace of his old smirk.

    “Then perhaps we should proceed to somewhere more comfortable.”

    ***********
    ***********

    The restaurant downstairs is closed at this hour, so we settle on the balcony with glasses of wine. Sark appears uncertain as to where to begin, but finally he starts.

    “Miss Bristow, your mother knew she was leaving the spy business over a year ago. However, she had one tie to the business remaining - you and your father. She had become aware a few months prior that you and your father were CIA moles, and she was concerned for your safety.”

    Intrigued despite myself, I lean forward, and Sark relaxes slightly, then continues.

    “That’s how I came in. Irina trusted me most of all her workers, so she left me with one last assignment - to protect you and Jack.”

    I protest angrily, but Sark shakes his head indulgently and continues.

    “I know full well you can protect yourself, Miss Bristow. But Irina was concerned that if she had found out your true loyalties, Sloane would be able to, as well. So I was to get close to Sloane, and divert all suspicion from you two, onto someone else if necessary.”

    “What happened? You never worked for Sloane.”

    “By the time I got close to Sloane, it was too late. He already knew you were a mole. Because you cover so many more field missions than your father, Sloane had barely begun to suspect Jack, but he already knew about you. I took the job with Sloane, still trying to keep him from knowing about your father, and hoping I could devise a plan to protect you.”

    “So Sloane’s offer...”

    “Was a golden opportunity. You would no longer be working for Sloane, and you would still be able to carry on a basically normal life.”

    “So you didn’t double cross me.”

    “No,” Sark smiled mirthlessly. “I double crossed Sloane. Unfortunately, he soon discovered my forgeries, so we had to run anyway.”

    I’m frowning, trying to put all the pieces together.

    “What happened to all the real Rambaldi artifacts?”

    Sark winces slightly.

    “I gave them to your mother.”

    “I thought she was out of the business!”

    “She is. She didn’t want the pieces to use them, she wanted them to make a deal with the CIA.”

    ”A deal?”

    “Your mother made a deal that she would be released. Of course, her travels will be limited, she will have a tracked implanted, and a security team will be located next door to her. But for all intents and purposes, she will be free.”

    “So that’s the entire deal? Her freedom for the Rambaldi artifacts?”

    “No, more is involved. I get essentially the same deal that she does. I agree to tell them everything for immunity, and I’m allowed to live freely as well.”

    “That’s a lot to get for a few artifacts.”

    Sark shrugs, a smile quirking at his mouth.

    “They’re getting more than that, Miss Bristow. Besides the artifacts, I have acquired access codes to all the branches of the Alliance. This, couples with your mother’s information, will allow them to take down the Alliance. And your mother and I won’t tell anyone about Project Christmas, and about allowing her to live as a mole for a year.”

    I nearly fall over in shock.

    “But I heard your conversation with Sloane! He made that up to get me to work with you.”

    “Actually, almost all the information I gave you was real. Sloane was holding onto that information, waiting for the right opportunity to use it. The only feature we added was the death of my family at his hands.”

    “So you really were involved?”

    Sark nods, a pained look on his face.

    “For several years. Only my family died in a car accident. Sloane had nothing to do with that. He just added that detail because he thought you would feel more in sympathy with me.”

    “I did,” I mutter, looking down, embarrassed at my quick belief in Sark.

    Sark gently raises my chin so I can look into his eyes.

    “Miss Bristow, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Using your sympathy and manipulating your feelings to trick you is terrible. I can only hope that one day you will forgive me.”

    I smile softly at Sark, unsure of how to say what I mean.

    “Sark, all you did was protect me. You may have had to lie, but that’s the world we work in. I do forgive you.”

    Sark smiles, relieved, at me.

    “Miss Bristow-”

    “Sydney. You can call me Sydney.”

    “Sydney, about our... when we...”

    I laugh at Sark’s somewhat flustered start.

    “Are you referring to our dates?”

    He nods, somewhat embarrassed, but his eyes quickly turn serious.

    “Sydney, I never lied about that. What I feel for you - I meant every word of it. I love you, Sydney.”

    “I love you too, Andrew,” I murmur, before bringing his lips down to mine. A throat clearing causes us to jump, blushing. We turn to see my mother and father standing their. My father looked less than pleased, although my mother was smiling, bemused.

    Unable to contain myself, I give my father a large hug, which he returns somewhat stiffly, though not unkindly. My mother I also hug, our fist genuine hug in such a long time. After a moment, my father addresses Sark and I.

    “Devlin ordered a raid of the Alliance facilities tomorrow. Devlin thought you might be of help. He also mentioned that Sloane figured out something was going on when arrests weren’t issued for you and Sark. He knows Sark has all the codes to the building, and since it appears that the CIA is still on friendly terms with you two, he rightfully expects an attack. Sloane certainly won’t be at SD-6 tomorrow, and Devlin wants to put me in charge of catching him. I’d hoped to get information from all of you that might prove useful.”

    Sark turns to me, eyebrows raised. This isn’t over yet, not by a long shot. But in the meantime, things can get back to normal. I still have my friends, and now I can tell both Will and Francie the truth. I look around, realizing I’ll get to see both my parents, free. Sark smiles softly at me as we turn to walk to the car, taking my hand in his.

    “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” he whispers to me.

    “That we’re going to have a lot to talk about on the ride home?”

    We both laugh, and I suddenly notice something else. Walking ahead of us, I note with some interest that Mom and Dad are also holding hands. Sark also notices, and he shrugs and smiles at me. As we get in the back of the car, I realize how tired I really am, and lean my head on Sark’s shoulder.

    In front, my parents are bantering lightly, sounding comfortable and relaxed. Sark is gently stroking my hair, and the city is flying by us.

    Tomorrow may hold much in store for me, but for today, this is enough.


    THE END
     
  7. twinzz2003

    twinzz2003 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Very good ending! If you make a sequel, I'll be right there reading it.
     
  8. Scarlet Crystal

    Scarlet Crystal Bibbity Rabbity

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    Narnia
    wow this is great! did you have to repost it?
     
  9. agent_pigtails

    agent_pigtails Scout

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Yeah, the whole thing got wiped out with the rest of the message boards, so that's why the few front sections are all together now.

    Thanks to all the faithful reviewers, and if there is anything you especially want to see in the sequel, please let me know.
    Sam
     
  10. twinzz2003

    twinzz2003 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Love the new avatar!

    I'd like to see Vaughn Vaughn, and more Vaughn. Okay so this is between her and Sark, but someone needs to tell heartbroken Vaughn.
     
  11. *Agent Legolas*

    *Agent Legolas* Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    This is a great story!! I'm a S/V shipper too, but this a really good fan fic anyway!!! :LOL:
     
  12. FrEeLaNcEr03

    FrEeLaNcEr03 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    I think that it is a great story, but I still agree. I am a Vaughn girl. How could syd get over vaughn?? just wondering. very good though. please post more!!
     
  13. sarkfan

    sarkfan Sark's Girl

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    Loved the ending,where she forgave him,please pm me if you do a sequal.

    ~Rach~
     

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