There’s Beauty in the Breakdown

Leslie

Super Fantastisch
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Location
Rhode Island, USA
Title: There’s Beauty in the Breakdown
Rating: R (lol :rolleyes:)
Word Count: 10,686
Summary: The hell that had been Sydney Bristow’s life while Lauren was alive is over. At least, that’s what everyone assumes. Meanwhile, Sark is plagued by insomnia and something else that he can’t quite put a finger on…
Timeline: Post-Resurrection. Jack’s betrayal never happened.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, JJ owns Alias and all the characters therein. :-P
Acknowledgements: Thanks so much to Blake for his gun knowledge (however limited ;)). Thanks to Dostoevsky, for his incredibly awesome Russian literature, from which I love to *ahem* steal. :LOL: Also, many thanks to my Alias Bible, www.aliasinsider.com, for their glorious transcripts. ^_^
The title for this piece is taken from the song “Let Go” by Frou Frou.
A/N: Anything in third person is in italics; the rest is done in first person vignettes, with point of view alternating between the characters of Sydney and Sark. So keep that in mind while reading or you might get very confused. ^_^
FC Quotes Used: Once again, I went a little nutso… :P

Narrator: I had never been in a car accident.

Narrator: When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep... and you're never really awake.

Narrator: With insomnia, nothing is real. Everything is far away. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy.

Tyler Durden: One can make all kinds of explosives, using simple household items. If one were so inclined.

Narrator: I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.

Narrator: [Marla] was the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would heal if only you could stop tonguing it, but you can't.

Narrator: This was my vacation, and she ruined everything.

Tyler Durden: Stop trying to control everything and just let go! LET GO!

Narrator: We have just lost cabin pressure.

Narrator: We should do this again sometime.

Richard Chesler: Is that your blood?
Narrator: Some of it, yeah.

Tyler Durden: You have a kind of sick desperation in your laugh.

Marla: You’re the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

Tyler Durden: It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. [variant]

Narrator: Put a gun to my head and paint the wall with my brains.

Marla: Looks like this is goodbye.
Narrator: Yeah, well, let’s not make a big thing out of it.
Marla: How’s this for not making a big thing?

Narrator: And then, something happened. I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom. [variant]


Partie Une

Rain spattered across the windshield, heavy. The deafening noise against the silence of the inside of the car made her shiver. The keychain hanging from the ignition bounced and jingled erratically. Her right hand gripped the shift, knuckles bright white. Her eyes were glued to the darkness and the mixture of droplets, rivulets and piercing yellow blotches of light that was all she could see through the glass in front of her. The seatbelt bit at her neck; she could feel a sharp pain at her breastbone where the jet black material pushed against her chest. Her breathing came out slowly, unsteadily, like she was afraid to breathe but knew she had to to stay alive.

Her eyes moved slowly to the right corner of the windshield, where the black met the glass. She watched the white lane markers grow closer, fast. There was a thump. The mirror. Next, the front of the car. As it hit another marker, the license plate flew rapidly back toward the windshield and made a terrible cracking sound, creating a crookedly round shape on the glass. There were red lights approaching. Brake lights.

It was as if an entire shelf full of wine glasses had fallen over, dashing them into thousands of tiny, edged shards. She was frozen in the seat; could not even cover her ears at the sound. The car she had hit soared down the ravine, her car still connected to it, following. Then her front end unattached itself and smashed into the ground, almost vertical to it. Her body was jarred forward, then backward again as the car came crashing down, rolling. There were pieces of glass in motion everywhere; they tore at her flesh, her tailored gray suit. And tree limbs, too, beat at the car from every direction, bruising it – and her – even more.

When the car came finally to a stop, upside down, in front of a large sycamore, the figure in the driver’s seat lay limp at the wheel. The wheels of the car still spun, as if through independent motion. A yellow light glowed on and off against the bark of the tree; one of the blinkers turned on in the confusion of the collision. The rain continued quietly to pour down, unfazed by the violent events that had just transpired. As the night slowly waned, the brush surrounding the scene of the crash stood silent vigil over the dark, creaking vehicle and the ebbing life inside of it.


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I had never been in a car accident.

I suppose it’s fine if you make it out; if you’re rescued. If you’re alive after all.

That’s how it was for me. A good samaritan, a faceless kind soul had stopped, had pulled me out. Bloody, bleeding. Had taken me to the hospital. Where of course I was scooped up by just as faceless CIA personnel and taken into a protected first-aid unit, treated by CIA doctors. The government. Always protecting its own. Big eye roll there, by the way, in case you didn’t catch it.

Dixon told me to take time off. My head was bandaged, since I had suffered some pretty major lacerations to the head, and my arm was in a sling. I also had a fractured ankle, which annoyed me to no end.

“You’re of no use to us like this. You need rest and healing time. Time not spent sitting here at your desk all day doing grunt work.” He smiled warmly. Good ol’ Dixon.

Of course I protested. He expected me to. But lying came easily to me in those days.

Eventually I collapsed, utterly exhausted, on my couch. I didn’t have the energy to make it to the bedroom. Thank God the curtains are already closed, I thought, and my eyelids fell shut. Lights out.

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When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep, and you're never really awake.

The worst thing about it was that I knew I had no method in which to ease my suffering. There was nothing I could do. I had no control at all. Of course, I hated that. Not to mention I could have used the sleep on that particular day. I was being moved from LA to – get this – Cleveland. Seems they needed more room in the LA holding facility and since I had no more value to them there – not knowing where Sloane was, and having given them everything I knew about the Covenant already – there was really no reason for me to stay. But Cleveland? Can you see me in Cleveland? I think not. Anyway, I was confident that I had no reason to be upset about this change of locale because I had a plan. A very detailed and measured plan to get the hell out of there. And this was the day that it all went down.

I banged my head against the wall to get the blood flowing in the general direction of my brain. All faculties must be at the ready. gorram. I could have used a good night’s sleep.

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I awoke to a frantic knock at my door. My knight in shining armor. He had been in Glasgow that week and had probably just heard about what had happened. I knew it was him. I could hear the fearful desperation in his knock. I jumped up from the sofa, favoring my good leg, my bandaged head throbbing at the sudden movement. I threw open the door without stopping to look at myself in the mirror. I knew I looked like… well, a car wreck.

“Sydney. Oh my God.”

“Vaughn.” I sighed, smiling. “I’m fine.”

“You’re not fine. I can’t believe this happened. And while I was gone, too. What a nightmare. When I found out, it was like my car wouldn’t go fast enough toward your house.”

“I’m okay. Really.” I motioned for him to come in. “Let me make you some tea.”

He stepped across the doorframe and looked down into my face, concern permeating his features. He looked almost frightened. Like I was so fragile that I might break if he touched me. So I laid my head on his chest and wrapped my good arm around him. He quickly scooped me up in his arms, held me tightly. A tear slipped down my cheek. I desperately needed an emotional release and this seemed as good a time as any to let it out after having balled it up inside me for nearly two days now. Being that close to death had scared me; really scared me. Not like I hadn’t been close to death many times before. But this time it had been… different.

We were sitting on the couch, sipping chamomile and enjoying the quiet of the empty living room, when he brought it up.

“Ray Weiss’ funeral is today.”

I looked up at him from behind my mug. “Oh God.”

He touched my knee. “You don’t have to go. You should stay here and rest. Eric will understand.”

I gave him an anguished look, but inside I was relieved. “I want to be there for him. I know how he must feel. But I just don’t think…” I let my words trail off.

“It’s fine, Syd. It’s fine. You never really got to meet him anyway. And we can invite Eric to dinner when you feel better to make up for it.” He smiled.

“Okay.” I smiled back, wanly. “But you have to go.”

“I will; I will.” He stared off at nothing.

“I’m just… drained.” I lay back on the couch.

“I know,” was the reply. Then there were two strong arms beneath me, lifting me… Next thing I knew I was in bed, the covers being tucked around me. I touched his hand in gratitude, then my head hit the pillow and there was nothingness again.

Straightening a tie. There was a man – he was straightening his tie. Checking closely in the mirror to see if he had it straight.

Jacket next.

Swish of cloth. The jacket was coming off. The room was decidedly darker.

Sleep. I need… to… sleep.

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With insomnia, nothing is real. Everything is far away. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy. There were four clocks on my wall, too far away to read properly. I squinted my eyes. Same. Banged my head sharply backwards against the stone wall. Ah, better. Two clocks now. Sevenish. No wait! I saw them coming down the corridor, leaned my head back against the wall, softly this time, and closed my eyes. Eight exactly.

Went through the usual rigmarole. Embarrassingly violating pat-down here; handcuffs there; the infamous “slammer slippers,” as I like to call them. I tongued the two small objects, unable to stifle a small smile of self-congratulation. Of course, it wasn’t over yet…

I worked up a spit as we tread down the hallway, all silence and stoic expressions – except for me, of course. The cool night wind hit me, filled my lungs. However half-awake I was, the air worked wonders on my system. I flared my nostrils, my mouth still clamped shut, breathing in as much as I could without making myself dizzy. The truck sat waiting for its human cargo, two more guards at the back. You’d think it was Buckingham f***ing Palace itself the way they stood there, like they had the most important job in the world. It was all I could do to keep from laughing. But I had to stop now… Focus, Julian. Focus, you stupid bastard. Six guards total. I measured distances. The timing had to be… perfect.

One can make all kinds of explosives, using simple household items. If one were so inclined. Even the CIA hasn’t learned to keep things like toothpaste, soap, and pepper away from inmates. Tsk tsk. They never saw it coming. For this delicate procedure I chose one of my personal favorite recipes – I have endearingly named it Julian Sark’s Tear Gas Serum. Perfect for, oh I don’t know, disabling six guards that are currently standing between you and your freedom? Ha! That was fun. I spit one “bomb” out in each direction and ducked. There were two faint “pop”s, then all hell broke loose. As they coughed and sputtered around me, I grabbed the ring of keys (yes they really do put them on rings) from the nearest guard with my teeth through the collar of my jumpsuit, which I had managed to get over my nose while ducking. My eyes were closed. I passed the keys to my hands, locked in front of me, and, squatting, started on the fetters shackling my feet.

Once that was done, I knew I was home free. I could hear the guards shouting and calling for backup, still struggling against their stupors. But I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more. Didn’t open my eyes till I felt brush underneath my feet. When I saw all of the trees, I stopped. Finally, I was rid of that disgusting “shades of Cuckoo’s Nest” jumpsuit. Hopefully forever. I rubbed my sore wrists, got up, leaving the clothes, and wearing just my white undershirt and the gray CIA-issue sweatpants I had been given, I tore on into the night.

Free at last. But in my obsession with getting out, I had forgotten a crucial part of any escape plan: where to go now? On second thought, that didn’t really matter. Another country. A hotel. Wherever. The real question was: what do I do now?

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He was rushing toward her, the back of his head becoming smaller with the distance. His arms were around her. The blonde woman. She was sobbing.

“Oh, Michael.”

He held her so tightly, completely.

Dirt sprayed on the coffin. A hand, resting gingerly on its cover. A pale rose. Danny. Tears. Many tears. Heart-wrenching grief.

The old man was bent, clutching his throat. A woman with unnaturally blonde hair. Determined expression. Dark liquid oozing down the man’s shirt.

“Julia.”

The man was on a gurney. Straps.

“Julia.”

Silenced gunshot. Withered eyes closed.

Heat. Absolute bliss. The flash of a thigh. A blond head. Oh. Those blue eyes! Those eyes. Icy heat, moving from a sensitive spot between long legs, all the way through the body, to the fingertips. Scratch. Blood red nails leaving marks on porcelain, Slavic skin.

Then a face. Twisted in pleasure.

Not that face!


My eyes flew open and I sat up abruptly, clutching the sheets. When I finally realized where I was two minutes later, I turned to see Vaughn sleeping soundly beside me. I realized then that I had been holding my breath for quite some time. I let it come out long, shuddering. Why was it so cold all of a sudden? The last image flashed across my vision again and I closed my eyes, shaking my head. Wrong, wrong, wrong! All wrong. Wrong person, wrong place, wrong everything. I lay back down, facing away from the man sharing my bed, and gripped the pillow, trying to forget what I had just dreamed. But I couldn’t fall asleep; wouldn’t, for fear I’d see those images again.

He had gone back to her. After all the progress we had made. After all the admissions, the doubts about their marriage, he had run to her with open arms to comfort her. He had run to her after he had promised me he was finished. He was supposed to be mine again. Tears were streaming down my face now, and I couldn’t make them stop. I watched the sun come up through a shield of salt water. It wasn’t until I felt the mass on my left side stir that I was able to keep them from coming any more. Perhaps just out of fear.

Had he ever become mine again?

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I was still running, full speed, when I realized exactly what I wanted to do, what I needed to do, now that I was under my own employ for once in my life.

More importantly, I realized exactly where I was headed.

I checked into the bed and breakfast under J. Romanov. The front window provided a wonderful view of a more rural area outside the well-known Moroccan city. I couldn’t help but note that I had come at a good time of year. Lush greenery everywhere, flowers in bloom. I half expected to see fairies bouncing from leaf to leaf. Ah yes, I was in a particularly good mood that day.

I threw my bag on the soft carpeted floor of the room, kicked off my shoes and devoured the bed. Lying on my back, eyes closed, wiggling my toes – what a feeling! It had been months since I had felt this comfortable, this serene.

I had underestimated my desperate need for sleep, as well as prison’s contribution to my insomniac way of life. When I woke up from my inadvertent nap it was already almost nine o’clock. The sunshine streaming in the open window had been replaced by cool moonlight, the night breeze blowing the curtains hither and thither. An illuminated area on the floor reminded me of what I was doing there, and I shuffled over to the long black leather case lying next to the bag for my personal belongings.

*Click* A gorgeous sound. I could see the gleaming jet black metal reflected in the whites of my eyes in the mirror on the wall opposite. I couldn’t help a wide smile. This was going to be so… pleasurable.

So I disappeared, but not for long.

Not if everything went as planned.

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“I’m putting you in charge of the team assigned to finding and bringing Sark back in.”

“What?!” Chills. Absolute chills.

He couldn’t be serious. I was finally back at my “home away from home,” and I get put on Sark detail? This was too much. What about my sister? Sloane? They were first priority and everyone knew that, including Dixon. Including me. I hated being treated like an invalid. It had been a month! I was ready to get back into the game. But apparently, Dixon wasn’t ready to see me there. Neither was my father. I could see him half-smirking behind Dixon’s shoulder. Overprotective bastard.

“That’s outrageous, and you know it, Dixon. Nadia is my sister. I should be responsible for finding her! She could be in danger. We have no idea what Sloane wants with her, what his next move could be, where he is. It’s too volatile a situation not to—“

“Agent Bristow!” He cut me off, loudly. “You of all people know how hard we’re working on finding your sister. I want you working on finding Sark. End of story.”

“But—“ Hearing the commotion, Vaughn walked over, just as Dixon continued.

“Listen. For all we know, Sark went back to work for the Covenant. There are lots of issues that go along with that implication. He may know more about their intentions – Sloane’s intentions, even – than he did when we had him in custody. He could be invaluable as a source of information if that were true.”

I was silent. Sark would never have gone back to them. But Dixon wouldn’t understand that.

“Even if not, he is a terrorist, and he must be brought in. And I don’t particularly like the fact that we look like absolute idiots for letting him get away from us in the first place…”

“Dixon, you’re being unreasonable.” Vaughn cut in. Always defending me. My hero.

“No, I’m not.” Dixon was completely resolute.

He walked away, but I wasn’t watching him. I was looking at my father. He was still practically grinning away, all thrilled that I would be doing something seemingly less dangerous that running after Sloane. Vaughn turned to me, interrupting our stare-down. As usual, he was apologetic.

“You know…” He almost looked like a sheep, he was so sheepish. “Dixon is right, Syd.”

I rolled my eyes. “You too.”

“Well…” His voice trailed off. He kissed my forehead. I smiled weakly. “I just don’t want to see you hurt again.” I thought of something awful that I could have said about being “hurt” right then, but chose to keep it to myself. I wasn’t that bitter…

“Well, guess you’re in luck then.”

“Yeah, chasing Sark should be a breeze.” He was actually laughing. I couldn’t believe it. After all those Houdini acts that Sark had pulled…

Oh God. That name. I winced, hopefully not visibly. The dream. That disgusting dream. It had started before the accident, and had recurred nearly every night since. It was my own personal hell. And now I was being forced to revolve my life around this… criminal… who had somehow invaded my brain and continued to do so every night.

I hated him. Oh, how I hated him. Maybe, just maybe, finding and killing the little prick will be therapeutic. Maybe I won’t have to suffer every night after that. And yes, I did say killing. He was a free agent now, I knew that. He wasn’t frittering away his time with the Covenant any longer. Not after what they had stolen from him. No, it was Sark for Sark’s sake now. So what use did the CIA have for him anymore? None at all. So I was ready.

I was ready to end this mad dance once and for all.

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The dreadfully odd-looking man laughed and sipped at his wine glass, oblivious. He was balding, but his hair was still black, and his nose was… well, no one should have a nose like that. It’s just wrong. And his chin. Don’t get me started on that eyesore.

I was having loads of fun in my nondescript black SUV. Just watching the bastard. This was the third time this month. Every Friday, without fail. Just him and his bodyguards. A little meal at the Petit Rocher. Undoubtedly, he got the same thing every time. What an absolute f***ing idiot. A man so immersed in the spy game should have known better than to make routine – any routine – a part of his life. Yet, here he was, every Friday, making a nuisance of himself to the locals. A shame, really, for it to be so damn easy. I would have relished a good challenge… But it wasn’t to be, alas. I suppose it was a good thing that he was so trackable. No good getting frustrated trying to find him and delay my retribution even more.

No, it was time. Finally, it was time. Julian Sark would have his revenge. And he would have his money back, as well.

So my plan? Well, I would start by picking off this idiot. Sniper fun. Do it with a huge f***ing smile on my face. Oh yes. Then an ultimatum. Wire the money to my account in the Caymans or lose more Covenant personnel – one a week until they settled the score. Oh, and not just soldiers. I meant higher-ups, like Cole.

If I couldn’t have my life back, I’d have my money so that I could live in peace.

Alone, but in peace.

If loneliness can afford any kind of peace.

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Sark was the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would heal if only you could stop tonguing it, but you can't. I looked blankly at the “intel” that had been gathered on him since his disappearance. The page said:

Name: Julian Sark
Status: Escaped; whereabouts unknown.


Helpful, indeed. The only way I could think of to locate that eel of a man involved talking to my father. Something I was loath to do at that moment. But, a couple of days later, with no more information than that disgustingly bareboned file provided, I decided it was pretty much my only option.

“Hey, Dad.”

“Sydney.” He smiled slightly. Probably wasn’t sure what to expect from me.

“I need your help.”

His features warmed considerably. Obviously, glad to continue to exercise control over some aspect of my life once again…

“What can I do for you, Sydney?”

I jumped right in.

“I guess I’ll just cut to the chase. I know you have ways of contacting Mom…”

He tensed.

“I need to ask her a favor. Get a hold of her contacts. I need her to help me find Sark.”

“Sydney, I have my own contacts, too, you know…”

“I know, but Mom has worked with Sark before. She and Sark may even have contacts in common. Maybe one of them has even seen or talked to Sark since he escaped.”

“Okay, Sydney. I’ll ask her—“

“No, I want to talk to her myself.”

“But Sydney—“

“No, Dad. I want to ask her. It’s been nearly three years since I last even heard from her, and the least you can do is let me talk to her through the internet. That is the way you’ve been contacting her, isn’t it?”

“Yes.” He still looked uncomfortable with the idea, as was his wont, but eventually he gave in.

“Meet me in the garage in ten.”

I left the room, triumphant.

It took a couple of weeks, but we found him at last.

“I have a man near the Strait of Gibraltar who says he saw a man fitting Sark’s description buying weaponry from an arms dealer in Tangier, Morocco.” She typed.

“How can you be sure it was him?”

“My contact – he knew Sark. When he worked for me.”

I paused. Interesting how truly flexible loyalties could be. He would have done the same thing to her. I shivered.

“Thanks, Mom.”

“Take care, sweetheart. I miss you.”

“I miss you, too.”

END SIGNAL.

Tangier, Morocco

His head slammed into the desk pretty hard. I hoped I hadn’t knocked him unconscious. He sputtered a bit, blood on his lip. Good.

“Where did he say he was going?” It sounded like a hiss.

“I don’t… know!” I was holding the back of his head now, pushing him into the table again, his air supply now very difficult to get to…

“I’m waiting…”

“He—” He coughed. “He never told me!”

“Make an educated guess.” I pushed harder. Some people just didn’t learn.

Finally, he came out with it:

“Casablanca! Casablanca! He must have been going there! He mentioned a restaurant… Petit Rocher. It’s in Casablanca… I—I recognized the name.”

I pulled him up abruptly.

“That wasn’t so hard, now, was it?” Incredulous. How was this guy still in business? Criminals these days… they’ve lost their spark.

Some criminals, anyway.

Casablanca, Morocco

As touristy as Casablanca is, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask the locals if they had seen a man fitting Sark’s description. There was nothing else to go on, and I thought maybe Sark’s… distinct features might lodge in someone’s memory.

In the end, I almost wished I hadn’t asked.

“Mais oui! Nous l’appellons Lucan. Nous ne savons pas son nom vrai. Mais—ah—il est si beau!” * Swooning. Like mad peacocks, fanning themselves and giggling. Disgusting. Somehow, rolling my eyes just wasn’t enough of a gesture to express how I felt at that moment. But I got lucky. One of the girls remembered him coming out of the lobby of a local bed and breakfast outside the city.

I parked the F-150 across from the cheery looking beige-with-white-trim building and waited. He had to come out or come back sometime. It was just a matter of when.

I yawned.

He was rushing toward her, the back of his head becoming smaller with the distance. His arms were around her. The blonde woman. She was sobbing.

“Oh, Michael.”


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The day had come. Friday. I wondered if that pug-nosed f*** saw it coming. I laughed. Of course not.

That morning I made sure everything was perfect. Cleaned and checked my rifle, wrote out the “ransom” letter, cleaned and checked my pistol and went into town to buy more bullets. Just in case.

I rolled out of the parking lot around 5:30. No use being early. No use being late, either. Cole ate dinner around 6:00. The restaurant was in town, less than ten minutes away. I could simply slip into the abandoned apartment across the street from the Petit Rocher, do the deed, and slip out relatively unnoticed – if I played my cards correctly.

I had a rather scary moment driving down the road toward my destination. I was feeling pretty chuffed and self-congratulatory when a glance in my rearview mirror caused me nearly to veer off the road in shock. I closed my eyes briefly, shaking my head, then looked again. The apparition was gone.

How did that woman get into my head?! On this day – the day I begin my revenge, why her? I thought back on the last time I had seen her. She had been someone else, until that excruciating moment that still sent shivers throughout my body. I had actually staggered backwards, unable to take in what I had just seen. My onetime lover had become, in three unbearable seconds, my eternal nemesis. Sydney Bristow. Triumphant, full of hate. She had spat out the words.

“Thanks to you, Lauren won't be so lucky.”

Clever girl. Damn gorgeous, too. But she had problems, that one. Not to mention her homicidal tendencies. Especially toward me. Better to stay clear of her, ol’ boy, I told myself, chuckling – a bit uneasily – as I maneuvered my way down the road of redemption.

The vacant apartment sat squarely atop a patisserie nestled between other shops, selling various wares – souvenirs, baubles, bonbons, and other such fodder. I stole a croissant from a tray as I dashed up the stairs in the kitchen at the back of the patisserie.

“Merci, monsieurs!” Flashing a grin.

“Quoi?”
“Eh!”
“Arrêtez cela!”
**

Finished climbing the stairs and made it to the window in the otherwise bare room. I began to set up my rifle, remembering how much I had wanted to pull the trigger the week before…

But there had been other considerations to be made. Like the ransom note I had given the boy earlier that day, with careful instructions. And a wad of cash. “Don’t open it,” I had said. For his sake I hoped he didn’t. His wide-eyed look, as he nodded… So sincere. So innocent. So unlike me.

I had been that innocent once, though I couldn’t remember when.

I laughed bitterly.

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Leather screeched in pain under my grasp. I drew in a long breath, blinking my eyes.

Just in time to catch a glimpse of a black Wrangler, driven by a familiar tawny-headed foe, pulling out of the bed and breakfast parking lot.

I waited until he was a block away, then pulled out slowly and followed, damning myself for bringing such a conspicuous vehicle. Anyway, whatever the bastard was up to… I was going to find out.

The Wrangler disappeared into an alleyway behind a row of shops in the middle of bustling Casablanca. I pulled into a parking lot and ran the rest of the way, coming around the corner of the strip mall just in time to see a wingtip-clad heel enter one of the doors. I caught up and slipped in, unnoticed by the bakers in the patisserie kitchen area I had just stepped into, who were grumbling to each other in French. No doubt about the intruder, his accent marred by a British nuance, who had just come upon them. But seeing no sign of him, I shifted my eyes around until I spotted the stairway. Aha.

Well, now or never, right? I patted the silenced pistol tucked into my belt at my side.

At the top, the door was already slightly ajar. I tapped it open further without a sound. Leaning inside, I could see my mark poised at the window, his fingers clutching the trigger of a large sniper rifle. The sonofab**** never quit, did he?

I got up and walked quietly in. His ears pricked and he turned slowly, a look of utter dismay mixed with shock on his face. Yeah, that’s right. I got you. Plain and simple. When would he ever learn? I always get my man.

I’m that good.

I was across the room in a flash, my gun pressed firmly against his forehead. Already kneeling. Convenient. I smiled victoriously.

“Gotcha.”

He was mute, but his face remained twisted in agonized realization. I was pressing my gun so hard into his forehead, I thought he might fall over. As it was, he stumbled backward a bit.

And then.

There was a clatter, the sound of metal moving unnaturally against wood. And suddenly, the rifle was hurtling to the ground, tripod and all.

I heard the crash as it hit the sidewalk. So did he. I leaned over him and watched as the faces of McKenas Cole and about six armed men encircling him turned to look right up at us.

I realized then what I had done, but it was too late.

“Well played, Bristow.” The enigma spoke, utterly sarcastic.

I hit him across the face with the butt of my pistol for that, my face contorted in a sneer. Take that, you cocky little punk.

“Shut up, Sark.” Through clenched teeth.

But the question remained. What was my next move?

I never had to find out.

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Two seconds later, there was a rattle at the door. Sydney swerved, kicking me again as she did so. Ow. Damn her boots. Damn her, ruining my perfect plan. God, did she ever just stop for once?

I nursed my cut lip as she moved toward the door.

Just as Cole’s men burst in.

They had their weapons trained on her before she could make any semblance of a move, and she had no choice but to raise her hands in submission, dropping her pistol as she did so. As much as I would have loved to relish the moment – the indestructible Sydney Bristow, caught by some dime-a-dozen thugs – I knew my life rested in the balance, too.

I pulled my Glock out of its holster and got up in one motion.

“Drop ‘em, boys.”

They started laughing, like it was a joke. I rolled my eyes. Typical.

I pulled a smaller, customized gun from the band around my ankle, cocking it as I stood up again.

“Joke’s on you, boys. Put them down. Now! You touch her, I’ll make sure even your mothers won’t be able to identify your bodies.”

She stiffened at my words, but I didn’t care that I was being a bit hyperbolic. Especially not for her sake. She wrecked my plan. They wrecked my plan. My plan. Ruined. And Cole was alive, gorram that slippery f***er!

Anyway, my words had the desired effect. The smiles wiped off their faces. They slowly raised their hands and turned toward the back wall of the empty room.

A beat.

Well, what other option did I have?

“Since you’ve been so cooperative, you’ll be identifiable after all.” And with that, each got a bullet in the back of the head, slumping one by one to the ground.

Sydney just stood there. Stunned, I think.

I looked around for a way out other than the way the men had come in. Seeing no other option, I grabbed the titanium case I had brought the rifle in, and crossing over to one side of the room, began smashing the wall in with it. Old building, soft walls… In any event, I had a rather large hole in the plaster in a matter of minutes.

Without thinking, I grabbed her hand and pulled her into the other room, then out the back window – something the other apartment had lacked – to the fire escape. We climbed up towards the roof, catching a glimpse of more henchmen below, making their way into the room we had just vacated, fast.

When we reached the roof, we ran. We ran until our muscles burned and our veins pumped battery acid. Then we ran some more. The rooftops began to look like dirt paths, surrounded by forest trees…

We were at the end of the line. No more buildings strung together; no more rooftop left. We climbed down. Somehow I think I commandeered a car from a businessman on his way home from work. I remember his coffee spilled all over the front seat as I pulled him out.

Then I drove and drove. We were far out of Casablanca when I turned around and doubled back toward my room at the B&B.

I had pulled into my spot in the parking lot when I realized that she was still with me. She was sitting, silent, in the passenger seat, an unreadable look on her face. The brake grated as I pulled it into place, then looked at her.

Dead silence. Just like it had been all the way there.

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What could I say? What should I say? This kind of thing didn’t happen – shouldn’t happen, for God’s sake! Why were we here? Why was I here? This had not been in my travel plans. This had not been in my plans, period! This was not happening!

I tried to block it out of existence by closing my eyes, but it didn’t work. I could hear his breathing beside me. So I had come to Morocco to kill the man I hated, and ended up fleeing with him. Did the insanity never stop in my life?

But I didn’t feel like crying, either. I mean, I was alive. My blood was bubbling with adrenaline. It was just that my brain, my heart hadn’t yet caught up to my body.

Finally, that lilting British accent cut the silence.

“That was quite a show, Miss Bristow. Quite a show.”

Then a bit more tersely.

“Tell me something – are you completely losing it?! Not that I make it a habit of keeping tabs on the emotional stability of my enemies, but this is not the Sydney Bristow I remember.” He sighed. “You used to be so much fun to hate.

“Well, not ‘hate,’ per se.”

What was this, ‘used to’? That last jab finally made me turn my head and I glared at him, hard. His eyes were definitely laughing at me. Damn him. The bastard. That did it.

I lunged at him. But he was too quick. He opened the door and I fell out, leaping over him instead of at him, as I had been attempting to do.

I managed to roll out of the fall, so nothing was hurt. By the time I had steadied myself – still on the ground – he was out of the car and looking down at me. Those eyes

He offered me his hand. I got up myself, trying not to look at him. Then I lunged again, and this time I hit my target. My hand was wrapped around his neck; I had him pinned against the car in seconds.

He was squirming underneath me, and I could see he was hurting, the broken arm still not fully back to the way it used to be. Hurts, doesn’t it? I thought. I smiled devilishly.

“Having fun now, Sark?”

He answered through clenched teeth, barely able to breathe.

“Loads.”

I was pushing at his neck, harder, without fully realizing how hard.

But then I saw the fear in his eyes.

It scared me, though I had seen the look before. The coward.

But never at my own hands.

I released him gradually, and he rubbed his neck, trying to look nonchalant. He nodded slowly.

“Rage issues, I see.”

I looked at him sideways.

And finally asked the question that my ego didn’t even want to remember existed in the back of my head.

“Why did you do that? Back there?” It was very matter-of-fact. No emotion, just a question to be answered.

“What, you mean save your life?”

I sniffed, sticking my nose in the air. But I replied.

“Yeah.”

Not sure if I wanted the answer.

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I stared at her until my gaze turned cold, unfeeling. Better to make this totally impersonal, I thought.

“I had a better chance against you than against all of them. You just happened to be there. You would have done the same thing. It’s called logic, Miss Bristow.” I tapped the side of my bruised head with a forefinger. “Logic. All good spies use it. Except, perhaps, for you today.”

I looked at her strangely. I was serious about the fact that she wasn’t herself. The Sydney Bristow I remembered didn’t just storm into various and sundry places, all murderous-like. Something was amiss.

And then again, I knew in the back of my head that I didn’t really know why I had done what I did. Why those specific actions, exactly? And as I remembered what had happened, I was taken aback by the words I had used. Why those words? Bravado? To unnerve her? I scoffed at myself inwardly. Not a chance. There were other questions, too, like why I hadn’t killed her along with Cole’s men.

Why was it that every time I had the perfect opportunity to get Sydney Bristow out of my life forever, I never took it?

I knew she was wondering it too, and that she didn’t buy my bogus answer either.

The thing that made me kick myself – hate myself – was my complete certitude about the fact that if the tables had been turned, I would probably be lying dead in a pool of blood in that apartment along with those men.

Scratch that. Definitely.

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It was otherworldly. Like another force had gripped me and forced me to do what it willed. All I know is that suddenly, my gun was in the air and aiming nearly point-blank at his heart.

A tiny voice inside me said I was ready to finish this right now.

But…

I faltered.

I watched as the expression on his face changed from pure terror to understanding. Understanding that I wasn’t going to kill him at all.

I lowered the gun, slowly. Not a word. My eyes were distant. The silence hung like a curtain around us for a full minute.

Then, the controlling force left me. I grabbed him before he could think to do anything stupid – like run away – and hauled him all the way across the street to my SUV. Handcuffed him to the back seat. Still silent. Me, anyway.

“Aha. Now I see where we’re going, Miss Bristow.” His eyes glistened naughtily.

Ignore, I told myself. Just ignore.

The drive to the extraction point was eerily silent. No more clever repartée after that. I had a job to do, and I was going to do it. And while I hadn’t… done what I had planned…

I guessed that didn’t really matter, now.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This was my vacation, and she ruined everything.

Well, there it was. I wasn’t going back. She didn’t know it, but there was no going back for the new – free – Julian Sark. They can kick a man, but they can’t keep him down, I always say. Quite often.

Anyway, the handcuffs would be easy enough to pick. I had done it a gazillion times before. It was the speeding car—God that woman drives like a maniac! Worse than Lauren, that screaming demon—that had me a bit worried. So I chose a different tactic. Bring the road to you, Julian. But then there was the matter of being unarmed…

I waited for a particularly large bump in the road and threw my body in her direction. Perfect. The uncuffed hand landed on her thigh. She was trying to ignore me still. Had to give her points for that. She never gave up, that one. But when I leaned in…

“Sark!” She turned toward me and her arms moved with her body, veering the car suddenly right. I used to opportunity given me by her frantic attempt to right the car and berate me at the same time to grab the gun out of the holster at her right side.

Metal to temple. Her eyes closed.

“Open your eyes, goddammit, woman! We’re on the road!”

She did. But she was pissed, I could see. She was breathing like a bull about to run at the red sheet.

I chuckled, relishing the moment of control.

“Better. Now pull over here…” I motioned with my head.

The vehicle screeched to a halt on the sand that lined the highway.

“Out.” I kept the gun trained on her as she opened the door and stepped onto the sand.

“Unlock it.” Even better to have her do it. Save me the effort…

When the cuffs were off, I got into the driver’s seat. Not bad for a Ford, I thought, testing the seat cushions.

She shot me a look of death. I smiled. The dance went on, as we both knew it always would…

I drove away into the fast-approaching night, watching her windswept figure in the rearview mirror until I could no longer make it out.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What did he think I was going to do, return to LA empty handed? Stupid. If he knew me at all he should have known not to go back to his room…

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Partie Deux

The ride had jolted her. Flashbacks of pouring rain. That night. She remembered the words on the keychain now: “Santa Barbara, CA.” They hadn’t been her keys. She was speechless, watching him ride away, hair blowing across her face. She didn’t care. Suddenly, tears were forming again. Not at him. Another man. Not as long ago as she tried to think it was…

“Oh, Michael.”

He had
promised. Promised.

I would have waited. I wouldn’t have given up on you.

Why did everything remind her of that moment?

Ripped apart.

Healing was an illusion.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From the shadows I could see the TV flashing on his face, on and off. What was that he was watching? Curling?! I had to stifle a snicker. Once a Brit, always a Brit, I suppose…

Suddenly I realized he could sense me there. His body turned rigid on the bed. I saw that he was packed, the modestly furnished room nearly bare save for his luggage. And him, of course.

“You know, if you had knocked I would have let you in.” His voice cut the silence.

“Cut the smart-ass routine, Sark. I’m not in the mood.”

He turned to me then, frustrated.

“Well, did you come here for the witty banter or to arrest me, Miss Bristow?”

I snorted.

“Was that a snort?” He laughed, just as I remembered him laughing the day I saw him for the first time in two years…

I ignored him. Again.

“Get up, Sark.”

He grinned in the most unnerving way.

“Make me.”

He was pushing my sanity to its limits once again…

“You’re such a gorram child, Sark. I’m amazed you’ve gotten this far in your chosen career path without getting killed, or at least institutionalized.”

He laughed again, uproariously, then changed the subject.

“You know, you’re breaking and entering, Miss Bristow. I could have you arrested.”

“OK then. Do it. My friends Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson are waiting…”

I aimed the silver weapon at him, the shiny metal glinting in the moonlight streaming in the window and the glow from the TV.

He didn’t move.

“Well, Miss Bristow? I’m waiting…”

“My job is to bring you in, not kill you.” My resolve had slipped.

“Well, I’m not moving from this bed. I’m very comfortable. So if you want me, you’re going to have to come and get me.”

My face contorted in a grimace.

“You disgust me.” I spat.

“I try.” He retorted.

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There was a glint in her eye then, and I wasn’t sure if that was a bad thing or a good thing for me.

She climbed onto the bed, still aiming the Smith & Wesson, and placed her knees on either side of my body so that I couldn’t move; then pressed the cold gun against the underside of my chin.

Then she was very serious.

“Now I want to know the real reason you didn’t kill me back there.”

What?!

She waited.

My eyes darted around the room, searching for an escape route…

The awful, searing realization was that my own arrogance had put me in this… compromising position.

Idiot.

I finally turned to look her in the eye. I thought…

But I didn’t really have to.

It was husky. “I think you know, Miss Bristow.”

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What had I gotten myself into? Here I was, on top of the bastard. That… beautiful… bastard, with his unwavering clear blue eyes staring into mine.

He leaned up towards me, slowly, his neck pushing against the gun I still held tight against his throat. But I didn’t move.

I didn’t move.

I just let him… kiss me.

I closed my eyes and all I could see was that bloody knife in my hand – that bloody knife in the grainy surveillance video. I hadn’t killed him, but he was dead anyway. Sark’s lips were soft and sweet. His touch was tender. Unexpected. Suddenly, my control was gone again.

Our tongues meshed. His hand was at the back of my head, but not rough.

God, how I needed someone else to hold me. Someone not Vaughn. Someone… him.

I was still holding the Smith and Wesson, and discarded it over the side of the bed as he sat up, kissing me at the nape of my neck, then moving down, slowly, toward my collarbone, and lower…

I stopped him with my mouth on his again.

Then I stopped altogether.

We looked at each other, eye to eye, for agonizing seconds… The voice in my head – a different one this time; my own – told me: Stop trying to control everything and just let go! LET GO!

So, I did.

Our mouths fused together again, as if in mutual agreement. He began to shift his weight beneath me, impatient… I clawed at his pants, unbuttoning, unzippering… I pressed my hand against him, felt his readiness. He had stopped kissing me, and was looking me directly in the eye again, communicating wordlessly. I nodded. He left his slacks in a heap on the floor and held my head, my chin in his hand, kissing me. The other hand unbuttoned my shirt. I shivered. His fingers felt like ice against my naked chest.

We sunk back into the sheets; my body was on fire. I leaned against him, my uncovered breasts rubbing against his chest. He let out a slight moan.

With my eyes closed, the only image that passed across my vision was him.

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She was such a tease.

I had to grapple with her khakis before they would give, revealing white cotton underwear. Not unlike a saint. I couldn’t help a small chuckle as I eased them off. She grinned down at me. Not so much a saint, I thought.

She was sick of our slowdance. She dangled a rosy breast above my mouth. I took it up hungrily in my mouth, making circles with my tongue, concentrating on my project, but watching her out of the corner of my eye. Her head was thrown back, and she sucked air through her teeth. God, she was so beautiful.

But I was getting edgy, too. I flipped her over so that I towered over her, hands running up her arched back. Our eyes met again; we knew what had to be the next move, but we both hesitated. The tip of my manhood barely touched her soft folds. Finally, I sighed, and thrust inside.

We have just lost cabin pressure.

I could hear her suck in another breath, long this time, then ease it out.

Oh. My. God.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

He didn’t slow down. Thank God. Every hair on my body stood on end. I was so high on his champagne-flavored sex, it was impossible to come up for air. I needed resolution.

“Sark.” I breathed.

He stopped. Oh the agony…

“What?”

I rose on my elbows and bit his wet mouth.

“More.”

He grinned.

He thrust in faster, longer strokes. I could hardly keep up. His finger, flicking that tender spot in time to the rhythm of our movements. The sensory overload was almost too difficult to bear; I had to clamp my teeth down on my own lip to keep from crying out.

He shuddered. Slowed down. He was reaching the end. I kissed his forehead and waited.

“Sydney.” It was low, like a gasp.

I succumbed myself not a moment afterward.

So surreal.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Surreal didn’t even begin to describe it.

We collapsed, physically and emotionally spent, breathing heavily. I stared at her face. She didn’t look disappointed, as I had expected. Or disgusted. So, points for me there, I supposed.

I just had to be snarky at that moment. The most beautiful moment.

“We should do this again sometime.”

The soft, content look on her face was replaced with a look of annoyance. Then of pain. But she didn’t have time to say whatever had been on the tip of her tongue, because just then there was a knock at the door.

Timing, I thought, and sighed. We both looked at each other, unsure of what to do.

I was so stupid.

So stupid.

I got up, throwing on my shirt, slipping back into my pants, and peeked through the tiny glass circle. No one. Odd.

I looked back at her on the bed. She was gathering her clothes and dressing, resignedly. Guess there would be no happy ending for us…

I opened the door.

But—I thought later—she hadn’t been standing there before.

“Hello, brother. Miss me?” In Russian.

I felt a searing pain in my left arm, and grabbed it with my other hand. I looked down. Blood. Then back up.

“Ana.” I choked. Breath faltering.

She grabbed my collar and pulled me out of the room. I tried to steal a glance backward, but she grabbed my neck and twisted my head to face her.

“You killed him, Rodya. You should have known I would never forgive you for that. No family, remember? That included Daddy. Or had you forgotten he was part of our family, too?”

My eyes screamed at her, but I couldn’t speak. ‘Rodya,’ she had called me – the name she always used when I was up to no good. And as early as when I was a teenager, “no good” meant leaving a trail of bodies in my wake. I had grown up so fast. She had watched it happen. If I cared to twist the past to fit my view of it, I would say that she had been a major reason for my chosen profession. When she was 15, she joined the KGB. “At least we are affiliated with the Russian government,” she used to spew at me when I first began my “work.” She was distasteful of my employment with rogue organizations. But we had made a pact, when we were young, that no matter what we were ordered to do – whatever hits we were given to carry out – no family members were ever to be touched. It was too difficult for me, watching him disfigure my mother, then waiting for him to give me my daily dose of bruises. My sister took them, too. I never quite understood how she was able to forgive him. It was then that I swore to myself that I would kill him, pact be damned. Someday.

The day had come and gone, and I guess Svetana was none too pleased about it.

“You promised, Rodya.”

The other bullet pierced the skin just under my right shoulder. I couldn’t move. I just stared up at her from the floor.

“No family? Am I less family to you than that monster?”

But she was walking away.

Just leaving me there.

I wondered if Sydney could hear my silent cry…

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It all happened so fast. I had to lie back in the sheets, gathering my thoughts on the events that had just unfolded.

I just slept with Sark.

Then he ruined it.

“We should do this again sometime.”

It was his tone. It was his overconfident attitude. It was the fact that I wanted to do it again sometime.

I had no time to react. A knock on the door. Who else knew he was here? Did someone know I was here?

I jumped up and tried to get dressed. The thoughts jumbling around in my head created a deafening noise that blocked out everything else. I was jumping up and down in an embarrassing fashion, trying to get the left shoe on my right foot, when I looked up and he wasn’t there.

The door was open, the light from the hallway illuminating the room that had until recently been reigned by the darkness. But he was gone. I felt an uncanny emptiness in the pit of my stomach. Had he… just left me there?

I sat on the bed in disbelief. I looked back at the open door.

Something wasn’t right.

Why did he leave the door open?

I stepped outside the room, cautiously.

He was on the floor. He was… bleeding?!

“Is that your blood?!”

He looked up at me, relief and fear spreading across his features in one jagged wave. “Some of it, yeah.” He tried to smile, but ended up furrowing his eyebrows and closing his eyes in pain. I walked over to his prostrate form, in oh-so-different a state as it had been just minutes ago… Two bullet wounds. But who?

I looked up and down the hallway in panic. Who had done this? Why hadn’t I heard? Who had—

“Who did this?”

His head was lolling. Eyes rolling back. I slapped him across the face.

“No no no. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Stay here; stay with me.”

Nice, Sydney, nice. What have you gotten yourself into now? I sighed at my predicament. Sleeping with the enemy. Saving his life.

But he had saved mine, too, hadn’t he?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I opened my eyes. The ceiling looked very familiar. But the room was brighter than I remembered it.

Ow. My arm. Make that arms. OHMYGO—

The face of an angel came into focus above me. White radiance surrounded her head for a moment, then she blocked out the glare from the light. It was Sydney. Her eyes were… not angry.

Concerned?

“Don’t move. It’ll make it worse.”

Quiet. Fluid. Delicate.

I sighed, closing lids…

“What happened?” Eyes remained closed.

“You tell me.” I turned my head to face her. She looked up at me, face set.

“My sister…”

“Sister?” She looked dubious.

“Svetana – Ana – she… But I don’t know why—” I tried to sit up. Nope. Shoulders screamed a resounding ‘NO’ to that. I took in the room again. We were still in my suite at the B&B. There was a bedpan on the bedside table. I could see the rusty-colored trail inside it and knew she had fished the intruding metal out of me.

She was watching me curiously.

“Your sister shot you? But—wait, you have a sister? How did she find you?”

There was so much she didn’t know.

“Yes, and yes… and I don’t know.” I tried to chuckle despite the pain.

“You have a kind of sick desperation in your laugh.”

I looked at her.

“You never laugh at all.”

She just blinked at me.

“What happened?” There was none of the usual edge to my words. “Was it the CIA? Your father? … Was it him?

She eyed me sharply, her teeth set. To me, she looked... frightened.

“It was him.” I looked away, staring again at the ceiling.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

His words cut me like a butcher knife to the still-beating life source. He sliced me open so that everything inside of me lay raw before him. I didn’t even have to say anything. He just knew.

Suddenly, I was sitting in a beat up car outside Vaughn’s house, watching him eat dinner with her again. The smile on his face reached from ear to ear.

He hadn’t smiled like that since I came back. Since we had been back. Together.

“You’re the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.” I didn’t realize I had said it out loud.

I’m the worst thing?” He was craning his neck, trying to look me in the eye without moving his shoulders. Moving toward him, I realized… It's only after you've lost everything you’ve ever believed in that you're free to do the things that truly matter. I leaned over him. His face was stoic, but it was real. The only thing he was trying to hide from me was the physical suffering he was feeling.

“Not you. Surprisingly, not you.” I kissed him – soft, gentle, real.
 

Leslie

Super Fantastisch
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Location
Rhode Island, USA
Put a gun to my head and paint the wall with my brains. Sydney Bristow was… enrapturing. Her touch… sent me into another world. If I had died at that moment I would have been… complete.

As it was we both knew it had to end right there, right then. At least for now.

“Looks like this is goodbye.” She shuffled items on the table. Took the bedpan to the bathroom, rinsed it. Placed the bullets back on the hardwood surface, her eyes glinting, grinning at me.

“Yeah, well, let’s not make a big thing out of it.” I grinned back at her.

“How’s this for not making a big thing?” She spun on her heel and walked to the door. But she stopped. Turned.

One last look.

Oh, how we both had changed in just a few hours.

I didn’t look back up until I knew she was long gone. She had closed the door. I had to get out of here… I had to hide again. But somewhere Ana couldn’t find me.

It made no sense. Why did she want to kill me? She wouldn’t have done what she did without a reason better than the one she had given me. After all, last time I checked, she cared about me, too. Something, as usual, was amiss.

Oh well, I thought. Sleep now. Think later.

Or not. Damn insomnia. Back again.

Such lovely timing.


Such a lovely girl.

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Partie Trois

The images were not supposed to haunt her in the daylight. But then she had heard. Her friend, Weiss, his father, gone. It’s amazing what can happen when a father dies. A soul passes to the next life. Or, on earth, a dream shatters.

Her father was alive, but that other woman… her father had passed. And with him, so had her hope, that fateful day.

And maybe it had been made right, now. It had been healed, the hole that her beau had left her with when he had gone back… After the promises, he had gone back to her.

But then again, maybe not.

And then, something happened. She let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. She found what she thought would lead to freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.

Rain spattered across the windshield, heavy. The deafening noise against the silence of the inside of the car made her shiver. The keychain hanging from the ignition bounced and jingled erratically. Her right hand gripped the shift, knuckles bright white. Her eyes were glued to the darkness and the mixture of droplets, rivulets and piercing yellow blotches of light that was all she could see through the glass in front of her. The seatbelt bit at her neck; she could feel a sharp pain at her breastbone where the jet black material pushed against her chest. Her breathing came out slowly, unsteadily, like she was afraid to breathe but knew she had to to stay alive.

Her left hand…

…was placed quietly on her lap.

Through blurred vision, she watched the wheel tip. First right, then left, then right again. All the way right.

She had done this. She was doing this, now.

And when the car came finally to a stop, upside down, in front of a large sycamore, the figure in the driver’s seat lay limp at the wheel. The wheels of the car still spun, as if through independent motion. A yellow light glowed on and off against the bark of the tree; one of the blinkers turned on in the confusion of the collision. The rain continued quietly to pour down, unfazed by the violent events that had just transpired. As the night slowly waned, the brush surrounding the scene of the crash stood silent vigil over the dark, creaking vehicle and the ebbing life inside of it.


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I came back empty-handed. Ironic. At work, there were some grumbles and empty stares in my direction, but I didn’t care much. Maybe Dixon would reassign me. I didn’t need an excuse to find Sark anymore.

Vaughn and I walked through the park, his arm around my shoulder, chatting pleasantly, though perhaps a little meaninglessly. He fiddled with the keys in his hand. I watched his fingers, saw the keychain again. I smiled, looked back up at his face. I had moved on. It was a wonderful feeling. But it was important to keep up appearances with him, at least for now. He needed me now so much more than I needed him. So I retained my original role as nurse of broken limbs and broken hearts. Someday I’d shake him, watch him fly on his own, away from me. I would feel triumphant, accomplished. And I already felt whole again.

But that had nothing to do with him.

Letting go hadn’t led to freedom before, but now…

Now I had someone else to hold on to – if only in my mind for now – and that was the only kind of freedom I really needed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So, let go
Jump in
Oh, well, what you waiting for?
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's all right

'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown


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Translations:

* “Oh yes! We call him Lucan. We don’t know his real name. But—oh—he is so cute!”

** “Thanks, guys!”

“What?”
“Hey!”
“Stop that!”
 

hotpot

The Bubbly
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Leslie!!!! :D You did it!! :D :D

ETA - :LOL: You did use a bunch of quotes!! But how could you not with a movie like Fight Club? ;)

As the night slowly waned, the brush surrounding the scene of the crash stood silent vigil over the dark, creaking vehicle and the ebbing life inside of it.
What an opening Les. Beautiful descriptions, I could see the whole scary scene in my mind.

I banged my head against the wall to get the blood flowing in the general direction of my brain.
I'm not sure why, but this amused me. I can see Sark doing this in his lonely little cell and it cracks me up on the one hand and makes me feel really alarmed at the lengths he goes to for concentration. :LOL:

Went through the usual rigmarole. Embarrassingly violating pat-down here; handcuffs there; the infamous “slammer slippers,” as I like to call them. I tongued the two small objects, unable to stifle a small smile of self-congratulation.
Hmmm, what's this I read about a violating pat-down? Muhahaha. I loved that. Loved it. The tone here is so good, once again, I'm seeing this clearly.

and devoured the bed.
This. Such a perfect way to put that. Just had to say something bc it really stood out to me. :)

“Since you’ve been so cooperative, you’ll be identifiable after all.” And with that, each got a bullet in the back of the head, slumping one by one to the ground.
What a line. That scary thing is that I can see him saying it.

Now I had someone else to hold on to – if only in my mind for now – and that was the only kind of freedom I really needed.
Awesome ending to an incredible story. (y) (y)

I am so happy you continued working on this and posted it for the challenge, Les. It's brilliant and you are going to knock them dead in the contest. You are no longer just the Sarkney art goddess but a full fledged Sarkney goddess! :)
 

Galicdreamer

These Words, From My Heart...
See Heather :wave:.....see Heather review!! No really...sorry it took me so long to post this....but you how it's been with the drama at my job....so when I'm able to log on I just want to be able to see everyone. Anywho...here's my review!!

But Cleveland? Can you see me in Cleveland? I think not.
:LOL: That is too funny...everyone hates Cleveland...:LOL: I can't NOT see him there..that's like him moving to Kansas City.

So I laid my head on his chest and wrapped my good arm around him. He quickly scooped me up in his arms, held me tightly. A tear slipped down my cheek.
Hmmm.....having anyman...even if it is Vaughn, scoop you up in his arms is simply fabulous!!


The truck sat waiting for its human cargo, two more guards at the back. You’d think it was Buckingham f***ing Palace itself the way they stood there, like they had the most important job in the world. It was all I could do to keep from laughing.
Now you know they would probably be sitting there acting like it was buckingham palace they were guarding. So overdramatic they would be.

I hated him. Oh, how I hated him. Maybe, just maybe, finding and killing the little prick will be therapeutic. Maybe I won’t have to suffer every night after that. And yes, I did say killing.
Hmm, I sense some anger issues here..what do you think les.....:LOL: No really..You really expressed her anger well there. I can see Sid thinking that.

If I couldn’t have my life back, I’d have my money so that I could live in peace.

Alone, but in peace.

If loneliness can afford any kind of peace.
Sigh...that so make sme want to run up and just hold him. (n)

His head slammed into the desk pretty hard. I hoped I hadn’t knocked him unconscious. He sputtered a bit, blood on his lip. Good.
Is it just me or is that alllllllllll Jack right there?

My onetime lover had become, in three unbearable seconds, my eternal nemesis. Sydney Bristow. Triumphant, full of hate. She had spat out the words.
Wicked Les...Les....I can see him sitting there with that expression on his face, the one he uses when he's hiding things....nice job!

lunged at him. But he was too quick. He opened the door and I fell out, leaping over him instead of at him, as I had been attempting to do.

I managed to roll out of the fall, so nothing was hurt. By the time I had steadied myself – still on the ground – he was out of the car and looking down at me. Those eyes
I had to laugh at that. He would so do that. Come and get me....oh so sorry, the door just flew open by itself. :LOL:

It was husky. “I think you know, Miss Bristow.”
GOD...I know why I wouldn't want him to kill me.....it better be the same reason!!

I just let him… kiss me.
See...See...:woot: it was the same reason!!!

when we were young, that no matter what we were ordered to do – whatever hits we were given to carry out – no family members were ever to be touched. It was too difficult for me, watching him disfigure my mother, then waiting for him to give me my daily dose of bruises. My sister took them, too. I never quite understood how she was able to forgive him. It was then that I swore to myself that I would kill him, pact be damned. Someday.
My heart hurts for that..... (n)

But that had nothing to do with him.

Letting go hadn’t led to freedom before, but now…

Now I had someone else to hold on to – if only in my mind for now – and that was the only kind of freedom I really needed.
What a fantastic ending Les...left wanting just that little bit more.

Your hidden Sark writter has been exposed...HAHA!! Welcome to the club! What a wonderous job! I'm so happy that you entered. Congrats Chicky!!! :)
 

golden_eye

Cadet
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
What a great story. I so want more :love:

I really enjoyed it very much, I laughed and smiled. And touched when something emotional happened and that's how it should be.

great work les :)
 

Leslie

Super Fantastisch
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Location
Rhode Island, USA
My eternal thanks, Heather, Amisha, and Seb. ^_^ I am planning to write a sequel that uncovers a bit more about the Svetana storyline... but haven't had time to start it yet. -_- School... :P But I will try! :) Promise.
 

way2hott4u

Cadet
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
THIS STORY IS SOOOOOOO GOOOOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I LOVE IT PLEASE UPDATE SOOOOOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Leslie

Super Fantastisch
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Location
Rhode Island, USA
Yeah I really need to get on that... :LOL: I even have a whole idea set up -- it's just a matter of getting the time to put it down on paper. Anyway, thanks for the reminder. ^_^ Glad you liked it!
 

cattyline

Cadet
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Location
Ireland
:P this is awesome. please continue. and the next time you update could you please PM me. thankx. i really want to know what happens. :D
 
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