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Title: Foul-Weather Friend
Author: waking_epiphany (Jamie)
Rating: HARD R (NOTE THE RATING CHANGE), for language and sexy situations
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me; they belong to J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot.
Pairings: Sark/Sydney, implied past Sydney/Vaughn, implied past Sark/Lauren, implied past Sark/Alison.
Timeline: Estimating that the end of season 4 ended in the month of May, consider this to start in July of that same summer.
Summary: After suffering series of debilitating headaches and blackouts, Julian Sark takes a doctor-recommended leave from the second oldest profession in the world, espionage, only to be pulled right back into the thick of things at the arrival of a strange, scarlet envelope at his home. It contains intel concerning his longtime mentor, Irina Derevko, and there is only one other person who can help him find her. Sydney Bristow has left her life as a CIA operative to start a new life in anonymity after her sister, Nadia, is left in a coma and her fiancé, Michael Vaughn, is killed by Prophet 5, a mysterious terrorist group. She is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered existence when a familiar enemy and sometimes associate crashes back into her life. Reluctantly, they must work together to save something invaluably important to the both of them and in the in the process, maybe even save each other.
Author’s Note: If any of you are still following my story, I humbly apologize for taking so long to put this chapter out. And, regrettably, I led toriblue and a few others to believe that chapter 12 will be the last chapter of FWF, and it will be…however there will be more than one part to chapter twelve. 3 parts, I think but at the very least, 2. In this chapter, Sydney and Sark deal with the aftermath of “the morning after”, meet up with an old enemy, and witness the resurrection of not one, not two, but three people we thought were dead! There is a Kill Bill reference in this one…a gold star for whoever finds it! Enjoy, please review, and as always, soundtrack is at the end (please comment if you need the songs re-uploaded!).

* * *

Light shining through frost tinted glass awoke Sydney. Closing her eyes against the brightness, she luxuriated in the soft, warmth of the comforter and the pleasant ache that claimed her body. She felt around for a pillow and plopped it over her head, trying to damper the dust mote filled beams that brought her out of her slumber. She stretched under the covers and the sweet soreness throbbed slightly. She felt it everywhere.

And then she remembered.

Sydney bolted upright, quickly hiked up the sheet to hide her nakedness, and put a hand to her eyes, trying to will away the memories that came flooding back of the night before. But the thoughts came fast and furious there was no blocking them out. She could still taste him on her lips. She could feel the pressure of his deft fingers stroking at her thighs. She could smell the mix of cologne and sex on her hands. She could feel the burning heat pooling low in her belly as sex with Sark flitted maddeningly across her mind. She felt him everywhere and it felt sick and delicious.

She dared to open her eyes. He was there, of course, as he always was when she least wanted to see him. He sat across the room on a chair, wearing only his boxer briefs and a less than ecstatic expression. A white note was clenched in his fist.

“We have a slight problem,” he said in lieu of a greeting. He leaned forward and tossed the note on the bed. Though she had seen every bit of the man the night before, her gaze lingered on his exposed torso. Flat and tight, he had the lean look of a cat stretching in the sun. She couldn’t seem to help herself from staring. His elbows went to his knees and a hand that had, hours before, trailed fiery trails across her body, went to his chin.

Sydney held the sheet tight to her chest but reached out for the letter. Sark watched her unabashedly, marveling that even in the simple gesture of picking up a scrap of paper; she was beautiful and spiteful, snatching the note into her grasp with to read with suspicious eyes. She read quickly and though he felt the seriousness of situation keenly, there was no stopping him from appreciating the delicate curve of her back that she failed to cover with her armor of Egyptian cotton.

She sighed heavily and crumpled the note in her fist. She pulled her knees to her chest and Sark thought she might be unconsciously protecting herself but from him or from the note’s author, he did not know. Her naked back taunted him and he had to make a sincere effort to remain professional.

“He was right outside the door,” she said coldly. She made no effort to hide the disgust in her voice.

“I know,” Sark said. His face was impassive and Sydney wanted to reach across the bed and shake him. Why didn’t he understand?

“I won’t go,” she said, obstinately, staring at him. “He wants me to meet him, as if I didn’t just try to murder him? I’ll be in his crosshairs before I even sit down. I can‘t afford another stupid mistake.”

“If he wanted us dead, he could have done so easily last night,” Sark replied logically. “There was nothing stopping him from sending a sniper an adjacent rooftop to shoot us through the window or simply knocking down the door and slaughtering us in the night. Our weapons were far enough away that we might not be here should Sloane have wished it.”

“I know,” Sydney breathed, her voice hollow. “I don’t understand why he’d simply leave a letter when he could have…”

“He loves you, Sydney,” Sark said matter-of-factly. Sydney paled. “Or whatever feeling of affection Arvin Sloane can feel. I think…I think he wants to help you.”

“After I almost killed him?”

“Especially now. He’s desperate to be in your good favor…you and your father’s. He has nothing else except your family. He says he has information. I say you take him up on it. The worst thing that happens is you would have try and kill him again.” The corner of Sark’s lip curved slightly. “Just choose a more skilled partner next time.”

“Nothing about this is funny,” Sydney said sourly. “This is serious.“ At that, Sark’s tepid smirk turned into a full grin.

“Quite serious,“ Sark echoed. “Life and death, mortal enemies, very serious indeed. But I do find how tightly you are holding that sheet to yourself quite funny, considering how much of you I’ve seen,” Sark said, standing. He approached the bed and Sydney stiffened.

“Don’t go clutching your pearls,” Sark teased, rounding the bed and picking up a glass of ice water. “I won’t bite, at least, not as hard as you bit me last night.”

He held the cool glass up to his lip which, Sydney now saw, was bloodied and slightly swollen. She flushed at the simultaneous pride and shame that she had marked him. She swallowed the impulse to grin.

“Sorry,” she said insincerely.

“I can see how distressed you are over it,” he answered. She rolled her eyes. He stood behind her now, and Sydney felt his gaze as hot as his hands had been last night.

“This was a mistake,” Sydney said, staring ahead of her. “A momentarily lapse of judgment. It will never happen again.”

“Oh, I agree. Clearly a mistake,” Sark echoed, albeit in a sarcastic tone. “I wouldn’t dream of another rendezvous. It would be far too unprofessional for my liking.”

“You should get ready,” Sark said, his tone of voice shifting. She turned her head and he was there, leaning, his lips on the naked skin between her neck and her shoulder, not kissing…waiting. “Unless there is something else you’d rather do? Something…professional, of course.”

A million rebuffs came to mind and yet, she swallowed them all. Sydney resisted several urges at once; the impulse to hit, the compulsion to run, and despite what she had said to him on the contrary, a sad, rampant longing to fall back into the sheets and find oblivion in Sark, in his skin, taste, and feel. Sydney had always been strong and now was not the time to lie down and give in. Strong yes, but…not solitary. Not anymore. She stared straight ahead, knowing what she was going to say.

“You’re coming with me?”

It was meant as a statement, but came out like a question. She wasn’t afraid of Sloane and she wasn’t afraid to die. She wasn’t afraid of being alone. But now…she didn’t have to be alone, if she didn’t want to be.

She felt his slow smile blossom against her skin.

“Of course,” he said softly. He didn’t elaborate and neither did she. They didn’t need to.

“You should get ready,” he said, backing away. “He’s expecting you within the hour. You can shower first…I’ll wait.”

Sydney stood, still clutching the sheet to herself, issuing a suspicious, amused look at Sark.

“What, no cute remark about showering together?”

Sark struck a wounded pose.

“Sydney, dearest. We’ve already been over this. I am a professional. I would never sully our business relationship by way of cheap innuendos.”

“It’s never stopped you before,” Sydney said, walking to the bathroom. “What a shame. And now you’ll never know if I would have said yes.”

She shrugged and then smiled; a true, conspiratorial grin that left him utterly breathless. The door shut and he heard the water turn on but he was already lying back on the bed, staring at the ceiling. He lifted a hand to his mouth and tasted her sweetness on the pads of his fingers, already lamenting the fact he’d be washing her taste and scent away in a few minutes time. He kept telling himself there would be another time, where the stars would align and she would come to him again. But reality was cruel and unyielding and so he savored this moment unabashedly, with no one there to judge his weakness.

His smile matched hers, genuine and secretive, while he waited for her.

* * *

Sydney and Sark arrived early but Sloane was already seated at the appointed meeting place, the Café de Flore, at the corner of the Boulevard Saint-Germain and the Rue St. Benoit, in the Vie arrondissement of Paris. He sipped an espresso and observed the street activity blandly, as if he wasn’t waited for his attempted murderer. Sydney approached him, her hand on her firearm underneath her jacket. He noticed her at last and cocked his head to the side, studying her.

“Do sit, Sydney. I can’t have you looming over me and expect to have a civil conversation.”

“You expected this conversation to be civil?” Sydney asked, cautiously taking a seat across from him.

“You can tell Mr. Sark to come join us…there is no need for this cloak and dagger charade. I only came here to talk. I’m not even armed.” He opened his suit jacket to demonstrate. Sydney sighed and motioned to Sark, who had taken a seat at a table behind Sloane. So much for secrecy.

“Do you expect me to take your word for it?” Sydney asked, not looking up when Sark took a seat beside her.

“No, but I thought you having the upper hand might make you more amenable to discussion. Besides, listening is the least you could do…you did try to kill me, after all.”

Sloane had a curious smirk on his lips and was impressed that Sydney did not do so much as blink when her former boss mentioned the failed attempt on his life. He turned to Sark.

“Mr. Sark, I am certainly surprised to see you in tow. Tell me, have you brought Sydney down to your level or are you perhaps moving up in the world to be working with such an amazing woman?”

“I like to think of it as a little of both,” Sark replied airily. He pats the spot under his blazer where his trusty Walther PPK rests. Sloane nods. A few tense, silent moments pass before Sydney takes the lead.

“Why?” She asked simply.

“I might ask you the same thing,” Sloane replied. “We’ve had our differences in the past. Why try to kill me know?”

“This is why you wanted to meet? Hurt feelings?” Sydney’s voice had taken on a harsh, cold quality.

“No, but curiosity has always been one of my vices. I must know.”

“You already know,” Sydney said, spitting out the words. “You took everything from me, for that alone I should’ve killed you. But there was one thing that bound us, one thing that made me merciful.”

“Nadia,” Sloane breathed and Sydney’s face hardened. Even now Sloane’s eyes lit up at the mention of his daughter’s name.

“How can there be a world where she is dead and you still live?” Sydney asked, as if she couldn’t fathom such a place.

“Sydney, this is what I am here to talk to you about,” Sloane said. He made a motion to take her hand but Sydney snatched her hand away, a horrified look on her face. He folded his hands on the table, searching the face that looked so much like his daughter’s.

“You left me for dead but you couldn’t even begin to understand my incredible will to live,” Sloane began. “Cesar was already dead but still remained to be useful, as he still had his cell phone on him. I called my people, they disposed of the body, and we treated the heart attack as well as could be, though, I doubt I’ll be running marathons any time soon. I say this, Sydney, because as I lied there, I knew I needed to live. Not for me, not for Rambaldi. But for her.” He paused, as if bracing himself.

“Nadia is alive, Sydney.”

Sydney laughed; a cold, ugly sound. “Is this the game you want to play? Do no go down this path, Sloane. I won’t simply kill you…I will destroy you.”

“I know about the headaches, Sydney,” Sloane said deliberately. “Yours and Sark’s. I know you’re not the only ones having these headaches and fugue states. I know about the Messenger. I know that your parents are missing. And I know there is an evil at your back that you aren’t even aware of, far more dangerous than the Messenger and five times more powerful than Rambaldi. Nadia is alive and I can prove it to you. Answer your phone, Sydney.”

At that, Sydney’s cell rang shrilly. She glanced at Sark, who had loosened the other gun at his ankle and had it pointing at Sloane under the table. She issued another venomous look to Sloane but reached for the phone and flipped it open.

A video feed streams to her phone’s screen, showing a hand holding a Spanish newspaper with today’s date above the headlines. Sydney tries to make out the newspaper’s name but as quickly as the newspaper had appeared it was taken away, revealing a white, nondescript room. A hospital bed dominated the space.

“I’m reaching for my phone,” Sloane said cautiously, and Sark took the opportunity to dig the barrel of his pistol into the meat of Sloane’s side. Sloane eyed the gun and nodded. His phone came out of a jacket pocket and spoke authoritatively into it.

“Bring the camera over to the bed.”

The person holding the camera walked slowly and Sydney held her breath. By the time it reached the bedside Sydney felt dizzy with lack of oxygen. She let out hr breath with a hiss and waited. The picture turned and it was Nadia. Alive, beautiful, pale, conscious Nadia.

“This is a trick,” Sydney breathed, her eyes never leaving her sister’s visage on the screen. “The paper is doctored; this could be from months ago.”

Sloane’s movements were measured, slow. Sliding the phone across the table, he gave her a rare smile.

“Talk to her.”

The faceless man in Nadia’s room put a cell phone to Nadia’s cracked lips. Her eyes lolled to one side; unfocused and glassy. Sydney heard the quick, shallow breath of her sister crackling over the line.

“Nadia?” Even now, Sydney’s voice held suspicion. She couldn’t believe, she couldn’t let Sloane trick her again, God, why was she so stupid? She wished Sark would just pull the trigger, in the middle of this crowded café, end this devil’s life once and for all…

“Syd,” Nadia whispered, barely audible but so, undeniably her sister that Sydney’s eyes clouded with tears immediately. She didn’t even feel the shame that Sark and Sloane were watching the tears fall down her face.

“Oh, sweetie, I miss you so much,” Sydney choked, her voice thick.

“I heard you,” Nadia wheezed. Her breath was labored, as if every word hurt to say.

“I hear you too,” Sydney said urgently.

“No,” Nadia said, her voice almost too soft to hear. “I heard you. When I was asleep…when I was in a coma…I heard you. I heard you…every time.”

“I’m glad,” Sydney said, wiping the tears away. Sark kept his attention on Sloane; he felt like an unwanted eavesdropper on a private moment. He poked Sloane harder in the side with his gun for good measure.

“So…tired,” Nadia said and Sydney touched the screen of her cell phone, trying to stroke her sister’s face, as she clutched Sloane’s phone to her ear.

“Please don’t go to sleep,” Sydney begged. Her sister’s eyes were already closing. A trickle of blood drew a straight, bold line from her sister’s nose down to her mouth. Why didn’t the man wipe it away?

“Nadia? Nadia!” But her sister fell back into unconsciousness, and the faceless man watching over her sister took the cell phone away from her ear. The camera shut off abruptly, leaving an imprint of her sister’s face on Sydney’s eyelids when she closed them, like looking into the sun too long.

“Why the charade?” Sydney asked, practically throwing Sloane’s cell phone at him. “Why put everyone threw the pain of losing her…what about Weiss? What about me?”

“Everything I do is to protect my daughter,” Sloane said evenly. “If that means lying, then it wouldn’t be the first time. Tell me, Sydney. Have you ever thought there might be someone after you? Someone after your sister? Someone even after Mr. Sark here? Someone other than the Messenger?”

Sydney’s face was defiant, but Sloane’s words rang true. There had been complications, events and setbacks in their mission to find her parents that could not be explained by the Messenger. Agents in Sark’s New York apartment, Faust’s involvement with the painting, and the fugue states where you pass out in one country and wake up in another had nothing to do with the Messenger’s demands. When Sydney didn’t answer, Sark interrupted.

“What are you saying, Arvin? That Sydney’s parents’ kidnapping is incidental?”

“I’m not saying their disappearance isn’t important and that meeting the Messenger’s demands isn’t a necessity. I’m saying you have more to worry about than diamond necklaces and secretive vials. That painting, however…that painting was supposed to go to me.”

Sark dug the gun deeper into Sloane’s side. He was gratified to see the old man wince.

“Are you admitting to blackmailing us as the Messenger, Arvin?” Sark asked. “Funny, I never saw you getting the best of Irina. I thought she’d always be able to wrap you around her little finger. As for Jack Bristow? He would kill himself rather than let you use him to put Sydney in danger. There is no possible way you couldn’t take them both down; you’re far too inferior an adversary.”

“I’ll ignore your pointed jibe, Mr. Sark,” Sloane replied. “And to answer your implication, no, I am not the Messenger. I, too, was being blackmailed by him. If I gave him certain items and intel, he’d give me the cure for Nadia’s illness, a formula encoded within a painting.”

Sark looked to Sydney, whose expression did not change. She was as cold and as beautiful as a statue; her face was marble, shaped by master sculptors into a mask of anger and doubt.

“The Messenger knows Nadia still lives, but just barely. I gave up everything he asked for and yet, I have not received the formula.”

“I can get you the formula,” Sydney said. There was no hesitation in her voice, though Sark thought there should be. Handing something Rambaldi related over to Sloane was never a good plan, but if Nadia was concerned, Sark knew he was going to have a hard time convincing her otherwise.

“Sydney, perhaps we should discuss this before - ” Sark began before he was interrupted.

“I don’t want it,” Sydney said, turning to Sark. “If this thing can save her, I’m giving it to him. He’ll get it, one way or another, eventually. I hate it. It has to save her. It has to.” Steely, frightened resolve had engulfed the woman he had been with last night. The playful, strong, extraordinary Sydney had gone into hiding. What was left was sad and small. He knew it was this desperate, unhinged yearning for family was what had drove her to him in the first place but this bordered with obsession. Sark could not understand obsession and what he did not understand he wanted to crush.

Sark let his eyes linger on her beautiful face for a moment, but turned away. It hurt him to look at her when she was so weak. When he did not answer her, Sloane continued.

“Sydney, knowing the painting is in your care, that you have the power to bring Nadia back to us…I know you will be able to get what else we need for your sister.”

Sark was heartened to see Sydney grow immediately distrustful at this.

“I thought you said this would save her,” she said warily.

“It will. When combined with another serum,” Sloane spoke clinically and earnestly, with no trace of his rabid fascination with all things Rambaldi. Sydney was not convinced. “Both the formula and the serum are, on their own, powerful weapons. But when combined they make an all-powerful healing agent, the antidote for all things.”

“It would bring people who were on the verge of death back to life…” Sydney echoed, remembering the words spoken to her not so long ago.

“It has to be you, Sydney,” Sloane said urgently. The two of them seemed to forget Sark was even there. “It has to be you that procures the serum. It won’t be difficult to get, I’d do it myself with a small team but I have been feeling under the weather, due to an untimely heart attack. It would be hard by yourself but with a willing partner…” Sloane’s voice drifted off, turning his head to face Sark. “…it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Sydney did not even look at Sark before she answered.

“That won’t be an issue. Where is this serum?”

“It is in an abandoned church in Venezuela,” Sloane replied, swirling the contents of his espresso cup. “A man named Faust has it in his possession. He is formidable and will have the location under surveillance, but not heavily so. He’s using it as a storage facility, so there will only be a few guards. With only the two of you there would be a good possibility of moving in and out without detection and with minimal collateral damage.”

“Faust, you say,” Sark replied silkily. He gave Sydney a pointed look, his blue eyes narrowed. She ignored him.

“You know of him?” Sloane asked, interested.

“Oh, Sydney is well acquainted with him,” Sark replied in a tone that left no imagination to how he felt about the situation.

“Then you know he is not a man to be trifled with,” Sloane said seriously. “I will forward you the intel on the facility to your cell, Sydney. Go knowing that you are to save your sister’s life.”

“Listen to you, you son of a bitch, and listen well,” Sydney said menacingly, rising to her feet. Her hand moved quickly, a blur against the expanse between her and Sloane. She gripped his tie and yanked. Though she spoke quietly, people around them began to stare. Sark, annoyed, held his chin in his hand and turned away, trying to distance himself from the debacle.

“If this is a trick, some sort of ruse to gain sympathy, know that I will find you. After I get this serum, after it saves Nadia, you will give me answers to any and all questions I have. With every time you slip through my grasp I will only become more skilled and determined to kill you. I think you realize I will not fail in that respect again should you cross me. I will kill you, Arvin Sloane; it’s just a matter of when. Don’t make it be any sooner than you’d like.”

She shoved him back and he faltered, but quickly recovered and straightened his tie. He stood, pulling the napkin from his lap and placing it on the table. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a few Euros to toss on the table for his drink.

“Sydney, I’ll be in touch,” Sloane said formally. He turned to Sark. “Mr. Sark, always a pleasure.”

“Arvin, I believe us to be too good of friends to lie to each other like that,” Sark said, standing. He slid the gun back into his ankle holster, feigning to tie his shoe, so that no one around them would see.

Sloane did not say goodbye, but did look back to Sydney. The smile he gave was real and therefore infinitely more frightening. Sydney stared at the man’s retreating form until Sark spoke.

“Come with me,” he said sharply, snapping her out of her haze.

“What?” She asked distantly, still in thought.

“I’m not asking,” Sark replied, taking her hand and roughly making her stand. He led her away from the café, through the throngs of people into a small park, lined with trees boasting the dying leaves of autumn. She did not struggle but her hand gripped his with her vice-like grip. An elderly couple sat on a bench and a few children ran after each other through a gazebo. Though the weather was turning chilly, a few picnickers dotted the space and couples walked dogs along a small stream. Sark led her down a bricked pathway, drawing her up a small bridge overlooking a rushing stream. They were far enough not to be overheard here.

“What the hell are you doing?” Sydney asked angrily, wrenching her hand from his.

“I should ask the same of you,” Sark replied, his voice measured but with an unmistakable edge to it. “You just rolled over and accepted every lie that man fed to you. How can you want to kill him one day and take his orders the next?”

“You wouldn’t understand,” she said bitterly. “You saw that she was alive. How can I deny that? The one and only thing Arvin Sloane and I see eye to eye on is Nadia. Even I can see he would do anything for her. How can you stand there and yell at me when you saw her for yourself?”

“Oh, I saw her,” Sark said coldly. “But what I can’t see how you can believe him when all he’s ever done is lie to you. I have never lied to you, not once, and you still keep me at a distance. Why are you so blind when it comes to family?”

“How is this even about you?” Sydney said, incredulous.

“You made it about me when you volunteered me for a mission that has not a single shred of hard fact about it,” Sark said. Leaves swirled around them and the wind blew cold against their cheeks. A strand of hair kept falling across Sydney’s face and Sark forced himself not to reach up and tuck it behind her ear.

“We’re supposed to break into a church run by a man that tried to kill you for a serum we don’t even know exists, let alone does what Sloane says.” He paused, watching the leaves progress down the rolling stream. “This has nothing to do with me, or Irina, Sydney. I have no business going on this mission with you. For someone who wants to push me away at any opportunity you’re certainly taking advantage of me being around.”

She opened her mouth for a quick retort but none came. Why had she assumed he would go with her? Because he was there…it seemed as if he had always been there, but in truth, he had been there are long as their interests had been aligned. They were partners, business partners…business partners that when they kissed she felt her blood rush in her veins and electricity in his touch. Had she thought he would go with her because she assumed he cared for her? Or was it for something far more chilling…that it was she that cared for him?

“Sark,” she said, her arm reaching out. She found herself holding his hand; she hadn’t even realized she was doing it. Seconds before, she had resisted, pulled against his touch and now she craved it, needed to feel him. “…please. This has nothing to do with you but it has everything to do with me. I need this. I need some semblance of a normal life once this thing with you and I is over. I don’t know what we are…partners, at the very least.”

She paused and though she wanted to avoid his eyes, those damn, depthless eyes, she forced herself to look into them.

“I need you. I can’t do this by myself.”

He stood, motionless, his lips slightly parted, studying her. He wanted to deny her…he found himself giving up so much with her. He wanted to hold back, make her stronger, and yet…God, he was so predictable when it came to Sydney.

“I have one condition.”

Sydney’s face was immediately wary.

“What is it?”

“A kiss.”

She dropped his hand like a stone.

“A what?”

“One kiss, nothing more. A bargain for my impeccable services.”

He didn’t smirk. She tried to formulate words but she found herself stumbling.

“A kiss?” She asked in amazement. “After last night, you’re asking me to kiss you?”

“Are you willing to do more? I’d me more than amenable for a little –“

“You’re serious,” she said disbelievingly. She looked up to the sky and sighed, but could not help but laugh. “Some things never change.”

“I hope that some things never do,” he countered. “I want to kiss you, Sydney. All I’ve ever wanted to do is kiss you. I want to kiss you in the middle of Paris. I want to kiss you in the middle of a park filled with people. One kiss and I’ll do anything you ask of me.”

Light filtered through the trees and onto his face, sincere and, as always, ever so disarming. She toyed with a strand that kept blowing across her face, stalling.

“This doesn’t change the fact that what happened last night will never happen again,” she warned.

“I wouldn’t dream of besmirching our professional relationship.”

“I’m serious,” Sydney said. “It would be just…wrong. Last night was wrong.”

“So wrong,” Sark echoed. “So very, very wrong…” His voice trailed on suggestively.

“Sark,” she said darkly.

“Yes, I know, Sydney. Listen, I’m not asking you to like me, let alone love me. I’m not asking you to get married. I’m not even asking you to sleep with me. I’m asking you for a kiss. One kiss. Surely one kiss is worth your sister’s life.”

A few seconds passed and Sark thought that, for a moment, she might refuse.

“Fine,” she conceded. “But…here? Someone might see.”

“I want them to see,” Sark said, his hand already around her waist. She stared at his neck and strong line of his jaw where last night she had peppered kisses. His other hand swept the stubborn strand of hair that kept coming loose behind her ear. His hand traveled unhurriedly, tracing the line of her jaw and down her face. He lifted her chin, forcing her to gaze up at him. He made sure she looked at him, really looked at him, before his lips descended, soft and slow.

Her cheek was cold under his hand but her lips were so warm and sweet. She was trying to respond as little as possible but he persisted, his curious mouth increasing the pressure. Sydney found her eyes closing and her lips began moving against his on their own. She matched him, as she always did when they fought, with equal force and skill. He kept it slow, luxuriating in the feel of her velvety lips against his. She didn’t know how it happened but she opened her mouth…to breathe, perhaps, because she found her heartbeat growing rapid and her breath coming out in small gasps, and his tongue invaded her, swift and sure. Sydney was thinking about his hands and mouth on her the night before, how they had parted her and touched her, how their bodies fit together in a way where she barely could make out where she began and where he ended. Her hands tangled into his hair, gripping him, pulling him closer and Sark moaned softly against her lips. Their tongues danced, like so many quips between them, exploring and probing.

Sark’s hands descended and found the edge of her jacket, pushing it upward and catching the edge of her shirt that pressed against the small of her back. His palm found the naked skin beneath and his fingertips traced the length of her spine and Sydney let out a small sound no louder than a sigh. His lips felt bruised but he couldn’t stop himself from kissing her harder, faster, wanting to feel her, all of her, trembling against him. Sydney was losing herself in his touch, wanting his body to deliver the promises his mouth was making. She wanted to lose herself in him…but then her sister’s image flashed through her brain, and Sloane’s, and she stopped, resting her forehead against his. Her breathing was labored against his mouth and he waited, savoring the moment, before stepping away.

“We should probably start making arrangements to leave,” Sark said, turning and resting his back and elbows against the railing of the bridge. “On the way back from Venezuela we can stop at Logan’s and get the painting.”

“Yes,” Sydney said, leaning over the railing next to him, staring at the rushing water. “That sounds like a good idea.”

“I don’t know if it’s a good idea so much as just an idea,” Sark amended. He sighed. “We might as well start now. The faster this business with Sloane is finished the better I’ll feel.”

“You and me, both,” Sydney replied. There was nothing she’d rather do than stand here, underneath the canopy of Parisian trees, watching the leaves being carried away in the rushing stream. But her sister needed her and Sydney wouldn’t let her down again. They walked through the picturesque scene, appearing to anyone that passed a beautiful couple strolling through the park.

“Why do I feel like you’re going to be the death of me?” Sark asked her, his hands in his pockets. They walked briskly; the air had a chill that it hadn’t had before.

* * *

The church was impossibly old. A sprawling, stone monstrosity that sat in a forgotten inlet of the Playa Medina, La Iglesia de Almas Paerdidas was abandoned but had not fallen into disrepair. It was still imposing and impressive a house of worship as it was a fortress, holding Nadia’s salvation somewhere in its depths.

According to Sloane’s intel, the serum was in a room set aside for the sick, located in the heart of the building somewhere on the second floor above the main worship room. Sydney and Sark waited behind a dune of sand some hundred yards away, waiting for the guards at the entrance to call in for their hourly check in the all clear. The guards would then take a forty-five minute trek around the perimeter and report back in at the start of the next hour. The site was not a weapons facility, so the security was minimal but as a storage cache there could be more than two people baring their way. The two spies needed only to keep out of sight of whatever men Faust had inside and make their getaway. Should anyone get in their way, they only had one option: kill or be killed.

“This is a terrible plan,” Sark whispered drolly, checking and rechecking his weapons. “I hope you realize that.”

“I am fully aware how terrible it is,” Sydney replied, her eye on the guards. The night air was thick with humidity and she felt beads of sweat rolling down her back. The black utility suits they were wearing provided cover but they did nothing to relieve the unseasonably oppressive heat that beat down on them. “I’ve just been going over in my mind all the other far more stupid plans I’ve gone in on and how they turned out alright, so that’s been bolstering my confidence a bit.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re feeling confident,” Sark said, watching as the two guards at the back of the church checked their watches and one lifted a walkie-talkie to his mouth, the words lost in the breezy, briny wind but their meaning was clear. The two men began their stroll around the perimeter and Sydney and Sark began creeping toward the church’s door.

“That doesn’t stop me from having a bad feeling about this,” Sydney muttered, crawling through the voluminous foliage surrounding the church. She held her gun to her chest and looked furtively around, her back against the door.

“Sydney, we’re in a church. What’s the worst thing that could happen?” She cast him an exasperated look.

“Now, why’d you have to go and say that?” Sydney said, nudging the door open.

The great domed ceiling was covered with the cracked, peeling faces of angels. Candlelight illuminated every inch of the long, columned room, causing the shadows to move and undulate like living creatures. A circular, stained glass window dominated the wall behind the pulpit, depicting God creating the great green earth below him and the beatific blue heaven above. The sides of the church held similarly breathtaking biblical scenes captured in stained glass and the soft light from the moon shone down on the hand carved pews in a kaleidoscope of colors.

“Have anything to confess today, my child?” Sark whispered sardonically over his shoulder after passing the confessional. The room was clear but he still spoke quietly. Sydney, who was following him, nudged him none-too-softly in the back with the barrel of her weapon.

“I’d confess that I ‘slept with a killer yesterday’ to rid myself of the sin…if you weren’t the farthest thing from a priest,” Sydney muttered, her eyes sweeping the room as they passed from the nave of the church into a side hall.

“Funnily enough,” Sark whispered back, mounting an ancient stone staircase. “I was going to confess to the exact same thing. What are the odds?”

They climbed the stairs, quickly and quietly. They found themselves in a large central room that held tapestries, book, and icons of saints. There were only enough candles to keep the room from being completely dark. The light danced off the splintered turquoise ceiling studded with gilt stars. The air smelt oppressively of incense and Sydney fought the urge to cough. At the far end of the room, an outline of a room shone brightly behind a partially closed door. Sydney took the lead and motioned for Sark to follow.

Later, she wouldn’t remember how many steps it took to climb the stairs. She wouldn’t be able to recollect how she left the intensely illuminated room and found herself back on the beach with Sark’s hands gripping her shoulders and shaking her. She didn’t remember how she had set the stone cathedral on fire. All she would be able to remember would her wracking sobs and the image of not one, but two dying men she had left behind in the burning church.

She found herself facing the illuminated doorway, her heart pounding. She didn’t know why she was so scared…God, why was she shaking? Sark’s eyes narrowed in concern, and she distantly felt his hand go to her back, steadying her, before turning around to cover her from the rear. Her knees felt weak…there should be no reason why. It was a door, the door separating her from Nadia’s salvation. Why could she not bring herself to open it? Her hand went to the worn, painted surface slowly, and she willed herself to push it forward…

“Stop right there!” she heard Sark shout. Sydney pivoted, her weapon drawn. Sark had his gun pointed at a shadowy figure at the top of the stairs. It moved slowly, but surely, as if it knew the layout of the room and didn’t need to watch its step around the multitude of books and papers that littered the floor. It came closer and Sark did not hesitate. Sydney heard the bullet leave Sark’s gun despite the silencer, watched as it sliced through the air and slammed into the intended target, who stumbled, clutching at its chest.

Sydney did not move from the door. She watched Sark approach the target, his gun still drawn. Sark leaned down and pulled the man to a sitting position, the blood seeping through the man’s white shirt. It was a man, Sydney could see, and as Sark gripped at him and pulled him forward into the light of a nearby candle, she knew Sark had brought the man she knew as Faust to his last minutes on earth.

“Ms. Bristow,” Faust wheezed, his body now propped up against a chair. Sark kept his gun on him as his eyes surveyed the room for more insurgents.

“I rather thought I would die by your hand, instead of the boy’s,” Faust said weakly, the blood stain on his shirt growing larger and larger.

“You thought wrong,” Sydney said thickly, wondering why she felt sorry.

“There is much to discuss, between you and I, but I’m afraid we don’t have much time,” Faust said, coughing. Blood spattered from the man’s lips, coating his lips and teeth with crimson.

“There’s nothing to discuss,” Sydney replied, not moving, keeping her vigil at the outside of the door.

“The serum is behind that door,” Faust said quietly, his voice growing fainter with every word. “You’ll be able to save your sister. Your family will be reunited soon.”

“What about your son?” Sydney didn’t want to ask, but she needed to. A niggling thought pressed on her brain, a stunted whisper of an idea, but she couldn’t think, couldn’t process what it meant.

“He’ll die,” he said. Blood was now dripping to the floor, surrounding him in a red puddle. Faust’s executioner loomed above him, a confused look on his otherwise angelic face. “Do you know why…why I help you? Why I come unarmed…ready to die?”

“No,” Sydney said dully. She couldn’t think; there was something here, something important she couldn’t recall, couldn’t put together.

“He would want me to.”

“Your son? Now that I don’t believe.”

“How else was he going to see you again?”

Faust’s breath came out in hitching, wet rasps. The final death rattle came out as a sigh, a sound of release and calm. The body shifted and slumped to the floor and Sark reached down and closed the handsome man’s eyes. He stepped through the man’s blood, leaving large footprints in his wake. Looking into Sydney’s stunned face he gripped her shoulders lightly and turned her to face the doorway. Feeling Sark’s strong body at her back did nothing to steady her. She felt like she was walking through a dream, her movements slowed and her breathing quickened. Sark’s arm came across her to push the door open.

The modern medical equipment stood out against the stone walls of the ancient cathedral. The quick, thready beat of the heart monitor chirped in time with her pulse. The white hospital bed and the fluorescent lights practically blinded her after the soft candlelight. It took a moment for her eyes to focus, to see the man who had called her beautiful, the man who was dying, and the son Faust had risked everything to save only to die outside his door.

Sark stood in the doorway and let her walk on her own to the bedside, knowing she could only do this on her own. She walked slowly, not wanting to believe what she saw until she was staring directly down at him and could not deny it any longer.

Michael Vaughn’s eyes were closed as if asleep, his face so familiar and yet so alien to the woman who would have bared his child. No, not Michael Vaughn, Andre Michaux, the man who had lied to her, made love to her, carried her in his arms and ultimately betrayed her. He looked the same as he did the day she watched him take round after round of bullets in the chest. The same, except for a jagged, red puckered scar that went across his stubbly neck.

Forgetting Sark was there her hands went to his hospital gown, ripping it across his chest. Unblemished skin met her hands and her fingers lingered on his chest, stroking the hair there. He had never been shot. Another lie to pile on top of all the rest. She didn’t even notice when Sark had crossed the room and stood behind her.

He knew now it had been him on that green-gray day at the rusted carnival. It had been no nightmare; it had been the cold, hard reality that Sark stood underneath the stormy sky and slashed Michael Vaughn’s throat. Felt the warm, thick blood of his enemy coat his hands and reveled in it. He watched the man whom he hated with every inch of his body crumple into a heap of his own lifeblood, his eyes accusing even as they dimmed. Sark had been the killer of a man who had yet to die.

Sark forced his gaze away from the man who had once been Michael Vaughn and his eyes swept the room, settling on a cabinet. He approached it and found three bottles of a clear, syrupy liquid, the label simply bearing a symbol he knew all too well: < o >

He opened a small container from a pocket of his jacket and placed the vials inside. A stoppered syringe came out of his pocket next and he placed the tip of the large needle into a small hole in the side of the box. Immediately the epoxy from the syringe began to mix with the resin-lined box and a thick, gray foam encased the bottles, securing them safely within the box. He zippered the box in a waterproof bag and tucked it into a pocket that he buttoned shut.

Sark heard her before he saw it. Sydney starting beating Vaughn’s chest, punching his face, slapping and hitting every part of him she could get to. Sark gripped her hands but she pulled them out of his grasp, hitting Vaughn until blood poured from his noise. He did not wake. Sark repeated her name over and over but she didn’t hear; all she could hear was the hard, satisfying sound of her fists hitting flesh and all she could feel was hate. Sark finally stopped her, gripping her hands with all the strength he had. She stopped and, like a ragdoll, fell into a heap on the ground.

She was rocking back and forth, her head in her hands. Sark was beside her in an instant, his hands on the sides of her face, trying to get her to look at him. She had bit her tongue in the fall and blood seeped out of her mouth.

“Sydney!” Sark was yelling, not caring there might be guards around. Her eyes were unfocused and tears were falling down her cheeks. He wiped them away as best he could and pushed the hair out of her eyes, trying to get her attention but she was far away. She was with Vaughn, not Andre but Michael, the man she loved, on a tropical island. She was barefoot in the sand, holding Isabelle’s hand…they would have called the baby Isabelle, after Michael’s mother…

“Sydney!” Sark slapped her face then and she finally looked at him. Her expression was a heartbreaking mix of hurt and shock and she looked at him, her visage akin to a sad, precious doll.

“Why?” She asked plaintively. She looked so lost. “Why…why…why…”

“Come on, Sydney,” he said, scooping her up. He locked one arm behind her knees and the other around her shoulders and carried her like a child, away from the man who had destroyed her life. Sark turned around one last time; Sydney shivering in his arms, and stared at Agent Vaughn. The man was unconscious…it would be so easy to pull the pillow from under his head and smother him, or grab a syringe of morphine from the cabinet and jab the needle into his vein. He could torture him slowly; one cut at a time, hoping that underneath the coma Vaughn would suffer. Or it could be as easy as a tiny air bubble in the IV tube; but an air embolism would be far too kind for this man.

Sydney whimpered; a small, frightening sound and Sark turned his back on Vaughn for the last time, thinking that a long, drawn out death would be the most appropriate for his adversary. Her head lolled and the crying never stopped. She trembled in his arms, shaking as he spoke softly in her ear. He didn’t even know what he was saying as he stepped over Bill Vaughn and carried her down the stairs and through the beautiful nave of the church.

They were finally outside and he deposited the shivering girl behind a sand dune. He pulled out his gun.

“The guards will be back soon,” he told her, not knowing if she could hear him. “I need to take care of hem before they find out what we’ve done.” She did not look at him, only continued to rock back and forth. He sighed, not wanting to leave her but knowing they’d be caught if he didn’t kill the guards. He left, casting one last glance at his former adversary before he followed the path the guards had taken around the large perimeter surrounding the church. Ten minutes passed and then twenty. He was taking too long to find them; he was leaving her alone too long.

He caught up with them finally and, sneaking up from behind, shot them both in the backs of their heads. They fell like stones on the white sand, blood pooling up in the indentations their feet had made and slopping into the overturned pink shells surrounding them. Sark covered the bodies in large palm fronds and scattered new, unblemished sand over the blood spatter. It wasn’t perfect but he needed to get back to Sydney.

He ran to her, tree limbs whipping across his face and shrubs tangling his feet as he went. He thought he smelled something burning and he pumped his legs faster, feeling the muscles burn with exertion, until he came to the clearing where the church stood.

Flames leapt up to the heavens, engulfing the towers. He watched the heavenly depictions explode as the stained glass windows shattered, spraying glass and flames in every direction. Sydney stood in the middle of the beach, watching the destruction, the tears never stopping. Sark approached her, shouting her name. When she didn’t turn he turned her bodily to face him, his hands gripping her shoulders tightly.

“Sydney! What have you done?”

“It needed to burn,” she said in a low, watery voice. She looked at him, truly seeing him for the first time since they entered the church. The flames reflected brightly against the unshed tears in her eyes, giving them life that was not there. “He needed to burn.”

She stumbled then and this time he caught her before she fell. She tucked her head into the safe space between his neck and shoulder. He stood, holding her, watching as the ancient edifice burned to the ground. He didn’t think she even noticed when he turned his back on it and began to walk away.

* * *

Foul-Weather Friend Soundtrack, Chapter Twelve, Part One

1. Travis, “One Night”. Listen to when: The morning after and discovering the note.

Lyrics: Laying beside you as cold as a statue
your hands are still warm
trying to wake you as daylight brakes through
the eye of the storm.

So you can tell everybody
everybody who comes
you can tell everybody
but the damage's done
the new day's begun.

One night can change everything in your life
One night can make everything alright
One night can turn all your colors to white
One night - it's easier said than done

Download yousendit: http://www.yousendit.com/download/dVlxcmxUQzdiV3pIRGc9PQ
Download sendspace: http://www.sendspace.com/file/7049h5

2. Monster Magnet, “Your Lies Become You”. Listen to when: Sydney and Sark meet up with Sloane.

Lyrics: Well you claimed you could read the future
And I'd say that you've nailed that down

You still want everyone to love you
Well, here's a tip I might have to your big brain
Do you really believe they can't see through?
A circus punk playin' a foul game
Let me cast you light, and it's natural
And with me you can strike that pose, yeah
And you melt for the camera, cuz your lies become you
Yes your lies become you after all

How am I living without you?
I'm not even sure now that I'm sane
But this little dog's got enough sense
To know not to sleep in the cold rain

Download yousendit: http://www.yousendit.com/download/dVlxcmxWUnJPSHhMWEE9PQ
Download sendspace: http://www.sendspace.com/file/q72ay3

3. Moses, “Beautiful Gun”. Listen to when: Syd and Sark are in the park. (I am so in love with this song!)

Lyrics: I haven’t cried since 1985 but
One look at you, tears are queuing to get out
But I hold them, I hold them, I hold them, yeah

Why do I whisper, do you sleep on a wire
I tiptoe around you, around you, around you now
Beautiful gun
It’s just the fate of the pretty to break those hearts
So just sleep for awhile
See if you smile while you’re sleeping, you’re sleeping
Beautiful gun

I’ve never tried to be anyone else in my miserable life, but
One look at you, wishes are queuing to get out
But I hold them, I hold them, I hold them, yeah

I tried and I tried to make myself cry
So hung up and dry on that wishing line, yeah
Beautiful gun
It’s just the fate of the pretty to break those hearts
So just sleep for awhile
See if you smile while you’re sleeping, you’re sleeping
Beautiful gun

Do you smile while you’re sleeping? (Beautiful gun)

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Download sendspace: http://www.sendspace.com/file/boxrlb

4. Moby, “Where You End”. Listen to when: Sydney and Sark break into the stone church.

Lyrics: Some things fall apart
Some things makes you hold
Something that you find
Are beyond your control

I love you and you're beautiful
You write your own songs
But if the right part is leaving
Turned out to be wrong

If I could kiss you now
I'd kiss you now again and again
I don't know where I begin
And where you end

Thought I fell in love the other day
With an old friend of mine
I was running kisses
Down every inch of her spine

We had the roof down
The sun came shining in
The black fact is...
that I was thinking of you

If I could kiss you now
I'd kiss you now again and again
I don't know where I begin
And where you End

I slept in the sun the other day
I thought I was fine
Everything seemed perfect
Until I had you on my mind

I tried to love you
I did all that I could
I wish that the bad now
And finally turned into good

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Download sendspace: http://www.sendspace.com/file/x94goy

5. R.E.M., “Leave”. Listen to when: Syd and Sark discover Faust’s son, they flee the church, and watch it burn to the ground.

Lyrics: Nothing could be bring me closer
Nothing could be bring me near
Where is the road I follow?
to leave, leave

It's under, under, under my feet
The sea spread out there before me
where do I go where the land touches the sea
There is my trust in what I believe

That's what keeps me,
That's what keeps me,
That's what keeps me down,
To leave it, leave it,
Leave it all behind

Shifting the dream
Nothing could bring me further from my old time
Shifting the dream
It's charging the scene
I know where I marked the signs
I Suffer the dreams of a world gone mad
I like it like that and I know it

I know it well, ugly and sweet
That temper madness with an even extreme

That's what keeps me
That's what keeps me
That's what keeps me down
I say that I'm a bantam lightweight
I say that I'm a phantom airplane
That never left the ground

Lift me, lift me,
I attain my dream
I lost myself, I lost the
Heartache calling me
I lost myself in sorrow
I lost myself in pain
I lost myself in clarity,
Memory, leave, leave

lift my hands, my eyes are still
I walk into the scene
lift myself in a different place
just Leavin'

I longed for this to take me,
I longed for my release
I waited for the callin'
To leave, leave

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 29th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Oh goodness, I was so surprised to see this on my flist, and I'm so happy I did. I missed this so much. I can't wait for more.

As far as the Kill Bill reference goes, the only one I could spot was beating someone up in a Church, so if it's that, go me! If not, I'll have to search more closely.
May. 1st, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
OMG I can't believe you updated!! I'm very excited. This chapter was great and I'm looking forward to the last one or two. What I'm really waiting for is how it's going to end.

This was a terrific chapter - loved the part where Sark is asking Sydney why she can't trust him when he's never lied to her yet she will just listen to Sloane even though Sloane has done nothing but lie.

Patience really is a virtue!!
May. 4th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
UPDATE! *squee* UPDATE! ...sorry... :D

You handled this chapter brilliantly. Sark was flirty and attentive without losing his edge. Sydney was confused and stubborn without being cruel. It must have been very difficult to create that balance between the characters.

"She felt him everywhere and it felt sick and delicious."

PERFECT! That's a great way to describe how Sydney would feel after a night of making love ...debauchery with Sark. :)

"He held the cool glass up to his lip which, Sydney now saw, was bloodied and slightly swollen. She flushed at the simultaneous pride and shame that she had marked him. She swallowed the impulse to grin."

...now *that* is delicious. I love how aggressive!Sydney comes out whenever Sark is around. It reminded me of the tequila scene. I love how Sydney seems to lose control of herself around Sark.

“Sydney, dearest. We’ve already been over this. I am a professional. I would never sully our business relationship by way of cheap innuendos.”

*snort* This is why I love Sark. He's such an unrepentant smart ass.

"He wanted to hold back, make her stronger, and yet…God, he was so predictable when it came to Sydney."

I would think that he would be more interested in forging a deeper bond ...would want her to rely on him. Maybe the idea of Sydney needing him might be a bit scary to Mr. Sark. Hmmm...

"I want to kiss you, Sydney. All I’ve ever wanted to do is kiss you..."

Sark has always wanted Sydney. There is such a blunt honesty to his attraction for her. I think she fascinates the hell out of him. You've captured that honesty very well!

“I’d confess that I ‘slept with a killer yesterday’ to rid myself of the sin…if you weren’t the farthest thing from a priest,”

“Funnily enough,” Sark whispered back, mounting an ancient stone staircase. “I was going to confess to the exact same thing. What are the odds?”

Hee! They are so frickin' perfect together! Snarky goodness!

I KNEW IT! I KNEW that Faust was Vaughn's father! I KNEW that Vaughn wasn't dead. However, Sydney's reaction definitely surprised me. I knew that Sydney hated him/Vaughn (which I fully endorsed, btw) but I never expected that level of fury. I guess I assumed that Vaughn would get the chance to explain his betrayal. Of course, I much preferred the way you handled it. I've loathed Vaughn since the introduction of Lauren. What a pansy assed ...sorry...tangent. :)

"He watched the man whom he hated with every inch of his body crumple into a heap of his own lifeblood, his eyes accusing even as they dimmed."

That line reminded me of another great Sarkney story 'Forbidden Fruit'. I find it interesting that Sark seems to hate Vaughn even more than he hates Will.

May. 4th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
feedback part deux
I guess the folks at LiveJournal don't like long posts. Here is part deux of the feedback...

This type of quality Sarkney story reminds me of why I became a fan of the Syd/Sark dynamic. On a basic level, I want Sark to have Syd because she is the only woman that I deem worthy of him. My boy deserves the best! :D However, it's ultimately what each character brings out in the other that really turns my crank. Sydney (on the show and in this story) seems to gain strength from Sark. I love how spunky she is when she's around him! Sark obviously respects her enough to give her the full-wattage version of himself. Not to mention the fact that David and Jennifer are both experts at bringing the banter. I'm actually relieved that J.J. never tried his hand at hard-core Sarkney. I HATED Sark/Lauren even more than I hated Sydney/Vaughn. I hated how he turned Sark into a pansy-assed (much like Vaughn) version of himself ...trailing after Lauren like a neutered puppy. I pretty much repressed their entire relationship. J.J. NEVER would've been able to create the type of balance that you've achieved. Sark is obviously deeply in love with Sydney but that doesn't stop him from giving her lip. I LOVE IT!

I'm a little nervous about the fact that the story is going to end within the next 1-2 parts. It doesn't seem like the characters have gotten to the point *yet* where they are willing to acknowledge that they're in love with each other. It's going to break my heart if they walk away from each other. Maybe I just want them to get the chance to openly enjoy their feelings for each other. Sydney still seems so conflicted.

Since you've always provided such great soundtracks, I thought it was only fair to provide a few recommendations of my own...

"The Weight of Us' - Sanders Bohike
This song reminds me of the *morning after* regret

"Supermassive Black Hole" - Muse
This is just a rockin' song that reminds me of the heat between Syd and Sark.

I'm such a soundtrack 'ho! I just had to contribute! :D


May. 5th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
Oh how I've really missed this story! And I'm a little sad that it's almost coming to an end. You are like the last of the Sarkney authors that still update and I'm very glad that you did not give up on this.

I thought the morning after wasn't awkward at all for them haha...it was playful but down to business Syd and Sark fashion. Sloane is still a sneaky bastard, but will that serum really work to save Nadia? And I suspected that Faust was Vaughn's dad (unless you cleared that up in another chapter and my memory failed me lol). That kiss at the park? Loved it! It just goes to show that these two can't and won't stay away from each other after all this is over.....right? Sydney's reactions at the end I didn't expect, but wow, your wrote it well.

I love your Sydney and Sark and I will surely miss this story once it's all done. I can picture all this really happening on the show because it's that amazing. So now, I will look forward to the next (and possibly last) part of your awesome story.

p.s. For the life of me, I can't figure out what the Kill Bill reference is and it's one of my favorite movies too. So I'm gonna take a guess and ask: Did it have something to do with the scene w/ Faust? I'm probably wrong and bet it's obvious and it just flew over my head lol.
May. 10th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
I'm so awed by this chapter that I don't think I can express what I feel right now.

Well, I'll just start from the beginning then. The first scene between Sark and Sydney is probably the happiest one in the whole chapter. I loved the brilliant banter and the way Sark managed to find just the right responses for Sydney's "denial stage". :)(And I just knew that one was coming:)).

The next one - the meeting with Sloane. What can I say here? Sloane is... well, Sloane. He definitely enjoys playing with Sydney's emotions that way and he knows just the right buttons to push.

I too was disappointed with Sydney's seeming lack of regard for Sark's opinion and I was pleasantly surprised that Sark decided to speak up on the problem and not just follow her anywhere like a loyal puppy. But then again, that is the difference between Sark and Vaughn. And the fact that Sydney admitted that she might be wrong and willingly asked for Sark's help seems very promising to me. :)

And oh, the kiss! Goodness, that was some kiss! I've never read anything like that before - how did you do it? How did you manage to make the time stop and the Earth stop spinning for that one perfect moment? And I truly believe that Sark's words in this chapter:“I want to kiss you, Sydney. All I’ve ever wanted to do is kiss you. I want to kiss you in the middle of Paris. I want to kiss you in the middle of a park filled with people. One kiss and I’ll do anything you ask of me.” are quite possibly the most romantic words I've ever read in any Alias fiction.

Finally, the mission. I have to say that for some reason I knew what and who they would find there. I knew at once that Faust was Vaughn's father, from the first time Sydney met him and he told her about his son. What I didn't expect was the way the conflict resolved itself. I was expecting more of a verbal conflict scene and not this Apocalypse-like destruction by Sydney's hands. I have to admit, that I was deeply disturbed by Sydney's emotional state at the end of the chapter. But then again, that is the beauty of your story - it is full of most unexpected turns and delicious twists of the plot. This is official then, you are a genius!:)

P.S. Sorry, but could I ask you not to kill off Sark and Sydney? :) It's just that I have this nagging thought in my brain that reminds me about Sydney's bad dream on the plain and now adds to this Sark's words to Sydney: “Why do I feel like you’re going to be the death of me?” Sark asked her, his hands in his pockets. They walked briskly; the air had a chill that it hadn’t had before.
So, I'm fully prepared to beg and grovel if that can help me convince you in favour of a happy ending. :)
May. 14th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Hey Jamie.... I thought I would comment... I haven't really kept up on your posts - I seem to find them a month or so after you have posted... A lot of times I have to re-read the previous update to remember what happened... this was true with your last installment as well...** Not that I don't enjoy them... but I don't have enough time! (You know priorities lol) ** As I was reading I was reminded again of how artfully you wrote the Sarkney scenes in the previous chapter.... If I have time I will try to go back and actually quote it out... but seriously the whole interlude was extremely well written (even though you were nervous about it) I am trying to think of the proper way to describe it... and words are failing me... but simply stated - it was extremely sensual - with out the "dirty" feel. Well, I guess that's all for now... I see it has been a year since your "ACK" what am I doing in life post... hope you have somethings figured out :) Wish you well, and can't wait for the penultima post.
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Crazy is the Forecast For Me

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