Alias and the characters of Alias are property of ABC and
Touchstone, and are the creation of JJ Abrams and Bad Robot.
These stories are purely for entertainment purposes, no copyright
infringement is intended, I am not making money from this
Category: S/S, a.k.a. Sarkney
Feedback: Is lovingly cherished.
And I mean it.
Spoiler: Between Counteragent
and Phase One
Dedication: For Rez, beta-reader
extraordinaire and Murron, for Joanna and voleuse, for Auburn
and Sez, and not to forget, for Kath. You know why. Thank you
Author's note: Explanations for the musical
terms used in the chapters can be found here.
She wears black again, as she has so often during the last
weeks. Black, even in her house. He
wonders if it's a defence mechanism, wonders if she thinks colour
would be giving her away. Or maybe she just has enough of all
the colours during missions. Maybe monochrome saves her sanity.
It's a simple ritual. Every night.
Removing the make-up with a cleansing foam
and water. Drying her face with a small towel. He enjoys the way she looks
into the mirror after that small ritual, her face clear of the
many masks hiding her true self. He loves looking at the real
Sydney Bristow. The one with the haunted eyes and the dark rings under them.
The one with a few droplets of water still
clinging to her lashes, crystalline, like tears. The
one who questions her mirror: Am I still myself? He knows. He
can see it, even if she does not voice the question. So
When he talks to her she never responds.
There is something in the way she sips her wine, here, in
front of her open fireplace, that intrigues
him, excites him even. He doesn't have to feel it on his tongue
to know what it tastes like. Smooth, dry,
with a light hint of vanilla and raspberries. His throat
goes dry at the thought, quickly he
takes a sip from his own glass. It trickles down his throat,
leaving warmth in its wake. Pleasant warmth, not the heat a
single-malt would create. He prefers red wine. He knows she
Yet if only because they have different ways of perceiving
their environment, her wine will never taste the same as his.
He is saddened by the thought, but doesn't tell her. Not even
that he would love to taste the wine on her tongue. He never
They both enjoy the silence and the crackling of the fire.
He has seen her sleep like a child. Curled
in her bed, knees drawn to her chin, protecting herself from
the world outside. The bed always seems too big for her.
That childlike sleep is gone tonight. She is dreaming. He
can see her eyes moving rapidly under closed lids. Her arms
are flailing under the duvet, her eyebrows knit together in
pain. She is murmuring things he can't make out, no matter how
much he wishes to. He can't. He never does. He never has the
heart to wake her, not even from a nightmare. Because even though
her sleep is troubled, at least she is sleeping at all. It is
worth the price.
He wakes up only a short while after she leaves the bed. She
gets ready for work early, he realises.
He hears her humming softly to herself in the bathroom.
She walks through her room in a bathrobe, brushing her teeth
as she goes. It's an old fashioned toothbrush, not one of the
electrical ones which have become so popular. She prefers it
old-fashioned. A smile lifts the corners of his mouth as he
watches her rummage through her chest of drawers for lingerie.
Before, he had always imagined her wearing something dangerously
sexy under those strict costumes she wears for work. Now he
knows better, and prefers it that way. Her lingerie is plain,
nowhere near stylish, just comfortable. Maybe this is the way she treats herself
when she is not on a mission.
Back in the bathroom, he hears her shower, still humming a
tune he vaguely remembers hearing on her stereo before.
Fifteen minutes later, she emerges, fumbling with her unresponsive
hair. He enjoys the way she uses the bright wooden comb to brush
her dark hair into shape.
She leaves after a quick breakfast of cereal and some of the
strongest coffee he has ever seen. His insides squirm at the
thought of what she is doing to her body, drinking that brew.
Yet he keeps quiet, sips his tea. With a grimace, he realises
that it must be almost as strong as her coffee.
He smiles again, watches her grab her bag and leave.
She doesn't say good-bye.
She doesn't have to. He sees her at the office, coming in
only marginally later than she.
She is already on her second cup of coffee, trying to force
her body into functioning after the exhausting dreams.
"Good morning." He shakes his head at the sight
of her hand, clenched around the mug. "You look tired,
Agent Bristow." Her eyebrows knit. Frustration, surprise
and anger flicker in her eyes in quick succession. There is
no greeting. She simply glowers at him as he sips from his mug
"What's it to you?" Her voice cool, her eyes blazing.
She sets the mug down.
"I'm merely trying to engage in a conversation among
colleagues." He smiles serenely, enjoying the way she bristles.
"Like hell you are." Her mouth is set, the full
lips pressed together after that statement, as though trying
to bite back more vile words.
"Sydney …" He thinks about the night, and his smile
falters. He attempts to tell her, for once tell her something
honest. Something she won't see as a lie or a taunt.
"Save it," she says, running a tired hand over her
forehead, not noticing his lapse. "Whatever it is, save
it. I'm not in the mood today, Sark."
She's not strong today. Part of him wants to keep their banter
going, wants to see how far he can push her. Wants to see just
how unstrung she is after a night like this. But he doesn't.
If only because he respects her too much.
He touches her arm fleetingly as he steps next to her. "I'm
serious: You should try to sleep more, Sydney. This concoction
you're drinking ..." he traces the rim of her mug, "won't
keep you awake forever."
She turns and shoots him a dirty look, misinterpreting his
concern for mockery and crumples the piece of paper she holds
in her hand. Maybe, he thinks, it's
better this way. "Get your little British ass away from
Low blow. He chuckles. She glowers. But she also shudders when his
breath whispers over her ear.
He straightens. Smirks. "I live
but to serve. Think about that coffee."
She actually throws the paper after him when she thinks he
He looks over his shoulder. Winks.
Leaves before her eyes can kill him.
Leaves and wonders when she will notice. His fingers trail
the remnants of her lipstick on her mug, now in his hands.
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