Chapter 1: Prologue
When the Policemen had knocked at his door Jack Bristow knew something was wrong, Laura had been late arriving home from running errands. But she sometimes ran later than she had expected too, she would always breeze in with some tale of a student stopping her to talk about a paper due or getting stuck behind slow drivers, or of course meetings that run later with her department head. So Jack hadn't let himself get to work up with worry about something having happened to Laura. But seeing the look on the two young officers faces told Jack all he needed to know without any words having been spoken.
"It's Laura, isn't it? Something has happened to her?" Jack found his voice asking before he could comprehend just want a 'Yes' answer might mean to his whole life.
"Mr. Bristow your wife was involved in an accident tonight her car was hit on a bridge and went into the water." One of the officers answered hating this part of their job. Having to tell people that their loved ones were hurt or killed was never easy.
"Is she okay? Did she get out of the car?" Jack asked. Not wanting to know if the answer wasn't the one he needed to hear. The one that would tell him that his Wife of ten years wasn't laying trapped inside her car at the bottom of some riverbed.
"She was rescued from the car" the second officer supplied happy to be able to give some good news if only that Mrs. Bristow had been rescued alive from the car as it had filled with water. "Your Wife was very lucky that Fire and Rescue were returning from a call and seen the whole accident. They were able to get her out of the car before it sunk"
"How badly was she hurt?" Jack asked knowing if Laura had been conscious she would have demanded the nurses call and tell him what had happened. No, the police showing up at his door meant that Laura was hurt bad.
"They've taken your wife to Memorial Hospital all we were told was she was unconscious when they transported her there. If you like we can take you there?" The first officer informed and asked him.
Jack politely declined and watched the officers leave after telling them he had to get a sitter for his daughter before he could leave for the hospital. Taking a deep breath Jack went in search of Sydney he needed to tell her about her Mother that she had been in an accident and was in the hospital. He would then call Emily up and see if she would watch Sydney, so he could go to the hospital.
Jack knew he was stalling because the longer he didn't go to the hospital the longer he could make himself believe that Laura wasn't hurt that bad that everything would be okay. He was falling apart on the inside but his CIA training had him push that down and concentrate on getting things done. He could fall apart at a later date when Sydney and Laura didn't need him to be at the top of his game.
Chapter 2: Chapter One
20 years later
Do not expect chapter turn arounds as fast as these first two, I posted this a week after posing it on ff . net and sd-1. So I wanted them all to be on the same chapter before I post next week.
This is a work in progress so I will try to get a chapter a week posted as long as I get time to write a chapter for the week if not it will be longer between chapters. Also I have no idea how long this story will end up being, I know how I want to end it, it's just getting it there which could be fast or slow lol. Please leave feedback it keeps me writing.
20 years later...
Jack Bristow had decided he hated his job as he rubbed his hands over his face. He had been setting behind his desk in his office for the last three hours doing paperwork. Maybe it was time to retire of course if he could afford too he would have already done so. But that wasn't possible at the moment. There were still college tuition that needed to be paid for, and his job came with great health insurance that was needed. So Jack knew he was going to be a part of the CIA until it killed him most likely from a heart attack from all this paperwork.
It hadn't always been this bad but ever since he was declared directer of the Los Angles department the paperwork would drive him up the wall. Jack almost longed for years ago when he could bring his work home with him and finish it there. But ever since Laura's accident Jack had never brought work home again. Not after what his bringing work home caused.
Jack still felt guilty to this day twenty years after the accident for being the cause of Laura almost dying and in a why she had. Because of him and it being easier to work from home, his wife lost over thirty years of memories along with suffering brain damage. She still twenty years later suffered side effects from the accident.
The KGB had targeted Laura's car that night the CIA never did find out why though only that they had targeted her and had meant to kill her. Jack always felt it was because of a few missions he had been on months before and where he had killed a few KGB agents.
Why they wanted to kill his wife instead of him, Jack could only think it was because they wanted revenge to make him suffer. And suffer he did, as he had to watch his wife lay in a coma for over three months. His little girl crying herself to sleep most nights because her Mother hadn't woken up yet.
Then after Laura finally did opened her eyes to learn that she couldn't speak and barely could move broke his heart all over again. Laura was a trooper though she had to learn to talk all over again and walk which took almost a year and that was when they all learned from Laura that she had no memories before waking from her coma. The doctors had warned Jack memory loss was possible with Laura's injury. Laura had surprised Jack by saying that she loved him even though she could not remember anything from before. She loved him because of the way he had treated her since she had woken up, and she hadn't wanted to hurt him by telling him and Sydney she couldn't remember them.
Laura had lost so much because of his work. But the health insurance covered all her rehab cost so Jack could not quit no matter how much he wanted too. Instead, he became a desk jockey in the last twenty years he hardly ever went on a mission. He did game theories and was very good at it so good he was made dictator. And lots of paperwork came with that job.
Hopefully after he finished his paperwork Jack could head home. The last few night he hadn't been able to eat dinner with his family, last minute emergencies taken place that required his attention. That Agent Vaughn was out to destroy anytime he might be able to spend with his family, Jack promised that the younger man made it his life's goal to stop him for going home this last week.
The last two nights just as he was getting his things together to head home when the knock would come from Agent Vaughn that demanded his attention that cause him not to be able to get home and eat the dinner his wife had cooked for him. Jack hated having to call and tell Laura he would not be able to make dinner after she had gone to all the trouble of starting dinner already. Laura was a sport though she would just laugh it off and tell him she would leave a plate in the refrigerator for him, so he could heat it up when he got home.
Laura would have liked to stay up and waited from him, but ever since the accident she could not stay awake past eleven pm. Plus she had work during the week and had to be up early at least during the school year. Jack was just so proud of his Wife how she did not let her brain injury stop her from teaching. She had worked so hard going back to school herself to be able to teach again.
Jack knew that Sydney looked up to her Mother for never giving up. Yes she wasn't the same after the accident. They all had to learn to live together again when Laura had gotten out of the hospital plus Sydney was learning to make new friends. Jack had sold their old house to buy one that did not have stairs. While Laura could walk with the help of a cane at that time she still had trouble going up and down stairs alone. Jack did not feel comfortable to leave his recovering Wife and seven-year-old daughter alone in a house with stairs.
Jack wasn't a stupid man he had told Laura all about his thoughts on this, and she agreed with him. So he went to a Realtor seen a few houses then took pictures of all the rooms and showed them to Laura and Sydney. As, a family in Laura's hospital room they picked their new house from those pictures. It was a nice new build three-bedroom house that had two bathrooms and an office. No stairs only the setup to get into the front door.
It was in their new house that they became a family. And Sydney learned about how even when her Mother had bad days, and it was hard for to remember things she did not give up. How she had to take things slow but that did not stop Laura Bristow if anything it just made her try harder. And made Jack love her even more than he ever did.
Loving Laura now was like loving a whole new person she wasn't the same at all, she didn't like the same foods she once did which had Jack sometimes wondering if Laura before had pretended to like the same things he did. She had always been strong-willed though that she kept. But they fight a lot if Laura thought he was doing something wrong, she would not agree to anything unless she thought it was the right thing to do. She did not want him going on missions and always let him know that. She also did not want to know anything about his work which was a real shifted from before her accident where she listened and asked many questions about them.
Laura had wanted to kill him when she learned he had used Project Christmas on Sydney. If she had been able to moved her body as she could now Jack was sure she would have. But as he had pleaded his case to Laura promising had told no one about using it on Sydney not even his best friend Arvin.
Jack had only used it until he was sure that Sydney could protect herself if someone tried to hurt her or brainwash her. It was during that conversation that Jack had shared with Laura that her accident hadn't been an accident that she had been targeted by the KGB. Jack told Laura he was sure it was because of him, he did not want Sydney to be defenseless if they came after her next.
Laura did understand after that but made him promise to not use Project Christmas on Sydney again, which of course Jack agreed to once he was sure Sydney could protect herself which was a year after he had told Laura which had caused a lot of fights between them.
Even still recovering as she was Laura had threatened to leave Jack more than once and had even packed bags for Sydney and herself if he didn't stop. Jack could still remember how Laura had set him down and just told him she was taking their daughter and leaving unless he stopped. She told Jack she knew he was just using Project Christmas on Sydney because he was afraid, but they couldn't live and fear. Sydney was not going to get hurt the KGB hadn't come after her, and it had been two year since the accident it was time to withdraw Sydney and let her just be a little girl again.
Jack agreed he loved Laura and Sydney too much to risk losing them, plus if they left he wouldn't be able to protect them. It was after that, that Jack and Laura really connected as husband and wife again. They even renewed their wedding vows.
Jack took a deep breath and let it out clearing away his memories for now if he wanted to get home on time tonight he had to get this paperwork done. And if Agent Vaughn showed up at his office door again tonight he was going to assign the younger man the must boring and time-consuming case he could find. Maybe that would keep him so busy he wouldn't darken Jack's office door again for a long time.
Agent Vaughn was a second generation CIA following in his Father's footsteps. A Father the young officer lost when he was just a boy. Jack could not help but remember how Sydney had almost lost her Mother because of the KGB, Agent Vaughn had lost his Father to the KGB. That's why Jack wasn't too hard on the young agent when he kept looking into the old cases of the KGB. Both men would like to know who had in one case killed his Father, in the other almost killed Jack's wife. It was something the CIA had closed the case on but neither man had.
Jack had actually been the one who had recruited Agent Vaughn into the CIA, he had gotten the job of recruiting new agents after asking to be mostly sideline to a desk. Jack had looked through a lot of files on possible new agents. Vaughn's stood out because the young man had already made inquiries about working for the CIA because he wanted to follow his Father's footsteps.
Jack didn't buy that, so he was on the next flight out and at the door of one Micheal Vaughn. The true reason Vaughn wanted to join the CIA was because yes he did want to follow in his Father's footsteps but also he wanted to learn who had killed his Father and why?
Jack had saw passion behind the younger man's eyes that day and knew he would make a good CIA agent.
Jack hadn't seen Vaughn again until he had been assigned to the L.A. branch of the CIA. Vaughn would on his spare time look into the open case of who killed his Father along with who had tried to kill Jack's Wife. It had been years and still no new leads had appeared since the fall of the KGB you would have thought something or someone would have spilled the bills or taken credited for out smarting the CIA but no one ever had.
Jack had decided to just move on from it, well more like Laura had ordered him too. She didn't care who had almost killed her because she wanted to live her life for the now not the past. And because who ever it was had never tried again, in her book it was a closed case. She was alive and had her family the KGB was dissolved, so it was over. She did not want Jack always trying to find who had targeted her and not be able to be there for their family. Furthermore, she had to plead with him that he was needed as a husband and father more than out there searching for someone who might already be dead.
Jack could deny his Wife nothing, so he let it drop, that didn't mean he stopped Vaughn in his search he even helped the young man when he need clearance for files or mission that would hopefully one day lead to learning who had tried to kill Laura and had killed Willaim Vaughn.
Chapter 3: Chapter Two
Laura and Sydney talk
Please leave feedback let me know what you think of this chapter. Also if you caught a typo let me know.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Laura Bristow was making meatloaf for dinner something she rarely did but knew that Jack loved. It was her former friend Emily's recipe, it was a shame that she and Arvin had to move years ago at first they had kept in touch but then as a few years went by they just drafted apart. Emily had been a great cook and shared many recipes with Laura during the year before she had moved after Laura had been discharged from the hospital. Laura had asked for Emily's help learning to cook again the two had become fast friends.
Laura knew the rest of the family did not care for meatloaf but tonight Sydney was bringing over Daniel (Danny) Hecht the two had been dating for almost two years now. Sydney was close with her family and wanted them to also be close with Danny.
Daniel was studying to be a pediatric cardiology he seemed like a really nice young man. Laura liked him he was friendly and treated Sydney well. And really what more could you ask than for your daughter to hopefully one day marry a doctor?
If you were Jonathan (Jack) Bristow the answer was No one was good enough for his baby girl. Yes Danny seemed nice enough and the background check he had run showed up no red flags that didn't mean Hacht wasn't trouble. In fact Laura was sure that to Jack, Daniel Hacht was the number one enemy of his world.
The young doctor had come into Sydney's world and taken the spot of the most important man away from Jack. Who did not like it at all, Jack did not want to share his daughter with another man. Laura just shook her head as she put the meatloaf into the oven hoping Jack would be nice tonight to Danny.
Laura thought Danny was very nice, and he would always bring a bottle of wine, or flowers, or even a box of candy when he was invited to dinner. Jack would grumble "That doctor boy is trying to buy our approval." Laura just would shake her head and laughed at him.
Laura was pretty sure that Sydney and Danny were thinking of moving in together soon. The only thing keeping that from happening was Jack's disapproval of Sydney living with a man she wasn't married too. Jack was old fashion in thinking a woman should not live with a man without them being married first. He had told Sydney for as long as Laura herself could remember to not let any man take advantage of her.
In fact Jack had made sure Sydney had taken self-defense classes along with kick-boxing. He would not rest until he knew his little girl could take care of herself without the need of a weapon. Not that he hadn't made sure that Sydney also knew how to use a gun and handle a knife.
He had also insisted that Laura herself go to some of those self-defense classes and showed her how to fire a gun. Even with the KGB dismantled, Jack was always worried about their safety.
Laura heard the front door open then a voice yelling "Mom"
"In the kitchen " Laura replied as she washed her hands off in the sink.
"What's for dinner?" was the question Laura knew was coming, and she almost laughed when he asked looking around the kitchen trying to spot some food.
"JJ would you like a snack before dinner?" Laura asked her eleven-year-old son. Jonathan Donahue Bristow Jr. was the baby of the family he was the surprise that made their family complete. He just looked at her and raised his left eyebrow in the same way his father always did that made you feel like you just asked a stupid question. Laura just grabbed a apple from the bowl setting on the counter washed it off for him then handed it over.
"Thanks, Mom" was spoken by the boy right before he took a bite from the apple "I've got a ton of homework to do before dinner" then he dumped his book bag on the kitchen table getting ready to start his 'ton of homework'. JJ as he had been called since he refused to answer to the name John, and having two Jacks' in the house would be confusing. Jack had not wanted JJ named after him and Laura had agreed to the name Edward instead but once JJ had been born, and she held him for the first time. There was no other name that would suit this little mini Jack Bristow he was his Father's clone, he looked just like Jack. He also hated the name Jonathan just like his Father did.
"Do you need help with your homework?" Laura asked her son as she wiped the counter top off where she had prepared the meatloaf.
"No, I'm good Mom" JJ answered then took another bite of his apple.
Laura once she finished cleaning the counter grabbed a glass and poured some fruit juice into it for JJ. Walking over to the kitchen table she set it before JJ who was almost finished with his apple. "Thanks, Mom" he replied for the drink.
"I need to get cleaned up before Sydney and Danny get here for dinner tonight, do you think you can watch and make sure the meatloaf doesn't burn while I'm changing?" Laura asked her son. "You don't have to do anything just look through the glass once and while if it looks like it getting too dark come get me"
"I can do that" JJ answered liking being able to help his Mother out. Sure he was only eleven but that was close enough in JJ book to being a man. He could handle watching to make sure dinner didn't burn.
After getting a quick shower Laura was taking her time getting dressed and fixing her hair. She wanted to look good tonight not just because Sydney and Danny were coming over. No it was because she wanted to look nice for Jack tonight she hadn't gotten to spend anytime with her husband over the last few days, and she missed him. Some days she wished that Jack would quit the CIA and just take a job really saleing airplane parts. She was sure if he did they would have lots more time to spend together.
All the CIA did was take Jack's time away from her and their family. But she knew Jack loved serving his country, plus Laura wasn't sure Jack could make a normal job work for him. He was just so set in his ways of doing things his own way.
As Laura wiped the towel a crossed her stomach she couldn't help but notice the scar from the c-section she had with JJ. She did not mind the scar because it meant she got to have her son. But it reminded her of what she had lost. Jack had been the one who told her after she had returned to their new house that she had been pregnant when the accident happened and miscarried. The doctors weren't sure if they would be able to ever have another child because of the damaged that had been caused.
Five years after the accident they had decided to try for another baby but after years and no baby Laura had given up hope. Then almost four years after they had started to try Laura had discovered she was pregnant. The joy both Jack, and she felt was beyond words, Sydney was happy as well she was always helping her Mother do everything around the house. She could not wait to become a big sister. Sydney was fifteen when she got her long wanted and waited for younger sibling. Because of this JJ was a bit spoiled as a toddler. Sydney loved spending time with her baby brother knowing that in a few years she would be off to college.
JJ loved his older sister and would spend some weekends at her apartment just the two of them and Francie, Sydney roommate. Laura knew the two young ladies spoiled the boy when ever he stayed with them.
Sydney hadn't got to spend a lot of time lately with JJ, she was busy with school, work, and her boyfriend Danny. Which made JJ not really like Danny too much thinking he was taking his sister away from him. Laura was sure that Jack helped JJ believe those thoughts. The Bristow men just would not give poor Danny a break.
The phone started ringing and Laura hoped it wasn't Jack canceling on dinner tonight. Grabbing her rob Laura tied it around her middle then headed for the ringing phone in her bedroom. One thing was for sure JJ would not answer the phone if someone else was in the house that boy she promised was scared of the phone.
"Hello" Laura answered the call with.
"Mom, it's Sydney" was the reply Laura heard now she hoped that Sydney was going to cancel on her tonight. "I just wanted to let you know that Danny and I are running late tonight. We will be there but just a little late"
"Uh huh" Laura said knowing she wasn't going to like just how little the late was going to be. "Just how late are you going to be? Should I hold dinner back it's already in the oven?"
"About a hour late," Sydney mumbled out "Danny got called in to help with a surgery, and it's going to take a while"
"Sweetie why don't you just come over and tell Danny we understand if he can't make it tonight." Laura
told her daughter "We can all have dinner together next week instead"
"Okay I'll leave Danny a message not to hurry" Sydney let out a breath she had wanted this night to go good with her parents and Danny. She loved him and wanted her family to as well. But her Father was just so protective of her that he couldn't see just what a wonderful man Danny was and how lucky she was to have found him.
"Sweetheart, I know how much you were looking forward to tonight, but being in a relationship with a doctor means he is going to get called away sometimes" Laura informed her daughter knowing how lonely and miserable it could be when your partner was called away from dinners, birthdays, and celebrities because they were needed else where. It was not fun but Laura knew that Jack would not leave those things unless it was important and the same could be said for Danny.
"Like Daddy gets called away, saleing airplane parts" Sydney said sarcastically she wasn't stupid she knew her Father did not sale airplane parts. It was a open secret that none of them talk about Jack working for the government.
"Yes like that" Laura said laughing a little. Her daughter was a genius there was no way they could keep her believing her Father sold airplane parts not with how close of a family they were. Laura was starting to think that JJ had figured out as well that his Father did not sale airplane parts either. When you're children's I.Q. was as high as theirs were you couldn't keep things like that from them.
"I was just hoping that tonight maybe Daddy would warm up more to Danny" Sydney said after taking a deep sigh.
"You know that your Father loves you Sydney" Laura said she hated having to be the in between for the two on this subject.
"Yes I know that Mom" Sydney felt that her Mother always took her Father's side in this conversation about Danny.
"Just give your Father time he will come around" Laura said knowing she would be going to have to set Jack down and force him to hear her out about treating Danny better. The man was a spy Jack could pretend to like Danny even if it didn't. It would not kill Jack to be nice to their daughter's boyfriend.
"JJ is happy your coming over tonight, he misses you" Laura said knowing bringing up JJ would stop Sydney from mentioning anymore about Danny. Her daughter felt guilty about not being able to spend time with her younger brother.
"I miss him too, if only he wasn't playing hockey this year. It's the only day I have off, and he has to practice so. Maybe after hockey practice this week I could pick JJ up take him for pizza." Sydney said trying to think of a way to get to spend some time with JJ. "Danny might be able to come as well"
Laura bite her lip knowing JJ would love to spend time with Sydney but not so much with Danny. It looked like she was going to have to set both the Bristow men down tonight after Sydney left and tell them they had to be nicer to Danny. "You should ask JJ if he's free after hockey this week if he doesn't have any plans with any of his teammates I think going for pizza would be a great idea.
"Mom do you think if Dad accepts Danny that JJ will start to too?" Sydney asked knowing that her baby brother was the happiest little guy around Danny.
"Sweetie, I really hope so" Laura replied hating that it seemed that the only Bristows that liked Danny was Mother and Daughter. "I just think JJ is jealous of all the time Danny gets to spend with you"
"Or maybe if JJ starts to like Danny more, Dad will follow" Sydney laughed out knowing that was not likely, but she could hope.
"Just give them more time they will be nicer to Danny" Laura said promising to make them be nicer to Danny if she had too. Jack's behavior with Danny was started to really work on Laura's last nerve. Jack could really be a jerk if he thought he was doing the right thing. Like when Laura had walked in on Jack using Project Christmas on Sydney after she had been discharged from the hospital. She had not known what he was doing to their daughter. When Jack set down and explained everything he had done and still planned to do to Sydney, so she could protect herself. Laura had seen red and if she had had a gun or knife on her at that moment she would have killed Jack.
Jack would not stop using Project Christmas on Sydney until he was sure she could defend herself. Laura had almost left him for it wanted to badly, but she wasn't sure if she just picked on Sydney and left what kind of problems Sydney would have if Jack didn't finish Project Christmas on her. Laura knew Jack thought he was doing the right thing, but it was totally wrong. And she was sure even until this very day he still thought he had been right.
"I just want all the people I love to get along Mom, is that too much to asks for?" Sydney wined. "I know you can't help it Mom. It's just Dad needs to act like an adult and realize I'm not a little girl any longer."
"You will always be our little girl Sydney" Laura paused then and added "no matter what. But I will tell you Father once again you're all grown up"
So what do you think of JJ?
Chapter 4: Chapter Three
Bristow family dinner.
A big thank you to everyone who has been leaving feedback.
Looking out the living room window Laura smiled as she saw Jack's car as it pulled into their driveway. He had made it home on time, also before Sydney arrived, so she could have a little talk with him about how he treated Danny. She already had one with JJ, but she knew unless Jack started to treat the young doctor better JJ wouldn't either.
Laura only had to wait a few minutes before Jack was at the front door which she opened for him. Smiling at seeing his wife Jack kissed her as a 'thank you'. He was happy to see his beautiful wife she looked like she wanted to talk about something.
"Hello my love" Jack greeted her after pulling away from their kiss "I'm glad to see you, you look beautiful"
"You're just saying that because you know, I want to talk to you about something" Laura replied as she grabbed Jack's hand and pulled him into their living room. She had to talk to Jack fast before Sydney or JJ showed up.
"Is this about Daniel Hacht again?" Jack asked not liking to talk about the man who was dating his daughter. "I promise to not kill him at dinner"
"Jack" Laura complained loudly she then took a breath then let it out "You don't have to worry about that tonight. Sydney called Danny got call in for surgery"
"That's the best news I've had all day" he smiled that reached his eyes made Laura want to hit Jack.
"Jack you have to stop this dislike of Danny" Laura put her hand up when she had seen Jack open his mouth "You are hurting Sydney with it. She loves Danny and wants her family all her family to like him"
Jack did know how to respond to that, he did not want to hurt his daughter, but he just could not like Daniel Hacht. There was just something in Jack that told him that Danny was going to cause Sydney nothing but heartache.
"There is nothing wrong with Danny, Jack I know you ran a background check on him. So why do you dislike him so much?"
"I just don't like him" Jack mumbled out.
"Honey I don't think it's you don't like Danny" Laura explained "I think it's you don't like Sydney dating"
"Maybe that's it" Jack answered "I just don't want Sydney to be hurt, and I just have this feeling that Daniel is going to hurt her."
"Jack we don't know what the future holds, but right now the only person hurting Sydney, is you by the way you have been treating Danny" Laura knew Jack hated to hurt their daughter and hopefully this time he would take to hear the talk they were having and change his behavior towards Danny.
"I'll try" Jack said barely above a whisper, not liking the idea of having to be nice to the young doctor.
"Also could you please tell JJ to be nice to Danny as well. I've told him already, but I'm afraid unless you do it he will not take it serious." Jack nodded his head knowing he would have to set his son down and have a quick chat with him about Daniel.
Michael Vaughn wasn't sure if he should call Jack tonight are wait until morning when the older man was back into the office. Jack had before he left not so nicely told Vaughn he did not want to be bother tonight unless the world was coming to an end. So letting Director Bristow know that he had heard from a source that there were files on a few KGB agents who lived in L.A. during the time of his Father's death, along with the time of Mrs. Bristow accident could wait until the morning.
On the other hand though he needed to be on a flight to Paris tonight if he wanted those files before someone else got a hold of them. But in order to get a flight out using the government which was the only way he could get one tonight all the other flights were booked, he needed Director Bristow approval.
Picking up his phone Vaughn dialed Jack's number and wasn't surprised that the older man did not answer. So that just left going to his house which was something Vaughn did not want to do. Director Bristow was known for not bringing his work home, and also not letting co-workers into his house. In fact most Agents did not know where Jack lived. In fact the only realize Michael knew was because of a coincidence that sometimes he wished hadn't happened. Because right now it put him into a place where he did not want to be. Either keep trying to call Jack or go over to his house and get a dressing down for it. Maybe he would try calling just one more time again.
Dailing it again Vaughn was happy when on the fourth ring he heard "Bristow, this better be important Vaughn"
JJ had not enjoyed the talk his Father was forced to have with him about Danny. JJ knew his Father did not like Danny any more than he did, but because Sydney had wined to Mom about it, they now had to be nice to the Doctor. At least JJ thought I didn't have to be nice to him tonight.
It would be nice to just be able to be a family tonight without the interloper involved in what should be just Bristows family time together alone.
JJ had missed seeing his sister she was just so busy lately, the only time he would get to see her Danny had to tag along. Danny did not like any of the same things that JJ did. Right now JJ was just starting hockey up again they were really just practicing because the season wouldn't start for a while but the coaches didn't want the kids to get to out of practice, so they met a couple of times a month to just suit up and skate on the ice. JJ loved getting together with all his friends and getting to talk to the coaches they were great guys. Why couldn't Sydney be dating one of them?
JJ knew that Danny was a Doctor who had an important job, but that didn't mean he couldn't talk hockey or baseball or something fun. I mean JJ knew his Dad had an important job too, and he talked sports with his son they even went to baseball games and hockey games together. Even his Mom would take him to hockey games and JJ knew she really didn't care for the game that much.
Danny just seemed so boring to JJ, how could Sydney stand to be in the same room with the guy without falling to sleep? But since he had given his word to his Father, JJ knew he would have to try and be nice to Danny maybe he could teach the older man about sports then perhaps they would have something to talk about.
Sydney ate another bite of her meatloaf smiling at JJ as he was trying to hide some of his in the middle of his mashed potatoes. Her baby brother did not like meatloaf very much. At the head of the table their Father was eating as if he hadn't in days. Sitting right next to her husband Laura was enjoying her food as well.
It so far had been a nice dinner everyone had enjoyed the company of the other. JJ had told Sydney all about his upcoming hockey practice to which she had asked if he would like if Danny and her could pick him up after for pizza. JJ had to think about it for a few seconds not really wanting to have to eat pizza with Danny but wanting to spend time with his sister JJ agreed.
Jack has stayed silence hearing about the upcoming outing between his son and daughter. He liked picking JJ up from hockey and after they would usually get ice cream looked like that wasn't happening this week. Instead, maybe he could make reservations for that nice French restaurant that Laura loved so much. They hadn't had dinner out just the two of them in a long time. He would be sure to asks Laura later tonight if she would like to go out that night.
"Sydney I haven't gotten to ask you how school has been?" Jack asked after finishing a bite of meatloaf.
"It's been busy" was the reply he received. "Have you enrolled in any more language courses?"
"You mean have I learned any more languages Daddy?" Sydney snapped back still upset with her Father's treatment of Danny even though the doctor wasn't even there. "No I haven't I don't think I really need to learn more than the twenty I already know"
"Sydney" Laura said the tone of her voice left her daughter feeling guilt.
"Sorry" Sydney quickly replied "I don't think there are many languages I don't already know to learn"
"Well maybe you could teach me some more?" JJ asked the young boy already himself knew seven and was working on this eighth. It seemed that languages was something the Bristows was good at learning. Laura felt left out at only knowing two English and Spanish. Laura knew that Jack could speak several languages as well. In fact JJ and Jack had learned Romanian together a fun Father, Son pastime the pair claimed together.
"Maybe this summer when we both have time off I could teach you another one" Sydney laughed at her little brother. "You could join us if you want Mom"
Laura just shook her head no. She hated that because of her injury she just could not seem to learn as fast as she was sure she once had. Spanish had taken her forever to learn, but was something she needed to learn for her job some of her students only spoke Spanish, and it was easier for them if she spoke it as well.
A ringing noise coming from Jack's office made the group looked up. That phone line hardly ever rang and when it did it meant Jack having to leave usually. The whole Bristow family did not want their nice family dinner to end. So they were glad when the ringing phone stopped.
Jack knew if it was an emergency whoever it was would call back. So he just went on eating his dinner hoping the phone would not ring again. Because if Vaughn was calling him to report on something stupid he was tempted to fire the younger man.
When it started to ring again Jack got up and made it to his office grabbing the phone he answered
"Bristow here, this better be important Vaughn" because Jack knew the only person that would dare call him at home when the whole office knew he had family dinner planned was Vaughn.
"It is" Vaughn said then hurried before he lost his nerve "I need your approval to get to Paris tonight, my contact has the information we need. If I can't get out tonight we might never get this chance again. All the commercial flights our booked."
Jack knew from the tone and they way Vaughn was talking this wasn't about a curret CIA mission, this was about their private one. One that both men needed an answer for. "Get it book have them call me for approval. Have a safe trip"
Vaughn wasn't sure if he wanted to brief Jack on the information he attained. He was suffering from jet lag after being on planes for most of the last two days. It all seemed kind of pointless until he combed through an KGB file on an agent named Gerard Cuvee his file at first seemed useless to Vaughn until it mentioned that Cuvee had sent an agent named Irina Derevko on a sparrow mission.
While the file did not tell the unfortunate Agent's name who was taken in by Ms. Derevko it did outline that Agent Derevko had been in place for over ten years before being terminated. Cuvee had reported it was a shame that Agent Derevko became emotionally attached to her mark.
What had caught Vaughn's attention was where the termination took place L.A. around the same time Laura Bristow was targeted by the KGB. Perhaps the same person that had tried to kill Mrs. Bristow had killed Agent Derevko or had Agent Derevko been the one who had tried to kill Laura Bristow?
Vaughn had looked through all the other files which were only six others but none of them mentioned or were for an Irina Derevko. As far as he knew she had never been mentioned before. Most likely her files were still hidden somewhere if she had been like Curvee file said a sparrow agent they would want to keep her identity a secret not wanting anyone to know just want information their secret agent had taken from her mark.
This was something Director Bristow would want to know it also brought up a lot of questions they did not have any answers for. But one thing Vaughn did know was that Gerard Cuvee was not dead, so perhaps it was time to look into this man see if they could get information out of him. That would not be easy though the man had survived the fall of the KGB and lived to tell the tale he wasn't going to be easy to find.
Vaughn source had told him, he was looking into getting more KGB files and if he did he would be sure to let Vaughn know about it first. So perhaps all they needed to do was be patient and more information on Irina Derevko would come their way.
The Problem was Vaughn was running out of patients he had been patient for to long. Sometimes he thought the rest of the world had forgotten all about the murders of his Father and the other agents who had all been killed. Only Director Bristow seemed to care about who killed those agents and that was only because it tied into whoever had tried to kill his wife. The others just seemed to label it under KGB and that was all they needed, and it didn't need any further investigation.
Vaughn wanted to know who killed his Father and why it was ordered. Just that the KGB ordered it wasn't enough for him, he needed to know why they deemed his Father had to die. What did William Vaughn know that caused his death? Did he know who this Irina Derevko was? Had that information been what caused the hit to be put out on his Father?
Vaughn shook his head at that, no Derevko died years later if they were so careless with her identity as for his Father to have found out years before it seemed they would have pulled her out before she had been terminated.
He needed to talk to Director Bristow about this perhaps Derevko had been discovered years ago, and he was just not aware of it. Jack would know being one of the L.A. Directors he would have clearance to that type of information. So it looked like there was information to brief Jack on, Vaughn thought, he just hoped it was enough to finally lead them to the answers they both had been searching so long for.
Chapter 5: Chapter Four
Becareful for what you wish for, Vaughn gets information now he has to decide what to do with it.
Jack had spent the last two hours in what he would call hell, he blamed Laura for all of this because of her pleaded with him to treat Daniel Hacht nice the younger man had thought it was a sign Jack was sure, to move his relationship with Sydney to the next level. He wanted Jack's blessing to ask Sydney to marry him. It took all of Jack's skills as a former undercover spy to kept his true feelings from exploding.
Jack had been nice well he tried to be he was sure Daniel had gotten a few glares from him. He couldn't really tell the doctor 'no' seeing as Laura would kill him if he did, and Sydney be angry at him for the foreseeable future.
Instead, he had told Daniel that he wasn't sure if right now was the right time for him to asks Sydney. She wasn't done with her doctrine yet perhaps Daniel should wait until she did? The younger man assured Jack that they wouldn't marry until Sydney finished school. So that kind of took the air out of the sail of his agreement on that. So Jack was forced to give his blessing.
Jack was a little proud that Sydney had picked a man that asked would ask her Father for her hand in marriage before he ask her. Yes it was old fashion, but it was something that showed Jack that Daniel did honor Sydney's family. It also showed that Daniel wanted the Bristow family to be a part of his life with Sydney, he was including Jack in his plans for the future.
So it looked like Daniel Hacht was becoming part of the Bristow family. Jack could not believe that his little girl was old enough to be getting married. How had twenty-six years past since Sydney's birth? How could his little girl be old enough to get married? Jack felt like banging his head against a wall, his little girl was all grown up and would be someone's wife soon.
It just didn't seem possible that Sydney would be leaving behind the Bristow name to be called Mrs. Hacht soon. Maybe she would keep her maiden name or be Bristow-Hacht? It really didn't make a difference she would still be married to Daniel at the end of the day.
Now Jack was dreading the call that would be coming soon where Sydney would be telling them she had accepted Daniel's proposal. That soon he would have to walk his little girl down the aisle and give her away to another man.
Daniel Hacht wasn't a bad man he just wasn't the man Jack had pictured his daughter would one day marry. He had always thought Sydney would marry someone more like him, but instead she was marrying a Doctor which Jack supposed was a good thing to have in the family.
Jack knew it was time to let his guard down and let Sydney live her own life, but why did she have to grow up?
While couldn't she be his little girl forever? Jack knew thinking like that was silly, Sydney wasn't Peter Pan she had to grow up, in fact she didn't want to stay a child it was only Jack that had wanted that. Not even Laura wanted their daughter to stay a child forever she was looking forward to the future to a day when Sydney would get married and have a family of her own.
"I wish Coach Mike could have been there today" JJ said as he entered his Mother's car after having finished Hockey practice. "Coach Greg is fun but Mike is better he really gets into it, he gets on the ice with us"
"I agree that you seem to have more fun when Mike is the Coach on duty" Laura laughingly agreed with her son. She thought both Coaches were good but knew that JJ just liked Mike better.
"Yeah and Coach Mike always brings us a treat" JJ supplied of course Laura already knew that from the chocolate ring around JJ's face that always seemed to be there after Coach Mike lessons. It seemed Coach Mike liked to sugar up the kids before returning them to their parents Laura just shook her head at that. She just hoped that JJ wasn't to hyped up tonight she had a feeling Jack wasn't going to be in such a good mood, not after having dinner with Danny tonight.
This was the first time the two men had dinner alone and Laura could only guess of what Danny planned to ask Jack. If it was what she thought Jack would not be in a good mood for a few days she was sure. Laura just hoped that Jack did not deny Danny. Laura did not want to deal with an upset Sydney tonight on top of an upset Jack who she would be angry with if he turned down Danny.
There was no reason for Jack to tell Danny 'no'. The young man was a Doctor, he was a good man who wasn't a troublemaker, and he treated their daughter well. Plus Sydney was in love with Danny, and he with her. What more could a parent asks for when wanting a spouse for their child?
Vaughn had called Jack and told him the second his source had let him know that Irina Derveko's KGB file had been found. Vaughn was on the next flight out to meet his source in London, and had schudule a return flight for the same night not wanting to stay a moment longer than necessary. After having seen the file on the flight home Vaughn now wished he had stayed in London.
After opening the folder the first thing he saw was a picture of Irina Derveko. Vaughn had almost lost the file as it drop from his hands onto his lap. The photo in the file was of a woman that he knew, Vaughn had shown Jack a few pictures of his Father once wanting to show that William Vaughn wasn't just a case but had been a real live person with a family. So in return Jack has shown Vaughn a picture of Laura, the only one he kept on him in his wallet it was taken on their wedding day. The man was extremely private about his family, so Vaughn had felt privilege when Jack had shown him the picture. Now he wished he had never seen it and could pretend he didn't know just who's file he was holding in his hand.
He could not keep this from Directer Bristow the man was his boss but also somewhat of a friend he deserved to know the truth. But he did not deserve the pain that learning that truth would cause.
Jack's name was not in the file but something called Project Christmas was. It was something Vaughn felt would be a call sign of just who Irina Derveko had married in order to steal secrets from the US government. Vaughn was thinking of just burning the picture but knew he couldn't Jack would not stop until he knew who Irina Derveko had been. So Vaughn was not looking forward to seeing Jack but knew he needed too. Because he wasn't sure what was going to happen to Laura Bristow when this information came out.
Vaughn knew Laura Bristow had no memory of the first thirty years of her life and had a long recovery after the car accident, that now looked to have been a termination of a rogue agent.
After reading about Derevko's main mission being getting information about Project Christmas, Vaughn had read the rest of the file and felt sick when it detailed how Derevko had been ordered to kill CIA agents. She had refused on grounds that it would put her main mission in jeopardy, she was then ordered to pass on the orders she received to another KGB agent to carry them out.
To know that Derevko had handed over the orders that had caused his Father to be killed sent a cold chill through him. It made Vaughn smile knowing that she had been rewarded for all her hard work for the KGB by them 'killing' her, running her car off a bridge into a watery grave. The last thing Irina Derevko knew was hopefully terror beyond belief as she hit the water. A fitting end to a KGB agent who had helped kill so many CIA agents.
Jack had given Vaughn the file on Laura Bristow's accident he had always had deep empathy for how much fear Laura must have been in and had always hoped she was unconscious when she had hit the water. Now he found himself wishing with everything in him for the opposite to be true.
Because having seen Laura Bristow's file he knew she had a brain injuring and worked so hard to be able to talk and walk again. No memory of her life before the accident and the doctors all agreed she would never regain those memories. The fact that the KGB marked her file as deceased showed they believed their agent had been killed.
All the red marks in her file showed over the last year before the accident she hadn't been listen to their orders. They had declared Derevko rouge because she would not sleep with a mark they had ordered until they had threatened to kill her daughter. There was even a picture of a young girl that Vaughn knew must have been Sydney Bristow in the file to prove they could get to her if Derevko did not follow through with sleeping with another CIA agent.
Vaughn did not want to be in the room with Jack when he read Derevko's file because he did not want to see the hurt look over and over on Jack's face. To know that his wife only married him to steal from him, and that she had betrayed their wedding vows, yes because if she hadn't their daughter would have been killed. But that was because she was a KGB spy their daughter was in danger to began with.
On top of all of these things Vaughn knew that an innocent woman was now in the place of Irina Derevko, while Laura Bristow had once been an alias now she was a real person who had lived the life of a faithful and loving wife and mother for the last twenty years. Vaughn didn't know weather to pity her or hate her for what she had done in the past that she could not rememner?
Vaughn had always prided himself on being a fair person so how could he call for an innocent person to pay for the crimes of the guilty? It would not be fair to Her or her children. He could not decide what to do if he turned Irina Derevko's file in they would arrest Laura Bristow could he honestly have that on his conscious? Could he have on his conscious the pain he would cause the Bristow family?
If it had been his wife, Vaughn would want to know. So taking a deep breath before he lost his verve he dialed Jack Bristow's number to his cell phone which Jack had given him last week. He was going to do this destroy Jack Bristow's life all in the hope that the truth still was best. More than that though Jack Bristow deserved the truth to come from someone who was a friend someone who would tell him gently not be cruel about revealing the truth. Not to use it as a weapon against Director Bristow.
"Bristow here" Jack answered when he had seen the number that called him then asked "Did you get the file?"
"Yes, listen can you meet me at my apartment?" Vaughn replied with. Jack knew that Agent Vaughn wanting to meet up instead of at headquarters meant something wasn't right about the file, something that the younger man wanted to bring to him before bringing it to the attention of the CIA.
"What is your address I will meet you there?" Jack just hoped whatever Vaughn was going to show him was important because it was going to cause him to be late getting home tonight and Laura would not be happy about that. Plus with the night Jack was already having he hope it wasn't more bad news.
Chapter 6: Chapter Five
Vaughn tells Jack
Vaughn was pacing back and forth in the living room of his apartment. Not sure if he was doing the right thing or not. This waiting for Director Bristow to show up was killing him, he was sure his blood pressure was sky-high with all of this worrying he was doing. Vaughn was sure if his dog had been home he would be hiding in the bedroom away from him. He was staying at Vaughn's girlfriend Alice's though because he wasn't sure what time he would be home tonight.
The hated file was setting on Vaughn's kitchen table closed he did not want Jack seeing the picture of Irina Derevko before he could explain first. But Vaughn wasn't certain how to explain to Jack Bristow that his Wife of thirty years had been a spy for the KGB for the first ten of those years. How do you tell a man his Wife only married him because she was ordered too? That his marriage had been a lie for many years. The Mother of his children had been betraying him, had not loved him when they had married.
Instead had been using Jack to get information, that because he had been naive where his Wife was concerned he had helped cause the death of a dozen CIA agents.
Vaughn knew that Jack Bristow had the IQ of a genius and yet the man had been a fool when it came to love. It had never entered his mind in all the years he had searched for who had tried to kill his wife that she had been KGB.
It wasn't just Jack though that Irina Derevko had fooled she would have had a background check ran on her before Jack had married her. The CIA it's self had never caught on, so really Vaughn was having a hard time blaming Jack for being a complete fool. Yes, Jack had married the woman who had passed on the orders that had gotten his Father killed yet why would Jack ever believe his wife would betray him?
The Laura Bristow that Vaughn knew of was a kindergarten teacher, he had been told she had once been a college professor but after the accident she could not continue that. So she had gone back to school and took early childhood courses. Irina Derevko's KGB file told of her IQ being very high as well.
That Derevko was good with guns and knifes as well as hand-to-hand combat. Laura Bristow loved being around children and as far as Vaughn knew she hated guns but had been forced by her husband to learn to defend herself.
Jack blamed himself for what had happened to his wife and wanted her to be able to defend herself against anyone who would want to hurt her or their daughter. Knowing now what he did about Irina Derevko it caused an ache in Vaughn's heart for the older man who was a good man and lived with guilt over twenty years for something that was not his fault at all.
The KGB consisted Irina Derevko as having been terminated her file read deceased. That her mark and child would be left alone they had no farther use for them Project Christmas was a bust the information that Agent Derevko had reported was nonsense and the US government was wasting their time in their research. The file summary basically was that Derevko was a wasted agent who had turned on them when she fell in love with her assignment.
The order was put out to kill Agent Derevko and her child and frame her husband as a traitor who was working with the KGB. That's not what happened though so Vaughn was at a lost as to why that didn't happen. Why did they after ordering for Jack to be framed did they decide to let him go unharmed? Vaughn could understand not going after Sydney Bristow she was just a child, but Jack was an adult CIA agent who would turn into a very serious enemy of the KGB after what happened to his wife. Why not use the information of who Laura Bristow really was to bring him down?
Vaughn could only guess that whoever had been sent to kill Derevko had thought her child was in the car with her. But once the truth had been learned and the CIA was investigating the accident so much they took off.
Vaughn wasn't sure why they didn't and it really at this point in time was one of the last things that he was worried about. Because any minute know Jack Bristow would be knocking on his door and he would have somehow tell him. It was days like today that had Vaughn wishing he had just stayed in law school.
A knocking at his apartment door had Vaughn walking over to check the peephole then opening it for Jack Bristow to enter. Walking into the apartment Jack could see by the look on Vaughn's face something was very wrong. He had known the younger man for years now and had never seen that look on his face before.
Whatever was in Derevko's file had to be something that caused that look and Jack wasn't sure he wanted to be told just what it was. What if William Vaughn had been working with Derevko and the younger Vaughn had found that out? That would be awful and just did make sense to Jack after William's death he had been investigated thoroughly and nothing every came up to tie him to the KGB other than his death it seemed.
Jack hoped that wasn't what Vaughn had found out, the young Agent had been searching for who killed his Father for years, wondering for most of his life he did not deserve to find out from an old KGB file that his Father was a traitor. It might cause people to look at Agent Micheal Vaughn differently something Jack would not let happen. After reading the file if it didn't have anything in it to help with any unsolved cases perhaps it should be burned and the memory of Agent William Vaughn left inticed as a man who dead for his country.
"Vaughn whatever is in this file if it's something about your Father, don't worry it doesn't have to leave this room" Jack stated wanting to put the younger man at ease.
Hearing that made Vaughn feel two different things at once anger that Directer Bristow would ever think his Father could have been involved with the KGB, but not know his Wife had been. But also a deep feeling of friendship for the older man who was willing to hide information that would cause Vaughn pain.
"Jack the file doesn't have anything about my Father in it, but know your offer about the file not leaving this room I stand by that" Jack was puzzled by Vaughn's reply not understanding what he could be meaning by that. "Why don't you take a seat on my sofa and I will get the file, you want anything to drink?"
"No when you called I was on my way back from a dinner appointment I had" Jack did not want to call his dinner with Daniel Hacht a date because it wasn't, and it was something he wished he could forget about. Maybe this file would help take his mind off of Sydney getting engaged soon.
Vaughn returned to the living room with two glasses of some type of alcoholic drink setting them down on a side table than left Jack alone in the living room again for a few seconds as he went to get the file. Jack was trained to study people and knew whatever was in Derevko's file was something that Vaughn thought would upset him. Something so awful the younger man had gotten them both a drink for after reading said file. This was not looking good it almost made Jack wish he was back at dinner with Daniel.
Vaughn held the file in his hands as he walked back into his living room. He still didn't know if he should give the file over or tell Jack himself what was in it. Making eye contact with his boss Vaughn walked over to him on the sofa.
"Jack, we both know that Irina Derevko was a sparrow agent. I found out who she was, the KGB ordered her killed because she fell in love with her husband and wasn't listen to their orders any longer." Vaughn informed before he handed over the file there was no easy way to do this.
Jack took the offered file and opened it to be stopped in his tracks looking at a picture of his Wife when she was a young staring right back at him. Jack closed it then opened it again sure that his mind was playing tricks on him. Then he looked up at Vaughn hoping to see the younger man laughing having played a joke on him, but all he saw was pity in Vaughn's eyes, and he knew then this wasn't a joke.
Are rather it had been a joke all right, one played on him. Not by Agent Vaughn but by the KGB and his loving wife Laura no not Laura, Irina Derevko. Flinging the file across the room Jack grabbed the drink Vaughn had so thoughtfully already gotten for him and downed it in one helping.
What a fool he had been, Jack was cruelly laughing at himself to think a woman as beautiful as Laura would have ever looked at him twice. No wonder she was so understanding about his mission always wanting to hear about his work. She was stealing information from him to give to the KGB, she never loved him. He was a joke his whole life had been a joke. He wondered how many times 'Laura had laughed at him' at how stupid he was to believe that she loved him.
"I'm a fool" Jack whispered mostly to himself.
"No, you had no reason to believe your Wife was a KGB spy" Vaughn defeated with "Before you married I'm sure she had a background check ran. You are not the only one she got by"
"No, but I was the one that made it all possible" Jack then took the other glass that was meant for Vaughn and drunk it down too "because of me your Father and all those other Agents were killed"
"She didn't kill them" Vaughn defended "Yes she passed the orders on, but she did not kill them"
"Her hands are still dirty though" Jack sighed "and so our mine"
"Shouldn't you hate her?" Jack said feeling the alcohol still burning his throat.
"Oh I do" Vaughn answered "but I also have read her file and know what she did and did not do"
"Yes something I need to do" Jack replied as he walked over to the file he had flung earlier across the room. "I have to know does the file say anything about Sydney not being my child?"
"No" Vaughn had read through that part fast but did pick up on Derevko's handler ordering her to abort the baby which she refused saying that she was too far along. That was one of the first red marks in Derevko's file. "They wanted her to abort but she wouldn't" keeping them ordering her to get pregant in the first place to himself. Jack would find that out when he read the file.
Jack just nodded taking that information in another betray to take in that she hadn't killed their baby was the only thing that kept him from flinging the file again. Setting down on the sofa Jack opened the file again and just wanted to tear the smiling photo of his wife into tiny little piece just like his heart felt right now. So Jack forced himself to enter Directer mode and began reading the file, finding out without in a few sentences his Wife was younger than he had thought, not a big deal compared to what he was sure to find out about her the more he read.
Vaughn kept silence while Jack read the file not knowing what he should or really could do. To make himself feel useful he grabbed the empty glasses returned to the kitchen and refilled one for Jack and grabbed a clean glass and filled it for himself. Vaughn was sure they would be needed before this night was over.
Jack read and learned about the woman he had married, she had been born in Moscow and went to the University Of Moscow. The file did not tell anything of her birth family.
Irina had been recruited by the KGB at the age of eighteen. It also stated that in order to keep her mark's allegiance to her, they ordered her to have a child with him. But decided afterwards that wasn't a good idea and wanted her to abort the child she refused stating she was too far ago at that point for it to be done safely. Jack stopped reading there not knowing how to feel learning that bit of information. On one hand Irina had saved their daughter's life, but did she really only do it because she feared for her own?
Going through his memories Jack couldn't ever remember seeing Laura ever look at Sydney in anything but love. Of course what he thought of as her looks of love could have been disdain, after all he had thought she loved him as well. He truly had not known his Wife at all.
Hating how stupid he had been Jack continued reading he learned just how much his Wife had stolen of Project Christmas from him. She detailed how when he was sleeping after she had tired him out for the night, she would sneak into his office and briefcase to go through documents and take pictures of them or just read them.
Jack felt like slapping himself upside the head a few dozen times. How could he have been so stupid to have brought work home like that for it to get stolen. He did not do that now at days, mainly because he was worried about someone breaking in and hurting his family to get the information.
Jack read where Derevko was given another red mark in her file because she refused to meet her handler in motel rooms saying it would put her mission at risk if anyone saw her entering a room at a motel. The file had stated her refusing motels started after she was given the order to get pregnant. They had given her a break then because it was felt she was just making sure the mission wasn't compromised by an overzealous handler who would want to make sure she got pregnant by any means possible.
Jack could read between the lines there, Derevko did not want to sleep with her handler and found a way out of that. It made him sick to his stomach thinking before that Laura was being forced to or willingly sleeping with her handler. It must have been something she didn't like because she did not want to start doing it again.
The date of the order for her to get pregnant and when she did was four months apart and the visits to motel rooms with her handler had stopped at that point. Letting Jack breath a sigh of relief, Sydney was indeed his blood daughter. It would not have matter if she hadn't been Jack loved her too much, she was his daughter no matter what. He also made a mental note to get a dna test ran on them anyway just to be completely sure. Jack was positive he could come up with someway to get a blood sample from his daughter.
A third red mark on her file came when she was ordered to assassinate CIA agents but refused once again stated it would put her main mission at risk. Instead, she was to pass along the orders to her handler who would then complete the missions.
Jack found that puzzling how would Derevko be getting information that her handler did not have? Jack had a feeling he wasn't going to like the answer to that. Reading on Jack just kept finding out just how much his loving Wife had stolen from him over the years. He decided to skip some of it, so he could get to the end to find out just why the KGB tried to kill Derevko.
Jack's heart stopped when he turned to the last page of Irina's file and found a picture of Sydney looking up at him. Reading how they used his daughter against her Mother, so she would sleep with and another CIA agent for them caused anger like no other toward 'Laura' Irina Derevko. Why hadn't she just done what they wanted? Instead, because of her refusing to do her 'job' Sydney was brought to the attention of the KGB to use as a bargaining chip.
Jack wasn't letting himself accept that 'Laura' had broken their wedding vows. That she had slept with other men he was sure. No one got a red mark in their file for refusing to meet at a motel if it wasn't because their handler wasn't upset. No Jack didn't want to think of all the men Derevko had seduce or been ordered to while they had been married. He didn't want to see a picture of his beloved Wife in the arms of other men. So instead he focused on the danger to his daughter instead of his unfaithful Wife.
He didn't want to think of the fact he had mourned for a baby that he now knew might not have been his for over twenty years. It disgusted Jack just how naive he had been. Why would he questioned it though Laura had been the perfect Wife for him. The KGB knew what they were doing when they picked Irina Derevko as a Wife for him, they made him a willing patsy. Jack didn't know who he hated more Derevko are himself for not realizing what she had been doing.
Looking back at the file he almost yelled out when he read the plan for Sydney to have been killed with her Mother. He really didn't care what had almost happened to himself, just the thought that his little girl could have been killed made his blood boil. Knowing those plans failed kept Jack's heart beating, why they didn't go ahead with their plans for him, Jack wondered. But seeing as it was over twenty years ago and nothing had happened on that front since then made no sense to the CIA directer. Also, why was Derevko declared terminated in her file? Jack wanted answers to these questions.
Another question he wanted to be answered though it hurt to even think about was who was the other CIA agent that Laura had been ordered to sleep with? What information had she gotten from him? The file made it seem like it only happened once before her elimination was ordered. Why blackmail her to do something she did not want too, then order her killed? Was it all just a punishment forcing her to degrade herself because the file stated she fell in love with her mark?
His cell ringing took Jack by surprise seeing who was calling had him wishing for a hammer to destroy the phone in his hands. His thoughts not being able to stop the ringing Jack answered using all his acting ability "Hello Sweetheart"
"Jack I know you joked before your dinner tonight with Danny about been late because you would be burying his body if he asked you for Sydney's hand in marriage. But it's getting late where are you"? Laura ask worried that something awful had happened to her husband.
"I got called in to work, I won't be home tonight" Jack stated it wasn't a lie what Vaughn had found and showed him was work related. Not coming home tonight was for the best Jack wasn't sure if he could hold his temper against Laura for things she did not remember doing.
"Jack be careful and try to call if you won't be able to come home tomorrow. I love you" Laura replied with knowing that Jack's work was important, and he wouldn't stay away unless he had too.
"I will, love you too" Jack whispered back not being able to get the words out any other way. Tears were running down his face as he ended the call. Talking to Laura had been hell, having to pretend everything was fine with them. That he didn't know their marriage had begun as a lie, that his Wife had broken their marriage vows who knows how many times. That Laura had stolen top-secret information from him. And worst of all for Jack was having to not yell at her for having been pregnant with a baby that might not have been his, that he had mourned for twenty years thinking it had been his fault his child had died before it had been born. Not to mention Laura having helped cause the deaths of CIA agents. Jack had sent to some of those funerals while he had not been friends with those Agents he had known a few of them.
Irina Derevko had destroyed the peace and comfort Jack found in his family life. How could he ever find love in her arms again?
Chapter 7: Chapter Six
Vaughn dealing with the fall out of telling Jack the truth.
I've had the hardest time writing chapters 9, 10 & 11. I know where I want this story to go but it seems like those chapters kept giving me trouble while 9 didn't but I had to rewrite half of it because the first draft did not fit with the flow of the story so it had to be rewritten. 10 & 11 were a nightmare to write it just did not want to come to me I wrote a paragraph a day for a few weeks finally I have finished chapter 11 and hope I can start writing chapter 12 either tonight or tomorrow and that the writer's block will have lift from me.
Please if you are reading this story leave me feedback it pushes me to write.
Vaughn hated seeing his boss and friend with tears running down his face. Jack Bristow was someone you did not want to be on the bad side of. So he knew that for Jack to go home tonight was not a good idea. Laura Bristow did not deserve to pay for what Irina Derevko did.
Giving Jack some privacy Vaughn walked into his hallway heading to his line closet getting a clean pillowcase along with an extra blanket before grabbing a pillow from his bed. He changed the case on it then walked back to his living room with the pillow and blanket in his hands.
"You can sleep on my sofa tonight if you want" Vaughn offered as he set down the bedding.
Jack looked up at the younger man just nodding his head in agreement, thankful he didn't have to drive anywhere tonight not sure if that would have been safe with the shape he was in at the moment. How did he get pass this? How could Jack live his life as if he didn't know his Wife had been a KGB spy? Just because Laura didn't know it, didn't make it not true.
Jack did not want to hurt his children, but he wasn't sure if he could live with Laura with what he now knew. Was that fair? The Laura Bristow he was married to now, wasn't the same woman he married over thirty years ago. But right now all Jack could feel was a deep hurt that he knew would never leave him when he thought of Laura in the early days of their meeting and marriage.
Seeing the glass Vaughn had refilled for him Jack grabbed it drinking it slowly letting it cool his inside. Vaughn took his own glass and slipped it as well. Neither man talked just set in silence nursing their drinks both knowing the file on Irina Derevko had changed so much in such a short time.
"I meant what I said early about what was in the file not having to leave this room" Vaughn finally broke the silence with. "We both know that Laura has no memory of being Derevko she is not a harm to anyone"
Jack's mouth dropped open in learning about his Wife's true identy he had forgotten that Vaughn had offered him earlier to not tell anyone what was in Derevko's file. It stunned Jack because Derevko had played a part in Vaughn's Father's death, yet he was willing to let Laura go free.
"Why would you do that?" Jack ask not knowing if he could do that same if someone had played a part in his Father's murder.
"Because I think Derevko is getting her just deserts. Laura Bristow was just an alias to her, but to the woman who is living that life right now it isn't." Vaughn stopped letting all this earlier thoughts out "It's not fair to punish Laura for something she had nothing to do with. All Derevko has done for your Wife is cause her pain, because of her Laura had to learn to talk agian and walk again. She's done nothing but stuffer because of things she had nothing to do with"
"Not remembering doesn't make her innocent" Jack rebutted back.
"I disagree mainly because we both know from Laura's medical files that she will never get those memories back. I am all for punishing the guilt but not a innocent woman who's only crime for the last twenty years as been being your loving wife and mother to your children" was Vaughn's answer back to Jack.
"I know that" Jack plead back "but I will not ask you to keep this from the CIA. We can't do that Micheal" At hearing his first name Vaughn knew Jack was serious he was going to turn his Wife into the CIA over things she had no control over. Laura would be arrested taken from her children over things she could never defend herself from because she had no memory of them.
"What if Laura is innocent?" Vaughn asks the idea just coming to him now "What if someone is framing Laura what if she wasn't Irina Derevko? Laura can not defend herself she had no memories of that time of her life she could be their scapegoat"
Jack closed his mouth and looked again at the file he needed to read all of it to make sure he knew all the details before he did something that could destroy his wife's life. Vaughn was a good man and didn't want Laura to be punished for things the younger man did not consider her fault.
"I will read the whole file top to bottom until I can recite it from memory" Jack informed Vaughn "if someone else gave the information about Project Christmas I would know"
"So you were involved with Project Christmas?" Vaughn questioned knowing enough not to ask what Project Christmas was it was above his pay grade.
"I was the head of that project" Jack answered already starting to read Derevko's file again. Jack knew in his bones that Laura had been Irina Derevko, but the current Laura Bristow deserved him giving Vaughn's idea about it being a setup a shot. "I know who had what information, or at least I thought I did"
Vaughn nodded it was getting late knowing he couldn't be of help to Directer Bristow he said "I'm headed to bed if you need anything tonight wake me" Jack had to be the one who knew if the details in that file matched up with Project Christmas along with other things going on at the time. It wasn't something Vaughn could help him with no matter how much he wished he could.
Jack shouldn't have to decide if his Wife was a former KGB spy, it shouldn't have to be him that could decide to put his Wife behind bars for the rest of her life or worse the death penalty. And Vaughn knew Jack would do the right thing here. What the right thing was, was indeed the question here.
As Vaughn forgone getting his sleepwear on and just laying fully clothed on his bed hating himself for not just destroying Derevko's file and putting Jack in the position he was currently in. In the morning Vaughn was going to try to convince Jack to burn Derevko's file there was no reason for Laura Bristow to be punished for what Derevko had done.
Sleep wasn't something anyone in Vaughn's apartment got that night. Vaughn himself was up most of the night thinking of ways to get Jack to agree to destroy Derevko's file. Also trying to think up arguments to help Jack forget what he had learned about his Wife. That part Vaughn had never been able to come up with an answer for.
You can't really make a man forget the only reason his wife married him was because she was ordered too, that she cheated on him, stole CIA sercets from him, their daughter's life was threatened because of who she was. Also, she had a hand in the deaths of CIA agents. Yeah, Vaughn, could not come up with anyway for himself to forget that much less Jack. Knowing someone didn't deserve to be punished for something was one thing, living with the knowledge of all those wrongs was another.
It was easy for Vaughn to not want Laura Bristow to suffer for what Derevko had done, he did not have to live with her day and day out for the rest of his life Jack did. Jack was her victim he fell head line and sinker for all the lies Derevko had fed him. It wasn't going to be easy for Jack even if he convinced him not to turn Laura in. Could Jack live with her? Was the Bristow's marriage over no matter if Laura did not end up in jail?
It was better for your parents to be divorce than one in jail for the rest of their life. Vaughn knew what it was like to not have a parent there growing up. He did not want that for Jack's youngest child. That more than anything was the reason Vaughn hoped to talk Jack out of turning Laura in.
Vaughn got himself cleaned up and headed for his living room going to offer Jack some coffee and whatever he could find in his kitchen for breakfast. Instead of finding Jack though he found an empty sofa the pillow and blanket folded just setting on an end table.
This wasn't good where did Jack go? Did he already turn in Laura, Vaughn grabbed his key leaving his apartment barely remembering to lock the door behind him hoping he could get to Jack before the man turned his wife in.
Walking as fast as one can in a CIA's field office without drawing attention to ones self Vaughn got to Directer Bristow's office only to be told Jack had left for the airport thirty minutes before, headed for Langley. Vaughn had left his apartment so fast this morning he had forgotten his cell phone and didn't even really check his apartment before he left to see if Jack had Derevko's file.
Hoping he could leave before his division boss saw him Vaughn headed with his head down back towards the entrance only to be stopped by Eric Weiss his best friend letting out a breath Vaughn smiled.
"How did that mission you was on go?" Eric asks noticing his friend seemed stressed.
"Fine" Vaughn answered looking around waiting to get out before he was called to attention on a case and couldn't leave undetected. He needed to get his cell phone to try to call Jack before he got to Langley to find out just want Directer Bristow had told his superiors about the file on Irina Derevko"
"You okay man you seem tense" Eric asked his friend hoping that all the jetlag hadn't caught up with Vaughn.
"I just forgot my cell phone" was his replied looking at the door. Eric followed his stare nodded then whisper "I'll cover for you, go get that cell phone"
Smiling Vaughn nodded knowing Eric was a good friend willing to take the heat if necessary it was nice knowing he had someone who he could count on like that. Maybe that's why he was trying so hard to stop Jack from destroying his homelife. He wanted to be that kind of friend for Directier Bristow, the man was someone he thought if his own Father had lived perhaps would have been like him.
Whatever the reason Vaughn just knew for his conscience sake he had to talk to Jack once more before this all played out before the CIA.
"Bristow" Jack answered his cell with as he walked into the waiting car. He already knew who it was from the missed calls he hadn't gotten while in the air.
"Jack please don't do it" Vaughn plead almost as if Laura was his own Mother instead of someone who help cause his Father's death. After getting back to his apartment that morning Vaughn had found his cell phone but the file on Derevko was gone.
"Trust me, Agent Vaughn I know what I am doing" was all that was said then Jack ended the call.
Vaughn hit redial on his cell but all it did was ring finally it went to voicemail which he knew not to leave one on this matter. It was all out of Vaughn's hands now, but he never dreamed that Jack would turn in his own Wife. Really Vaughn had never thought past just telling Jack the consequences of telling Directier Bristow hadn't seemed important as much as letting the other man know what the KGB had done. Now though Vaughn knew he would blame himself for causing a little boy to lose a parent, that wasn't a good feeling.
It made Vaughn feel sick, but he couldn't stop it now. He should have burned that file the moment he seen Laura Bristow picture in it.
Chapter 8: Chapter Seven
Laura is starting to worry about Jack
Laura was starting to get really worried something had happened to Jack, she had not heard from her husband in over two days. She had called his secretary twice during that time and had been told that Directer Bristow was out of town on business and would be back shortly. In all the twenty years she remembered being married to Jack he had never not called her if he was going to be out of town for a few days or longer.
She was worried sick that something had happened to Jack and the CIA was keeping it from her. Sydney thankfully had been busy with studying to notice anything was wrong the few times they had talked in the last two days. But JJ on the other hand was upset his Father wasn't around, so Laura had to hide her fear that something was wrong. She did not want to upset her son any more than he was already upset. Jack had also told JJ ahead of time if he knew he would be gone for a few days on work.
JJ had planned on his Father taking him to a ballgame tonight and that looked not to be happening. The little boy was upset and was making a grumpy face, if Couch Mike hadn't of called asking if JJ could come with him and Coach Greg to a locate baseball game that night she was sure JJ would have pouted all night long. Laura had dropped her son off with the two men who promised to drop JJ back off after the game and then getting pizza.
So with JJ out of the house Laura was free to worry openly about the whereabouts of her husband. She just hoped Jack was involved in something dangerous. Laura could not see her life without Jack in it. He was a good Man, Father, and Husband he just had to be okay.
Laura's head turned when she heard the front door opening, she almost ran to it. There stood Jack with a frown on his face and behind him stood two men that Laura had never seen before. This caused Laura to stop herself from throwing her arms around Jack and hugging the life out of him.
"These men are here to help me look through old case files I have in the attic" Jack informed his Wife trying not to look her in the eyes. He didn't want her to know he was lying, yes the two Agents behind him were there to help him look in the attic, but it wasn't for old case files. They were there to look for evidence of Laura Bristow duel identity that might be still boxed up from before her accident.
"Jack is everything okay?" Laura asked she did not like the way the two Agents were looking at her.
"Yes I'm just tired honey" Jack answered with giving his companies a dirty look "We might be up in the attic for a while you know we never did fully unpack all of those boxes. We just seemed to have added to them over the years."
Laura knew Jack wasn't telling her the truth about something she just hoped he wasn't in any type of trouble. "Does anyone want a drink before they head up to the attic?" she asked.
All three men answered with 'no' than they all headed up to the attic. Laura tried not to let it bother her watching some TV programs. She had already graded all her classes papers, Laura loved being a kindergarten teacher. She knew before her accident the women she had been probably woudn't have liked spending her days with five and six-year-olds. But she enjoyed helping the kids start their school careers, seeing their little faces light up when they learned things for the first time.
But whoever Laura Bristow had been before the accident she wasn't the same woman now. For one thing Laura could not enjoy a good book like she used too. Too much reading gave her a headache so her love of books had to be pushed aside. It also was one reason why she did not try to teach English Literature again, there was no way she could read all those papers without given herself migraines. Plus Laura found she could not follow the sentence structures that were used in college level work courses not enough to be a professor for it.
Laura had seen some of the work she had graded before the accident and knew that job wasn't one for her. Since the accident setting for long lengths of time wasn't something Laura liked doing, she liked how being a kindergarten teacher kept her up and busy in her room. Also, she only had to learn twenty kids names a year. Plus Jack had told her that this new teaching job took less time away from their family.
Which Laura knew had to be true being a college professor would be a time-consuming job she was sure. Beside Laura liked having the time to spend with her children that only teaching half days allowed her.
After two hours Jack came down with the two men from the attic they were carrying a few boxes with them. They all walked to the front door the men leaving and Jack turning looking around the room. His eyes resting on her, Laura thought he seemed sad.
"What's wrong Jack?" Laura felt in her bones something was terrible wrong.
Jack just looked at his Wife memory after memory playing in his mind. Laura seemed concerned about him, it did not matter though he had started this, and now he would have to finish it. At least JJ wasn't here he was thankful for that.
"It's just work" Jack stated "I will not be home for a while though I'm needed out of town"
Laura knew something was wrong, Jack was in some type of trouble with the CIA she was sure. His whole attitude seemed to scream out to her that he needed comfort. All she wanted to do was pull him into her arms and give him that comfort.
"If you're in trouble" Laura started but was stopped when Jack looked into her eyes and said "I'm not in any trouble. You don't have to worry about anything happening to me"
"I will be back Laura, it's just work. I will call when I can. Tell the kids I love them" Jack said right before he turned and headed back to the front door leaving his upset Wife behind. She could not help but notice Jack hadn't told her he loved her, just to tell the kids he loved them.
Laura had told Sydney and JJ that their Father was on a work trip and didn't know exactly when he would be back, since telling them that she had kept the secret that she had not heard a word from Jack in two days time. She had no idea where her husband was at or what type of trouble he could be in. Laura had noticed that whenever she left the house that a car would follow her. Jack had taught her to look for tails, he was always worried about someone following her after the accident trying to kill her again.
You would have to be stupid not to know something was going on with Jack in the CIA if they were following her. What kind of trouble had Jack gotten himself into? Laura knew if Jack thought someone was trying to hurt her or their children he would have warned her before he left two days ago with those Agents. No, whatever was going on had to be something to do with a case Jack worked on years ago. Why else would Jack and those Agents be up in the attic looking through boxes. Laura had no idea what was all in the attic she had never been up there. When they first moved in she couldn't climb the ladder, so Jack put away the boxes himself.
After whenever they needed something in the attic Jack or Sydney would get it down both still worried about her getting on a ladder and losing her balance. Laura had just humored them and really didn't care to go up into a dusty perhaps spider filled attic. A fear of spiders was something Jack had informed Laura laughing she did not use to have before the accident. Laura really did not care if she had been afraid of them before or not, what mattered was she was afraid of them now.
If she was a nosy woman Laura was sure she would have been up in the attic wanting to look through those old boxes see just want Jack could have up there from his work. But Laura wasn't the spy of the family and decided against that. Besides, she was to worried Jack and how she was going to keep Sydney from noticing just how upset she was. They were close and Sydney always could tell if something was upsetting her. Jack's odd behavior was really upsetting her.
He hadn't even told her what Danny had said or asked from the dinner they two shared. Maybe that's what this was all about. Could Jack be having a mid-life crisis? Had being asked for his daughter's hand in marriage sent him over the edge? Shaking her head, Laura laughed out loud at that ridiculous thought.
Laura just wanted Jack back home she missed her husband and while she knew his job was dangerous she had been fooled for so long that it wasn't because of him being made Director. Laura did not want to think of him out in the field being shot at or worse. Jack was the love of her life, she did not know how to live without him. One of her first memories was of Jack holding her hand. Life without Jack was unimaginable.
Laura took a deep breath Jack had been gone on work trips before. Sometimes for weeks at a time without being able to call. But he had never had Agents come to their house before like that looking for things then leaving with them.
Laura just hoped that Jack returned before Danny decided to propose. It would cause Sydney to want to wait to tell the family Laura was sure if Jack wasn't home then. Or worse yet have Sydney asks questions about when her Father would return, that she did not have answers for.
"Just get home soon Jack, please" Laura whispered to their empty house.
Being at Langley felt like almost a vacation compared to having to go home and live in his house Jack thought. It has been three days since he had been last home after collecting all of Laura's old books he had brought her from before the accident. Looking through all the old boxes label Laura's things had taken a few hours that night. Mostly those boxes were from her old office from UCLA, they had looked through them finding nothing that seemed out of place but might warrant more investigating at a later date.
Jack had remembered when finding one of Laura's books in a box about how he had gotten them shipped from a book dealer out of the country as gifts. It had been a romance jester, Jack thought if the KGB were looking to give orders to Derevko it would be the perfect way to get them to her without causing suspicion from him. I mean what husband would look through the gift he was giving his wife for KGB orders?
Jack had barely opened those books only to leave a short love note in them. What a fool he felt like as he watched fellow CIA agents look at his words of love and then dissect the books cover to cover. Finding orders to kill other CIA agents in the pages hidden, something if he had just read the books he might have found years ago, maybe he would have been able to stop some of those CIA agents deaths.
The only reason Jack wasn't removed from his post as L.A. Director was because he had turned in the Irina Derevko file. He had proved he was loyal to the CIA above all, if a man would turn his wife of thirty years into the CIA they trusted him. The interrogation he had undergone when he first reported Derevko had taken almost two days time but by the end Jack was relieved when he was allowed to return to L.A., and start getting the investigation of Irina Deverko started.
Laura was being followed they had also left cameras in the attic in case she was trying to hide anything they had left behind. But of course Jack had told them it was useless, Laura Bristow was currently not a spy. She was just a kindergarten teacher, Wife, and Mother. But they did not take his word for it saying he had been fooled by her before. Jack had showed them her doctors diagnosis, his superiors did not believe him, but they did have to believe Laura's doctors who all faxed over her reports showing her injuries and how her brain had never fully healed from it. Also, that her memory from her life before the accident had never returned and never would that part of her brain had never healed.
Jack himself was frustrated he knew so were his superiors because now some of their questions had been answered but a lot more weren't and there was no way to get them. Irina Derevko was truly gone, all that was left in her place was a kindergarten teacher. Laura Bristow could not help them she had no memories of ever being Irina Derevko.
As a whole everyone wanted to keep the whole Project Christmas operation under wraps it was still classified. The CIA boards of directors did not want it getting out that one of their top secret projects had been leaked to the KGB, they also did not want it known that one of their L.A. directors was married to a former KGB agent. It would give everyone involved a black eye, that even all those years ago the CIA had failed to spot a KGB plant. Jack had done everything by the book before he married Laura, the CIA had dropped the ball on not uncovering Derevko as a KGB spy before he married her.
Jack felt there was enough blame to go around, mostly it fell on him though. He had told his wife secrets that the US government did not want anyone to know. Less pillow talk from him, and perhaps some of those Agents who had been killed wouldn't have been.
It seemed though all the CIA was planning on doing for now was keeping an eye on Laura. If nothing showed up they were going to just let the whole thing rest until a time it was good for them to bring chargers. Jack himself did not like that idea at all he was pressing them to either charge Laura now or give her a pardon. Jack knew that given Laura's medical files it would be hard for them to get the full sentence of life or the death penalty. Laura Bristow had been a model citizen these last twenty years not even a speeding ticket. The surveillance team that was monitoring Laura's calls and following her everywhere she went just reported her going to work and talking to her daughter and friends.
Now they had ordered him to return home to act like nothing was wrong. Keep a watch out see if Laura seemed different in any way and report it if she did. Jack almost wished they would just arrest him instead and let him be sentenced in Laura's place. How could they expect him to go home to a wife he now knew had betrayed him.
Part of Jack just wanted to go back to before the Derevko file had ever been found. When Daniel Hacht had just asked for Sydney's hand in marriage being his biggest problem. Now that just seemed silly to be worried over, in fact Jack was happy that Sydney would have a good honest man she could count on to be there for her. If Laura was arrested and received life in prison, Sydney would need a good man to depend on. Poor JJ, Jack almost wished for his son's sake he had not turned Laura in.
JJ deserved to have a Mother and Father to continue to raise him, but Jack knew it was only a matter of time before someone else found out about Laura having been a KGB spy. Then JJ would have not only lost his Mother, but also his Father. Jack did not feel like going to jail over a lying, cheating, slut. No Jack would not allow his son to grow up parentless because of the KGB. He needed to talk to Agent Vaughn and find out just who his source was that had gotten Derevko's KGB file.
After all these years the file just happens to fall into the hands of a source for the CIA seemed too much of a coincidence to Jack. Someone wanted that file to leak, whoever it was Jack knew they wanted to destroy him what better way than his family? Or perhaps it had nothing to do with him personal instead maybe an old enemy of Derevko's wanted revenge against the woman. What better revenge then get a memory less Laura to pay for Derevko's mistakes?
Jack himself knew a lot of secrets he also had a lot of you own me's. If push come to shove he would call those in. Laura would get a pardon as long as the surveillance came up clear, Jack would make sure of that. He wasn't sure their marriage could survive this though. Jack knew he wasn't being fair to the Laura who he had loved and lived with him these last twenty years. But all he could see was Derevko when he thought of her. Laura did not deserve to live with a man who hated her, she had been too good of a wife for that.
It looked like now though Jack wasn't getting a choice he would have to return to his Wife and pretend that everything was fine. Jack was not sure, he could pull that off Laura knew him to well. She knew something was wrong just in the few minutes she had seen him three days ago. It had taken all his self-control to not grab her and demand answers of how could she play him for such a fool. Jack knew that Laura had been innocent of all that.
Jack was going to have to man up and return home, his children loved their Mother and if he wanted Laura to not go to jail he would have to do whatever it took to keep her free. Then after that they could talk about their marriage.
Chapter 9: Chapter Eight
Michael Vaughn was relieved when Director Bristow returned to the office with no whispers about any arrest being made or arranged for Laura Bristow. Which meant for the moment Mrs. Bristow was safe and the longer this went without her being arrested meant she might not ever be.
Vaughn hadn't gotten to speak to Director Bristow alone yet. He wasn't sure Jack wanted to talk to him about this anymore. Both men had searched for years for answers and now having gotten them, both men had to deal with the answers that neither of dreamed of.
Of course Vaughn wasn't aware of the details into the investigating of Laura Bristow. But just knowing what he did of Mrs. Bristow injuries he could not see how they would be able to get any more information out of her. So Irina Derevko was a dead end, if they could back track from her but the file on Derevko which Vaughn wished him had remembered more of or had made copies didn't have details on more KGB agents it hadn't even stated Jack's name as her mark.
The more Vaughn thought it about it the file was more of a summary of Irina Derevko then an in depth file on an agent should have been. The picture of Laura in the file had thrown him off, so he did not notice what was missing from the file until he had time to set and really think on it.
Since then Vaughn had reviewed other KGB files and noticed the difference Derevko's file had been washed names that should have been included in the file wasn't there. Her handlers name should have been there but wasn't listened. Her family wasn't listened either. The file was more of a summary of all Irina Derevko's orders and why she was terminated.
Now more than ever Vaughn wished he hadn't shown Derevko's file to Jack. If only he had given himself more time to read and evaluate the file he was sure he would have noticed those things. Instead, he had gone half cocked to Jack letting his emotions get the best of him. Someone wanted Derevko's secret out. Now the question was just who was it? Was it Gerard Cuvee or someone else? And was this just the first step in a plan for revenge against the former spy?
Sydney knew something was upsetting her Mother, plus JJ had spilled the beans on their Father not being home that he had never returned after his dinner with Danny. She couldn't help but think perhaps her Father was upset about that dinner. Danny said everything had gone well, and he was hopeful they could do it again sometime in the future.
Sydney though was afraid her Mother had pushed her Father too far concerning Danny, and now he was using work to stay away until he calmed down. That idea did seem far-fetched though, her Dad had never left because he was angry at something her Mother had said or done before.
As far back as Sydney could remember her parents always worked out their disagreements. She could remember once or twice years ago not long after they all moved to their current house her Mother packing a suitcase for the both of them telling her Dad she was leaving if he didn't stop doing something. All her Mother had told her about it was that her Dad was being too careful and had to stop are they had to leave.
Sydney knew that the argument had something to do with her Mother's accident and her Father being scared it could happen again. Like he had them take self-defense classes or making Sydney learn to shoot a gun, buying her a taser. When she was younger he had put her into karate classes then when she stopped taking them, he enrolled her into a kicking boxing.
Sydney could remember just how mad her Mom was when she came home with a black eye from that. Her Dad had slept on the sofa for a week. Sydney thought it was crazy how her Dad had her take all these classes and JJ wasn't well he did take karate class, but the little boy liked sports better and was really into them. He loved playing baseball, hockey, even football if their Mother would have let him. But she made him pick between football or hockey and JJ had picked hockey just because he loved being on skates.
Plus Sydney knew JJ really liked the two coaches his hockey team. She just wished her little brother would give Danny a chance. She knew it was hard on the two because they had nothing in common. Danny was so busy being a doctor and JJ a little boy that all he really loved other than his family was sports something that Danny didn't have time for a lot of.
Sydney just hoped her Dad would return soon maybe all the guys in her life could go to a hockey game together sometime. Because Sydney had a feeling really soon that Danny was going to be asking her a really important question, and she was going to say yes.
'It's the end of the world as we know it' kept playing over and over inside Jack's head as he pulled into his driveway. He had not been home for four days last night he had slept in his car not waiting to go home and begin pretending nothing was wrong. Jack wasn't sure he could pull off living with his wife and her not know something was wrong with his behavior. Yes he was a spy, but he had not been on a lot of missions in the last twenty years. Of course, he could think on his feet that was always a plus with being a spy. Someone who could think up a believable lie in a few seconds came in handy.
As much as Jack did not want to return home to his wife, was just as much as he did want to see his son. JJ he knew needed him, Jack knew he missed plans he had with his son and felt awful over that. Father and son were close it was the relationship Jack wished he had, had with his own Father.
For JJ and Sydney, Jack would make sure that Laura stayed out of jail. He did not want his children to have to live without their Mother. Jack could still remember how upset Sydney had been when Laura had been in her coma. How awful those months had been. How hard it had been being a single parent trying to take care of his little girl. How happy they had been when Laura woke up only to have to then deal with her memories been gone. That time had not been easy.
It broke Jack's heart thinking of how many times he had prayed for his wife to live, and now to know he had been praying for an unfaithful wife in all ways made it hard to breath. He loved Laura so much it killed Jack to think of her, much less having to live with her day in day out now knowing all she had done.
Jack jumped when he heard a knock on the passenger side window, turning he saw Laura standing there, so he unlocked the car doors. Laura opened the car door got in the car then closed her door turning she looked at Jack he seemed upset, but she was just so glad to see him.
"What's going on Jack?"
"It's just a hard case I'm on" Jack mumbled out hoping Laura would believe him as he stared straight ahead not looking her in the eyes. Laura always prided herself on knowing if he was lying to her.
"Really" Laura asked "look at me Jack" it hurt when he would not turn his head. "Are you in some type of trouble at work? You know I never ask about your work, but you've never had Agents in the house before" and never behaved this way before Laura silently added.
Turning to look at his wife Jack put on his blank face and knew the only way he was going to be able to pull off lying to his Wife was with half-truths. "We had a leak years ago, and we've just found out who it was. I trusted this person, and it's unnerved me to know just how much information I had been given that this person used against us"
"Oh, Jack" Laura said reaching over to pull him into a hug then asking as she pulled back "Are you in trouble for sharing information with this person?"
"I don't think I will be but that's why I've been gone" Jack said willing himself not to yell out he did not want her pity when it was all her fault. "I was being questioned I believe I've been cleared."
"Is that why I've been being followed?" Laura asked worried about what could happen to her husband if they thought he was guilt of some crime, did they think she was helping him do something illegal?
Jack just nodded knowing that Laura would catch that tail that the CIA had put on her, he had taught her well. He cursed himself for telling her that now, but how was he to know that his Wife had really been the enemy.
"The whole family is most likely been followed right now" Jack answered making a mental note to make sure in the morning to have Sydney followed for a few days just to keep the story of all of them being tailed because of his mistake years ago into play.
"I'm sorry Jack" Laura said as she looked her husband in the face. He seemed so sad like his best friend had betrayed him perhaps whoever was the leaker had been. "I know you're be proving innocent"
"I know" Jack replied then asked "Are you cooking tonight or do you want to go out?"
"How about we order Chinese food?" Laura asked not feeling like going out but not wanting to cook either.
"Sounds good, is JJ home?" Jack asked as he moved to open his car door then exit the vehicle Laura following his lead and stepping out of the car as well before she answered him "Yes JJ is home, he's missed you Jack"
"I've missed him too" Jack walked at a fast pace to get inside the house, so he could start spending time with his son. "Laura you know what I usually get so order me that, I'm going to check on JJ"
Laura had never felt so left out before at her own dinner table. JJ was just so happy to have his Father home that he never stopped talking to him about everything that had been going on this last week in his life. Jack gave all his attention to the boy he never looked up from their son's face. Usually when the Bristow men got talking about sports Jack would always bring Laura into the conversation. Not tonight though Jack only had time for JJ.
JJ didn't seem to notice he was so happy to have his Father home showering him with attention. They were making plans to go to a ballgame, usually Jack like to invite her along which she never accepted. But this time she was not ask to join them.
Laura was trying to let Jack's behavior towards her not hurt her feelings, but it was awful hard for it not too. Jack always had been thoughtful of her feelings so for him to total disregard her felt extremely distressing.
She was happy once they all finished dinner and the two male Bristow went to watch some type of game on tv leaving Laura to clear the table something Jack always helped with. Laura knew whatever had happened at work was really affected Jack. But why he was taken it out on her, there was no reason for that.
Laura had nothing to do with whatever Agent had betrayed the CIA and Jack was going to have to come off his high horse and realize that. She wasn't going to allow him to treat her poorly because he needed someone to pick on because things at work were out of his control.
Laura would wait to talk to Jack about this until bed when JJ was already a sleep. Their rule was never to let the kids see them fighting. It was hard sometimes when both Jack and she both were strong-willed people thinking their way was the right one. But it was something they had been able to do so far and Laura wasn't going to be the one who broke that rule.
Laura just wanted her husband back whatever had been leaked as Jack called it she just hoped wasn't something that would come back and haunt Jack forever. Maybe it was time for Jack to retire, he had given over thirty years to the CIA it was time for him to focus on his own life and let the CIA go. The CIA could always replace Jack with someone else, but this family could not replace Jack. Laura knew she could never replace Jack, thinking that a tear slide down her left eye wiping it away Laura threw away all the take out cartons. She just wanted the Jack who left for his dinner date with Danny to come back to her.
Laura just wanted to go back to fighting Jack about Sydney being a grown woman who was old enough to decide if she wanted to get married or not. Not this Jack who barely looked at her. She just hoped tonight she could get Jack to open up to her or at least get him to stop being so cold towards her.
Chapter 10: Chapter Nine
Jack is home and having act normal around his Wife.
Sorry I haven't posted in the last few weeks, I've been super busy and haven't had time plus I'm having troubles writing chapter 14. It's a important chapter and I have to get it right so please overlook if I'm only posting a chapter every few weeks until I get that chapter finished.
'So far so good' Jack thought as he brushed his teeth taking double the normal length of time hoping that when he emerged from the ensuite bathroom off of his bedroom that his wife would already be asleep. After the game ended on tv he had avoided Laura while JJ got his pj's on by locking himself in their bathroom pretending to be using it for a good twenty minutes. Knowing his son as he did JJ only needed ten minutes to get his pj's on. Once out he made a beeline to his son's room where he spent the last hour trying to keep the boy awake reading to him something he hadn't done in over a year.
JJ had outgrown a bedtime story but tonight the young boy seemed to enjoy it as much as Jack did.
Rinsing his mouth out Jack turned off the tap and head for the bathroom door knowing he couldn't put off going to bed any longer. He turned the lights off as he walked out the door. Entering into the bedroom Jack could see Laura was awake setting up in bed. He could tell she was waiting for him. He got into bed quickly and then rolled over leaving his back to his wife hoping she would take the hint and leave him alone.
"Jack sweetie we need to talk" Laura said looking at her husband back. This was getting ridiculous Jack was acting like a child pouting, and she had no idea why.
"I'm tired can't we talk in the morning?" Jack ask planning to wake up early and leave before Laura woke up putting off any type of conversation until he felt ready for one. Not right now when he felt ready to snap at her at any moment.
"JJ will be awake then and by the way you're acting I don't think him being awake to hear us argue is a good idea"
"Why would we argue?" Jack ask with his back still to Laura not wanting to see her face needing to be looking anywhere else then at her knowing if he did he would lose his temper. No matter what the CIA ordered him to do, they weren't the ones having to live with the woman that played him for a fool, that caused the death of fellow agents, that almost had gotten their child killed. No it was better if Laura would just let this drop.
"Because you are being a jerk is why?" Laura shot back not being able to stop her hurt for replying. The man laying next to her was acting nothing like her husband of the last twenty years. "I'm sorry that you're having a hard time at work, but don't you dare come into our house and treat me like it's my fault"
Jack turned onto his back then set up in bed barely holding his temper in check, counting to twenty in Russian of all things to cool his self down. Looking Laura in the eyes he could see the hurt there, and Jack felt torn in two. One part of him wanted to pull his wife into his arms and kiss away all the hurt, the other part wanted to yell her tell her it was all her doing, that she deserved everything he was doing and more. But the CIA agent in him that put his country first sided with the former instead of the latter. So he pulled Laura into his arms and buried his head in her hair to keep himself from saying out loud what the other half of him wanted to call his Wife.
"I'm sorry sweetheart" Jack did answer when he could control himself not to say more hurtful things to his wife. "It's just been really hard at work, you're right I should not be taking it out on you"
"Jack" Laura whispered as he pulled out of their embrace "maybe it's time you think of retiring"
Jack was shocked by Laura's request he knew she would like for him to really be a parts salesmen, but she had never hinted at him leaving the CIA before. If she had mentioned this a few weeks ago he might have even admitted to her, he was thinking of leaving the CIA in a few years, he was just waiting until he had enough saved up for JJ's college tuition along with retirement saving for them.
Now though Jack knew any kind of talk of retirement on his end with seem suspicious, after finding out his Wife had once been a KGB spy. Jack knew that even though they let him go and told him they believed he was innocent that he was still being investigating for helping Derevko all those years ago.
Plus he was sure that his whole family was being followed not just Laura, that was good though because Jack knew that whoever leaked the Derevko file was still out there. That file had more holes in it then swiss cheese, Jack had stayed up most of the night after Agent Vaughn went to bed and read and reread it. He noted the missing data in it, that file wasn't the real KGB one sure it might have been from the KGB, but it was a redacted one. Being a strategist as he was Jack took a calculate risk of turning Laura in.
It took him over an hour that night to decide to do it, Jack knew someone was coming after Laura and he wasn't sure he himself could protect her or their family without the help of the CIA. Jack knew some of his reason for telling the CIA too was, so he would not be implicated in Derevko's crime, he would not be jailed for something that woman had done. Yes he was so anger at his Wife how could she do it?
How could she marry him birth their first child and the whole time be lying to him pretending she loved him? Playing him for a fool, Jack couldn't help but wonder how many times had she laughed at how foolish he was? How easy it was to trick him into believing every word she said. How he told her things that were supposed to be secrets. Jack hated himself for just how easy he had made it for Derevko to steal from the US government.
If one of his Agents had done what Jack himself had he would have thrown them into a cell and lost the key. But his Superiors hadn't done that instead they were letting him help with the investigation of his Wife. Contrary to all the evidences on just how easy Jack was fooled he wasn't being fooled this time, he knew the CIA was still investigating him as well. That was why Jack held his tongue with Laura he could not tell her really what his heart demanded at the moment. Because he had to past this test the CIA had given him so that he could get Laura a pardon and keep himself out of jail.
Jack knew someone was coming for Laura they wanted something from her. Perhaps it was just wanting to see her suffer for what they felt was a betrayal of the KGB. Or something more personal Jack wasn't sure but all he did know was Derevko was dead and in her place was Laura Bristow his wife who he hated to admit even to himself he dearly loved, and he wasn't going to allow anyone to hurt her or their family.
"I can't retire right now" Jack informed Laura then rolled away from her again before continue "we don't have enough saving yet. Maybe in a few years"
Laura hugged Jack's back she felt how tense he was "Maybe if I started doing summer school we could save up faster"
Jack laughed a little at that, Laura hated working the summers she always wanted to be able to spend time with the kids. Be free to take JJ to the movies in the middle of the day if they wanted too. Knowing she was offering to give up her freedom, so he could retire early let Jack know she did love him.
"But then who would watch JJ?" Jack bartered back with "The extra money would have to go to someone watching him"
"He could go to day summer camp" Laura answered back having seen a flyer for one of those earlier in the week. Laura wanted Jack to be free of the CIA it was time for him to look for work elsewhere he was getting to old to be a spy.
Jack sighed Laura really had thought about his retiring it seemed, right now though that wasn't going to happen, so Jack just threw out something he once had told Laura after they had first married "I don't think I would be good at anything else but working for the government"
"Jack that silly you could work" Laura began but then stop realizing she really did not have any other ideas of just want type of work Jack could honestly do.
"See" Jack laughed as Laura hugged his back tighter "No I still have a few years left in me to work, until then you're just stuck with this old agent"
"Not stuck" Laura replied as she kissed Jack's ear "happily married too" as Laura pulled her arms away from Jack he rolled over onto his back and pull his wife into a passion filled kiss. Yes, Jack was still angry at his Wife for having been a KGB spy, but that really wasn't the same woman who he was kissing right now was the last clear thought Jack had that night before falling to sleep with his wife wrapped in his arms.
Jack woke up to his wife still in his arms and he kissed her forehead before he was fully awake. Then memories from the last week returned, and he pulled back and almost jumped out of the bed. Surprisingly his sudden movement did not wake up Laura for which Jack was grateful.
He grabbed a suit that was hanging in their closet and headed for the bathroom. Jumping into the shower Jack cleared his mind knowing he had to be on alert he could not let his emotions slip not even for a second as he had let them slip last night when he returned home. Laura had known something was wrong by the way he had been treating her he could not let that happen again.
Jack could not let Laura become aware of his angry towards her again. If he hoped to be able to get her a pardon and still have a job or not be arrested himself by the time the whole investigation was over he had to have a clear head be thinking straight not with his broken heart.
He also needed someone he could trust to have his back in this investigation. And only one person stood out for that position. He would be calling Agent Vaughn into his office today, the young man proved himself to be loyal to what he believed. Someone that you could trust to give you the heads up if needed and Jack was sure he was going to need someone like that in his life again. The last person he trusted like that had been Arvin Sloane but that had been many a year ago and thankfully all contact had been broken years ago when the other man had moved. Jack knew that Arvin Sloane had left the CIA years ago and there was talk that he might be involved in some illegal business.
Jack did not know all the details and was sure if he hadn't of turned down an assignment on Arvin Sloane some years ago he would have all those answers. But Jack did not want to put his family in harms way, Arvin and Emily knew Laura and Sydney, so they would want to form a relationship with them again. That was something Jack would not allow Laura's accident had changed him with that he always put his family first, never mixed CIA agents with his family in all these years. But now it looked as if he might have to change that in the case of Michael Vaughn.
He knew Michael Vaughn or should he says André Micheaux was honest to a fault. The younger man had told him when a woman named Renée Rienne had approached him with a story about his Father William Vaughn. He had asked Jack for help looking into it, Jack had ensured the younger Agent Miss Rienne was telling lies. Of course that hadn't been true, but Vaughn did not need to know that Jack had heard whispers of Prophet Five and knew enough that you did not want them brought down on ones self. Jack did not want Vaughn to get killed for some off chance that his Father had once been involved with them.
The CIA had showed that William had been a good agent and never mentioned any possibly of him having been anyone else, so Jack did not want Vaughn killed looking into something that had no remote possibly being the reason his Father had been killed it was a KGB agent that killed William Vaughn there was no need for Michael to get killed looking into Prophet Five.
Jack was more caution than he had once been, but now he knew what he could lose if he wasn't. So that was why when Jack heard the bathroom door open he just put a smile on his face waiting for Laura to join him in the shower. He had to pretend everything was normal until perhaps one day it would be again.