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Life After...

Chapter Text

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 Text

Chapter One

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 Text

Chapter Two

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"

Chapter Text

Chapter Three

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 Text

Chapter Four

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.

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"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?

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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 Text

Chapter Five

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 Text

Chapter Six

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.

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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 Text

Chapter Seven

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.

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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 Text

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?

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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.

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'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 Text

Chapter Nine

'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.

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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.

Chapter Text

Chapter Ten

Michael Vaughn banged his head against his desk once more just to make sure this headache he had could hurt just a bit more. A field agent from Langley had pulled him aside he had been ordered to keep an eye on Director Bristow. Michael had been debriefed about Bristow wife being involved in his Father's death. They wanted someone that could be trusted to keep an eye on the older Agent to make sure he wasn't pulling any fast ones on them, to spy on this branch of the CIA. With Bristow being the Director they needed someone on the inside to make sure no one was covering for Jack. And who better to do that then someone who had a personal interest in making sure Derevko paid for her crimes than one of her victims sons?

Vaughn let his head drop onto his desk again, how could he not follow orders? If he didn't he could be charged with a crime and sent to jail for the rest of his life. But on the other hand how could he spy on Jack? Jack had not ratted him out to the CIA on being the one who find the Derevko file or in the fact he had wanted to burn the file and never tell anyone about it.

Michael knew he could not betray the trust Jack had given him over the years, besides Jack was going to need someone he could trust if the CIA was looking into him this closely. Everyone had some type of skeleton in their closet if you looked close enough. And Jack being in the CIA as long as he had been was sure to have a ton of them under his belt.

Finishing up some paper work Vaughn left his office and the building and was surprised to find some call his name as he headed to his car. Turning around he saw Director Bristow walking towards him with a brown bag and a plastic one hanging from his wrist.
"Lunch" was all Jack said as he followed the younger agent to his car.

Once inside the car Vaughn had pulled out onto the road neither man talked as he drove. About ten minutes later Vaughn pulled into an empty park that had a few picnic tables. The pair made their one to one and set down Jack pulled out the sandwiches from the brown bag and handed Vaughn a bottle of water from the plastic one. After getting himself the same he looked up to see that Michael had already started eating his.

"Thanks I skipped breakfast this morning" Vaughn said after having finished his first few bites.

"I did too" Jack replied right before biting into his own sandwich. They both were Italian on white bread. Jack had ordered what was the most popular sandwich not wanting to be remembered for ordering anything special.

After they both had finished their lunch Vaughn looked up at the older man knowing this wasn't just a social occasion. "What do you need Jack?"

Smiling Jack liked how Vaughn just got to the point "I'm sure you're aware I turned Laura in to the CIA" seeing the nod of Vaughn's head he continued "I know they are watching me closely after having released me from questioning"

"It only makes sense they would be" Vaughn supplied.

"I need someone I can trust to warn me if they plan to arrest me, both you and I know I had nothing to do with Derevko stealing secrets. But I need to make sure my family is safe in case they do arrest me" Jack stated knowing he could trust Vaughn to keep him in the loop.

"You really should not trust anyone right now Jack" Michael sighed knowing if they had asked him yes they believed he hated Derevko, and he did then they probable had asked others at the agency. "I've been ordered to keep an eye on you"

Jack was surprised somewhat that they had order Vaughn then again he should not have been. Vaughn would be the prefect man to spy on him, he had recruited him after all they got on well and Derevko had played a part in his Father's murder. How had they not tie together that Vaughn had been the one working with Jack the last few years to undercover the truth about Agent William Vaughn's murder though was a mystery to Jack.

"Good, this way you can let me know if they are close to arresting Laura or myself" Jack said looking Michael straight in the eyes wanting to see if he would look away a key sign of ones guilt.

"If I tell you, will you run?" Vaughn asked hoping the answer would be worth risking his freedom and career for.

"Depends on if my family would be safe or not" Jack wasn't going to lie to the younger man who was his friend "as long as Sydney and JJ are in no danger I would not run"

Vaughn just shook his head and speaking low so that only the two of them could hear he said "You would be a fool not to"

"I don't want that kind of life for my family, I'm trying to get Laura a pardon" Jack informed Vaughn as both men stood up walking back towards the car. "She doesn't remember anything from her life before the accident which makes everything easier and harder all at the same time"

Vaughn nodded his head imagining it would be easier to forgive Laura when she wasn't the same person who had lied and cheated on Jack, yet harder because Jack could not get the answers he needed from her. Vaughn himself went from hating Derevko to feeling sorry for Laura it was complicated to say the least. And it wasn't his Wife who had done all those things. Which was why it was easier for him, Vaughn thought to separate Derevko from Laura in his mind. Unlike Jack who had lived with Laura when she had been Derevko, of course Jack had lived with the new Laura longer than he had with the Derevko's Laura. Thinking like that was giving Vaughn a headache. What must it be doing to Jack?

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Daniel Hecht had practiced it seemed like a million times in his mind on just how to ask Sydney Bristow to marry him. But each time it never seemed good enough or that he said just the right words. Sydney's parents had what Daniel knew the perfect marriage in her eyes, and he wanted to live up to their epic love story that Sydney had seen play out as a child.

Life After the accident that had taken all of Laura Bristow memories had given a young Sydney Bristow the opportunity to see her parents fall in love all over again. She had been there first hand to see how Jack treated a memory less Laura, how he helped her to learn to walk again never talked down to her.
At least that's what Sydney had told him, that her Father had been such a great husband being there for her Mom. Her eyes shined as she talked about seeing first hand how a husband should treat his wife from watching her Father be the best husband to a woman that did not even know him.

Sydney loved talking about her parent vow renewal and how she had been a part of the big day. Daniel wanted his proposal to be as well remembered by Sydney as something she would one day tell their children with that same look in her eyes as she did when she told of her parents.

Something in Daniel was telling him he had to hurry up and asks Sydney that time was running out, which was ridiculous they had all the time in the world to get engaged and then married. But being a doctor he knew that wasn't true something could happen at any time and take one of them away. Shaking his head Daniel knew that wasn't a topic to be thinking about when one had found the person they wanted to spend the rest of their life with.

So getting back to his thoughts on just the right words to make Sydney fall into his arms and never think of another man again was not coming as easy as Daniel wanted. Pulling out the ring Daniel looked at it picturing how it would look on her finger.

A smile gracing Daniel's face as that image cleared his head of all fears he was going to do this and soon. He wanted that ring on her finger where it belonged.

 

A picnic lunch was all setup this was it Daniel thought he was going to ask Sydney the most important question of their lives together. Francie had made all of Sydney favorites, so at least he knew she would be happy when he popped the question. She was supposed to be meeting him here any minute now, he would have liked them to come together, but he couldn't allow that because he needed time to set up the picnic.

Francie had wished him luck when he picked up the food, telling him that Sydney loved him and would say 'yes' in a heartbeat not to worry. But worry he did everything had to go just right here. What if it started to rain of course there wasn't a cloud in the sky, but that didn't mean it couldn't happen.

"Stop it" Daniel firmly told himself. This was going to be the happiest day of his life only to be surpassed by their wedding day. Which he knew would be a least a year away given Sydney time to finish school plus time to plan the wedding she deserved.

Looking up Daniel seen Sydney walking towards him with a huge smile on her face and all his fears disappeared. The happiness he saw in her eyes told Daniel all he needed to know there was no reason to fear she loved him.

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Jack knew the moment he got home something had happened that was going to change his life once again. JJ was setting on the sofa not watching TV looking like he had eaten something sour while Laura was setting next to him looking like she had just been told she had won a million dollars.

Jack could only guess at what would make his son so upset but please his wife so. It had to be something with Sydney. And if he had to guess just what that would be knowing like he did that Daniel was going to proposal soon he was sure that was what caused such different emotions in his wife and son.

"JJ is there a reason you look like you just ate a lemon?" Jack asked his son knowing if he had started with Laura then JJ would never get to voice his displeasure at what Jack guessed was his older sister's being engaged.

"Why does Sydney have to marry that guy?" JJ moaned not liking the idea of forever being stuck with Danny in the family taking his sister away from him. "Why does she need to get married at all? Why can't she just finish school and move back home with us?"

"JJ" Laura scolded her son not believing how selfish her young son was being to his sister.

"Laura I think I need to have a man to man talk with JJ" Jack said looking at his wife knowing she could not understand what it was like being a boy or not being supportive of Sydney and Daniel's relationship.

"I'll go start dinner" Laura stated as she got up off the sofa "but this better not turn into a I hate that Sydney is getting married club in here"

Jack gave Laura a wounded look like 'who me, I would never' right before she turned and walked away from the Bristow men, hoping that Jack could talk sense into their son.

"JJ, I know you want Sydney to move back home after she finishes college." Jack himself would have liked that as well "But she is an adult and most adults do not live with their parents"

JJ looked up at his Father with the same color eyes reflected back at him asked "But doesn't she love us anymore? Why does she have to spend all her time with Danny?"

Jack let out a breath knowing this wasn't really about Daniel and all about Sydney being an adult who couldn't give all her spare time to her baby brother. JJ had been spoiled for so long as Sydney paid him so much attention, and he did not want to share her with anyone else.

"Son one day in the distance future you too will move out, and one day meet a nice girl that you fall in love with and will want to marry" Jack stated laughing at the look on his son's face at his statement.

"No girls are gross" JJ replied now giving his Father the evil eye. He had thought his Father would take his side in this, but it seemed he was siding with Sydney and Mom instead.

"For now they are but trust me my boy one day you will think differently" Jack said fighting back laughter "Sydney marrying Daniel will not stop her from loving us, or spending time with you. Now we just have to accept that Daniel isn't going anywhere"

"Besides having a Doctor in the family isn't a good thing" Jack said pointing out the only good thing Jack had to say about Daniel Hecht. Any man that wanted to take his daughter away from him wasn't going to be Jack's favorite person in the world.

"Why can't Sydney be marrying Coach Mike? That guy knows how to have fun" JJ complained knowing without his Father on his side he couldn't hope to talk Sydney out of marrying Daniel.

"Coach Mike is a great guy I know you guys get along well, but Sydney loves Daniel, so we have to accept that. You can still be friends with Coach Mike I promise" Jack informed his son.
"I'm not saying you have to love Daniel, but please try to like him and if you want your Mother to talk to either of us just be nice to him and pretend if you have to, to Sydney that you're happy for her"

"Okay" JJ answered not happy at all but defeated for now. Maybe Sydney would wise up and dump Daniel before the wedding at that thought the young boy smiled.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eleven

Jack found that Sydney's engagement had given him a break from having to pretend everything was normal with Laura. She was so busy on the phone or visiting with Sydney planning for an upcoming engagement party. Plus she was helping Sydney pack up her things to move in with Daniel.

Jack was not happy with his daughter living with Hecht before they were married, but JJ was trying to be nice to Daniel, Jack knew if he threw a fit about Sydney living with Daniel that would cause JJ to start being distance from Daniel again. So Jack was biting his tongue knowing that Sydney would be married to the Doctor soon enough.

In the two weeks since Sydney and Daniel had been engaged Laura had been front and center helping her daughter plan her upcoming wedding. They were searching for where they wanted to have the wedding. Laura had also started looking into how much money they had saved to make sure they could pay for Sydney's wedding.

Sydney herself did not want a big wedding, she wanted just a small wedding with all their family and friends only. Without saying Jack knew he would walk Sydney down the aisle, the fewer people there the better because he was sure when that happened he would be crying.

Laura and Francie was planning Daniel and Sydney an engagement party for this weekend. Jack was hoping for a work emergency to come up, so he could miss the party or be called away during the party, so he wouldn't have to stay to long. Parties were not Jack Bristow's thing. Laura enjoyed mingling with people, Jack had remembered she had before her accident as well. But he couldn't help but think perhaps that was, so she could work information out of people when they had too much to drink.

Jack knew of a few former Agents who could not hold their liquor once they had a few drinks. Remembering back Laura did seem to make her way towards them after they had those few drinks. Jack let out a bitter laugh, it was almost easy to pretend that Laura had always been like she was now a faithful wife when at home.

But then as soon as he goes to work he is reminded every single minute of his Wife's betrayal. He sees the looks the agents that know about Derevko give him. He hates everyone of those looks, Vaughn is the only one he knows that knows the truth that worries for him. The rest he thinks smirk and are joyful that the great Jack Bristow was nothing but a fool for a pretty woman.

That the taskmaster has become the student that perhaps they are smarter than he is. That they would never have fallen for the trap he had. But the truth of the matter is Jack knew anyone of his agents could fall for a sparrow agent just as he had. Maybe they wouldn't spill secrets to her but the KGB had given Jack his dream woman any man would have been taken in by that.

In the last two weeks Jack had been in contact with two different Senators he knew that were on committees that had the ear of the president in order to get Laura a pardon for what she had done when she had been Derevko. They both seemed hesitant at first Jack had shown them Laura's medical records, also how for over twenty years Laura has been a model citizen. The surveillance being done on Laura shown no alternative of his wife other than her being a kindergarten teacher. She was not a spy any longer had no ties to Russian whatsoever, they had tried to kill her in fact because they saw her as a traitor.

Jack knew he himself would likely also need a pardon if Laura was arrested. But hoped it would not come to that. In fact that thought was one of the reason why he had accepted Sydney and Daniel getting married. If the worst happened Jack knew that Sydney would take in her baby brother. Daniel was a good man he knew the doctor would treat his son right.

Jack just hoped that JJ would get over his jealous behavior over Daniel taking his sister away from him.

Laura would give JJ the stink eye every time the little boy would say something mean about Daniel. JJ was doing better he had not said one bad word about Daniel the last two days, so hopefully he was coming around on that front.

Sydney's friend Francie had been at the house almost every night this week as Laura, and she planned the engagement party that would take place at their house two nights from now. Jack's Superiors were not happy about this party, thinking it was the perfect time for a former contact of Laura's to make contact or for her to give them the slip.

Jack had been ordered to reveal the guest list for the party but as he explained everyone was being invited by word of mouth there wasn't a guest list he could just hand over. Jack thought it would only be a dozen or two invited. Francie was catering the whole affair and Laura had rented a tent for the backyard with a few tables and chairs.

Jack had never kept up with all of Sydney's friends other than knowing Francie he really had no idea just how many she had. As a little girl Sydney was always making friends it seemed, but after they moved houses she hadn't had as much time to make new friends. Plus Jack knew he had been a little overprotection of Sydney after Laura's accident.

Jack did not like the CIA being involved with his family at all. For over the last twenty years he had kept his family away from anything to do with his work and now his family was his work. Some days Jack did not want to get out of bed, he would have liked to just lay there and let the whole world pass him by. Then he wouldn't have to deal with the whole mess the KGB made of his life.

Jack knew if he hadn't been ordered to keep his marriage going he would have left Laura. It was hard to keep his true feelings locked inside. It wasn't healthy he was sure to have to bottle up all his angry and pretend nothing was wrong. To still hold Laura in his arms of a night half the time wishing to choke her to death while she slept, the other half wanting to pretend nothing had changed and that Laura was never Irina Derevko. One of the few things that stopped Jack from choking Laura was he knew she truly hadn't been Derevko, the woman who laid in his arms of a night had never been anyone but Laura Bristow. She wasn't the person who had lied to him, cheated on him, stolen information from him, almost gotten their daughter killed.

No, this Laura Bristow was a faithful Wife, and loving Mother. She wasn't Derevko and did not deserve to be punished for things she did not do. This Laura loved him Jack knew, but that didn't change the fact he needed time to clear his head. If given the chance Jack would like to have been able to leave Laura for a while to decide if he loved her enough to forgive the past she couldn't remember. Not being able to do that right now Jack focus on getting her a pardon and proving Laura wasn't a spy any longer. Laura was a wonderful Mother and their children did not deserve to lose her. So Jack would do all he could to see Laura remained free.

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Sydney knew just how hard it was for JJ to finally accepted Danny into their family, but the little boy was finally starting to come around he smiled now when Danny entered the room and also had stopped calling him Daniel. Danny was happy to be gaining a little brother.

Sydney also noticed that her Dad had changed his option on Danny as well. She had been surprised to learn that Danny had asked her Dad for her hand in marriage. But the bigger surprise was that her Dad had given his approval.

Sydney knew her Mom loved Danny the two got along wonderfully. That helped a lot, Sydney just knew somehow her Mother had talked her Dad into not throwing a fit when she had announced that she would be moving into Danny's apartment with him. Her Dad hadn't said a word just looked uncomfortable but had not said a word against it. That was as close to approval on her moving in with Danny she was going to get, so Sydney took that as a win.

What surprised Sydney the most was her whole family helped her pack up all her things from Francie and moved them into Danny's. Her Father lift boxes and looked like he wanted to say something but kept quiet. All in all things were good and the future looked to be filled with nothing but happiness.

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Jack had been tortured many years ago, but he was sure it wasn't as bad as setting here making same talk with people he didn't really know. Watching them all talk about how wonderful the party was and how the food was to die for. How lucky Sydney was to have landed such a fine man as Dr. Daniel Hecht. This engagement party was trying on Jack's every last nerve and all he could do was smile and pretend he knew the person setting next to him. Yes the man had been their neighbor for the last twenty years but other than just saying 'Hi' every once in a while he did not know the man at all. Sure he had run a background check on him years ago, and it came back clean, but that did not mean Jack knew him.

Sydney had been friendly with the man's daughter who was a year or two younger than her. Plus Laura and his wife were both teachers at the same school which was why they had been invited while other neighbors had not.

What passed for Daniel's friends and family were here as well Jack having been introduced to a few different people but being that he was looking out for anyone trying to talk to Laura he wasn't playing that much attention to them as he should have been. Jack wasn't having a fun night mostly because a lot of people were talking to Laura that he didn't know. But it being an engagement party for their daughter of course people would want to talk to her parents.

Jack himself had been introduced to at least a dozen people he did not know. And he was upset that this party was a lot bigger than he had expected it too big. If he knew this many people were going to be here he would have ordered a few of his agents to come and run checks on different people. Jack knew the whole party was under surveillance anyway but if he had had his guys here he would have been in the loop of what was going on.

Jack felt like he was back to being a recruit the way they were treating him, yes he was allowed to be in control of other missions but the most important one to him, he wasn't allowed to be a part of other than to spy on his Wife. Which he was getting sick of, because she wasn't doing anything.

Vaughn had given him an update on what he knew which wasn't much because there hadn't been any new information found. But Vaughn had gotten a call from his source about some more information on former KGB agents, which had the younger man on a plane this very moment looking into that. They had somehow managed to keep it on the down low for now, but both men knew as soon as they read the information they would have to turn it in.

Jack just wanted this all to be over with he was almost sure he had the support to get Laura a pardon, but she had to be charged with something first for it to go through.

"Jack there you are" Laura said as she came up to her husband she could tell from his body language he was not having a good time."Could you be a dear and see if we have any antihistamine? Danny gifted Sydney a new perfume that has her sneezing nonstop"

"Of course I will go see" Jack replied happy to get out of the party even for a little while. It was a shame Sydney was having trouble at her engagement party.But if it spares him a few minutes of playing happy Father in law to be Jack couldn't be to upset over it.

Jack returned ten minutes later with the pills and a bottle of water, knowing taking any medications was better with water.

"Thanks Daddy" Sydney said in between sneezing Jack felt a little guilt for taking a few extra minutes returning when the pills seeing just how much his little girl really needed them. Jack was sure in a few years they all would look back on this night and laugh about Sydney's sneezing he could see that Daniel was hovering around Sydney being a doctor Jack was sure the younger man was just watching out for any signs Sydney would need to be taken to the emergency room. But other than sneezing a bunch Sydney seemed fine.

"Your welcome sweetheart" Jack replied to his daughter as she took the pills from him. Hearing music playing Jack turned to see a few tables had been moved to allow for couples to dance. Looking up to see Laura talking to who Jack had been introduced to as a nurse from the hospital where Daniel worked Jack said "Excuse us as I steal my wife for a dance"

Laura laughed as Jack led her to the make shift dance floor closely followed by Daniel and Sydney. For the rest of the night until Sydney started getting sleepy because of the pills, she and Daniel stayed on the dance floor in each other's arms.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twelve

Michael Vaughn was nerves no doubt about that he had a feeling he was being followed but every time he turned around no one was there. He kept making sharp turns into airport shops and looking to see if anyone followed him in to the stores but no one did. If he could have slipped out a back door he would have but given it was an Airport there wasn't a back door in the shops.

Perhaps he was just being paranoid given that Agent Vaughn felt like he was being a double agent. The CIA wanted him to spy on Jack and Jack was wanting him to be his inside man for him. Most likely what Vaughn felt as being followed was his conscience searing him for disloyalty to the CIA.

Still though he turned and could have sworn he saw a man that was on the same flight as he had been right behind him. This time around Vaughn had gone with a commercial flight, asking for time off by using his Mother's recent illness of gallbladder surgery and recovery. He had a lay over of six hours in London which was where he would be meeting up with his source. Vaughn was going to a restaurant for a bite to eat not far from the Airport then walk around for maybe an hour or so looking into stores close by the restaurant then walk back towards the restaurant go back in order dessert then get a cab from there and return to the Airport to get his bag which he store inside a locker and wait until his flight departed.

In between all those plans Vaughn would meet his source well it was during dessert the two would meet setting side by side at the busy bar and get the information passed along to him. Vaughn knew he had to buy a few magazines to hide the file or files he would be getting inside the same bag with them.

He was treating this as a sanction mission even though Vaughn knew it wasn't he took the same precautions if not even more because he felt like the CIA themselves could be following him. Turning around again Vaughn notices the same man he was dark skinned at least 6 foot, when he noticed Vaughn looking at him, he just walked on pretending to not even notice Vaughn staring at him.

Vaughn just shook his head and continue on he needed to meet his source to get the information get back on an airplane, spend time with his Mother for a few days and hope he wasn't arrested when he returned to the United States.

It was just another days work for this CIA Agent, maybe he should of stuck with law school and forgot about bringing his Father's killer to justice. Because it looked like he was never going to find out just who actually personal killed his Father.

Instead, all Vaughn had learned was who had passed on the kill order and might have gotten an innocent woman sentenced to life in jail or death for it.

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Vaughn was back at the Airport setting in a seat waiting for another hour until his flight was called. He had safety hidden inside of two different magazine the files his source gave him. Vaughn had not had a chance to read them yet, and he didn't plan on reading them until he was safe inside his Mother's house. He had brought six different magazines, so it didn't look like he was hiding something as he browsed through one. He kept looking up making sure he didn't see the same man that was following him early around.

So far Vaughn had seen no one that stood out which gave him releaf, but had him questioning just why he was being followed and what if it wasn't the CIA following him, who was?

Really who cared about files that were over twenty years old? It was something a civilian would think, but Vaughn knew once people were involved into the CIA, KGB, MI6 that tented to stay in that profession or knew certain secrets that powerful people wanted to keep secret.

That former KGB files were leaking out now after all these years having been hidden told a tale of its own. Someone was leaking them and what scared Vaughn was the reason behind that. Who had a vendetta against Irina Derevko that after over twenty years of listing her as dead they now would leak her file. Or were they all looking at it wrong who had a vendetta against Jack Bristow that would dig deep enough to find out a secret that only the KGB top elite knew of.

Vaughn wanted to look at the papers he had just received so bad almost as much as when he was young and had chicken pots and had fought of itching them. But knowing he was on CCTV London had the cameras everywhere Vaughn turned the page in the magazine he was pretending to read to a new page. He could not let on he had gotten new files not when he felt he was being followed. Not when being discovered could cost him not just his job but his freedom as well.

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Vaughn loved spending time with his Mother he so rather got to any longer because of her living in another country then he did. So he felt extremely guilty that all he wanted was for his Mother to leave him alone for a while, so he could read the files he had gotten. His poor Mother had just gotten surgery she would not hear anything but herself picking him up from the airport, then after they went to a restaurant the two loved. Vaughn had taken the magazines and put them into a backpack he used for his carry-on where he kept his passport and other important papers while traveling, bringing them into the restaurant with him.

His Mother looked at him strangely as he brought the backpack in with them but held her tongue having been married to a CIA agent and having another for a son she knew not to ask questions about things that seem strange. She was just happy to be able to see her son whatever the reason for his visit truly was. She liked to think it was because she had been sick, but one never knew with the agency they might use her sickness and recovery as a cover for an operation. So she let the backpack slide and just enjoyed the time she was allowed with her only child.

It was a shame Michael would not give up his quest for his Father's killers. It was something Deloreme Vaughn had let go of years ago not wanting to live in a state of anger and hate. She had too much to live for her son being the most important. Michael though had not let it go, finding out who had killed William wasn't going to change anything he was still gone.

Deloreme was sure whoever had killed her husband by now themselves were most likely killed by the another as well that's how the spy game goes. It's kill or be killed world.

One that she hoped her son would be getting out of soon. It was pastime for Michael to settle down and make her a grandmother. Of course his current girlfriend Alice if he was still seeing her, wasn't who Deloreme imagined as a future daughter-in-law. Alice did not make Michael help she had no idea why her son even dated that young woman they had nothing in common.
Deloreme thought Michael was to busy with work to go find the perfect woman for him. He needed to make time for it though and soon. She wanted to be young enough to enjoy her grandchildren.

Michael seemed to be agitated looking around not letting his guard down almost as if he expects someone to attack them. Perhaps she was just seeing things that wasn't there because of her recovery. But she decided silently to keep her guard up as well just in case smiling she asked Michael how he was enjoying his dinner never letting on she knew something was bothering her son. She was allowed only soup because of her recovery, but it tasted wonderful after having hospital food and no food for a while.

Vaughn smiled at his Mother she looked thinner, so he decided to paid her attention and kept his backpack next to him on the floor in front of his seat. His poor Mother she had been through so much these last few weeks with her gallbladder attack and then having to have it removed. All without her son being at her side.

"Maman would you like dessert?" Vaughn asked his Mother.

"No the soup has filled me" was her simple reply smiling at her son just so happy to have him there with her. He looked so like her beloved lost husband she felt less lonely would he was close by. Perhaps it was time to return to the United States to be closer to her child maybe then she could try to help Michael find that special lady and get her the grandchildren she longed for.

"I hope you don't mind Maman if I indulge in dessert you just can't get a decent Mousse au chocolat in L.A." Vaughn questioned looking to his Mother like he did when he was a toddler asking for ice cream.

"Of course enjoy" Deloreme answered her son smiling at him as he waved their waiter over it seems only moments later Michael's much loved dessert had arrived, and she could not help but laugh at the look of wonderment on his face as he ate it.

"I'm happy you were able to get time off work" Deloreme stated as the Mother and Son left the restaurant "Perhaps if you asks they might let you have more time off"

"Maman I'm in the middle of a very important case" Michael said feeling like a heel to be telling his Mother this just after she had surgery, any mother would want their child with them during this time.

"Too important to spend a day more with you're Maman?" Deloreme asked feeling guilty as soon as the words left her mouth. She knew that Michael's work was important, and she should not be making him pick between her and perhaps saving peoples lives. But it was just so hard to only see him once or twice a year.

Vaughn's mouth dropped open as he watched his Mother enter her car he silently followed carrying his backpack along. As he put the backpack in the backseat of the car then entered the front he was trying to find the words to tell his Mother just how much he wished he could stay the extra day but couldn't.

"Nothing is more important than you Maman" Vaughn answered as Deloreme pulled out of the parking spot. "It's just right now I'm in the middle of this" he stopped knowing the only way to employ just how important this truly was, was to tell his Mother just want he had found out after all this time. "I have something to tell you but will wait until we get to the house"

Deloreme Vaughn turned quickly looking at her son knowing just by his tone whatever he was going to tell her once they reached her house was something the CIA would not approve of, so she drove just a little bit faster wanting to know just what her son had to say. She pulled up to her house twenty minutes later.

Mother and Son set there another ten minutes before Vaughn opened his car door walking around to the driver's door he opened it for his Mother. Looking up at her son Deloreme gave him a small sad smile. Vaughn then went to get his backpack and suitcase from the car as his Mother opened her house door for him. Vaughn as he walked his things to the guest bedroom was trying to come up with the right words to inform his Mother that his Father was indeed targeted by the KGB and murdered by them. That he had new information but at the same time not a lot.

Deloreme Vaughn set in a chair facing her canapé wanting Michael to set there to give him extra room to get comfortable as he told her whatever was so important that he must rush back to the States for.

"Maman" Vaughn whisper almost as he entered the living room. "I should not be telling you this and could get into trouble if you tell anyone else"

"Michael, you know I will tell no one" Deloreme promised her son.

"It was the KGB that had Dad killed" hearing those words from her son lips felt like someone had stabbed her in the heart the pain was so deep. "I found a old file for a former agent who was ordered to kill him"

Deloreme breath left her body at hearing this after so many years to finally have some answers. The CIA had never told her who had killed her husband only that he was killed in the line of duty. Duty that was such a laugh, duty to a country that never found his killer. But now perhaps her son had after all these years.

"Is the agent who killed your Father still alive?" Deloreme asked when she was able to find her voice again.

"Maman the Agent whose file I received only passed on the kill order the file doesn't say to whom" Vaughn hated that he only had this much information to give to his Mother.

"Is this Agent still alive perhaps they can tell you who they passed the information on too?" as soon as those words left her mouth Deloreme wanted to erase them from her son's mind. She did not want him to go in search of a KGB agent that would be to dangerous. "Forget that knowing it was the KGB is enough" she stated hastily hoping he would believe that and not go looking for that Agent.

"That road is a dead end I'm afraid" was his reply which puzzled his Mother why hadn't he just said the agent was dead? "I'm still working the case on this former Agent Maman, so hopefully I will get more information and perhaps one day will learn more."

"So that's why you have to go back so soon?" Deloreme asked why had Michael come at all if he was needed back in L.A. for this investigation?

"Yes that's why, Maman you have to know if it was any other matter I would stay longer" Vaughn said pleading his case to his Mother.

"I understand" Deloreme told her Son, just how many times had she told her husband the exact same thing? She just hoped that her understanding did not end in the same way it did for her husband. "I've been thinking perhaps it's time for me to return to the United States"

Vaughn's eyes widen at the thought of his Mother being closer to him and a huge smile broke out on his face. "If you're waiting for me to try and talk you out of it, that will never happen" he laughingly replied to his Mother.

"I think that's a great idea, just where in US of A are you thinking of moving?" Vaughn teased his Mother "Maine maybe, or Florida?"

"You are such a sweet boy wanting your Mother to move thousands of miles away from where you live" Deloreme teased back.

"You know Maman I want you to move to L.A. with me just not into my apartment" Vaughn jokely stated "Maybe you could fly out once you're fully recovery, and we could go apartment or house hunting. You can even stay in my apartment while there looking for you're own"

"That sounds like a wonderful offer, that I will take you up on once I'm better" Deloreme stated then added "Thank you for telling me about your Father's killers, I know you could get in trouble for that, like I said I won't tell anyone. Now I'm heading to bed Son, I will see you in the morning"

Vaughn watched his Mother leave the living room feeling a burden he didn't know he had lifted off his shoulders. His Mother now knew he was looking into the people who help kill his Father he didn't have to hide that any longer. Thinking of that Vaughn headed to the guest room it was about time he read those files see if they had any addition information about Derevko in them.

Chapter Text

Chapter Thirteen

Vaughn felt like scratching his head the first papers he got out of one of the magazines wasn't a KGB file at all but one from SRV Russian Intelligence on a Colonel Derevko, full name being Yekaterina Derevko. This file also skipped over any family members but did give a date of birth that was three years before Irina Derevko birth. Whoever Colonel Derevko was they were likely a relative of Irina Derevko the file was five years old so if the Colonel was still a part of the SRV, Vaughn couldn't be sure or even if the Colonel was alive. There wasn't a picture included in the paperwork, so that was not an avenue he could go down to see if Laura Bristow and Colonel Derevko looked alike enough to be siblings.

Vaughn read the file it just told of missions that the Colonel had been on, she wasn't someone he would want as an enemy she seemed very good at her job. The file ended with a glowing report on her latest mission. Why had this report been leaked? Was someone leaking all the information on the Derevko family perhaps the next file will be on another family member. With that thought in mind Vaughn opened another magazine looking for more paperwork he hid in it.

This file was not on a Derevko instead it was on Gerard Cuvee it was another SRV report on a former KGB agent he was the leader of F.R.P. whatever that was. He was also a follower of Rambaldi whatever that was, Vaughn had never heard of it before. Perhaps Jack would know what Rambaldi was.

Reading Cuvee file told of the man's dealings once as a KGB agent he was hailed as an exemplary agent that had been very good a finding sparrow agents and placed more than ten. The file did not name the names of those agents. But other than that Vaughn found no information that would lead them to Cuvee this file was also over five years old. Neither of these files give information on who killed his Father.

All they did now was bring more questions, like did Irina Derevko have a sister who either was a Colonel in the SVR or perhaps even higher ranked now. If she was still alive that is. Vaughn didn't really think Yekaterina Derevko herself would have leaked these files. So who was leaking them and why?

Agent Vaughn had a feeling something was coming soon and if only he had all the pieces of the puzzle could they stop something awful from happening unfortunately they did not even have half the pieces Vaughn knew was needed to solved this puzzle. But he couldn't help but feel like time was running out.

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Jack Bristow was admittedly happy that he wasn't being questioned any longer about his Wife, but instead found himself being excluded from the investigating all together. Which did make sense from an investigator's standpoint. Of course, they still ordered him to report any unusually behavior from his Wife. He tried explaining to his Superiors that it wasn't every day that your only daughter got engaged. That Laura was knee-deep in planning the wedding that was coming in a year or more. Jack who knew nothing of wedding planning was quite surprised to learn that churches, banquet halls, and hotels where weddings were held were reserved for upwards of a year already.

So Laura and Sydney along with Daniel were all trying to pick a date after Sydney graduated from college to have their big day. Plus they still weren't sure where they wanted to have the service. Jack had listened for the last two weeks about different churches, hotels, even at one point jokingly from Daniel they should marry at the hospital chapel where he worked and have the reception in the cafeteria. The Bristow women did not find that joke as funny as Jack had, even little JJ had gotten involved egging Daniel on saying how after they had the reception Daniel could just go right back to work not have to even leave the building.

But Jack's Superiors did not seem to understand that this new part of their lives was having Laura act differently than normal. She was full of energy wanting to spend all her free time helping their daughter plan the wedding of her dreams. She also was just so happy all the time it seemed Laura couldn't wait for Sydney to get married she had also hinted at them being grandparents in the not so distance future.

Jack had hinted back they still had an eleven-year-old at home, so they were too young to be grandparents anytime soon. To which Laura just laughed and told her beloved husband they had JJ late in life and were plenty old enough to have grandchildren.

It did seem like the case against Derevko had stalled the last information they had received from the files Agent Vaughn had gotten a few weeks ago had only pointed towards the possibility that Derevko had a relative who was a Colonel with the SRV or at least had been they could not confirm the information in either file.

Jack had wondered if this Yekaterina Derevko had once been KGB as well, and it just wasn't listened in the file, just as background on Colonel Derevko family were missing from the file as well.

Agent Vaughn had mentioned thinking he was being followed, looking into it quietly Jack discovered that they CIA did not follow Vaughn on this trip across the pond which meant if someone was following him it wasn't them.

So Vaughn had detailed what the man looked like he had gone through hundreds maybe a thousand pictures but did not find the man in question. At the moment the CIA was trying to get approval from the English to see CCTV of the London airport to see if they had captured the man Vaughn thought was following him. So far they had not gotten the approval and Jack wasn't sure when they would. He was thinking about calling in a favor from a MI6 agent he knew but didn't like drawing attention to this if Vaughn was wrong or perhaps even more if Vaughn was right.

No it was better to go through the motions Jack thought in a few days hopefully they would finally get approval and Vaughn could then set for hours looking through videos to see if he spotted the man again. Such fun Agent Vaughn had ahead of him.

The phone on his desk rang pulling him from all thoughts of the younger agent. Answering the call with "Director Bristow" Jack was taken aback by Laura's voice she usually called his cell phone.

"Jack I hate throwing this all you all of a sudden" Laura began then stopped as Jack heard her telling who he would guess was their son "No, you can't eat those. Those are for the fundraiser"

"But Mom can't I have just one" Jack heard JJ in the background asking. Try as he might Jack did not remember Laura telling him about any fundraiser she was taking part in, especially if she was baking things for it. Jack had thought Laura was helping Sydney out today, he was positive that their daughter was having work done on her car and Laura was going to be picking her up from work. Had he gotten that wrong somehow and if so did that mean he was missing other things that he was sure the CIA would have his job for?

Jack waited patiently as Laura and JJ had a discussion on JJ being able to have one cake cup if he paid the selling price. The cupcakes, Jack learned were being made and sold for new playground equipment at the school where Laura worked. So after he got one cupcake JJ went off to raid his piggy bank in order to get the dollar fifty he needed to pay for it.

"So what type of cupcake did JJ get?" Jack asked Laura heard his voice coming from the phone picked it up from the counter where she had set it while she was keeping JJ from eating the cupcakes picking it up fast having completely forgotten her husband was on the phone the whole time.

"Sorry Jack I set the phone down in order to deal with our son, what were you asking?"

"Oh just what type of cupcake did JJ get? I don't remember you telling me you was making cupcakes today" Jack asked and stated then added "Could you save one for me I'll pay you for it when I get home"

"There all yellow cupcakes from a box mix, I didn't have time to make my homemade ones, and you wouldn't remember me telling you about making cupcakes because I totally forgot I was supposed to be making them. It slipped my mine with all the wedding planning I've been helping Sydney with" More like taken over all the planning from Sydney Jack thought but kept silent on that.

"Mary from school is going to be picking up the cupcakes in two hours time, and I've almost gotten them all baked. But I need a favor" Laura pleaded hoping Jack wasn't working on something important and could help her out. These cupcakes were going to be sold at a PTA meeting they were having tonight.

"Sure sweetheart what do you need me to do? Pick you up some more frosting on the way home?" Jack asked relieved that he hadn't overlooked anything at home Laura herself had forgotten about the whole cupcakes' thing, so he wasn't losing his edge.

"No I've got all the frosting I need" Laura replied "but I am supposed to be picking up Sydney from work today, but I can't do that and get the cupcakes done, so I was hoping you could instead." Jack smiled and almost laughed he had been right after all today was the day Sydney car was in the garage for repairs yep he was still at the top of his game.

"I can pick her up" Jack heard Laura let out a breath of air he was sure she was relieved that Sydney had someone to pick her up now and didn't have to take a cab home.

"Thank goodness, I tried Francie earlier, but she had work and couldn't do it" Laura said "I hate bothering you at work Jack"

"Sweetheart you know if something comes up you can call me" Jack told his Wife knowing that this conversation was being listening to at the moment Jack knew his house phone was tapped he just imagined all the fun the agents were having, having to listen to all phone calls of conversations Laura, Sydney and Francie were having about the up coming wedding.

 

"I know that Jack, I just don't like bothering you at work" Laura said then Jack heard JJ return as their son asked "Here is three dollars can I have another cupcake?"

"I'll let you deal with our son, I will see you when I get home tonight" Jack finished with right before he hanged the phone up laughing as he did. If JJ had his way he was sure the boy would eat half of the cupcakes and make them pay for all of them if he could his son had a sweet tooth. Also hanging up that fast kept Jack from having to tell Laura he loved her, knowing the phone was tapped he hated having other agents hear him tell his Wife he loved her when he wasn't sure at the moment how he truly felt for her.

 

It was a shame though that Laura had not had time to make her homemade cupcakes, those were always so mouthwatering. Jack was sure the ones JJ was eating right now were good but nowhere near Laura's homemade ones. She had gotten the recipe from Emily Sloane, now there was a woman that could cook. When Laura had been in her coma then in the hospital for so long afterwards Emily would bring meals over for him and Sydney she would even come over to their house and cook for the two of them of course Arvin would come with her most of the time. But sometimes her husband would be working and couldn't come along.

Jack remembered Arvin teasing him about how Emily was cooking more for Sydney and Jack then for him. The Sloanes had been very good friends to them at that time, it was a shame how moving away had severed that friendship. But for what Jack had heard Arvin had left the CIA some time ago and what he was doing now Jack wasn't sure and tried not to look into it to closely because of their one time friendship. Because Jack new if Arivn was doing something illegal he would have to turn his former friend in. So it was better to not know for Emily's sake.

Chapter Text

Chapter Fourteen

Jack was running late as he saw Vaughn walk up towards him the young man was smiling. Knowing he couldn't just turn the other way and pretend he hadn't seen him Jack walked the rest of the way to the younger Agent wanting to get the conversation out of the way, so he could get to his car faster. Laura and Sydney both would have his head if he was late picking up Sydney from work.

"Any news?" Jack said getting right to the point not having time for chit-chat.

"Yes just got the approval to view the CCTV feeds" Vaughn answered he could tell Jack was itching to leave the office as he kept looking past his head towards the exit. "You need to be somewhere?"

"Yes, I've got to pick up my daughter from work, and I'm already going to be late so" Jack stated then continued "let me know right away if you i.d. the man who was following you"
having finished with that Jack didn't wait for Vaughn's replied he just walked away leaving Vaughn shaking his head at his bosses actions.

Vaughn headed towards the room to view the video feed hoping he could find the man who was following him and that it would lead them towards some answers and not more questions.

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Sydney was started to worry something had happened to her Mother, she had been standing outside of the physical therapist office she worked at for the last five minutes. Laura Bristow was very punctual so her being even a minute late was not like her at all she was usually always early.

Plus lately her Mother was driven by an unknown force to make wedding plans almost as if she thought if she didn't make them right away the wedding would never happen, Sydney thought jokingly to herself.

Danny thought it was great how enthused Laura Bristow was by her daughter's upcoming wedding it made him feel welcomed into the Bristow family, something it finally felt like the whole Bristow family was doing. Sydney was proud of her Father and Brother for accepting Danny they had been so much nicer to him lately. They had invited her fiancé to a ball game just the three of them. It seemed like everything was falling together, Sydney had never been so happy.

Looking around the parking lot and still not seeing her Mother's car anywhere Sydney turned around deciding she was going to try to call her Mom and if she couldn't get a hold of her maybe or her Father. She hated to worry him about the whereabouts of her Mother this early encase she was just stuck in traffic. But Jack Bristow had always enforced to his daughter to keep an eye out and if anything unusually was going on to tell him right away. He also was scared another accident would happen to his Wife or could happen to her.

Just as Sydney reached the door for the entrance of the physical therapist office she heard a car pull up beside the curb and then her Father's voice call out "Sorry I'm late"

Turning around Sydney automation replied a little shocked "Daddy" like just thinking about him had made her Father appear. "What are you doing here? Is Mom alright she was supposed to be picking me up?"

Jack smiled at his grown up daughter through his car window which he had rolled down. Sydney was always so full of questions if she didn't understand something, it's what made her such a good student always looking for answers.
It was clear Laura had not called Sydney to tell her to expect her Father instead of her Mother, picking her up.

"Your Mother is fine she just forgot a fundraiser she promised to make cupcakes for so she asked me to pick you up" Jack answered his daughter's questions with a smile "I'll take you home plus this way Sydney you get a break from the wedding planning"

Sydney just laughed as she walked in front of her Father's car to get to the passengers side. Opening the car door she was laughing a little still as she filled the empty seat. Her Mother had been super involved with the wedding plans. It would be nice just to not have to answer any questions about which cake or dresses she liked. Sydney couldn't wait until she could jump into the shower and unwind a little. Danny should be getting home soon if not already he was getting off a twelve-hour shift. So all the plans the newly engaged couple had was a night in with takeout. Sydney's dimples showed as she was deciding if she should let Danny pick tonight's dinner or if she would.

"I hope you weren't waiting too long" Jack stated as Sydney buckled her seat belt in. "I lost track of time."

"Not long I was just worried because Mom is never late for anything" Sydney replied giving her Father a smile letting him know she wasn't mad at him showing up a few minutes late.

"That is true" Jack said as he pulled out of the parking lot and onto the road "She does like being on time. I think it's where she is a teacher and has to be there on time" before her accident Laura wasn't punctual she would be late all the time. Something Jack couldn't help but wonder if it had to do with her other job. Jack just let that thought slide away he did not need to be in a bad mood around his daughter.

"So what's this fundraiser Mom's doing?" Sydney asked looking out the car's window watching the traffic around them.

"It's for new playground equipment, and somehow it seems your Mother completely forgot about. She had to make cupcakes from a box" Jack teasingly stated like it was a crime for Laura to do such a thing.

"Well playground equipment just can't compare to making plans for her only daughter's wedding" Sydney replied laughing at the cute pout her Dad was making. "I know how much you love Mom's cupcakes, but maybe it's a good thing she didn't make them because you only have a year to get in shape before you have to walk me down the aisle Daddy"

Sydney's laughter filled the car as Jack pouted even more and pretended to be outraged at his daughter for saying such a thing.

"I'll have you know I'm in good shape I have to be with my job" Jack declared.

"Yeah because airplane parts sales people have to jog five miles every day" Sydney replied coyly. Jack just laughed at that reply knowing that his children suspected what he really did.

"Do you think I'm fat?" Jack asked back at his daughter.

"No but if you eat a dozen of Mom's cupcakes you will be" Sydney retorted with a smirk.

"Well the same goes for you" Jack hurled back at his daughter laughing as she stuck her tongue out at him as a reply.

After a few minutes of silence Sydney sighed out loud this was nice getting to spend time alone with her Dad. It seemed like since she had gotten serious with Danny she hadn't had spent alone time with him.

There was always something to do or like her Mom thought to plan for. Sydney just hoped between her parents savings and what Danny, and she had they could afford the wedding of her Mother's dreams.

"Was it a hard day at work?" Jack asked thinking maybe Sydney was tried and that was why she hadn't thrown any more banter back at him.

"No not really, I'm just thinking about maybe telling Mom that the idea about having the Wedding at Danny's hospital is sounding pretty good" Sydney jested with laughter in her eyes.

Jack couldn't help but laugh at his daughters comment "Yeah that would not go over well with your Mother at all"

"But Sydney if she's driving you to crazy with all this wedding planning, if you want I could talk to her about it" Jack offered not wanting his little girl to be over ran with making plans when she should be studying for her final year of college.

"Thanks Daddy, but I can handle Mom" Sydney responded "I just would like a weekend off without making any plans. Just time for me and Danny for ourselves without Mom and Francie down our necks with all these plans"

"I'll tell you're Mother to give you the weekend off" Jack informed Sydney "She needs to spend more time with JJ anyway. Maybe if I have the whole weekend off I can get her to go to a game with us"

"A ball game Dad? Really I just don't see that happening" Sydney resorted with "Maybe if you took her to the beach make it a mini family vacation"

Jack took in Sydney's idea and knew it had merit and something a few months ago he would have loved to do with his wife and son, but now the thought of spending a whole weekend mostly alone with his wife and eleven-year-old son who he was sure would spend the whole weekend in the ocean are building sandcastle leaving him left to make conversation with Laura. But perhaps he could suggest she bring all those wedding magazines she had brought and go through them as they laid out on lawn chairs. That might just work with keeping Laura from noticing just how uncomfortable he was around her.

Jack knew he was getting better being around Laura and treating her like nothing was wrong, but he was sure if Sydney's wedding planning wasn't taken most of her attention she would notice something was bothering him.

While he did not share his work with Laura any more Jack did not hide his feelings from her Laura knew if something was wrong at work because he didn't try to pretend everything was okay. Yes Jack was a spy and had been one for almost as long as he could remember being alive. But he had never had to hide being upset with Laura before, pretend that nothing had changed that he did not see her now and think of betrayal. Think of all those funerals he went to of CIA officers now knowing his wife's part in them.

Jack wasn't sure he wanted to look at Laura in a bathing suit if he could not help thinking about the affairs she had on him. Just how stupid it had once been. Then there was the whole issue that Laura had no idea any of this ever happened. Which made him felt guilty thinking her a lying cheating slut, when for the last twenty years she hadn't been any of those things. Yes, Jack thought my life is very complicated at the moment.

Turning to smile at his daughter Jack thought it was a blessing at the moment that Sydney was getting married it was giving the whole Bristow household something to keep them busy with.

"When do you need this weekend break from your Mother?" Jack asked as he turned onto the street where Sydney now lived. "I can check with work and let you know if I can get this weekend or next off"

"Thanks Daddy that would be great" Sydney answered back making mental notes of just what she truly wanted to do with some alone time with Danny. Looking at her new place Sydney seen Danny's car she couldn't help but smile maybe tonight they could just have a nice night in.

"Daniel looks to be home" Jack stated as he pulled his car to a stop "So I will get back to you tomorrow afternoon let you know about when I can get off"

"Sounds good" Sydney said as she unbuckled then opened the car door "Thank you Daddy for the ride home" she was just about to shut the door when she remember about the perfume.

"Wait here for a minute Dad, I promised Mom that perfume I'm allergic too, I'll go grab it, and you can bring it home to her. I keep forgetting about it and so does Mom" Sydney supplied right before running towards her front door leaving Jack's car door wide open in her wake.

Jack just shook his head thinking of when Sydney had been a little girl and Laura would yell at her to not ran in the house only that hadn't really been Laura had it? That had been Irina Derevko yelling at their daughter. How he had not known that Laura hadn't been real? Jack felt like punching himself for being so stupid not to see that a beautiful woman like Laura would never have fallen for a guy like him. But he didn't need to do thinking like that with Sydney returning any moment with the perfume Jack did not want his daughter to notice his darken mood.

A few minutes past and no Sydney then a few more and Jack started to think that Sydney had forgotten all about returning with the perfume. Jack turned off the motor and got out of his car walked around the front of it and made his way to shut the passenger door. Once that was done he walked calmly to his daughter's front door. Once there he knocked and did not receive an answer. So he knocked once again, Jack was torn between just turning around going back to his car and leaving. Sure that Sydney had seen Daniel and forgot all about the perfume and her waiting Father. But the spy in him told him to call at least make sure that was the story. So Jack took his phone out of his jacket pocket and dialed Sydney's number. It rang and Jack could hear it on the other side of the door. So it looked like Sydney had dropped her purse by the door when she entered. Hanging up Jack was turning to walk back to his car when he thought he heard a cry.

Not wasting a moment he walked back to the door and turned the knob which was unlocked, so he entered and heard a cry that would stay with him for the rest of his life at hearing this Jack took off running towards the sound just before he got to the open bathroom door Jack took out his gun. He could hear more cries now as he looked inside the bathroom, seeing the sight before him Jack knew he would never forget it for the rest of his life.

Chapter Text

Chapter Fifteen

Michael Vaughn rubbed his hand through his head turning from the computer screen to look at his friend and co-worker Eric Weiss and asked "Can you go get me some coffee it looks like we might be here all night"

They had been here over two hours already looking at different camera feeds of the London airport from different angles so far they hadn't found the video feed contenting any feeds of Vaughn himself yet. The airport was huge and Vaughn wasn't sure which camera feeds came from which cameras so hopeful soon they would find the right location.

"Sure I'll bring us both ex-large cups" Weiss replied with as he slid back his chair. "Maybe grabbed us a few bags of chips or a candy bar too"

"Thanks man that sounds good" Vaughn returned still looking at the screen in front of him it was time stamped the right time, but this wasn't anywhere near where his plane landed. So he tapped the computer in front of him remembering how to change camera feeds from earlier when another agent had taken the time to show Weiss and him how to do it.

Only a few minutes pass by and Vaughn has changed the feeds twice more when Weiss returned to the room turning Vaughn was confused when he saw no coffee cups in his friends hands.
"They ran out of coffee?" he joked but the smile on his face fall when he saw the look on Weiss face. Something was wrong.

 

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There was blood on his hands Jack knew how and where he had gotten it, but he wasn't paying much attention to it at the moment. All his focus was on his daughter she was so pale laying on a hospital bed. They had taken her clothes off that were covered in blood she was wearing a hospital gown now. The Doctor had told Jack they did not think Sydney was having a heart attack more like a panic attack or psychological shock. Who could blame her at what she came home to find.

Jack was trying not to think about that, he was in Director Bristow mode, he wanted an answer about whom, how, and why, someone had broken into his daughter's home and shot and killed her fiancé whiling the man was taking a shower. Was this a hit had Daniel Hecht been the target or was someone after Sydney? Or was this just a crime of opportunity?

The police were going to be here soon, Jack was sure to question him he had already called in to the CIA to let them know he was involved in a crime scene. He was to tell them his cover story of being an airplane parts salesman, thankful he had time to reholster his gun before the E.M.T. arrived on scene. He had spoken only a few words to the two officers at the scene before he had left in the ambulance with Sydney.

Jack would have liked to stay at the scene and checked the place from top to bottom, but Sydney needed him. She had been screaming and crying like a wounded animal rocking Daniel back and forth in her arms when he had entered the bathroom. Sydney had looked up and stopped screaming just long enough to say "Daddy, I tried CPR, but it didn't work there is just to much blood it keeps coming out when I push on his chest"

Sydney had then looked down at her hands that were covered in blood back to Daniel who she was holding and started to cry and scream "No, No, No" over and over again. "You can't leave me, we're getting married"

Jack could not let himself go back to that moment he could not let himself be just Sydney's Father at this moment he also had to be a CIA agent and put all his feelings into a box in the corner of his mind he had to stay focus if this wasn't a random act of violence someone could be after Sydney.

Sydney herself had no known enemies, and from the background checks he had run on Daniel he did not have any as well. So that left someone who could have a grudge against Jack himself or against Irina Derevko. Was someone trying to draw her out by killing her soon-to-be son-in-law or perhaps the real target had been Sydney herself.

Had the same person or persons who had leaked those old KGB files be trying to see if Derevko was faking her brain injury? Right now though there was no proof of that Jack might just be letting his imagination run away from him, because he did not want to face all the feelings he was bottling up. He did not want to think about having to make the call he had been putting off for the last ten minutes since Sydney had been put to sleep by a shot she was given of a sleeping aid.

He did not want to call up his wife and tell her that all those plans she had been making with Sydney and Daniel were all for naught now. Furthermore, he didn't want to have to think about seeing the young man he had accepted into his family laying lifeless being cried over by his daughter he didn't want to have to remember what happened after that.

Jack did not want to remember calling 911, or having to hold Sydney back as they took Daniel's body from her arms. He hadn't been able to search the other rooms for clues because Sydney was crying and screaming so bad he had to hold her and try to keep her from throwing herself into a panic attack which Jack was sure he had failed at.

Jack knew any minute the Police would be coming to interview him, but he did not want to leave Sydney alone. A nurse walked in she looked Jack straight in the face there were tear tracks falling from her eyes. "Hi I'm Amy, I work, well worked with Doctor Hecht. We met at his engament party. But I'm sure you don't remember me there were alot of people there."

"Is this his hospital?" Jack asked he hadn't known which hospital Sydney was taken to in the haste of everything going on all Jack wanted was her to be seen right away. The ride over in the ambulance hadn't clued Jack in on which hospital they were being taken too, Sydney had kept crying and holding his arm asking "Why?" over and over.

Amy the nurse nodded her head as more tears fall from her eyes. Turning her head she looked at Sydney, and she let out a sob. "We just had lunch the three of us last week, right here in the cafeteria in between shifts" she mumbled out. "I just can't believe this it's so unreal"

"Could you set with Sydney for a few minutes while I call my wife?" Jack asked standing up from the chair he had been setting in. Not knowing what to say to this young woman who knew both Sydney and Daniel but was a stranger to him. "I know they gave her something for her to sleep, but I just don't want her to be alone right now"

"Of course I can" Amy said turning to look at Jack again "I just got off so take all the time you need for your call."

"Thank you" Jack replied then headed for the door. Dreading the call he was about to make.

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Laura Bristow was a mess frosting was covering her arms and hands she had just packed up all the cupcakes and her co-worker had picked them up. All she wanted to do was get to Sydney, but she was waiting for JJ's friend's Father to pick him up. How Laura wished that Emily Sloane still lived nearby, that woman would have dropped everything to come and watch JJ for her at a moments notice like she always had done with Sydney.

JJ did not understand what had happened only that Sydney was in the hospital and that Danny had died somehow. Laura couldn't really give her son any more details because she herself hadn't gotten any more than that from Jack. Tears kept falling from her eyes unchecked. JJ was packing an overnight bag for his friends house, so Laura did not bother to wipe them away.

It just did not make sense how could Danny be dead? He had so much to live for all those plans that Sydney, and he had been making. Plans of a life together, getting married, making Laura a grandmother soon. All those things just disappeared with the good Doctor's death.

Laura could tell from Jack's tone of voice the second she answered her phone something awful had happened. He couldn't talk long it seemed the police were wanting to talk to him, Laura wasn't sure about why that was. He hadn't even been able to tell her how Danny had died and why Sydney was admitted to the hospital. Only that their Daughter was in the hospital that she wasn't taken Daniel's death well, and they had to give her something to clam her down and sleep.

 

Laura wiped her eyes as she heard JJ as he closed his bedroom door, she did not want JJ to see her crying afraid it would set her little boy off crying too. When she wouldn't be around him to offer comfort.

"Can't I come to the hospital" JJ pleaded "I want to see Sydney"

"Sweetheart, it's getting late and I don't know how long I will be at the hospital tonight" Laura told her baby boy as she opened her arms to him. He dropped his overnight bag and walked into his mother's arms. "I promise to call once I get to the hospital and see Sydney to let you know how she is doing"

"You will tell Sydney I love her right Mom" JJ pleaded "and let her know I'm sorry about Danny"

"Yes" Laura replied holding her son a little tighter thinking about how she just lost a young man she thought of as being another son. She kissed the top of JJ's head something that was going to be impossible to do in a few years she was sure when he grew taller. Hearing a knock at the door Mother and Son pulled apart, Laura went to answer the door walking a littler faster than normal wanting to get JJ all settled, so she could get to her daughter as soon as possible.

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Jack was drained of all energy his talk with the two detectives left him irritated that he wasn't handling the investigation into Daniel's death. Their questions were all about what time he arrived home with Sydney to why he entered after she didn't return to the car, they had all but accused Sydney of killing Doctor Hecht herself then faking her breakdown. They wanted her clothes to check for gun powered residue. They also had his hands checked for it as well, it turned out to be a good thing he hadn't washed Daniel's blood off his hands. Likewise, they also requested his shirt along with his jacket, and they wanted to search his car that was still parked in front of Sydney and Daniel's place.

Jack had locked his car doors before leaving in the ambulance with Sydney, so he knew they had not gotten into his vehicle as of yet without a warrant. He was not about to give them permission the CIA would frown upon that without getting their consent first, mostly because Jack like a lot of other agents carried an extra gun in his glove compartment. One which was registered through the CIA.

Jack had told the two detectives he did not see a reason for them to search his vehicle he played the innocent Parts' salesman to a tee. He asked a passing by nurse if he could get a scrub shirt because the detectives needed his shirt and jacket for testing. The nurse replied she would be happy to help and Jack left the two officer to follow the nurse in search of a new shirt. As soon as the nurse gave him the scrub top he entered the men's restroom thankful it was just one big room. Jack pulled out his cell phone he had a few calls to make.

 

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Laura's hand went automatic to cover her mouth as a sob came out of it, as she saw her daughter laying in the hospital bed. A nurse was setting next to Sydney which was a little weird because usually nurses did not set down while they were working. The nurse looked up and slowly left her chair next to the bed.

"I'm Amy I'm a friend of well.. was" she said as tears filled her eyes and she fought them back "Doctor Hecht, Danny was a good friend"

"Danny was a good man" Laura agreed as she turned to look at Sydney again and asked "Are you visiting with Sydney?" wondering where Jack was.

"I meant to just check in on Sydney after my shift ended but Sydney's Dad asked me if I could set with her while he called you I believe" Amy said not wanting to sound like she was put out by having been setting with Sydney so long she added. "Then before he could return two officers came in wanting to talk to him, so I decide to stay I know Danny wouldn't want Sydney to be alone right now"

"No he wouldn't" Laura replied as picked up and held Sydney's hand. "Do you know how long Sydney will be in here?"

Amy nodded her head, although Laura wasn't looking at her to notice, "I asked a another nurse who came in here a few minutes ago, they told me tomorrow morning Sydney should be able to be discharged"

"What's wrong with Sydney, Jack didn't to say much on his phone call" Laura asked.

"She's being treated for shock, I just can't imagine what she went through finding Danny like that" Amy responds with as tears fell from her eyes. "They were just so happy planning their wedding"

"I better be going" Amy said not wanting to add her grief onto the already grief stricken family. "If Sydney needs anything or any of you please let me know. Sydney knows my number."

"Thank you for setting with her" Laura comment back "I'm sorry for your loss as well"

"It's all of our loss, the whole world's really Danny was a great man and would have been a outstanding pediatric cardiology" Amy stated then left Laura alone with her sleeping daughter.

Laura now alone with Sydney took in her daughter's pale skin and the read-out from the heart monitor that beeped once in a while. Her poor baby girl, how could this have happened? How could they lose Danny so suddenly like this? Laura still wasn't sure what had happened but thought it wasn't a nature death if they police were questioning Jack over it. None of that matter though right now all that did was getting Sydney better. Laura knew Jack hadn't done anything to Danny, so she wasn't worried about the police keeping him any longer than they needed for him to answer their questions.

Laura herself wanted all her questions answered as well mainly what on earth had happened to Daniel Hecht that cause his death and her strong daughter to go into shock? It had to be something awful.

Hearing the room door open behind her Laura turned her head and saw Jack standing there in a borrowed scrub shirt. The expression on his face told her of the sadness he was feeling. Putting Sydney's hand down Laura walked the small distanced between herself and Jack wrapping her arms around her husband as tears fell from her eyes with snobs coming from her as well. After a few minutes of Jack running his hand down her back giving her the strenght to pull herself together Laura asked "Jack what happened to Danny? How did he die?"

"He was murdered Laura, shot while taking a shower" Jack mumbled into his wife's hair "Sydney found him she was getting that perfume for you and found him"

"No" Laura denied "No that can't be true"

"It's true Laura" Jack stated keeping himself in check using all his training to not let his anger and hurt through "I found Sydney holding Daniel's body she had tried CPR, but it didn't work" at letting that memory return tears filled Jack's eyes and Laura could hear the emotion in Jack's voice as he continued "there was nothing she could do he was already gone by the time she got home"

"Why would someone kill Danny?" Laura couldn't stop herself from asking knowing Jack didn't have an answer at least not yet.

"I have no idea, but trust me Laura I will find out who killed Daniel, and they will be punished" Laura nodded her head in agreement with what her husband just said. Whoever had killed Danny needed to pay and Laura was thankful she knew Jack wouldn't stop until they found out who had done this.

Chapter Text

Chapter Sixteen

Michael Vaughn felt dreadful that he wasn't allowed to help Director Bristow when the call came in that an agent had to go retrieve the gun in Jack's car. First they had to stop by the hospital and get the keys from the Director. Vaughn had been relieved when Weiss had volunteer to go retrieve the gun from the glove compartment. Weiss was to wear gloves and only take the gun to leave everything else all alone in the car. He was to wait until it was dark outside and the police all left the scene then unlock the car door get the gun then lock the car again nothing else was to be taken from the car. Weiss then was to bring the gun back to the CIA headquarters to be locked away.

Then if that wasn't enough Weiss had to return Jack's car keys back to him, so that the Director could give them to the local police, so they could search the car. It seemed their Superiors thought letting the local authorities search Jack's car would lead them to clear him faster and let them search for another suspect. If they had found Jack's gun though, it would lead them to the CIA and blow Jack's cover.

Vaughn thought they were likely also wanting the gun to make sure it wasn't the murder weapon in this cast of whomever killed Jack's almost son-in-law.

 

Vaughn knew the only way he could offer any help to Jack right now was to find the man who had been following him in London. To see if someone else was looking for information on old KGB agents.

 

After Weiss left Vaughn was stuck watching the video feeds all alone for what seemed like hours but might have only been for an hour. Until he finally found the right camera feed then looking at the time stamp Vaughn fast forwarded until the time his plane landed then he waited until he saw himself on CCTV feed right after him, he saw the man who had been following him. Once Vaughn was certain he called for another agent who was better with computers to see if he could enlarger the video feed to get a clear picture of the man following him, so they could I.D. him.

That kept Vaughn busy for the next few hours long enough not to worry about Director Bristow or at least appear not to be worried about Jack and his family after what just happened to them. More than you would for a colleague who had just had a tragedy happen in their family. Daniel Hecht wasn't someone that Vaughn had ever met in person and really other than looking into his background for Jack when Sydney and the Doctor had started dating he knew nothing about the good doctor. The check it's self showed that Doctor Hecht was a good man who wanted to help kids. Michael thought he sounded on paper like the perfect son-in-law. It was a shame that his life had been cut short.

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Weiss hadn't known what to say to Director Bristow when the older man had met him with the latter's car keys. Weiss was sure he had given a generic I'm sorry for your loss then had taken the offered keys and making plans to meet back in the same spot two hours from now to return said keys.

Getting the gun from the glove compartment had been easy he used the passenger side door looking around making sure no one seemed around just hoping he wasn't being watched got it and used gloves the whole time. Then locked the doors for the car, returning to headquarters to drop the gun off then, Weiss returned to the hospital parking lot at the designated time returned Jack his keys and remembered to ask the man how his daughter was. To which the reply was she was to be getting out of the hospital the next morning.

Weiss had been briefed on what was known so far of the case, Dr Daniel Hecht had been shot while taking a shower to be found by his fiancé who was Director Bristow daughter whom he for some reason had been driving home today from work.

Bristow's daughter hadn't reacted well to finding her fiancé killed and was spending the night in the hospital because of it. Weiss did not want to imagine having to live through something as awful as finding the love of your life dead, but then finding them having been murder that just added to the awfulness. Director Bristow looked wore out, he had been dressed in a scrub top with his usually dress pants that looked to Weiss to have blood spots on them. Seeing that made a mental note in Weiss mind that the murder scene must have been blood filled, poor Miss Bristow.

Weiss had no clue just how many children Director Bristow had he had known from the ring on the older man's finger he was married but little else about his family. The Director kept work away from his family at all cost. The rumor around the office was years ago Bristow's wife had been hurt in an accident that was pointed out to be caused from his work. If that was true or not Weiss did not know and would never ask around. No one wanted to get on the bad side of Jack Bristow.

But someone had just done that hadn't they? They had just killed the man who was going to be Director Bristow son-in-law. Weiss was sure that the Director was going to want to investigate this murder personally and who could blame him. In fact Weiss would volunteer if they needed an agent to look into this murder it was the least he could do. It just seemed so wrong for Miss Bristow to be robbed of all her dreams in such a cruel way.

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Jack had called the detectives who questioned him earlier and told them he hadn't been thinking clearly, of course they could search his car. That he was still at the hospital with his daughter, and they could come pick up his car keys there if they wished. Also, he asked if it would be okay if they could enter Sydney's home to pack a bag of clothes for her. The detectives offered to pick him up at the hospital and drive him back to Doctor Hecht's place, so they could escort him in and let him pack a few days worth of clothes for Sydney. Jack read between the lines of, so they could watch him the entire time to make sure he didn't take anything but clothes. Jack agreed not wanting to go but knowing he could not ask Laura to go in his stead because of the CIA tails following her, also he did not want his wife to have to see the crime scene.

Plus this way the detectives would not get to question Laura in the car ride there and back. Laura had been close to Daniel and Jack knew she would not take well to the bathroom where he had been killed. It would give Jack himself nightmares he knew, finding Sydney like that holding her lost love.

Jack planned to ask Laura before the detectives got there just want of Sydney's he should pack for their daughter. He knew the basics of pants, shirts, underwear, maybe a few pairs of pj's. Because Sydney would not be able to live in that place again, even if she wanted to some time in the future right now the police had not released the scene and who knows how long that was going to take.

No, Sydney would be coming back home to stay with them for a little while. Jack any other time would have been over the moon with his little girl coming to live back home, but not now. Not because of Daniel's murder. But there was nothing that could be done for that now other than for all of them to just be there for Sydney and Jack thought to catch whoever had killed Daniel.

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A young Detective who picked Jack up wasn't one of the two who he had seen last night. The younger man was nicer than the other two had been and took the car keys from Jack and let him know how sorry he was for his loss and asking about the condition of Sydney. Jack seen right through this as good cop / bad cop they wanted him to trust this new cop and maybe revealing something that could lead them to charge him or Sydney with murder.

Jack instead said very little to the new detective playing it off as him being tried and exhausted from everything that had happened that day. It was still dark out and Jack just wanted to get to Sydney's place and pack her a few things and get back to the hospital to his wife and daughter.
Pulling up to his car, Jack couldn't believe just a few hours before he had been setting in that car thinking of just leaving when he couldn't get a hold of Sydney. Thank God he hadn't, what type of shape would his daughter have been in if he hadn't of found her only minutes later. As of now Jack wasn't sure if Sydney would ever be the same again.

The detective had given Jack a clear plastic large bag to pack Sydney's items in. Jack had painstakingly made sure to wrap his daughter's underwear and bras up in the two different PJ's he packed. There was no need for anyone to see his daughter's undergarments. He also packed her five pairs of jeans and ten different shirts, he grabbed as many socks as he could fit in the bag. Knowing Sydney would need more things there he was able to fit into the bag. He was also being watched the whole time by the detective, so Jack just wanted to get in and out as fast as possible, so he could get back to the hospital. Jack didn't even ask to be allowed into the bathroom to retrieve Sydney's toiletries, they would have to buy her a new toothbrush and anything else she would need.

Jack had asked about her laptop but was denied taking it until it could be searched. Once that was done the detective told Jack they would call and Sydney could pick it up at the police station. Jack had to bite his tongue from yelling out they needed to search for Daniel's killer, not torment his grief-stricken fiancé. Jack knew once they cleaned Sydney which should be soon they perhaps they would allow her to take more things from her home. After he was done packing Jack declined the detectives offer of driving him back to the hospital instead Jack called himself a cab it took over twenty minutes before the cab pulled up, but Jack had waited outside the whole time he could not stand to be in that place he kept reliving finding Sydney with Daniel in her arms over and over.

Jack had been in awful situations before but never did they affect him like this did. Seeing his daughter so tore apart trying so hard to save the man she loved. Knowing there was nothing he could do to help her. That no one could help Sydney save Daniel, that he was already gone. Jack felt he had failed as a Father today or was it yesterday it was early morning by now. He had not be able to keep his daughter from having her heart broken. In fact, he hadn't been able to keep his whole family from having all their hearts broken.

Daniel was a part of their family, and he was gone now, why did this have to happen? Whoever did it will pay, Jack thought as his cab pulled up to take him back to the hospital.

Chapter Text

Chapter Seventeen

 

Three-Months later

Nothing was the same any longer, Sydney Bristow felt like her life was out of control. That somehow she had been turned back into a child and lived under her parents rules. The days after Danny's death were mostly a blur to her, her hospital stay she didn't remember at all. The first clear memory after finding Danny was waking up in her old bedroom at her parents house. She couldn't remember why she was there, it had been her Father coming checking on her just looking at his face everything had come back to her, and she had started screaming “No” over and over as tears ran down her face.

Sydney was thankful that JJ hadn't been home at the time to see and hear her break down. It was hurt enough facing her Father and Mother who came running when she heard the screams. For a few weeks after that Sydney could see the uncertain look in her parents eyes when they were around her not wanting to do or say anything to set her off. She had pulled herself together enough to make it through Daniel's funeral she owed it to him to be the strong woman he thought she was.

It was afterwards that she fell apart in Francie arms, both had tears running down their faces. Her parents had to clam down JJ who had started crying and couldn't stop this was the first death in the young boy's life, and he was blaming himself for not liking Danny at first. Laura Bristow had to walk the young boy outside and hug him until he had stopped crying. Jack Bristow was torn between going to comfort his son or staying and giving comfort to his daughter. Francie had whispered to Jack to go check on JJ that she wouldn't leave Sydney's side. After ten minutes Jack had returned and hadn't left his daughter's side until it was time to leave for the reception and Sydney had let Francie drive her.

JJ was red eyed at the reception, but he did not cry again he was trying to be strong like his Dad was and not make Sydney sadder. It was all like a nightmare to Sydney, living through something she had thought perhaps might happen in forty-years after having been married to Danny and having spent a life-time together. Not to happen before they even got to speak their vows.

It was hard to not think of Danny, but Sydney knew she could not let herself go there. She had cried more tears than she thought was possible. After the police had released their place Sydney with the help of her family and friends had packed away her things, along with Danny's.

Talking to the detectives had been hard because Sydney wasn't stupid she knew they were thinking she had something to do with Danny's death. But after her two-hour interview they let her go and hadn't bothered her again. She knew that her Father had talked to them since then. And Sydney was fine with letting Jack Bristow handle them. She just wanted to know why her love had been taken from her.

So far from what her Father had said they thought it was a break-in that Danny was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But Sydney had the feeling her Father did not buy that. Sydney did not want to know the details on the case because all it did was bring back the awful scene in the bathroom back to her.

Sydney was now second guessing everything in her life, did she really want to be in physical therapy. Every time she went to work all she could think was of all the plans she and Daniel had made. Going to school was hard as well because she was getting closer to finishing it, and now she wasn't sure if that was what she wanted.

Maybe instead Sydney thought I could fall back onto my dream of being a teacher like Mom. Not working with five and six-year-olds, but she could see herself teaching English to teenagers. Right now anything medical just brought up memories of Danny and Sydney was trying to not fall apart. She needed to pull her life together maybe the first step would be to get her own place. But Sydney did not want to live alone. Francie had been asking her to move in with her for over a month now maybe it was time to spread her wings and stop hiding at her parents house.

Of course Sydney laughed knowing that JJ would hate it, her little brother loved all the time he was getting to spend with her. He even some night would sneak in to her room and sleep next to her, the first night he did it scared Sydney when she woke to find someone sleeping next to her until she realized it was just her baby brother.

But Sydney knew she had to live her life again Danny would not want her to shut the world out, he was such a wonderful loving man he would want her to live and be happy. It just hurt so much thinking about any future without him being there. Sydney had no want of a new relationship and wasn't sure she would ever want another one. How do you get over the love of your life being murdered? It's just something Sydney wasn't sure one could ever really do.

It was something she did not want to do. It seemed to Sydney as being unfaithful to Danny to even think of one day having a relationship with something else. Not only that, but it would be a betrayal of all the plans that she and Danny had made. Of the life they had dreamed of having together.

Sydney was just grateful no one had mentioned dating to her right now she was afraid of the response she would have to such an absurd idea. Her heart had died with Danny, and she wasn't sure it would ever start to beat again.

Sydney knew she needed to move out of her parents house though, or she might never get up the nerve to do it before JJ left for college. It would be hard to leave the comfort that her parents house held for her. But Sydney knew she had to stand on her own two feet and not hide away from the world, just because she wasn't planning on dating anyone did not mean she should stay hidden away.

It might be fun once again moving back in with Francie, it would be hard to see Charlie and Francie together because it used to always be the four of them together but hey Will Turner their friend could be the fourth, so they would have an even number, and he wouldn't feel the odd man out anymore.

Hearing a knock on her bedroom door followed by her Father's voice asking “Is it okay if I come in?”

"Yes" Sydney answered then almost laughed when she saw what was in her Father's hands. A teddy bear with a red bow wrapped around its neck. It looked like one she had when she was little
but had given to JJ when he was born.

"I thought you might like this to hug at night" Jack told his daughter as he held out the brown bear to Sydney. He knew JJ had been sneaking in at night to sleep by his sister, when Jack had asked the young boy about it, he had been told by his son "I don't want Sydney to get lonely at night"

So Jack thought why not give Sydney something to hold on to and hopefully that would also deter JJ from Sydney's room at night. It wasn't heath for either of his children, Jack was sure. JJ feeling like he had to sleep by his sister at night to keep her from crying and being alone. And Sydney because Jack was sure one day she would want to move out on her own again and needed to be used to sleeping by herself before then.

Sydney took the offered bear and hugged it to her chest, she smiled softly at it. Knowing her Father was just trying to help cheer her up. "Thanks" was her reply for the brown bear. "But you do know I'm over twenty-five and don't need stuffed animals to sleep with at night"
"Or pesky little brother's" Jack added taking a seat on Sydney's bed.

"His not being a pest" Sydney defended her brother with "JJ is just being really very sweet" she stated with tears in her eyes "He doesn't want me to be alone"

"None of us do" Jack said then added as he patted the bed "come set by me"
Sydney followed her Father's orders and set next to him.

"You're Mother and I flipped a coin to see who got to have this conversation with you" Jack had thought both of them should just share this conversation, but Laura did not want to gang up on their daughter, so it was decided by him calling heads that he would get to have this talk with their daughter.

 

"Sounds serious than" Sydney replied knowing that she was joking hoping this talk wouldn't be serious at all.

"First off myself and your Mother both of us want you to know that we want you to stay with us here at the house forever"

"Daddy" Sydney wined knowing that if anyone other than JJ wanted her to stay at the house indefinitely it wasn't her Mother.

Jack give her a sheepish look "Okay I want you to stay living with me forever because you will always will be my baby girl. But I know that someday hopefully many months or even years for now you will one day move out again"

"Daddy, I don't want to move out" Sydney stated she could see in her Father's eyes he knew what was coming next though "but I can't stay hiding away from my life here. I know you and Mom love me and want what's best for me."

"Yes we do" Jack replied "I just want you to know staying here with us isn't you hiding away from the world. But what is hiding is you not going out with your friends only having them come over here to visit. And let's not even start about how you have cut back your hours at work"

It was turning into that serious conversation Sydney was afraid it was going too. Her Dad wasn't going to let her slide by life anymore. This conversation was one Sydney would have bet her Mother would have loved to have with her.

"Sweetheart, I love you, but you have to live not just close yourself off from the world? Daniel would not want that for you" Jack said hating have to use the late Doctor's name he saw the pain in Sydney's face when he did. "He was a good man that would want you to live sweetie"

"I know Daddy" Sydney answered as tears fall from her eyes "I just don't know how to live without him" Jack pulled his daughter into his arms and just held her letting her get the tears out.

"You just take it one day at a time" Jack told his little girl when he pulled away from their embrace. “And while it doesn't seem like it today, someday far, far into the future you will find love again. Because that is what Daniel would want for you. He would not want you to waste your life mourning for him and not have some of those dreams the two of you share from happening."

More tears followed those words from her Father, but Sydney found that she wasn't angry at him. It was all true what her Father just said. Danny would not want her to live a life shut in, but right now she needed that. Or maybe she didn't?

"I'll leave you to think about what I've just said" Jack said as he got up off Sydney's bed "And I meant what I said about you not having to move out for years if you want" Hearing that Sydney laughed through her tears watching as her Father walked out of her room.

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Laura Bristow had asked her husband how the talk had gone with Sydney, Jack had said he thought it went well. She had wanted to have the talk herself but knew Jack wanted to do it he felt responsible for all of Sydney's unhappiness because he couldn't protect Danny from being killed. Just because Jack was with the CIA did not mean he could stop crime from happening. Daniel's murder was not Jack's fault or his responsibility to stop it from happening, Jack wasn't an all powerful superhero and even Superman couldn't save everyone.

So Laura had let Jack talk to Sydney about her hiding away in this house. She knew he would not push their daughter to move out, but he would tell her to get out more and right now Laura thought Sydney still needed her family around here before she ventures out into the world again.

Or maybe it was Laura that still needed Sydney to stay around the house for a little longer before she felt ready for her daughter to be out of her site for longer than the work day. Losing Danny had shaken something inside of Laura, she had pictured their future together was helping plan their wedding. Laura had already dreamed of what her future grandchildren were going to look like. So when they lost Danny they also lost all those plans as well.

Laura herself knew losing Jack the way Sydney had lost Danny would have killed her and made her lose her mind finding him like Sydney had Danny. It was just so sad and senseless, Danny was going to be such a great Pediatric Cardiologist to help so many. And he was killed for what? The Police had not found anything missing, it was just a crying shame a good man died for nothing.

Laura knew Jack was looking into the case but so far every time she asked Jack said they hadn't found anything. Since Danny's death and Jack taking it so hard he seemed to be pulling away from her more and more.

Laura just hoped they caught whomever it was that killed Daniel, perhaps then Jack would start to act like himself once more.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eighteen

Director Bristow felt like the last few months of his life had been like a very poorly written play, you never knew what was going to happen next. It had taken a week to get his car back from the local police, once it had been returned Jack had it swept for bugs. It had been clean of course but being in the CIA you could never be too careful.

It had taken the police a few months before they fully dropped Sydney as a suspect in her fiancé's murder. Her taken his death not, so well actually played a part in them believing she had nothing to do with it. Which Jack was grateful for, Sydney did not need to be interrogated any more then the one time she had talked to the detectives. Jack himself had talked to them twice more and was relieve when he too was informed he wasn't a suspect any longer as well.

 

What the CIA had learned was a hit had been put out on the good Doctor, the who, why, were still a mystery. One Jack prayed was answered soon without anyone else he knew having to pay with their lives to answer.

Jack hated how this played out so far his daughter's life was destroyed, she wasn't acting like herself at all. He was thinking of suggest to Sydney that perhaps she should take up kick boxing again something to keep her busy plus it was a good thing to know in case someone tried to hurt her.

JJ was almost back to normal, but the young boy had now seen death and would never be as innocent as he once had been. It hurt Jack that he couldn't protect his children from this senseless crime. Sydney was heartbroken and JJ now looked at strangers as if they could hurt him. Because of that Laura, and he had decided to learn JJ how to defend himself. He had learned about gun safety along with how to shoot a gun if he needed to protect himself.

That was something he had taught Sydney at a young age as well, but Laura hadn't wanted the kids to learn. But since Daniel's death she had relented and let him teach JJ. The first thing he taught JJ was that guns were not toys to be played with at anytime. They were only used to defend one's self from a threat of life or death. That you never touched a gun unless it was to protect yourself or family. JJ knowing that Daniel had been shot to death already knew just how dangerous guns could be in the wrong hands.

JJ had taken learning about how to protect himself serious as well because he wanted to be able to also protect his Mother or Sister if need be. The young boy's world of innocence cracked when Daniel had been killed showing him just how uncertain and heartbreaking this world could sometimes be.

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Micheal Vaughn hated that he had been ordered to keep certain things from Jack Bristow, but this was one time he was following orders. Arvin Sloane was not a man you wanted on your bad side, and for some reason that no one yet knew it seemed that Mr. Sloane had decided to order the death of one Dr Daniel Hachet. Getting that information hadn't been easy Vaughn was sure, and he wasn't completely made aware of how they had gotten it. Only that it was true and that for some reason Director Bristow former friend seemed to be responsibly for the good Doctor's death.

They had also learned from this source that Dr. Hachet had been the intended victim, which put Vaughn's mind at ease only as far as it meant that so far Director Bristow's daughter wasn't marked for death.

His Superiors all thought the same thing this had something to do with Derevko it had too, after all these years of her being under the radar then to be flushed out like she had. It had to be related, everyone thought Vaughn was sure that Jack thought it as well if he was being honest with himself.

Also, now that they knew that Arvin Sloane was a member of SD-6 are would you call him the head of it well at least here in the U.S. ? It had everyone wondering if Sloane had known all along who Lauren Bristow truly had been. Were the two working together had he been the person she gave the kill orders to? Had Arivn Sloane murdered his Father? Micheal thought silently to himself knowing he would most likely never get a clear answer to that question of who actually did it.

They did know though that Sloane was planning something with help from an outside source something to do with Derevko. Vaughn was almost pulling his hair out over this he wanted to tell Jack to be on the looked out, but he had been ordered to tell Director Bristow nothing on this. Micheal knew that Jack was still watching over his shoulder after Dr Hachet's murder, but it felt like betraying him not telling him he had more reason now than ever to watch his back and that of his family.

And that's why Vaughn had called Jack early telling him that everything was fine, and he had no reason to worry about anything that Dr Hachet's death had been ruled a robbery gone wrong nothing to worry about whatsoever. He laid it on especially thick knowing that Jack would pick on a cover-up when he heard one.

Vaughn had kept the secret about Arvin Sloane from Jack thinking it was better for his friend not to know, so he would not be poking around where the CIA didn't want him. Or to get caught up in what ever Sloane was doing at the moment. But this was different now Sloane was gearing up to attack perhaps Jack's family again he needed to be warned. And that was something worth losing your job perhaps even freedom for Vaughn thought.

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Sydney had been happy to get out of the house and bring her brother to hockey practice. She had made sure to walk him to the door, JJ was busy chatting with his friends as she was leaving, but made sure that she knew to pick him back up in an hours time. Which Sydney had already known, she was just going to grab a cup of coffee and study at the coffee shop that was a few blocks down from the rink. She wasn't in the mood for all the happy chatter or the looks of sympathy she would get from JJ's teammates parents.

JJ on the way over was hoping that Coach Mike would be the one on duty tonight he hadn't been lately, and JJ was upset with thinking maybe Mike wasn't going to be coaching anymore. Sydney had told her little brother not to worry, that she was sure hockey would still be fun with his favorite coach there.

 

JJ had agreed but Sydney knew he was just saying that to not upset her. The little guy was always trying to cheer her up lately. It made Sydney feel bad thinking that her baby brother thought it was his job to make her happy. It wasn't, but she couldn't help but love JJ all the more for trying to cheer her up.

Sydney got to the coffee shop, ordered her cup and took a table, so she could unpack the books she had brought in using her backpack. Her cell phone was on the table in case JJ needed to be picked up early from practice. She was there for perhaps ten minutes when a couple holding hands came in, kissing then pulling apart to order all smiles. Seeing them and how happy they were brought the pain of Danny not being here with her all flesh to her mind. Before she even knew what she was doing, Sydney had packed up all her books and was heading for the front door passing by the deeply in love couple wishing that her heart wasn't breaking ever step she took. That tears weren't running down her face and that she wasn't running away from the ghost of happiness that, she was sure, would never be hers again.

Driving back to the rink, Sydney set in her car for a good ten minutes, let herself cry. For the first five, then pulled herself somewhat together and decided to go into the rink bringing her backpack she could use her books as a buffer, so she didn't have to make small talk with anyone else.
Getting into the stands and going all the way up to the top, Sydney saw all the players and the coach on the ice, but couldn't make out any features of the team on the ice. She had seen JJ's number on the back of his jersey, he looked to be careful as she skated around the ice.

That brought a smile to Sydney face, JJ was just a little boy he needed to have fun and not worry all the time about his sister. He needed time to just be a kid, so Sydney stayed up in the stands, not waving or making any noise so that JJ wouldn't realize she was there. She wanted him to just be carefree a little while. Wishing she could be as well, if only her heart wouldn't remind her with it's every beat of what she had lost. They said only Time could heal a broken heart, Sydney hoped that saying was true.

Because she knew time was something she was going to have a lot of on her hands without Danny there to brighten it up.

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Laura was keeping herself busy making dinner for Jack and herself. Nothing elaborate, just some grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup with a few chips on the side. Since Sydney was out with JJ tonight, something that the young boy and his father had cooked up. They felt that Sydney need to get out of the house, and what better way then to have JJ plead with his sister to take him to hockey practice. Laura herself thought it was a good idea, Sydney needed to get out and hopefully not brew all night about losing Danny.

It was awful what happened to Danny and for Sydney to be the one to have to find him. But it was time to stop Sydney from crawling into a dark hole and letting life past her back. Laura wasn't pushing Sydney to start dating again, but it would not hurt for her little girl to go out and socialize with her friends. Sydney might feel like her heart died with Danny's murder, but that wasn't true. It would take a long time, Laura was sure before Sydney would be able to date again. Laura herself knew it felt wrong thinking of Sydney dating anyone who wasn't Danny, so she knew it would feel unbelievable to her grief-stricken daughter. But Laura hoped time would help with all those thoughts, and that Sydney one day would find another worthy young man to call her own.

Finishing the last grilled cheese sandwich, Laura put the plate of sandwiches on the table in the kitchen, no since eating in the dinning room when it was just Jack and her tonight. Heading back to the stove to get the soup into bowls, Laura thought maybe she and Jack could have a nice quiet evenly without worrying about getting Sydney out of her room. Jack had reassured Laura that Danny's murder was being ruled a break-in gone wrong and had nothing to do with Danny or Jack's jobs. So maybe now they could all let their guard down a little and not look over their shoulders thinking someone was out to get them.

But Laura couldn't shake the feeling that something was going to happen, that feeling had been following her all day. It probable just was because the kids were out of her sight and away from the house. Something which hadn't happened since Danny's death, usually one of her two children were in the house at all times.

Laura was just getting both bowls completely filled up with soup when she heard what sounded like backfire from a car outside. It was only a few seconds later when she heard Jack's voice yelling "Get down on the floor" and then more sounds that now Laura was sure wasn't backfire from a car because she could hear glass breaking. Doing as she was told, Laura hit the floor and crawled away from the stove where she had just been not wanting to take the chance of the hot soup spilling down on her if it was hit with whatt Laura believe were bullets going through their house.

“Jack” Laura yelled as the firing stopped, she was hiding under the kitchen table feeling like a coward. But she didn't have a weapon to defend herself and no bulletproof vest, so under the table she would stay until she heard back from Jack.

Jack had heard Laura calling out his name, but at the moment was busy looking through the broken window in their living room. Trying to see if he had gotten the two men that had been firing shots into his house. As soon as the bullets had started flying, Jack had run to his office and retrieved his gun after yelling to Laura to get on the floor. He had returned fire as soon as he entered the living room through what once had been their picture window. Making sure to stay down and slowly crawling to look into their yard from said window, Jack could see two bodies laying in the front yard.

There didn't seem to be any more people standing around the yard, Jack then carefully pull his cell phone from his pocket and dialed the emergency work number. This was a mess, there was no way to hide what had just happened here. Not when, who ever these goons were, attacked his house in broad daylight in the early evenly when all their neighbors were home.

As soon as someone picked up the other end of the line, Jack told them his house had been attacked, that he had killed two assailants, and he wasn't sure where the agents assigned to be watching said house were. Also, he couldn't guarantee that there were not more assailants, that he needed help right away. After being told help would be sent to his address, the line went dead.

"Laura, are you okay?" Jack called out as he slowly backed away from the picture window, still on his knees. When he didn't get a reply back right away, he crawled as fast as he could away from the window and stood up running towards their kitchen. He froze in the doorway at the site before him.

Chapter Text

Chapter Nineteen

"Don't come any closer Jack" the voice was one Jack had once thought was from a friend, one he hadn't seen in years. One he wished he had the good fourture to have never had to see again.

"Why are you doing this, Arvin?" Jack asked as he took another step into his kitchen.

Laura let out a small HSS of pain as the knife that Arvin Sloane was holding to her knife cut into her skin. Hearing that stopped Jack mid-step he backed away half a step still holding the gun in his hand raising it to point it at Sloane's head.

Laura was wishing she had been playing more attention to the door from the kitchen that lead to their backyard. Instead of the door from the living room into the kitchen because of her fear for Jack she hadn't noticed that that door had opened. And was surprised when she stood up to try to enter the living room she was pulled back into the chest of a man who had a knife to her throat.

She was even more surprised when she recognized the voice at her right ear whispering to her "As long as you come with me, I will leave Jack alone"

Laura was about to agree when Jack came running into the kitchen, she was relieved knowing Jack would do everything in his power to protect her from Arvin Sloane. But she was fearful for her husband, because it was obvious Arvin wasn't working for the government any longer.

"Really, Jack, you're asking me why I'm doing this?" Sloane asked laughing, causing the knife at Laura's throat to press in harder making a thin line of blood run down it. "I would think you would be thanking me, for taking your wife off your hands for you."

"Let Laura go" Jack stated with no room for debate "in a few minutes this place is going to be over run with police officers and CIA. So if I were you, I would let Laura go and leave while you still can"

"Really Jack you think I'm just going to let Irina Derevko go, when she is needed to finish Rambaldi's great plan" Sloane pronounced as he pulled Laura back towards the kitchen door he had entered in. "I'm really doing you a favor Jack, this way you and your kids can move on with your lives without worrying how everything with Derevko plays out"

"Just like you did me a favor by killing Doctor Hecht?" Jack asked, keeping Sloane's attention on him stalling for time. "Did you think taking away Sydney's fiancé was helping me?"

Sloane laughed at that as he pushed the knife into Laura's throat again. Jack raised his gun, causing Sloane to pull Laura closer, so he could use her as a human shield. "Sydney did not need that Doctor he was holding her back, besides it was all a test for Derevko"

Laura had no idea who Derevko was, but she had a feeling that Arvin who she believed had lost his mind thought she was this Derevko. Laura tried to push herself out of Arvin's hold, but all she ended up doing was causing the knife to be pushed deeper into her throat. Hearing Arvin admit to having Danny killed sent a shiver down Laura's spine, this man holding her was dangerous and had killed and could easily kill again.

 

"Derevko is dead" Jack said as he once again took a step towards Laura and Sloane, gun still pointed towards him. "She died years ago, let my wife go"

 

"I can't do that Jack, I need Derevko for Rambaldi's plan to work" Sloane stopped for a moment then continue almost like he wasn't sure if he should say what he was going to or not then decided to. "Besides, wouldn't you rather be saving your children then your treacherous wife"

Laura's blood ran cold as she heard Sloane's words about her children being in danger. All fear for her own life forgotten." Let him take me Jack, go save our kids"

"Listen to Derevko, Jack, Elena has no need for your son and won't reframe from hurting or killing him." Sloane added as he noticed Jack's hand start to drop a little as he dragged Laura towards the door behind him "All she cares about is getting Sydney" Sloane finished with as he pulled Laura closer to the exit.

Jack let his gun drop and Sloane's smiled, figuring that his old friend had decided to let him have Derevko in favor of saving his young son's life. Of course that would be the last thought Arvin Sloane ever had as the gun behind his head fired and Jack lunged for Laura, throwing them to the side out of the bullet's way and away from Sloane's knife.

Hearing a second shot, Jack was already up and grabbing for his dropped gun, he had it in hand and pointed at the woman who had just shot Sloane twice. He had seen her the moment she entered through the kitchen door. She had held one finger to her lips, letting Jack know not to make Sloane aware of her presents. She wasn't dressed in police gear and having shot Sloane twice, both times in the head, seemed to indicate she wasn't with the CIA either. Jack wasn't taking any chances on who she was working for, he wasn't going to allow her to harm his wife.

"Dropped your gun" Jack ordered, pointing his straight at the mystery woman who had just saved his wife.

"Is this how you thank someone who saved you're life?" was the replied he received, the gun still being held in her right hand as she kicked Sloane's body, making sure her bullets had done their job.

Laura who was still laying on the kitchen floor her back was to their guest slowly getting to her knees "Jack are you okay?" she asked as she stood up, turning she was shocked at the sight of the woman before her. "Nurse Kat?" she asked.

"I'm fine" Jack asked then questioned back to the woman before him, "Nurse Kat?"

The woman laughed at the husband and wife before her "It's one of the many names I've been called"

"Would Yekaterina be another?" Jack asked as he pulled Laura behind him. Looking at the woman before him he could see a bly of his wife in this strange woman's face.

Nodding Yekaterina smiled and said allowing her native accent through "She said you were smart, I personally did not think so, but perhaps she was right"

"I don't understand what's going on, why did you save me?" Laura asked as she stood behind Jack but peeked her head from behind his shoulder.

"I would always save you mladshaya sestra" Yekaterina stated with what looked to be tears shining in her eyes. "But we do not have time for questions, we must get to the children. Sloane was right, Elena is after Sydney and would use JJ to get her. We must hurry and get to them before Elena does"

 

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Sydney had study, which she found comforting in a way because she didn't have time to think of the state of her life at the moment. She would look down at the ice rink every few minutes and see the kids all skating around looking like they were having lots of fun. The Coach would come out on the ice with them, and he seemed to be enjoying it as much as the surrounding children where.

It was nice to just let all her troubles goes for a few minutes and pretend everything was fine. That this was just another hockey practice that JJ when finished they would be going to get pizza and ice cream and that Danny would surprise her by showing up so that he could get to know JJ better.

But that wasn't ever going to happen again. Sydney knew she had to stop thinking of Danny all the time it wasn't going to help her get through the day without wanting to bury herself in bed and never come out. A picture of Danny's body in his casket came flashing into her mind, and she had to close her eyes and force it away. Danny would not want her to live her life the way she had been, he would want her to be the person he fell in love with, not the shell of herself she was currently being.

Danny loved to help people, that's why he became a doctor, and he would've wanted to help her if he was still here. She could almost hear him whispering to her that he wanted her to be happy, to stop living as if she had died along with him. And that if she truly loved him, she was to live a full life for the both of them. Wiping away a stray tear, Sydney knew she had just turned a corner on her grieving. If she wanted to remember and honor Danny, she needed to start living a life he would approve of.

That meant she had to stop hiding away and start truly living the life they had planned, she needed to finish her degree to get a full time job either in teaching English or Physical Therapist. Danny would laugh at her sometimes having two majors and acing both, but still not sure which one would be her career path. Sydney wanted to do both, it was hard to decide, or it had been at one time. She could remember all the Therapists her Mother, had, had. How much they had helped Laura Bristow learn to walk again, among other things. She had wanted to be one since then, but she had before that always wanted to be an English teacher, just like her Mother had been. Now though, just the thought of a medical setting had Sydney feel like someone had punched her in the chest. All she could think of was Danny and how he should still be at the hospital saving kids instead of in the ground buried.

Sydney probable would have kept on that line of thought for a while longer, but hearing the shouts of the kids all saying yes as it looked like the Coach was handing out something to each one of them. Sydney hadn't realized that practice must be over, and the Coach was giving the kids candy, as JJ once let slip that one of the Coaches would do if they all behaved at practice.

Sydney knew she could not get lost in thoughts about Danny any more today, not while she was responsible for watching JJ. Little boys tended to get into trouble if they were not properly observed, and Sydney did not want anything to happen to her baby brother. He was the light of her world, as he had been, still, the day he was born. But now he was that light even more, he was someone she did not want to let down. Someone who loved her unconditionally, JJ looked up to her so much and Sydney did not want that to stop, she wanted to be the woman JJ thought she was. She knew since Danny died, JJ had taken it upon himself to try to cheer her up, and she loved her brother even more than before because of that.

 

Sydney watched as the kids started heading towards the locker room, she saw JJ following all his hockey friends into it. Looking at her watch she figured she had an at least ten minutes before JJ would be finished changing clothes, so Sydney read some more of her book, she would look up once in a while when she heard voices and see other kids and their parents leaving. Noticing that almost everyone else had left, Sydney left her seat leaving her books behind, worried about where JJ was at.

She had just gotten down to the locker room door, having passed by two sets of children with their parents when she heard JJ voices talking to someone. "I really want you to meet my sister Sydney,” Sydney heard JJ say.

"I would love to meet her, you've talked about her a lot" was the reply she heard from who Sydney believed had to be one of JJ's Coaches.

"Great, I'll go get her" JJ answered but was stopped by his Coach calling him back.

"How about I walk you out, and I can meet her then. I think were the last ones here"

“Okay” JJ replied, happily and then a big smile came upon his face when he looked up to see his sister a few feet ahead of him.

"JJ" Sydney said as she walked the rest of the way to the pair.

"Sydney, this is Coach Mikey" JJ stated then turned his head and told his Coach "and this is my sister Sydney"

"Nice to meet you Miss Bristow, your brother here talks about you all the time" the Coach replied then added quickly "I was sorry to hear about the loss of your fiancé"

"JJ talks about you all the time too" Sydney answered back not really sure how to reply to his condolences about Danny having gotten so many of them she was getting numb to them, but she did not want to appear rude to someone that JJ liked so well she replied "Danny was a good man, and we be missed by a lot of people'

"JJ here sure seem to think so as well" was Coach Mikey's respond.

Seeing how this meeting of two of his favorite people wasn't going the way JJ had always wanted, he spoke up "Sydney, is it time for pizza?" knowing right now Sydney wasn't in the mood for company, or he would have invited Coach Mikey along.

"Sure is I just need to go get my bag I left in the stands" Sydney affirmed "Coach Mikey nice meeting you" she said looking at him.

"It was nice meeting you too, I actually go " but Coach Mikey didn't get to finish because his phone started ringing looking down his eyes rose in surprised "I have to take this call so see you next week JJ and hope to see you again Miss Bristow"

As the brother and sister were walking back towards the stands, JJ stated "I forgot my hat in the locker room, I'll be right back"

"I'll meet you right here once I get my bag" Sydney voiced then watched JJ turn around heading to the locker room. Once he made it there, Sydney finished her way to get her books and bag. She just had gotten all her books together when she heard a sound like a backfire, she hit the floor when she heard that sound again, followed by a voice yelling. Keeping her body low but her head just above the seats in front of her, Sydney looked down onto the ice and see three men with guns and what looked to be a man laying on the ice who had been shot, with blood under him on the ice.

Fear like Sydney had never felt before run through her body, her baby brother was down there with those men who had guns and had just shot someone. She had to get to JJ and protect him. Having no weapon sure sucked at the moment, Sydney thought. She lowered herself back down and crawled towards the end of the row of seats, listening as the men talked they were too far down for her to make out what they were saying, but she did know they were not speaking English.

Slowly as not to draw attention to herself, Sydney crawled out of her spot and made it to the row in front of her hiding behind the seats again. Having brought her bag with her, Sydney found her cell phone knowing she had to call for help. Knowing that her parents were staying home tonight, she called their house and didn't get an answer which alarmed her. Why weren't they answering? So she hung up, looking up she saw the men where separating they hadn't seemed to find JJ, yet she kept praying they wouldn't. Staying as calm as she could, Sydney dialed her Father's cell phone after two rings he picked up and instead of his usually greeting he asked "Are you okay?"

"Dad there are men at the hockey rink with guns" was Sydney's answer "there are three that I see they've shot someone he's laying on the ice bleeding"

"Where are you, Sydney? Are you hidden?" her Father asked, sounding the seasoned agent he was.

"I'm up in the stands hiding behind a row of seats, it's not me we need to worry about JJ is down in the locker room they are going to find him soon their splitting up" Sydney whispered not wanting to drawn attention with her voice to herself.

"I need you to listen carefully to me Sydney," her Father began, "I'm on my way I should be there in a few minutes. Do not leave where you're at they are searching for you"

“Me” Sydney asked a little above a whisper, taken by surprise that armed men were looking for her.

"Yes, you so stay hidden, I will be there soon" Jack informed his daughter.

"I can't Dad I have to save JJ" Sydney replied looking down seeing the men all start to walk away from each other.

"Sydney, JJ is fine, I just talked to his Coach, he got him out. It's just you, we have to worry about now"

Relieved flooded through Sydney hearing that her baby brother was okay. Nothing else matter if she got caught and shot by these men it would be okay now because JJ was safe. Of course her family would miss her if she were killed,, but then she could be with Danny again. Shaking her head, Sydney realized how selfish those thoughts were. Her parents and brother loved her, and it would hurt them badly if they lost her.

"Why are they after me?" Sydney whispered as she saw one of the men start to enter the stands down below.

"I'm not really sure" was the reply she received, but she could hear someone in the background speaking something in Russian that sounded like 'tell her the truth'.

"Dad who is with you that is speaking Russian?" Sydney asked, knowing that her Father worked for the US government not the Russian. Was this tied to some of his work? Were she and JJ being hunted for something the Russian wanted from their Father?

Sydney was surprised when he answered she received back from her Father was in Russian almost as surprised as the answer it's self. "Она утверждает, что является вашей тетей. Старшая сестра вашей матери, и что их другая сестра после вас" (She claims to be your Aunt. Your Mother's older sister, and that their other sister is the one after you)

Sydney's mouth opened and closed a few times before she could ever think, when her thoughts finally became solid again she whispered back "Could she be telling the truth?"

Sydney knew her Mother had lost all memories before her accident, there was no way to know if this woman who was apparently with her Father was telling the truth or not about who was trying at the moment to find her.

"Да, я думаю, что она говорит правду" Sydney heard her Father's voice say through her phone.
(Yes I think she is telling the truth)

"So I just set here in hide while you and my new Aunt come find me?" Sydney asked getting anger over finding out that everything she ever believed about her Mother was turning out to be a lie and could cost her, her life. "And why are you speaking in russian?"

"Потому что твоя Мама с нами машина и не знает. Потому что твоя Мама с нами машина и не знает. О вашей тетушкеО вашей тетушке." (Because your Mother is the car with us and doesn't know. About your Aunt.) Jack rattled off as he pushed his foot down on the accelerator, wanting to get to his children as soon as possible. It seemed that Sloane and Yekaterina both were right Elena was after Sydney and JJ, Jack would not feel better until he had both with himself again and away from harms way.

"And Mom can't speak Russian, although it sounds like she might be one" Sydney quietly said as she crawled back, seeing one of the men walking through the rows of seats at the bottom of her row.

"Мы можем поговорить об этом позже. Прямо сейчас вытащить вас из этого хоккейного ранга в целости и сохранности является самым важным." (We can talk about that later. Right now, getting you out of that hockey rink safe and sound is most important.) Jack said as he looked at the freight face of his Wife in the rearview mirror. Yekaterina had taken the passenger front set as she was busy looking through her weapons, a few knifes and a few different guns how she had carried all of them all her body Jack did not know but wasn't really caring at the moment just glad the woman had weapons they could use.

 

“You're right Dad" Sydney replied, "what do you want me to do?"

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty

All Laura could think about was getting to her kids, knowing that they were in harms way had her heart racing a mile a minute. Nurse Kat being in the car talking in a foreign language wasn't helping matters at all. This woman she had known for years as a nurse had somehow saved her from being taken by Arvin Sloane,, and then she had killed him.

All those awful things that Arvin had said about her, and Jack had not defended her once. Of course, Laura had thought Jack was just humoring the name who was holding her hostage at the time. But now Laura did not know what to think, who was this Elena that Nurse Kat had told them was after Jack and hers children? Then there was the whole thing of Jack calling Nurse Kat Yekaterina, he seemed to understand what was going on, whereas she didn't at all.

Any other time, Laura was sure she would have thought this whole affair was Jack's fault, that once again he had caused them to be targeted because of his work with the CIA. But as much as Laura wanted to believe that, she couldn't seem to make herself. No, it seemed that this had more to do with her, had she been mixed up in something before she lost her memories? Or was this just a case of mistake identity, that Jack just happened to know about and was playing along with.

It really didn't matter at the moment, all that did was getting to Sydney and JJ. At least she knew that JJ was out of the building and hiding until the police or more CIA officers came to respond. But Sydney was still inside the rink with who knew how many men with guns searching for her.

 

It was one of every parent's worst nightmares, their child in harms way and not being there to protect them. It seemed like it was taking days to get to that skating rink. After this was all said and done Laura hoped to never see this skating rink again, perhaps this whole episode would have JJ re-think his love of hockey. Of course, it wasn't her son's fault this had happened or even hockey it's self fault. But right now Laura was going crazy and needed something to blame since she had a feeling it wasn't Jack's fault.

 

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Sydney had been as quiet as she could as she slowly made her way away from the man who was searching the rows of seats below her. She had wanted to go down, but she had instead been forced to go up on her hands in knees. A voicing yelling to the man had him turned his back, which gave Sydney the opportunity she had been waiting for, she crawled to the next row of seats in the enjoined row across from where she had been before. Now the man looking for her would not be searching the same row she was in.

Sydney heard more yelling as she kept crawling about “she's coming”.

The “she” in question would most likely be her new Aunt, she knew nothing about other than she really did not want to meet her. What kind of women sent armed gunmen after her niece and nephew? It was someone Sydney knew she did not want to meet. Sydney was trying not to think about the fact her Mother was it seemed to be Russian, or that fact that it seemed her Mother did not know that. It was all so confusing that Sydney knew she could not focus on that right now she had to be aware of her surroundings, if she wasn't she just might end up meeting Auntie dearest.

Just as Sydney was making her way to the end of an aisle a pair of legs were in front of her, before she could crawl backwards a hand was pulling her up by the hair of her head. "What do we have here?" a male voice taunted as he pulled her hair harder.

In the next second the man would wish he hadn't of pulled her hair so hard as all of Sydney's karate and kickboxing lesson proved their worth. Sydney was in fight or flight mode and was free within seconds, and her captor was out cold on the ground in front of her. She heard other male voices yelling at her, so now wasn't the time for stealth. So Sydney took off running at full speed ahead down the stairs, hoping to get to an exit before she was caught again.

She did make it down the stairs and onto the ice not by choice, but because she was being chased by two men with guns who seemed not to want to shoot her. Which in Sydney's book was a good thing.
But trying to run on ice was not a good thing, she kept slipping and not making much progress of getting away from her would be kidnappers. On the bright side, they also were having trouble on the ice, so it at least they had not gotten to her yet.

Sydney knew she just had to stall for time, her Dad and new Aunt would be coming soon to save her. She had to keep thinking that if not she would be paralyzed with fear. This wasn't something she had ever imagined happening to her. She was not trained for something like this, could one be ever trained for someone like this? Of course her Dad would be, Sydney just knew if there was training for being chased through an ice rink without skates on, Jack Bristow would have gone through it.

Hearing shots being fired, Sydney let herself slide down onto the ice and then turned to see both men who had been following her were also laying on the ice but didn't seem to be moving. Looking up, Sydney smiled, her Dad must have finally gotten to the rink. Looking up there standing right outside a corner on the rink wasn't her Dad but instead with a gun in his hand was “Coach Mikey” Sydney stated with a question in her voice.

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Jack and Yekaterina had gotten in the skating rink through a back door that was only being guarded by one man who did not have his gun showing, not wanting to alert anyone what was going on inside the rink. Laura had wanted to come as well, but once they had gotten to the rink and found JJ with Agent Weiss, Jack had been able to talk Laura into staying with her freight eleven-year-old son.

Also, Jack had ordered Agent Weiss to look after his Laura and JJ. Jack wasn't happy that Agent Vaughn had left JJ with Weiss and gone back into the building to try to retrieve Sydney alone. Jack had been counting on Vaughn's knowledge of the rink to help him get in and out without being caught. But it seemed the younger man did not want to risk Sydney's safety any longer, by waiting for her Father to get there. Weiss had said they saw more men enter the skating rink, and Vaughn was worried about not being able to get in undetected if they waited.

So far the police had not arrived on the scene and only Weiss had gotten there because he was waiting for Vaughn to go eat with him after practice was over. The rest of the CIA agents should be showing up soon, along with Jack was sure the local police. Taking a deep breath he turned to look at Yekaterina knowing he was having to put his trust into this woman he did not know. She had saved Laura from Sloane and alerted them to JJ and Sydney being in trouble so, so far, she seemed to be somewhat truthful.

But being that she was a Russian, Jack wasn't going to put all his trust in her. She did seem to care about Laura, so hopefully if she was indeed Laura's sister she would not betray them to this other sister.

It had taken them a few minutes getting around without being spotted, but they finally were at a point where they could see the ice rink and Jack's breath caught in his throat there on the ice and being followed was Sydney slipping and sliding just ahead of two men with guns that were chasing her.

Jack was getting ready to run after them when Yekaterina had grabbed his arm, holding him back. He looked back at her, getting ready to pull himself free and give her a piece of his mind, when she let his arm go and put her finger to her lips then pointed in front of them. Jack could see three other men going towards Sydney and the others on the ice. Then he saw Sydney and the men following her fall down with the sound of gun shots. Jack's heart stopped beating until he saw Sydney start to move, knowing she was alive made Jack's heart start up again.

Jack saw who he believed to be Agent Vaughn holding a hand out to Sydney from the corner of the ice rink, trying to get her off the ice and back on solid ground. Jack could only hope that Sydney would know to trust Vaughn and let him help her off the ice and hopeful out of the rink.

Yekaterina grabbed his arm again, getting Jack's attention away from his daughter. The three men were getting closer towards Sydney and since Vaughn had already fired shots there was no use not using their guns they had to get to Sydney and the sooner, the better. Soon the three men when taken care of and Jack and Yekaterina were getting closer to their goal of getting to Sydney.

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“Coach Mikey” Vaughn cringed at hearing Miss Bristow call him that. The kids loved calling him that, so it didn't seem so bad coming from them,, but he truly hated being called Mikey. Also coming from a beautiful woman like Sydney Bristow it just seemed so wrong.

"Actually I go by Micheal the kids like calling me Mickey" Vaughn informed Sydney "I work with your Father. We need to get out of here" this was said as he held his hand out towards Sydney.

Sydney decided to trust Coach Mikey or Micheal as he liked to be called, he had a trustworthy face, so hopefully she wasn't making a mistake as she made her way towards him.

Sydney couldn't help but think wasn't Coach Mikey supposed to have gotten JJ out already. So what, had he just dumped her brother outside by himself then returned for her? That didn't sound like someone who would work with her Father. Which hopefully meant that there was more help than just Micheal here to get her out.

He had just grabbed her hand and help off the ice when a shot rang out again looking behind her, Sydney saw a woman walking towards her with a gun in her hand. She also felt Micheal beside her fall forward.

Vaughn pulled himself straight up within a few second his arms felt like he had been burned, and it hurt awful, but he could not let whoever shot him get to Sydney. He pulled her behind him as he felt his shirt rub against his wound, knowing that Jack would never forgive him if he let someone hurt Sydney.

"Next time I aim for the head dear, Come to Auntie Elena if you want this man to live" Elena told her niece in a stone-cold voice that told of just what would happen if she didn't comply. Sydney nodded her head slowly, coming from behind Vaughn.

“No” Vaughn said as he held up his unharmed arm with his gun in hand. "Stay behind me"

“So brave” Elena said then fired another shot that would have hit Vaughn square in the head if it wasn't for Sydney pushing him to the side. "Yet so stupid, come here now if you want him to live"

Sydney's side stepped Vaughn and walked towards her newly acquired Aunt, not wanting to anger the woman farther. Knowing the next shot would end up being a kill shot.

Grabbing Sydney by her arm, Elena laughed looking her over she looked so like her younger sister Irina such a shame what happened to her sister, that she hadn't been able to help her as she should have. Irina should have been with her now helping her achieve Rambaldi end game, not being turned into a kindergarten teacher.

But all that matter was that Rambaldi prophecy would be coming true very soon. Elena had spent what seemed to be her whole life waiting for the moment it would come true. It didn't matter if losing her younger sister or really either sister was the cost for the prophecy to happen. All that mattered was that it did happen.

Having a gun to her niece head as she dragged her towards the front doors of the building, her car with a driver was out front just waiting for them. Elena knew she had to get them out there before the police showed up. She had hired a group to reroute the 911 calls to a call center of her own. Making sure that no calls about the skating rink would get through, but other emergency calls did.

Sloane was supposed to be getting Irina at the same time she got the children. But she had not heard from the man since right before he entered the Bristow household. Which either meant he had double-crossed her, or something had gone wrong with their plan. Knowing just what type of man Sloane was, either could be possible.

But Irina wasn't that important to the plan, no she needed Sydney, so a smirk came upon Elena face as she opened the front door using her back and dragged her niece through it. All the while watching the young man she shot earlier following after them. She had to give the man credit as blood was dripping down his arm, he kept coming. .

Perhaps that's why she never saw it coming, but felt the bullet rip through her left knee. Standing a few feet behind her was Weiss with his gun raised, having seen the woman dragging her victim out the door and hearing Mrs. Bristow scream that's my daughter she's got sent him into action.

Pulling Sydney down with her, Elena wasn't going to allow anyone to take away what she had to fight so hard and long for. If she couldn't have Sydney, no one would. So Elena put her gun up to her niece terrified head, Sydney heard the shot and closed her eyes knowing she was about to be hit, trying to will herself not to be afraid to die.

But a few seconds went by and all she felt was the grab her supposed Aunt had on her fall away. Opening her eyes, Sydney took a deep breath and jumped away from the now dead woman's embrace.

Vaughn having following them out the door was now next to Sydney silently checking her over for any wounds but seeing none he relaxed just in time to see a car speed away. Looking up, he was happy to see Weiss there with a gun in his hand, but was surprised to see Laura Bristow standing off to the side of Weiss with a gun in her hand as well. And from the shocked look on the older woman's face, Vaughn had a good idea of who shot that last round off.

Sydney turned and looked at Elena and seen a sight she had never wanted to see again, flashes of finding Danny run through her mind. There was an exit wound coming out of Elena's forehead. She was truly dead and Sydney couldn't help but be relieved that even if this woman had been her blood Aunt, it was a good thing she wasn't alive any longer.

“Sydney” Laura called after the shock of what she had just done to save her daughter I left her. “Sydney” was called again from the front of the skating rink as Jack Bristow made his way out, seeing his daughter laying on the ground had almost given him a heart attack. But he could see Agent Vaughn was beside her, and she seemed to be talking to him. The woman next to Sydney looked to be dead which was good, at least to him, he wasn't sure how Yekaterina would feel on that subject.

"Are you okay?" Vaughn asked Sydney, she just nodded her head 'yes' not trusting her voice at the moment until she saw her coming up to them.

“Daddy” Sydney said trying to get herself up off the ground "Micheal needs medical attention he's been shot"

Jack took his eyes off his daughter then and looked at his younger friend and did notice the blood covered sleeve. "Where is the police at? You need to be looked at?"

Vaughn just shook is head then looked at Weiss who was at the moment heading back towards the Bristrow vehicle where JJ was safety inside. Vaughn just hoped the little boy had seen what had just happened in front of the Rink.

Laura had stepped over the body of the woman she had shot and hugged her daughter. Sydney looked like she had been through the ringer. Her poor little girl did not need this, she had been through so much already. Turning to see Jack and Coach Mike, Laura saw the blood on the younger man's shirt and the gun he held, just the way Jack and Mike were standing gave off a vibe that they knew each other well. That was something Laura knew she would be asking about later.

Yekaterina slowly made her way to her fallen sister, tears lining her eyes. How had this come about, she had seen Irina shot their sister. How could life become so unfair that one sister had to shoot another to save their child's life? How could Elena have done such horrible things? How could she have tried to kill their niece like that? Where could have Elena's heart have gone? Yekaterina cried her heart out now for the woman her laid dead before her, but for the girl she had once been.

Yekaterina cried for the three sisters that once had loved each other dearly, and now only one of them remembered that. Looking up through her tears though, she could see Irina holding onto her daughter and knew not everything was lost. There would be life after this.

 

Epilogue

Jack Bristrow was grilling outside the beach house they had rented for the summer. So far he had grilled a package of hot dogs and a dozen hamburgers and was now working on some pork chops. The kids should be getting here any minute now. He couldn't wait to see them, ever since JJ moved out, it seemed to Jack he didn't get to see either his daughter or son enough. Laura would remind him that both of their children were adults now with their own lives to live.

That didn't matter to Jack though, he wanted to see more of his children, especially seeing as he was retiring now he had the spare time to spend with them. JJ was just finishing up college and would soon be following into his Father's footsteps, joining the CIA.

Sydney had decided to do physical therapy full time, it might have had something to do with helping Vaughn make sure he could use his arm fully again. She had felt it was her place to help the younger man after he was shot, protecting her from her crazy Aunt.

Sydney seemed to really enjoy her job, so Jack was happy for her. His daughter had been through so much and to see her happy was all he wanted for her. Of course, it wasn't his job now to see to Sydney's happiness as much since she had gotten married over five years ago.

Never in his wildest dreams did Jack Bristrow ever think that Micheal Vaughn would one day be calling him Father-in-law. But then again, stranger things had happened in his life. Like marrying a Russian spy, having your wife almost die and lose all her memories. To fall in love with her all over again. That part right there, falling in love with Laura all over again, was what saved their marriage.

Because when it came right down to it, Jack could not, not, love the Laura he had spent the last twenty years with. The wife that was faithful, that gave him a son, along with being a wonderful loving Mother to their daughter.

She was also a wonderful Grandmother to their two grandchildren Isabel and J.D. . To say Jack was surprised that Sydney and Micheal had named their son after him and JJ would be putting it mildly, he had no idea they were going to do that. Jonathan Daniel Vaughn was such a joy to have around, he was just starting to really get into things at almost two.

Yekatrine was also going to be making an appearance today, she kept in touch now and there. Laura and she talked once in a while as well. Which was something Jack hoped the CIA never learned. Jack himself actually liked his sister-in-law, she had proved herself to not be crazy like Elena had been. She also kept an eye out for any trouble.

"Jack, is the food done yet? I see the kids cars pulling in" Laura yelled out the window as she tried to finish getting all the side dishes done. She couldn't wait until she got her hands on her grand babies.

"Just finishing up right now" Jack said as he took off the last pork chop and headed inside, so he could spend time with his family and the woman he loved.