Kat Scratch Fever
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Blur

Jack, Irina, AU, Smut

Title: Blur
Author: Kat
Spoilers: A Dark Turn
Disclaimer: I don't own them 

He was lost. The world around him was in shambles. He stared at the man in front of him, torn. Irina had lied again. He had trusted her once again. He had let her in and allowed her to take advantage of him. He turned and walked
away from the scene, not wanting to believe what had just happened.

He walked back to the van, his eyes downcast. When he reached the van, he placed his hand against the door, looking back one last time. He closed his eyes and leaned against the van, not wanting to face the truth. He didn't know the truth. A part of him screamed that she wasn't betraying him, but the rational part of him said that he had been used.

He stepped into the van, knowing that there would be hell to pay when he returned without Irina. His thoughts wandered to Sydney. She would be crushed. He knew that despite his warnings, she had opened herself up to her
mother. 

The rest of the drive passed in a blur, his mind transfixed on memories from last night - her smell, her touch, her lips. The memories were seared into his mind. They had shared few words, both afraid of saying too much. The look
sent his way after he had removed the device said more than words ever could.

His hands had shaken as he had placed the device on the table alongside the tweezers. One look up at Irina and he knew the same thoughts and feelings were rushing through her, as well. It had been 20 years, yes, but standing
there, so close, he had lost all rational thought.

She had turned to him and he hadn't been able to resist her. It had felt so right. She had proven herself first in Kashmir, and again in Bangkok and Hong Kong. His lips had covered hers as they fell back onto the bed, her hands
quickly pushing articles of clothing aside.

Their clothes soon littered the floor as he covered her body with his. Her hands roamed over his body, her nails digging into his shoulders. He entered her in one thrust and she arched her back, moaning his name. He buried his
face in her neck, inhaling the scent of her perfume.

Her legs wrapped around his waist, pulling him deeper inside. Their hips rocked together, and he groaned as he felt her tighten her muscles around him. He pounded into her, enjoying the way she dug her nails into his back. She
arched against him again and moaned his name as she came. He soon followed her, closing his eyes as he moved to lie on his side. 

He watched her face, searching for emotions in her eyes. For a brief second, he saw a flash of something. Or had he? Was it just a hope that there was a future to look towards? For so many years it had been 'Jack and Laura'. Was a 'Jack and Irina' even possible, in any form? Twenty years had passed, but in a single moment, it was like time had stood still. Each knew still where the other fit. Had emotion played any part in this night, or was a continual game of
power for each of them?

Irina turned his way and sent him a small smile, her hand reaching for his. He wasn't sure just what she wanted, but it really didn't matter. All that mattered was that they were here, together, and that they were starting anew.

He had never thought that he would be able to feel this way again. She was a part of his life again. He was letting her in, trusting her. 

The van stopped suddenly, jarring Jack out of his thoughts. He looked up and realized that they were now at the airport. The flight home would be long and lonely. He just hoped he would be able to survive it. He dreaded having to tell Sydney what had happened. 

~*~*~*~

The plane ride back was uneventful. Jack sat, lost in his thoughts, still analyzing the night before. Everything had seemed so perfect, yet he knew that it was probably just wishful thinking on his part.

The plane landed and he sighed, rubbing his temples. Thinking about his actions the night before weren't doing anything but depressing him. He didn't want to believe that he had fallen for the same tricks again. But there were no
other options.

Slowly, he made his way through the airport, still in a fog. Life was still moving forward, but for Jack, it was standing still, going in reverse, anything but forward. Twenty years of betrayal and one night had culminated in
this moment, these feelings.

He found his way to the waiting car. "Agent Bristow. I've been instructed to take you to the Ops Center." Jack just sighed. He knew Kendall would be waiting, demanding an explanation. Could he deal with that now? He would have to. And even worse, Sydney would be waiting, too. 

The car pulled up in front and with heavy steps, Jack made his way, alone through the maze of corridors to the central rotunda but continued on, choosing to end this now. His arrival had been announced, it seemed. A small band awaited him: Kendall, Vaughn, Marshall, and off to side, Sydney. He
stopped mid-stride, slightly taken aback by the waiting group, but continued on, choosing to end this now. 

"Hello," he said. Silence greeted him. He turned his gaze away from them, from the accusing eyes that stood waiting for an explanation that he wasn't ready to give. An explanation as to why one person wasn't with him. 

"Dad," Sydney stepped forward, eyes pleading with him. 

Again, he turned away. Jack couldn't handle this, not here, not now. He closed his eyes and heard Sydney say, "Could we please have a few minutes alone?" 

Silence. 

When he opened them, Sydney stood alone. "Come with me," she said, turning him and guiding him down the hall to an empty office. He heard the door click as she closed it behind them. 

As Jack turned to face his daughter, his heart broke. Reliving the past 24 hours would not be easy for either of them. He could see the hopeful look in her eyes and he hated to have to be the one to tell her. The one to break
her heart again.

***

Irina shifted in her seat, uncomfortable. Jack had been silent the entire time and it was starting to worry her. They had avoided any talk of the mission after last night, too caught up in each other to focus on anything else.

Her eyes wandered to his hands and a shiver raced through her body. She thought of what those hands had done to her, where they had touched her the night before. His feather-light touches had aroused her, sending chills down her spine. She had been more aware of his presence then ever. 

She was jolted out of her thoughts as Jack's hand came to rest on her own. She looked up, startled. "Jack?"

He gave her a tight smile. "We're nearing the meeting point. Be careful."

She nodded, swallowing past the lump in her throat. She knew that her actions next would hurt him, but she had to do it. It had to be real. If Jack knew what she was about to do, he would try to stop her. It was her chance to take
down Arvin Sloane. She needed to do it.

She looked up and met his gaze. "Don't worry, Jack. Everything will work out. Trust me." She smiled, hoping to distract him a bit. She only hoped that he would forgive her for this. It wasn't easy to lie to him again. It was hard to even look him in the eye. She was getting older and she wanted nothing more to do with this business. All she wanted was a way out. 

She squeezed his hand, not knowing what else to say. His thumb idly traced circles on her hand, making her shiver. He stopped and met her gaze, but she looked away, not wanting to get caught up in her emotions. She sighed,
knowing that their time was drawing to a close. "Jack, no matter what happens, just..." She trailed off, unsure.

He stayed quiet, allowing her to think. "Just remember these past few days. It was real. All of it." She looked into his eyes and leaned forward, resting her head against his shoulder. The tentative hug only lasted a few seconds, but she treasured it. It would probably be a very long time before she was in his embrace again.

She pulled away, shocked to see so many emotions in his eyes. They stared at one another, not moving. His hand reached forward to brush a stray lock of hair behind her ear and she closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of his hands on her face.

As he cupped her face between his hands, Jack was struck by the fact that Irina looked so vulnerable at the moment. He stroked the soft skin of her cheek, smiling as her eyelids fluttered open. He leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on her lips, shocking both of them.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him close as his hands strayed to her waist. Their lips met again softly, tentatively. Her mouth opened against his, an invitation for his tongue to taste her. 

Their noses brushed, as the kiss became deeper, more frantic and needy. His lungs burned, as his lips refused to suck in air, opting to suck on her tongue instead.

She shifted, pushing herself forward, until she was straddling his lap. Her hands gripped his shoulders, his muscles tense under her touch. He groaned under the sudden weight, his breath hot against her skin.

His hands moved up her thighs, along the roughness of her jeans, and slid into her back pockets, pulling her against him. She mumbled into the kiss as she felt his erection straining against his khakis. 

They clung to each other, their bodies pressed together, his mouth ravaging hers, hers responding violently in kind. The desperation of what they knew would be their last moments together hung heavy in the air.

The van rolled to a stop, and they jerked apart, their breathing ragged, strained. Irina brought a hand up to Jack's mouth, her fingertips pressing gently against his swollen lips, and smiled slightly. 

Jack kissed her fingers, his tongue darting out to tease them. She sent him a warning gaze as she climbed off his lap. As much as she wanted to continue what they had started, now was not the time or the place. He grabbed her
arm as she moved to open the door, placing a kiss on her palm. "I'll be waiting."

She gripped the door of the van, trying not to show how his words were affecting her. Opening the door and stepping to the ground, she was surrounded by two bodyguards. She turned back, sharing one final smile with Jack. Neither of them spoke, their looks conveying more that words ever
could. 

She watched the van door close and stood, waiting for it to leave. Soon Sark and Sloane would be joining them and she would need to rely on everything she had ever learned to pull this off. She closed her eyes and composed herself, trying to prepare herself for what was about to happen. The van drove off and she opened her eyes, focusing on a far away point in the sky.

If she focused hard enough, her mind would go blank. A defense mechanism against herself. She laughed quietly, bitterly. What she was about to do was destroy her family again. No matter how she tried to ignore it, it would always tear at her. It would haunt her. And she hated it. 

A black limousine pulled up and she smirked. Nothing but the best. She stepped forward, expecting to come face to face with Sloane, only to see Sark. "I realize the plan was for Mr. Sloane to meet you here but for security reasons, I'm afraid that's impossible. If you get in, I'll take you to him." He shot a pointed look towards the guards. "Only you."

"Where's Sloane?" The words were out of her mouth before she could stop herself. Her curiosity getting the best of her. 

"Close. I assure you." She studied Sark's face, attempting to see what he was trying to do. She knew that Sloane was eager to meet with her, but she wasn't aware of how far he would go to stay away from the CIA. 

Irina paused. She thought about her options before speaking, "Then bring him to me." 

"That's not an option. " 

She smiled at Sark's arrogance. "Then our deal's off." 

"So be it." Sark opened the driver's side door and slowly climbed in. He seemed to be waiting for her to come up with something else.

"It's a big car. I do believe there is room for all of us." She nodded in the direction of guards, holding back her laugh at Sark's grimace. Sloane must have found a source of information to keep him so loyal.

"That wasn't the plan. Get in." One guard entered the car and she paused, looking toward the sky where she knew the team, and hopefully Jack, could see her. With a sense of dread, she entered the car, followed by the other guard.

***

It had been three months, three long months since she had last seen Jack. She had been doing her best to slowly destroy Sloane. He was none the wiser as she shattered vital parts of the Rambaldi artifacts before presenting them to him. It was a dangerous game, but one she was willing to play if it meant keeping her family safe.

She tugged at the thin straps of her dress, wrinkling her nose as she entered the bar, the smoke irritating her eyes. Her heels clicked on the smooth floor, the noise barely audible over the music and the people talking. 

As she walked through the bar, searching for the contact she was supposed to meet, she couldn't help but wonder why he had wanted to meet here of all places. She turned, startled as someone ran into her, nearly knocking her to
the floor. She gripped the edge of the nearest chair, steadying herself while cursing under her breath. She couldn't afford distractions at this moment.

She sighed, knowing that her contact was probably long gone. It was the downfall of having to meet in bar. A cheap bar at that. And she could definitely use a drink at the moment. A good Russian vintage sounded good right about
now.

After scanning the room one last time, she turned to leave. This had been a waste of her time. She would pick out the next meeting spot. One with fewer distractions. She carefully picked her way through the crowd of people, trying not to draw attention to herself.

A man approached her and she stilled, not knowing if it was one of Sloane's men or not. Their tentative agreement allowed her to do what she pleased as long as the Rambaldi artifacts were delivered. But that didn't mean Sloane would keep his end of the agreement. 

The man grabbed her arm and she whirled, kicking out with her leg. He stumbled and fell and she smirked. She stood over him and rolled her eyes as he groaned in pain. The kick had been nothing compared to what she was capable of. She nudged him with the toe of her heels, prodding him. 

He slowly sat up and her mouth fell open as she saw who it was. Her legs refused to move as her eyes widened in horror. Her cover couldn't be blown. Not like this, not when she was so close to her goal.

~*~

Jack monitored the meeting place as Sydney and Vaughn tried to track down the contact they had set up. He found his eyes wandering over the people in the crowd and he frowned as he caught sight of a man approaching Sydney. 

One more quick scan of the room confirmed his fears. Positioned by the exits, and performing essentially the same tasks as himself, were other operatives. Jack scanned them, trying to find any distinguishing features. Nothing on their outward appearance gave them away.

Jack radioed down to Sydney on the floor. "I count 4 other agents, 2 at the main entrance, and one at each of the emergency exits. Keep your eyes open for others." He saw Sydney glance in his direction before being swallowed up by the crowd on the floor.

Jack worked his way through the crowd, careful to stay within eyeshot of the doors and the floor below him. Juggling Sydney and Vaughn below, and the operatives on the doors was proving to be quite a feat. For a brief moment he
wished he had taken Kendall up on his offer to provide more tactical support.

Suddenly, from the corner of his eye, he saw a figure hurrying across the floor. Jack rounded to face the floor full on and saw Sydney and Vaughn hurrying across the floor towards a figure huddled in the corner. They were moving
quickly through the crowd. Jack's eyes followed just as quickly. He saw Sydney bump someone, knocking them down. He tried to hide the smile that formed on his face. Sydney, with all the distractions in her life, was still able to
focus. She pushed forward through the crowd, one step closer to that huddled figure.

Sydney and Vaughn approached the figure and led him to a dark table in the corner. Three heads huddled together. Jack could only imagine the conversation. No doubt the contact was holding out, hoping for more. No doubt Sydney was playing hardball, holding each dollar ransom for the intel in question. 

Jack glanced back to the main entrance. Where there were once 2 operatives, now there was only one. Panic set in as Jack scanned the room. He saw two of them working their way across the floor towards the corner where Sydney, Vaughn and the contact sat in intense discussion. 

"Sydney, Vaughn. You need to leave now. Now. There are 2 operatives making their way closer, approaching at seven o'clock. Heads up. Be prepared. Take the intel and go! Get out of there." Jack hurried down the stairs from the balcony and weaved his way through the crowd towards the
door. 

He saw Vaughn and Sydney leave the table and stop, staring at a woman who was leaving the bar. He paused, not believing his eyes. It couldn't be. He watched as Vaughn approached her and she kicked out. He winced, knowing that Vaughn would be sore for a few days.

She turned and he caught his breath as he saw her face. She was staring at Sydney, not moving. He forced himself to approach her. This could go one of two ways. She could come with them or she could attempt to run. He didn't want to think of the repercussions of her running again.

He quickly made his approach from behind, keeping his gaze locked on her back. She still hadn't moved, staring in shock at Sydney. He gripped her shoulder and she turned, her eyes wide. She blinked, startled to see him.

"Jack..." She flung her arms around his neck and he tried to steel himself against any emotions. The feeling of her in his arms again stirred him deeply. He knew it was wrong. But he didn't care. All that mattered was that she was with him and she hadn't run. 

He could feel a shudder run through her body and was shocked to feel tears soaking his shirt. He sent a confused look towards Sydney and Vaughn, but was met with equally bewildered expressions. He motioned for them to go,
agreeing to meet them later.

He gripped Irina tightly to his body and led her out of the crowded bar, trying to get a grip on everything that was going through his mind. The cool night air hit them and she shivered, holding Jack tighter. He awkwardly removed his
jacket and draped it across her shoulders as they walked through the streets. 

***

The street lights cast a gentle glow on the two figures walking side by side. Glancing at Jack, Irina began to feel unnerved by his silence. She felt torn, a part of her wanting to explain herself to Jack and the other part wanting to run away to spare Jack and Sydney from Sloane.

She knew Sloane wouldn't hesitate to kill any of them. She felt Jack's hand move to her hip as he held her closer. The action made her smile, even if she didn't know his motivation. She just wished he would talk. When he was quiet, he was thinking, usually over thinking. 

She clutched his jacket closer to her body, trying to calm her nerves. She was embarrassed that she had been so weak before, crying in Jack's arms. The tears were long gone, but she still felt a little insecure about Jack witnessing
such a show of emotional weakness.

She didn't know where they were headed and she really didn't care to know. Jack seemed to be leading her aimlessly through the city, but knowing him as well as she did, she knew he had something planned. He never was one for spur of the moment decisions. 

They passed hotels and inns, not stopping. She paused, making Jack turn to see if anything was wrong. She gave him a small smile, hoping to ease the tension between them. 

"Jack, I know you have to reason to even want to be near me at this moment, but please, just listen to what I have to say." She looked into his eyes, trying to read his expression.

He nodded, and grabbed her hand, leading her along the streets again. "Let's just walk a little further."

She gripped his hand, the smile still playing along her lips. She was relieved to know that Jack was willing to listen to her. "Can we find some place private to talk?"

He stilled for a moment and turned to her, watching her. "I know just the place." His fingers brushed hers and she felt a small jolt run through her. She followed him, watching as they made their way to a small house. She raised her brows as he took out a key and unlocked the door.

He led her through the door and she smiled when she entered. The front room was beautiful done in shades of tan and light brown, the furniture complimenting the room. She walked towards the fireplace and ran her hand along the mantle. There were pictures of Sydney through all the stages of her life. Jack might not know how to show it, but he obviously cared about Sydney.

She barely noticed that Jack had left, moving to another room. She was too caught up in looking at the pictures. Her hand brushed one of her holding Sydney and she felt the tears sting her eyes. That had been so long ago and they had looked so happy.

A hand tentatively touched the small of her back and she jumped, forgetting where she was for a moment. She closed her eyes and smiled apologetically at Jack. "I'm sorry, I was just a little startled."

Looking around the room, she noticed that it had a lived in quality to it. "Do you come here often?" 

He nodded, "It's almost my home away from home when I'm here. I probably spend more time here than I do in the house in LA." He nervously ran a hand through his hair as their gazes locked. 

"Jack, as much as I would love to ignore the obvious, we have issues to work out." She smiled when she saw his eyes widen. "I mean talk through." If it had been another time, she might have laughed at his reaction to her wording. 

Jack motioned to the couch and she took a seat, waiting for him to start. She knew he must be full of question, most of them about why she was here. She watched him slowly take a seat, studying her face the entire time.

"Why did you do it?"

The question shouldn't have caught her off guard, but it did. She took a deep breath and started to talk. "Jack, I needed to make sure Sloane would trust me. I wanted to hurt him from the inside. I wanted to make him pay for hurting you and Sydney throughout the years."

Meeting his eyes, she swallowed nervously. "I didn't want to leave you. I wanted to stay with you in Panama. Once I realized what Sark and Sloane had set up with the limos, I knew I had to go through with the act. It was a chance for me to get to them."

Jack was silent while she told her side of the story. He nodded, but she could still see the hurt in his eyes.

"Jack?"

"Irina, I know why you did it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it." He shifted on the couch to face her and continued. "I wish you would have told me."

"Jack, we both know that if I would have told you, you would have done everything in your power to stop me. In these three months, I've slowly made progress. The Rambaldi artifacts were made useless and I've fed Sloane false
information. Just enough to keep him from achieving what he wants the most." 

Jack turned away, wanting to believe her, but knowing it wasn't smart to get his hopes up. He moved to get up from the couch but she placed her hand on his arm. "Jack, don't go."

He looked down at her and cursed himself, knowing he couldn't leave. She offered him a smile, trying to reassure him.

"I hated having to hurt you Jack, you must know that." She moved closer to him, pulling him back down to the couch. Their faces were so close and she felt her heart start to race. The last time they had been this close, they had worn each other out.

She couldn't stay away from him. She slowly leaned forward, hesitantly kissing him. He returned the kiss, slowly at first, then pressing her into the back of the couch. Her arms wrapped around his neck, holding him close. 

He began to kiss around her mouth, teasing her. She moved one hand to grab his tie and met his mouth in a hungry kiss. She leaned back, pulling him on top of her, closing her eyes. Their hands fumbled with buttons and zippers in their haste to remove the clothing separating them.

Jack kissed every inch of skin that was exposed, and she gasped, losing herself in the moment. Her hands ran over his back, holding him close as her breathing became ragged. Jack moved back up to kiss her and she kicked the last of her clothing aside.

He slowly entered her, stilling and making her glare at him. He smirked and she tightened her muscles around him making him groan. He began to thrust inside of her and she wrapped her legs around his waist.

He kissed the side of her neck and she arched against him, pulling him deeper inside. She closed her eyes as their bodies rocked against each other. His hands moved to her hips, controlling the pace. She groaned as she felt herself
nearing the edge, her hands moving to grip Jack's shoulders.

When she came, she sagged against the couch, Jack thrusting once more before joining her. He hands roamed along his back as she concentrated on breathing normally again. She could feel Jack's heart racing and she smiled, placing a kiss on his face. 

His breathing evened out and she yawned, stretching lazily as she closed her eyes. She felt Jack shift and frowned as he moved away from her. She opened her eyes and saw that he was grabbing a blanket. He lay back down and she snuggled against his chest, content for the time being.

***

Jack awoke to the sound of water running. He stared at the ceiling, running a hand over his eyes as he got rid of the last traces of sleep. He sat up slowly, grimacing as his muscles protested the movement. He glanced at the clock and saw that it was barely 3am. 

He pulled on the boxer shorts that were lying on the floor and slowly made his way to the kitchen to make coffee. He looked around the kitchen and sighed, knowing he didn't have much of anything around this place. He reached up to
open the cabinets, searching for anything edible. He found an old box of cereal that had seen better days and a bag of flour. 

He was about to search more when a pair of arms wrapped around his waist. He turned to see Irina, dressed in his old bathrobe. She placed her chin on his shoulder and smiled at him. He grabbed her hands and ran his hands over the delicate skin of her palm. He lifted one to his mouth and kissed it.

She sighed, closing her eyes. "Jack, don't make this harder. I promise you, I am coming back." He turned and gathered her in his arms. Just holding her, he tried to think of a way to make her stay.

"It doesn't have to be like this. I don't want you anywhere near that man." He brushed a strand of hair behind her ear, wishing that all of this could be over.

"Jack, you know it's not that easy. This is our only chance. The CIA would never be able to get close to him. And if I don't contact him, he'll send someone after me." She looked up at him, her eyes pleading. He nodded and she smiled sadly at him. They both knew that time was short. 

He grabbed the belt of the robe she was wearing and pulled her closer. "I see you found this old thing."

She smiled a genuine smile. "It was hanging in the bathroom and I don't remember hearing you complain about it all the other times I wore it."

He leaned down and kissed her near her ear, smiling as he felt her shiver. "But what am I supposed to wear?"

She hooked her thumb inside the waistband of his shorts and snapped them, making him jump. He gave her a mock glare and she wrapped her arms around his neck. "I don't think you need to wear anything for what I have planned."

He leaned down to meet her kiss, his hands resting on her hips. She pulled him closer as he lifted her, settling her on top of the counter. She smiled at him as his hands moved to part the robe. He kissed every inch of skin he uncovered
as she quickly removed his shorts. 

Their mouths met in a frantic kiss as Jack slowly entered her. He thrust into her as she arched her hips to take him deeper. He groaned as she wrapped her legs around his waist, tightening her muscles around him. She smiled in
satisfaction as he began to thrust faster, bringing her over the edge.

He quickly followed her, holding onto the counter as he struggled to breathe normally again. Meeting her gaze, he struggled to find the right words to say but she silenced him with a kiss. 

"We're survivors. We'll get through this." He helped her off of the counter and sighed as she went to retrieve her clothes. 

He watched her, silent. He wasn't one with words. The never came until it was too late. She walked toward him and held out something. "A month from now. At this hotel." 

She kissed him and walked out the back door, not looking back. The sun wasn't up yet, but he could still make out her figure. He watched as she walked out of his life again, fighting the urge to follow her and make her stay with him.

~*~

Jack walked up the stairs of the hotel, looking around the hallway, making sure that no one was watching him. Just as he reached the door to the hotel room, it opened and he saw Irina's face. He entered the room and turned to face her
only to have her push him against the wall. Her mouth covered his and he wrapped his arms around her waist. Her body was barely covered in a sheer chemise and it took all of his control not to pin her to the ground.

Her mouth wandered lower, nipping his chin and he groaned as her hands made quick work of his shirt and started on his pants. "Irina...not that I'm complaining, but isn't this a little fast?"

She pulled him into a kiss, effectively cutting off his words. "Jack, it's been a month. We don't have much time. I don't intend to waste it." Her hands began to undo his belt buckle and push his pants and boxers down. 

Placing her hands on his shoulders, she led him to the bed. Jack pushed the silky material of the chemise out of the way and covered her body with his. He slowly kissed her, trying to make the moment last. 

Placing one more kiss on her body, he rolled over, settling her on top of him. She slowly lowered herself onto him, gasping when he filled her. His hands went to her hips, steadying her as she rode him. She came and steadied
herself against his chest as he thrust into her once more. Sated, they lay together; Irina curled up on his chest. His hand tangled in her hair and she sighed as his fingers stroked the nape of her neck.

She kissed him and sat up. Her hair fell around their faces and he found himself trying to show her how he felt at that moment. He reluctantly pulled away from the kiss, looking at her. "When can we meet again?"

She smiled. "I know just the place." She slipped a piece of paper in his hand and winked. "Next time we have a half hour. Three weeks, Jack."

He kissed her one last time, relishing the feeling of her arms holding him close. "I can't wait for those three weeks to be up."

He got up from the bed and dressed quickly, leaving the room without looking back. He knew that if he looked back, he would never want to leave.

***

Irina sat, waiting, trying not to look out the window toward the approaching form. She refused to get her hopes up that it was the man she was waiting for. It had been months since she had seen him last, making her feel restless. She knew he was out there somewhere, possibly closer than she expected, but together they were closer than ever to bringing Sloane down. She knew Sloane was becoming suspicious, but she needed this tonight.

Her manicured nails tapped the smooth finish of the window frame, releasing nervous energy. She sighed, trying to keep herself collected. She was usually the master of masking her emotions, but tonight felt different. Every sound or
movement seemed to set her off, and it made her feel almost helpless in a way. Turning from the window, she began to pace the room, hoping that Jack would be here soon, before she punched the wall out of frustration.

A gentle breeze ruffled the curtains and she pressed her hand to her head, taking a deep breath and slowly rubbing her eyes. She was getting tired of hiding. She just wanted to see this end so she could get on with her life, to have a chance to get to know the woman her daughter had become. A chance to relearn everything about Jack. 

A smile formed on her face and she closed her eyes, reveling in memories. They sustained her, kept her going. She opened her eyes when she heard the sounds of someone approaching her room. She loosened the belt of her lacy
robe enough to offer a tease and checked the peephole, just to be safe.

Jack was standing outside her door, looking around the hallway. She smiled and slowly turned the knob of the door, trying not to make a sound. Jack turned to look behind him and she took the opportunity to grab his shoulder.

He turned, smiling and she laughed silently. "I didn't surprise you at all did I?"

His eyes followed the length of her body, his mouth opening slightly, yet no words coming out. She stepped forward and pulled him close, fingering the mustache on his upper lip. "I love the disguise."

"I'd like yours even better off." His hand slowly fingered the material of her robe and she leaned forward to kiss him.

She moved to nibble the skin near his ear and lightly nipped his earlobe. "We should take this out of the hallway, don't want any people getting a free show."
She slowly pulled away from his embrace and guided him into the room, locking the door behind him. He approached her from behind, his arms going around her waist. She sighed and leaned back against his chest, smiling as the belt of her robe was quickly torn away.

Looking ahead she smiled, noticing the mirror. His hands moved to gently cup her breasts, his fingers lightly rubbing and pinching. Her breathing became shallow as she watched his hands move across her body. Lightly arching her
back, she moaned in pleasure as one of his hands moved lower, to stroke her stomach, barely brushing against her. 

One of her arms reached up to wrap around his neck, and his lips moved in her neck, spreading warm kisses along her delicate jaw. Reaching for his hand, she pulled it up to her lips and lightly kissed along each finger. She could
feel his chest tremble against her back as she sucked on his fingers while his other hand continued to lightly explore and rub lower. She caught his gaze in the mirror, her tongue lightly running across his palm.

She could feel his erection pressed against her and she leaned back, rubbing against him, making him groan. His hand moved lower to tease her and she sighed. His mouth moved to her shoulder, lightly biting the skin and using
his tongue to soothe the sting.

She turned and dropped the robe to the floor. "Your clothes are in the way." She gave him a knowing look and he gave her a small laugh, his gaze running over her body as she slowly pushed him backwards, her hips swaying with every step.

His shirt was quickly discarded while his pants were unzipped and pushed down along with his boxers. She ripped the fake mustache off of his face and pushed him down to the bed. She moved to straddle his waist, leaning forward to place kisses on his chest. Rocking her hips against him, she slowly dragged her nails across the area she had just kissed. 

She moved to slowly lower herself on Jack's erection, closing her eyes at the contact. She gripped his arms as his hands guided her hips. Her hips rocked against his and she shivered as his fingers stroked her stomach. 

Jack's hands reached to unpin her hair, letting it fall down to cover her face. His hands traveled along her body, sending shivers down her spine. She could feel the sensations begin to build up and she held her breath. He thrust up into her, finding his release. She followed him seconds later, holding him close.

"Jack..."

He stroked her hair, and she closed her eyes, trying to breath normally again. "We shouldn't wait so long next time." 

She smiled and kissed his chest. "It wasn't an option. Soon, we'll be able to get away from all this and we can run away to our own little private island."

"That sounds wonderful." He wrapped his arms around her waist and held her close. She snuggled into his embrace. 

"I don't want you to leave just yet. I've missed you too much." Her fingers traced idle patterns on his shoulder and he placed a kiss on the top of her head.

"Are you sure? We both know how dangerous this is." She met his gaze and nodded, not able to say the words. Not wanting to show any signs of weakness. He nodded and pulled her closer. She closed her eyes and focused on concentrating on only the feeling of Jack's arms around her.

~*~

The light shining through the window woke Irina and she blinked, trying to let her eyes adjust to the brightness. She noticed that she was alone in the bed and sighed, knowing it was for the best. She just wished she could have
said her goodbyes.

She heard a rapid knock on the door and slowly bent to retrieve her robe. Walking to the door, she took her time, not in any hurry to leave the room just yet. Opening the door, her eyes widened and she cried out. "Jack!"

He stumbled into the room and she stood still, feeling paralyzed. She couldn't move. She felt helpless as Jack collapsed to the ground, coughing. The sight of the blood on his back was enough to spur her into moving. She kneeled
beside him, her mind jumbled with too many questions.

"What happened?" His gaze met hers and she held her breath waiting for the answer, knowing she wouldn't want to hear it.

"I left early, before the sun rose. They caught me off guard, they knew I was here." His hand reached for hers and she blindly took it, not able to focus on anything. 

"I...I need to call the ambulance." He squeezed her hand and she rose, searching for a phone to use. She grabbed a cell phone and quickly dialed the emergency number, her voice wavering as she gave the location. "Hurry, please." She hung up the phone and went to the bathroom, searching or
anything that would help to stop the flow of the blood.

She returned to Jack's side, trying to keep her composure. "Irina, I know it's bad, but how bad?" She bit her lip, wanting nothing more than to just scream. She slowly lifted Jack's shirt, the sight of all the blood making her gasp.

"I'll kill him for this, Jack. It's all my fault. If we hadn't been so careless..."

He reached behind him, grabbing her hand. "Irina, I was in no rush to go anywhere. It was no one's fault."

She held a towel against the wound, trying to find a way to stop the flow of the blood. It seemed useless. It was everywhere and it wasn't stopping. "I asked you not to leave..."

"And I didn't want to."

The knock on the door interrupted them, and Irina stood, hurrying to answer it. She lead them to Jack and let them methodically put temporary bandages on the wound. She nodded as they informed her of where they were taking him, only slightly paying attention to the words.

Her mind was focused on one thing. She closed the door behind the medics and slowly, methodically began to dress. She had to pay a visit to someone. People shouldn't mess with her family.

***

Irina approached the office that Sloane had been using, forcing herself to concentrate. She opened the door and released the safety on the gun, forcing Sloane to look up. Noticing his visitor he smiled in delight. "Irina,so good to see you. To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?"

Her finger tightened around the trigger and she gave him a forced smile. "Arvin, you know we had a deal. No one touches my family." She walked around the desk, her hand slowly tracing the edges. 

He sat back, his hands folded under his chin. "You also forget that you were supposed to be working for me, not whoring yourself out to Bristow."

The gun crashed into his skull before her could react. She leaned forward, her arms braced on the arms of the chair. "I work for no one. You were my ticket to freedom. Getting you to trust me was easy enough." She straightened and
glanced at him critically. She studied the gun in her hands and aimed it at him. "It would be so easy to just pull this trigger."

The shot rang out and hit the chair, barely missing his head. Sloane slumped in relief, staring at Irina. "You should no better than to try and kill me." He motioned at the door and she smirked. 

"Do you think I'm that stupid, Arvin? They've been taken care of. And you should know by now, there is no try with me. I can take you out in one shot, I just want to play first." She deliberately took her time aiming the gun at his face, smiling the whole time.

He started to look around nervously and she perched herself on the desk, swinging her legs. Her gaze never wavered, watching for the slightest indication that he was breaking. He met her gaze and stood suddenly. Barely breaking a
sweat, Irina shot him in the thigh. "Really, Arvin, did you think you could take me?"

She laughed as he fell to the floor, no sounds coming from his mouth. He was in too much shock to react to what had just happened. She shook her head and watched as the blood began to pool on the floor around him. She stepped down from the desk and paused, smiling down at him. "Pity, it must have went straight into the bone." 

She walked around the office and gazed out the window. She turned, watching him wince in pain as he tried to move his leg. "Tell me where the Rambaldi manuscripts and artifacts are."

He laughed, "What makes you think I'll tell you that?"

She walked toward him and used the heel of her shoe to nudge his leg, making him hiss in pain. She moved the heel to the wound itself, and pushed down, making him cry out. "I can do worse, don't test me."

His breathing became labored, yet he still laughed. "It will die with me."

"What makes you think I'll kill you? I just want to have a little fun." She grabbed his arm and neatly broke it below the elbow. "I'm just getting started." His cried out in pain and she laughed. "I have a little secret. I know where the manuscripts and artifacts are." With that said, she bought the butt of the gun down on his head, watching in satisfaction as he slumped to the floor.

She gingerly stepped over his body and grabbed his phone, making a call to inform the CIA of his location and where they would be able to find the Rambaldi works. She hung up, refusing to give her name. She steadied herself against the desk, the adrenaline rush lost, leaving her exhausted. She needed to go to the hospital and see Jack

~*~

When she reached the hospital, she pulled out some change and called Sydney. She could hear laughter in the background and sighed, hating to break the news to her over the phone. But Sydney, stubborn as she was wouldn't listen to her face to face.

"Hello, Sydney?"

Sydney hesitated, "Yes?"

"Sydney, don't hang up. It's your father. He was wounded badly and he's in the hospital. You need to get here as soon as possible. It..it doesn't look good."

"If I find out you're lying..."

Irina took a deep breath. "Sydney, there's no time for this. Get here as soon as you can." She hung up the phone and tucked a strand of hair behind her ears. She leaned against the wall and tried to gather her thoughts. She needed to see Jack. She just wasn't sure she could handle seeing him so helpless.

She slowly made her way to the nurse's desk, the antiseptic smell starting to irritate her senses. She asked for information concerning Jonathon Bristow and was met with a stare. 

"Relationship with the patient?"

"His wife." She glared at the nurse who raised her eyebrows. 

"He's just come out of surgery. Room 233." Irina nodded and started down the hallway.

~*~

She stopped outside of Room 233, hesitating. She slowly opened the door, not knowing what to expect. A nurse was monitoring his vitals and looked up, smiling when she saw Irina.

Irina offered a small smile in return and approached the bed, sighing in relief when she saw that he was breathing on his own. She turned to the nurse, "The operation was successful? They were able to remove the bullet?"

The nurse looked at the chart and back at Irina. "And you are?"

"His wife."

She nodded and consulted the chart. "Everything seems to have gone smoothly."

Irina nodded and took a seat in the chair next to the bed. She hesitantly grabbed Jack's hand and focused on staying calm. "Jack, I don't know if you can even hear me, but it's over, everything is taken care of."

She paused, waiting for the nurse to leave the room before continuing. "Sydney is on her way. I'm sure she'll want to see you right away." She ran her thumb over the skin of his hand, smiling faintly.

"Jack, you're going to be ok. You have to be. I just got you back, and you still owe me for that blindfold incident." She laughed a little just thinking about it.
Looking at Jack's face, she noticed how pale it looked. She sat up and gently placed a kiss on his forehead, wishing he would wake up, if only for a few seconds.

She sat down in the chair once more, using her hand to smooth his hair. She sat back, still holding onto his hand, closing her eyes for a few seconds. 

~*~

Irina opened her eyes to see Sydney gazing at her warily.

"Mom..."

"Sydney, I know you probably don't want me to be here, but you don't know the whole story." She stood, wincing as her muscles protested from sitting so long in the chair. 

"Does dad know the whole story?" She gave her mother a wary look.

"Your father and I have been working together to bring down Sloane."

Sydney interrupted her face furious. "I saw him after what happened in Panama. He was a wreck. And it was all your fault."

"Sydney, I did it to keep the both of you safe. When you ran into me that night in the bar, I told your father everything." She stared into Sydney's eyes, wanting her to believe. 

"How can I trust you?" 

"Call Kendall. Ask him where Sloane is." She watched as Sydney dialed the number, her expression turning to one of shock.

"You did this? But that still doesn't explain how Dad was shot..."

"Sydney you don't want to hear that story."

"Try me."

Irina smiled. "We were sharing a hotel room. Do you really want me to continue?"

Sydney paled and shook her head. "Dad was at a conference."

"Sydney, I'm well aware of what your father was doing. He wasn't at a conference." She started to laugh as her daughter paled even more. "I told you you didn't want to hear the story."

"Just, that's, no." Sydney stared at Irina, not wanting to believe her. 

Irina turned back to Jack's side and grabbed his hand. "Would you rather hear it from your father when he wakes up?"

Sydney shook her head and approached her father. "Mom, why couldn't you have told us this before?"

"Do you really think you or your father would have let me do this? It hurt to have to lie to the two of you, but I had to go to Sloane and make him think I was on his side."

Sydney nodded and the two of them waited for Jack to wake up, slowly starting to make amends with each other.

***

The drive to the hospital was nerve wracking. Irina couldn't help but feel anxious about how Jack would react to her taking him home from the hospital. The last few days he has become agitated very easily. She knew it was because he was going crazy from having to lie in bed all day and not put any pressure on his wound.

She pulled up to the lot and found a parking space. Turning off the ignition, she took a few moments to compose herself before heading inside the hospital. Walking through the doors, she headed to Jack's room to see if he was ready to leave.

Standing in the doorway, she watched with amused expression as Jack pushed the nurse away as she helped him to put his shirt on. He scowled and pulled it down the rest of the way, wincing in pain. 

The nurse sighed and shook her head. "Mr. Bristow, it would just be easier to let me help you."

Jack waved her away and the nurse rolled her eyes. Irina entered the room and sat on the bed next to him. "Jack, I see you've been your usual charming self to the staff."

He glared at her and slowly stood from the bed. "I signed all the release forms." He walked to the door and stood, waiting for her to follow.

She took in the sight of him in a loose cotton shirt and casual pants. "It's nice to see you out of suit for once." He glared again and she let a small laugh escape. "It's not the end of the world, Jack."

He held his hand out and she stepped forward to grab it. Together they walked out of the hospital and toward the car. She helped him into his seat and walked around to let herself in. A silence fell between them as she started the engine. 

Lost in thought, she tried to figure out her place in Jack's life. There were still things that had been left unsaid. He still had to come to realize that she had
changed and that this wasn't all a lie. Jack looked out the window, unnaturally quiet. She glanced at him and saw that him forehead was wrinkled in concentration. She only wished she could reassure him of his doubts.

She turned onto an unfamiliar block, and Jack pointed out the house. She smiled in appreciation as she took the architecture in. The style of the house just seemed to suit him. She parked the car and waited a moment before opening the door. 

Jack looked at her as she opened his door and helped him out, still silent. She could see the sweat forming on his brow as he tried to hide his discomfort. 

Irina helped Jack up the stairs to his house, grabbing the keys from his hand. He turned to her and glared, but she just ignored him. He leaned heavily against the porch railing, watching her.

"I can open a door, I'm not an invalid." He took a step forward and grabbed her arm, steadying himself, and she smiled, not saying a word about it.

Unlocking the door, she pushed it open and stepped into the front room, studying the décor. Turning back to Jack she winked. "You're just crabby. We'll have to remedy that later on." She opened the door and led him in, helping him to sit in the nearest chair. "Just sit back for a bit, I'll start dinner and we can have dessert if you're up for it."

Walking down the halls, she took the opportunity to see the rest of the house. Pictures of Sydney as various ages lined the wall, one for each year. She smiled, as she glimpsed the years she had missed. She walked down the hall, looking for the kitchen, but stopped when she passed the room that
passed for Jack's office. Curiosity overwhelmed her and she slowly stepped inside.

She approached Jack's desk and fingered the wood. Noticing the precise order of the papers on the desk, she smiled. He had always been so organized. Nothing was ever out of place. She noticed that one of the drawers was open slightly, and she frowned. She reached to close it, but caught sight of an ornate silver frame.

Using the desk to steady herself, she slowly opened the drawer the rest of the way. Inside lay their wedding photo. It sent shivers down her spine just remembering that day. It touched her to realize that Jack had kept it all these
years, after everything she had done.

Slowly pushing the drawer shut, she returned to the hall and eventually found the kitchen. She searched the cupboards and the fridge, debating with herself about what she should make. Something light would probably be best after all that bland hospital food. 

After choosing the meal and putting it in the oven, she walked down the hall to check on Jack. She paused in the doorway of the front room, just watching Jack relax. The worry lines on his face were gone and he looked younger. She walked forward and sat on the edge of the chair. Smoothing his hair back, she leaned forward and placed a kiss on his lips.

Jack slowly wrapped his arm around her waist as they kissed. She leaned towards him, bracing herself on the arm of the chair, not wanting to hurt him. His hands wandered lower and she moaned as he began to knead the skin around her waist.

"Skipping dinner and going straight for dessert?" She pulled back slightly, a teasing look in her eyes.

"Dessert is the most important part of the meal." His hands wound through her hair, pulling her closer. Their lips met again, her tongue lightly tracing his. She closed her eyes and let herself get lost in the moment.

He pulled her closer, but she stilled when he winced in pain. "Jack, don't overdo it. We don't need to rush, we have plenty of time." She leaned forward until her forehead touched his and she could stare into his eyes. "I've missed
you, but I can wait."

Jack nodded, leaning back in the chair. "It's just so hard to resist you."

"You just don't want to admit you can't do something." She lightly trailed kisses from his ear to his neck, before straightening herself and sitting back on the arm of the chair.

"I can do anything. I'll prove it to you later on." The timer on the oven went off and he sat forward. "Whatever you made smells delicious."

Irina stood and held out her hand to Jack. "Let's go eat. You'll need your strength." He took her hand without saying a word and followed her down the hall. She turned to him, smiling. "This is a beautiful house. Nice and cozy." 

"Sydney helped me with it. It was one of those rare times we held a conversation." He lowered his gaze and she became silent. There was still so much she didn't know, the little details that she had missed. 

"I'm sorry Jack." She squeezed his hand as they entered the kitchen. She took a seat at the table and waited for him to say something.

He took a seat and looked at her, studying her face. "It's in the past. We just need to focus on these moments." He smiled and reached to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. "It's time to start over."

She leaned forward and hugged him, knowing that they would both have to work at this if they wanted to succeed. Jack's arms wrapped around her waist and held her close. She sighed as she melted into the embrace.

"Irina, is that supper that's burning?" She pulled back, startled. She ran to the oven and turned everything off. Smiling in relief, she saw that the damage to the meal wasn't bad, it was still edible, just a little more done
than she had intended.

"It survived." She pulled out two plates and they enjoyed the meal in a comfortable silence. 

~*~

After their dinner, Irina cleaned up the kitchen while Jack watched. "You don't have to stay and watch me. That chair has to be uncomfortable."

Jack shrugged. "I can stand it. I'd rather watch you anyway."

Irina rinsed her hands under the running water, and wiped them on a dishtowel. She leaned against the counter and could feel Jack's eyes burning through her. She turned. Jack sat at the table, watching. Their gazes locked and she was at a loss for words. "I should go soon. You need your rest."

In a few easy strides, he stood in front of her, brushing a hand along her cheek. He opened his mouth to speak, his hand brushing her hair behind her ears. "Stay?"

The word caught her off guard and she braced herself against the counter. She studied the expression on Jack's face, not sure if she had heard correctly. "Are you sure you want me to....stay?"

He didn't answer. Instead he stepped forward, his hands traveling to her hips making her breathing quicken. He traced the sides of her stomach through her blouse, teasing her and making her shiver. She leaned forward, wrapping her
arms around his neck. Their mouths met and she held him close, enjoying the feeling of his body pressed against hers.

His mouth wandered to the side of her neck and she leaned to the side to give him better access, sighing when he found a particularly sensitive spot. A soft sigh filled the room as his hands wandered lower, pulling her tight against
him. She could already feel him hard against her. Irina smiled into his kisses. For an injured man, he didn't seem to be lacking any strength. 

Giving in to him, she arched back against the counter, savoring the path his lips followed. His kisses were hot against her bare skin as his hands desperately tugged her blouse from the waist of her skirt. Jack's hands slid easily under the soft fabric while hers buried into his hair, twirling the ends around her fingertips. His lips pressed down against her, his tongue danced into her mouth, teasing her. 

Moaning into him, she sucked on his tongue as it dashed in again, tangling it around hers. He gasped and she pulled back, worried. Gasping for air, she eyed him with concern. 

"Jack?"

"I'm alright." His voice was raw. "Just breathless." 

They stood inches apart, chests heaving, heat exploding from their bodies. Her lips were swollen from his kisses, and they burned as he lightly traced them with a finger tip. Her tongue darted out and licked at his finger. Jack slipped it slowly into her mouth.

Looking into his eyes, she took his hand in hers and slowly slid it further in as she licked along him. His eyes fluttered as her tongued danced around his strong his ring finger, sucking lightly as he slid it slowly in and out of her warm mouth. A soft moan escaped from his throat as her hands grabbed at his pants, tugging him closer. His finger slid out of her mouth, trailing down along her lip
and throat, coming to rest between her breasts.

"Are you sure?" She didn't want to hurt him. 

"Stay," was the only answer.

"Not here," she said. "Somewhere a little more comfortable might be better." She slowly pushed him forward, smiling as she eased herself out of his grip. She walked towards the hallway, intent on finding the bedroom.

Jack grabbed her hand, approaching her from behind. He kissed her shoulder as his hands toyed with the buttons of her blouse. "Which room?" The words came out breathless as she tried to talk.

Jack removed the blouse, kissing her back and she shivered. "First door on the right." 

His hands traced her sides and she shivered. She took a step forward, pulling Jack behind her. She opened the door and stepped inside, turning around to meet Jack in another kiss. "Where did we leave off?"

She gently tugged his shirt up, stepping back to lift it over his head. He winced and she stilled. "It's okay." His hands cupped her ass, playing with the zipper on her skirt. "It's worth a little pain." Her skirt soon fell around her ankles and she kicked it to the side.

Her hands reached to unzip his pants, pushing them to the ground with his boxers. "Let's just take it slow, Jack, you don't need to end up in the hospital because of me."

"It would be worth it to see the look on the doctor's face." He unclasped her bra, his hands moving to cup her breasts, gently kneading them. He leaned forward to kiss and suck on the flesh before him, making her gasp.

His fingers traced the skin above her panties, slowly sliding them down. She stepped out of them and backed towards the bed. Their gazes locked and she wet her lips with her tongue. He stepped forward and kissed her deeply, pushing both of them onto the bed.

She closed her eyes as he concentrated on kissing every inch of skin he could find. His hands gently traced the lines of her body, teasing her and then moving to explore more. He lightly ran his fingers across her stomach, kissing and gently nibbling the skin.

She arched against him, clutching the sheets of the bed as his mouth wandered lower. She sighed as he caressed her with his tongue. Her hands reached for his shoulders, urging him to move up. He entered her in one thrust, swallowing her moan as he kissed her deeply.

Their hips rocked against each other, their bodies moving as one. She wrapped her legs around his hips, holding him tightly to her. She closed her eyes tightly as the sensations began to build up within her. His hand moved
between them, urging her towards her release.

She came, holding on to Jack as he thrust into her towards his own release. He came, collapsing on top of her. She gently played with his hair as she tried to catch her breath, enjoying the feeling of his body so close to hers. "You still okay, Jack?"

"More than okay." He placed a kiss between her breasts, resting his head on her chest.

"Do you mind if I check?" She kissed his forehead as she squeezed her way out from under his body. Lightly running her hands along the scarring she placed a gentle kiss on his back. "All better now?"

Jack laughed and she curled up next to him on the bed again. He wrapped his arms around her, gently running a hand through her air. "Everything is just perfect."

The first few parts suck, but oh well, lmao.  It's not too bad.  I sorta like it.  And again, I blame Jen, because I do believe she helped me write some parts, lol

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Alias is JJ's and Bad Robot's