Kat Scratch Fever
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Glimmer of Hope

Syd Angst

Author: Kat
Rating: PG 13
Disclaimer: I don't own them. Just borrowing.
Spoilers: Up to Counteragent

Sydney walked out of the Ops Center and into the bright daylight. She reached into her purse and grabbed her sunglasses. She felt the tears well up almost immediately, knowing it wasn't the sun to blame. Ever since she had found out about Alice, the meetings between her and Vaughn had been strained. It was a week before Christmas and she just didn't know what think other then a miserable, "Merry Christmas to me."

Vaughn had been distant lately and she missed the closeness that had existed between the two of them. She hadn't realized it then, but he had been her rock when she had been mourning Danny. "Danny," she said quietly to herself. Sydney, for the first time in months, caught herself wondering what life would be like had the events of last year never happened. Would they have a home, pets, even children yet? Would she still be a pawn in an as yet unknown game of SD-6? "No point wondering", she thought sadly to herself. "I know now, and Danny paid for that."

Vaughn had helped her to realize SD-6 wouldn't be taken down in a day. He had also helped her through so much more. He had believed in her, helped her, even encouraged her when she most needed it. He also fought her, kept her grounded when no one else could have. Now, she wasn't sure how to act around him and it was tearing her up inside.

She slowly walked along the streets, looking at all the Christmas decorations along the way. She saw a young couple kissing under the mistletoe and turned away. She hurried past, a lone tear making it's way down her cheek.

She clumsily wiped it away and tried to ignore the stares as the happy, holiday shoppers passed. When she finally reached her house she sighed in relief and walked straight to her bedroom. She was thankful that Francie and Will were out. They would only question her about her tears. It was ironic to feel safe in her own house, when no place was safe for her at all.

Will might understand, but she really didn't want to talk about this right now. The pain was still too fresh. She sniffled and curled up on her bed. Her life was so complicated at the moment. Why couldn't one thing ever go right?

As soon as she settled down, her cell phone rang. She wanted to just throw it at the wall. She knew perfectly well who was calling her. She took a deep breath and tried to calm down enough to answer the phone.

"Hello?"

"Warehouse."

The phone line went dead and Sydney sighed in frustration. She really didn't want to see Vaughn at the moment. She wanted to be alone. She didn't need this right now. But a small part of her wanted to see Vaughn. Wanted him to reassure her that the past few weeks had been a dream and everything was going to be alright.

He was supposed to be there for [i[her[/i]. Alice wasn't suppossed to be in the picture. It still hurt to realize that he had been seeing Alice again for some time now. She knew that he didn't have to explain his private life to her, but she couldn't help feeling hurt.

She stood and grabbed her keys. If she had to see him, she might as well get it over with. She straightened her clothes and made her way to the car.

*****

Sydney angrily walked into the warehouse, but was careful not to give herself away. She saw Vaughn sitting on a crate and deliberately took her time before approaching him. She knew there was no countermission, that this was his 'arrangement', not Devlin's. What she wanted to do was yell at him, to hurt him like he had hurt her. What she did instead, was gather her thoughts and emotions, and move forward.

One look at his face stopped her cold. He looked defeated. She opened her mouth, ready to ask what was wrong before she remembered that it wasn't any of her concern. It was Alice's problem, not her's. She glared at him and he stood. He seemed to be studying her.

"Sydney, thank you for meeting me here."

She gave him a curt nod and waited for him to continue. He fidgetted a bit, and a part of her was glad that her silence was affecting him. She was getting impatient. "Vaughn, I don't have all night. I do have plans. With Will."

Vaughn stared at her, trying to read her expression. She saw his mouth open, then close, then open again. No sound came out. Sydney looked away. Something inside her wanted to giggle, to laugh at the absurdity of everything, but she didn't. Instead, she looked back in time to see Vaughn's shoulders drop and hear him say, "Of course you do. Of course."

She could see the hurt in his eyes. It wasn't the reaction she had intended, but Sydney found a small bit of satisfaction knowing that she could still elicit a response from Vaughn. She turned to leave, but Vaughn grabbed her arm.

"Wait Syd."

She turned, curious to see what he would say. He silently handed her a small wrapped box and pushed past her. It was the first time he left before she had. She looked down at the box in her hand and then to his retreating figure.

It wasn't supposed to happen like this. He was supposed to call her on her lie about having plans with Will. He was supposed to tell her that Alice was no longer in the picture and that he wanted to be with her.

Tears pooled in her eyes and she let them fall. She remembered that Danny had always held her when she cried. Danny had comforted her. Vaughn wasn't allowed to comfort her. Vaughn wasn't allowed to get close to her.

Not thinking, she shoved the present in her purse and walked back to her car. She drove down the roads, not really knowing where she was going. She just needed to get away.

She found herself outside the train station. She walked inside and sat on one of the benches, bringing her knees to her chest and hugging them. She sniffled thinking back to when Vaughn had found her here.

He had remembered all the places that she went to when she was upset. He had even remembered why she liked to come here. As a tear made it's way down her cheek, she whispered, "Normal people living normal lives."

A part of her hoped that Vaughn would come to the train station to find her, fold her into his arms and tell her that it would all work out, for both of them. She wanted to believe that life would be normal for them, too.

Deep in her heart, she knew it was a foolish thing to wish for, but she couldn't help it. She wondered if he was celebrating with Alice and forgetting all about her. She really didn't know that much about him. She knew he liked hockey, the Kings especially. Beyond that, she only knew that he had a bulldog named Donovan.

She sighed and stretched out her legs. This was getting her nowhere fast. She searched her purse for her car keys and pulled out the present from Vaughn. She fingered the paper and decided to open it. Ripping the paper aside, she opened the jewelers box and saw a bracelet. She pulled it out to examine it. The silver glinted in the light and she caught an inscription near the clasp. 'Some day ~ V'.

She put it on her wrist and hugged it close to her heart. Sydney took a minute to just be. Her, the bracelet, her thoughts. It was good, it was peaceful. For the first time in a long time, she felt peace. Slowly, she gathered her things to leave. She rose and turned to the exit. Standing there, in the shadows of the station, she saw him. Just him. No jacket, no tie, just Vaughn.

She stopped, unsure of what to do. Her heart told her to run to him and never let go, but she also knew that it would be foolish to throw herself into his arms. Anyone could see them. But the stubborn part of her didn't care.

She slowly walked towards the shadows, towards Vaughn. She met his gaze and was surprised to see the hope in his eyes. She motioned for him to follow as she walked past him. She headed for the silent corner in the station and leaned against the wall.

She closed her eyes, not wanting to see if he would walk past her. She felt his hand grab hers and she squeezed it. She turned toward him and buried her face in his chest. She let the tears out and he just held her, soothing her.

"I'm sorry Vaughn. I didn't mean any of what I said."

Vaughn placed a finger on her lips, silencing her. "Syd, these past few weeks have been trying. And I know that Alice coming to see me in the hospital didn't help. We're not involved. You and i will get through this. I promise." He raised her chin, making her look into his eyes.

She smiled through the tears, happy to finally be in Vaughn's arms. She could see the fire and determination in his eyes and it made her feel safe. Sydney didn't want to leave his arms, but knew that they didn't need to attract attention. She smiled sadly at him as she pulled back. "Some day."

As she walked away, she knew in her heart that some day would come. And she was going to enjoy that day.

Written for the December Challenge for Cover Me.  I don't recall all the details, but it was a fun one to write.  Cels, Angel, and Jude all helped me and listened to me whine and for that they deserve medals, lmao

Don't own the show or characters, never will