Kat Scratch Fever
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Could It Be Any Harder

An argument leads to more

Title: Could It Be Any Harder
Author: Kat
Rating: PG13, eventually up to R
Spoilers: None really, but up to the Getaway to be safe
Disclaimer: I don't own them


Sydney walked into the bathroom, intent on getting herself ready for her meeting with Vaughn. She carefully applied her mascara and a small dab of lipstick, just enough to add color. She pressed her lips together to even out the color and smiled at the reflection in the mirror.

Her smile vanished as she thought about last night. She slowly removed her jacket and grimaced as the material rubbed against the wound on her shoulder. She had barely been able to escape from the guards in Hungary. She was lucky she only had the one injury.

She picked up a tube of antiseptic lotion and gingerly applied it, hissing as it stung. She closed her eyes for a moment, and concentrated on ignoring the pain. She opened her eyes and clumsily wrapped the area with bandages. She knew that Vaughn was going to kill her when he found out that she had never went to see the doctor.

She sighed and grabbed the jacket again, carefully pulling it on. She spritzed a bit of perfume around her neck and looked in the mirror one last time. It would have to do for now. She only hoped that she was able to hide her injury from him.

She left the bathroom and approached Francie. "Fran, I need a little help here. My shoulder is a little sore, would you mind helping me?" She held out a silver necklace and Francie grabbed it, laughing.

"Syd, I swear you can be so klutzy at times." She hooked the necklace together and turned Sydney around to look over her outfit. "Who are you all dressed up for?"

Sydney gave her a fake smile, trying not to cry out as Francie squeezed her shoulder. "No one Fran, I'm just planning on enjoying myself for once."

"With your schedule? you deserve a break!" Fran laughed, then asked, "will you be home later? I've got to catch my plane so you have to fend for yourself."

Sydney smiled. "I'm perfectly capable of fending for myself." She backed away, heading out the door. "Bye Fran!"

"Bye Syd!"
She entered the warehouse, looking around for Vaughn. She pulled the light jacket closer, hoping that it was concealing the bandage. She heard Vaughn softly talking on his cell phone and stilled, hoping she wasn't interrupting anything.

The hushed tones intrigued her and she wondered who he was talking to. She made her way towards the sound of his voice and watched as he ran a hand through his hair. She was tempted to laugh at the sight of his mussed hair. He looked so young when he did that.

He swore suddenly and hung up his cell phone. He turned to see her and she could see the total and complete exasperation in his eyes as he saw her. "Sydney, did you see a doctor!?"

She silently damned the fact that she had had to make a log of all the injuries she had sustained during her missions. "Vaughn-"

Vaughn glared at her. "Let me see it."

His tone left no room for argument and she slowly removed the jacket, wincing as the material snagged on the bandage. Vaughn approached and sighed. He removed her jacket the rest of the way and carefully undid the bandage. He led her to a crate and made her sit down as he searched for the first aid kit.

He sat next to her as he slowly cleaned the wound, making her flinch. He looked up. "You know this could have been avoided had you seen a doctor." She shivered as his fingers probed the area around her shoulder, wishing that his hands could be touching her skin under different circumstances.

Sydney bit her lip as he pressed the gauze down and wrapped a new bandage around her shoulder. She flexed her arm, and Vaughn nodded, satisfied with the job he had done. He looked down at the floor. "Sydney, this is serious. Your shoulder could have become infected."

"I can take care of myself Vaughn." She crossed her arms, trying to ignore the stab of pain in her shoulder at the sudden movement. Vaughn gave her a pointed look but she ignored it.

"Sydney, I-" He was cut off as his cell phone rang. He gave her an apologetic look before answering. "This is Vaughn."

She watched as a frown appeared on his face. "Does it have to be tonight? You already made the reservations?" He sighed and Sydney's face fell. Alice. She listened to them argue until they finally reached an agreement. She swallowed against the lump in her throat and stood, heading out of the warehouse.

She had barely reached her car when Vaughn ran out of the warehouse shouting. "Sydney! Where do you think you're going?"

She took a deep breath, not wanting a confrontation. "Vaughn, just let me go, we've talked enough for one afternoon."

"Sydney, you just left the warehouse. We still need to discuss things."

Sydney glared at him, more angry than hurt. "You want to discuss things? Then let's discuss away!" Sydney found herself glaring at him, wishing she could just unleash every feeling that had built up inside her, but knowing that it wasn't possible. So, intead she went for anger. "My life is my life. Nobody else's! If I want to leave, I leave!"

Vaughn stepped closer until they were almost face to face. "Sydney, I'm well aware that this is your life, but you need a someone who will watch out for you. You can't do everything alone! Am I not allowed to care about anything but your safety? You don't even bother to let me know about your injuries anymore! I had to find out about it from Kendall!"

Vaughn pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing deeply. "How do you think that made me feel Syd? Listening to that man rattle off your injury like it was some sort of car part that needed a tune up? I need to know these things."

"Need to know, or want to know?" Syd asked him. She was hoping for the latter. She found herself holding her breath, waiting for the answer.

She heard him pause. "Need to know, Sydney. I'm responsible for you."

It was his job, she knew that. God, sometimes that job sucked. "I know." She heard him say. She looked over at him. "What?"

"Yes, the job does suck."

She stared at him in shock. She had spoken her thoughts aloud. How often had she done that before? Apparently she talked in her sleep, or so he said. What else could she have said?

She turned to him again. "Need to know or not, I am a big girl who is quite capable of looking after herself. Apparently you have big plans for the night, so why don't you just go have fun. I'm going for a run." Again, she turned towards the car, intent on leaving.

Vaughn reached out and placed a hand on her arm, careful not to jar her shoulder. "Sydney, we can't just walk away from this. We need to talk."

"Bye," she said, really not fully understanding why she was this angry. She reached for the car door and pulled it open. His hand rached past her, covered her own, and slammed the door shut. Sydney turned on him, eyes blazing.

"How dare you? You assume to know me? You assume to be my friend? You assume to care about me and my so called 'well being'? Well, you know where you can start? You can start by taking 10 steps back and letting me go."

She stepped closer to him with each question, forcing him back, until he was up against the cold, concrete wall of that warehouse. She had two choices: spill all, or walk away. She stared into his eyes, took a deep breath, gathered her nerves, and turned on her heels, retreating back to the SUV.

She listened for his footsteps behind her as she approached the SUV. None came. She reached for the handle and jerked the door open, maybe a little more harder then she should have. That really hurt. She reached for her shoulder with her good arm.

"Serves you right," she heard him yell from behind her. She turned to see him standing in the doorway.

"You shut yourself into your own little world, and you don't allow anyone in to help you. That's admirable, Syd. You want to stand on your own two feet? Then do it. do it, but remember that if you do, you're shutting out everyone who has ever cared about you. Francie, Will, your father. " She heard him pause. "Me."

"Go," she told him. Her voice was calm, even. It scared her. "Go have dinner. Enjoy your evening."

"Not likely," she heard him say. "Dinner with my mother? Good times. You do know I'll be thinking of you the whole time?"

Sydney looked up to meet his eyes. She shook her head. "No. Not your mother," she said. "Alice. You're having dinner with Alice."

"No, it's dinner with my mother, and it will not be enjoyable. And do you know why?" It was his turn to advance on her. Sydney held his eyes with her own, and shook her head again. "I will be worrying about you: Did you make it safely home? Have you calmed down? Do I need to hide in fear tomorrow?" She watched a half grin played at his mouth.

"What was this Syd?" He gestured at the space between them with his hands. She couldn't, no matter how hard she tried, look away. She tried to back up as he took another step closer. She had run out of room and was up against her SUV.

She held his gaze still. "Hide in fear," she repeated. She tried to answer. Her mouth opened to form the word, and before she could say it, Vaughn said it for her.

He leaned in close. "Never," he whispered, and met her lips with his. His arms encircled her and pulled her in tight. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held on for dear life.

She felt him pulling back a little and looked up into his face. "Vaughn?" He looked into her eyes and their mouths met again in a desperate kiss.
Vaughn traced her features, making her sigh into his mouth. His other hand trailed down and played with the hem of her shirt. She wrapped her arms around his neck as the kisses grew lazy, her hands toying with the hairs at the nape of his neck. His mouth moved to the side of her face, kissing near her ear and making her shiver.

He moved lower and she arched her neck to give him better access. He pinned her body against the car, nibbling along her jawline. "Vaughn..." She hated to stop, but she knew that they could be seen by anyone. She was having trouble concentrating on anything, other than the fact that his mouth was doing wonderful things to her. She tried again, "Vaughn...we need to stop."

He pulled back, looking stunned. "Syd, I'm sorry..."

She placed her finger against his mouth. "Not sorry, just later. Anyone could be watching." She leaned closer, whispering, "Francie's out of town, Will's gone, we could meet at my house." She nipped the skin near his ear and leaned back with a smile as she saw the glazed look in his eyes.
Vaughn cupped her face in his hand, staring into her eyes. She felt herself blushing at the intense look. "Syd, are you sure about this? We can't exactly take it back."

Sydney looked out of the corner of her eye. "Well, there is just one thing I need to know. Is...Alice," she paused, unsure of what to say, "Is Alice still in the picture?"

Vaughn sighed. "Alice was a mistake. We're still friends, but I admit I started to let her think she was more. I'm an idiot for that."

Sydney nodded. "I want this, I really do, but not if Alice is going to be a constant reminder of what I can't have." She chanced looking into his eyes and watched him take a deep breath.

"Sydney, I want nothing more than to share every waking moment with you. As long as you know that we won't have many chances like this and we are still able to focus on our goal, everything will turn out in the end." He grabbed her hand and bought it to his mouth, making her shiver as he kissed the back of it.

"Vaughn, any moment I spend with you is worth it." She pulled her hand away, regretting it instantly. "Go before we end up on the gravel. Remember to stay far enough behind me." She winked at him and watched as he walked to his car.. She sighed and turned to open the car door, a huge smile on her face.

She sat in the seat and started the car, turning on the radio to calm her nerves. She leaned back and closed her eyes, taking a deep breath. It was finally going to happen. She shifted into drive and slowly left the parking lot of the warehouse, careful not to get too far before Vaughn had a chance to see where she was driving. The song on the radio changed. She listened absentmindedly, obviously focussed on other thing. Soon though, one verse jumped out at her.

I'd jump at the chance
We'd drink and we'd dance
And I'd listen close to your every word,
As if its your last, I know its your last,
Cause today, oh, you're gone

She was jumping at this chance. She just hoped that she wasn't making a mistake. She knew in her heart that she loved Vaughn and that he loved her, but a part of her was reminded that every man she had ever cared for never lasted long.

She wanted the chance to go on a proper date, to have that chance to drink and dance and talk until all hours of the evening. Learn the little things about each other. She knew that day would eventually come, but she couldn't help but be selfish at this moment.

At least today she would have a chance to learn all the little quirks about Vaughn. At least for today though, he would be hers, and she planned on learning as much as she could in these few short hours.

I wish you didn't go
I wish you didn't go away
To touch you again,
With life in your hands
It couldn't be any harder

She pulled into her driveway and sat, listening to the song finish. She needed to grab life, dive in and take a chance on love. Just the thought of his hands on her skin was enough to make her jump out of the car and slam the door. She tried to compose herself as she walked to the front door, but it wasn't working too well.

She wanted to turn and scan the neighborhood for Vaughn's car. She forced herself to enter the house and wait by the window. She knew that there was no way Vaughn was going to come through the front door, but she was still anxious, and watching the front yard seemed to be the best way to disract herself.

She watched as her neighbors went about their daily lives, gardening, watering the flowers, and walking the dogs. She smiled as they went about their business, taking no notice of her watchful gaze. She heard the back door creak open and her heart stopped. Vaughn? Had he really come?

She held herself still and waited for him to approach. She smiled when she felt his arms slide around her waist as he dropped a kiss on her head. He pushed a strand of hair behind her ear and placed a kiss along her neck. "So are we going to do this here for all of your neighbors to see or are we going to go someplace a little more private?"

Sydney stood and turned around. "I don't share well with others." She leaned forward and began to kiss him, slowly stepping back and leading him past the living room and down the hallway. She was so caught up in the feeling of Vaughn's hands teasing the skin of her back, that she barely registered the sound of a door slamming.

She pulled back when she heard Will's voice and shoved Vaughn in the bathroom, closing the door. She ran to the kitchen."Will? Aren't you supposed to be visiting Amy?"

Will laughed. "Syd, can't I visit my best friend?"

Sydney frowned. She loved Will, but she was a little occupied at the moment. "Will, is there any way you can come back later?"

"Syd, it's not like you have a guy here." He stopped and grinned. "Do you have a guy here?"

"No, Will, I just need to focus on work and I can't do that with you around." She prayed that he would buy her flimsy excuse.

"Syd has a guy here. Wait til Francie hears." He opened the fridge door and grabbed an apple pie. "Don't worry, I'll be out of your hair in a minute. I needed to pick up the pie Francie made Amy." He sent her one last teasing look before leaving. "Enjoy yourself, Syd."

Sydney leaned against the wall, covering her face with her hands. She was never going to live this down. She started down the hallway toward the bathroom to let Vaughn out. He opened the door and smiled. "Syd, for a spy, you're a terrible liar." He pulled her into the bathroom and kissed her before she could respond.

Sydney allowed herself to be pulled into the kiss, placing her hands on his face. She closed her eyes and savored the kiss. Opening her eyes, she backed up against the sink, steadying herself as she concentrated on running her hands along his shoulders.

His hands travelled down to her hips, slowly rubbing them through the silk of her skirt. She hopped up on the sink, placing her hand on the shower door for leverage. She stared into his eyes and gave him a teasing grin as she unbuttoned her blouse.

His hands trailed across her stomach, making her shiver in anticipation. The look in his eyes was intense as she leaned forward to brush a lock of hair out of his eyes. He watched her carefully as his hands pushed the blouse off her shoulders.

She lightly ran a hand up his arm, watching as the hair stood on end. He lowered his mouth to her neck and lightly kissed around her collarbone and along her shoulder. She closed her eyes, focusing on the feeling of his mouth on her skin. She gripped his shoulders as he hit a particularly sensitive spot, relaxing as he met her mouth in a long, languid kiss.

Her hands threaded through his hair, pulling him closer. He bunched her skirt up around her hips, placing feather light touches along her thighs. He leaned close, placing kisses near her ear. "Slow, Syd. We have time to get to know each other."

She sighed in frustration, "We've waited too long already." She pulled him back into the kiss, lightly tracing his tongue with her own. She pulled back unbuttoning his shirt and fingering the gun holster. "I think these need to go."

She pushed the shirt off and waited until he removed the gun holster before unzipping his pants and pushing them down. Vaughn stood before her in just his boxers and she felt ehr mouth go dry. His hands were once again touching her, rubbing small circles on her back. His hands toyed with the strap of her bra as he looked into her eyes, watching her reaction.

She leaned forward placing a small kiss on his chest, letting her hands wander across his muscles. A shudder passed through his body and he quickly unhooked her bra. His hands explored her upper body as she pulled him in for another kiss.

She pushed his boxers down and they joined his pants on the floor. He lifted her hips and her skirt and panties soon joined the growing pile of clothes. The kisses grew more intense and she wrapped her legs around his waist, bringing him closer. Their hips rocked against each other as they were caught up in the pleasure of touching one another.

Sydney looked deeply into Vaughn's eyes as he focused all of his attention on her. She could feel her body responding to his touch and she urged him on. His breathing grew shallower and she felt herself beginning to come undone. She closed her eyes and moaned Vaughn's name as she came down from her high. He kissed her nose and wrapped his arms around her.

She leaned against his chest and closed her eyes, listening to his heartbeat. He stepped back, steadying her and helping her down from the sink. They shared another lingering kiss as Sydney pushed him against the wall. "Vaughn, how do you feel about a shower?"

Vaughn laughed as he looked into her eyes. "Is there room enough?"

"Let's find out."
She winked at him as she stepped into the shower, adjusting the water. She pulled him inside as soon as the water was the perfect temperature. Vaughn wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close, kissing her. As the water ran down their bodies, Sydney grabbed the soap.

She ran the soap slowly across his chest, lathering her hands as she went. Putting the soap down, she began to wash Vaughn's chest.
Her hands wandered up to his shoulders, slowly tracing the muscles as she worked her way down his arms. Vaughn grabbed her hands as they began to wash lower. She gave him a mock pout and he laughed. "Don't start something we can't finish, Syd."

"Who says we can’t finish this?"

She pulled his face down to meet hers in a kiss and sighed as his hands wandered across her body. She shivered as one hand came up to cup her breast. She pulled back from the kiss and looked into his eyes. Both hands came to rest on her hips and she smiled, knowing what he had in mind.

He lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist while bracing herself against the wall of the shower and his chest. She steadied herself and wrapped her arms around his neck. He kissed along her neck and collarbone, nipping near her pulse point. She arched against him moaning in anticipation.

He stilled her hips, and she glared at him. He laughed and began to tease her body all over again. She closed her eyes as his mouth wandered lower towards her breasts. Small kisses trailed down her neck and around her breasts.

Vaughn abruptly stopped and she opened her eyes in shock as he gently set her back down. She opened her mouth in protest, but he leaned in and silenced her with another kiss. He pulled back and picked up the washcloth she had abandoned. He lathered it up and began to soap up her back. He pulled her hair out of the way and he placed a kiss at the base of her neck. She bent her head forward, letting him trail kisses all along her neck, sighing as his mouth licked and sucked along the area. His hands wandered to the base of her spine and she leaned against his chest as a million sensations flooded her body. He placed a kiss along her shoulder and his hands moved to her sides, making her shiver.

She turned to face him, not wanting to wait any longer. He lifted her hips up and settled her against the shower wall. Their mouths met in a desperate kiss as their hands explored every inch of skin they could reach.

Sydney grabbed his hips and thrust against him, encouraging him on. She wanted to feel all of him. She closed her eyes as he entered her, biting her lip to keep from moaning.

Sydney leaned back, her emotions threatening to overwhelm her. She had waited for this moment forever, never actually believing it would happen. His hands pulled her hips closer and she gripped his shoulders as she felt herself starting to fall apart. She was barely coherent, only able to focus on one thing. The water ran down their bodies and she gasped as Vaughn lifted her hips higher.

He trailed kisses where her neck and shoulder met making her thrust against him as he hit a sensitive spot. She wrapped her arms around his neck, closing her eyes as the sensations overwhelmed her. She moaned his name and shuddered as they both came together. He slowly set her down, keeping his arms wrapped around her.

She leaned against his chest, breathing in his scent as he stroked her hair. She opened her eyes and watched him lean down to pick up a bottle. He poured something in his hands and playfully began to lather her hair.

"Strawberries and cream just sound so tempting at the moment." Vaughn laughed as he lathered up the shampoo. "I like this one."

Sydney sighed, concentrating on the feeling of his hands massaging her scalp. "You're good at this."

He pushed her back and she leaned under the showerhead as the water rinsed her hair. His hands ran through her hair making sure all the shampoo was gone before pulling her towards him.

He turned the water off and stepped out of the shower, grabbing a towel. Sydney blushed as he approached her and wrapped the towel around her body.

"As much as I love you like this, you need to dry off."

He grabbed another towel and wrapped it around his hips as she stepped out of the shower. She leaned in for another kiss and wrapped her arms around his neck. He picked her up and she laughed as they exited the bathroom and he stopped in the hall. "Which one?"

She pointed and he carried her to her room, setting her on the bed. She stretched out, getting comfortable. Vaughn soon joined her, holding her close as they fell asleep together.

Written for Amy's birthday.  She asked, I wrote, lol


JJ owns the characters and the show; the song belongs to The Calling