Posted on behalf of yankluver
Title: Some Things Never Change
Spoilers: First two episodes of third season.
Disclaimer: Alias and its characters do not belong to me. I do this out of
a love for the show and no infringement is intended.
Summary: On their way to a mission, Sydney and Vaughn have a heart-to-heart.
Sydney and Vaughn had been silent for most of the flight. Things were so strange between them right now. They used to be able to talk to each other about everything. Now, they couldn't seem to talk to each other about anything.
Sydney shifted in her seat, her eyes falling upon Vaughn's face. He was staring out the window of the helicopter, seemingly lost in the thought. She loved just looking at him. She used to stay up nights and just watch him sleep, reveling in the fact that she could finally look at him without fear of discovery.
He had the most beautiful face she'd ever seen. His sculpted features always could make her heart beat a little faster. And that smile of his, so rarely seen now, always made her stomach do flip-flops.
She cleared her throat, the need to speak to him overwhelming her. "Weiss told me that you left the country for six months after I...died. Where did you go?"
His head snapped in her direction, surprised by the sudden break in silence and the question that seemed to have materialized out of nowhere.
His eyes met hers briefly, before falling to the floor. "I went to France."
He swallowed hard, "Because I couldn't be here anymore. Everything, everywhere reminded me of you. I couldn't escape it and that was all I wanted. It hurt too much to be reminded of you constantly. So, I went to a cottage my family has in France. But-..." he stopped abruptly and rubbed at his eyes, "it didn't work. It didn't matter where I was, Sydney...You were a part of me. It wasn't long after that that I started talking to you."
Sydney stared at him, the pain of the experience clearly etched into his features. She was beginning to understand just how deeply losing her had affected him.
She shook her head and spoke softly, "I'm sorry about what I said to you about closure and..."
"I want you to know that I didn't come to see you for closure. There was never going to be closure. Dead or alive, Sydney, there's never going to be closure. Closure is something people say to make themselves feel better, to lessen the guilt of moving on. It's a line in a Lifetime movie. It doesn't truly exist in real life. At least, not in my experience. Closure is about an end to something. Love doesn't end because a life or even a relationship does. My father died when I was eight and there was never any closure. There was just moving on because I had no other choice. That's what I realized, Sydney. I had no other choice but to move on after I lost you. Drinking myself into oblivion was not an option. I knew that wasn't any way to honor your memory. And now that you're back..." his voice trailed off, as he shook his head.
Sydney nodded, "Still, I want you to know that I didn't mean what I said. I was upset and I probably wasn't dealing with everything as well as I could have."
"I know. I understand."
Sydney shook her head sharply and squeezed her eyes shut, as she felt the sudden onset of tears. "No, you don't. You couldn't possibly." She opened her eyes and looked at him, as she continued her battle with the tears. "Everything's different, Vaughn, and I don't know how to deal with that."
"You're doing the best you can, Sydney. And I'm here if you need to talk. You know that, right?" he spoke to her in the same calm, comforting voice that she'd come to love. For a moment, things were like they were before. When she could just talk and he would just listen.
But things weren't the same and they never would be.
She roughly wiped at a tear that had escaped. "I can't, Vaughn. It's not how it used to be. I think the worst part of all of this is that I lost my friend."
The words seemed to cut Vaughn to the very core. He ran a hand through his hair and struggled to maintain a stoic expression.
Sydney went on, "Before...if I was going through something like this, you're the one I'd go to. You're the one I'd tell my fears and worries to. And you'd be there to just listen or offer some advice. You always knew exactly what I needed. But this...this is different. So much of this is about you. And, now, when I need you most, you're the one person I can't go to. That's the hardest part of all. I lost my friend."
Vaughn shook his head back and forth, unwilling to accept that. "No, Sydney, no. Look, I know that a lot of the pain you're going through is because of me, so I can't help you in that area. But I am still your friend. I will always be your friend. And I can still listen to you and try to help you deal with the rest of this stuff, the part that doesn't involve me."
Sydney listened to the sincerity in his voice and looked at the genuine concern in his eyes. She smiled slightly. "Okay, I guess we can try."
He offered her a close-mouthed smile. "Good."
They were silent for a moment before she continued. "It's like I just woke up from a long sleep and everything's changed. You know when you wake up from a really vivid dream and it takes you a moment to figure out if it actually happened, that's how real it was?" Vaughn nodded his head, but remained silent. "That's what this is like. I feel like I'm stuck in this dream, this unending nightmare, and I'm just trying to figure out if it's real or not. And I keep expecting...Every morning, I expect to just wake up and find everything back to the way it was. But every morning...I wake up and it's still two years later."
Vaughn bit at his lip, as he debated whether or not to say anything. He finally spoke softly, "I think a part of you is still in a state of shock and denial, Sydney. Give it time. It'll get easier."
She laughed bitterly. "It won't get easier, because no matter what I do, I can't get back those two years. It doesn't matter what I find out, they're still gone. Everyone else has moved forward and I'm just stuck in the past." Sydney swallowed hard, as she tried to ignore the feeling of her throat closing up. "For me, it's still two years ago. I have two great friends who would do anything for me. I'm in love with this amazing guy and we're going to Santa Barbara this weekend." Vaughn lowered his eyes from hers, as she stopped to take a deep breath. "I don't know how to get past that."
Vaughn shook his head, realizing he was repeating himself and offering nothing but empty words, "You just have to give time, Sydney. That's all you can do."
She smiled sadly, "Time. My worst enemy...and only ally."
Vaughn spoke so softly she barely heard him, "Not your only ally, Sydney. Don't ever forget that. It's one thing that hasn't changed and never will."
Their eyes met for a long moment, something unspoken in them, before they both looked away.