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The Minutes Before
By Olivia

Summary: Basically the minutes before Vaughn gets "the call". . . not post The-Telling. . . but up till then.
Rating: PG (unless I decide to continue. . . which is pretty unlikely)
Original Publication Date: October 2, 2003
Lyrics: "Konstantine" -- Something Corporate (I highly recommend this song. . . it's 9 minutes long and beautiful in a raw kind of way~)

. . .

This is what he hates.

These minutes where time seems to stop between reality and dreaming. . . are the minutes where he has the least control. Are the minutes where he can't help but think, can't help but beg, can't help but hope, can't help but regret.

Because these feelings contradict each other. How can he regret the woman sleeping on his arm? But how can he help hoping the other will come back somehow, someway?

When he is awake, he can control his feelings. When he is asleep, he doesn't have to feel guilty for relishing in his dreams. For remembering the soft sweetness around her, covered with a veil of edge and control. . . the feel of her-

I can't imagine all the people that you know
and the places that you go
when the lights are turned down low

He turns his head, forcing the thoughts out of his head. She's gone. Looked at his sleeping wife, the soft breaths escaping her mouth. . . filling him with affection, if not passion. I'm sorry Cassandra. . . you deserve better.

His arm is asleep.

He puts his nose to her hair, inhales the nice- but unfamiliar- scent of her hair, closes his eyes, and vows to count until he falls asleep. He will fail and he knows this; he has tried before.

Always managing to get to around 200 or so before his mind blanks and all he remembers is her. Always her. Everything her. What the future could have been like for them. . . marriage, pregnancy. . . the ability to give their children the kind of life and the kind of family that neither one of them had been able to have.

A house with a white-picket fence and a dog.

Maybe an apple tree.

The vague thought of being able to sit on the porch with Weiss or Will or whoever and be able to say "Remember the time when we worked for the CIA? Remember when we worked with spies?"

and I don't understand all the things you've seen
but I'm slipping in between
you and your big dreams
it's always you
in my big dreams

Jack would probably still be working.

stop it
the tormenting
this idleness
this lack of control
if you had it
you would be able to sleep
but you don't
weak
stop it
no more thoughts about her.

she's gone
get it through your head
who's on your arm?
your
wife.

He's about to give up. . . to once again force himself to close his eyes and wait.

This is what he hates.

These minutes where time seems to stop between reality and dreaming. . . are the minutes where he has the least control. Are the minutes where he can't help but think, can't help but beg, can't help but hope, can't help but regret.

The idea that he could have been there, could have sto-

the phone's ringing. it's three o'clock in the morning. why is the phone ringing?

He tries to stop the anticipation and sudden lurch of his heart. . . it's hope and he wants to kill it before someone else does. He remembers all too well what it felt like to jump at every phone call only to be disappointed.

Only to break another piece of his heart.

He has to lower his expectations. It's probably a wrong number from the other side of the world. He laughs in his head. . . wonders what "Joey's Pizza" is in Chinese.

"Hello?"

"Vaughn. . . you have to get over here."

there's something in his tone

"What's the matter?"

oh my god i know what's the matter.

"Get over here. Man. . . Mike. . . they found her."

he sounds scared to tell me. happy that he knows, petrified because of what i have done. wondering how i will punish myself. why couldn't i have waited?

"Who?"

i didn't need to ask that.

Pause.

"Sydney, Mike. We found Sydney."

He guesses that what it all comes down to is faith.
And he hadn't had that.
There was no body.
He should have had it.
But he didn't.
And now she was back.

. . .


Acknowledgments

This story is posted at fanfiction.net - posted here with permission from the author.


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