The Best Laid Plans
By Kirsten Tapp
Summary: When a mission goes wrong, Sydney finds out just how much the men in her life care about her.
Rating: PG, for some violence
Original Publication Date: October 23, 2002
Disclaimer: Alias and its characters are the property of J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot productions. I am not affiliated with them in any way, shape, or form. I did take the liberty of adding a few of my own characters, like Jordan and Marc.
. . .
Minnesota. There were days when the temperatures would drop to -30 degrees C. Today was one of those days. In Minneapolis, Minnesota's main city, Sydney wished that for once, she had time to enjoy the sights around her. In a city that had over 30 theatres, she wondered if there would ever be a time when she would be able to visit the Guthrie Theatre, see the Minnesota Orchestra or even watch one of the four major league sports team play. At the thought of sports, she could almost picture watching the Minnesota Twins play baseball with Vaughn seated beside her. Or even watching the Minnesota Vikings play football, the Minnesota Timberwolves playing basketball or maybe the Minnesota Wild playing ice hockey.
Daydreams were all very well, but not right now. Right now she was racing through the Skyway above the traffic with the microfiche that she had been sent for, tucked into her bra and Anna Espinosa hot on her heels. All she had to do was keep ahead of the Russian for a little longer. Just long enough to reach the pick up point where Dixon would be waiting for her. Anna was catching up fast though.
Sydney focused on the debriefing that Vaughn would give her when she got back to Los Angeles. Vaughn was the one who inspired her, made her feel safe and wanted. Focusing on him made her more determined to get back to Los Angeles in one piece. Gritting her teeth she picked up speed and made it out onto the icy street, just as Dixon pulled the car up to the curb. Sydney jumped in the car and slammed the door shut locking it, just as Anna slammed her body up against the outside of the car.
Dixon floored the gas pedal and left the furious woman behind in a cloud of dust. "So what took you so long?" He teased.
Sydney smiled at her partner. "I decided to go for a run before we headed back to LA." She joked back.
Seated side by side on the plane back to Los Angeles, Sydney and Dixon fell into a comfortable silence as they always did. Sydney focused on the paper she needed written and emailed to her professor before she left the LA airport. The last thing she needed was another late paper. Her professor's patience was starting to wear thin with her constant excuses.
There would be no time at the airport to do a switch of the microfiche, so the switch would be done on the plane. Sydney thought about looking at the other passengers to search for Vaughn, but realized it would look too obvious.
"Hey Syd." Dixon leaned closer so he could keep his voice low. "Wasn't that guy at Jennifer and Martin Knight's funeral?"
Sydney looked to where Dixon was looking. She knew before she set eyes on him, that it was Vaughn. "Yeah. Small world isn't it?"
Dixon nodded. "I get the feeling that I've seen him before. I mean before the funeral."
"Maybe he travels a lot as well." Sydney realized Dixon must have seen Vaughn went he had made previous switches at the airport. "I'll go and ask just to make sure."
She saved the work she had done on her laptop and stood to move into the empty seat beside Vaughn. Dixon placed his hand on her arm as she edged past him. "Be careful. We don't know who he is."
Sydney smiled at her partner's concern. "I'll be fine." She sat down beside Vaughn. "Dixon recognized you from the funeral. He thinks he's seen you before though."
Vaughn frowned. "Could be from the airport. I'll have to be more careful when I do a switch with you. Have you got the microfiche?"
Sydney grinned. "It's safe and sound. Have you got the duplicate?"
Vaughn nodded. "It's in my jacket pocket right by your hand. Have you told Dixon anything about me?"
Sydney reached into Vaughn's pocket and swapped the microfiche over. "I suggested maybe you traveled a lot and he had seen you at the airport."
Vaughn admired her quick thinking. "Well what can I say," He caught sight of Dixon watching them. "I'm a sales rep for a solvent company."
Sydney played along. "You mean like meths and kerosene? What happened to that woman you were with at the funeral? Wasn't her name Kelly Taylor?"
Vaughn struggled not to laugh. "Yeah, she ran off with some Irishman called David Silver. It's nice meeting you again." Vaughn didn't want her to leave, but he know Dixon would get suspicious if she stayed talking to him for too long.
Sydney nodded that she understood. "Nice meeting you again too." She stood and went back to her seat beside Dixon. "He's a sale rep for a solvent company and he travels a lot." She went back to writing her paper.
. . .
Sydney walked in the door of her apartment to the aroma of freshly baked cookies. "Francie, you're not trying to set fire to my kitchen again are you?" She recalled that at Thanksgiving she had returned from an assignment to find Francie burning a turkey in her kitchen.
Francie appeared and hugged her friend. "No. Just trying a recipe Will brought over. He said his Mother used to bake them but he can't make them taste the same. He thought they needed a woman's touch. How sexist it that?"
They found their reporter friend in the kitchen munching on the cookies. "Sexist or not, I was right. These taste exactly like they do when my Mother bakes them."
Francie stood with her hands on her hips. "If your theory is so right, why didn't you get your sister Amy to bake for you."
Will shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. I thought I'd have better luck with you and again I was right." He offered Sydney the plate piled high with cookies. "Want some?"
Sydney couldn't help but laugh at Will's logic. "Sure. Did you make any coffee?"
Will nodded as he leapt off his stool to fetch Sydney a cup of coffee. "How did your trip go?" He placed the coffee in front of her and sat back down on his stool.
"Not bad." Sydney sipped her coffee. "I got my paper written on the plane and emailed from the airport." She took a bite of the cookie. "Wow Francie, these are great." It was beginning to get hard, thinking up new ways to avoid talking about her work.
. . .
Sloane looked at Marshall as though he were a bug to be squashed. "What do you mean, there's nothing of significance on that microfiche."
Marshall twitched nervously under Sloane's gaze. "All of the information on the m..m..microfiche is s..s..stuff we already k..k... know. No new information was on it. I double checked."
"Triple check." Sloane snarled before storming out of the room. He didn't know how she had done it, but he was sure that Sydney Bristow had switched the microfiche. What he really wanted to know was, who had the real microfiche now.
. . .
Sydney sat on the park bench waiting for Vaughn. She had arrived home after attending a briefing at SD-6 to be told by Francie that Will had taken an order from the guy that kept calling for 'Joey's Pizza.'
Vaughn arrived seconds later, seating himself at the other end of the park bench. "So, your friends are getting more creative when answering your phone." He tried to cover his jealousy upon hearing a male voice on the other end of the phone. "I, according to whoever answered your phone have a pizza with all the toppings waiting to be picked up."
Sydney giggled. "That was Will. You'd better be careful. I think Francie is starting to recognize it's always the same voice on the phone."
Vaughn nodded. "So your next assignment is in Mexico. We have another team going in on another assignment so you'll both have back up if you need it. Did you have any trouble passing over the microfiche?"
"I'm not sure." Sydney frowned slightly. "Marshall is acting more jumpy than usual and Sloane is watching me like a hawk at the office. I'm pretty sure he's not having me followed outside the office."
That worried Vaughn. The last thing he wanted was Sloane suspicious of Sydney again. "Be careful. We'll make the switch in Mexico before you get on the plane so that we don't arouse suspicion. Is Dixon going to be with you?"
Sydney shook her head. "No. I'm flying solo on this one. See you in Mexico." She got up and left. She mentally scolded herself for being so pleased that Vaughn would be in Mexico with her.
. . .
Mexico City, the third largest city in the world. Sydney supposed that was one good thing about her job, the traveling. Even though she didn't get to visit the tourist spots, she did see different countries usually while running from the local authorities.
Sydney allowed herself a moment to take in the scenery around her. There was a kind of buzz in the air. She could just feel the history around her. Then the reality of why she was there sank in. Her assignment was to retrieve a small statue from the Catedral Metrolitana which had been built on the site of the Aztecs' sacred tzompantli. Sydney had been given a sketch of the statue so that she knew what she was looking for. "Here goes nothing." Sydney headed in the direction of the Cathedral.
Vaughn sat impatiently on the plane heading for Mexico City, waiting for it to take off. He hated the fact that Sydney had little to no back up until he got there. It would have been too risky to have taken the same flight as her. So wrapped up in his thoughts about Sydney, Vaughn didn't realize another passenger had taken the seat next to him.
Jack Bristow watched his daughter's handler for a moment. The only reason he trusted this man with his daughter's life, was because it was so obvious Vaughn thought of nothing but protecting Sydney. The urgency of the situation was brought back to the front of Jack's mind as the plane took off. He had overheard as he had passed Sloane's office a phone conversation that deeply disturbed him. Although Jack couldn't tell who was on the other end of Sloane's phone, he did hear Sloane tipping someone off to Sydney's whereabouts. It was Sloane's tone that concerned Jack the most.
Finally breaking the silence, Jack spoke. "I understand you have two teams in Mexico." As always Jack made sure he remained expressionless.
Vaughn's head jerked around in surprise. "What are you doing on this plane?" He knew Sydney's relationship with her father was strained at the best of times. He could only imagine what she would think if he met her with her father in tow.
"I overheard Sloane leaking details of Sydney's assignment to an unknown source." Jack carefully looked around him to make sure nobody was listening. "She's walking into a trap. Who's the second team in Mexico?"
Vaughn felt as though an icy cold hand had gripped his heart. "Your friends Jordan and Marc." He had checked for himself who the second team was, just in case Sydney needed help. "I'm not sure what their assignment is. All I know is that they are also in Mexico City."
Jack thought through the information he had just be given. "Do you have a way to contact them?" He knew he couldn't contact Sydney without alerting SD-6, which would put her in even more danger.
Vaughn nodded. "I can try. If they're already completing their assignment, they may have cut off all contact."
"Try." Jack would leave no stone unturned when it came to keeping his daughter safe, even if she thought the opposite.
. . .
Just east of the Catedral Metropolitana in the remains of the Aztecs' principle temple the Templo Mayor, a nun and a priest searched for something. The sound of a ringing cell phone stopped them.
The priest stood upright. "I thought I'd switched that off." After checking the caller ID he handed it to the nun. "It's for you Sister."
The nun rolled her crystal blue eyes as she answered the phone. "0900 breathe hard. All of our operators are currently busy. You are third in line. Please hold and have your credit card details handy." She spotted something glittering out of the corner of her eye. Clicking her fingers, she pointed in the direction for the priest to start searching.
For a moment, Vaughn thought he had the wrong number. "Jordan? Is that you?"
"Yeah." Jordan watched as her brother dressed as a priest, carefully picked up an ancient looking cross on a beaded chain. She grinned as he gave her the thumbs up sign and hooked it over his head so it hung around his neck. "What's up Vaughn? I take it, this is not a social call."
Vaughn glanced at Jack as he spoke to Jordan. "We need your help. Jack overheard Sloane tipping someone off to Sydney's presence in Mexico City."
Jordan and Marc started walking away from the Templo Mayor. They were barely recognizable and not just because of their outfits. Marc's jet black hair was covered with a reddish brown wig. Jordan who usually stood out because she had such pale skin, had a dark tan thanks to some body paint. Her hair was covered by the nun's habit, but she was also wearing a black wig.
"So what do you expect us to do about it. You know, we have our own job to do." Jordan felt her brother's hand on her arm. "What?"
Marc could see Anna Espinosa and two of her fellow agents walking into the Catedral Metropolitana. "What's Anna and her thug squad doing here?" They had both had run in's with the Russian Spy before. They had learnt it was easier to avoid her when possible.
Vaughn heard Marc's question down his end of the phone. "I guess we know who Sloane was speaking to. Who better than the enemy to get rid of an unwanted agent."
Jack grabbed the phone. He knew given the chance, Jordan would turn down their plea for help, to keep her brother safe. "Jordan, if this were Emily you know I'd help you keep her safe. I'm only asking you for the same courtesy." When the line went dead, he knew Sydney had back up on the way.
"So what did she say?" Vaughn could never read Jack Bristow's expressions. He wasn't sure Sydney could either.
"She hung up on me." Jack held his hand up to stop Vaughn's protest. "That means she'll help. Now, do they have a contact place? We'll just meet them there."
Vaughn was stunned at the way Jack worked. "Yeah. There's a place in Baja. Jordan thought it was safer not to stay in Mexico City once their assignment was complete."
"Smart girl." Jack was impressed. "It means they haven't left Mexico, but it will look as though they have."
They spent the rest of the flight sat in silence. Each man with his thoughts on the same woman.
. . .
Marc saw his sister turn pale under her fake tan before she hung up her cell phone. "What's wrong?"
"Bristow's daughter is about to have a close encounter of the Russian kind." Jordan made sure the cell phone was switched off this time.
"I'm guessing we're running to the rescue." Marc followed his sister towards the Catedral Metropolitana. "What did he use to get you to agree to this?" Marc knew his sister well enough to know she wouldn't put him in more danger than need be.
"My daughter." Jordan's voice was like ice. "I'm going to have to pay him back for that."
. . .
Sydney crept around looking for the right statue. Finally locating the statue that matched the sketch she had been given, she carefully put it in the bag slung across her body. As she turned, Sydney came face to face with Anna Espinosa and two of her associates. Sydney rolled her eyes. "Of course. My day wouldn't be complete without you showing up." She saw a priest and a nun walk through the door. "You're losing your touch Anna. Now you have two witnesses."
Anna smiled evilly. "Not for long." Without turning, she issued orders to the two men with her in Russian. The two men turned and walked towards the priest and the nun.
Sydney threw the first punch in the faint hope she could get Anna out of the way, so that she could help the nun and the priest. The tall Russian barely flinched at the contact. Sydney felt despair for the nun and the priest as Anna delivered a well placed kick to Sydney's ankle. The bone breaking echoed throughout the building.
The two Russian men stopped short when they saw the faces of the priest and the nun. "But you are dead." One of the men finally spoke.
"Alright. I'm dead." Jordan smirked. "I'm the ghost of Christmas present." She could see Sydney and Anna fighting in the background.
"Christmas present?" The other man questioned. "Why not Christmas future?" Both men unholstered their guns.
Marc copied his sister's smirk. "Because you don't have a future." Marc matched his sister's movements step for step, startling the already surprised men. Knocking the guns out of their hands, Marc and Jordan spun behind the men, grabbed their heads and gave a quick sharp twist breaking the men's necks.
Jordan looked down at the bodies on the floor. "You know, it's reassuring to know that some things never change. Anna always did think too highly of herself. She never did think she needed suitable back up."
Marc nodded in agreement. "Unfortunately it looks as though she has the upper hand at the moment." He pointed towards Anna and Sydney.
Sydney was favoring her left ankle, while getting a few well aimed blows in. Although Anna was visibly hurt, she was still better off than Sydney, who was slightly off balance due to her broken ankle. When the Russian produced a knife out of her belt, Sydney wondered if this was finally the end for her. Every time Sydney ducked to avoid the knife, she found herself even further off balance. Suddenly a look of shock crossed Anna's face. Sydney took a step back as Anna fell to the ground revealing Jordan standing, her arm raised with a gun in her hand.
Marc stood beside his sister. "Well, at least they don't have to take the bodies far for the funeral." He grinned as his sister looked at him in disbelief. "What? You weren't thinking the same thing?"
Jordan rolled her eyes. "You have the strangest sense of humor. You'd better check Sydney's ankle so that we can get out of here. We don't want anymore visitors." She quickly unscrewed the silencer from the gun and jammed it in Sydney's bag, before removing the nun's uniform.
"It's broken." Sydney was trying to stay upright. "I heard the bone break." She couldn't walk properly and it would draw too much attention if she was carried out.
"Yeah, it is." Marc examined the ankle. "Sis, have you got any bandages in your purse?" He held out his hand for the nun's uniform.
Jordan had been wearing her purse underneath the nun's uniform. Digging into her purse she retrieved a bandage and handed it to her brother. "Well this wasn't what we had planned when we arrived in Mexico." She removed her wedding ring from the chain hanging around her neck and slipped it on her finger. Smoothing the wrinkles out of her brightly colored sundress, she knelt beside her brother.
"You know what they say about the best laid plans." Marc broke a wooden cross and used it to splint Sydney's ankle. Removing the cross they had retrieved from around his neck, he placed it around his sister's and dropped the cross down the front of her dress. "Put the nun's uniform on Sydney."
Sydney shook her head. "That's never going to fit me. I'm about five inches taller than Jordan." She didn't mention that Jordan had a figure that was eveningly proportioned all over.
Marc pointed to his sister's feet. "She's wearing about five inches of stiletto heels. The outfit will fit. Let's hope nobody asks why I'm carrying a nun." He handed his own outfit to his sister, who jammed it into her purse. He was now dressed in jeans and a red t-shirt.
Jordan combed her fingers through the dark locks of the wig she was wearing. "Let's go. The car's not far away." She switched her cell phone back on and headed for the door.
Marc swept Sydney into his arms. "We'll have to stop off for supplies. We can send Jack the bill right?" He followed his sister.
"How did you guys know I needed help?" Sydney knew their timing was far too good for it to be a convincedence. Vaughn had told her there would be a second team in Mexico, but they would be there on a different assignment.
Marc stood aside while Jordan made sure nobody had attached any devices to the car before unlocking the car and opening the door. "Vaughn phoned Jordan. Your father was with him. He said something about him overhearing Sloane on the phone."
Jordan tossed the keys to her brother after he had put Sydney in the back of the car. "Sloane set you up. He had never intended for you to return from Mexico. If Jack hadn't overheard that phone call, you'd be dead."
Sydney couldn't believe her father had set a plan in motion to save her. "I'm supposed to meet Vaughn to switch the statues."
"We'll meet Vaughn and Jack in Baja." Jordan checked the messages on her phone. "We have a system, Vaughn knows that. He would have found out what our assignment is by the time we get there."
Marc maneuvered the car skillfully through the streets. "Do you really think that statue is worth anything Sydney? I mean that could have been part of the setup."
Sydney pulled the statue out of her bag. It didn't look like much. "It feels pretty heavy. Maybe there's something inside it."
Jordan turned sideways in her seat. "Turn it upside down." She waited for Sydney to follow her instruction. "What's that?" She pointed to something that was attached to the statue.
Sydney pulled the tiny object off of the statue. "Is that a bug?" She handed the object to Jordan. If it was a bug then Sloane probably knew by now that Jordan and Marc were still alive.
Jordan looked at the device in the palm of her hand. "It's a tracking device. We'll lose it when we stop for supplies. Looks like Sloane wasn't leaving anything to chance."
. . .
Vaughn walked through the beach house in Baja. The view was spectacular with it's white beach and stunning cliffs. "What's taking them so long? They should have been here before us."
"They'll be here." Jack leaned against the doorframe. He knew Jordan would make sure they weren't followed. She was paranoid that way. "Did you ever find out how the explosives were planted in Jordan's house?"
Vaughn nodded. "Jordan and her husband took the dog for a walk every day. If the weather was good, they took the children with them as well. Once Sloane had their position, it was just a matter of waiting for them to take the dog for a walk and then Sloane sent his team in to lay the explosives."
Jack heard the sound of a car approaching. "Either that's them or we have trouble." Suddenly a small but powerful fist hit his face. When his vision came back into focus, Jack saw a disguised Jordan standing over him. "I take it you're still mad with me."
"Ya think?" Jordan stood with her hands on her hips. "Don't you ever pull that shit with me again. Never use the memory of my children against me." She walked past a startled Vaughn. "How ya doing Vaughn?" She opened the door and let Marc who was carrying Sydney in.
"What happened?" Vaughn was concerned with how pale Sydney was. The Sydney he knew would never allow herself to be carried into the room if she could walk.
"Anna." Sydney glanced over at her father who was getting up off of the floor. "What happened Dad?" She started pulling off the nun's uniform.
"I ran into Jordan's fist." Jack sat on the sofa next to his daughter. "What took you all so long to get here?"
Jordan walked back in the door with the bags of supplies. "We had to pick up a few things and lose a tracking device."
Marc handed Sydney a towel he had fetched from the bathroom. "You're going to have to lose the trousers, so that I can set your ankle."
Vaughn felt the whole situation was getting out of control. "So where is Anna now?" It was obvious from the state Sydney was in that she and Anna had fought.
"Dead." Sydney wrapped the towel around her waist and removed her trousers from beneath it. "So are her two friends. It was lucky that Marc and Jordan were in Mexico." She sat back down on the sofa.
Marc sat on the coffee table and gently lifted Sydney's left leg onto his lap. "Yeah we've met her friends before. Not the brightest pair. They thought we were ghosts."
Jordan unpacked the bags and fetched everything her brother needed to put a cast on Sydney's ankle. After checking the outside of the beach house to make sure everything was secured, she disappeared into the bathroom.
Vaughn sat beside Sydney on the opposite side to her father. "Do you know what you're doing Marc?" He had taken hold of Sydney's hand without thinking, as if he could take away some of her pain by doing so.
Marc nodded. "Yeah, I was premed. So Vaughn, any idea what's so special about the statue Sydney was sent for? The fact that there was a tracking device attached to it, indicates that Sloane had expected Sydney to retrieve it."
Sydney tried to ignore the warmth creeping up her arm from Vaughn's hand. "So if Anna had got hold of the statue, Sloane would have just sent someone to steal it back from her?" She knew Vaughn wouldn't have organized a switch for a worthless statue.
"So it is worth something." Jack was starting to wonder if the statue was a decoy to keep Sydney busy until the Russians got to her. He had come very close to losing the only family he had left.
Vaughn nodded. "There was a reason two teams were sent to Mexico. Both the statue Sydney retrieved and the cross Marc and Jordan retrieved have microchips in them. The tricky part is you need both microchips for them to work. As far as we can tell, SD-6 only knows about one of them."
Jack only knew about the one microchip himself so he was certain Vaughn's information was correct. "So even if they get the correct microchip back it won't work without it's twin. It's worthless by itself."
"Yes." Vaughn realized he was still holding Sydney's hand. He was reluctant to let go and Sydney had made no move to remove her hand from his, so he stayed put. "That's why I have a copy of the statue complete with the microchip. Now the copy microchip has also been designed so that it needs a twin. By the time SD-6 figures this out, we will have the information off of the microchips and SD-6 will realize the twin chip has already been retrieved by another agency."
"How do we explain away how I got away from three Russian agents," Sydney flinched slightly as Marc worked on her ankle. "With a broken ankle? Sloane's going to wonder what Dad's doing here as well."
Jordan appeared out of the bathroom in a bathrobe with a towel wrapped around her hair. Her skin was back to her normal color. "You'll claim Anna broke your ankle moments before you killed her as she was walking away from you to pick up a weapon. Because Anna showed up without warning, you felt that someone may have tapped into SD-6's system, so you called your father for assistance."
Marc propped Sydney's left leg up on the coffee table with a cushion under her calf so the wet cast wasn't touching the table. "Jack explains that he intercepted a wire to the Russians that he couldn't trace back to a source, stating Sydney's position. Therefore when Sydney's call came through he was already in Mexico to take out the other two Russian agents. That explains away three dead Russian agents and it also explains Jack being in Mexico."
"That'll work." Jack agreed. "It will also leave Sloane thinking that none of us know what he tried to do. It'll give him a false sense of security. We can work with that."
Sydney wasn't so sure. "What's to stop Sloane from trying this again?" She looked at her father. "Any idea what made him suspect me this time?"
Jack had already thought that question though. "You've come back from too many assignments with counterfeit items. When the microfiche you handed over the other week had no significant information on it, it seem to confirm Sloane's suspicions."
Vaughn thought through solutions for a moment. "In the future we'll have to make exact copies and the transfer of information will have to be done before Sydney gets on the plane back to LA." He'd prefer Sydney got out of the spy business altogether, but he knew she wouldn't agree to that until SD-6 was destroyed.
"Dixon's suspects something's going on, doesn't he?" Marc tended to the cuts and bruises on Sydney's face.
"He recognized Vaughn from your funeral." Sydney thought it best not to mention Dixon had noticed Vaughn from the airport as well. She knew her father would insist that Vaughn be removed as her handler.
Jordan towel dried her long copper colored hair. "We'll have to teach you the art of disguise Vaughn. Also, it would help if you and Sydney made sure you were always on different planes and in different hotels."
"Yeah, I'm working on that." Vaughn knew Jordan was right. He just hated not being close by incase Sydney needed help.
. . .
Later that night Marc stood staring out at the beach. His sister sat alone on the beach staring out at the water. He heard Jack walk up behind him. "Did you know it was my niece's birthday today?" He turned to look at the man behind him.
Jack shook his head. "No. I didn't realize it was Emily's birthday today. How old would she have been?" A bruise had started to form where Jordan had punched him.
Marc managed a tight smile. "Does it matter? Don't ever use the memory of my sister's children as blackmail again." He glanced over his shoulder and saw Sydney struggling to stand up. "Hey Vaughn! Keep Sydney off of that foot. That cast is still a bit soft. I don't want Sydney's ankle mending wrong because she walked around on it."
Vaughn quickly swung Sydney into his arms. "You heard the Doctor. Where to?"
"This is ridiculous." Sydney blushed. "You can't carry me around everywhere." She could see by Vaughn's expression, that was exactly what he was prepared to do. "This is humiliating." She lowered her voice. "I need to use the bathroom."
Vaughn tried to avoid embarrassing Sydney any further, by simply carrying her into the bathroom, putting her down and walking out closing the door behind him. "Is there something around here Sydney can use as crutches?"
"I'll see if I can find something on the beach that we can adapt." Marc left Vaughn and Jack alone in the living room of the beach house.
"You know, for someone who says he thinks of Sydney as a daughter," Vaughn sat down on the sofa. "Sloane sure tries to get her killed a lot. How do you resist the urge to strangle him with your bare hands?"
"I know taking SD-6 down will hurt Sloane more than anything else I could ever do to him." Jack, quite often fought the urge to punch the smug smile off of Sloane's face. "It's a small consolation."
Vaughn nodded that he understood. "I'll make the arrangements to get you and Sydney back to LA in the morning." He saw Jordan walk back into the beach house. "Where's Marc?"
"He's gone to fetch Sydney's gear and a set of crutches." Jordan knocked on the bathroom door. "Sydney if you want to take a shower, we need to keep your cast dry. I have a bathrobe you can borrow."
Sydney opened the door. "That would be great. Thanks." She realized Jordan was just going through the motions. She had never met anyone who kept themselves in control like Jordan did. "What can we cover the cast with?"
Vaughn unzipped his suitcase and rummaged around for a moment before pulling out a plastic bag that he packed his toiletries in. "Will this do?"
"Perfect." Jordan pulled a roll of duct tape out of her purse and walked into the bathroom. "Take a seat Sydney." She started the shower running before kneeling down in front of Sydney and securing the plastic bag around the cast. "Keep one hand on the shower wall at all times so that you don't lose your balance. I'll go and see if I can find you a shirt to sleep in." She walked out of the bathroom and closed the door behind her.
"Not the female bonding session I hoped for, but it's a start." Sydney muttered to herself as she undressed and climbed into the hot shower.
Jordan always used one of her brother's shirts to sleep in so that they saved on extra luggage. "Hey Vaughn. Have you got a shirt Sydney can sleep in? You all may as well stay here for the night."
The image of Sydney sleeping in his shirt ran through Vaughn's head and for a moment he was glad he had his suitcase on his lap. "Sure. She can use this one." He handed Jordan the shirt.
. . .
Marshall raced into Sloane's office, so panicked that he didn't even bother to knock. "I just picked up a message on the wire. Three Russian agents were found dead at the Catedral Metropolitana."
"Was there any mention of Agent Bristow?" Sloane knew Sydney was good at her job, but he couldn't quite see her overpowering three Russian agents. Especially considering the Russians had the element of surprise on their side."
"Which one?" Marshall was breathing so hard he thought he may hyperventilate.
Sloane frowned. "What do you mean which one? We only have one Agent Bristow in Mexico." Or so he thought.
Marshall shook his head. "Jack Bristow said he got an anonymous tip that somebody had targeted Sydney. He figured it was a hoax so he decided to go to Mexico himself rather than trouble the agency for nothing." Marshall shrugged his shoulders. "I guess it wasn't nothing. When he called he said they found a tracking device on the statue Sydney was sent for."
"See if you can contact Jack Bristow." Sloane barked at Marshall. "Let me know as soon as you reach him. I want to know where the hell my agents are." He realized he would have to be more careful where Sydney Bristow was concerned. Jack Bristow was an extremely dangerous man when angered. It would be useless tracing the tracking device as no doubt Jack or Sydney had disposed of it.
. . .
Marc walked quietly into the beach house to find his sister sitting on the window sill. He kissed the top of her head. "Why aren't you getting some sleep." He noticed Jordan was dressed in her usual night time attire, his shirt.
Jordan eased herself off of the window sill. "Jack got a call from SD-6. Marshall intercepted the wire sent about three Russian agents found dead in Mexico. Ring any bells."
Marc put Sydney's bag and the set of crutches down by the bathroom door. "I gather Jack laid down some cover story before he hopped on the plane to Mexico."
"He phoned from Mexico when he got off the plane. You remember how gullible Marshall is." Jordan saw her brother nod in the darkness. "Jack told Marshall he got an anonymous tip that Sydney had a hit put out on her. To stop Marshall from blabbing, Jack told him he thought it was a hoax and would check it out himself and didn't want to trouble anyone at SD-6."
"And he brought it?" Marc couldn't believe how somebody so smart, could be so stupid.
"Apparently so." Jordan picked up the crutches and tucked them inside the door of the second bedroom. "Jack wouldn't reveal his position. He said he wanted to make sure Sydney wasn't being followed by anyone else."
"That will give Sloane a false sense of security, while also putting the fear of God in him." Marc chuckled to himself. "You'd think Sloane would have learnt by now that you are the only person that can cross Jack Bristow. And by all accounts, you're supposed to be dead." He looked around him. "What are the sleeping arrangements?" He noticed Jack was asleep on the sofa.
Jordan pointed to the room she had just put the crutches in. "Sydney's in here. Vaughn fell asleep in the chair beside her bed. Jack's on the sofa and if you can give me a couple of hours to get some sleep, then we can share the other room. We're all leaving Mexico tomorrow."
"No problem." Marc settled himself down in an armchair. "Sweet dreams Sis."
. . .
The following morning Sloane walked into Marshall's tiny office. "Any further contact from Jack Bristow?"
Marshall nodded. "We have his position. A team's about to leave to get both Bristows. Sydney has a broken ankle and some cuts and bruises, but she still managed to retrieve the statue."
"Fine." Sloane wondered how much Jack Bristow had actually found out. "Let me know as soon as they get in."
Marshall watched Sloane leave. He wondered why he was paying so much attention to the two agents. What was so special about the Bristows?
. . .
Jack watched Sydney master the art of using the crutches. "An SD-6 team will be here to transport us out of Mexico in an hour. I don't know if Sloane suspects we know what he's up to or not."
Sydney stopped and tried to balance herself on the crutches. "I guess we'll find out when we get back to the office. What's to stop Sloane from trying to have me killed again?"
Vaughn leaned against the door frame, his packed bag at his feet. "We'll keep an eye out for any unexpected tag alongs on any future assignments for a start. You've got Jack to watch your back inside SD-6. Other than that just be careful, especially when you're by yourself."
Marc walked out of the bedroom wearing an airline stewards uniform. "Are you ready yet Jordan? We have tog et out of here before the SD-6 team arrives." He glanced at his reflection in the mirror and straightened the brown wig he was wearing.
Jordan walked out of the bathroom wearing a blond wig and green contact lenses. She was also dressed in an airline stewards uniform. "Hold your horses. These contacts aren't that easy to put in." She handed her suitcase to her brother. "Did you make sure we packed everything?"
"Yeah." Marc picked up both suitcases. "Who's got the cross?" He could see that Jordan wasn't wearing the cross, as her uniform was extremely fitted.
Vaughn hooked his finger inside the collar of his shirt and pulled on the chain the cross hung on. "I've got it. Are we on the same plane?"
Jordan nodded as she walked towards the door. "Yeah, but don't expect any special treatment."
Marc chuckled as he followed his sister. "Your people skills need some serious work Sister." He laughed loudly at something Jordan muttered. "Fair enough. Vaughn, we'll give you a lift to the airport. Don't take too long. Patience is not a virtue Jordan has."
Vaughn nodded he understood, before turning to Sydney. "Let me know when you both get back to LA. Are you sure you want to wait for the SD-6 team to pick you up. I'm sure I can arrange something else."
"We'll be fine." Jack answered for both he and Sydney. "This way it'll look as though we don't know what Sloane is up to."
Sydney shot Jack a filthy look. He didn't have to be so blunt with Vaughn. "I'll call you once we've gotten through the debriefing with Sloane. I'll have a better idea where we stand."
The sound of a car horn blasting stopped Vaughn from debating the travel plans any further. "I'd better go. I'll talk to you soon. Bye." He picked up his bag and quickly disappeared out the door.
. . .
Back in Los Angeles, Sloane watched as Sydney walked towards him with aid of a set of crutches. "Thank God Jack got to you in time. I trust apart from your broken ankle, your injuries aren't too serious." Sloane had become skilled in the art of sounding genuine over the years.
Sydney forced a smile on her face. "A few cuts and bruises, but thank you for your concern. It's a shame you killed those agents before we could find out who wanted me dead, Dad."
Jack was following Sydney with both sets of luggage. "Yes that was unfortunate. I shouldn't have allowed my responsibilities as a father to cloud my judgment."
They both walked past a stunned Sloane into his office. The Bristows were a far cry from the Hallmark picture card family. They did, however seem to share several family traits. The ability to disguise what they were really thinking was one of them.
Sloane quickly regained his composure and walked into his office closing the door behind him. "Well, let's get the debriefing started so that Sydney can get some rest."
. . .
Vaughn chuckled as he shook his head. "So Sloane did the shocked and stunned act. Do you think he believed you and Jack?"
Sydney nodded. They were sitting in a restaurant at different tables, yet next to each other. "Yeah. We told Sloane we thought Anna must have put the tracking device on the statue, so he probably thinks he's in the clear."
Vaughn dared to look at Sydney. "So how's the ankle?" He noticed she had managed to cover the cuts and bruises on her face with make up.
"It's mending fast." Sydney kept an eye on the door as Francie was supposed to be meeting her for lunch. "My friends are starting to wonder if I am the clumsiest person on the face of the earth." She spotted Francie. "Speaking of which, here come Francie."
Vaughn took a few notes out of his wallet and tossed them on the table. "I have to get going anyway. Take care." He walked past Francie and out the door.
Francie sat down next to Sydney. "Do you know that guy?" She nodded towards Vaughn's retreating figure.
"Sort of." Sydney had to think fast. "I met him at a funeral and then I saw him on the plane coming back from Minnesota a couple of weeks back. Why?" For a moment panic that her friend might be interested in Vaughn shot through her.
Francie shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know. He's cute. You should ask him out. He certainly looked interested in you when I walked in."
Sydney laughed at her friend's well meant match making. "Maybe someday I will. He travels a lot so perhaps I'll bump into him at the airport."
"Now you're talking." Francie flagged down a waiter. "Let's eat. I'm starving."
Sydney wondered wistfully if there would ever come a day when it would be possible for she and Vaughn to be able to go out on a date. Anything was possible and her life was so full of surprises. Filled with a sense of hope, Sydney turned her attention back to her friend.
. . .
This story was originally posted at alias-online.net - posted here with permission from the author.