Title: Now I am Undying
Rating: A teeny-bit NC-17.
Summary: "How does a person like him go on living when someone like her doesn’t want to anymore?"
Disclaimer: Not mine. Never mine. Sark=mine.
Distribution: Ask and ye shall receive. My loyalties are flexible, but stealing from me is not. No touchy or I go all banner ad on your ass.
A/N: Millions, billions thanks and more go out to my beautiful Becs. She is more than a beta: she is a muse, a friend, an ass-kicker, a genius of her own right. Nothing done below could have been done without her there for every second of the ride. I love ya, babe.
This fic was written for Jo, aka corngirl_jo. Here's to hoping it's what you were wanting.
Up to Three Things You Want to See in the Fic:
1) a really angry Sark (I mean it, pissed off as you've never seen him) and Syd being on the receiving end
Up to Three Things You Don't Want to See in the Fic:
1) sensitive/romantic/sappy Sark
2) Vaughn, any mention of
3) crying Syd
He dodges a vicious arm aiming for his head and uses her distraction to lash out his foot at her abdomen. It doesn’t fell her but gives him time to straighten. Two seconds to catch their breaths and they’re on one another again, attacking almost wildly. It is a furious tango: assaulting then defending with no distinct line between the two.
“God damn it, don’t you ever stay down?” she mutters when he sidesteps her attempt to trip him.
“My will to live is too strong for that, thank you,” he retorts, catching her arm before it connects with his head. He uses the momentum to swing her roughly into the wall, but she neatly twists from his grasp and ducks under his arm to move behind him. She has the element of surprise for a second, and it’s just enough; she locks her arm around his neck and applies pressure to his windpipe. The breath is drawn from him and she slams her foot into the crook of his knee, bringing him down hard. He pitches forward and uses all his strength to send her body sailing over his, her grip on his neck disappearing as she moves her arms to attempt a less painful landing.
“Why won’t you just die?” she hisses, launching herself at him before she even has the chance to stand and breathe. He’s still trying to recover from her last attack and she’s giving neither of them time to think about strategy. Catching him off guard is her last and only advantage at this point.
“Sadly, some higher power must want me alive,” he says lightly as he braces himself for impact. She comes at him hard, her fists trying to pummel his flesh even before she’s upright and balanced. Again he catches her and throws her into the wall. She takes the moment to recover this time; her mistake. He unsheathes his knife, presses her against the wall with his body and raises the blade to her throat. The angry ballet is over as they freeze. It’s up to her whether there will be an encore. He bends his head down so he can whisper in her ear, “Now that we’ve stopped playing, tell me why you had the nerve to attack me.”
What he really wants to know she can’t explain, because their brief fight has only been the rising action of the night. He had fully awoken from a deep sleep not an hour ago with the gut reaction that he needed to go for a walk. Never mind the fact that it was 2 AM and he was alone. Still, history had taught him to trust his instincts and so he dressed, grabbed his knife and began to walk along the streets, sharp eyes taking in everything. His path wasn’t deliberate; while he was aware of where he was he seemed unconscious in his movements.
He hadn’t gone far before seeing her. Even in the lively city the streets were near empty and catching a glimpse of Sydney Bristow was surprisingly easy. Unadorned, undisguised, she stalked the quiet alleys with a feline vengeance. The idea that they were in the same vicinity unnerved him. Even though he was sure she wasn’t there for him, or any reason concerning him, he still followed her. One of the first rules of life he learned: underestimating the enemy got you killed. And for all intents and purposes, Sydney was an enemy. He’d lost her when he turned in the alley and that’s when she had attacked, sliding out of the darkness like a wraith. Fighting ensued and now here they are.
Here they are indeed. He pushes her harder into the wall because she’s wriggling, trying to slip from his embrace. He shifts the angle of his knife and she stops, because if she even breathes wrong the blade will slide through her skin. She’s stiff around him; he can almost feel hatred, rage and annoyance exude from her pores. “Come now, Sydney, you can’t keep me waiting all night,” he purrs, knowing that his tone will enrage her more. “It’s been more than a year since we’ve last had the pleasure of each other’s company and you suddenly appear like this? I’ve never believed in coincidences. Now,” he slides a thigh between her legs to anchor her against the wall, “talk.”
He doesn’t pull back to watch her face; he’s sure his proximity will bother her more. He can feel her body tense against his as she ponders her options. She shifts her hips and sucks in a heavy breath. When she relaxes, he immediately becomes much more alert; her sudden acquiescence is probably an attempt on her part to make him believe that she was cooperating, so as soon as he gave her even the most remote bit of slack, she could resume her attack. He wants to laugh at her. She should really know better.
“Just do it, Sark,” she says, and he jerks his head back at the dead tone of her voice. Her face is impassive. Her eyes are black, but the glow of emotion is gone, taking beauty and life with them.
“What?” he whispers. She’s an unsettling reflection right now.
“Do it,” she says again, and before he can register her hands come up and grab his forearm, but instead of pushing it away she pulls hard so the sharp edge of the knife digs its way into the fragile skin of her neck. Initial streams of blood run down and she pushes her head forward so that it digs deep.
Horrified, he rips her away from the wall and swings her around so that she falls to a graceless heap on the ground. “What the hell is wrong with you?” he spits at her, slightly disgusted at the sight of her blood staining the gleam of his knife. He slips it back in its sheath before grasping her arm and yanking her up again. “This isn’t how the game is played, Sydney.” All playfulness and taunt are gone from his voice.
“Game,” she repeats dully. Her stare is blank and unseeing and if they hadn’t been fighting only minutes before he would swear she was drugged. “Kill me, Sark. Do it now. Be the one to execute the famous Sydney Bristow. You’ve probably always wanted the honour.” She doesn’t pull her arm away or try to run, fight, anything. She can’t be serious but everything in her manner says that she is.
He decides to make light of it so she’ll snap out of this ridiculous charade. “Don’t be preposterous, Sydney,” he laughs, shoving her away. She stumbles, falls and doesn’t move. “Go, run away now. We’ll continue this silly game another day.” He turns to leave and waits for her attack.
His mistake is looking back and finding her in the same position. He can barely make her out in the blackness, but she’s slumped over herself, the same vacant stare fixated on the dank stones she rests upon. And even though it’s a game and she wins the round with his next move, he can’t help but feel repulsed anger draw from his unwavering control and overpower his senses. He stalks back to her prone body, pulling her up and throwing her back down again. “Get up, Sydney,” he demands, his tone leaving no room for argument. She doesn’t even brace herself for the fall, so he picks her up again and shakes her shoulders hard. “God damn it, bitch!” he yells in her face, then kicks her brutally. She doesn’t make a sound, even though his foot hit her square in the chest, hard enough to crack her ribs.
It’s seeing her sprawled like that along the rough stone that makes him realize that she’s not playing any games with him. More than a year and somewhere in that time Sydney Bristow lost the will to live. He knows the events that precipitated it, and for a lesser person the break would have been ages before. If he was rational he would probably rethink his actions-and do what he really doesn’t know-but fury courses through his veins and powers his body. He hauls her up and slaps her across the face. No response so he does it again, and again. She just takes it, her head lolling limply around her neck.
“Fuck!” he screams, and punches her. She goes flying again, but he’s quick to pick her up and set her upright. It doesn’t even blink through his mind that this isn’t the best solution. All he wants right now is to snap her back to being Sydney. He holds her by the front of her shirt and backhands her. “Damn it,” he says again. Another slap. The sound reverberates in the quiet space. “You are not allowed to give up, Sydney,” he hisses. “That’s not how it works.”
During his entire assault she hasn’t made a sound or a deliberate move. With every hit his rage grows until it threatens to overtake him. With it comes a desperation; the anger drives him to make her react in any way: whether she punch him back, or cry and beg for her life, or have her fingers find his knife and jam the blade into his side. He wants to pretend that he’s oblivious to his reasons for doing this to her, but he can’t lie to himself. Seeing Sydney Bristow want to die is a very frightening thing. How does a person like him go on living when someone like her doesn’t want to anymore?
And so he beats her and beats her until his hands hurt and his throat is raw from screaming obscenities at her. He can feel an ache in various bones as the night air swirls around them with a dusty familiar smell. Rain, probably a storm, considering the way the sky is ebony, all natural light covered by thick clouds. He knows he should just shove her down and leave her to die like she wants, but he can’t do it.
He’s backed her against the wall again, holding onto her and thinking about what more he could do to her before he kills her. The wind picks up again and mixed in with the scent of rain is something undoubtedly feminine. It strikes him. One would never know it but he’s never looked at Sydney as a woman when in battle; she was merely an adversary. His flirtations were always to unnerve and upset her, because he knew that she would never allow herself to see him as a target of any kind of desire; her morals and self-righteousness blinded her. Even though it’s a formidable weapon, he’s never used sexuality when fighting with Sydney, either his or hers.
But standing here, her body supported by his and that indescribable smell invading his senses, he wants to curse himself for the stupidity. She hates him with a furious passion. Fighting won’t draw her out, because she approves of that; with him it’s a natural part of their relationship. But to have him touch her in a sensuous manner, to feel any intimate contact with him would drive her spirit back out. A few caresses and kisses and she would push him away in anger and disgust and he could leave her then, with everything back to normal.
He drops his hands to rest on her hips, and lowers his head so he can let his face nuzzle against hers. His nose brushes her cheek and he expects her to shudder and shove, but she doesn’t move. He’s not frustrated yet; he’s beaten her to a badly damaged state without response so these initial motions might not break into her seemingly impenetrable shell. He follows the curve of her cheek down along her jaw, dropping lower to her neck. He blows lightly along the sensitive skin, brushing down and up and around behind her ear letting her hair tangle around his. She doesn’t move.
Fuck being gentle then. She’s already up against the wall, but he pushes her flat, his hands coming off her hips to crudely grope at her breasts through her shirt. He parts her legs with one of his and he shoves his thigh up hard so she’s almost riding him. His tongue strokes away the line of blood his knife had made on her throat before biting down on it. Fresh blood raises and flows freely now and he lets it fall down her chest while he viciously marks a pattern of bitten bruises along her neck.
Everything he does with her is deliberately harsh. His hands move: one under her shirt so he can feel her skin and the other to wrap in the strands of her hair and pull her head back. He isn’t hesitant about taking her; wanting Sydney Bristow is something that has consumed him for years. The only thing that stopped him in the past was her irrational dislike of him; he could want to possess her for the rest of his life but he wasn’t going to become what she wanted just to have her. The age-old story of the devil wanting the innocent if only to warm a small part of him, but in the end he’s still the devil.
He kisses her skin fiercely, making his way to her mouth. The salt of her sweat and the coppery tang of blood have mixed with her perfumes and other feminine scents to create a unique taste on his tongue. She still isn’t moving, not even breathing harder; she’s just limp against him, allowing his touch. His hips slam her against the wall in a sudden thrust and she doesn’t even grab him to steady herself. He hauls her up again and frames her face with his hands before kissing her mouth.
It should be awkward and ugly, because she’s not responding and he’s not giving her a choice, but at the first touch of her lips he’s left hungry for more. He forces entry into her mouth and everything changes in that instant. He no longer merely wants her response, he needs it. Needs to have her kiss him back and bring her hands up and touch him and arch her body into his. He wants her to come alive under him and the thought of feeling her, all of her, makes him so hard it hurts.
He really can’t stop himself, doesn’t even weigh in the fact that it isn’t quite consensual. One hand on the back of her neck, keeping her face to his as he kisses her, his other falls to his waist and grabs for the handle of his knife. He adjusts her body resting on his thigh and with a quick swipe he slashes the crotch of her loose-fitting pants, leaving a large gap for his hand to creep through and press between her legs. The motion doesn’t get her to move but she’s hot through silk and when he nudges his fingers against the material they come away damp. He wants to laugh in triumph; she’s not as immune to feeling as she wants to be. Her mind is trying desperately to die but her body cannot help but react to the physical need. He wonders how long it’s been since someone touched her like this.
He pushes her panties aside and slides his finger over her, into her. If his own arousal wasn’t so urgent he’d tease her more, wait for a reaction of any kind but he can’t. He’s vaguely aware of the air around him going still and settling heavy on them as he undoes his pants, pushing his clothes away so his hand can wrap around his rock-hard cock, spreading the natural lubricants over his swollen flesh. His hand slips under her thigh and lifts her leg, spreading her wide. He waits for a protest, an attack or a sound of consent but nothing, and so he angles her hips forward and thrusts inside of her.
He wants to fuck her hard into the wall but if he’s going to use her own body against her, being rough isn’t the answer. He lowers his hand from her neck to her lower back and locks her body tight against his before moving in long slow strokes. The speed is for his control as well but having her wrapped around him is more than he can take, even if he’s the one holding her up. He groans and kisses her again, rocking at an incredibly slow pace. He’s lost all sight of what he was wanting to do, lost in the reality of being there in that moment, as surreal as it seems.
He’s seconds away from giving into primal desires and taking her harshly when she lets out a cry. Not of pain or protest but one of need and release. Suddenly her hands are moving, one in his hair and one along the curve of his back. He stills and almost pulls back, until she whimpers, “Oh god, Sark don’t stop, please just don’t stop.”
He couldn’t even if he wanted to anymore. She moves with him, tiny cries breaking in his ear with every thrust of their hips. All he can focus on is how good she feels inside: how hot and tight around his flesh, how she seems to know what his body needs as much as he does. She turns her face to his and seeks out his mouth and the kiss that she initiates pulls him down, drowns him in the heavy air and the black night and the intense silence. He’s nearly lost, only reaching frantically for release when she falls apart around him, her climax precipitated with her back arching and her head falling back in pure ecstasy. He gives himself just enough before he too goes over the edge, her name caught on his lips in a whisper as he explodes gratifyingly.
She’s backed against the wall, still holding onto him for strength and he’s using her to stay upright. His breath is caught along with his control and he adjusts himself back into his clothes thinking about the aftermath of what just happened. She’s hiding her face and he knows her thoughts must be overtaking her; she won’t be shutting down anytime soon again. She has too much to process.
Her fist comes out of nowhere and connects with his jaw. He falls away from her, stumbling and gripping the spot she hit. “You bastard!” she yells.
He wipes a bit of blood off his lip. “Jesus,” he mutters to himself at the sight. A bit louder, he glares at her, “That certainly is a unique way of saying thank you.”
“Fuck you,” she bites off, pulling her wrinkled shirt back into shape. She pushes her hair back of her face and turns away from him. “Why, Sark, why? Why couldn’t you have left well enough alone?”
He just watches her, hands calmly stuck in his pockets now. He knows what she’s asking, saying, but he waits for her to say it. Her tone calms, tries to bite back the emotions running thick on the edge. “You should have just killed me or left me to die. What right do you have to make me feel again?”
“I had every right,” he explains coolly. When she glares at him, he gives her a smile and spreads his arms in a sweeping gesture. “That’s not the way it works, Sydney. You don’t just get to stop feeling when it’s convenient.”
She laughs, a raw unnatural sound, “This isn’t a fucking game, Sark; there are no rules to play by. I can act any damned way I want, feel anyway that I can, it’s my choice to live or die.”
“It is a game and there are rules,” he says quietly, and she looks at him now without loathing and rage, just questioningly. “You are Sydney Bristow. You feel, you hurt, you cry, you laugh. You have a life outside of your work, people who love you for who you are. That part of you will never change.” He makes the sweeping gesture again. “You want to be like me or others in my position, but you can’t. We can never change that simple aspect.” He tips his head back and stares at the black clouds overhead. “You can’t change the rules of the game in mid-stream. It isn’t fair to the other players.”
And suddenly he’s weary, because it’s late, and he hasn’t slept in days and he’s expended his last amount of energy on the fight, the fuck and the aftermath of it all. She’s weary too, he can see. Her shoulders have slumped forward and she looks ready to fall into a heap on the ground. He can see her face is contorting, as if to sob but there are no tears or no sound. He understands; for someone like her, the energy it takes to keep all emotions at bay is enormous. A distinct coldness will endure in her for a while; a natural side effect of her endeavor. It will be a while before she has a passionate feeling of any kind.
He’s tired and he needs to leave. He extends his hand. “Come with me.”
She stares and laughs again, but it’s not as bitter, just humourless. Dark eyes dart over his face and he can see the questions running in them. Yet she doesn’t ask the obvious one. “Where?”
“Does it matter?”
She blinks. No it doesn’t. From the most remote desert island to the busiest city, it wouldn’t matter where they went. To run for escape or to hide is impossible.
She blinks again, and her face drops and shows how exhausted she is. “Why,” she finally states, her voice barely a whisper.
He takes a step closer, his hand still proffered. “Because you need someone to make you feel, and I’m the only one in the world left.”
There’s a shock in the air as the truth in his words falls over them, a vibrant hum that radiates all around them. They stand and regard each other as it intensifies, then the clouds drop and rain comes sheeting down, drenching them. Neither of them moves, they just stand and watch the other through the mist. The darkness and the downpour increase until he can only see the outline of her figure, but he doesn’t move closer, just waits.
It’s her choice at this point: to take his hand or walk away and he’ll wait forever for it. His arm tenses to hold its stance. The rain thickens so much that everything’s a blur so he doesn’t see but feels her hand slide into his, cold and wet as his own. There’s a second of breathless tension, a chance to rethink, before his fingers wrap around hers and pull her down the alley to the street.
He navigates his way back to the hotel. She’s behind him but he’s not leading and she’s not following; they’re simply moving on instinct for shelter from the elements. The streets are empty because of the time and the weather so there are no people to make a pretense for. She doesn’t catch up and he doesn’t wait and there is nothing until they’re safely behind the door of his room, shivering in the dark.
There is no pretense; she knows why she’s here. Within seconds of his fingers turning the lock she’s against him, her hands exploring the rigid contours of his body. “Make me feel again, Sark,” she whispers along his lips, then kisses him deeply. Her movements are demanding, yet deliberate at the same time, enjoying the sensation of the proximity of another human being.
She pulls him down and they fall on the bed and she’s moving so slowly it’s killing him. He lets her enjoy this rediscovered pleasure for now; he may have brought her, but this is what she came for. Her mouth and lips are insistent and her hands are lazy, gripping at his hair and his face in slow sure movements. He lets her play and can’t help but groan in relief when her hands busy themselves with shedding clothing. She responds with a self-satisfied laugh; the sound gets caught between their mouths.
Naked now, and they’re still kissing, so hungry for the taste of the other. He’s stretched out on top of her, skin flush against skin. His hands on her breasts aren’t as crude this time, but caressing, taking the time to memorize every inch of muscle and tissue. She’s exploring too, letting muffled sounds and jolts of his body guide her fingers down his neck, his chest, his back, his legs, his cock. And then he’s inside of her, moaning as she rocks her hips and makes gratifying little sounds. It’s slow and it’s fast, she’s leading and then he is, and she’s clinging to him so hard, so close, wrapped around him in heady need.
He gives as much as he can, and takes more: the smell of her mixed with the dusky scent of rain; the taste of the sweat gathering in the hollow curve of her neck; the tiny sound she makes when he drags his fingers over her clit as he thrusts; the sight of her arching her head back in rapture; but most of all the feel of her touch. Wet skin, like silk, that flows along his like the rain sliding down the window pane. Long strands of hair that swirl around his fingers and frame her face. The needy claim her lips make when they find his and the stroke of her tongue in time with the lifting of her hips. It’s overwhelming, more so then he’d ever thought it could be.
She comes first again, tightening her hold on him as she tightens inside. She buries her face into the curve of his neck and shoulder, muffling the sound of his name being called over and over. He wants to feel the rhythmic sensation of her orgasm until he comes, and so he slows his thrusts and concentrates his efforts on her body. Her climax never stops and she’s completely breathless when he finally gives in and lets go. As he shudders, he moans her name with a voice he’s never heard before and they fall deep into the recesses of the bed.
He regains his mind again and rolls onto his back. She rolls with him, her weary body taking advantage of the nearness of another, something it had been deprived of for so long. Her head curls against his chest and under his chin like a child and within seconds she’s sleeping, soft breaths the only sign she’s alive. Her legs tangle with his and with the wrinkled sheets. He wraps his arms around her, holds her close, one hand stroking her hair lightly. The other is tracing up and down her side and she flinches delicately in her sleep when his fingers find the ragged scar on her abdomen. He causes her no more distress and settles that arm firmly around her. He is not a tender man, but the moment does not warrant anything else.
It’s nearing dawn, still dark from the vicious rain, but he can’t sleep anymore, his mind and his senses alive with the events of the night. In mere hours Sydney has gone from a near lifeless adversary to-what? He’s hesitant to label her as anything but ‘his’. So much had happened in so little time, but one thing is for certain: she belongs to him now. What happens next is conditioned on that one simple fact.
His hand moves from her hair to her neck and he feels the open wound that his knife had made. He shudders inwardly at the memory of her dead eyes when she pressed the blade deeper into her skin. That was Sydney Bristow alone in the world. She murmurs a bit and nuzzles her face against his chest, still caught in comforting sleep.
He’d never thought he would see the day when the world could destroy the spirit of Sydney Bristow, but there are breaking points for every person, and hers is a legitimate one. For once though, she couldn’t blame the chain of tragedies on anything but unfortunate coincidences. For one like him, who had no emotional ties, losing everyone that made up his world would merely be an inconvenience. For Sydney though…
He understands. She was too strong still to kill herself, but she was more than willing to have someone else do the deed. A good thing she had underestimated his opinion of her. No, not underestimated-he had never given anyone the impression that he felt anything but indifferent feelings toward her.
He holds her and listens to the rain patter on the window and the streets below. He’s so tired and could almost sleep, but she stiffens and he knows she’s awake. He doesn’t pretend that he’s asleep and keeps his hand in her hair, sliding between the strands. She doesn’t relax and he estimates it will take her about 15 seconds before she pulls away. She surprises him and does it in 9.
She rolls away and sits, her back to him. “You weren’t supposed to be awake.”
In the faint light he watches her gather her clothing. She fingers the large tear he made in her pants with something between distaste and regret. She doesn’t dress; she seems intent on getting far away from his presence as she can before she lets her guard down again. She reaches the bedroom door, but before she can open it, he’s out of bed, his hand wrapped firmly around her arm. He’s not letting her run.
“Where do you think you’re going to go?”
She tries to pull away without looking at him. “Anywhere. I can go anywhere now; it doesn’t really matter where.”
“No, you can’t.”
She looks at him now, her eyes despairing. “This was a mistake, Sark. I need to go.”
“And do what?”
She raises one hand in an offhand gesture. “I can restart my life. I can be…someone else now. I don’t need to be Sydney any more. I can just-”
“No,” he places his hand on her other arm and turns her, so her back is to the door, “you can’t.”
She wriggles. “Let me go.”
“You’re not leaving.”
“You can’t go off somewhere and pretend none of it ever happened. Maybe if we were all dead, but I’m not, and you would have that in the back of your mind for the rest of your life.” He releases one arm and draws his fingers down her face. “You’re not meant to be anyone but Sydney Bristow.”
He lets her go, but doesn’t step back. “You can’t go. You’re mine.”
Her mouth drops open at that. “I can’t be yours, Sark,” she says sadly. “You’re-you can’t give me what I want. What I need.”
“You don’t need those things anymore. All you need is someone who wants you. And I will never stop wanting you.”
Her mouth is working around silent words, her brow furrowed slightly. He steps back and holds out his hand again. “Come,” he says simply and waits for her.
She closes her eyes in frustration, one hand rubbing at her forehead. She bites her lip and opens her mouth as if to speak, but her eyes fly open in shock, then her hand folds into his and her clothes drop to the floor. He pulls her close, enfolds her body in his arms again.
He draws them back down on the bed, and he kisses her possessively. “You’re mine,” he whispers against her lips. “Do you understand?”
She doesn’t answer, merely dips her head to rest against his neck once more. Eventually her breathing evens out, his eyes close wearily and with the feeling of her body around his and the sound of the rain outside, they rest.