irina_derevko: (J/I Waiting For You (_ladydisdain))
[personal profile] irina_derevko
Title/Prompt: Home At Last / May picture prompt "Life"
Fandom: Alias
Character: Irina Derevko
Pairing: Jack/Irina
Rating: PG-13
Warnings & Notes: Big, HUGE spoilers for series finale, "All The Time In The World". Also AU. Necessary AU. Not what I'd intended to post for ths month, but it's what I've got. Sorry.
Words: 1,845


The storage locker is empty when she arrives. As she'd expected it to be. For those who had been working here, this is over.

For them, this place is a reminder of things they'd rather forget.

She's early, but she isn't going to waste time waiting. She knows what to do, what can be left behind, what has to be taken.

Guns come down off the walls, racks of ammunition are rifled through for the calibers she needs.

This may not be necessary at all, but she wants- they want- to be prepared.

She tenses when she hears the door open, and her hand drops to the gun on the table before her; one she has picked up here, not one she'd brought with her, but the grip is perfect. Too small for his hands.

She hopes one of the others hasn't come back. They waited, wanting to be sure they had really gone, cleared out all of their own gear, claimed all that they intended to. If she has to, she will tell the truth, though she doesn't want to. The time hasn't yet come for them to know-

"Ah, good, you found it. I'd meant to give that to you several years ago, but it slipped my mind."

She smiles, and lowers the gun. She drops it carefully into one of the bags she's packed, before turning towards him. "Jack."

"Hello, sweetheart."

"You look good," she says as his arms slide around her, pulling her close.

"So do you," he says. His hand cups her cheek, stroking gently.

Six months. Six months, before they were sure. Six months, until the rubble was swept away. Until the children moved on. Six months of silence. Six months she spent hiding in the wilds of Siberia, places so far off the maps that not even her adventurous cousins ever wander there.

She doesn't know where he's been, and he'll probably never tell her. She had no need to know.

Six months with no contact, because it was the only way.

She'd gone nearly thirty years without speaking to him, and it was these six months she'd found nearly unbearable. She was a different woman thirty years ago, a woman who had not understood what she'd left behind.

Now she does, and she will not lose it again.

Their first kiss in six months is rough and needy, and as long as it can be, considering that they can't stay here any longer than absolutely necessary.

In a way this is necessary. She needs this like air; for the last six months she has been slowly suffocating for the lack of it.

"God," he says, "God, it's good to see you. To feel you."

"You, too," Irina replies. Her hands rest on his chest, over the soft grey wool of his sweater. No more suits. No more ties. She's going to have to learn, all over again, how to remove someone else's jeans. She lets her hands slide down to his waist, thinking of that-

He groans, then draws a gasping breath that becomes her name. "Irina."

"You have always been," she tells him with a slow smile, "such a distraction, Jack."

He laughs. "I learned from the best, sweetheart."

Irina chuckles softly. Then, "I couldn't find the sniper rifle."

He moves away from her- she notes the removal of his hands with a sense of loss, and with the knowledge that he won't go far. Not ever again.

Jack opens a trunk, checking that all the pieces are there, then snaps it closed again. "The new one? I willed it to Sydney, along with a few other things."

She raises an eyebrow. "Jack..."

"It has," he tells her, trying not to smile, "sentimental value."

"I'm sure she appreciates it very much." She nods to the trunk. "Your spare?"

"Still good as new."

Irina nods. "Of course."

"What have you got?"

As she runs down the list of things she's already gathered, he nods. It wouldn't do to take too much, or to take things whose absence will be noted. But if a few things vanish, good pieces that anyone in the business might have a use for, Sydney and the others will only think that another of Jack Bristow's old friends- good, solid men of the old CIA days, dangerous, implacable, and unerringly loyal- have come to pay their respects as he would have wanted them to.

"It's enough, I think," he says.

Irina looks at him for a moment. "Are you sure?"

He is looking a bit longingly at several coils of detonator cord and other explosive components, but he nods once, decisively. "I have what I need."

"So do I," Irina says.

The last of the supplies and weapons are loaded into the car. Together, then, they take one last look around the storage locker.

"Are you ready?" he asks at last.

She nods. "Are you?"

"Yes." He reaches for her hand, and as their fingers intertwine, she holds on tightly. "Do you think it worked?"

"It worked," Irina says. "Trust me."

It's the second time she has been buried; other women with her face. Jack has never been down this road before, and he's been following her lead. She knows he is uncomfortable with this- they work best together when neither leads or follows, but when they walk exactly in step. As they do now.

"I do," Jack says.

The supply of det cor he'd been admiring a moment ago is a bit depleted, actually. Both of them had wanted their doubles to be the last, and they'd made sure that they would be.

Tom Grace had volunteered to stand in for Jack. How the man had any idea of what they planned, she still doesn't know. Even the close observation she kept on her family when she was unable to be with them had provided little insight into Grace, but she had understood what drove him, in the end. The guilt that would not let go, the guilt he could not let himself grow beyond.

Grace had witnessed his own funeral; rites of passage for the double and the doubled. He had seemed amused by it.

Knowing Sloane's plans for APO, slipping a radio transceiver into place had not been difficult. No one had ever known the difference. No one had ever expected to find enough of Tom to try to identify. They knew where he had been, and where he was no longer.

Sloane's own fate had been meticulously planned, though she knew Jack- and Grace- had doubted her on the subject of Rambaldi, and what they would find in Mongolia. But she had been right, and justice had been more poetic than they ever could have dreamed.

Tom Grace had made certain that they knew that, that the com lines stayed open until the end.

Irina's double, likewise, had cleaned up a final bit of unfinished business, and if there was about it less a sense of blood justice, it had still been vengeance of a sort. She had promised to restore Allison Dorien to the form she'd had before taking the place of Sydney's best friend Francie. Seeing that look of absolute shock upon her own face when Dorien came out of the procedure had been a moment of priceless sweetness. She had explained what Dorien would have to do for her in order for Irina to fulfill her promise to the girl.

She'd known the outcome was, of course, inevitable. Irina herself might have been able to stop Sydney in Hong Kong; Allison Dorien had proven time and again that she was no match for Jack and Irina's eldest daughter, and this time she was not to survive the loss.

She hadn't.

Allison Dorien had been buried with far more honor than she had deserved- and far more than Irina had ever expected would be given to her. She lay beside Tom Grace, Jack's grave empty, Irina's filled with lies. More tears had been wept for her than Allison in her true form had deserved.

It had taken nearly half a decade longer than either of them had wanted to, but Jack and Irina had at last taken care of all of those who had hurt their children.

Irina nods, Jack's hand still grasped in hers. "Let's go home."

*
Home is remote and distant, far beyond the villages that have held her secrets before. Far beyond even the place where she waited out those long lonely months, until it was time for him to come back to her again. Home is a small cottage, many of its walls lined with books. Home has gently battered furniture, several secret entrances, and the best one of a kind security systems that the two of them could design.

No one will sneak up on them here, and no one will ever find them who has not already been told the way.

They have been through so much in the past thirty years, the past lifetimes, and mostly they don't speak of it. They don't have to, anymore. Betrayals, secrets, the twisted truths and tainted lies that have shadowed them for so long- all of it, gone now. Accepted, forgiven, and set aside. So little of it matters now, because they are home at last.

There are clocks, but they ignore them. Calendars, whose pages don't get turned.

The first week or so, then- they do not stray far from the bed, soft touches and lovemaking, as gentle or as rough as they have ever wanted it, making up for lost time, and sometimes hours in the dark, when they cannot see and do not need to. Hours when they hold each other, and grieve together for all they have lost, all that has been taken from them.

Tears for Nadia, for the daughter neither of them ever really knew. For Sydney, hurt so many times for the world neither of them had ever wanted her to live in. Tears for every sacrifice, every wound. Every mistake that kept them, even for one instant more, apart from each other.

One day there will be letters they'll send to Sydney. Presents for the grandchildren, and a few well wishes for certain very trustworthy old friends. One day, when the wounds have had time to heal, and their words will not simply rip them open again. One day, when Sydney will appreciate, when she will understand, how desperately they needed both the end to the old struggles, and the peace that came after.

Irina adjusts slowly to the idea that she can wake at any time of the night, and Jack will still be with her, holding her close and safe in a way she hasn't felt since she was Laura, and she had thought her peace might last.

He steals the blankets, and she steals them back. When this tug of war wakes him, they only shake their heads at one another, and laugh. Wrap the blankets around them again, arms about each other holding them in place, and go back to sleep.

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Irina Derevko

March 2015

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