after.midnight // v.naked Title: The Way
Author: Tamara
Rating: PG-13, S/V romance
Summary: There was something about the way he loved her.
Disclaimer: Sydney and Vaughn do not belong to me. JJ Abrams owns all.
AN: This is my reluctant entry in cheesy fluff fic. I don't do fluff, but every once in a while, it smacks you in the face and reminds you that being happy is not a bad thing.


There were times when she really did not understand how much Michael Vaughn affected her. Looking at him had always made her a little lightheaded, but it had only gotten worse after she kissed him that first time. Before, she'd always nursed this idea of what being with Vaughn would be like. She'd had this fairytale view of life with Vaughn; waking up in his arms, a smile on her face, satisfaction humming in her veins, love for him flowing out of her pores. And that's what she got. But it was more than just the fairytale, more than the silly little things the mind comes up with when think about the new object of your affection.

For one, there was lust. Before, looking at Vaughn had made her heart flutter with longing. Now that she'd had him in her bed, looking at him made her heart pound, her skin prickle, her bones melt, her entire body throb with want and need and desire so intense it took all of her control not to throw him against walls and have her way with him, wherever they may be. Now that she knew what he could do, the way he knew every one of her secrets and took great pleasure in rediscovering all of them with nothing but his lips, tongue, and fingers, the way he could make her scream in ecstasy or moan in pleasure, the way he knew just what to do to make her fall apart in his arms, she could not get enough of him. One innocent look into his deep green eyes made her hot and wet all over. She could not count the number of times she'd met his gaze across the table during a debrief and lost the ability to think of anything but the way he felt inside her, the way he tasted on her tongue, the way his lips moved over her body. Maybe it was the newness of the relationship or the novelty of, finally, getting the one thing in the world you wanted, but there was hardly a moment that went by that she wasn't thinking about the next time she could get him naked, hot and hard and hers to do with as she pleased.

It was sad, really, just how much she thought about sex these days. Of course, she only thought about it so much because she was having it at every available opportunity. In conference rooms, offices, warehouses, and the backseats of cars. On planes, couches, counters, desks, and concrete floors. Against walls and chain-link fences. And that one time, after a particularly difficult mission in China, in a not-so-private bath house in a very shady section of town.

Her relationship with Vaughn was turning her into a shameless, and opportunistic, hussy.

Added to the lust, which was constant and overwhelming and made any time in Vaughn's office a mad dash to complete orgasmic satisfaction, there was the unmistakable feeling of freedom and safety. Being with Vaughn just felt *right*, the way nothing had ever felt right before in her life. With Vaughn she wasn't afraid to feel vulnerable, because she knew that he would always take care of her heart. With Vaughn she wasn't afraid to let go, knowing he would always be there for her. With Vaughn, she was never afraid of being everything that she was because she knew that he would love all of her.

And when she sat waiting in hotel rooms after missions in Beijing or Cairo or Moscow, just hours before they boarded a plane back to Los Angeles, she knew Vaughn would meet her, because he understood that, no matter how much they wanted to be normal, with dinner dates in fancy restaraunts and quiet nights, curled up on the couch, at home, there would always be a part of them that craved the abnormality of their lives, a part of them that would always covet the danger and the intrigue, the secrets and the lies.

Her cell phone rang, pulling her out of her thoughts. She looked at the screen, noting the name on the ID and smiled. "Hey," she said softly into the phone, nodding politely to a passing maid on her way to her room. She was in Indonesia tonight, a million miles away from Vaughn and home. Lonely didn't even begin to describe the way she felt without him with her.

"Hey," he replied, his voice husky and deep, making her shiver with need. "Having fun?"

She chuckled slightly. "You know, I love Dixon and everything, but missions just aren't the same without you," she said as she stopped at the door to her room. "Why again did you convince Kendall not to assign you to tag along with me?" She slid her elctronic key into the lock, listened for the inevitable click as the door unlocked, and stepped into her room as she waited for Vaughn's answer.

"Because," Vaughn's amused voice sounded in her ear, "it wouldn't be nearly as much of a surprise when I did this."

As she closed the door behind her, she heard a faint click and the lamp beside the bed flipped on to reveal Vaughn sitting in the middle of the bed.

"Surprise," he said with a smile, tossing his phone on the bed next to him. His gaze traveled slowly over her, his eyes going dark as he took in her coral-colored bikini top and the matching sarong tied around her waist. "Nice outfit."

She'd felt underdressed at the party she'd attended earlier that evening, even though the other hundred women there had been dressed similarly, but now, with Vaughn looking at her with desire clear in his eyes, she was positively certain she was wearing way too many clothes.

Tossing her phone on the overstuffed chair next to the door, she made her way towards the bed, untying the sarong from around her waist and dropping it to the floor. "Glad you like it," she said huskily, "because I'm looking foward to having it off."

He smiled and reached for her, pulling her down beside him. "And I'm looking forward to taking it off," he said with obvious relish.

As always, the heat that spread like wildfire through her body as his lips touched hers took her by surprise and she gasped, inviting him to take the kiss deeper. He tasted like pineapple and coconut and a flavor she knew was distinctly Vaughn, a flavor she had come to love more than anything else in the world.

"How much time?" she managed to gasp as his lips blazed a trail down her jaw to her neck.

He hooked his finger under the strap of her bikini top and slid it off, running his lips over the bare flesh of her shoulder as he did so. "Four hours," he said softly, his lips moving gently over the tops of her breasts.

It wasn't much time, not that she'd been expecting it. She'd been in Indonesia for three days setting up a background for her cover. The party tonight had been the hook to get her noticed, the sexy young woman, recently widowed, with money to spend and an itch that needed scratching, and it had worked. It would be at least another 48 hours before she was back in Los Angeles. But she'd been without him for days, only his voice over the telephone to keep her company, and she would be without him a for a little while longer.

Four hours wasn't much, but it was more time then they'd had in Suriname three weeks before, more time then they'd had in LA four days ago, before she boarded the plane to Indonesia. Four hours wasn't enough time, but they would make the most of it.

"A lot can happen in four hours," she said softly, tangling her hands in his hair.

He smiled against her breast, his tongue snaking out to circle around her nipple. "That it can," he replied before he put his mouth to better use.

Three hours later, she lay in Vaughn's arms, sated and exhausted and happier than she'd been in days. It was one of those fairytale moments, satisfaction humming through her veins, love for him flowing out of her pores. She wasn't sure how he did it, but his very presence soothed her, and she was never more comfortable, more at peace than when she was with him.

"I was thinking about us tonight," she said softly, her fingers tracing lazy patterns on his arm, which was wrapped around her waist. "Well, you more specifically. You and the way you make me feel."

She felt his lips brush against her cheek, felt his smile. "And how, Agent Bristow, do I make you feel?" he asked, his tone both teasing and serious.

They had never really talked about where they were heading, their relationship too new to start talking about the things most couples talked about. But then she thought about all the time they'd spent before, denying the way they felt all the while falling deeper and deeper. They may have only been lovers for a few short months, but they had been so much more than that for longer.

All she knew was that, when she thought about the future, a year from now, five years from now, twenty years from now, Vaughn was there with her. She couldn't picture kids or white picket fences, although she was sure she'd wake up one morning with an overwhelming desire to have the proof of their love growing inside her, to give him the chance to be the kind of father that had been taken away from him, to give herself the chance to be the kind of mother she'd always thought she had. But for now, it was just the two of them, Donovan trailing behind them, her little happy family.

It amazed her, how much she wanted that family, how important that someday was to her.

Turning in his arms to face him, she gave him a smile. "As cliche as it sounds, I think I've been waiting my entire life for you," she said, the words spilling out of her mouth effortlessly, despite how truly corny she thought they were. "Like everything that happened in my life was leading up to the moment when I met you."

She didn't remember much about the day she walked into the offices of the CIA, pushing most of that time to the back of her mind. Danny had died, her world had been shattered, and just when she thought that things would never get better, Michael Vaughn had walked into the room, looked at her with those green eyes, and nothing had ever been the same.

"Does that sound cheesy?" she asked, her lips lifting in a nervous smile.

Vaughn shook his head. "Considering I once told you that my heart stopped the day I met you," he said, giving her a smile of his own, "I don't think it's cheesy at all."

She kissed him lightly on the lips, wondering what exactly she'd done in her life to deserve him. "We're quite the pair," she said, after a moment. "Two spies, having a secret rendezvous thousands of miles away from home, waxing lyrical about our feelings for each other."

"Which is probably why they stick us together all the time," Vaughn said with a chuckle. "Kendall makes it tremendously easy for us to be together."

She laughed, thinking about their immediate supervisor. As much as she disliked Kendall, with his superior attitude and his total lack of feelings about anything, she had to admit, to her knowledge, he'd never made an issue of her and Vaughn's relationship, even after it had become obvious that it had moved beyond friendship.

"He practically throws us together," she said with a smile. "It's always Agent Vaughn, Agent Bristow, you're going to India. Vaughn, Bristow, the plane to Helsinki leaves in an hour."

"My field rating's gone up since I met you," Vaughn said. He smiled. "It's amazing how good you've been for my career. Especially considering the number of rules I've broken in the same amount of time."

"I aim to please."

He kissed her lips, his tongue dipping inside her mouth to taste her. "And you do it so well," he said against her mouth.

"I'm going to miss you," she said, moments later, when the passion had died down to reasonable levels.

Vaughn gave her a smile, wiping the tears from her eyes. "I'm going to miss you, too," he said softly, kissing her gently. "But you'll be home before you know it and we'll spend every spare moment lounging around in bed."

She nodded, holding on to him tightly, his words forming an image in her head. When she pulled away, he got out of the bed, picking his clothes up from the floor and slipping into them. She watched him intently, memorizing everything about him; the way his eyes darkened when they met hers, the way his fingers moved as he buttoned up his shirt, the way his shirt matched the highlights in his hair, the way he moved as he walked about the room.

When he finished dressing, he turned back to her and smiled. "I gotta go," he said softly, kissing her lips lightly. "My plane leaves in twenty minutes."

She pulled him to her again for another kiss. "I love you, you know," she said when she pulled away.

He pulled back a bit to look at her, his smile bright. "I know," he said, kissing her again. "I love you, too."

She smiled and nodded. "I know."

He smiled. "Good." He kissed her once more, this time just brushing his lips against hers. "I'll see you at home."

She watched him as he walked out the door, closing it behind him. When he was gone, she flopped back against the pillow, her eyes staring up at the ceiling. Those moment just after he left were always the worst. She could still feel him, smell his scent on the pillow. When they were together, the feeling of emptiness only lasted until they met back at the plane. But knowing that it would be another two days before she saw him again, instead of a few minutes, was so much harder to take.

She was just flipping off the lamp when she heard her cell phone ringing. Getting up from the bed, she grabbed her phone and looked at the screen. She smiled.

"Hey," she answered, her voice husky.

"Hey," he replied, amused at their standard greeting. There was a moment of silence and she listened to his breathing over the line. "Remember earlier, when you told me you'd been waiting your whole life to meet me?"

She smiled. "Yeah," she said with a nod. "And I meant it."

She could feel rather than see his smile at that. "Well," he said, after a moment. "I just wanted you to know that nothing in my life made sense until I met you."


He smiled again. "Really," he replied, amused. "Okay, I've got to run. I'll call you when I get back to LA."

She hung up the phone feeling better than she had been when he'd left the room earlier. Placing her phone on the table, she flipped off the light and drifted off to sleep.

She didn't know how Vaughn had gotten past all her defenses and shoved his way into her heart, making her love him more and more each day, more than she'd ever loved anyone. All she knew was that she was grateful to have him in her life, knew she would not change anything in her life because it had all led her to him.

She loved him. And, for her, that was all that mattered.