Antics, or Five Things That Might've Happened in A Man of His Word
by Sara

1. Time Is Like a Broken Watch

At least Sark waited until Sloane was out the door before he started with the usual innuendo, Weiss thought. That was more restraint than Sark had ever shown before. Weiss was actually impressed. For a moment, anyway, and then Sark spoke.

"Hello, Eric. I admit I was hoping we'd get a moment alone together."

Weiss shut the door behind him with a firm click. "Hey, I have a plan. First, you shut up. Then, I don't kill you."

"If you keep talking like that I'm going to think you didn't miss me."

"No, I've been too busy forming functional relationships that don't involve sociopaths half my age."

"Are you saying I'm not your type anymore?" Sark tilted his head, offering his best victimized look. Cuffed like he was, it was actually rather effective.

"No, sorry. Except for the sorry part." Weiss sat down.

"How long has it been?" Sark said. He leaned back in his chair, staring thoughtfully at the ceiling. "Since right after your friend Agent Vaughn took a fancy to slamming my face into a table, wasn't it? Lovely attitude, that one. I think perhaps he has some emotional issues that need tending to."

"Yes. And you're absolutely qualified to diagnose psychological problems, what with being a killer and everything."

"Touche," Sark said lightly, then, "I admit it surprised me, you never coming back."

"I try to avoid things that aren't good for me. It's this new initiative I'm working on. I've almost given up playing in traffic. What? Why are you smiling at me like that?"

"Because you make me laugh, Eric. You always did."

"It's really disturbing that you're a total sociopath, yet also some weird romantic. Stop smiling at me."

"How would you prefer I look at you?"

"I'd rather you didn't look at me at all, actually."

"Why not? Bring back too many memories?" That damn smile again. "Remember that time outside the club? You were so conflicted, it was delightful. So against your nature, to play with fire like that. Just made it that much more thrilling, didn't it?"

Weiss had a sudden vision of Sark on his knees, mouth stretched around his cock, keeping eye contact with Weiss the whole time. The buzz of his cell phone in his pocket, calling him back into work, to fight the same guys that Sark was working for. Coming home the next night to find his door unlocked and Sark lounging in his bed, halfway through his Soderbergh DVD collection.

"Out of Sight? You're cute, but not cute enough to get away with being that cliché."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Sark said, hitting the stop button and setting the remote on the nightstand. "And if I did, I would tell you it's all a coincidence anyway. Come to bed."

"Do you mind? I'm trying to repress over here."

"Just that one? What about the safe house, or when we ran into each in Greece? Or that long weekend in the hotel in Seville?"

Time off from work, he'd said he needed, just a weekend to recharge. And he had, sort of, in the sense of drinking a lot of sangria and lying around by the pool with Sark. The summer sun on them both, and the faintest freckles on Sark's shoulders. Not thinking of work or terrorist organizations or anything except the way Sark's hair curled around his fingers, and how his eyelashes fluttered a little when he was just about to come. Right, because Sark was really the romantic one here.

"You look unsettled, Eric, is something the matter?"

"Can you shut the fuck up, please? I'm authorized to shoot you, you know. I have a gun and everything, for that express purpose."

"You're not going to use it on me."

"Keep talking and we'll test that theory."

"At least remove the cuffs." Sark put his wrists out, like Weiss was really going to go for that. They were pale, and a little chafed with red.

"Are you completely out of your mind?" His wrists look like they hurt. Weiss remembered the way his pulse would jump when they were somewhere they could get caught (which was everywhere, really), remembered holding him down by those wrists and keeping him in place. Maybe he could do like Sydney and get those memories erased. Although that really hadn't worked out too well. Maybe not.

"I can make you feel better." That was probably true, a fact which Weiss was trying really, really hard to ignore.

"Try shutting up, that would make me feel a lot better." He was going to punctuate that point by standing up and walking to the door, maybe peering out to see if Sloane was done yet and Weiss could stop babysitting the convict, but he couldn't seem to stop staring at Sark's mouth. Restraint, Weiss, come on.

Sark was quiet for a moment, long enough for Weiss to be lulled into thinking they could get through this without bringing up anymore questionable memories. "You couldn't stand to see me like that, could you," he said finally. "Locked up in a cell, all stitched up and bruised. That's why you never came back."

Or maybe because seeing Sark like that made Weiss want to punch Vaughn in the face, which would take a lot of explaining afterwards. Maybe because he wanted to take the keys to the cell and break Sark out, and take him away to someplace neither of them would be found, away from this job and this life and everybody.

Maybe because he was starting to forget who Sark really was: a killer, remorseless and cruel and unredeemable and beautiful. Smirking wickedly at Weiss before they kissed, looking at him like he was the only one in the world that could make him feel this way. Weiss could make him laugh, and Sark in turn made him feel like more than just Eric Weiss, thirty-eight, single, CIA agent counting his blessings because his life's not quite as fucked up as those of his colleagues. Except when he makes it that way by fucking around with criminals, but that didn't matter, because no one ever knew. No one ever paid that much attention.

"You were in prison, Sark," Weiss said, feeling as tired as he probably sounded. "I feel like that would have interfered with our relationship."

Sudden footsteps outside the door, followed by Sloane entering the room.

"Any trouble, Agent Weiss?" Sloane asked. "We move out soon."

"No," Weiss said. "No trouble. I need to go home, I think I left the oven on." He turned to leave without waiting for a reply.

"Eric," Sark called after him. "You never did tell me how the movie ends."

Weiss didn't turn around. He walked, and he kept walking until he reached the door, and then his car. He came back to awareness somewhere in the vicinity of his bed, then changed his mind and headed back to the couch.

"I didn't get to finish the movie," Sark said, stretching. "What happens? Does she arrest him?"

"No. They move to Spain and live happily ever after." Weiss straightened his tie, and made some half-hearted attempts at doing something with his hair. The whole staying in bed with Sark rather than taking a shower thing had kind of limited his options.

"You're lying."

"Yes. What do I look like, IMDb? I have to go to work, and you have to go do things I don't even want to think about. I don't remember how it ends. Let's go."

"Hmm. Well, I hope they worked it out. I was rather fond of them."

"I'm sure they did. You're very weird. Kiss me and then we're leaving..."


2. Honest That Way

"Going to watch, are you, Agent Vaughn?" Sark stood up to change, shaking out the clothes they'd given him to wear for the evening. The suit appeared to date back to somewhere around his first incarceration.

"If you think I'm going to take my eyes off you for one second you're mistaken, Sark. You're lucky I let you out of the cuffs long enough to get dressed." Vaughn leaned back in his chair. "Hurry up."

Sark didn't, taking his time undressing. "If I may ask," Sark paused as he pulled his shirt over his head, "Why, exactly, did you kill her?"

"I didn't say you could talk."

"Just making conversation, Michael, there's no need to be rude. Please, share. Why did you kill your wife?" He undressed casually, as if divinely unconcerned with the fact that Vaughn was watching him.

"Because she was evil," Vaughn said flatly.

"And it's really that easy for you. The world is that black and white."

"She never loved me," Vaughn said, then, "She never loved you, either. Lauren wasn't capable of love."

"I'm sure thinking that helps you sleep at night. But you're wrong, you know. Just because she didn't love you doesn't mean she couldn't love." Sark smiled. "You just weren't what she needed."

Vaughn was up and striding forward before he was consciously aware of leaving his chair. Sark's head made a satisfying thud against the wall when Vaughn pushed him roughly against it. "Shut up. Just stop talking."

"Always such a nice boy, Michael. It's terribly ironic that you had to kill her to become what she wanted, isn't it?" Sark tilted his head, his breath warm on Vaughn's lips. "Yes, she'd like you now. She always wanted it rougher than you were willing to give her."

Vaughn closed his eyes, trying to regain- something, his equilibrium, his breath, the training that had taught him exactly how not to respond to taunts- and then Sark was kissing him. It wasn't like kissing Lauren at all, which was what Vaughn had, absurdly, expected it to be. Sark's lips were warm and dry and insistent. Eyes open, just for a second, and that was a mistake; Sark was looking at him, eyes intent and stunningly blue at such close range.

"You just can't admit to yourself that you still wanted her," Sark murmured. His hands were at Vaughn's waist, bypassing his gun to unzip his pants and reach inside, stroking him to full hardness. "Even after you found out who she really was. Especially after you found out."

Eyes closed, and Vaughn couldn't say a word. There was nothing he could say to that and have it be true and still be able to live with himself. Couldn't look at Sark, either, with his bright intense eyes and sure hand in Vaughn's pants, working him over fast and hard like he'd done this before, like he'd done this all before and was just waiting for his chance with Vaughn. His lips were still moving against Vaughn's, whispering lies (Lies, yes. Yes. No.) and truths about Lauren, jerking him off while Sydney was in the next room over dressing up as said ex-wife, and god, on a scale of one to fucked up this was off the charts.

"You think you're so much better than she was," Sark whispered, his hand stroking roughly up and down Vaughn's cock, "You're not. You're just like her. Just like me, and Sydney will realize that, Michael." Sudden wet warmth on Vaughn's neck as Sark trailed his teeth along the line of Vaughn's jaw. "Sooner or later," Sark said, and bit into the skin behind Vaughn's ear, causing him to cry out, his eyes snapping open.

Sark smiled then, viciously, and gripped him just a little harder. Vaughn came, looking into Sark's blue eyes and seeing nothing.

"Vaughn!" Sydney's voice rang out, and Vaughn jerked away from Sark as if he'd been shocked. He was shaking, he realized, his pulse thrumming in his veins. Sark watched him, mildly amused and only a little mussed compared to Vaughn, who wondered if Sark had somehow stolen his central nervous system. He breathed. It wasn't as easy as he remembered.

"If you tell anyone about this, I will kill you," Vaughn promised, straightening his clothes.

"I don't doubt it." Sark smiled, and patted him on the cheek.

"You shouldn't," Vaughn said. He grabbed Sark's wrist, spinning him around to face the wall and snapping the cuffs back on him. "Stay here. And shut up."


3. I Submit My Incentive Is Romance

"You don't have to do this, Syd, we can get you out of there. We'll find another way."

"You said you had a room, Mr. Sanko?" Sydney asked as they walked down the hallway, ignoring Vaughn's voice in her ear. She could handle herself, and she could certainly handle a situation like this.

"Right here," Sanko said, and led them in.

Room. Right. Sydney had taken that to mean a small private area; this was a cross between a honeymoon suite and BDSM dungeon. There was a small bar in the corner, where Sanko was pouring them a few more drinks.

"Syd, I've lost visual on you. Make it quick in there."

Sark's hand was on her lower back, where it really had no right being. "What exactly do you want with us?" Sydney asked, taking the cocktail Sanko was offering. She looked around the room, assessing the area.

Dim lighting all around, a few candles in the corners. Whips and paddles on the wall. A bed. That wouldn't be much help.

Wall shackles. That might.

"You like to cause him pain, Miss Reed," Sanko said. "I like to watch. Surely we can come up with something."

"So I hurt Julian and you'll tell us what we want to know?" She could feel Sark watching her with that same slightly impressed look he had worn after she'd kissed him. He'd underestimated her again, her willingness to do her job and save her sister. That was fine. It meant she had the advantage.

Sanko nodded at her and sat back in his chair, his girlfriend on his lap. Sydney grabbed Sark by his collar and pulled him forward, kissing him again and scraping her teeth over the corner of his mouth. He tasted of rust and lime, still, and she sucked the wound back open, drawing a surprised gasp of pain from him. She relished it.

One second for him to catch his breath and then she pushed him roughly against the wall, knocking the breath back out of him. He leaned his head back, baring his throat, and she took it, biting at the pale skin there until it reddened.

"Sydney? Is everything okay?" Vaughn's voice in her ear wasn't something she really wanted to hear right then.

"Everything's under control," Sydney whispered, punctuating that with a sharp bite to the side of Sark's neck as she unbuttoned his shirt. His hands rose to slide over her back, and he took it all quietly. His only concession to the pain was breathing a little harder. He probably liked it; he'd probably wanted it for years, the pervert.

Take it now, you bastard, Sydney wanted to say. It's the most you'll ever get from me.

"How far are you willing to take this, Sydney?" he murmured into her ear.

"Touch me," she said back, heatedly, and loud enough for Sanko to hear.

Sark's hands moved downward, skimming over her ass, down her thighs and then hesitating for a moment before going beneath her skirt. His fingertips were warm and his touch a little unsteady as he slid a hand up her thigh.

He paused, looking at her, and the raised eyebrow seemed to say that he'd fake it if she would.

Like hell. She wasn't going to all this trouble for nothing.

Sydney dug her nails into the back of Sark's neck and he must have taken that as a go-ahead, because he stroked at her inner thighs briefly before moving inward.

She liked doing this to him, that much was certain; she was wet and ready and clenching around his fingers as he pushed two of them into her. She clawed harder at the back of his neck, feeling a slight give of flesh and welling of blood around her fingertips.

"Oh god," Sark said, and in the background she heard Sanko's satisfied sigh and his girlfriend giggling. Sydney kept her eyes straight ahead, staring at the curve of Sark's neck and the wall, because if she looked at him she would have to acknowledge that at some point this had gone beyond saving her sister and she wasn't sure what it was now except for wrong and also really good.

His thumb pushed at her clit, a firm pressure timed with minute thrusts of his fingers into her. It never took long for Sydney to come, but she didn't think it had ever been this easy before. Sark knew exactly what to do to her, and it wouldn't take much longer.

"Harder," Sydney gasped.

Dimly, she registered Vaughn's voice saying "What?" in her ear, but it was just background noise as Sark obeyed, getting a little rougher, moving his fingers a little faster inside her. His knuckles rubbed against her inner thighs on every push, his thumb moving up and down on her clit, pushing her closer and closer and-

Sydney bit down into Sark's shoulder. It was either that or scream.

"That's the third time tonight you've drawn my blood, Sydney," Sark whispered to her. "Developed a taste for it, have you?"

"Don't tempt me, Sark," Sydney said, a little embarrassed by how breathless she sounded.

A slow clapping from the other side of the room. Sydney slumped against Sark, trying not to be too obvious about the fact that she needed assistance to stay upright.

"Just as I'd imagined," Sanko said. "You're a gorgeous couple. Come, let us go back downstairs."

Right. Back downstairs. The job. This was business. Sydney moved away from Sark, who was looking at her, casually licking his fingers. She ignored the rush of lust that brought, filing it away for later. Or never.

"Ask me anything," Sanko said, leading them out of the room as Sydney straightened her skirt. "I'll be glad to tell you all you want to-"

A shot rang out. Sanko crumpled to the ground.


4. So Do This Thing With Me

She could still taste copper, running her tongue over her teeth. Blood and lime and tequila and this lip gloss that she would never wear otherwise, wet and glistening with a flavor like cinnamon candle wax. She was a bit cold, just come in from running around barely dressed in the early March weather. Cold, and jittery, blood thrumming in her veins from the chase. From the unexpected shootout, coming back to find Sark gone. From-

Mr. Sark has told me about your...predilections. I have a room above this club. I'd like to watch that.

Sanko's smile, and the way that Sark looked up at her, as if he could think of no better fun than to see her reaction to that. Likely hadn't expected her to go even as far as she did, though after that bite she'd given him (and she fucking well hoped it would bruise) perhaps he'd know better than to underestimate her in the future.

"We should know by morning when the meet is," Vaughn said. The door clicked shut behind him as he took off his jacket and threw it over the back of a chair. "And- hey, you're still dressed."

Sydney raised an eyebrow.

"I mean, still dressed as-" Vaughn stopped. "I didn't mean that how it sounded. But you should change, we need to sleep."

Sleep. No, Sydney didn't want sleep. "I'm not tired. Come here."

Vaughn looked concerned. "Is everything okay? You weren't hurt, were you?"

"I'm fine, I just-"

Mr. Sark has told me about your...predilections.

Taste of copper in her mouth had to be erased, she had to stop thinking about- okay, now, pulling Vaughn down to the bed with her, his lips on hers, the same warm thrill she always felt with him, like coming home. Finally having what she needed right there in front of her, familiar and good and like love was supposed to be, good and true and not-

I have a room above this club.

Not like the burn of tequila down her throat, hot and painful. Not like bitten lips and the sting of lime and salt, unexpected hot rush between her thighs and a feeling like her ribcage was constricting her heart. How she felt after a job, sometimes, still tarted up in whatever skin-baring ensemble they'd dressed her up, looking like someone else and wondering if she'd taste any different but never having the courage to ask Vaughn to find out. Going home nights and falling into bed with Vaughn, too tired to do much but sleep, and rarely well.

She didn't want sleep now. She wanted out of these clothes, and Vaughn out of his, and smart man, he didn't seem to be protesting. Blond hair brushed his face as she leaned down to kiss him again. Right. Still dressed up as- no. Don't even think it. Just Sydney and Vaughn, no one else in between or on the sidelines or in the general vicinity. Just the two of them, not needing anybody else, or anything but each other.

I'd like to watch that.

(And how far would she have taken it, if Sanko had insisted? Would she have played the role straight into the bedroom, if that's what it was, let Sark have her while Sanko watched? No, of course she wouldn't have, she would have pulled on a gun on him first, either of them, for even daring to suggest it.

Or maybe she would have let Sark have...not everything, but she'd have let him touch her, push beneath her skirt and find how much she- how much she- no. Sydney, stop it, just stop-)

"Stop thinking," she said aloud, and then Vaughn's hands were sliding up her body, pulling her dress over her head and tossing it onto the floor to join his own hastily discarded clothes.

And this was, yes, exactly what she'd wanted, Vaughn willing beneath her, not asking questions or wanting to talk about their past or their future or god forbid, their jobs. Just naked and warm and looking at her through eyes half-lidded, waiting to see what she'd do next.

(Tired, eyes half-closed, and she must have been a blur above him, blond and pink-lipped and edged in the room's dim light.)

He was hard, as ready as she was, and he didn't say anything, not a word. She wondered if it was a trial for him, but didn't ask, only moved over him and then downward, sighing as he entered her. Perfect, just what she'd needed

Still he looked at her through his eyelashes, and handled her a little more roughly than usual, like she was an equal. Vaughn had always been a giver in bed, but Sydney wanted to take, and not just what he offered. Something more, something that maybe he couldn't even give her.

(Tequila. Salt. Lime. The give of flesh between her teeth.)

Harder, just a little harder, thrusting down onto him with a brutal pace matching her still thrumming pulse, the trip hammer of her heart, her racing thoughts. Grinding now, pressing her thumbs into the spaces beneath his ribs to watch his skin fade and then redden, watch the unfocused flicker of pain when she pressed too hard. He took it, not trying to match her or fight back, seeming to know (but how could he?) exactly what she wanted, and she knew what he needed in return.

"Michael," she said, and there was a lilt there she hadn't intended, the faintest trace of an accent on the unfamiliar syllables. He gasped, thrusting up into her, and his hands on her waist were a bruising grip.

She bit her lip, tasting blood and it was then, when she realized she wasn't certain it was her own blood she was tasting, that she came, shaking and clenching her thighs around Vaughn, who shuddered and gasped and said something she couldn't quite make out. His eyes were already closed as she moved off of him.

The blond wig was starting to itch. She got out of bed and headed for the shower.

The first cold drops were the shock back to reality that she needed. A little too much, even. She turned the dial up, and the water warmed a bit, trickling into her open mouth and washing away the taste of blood and liquor. Her thighs ached. Sark had escaped, and he was out there somewhere, no doubt forming some sort of partnership with Anna. They'd likely have to fight again tomorrow, when she and Vaughn crashed their little arms party. She wasn't looking forward to it.

Well. Not really.

There would be no discussion of this tomorrow, she knew. She had nothing that she wanted to say about it, really, and Vaughn likely didn't either.

(Blond hair. Tequila. Sark's mouth. Vaughn had been watching.)

There had been a name on his lips when he came. Sydney knew it hadn't been hers.


5. Killer For Hire

"You and Agent Bristow have a history, yes?" Anna took another sip of wine.

"We've worked together in the past," Sark said. They were well on their way to finishing a second bottle, and the talk had gone from business to...things which still involved business, but on a more personal level. "She's quite a woman."

"I saw you with her at the club. Did she hurt you?"


"Did you like it?"

Sark finished his glass. "Yes."

"Interesting. I think we will work well together, Julian." Anna stood. "Come. We will discuss this further in the sitting room." There was a slight sway in her step as she led him through the house. Sark wondered if sitting room was code for bedroom.

He was close; they ended up in a parlor off the master bedroom, sitting in antique chairs in front of the lit fireplace. Anna appeared to be doing very well as an independent contractor. Sark itched to return to the lifestyle. He missed his apartments (Los Angeles, Madrid, Florence), his freedom, his bank account, his car. Yes, that would certainly be his next move. Maybe an Aston Martin this time. Black, with leather interiors.

"You have experience with Sydney, I take it?" Sark said.

Anna smiled. "Never with Sydney herself, though her sister was lovely, if unwilling. But that can be half the fun."

"I'm not sure I understand you, Miss Espinosa."

"Don't you? I know your interest in Sydney extends beyond killing her."

"I have no interest in killing her." Sark paused. "Anymore."

"You're loyal to her, then?" Anna raised an eyebrow. The firelight caught the gleam of the knife holstered to her thigh.

"I'm loyal to whomever is paying for the privilege," Sark corrected. "However...I believe Sydney has potential for greater things than the CIA can offer her. I wouldn't underestimate her, now or in the future."

"I assure you that's a mistake I'll never make, Mr. Sark. But I wonder if I'm making one right now, working with you."

"I won't let my feelings cloud my judgment anymore than you will, I imagine."

Anna eyed him appraisingly. "Tell me what it was like. With her in the club."

"She drew blood. I believe it was her way of making a point."

"And did she?"

"I'd already ascertained that she wasn't too fond of me."

"Do you think she knew you'd enjoy it, or was it simply your good fortune?"

"I couldn't possibly guess. Perhaps I could show you."

"You wish to work with me, Julian," Anna said. "You'll have to show me."

And oh, this was a familiar game to Sark. His habits ran toward sex with coworkers; Lauren hadn't been the first and certainly wouldn't be the last. (The first: Irina, always much too good for him, and he treated it like a privilege because it was, he knew it, they both knew it. She was all give and take, and they'd stopped because they had to, and then never took up again. Sydney was nothing like her except in her hold over Sark, but that was enough.)

"Anna," he said, trying the name out. It was refreshing to use someone's given name as something other than a weapon. Anna. He would have her tonight and betray her tomorrow. He felt it only polite to make tonight worthwhile.

Not like that was a difficult task at all. It was clear from the way that Anna was slowly removing her trousers right there that they wouldn't be bothering to move to the bedroom. That meant he'd be on his knees in front of her. A position of power on her part, of dominance. Sark found he didn't particularly mind. He imagined it would be that way with Sydney as well, and it seemed that Anna shared his proclivity.

Anna's eyes were closed, her legs spread for him. She was gorgeous, hot and wet for him already. Likely the sort to get off on power; Sark liked that. She knew what she wanted, and judging by her hands on her shoulders pulling him forward, she knew how to get it.

He was tentative at first, but it wasn't something one could forget how to do, and it swiftly became apparent that Anna had no time for hesitation. Her fingers tangled in his hair, holding him in place as he licked at her, slowly up and down and then faster, pushing a finger into her. She moaned, thrusting forward as he sucked on her clit. It had been far too long since Lauren, but he remembered what she liked, what Irina had liked, and he used that on Anna, with a fair dash of what he thought Sydney might like.

Of course, Sydney would never let him do this, she'd probably be too self-conscious at first. He'd have to coax her, he'd have to-

"Like that," Anna said, pushing against him. Her eyes were closed. They had been since he'd started.

Sark took her request into consideration. Sydney probably wouldn't be very demanding at first, but he imagined he could bring it out in her. She'd probably like ordering him around. Sark wondered if there would ever be a relationship in his life that wasn't wholly fucked up. Probably not.

Sharp tug at the back of his head, pulling him away as Anna shook into climax. Sark allowed himself a smug smile as she caught her breath, finally opening her eyes and looking at him. He felt as if he'd just had a successful audition. Did one have to audition for pornography? Perhaps there was a written exam as well. As for this one, Sark felt he had passed.

"Mmm. Yes, Mr. Sark, I believe we will work quite well together," Anna said. She stretched lazily, and then stood, tugging up her pants but not buttoning them. She took him by the elbow and steered him toward the door. Not the bedroom door, either, the door leading back into the hallway. Sark felt mildly vexed. "Your room is down the hall, third door on the left," Anna said, pushing him out. "I'll see you early in the morning."

"Right," Sark said to the closed door. It wouldn't be too terrible, betraying her tomorrow. In fact, he kind of looked forward to it.


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