Somewhere Along The Way

Title: Somewhere Along the Way
Author: Brix
Rating: R
Spoilers/Timeline: Totally AU, baby. Second seasonish, I guess. Sark is working closely with Sydney.
Summary: Weiss in leather pants and Sark with broken bones.
Disclaimer: Don’t own them. JJ is God. Please don’t break my knees. Imitation is the highest form of compliment.
Ship: Sark/Weiss
Animal Sacrifices go to: Sydney Real, as usual, because she Betas my stuff faster than anyone else, and not just because of all the blackmail. Really!
Notes: This was supposed to be for the January challenge at Cover Me, but I just couldn’t fit it to the requirements. But at least she got me off my butt and writing again! Imaginary dialogue that never made it in:
Jack: “He’s an incredibly dangerous man.”
Sark: “Well, thank you.”

Somewhere along the way - Weiss was sure of it - he had lost control of the situation. And now he was wondering just how he was going to conceal the wire, whether he should have gone with Sydney’s suggestion to use the brown eyeliner instead of the black, and if it would be over the top to wrap his arm around Sark’s waist and nuzzle in as close as he could get.

Maybe straddle one of those slim thighs oh-so-subtly as they both stood talking... let Sark take it as he would from any lover: in an almost put-upon, aggravated but patient way, indicative of a person you’ve slept with more than five but less than ten times.

Not that Weiss had slept with anyone lately.

“What are you doing?” The tense voice and crackle in his ear kept him subdued to only the arm-and-waist combo. Weiss managed to hide his wince from the intrusion by squinting into the strobe lit crowd, with an expression of distain at the business talk being exchanged by his present company.

“I think three codes should suffice,” Sark was saying in his confident, lazy voice. “Any more than that...well, you want to blow up a country, not a continent.” It wasn’t a question. It was a command.

Weiss designed these earpieces, and hadn’t expected them to be so uncomfortable. There would have to be adjustments made.

“Turn back to him,” Vaughn, the voice on the other end, told him. “Take his drink and wander off. We’ve got all we need to convict this guy. Get out of there.”

There were always problems. Like the fact that Sark wasn’t drinking (he didn’t at all anymore, not with all the poisonings of late) and how to casually unravel himself from the man, make it to the restrooms, dispose of the bug, and leave unescorted all without being molested by the populace of a Russian gay club.

“Darling,” Weiss whispered in Sark’s ear, biting the inside of his mouth to keep down his bitter smile and matching Sark’s subdued amusement at the endearment. “The keys to the car? I’d like to get something.”

Sark’s gaze shifted almost in annoyance at being interrupted from their terrorist host to Weiss as he dipped into his suit pocket. “Of course. Keep it running, will you? It’s chill tonight, and you know how long it takes to warm up that beast of American production.”

Sark handed over the keys and Weiss smiled abruptly. It wasn’t hard - he had to admire a man who would call Russian winters “chill.”

As Sark pressed the keys into Weiss’ palm, though, his other hand gripped his waist, slipped under the shirt and Jesus; Weiss could feel him sneaking something past the waistband of his pants. He knew by the feel more than the sound of his shirt brushing back over it that it was paper.

Weiss smiled reassuringly at him, and with a pat from Sark on the small of his back, managed to escape the tightly packed crowd.

The keys were the only variable in the plan. They contained the outgoing microphones that would transmit information Sark managed to extract from his arms contact. A small camera that would reveal the new face of their enemy was also attached. But during the time between Weiss’ leaving and Sark’s return outside, there would be no way to monitor what was exchanged between the two former employees of Irina Derevko. It was a risk Weiss had been willing to take, as much as it unnerved him.

That was when Weiss found out he was the only one available for the job.

Sydney was the one to propose the mission, and she was the one who wanted to go in. It was only a chance exchange with Irina and Jack that Sark had learned that his former employee’s new cover was the proprietor of an underground gay club in deep communist Russia.

Vaughn hadn’t trusted himself to keep from killing Sark with his bare hands, so Weiss had been the only man – literally – to fill in the job.

But what had been even more unnerving, Weiss considered, was his own lack of discomfort at his current position. He rolled the feeling off – the feeling he’d adopted, as a surveillance officer – that he was being watched, and gripped the keys tighter as he wormed his way toward the exit.

The cool metal of the door bar chilled from the snow outside was under his palm when he was stopped. It was a bar tender, balancing a tray in one hand, loaded with drinks, and a small black box in the other.

“You are the American with Mr. Sark, yes?”

The thick Russian accent made Weiss take a step closer to the door.

“Who is that?” The voice was Sydney this time.

“Mr. Sark wanted for you to have this.” And the black box was thrust into his hand with a meaningful look. Weiss nodded and pocketed the object, slightly larger than a matchbook.

“Get out of there. NOW.” Syd’s voice had that tone of panic she reserved for walking quickly and yelling at her father, and Weiss shouldered out of the door, past the “âûõîä” sign, and spotted the black unmarked van parked at the opposite end of the parking lot. He broke into a jog toward a park that should house a matching van, with Syd and Vaughn in it. This one was for emergency extractions only.

“What’s up?” Weiss asked as he slipped down an alley.

“There’s something... Keep running.”

Weiss frowned. “Are you tracking me?”

“Always.” Vaughn this time, and Weiss smiled.

“Where’d you go?”

He was terse. “Had to check on something.”

Weiss puffed along for a few more seconds.

“Something’s wrong at the club.”

Weiss froze midstep, and stumbled a little farther forward. ”What do you mean, wrong?”

“The entire place has gone into lockdown. They’ve found...” And then Vaughn was gone, and Syd was talking into Weiss’ ear so loud and fast that it hurt, about how men with guns had appeared outside from every exit, and their emergency extraction van was gone.

But all Weiss could hear was that his pocket was vibrating, and he pulled out the black box.

* * *

The problem with knives was that they had no prologue. Sark grimaced in distaste at the long blade, his nostrils flaring as he struggled for air in the body-packed dance floor. Not the ideal place for a secret meeting, but he had assumed it would provide a certain level of security. No guns. Sark had forgotten the downside to preventing their presence.

He made a mental note to never assume again.

The serrated knife – called a Hawk’s blade, if he recalled – was angled and antagonizing at his gut.

They were dead men if they went through the leather.

Not to mention how many other things this would disrupt. His relationship with the CIA, for one – how willing would they be to believe that Sark hadn’t planned this lockdown himself, since he’d known about it?

The press of flesh against his own made him shiver and edge closer to the blade; as close as he dared. He watched the muscles ripple in his guardian’s arm and wondered how deep the cut might go before he had the appendage broken, or wrenched from its socket.

Probably pretty deep.

And then he was being nudged, and prodded, and all sorts of other demeaning action verbs that shouldn’t happen to individuals in high standing. At least, not British ones. He tugged at the handcuffs that were eating at his sweat-covered hands, and wished for the first time that night that he hadn’t worn the jacket. But he was getting away from the massive throbbing beast that were the club patrons, and at least that would afford him a little advantage.

Even if it meant being locked in the bathrooms.

“You’ll have to excuse our lack of accommodations,” his contact told him in rough English and a rougher smile. “But we thought it fitting for a man like you.” And then the sound of steel slamming shut and deadbolts being thrown, and Sark wondered what kind of a bathroom this was, with double reinforced paneling on the bottom of the door and grated drains in the middle of the floor.

A chill ran up his sweat-slicked back. The metal clips in the wall were approximately an arm span apart, the skeleton of some kind of abandoned shelving system. His face in a rictus of satisfaction and pain, he settled the handcuffs on one of the clips and pulled. Hard.

The metal loops connecting the cuffs tinkled down into the drain grate, and Sark was left with two alloy bracelets and what felt like more than a few broken bones in his right hand. He felt his eye twitch at the effort of pulling out his Satellite phone. Dropping it in the basin of one sink and easing to his knees, he used his thumb to hit a sequence of numbers and the speaker phone button and then dropped his head to the cool steel rim.

Everything in the bathroom was grey and reflective.

“Hello?” Weiss’ voice was small and sharp in the metallic room.

Sark ignored the throb of his wrists and lifted his head. “I’m in some fashion of torture chamber.”


“Eric, tell me you still have what I’ve given you.”

Beat. “The phone?”

“The note,” Sark growled, and blinked hard. “I’m going into shock. Get the note and the keys to Sydney.”

“You’re hurt? But I thought –”

“Take care of the note. It’ll have the locations of three warheads – warheads my contact knows about. Lead him to them, set a trap, and you’ve got him. And Eric, I would appreciate a rescue some time before you consider this a staged coup.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

“I appreciate your candor.”

And the call was gone.

Sark eased back on his haunches, resting his hands delicately on his legs. Losing his position with the CIA would compromise the relationship he had with several of his employers; something he couldn’t afford. But, God, he hated relying on the government to get him out of trouble. The Russians had kept him for one of two reasons: either they thought he was working for someone else, or they had been hired to retrieve him by one of his many employers.

He wasn’t planning on sticking around to find out.

* * *

“We have to do something.”

It was Sydney’s favorite thing to say. But in this case, Weiss figured it was true.

“No,” Jack said, standing stiffly, his arms crossed, near the entrance to the van, “we don’t need to do anything. We don’t need to get him.”

Vaughn set down his headset with a huff and an immediate inclination to fight.

“We still do not know what this man is capable of, or what he may be planning. This entire arrangement could be a trap…a set up to catch one or all of us.” He was the kind of calm that would have really riled Weiss if he didn’t know the senior Bristow was so right. Or if he didn’t feel so bad about picking a fight when he was wearing sweaty pleather.

Sydney, apparently, didn’t care.

“Of course it’s a trap,” Sydney said. “But after everything he knows about us, we can’t just afford to let him back into the hands of our enemies.” Her voice had risen to the pitch that usually ended in overlapping conversation between Sydney and Vaughn and a cold steely response from Jack. The latter didn’t disappoint.

“If it was a planned escape,” Sydney continued before her father could contradict her, “Sark knows more about me and my relationship with SD-6 and our teaming capabilities to risk being revealed to who-knows-what new terrorist organization.”

Jack looked from his daughter to Vaughn and did the Bristow equivalent of head shaking: a disgusted grunt and an immediate mental switch to battle plans. “I’ll phone the coordinates to Kendall and we’ll get teams in place in case anyone shows up to try to claim the weapons.”

Vaughn was putting his headset back on. “Is there any other information you got that’s not on these keys?”

“You mean, is there anything else shoved down my pants?” Weiss asked, digging the bug out of his ear canal. Sydney stifled her amusement with a hair-tuck and Jack took his cue to rejoin the other surveillance van that had met them outside the club. “Sorry. I’m still trying to figure out why he let me go.”

“Do you think he knew it was going to happen?” Sydney asked. Vaughn gave her a strange look.

“You think he didn’t plan this?”

Sydney shrugged from her resumed place at a computer monitor. The download progress bar was nearly finished. “Why give us the location of the warheads? Why let Weiss go? It doesn’t add up.”

“Nothing about Sark adds up,” Weiss said, watching Vaughn bend over Sydney’s shoulder to scroll through photographs on the files. “Do we even know his full name?”

Vaughn looked up at him, about to speak, and hesitated. Weiss raised an eyebrow at him and tugged up on the waistband of his pants. “Do we have a change of clothes for me?”

Sydney stood, pulling a gun up with her from next to the computer. “You’re going back in.”

“Right,” Weiss said, unbuttoning his shirt. “Seriously, where are my clothes?”

“Sorry, man,” Vaughn said, looking up with his pitying forehead-wrinkle look.

Weiss paused in his divesting and sighed, screwing his eyes shut and willing enough dignity to pull through on a rescue of an enemy. “I think this goes a little beyond ‘For God and Country.’” He opened his eyes and saw Sydney giving him her half-smile of encouragement. “You so owe me,” he told her.

She laughed, and he took the gun. Where was he supposed to put it? The pants were too tight. For more reason than one. The thought brushed through his head with a laugh. “How do you do this,” he asked her, and she slipped it in at the small of his back.

Where Sark had slipped the paper. He wrote the shiver off to the sweat that was rapidly cooling on his body, and was almost thankful that he’d be heading back into the heat of the club.

“They’ll expect you to be coming back,” Sydney was telling him, “so act natural and look around for him. They’ll probably have him hidden somewhere on a lower floor. That kind of building looks like it has basements.”

“I’ve got floor plans,” Vaughn broke in, tapping rapidly on his console, “from your dad, Sydney. We’ve got two lower rooms, both pretty big. One’s for storage. Try the other – it’s got no locks, and there are no security cameras.”

“Shouldn’t we call this in to Kendell?” Weiss asked as he replaced the microphone in his ear that would allow him to receive information from Vaughn. “And can I at least get a com?”

They were both staring at him.

“That was a joke,” he spoke slowly, and held his hand out for the other end of the microphone. Vaughn gave him a reluctant grimace of a smile and threw the com at him.

* * *

No windows. One door. Three toilets, two sinks, one drain. No weapon. Broken wrist. One paper clip, endless cigarette butts, an empty toilet tissue tube, a tennis ball, two five gallon buckets of Clorox stashed behind one stall. A hideously stained white ceiling.

Sark had taken a complete inventory of the room and found it to be utterly useless. Even a study of the door itself showed signs of long-term intent. That many bolts on that thick of a door weren’t used for just temporary storage.

He wondered, briefly, if the warehouse used to be a slaughterhouse, and this had been part of a walk in freezer.

He kept his broken wrist in his jacket pocket in case anyone were to open the door. It wouldn’t do to have weaknesses shown. Not in front of these kind of people.

Sark smiled to himself. He was one of these kinds of people.

Frowning, he tried to remember what else was important about injured wrists. He’d had a piano teacher who he was assigned to extract information from and assassinate when he was 11 who had told him they were the most important parts of his body. He’d killed the man slowly, and with garrote wire.

Well then, he thought. This will be a learning experience.

A sound overhead broke into his reverie and he stared up at the plaster ceiling. Two light bulbs, he added to the list. Those might be important. A rhythmic beating filled the room, and he wondered if the sound system had gone haywire before the sound suddenly focused right over him and began to die, and Sark realized it was a helicopter.

Shit. They were going to move him out. Or someone was coming in to see him.

Something like flesh slammed against the other side of the door.

The panic reflex rose in Sark and he slid himself up against one wall; used his back as leverage against the cold, slick metal and listened to the leather-against-steel sound he made as he rose from the floor. He drew his broken wrist as close to his body as he could and hid both his hands in his pockets for symmetry. A look of cool composure reflected back at him in the mirror.

He needed a shower.

The door slid open with a groan of protest and Sark blinked against the strobe lights that filtered into the bathroom.

“Mr. Sark,” came the Russian accent. “Your partners are not pleased with you. They have sent me to collect you.”

Sark scowled inwardly. He had three – no, four, if he counted the Sien syndicate – separate partners from Russia alone, and there was no way of knowing which one this man represented. Not without giving the others away. “I’m a worthy commodity these days,” Sark answered, not moving from his place against the far wall of the room. “Now if you’ll remove me from this sorry excuse for a bathroom…”

“In due time,” said the shadow. “First I bid for your acquisition. And for your friend.”

The words barely had time to register before the flesh responsible for the flesh slamming noise was hurled into the room. Weiss found his center of balance before he put his head through the wooden door of one of the stalls, and turned to glare at the entrance from which he’d come.

“We’ll see you shortly, Mr. Sark,” the voice finished jovially, and its laugh was cut short by the re-bolting of the door.

“Nice bathroom,” Weiss said, dusting himself off.

“Are you mad?” Sark hissed, stalking up to him with his head down just low enough to glare and his shoulders back. “What is this, some kind of rescue attempt? And now you’ve got us both caught. Splendid.”

“Are these what –” Weiss pulled the man’s hands out of his pockets. “ – Jesus.”

Sark tried to tug them away but winced at a bolt of pain that shot up his arm. “They’ll be fine,” he said quietly, suddenly feeling the cold of the room.

Weiss turned them over and examined the backs of his hands. “You cut yourself up pretty good. How’d you do this?”

“Can we please focus on getting us out of this room?” The edge in his voice made Weiss look up, mentally kick himself, and drop the hands. Sark stuffed the bad one back into his jacket.

“Right. The vans are still waiting outside. Apparently there are a few ‘copters dropping people off on the roof of the building. You’re a popular guy.” Weiss was examining the locks on the door, but Sark couldn’t summon enough energy to warn him off the task.

“I knew there was a reason to live. What does the voice in the sky tell us about getting out of here?”

Weiss squinted for a moment. “Guys? You still there?”

White noise. Weiss had assumed it was feedback from the noisiness of the club. He swore under his breath, but it didn’t seem to faze Sark. “Plan B?”

“We were a little rushed,” Weiss said, turning away from the door and began to scan the room for other hints. “There wasn’t exactly a Plan B. Is this all you found?” He pointed to the small pile of garbage in the middle of the room and picked up the tennis ball, examining the brand.

Sark didn’t answer. He was listening at the door. “What do you think he meant by ‘bid’?” He kept the tremor from his voice quite well. Sark was used to working under people – and over them, he thought with an inward leer – but being bought and sold against his will wasn’t something he looked forward to. Especially considering his widely known reputation as a mercenary.

Weiss sighed and chucked the tennis ball hard at the floor, watching it bounce up toward the ceiling. Bounce, fall. Bounce, fall.

“Even if we get out of the building,” Sark was saying, “we won’t be able to get to the vans. They’re probably already under surveillance if they saw you coming out of it.”

Weiss paused with the ball. “We could take one of the helicopters off the roof.”

“Do you know how to fly one?”

“No.” He slammed the ball down on the ground and watched it ricochet into the ceiling and-

go through.

“What the hell?” Sark hissed and crossed the room to look up at the ceiling. “What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything,” Weiss insisted automatically. He crossed his arms over his chest and tipped his head back. “I wondered how air was getting in here. They wallpapered over the vent opening.”

Sark nudged closer to him, squinting upward. “How big do you think it is?”

Weiss looked at him. “Think we could boost you up there?”

Sark looked at him sharply and backed up a step.

“Well, you certainly aren’t going to be able to get me up there. Especially not with that.” Weiss pointed at the broken arm. Sark huffed and stepped back.

“Okay. Fine.”

Weiss stooped, cupped his hands, and felt Sark’s left hand fall on his shoulder and put his right foot in Weiss’ makeshift supports. “Ready? One…two…”

“Tell no one.”

Weiss looked up and grinned. The smaller man grimaced. “Three,” he said, and boosted.

Sark made it up with less than a small ‘oof’ and placed his right hand in the hole, testing the solidity of the vent. He locked both his legs and stuck his left one out at a slight angle, finding a satisfactory balance. The left hand came up and started tearing away at the wallpaper.

Which left his crotch somewhere, but not far enough, above Weiss’ head. The agent dropped his gaze to the floor. “Any luck?”

“It’s giving way pretty easily. Can you go a little higher?” Weiss shifted his boost until Sark’s head was all the way inside of the vent, and then there was a flurry of wallpaper scraps falling in a circle around Weiss’ feet.

“So,” Sark continued casually, “how did you convince them to get back in here?”

Weiss’ body shook with a short laugh and Sark had to bring both his arms inside the vent to keep steady. “What makes you think I volunteered for this?”

“We had to make sure you hadn’t turned against us and were going to give Sydney and Jack away to whoever you’re working for this month.” Weiss tried to stay as acerbic as possible, but risked a glance upward. Sark was staring down at him from the rift.

“It would not have benefited me to give Sydney another reason to think that I have turned against you,” Sark said quietly. “We do have a tendency to meet often.”

“So you had?” Weiss asked.

“No, of course not. I was simply concerned for your wellbeing, Eric.” Weiss felt a shiver run up his back and into his hairline whenever the man said his first name. “Besides, you look so fetching in those leather pants.” Sark turned his head back up and Weiss lost his gaze. The man was staring down the vent. “I think you can fit in here. But how are we going to get you up?”

Thinly veiled wordplay, or Weiss’ mind was going into overdrive.

Sark looked down again and grinned, his incisors glinting in some light supplied by the room and reflecting off the metal of his surroundings. “And into the shaft,” he clarified.

Or not so thinly veiled, Weiss amended. “You took inventory. There’s nothing I can stand on?”

Sark’s “no” was lost in the pipes as he pulled himself farther into the metal duct. Weiss looked up in time to see his leg’s disappearing into the opening. “There’s something down here,” Sark’s voice drifted out. “Be patient for a moment.”

There was a soft sound of a three-legged dog thumping around above him, toward the wall with the mirrors and the clips. Weiss examined them and wondered if he’d have enough strength to pull a pair of handcuffs apart. He stooped to look at the broken links that hadn’t disappeared into the drain. They were rust ridden.

Then there was the sound of tearing paper, and Weiss looked up. Sark grinned from above him, and tore more paper down, and Weiss rose one eyebrow in surprise. “I almost fell through it,” Sark said. “Think you can get on the sink?”

With a little tricky maneuvering, Weiss managed to get from the sink to one of the brackets and up into the hole. Sark was already crawling forward, his little limp-shuffle pattern much louder in the vent.

* * *

“We’ve lost contact,” Vaughn said softly and harshly, standing over the channel console and switching stations a few times. “Nothing but white noise. What...what do you think happened?”

Sydney joined him, looking over his shoulder at the console. “No back-link on the com?”

“Nothing. Has your father checked in?”

Sydney shook her head. “And there are more helicopters landing. We’ve got to get up to that helipad to see what’s going on. If Weiss can’t get to Sark in time, that’s an escape route. Someone could be picking him up right now.”

“We haven’t seen any take off,” Vaughn reasoned. “There’s no reason to think that Weiss hasn’t gotten to him.”

Sydney stalked to the other side of the room and started strapping on a bullet-proof vest. “Have the coms ever failed before?”

Vaughn hesitated.

Sydney threw him a vest. “We’re going up.”

* * *

The fourth upward opening of the vent that they found, they took. Weiss remembered enough of the blueprints to know that it should lead to a small room – and for once their luck held – and that a ladder to the roof was outside the next door down.

The second floor of the warehouse was abandoned, but they could both hear a chopper warming up.

The outside of the building was cold and the winds were dashing, but the ladder was secure and free from weathering in the severe climate. Sark wrapped one arm around the stays and used the other to climb, moving as fast as he could.

Weiss edged him on. “We’ve been seen. There’s someone heading toward us.”

“He’s - - - fucking bastard - - - kill Sark! Turn to - - -”

The voice suddenly crackled into a loud, popping staccato of sound, and Weiss nearly lost his grip on the ladder.

“Jesus, Vaughn?” he yelled over the wind.

Crackle. “Weiss?”

“Vaughn, we’re headed to the roof.”

“So - - - we. Breaking up! - - - down!”

But by then it was too late, because Weiss’ hand-over-hand had brought him up to the roof, and Sark was pulling him up over the freezing metal struts, and they were sprinting toward the helicopter. Weiss tried to slow him down.

“Sydney and Vaughn are headed up!” he yelled over the sounds of the chopper. “We should wait.”

Sark shook his head. “No time. Look!” He pointed behind him, and the door to the roof was bending open and men were piling out, waving guns and flashlights. The number of helicopters would give them time to take one before their pursuers found them, but not by much.

They ducked next to a cockpit and Sark looked up, sizing up the pilot inside. “I’ll tell you one thing, though, Eric...” his blue eyes turned back to Weiss, and the agent wanted to crawl out of his own skin and into that of the grinning man across from him. “I’ll think twice if I ever try to kidnap you.”

“What?” Weiss said, his brow creasing.

But there was no time to think, because Sark’s bad hand was resting on the belly of the helicopter, and his good hand was gripping a handful of Weiss’ wine-dark silk shirt, and pulling him forward. Those incisors flashed one last time before he leaned forward.

It was heat.

Weiss had definitely lost control of this situation, he thought, as his lips grazed Sark’s again, tasting and sampling each square centimeter of flesh he could get, wrapping his own hand around the freezing fingers tucked into his shirt and holding on.

Sark’s bad hand slipped off the helicopter and went back; back to wrap around Weiss and the agent couldn’t seem to get his tongue free in time to realize that-

Sark had his gun.

He kept it trained on Weiss, his face with the typical courteous, sorrowful smile he reserved for betrayals and bad wine. “No hard feelings,” he said, and pulled open the door to the cockpit, yanked the pilot out, and shot her in the leg.

“What are you – ”

The gun came back. Weiss put his hands up.

“You really do look smashing in those pants,” Sark said as he climbed into the machine. He threw the gun on the seat next to him. “See you soon.”

Weiss watched the door shut and the helicopter lift above him; watched Sark give him a salute and a grin.


The gunfire drawn to the retreating helicopter distracted Weiss, and turned in time to see Sydney crest the ladder and face the men who were fanning out around the helicopters. Weiss dodged down, scooped up the writhing pilot in a fireman’s carry, and ran for the ladder.

On the way, he tore the useless bug out of his ear and crushed it underfoot.

The rest of the night was a whirlwind. Vaughn took the pilot from him for interrogation, and Weiss was fairly sure she ended up in a van with Jack. Sydney told him something about lead cutting off the radio waves inside, but he still couldn’t understand why they hadn’t worked when they’d reached the ladder to the roof. The bombs were found and Sark’s contact was intercepted and arrested.

The CIA raided the rest of the nightclub and captured seven Russian mafia dons in the middle of a bidding war. They were being held in a safe house in Italy while agents investigated their backgrounds.

Technically, the mission was a success.

It wasn’t until Weiss was sitting alone in the surveillance van, struggling back into normal clothes and trying to get the wallpaper flakes out of his hair, that he heard the buzzing.

Sark’s discarded gift to him – the tiny phone – lay ignored on one of the tables.

Weiss stared at the unknown caller ID and hit the receive button.

“Eric!” came the greeting over static. “I trust you got out alive.”

“Thanks,” Weiss said. Vaughn stepped into the van, and Weiss motioned to him to join him at a console. If they could find the location of the call. Sark, he mouthed to Vaughn.

“I realize you’re probably rather angry at me,” Sark was saying. “And that you’re probably trying to locate me at this very moment.”

“Belgium,” Vaughn said, staring at the screen. “No, Korea. Wait…Australia?” He kicked the console of wires below the computer.

“I think you’ll find it quite impossible,” Sark said.

“We’ll find you,” Weiss told him.

He could hear Sark pull the phone away from his head to laugh. “I’m sure you will. Give my regards to Sydney and Vaughn, will you? But not Jack.”

Weiss shifted the phone to his left shoulder and kept it there with his head. He used both hands to tack away at the computer, trying to find a way around whatever it was Sark was using to keep them off his trail. “I’m coming after you, Sark. You owe me. Do you know what I’ve gone through tonight to get your ass out of trouble?”

Sark laughed again. “I look forward to it. Until then, Eric. Until then.”

Dial tone.

Weiss threw the phone against the far wall, hearing the circuitry crunch, and turned to stare out the back of the truck.