"That was Dixon. Your father's alive. They've taken him to Yokosuka Naval Hospital."
Vaughn stared at the walkie like he couldn't believe what he just heard. Sydney stared at Vaughn in the same way. Vaughn called the cockpit and asked their jet pilot to change course. They turned from eastward to northward in the clear black night over the East China Sea. Vaughn sat down again, this time beside Sydney rather than across from her.
"How…?" she faltered. "How is he?"
"Not sure. Dixon said he lost a lot of blood."
"I'm donating as soon as we get there," said Sydney. Jack was O-negative- the universal donor, but the most selective recipient. Lucky for him, so was his daughter.
"Of course." Vaughn sighed and rubbed his stubble. "Syd… You know, I thought, when we left him there…"
"I know." She swallowed hard. "I thought so too."
They'd just averted missiles aimed at London and Washington. Even in their line of work, this wasn't 'just another day at the office.' They had saved the world- for a while at least. And yet, up until now, Sydney had felt ripped apart. She thought she'd killed both her parents today. True, Mom made her own choice. And Dad convinced her to leave him, for the greater good. But that hadn't stopped the guilt from rushing in on her.
"My dad's alive, my dad's alive," she whispered, willing it to sink in. She didn't know how to feel. Mom was still dead- and all because she placed ambition over her alleged love for Sydney. APO was destroyed, Tom was dead, Sark was in the wind. But Sloane was finally defeated, the attacks were called off… and Dad was alive.
How had he survived? Sydney knew it was a long shot when she told Dad to sit tight and wait for the medical team. When Dad told her that he could hold out on his own, they both knew it was hopeless. If there was no one there to keep pressure on his wounds when his own grip weakened, to give him CPR if needed, then even a thirty-minute wait was impossible… Wasn't it?
"We've gotten pretty good at impossible." Vaughn had reminded Sydney just this morning- though it seemed like a lifetime ago.
She was struck by a memory of another time they defied the impossible. After she returned from the Julia Thorne years, she was detained and tortured by none other than the US government. Her dad led a small rogue team that broke several dozen federal laws to free her. In the escape chopper, Sydney felt shaken and surreal- until Dad pulled her against him and told her, tired but triumphant: "You made it, Sydney. You made it."
Now she nestled against Vaughn's shoulder, let the joy break the surface and the tears fall. "You made it, Dad," she whispered. "You made it."