A/N: Hey everyone, I realized that there was a mistake when I was uploading the chapter. So if you've read this chapter before and it didn't make sense at all, my apologies! I realize it's been month since I've updated this story but I promise I will try to hold myself more accountable.
Sydney would not see Vaughn again until days later. Despite having met him twice in one day, she did not know much about him. She had noticed the slight ring indentation on his finger, which meant that he was recently married and now divorced. Besides that, her curiosity continued to peak. Sydney wanted to see him again, but didn't even know how. Luckily, her prayers were answered when there was a knock on the door of her office.
"Come in," she said as she was quickly trying to pack up her things to go pick up Isabelle from daycare. Whoever it was that walked in continued to stand in silence, watching her move around in frantic. She then looked up from her things before shock overcame her. "Vaughn? What are you doing here?" she asked, blushing.
"Well, you didn't leave me any contact info. But then I remember that you told me you worked here. After asking around and a couple of missed turns, I found your office." He took a step towards her desk, closing the space with only the desk in between them.
Sydney tucked her hair behind her ear, "I didn't think you were actually listening."
"Of course I did. How could I not?." He then noticed that she was getting ready to leave. "Where are you off to?"
"I have to go pick up Isabelle from daycare."
"I'll walk you to your car," he offered, looking for ways to continue getting to know her. She smiled and nodded in response. They walked together side by side towards the staff parking lot.
"So what are your plans for the weekend?" he asked.
"Not much. Isabelle and I usually go out for dinner on Friday nights and then go from there. I was going to get tickets for the Kings tonight, but things have been so crazy with midterms coming up that I forgot all about it."
Vaughn's eyes grew wide when she mentioned the Kings, "You like hockey? The Kings?"
Sydney saw his amused look, "I guess not as much as you. I didn't know you like hockey."
"Of course I do! A buddy of mine works at the rink and reserves an hour of the space for me and James to play every weekend."
"Wow. Yeah, it was something Isabelle's father liked to watch after 36-hour shifts at the hospital," she said dejectedly at the mere mention of Danny.
"We should go next time."
"Yeah. Syd-" Vaughn was then interrupted when one of the faculty members called out his name and caught up to him and Sydney.
"Just wanted to let you know about next week's department meeting," the older gentleman said in his thickest German accent possible, catching his breath.
"Thanks, I got the memo about it earlier," Vaughn said. He could only imagine the look on Sydney's face, as his back was to her.
The other man walked to his car and Vaughn turned around and noticed her reaction.
"Department meeting?" She asked, smiling.
Vaughn smiled in embarrassment, "You know how department meetings are for people who work in that department? Well, I'm in that department."
"The foreign language department."
Sydney gently slapped his chest, "Vaughn! You teach here? Why didn't you tell me?"
Vaughn laughed, "I wanted to surprise you. Clearly, that didn't work out too well."
"But before Professor Weber so kindly interrupted me, I wanted to ask you if you would like to go out to dinner with us tonight. You and Isabelle, of course."
"I don't know, Vaughn." she said in hesitation.
"Why not? Come on. Our kids know each other, albeit briefly. We could get to know each other too." his eyes pleading with hers.
Sydney thought for a moment before ultimately deciding yes.
"I'll pick you up at 5:30?"
Vaughn displayed his smile as wide as he could, saying goodbye to her and walking to his car. Sydney shook her head in response to his excitement. In truth, she was a little bit nervous. While this would not be classified as a date, she wanted to keep her expectations low. Here she was - going to dinner with a man and both of their children together. A man that she knew almost next to nothing about.
Sydney had spent the past hour, changing into multiple outfits before deciding on a pair of skinny jeans and a white T-shirt layered with a cardigan on top. She stood in her bathroom, applying the last touch of makeup so she could still look "natural". Sydney walked back into her room, picking Isabelle up out of her playpen she had set up in the corner of the room.
"Alright, sweetheart. Let's get you changed," Sydney said. They both agreed on a white flowery shirt and blue pants to go with it.
Sydney was running around the hallways, packing everything she and Isabelle would need on their non-date into the diaper bag. She heard the doorbell rang and looked at her watch. He sure was punctual, she thought.
"Coming!" she shouted down the stairs. She carried Isabelle down the stairs, practically leaping from it in order to not keep Vaughn waiting. Yet when she opened the door, it was not the man she was expecting.
"Dad, what are you doing here?" she asked, hiding her disappointment that it was not Vaughn.
"Sorry, I should have called first. Are you heading out?" he asked after seeing his daughter and granddaughter dressed.
"Yeah, we were about to leave. But what's up?" she asked.
"We've recently discovered that the Prime Minister of China is holding a party at his private residence. Apparently, he has an artifact of Rambaldi that he'll trade with Sloane in exchange for private pictures. Essentially, blackmail."
"And I assume you want me to go."
"Dad!" Sydney said. "I can't just... I haven't had much time... Dad..."
"Sydney, I'll watch Isabelle while you're gone and take care of everything. Don't worry."
Sydney sighed before she nodded, "Okay."
Jack then turned towards the door, kissing his granddaughter goodbye. "I have to go back to the office. We have some transfers coming in. I'll see you tomorrow night."
Sydney watched the door close and looked at Isabelle and kissed her forehead, "I'm sorry, sweetie. I promise it won't always be like this."
Vaughn had decided that a picnic was a rather better option than having two kids stuck in a restaurant when instead they could be running around in the park. He took them to this lake his dad used to take. him when he was a kid. It wasn't too far from where they lived.
He set the picnic basket on top of the blanket while watching James and Isabelle run around the grassy area. He motioned Sydney to sit down as he unpacked the basket.
"For the kids, chicken nuggets with a side of soft baby carrots. And for the adults, two turkey sandwiches and chips with a nice bottle of Bordeaux," he presented to her.
"Wow, Vaughn. This is fancy," she joked.
"Sorry, I know it's kind of cheesy. But I didn't know where we could go where we could all have a good time."
"No, I like cheesy. This is wonderful. Thank you, Vaughn."
The four of them sat on the blanket, eating their food while watching the sunset. After an hour of running around, the kids fell asleep on their parents' lap. Vaughn watched Sydney caressed Isabelle's hair as she lightly snoozed on her mother's lap.
"I had a good time today, Vaughn. This place is amazing."
"It's been awhile since I've been here. After I moved to Virginia, I guess I kind of forgot this place. Coming back here now brings back so many memories with my father."
"I'm sorry, Vaughn."
"Don't be. I think he would have been happy to see me here. Me and James here together. And with you and Isabelle."
Sydney blushed at that last part, "I think we should get going."
The two of them stood up with each child in their arms. Vaughn bent down to pick up the blanket and basket while trying not to jostle James.
The drive to Sydney's house was quiet as neither of them didn't want to wake up the kids but they also did not know what to say to each other. After ten minutes, they were in front of her house. Vaughn stepped out of the car and rounded to her side.
"I'll see you tomorrow at school?" he asked.
"Yeah, okay," she whispered, holding Isabelle in her arms. "Speaking of which, I'm going to be out of town soon. Day after tomorrow."
"Oh, where are you going?"
"China. It's an international conference for English professors," she said, saddened by the fact that she had to lie to someone else again.
"Okay, we'll talk more tomorrow," Vaughn said.
Vaughn carried James into the house as quiet as he could, hearing the TV from the next room. He walked in the living room to see Weiss on the couch, watching a football game while eating popcorn.
"Hey, man. How was your date?" Weiss asked. When he didn't hear a response, he turned around to see James in his arms. "Oh sorry." He then turned down the TV volume.
"It was fine. Let me go put him to bed first," Vaughn said. He walked up the stairs and into James' bedroom. He gently put the boy down and covered him with a blanket. He made sure James was fine before leaving the door slightly ajar.
Vaughn came back into the living room with a dark T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants. He sat next to Weiss on the couch. "So how was the first day?"
"Fine... Met the senior field agent. He's very... stiff," Weiss said, finding it difficult to explain the man. "After a couple of meetings, we were caught up to speed with everything."
"And..." Vaughn added.
"And there's nothing to report. Except an op tomorrow in China."
"China?" Vaughn asked. Sydney was going to China, he thought. He hoped she wasn't going to be anywhere near where this operation was happening.
"Yeah, a trade between the Prime Minister and Sloane. Why?"