|She Didn't Get Off the Plane
Author: Pyun PM
This story is set at the Finale, but Rachel did not get off the plane. How will this decision change the lives of the sextet? Chapter 17 is now up! Please read and review!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Chapters: 17 - Words: 23,998 - Reviews: 99 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 02-27-05 - Published: 10-28-04 - Status: Complete - id: 2113001
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: The only change from the storyline presented in the Friends sitcom is that, as you may have guessed from the title, Rachel didn't get off the plane.
And the obligatory disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters contained in this story. Friends and all characters contained therein are property of Bright/Kauffman/Crane. All copyrights and/or trademarks of Warner Brothers and/or NBC are assumed to be honored as well. The only thing herein belonging to me is the story.
She Didn't Get Off the Plane
She couldn't get off the plane. Not now.
She had let her heart make her decisions too many times in the past, especially when Ross was involved. This time would be different; it had to be different. This was her dream: Paris, top of the fashion industry, hell it was two dreams in one shot.
Rachel felt a small shudder as the plane starting dragging itself to a start. A wave of nausea rolled over her and she struggled to hold it together. She'd never been airsick before, but everything was hitting her at once. It was too late to turn around. There's nothing but the road ahead now.
Needing desperately to center herself, she forced her thoughts elsewhere. Away from Ross's startling confession at the boarding gate. Away from leaving her home and friends behind. Instead, she reflected on the years of work that had eventually led her here. She was almost able to laugh at the memory of her first job at Fortunata Fashions. She never really considered that a part of her fashion career and refused to put it on a resume but for now it was welcome occupant of an otherwise grief-stricken mind. She thought of her first day at Bloomingdale's.
And she thought of Mark.
At times she had wondered if she ever would have made it if it wasn't for Mark. Getting started in the industry was accompanied by a lot of doubt and at times Rachel had feared that she was never going to get out from behind that Bloomingdale's desk unless it was via pink slip. Even while she was first working at Ralph Lauren she worked her ass off to prove that she could have a future in fashion.
She had matured since then, however. She knew she was good at her job.
Hell, she was great at it.. Mark's generosity and help was saintly, but she now knew she would've made it this far with or without him.
For the first time since she left Monica's apartment a thin smile started to materialize on Rachel's face.
"I'm the reason I'm on this plane right now," she thought assuredly, "Not Mark." Rachel's smile suddenly disintegrated as a memory came piercing through her reverie like a jagged knife:
And after all, could she ever think of Mark without remembering the breakup? During her darkest hours part of her had always wanted to blame Mark for it, for things between her and Ross deteriorating so quickly, so violently. And indeed she'd wondered at times if she and Ross would still be together if Mark had never come into the picture.
But she knew how unfair that was. Mark couldn't be held accountable for Ross's jealousy or his affair. Rachel accepted that she played a part in their downfall too.
But that was years ago.
And it was no longer a question of whether or not she loved him or he loved her. In truth she thought that they had grown to a point where they could love each other even better than before. After all, they had done everything else a couple could do together.
They had sustained a wonderful friendship. They had a child. They'd even gotten married. Granted, it was a drunken mistake and a pain in the ass at the time, but something about the serendipitous nature of the incident demonstrated a quality that had become the defining characteristic of their relationship.
"I miss him so much already," she sighed to herself.
The pain wouldn't let go. She was still struggling to make sense of what she was doing. And while it should've been easier to be practical now that the plane was in the air, it seemed to make it just that much harder.
Thankfully, the element of choice had been removed from the situation, temporarily at least, and she was using that to sober herself again. She hoped she'd still have her senses about her when she landed. She told herself repeatedly that she could handle this on her own. Still a part of her wished for nothing more than to have her friends waiting for her when she landed.
She looked out the window: Nothing but the darkness of the night sky. Her plane was well in the air now and she could feel every inch of distance being wedged between her and the home and friends she had cherished for so long. She stifled a sob as the force of her emotions momentarily overcame her again. Knowing that she couldn't survive dwelling on her sorrow the entire flight, she again redirected her thoughts, this time towards her destination.
She was really excited to work for Louis Vatton. And in Paris no less! Sure, getting everything settled and getting used to a new neck of the woods would be a challenge, but think of all the places she could visit that she had only seen in pictures and dreams. Her heart beamed with excitement when she thought of all the fun things she and Emma would do together.
Oh, how she felt so far away from her precious Emma already. It was only during times like these that she realized how powerful a thing motherhood could be.
She smiled at the thought of Emma sleeping safely at her grandmother's house. She wondered what her daughter had done today or what she was dreaming about now. Most of all she wondered if her little girl had any idea that her whole world was about to change.
Rachel closed her blue eyes and fell deeply into thought. She tried to remember what it was like to be a child. Those simple, beautiful days seemed so far away, so precious. The realization that she had taken so much for granted back then reminded her of the new life she was about to build from scratch. Still she fought to keep those youthful days in her mind; it helped her feel close to Emma and she desperately needed to feel close to someone she loved right now.
Rachel opened her eyes, feeling for the first time the weight of overwhelming exhaustion on her lids. Leaving a life behind and moving to another country was an extremely draining ordeal and, until now, her mind had been way too busy to notice how tired she really was. She seized this moment. Sleep was the perfect escape from her thoughts. She closed her eyes again, not to concentrate this time, but to get some much needed rest. She was fast asleep before she knew it.
Minutes, or maybe hours later, Rachel's eyes shot open in horror as a violent tremor surged through the aircraft.