Mid-air Meditations

Pairing: Sydney/Rachel

Author: Janine

Fandom: Alias

Rating: G

Summary: On the way home from a mission Rachel watches Sydney and thinks.

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, I'm just borrowing them.


Look away, look away, look away, look away, look away

Rachel sighed as her gaze remained on the sleeping figure beside her. It was just one more thing that hadn't gone her way. If she hadn't been so exhausted she would have laughed. Really, she should've been used to things spiraling out of her control after the week she'd had. Still, she thought at least after everything that had happened she could at least count on herself, on her body to obey her commands. But apparently even that was asking too much.

Her elbow connected with the arm rest that lay between them and Rachel jerked back, surprised by the contact. She hadn't realized that she had been leaning toward Sydney. She settled herself back against her seat and closed her eyes, torn between the desire to laugh or sob. As if Sydney practically holding her hand and leading her through the past few days, not to mention saving her life hours ago wasn't enough, apparently now she also wanted the CIA's finest to snuggle with her.

Eyes still closed, she found her thoughts drifting for a moment and on impulse nearly forced herself to open her eyes because her thoughts hadn't been drifting anywhere close to nice for the past seventy-two hours. However, as she found herself imagining Sydney's arm wrapping around her, and drawing her head onto her shoulder as they settled back into the surprising large and plush seats of plane, her eyes remained closed and her body slumped in something resembling relaxation for the first time in days. Strong arms wrapped around her, the slow, steady beat of a strong heart, against her side the gentle curve of Sydney's stom…

Rachel's eyes popped and she swallowed deeply. She really needed to make an effort to not go there. It was ridiculous, she was in protective custody, Sydney was her handler, she was a grown woman and shouldn't need to be rocked to sleep, and even if all of those things weren't true, Agent Bristow's very knocked up status was a strong indicator that Rachel really wasn't her type. Still, she was incredibly beautiful, and strong, Rachel thought blinking in awe at the fact that a pregnant woman had been able to hold both of their weights 50 feet off of the with one hand for over 5 minutes. And she had great lips, full and …she really needed to make a greater effort to not go there.

"How can you people sleep at a time like this?" Rachel found herself saying out loud, her tone caught somewhere between mildly irritated and fascinated. She was driving herself insane reliving every near death experience she'd had in the last couple of days – which out numbered every near death experience she'd had in her entire life up to that point by one hundred percent – and struggling with inappropriate lustful feelings, while the rest of them slept like babies. It was, well, rather vexing.

"You just learn to take it where you can get it I guess," Sydney whispered sleepily as Rachel blinked at her stupidly, not realizing that the other woman was in a light enough sleep to have heard her. Still however, even surprised she noted that she still had enough wits about to stare at Sydney's mouth as she smiled while her mind promptly ran over to the gutter and jumped in at Sydney's words even though she knew perfectly well that the 'it' the older woman was referring to wasn't the 'it' she would've liked.

"It's never going to be over, is it?" Rachel found herself asking, desperate to keep the conversation going since it couldn't possibly be anymore awkward than the internal dialogue she was having with herself. "I'm gonna be with you a while."

Badly phrased, her statement was badly phrased she realized a moment later when Sydney looked over at her questioningly. The truth was it was probably her guilty conscience taking over, but as Sydney stared at her she felt a powerful need to elaborate … quickly.

"In custody, I mean," she said weakly wanting very badly to look away, and maybe pick some imaginary lint off of her sweater.

"You'll be with us until it's safe for you to go home," Sydney replied softly, the compassionate look in her eyes a virtual caress to Rachel's overloaded system.

"When will that be?" she asked fighting the urge to bite her lip, willing the tears she could feel building in her eyes to stay there, because the last thing she wanted to do was cry in front again, for what seemed like the hundredth time since the had met.

"I honestly don't know, ah," Sydney began pausing and breaking eye contact. Rachel allowed her eyes to flutter closed at that, she'd spent enough time around Sydney to know that when she broke off like that if meant that she was trying to find a nice way to break some seriously crappy news to you. "Dean knows how dangerous you are to him. We can't release you until we've brought him in."

"But it doesn't end with Dean," Rachel responded fighting those tears with renewed vigor as her big brain put together what Sydney's words had left out but her eyes were apologizing for.

"No it doesn't," Sydney acknowledged holding Rachel's eyes, all traces of sleep gone from her face and tone. She wasn't going to try and spin the situation, and despite the renewed stress and tension in her body, Rachel appreciated her honesty.

"It's never gonna be safe," she realized, suddenly feeling resigned and ungodly tired. She wondered if it was this feeling that had inspired the saying, 'hits you like a ton of bricks'.

"I guess we'll have to bring them all down," Sydney replied it what Rachel assumed was an attempt to make her feel better. Acknowledging this kindness, the blonde clamped down on the urge to darkly mutter 'and how long might that take?'

Unable to hold Sydney's gaze anymore she lowered her eyes, wrapping her arms more tightly around herself as if acting like she was in a cocoon could actually form a protective barrier around her.

"I know this is hard, but you'll get through it," Sydney said, Rachel imaged to the curtain of blonde hair that was currently blocking her face. "You're stronger than you think you are."

"I don't feel strong," Rachel managed to choke out tilting her head slightly to the side so that she could just make Sydney out.

"No one does," Sydney replied placing a hand lightly on Rachel's shoulder. "You just get better at faking it."

"I don't," Rachel started, her eyes tracking to the side slightly as she soaked in the warmth of Sydney's hand. "Know if that makes me feel better or not," she finished uncertainly.

Sydney smiled at that and shrugged lightly. "You should get some sleep."

"I … I don't think I can," Rachel responded even though she could feel a bone deep weariness and unconsciousness sounded like just about the best thing in the world to her at that point in time.

"You'd be surprised," Sydney said her arm slipping around Rachel's shoulders and gently leaning her towards her until almost without her even realizing it her head was resting on Sydney's shoulder.

She felt like she should protest, she felt like an incorrigible four year-old who refused to go to bed because there was a monster in their closet, she felt safe for the first time in days, she felt like she might actually be able to fall asleep.

She felt the fight leave her body and her eyes drift shut.

The End

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