Saving Rachel
by pari106

Disclaimer, etc., in chapter 1.

A/n: Thanks once more to everyone who's reviewed. :) I really appreciate your comments.

A/A/N: I know it's been a while since this was updated… And just as long since TBA aired. I hope there
are still people reading this. And I hope the time span between the events of chapter 4 and this chapter is
appropriate. I want to get Rachel back on her feet quickly so some real action can occur (though God only
knows when I'll actually write it :P Anyhow… As always, I crave feedback.

Yet another author's note… Thanks to whoever it was who told be the name "Sebastian" reminded them of
a cat ;) It probably wasn't meant as a good thing… But I'd intended on shortening Sebastian down to
"Ian" anyhow, and that comment gave me an idea for the conversation that will do that (in the next chapter
or so).






Chapter Five…


"Sebastian…So you're mother named you after a famous composer, hmm?" Rachel smiled and raised an
eyebrow. "And you don't even play? That's ironic."

494 smiled, too, though the gesture was strained. They were back on the topic of his name again. It was
one Rachel returned to often, since it -–and the rest of his fabricated identity – was the only topic
"Sebastian" would discuss at length.

He hated keeping things from her. He hated the frustration that put a frown on Rachel's lovely face each
time she sought for her lost memory and failed. But he still wasn't sure Rachel could handle the truth if she
actually found it, or if he actually gave it to her. So he tried to avoid discussing her past as much as
possible. Instead, he told her the little things about herself that he knew had a lesser chance of triggering
her memory. Things like her favorite color or her favorite sonnet. The few things he'd been able to learn
about her in the short time they'd known one another. And whenever 494 found himself unable to sidestep
Rachel's questions about anything he couldn't possibly answer…he lied.

"Sebastian" hated lying to Rachel even more than he hated keeping things from her. And every day the
deception just seemed to grow and grow; the stories just seemed to pile up on top of one another. So he'd
finally told her that he really didn't know all that much about her past because they hadn't known one
another long. It was a lame excuse and a suspicious one, but luckily Rachel hadn't questioned it. Yet.

She would soon, he knew. Rachel was recovering a little more every moment; regaining a little bit more of
her strength every day. She could even get out of bed now and make it around their tiny hotel room by
herself. During this conversation, they were both sitting at the room's small table, eating dinner. And it
had been a long time since 494 had heard Rachel laugh, or seen her smile, without those gestures being
accompanied by the pain they caused her healing ribs.

He'd never wanted anything so badly as to see Rachel recover. And he was glad for it – even if her
recovery would soon put him in the impossible position of trying to make some sense of the stories he'd
been telling her. He'd missed Rachel's voice during the first weeks following the explosion. He still
missed it, whenever she was asleep or during the rare occasions he could tear himself away from her to go
buy food or supplies. Sometimes…he almost swore he missed her in his sleep. It was madness. But he
was glad for it. Rachel had become his whole world.

Sebastian shrugged. "I was never any good at it," he lied.

"Your mother must have been disappointed, being a pianist herself."

494 smiled again, this time sincerely, if not with a sardonic twist. "You have no idea," he said quietly. He
was thinking about Director Renfro back at Manticore. She was probably the closest thing he had to a
"mother". After all, she was in charge of the institution that had housed him, fed him, clothed him all his
life… That was basically what a mother was, wasn't it? Without the guards and the psyche testing, that is.

Rachel saw the look on Sebastian's face and suddenly realized what she'd said. She remembered how he'd
told her, the first time she'd asked about his family, that he had none. Later he'd admitted that he'd been
orphaned when he was very young.

"I'm sorry," she said quickly, reaching out and taking his hand where it lay on the table. "I didn't…"

"Nah, it's alright," he reassured her. "Me and 'mom' weren't very close, anyhow."

'I'd rather get close to a Cobra,' 494 thought wryly. 'They're probably less venomous.'

Then he saw the confusion on Rachel's face and changed the subject.

"Aren't you hungry? You aren't eating."

Rachel looked down at the take-out before her. "No, I am. I just…" She looked up and when her eyes met
Sebastian's he felt himself go still. There was so much sadness in her gaze.

"I wish I could remember my mother," she said, then smiled weakly. "Or my father, for that matter."

"Hey…"

494 came around the table when he saw the tears welling up in Rachel's eyes once again, and knelt before
her, taking her hands in his.

"It's alright," he consoled. Thinking that he was the lowest possible life form on that planet. Knowing that
Rachel was hurting and that he was telling her it would be okay although he'd been the one to hurt her in
the first place.

Rachel bit her lip and nodded, trying to reign all the emotions back in. Trying not to give into her sorrow
and, particularly, her anger. Anger at the world. At fate. All her life she'd been given anything she'd
wanted… Sebastian had told her how she'd grown up in a wealthy household. But the one thing she'd
really wanted – love, affection – from her businessman father, was the one thing he couldn't give. Then
she'd found that with Sebastian. And almost as soon as she had, this had to happen to her. Amnesia.
Robbing her of the memories she'd waited her entire life to build with someone as she had with Sebastian
before the accident had made her forget. Before her father had made her forget.

"Or maybe not," she said then, on second thought.

Sebastian watched the expression that suddenly stole over Rachel's face and realized what she was
thinking.

"Uh…" He hadn't meant to tell her the things that he had; the version of the accident that he'd created for
her. But he'd been panicked at the time, and he'd told her the first explanation that had come to his head.

"I mean, after all my father's done…" Rachel squeezed Sebastian's hands in her own, then reached up to
touch his face.

That tiny bit of contact sent a charge shooting through 494 that he'd never felt before having met Rachel.
Now he didn't seem able to be in the same room with her without feeling it. And whatever he'd been about
to say died on his lips. Their eyes locked…

And then "Sebastian" tore himself away.

"Um…I guess we should eat, huh? Build your strength back up."

And his own. Because he was beginning to feel very weak where Rachel Berrisford was concerned.