A/N: It really happens very rarely when I wouldn't change a thing about a movie that I watch. That's the case with "Red Eye". How amazing was this, seriously? So, I decided not to give any twists to what happened on That Flight (unless I'll come up with something later, but I swear that's gonna be nothing but insignificant details), and start the story a few months later, when both Lisa and Jackson have to deal with the consequences of That Flight and the decisions they made. Even though the story begins in the middle of the trial, it won't be anything Grisham-like. Also, I'm not Grisham (not even close. How could I even make such a comparison?), not to mention that legal system in my country works drastically differently than it does in States, so some law-related things might be messed up, and for that I apologize in advance. Anyway, I hope you're going to like it!
Disclaimer: I don't own "Red Eye". I also don't own Edith Piaf's song. No copyright infringement intended, blah, blah, blah. Enjoy!
Chapter 1. The Afterlife
It was nothing like she'd imagined.
If anything, it was exactly the opposite. All the things she'd wanted to enjoy when, as she'd foolishly hoped, her nightmare would be over, turned out rather disappointing. To put it delicately. Sense of security was an illusion. Non-existent, not there. Most probably never to be regained. Thinking back to the times before That Flight, Lisa couldn't quite believe how obliviously safe she'd felt. Safe and sound. Unaware of a pair of unearthly blue eyes watching her every move. Stupidly secure and carefree. Ignorance is fucking bliss, she thought bitterly.
Yeah, until it isn't.
And there was freedom, too, another bad joke. In Lisa's afterlife, freedom wasn't exactly what she'd expected. She was neither free from having to deal with countless accusations, one more absurd than another, nor from being trapped – still, even after over four months since That Flight – in her own, private hell. In the end, it was, perhaps, worse of the two.
Who would've thought that the afterlife would be nothing but a purgatory, she pondered, as she absent-mindedly skimmed through folders in her boyfriend's laptop. Or maybe not even that, not even purgatory, her mind tacked on maliciously, bringing up memories from the last hearing in the court. To say it was painful would be a serious understatement. Lisa winced, she had been trying not to think about this for the whole afternoon, but now all her efforts went to shit.
And it'd been like that every single time. No exceptions. She could have spent hours on, rather despondent, to be honest, exercises in concentration just to be eventually defeated within a second. One simple thought, and she was back to the square one, unable to think about literally anything but That Flight. One stupid thought, most often not even logically related to, hm, the subject, in anyway, and all Lisa could see under her eyelids was him.
But she wasn't gonna give in to this tonight. She wasn't going to succumb to her twisted thoughts and even more twisted emotions, which she'd been pretending to analyse once a week for an hour, under the half-heartedly scrutinizing gaze of her very overpaid therapist. Not to night. After all, she still had about 50 pages to read and she simply had to finish before Mark would get back.
It's not like he wasn't going to find out that she'd messed with his work files – "Top secret. They're top-fucking-secret, Lisa, I've told you so many times!" – because he would always find out, but, as Lisa had learnt pretty quickly, Mark was way easier to placate if he hadn't caught her red-handed with his FBI stuff.
Lisa shook her head in disbelief, the fact that for almost three months she'd been dating someone like Mark was still extremely difficult to believe. And yet, there she was, sitting in his apartment on Monday afternoon, wearing nothing but his white shirt, despite the painful awareness of how much of a cliché this was, and sticking her nose into what was definitely not her business.
Anything to keep her mind occupied. Anything to stay away from the memories. Memories were problematic. All kinds of memories, actually.
The real problem, however, was that Lisa Reisert's memories – and especially memories about one particular person – were the only thing that motivated her to take any actions these days. It was because of these memories that she was reading FBI files in the first place.
Not that it could help her in any way.
Could anything help her at this point?
Tired from scanning the text on the computer screen, Lisa closer her eyes. Predictably enough, everything came back to her at once. But, because it had only happened just recently, what came back most vividly was the last hearing. Lisa cringed at the memory, feeling anger spreading through her cell by cell.
How little it took to make her feel like this, she noted bitterly. How little it took for him to completely fuck up her life just when she'd thought it couldn't be fucked up any more.
The hearing, the whole trial in Lisa's opinion, was sheer absurdity. What had seemed so clear and obvious at the very beginning, was almost magically transformed into barely understandable legal gibberish and soon Lisa had found herself defending from his lawyers' accusation that, despite everything – common-sense included – it was her who'd done it. And it was him who'd tried to stop her.
It was astonishing, truly amazing even, the difference between what Lisa had considered good lawyers and the lawyers that his company could afford. As she'd been sitting in the courtroom, and doing her best to avoid his electrifying gaze, she'd soon come to a sad conclusion that these lawyers could do everything, even prove Osama Bin Laden not guilty. Comparing to that, Jackson Rippner's case seemed a true no-brainer for these guys.
"That's what happens when you mess with my superiors, Leese." Jackson had told her after the trial, when he'd passed in front of the courtroom. Obviously, he'd noticed how defeated she must have looked and he was now basking in it, but Lisa was too stunned by how the two policemen who were escorting him stopped, politely, almost obligingly, to notice the way Jackson had looked at her.
She wouldn't dare looking at him again anyway.
She'd made the mistake to do that in the courtroom and she'd made a fool of herself. One look into his eyes, fixed on her and she'd forgotten the lawyer's question. Which had been, of course, ruthlessly used against her. "Are you intending to answer my question, Ms. Reisert or should I repeat it in case that Mr Rippner's very presence here makes it difficult, or impossible even, for you to concentrate properly", the lawyer said, flashing a malicious grin at her and, the very next second, a scenically sad smile at the jury.
Still unable to avert her gaze, Lisa saw Jackson smirking at her triumphantly. As if he'd already won, as if he'd already been freed from all the charges, and Lisa had to admit, with every trial, she'd grown more and more sure that, in the end, that would be exactly the result, Jack's almighty fucking company would buy his freedom.
If only she'd been able to look away from him and spit in that lawyer's face.
"Lisa? Are you all right?" a concerned voice woke her up from her masochistic self-analysis. She opened her eyes and forced an welcoming smile at Mark, "her FBI boyfriend" as she loved to refer to him in her thoughts, who was standing in the doorway and watching her intently. He was a tall, handsome man with this unmistakable aura of honesty about him. He was charming and intelligent, but Lisa had found herself drawn to him because of rather disturbing detail. His eyes.
His unusually blue eyes.
"Yeah, I'm fine – " she said and got up to give him a peck on the cheek, " – I was just reading top secret stuff and guilt has overwhelmed me". Mark laughed and looked at her appreciatively, she was still wearing his shirt, which meant that she'd been just procrastinating ever since he'd left in the early morning. And that, consequentially and most importantly, meant she had nothing underneath that shirt. He wanted to give her a kiss on the lips, he'd spent the last two hours at work thinking of that moment when he'd see her again, but she slipped out of his embrace and with fake cheerfulness offered to prepare the dinner.
"I bet you're starving – " she was already on her way to the kitchen, " – but, lucky for you, my famous lasagne will be ready in exactly two minutes. And 30 seconds".
Mark took a glance at the files Lisa'd been reading and shut the laptop, thinking that he wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that it's all the confidential data that Lisa's dating him for. She seemed obsessed with everything he wasn't allowed to tell her.
Which, in a truly formidable majority, was everything concerning Jackson Rippner.
A/N: Please press review button and let me know what you think! I am absolutely terrified of writing this fan-fiction, since the movie was absolute perfection, but, at the same time, this story is going to mess with my head if I don't write it down. So. REVIEW and tell me whether you liked it, hated it, etc.
And, of course, thanks for reading!