Disclaimer: I don't own anyone here, the characters belong only to themselves.
A/N: This is actually a double recycled story; thought to give it a try changing it a little. You know me, rated M for future chapters and language.
"Sorry, but your flight has been cancelled."
I hear the words just fine but it takes a while for my brain to register them and comprehend their true meaning, and when they finally sink in I find myself face to face with the dilemma they represent.
Chuckling but aware that the sound doesn't have any trace of amusement in it, I hang up my cell phone, not even bothering to warn the person at the other end that our conversation is done. I just focus all my attention on the woman who so diligently broke the news to me.
Maybe I didn't hear well after all… or maybe her words got mingled with that of the person I was having a conversation on the phone because there's no way the airline cancelled my flight.
Pursing my lips and squinting my eyes, I take a deep breath and then I exhale it through my mouth. "What do you mean it got cancelled? That's not possible." I hiss, trying to keep the annoyance out of my voice. "I need to take that plane, now."
The woman doesn't even bat an eyelash; her countenance remains unperturbed as her fingers keep working the keyboard. "It got cancelled due to weather conditions." Her tone is monotonous, bored. "I have another flight available to that destination for tomorrow at two in the afternoon if you are interested."
"No, no, no… you don't get it. I can't wait until tomorrow afternoon. I need to be in South Africa by tomorrow morning."
The woman doesn't seem impressed by my tone and by the look on her face she doesn't care about my urge to board that plane; and really, why should she? She's not the one that got screwed by the airline.
"This can't be serious!" I exclaim to no one in particular although I am looking up to the ceiling, kind of as if expecting God himself to give me a good explanation of why he is messing with me.
I get no response, not from God and not from the woman behind the counter.
The truth is that I'm already running on a tight schedule and there is no way I can wait until tomorrow to take a twelve hours flight headed to the other side of the word, there's just no fucking way.
Waiting is not acceptable, my time is limited here and I need to resolve this matter as soon as possible. I need to catch up with the South African tour the company has embarked into and the sooner I get there the better.
As I try to think on what to do, my phone starts to ring again, interrupting my thoughts with instant speed. I don't have to look at it to know who it is so I just ignore it.
"Listen," I sigh, trying to keep the exasperation off my voice but failing miserably in my attempt. "Is there any other option other than tomorrow?" a boat? a spaceship? Perhaps a teleportation device? I'll take anything that will take me to Africa today.
With the same dull expression she has been sporting since the moment I walked to this counter, the woman just stares at me indifferently. "We do have an independent line of private jets that could take you to your destination today. It would cost you more though and we are not responsible for any mishap."
I almost chuckle, almost. Money is not an inconvenient for me… time is, and I already wasted enough of it.
I take out the credit card that I always carry with me in case a situation like this presents itself and pass it to the woman. "How soon will this jet leave?"
"I'll contact the crew so they can refuel the jet and make preparations for the take-off. I say an hour, maybe less."
Somehow that doesn't sound like soon enough, but hey, one hour is better than tomorrow. So yes, it can be a lot worse, because if I don't make it to Africa by tomorrow then I will be in real trouble and probably end up getting fined. And that's without mentioning the fact that I could get heat with management as well.
"Are you going to answer that or are we going to dance to it?"
Raising an eyebrow, I venture to glance over at the man who is now standing by my side. I knew who it was even before looking; I would recognize that stupid voice anywhere.
It's John fucking Cena.
When I informed our road agent that I was going to miss the flight, he told me that he was trying to contact Cena and that the two of us needed to get in a plane to Africa as soon as it was possible.
According to him, there was no possible way Vince was going to like that his two biggest draws would miss the tour and he didn't want to be in our shoes if the big boss found out. He didn't care if we had to swim across the big blue; he just wanted us there no matter what.
Now John is here, late for the tour just like me. Somehow, that makes me feel better because there's nothing more gratifying than sharing Vince's wrath.
"So you finally decided to show up." I say, making point of his tardiness while silencing my phone. "I thought you were not going to make it."
He chuckles, leaning into the counter and laying his hands on top of it to support his weight. "Well, sorry I didn't drop everything soon enough to join you in your little adventure; but I wasn't even scheduled to make this tour and packing for three days in South Africa is kind of a pain in the ass when you are not even home to pack properly."
At his words I shoot him a cold glare and say nothing. You see, John and I, we are not friends; sure, I've known him for over a decade now but we are nothing more than co-workers.
As a matter of fact, I can't say that I'm friends with anyone in this business other than Cody and Ted and I like to keep it like that.
"Anyway, did they call you at last minute too?" He asks while his eyes scan mine.
Shifting my weight, I let out a tired sigh. "Not really, I kind of missed the first flight." I leave it at that, he doesn't need to know the reason I missed it and I'm sure as hell not going to tell him.
But he doesn't ask; he just smiles, his eyes shining with amusement and his dimples marking his cheeks as he looks at me. "Oh, I bet Vince was very happy about that."
I hum, pushing my cheek with my tongue. Vince was actually fuming when our road agent called him, I know because I was listening. But because I'm not in the mood to share that information with John, I just look away and focus on the papers I have to sigh to rent the jet.
So I sign these things, trying to ignore his eyes on me as he lurks around.
"So Africa, uh? This is going to be interesting." He chuckles and I look at him with raised eyebrow.
I don't know why he is trying to make small conversation with me; I mean it's not like I'm the most amicable guy around and he knows this. Like I said, we've known each other for several years now and I'm sure he pretty much knows that I hate to be bothered with this kind of shit.
I feel like telling him that, but instead I put the pen down and turn around, walking to the small waiting room area until I'm called to board my plane once and for all.
Yes, I blatantly ignored him but who cares? It's not the first time I do it and somehow I think it's not going to be the last…
I wake up startled and disoriented; a feeling I always get whenever I wake up anywhere that is not my bed. I blink a couple of times; trying to gather up the last memories I had before getting caught in the arms of Morpheus.
I can't get much out of my still drowsy brain. The last thing I remember is searching for the new episode of The Walking Dead in my laptop and then nothing. I remember that much, but I can't for the life of me remember what happened in the new episode and I have no idea for how long I've been out.
Rubbing the sleep off my eyes, I take a look at my laptop… the monitor is just a black canvas that mocks me by showing me my own reflection. I assume the battery just died while I dozed off.
I grunt, just very convenient. I grab my cell phone with the intention checking the hour, but when I try to turn it on I find it has died too.
Great, just what I needed, no laptop and no cell phone… and when I look down to my wrist I notice that my watch is not working either! This is just fantastic, now I'm in a limbo when it comes to knowing what time it is and how long I was out.
Despite myself, I frown at all these coincidences, hoping we are not flying over the equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle… or even worse, over some mystery island with a huge magnetic force that has the power of manipulating time and space. Because this plane crashing would be the ultimate inconvenience.
I take a look out the window pane and through it I see nothing but blackness. It's the same panorama I got before falling asleep.
"Whatever," I mumble under my breath. I just hope we are close to our destination already because there are a few calls I need to make.
Getting up to my feet I look around, taking a few steps in search for someone in the crew who can fill me in as of why my phone is not working.
Looking around to see if I spot anyone that could help me here, I notice that John is sitting not too far from where I stand.
His eyes are closed while his head rest casually against the back of the seat, making his face look relax and tranquil. I can't tell from here if he is sleeping or not, he probably is, even when I can hear the music blasting from his iPhone.
Suddenly, I feel the floor beneath my feet move and I gasp in surprise, taking a quick hold on the edge of the seat. Wow, for a second there I kind of got scared, but it was just that with a scary suddenness matched only in movies, the plane took a quick descend that almost made me sprawl to the floor.
Almost, but I managed to hold on.
With my heart beating ridiculously fast inside my chest, I look over to where a very awake John Cena is sitting; he has taken off his iPhone's headphones and is now looking around the cabin.
Man, my eyes feel like two huge sockets in my face. I hate turbulence… most people don't know and won't believe this, but it makes me antsy.
Clenching my jaw, I begin to prepare mentally with the task of moving my glued feet off the floor when the plane takes a quicker descend into nothingness, too violent to give me time to think and this time I'm not able to hold myself. I end up down on my knees… my pride hurting more that the damn knees.
"Hey, are you ok?"
I hear John say as I attempt to get up to my feet. It's not an easy task, because even when the plane is no longer free-falling it is shaking.
I bet he is smiling, he's always smiling… but when I look up at him, I see that he is not. In fact, he has a very serious expression on his face and I nod through my shame, biting hard on my lips and trying to look as best as anyone in my situation could manage.
He offers me a hand and I take it, allowing him to help me up to the chair next to his.
"What's going on here?" He asks… as if know!
"The fuck if I knew."
Right on cue, the flight attendant came walking toward us. She is smiling and that kind of alleviates some of my worries.
"I'm going to need you to fasten your seatbelts. We are experience some turbulence but nothing to worry about, it will be over soon."
I do as she says. The plane is violently shaking now and even when her words reassured me a little, I still don't like this.
With my eyes, I follow the young flight attendant as she walks to the back of the plane and sits in one of the chairs over there. She fastens the seatbelt and stays there…
Nope… I don't like this at all.
"This is really some turbulence, uh?" Cena says but I'm not in the mood for chatter right now, not with the plane shaking like this.
I look up to where I was sitting and notice my laptop laying in pieces on the floor. The monitor is broken.
As I mumbled that, all of a sudden a deafening noise drills into my brain, making me cringe in response. My head feels about to explode, it's awful…
Then as if made out of paper, I watch in horror as a the jet starts to crack… and no longer after that first crack it just brakes, the stupid plane breaks in half; the section where the woman who told us not to worry about the turbulence was sitting disappearing into the blackness of the night.
"Oh shit, OH MY SHIT!" I chant over and over again but I'm sure no one can hear me. In full panic mode, I close my eyes and grip the edge of the chair with all my strength, feeling the force of the wind hit me hard in the face.
This is not happening, this is not happening, this is not fucking happening! I'm still asleep, this is a nightmare and the plane did not just break in two while in midair!
God, but it did, I saw it happen… and I saw a woman get swallowed through the darkness of the night never to be seen again.
Something tells me that this is a good time to pray, but I can't remember the words. I was never good with this kind of stuff…
While my brain goes into overdrive, I feel someone grab my face and yank it to the side. I don't want to open my eyes to see who is touching me, what if its death trying to take me away… because I'm sure going to die of a heart attack before hitting land… or ocean, whatever is coming.
OH MY GOD! I don't want to die like this. What will happen to my daughter if I die? This is the worse timing ever.
But no, I won't die of a heart attack; how could that be possible when I'm about to throw my heart out! I can already feel it in my throat… I'm going to vomit it.
"Randy, look at me!"
I shake my head, I don't want to… I don't want to die just yet, there are so many things I wanted to do before this moment. There are things I need to do…
"Randy, for Christ sake!"
I swallow my heart back to its place and open my eyes at the sound of my name; once I open my eyes I find myself lost in a pair of deep blue eyes that stare back at me.
Can he see the terror reflected in my eyes? Does it matters that I finally show weakness in the verge of dying?
I hear him saying something, something about my seatbelt, I don't know what it is but then I feel him unbuckling it.
No! What the fuck are you doing? I want to yell at him, I want to stop him! But I can't, I'm petrified… staring into the blue of his eyes.
And staring into those blues I feel something hit me in the head, almost knocking me out with the force of the impact...
It hurts, but I'm not sure of anything anymore.
Everything around me is a fuzzy mess. I can only feel a killer pain in my head… and water, my feet are getting wet… and my knees. Why are my knees wet?
"Look at me Randy, just stay with me."
I look up to him, feeling water raising up to my waist and his hands on my face… my head hurts… and his face, his face is fading right before my eyes… I try to hold on, but then there's… nothing.