Author's Note: Written for threeguesses for Yuletide 2011.


It was a wet and dreary dawn as sheets of rain came pouring down. "It was the airline calling," Dean called out, tugging on a pair of slacks. "Our flight to Caracas has been canceled until tomorrow."

"Because of all this rain?" Colette called out in reply. "Or because you want to spend more time in your apartment with me, and you called us both in sick again?"

"Officially, because the takeoff conditions would be extremely difficult and risky to both the flight crew and the passengers. Something about a runway potentially being flooded. Unofficially - we'll go with what it was you said." He walked out of the bedroom, toward where her voice came from. "By the way, have you seen my shirt from last night? I can't find it anywhere."

She hid a smile behind the back of her hand. "You could say that I have."

"Mind telling me - oh," he said as he walked into the kitchen and, simultaneously, found his missing shirt. Colette was wearing it. It hung on her like a dress - a short one, but still a dress - and she was standing in the middle of his kitchen and was in the process of poring over the sheet of instructions had come with - was that his waffle iron sitting on the counter? He leaned against the counter and steepled his fingers together. "Keep it. You look better in it than I do."

"Thank you," she said with a bright smile. "If I can figure out how this works, breakfast will be ready...sometime after that."

"Don't worry about it. My mother bought me that thing when I moved into the city - you've met her, you know how she can be - and I haven't used it once since I got here."

"Oh?"

"I'm always in the air or in another city somewhere," he said, and she nodded in knowing acknowledgment; such was the untold alternate side to the glamorous globe-trotting lives they led. "I can give someone recommendations on places to get a good meal on four continents and in countless cities, but I can't figure out how to work my own waffle iron."

"If we were flying to Caracas today," she said, changing the topic for the time being, as she furrowed her brows and attempted to make sense of what the instructions were actually saying, "what would we do there? I've never flown that route before, but Kate wanted a long weekend for one reason or another; she would not say why. So, I took her Caracas, and she has my Vienna next week."

As she spoke, he moved behind her and looped his arms loosely around her waist. "They have a lot of coffee in Venezuela," he said, nuzzling his face into her neck. "I think that would have to go nice with a nice lunch somewhere, and maybe we could walk around the city some."

"Caracas is not one of your 'countless cities?'" She laughed as she leaned back into his embrace and wiggled her hips back and forth.

"No, but if and when Pan Am corporate and the government ever decide to take the 'temporary suspension' off of the Havana route, then I know this little place that makes the best Cuban breakfast you'll ever eat. Really good croquetas." He tightened his embrace.

"It sounds delicious."

"The Cuban expatriates in Miami do a good job of it. Maybe next time we're through there -" Colette set down the instructions and turned around, so they were facing; his eyes were closed,and he was more than likely distracted by disjointed thoughts of fried ham rolls and Venezuelan coffee. She pursed her lips together; while she loved to hear him talk, he was rambling and didn't seem to be realizing it. "Colette?"

"Yes?" She elongated the second syllable as she slid her hands up his arms.

"How have you never been to Caracas? You've been to Brazil - I thought you would have been through there at least once or twice."

She was taken aback, not because of the question he asked, but because of what he didn't ask. "Whenever I worked the Brazil routes, it was always on the days without that stopover - and you remember what happened the first time I was scheduled to fly there."

"The Haiti thing?" He tilted his head down and pressed an open-mouth kiss to where her neck met her shoulder blade, where the shirt she was wearing - still his shirt - hung loose and low. She nodded mutely and moved her hands back down his arms, gripping at his elbows. "That's right, we never did make it to Venezuela on that trip. I seem to remember someone rewarding me for my actions that day, though."

"You remember correctly," she said as she maneuvered the two of them as a single unit to his couch nearby. As she laid on top of him on the couch, they exchanged lazy kisses, his fingers toying with the hem of her shirt - always hers, now - as well as the soft skin of her thigh just below it; she threaded her fingers through his hair and exhaled softly at his touch. The gentle pitter-patter of rain hit the window nearby, setting the slow, even pace of the day.

The rain could continue to fall for all she cared at that moment; it could flood all the runways at Idlewild, make it impassable for days. As long as they were enveloped safely in his apartment, they weren't a pilot and a flight attendant, or two Pan Am employees, with all of the responsibilities that entailed. They weren't held to that high standard that their uniforms entailed. Instead, they could just be what they were: two people attracted to each other and enjoying their time together.

Caracas could wait.


"How was your long weekend?" Colette asked, buckling herself into one of the jump seats. They hadn't seen each other since the day of the route exchange; it'd been a while since her and Kate shared a flight, let alone the two of them along with Laura and Maggie, and now they were off to on a journey to Fiji. She spied Maggie closing the overhead bin and Laura talking to a young child.

Unable to hide her initial reaction, Kate's eyebrows shot up her forehead, before she set her face into even lines. "It was good, I guess. I had some urgent things to do that couldn't wait. You know, family things." She ended her ramble, hesitated momentarily, and straightened out the edge of her uniform hat. "Anyway, how was Caracas?"

The memories of the kitchen, and the couch, and later, his bed came back to her in a rush, and she turned away as she felt her face turn a bright shade of red. "You could say it was rainy."

"That's surprising."

-fini-