Disclaimer: Not mine except the idea.
Author's Note: AU. ONESHOT.
A little something near the end of "Need to Know". John is pissed at Rachel for not telling him about the convoy and Rosen's plans for Scipio. This is before they leave on their big mission to find Parish and stop his plan with the mini photo stims.
Suspend disbelief. Poetic license. Enjoy.
After the meeting, Rachel tried again. She caught up to him and said, "John, I…"
"Not now, Rachel."
He wouldn't even look her in the eye. Rachel felt all her old insecurities come flooding back. "I really want to…"
"Rachel," John stopped walking, turned to her and said sternly in a low voice, "Now is not the time or place to discuss this. Like I said, if we're still alive in a few days, then…"
Rachel was fighting to maintain her composure as there were about twenty DOD officers milling around the hallway. But the cold tone and angry, disappointed look on his face were killing her. I finally found someone I'm really falling for and I blow it like this, she thought.
"I have a tactical operation to plan and run and very little time to do it. That's all I can focus on right now," he added. The hurt in her eyes made him want to soften the harshness of his words, but he had a job to do and she needed to understand that. Duty first.
John entered the conference room, already filled with his team. Rachel went briefly to her office then left the building.
The next morning when she arrived, John and his team were already there, going over last-minute details. He ignored her as she walked by the wall of windows. He just didn't see me, she told herself. Yeah, just like he didn't get any of my messages or texts last night. Rachel hung her head and walked slowly to her office.
During the meeting, John noticed the petite brunette walk by looking defeated, her head low. He felt guilty for ignoring her numerous messages and texts the night before, but he couldn't deal with any of that right now.
The Alpha team was called into the conference room an hour later to go over the operation. Gary and Rachel would stay behind to run things from there.
"But, Rachel would be more beneficial in the field with us," Cameron said. Despite him still being really angry at her for putting an end to their interrogation of Scipio, he had to admit they needed her.
"Yeah, there's nothing she can do here. I don't need her to see frequencies for me, she can't do that anyway," Gary said. "Only I can see the signals. She needs to be in the field," he said turning his body toward John.
Nina piped in, "Her abilities could really help us out, give us a head's up."
John looked at them and said, "She's not trained in combat, it's too dangerous for a civilian."
Rachel got a defiant look in her eye and said, "So, I'll stay well back from the action. With my senses I don't need to get close. I'll be useless here. Besides, it's safer for me than you or any of your men. The photo stims won't hurt me, but they could kill you no matter how many guns you have."
"She's right," Bill said looking at John. "I don't want to see her hurt either, but she can be what, half a mile away?" He looked at Rachel and she nodded. "And still be a huge help to us."
John's face looked conflicted for a second as he looked from Bill to Rachel and back then he capitulated. "Fine. You'll go, but you have to stay well back and I'll put a man with you."
"Okay," she said, nodding.
They reviewed the plan several more times then went to gear up.
John knocked then entered Rachel's office. Her eyes lit up with hope, but he was just dropping off a bulletproof vest for her to wear. "Is this really necessary?" she asked testing its weight.
"If you want to come on this mission it is."
"Alright. John, we need to talk. Look, I don't know what's going to happen, but…"
He held up his hand. "No. We have to focus on this mission. I leave in fifteen minutes."
"I know, I just really need to say something in case…"
"The mission, Rachel."
She tried to stop herself, but as soon as he turned and walked out her door, tears started spilling down her cheeks. She turned away from the glass overlooking the hallway and covered her mouth to keep from sobbing out loud.
Nina had seen the whole thing. "John, a word," she said as he passed her door. He looked at her and she motioned him inside her office.
"Make it quick, Nina. We're about to leave."
"I know. Look, Rachel's a civilian. She doesn't have your military mind set."
"You're a civilian, too."
"Yes, but I'm not a nice person like Rachel."
"I don't have time for this, Nina."
"You're going to make time," she said.
"Are you going to push me?" he challenged, looking her dead in the eye.
"If I have to," she stared boldly back. He held up his arms in surrender.
"John, Rachel really cares for you, more than anyone, ever. She thought she was helping her friends when she agreed to help with Scipio. We didn't tell her how far we were willing to go and when she didn't agree with us, she stopped us. She feels used by her closest friends and at the same time she feels guilty for betraying us to Bill. We pushed her hard and she's struggling to reconcile what she did with what she believes. She's questioning her ethics and whether or not she's a good person."
Nina sighed and frowned. "We, her family, made her feel this bad. Plus, it really hurts her to have Cam so mad at her and she was upset about keeping this from you, too. She's beating herself up over all of this and what she really wants to do is make things right with you before this mission. She knows some of us may not survive today, you have to talk to her before we leave. She's not like us, she's sensitive. She can't turn her feelings on and off so easily."
John avoided eye contact. He didn't enjoy being mad at Rachel, but he felt betrayed.
"Besides, if we hadn't interrogated Scipio the way we did, we wouldn't have the Intel we do and there wouldn't be a mission. Noone would have a chance."
He thought about it. We wouldn't know about the mini photo stims or Parish's plan. We would be totally unprepared for the attack. Nina's voice drew him out of his thoughts.
"John, what if something happens to you and you leave things like this? It would kill Rachel. Or, suppose something happens to her. How would you feel? Just talk to her. You can spare her five minutes. Please, John. For her sake."
John knew she was right. It would eat at him the rest of his life if he left things like this. It would be worse for Rachel if she survived and he didn't. He couldn't live with that. He nodded at Nina and left her office.
John stopped at his desk and opened the top drawer. There were several sealed envelopes in case he didn't come back. He sifted through the ones to his parents and siblings until he found a thick one marked Rachel. He fingered it, trying to decide if he should let her open it now so she'd know how he felt. He finally tossed it back on the pile and closed the drawer.
John walked into Rachel's office and shut the door. He started closing the blinds as she turned, surprised, and said, "John, I'm sorry. They swore me to secrecy…but, I didn't know what they had planned, how far they were willing to go. I'm so so sorry I kept it from you. Please, forgive me."
He turned and saw her tear-streaked face and it tugged at his heart. He sighed loudly as he crossed the room and gathered her in his arms and said, "It's alright, Rachel. I guess I can understand where you're coming from. You've known and trusted your team a lot longer than you've known me. You really believed you were doing the right thing."
Rachel wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her head in his chest. "I'm so scared, John."
"Hey, you don't have to go. You can stay here and help Gary."
"No, not for me, for you. You'll be right on the front lines and have no protection if Parish sets off the photo stims." She pulled back a little and looked up at him. "I have really strong feelings for you, John. Stronger than I've ever felt for anyone before and I don't want to lose you. I want you to go somewhere safe, far away from all his targets and let us Alphas deal with this. Please, John."
He stroked her cheek and gently wiped away her fresh tears. "You know I can't do that."
"I know," she whispered.
"I'm scared for both of us. I really like you, too, Rachel. A lot." He smiled and traced the contour of her cheek as he said, "I'm falling for you, Rachel and…I want a future with you."
Her eyes lit up and she smiled at him as he voiced her very thoughts. "I was thinking the exact same thing."
"But, we have to stop Parish first."
She nodded. "Does this mean we're making up?"
He looked deep into her eyes. "Yes," he sighed. "I can't stay mad at you. Especially since we don't know what's going to happen."
"Ready in five!" a shout came from the hallway outside.
They looked nervously toward the sound then back at each other. John leaned down and kissed her. Rachel put her arms around his neck and held him tightly as she kissed him with everything she had. It was more passionate than any kiss they'd previously shared, even when they'd been making love.
John held her just as tightly. He knew there was a good possibility he wouldn't be coming back from this mission. He would try his damnedest to stay alive, if for no other reason than to come back to her. He'd meant what he said, he wanted a future with Rachel Pirzad.
They finally pulled apart. John looked at her, memorizing her face as he pushed a lock of hair behind her ear, then he picked up the bulletproof vest and put it over her head. He started strapping her into it and said, "You be careful out there and do whatever Connors tells you to do, got it?"
She nodded. "Don't worry about me. You just focus on you and be careful."
With a final tug, he nodded, satisfied. Rachel took his face in her hands and said, "You come back to me, John Bennett, you hear?" He nodded and placed his hands over hers.
They embraced each other tightly and she whispered in his ear, "I've never had make up sex before, but I hear it's pretty damned good. You have to come back to me and make it official tonight, got it?"
He smiled at what he knew for her was boldness. "Yes, ma'am, looking forward to it," he whispered back.
With a final kiss and lingering look, John left Rachel's office with a new mission: come back alive and have the most amazing make up sex with the most amazing woman he'd ever met.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed. I'm sad the season is over so soon. And, despite a lot of John hate I've seen (and don't understand), I still love these two together and hope he makes it through the finale and comes back next season.
I am prepared for the other possibility which will make me sad and pissed off if it happens that way.
John and Rachel will always be together in my FF world.