It was just after their third excruciating case of the week, and all Rachel Young wanted to do was curl up in her familiar bed in her familiar apartment in her familiar suburb of Washington, DC.
Instead, she was stuck on a cramped seven hour flight next to her new assignment, Dr. Jacob Hood. While the good doctor was certainly an appealing man, this just wasn’t the way that Rachel had envisioned her Friday night. She’d been entertaining plans of a long bath, a bottle of wine and the company of her currently on, though often off, boyfriend, Mark. From the rather curt reply to her ‘sorry, case went longer than I thought – will be home on Saturday’ text, Rachel had a feeling that he was very soon to be off-again.
Feeling slightly depressed and completely exhausted, Rachel dragged her carry-on from beneath her seat and dug through it until she found the tangled wire of her iPhone’s earbuds. Digging the iPhone from her inner jacket pocket, Rachel swiftly scrolled past her ‘airplane – reading’ playlist to her ‘airplane – sleeping’ playlist, adjusted the volume and slipped in the earbuds. She sighed a bit as the familiar strains of Rachmaninoff filtered through the tiny speakers and wiggled a bit in her seat. Sighing once again, Rachel’s eyes closed and her grip on her iPhone loosened. Her exhaustion was quickly catching up to her, and even Jacob Hood couldn’t get into a great deal of trouble on an airplane… right? With a purely internal groan, Rachel closed her eyes and allowed herself to fall into a very light doze.
Five minutes later, Rachel was jerked out of her half-sleep when the earbud cords went taut and the sound switched to a jaunty tune that was not Rachmaninoff and certainly did not belong in that playlist. She groaned, rubbed her eyes and followed the path of the cord from where it tangled with the armrest and, from there, up into Hood’s hands.
“Hood?” Rachel said softly, her expression caught between disapproving and curious.
“Oh! Sorry, Rachel, I, um, was seeing what you were listening to,” Hood’s hazel eyes were wide, his embarrassment obvious at being caught snooping. He glanced briefly down at the iPhone before his attention turned and was focused entirely on Rachel.
Rachel felt her breath catch in her throat when Hood’s eyes locked with her own. In the week since she had been assigned to him, Rachel had seen that look many times. She had seen it directed at computer monitors and printouts filled with graphs and charts that, while they were little more than lines and a few odd numbers to her, Hood could decipher with astounding ease. She had seen that gaze a few times levelled on the bodies of the victims and once, in a happier time, towards a lost young boy in the supermarket they had raided for some supplies required for one of Hood’s tests.
But never before had Rachel had that formidable concentration focused solely on her.
It was… different. While Rachel could have, should have, felt unnerved by the scrutiny, a part of her was aware that she had already been judged… and, from the warm look in Hood’s eyes, she hadn’t been found wanting.
“So, Rachmaninoff?” Hood asked after Rachel didn’t immediately respond. “You have quite an eclectic selection in here.”
“You should see my iTunes library. Is there any reason why you’re playing Bejeweled?” Rachel smirked as Hood flushed in response.
“Uh… how could you tell?”
Rachel smiled and tapped the earbuds. “It’s not exactly playing Rachmaninoff anymore.”
“I… oh! Sorry! Here,” Looking sheepish, Jacob held the iPhone out for Rachel to take.
“No, that’s alright,” Rachel shrugged and leaned over into Hood’s seat in order to get a better view of the screen. With Hood still holding the iPhone, she quickly scrolled through a few menus and adjusted the settings. “There. Now I can listen to the music and you can play the games.”
“Thank you,” murmured a surprised Hood, busying himself with untangling the earbud cords.
“You’re welcome. Just don’t spend any of my money with that!” Rachel warned with a smile. Hood blinked at her, startled, and smiled back.
“I’ll try not to,” Hood whispered, fingers already gliding over the touchscreen, as Rachel curled up in her seat, closed her eyes and fell into a more comfortable sleep.
A/N: This is all the fault of the rest of the guys over at the CBS Eleventh Hour forums. They made me do it! I had never planned on writing fanfic ever again, but, well, here I am. And here this is. I apologize, really, I do.
Thanks must be given to two people - a friend of mine who has absolutely no web presence for answering my out of the blue email demanding names of classical composers. Rachmaninoff won purely because he’s Russian and I like Russian names. I have never actually listened to anything he’s written. The other person is ObsidianJade, who both beta’d (and greatly improved!) this fic as well as put up with my insanity for the past few days. Now go read her stories. Shoo.
About the iPhone… I don’t own one (or an iPod Touch) and I haven’t a foggiest clue how they work involving the music/game music conflict. My own iPod is just a first gen nano.