31: AT 30,000 FEET

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After finding clothes for Rebel as I'd promised, and taking a much needed nap, midnight arrived.

We left promptly, and without complications.

The jet was small; a luxurious one with the obvious intention of housing rich people who would nurse fine wine and high-end meals for the duration of their trips. But instead of serving its intended purpose, it was packed with ten individuals with combat experience . . . and a teenage boy who immediately camped out in a back corner and fell asleep.

Rashid was the pilot (no surprise there after Gray's announcement earlier), and Gray dubbed himself copilot.

Maybe he thought that since we were all confined to a metal tube together for an extensive flight, none of us would kill each other. Maybe he just no longer cared at that point. Either way, it wasn't necessarily Gray's most genius move -- but it also wasn't one I was going to argue.

Rebel and I claimed the seats across the aisle from Desmond, and from that point, I had claimed the window seat. 

As the jet took off, sleep began to sound like a good idea. I leaned my head back against the seat, and stared at the ceiling for a long moment. Everyone else was talking quietly amongst themselves, but I couldn't bring myself to care enough to eavesdrop.

Team Bravo had claimed the seats in front of Desmond, and from my position I could see Legion gesturing as he spoke in hushed tones with Sergeant. Gunner was seated in front of us, and from the soft snoring, it was safe to guess he was already sleeping. 

Gray's mercenaries were all in the front of the jet. A full row of seats separated us from them, and I was partially amused that Desmond had ended up on our side of the jet. 

When my eyes began to flutter shut, Rebel spoke up. Had it not been in French, I probably would've drifted off anyway. "While you were sleeping," he began, "I talked to several of the other mercenaries." 

"Mmm?" I hummed, arching a brow at him as he surveyed the rest of the jet critically.

"I did," Rebel agreed with a short nod. He turned his bright green eyes back to me. "Ilga seems the least suspicious."

"You just think that because she's Russian," I mumbled, leaning my head against his shoulder and allowing my eyes to shut.

"Russians are usually straightforward," Rebel retorted, looping an arm around my shoulders. "She was a part of the KGB, got in too far over her head, and Gray helped her fake her death."

"So she owes him one," I observed. "Makes sense why she's here. She doesn't seem like the type to be bribed."

"No, she's the kind that operates on favors," Rebel agreed with me, before continuing with his observations. "Rashid is quiet, but seems like an adequate observer. Elliot talks a lot. Charlotte is . . ."

"Painful?" I offered with an amused smirk, peeking one eye open to look up at him.

An amused smile curved his own lips at that. "I was going to say terrible. Painful works, though."

"As happy as I am to hear that you're psychoanalyzing our new friends," I said with an undertone of sarcasm, "I would like to continue sleeping."

"You don't need to continue sleeping though," Rebel pointed out. "You got five hours."

"I'm mostly concerned that if I don't continue sleeping that I will actually kill someone on this jet," I muttered, leaning further into Rebel's side. "That would greatly anger Gray."

"Yes, it would," he said. I could hear the smile in his voice. "I don't think anyone on our side of the situation would be bothered, though." 

I hummed again. "Are you going to talk for this entire flight?"

"If I knew you were going to be a wet blanket, Risky, I would've sat closer to Bravo."

I shifted against him and in the process made a point of elbowing him. "You adore my presence and you know it."

"Adore might be taking it a little too far . . ."

"What language is that?" Desmond's hesitant voice spoke up then. 

I gave a huff of a sigh at that, tempted to keep my eyes closed and pretend I was actually asleep, but Rebel physically moved me into an upright position so he could turn to faec Desmond. "French," Rebel answered him. 

"Oh." Desmond seemed surprised, his blue eyes shining in awe as he looked between Rebel and I curiously. "I never, um . . . learned other languages. Most of my focus in school was on technology and engineering and stuff." 

Rebel nodded in easy understanding. "From what I've heard, it shouldn't be difficult for you to pick up on one if you try hard enough."

"I suppose so," Desmond mumbled, his cheeks turning pink as his gaze dropped back to his laptop. "How many, um . . . languages do you two know?"

"Many," Sergeant answered for us, already turning around in his seat and looking over the top of his chair at the redhead. "If you ask for specifics, they'll list them, and trust me, squirt, you don't want that."

Desmond's mouth rounded into an 'o,' at that, before he effectively clamped his mouth shut. "It seems like a generally bad idea to ask about specifics with anyone." 

"Look at you, already learning so fast," Legion chuckled, tugging his partner back down into his seat. 

"Told you he was a smart kid," Sergeant said, nudging his partner on his way down.

Desmond turned bright red then, and seemed to further hunch over into his seat and the laptop. I suppressed the laughter that threatened to bubble out of me, and instead leaned back against Rebel. He didn't protest to my attempts to fall asleep after that, and it didn't take me long to do so. 

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