"Where are we going?" This was the third time she asked.

Nathaniel turned from reading his paper and gave her a look, "You don't need to know." And that was the third time he refused to answer, in his infuriatingly condescending way.

Reese was still too intimidated by him to argue, but she settled on glaring hotly at his profile. Really, was it necessary to be so arrogant?

She stood up suddenly from her seat and walked over to a window. The ocean stretched limitlessly out before her, the moon sparkling and sliding through the waves. You could drown just looking at it. She was relatively sure that they were traveling east, because the sun had set much quicker than usual. They had made one stop in some coastal town to fuel up and they had been flying for hours since then.

Homesickness and loneliness closed her throat and made it painful to breath.

I want to go home.

"I want to go home," she muttered thickly into the thick glass window, not knowing whom she was speaking to.

Reese saw, out of the corner of her eye, Nathaniel look at her. He was probably annoyed with her, and she felt a twinge of self-consciousness. She continued staring off into the desolate ocean, with a growing desire that he would comfort her in some way, maybe offer a few soft words, or touch her on the shoulder, leaning in to brush his lips…

Reese abruptly giggled. At least she knew she was still a normal hormonal teenage girl. Or maybe it was abnormal to fantasize in this sort of situation. She frowned.

Nathaniel set down his paper after staring at her for a few moments – Reese wondered if he thought she was insane - and went to the kitchen. Maybe she was, maybe this was all some hallucination. Reese turned from the window to watch him. Her eyes were drawn to his ashen blond hair glinting in the light (a very realistic hallucination) and his broad shoulders that moved nicely under his tailored shirt. He did have very well built set of shoulders, she thought, that were followed by a very well built torso that was followed by a very well built – Reese pulled her eyes up quickly and focused what he was doing. He had brought some sort of crystal bottle out that was filled with a dark amber liquid. He poured a relatively large amount into two small glasses, and picked them up deftly in one graceful hand, sliding the bottle away into a cabinet.

He strode over to her, his (golden?) eyes watching her intently. He offered her a glass of the stuff, and she accepted it, her hand touching his. Reese's breath caught in her throat and she felt her lips part, but he kept regarding her with that intense look. She stared at him, ensnared, hardly daring to breath. He nodded, slowly, never looking away, and sipped his drink. Then, breaking the strange, long moment they shared, he walked away and leaned over the newspaper, drink still in hand.

After he left her, she felt even lonelier, and on impulse she took a large gulp of her drink, almost gagging. It burned, but she noted Nathaniel sipping steadily, so she forced herself to do the same. Breaking laws every which way, she thought darkly. Well it could be worse, another darker voice broke in; you could be dead. And she broke out laughing, a laughter that had a distinctly hysterical edge to it that grated on her nerves, but she was afraid that if she stopped, she would start crying.

"Are you alright, dearie?" Jo sounded concerned, and sleepy. She had been napping on the bed, and Reese felt bad for waking her. She managed to choke back her laughter with some more of the burning stuff.

"I'm fine Jo, thank you." Reese smiled at her and went back to staring out the window.

They had landed, after one more refueling stop and two naps, and Reese was eagerly awaiting their departure. She stood by the door, bags in hand, while Jo used the washroom and Nathaniel checked some things over in the plane. Otis and Fulton had already left with the few duffel bags that consisted of their luggage, but she had opted to stay back, since she felt more comfortable with Nathaniel and Jo. Reese glanced out the window again, admiring the graceful green trees, and then looked back towards the cockpit as Nathaniel came out, brushing his suit off.

"It's pretty outside."

Nathaniel gave her a look, and made a non-committal noise.

"The trees don't look like the ones back home," she said pointedly.

"Yes." He grabbed two duffel bags off the floor and came to stand by the door with her, waiting for Jo to finish. They stood in silence until Reese aborted her attempts at subtlety.

"Where are we?" She looked back out the window.

"You'll see soon enough."

Reese had a sudden urge to stomp her foot, but smothered it. Could she never get a straight answer from this man? Thankfully, Jo came out, and they were on their way.

She piled into the back seat of a dark nondescript car with her bags, while Jo and Nathaniel took the front.

They drove for around fifteen minutes on a rough road, only seeing one car. It was probably a private airstrip, she mused. Then the city came into view, first with countless smaller buildings creeping onto the plain like ivy with numerous skyscrapers rising behind - and many, many cars and people. They all had dark hair and… Reese inhaled sharply.

"We're in China!" She pressed her face to the glass, trying to see as much as she could.

"Thank you for the update" came the dry retort from Nathaniel, "However, this isn't China, it's Japan."

Reese wasn't even bothered by his shortness with her. He was probably very tired; he seemed to have been awake almost the whole journey.

Reese was excited, despite the circumstances. Japan was just as… awesome! She thought of all the culture and language and karaoke that were just waiting to be discovered.

When they reached their hotel room, Reese was the first to shower, hoping that Jo might take her out for another shopping trip. When she emerged, wet and pink-scrubbed, from the bathroom, Nathaniel was gone, and Jo practically rushed past her into the washroom. It had been a long flight, she supposed.

Reese toweled herself off, and wiggled into some jeans and a tee shirt from her shopping bags. She took a moment to look around. There were two beds, both queen sized with luxurious cream and green comforters and fluffy pillows arrayed invitingly. Two identical chestnut dressers opposed the beds with bold but pretty designs on the sides and doors. However, aside from a night table with a phone, and various tasteful paintings, there was nothing else, not even a TV.

That is, until she noticed a third door in the room. It looked exactly like the other doors in the room, with its air of elegant discretion. Where did it lead, she wondered. Was it a suite? She stepped over to the door, and had her fingers on the handle before she heard the voices. Low and tense, she identified one as Nathaniel, and another was unknown to her. She strained to decipher what they were saying, until she realized they were talking in a foreign language, probably Japanese from the sound of it.

"Reese."

Reese jumped back from the door, as if burned. Jo was standing in the door from the bathroom, wrapped tightly in a towel.

"It wouldn't be a good idea to open that can of worms… I'd step away from the door if I were you." Jo's voice was devoid of her usual cheerfulness, and held a darker tone.

"I wasn't- I… I couldn't understand them," Reese said, cowed slightly. Jo nodded slowly, eyes relaxing subtly and smiled in a patronizing way.

Reese frowned. How old do they all think I am? Two? Why does it matter so much?

Jo was turning to go back into the washroom, and Reese stepped away from the door and over to her bags until she was sure Jo was back in the washroom changing. Then she slipped back over to the door, ear pressed firmly against the wood. The other man was asking something, and Nathaniel hesitated before answering a name.

"Ariel."

There was a moment of silence, then the other man exploded.

The name was followed by a series of rapid-fire words, before finally being cutoff by a few terse words from Nathaniel. He paused for a moment, to catch the other man's attention and then continued in low, serious words.

The handle on the bathroom door clicked, and Reese shot to the window as quickly as she could. By the time Jo could see her, she was standing at the window, looking wistfully out at the overcast sky.

"I just love that shower. Perfect pressure, and the shampoo is great." She rubbed her hair vigorously with a towel before pulling it back and tying it neatly with an elastic. "Dearie, would you like to go shopping? I'm afraid I wasn't able to pack anything on our… trip, of course. And the boys," at this, she shot a dangerous look at the door, " refrained from packing anything for me."

She bustled over to her purse and pulled out a shiny platinum VISA card. "However, I have something just as good as luggage," she said brightly.

A/N: Sorry it's been so long. I haven't had time at all to write lately. At the end of summer I was involved with a play and then there was some personal events, and then there was school. I've just finished the big paper, and I should be able to get back into the habit of posting regularly.