Orly to LAX, final approach, almost noon of a February day. The time difference would make his waking hours seem viciously long, but he didn't expect the man he was meeting to make any allowances for that. Through Customs there was a driver holding a sign for the alias they'd arranged and cool leather in the air-conditioning all the way to the meet. He tried to allow his mind to go blank, but it remained stubbornly fixed on his circumstances. A calculated risk, this. Irina Derevko's contacts only extended so far, and the CIA had resources they couldn't match. They had agreed that he would contact Kendall; it was unfortunate that Kendall insisted on meeting in LA but not fatal to their plan. They couldn't afford to lose the trail they'd found.
Their own face-to-face meetings were few enough, but in this case it had seemed necessary. In the morning Irina herself had driven him to the airport and left him on the curb with a dry kiss on the cheek. A man driven to the airport by his wife: he could no longer tell where illusion failed. If he were accustomed to permitting his emotions to show, he would have smiled then.
The car came to a stop at the building Kendall chose; Bristow emerged and checked his surroundings. An older office building: glass doors and a marble foyer with wooden steps leading up and a wood and brass wall of elevators. Men and women in suits, balancing briefcases and coffee in paper cups. The elevator climbed, just as it should have. Eighth floor, suite 805. He was committed, now.
The door opened to Kendall's face. Just the two of them in an empty office, with a broken chair and an unstable metal desk. Bristow was opening his mouth to start the negotiations when Kendall shook his head. Feet clattering on the marble, the door bursting in, and nothing like surprise on Kendall's face. Nothing like surprise, at all.
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drabble, for Rez.
Alias is owned by JJ Abrams, Bad Robot Production, and ABC. No copyright infringement intended, and no profit made. Original story elements my own.