Prompt: nbc_revolution's Halloween Bingo-A-Thon. The rest of the table is HERE
Characters: Rachel, Randall, OC
Warning: None that I can think of
Summary: When the Doctors tell a pregnant Rachel her baby is dying and nothing can be done about it, she takes matters into her own hands. [Spoiler (click to open)]slight Supernatural crossover
Also on AO3
When Ben asked Rachel why she changed her mind about the DoD contract, she told him that Randall approached her, somehow hearing about their problem with the baby and offered to help get her in to the medical trial at Columbia University. It was close enough to the truth that Rachel didn't feel guilty about lying. Besides- if she told Ben what really happened, he wouldn't have believed her...
Rachel wasn't religious or spiritual, nor did she believe in a higher power. When she was fifteen and told her parents she wasn't going to Church anymore, because she didn't believe in God, her mom thought that it was just a phase, like dying her hair black and that she would "come around". She never did.
But she was always curious and fickle by nature, always trying new things, reinventing herself and trying to figure out who she was. Her dad said she was Goldilocks, trying to find the perfect bed and maybe she was. Unlike Ben, she tried to be open minded, tried to think outside of the box and challenge her own perceptions and ideals- it was what made her such a great scientist.
It was during her music scene phase that she met Jimmy, who used to be a drummer for one of the local bands, before starting a successful solo career. She was 17 and he was 22 and when she graduated High School she packed a bag and went on the road with him for a month. One night, they were in his trailer, smoking a joint, when he asked her if she wanted to know why he was so successful.
"I was never a great singer, hell, I was never even a great drummer," Jimmy said, flipping his long, brown bangs away from his face.
"I think you're great," Rachel said with a languid smile.
"Yeah, now, but I wasn't back then."
"Is this going to be a "if you try really hard, you'll make it" motivational speech?" Rachel laughed mockingly. "'Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration?'"
"Shit, no," Jimmy said, straightening up. "Being an artist is all about that spark, that pure talent- you either got it or you don't, nothing to be done about that."
"OK, this is going to sound insane, but hear me out. So four years ago I was at a dead end with the band and life sucked. So a friend of mine told me about a way I could get anything I want, anything at all, for ten whole years. All I had to do was go to a crossroad and bury this box, with like, a picture of me and some weird shit- graveyard dirt, a black cat bone, and yarrow and some guy would show up to make a bargain. I could ask for anything in the world and it would come true, but in ten years' time, I'd die and the guy would get my soul."
"Jimmy, please tell me you didn't," Rachel groaned.
"I did. It took me a while to get that stuff, but I buried the box and this guy showed up. Never told me his name and I never asked; I told him I wanted to be a great musician, wanted my music to have meaning and to live on long after I died. The next day, it was like a switch was flipped; everything just clicked and I've been on fire ever since."
"You're serious," Rachel said, feeling completely sober suddenly. "You're right- that is insane."
"I knew you wouldn't believe me," Jimmy sighed, rubbing his red eyes. "I don't regret it, but today's the anniversary and I've got 6 years left on my contract and then…" He swallowed, shaking his head. "I guess I just needed to tell someone."
It was a bit too weird for Rachel and things between them got awkward, so they broke up a few days later. She went back home for the rest of the summer, before going to Chicago for College. But she never forgot that strange and chilling conversation. Exactly six years later, Jimmy died in his sleep and though everyone assumed it was drugs, there was no evidence that it was anything but natural causes.
On the way home from the hospital, after finding out that her baby was dying and there was nothing to be done about it, Rachel remembered that conversation. Just thinking about it sent chills down her spine and she knew she should just forget it. She researched and tried to find a solution, to find some way to save her baby. But the only possible hope was the trial at Columbia University and it was full. She sent letters and called them, pleading with them, but they kept apologizing and saying that they simply didn't have any room for her.
Rachel lay awake at night, staring up at her ceiling and prayed for the first time in years to a God she didn't even believe existed. She begged Him to save her baby, to give her a sign, anything, but she was met only with silence. Her conversation with Jimmy kept playing in her head in loops, the promise that she could ask for anything at all and she would get it. Finally, she made up her mind and when she had all the ingredients, she went to a crossroad and buried the box there.
"Hello?" Rachel called, smearing the dirt from her hands on her baggy jeans. "Is anyone there? I want to make a deal." Nobody answered and chided herself, "God, I'm so stupid, what the hell am I even doing?" She turned around and started heading towards her car.
Rachel turned around quickly, her heart jumping in her throat. "Randall! You startled me. What are you doing here?"
"You tell me, you're the one who summoned me," he said with a congenial smile, his eyes seemed to be glowing red, but it must have been a trick of the light.
"Yes. Now you wanted to make a deal?" He asked patiently.
"I-yes," Rachel stammered. She took a deep breath. "My son-"
"Is dying, I know," Randall said sympathetically. "I'm so sorry; I can't imagine what you must be going through."
"The Doctors told me he won't survive… Can you… Is there anything you can do?" Rachel asked, swallowing heavily. "Can you save my son?"
"I can cure him; make him as healthy as any other baby. Is that what you want?"
"Yes," Rachel said resolutely. "I want my son to live."
"The usual deal is ten years and then we get your soul," Randall said pointedly.
"I know," Rachel said, her heart hammering in her chest. "So do we-"
"The thing is, I don't want your soul, Rachel," Randall interrupted. "I don't want you to get a meager ten years- I want you to see your son grow up into a man." He said passionately. "So how about we make a different deal, hmmm? Instead of curing him, I can get you into the medical trial at Columbia University."
"But they said they don't have room-" Rachel started, but one amused look from Randall, was enough to halt her. "Will it save him?"
"No, not quite," Randall explained. "The trial will heal him enough so that he'll be born, but it won't fix his damaged lungs. It will, however, give you enough time to come up with a more… Permanent solution."
"You'll figure it out, I give you my word, Rachel, that you will save your son, provided you sign the contract with the DoD- we'll give you all the funding you need. You can ask for the usual deal- I'll cure your baby and in ten years, your soul will be ours. Or you can sign the contract with the DoD, get your son into the medical trial and save his life yourself. So what do you say? " Randall asked her placidly.
"The defense contract, that's all you want?" Rachel asked suspiciously. "It is a weapon, isn't it?"
"The choice is yours," Randall shrugged. "You can even choose to walk away- who knows, maybe God will grant you a miracle," Randall said mockingly. "It's up to you, but I need you to make a choice, Rachel, and it needs to be now."
So she did and three years later, the world ended.
Fifteen years after the blackout, Rachel watches through a glass window as Randall executes his master plan. It really was brilliant and so meticulously plotted, that Rachel couldn't help but admire Randall's manipulations. If she had just asked for Danny to be cured, maybe the project wouldn't have gotten to the DoD and the blackout wouldn't have happened. She would have been happy with her family for ten years and then… And then it would be over.
But instead, Danny entered the medical trial, delaying his imminent death just long enough for her to create the tech that would keep him alive. Because she agreed to the DoD contract, the blackout happened, but it didn't end there, oh no. For fifteen years, Rachel avoided the Tower, knowing that if she turned the power back on, the tech would stop working and her son would die. And when Danny died (and oh, Randall and his clever wording, promising her she'd live to see her son grow into a man- but not specifying she would be there to raise him, or that he would live past 18) she went straight to the Tower, thinking she could undo the damage she caused. Randall needed her to get into The Tower and now thanks to her, there were nukes heading towards Philly and Atlanta.
Rachel watched as Aaron tried and failed to stop the nukes; knowing that it was all her fault. She should have taken the ten year deal, or even- God help her- she should have let Danny die. All those millions of people that died because of the blackout and now all the thousands that would die because of the nukes… Their blood was on her hands.
'It's all my fault, I broke everything,' Rachel thought to herself hopelessly, as she shattered into a million piercing pieces. She finally gave up, stopped fighting a losing battle and let her mind shut down into blessed silence.