The chilly walk to Club Cobalt is mostly uneventful, but Jessica has been suspiciously quiet. Nervous, even. Hands tucked into her jacket. Head low. Simple responses. Something most certainly has her mind preoccupied.
#ClubCobalt – December 16, 2018
Club Cobalt looks the same as ever, an energetic hub of throbbing music and colorful lights amid the cold, moonlit streets of Freedom Falls. A diverse assortment of clubgoers pass in and out of the entrance below the glow of the holographic sign that colors the snow all around, and a group of humans stand chatting and smoking on the sidewalk.
Yan Sun has definitely noticed Jessica's odd mood, a faint frown etched into her face as they near the club, after some initial attempts at prodding were rebuffed. She's settled for silence for the time being, hoping there'll be answers once they get inside.
Jessica trods along the snowy path towards the club. The parking lot is rather empty- which isn't all that surprising given the lack of vehicles on the roads of Freedom Falls- but as Jessica's gaze travels to it, she sharply sucks in a deep breath, her walking coming to a complete stop. She seems to try and cover her reaction by looking to Yan Sun and then nodding towards a parked truck. Much like Burd's, it's a clunky, sturdy-looking
grey vehicle designed to survive the harsh untamed landscape of Aite. It's far from pretty. "That is them..." she says. Not that Yan Sun wouldn't have been able to decipher that for herself given the fact that Kirill is stood beside the truck's bed, fiddling with their things. A dirty, faded white tarp that had been covering the truck's bed has been rolled up.
Kirill is much as Yan Sun last seen him, wearing the same thick, winter jacket. Black with some sort of white fur lining the hood. It has been patched up in numerous places. His beard is looking every bit as unkempt as the last time she saw him, a few hour trip in the stuffy truck probably doing little to help with his disheveled look. Snow pants and large winter boots, he certainly doesn't look like he's ready to cut a rug on the dance
floor. But he does look warm. A thick black winter hat- the sort with earflaps- adorns his head and a pair of mittens are on his hands. They're the kind of mittens where the ends can be opened to free one's fingers to allow for better dexterity. He's not alone. A younger man- looking to be somewhere in his late 20's- is at his side assisting him in organizing their things. He's a dark skinned human with hair shaved down to
stubble. He's wearing a similarly thick jacket, dark blue. Dirty, faded jeans and a pair of scuffed up work boots. Kirill seems to take notice of Jessica and Yan Sun and offers a smile their way.
Yan Sun raises an eyebrow upon noticing Kirill and the unfamiliar man in the parking lot, a little caught off-guard since she'd been expecting something more similar to last time, with just Kirill inside the club. Regardless, she offers a small smile, pulling one hand out of her jacket's pockets and raising it in greeting as they start to approach.
Kirill returns the gesture before looking to the man at his side. "You go ahead and lock everything up." he says and then starts towards Jessica and Yan Sun, as if to meet them part way.
The man with Kirill gives a couple of nods. His attention picks Jessica and Yan Sun out across the parking lot and his eyes lock onto the former. The discomfort is plain as day on his face and he sharply looks away, moving around to the back of the truck and climbing up onto the tailgate to begin rolling the tarp back over the bed.
Jessica frowns, delivering one of her patented scowls to the man with Kirill as he looks their way. She then pointedly shifts closer to Yan Sun, throwing an arm over her shoulder. "What you are doing here?! Mmm?!" she starts, immediately stand-offish with Kirill as they meet in the middle of the parking lot. "I-... We were doing stuffs!"
Kirill meanders towards the pair, tucking his hands into the pockets of his jacket. A tired smile is spread across his face and he gives Yan Sun a nod, but Jessica's words immediately wipe his smile away. "Good to see you, too, Jessie." he mutters. "What do you mean 'what am I doing here'? You wanted me here. Needed to talk to Mayra anyway 'bout comin' out to patch up the gate so I figured I'd go ahead and come on out. Kill two birds with
one stone and all that..." he trails off. "I told you it could wait until tomorrow if that worked better for you." he adds apologetically, poking a hole in Jessica's claim that it was the abruptness of his visit that had her so frustrated.
Yan Sun gains an uneasy feeling in her gut after the brief looks exchanged by Jessica and the stranger, but her growing suspicion is distracted by Kirill's immediate dismantling of Jessica's words before they left for the club. She shoots her a sidelong, questioning glance, looking less than pleased, but she doesn't say anything.
Jessica shifts uncomfortably as Kirill unknowingly calls her out, and she returns Yan Sun's glance with a glare of her own. Classic Jessica bully tactics. Be angrier at the person that might be angry with her than they can.... be.... at her? "Okay then why is he here?!" she growls, getting right to the core of her frustrations with a pointed nod towards the man at the truck. Her raise of voice can undoubtedly be heard by the man,
Kirill gives a deep sigh, casting a glance back towards the truck as if worried the man might overhear them. He gives an uncomfortable look Yan Sun's way before returning his attention to Jessica. "He wanted to come." he responds responds, lowering his voice to a whisper. "I told him it probably wasn't a good idea, but-..." he sighs, the breath of air he releases coming out as steam in the cold winter air, "...He didn't agree." He falls
silent as he tries to gauge just how deep of a hole he has dug with Jessica before adding softly: "Jess... the boy deserves a chance to get a little closure. You're gonna be leavin' soon. Don't take that opportunity with you. It ain't right..."
Yan Sun 's discomfort grows by the moment as she listens, a frown settling into her face as her stance stiffens and she shrugs her shoulder a little against Jessica's arm. She keeps her gaze mostly on one of the wheels of the truck, aside from a quick glance towards the man working on the tarp that she can't help.
The man at the truck grabs the rolled up tarp near the truck's cabin and begins to roll it out over the truck bed before hooking it into place at the back to protect their things from the elements, keeping his back to the trio for the moment. Once finished, he hops down from the truck and raises the tailgate.
Jessica's scowl only deepens. And she seems about ready to tear into Kirill, mouth opening to unleash a torrent of obscenities his way, but the man starts towards them causing her to bite her tongue for the moment. Instead, she turns her glare his way. Her grip over Yan Sun's shoulder tightens as she stares the approaching man down.
The man gives a friendly, if very awkward, smile as he approaches. His gaze only just meets Jessica before bouncing off of her as if she was made of rubber and looking to Yan Sun. "Hey..." he says tentatively, rubbing his hand against the thigh of his pants for a moment to ensure it's clear of any grit or dirt before extending it towards Yan Sun. "Rafe." he introduces. "Yan Sun, right?" he asks before looking briefly to Kirill's subtle nod
for confirmation. Up close Yan Sun would be able to see a small scar beneath his left eye. Nothing too noticeable. Just a small line across his cheekbone.
Yan Sun seems rather unsure how to react as the man approaches, a number of conflicting thoughts and emotions running through her head. She ends up returning his smile with an almost as awkward one of her own, nodding a couple of times. "Uh, yep... that's-... that's me." she says, reaching out to shake the offered hand uncomfortably.
Rafe gives far too many nods in turn. He also continued to shake Yan Sun's hand the entire time as if having forgotten he took her hand. He continues to shake her hand even after the nodding comes to a stop and he flashes another smile to try and cover up the awkwardness. Yep. Awwwwkward. He swallows, shifting his gaze from Yan Sun to Kirill, then back to Yan Sun. An uncomfortable snicker follows. "I-... uhh... I've heard a bit about you."
he says. That hangs in the air for a moment before he adds almost as if an afterthought in an attempt at making things less awkward: "Nice to-... uhh-... to meet you."
Jessica isn't making things any easier for him. She stares right at poor Rafe, eyebrow cocked and making no attempt to disguise just how unhappy she is with his presence.
Kirill merely shifts in place. Hands dug deep into his pocket. He has now taken to avoiding Jessica's gaze nearly as much as Rafe has.
Yan Sun is quick to withdraw her hand when she gets the opportunity, flashing a strained smile of her own in response to Rafe's and nodding a few more times as he speaks. "I haven't-... yeah, uh-... great." she says, eyebrows quickly furrowing as she realizes her response doesn't particularly make sense. She shoots another unhappy glance towards Jessica, elbowing her a little in the side, but she doesn't say anything, not wanting to make a
Jessica grimaces as she's prodded in the side, causing her to shoot a scowl Yan Sun's way. She decides to finish Yan Sun's thought for her. "She has not heard shit about you." she says, not sharing Yan Sun's concerns about making a scene.
Rafe sucks in his lips, giving a couple more nods as Jessica's words seem to hit home. "Jessie." he greets with a nod, finally looking her way.
Jessica wastes no time tearing in, her eyebrow raising once more. "Why the fuck you are here? Mmm? Was not enough that I leave and never look back? That I never even send you a message? Mmm? I moved on." she says, punctuating her point by pulling Yan Sun in a little closer. "So what the fuck you are here for? Awww, did you think you are going to come and look at me and I am just going to fuck you or something?" She snickers mean
spiritedly as she tries to pour salt in the wound. And, in the process, probably making everyone a bit more uncomfortable. Something she has a talent for doing.
Rafe puts a hand up, trying to stop Jessica as she gets going. "I'm not-..." he tries to interject but she's already going. "No! I don't-... I've moved on, too!" he finally blurts out, his gaze turning to Yan Sun as if being worried that Jessica's claims require an explanation from him.
Yan Sun is not particularly happy to be used as a prop for Jessica to tear into Rafe, fidgeting uneasily and shrugging more strongly against her arm when she's pulled in closer, shooting her an annoyed look. Rafe's reaction only serves to solidify the direction of her displeasure, and for the brief moment her gaze meets his she gains an uncomfortable, apologetic expression, clearly caught off-guard by the whole situation.
Jessica's frown only deepens when Yan Sun shrugs at her, causing her to release her grip on her. "You can wait in the truck." she says dismissively to Rafe and takes a step towards the club.
Rafe returns the look he gets from Yan Sun. When Jessica speaks up once more, his expression shifts. It seems that there's only so much he can take and his expression shifts from discomfort to sheer frustration. When it looks like she's ready to march off, he stutter steps to the side, right in front of her to block her path. "I didn't come to fight! I didn't come to-..." he gets out before Jessica can interrupt.
Jessica squares Rafe up when he blocks her path, looking just about ready to put hands on him. "Then what?! Mmm?! Then why you are here?!" she repeats.
Rafe snaps back, "Kir says you're leaving so I came because-..." he begins, his voice sounding harsher to him than intended, causing him to trail off and bite down. He glances off to the side to collect himself before looking back to Jessica. "I came because..." he restarts, stressed restraint in his tone, "...it might be the last chance I have to see someone that I happen to care a whole lot about. Even though she's an utter asshole.
And I wanted the opportunity to look her in the eyes, tell her I'm happy for her, and just-..." his tone grows even softer as he goes on. "...Just wish her the best. Wish you the best, Jessie. So we can do this all night." he continues, spreading his arms out to his sides in frustration and then allowing them to fall against the sides of his legs with a slap. "You giving me attitude. Dirty looks." His gaze snaps to Yan Sun, then
back to Jessica. "Trying to make me jealous which is, quite frankly, weird and is obviously making your girlfriend as uncomfortable as it's making me. Or-... Or we can have a few drinks together one last time. Have a good time and-... and say our goodbyes. It's up to you."
Yan Sun almost seems like she might say something as Jessica starts to step away, but Rafe blocking her from slipping away causes her to remain quiet, listening to their exchange. Rafe's words causes her to suck in her lips a little, looking down at the icey ground of the parking lot with a faint frown. When he finishes her gaze rises to scan the side of Jessica's face for her reaction from where she remains slightly behind her after she
Jessica continues to glare at Rafe for a moment. The fact that she hasn't yet taken a swing probably means something sunk in. But, as usual, it's difficult to tell with Jessica. Eventually, she draws in a deep breath. "Whatever." she mutters, stepping around the man in her way and marching off towards the club's front door.
Kirill waits until she's taken a few steps away before nodding to himself and flashing a hollow smile from Rafe to Yan Sun. "Well... That went better than expected."
Rafe remains right where he is. His gaze turns to Yan Sun once Jessica has left. He runs a hand across the stubble atop his head, wincing apologetically. "She hasn't changed a bit, has she?" he sighs.
Yan Sun lets out a heavy sigh as Jessica marches off, her gaze darting to Kirill and then to Rafe. "I don't-... I'm sorry. I had no idea-..." she trails off with a frustrated sigh, trying not to show how upset she is as she sucks in her lips, looking after the quickly departing Jessica again, hands still stuffed in the pockets of her jacket.
Rafe gives a small shake of his head, briefly glancing back over his shoulder towards Jessica as she disappears into the club. "You've got nothing to apologize for. Really." he says sincerely as his attention turns back to Yan Sun. "Wasn't my intention to make things weird like that. She just... well, she knows how to push buttons..." he sighs, choosing his words carefully rather than badmouth Jessica to the new partner. "But I'm really
not here to cause trouble for you. I hope you don't-..." he trails off, wincing given the uncomfortable subject matter that was only made worse by Jessica's accusations.
Kirill gives a sigh of his own. "It's me who should be apologizing." he says as he shifts in place to combat the cold. "Should've known better than to let this knucklehead come along and get her all riled up..." he offers, casting a sideglance Rafe's way causing the younger man to lower his gaze. "I just-... I thought-..." he trails off, deciding to simply shake his head.
Yan Sun shifts a little uncomfortably but nods in response to Rafe. "I'm not blaming either of you." she says with obvious frustration, but it's clear she doesn't want to talk about Jessica behind her back. "I should-... I'm gonna go catch up to her." she says with a gesture towards the entrance, still facing the two of them as she takes an initial sideways step in that direction.
Rafe just draws in a deep breath, turning to the side to stay out of Yan Sun's way. "On the bright side she didn't hit me. Guess that means you're buying the first round, old man." he says, doing his best to try and act like the exchange didn't bother him. The allusion to the bet made between them causes Kirill to shake his head and follow behind Yan Sun. Rafe falls in line behind him.
Jessica is nowhere to be seen at the door by the time Yan Sun enters the club, having already passed through the coat check.
It's a busy night in Club Cobalt - the dancefloor is packed with people having a good time under the intricate holographics displayed above. Colorful sea creatures of light swim through the air and pulsate in tune with the beat, the whole club bathed in a dim blue light that gives the impression that the whole place could as well be underwater. All over people are moving to the unusual beat of the music - someone in the know might recognize
it as the work of one of the galaxy's few hanar artists - few because they lack hearing, of course, which makes the unique, captivating flow of the music that fill the club all the more impressive.
Yan Sun 's gaze scans across the club after passing through the coat check and shedding her outerwear. She searches for Jessica with a scowl on her face, weaving slowly through the crowd.
Kirill checks his coat after Yan Sun. He's lived on Aite long enough to know how to prepare for the harsh winters of the region. Beneath his jacket are a couple layers of thick, long sleeved, simple shirts. A plain black one over the top of a white one. The change in climate causes him to immediately roll up his sleeves as he waits for Rafe. He's a large, barrel-chested man. Not fat by any means. Probably not very toned, either. Just
carved by a lifetime of hard work. A fact that is also reflected by the leathery skin around his eyes.
Rafe's process takes a bit longer, owed to having to go through the process of checking the Predator pistol holstered inside his jacket, causing him to lag behind Yan Sun. He pulls the folded sidearm from his jacket with a certain familiarity, giving the safety a double check before handing it over to the security. Beneath his jacket is an opened, warm, button-up shirt over a plain white t-shirt. Neither him nor Kirill look the part of
club goers. They're clearly more of the 'outdoorsy' types. Meeting here was almost certainly Jessica's idea.
Jessica is already seated at a table with four chairs around it near the dance floor. She has her feet propped up on one of the chairs and there's an empty shot glass in front of her. Seems she got off to a quick start. When Yan Sun approaches the table she uses her foot to kick the chair out a bit, cocking an eyebrow as she looks up to Yan Sun, as if waiting to see just what kind of mood the woman is in.
Yan Sun heads right for Jessica, making no attempt at hiding her displeasure as she approaches. "What the hell was that?!" she exclaims with a gesture in the direction of the entrance. She grabs the back of the chair, looking down at Jessica for a moment before taking a seat, leaned forward in Jessica's direction. There's an upset mixture of frustration, discomfort and hurt in her face as she stares at her.
Jessica continues to silently stare at Yan Sun as she takes a seat, eyebrow remaining cocked as the woman speaks. She lifts her feet back up, planting them right back where they were. Which means they're now in Yan Sun's lap. She draws in a breath, giving a roll of her eye. "What the hell was what? Kirill says nothing-... nothing to me about that fuck coming with him until I get his message just now. What you are wanting me to
say?! Mmm?!" she growls, brow furrowing. The music means she has to raise her voice to be heard as anything more than a muffled voice buried amongst the crowd. "You are wishing I would have leaved you-... left you back at the room? Fine! Go!" she frowns. There seems to be no sign of Kirill or Rafe for the moment.
Yan Sun shoves Jessica's feet off of her lap with an annoyed scowl. "Maybe to start with you could've warned me you were dragging me along to-... to what, make your ex jealous? What the hell, Jessica? 冇譜..." Her voice is loud and her frown clear, but there's a certain privacy granted by the loud music and dim lights.
Jessica is rocked in her seat a bit when Yan Sun shoves her feet aside. It causes her to sit up straight and lean over the table towards Yan Sun, frown only growing. "Maybe I drag you along because I am not wanting to do this alone! Mmm?!" she snaps back, an unusual, raw honesty slipping through which is reflected in the discomfort on her face. Despite the typical, angry expression engraved on her face and the combatative tone,
there's a certain softness in her words not typical for her. "And-... and maybe if I tell you what is happening you would not want to come!" she admits. Though it's wrapped in a layer of that Jessica-brand of aggression that makes it sound more like an attack rather than an admission. She brings both forearms onto the table in front of her. "...And maybe I don't want to make him jealous! Mmm? Maybe this is the truth!
Maybe I am only wanting to look at your ass in those jeans!" She somehow manages to make that sound like an insult as well, drilling holes through Yan Sun with her glare. "But you are not even considering this! Just that I am being an asshole!" she adds. "Or-... or maybe I want to make him jealous and look at your ass in the jeans!" she decides, her expression taking on a 'what now' quality as she stares down Yan Sun.
Yan Sun seems a little surprised by the unexpected, albeit hostile, admission, and her anger fades a little as hints of uncertainty grow in her face. The final comment and the stare that follows catches her so off-guard that her frustration is disrupted by sheer confusion. As she regains her composure she lets out a sigh, frown returning. "You should have told me." she says, her voice quieter, barely audible over the beat of the music. "I
didn't agree to be a prop for... whatever that was." It's obvious that she's upset with Jessica, and there's no shortage of other things adding to her discomfort between the presence of Jessica's ex and what she's heard about that situation.
Jessica shifts in place a bit, propping her chin up in the palm of the hand as Yan Sun speaks. As it becomes more and more clear that she has at least successfully disarmed Yan Sun's open hostility, she gives a cocky raise of her eyebrow, looking Yan Sun over with a mock sense of doubt. "Bullshit. You-..." she begins, reaching out with her other hand to give Yan Sun an annoying poke on the tip of the nose, "...loooove being my prop,
Yan Sun swats Jessica's hand away. She's definitely not in the mood for her teasing judging by the look she shoots Jessica. She crosses her arms, glancing over her shoulder to see if there's any sign Rafe and Kirill yet.
Kirill has, in fact, finally spotted them and is making his way over to the table with Rafe in tow. He glances towards the dance floor with marked disinterest before pulling out a chair and settling into it. "Ladies." he greets politely with a nod of his head.
Jessica snickers to herself at Yan Sun's reaction, yanking her hand back. The arrival of the others causes her to put her scowl right back on, however. "Mmm. You moved on soooo much but still you are bothering me..." she mutters antagonistically, seemingly unready to cut the poor man a break.
Rafe opens his mouth to say something, but a kick under the table causes him to jolt slightly and he passes a glance towards the older man. Considering the 'talking to' he just got, he draws in a breath, consciously reminding himself not to be pulled into Jessica's pettiness. "I have." he says as calmly as he can muster. "Been seeing someone for a-... uhh-... been a couple months now..." he says, looking to Kirill for confirmation on the
Jessica once again rolls her eyes in doubt. "Mmm. I am sure. So where is she?" she asks, mockingly glancing about the club as if looking for her.
Rafe cocks half a smile, falling silent for a moment before giving a shake of his head and drawing in a breath. "She's... back at the Gorge. You'd like her." he continues, seeming to be doing his damndest to try and hold a genuine conversation with Jessica despite her best efforts at making what's already an awkward situation even more uncomfortable for him (And, by extension, the others at the table). "She came shortly after you left."
Kirill gives a few nods, interjecting. "Yep. Did a bit of recruiting. Managed to pull in some good people..."
Rafe winces at Kirill's cluelessness, patting the older man on the shoulder. "No she's-... ejaculation, Kir. She means ejacu-... You know... Cuz they were happy to see her go..." he trails off with a shake of his head, well aware of Jessica's nature.
Jessica makes the universal gesture of jerking off as she looks to Kirill, capping it off with what is sure to be an offputting sound effect but, thankfully, it's drowned out by the loud music.
Kirill turns a shade of red which is mostly disguised by the low light and the flashing colors. "Oh for the love of-... can we not?!" he asks in a stage whisper as he frantically glances about in embarassment. With disgust on his face, he stands up just about as quickly as he sat down. "I'm gonna go ahead and get some drinks. So get it all out of your system before I get back!" he says, stomping off towards the bar with a shake of his head
as he begins to mutter under his breath. At any rate, Kirill's cluelessness seems to at least take a little bit of the tension out of the air between Jessica and Rafe, as she has a big grin across her face as she watches the older man retreat in embarassment.
Yan Sun offers an awkward smile in greeting as Kirill and Rafe joins them, which is immediately wiped away as Jessica resumes her mocking of Rafe. She shoots her a brief, disapproving look, clearly feeling bad for the man. As the exchange takes a turn she grimaces, bringing a hand up to her head, and partly obscuring her face from Kirill and Rafe in the process. She blows up air in frustration and embarassment, causing her hair to rustle a
Rafe is unable to suppress the smile that spreads across his face as Kirill leaves the table. Just like old times. "...It is good to see you again, Jessie." he says softly as he glances to her.
Jessica snickers to herself, watching as Kirill marches off. Rafe's words cause her to look his way. The smile on her face begins to slip, but it doesn't disappear. Not entirely. Though, Jessica being Jessica, she's unable to return the gesture. Instead, she lifts her hand and raises her middle finger at him.
Rafe gives a shake of his head, undeterred by her response and taking it in stride. He knows her well enough to know that this counts as progress. "You're wrong, though. Nobody was happy to see you go..." he continues. But he's quick to relent, well aware of how easy her buttons are pressed, qualifying his words with a dismissive shrug.
Jessica draws in a deep breath as Rafe continues, turning her attention to Yan Sun as he speaks. An unconvinced: "Mmm... I am sure..." is all she gives him in response, clearly unwilling to discuss such an uncomfortable topic with the man.
Rafe knows not to push his luck with her. "Not that you care, of course." he acknowledges, deciding not to push the subject any further. Drawing in a breath, he shifts his attention to Yan Sun. "So... Kir says the two of you are preparing to take off soon..." he says, directing the statement her way rather than risk interacting with Jessica any more just yet.
Jessica holds Yan Sun's gaze and hooks her foot around Yan Sun's leg beneath the table, giving it a playul tug as Rafe addresses her. It's an annoying, playful gesture much in the way one does when they're trying to gauge just how angry their significant other is at them.
Yan Sun seems relieved as the tension between Jessica and Rafe seems to soften a little and she notices the exchange that - with Jessica, anyhow - passes for civil. She meets Jessica's gaze as Rafe speaks, the tugging on her leg eliciting a faint, halfhearted smirk in the right corner of her mouth, lasting for just a moment before fading into a soft, apprehensive look. The anger has faded from her eyes, but hints of upset remains. Rafe's
words cause her to lower her hand and look his way. "I-... yeah, that's-... that's the plan." she says, shifting to an amiable expression best she can.
Jessica doesn't interject since that would mean interacting with Rafe. Instead she keeps her eyes on Yan Sun and returns her feet to their previous resting spot in her lap.
Rafe gives a few small nods, casting a glance Kirill's way in hope that he won't be gone long. Being left with his ex and her new girlfriend isn't exactly the most comfortable of positions to be in, after all. But he did get himself into this position. Unfortunately, Kirill seems to be caught amongst a sea of people at the bar, all vying for the bartender's attention. "So where you guys off to?" he asks, turning his gaze back to Yan Sun.
He settles back into his seat and brings a hand up onto the table, doing his best to act naturally. But it's not hard to see that clubs aren't really his 'thing' and, even if the situation itself wasn't so damn weird, he'd still feel out of place.
Yan Sun lets out a quiet sigh that goes unheard under the music, relenting this time as Jessica's feet once again drop into her lap, the heels of her shoes staining her pants with dirt and snow. She moves her right hand to rest on Jessica's knee, thumb brushing idly back and forth across the fabric of her jeans as she speaks to Rafe. "Uhm... Earth. For now, anyway. Hong Kong. I'm not sure if you-... uh, it's where-... where I'm from,
anyway..." she says, the last part near enough drowned out by the music as her voice gets increasingly quiet. Clearly she feels more than a little awkward about the situation too, not exactly helped by the way Jessica's been acting.
Rafe once again nods, the distant look on his face and the furrowing of his brow probably telling Yan Sun that he doesn't quite know where Hong Kong is. But he doesn't outright admit it. Earth, of course, rings a bell. And it causes him to glance Jessica's way briefly. "Figured you weren't from around here." he says as he gets back to Yan Sun, absent mindedly leaning in her direction to assist in being heard- and hearing- over the music.
"So how in the hell did you find yourself all the way out here? I spent a bit of time out this way back a few years ago and-... I gotta say. Ain't a whole lot worth seeing here." he admits, trying his best to make small talk and keep from dwelling on just how awkward the situation is.
Yan Sun lets out a slightly uncomfortable chuckle. "It, uh... yeah, no, it was-... it was because of Jessica, really." she admits, an embarassed smile crossing her lips as she glances Jessica's way for a brief moment, shrugging as she looks back to Rafe. "We met on a job, and... yeah." she says, doing her very best to pretend like the conversation isn't as awkward as it is.
Rafe allows a small smile to form as Yan Sun explains what brought her to Freedom Falls, undoubtedly masking the surge of discomfort that accompanies it. "Right. 'Job'. I forgot, she's a workin' woman now." he says, making an attempt at teasing Jessica indirectly. "Never thought I'd see the day. Figured she had retired. You know, after her long, storied history with the Alliance." he snickers. "Hear she's wearin' the title of rent-a-cop
these days. A real goodie-two-shoes." He casts a glance Jessica's way, his smile only growing as he ventures to test his luck with a little lighthearted ribbing.
Jessica rolls her eye as she gives Rafe a sidelong glance, the slightest hint of embarassment creeping in as her poorly-thought out lie is brought up once again. "Only because 'badass bitch' is not an official title." she corrects. "And look who is talking! Ask to him what he did here in Freedom Falls." she snaps back, also using Yan Sun as her medium to interact with Rafe.
Yan Sun snickers slightly as Jessica's 'Alliance career' is brought up, her gaze leaving Rafe for a moment, but Jessica's words cause her to raise an eyebrow, looking briefly her way before turning to him. "Alright... let's hear it." she says, hoping the smalltalk with relieve some of the tension in the air.
Rafe feigns offense. "Freedom Falls Marshals." he says, folding his arms across his chest as he looks between Yan Sun and Jessica as if waiting for the punchline. "What's wrong with that? Was good, honest work." he retorts.
Jessica cocks an eyebrow, adjusting her shoes in Yan Sun's lap as she sits back in her seat. "Mmm. Whose shoes are so good now?" she asks, clearly not exactly understanding what they're 'arguing' over, but confident that she's 'winning'.
Rafe blinks a couple times. "...Mine? I... guess?" he says, assuming that's what she's getting at. He looks to Yan Sun in confusion.
Yan Sun furrows her eyebrows, shaking her head slightly to herself. She offers Rafe a shrug in response to his look. "Don't ask me." she says with a slight, confused chuckle before glancing around briefly for any sign of Kirill returning with drinks. "So you're... local?" she asks, reaching for ways to keep the conversation going.
Kirill seems to finally be getting served up at the counter. He's currently juggling a round of mugs, orienting them so he can grasp through the handle of all four.
Rafe gives a snicker when it becomes clear that Yan Sun doesn't seem to be any better at speaking 'Jessica' than he ever was. Her question causes him to give a small nod. "Yeah." he says before correcting himself with a shrug. "Kinda. Came to Aite with my family when I was-... ten? Yeah, that's about right. Couldn't have been older than eleven." he clarifies, "We drifted around a bit. Spent most of my time out East. But-... yeah. Was here
Jessica taps her foot against Yan Sun to the beat of the music, seemingly pleased with her... victory?
Yan Sun nods a couple of times as she listens, a faint, polite smile crossing her lips. She opens her mouth to say something, but is interrupted as her eye lights up, her expression shifting. She turns her left hand palm up, a pulse of light bringing her implants to life as her omni-tool interface materializes in her palm. She reads for a moment before typing out a quick response, fingers dancing over the haptic interface in her palm.
thx, busy rn will check it soon! The holographics disappear as she closes her hand, bringing it back down to the table, but the intricate glow that runs from her temple down to her fingertips remains.
Rafe's gaze turns towards the counter, relief washing over his features when it seems like Kirill might be back soon. By the time he looks back to Yan Sun, her implants have flared to life, causing him to gawk a bit. By the time her omni-tool interface dissipates he seems to realize he's staring and clears his throat apologetically. "Implants? Or is the whole arm synthetic?" he asks, leaning to the side slightly to get a better look at her
Kirill finally makes his way back to the table holding the four mugs by the handles, causing them to clank together as he walks. He sets a pitcher of cheap beer down on the table and begins to set a mug before each of the four seats. "We done bein' gross?" he asks with a glance specifically at Jessica as he begins filling the glasses.
Jessica removes her shoes from Yan Sun's lap as the older man returns and pulls her mug in close as soon as it's filled. "I am not gross." she insists as she lifts the mug up and takes a long sip. "You are just a pussy." she adds with a shrug.
Yan Sun gains a small, genuine smile at Rafe's interest in her cybernetics. "Just this bit." she says, raising her arm with elbow still on the table, and wiggling her fingers a bit. It's a testament to the intricacy of the design that it's impossible to tell where the transition between synthetic and organic material is. "The rest is all a subdermal inlay." she says, always happy to talk about her tech. As Kirill returns she looks over
Kirill offers a smile in response to Yan Sun's words and slides a beer over to her. It's local stuff. Bitter. Strong. Probably a far cry from the fruity drinks Yan Sun prefers.
Rafe continues to inspect Yan Sun's arm, briefly glancing Kirill's way with an appreciative nod of his head as he pulls his beer in close once it's filled. "See a lot of interestin' tech out here." he says, not exactly a stranger to intricate body modification. Especially considering the lax laws outside of Council space. "But this-..." he gestures towards her arm, "...this is impressive work." His gaze turns back to Yan Sun's face before
Jessica rolls her eye at Yan Sun when she speaks up. "Both of their shoes are too good." she says to Kirill, gesturing at both Yan Sun and Rafe.
Kirill gives a simple: "That so?" to Jessica's accusation, neither understanding what she means nor caring, but a gentle smile spreads across his face regardless. At least she's talking to him. He retakes his seat once he has filled his own glass and casts an uneasy look towards the dance floor once again. This is so not his scene.
Yan Sun offers Kirill a small nod of thanks, taking the beer in her right hand. Rafe's words cause a small, embarassed smile to cross her lips, followed by a nod. "You... could say that, yeah." she says with a slight shrug, lowering her hand to lift the beer, studying it for a moment before taking a small sip, grimacing a little at the bitterness. She puts it down again without comment, trying to decide whether to drink it or not.
Jessica takes another long draw from her beer. "Is fine. She is rich." she says as she watches Yan Sun.
Rafe shoots a brief glance Jessica's way but doesn't press any further. He merely looks the arm over once more and gives a final nod. "Well, looks like credits well spent." he decides on, opting for a simple compliment.
Kirill sits back in his seat, mug cupped in his hands as he begins to nurse his beer while the others talk.
Yan Sun shoots Jessica a less-than-pleased look. "That's not-" she starts as she turns back towards Rafe, but his words cause her to settle a small nod and a polite expression. With a sigh she gives the beer another try, feeling like she could use a drink at the moment. She takes a longer sip. Nope. No less disgusting this time.
The small talk continued through another round of drinks. The next supplied by Jessica. She, as per usual, went hard on the booze, opting for shots and heavy chasers with demands to chug. Much to Kirill's dismay. He initially refused the shot. Jessica chanting 'pussssssy' probably wasn't what peer pressured him into drinking it- he doesn't seem like the type to be peer pressured- but in service of not killing the mood he eventually gave
in. Rafe supplied the round that followed and was a bit more consciencous of what everyone wanted, taking down requests before going to fetch the booze. A strong, batarian drink for Jessica. Simple beer for Kirill. Thankfully, the more alcohol that enters their blood stream, the more the tension between Jessica and Rafe seems to dissolve.
Rafe is leaned forward, elbow against the table as he bobs his head slightly to the thumping dance music filling the club. Doesn't matter if it's not his type of music. The more you drink, the better all music sounds. Universal fact. While there haven't been any sweeping, deep discussions, Rafe does seem like a genuine, good person. Solid sense of humor. Able to let Jessica's digs roll right off of him. But definitely a hard working,
hands-on rural type. Much like Kirill. And, it's probably not hard for Yan Sun to see, very much not Jessica's type. At all. They couldn't be much more different. As he takes a drink from his beer, he furrows his brow and studies Jessica from across the table. "You sure about taking this woman to Earth with you?" he asks playfully as he looks back to Yan Sun. "She is a menace. An absolute menace! She could do a whole lot of
Kirill gives a small snicker, beer cradled in front of him as he looks between the people at the table. Despite his quiet, gentle nature, it's not hard to see that his mood has lifted at seeing Jessica and Rafe slowly return to speaking terms. Even if he hadn't previously admitted as much to Yan Sun, it's not difficult to tell that he cares a great deal for Jessica.
Jessica is about as relaxed as someone can be in such a loud place. She's seated sideways in her chair to better face Yan Sun but has opted to only prop one foot up on Yan Sun for now, the other bouncing to the beat of the music. One arm is over the back of her seat while her other hand holds onto her drink loosely. "Gah! Fuck you!" she barks at Rafe, though the grin on her face is enough to say that she's at least moved past the
Yan Sun still had most of her beer left by the time Jessica brought a fresh supply of alcohol, and quickly put the bitter brew aside in favor of the shots that had a more favorable unpleasantness-to-drunkness ratio. She's chimed in now and then, mostly to try and keep things relaxed, and she seems glad that the mood has shifted, her own bad mood fading between the drinks and the chatting. She's currently nursing a nice, fruity drink in a
tall glass brought by Rafe, sipping from the straw as she listens to the exchange, a snort of laughter escaping. "Oh I know. They don't know what they're in for." she says through a grin, glancing Jessica's way. "Wouldn't have it any other way..." she adds a bit more quietly, her expression softening into a small smile.
Jessica meets Yan Sun's gaze, her grin tugging into a full smile. As usual, she seems unable to openly accept any heartfelt affection and brushes it off with a dismissive: "Gaaaaay."
Rafe's laughter quiets down upon hearing the closest thing to a tender moment you might get out of Jessica and he glances between them. "For your sake, I hope you know." he says to Yan Sun. "She ever tell you about the carashan?" he asks, passing an inquisitive glance Yan Sun's way before shooting an accusatory glare in Jessica's direction.
Kirill seems to be jarred out of silence by the reference, causing the burly man's shoulders to bounce as laughter erupts from him.
Jessica looks more confused than anything as she glances between the two men. "What you are talking about?!" she asks. "That was fiiiine! I did not do anything wrong!" she insists.
Yan Sun lets out another amused snort at Jessica's response.. Her smile widens, but her attention is pulled towards Rafe as he speaks. "The what...?" she asks curiously, raising an eyebrow and sipping her drink and looking between the others as she waits for an explanation.
Rafe tilts his head to the side at Jessica, as if to say 'Really?' When it becomes clear that Yan Sun hasn't heard the story, he jumps at the opportunity. "So, we had some carashan out by the Gorge-..." he begins, but Kirill interjects nearly immediately, seemingly having caught on to the fact that Yan Sun probably has no idea what that even is.
Kirill halts Rafe with a raise of his hand, jovial smile still spread across his face. "Annoying critters. Pack animal. Will eat dang near anything." he explains, his explanation a bit more dry than Rafe would have put it. "We were havin' a rough time with a pack that had wandered too close. They seemed to have made themselves comfortable just outside of the Gorge. Picked off a couple of our livestock. Now, they ain't usually dangerous,
but you try to get between one and its food? Or wander too close to their home? They'll let ya know it. We can see 'em just wanderin' about just past the gates so we know it's only a matter of time before someone ends up gettin' hurt, ya know? So we were all sittin' around, tryin' to come up with a way to run 'em off when-..."
Rafe snickers loudly, interrupting Kirill. "...When here comes Jessie." he says, sending a big grin her way. "Says she'll deal with 'em no problem, right?" Jessica seems unbothered by the story up until this point, still utterly confused as to why it's a funny story. She merely shrugs. "We're all just kinda lookin' at each other wonderin' if she knows somethin' the rest of us don't. But the woman won't tell us shit about where she came
from cept some bullshit about the Alliance-..." this garners him another middle finger which he seems to ignore, "...so we're figurin', what the hell. Maybe she worked on a farm or somethin' and knows a few tricks. She disappears back into her room for a few minutes. Maybe a half hour or so. Then here she comes. Opens the gate, cocks back her arm-..." he pantomimes as if tossing a baseball, "...just whips somethin' right at 'em."
Rafe has an ear-to-ear smile by this point, "Bet you damn near shit your pants when that 'rock' blew up, didn't you?" he says with a glance towards the older man, causing Kirill to snort loudly.
Jessica still seems entirely unconvinced as to why this is a funny story, brow cocked as she listens, as if waiting for them to reach the part that's so funny.
Yan Sun listens silently, taking a small sip of her drink every now and then. The fact that Jessica's 'solution' involved explosives doesn't seem to surprise her, prompting a couple of nods as well as an amused glance and questioning eyebrow sent Jessica's way.
Jessica brow furrowed, looks between the trio. "What?" she asks in confusion. "Was a good boom." she decides with a shrug. "Did the carashan leave?" she asks expectantly.
Kirill gives another hearty chuckle over Jessica's confusion. "Yeah. Yeah, I s'pose they did." he admits. "The ones that were still standin'..."
Rafe blinks a couple of times, big ol' smile still present. "Jessica... You threw a fucking grenade at a bunch of cats!"
Rafe draws in a deep breath and looks towards Yan Sun. "Are you absolutely sure you want to take her to Earth with you?" he repeats, a bit of that alcohol-induced twinkle in his eyes.
Yan Sun snickers quietly, shaking her head to herself before looking back towards Rafe. "I don't think she's gonna blow anything up." she says, eyebrows furrowing a little before she adds: "...I hope?" with a glance back towards Jessica. "...please don't blow anything up."
Jessica allows a mischevious grin to cross her face. "We will see how I am feeling." she teases, giving Yan Sun's leg a nudge with her foot. She holds Yan Sun's gaze for a moment before lifting her foot from her makeshift stool and climbing to her feet. "Finish your drink, slut. We are dancing." she demands, taking her own advice and slugging back the last of her own drink.