#TheMonument – May 29, 2019

Yan Sun 's amusement grows a little at Malek's dismissal, her attention going back to Trace, continuing to listen. She relaxes a little, letting one leg extend fully and leaning back more against Jessica before sipping her beer again.

Trace joins Jessica in shushing Malek, lifting a hand and swatting at the air in front of him in a gesture for Malek to be quiet while he tells his story.

Malek takes a deep breath, eyes fixed to Yan Sun as he sinks a little deeper into his seat.

Trace casts a brief sidelong glance Malek's way before turning back to Yan Sun. "Like I was saying..." he pointedly continues, "...There was a pair of brothers that lived out this way. Durashka and Torish. Aite was new land, fresh for the picking, so their House settled here. A little bit north of this very spot, as it so happens." he explains, jabbing an index finger down at the ground for emphasis. The added little flair to the

story causes Malek to roll his eyes. "Unfortunately, what they didn't know at the time was that they were disrupting the hunting grounds of a pack of carashan." he lets that hang in the air as if it's an important aspect of the story, tilting his head forward slightly. "Caused them all sorts of trouble. Carashan breaking into their food reserves. Damaging the property. Even managed to drag off one of the house servants one day." he

lists off. His gaze lowers to the fire, studying it for a moment before speaking again. "They're curious creatures and, all of a sudden, ya got all these folks moving in on their land. Hunting their prey. Hunting them. Only natural that they were gonna want to defend their home, right? Well..." he continues with a breath, "...winter was just starting when a carashan- coat as black as the night's sky on a starless night-..." his eyes

lift briefly, "...got the son of one of the brothers. By the time they found the boy? Wasn't a whole lot left." He falls silent as he tries to build the tension, but it's soon interrupted.

Jessica tightens her grip around Yan Sun's waist as Trace tells his story. She tilts her head against Yan Sun's as she listens in silence, seeming to hang onto his every word. Right up until the end, where her forehead scrunches up. "His sister." she corrects.

Trace furrows his brow. "Huh?"

Jessica takes a deep, annoyed breath as if frustrated that he doesn't have his facts straight. "The carashan take their sister!" she clarifies. "Not a son."

Trace's eyes turn down briefly, looking slightly confused. After a moment's consideration he gives a small, timid shake of his head. "Nah, I'm pretty sure it was a son-..."

Malek's eyes widen in boredom as the pair begin to bicker. Well aware at how these stories tend to be passed around, details changing as they are, he seems far from interested in seeing the pair argue about the folk tale's canon "Does it matter? Maybe the fake carashan got a fake son and a fake sister that night." he offers in exasperation, hoping that Trace will just get on with it. It garners a glare from both parties, but it does put an

end to the bickering.

Yan Sun listens in silence, a small grin on her lips as Trace tells his tale. Jessica's interruption causes her eyebrows to furrow, and the following suggestion from Malek prompts a snort of laughter, her grin widening briefly.

Trace seems like he has more evidence to put forth to counter Jessica when Malek speaks up, causing him to silence himself and shoot a none-too-serious sidelong glare Malek's way. It seems to do the trick of getting him back on track, though. "Well, having way too much pride- as batarians often do- to be run off by a bunch of animals and way too much fury- as batarians often do-..." he repeats, giving a nervous chuckle in the process as if

Trace not wanting to offend anyone, "...to let this transgression go, their response was fire and brimstone. The brothers put out a bounty, offering credits to hunters for every black carashan pelt brought in. Damn near emptied their bank account. But it didn't matter how many pelts they collected, it wasn't enough. They could never be sure it was the right one. So it could never be enough to calm that fury. So, when they couldn't pay for

Trace hunters anymore, they decided to do the hunting themselves. Their armor adorned with the trophies they had collected, they set out with one goal: make damn sure that carashan who killed their-..." he passes a brief look and nod to Jessica as he chooses his words diplomatically, "...family member isn't left alive. And if that meant killing every last black carashan on Aite? Then so be it." He swallows, gaze lowering to his drink as

Trace he lifts it to his lips and takes a swig.

Malek merely smiles at the glare, chin remaining pressed against his fist. His eyes seem to glaze over as Trace tells the old folktale.

Jessica once more seems to hang onto his every word, arm wove tightly around Yan Sun's midsection as she sips at her beer.

Yan Sun lifts her head to take a sip from her beer before leaning right back against Jessica, free arm coming to rest on hers. She continues to listen in silence, watching Trace in the fading glow of the campfire.

Trace licks at the taste left behind on his lips as he watches the pair from across the fire. "Was a night just like tonight. Clear sky." he looks up, studying the orb in the sky briefly, "The two brothers had been on the hunt for weeks. Maybe months. They weren't collecting pelts anymore. Just leaving their dead to rot. They were setting up camp- carashan-hide tents and carashan-hide bedrolls- when they heard a familiar sound-..." His own

Trace words are cut off by the continued yipping of the distant pack of carashan. It couldn't have been better timed if he had planned it himself. It causes a grin to come to his face and he dips his head to listen to it, pointing a finger in the general direction of the sound. "...just like that. Then another."

Jessica's grip tightens around Yan Sun as the story continues. The impromptu carashan yipping does cause her gaze to snap that way, a small smirk tugging at the corner of her mouth.

Yan Sun continues to listen with mild amusement, resting against Jessica. The sound of carashans in the distance interrupting the story catches her off-guard, and she tenses up, inevitably casting a slightly uneasy glance off into the darkness as she sits up a little more.

Trace pauses, as if hoping that nature will continue to comply with his attempt to build tension with a second yip. This time, however, the distant pack don't cooperate. He leans forward in his seat a bit more before continuing, lowering his voice a bit. "Before long it was all the brothers could hear. It came from every side. A chorus of carashan. It got louder. Closer. Soon, the brothers could feel their presence all around the camp, just

Trace outside the reach of the fire's light. Black shapes, all around them. Circling."

Jessica tilts her head to press her face against the side of Yan Sun's head as Trace tries to build the tension. Feeling her tense up, she attempts to add to it, growling softly in her ear. She uses her nose to nudge the side of Yan Sun's beanie up and playfully- drunkenly- sinks her teeth into the outer rim of her ear.

Malek's smile widens as Trace seems to get into the story more, taking for more enjoyment in Trace's telling of the story than the dumb story itself. As he spots Jessica's attempts at annoying Yan Sun, he lets out a small snicker.

Yan Sun tries to play off her uneasy glance as nothing only to flinch a little as Jessica messes with her, prompting a light jab of her elbow before she refocuses on Trace and leans her head away from Jessica's teeth.

Jessica snickers into Yan Sun's ear, giving chase by leaning after, resulting her drunkenly pressing her face against the side of Yan Sun's neck as her body rocks in place to the side.

Trace doesn't pay much mind to Jessica, more focused on his story. "They breached the edge of the fire's reach. Black fur, slick with blood. Razor sharp teeth bared. Some missing eyes. Others, riddled with gunfire. They surrounded the brothers like a-... like a wave of oil. Or tar. Just a field of black slowly moving in. The restless spirits-... the mak of all of the creatures they had killed in cold blood. They had upset Litae with their

Trace needless violence and unending search for revenge." He sits back in his seat, drawing in a deep breath as his gaze once more lifts to Litae. He watches the moon for a moment before lifting his beer, as if to toast to the large orb, before taking a long swig. "Their mak was cursed by Litae to roam Aite in the form of that which they so ferociously hated, protecting her." he says, seemingly deciding to leave some left to the

Trace imagination, "From us. To remind us that this is Her planet. That we must respect it." he concludes on, letting out a long, drawn-out sigh before that friendly smile begins to emerge through his beard once more.

Yan Sun remains silent for a moment after Trace finishes, seeming to enjoy the taste of local storytelling. Eventually she lets out a quiet snicker, taking a longer swig from her beer, having had enough by now that the taste is less of an obstacle. "Isn't Litae coming down?" she asks after glancing up, raising an eyebrow as she looks to Trace.

Trace gives another glance up towards the moon in the sky. "That's what they say." he says, bringing his bottle to his lips. There's a certain sadness in his tone.

Malek lifts his chin from his fist as the story concludes. Yan Sun's question causes his smile to widen. "On account of us not respecting her planet, of course." he says mockingly. "If we can't have it no one can, right?"

Trace gives a small roll of his eyes as he glances Malek's way. "I'm not saying the story is true, but Durashka and Torish are real! Waaaay too many people have spotted them for it to be a load of bull."

Malek gives an exasperated sigh. "Way too many people have gotten drunk around their campfires-..." he pauses, giving a pointed glance around the campfire to everyone, "...and thought that they saw something. They are not re-..."

Jessica chimes in overtop Malek with a deep hum, "Mmm!" trying to quickly swallow a mouthful of beer to get her piece in. "They are real!" she says, cutting Malek off mid-sentence, "My brother sees them one time!" she insists.

Yan Sun narrowly avoids choking on her beer as Jessica hurriedly chimes in, drawing a laugh from her. "Well, there you go." she says to Malek, grinning.

Jessica nudges into Yan Sun from behind, spilling a little bit of her beer in the process. "Shut up, slut!" she growls, trying to pinch her stomach with the hand draped around her in the process. It's not too successful given the layers of jacket and clothing. And her intoxication making her a bit sloppy.

Malek snickers at Yan Sun's addition, his laughter only growing at Jessica's frustration. "Oh yeah? Let's hear it." he says, though his tone makes it clear that he's probably not going to be convinced.

Trace, of course, sides with Jessica. He raises an arm, pointing to her sharply as she speaks up, as if it backs up his claim.

Jessica gives a deep frown. "He is-... and his friends! They are out driving, yes? And suddenly BOOM! The whole truck is almost thrown over itself!" she says, clearly lacking the same knack for storytelling that Trace seems to possess. "He say that it is almost as big as the truck and claws like-... like-... big. And red eyes. And it chase them, mmm? Just BOOM! BOOM!" she reiterates, jostling Yan Sun a bit each time, "Into them

Jessica over and over. Eventually they get away, but it is chasing them for a long time."

Malek blinks, remaining unconvinced. "And, of course, you weren't there, right?"

No, but I see the damage! There is a big fucking dent in the truck!

Malek snaps off another question, "And just how drunk were they?" he asks, his smile widening a bit as if it's already a foregone conclusion that they had been drinking.

Jessica's frown deepens, as if she probably has good reason to assume that he was drunk. But she merely shrugs. "I don't fucking know." she mutters.

Yan Sun squirms with an unhappy noise as Jessica tries to pinch her, grumbling quietly afterwards. There's a grin on her face throughout Jessica's story, Malek's questions causing her to burst into laughter, bringing the hand with her beer up to her mouth in a failed attempt at muffling it.

Malek seems to grow more amused, unable to keep his big smile at bay when Yan Sun bursts into laughter. "I don't buy it." he says. "I don't buy it!"

Jessica lifts her free hand, clasping it over Yan Sun's hand over her mouth to try and further shut her up. "Is true!" she insists while wrestling her hand over Yan Sun's mouth. "My brother says the truth!"

Trace begins to chuckle, gesturing towards Jessica. "The man saw it with his own two eyes!" he says, seemingly reaching for whatever proof he can get despite the less-than-trustworthy story. "What more do ya want?"

Yan Sun 's laughter continues unabated, shifting her head away as Jessica's hand comes into play, spilling a bit of beer as her own hand is grabbed and jostled. "I didn't say anything!" she exclaims.

Malek tries to wrangle in his own laughter. "The man thought he saw them!" he corrects Trace before looking back to Jessica. "I'll believe he thought he saw something but-... shit, get this man out here cuz I got questions!" he snickers.

Jessica continues to wrestle with Yan Sun in an attempt to silence her. "You are laughing!" she argues, "I am going to-... gah-... hit you!" she warns, though a bit of her own laughter begins to slip out. Malek's words cause her to reluctantly give up on clasping her hand over Yan Sun's mouth as her drunken gaze shifts his way. "Mmm. Hold on, I will get him." she offers. She leans to one side, gaze turning downwards to the ground. "Hey,

you shit!" she calls out, swaying gently as her arm lowers back to Yan Sun's stomach, "Come up here and tell these fucks to fuck off!" She goes silent, as if awaiting a response. Obviously nothing comes. Nothing but the whistling of a soft gust of wind. She levels her drunken, smug grin on Malek. "Mmm. He is too dead tonight for talking." she says bluntly. There's no edge to her words, just that usual unabashed ease with

throwing around terrible information as if it doesn't bother her. Something that's probably only helped by her blood-alcohol levels.

Malek's snickering slowly trails off as the implication seems to set in and he sucks in his bottom lip, pointedly looking down to his drink. He studies it for a moment to try and shake off a bit of the unease and takes a short swig.

Yan Sun 's laughter only gets louder as Jessica tries to wrestle her into silence, until Malek's words cause it to come to a sudden stop with a couple of heavy, uncomfortable breaths as she catches her breath. She flinches a little at the words that follow from Jessica, looking down at her own knee as the smile slips from her lips.

Trace also falls silent at the implication, gaze shifting to Malek. There's a few awkward moments of silence before he lets out a long sigh. "Well, shit..." he begins before glancing across the fire to Jessica. "Guess there goes my shot at shutting this asshole up, huh?" he offers with a nod to Malek, a tentative attempt at levity.

Jessica cocks an eyebrow at Trace, grin never leaving her face. It takes a moment for her to process his words but, soon enough, her shoulders begin to bounce with drunken laughter.

Malek quickly lightens up when it becomes obvious that Jessica either isn't bothered, or is too drunk to be bothered, by all this talk of her dead brother. That big smile resurfaces and he shakes his head at Trace.

Jessica continues to snicker as she tries to scoot back from Yan Sun to get up, the action taking quite a bit of effort in her current state.

Yan Sun seems to relax a little when she hears Jessica's laughter, giving her arm a squeeze. When she realizes that she's trying to get up she leans forward, sitting up properly to get out of the way, and takes a sip from her beer before looking back over her shoulder at her.

Jessica uses her free hand to dust some of the dirt off her pants as she stands up. "What you are looking at, slut? Mmm?" she asks, giving Yan Sun's head a gentle shove when she spots her looking back at her. "I am going to turn on the heater in the tent for so it isn't so cold."

Yan Sun lets out an ambiguous noise in response to Jessica's preferred... term of endearment, and the light shove that follows, turning back towards the fire with a slight flush on her cheeks. She takes a long drink from her beer as an excuse not to look at Malek or Trace, pulling her legs in a little and resting her arms atop her knees.

Jessica allows her hand to linger on Yan Sun's head and, when she turns back to the fire, she slips her fingertips under the back of Yan Sun's beanie. With an unfocused gaze, she continues to run her fingers under the beanie- up through Yan Sun's hair- towards the top of her head, her wrist taking the beanie with it and leaving it disheveled. When her hand reaches the top of Yan Sun's head she playfully grips a handful of hair and gives

it a tug. She lifts her hand, grabs the beanie that was left balancing precariously atop Yan Sun's head, and tosses it to the ground before starting towards the tent.

Trace furrows his brow as he watches the pair, another snicker slipping out. "You two going to bed soon?" he calls out as he hears Jessica, sounding genuinely sad that the night be coming to an end.

Malek chirps in, "Still got plenty of beer that needs drinking. S'too early to sleep!" he says, leaning to the side to give the cooler a few pats, as if trying to convince Jessica to stay.

Yan Sun lets out a quiet, slightly flustered laugh as Jessica plays with her hair and dislocates her beanie. When it is thrown to the ground her eyebrows furrow and she lets out a "Hey!", leaning over to grab it, the movement a bit sluggish from alcohol. Trace's question causes her to lean to the side and look back over her shoulder, placing a hand down for support as she looks towards Jessica with a questioning look, as if leaving it up to

her.

Jessica stomps towards the tent, back to the others. "Mmm! Soon!" she hums loudly. "We are-..." she trails off as she reaches the tent and crouches down, cussing under her breath as she briefly struggles with the zipper, still refusing to put down her beer, "...we are going to bed, but we are not going to sleep!" she responds to Trace and Malek, if a bit drunkenly. She glances back over her shoulders, giving Yan Sun a questionable look

and a small raise of her brow. She drops to her knees and begins crawling into the tent, chuckling in amusement at... something.

Trace snorts, gaze lowering in discomfort as he brings a hand up to his forehead.

Malek furrows his brow, seemingly unsure of how to respond. So he just doesn't. Instead, he draws in a breath and looks to Yan Sun. "...She can-... uhh-... really drink, huh?" he says as Jessica disappears into the tent.

Yan Sun freezes up a little, gaining an embarrassed look as she turns back to Trace and Malek. "Yeahhh..." she replies through an awkward smile, an uneasy laugh following as her free hand reaches up to scratch her neck. The uncomfortable smile, or maybe grimace is more accurate, doesn't leave her face.

Trace looks to the tent for a moment before turning his attention back to the fire. "So, uhh-... west, huh?" he asks in an attempt at pushing past the awkwardness left behind by Jessica, drifting back to their earlier topic that was shut down.

Malek leans forward slightly as Trace steers the subject back towards the pair's destination, looking genuinely curious. "You guys got friends out that way, or...?" he prods, seemingly confused as to why anyone would head out to their neck of the woods.

Yan Sun opts for a long swig of her beer. Trace's question elicits a series of nods and a slightly awkward "Mhm. Yeah." Malek's follow-up however causes her to go quiet for a moment, eyebrows furrowing a little. "Uhm... no, it's-... not really, it's... more of a goodbye thing, I guess. We're planning on leaving soon, and... it's kind of a big deal for Jessica so... you know." She shrugs slightly, forgetting about the fact that Jessica never

really introduced herself by name amid the alcohol and the time passed. "Plus, this is-... I've never done anything like this before, so... it's cool. Aite's... beautiful." she says with a look around, lingering on the busy nightsky with a distracted smile. She doesn't mention Jessica's family.

Trace gives a soft, "...Oh." at Yan Sun's initial response. Even without knowing the details, the earlier implication regarding Jessica's brother makes it pretty easy to understand why the opportunity to 'say goodbye' might be so important to her. Yan Sun's assessment of Aite causes a smile to tug at his lips, slightly obscured by his thick beard. Unrestrained pride in his home. "Yeah." he sighs, head lulling back against the chair as he

joins her in stargazing. "It is, isn't it?" If there was ever a reason to question why the pair chose to stay here rather than going to wherever it is that Malek called home, the answer is in his eyes as he takes in that beautiful night sky.

Malek offers a gentle smile at Trace's wistful tone. "There's not much out that way. Few farms. Barely even that once you get out past us. You gonna be roughing it the whole way?"

Yan Sun just watches the sky for a little while, following the curve of the planetary rings until they're drowned out by the light of Litae. Malek's words cause her to look down again, shifting a little. "Yeah, that's-... that's the plan." she confirms with a couple of nods, studying her bottle for a moment before taking another sip. It's pretty obvious from her tone that she doesn't really know what to expect.

Trace and Malek allow the quiet to persist as they enjoy the silence. The warmth of the fire isn't enough to fully stave off the cold but, combined with their winter gear, it does a nice job of keeping things cozy. Yan Sun's words cause Trace to look Malek's way briefly. He pokes at the inside of his cheek for a moment in consideration before giving a small shrug of his shoulders as he turns his gaze back to Yan Sun. "Our farm is about a

day's trip out west." he begins. "You guys took a chance on us. Gave us a place to lay our heads down for the night. Some heat. Good company. I-... uhh-..." he shoots another glance Malek's way who seems to give him a look that says, 'This isn't my call'. "...I'd like the chance to return the favor. I don't know what kind of map you're working with, but I can mark it or-..." he trails off, "or whatever before taking off tomorrow." He

suddenly seems to worry that his offer may be a bit presumptuous and puts a hand up defensively with a shake of his head, "I mean, maybe it'll be too out of your way but, you know... Just an offer if you find yourself looking for a place to stop tomorrow or, you know, on you way back from wherever it is you're going..." he says, giving a sheepish shrug of his shoulders.

Malek doesn't object, his gaze turning back to Yan Sun. "We're not expecting to be back for another week or so, but-..." he casts a glance back to Trace with a shrug, "...Could try getting a message out to your grandmother. Let her know to expect some visitors."

Yan Sun seems surprised by the offer, eyebrows rising a little. "I-... yeah, I mean-... that-... that'd be great. Uhm... if Jessica agrees, anyway. Is-... would your grandmother be alright with that?" she asks, seeming a little wary of potentially turning up unannounced.

Malek gives a snort at Yan Sun's response, looking as if he's about to say something when he gets a glare from Trace.

Trace settles his attention back on Yan Sun. "I'm sure she'd enjoy the opportunity for a bit of company." he says, though Malek makes a face that makes it clear that he finds that statement questionable, eyes widening as a goofy, silent warning to Yan Sun. "We don't get many visitors and she's getting too old to make the trip to the city so-..." he nods, that kind smile returning, "...would be nice." He takes another pull from his drink

before shrugging his shoulders, not wanting to put any pressure on Yan Sun. "Like I said, it's just an offer in case you need it."

Jessica does battle with the door-flap for a moment before re-emerging from the tent. It seems that during her time in the tent she finished off her beer. Either that, or spilled it since the bottle in her hand is quite empty. As she rises to her feet, she hurls it into the darkness and the satisfying CHUNK of glass breaking reverberates through the night. "Beeeeer!" she demands as she stomps towards the campfire, making a detour to

the truck. It takes her a moment to undo one corner of the tarp in her state and she reaches over the side, tongue lulling out of the corner of her mouth as she feels around in an attempt at reaching in for a piece of firewood.

Yan Sun is unable to suppress a small snort of laughter at Malek's silent warning, but nods in response to Trace's words. Jessica's return prompts another laugh, finishing off her own beer as she watches her battle the tarp. "How-... how many beers have you had...?!"

Jessica pulls a piece of firewood out and tucks it under her arm. Yan Sun's question causes her to furrow her brow. "I drink more than you did, bitch." she says, as if having misinterpreted Yan Sun's question as a competition. She once again struggles with the tarp, settling on snapping it onto a portion of the truckbed that doesn't quite fully cover it. Good enough.

Trace restrains a smile as Jessica makes a less-than graceful return. He just silently complies, pulling a bottle free from the cooler and holding it up to show her. "How about you?" he asks with a glance to Yan Sun. "You ready for another...?"

Yan Sun lets out a snort and turns her attention from Jessica to Trace with a shake of her head, reaching out to accept a new beer. "Why not..." she sighs, less picky than usual on account of being in the middle of nowhere.

Trace smiles, "That's the spirit." he says as he uses his bottle opener to snap the cap off of the one in his hand and passes it around the fire to Yan Sun. He retrieves a fresh one for Jessica, opening that one as well. He's seen enough of her painful-looking party trick for one night.

Jessica haphazardly lobs the log onto the fire before snatching the bottle out of Trace's hand. She returns to her position behind Yan Sun, but doesn't retake her seat. Instead, she remains standing, legs against Yan Sun's back as she takes a healthy swig from her beer.

Malek is quick to reach out and nudge the piece of firewood further into the firepit before it has a chance to fall out, careful to avoid burning himself.

Yan Sun accepts the fresh beer, leaning it against her leg. She recoils a little when the lobbed log kicks up embers from the fire. As Jessica takes up position behind her she reaches up with her right, idly touching her elbow as she turns her head to look up at her questioningly.

Jessica rests her beer against the crook of her elbow, peering down at the- from her angle- upside down Yan Sun. She gives a small lift of her brow, a gentle, drunk sway to her. After a moment, she crouches down, head leaned forward to press a quick, wet kiss against her lips that misses its mark, mostly catching her on the nose. "You are wanting to drink your beer out here, or-... or you are wanting to talk in the tent? Mmm?" she asks,

grin stretching across her face as if she's being slick and didn't already give her intentions away. "...Because I am needing to talk to you. Alone." She brushes the tip of her nose back and forth against the tip of Yan Sun's a few times, her breath carrying that distinct smell of alcohol. "...In the tent."

Trace and Malek merely fall quiet, passing a few amused glances at one another.

Yan Sun blinks as Jessica crouches down, half a smile crossing her lips after the misaimed kiss, just watching her face up close. Her words cause an embarrassed sound that's not quite a laugh and not quite a cough. She casts an awkward glance towards Trace and Malek, clearing her throat as she tries to formulate herself in a way that isn't completely transparent. The beer does her no favors, nor does Jessica's lack of discretion. "Uhhh...

I...... need to... go..." she says with an utterly failed attempt at a nonchalant expression as she gestures over her shoulder towards the tent.

Trace gives a small nod of his head, not wanting to make things any more uncomfortable for Yan Sun than they already are. "Alright. We're probably gonna stay up for a bit longer." he says, casting a glance Malek's way, as if to make sure, which gets a few nods in return.

Jessica's grin widens, her free hand looping around Yan Sun's chest from behind in a bit of a drunken half-hug. She presses a quick kiss against the top of her head as Trace speaks, her attention far more focused on Yan Sun. She sluggishly reaches for her hand, grasping it in her own as she stands back up. "Mmm. Do not let the fire go out or Durashka and Torish may come." she snickers. "But maybe we will get lucky and they will eat

him." she says, gesturing to Malek with her beer bottle and a dip of her head, though her grin persists.

Malek suddenly seems less worried about making things uncomfortable for the pair. Jessica's comment causes his smile to widen. "Uh huh. You two have fun." he says with a small raise of his beer, his attempt at firing back by making things awkward.

Yan Sun takes a long drink from her beer before getting up at Jessica's urging, giving an awkward half-wave with the hand grasping the bottle. "Uhm... goodnight." she manages before hastily turning away.

Trace snorts at the back-and-forth with a shake of his head. "We'll make sure the fire keeps going." he assures.

Jessica gives a small raise of her brow in response to Malek. "Oh, we will." she says shamelessly as she gives Yan Sun's hand a tug, his attempt at making things awkward holding no power over her.

Malek gives a long, drawn out, coy, "Niiiiight." as the pair walk away.

Jessica begins to back towards the tent- probably a precarious choice in her current condition- and glances over Yan Sun's shoulder towards the fire. "Goodnight, fuckers!" she calls out. "Do not forget, if you try and are stealing our things-..."

Malek nods a few times, waving Jessica off. "You're gonna 'grenade launch' at us." he finishes, "Believe me, we remember."

Jessica seems satisfied, giving a sharp nod before turning towards the tent just in time to keep from backing into it. Her old nemesis, the door flap, gives her pause and she silently steps aside, seemingly deciding to let Yan Sun fiddle with the finicky, tricky zipper.

Yan Sun just makes a resigned grimace at Jessica's response to Malek, letting herself be tugged along to the tent. She crouches down in front of the door flap, taking another swig of her beer to cope with the awkwardness before pushing it into the snow to free her hands. She unzips the door and is quick to crawl inside, leaving the half-full bottle behind.

The inside of the tent is far from luxurious. The material is old and well worn, but has been lovingly patched and stitched up in places. It's far too short to stand up in, but one can kneel comfortably. It's large enough for two people to sleep in comfortably, but the heater and Jessica's gear crate- having been brought to the tent in case Trace or Malek decided to try robbing them in the night- on top of their bags of necessities makes it a

little more cramped. Their sleeping bag covers most of the usable floor.

Jessica gives Yan Sun a hard swat on the ass- the impact lessened by her gloves- as she crawls into the tent before dropping to her knees and hastily scurrying after her. Unlike Yan Sun, she maintains a firm grip on her drink, though a bit spills when she enters the tent. Not that she seems to notice. Once inside, she reaches for the zipper with her free hand to shut the flap behind them but a glaring oversight in her plan makes itself

apparent: Operating zippers with a beer in one hand is difficult if not nigh impossible! Her brow furrows in concentration and frustration.

Yan Sun hastily disappears into the tent after the swat, a slightly drunk giggle slipping out. She turns around onto her back, propping herself up with her elbows as she watches Jessica. Her struggle with the zipper elicits an immediate laugh, making no attempt whatsoever to help, instead sitting up to start prying her own boots off as she watches.

Jessica only seems to be further spurred on by Yan Sun's laughter to defeat the dastardly zipper, scowl on her face. It takes a painful number of seconds before it finally occurs to her that she doesn't need to hold the bottle. But instead of putting it down, she just takes the neck of the bottle in her mouth, gripping it between her teeth. Success! With both hands free, she manages to close the flap. Holding the bottle in her mouth has

the added benefit of allowing her to simply lean her head back slightly to take a quick swig. Problem solving! Invigorated by her victory, she rotates on her knees to face Yan Sun with a big drunk grin on her face. "What you were laughing at?" she asks smugly, "Mmm?" The small holographic interface on the heater and the light bleeding through the tent's material from the fire outside are the only things keeping the tent from

being pitch black.

Yan Sun just keeps watching after getting her boots off, her laughter only growing stronger after Jessica's eventual victory, she brings up a hand in a token attempt to stifle it, looking away from Jessica for a moment, big grin on her face. "Nothing!" she assures.

Jessica looks skeptical, merely watching Yan Sun for a moment before giving a small raise of her brow. She scoots forward, widening her stance slightly to straddle Yan Sun's legs and work her way up to her lap. Her movement is sluggish, but she manages it, bottle tightly gripped in her left hand. "Mmmm?!" she insists through her grin, her right hand reaching idly towards the zipper on Yan Sun's jacket.

Yan Sun leans up a little more, shifting to prop herself up with her palms. "Mhm!" she insists. "You showed that door who's boss!" she says with raised eyebrows and a look of mock sincerity as she studies Jessica, trying to suppress her grin.

Jessica pulls down the zipper, cocky grin flying in the face of her unfocused brown eye. As her right hand rises back up, she briefly assists in pushing the jacket clear of Yan Sun's left shoulder before lifting her hand higher to grab Yan Sun by the face- thumb on her right cheek, index and middle finger on the left- and gives a playful squeeze. "I will show you who is boss." she threatens in a mutter.

Yan Sun gains a somewhat squished grin, amusement mixing with a bit of excitement as she studies Jessica's face, barely visible in the dark tent. She shrugs her left arm free of her jacket and moves her hand to the zipper of Jessica's jacket, slowly starting to undo it as she continues to look at her.

Jessica stands a little taller on her knees, right hand moving to rest against Yan Sun's left shoulder. She watches her from above as her jacket's zipper is dealt with by Yan Sun. She begins urging the right side of Yan Sun's jacket over her shoulder with a single, outstretched finger on her left hand so she can do so without having to put down her beer. She even goes so far as to switch the beer to the opposite hand so she can slip her

left arm free once her own zipper has been taken care of. Free of her jacket, she sways gently as she hovers over Yan Sun in her white thermal shirt, thick, olive green cargo pants, and her snow boots. Kirill's sunglasses are perched precariously on the edge of the dumb floofy hat, threatening to tumble off of her head. "Open your mouth." she drawls as she peers down at Yan Sun, mischievous grin widening.

Yan Sun 's jacket still hangs off of her right arm as she looks up at Jessica. Underneath, she's in a gray hoodie and her usual jeans, legs outstretched under Jessica. She can't contain a laugh as teh woman above her pries her jacket off, doing her best to help it along. The words that follow causes her eyebrows to furrow. "...why...?" she asks with a suspicious look, but she does it all the same, making a goofy face at Jessica.

Jessica gives a small raise of her brow as Yan Sun questions her. "Because I say so." she says, as if that should be enough and reaches up with her left hand, gripping Yan Sun's beanie and tugging it down over her eyes. She presses her palm against Yan Sun's forehead briefly to urge it back. "Do like this-..." she instructs, hooking the index finger of her left hand over Yan Sun's lower front teeth to pry her mouth open a bit more. Her

left hand remains there awkwardly, probably not all that comfortable for Yan Sun, as she brings the bottle up with her right hand and takes a nice long swig from it. She then shifts from knee to knee to get into a better position, cheeks puffed out from a mouthful of alcohol as she scoots forward until she's right up against Yan Sun. Leaned over Yan Sun, she allows the beer to slowly spill from her mouth in an attempt at getting

it into Yan Sun's. Given the lack of light, her intoxication, and her finger still jammed into Yan Sun's mouth, her aim isn't spot on. Some runs down her chin, missing its mark entirely, and Jessica tries to tilt her head forward to correct its course, a muffled snicker escaping through a mouth full of beer.

Yan Sun 's eyebrows only furrow further beneath the beanie as it's pulled down and a finger is suddenly hooked into her mouth. "...wha ah uh oig...?" she tries to ask, only to have the question suddenly answered. Utterly unprepared for the sudden and haphazard stream of beer she coughs and spits, almost biting down on Jessica's finger as she tries to close her mouth. She brings up her left hand both to to try and pry Jessica away and to wipe

her cheek where beer is spilling from the corner of her mouth.

Jessica's snicker turns into full-on laughter as Yan Sun panics. Having caught more than her fair share of hits in the past when Yan Sun begins to flail, even in her drunken state she instinctively leans back when Yan Sun's hand comes up to pry her away. She presses her left hand against the ground behind her to keep herself from toppling over as she watches Yan Sun in amusement, swallowing what little beer remains in her mouth. "You

are wasting my beer!" she complains through her laughter, already lifting her right hand to take another swig.

Yan Sun briefly sits on her hand to slip out of her glove and then wipes her mouth with the back of her hand amid sputtering and grumbling. "Why wo-..." She reaches up to adjust her beanie and let her see, albeit dimly. "Not hot! For-... for the record? Not hot." she informs grumpily, although there's an undercurrent of amusement.

Jessica's amusement only seems to grow and Yan Sun's reaction threatens to cause her to spill her beer mid-drink as she attempts to drain what little is left. When she lowers the bottle, her cheeks are puffed out once again and, for a moment, she looks threateningly like she might start spitting more beer at Yan Sun. But a loud gulp kills that threat and she sets aside the bottle which nearly immediately tips over. She runs her tongue

along her lips to clean the lingering beer from it. "Mmm. Don't lie, kitty cat. I know you like it." she insists as she sits upright once more and begins to tug her own gloves off, tossing them aside in the darkness of the tent.

Yan Sun lets herself fall down against the pillow with a sigh, removing her other glove and freeing herself completely from her jacket. "You're... way too drunk..." she mutters, torn between grumping and laughing. The laughter seems to win out as she moves her hands to Jessica's hips, tilting her head and looking up at her.

Jessica scoots up a bit so she's positioned right on top of Yan Sun's midsection and plops down. Her gaze drops to the hand on her right hip, placing her own hand overtop it. "There is no such thing." she says through her grin, the rough skin of her right hand brushing over Yan Sun's left. "When there is free beer, you drink until there is no more free beer." she explains as if it's some great, ancient nugget of wisdom, though it's

probably pretty obvious that it was more than just the offer of free beer that had her drinking tonight.

Yan Sun 's eye lights up as she glances briefly towards their hands, the light travelling down the side of her head, disappearing under the hoodie until her hand is lit up in blue as well. She grasps Jessica's hand loosely as she looks back up at her, the comment eliciting a snort. "Mm... they're nice." she says with a lazy nod towards the tent door.

Jessica draws in a breath, glancing back over the shoulder at the door briefly. Low chatter, muffled by the tent, can still be heard and a chuckle sounds out from one of the two of them. Sounds like Malek. "Mmm." she hums, "Nice and stupid." she says harshly as she looks back to Yan Sun. She sound quite sure of that fact. She places her left hand on Yan Sun's stomach, lifting her ass up slightly so she can begin tugging the hoodie up

distractedly.

Yan Sun snorts, rolling her eyes a little. She reaches up to boop Jessica's nose. "Be nice." she urges with an alcohol-fueled half-smile. As Jessica starts to tug at her hoodie, she begins to shift her weight, lifting her back as necessary to assist in its removal, and raising her arms when needed. She doesn't bother to mention that it's a zip-up hoodie to the more-than-a-little drunk woman on top of her.

Jessica pauses and cocks an eyebrow as she's poked on the nose, looking as if she just might snap her finger off if she does it again. But as Yan Sun begins to shift to comply with the disrobing, she returns to her previous efforts with a grumpy mutter, entirely oblivious to the zipper. Instead, she struggles a bit awkwardly to lift the hoodie off. Eventually, when it gives her too much trouble around the shoulders, she settles for

simply gripping it by the hood and tugging it until it comes off, slinging it off to a corner in the process. Free of the hoodie, both of her hands return to rest flat against Yan Sun's midsection, her gaze accompanying them.

Yan Sun lets out a slightly alarmed noise as her hoodie is pulled off and she disappears underneath it for a bit, jostled with each tug until she's free of it. A snort of laughter slips out once she's free, her arms remaining up for a bit as she stretches them. Her beanie has disappeared somewhere inside the hoodie when it was pulled off, and her hair is disheveled. Under the hoodie is a black t-shirt with an old vid print. Most of her

midsection is bare from the shirt being tugged along when the hoodie was yanked off.

Jessica's grump seems to slip away as Yan Sun begins to laugh, a small, drunken smirk returning to her lips. She runs her palms across Yan Sun's midsection, hands slowly climbing higher and she doesn't stop as her wrists make contact with the shirt, causing the shirt to rise with them. "Why you are always wearing too much clothes? Mmm?" she asks lazily, her voice barely more than a hoarse whisper.

Yan Sun seemingly can't be bothered to prop herself back up and just remains lying down, looking up at Jessica. The question prompts a snicker and a small grin. "Because this planet is freezing!" she says, moving a little under Jessica's touch. She's tempted to move her hands back to her hips, but the slow rise of Jessica's hands, and her shirt with them, causes her to keep her arms next to her head, just looking up at her with a smile.

Jessica gives a playful scoff. "But is not freezing in here." she says. Which is technically true. It's not freezing in the tent- thanks to the heater- but it's still pretty damn cold. Her blood/alcohol level is probably doing a damn good job of numbing that, though. "So..." she grins, leaning forward until her hands slide all the way up to Yan Sun's shoulders, the shirt coming along for the ride. A low snicker escapes her as she

leans in close. "So no more clothes, mmm?" she hums, the smell of alcohol tinting her lips as they briefly brush against Yan Sun's.

Next Logs

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Road Trip
Yan Sun
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Road Trip
Yan Sun
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Road Trip
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Previous Logs

Road Trip
#TheMonument
Trace
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Road Trip
#TheMonument
Trace
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Road Trip
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