December 14th. Another night was spent in the truck. It felt particularly cramped after their previous night on the heavenly cloud of a bed at Mallory's farm. The rain came and went throughout the night, echoing quite loudly in the truck's cab when the weather got particularly nasty, like somebody dropping pebbles against a tin roof. The morning wasn't exactly sunshine and rainbows, either. A light grey filled the skies, promising another soggy
#EdgeOfTheWorld – October 2, 2019
day. A promise it has most certainly delivered on. The rain has come in waves throughout the day, at times so heavy that it's difficult to see through the windshield, prompting short breaks from driving. Other times it's little more than a light drizzle. It tends to change quickly and without warning, like Jessica's mood on a bad day. But their biggest adversary has been the mud. The region's terrain is rough. Small patches of forest. Sharp
inclines. Rocky outcroppings. All of this combined has made for frustrating navigation. Thankfully the truck is built for this sort of thing so, despite plenty of instances of tractionless spinning wheels, they haven't found themselves stuck.
It's about mid-day by the time the coast comes into view. The cliffed coast overlooks an unending ocean, waves of white rolling in, agitated by the unruly weather as they crash against the cliff face. Sea stacks point out of the water just off the coast, grey sheets of rock shaped and moulded like clay into jutting towers by weather and time.
Jessica has opted to drive again today given the conditions, making sure to get a few digs in at Yan Sun's presumed ability (Or inability, as the case may be) to handle the truck under such conditions. The past hour has been spent navigating the coastline. Jessica has remained silent as she tries to figure out where she's going, leaving music (It's Yan Sun's day to control the music) and the pitter patter of light rainfall against the truck's
cab. The navigation system hasn't been much help. Plenty of little dips in the coastline that could have been the spot.
Jessica brings the truck to an abrupt stop, brows furrowed as she studies the holographic display on the dashboard yet again. Further south, maybe? Maybe they're too far south? Would she even recognize it if she saw it? She turns her gaze out the windshield, leaning forward slightly to peer through the light rainfall and look out across the expanse of coastline. She gives a frustrated grunt that's accompanied by an almost panicked look
on her face, as if worried that she may not know the spot- the EXACT spot- where she visited. A trip that has been buried by years in uncharted territory. "Mother fucker!" she spits through clenched teeth, hammering a fist against the steering wheel. She reached for the handle of the door, pulling it back and using one boot to nudge the door open. The truck nearly immediately feels a few degrees cooler and the whipping wind
sends a bit of rain horizontal, breaching the cabin. It's not nearly as cold as it was back east, but there's still a sharpness in the air. Not exactly frigid, but the sort of wet cold that gets into your bones. She doesn't even bother zipping her jacket up, merely tugging the hood up over her ridiculous floofy hat as she marches out in front of the truck, seemingly hoping to get a better view without the rainstruck windshield
Yan Sun most certainly missed the comfort of Mallory's guest room during the night, but the rain was oddly welcome, the sound of it drumming loud against the roof of the truck reminding her of home. Far more familiar bad weather than the endless snow. Of course, most of the memories that it summoned were of lying with someone else's arms around her. Her dreams were a confusing mess that night. When morning came, she gladly let Jessica drive,
well aware she has no idea how to handle this kind of terrain. The music of the day has been nostalgic, mellow electronic beats that make it feel like they should be driving through a neon cityscape rather than amid rocks and trees. Yan Sun has mostly remained silent as Jessica has attempted to find her destination, aside from a couple of encouraging words. Her gaze has mostly been fixed on the imposing alien coastline, watching the
waves and the cliffs. When Jessica stops and curses her attention snaps over to her, eyebrows furrowing with concern. Without her jacket, the cold as the door opens sends a shiver down her spine, and she's quick to slip it on. It takes her a moment to get her boots back on too before she can follow Jessica out, flinching against the spray of cold water that hits her face as she steps out, squinting against the wind as her hands
There's a healthy coat of mud across the side of the truck and caked into nearly every groove of each of the hulking vehicle's massive wheels. They've been traveling south, keeping the coastline on their right. Off to their left, far from them, is a small patch of trees. One seems to have been uprooted at some point, a testament to just how strong the winds can get out here. The discarded tree lays on its side, broken and half-buried in the
ground around 10 yards to their left. The cliffs are probably no more than 15 yards to their right. Moss decorates the grey and brown stone of the cliff face and the occasional foliage peeks out here and there amidst wild grass and wet dirt. The sound of unruly waves crashing against the cliffs can be heard amidst the soft rainfall.
Jessica stomps through dirt softened by the rain as she rounds the front of the truck and starts across the right side- closer to the coast's cliffs- towards some smaller rock formations that climb upwards from the ground. Mud clings to the edges of her boots, leaving sharp impressions in the ground with each step. She squints against the light rainfall, made horizontal at times by the wind, and a sharp cold sting causes her to finally
reach down and zip her jacket up. It's not until she hears the passenger's side door close that she shoots a glance back Yan Sun's way. She draws in a deep, frustrated breath before approaching one of the smaller rocks and climbing onto it for a better view.
Yan Sun grimaces as her boots land in muddy ground, and then again as she closes the door behind her only to find the same mud on her hand. She makes an unhappy noise as she tries to wipe her hand on her jacket before heading over towards Jessica. She remains on the ground as Jessica climbs one of the rocks, looking up at her after slipping her beanie on to keep her hair from being thrown around by the wind.
Jessica balances a bit precariously against the wind in what would surely have resulted in Yan Sun landing hard on her ass in a puddle of mud were she the one up there. She brings a hand up above her eyes to shield them from the rain as she scans the horizon in what is surely a pointless endeavor. There's endless miles of coast. It's a proverbial needle in a haystack. A good minute passes before she finally shakes her head to herself,
that panicked look returning to her face as she glances briefly down to Yan Sun. "I can't-... I don't know where it is!" she calls down. "There is supposed to be a-... a-..." she struggles with the explanation, lifting her hand and flattening it out horizontally before giving it a dip downward to try and give a visual description of the pocket beach she's looking for. They've passed one already, but it was dismissed as not being
the right one. Or maybe it was and she just has an unclear picture of what she's looking for. Memories that are colored by more than ten years of time don't make the greatest guides, after all. "I don't know where is it!" she continues, gaze once more shooting along the coast to give it one more pass.
Yan Sun lets out a sigh, one arm shielding her face against the sprays of water as she looks up at Jessica. She's ready to let her spent the whole day looking if that's what she wants, but what are their chances? It's becoming pretty clear that Jessica is searching blindly. The underlying panic in her failure to find the location brings out a sympathetic frown, studying Jessica in silence for a moment. "What about the place we passed? Are
Jessica levels a frown on Yan Sun. It's a frown situation and someone needs to be frowned at, so Yan Sun wins the prize. "I'm sure!" she snaps, in case the look on her face wasn't enough. She gives one more glance along the coastline to the south before seemingly admitting she's not getting anywhere and lowering into a crouch so she can place a hand against the rock and safely hop down. She folds her arms across herself to try and fight
Jessica back the chill that comes along with her sudden departure from the warmth of the truck and rotates at the waist, continuing to scan the coastline. North and south. A fear lingers in her chest, one that's mirrored by the uncomfortable look on her face as she avoids Yan Sun's gaze for the moment. Fear that none of this means half as much to Yan Sun as it does to her. Fear that Yan Sun will find it stupid. Silly. All this way for
Jessica what? An untamed ocean? Bad weather and wet clothes? But that beach could be anywhere. They had just stumbled across it all those years ago. It could be just beyond their sightlines, obscured by the shifting elevation and terrain of the uncompromising cliff face. Or it could be hours from them. Maybe more. Her jaw bulges as she bites down and relents, finally looking back Yan Sun's way with defeat on her face. "We can't look
Jessica forever and if it is too dark when we stop then we will be stuck in the truck again..." she admits, well aware that they're on a timer in regard to the truck's power cells.
Yan Sun lets out another sigh, nodding a couple of times as she glances off down the coast. She steps closer, one hand wrapping around Jessica's lower arm, squeezing it slightly through the fabric of her jacket. "If you want to keep looking, we'll keep looking..." she says softly, meeting her gaze to show that she means it before looking along the coast once more. "...but it might not even be here anymore." she suggests with a small shrug.
Jessica swallows hard at Yan Sun's suggestion, brown eye flicking away from Yan Sun's gaze. Gone like everything else. Yeah... The thought brings about a number of emotions to the surface in a flash. Frustration. Sadness. Anger. In part, it only makes her want to find it that much more. But to what end? For how long could they look without leaving them without enough power to get back to Freedom Falls? She gives a small shake of her
Jessica head at the offer. "Is just a stupid fucking beach..." she offers in a mutter. She rolls her shoulders in a continued effort to fight off the chill as she glances off to the south where the terrain climbs higher along the coast. It's not steep, just a slight, gradual incline that levels out near the top of the cliff. She gives a small nod of her head in that direction. "We will set up the tent over there." she says with a
Jessica certainty that does little to mask her disappointment. "Is better if we are ready before the rain gets worse again." she explains softly, her mind clearly elsewhere for the moment as she simply studies the cliffs.
Yan Sun studies Jessica for a while before nodding softly, a faint frown having settled into her face. It's obvious that this was important to Jessica, and she wishes she could help. "Okay." she agrees, following Jessica's gaze towards the cliffs. It's not hard to tell that she has more on her mind, but whatever it is she doesn't voice it, instead glancing back towards their vehicle. "Should we bring the truck up?" she asks.
Jessica gives a few small nods as she continues to watch waves hammer against the bottom of the cliffs in the distance. It would take quite a bit of effort to haul all of their things back and forth to their destination if they didn't bring the truck up with them. It takes another few seconds for her mind to catch up with her body and she blinks hard to try and clear her thoughts. "Come on." she instructs as she starts back towards the
It's a silent drive up the incline, drops of water bouncing off the windshield the entire way. The spot chosen by Jessica is probably a good 20 feet from the cliff's edge. Solid ground. Soft enough to hammer the tentpoles into but hard enough to ensure a strong gust of ocean wind won't pull it up. At least as far as Jessica can determine. She's certainly no expert even if she tries to pretend she is. Much like at the monument, she pulls the
truck up alongside the tent to serve as a bit of a windbreak from one direction at least. A tactic surely learned from watching Kirill. There's not much smalltalk. Jessica is in Foreman Kaya mode as they unpack. It's easier to not dwell on all of the thoughts swirling around in her head when there's a task to focus on. Preparing the necessities to be brought into the tent is delegated to Yan Sun. Toiletries. Portable heater. Cooler. Sleeping
bags. Clothes. And her gear crate to use as a table to store their wet, muddy shoes and jackets without getting the interior of the tent too messy. Putting the tent together goes much smoother than it did the first time now that Jessica has a bit of experience under her belt. The strong winds are the only real hindrance, but after the first couple of tentpegs are in the ground it becomes much less of an issue. There's now much of a chance of
getting a fire started in this weather but the firepit is brought out anyway in case it calms down. Thankfully it's not needed like it was back at the monument. It's cold, sure. Downright chilly and the wetness only compounds that. But it's a far cry from the freezing temperatures back east.
The flat area of the cliff they're set up on is mostly muddied dirt, wild grass, and a few shrubs. Small moss-covered rocky formations pepper the area around their campsite. The cliff falls off abruptly in a nearly straight drop that has to be a few hundred feet down. Jagged, sharp, rocky outcroppings litter the bottom of the drop, white waves crashing against them in a constant rhythm.
Jessica has seated herself at the opening of the tent, feet hanging out of the 'door' to keep from getting the mud from her boots all over everything. The tent's flap is pinned up and she's seen fit to add the small, optional canopy that's little more than an extra piece of canvas that snaps onto the front and is held up by a few rods that are buried into the ground. It provides her with a little shelter from the rain, but every now and
Jessica then the wind takes it at just the right angle and sends it her way. She doesn't seem to mind, though. Her mind is somewhere else. Arms around her legs, she rests her chin against her knee and simply watches as the rain continues to fall. The grey skies get darker over the ocean, implying it's probably only going to get worse if the storm comes their way. Thankfully Kirill seems to know what he's doing in regard to upkeep
Jessica because, despite a number of homemade repairs and patches, the tent doesn't seem to leak anywhere.
Yan Sun , of course, is about as far from an expert as they come, and so defers to whatever Jessica decides. She's focused on getting all their things ready, and once Jessica got the tent up, getting it all inside. She jumps out of the truck bed with a quiet grunt, boots sinking slightly in the patch of mud that's been worked up where she's been going back and forth. She handles the tarp on her own before heading back towards the tent. She
Yan Sun stops briefly, looking out at the storming ocean, before crouching down under the canopy. "Mind if I squeeze through?" she asks, flashing a small, slightly cautious smile, Jessica's mood not lost on her.
Jessica barely even registers Yan Sun's presence until she speaks up, brow pinching together as she tilts her head up at her. "Mmm?" she hums before realizing what's being asked. "Oh..." she mutters, hugging her legs a little tighter as to not tip over as she leans to the side to grant Yan Sun a little more room to pass through.
Yan Sun ducks into the tent, sitting down next to Jessica, much like her leaving her legs poking out so as to not track mud into the tent. For a little bit she turns to the side, extending her hands towards the heater to rid them of some of the cold that came with securing the tarp in the windy weather, but then she joins Jessica in looking out of the tent.
Jessica brings her chin right back to her knee, gaze settled near the edge of the cliff and the tumultuous ocean beyond it. She remains silent, the look in her dark brown eye distant. Her thoughts elsewhere.
Yan Sun just watches the restless ocean alongside Jessica for a while, her mind drifting briefly to the similarities and the differences to the view back in Hong Kong. After a while her gaze drifts to Jessica, letting her cheek rest against her knees as she studies the side of her face in silence, a slight frown etched into her face.
Jessica's focus remains ahead of her. There's an almost empty look on her face. Devoid of emotion. Just... spent. And it's not just the stressful drive. Or the rain that seemed to get into everything as she was putting together the tent. This was it. That chance-... that desperate chance to be close to her brother one last time. Even if it was more than ten years away from him... even if it was a lifetime away from him. It would
have been enough. To stand on the same beach where they watched the sun. To sit in that same spot where they drank around a fire. And laughed. And smiled. A laugh she'll never hear again. A smile she'll never see again. Just to drink in the details of a time when everything wasn't broken. When her life was more than ash. There's a distant bolt of lightning out at sea, beautiful and bright. The echo of thunder doesn't come for
a while after. Still a ways off. Jessica's response to the distant light show is a small puff of air through her nose. It seems to bring her back into the present, however, causing her to tilt her head Yan Sun's way. "What you are looking at? Mmm?" she hums unenthusiastically.
Yan Sun just silently watches Jessica, trying to read her empty look as she wonders what's going through her head. She knows her thoughts are no doubt on Martin, of course, but-... The flash of lightning causes her head to lift slightly, gaze shifting outward for a moment before going back to Jessica as she hears her voice. "Just wondering what's on your mind..." she says softly, her hand shifting to Jessica's neck, thumb stroking idly back
Jessica's gaze lowers at the question and she gently presses her chin back against her knees, attention turning right back out to the slowly approaching storm. "...Nothing." she lies, her voice quiet. With a little bit of growth, the stubble on her head makes the scarring more apparent than usual. Small patches of hair refuse to grow in along the side of her head, as if an angry barber had a score to settle with her.
Yan Sun lets out a quiet sigh, nodding slightly. She continues to study her for a bit, thumb feeling the contrast as it brushes across her neck. Then her gaze turns forward, legs extending a little. "Sorry we couldn't find it." she offers, parting her legs slightly to look down at her muddy boots. Her expression turns a little distant, a number of thoughts running through her head, remaining unvoiced for the moment.
Jessica is quick to dismiss Yan Sun's apology with a small, almost imperceptible shake of her head. "Is just a beach, kitty cat." she says in a whisper that betrays her words.
Yan Sun 's sigh is louder this time, her gaze turning back to Jessica as her eyebrows furrow, wondering whether it would be better to let her have whatever comfort the lie offers, no matter how transparent it is. Sometimes prying just makes things worse. But she can't stay quiet. Especially not after the ways Jessica has already opened up during the trip. It's obvious that there's a part of her that wants to share. That doesn't want to deal
with all this in isolation. "Jessica..." she starts softly, her hand pulling back as she studies her, arms resting against her knees. "It's a beach that we drove halfway across the continent for." she says, pointing out the obvious with a slight raise of her eyebrows, a small, sad smile briefly crossing her lips. "Pretty clear that it was important to you."
Jessica merely shakes her head, chin still pressed against her knee. She blinks hard, brows furrowing as if having to devote effort to keep looking straight ahead. To keep from turning to Yan Sun. A few moments pass and she gives another hard blink, this one accompanied by a soft sniffle as a tear rolls down her cheek. Despite the charade falling apart she still doubles down, shaking her head once more as if to assure Yan Sun that it's
nothing more than a beach to her. She pulls a shallow breath in through her lungs. "I-... I miss them sooo much..." she admits softly, her voice barely more than a whisper that's almost lost amongst the sound of rain atop the canvas and waves crashing against stone. The admission causes her to tilt her head forward, pressing the bottom half of her face into the crook between her knees, distant gaze turning towards her muddy
Yan Sun swallows hard as Jessica's emotion shines through. "I know..." she says quietly, the words getting caught in her throat. She doesn't know how it feels. She doesn't know what it's like. But she sees how much it hurts Jessica, day after day, and that sends a stab of pain through her chest that reflects in her face as she watches her, quickly having to blink back tears of her own to keep them from escaping.
Jessica tries to hold back the tears but eventually what little remains of the facade falls. Slow but steady tears slip free. "I just want to go home..." she says. It's not often that the foul mouthed, belligerent, scarred, dangerous woman shows any vulnerability, but right now she looks about as harmless as a pyjak. "...To open the front door and smell my mother's cooking again. Hear Martin's stupid laugh. See that dumb look on my
father's face..." she offers softly, gaze distant, blinking hard at the emotion wells up at just saying it aloud. At the memories that hit her like a jolt of electricity powerful enough to put the bolts of lightning off the coast to shame. "But-... they are gone... And now I am leaving..." she continues with a sniffle, her shoulders lifting ever so slightly in an attempt at a shrug that she doesn't quite have the energy to
follow through on, so she simply continues to hug her legs. "Is what I always wanted... what we always wanted..." she corrects, speaking on behalf of the departed. "But-... but every day... every tomorrow just takes me further away from them." The words choke her up and a sob slips out, causing her to bury her face a little deeper into her knees and close her eyes for a moment in a fruitless attempt at regaining her
composure. She's not supposed to let anyone see her like this. That's the rules. It's what Adrasteia has taught her. It's weakness. And the strong prey on the weak. But the dam has broken and there's no holding it back. "How I can look forward to anything that is to come when I know that they will not be there with me?" she asks, finally swallowing her pride and looking to Yan Sun. To the woman who has become so much more to
her than she had ever expected. A friend. Someone to depend on. And so much more. Her good eye scans across Yan Sun's face as she spills her emotions, raw and unfiltered, desperately hoping the woman will have an answer for her. "How?" she repeats, her voice cracking as the word leaves her lips.
Yan Sun listens silently, sucking in her lips as all that raw hurt comes flooding out, trying to keep her own composure, but seeing her like this cuts right through her and the tears quickly start to flow. She blinks against them as she listens, her expression increasingly helpless. She wants to make it better but she has no clue how. What wisdom could she possible offer? What comforting words? Nothing. She wants to believe that time will
heal those open wounds, but she doesn't know. How could she? She's never experienced what Jessica has. She's never suffered, not really. She's never had to lose someone she loved. She just disappointed them, until there was nothing left. You're just a spoiled princess who doesn't have a fucking clue what it's like. Who's never had to watch the only family you have die because of greedy assholes like- She blinks hard, sucking in
her lips again, tasting the salt of the tears on the tip of her tongue. "I don't know..." she admits, dodging Jessica's gaze as the words choke her up. "But-... but-..." A sniffle, and she looks back to her. "...you can figure it out. You will." she asserts with a small nod, the faint smile that she wills herself to manifest filled with emotion. "I believe that. And-... and I-I-I don't know what it's worth, but... I'm gonna be there
with you while you do. I mean... long as you want me to." she says, her voice shaky. Her left hand goes to Jessica's arm, and her right to her shoulder as if on the verge of pulling her into a hug but unsure if it would be wanted or not. "You're not alone..."
Jessica's eyes shoot downward when Yan Sun admits she has no wisdom to share, embarrassment showing through. She gives a set of small nods. Less to be understanding and more in an attempt at covering up her own discomfort. As Yan Sun continues to speak, she once again finds herself watching the unending sea beyond the cliffs. The dark grey clouds in the distance that are illuminated each time a bolt of lightning erupts from the sky. The
rainfall on the canvas is getting louder as the stormclouds inch closer. It's unclear whether or not she's even listening to anything Yan Sun says after her initial statement. That is, up until the end. Her final words cause a deep sniffle from Jessica. She's done everything in her power to try and push those emotions away for so long now. Every day. Like forcing down debris in an overflowing garbage can. None of it mattered.
She was going after Cross and, one way or another, it just didn't matter. It didn't need to be addressed. She would kill him. Her family would have their justice. She would find her peace. At least, that's what she told herself. That's what kept her going every day. What drove her. And the alternative? The more likely outcome? She didn't admit it- she couldn't, not even to herself- but that was an even better outcome. He kills
her. Real peace. No more guilt. No more anger. No more hurt. No more ghosts staring back at her every time she looks in the mirror. No more reflections of her mistakes in the eyes of everyone she looked at. But things are different now. Despite her best efforts, there's something in her life worth losing again. Maybe there had been all along, but she fought tooth and nail to keep it all at arm's length. To make sure she
could do what she needed to do. What she had to do. Why did she get into that elevator? She bites down. Hard. And another wave of emotions wash over her, tears running down her cheek. She doesn't need to be pulled into a hug. She shifts to her side and leans heavily against Yan Sun, arm slipping tightly around her waist. "...I know." she says softly. And that scares the hell out of her.
Yan Sun 's arms wrap around Jessica in response, her right leg extending further to get out of the way as she hugs her tightly, pressing her close and resting her chin against the top of the stupid, floofy hat. Her tears are flowing freely now and there's a loud sniffle and she buries her face against it, squeezing Jessica harder. "I love you." She didn't mean to say that. She's not sure what she meant to say but it definitely wasn't that.
It just slipped out. It's half-mumbled against the stupid, stupid hat, almost lost amid the escalating rain. She did not mean to. But the woman in her arms is hurting so bad with all her armor stripped away, with her wounds exposed and bleeding, and it feels like a stab to her heart. All she can think about is how much she wants to make it better. How much she wants her to be happy. How it makes her heart ache to see her hurt like
this. How much it worries her. Her feelings are too strong and it just slips out. Some part of her just needs her to know, even if it's stupid and pointless and unwanted.
Jessica's entire body goes rigid as soon as those three words reach her ears. It's as if every muscle in her body tenses. It's only for the briefest of seconds, but it's noticeable. It causes her stomach to drop, like the floor has opened up beneath her and she's just left. Falling. Floating. Waiting to slam into the ground. It's a sick feeling. The sort of thing that would trigger a fight or flight response if she had any fight or
flight left in her. But she doesn't. So it just prompts another, deeper sniffle as she leans a little heavier into Yan Sun, arm tightening ever so slightly around her. Giving an honest response isn't even a consideration. She knows how she feels about the woman who traveled all the way out here with her on a whim. The woman with whom she's preparing to leave behind the only home she's ever known to jump across the galaxy. The
person she's been unable to bring herself to push away against her better judgement. She knows exactly how she feels. And that scares the hell out of her, too. So she remains silent at first, pressed tightly against Yan Sun as the rumblings of the storm get louder. "...You are so gay." she finally offers softly in return through another sniffle.
Yan Sun does her best to suppress the tension in her own body as she feels Jessica freeze up. Most of her mind might be worrying about Jessica, overflowing with the inescapable awareness of just how much she cares about the woman in her arms, but even now there's some small, fearful part at the back of her mind that wonders if she just ruined everything. If this is going to be the moment when Jessica pushes her away and looks at her like
she's crazy. But she pushes it down, ashamed that the thought entered her mind, and then Jessica leans heavier against her and she lets out a breath. Her own embrace tightens in return, holding her as close as she possibly can, barely aware of the approaching storm. Jessica breaking the silence causes a surprised sound somewhere halfway between a sob and a snort of laughter to slip out. "Yeah..." she agrees quietly, struggling to
Jessica draws in a few shaky breaths as a silence sets in, wanting little more than to remain pressed against Yan Sun for as long as she possibly can as her body shakes from sobs. It's not until the position grows too uncomfortable and parts of her begin to go numb that she shifts in place, finally slipping free of Yan Sun's embrace. As she rises to her knees, she swings her right leg over Yan Sun's outstretched right as she pivots to
face her, effectively straddling her right leg. She scoots a bit closer, remaining upright on her knees as she looks down at the woman, eyes glassy and red from crying and cheeks tear-stained. The ever-present floofy hat remains perched atop her head, a little bit displaced but still there. All cried out. Exhausted. With her left hand she reaches up and traces her middle finger along the edge of Yan Sun's beanie to clear any
stray hairs from her face. Face clear of hair, Jessica's right hand moves to the side of Yan Sun's neck, palm pressed against her cheek. The rough, scarred texture of her thumb brushes along Yan Sun's lower lip- impossibly soft in contrast- as she merely studies her. A small, sad smile tugs at the corner of her mouth and she blinks as another tear threatens to escape before she leans down and presses a gentle kiss against her
Yan Sun is in no hurry to let go, keeping Jessica wrapped up in a tight embrace, steadying her as her body shakes with the sobbing. She keeps the hug even as discomfort and numb aching sets in from remaining still, left hand stroking gently up and down her upper back. All she wants right now is to keep her wrapped up, to shield those wounds. To help that hurt. Her own sobs are muffled by Jessica's hat. It's less violent, more subdued, but
lasts just as long, unable to stem the flow of tears so long as Jessica is crying in her arms. When she finally feels her starting to pull back she loosens her grip, her arms slowly retreating as she leans back with a sniffle, one hand reaching up to wipe her own eyes clear, cheeks still wet with tears. She takes the chance to absently shift a little to keep her butt from falling asleep before Jessica straddles her leg. Her neck
cranes to look up at Jessica, looking pretty drained herself, but there's still a whole lot of emotions lingering in her face. Her palms go to the palm of the tent at first, just watching silently as Jessica brushes her hair aside. The look in her eyes as the scarred thumb traces along her lip is hard to quantify. It's a heavy look, intensely focused on red eyes and tear-stained cheeks of the woman above her. Her eyes close when
Jessica leans in, for a brief moment just letting the kiss happen before returning it just as softly, hands shifting to Jessica's sides, a gentle touch.
Jessica presses into the kiss, her movements slow and drained by emotion, left hand resting lazily against Yan Sun's shoulder. When she finally breaks the kiss she presses her forehead against Yan Sun's, a layer of beanie and floof separating skin. Nose nestled against the side of Yan Sun's. Emotionally exhausted, her eyes remain closed, warm breath felt in rhythm with the rising and falling of her chest. Her shifting position has
pulled a little bit of mud into the entrance of the tent, but she doesn't care. Yan Sun's body is a welcome closeness. A needed closeness right now. So she remains right where she is despite the uncomfortable position. But the sound of the rapidly approaching storm- each growl of thunder louder than the last- tells her that it can't last forever and eventually her eyes peel open once more. "We should get everything closed
up..." she says, her gravely voice still softened by emotion. Tired and as worn down as the cliff they're perched atop.
Yan Sun 's eyes likewise remain closed as Jessica lingers close and their breaths mix. Her left hand slides up her back to her neck, displacing Kirill's former hat a bit as she caresses her neck gently, cherishing the brief, peaceful intimacy. When Jessica speaks her eyes open and a faint breath slips out, nodding slightly against Jessica's forehead. "Yeah..." she agrees softly after listening to the thunder for a moment, one corner of her