#EdgeOfTheWorld – October 23, 2019

An emotionally exhausting afternoon is capped off by an equally physically exhausting evening. The sound of the thunder rolling away persisted for a while, lost mostly amidst the relaxing music and rain against the tent as it grew distant. The rain stopped at some point... and then it started again. Fits of passion have been interspersed with long stretches of silence spent staring up at the ceiling of the tent as the pair listen to the rain.

When energy was sapped and an appetite had been worked up, the remainder of Mallory's leftovers were reheated. Nothing helps to take a bit of the edge off quite like strong booze and good sex at the edge of the world. And the evening has been filled with plenty of both.

Jessica is sat with her back against her armor crate, pillow serving as a soft divider between her and the harsh surface. She's worked up a bit of a buzz and only a little bit of the batarian ale remains. She's still fully undressed. There's been little point in putting clothes back on. They'd just need to come off again, anyway. Nudity and sexuality certainly aren't things she struggles with. There's a certain confidence in the way she

seems unafraid of her own body. Especially when it comes to Yan Sun. Her chest is pressed against Yan Sun's back, her left arm is draped across her lover's collarbone, holding her close from behind. In her right hand she holds a beer by the neck and takes a quick sip from it over Yan Sun's shoulder as the sound of rain gets more and more faint, eventually fading out completely. It's unlikely that this is the last they've seen of

the rain tonight, but for now it leaves an absence in the air, as if an instrument was suddenly removed from the song that's playing.

Yan Sun is quite thoroughly exhausted, in the sort of way that has her warm body melting back against Jessica, a perfect fit as they rest. The tension built up over an emotionally fraught day has been washed away by physical exertion and alcohol - she's stayed away from the batarian ale since her unpleasant sampling, sticking to the beer, which seemed downright... okay-ish in comparison. She's still naked, enjoying the sense of intimacy

offered by the small, private space, and her sticky skin against Jessica's. Her left hand is holding loosely onto the arm wrapped around her, her thumb stroking Jessica's elbow idly, and her right is wrapped around a half-empty bottle of beer placed against the tent floor between her legs. The rain has been a comforting presence, familiar and soothing as they bask in the afterglow and catch their breath. As the rain fades away she

lets out a drained, contented hum, leaning her head back and turning it in search of a kiss.

Jessica is in the midst of pressing a pair of small, gentle kisses against Yan Sun's shoulder when she shifts about and the lantern casts uneven shadows across the cramped tent. Her gaze flicks down to Yan Sun's lips only briefly before she presses a short peck against her. And then a second. She pulls back momentarily, a small smile spreading across her lips before she tilts her head forward again. The third kiss is a bit heavier.

Soft, but lingering. The taste of alcohol is fresh on her tongue. She lazily drags her lips along Yan Sun's cheek when the kiss is broken before tilting her head downward to plant one final kiss on Yan Sun's shoulder. "Is done, mmm?" she hums softly, her voice low and colored with exhaustion. "The rain?" she clarifies, eyes peering upwards towards the ceiling of the tent.

Yan Sun mirrors Jessica's smile, her face filled with a pleasantly relaxed exhaustion and warm affection, a sound somewhere halfway betwen a soft laugh and a drained sigh slipping out after the final kiss. Her attention turns to the tent ceiling as well when Jessica speaks, studying it as she listens in silence for a moment. "...mm... sounds like it..." she says, her voice just above mumble.

Jessica leans back against the pillow, the position of her left arm causing her to bring Yan Sun with her as she does. Her head lulls back, gaze firmly resting on the ceiling of the tent. The music once again fills the air as she returns to silence. Her left hand grips at Yan Sun's right shoulder, keeping her body pressed close. The booze does a good job at fighting back the chill, but there's comfort in the presence of a warm body.

With her right hand she lifts her bottle to her lips once more, having to practically turn the bottle upside down in order to take a good swig from it.

Yan Sun seems quite content with remaining in Jessica's arms as she leans back, sneaking in a sip of her beer before she's pulled along. She shifts slightly, gently, seeking the best fit with a soft sigh, studying the canvas of the worn old tent. Her left hand shifts, sliding down to Jessica's hand and enveloping it. The drinks and her exhaustion does a good job of keeping her mind from wandering, her thoughts soft and a bit fuzzy, focused

on little else than the current moment. "This is nice..." she mumbles quietly, a long, tired breath accompanying the words. She turns her head, cheek resting against Jessica's collarbone as she looks to the side at the clutter of belongings that fill the edges of the tent.

Jessica too, seems perfectly content with just remaining as they are, a puff of air exhaled through her nose her only response to Yan Sun's musings. Her gaze focuses distantly on a random patch of canvas on the ceiling that doesn't quite match the rest of the tent- one of the many fixes the tent seems to have endured- as she focuses on the music. On the comfort of skin against skin. And, for a while, that's how they remain, her mind

elsewhere. "When we come here, Bishop say to us that there is not so much like this on Earth any more..." she eventually offers unprompted in little more than a whisper, chest rising and falling rhythmically with her breath as she recalls the old memory. "That there are no more secrets. Everything is owned. Everything is known. Everything is claimed." she continues. "...But not here..." she adds, her voice quiet, as if to

herself.

Yan Sun blinks as Jessica speaks, her attention refocusing. The mention of Bishop causes her gaze to fall, the name inevitably tied to what happened at the dam in her mind. To the muted, wet 'thuck' and the spray of blood in the snow. She certainly doesn't mourn Lucas, but she hasn't seen enough death for something like that to fade easily. There were the feral vorcha during the expedition, but that hadn't stuck the same way. Was it because

of the chaotic situation? Because she'd been running for her life rather than watching a man be executed in front of her? Or was it because she subconsciously hadn't thought of them as people? That thought makes her uncomfortable, and she's quick to dismiss it. The fuzziness of her mind makes it easier. Of course, that leaves her briefly thinking about the first time she saw something like-... thankfully Jessica keeps talking, and she

finds welcome distraction in the words that come. They elicit a soft nod. "Yeah..." she confirms. "It's-... I've never seen real wilderness until I came out here. It's... it's cool..." A quiet sigh slips out. "Earth is... a lot of it's built up. Or destroyed. What's left is... charted and cataloged. Contained."

Jessica remains silent for a few moments after Yan Sun has finished speaking. Just staring a hole through that small, frayed patch. She, too, has been thinking of Lucas but not for the same reasons as Yan Sun. She's been thinking about how he was here with them during her first trip to the coast. So much has changed since then... He changed. Maybe Adrasteia changed him. Maybe that's just what it does. She's certainly not the same

person she was back then. But she wasn't his biggest fan back then, either, so maybe not everything has changed... Still, knowing he was left to rot away in some forest probably would've bothered her a few years ago. Now it just feels numb, barely a ripple on the ocean amongst waves of loss. Just another part of her past dead and buried. Besides, he came after her. Not the other way around. So fuck him. "I think-..." she

begins but stops, taking a moment to sift through her alcohol-soaked thoughts. "I think this is why my father take us here..." she settles on. "What it is that the old woman say? Mmm? That-... people just try to find our place to belong... our place to-... carve out a corner..." she repeats Mallory's words softly, the sentiment having stuck with her for one reason or another. "He-... I am thinking that-... maybe he is just

wanting to give us something that could be ours." She gives an almost embarrassed little shrug at voicing the sentiment aloud, the small movement only felt due to the closeness of their bodies. "...Really be ours..." There's no sadness in her words, emotions dulled by a healthy dose of alcohol. Just a drunken attempt at trying to make sense of it all. Trying to find something amidst all of the wreckage that her life has

become.

Yan Sun gives Jessica's hand a squeeze as she listens. She nods softly at her speculation. As she finishes, there's silence at first, and then her mouth opens, hesitating before closing again and swallowing. Her mind is back home. On Earth. In Hong Kong. On her own father. And maybe it's the alcohol, but it's not resentment on her mind. The guilt is still there though. The shame. "My-... my father always said that SunTech was our legacy."

Yan Sun Why is she talking about this? She doesn't want to be talking about this. She doesn't want to be thinking about this. This is about Jessica. About her family. Why is she bringing her own baggage into this? "That-... that his father had worked so hard... all his life, to-... to leave that for us." Maybe she wants Jessica to know her more, like she knows Jessica. Or maybe she's feeling things she'd rather not, and the buzz of the

Yan Sun alcohol has made it hard to keep those thoughts to herself "Something lasting. A secure future. A-... a good life? And that I-... that some day, it'd be up to me to..." she trails off with a shrug. "...honor that. Continue that." There's a snort - sniffle? - and she goes quiet with a heavy sigh, staring at the empty plastic container that once held Mallory's leftovers.

Jessica falls silent as Yan Sun begins to speak. They've lived two lives that couldn't be more different. Yan Sun's a life of luxury while Jessica's family fought just to keep food on the table. It would be a sobering thought if Jessica didn't have plenty of beer hot on the tail of half of a bottle of batarian ale coursing through her veins right now. But there's no barbed comment. No harsh critique like that which usually follows any

Jessica time Yan Sun mentions her blessed upbringing. Just silence as she wraps her arm a bit deeper around Yan Sun, enveloping her as she tilts her head down to press a small kiss against Yan Sun's hair. The struggles of being the heir to a rich CEO of a tech empire aren't exactly relatable ones to Jessica. But the struggles of having a difficult, infuriating father who probably had well-meaning intentions? That one she understands.

Yan Sun is grateful for the small gesture, the slight tension that started building at the mere thought of her father dissolving as she once again melts back against Jessica. "That-... that didn't really work out..." she mumbles, emotion slipping into her voice as she states the obvious. She tries to let her mind fade into carefree, warm fuzziness again, but her thoughts are not so easily shaken. It's thoughts she doesn't want. Does he miss

her? Does he regret any of what happened? What about her mother? Should she have reached out? Should she now? They're going back... No. Never. Fuck them. Her father expected her to be the daughter he wanted instead of the one she is, and her mother might not have agreed but she sure as hell hadn't kept her from being disowned, had she? Besides, her life is more incompatible with theirs than ever. 'This is Jessica, my new

girlfriend, she's a former Terminus gang member and wanted bomber.' Yep. That'd go over well.

Jessica draws in a heavy sigh at Yan Sun's comment. "This-... does not mean you can not speak with him, kitty cat..." she offers, gaze turning towards the woman in her arms. Studying her through drunken haze. "My father-... he is-..." she sharply corrects herself as her English fails her in an unfortunate way and she catches it, "Was-... A fuck. He let me down more times than I can count and-..." there's a short pause and she draws in

a reluctant breath, shrugging against the shape of Yan Sun's body, "...and I probably let him down, too..." she admits a bit quieter. "...But-... he was my father." she continues, her tone implying she believes there to be some value in that. Some importance to that in and of itself. There's another shrug as she fails to find the words to get to her point. A point she's expressed in the past when the subject was brought up.

"...But-... maybe your father is even more of a fuck than mine and-.... Fuck him, mmm?" she settles on with a bit of drunken dismissiveness as she grows uncomfortable at the idea of trying to make any attempt at giving familial advice.

Yan Sun sinks a little against Jessica as she listens, a faint frown settling into her face as she stares down the plastic container. "He doesn't want to speak to me..." she mutters a moment after Jessica's dismissive addition, taking a long swig from her beer. "He's-... he doesn't care about me." she continues in a drunken mumble, shaking her head faintly. "He told me to leave..." The last words catch a little in her throat, her hurt

bleeding through clear as day. She seems to deflate, head lulling against Jessica, just looking down at the tent floor.

Jessica grows quiet once again, a frown of her own beginning to cross her lips in turn. Plenty thoughts enter her mind. Plenty of responses. But- even in her drunken state- she's well aware that they're probably little more than reflections of her rocky relationship with her own father rather than any sort of meaningful advice. She doesn't even know Yan Sun's father. "...I am glad that he did." she offers, a gentle squeeze accompanying

her words. "The elevator would have been much less fun without you." she adds, a semblance of her smile returning to her lips.

Yan Sun has fallen silent, just looking down at the floor with a distant frown, but Jessica's words seem to hit the right mark, a faint, tired snort slipping out, and a hint of a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. She sits up a little, turning enough to look at Jessica, her left hand shifting to the tent floor by Jessica's right side. She studies her with a slightly unfocused gaze, looking like she might lean in for a kiss, but

instead there's a sudden, muffled sob, blinking as her eyes water a little. She sucks in her lips as her eyes dart across Jessica's face. There's no tears, but her eyes remain glassy. "Yeah..." she agrees in a slightly awkward exhale, her voice a little shaky.

Jessica's smile falls away as quickly as it began to appear as Yan Sun struggles to hold back tears. She tries to prop it back up but with little success, leaving her simply studying the woman who has become so much more than she ever would have imagined standing in that darkened elevator. She sets her beer down, reaching over to place it on the armor crate they're sat against. Her right hand turns to Yan Sun's side, rough, scarred

thumb gently tracing circles along her bare skin as her brown eye scans across Yan Sun's features in the uneven light of the lantern. She tilts her head forward, pressing a small, soft kiss against Yan Sun's forehead.

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