#Traveler'sGorge – November 27, 2020

The showers at the Gorge aren't exactly a feat of modern engineering by any stretch of imagination. The water pressure is poor. The hot water is warm at best. And the old structure has plenty of wear and tear. It's lovingly maintained and- for the most part- clean, but there's only so much that can be done about years of grit and grime and only so many times you can repair cracked tiles before the damage starts to show through. Then there's the

constant foot traffic. It's not peak shower time so there's no waiting required for an open stall, but there's already a couple of people inside when Yan Sun arrives. A pair of people, a human man and woman, are carrying on a conversation from their respective stalls over the sound of running water. Something about recent trips. Supply runs. Just a couple more cogs that keep this place running. Mallory's bathroom it is not. But beggars can't be

choosers and out here in the middle of nowhere, this place is practically an oasis.

Yan Sun doesn't get more than a few steps down the road after leaving the showers before a voice calls out to her from behind. The voice is deep. Almost comically so. At least it tries to be. There's a familiar, gravelly tinge beneath it, colored by an even more familiar accent that's far too noticeable to hide despite their best attempt. "Ay! Where you are going, slut?!" the voice calls out.

Yan Sun wouldn't exactly have been thrilled about using a semi-dingy public shower under normal circumstances, but after over a week with nothing but a jug of water and a rag to wash up her standards have dropped considerably, and while there might still be a part of her that longs to spend an hour in a high-powered, steaming hot shower to really get that road trip smell out she's more than happy to take what she can get. Her hair is

still damp as she leaves the shower building, backpack slung over her shoulder, and the cold winter air makes her sniffle. The sudden voice makes her jump slightly, before immediately rolling her eyes and turning around as the familiarity sets in.

Jessica is leaned against the side of the washroom building, one boot pressed against the wall. She's stuffing her omni-tool into her pocket by the time Yan Sun turns her way, mischievous grin on her face. Her nose is still a bit red and she gives a sniffle of her own, unable to ignore her lingering sickness despite her best efforts. She looks left, then right, as if looking for whoever could have possibly said that before giving a

shrug in an attempt at feigned innocence. She doesn't wear innocence well. "The hose is good, yes?" she asks through her grin, remaining right where she is for the moment.

Yan Sun adjusts the strap of her bag, which makes her wince a bit, given the bruises. She takes a step closer, expression caught between annoyance and amusement. "You're an asshole." she offers in a half-sigh, half-laugh, tilting her head as she studies her.

Jessica sniffs again, nostrils flaring as her nose twitches. She tilts her head downward as Yan Sun approaches, peering over the top of those stupid sunglasses. "Mmm." she hums in consideration before tilting her head back just enough for the mirrored shades to shield her eyes once more, "Why you are smiling, then?" she drawls, reaching out to hook her index finger into one of the beltloops of Yan Sun's pants to tug her closer.

Yan Sun lets out a surprised noise as she's tugged closer, the question just making her smile widen despite her best efforts to look annoyed. "Guess I like assholes." she mutters, leaning in to plant a quick peck against her lips, the hand not keeping her backpack in place coming to rest on Jessica's arm.

Jessica gives a hum of affirmation, lingering close. She runs her tongue along the top of her lower lip as she studies Yan Sun through her sunglasses, finger remaining hooked through her beltloop. "Me too." she agrees with a shrug, head lazily tilting forward just far enough for her to press another kiss against Yan Sun's lips, hers a little bit more than just a peck. A few people meander past on their way down the road towards the

tents, but they seem to have little interest in the pair snuggling beside the washrooms. There's a distinct sense that most people around here know not to stick their nose in each others business. Probably comes with the territory. Everyone here has baggage and it's rarely pleasant. She gives an exaggerated sniff as her lips peel away from Yan Sun's. "You do not stink anymore, kitty cat." she offers, her tone implying it's

probably meant to be a compliment.

Yan Sun lets out a snort, a grin on her lips as she pulls back enough to look at Jessica. "You still kinda do." she replies, giggling and pre-emptively raising her arms defensively and dodging out of Jessica's reach - of course, she can only get so far with the finger hooked onto her pants. Seems she's still in a 'playing-with-fire' mood.

Jessica puts on a scowl at Yan Sun's teasing, but it's undercut by her continued good mood. She's forced to lean forward as Yan Sun backs away and takes Jessica's hand with her. But using her grip on Yan Sun's beltloop, she tugs her right back in close like a fish on the end of her line, her other arm reaching for one of Yan Sun's wrists. "You are wanting me to kick your ass again?!" she asks. She tilts her head forward, causing the

floof of her stupid hat to press against Yan Sun and she gives an exaggerated gnash of her teeth that causes an audible click, as if threatening to bite Yan Sun's lip.

"I heard you were back." comes a man's voice from the direction of the road. It's spoken in English, but it's heavily accented. French maybe. It's hard to really pinpoint given the Terminus influence beneath it. The prevalence of batarian languages out here has a tendency to warp accents.

Yan Sun 's laughter just intensifies as she's pulled back in, raised arms making a half-hearted attempt to push Jessica back as she leans her head away from gnashing teeth. The sudden voice causes her giggling to be cut abruptly short, her cheeks flushing when she realizes that someone is watching them. Her hands drop back to her sides and she tries to step back and turn towards the direction of the voice, assuming Jessica lets her.

Jessica's whole body goes rigid as she's seemingly identified, a tension that's surely felt by Yan Sun given the closeness of their bodies despite her best effort to hide it. She remains where she is, back against the wall as her focus turns towards the voice. Her hold on Yan Sun's wrist loosens and she lets go when she steps back, but her one-fingered grip on her belt loop remains and she, once again, tugs her right back in.

Effortlessly and almost reflexively. Her now-free left hand comes to rest on Yan Sun's side, just above her hip.

The thin man that the voice belongs to is near the corner of the washroom building, a few steps off the road already and approaching the pair, boots crunching the thin layer of snow around the building. Yan Sun may recognize him as one of the people in the showers. He looks to be in his early-to-mid 20s. Long, dark brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. Despite having just gotten out of the shower, it still looks a bit greasy. He has a split

in his lip and a bit of bruising around his eye, something of a gaunt look to him. "I wasn't sure if it was true but-... here you are." he says, coming to a stop when he reaches the pair. The neutral expression on his face slowly slips into a smile and he extends a balled up fist forward.

Jessica's shoulders seem to slack at the gesture, a bit of that coiled unease in her body slowly slipping away. She releases her grip on Yan Sun's beltloop and returns the gesture, giving the man a quick fist bump. She's still wearing the 'driving gloves' she cut up. "Only until tomorrow." she hums, shifting her weight back against the wall. Her left hand snakes a bit further around Yan Sun and she raises her brow at the man. "You are

being a cockblock. You know this, yes?" she asks.

The man snorts, gaze turning down towards the snow briefly before nodding to himself, looking as if he's suddenly reminded of what a conversation with Jessica is like. When he looks back to the pair, his focus turns to Yan Sun. "I was wondering who you were." he says, having seemingly at least taken notice of the unfamiliar face in the showers.

Yan Sun 's embarrassment grows a little as she's reeled back in, but tension she feels from Jessica makes her run her right hand across her back. She studies the unfamiliar man - she's not really used to public showers, and definitely did her best not to notice anyone. The fistbump, and subsequent fading of some of Jessica's unease makes her relax a bit in turn, leaning a bit more against her as her hand slides up to her far shoulder.

Jessica's final words make her wince a little, but her good mood means that she's more amused than bothered, an embarrassed snort slipping out as her gaze falls to the ground. When the man addresses her she looks up again, nodding and offering him a wave with her free hand. "Yan Sun." she introduces, cheeks still a bit red.

The man offers a small nod of acknowledgement to Yan Sun. "Jean-Luc." he offers, slipping his hands into the pockets of his baggy winter jacket. As he opens his mouth to speak again, he finds himself cut off by Jessica.

Jessica's left hand rests against Yan Sun's lower back, fingers idly drumming against her jacket. "You still are not cutting your gross hair." she muses, giving a look of distaste as her gaze turns to his greasy hair. The fact that it's still damp doesn't help its case any.

Jean-Luc gives a snicker, one hand lifting from his pocket to run through his hair. "You kept saying that you were going to cut it, and then you ran off. What was I supposed to do?" he asks, a playful undertone to his words, as if she's to blame for the rat's nest on his head.

Jessica's eyes tilt away from the man, his attempt at levity hitting the wrong note for her. A reminder of how she ran off on these people. People that trusted her. It's a gesture that goes unnoticed thanks to the sunglasses. But the way it silences her seems to catch Jean-Luc's attention, causing the man to shift uncomfortably. He obviously didn't mean it as an insult. She swallows at the lump in her throat and reaches up with her

right hand, using one finger to push her sunglasses a little higher up her nose and, with them, that cloak of confidence. "Mmm. Okay." she shrugs. "Tonight." she continues, allowing the word to linger and pairing it with a mischievous grin, "We are going to the fire tonight. Come and I will cut that shit off." It's spoken like a challenge.

Yan Sun would give Jessica a 'don't be rude' nudge if it wasn't for the fact that she finds it hard to disagree with her assessment of the hair. It's... unfortunate. The shift in Jessica's mood - the reason for which isn't hard to guess at - makes Yan Sun give her a squeeze with her arm. The challenge-filled response makes her let out a quiet snort and shake her head to herself, looking a little curious what Jean-Luc is going to say.

Jean-Luc once again turns his focus back to the snow, a knowing smile spreading across his lips as if he should have seen that coming. A few moments pass as he considers the challenge. He seems well aware that he backed himself into a lose/lose situation. But he's not about to let her show him up, so he gives a few slow, thoughtful nods. "Okay." he agrees, hiding the reluctance in his voice as he looks into her shades. "Tonight." He draws a

breath in, expelling it in a plume of steam. "I am trusting you to make me beautiful."

Jessica snorts loudly. "I don't make miracles." she snaps back through her grin.

Jean-Luc gives a small roll of his eyes, knowing he walked into that one. But the smile quickly returns to his face and he studies Jessica in silence for a moment. It looks like he has plenty more to say. Questions to ask that flash across his face for but a brief moment. But he doesn't voice them. "...Okay." he offers softly instead, another small nod accompanying. It seems he, too, is well versed in the laws of Jessica communication. Rule

#1: Don't push your luck. "Well, it sounds like I have a dear friend that I must say goodbye to." he explains, indicating his hair by running his fingers through it once more. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Yan Sun." he offers cordially, tilting his head in the unfamiliar woman's direction.

Yan Sun smirks a little at the banter, Jean-Luc's dramatic words drawing out a quiet snicker. She returns his nod, a wave and a widening of her smile accompanying it.

Jean-Luc takes a few steps back, hands back in his pockets. At first it seems like he's ready to leave it at that, already turning on his heels to leave. But he doesn't even make it back to the road before turning back towards the pair. "It's... good to see you again, Jess." he offers. His tone is cautious, but sincere.

Jessica snickers at Jean-Luc's theatrics, rolling her eye behind her sunglasses. When he moves to take his leave, her focus turns back to Yan Sun. She gives another lazy gnash of her teeth, as if to let her know she hasn't forgotten that she was about to take a chunk out of Yan Sun's lip. But when the departing man turns back, she finds herself giving Yan Sun another squeeze. She offers Jean-Luc a few quiet nods. It's not until he's

already on his way down the street that she finally responds. "You too." she says. It's a simple gesture, but she nearly has to spit it out. Jean-Luc merely raises a hand in farewell, back to the pair as he continues down the road.

Yan Sun snickers quietly, leaning her head away as Jessica bites at the air. Jessica's response to Jean-Luc comes as a pleasant surprise to her, and she slips her arm down a bit to give her a half-hug, a warm smile on her lips. She hazards leaning in to plant a kiss against her cheek.

Jessica pulls in a deep breath, the cold air filling her lungs as she watches Jean-Luc continue down the dirt road. "What?" she asks as she peers out from the side of her sunglasses at Yan Sun when she plants a kiss on her cheek, "Mmm?" Tilting her head towards the woman in her arms, her brow perks up. "Why you are always having this stupid look on your face?" she continues, that shit-eating grin slipping back out as she seamlessly

transitions right back into poking at Yan Sun.

Yan Sun shifts closer to Jessica, moving her free hand to front of her jacket, playing idly with the collar. "No reason." she lies, the question just making her smile widen. She uses her grip on the jacket to pull her in for another kiss, on the lips this time, her smile no doubt felt as she fails to keep it away for long.

Jessica gives a skeptical hum, clearly not buying Yan Sun's answer. But that's soon forgotten as their lips meet. Her arm slides a bit deeper around Yan Sun, hand resting at her lower back. Her tongue playfully prods at Yan Sun's, her own smile widening as she does. She seems in no hurry to break the kiss, tongue drawing shapes against her partner's until she feels a stray lock of damp hair against her face. She doesn't quite pull back,

instead she merely lingers, lips still pressed against Yan Sun's even once the kiss has ended. A small snicker slips out as she uses her nose to gently caress along the side of Yan Sun's. "Come on." she says, the proximity making her breath felt. Her left hand leaves Yan Sun's back and moves to a strand of wet hair and she pinches it between her middle and index fingers, "You are going to get sick." She sniffs and then,

seemingly unable to resist, adds an endearing, "Slut."

Yan Sun 's stupid grin returns in full force as the kiss breaks, her mismatched eyes darting across Jessica's face as she lingers close. The words that break the silence make her snicker and shift to Jessica's side with a nod. "Think the boat's probably sailed on that..." she muses, glancing around as she gets her bearings. She hasn't really memorized the layout of the place yet. "I need to drop off my stuff." she says, her free hand

tugging at the strap of her backpack for emphasis.

Jessica sucks in her lips as she lingers lazily against the wall for a few moments longer before pushing away from it with a sigh. The boat probably has sailed on that, given the fact that she's been locked into a cramped truck with a sick Jessica. She gives Yan Sun a nudge back towards the road, the thin layer of snow crunching underfoot as she hers her in the right direction, seemingly realizing she looks a little lost. Not that

there's much of a chance of getting lost here. But Yan Sun is a bit of an idiot, so... "This way." she says through the grin that doesn't seem to want to leave her face, ushering Yan Sun forward with a playful swat on the ass, as one does with cattle to get them moving.

Yan Sun lets out a startled "Eep!", jumping forward a little. She pulls Jessica in close to her with a slightly embarrassed laugh. "I knew that..." she mumbles unconvincingly, keeping her arm wrapped around Jessica as they start to head back toward the 'guest house'.

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