#Traveler'sGorge – January 5, 2021

The rest of the short trip back to the 'guest house' is uneventful. Despite the obvious apprehension that Jessica seemed to exude during their arrival, she seems to be in much higher spirits now. Almost uncharacteristically so.

Jessica is quick to shut the door behind them as they enter the 'guest house' to keep out the cold. Calling the interior of the tent 'warm' might be giving it too much credit, but compared to the cold winter outside, it's a nice reprieve. Mostly due to Jessica's total disregard for fire safety when she chose to leave the heater on. After turning on the light, she shuffles back over to the table. It seems like she put her things away

after Kirill whisked Yan Sun away. There's no grenade launcher on the table, at the very least. Most likely stashed away in one of the trunks. One hand pressed against the table, she leans over it, reaching out with her other hand to unzip the window flap on the wall over the table. A flood of natural light floods into the otherwise mostly-dim tent. Thankfully, the windows are double-layered, a layer of see-through plastic

beneath the unzipped canvas. The plastic is streaked with a layer of grime, scratched, and knicked up, but it's still clear enough to get a good look towards the wall at the mouth of the Gorge. Leaning forward over the table as she, cranes her neck a bit to peer out the window.

Yan Sun is in a pretty good mood herself, and she can't seem to keep her eyes off Jessica during their walk back to the tent. Once inside, she scrapes the snow off her boots and heads over to the bed, slinging the backpack onto it before sitting down. For a moment she watches Jessica unzip the window cover, but then she sniffles and turns her attention to her omni-tool interface as her implants light up. She checks the power readings after

her little excursion with Kirill, and, satisfied that she's not in immediate danger of running out of juice, she tweaks some settings and activates a custom program. The fabricator supplies heat while a directed mass effect field, marked by holographic indicators, funnels air, and soon enough, she's drying her hair... sans hair dryer. Her gaze drifts back to the woman by the window as she methodically runs her holography-coated

hand over her hair, relishing the warmth.

Jessica is oblivious to Yan Sun's cybernetic wizardry behind her. She's seen it plenty of times already, anyhow, so the novelty of Yan Sun's tricks has worn off. Her focus is firmly on the world beyond the sheet of clear plastic, gentle smile on her face as she watches the hustle and bustle of the small colony. "How your shower was? Mmm?" she hums idly to the woman behind her.

Yan Sun can't help a small smile of her own as she studies what she can glimpse of the look on Jessica's face. The question tossed her way gets only a considering hum at first as she continues to dry her hair. "A couple of weeks ago I probably would've hated it..." she admits with a snicker. "But right now? Best shower ever." she judges, upper body laying back on the bed and stretching with a yawn after she judges her hair dry, omni-tool

powering down. "Never gone that long without a shower before. Felt pretty grimy."

Jessica shows restraint for once, fighting off that itch to weaponize Yan Sun's words against her. Instead, she gives a small snort and turns back to face Yan Sun, hands resting against the edge of the table as she leans back against it. "You smelled pretty-... grimy." she muses through her grin, her hesitation perhaps giving away that the repeated chosen word is unfamiliar to her, its meaning only picked apart by context.

Yan Sun looks unimpressed by her jab, lazily tilting her head to look at Jessica, hands folded over her own belly. "You need new material." she teases with a small grin. As it fades she lets out a quiet grunt, rolling her shoulders a bit against the bed. Her body is still stiff and achey - falling off the roof did little to help the way she felt after so long stuck in the truck. She hesitates as she lies there, looking like there's

something on her mind. Whatever it is, she doesn't voice it, attention shifting to her hand instead, studying the remnants of her nail polish. It's suffered more wear than usual over the course of their trip, but she hasn't bothered to replace it yet.

Jessica cocks an eyebrow when it looks as if Yan Sun is about to say something. She shifts her weight against the table, half-sitting at the edge as she hooks her foot around the leg of the nearby chair and tugs it closer to her so she can use it for a footstool. She's got her own fair share of aches and pains, too. Both from days in the cramped confines of the truck and from the airborne nerd that crashed into her recently. When Yan

Sun's attention shifts away, she gives a little tilt of her head. "What you are thinking? Mmm?" she hums, her question followed by a quick sniffle that she tries to sneak by, lest Yan Sun continue to dote on her lingering sickness.

Yan Sun groans quietly as she pushes herself up into a sitting position. Caught between wanting to pull her legs into the bed and being too lazy to take off her boots, she settles for bringing one leg onto the bed, leaving her foot hanging over the edge as she looks towards Jessica. "Just... wondering how you're feeling. Being back here." she says, voice soft and cautious, not sounding eager to navigate the Jessica-minefield and risk

shattering her good mood.

Jessica nearly immediately casts a glance off to the side as Yan Sun voices her thoughts, the shield of her ridiculous sunglasses apparently not quite enough to keep her looking Yan Sun's way. She gives a small shrug, as if to imply that there's not much to say. But it's not delivered with much conviction. She scoots a bit more securely onto the table, taking a moment to tug off the stupid floofy hat and set it down beside her. The

sunglasses go next, folded up and placed inside the soft safety of aforementioned floofy hat. "I think that maybe they would-..." she shrugs again, taking her time as she tugs off her stolen, vandalized gloves and tosses them into the hat as well. She snorts, giving a dismissive shake of her head, "...I don't know. Say to me to fuck off or something."

Yan Sun sighs quietly, an uneven smile briefly tugging at one corner of her mouth before she gets out of the bed, heading over to take a seat next to Jessica on the table, booted feet dangling idly once she's in place. "Seems to me like there's a lot of people that are glad to see you..." she says quietly, leaned forward, elbows against her legs as she studies the side of Jessica's face, trying to catch her gaze.

Jessica only briefly glances Yan Sun's way as she climbs out of the bed, focusing on removing her jacket to keep avoiding her gaze. Yan Sun's words cause her to pause for a moment, offering a small, almost imperceptible nod and a quiet, "...Yeah." that sounds more like an admission than an agreement before she tosses her jacket over the rest of her winter gear in a pile beside her. It's probably not hard to tell that there's some guilt

behind that revelation. Perhaps somewhere deep down she was hoping they'd tell her to 'fuck off'. It would've been easier that way. Drown out the guilt with anger. It's a tactic that's served her well so far. She swallows whatever emotion threatens to bubble up. "They are idiots." she offers matter-of-factly with a matching shrug, doing her best to prop up an annoyingly smug smile and hollow confidence as she finally hazards

to turn Yan Sun's way.

Yan Sun has a pretty good idea of what's going through Jessica's head, watching her silently as she waits for her to speak. The words that come make her sigh quietly, hand shifting to run up Jessica's back, the synthetic fabric of her jacket making some noise as she does. She stops at her neck, thumb brushing back and forth across the growing stubble. She shakes her head, left hand reaching out to grasp Jessica's. "People aren't idiots for

caring about you, Jessica." she protests with a small frown, voice soft and honest.

Jessica's eyes close as Yan Sun's thumb brushes across her neck, a semblance of the exhaustion the trip has brought on showing through. From emotional rollercoasters to sheer physical exhaustion from being stuck in such cramped quarters. She finds herself reluctantly leaning against Yan Sun's gentle touch. When her hand is grasped, her eyes peel open, gaze fixed to their hands as she turns her own hand upwards and intertwines her

fingers with Yan Sun's. "I know what you are doing, kitty cat." she says and, for once, there's no frustration in her voice. A little weariness, perhaps, but no frustration. She lifts their hands, tilting her head downward to press a kiss against the back of Yan Sun's before finally meeting her gaze. "I am fine." she says and, while it might not be the entire truth, there's sincerity in her tone.

Yan Sun 's lips shift into a small smile. She studies her silently for a couple of moments, a few messy strands of hair falling in her face - her hair might be dry, but it's still in dire need of brushing. There's a soft nod and a quiet "Okay." before she leans in to press a slow kiss against Jessica's lips, not pushing the issue. The hairs that get caught in the kiss makes her grimace and let out a frustrated snort of laughter.

Jessica doesn't give away the relief she feels when Yan Sun drops it, instead merely lazily leaning in to meet her partway. The kiss doesn't last long, however, when she finds herself with strands of hair in her mouth, causing her to 'pfffpffpfff' the hair away, quickly pulling back with a grimace of her own. "I'm going to-... eat your hair-..." she complains, smacking her lips in distaste for a moment before she's unable to keep the

small smile away that accompanies her mood from cropping back up. Bringing her hand up, she traces her middle finger along Yan Sun's hairline, her gaze following the trail as she sweeps the hair out her face.

Yan Sun is doing some 'pfft'ing of her own after the kiss is prematurely ended by misbehaving hair, nose scrunched up. Jessica's muttering still brings out a giggle, however, and as her hair is brushed aside she has a smile of her own on her lips. The expression on her face as she studies Jessica's face is warm, the smile widening into a goofy grin. "So, not to brag, but... I totally fixed the comm tower." she brags.

Jessica's hand lingers, fingers curling inward to brush the back of her fingertips along Yan Sun's cheek as she scans her face. Reluctantly fond smile on her face, she gives a small lift of her brow as Yan Sun brags. "This is why you were on the top of the roof?" she asks, bringing her hand back and using it to better prop herself up.

Yan Sun closes her eyes for a moment, letting out tired but happy noise as she enjoys Jessica's touch. Only when the hand withdraw does she open her eyes again, nodding in confirmation. "Yup. Had to climb the whole thing." she says. She hops off the table, heading over to the bed to dig through her backpack for her hairbrush.

Jessica's brow lifts even higher in surprise upon hearing that Yan Sun went up the tower. Her second hand joins her first, planted against the table behind her. She leans back against them for support and crosses her ankles, boots resting atop the seat of the chair as she watches Yan Sun cross the small room. "And you did not even fall and break your neck?" she asks with an almost offensive level of forced surprise and shock, unable to

resist bringing Yan Sun's humble bragging down a peg. "Is a shame you are not as good at standing on rooftops as you are at climbing towers. Mmm, kitty cat?" she muses aloud, the grin that tugs at the edge of her mouth audible in her voice.

Yan Sun rolls her eyes, glancing Jessica's way just to stick out her tongue as her only response to the mockery thrown her way. Still, she's smiling as she starts to brush her newly dried hair into submission. "What about you? How'd your talk go?" she asks after brushing silently for a little, keeping her tone deliberately casual. "With, uh... Paige?"

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