Jessica studies Amy for a moment longer before drawing in a breath, feeling the eyes on her as the others seem to wait on pins and needles. Probably expecting her to give Amy a hard time. Even the sound of Gaz rummaging through her case of odds and ends has halted as she watches. Jessica glances from Amy to Kirill, then to Paige. Furrowing her brow a bit as she catches the look pointed back at her. "You said there would be foods." she
#Traveler'sGorge – July 14, 2021
says, a playful implication that a bribery of food is the only reason she decided to show up. It's an obvious attempt to push past whatever awkwardness her exchange with Amy may have brought on. She props up the beginnings of a small smile as she passes a quick glance towards the bowl in Thomas' lap that he, suspiciously enough, still has yet to take a bite of. "How long you are going to make us wait? Mmm?" she asks, craning her
neck in an attempt at looking back towards Glen. There's a collective of snickers as a bit of the tension lifts.
Glen brightens up a bit, doubling his efforts to fill another bowl with slop. "As soon as I heard you were back, I knew we had to have something special tonight!" he calls out, which seems to help reaffirm Jessica's smile. He drops a couple of spoons into a pair of bowls and quickly scoops them up off the table, hurrying towards Jessica and Yan Sun to pass them each a bowl.
Paige watches Jessica, her own smile beginning to manifest once more, seemingly relieved that Rafe's slip didn't send the night to an early grave.
Amy looks relieved when Jessica's attention is off of her, deflating a little in her chair. Her attention has turned to the fire, spirits a bit dampened by the uncomfortable exchange.
Yan Sun 's smile returns as the moment passes, craning her neck to cast a curious glance at Glen's pot, accepting one of the bowls that are soon rushed over with a quick "Thank you." and a temporary widening of her smile before her attention turns to the apparently 'special' contents of the bowl.
The bowl is warm, though not enough to be scalding. Inside is what can only be described as a stew of some sort. Thick, brownish stock that's more of a gravy. Small chunks of meat of varying sizes, shapes, and textures, as well as a small assortment of vegetables, mostly local, poke out from it. The pungent smell was noticeable upon their arrival, but it's only now that it's in Yan Sun's hands that it's obvious that this is the culprit.
Jessica had recognized the familiar dish in Thomas' lap as soon as they arrived. As she lowers it into her lap, whatever tension may have been lingering seems to slip away for now, the smirk at the edge of her lips growing a bit more sincere. She casts a small, appreciative glance up towards the cook but leaves the words left unsaid as she begins to stir the concoction with her spoon.
Thomas snorts loudly as Yan Sun thanks Glen. "Ehhh, don't go thanking the man just yet. Not until you've tried it." he warns. Nose scrunched up in a look of disgust, he lifts a large spoonful of slop and lets it PLOP unceremoniously back into the gravy.
Kirill's smile tempers as he glances back Amy's way, reaching out to give her arm a light pat. He knows all too well the sort of first impression Jessica can have on people. Second and third impressions usually aren't much better... But, all things considered, this one wasn't too bad. "Beer?"
Glen scoffs loudly when Thomas speaks, already on his way back to the table to collect the other bowls. "Just because you can't appreciate a good meal doesn't mean you should ruin it for our guest." he mutters.
Amy almost jumps a little in her seat when Kirill touches her arm, gaze darting from the flames to him. It takes her a moment to realize a question was asked. "Oh, uhm-.... uh, yeah, okay."
Yan Sun 's smile slips away as she gets a closer look - and smell - at the contents of the bowl, a far cry from the kind of food she's used. Not that she hasn't already had to expand her horizons lately, given the amount of charred tunga meat consumed over the last week. She gives it a skeptical poke with her spoon before doing her best to put on a polite smile, although she turns her head to whisper to Jessica: "What, uh... what is this?"
Kirill offers Amy a quick nod before setting his own half-empty beer into the small cupholder built into the armrest of his camping chair and pushes himself to his feet. "Beers?" he asks again, this time directed to the group as a whole as he starts towards the tent that Gaz and Glen are at, specifically looking towards Jessica and Yan Sun.
Thomas looks towards Glen with an expression of mock surprise. "Ohhhh! Meal! That's what this is supposed to be! Got it!" he says, "See, I thought you were trying to poison us all!" A sly smirk crosses his features but his theatrics only draw an annoyed grumble from the cook. He absently lifts his mostly-full beer to silently show Kirill that he doesn't need a top off quite yet.
Jessica is quick to scoop up a spoonful of slop and shovel it into her mouth. "Mmm?" she hums through a mouthful of chewy meat as Yan Sun's question comes. "Is-..." she begins, swallowing hard, but Kirill's offer quickly draws her attention. She opens her mouth to answer him, but ends up swallowing again to wrestle with what was probably too big of a bite. "Mm." she offers an affirmative, raising two fingers to Kirill to answer on Yan
Sun's behalf as well. She tilts her head downward to swallow one last time before finally answering Yan Sun. "...Is delicious." she settles on with a small wiggle of her eyebrows, her burns diminishing the movement of her right. Helpful as always.
Paige mimics Thomas gesture to Kirill, giving her beer a small lift to show him she doesn't need another quite yet. She seems to catch the jist of what Yan Sun is asking Jessica based on the hushed nature and Jessica's response, a slight wince entering her features. "It's-... uhh-... Carashan stew." she offers with a small shrug.
Thomas gives another snort as he jumps in to correct Paige. "Oh, it's carashan, alright!" he adds, "It's carashan testicles. It's carashan tripe. It's carashan-..." he continues before being cut off by Paige.
Paige quickly speaks up once more overtop Thomas, looking worried that he might disgust their guest, "We try not to waste!" she offers, perhaps a hint of embarrassment in her tone over the meager offerings of a small, backwater colony compared to the big cities of Earth where Yan Sun hails from. A fact known second hand through Rafe.
Glen seems to take Paige's mention of avoiding waste as a point of pride, big smile entering his features as he crosses paths with Kirill to hand out a couple more bowls to Paige and Amy. "Jesse's favorite." he comments with a glance Yan Sun's way.
Yan Sun seems skeptical of Jessica's reply, eyeing the mystery stew again. She mumbles something under her breath about it not looking delicious, but nonetheless she's starting to bring a tentative spoonful up, sniffing it and bringing the spoon just up to her lips in a stalling way. Paige's words, and more importantly, Thomas' addition, puts a quick stop to that however. She fumbles the spoon, which drops back into the bowl with a little
plop, face frozen in a grimace best described as 1/3 disgust, 1/3 restrained horror and 1/3 polite smile. It's an unsettling combination. "Oh. Oh! Ok- okay. Uhm... hm."
Amy accepts her bowl with a quiet "Thank you.", stirring the stew a bit to let it cool off before having some. Having grown up on a remote, self-sufficient farm she very much shares the waste-not philosophy - if it's nutritious, what does it matter where it's from? Yan Sun's face actually gets a quiet snicker out of her, one hand shooting up to cover her mouth. Almost immediately afterwards she looks a little concerned about having caused
Thomas, too, has a hearty snicker at Yan Sun's expression. "Yep, thaaaat's more appropriate." he comments, pointing to her face with an outstretched finger and drawing a circle around it from afar. "But don't worry, it tastes worse than it sounds." he adds non-chalantly.
Jessica gives a roll of her eye as she shovels another spoonful into her mouth, opening her mouth wide to show Thomas a nice, chewed up mouthful of carashan guts before swallowing it down without pause. "You are still a pussy." she adds. Almost fondly.
Thomas had plenty of time to get used to Jessica's behavior to be offended by it. Even after months of her absense, it seems to just roll off his back. She's called him far worse. "I'm a pussy with good taste!" he corrects.
Glen gives an exaggerated dip of his head at Amy's politeness, as if happy that someone else appreciates his efforts at least. He gets to work on handing out the last of the bowls, sliding one down the table to Gaz and dropping one off to Rafe. Kirill's is left on the ground beside his empty chair.
Caelus gives a chuckle of his own at Yan Sun's apprehension and the exchange that follows. It's a concern he doesn't need to worry about as he's passed over during the food hand out. He cradles a large thermos between his talons, occasionally taking a quick sip.
Kirill collects a trio of beers from the large, ice-filled cooler they always keep beside the table during their get-togethers. He lingers beside Gaz as he removes the caps, appraising her work, offering a few fond nods.
Paige gives a little shrug of her shoulders, Yan Sun's expression far from lost on her and seemingly well aware of how unappetizing the concoction might sound. "It's-... a little bit of an acquired taste." she admits as she gives her own bowl a small stir, blue eyes focusing on it. "But it's not bad." she assures. As if feeling that this might be a lose cause, she winces, peering across the fire to Yan Sun. "I could-..." she shrugs,
Paige's brows pinch together in mild offense, leveling a scoff Thomas' way. "Fuck you! Get your own sandwich!"
Amy seems a bit caught off-guard by Jessica's crudeness, eyes widening a little and lingering on her for a moment, but since the others don't react she goes back to eating while listening to Yan Sun's and Paige's exchange.
Yan Sun lets out an awkward snort at Thomas' words, but Paige's offer has her embarrassed. "I-..." There's a moment where it looks like she's going to take her up on the offer, she certainly wants to, but then she shakes her head. "No, no, that's-... that's okay, I'm fine." she assures, managing to dial her face down to 'uncomfortable hesitance' as she grabs her spoon again and scoops up some stew. Her eyes linger on it for a brief moment,
It's a strange taste. Not at all similar to the carashan she's had plenty of times during their trip. The taste is quite bitter, and the meat is a little more chewy than steak, contrasting the soft cooked vegetables. It's certainly not as bad as Thomas was building it up to be. Most likely a case of knowing what's inside of the stew making it less appetizing than the taste itself. At any rate, like it or hate it, it's certainly a flavor all its
Jessica was already working on her next bite by the time Thomas defended himself, leaving her unable to respond until she can manage to wolf it down. "Is a good thing that I like good tasting pussy then, yes?" she asks, arrogant grin crossing her features. "Mmm?" she hums, nudging Yan Sun with her elbow for emphasis.
Thomas furrows his brow, Jessica's comment taking a second to sink in. But when it does his eyes go wide and he stammers out a few syllables that don't quite form a word. "Wha-... th-... I didn't mean it like that!" he stammers, his discomfort drawing out an amused cackle from Jessica and a barely-restrained snort from Gaz and Caelus.
Paige is temporarily distracted from Yan Sun by Jessica's unabashed crudeness, her expression contorting into one of disgust. "Ugh! Can you not?!" she scoffs, which only causes Jessica's laughter to grow louder. "Can't you pretend to be a decent person in front of new company-..." she glances Amy's way, "...for ten whole minutes before being-... being-... you?!" she settles on when nothing better hits her. But the smile that threatens to
slip out undercuts her scolding a bit, perhaps giving away that she's missed Jessica's presence more than she'd like to admit. "You are unbelievable..." she mutters.
Jessica's shoulders bounce as she gets the desired reaction, looking between Paige and Amy with a feigned, innocent, "What?!" as if she has no idea what the former is talking about.
Rafe gives a snicker, but it's that forced sort. The kind someone gives when they're uncomfortable, but would rather not let it show.
Kirill glances up briefly but very quickly turns his gaze back down to Gaz' work as he hears Jessica, deciding he'd rather stay riiiight here for a moment longer rather than acknowledge what's going on.
Yan Sun does her best to reign in her grimace as the food just sort of lingers in her mouth for a moment. She doesn't really wanna chew it, and she doesn't really wanna swallow it either, but she reluctantly does both - or rather, she's just getting to the second when Jessica speaks up. Her eyes widen and the hand holding the spoon shoots up to cover her mouth as she starts coughing. The glare that she shoots at Jessica as the coughing
continues aims to wordlessly convey more or less the exact same sentiment as Paige, and is accompanied by a jab with her elbow. Her face has turned red - whether from embarrassment or almost choking is not quite clear. Maybe both.
Amy 's eyes go wide, snapping back up to Jessica. She looks genuinely shocked, gaze darting from Jessica to Yan Sun, and then to Thomas, before quickly returning to her food, deciding to focus all her attention on that for the moment. Of course, the fact that she stop eating is a bit of a give-away that it's just an attempt to minimize her discomfort.
Jessica continues to cackle, Yan Sun's reaction only adding to her laughter, boots lifting off the ground as she shifts away from the elbow jab before briefly leaning against Yan Sun, bowl balancing precariously on her lap as she does. She has successfully made everyone uncomfortable with a single sentence. A feat to be proud of, for sure. As she teeters back into place and catches her breath, she eagerly resumes digging into her food
Thomas manages to get control of that deer-in-the-headlights look he's sporting when Paige pulls Jessica's attention away. Yan Sun's sudden coughing fit draws a smirk out of him again, seeming quite eager to move on from Jessica's previous comment. "See?! Told you it was awful!" he teases, ready to put the blame for her near-choke solely on the food. That look of disgust returns to his face as Jessica shovels another bite into her mouth.
"Eating it is one thing. I get it. Better than throwing it out. Whatever. But enjoying it?" he shakes his head as he watches Jessica like a scientist studies an unfamiliar animal and their feeding habits, "Never understood it." The comment causes Jessica to let out an exaggerated, pleased hum and she swallows another bite.
Paige lets out an exasperated sigh as she studies Yan Sun through the wavy lines of the fire with a look of exaggerated sympathy. "I don't know how you put up with her shit."
Rafe quietly begins to dig into his food, keeping that heavy smile of his propped up as the others talk. It's probably not hard to decipher how uncomfortable he is, but he's doing his best not to let it show.
Yan Sun draws a long breath once her coughing has come to an end, stuffying the spoon back into the bowl. She rubs at her eyes - which teared up a bit from the coughing. Thomas' words go uncommented, but Paige's garner a drawn out "Me neither.", but there's a smile on her face as her hand lowers, and the glance she shoots Jessica's way is as much fond as it is annoyed.
Amy casts a quick glance around the fire. Her attention lingers on Rafe for a moment longer than the others, eyebrows furrowing a little, but then she goes back to eating.
Jessica snorts. "Mmm. She pretends that she does not like it, but she loves it." she says, shooting a glance Yan Sun's way and gnashing her teeth together to make a sharp CLICK. Her own choice of words only seem to hit her a moment later, causing her to suddenly, and pointedly turn her gaze back to her bowl of food to avoid Yan Sun's eyes in a rare show of embarrassment that she's quick to try and cover up by clearing her throat,
Kirill seems to consider something as Thomas questions Jessica's choice in food, causing him to abandon the three open beers at the table beside Gaz and disappear into the tent behind her.
Paige seems to catch herself as soon as the words left her mouth, causing her gaze to turn to Rafe as well, but it doesn't linger long, not wanting to make him feel more uncomfortable than he already does. Jessica's accusation garners a small smile from her that seems a little more weighed down than previously.
The fire sways a bit as a heavier gust of wind blows through, setting off a domino effect of windchimes throughout the settlement that has likely become a familiar sound to Yan Sun even in just the short time that she's been here. The sound intermingles with the guitar chords streaming from Kirill's omni-tool before fading out.
Yan Sun rolls her eyes, and leans away with a grimace as Jessica gnashes her teeth, but her expression quickly softens as the look on Jessica's face makes her too take note of her choice of words. She's still flustered from before, but there's a small smile tugging at the corners of her mouth, and her gaze lingers on the woman next to her for a few moments before she ducks her head down and turns her to the fire, still smiling a little. The
Jessica makes a conscious effort to focus on her food, the blindness of her right eye serving as a solid shield from Yan Sun. The others seem to follow suit, laughter dying down and the music from Kirill's omni-tool filling the silence, joined by the sound of Gaz working away at... whatever it is she's doing, and the soft clank of metal spoons against metal bowls as the others turn their attention to their meal, for better or worse if
Kirill emerges from the tent after only a short while, passing a dip of his head to Gaz as he passes her by and collects the beers from the table. They clatter together as he picks them up with one hand, using his fingers to separate the necks of the bottles. In his other hand is a small orb, bright red in color. "Speakin' of strange taste in food." he sighs as he steps up behind the pair seated on the bench. "Wanted to show ya this." He
reaches between Yan Sun and Jessica, just over their shoulders, to present the object in his hand. A perfectly ripe tomato picked right off the vine. Amy may have noticed him pluck it just before they finished up for the day. He offers Jessica's questioning look a small nod.
Jessica takes the tomato from Kirill's hand, looking it over for a moment, smile lingering. "You grow this?" she asks, and he obliges the question with a small nod of his head. Without warning, she takes a big bite out of the tomato as if it was the most natural thing in the world, perhaps answering any lingering questions about what makes liking tomatoes a 'strange taste in food'. Just like eating an apple. It garners another disgusted
Kirill gains an amused look as he swaps one of the beers to his now-free hand and lifts the other two between Jessica and Yan Sun for them to collect. "Not too bad, huh?" he asks.
Yan Sun reluctantly scoops up half a spoonful of stew as silence settles in. Fact is she's a bit starved, so the less-than-appetizing contents of her bowl will have to do. Still doesn't keep her from scrunching up her nose unhappily as she eats. As the tomato appears between them - and is quickly bitten into by Jessica, she snickers a little, taking the beer bottles off Kirill's hands when they're offered, setting one to her side on the
Jessica hums a, "Mmm." to Kirill in affirmation before she opens her eyes, gaze resting on Yan Sun and offering a quick, "I love tomatoes." through a mouthful as she chews. Once she's gotten the bite down, she licks at her teeth and offers the bright red orb to Yan Sun, using her free hand to take the beer off Yan Sun's hands.
Kirill snickers as he steps away. "That's-... uhh-... from our first yield." he explains, "Looking forward to seeing what Glen can pull off with a regular supply of them." he continues, shooting the cook a quick glance as he retakes his seat, reaching out to pass Amy her beer.
Glen has taken a seat at the table with Gaz, giving her project a wide berth as he enjoys his own bowl of food. He gives a sharp nod to Kirill's words. "It'll be nice to have more to work with than rice and carashan." he snickers.
Paige's smile tempers into something a bit more sincere at the change in discussion. "Hopefully it's just the beginning." she says, unable to keep that splash of pessimism out of her own outlook for the future. She knows far too well that their success is far from guaranteed. Too many failures in their rearview mirror. But still, her tone is hopeful.
Yan Sun nods and puts on a humoring smile. "Yeah, I figured." When the tomato is offered to her she reflexively hesitates for the briefest of moments before realizing how ridiculous she's being and snatching the fresh fruit from Jessica with her now-free hand. She wastes no time in taking a big bite. Something edible that's not the stew? Yes please. Even if it ends up being a bit messy. "Mmh... it'schgood." she confirms, reaching up to wipe
Amy looks up from her food, accepting her beer and taking a small sip as she watches the new arrivals taste the tomato. The conversation that follows brings out a faint smile. Paige's words make her attention turn her way, looking like she wants to say something encouraging, but she just ends up self-consciously returning her attention to eating.
Kirill gives a nod as he settles back in his seat. "It is." he offers Paige full stop, stepping in to fill the gap left by Amy's silence. That unrelenting optimism of his is one of things Paige loves about him. And, at the same time, one of the things that drives her up the wall with frustration. For now, she merely shoots him a none-too-serious scowl. Quieting that voice in the back of her mind that says 'You don't know that'. He lifts his
own beer bottle from the built-in cupholder in his chair and holds it by the neck, gesturing Paige's way with it, "It is." he repeats more firmly before taking a sip.
Jessica washes the bite down with a swig of her beer. At first, it looks as if she's going to take the tomato back, but her gaze briefly darts down to the ignored stew in Yan Sun's lap. With a brief frown, she silently lets Yan Sun keep the tomato, her attention shifting back to her own bowl once she has sat her beer down on bench between herself and Caelus.
Thomas looks to Yan Sun once he has put down another reluctant bite of his food that he still seems to be eating despite clearly not enjoying it. Can't let a meal go to waste, after all! "So..." he says, much in the way one does when they're about to make small talk. "From what I understand, you're a long way from home. Earth? Is that right?" he asks, which causes Rafe to shift a bit in his seat, perhaps giving away where Thomas got his
Yan Sun seems prepared to hand the remainder of the tomato back, but she can't quite hide her relief when Jessica's attention turns back to the stew. She's already chewing on more when Thomas addresses her, meaning that her initial response is a nod and a muffled "Mnhm..." before swallowing. "Yeah. Hong Kong." she confirms.
Jessica catches the turian's eyes on her just as she's about to go back to her stew. "Mmm?" she hums. "What you are looking at, ugly?" she asks, a little antagonizing smirk pulling at the corner of her mouth.
Caelus gives a shake of his head, seeming none-too-bothered by the dig. These are people used to Jessica, after all. "Just... If I'm being honest? I wasn't sure if I was ever gonna see my favorite troublemaker again." he admits with a small shrug, taking a quick drink from his thermos. "What have you been up to, Jesse?"
Thomas gives a few nods, brows furrowing as Yan Sun puts a name to her home. "Hong Kong..." he repeats, expression deepening. "That's in-......." his gaze lowers to the ground for a moment before settling back on Yan Sun, "..........Japan?" he asks, sounding quite unsure of himself.
Paige interjects, scoffing loudly and gesturing idly with her spoon. "Japan?! It's not in Japan, it's-..." she sharply cuts herself off, a sheepish look crossing her features before a frown manifests. "..It's not Japan." she reaffirms, suddenly sounding less like she actually knows what she's talking about, and more like she's just confident in Thomas being wrong. Her attention shifts back to Yan Sun for confirmation.
Jessica is paying little mind to the other conversation. Caelus' question causes her gaze to lower briefly. She doesn't have enough time to answer that loaded question even if she wanted to. Instead, she merely shrugs her shoulders dismissively. "Making trouble." she decides, leveling her smirk back on him. "You?" she asks as she scoops another bite into her mouth.
Caelus snickers, her non-answer seeming to suffice. As curious as he might be, he knows better than to push. "You know. Just..." he shrugs, sending a non-answer back her way, "...being ugly."
Yan Sun 's expression turns unamused and a little perplexed - she's still getting used to the idea of just how removed the younger humans on Aite are from humanity's origins. "Not Japan." she confirms a little dryly, the conversation next to her going largely unnoticed. "China." she says, hoping that knowledge of the Alliance's big three - the CPF, the EU and the UNAS - is at least widespread out here.
Thomas gives a roll of his eyes as he feels Paige's gaze on him, but he doesn't even give her the satisfaction of looking her way. "China." he repeats with a nod, as if committing it to memory. He may not have quite as much of an excuse as Paige does for not knowing Earth geography, given his age. "Guessing this is a far cry from how things are back home, huh?" he snickers, indicating the small outpost with a quick, sweeping glance about.
Jessica merely shakes her head, smirk remaining as her attention is pulled to the other conversation.
Yan Sun nods, gaze on the stew in her lap as she pokes it a bit with her spoon. "It's, uh-... it's definitely different, that's for sure." she agrees. Realizing her words might be taken as a slight, she lifts her gaze, looking around the settlement with its sprinkled lights, and then up the moonlit mountains that loom around them, towards the night sky. Her cybernetic eye lights up as she zooms in on the mountaintops where they meet the
stars. The scattered lights do little to dim that stunning view. "It's taken some getting used to, but Aite is a beautiful world." she says with nothing but sincerity in her voice, attention lingering on their surroundings for a moment before going back to Thomas. "I've never seen so much, just... wilderness. Genuine wilderness. Not just fenced in preserves or contaminated wastelands. It's amazing." Aite is certainly not alone in
that regard among the galaxy's countless worlds, but the lack of development compared to other colonies coupled with the dramatic night sky does make for something special.
Rafe finally hazards a look Yan Sun's way as she speaks. "It is." he agrees with her sincere assessment, his smile turning to something less forced. Less heavy.
Paige seems to brighten up a little as Yan Sun speaks. Despite her ignorance regarding the rest of the galaxy, she knows full well that Aite is far from some bustling nexus. But it's her home. And hearing Yan Sun describe it in such a way? Recognizing the beauty in a planet- in her planet- when so many other outsiders only see the profit that can be made from it? It helps to shake loose whatever concerns she had about Yan Sun. About what
she must think of them. About how small they must seem in comparison to the mega cities of Earth. How insignificant they must be... "It's worth fighting for." she adds simply, her own gaze turning upwards to the clear sky.
Jessica's gaze, however, turns low as the others talk- to the embers in the base of the fire- and a familiar guilt fires up in her chest. The one that rears its ugly head whenever she thinks about what it is that she's doing. Leaving the only home she's ever known. Being back here certainly doesn't help with that. Surrounded by people who have every bit as much of a reason to want to get off of this rock as she does. And yet here they
are. Standing their ground amidst an outpost that's little more than a few prefabricated structures, buckling against the wind. Buckling, but standing nonetheless, the buildings every bit as hardy as their inhabitants. For all of their hardships. For all of the pain they've endured. The loss. The tragedies. They love Aite. A place that she's tried to hate for so long. Thankfully, a harsh life populated by poor decisions has
made her uniquely qualified to deal with guilt. Or, at the very least, quite experienced with pushing it deep down until it bubbles over again. So that's what she does. Pushing those intruding thoughts to the back of her mind as she fills her lungs with pull of cold air.
Kirill gives a soft nod, but the distant look in Jessica's eye doesn't go unnoticed. He doesn't allow his gaze to linger, however, lest she catch him. Instead, he takes a quick sip of his beer and leans back in his seat for the moment, joining the others in studying Aite's impressive night sky.
Thomas, too, turns his gaze upwards, nodding along to all that's said. "It's... something alright." he offers quietly. A bit wistfully. Nothing but love in his voice for the planet he now calls home. "...The food could be better, though." he adds, giving a small tilt of his head after a few moments pass in silence. A groan from Glen isn't far behind.
Yan Sun offers Rafe a small smile when she hears his voice - his silence hasn't gone unnoticed, but she's done her best to ignore it. Jessica's inner turmoil goes unnoticed by her as her gaze goes back to the sky. She just watches in silence until Thomas' final comment brings out a surprised snort of laughter that she doesn't manage to suppress. She immediately looks a little guilty, glancing towards the edge of her field of vision, unable