Paige enough thought to drown the room in silence. "Guess I should probably get back out there..." she offers quietly, punctuating her words with a bit of a wistful sigh. "This... might be the last night I get to spend with my best friend." she continues, finally looking back to Amy, the smile that returns to her face pensive. The words come softly, sounding almost like an admission. An admission that she considers that loud, obnoxious
#Traveler'sGorge – August 4, 2021
asshole out by the firepit her best friend? Or maybe an admission that said asshole's absence has hit her harder than she'd like to admit.
Jessica holds the razor up in front of her face, like a doctor examining her tools. She tilts her head to one side as she peers overtop of the device, leveling a menacing stare Jean-Luc's way as she flips the razor on and off a couple of times, the buzzing of the razor layering overtop and contrasting the gentle plucking of guitar strings that continues to flow from Kirill's omni-tool. Jean-Luc looks none too amused.
Kirill snickers as he watches, taking a small sip of his beer. "You're really enjoying this, huh?" he asks.
Jessica shoots a glance Kirill's way. "I am waiting a lonnnng time for this. Don't worry, I am coming for your beard next." she warns, gesturing towards the older man with a dip of her head.
Kirill seems to straighten up in his chair just a bit as he adjusts his grip on the neck of his beer, the subtle movement drawing a few chuckles from the others around the fire. It causes him to cast a glance across the others, some genuine concern coloring his smile as he knows all too well how these things can snowball out of his control with Jessica around. Starts with giving Jean-Luc a haircut and, before you know it, half the outpost is
Amy looks Paige's way, seeming a little surprised by her words. Not the descriptor she would have expected for their loud-mouthed guest. Soon there's a bit of guilt there too over keeping Paige away from the fire, and she's quick to nod and prop up a smile. "Yeah. That-... that doesn't sound like something you should miss." she agrees.
Yan Sun crosses her legs, hands on her knee as she watches Jessica's antics with a grin on her face. It's nice to not be the one in her crosshairs for once. The threat to Kirill's beard - and his reaction - draws a laugh from her, swaying a little in her seat.
Paige gives a few shallow nods, doing her best to prop her smile back up with Amy's eyes on her. "Yeah..." she says, unable to muster up quite as much enthusiasm as she'd like. Hard to be enthusiastic about saying goodbye to someone important to you. Even harder when it's so difficult to justify just why that person is so important after all of the shit they've pulled. Drawing in a deep breath, she gives her thighs a pat, urging herself
upright. Another jangle of the chime outside is a reminder of the chill that's waiting for her just beyond the door. Not that it's exactly toasty in here. These little prefabs are old. Repaired and patched up time and time again. They don't retain heat like they once did. But it sure beats the cold Aite winter outside. Before she gets moving, however, she casts another glance Amy's way, that heavy smile of hers growing a bit firmer.
"...You're more than welcome to come back with me." she offers, sounding a little less pushy than usual. Perhaps just a little more understanding of why Amy might need some time to herself. "Promise I won't let that maniac cut your hair." she assures with a chuckle, her smile perking up a bit as she raises one hand as if to make her promise official.
Jessica's attention remains on Kirill for, his response garnering a small tilt of her head. "Mmm. We will see about this, old man." she warns, his attempt at shutting her plans down backfiring as she seems to take it more as a challenge. She gives him a small wink, eyes tilting down towards the beer in his hand. "Keep drinking."
Kirill's lips turn to a thin line behind his big, bushy beard, merely watching the woman with about as little amusement as is humanly possible. It gets a loud snort from Rafe.
Jessica continues to hold Kirill's gaze for a moment, flicking the razor on and off a couple of times in a threatening manner as if revving a chainsaw, sneer tugging at the corner of her lip before finally- thankfully- turning her focus back to Jean-Luc.
Kirill gives a small shake of his head, turning his attention Yan Sun's way, as if looking for someone to commiserate with.
Amy hugs herself a little again, gaze shifting away from Paige as she hesitates. "I, uhm..." She looks back to her, seeming on the fence for a moment, and... away again. "I think... I'm gonna stay here. If that's okay." she says quietly, a small shrug accompanying the words.
Yan Sun is in the middle of another laugh when Kirill looks her way, and she tries in vain to swallow it and wipe the grin off her face, the hand with the soda can going up in a half-baked attempt to cover her mouth when she realizes that she's failing miserably to conceal her amusement.
Paige maintains her smile, if just for Amy's sake. The last thing she wants to do is guilt Amy into doing something that she's not comfortable doing. "Of course." she says, resting one hand against the table. "But-... if you change your mind?" she shrugs, "You know where to find us. I'm sure we'll be down by the gate for at least a few more hours."
Jean-Luc draws in a breath, sitting up a bit straighter once Jessica's attention shifts back to him. His gaze turns straight ahead, into the fire.
Jessica flicks the switch on one more time, the buzzing constant now as she steps towards Jean-Luc, a grin plastered across her face in sadistic amusement.
Kirill is unable to hide the smile that slips across his features as he catches Yan Sun's expression through her poor attempt at hiding it. Being the butt of a joke doesn't seem to bother him too much. But he plays his part, giving a small tilt of his head, as if to say 'Really?' "Ya know, I'm starting to think you're as bad as she is, Yan." he mutters.
Amy offers a few faint nods of confirmation, looking Paige's way but falling just short of meeting her gaze.
Yan Sun 's laughter is renewed by Kirill's muttering. "Hey! I am an upstanding individual!" she protests through a big grin. An admission of "I'm just glad she's terrorizing someone else for a change." follows, accompanied by a snicker.
Paige begins to take her leave, but only manages to get to the door before glancing back Amy's way, one hand against the doorframe to steady herself. "I-... umm-..." she stammers, seeming to second guess whether or not she should say anything else, culminating in a small eyeroll at her own inability to mind her own business. "...I know it can take some time. Adjusting to this place." she's quick to clarify, her tone cautious, "But I-...
hope you know that we're all glad to have you here, Amy." There's a sincerity in her tone. And why wouldn't there be? Amy has certainly pulled her weight down at the greenhouse. Her smile widens briefly and she offers a small shrug. "I wouldn't have invited you to hang out with us tonight if that wasn't the case." she adds, seemingly worried that Amy may think she was only invited because she was the new girl. A pity invitation.
Kirill looks unconvinced, offering a disingenuous, "Uh huh..." in response, the exchange getting a bout of laughter from Rafe in turn.
Jessica shoots a sidelong glare Yan Sun's way, but is a bit too preoccupied to deal with her right now. With her free hand, she grabs a fistful of Jean-Luc's hair and tugs it upward, her technique seeming like it would befit a machete moreso than a razor. With an unceremonious sweep of her right hand, the hair comes free in her hand and she raises the tuft high into the air.
Jean-Luc's nostrils flare in an overly dramatic fashion as he continues to stare into the fire like a man facing a firing squad, but unwilling to give his executioner the satisfaction of watching him squirm.
Amy blinks, looking a little surprised as Paige stops to speak again - although she probably should have gotten used to it by now. The sentiment expressed makes her gaze shift to the barren floor, a small, embarrassed smile crossing her lips. It's accompanied by a blush that's mercifully concealed by the dim lighting in the prefab. "Uhm... thank you. Maybe I'll... come back out in a while?" she offers. It's hard to tell whether the words are
Yan Sun 's face is an unconvincing façade of innocence. She manages to reign in her grin long enough to take a swig from her soda, cheeks hurting from smiling, but Jessica lifting her bounty triumphantly into the sky draws a loud, ugly snort, the stupid grin right back where it was as she watches her.
Paige gives a slight tilt of her head, seeming skeptical of Amy's words but- thankfully- unwilling to call her on her bullshit right now. Something that takes great restraint from her. "Alright. I'll see you soon, then." she says, unwilling to resist at least a little guilt tripping. The cold begins leaking in as she opens the door and she offers a small dip of her head Amy's way in a quiet bid farewell before stepping out into the crisp
Jessica gives a slow, small turn, as if to show everyone the gruesome trophy. It gets a round of laughter out of the others. Thomas seems especially amused, rocking in his chair in laughter. As her eye scans across Yan Sun, her gaze lingers. The grin on her face tempering into something a bit more genuine. But she seems to catch herself, quickly averting her attention and moving right on. Just as unceremoniously as she hacked the clump
of hair off, she underhands it to Rafe. The hair, greasy as it was, seems to maintain its general clump-shape as it lands squarely in Rafe's lap.
Rafe's laughter is interrupted as a gross wad of hair lands in his lap, eyes going wide as he shifts back in his seat in a fruitless attempt at getting away from the projectile. The front legs of his chair lift off the ground, expression briefly shifting from disgust to panic but, thankfully, he manages to shift forward in time to keep from toppling over and the only casualty is a bit of spilled beer on his pants which only serves to make the
others laugh louder. He gives a couple of failed attempts at gingerly plucking the clump of hair from his lap with two fingers before finally managing to sling it to the ground.
Kirill ends up having to bring a hand up to his mouth to cover the loud, uncontrollable laughter that spills from him as Rafe struggles with the clump of hair. He's quick to shoot an apologetic look Rafe's way as he tries to get a handle on his laughter. Smile hidden behind that beard of his, he gestures Rafe's way with one hand, as if telling him to stay back, and leans forward from his seat. In one smooth motion he plucks the clump of hair
Caelus shifts away from the fire as the greasy clump of hair is chucked into it, guarding his thermos with one talon as if concerned the hair may spontaneously combust and spew debris into his drink. Look, he doesn't understand hair.
Jean-Luc does his best to maintain his stone cold serious expression, but the facade quickly cracks, shoulders bouncing as he devolves into a fit of laughter in turn.
Amy doesn't say anything, remaining silent and seated until Paige leaves, although her gaze darts up as she exits. Once the door closes she lets out a heavy sigh and slumps a bit, but continues to watch it.
Yan Sun is rocking back and forth with loud laughter as Rafe scrambles to be rid of the greasy lump of hair that he's been attacked with, making no attempts to reign it in any longer.
The rest of Jean-Luc's head shaving isn't quite so dramatic. Though it does take a while. Jessica seems to be in no rush, making multiple trips back to her beer and joining in on discussion with the others in between hacking off Jean-Luc's hair. Paige makes it back long before the head-shaving ceremony is finished. More than enough time to express her distaste. Many many times. Spirits remain high, with plenty of laughter accompanying the
endless booze. And Jessica seems... carefree. It's not often that she lets her guard down so honestly. There's a certain comfort that doesn't come easy for her. Not after everything she's been through. But these people are more than random strangers, despite whatever she may have said in the past. Despite whatever she may have tried to convince Yan Sun. Despite whatever she may have tried to convince herself. That much is plain to see.
Jean-Luc sits with a grimace on his face as he stares himself down through a reflection on the screen of his omni-tool, tilting his head this way and that to get a good look at it before running his hand over it. Gone is the clumped mess of grease that once decorated his head, replaced by short, dark stubble. Shorter than even Jessica's hair, given that she hasn't had a fresh shave since leaving Freedom Falls. At the very least, it looks
worlds cleaner. "Eh..." he grunts his verdict. He passes a glance Paige's way since she's been the most vocally against the haircut.
Paige's expression shifts into a pout as she studies Jean-Luc. "Looks like shit." she offers bluntly, which gets a snort out of him.
Jessica scoffs loudly at Paige's appraisal. "Fuck off!" she groans, leveling the razor on Paige as if wielding Excalibur. "You are wanting to be next?!" she warns, the razor buzzing on and off a few times.
Paige lets out a giggled, "Eeep!" as she pulls her feet up onto the edge of her chair, leaning back in an attempt at some sort of a defensive position.
Kirill has been all smiles throughout the ordeal. He passes Paige a look when she gives her blunt, honest opinion. "Looks fine, Luke." he assures the man with a sharp nod.
Jean-Luc doesn't particularly seem convinced by Kirill's addition, turning his focus towards the pair sitting at the bench. "Eh?" he hums as he looks between Caelus and Yan Sun for their input.
Caelus blinks a couple of times. At first he seems to make an honest go of it, eyes looking from Jean-Luc's face to the lack of hair on his head. But, ultimately, he gives a shrug of his shoulders. "Don't ask me. I think you all look ridiculous." he offers non-chalantly.
Yan Sun snickers as her razor-wielding maniac of a girlfriend makes Paige cower. Her soda has been emptied and she's even gotten her hands on another beer now that the puking is well behind her. Jean-Luc turning to the log for their assessment makes her eyebrows furrow as she considers how to phrase her response. Caelus' gets a quiet snort. "It-... it was for the best." she says, expression half apologetic wince and half grin. It's not hard
to tell that she's in a good mood. That little bit of awkwardness that comes with being a stranger among a group that knows each other well has long since passed, and seeing Jessica let her guard down and just enjoy herself with people that are obviously important to her has her all smiles.
Jean-Luc snorts at Yan Sun's response before letting out a long, drawn out sigh and running his hand across his scalp once more, attention soon shifting right back to his screen.
Jessica keeps the razor leveled on Paige- who now has her hands up, palms outward just in case Jessica decides to swoop in to take a strip of hair from atop her head- and gives a few playful jabs her way with it, each one getting a panicked fit of laughter from Paige. But she quickly moves on from tormenting the young woman, turning about towards the others. "Now who is next?" she asks through a devilish grin. "Mmm?" Her gaze barely has
Gaz shakes her head vehemently. "Do not even think about it, Jessica!" she calls out sharply, one hand lifting to touch the sides of her hair lovingly.
Jessica seems to be pleased enough at the sheer terror on Gaz' face as she's considered for Jessica's next hair-culling and she quickly moves on. Thomas and Rafe both keep their hair pretty closely cropped. Kirill would probably let her cut his whole head off before he'd let her touch his beard. And Caelus is... well... Caelus. So it's only a matter of time before her gaze inevitably lands on Yan Sun. With an alcohol-fueled mischievous
grin on her lips, she brings both hands behind her back to pre-emptively protect the razor from Yan Sun's grasp as she meanders in her direction.
Yan Sun twists around in her seat to face Jessica so fast that she almost falls off the bench, eyes wide as she shakes her head. "Don't you dare." she says, lifting her left hand to make a warning gesture. She's tense, as if ready to dodge should she need to. "I will hurt you."
Jessica continues to slowly approach Yan Sun, the threat garnering a none-too-concerned snicker from both her and the others around the fire. "Promises, promises, kitty cat." she teases, poking her tongue out between her teeth. When she's within arm's reach she stops, peering down at Yan Sun. "Come on..." she continues, head lulling to one side, "...you are thinking that I am going to fuck up your hair? I like your hair too much to fuck
it up. I am only-..." she shrugs, tilting her head to the other side, as if to examine the stubble along the side of Yan Sun's head that has grown out a little during their road trip and gesturing towards it with a dip of her head, "...cleaning it up. You trust me, yes?" she asks, leveling her gaze firmly on Yan Sun, the question suddenly sounding like a challenge. As much as she tries to put on a serious expression, the grin
Rafe grimaces, holding one hand up to his neck to shoot Yan Sun the universal gesture for 'cut her off'. Before it's too late. Given his positioning, he's able to do so without catching Jessica's eye as the rest of the onlookers wait for Yan Sun's response.
Yan Sun gradually leans further away in her seat as Jessica approaches her, hand still raised defensively in front of her. Her eyebrows furrow as Jessica speaks, eyeing her skeptically. As attention is drawn to the growing stubble on the side of her head she reaches up to brush her fingertips over it. The question makes her frown deepen. "Wh-... y-, b-" Her gaze flicks to Rafe's gesturing and then back to the woman looming over her with the
Jessica's grin shifts into a frown. More of a... drunken pout. And she shoots a quick glance in the direction of Yan Sun's gaze. Rafe is quick to bring his hand up to the side of his head, as if running it through his hair, to conceal his hand signals. Jessica's not buying it, though, hitting him with a glare before shifting her attention back to Yan Sun. "I-... am not drunk!" she counters- naturally- which gets a round of snickers
from the others. She takes another step closer so that she's standing overtop her next hair-victim, the inside of her right leg against the outside of Yan Sun's left. "Is going to be fine, kitty cat!" she assures. "I am only going to-... to-..." she brings her right hand out from behind her back, the shuffling that precedes it giving away the fact that she's shifted the razor to her left hand to keep it safe from Yan Sun.
She brushes the back of her knuckles along the left side of Yan Sun's head as she looks down at her. "...only this. Yes?" she continues to push.
Yan Sun 's right hand rises to clutch her hair protectively while her left pushes Jessica's hand away before hovering between the two of them like a shield, palm out. "No-... Jessica! You're gonna slip and ruin my hair! I like my hair! It's fine! I'll trim it when we get back to Freedom Falls!" she blurts out, hunching further away from Jessica.
Jessica is unable to hold back the snort that slips out as Yan Sun's panic only worsens. "I am liking your hair, too! I'm not going to fuck it up!" she insists. "I won't-..." she offers, reigning in her grin as best as she can. "I won't slip!" she restarts, as if doing so without the big grin carries more weight. "And if you say for me to stop? I will stop, mmm?" she negotiates. She doesn't manage quite as innocent of a look as she's
Yan Sun 's resolve is wavering, far too much of a sucker for the woman standing over her and far too susceptible to being talked into questionable ideas. "...Jessica, I-I don't..." She sucks in her lower lip, chewing on it as she studies her with a hesitant frown. "...just a trim? You promise?"
Jessica's grin returns in full force as Yan Sun begins to give in, teeth pressed down gently on the tip of her tongue. It gets a few collective groans from the others around the fire, disaster surely on their minds. "Mmm!" she assures enthusiastically, brows lifting a bit in excitement. She swipes away Yan Sun's beer and sets it on the bench out of the way before Yan Sun has a chance to change her mind. Her right hand turns to Yan Sun's
shoulder for balance as she moves to sit on her lap. Brow furrowing, she shifts a bit in place, lifting her legs over the bench to plant her feet on the ground on the opposite side of Yan Sun's feet so that she's straddling her face-to-face. "Is going to be fine." she hums as she brings the razor to her right hand.
Jean-Luc lets out a deep sigh and leans over to scoop up the bottle that has mostly been forgotten beside the leg of his chair since Yan Sun's puke crisis. "I have a feeling that you're going to need this." he teases her, holding the bottle by the neck and extending it to Caelus since he's the only one in arm's reach and giving a nod Yan Sun's way.
Yan Sun opens her mouth to say something as her beer is snatched away and Jessica starts to straddle her, but she quickly goes quiet, already looking like she's regretting caving, eyeing the razor nervously. Jean-Luc's comment does little to help her nerves, gaze flicking his for only the briefest of moments before going right back to Jessica. "If you fuck up my hair... I-... I will never forgive you." she warns, gaze darting between her
Jessica pauses fiddling with the razor as Yan Sun speaks, leveling a sharp look on her. "I am not going to fuck up your hair, kitty cat." she says flatly. Despite Yan Sun's terror, everyone else seems amused, snickers slipping out from around the fire. With a deep sigh, she shakes her head to herself and finishes whatever adjustments she was doing with the razor. "But maybe you should not do any fast movements." she warns, the corner of
her mouth heralding the return of her annoying grin. Holding the razor off to the side in her right hand, her left moves to the side of Yan Sun's head. With a focused look on her face- as focused as can be achieved through glassy eyes- she begins to brush any stray hairs back into place to make sure that they don't get caught in the line of fire. It's a gentle movement, just slow strokes along Yan Sun's stubble to ensure it's
Yan Sun swallows hard and turns her head to expose the shaved side to Jessica as any stray hairs are brushed back. She's breathing nervously, but not backing out, face stuck in a worried frown as she watches Jessica out of the corner of her eye. The dark stubble on the side of her head is illuminated by the gemoetric pattern of lights that run through the skin underneath. The pattern itself is a little obscured by the unmaintained growth,
except for the rectangular spot near her temple, where her neural implant sits, a flat strip of metal about the size of a thumb.