#Traveler'sGorge – September 19, 2021

Yan Sun seems in a good mood as she says her goodnights to Caelus and Thomas, falling into silence as she watches Jessica head off towards the greenhouse with Rafe and Paige, the look on her face soft, distant, and maybe a little drunk. Her beer is back on the bench next to her now that she has it to herself.

Amy is still as quiet as ever, looking extra awkward with the dwindling size of the group and the departure of the person that guilted her into coming back in the first place. She stands up a bit abruptly. "I'm just, uh... going to get a drink." she mumbles with a slightly stilted gesture towards the cooler, eyes seeking out Kirill as if looking for his permission before starting on her way towards the beer.

Kirill casts a glance in the direction the others disappeared to as a bit of laughter- unmistakably Paige's drunken giggling- penetrates the darkness and does his best to put thoughts of the noise complaints that are sure to come tomorrow if they continue to carry on like this out of his head for now. It'll be Paige herself that has to hear them out, after all. Karmic retribution at its finest. Nothing quite like the combination of a

hangover and the annoyed complaining of neighbors to make one rethink their life choices. The group shuffle along the road, periodically in view as they pass between the low light of the lanterns along the road. Once Amy stands up, Kirill turns his focus back her way. It takes him a moment to realize it's more of a request than a statement, causing his smile to peek out from beneath his bushy beard. "Should be plenty left in there.

Help yourself." he assures her non-chalantly, a veiled attempt at reminding her that she doesn't need his permission. Hell, it's not even his beer. He doesn't keep those coolers stocked. As if reminded of his own beer, he takes a quick swig from the bottle before setting it back into the cup holder on the armrest of his chair. Come to think of it, he's been working on that beer for quite some time. He seems to have a remarkable

ability to not only make a beer last, but to do so in a way that doesn't quite draw attention to the fact that he's not putting them down nearly as quickly as the others. Certainly a valuable skill amongst this group is one is adverse to hangovers. The omni-tool on the opposite armrest continues to play the soft plucking of a guitar.

Jean-Luc shifts in his seat a bit to better face Yan Sun once the others have made their leave. "So..." he sighs, running a quick hand across the stubble that now decorates the top of his head, giving his head a quick tilt from left to right, as if to give her a better view, "Now that she's gone, be honest. How bad is it?" he asks through a bit of a wince, seemingly still convinced that his rat's nest of grease was a good look.

Gaz glances up from the table as Amy starts her way, offering her a friendly smile. It looks as if she's packing up for the night, setting stones and tools and doodads back into the plastic carrying case that lays open on the table. "Hey." she offers simply through her smile. Given the special occasion of Jessica's arrival and her own absorption in her project, she hasn't had much of a chance to check in with the Gorge's newest arrival

tonight.

Yan Sun lets out a quiet "Hm?" as her attention turns to Jean-Luc, a bit of amusement quickly entering her face at the question. She decides that repeating that it's definitely an improvement would probably be rude, so she settles for assuring that: "It-... it looks good. Really."

Amy leans down to grab a beer from the cooler - her first bottle was abandoned half-empty when she made her sudden departure. Doesn't seem like she's much of a drinker. She flashes a small smile when Gaz addresses her, offering a "Hi." as she straightens up, gaze landing on Gaz for a moment. "Uhh..." She drums her fingers against the bottle in her hands, attention shifting to the half-packed up crafting supplies. "What are you making?"

Conversation!

Jean-Luc lets out a reluctant sigh, seemingly chalking the stranger's words up to polite placation. He lowers his gaze towards the ground, idly running his fingertips back and forth along the stubble, very much wearing the look of a man who is regretting his choices. "Merde..." he mutters to himself before a soft snicker escapes and he gives a shake of his head, deep set eyes once again seeking out Yan Sun. "That woman has a talent for

talking people into doing stupid shit." he snorts, as if suddenly reminded of Jessica's innate skill at mischief. At the very least he seems amused by his own lapse in judgement. It's all in good fun.

Gaz drops a few small trinkets into the case, Amy's question causing a perk in her brow. "Oh!" she hums. She's quick to scoop up a pair of bracelets, draping them over the edge of her hand and holding them closer to the lantern on the table so Amy can see. They're similar in design to one another. Small, natural stones of similar sizes, linked together by tiny rings that are driven into them. At each end is a small length of thin, silver

chain where it clasps together. One consists of stones of a bright, vibrant blue, natural splashes of color occasionally spotted. The other is made of black, almost onyx-like stones with small specks of grey swirled throughout. While they're far from the sort of expertly machined jewelry that one might drop a fortune for on the Citadel, they're made with a certain precision and craftsmanship that speaks to her talents. She doesn't

explain what they are, merely meeting Amy's eyes and flicking a look Yan Sun's way for explanation, her smile growing a bit sheepish. "What do you think?" she asks.

Kirill snickers as Jean-Luc's regrets shine through.

Amy leans down a bit to get a better look, her awkward smile growing a bit firmer as she studies the bracelets. When she notices Gaz looking towards Yan Sun there's a moment of gears turning before her smile widens and she nods. "Oh! They-... they look really nice." she says as her gaze returns to the bracelets. "They're gifts?" she guesses quietly, the conspicuous color-matching hard to miss.

Yan Sun lets out a snort of laughter, her smile bright. "She really does." she agrees, although the words are spoken with nothing but fondness in her voice. She takes a sip from her beer, her face no doubt giving away that she's recalling the many times in the last few months that she's been subjected to that talent herself.

Gaz gives a sheepish shrug of her shoulders, once more glancing Yan Sun's way before settling her focus back on Amy. "A going away present." she decides on. Soon Jessica who, for a time, was a constant in her life, will be gone. After Jessica's disappearance, she wasn't sure she'd ever see the woman again. And now she's been given the opportunity to see her off. Say her goodbyes. The least she can do is give her a small piece of home to take

with her wherever her adventures may take her. Her smile wavers, but she's quick to catch it. "Just something small to remember us by."

Jean-Luc joins Yan Sun with a bout of exasperated laughter of his own, seeming to know all too well just how exhausting life with Jessica can be. But soon enough, his smile pulls into something more sincere. For a moment, his gaze turns past Yan Sun. Out towards the rest of the compound, as if to ensure Jessica isn't suddenly going to step out of the darkness. The greenhouse still isn't lit and, if someone were paying particular attention,

they may have noticed the group that departed continue right past it down the road. "But-..." he sighs, eyes resting back on Yan Sun before reaffirming his own words with a small nod. "...She has a bigger heart than she lets on, Yan." His words are gentle, lest he unintentionally imply that Yan Sun doesn't know the woman she's been traveling with quite as well as she thinks she does. It's just his attempt at vouching for the

character of a friend. A friend who happens to be a pain in the ass and so completely covered in prickly thorns that it can often be hard to see who is really beneath it all. After seeing her again tonight. Smiling. Laughing. Happy. He would be remiss if he didn't do his small part to try and help protect that for her.

Kirill's snickers alongside the pair but, as Jean-Luc speaks, his smile tapers back. His previous discussions with Yan Sun have more than assuaged whatever concerns he might have, but he keeps his thoughts to himself, allowing the pair to carry on uninterrupted.

Yan Sun 's smile softens, following Jean-Luc's gaze out at the darkness down the road. She doesn't reflect on the lack of lights in the greenhouse. "I know." she says quietly. Sincerely.

Amy hesitates for a moment, turning the bottle in her hands as she ponders taking a seat at the table - she decides against it, since it looks like Gaz is packing up anyway. She clears her throat as quietly as she can before speaking. "I guess you know Jessica too?"

Gaz studies the pair of bracelets for a moment longer before gently setting them into a compartment in her carrying case. "I do." she offers simply, leveling that friendly smile of hers back on the woman beside her. But she seems to pick up on the lingering third wheel vibes from Amy. The new girl at a going away get-together for someone everyone else seems to have history with. So she leaves it at that, instead choosing to focus on Amy as

she splits her attention between small talk and stowing her trinkets away. "How are you settling in?" she asks.

Jean-Luc gives a small nod, settling back into his seat. For a moment he merely studies Yan Sun, but eventually his attention turns back to the fire, his posture slipping as he gets comfortable. "So what are the plans once you get to Hong Kong?" he asks as he watches the wood crackle and pop.

Kirill finally chimes in. "Clubs and food, from the sound of things." he says through his smile, recalling their earlier conversation before Jean-Luc showed up. "Ain't that right?" he shoots a glance Yan Sun's way.

Jean-Luc snorts. "Aside from that." he qualifies, trying to tease out whether or not there's some agenda to their trip to Earth.

Amy seems a bit caught off-guard by the question, propping her smile back up, even if it's a bit empty. "Everyone here has been... really kind. Welcoming." she says quietly, opting to take a seat after all, looking down at her still-untouched beer.

Yan Sun snickers at Kirill's interjection, taking a sip from her beer as she considers her response. "I, uh... I don't know, really. Kind of... figuring it out as we go, I guess. I just-... I mean, Jessica's shown me so much of where she's from. I want to do the same." she explains with a small, slightly self-conscious shrug. She leaves the complicated emotions that accompany the thought of returning to her home city unspoken, but they

still color her voice, and her expression. It's easier to ignore the questions of how, and if, she's going to deal with facing the people she left behind.

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