#Traveler'sGorge – October 18, 2021

Morning comes far too soon but, unexpectedly, this time Yan Sun is spared Jessica's obnoxious alarm. Instead, she's left to sleep in and, by the time she wakes, Jessica is nowhere in sight. Never one to pass up an opportunity to be a nuisance to Yan Sun, the exchange of text messages are... less than helpful, leading Yan Sun on a wild goose chase to find her. But the Gorge isn't the largest of compounds, so there were only so many places

Jessica could be. Eventually she was found further in the Gorge at a small cluster of old prefabs, floofy hat atop her head and stolen sunglasses adorning her face, where she's assisting Will in building a snow fort. It, unfortunately, provides far too juicy of a fortification for Jessica to not retaliate for Yan Sun's ambush the previous day. But, as everyone knows, there are no winners in war. Only survivors. So, after the lengthy snowball

fight culminated in an innocent bystander taking a missile of a snowball to the side of the head, a truce was called for the sake of the Gorge. Yan Sun and Jessica were tasked with repairing the damage the fort sustained in the heated encounter by Foreman Will but, once done, farewells are given to the enthusiastic boy who makes Jessica and "Yonson" once again promise to return one day.

While left over carashan stew was available for lunch it- thankfully for Yan Sun's sake- was just a side. Simple sandwiches were the main course! Cheese. Condiments. And a meat that, given her exposure to it during their trip, Yan Sun would probably be able to identify as carashan. Carashan sandwiches with a side of carashan stew. When you're working with a limited supply, beggars can't be choosers. At least the sandwiches were garnished with

fresh tomato that was delivered by Amy and Kirill just this morning from the greenhouse's first yield. The usual suspects were present for lunch. Kirill. Rafe. Tommy. Amy was, of course, invited to join. Kirill always tries to encourage her to join him does when he takes his lunch break. It's becoming something of a tradition. Paige who, on most days, will usually only swing by with Kirill to pick up her food and chat a bit before returning to

the greenhouse to eat alone as she works has also decided to stick around today. Whether due to Jessica's presence or the splitting headache left by her hangover was anyone's guess. Given the way she held her head all throughout lunch and stared holes into her tray, it was probably the latter. Needless to say, she was significantly less giggly. But, credit to her, a hangover wasn't enough to keep her from going to work.

While he would've preferred to get an early start on their trip, Kirill remained true to his agreement to wait until mid day to hit the road and hasn't rushed the pair. A decision undoubtedly helped by the hope that the additional time might help provide a bit of closure for Jessica and those she so quickly left behind. So once lunch is over, it's back to the greenhouse for him and Paige. Yan Sun is left to make the rounds with Jessica. There's

a few uncomfortable goodbyes and exchanges of contact info with some remaining people she hadn't yet run in to, as well as some- given their recent lunch- unfortunately timed mystery meat on a stick thrust upon them that was grilled over an open fire during their trip through the ramshackle tent town. Jessica assured Yan Sun that the gamey meat was just a local bird and seemed to show no hesitation in scarfing it down herself.

As it was nearing time to head out, Jean-Luc and Tommy joined the pair back at the guest house. Both had prior engagements- Tommy a shift at the gate and Jean-Luc prep work for an upcoming excursion- so decided to get their goodbyes in early and assisted them in carrying and loading their things back into the truck. Well wishes were offered, contact information exchanged, and the hugs looked far less painful for Jessica than usual. But once

they depart, Jessica and Yan Sun are left alone with the truck that they just spent the last couple weeks of their lives in.

Jessica is leaned back against one of the truck's massive wheel wells, half-sitting against it as she people watches while they wait for Kirill to show up. Her ridiculous gettup remains. Not because she likes it. Nope. It's purely a statement of rebellion.

Yan Sun is in a good, if slightly sluggish mood once she wakes. Sleeping in a bed for the first time in almost two weeks has made sure of that. While her assisted aim still holds true, the snowball fight stirs up an unruly stomach - maybe subsisting on chips and beer all evening wasn't the greatest of ideas. A proper lunch and a few urgent bathroom visits seems to have resolved those worries, at least - Jessica is spared any more stains on

her boots. After lunch she fit in a visit to the communications building to drop if some security notes for Jeannie as promised. As they're left alone, Yan Sun is seated atop the hood of the bulky truck, looking out across the settlement that they're about to leave. She's sitting on her left hand, running the heating program to keep her butt from freezing thanks to the cold metal of the truck. She gives Jessica's shoulder a nudge

with the toe of her boot. "How do you feel?"

Jessica has fared a bit better than Yan Sun in regards to her hangover. Given how much she drank last night and how drunk she ended the night, it's every bit as likely that she's just putting on airs to one up Yan Sun. Either way, she's managed to hold onto her lunch and only occasionally gets that telltale woozy look on her face when the world starts spinning. As she's prodded, she casts a glance up towards Yan Sun, peering out over

the top of her sunglasses as she slips them a little further down her nose with a poke of her finger. "Mmm?" she hums with a shrug. "I am fine." she lies, shifting a bit heavier against the hulking vehicle as she turns her gaze back out towards the road, small smirk tugging at the edge of her mouth, "Some of us are able to handle our drinks."

Yan Sun sticks out her tongue and gives Jessica's shoulder a light kick. Not what she'd meant, but she doesn't press the issue - Jessica's earned the chance to posture a bit. "It wasn't the drinks, it was the food..." she complains. "I don't know how you ate that stuff..."

Jessica scoffs as she's kicked, shooting a sideways glare Yan Sun's way. "I am going to-..." she starts and stops as her attention is redirected to Yan Sun's assault on her favorite dish. She swivels her forearm against the wheel well to better face Yan Sun with a frown. "Is good!" she argues, gaze briefly slipping to Yan Sun's boot and her initial thought. "And-... if you are kicking me again with your dirty boots then I am going to

throw it in the snow." she challenges matter-of-factly.

Yan Sun grins as she's threatened, shaking her head. "It's not good." she informs regretfully, as if delivering bad news. She lets her legs swing back and forth a bit in what's probably an attempt to psych Jessica, heels bonking against the side of the truck.

Jessica gives a small raise of her brow, neck craned to look up at Yan Sun. She watches with an unamused look on her face, attention slowly and deliberately turning from Yan Sun's face, to her boot, and back to her face, silently acknowledging that she knows exactly what she's trying to do. As far as she's concerned, this is a threat. And threats will not be tolerated. "I warned you, slut." she sighs and, without any further warning,

she reaches out, quickly snatching up Yan Sun's ankle in her hand and pivoting to stand between her legs, mischievous grin tugging at the corner of her mouth. Her other hand moves to Yan Sun's waist, palm against her belly in a pre-emptive attempt at holding her back.

Yan Sun 's eyes widen, her free hand reaching for Jessica's wrist. "NononoI'msorry!" she exclaims through a laugh that somewhat undermines the sincerity of the blurted apology.

Jessica uses the hand on Yan Sun's stomach to keep her from being able to reach her other hand, which begins to tug at the boot. "Mmm?" she taunts as she looks up at Yan Sun, big, smug grin on her face. "You are sorry? Why you are always sorry after I have to kick your ass?" she taunts as she tries to work the boot off.

Yan Sun starts kicking her foot when Jessica pulls at her boot, her other leg lifting to bring the sole of her boot to bear against her face in the hopes of annoying her into backing off. "Nononostopit! I need my boots! Jessicaaa!"

Jessica's own laughter sharply dies out, replaced by a loud gasp of disbelief when Yan Sun presses her other boot to her face. "You bitch!" she huffs. It, unfortunately, seems to have the opposite effect, causing her to double down her efforts. She brings her hand away from Yan Sun's belly so she can step back from the boot in her face and assist her other hand in dealing with the boot. "I am going to-... gah-..." she grunts, the

perfect waffle imprint of the bottom of a boot on her cheek in dirt, "...fuck you up!" As the boot pops off, it sends her backwards as well, causing her to stutter step to keep from falling on her ass. "Mmm?!" she taunts, holding the boot up in victory briefly before cocking her arm back in a threat to throw it, well aware that Yan Sun is powerless to stop her, marooned atop the hood of the truck without her boot.

Yan Sun tries in vain to reach out and stop Jessica from making off with her boot. When the boot is held up she's quick to turn to the side, knees pulling up a bit and her arm rising to shield her face as she shuts her eyes. "I'm sorryyy! Nothrowingit'llhurt!"

Jessica waits patiently for Yan Sun to open her eyes before taking a page out of her book, attempting to psych her out, pantomiming the motions without actually throwing the boot. "Mmm?!" she taunts before doing it a second time. "I am sorryyyyy!" she mocks, putting on an annoying voice in what is clearly supposed to be an impression of Yan Sun. "After you are putting your boot in my face?! Mmm?!" she scoffs, arm remaining

cocked back. Despite the scowl on her face, there's an undeniable grin beneath it. Though whether that's due to the general mood or simply from watching Yan Sun squirm is unclear.

Yan Sun , unsurprisingly, flinches. Both times. The impression makes her shoot a grumpy look Jessica's way - past the shielding arm she still has half-raised. "It was self-defense! I'll be nice! Just... give me the boot back?" she tries, tentatively extending her hand as if to accept it. A "Pleeease...?" is added alongside a tilt of her head and the best begging look she can muster.

Jessica's arm remains cocked behind her, ready to hurl the oh-so-dangerous projectile. It's only once Yan Sun begins to beg that Jessica's posture relaxes. The small lift of her brow- a minimal movement allowed by scar tissue- is one of mild amusement. She stays a few feet out of Yan Sun's reach, free hand moving to her own hip as she balances the stolen boot on the palm of her hand. She cocks her head slightly, studying the footwear as

if unsure whether or not to give it back. "Why I should give it to you when you are just going to be a shit to me again?" she asks, smug look returning to her face, "Mmm?" Her condescending look of victory is only slightly undermined by the intersecting lines of dirt on her cheek.

Yan Sun furrows her eyebrows, sucking in her lower lip as she considers the question until a smile starts to tug at the corners of her mouth. "Becaaaauuuse... you like me?" Her smile is wide and full of exaggerated sweetness, and her tone is teasing. "And you don't want my toes to freeze off?" she suggests, wiggling said toes under a thick gray winter sock picked up at the Freedom Falls market a while back.

Jessica doesn't seem swayed, a fact reflected in the way her head tilts a little bit more to one side. "I never say that I like you, kitty cat." she corrects. She brings her free hand up, rubbing at her itching cheek. As she pulls her hand away and spots a bit of mud on the back of her thumb, her smug look shifts into something far less amused as she realizes that there's probably plenty more dirt caked to her face. Her sharp gaze

levels back on Yan Sun, one deep brown eye and one milky white, as she prods at the bottom of her upper teeth with the tip of her tongue, silently waiting for Yan Sun to convince her not to kick her ass.

Yan Sun does her best to suppress her laughter as Jessica rubs her cheek, but a muffled snort still slips out. She tries to look innocent, but it's a losing battle, the big grin that crosses her lips giving her away. "I can... I can clean that off..." she tries, half-wincing even as she's trying to keep from laughing again.

Jessica remains right where she is, glare firmly focused on Yan Sun. She gives a roll of her eyes just to make it clear that Yan Sun's half-assed attempt at playing innocent isn't working on her before stepping forward with a deep sigh. "I am giving your boot back." she says before stopping briefly and meeting Yan Sun's gaze once more, pointing a finger at her sharply to qualify the decision with, "But only for so your toes don't

freeze off!" Try as she might, the frown affixed to her face is hollow. Despite weeks of body aches and pains, a lingering cold, a pretty wicked hangover, and a whole lot of emotional baggage, the unexpected warm reception she's been given by the Gorge is reflected in an uncharacteristic positivity that shines through no matter how hard she tries to hide it away.

If one were to look down the road, they might catch a glimpse of Kirill coming from the direction of his prefab with a small rucksack over his shoulder. Probably unsurprisingly, he's not alone. Paige, Rafe, Gaz, Caelus, and Glen are all present and accounted for to see the group off. Probably to Yan Sun's dismay, Glen appears to be carrying a rather large tupperware container.

Yan Sun 's smile is obnoxiously bright as Jessica relents, and she reaches out to grab the boot. "Knew it! Won't let me freeze. Because you like me too much." she teases. She's too focused on tempting fate to notice the approaching group.

Jessica is quick to pull the boot just out of Yan Sun's reach when she pushes her luck. Still, her undeniable good mood shines through in the end. Something that seems to annoy even her, given the roll of her eyes that follows. "Maybe I like you." she offers in something of a mutter as she looks up to the woman on the hood. "Just a little." she offers dismissively in a playful tone that implies she's not proud of that fact, lifting

her free hand and measuring a tiny amount between her index finger and thumb. She brings the boot back up in front of her but, then, as a thought occurs to her, quickly jerks it right back out of reach, leveling a serious look on Yan Sun. "But if you do not clean this shit off of me? I am going to punch you in your tit."

Yan Sun 's grin remains as wide as ever, the qualification that follows Jessica's admission doing little to dampen the giggle she lets out. The final threat makes her place her hand over her heart. "I will! Promise!" she assures before reaching for the boot again.

Jessica still doesn't look particularly convinced, but she decides to leave Yan Sun's fate in her own hands, shooting her one last warning glare before parting with the boot. She, too, still hasn't noticed the group down the road, far too focused on Yan Sun for the moment.

Yan Sun 's attention turns to her foot, eyebrows furrowing in focus as she slips her boot back on, left hand joining her right for the manuver (fortunately her cybernetics have managed to make the metal directly beneath her more tolerable temperature-wise). Once done she lets her leg fall back against the truck with another 'bonk'. She pulls her derided pack of wet wipes out of a jacket pocket and gestures for Jessica to come closer.

Jessica gives another roll of her eyes from behind her sunglasses as she's beckoned closer, but she cooperates. She steps back to her previous position between Yan Sun's legs, neck craning back- which causes her sunglasses to slip back into place- to look up at her as her hands come to rest on Yan Sun's legs. The imprint of the sole of Yan Sun's boot is almost impressively stamped onto Jessica's unburnt cheek. Clean, intersecting lines

that make their way nearly to her neck.

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