Day 006: Quiet Comfort
Summary: Hanne checks in on Grey the night after the ambush at the river.
Date: 6 May 2016
Related: Much of the stuff in We Are Grounders
Grey Hanne 


Grey's Tent, The Grounds, The Camp
Some in poses.
Day 6 After Landing

It's after midnight, technically the beginning of the sixth day after landing, but Grey has not yet slept. It's not that he's been too busy, or even that he hasn't tried to sleep. He went into his tent shortly after nightfall, when it got too dark to train, and he's been in there ever since, tossing and turning on the cot poorly made from a dropship seat. Now, however, he sits sideways on the cot, bare feet on the floor, rubbing at his face with the heels of his hands, as if enough force would wipe out the tears that have been spilling from his eyes, over his high cheeks, and down along his strong jaw. He still wears his pants against the cold of the night, but his shirt and jacket serve as pillow and blanket rather than clothing, and have been cast aside in his sleeplessness.

There is a soft noise outside Grey's tent, and a small shadow cast at the makeshift door. Hanne is there, holding what looks to be some kind of panel from the dropship with some foodstuffs — mostly a little handful of berries and some of that weird fatty blob that Cookie has been making for people. She chews slightly at her lip, and then offers a soft, "Grey? It's Hanne… Keats… I," Feet shuffle a bit. "I brought you some food."

Grey looks up at the sound from outside, grabbing up his now-sleeveless shirt and scrubbing his face with it, muffling the already-strangled sob that rips its way up from his throat. The second breath is more controlled, and he lowers the shirt, tossing it down alongside him. His voice is rough when he speaks, "Come on in." There's a pause, "Yeah. I guess I kinda skipped dinner."

Hanne peels back the tent flap, and she steps on inside. She is still wearing that big jacket, and the sleeves have been pushed up to her elbows. She steps close, turning to drop down onto the bed beside him. She immediately offers out the makeshift plate, and with it a soft and gentle smile. "You did." She notes his face, the tear stains, and the threats of sobs. She folds her hands together, looking around his tent. "Comfy," she remarks casually.

Grey has removed his bandages, letting the scabbed cuts get some air whether it's a good idea or not. The tent doesn't block all of the firelight from outside, but it certainly dims it, casting the interior in constantly-shifting shadow. Grey braces himself when she sits next to him, not quite sure how the bed will react to having two people on it. When it shifts and gives a little groan but doesn't collapse, he relaxes a little more, reaching out to take the food. "Kinda empty." His shoulders roll in something closing in on a shrug, "I guess I got used to havin' a roommate up there. Bigger space than I need. I think Mariah was tryin' to make a suggestion when she helped me put it up."

"Mariah huh?" Hanne smirks. She lets him take the food, turning her gaze away to look around the tent. She shrugs her shoulders a bit. "The Ark was so limiting… I mean, there was never a chance to expand living quarters, and it was always cramped. I kinda get wanting a bigger space than you need." She then looks over at him, and chews gently at her lower lip. "Are you… are you doing okay?" There is a little tension around her eyes, and she nervously wrings her hands together.

"I'll be fine." The response is immediate, Grey's voice sharp even as it stays quiet, the young man's head turning away to cast even more of his features in shadow from the other teen's perspective. Drawing in a breath that only shudders a little bit, he adds, "I have to be. Princess Tesla and Boner want to talk to the jackholes who killed Rees and Perry." His voice roughens with anger, "The ones who held knives to Q and Devin, and who have them and Morgan and probably Ruth right now." The young man's voice stays sharp, harsh, disgusted, "Zoe wants to be paid to help get them back, and wants to leave behind the people she doesn't like. She had the damned balls to tell me I was bein' some sort of white man killin' helpless natives."

Hanne continues to chew a bit at her inner cheek as she listens to Grey. As he goes through the waves of emotion, she is patient and quiet. Almost as if she is giving him the space. Then she reaches up to rub at the back of her neck, trying to look thoughtful. She looks as though she's on the brink of launching into a back and forth conversation, but then she sighs. Carefully, Hanne places her hand on Grey's shoulder… and if he allows, she'll even start to wrap it around his shoulders in a gentle, sideways embrace. "You know that Zoe will do whatever is needed as long as she reaps a benefit… just who she is… and you know that Fiona and Cassandra are just scared. So, maybe they aren't going for violence, but fear can also make people try to scramble for other solutions." Her mouth thins a bit. "Grey, I'm not a fighter… if I go out there to fight, I'm going to die."

Grey tightens up at the hand on his shoulder, but he doesn't pull away. There is a little hiss of pain as the tensing pulls at the wound on his deltoid below her hand. "Faolan wants to Box her. In the dropship." As the young woman slides closer, the tension in Grey's shoulders rises, but he tries to play it off, "You're not tryin' the 'last night on earth,' are you?" But he shakes off the tight, defense-mechanism question before it can be answered, "I'm not askin' anyone who doesn't want to fight to fight, but they attacked us, Hanne." And there's her first name, rather than her last. "They've got our people, they killed two of our people. I got no clue what makes anyone think they're gonna stop there. Folks who are scared," that would include him, for all the brave front he's putting on, "folks who are scared, need to use it. Use it to help put up Cole's damned wall, and then to defend it."

"Don't you wish," the little Ee-Ess nerd says with a small smile. "You couldn't handle it." Then she shakes her head slightly, focusing on the conversation. "But, that's what I'm trying to say," Hanne says softly, almost in a whisper. "We're not all a bunch of ex-Cadets… some of us were boxed for silly things like theft and public urination. We're afraid… and all we're hearing is how these Grounders have weapons… real weapons and real training… and seem to want us for some reason." She rests her cheek suddenly against his shoulder, her head tilted slightly toward his. "You gotta understand that what Cassandra and Fiona are doing… it is from a place of fear, too. They're like me… no way we're going to survive if a Grounder doesn't want us to." She looks up vaguely at him now, cheek resting against him. "So, it is okay if you think they're stupid, but maybe also remember they're afraid, too?"

"Yeah, there's a lot I can't handle." That's bitterness there, seeping into Grey's voice. He drops his head again, his forearms resting on his thighs. His personal space is already well and truly invaded, so the addition of her cheek on his shoulder doesn't seem to trouble him any more than he's already troubled. "We got real weapons too, Hanne. Seriously. Just 'cause we don't have bows 'cept Zoe, it doesn't mean their weapons are any better than ours." Turning his head, the ex-C looks over at the Ee-Ess nerd, dark eyes almost pleading, "I'm sure they're afraid. We're all afraid." That's almost an admission, right there. "But I also know that if we don't do anything, Q and the others are dead." He doesn't know that, but he knows that. "And if we try to talk to people who attacked us before, they're just going to keep attacking us."

Hanne is quiet, listening to him while her cheek remains rested against his shoulder. Then she starts to pull away, drawing back into herself. The little nerd is thoughtful, and she releases a heavy exhale. "You're probably right," she says after a moment, "But, you know… letting Fiona try isn't going to hurt anything, and at least then maybe you'll have more proof that these Grounders aren't just going to leave us alone." She chews a bit at her lip. "No one is saying that we can't do both… Fiona trying to open up a conversation, and you and Faolan getting ready to attack if it fails." She then sighs, and starts to rub at her chest as if there's a great pain there. She looks tired, and small, then… more than usual.

Grey raises his eyebrows, "You don't think so? You don't think that fewer of us'd get hurt if we ambushed the Grounders than if Princess Tesla goes walkin' up to them to say 'hello'?" Shaking his head sadly, the ex-C looks down at his hands, "It's kinda Rule 1 of fighting… if the other guy doesn't know he's fighting, you're gonna win. Look what happened at the river, after all." The bitterness is back, but just for a moment. Then he reaches out with his left hand, resting it on her shoulder to return the comfort, "Look, it's gonna be okay. Whatever happens, no matter how stupid some of the kids in the camp are, we're tough. There's a bunch of men and women here who know what they're doing," or, like in Grey's case, can fake it well, "Half the people in the Box talked about showin' the Council we could handle ourselves." Even as he's talking, he appears to be convincing himself, some of the tension filtering out of his shoulders, "Well this is our chance." He nods to himself, murmuring more softly, "This is our chance."

When Grey puts his hand on her shoulder, Hanne looks up in mild surprise. Her smile is soft, if not a little stressed at the edges. Then she breathes out a slow exhale, settling her shoulder gently into his. Her fingers pick idly at the leg of his pants, as if trying to get some of the dirt off them. "For what it's worth… I bet the Grounders will be really surprised if Fiona just walks up and asks to talk." Her smile springs forth — small and shy. "They sound like they aren't the chatty types, and I bet they'll never see it coming."

Grey shakes his head in almost-bemused disgust, "If they even understand what she's sayin'. They certainly weren't speakin' English at the river." When she settles against his shoulder, his hand naturally slides across her back to her other shoulder, and he shrugs to himself, fingers squeezing lightly at her shoulder, "Bet you a handful of berries they just shoot her if she does. Or maybe hit her, if they let her get that close." Because that's really all they have to bet, food. Again, his fingers squeeze her shoulder gently, "It'll be okay, Hanne. We'll get 'em back." He lets out a little snort, "Certainly changes things now. Don't think anyone in their right mind doesn't want the Ark down here yesterday now…"

Hanne sinks into the offered embrace, feeling comforted in that moment. She cannot help the small laugh, and then feels downright awful that she laughed. "Well, if they do… then we attack, huh?" She then looks up at Grey from this point of close comfort, and she smiles. "I know we'll get them back… we're gonna stick together in this regardless." Beat pause. "I sure wouldn't mind Kane and his crazy guards hanging around at this point." Her smile turns wry and a touch playful. Then she emboldens herself, and leans in and kisses Grey… on the cheek.

"So no bet then?" Grey even manages a chuckle himself. He's about to respond to her comment about the Guard, when she kisses his cheek, and he smirks just a little, "Careful. Didn't you say somethin' about me not bein' able to handle it? Don't want me in a dazed stupor when they find Q and the others." Letting out a breath of air, he looses his arm from around her shoulders, rubbing gently across her back before letting it drop to his side again, "And Kane can take a flying fuck at a rolling donut, but I sure wouldn't mind havin' a squad of Guard with automatic weapons and shock batons. That'd solve this real quick."

"You can't… but I figure if I'm gonna make sure Mariah doesn't come sniffing around your tent, I might as well offer some payment." Hanne's eyes then glimmer with mirthful mischief — a part of her she rarely lets out these days. As he rubs at her back, she relaxes a bit. With a slow exhale, she sinks further into comfort in his tent. Then she laughs softly at his description. "A rolling donut?" Her brows arch up high over her dark eyes, and then she is shaking her head. "Yee-sh." She looks around his tent again, almost as a way to distract herself from looking at him.

Grey shrugs a little helplessly at her half-question, "Just a sayin' I heard. Apparently a donut's some food that's shaped like an 'o'. I liked the image." And he thrusts his hips forward, pulling his hands back at his side as if taking a flying fuck at a rolling donut, "hngh… ya know?" Chuckles follow the demonstration and the question, subsiding only as he gives his wounded side a stretch, "And who's to say I don't want Mariah sniffin' around here? Just so long as she doesn't think she can stay."

Bright and cheerful, if not slightly embarrassed laughter, bursts forth from the girl. She shakes her head. "Okay, okay… you've successfully given me the proper imagery." Then she shakes her head, smirking as she continues. "Oh, is that the case?" Hanne says in arched reply to the comment about Mariah. "Well, I could just go find her and let her know…" She starts to stand, as if threatening to leave.

Grey flashes his broadest of grins at the laughter, "So if I do that in front of the whole camp, you think they'll forget Fiona stupid-ass plan?" The grins twists sarcastically in the midst of the words, showing he's not serious about doing it at all. The offer causes him to shake his head though, "Naw… naw. I need to actually get some sleep tonight. If I can manage it." He finally hefts up the ball of Cookie-dough, "See, doc, I'm eatin'. I'll be a good patient."

Hanne drops back down when he shakes his head, and she smiles. "That's right, be a good patient… or I'll get Evie in here to bully you even more." Then she crosses her arms on her thighs, and looks ahead in a kind of blank, thoughtful look. Then she speaks, still looking ahead. "I've been having a hard time sleeping, too…" She rubs at her arms. "Pretty much since we came down here."

"No ba'round hum." Grey's words are muffled by the crumbling ball of tasty that he's trying to to spill in the dark. It gets clearer when he chews and swallows, "Still freaks me out. No sound of recycling air or machines hummin' along. Just wind, trees, and now and then an animal." There's a pause, and he gestures towards the door, "Plus all those animals out there." Taking another bite, he inquires, "Wai'… Evie's s'posed to be scary?"

Hanne blinks at his suggestion of why she hasn't been sleeping. She opens her mouth, and then shuts it with a quizzical expression. Then she nods. "Huh, yeah… you're probably right." She goes back to looking ahead, letting him eat in mostly peace. She glances at the door when he gestures, and she shudders a bit. "Animals… and Grounders." Then she offers a wry, lopsided smile. "Evie sure wants you to at least act like she's scary. And she kinda is."

Grey shakes his head, "Freaked me out the first couple of nights. Still wakes me up, how damned quiet it is." The shuddering words cause Grey's shoulders to tighten again, but he laughs through it, a wry, almost challenging sort of sound, "Oh hell no. If the Grounders made any damned noise, we'd have known they were here before now." He takes another bite of the hunk of chewy food, nearly demolishing it, then seems to realize something, and offers out the last bite, "Girls… always gotta be scary to boys. Hrmph."

Hanne offers him a small smirk when he comments about girls. Then she shakes her head. "Is that the secret? I never could figure it out… I guess I was never scary enough." She then stretches out a bit, hands propped behind her. She looks up at the ceiling of his tent, and squints up at the material blocking the sky. "I always thought it was because I was weird." Beat pause. "Am weird."

Grey snorts, "Hell if I know the secret. Just seems to be what all the girls want to do. Scary and mysterious and wonderful, or something. All… 'You Will Love Me And Despair.'" Because he saw Lord of the Rings, but not Singin' in the Rain or Princess Bride. "And you ain't any weirder than the rest of us, Hanne." When she doesn't take the offered food, he pops the last of it into his mouth, finishing around it, "Why do you think you're weird?"

As Hanne missed the food opportunity because she wasn't looking, she also misses him taking the offer back. She glances over toward Grey, and she breathes out a slow sigh. She starts to flop back until she is pretty much sprawled across his bed sideways. It allows her to stare at the ceiling while she speaks. "I'm not… I'm not really…" She shakes her head. "I grew up in Agro Station… I never really got into trouble… kept my nose clean… and always in books, or movies… I spent more time with my parents than kids my age. Hell, I think Evie was the only one who could get me to be social." She frowns. "I'm weird."

Grey watches her flop down on the rickety little cot-thing, reaching up to the framework of the tent quickly in case it's going to collapse, but it stays steady. Whichever Mecha-kid made it did a good job. "Well, you're down here with a buncha anti-social weirdos, plus some fancy-pants types who did something stupid. I'm pretty sure that's good company for an anti-social weirdo, yeah?"

Hanne looks over at him. "You do realize that I was someone who did something stupid, right?" She shakes her head a bit, and she smiles almost wryly. "I just stole some pain killers for a friend's dad so he could die in peace. And now…" She sighs, looking up at the tent ceiling again. "Here I am." There is a half moment where she looks on the brink of a deeper, sadder emotion, but she tries to swallow it down with another smile.

"Nope, sorry, you can't be both an anti-social weirdo and a stupid fancy-pants. Gotta pick one, Keats." Once again, Grey goes on the defensive with humor. "See, you're the type of people make me know the Ark didn't just throw us down here to die for sure. 'Cause you would've made parole easy."

Hanne looks over at Grey, and she offers him a small smile. "You probably would have too… no one liked your mom." Then she pinks slightly. "Sorry… is it okay if I say that? She always gave my dad a hard time in Agro." Then she starts to sit up, looking a bit shy. "I should go… you need sleep. I'm not being very conducive to that." She starts to tug the sleeves of her jacket down over her hands, revealing their sheer length in comparison to her shorter limbs.

Grey snorts softly, "No way in hell I made parole up there. And yeah, you can say that. I killed her, after all. Must've had some issue with her." Sarcasm is not often a pretty thing. His shoulders roll again, "She gave everyone a hard time, no one harder than me and my dad." And he was no piece of cake to deal with either. Arguments could be started, won, lost, and started again over which of the Greys was worse. Glancing down to the coat as she rolls out the sleeves, he inquires, "That Tides'? What happened to yours?"

Hanne blushes suddenly when he mentions the jacket, and she hugs it in close. "Yeah… it is." She hesitates going further, but then she offers a small smile. "He was real nice to me. I kind of liked him." She breathes out a sudden breath, and she is drawing herself up to her feet. There is a laggish reluctance there, as if she could be persuaded to stay, but also will leave just as easily. "Here I thought whatever killed him was the worst we were gonna have to deal with."

Grey shakes his head a little, "I didn't know him. But I'm sorry he's gone." As Hanne stands, he gathers up his shirt again, bunching it up in his hands idly, "But who knows, Hanne. That could still be the worst thing we have to worry about. We got no clue what it is, until you baby-docs figure it out… and I figure the Grounders are just people. Sure, maybe they're angry, mutant, murderous people, but we got all those things 'cept the 'mutant' right here." There's a pause, and then Grey actually leans forward a little, reaching out to grasp Hanne's forearm through the voluminous sleeve, "Hey… Keats… thanks for stoppin' by to check on me. I mean it."

Hanne is stopped by the sudden grasp of her arm, and she looks down at him. A kind of softness takes her features, and she nods. She hesitates a bit, and then she leans down toward him to press her lips softly to his forehead in a kind gesture. "Remember… we're all kinda here for the same reasons, and same purpose… we gotta look out for each other." Her hand slides out, and gently captures his in a soft squeeze.

Grey tenses again as she leans in, but relaxes again immediately once she straightens up. "That's what I'm tryin' to do, Keats." He returns the squeeze, then looses her hand, tucking his shirt behind his head as he sprawls out on his bed again. He'll have to drag up the jacket over him at some point, but he doesn't seem all that concerned right now, "That's what I'm tryin' to do."

A bit morosely, Hanne steps out of the tent without another word. She pulls the jacket down and around her, sniffles, and then heads back to the dropship where some of the other ES nerds have bunked up.

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