Day 024: Time Between
Summary: A few hours before departure, Tuan and Fiona take advantage of what time they have left.
Date: 19 June 2016
Related: A few hours before Hail Mary - Running the Gauntlet
Fiona Tuan 


Delinquent Camp - Tent City
In a tent.
Day 24

In the hours between the meeting and preparation to leave, Fiona has managed to procure the use of a tent. And if it just so happens that it's big enough for two, well, it's nice to have help keeping warm, isn't it? Even if sleep isn't much found after crawling in. It's some time later when Fions finds herself awake, sitting up in their makeshift sleeping arrangement, caught in her thoughts. Her bare back is to Tuan, and the lack of food shows a little bit along her spine and ribcage.

Tuan is propped up on his elbow, chest against Fiona's back as he rests an arm over her hips. Even though he is looking at her, his eyes are clouded and a bit distant in his own thoughts. The arm lifts, traces over Fiona's arms before it goes over her shoulder and down to her ribs. That does draw his eyes down and a frown touches Tuan's lips then. "Your people are starving still."

"Not so much." Fiona says, looking at him over her shoulder. "We started a garden, there's regular hunting expeditions - or there will be, again, once this is all over. But it's barely been a month and this is a very different diet for us. Did you know none of us have ever eaten real meat before we can to the ground?" She smiles at him faintly. There's tension at the edge of her eyes, but it's not directed at him.

There's a moment of pause from Tuan before he nods slowly, "That.. makes sense. One of the first of your people I met refused to eat some of the things I offered. I thought it was prideful, now I believe it was uncertainty." His fingers trace her ribs and he looks up into her eyes. "What is meant to be, will be Fiona kom Skaikru. If we are to get you to your destination, we will. If we are not meant to, well, then our fight is over."

"That's fatalistic." Fiona observes thoughtfully, unable to resist arching her back a little when his fingers brush over her skin. "If everything we do is already planned for us, then does anything we do matter? Or is all that matters is what we do?"

Tuan continues tracing his fingers over her back, gently of course, outlining the bones underneath the skin. "We have planned. We have prepared." His words are thoughtful as well, "All that is left is for us to go forth and do our best to carry out the plan we have made. If it is enough, we'll be successful. If it wasn't enough.." He trails a bit then smiles up at Fiona. "We are a practical people. Most of us are practical people, there are a few exceptions."

She lets out a soft huff of laughter, turning around and stretching out, so she's on her side facing him, practically nose to nose. "What about you? Do you consider yourself practical?"

He looks right into her eyes and after a moment shakes his head, "At one time I was at least a little practical." Tuan studies Fiona for several long moments, "Foolish. Always looking into the clouds. That's sort of how I am described, so not really practical. But I take after my mother. She was a… what is the word? Not practical but thinking and hoping for more?"

"Idealistic?" Fiona suggests with a smile. She tilts forward, bumping her nose gently against his before leaning back again. "Tell me about them. Your parents."

"Yes. Idealistic." Tuan responds, smiling when she bumps her nose against his. "My father was very strict, structured. It is interesting that he and my mother had children together for they were very different." Propped up on an elbow he watches her eyes. "They both died when I was very young. A raid from bandits, those without honor."

"I'm sorry." Fiona says, reaching up to slide her fingers through his hair. "How does that work? With Skaikru, when parents pass away…do you go to other relatives? Having more than one child is a crime on the Ark, so the idea of brothers and sisters is very strange to us."

Tuan shrugs his shoulders some, a bit awkward considering his body posture. "My brother and I survived the attack. We had been to Coesbur before, our smaller village was only a few hours from here. So we walked there and were taken in." The Grounder rolls over then onto his back, hands falling behind his head as he looks up at the top of this tent structure; odd to not want to look up at the stars. "My brother and I were always opposite, and he blamed me for what happened to the family. He died during the war with the Ice People. His wife and son still depend on me. They would not say such, but they do, as much as I depend on them." Still laying there, he looks up to the tent. "And of your family?"

That sounds terrifying to her, but he sounds so matter-of-fact about it that she doesn't seem inclined to harp on the story. "I don't see how he could blame you." she says, though granted she doesn't know the whole of the tale. Mouth curving in a pleased expression, she explains, "My parents are still aboard the Ark. They worked in Hydra Station as reclamation specialists. It's dirty, nasty work. But they wanted better for me. My dad, he especially loves history. He tells me stories of great leaders from the time before the bombs."

Tuan's brow furrows some, he sits back up a bit and turns to look at Fiona then, studying her silently in the darkness with only the creeping light from outside to illuminate. "How did you come to be here then?" He asks softly, having always wondered. "Were all of you sent from the sky not criminals?"

"Oh, no. By the Ark's reckoning, we're all criminals." She too sits up, smile wry. "Among Trikru, it seems like there isn't much in the way of class difference. I mean, everyone does their part, but no one really gets anything any better than anyone else unless they make the effort to work for it. Right?"

Tuan nods his head towards Fiona when she sits up, "Yes. For our people, we work hard because we must in order to survive. We have fun, and play and joke but that is only when all work has been done. It is why I got into trouble so much when I was younger. I would often joke and play when it was not time to." Of course, when he says younger it could easily be 3 months ago. "Your value is what you bring to the clan and the honor you hold." That's when he pauses, eyes averting to look away as he lays back down, hands behind his head once again to stare at the tent roof.

Fiona settles down next to him, half supporting herself on his chest. "It's different on the Ark. The people who work the shit jobs have children who work the shit jobs, and the people who work the jobs requiring higher education have children who get those jobs. It's rare that people who come from the lower jobs get to be trained for the higher. It usually requires knowing someone, or being willing to do things in order to get ahead. My parents deal with piss and shit every day, and I would have had to deal with piss and shit every day. That was my future, and it wasn't fair."

"But is the job not important?" Tuan asks towards Fiona with a questioning eyebrow lift. "I fish, I hunt, I gather fruits and nuts. In times of war I scout and protect the camp and village. Not all of these are jobs others would want but they must be done." The tone is quiet, as she rests on his chest the oak wood smell of his skin, a life of living in the woods that has soaked into him, is there. "For us, if you want to do something you must earn the right to be trained as a Second."

"The job is important. But what if - " Fiona pauses, considering how to put it in a perspective he'll understand. "Okay. Imagine that there's some important skill that you're really good at. You have a natural talent for it and with proper training you can be one of the best. But no one is willing to train you because people think your family aren't good enough. It sounds crazy, I know. Trikru would never do that, but imagine if it were true."

Tuan ponders for a bit then shakes his head, "But some people can only do some jobs, even amongst us. Only certain people may become Heda for example. Only Seconds should follow those who go before them." He does try to understand a bit and probably does as he nods, "I do think I know what you speak though. To be told what one cannot do. But that is everywhere Fiona kom Skaikru. Not everyone can do every thing." He tilts his head, "Not every Trikru could be foolish enough to take a Skaigirl to bed for example?" The teasing tone of his voice matches his smile.

Fiona lets out a little laugh. "Good example. But shouldn't someone who has the potential to do something they're very good at and dreams of doing - shouldn't they have the opportunity to try? If they fail, that's on them, but if they never get the opportunity, that's not fair. I was arrested because I felt that way, along with other people, and we got arrested for saying how we felt, because we believe it's wrong."

That does have him sitting there in silence, considering for some time. "We follow the choices of our Heda, Kruheda and Staheda and we do not always agree with those decisions." Tuan says quietly, "But if one is willing to pay the price for disagreeing…" He trails off, his eyes leave Fiona's and he looks up at the tent roof once more. "If one is willing to pay the price to disagree, then they should disagree. It is honorable you were willing to believe in something so much to give up your family." There is an admiration in Tuan's tone then. "You are an honorable woman Bes'behod."

"Thank you. I wouldn't ever want to give you cause to lose faith in me. My parents are proud of me too. I hope…I hope the Ark is still safe. I hope they'll come down to Earth, and that I'll see them again." Fiona studies him, studying the apex roof of the makeshift tent. "I'd like you to meet them. I think they'll like you a lot."

When Fiona says this, Tuan laughs quite heavily in the tent they are sharing. "I do not think there is that much difference between Trikru and Skaikru, but parents do not like the boys that are with their daughters. This is a lesson I believe that applies to all people." He looks over at Fiona, grin on his lips.

Fiona laughs as well. "Depends on the boy, I think. If you'll have saved my life, tried to help our people? I'm pretty sure that they'll give you a little leeway."

Tuan is quiet at that for a bit before he props upon his elbow to look at Fiona, "What I do is not just for you Fiona kom Skaikru." His tone is soft, "I do not fault Sonia for her actions and I not believe the Kruheda is wrong in her actions as well. I just believe that the target of their anger is wrong." He bites his lower lip in thought, "Your people are not our people, you do not know our ways. To expect you to follow in our ways is error, at least until you learn them better. I do his because I believe it is the right thing to do. But that Bes'behod has asked makes it easier to say yes."

"I understand." she says. "And I'm hoping we have the means to convince your kruheda and heda of this. I've been thinking a lot about it, which is what I'm supposed to be doing. But I want to know more about what Indra and Lexa are like. So I know how to talk to them."

He considers for a moment then speaks quietly, "I do not know either by more than reputation. They are Trikru." Tuan's explanation seems sufficient to him but then he realizes more will be needed. "Practical. Honorable. Their first priority is to their people. They adhere to our ways but look to what is best for Trikru in all things. You must find a way to convince them that Skaikru alongside of Trikru is better for Trikru than not. Be of value to Trikru and the Coalition before Heda. Be respectful for she has earned great honor. And remember that at her wish you will be dead."

"I've heard that Indra is very fierce." Fiona says, stroking a finger across his chest. "And that Lexa is also, but is more thoughtful. But we can't go straight to her, we have to follow the chain. Because it shows respect."

"Yes." Tuan affirms, eyes looking down to the finger on him. "A fierce warrior, but there is wisdom there. When you approach remember that she has lost hundreds of her people. The cause does not matter whether it was on purpose or accident it is viewed the same. I do not know myself what you can do, or say, to sway this matter. Sonia's offer may have been more generous than what Kruheda will offer." And he knows how readily that was rejected.

Fiona admits, "I'm trying to think of different ways we can spin this. I mean, we worked so hard to make peace with Coesbur. Why would we chose to ruin the peace we just made? And this war will certainly turn the Mountain's attention toward all of us. None of us need that. I can't do anything for the Skaikru still on the Ark," including her parents, "But I speak for those of us down here, and last I checked, murdering the innocent is not the Trikru way."

"No. But blood must have blood. That is our way." Tuan says softly towards Fiona, reaching down to gently brush her hair back with his fingers. "You must think of it as a log that is balancing. If one side is too heavy it has tipped, so the otherside must become heavy." Scales in other words. "That is our way as well and tradition holds strong in our people. Tradition and honor are like the oak in a storm. They do not bend or break but stand against it."

"But if it's not the right blood, what's the point?" Fiona asks. "We were cast out, against our will, against the wills of our loved ones. They used us as bait. Where is the justice in being forced to pay the price for those who did us wrong?"

"Think as a Trikru." Tuan responds to her, hand leaving her hair to brush against her cheek. "You see this as how you see it, now see it as a Trikru sees it." Reaching up to place his palm on her cheek, Tuan whispers quietly. "Close your eyes, picture while I speak and think like Trikru."

Fiona obligingly does as asked. Her lashes as she settles back, letting herself rest against the ground and takes a few careful breaths to try and relax.

Tuan reaches out and gently takes Fiona's hand into his as he sits up, brushing his fingers over her palm and then to the back of it in soothing motions. When he speaks, he first speaks in Trig before repeating himself in English, the tone soft and rythymic. "Thripoda rests next to the lake. Fifteen buildings spaced out around a large community garden where families who have had a hard winter can benefit. The garden is played in often by children." The tracing of his fingers continues as he begins to go through describing the day in the life of Thripoda; fishing, the children playing, how he visited there with his brother and sister in law only two years ago and meeting several people their own age there, friendships formed. Tuan leaves nothing out and does not restrain the stories. When he finishes, he speaks softer still his own voice a little choked at the memories. "This is our pain, and this is our anger. If you can feel those people in your heart, you will know what to do. Fiona kom Skaikru, you cannot just be Skaikru in this, you must be both Skaikru and Trikru."

And as he speaks, she contracts. Her body curls up against him, and she does her best to keep her sobs quiet. It's not that she hasn't thought about how horrible it was, but Tuan's made it so personal, and now it all weighs heavier on her than before. "Tuan," she whispers, "What if I can't do it? They're all depending on me. What if I can't save them?"

Tuan holds her of course, cradles Fiona into his arms and keeps her against him as he speaks and she listens. When she sobs softly he soothes her hair but he pressed on. With it done, with her thoughts in the air he speaks to her. "You will do your best. If that is not enough, we will find more to give until there is nothing left. Then we face that with honor." When his lips presses against the top of her head it is with such tenderness, despite having been together were he to be asked, this was their most intimiate moment.

She has not had this until now. She's had no opportunity to process any of her feelings, because there's never been time, and for others to see her weak would harm what she's been trying to build. But the man she's known for scarecely two weeks if that, she feels safe to allow herself to work through it with. She stops crying after a few moments, and even he may be able to feel how her body feels better for having done so. "Can I ask you something that would probably make most guys run away screaming?"

"You may ask me anything." Tuan says with another brush of her cheek, the seriouness of his expression is broken after a moment with one of his grins, "It does not mean I will answer it, but you may ask."

"If we somehow manage to make peace, if Trikru and Skaikru are able to live together, side by side, what do you want to do?" Oh no, is she trying to trap him into a horrible web of commitment and domestication?

The question actually does catch Tuan offguard and he frowns, "I will… I will have to go away Fiona." He calls her by just her first name for once, but it doesn't change the soft sorrow in his tone. "I have no doubt I will be banished from Trikru lands so I will have to go. Where, I do not know."

"If peace is made, you wouldn't have to leave. You can't leave." she says, in a disbelieving tone. "No. You can come live with Skaikru. Like Gideon."

"Fiona. My people may accept me back, but most likely not. Trikru is at war with you. I am Trikru, I am aiding you. This is treason." Tuan explains to her quietly. "Even if there is peace that will not affect me. And I.." He looks up at the tent and laughs softly, "I could not live here. I am not Skaikru."

"We're not going to stay here." Fiona points out to him. "We're leaving this camp behnd once the Ark is down. We'll settle someplace different. Someplace new. If they don't welcome you back, you could be a part of that. You could teach people so much, and," Fiona looks fitful, "We'd be together."

Tuan reaches up to touch her cheek, to calm her. "Fiona, please. Let us worry about that time when it comes. We have much to focus on tonight, I do not want you worried about such things. Remember, Trikru are practical. You will have to be the hopeful one between us, hmm?"

Fiona's mouth purses, and she looks incredibly offput, but she obliges and settles down from her momentary concern. She nods, closing her eyes. "I just wanted to spend a few seconds someplace that was good. For both of us."

That makes him turn a bit to face her, tilting his body to do so. Reaching out to tuck his fingers under her chin, Tuan tilts Fiona's head so his eyes can see hers. "Anyplace together, is some place good Bes'behod." There's no teasing grin this time, he seems rather serious. "I have gotten the Sky Flu, the blood fever and know not what is in store for me. I would not trade it, because of these moments."

She presses in against him, fitting herself to the angles and planes of his body. "I had no idea." she says quietly. "That I'd been waiting to come to the ground. To come to you." It is perhaps, over the top, but the passion of people their age tends to run in extremes.

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