Day 016: We're Awesome Possum
Summary: Stone approaches Tink to help out…and see if she'd be mad about his part in Jenks. They're better than cool, they're awesome possum
Date: 16 June 2016
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Tink Stone 

Camp Grounds

With the removal of underbrush and a half-dozen small trees, there is now a tiny clearing around the dropship. It has begun to fill with detritus from the ship, including all of the seating, padding, and removable plates or bulkheads.

Several tents have been set up within the clearing, set close together within the confines of the surrounding trees. A small collection of weapons sits under a parachute-cloth shelter by the door of dropship, open for community use. A three-holer latrine is set up downwind of camp in the prevailing breezes, and a rough wall stretches between trees at the edge of the clearing, dropship plates and felled tree-trunks stacked up and lashed together as best as the Delinquents can manage. There is a gate at the north end, a single panel that can be rolled aside at need.

The forest immediately surrounding the camp has been cowed into near-silence, but is still vibrant and green to a people used to stark metal bulkheads all around them.

Evening of Day 16

It's pushing into the pressing dark of nightfall on the fourteenth day since Landing. A night not unlike others, full of people just trying to get by and find their way to help in the camp. One gigantic ex-C soldier in particular is feeling useless in that regard for the most part, given he's only a week and change out from nearly getting cut in half by a Grounder axe during the rescue. Sure, it's healing up decently under Morgan's care, but it still aches like hell and it means that Stone's benched from any further action, hunting, or pretty much most anything else he's actually skilled at. So it is he's made the rounds, looking for people working on things he might be able to help with, and, spotting a particular tinker he's never really interacted with much, but recently heard something about to make him look at her differently, Stone's deciding to lumber his way towards Tink and open up with a relaxed rumble of resonant baritone voice. "Heya…Tink right? Uh…how goes it?" Random approaching giant is random.

Tink is working on the wall, helping to make sure it's structurely sound. Because nobody really talks to her, she doesn't tend to pay attention to her surroundings and just bounced to the beat of her own drum. However…someone did say her name so without looking up she calls over her shoulder, "Yep…Tink's the name. Hey, I'll be right with you in just a sec. Just need to…" And then she sets what she's working on, giving her a good break point. She turns around with a grin, thinking it's another tech with orders from his High and Mighty Cole, but nope…it's an ex-C and not the ex-C that she's used to dealing with. There's a pauses as she looks up at Stone…considering him for a moment with her nose wrinkling as if she's trying to decide whether or not to be friendly. But after a moment, she breaks out into a smile that just lights up her whole face, "You're Stone…right?"

The gigantic ex-C's standing a good few paces off, giving her wide berth and trying not to loom since it tends to make people nervous, especially women. For such a big guy who's so confident in the middle of a fight, he looks at the moment more like an awkward teen, his dark chocolate eyes down, one side of puff of lower lip bit, hands kind of fidgety trying to find comfortable position hooked on or in pockets. "Uh…yeah. Billy Stone. Lotta people call me Boy Scout. I…uh,…" Dark eyes glance up to her in a flick in the pause. "…was wonderin' if there was anything you're doin' that I could help with." A big of a lopsided smirk touches his lips and another glance up, the humor touching the dark eyes. "I'm kinda bored out of my fudgin' mind laid up recovering and bein' useless. Can't like…lift anythin' too big probably, but like…could hand you tools or brace somethin' if you need an extra hand."

Tink isn't like most folks, once she does that little look over and decides he's okay, Stone's height is no longer a factor. She doesn't even seem to mind that he's standing near her and when he offers to help out, she gives him a 'you're my hero' look and tells him, "Actually, that would be awesome cause I was about to try to grab one of the guys to brace…" She looks around and picks up a stick so she can point to an area about her head, "Right here…" Then she points to a lower area, "And here…then I can lock this into place." She flashes him another pixie smile, "Hey…thanks for jumping in and helping. Cole has most of us techies running like crazy and it's nice to have an extra set of hands."

"Hey…anything to get off my lazy butt." Lazily healing a horrible gut wound. So lazy! Stone's moving as directed though, still seeming kind of awkward, nervous even, but bracing with a thick muscled arm clad in thin grey long-sleeved shirt. He grimaces a little as he's bending to brace the other point, but it seems he's not straining anything too much, since he's holding it fine. Of course, he keeps glancing down at her while chewing that lower lip in thought, which hopefully she's too distracted with her work to really note from him.

Tink doesn't really understand personal space or proximity issues that others might carry with them, so once he's there, effectively up against the wall, holding it up, she slips into the space between him and the wall. It of course forces her to be pressed against him, but Tink doesn't mind because now she can start using the hammer to nail things into place. Some of these nails are screws taken from the drop ship so it's not the easiest thing to put into place and she's using a makeshift hilt of a dagger to do it, but the girl doesn't complain…she just patiently hammers each one into place. While she works, she chatters as if it's no biggie that she's standing there, practically in his arms, "Ahh…I'm sure Cookie or Hanne would find stuff for you if you weren't up to helping us techs." Sometimes when she reaches up to nail things, her sleeve drops showing off recent burn scars. She does notice the looks but assumes that he's staring at the scars, "It was a fire…and they go from just above my wrist to all the up my arms." She glances up with a cant of her head, "That's what you were wondering, right?"

When she presses right up against him, Stone's hands almost slip a little in surprise, and he's left staring down at her a bit wide-eyed, shifting his hips a few inches back uncomfortably cognizant of space and his loooming over her like a tent, but relaxing as she seems to not be paying it any heed. He gives a low grunt of acknowledgement to the talk of helping Cookie or Hanne, affirative without saying why he went this route. Yet at least. When suddenly she's talking about the fire though, he's left canting head down to peer at her past the pillars of his arms on the wall, confusion writ, then recognition as he flits down to the burns. "Oh! No! Sorry, didn't even notice really. Heck, they're pretty mild scars compared to the sort a lot of us are sporting since comin' down here, so it wasn't…anything like that. I kinda think of 'em as sort of…badges. Of havin' gone through the blender an' out the other side mostly in one piece. Err, scars I mean." He's looking nervous again, a little babbly, and kind of hesitant. "I…uh, I actually sorta had another reason to come over here when I…ya know, saw you over here." Wow, the way the big boy's stammering, one might think he's bucking up the courage to ask a girl out or something.

Tink doesn't have social nuissances so he doesn't really get what's up with Stone, other than maybe his wounds are bothering him. She keeps working but tells him, "Hey…if the pressure is bothering you, you could call one of the other guys over to take over." She glances up and gives him a bright smile, "Although, I'd be really bummed if you did cause your height gives me a lot more room to do this." She looks back down at the wall and looks a little more relaxed now that he's told her the scars aren't a big deal, "Another reason? Hey…go ahead and shoot. I mean we're going to be working here so it's not a big deal."

"No, I uh…I'm good." Stone murmurs to her worry about the weight, smirking after as she mentions his height giving her room. at the end though, he's having to push through the nervousness that comes on in order to finally give reply a few seconds belated. "Well, I…uh, don't want to pry, but I was talkin' to Kai a few days ago, about…well, Jenks. See…I was the one who pulled her off the weaselly little twit." He winces at that, looking down at her reaction, waiting to see if she'll make that connection and what it means.

"Jenks…" Tink mutters with a frown, "Yeah…that was the a-hole that pinned the other fires on me." And clearly not Tink's favorite person because she hits the nail a little hard, "Shit! Focus…" She takes a deep breath and then lets it out slowly, "Yeah…he's a total weasel. Used my accident as a way of connecting a string of unsolved fires." She pauses and looks up, "His 'evidence' was that the fires were arson. I had the background to be able to set them. And they caught the back of a girl about my height around the time a few of the fires started. But no frontal…no shot of my face." She gives a disgusted snort, "And he's like 'well she's a techie and would know how to dodge the cameras' and then made it out like my own pyro ways caught up to me when I tried to do a bigger fire."

"Nods…Kai, she uh…kind of said as much yeah." Stone's murmuring, sympathy lacing his tone, but also an odd thread of thick guilt. "She…well, she thought I was one of his cronies when I pulled her off him (and got a broken nose from her for my trouble). I was tryin' to stop her from gettin' in trouble though. Figured I could scare Jenks and his people into shutting up about it, but a Guardsman who hated her dad was there and jumped all over it, sent her away for it." A sigh, grimace on his face. "Anyways…when she was…well, railin' at me about it before I corrected her…she uh…sorta blamed me for you. Said it was my fault you're down here, an innocent sort who shouldn't have had any of this crap put on you, cause if I hadn't pulled her off, the weasel woulda been dead probably, and woulda never done to you what he did…" Stone sighs again, the resonant vibration of his voice almost tangible this close, filled with regret and awkward sympathy. "I…just wanted you to know my…part in it I guess. I'm…not sorry I pulled her off. It was the right thing to do, not lettin' her kill him, tryin' to help her out. But…I wish I coulda done that without you havin' to pay the price later for it, ya know?"

Tink listens to his story, gaining an understanding of the guilty look and possibly the confrontation that occurred a few days before. She pauses in her work to put her tools down so she can give him her full attention, "Look…Jenks was an ass…and he did somehow convince my folks that I was guilty of the other fires…so much so my dad stopped talking to me. My mom couldn't look at me with out crying. And even my best friend got up on the witness stand and spoke against me, giving him more ammo." She takes a deep breath and lets it out, "But…there's no guarantee if Jenks was dead that the other guy handling the case would have done a better job. Would have realized that someone fucked with the coils I was working on. At the very least this person was trying to mess me up…or worst take me out of this world. Jenks doesn't change that. There still would have been a fire. I would have been burned. And yeah…maybe if someone like you Boy Scout got the case and gave a shit, would have found the person trying to hurt me rather than throw me in the Skybox." It's clear that she's more hurt over her parent's betrayal and her best friend turning on her than the 'attempted murder'. "But what ifs…they'll just mess with your head, make you doubt yourself and drive you crazy," Tink tells him softly, and it's clear the girl has experience torturing herself on those thing. What if she had thought to check the coils before lighting it up. What if she had caught wind of the fires and helped stop them before it blew up on her. What if her parents somehow could have believed in her more than a lazy cadet that just wanted to close the books on a few fires.

Stone listens throughout her words, easing his hold on the wall (and the stretch it entails) when she's putting her tools down. His look of guilt persists for most of it, though eases as he's taking in her logic, nodding eventually as if to concede the point to her. He seems then to shift towards a kind of furrow-browed irritation on her behalf. Her people abandoning her for something like that amidst something not her doing just rankles that protective streak of his and makes him wish he could find the one fully responsible and give them the beating they deserve. By the end, he's starting to get some of the shy akwwardness back though, lip bit again, eyes sliding down away from her as he nods to that last, about what ifs. He lives entirely too much of his life worrying about 'what ifs' and 'might have beens'. "You're right, it can drive you that way yeah." He knows well that path to crazy. Glancing up to her he adds, with a sincerity that's touching. "And what happened to you would drive a person nuts all it's own. I'm sorry you had to go through that all." The eyes drop again then and there's something else there clearly. Something that becomes more clear as he's finally murmuring back on that rich low voice, hesitant, but hopeful. "So…we're cool then?"

“We’re more than cool,” Tink looks up at him with a bright smile, “We’re awesome possum which is better than cool.” She gives him a wink and there’s that inner joy that just beams from her like a beacon which isn’t like most folks at the Ark. But Tink managed to get two helpings of hope with a side of genius. “And I know who did it…figured it out…but I’m not mad,” Tink tells Stone with a sad look, “Just wished they had thought to talk it out rather than take it to that level.” Nope, she isn’t hating on the one that set her up, “Rather than put people at risk…” She chews her bottom lip and takes a deep breath, “Although Jenks…he’s a jerk. A serious douche. I wish that the people over him saw that.”

Stone's grin is a warm, relieved, and admittedly well-formed sort of thing. A joyful sort of ease that slips into lopsided mirth quickly at her 'awesome possum' bit and earns her a quick, happy nod and murmured. "Awesome possum it is. Definitely better than cool." A little laugh as he's looking down at the smaller woman then more thoughtfully, enjoying that energy in her, that hope. And thereby distracted enough he almost misses when she says she knows who did it, resulting in his pretty dark eyes going wider a few moments later when his mind catches up, and his jaw dropping open a little. It's clear there's curiosity there. The wondering who could have done such a thing. But as the lips close with some reluctance, it's also clear the big guy isn't one to want to pry, despite having brought this whole thing up doing just that sort of. Still, he's respecting her right to say more or not as she will, and instead just giving a firm nod to her last bit. "He always was, yeah. Once tried to get his crew to throw me a beatdown cause he said I smiled at the girl he was datin'." A low, masculinely-satisfied and slightly brutal-tinged chuckle and he's adding with twinkling dark eyes. "Didn't make tha' mistake again after the first time." Realizing he's close to bragging, the big guy looks away again a little embarrassed, and goes on to murmur with a showing of his own solid unwavering hopefulness. "He'll get what's comin' to him eventually. His sort always do."

“Yeah they do.” Tink wrinkles her nose, “And he was horrible but I was expecting him to be horrible so it wasn’t so bad.” She knows that makes no sense, but sometimes Tink sees the world a little differently than others. “And it was Bella…my best friend,” she admits and looks sad and it’s clear that betrayal hurts a hundred times worse than what Jenks did to her, “She wore my hoodie and Jenks had a video of a girl on video wearing my hoodie…so…” She gives a shrug of her shoulders, “And the blast that did this…” She takes off her flannel and shows the burn scars that go all the way up her arms, “She did the last check on the coils…before I went over and turned the generator on.” She sighs and looks pretty glum, “Ummm, don’t tell Kai. She think Jenks girlfriend did it and I didn’t say she did or didn’t but she just assumed. And if she knew and Bella and my folks manage to get down here…” Yeah, not going to be pretty for Bella. “And I’d like to talk to her…find out what I did to cause her to…” She bites her bottom lip and puts her shirt back on.

A grimace at that revelation, understanding flashing sympathy bright in the giant's dark eyes. "Wow…that's…" He starts to say at the first, unable to find the words as he shakes head, just letting her go on. When she pulls off the outer shirt, he looks just a touch discomposed and shy again, eyes trying to dart away, but not for anything to do with scars. More to do with a girl in tighter clothes and just general way the removing emphasizes that. But he respects scars, as he said earlier, and they deserve to be looked at, not treated as something to be ashamed of. And so he's overcoming that shyness to look fully, not wincing, not showing any disgust. Just acknowledging them, nodding, and murmuring. "They'll heal up better than you expect. Just be a story to tell in a few months." Not a good story, but a story nonetheless. Shaking his head at himself, as if worried he said the wrong thing, he shuts up to listen to the rest. When she acknowledges that she had told him something she didn't tell her, as far as he knew, best friend down here, that makes his eyes go wide in surprise, but after she goes on, he's giving a small nod of better understanding. "Yeah…she sometimes lets her temper go before her brain or heart can catch up. Uh…thanks for trustin' me, Tink. I won't tell anyone…or like do anythin'. Ya know, unless you ask me to. Then I might give the twit a bloody nose for doin' that to ya unless she's got one _heck_ of a reason." Apparently Stone's not above hitting a girl if it's in defense of someone he likes and they're deserving. It's a bit sweet, and a bit intimidating maybe.

“They’re not so bad now. Just don’t look pretty in the mirror and since we don’t have many down here I guess I’ll be fine,” She puts the flannel shirt back on because she is self-conscious about them. “Kai has a lot of heart…that’s why I love her. She puts everything into whatever she does. Even when the odds are against her,” Tink gives a rueful smile, “It’s one of her cooler quantities and loyalty…she’s really loyal. I know she’d think she was doing me a favor but Stone…” She pauses bites her bottom lip, “I was in diapers with Bella. There wasn’t a time that I turned around and she wasn’t there. She’s like a sister to me.” That’s why the betrayal runs so deep, “I…if I hadn’t seen the video and knew she was the last one that touched the generator…I wouldn’t have believed it of her.” But then Tink thinks the best of people. She looks at them and only sees the good, “There’s gotta be a reason…” Tink just hasn’t been able to figure it out yet, “That’s why I have to talk to her…try to understand.” And try to forgive if she can is left unspoken. “In some ways…and I know this sounds crazy Stone…I’m glad stuff turned out this way. I was…I was sleeping up there. Just going through the motions…trying to make a difference but spinning my wheels. Some silly kid with a lot of ideas and dreams. Down here…I feel so much more alive. People need me. And that’s a gift.” Yep, getting launched with this crew of 100 was a gift. A pretty odd way to look at things.

"I'd argue the not lookin' pretty thing with ya." Stone murmurs softly before realizing what he said out loud, and then looks a bit embarrassed, shutting up to listen to her rest, eyes averting again briefly. He turns attention to give her a nod though to her talk of history with Bella, understanding why she'd want to hold off until talking to her. Another then to the 'reason' part, though there's a touch of doubt there to that. Sometimes people do things with barely any reason at all. He learned that unfortunate fact in the Guard. He doesn't interdict that idea though, just tries not to let his doubt show too much. It's that last thing though that brings Stone fully back from his brief embarrassment at the first words. It's a sentiment that makes his dark eyes light up, the caramel-gold flecks and threads of them catching the light, animating his expressive understanding and appreciation for the idea. "People usually tell me I'm fudgin' crazy when I say that, but I sorta feel the same way. This is where I'm meant to be. I've got the space to move for the first time, people to protect like I always really wanted, and things to challenge me more than I ever thought possible. Don't get me wrong, I didn't love gettin' nearly cut in half by a Grounder axe, but yeah. This place in a lot of ways is so, so much better for me too." He once more looks a touch shy, chewing a bit at the puff of his lower lip and glancing sideways at her before murmuring with a lopsided sort of grin. "It's awesome possum to find someone else that feels like that I admit."

Tink flushes a bit when he basically tells her that she’s pretty, “Gee thanks…” She takes it as he’s comforting her about her scars rather than she might actually be pretty. Some people just can’t take a compliment. She cants her head and looks up at him, “Well you’re not crazy. It’s a lot better down here, than up there where we’re all just one wrong move away from being floated.” Cause once you’re an adult, you live in constant fear of it, “And that’s no way to live…fear causes people to do some pretty messed up things. And down here…yeah, it’s not easy. It’s darn right scary as hell. But I’m going to put every fiber of my being into it. My one hundred and ten percent.” She lightly tugs on her ear and nods back to her work, “Come on…let’s get back to work. I got quite a few of these that I need to reinforce and since I got your time, I could really use your help.” She turns back around and starts pounding away at the wall, oblivious to any reaction the teenage boy might have to a girl pressing her backside up against him.

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