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We're In This Together; private; content warning
Topic Started: Oct 23 2016, 04:28 PM (872 Views)
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Who is this sassy lost child
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Min-jae Parker continued from We're Here Because We're Here))

In the end, it was just Jordan tagging along with Jae and Hazel as they made their slow progress around the area in search of shelter. Lizzie slipped off to look for Ty and Vanessa went her own way to look for her friends now that Jae had found one of his. It was an odd loss, given that she was the only really decent interaction Jae had had here until Hazel showed up, but he wasn't about to stop her from pursuing her own ends. Vanessa could take care of herself.

By the time evening fell, they'd settled on scoping out the vehicle depot for a place to hole up for the night. It seemed less likely to be crowded, and a car was more comfortable than sleeping outside. The three of them settled on a pair of old trucks in one of the garages that were relatively intact and close together; when it came time to sleep, Jae wouldn't be able to comfortably fit in one of the smaller seats with his splinted leg, so he had one to himself while Hazel and Jordan took the other. It was also established that someone should keep watch in shifts, which he volunteered for. Tired as he was, he didn't feel like sleeping.

Jae arranged himself in the truck's back seat, where he’d have the best view of the garage door and anyone approaching from outside. He was farther away from the others than he might strictly have liked, but sitting nearby while they clumped together asleep wasn’t much better than falling asleep himself if something came up. He set to fiddling with things to keep himself from drifting off, clicking his tongue stud against his teeth out of habit, though he found his attention wandering anyways.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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((Hazel Jung continued from We're Here Because We're Here))

Hazel turned over onto her side. It was just as uncomfortable as her previous position. The car seats were better than the ground, but a poor replacement for a bed. She turned over again and sighed in frustration. No matter what she did, she couldn’t clear her mind for long enough to fall asleep. She thought over and over about herself, her chances of survival, her classmates and her friends at home. The thoughts spun in her head, becoming a noisy mess. She rubbed her eyes and propped herself up onto her elbows. A little ways away she could make out the figure of Min keeping watch in the next car. Hazel looked at Jordan who seemed to be sleeping. She quietly got up and with very careful placements of each step, made her way over to the night guard.

Leaning into the car she whispered, “Do you mind company?”
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He must have spaced out anyway, because even something as harmless as Hazel’s soft whisper made him start. He halfway reached for the baton before realizing who it was and letting his hand drop. He was too jumpy, too on edge to sleep and too tired to really be an effective watchman. Jae sighed softly, scuffing the heel of his boot against the dirty floor of the truck.

“No,” he murmured, “go ahead. Probably not any more comfortable in here, though.” He could dimly make her features out in the darkness, eyes tracing the worried crease of her brow and downturn of her mouth.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Hazel flinched seeing Min reach for the baton. When he relaxed her shoulders went down and she let out a breath. She smiled a bit in the darkness and hopped up into the vehicle to sit next to him. “It’s always more comfortable when you’ve got company. At least, I think so,” she responded. Her knee bumped against his. “I can’t sleep,” she said mostly to herself, looking at the rusted floor. “It’s kind of amazing other people can.” Hazel looked up at him, trying to study his face in the darkness.
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“It’s better than being all alone right now,” Jae agreed. He glanced over Hazel’s head at Jordan's sleeping form in the other vehicle before looking back at her. It was weird to think of himself as part of a group, with people he was responsible for. Having to look after others was one part of leadership he’d never been so great at. “I don’t know how they do it either. Sleeping, I mean. Don’t think I’ll feel like it for a while.” He'd felt the same way the previous night too, when it was just him and Vanessa. He'd slept that night, somehow. Tonight, it felt further away than ever.

Hazel sat close, her knee brushing his. If Jae leaned over, he would have been able to smell her hair. He wondered if that was a weird thought to have in this situation. “I guess it’s better for Jordan to sleep than to be cranky and tired when it’s his turn.” Jae was cranky and tired enough for everyone else at any given time, anyway. Hazel’s presence was nice, though. Calming. He preferred her joining him right now over anyone else.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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She took a deep breath, trying to exhale out all the anxiety she felt. She was tired of the uncertainty and being on alert every moment of the day for maniacs, who the announcements confirmed were definitely out there. Hazel wiggled her shoulders, trying to will them looser. What she wanted was to believe she had someone who was in this with her. Sure, all her classmates were in stuck in approximately the same terrible situation and she had found a small group willing to stick together, but it wasn’t exactly the same. “I really like you,” she said simply, a pink flush slowly spreading across her cheeks. The darkness made the change invisible. “I don’t remember if I ever said it.” Hazel swallowed and moved her fingers to touch his wrist. She wanted to feel like there was someone with her here she was tethered to by the heart. She leaned in and kissed him, putting her fingers at the line of his chin.
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Oh. This was. Well.

They’d kissed before, in the car after Sadie Hawkins, hands in each others’ hair, pressed closer together than you strictly should be while sitting in the school parking lot. Every time he thought back to the dance it brought on a weird cocktail of emotions: his irritation at Scarlett, alternating between fretting and exasperation over Henry, and underlying it all the mantra of don’t fuck this up, don’t fuck this up every time Hazel smiled at him or brushed his hand. Things hadn’t gone any further than making out in the car, but it had felt like a win. This, now…

Jae didn’t know what it felt like. He hadn’t planned on it or worried about the possibility of it like he had during the dance. “I mean,” he mumbled against Hazel’s lips, still off-guard. He pulled back just a hair to speak. “I got the impression. Not, like, in a bad way, you know-”

And this wasn’t the time or the place to stumble over himself, not when school and rumors and what people might think were a million miles away. He turned his hand to twine his fingers with Hazel’s, trying to ground himself.

“I, um,” Jae started, and then kissed her back to shut himself up.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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For a brief moment she remembered her friends and how they came to disapprove of her “reputation.” This wasn’t the same, she said to herself. And really, every time she had done it, it came from an earnest place. She always thought it was for real. She wasn’t right every time, but the intention was good. It was just for awhile her judgement was a little off.
Min was the first in a long time and honestly, he felt different. Since that time they had met for tutoring she felt relaxed around him in a way that was unusual. He mumbled against her and she felt the cold, smooth surfaces of his piercings slide over her lips. Hazel always needed to be a part of someone else. In the back of her mind, she also felt that it was her last chance to form the deep pull with another person. Her family and her clique weren’t here, but Min was and she wanted to take the leap to find out if she was right. He stumbled over himself and it was adorable. Hazel took a deep breath as if anticipating the jump into a cold pool. She slid her jacket off. Her hands crossed over, each grabbing a handful of tank top and pulled it over her head. Hazel bit her lip and clenched her fist while looking at him.
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Oh.

That was all he could think, like an idiot. Oh oh oh, look at me I don’t know how to use words. He didn’t know what to think, much less what to say, and everything that came to mind sounded stupid and hurtful, and for all his fumbling where this maybe-relationship was concerned, Jae had never wanted to hurt her.

He was sure that his wide eyes were clearly visible even in the darkness, and parts of him were acutely aware that he hadn’t brushed his teeth in days, that he had a broken hand and busted knee and was generally just really unattractive right now, that there were cameras and someone sleeping nearby, that they were surrounded by death and everything was wrong. He wasn’t ready, for anything. He wasn’t ready to die, regardless of where he believed he’d end up afterwards. He wasn’t ready for this, for Hazel looking at him like that, but-

But he needed it. He needed her, needed to want her. That was what it had always boiled down to. And maybe it didn’t have to be her, but she was sweet, and kind, and had given him a chance that he probably didn’t deserve. He needed someone and in his deepest, darkest thoughts, Jae had always wanted what he wouldn’t let himself have. Now Hazel was right in front of him, pressed close enough in the confines of the truck that they were almost touching, and he couldn’t admit that this hadn’t been what he’d fantasized about no matter how he’d tried to tell himself otherwise.

He reached out with his good hand to lightly press his fingers against her bare side. He couldn’t bring himself to touch her more than that, not yet. “You know, I haven’t- I mean-”
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Min looked at her with owl eyes. Was that a good sign? she wondered. Her chest rose and fell steadily, which was much more apparent now.

There was still the option to go back. She thought about it. Her lips were slightly parted. It wasn’t too late to rush back to her spot on the floor where she had been trying to sleep. He reached out. He desired her and that was such a relief just by itself. To be wanted was its own kind of intoxication. “Someone wants me around” is what it said. “Someone cares.” Maybe even “Someone loves me.” It gave her a slight nudge over the next ledge. She nodded. Well, she hadn’t known for sure, for certain, but the risk made it all the more special, right?

“If you’re ok, then so am I.”

Hazel hooked her thumbs into the waist of her capris and slid them down, having to sort of shift and shimmy to get the pants down to her shoes and socks, which she slipped off along with them.
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“Yeah,” Jae mumbled, pulling his hand back so that he could slip his own jacket off and discard it to the side. His shirts took a bit more fumbling, a few twinges of pain from his broken fingers as he pulled the fabric over his head and off his arms, but he rushed through it rather than hesitating. It was okay. He was okay. He needed this, and really, he’d never know for sure otherwise, right? Fuck, he could die tomorrow, later tonight, five minutes from now. All his thoughts and suspicions would mean exactly jack shit then. Hazel was right in front of him, and she was real.

His heart stuttered as he watched her undress, unsure if he should try touching her again or where he should do so. He wasn’t sure what to do about his pants either, what with the splint taped to his leg. “You’re beautiful,” he whispered, trying to cover the silence between them and his own hesitation. It felt like something he should say.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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She hoped Jordan didn’t suddenly wake up. Were the cameras equipped with night vision? Her face pulled into a pained expression on his behalf as he navigated disrobing with his injuries. Hazel made a hesitant move to help, but stopped short, not wanting to do something that would make things worse.

“Are you ok?” she whispered urgently.

He seemed to have managed though. Her eyes scanned him, confirming that he hadn’t created a new injury or exacerbated an old one. Hazel was acutely aware now that she was vulnerable. He called her beautiful and she smiled, feeling like someone pricked her with a sewing needle in her chest. More of her skin felt the cold air than was normal and she shivered. Eyes half-lidded she turned her face to the right and kissed him again. Her fingers worked behind her and unclasped her bra, letting it fall forward onto him.

Together.
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She always made him feel clumsy. He never knew the right thing to say, to do, couldn’t focus on anything other than how much he wanted to want her. This time when she kissed him, he leaned into it like he was supposed to and slid his arm around her, pressing his hand to the small of her back and pulling her closer. He could feel the goosebumps on her skin, how she shivered slightly, and it made him feel a little better about the fact that he was shaking too.

“I’m fine,” he whispered back, and repeated it to himself mentally. He was fine. This was fine. It was good, even, maybe the last good thing he’d get to have in life. Jae pulled in a deep breath as Hazel’s bra fell loose onto his chest, and he moved it out of the way with the rest of their clothes. He reached up slowly and skimmed his thumb over the dip of her collarbone before moving his hand lower, eyes moving between Hazel’s face and her body as he touched her breast, feeling her heartbeat under his fingertips. “Is this okay?”
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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“I think so. Right?” she asked back. She flinched just a little bit at his touch. It was just a reflex to be protective of her torso. The question had been as much a reassurance to herself as it was to him. She needed to know that this was right. The only real way to know was to keep going.

It would hit her like a baseball to the head and she would know that this was what she’d been looking for. Hazel’s hands moved on their own as she thought all of this over. Her mind and body were a part of the same being, but were experiencing a disconnect with each working independently. As she kissed him her hand slid down his chest and into the space where the waist of his pants met his thin body. She pressed down past the denim and belts roughly, applying more pressure as she went down.
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Jae nodded wordlessly in response to Hazel’s rhetorical question, swallowing thickly as her hand moved down his body.

That… felt nice. That was a good sign. This was good. It would be fine, it would make sense. He just had to let it happen.

“Here, let me…” He pulled his hands away from her again to undo his belts (and why had wearing two belts at once ever seemed like a good idea?), discarding them and the baton in the pile of their clothes. “I can’t, um, take them off all the way, but…” He undid the button and zipper of his jeans and pushed them down his hips a bit. Somewhat emboldened, he touched her chest again, with both hands this time. “Tell me what feels good, okay?”
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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