Sasha was sitting in her room back at her and Fiona's home in Hollow Point. It was a Friday afternoon, and with nothing else better to do, she was looking over her new collection of guns. Thanks to the treasure that was inside the Vault of the Traveler, she and the rest of the group got a ton of new weaponry, which they decided to divide amongst themselves. Vaughn ended up taking most of it since the Children of Helios were in need of some guns to protect themselves against rival bandit gangs (using laser pointers to solve their problems wouldn't keep them safe forever). Rhys didn't end up taking much, he felt that his stun baton suited him better. Fiona took a couple of sniper rifles and a rocket launcher, figuring that if she was ever going to be a proper Vault Hunter, she needed to be able to at least lift one without the help of her sister. That left Sasha with what was left, which consisted mainly of some pistols and SMG's, which she felt was more her style anyway.
The past couple of weeks had been good to Sasha, with the opening of the Vault, she more than doubled her stockpile of guns, spending most of her time testing them out, shooting psychos, skags, and more of Pandora's homicidal creatures. And there was also the simple matter of being magically revived thanks to Felix's pocket watch that put her in such good spirits. But even with all of this going on, there was one thing that was constantly on her mind, that she couldn't seem to stop thinking about, and that was of Rhys.
It wasn't easy for her to admit it, but she had developed feelings for the former Hyperion middle manager turned Atlas CEO, and it wasn't something she was necessarily comfortable with. She had always been so vocal when it came to whatever was on her mind, but dealing with feelings like this, she just couldn't find a way to express them. Growing up on Pandora, a planet where the threat of being brutally murdered by blood thirsty psychos was considered an average Tuesday, she wasn't sure what this feeling was that she had for him, a sort of affection for the Hyperion stooge. One might call it…love.
Love, fondness, a sense of attraction, these concepts were foreign to pretty much anyone who lived on Pandora. She never really had a sense of what it meant to feel these things, sure she cared about her sister, but the feelings she had for Rhys were different, it made her a bit uneasy. The usually outspoken Pandoran, for once, was having a difficult time verbalizing her thoughts. She was so used to taking action, not letting her thoughts, her feelings, her fears, get in the way of whatever was on her mind. She always said or did what she thought needed to be done, except now, and if she was being honest with herself, not being able to do so was beginning to scare her, it made her quite sick actually. She wanted to be with him, but she wasn't sure how to put her thoughts and feelings into words. Back when they were at Helios, after killing the Traveler, she had actually hoped Rhys would be the one to do something about it, hoping that he had to have been feeling the same way she felt, considering the flower moment they had together. Rhys had, in fact, felt the same way, he had fallen head over heels for Sasha, but much like her, he wasn't good at expressing these kinds of feelings. He had worked for Hyperion, the most love defying, soul crushing corporation in the universe. If there was anything Hyperions were allowed to love, it was Hyperion and nothing else. Despite this, Rhys had developed the same feelings for Sasha that she had for him, but much like her, he didn't know how to put it into words. Even with Fiona's blessing, he just couldn't work up the courage to do anything about it. Both wanted to tell each other how they felt, but neither of them knew how to do it, and it was eating away at both of them, but none more than Sasha.
Sasha tried to focus on her guns, but no matter how hard she tried, the thought of Rhys wasn't leaving her head. Eventually, it just became too much for the Pandoran, she had to go see Rhys and try to get this off her chest and tell him how she felt. She could have done this over ECHO, but she felt that it would be better if they talked in person, so she decided to take a trip to Old Haven.
Sasha came out of her room, looking for the keys to her and Fiona's new caravan (as their old one was kind of, you know, stuck in Helios' ceiling), when she saw Fiona sitting in Felix's chair, reading one of his books from the shelf in the corner. Sasha didn't want her sister to know what she was doing, she was worried about what her sister would think, so she decided to keep it a secret for the time being.
"Hey Fi, do you know where the caravan keys are?"
Fiona, looking up from the book, and pointing with her finger, replied, "I think they're over there on the table, by Felix's old radio." Sure enough, there they were. As Sasha began to walk over to where Fiona was pointing, she asked, "Why, where are you going?"
Luckily, Sasha was prepared for that question. "Gun shop, going to see if Marcus got a new shipment of weapons."
Fiona seemed surprised by her response. "Really, you've already got an armory back there, don't you think you have enough?"
"You can NEVER have too many guns Fiona" asserted Sasha, looking at her sister as if she was crazy for thinking such a thing.
Fiona realized that any attempt on her part to try and persuade her sister not to go out and buy guns was futile, so she didn't even try to argue with her. "All right fine, but don't spend all of the money okay, we need to save SOME of it."
"Says the girl that bought like thirty new hats in the past week" quipped Sasha, mocking her sister's evident hat obsession.
Fiona let out a small laugh. "Fair enough, just be careful Sash."
"I will, later sis." Sasha quickly grabbed the keys from the table, got in the caravan, and made her way to the Atlas base that Rhys had turned into Atlas' new headquarters.
She entered the city of Old Haven and pulled up to the entrance of the Atlas facility. She noticed that the door was open, so she figured that Rhys had to be inside, probably working on some new Atlas prototype or something. Typical Rhys to be so careless as to leave the door wide open, he might as well have put up a sign that said "All psychos welcome, please murder the scrawny, mechanical man inside." She entered the base and made her way down one of the hallways in search of Rhys. As she was walking, she heard a noise come from one of the rooms down at the other end of the hallway. "Stupid freaking Atlas tech, arrrrgh, no wonder you guys went out of business!"
Sasha recognized the voice as Rhys' and she could tell that he was angry about something. She thought that maybe she should come back another time when he would be in a better mood, but she stopped herself. She realized she was just creating an excuse to get out of talking to him. So she continued down the hallway until she reached the room that she heard Rhys' voice come from. The door was open and she peeked inside, Rhys was fumbling with something at a work bench situated in the middle of the room. To his right, a bunch of push pin boards with blueprints plastered across them, and to his left, a bunch of old Atlas computers. Rhys was busy working on something, his back facing away from the door. He was concentrating so hard on his work that he didn't even hear Sasha walking down the hallway, he didn't even know she was there, and Sasha knew it, so she decided to have a little bit of fun.
Still waiting outside the room, Sasha was overcome with the sudden urge to scare Rhys (he did the same thing with Vasquez's face a few months back, she felt she deserved some revenge, and now was the perfect time). How should she do this, what would terrify Rhys she thought? Realizing that there was probably a long list of things that would do the trick, she settled for imitating a psycho, after all, he was asking for it with the door to the facility being left open. She took a quick peek inside to make sure he didn't have any weapons next to him that he could use, worrying that he would pick up a gun and start firing aimlessly or whip out his stun baton and shock her. She saw nothing, so she decided to act. She walked quietly into the room, making sure not to attract Rhys' attention. It probably wouldn't have mattered anyway, he was mumbling so loudly to himself that he wouldn't have heard anything. Rhys was in the middle of making another complaint about Atlas tech when Sasha, in her best psycho voice, yelled out from behind him:
"WELCOME TO THE BLOOD BATH MEATPUPPET!"
Rhys, completely terrified, screamed as loud as he could, fell to the floor in a fetal position, his heart racing in fear. "Don't kill me, just take whatever you want, just please don't kill me" Rhys said with his arms shielding his face. Meanwhile Sasha was in hysterics, she couldn't breathe she was laughing so hard.
Rhys recognized the laughter, he slowly removed his arms from his face and saw Sasha, hunched over in laughter, with no psycho in sight. His entire body was shaking and he began panting. "Why," Rhys began to say before swallowing heavily, "why in the…hell would you…do that to me?!" He was having a tough time catching his breath, but Sasha was laughing too hard to notice.
"Consider us even Rhys" Sasha finally said once she had settled down a bit. Rhys looked up with a perplexed look on his face. Still having a tough time catching his breath, he replied, "What…do you mean?"
"Vasquez's severed face back at Scooter's garage, remember?" Sasha asked with a tear in her eye from her incessant laughter. Rhys, also with tears in his eyes (for a different reason obviously), now knew what she was talking about, recalling the time he returned from Old Haven just before their trip to Helios.
Rhys was finally starting to regain his breath and even started to laugh a bit over Sasha's prank. "Oh yeah…completely forgot about that. Looks like you got me, we even now."
"Ohhhh big time." Sasha said as she extended her hand to help Rhys off the ground. Rhys grabbed her hand and got up from the floor. "Thanks" he said, his legs still quivering from the fear of almost being murdered by a deranged psycho. Despite what just happened, he was happy to see Sasha, even if she had nearly given him a heart attack.
It took a little while, but Rhys finally regained his composure. "It's great to see you Sasha, but how in the hell did you even get inside?"
"The door to the facility was wide open." Sasha replied.
"Wait, what?! Seriously?!" Rhys yelled out, clearly frustrated. He began to angrily walk around the room, his hand squeezing the bridge of his nose. "Damn it, I thought I fixed that piece of shit a few days ago, it kept opening and closing for no reason. I still haven't been able to get the cameras, alarms, or security bots to start working yet, so that stupid door is literally my only means of protection at the moment, and if that's busted, then I'm dead."
"What's wrong with the security bots?" Sasha asked.
"Oh, just the tiny problem that they try to MURDER ME EVERY TIME I TURN THEM ON!" Rhys said as he slammed his metal fist on his desk in anger. "From the door, to the security bots, to this stupid gun not working, I just can't catch a freaking break."
Sasha took her eyes off Rhys and saw what he was working on when she had first arrived. It appeared to be an Atlas gun, an SMG, but she didn't recognize the model, it must have been an unfinished prototype they were working on before they went out of business. Sasha had never seen Rhys this angry before, he was really stressed out about all of this as it appeared that everything he touched either broke or tried to kill him. It made her almost feel bad about scaring the piss out of him earlier...almost.
Rhys, after taking a few deep breathes in order to calm himself down, turned and put his attention back on Sasha. "I'm, uh...sorry about that outburst. It's just been a tough road is all trying to get Atlas back up and going again. I'll tell you, being the new CEO of Atlas isn't as fun as I thought it was going to be."
"Oh come on, it can't be that bad?" Sasha said with a sympathetic and calming tone to her voice.
"Well it's better than being a janitor, that's for sure, but I was still expecting something more from it. I mean, I've only come up with one new invention ever since I restarted Atlas."
This immediately sparked Sasha's interest. "Really, what is it?" she asked.
"Oh, what, it's... it's nothing, it's...stupid...you wouldn't like it, forget I said anything." Rhys said, trying to think of a way to change the subject.
"Is it a stun baton?" Sasha asked.
"Pfft, whaaaaat? Noooo" Rhys nervously responded in a high pitched tone wile running his hand through his hair like he usually does when he's trying to look cool.
"Sooooo, what is it then?" Sasha asked, folding her arms across her chest, big grin on her face, clearly seeing through Rhys' smooth attempt at hiding what it was.
"It is, a, ummm...shock stick."
Sasha couldn't help but chuckle when he said it. "So yeah, a stun baton?" she replied.
"No, it's completely different, it, ummm...well for starters it...um...is called a shock stick." Rhys said, hoping that would be enough for her...it wasn't. "All right fine, yes, it's a measly stun baton. You happy? That's all I have to show so far" he said in a defeated tone.
When she heard him say it like that, she felt bad. She was just trying to have a bit of fun teasing Rhys like that, hoping to try and lighten the mood, but she saw that all it did was upset him further.
"Look, never mind, forget it. So what brings you down here anyway?" Rhys asked, finally being able to change the subject.
This was her chance, time to just get it out and say it. "Just tell him how you feel, come on, you've got this" she was thinking to herself.
"I was just stopping by to see how you were doing." Sasha said, knowing full well that that wasn't what she wanted to say. She began internally chastising herself for her cowardice, she hated that she just couldn't come out and tell Rhys what she has wanted to say for so long.
Meanwhile, Rhys was just happy to see her, with all of the shit that's been going on with him lately, it was nice to talk to someone he knew, and was also quite fond of, even if he was also too afraid to admit it. Seeing her here livened up his spirits.
"Aw, thanks Sasha, but as you can tell, things have been better." Turning back to the Atlas gun that he was working on. "I was searching these old computers and came across the plans for this gun that Atlas was working on named the Hephaestus. It's supposed to add an incendiary affect when you use it and have a higher elemental affect chance than any other gun out on the market. Atlas had all the parts right here, so I thought I could try assembling it, figured it would be a walk in the park, but that doesn't appear to be the case. I don't know what it is, but it's not adding the fire affect to the bullet and I can't seem to figure out what the hell is wrong with it."
Sasha didn't like seeing Rhys this stressed out, she wanted to help him, and since he was talking about guns, it seemed like a great opportunity. "Do you mind if I take a look at it, maybe I can figure out what the problem is" Sasha said as she was beginning to approach the table.
"Well I'd appreciate it, but I'm not even sure you can figure out what's wrong with this" Rhys said, eyes fixated on the Hephaestus.
"Really?" Sasha replied. "Rhys, of the two of us, which of us not only has a vast knowledge of guns, but also has years of experience using them? Have you even shot one before?"
"Um, of course I've..."
"Fingers don't count" interrupted Sasha.
"Okaaaay, then technically no."
Sasha gently pushed Rhys aside. "Just let me look at it real quickly, I've got this." Sasha said with confidence in her voice.
"Fine, go ahead, but I warned you. I've been looking at and working on this piece of crap for hours now and still can't figure out what the problem is. I can only imagine that it requires a certain expertise in Atlas technology and, thus, provides a huge challenge to the untrained…"
"Fixed it" Sasha said.
Rhys was stunned by how quickly Sasha had figured out what was wrong with it, he stared in a state of bewilderment at the Hephaestus, his mouth hanging open. This went of for several seconds without Rhys saying a word.
"Let me, just, get that for you." Sasha said as she placed her hand under Rhys' jaw and pushed up to close his gaping mouth. He still couldn't believe what just happened. "Note to self, never question Sasha when it comes to guns" he thought to himself.
"How…how did you…what did you…what just happened? How did you fix it so easily?"
"Well for starters you had the incendiary core in backwards."
Rhys couldn't help but face palm from his sheer stupidity, how could he have put the core in backwards? This wasn't a battery, it should have been so obvious, but here he was, looking like a complete fool in front of Sasha.
"I made a few other tweaks and modifications here and there, and I think its safe to say that it will now work properly."
"Well then," Rhys started to say, running his hand through his hair again, "sorry for doubting your abilities Sasha, thanks."
"That's it, just thanks, say more than that you jackass. Go over there and tell her how amazing she is, hug her, give her a high five, something, ANYTHING!" Rhys was internally screaming to himself.
"Hey, no problem. So is there a place to shoot this thing, you know, to officially test it out?"
"Yeah, there is a practice and testing range a couple of floors down. I'll show you where it is, just follow me."
Rhys led the way to the facility's testing range. While it was mainly used to test out some of the new tech that Atlas was working on, it was also used as a practice range for the Crimson Lance soldiers that were stationed in Old Haven when Atlas occupied the town. Upon entering the range, Rhys turned on the lights, grabbed some bullets, and led Sasha to one of the stalls. As she began prepping the gun, she stared down the empty lane, there wasn't any target set up for her to shoot. Sasha asked, "Rhys, what exactly am I going to shoot at?"
"This" Rhys responded. He pushed a button on the controls and a restrained psycho was carried into the lane thanks to a ceiling conveyor belt. "I'M GOING TO BEAT YOU TO LIFE!" screamed the suppressed psycho, clearly angered (or possibly aroused) from being tied up.
"What the hell?" asked a bewildered Sasha.
"Oh you mean the psycho. Well you see, a few days ago, Vaughn told me that several of these guys tried to raid his camp at Helios. Luckily he and his buddies stopped them before they could run off with anything valuable. Instead of killing them, he just decided to imprison them. When he told me about what happened, I asked if I could 'borrow' them for a while. He was a bit skeptical at first, but he eventually gave in. Any who, fire away."
The girl didn't need to be told twice, as soon as Rhys said the words, she fired several rounds at the subdued psycho, prompting it to ignite. The psycho began shouting "PLEASURE IN PAIN!" as he was burned alive. In a matter of seconds, all that was left were the ashes of the former psycho.
"It worked, it actually worked!" Rhys excitedly proclaimed. While he was overjoyed to see it work, he knew though that he needed to run a few more tests to make sure, so he pressed the button again and another psycho was brought in, this time screeching "WEAR YOUR FACE LIKE A CONDOM!"
"Gross" Sasha said with a look of disgust on her face.
"Yeah real charmers, aren't they? You know what will make you feel better, shooting it until it's nothing but a pile of ashes."
"Was just thinking the same thing." Sasha happily retorted.
Just like last time, she fired a few rounds at the psycho and it went up in flames. The same thing happened in the third, fourth, and fifth trials. The gun was a success and was fully functional.
Sasha was enjoying herself as she shot the retrained psychos, hearing them scream for their lives as they burnt to a crisp (damn, that got dark, my apologies for that). But more importantly, she was enjoying the time she was spending with Rhys. Unlike other times, like when they reunited at Helios, there wasn't any sort of awkwardness between them. Here, they were just having some fun testing Rhys' new weapon, burning psychos one by one. No longer was she feeling that sense of hesitation she was feeling earlier when she had arrived. Maybe it was because she was in an environment where she has always been so comfortable in (shooting a gun and killing psychos) that gave her this sudden boost in confidence. Whatever it was, for the first time in a while, she was finally starting to act like herself again and began thinking that if there ever was a time to say what needed to be said, it was right now.
After the fifth trial, Rhys had seen all that he needed to see. "All right Sasha, I think I've collected enough data, and I think its safe to say that it works."
Almost reluctantly (she was just having so much damn fun using it), Sasha gave the experimental gun back to Rhys. "Thanks. And Sasha..." Rhys was saying as he started to embrace Sasha in a hug that caught her a little by surprise at first. She then wrapped her arms around Rhys as he continued, "Thanks for all of your help today. I couldn't have done it without you."
"Hey, no problem Rhys, glad I could be of some help."
After a few seconds, Rhys was the one that finally pulled away, and as he did, Sasha was half expecting, right then and there, that Rhys was about to make his move, but then Rhys started walking towards a small case behind him by the back wall, with the Hephaestus in his human hand. Even with that little mishap, Sasha was still feeling pretty confident, knowing that if there was a time to do what she had wanted to do for so long, now was the time.
"Hey listen Rhys, there's been something I've wanted to talk to you about."
As Rhys knelt down to put the Hephaestus inside the case and lock it up, he interrupted her. "Before you say anything Sasha, can I ask you something?"
"Um, okay sure, what is it?"
Getting back to his feet and turning to face Sasha, he began. "Well, it's just that…you know more about this kind of stuff then I do and are very knowledgable about it, you even said so yourself earlier. I can tell you have a passion when it comes to guns, and I know you like to shoot them, but I was wondering...how would you like to make them?"
Sasha was surprised at first by what Rhys had just proposed. "Are you asking what I think you're asking?"
"Sasha, how would you like to be in charge of Atlas' Weapons Department?"
Sasha stood there completely wide eyed, it was something that she wasn't expecting. Here she was, someone who had completely mocked, nay, insulted, Rhys for so long about just being another corporate cog wasting their life away, and now here he was offering her a job to work for Atlas. Had this been Sasha from a year ago, she would have scoffed at the idea of working for one of those corporations, but here she was now actually considering it. For starters, it would mean that she would get to work with Rhys pretty much everyday, but also that she would be getting paid to work with guns, that was like a dream come true for her.
"I mean, right now, I can't promise anything, I can't even really pay you at the moment, but what I can tell you is that this could be a win-win for both of us. Currently, I'm Atlas' only employee, meaning I'm in charge of literally everything. It's hard to juggle the finance and management aspects of the company, while at the same time, trying to come up and test new products when you have no one around to help you. With you around, it would be a huge weight off my shoulders. Not only will you get to work with guns, you'll be able to come up with your own ideas and design them. This could allow me to focus more on the management side of things and start getting some much needed investments, after all, negotiating and creating deals is what I do best. Now it will be stressful at first, that I can assure you, but once I get some money flowing in and we get over this first hurdle, I'll be able to hire your own team of workers that you can boss around and yell at all you want and not get in trouble for it. You can make them get you a simple cup of coffee and they have to do what you say, how awesome does that sound? This partnership can work out great for both us, what do you think?"
Sasha was still a bit stunned by Rhys' idea, it had caught her completely off guard. And while it may not have been exactly what she wanted Rhys to ask her, he certainly did make it sound like a great opportunity.
"Wow Rhys, I'm flattered by the idea, I'm just not sure if…"
"Sasha, I understand your hesitation, I get it, but I know that with your help and the two of us working together, this new Atlas will be unstoppable. So what do you say, will you take the job?"
Sasha had heard Rhys' plans for the future of Atlas, how he didn't want it to be like Hyperion or some of the other corporations. How he wanted to try and actually help Pandora, not take it over. How he wouldn't just be another Handsome Jack. With all of that in mind, it helped make Sasha come to her decision. "Rhys, I'll take the job."
Rhys was internally rejoicing when Sasha accepted the job. He extended his mechanical arm to seal the deal with a handshake. As Sasha looked down to Rhys' hand, she started to shake her head.
"Nuh-uh." said Sasha, raising her left arm and extending her pinky out towards Rhys. "You know the drill Rhys."
Rhys couldn't help but smile as he happily complied. Their pinkies became interlocked, as both of them started to think back to day they had first met, their first real moment together inside the Atlas warehouse. With both of their pinkies still connected, both smiled as they started to gaze into each other's eyes.
Finally, it got to a point where neither of them could take it any more. Their faces began to grow closer and closer to each other's, and eventually, the two began to kiss for the first time. It was something that both of them had desperately wanted for so long, and it was finally happening. Sasha wrapped her arms around Rhys' neck, and Rhys placed his hands on Sasha as they continued. Neither of them knew exactly how long they were engaged in this, but neither of them wanted it to end. Eventually, they both had to pull away so they could breathe.
After a few seconds of stunned silence from both of them, and with her hands still wrapped around Rhys, Sasha was the first one of them to speak, but all she could muster was a simple "Wow." It was one word, and yet, it perfectly summed up what both of them were thinking.
"Yeah, that's um, one way to accept a job offer. Already trying to kiss up to your new boss are ya?"
"Shut up" said Sasha playfully as she went in for another kiss. It was shorter than the first, but still managed to mean just as much to both of them, as it hopefully meant an end to all of the nervousness between them. The anxiety that had been building up inside of them for so long had now vanished, the only thing that both of them wanted was to be with one another.
As they pulled away from each other for the second time, they once again caught each other's eyes, both smiling as bright as the sun (corny, yeah I know, what can I say, I'm not good at this kind of stuff). Still embracing the other, neither of them wanted to look away, they were in states of perfect bliss.
"So was that what you wanted to talk to me about?" asked Rhys.
"In a way, yes" said Sasha. "I guess what I wanted to say was, I know we didn't start off on the right foot when we first met, with me trying to shove you out of our caravan and all. I didn't like you all that much, but since then, and after all the crap we've been through together, I just, haven't been able to stop thinking about you. I've never felt this way about someone before, and I never would have expected it to be with someone who was from Hyperion."
"Well, I guess you can say that, after spending a certain amount of time with someone, you get to…"
"See a side of them you might not have been expecting" finished Sasha.
"I remember when you first said that, and I know exactly what you mean. When we first met, truth be told, I didn't think that much of you either. But after, as you said, 'all of the crap we've been through,' and I got to know you more, and I got to see the real you, I saw someone who was caring, smart, funny, moral, and can make a mean pan-fried egg sandwich." This elicited a chuckle from Sasha. "I never thought I could come to care about anyone as much as I have come to care about you, but it's not just that. Most importantly, you helped me realize that there are some amazing people on Pandora, who deserve a better life than the one they currently have. You've helped me realize that Sasha, and that's what I look to do with Atlas, to try and fix Pandora, not like what Jack wanted, but to truly help this planet and the people who live here. I want to give them that better life, and Sasha, you've been my main inspiration for that, the thing that's helped me persevere through all of the challenges."
Tears were forming in Sasha's eyes when she heard Rhys say all of that, it was honestly the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to her. She was so moved by what Rhys had told her, she had no idea that she meant that much to Rhys, and it meant so much to hear him say that. Sasha couldn't help but go in for a third kiss, which was definitely the most passionate of the three. As she pulled away, all that both of them could do was just stand there and lovingly hold each other in their arms.
Neither of them wanted this moment to end, but ultimately, Sasha realized that she had to get back to Hollow Point before her sister began to worry where she was. "Listen Rhys, I'm sorry, but I have to get going, otherwise Fiona's going to start a witch hunt looking for me."
"Hey, no problem, I'll, uh, walk you out." Rhys grabbed the case which held the Hephaestus, shut off the lights to the range, and walked with Sasha towards the exit. He made sure to walk on her right side, so that he could wrap his human arm around her as they walked.
Upon exiting the Atlas facility, Sasha turned to Rhys as they continued to walk in the direction of the parked caravan. "That was, a lot of fun Rhys, thanks for all of this. It was great hanging out with you today, I mean it."
"I was thinking the same thing Sash, I'm glad you stopped by."
"And all of that stuff you said back there, did you really mean it?" asked Sasha.
As they reached the caravan, Sasha remotely unlocked the door and began climbing the steps into the vehicle. Turning back towards Rhys as she reached the final step, she asked "So when do I start exactly?"
"You can start on Monday if you'd like. I usually get things going around 9:00."
"All right, sounds like a plan, I'll see you then."
Just as she was about to head into the caravan, Rhys began to say something. "Or, you know, maybe…we could…um" stuttered a nervous Rhys "hang out again, like tomorrow maybe, for dinner or something? Only if you're not too busy or anything, you don't have to if you don't want to, was just a thought, I don't know if you'd even want to…"
While Sasha was having a bit of fun watching Rhys struggle as he tried asking her out, she knew that she had to stop him, otherwise they'd be here all night. "Rhys, are you asking me out on a date?"
"Yes, oh thank God you said that, yes would you, want to go on a date tomorrow?"
"Of course Rhys, I'd like that."
"Great, so, um, I'll pick you up tomorrow around 5:00, is that okay?"
"How about I come here, save you the trip to Hollow Point" said Sasha. However, that wasn't the main reason why, the real reason was that she didn't want her sister to know that Rhys had asked her to dinner. It wasn't that she was ashamed or anything, she just, wasn't sure how her sister would react to something like this, she had always been so protective of her kid sister. She wouldn't have been surprised if Fiona would try to kill Rhys on the spot if he showed up at their door tomorrow.
"Okay, yeah whatever works for you I guess. I can get you, you can get me, or if something comes up tomorrow, we can change to Sunday, and if that doesn't work either, you don't have to feel obligated or anything, we can just forget about the whole thing. Maybe instead we just…"
Sasha had to stop Rhys again "Rhys, relax, you don't have to be so nervous, I already said yes." She leaned in and planted a kiss on Rhys' cheek. "I'll be here tomorrow at 5." With that, she closed the caravan door, started it up, and began the long drive back to Hollow Point.
Sasha parked the caravan, locked it up, and entered the house. The first thing she saw was Fiona still sitting in the chair, reading the same book as when she had left. She was wondering if Fiona had even gotten out of that chair at all today.
Hearing Sasha walk through the door, Fiona looked up from her book. "There you are, you've been gone for hours, where the hell have you been?"
Sasha took a quick glance at the clock they had hanging on the wall, she was gone for almost 5 hours. She still wasn't sure if she wanted to let her sister know she had gone to see Rhys, let alone that he had offered her a job and had also asked her out, so she decided to stick to her original story. "I told you, I went to Marcus' Munitions." Sasha replied.
"For that long? I know you like guns and all, but not even a gun-nut like yourself can shop for that long." Fiona then looked at Sasha's hands, noticing that they were empty. "And you didn't even end up buying anything." Sasha was beginning to worry that her sister would see through her lie, she needed to come up with something quick. "So where have you really been all day?"
"I did go to Marcus', but he didn't have anything of interest, so I just decided to go to a bar and have a few beers. I ended up watching the Snick-It game on one of the T.V.'s."
"Isn't that the game that makes no sense?" Fiona asked.
"Yep, and let me tell you, it was a hell of a match. It was a score of 376-52 in the 69th over when the rower bowled the ball to a maiden who hit it for a home run. The maiden was running up and down yelling 'Owzat!' when she tripped, prompting a foul that sent them back 9 flim-flams. On the very next play, the fielder ran it all the way back for a touch goal."
"Sounds like it was an intense match."
"Yeah it was, I think. Anyway, I'm just going to go watch some T.V. in my room, probably go to bed early."
"All right Sash." Fiona said as she put her focus back to her book as Sasha began walking back to her room. She thought that she was in the clear, knowing that her sister wasn't necessarily a sports person, there was no way she would care enough to fact check any of that. Sasha was just about to open the door to her room and go inside, when suddenly…
"So how's Rhys doing?" asked Fiona.
Sasha's face started to beam bright red, had she been caught? She turned back towards her sister. "I don't know, why do you ask?"
"Well since you went to go see him today, I figured you would know what's going on with him."
"Wha…What?" said a nervously laughing Sasha, trying to keep the charade going as best she could, hoping that maybe she could still salvage it. "What are you talking about? I didn't…see Rhys."
Fiona put her book down on the table, got up from the chair, and began to walk over to where Sasha was standing. "Oh my God, you're even acting like he does when he gets all nervous. You got to do a better job of trying to hide it than that Sasha" said Fiona, now standing in front of her younger sister.
"I'm telling you the truth sis, I went to a bar and watched a Snick-It game."
"Really?" Fiona said, placing her hands on her hips. "If that's true, then refresh my memory, what was the score when the maiden scored the touch goal?"
"Oh shit!" Sasha thought to herself, she didn't know. She was throwing so many random numbers and sport references around that she had forgotten what she had told Fiona. With her best guess, Sasha said, "The score was, um, 352-69."
"Try 376-52, and it was a home run, not a touch goal."
"Oh shit, again!" thought Sasha.
"Sasha, you of all people should know that I can tell when people are lying to me. So stop with the act already will you and answer the damn question, truthfully this time."
Sasha figured there was no point in hiding it now, she might as well just come out and say it. "Damn it, fine, yes, I did go to see Rhys today, happy?"
"Very, thank you. So how's he doing?"
"He seems to be doing well. He just got his first gun to start working."
"Well that's some good news, anything else happen while you were there?"
Sasha looked down to the floor, still unsure if she should tell her sister that she would now be working for Atlas. After all, she hated those big, greedy corporations as much as she did.
"Don't lie to me Sasha" grilled Fiona.
"Well, he…offered me a job at Atlas."
"Is that so?"
"Yeah, as the head of Atlas' Weapons Department. You know, working on prototypes, coming up with new designs, stuff like that" said Sasha. While she was still worried about what her sister was thinking, it felt good to get this off her chest.
"Well, isn't that something. So what did you say?"
"Well, I might have said yes." Sasha nervously answered, worrying what her sister would think of her working for Atlas, a corporation that has almost as bad a track record on Pandora as Hyperion did. But when she looked at Fiona's expression, she was surprised to not see her angry or upset at her sister's decision, but she seemed relatively happy over the news.
"That sounds great Sash, it sounds like the perfect job for a gun-nut like yourself."
"Yeah, that's what I thought as well."
"Well I'm happy for you, I'm sure you'll do great" assured Fiona. Sasha was relieved to see her sister take the news so well, but just when she was beginning to think that she was finally in the clear (again), Fiona continued her pestering. "Annnnnndddddd."
"Annnnnndddddd, what?" asked Sasha.
"That's not all that happened, I can tell."
Sasha could feel that she was beginning to blush again, how was her sister so good at reading people? "Damn Fiona, what are we, little kids again, I thought we were both adults?"
"Well you two lovebirds definitely act like little kids half the time, so yeah, you can say that." Sasha went wide eyed when she heard her sister use the term 'lovebirds.'
"Look Sasha, I can tell just by how happy you were when you walked in the door that he didn't just ask you to work for him, so something else clearly happened between you two, so you might as well just come out and say it" demanded Fiona.
Sasha knew that it was futile to hide the rest of it from her sister, might as well just get it out and say it. "Well, just before I left, Rhys might of, sort of, kind of asked me to go to dinner with him, and before that, we might of, sort of, kind of... kissed a bit."
There was this cheeky grin that started to spread across Fiona's face when her sister finally told her what she was waiting to hear. "Reaaaalllyyyy?"
"Okay, which one of us is acting like a kid now?" bellowed Sasha, feeling pretty embarrassed about what just transpired. Fiona was beginning to realize this and tried to comfort her sister.
"Sasha, I'm sorry, okay. I didn't mean for it to feel like I was trying to embarrass you or anything, you know me, sometimes I go too far. But come on, it was painfully obvious that you both liked each other, and I am happy for you. I know how much you care about Rhys, and I know that he cares about you as well. You two work well together, and you bring out the best in each other, so I wish you both the best of luck."
Hearing that did make Sasha feel a lot better, it was great to hear her sister be so supportive.
"And if it makes you feel any better; me, Vaughn, Loader Bot, and Gortys had a little pool going as to how long it would take for one of you to finally ask the other out, and I just won $400."
Sasha felt that she should be angry that her friends and her own sister were betting on her personal life, but with the events that had just transpired earlier in the day, nothing could ruin her good mood. But still, the thought of this did piss her off to an extent. "Um, you're welcome, I guess."
"Hey, don't be like that, after all, the money's for you. Use it to buy a new outfit or something for your date, you know, something nice, just don't spend it on guns please."
Sasha was amazed by her sister's generosity, it wasn't like her sister to just give away money like that. She had once asked her for $5 and she had shot her this menacing death stare (her way of saying no), but here she was giving her $400. "Wow, thanks sis, that means a lot."
"No problem. All right, you're free to go now." As Sasha opened the door to go into her room, Fiona remembered one last thing. "Oh, and if he hurts you in anyway, let me know, because I can get that bastard killed in a matter of seconds."
Sasha was a little taken aback from what her sister had just said and was now legitimately worrying for Rhys' sake.
"Relax, I'm just kidding" said Fiona, while muttering under her breath so Sasha didn't hear "kind of."
"Oh…good" said a relieved Sasha as she walked into her room. After she had closed the door, Fiona picked up her ECHO device and immediately called Vaughn at Helios.
"Time to pay up muscle boy."