Just a pretend Drifer… Virginia lied on the bed, staring at the ceiling. Her head rested on a thin pillow as the tears stung her cheeks. She allowed her thoughts to stray, the whole scene playing through her head for the twenty-third time in the few hours they had been in Claiborne. The way she rushed ahead and the boulder nearly fell on her. The fact she would have been crushed, lying there in a pool of her own blood without a breath in her body, except…
Except a force crushed against her waist and she found herself flying in the opposite direction of the way she had been running. The instant she was saved, she rushed back to finish her point to Maya. The experienced Drifter did not take too kindly, and slapped her before scolding her that she had just put one of her comrades' life in danger, and when she looked behind, she had no idea which one had saved her life.
On the way out, Gallows had taken the lead, Jet followed, and Clive took up the read, pulling along a depressed Virginia. Every once in a while, Jet would turn around to look at Virginia. Clive's eyes would meet his, and Jet would turn around to make sure Gallows was going the right way and not missing anything important. After a few times of this, Virginia caught his glance, and Jet turned right around.
"Why's he staring at me like that?" Virginia murmured quietly. "I mean I know I screwed up…but…"
"I'm sure he's just concerned," Clive replied. Virginia looked over to the green-haired sniper standing next to her, somewhat surprised by both someone answering her and the answer. "He was the one who pulled you back you know," Clive whispered, making sure only Virginia could hear.
To this, Virginia's face turned more into surprise. "No way!" She replied, attempting to keep her voice to a whisper. "I thought it was you or Gallows!"
Gallows looked over his shoulder, motioning to the sun setting outside of the dungeon. "So do we set up camp, travel, what?" His eyes focused on Virginia, and soon Jet's eyes set on her as well.
"Umm…" Virginia stumbled, looking about outside, trying to clear her head.
"Well, we certainly cannot stay in here, or whoever has guard duty will have one hell of a job tonight," Clive interjected.
Jet looked outside from the corner of his eye, and focused back on Virginia. "We're wasting time."
"Then let's go as far as we can, and if we can't see Claiborne by the time it gets really dark, then we'll set up camp," Gallows suggested.
"We won't have much time then, with the cliffs, shall we head off leader?" Clive asked after nodding to Gallows.
Virginia looked up at Clive, nodding in agreement to the plan, and silently thanked him. The Drifters set off, much in the same formation they had been in before.
The sun set, and the Drifters made it to Claiborne when there only a few sprinkles of light left in the sky.
Virginia found herself staring at the ceiling. Her eyes closed once more.
She tried to remember that moment.
Remember it specifically, trying to incoporate the information Clive had given her on the way out of the Serpant Coils.
Jet crouched low and ran in front of her, before using his weight to swing back around and grab her. She hadn't been paying much attention as she flew back and landed on her butt and the arm around her waist let go. She was looking too much in front of her to see who had rescued her.
No, there was a hint of red…and white tattered cloth.
Clive had been telling the truth!
In a sudden panic, she sat up in the bed quickly. Her heart pounded and her breath became short. It was Jet who had rushed in uncharacteristically to save her life. It was Jet who grabbed her tightly around the waist and pushed off the ground to bring her back to safety. It was Jet who had risked his life… for… her? "Why would Jet do that? Why risk his life to save mine?" Virginia looked about the room and looked down at herself. "I have to thank him!" She cried out, leaping to her feet. With her braid bouncing up and down, she dashed out of the room, jumping down the stairs into the semi-crowded bar. Her brown eyes scanned about, looking for her team mates, any of them would do. When she finally spotted Clive sitting at a table by himself, she rushed over and joined him.
"Feeling better?" The sniper asked, focusing on her.
Her voice, full of alarm Clive could not understand, answered "Where's Jet?"
"Hmm," Clive replied, pushing his glasses in his nerdy way. "Gallows went to the ARMs smith, and I believe Jet simply got up and walked out. Sorry, I suppose that wasn't much help leader." Without another word, Virginia got up from her seat and walked out.
She took a deep breath and hugged herself, the cool desert night air chilling her. Maya's words were still hurting her, but she was not about to let Jet go on without her thanking him. Perhaps he was trying something new, so the best thing she could do was encourage his kindness and appreciation for others. Virginia stepped off of the saloon's porch and looked about. Claiborne was not exactly huge, but even so, she was unable to the find the white-haired "punk" as Gallows loved to call him. She figured he was just shy, and maybe, just maybe, this would help open him up to them. With that thought in mind, she called out "Jet?"
There was a soft shuffle behind her, and she looked over her left shoulder. There stood the Drifter, arms folded, leaning against a support beam for the porch, face buried in his red and white scarf. Without moving his body, his eyes looked to Virginia, acknowledging her prescence.
"Jet…" Virginia said walking towards him. "Umm…" Virginia looked down to the ground and held her hands to her chest. "Thank you…" She looked up at him and saw his expressionless face, which encouraged her to go on. "I…I'm so sorry. You rushed out to save my life, and I didn't even acknowledge you…And Jet…thank you so much…" She reached her hand out to touch his arm.
Jet didn't respond. He pushed his arm up to get Virginia's hand off of him. Seeing an opportunity, Virginia lept towards him, arms around his neck. "Wh-What are you doing!" Jet exclaimed, his arms up at his sides, rather flustered.
Virginia closed her eyes as she rested her head on his shoulder. There was something she found there, a bit of comfort, solace, she couldn't pinpoint it. She knew Jet was uncomfortable, so after a moment, she pulled back. "It's called a hug, Jet, it's what friends do to support each other!"
Jet stared her down, though both felt something oddly different. Naturally, Jet still carried his expressionless face. "If you're done, you better get back inside. Don't hold us back tomorrow."
Virginia looked up a little hurt. Her eyes roamed about. She found herself wondering why he saved her, but could not find any expanation. The words to ask the question did not come either, and Jet walked away from her towards the stables.
The brown-haired girl looked after him and sighed quietly. "Am I just pretending?" Dejected, Virginia walked back inside and to the groups' room.
Jet folded is arms, leaning against the side of the stable. A white horse walked over to him, pushing its head against his shoulder. Jet brushed his hand down its mane, the horse let him return to his thoughts. "A friend? A hug, huh?" He shook his head. "Not for me." Jet returned to the saloon, and Gallows stood there watching, arms folded against his chest.
"That punk's hiding something. A lot of something. Bound to kill the damn kid if he keeps it all up inside…" Gallows spoke to himself aloud before wandering into the saloon to join Clive.