Hope everyone is enjoying things so far. Here's the next bit. R/R if you feel so inclined. :)
The smell wasn't just bad. It was worse than words could describe, which for Elliott was saying quiet a lot. Still, having someone to endure it with him did prove helpful. After all, misery loves company, right?
Behind him, Margo coughed and hacked, ending with an "ugh".
Not that Margo would agree, of course.
In response, Elliott sorted through a cosmetic bag and handed her a small container. "Here, take this."
Margo donned a cloth tied around her nose and over her mouth. When she read the label, her voice was muffled. "Vic's Vapor Rub. You know, I told you that my allergies weren't acting up."
"No, no." Elliott motioned. "Rub it underneath your nose and then that's all you'll be able to smell. Besides, it'll do a better job than that Old Western mask you're wearing."
"It does the job."
"Bring 'round the carriage. Time to rob ye olde bank, part'ner."
Margo punched him in the shoulder. "Shut up." But she did pull down her mask from her face.
Dang, the punch hurt a little, too. She had an arm on her. Elliott had to hide his smile though. He'd been cataloging all the attention (affection?) she'd shown him in the past few hours. Nudging his arm, bumping fists, now a playful punch in the arm. The contact left an enduring mark, like a pebble thrown in water.
Elliott pulled himself together. No, it didn't mean anything. She was scared, right? Wasn't everybody? She was just looking for someone to talk to, someone who might help her. It didn't mean anything.
Margo frowned for a moment. Elliott watched her and said, "You look like you're having a deep thought."
She answered with, "You know, I feel like someone else's already been here."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, it just seems like everything we're looking for: ipods, cell phones, laptops, blackberries, personal DVD players. It feels like someone's been through all this stuff already and taken whatever they wanted. I feel like we're just getting what's already been picked over."
Elliott was about to ask her what would make her think something like that, when the sound of one person applauding slowly and mockingly sounded above them. Both Elliott and Margo flinched their gaze upward.
A flashlight shown down on them. Elliott snapped his eyes shut and averted his gaze. When he adjusted his eyes, he saw a man smirking in the light of his flashlight. "Circle gets the square. I'd tell you what you've won, but we already got the all-expense paid trip to a tropical destination."
Elliott frowned up at the man. "How long have you been here?"
"'Long enough to tell who's the brains are, and it ain't you, small fry."
Elliott looked at Margo. She didn't say anything. She just looked at the man, like, well frankly, like she'd seen a ghost. The guy hiding in the shadows must've scared her more than he'd realized.
Margo wasn't looking at a ghost. Her heart did feel as though it had stopped though. Even though he wasn't a ghost, he was certainly someone she'd never thought she'd see again. She stared right at him, and it became clear that the swaggering, Southern man didn't recognize her. When Margo thought about it, there was really little reason why he should. After all, Margo was barely convinced that she was actually looking upon the same man now.
She raised her voice. "Why are you taking all the electronics from here?"
"Because I like shiny things." He grinned a wide, salesman grin.
No, he still didn't recognize her, but the more he talked, the more Margo became certain that it was him. "Feel like donating them to a worthy cause?"
"I'm not in the business of donating, Mary Jane," he said. "But if you and Peter Parker here have something you'd like to trade, well, that's a different conversation."
Harp sneered at the man. "You know we're bringing as many electronics as we can find back to the beach, so that we can get a signal out and get us all back to where we came from."
"You do what you need to do, hoss," he said. "If you're smart, you'll start worrying about something else besides sending out some half-baked signal."
Margo frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means people are the same here as they are anywhere else, sweet cheeks. When that sun gets high, water starts running out, food gets low, and people start getting tired of this little tropical vacation, tempers are gonna run redder than that hair on your head." He grinned and it made a 'click' sound when he did. "When that happens, well, you'll know where I'll be."
The man swung a well-stuffed bag over his shoulder, tipped an imaginary hat to them, and made his way out of the fuselage. Harp shook his head and sighed. "I know that guy."
Panic seized her, and Margo blanched. "What?"
"I heard Hurley talking about him. His name's Sawyer."
"Oh. I thought you meant like you –knew- him."
"No. It took me a minute to recognize him. He's the same guy who got into that fight with Sayid."
Margo nodded, understanding now. She noticed, "You're really good with names."
"Everyone's good at something, right?"
Margo quieted and rubbed some Vic's vapor rub right beneath her nose. Harp was right; it did make it easier to breathe.
Harp dug deeper into the pile of bags now, fueled by his growing frustration with the man. "But I mean, I know people like him, and people like him are what's wrong with society in gener-"
"Harp, look out!" Margo grabbed Harp by the arm and pulled him towards her. Not a second later, a long, heavy black bag lost its grip on the edge of the overhead container and crashed down with a loud 'bang' right in the spot where Harp had been.
Margo's heavy, panicked breathing matched Harp's. She looked up at him, from where he'd fallen atop her. His face was only inches from hers. "Are you all right?" she asked.
He blinked, as if blinking himself back to reality, and said, "Yeah. Yeah, thanks." He paused and finally changed the subject, "You saved me from what might have been my last headache."
"No problem," Margo said.
Harp pushed himself away from Margo awkwardly and Margo brushed herself off. He made his way over to where the bag had fallen. "What was that?" He crouched down next to the bag and unzipped it. Harp gasped and moved backward from what he found. "Whoa."
Inside the bag was a long, dark sniper rifle along with a tripod and all the necessary tools and equipment. It was also stocked with at least four boxes of ammunition.
Harp stared down at the bag with wide, disbelieving eyes. "Holy shit."
Margo's breathing remained unsteady when she said, "I guess there's at least one thing we found before Sawyer did."