A/N: Hey all! For this one shot I've borrowed skywalker05's beautifully crafted Noble Six from her fic "If There Are Wolves Among The Stars" and the various one shots surrounding it. If you haven't read any of those, I recommend you check them out because they are amazing! If this one shot manages to have a percentage of the awesome-ness her's has, I'll be very happy indeed!
I loved writing this fic, even though writing from Jorge's point of view was challenging. I hope you enjoy it and he isn't too OoC.
Headaches in Colour
When Kat says, casually, that Emile and Six are well matched, Jorge finds himself bristling. They are not. Six is optimistic, and always looks for the best in things...Emile doesn't. Even if he tried, he couldn't. He can't stop his brain from telling him that everyone's face will fade to a skull sooner or later. Besides, he's far better suited to the cool sassiness of Rosenda than the chirpy, happy-go-lucky nature of Six. Emile would smother her with his pessimism.
And then Jorge realises his error. Kat was talking tactically not emotionally.
He immediately feels uncomfortable even though he hadn't voiced his thoughts to anyone. None of the team are even looking at him anyway; they're all too busy watching Emile and Six through the reinforced glass that separates the fighters from the observers. The room's small, way too small for three Spartan Threes and a Spartan Two but they squeeze in all the same. The room they usually train in has been overtaken by a large group of marines for the day (much to Emilie's irritation) and Noble Team has been allocated the smaller, colder training room squashed in at the back of the base. Thankfully, this is only the first part of training; soon Carter will instruct them all outside where Jorge won't feel so much like a giant in a doll's house.
Emile and Six haven't been sparring very long but their battle is a vicious one. When they spar like this, they shed their armour and only wear helmets. Six's orange helmet looks far too sunny against Emile's stormy grey one. He's using every ounce of his strength to win, always wanting to be the best but Six is desperately pulling out every trick she's ever been taught, hoping that, if she wins, she'll be accepted into the group a little more. It isn't that the team dislikes her, Jorge thinks, it's just that they were in the habit of liking Thom. Jorge likes her but he doesn't voice it. It doesn't do to draw attention to something like that. Besides, he doesn't know much about it himself. There's something different in the way he sees her compared to everyone else but he can't place what it is. There's an odd feeling of uncertainty that pools in his stomach when he thinks about her and he doesn't like it all. But now he has it, the idea of it going away makes him feel empty.
It just doesn't make sense and thinking about it too much makes Jorge's head hurt. Whatever it is, he's pretty sure he's not meant to be thinking about it anyway, emotion had been cut out of him and, without it, he couldn't even yearn for it. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knows that that should make him feel sad. It doesn't. It just gives him a dull, niggling headache.
A shout from Jun doesn't help. Jorge realises that the others are completely focused on the fight and Jorge wonders when he found the ability to do anything other than focus. Through the glass, he sees Emile has managed to pin Six to the floor but she thrashes and manages to flip him back over. He lies on his back helplessly and her knees dig in to his shoulders. Jorge can hear Emile snarling, always a sore loser and he pushes her off him. Carter opens the door and claps Six on the back as a way of congratulations and Jun is about to make a remark about Emile losing to the new girl but Kat nudges him into silence. Emile is already pulling back on his armour and winding him up while he has a Kukri in his hands is never a good idea. Six slowly makes her way over to her orange armour that's in a pile against the wall. The armour looks so warm compared to the clinical steel of the base's walls.
Carter is deep in conversation with Kat about where it would be best to train outside while Jun listens in, prepping himself to find the angle already. The team have done enough of this sort of training together for these events to be nothing extraordinary but it was rare that they had the whole day to plan it. Rest didn't come often to Spartans and, when it did come, they were all much more comfortable when they were training than they were waiting around in the base. Spartans didn't have hobbies. Not many anyway. Jorge liked to play cards and he liked it even more when he won...which he always did. Now he thought of it, none of the others had hobbies. Jorge had no idea when he had become so...human.
He shook himself. That wasn't true, of course. He was nowhere near human. He was probably more alien than human now but he was sure hadn't been like this when he was younger. He had more focus then, more drive. And less headaches. If he was honest, he had never had headaches until this new Six had arrived. Not that he blamed her, there was just something...something that he couldn't place. Something kept bringing the conversations they'd had to the forefront of his mind. Yesterday, she'd told him about her last job where she hadn't been granted the permission to speak to anyone and he'd told her about how he'd had to learn the ways the Threes talked to each other, the hand signals, the whistling.
"Are you ok, Jorge?" Six asked, now fully armoured. Her voice sounds American but that doesn't mean much now. That was just the way she was made.
"You did well, Emile's tough to beat. And I warn you: he's a sore loser."
"I can believe it." He can hear her smile and it makes him grin too. "He won't sabotage my efforts when we get outside, will he?"
When Jorge looked he saw that Emile was striding off in front of everyone else, still sulking and Kat and Carter were still discussing the merits of training on the hillside versus the merits of the river bank. Grunts had been spotted in both areas and they would do well to keep the team well-oiled and exercised. Nothing too strenuous on their days off. Jun was following behind them, most likely hoping for the hillside so he could climb high and leave his problems on the ground below.
Jorge laughs and shakes his head as he and Six trail behind the others. "I shouldn't think so. He's not really one for pranks. Jun's the most likely to do that."
Six attaches her pistol to her hip and thinks for a moment before she says, "No, I suppose not. Emile doesn't seem like he would like that sort of thing. He does seem to enjoy his own sort of humour though. It's just how he gets through, I guess."
Jorge looks down at her in surprise as they pass through the large doors of the base and into the sun. His visor immediately darkens and for the briefest of moments, her armour looks red. He had never thought about Emile like that.
They walked in companionable silence towards the others who had stopped at the bottom on a steep hill and Jorge wondered what Six thought of the others too. No one had ever really thought of Emile as anything other than bitter but Six had managed to find some good in him, something real. He wondered what she saw when she looked at Carter's handsome face, at Jun's camouflage, at Kat's arm. What did she see when she looked at him? He wanted to ask her but he wasn't sure he knew the words and she was focused on Carter's orders about how high up the hill all of them were meant to go and where they would all stationed and...why wasn't Jorge focused on this?
Thankfully, his destination flashed up on his HUD. As they all split, taking their own routes, he follows the directions at a leisurely pace; a man of Jorge's size couldn't hurry very easily and he wasn't in the mood to push it. It took him a little longer than it should to reach his assigned position and when he stops, he finds himself stood at the edge of the hillside, his turret gun trained on the open jaws of the valley. And right there, Jorge finds peace. A blissful silence that he hadn't known he'd been craving.
But all too soon his sharp hearing picks up a rustle behind him and a yellow dot slowly slides onto his HUD. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a glint of orange.
"Six." He greets her quietly only taking his eyes off the valley in front of him for the briefest of moments. She nods and pulls a DMR off her back. It seems that since their partnership at the Visegrad Relay Outpost where they had worked so well together, Carter was happy to pair them up again. Jorge had no objections.
"Keep your eyes peeled, people." Carter's voice said in his ear. "Grunts everywhere around here. Six, Jorge, you'll probably have first sight."
Now Jorge could focus. With a mission, however small, he could push his uncertainty aside. War he was certain of. He was certain of how easily his turret gun would cut through the lines of grunts, he was certain Emile would use his Kukri as soon as he could, he was certain that Carter would fight next to Kat and not leave her side until one of them gave the whistle that it was all clear. He was certain that Jun was happy to be alone with nothing other than his rifle for company.
But, he realised as he heard the first screech of a grunt, he wasn't certain about Six. Would she stay at his side and use her pistol like Kat did with Carter? Or would she choose to work alone and use her knife like Emile? The first grunt swayed into view and before Jorge could pull the trigger, it was dead. Six was staring down the barrel of her DMR and not moving an inch. It seemed she would stay by him and they would work together.
And he felt relieved. Not because he needed her, but because he liked having her there. Two minutes and scores of grunts later, Carter whistled and Noble team stood down, lowering weapons and reattaching them to their backs or hips.
Jorge walked next to Six as the team converged and Kat began pushing Carter to take the team to train at the riverbank as well. Jorge glanced at Six, who was watching Kat and Carter with interest, and wondered what she looked like under the visor, the colour and the metal. He winced.
He could feel a headache coming on.
I hope you liked it and please leave a review! I do so love them.