Title: Eternal Summer
Chapter: 3 – Untitled (someday I’ll think of a good chapter name for this one)
Pairing: None Yet (Eventual Grif x Simmons)
Warnings: Swearing, Explosives
Summary: Simmons isn’t the only one who’s not completely human.
Author’s Notes: I’d just like to start by saying that this opening of this chapter was next to impossible to make say what I wanted it to say. What you’re looking at is actually the second complete attempt at getting the chapter underway. It wouldn’t have been so difficult if I had had a simpler time getting the stupid thing underway. I’m pleased to have even gotten anything sensible to come out of my head at 2AM when I wrote the original draft.
A special thanks goes out to those who’ve commented. It was you guys who inspired me to keep working through the issues and actually polishing this chapter into something I could post.
The Kael species was known for being driven by instinct and Dexter Grif was no exception. Each step he took towards Simmons was matched by a step from the Maroon-armored Spartan. Each little bit of retreat empowered Grif’s instinct to follow, to prove he was the more powerful of the two. The drive to improve his place in the mismatched excuse for a pack was quickly becoming the most important thing his brain was willing to process. The sniper rifle dropped from his fingers as he advanced, clattering on the concrete as it fell.
When Simmons backed himself into one of the crenelations Grif was there in a heartbeat, planting a hand to either side of his head to create a makeshift trap that would at least keep him there while he decided how best to force the lesson he wanted.
“What the hell are you doing?” The voice was little more than a hiss, causing Grif’s head to tilt in consideration, ignoring the Maroon-armored figure’s head jerking from side to side as he searched for escape. He’d caught it, and now he’d do what he wanted with the Beta. Or he would have, if he knew what he wanted to do with it. This was a pack mate, not an enemy, so he wasn’t for killing. He leaned in closer, still considering, growling when the man tried to shove him back.
“Grif, Simmons?” Just as quickly as the instinct had risen up to dominate Grif’s brain it slid back into the recesses. He moved away from Simmons, forcing the snarl rising in his throat back down as he turned to face Donut, who was bounding up to the top of the base.
“What, Rookie?” Simmons latched onto the normalcy of the situation quickly, embracing it as an excuse not to face whatever had just happened to Grif.
“Sarge said I was supposed to go up here and drive the two of you nuts instead of him.” Donut kicked at imaginary dirt for a moment then looked back up. “I think Sarge did it so we can work on planning his next Birthday.”
“I refuse to be involved in this conversation.” The mutter from Grif was accompanied by him recovering the sniper rifle from where it had fallen. He left Simmons to explain to Donut exactly why the “Return of Officer Hotpants’ was not going to be an acceptable theme for festivities still half a year away. Instead he used the scope on the rifle to scan the other base for Blue Activity. The one in light blue armor, Church, was talking to the tank. He was gesturing fairly dramatically, while the muzzle of the main gun on the tank turned occasionally to face Red Base. Within ten minuets the rest of Blue Team had joined the tank, and where listening to the “Commanding Officer”.
“Simmons… I think they’re planning something…”
“Grif, it’s been over an hour. I don’t care what y’ think you saw. Their not gonna attack.” Sarge made the declaration with unflinching confidence. “We’ve been waiting for this attack too long. Simmons, next time don’t bother reporting his hallucinations unless the blues are actually shooting at us.” Anger rolled off the sergeant in waves as he stomped out of sight.
“I don’t think I’m going to stay here. Sarge is pretty angry, and it’s at you two. I think it would be best if I didn’t get involved.” Donut vanished before anybody could retort. Simmons’ shifted nervously, taking up a position where he was between Grif and the Exit. He refused to be trapped up here by a raving lunatic without any options other than the hope of another raving lunatic to showing up to break whatever trance Grif had fallen into if he fell into.
“I’m telling you, something is going to happen.” Grif was frustrated, the feeling of brewing battle engulfing is senses. He could say with absolute confidence that the Blues would attack. What he couldn’t say was when, where, or how they would do so. In fact, he couldn’t even put into words why he knew they would strike. Instead he pushed aside the bone deep feeling that combat was eminent and contented himself with trying to figure out where the Blues and their tank had Gotten to.
Simmons crossed his arms over his chest, pacing a line a few strides long in front of the ramp. “I don’t care what you think is going on today. As long as you don’t try to kill me again.”
“If I was trying to kill you you’d already be dead.” The words slid off his tongue before he could censor them. The persona of Private Grif didn’t possess any confidence in his fighting ability, preferring to hide rather than fight. Since nearly falling from the Gulch wall he’d lost the control he’d developed over the confidence born of being impossible to disarm without actually having ones arms removed. Being the only example of his species in a box canyon full of primarily humans didn’t help him maintain a more humble opinion of his own abilities, either.
“Well, whatever you were planning to do to me, don’t plan on doing it again.” Grif decided on ignoring Simmons for the time being, instead returning to his search for life forms of the Blue variety. The base on the other end of the canyon was devoid of even a sentry.
By the time the third hour of nothingness slipped by Grif was starting to wonder if they’d missed the arrival and departure of an evacuation shuttle. Blue Base remained as still and silent as death. Even Simmons seemed to have given up on the idea of anything happening today, using the teleporter to shelter from the intensity of the setting sun. Surrendering to the fact that Sarge was probably right, Grif finally leaned the sniper rifle against a crenelation and joined Simmons. He leaned heavily against the stone edge of the green glowing portal. “Do you think the Blues have finally realized how worthless this stupid place is?”
“You seriously haven’t seen any signs of life in hours?”
“I haven’t even seen signs of artificial life. Where the hell did they find to hide a tank?” Grif shrugged with the shoulder not leaned against anything. They chattered back and forth for a few moments, finding the natural rhythm that seemed to exist between them before the retort of a 90 millimeter tank canon interrupted. The shell struck directly between them, square on the teleporter. The resulting explosion tore apart a quarter of the base, sending debris and shrapnel flying.
Simmons groaned as he tried to move. He couldn’t wrap his mind around language as he tried to pull himself together. Even forcing his eyes to open was a challenge, but when it was accomplished shock rolled over him in waves. A rich green canopy extended above, and the trunks of trees were thick surrounding him.