Eternal Summer – Ch. 9

Title: Eternal Summer
Chapter: 9 – Bad, Grif. BAD!
Rating: PG
Pairing: None Yet (Eventual Grif x Simmons)
Warnings: Swearing

Summary: Simmons isn’t the only one who’s not completely human.

Author’s Notes: My muse disliked this chapter, and rendered it a horrible challenge to complete. Hopefully there won’t be another month’s lag while I work on Chapter 10…

In chapter 8 I mentioned in the comments that my puppy was sick… and those of you who follow my personal journal would already know of his Fate… My darling boy and furry shadow was euthanized on April 11th as a result of uncontrollable seizures. I miss him horribly, but the potential causes were all dire and fatal. Sometimes life leaves you with little but a choice between which evil you would rather have… For me it was living without one of my best friends so he wouldn’t have to suffer any longer.

Special thanks go to [info]miss_poppet, who has offered up her servises and does a wonderful job as the Beta of the series!

Forty-eight hours had passed since a still-drugged Grif had been deposited into the same cell as him, and Simmons still hadn’t managed a very coherent conversation. He’d given up on practical exchanges of information and accepted the fact that it would be awhile before the lucidity ratio was high enough for anything useful to happen. Even if he managed to escape on his own he wouldn’t have managed to drag Grif through when his alertness was so spotty. Even worse was the amount of an escape plan that would count on one of the big blue cat-things not deciding to try and eat them again.

Grif, however, was pacing again. At this point it wasn’t unconsciousness but more of a rise of instinct and pure Kael-ness that was the problem. He seemed to phase in and out of the ability to reach his knowledge of the English language, spending a great deal of time growling in a way that was incoherent to Simmons if you discounted the occasional word. “Spartan” and “United Nations” apparently had no purely K’sar equivalent, and seemed to be a recurring theme to Grif’s rants.

Seated on the cot with his back against the wall, Simmons had no choice but to watch Grif pace. It was like watching a caged tiger while being on the more dangerous side of the bars. The feral quality of his progress was only intensified by the snarling rants. He might have been fully coherent if his eyes weren’t somewhat distant and he didn’t’ occasionally bump into walls or bars without seeming to notice. This bout of pacing had started almost as soon as the sun had broken through the window and seemed to show no indication of stopping. “Grif, goddamnit, stop that!” The order slid out before he could stop it. Worry shivered momentarily down Simmons spine when Grif stopped in his tracks and snarled in his direction before resuming his pacing. Well, he hadn’t been killed yet… “Enough. Shut up and sit down.”

The pacing stopped again, this time Grif’s head cocked and he stared at Simmons for a few seconds. He looked, for all the world, like a curious puppy. Surprise echoed though Simmons’ being as Grif walked towards him and settled on the opposite end of the cot. He would have called Grif an obedient puppy if he hadn’t immediately proceeded to flop sideways and use his thigh as a pillow. “What do you think you’re doing, Grif?”

“Resting.” There was still a rumbling growl overlaid with the words, but the English was a welcome change for Simmons. The obedience was the only clue that Simmons had that he was probably still being affected by whatever that things bite had done to him. Under normal circumstances Grif wasn’t exactly the most obedient of people unless there was something in it for him. He studied Grif for a few moments, craning his neck slightly. He looked pretty much as he had when the Kaelsar had dumped him here, clad in white scrub-type clothes the same as he was. If it weren’t for the clouded look in his eyes and the half-healed and stitched up bite on his face he’d say this was a fairly normal behavior and Grif was using him for a pillow since there wasn’t a pillow anywhere in the cell.

“Grif?” No response came to Simmons’ request. “Dexter?” It was more personal than he normally got, but desperate times called for desperate measures. This time he got a rumbling, somewhat annoyed sounding growl. And Simmons figured that he was getting better at telling what moods certain growls meant. Grif seemed high again, and an evil smirk slid across the auburn-haired man’s face while his green eyes danced. Answers at last. “What is a pack-claim?”

“A Kaelsar makes a pack-claim on a human sometimes.” Grif’s voice was distracted, and his answer simple and without much detail. Simmons poked him in the side in an attempt to get more. “It’s a pack thing.”

“Explain it.” He hoped the demand would result in a ramble of the sort he’d get for annoying Grif into a conversation back in Blood Gulch.

“Nothing to explain. Being claimed as pack makes a human Kaelsar instead.” The snarling chuckle from Grif was slightly disturbing. Even more disturbing was him suddenly rubbing his cheek against Simmons’ stomach.

“What the hell are you doing, Grif?” Carefully pushing against the smaller man with his cybernetic arm, Simmons discovered that he wasn’t going to be able to dislodge him without doing harm. Even as Grif rose to his knees and Simmons added his human hand to the fray the failure continued. It was not fair that someone supposedly still high on the venom of an alien creature managed to maintain this much balance and strength.

“Marking you. Hold still.” Grif wrapped and arm firmly around Simmons’ chest and forced him back against the wall. The cybernetic arms’ gentle shoves were ignored and Grif rubbed his cheek against Simmons’.

“Grif, stoppit!” Another shove, this one has hard as Simmons’ dared against someone he didn’t actually want to hurt, went with the words.

“Packmates touch each other. If you don’t smell like me at all they’ll never accept my claim.” Contrary to the words, the arm released him and Simmons suddenly found himself free. His freedom was incomplete, however, and Grif suddenly sprawled into Simmons’ lap. The expression on Grif’s face dared Simmons to attempt to dislodge him.

“Why do I have to be your pillow?”

“Pull the stick out of your ass, it’s cold in here and the cot’s hard.”

“I do not have a stick in my ass!” The voice Simmons used was filled with his outrage at the accusation.

“Then relax and enjoy the fact that I’m willing to cuddle.” Grif closed his eyes with a finality that Simmons couldn’t find a way to dispute and heaved a long-suffering sigh as he surrendered to the situation. Grif hadn’t been far off the mark when he’d said the room was cold, and he accepted the warmth that was draped across his lap, however much it embarrassed him when the old lady and the silver haired and -eyed Kaelsar showed up an hour later.

The old lady rapped her walking stick sharply on the bars, the resounding clang startling Simmons from his half-doze. Grif’s reaction to the noise was more dramatic, involving a yelp of shock when his muscles failed to respond as quickly as his brain thought they should. Simmons didn’t move from where he was seated, leaving Grif to pull himself up off the floor. What Simmons assumed was a snarl of annoyance must have been some sort of greeting, because the old lady was growling something back.

“I need to learn this language.” Simmons was completely ignored while the three Kaelsar talked. It was clearly important, with Grif intense and drifting closer to the cell bars the longer he spoke with them. Then they left, the door that separated the cells from the rest of the building slamming behind them. “What did they want?”

“Apparently the Space Command is actively looking of us. They’ve narrowed down on this section of the galaxy and have been contacting planetary governments notifying them about wanting to recover us.”

“They’re actually expecting to find us.” Simmons was incredulous. The fact that he and Grif had been uninjured by the exploding teleporter still amazed him and he’d lived it.

Grif laughed, but it was without humor. “They want the armor back.” He sank down and joined Simmons on the cot. “She was threatening to tell them what I really am. Earth’s approach to Kaelsar is no secret here.”

“Why would she make it so that she’s got no choice but to make you stay?”

“I think I disappointed her.” It was another humorless laugh with an undertone of a growl. “She was trying to get me to agree to spy for Kael on the Red Army. I don’t think she believes me when I tell her I’m assigned to the least strategically important command ever.”

“Most people think all Spartans are important super-soldiers.” Simmons tried to be supportive, ignoring the tired look in Grif’s eyes. “They just assume that the Chief is what all Spartans are.”

“I could take the Chief in a fight.” Grif settled back against the wall, eyes sparking with a challenge and a growl rising in his chest.

“Whatever you think,” He sighed, then seized the opportunity and sprawled across the cot to rest his head on Grif’s leg. “Whatever you think.”

“What…” The shock on Grif’s face was priceless, and contradicted the level tone of his voice. “Are you doing?”

“Turnabout’s fair play. You’re the pillow now.”

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