Title: Eternal Summer
Chapter: 5 – No Arguments
Pairing: None Yet (Eventual Grif x Simmons)
Warnings: Swearing, Violence
Summary: Simmons isn’t the only one who’s not completely human.
Author’s Notes: I’m apologize for taking a full week to get the next chapter out… I kept deciding to re-write sections or changed my mind about how the chapter that would follow this one would be structured. Currrently, I’m still in limboo about the details of chapter 6, but I wrote this one into something that I could go either of the executions I’m considering without an issue. I figure now that I’ve got bboth incarnations of chhapter 6 outlined, I’ll probobly write sooemthing somewhere between the two, as they both go in the same direction in the end.
A special thanks to everyone who commented. I felt bad leaving you all in the lurch so long while I decided exactly how to handle this chapter and the one to follow. I’m thinking I’ll probobly get this updated once a week from here on out with how busy things have been in my life.
Simmons dragged himself upright, groaning as he sank back against one of the trees. His brain was still in partial shutdown, but he pulled himself together enough to notice the orange helmet resting on the grass. The only coherent thing he was able to do was turn his head, looking for Grif, who seemed to be nowhere. For several minuets he just leaned against his tree, slowly recovering and gaining the sense of mind to start taking inventory. It only took a minuet for him to establish that he’s survived the blast with minimal damage.
Just before he was ready to see how functional his legs really were, the crunch of heavy steps amongst the trees behind him made Simmons freeze. His hand drifted to his pistol, drawing it out before the familiar voice interrupted him.
“Put that thing away. You’re going to offend someone doing things like that.” Grif collapsed in a boneless heap next to him, waiting for Simmons to return the gun to hiding. “What happens when teleporters blow up?”
“Dunno. Apparently weird shit.” Simmons kept his voice down, trying to push aside the pounding that rang through his temples. “Why did you take your helmet off? What if the air was poisonous?”
“Ran a scan, first. But that was after I figured out where we are.” Grif wasn’t able to keep the smug tone out of his worried voice. “But it’s not good if I’m right. How many worlds do you know of with three moons. 2 visible during the day.”
“I think we’re on Kael.” Grif sighed the words.
“We should be good then. Weren’t you born on Kael?”
“I was born on earth. But you can’t grow up anywhere being Kaelsar and not learn about the only place in the galaxy we can run to without the UNSC hunting us down.” He shrugged, sounding worried. “And before you ask, I’ve never been here. Humans don’t visit Kael. Kaelsar make sure of it. My family has been masquerading as human for generations. I’m the first one to be here in generations.”
Simmons took a deep breath, mulling over what Grif said, while the man pushed himself back to his feet. He paced between the trees, scanning the area as she moved. Grif’s expression was dark, but his thoughts were darker. Kael was isolated, and without access to serious equipment they wouldn’t be able to get a lift off the plant. But if Simmons was going to survive it was going to take some serious doing. Kaelsar didn’t have a lot of patience for humans, particularly humans anywhere near their planet. Those that did live here did so under the protection of Kaelsar bound to them by pack ties.
“Do we have any sort of plans?” Simmons still wasn’t fully alert. He was pretty sure he’d taken a blow to the head.
“Yes.” Grif took a deep breath, turning his eyes to scan the trees again. “We try and find civilization. And when we do, you don’t argue with anything I say if you want to live.”
“Now, tell me again why I have to act like I’m your pet?”
“Simmons, I told you, they’ll kill you if they think you’re not under my control in some way. And that assumes they don’t kill us on sight for being Spartans.” He reached up and rapped the helmet still firmly covering his head. Grif’s own was hanging from his opposite hand. “Take that thing off. Please. They’ll treat you like a sentient thing instead of a Spartan drone if you do.” he didn’t let on that he wasn’t positive of that. He just knew the chances were better with helmets off.
“What if we get attacked by something?”
“We fight it like we would with the things on.” His voice was a sigh. Most of his avoidance of combat was to circumvent adrenaline. Adrenaline was a curse for a Kaelsar trying to hide it’s true nature. Simmons decided to surrender to Grif’s request, wondering how true the claims he was making were. He’d never seen many references of direct contact happening on a peaceful basis at all between the UNSC and the Kaelsar at all. Simmons walked in silence for a long time, enjoying the unfamiliar sensation of a cool breeze through his hair, which was rather shaggy and grown out from the regulation crop. His only real worry was sunburn and the strange metallic taste of this world’s air.
The hike was long, and the thick foliage caused almost constant problems for the pair (mostly due to the restrictions full armor put on movement). Simmons was starting to consider heatstroke a potential problem with their helmets off, possibly more deadly than the possibility of Kaelsar attacking first and asking questions later. The heat had him distracted enough so that he failed to notice what Grif did. The soft sounds of padded feet following them had the small man worried and looking over his shoulder constantly. The noise was either a very dangerous hunter tracking them, or his imagination, and he wasn’t willing to drop his guard on the off chance it was the former.
Dexter Grif’s worries proved to be well founded when they paused for a breather. As they took advantage of the breeze afforded by a small clearing the first tentacle-like appendage lashed out to knock Simmons solidly against one of the trees. The sleek creature responsible for the attack was vaguely feline in shape, but with a pair of long and flexible tentacles extending from its shoulders. The skin of the creature was indigo and smooth as oiled leather. It circled with a savage snarl while Grif moved to engage. Aggression, an artifact of the stress and trials of the past 24 hours, surged to the surface. Thoughts of the pistol tucked into his armor didn’t cross his mind, instead he moved in and struck Using the weapons given to him by his genetic legacy. Dangerous silver claws extended from each fist to be used to slash, while the spikes at wrist and elbow were put into deadly effect.
By the time Simmons was able to reach his feat and draw his gun Grif was already in too close of combat with the beast for him to be able to risk taking a shot. The creature and Grif spun, stabbed and struck in a deadly dance. The blue-creature leapt and tore with teeth and claws while Grif stabbed and sliced. Almost as suddenly as the battle had erupted it was over, leaving only splashes of gore on trees and grass, and the stilled hulk of the monster itself as evidence that anything had come to pass. Grif was on his knees in a pool of the creature’s viscous violet blood and gasping for breath. As Simmons stepped closer he could hear the growls still vibrating through the other man. “Grif?” He stepped forward carefully, both trying not slip on the blood-slicked grass or set off Grif. Combat did funny things to people, and the thoughts drifting through his brain were making dark suggestions as to what combat might do to the more aggressive Kaelsar.
“Si.. Simmons?” The dark eyes were unfocused and faraway. Grif sagged slightly to one side, seeming almost limp as Simmons knelt in the gore in before him. Grif’s face bore the evidence of bite marks that sent trails of blood down his cheek, while his armor was dented and the paint striped off in long stripes.
“Are you alright, Grif?” Simmons balanced on the balls of his feet in front of Grif, not liking the way the pupils dilated so much that the iris was reduced to a silvered brown rim. Simmons ignored he intense growl that came from Grif when he reached out and grabbed Grif under the edges of the armors’ chest plate, dragging him to his feet. “Common. We can’t stay where this thing is bleeding.”