Aunt Gilly!


brynn_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif joe_icon.gif lance_icon.gif

Scene Title Aunt Gilly!
Synopsis The LH Kids get a visit from one of their 'moms,' only it's not exactly the best news.
Date February 24, 2018

Lance's Apartment

"…happened to all my peanut butter," is shouted from the kitchenette as Lance discovers that there isn't any. Or more to the point, there's two empty jars that were carefully placed back as though they were full.

It's a small apartment, just a single living room with attached kitchenette, a bedroom off to one side, and a bathroom with a shower stall. The furniture's been mostly scavenged, from milk-crate shelving units to an old ratty couch that he found and got up here sometime. There's an old television on top of some of those milk crates, but signal's spotty - it's mostly used for the old Playstation hooked up to it. A radio next to it is playing some cheerful tunes off WSZR, adding a bit of emotional warmth to the slightly drafty place.

Joe comes out of the bathroom. Cuz that's where he was hiding. Or he was just using the bathroom, either or. He comes out though, drying his hands on his jeans and pauses when he hears the shout. His head turns left, then right, eyes ducking into the living room. Who's there that he could blame? Brynn? Nah Lance would never buy it. "Dude. You should have seen it!" Joe comes into the kitchenette. "You should have seen it! There were these peanutbutter stealing ninjas, and they broke in through the window. All super silent. I was busy playing Playstation but all our commando training kicked in. It was like a tingle, like Spider Sense, and I turned and charged them. But they were so fast I couldn't hit them. They knew they couldn't get out with the peanut butter so they ninja fast ate it all! It was amaaaaaazing!."

Joe turns and walks over to a plastic walmart bag, but it's dirty, and been reused. "But… lucky for you I went to Redhook and bartered for two more jars of peanut butter. I may… have gotten hungry and eaten half of one though. But one and a half is better than none right? Right?" He flashes a hopeful grin at Lance, holding the bag out as an offering.

Brynn sleeps on the couch in that main room, so there is a pillow and a blanket piled in the corner of the room so that the guys can use the Playstation. She's sprawled out on her stomach on the floor, sketching something in the pad that she found in the market. 'Sketching' but not with her pencils, really. Her attention is entirely riveted on that, and she is oblivious to the holler from the kitchen. Communal living at its finest with a deaf person. Joe's feet pass by her sketch pad and bring her eyes up briefly, but then he's in the kitchen and she's back to ignoring the boys. It's a usual state of affairs when she's sketching.

"Peanut butter ninjas." Lance just looks at Joe for a long moment, and then with a roll of his eyes he reaches out to snatch the bag away and turn back to load up the cabinet - taking down the emptied jars and setting them on the counter for later use. He tries not to throw anything away - even glass jars can be valuable supplies. "Ri-i-i-ight. And then I suppose you judo-threw them out my window?"

Brynn actually gets a pat on the head as Joe passes her by. You know, with a damp hand. It's clean though! Smells like soap and everything! He passes by her and into the kitchen to tell his outlandish tale. "No. I did not judo throw them out your window. /I/ would have captured them. Brynn scared them off with all sorts of color explosions around the apartment. Don't worry though I made sure she cleaned them all up." Joe dips his head in a slow sage nod. "Should have seen those ninjas run. Though I did hear one of them complimenting the peanut butter. Something about it being spicy and tasting kinda like pad thai. Said it was delicious. So he was totally robbing and complimenting you at the same time."

Joe walks over and leans against a tiny patch of counter, his hands tucked into his pants pockets. "I know a lady that makes honey. No clue where she has the bees, but she makes honey. I could totally get you some. Offered to help her gather it since well…" It's Joe. And the bees so can't hurt him.

You know, to fill one of the empty jars.

The hair ruffle brings her eyes back up, and she can tell they're now hanging out and chatting. Brynn closes the sketch pad and levers up off the floor to head that way. What's going on? she asks as she goes around Joe toward the fridge to seek out a drink. She managed to finagle, of all things, a couple of cans of soda yesterday! Although when she opens the fridge, there's one missing. And she peers at them both, rather accusingly. Then she takes the last one and comes back to them.

As they're peered at, Lance immediately thrusts a finger in Joe's direction. It was him! (It was not.) Then his hands dance briefly in Brynn's direction, Joe at all the peanut butter. He knows where he can get honey though. Then he's cocking his head back to the other man, brows lifting, "Well, I wouldn't mind some good honey. Especially with us going into allergy season and all."

Fighting off peanut butter ninjas was thirsty work. Joe signs at Brynn, apparently totally ready to take the rap for the soda since he totally ate all of Lance's peanut butter. I'll try to get you some more Brynnie. But you did great scaring off those ninjas. Lance doesn't believe me about the ninja attack. I told him you were the hero of the day. Scared them off and everything. Can you believe it? Lance of all people doesn't believe me. I'm wounded, injured.. Joe clutches a hand to his chest and twirls around a little bit before falling to the ground with a hard thud. Hard enough that anyone else they'd probably need to be concerned. Joe… well Joe just lays there for a few moments, then cracks one eye open to peer up at them. Really? No concern at all? And here I thought we were family. He grins as he picks himself up off of the floor.

In more serious note though… did you guys see? About the red cross food supplies being raided? I… I mean I know there are assholes out there. But people are starving. I think we should investigate. And I can totally score us some honey. I've got a babysitting job tonight. But it's only till like 10. We should go scout out other places where food is being held and ambush the jerks who are taking it.

Too used to the antics of these two to even be remotely surprised — hence why she peered at BOTH of them, cuz one was going to cover for the other no matter who actually did it — Brynn just rolls her eyes. And then he falls on the floor and she peers over the counter with nothing more than a quirked eyebrow. Peanut butter ninjas? Really? Shaking her head at him, she almost looks away and then he's signing. She looks alarmed.

Wait, what? she demands, her hands flying. What about the Red Cross? How much food was taken? Why would people do that?? No one else is any better off than they are. Which…. may not be accurate. It would have been more accurate back home, but that's rural Canada. The city may not work that way. She looks between them, at a loss. You wanna go out and chase down thieves? she asks Joe, and then she looks at Lance. Because…. well, she'd like to think he's the more level-headed of the two, but… well…

"Whoa, whoa, whoa— " Lance starts waving his hands back and forth in a 'stop' signal as he looks between the pair, "Ix-nay on the vestigation-way. We are not superheroes or cops or anything, man." He's shaking his head energetically, hands starting to move so Brynn can understand better, No crazy heroics! We're supposed to be trying to live normally!

Uhhh why are you acting so confused Brynn? You were THERE! You were the one who scared them off! Really? You're gonna play innocent now? Get me in trouble? Fine. I shall bear the brunt of it all. I will be held solely reponsible for the great peanut butter theft of 2018. I've been held responsible for all the other ones too. The peanut butter massacre of 2012, the peanut butter vanishings of 2015. All of them. He huffs out a breath and tilts his head back, chin and nose going up in the air like he's a stoic martyr read to face his judgement. Shit… sorry Brynn. I forget. Cuz they don't have communication problems. ASL and LHC are as natural to him at this point as English is. Yeah. Red cross food storage got pilfered by some dastardly villains. Which means more starving people. And it needs to be dealt with and handled.

Joe looks between the two of them clearly expecting them to be all on board for the investigations and stopping of criminals. So when they're… not he looks surprised. There's an outright snort, and a signed note of derision to go with his snort. Yes we are. We are too and you know it. And uhhh… He looks between them both. In what way would this not be normal for us? I mean… Lance you and I are like… special ops level trained. And Brynn is no slouch either. Between your sound powers and her color powers… they'd never know we were there. Until it's too late.

Brynn looks relieved at Lance's signing. Joe's explanation is merely nodded to, but then she's also shaking her head 'no way!' 'Normal' doesn't include chasing down food thieves, I'm pretty sure, she points out, trying to be reasonable. Lance is right, Joey! We're not cops, and we don't want to be cops. And besides, if we get involved, that'll put us in the PATH of cops! The last thing we're supposed to do here is draw attention. And how're you gonna track them in a city anyway? We didn't learn city tracking.

Lance slumps back against the counter in the kitchenette, one hand coming up to rub over his face. "I don't want to be a superhero, Joe," he insists, before moving back to cant, Just let the authorities handle it. We've got enough trouble looking for jobs and making sure we can all eat!

Joe looks surprised at Brynn's protests, well more surprised since he was already surprised at her and Lance's protests. What? Are we a bunch of muggles now with no powers? I didn't think that we of all people would be the ones to bury our heads in the sand and do nothing while other people suffer. He levels a stern look on the other two. The looks is one hundred percent Brian. He looks between them both and sighs, then shakes his head. Fine. I hate fighting with you guys. I won't try to drag you into it. Sorry that wasn't fair of me. We've all suffered and I… I get it. I understand you guys just wanting to be normal.

Joe looks legitimately chagrined about trying to browbeat them into going with him. Sorry. He wanders out of the kitchen and over into the living room, taking a seat on the couch and leaning back, letting his head flop back onto the back of the couch so he can stare up at the ceiling. So what are you guys up to today? Any plans? Stuff to do? I heard the Rookery reopened. We should go take a look.

Aaaaannnnnd then he's off. Brynn quails a little at the Brian face. She has seen the disappointed Brian face far more often than probably these two… if only because she had a serious problem learning weapons and such. It took a long time to get her past the automatic flinching that sent every shot wide. I'm not a muggle, she objects, looking down so he can't see how much he hurt her feelings. Of course, it also hurts her feelings that with just the three of them here, there's already that immediate division of perspective. I thought you wanted a normal life too? How are the three of us supposed to find out anything when there's a whole police force to do it…? It's not like home. And she doesn't look up to see Joe's answer, busying her hands with opening her soda because maybe he's going to give her that Look again.

Lance reaches out, hand sliding over Brynn's shoulder and giving it a firm and reassuring squeeze. "This is exactly why Gillian left," he points out quietly, stepping out of the kitchen area as well with a shake of his head, falling back into voice since Brynn isn't looking up anyway, "She didn't want— that for us, she just wanted us to be kids." Seriousness from Lance, for once. Then he's blinking, "You want to go to Staten Island?"

Joe sits on the couch, and he sighs, lifting a hand to pinch the bridge of his nose for a few moments. Then he pushes up off of the couch and walks himself into the kitchen, stepping over to Brynn and Lance, and he wraps arms around them both unless either tries to dodge away, and will pull them into a tight hug, gripping them each. "I'm sorry." He murmurs, though he can't sign since HUG! He will hold the hug for a few moments, then step back and look to both of them, hands lifting to sign. I'm truly sorry. That wasn't cool or right of me. That was a complete asshole move. And… very Brian of me. He spent a lot more time with Brian than any of the other kids. And the man has rubbed off on him in some ways. He steps back slowly, his head hung. He did wrong and he knows it. I… He lets his hands drop back down and tucks them into his pockets, standing there fidgeting, shifting his weight from foot to foot.

Squished as she is into the hug, Brynn just smiles slightly. Her brothers…. they might be jerks sometimes. But they're her brothers. She rests her head on Joe's head, then when he steps back, she waves off the apology. It's okay. I just…. this wasn't supposed to be … all of us moving to New York and becoming a vigilante crew, you know? I mean… we spent our whole lives trying to survive. Things are supposed to be better for us now. She looks a little sad. I don't want you to go off by yourself, either! BEcause he might. Joe's impulsive. It's bad enough Hailey's all out at the zoo!

As the other teenager moves in, Lance breathes out a sigh, reaching both arms out to wrap around the pair of them in a tight embrace; releasing them then to step back, a hand rubbing against his face. "It's okay, man," he says, leaning back and offering the pair a faint smile, "I just want to be— normal, like, you know? College and girls and shit." The signing has him frowning a bit, and then he fixes Joe with a serious look, one hand lifting to shake a finger at Joe, "And I swear to god, if you try to do this on your own I will put laxatives in all of your peanut— "

Knock knock.

A blink, glancing to the door, then the other two. He's suddenly tense as he steps away from them, utter silence descending as he creeps silently to the door, peering through the hole. Then he relaxes all at once, quickly throwing the locks and opening the door, "Gillian!"

The former guardian, turned author looks different than she did when she first started keeping track of these kids, but they have likely already seen her new blonde hair. She'd had it for almost half a year now. "Sorry for dropping by unannounced, Lance. My calls weren't going through." Stupid cellphone services. Gillian might be grateful for living in the middle of Elmhurst and actually having cellphone reception most the time, but here? Not so much.

"Brynn, Joe! Good to see you both." She knows the ASL for hello, so she signs that, though she never learned as much as she probably would have if she'd not left to try and fight a war…

I know Brynn. I'm sorry. I really am. And the sorry is necessary. You guys are my family. And that means… everything to me. He hugs them both tight a little bit more before stepping back. Yeah, I get it Lance. I do. Don't worry. I shall only rope you into the innocent adventures, like starting out babysitting service. Like full blown babysitting servce and- He stops as the door is knocked on and turns to peer at it. Hailey maybe? He signs, looking around for a weapon, but then shrugging. He's kind of a weapon. He can hit really hard without worrying about hurting himself. So he sneaks towards the door, stepping to the side of Lance and out of immediate sight of whoever comes through the door. Then there…s a Gillian coming through the door. "AUNT GILLIAN!" He hollers and pounces around the side of the door, scooping his adoptive aunt up in a hug if she doesn't try to stop him, and he'll lift her off the ground, maybe give her a little shake before putting her back on her feet, face alight, bouncing from foot to foot with excitement.

"How are you doing???" He asks, signing as well for Brynn's benefit as he speaks. "Don't worry, I'll translate for you for Brynn." He comments, signing away as he speaks. "How are you? What are you doing here? How's the book stuff going? I'm sorry I haven't seen you since I got here. I didn't know where you were and well… yeah. Communication!"

Brynn remains in the kitchen, caution drilled into her for her whole life when it comes to things the others react to that she cannot percieve. And then it's Gillian at the door, waving and smiling. She bounces around the countertop into the living room with a high-pitched squeal of pleasure. And hurtles into the arms of the older woman. Forget about signing at all, she just helpd Joe and Lance smother in hugs and love.

When she pulls back out of the huddle of all of them, her own hands are flying in the some of the same questions that Joe's already voicing.

There's a laugh as the other two all but pounce Gillian, and Lance briefly leans past to check the hall - making sure she wasn't followed - and then he closes the door, sliding the bolt into place. Once there's room he leans in to offer a hug of his own, admitting, "Phone service is kind've shit out here. It's good to see you." He steps back to give Brynn her turn, a crooked smile to his lips, "Make yourself at home, uh — you want a soda or something?"

The two full grown youngsters hugging her makes her laugh, that dimple visible on her cheek as the smile touches her eyes. Gillian missed this, more than she'd ever probably admit. Part of her wishes she would have stayed out of the war, and kept Jolene out, and just stayed. She would have gotten to see these kids grow into the young men and woman that they are. "It's so good to see you all again. You're gotten so big." Taller than her, even!

"I actually stopped by because Hailey— " She looks at Lance for a moment, before immediately saying, "She's okay. I have her with me for a few days— but there was an incident outside the safe zone where she's been staying."

"We don't have any soda Lance. And by we I of course mean you. You don't have any soda Lance." Joe flashes his LHK brother a wide grin, then looks back to Gillian. "But we have peanut butter!" He pauses a moment, watching Brynn's hands fly, and his fly back letting her know he's echoing her questions and what not. He looks back to Gillian, still bouncing from foot to foot and back and forth, heels to the balls of his feet and back again. The excitement on his face is tempered as he translates for Brynn, a deepening frown. He doesn't ask the question, he lets Lance ask the question about his own sister's welfare.

"We've missed you a lot Aunt Gilly. Like… a lot. It's so good to see you. We're all trying to get into college. So I'm helping them study so we can all get in together all at once. We're going on like.. the adventure of life. College and jobs and stuff. It's kind of weird to be honest. After everything. Lance and Brynn are adjusting better to it than I am." Joe has changed a fair bit. As they settled in in Canada he really came out of his shell, became a lot more talkative, a lot more confident. He's still the good natured kid he was, but he's different too.

Welll….. some of them got taller than her! Brynn, however, … not so much! But she sees Gillian's more serious demeanor, and she doesn't see exactly what the beginning was, but she catches have her with me and she's suddenly scared. She looks between Lance and Gillian for clues to how serious this is and signs, Hailey??? Letting Lance ask his own questions of Gillian, she demands of Joe, What happened? Is she okay? Do we need to go to her??

The warmth and happiness at seeing her swiftly turns to concern at her words, Lance's eyes widening a touch. "Whoa, whoa— " he waves his hands a bit, "What do you mean incident? Is she alright? There's no way she would've stopped living in the zoo like a fucking hobo just because you asked — " He looks to the other two, worried, and then back to Gillian, "She's okay, right? She's not, like, nobody shot her or — or did anything to her, right?"

"Yeah— I don't think even this will get her out of the Zoo," Gillian has to admit to Lance, giving a glance to both the others, but focusing mostly on the younger brother of the girl who showed up on her doorstep not too long ago. "She was shot. In the shoulder. She said two of her dogs were killed, too, and she's especially worried about Jim and everyone else — but she needed a few days to recover." Probably more than she was willing to, but — she's going to try to keep the girl there if she can.

"She was attacked, though— they shot her, negated her, tried to kidnap her, but she managed to get away. She thinks it was Pure Earth. I have a meeting with SESA already to report it on her behalf, she wants her name left out, and she refuses to leave her animals. But I'm going to have SESA and the Citizens watch look out for similar events. If they're kidnapping people outside the Safe Zone… It's only a matter of time before it spills over into here."

It's too close to home for her comfort.

Joe is signing the entire time, interpreting for Brynn. He never stops doing it. If there's vocal conversation going on his hands are moving for Brynn. It's a natural thoughtless accommodation for his sister. Dunno yet Brynn. Something about Hailey being hurt, haven't asked how yet. Letting Lance ask since she's his blood sister and all. I mean yeah she's our sister too but… But Lance and Hailey are actual blood. He looks back up and over to Lance and Gillian, his hands still moving to keep Brynn up to speed. He lets Lance ask his questions. Joe just steps up next to him and lifts a hand, resting it on his shoulder and giving it a firm squeeze to let him know he's got people there for him, not that he didn't already know that. He's curious too, as to Gillian's responses to the question asked of her.

"No, it's not going to get her out of the zoo. It's going to convince her that people are evil and she should stay in the wild." Joe sighs heavily and rolls his eyes slowly. But then he goes quiet as the details of the attack come out, and his eyes narrow slowly, anger blooming on the young man's face. Real anger. "Why can't they leave us alone?" He asks in a soft whisper, hands moving slowly to reflect the sadness of his words. He steps back a few steps and sighs, shaking his head, jaw tight but he's not sure where to direct his anger. Funny this news, right after their argument about being vigilantes.

While Lance translates, Brynn's gray eyes get wider and wider. There is a kind of fear in her expression that hasn't been there since she arrived, the kind that comes of having been blown up in a building, raided in what was supposed to be a safe place, and evacuating in terror under fire. Canada didn't erase all of those fears, but living in rural anonymity definitely eased some of the girls terrors — the ones that would have the kids finding her sleeping inside a closet or under her cot when they first got to the safehouse up there. She's pale and she can't look at Gillian while Joe is signing. And her gaze flickers between the boys, her expression crumbling into silent tears. She's okay? Please say she's okay, she begs Gillian.

"No, no, no…" Lance shakes his head tightly, "No, we were — this was supposed to be over, we were supposed to be able to just be — just be normal. This isn't fair." The world's never been fair, though, and least of all to the poor kids that grew up beneath the beacon of the Lighthouse. Hands clench into fists at his side, impotent as they are, and he looks away - to Brynn, her hopeful gestures bringing a lump to his throat.

She was shot, he signs, having to relax his hands from white-knuckled grips to talk, She says she'll be okay.

He draws in a breath, then looks back to Gillian, "Where is she? Can we see her, I want to— I'm gonna strangle her, I told her something like this was going to happen!"

At the boy's words, Gillian steps closer to him, putting her hands on his shoulder and looking up at him. At least with boys being taller than her she doesn't find it too awkward, her future daughter, though? "You are safe here, Lance. All of you." She directs a look toward Joe as well and Brynn. "The military, Citizen's watch and SESA can't really protect all of the areas around New York, but as far as I can tell nothing like this has happened inside the walls." Some disturbances, sure, but no kidnappings. And she's going to make sure it's not happening, too.

"They were trying to take her to Staten Island. There's a lot of unsavory activities still going on there, but as long as you stay inside, or travel in groups if outside, you'll probably be okay. Hailey was living alone— it made her vulnerable."

An easy target, some might even say. "But of course you can see her. I took her to the hospital, they patched her up. They didn't get her real name, or anything. She doesn't want to be registered." And she's following those wishes as best she can.

Joe hunches his shoulders for a few moments, breathing, then lets it out in a long exhale, nodding his head. His eyes flicker up to aunt Gillian. "Thank you for coming to let us know. Lance appreciates it. Even if he wants to strangle his sister at the moment." He lets Lance fill Brynn in, though he signs too to fill in the gaps that Lance may leave. A hand lifts though to settle on Lance's shoulder again, just letting his best friend know that he's there and that he's not alone again. It's important, especially for the kids. After everything they've been through, just knowing other people are there with you is important.

"Well, I wish this reunion was under better circumstances. Like you bringing over cookies, or a cake. Or five jars of peanut butter so I can pay Lance back for all the peanut butter the ninjas took. But… it's really great to see you Aunt Gilly. And I'm glad you were there for Hailey to go to." He offers her a smile, one definitely reminiscent of his big grins when he was little, just on a smaller scale.

"Outside the walls, inside the walls. If it's happening in one place it's happening in another. It's just being done more carefully here. And it's not like the authorities actually know who all is living here. So they wouldn't know if someone disappeared or not if it wasn't reported." He's signing all this so Brynn can see as well of course. "So… when can we go see her? Now? Do you have a car or should we hoof it over there? I'm down with a walk if need be."

The petite teen is watching Joe's hands avidly, and her breathing is a little heavy as she tries not to cry. This was not supposed to happen anymore. They weren't supposed to get shot at anymore! Wiping her face quickly so that Lance and Joe don't see her crying, she lifts her chin and heads to grab the backpack that she takes everywhere. Shoving her sketch pad in, she's ready to go whenever they are.

Lance's shoulders sink a bit beneath Gillian's hands as her mere touch - let alone her words - drain the fire from him. "I can't believe she was this stupid," he mutters, looking down, "I told her. I told her she wasn't safe out there." A lean back a bit to Joe's touch, one hand coming up to clap over hers for a moment. "Yeah. yeah, can we— " He looks back up to Gillian hopefully, "Can we go see her?"

"I have a car. My days of trying to walk halfway across the city are, thankfully, over," Gillian responds, nodding to the children who no doubt still rely on their legs, or their bikes if they had them. "We can go now. I'm sure Hailey would appreciate the company— and I know I would feel better if she has others with her when she goes to check on Jim and the others." Cause she knows she will.

And she'd rather she not do it alone when she does. "If you want to pack a small bag, you can stay the night. I don't have a lot of extra beds, but I have two guest rooms." Her townhouse is decent sized. Much bigger than the average apartment. Being a member of the Cooperative, and an author, has it's perks.

Joe is ready to go as well. He sees the tears, but he doesn't comment on them. They all deal with this stuff in their own way, and if Brynn needs a shoulder his will be there for her. "This wasn't supposed to happen anymore, aunt Gilly." He murmurs, voicing Brynn's silent protest. He knows her well enough to know what's running through her head right now. Especially after their discussion just before Gillian knocked. "You did Lance. And you were right. You know I had your back on that. But Hailey is going to use this as a sign to withdraw further. We can't let her do that. So we gotta go there and remind her she has family and hope it helps."

"You have extra bedrooms?" Joe asks, blinking a couple of times, glancing to the others, then back to Gillian, a wide grin full of mischief gracing his features. "Oh you reeeeally shouldn't have told us that Auntie." There will come a day that Gillian will wake up to like 20 kids in her house. Well probably more like 8 or 9. But it will happen. Yes it will. Joe looks around himself a bit. "Oh yeah. My stuff is back at my shoebox uhhh… I'm good to go then!" He leans in to hug Gillian again, a tight hug that lingers for a few moments before he heads out the door of Lance's little apartment.

Brynn watches Joe and nods as she shoulders her backpack. This was NOT supposed to happen anymore! She moves to Lance and leans her head against his arm, offering whatever comfort she can. There is sadness deep in her gray eyes when they meet Gillian's and then she looks up at the three of them in turn. She signs resolutely, Let's go get our sister.

Lance shifts just enough to wrap an arm around Brynn reassuringly, giving her a warm pull in against his side and offering her a weak smile, trying to be reassuring. Then he's slipping past her to stalk across the room to the single bedroom door, flinging it open and ducking inside. About ten seconds later he comes back out with a battered, duct-tape repaired duffle bag slung over his shoulder.

'Be ready to leave at any time' is just one of the many lessons he learned from the Lighthouse.

"Okay! Let's go, so I can yell at her while she can't defend herself."

"Good to see you're prepared," Gillian responds with a smile. It wasn't the 'just in case' part of the training she had objected to— even some small self-defense lessons would not have caused a rift between her and her twin. It was the guns. It was always the guns.

But she's not sure she'll ever need to say that out loud. "I won't ever regret it. But you'll have to deal with me forcing you to eat well while you're under my house." No soda or chips. Filtered water and whatever it is she cooks for them with their rations for the day. Cause she's become quite the good cook, mothering Jolene.

"You're alwys welcome in my house." And soon, they'll know where it is. If they end up crowding into two rooms like they're dorms, that's perfectly fine with her, too.

With a gesture, she leads them down to the car, where they can fight over the front seat, and off they go to see Hailey. If she hasn't already ran off.

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