Unreserved Chapter 9
Annie laid her head on Jet's shoulder. It had been a while since she was this close to a guy. She had to admit she was extremely comfortable, and the pain in her hip was practically gone. Harley on the other hand looked extremely uncomfortable in her position against the wall.
"Party, do you have places for us to sleep?" Annie asked, looking at her tired friend.
"Oh." Party looked around. There were six booths in total, but the back two housed cans of Power Pup, extra ray guns, a vending machine hacking tool, a shit ton of magazines, and Annie's paints. The booth that everyone was gathered around seemed to be only the dining area.
"Annie and Harley can take my booth for the night." Jet volunteered.
"Jet, you took watch last night. Don't just give up your booth." Ghoul said. "Annie and Harley can take mine." He said.
"No." Party said, standing up. "The girls can pick. I'm taking watch tonight, so there's a free booth."
"Two." Kobra stood as well. "I'll take watch with you." He said. "There've been way too many dracs lately for just one of us to stand watch. Especially since we're out of flares and radio batteries." He stated, gesturing toward the busted radio sitting in the windowsill.
"Okay. So, Annie, Harley, if you guys want you can share one, or take separate booths, or bunk up with Ghoul or Jet, take your pick." Party said, holstering a white gun as well as his own yellow one. Kobra did the same and headed out the back door.
Annie flashed a smile to Jet at Party's last words. Fun Ghoul looked over and winked at Harley, who promptly flipped him off before curling back into a ball in her seat and dozing off to sleep while Annie and the guys talked for a bit longer
"Harley." Annie walked over and shook her dozing friend's shoulder. Harley's reaction was violent, slapping her friend across the face as her hand flew to the holster on her thigh. Annie flung her head back, trying to keep away from Harley's flying hand. Her sharp nails caught Annie's cheek, leaving four small gashes across it.
"Annie? Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" Harley hopped up, ignoring the pain in her foot, reaching for Annie's face.
Annie's hand covered her cheek. It didn't bother her when the dracs slapped her around, because she could just dust them. But it was different when Harley did it. Annie looked at the guilt, obviously showing in her friend's eyes.
"I'm so sorry," she said. "I thought you were Party or Ghoul trying to pull something," her words tumbled from her mouth a rapid pace.
"I'm fine, it's fine. See?" Annie lifted her hand. "I'm fine. Just a few scratches." Annie smiled softly. "You didn't mean it Lee. I know you didn't. I should've known better than to just shake you around like that" Annie said, hugging her friend. When she let go, Harley slinked away to the booth nearest the door, Party's booth. She yanked a picture out of her boot and unlaced them before crawling into the booth. Annie went to follow her but was stopped by Ghoul.
"Let it blow over." He said, standing up.
"You don't know her." Annie said, attempting to wrench her wrist out of his grip.
"No, but I knew someone just like her." Ghoul said. "Let it blow over. She knows she didn't do anything wrong. She's had two very long days. She's sore, she's tired, she's not comfortable with the current situation." He said. "Now, I'm going to get the first aid kit so Jet can patch up your cheek." The short man walked into what seemed to be an old kitchen.
"Go sit on that table and let me look at you." Jet said, smiling lovingly at the small girl.
"Okay." Annie hopped up on the table, swinging her boot clad feet.
"I like your blue streaks." Jet said, standing in front of her. The open window allowed in the night wind, blowing Annie's long hair around.
"There the only thing I've got from before BL/ind. I've been painting them in when they fade, but they've stayed for the last year." Annie smiled at the man in front of her.
Fun Ghoul walked back in with the same kit and bottle of alcohol as Party had used on Harley's face. "It's really been a year?" He asked as Jet Star opened the kit.
"Yeah, I know. It's so crazy." Annie said. She winced as Jet dabbed some alcohol into the wounds, cleaning them. He was gentle, just as gentle as Party had been with Harley.
"So how did you and Harley meet?" Ghoul asked. Annie put her finger up and waited until Jet was done putting bandages on her cheek. When he was done, he plopped down next to her and put his arm over her shoulders.
"I hopped the wall three days after it was built. I didn't know where I was going, what I was doing or who I thought I was going to. All I knew was that I wasn't going to live under Korse's rule. I wound up travelling from group of people to group of people, until I found Wave and Flip. They wound up being not good people, and Harley will tell you about the whole story behind that. Anyway, Harley and her travelling buddy wound up with us, some shit happened and now we're all the other has." Annie said, leaning against Jet.
"Wow..." Ghoul and Jet said in unison.
"Yeah. It's basically the same story as every other killjoy running around out here though. I mean, I did tag a bit of the wall before I jumped it but..." She shrugged.
"You were the one that tagged it?" Jet said, shocked.
"Yeah. I got out my paints after the night watch passed and ten minutes later, there was my masterpiece." She said.
"Could you paint something for us?" Ghoul asked.
"Maybe tomorrow guys. I've had a long day." Annie looked over at where Harley's black boots was hanging out of the booth.
"You can take Kobra's booth." Ghoul said.
"I don't want to sleep alone." Crash Animal said quietly.
"You can bunk up with me." Jet offered.
"I'd like that." Annie said, taking his hand.
Jet lead Annie over to his booth, the one next to Harley's, and let her lay on one side before draping his jacket over her. He sat down as she dozed off, watching her small face. He smiled and laid down as well.
Party was standing at the edge of the diner, smoking a cigarette when Kobra came around.
"You okay bro?" He asked, looking at the red head.
Party flicked the butt of the cigarette on the ground and crushed it under the toe of his shoe. "I don't know." He looked at his blonde brother. "There is something about Harley that I'm just drawn to." He said, staring at the moon shining in the cloudless sky. "I can't get over how distant and closed off to the world she is," He said.
"Well obviously she's been through some tough shit. She sticks to one person, run ins make her ridiculously defensive and it's blatantly obvious she doesn't trust a single fucking soul." Kobra leaned up against the wall next to Party. "Annie, on the other hand, has really taken to Jet." He said.
"Yeah, she has... It'll probably tick Harley off. And from what Harley's said to me tonight, tough shit is an understatement." Party said.
"What do you mean?" Kobra asked.
Party took his eyes off the sky to look at his brother. "She had a brother, Trigger Hype I think. He was killed by two people in their group, who were working with Korse. Annie's the only person she'll trust." He said.
"Wow... And here I was thinking all the killjoys had to worry about was the sun and the dracs." Kobra said.
"Yeah. This was around the beginning though; she didn't know they were working for Korse." Party said.
"Well... we'll just work with Harley. We'll get her to trust us. They can't survive on their own anymore, especially since it seems like the dracs are after them." Kobra pointed out. "Annie seems to have a real attraction to Jet anyway, so I doubt she'll let Harley go, but on the other hand, Harley doesn't seem too afraid to be out there on her own"
"True." Party said, though he didn't like the thought of Harley out there alone. He looked back up into the sky after lighting another cigarette. Kobra took up a place in the other corner, and Party glanced inside. He noticed Harley sleeping in his booth with a picture lying on her chest, her blonde hair strewn across the vinyl seat. He couldn't help but want to protect her, even if it was against her will.