I'm in Neah Bay
Wynonna blinked at her phone. Bobo. She hadn't heard from him in months; in the time that he'd been on the road, she'd begun to wonder if she'd ever see or hear from him again. Hadn't seemed unlikely that he was happy to be out of the Ghost River Triangle and away from everybody and everything it contained, and never planned to return.
Turns out he hadn't forgotten or dismissed her idea of meeting up on the road. It was October 3. Wynonna and Xavier were on the end of the meandering west-to-east trip leg through Canada, currently camping on the outskirts of Vancouver and ready to start heading south.
"Hey," she jumped out of the rickety little RV she and Xavier had bought for this road trip. Xav was stretched out on a blanket in the long grass, basking in the low rays of the autumn sun. God, she still couldn't quite believe how relaxed he looked these days, body loose and at ease, smile so close every time he looked at her.
He tipped his head back and hummed inquiringly.
"Bobo texted, he's at the cape."
He made a little 'huh' sound.
"Yeah, that was my reaction," she grinned, pulling her knit cardigan closer around herself and plopping down next to him.
"We could make it there tomorrow," Xavier murmured, shifting so he could pillow his head on her thigh. She thoughtlessly petted his hair. "But the day after would be easier, we'd avoid doing two ferry trips in one day... unless you want to drive around."
"I'd like to go over Victoria, but yeah, that sounds way more stressful than I'd like," Wynonna agreed. The whole point of getting the RV was that they almost never had fixed destinations, deadlines to make by the end of the day. It was wonderful. "So spend the night on Victoria?"
He nodded, his eyes closed, and she looked up ferry times from Victoria to Port Angeles, then texted Bobo back.
We're near Vancouver. Will join you in Neah Bay day after tomorrow, prob mid-day
I'm camping - take Cape Loop rd, 2nd exit, follow to end
See you there!
The weak autumn sun was just breaking through the clouds when they arrived on the cape. It was late afternoon.
Xavier slowly followed the narrow, tree-enclosed road with the RV, branches scraping over the roof. Wynonna was a little restless in her seat. It was strange to think that she was excited, but they'd been away from home for months, and the idea of seeing a familiar face after so much new was appealing. Plus, she was curious to see how Bobo was doing.
Before he'd left - in the weeks after they'd broken the curse and he was healing up - he'd seemed sad. Aimless, perhaps, which she supposed was exactly what he had been. A century-long goal finally achieved, and she would bet he'd never much let himself dream about what could come after. Or perhaps those dreams had all been about being together with Willa, and were too painful to contemplate.
The unnamed branch of the road opened into a small clearing, just big enough to turn the RV, and Wynonna spotted a hammock under a rainfly in the treeline, a motorbike pushed under a green tarp next to it.
Bobo looked... both more and less like himself. His hair was longer, sticking up a little shaggy, sides grown out, and he had a rough beard where she was used to his sharply trimmed goatee. She still wasn't used to seeing him with glasses, but they looked good on him, and his expression was genuine and warm as he came toward them. She would hesitate to use the word 'soft' in description of Bobo del Rey, but he looked happier, peaceful even.
He was wearing a long waxed coat in a cut that reminded of his fur coat, and that made her grin. His flair for the dramatic clearly hadn't all been an act. He cut a striking figure with the backdrop of the damp, gently steaming forest in the sunlight. Like somebody from a novel.
"Hi! You look good!" she greeted him, not allowing herself to think about it too much and giving him an impulsive hug.
He froze for the fraction of a second, and then he relaxed, returned the embrace with a warm hand on her back.
"So do you," he chuckled, pulling back to look at her. "This no-curse thing agrees with us, huh?"
Xavier joined them and he and Bobo did the bro-hug thing, and they stood around talking for a little bit. Wynonna stepped back a bit to take a sneaky photo on her phone. She sent it to Waverly with the caption 'Happy Hipster Hobo Bobo.'
A few seconds later the reply came: 'Damn, are you at a photoshoot for Rugged (But Somehow Not Smelly Looking) Outdoor Men International or something'
"Was just about to start cooking," Bobo said, gesturing a little awkwardly to a small, stone-ringed fireplace where he'd set up his cooking things. Wynonna wasn't sure if this was meant as an invitation - they hadn't discussed anything beyond meeting up here and maybe travelling together while they went south. He seemed a little unsure how things should go here, and maybe also just no longer used to being in company.
"Excellent, I could eat," she said cheerfully, flashing him a grin. "And chop. Need anything chopped? I'm your girl."
She followed him to the fireplace, and Xavier brought their folding chairs over and the box of spices and ingredients they hadn't used because they rarely cooked.
Bobo wrinkled his nose at some of the instant ingredients.
"Look at Mister 'I cook from scratch' here," she joked. "Since when do you care about food?"
"Since its stopped tasting like ash."
"Oh. Right. Forget I said anything."
"It's fine," he shrugged. "I'd forgotten it myself, and it took a couple months for my sense of taste to develop again."
"Did you try anything cool? What's the best thing you've tasted?"
"Waverly said I absolutely had to go to a State fair and try all the weird fried food. Didn't like it much though. Best food is--" he gestured at the fresh fish getting ready to be roasted on the fire.
Wynonna supposed that he'd never developed a taste for processed sugar, so it wasn't weird that he'd go back to the simple fare he might have dreamed of before the curse.
The three of them exchanged travel stories as they prepared the food, staying with wrapping potatoes in foil to cook them. Xavier and Wynonna had started in Maine and then spent the summer travelling North of the Canadian border, bumbling along quiet roads in their little RV, going as slow as they pleased.
Bobo, he explained while he roasted fresh fish and slices of beetroot on the fire, had gone all the way up to Alaska and spent his summer months there, exploring what life was like when you could go anywhere and nobody knew you. He'd just ridden back down over the past 3 weeks.
"Why Alaska?" Xavier asked.
"I don't know. Maybe I was looking for the.." he waved a hand, "frontier feeling. Something liked that."
He didn't seem particularly eager to talk about his voyage of self- and Alaska discovery beyond a free natural highlights, and Wynonna supposed she couldn't blame him. He listened attentively to her stories of the road though, and he was a surprisingly good cook.
They sat by the fire until well past midnight, sharing half a bottle of whiskey Wynonna had dug out of the RV.
"I thought I just wanted to make sure he's okay because I felt guilty," she said idly that night as she curled up against Xavier. "But I think maybe I just like him?"
She wasn't sure why it came out as a question.
"I never would have thought it, but me too."
"Do you think he'll every come back to Purgatory to visit?"
"Maybe. If you tell him you'd like him to."
"Mm. I think I will."